Thursday, September 12, 2019


Thing 2 and I took a much needed break this weekend.  I think we hit every antique shop between home and Port the beach and riverwalk.

Love the old buildings in Port Huron.  

Love the beach more.  They had really upgraded this park - this is Lakeport - lots of streetlights, park benches, bathrooms and new play areas.  We've been coming here since the boys were little.  We had a nice break on Saturday, just sitting on the benches, watching the waves, swimmers, sailboats and freighters.

Made me happy.  Sam got a little too happy with the camera though.

We also spent time on the Thomas Edison Parkway.  That's the bridge to Canada, and you can see a warehouse across the river.  The ship was carrying wind turbines, we think.  

Our favorite diner, Powers, was open again.

Sam, dreaming of cheeseburgers.

We hit so many antique shops.  Sam is always looking for vintage fountain pens - there were none, until we got to the very last one, right before we decided to call it a weekend and go home!  And it was a good one - rare, and only $9.  This was all I got - 

Another vintage laundry bag to hang in my laundry room.  LOVE it.

It was so relaxing to get away, stay in a lovely hotel, and eat out.  Although I couldn't eat much, due to my jaw - still, scrambled eggs taste better when someone else makes them!  

Back home now, and the first project for the October Applique Club is complete.

Hm, that's too bright - I'll have to get some better pics.  Quilting up another today.

One final pic.....

I hope you're all having a great week!  See you soon!


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cats And Other Things

Good morning friends!  It may be after noon, but I'm still on my second cup of coffee - they're very large - so morning it is.

My son and his girl went away this weekend, so I had to run over on Sunday to check on his kitty.  Mum went with me.  He has a tri-level home, which means lots of stairs, and mum doesn't do well with stairs - 

She went in on the ground floor level, walked over to the stairs going up, sat down, bumped her way to the floor, and we scooted her over to the stairs going down - she bumped her way down those, then we placed her walker so she could pull herself up.  There's no bathroom on the ground floor level so this was totally necessary, lol.  We laughed so hard!!!!  She's a trooper, always.  Sophie was so very glad to see us, I don't think she stopped purring the whole time!

I wanted to give you an explanation why I haven't been around to your blogs.  I've had a great deal of trouble lately with my right shoulder, so computer time is very limited.  I think it's my pillow (that I've been using for years without issue) and am on the hunt for a new one.  Now my jaw is giving me fits - I have serious TMJ issues - can hardly open my mouth to eat.  I did buy a new pillow yesterday, and while it's better today, I'm still hunting for the perfect pillow.  Behave yourselves until I'm better, ok?

I've also been working very hard on October's issue of the Applique Club.  

October's Calendar Bird is ready for applique, and some detailed stitching!  Needs his hat brim, pumpkins need detail, and all that....

Before fusing

So you see, I haven't just been sitting around!  I've been watching the news coming out of the Bahamas while I work, and praying for all I'm worth.  Please, please keep those folks in your prayers.

Now some news.  In 2016, I participated in The Road Home Row-Along with Marian at Seams To Be Sew.  Every year she hosts one and they are fantastic!!  Well, Marian has set up a gallery of each row-along, you can click here: Row-Along Gallery to see each year and find the patterns.  Some are still free, some are not - mine is, and Marian is hosting it on her blog in the gallery.  The pictures of each year are at the bottom of the post, click on a picture to be taken to that year's gallery.
Note: you can also find my pattern in my facebook group files, link on sidebar.

Marian is hosting another row-along this year, it just started, 

how fun!  She has some great sponsors and giveaways as well!  Click here:  Once Upon A Story Row Along to see the posts and collect the patterns!

That's all from me today, I hope you all have a wonderful day spending time doing what you love best - I'll be doing laundry and dishes in between sewing!  Not that laundry and dishes are what I love, but I do love having clean dishes to eat on and clothes fresh from the dryer.....
See you soon!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Little Things Block 2!

Block two of Happy Little Things is here!

For the life of me I can't get a good picture - you'll have to trust me that the fabrics go together a lot better in real life, lol!

I will admit that this block almost did me in.  Keep in mind, I am NOT a piecer - most of my stuff is either embroidery or applique.  When I piece, everything is wonky, and that's usually the look I'm going for.  Having said that, here we go - 

I followed Jacquelynne's tutorial for making hst's, I normally make them differently.  This was fine, although I had trouble marking on darker fabrics - I ended up using a regular pencil instead of all of my specialty markers, it just worked better.

So far so good.  However, trimming the hourglass hst's was beyond me.  I ended up just shaving off wherever - the bottom and one side.  I did follow Jacquelynne's tutorial, but I'm piecing challenged, lol!  Making the block wasn't hard, but the trimming was.  It's quite possible there was insufficient coffee.

And you know what?  I'm fine with it.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out - 

No, it's not perfect, but I don't do perfect.  I finished the block with strips around it in a log cabin style, as I'm making a table runner instead of a wall hanging.

The embroidery was done with two strands of floss and backstitch and French knots.  Nothing fancy here.

And now - on to the giveaway!  The prize this month is an Aurifil Designer Thread Box, value $50!

This giveaway is open to all.  You have until September 8th, Sunday, to leave me a comment on this post to be entered.  PLEASE leave your email address!  I had so many folks who didn't last time, and I couldn't enter you in the giveaway, nor get in touch with you to let you know.

Now - you have more than one way to enter - there's other blogs to visit!  Leave a comment on each one for extra entries!

Also, if you haven't already, you can join Jacquelynne's facebook group to show off your blocks and enjoy the companionship of really wonderful quilters!

Good luck in the giveaways, I'll see you soon - 


Friday, August 30, 2019


Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, the death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, chief nourisher in life's feast.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2

Wide awake at 4am.  Funny how strange my house seems at that hour - almost like it resents me being up.  At least til the sun comes up.  Maybe I've been reading too many murder mysteries, lol!!!!

Today is mum day.  I hope I don't fall asleep on her.  Although she usually falls asleep on me - we always end up here, having tea while she fills out her money orders, and then she sits in a comfy chair and goes right out!

At least I got a little work in.

I can't wait to start pulling fabrics for these!  Tomorrow for sure - I think I'll be going to bed very early tonight!  I'm already looking forward to it.

I hope you all have a lovely day, and that you got enough sleep....


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Applique Club Important Notice

This post is for all who've joined the Applique Club.  When you join, I send out your joining gift within 24 hours - if you have not received it, please add my email address to your contacts

alliehartom (at) gmail (dot) com

and let me know that you didn't receive it.  Sometimes your email will block an unknown email from sending attachments.  So check your spam folder as well.
In the future, I'll send a welcome letter without an attachment, to make it easier for you to add my email to your contacts, then send the joining gift.  I'd forgotten how rigorous spam filters have gotten! 



Monday, August 26, 2019

Lovely Mornings

End of August.  And instead of blistering hot days, we're enjoying some autumn-like weather.

I throw open the windows first thing, put on a hoodie and BREATHE.  The nights are cooling off enough to keep the a/c off.  Glorious days....

Yesterday, we celebrated Thing 2's 25th birthday.  He's my youngest.  A simple celebration - pizza and cake - surrounded by family.  No pics, didn't ask permission, and they turned out silly anyway, lol.

I've finished the September Issue of the Applique Club, would you like to see the patterns?

First, a mini-quilt based on scripture - 

Next, an autumn-themed table runner - 

and for that one, I show you three ways of doing it!  And of course, our Calendar Bird BOM...

Today, I'll be starting the October patterns, and wait til you see our little bird for that month!

You can join the Applique Club any time - simply click here > 

scroll down, and click "subscribe".  Patterns are sent out on the first day of the month, and the deadline to get that month's patterns is the day before.

Now I'm off to make sure the dishes are washed - the city is installing new water mains, so we'll be without water for a day, but they didn't tell us exactly which day.  Today, tomorrow or the next day.  I purchased some styrofoam cups for my coffee (hate them but won't be able to wash out my coffee cup) and filled all the water bottles.  As long as I stay on top of the dishes and laundry, we'll be good!
Take care my friends, I'll see you soon....


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Computer Is Fixed!!!

Good morning dear friends!!  It's been an eventful week here in Allie-land - my computer fan decided to stop working, I wondered why it was getting so hot, so I couldn't use it for a few days.  All fixed now though, so I'm back!

A friend gave me a new table - well, new to me - she bought it new 65 years ago.

It has a lovely green top and now holds my cutting mat.  Somehow when you're sewing, you never have enough horizontal surfaces - well, now I do!

Also our coyote is back.

He's been coming very close to the house - we walked outside the other day, and he was right there, stalking a groundhog.  We didn't bother him at all - he looked at us, and kept on with what he was doing!

Thing 2 and I went to the zoo on Friday.  They have a gorgeous penguin exhibit - largest in the world - unfortunately, they've detected a leak in the basement, so all penguins will have to go back to their old home for a year while it's fixed.  They've already moved half the penguins over, it's closing Sep 1 for a  year.  I had to go see it while it was still open!

The first window wall.  They have displays up above that give penguin facts, and they're scattered throughout.  This is what you see when you walk in the door.  The next area is an immersion area that tells the story of Shackleton's adventures.  You feel like you're on the bow of the ship, with huge movie screens all around that show the sea during a storm, calm, daylight and nighttime.  It's wonderful.  There's even fog and mist.  

You walk down through the ship, and come to the deep diving area of the penguin exhibit and two tunnels where you can watch them.

They seem to love it!  Then back upstairs and another window wall.

We also went in the butterfly house, which has been there since I don't know when - it's just gorgeous.  The zoo opened in 1928 and I believe it was built then.

But oh so hot!  And of course Sam wanted to go in the reptile house, these places were SO hot, I couldn't stay long.  We really didn't see much that day, I was very warm, we didn't bother walking to the back to see the Arctic Ring of Life.  It's really worth a visit but my feet were killing me!

I've also been working on September's patterns for the Applique Club.

I'm not happy with the way my machine is stitching lately, she's going to have to have a spa day soon!  

Well I'd better get back to it, there's another mini-quilt to quilt and patterns to write - see you soon!!


Monday, August 5, 2019

Happy Little Things BOM + Give-Away!!!

Yay, it's time to start Happy Little Things Free BOM!  I was honored to be asked by Jacquelynne Steves to participate - and it's so fun!  Click here to see Jacquelynne's post - Happy Little Things - and stay tuned for the give-away at the end of the post, not just on my blog but on the other participating bloggers as well - she has some fantastic sponsors!!  I'll link to the other bloggers at the end of the post!

When I got the pattern and was deciding how to do it, I chose to go with the embroidered version.  I do love embroidery!  I also chose to use fabrics by Kim Diehl that I've been collecting.

In tracing the embroidery, I use a red Frixion pen, because it's heat erasable.  I'm a messy tracer and wanted the lines to disappear when I was done.

I always cut my block larger than needed, and pink the edges to reduce fraying.  I then add a fusible non-woven interfacing so my floss doesn't show through to the front - and it's just easier to handle.

After stitching, I trimmed the block down, using painter's tape to mark a square on my ruler [it's the only ruler I have], making a "window" so I could center the block.

For the flying geese [my first one ever!!!] I followed Jacquelynne's tutorial, here:  Flying Geese Tutorial

I discovered that I had to stitch just below the line I made - I can't stitch directly on the line, but next to it toward the outside corner that I'll be cutting off.  Not sure if you can see it in this picture:

When I did that, it lined up perfectly!

Very happy with that!  The rest of the block was so easy, and I am a terrible piecer, lol!

I ended my block with log cabin style strips [sorry, forgot to take a picture of that], as I had a slightly different vision for the finished piece.  I stitched a strip to the right side, bottom, left side, then top, and set it aside waiting for block 2!  

Now, the moment you've been waiting for, the give-aways!  The prize this month is an Olfa Pack, how cool is that!

Simply leave me a comment, with your email, to be in the running for this give-away.  (click on "comments" at the end of this post to leave one).  
The give-away is open to U.S. and Canadian residents for the Olfa pack, international winners will receive an alternate prize.  One prize per person per give-away.  
The give-away ends on Sunday, August 11th at midnight.
(Please be sure that I can contact you immediately through your blog account, or be sure to include your email in your comment.  If I choose your name but cannot contact you immediately, I will have to choose another winner.  If I do not receive a response from you within 48 hours, I will have to choose another winner.)

Ok, that's the give-away on my blog, but you can also enter at the other blogs!!  Here's a list, go visit!!!  Click on each name to visit:

Are you a member of Jacquelynne's Facebook group?  Great fun, and you can post pictures of your blocks there!  You can join here:  Sew Quilty Friends

Whew, that's a long post - and now that it's done I need to get stitching for my Applique Club's September designs!  I wish you well in the give-aways, as always be blessed, be happy!  See you soon!


EDIT:  Most of you are coming up as no-reply bloggers, I have no way to contact you if you win.  Please put your email in your comment, in this format -(example)   allieoopsdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com


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