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!!



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.


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


All is Groovy

I was sewing Friday night with some friends and my Featherweight conked out on me.  It just did not want to sew. Oh the needle went up and down, the bobbin was turning but no stitches. Thing is I had just picked it up on Tuesday from the spa -a.k.a. Glen the sewing machine repair man.  It was dragging and just needed some TLC. I thought maybe since I put in a really fine thread and tiny needle it just didn’t like it, but after changing the thread and needle back to the standard it still did not sew.  I changed the bobbin – not only did I wind a new one, I bought a new bobbin and it continued not to sew.  I needed reinforcements.  I was lucky enough to be sewing with veteran stitchers and featherweight owners.  The four – yes four!!- of us did all we knew to no avail.  I called Glen in a panic.  Of course he was ever so gracious and told me to bring it right over.

Three days later….

I had been counting the minutes until I could get Mrs. Z. (my featherweight’s name – story for another posting) to Glen.  I took her out and told Glen my story.  He looked at it and smiled and pulled out the needle and turned it and ….well, I felt stupid.  The needle was in the wrong way.  I could not believe it.  I told him a always insert the needle with the flat side facing left. He told me that it does not matter which way the flat side is facing it’s the groove in the needle that needs to be facing right.  Who Knew??  Certainly not the 5 of us.  Apparently different needle manufactures have the flat side on different sides. If you insert a Singer needle with the flat side on the left, the groove will be on the right.  Union needles are the opposite. Glen said we did not have to speak of this ever again.


I know I inserted the needle the correct way.  I dug out the manual to my machine and there it was.  Put the flat side toward the left.  I felt somewhat vindicated.  Now I know to pay attention to the various brands of needles.

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Farm Girl Vintage: Pinning the Pieces

When I was constructing the sample block for my Farm Girl Vintage quilt, I found there were a lot of little pieces. I know some people cut, sew, cut , sew, but my brain doesn’t work like that. I like to cut all pieces needed first, and then sew. That created a heck of an organizational mess with 12+


different size pieces with multiples of some and some in the same color. I cut some sticky notes and labeled/pinned each size. The little pieces of paper were getting blown around my work station or I was forgetting to pin the label back on the pile when I used a piece.

As my daughter would say, “What a hot mess!”

I remember seeing a project where a corsage pin was used and alphabet beads were added along with some bling beads. So off to Michael’s I went. What is so special about Michael’s? I had a coupon. Have you been to the craft stores lately? Their bead/jewelry section is on steroids. I quickly – ok, the pins and alphabet beads were quickly, the bling beads…not so quickly – found what I needed and left before I was sucked into the void of the craft store. It goes something like this: “I went in for one thing and $100 later…” I know you can relate

Here’s what I picked up:                  Here’s what did:

Decide in what order you would like to put your beads on. Remember the more beads, the less pin room. Dab a small amount of glue on the pin right next to the corsage pearl. Don’t get too close – the glue will drip out onto your bead. Slide your bead on and hold for a second or two. I laid them down on a paper plate incase any glue leaked.

I made an extra set for my friend Carol at Sew What Friday who is also making this quilt. I experimented and used bling corsage pins for her set. Now all there is to do is to see if these little darlings are better than sticky notes (they sure look better!).

Happy Sewing
XO – Annemarie



Farm Girl Vintage: I was Thinking…

I have been looking for a project that is fun and “care free”. I went digging in the abyss of “the stash” and came across Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet’s Farm Girl Vintage.


How Fun!! I really fell in love with Lori’s block designs. I dug up all my 30’s repos -and there are A LOT! Good thing. The blocks are just so darn cute.

Inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, where Amy Adams, aka Julie, embarks on a yearlong quest to make 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Cookbook in one year and blog her journey, I thought it would be fun to reproduce the same thought with Lori’s Vintage Girl Farm. I have until the end of August as Michaela saw the book and sample block and declared it was hers! Both she and my sister remind me of the seagulls in “Finding Nemo”…Mine, Mine, Mine. She is however the agriculture major in the family, so hers it is.

First things first…the plan. Ok, here it is:

How big?? Lori has directions for 6” and 12” blocks. I want to complete all of the blocks (48 of them!). So, 6” blocks it is. That would make the ‘main’ quilt 43”x57” with 1” sashings. Ok, here is where it becomes a little sticky…Lori used an inner border, then flying geese, and then an outer border bringing the grand total to 62.5”x76.5”. When I looked at the picture I thought the flying geese were prairie points. Right?! Don’t they? I’m going to table this for now and revisit when the main part of the top is done.

That settled, totally scrappy or somewhat scrappy? Let’s walk on the wild side and use different whites and whites with small designs for the block backgrounds making it totally scrappy.

Now the hard part…time and which blocks first? Here is my thinking….I need to complete this by the end of August. If I finish 3 blocks a week –starting mid-March I should (now there is the opportune word – I have Crabtree’s Witches in progress and oh yeah, that thing called work that gets in the way of all my plans all the time. But it does pay for my QH -Quilting Habit) finish by mid-July allowing time to add borders, quilt, and bind by mid-August. I think this is pretty ambitious, but I’m going to give it the Old College Try.

I was going to follow the book and go in order, but I need some creative leeway. I’m going to go with the flow on this. Oh My Gosh, I’m totally living on the wild side.

Holy Moley-what a stash

I’ve got to go color organize all those fat quarters.