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Stitchin by the Sea

A blog about quilting, stitching and embroidery by the sea -- Even if it is only a state of mind.

Updated: 2018-03-02T12:04:37.995-05:00


Scrappy Pin Cushion Swap & DQS #8


My friend Caryn convinced me to sign up for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap that she and another Flickr member started a few weeks ago. I received my pincushion the other day. So do you it suits my personality? Some of my favorite things are in it . . . embroidery, nautical theme and reproduction fabrics. It is absolutely wonderful!



This is the first swap that I joined since the DQS#8 earlier this year. Unfortunately I had to drop out due to issues with work -- basically my manager left and the company was taken over all within weeks of each other. My manager leaving had nothing to do with the takeover but needless to say the past six months have been very busy and stressful. Fortunately I recently found out that I will have a position in the new job -- very good news! Although I am still very busy at work, these are easing a bit for now and I have started quilting again.

All that aside, I wanted to post the doll quilt that I receive even though I had to drop out. My partner and swap mama agreed that I should still receive the quilt as it was made for me and since I was going through such a rough period. I am truly thankful to them both. I hope that someday I can be an Angel and step in when someone else is unable to fulfill her commitment to a future swap. Those of you who know me will agree that this quilt also fits me . . . I love Americana (my family room is decorated in red/white/blue year round).

I have more pictures to post from swaps that I participated in late last year ... need to busy taking pictures as they are all wonderful.

Happy Stitchin!

Someday I will learn . . .


Okay so I haven't posted quite as often as I thought I would when I declared that I was back in Blog Land but work was busy for a little longer than anticipated. Things have calmed down a bit but the calm is short lived as it will be month end again within a week! Gotta love the world of accounting and finance!

So a few weeks ago I am having a conversation with my cousin and she is telling me about a dear friend who has the cutest baby boy and oh would I consider making a quilt for this precious bundle ... the decor is a kind of tree of life . . . nature . . . theme . . . okay I say before I could stop myself, let me do some thinking and see what I come up with for colors, etc.

A few days ago I send her a link to a quilt made from the new Jungle Batiks . . very earthy tones . . . if you want to see it for yourself, visit She writes back . . hmm ... not quite what she was thinking .. see they have this tree painted in the baby's room and oh here are some links . . . so again before I can stop myself, I say well maybe we could do a family tree type thing and put in pictures of Mom / Dad / Grandparents, etc. Next thing I know I am now searching for quilt patterns with a family tree / tree of life that I can incorporate pictures of family members within the tree!

What Was I Thinking??? Obviously I wasn't thinking so if any of my fellow quilters know of a pattern that might work or that might be adapted could you send me a note?

Someday I will learn and I am praying that "someday" comes soon!

Happy Stitchin!

I am baaaack . . . (well I am going to try and be back)


I know it has been forever since my last post -- actually Christmas! Yikes!! Anyway I can't begin to describe what has transpired over the past 5 months except that is all has to do with my job. I have been traveling for one or two weeks every month since January (with the exception of April when I was actually home the entire month -- my family didn't know what to do with me!).

Anyway things are still up in the air at work (my company was taken over in January) but I should know where I stand by the end of June. In the meantime, I have actually started sewing again. I hadn't done much sewing since Christmas either.

I spent yesterday with the Firehouse Ladies and if one ever needs any inspiration to begin quilting again, I strongly suggest you spend a day with your sewing friends. For one, I realized just how much I missed hanging with them and sharing ideas, stories and food. I came home and spent the rest of the day working on my applique stars -- thanks for the inspiration, Megan. I have only two stars left on the second border -- yippee!

So, I will try to post more often in the future. I have swap pictures to share with everyone from swaps that I participated in late last year before everything went crazy at work. I will try to post some of them soon.

Happy Stitchin!

Have A Merry Christmas


Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

I hope you are able to spend time with your families during this wonderful season! I didn't get to all of the items on my "to do" list but that's okay. Somehow I think Christmas will still be wonderful.

I am blessed this year as my brother and his family are in for the holidays. They live in Florida and arrived on Tuesday night. I am still trying to figure out why we didn't go visit them instead of staying here in the frigid Northeast.

As we are celebrating with our families, we should take a moment and thank the women and men who are serving our country and unable to be with their families. Without them we would not have the freedoms we so often take for granted here in the USA! God Bless Them!

Merry Christmas to all!

Mischievious Cat or Christmas Terror?


Hi, I know it has been months since my last post and I have tons to post just haven't found the time. Hopefully in the New Year I will find more time to post.

Christmas is almost upon us. The tree is decorated and the cat is terrorizing the Christmas tree this year. He is swatting the ornaments which have become a new toy for him since they move and cats just love things that move :) He loves to run under the tree and land on the tree skirt which then slides along the carpet as it is backed with a nylon lining. It is store bought as yet another year has passed with no handmade tree skirt. Well there is always next year!

If he holds still long enough for me to take a picture, I will post.

I will be back soon with pictures of my presents from my SCSS which arrived a couple weeks ago. they are waiting to be put under the tree (if the cat ever stops terrorizing it) and will be opened on Christmas Day.

Happy Stitchin!

Purse Mania - I just can't help it . . . .


Okay so if there was a group for purse addicts I would be a charter member. I would probably be the likely person to start such a group. I don't know why but I just love 'em. I have so many purse patterns and I keep finding more.

These two are my latest projects and will be taught at my LQS in October. The pattern is by Artful Offerings. Of course, summer is over here in the Northeast so they will be tucked away for next year. Hmmm I can feel the need for a purse in fall fabrics . . .


Happy Stitchin!

Firehouse Sew Day


Today was sew day at the firehouse with my fellow quilters. I hadn't been in several months so it was good to see everyone. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share of progress made today as it was more of a social gathering than sewing gathering but that is a good thing too! Sometimes you just need to hang with the gals! My friend, Talin, recently started her own blog -- surf on over when you get a minute and check it out. She also has an Etsy store -- her handmade items are fabulous.

A few more completions


My "Good Old Summertime Mini Quilt" is completed and ready to ship to my partner. I had fun making this quilt and just might have to make another one for me! I am happy to say that all of the fabrics used came from my stash.

I also finished the little Friendship Bag for the Friendship Swap. The deadline to ship is still two weeks or so away but I think I will send it along to my partner so she can enjoy it sooner.

Now to get busy with my Bumps in the Night Swap and Stitcher's Angel Swap. Hmmm I think I may have went a bit overboard with the swaps recently. But they are so much fun and it is a great way to meet new friends from around the world.

Happy Stitchin!

Doll Swap Quilt Has Arrived


My doll quilt from Sandra arrived today! I absolutely love it! The fabrics are civil war reproductions in pink and brown -- one of my favorite color combinations. It was dark by the time I got home so I had to settle for indoor pictures. If the weather cooperates this weekend, I will try to take better pictures outdoors.

There is even a pieced block on the back with the label. This one is going to hang in my sewing room!

Happy Stitchin!

One down . . . a few more to go!


The circles quilt is finished! Just need to add a label and off it will go in the mail to my swap partner. I am actually quite shocked that I am done with the quilt two weeks ahead of the deadline! I need to find a better place to take a picture of it before it gets mailed off but wanted to at least share my progress.

Now I can concentrate on finishing the quilt for the Summertime Mini Quilt Swap which ends on September 21st. Will share pictures of my progress soon.

Happy Stitchin!

Circles Finished . . . Almost


I finally found time this week to finish my circles and get them into a quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap. To say work has been nuts, is an understatement and I will just leave it at that.

I have to decide whether to add a border . . I think I will using the brown background. I then have to determine a quilting design . . . maybe just meander in the background . . .

Happy Stitchin!

Going In Circles


A few weeks ago I joined the Doll Quilt Swap #7 and have been trying to figure out what I am going to make -- I have a couple ideas for fabrics.

This weekend I started making circles using Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles. They are quite easy to make. This is good practice for when I start my Lollipop Quilt -- there are hundreds of circles in that quilt!


Summer has finally arrived in the Northeast. Temps are expected to hit the 90's today and tomorrow.

Happy Stitchin!

Baby Quilt Update, Swaps & Sightseeing


The baby quilt is finally quilted -- I decided to meander in the white spaces so that the "chain" would pop. Below are some pics of the quilting. I still need to practice meandering particularly on large quilts. I have a difficult moving the quilt and dealing with the bulk. Hence why I usually send my quilts to my long arm quilter. The binding is sewn on and should be turned over the next night or two. It is hard to tell in the photo but I took one strip of each color and pieced it together for the binding. I joined another Doll Quilt Swap -- these ladies are awesome and are on Swap #7. Lucky for me I was able to join. This will be a bit of a challenge for me to make a quilt for my swap partner as her tastes are different than mine but I am looking forward to 'thinking outside of my box' and trying new fabrics and styles. I have two fabric lines in mind already and have been kicking around a couple of quilt patterns. I have started a Flickr group with various photos of quilts and other things in my life. Basically my cat and lighthouses, are you surprised? DH was on vacation last week. I was supposed to take a few days with him but the weather didn't cooperate and since he has much more vacation time than I do, I tend to be very frugal with my days. Since we hadn't made plans to go away, we decided to play tourists in NYC. Having grown up in the area you would think that there isn't anything either of us wouldn't have already done. Not true . . . neither of us have been to the Statue of Liberty. I have been around her by boat, flown over her in a plane and have even been on the island -- just never climbed to the top. Nor have we ever taken a Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan. Last Sunday we decided on a whim to take a ride into the City and book a cruise. It was a wonderful day and the weather fully cooperated. Luckily we went last Sunday as the weather yesterday was horrible here in the Northeast.What is a cruise without a lighthouse? This little light is called Jeffrey's Hook and is located at the base of the George Washington Bridge. A few days later we were back in the City. I really wanted to go down the shore but the weather had other ideas so we got back on the train to Penn Station, caught an uptown subway and went to the American Museum of Natural History. It is so easy to get to as the subway stop is right at the museum! This is one of my favorite museums and I have been to the Hayden planetarium many times and never get tired of either one. My brother and his family are planning to visit at Christmas. I think I will suggest we take my nephews to see the dinosaurs, insects and rocks. I have also made more progress on my Halloween Redwork blocks (great way to spend the time on the train into NYC). The second to last one is half done! Guess I should be searching the stash and quilt shops for some Halloween themed fabrics so I can put the blocks together. It just might be finished for Halloween 2009.Happy Stitchin! [...]

Baby Quilt Pictures


A few months ago, my aunt asked me to make a baby quilt for her best friend's expectant daughter. After sorting through all of my books and searching the Internet for patterns, we decided on a free pattern from Quiltpox.


Over the weekend I finished piecing the top. Now if I could only decide how to quilt it . . . .

Happy Stitchin!

I Couldn't Resist Joining . . .


When I saw this post on Megan's blog, I knew I had to sign up for the challenge to finish my UFOs. I have numerous UFOs and I am hoping this will motivate me to finish at least one each month.

Kelly has tagged each of the participants to answer the following questions so we can get to know one another.

5 Things

1. My Favorite Fabric is:

Any fabric that has lighthouses or a beach theme

2. The pattern I'm most looking forward to sewing is:

The Claire Bag by Lazy Girl Designs

3. The food that is my weakness:

Lay's Potato Chips -- I can't have them in the house because the little voices inside my head taunt me until I open the bag. I can't eat just one!

4. If I knew I couldn't fail, I'd:

I would be a travel agent so I could travel around the world.

5. The Best "Life" Advice I know is:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference

Not easy to live by but is has always resonated with me.
Happy Stitchin!

What I'm Reading


The rain has finally left the Northeast and we were blessed with wonderful weather the first few weeks of July. Today, it feels like a hot summer day as the heat and humidity have arrived. I am not complaining though -- I love the heat! When I retire I know it needs to be near the beach and where it never snows!

I've been reading, stitching and quilting over the past couple weeks. I recently finished Happiness Key by Emilie Richards which is a great story about 4 woman living on Happiness Key in Florida. I also finished The Shack. This book is unlike any other that I have ever read. All I will say is "you should read it". The next book on my list is The House at Riverton. In the summer I love to sit on the deck and read for hours.

I have been busy working on my Halloween Redwork. Below is a picture of Block 7 which is almost complete. Only two more to go!

Happy Stitchin'

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Giveaway


Christmas is my favorite holiday! Helen over at Hugs' n Kisses is giving away a copy of her newest pattern, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. What a great way to combine 3 of my favorite things -- quilting, stitchin' and Christmas. It would be so awesome to win a copy!

Thanks to Caryn for the heads up about the new pattern and giveaway!

And Congratulations Hannah!!!!

Happy Stitchin!

It's been awhile . . .


It has been about a month since my last post -- maybe I should aim for posting once a month :) The good news is even though I haven't been blogging (even reading blogs has been a challenge lately), I have been doing quilty things.First I had to finish the two Friendship quilts to be raffled at the last guild meeting of the year. A BIG THANK YOU to Barbie and Janice for the awesome quilting on such short notice! I know I took pics -- just can't find the camera disc . . .My next project was to finish the mini quilt for the mini quilt swap I signed up for last month.I also made a little pin cushion to go along with the little quilt.The pictures are not that good as the lighting in my house is not the greatest and I can't remember the last time the sun was out so I could take pictures outside.My mini quilt from Ros in the UK arrived this past weekend. I cannot begin to describe how awesome this little quilt is -- the lilacs are made using numerous mini yo yos. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers. They are so fragrant.DH and I also took a little cruise to Canada. This was our first time cruising. We were fortunate that we had good weather the day we were in port at St. John's and the last day at sea. We spent it poolside with Caryn, her DH and two other couples. It was quite relaxing sailing on the ocean, sitting in the sun (with sunscreen) and having a cabana boy bring whatever drink you happen to desire. Yes I am sure we will cruise again.My current project is a baby quilt. I am using pastels -- pink, pale orange, yellow, green, blue and lavender on an off-white background. The block is what I call a modified nine-patch. The four corners of the nine-patch block are actually four-patch blocks which help to create the chain. I was able to cut the fabric this weekend and started piecing blocks yesterday. Will post pics as soon as I have a couple of blocks pieced.Happy Stitchin'[...]

Good Friends


I know it has been quite awhile since my last post. All of flowers have been planted since my last post. I still have some maintenance to do in some of my beds. I am hopeful that the weather cooperates this weekend so I can finish.

Last week I was in Rockford, IL on business. After landing in Chicago, we began our trek to Rockford. A short distance from the plant we stopped for breakfast at a small restaurant in a strip mall. And then the torment began . . . a couple stores down from the restaurant was a sewing center. Unfortunately I was unable to stop as I was traveling with co-workers. The next night while looking for a restaurant for dinner, we past another quilt shop. This one was closed for the day so the pain was too difficult to bear. Ahh maybe someday I will be back on my own and have the opportunity to drop in a say "hello".

Last night was the first Bruce Springsteen concert for his latest tour in our area. Caryn, Sue and I had made plans to meet at the arena a few hours before the concert so we could have dinner, etc. I left work as planned and when I arrived at my truck I noticed a puddle (actually a stream) of water under it. Hmm this can't be good, I am thinking to myself. So I reach down to touch the water and try to determine what is leaking from the truck. Okay so I have no clue and I proceed to open the hood. Why I have no idea since I really don't know what I am looking for but I open it anyway. Hmm perhaps I should call DH -- no answer, call again, no answer. Okay call #1 DS. DS answers on the second ring. I explain what I see and after some troubleshooting over the phone we determine the water pump is shot. DS thinks I can make it home if I stop and pick up a gallon of water and put it in the radiator. I am not convinced but seeing as at this point I am not going to the concert, I have to figure out how to get the truck home. So I call Caryn to tell her what is going on and she immediately asks "do you want us to pick you up?" Now that might seem like a reasonable question, except that I am a good 35 minutes farther than they need to travel to get to the arena. I said that would be great except how am I getting home. I knew I could leave the truck in the parking lot overnight but I still needed to get home somehow at the end of the night. A few minutes later and we have a solution. Okay they are on their way to pick me up so we can go see Bruce. I make another call to DS to tell him I am not coming home and leaving the truck. I tell him Caryn and Sue are coming to pick me up so I can still make it to the concert. His response "wow Mom, you have good friends". I said "yes I do!"

BTW, Bruce was awesome!!!! We had a great time and are already planning to buy tickets for when he returns.

Tomorrow those good friends of mine and their DHs are going to the Wine and Blues Festival. You can be sure I will raise a toast to "Good Friends!"

Have an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend! Remember those who gave their lives for our freedom!

Happy Stitchin!

Feels Like Summer


We are enjoying a taste of summer here in the Northeastern part of the US. Friday night after work I went to my local nursery to see what was new and came home with a few plants that I couldn't resist -- pansies, geraniums, marigolds to name a few.

I spent the weekend outside working in my gardens. I have 5 areas around the house and yard to maintain not too mention the containers that I have on the deck and patio. Some of these will go into the existing gardens and some will go into containers on the deck.

I love this time of year when the weather turns warm and you can spend the entire day outside. I have to admit I did not spend all of yesterday working in the yard. I spent a few hours sitting on the deck reading Paula Deen's Memoirs. After we ate lunch at her restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in Savannah, we browsed through the gift shop and I picked up a copy of her book. It is a quick read and I am almost finished with it.

So as you can see, not much was done in the way of quilting this weekend. In fact, I don't remember the last time I actually sat in front of my machine and sewed. I have been doing some handwork but not as much as I should given all of the projects I would like to do! Perhaps I will sit on the deck tonight and do a little handwork before it gets dark.

Happy Stitchin'

Beaches, Bars and Boats (oh and a few lighthouses)


Yes it has been awhile since my last post but I have a good excuse this time . . . I was away on vacation for 12 days and busy planning and preparing for it prior to leaving. Okay so it sounds like the dog ate my homework excuse but I really was away for 12 days. We were fortunate enough to go to Key West, Florida and spend a few days with my brother and his family. If you have never been to the Florida Keys, you need to go. The drive from Miami to Key West is unbelievable. At some points there is only water on either side of you. The remains of the Flagler railroad tracks are still in place next to the road that transports millions to a tropical paradise. Of course the journey to Key West would not be complete without a stop at the Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne.Key West is known for its bars and nightlife. On the last night we went to Hogsbreath Saloon for a few drinks and a bite to eat. There were people from all generations -- the 20 somethings to Baby Boomers . . . I was amazed at the diversity in age.One night we took a sunset cruise on a clipper and helped lift the sails -- the sunsets in Key West are breathtaking. A few more lighthouses -- Key West and Hillsboro Inlet In all we saw 13 lighthouses in the Florida Keys, Georgia and South Carolina. We were able to climb to the top of 6 lighthouses. Hunting Island, SC is the only historic lighthouse that is open to the public. It is also almost an hour off of Route 95. DH was not a happy camper as it delayed our trip home by several hours. I had intended to complete lots of handwork during our trip but the best laid plans of mice and men . . . I did make significant progress on my knitted shawl. Had I remembered the last skein of wool, it would have been finished! I also made some progress on my Halloween redwork. I have 3 completed and a fourth almost done. There are nine in total and I am trying to decide whether to stop now and make a wall hanging or continue to stitch all nine blocks to make a quilt. So many projects, so little time . . .Happy Stitchin'[...]

Has it been that long ? ? ? ?


Yikes! Where has the time gone? My last post was almost a month ago! I don't even know where to begin so I guess I will start with the latest and greatest . . .

There was a quilt show last weekend. Since the guild had a table to sell raffle tickets for our beautiful blue and white basket quilt, we needed volunteers to white glove. So since the word "no" doesn't ever seem to be in my vocabulary . . . . . guess who volunteered? This was the first time I had white glove and I am happy to say that I would gladly do it again. It a great opportunity to see the beautiful quilts on display and to met and chat with fellow quilters. All of the quilts were wonderful and it is always inspiring to see quilts on display.

Of course the vendors were wonderful as always . . . I added to my growing stash of brights to be used for my Aunt Millie's Garden and the Lollipop quilt. Now to find a hour or two to do some prep work!

I also picked up a small redwork kit to make a needlecase -- this was such a quick project I may need to make a few more for gifts.


I also picked up these lovely Asian fabrics . . . can you see them in a tote bag?

My kitty was out of food so that necessitated a stop at the pet store on the way home from work tonight . . . conveniently there was a Borders in the same mall that kept calling my name telling me to come in and browse. And look what I found ----

Think I will make a cup of tea and curl up on the couch.

Happy Stitchin!

Tote Bag Mania


My mini Miranda is finally finished. Actually the bag itself has been finished for several weeks. I was debating whether to use fabric handles or fashion handles. While cleaning my sewing room (a work in progress), I came across handles I purchased at MJ Trim in NYC. They are a great source for beads, buttons, buckles, handles, etc.

During my recent shopping excursion with Posse members Caryn and Sue, I picked up the fabric for this purse by Grand Revival Design. The fabric is from their Barefoot Roses line. I had no business even starting this purse given the number of UFOs that I have but I couldn't resist. It is so spring like -- all I need is for the weather to feel spring like so I can use it.


And even though your day is almost over,


Happy Stitchin!

Spring Must Be Coming . . .


I am back from my travels --- I don't mind traveling for work but this past month has been really crazy. I think I will be home for a bit before having to travel again.

This morning we had some unusual visitors at the office -- a black bear and a few deer. Now the deer are not all that unusual. We all know to be on the lookout for deer as we are exiting the complex. But a bear???? I work in an office park that has office buildings and warehouses. And while there are some wooded areas around the perimeter, it is not what I would consider home for a bear. In any event it was a nice diversion from our morning routine but it also means we need to be on the lookout for bear when we are arriving and departing.

I did manage to finish one or two of my UFO tote bags last weekend. I need to get some pics taken and posted for everyone to see. I also have to remember to bring them to the firehouse sew day this weekend for show and tell. I usually don't have show and tell as I never seem to finish anything around the time we are getting together. But since I actually finished a couple of totes in recent days . . . . now if I can only remember to bring them with me.

Happy Stitchin!

A Pleasant Surprise!


Today I met a couple members of the Posse (Caryn and Sue) at the LQS. I was on the fence about spending the day shopping as there would be no one home today. An entire day to myself home alone doesn't happen often. I woke up imagining all the sewing I would get accomplished with no interruptions. But after going to workout I had a change of heart and decided to spend the day with friends shopping for fabric and picking up the quarterly wino selection at a nearby winery. When I met Caryn at the LQS this morning she gave me the fabrics she had picked up last week AND this beautiful journal. I think she knows me too well. I was so surprised and thrilled with this gift. I had wanted to take the online journaling classes with her but I knew with traveling 3 out of 4 weeks this month I would be behind before the classes even started :) Thankfully I have a thoughtful friend who made one for me. I think I am going to use it to record my lighthouse visits.


Happy Stitchin!