Finding Some Peacefulness When Life Can Be Stressful

I have had some stressful days during this world-in-crisis time. I am sure most people have a moment or more of stress. My most stressful time comes when my husband and I have to go to the grocery store. We have masks that I made. We found going to a smaller non-chain grocery store was less crowded, which helped a great deal. Shopping at a larger chain store two weeks before was chaotic. People were crowding aisles and visiting friends rather than getting their needs and moving on.

I have also found that if I do not watch the news, I am calmer. I will visit the CDC website to get updates and read our local MLive news reports regarding our governor's orders. I can only look out for myself and my husband. We aren't going anywhere, or having people come to visit, so I probably don't need daily information about the nation or world.

I have found that keeping busy is a good thing, especially when I am creating. I don't rush to get things done these days, I savor the busyness. I have found plenty around the house to keep me active.

Have you found things to keep you busy as you stay at home right now?
I get outside for 1 or 2 hours each day. We are blessed to live on 10 acres of wooded land, so a walk in the woods is a treat each day. Yesterday, 3 butterflies hovered around me on my walk. There must have been a hatch with the warm weather we had.

I have turned up the soil for the vegetable garden. There is another garden area to the right of this one that will be worked over this week.

I started seeds indoors using the seeds from:

a yellow pepper we used in a salad, 
a honeydew melon,
 and some kale seeds (package dated 2018).

A few years ago I read about fun gardening experiments for kids. One of the suggestions was to place the parts of veggies that we normally toss away into water and see what happens. Carrot tops grow more greens. That's great if you have a pet rabbit or guinea pigs. Romaine lettuce stumps (I call them that) put in water actually grow more leaves! So, I started "hydroponic gardening" with romaine leaves near my dining room window.  Maybe at the end of the month, I'll have a salad! 
These photos show 3 weeks' growth. 

Using my domestic sewing machine, I finished the quilting and binding on our daughter's quilt that she sewed almost 2 years ago. She's really pleased with how it turned out, but doesn't want me to go to the post office to ship it to her. She said she can wait patiently.
I am April's Queen Bee of the online group I belong to: Gridster Bee. I chose the Totally Tulip block from Missouri Star Quilting Co. for each of my beemates to sew for me.
I made mine and received 2 others so far. (When my mail comes, I isolate it for 3 days.) They look so fun and pretty together. I eargerly wait to get the rest! But waiting is a fun part of the bee block exchange!

Treats are especially enjoyable after dinner. I make one treat a week. Last week I made Joy Bauer's Chocolate-Peanut Butter Energy Balls. They were quite tasty and sweetened with a little maple syrup.
This week I baked a packaged sugar cookie mix and added freshly grated orange rind. I read that citrus fruit rind has more vitamin C than the fruit. Well, the flavor of the cookies is wonderful! 

I ended the last week by making face masks for a friend and her extended family. Michiganders have been encouraged to wear face masks while attending to essential business. I used the free pattern from Orange Dot Quilts website HERE. I was very pleased with how they fit. They were fairly easy to make once I made two of them. 

Have you been out for a walk? or sewn something? or relaxed with a hot cuppa and a treat this week? I hope you have had a chance to relax for a moment or more this week and are keeping well and safe. 


Quilting While I Follow Stay Home Orders

My sewing area in the basement is not yet organized. (I have more than I will use in 20 years!) But I just couldn't work on organizing in the basement with few windows. I was feeling a bit trapped during this time of a stay-at-home order for the next few weeks.

My husband suggested putting two portable tables in the living room (since we will have no one coming to the house for awhile). I told my daughter over a year ago I would get her quilt done, and this was the project I chose to work on.

So, here are some photos of what I've done in the past 2 days. She is very excited. I am keeping her abreast of the progress. 

I am using my walking foot, working section by section with lines in different direction.

I've quilted 1/4th of the quilt and work until it gets dark outside. I think it will be take 3 more days to finish, with another for the binding. While quilting, I am listening to a book on CD titled: Beating About the Bush (an Agatha Raisin Mystery) by M.C. Beaton. 

I do hope you are able to find a calming craft or activity to work on during a time where isolation has been encouraged, or ordered. Be safe, and I hope you stay healthy. 
Thank you for stopping by.


Making Us Laugh Blog Hop

Today I hope to make you laugh, or giggle, if just for a moment.

First the joke: 
What flower grows when you plant kisses?
(Find the answer below.)

A big thanks to Joan, at Moosestash Quilting, who came up with this blog hop. Also, to the many designers who decided to join in. So far it's been fun to see what they have made. 

For me, this was a challenge to come up with a design. I usually am the last one to understand the joke. I am not quick witted to say something funny (and when I do, my friends are surprised, to say the least.) After Christmas, Joan had an entire post about laughter-the health benefits, the interaction between mind and body, and its contangiousness and asked quilters to join the blog. 

I took the challenge and searched for "children and humor" on the internet. I figured I'd be able to find something in that catagory that made me laugh and would be easy to sew. I found the joke (above); and, the answer is in my quilt! 

I titled it, Butter Flies and Two Lips.

  • I made it with cottons and felt, a few beads and some hand stitching.
  • I sewed the sky and grass together. 
  • I cut out the sticks of butter, lip shapes, tulip stems, and leaves from felt.
  • The butterfly wings were scraps of Island Batik cottons.
  • I sewed the raw edges of the stems and leaves by machine.
  • White fleece was topstitched behind the lips (after a slit for the mouth was cut in the lips).
  • Lips were zigzag stitched onto the stems. 
  • The sticks of butter were pinned in the sky, one wing placed behind the stick and two on the front. All were topstitched (with raw edge stitching).
  • The beads were sewn on by hand and the mouths and antenna were hand stitched.
  • I quilted the layers, working around the appliques.
I had never made a split-binding to match the background. I got it done with a little re-working (ripping stitches) and it lined up well. The back is a fun floral from my stash.
Thank you for stopping. I hope you giggled a little and have had fun at the other blog posts on this hop. This is the last day of the blog. 

Here is the list of all the blogs, in case you missed any. 

Tuesday March 24
Wednesday March 18


Grabbing Opportunities Can Prove Successful to the Designer

In the mail today, I received my order from MyFabricDesign. This is special to me because this is fabric that I designed from start to finish! I ordered a fat quarter during a 25% off sale. (If I didn't like it, I didn't want to spend too much on a full yard or more.) Here is a close-up photo! 
And the entire fat quarter.

I think it is wonderful. (I can say now, I am a fabric designer!) I am so excited to have accomplished this. I will be working on other prints to go with this, while fixing this print a little bit.

Below is my story of how I got to this point, if you wish to read it.

For many years I dreamed of learning to utilize the computer to create printed designs. It didn't have to be on fabric. Paper, wood, ceramics, and such, would work. I just wanted to know how to do it.

I looked for "in-person" classes for a few years after I retired. There were some at a community college more than an hour's drive one-way, at night (not my favorite time to drive). They were college credit classes, not adult education classes, so the cost was great. Some did not meet on a day I was available. So I tried to find lessons on the internet, which were hit and miss in learning the skill building.

In February, 2019, I mentioned to a wise, old friend, about my desire. I told her I found online classes that charged nearly $1000 for a class. She asked me if I had the ability to pay (I had been saving for the possibility over the years), did I truly want to learn? what else would I use that savings on? From the answers I gave she told me to do it; sieze the opportunity to learn what I wanted. 

I thought about it for a few months. Anne LaFollette posted on the Craft Industry Alliance membership page (to which I belong) that she was offering a free, abreviated, introduction class to surface design. It was my chace to find out, for free, if this was what I wanted to learn! 

This was what I wanted! I signed up for her full course that May. What really grabbed me was that I would have access to the class lessons FOREVER! (I know that is a relative term.) This was better than taking a course at a college and once it was over, it was over; and then I would be on my own.

It seemed that things fell into place that led me to find something I really like to do. I have much to learn, but am excited about that path.


Make Us Laugh Blog Hop Begins

Today begins our blog hop
and we hope to make you laugh. 

Joan, who blogs at Moosestash Quilting, put out a call for quilters who wanted to join in this blog hop months before the world had heard of the Coronavirus. Thank you, Joan, for a theme that might lighten our minds (if only for a little while) in the next week. My day to show my quilt is Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

In the meantime, have a laugh on us with the daily designers listed below!

Here is the schedule and 
I look forward to having you stop by soon 
to hop along with us.

Wednesday March 18

Thursday March 19
Friday March 20
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24