Making It Monday on Tuesday Phase 2

I got more sewing done! Woot!


I have now completed the top of the second baby quilt I had as a UFO. This one was a Little Golden Books kit I'd bought at a LQS somewhere in my travels several years ago. They had a sample hanging that I thought was cute, so I picked up their kit for it. 

Not sure why I liked the sample because as I've been making this one, I've not been particularly jazzed by it. I think I got sucked in by the fact that Poky Little Puppy was one of my favorite stories as a little kid.

As I've thought about it, I've come to the conclusion that my lack-of-liking of the quilt comes down to two things:

1. A lack of real contrast, other than in the puppies themselves.

2. The green blocks are just way too overpowering, especially with using the same fabric in the borders. 

I'm supposed to also use the same fabric for binding, and probably will at this point even though I'd prefer not to. I already have those strips cut, and there wasn't enough red in the kit to use it as binding instead, and I no longer have any similar reds in my stash. So, in the grand scheme of "get 'er done," I'm going to get over myself about it and just do what I'm told.

If I weren't being lazy and just whipping together a fast kit using their pattern--if I were actually thinking this through and doing something that would float my boat more--I probably would've used smaller blocks in general, I wouldn't have used the dark green in the pieced block, and I'm not sure I'd have used that sort of muddy gold color at all. I know it's meant to pick up the gold from the puppies but it's just a nasty color IMHO.

This is going to be a baby quilt for a little boy who will likely do all sorts of equally nasty stuff to it in his lifetime so I'm not sweating it. I'm giving the family a copy of Poky Little Puppy with the quilt so it'll be an all-over cute gift, even if I don't love the quilt itself. 

I'm just going to meander-quilt it--doing cute little doggie prints would take longer than I'm willing to invest in this, I think. I have that on the docket for this coming weekend.


Question from a reader: Does anyone have about a half yard or so of the fabric that looks like the inside of the Little Golden Book that they'd be willing to sell off or pass along? 

She asked me if I had any left and I don't, unfortunately. The kit gave you just enough and no more. 

Let me know if you've got some and I'll pass along your name to the reader who's asking!

Making It Monday--Sundry Edition

I finally got him done.

It's ridiculous when you only have five minutes' worth of work left to do on something but you keep putting off doing it. 


Whatever. It's done.

What else did I make? I guess I made a proposal. I spent most of my long Easter weekend (I had Friday and today off) working on school stuff. I once again give tremendous thanks to my D.Min. advisor who took time out of her Easter weekend to review my thesis proposal another time or two in the final throes of trying to get it prepared for the review committee. I'm not sure if I actually made their deadline for this month's meeting or not, so it may not actually get reviewed until their May meeting. Still n' all, May is a very busy month for me so I'm just as happy to get it done now. Fingers crossed that, whenever it goes to committee, it passes!

Let me take a moment, though, to list all the things I made this weekend using my Instant Pot! It's time for you to be dropping broad hints about Mother's Day or Father's Day gifts you'd like--or your birthday--or, just plain go shopping yourself. Let me just say it here, if I haven't said it enough times before. I LOVE MY INSTANT POT!

This weekend, I used my IP to:

  • Make split pea soup (using my favorite recipe here and great smoked hamhocks from an Amish grocery store)
  • Make "baked" potatoes for Easter dinner (30 mins all in)
  • Steam green beans for Easter dinner (5 mins all in)
  • Make Chocolate Lava cake for Easter dinner dessert (using this really easy and incredibly tasty recipe)
  • Make hardboiled eggs for the week (doing them in the IP makes them super easy to peel, regardless of how fresh they are)


  • Make my weekly batch of yogurt, and this week's batch is the best one I've made yet. I got the perfect consistency, and I switched to vanilla bean paste, which has a much better flavor than vanilla extract. There's a bunch of instructions for making yogurt in your IP on the internet--it's super, super easy. 

If you're new to IPs, let me suggest the following accessories:

  • If you want to make yogurt, it's worth buying a yogurt strainer. I tried the cheesecloth thing and I tried the coffee filter thing and it was messy and a pain in the.... Well, anyway. Since I make it every week, I decided to go ahead and pony up for actual strainers and I'm thrilled. So much easier! I do a gallon of milk's worth of yogurt every week so I bought two strainers. The amount of yogurt fills both strainers to the brim.
  • Get two inserts. Really. This way you can rotate stuff through more quickly. I bought my second insert about two weeks after I started using my IP because I discovered just how much I could get done in a weekend to prep for my week ahead.
  • These steamer baskets work really well. (There are a lot of them; I linked to the ones I actually use and can speak with authority about.) I use these when I do potatoes, eggs, vegetables, and so forth.
  • I took advice from the Facebook IP group early on and got a second silicone ring because the ring does take on the smells of whatever you're cooking. There was a lot of fear voiced in FB about whether those smells would then have an impact on cooking something else. I have to say, though, that in the six months or so I've been using my IP, I've never used the second ring. In my experience, I've had no problems with tastes transferring; washing the ring seems to be good enough. If you're interested, though, here's a link. They also have color-coded ones for "sweet" and "savory."
  • Speaking of that Facebook group, here's the main one I'm part of, and you'll notice a few other #Twilters hanging out there too. There are many other electric pressure cooker and IP-specific groups on Facebook as well. It's a great place to get new ideas and recipes!

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thanks for the support!)

Making It Monday


Due to being felled by yet another chest cold (or, perhaps, the first one never really went away; or, perhaps, it's the worst and earliest allergy season ever--I have no idea), I've not felt up to doing much. So this is all I have to show for my embroidery this week...

It seems appropriate that I work on this block in my Halloween BOM this week before Easter....

Making It Monday (Scrapbook and Fashion Week Edition)--Jan 23 2017

Again, nothing in the quilting or embroidery world going on here. Still working on my class assignment. But this weekend was also my husband's birthday as well as the first year anniversary of his father's passing, so one of his brothers flew in from out of town and there were a couple of family gatherings, as well as my husband and I on our own celebrating his birthday. So I didn't get either classwork or creative stuff done over the weekend, but lots of good family memories were made.

Speaking of memories, what I can report on is that I have successfully completed my first page of a Project Life scrapbook using their new app. I believe I already blogged awhile back about how Sandi of Quilt Cabana Patterns and I have sort of a "soft challenge" going to complete some scrapbook pages--basically, we're encouraging each other forward. Since I'd never used PL before, I did a quick test page using some photos one of my D.Min. friends had shared with us from our January intensive. It took me all of about 15 minutes to create this page--can't beat that! I put a big black box over the names--the actual page looks much friendlier than this. Now that I know it works well, I'll finish the other pages I want to do in this particular album--at least, all the pages until graduation, which will have to wait until May 2018. I can complete this album quickly because, frankly, I don't have that many pictures: just enough for one page per intensive. At the same time, I'm working on the album from our 25th anniversary, but that's going to take a lot longer--hundreds of photos to sort through. I'm also thinking this would be a great way to do a quilt documentation album, which I've really slacked off on. Maybe once I'm done writing my thesis next fall...

Palette from Alphonse

Palette from Alphonse

The other thing I played around with had to do with my closet. It was actually very creative! I'm doing Imogene Lamport's 12 month "Ignite Your Style Genius" program, which involves activities every month on different themes to help you develop your personal style and get smarter about shopping. I know, I know. Like I have time for this. But it's something entertaining for me to do in the evenings when I'm feeling a bit fried and y'all know how I'm trying to seriously update my wardrobe. It's a lot of fun and it's already been really helpful! It's got me looking at some of my clothes differently. January has been about color--right up my alley as a quilter, right? So I've been having fun playing with different color schemes. I did one activity last week around finding an image and pulling the color scheme from it--I used an Alphonse Mucha print (he's one of my faves).  I uploaded it to Adobe Color CC and pulled a palette from it, then went to my closet. 

I didn't have much of a problem pulling together outfits with this palette--there's a reason I like that particular Mucha print. (And yes, that's Scrapabonzitude on our bed--thanks to Charlotte!)

Two of the three outfits are composed mostly of clothes I've owned for awhile but hadn't thought to put together before. The camel pants on the left are new due to a sale at Chadwicks of Boston.  But I'm still feeling my way into finding good outfits for them as they're not a color pant I've ever owned before. Seriously comfortable, though, so I'm highly motivated! I'd already worn them as part of another outfit so I'm getting there--my new rule of thumb is that if an item of clothing doesn't work with at least three different outfits, it won't take up space in my closet anymore. Makes getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier that way!

So those are my creative endeavors of the week, along with still working on finding a planner system that really works for me but doesn't take more time to keep it up than it does getting the stuff done that's written in it! 

Making It Monday

I'm trying a new weekly "theme" out for this blog. Not sure I'm loving the title but we'll see if it grows on me. In my efforts to blog more frequently, and in my hopes that needing to blog about something will make me get something done, I'm going to try to post every Monday about something creative I'm working on--quilting, embroidery, or whatever. 

My school peeps

My school peeps

I was supposed to be driving to Boston today (Sunday) for my last set of on-campus classes for my D.Min. program. However, (1) our class doesn't actually start until around noon on Monday, (2) I realized that I blipped and never told the coordinator I'd be coming in on Sunday and therefore would need a room in the retreat center for an extra night, and (3) Massachusetts got a boatload of snow this weekend and they're not as on top of the whole snow plowing thing as we are in Western NY. All of those factors combined made me decide to leave stinkin' early (stinkin' early!) Monday morning and drive straight through, giving me a whole unexpected day today. 

Yes, I'm still getting a little laundry done so I can finish packing. And yes, I had a little more school work I could get done. Other than that, though, I'm treating my "found time" like I try to treat "found money"--since I didn't expect to have it, I'm doing something fun with it.

The other half of the story: In looking for stickers I could use in my new Passion Planner, I belatedly realized I could use all my old digital scrapbooking files and make my own stickers. Doh. I've been spending a little too much time having fun with that over the last couple of weeks. However, that led me to exploring some new digital scrapbooking sites and I discovered that Becky Higgins of Project Life now has an iPad (and iPhone) app, allowing you to create Project Life digital scrapbook pages on your iPad. I tweeted Sandi of Quilt Cabana Patterns (@quiltcabana) because I recalled she used to talk about doing Project Life. She affirmed that she'd been doing them but hadn't ever finished her third album. Long story short, we've now challenged each other to make progress on Project Life albums. We'll check in at the end of every month on our blogs with our progress. Care to join us? We could do a linky! 

Since I'll soon be out of town (by the time you're reading this since I'm scheduling it to post Monday), I spent some time today choosing which PL album I'd tackle first and uploading the necessary photos to iCloud so I could have it with me in Boston if I get random downtime and need mental recovery time.

Since we'll be taking our 30th anniversary river cruise this coming May, I decided that finally putting my photos from our 25th anniversary river cruise into an album would be good anticipatory preparation! I took about an hour today to sort through the photos and delete blurry ones, multiples of the same thing, and those that were just plain uninteresting. I won't be using everything that remains in the PL album but I figured I'd just send everything to iCloud and sort further as I go, depending on how I decide to organize my pages. 

Notes to self for 30th anniversary cruise (aka, "What I learned from wading through the 25th anniversary album"):

  1. Fewer pictures of painted ceilings, please. They all start looking the same after picture number 23. 

2. Fewer pictures of random statues and fountains. See #1. (Recognize that one, @katisquilting?) 


3. More pictures of my husband and I together. We appear together twice in the 25th anniversary set. Let's see if we can beat that record on our 30th, eh?