Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stars over Bethlehem...

I was born and mostly raised in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, the "Christmas City."  In our region, stars are pretty important to us.  One is alight over the city:
Seriously, this is one of the most comforting sights from my childhood because I always knew we were almost home when I saw the star.  Although our family was Irish American, we enjoyed the local culture including things like the Moravian star.
The Kemerer Museum in Bethlehem has an exhibit of star quilts on display right now so if you are in the area, check it out!
Here are some close-ups of a few of my star quilts:

The one above, I can't seem to capture on film well.  It is an autumn purchase and I am in love with it and use it every night.  It is bright and cheerful and makes me smile when I first wake up.
Hope your holiday remains happy and bright!  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ghost of Christmas Quilts (Past)

 These are a few of the Christmas quilts I've made through the years.  There are others but I can't find the photos today.  It's fun to look back at them, even if I'm unable to rummage through the attic to pull them out.  Maybe I will for next Christmas.  I'm at that age where I have simplified decorating.  

Despite the broken foot, I'm managing the Christmas festivities again.  I've lucked out with an amazing daughter-in-law.  Jessica is making the holiday cookies for us.  I'm so grateful.   She is an amazing baker so I'm sure her treats will be delicious.  We never think we are going to give up certain traditions but I'm finding it fun and inspiring to see what the young 'uns do.
Hopefully in 2015, I'll be able to teach Jessica to sew.  She is so clever and I would love to see what kind of projects she makes!
 Wishing you all a wonderful and safe holiday! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Jolly Christmas

Wishes for a Jolly Christmas being sent your way!
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nana and Pop's Window

I have a walking boot!  I'm still in the "resting it a lot" phase.  So my brother made sure to give me a good project.  Fifteen years ago my brother replaced the windows in our grandparents home.  When he asked me to dispose two of them, I thought he was crazy.  My brother Jim and I were very close to our maternal grandparents.  Not only did they have kids our age but we spent a great deal of our childhood with them.   
Our grandfather was famous for recycling and upcycling long before those terms were part of our society.  So.....Pop would have loved what we did with one of the windows.  Jim built a stand for support and here is our window, upcycled style:

The piece can be set anywhere, but I like it on our wardrobe.  The wood finishes match well.  I can decorate Nana and Pop's window for every holiday with my antique postcards.   Fifteen years ago I thought my the windows were beautiful and held on to them (ala Pop style).  Jim admitted later that he was glad I had held on to them.  I am too!
Have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Healing projects: #1 completed!

I previously posted about my ankle, which has been declared broken after x-rays.  I miss my long walks with Seamus and he misses them too.  Fortunately, I have great neighbors who really took care of me while we waited for my husband to get home.  Thanks Denise, Ken, Katie and Mike!  They've been walking Seamus, feeding me, and even helped me get out of a car when I was stuck with a wet cast.  I'm supposed to be on crutches, but my left arm is too weak.  I'm back to hobbling on a cane and using one crutch.  On Friday I see the orthopedic doctor and am hoping for a boot instead of a cast.
My brother Jim lives down the street and he has been helpful too.  Mostly helping to take me out of my funk by working on a project we discussed and planned a while ago.  More on that later.  So what do you do when you are stuck with your foot elevated?
You sew of course!
I have a list of embroidery projects to do for an upcoming program.  Yesterday I completed the last of the "Colonial Quilt" blocks.  I purchased unfinished blocks because they had the original ad from the 1920s with them and finished the last 8 that the quiltmaker didn't complete.  Yes, nothing like completing other people's UFOs!
So I guess I WILL be sewing this December and much to my chagrin, I'm leaving a lot of work for my husband to do.  He's arranged to be home to help me the next few weeks until I'm back on my feet.  At least it is happening while there is snow on the ground.  Above is a photo from a dawn jaunt Seamus and I took in November.  Have a great day and be safe!

Friday, December 5, 2014

tripped up...

I rarely have time to sew in December.  I always end up doing something mindless like inventory.  This year, I've just decided to embrace the month off from the sewing machine and focus on plans for 2015.
  This plan will continue as I sustained a sprained ankle yesterday while crossing the street.  There was a crack in the road that I didn't see because I was focusing on traffic (despite crosswalk, traffic is awful...this is,  after all, a city).  Yes I should have gone to the fabric store instead of taking Seamus on an hour long walk...

Looks like inventory and pattern drafting will continue for now.  Unfortunately, this guy will not be happy:
And of course to top it all off, we will probably have more rain later today and tomorrow; it's tough be Seamus sometimes.  I took this photo the last time it rained.  I know this because that is Seamus' rain towel on the radiator.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The Beards, the Bird, the Babbling....

Another amazing feast prepared by Jessica and Peter!  It was an amazing and hilarious day and the food was out of this world!!!  My son makes the turkey and Jessica is a real "cook from scratch" chef who goes local and organic.  DH is still raving about the food.  It was a great day with family!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Wishing you a safe and happy holiday full of love and gratitude!  
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

First snow of the 2014-14 season!

First snow of the season fell last night.  This is not a good omen for the upcoming winter.
Fortunately, I have a lot of sewing to do in 2015. Beth and I are building a new program and it is big on sewn projects, minimal research.  Right now, I'm doing a lot of machine sewing because I'm still nursing some problems with my left arm.
I cannot even begin to express how uncomfortable I am with these loud colors but a big part of our goal for the next year is going out of our comfort zone.  I probably should have started with something only slightly uncomfortable.  But noooooooooooooo.....I had to just jump into the deep side of the pool.  This weekend I'll visit blogville and see what you all have been up to....Have a safe, happy and WARM day!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

From Seamus and I:  Warm wishes for a safe and happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014


Yes I've been remiss keeping up with the blog.  There's been a lot happening.  My Mother -In-Law took a fall last May and has been in bad shape since, passed away last Tuesday.  My husband was as prepared as you can be for your Mom to leave this world but the really good news was that his boss kept him stateside during the past few weeks so at least he was home.  
It was a sad week and yet she had no quality of life left and lived a good long life.
I haven't been sewing much lately either.  My left arm, shoulder and neck started bothering me in May and has gotten progressively worse.  I finally got in to see my hand doctor and found out I have a multitude of problems including arthritis (who doesn't at our age???), trigger finger, carpel tunnel (knew I had that), tennis elbow and an impinged rotator cuff.  Finished one round of steroids and am getting the EMG (nerve test) in two weeks.  
It's time for us to turn a page in our lives but we are just taking some time to "be" right now.  I'll try to blog more and keep up with your blogs more regularly.  In the meantime, stay well and be happy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Exercise IS Good for you...

Seamus and I were on our morning constitutional when we discovered an unadvertised yard sale down the hill.  Good stuff---especially the quilt we got for $10:
 But wait....did I mention?
I got TWO matching quilts...
All this proves that exercise IS good for you...and your quilt collection.
I also picked up a blanket chest for another $10.  More on that later...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn settles in Pennsylvania

Seamus and I are enjoying long walks during this early autumn.   I've been doing a lot of inventory and office work and the jaunts in the parks balance the hours hunched over the computer.  Here are some of our views:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Life in these here parts...

Fall is here in our little city and the flowers are giving their last hurrah.  It has become cooler earlier than normal but no one is complaining about that.  I know I haven't been posting but I've been busy with dogs, mothers, etc.  Never a dull moment here...
Speaking of dogs, Rudy has moved into his forever home and he is very happy!  He loves his forever Dog-Mommy and enjoying playing with her children and her grandchildren.  It's like he is getting a happy puppyhood later in life...
Rudy takes one of Barb's grandson for a walk :)  Barb reports that he is gentle with the little guy and even getting along with the three cats who live at his new home!
The last few weeks, Seamus reminded me of a Victorian woman who had "taken to her bed." He sulked, lived in his crate and was generally anti-social.  It isn't that he doesn't like Rudy, it was just bad timing for both dogs. I am sure they will be best of friends now that they aren't competing for "Mom."
After we left Rudy at his new home, Seamus was a new dog.  Going for long walks with me again, playing, playing and playing...and even getting into some mischief!  Here he is caught in the middle of a garden bed (he was sniffing for some kind of animal there).  I hope to keep up with the blog a little bit better now that we are experiencing Autumn.  Summer here is meant to be lived outdoors and enjoying all the wonders of nature and ...we have done that.  Until family and friends come for the plants they want, I'm leaving the garden for the bees...
  I'm ready to get back to sewing and working on our next project.  Have a wonderful day!