movin’ on down

I am so excited! I am moving my office/sewing room from the attic to the basement. I am still organizing and decorating, but it’s starting to come together.

Sewing Room Shelf

Sewing Room Storage Shelf

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This space is so much nicer: not as hot/cold as the attic – and I can actually see some of my bird feeders from my desk. I enjoy that. So does Brittney, the no-longer-feral cat. (Pictures of her in the future.)

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i am a quilter

I made my first real quilt this spring at the request of my eldest.  birthday quiltQuilt

And I have been hooked ever since. My 1981 sewing machine did fine, but I needed more open space to shove all of that fabric through. After much soul searching and internet searching, I decided I wanted a better quilting machine.machine 006

Ta Da!! This work horse has been such a great addition to my sewing room. The yellow space above ( harp space)  is only about 1/4 inch higher  and a couple of inches wider than my old machine, but it makes a huge difference in the ease of sewing large projects. And it is  so powerful  and has such features . . .Date 017

My second quilt, for my brother’s 50th birthday, sports a fancy machine- embroidered date label.Quilt Back 021

The close stitching  that I love was way easier with the bigger harp space in my new machine.Quilt.16

And right after I finished this quilt, I started another. I am a quilter.

birthday quilt

My firstborn had one request for her 25th birthday – a gray and white quilt made by me. “Yes!” my heart said – but I wasn’t sure. My first qualm was the 1981 sewing machine I use. My second qualm was the TIME. My third qualm was gray and white – like NO colors? I had QUALMS.

But I started cutting up my fabric and sewing it together and I pieced that baby together on the fly. It turned out great and my daughter loved it. And I loved it. And I love her. Happy birthday, baby girl.Quilt

Made with love in every stitch.

Quilt close

 

 

decorated hand towels

transitions

I like the changes in my life that come about naturally with the changes in the seasons. This time of year, as the garden fades into fall, I turn my thoughts and efforts indoors.

I gave the bathroom walls and ceilings a good scrubbing. After that, a little well-placed touch up paint worked wonders.curtainsI sewed some new curtains to freshen up the windows.

curtainsdecorated hand towelsLeftover fabric scraps pretty up the hand towels.

Now – on to the next room!

free heirloom seeds

So, not only do my local libraries supply me with all the books I can read (no small task), the Woodbury and Pitman branches here in Gloucester County, NJ also lend out seeds.

Free packaged heirloom seeds

a selection of seeds at the Woodbury, NJ seed bank

They give me free heirloom seeds; I plant them, enjoy the bounty, and give them back some seeds at the end of the season. (And no fines if it doesn’t work out.) Sweet deal!

Below are just a few of the flower, vegetable and herb seeds I picked up. All it takes is a library card.

heirloom vegetables, flowers, and herbs

Watermelon radish, Traveler jalapeno pepper, Monarda bergamot, Callipe blend carrots, White sage

I’m hoping my backyard looks like this in a couple of months.

backyard love

Fall is here and it’s my favorite time to enjoy the yard:  The gardening frenzy of the spring is long gone. The sloth of the sticky summer has blown away in the cool of the autumn breezes. Fall is the time to sit on my swing and admire the season’s hard work. (Of course, I need a nice cushion to sit on, and a quilt to snuggle.)

quilt and pillows on swing
modern quilted pillowOh, and a pillow, too!

hand sewing

I love my sewing machine, but there will always be a special place in my heart for sewing by hand. I love the organic look of hand embroidery, and ***bonus*** I can carry my sewing with me wherever I go. pot holder

Here is a pot holder I decorated by hand.canister

date pillow

My cousin recently got married. To keep with the green gifting theme, and because I knew she’d love it, I made her this pillow that’s appliqued with the date of her wedding.date-pillow

washi-less tags

I have not yet succumbed to the washi tape craze, but I want to. My homemade Christmas tags were the perfect excuse, but I held to my green Christmas promise and tried to think of alternatives. How about patterns stamped on strips of paper, ribbon, and sheet music?

gift tags

gift tags

green christmas

My goal this Christmas is to craft a little more and buy a little less. AND before I go out to purchase that perfect thing to finish my crafting, I want to think a little harder about using something that I already have.

grapeviine wreath

grapevine wreath

I had an old grapevine wreath to which I attached fresh evergreen branches and some Christmas ornaments. Snow optional.

personalization

my new gym bag

my new gym bag

I have a thing for personalized gifts. I think it comes from a long childhood of searching the racks of toothbrushes and  notebooks and bicycle license plates, always in vain,  for the name “Jodie.”

felt monogram

felt monogram

tomatoes

Every year around this time, I start to run out of ways to use up all the tomatoes. Here’s a list of my current favorites:

1) tomato & pesto sandwich
2) tomato pie
3) tomato salad with green beans & black olives
4) pizza topping
5) salsa (always)
6) halve cherry tomatoes, chop green pepper & onions & sprinkle with oregano. Keep in the fridge ready to add to: pasta, omelets, salad, soup, quiche, or pizza

Cherry tomatoes, chopped green pepper & onions with fresh oregano

Cherry tomatoes, chopped green pepper & onions with fresh oregano

How do you use tomatoes?

check me out

My next article appears in Sew It All Magazine Vol. 5. (Available in stores Dec. 4)  http://www.quiltandsewshop.com/product/sew-it-all-volume-5/magazines

I show how to make this cute pillow I made for my sister-in-law.