Going Dark for Now

I’ve always become unsettled when a favorite blog pal suddenly disappears. I worry, you know?

So, while it seems odd to be writing my personal stuff here, it would feel odd not to as well. And I wouldn’t want anyone to have to wonder what ever became of me.

Don, my husband, had a stroke a couple of weeks ago. And then there were other medical complications and he is still in the hospital, with clear deficits caused by the stroke.

Suddenly, my time is full of things more important things than blogging.

I am hopeful that he will go to rehab soon and that he’ll regain a lot of what’s been lost. And I am hopeful that, someday, I’ll be back to chat with you about the things we all love.

In the meantime, take good care. I’ll miss you.

Hand Quilt Along: It’s Basted!


Have you ever wanted something real bad and then, when you get it, all you can do is sit and grin at it?

I’ve been grinning at my basted quilt for a week now!

And every once in awhile, I feel that grinning doesn’t quite capture my joy so I break out in a little song and dance, “It’s done! It’s done!”

Of course, the quilt itself is far from done but the basting is finished and, for now, that’s all I need to know.

The day came when I had to tackle this job. I felt some pressure, both because I couldn’t face coming back to you and admitting I hadn’t done it yet again and because the only table I can use for basting is on our glassed-in, unheated porch . . . and frigid temperatures were coming.

So, on a day when the high was going to be in the upper-40s, balmy for December in upstate New York, I shifted myself into gear.

I fired up the space heater and aimed it at the big table.

I reviewed the YouTube video by Sharon Schamber, my quilt basting hero, to be sure I remembered her technique.

I got my wood boards and my big needle and my thread, thimble, and finger cot.

I closed the door so the cats couldn’t come help.

I tuned Pandora, on my iPhone, to my favorite Chad Mitchell Trio station. I hummed along to good old folk music and sea shanties and I stitched together the three layers of my quilt.

The actual stitching, once I was set up, took just about 2 hours, including folding over the edges and basting down a sort of loose hem, to keep the edges from fraying and coming undone.

I have raved about this Schamber approach to basting in previous posts and, really, I love it. I have used it on several full-sized quilts now and I can say it really, really makes a tedious job so much less onerous.

Is basting fun? No. Nay. Never.

But with this method, of wrapping the layers of the quilt top and backing around long pieces of wood (I used 1 inch x 4 inch pieces that are longer than my quilt was wide), it is possible to manage a lot of floppy fabric and wrestle it onto a tidy, secure bundle without crawling on the floor or opening and closing dozens of safety pins.

What was three unwieldy separate pieces of textile—the pieced top, the fabric backing, and the batting—is now a unit. The three layers are firmly held together and will not shift and cause problems down the road.

When I was done, I folded the tidy bundle up and it has been sitting ever since, waiting for the busyness of Christmas to pass before I begin the hand quilting.


This will be my post-Christmas treat—quiet hours, sitting at my hoop, putting in the prim little stitches. The cold, blue light of winter will stream through the glass door next to my chair but I’ll be warmed by the quilt over my lap and the lovely, familiar, soothing process of quilting by hand.

This is my third installment in this Hand Quilt Along. If you are bereft to have missed the first two, you can go back and visit post one and post two.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
Kathy, Lori, Margaret, Kerry, Emma, Tracy, Deb, Connie, Deborah,  Susan, Jessisca,  SherryNanette, Sassy and Edith

Advent, My Way #13

Let’s see. We’ve talked about the Santas, the weather, and the red and white hand-crafted projects. We’ve done some music and a recipe and some reminiscing.

What about Advent, chez nous, is missing so far?

Vintage linens, that’s what!

That post has been written so I’ll just dust it off and present it again. Many of you have been loyal friends long enough that you’ll remember this post.

For the rest of you, I hope you’ll be inspired to go through any old family linens you have hidden away and consider bringing them out for your holiday fun.

If not now, when??

Advent, My Way #2


As luck would have it, the quilt on my quilting frame right now is red and white, perfect for this time of year!

I like the traditional colors of Christmas best–the white of pure, new snow, the red of a feisty Cardinal, the green of pine boughs.

If you celebrate Christmas, what colors do you favor? Or do you celebrate a different winter holiday, with its own traditional colors?


You Could Win!

I am in the mood to give something away.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I wasn’t sure what to give.

Then I was ironing pretty vintage kitchen towels and I thought, “Hey, I know! A pretty vintage kitchen towel!” Because I’m sure you all share my dishtowel jones, right?


But which towel?

That was easy—this one.


It’s vintage. I wouldn’t want you to settle for anything less than vintage.

It’s pretty. Fresh and unusual colors on a bright white background, all in crisp linen. Yum.

It’s unused and clean. Because I wouldn’t want to send you a towel you might consider icky.

It has flowers, for the gardeners, and tulips and daffodils, for those experiencing spring and those already longing for it. And the flowers are turquoise because, even though turquoise flowers are rare or non-existent in nature, they shouldn’t be!

It’s an all-around perfect towel! I hope you think so, too!


To get a chance to win the towel, you can encourage me to do a chore I’ve been avoiding.

I need to find out how many of these yo-yos I’ve made so far.


I’ve been avoiding this chore because I have a notion of how many yo-yos I will need for even a twin-bed-sized coverlet and I am loathe to acknowledge how far I have to go. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to count them.

So, I’m asking you to guess how many yo-yos I have in this pile and jar. In a week, after you’ve had a chance to guess, I will HAVE to count them so I know who to send the towel to!


The fine print:

  • I’ll accept guesses, in the comments here, until noon, my time, on December 6.
  • Anyone, in any country, can guess. This towel is willing to travel!
  • Only one guess per person.
  • In the case of correct ties, I will do a random draw of those who made the correct guesses.
  • If no one guesses correctly, I’ll send the towel to the person with the closest guess.

Please make your guess and encourage others to guess, too–this towel needs an excellent home! And I need to get busy making more yo-yos . . .