SAL: Sweet Cactus Finish :)

Hi All ~ it’s that time again for an update on my SAL Sweet Cactus. I have a finish. That is a finish until I have her framed. At our last posting three weeks ago I was here.


It didn’t take me long to get the backstitching finished and my name on it, need to put the year still.


Once framed, this sweet cactus will join the first one I had completed back in December, and then make its way to Okinawa, Japan for my daughter. I’ll frame her exactly the same for a matched pair 🙂


You may remember this set of cross stitch Christmas cards I purchased. I had already completed the Cardinal and picked up the candle with poinsettia to work on while deciding on what’s next.

I do have the Halloween Sampler I could start and she may just be the one.


By clicking on the names of the links below you can visit the others participating in this SAL and see the fabulous projects they are working on.


About the SAL

Please note this SAL is not accepting any more new members until further notice but this is what it’s all about anyway. This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL.

HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

It’s been a busy last three weeks and I could have been busier. I completed three more blocks and had to stop as I ran out of thread. Not wanting to go out and hit Joanns, I order from Connecting Threads. My ordered shipped on the 8th and I am hoping it will arrive any day now. If I didn’t match the color right (gave myself a few options) it will be close enough I am sure to continue.

With the three completed, I only have two more left to do.




I do want to go back around and quilt the inside square of each block.


I have been working on two other hand quilting projects. Curious George, bright and bold for my grandson’s 1st child due in August and the sweet rainbow in powdered blues is to have on hand 🙂



Hello to Sherrie and welcome


Below are the links to all participating in the HQAL. Please take a moment and stop in to see what the other hand quilters are working on.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, Margaret, TracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy, Connie, Monica and Sherrie


SAL: Sweet Cactus Update

Before I update you on my ‘Sweet Cactus’ I wanted to update you on my baking endeavor since the last time we met. Anne Lawson (in our group) shared a recipe last time we posted. It looked so delicious I had to try it. In fact, I tried it that very same Sunday 3 weeks ago. I’ve attached her link below.

It turned out so delicious. The crust had a shortbread texture, the apples melted in your mouth. I’ve made the recipe one more time since.Thank you for posting that delicious recipe Anne, it most certainly is a favorite now.


Also, I wanted to say welcome back to Helen and I’ll be hopping over to see what project you’re working on.

And now for our SAL update

I had hoped for a finish, but not this week ~ but close. At our last posting I was here, questioning the dark green.


Here’s where I am now


In the photo’s below you can really see how the lighting affects color with the most recent closest to true. The shadowing and dark green looks just fine now. Last posting I was considering removing it. Thankfully the consensus was to leave it and wait and see. I waited, I saw and I like it 🙂 When I am finished with the backstitching and little prickly spines, I’ll be done 🙂


It’s Mother’s Day today in the states and I wanted to wish you ALL a beautiful day, whether here or abroad, celebrating or not, mom’s of precious humans or mom’s of precious fur babies.



If you have some time, please stop by the other members in the group to see all the wonderful projects in the works.

The Start of Something New ~ Baby Quilt

The news of great grand baby # 7 didn’t surprise me. My husband use to joke our daughters were in a race for the coveted “Breeders Cup” every time one of the five girls announced they were expecting. What a legacy (sadly he passed many years ago and does not get the joy of experiencing each new blessings) but here I am again, with an August due date for a baby girl.

My grandson Kris and his partner Alice are – unconventional – edgy – funky –

Living in Texas, Kris works on those ‘huge’ windmill turbines and Alice is a cartoon graffiti artist for the lack of not knowing how else to describe her style.

I needed to do something edgy yet girly, out there but traditional, bold yet babyish

Before I proceed with this, I did 3 practice blocks (hand stitched of course 🙂 and welcome some feed back please


I have lots of the Curious George bright and bold yellow material, enough to do the backing with this material too. At an estate sale sometime back, pre COVID-19 shopping, I had picked up quite a bit of the two pink fabrics. The pinks were precut into 4″ x 7″ oblongs. The inside block is measuring 6″ x 6″ with border 9 1/2″ sq

When I first put them together I thought, omg, no way but those blocks are growing on me. I think it just may be what I was looking for with funky, unconventional, out there, bold, cartoony and fun!


Also using up some of the material on these smalls (3 x 3) for gifts. I thought I might include with a Mothers Day card for my girls  


How is everyone doing in this new age of COVID-19 living? While so much has changed in our day to day life, I feel like I can honestly say ‘it’ has afforded me a free pass in a way not to feel guilty to sit and quilt more. There’s no need to come up with an excuse to turn down an invite to lunch out with the girls because I want to quilt instead (for example)

And while all else is failing right now – this quilters saying never seemed more apropos!


HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

I’ve  been busy the last 3 weeks and I have enjoyed the endless hours of hand stitching this sheltering in place has given me. I finished 5 more blocks for the Capital T Quilt






I now have 10 of the 16 blocks quilted






6 more blocks to complete, hopefully by next check in.


Welcome Monica to the group


Please take a moment to stop in and check out the other amazing works in progress of the others in our group. The links are below

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, Margaret, TracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy, Connie and Monica





SAL: Sweet Cactus Update

I know I must say this just about every time I post, how can three weeks fly by this quickly? Time again to show our progress. Sweet Cactus is coming along and I making progress. Here is where I was last time


And here is where I am now


Funny how lighting changes the look and color so much. The color on last weeks posting rings more true. I am not a fan of the dark dark green that was given for the shadowing. It just seems wrong to me. The change is not subtle enough. I wish I had spotted this before I had it all done. Now to decide if I want to remove it and substitute with a my own color choice. Any opinions on that?

I also wanted to welcome Sherrie to the SAL


The list of the other members in the SAL is below and if you have some time, please stop by and check out their pages and what they have been working on.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie




Sheltering in Place, from my home to yours

It occurred to me I haven’t shown to much of what I have been up to while sheltering in place. I have updated you on my projects for the HQAL and SAL that I participate in

but other than that I haven’t shared any of the other projects I have been working on. I finished 2 sets of tea towels/dish towels for two daughters.



Just last week I picked up a baby quilt I had started some time back. Its done in a simple pattern, the pinwheel, my go to favorite. I had hand pieced the middle pinwheels with about 14 completed and now have added the border by machine.



I don’t think I had shown you the quilt I picked up from the Goodwill quite some time ago, pre COVID – 19, I have it doubled up and folded over a fence line. It has all been hand stitched.  The back of the quilt is what the pinwheel blocks are photoed on.


I have continued to make masks for friends, requests are still coming in but more slowly now as more and more people are making them. These two were for friends heading into Seattle to a medical center for a scheduled procedure


My daughter Marissa (in Japan) had told me about using Instacart for grocery delivery. Monday we had our first delivery. Our experience was perfect, our personal shopper on the ball, efficient and friendly while texting through the store with what was and wasn’t available, replacement possibilities complete with pictures. The best surprise was learning her name was Marissa. It was like having my daughter shopping for me (they were both in the same age bracket too, 30’s)

The weather has been beautiful in our northwest corner of the country giving me lots of time outside and in the gardens. I have two strawberry beds like this one, loving the warmer weather1m

1rThe raspberry are showing their beauty and leafing out. Last year was my first year for them to produce. I have 6 main ?canes? are they called canes? The 3 blueberry bushes are limping along still. Two lone tulips popped up – none of the others yet. The daffies are done.



There’s a real quietness to the garden this year. Only the established perennials will display their beauty, I will not be adding anything new or any annuals, it’s victory garden time here. On one of my last outings late Feb. to the local rite aid, I picked up some veggie seed packets. I have spinach started and outdoors in pots and these chives are gorgeous coming back from last year.


I killed 3 tomato plants I put outside to early and the frost got them. I have new seedlings sprouting again. I have radishes coming up, lettuce started, basil and peas all started indoors – a first batch of peas out doors is no more. Carrots and squash need to go in soon – I really have no idea what I am doing; this is a real learning curve keeping me busy.


The bread machine has been put to great use and while Easter was uneventful and quiet, I managed to whip up a picture perfect Pineapple Upside Down bundt cake.


Thinking about the virus and all the changes in our lives right now has kept me busy, reflective and thankful. I find I wake anxious to see who has posted what you have been doing and what is going on where you are. Like many I have spent countless more hours on the phone and face timing with family, checking in, confirming all is ok.

We have 2 resident squirrels who have kept us company and amused this spring, stopping daily for their peanuts and corn. And look at this little guy trying his best to get this peanut…..hey you have your own bird seed to eat.


My hope and prayer is that you and your family members are all well and everyone is safe.


HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

The three weeks has flown by, they always seem to. I have remained busy at home during the ‘stay at home order’. The other day my OH and I talked about friends saying they are bored, I can’t even get to everything I want to do during the day done. Thinking about it, I am wondering if it is more a case of anxiety over boredom? I am thinking we need more hand piecing and quilting going on – that would help.

I have completed 2 more blocks of Capital T


I love the color combo’s of both of these blocks but this pale green is my favorite


I have completed 5 blocks out of the 16

Time to do some blog hopping and see what everyone else has been working on and the  progress they have made. Stay well and safe

hug3Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, MargaretEmmaTracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy and Connie

SAL: Sweet Cactus Update

I am so excited to check in and connect with all of you. We have been self quarantined during the corona virus since the 4th. It hasn’t been exceptionally hard for me but I was surprised how anxious I was for this 3 weeks to pass. Here is where I was at our last check in.


Here is where I am now



I’ll be continuing to work on this sweet cactus for my daughter but I have also finished another project I have been working off and on for some time that I wanted to share with you, a new crocheted baby blanket.



In my favorite popcorn stitch


My thoughts are with you all affected by our worlds current situation and I am looking forward to hopping over to your pages to see what you’ve been working on. Continue to look out for yourself, your family and others. Be safe and take all precautions possible.


Now to go and blog hop and enjoy the work of all the other talented crafters and if you’d like to participate please contact Avis below and she will walk you through joining in.

A New Sewing Machine Gets Put to Work

It was on a whim that I purchased a sewing machine from Joann’s. I’ve probably had it for close to year now. Since I am not a machine quilter, or machine sewing creator of anything really, I never updated my blog with the purchase. But here she is, basic, simple and at a good price. I want to say $79 but I honestly don’t remember and I had no idea what I would do with it really.


I have had a machine before, an old Kenmore that only did straight stitching. I made a few children’s outfit for a daughter when she was 3/4; 40 years ago, one pattern in a few different colors. That was the extent of my machine experience. Where that machine is now, no idea. I also had a gorgeous antique treadle Singer machine, brought over from Italy given to me as a gift by an aging Italian couple at least 30 years ago. That is now treasured by another daughter.

Here we are in the midst of corona virus, COVID 19, we have been self quarantined since the 4th, (my husband has severe COPD) I had first heard of the virus from my daughter living over in Okinawa (Military) It was big news about the cruise ship off the coast there, a petri dish of the infection. I remember the panic we felt, mother & daughter discussing what to do. She went out and prepared as best she could. Nearly all supplies were gone from the commissary, ‘send me Purell sanitizer please, lysol spray’ all the things you need and can’t get. (no can do through the mail) 3 cases were originally contracted by cab drivers by guests from the ship on shore visiting. But that was contained and no other spread was reported. Fast forward to now. This past week a resurgent of a few cases again, schools are closed and the base is secured. Anyone coming in has their temp taken. The same protocol ~ shelter in place. Her husband is in Bagdad, Embassy (5 months now) not expected home till July. There are rules on bases, one being if she were to catch it she would have to self quarantine in her bedroom with a private bathroom. No bathroom in her bedroom, so no can do, which begs the question where would ‘they put her’ and what of my 2 grands at home, where do they go? Dad can’t come home, no planes in and out from either places plus he would have to quarantine, they can’t be sent to grandma….all this to say we are facing incredible times of uncertainty where questions remain overwhelming at times and with no easy answer. Just adding another note to this mother’s concerns, I also have one grown daughter, a home health hospice nurse, Calif. and another, a checker at Whole Foods, Oregon, both serving their community ~ I am worried of course and also proud of them ~ but I have veered off course

The sewing machine ….

I am making masks for friends and anyone in my small 55 and over community that may want one.

But I have to laugh. My blogging and fellow quilting friend Kathy @ Sewing Ect. shared this morning

just posted a great story ‘sewing machine purgatory’ along with a great soufflé recipe you must try

A sewing machine master I am not, a novice at best, with only one home economic class in the late 60s under my belt, so when I ran out of bobbing thread that came with the machine, I was horrified. Where was that manual? of course I couldn’t find it, so I turned to You Tube.

I found what I needed and with the cheers of my husband “great job” I got a bobbin wound. It wasn’t that hard but then, when I went to start another mask, the tension was wrong, the stitching was not right. Good grief Charlie Brown – I spent hours watching, rewatching, re threading the machine, changing the bobbin, positioning with a ‘6’ and back in. ohhhhhh, wait, I got think I figures it out, quilting thread weight in the bobbin, regular weight thread, one wrong threading error of machine by the needle, simple errors but no less my own sewing machine purgatory. Then, add in my husband calling from the other room, from his on line gaming commander chair where he is saving the universe from invasion (don’t get started on that) “do you need me to come in and help you?” “NO” ~ keep away from me, that was the last thing I needed just then.

Almost an entire day was spent on this problem.

But I got her fixed and am back in business making masks. My small part in feeling less helpless. I liked this from the American Red Cross.


With so many of us scattered all over the country and in different countries facing different and yet many of the same concerns, fears and confinement of movement lets look out for each other, whether it be physically, or through concrete deeds or words of encouragement.