Thursday, December 27, 2012


Thanks to my daughter and son-in-law cooking Christmas dinner for me, I managed to finish this FOR MYSELF on Christmas Day.  I was weaving in the ends while they were cooking dinner!
This is the most beautiful, vibrant yarn -- a gift from three dear friends.  When I saw the yarn, it just spoke to me and said "ripple scarf".  So I went on line and found the pattern.

There was quite a bit of yarn left over once the scarf was at a good length, so I decided to make myself a hat as well.  I've never done Fair Isle type knitting before and have really never been interested in it.  But this pattern seemed just right for the colors I had left (+ another stash yarn).  And I must say, I'm finding the multi-color knitting to be fun!
 Interesting how the colors don't look quite as vibrant with the beige worked in, but it will make a great ensemble all the same, I think.

Better work on getting it done; we've got some cold weather predicted!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012


It's been a while again since I've let you in on my sewing / knitting activities.  You saw the PJs for the NY grandchildren.  These are for the others.  I took the photos a couple weeks ago before I wrapped them.  Main question now is just how we are going to get them to the recipients.  We were hoping to be able to see them over the holidays, but it looks like that is not going to happen.  Perhaps "snail mail".

 For the southern girls:

and the southern boys:

And just off the knitting needles for me.  
A cap for whatever mood happens to strike my fancy on any particular day!

I'm working on a really pretty tri-color ripple scarf for myself right now.  Pretty soon I'll start on the next birthday sweater -- not needed 'til May.  I guess I've got plenty of time for that!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I know, I know, a lot of people put their tree up right after, or even before Thanksgiving.  But this is the first year I've chosen to do just that.  Reason being: I thought it would be great to keep the children occupied on Wednesday before the holiday.  And it did!  Even with the four year old and "Let's get to the next thing NOW" 7 year old, it went pretty well.  Fastest I've ever gotten a tree decorated.

And, hopefully, great memories for the children!

Oh, they loved their PJs, by the way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


As usual, my Christmas cactus is off schedule!  But at least it waited until almost Thanksgiving to be in full bloom this year instead of being its usual Halloween cactus!
This year I decided to make the best of it.  My son and his family from New York will be arriving tonight for a couple days to spend the holiday with us.  I had planned to give them their Christmas presents while they are here instead of mailing them next month.  So I decided:  go with the flow of the cactus and have Christmas at Thanksgiving.  They can decide if they want to open them while they are here or take them home unopened. 
To help keep the children occupied tomorrow, I might even get out the Christmas tree and have them help me decorate it.  (Quite early for me, I usually don't do it until St. Nicolas day (December 6).

One of the gifts under the cactus includes these neat little coasters that I made the other day.  I fussy cut the poinsettia fabric so the bloom would be centered on the back of some and the quarter of the fronts of others.
Criss-Cross Coasters are the quarter squares.  The triangle ones are made the same way except you fold the top four pieces on the diagonal and place the triangle points in the corners of the backing.
Fun and easy to do!

And these are the PJs for the 4 New York grandchildren.  All the fabric just happened to be from my quilting stash.  Imagine that!

Oops, I guess it's time to leave the computer and start making my pies!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Hmmmm, challenges:  I guess one for me lately has been getting here to keep my friends up to date on my handiwork.

So here goes:  My current knitting project has been rather slow going as it has an intricate "feather and fan" stitch.  Wow, I "tinked" (took out stitch by stitch) and "frogged" (rip it, rip it) countless times before I was finally able to "see" how my current row stitches were supposed to be placed in case I lost count.  I finally have all the pattern stitches done and am now working on the sleeves that will shortly be placed on the sweater and knitted in stockinette stitch along with the yoke.
I must say that, even though it has been a challenge, it's also been quite rewarding.  

On the quilting front, a challenge was to use a donated panel of "heavy equipment" prints that were placed in a way that they could not be cut out in rectangles without cutting in to a nearby pattern.  So I cut out rather wonky pieces of fabric and then had to figure out how to sew them in to easily useable blocks for a quilt.  With a few "y" (well, not quite "y") seams, I was able to do the trick.  Luckily I had leftover pajama fabric from previous years that worked out quite well for sashing and backing for a pre-teen or teen boy.  This quilt, along with a couple others, will be taken to my Project Linus drop off site tomorrow.

In the meantime, my husband has been having a challenge of his own:  catching the critters that are digging up our yard, including moving the neighbors landscape border's river rock in to our grass.  When it was warmer and he was still mowing, he had to move the rocks one by one out of the grass so he could mow.
This one is a "GOTCHA":
Finally after some smart critter was able to remove the bait from the trap without "tripping" the door, we caught one of the culprits.  He is seen here in his cage in the trunk of the car right before his trip down the road a couple miles to be released.
There's at least one more that's been busy digging again.  Not sure if it's this guy who has found his way back to us or if it's one of his friends.  I just went out to check the trap -- and it's empty yet AGAIN!  Phooey.  Maybe tonight we'll have more luck.

In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away with my knitting and quilting.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Yes, the knitting needles have been clicking away.  This first sweater for a granddaughter's January birthday went really fast as it is a very loose knit.  Not a really easy project.  The sleeves were in the round and I used the magic loop method.  As you can see, I didn't get them very even and I'll have to seam the bottom portion of the right sleeve for them to be the same.  That should be an easy fix, though.  However, no way to change the buttonholes, so they'll just have to stay a bit uneven.  I'm not real pleased with my work here, but my daughter thinks that young Eleni will love it.  Hope so!

I'm quite a bit more pleased with this sweater for her big brother whose 15th birthday is just 2 days later.

And since there is still another sibling, almost 21 yo Juliana, with a birthday 5 days after that (You see why I'm working on these ahead of time!), I've started on this next one.  The yarn is baby alpaca and it is wonderful!

It may be a while before I'm back to show you this finished project as it's knit on #5 needles (and #2 & 3).  The waist line shaping is done by using smaller needles.  Neat idea.
But with those tiny needles, It's going to take a while!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Ah, it's been nice the past week getting back to some quilt planning, cutting, and then on to the sewing machine to get these two special quilts made.  I believe that the recipients do not follow my blog, but just in case I wanted to wait until they received them before I posted the photos.  I believe their mother was going to be delivering them today.

The first is for my goddaughter who is expecting her second child, a boy.  When the new little guy's big sister was in the nursery, there was a tree painted on the wall.  I'm hoping that's the room he will be using also, since I found this really nice tree fabric for the focus blocks and backing.  One of the prints in the pinwheels is from the nursery (genderless) linen she used for the little girl.  I'm hoping she's using the same nursery and linen, but if not, I think she'll still be pleased with the quilt.

And, as fate would have it, my goddaughter's sister is also expecting -- but in her case it will be new little girl joining a big brother in their family.  I really like the pink and brown.  The backing is a Robert Kaufman flannel that should be nice and toasty this winter.  (The babies are due in October.)

 And so as not to feel left out, I made myself a little goody too using scraps of drapery fabric and faux suede that was left overs from daughter Eleni's interiors business samples.  I'm finally joining the group of a little more advanced techies.  We're getting a lap top and this will be it's home when not in use.

Now, I'm pretty much concentrating on knitting, so I'll show you some of that next time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Admittedly it's been quite a while since I have checked in here.  Much longer than I care to admit.
My life has once again taken some turns, but I must say that part of what keeps me sane through it all (in addition to the prayers and love of dear friends and family) is my hand work.  And you all know that consists mostly of my knitting and quilting.  

I have finally finished the University of Tennessee quilt that is made of fabric from a dear friend who passed away last year.  I will not be able to bundle up with this during this fall's ball games without thinking of dear Jan.  I will feel her loving arms around me.

Many of you know that I was diagnosed with non Hodgkins lymphoma a few years back.  Well, I have had yet another relapse.  I have spent the better part of the last few weeks in Nashville as my medical care has been transferred to Vanderbilt University Hospital.  Luckily our daughter lives in Nashville so I have been able to stay with her while I undergo radiation treatments.
The second week that I was in Nashville, my sister and niece came to visit me there.  It was a wonderful visit.  She brought some old photographs that we poured over with much delight.
Amazingly she also brought this sweater for me that my mom had knit for herself. My sister told me whenever I need a hug, I can just wrap up in it and feel our mother's arms around me.  What a precious gift!

I'm sure I will do just that many times this fall as I await the next step in my treatment plan -- whatever that may be.

I do not intend for this blog to be a format for my medical issues -- just wanted to explain why I had been away for a while.  AND share the photo of that awesome sweater!  You can follow my lymphoma journey at if you want.

Here you will be following my knitting and quilting.  And yes, I have my grandson's sweater almost finished and have purchased the fabrics for my goddaughter's new baby's quilt.  So there's much more to come.  Oh, and I just received yarn in the mail yesterday for another January birthday sweater.  I guess I'd better get busy!

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Monday, August 13, 2012

OFF (and ON) the NEEDLES . . .

Been a while since I've checked in, I guess.  

I've not been doing much quilting, but I have been moving right along with my knitting needles.

I finished this cowl for myself a couple weeks ago and finally got it blocked today.

I've made these wash cloths while in waiting rooms.  (Seems I've been doing a lot of that lately.)

And using the same wash cloth pattern--only with double yarn and many more rows--have finished a baby blanket.

Currently I'm working on this sweater for my grandson's 15th (How can that be?) birthday in January.
I'll continue as soon as I have measurements.  If I keep going before binding off for the armholes, it will be down to his knees!

I've also almost finished a sweater for my almost 9 year old granddaughter.  Just need to add the buttons.  And because it's a very loose knit, I'm going to add fabric to the back of the button and buttonhole band.  Should be interesting. . . . I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


It's been a while since I've been around to give you an update on the status of all that University of Tennessee fabric that I "inherited" from my friend Jan.  Well, here it is.  These are the 6 quilts that went to Project Linus a couple weeks ago.  With the exception of one "baby/toddler size", they will be perfect for pre-teens or teens.  It's my understanding that's the size that the charity needs most.

And while I wasn't sewing the quilts, I spent my evening TV time completing this sweater that will be a an October birthday gift for one of my granddaughters.  I know, I'm really ahead this year.  I'm working on a January birthday one right now and have a pattern chosen and swatch completed for another January birthday.  Also working on a mindless baby quilt that I can easily knit while watching the Olympics these next few days.

And when I'm not glued to the TV cheering on the US athletes, I might just be in the sewing room trying my hand at  free motion quilting on the UT quilt I'm keeping for myself.  (I love the backing fabric I found for this quilt -- designed by my daughter's friend Denise Sdhmidt for Quilt Traditions.)

I'll check back and let you know when the quilting and binding is finished.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Oh my, could our summer holiday time have come and gone already?  Well, I guess so.  
Our son and family from NY arrived on Saturday evening to be joined by his sisters and their families from South Carolina and Nashville on Sunday.

Yesterday morning before they all headed out (son will spend a couple days with his SC sis and family before returning to NY) we were able to get some family photos snapped -- much to the consternation of some of the cousins, but they very nicely humored their Nani.

So here we are:

And here are all of the "grands" pretty much in order of age:

Oh, and almost everyone did have a Nani quilt for bed time.  And all the summer time birthday celebrants who got a new Nani knitted sweater, scarf, or cowl were quite happy with them.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Well, I guess it's been a while since I checked in with all of you.  I've been pretty busy in the quilting and knitting world.  (I'll just show you the quilting stuff for now, though,  as the knitting is for upcoming birthday gifts.  Oh, I must remember to wrap all those gifts before the family --yep all 18 or them-- start arriving tomorrow for our summer-time picnic weekend .

When I was last here I was working on the University of TN quilts.  I thought I had finished with all the useable pieces of fabric, but had these scraps left and just COULD NOT let it go to waste.

So I was able to come up with this small quilt (about 36x36).  I will have to get some backing for it.  My friend Jan had enough fabric to back the other 6.  (They were all about 40x54.)
 I'll get back to that sandwiching and quilting in a few days.

But in the meantime I wanted to finish these quilts so the older girls that end up sleeping on couches this week end will have something special to make the couch sleeping a bit more fun.

You may remember that these have been in the works for a while.  They are finally finished!

I'm calling this one Buttons and Bows:

And this one Tiptoe Through the Tulips:

Just right for girls' nightie time at Nani's house, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It's been just a year ago this month that my dear quilting friend, Jan, passed away.  Although she had lived in Florida for many years, her heart still belonged to Tennessee.  That being said, she was an avid University of Tennessee football fan!  She had quite a stash of UT fabric. Jan's family gave Polly, one of our on-line quilting friends, that stash when she visited Jan shortly before Jan "went Home".   Since I live in TN, Polly brought that stash to me when she and some of our other on-line quilters came to TN for Jan's funeral.

How wonderful, and healing, it has been for me during the one year anniversary of Jan's passing to work with this fabric.  
These will be wonderful quilts for teen and 'tweens for Project Linus.
This is a bit of the stash, cut into usable blocks for assembly and the folded first quilt I made:

This is the second on my design wall.  I might do a bit of rearranging of the blocks.

When my husband saw the first one, he like it well enough that he said we needed to keep it!  
As a UT grad, I'm thinking that just might be a good idea.  It would be wonderful to keep something that was Jan's.  (There's enough fabric for a couple more, so I guess I'll just make them all and then decide which to keep as my memorial to my dear friend.)

On the knitting front, I managed to finish this sweater for my grandson.  A good deal of it was done while I was flat on my back with my legs elevated, recovering from foot surgery  Yes, it is possible to knit lying down!  Takes a little practice, but it can be done.  The hardest part was not dropping the cable needle, ha-ha, but I got pretty good at it by the time I was able to be upright and finish this birthday gift -- a couple months ahead of time, too!  

 So now it's time to start on another sweater and get that second quilt put together.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


So, I'm back -- with no more hammertoes and straight big toes! -- and moving around quite well and able to use my foot on the sewing machine pedal.  What better way to spend time until I can drive again!  (That activity is hampered by the boot I'm still wearing on my right foot, but this too shall pass.)

I had these quilt blocks mostly set on my design wall and ready to sew, just waiting until I got the last two from my "block exchange" friends.  They are now sewn together with the sashing.   (These are "churn dash" blocks, by the way.)  
There is a great churn dash quilt that is tied with bows in Denyse Schmidt's new book "Modern Quilts / Traditional Inspiration".
I have always wanted to "tie" a quilt using buttons.  With Denyse's inspiration I have decided upon a 
Buttons and Bows quilt.  The bows will go in the junction of the blocks, and there will be buttons in the center of each block.  I used my sashing fabric (which will also be the backing) to make the bows).  I wanted to use the same fabric as I was afraid that the sashing might "read" a little too pink for the reds in the blocks.  Using the fabric for the bows should tie it all together quite nicely.
The bow strips are all made and the buttons chosen, so it's just a matter of getting the top, batting, and backing sandwiched and then have fun tying.

 On the knitting front:  while I was off my feet, I did quite a lot of knitting
including  this curly scarf for my daughter-in law.

 I also finished up this bolero sweater for a granddaughter.

And the sweater vest I've been knitting for a grandson is done except for the seaming, neck and armbands.

I'll show you that next time.

Great to be back in the blogging world!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

. . . and a few other needle work things

. . . Talk about a UFO (For those not acquainted with the lingo, that's "Unfinished Object"),

I hate to admit just how long this unfinished needlepoint project has been hiding every so cleverly in my closet.  Well, really that would have to be several closets, 'cause this is the third house I've lived in since I started it.
Let's see now, I'm guessing that I started it somewhere in the late 70s or early 80s.  Wow, can that be possible?  Yep, it is.  I'm absolutely amazed that the moths didn't start eating the wool -- either what's already on the canvas or in the bag waiting to be worked.  I guess those little insects just decided that I really needed to finish this project . . .

. . . so I would finally have the matching pillow to go with this one that sits on a wandering dining room chair in a corner of our living room.

I'm hoping to figure out how to use that frame so that I can do some stitching while lying on my back.  (I'm having foot surgery next week and will be out of commission for a while.  Hmmmmmm, should be an interesting 10 days until I get the approval to let my feet rest BELOW the level of my heart.

So if you don't see anything here for a while, know that I'm following doctor's orders and not sitting at the computer desk.  (Sadly no laptop in the household.  Bummer, now would certainly be a good time to have one of those electronic devices.  Oh well, I'll get caught up on some long overdue reading.)

See you soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Just when I thought most of the blue fabric was out of my stash, I came across quite a bit of turquoise.
I think I am about finished with the blues now.  I was able to get this little project finished for a toddler.

I took the quilts to the drop off spot yesterday.  The lady who organizes Project Linus in our area says that the biggest need is for older boys.  So that's what these next couple are for.
Still a bit more blue  . . .

And this leftover PJ fabric for another teen quilt.  These are 9" blocks and I really like this for a teen.  I just zig zagged the seams on this one.  To me, really makes it more of a "pieced comforter" instead of a "quilt".

 And so the knitting doesn't get left out.  I guess this is for a "tween".  My granddaughter who will be 10 in August.

Yep, I'm ahead of schedule this year.
So much ahead in fact that the yarn I ordered for another August, an October, and a January birthday just came yesterday.

I should be set for a while, don't you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I thought I would share with you a couple new crafting/quilting toys I purchased a few weeks ago that I am really happy with.  (Sorry about that preposition placement, grammar teachers.)

On the right is my Steady Betty ironing pad.  It's basically a board covered in a special heat resistant foam.  Keeps fabric from slipping while pressing.  I like it as it helps me press and not "iron".  I also like its size -- about 14x14.  My iron went on the fritz a couple weeks ago so I was forced to use my little craft iron until I purchased a new regular iron.  I've got to admit that once I got used to the seemingly left handed placement of the cord, I do like that little iron for the small quilt pieces blocks.

On the left is a rotating cutting mat.  It fits perfectly on my cutting table beside the Steady Betty so it makes a perfect set up for the early stages of the quilt.  I must say, though, that unless I have a ruler that is the exact size of the block I am cutting, I don't really use the rotating feature much.  But I love the size since it fits so well at my "work station".

Oh, and the block I'm working on in the photo.  A red and white churn dash.

My on-line quilting friends and I are doing a churn dash block exchange -- any color of red with white on white background.  Mine are finished and all mailed out and I have received about 1/2 of the 36 (9") blocks.  These are the first few I received.

I'm undecided quite how I will put it together -- with sashing,without sashing, on point. with star blocks; .  I just don't know.  Decisions, decisions . . . .