Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another Semester Down and Another Year starting

I had hoped to be able to post more in 2016 and in some ways I succeeded and other ways I did not. My first semester at Cal State San Marcos was even busier then I thought it would be. Besides having the 5 classes it was filled with taking extra tests, tutoring, CPR, and lots of other things. My two cats got sick and here it is the last day of 2016 and one of my cats is still sick, however, she does seem to be on the mend. I went to the East Coast and had a wonderful time there seeing my nephew and niece-in-law graduate and get married, met a friend for the first time in person, that was very special. My husband had surgery, so to say the least it has been a very busy year.

Even though there have been good and bad events scattered throughout the year, I have had some really wonderful things as well. For my start towards my bachelor's degree my husband redid my sewing room. We converted a bedroom to be used as my sewing room as originally I used the living room as we don't entertain all to often. However, I really wanted my room to be self contained so with some chopping down of my work table we moved it to the bedroom but it was just to cramped in there. So in August my husband stripped the room down and patched and painted the walls to a nice bright white, and he put in some built in shelves for me, mounted my t.v. and then made specific tables for each of my machines, including the computer and printer.
       This was my set up before
 Very crowded and messy
 this was my cutting table 
 my closet
 my design wall
 My new set up gives me a lot more space and storage

It took a little while to complete due to the fact that my husband also works full time and we had so 
much going on but it was finished in time for me to enjoy over my break between semesters. I will truly enjoy creating in here. He is also creating an organizer for my closet, that I will show you once it is all done and then we plan on getting one of those roll up design walls. Enjoy the remainder of this year, and I hope that next year brings peace and quiet for all.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Change Up

I started my next leg of my education journey last week, I began my first semester as CSUSM in order to gain my Bachelors in Liberal Studies. The week was hectic and full of time deadlines, learning where I had to go, what each class was expecting. I am carrying a full 15 credits this semester that is 5 classes, so my time in my sewing room will be very limited.

So, I had mentioned to my husband that things in my sewing room were quite crowded. I had decided to exchange a heavy wardrobe that I was storing my threads and other odds and ends in with the bookshelf that I had stored my fabric on. The bookshelf fits snugly in the closet and doesn't fill the closet up completely nor does it stick out like the wardrobe did.  This is the wardrobe and you can see it had lots of wonderful drawers and it was a beautiful sturdy piece, but it was just to large for the room that I used it in. The picture on the right is the book case I switched the wardrobe for.

My plan is to sort my thread by color and place them inside small plastic tubs and I will be able to store them on the shelves. The fabric I switched to another bookcase that at the moment is in my dining room. And the reason it is in my dining room is because as I was doing all this rearranging I mentioned that I would like to also remove the large corner desk that I had my machines setting on and find smaller tables to use for the machines. And that is when my husband told me he could build me a nice set up that would allow me to rearrange and change my room up as I wanted.

He also suggested that we actually remove the shelves that we had put up to hold our books as they were in the way of utilizing the wall space at this point. Of Course this emptied all the wall space and as I walked in I realized that this would be the perfect time to paint the walls a lighter color as the green that we had painted the room in actually didn't allow me to see the true color of some fabrics. He agreed to repaint the room for me as well. And because, my class load is so heavy this semester the chances of me actually being able to use my sewing room are very slim this was actually a great time to do all the changes.

It is truly amazing to have a partner that not only supports you emotionally, physically, and mentally but also looks for ways to surprise you almost on a daily basis.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pental Fabric Pastels

Awhile back my husband purchased me the Pentel Arts Pastel Dye Sticks I had never used these particular art sticks before so I thought I would test them out. First these are much softer than I thought they would be. They glided onto the fabric easily. They did not go on as smoothly as I thought they would, however, for a first attempt I think the project came out alright. Now it states to remove any starch or sizing from the fabric to maintain the color after washing. You use an iron to heat set the color onto the fabric. I did not remove the sizing from the panel that I used as it would have made the fabric very slippery as I was coloring it. And since I will only be washing this periodically as it will be a wall hanging, I felt that it would be easier to just leave the sizing in. 

I placed a piece of comic board between the fabric and the work area, that was in case there was any color bleed from the pastels. As these pastels feel much like oil pastels they can disperse through the fabric onto your work table.
This was the panel prior to adding color, this panel can be gotten here at

This is after I added the color. The colors came out lighter then I thought they would.However, I believe that I came out fairly well.

 All in all I believe that these deserve some more playtime from me. Once I quilt this panel I will post an updated post. I will wash the panel after the quilting is finished and will know how the color holds up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dark Fairy Tales

Awhile back I bought some embroidery designs from Urban Threads if anyone has a embroidery machine or likes hand embroidery patterns this site has quite a few really nice patterns. I used my Singer Quintet embroidery machine and Metro embroidery thread

The Rapunzel has 13618 stitches, The Red Riding Hood has 22,208 stitches, poisoned apple has 14,147 stitches, the glass slipper has 13,553 stitches, The ugly duckling has 17,401 stitches, and the enchanted castle has 22,667 stitches. That is 103,594 stitches, each piece was created on a black canvas cloth with Metro thread number 1618 which is a white and 1656 which is red. I love the look of the filled in designs mixed in with the outlined design and lettering. These designs were fairly easy to stitch out and the only semi-negative on these designs is the lettering is a bit difficult to read at first.

I then stretched each design across 11" X 14" wooden frame and stapled them just like an artist canvas. Then each framed design was joined with the other designs to create the bottom collage. We added the wooden blocks to give it stability and added strength. The over all piece measures about 48" X 28".

The link to the set that I got is here:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Catching up

So I have been extremely busy, May was a very busy month. I had finals and then the day after the finals we all flew to New York for a very action packed 7 days. I didn't get to see near as much as I wanted to but I still saw alot. We went from Westpoint NY to NY City, saw a Broadway Play Lion King which was very cool. We went to Yale  in Connecticut, from Connecticut we went to Dracut Massachusetts then to Boston. By the time we got to Boston I was whipped, had absolutely no energy to do anything. Which was really sad.

We got home and of course after being gone for a week there was shopping to do and I had to deal with my car which was not working well at all in my opinion so we decided to trade it in and got a new 2016 Honda Accord for me and a 2008 Santa Fe for my daughter as we were sharing my car.

Yesterday, I signed the paperwork for my student loan to move forward to get my Liberal Studies Degree and my Credentials for teaching K-8th grade. Not sure why but am terrified. But I am sure it will pass once I start classes. I start my last Spanish Class next Monday, wish I could speak Spanish it would be oh so helpful, I remember some but not near enough.

I have also been working on several projects, my daughter asked for a table cover and I found some nice solid colors that seem to play well together that will go well in her place. Am working on quilting it now, I also have some cloth napkins that I made with the same fabric for her to match. I finished a quilt for her roommate and I think it came out pretty good. I am still learning how to control the speed on my Simply Sixteen Handi-Quilter. But as long as I keep working at it one day I will get there.

I am very happy with the progress I am making it is slow but I am doing much better on being able to get that allusive 1/4" seam and my borders are coming out smoother. And I am even understanding how to get nice mitered corners. I still have so much that I want to do and I know the next 3 years will be very busy for me as I finish my bachelors and I eventually I might even get a job teaching that would be nice after all this time in school.

All in all I have a pretty good life even if it is getting busier and busier.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What Motivates Me

I have always been motivated by those around me. Sometimes that meant that I didn't do a whole lot because the people around me simply drained my energy rather then refill my energy level. Making things has always been a basic principle of who I am and what I do. Some would say that what you do is not who you are, well that may be true for them. For me, creating is a vital area of fulfillment that must be there, sometimes it comes out really really cool. And sometimes it comes out quite wonky, no matter how it comes out, it is the journey I take that is important to me.

I gave birth to a child 24 years ago today, and in creating that child there was a great deal I did not know nor did I understand. However, I look at the young man today and I know that not only did I help to create that but he also took over the creation and made it uniquely him. My son was the first person who I truly understood that I was fully capable of loving someone, that the emotions and feelings that I felt around him were special and unique and that it was that kind of love that I sought in a partner for life. And that means that sometimes the person your with at the time may not be the one you will stay with for the rest of your life, my son's father was not to be my life mate even though he was the father of both of my children. He and I parted ways, but I truly got the best of him with my two kids and though he was only a part of their lives for a short time he still helped to also create them and add to who they are today.

Chris at less than a year
Christopher at 5 or 6

Chris at 6 or 7

Chris when he turned 5 with his cousin J
Chris today
Christopher you are and always will be that part of me that no matter how hard it is to understand, no matter how hard it is contain, no matter how many times I say WHATTT? You are my miracle child, the first real glimmer of understanding that life is more then just this moment it is a combinations of moments, it is trial and error, it is no matter what not giving up. To you son I give you the world to conquer and make your own. For you are one of my creations that just keeps giving and I would not wish to change that. I love you, son and always will.

Friday, April 29, 2016

What Happened To April

Wow! I look around and the entire month of April has totally just slipped away. I have been just totally busy this month, between my classes which is Political Science and Physical Science and the weather being actually kind of sorta like early spring.  It has been raining some here which is really great. I got my new Simply Sixteen Little Foot Quilter set up and am still waiting on a part. I have been able to play with it a bit but not a whole lot.

I have also finished all of my Christmas Ornaments. I also finished all three of the quilts that I had going, my scrappy star quilt queen size, my Vacation Time Quilt that I put together last year and finally my daughters Jack Skeleton quilt. The Mardi Gras Girl is done as well. I am amazed at how much I have been able to accomplish with going to school this year as well. And I was accepted into California State University San Marcos and will be starting in August. And in less then a month We will be flying to New York for my nephew and soon to be nieces wedding and graduations.

So this weekend, this is my room today and hopefully it will look cleaner and better organized by the end of this weekend.

I have also been working on my dragon it is slowly coming along.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

One Year and Seven Days

I noticed while looking back in my blog that I posted about my daughter moving out that was just last year. The strangeness of not having any children living in the house has left. I have not really suffered from empty nest syndrome like many mothers that I know. I think in part because I immediately found a perfect spot for my sewing endeavors. I have made a sewing room and actually spend a great deal of time in there. The other thing that probably helps is my daughter only moved into our Granny Flat which is a 1+ bedroom flat. She has done quite well for herself attending school and working. It does amaze me though how the time has flown by. So many changes for me, the amount of creating items has increased and yet my schedule is still fairly manageable.

My biggest goal for this year was to once again get organized, to stay on task, and to complete projects. I have succeeded quite well at that so far. And I have added to my equipment, which means that I need to learn a new skill, quilting on a long arm is much different than quilting on a domestic machine. It is easier and yet not, I suppose the easiest part of it is that rather than fighting the quilt sandwich to push it through your domestic machine, you are learning to control the machine as it runs across your quilt sandwich.

So besides, my two classes that I have this semester, which starts back tomorrow, I will now be studying quilting techniques. Seriously, I think I will really prefer studying quilting techniques over Political Science and Physics.

 Finished my daughters Nightmare before Christmas Quilt.
 Am staying current with Pat Sloan's Secret Garden Block of the Month.
Finished quilting the Vacation Time Quilt from Pat Sloan's 2015 Block of the Month.

And only have 3 more sets of Christmas Ornaments to do and those will all be finished. There is a part of me that has considered giving a set each year to my two kids and my nephew and his wife every year for awhile. And maybe start a tradition. We will see.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Karma or just Living

Have you ever wanted something and believed that no matter what you would never be able to get what you wanted. I used to be that way, I believed that somehow my life was just so wrong, I truly believed that I would never get what I wanted. It was this type of thinking though that kept me stuck and I truly believed that I would never get out of the vicious cycle of self defeat. Until....

In May of 1999 I met a man who promised to help me to live life if I made a choice. You know making a choice was a concept that I really thought wasn't something I could do, sure you make a choice on what clothes your going to wear, what you will eat, whether to go to bed or not. These are different choices though they are choices between things you already have, or things you have to do like eat, sleep, etc... But to make a choice to live life rather then just to live the life that you have, now that is a different concept.

Now it is March of 2016, and for the upteenth time, I have come to a better understanding of what it means to choose to live life. There are still things in my past I deeply regret, things I wish would never have happened, I can't change them and I have come to accept them. The big thing is you know what it is all good even the bad because daily life changes, daily there are things that can be improved on, things that are just what they are, things that make you cry, things that make you smile, things that make you sad and things that make you happy. But it is the people around you that you feel the love, they don't make you feel loved, they freely love you so that you can feel that love no matter what.

Some would say that is a play on words and maybe it is, but if you look at the definition of certain words you will see there is just a slight difference in the connotation and the meaning in each word. I asked the question once:

Would your rather do a job well, or do a good job. You see good is an adjective it is used to describe something that doesn't really require action. But the word well is an adverb it is describing an action. For me, doing something well is important and when you only strive for something that is good enough, well then you are not getting the full benefit of life. Is there a time when good enough works of course, for me good enough changes, it is contingent upon what it is for.

Today, is a day that I can say just living is well worth making the choice of living life and not contemplating is it karma or what. Today, I feel the love that surrounds me. Today, I know I have done the best that I can do for today. Today, I know that my children, are doing what makes them happy and I am proud of them for that. Today, I know that though my methods of raising them were considered very unorthodox by many, and sometimes I believed I really was the worst kind of parent in the world because I had no clue what I was doing, that no matter what they would know I loved them.  Today, I know that deciding to give marriage another try was absolutely, positively, with out a doubt, the best decision I could have made because you see, I was already, committed to a man that taught me that living life no matter what was better then believing that karma was just killing me. I am not alone today, even though I am a loner. I will never be alone again, for I have experienced a life of living. And for all the nay sayers, the ones who told me to just get over it, move on I hope that one day, you will make the choice to live life and quit accepting that life is life.

I have become a better person, because I made that choice to live life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


It is 6:22 in the morning and all night I kept waking myself up with this mantra going through my head, omg, omg, omg. You see yesterday I brought home a new machine from Sewing Machine Plus in San Marcos, Ca. Ever since I really started being serious about quilting back in 2012 and I have not stopped, I have known that I wanted a long arm quilting machine.I never wanted the one that required a room all by itself but one that was big enough to do what I needed and to be honest I never thought I would actually get one.

My first real quilt attempt was in 1991 when I found out that I was having my son, I hand embroidered a crib quilt and sheet sets. then in 2001, I made my first block quilt, I have grown since my first quilt. I didn't make another quilt really until 2012. Over the years I have sewn, embroidered and embroidery was truly my passion since I was 9 years old that was over 40 years ago. But it was not until I met my husband that I really began to take chances with my work and go outside of pre-printed products or kits. He has always encouraged me and shown an amazing amount of support and even has supplied the fuel for my addiction of thread and fabric.

The people at Sewing Machine Plus are really great, I have bought the majority of my machines there.They have a service department, classes and some supplies such as notions, and thread. They are more then happy to work a deal with you and the really cool thing is upgrade is very good there.

SO OMG- I have a LONG ARM and frame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is all the info that I know on it right now because it is still sitting in boxes in my living room.

                        Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen 16-inch Longarm with HQ Little Foot

Package Includes:

  • HQ Simply Sixteen 16-inch Longarm
  • HQ Little Foot with HQ Precision-Glide Track System
  • Stitching Speed up to 1,800 Stitches Per Minute
  • Color Touchscreen
  • Bobbin Winder

Machine Features:

  • Ergonomic front handlebars with touchscreen control
  • 1,800 stitches per minute
  • LED light ring
  • Handi Feet mount with quarter-inch ruler foot installed; open-toe foot included
  • Two modes of HQ stitch regulation: Precision and Cruise
  • Manual mode with two customizable preset speeds
  • Consistent stitch quality from 4 to 18 stitches per inch
  • Needle-stop positioning control
  • High-speed rotary hook with largecapacity M-class bobbin
  • Easy needle change with ergonomic thumb screw
  • Five bobbins, 20 needles, sample thread
  • Quilting alarm and project timer
  • Four language options: English, French, German and Spanish
  • Built-in diagnostics
  • Integrated USB port

Frame Features:

  • Innovative quilt clamp management system: 6 Easy-Grasp Quilt Clamps, 1 HQ Super Quilt Clamp, and 6 Hold-Tight clamps
  • Accommodates any size quilt
  • 5-foot free-standing frame
  • Adjustable legs for easy customization from 33" to 44" in height
  • Easy-assembly professional-grade system made of high quality steel
  • Leveling feet adjust to floor surfaces

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Quilting or Embroidery

I spoke with my son a few months back and he said something to me that I have been replaying over and over and thinking about since he brought it up.He said that though my quilts were nice he preferred my embroidery over my quilting. I find both fun and interesting for me it is about the thread and the fabric, the amount of things you can do is phenomenal to me.
 This piece took me almost a year and I loved making it. I really love embroidery and I think it will always be something that I will love but is it something that I will always be able to do that is something else. Because I don't like to do printed patterns and I much prefer to create my own design and do different techniques so that each one is different.
But the above is quilting this has been something that I began planning around the first of February and it is for a challenge that needs to be finished by July 1st. 

Each project is different and each one has its fun parts, its tedious parts  and that ultimate sense of yes !!!! I did that but can they be compared no but what I have decided is they both have their merits and I love them both. And each time it is a new adventure.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Waiting Waiting

This semester at school I have beginning physics and I must say I have not been particularly pleased with how the classroom has been run. The Dean of the Department asked a professor who had retired to return to teaching and he did so, unfortunately he was not well enough to continue. So for the next 6 weeks the Dean of the Department taught the class off the top of his head. Now this says a lot for how much he knows about physics, however, it completely one hundred percent through the class itself into a downward spiral. Well, we got our new professor two weeks ago and had our first test this week. Now, I did okay on the test but it definitely was due mainly to the fact that I have been going over the problems in the book over and over attempting to understand what kind of problems they would be related to. Let's just say I am neither a math major or a science major. So now that this is out of my system let's talk about what I have been dying to work on.

I entered a quilt challenge this year, I have to create a quilt that is made up of 60% of a certain companies fabric. These fabrics are 100% hand dyed cotton. And I have been waiting for an additional 4 colors since February 19, well they will finally arrive today. Most likely after 3 o'clock, which kind of blows but doesn't, ok so it does if I am completely honest. However, it does give me the time to work on my other projects, like my daughter's quilt. Speaking of my daughter's quilt so yesterday I was doing the quilting of her quilt on my embroidery machine (it is one of the reasons I bought the machine) and I locked the machine up, I looked away for just a second to lift up some of the quilt because I didn't want it to drag and boom! Machine shut down, and would not come back on, just at that moment UPS arrived with 20 broad feet of lumber for my husband, did the driver wait nope dropped it right in front of the door and left. I was already agitated over my machine. But the wood was easy enough to move, the machine was a totally different story, but it also came back up after 20 minutes. It took me about 90 minutes however, to pull out all the stitching that was messed up because the machine shut down it also lost its place where it was working, which means I couldn't realign the stitches so all the previous stitches had to come out. The stitches are out for a fresh start today and we will see if I like how the stitching goes today. 

On a better note once I finish this quilt then I only have one more large quilt to do the quilting on and then I just have to catch up on the sampler that I am wanting to do. Oh ya I also will need to clean up the sewing room once again as usual when I work on a project the project takes up the whole space. I will also have to decide what I want to do with the scraps of fabric left over from my daughters quilt. I will probably make matching pillow cases or small pillows for her quilt. Not really sure yet. Because it was a purple, black and white quilt the smaller scraps will work great for the confetti art quilt I want to try soon. 

So as the title says I am waiting waiting waiting to start this new challenge.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Accomplishing a lot and starting even more

I have been pretty lucky so far this term as I have had plenty of time to work in my sewing studio as I guess others would call it. Most weekends other then doing things needed around the house I have managed to work in my room.

I finished my Mardi Gras Girl, I finished the baby blanket that I needed to make, I have kept on top of Pat Sloan's block a month program. I got a bird, I made a cover for his cage and a cover for my daughter's tv as her room mates cat likes glass among other things. I completed another box of ornaments and started on another box this one is done in purple variegated thread for my daughter.
I started working on my dragon again and am making some headway on him as well.

So, what haven't I done well I have not labeled my projects that well, mainly I guess because I am completing them in a timely manner but I still need to go through my kits and projects that I have but haven't started yet and clean those up and label them before I forget what I wanted to do with them.

I still am working on organizing and sorting through my stuff as I also continue to add more tools as well. I still have to schedule a time to take my serger and my machine in to be serviced.

I am waiting on some special fabric to start a new project that I am super excited about it is a challenge where only 120 quilts will be chosen.  I really hope that mine is one that is chosen. I think it is going to turn out spectacular but we shall see. I have drawn out the pieces and even know how I want to sew it but just waiting to see the final four pieces of fabric to make sure they will work for what I need.

I started my daughters quilt with the panel from Nightmare before Christmas and I think it came out pretty good. I am working on quilting it now. Which reminded me I still have my last Pat Sloan vacation time quilt to quilt so will pull that out and pin it as well to quilt up.
 The second Pat Sloan block.
 The cats discovering their new TV channel.
My daughters Nightmare before Christmas Quilt which I am designing as I go.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Practice Practice Practice!

By now everyone knows that I love to quilt, I love to play with fabric and thread and I think I always have. My problem is I get bored doing the same thing over and over again. So I always jump to doing something new, however, recently I have discovered that by doing something over and over again that is called practice and that is how you get better at doing something.

Recently I found out that my friend's daughter was going to have a baby and since babies and quilts go hand in hand I decided I would attempt to create something for her that was unique but not overly complicated for one such as me. Of course if anyone knows me they know complicated is my middle name right along with double trouble.

So the nursery is to be Lilo and Stitch so I chose that as my starting point. I have seen these two around but have never really watched them. I found a coloring book page and enlarged the picture and drew my pattern from that.

 This is my pattern drawn out on Freezer paper and then each shape was cut out and ironed onto the right side of the fabric as the Freezer paper leaves no residue. I then ironed the cut out pieces onto Heat n Bond light and re-cut them out so they were now ready for appliqueing.

Once I had all the pieces cut out I began to sew them on in the proper layers I started with Lilo and then the pillow and then Stitch. I then used my Accu-quilt Go to cut out the flowers and applied the heat and bond to them and then sewed those on in a random pattern. Then I sandwiched the finished top with batting and backing and quilted it in straight lines across by passing the flowers and the center. All in all I am pretty happy with it. 

 However, I still need more practice for both appliqueing and quilting.