Saturday, February 23, 2013


Is it a sign that I am getting older and wiser or have I turned into a cheapskate?

I stopped into JoAnn’s today to browse and pick up some stuffing.  I had some money left on a gift card so I thought I could also get a magazine.  The one I wanted was $14.99!  I was shocked! Another interesting one was $9.99.

I guess I am confused.  Last year I signed up to get Quilter’s Newsletter and Fon’s and Porter-both magazines-for $19.99 for one year.  Now the same company wants to charge almost as much for just one special issue.  Am I the crazy one?

Then there is this:

All right-I will admit this scarf (24” x 70”) is absolutely gorgeous.  And there are 11 skeins of a beautiful merino yarn. But the kit is $438.  Four hundred thirty-eight dollars!

Sometimes at the shop I will total up a sale and be shocked, thinking I must have made a mistake.  But no, the total is correct. Fabric prices have skyrocketed!

And these are just hobbies.  Tonight my husband and I were talking and I mentioned that I wanted to take what was really a “joy ride” tomorrow: not an important task, just something to do.  My husband reminded me that this little jaunt would cost $8.00 in gas.  Hmm…

Maybe I will sew tomorrow instead-I certainly have enough to work with!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Still Knitting

I found the pattern for this cowl at Purl Bee. It is called the Bandana Cowl. I liked the pattern so much that I made 3 of them.

The first one I made was from Berrocco’s Peruvia Quick, a bulky yarn. I gave that one to lauren before photographing it.

The picture below shows the one I made from a Noro in the shop.  I found it difficult to knit but I was using bamboo needles and the yarn seemed to “stick” on it.  But I like the way it turned out and it feels so nice on my neck.



This next one is my favorite.  It is a worsted weight alpaca/merino blend and it is so soft! I wear it at work and when my neck gets cold. I sometimes forget to take it off!


Saturday, February 16, 2013


A biscornu is a small, 8-sided, stuffed ornamental pincushion, usually made out of Aida cloth or linen. Embroidery or cross-stitch is used to decorate the top… (definition from wikipedia)

I have been fascinated by these little gems for quite a while. They are actually very easy to make-once you get past the embroidery and beading…

Anyways I also saw this on facebook:

         Photo: What a gorgeous little project! The pattern is available here:

The pattern is available on Ravelry at

So I decided to have a little fun and I made this:DSC03533

Certainly not as fancy but I think it is cute! Here is the other side:


Unfortunately the little biscornu inside is obscured but I still enjoyed making it.  It is about 4 inches square.

This is how I made it:

I started with 2 charm square and 2 granny squares I had in my stash (What? You don’t have extra granny squares laying around?) The granny squares are about 4” square.


Draw your seam lines on the back of the fabric at 1/2”. I cheated and used a 4” sq. ruler to mark my charm patches. Also mark the halfway points on your square,  I put hash marks. I hope you can see them.


You are going to start by sewing one corner of one square to the center of one side of the other square right sides together.  I sewed by hand but if you are brave you can use your sewing machine. Just make sure you don’t sew into the seam allowance. 


Your first seam will look like this:


In the above picture the corner of the top square is matched up to the center of the seam line on the bottom square.  I sewed to the center of the seam of the top square which is pinned to the corner of the bottom square.  I know it sounds confusing but it is simple to do.

Then you will sew from the center of your top  square (which is at the corner of your bottom square-stay with me here!!) to your next corner (which is at the center of your bottom square)


Continue to sew around matching the corner from one square to the center of the side seam of the other square.


Keep sewing until you have one section left to sew (You will have sewn 7 sections.)

Are you still with me? Great! You will have something that looks like the picture below:


Clip your corners:


Turn right side out and push out your points.


At this point I like to press my seam allowance to the inside.


Stuff, and sew the last end closed.  At this point you can call it done and attach two buttons (one on top and one on the bottom) to give the biscornu some dimension.  Or you can cover the whole thing with 2 granny squares!


You will crochet the two squares together just like you sewed the fabric liner: corner to center of each side.


I just used a single crochet to sew them together:


When you are almost done, pop the liner inside and finish crocheting the edges together.


I made a simple edging by doing a single crochet, chain 3, skip 1 space and single crochet all around.


Attach your buttons and you are done!  The whole pincushion took about 1 and 1/2 hours. If I do another one, I will make my granny squares with a DK or sport weight yarn. Enjoy!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Alto Sewing Machine

Have you seen this machine before? I found a picture on a Chinese quilting blog (don't ask!) and this was all I could find. I don't know if it is in production, its cost, etc., but it just looks cool!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Free E-Book!

Several weeks ago, Fons and Porter magazine contacted me and asked me to review an e-book. Well of course I said, “Yes!”

The old adage “You get what you pay for” does NOT hold true in this case. This is an excellent book.  Three different styles of log cabin are presented (traditional, courthouse steps, and chevron) and for each style there are great directions, including directions for cutting different block sizes.

The directions are straight forward and the book has great pictures and diagrams. There areextra hints that you can use for making quilts in general. I especially like the directions for putting on a binding.


If you are interested in getting this book, here is the link:

I double checked the link-if it doesn’t work let me know. Or you can go to Fons and Porter and click on free patterns.  The link for the book is on the right side.  The featured freebie changes-just refresh until you get to the book. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Latest Project

Because I need another one.


Surprisingly, I already had the fabric-with all the suggested colors.  I was planning to make something else but I like this much better. 

I increased the square from 2” to 2 1/2” to make a bigger quilt.  I have 6 blocks completed to so far.  My fabric is cut into strips and I cut squares as I go.  I will put the black corners on at the end.  For some reason it makes me feel like I am moving along more quickly.  I made a little design board. I put it next to to my sewing machine as I sew. It keeps me organized.


This will not be a fast project but I am enjoying the process.  I am sure there are speedier ways to approach this but this way seems to be working for me.

Other projects and pics to follow!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Sad Neglected Blog!

Oh, it has been so long since I posted. No excuse really-just laziness.  And then I realized I was getting all these anonymous nasty comments so I have deleted them out. Time to get back to work!

Here are some random pictures from the last couple of months. As you can see, life has gone on even if my blog hasn’t.

Adrienne, Joe and Leonard were here for Christmas-it was so nice to see them again.



About the above picture…don’t ask!

I have completed-and started several sewing and knitting projects.  I will talk about them later-I promise!

OH! Lauren and Jeff got engaged!lb1

Jeff surprised her just before Christmas. They are planning a May 2014 wedding.  Yay!