Be Creative!

I don’t own a lightbox… but I DO own a small glass-top table that is in the bay window of our kitchen.  It’s usually our main table for meals, but it works wonderfully for marking quilt tops!

First, I take a small lamp out of my bedroom and plug it in near the table.

Turn the light on.

marking1

Tape pattern to the table.  Lay quilt top over the table, and weigh it down with a few stacks of books.  Close the blinds, and VOILA!  You have an impromptu light box!

marking2

See how well it works?

marking4

Trace the pattern carefully with your marker of choice.

Lay the quilt top on the floor to admire.

marking5

Ahhhh, yes, this one will be fun to hand quilt!

Balderstone

I really enjoy looking at Strippy quilts.  You can see some beautiful examples of Strippy creations on my Pinterest board called

Welsh and Durham Quilts

My favorite part of quilting is doing the actual quilting… by hand.  Because Strippy quilts are all about hand quilting, I thought it was time to create my OWN Strippy quilt!

My husband family on his mother’s side is from Lancaster, England, right in the heart of the “Northern Country” where one would have seen Strippy quilts on a regular basis.

Robert Balderstone (born before 1849 in England) married Elizabeth Parker.  Together, they had a son, also named Robert, b. 1864 in Lancaster.  The younger Robert married Gertrude Douglas Lunt, who was b. in 1877 in Manchester, Lancaster Registration District,  England.  My husband’s mother was named Gertrude after her.

My newest quilt project is a Strippy quilt in the traditional style, in two colors: blue and tan.  I have named it “Balderstone” after my husband’s ancestors.  The tan shows up as almost white here, but it is from the Pepper Cory line of fabric called “Peppered Cotton.”  It has a tan and almost gold look to it.

Balderstone.Begins

Today I began marking the quilting patterns on the quilt.  It is a little tedious, but I enjoy it.  I am marking it with Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers.  Yes, the lines will wash out completely.  I used them on another quilt and love how they work.  I also use the chalk pencil (white chalk pencil in a red case) for marking guides on the darker fabric for placement.  Works like a charm and rubs/washes off easily.

Durham Feathers

Stay tuned to progress updates on this quilt in future posts!

It’s Difficult to Stay Focused…

Once upon a time I worked as a Realtor in Michigan.  I did that for about 7-8 years.  Then I took time off to do something else.  And now, I’m back working as part of the Lucy Ham Group team in Flushing, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.  But now I’m discovering something… I’m taking clients through lots of houses.  Lots of houses means that quite often, there are quilts on beds, quilts on walls, sewing machines sitting out, fabric stacked in corners…

What’s a Realtor who quilts supposed to do?  Focus, girl, focus.

2016: A New Year of Change

Dear Hubby and I celebrated the end of 2015 in a glorious manner… Going to bed before midnight.  There is nothing special about that, as that is our usual habit seven days each week.  We watched the movie “Mad Max,” and while I didn’t totally understand it, it kept my attention and at least I didn’t fall asleep in the middle of it.  It did, however, scare our cat.

There is nothing wrong with habits… a routine can be comforting, and goodness knows we have a lot of routines in our home.  But there comes a time when the routine needs to be shaken up and stirred.  Thus begins our new year.

Dear Hubby has made a change in his work life as he gradually eases his way into retirement.  Oh, he’ll keep being the Woodworker/Refinisher, but in a different manner… a more relaxed pace.  I don’t see him ever stopping his love for woodworking… he loves to build furniture and experiment with design, and he is fantastic at that.  Just as quilting is a part of who I am, woodworking is a major part of who he is. How he creates and where he creates, however, is up for change.  It is a change that is both exciting and a bit scary.  I think all things new and unknown have a tendency to be that way, don’t you?

2015 found me leaving one job that was very stressful and returning to a career that I found exciting some 7-8 years ago.  I joined a real estate team in town that I have the utmost respect for, and am surrounded by like-minded people who are supportive, fun, full of integrity, and faithful Christians.  That is important to me.  My schedule is somewhat set by me, and I love the freedom it offers.

There is a possibility that Dear Hubby and I will be moving into a different home.  It is exciting, yet a little unsettling, as nothing is written in stone. I love to dream, and am envisioning various new kitchen designs, hardwood floors, a big sliding glass door, and so much more.   Time will tell if they come into fruition.

I think for 2016, the word that best seems to set our goal for the new year is FLEXIBILITY.  How about you?  Do you have a word in mind that could be a focus for 2016?

flexibility

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

 

 

A Strange Christmas

As I write this, Christmas is a little under a week away, and the wrapping of gifts has begun.  It’s been a crazy few weeks around our house, with too much going on and too many changes taking place.  My goal was to be posting on this blog daily through the end of the year, but I’ve been lucky if I remember to brush my teeth on a daily basis.  Yeah, it’s been that crazy.

I started a new job… something that I had done previously, but took a 7 year vacation from .  I’m back in real estate, and loving it at the Lucy Ham Group, Inc. in Flushing, Michigan.  You hear about businesses  and organizations working as a team a lot, but never have I witnessed a business that truly knows how it is done.  Until now.  This group really pulls it off, and I am honored to be a part of it.  It is nice to feel so welcomed and made to feel like an integral part of the whole.  Thanks, guys!

This will be the first Christmas that all four of our parents will not be in attendance, and it feels strange.  My mother has been gone almost 8 years, and my father spends his holiday in a warmer location.  My mother-in-law passed away two years ago, and my father-in-law is now unable to attend due to dementia and physical problems.

However, on the plus side, this is our grandson Carson’s first Christmas.  At four months old, he will be wondering what all the excitement is about.  We’re really looking forward to this!

1stChristmas

Jacob, Fischer and Samantha will be around to help their little cousin through the excitement.  What a joy this will be for the entire Mosey bunch!

Here’s hoping the next few days calm down so we can breathe.  How about you?  What is going on in your world?

Santa, Are We Done Yet?

shopping

For the grandkids:

  • pants and shirt, size 12 male – check
  • pants and shirt, size 4 male – check
  • pants and shirt, size 6 months,  male – check
  • 2 shirts, size 8 female – check
  • goodies for the kids over age 30 – check, check, check and check
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuff – check
  • artist’s easel and art supplies – check
  • Robot – check
  • Goodies for the spouse – Spouse is getting a lump of coal for not giving Mrs. Claus a Christmas list.

 

coal

 

Tired of Politics Already?

politics

 

I enjoy Facebook, most of the time, anyway.    But during times like this, with a huge election down the road and candidates who leave much to be desired, I may just back off social media for awhile.  I may spend a WHOLE lot more time quilting by hand, in a comfy chair, with a hot cup of tea or cocoa on the table next to me, a cat on my lap…

Yeah, that sounds better.  How about you?