Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hearts on Fire Blog Hop

Welcome.  This is my first Hop of the year and I'm so happy to be part of it.  Carol ( justletmequilt ) has, as usual, come up with a great idea for the group and we're running with it.  The guidelines were pretty simple  something with a heart that isn't Red.

When I signed up I went searching on line for a design idea. I found this on Clipart and instantly knew that was the design I wanted to use.

Next up was the what.  Preferably not a mug rug or pin cushion, my usual go to items when I don't have a plan.

While pulling apart my house for the holidays I came across a mini quilt holder that I haven't used in years and thought it would be a perfect showcase for this piece.

Then I set to work.  Several years ago I spent the month of August doing a block a day of raw edge applique and loved it.  Well you know how "they" say that to do any free motion work you need to practice, practice, practice. Taking a 2 maybe 3 year break in using a skill is not good.

The first issue I had was that I am using a different machine now than back then. This one is more computer driven.  I could not figure out how to drop the feed dogs.  I massaged the entire machine for 10 minutes hoping to find the button.  Then I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to read and find info on the machines on screen computer manual.  Seriously in total it took me 30 minutes to drop them only to discover I had pretty much lost the skill. 

I will admit that as poorly as my stitching was I really loved the finished piece.  It didn't work well in the mini quilt holder so I found it a spot on my sewing room wall.

 I am not a quitter.  I wanted to use this pattern for this hop. Ta da.  I came up with another goal and switched up and did the stitching by hand . I'm out of practice at this too but I'm happy with the end result.

Again, what to do with it.  I exchange hand made gifts with several friends for Christmas.  One of the  gifts I received this year was this great dish drying mat. 

She included this with the pad just in case I wanted to try it on my own.  Yeah we've been friends for a long, long time and she knows me well.

This is a wonderful concept.  I have a store bought one of these that I have used for several years but it was just boring black.  It did it's job and that was really all that was required and when not in use it was in a drawer.  

My new one consists of 2 layers made from a jelly roll with a piece of foam in between. You can use a solid piece of fabric or a pieced block.  Just know it will get wet and will more than likely need to go through the washer occasionally. The best part of making it is that you can make it any size or shape that you want depending on the space you have available.

Using this idea and my heart design and some of  the Pellon foam I had in the closet I came up with this drying mat.

Well that sums up my contribution to this fun hop.  Here is the entire list of participants. Please take some time and visit them all you will be so glad that you did.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2021 - 1

 Happy New Year

One of my top 3 resolutions for this year is to post a lot more often here on my blog to keep track of what it is I'm doing in my quilting (crafting) life. Another of the resolutions was to finish some of the UFO's I have putting aside in "The Box",  maybe not all but hopefully many.  

So lets begin.  I did take a baggy out of "The Box New Years Eve starting the new year on the right foot. 

 I did intentionally take a very small project so I could have a great feeling of accomplishment. These are mug rugs I started maybe 2 years ago for a demo I did for my guild.

Ya Hoo, 1 down and about 18 or so to go

I have also started another project.  It started as a Leader/Ender project solely to use the triangles I keep acquiring while making masks.  

from triangle to 3 1/2 inch unfinished squares

They will be used in making the REMAINDERS quilt using the pattern from Amanda Jean Nyberg's book NO SCRAP LEFT BEHIND. I did make a quilt using this pattern a couple of years ago and just loved it.

I have also pulled my fabrics for the upcoming hop  Hearts on Fire  see that button up there on the right.  The requirements for this hop are to include some kind of heart and it can't be RED.   I realize that one of the choices in the picture looks red but it is in actuality a really great orange. Trust me on that.

Retirement has given me great opportunity to belong to several organizations that do a lot of charitable/fund raising crafting throughout the year. This year I want to keep track of how much of this type of thing I am doing. So every non hop post will end with a list of the regularly made items that I have done and turned in since the previous post. The list will include the following:

I do a lot with Operation Shoe Box, an organization that sends goodie boxes to our troops. I work with  3-4 different groups within the organization.  I make macramé bracelets that are included in the boxes. I print note cards with Patriotic themes that others hand write notes in for each box that goes out the door.

I work with their fund raiser group who make goodies to sell to raise money for shipping these boxes out. For them I make masks, zip pouches, key fobs etc.  Anything small that will tempt someone to donate to the cause. 

Another group is Abundance of Love who make yarn items for Hospital patients, hats, scarves, and items to sell for shipping costs. I crochet hats.

And then there is my Quilt guild chapter.  As a group we do preemie quilts for one of the large Orlando Hospitals.  We make these tiny, 11 or 17 inch squares, that are very lightly quilted themed quilts for Easter, 4th of July, Halloween and Christmas. The hospital schedules first photos for these occasions for these little ones. Our quilts are wonderful backdrops and memories for their first holiday photos. We also make dog/cat beds for the local animal shelter.

Throughout the year TQPM sends out requests for small shelter quilts for shelters in need.  Usually because they are covering for areas with major natural disasters such as fires and floods. More information can be found on this project at the link.

January 1 through January 5

  • bracelets                 30
  • masks                     16
  • zip bags                    2
  • key fob                     0
  • print cards              24 
  • crochet hats              0
  • preemie quilts           0
  • small kennel quilts   0
  • dog beds                   0       

Well I think I am off to a positive start on my resolutions for 2021.  Hope that it continues for a few more months at least.  Hope to see you in a couple of weeks at the Hearts on Fire hop.  I post on January 20.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Resolutions 2021

 Thanks go out to Carla for coming up with this ever so interesting Hop to wrap up 2020 and kick off 2021 in such a positive manner.  

A couple of years ago I used my blog to post my New Years resolution. It was to use my embroidery machine each month of the year by including an embroidered item in each hop I participated in. It  was successful. Being held accountable worked wonders for me.

When I first started my blog it was primarily for me to keep track of what it was I was crafting and why. From the beginning, what I made was wonderful quilting friends from around the world. I have spent most of my blogging time learning new skills and concepts from all of you generous people, truly a win win.

Resolution #1 is to go back to blogging on a more regular basis not just for hops.  While I am posting what I have accomplished for the hops I am not keeping track of the other stuff I have accomplished or hope to accomplish.  So I plan on having at least 1 non hop related post per month.

Resolution #2

Hopefully this group of 2020 UFO's will go away.

Resolution #2 should help with resolution #1.  I want to finish at least one of the items I have sitting in the to be finished pile per month. Not limited to 1 per month but at least one per month. some are small and just need me to sit down and DO IT. The group above are the starts not finished from just this year. There are 14 projects lying there.

Next up are the pre 2020 UFO's that I still would like to see finished. The first picture below are the more recent UFO's.  Maybe 2 years oldish.  Placemats and mug rugs.

Next up are Santa and the snowmen, items that are 6 plus years old.  They are half quilted. I have no idea why they are still hanging around. I take them out regularly and do nothing.  This go round I have separated them into 3 separate baggies hopefully if I can get one of them done I'll feel better.    

Oh and yes I do have other UFO's but they don't interest me anymore so adding them to these would, I think, cast a negative vibe. Also there may be a couple of more from this year that need finishing that are buried in the disaster that is my sewing space.  Those will be added to the group as I find them.
(2 weeks after writing this paragraph and I have found 2 more)

Last but not least Resolution #3 is that I want to work on staying focused on a project without a deadline or it becoming another UFO. It amazes me how focused I can be if I have to be, as in a date for a blog hop post, otherwise I just bounce from idea to idea. This is the reason I have the need for resolutions #1 and #2.  

So here they all are nicely collected in one place where I can just reach in and pull something out when I need something to do. At the moment there are 19 projects. I'm aiming for 12 completions but will be thrilled with at least 6.  I'll keep you posted in upcoming blog posts 😉😉😉



I am looking forward to reading everyone's resolutions and being on the lookout for different perspectives on what each of us wants and or needs to get done going into the New Year.

Here is a complete list of all of us who are sharing our goals today.  Go visit, leave a note and Last but definitely not least I am wishing all of you a Very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop - plus a give away

 Hello, hello, hello.  Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit with me and all of the other hoppers who  are exchanging virtual goodies this week.  Many thanks also to Carol for again taking on the task of coordinating this special event.

I have mentioned before that I am not a baker.  I have determined that the problem for me with baking is that it requires to much rule following and I don't like to follow rules ( that's why I'm a quilter ).  I discussed this with my sister who does bake and we determined that our mother (another who didn't follow rules) didn't bake.  We could only remember her making one type of cookie when we were growing up.  All I could remember was that it had sweetened condensed milk in it.  

Magic Cookie Bars  by Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

I googled cookies with sweetened condensed milk and there they were.  Apparently it is an extremely popular cookie world wide.  What I loved most about finding the recipe on google was that  people responded to the  recipe and wanted to know why it was put together in a different order than they were taught.  It really did make me smile.

Well I choose to make them the way the questioners were making them.  It felt more comfortable for some reason.  

The recipe uses nuts in addition to the chocolate chips and coconut flakes and has suggestions for other items.  My household splits on the use of nuts so I divided the pan into 3 sections.  One end section I used nuts while the other end section I used  craisins and the middle section got some kind of a mix of the two.

Since this is a Christmas hop I packaged an assortment of my cookies for 2 of my friends as early presents.  I etched 2 small plates with Christmas trees and wrapped them up in cellophane.  Then I added an etched ornament of the same but smaller tree. 

The cookies are gone and they got rave reviews.  One friend decided that they were a healthy snack because of the craisins 😋

This turned out to be a wonderful look back into my childhood so thanks Carol for a great time on so many levels.

So I'm having a give away of sorts.  Of late I have had to admit to myself that I am drowning in scraps. Scraps of all sizes and shapes.  None of them organized or pressed because that would be close to rule following.

I have at least 6 large laundry baskets and several drawers of them and I want to give most of them away.  Huge variety of types colors and prints no rhyme no reason.  I am willing to ship boxes, bags and envelopes of assorted scraps to some of you in the US (sorry but postage is limiting).  

 If you are interested in scraps leave a note in your comment and I'll be in touch.  I'd love to know what you might do with them but that's not a necessity in getting some.  Depending on the interest will determine how much I mail to how many.  I won't start mailing until the new year and then depending on how many of you are interested, packages may take a bit to get shipped out but my goal is to get this project done by the end of February at the very latest.

So that's it from me in Sunny Florida ( don't cuss me out, today we are having a low of 34 ).  

Please make sure you visit everyone one who is virtually sharing their cookies and other Christmas memories.  Here is a list for your browsing convenience.  Looking forward to hopping with you all again in 2021.   Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Above all Stay Safe.

December 1

Creatin' in the Sticks

Doreen – Just Let Me Quilt Guest

Bumbleberry Stitches

Home Sewn By Us

Quilt Schmilt

Food for Thought

Life in the Scrapatch

Ms P Designs USA

Just Sew Quilter

Cathie's Craftworks

Cynthia's Creating Ark

 December 2


Karen's Korner

Sew Many Yarns

Selina Quilts

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Days Filled With Joy

Words & Stitches

Just Because Quilts


December 3



DayBrook Designs

Karrin’s Crazy World

Samelia's Mum

Songbird Designs

For The Love Of Geese

Stitchin At Home

Dreamworthy Quilts

That Fabric Feeling

 December 4

Just Let Me Quilt

Quilt Fabrication

DesertSky Quilting

Seams To Be Sew

Happy Cottage Quilter

Pumpkin Patch Patterns & Quilting

The Darling Dogwood

Kathleen McMusing


Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Have You Tried Etching Glass Yet - No you don't need a cutting machine

  Back in July I posted a piece of etched glass that I made for a Christmas gift. 

 For this piece I used my ScanNCut for the design. A couple of people reading the post and several people in my guild commented that etching looked like fun but they didn't have cutting machines.

This post is a  tutorial based on how I etch without using a machine. It is picture heavy. I will be including a couple of links to youtube tutorials that cover both machine and non machine projects.  The one using a machine is worth watching for the tips on the etching process.

For this post the items I will be using are:

Protection for your work surface (I use a puppy pad but several layers of newspaper will work just fine)

Disposable baking pan for rinsing off the etching cream (this can be used multiple times)

Armour Etching Cream  which I got at JoAnns,  $9.98 full price, but I used a coupon.(This has the potential to be a  dangerous  item. Please read the label before using.  Keep our to the reach of children, it can burn your skin, you need to wear gloves and eye protection, remember this is glass etching cream so it will etch your prescription glasses ) While this won't etch plastic, it can etch some sinks which is why I use the disposable pan for the initial rinse)  This little jar of cream goes on for a very long time because  the cream gets put back in the bottle and reused.

It's a thick cream and I haven't had any issues with it.

An applicator ( I use a small paint brush, picked up a package the dollar store, I haven't tried a sponge brush)

So far I have primarily etched pieces of glass from The Dollar Store and a Christmas ornament that cost me 50 cents at Hobby Lobby on sale.

I have also successfully etched a Pyrex pie dish $6 and a couple of $4 glass mugs using a designs made using the scan n cut.

And last but definitely not least you need some form of shipping label.  You need to be able to peel the label from the backing for the process. You can buy all sorts of sizes at Staples.  I have also found that the Priority Mail labels I use for packages and got for free  at the PO are great for the job.  

The biggest problem I have had so far is taking pictures of the finished items  Glass is a bear to photograph.

So let us begin.  The first step is finding a simple design that you can get onto your label to cut out.  I use my computer and clip art for ideas.  I understand that a childs coloring book is also a good source. 

If you are a cardmaker or scrapbooker you may have a great paper punch for a design.  

Or you can go back to your crafting beginnings and fold a piece of paper in half and free hand a design.  That's what I did for my Tree and Heart. 

I will also be trying for the first time to use stickers doing a word on the sample mug its kind of a reverse process.

I will be using 3 sides of this Mason Jar type mug.  This is a good starter shape because the sides are flat. Curves are a bear to get a good sharp edge where the cream cant leak under. I have successfully done curves but not on my first try.  I'd suggest starting with flat surfaces for a start.

Before you start, wipe the glass with an alcohol wipe of some sort.  You want to remove all finger oils. 

To begin.  Peal the backing off your design and place it on your glass.  Rub down all of the designs edges. If there is the slightest gap or wrinkle the cream will creep under and etch a blotch at that point on your project.  


Cover your design with etching cream, Make sure you cover the entire design including any little pointy areas.  brush from the paper in so as not to lift any edges.  You can look from the back and sometimes see tiny gaps you may have missed.  Be careful to stay within the label. Cream coming into contact with any glass will cause it to be etched.

I let the cream sit on the glass for 5 to 10 minutes.  I can't find the instructions but I think they suggest 3 minutes.  At the end of the time carefully take the brush and capture as much of the cream as you can and put it back in the container to use again.

Rinse the remaining cream and label off and dry.  You will have trouble seeing the design while the glass is wet and feel like your failed. You just need to be a little bit patient.

I got this far and came across  a punch with a little star so after the fact I added it.

For this side of the mug I am using multiple paper punch designs

after the 5 minutes, start the wash off

just keep it wet and keep rubbing off the label.

This is my last example.  I have the mug handle wedged in a folded towel to keep it steady while I do this new to me process. This is kind of a reverse process.  One of the you tube videos I've seen  showed how you could add words using stickers.  The trick is to neatly stop the etching process.

Making a masking tape edge worked well for me.  I did do it by eyeballing not measuring.

Again make sure all of the edges are as securely adhered to the glass as possible before covering in cream.

Now for the reveals of the day.

My collection of punched snowflakes
I find that my best pictures of the etched glass are taken on my lawn.

my hand cut tree with the punched star

my sticker snow

And last but not least my glass ornament with the cut out tree.  I notice that I need to add the star to its top before gifting.

Here are the 2 links to youtube videos that I found very helpful on the use of the etching cream no matter that the first one is using a cut pattern in the demo.

 etching on pyrex      

wine glass         

I hope that you found this post has aroused your curiosity enough to give etching a try. Other than the initial purchase of the etching cream it can be a source of some really reasonably priced and creative gift items from craft and dollar stores.
I'd love to hear how you made out and if there are any questions please let me know and I'll see if I can answer them.

I am self taught with the help of youtube videos.  I have only been doing this since this summer. If I can do it, I'm pretty sure you can too.  Have Fun.