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

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

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.




HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

Three weeks has brought some changes and I find myself moving right along. I received the batting I had ordered from Joann’s website.


With batting and backing material I was ready to sandwich it all together and get quilting.


I am using a Coats & Clark extra strong hand quilting thread in a cranberry colored to match the backing.

Next, the hand quilting actually began and I have completed 2 blocks, moving on to a 3rd already. I have only been quilting the inside of each block. I can tell already that I will be going back through once that is done, quilting the outside border of the larger block.


It’s  difficult to see the stitching on the blue block.


With the coronavirus here and causing great concern in our area we have pretty much socially distanced ourselves from our community. We have not been out since the 4th, except for 2 trips I have made to the grocery store. My husband has severe emphysema. It was critical I take pro active measures immediately.

One of the up sides to this, was that plenty of quilting had been getting done.

To all my quilting friends and family, sending out a prayer for calm healthy weeks ahead for us all as we navigate through this crisis. While we are distancing ourselves from one another physically let’s remember to reach out to friends and family and check in on one another. I look forward to hearing from you all on the next check in.

Now time to go and blog hop 🙂

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

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 above.

HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

Three weeks hasn’t brought much progress on the Capital T quilt but I did decide on my backing material. I originally had thought I’d use a solid fabric in the cranberry, maroon color of the sashing material.


Finding the right coordinating color proved harder than I thought. In fact, it was impossible for me. I had taken a gamble and ordered a king size flat sheet but the color was off. I could have spent more boots on the ground time shopping but ultimately I decided on a pattern which I think will work perfectly.


It is from Joanns, one of the premium wide cotton fabrics @  108″ for 19.99 on sale at 11.99 . I bought 2 yards and will have more than enough to use in something else.



Hoping I’ll have her all sandwiched together next time with some quilting begun 🙂 Please take a moment or two and enjoy the projects of the other hand quilters in our group.

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


SAL Update: Keeping It Simple

It’s been a crazy 3 weeks ~ I had thought my next project would be to start this Halloween holiday sampler. I never saw directions so tiny. My magnifier didn’t help nor lighting, so I put her aside again.


You may remember these little gems I picked up. I started and finished the Cardinal.



After finishing this and as an afterthought, I am now thinking wouldn’t these make darling tiny pillow ornaments?

While at Joanns, I picked up this simple Cactus kit and decided this would go perfect with  the Owl and the Cactus I did for my daughter a month or so back.



That about wraps up this SAL update. Please take a moment and enjoy the postings of the others in our group. Just click on the links below. There are some wonderful projects in the works.


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

About the SAL

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. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by contacting Avis. She’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

Christmas Cards in January

You may remember that for Christmas 2019, I  wanted a little something extra special for my uncle. I had found at our local Goodwill store this cross stitch card and thought it was perfect and just what I was looking for.

He Loved it !

Browsing eBay for fun stuff, I came across a set of 4 similar cards being sold.


I was able to pick up these 4 beauties for $8.76. The cardinal is my favorite but they are all adorable and will make very special gift cards this coming holiday season.

As you know already, it is never to soon to get started ~ shhhh ~ before we know it, December will be here again in all it’s holiday glory 🙂

Winter Snow

Sunday night our first snow hit us in the great northwest corner. It’s been a constant battle to keep the bird feeders filled. We knew it was coming and I was prepared. A first light dusting and a shake off of the bamboo was needed and each day since (kitty cat path)


More snow everyday but I am not complaining. My daughter in Alaska just chuckles and says I love it. My daughter in Okinawa cries and says I miss it and I say perfect time to hunker down and get a lot of crafting done.



Backyard stream is running high and strong



Lots is getting done on the Ornamental Pumpkin cross stitch and I hope to have the Capital T quilt top totally pieced together for our next show and tells (last postings pictures)

My favorite guy ~ Dusty Doolittle Johnson




HQAL Update: Baby Quilt & T Quilt

This is our first posting for the year 2020 and I am

pleased to report I have a finish with the baby blanket.



I would have liked to have quilted around each of the triangles but with the time restraint to get it in the mail to the shower in time, I opted for only quilting the inside and outside of the square blocks. Originally I intended to add a small gray pompom embellishment with the border but it just didn’t have the look I had envisioned.

Simplicity won out. She’s in the mail for shower which is next Saturday.


My other hand project is the ongoing T block quilt. At our last posting I had shared I had begun stitching the blocks together. I really had no idea my direction with this but I was able to get a really good look at what was going on ~ a bunch of mish mosh un squared off mess of blocks.


Back to the drawing board, blocks squared off and sashing added,  much better. I feel like I have something worth piecing together. There will be two more rows for a total of 16 blocks. The blocks measure  15 X 15″  and the sashing is 1 1/2″ wide.


I hope you’ll take some time and visit the others in this hand quilt along group. There are some fabulous projects in the works. We post an update on our projects every three weeks. If you would like to join along, please contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, MargaretEmmaTracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharon,
Karrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy and Connie