Monday, January 24, 2011

This Weekend's Project

I just updated my Bucket List to include "finishing lots of projects". Like most sewers/quilters, I have lots of fabric. Eight plastic shoeboxes and four large plastic totes full of fabric. Before Christmas I labelled them with colors and what was in them. I even measured out larger pieces and put a note on them so I could use them for quilt backs. Sounds pretty organized, huh? Not really.

A freind of mine has a little quilt that she made out of toile. All colors. It was just a simple patchwork, but I love that quilt. I mean, I would steal it if the chance came about! So a couple of years ago, I was on a quest for toile. Not finding what I was after, I came across these two colors of fabric in a little quilt shop in Louisville. So I bought what they had. Not having a plan in the world for this fabric, I just took what they had.
Fast forward 2 years and I am in panic mode because I can't find any more fabric like this! Why do I do this to myself? I made all the 9 patch blocks that I could and came up with a total of 24. Now what? I really like this fabric. Kind of a shabby chic look. So here is the conversation between my daughter and myself:

Megan: Mom, that is really pretty. What are you going to do with it?

Mom: What do you mean? Like, have a plan for this finished quilt? Heck, I just buy the fabric that I love and wait to be inspired!

Megan: Really? I would think you would know what you are going to do with it.

Mom: You silly young thing! Just wait till the fabric bug bites you!

Megan: I really like that. Those colors are pretty!

Mom: You like it? You want it?(running into her room to clear off the bed and see how it looks) Hmmm, I could add several borders and it would fit that bed

Megan: Yeah, I do want it. I need a new quilt for my bed. You know the last one you made me was for High School graduation (2006).

Mom: Okay then! It's yours! (Thank goodness, someone wants it and it won't just lay folded in my pile of quilts that I have finished.)

Of course, I get one border around it and realize I miscalculated. I am 8 inches short of the last piece of polka dot. Grrrrr. I really wanted to get this done. Now I must go and purchase more fabric!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back Door View

This is the view from the back door this morning. It is snowing and supposed to continue to snow the rest of the day! Yippee!!! I got a snow day from my day job, now let's see if the library closes early due to the "incoming" weather. Funny thing here in Southern Indiana, if they even predict snow, the people freak out. They had already closed schools this morning before it even started snowing. I mean, come on.

Today's agenda has included a nice hot cup of coffee and lots of time in my sewing room. I haven't really been inspired to do much lately, so this change is welcome. I have four people doing the block of the month with me, so I mustn't let them down! Not to mention, I have TONS of UFO's (unfinished objects) in that room.

One of the things I would like to accomplish this year is to finish some projects. I am bad about getting to a certain point, then not finishing. Then when I go back and pick them up, it's like starting over! You sewers know what I mean. You buy fabric, start on a project, then realize you don't have enough fabric for said project. Then you go to try to buy more fabric only to find you have had the fabric for so long, they don't make it any more! Back to square one for sure!

Stay warm and dry my friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This will be the first post for those of you who are joining me in the Underground Railroad Block of the Month. Information and patterns are from the book "Quilt In A Day Underground Railroad Sampler" by Eleanor Burns and Sue Bouchard.

Each month, I will post the block that I have picked from the book along with the story that goes along with it. Also, there will be a picture of the block that I have made. My personal goal is to use fabric from my stash. That is, if it goes along with the civil war era. Feel free to use whatever fabrics you like, I just prefer the civil war era fabrics for this project. My intent is for this project to be fun. You can work at your own pace. Hopefully, by the end of the year, you will have twelve blocks to put together a quilt. If you only get a few done, you can always make a wall hanging or table runner.

So, here's the story!

Underground Railroad, also known as Jacob’s Ladder, the alternating path of dark and light fabrics cold be used to show the direction in which a “passenger” was to travel.

There is a story about a slave owner chasing a runaway slave. The slave owner swore the man vanished as if he had stepped on some kind of “underground railroad.” The idea of an Underground Railroad taking people north to freedom was used to describe the network of abolitionists and safe houses that helped slaves escape to Ohio and Canada. Safe houses along the way were known as “stations”. Those who guided the escapees were called “conductors”. The runaways themselves were called “passengers”.

Harriet Tubman was one of the best-known conductors on the Underground Railroad. She herself escaped from slavery and returned to the South a total of 19 times to bring over 300 fugitives to freedom. She never lost a single passenger. It was her mission to guide them through unknown lands and take care of their needs. She would tell them to wait in the woods while she went to the home of a friend to buy needed provisions. She would not return until nightfall, using a song to communicate safety or danger to those hiding in wait.

Reaching a “station” in the North meant food, clothing, and a place to hide when capture was imminent. But it did not yet mean freedom. The Underground Railroad took them all the way to Canada in some cases. Estimates are that as many as 100,000 people escaped slavery between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Block of the Month...Change In Plans

Okay friends, after much consideration, this is how it will work. If you are interested in participating in the Block of the Month (Quilts of the Underground Railroad) e-mail me at So far my interested friends are Cynthia, Teresa, Lizzieann and Bev. I had contacted Eleanor Burns to see if Icould get a release to use their materials and haven't heard back from them yet. Then, I tried to make my own directions, that didn't work so good either. I figured if I couldn't follow them, then no one else would either! So, I will post the story on the featured block along with a picture of my finished block and then I will e-mail you a copy of the instructions. If you have the book, let me know if you don't want me to send you the instructions. I did get my block done by following the directions in the book! My goal is to get this started on Thursday, which will be the 20th. Then each month, I will post on that same date! Hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Underground Railroad Block of the Month

There are several reasons I have decided to do this block of the month:

1. The Village Mercantile's Block of the Month this year isn't quite to my liking.

2. My daughter purchased this great book, Underground Railroad Sampler, for me

several years ago for Christmas.

3. I am trying to de-stash and finish some projects.

Block patterns. I will scan patterns from the book pictured above. So you will be reading actual instructions from the writer of this book. If you already have this book, then you can follow along in the book. If at any time you have any hints, suggestions or problems, let me know. This is my first attempt at anything like this, so bear with me. It is intended for fun, not to stress anyone out!

Fabric choices. Personally, I would like to use muted colors and fabrics from my stash. But I think it would be fun to use any fabric! However, I might just cave and get some civil war fabrics for this project. It will be interesting to see the different combos we can come up with. I also believe you could use fat quarters as well.
So stay tuned folks!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Just listed a few things on e-bay. A couple of them I had in a box for Goodwill and I thought, hey why not sell it? So I am going to try. The other item, a tin church bank, I had stuck in the closet and hadn't put it out forever. So we will see. See something you like, click on the picture and it will take you to e-bay!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blog Block of the Month?

Been thinking about something. I am not participating in the block of the month club at my local quilt shop this year. I wasn't really crazy about what she had picked out. Now I am willing to try new things, but I just didn't feel like putting all that time into something I wasn't crazy about.

So, here's my question. Are there any of my followers who would be interested in doing a block of the month with me on-line? You can invite your friends as well.

Always being fascinated with the civil war era, I think I will do a block each month pertaining to the quilts used for the underground railroad. My daughter bought me a book a couple of years ago and I haven't done anything with it!

My friend that I carpooled with for the last block of the month club are going to do this, so I thought I would see if anyone was interested. We are going to pick out our fabrics and do our blocks and not show each other until we have all of blocks done at the end of the year. It will be interesting to see how different our blocks will be.

Each month, I will post a picture of the block from the book along with the instructions. Then you then you choose your own fabrics. What do you think?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts for Today

I was inspired by Jen at Prior Fat Girl to re-think why I started my whole weight loss journey. This has been weighing heavily (no pun intended) on my mind lately.

Most of you know that I reached my goal weight about 3 weeks ago. Since then, I have spiralled out of control. Not quite understanding why though. I mean I was dieting last year during the holidays and did just fine. As a matter of fact from Thanksgiving until Christmas 2009, I lost 9.8 pounds. I was walking down the path of destruction.

I am ashamed to even put this out there. But in the past 2 weeks, I gained 5.4 pounds. How did I let this happen? Honestly, I can tell you how. Chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread cookies, cupcakes, fudge. Anything sweet I could get my grubby paws on. Well, factor in a little a bit of stress and you have a recipe for destruction.

Seriously, I think I was also testing myself. I mean, the goal weight is what we have in our sights for so long, right? So excited to reach it. I will finally be done. NOT. Gaining that much weight so fast, I had a big reality check. Just because I reached my goal weight doesn't mean I am done. This just proved to me that this IS a lifelong change. Finally, I found it somewhere inside me to get my act together again. So pulling myself up by the boot straps, I managed to get back on track.

With so many things out of control in my life, I believe I started my weight loss journey because it is the ONE thing that I really can control.