Lucy Boston

Friday, January 31, 2014

The end of January 2014

Another month gone!
January, 2014,  it was another great month.
A quick review:

During the first week,
I had influenza - that decided to stick around and morphed into bronchitis then walking pneumonia.
Don't think I stitched an inch that whole week and more.

About the end of the second week,
I met up with a local friend and we had dinner and exchanged Christmas gifts.
Yes, I know Christmas was the month before...but among other things, foul weather kept interrupting our plans.

About the third week,
I drove south an hour or so and met up with a non-local friend at a quilt shop and then had lunch and exchanged Christmas gifts.  Yes, I still know that Christmas was really the month before... but, oh, you know... if I couldn't get together with the in-town friend before now, how was I supposed to get together with the out-of-town friend?
I did stitch a few more blocks together on my Lucy Boston.  And , I machine-sewed more of my 3 inch Blocks of Fun.

Also, in this 3rd week, in between the snow/polar vortexes/sub zero weather, I hit the grocery to stock up before the next snows blow in.

Then, just for fun this fourth week of the month,
I had a tooth pulled...a first for me.
I didn't know it, but it was cracked AND had abscessed.  
Oh, and have I mentioned before that
I have a 'sensitivity' to the 'caine' family of drugs?  
Yes, that means that I get to 'go to sleep'
 and have dental work done,
 so when I awaken,
I get to feel all the great things that were done to my mouth whilst I slept.
Great fun!
So, I'm still recovering from that fun.

The grand kids came out a couple of evenings and went sledding.  Temps both times were up to the low 30's so it was perfect to sled.  I watched from inside, but would have much preferred to be outside with them.  The two year old grandson was SO excited to sled - of course he doesn't remember sledding last year, so it's great to see winter fun through his eyes and excitement and enthusiasm.    

And, finally, I'll leave you with a couple pictures of nature's January beauty...

There were these great 'snow rollers' this past week!
a photo taken at a family friends' farm:
Below Yarnell's Barn,
Westerville, Ohio
photo used with permission from Gary Gardiner, local photographer
Here is a photo that I took on the way to the dentist/fun -
A close-up of a 'snow roller'
that was about a foot and a half tall
(I think this was taken at the family homestead).
The conditions have to be just perfect for the formation of snow rollers.... snow, then a thin layer of ice with more snow on top, humidity just right, then winds to push a few crystals of snow to start to roll across the ice layer.  More winds, pushing more snow, to create this little snowball, rolling, wind pushing, gathering more snow crystals along the way, creating these great rolls of snow.   (I hadn't seen these since the the beginning of the blizzard of 1978, and they weren't so abundant then as this past week.)  They are an amazing phenomenon!
And it was a great way to finish out January, 2014!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

in denial

For the past couple of years
I have had a wonderful job,
playing with Civil War fabrics,
meeting friends - new and old, and
making quilts at a great quilt shop,
with a great family, in north/central Ohio.

The Good Wives Company
sold only reproduc- tion fabrics and wools.
They did the greatest job of reproducing and making patterns of antique quilts. 
They also had the knack of
choosing just the right fabrics  for kits
to make patterns and quilts just sing. 
They were genuinely warm and caring,
and if you ever had the chance to stop into the shop,
you knew you would be greeted most warmly -
like a long-lost friend.

They treated everyone so well.
I feel so blessed...
to have been able to get to know these gals,
and be a part of their team.
It was a wonderful shop, a great two years for me,
and I appreciate not only the job, but their friendship and caring.

The end of last October, after 10 years,
they made the hard decision to close because of family health issues.
At the end of December, they closed their doors...

I guess I've been in denial.
I haven't wanted to admit that this wonderful quilt shop closed. 

They will be truly missed. 
There is now a hole in the quilting community.
Love you gals!

(The Good Wives Co. still plan to be open
on an occasional Friday/Saturday
to sell off the remaining stock -

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Had a fit of domesticity...

this morning before 7.
De-germed the bathrooms.
Wiped the little kiddie hand-prints off the front glass.
Did all the dusting and vacuuming.
Washer and dryer both whirring.
Dinner in the crockpot.

Then I awakened.  Ha. 
So many things I can get accomplished during dream time!

If only it was that easy -
dream it and it's done...
wouldn't that be nice?

Though not as good as dreamland,
in reality this morning by 9ish
the washer was going.
I'd showered. 
And dinner was prepped...
a beef/broccoli dish with a side of brown & wild rice, 
which is wonderful...
well, it's wonderful if you like broccoli.  And rice.
(Sweetie doesn't care for either, so he gets the leftover chicken noodles tonight.)

Oh, also, I'd loaded a quilt on Big DD (the longarm),
and though the sun room 
looked so bright, warm and welcoming,
it was oxymoronically not warm and welcoming,
but freeeeezing out there today.
Which, no surprise, is due to the visiting Polar Vortex.
Another six inches of snow  so far today, another couple of inches tomorrow, and dropping temps again with highs in the negative range are what we have to look forward to this coming week.
though I'd planned on meandering along on Big DD,
I went back to connecting the
one inch squares to honeycombs
on my Lucy:
mylifeisastitch. BlogSpot . com
** Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses **
Week 3 of connecting the blocks with one inch squares.
(Why, oh why, did I wait 'til the end to do all the one inch squares?).

And, tomorrow,
maybe, like in my dream,
I'll clean a bathroom or two.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

meanderings, in the snow

During the last week of snows that have come through central Ohio
I have been doing some meanderings in thread,
aka quilting. 
A close up of the first quilt: 
The quilt, above, is a beautiful rose-y red, sage green
and a warm, chocolate-y brown,
which the close-up photo shows much better.
The quilt, below, has a couple of great florals 
in yellows, oranges, and purple.
 And a close-up of the fabrics in this quilt:
These first two quilts pictured were made by Janet.
She made these quilts for friends who lost all in a fire.
and I was honored to be able to quilt them for her. 

She knows that these two quilts
won't replace what was lost in the fire,
but wanted the family to know that they are
surrounded by love and prayers -
all wrapped up within a hand-made quilt.

I also got to meander over a little baby quilt...
Louise made this cutie of a quilt 
for a baby that is trying to come into this world way too early. 
The momma- Louise's grand-daughter,
is on hospital bed rest, so Louise is now binding away,
trying to get this quilt done before the anxious baby arrives.
My meandering/quilting on these three quilts
was done with prayers for the families they are going to;
also with introspection and thanks for all of our blessings.
And then I took a walk and meandered through the snow...

Monday, January 20, 2014

three inches

Yes, more snow!!!
Three inches,
    and again,
                      and again -
in the last week.

There is more snow coming this week...
along with another Polar Vortex...
Yay for the snow! Not for the Polar Vortex.
I love the snow, but not the temps that stay waaaaaay below zero.

In honor of the many
three inch snows
hitting the neighborhood,
I've been stitching on some little blocks...
Blocks that are three inches!
These little 
3" Blocks of Fun 
are being offered
by one of the local quilt shops.
Every two weeks there's a
new, free pattern and fabric pack,
and each pack makes two blocks.
(If you don't make it into the shop
within the two week time period,
then the little pack is $2.)
(I'm using the 1" finished Thangle papers,
which makes all those
little half-square triangles a  Polar Vortex gust breeze.)
At the end of the 26 weeks
there will be a pattern and fabric finishing kit 
to add a roof
to each of these blocks.
And that is what drew me in...
little blocks + roofs =
little houses!

Here's a pic of my first-half blocks:
3" Blocks of Fun
Two blocks every other week
 Half way there!
(pack 13 had a bonus pattern & fabric)
Confession: I CAN NOT follow the rules...
though not pictured,
I've made some extra blocks along the way, :)
so my little quilt may finish a little bigger than the original.

Don't those 3" blocks look like so much fun?!?
Most of my friends think that these 3 inches are much better than
the 3 inches of snow that is coming again.
And again.
                     And again.

Hope you get to stitch a little today!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

half-pints & jumping in

I did it...
jumped in!
Another sew-along is offered,
I see a picture of some cute blocks,
and I'm in.
No second thoughts. 
No hesitation.
here's my first month's block/row:
My half-pints Silly Chilly
(button eyes will be added later)
Thanks, Cindy at Quilt Doodle Doodles
for the cutest pattern.
I'm putting the blame on you :)
for tempting me to do another quilt project,
'cause of how cute those Chilly Silly Snowmen are.

Now, the particulars...
Chilly Silly is a
2014 Block Of the Month,
free, online offering
by Quilt Doodle Doodles
(Cindy offered a BOM last year, too, but I was able to resist, then).
The projected finish for the 2014 BOM is about twin-sized.
There are great pictures and instructions on the QDD site and
she has a button at the top of her blog -
just go there and click and
you, too, can join in...
(even if you have waaaaay too many other things to do :) !

So, here's my plan:
  • Scrappy - 'cause I have LOTS and LOTS of scrap fabric
  • Half-sized - I am doing mine at half the size of Cindy's.  (I have problems following the rules:)  I cut my strips at 1 1/4 inches, not 2 1/2.
  • Flicker and Pinterest links - to see all the cuteness
  • New blocks the 1st of each month
  • Finish and link/post by 15th of month and be included in for prizes that are at the end of each month 
Hopefully my half-sized figuring/mathematics are correct.
If not, I'll have some finagling to do later when I connect my blocks!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

doing something I said I wouldn't

Are all quilters this way?
Or is it just me??

I saw this:

 January's block: Chilly Silly Snowmen
from Quilt Doodle Doodles (December 31st post)
Even though I said I wouldn't,
I did it anyway.

I joined a Block of the Month group.
Because I have so much extra time :)

Cindy, at Quilt Doodle Doodles,
sucked me right in
when I saw this row of adorable snowmen!
(Here's the link if you have gobs of spare time, too:
Yes, you can blame me if you, too, join in.
I have been known to be an instigator.

But doesn't it look like such a fun start?

Happy Saturday!
from the instigator :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Better

The Good - It was only the five day long variety
The Bad - The influenza visited our home the day after Christmas

Bad - In this last week-plus, I followed up with bronchitis &
The Ugly - pneumonia - of the walking kind

More Good - Drugs have now been prescribed & taken
More Bad - pulled a muscle in the rib area coughing so hard

Good - I think the drugs are already kicking in
The Better - I think I feel like, maybe, getting back to stitching
Now that I've gotten the Good/Bad/Ugly out of the way,
how about a few pictures of customer quilts
(from the end of last year) that I got to meander over?
I don't think I've shown these, anyway.
I made this quilt for a couple who are really good friends of mine...
they both worked for Ohio State; they attended OSU,
as did their parents, children & D-I-Ls,
so I thought this was a fitting quilt -
Vintage OSU for some vintage friends :)
'Vintage OSU' for my Vintage OSU friends.
Quilted with my Sashiko machine.
Debra - My Life Is A Stitch . blogspot
The following quilts were all for customers -  
made as surprise gift quilts and I couldn't share earlier...
now I'm forgetting who made which quilt - sorry!

This was a great, graphic-looking one
(with cool fabrics that I wish I had in my stash!) :

A cute baby quilt:
and a block close-up:
A very nice Jelly Roll Race style quilt:
I think that this Jelly Roll race was Joell's, except she ALWAYS makes gigant-0 quilts, and this wasn't, it was closer to a double size.  So, I could be wrong. And, I'm thinking she put together her own set of strips to make it.  But again, I could be wrong.  It has been about a month since I quilted it :)

Finally, there were two of these Dino quilts:
So pretend you are seeing double!
And I know these were Janet's work -
1: she has twin nephews & 2: they were meticulously pieced,
and that's exactly Janet:).

I'll be back in a bit
with a couple more pictures of quilts
that I actually got made and gifted.

Well, don't take "bit" too seriously...
it all depends on when the drugs kick in fully
and I'm back to better than better! :)

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

brrr, baby

So, the Polar Vortex
has come to town!
Polar Vortex...
sounds like a good movie, doesn't it?
Well, it is not.
Not by a long shot!

The weatherman just described central Ohio as 'artic tundra'
and I guess it probably does compare...
as the high yesterday was -8 degrees Fahrenheit.
With the wind chill it was minus 40 to 50 for most of the daylight hours.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Below Zero.

Here's the nice thermal long-john shirt
that I got for Christmas:
This is what I'm wearing today.
With my silk long johns underneath it.
That pretty much explains it, I think.

I sure am thankful for
a home, & heat & running water & warm cozy fires.
I'm thankful for a slow-cooker filled with chili
and a cast-iron skillet of cornbread.
I'm thankful for my pink thermal long-john shirt.
I'm also thankful for a good mug of hot cocoa:
(: My homemade hot cocoa
with whipping cream and shaved, dark chocolate.
Oh, and my supply of Airbourne in the back :)
Hope you are all cozy and warm if you are also experiencing this cold snap.

Monday, January 6, 2014


For those that have inquired
about my dimples ;),
thank you!, 
here's a closer picture of that quilt for J.R.

football dimples...
Don't know why,
when I was so pushed for time,
that I thought that
a bazillion teeny little circles
nestled right next to each other,
would be a quick way to meander over a quilt !

Although it was
the day before it was needed to gift for Christmas
that is the way I chose to quilt this one
- all dimple-y.

Do you do 'stuff' like this too?
When you know you are out of time,
choose the most time-consuming way to finish?

I really like how it turned out.
But, really?
Just call me crazy!

chilly, chili, stew and stitch...

Yes, it is more than chilly outside -
it's way below freezing here in central Ohio.
Blowing snow and wind chill?
In my mind, that makes for a good weekend
to stay in and do some stitching!
I'm working on connecting my Lucy Boston Blocks!
All of those little, one inch squares,
all of the same color and not fussy-cut sure
are monotonous!
So while stitching mindlessly,
I'm thinking
that for this chilly day
I'd make up a big pot of chili.

I got some of my prepared ground beef out of the freezer...
dropped it into the slow cooker,
added three quarts of my canned tomatoes
and a cup of tomato paste...
stirred in a dash of this and a handful of that
along with another couple dashes of the really good stuff...
and put the lid on it.
Almost time for it to 'stew'.
Drop in the beans and cover and simmer for the day!

I went to back to the pantry for
the kidney beans and black beans.
Guess what?  Not a single bean to be found!
My pantry is bean-less!
All I found in the bean section were some dried beans -
a mixture of 7 different kinds of dried beans...
which would be great if I had a ham hock in the slow cooker.

And it's smelling so good in here already!
I had already grabbed the cornmeal, too,
looking forward to whipping up some cornbread 
so I could pull it out of the oven tonight
when the chili was ready to dish up.

I've never made bean-less chili before. 
Doesn't sound very appealing...

I did get hold of Sweetie though. 
And he agreed that
kidney beans and black beans should go into chili. 
So on his way home late this afternoon,
he will stop by the grocery and grab some beans.
So we can have chili on this chilly night.

Disaster averted :)
and I'm going back to stitching
while my so far, bean-less chili stews simmers, awaiting it's beans.

Here's hoping you can stitch a little, too,
on this chilly, chili day!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

counting, & winter wonderland again

Snow came to visit again today...
and it sure is a beautiful 4 to 6 inches!
I think it's a very nice way to welcome 2014,
and nice that I didn't have to go out and drive in it.
Nicer still that I could stay in and do some more hand stitchin'.
I have started stitching in my
'connecting squares'
for my Lucy Boston blocks!
My Life Is A Stitch . BlogSpot . com
Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses
with 'connecting squares'.
I'm using a steel-y blue/grey fabric
that is Quilters Linen by Robert Kauffman
I started cutting the little squares needed and
I count
(yes, that's my own personal OCD - counting)
16 - one inch squares needed per Lucy block.
My mind breaks it down to 4 each 
for the top and left sides of each block,
plus 2 for each of the four corners...
so that when all the blocks are done in this manner
they will abut nicely!
So, that's about 1000 -  little 1 inch squares
when you add in the final right and bottom sides.

I took the finished, muslin-bordered blocks and put them out across my bed, and just as I have been thinking, it will take 8 rows of 7 blocks each - for the total of 56 blocks.
So my 2013 goal of
one LUCY block a week
netted me 52 blocks,
and has me right where I thought I'd be
as I welcomed in 2014!!
(The remaining 4 blocks needed 
I will make after
I mock-position my finished blocks
to see if I need to "fill-in" a missing color way.)

So, that's my plan :)

And, now that I've counted all those one inch squares needed,
I'm wondering why I haven't been doing some of them all along...

Back to stitching (and counting :)
Hope you are having time to stitch in the New year, also!