Just Jack(s)

A few weeks ago I found a super cute winter mug rug and decided to make one for myself, and figured while I was at it, I would make one for Gretchen.  Easy enough, right?

Not so much…

I mentioned in an earlier post that things have been rather hectic around our house lately. The crib-notes version is that my father-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in early October and he passed away on December 3.  In that time, we had a week-long family vacation, I had a work trip to Vegas, and two weekend getaways with girlfriends.  Basically, we were gone every-other weekend for 2.5 months, and the weekends we were home were spent trying to keep from drowning in laundry and other household chores.  You can imagine that things were a little crazy here.

During that time I decided that a quick little sewing project or two would be nice little diversions, but I was wrong!

You know how you sometimes get in the sewing ‘zone’ and just get to work?  Well, during those times, it’s important to remember to put RIGHT sides together.  THIRTY half-square triangles later…

Sigh.  Into the garbage they went.

Then there was the little problem I had with reading the directions completely first.  (This is an on-going problem I have.) It said to cut the white square 7.5″ (which I did), and then it said to cut it down to 6.5″, but I didn’t read that step and couldn’t figure out why things were out of proportion. So…I cut my white squares down to 6.5″ (after I had appliquéd his hat and eyes on), but one of them I cut down from the back and proceeded to sew that side on without looking and guess what happened….



So I ripped some more.  Sigh.  And had to cut out another top hat and set of eyes.  Sigh.  And do more appliqué.  Big Sigh!

But I persevered. I re-did (for a third time), and got them finished…


And here they are, in their respective new homes…





Turns out my ‘More Please’ mug was supposed to be a Christmas present.  I guess that wasn’t clear to me, considering this was the 2nd or 3rd time I had used it!  OOPS!

PS – Bonus points if you know why I named them both Jack.  Gretchen, you don’t get to play!

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WIP Wednesday – Sewing Space Clean-up Version

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I haven’t been sewing but I really WANT to.  However, I don’t want to sew in this completely messed up, cluttered up space!


Stuff is EVERYWHERE.  On the back of my chair, on hubby’s chair, on the floor where I need to stand to press, all over the top of my cutting surface……..  It’s out of control.  I’ve been buying fabric for new existing/new/future projects, and I don’t know where to put it right now!  I have a fantastic double-pantry cupboard that’s 6′ high and one side is full of scrapbooking stuff that I haven’t used in years.  It’s time to admit I’m not going to and move it out so I can move fabric into that side as well.

Here’s the fabric side, so you get an idea of how much more space I’ll have if I can get the scrapbooking side cleaned out…


So although this week’s WIP Wednesday doesn’t seem sewing-related, it really is.  Because I can’t seem to sew with my space looking like this and have am starting to get my house in order again!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Pop on over and say HI!

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More Sunday Stash

My low-volume gray fabrics arrived this week…



Most of them will accompany the brights I bought last week for my December Bee Blocks. I am subbing out the sewing machine and the ‘measure’ fabric for other low-volumes I have in my stash.

I still need to dig around to come up with two more brights to complete the blocks.  I should be able to complete them some time this week. I pressed & cut the low volumes today and will do the brights as soon as I find two more.

I bought the low volumes from Stitch Supply Co and I’m very happy with them!

Linking up again today with Molli…


Molli Sparkles
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Sunday Stash

Bee Block Brights


I hit up the LQS near my mother-in-law’s house on Saturday to see if they had some brights for my December Promises block at do. Good Stitches.

Diane is the leader this month, and here’s what we’re going for:
Promise Dec '14


I’m realizing now that it was rather premature of me to join a bee as I don’t have nearly as many scraps in my stash as one needs to participate monthly.  As a result, I’m shopping every month for the blocks, which isn’t the point, but I’m shopping and participating anyway!

I’ve got some grey/white low volume prints on the way to use for the blocks.


Linking up with Molli today…

Molli Sparkles
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A Productive Weekend

Several months ago, my high school friend Becky invited Gretchen & I to a retreat with her and some of her crafting friends. They’re all scrapbookers, but the retreat house they rented was also set up for quilting, so Gretchen & I decided to go as well.

I had one main goal for the weekend, and then Art Bin upon Art Bin of additional projects (big and small) to fill the weekend.  This is my 4th or 5th retreat weekend – when will I learn that I ALWAYS overpack projects???  I should have taken a picture of the back of my Traverse!

Main Goal – finish Wishes.  And I did!!!  (Mostly)

Wishes Quilt - Mostly Done


There is still a checkerboard border that I need to add, and I may add one more border as well.  I had 4 blocks complete before I left, and fabric for the remaining 8 blocks cut and in individual ziplock bags ready to be pieced.  Best decision ever, let me tell you!

As of 2am on Saturday morning, here was my progress:

Six of the eight blocks were complete, I was well on my way!

I didn’t get sewing until about 10am on Saturday, but I was able to piece my remaining two blocks and add the sashing & borders.  I still have the checkerboard border to add but I was in need of a project change, so shelved that for now.

We have a princess birthday party to attend in a couple of weeks so I dug into my stash and pulled out this super cute princess fabric, and made a pillowcase and two cinch bags.



I hope the birthday girl likes them!  By the time I finished  with those, it was almost 3:30 am!  We got a little caught up watching a tv series, so it was easy to keep on working!


Sunday’s project was two borders on the mystery quilt that I did at the February retreat.  I finished the top at the retreat, but wanted to add two borders. Once I got home, I just never got around to it, and it hung on a hanger for 9 months.  Because I knew I would have lots of table top space, I decided to take it along and finish it up.  I had originally planned to do a 6″ outer border, but this morning decided to do 2.5″ which is the same width of the flowers in the rest of the quilt.  I think it turned out great, and now all I have to do is piece the back and it’s ready for the long arm.


With the amount of projects I packed, I could have stayed for several more days. Now that I’m home and the vehicle is unpacked, I kind of want to keep on going.  I think that’s because I hadn’t sewn in over a month.  I hope I can keep this momentum up and finish my Vice Versa blocks soon!

I almost forgot to tell you about the retreat house. It is Avon’s Lakeside Craft Retreat in Avon, Minnesota and it was perfectly suited for quilters and traditional scrapbookers. The ladies that were doing digital scrapbooking had a hard time with the internet access because it’s in an area with very limited internet access.  It was a frustrating weekend for a couple of them, but my fellow quilter and I got a lot of quilting done!

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Plugging Along

I finally feel like I’m back in the saddle, and I still haven’t sewn since mid-October.

This weekend is retreat weekend.  My first retreat since February, and I’m getting myself (mentally and packing-wise) ready to go.

I’ve let a few things slip in the past few months and I’m planning on catching back up with the two Block of the Months I started this year.

First on my list – Wishes.  I’m done through April, only 8 blocks to go! (Well, 7, since the final one hasn’t been released yet.) I got smart and pre-cut for my blocks so all I have to do is work my way through the bags.



I think I’m going to like this grab-n-go approach!

For my Vice Versa BOM, I’ve got only 2 months left. I had one of them all cut and I started piecing the blocks together when I realized that my templates were too small, and the blocks didn’t go together right.  Back to the cutting board!  But I understand how to do these blocks, so once they’re cut to the correct size, they’ll go together quickly.  And the final block is a super easy/quick one, so I’m not worried about that one at all.  I should have these both finished rather quickly as well.

Maybe I should cut for those blocks as well!  I still have a couple of days before I head out to the retreat, so I suppose I could get myself together enough to get those cut and ready.


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Is this thing on?


Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted, which also means it’s been a month since I last sat at my sewing machine.  Sigh.  Almost exactly a month ago, in fact.  My last project was lanyards and box bags for the kids to use on the Disney Cruise we took with friends. You may remember that I was really struggling with the bags because I have a hate/hate relationship with zippers. But I persevered!
I’m very happy with how they turned out.  I ended up using The Blue One’s bag during the day while we wandered around the ship. I used it to stash my sunglasses, camera, and lip balm – it was so much easier than trying to find those things once they sank to the bottom of my beach bag.

The past month has been CRAZY here! Here’s the rundown:

  • Family/Friends Disney Cruise. We spent a day at Universal, then off to Port Canaveral for our cruise to Nassau, The Bahamas, then to Castaway Cay, then back to Port Canaveral.  A quick little 3-day cruise that was just too quick!  Wish it could have been longer…..SO MUCH FUN!

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  • Back to work for a day and a half, then off to Vegas for a training event I attended with some coworkers. We were there for 3 nights, saw 2 shows, and sat in a conference room for 16 hours. It was a jam-packed 2.5 days!  We saw LOVE (Cirque/Beatles) and Jersey Boys. I’ve seen them both before, but would go over and over again they’re so fantastic!

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  • Then home to celebrate The Pink One’s 6th birthday at a local gymnastics gym with 12 of her buddies.  She got this most fantastic ‘custom’ cat pillow –  friend/neighbor JoJo drew a picture of a cat, then JoJo’s mom just whipped one up!  So awesome!

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  • And then there was Halloween… 




  • And then I was off on a cruise (yes, another one) with several girlfriends. We do this every other year. Back to Port Canaveral and Nassau I went with my roommie, Ruthie!

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The day we had to debark….’cold’ (compared to where we had been), rainy, sad…


Another ‘too short’ trip.  Already looking forward to 2016!


And now that I’m home, I’m hoping to spend some time this weekend getting myself organized and prepping for some serious sewing next weekend.  Because of the girls cruise, I had to skip the quilt retreat I do with Gretchen every November.  But another opportunity came up when HS friend Becky asked Gretchen & I if we wanted to join her and some friends at a retreat house for the weekend. They’ll scrapbook (and eat and drink) and we’ll quilt (and eat and drink).  But before that can happen, I need to spend some serious time taking stock of where I am with some projects, getting organized, possibly shopping, and get packing.  I’m ready to be able to get back to my many in progress projects!


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