I’m Already Falling Behind…

So by now you know I am participating in Lori Holt’s Bee Happy Sew-Along This week in preparation she has posted the cherries and bees blocks.  I was so excited last week that I was on task and keeping up (it must be said that Lori has posted that she knows everyone sews and different rates and not everyone’s schedule allows them to sew all day or even every day, however there is a schedule…and…well, I’ll end my thought here).

Bee Happy Sew-Along Schedule







When school starts I don’t know how on earth I am going to keep up.  I will try. The cherry block are soo sweet, but they took me all morning and they are really not even done.  I still have to appliqué the pieces on (insert heavy sigh here) so they look a little wonky in the picture.

I know not all the material is from the Bee Happy collection. I’m improvising with some of my 30’s repo’s. I makes it more of my own.

On Task

Lori Holt’s Bee Happy Sew-Along is just about to get on the way.  She has posted “Be Prepared” instructions for anyone loving this sweet quilt to get a head start.  I am taking full advantage of her organization and have started constructing the flag and pinwheels. IMG_0960.JPGLori might be organized, but take a look at my cutting table….Yikes!  The pile of dark scraps are leftovers and I have found the perfect project for them, if I can add about 10 hours to my day.

I’ve got to say, this is the first time I am actually not behind in a sew-along or class.  We still have plenty of time and she is posting again tomorrow.  You have plenty of time to get in on the action. Visit her blog at Bee In My Bonnet and join in on the fun.


I’m taking advantage of  a typical August day in New Jersey – Hazy, Hot, and Humid by finishing up my Black Cats and Pumpkins quilt.  I constructed the 36 – 6″ star squares last night during Sew What and spent th

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is morning assembling the quilt.  It is copy of a quilt I found on Pinterest (Oy… Pinterest.  Enough said). I used Lori Holt’s patterns for the pumpkins and Stars from her Vintage Farm Girl book and downloaded her pattern for the cat from her blog – Bee In My Bonnet.




I add a 1/8” stay stitch around the circumference of my quilts before I quilt them or send them off to be quilted on the long arm. This is something new I have just added into my quilting regime. Chris – my long arm guru – took me that it keeps the quilt from distorting when on the frame.  So I do it.

I haven’t decided to add borders or not.  The original pin has – what I think – is a 2″ inner border and maybe a 4″ or a 5″ outer border.  Here is it  without any borders. What do you think? To border or not to border?

The bottom left large square photos as if it has no star points.  They are a deep purple and blend into the black in the picture. 

For some reason I feel this need to hunting for a Snickers bar.  #Some treats!!



In “The City”

This past weekend, Big D. and I went to visit Nick in the city.  It’s funny.  It’s always been: We’re going “into the city, up to the city ” or we are “in the city”. Like NYC is the only city in the USA.  My family does not refer to Philadelphia as the “city’.  We always go “to Philly”.  I wonder if other communities around big cities refer to their city as “the city”.

Nick has been in his apartment for just about one year and he has been slowly ticking off “tourist” destinations that he wants to visit.  He happened to mention that he was heading to Katz’s deli after our visit was over.  Little did he realize that our visit just extended itself to include a trip to SoHo for pastrami sandwiches.

I know you all have been to Katz’s deli even if you live clear across the country.  How do I know this?  Have you ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally?   YEEESSSS  THAT DELI!  I must confess – I never saw the movie.  Shhhhh.  Don’t tell.

I hope if you ever find yourself “in the city”, you visit Katz’s Deli.  Don’t forget to order “what she had”.



Mythology and Multitasking

Growing up, my mother would say, “If you want something done, ask a busy woman.”   Throughout the years I have often come back to this philosophy especially when I found myself “multitasking”.  I know every woman who is a mom, works -part time or full time and enjoys interests outside of these two elements of her life….multitasks!  You know what I’m talking about…arguing with the insurance company on the phone while making dinner and entertaining the dog all the while thinking about the on-line training modules needed to be completed  before school starts.

So, when I was at the the new exhibit, The Brain at the Franklin Institute, I was astonished, even agased, to learn that multitasking is a myth.  How preposterous.  Big D. just stood by me and shook his head as to say, “Told you so”.  For many years, I would race through 2 or 3 tasks while he completed one.  Hmmmm.IMG_4969    I wonder if this  has any impact on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Strong, competent, and intelligent women of my family – phenomenal multi-taskers, have subcommed to this horrible disease.

I pride myself on making decisions both at home and in the health office based on evidence based research.  I think more research is clearly needed but I think for now I am going to try to focus more on the task at hand and less “multi-tasking”.

Do you multitask?  What do you think about this?   Well, I am going to sew some blocks for my Black Cats and Pumpkins quilt, while I get some laundry done and see what’s in the refrigerator for dinner.


IMAX and Sewing Mechanics

I find sewing no matter where I go.  I’m like the loop part of the Velcro and sewing things just come to me.

Big D. and I went to see Dunkirk at the IMAX theatre in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (the movie was amazing… a must see). If you haven’t been to IMAX this is one of those movies that is just awesome in that theatre.  But, I digress.  We were in the gift shop and I looked out the window into the adjoining exhibit and what did I see??  A Sewing Machine! We “happened to” find our way into the engineering exhibit to find mechanical engineering explained via a sewing machine.  I was elated.  I could not believe it.  Teaching engineering by showing how a sewing machine works.

My photography isn’t the best with the light reflection on some of the pictures.   As you went through the exhibit, each concept of mechanical engineering was explained via this  poster display (along with other related objects – but we all know which one was the most important.  It was sooo super cool.  I wonder if I had seen this as a high school student would my career path been altered?

Anyway, they had a small display on how the first sewing machines caused a revolt and the most beautiful treadle machine.  The things you find when you are going to the movies.

So, no matter where you go, there is always sewing! Where have you unexpectedly come across a sewing/quilt related item/theme while doing something else?



Loving Lancaster

While on our way to Hershey, we usually drive through Lancaster and this trip was no exception.  I love Lancaster Co. Pa.  The drive is peaceful and off the beaten track – translation: We are not on the turnpikes.  Michaela and I have our usual haunts to visit and sometimes we pick up a new eatery or antique store or just something new.  This time….nothing new but it was enjoyable just the same.

Please don’t worry, I was driving and poor MIchaela was hanging out the window snapping shots for me.

We did visit our usual quilt shops: The Log Cabin and Zooks Fabric Store however we did not get a chance to go to Burkholders.  Honest, Burkholders is like a candy shop for fabric-aholics. You could spend hours there and believe me…I have. There are so many more shops you could spend days going to all the quilt shops. IMG_4932

I saw this in a shop in Kitchen Kettle.  Life is Good whenever you are shopping for fabric.

Happy Fabric Shopping


An Odyssey of Chocolate

The Sweetest Place on Earth is truly the sweetest place and the fact the Quilt Odyssey is held there makes it even sweeter!

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This year I did not register for any workshops but that did not stop me from traveling to Hershey and look at all the magnificent quilts and of course Merchant’s Mall.  There was a special exhibit of Bonnie Hunter’s quilts, many of which I have seen before, and antique quilts.  Michaela remarked after viewing the antiques that what I do is “cheating”.  Cheating?!  Well, those women made such stunning quilts and bed coverings without good light, pre-made temples and patterns, and cumbersome scissors and needles , I guess she is somewhat right.

I didn’t take any pictures of the quilts this year, I’m sorry…I’ll make it up to you somehow.  When I go to a quilt show I cant think how my quilts are so inadequate in comparison to these works of art. But that is exactly what some are.  I’ts like going to a museum and looking at beautiful paintings.  If you get a chance to attend any quilt show or exhibit, do so. They are just so inspiring.


Painting and Cooking

I have spent the past few days painting the trim in my kitchen.  This is no easy one day project.  My kitchen is an open floor plan  and the trim goes on for miles.  Oh, it stops every once in a while for a gargage door, laundry room door, pantry door, window trim and on and on and on…Oh look – we’re in Texas!

Last night Big D. took pity on me and ordered in pizza for dinner.  Pizza dinner was fun with salad and sangria however, I don’t think two night in a row of take out is going to fly.  Preparing a dinner after paining was not sounding like something I wanted to do.  I had some salmon in the refrigerator and Big D. really likes when I make Asian-Fusion Salmon.  It’s great when it’s cold too so I thought it would be perfect.  I’ve had this recipe forever – torn out of a magazine I can’t even remember which one and when. Here is what  you need:

I made this dish even easier using a disposable pan.


In a bowl combine:

4 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2Tbsp rice vinegar
1Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp corn starch

Here is what you do:

Place 4-6 (8oz) salmon filets in a shallow baking dish/pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt (not too much remember the soy sauce is salty). Spoon half the mixture over the filets and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Spoon the rest of the mixture, sprinkle with sliced scallions, and bake for another 10 minutes.

It really is that yummy, it’s fool proof, and it’s easy.  Hint: I did not want to turn on the oven on a 95 degree summer day in NJ. so I fired up the barbecue and lit it heat until it reached 400. Even easier!

Hope you like it.

Snow White and Black Cats

I don’t know about you but when I sew I usually have the TV running to keep me company.  Sometimes I have music playing but I do find I need to “switch eyes” and just take a minute away from the fabric and then re-focus.

IMG_4889Today I find myself listening/watching Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (my usual is Fixer Upper-I love Joanna’s style) and constructing Lori Holt’s Barn Cat block. Sometimes you need an older movie to appreciate.  Don’t you just love the baseball wallpaper in my studio?  I confiscated Nick’s bedroom when he moved to the city. I’m ok with it. I was on the dining room table before I “moved” and had to pack up and put everything away at the beginning of November before the holidays and sewing was at a stand still until mid-January when unpacking commenced. So the baseballs are more than welcome to share my space.

The barn cats are being turned into black cats to replicate a quilt I saw on Pinterest.  I think they are super scary. I don’t think my newest Quality Control Officer is overly thrilled.

I think I just promoted my original Quality Control Officer to Director.  Wait until I tell her! She is currently downstairs doing administrator things!

Happy Sunday Sewing