Tag Archives: home life

Pieceful Monday

Monday, Monday! I planned to post throughout last week. I really did. However, after we got back home from moving our daughter to Florida, I spent most of my time doing some housekeeping (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) and then doing this . . .

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

When I wasn’t napping, I did make a little bit of progress on some of my sewing projects.

On Wednesday, I stopped in at JoAnn Fabrics to get backing fabric for The 70273 Project Quilt. I took my time and wandered through the store. I came away with more than just the backing for the quilt, but thankfully most of it will be used for some projects I’m working on.

I’m also beginning to construct the blocks for this quilt. This will be a gift, so I can’t reveal too much about this yet. This is a kit using Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer line. I love the colors and the feel of the fabric.

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

And I started work on a bed quilt for my daughter. I’ll show you more on that soon. For this project, she picked the cutest fabric with toadstools on it. We bought the fabric all at 50% off at a local quilt shop. I bought my first full bolt of fabric. Thank goodness it was 50% off! I’m looking forward to getting this put together soon. I think the toadstools will be fitting, since these little guys seem to show up at her place quite often.

Pieceful Monday - tree frog - piecefulthoughts.com

Recently Lori of Humble Quilts posted that she is once again going to make a trip to Columbia and would once again be taking pillowcase dresses along for the little girls. I have wanted to make some of these for Lori, so today I made my first one. They are so easy and quick to make. You can read Lori’s post and find directions for the dresses here.

Pieceful Monday - pillowcase dress - piecefulthoughts.com

I took this picture in the late afternoon sun. I’ll post more pictures as I get more dresses made!

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Linking up today with Beth and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts.  

Wendy

Pieceful Monday

Well, what a weekend. Sometimes things just don’t work out like you plan. There was a big snowstorm headed our way this past weekend. And there was a big ski race in the works. A great combination, you would think. We made some changes to our schedule to avoid driving in the storm, leaving late Thursday evening and heading to Duluth. Friday we would head to our hotel for the ski race.

Friday morning, I woke up to this beautiful view of Lake Superior. Usually the lake is frozen, but with the unseasonably warm winter weather we’ve had this year, Superior is all open water.

BigJ has had it on his bucket list to ski the American Birkiebeiner, a 55k x-country ski race, and this was the year. So after a late breakfast/lunch, we headed for Hayward, Wisconsin to pick up his race gear. Here’s our view as we drove along. Notice anything missing?

No snow, or very little. The storm track, which the race authorities were depending on, went south, so no snow meant no race. Poor guy. He was pretty disappointed, but we picked up the bib, hat and other race items. This is the second cancellation in the history of the race, so it was worth picking up the memorabilia.

We came home to about 4 inches of snow. Life is funny sometimes.

I had packed up some stitching to do while I waited for him to finish the race. I didn’t have time to work on any of them, since we arrived in Duluth around midnight, and we came home on Friday after the race had been canceled.

So this is all basted and ready for me to hand quilt. That will keep me busy for a few days. The saying still makes me chuckle.

Saturday I spent the day working on the commission quilt blocks. I have six blocks ready to be stitched together, which will bring me to almost 2/3rds done with the blocks. Yippee! I’ll work on those today.

While I haven’t been doing much quilting other than the commission quilt, I have been stocking my quilting library. Bernie from Needle and Foot contacted me to let me know I had won this book in one of her giveaways. If you haven’t met Bernie, head over to her blog and get to know her. She’s a gem! I’m very pleased and already have my eye on one of the patterns in this book for a precut that’s been patiently waiting on my shelf. Thanks, Bernie!

I have a quieter week ahead, so I’m hoping to spend a good chunk of it with my sewing machine.

Happy Monday, all!

Wendy

 

A Week Well Finished

Well here we are, it’s Friday once again. Remember as a kid how the days seemed to linger on forever? Now it seems like I wake up Monday and when I go to bed it’s Friday. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Most of my week has been cutting the pieces for a quilt I’m making for a friend. The colors are really lovely, and the quilt will be fun to make. I’m hoping to finish, or at least get a good chunk of the remaining cutting done over the weekend so I can begin sewing next week.

In between the cutting — I need to take a break from that now and then, my back tells me — I have been sneaking some little projects in. I now have 5 Winter Solstice blocks done. They are truly an eclectic mix. I’m just making the blocks out of whatever turns my crank! Pictures coming in another post.

I’m still working on my blocks for The 70273 Project. These are such simple blocks and they are great to work on while watching a show. I think I have 14 made now. Next Friday I’m having a couple of friends down and we are going to stitch blocks for the day. It should be great fun!

One quick project I worked on this week was to make a knife holder for our steak knives. I don’t have a knife block, I don’t like all the clutter on the counter. (If you could see my counter, you would find that statement laugh-out-loud funny.) Anyway, I’ve kept the knives in a drawer, but wrapped them in a dishcloth because they are very sharp and I didn’t want anyone reaching in and cutting themselves.

Awhile ago, I ordered a pack of fabric for a quilt, and when the fabric came I realized it wasn’t what I had thought it would be. It is a mix of denims, some light, some heavy. Rather than return it, I just decided I’d keep it and see what I could create with it. I have some ideas, of course. One of them was to make a knife holder, so I finally go to it.

I decided to use a dark charcoal denim for the outer fabric and pulled a red/brownish homespun that I had in my stash for the lining.

I cut three pieces of fabric, 12.5″ x 14.5″, one from the backing fabric and two from the lining. I also cut one piece of very thin fusible fleece to the same measurement. Taking one lining piece, I folded it in half the long way, so it would now measure 6.25″ x 14.5″.  I also cut one strip 1″ x WOF for the tie.

I figured about 2.5″ for each knife pocket. That was actually a little wider than I needed in the end, but I decided to leave it as it gives a little room for the knives to shift. So that makes 10″ I’d need for the knife pockets. That left me with about 2.25″ on each end, so I marked that off, then marked each pocket off on the folded piece of lining. Once the marking was done, I sewed the pockets.

 

I used a light grey pencil to mark the lines. As long as I had good light, I could see them easily, but they don’t show up on the photo!

Once the pockets were sewn, I put the pocket piece atop the lining piece and tacked it on the left and right sides to keep it from slipping around as I finished the piece.

Then I ironed the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the lining piece. I probably could have skipped this step because of the stiffness of the denim, but I wanted a bit of cushioning for the knives.

Then I layered the lining piece on top of the backing piece, wrong sides together. I marked the pocket lines all the way to the top of the lining piece, then sewed through all layers on those marked lines, sewing over the pocket lines once again (for added strength).

Then I made the tie piece, folding and pressing the strip in half, then unfolding and folding to the fold mark on each side. I stitched that together.

It’s getting late at night; I’m determined to get this done!

Then I tacked the tie to the backing before I add the binding.

I rounded the upper corners of the piece before adding binding. In the end I wish I would have done so on the bottom corners too. The bulky fabric made the mitered corners a challenge.

I sewed the binding down by machine. And Voila — it was done!

It was a fun, quick project and it looks much nicer in my drawer.

So it’s been a good week with some fun projects in my quilt cave!

Happy Friday, all!

Wendy

Pieceful Monday

Well, the holidays are over and a new year has begun. I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s with my family. This holiday season was quieter in some ways than others, but lovely nonetheless.

I made a goal to do as much of my Christmas shopping locally as I could. It made the whole season so much less stressful; no mall crowds to contend with. Perhaps that’s why I think it was a quieter season this year. It was certainly more relaxed!

I also made a few things, but not so many that I felt rushed at the last minute. As a matter of fact, I spent the last week or so before Christmas just playing in my quilt cave. More about that in another post.

I met some of my girlfriends for an annual coffee date. While we were chatting, one of them talked about a pillow she had seen. She had mentioned she had seen a larger pillow like this at a store, so when I got home that evening, I made her a little mini pillow, about 6-7 inches. All the buttons are from my button box, some of them my grandmother’s, my mother’s and mine. It’s only fitting that some of my family should be part of hers. She is a very dear friend of mine, and our lives have woven in and out together for many years. The linen fabric is from my stash, a left over piece of fabric from a dress I made years ago. The dress is long gone, but I’ve made good use of the scraps!

This is the pillow top; I apparently didn’t remember to take a picture of the finished pillow!

Another gift I gave was to my daughter. She has always liked pillows she’s seen similar to this, so I thought it would be fun to make her one. I found a {free} outline of the deer and blew it up. Then I traced it onto hand-dyed brown wool and stitched it to the pillow. The pillow fabric is left over from the fabric I used to make curtains for her apartment. She loved it! It was probably my favorite project that I gave as a gift.

Not a great picture. The pillow fabric is a deeper green than shown.

Gifts came to me in return. I loved all of them, here’s a couple of highlights.

When visiting my daughter this summer, we were shopping in an antique store. I saw a cute little toy sewing machine. We talked about it and that was that. When I opened my gift from her this Christmas, there was the little sewing machine!  I am so delighted to give this little cutie a home.

It is a Kayanee Sew Master made in Germany post WWII in the 40s. Apparently those with decals are a bit more rare, but I’m no expert so I don’t know if this is true. It works too, the only thing it’s missing is the needle.

My son asked me for some suggestions. He gave me one thing I have wanted for quite some time. (I had forgotten I had even told him about them.) Blackwing pencils. I could hardly wait to use them!

When you order from JBWelly, your order comes wrapped in gorgeous paper like this. Fun, huh?

If you’ve never heard of them, here’s a fun but lengthy link that gives some background.  They are truly remarkable. Even BigJ was surprised when he picked one up. They are so light! I spent the entire day using one the other day, and my hand didn’t get all cramped and sore like it often does when I’m working on designs.

Well, let’s talk quilting and what I’ve been doing. As I said earlier I have one project I worked on that I’ll share about another time, but I do have a couple of blocks to show you.

Pat Sloan started her 182 Day Solstice Challenge  recently, and I decided to join in. Each Wednesday she sends out a new block. She’s designing as she goes, pulling from her stash and encouraging us to do the same. So far the blocks are simple and fun. Come join the fun!

Here’s the first block. I’m not overly excited about the fabrics I used for this one. They kinda make me want to nap — Zzzzzz. I may redo this one.

Here’s the second block, called Day into Night. This one was really fun to make. I’m happier with this block.

For my birthday earlier this month, my daughter gave me this canvas that she painted. The saying is hers too. I love it, and will leave you with this thought today.

Happy Stitching!

Wendy

 

 

One More Peek

On this day before all the festivities of Christmas begin (or continue, if you’ve started early), I wanted to share with you one last peek at my house and the Christmas decorations. I’ve saved the best for last, of course.

When we remodeled our living room, BigJ purposely designed a bookshelf with a space for hanging quilts. It is the focal point of our living room, and I enjoy changing the quilts out every now and then. At Christmas, a star quilt goes in that space. It is one of my favorite quilts, because it was made for me by my sister-in-law. What quilter doesn’t like to receive a quilt?

Nestled beneath the quilt is the nativity scene. The figurines were also given to me by my brother and sister-in-law, so they are special to me. BigJ and the kids, when they were younger, constructed the manger. It is a teensy, fragile little thing that I love. The linen runner beneath came from my grandmother to my mom, to me. I’m quite sure my grandmother did the crochet.

Not only is this scene the focal point of my home during this season, it’s meaning is the focal point of my heart. For Christ came, for me and for you.

Enjoy this time with family and friends, love generously, laugh joyously, hug much, and remember why we celebrate at all.

Merry Christmas!

Wendy

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have have eternal life.  –John 3:16

Pieceful Monday

It was quiet around here last week. My birthday started the week off, and I decided to enjoy the week working on some quilt projects. We celebrated my birthday by going to see White Christmas at The Ordway, a fun way to really kick off the holiday season!

I spent most of my week doing the finishing stitches on some Christmas gifts and finally getting some Christmas decorations up. Here’s a peek at some of my decorating.

Even with the lights turned all the way up I couldn’t get a decent bright photo of these, but you can get an idea of how I have hung them.

These little stockings and mittens were so much fun to make. They hang nicely over my patio window each Christmas. The reindeer you see above them are from my childhood. I have the full set, with Santa in his sleigh and, of course, Rudolph in the lead. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a full photo of them for you.

This is the top of my piano, which has my small collection of mercury glass along with my nod to my Scandinavian heritage. The St. Lucia was my mother’s. The Nutcracker Ballet has always been a favorite of mine; this handsome fellow was given to me by my parents when I was a teen. In the frame is a poem my son wrote when he was young that is a favorite of mine.

And of course, the tree was decorated. We rarely put the tree up before my birthday. That was a tradition when I was growing up, and continues now in my home.

Christmas blessings . . . to you and yours! I’ll post my most favorite decorations later this week.

Wendy

 

Pieceful Monday

After a fairly busy weekend, this is truly a peaceful Monday. I am pondering whether to quilt for the remainder of the day, or get my Christmas decorations up. The tree will be coming soon.

In my family when I was growing up, we didn’t put the tree up until mid-December. I am a December baby, so my mother wanted my birthday to be a separate event from Christmas. Not putting the tree up until after my birthday was one way she felt she honored that. My family has followed that tradition, although I truly would like the tree up earlier. I love having a twinkling tree to look at!

I had three activities this weekend, one on each day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Sunday afternoon I fell asleep in my chair for a very long nap.

While I enjoy cooking and putzing in the kitchen when I’m in the mood, sometimes I draw a blank when I need to bring something as simple as an appetizer to a party. However, this weekend I managed to pull it off, sticking with the principle of keeping it simple.

The theme for the weekend could have been “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. Not even a chance, really, for there certainly were meatballs. Tasty ones, if I do say so myself. Armed with frozen meatballs and my crockpot, I conquered those parties like a boss. However, I did not take pictures like a boss. I didn’t even think about pictures until after the last meatball was eaten! So I’ll provide you with a Pinterest link for one of the recipes I used and you can see photos there.

This is the recipe I used for the meatballs. She gives precise measurements for the sauce; I basically eyeballed it and it turned out fine. Rather than mixing the sauce in my crockpot, I heated it in a pan on the stove and then poured it over the meatballs. I used 3 lbs. of meatballs for the first run, and they were a bit dry. If I use that many again, I would make a recipe and a half of the sauce. I used 2 lbs. the second time and it was just right. You could easily use homemade meatballs as well, but I would brown them before adding them to the crockpot.

The other simple recipe I made is a favorite of our family. I will sometimes make them if we are having a movie night. The recipe is for sliders using King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls. I buy two packages of the rolls. Without separating the rolls, cut them apart from one end to the other with a bread knife. Because the rolls are on a sheet of waxed cardboard, this is simple to do because they stay put. I begin slicing on one short end and work my way to the other, holding on to the cardboard if need be to keep it from sliding. Lay the bun tops aside, and place the bottom halves into a 9 x 13 cake pan. You may have to snug them in a bit, but it will be just fine.

Layer meat and cheese of your choice on the buns. I’ve used ham and cheese, turkey and swiss; you could easily use shredded chicken, etc. Whatever appeals to you. Place the tops on, and brush them with melted butter. Sprinkle your favorite garlicky seasoning on top. I like Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle for this. Cover and heat them through in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

In the midst of all this, I have been stitching away in my quilt room. Much of what I’m making while likely end up as gifts so I can’t show them to you yet, but I can show you this little soon-to-be pillow that will be tucked into my Christmas decorations. I have had this book for years, and while much of the decor is outdated, I still find myself going back to it time and again for a cute gift idea.

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This pillow is based on a project from that book and has been adapted to use wool for the lettering. I also added the heart and holly. I think several of the little projects could easily be updated with a modern flair, so I may try some of that this week.

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The pillow is about 6-1/2″ x 15-1/2″. All that’s left is to sew the back and front together, stuff it with polyfil and it will be ready. I have had the background fabric for longer than I care to admit. Do you ever hang on to a particular piece of fabric because you just knew it was meant for something? That’s what happened with this fabric. Even though this pillow is nothing special, the fabric is just what I was looking for!

I also finished the November woolies, along with one of the December blocks. In these cooler months, I am really drawn to wool projects, so this makes me happy.

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The two on the left are from Woolen Willow; the one on the right is a mystery BOM from River’s Edge Antiques and Quilt Loft.

This week I’m waiting on an order of some supplies so I can complete some of these projects. I am still working on getting my quilt room organized, and I’m happy to say that I’m making good progress. So far I’ve managed to empty about 9-10 bins of various sizes. Pretty excited about that!

Not sure what I’ll be up to today, but I’ll at least try to take some pictures this time!

I’m linking up today with Cooking Up Quilts. Beth’s blog is one of my favorites, so pop on over if you have a few minutes!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wendy

 

 

Pieceful Monday

Happy Monday, everyone! It is a lovely, cool, crisp fall day here. Thankfully the rain has stopped and the sun is shining. The weekend was busy for many, sandbagging to protect their businesses or homes. You can take a peek at this video if you want to see what’s been happening to our usually peaceful river.

On Friday, two quilting friends and I had the pleasure of attending a Friendship Spools class by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. I had plans to take pictures for you, but honestly, the class was fast-paced and there was no time to stop and take pictures. Edyta was absolutely delightful and so encouraging. Her fabric is lovely and her method really works. I didn’t get a block finished during the class — I apparently am a slow quilter – ha! Hopefully I’ll have some blocks to show you later this week.

The CrossCut is still on my design wall. I hope to get to work quilting it today. Perhaps I’ll have a completed quilt to show you later this week.

The rest of the weekend was spent with family. Our kids were both home, and it was BigJ’s birthday, so that took precedence over any stitching!

I’ll leave you with a photo of the last little woolie I did for the Block of the Month by Jeni Gaston.

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I added a little pizzazz to the flower blossoms, playing around with a new stitch.

Enjoy today! Keep those stitches running!

Wendy