..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


In an effort to use up a large basket of scraps that I've saved from every sewing project ,

I started playing with making small crazy squares.  They stayed up on my design wall for several weeks as I rearranged them until I figured how I wanted to put them together. 

Here's the finished wall-hanging - besides using up scraps, I also incorporated paper beads, atcs, inchies, rick-rack, foreign coins, shells, a fortune from a fortune cookie, etc.  It's called "Good Offerings, #1".

Anyway, I am now addicted to making crazy blocks with my scraps.  That's why this is called "#1".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughts on Quilting

I must admit that the least favorite part of making a quilted project (in my humble opinion) is cutting out the pieces. I try to be so careful in the cutting and the sewing together, but invariably the finished block is not the size it should be. The first full sized quilt I made had many squares, all different and was very difficult (well, it was my first quilt, maybe I should have chosen an easier pattern?) Anyway, I discovered I really love putting together "crazy" blocks, where I don't measure at all - just cut a strip and sew!  Another advantage is that it's a great way to use up those scraps that seem to pile up. 


The other day I was surfing the net and came across a block that uses only squares.  Now the 9-patch is an old traditional block, and rather uninteresting, in my opinion.  But when I saw a square called the disappearing 9-patch, I was quite intriqued.  So I thought I would give it a go.

You start with 9 squares sewn together 3 blocks at a time to make a basic 9-patch square.

Then you cut in in half.

And cut those two pieces in half.

Rotate the 4 pieces into a pattern you like,

Sew them together, and Voila! You have the disappearing 9 patch.

Sometimes called "9 into 4".  Here's two blocks I've finished. 

I'm planning on making 20 blocks for a lap quilt.  The original squares are 5", which make about a 13 1/2" square.  I figured I needed 9 x 20 = 180 five inch squares.  All the 5" squares are cut from fabric left-over from that first quilt I made - (they are repoduction civil-war era fabrics).  I think this block has lots of possibilities.  I may even splurge on some charm packs for the next one I make.  Charm packs for you non-quilters out there are packs you buy that have already been cut into squares.  

  So far this year I've made a wall hanging for my fabric postcads (click here), another wall-hanging (more info on this soon), a quilt top from my crazy squares, and I'm starting this disappearing 9 patch.  I'm on a mission to use up some scraps!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Full Basket

I keep a little basket I made years ago on my table for things "to file".  It's not very big, but it seems it's just the right size for Casey, who likes to jump up on my table and sit in the basket while she checks out what's happening outside.

"Does this basket make my butt look big?"

Well, maybe the basket could be just a little bit bigger! 

Anyway, Casey has a thyroid problem, causing her to lose weight, throw up a lot, and get dehydrated.  It's a heck of a way to lose weight!  She's been on medication for about 3 weeks, and her latest check up was very positive.   She is going to undergo a radioiodine treatment next week.  No one does the treatment around here, so we have to take her to LA (about 4 hours away) and leave her for 5 days, while she's injected with radioactive iodine.  Pretty radical, but it is supposed to take care of the thyroid problem permanently.  Otherwise, she would have to take medicine twice a day for the rest of her life.  So, we're off Sunday to drive to LA.  She hates riding in the car - I'm sure she'll cry the whole way!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Neighborhood Bully

A bully has moved into our backyard!  He is quite aggressive and runs off other birds from the feeder.  Meet Mr. Selasphorus Rufus.*   There's a lot of attitude packed into this 6 gram, three inch hummer!  They are migrating north, but have decided to stay for awhile and seem to enjoy our hummingbird feeder.  However, he does not share well!  He vigorously chases off any other hummer that tries to get a snack from the feeder! 

* Disclaimer:  This actually could  be an Allen's  hummingbird - they are very similar and I couldn't get a good luck at his back (would have green on it's back if an Allen's).  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Greetings

If you see a talking cat in a green hat, you've probably had enough beer!

Many years ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was an Irish dancer.  From left to right:  Heidi, Judy and me at Estes Park, Colorado posing after competing....notice we're all holding trophies!!

An Old Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light your days
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.