Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

From our family to yours!
Christmas has flown by and it was wonderful to spend the time with our family. We've had a houseful since Christmas and have loved having everyone here. Andrew has gone back to his house now, but we still have Grace, Ellen and Ellen's boyfriend Jarred here. They'll be heading back to school on Friday. I'm hoping to do a little stitching tonight while waiting for the ball to drop...I haven't done any sewing since I finished that last customer quilt! I have been knitting a little...I hope I can finish the scarf for Ellen before winter is over.
I wish all of you a healthy and happy new year...filled with the people and things that you love.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a wonderful day, filled with the people and things you love. Have a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Counting down...

When the kids were little, we always took pictures of the boss pretending to hang them on the tree. We decorated the tree on Saturday and according to tradition...Andrew tried to hang his girlfriend Liz on the tree! She was a good sport and let him... Saturday evening the boss's sisters came for a visit. Rhonda (on the sofa) is here from Arizona and we hadn't seen her for quite awhile. It was good to catch up!

She brought her son, Noah, along with was only the second time I'd met the little guy. He's a cutie! We corrupted him though...this was the first time he ever played with a Gameboy!

He loved it so much, he took it with him to keep himself entertained on the flight home! Of course he warmed up to Grace quickly, which led to tickle fights....

In the midst of the preparations for Christmas, I haven't made it into my sewing room, but I did cast on a feather and fan scarf for Ellen, in her pink!

The pattern can be found here. It's very simple and is working up quickly...I hope to have it finished before Ellen returns to school on January 2nd. I've had all the kids home for a few days and the boss is done travelling for the year. It's been strange to have so many people in the house...and to have to cook! I'm loving it...
I hope you're spending your holidays with those you love!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coming Up for Air

Here's a gratuitous dog playing with his pepper picture so you don't remember that I haven't been here for over a week...
I've finally finished the last customer quilts of the year...

A shot of the back....

And I've attended the staff Christmas party for work. Now, here's a dilemma...when you're asked to bring a dessert to the work meeting, and you work for Weight Watchers, what do you bring? I settled on these little Snickers pies from the Hungry Girl website, which were quite easy to make. Take a regular size Snickers bar and cut it into 10 pieces. Put each one in a phyllo cup...

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees...

Let cool and serve. They were pretty good...and only 1 point each!

The Christmas tree is up (but not decorated), the cards are mailed, the gifts are now I get some time to play in my sewing room. If I don't come back in a few days, send chocolate!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December Ramblings...

I'm finding it hard to believe that it's December already! I've hardly started getting ready for Christmas yet, the decorations are still in the attic, although a few presents are bought. I picked up Christmas cards over the weekend, but the task of writing them out seems daunting!

The Thanksgiving holiday around here was fun. After the high school football game in the morning, I met my son and the boss at Ott's Tavern. It was the first time Andrew had been home since he turned 21, so it was our turn to take him out and buy him a beer. Life certainly feels different when you can go drinking with your kids! Afterwards, we headed to my parents' house for a delicious dinner of Crown Roast of Pork and all the trimmings. On Friday I cooked a turkey...what fun is Thanksgiving if you don't have leftovers? I didn't get the camera out all weekend...I'm just not a good blogger!

During the week I had painted my laundry room cabinets black...wish I could find the before pictures...these cabinets were hideous. Now that the doors are back on, with new hardware, I can't believe I waited almost 10 years to paint them...what was I thinking?

I've been doing a lot of customer's a sneak peek of the quilt on the machine now. This one should be done in a day or two, then I'll only have two more customer quilts to quilt before Christmas. After that I will quilt the quilt that I'm giving as a Christmas gift. Why do I have a feeling that I'll be binding it on Christmas Eve?

About 2 weeks ago I spent a day at the hospital, having a biopsy and other procedures done. Yesterday I found out that everything is cancer, no tumors...and that with the proper medications, I'll be fine. Now that the stress is relieved, I'm looking forward to the holidays. I feel like I just received the best gift I could be given...anything else this Christmas will just be icing on the cake!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, filled with the things you love. We'll be heading to my parents' tomorrow, where we'll feast on Crown Roast of Pork and all the trimmings. My two older kids are home from college and I'll be cooking the big turkey dinner on Friday for my family and some of the kids' friends.

I'm still waiting for my test results. The nurse said they haven't come in yet and I've decided to put it out of mind for the holiday, after all, don't they say that no news is good news? Things have settled down at my daughter's school as well. It turned out that a student bought a starter pistol, at school, from two other students. He was talking about it with a friend on the bus and a girl overheard them and reported it. The friend took the pistol and threw it in a lake near his home. All four boys were taken into custody and the pistol was recovered from the lake. We're all thankful that it wasn't something more serious!

Thank you for all of your kind comments and emails! Enjoy the holiday...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sometimes, don't you wonder what it is that gets you through the waiting? I've needed to be distracted for the last few days as I wait for test results. I spent the better part of Monday in the hospital having a biopsy and other procedures done. I never realized how cranky I could get if I'm not allowed to have caffeine or food in the morning. I could have cried when the wonderful nurses brought me a pack of Lorna Doone's after surgery...they were heaven! To keep me busy while waiting to leave for the hospital, I started making these...

Last night, while still waiting for results I put them together into this...

And since I'm still waiting for results, the borders will probably go on today!
I've also started my Christmas quilting, not that I'm doing much this year, so this was finished last week....

And now it's waiting for the customer quilts to be finished so it can have its turn on the longarm.
I'm back to work today, but will anxiously be awaiting word from my daughter after school...yesterday there were rumors swirling that there would be a shooting at her high school today. There was a strong police presence there this morning, many parents kept their kids home from school today. I've just talked to her guidance counselor and all is well so far.
I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have quilting to get me through...
What gets you through?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy 21st Birthday, Andrew!

Although I'd swear that just yesterday, he was running around on his little legs, tormenting his sisters, somehow my little boy has grown up. He has been a blessing in so many ways to us and we're very proud of the man he's become. Happy 21st birthday, Andrew! Love you...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Most Dangerous Game...

Grace, my 14 year old, had to do an English project on a short story and she chose "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell. As an aspiring film director (she attends a technical high school and her major will hopefully be Television and Digital Media Production - we'll find out if she was accepted this week), she thought it might be fun to make a stop motion movie...using Legos! She is quite proud of her first attempt...and I have to say, so am I. I could never do something like this!

I'm still later!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Stitching Angel Revealed

I received another package from my Stitching Angel about a week ago and haven't had time to share it with you. Danielle Tebb from Country Threads magazine in Australia. The gifts from her heart and hands are very special. Thank you, Danielle!
I've had little time to sew, but have started putting together this quilt...
The nine patches are several years old and I hadn't found a fabric for the alternating blocks that I liked. I picked this blue up in Lancaster a few weeks ago and it does pull all of the blues together, but it's quite loud. I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.
I'm planning on doing some sewing for Christmas this weekend. Hopefully I'll be back soon with something to share.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I wonder if they'll let me have tea instead of coffee. I'm going to go find out. Can you?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The blues...

Sometimes the quilt design is so striking that it needs the simplest quilting. This quilt was so intricately pieced that a simple swirl design in a pale blue thread was all it needed.

It reminds me a mosaic tile floor...just beautiful! I wish I had the patience to make a quilt like this!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies Win!!!

Way to go, Phillies!!!
World Series Champions!!!
photo from ESPN

Monday, October 27, 2008

Play Ball!!!

Go Phillies!!!!

Saturday in the rain...

Saturday morning found me on a train platform, heading to one of my favorite places....
Friends of mine had flown in from distant places to spend a few days in Lancaster, then in Philadelphia. I couldn't join them in Lancaster, so we made plans to get together and do a quick tour of the historic sites in Philly. The weather was horrendous and it poured all day, so I didn't take many pictures, but did get one of the Liberty Bell. We also saw Carpenters' Hall, Independence Hall, Washington Square, Elfreth's Alley, the Betsy Ross house...all the important places!

It was a great day spent catching up with some of my favorite people...

Deanna from Arizona and Becki from Florida

Mary from Texas and me...from Jersey!
And throughout all this I've also been making time to watch our Phillies in the World's a great time to be a Phillies Phan!!!
Things should quiet down this week and I'm hoping to find time to sew, I haven't played with fabric in about 2 weeks. :o( I picked up my guitar today for the first time in 3 weeks, so will need to spend some time practicing before my lesson on Thursday. Hopefully, life will get back to normal now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've jumped off...

the hamster wheel that has been life for the past few weeks, and hopefully things will quiet down now! One of the highlights of my Lancaster trip was a visit to the Ephrata Cloister in Ephrata, PA. It is the home of one of the earliest religious communities in the country, established by German Settlers. The state of PA acquired the remains of the cloister in the 1940s and began a restoration of the remaining buildings. The grounds were beautiful and I could understand the feeling of peace and the closeness to God that these settlers must have felt when on this land. It was breathtaking.

Back in Intercourse where I was staying, the People's Place Quilt Museum was featuring quilts from Fons and Porter. Seeing the contemporary quilts after seeing all the Amish quilts was almost jarring. The techniques were so different, but each type of quilting is beautiful in its own way.

After spending time in the museum, I went downstairs and spent some time (and money!) in the Old Country Store. I made a few additions to my Jo Morton collection of to find the time to play with them!

It was a wonderfully relaxing trip which was good, because the time since I came home has been insanely busy. Between working and quilting for customers, we had a few events come up unexpectedly.

On Wednesday morning, my son participated in a forum discussing the Amethyst Initiative at Rowan University. Two students were chosen to discuss the pros and cons of the Initiative and Andrew was on the pro side, arguing that there should be a discussion on whether the drinking age should be lowered. I was incredibly proud of him as he was the only speaker with a dissenting view and the other speakers were rough on him. He was fully prepared with statistics supporting his view and all of the other speakers congratulated him on his strong argument and his willingness to be the lone supporter. He did a great job.

Another unplanned surprise came in the form of a desperate call (while we were at Andrew's forum) from Ellen saying she was horribly homesick and could she PLEASE come home for the weekend. So Thursday afternoon I was heading to the Philadelphia airport to pick her up. It was wonderful to have her home and she looked so much happier when I dropped her off at the airport this afternoon. And I had one more fun event this weekend...but that will be in my next post!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lancaster, PA...Day 1

I took a little business trip last week, to Lancaster, PA. When quilting is your business, where else would you go? I headed out bright and early Wednesday morning...all by myself! That's right, no kids, no pets, no husband...just me! It was the first time I'd ever gone away by myself and let me tell you...if you haven't tried it, you should. I think this may become an annual event!

My first stop was in downtown Lancaster, at the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum. On display was a breathtaking collection of Amish quilts. The quilting on them was incredible, right down to the teeny, tiny little stitches.
The museum is housed in an old bank building, so it was a beautiful place to display the quilts...

A few of my favorites...(and yes I did realize that my reflection is in most of the pictures. A photographer I am not!)

After spending some time in the museum, I drove to the Rockvale outlets. After coming out of them empty handed, I found a Starbucks so I could refuel, then headed to Intercourse and my hotel room above Village Quilts at Kitchen Kettle Village. This is a relatively new place...the room I stayed in has only been used for about a year. If you ever come to the Lancaster area, I'd highly recommend staying in one of the Kitchen Kettle Villages Lodgings. They are comfortable, beautifully appointed and reasonable. They also give you metal travel mugs, free breakfast at the Kling House restaurant, which was delicious, a little basket of crackers, jams and chocolate, coffee, tea...everything you need to enjoy your stay.

There are handmade quilts on every bed...

And on the walls too! In that armoire is a television on which I watched The Phillies win the NLCS!!! Go Phils!
And of course, beautiful scenery everywhere you look...
Did I mention how relaxing this trip was? More tomorrow...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to Providence...

My youngest and I were off on the road to Rhode Island early Saturday morning, for a whirlwind visit with Ellen. It was a beautiful weekend, bright blue skies, temperatures in the low 70s and most importantly, the traffic wasn't too heavy! It took us about five and a half hours to get to Providence and it was worth every minute. We spent Saturday walking around the city and spent some time at the Art Museum at RISD, looking at the Chihuly glass exhibit. It was amazing. The pyres you see in this photo are for WaterFire, which is a unique event in Providence. These pyres are up and down the canal and are lit at night, while music is playing. I've never seen anything quite like it! It draws huge crowds and since Saturday night was the last WaterFire of the season and was a breast cancer fundraiser, they expected about 100,000 people to attend. It was beautiful.One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Ellen's boyfriend. He's a great guy and I really enjoyed spending time with him. He was game for anything...wandering around the art museum, walking miles through the city, keeping me company while Ellen and Grace ran to Old Navy for a sweatshirt. It was a pleasure to meet him.

On Sunday morning, Ellen met us at the hotel and we wandered down to The Cheesecake Factory for breakfast. It was another gorgeous day and we sat outside and enjoyed the weather and the company for a long time. But then it was time to head back to Jersey, so we dropped Ellen at her dorm and stopped long enough for one last picture...

It was a great weekend!