Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl Contest

Hey! It's that time of year when people get football crazy. Football is not big on my radar, but I know it is for a lot of you. You can't blame me. I live in southeastern Michigan. Professional football means the Detroit Lions. Enough said.

Anyway - Let's have a little contest. Post your guess for the combined total score and the person that guesses it correctly, or comes the closest to it without going over will win our "Welcome Home" banner that we blogged about a few days ago.
If there are several of you, well, how about we'll draw for the winner and the others will receive "lovely parting gifts." Post your guess before 5pm Sunday eastern standard time. If you are anything like Polly and I - a sporting event on t.v. means lots of stitching and hooking time. Have fun.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This is a penny rug I made recently. It is for an upcoming workshop that Polly and I will be doing in Nantucket in July. The classes will be held at the 1800 House on the island of Nantucket and the classes are given by the Nantucket Historical Organization. The class info will be posted soon on their website. This will be an exclusive kit for the Nantucket workshop. It will be a lovely trip for us in July and we are looking forward to it. Polly will be teaching a rug hooking class, of course. It is especially nice to think of Nantucket with summer sea breezes when we are in single digits and getting more snow today. Good thing I love snow. If it's going to be winter, then you might as well have snow.

If you like to stitch penny rugs, just in time for Valentine's Day are our Heart Penny rug kits

order one before February 14th and we will include a free "Welcome Home" Banner kit as seen in the posting below. You can stay inside and stitch - I know I will.

This is Roscoe, unwinding after a morning nap. His new favorite perch is my 4 foot tall stack of quilts ready to be packed into suitcases. Right now they are stacked and folded in an antique baby crib. These are handpicked from the famous "Princess and the Pea" stack of quilts on the guest room bed. Roscoe likes them here. Too bad for him it is only temporary. They are getting ready for a show and tell at a Michigan Quilt Guild. His sweet face almost makes me want to keep the stack of quilts there for his comfort. Almost.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Banner Day

This is a little project Leigh Ann and I worked on a couple of days ago. It is a Welcome Home banner made from a Flag Day Farm Layer Cake. Lissa Alexander, the Vice President of Marketing for Moda Fabrics asked me if I had done anything lately with the Moda Fabric pre-cuts. You know, the nifty little packages of fabric like the Layer Cake, Jelly Roll, Charm Pack, Honey Bun, etc. This is what I came up with. Do you have a family function coming up? A soldier coming home on leave? A new baby? A college student visiting with a car full of dirty laundry? This might be exactly what is needed to make the occasion extra festive.

Lissa has a great new project - a new blog called You will find this and lots of other projects with step by step instructions. It was fun to do and can be done very quickly. Of course, now that I have it made I have thought of several variations and an improvement. Instead of 11 pennants with a space between the words - I think I would do 12 pennants with a blank pennant separating the words. This way it would hang symmetrically. Duh! Asymmetrical is cool too. At least I thought so when we made this. No biggie. You will find the tutorial here. Thanks, Leigh Ann for your sewing brilliance. If you need a Flag Day Farm Layer Cake or the Prairie Paisley twill tape - you can get it here.

Yesterday was Bill's birthday. Bill opted for Chocolate Chip cookies instead of a birthday cake. Works for me. Besides a nice birthday dinner he got cards and phone calls from his sisters and from Lorelei he received a fantastic hand knitted blanket. Lorelei knows her Dad's habit of watching t.v. at night in a hooded sweatshirt, bundled underneath a quilt. He calls it a blanket because he is a hockey player. To anyone else - it is a shawl. Semantics. This is what Lorelei was knitting on our trip to Virginia. It is a lovely blend of browns and greens. Bill wouldn't model it. I can say with authority it is lovely, and very warm. I tested it last night as I stitched while watching t.v.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Home Bound

This lovely rug is Polly's latest kit. Like many of her rugs, it is an homage to her many collections - this is one of her antique gameboards. It is a nice sentiment, isn't it. HOME.
If you are from the Midwest, Northeast, or any other blizzardy place, you may be home bound this weekend as well. I know I am. Remember that bug I was getting over? I wish. In the immortal words of Michael Corleone "Just when you think you are out - they pull you back in" They, meaning "the bug". I had a coughing jag last night and cracked a rib. Yes, it is possible. The good news is that I am being waited on by Bill and I feel great, just as long as I don't cough, sneeze, or laugh. It is all stitching and movie watching for the rest of the weekend.

Okay, back to the kit... This kit will be featured in the next issue of Country Home magazine. We hear that they are using one our fabrics on the cover graphics too. That will be neat to see. The kit info can be seen on our website here. There might be a glitch with the ordering link (it is being worked on) so if you cannot get through - just email us here and I will be sure Polly gets it. Keep warm people!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Cold Is It?

It is sold cold that Tucker wanted a short walk today. It is zero degrees here in Ann Arbor with a wind chill of 5-10 below. It is a crisp, clear, sunny day but Tucker made it only about 10 minutes. Admittedly, it is kind of tough to walk on the snow with only 3 feet. He would walk about 10-15 yards with one foot in the air, switch feet, then walk about another 15 feet. If he could figure out how to walk without any of his feet touching the ground we would still be out there. Poor guy.

It is so cold that I am "in for the day" and am happy about it. No errands or grocery shopping. Just me and the finishing touches on the taxes. AND I am happy about it. I will put on a kettle for a pot of tea, turn on itunes on the computer and have at it. It is a very good day to be inside. Dinner will have to be made with what I have on hand. I am going to make Pasta Puttanesca. Nothing like some hot and spicy comfort food to warm you up. The last time I made Pasta Puttanesca, Bill asked me what the name meant. I told him. He accused me of making it up. How could I make something like that up?

It is so cold that Polly and I are eagerly awaiting our next shipment of fabric from Moda - our 2009 Christmas collection - "Jingles". It's FLANNEL! We have lots and lots of things to make, first of which is flannel pajamas. Yeah!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our Special Bag Lady

Hey, thanks everyone! It seems we are out of the same "cloth" so to speak. More time, more energy, less stuff. It does our soul good, I believe, to cross off an old project off of our eternal "to-do" list. I know it makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Let's all try to do some of that this year. THEN...... when we buy New Fabric it seems like a much deserved reward!

So.....Vicki E is our winner. Email me here Vicki, and your bag will go right out to you. Now it's time to take Tucker out for a walk. He has been waiting very patiently.
Yes, Tucker has one blue eye and one brown eye.


Friday, January 9, 2009

New Starts

It has been too long since a posting.......I have been down with "the bug" that is going around. I have reason to think I might be on the upswing. I hope you all have avoided it.

It's a new year with lots of new starts. I have penciled in new calendars and bought boxes and files to organize. There has been lots of crossing off of things on my many, many lists. My next chore will be the dreaded taxes. Consider this an advance apology for the cranky mood I am sure to be in next week. I get this way every January as I hope to achieve Martha Stewart like efficiency by the end of the year; (Polly like efficiency would be better) yet every January finds me in dust and chaos. Hope springs eternal.

Do you make similar plans every January? I won't call them resolutions as that will doom them to failure. What is your wish for the new year? Comment about your plans (or pie-in-the-sky delusions) and you will be eligible for our new Green shopping bag. Comment before Midnight Saturday, and you never know..... it also might be filled with some goodies. Hey, I am cleaning house ; )


Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year Wisdom

These are the granola bars that Bill and I made last night. He said they are great. I cannot be objective as granola bars are way down on my list of breakfast choices. I will say the recipe was easy and was chock full of healthy stuff. Ina Garten has never steered me wrong.

As to all the inquiries about my knitting project..... I will tell all here and let's never speak of it again, shall we? I took to knitting immediately as it combines some of my favorite things; handwork; fiber; a lovely end product (one would hope!). I knitted and purled like a madwoman on the way to Virginia, in Virginia, and on the way back. I knitted one whole skein and had about 1 foot of knitted textile when some of the little problems with it started to bother me. I ripped it out. I started once more and ripped it all out. I attempted a third time and when a dropped stitch happened "out of the blue", I admitted defeat. My mistakes were confirmed to be unfixable by Lorelei and my love affair with knitting was over. At least for now. The yarn shop still calls out to me. Maybe, someday, in a fit of weakness I will attempt again. I sent the lovely hand dyed teal yarn home with Lorelei to Dallas. I hope it lives out it's yarn destiny there and I wish it the best. I'll be okay. Really.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Booty

Well, the dust has settled and we are in recovery stage. Lorelei is back in Dallas and we are all back from Virginia. Our holiday was wonderful with Polly, Tom, and Annie the dog with Polly's sons and grandchildren in Virginia. Oh, how I wish I could post lots and lots of great photos and videos, but fate did not cooperate. My camera was never unpacked as I was filming everything with my new pocket video camera. It is freakishly easy to use and I was a cinematographer in no time. Alas, after consultation with the Geek Squad - it seems I cannot load these videos to emails or to this blog. The blame lies with my "wimpy" server. That is a direct quote from the Geek that serviced my computer yesterday. Just take my word for it. A good time was had by all. Here is some of the swag that I got on Christmas morning. Everyone knows how I love visual stimuli and I must have been very good indeed this year.I can recommend all of these! The first, "Where Women Create" is a look at many artist studios and the artwork they create. So inspiring! Next is a lovely little book from Australia chock full of wonderful needlework for Christmas. After that is the latest from Ina Garten - the barefoot contessa. Bill looked through this one and he is VERY excited about the possibilities. On the bottom left is "When the Cold Wind Blows" the latest from our friends - Blackbird Designs. Oh the quilts........ Next is something Polly and I picked up in NYC - "Flea Market Style". Lots of good visual stimulation there. Lastly is "Forties Fabrics" given to me by Lorelei. A book about vintage fabric - no explanation needed. Assuming I have any down time in the next couple of months - I won't have far to look for something to read. Thank you everyone!
Tonight, after the hockey game in Wrigley Field between the Red Wings and the Blackhawks (How cool!!!), Bill and I are going to try our hand at homemade granola bars from Ina's book. Bill is a granola bar fan - me..... not so much. I will post a photo if it turns out.


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