Nov 1, 2011

update on Roz

Hello my friends.

I am in the hospital. I have asked my dd (dear daughter) to type for me. I am dictating.

I miss my friends and my blog. I miss my sewing. I have some sewing ideas. I am very frustrated. I hope to get back to sewing soon.

Please send get well wishes to or
Rosalyn Manesse
c/o Marion Schack
8 San Carlos
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Oct 16, 2011

It's a wonderful world

There's been a lot of time passing without my sewing or blogging. I'm recuperating from an illness. Doctors have told me that I'm lucky--it could have been much worse. I will be having on operation, but I'm praying to be well enough to bake a pie for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I've been resting. I haven't had enough energy to sew--therefore you can tell how easy I've been taking it. My daughter has stepped up to the plate and she's been looking out for me. Yesterday we went to visit my DH and he seems to be holding on. He's comfortable and not suffering at all. I went out on my patio this morning and although it's a bit foggy, I took a photo of the acacia tree that's blooming right now.

Oct 5, 2011

Inspired by Anna Williams

I had a mishap. I got sick last Wednesday. I was at my daughter's house and had just enjoyed a lovely dinner, when I had to spoil the evening and be taken to the ER. I don't care to publish my medical history, but let me say that I was in the hospital for two days, enjoying medical tests, and the food. The person in the kitchen said, "You must love the salmon because you ordered it for lunch and dinner?" "No, " I answered, "it's the only thing listed on the menu that I can eat."

Concerning my DH,and as far as the problem with Medicare is concerned, although he's in a seriously declining condition, the Medicare rules exclude him from receiving either Palliative Care or Hospice unless or until he can't speak. He has Lewy Body disease, not Alzheimer's. And although Alz patients stop talking in the end, I don't believe he will until he lapses into a coma. So there you go, you can rest easy knowing my dying husband is not cheating on Medicare. Meanwhile, it's costing Medicare more money to send my husband to the ER every time he's in trouble instead of having him tended by a nurse from Hospice.There--I had my rant, and I feel better!

OK now back to my quilting--I put my money where my mouth is and decided to divide my scraps into lights and darks. I'm piecing my squares with strips. This is a really simple pattern of alternating squares. I'll save the more complex patterns for later.

Sep 26, 2011

Recycled denim apron

I joined up the quilt blocks, and I think that it needs a little solid color border. For fun, I tried a bit of recycling. This project is not for the perfectionist sewer. Take a big old pair of jeans. Cut off a leg. Hem around. Add some strings and maybe a pocket.

I'm having a problem with arthritis and can't type a lot in this post--I'll have to save it for later. Meanwhile, I'm doing battle with my health insurance. It seems that Medicare has imposed a lot of new rules on dying people.

Sep 19, 2011

Half-Log Cabin blocks

Rather an upsetting weekend for me, as my DH's health is not doing very well. However, nothing like a bit of quilting to quiet the nerves, and if I make a mistake in my sewing, I just remind myself that I'm only sewing scraps of cloth together, and although what I'm sewing is in danger of turning into a crazy quilt block, or even a dust rag--so what. I want to make another half-log cabin quilt. Although I made a similar one not too long ago, there are so many ways to set the blocks that every quilt made with this pattern can look different. The trick that I have found is to sew all 24 blocks simultaneously. That way, I only have to figure out where each piece in the puzzle goes one time. I made a sketch of the finished block and tacked it to the bulletin board that I have hanging on the wall behind my sewing machine.

By the way, if you like muffins, I've posted a recipe for milk-free Apple and Honey Muffins on my cooking blog at

Sep 14, 2011

Bricks Quilt--the second

This bricks quilt was so easy to machine quilt. I simply quilted in the ditch. I think that I should have made it a bit longer, though. But it is a nice size for a lap quilt. I'm putting in a close-up photo because I think that this fabric is so amusing. I found a fat quarter that's printed to look like money. I'm putting this quilt away for a rainy day. I plan to donate it to a sick person as a Healing Quilt.
Sad news here, one of the sick people that I gave a quilt to has died. I'm planning to attend a prayer meeting at the home of the mourners this evening.
Meanwhile, as my blogging friends know, I'm already sewing another quilt. It's a log cabin. More news to follow.
Here's a question for you--if you were planning to take out insurance--how much value would you place on your fabric stash and sewing equipment?

Sep 11, 2011

Holiday snuggle quilt

Today is September 11th. Such a heartbreaking day to remember. I cry. I have completed this quilt--it's made similarly to the Art Quilt that I posted about previously, except that I used printed fabrics instead of solids. I had a hoard of some special Holiday fabric scraps and I used them in this quilt. I put flannel on the back, and I quilted it in sort of straight lines (except the borders are wavy). The quilt turned out to be kind of puffy, and I think it may qualify to be called a Comforter. I love it. I'm thinking of putting it on my sofa and using it like an afghan.

The above quilt is another "Bricks" quilt, similar to the one that I made last December, except that the blocks are 3/12 inches by 6 1/2 inches. I sewed 13 rows. Why 13? because I didn't count how many blocks I cut out until later, and it turned out that I had enough for 13 rows. The quilt is approximately 40 by 45 inches--enough for a lap quilt. I gave the last Bricks quilt away to a Cancer patient--and I plan to give this one out as a gift sometime, also. I hope I can get this one pin basted today. I've been thinking about quilts that use dark and light fabric as part of the pattern--such as the log cabin quilt does. It's one of the things that we don't seem to pay enough attention to when doing free-piecing. I want to try to do more light and dark patterns.

Sep 5, 2011

Four Patch Scrap Squares Quilt

I like to play recordings while I make my quilts. I played some Bach while I was pin-basting this quilt, and some Jimi Hendrix while I did my free-motion quilting. Jimi was maybe the best guitar player that ever lived--his recording of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" is absolutely wonderful. I could name a bunch of other great guitar players that I love, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Montoya, Julian Bream, Santana, and of course, Charo--who is a wonderful guitar player when she's not wiggling and acting funny. Who's your favorite?
Anyhow--back to the basics--I just love how this quilt came out. I'm very proud of it. I also have done some quilting on another quilt that I kind of made in the background--it's a printed-fabric version of my "Art" quilt. I have to do the binding today.

Sep 1, 2011

Four Patch Scrap Squares Quilt

Those untidy piles of scraps in the last post have been tamed into a quilt top. It's very easy to do. The scraps were combined into 6 1/2 inch blocks and the blocks were joined into a four patch, while alternate 6 1/2 inch blocks were surrounded by 3 1/2 inch strips of solid fabric. Borders were cut 2 1/2 inches wide.
It's rather exhilarating to put together a quilt top, but it's the quilting and binding that make it into a quilt. I'm so tempted to keep making quilt tops, without stopping to finish the quilt! But without the finishing, this is only a pile of scraps--when completed, it then becomes a useful article. Rather like life, isn't it--it takes some commitment and determination to see something to completion.

Aug 29, 2011

"And the beat goes on..."

I don't know if you recall the old song by Sonny and Cher? I think I'm letting this free-piecing get away from me! I have to promise myself to make a different kind of quilt next. Anyhow, I saw a photo of a free-pieced quilt over on the and I was inspired to make a quilt similar to the one in the photo, made by Carol E. That quilt was made for a leukaemia patient. Clare does a deed of loving kindness by making quilts for patients. I invite you to visit her blog. You might wish to contribute--she needs quilt squares for this project. I'm planning to donate this quilt, when completed, to a person in my neighborhood (as yet unknown--but I'll find them.)

Aug 23, 2011

Shoo Fly quilt

Good news on the quilting front--I've completed quilting and binding this Shoo Fly quilt. I hope to be sending it off for donation this weekend. I free-motion quilted it on my sewing machine. And today I did sew the border on that Hodge Podge quilt. I sewed on 4 inches of a mottled gold fabric. Now I have to dig through my stash (it's in a big storage box at the bottom of my closet) to try to find a backing for it. I've been enjoying my sewing lately. And oh yes, my daughter liked her shortie PJ pants that I sewed for her. The fabric was printed with helicopters and I managed to not have any of them flying upside down.
It seems to me that I ought to be counting my blessings lately--I'm grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I have to be grateful that I live in a nice place and go to bed each night in comfort. And I have to stop complaining so much!
By the way, a message to the East Coast from the folks in California--welcome to earthquake country!

Aug 21, 2011

Shoo fly quilt

As per usual--I'm leaping ahead as it were--and although I haven't finished sewing the borders on the Hodge Podge Quilt in the previous post (can't decide what add on next,) I've sewn another quilt top. This one is also for a donation, because the string quilt that I sewed the other day for a donation already has a destination.
Well, thanks so much Gwen Marston for your great quilting books (I own several of them) I'm making a liberated quilt. Here I've used some of my collection of solid colors. I began collecting solid fabrics a couple of years ago, and I'm so glad that I did. I feel like an artist who has a big collection of paint tubes.
This quilt is made with 12 inch squares, and the sashes are cut 2 1/2 inches wide. I added a 3 1/2 inch mottled blue border. The border does not show up very well in the photo, but the mottled color really gives a finishing touch to the quilt. The result is a lap quilt approximately 36 by 50 inches. Now on to the pin basting!

Aug 18, 2011

Next quilt--a Hodge Podge

So, I had such fun making that quilt with all solids--which I called my "Art Quilt," that I decided to try making the same type of free-pieced quilt, but with prints this time. I guess that you might call it the Hodge-Podge Quilt. I like it so far, but not as much as the solid one. I need to add borders to it, and that should improve the appearance somewhat. But it's such fun to just sew like crazy and see what it looks like afterwards.
As you can see by the second photo, I also sewed a pair of shortie pajama pants. That's what happens when my daughter takes me to the fabric store--she always seems to find something that she wants me to sew for her! I haven't sewn a garment (except for an apron) in years. I used to make nearly all my own clothes at one time, but fabrics got so expensive that it was no longer economical to sew clothing.
Anyhow, when my two oldest kids were little, the pajamas I bought for them at the store would wear out very quickly. So I decided to make some pajamas for them myself. The kids picked out a flannel fabric that was printed with cowboys. I sewed the pj's with flat-fell seams and those things lasted long enough to become hand-me-downs. My daughter remembered those pj's and she found this cute fabric printed with helicopters--and I had to sew pajama pants again! This time I made French seams. Flannel ravels and if you are sewing flannel clothing, you need to make an enclosed seam. She came over today for a "fitting" and I need to hem these pants and sew the elastic.

Aug 16, 2011

String quilt

Here I am again--it's been so long since my last post! I was having a wonderful time with visiting family! And there was a big birthday party for my daughter and her husband's 50th birthdays. They have their birthday in the same week, and are the same age. So it's good news all around. And at last I have completed this string quilt. It's intended for a gift for a sick person. My head is spinning with ideas for my next two quilts. I do have some blocks started for one of those.
Meanwhile, I finished knitting a sweater for a small cousin. I couldn't decide which sweater to knit--a pullover or a hoodie--so I'm knitting both. The hoodie needs a lot more knitting, but sweaters are not really needed much until October or November. By the way, the wrist warmers that I made previously were a big hit as soon as the girls figured out what in the world they were. Also not needed until the Autumn.

Aug 9, 2011

Art Quilt

Here's a picture of my Art Quilt. And I'm really proud of it. I machine quilted it with a meandering stitch, using a shiny rayon thread on the top, and ordinary black thread in the bobbin.
I hope to use this method of piecing to make another quilt soon, using printed fabric instead of all solid. I made the background a dark brown color. I rarely use much black in my quilts. Although I wear a lot of black clothing, I still have a funny feeling about black. I guess that goes all the way back to my childhood. My father had a superstition about children wearing black. He wouldn't permit it. I think that he thought it might be bad luck because black was a color of mourning. The other day I presented the quilt pictured below to a dear lady who is having chemo therapy. She said, "This is my lucky day." I certainly hope so. As you can see, the quilt is composed of free-pieced stars (that I learned how to make from Gwen Marston's books) along with some free-pieced log cabin blocks.

Aug 4, 2011

O happy day!

Do you remember that old song, "The sun is shining, Oh happy day..."? At last I'm feeling well enough today to pin baste this quilt. And this photo gives a better close up of the quilt's construction. The second photo is a cover that I designed for my daughter's I Pad. She wanted a sock monkey on it. I should have written down what I was doing at the time--but I didn't, so there's no pattern for this. I simply measured the I Pad and crocheted a large rectangle to fit it.

Jul 30, 2011

It's fungly

OK, what's the best cliche? "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," "Ugly as sin." We could go on and on. However--since someone gave me these fabrics--thanks. A good quilter should never let loud fabric go to waste. I know, you might think I ought to sew these fabrics on the back of the quilt. But I didn't. I look at it this way--this quilt is sure going to be cheerful! And you could always throw an afghan over on top of it, if need be. It's not a bedspread after all--it's a lap size. And it cheered me up no end to sew this quilt top, as I've been a bit under the weather. I'm getting tired of doctors, no matter how kind and understanding they are. And that from a person who has another appointment with another doctor next week. What a complainer I am! As my mother used to say "Oy, I'm sick in bed with the doctor!" At least all these problems are improving, I plan to be a lot better tomorrow. And to get to pin basting that other quilt top--the one that came out to be prettier than this one.

Jul 25, 2011

The Winners and my "art" quilt

I got out my sun hat and put in all the names for the etui drawing and the winners are Clare, Nanci and Debbie! So I'll be mailing out the etuis pretty soon.
Meanwhile, I thought that I was making a gift utility quilt for an as-yet-unknown sick person. I'll have to try to make a utility quilt again. I don't want to give this quilt away! Clare warned me in her comment on the quilt-in-progress photo, and she was right. How she could tell from that little photo of a few quilt blocks, I'll never know. I made twenty-four 6 1/2 inch free-pieced blocks using solid colors and added 2 1/2 inch strips of solid on two sides of the block, as seen in the second photo. I was inspired by Karla Alexander's book New Cuts for New Quilts--more ways to stack the deck. She made a quilt called "Orderly Chaos". However, I didn't follow her directions at all--just the way that she put the blocks together. After making the blocks, they are arranged every which way. I didn't follow her directions for that either, I put the blocks together without paying attention to the arrangement. And I used a different border than the one in the book. The dark color might look like black in the photo, but it's actually dark chocolate brown. I know that I'll have fun quilting this one!

Jul 20, 2011

500th Post--Etui Give-Away

I have made three etuis to give as prizes in celebration of my 500th Blog Post. As I've reached the 500th Post, I guess that I've been doing a lot of blogging! It's fun and I've met some wonderful people in the world of Internet Blogging.

OK--what's an etui? Is that a word in the dictionary? It's not even in my pocket dictionary, but is in my Scrabble Dictionary. As you will notice in the second photo, in this instance it's a little needle book. (Pins and needles are not included in the give-away.) I made my own etui many moons ago, and it's been in active use ever since. As it is a bit of an unusual sewing accessory, I thought that I would sew these as a sort of party-favor kind of gift. I will be drawing for the winners.

How to win an etui:

  1. Bloggers, make a comment on this blog post before midnight Sunday--that would be Pacific Daylight Savings Time. (you figure that out)

  2. Be sure that you have your blog set so that your email address will be visible (so that I can find you to notify you.) If necessary --edit your profile to show your email address.

Jul 18, 2011

Free piecing

So I finished and sent on its way that four patch quilt and of course I'm making another kind of quilt. Because I have given away the quilt I made for a male-type sick person, I decided to make another quilt to have on hand in case there's a need for it. I think that solid fabrics might be more suitable than flowered or printed fabric. This quilt is going to be made with all solid scraps. And since my scrap baskets are overflowing with printed stuff--there's no question what I'll be using next. I'm feeling all energetic lately! Life sure has it's ups and downs. I even made it to the swimming pool today--wearing my new bathing suit. I'm so glad that they are still making modest grandma-type suits. I guess that it's been 50 years since I wore a two-piece type suit. This is my 499th post, so the next post will have a little bit of a surprise.

Jul 13, 2011

Four Patch donation quilt

Here's a photo of my completed four patch quilt. I took it to my knitting group today. My friend Ria held it up for the picture to be taken. And my friend Judy will be taking it in to the charity to be donated this week. I hope that it will keep someone warm this winter. Even now, in July we have some cool nights. I have two quilts on my bed all summer.

This is my 498th post on this blog. I want to plan something a little bit different for my 500th.

Wrist warmers

Do you think that I made enough wrist warmers? Well, I'm blessed with four granddaughters! What, do they need wrist warmers in July? No. But they might in the future--it can't stay hot forever. Meanwhile, I've completed that four patch donation quilt and I hope to get a nice photo to post later today.
And I'm rounding up some scraps of solid colors for another quilt. No problem here--I seem to have accumulated a mountain of scraps. And I confess I did purchase some really loud orange fabric to throw into the mix.
I've been having a lot of problems with food allergies. I'm allergic to soy. I have hives. And you wouldn't believe how the soy bean has taken over the world--there's soy oil or some other form of soy in a whole lot of stuff (breads, crackers, cereal, hot dogs, soup powder, mayonnaise, herb tea, canned tuna, etc). But after donating a bunch of food to the food bank and sharing some of the rest around--I have managed to become soy-free. I found that a store that has some really nice things that I can eat. And I'm feeling a lot better. If anyone else out there has an allergy to soy, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Jul 4, 2011

Jacob's quilt--Liberated Churn Dash

I'm so proud of this quilt. And I had a ton of fun making it. I got the idea for the churn dash pattern from Gwen Marston's book Liberated Quiltmaking II. And of course the lettering is from Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts. I wanted to make a color scheme suitable for a college man. So I used basically blue and yellow. The borders are a tan color, sort of a tea-dyed shade. The very top and bottom border fabrics are printed with the Hebrew alphabet. And in the bottom photo, my family helps me out with taking the photos.

Jun 30, 2011

Four patch

This four-patch was very easy to sew together. I had to be careful though, to get all the dark patches in a line. I plan to machine quilt this and try to get it ready for donation. Although it's summer now, and not many quilts and caps are required, the charity stores away all these donations and hands them out as needed. They aim to help homeless folks get situated in jobs and housing.
I'm enjoying our nice weather. I plan to go for a swim today. I had a little emergency lately when I discovered that my bathing suits have been hanging in the closet and disintegrating from last season's swimming in the chlorinated pool. I'm not much of a swimmer these days, but I find that exercising in the pool really helps my arthritis.
I want to wish all my Internet friends a Glorious Fourth of July--that is all the ones in the U.S.! I'm fortunate enough to have some quilting friends in several different countries.

Jun 29, 2011

Completed projects, Jan. to June 2011

Last January I started a notebook with a list of every item that I finished. I make a lot of things that I donate to charity--Serving People In Need of Orange County--especially hats for the homeless and for babies. Besides that, I give many things for gifts to family and friends. And I need things, too. It's now the end of June, and I have several pages of notes. So this is my inventory:

  • 10 dishcloths

  • 9 sweaters

  • 2 afghans

  • 46 hats (not a misprint)

  • 7 toys

  • 5 quilts

  • 3 wall hangings

  • 5 pairs of socks

  • 2 baby bibs

  • 2 scarves

  • 1 tea cozy

  • 4 pairs of wrist warmers

Now I have to do some housework!

Jun 27, 2011

Lots of sewing goin' on

Good news today--I'm actually finishing Jacob's quilt. It's all quilted and I'm working on sewing on the miles of blue binding. I watched a movie on TV yesterday and got a lot of progress on the hand hemming. Maybe too much, I had to put an ice pack on my neck. After the quilt is totally complete, I plan to find a couple of folks to hold it up for a good picture.
In case you might think that some of those blue fabrics look like denim--you are correct in one respect--they look like it, but they are only cotton that's printed to look like denim. And furthermore, I have cut up a lot of fabrics from that fat quarter bundle I had the luck to acquire--and that has been "burning a hole in my pocket." I want to make a four patch quilt for a charity donation. Here's a little picture of those fabrics in motion--as it were.And another thing, I realized today that this is post number 492 on my blog. I guess that I've been chatting and quilting on the web for quite some time. I'll have to try to come up with something special for the 500th post--whenever that may be.

Jun 24, 2011

Free motion quilting

Here's a photo of the quilt at another stage in production. The posts on this quilt seem to go on and on. But, good news--I have finished half of the free-motion quilting. I've been too tired to quilt some days. (That means I have another life besides sewing.) However, I manage to do at least a little bit of quilting almost every day.
What a struggle I've been having with Google lately. I went to the "Settings" page and changed my blog back to "old" for my postings. There's an old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It wasn't perfect the old way, but I could usually manage to post my photos. Speaking of "it ain't broke." I don't know how those wizards of Silicone Valley have managed it, but they now have a lot of us replacing perfectly functioning phones and computers by newer ones! Everyone seems to have a strong desire for a phone that can not only make actual phone calls, but can play games and do everything except jump rope.

Jun 16, 2011

Pin basting

Every time I start pin basting a quilt, I promise myself that the next quilt I make will be smaller!  This quilt is about twin comforter size--approximately 62 by 84 inches.  I had to piece together three fabrics to make the backing. 
Of course, meanwhile my mind is spinning on what quilt I want to make next.  I want to make another gift quilt and a donation quilt, too. 
I think I need an afternoon nap before I finish basting. 
The good news is that Jacob saw what I'm making for him and he likes it! 

Jun 12, 2011

Jacob's quilt

I have to tell you a story first. On Tuesday I was taking a transportation bus.  It's a bus for handicapped folks and so it has a different route each day.  On Tuesday the bus driver, obviously not familiar with the neighborhood, was driving the long way around.  I suspected where he was headed, because buses frequently pick up a certain lady that lives near me.  And sure enough, after a bit of a meander, the bus driver stopped in the street in some confusion.  "Are you lost?" I asked. 
"I'm supposed to go to X Street," he said.
Seeing that he was now two blocks away, I told him, "Well you are doing so good!  It's right over there, just make a left at that stop sign, go one block and turn left again."
The man was so happy that I had told him that he was "doing good."  I know that it made his day.  When we picked up the person he was looking for he told her, "We have the most wonderful lady here on the bus with us today!"  As they say, some positive reinforcement goes a long way.
And here's the quilt top, all assembled.  I get such a feeling of satisfaction when I get something assembled.  Especially when I started this with no really clear idea of what it was going to be.  I was trying for the free-pieced lettering from Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts, the liberated style from Gwen Marston's book Liberated Quiltmaking II, and at the same time for a simple color scheme and a bit dignified feeling of a quilt for a young man.  Now on to finding a backing and doing the pin basting--

Jun 7, 2011

"Slow but sure wins the race."

OK, just to prove that I'm still working on the quilt, I'm posting this photo.  As you can see, (sort of) I've begun to put the blocks together with light brown colored sashes.  I've finally completed and squared up 16 blocks.  I hope that I can get the whole thing put together in a couple of days or so. 
And meanwhile, I've added in a picture of some of the flowers in my cousin's garden.  We visited them on the weekend for a lovely day. 
I've been doing a bit of knitting and crochet lately.  I make a lot of hats for charity.