You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

Santa tucked these row markers into my stocking this last Christmas. He must know how often I get interrupted while quilting, and thought these might help my sanity. I think the little flower shapes are too cute!

This is the first time I have had a chance to use them. They came with a safety pin to attach them to the block. The problem was with the safety pins that were included in the package. They made huge holes in the fabric. That was easily solved by using my longest quilting pins, and running them through the fabric at the seam allowance.

They didn’t have capital letters or numbers available, and that would have given me even greater ability to organize my blocks. I bet that I could use the small alphabet beads the same way if they are thin enough. You know the ones that you made bracelets with as a kid. I’ll have to look for them the next time I am at the craft store. If they are too thick, perhaps I can use up some of that Fimo clay I bought 101 years ago and make my own. Hmmm.

So, Dritz Quilting Notions, if you are listening, find some finer safety pins, add  capital letters and numbers, and this would be a great item!


The last 48 hours of weather have been rather weird. Wednesday we had blizzard like snow showers followed by brilliant patches of sun. The sun would heat everything up and melt away all accumulations of snow.

This was making the little miss quite upset. She really wanted to go out and play in the snow. Her ultimate goal was to make a snow man. We didn’t get enough to make a snowball, much less a snowman.

Today was quite a bit different. The temperature dropped overnight and we had a small amount of snow overnight. It started coming down again at about 5:30 AM. I encouraged my husband to stay off the roads and take a snow day. Looking at the DOT cameras and the news reports this morning, I really didn’t want him out there fighting the other wingnuts on the freeways.

So I sent the kids outside for some fun in the snow, and some quiet time for me!

We’ll see what it does tonight and in the morning. I may have another full house again tomorrow.

As has been pointed out by my mother, I haven’t updated the blog recently. Sorry, I’ve been busy. I have been stacking up things to post about though, so I’ll see if I can get them cleared off the desk top in the next few days.
Apologies for the bad photos. They were taken at night so I could drop the blocks at the post office the next morning on our way out.

This is a Pinwheel Surrounded block for Sudi-Laura. She had some large scale poinsettias with some smaller holiday prints to set them off. I’m not sure everybody understood that. Her colors included a bright light blue and some pink, as well as the traditional red, green, and whites. Unless you looked closely at the prints it didn’t look overly Christmassy. Some of the blocks that were made didn’t have any Christmas fabrics in them at all.

This is a Christmas Star for Courtney. She sent a chunk of fabric that she absolutely loved and wanted us to create blocks inspired by it. The Christmas trees were fabulously whimsical. I went with a simple tree and had been saving the rest of the Christmas words material for this block. The colors worked out perfectly.

The Around the World Christmas Quilting Bee has kind of ground to a halt. The swap organizer has more or less closed the swap, so now we are on our own. If we want to make more blocks we can, or we can just have our quilt mailed back. I am continuing to make blocks for quilts that come my way. My quilt is somewhere in England. I think it was heading to Leeds last time I checked. At the rate I finish things for myself, it won’t matter if it doesn’t get here before next Christmas!

My sister makes some awesome knitted toys, but for some reason she asked me to make a set of Funky Friends for a baby shower. They are a set of twin boys and we decided on an elephant and a giraffe. I went for bright primary colors and found some great stripy fleece for the accent parts.

These are in the “Floppy” state. They are easy to store like this. Em had fun trying to make the giraffe stand up before he had any stuffing.

I found this stuffing tool on clearance a few years back. It is called “The Big Stuffer” and is made by AirTex. (They don’t have them on the site, but you can call to order one.) The gal that developed it makes and designs teddy bears. This thing is excellent for getting the poly pellets down in the feet and then filling up the legs, trunks, and other long, stretched out parts with the polyfil. The biggest problem comes in finding the plunger part. Apparently it looks a lot like a microphone to an imaginative pre-schooler.

I am constantly amazed at Pauline’s ability to look at a real animal, flatten out the parts, and make pattern pieces that reconstitute into a realistic stuffed animal. Check out her fabulous collection of critters over at the Funky Friends Factory. I have fun playing with colors and fabric patterns when I make one. The kids just have fun playing with them. The only serious design flaw has been on the elephant, and that was minor. My lovely daughter pointed out that Ellie did not have a tail. And, as every astute pre-schooler knows, ALL elephants have tails. Silly Momma! So with a simple fix of an after-market tail, all is right in the Funky Friend universe.

(I ran out of polyfil and had to finish them off at my sister’s place, so we had a multi-location photo shoot for them!)

I planned this Ellie with a tail from the start! The safety eyes that I would normally use are not recommended for kids under the age of three. [If they aren’t safe, then why call them safety eyes??? These are the things I ponder while sitting in the car waiting in the after-school pick up parade of parents.] Pauline recommends a french knot for the eyes in this case. I am crap at french knots, and I would need yarn or a big bundle of floss to make one that would look appropriate on this pair. So, I cut small pieces of black fleece and stitched the eyes on. Safe and much more attractive than any french knot I could have made, even on my best day!

I hope the boys love them!

It is sad. My 3.5 quart Crockpot is dead. I was making chicken soup and when I tapped the spoon on the rim to get all of the yummy goodness back into the pot I heard a tiny “boiing”. That was it. The sound of Crockpot Death.

I ended up transferring the soup to the stove top to finish it off. Hoping that it was just a fluke, I cleaned up the crockpot and today I got around to filling it with water and turned it on.


I can’t believe that Mom has had her lovely avacado green one for somewhere close to 40 years and I have had mine for less than 15. I guess they really don’t build them like they used to! (I have probably just cursed Mom’s. Sorry about that.)

It seems so wasteful to just toss it out, but nobody will try to fix it for less than I can buy a new one. I guess I’ll save the lid and send it on. (Mom’s glass lid has a nice chip in it, and she could use the plastic one as a replacement.) I just hope that the volumes of cardboard, cans, and plastic we recycle will help make up for adding this to the landfill.

If anybody has a need for a non-functioning crockpot, let me know. It’ll be here until the end of the week.

Update: 2/2/2011
Well, I did it. Mom’s died too. Hers had a much longer run than mine. Maybe we’ll put them out together. Sad, so so sad.