A Challenge to start the New Year

Many of us struggle with day to day things. Money is tight all over. We struggle with health issues. Not enough time to do the things we want. Mostly they are things we can change or at least deal with. When we look at the overall picture ... Life really is good to us. God is good to us. Maybe we can give a little to make a child smile!

I am CHALLENGING all of those who come across this blog post to help out in a very small way. I grew up in Connecticut. Spent most of my life there. In Connecticut Paul Newman started a camp for children with terminal illnesses or cancer. It's called the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Here the kids can experience a few days or weeks of being a kid just like any other kid with others who understand why they don't have any hair or are puffy from steroids or don't have a lot of energy. But they are still kids.

The Farmington Valley Quilt Guild (I hope that's the one Jackie but correct me if I'm wrong) has decided to donate 300 pillowcases for the children. They are a small guild and Jackie is offering up a CHALLENGE to all her readers to make just one pillowcase. She will send you a simple 20 minute pillowcase pattern. (Or I can send you the pattern.) I am Challenging YOU! It takes very little fabric. You might find it so simple that you make a few of them! Such a small gift that makes you feel good as well as bringing a smile to a child's face.

You can contact Jackie at jackie@cvquiltworks.com

her blog!... http://www.cvquiltworks.blogspot.com/

her web site!... http://www.cvquiltworks.com/

CPSIA 2008

or Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act signed into law on August 14, 2008.

Regardless of whether or not you make/sell products for Children under 12, this new law will effect you, and effect all children.

The CPSIA of 2008 will effect everyone who makes items for children under the age of 12, and everyone who buys products for children under the age of 12. In order to be in compliance with the new law, third-party testing and certification would be required for all products for children under 12, stating these items are lead-free and phthalates-free. Testing that is so expensive it is prohibitive to most of us. EVERY ITEM needs to have certification with it for all components including threads, zippers, buttons and fabrics! This would apply to all products inclusive of handmade items, vintage items, and any items made - either for sale or for free - for children (other than your own) under the age of 12.

Go after the foreign made stuff! Not only will this affect the small business person but also organizations that depend on donations of items such as blankets from crafters that make them for the needy. Don't sit idle as it won't go away just by us wishing it so.

featured - Spotted Cow Soaps

What a name! Well....she does live in the heart of Vermont amongst dairy farms! She started making soaps because she had some skin issues and it just took off from there. I think her day job as a Food Service Director has spilled over into her soaps and scrubs. Just stop by and see some of the stuff she has to offer.

You might try this to help celebrate  the New Year!

Visit Spotted Cow Soaps!

For a special little boy named Jacob

My husband's niece and her husband adopted a little Korean boy whom they named Jacob. They recently celebrated his 1st birthday and had him baptized. I wanted to get this quilt finished and sent to him for that special day but alas....time was not on my side. It is going in the mail today.

These are some of the pieces as I started the appliqués. I wanted it to have lots of textures so used minky fabrics along with cottons.

Jacob quilt

Here is the finished quilt top. I used purple and yellow and green and red and blue. All the appliqués were done with Scottie fabrics! All the same design but in yellow, red or green.

jacobs quilt 1

Here is his name!

jacobs quilt 2

The back is a nice soft green minky fabric. I hope he enjoys it!

jacobs quilt 3

Featured Artist.....Storybeader

check out her shop!
the storybeader

The colorful cross
Gave a big shout out to all
The shades of turquoise.
- storybeader

Leo wanted to
Be chosen to sit atop
The serpentine knoll.
- the storybeader

The workers shot large
Cannonballs into the hills
To draw out silver.
- storybeader

Scottie fabric finds

Lots of friends on Scottie groups have been asking what some of the Scottie fabrics I have purchased this year look like as they want to be able to make wise choices and FIND them! Here's for all the Scottie fabric addicts like me! There is a red thermal with black Scotties that I haven't bought yet so don't have a photo. Hope this helps all my Scottie friends who have asked what they look like!

two pink fleece from JoAnn Fabrics

pink scottie fleece

Blue Fleece called "Scotties with circles" and red plaid with Scotties from JoAnn Fabrics


Pink ribbons with Scotties and red plaid with Scotties from Hancock Fabrics - I know not everyone has one of these stores nearby. JoAnn's can be purchased on-line though!

fleece hancock

assorted pink Scottie snuggle flannels from JoAnn fabrics

flannels pink

Christmas flannel at JoAnn Fabrics

scottie Christmas 2

red plaid snuggle flannel with Scotties from JoAnn Fabrics


reissues of old favorites can be found at both stores this year. The green at Hancock's and the red at JoAnn's.

red green scotties

Some progress!!!

I finished the three Christmas stockings and they are in this pile of packages going out today along with a couple Bling Scottie sweat shirts and some funky Scottie coasters making their way to the UK!PB040003

I have started doing the appliqués for Jacob's quilt. I want it to be touchy feely as little ones should have lots of textures to touch and the colors should carry him through a few years.

Jacob quilt

So I did make progress. It's off to the post office and to VOTE! Then I work the afternoon until closing.

See ya all tomorrow!

What Am I Working On????

I have several projects in the works right now. Will probably blog about some of them in the future.

1. I have three more of these cut out. The lady who purchased it would like three more to go with it.

stocking red plaid flocked3

2. Working on an appliqué quilt for Hubby's new nephew.

3. Have an heirloom project. Customer sent me a quilt made by her grandmother. I am deconstructing and remaking one with the fabric that is salvageable and Scottie fabrics.. 

4. Sequined Scottie sweatshirts.

5. Men's ties.

6. Scottie memo/chalk boards.

7. Still learning my new job but having fun doing it!

The story of Ralph

My maternal grandparents have been deceased for many years. My grandfather Ralph Morin died when I was about 10 I think. I really am not sure anymore exactly when. My Grandmother Loretta (Young) Morin passed away in April of 1968 while I was away in Australia attending school. By today's standard's they both died young in their early 50's. You ask what this has to do with Ralph? Well at some time during their life together Grampa Ralph gave Grammy Morin a mink stole. Through the years my Mom had it. I don't think she ever wore it but she kept it. Last November my Mom passed away and my sisters asked if I wanted the stole. I of course said yes. Not because I would wear it although it was lovely. I never had anything that belonged to my Grandmother after she passed away. Anyway... Ralph was made from that mink stole. I waited to name him until I saw how he looked. He definitely looked male to me...otherwise he would have been Loretta! Here is a photo of my grandparents. I'm hoping one of my sisters can find a photo of my grandmother in her mink stole.

Wordless Wednesday - Ralph

I'll tell you about Ralph tomorrow.

I'm Baaaack!...and the HOT MAMA apron swap

I have been missing in action and hope to be able to remedy that. I got a promotion at work which took me away from things and I think even though the hours are long that I might be able to get back on track now. I signed up for the HOT MAMA apron swap and this is what my swap partner will be getting in the mail. The whole swap was based hot drinks. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate. You get the picture.

hot MAMA 1

What little I got about my partner told me she liked red but her least favorite color was grey. She loves flavored hot chocolate! I included a set of coasters I made to match the apron and an assortment of hot chocolate mixes. These apron swaps are so much fun!

H is for honey

Oatmeal Milk and Honey from

The Copper Cauldron

Honey Dew Earrings from Bella's Gems

bees on honeycomb - dog collar from


Lila's Cafe - Oats 'N Honey Dog Cookies

from Camphor Creations

Monday Memory

Almost forgot that today was Monday!

Sometimes memories are not always sweet or happy. Sometimes they are about hurt or misunderstandings.

20020611_Dcp_0670_Lilac First grade....I walked to school and home by myself. Even crossed streets without crossing guards in those days! It was spring and the lilacs were blooming. There was a house I passed that had the biggest most beautiful lilac bush I have ever encountered. Each day I would stop and smell them. To a little girl they were just heavenly. One day the lady who lived there asked if I would like some to take home to my mother. I was thrilled and excited. She cut me a bouquet that was almost as big as I was. I thanked her (that's what I had been taught to do) and skipped on home with a smile on my face. I had a huge bouquet to give to my Mother. Beautiful flowers just for her. It was special. Her response was not what my little heart had expected.

She yelled at me for stealing flowers from someone's yard! Called me a little thief! She wouldn't even listen when I tried to explain that the nice lady gave them to me to give to her! My heart that was so full of happiness broke with hurt that my gift to her had caused unhappiness instead of the smile that I had hoped for. I don't remember what happened. I think she went to the ladies house but to me it did not matter. I never brought her flowers again even though I loved her. Not even when she died.

Needle Types

THERE'S A LARGE VARIETY OF NEEDLES AVAILABLE TODAY but the general rules for usage still hold true. Use sharp points for woven fabrics, ball-point needles for knits and universal points for both wovens and knits. Needle sizes are usually marked with European and American numbers, with the European number first. Needle sizes range from 60/8 (finest) to 120/19 (thickest).
Ball-point/stretch needles have a slightly rounded tip that goes between the threads of a knit fabric--available in sizes 70/10 through 100/16.
Sharp (Microtex) needles have a sharp point to pierce the threads of woven fabric--good for heirloom sewing and quilt piecing. Available in sizes 60/8 through 90/14.
Universal needle points are slightly rounded for use with knit fabrics, yet sharp enough for wovens--available in sizes 60/8 through 120/19.
Denim/jeans needles have an extra-sharp point and stiff shank for stitching denim, heavy faux leather and other densely woven fabrics. Available in sizes 70/10 through 110/18.
Leather needles have a wedge-shaped point to penetrate leather, suede, heavy faux leather and nonwoven fabrics--available in sizes 80/12 through 110/18.
Machine-embroidery needles are designed to prevent thread shredding and breakage when sewing dense designs with rayon, metallic and other embroidery threads. Available in sizes 75/11 through 90/14.
Metallic needles feature a longer eye, fine shaft and sharp point to eliminate thread breakage, shredding and skipped stitches. They also work well with monofilament threads. Also known as Metallica, Metafil and Metallic Machine Embroidery--available in sizes 70/10 through 90/14.
Quilting needles have a sharp tapered point to sew through thick layers and across seams--available in sizes 75/11 through 90/14.
Topstitch needles have an extra-sharp point, larger eye and groove to accommodate topstitching thread. Available in sizes 80/12 through 100/16.


Special-purpose needles
These needles are used only with front-to-back threading machines with zigzag features. Make sure your throat-plate needle hole is wide enough to accommodate needle's width, and zigzag width function is set at zero to prevent sideways movement.

Hemstitch (wing) needleHemstitch (wing) needle
Uses: Hemstitching or heirloom embroidery on linen and batiste.
Configuration: Has fins on sides of shank to create holes as you sew.
Troubleshooting: Stitch is more effective when needle returns to same needle hole more than once. If needle pushes fabric into needle hole, put stabilizer under fabric.

Twin (double) needleTwin (double) needle
Uses: Topstitching, pin tucking, and decorative stitching.
Configuration: Two needles on single shaft produce two rows of stitches. Measurement between needles ranges from 1.6mm to 6mm, and needles come with universal, stretch, embroidery, denim, and Metallica points.
Troubleshooting: Be sure throat plate allows for distance between needles.


Triple needleTriple needle
Uses: Same uses as for double needle.
Configuration: Cross bar on single shaft connects three needles to sew three stitching rows. Comes with universal point in 2.5mm and 3mm widths.
Troubleshooting: Same as for double needle.

Spring needleSpring needle
Uses: Free-motion stitching with dropped feed dogs.
Configuration: Has wire spring above point to prevent fabrics from riding up onto needle, eliminating need for presser foot.
Troubleshooting: Before using, practice free-motion stitching with heavy regular needle, paper, and dropped feed dogs. Don't pull paper/fabric; instead gently guide it through stitching. Wear safety glasses for free-motion work, since needles often break.

Understanding the sewing machine needle

Understanding the basic needle parts helps to better understand the needle's functions.

The needle shank is the area inserted in the machine and held in place by a screw or clamp. Most household sewing machine needles have a flat shank side. This should be positioned opposite the threading path. On most of the newer machines the flat side goes to the back.

The groove is an indentation down the front of the needle shaft which leads the thread from the last machine thread guide to the needle eye.

The needle shaft is the long portion that penetrates the fabric with each stitch.

The eye is the receptacle for the thread and should allow it to pass through smoothly and freely for proper stitch formation.

The point is the sharp or rounded end penetrating the fabric.

The scarf is an indentation at the back of the needle above the eye. A long scarf helps eliminate skipped stitches by allowing the bobbin hook to pick up the upper thread more easily.

Next...Needle types

Needles....which one to use?

Working in a fabric shop I often get asked which needle to use in people's machines....that ....and which thread but that is a whole story! Many have never changed the needle in their machines and had no clue there were different types or sizes!

Most sewing machine needles will fit on almost all your standard sewing machines. I say most as some of the old machines need special needles and I'm sure someone out there has a machine that just doesn't fit in here. Most packages have both metric and American sizing on them and may appear as 80/12 or 110/18. The smaller number is the American sizing system and the other is the metric number related to the size of the shaft. The larger the number, the bigger the shaft diameter. You should use the proper size needle for the fabric you are sewing on and the weight of the the thread you are using.

Many packages sold will tell you what type of fabric they are made to sew on. Sewing experts differ on actually how often a needle should be changed. Many people don't change theirs unless it breaks! Recommendations range from every 8-10 hours of sewing time to changing with each new project. However often you decide if you experience any stitching problems, always check your needle. A dull or burred needle can cause fabric snags or puckers.

Next post - Understanding the sewing machine needle

Happiness is "The Scotties"

This time it's not about the little black furry ones that run our household. The husband of one of my bible study members collects albums. He gifted me with this album. I've never heard of the group before and nothing turned up on a quick (and I mean real quick) Google search. I don't have a turntable any more so would be interested in finding something on Youtube maybe. The back reads..."THE SCOTTIES" immediately conjures visions of kilts, haggis, and bagpipes: but you would be only half right, for you are listening to a mother, father, and son team - a truly memorable, multi-talented and highly entertaining trio!
Their showbusiness background spans three generations, originating in Scotland and now carrying on a tradition in America. Nick Senior was born and reared in Scotland of Italian born parents. Heather is all Scottish _ with a little bit o' Irish wa-ay back -- which makes their son, Nick, an interesting combination!
When they perform, something happens every minute. A typical show involves organ, accordian, guitars, banjos, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trombone, violins, comedy and way-out impressions. There are also selections in Italian, French, Jewish and Spanish.
This album gives you the opportunity of hearing some of the best and most requested musical numbers in their vast storehouse of talent, including two of young Nick's original compositions. The SCOTTIES have played all over Europe and now make their home in Hollywood, Florida.
On side one: Medley:Day By Day - O Happy Day - Put Your Hand in the Hand; Danny Boy; Bye Bye Blues; To See You Smile (original); Return to Sorrento
On side two: Medley: It Only Takes A Moment - What The World Needs Now; If You Want To Love Me Forever (original); The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise; The Baby In The Hoose; Medley: Granada - Malaguena
It was produced by Art Records Manufacturing Company

Another Monday Memory

Thanksgiving Day...all the trimmings....don't remember the year....just the house. Set down to the table...say grace...and begin to eat. My Mother begins to cry. It is the first Thanksgiving we weren't sharing with relatives. We cover the dishes and pack them in the car and set off for Maine to share Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents. A example of the love between my parents.

Finished....sort of....

Miss Katie checks it out. We are attending an NMRA Winnebagoland Division Model Railroad meet this weekend in Iron River MI. I usually take along a model of a train or structure that I have done. This time I wanted to join some of the ladies in the non-rail popular vote contest. Ladies do cross stitch or make teddy bears with train clothing or paint mail boxes. That sort of thing. This time I have this to enter. I will still need to finish up some quilting on it but it is done far enough where I can take it along. Miss Katie says get that thing off my spot on the couch!train quilt

F is for frog

What little kid wouldn't love to cuddle up with this "FROG TONGUES Zany Cuddle Blankie" by "Two Zany Zebras"?
Who could resist this little guy? "Mr. Froggie goes to Hawaii" can be found residing at Big Island Rose Designs.

You'll find these darling "Frog Hemp Earrings" in Rana Muck's shop. This is a new design for her. Also visit her Mom's site Lisa's Hillside Bakery for yummy treats!

How cute is "Freda, the Praying Frog Angel" found in Jill's Treasure Chest. Great for lover's of frogs or angels!

"World View" is from a shop belonging to a member of the WWWG team who is running a benefit for Meals on Wheels during the month of September. Her shop is called ElenaMary's

Miss Sassy 03/03/95 - 09/16/08

Miss Sassy-2. 100_0100our girl I lost tug of war

On September 28, 2003 a skinny little ball of fire came into our lives. We made a promise to her that she would be happy here for as long as she lived. She was born on March 3, 1995 and lived her life, until she was rescued, in a cage giving birth to litter after litter of puppies until there was nothing left of the wee girl. She was rescued by some sweet ladies who allowed her to come and join the Williamson Clan. She arrived here via a Waggin' train and everyone who came in contact with her fell in love with her. She had the most soulful eyes. Today I took her to the vet. She just seemed out of sorts the past couple of days. Nothing you could put your finger on but was very uncomfortable this morning and would not eat or drink and could barely walk. X-rays showed she was full of cancer. It was over taking every organ. She looked at me and a tear fell from her eye. My little girl who had been so lively was ready to go and left peacefully while I held her. The others have said their goodbyes and she will be buried in the garden outside the window. Run through the meadows sweet girl. You were loved by many.