around here ( aside from the mud…)

While it took them awhile, now the cardinals are frequent visitors

Cardinal on Flower Stalk

Cardinal in Snow Collage Dec 10

I hear the quiet chirp of the missus at the first light though these photos are all of her mate.

Cardinal on Cleome Stalks

This little bungalow was so full of family and friends on numerous occasions over the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years that it is nice to have a space of quieter times here for awhile.

Time to take a book like this and peruse it….

red and green

Perhaps over here by Lily who is dozing in her usual place in the corner.

Lily dozing by the chaise lounge

That is her usual afternoon spot. In the early mornings, pre-dawn, she and my other dog Jugsy can often be found sharing a rug between the dining room and living room.

Lily and Jugsy sharing a rug

There was a spectacular sunrise the other morning. Of course one of the neighbors was walking his dogs as I was outside in my pajamas on the porch taking pictures.

Sunrise Jan 13

Back indoors, with Christmas cleared away, there is still a little red and green on the quilt rack.

quilts on rack

On the piano, blooms from other seasons …roses, pussy willow and hydrangea….

on top of piano

While on one of the room dividers little crocuses grow.

crocuses in dutch shoe

In the dining room, some sewing, and of course the usual assistance from the cat.

Kanga by scissors sepia

And last but not least, there’s a box on the stairs waiting to go into my cupboard up in my bedroom..all of the 2013 bank statements and bills etc. sorted, filed and ready to put away.  A fresh start in regards to paper, aside from waiting now for everything pertaining to taxes to start arriving.

You might also enjoy:  Tuesday Treasures : Chickadees & Memories  or Sunday Sewing: end of 2013  or  Make a Small Batch of Jam

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Bright & Happy Sunday Sewing

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was working on another applique block for the first row of the sampler that I’d started.  I finished that up awhile ago, and got this far: ( and waited until after the Artic Blast / Polar Vortex to put it out on the line : )

baskets first row sampler quilt

So the first row is handwork and the connector is machine pieced. At that point, I was hesitating between continuing on with the basket theme or doing a sort of ‘row along’ type of quilt.

The other day, I visited Lori’s blog as I often do ( Humble Quilts ) and she had a basket post up ( HERE ) and that decided it for me. I would continue on with baskets. ( Until I changed my mind again : )

I did a bit of prep work for a few little pieced baskets to start another row, and have started to sew the first one. The first thing that I did was sew 2 triangles together incorrectly but hey, I wouldn’t be me if I did anything right the first time! :) Since I have several things going on with different color schemes, in my mind I have started to call this my ‘Bright & Happy Sampler”

Some people can start one project and methodically continue on with it until it is completed. I can do that if it is something like cooking a meal or painting a room, but in regards to sewing, I find that I do better if I have a variety of projects going on.

This one’s old…been fooling around with it for awhile… ( since the fall ) but it is coming along and I know that the minute that it is done, I’ll want to start another: Making a Rag Rug in a Loom:

Kanga and the Rag Rug

I  now have it reserved for those early morning times when you don’t need a lot of light to do something, and actually are awake enough to do it for a bit. This is a favorite spot for the kitty…dozing in the warmth of the radiator, but all that she has to do is turn around for some bird-watching as there are feeders outside the window.

( Oh, look…the missus cardinal was one of the visitors that day )

missus cardinal visits kanga on radiator

Since that day the snow has melted, the Polar Vortex went away, and the forecast was for a temperature of 50 degrees on Saturday. I’d envisioned brushing the dogs and washing the car and lots of wonderful 50 degree activities. Well, the car did get pouring down rain and we even had thunder and lightning. It was very windy so it did not feel warm at all :(  Just dreary and dark.


Winter Doldrums Collage

And that is why for this Sunday’s Slow Stitching session I’ll be working on piecing a little basket block for the Bright & Happy Sampler :)

basket piecing

I hope to finish this one up and start on the next one…

A few readers asked about the Benjamin Biggs quilt project when I’d posted about it. I had troubles on my first round ( the January block ) with a lot of unraveling of the fabric. I’d been using the sizing + iron method for basting and after I tortured the fabric to death, it rebelled! :)  So I glue-basted on the second round and that worked out a bit better but after sewing the middle portion down I put it aside for the time being. There is a FB group and several ladies have posted finished blocks, others are downloading the patterns but not doing anything until they finish up other projects and some are still debating fabric and color choices. In addition there is a revised pattern of the block which I printed out to take a picture of.

BB Block revised

Some of the ladies will create this revised block. One lady uploaded a picture of hers yesterday and it is just stunning. I inquired as to what method she used and it was back-basting plus needle-turn. I think that quite alot of people are using this method…I just watched a You Tube tutorial on it and learning / trying it is on my ‘to-do’ list :)

You might also enjoy : 5 Christmastime Randoms  or  Tuesday Muse: Fallen Flower  or  Nothing Says Fall Around Here Like a Wooly Bear Caterpillar 

Sharing with Kathy for Slow Stitching on Sundays over at Kathy’s Quilts ( and by the way this pertains to any handwork not just quilting…you can link up crochet, knitting, embroidery etc. so join up! :) 

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