Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thanks! And Other Stuff!

I have to thank you all for all the well wishes, the dentist visit went fine, no drugs required - yay!  I even ate some chocolate cake when I got home - hubby made it for me last night in case I couldn't eat any tomorrow.  Wasn't that sweet?  I hope he makes another anyway, as I have teen boys and they've inhaled most of it.

I'm SO enjoying all the links from my Christmas Club partners, you've all been so busy and productive making beautiful gifts!  Remember you have until tomorrow night at midnight, my time - which is Eastern Standard Time, U.S.  I'll be doing the give-away for Lyn's beautiful table topper *sob* on Friday, along with our April post!

Angela emailed me a pic of her Christmas finishes, SO cute!

angela christmas

Darling Angela, good job!

I can't believe I'm posting AGAIN this week, and will be doing another post on Friday for our give-away.  I have to stay off this computer....I was almost asleep the other night, and a new quilt design sprang full-blown into my mind.  Even the quilting.  I had to get out of my nice, cozy warm bed and sketch it out, I knew it would be gone in the morning!  If I can stay off the computer, maybe I can get some sewing done!  I think the only thing keeping me going in the sewing room lately is the Christmas Club and knowing how awful it would be for the hostess to miss.  My computer chair is just too comfy....and you are all just too interesting!  Wouldn't it be nice if someone paid you to blog-surf?

By the way, feel free to add your pics to our Christmas Through The Year flickr group if you have a flickr account!

I've finished my dinner, now I'm going to go see if there's any cake left - and get a nice hot cup of tea to go with it.  Mmmmmmm......

Just A Quick Note...

To let you know I might be out of commission for a couple of days - getting my crown on Wednesday and am going to be trying some new pain pills.  If you don't hear from me, I'm reading but just not up to commenting on your blogs.  If you do hear from me, yay for modern medicine, lol!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

Teaming up with Cheryl again for another Tickled Pink Tuesday - hope you can join us!

Remember back in the beginning of March, I told you how much I loved this month?  Well, not only because it ushers in spring [supposedly, can't see it here yet], but because it's my birthday month.  I was born at 11:55pm on the very last day - five more minutes and I would have been an April Fool baby.  Thankful that I'm not doesn't even begin to describe it.

I was going to wait til the last day and tell you that, but I'm tickled today and I wanted to show you.  Two of the sweetest friends in the world have blessed me.

Terry from Terry's Treasures made and sent me this gorgeous table topper and pincushion....

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Look at the pins!

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Personally, I think the table topper is too pretty to put on a table, where something might spill on it.  So I'm going to hang it on the wall where I can look at it all the time and it will be safe.  Don't you just love the colors???  The pincushion has already been used - I've only ever had one, and when I pin stuff on my table I always forget to take it with me across the room to my sewing machine.  You really do need two!  Thank you so much Terry, you are an absolute angel.

Then Carrie from A Passion For Applique sent me this...

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Can you read what it says across the top?  The SUMMERTIME Issue.  I told Carrie they should have called it the Allie Issue - because I just love everything in here!  Look at these projects!

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Does Carrie know me too well or what?  Thank you Carrie, I've plotted out my entire summer in the sewing room!  You're a doll!

These beautiful gals got me to thinking about friendships.  How important they are, and what a blessing.  Where would we be without them?  Can you imagine life without your friends?  I cannot.  They're as essential to me as breathing.  And yet, I'm a terrible friend - I missed both of these gals' birthdays.  Can I be a better friend?  Yes I can, and I'm so thankful to everyone who inspires me to be better.  That's what friends do - they don't look down on you, they lift you up, and inspire and motivate you to be your best.  So today I want to thank each and every one of you for every encouraging word you've ever spoken to me, every gesture of kindness, every smile you've given me.  May I never forget to strive to be a better friend, to pass along that kindness, to always smile at you first.  You are so important to me.

Consider yourself hugged.

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Christmas Through The Year

Today is the 28th - I'm late getting this post up!  We were sick all weekend with some tummy yuck, and I'm behind on everything now.  Are you all done with your Christmas gift for March?  I'm so very, very happy to say I am.  If not, you still have three days!

Remember, our give-away gift this month is the gorgeous table topper from the talented and lovely Lyn from Blue Bird Quilts.  Oh how I wish I could enter!!!

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Carmen has sent me a couple of pics of things she's done, oh my goodness.  Look at these:

Cream with your coffee
Lifes Treasures
Awesome dove

She's not done with one of them but I can't remember which.

So finish up your gifts if you haven't already, make a post on your blog, and link up here - or email me your pic if you don't want to post it - and your name will be in the running for that beautiful table topper!  I can't wait to see what you've made!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We Have A Winner!

The winning bid for my Lemon Tree quilt auction for Japan was made by the gorgeous Jenny of Elefantz!  Jenny, I need you to email me your receipt to the charity of your choice in the amount of your winning bid, and then my little quilt will be winging its way to you across the ocean!

I have to tell you that I am so happy - Jenny has been the driving force behind my creativity for a very long time now.  Due to her unfailing encouragement and friendship, I decided to give drawing my own designs a try.  She is the sweetest, loveliest person and I love her dearly.  A true kindred spirit.  If you've never been to her blog [gasp, where have you BEEN?] then you really must go pay her a visit - you will just fall in love with her and her fabulous creations! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

24 Hours? Seriously?

Where has this week gone?  I can't believe it's the 25th already.  My auction for my Lemon Tree quilt will end in 24 hours - Saturday, 11pm EST. 

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Jojo has the master list for all the raffles/auctions,  oh my the eye candy over there.  Remember, donations can go to the charity of your choice, as long as they go to Japan!  I saw on the news tonight that people are chopping up the furniture from their homes, to stay warm.  Quilter's Newsletter is taking donations of actual quilts, you send them to Colorado and they will ship them to Japan from, the post says to mark the box "quilts for Japan" but I have heard of many quilts going missing lately, so I would mark them as "fabric" then be SURE to put a note inside that it's a quilt for Japan.  I read on someone's blog [I'm sorry I can't be sure which one] that that is acceptable.  You can email Dana [editor] to be sure, her email is in the blog post.

Mum and I went to visit our friend Shirley last night.  Shirley had Greta chained up, so that we could actually get in, get our coats off and sit down before we got licked to death.  While she was still chained up, mum was starting to eat something and I called Greta's name so I could take her picture....

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She looked at me like 'WHAT do you WANT?  I'm BEGGING here!'  She really gets some funny expressions.

And just for fun, here's mum.

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She's my little Irish leprechaun.

I didn't make it to Joann's today for solids - but I did get to my lqs to stock up on the fusible interfacing I use on my stitcheries, Pellon's Shape-Flex.  I really like it, it's like fusible muslin.  They only had four yards so I took it all.  I also picked up several spools of Guterman's hand quilting thread, .50 each!  And some fat quarters on clearance for $1.30.  That was a nice unexpected surprise.

I'm going to spend the rest of the evening working on my Sis Boom quilt - I really want to get this done.  I have quite a ways to go, hand-quilting is wonderful but it's surely not quick.  Have a great evening, I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of my auction!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Christmas Finish And A Free Download

I don't know why I always finish things at night.  It makes for lousy pictures.  And I'm too impatient to wait for morning to take better pics.  Anyway, here's my March finish.  The quote is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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The second picture shows the truer colors.  Can't say who it's for at this time, I have to pack it away until Christmas!  I couldn't find just the right fabric in my stash, I searched and searched - then I looked at my sewing machine cover and thought BINGO!  It wasn't a great sewing machine cover, so I didn't mind cutting it up.

 I simply added 2 1/2" borders and did the pillowcase method - no binding.  I used a simple running stitch in the tree, a lazy daisy stitch for the leaves, and a simple backstitch with two strands for everything else.

My boys tell me my bunnies look like kangaroos.  They're having dinner right now - bread and water.  Oh, and they're grounded for life.

How are you all doing with your Christmas gifts this month?  Next week we'll be linking up and having the give-away!  Getting harder to think of things, isn't it?  Well, it is for me!  I hope you're having an easier time.

The auctions over at Jo's are still going on, you have until March 26th, including my Lemon Tree quilt.  Kay in NJ, I still need to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  What's tickling you today?  Join Cheryl and me and play along [although I'm just getting in under the wire, in 2 hours it will be Wednesday, lol].

What's tickling ME today?  Well, remember my Snippets quilt?

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I had won the fat quarter bundle of Snippets from the totally charming Kelly, and made two quilts from it.  I backed them with vintage sheets.  Mine is on my bed, with the backing on top, simply because it reminds me of spring.  Today, when I got home, I laid my new purse from the gorgeous Cyndi on my bed, and look at this....

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How perfect is that???   It just tickled me.

A reminder that the auctions on my Lemon Tree and Jo's blog end on March 26th - get your bid on!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy um, SPRING?

Ah yes - first day of spring we had massive thunderstorms and sleet, and are now under a winter storm watch, due to hit tomorrow night.  Saturday was nice though, I went to pick out paint with my friend Cathy No-Blog for her new sewing studio.  It was sunny and warm, and on sunny warm days in the Motor City you see things like this:

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Always fun to see!

While at the hardware store, I realized I'm being drawn to blues lately.  Honestly, everything there that was blue caught my eye and held it.  Especially this.

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I want that room so bad I can taste it.  I have NEVER been a blue person - hated blue, it made me sad, and French blue annoyed me.  Now I can't get enough.  But it does have to be a special blue, and this room is full of them.  Maybe I'm just longing for sunny warm days at the beach....

Joanne Fabric is having a sale on solids this week, Friday through Sunday.  I'm going to stock up on blues and make a Lake Huron quilt.  I have no idea what it will look like, I might break out my Jean Wells book and have a play, I just want something to satisfy my blue cravings.

I hope your spring is progressing better than mine.  The lovely Fiona at Designs by Fee is having a great give-away, go enter!  And don't forget to check out the auctions going on for Japan over at Jo's blog - so many beautiful things to bid on!

I'm almost done with my stitchery, I had to add a couple of wee friends, I just love them.  I'm going to put a border on and bind it tomorrow, I hope...mum goes for her post-op checkup, so that will be most of my day.  But I'm itching to get it done so maybe I'll stay off the computer and finish.  Then I can upload, and you can stitch one too, if you'd like.

Have a great evening!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kay in NJ

Kay, this post is for you - YES you may enter your bid - but I need your email!  Can you email me at alliehomeschool at yahoo dot com, please [changing the at and dot] please?  God bless you, hon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Where Does My Money Go?

I thought you'd like to read Jo's post today about Global Giving.  You can read it HERE.

One of the questions on Jo's blog was, "do I have to donate to Global Giving?"  When she first started this rolling, Global Giving was one of the first to get a charity page up - these are charities already on the ground in Japan, today they gave $725,000  to six charities in Japan.  You can read all about them on Jo's post.

However, if you are more comfortable bidding on my quilt and donating to another charity, we'll take it.  You will still need to email me proof of payment.  If the Red Cross is more comfortable for you, or the Salvation Army, or whatever, that's fine!  What matters is that the money gets to Japan.  People are still very cold, without food and water - I know the focus in the media is on the nuclear aspect, but children and mums and dads and grandparents are suffering.

I was going to post a picture of the moon for you tonight.  We went outside, I set my camera to twilight, and none of them came out - well, they came out BLURRY, even with the tripod.  I guess I should have used the time delay setting, but I couldn't find it in the dark.  I have so much to learn with this camera!  So sorry, no pic today.  You'll have to go outside and look at it yourself, lol - although tomorrow night, the 19th, it will be even more impressive!  I wish you clear skies!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan Quake Appeal Auction

 Like most of the rest of the world, I have been watching in horror, sadness and helplessness at the devastation to Japan.   What can I do?  What can I give?  How can I help?  Thankfully, I found a way to make a difference.  Jo at A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That is holding an online auction – similar to the one for Queensland – and I am joining in.

I am auctioning my Lemon Tree Quilt.  It is my original design, one-of-a-kind.  It measures approximately 14”x20”, perfect to brighten up any room in your home.  I am willing to ship worldwide, so please don’t let distance stop you from bidding! 

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To make a bid, you will place your bid amount in the comment section, making sure to make your bid higher than the previous bid  - bids should increase in increments of $5 US or more.  If you are the winning bidder, I MUST have your email address.  If you’re not sure if you’re a no-reply blogger or not, please include your email address in your comment, in this format – alliehomeschool at yahoo dot com. 

Starting bid is $10.

Should you have the winning bid, you will be required to make the payment to Global Giving, and send me proof of payment within 48 hours.  After 48 hours, the quilt will go to the second highest bidder.  This auction runs from now until March 26th, 11pm EST.

For a great post on how the donation works and the steps to follow, see this post here.

This auction is being held on this blog, in cooperation with A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That.  We are in no way affiliated with Global Giving, that's just our chosen method of getting funds safely to the affected area.

I hope that even if you don’t win, you’ll consider making a generous donation – if not to Global Giving, then to the organization of your choice.  The scope of this tragedy is so hard to get your mind around.  And please, do go check out the other auctions, the master list will be put up on Jo’s blog on March 18th.  There are already so many beautiful things to bid on!

Please do spread the word of this auction – the more people who know the better.  There won’t be any prizes for blogging about it, but you will earn my undying gratitude!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again

Hi everyone, I want to thank you all for your kindness and patience with me when I was feeling so low - oh how I appreciate you all.  I'm feeling much better now and have made it through my inbox, I'll be browsing your blogs in a bit, after I make sure the teens are making dinner.  *G*

I'm feeling creative again.  I'm currently stitching a new design.  Here's a peek -

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Forgive the un-artsy lighting, I was too lazy to make hay while the sun was actually shining.  This is part of a new series I'm working on, and will be a free download when I'm done.

The other day I took time to clean up my fabric and what-not storage.  I had stuff everywhere, and couldn't find a thing.  While I was organizing and labeling totes, I found this little guy - I'd forgotten I had him!

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One of the only things I ever bought from a real antique store.  I think he was $12...I could NOT leave him there.  Isn't he a cutie?

You may have noticed a new button on my sidebar.  I'm going to join with A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That in an online auction/raffle to raise funds for Japan.  I was appalled to see the level of donations from the US - rather small.  I sincerely hope the blogging community can come together to bless the people of Japan.  She's going to put up the master list of auctions on the 18th of March, and they will close on the 26th.  Please do go visit her blog on the 18th to see all of the beautiful items up for auction.

I'm going to raffle off my Lemon Tree quilt.

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I took the pdf download off my blog quite some time ago, thinking I might submit it to a magazine.  The raffle will be for the original quilt, the only one of its kind.  Even if I make this quilt again, it won't be the same - there was never any layout diagram with this.  I'll let you know tomorrow how the raffle will work, and do the official post.  The magnitude of the disaster in Japan compels me to offer up something dear to me - my very first applique quilt pattern quilt - especially since the entire scope of this disaster won't be known for a very long time.  It is still unfolding.

I'll be back tomorrow.  Stay safe, stay well.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Update

Mum came through her cataract surgery like a trooper.  Being night owls both, we had stayed up all night to make sure she got there at 5:30am.  There were a LOT of small children there...not sure why they needed surgery but they were sleepy and adorable.  I got her home where she got a good nap after being sick, made her breakfast and finally left around noon - up for 24 hours straight.  I did manage to get a nap, but not for long.  Teenage boys don't seem to know how to be quiet.

My tooth has settled down.  I had an allergic reaction to my pain meds.  When I got my prescription filled, I told them I was allergic to codeine.  I was in so much pain that I picked up my meds and downed them immediately - took 3 pills Thursday [not all at once].  Friday morning, I woke up itching violently, terrible hot flashes and sick to my stomach - turns out there's a huge warning on the bottle to not take it if you're allergic to codeine.  I'll be paying Walmart a visit and calling the supervisor - I worked at a pharmacy and I know they should have caught that.  I should have too, but was in too much pain to look.

Japan is still so heavy on my heart.  I find myself in continuous prayer for everyone there.  Not only for safety, food, shelter, heat, healing, and mercy, but for their very souls.  If you can, please visit the Salvation Army's website to donate.  They will need it for a very long time to come.

I'm going to try to get some more sleep.  Mum has an appointment in the morning [Tuesday] so I need to get up early again.  Forgive me for being so absent at your blogs and so behind on emails...I just can't find the energy.  Things should be back to normal around here in a few days.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Oh please, pray for the people of Japan...the devastation just takes my breath away.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All Quiet On The Homefront

Mainly because I can't speak right now.  Today was temporary crown day.  Have I mentioned before that I love my dentist?  It takes quite a bit to get me numbed up,  especially with the fibro,  and he has the patience of a saint.  I never even felt the first shot - he uses a topical first - and as he worked, if I felt anything, he hit me with the shot again. 

It was kind of funny - they had to go under the gum, so there was bleeding, and he put a piece of gauze in my mouth and told me to bite down.  As soon as my teeth touched the gauze, I stopped biting - he said it was ok, it was just gauze, not his finger - to which I replied I had thought it was my tongue.  Didn't really mind if it was his finger, lol.  (And yes, I was just kidding.)

So tonight, I'm swollen from all the shots and my tooth hurts.  He gave me a good prescription though, so I'm clock-watching 'til the next pill.  I can't talk but I can type, so I've been busy reading blogs.  And while I was getting my prescription filled, I picked up this....


I haven't bought a quilt magazine in so long, but my friend Wendy Sheppard from Ivory Spring has two quilts in here, and I want to make them both!


Excuse the pics, the magazine is sitting on my lap - I'm still cold from the nitrus and wrapped up in a quilt.  Aren't those quilts lovely?  You can see MUCH better pics and lots more over on Wendy's blog.   She's really an amazing designer, and quilter - the results she gets on her domestic machine must be seen to be believed!

Like I said, I haven't bought a quilt magazine in years, but after what I went through this afternoon I decided I deserved a treat.  There are days when I wonder what on earth we need teeth for.  I'm sure I could eat chocolate cake without them.

Now I'm going to go watch Everyone Loves Raymond and dream over my quilt magazine...have a good night everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

Yep, that time again!  What's tickling you today?  Join Cheryl and I in posting!

What's tickling me today [and the rest of the family] is that it's Fat Tuesday, and thus it's paczki [pronounced punch key, or poonch key] day!  Paczki's are a deep-fried dessert from Poland.  We're Irish, not Polish, but it's been a tradition for us to enjoy these once-a-year treats.  I'm so, so looking forward to it!

I've been quiet lately, not feeling like myself much.  I've been visiting blogs but not commenting.  I don't know if it's the time of year, or this long-lasting virus, but I've had no interest in doing anything.  No sewing, not much computer, a lot of sitting and running mum around.  Mum is having cataract surgery next Monday, and all the pre-op appointments are making me tired, lol.  I get my crown this Thursday - thank the Lord there has been no pain with it.  We're all still hacking and coughing.  I'll be so glad when it's warm enough to open all the windows and really air the house out.

Wendy from The Crafter's Apprentice sent me a link to a tutorial for a glasses case over at Craft Ady - I like this one a lot!  And Jill from Unfinished Quilts sent a link for 35 things to make with fabric scraps - excellent list!  Thank you ladies!

Hopefully I'll be back to normal soon, I really miss chatting with you all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Christmas Through The Year [edited, sorry!]

Let's get our stitch on for March!  I love this month, it means spring is really coming, and it has 31 days.  But we're going to keep our eyes firmly fixed on December - the 25th, to be exact!  At least, for one project.

Our movie this month is Miracle On 34th Street.  Another annual favorite of mine.  Edmund Gwenn is so perfectly cast as Santa, and who doesn't love Natalie Wood in this?  Adorable.

Our give-away gift this month comes from the gorgeous Lyn, from Blue Bird Quilts. She has made the most beautiful table topper, I'm so sad that I can't enter the give-away!

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Isn't that so gorgeous?  Lyn also has a free BOM going on, Retro Nine Patch - on my sidebar - really lovely!

So, what to make this month?  Well, I do have some tutes for you!  First up is Talin, at Talin's Corner - a gorgeous wallet - anyone could use one of these!

Next, from Teresa at All Things Vintage - a lovely makeup bag, that looks so much easier than the one I just made!  This is another must make for me.

From A Spoonful Of Sugar, the most adorable little gift bag - cute cute cute!  Thanks Carmen for that link!

Another that Carmen sent, Cluck Cluck Sew has free quilting tutorials!

From Craft Snob, an adorable t-shirt headband, darling for little OR big girls!

From Joan at Ouvrages d'une Acadienne, the most gorgeous mitten mat tabletopper - Joan, I'm so sorry I forgot to email you about asking to use your pic - folks, go see this, it's too sweet!  My mom will love this.

And last but certainly not least, if you need to make things for children and babies or you want to make a lovely purse, Made By Rae has all KINDS of tutorials on her sidebar!

So, will that be enough to keep you going for a few days?  If you have found a tutorial you'd like to see here, feel free to email me with it - the more the merrier!

Today is also Tickled Pink Tuesday - I was going to do a seperate post for that, but honestly, 3 in one day?  I don't think so.  So - what's tickling me today -


This is my favorite month for several reasons - it may still be officially winter, but to me it means spring.  The trees may still be bare, but there will be buds by the end of the month.  The earth is waking up from her long slumber...she may yet pull up her winter blanket and we'll see more snow, but we'll also see rain and the beginnings of the greening.  This is the month of hope for me....longer days.  Warmer breezes.  Not having to wear so many layers.  There is one more reason, but I won't tell you until the last day!

Now get your cup of favorite beverage, browse some links, and gather your supplies - make sure to check your list for who you're making for!  Happy sewing!

February Winner!

I slept in today, so I didn't do my usual write-out-all-the-names-giveaway-jar; instead, I used the random number generator. You'll have to trust me on the results because for the life of me I can't figure out how people make it show up on their blogs. Our winner this month is number 20......

Jill from Unfinished Quilts, congratulations, I'll be contacting you by email to get your address!

I have to admit that this wasn't as fun as doing my usual method, hopefully by next month I'll feel better and not sleep in so late.  We're still sick here, this virus seems to like us a lot.  We'd like it to leave.  Anytime.  The sooner the better.

I'll be back later to kick off our March Christmas Through The Year - I have some wonderful tutorials to show you!


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