New Beginnings


The story begins back on March 17th in Buckeye, Arizona. My brother, his wife, the Hubs and I went for a few days to my brother’s “Baseball House” so the guys could go to the preseason baseball games and to golf. My sister-in-law said we had to go to sight-seeing at an adorable neighborhood in Buckeye called Verrado.  We discovered that there is a new 55+ neighborhood and spent 4 hours looking through the 12 models built by four different builders. Amazing!!! As we were ready to depart, we notice a big party happening in the Big Patio. Inquiring what was going on, we were invited to a Saint Paddy’s Day Happy Hour! We met the nicest group of people. I was at home…….

The next morning, and the next morning, I brought the Hubs to see the models. After returning to San Diego, we kept talking about the great house we saw. A week later, we were back in Buckeye buying a new home!!! We’ve never done anything so spontaneous in our lives. Heck, we’d lived in the same home for 37 years. That’s 37 years worth of packing, divesting ourselves of stuff, cleaning and repairing the house so we could sell. House sold in July. We’ve been staying in the Baseball House until we move into our newly built home on November 21! Hurray!!

The best things: single story, beautiful lot, and my own large 14 ft x 19 ft studio! I’ll be sure and share pics of the studio when it’s all set-up.

Q Have a great day and keep on crafting.

Pop Goes The Weasel

spinning weasel

Walked into a local thrift store looking yesterday and saw this! Thinking to myself, “Is this an antique yarn winder?” I checked the item over. Looking at the constructing, including square nails, I knew it was old and had to have it! $30, I think it’s a bargain. I figured The Hubs could make new ends to the spokes.

square nails

Aren’t the square nails wonderful! Look at the aged top of this piece.

Curious about the item, I did an online search, and was so excited to finds pictures of this item. It turns out that this is a Spinning Weasel. Know the song, “Round and round the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The monkey thought it all was a joke. Pop, goes the weasel!”(I know, I know, some people think it refers to cobblers tools.) See the top knob? That’s the weasel. I’m so excited! This was made in the 1800’s. In one picture, someone had engraved 1843 into the wood on the base.

According to Wiki:

Spinner’s weasel or clock reel is a mechanical yarn measuring device consisting of a spoked wheel with gears attached to a pointer on a marked face (which looks like a clock) and an internal mechanism which makes a “pop” sound after the desired length of yarn is measured (usually a skein). The pointer allows the spinner to see how close she/he is to reaching a skein. The weasel’s gear ratio is usually 40 to 1, and the circumference of the reel is usually two yards, thus producing an 80-yard skein when the weasel pops (after 40 revolutions).[1][2][3]

Some reels or skein winders are made without the gear mechanism. They perform the same function, but without the “clock” or pop to aid the spinner in keeping track of the length of thread or yarn produced. …[4][5]



See the yellow arrow, that piece that “clicks” against the gear inside is broken. I need to find out how long and what shape that needs to be so it can be repaired!

The way it works, is that when the yarn is spun onto the spool, the end is tied to one of the spoke ends. The spinner then revolves the spokes until the mechanism “pops”. How totally cool. I wish I could just touch the item and visualize it’s entire history.

QGo have a wonderful, happy, crafty day.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole


Help me! I’m going down the Rabbit Hole! I’ve been drafting a lot of patterns. Yes, I need a better storage solution. Since I’m not done with them, I’m leaving them out. What’s that you say? Is that a white board, well yes it is! However, I cannot access it for all of the patterns in the way. To the rescue, another great idea from Pinterest by Jenn at Endlessly Inspired, a fabric-covered magnet board. Great instructions at her site lead to this:

Magnetic board

Since this tiny little portion of my studio is done, wallpaper stripped and painted Glidden’s Cappuccino White, I mounted the new magnetic board! And the results:


Hurray! I got the oil drip pan at our local Auto Zone for $10, covered it with fabric from Joann Fabric using spray adhesive to adhere the fabric, and 16 lb Command removable strips to hang the board. Total project time was less that 1/2 hour. I did let the fabric and adhesive dry over night. I used the heavier strips since I not sure how heavy everything will be that I stick on.

I’m planning on adding magnets to the back of Ikea’s Bygel rail and attaching it to the bottom of this board. Trying to minimize the number of holes in the wall. Stay posted, I’ll show the results.

QNow go and have yourself a fun-filled, crafty day!

Perfect Ideas For the Studio

Storage_Pods_Pattern.html kubbis-rack-with-hooks-white__0313133_PE516359_S4

How adorable are these Storage Pods from Love From Beth on Craftsy. They are on my Studio Ideas board in Evernote which I shared yesterday.  I really like the Craftsman style look so this Kubbis hook from Ikea for ~$9 fits the bill for the Pod holder.

button ledge


The picture with the pick table was featuring DIY instructions for making the table. The picture ledge with buttons is what caught my eye (see the yellow arrow). I recognize that Ikea Mosslanda picture ledge for about $9. I’ve already been sorting my buttons by colors and storing in small Mason jars so this shelf is perfect. The small jam jars I’ve been collecting can be glued to the bottom of the shelf. norden-gateleg-table-white__0104381_PE251365_S4 (1)

This is the reason I don’t need the instructions for the DIY table. I am already the happy owner of this Ikea Norden Gateleg table which was purchased a few years ago. After seeing this table at Ikea I had to have it. You could not ask for a handier cutting table or craft table for a small area! The table has a total of six drawers, three on each side. When closed the table is 10 1/4 thick and 31 1/2″ wide. With one side open it is 35″, open both sides to a large 59 7/8 inches! The table sells for around $200 but it is worth every penny! One of the top drawers hold my cutting scissors and rotary cutters, easy access for when the cutting board is on the table. I’m thinking of having The Hubs put wheels on the bottom for even more maneuverability.

ruler hangerbygel-rail__35728_PE126619_S4

See the arrow in the picture above pointing to the rail? What a perfect solution for hanging all of my quilting rulers and quilting templates. Another good Ikea purchase for $3, the Bygel rail. No, I’m not getting a kickback from Ikea! I LOVE that store and The Hubs hates it! Go figure. Maybe it’s because I’m always finding great stuff there and over spending?
Tomorrow I have a DIY I’ve tried and totally LOVE! So, stay tuned.


Have a totally wonderful, crafty day!!! Q

New Studio Design With My New Best Friends


My studio is in dire need of a do-over. Although I absolutely LOVE the Waverly Violets wallpaper it’s been up for about 25 years. Daughter Darcey loves violet as much as I do and this paper was perfect for teenage Darcey. Time marches on. In order to plan the redesign, I’ve discovered that three, design “best friends” were extremely useful. Let me introduce you to three of my design best friends: 1. Pinterest, 2. Incomtech, and 3. Evernote and Evernote Chrome extension.

Don’t you just love Pinterest? The first step in my studio redesign was to chose the color palette. Love, Love, Love this color palette, and have chosen it for my redesigned studio. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I don’t call my studio a sewing room because it’s not just sewing, it’s designing! My creative juices are allowed to flow in my studio. Curls calls us Renaissance Women because we do a little bit of everything. Anyway……

floorplan125Next step was to measure the size of the room and make a floor plan. Enter design best-friend Incomtech, hurray! This site allows a person to make their own customized, printable graph paper. I was able to translate my room size 11 feet by 13 feet into a customized graph paper. The paper is 11 squares by 13 squares, each square represents a foot. If I wanted to I could have made it 22 squares by 26 squares so I’d have half foot lines. Now the floor plan was ready for the items.

After the millionth broken needle when machine quilting the Eye Spy quilt, and complaining that I wish I had a new sewing machine, my sweet husband insisted that I buy a new one. Hello new Pfaff! It is so perfect! But…… it doesn’t really fit into my sewing table. The throat is so much deeper than my last machine that I’m sewing with my left leg pressed firmly against the table. Not comfortable. A new sewing table is in order. Yikes! After pricing new ones, around $2000 for what I wanted, it was time to head back to Pinterest for new ideas. Done! Last but not least, ………

Studio Ideas

I have been collecting studio ideas on Pinterest, but it’s time to choose what I want to have in my redesigned studio and what I need to buy tied into one place. Enter Evernote and the Evernote extension for Chrome. Serendipity! I received an email from Evernote describing their new browser extension which can capture entire webpages or just a screenshot. I signed up for a free Evernote account and started a new notebook called Studio Ideas. I did screenshots of all of the new ideas I want to incorporate into my studio. I captured the entire DIY instruction page for the new sewing machine table using the Ikea’s Linnmon Table top. The Hubs is going to need the instructions. See the left-hand column, it has all of the items I’m interested in. Look at all that wonderful info I captured about the Linnmon, perfect for scaling into the floorplan.  Another bonus is that I can access the Studio Ideas on my phone so I have the list of what I want at Ikea. Oh yea, there is a long list. This extension is so AWESOME that you really should try it! No, I’m not getting paid a penny from Evernote, I just LOVE this extension. I already do my rough draft drawing ideas for sewing projects on Penultimate, using my iPad. I have created a notebook for all the ideas in Evernote. The two programs are from the same company.

Now back to scrapping off wallpaper and painting, yuck!!! Why can’t I twitch my nose and have it done? Sigh…….

QGo have a wonderful crafty day!


I Spy with My Little Eye……

Luke and quilt2

I Spy with my little eye……  Hurray! I finally finished one of the four I spy quilts I’ve been working on. This one was finished just in time for Luke’s Christmas present. He’s in love with it. Don’t you just love the bright colors?

luke finds it.jpg

I had such fun playing I Spy with both Luke and Nathan, his 2 years old cousin, when we kept them over New Year’s. Luke finds the letters. I’m in the midst of quilting Nate’s now. He was not happy when Luke left our house with the quilt.

full size picThis was my very first Quilt-as-you-go quilt. Love, love, love that technique. So nice to just quilt a few squares at a time, then join. I didn’t use any particular pre-quilt template, just made it up as I went along.

The quilt was designed using my favorite quilting app, Quiltography. See more about my much loved app from this post. The first I Spy design had a double layer of fabric around the center square.

i spy1

I have to admit that I got tired of taking pictures of the plain fabrics which went around the center, I Spy squares so I started reusing the same ones. The final quilt did not use any repeating fabric. Except for the I Spy squares, I wanted to use up my stash for the other fabrics. Deciding that I had enough 5″ square fabrics already cut to use just a single layer around the center I Spy, I redesigned the quilt.

I spy2

I liked the crazy off-center look of the I Spy quilts in this model. Again, after doing 30 squares I got bored and just used the same ones over and over. I was looking for the “feel” of the quilt and achieved it.

design board

After the top was pieced and trimmed, the blocks were put on the design board and moved all around until I found the exact placement for each one. I love my design board. You can read more about it here.

To do the quilt-as-you-go, I sewed four blocks together and pressed. Using quilting spray glue, the four blocks were put onto the batting square cut just a tad larger than the 4-block square. The first half of the quilt was quilted using my Bernina and a walking foot. After the fourth needle broke, I’d had it! My birthday is less than a month from Christmas so my sweet husband, sick of hearing me scream at the machine, researched online and found a new machine for me. Here she is:


My new Pfaff! Mom bought my first Pfaff for me in the late 1970’s. It is still going strong. It sewed clothes for all four kids, grandkids, husband, me, quilts, etc. I decided I wanted something with more stitch options so I gave the Pfaff to my daughter and bought a Bernina Quilter’s machine. Never was as happy with it as I was with my beloved Pfaff. I feel as if I have my old friend back with such wonderful new features!!! LOVE this machine. What’s that I’m sewing you ask? I Spy #4!

Off topic, I just want to let all of my favorite bloggers know that I usually read blogs with my iPad. For some reason, the last 6 months or so, I can “Like” a post but it refuses to let me log on and leave comments. I really have wanted to comment how much I am enjoying my “visits” and your wonderful blogs.

Q Have a crafty, happy day!



N is for Narwhal

Nate with his book

Nate with his book

Love that precious smile. His mom had just told him that he was going to grandma and poppa’s to spend the night.

Open book

Open book

Playing with his book the way it’s supposed to be. Touching all of the textures and taking the animals out to play. This book is meant for serious playtime!

Nathan cover

Nathan CoverN is for Narwhal

narwhalA is for Alligator


T is for Tiger


H is for Hippo

hippoA is for Aardvark

aardvarkN is for Newt

newtNathan back cover with mini-book

nathan backFor all the mini-books I use the Alphabetimal letters. Alphabetimal didn’t have an aardvark, only an anteater. With some modifications, I turned the anteater into an aardvark. Why? You ask. I love the word aardvark! As funny sounding as the animal is to look at. The facts I write about each animal are fun, trivia type facts.

QHope you’re having a crafty weekend!

The Unusual Balbriggan Heel

1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue

1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue

Yesterday’s Soldiers’ Socks, mentioned a Ballbriggan heel so casually I figured that 100 years ago it was a commonly known type of heel. Research is in order.

Balbriggan – Named for the town of Ballbriggan, Ireland, in 1843. Was first applies to full-fashioned hosiery made from unbleached cotton. About 1860 the name was applied to knit underwear of the same material. Originally it was used only on high-class goods, but it now covers everything in light-weight flat underwear mad of yarn, stained to the shade of Egyptian cotton. ~ Southern Merchant, Volume 20, 1907

Balbriggan Harbour Socks by Archives and Old Lace

Balbriggan Harbour Socks by Archives and Old Lace

Balbriggan Harbour Socks by Archives and Old Lace. This is a free pattern and the blog post is a fun read! All the research I’ve found about this heel, everyone has glowing words about how much fun the heel is to knit. For those of you who have Nancy Bush’s Folk Socks book or the Sock Architecture book, the pattern is in the books.

Detailed instructions for knitting the heel are found at Liberty’s Yarn blog.

This heel is definitely on my list of “must try”.  Go do a search and see all of the lovely examples.

QNow go have a fun crafty day!

Soldiers’ Socks: Heel-Flaps and Heels

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Published Feb. 9, 1916 in the The Sydney Mail.

Just at the present time the lives of the majority of women are bounded by knitting.  Every worker asks the other how many stitches the casts on for the top of the sock, what sized needles she uses, and the class of wool she prefers. When all this has been satisfactorily explained, the question of heels and toes comes uppermost. One woman swears by the Dutch heel, another by the common or square heel, and a third by the Swiss heel. It is wonderful how many ways there are of turning a heel, and how excited the novice feels when she has negotiated the corners, as it were, with success. Every woman can cast-on and knit round and round for the leg, but the heel is quite another matter. Each worker should acquaint herself with several methods. It is a pity to be tied down to any one style, and after all there is a certain amount of variety even in a small change like this. There are many kinds of excellent heels, some being suited to one kind of foot, others to another. Amongst the number may be mentioned the Dutch or horseshoe heel (to the writer’s idea one of the very best), the French, or round gusset heel, the manufacturers heel, the Balbriggan heel, the square heel, the Swiss, the Welsh, and the Niantic. The last named is to be seen on the majority of machine-knit hosiery; but as it has no gusset it is not as elastic as the other kinds.

The general rule for heels is that when the ankle is reached the stitches are evenly divided, half being used to work on for the heel, the other half left for the instep. But as there are always exceptions each variety of heal will be dealt with in turn. For the Dutch heel the stitches are divided as above. Knit to the seam stitch, purl it, and then knit along for a quarter of the number of stitches on the needles; turn, slip1, and then purl back to the seam stitch; knit this, and then purl for another quarter of the stitches. This will give the exact half for the heel flap, with the seam stitch in the center. The worker must now knit as many rows as there are stitches, as the flap is square. To turn the heel knit to the seam stitch, purl this, and knit 5 more. Take 2 together, and turn. Slip 1, purl to the seam stitch, knit this, purl 5, purl 2 together. Continue these two rows thus until the whole of the stitches are knitted off, and 14 stitches remain for the top of the heel.  

The French heel is eminently suited to the high instep. For this proceed in exactly the same way for the flap as just described for the Dutch heel; but the “turning” is different. Slip the first stitch, knit plain to the seam stitch, purl this, and then knit 1 stitch more, knit 2 together, and knit 1; turn, slip the first stitch, purl 4, purl 2 together, purl 1; turn, slip 1, knit 5 (the seam stitch is now abandoned), knit 2 together, knit 1; turn, slip1, purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1; turn and continue, knitting 1 stitch more each time so that the heel widens out as the work proceeds, and all the stitches are knitted in. The last row will be a purled one. Knit across, and pick up for the gusset in the usual way. The square heel also requires half the number of stitches, with the seam stitch in the centre. This stitch is then abandoned, and work must be proceeded with (one purl and one plain row) until about three inches of flap are completed. The stitches must be then cast off, and the cast off stitches sewn neatly together. This of course, makes a seam in the middle of the heel; but it should not be uncomfortable if properly sewn. At the same time, this heel is not general for soldiers’ wear, but it is simple to accomplish. The wool is then joined on from the right hand corner of the instep needle. For the manufacturer’s heel proceed in exactly the same fashion, but knit as many rows as there are stitches. Then proceed to shape the flap. Knit to within three stitches of the centre, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together, and plain to the end. Purl back. Repeat these two rows four times, when cast off and se up. The gusset stitches would be picked up as previously described.

There is a little variety with regard to the Welsh heel. Again half the number of stitches must be arranged on one needle, with the seam stitch in the center, the heel flap consisting once more of as many rows as there are stitches. Then slip 1, knit to within 10 stitches of the seam stitch, then *wool over the needle to make 1, knit 2 together, knit 5, knit 2 together, knit 1, purl the seam stitch, knit 1, knit 2 together; turn, wool over the needle to make 1, then purl to 10 stitches past the seam stitch; turn and repeat for * until all the side stitches are knitted in. Do not make a stitch in the last purl row. There should be 17 stitches when the work is completed. Later on some hints will be given on the finishing of the toes as well as full directions for refooting a sock.

Q – When doing a search for Welsh Heel, this article came up as a hit. I found it quite interesting. In researching old sock knitting patterns, the heels always refer to a “seam stitch”. It appears that pre-knitting-in-the-round, socks would be seamed up at this point. I’ll be discussing the seam stitch in upcoming blogs.

QHave a happy crafty day!

Curls and Q Typealyzer Results or Hahahahahaha!

One of my favorite blogs, Colour Cottage, had a link to Typealyzer which, somehow, analyzes the writing on your blog. Typing in this blog, the results are below. I have bolded the info that fits me. Other parts make me laugh. I am anything but “a smooth operator”. And, I’m always out of the loop for where the action is, even though I do like my brand of fun….. knitting, sewing, crafts, bird watching, etc. These analysis’s are a fun entertainment.

By describing herself, Pia of Colour Cottage is, in fact, describing me! “It also made me wonder whether one can be an extrovert loner. I do enjoy (select) company when I’m in it, and I definitely don’t try to blend with the wallpaper, but I need to recharge my batteries forever afterwards. And I never seem to get hungry for it, I can just potter about alone for weeks if I’m allowed. I simply do not notice that something ought to be missing.”

The analysis results for yesterday’s blog are:

ESTP – The Doers

The author of is of the type ESTP.

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities. They are active people who want to solve problems rather than simply discuss them.

ESTPs are the most adept among the types at influencing other people. Promoting is the art of maneuvering others to one’s position. Concrete in speech and utilitarian in action, they are smooth operators. The ESTP knows everyone who matters and everything there is to do because they are very resourceful, always knowing where the fun and action is.

They like to indulge themselves in the finer things in life and to bring other people with them. Their goal in life is to sell themselves and their ideas to others. Dramatic and debonair, they are gifted at earning others’ confidence.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Common satisfying careers: PC Technicians, General Contractor, Building Inspector, Surveyor, Mechanic, Forester, Stockbroker, Real Estate Broker, Police Officer, Firefighter, Athlete, Computer Technical Support

Notable ESTPs: Alexander the great, Winston Churchill, George S. Patton, Donald Trump, Ernest Hemingway, Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Milla Jovovich, Alfred Hitchcock and Jabba the Hutt.