My crafting and family life journal

Box Play

This morning I finished sewing the binding around a hand pieced wall quilt that was in my sewing travel box for 18 months. I used the English paper piecing technique and a number of hand dyed and batik fabric scraps to create this piece. The top was then sandwiched with Soft and Natural 100% cotton batting and the black batik fabric used for some of the stars on the top.  I then machine quilted the top with a smoke colored filament thread.


I love English paper piecing so much that I am currently working on a king sizes quilt top using 1 inch hexagons that are being arranged in an interlocking star pattern. The nice this is that I am using several years worth of fabric scraps to create the units. Working with the scraps from various quilts that I have made over the years brings back lots of memories and adds an interesting history to what I suspect will be a three year project.

Let the fun begin…

We had our first hard frost a week ago so the vegetable gardens were pulled, last of the pasta sauce made and canned, and the dehydrator loaded. Now that gardening duties are over I have some time to spend on crafts.

There are so many started but unfinished projects in my studio that I have set up a project rotation to finish some of the projects and start a new year long project. Each week I rotate a project out for one in the queue to work on. Hopefully this will help me finish some of the projects this winter…


English paper pieced top that I have finished about 1/2 the quilting


Needlepoint project I have been working on for the past 5 years. Finished her dress in the last rotation.





New long term cross stitch project. When it is done it will be 25″ X 31.5″ and contain 495,000 stitches… I do like challenges.

A stack and whack project waiting patiently to be layer out and stitched.

A stack and whack project waiting patiently to be laid out and stitched.


Gathering season

Gathering season has started. The dehydrator is running almost daily and canning will start next week. This year between the mild winter and drought this summer, we have more wild life than I care for during growing season. The deer ate most of the low hang fruit and nuts, a variety of creatures finished off the hazelnuts, pears, carrots, and beets before they were ready to pick. The birds fought us for cherries and blueberries. We really don’t mind feeding wildlife, but we wish that they would share.

Although we lost a fair amount of fruit and nuts this season, the vegetables out did themselves. We have had several harvest of kale, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, kidney beans, cucumbers and herbs. The pie pumpkins came in early and large, and potatoes came in on schedule. Both are sitting in the utility room seasoning before being moved to winter storage.


For the past week the dehydrator has been working overtime to process various vegetables and herbs for winter soups and stews.


Yesterday I processed a large batch of kale into a dried powder for use in smoothies and soups.


A few of the kale stems were also given to the dogs as treats…for some reason our dogs love veggies.


Apples are also starting to mature, so the first batch of apple cider vinegar has been started in the crock.


Do you grow your own produce? If so, how are your gardens doing and how do you process the harvest?

I finally  finished my Cubic Stars quilt top. For the last year I had hand stitched this  English paper piecing top for a number of hand dyed fabrics along with a couple of other favorites. Now I just need to sandwich the top and put it aside for hand quilting this winter.


Reducing the UFO pile

One of my resolutions for this year was to finish at least half of my UFO projects before starting anything new. To assist in accomplishing this goal I moved all of the started project out into the open so that they wouldn’t be forgotten ( for those of you who know me, and what a neat freak I am, know how difficult this was…)

The visibility has helped, With the exception of the quilt for the new grandson I have been able to keep my resolution.

A project I just finished this year was a painted needlepoint canvas. What makes this project a special accomplishment is that was in my stash for close to 10 years. I really enjoyed working this piece so I have no ideas why it took so long to finish. Now I just need to figure out what to do with canvas piece….


Baby quilt moving along

I love rainy weekends. We get to cut down on outdoor chores and working on fun things. This Saturday I baked a few loves of sourdough bread, and sat at my sewing machine for a few hours. Sewing time this week let me finish the bottom of my grandsons quilt and start on the appliqué on the top portion of the top.


I still need to cut and appliqué a few stars to float around the sun before I can finish sewing the top together… It looks like the little man may get his quilt before he is six months old 😀

Baby Quilt Started

this weekend I stared working on the quilt for my new grandson. It has been a number of years since I have worked on a baby quilt, so I am having a lot of fun with the fabrics and patterns.


All of the pieces have been cut and last night I started working on the appliqué section at the top of the quilt. I was going to use buttons for the eyes on the sun, but then thought about all of the things babies put in their mouth. Any ideas for what would be a safer option for the eyes?

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