Category Archives: Winter

February has arrived

Having barely any snow all winter last year was quite disappointing for me but Mother Nature decided to make up for that with a good amount arriving yesterday.

We decided to not fight the winds yesterday and we put off shoveling until today.  The clearing off went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would.  While we had quite a bit more snow yesterday than we had in our first snowfall a couple months ago, it was actually a lot easier to shovel since we didn’t have the icy sleet that we had in the first storm.   Now I am not saying that my muscles aren’t feeling it but overall,  it went easier than I expected.

So what did I do yesterday while the snow was falling and I wasn’t shoveling?   Well, thanks to my sweet generous hubby, I got to set up the new addition to my sewing machine family that arrived a couple weeks ago.

Meet my  Babylock Jazz II.  I’ve had my eye on her for a few months but it was out of stock all over.  She isn’t a computerized machine.  She does have 28 built in stitches and needle up/down capability but the selling point for me is her large (12″) harp area.   That will make working with larger projects a lot easier.  No more wrestling the fabric through a smaller 7-8″ harp.   I thought that the machine would be back in stock after the holidays.  Well, unbeknownst to me, hubby kept checking the website too and lo and behold, it was available and he snagged it.  He didn’t tell me that he did and actually when I checked,  it was still listed as out of stock.  Boy was I surprised when it showed up on our doorstep!

After setting her up and getting my Pfaff all packed up and ready to go to get serviced, I did a bit of inventory of my kits and panels so I do have a lot of choices as to what I will choose as my first project.  If you are looking for a machine with a larger harp area, check out the Jazz II.   I am looking forward to working with her and learning about her idiosyncrasies as all machines have them.   One thing that is touted is that it sews fast.  I may stay in the slow lane until I get a good feel for controlling that speed.

And this happens to be Groundhogs Day.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so he says six more weeks of winter.  Four other local groundhogs disagreed with him and said there would be an early spring.  I guess we will just have to see which way it will go.   Either way, I will be having some fun times in my sewing room, especially with a new grandbaby expected in the spring.   I see a baby quilt on my To Do list.

I hope 2021 is off to a positive start for you all.   Stay well.

Bye for now.  See you soon.



A scrappy, snowy Saturday

The forecast for Saturday was for snow, sleet, some ice then rain.

wp-1579395898526.jpg A perfect day for spending some time in my sewing room.   So that’s where I headed.  What should I work on?   I took out some fabric for some plate cozies and worked on them for a bit.   However,  even after doing the post-holiday clean up,  I still had lots of piles/small bins of scraps around that were totally not organized and they were staring at me.   I find that I enjoy my time at my sewing machine more if the area around me is fairly neat and organized.

So I got my rotary cutter and ruler out and my iron turned on and I set to work to organize and tame my growing scrap monster.   I decided to start out by simply separating the scraps into two different categories…… longer strips and squares/rectangles.   Then I opened a bin and was surprised to find a project that I had started a while back and had forgotten about.  It was a whole bunch of tumbler pieces that I had cut as well as 4 rows of tumblers that I had already sewn together.  wp-1579395797725.jpg It was from a Bonnie Hunter leader/ender challenge from last year?  The year before?  I don’t remember now.  But I did recall what my idea was for this quilt.  I was going to call it Tumbling Seasons and cut tumblers in four different groups:   Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  I have obviously only gotten the Fall tumblers worked on.   I got all the tumbler pieces pulled out of the bin and ironed them and the strips and put them all neatly back into their own bin.  I need to see how many rows I get out of what I’ve already cut, add more if needed and then I will work on the other three seasons.wp-1579395771127.jpg

Ahhhh,  but I am getting ahead of myself.  There was still the matter of the rest of those scraps awaiting my attention.  At the end of the afternoon,  I had gone through seven of the bins of scraps.   I didn’t get to the two bins of flannel scraps that were up on the shelf in the closet or three with cotton fabric.  I ended up with three bins emptied out and four bins of fabric pressed and organized and ready for further organization into color groups.  Then I will need to decide whether to  have one bin for each color or combine colors like blue and green, red and pink, etc.   I suppose that decision will be made by how much of each color group I have.   Sizes and shapes will need to be determined also.  I know I will keep some as strips because I want to try a making some strip blocks.    I will need to go back and read  Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users Systems’ suggestions again to see what the best sizes for the rest of it would be. wp-1579395923489.jpg

Three more small shoe box size bins to go through.  Although I am pretty sure I have a larger bin of scraps hiding somewhere.   But I’ll not worry about that one just yet.

It was a good day’s work.  No sewing or organizing happened in the sewing room the rest of the weekend or today.  I will be back there tomorrow doing some actual sewing.   I will take the bin with the tumblers over to my sewing machine and use them as my leaders/enders  while sewing and get two projects worked on at the same time.   Love it!

I hope you all had a good weekend.   January always has me thinking about organizing, re-organizing,  de-cluttering, etc.   Do you have those same thoughts?  Are you working on any particular room/closet?  Besides my focus in my sewing room, we are also working on going through “stuff” in closets.    Good luck with your clearing out projects if you have any.   I’d love to hear about your progress and if you found any forgotten about items or projects like I did with the tumblers.

Keep warm.  Stay cozy.   See you soon.

Bye for now.


Twas the Saturday before Christmas….

….. and all through the house there is so much stirring … but there  better not be a mouse! That would mean our cat Myrtle isn’t doing her job.

It has been a very busy few months since I have been here to post.  Last you heard from me I was getting ready for the first craft fair of the fall/holiday season.  It was quite successful as well as the two others that followed that one.  Between replenishing stock , orders that I received and working on Christmas gifts,  well, let’s just say  my machines are enjoying a well-deserved break now.  Here are some of the popular things at the craft fairs this year:

And then there were a couple items that were made just this last week:


After the fairs were over, there were birthday celebrations and getting the house decorated for Christmas.  Luckily we had a beautiful, warm day and were able to get the outside lights, etc. done before our early Thanksgiving get-together.         Outside decorations

The reason things needed to be done early was because I was headed to California to be there for the birth of our granddaughter who was due on Thanksgiving day!   She made her appearance the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  I was so thrilled to be there for the event and also to spend time with her older brother (who just turned 3 yesterday!).  It was wonderful.   And while I was away, my dear, sweet hubby was taking care of getting the Christmas cards written out and mailed,  doing a lot of the Christmas shopping, finishing up the decorating inside and overall, keeping the household running.   He did an amazing job.  Maybe I should go away for two weeks right after Thanksgiving every year?!  No, sweetie, only kidding.

Now here we are at the solstice and winter will officially be here.  I can’t say that I am sad about that.  I really enjoy all the seasons.   After all the fun and enjoyment of gathering with friends and family and the hustle and bustle of the holidays,  January brings a time of rest and reflection.   I look forward to slower paced days, cozy evenings watching tv or a movie, reading a book,  or two or three,  or just relaxing with a glass of wine or a cup of tea in front of the fire while listening to music.   I hope we have a few snowy days where I can sit and watch the snowflakes slowly fall and cover the ground and the trees in a beautiful soft, white blanket that brings a calm, hushed feeling.

Tonight at 11:19 I will happily welcome winter.     I am excited about the coming week of being with family,  exchanging gifts,  visiting with friends,  enjoying some wonderful holiday food and goodies and then awaiting the arrival of 2020.  What will next year bring?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!

Bye for now.




Welcome Spring

Well spring has arrived.   Just a week ago we were awaiting a major snowstorm.  We didn’t get as much as expected here     wp-1490029178563.jpg      but it was real nasty with sleet and freezing rain in the mix.  Very heavy to shovel but luckily, we have some very  helpful boys in the neighborhood who are there shoveling every storm.  We are very thankful for them.

However, up where my sons live a bit further up north in NY, they got 22″.   We were up there visiting this weekend and got to enjoy the beautiful peacefulness of a walk in the woods.


Today the sun is shining brightly and what snow we still have left here by us is melting away.  Our thoughts are turning to our flower and vegetable gardens and I am envisioning a very colorful landscape.  We are planning on putting in a few more forsythia bushes and maybe trying some new plants.  I think there will be a new fence put up on one side of our property too.  We have been talking with the neighbors about getting one up since the one that is there (or what’s left of it) is in very bad shape.

So Spring has arrived.  Let’s look forward to what that will bring while looking fondly back on the season that has just passed with the delicious soups,  hot chocolate, cozy nights by the fire reading a book, snuggling under a quilt while watching a favorite tv show or movie. All seasons have something special about them.  We are about to emerge from our season of “hibernation” and become more active.  Welcome Spring.  I am ready for you.

Have a good day all.   See you soon.


Snow Day = UFO Day

Yay!!!  A snow day!    This is what the view was from my sewing room window this morning. snow-day

So, I got to spend time inside in my sewing room.  I decided to make this a UFO day — UnFinished Object .   I went to the bin where I keep projects I have started but they aren’t yet completed.  Some have only been waiting for me to finish them for a short time and others, well, they have been waiting quite a while.    The first one I chose to work on was a Christmas Tree skirt that I made waaayyyy back in the ’90’s.  I came across it this last summer when we were going through things in the Brooklyn house before selling it.   I had made it out of 6 wedge pieces of material and I used it for a number of years but I never quilted it.   christmas-tree-skirt    I actually forgot that I had made a trim for it by braiding red and green ric rac together for around the edge.  braided-ric-rac   I decided to just use a serpentine stitch in rows on each wedge.  The batting inside had already begun to shift around but I figure maybe I can get a couple more years use from it with a bit of stitching.   I will now wash and dry it and pack it away for next Christmas.  I better put it someplace where I will remember that I have it so it doesn’t disappear for another decade.

Next I worked on a small quilt that I had begun a few months ago.  pink-green-charm-pack-quilt

I had sewn the charm squares into rows so I needed to sew the rows together.  Then I added my first border – pink.    I am going to add another border of green and I have some Chenille-It that I think I will add to it.  This isn’t going back into the UFO bin.  I’m keeping it out so that I will finish it.  I don’t have far to go.  I do have to pick my backing fabric for it yet though.

Lastly, since Valentine’s Day is only a few days away,  I pulled out a heart shaped potholder that I cut out about a year ago but never finished.                                                        heart-potholder     I just need to put the binding around the outside and the loop on and it is done!

All in all, a good day in the sewing room.   And I got to watch some old westerns on tv with hubby — Wyatt Earp and Wagon Train.  I enjoyed them even if they were in black and white. 🙂

We are very lucky to have some wonderful boys who live on our block that we call our Snow Elves.  They showed up when the snow flakes slowed down  and took care of the 11″ of snow that needed shoveling          snow-elves-gift

It snowed for a bit more after we went out to clear off our cars.  As soon as they saw us out there, they came back over and shoveled some more.   Great neighbors.

I will be finishing up the potholder and the quilt top this weekend and I also have rearranging the living room a bit on my To Do list.  I want to carve out a small space to set up my Featherweight down there so I can sometimes  do some stitching in the evenings while watching tv with the hubs.  Should be a fun weekend.  Wish me luck.

Have a good night all.  See you soon.


Roller Coaster Winter

Christmas Eve we had temperatures in the low 70’s.  Then we go into a cold spell;  back into the 50’s and 60’s.  So the groundhog didn’t see his shadow — an early Spring.  Everyone cheers!  Well, truth be told, not me.  I enjoy winter and feel like I need it.  I need some “hibernation” time.     I still have winter decor around the house.

DSC03116          Snowmen & Santa   Love my snowmen.

But, I digress.  Back to the weather.   After temps in the 50’s,  in comes a blizzard.  The snowstorm last Friday really gave us some beautiful scenic views out our windows.  DSC03115   I guess that Mother Nature decided that if the Punxsutawny Phil wanted to have an early Spring, well, she would just give us a bunch of snow just to let us know that she would have a say in that.  Then, in comes some warmer temps for a day or two, then a few more inches of snow; a dusting more a few mornings after that and now here comes ………………..

…………  the Polar Vortex            polar vortex   .   So, time to hunker down and stay inside and stay warm and cozy for the weekend.   By Tuesday,  we will be warming up and getting heavy rain.  But, hold on, I saw snowflakes on the forecast map for next Friday.         I think I’m a little motion sick from this ride.

And while I am trying to stay in my “hibernation” state, I won’t be sleeping.  I actually will be looking towards Spring and Summer.  I will be working on some things for the next Craft Fair.  I will be making a bunch of these:  DSC03114   Microwave potholders.   I have made some sets of these and given them to a few people and they have been very well received and people have said they will be ordering a bunch of these.   I am also working on a couple of wallets.  Trying to work out an easier way of getting the twist lock into the flap with the padding that I want in it to give it some body.

I hope to work a bit on my lattice quilt.  It would be great if I was at the point of putting the binding on it.  I could sit with a nice, warm, cozy quilt on my lap while hand-stitching the binding down.  But, alas, I am not there yet.  I have other quilts to keep me snug.

We are also starting to talk about our gardens.  I think I want to try to grow potatoes this year using a method I read about on the Old World Garden blog.   If you are into gardening and  haven’t visited this blog, I encourage you to do so.  It’s been very interesting to follow along on their journey. 

If you are in the path of the Polar Vortex, have a warm and cozy weekend inside.  Make soup; maybe some chili, bake some bread.  Spend some time being creative,  read a good book, watch a good movie.  Just pick something that you have wanted to do and spend some time in your cave and “hibernate” for a bit.

Have a great weekend.  See you all soon.






Blizzard of 2016

6″-12″ is what we were supposed to get.  Ok, we’re ready.

Ice metl

Boots & Shovels Ice melt, boots and shovels all ready.





Checked outside before heading to bed late Friday night.  The storm begins    The snow had begun.  Very pretty.

Next morning’s view of the driveway:Morning on Day 2

Now they say more like 12″-18″.   Well, it kept on coming and this is what it looked like this morning at the front door  Front Door DriftFront Porch Drift #2

We wound up getting over 28″ and the drifts were amazing.  We had shoveled the front porch and driveway mid-afternoon on Saturday so I cannot even imagine how high the drift would have been if we hadn’t.

Other than the one time shoveling expedition, we had a nice day indoors yesterday.  We didn’t lose power so that was great.  I was able to spend some time in the sewing room, watched a movie and made some delicious Roasted Tomato Soup Roasted Tomato Soup

The backyard sure does look like a winter wonderland today



We’ve got the cars and driveway dug out thanks in large part to three of our neighbor’s sons.  He always make sure that they go around and help those of us who don’t have young able-bodied shovelers living at home and who are not as young as we used to be.

Cars Dug Out

Now let’s just hope the plow doesn’t block us in too badly when it comes around.

Too tired now to do much sewing or cutting.  I would probably mess something up if I tried so I will just watch the football game and either work on a knitted dishcloth or maybe some handwork (hexis).  Maybe a little bit of both.  I also have Madam Secretary and Downtown Abbey on the schedule tonight but since they are opposite each other, I am dvr’ing both of them and then I can choose which to watch tonight and which to watch either later tonight or tomorrow.

Hope everyone dealing with this storm is safe and warm tonight.

Have a great week.  See you soon.





Snow is coming?

Ok, so they say we could get a good amount of snow.   The usual routine is to make sure we have everything we will need for a day going nowhere (except outside to shovel and clear off the car — and maybe throw a snowball at my hubby.)  penquin throwing snowball

Bread — check;  milk — check;  tea — check; wood for the fireplace — check; wine -check

So, it looks like we are set for everything we will need, right?   Oh contrar!   I will need to make sure I’ve got enough to keep me busy for the weekend in my sewing room because we know that I don’t have enough fabric and projects to keep me busy!

So, this evening after work, I headed to Michaels to get some yarn.  I have been waiting and waiting for it to go on sale either at Michael’s or A.C. Moore and this was the week.Cotton yarn

I see some knitted dishcloths in my future.

Yesterday I got a delivery from the M*QC  so I have some nice new fabric to play with and dream about the pretty things I can make with it.  And, while going through my fabric stash and organizing last week, I realized that I was in need of some flannel and was going to head out to get that on Saturday but that was probably not going to happen with the snow arriving.   I headed out to get that after dinner.fabric


Got gas on the way home and now I’m all set.   Let the snow begin.  snowflakes

Have fun everyone heading to those grocery stores to stock up on your bread and milk. I’ve got my supplies in.

See you soon.


Hello Winter, you really are here

Snow 2       Snow

Wasn’t sure we would be seeing any snow this season.  But we had some nice soft snowflakes falling.   I enjoyed  the peaceful precipitation while watching football and working on taming my scraps.        Cutting tumblers

I was cutting tumblers for Bonnie Hunters’ Leader/Ender challenge. (check it out at )  And whatever wasn’t big enough for my tumblers, that got cut into 2 1/2″ or 3 1/2″ strips or 2 1/2″ inch squares.  I have tons of scraps that aren’t in any usable shape at this point and it takes up so much more room storing them that way.  Here is the beginning of my  organized stacks Organizing scraps

I got a lot more cut and organized and will get all the different shapes settled into their own neat bins. One of my goals is to use a lot of these scraps for a Scrappy Irish Chain quilt from Bonnie’s book, “Adventures with Leaders and Enders”.

Day off tomorrow!  🙂   I will give my sewing machines a good cleaning and then we will see what I feel like working on.  I have lots of choices.

Have a good evening.  Bye for now.




The New Year has begun

And winter has arrived for a short visit.  Boy did we get spoiled with that warm weather in December.  As cold goes, I suppose it really wasn’t all that awful but it sure was a shock to the body for the last couple days. But, fear not, warmer temps are making a comeback and we will be in the 40’s again tomorrow.  However, I really want some snow!  We can’t have snow if it’s in the 40’s.

I have been getting my sewing room back into some semblance of order over the last few days and will be getting back to work in there soon.  I have a list of things that need to get done.  The list isn’t as long as it was a couple months ago but I do see it growing again.  Of course, my sewing machines need some TLC too before they get back into the swing of things.

Stay cozy and warm everyone.  See you soon.