A Year of Finishes - 2023, Bags Bags Bags

A Year of Finishes: 12th to 20th Finish

Yes, I am counting each individual drawstring/project bag as one finish…

So I finished 9 more drawstring/project bags recently as part of my A Year of Finishes – 2023  Project.

Five (5) rainbow fabric bags:

With either a coordinating floral or a yellow striped interior:

I also finished four (4) gray/copper knitting themed bags with gray flannel bottoms and trim:

I had this cool Moda fabric in my stash that I made the interior of the bags:

I am probably going to finish one more set of the drawstring/project bags and then stop. Recently an exciting opportunity for 2024 has come my way and I need to pivot on my priorities. More in a future post!

Knit and Crochet Away!

Plastic Yarn?

Last week, sometime mid week, I needed an outing and John took me to JOANN FABRICS to wander around.

I didn’t have anything in mind that I needed but I took a leisurely stroll (as leisurely as one can stroll on a knee scooter) through the yarn section. There I discovered a collection of skeins of yarn made from RECYCLED PLASTIC!

I bought a couple skeins of the Lion Brand Re-Spun yarn to try it out.

The yarn has a slightly strange texture, almost like a little bit slippery, but it looks like regular acrylic yarn, perhaps with a little sheen to it.

I made a couple sample blocks for a future granny square blanket with the yarn:

I love the idea of plastics being recycled into something you make crafts with – a much better alternative to the landfill!

I didn’t have the best light when I was photographing and I am limited where I can do a photoshoot in my knee scooter (recovering from broken ankle and subsequent surgery if you are just joining us). I took photos on the table John made (see post From the Woodshop: Floating Top Hall Table) in the entryway.

I stepped back…okay I rolled back (on my scooter) after I finished the photoshoot for this post and realized the light, although poor, was sort of interesting on the whole area:


Oh and speaking of granny squares, here is little follow up on my post What’s On the “Design Carpet”, about the gray and black granny squares I’ve been making while riding in the car, for a future blanket.

Here is what they looked like:

I decided they needed a couple rounds of gray border to make them less busy looking (I was using a solid center of black or gray, surrounded by a variegated black and gray yarn):

I like them better now (by the way, notice they are now on the “Design Floor” instead of the “Design Carpet”, ha!)

From the Woodshop, Studio

From the Woodshop: Some Additions to My Studio

John, my resident woodworker, was working on a remodel of our mudroom/laundry room beginning with a new bench (see post From the Woodshop: A New Bench and Beginning of the Mudroom Remodel ) but he is waiting on a new toy (a track saw) before he starts on the next part, the broom closet.

So he’s kept himself busy on the weekends instead with a couple projects for my quilting studio.


First he replaced the small plastic extension table with a pine slab on top that I was using next to my sewing/crafting table, with an actual table:

Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer checking out the new table:

The table has the schnauzer-stamp-of-approval!

Mike reviews the quality of John’s work (ha!) when he isn’t napping under the cutting table in the center of my studio:

Hopefully you can spot Mike somewhere in the schnauzer pillow…


In the post The Horizontal Diaries, February 8, 2023, I shared that John had set up a breakfast station in the upstairs guest room when I was spend a lot of time resting (being “horizontal”) with my left leg elevated after breaking my ankle and having surgery.

Well I am spending less time horizontal these days and more time up and about; and I returned to coming downstairs for breakfast each morning. So we decided to move the small refrigerator (or “mini fridge”) out of the guest room and into my studio!

John built a stand for it and now I have a drink and tea area in my quilting studio:

I think John is encouraging me to spend as much time creating in the studio I can with beverages and snacks…


When John was first teaching himself (via books and YouTube videos) on how to make drawers, he made a lot of practice boxes to start. He recently repurposed a couple of those practice boxes as some additional storage for my studio:

I think we’ve run out of projects for my studio for now, so John is probably going to return to making cutting boards (see post Never Bored When Making Boards (From the Woodshop) ) until his track saw shows up!

Knit and Crochet Away!

Getting Ready to Start a New Hat Pattern and Yarn Yumminess

This post is from my blogging buddies who love yarn as I have some yummy yarn colors to share!

Before you panic for me, after reading all my recent “unfinished project audit related posts”, I just wanted to remind you that the audit only focused on sewing projects. As I mainly work on knitting and crochet projects while I am in the car riding as a passenger (see post What’s On the “Design Carpet”) or occasionally when watching television in the evening in the living room, I don’t stress about them as “unfinished projects”. Also I have the attitude on nearly all knitting/crochet projects: “I’ll finish it whenever I finish it, it is busywork”.

Yes I am not that serious knitter or crocheter, but I do love it.

And as far as knitting, I mainly knit hats, and some of you know – I’ve only knitted the same one hat pattern (since like 2013 or so)!

But a wonderful friend sent me a “get well” surprise a couple weeks ago, as I recover from my broken ankle and subsequent surgery (see post A Little Bit of Magic from the Universe? ) that contained a kit to knit a hat with a DIFFERENT PATTERN!

(Look of terror and panic…no I am okay now, ha!)

So I’ve opened the kit and looked inside, checked out the requirements (I needed to pick up a couple circular knitting needle sizes I did not have as well as a different size of double pointed needles that I did not have) and here is everything to get the hat going:

And talk about “yarn porn”, look at this delicious collection of 21 yarn “mini hanks” (what a cute name for these little bits of yarn yumminess):

Mmmmm mmm mmm! I’ve seen these little hanks (or perhaps “baby skeins”) of yarn in other knitters blog posts and I was envious. Well now I have my own set – ha!

So I guess I need to start casting on the stitches and make the hat. Wow does it have a lot of color changes! Wish me luck (panic and terror starting to set in again…).

The good thing is the pattern is easy to follow, I’ll just have to get comfortable with the 20 yarn changes after I cast on the dark gray color which is the base.

I do have a super sweet project bag to keep everything in: the same friend years ago made me this awesome project bag:

She brilliantly figured out how to make it from an image she saw on Pinterest!

Oh while I was pulling everything out on the coffee table in the living room, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer was being cute while nesting in his “natural habitat”: a crochet blanket and a quilt. So I’ll close this posts with some images of my sweet Mike captured in “the wild” 😉

He looked up at me as he knows the sound of the iPhone camera shutter clicking!

A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: New Releases…

A little follow up to these three (3) posts:

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I 

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part II 

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part III 

I titled this post: “…New Releases” because over this past weekend it came to be that I could let go of more projects.

And I did…I “released” seven (7) more unfinished projects and either donated them to the charity thrift shop or sent them to a friend.

If you are curious which 7 projects I let go of, the details are below.

I’ve included which post (Part I, II or III) of the series of posts on the audit that I discussed the projects in case you want additional details (or in case you were too sleepy the first time you read the posts to remember, ha!).

  1. Friendship Ring Quilt (Part I) – I first got permission from the wonderful friend who gave me this project and then I passed it onto another friend. The reason for letting it go: the fabrics, although beautiful, are not my style and I did not have a plan for the quilt if I did finish it.
  2. Neutral Colors Fabric Printing Quilt (Part I) – I made the the tree-like blocks during a fabric printing class with the SAQA group I belonged to in Central Oregon, during my happy life in Bend, Oregon before my husband suddenly passed. The blocks and the over all feeling of the fabrics I had put together for the piece only make me think of “grief”. The tree-like printed blocks now look like sadness and grief to me. I donated the coordinating fabrics, which someone had given me at a quilt retreat years ago, and I threw away the blocks. I didn’t want to donate them and I didn’t want someone else using them. I cannot fully explain the feeling behind this decision but I gave myself permission to be wasteful and trash them.
  3. Sashisko Hand Sewing Project (Part I) – I’ve had this project since 2014 or so and I picked it up during a spectacular trip my late husband and my late dogs and I took to one our favorite places – Cannon Beach, Oregon. I can’t bring myself to finish it, nor do I have interest in the colors combination, so I let it go. I do have some other Sashisko sewing kits using a blue background fabric with white threads and I am keeping those for future hand sewing projects.
  4. Three Blind Mice Pincushions (Part I) – I hate mice, not sure why I bought it in the first place. I donated the pattern and the fabric I had cut out (plus additional fabrics to finish the mice) to the thrift store.
  5. The Coasters (Part II) – I’ve made enough of these coasters and I have much more interesting fabrics to use when I am ready to make up a stash of potholders (as gifts and/or for my Etsy shop). So I donated them.
  6. Asian Fabric Scraps for Orange Peel Style Quilt (Part II) – I got honest with myself and asked myself if I really want to make in the near future an Orange Peel style quilt. And the answer was “No”. So I donated the fabric that was already cut into Orange Peel sections for that type of quilt and put the rest of Asian fabric scraps into my Asian Fabrics Scraps collection.
  7. Medallion Quilt (Part III) – the fabrics in this collection of fabrics for this quilt are not my style any longer (classic floral Moda Fabrics patterns); and I got honest with myself and asked what plans did I have for a finished improvisational medallion quilt with those types of fabrics. My answer was “None”. So I donated the whole giant package which included yardage of floral Moda Fabrics to the charity thrift shop. Some crafter, who likes those fabrics, is going to stumble upon a wonderful surprise at the thrift shop!

So along with the two other projects Fabric Scraps from Another Quilter’s Project (Part I) and The Leftover Lighthouse Blocks (Part II), I’ve released a total of 9 projects of the 25 unfinished projects I started with.

So now I am down to 16 and I have plans as I shared in Part III to knock out at least 9 of those 16 in 2023.

I still might let more unfinished project go in the future, it is all an ongoing process of deciding to hold on or to let go…


A Reminder on Why I Make Quilts

The end of last week I received a wonderful reminder of why I became a quilter and why I make quilts.

Many years ago I made my a baby quilt for my Danish Brother’s (longtime friend that I spent part of the summer in Denmark with him and his family in the late 90s, he now lives in Austria) first born son (14? years ago).

It was a fairly simple quilt as 14 years ago I still in my early days of quilting.

Little did I know this quilt would become sort of a family heirloom for them and is passed around family members as they have babies.

Last year I received an e-mail and photo from my Danish Brother with his sweet nearly 3 year old niece (his brother’s darling daughter) wrapped in the quilt when she was feeling under the weather to comfort her:

A very sweet face but must protect this little one’s privacy

And at the end of last week I received an e-mail with a photo of his new nephew (his brother-in-law’s son) using the quilt!

A very sweet looking baby but face obscured for his privacy, you’ll just have to trust me on his sweetness 🙂

It was one of those “my heart is going to explode” feelings, my eyes filled with tears, and I got to so overwhelmed and grateful (and surprised) that a simple baby quilt I made was bringing comfort to 14+ years of babies/children so far in one family!

Here is a quote from my Danish Brother from his e-mail with the photo of his niece wrapped in the quilt in 2022:

... you know what…is precious to me? The blankie that is comforting her! I am sure you recognised it immediately of course. I just wanted to put that smile on your face! Thank you for the fine gifts you have lovingly crafted for me. It warms my heart every time I look at them. Every one of them is my favorite!

Hey Universe, thanks for the reminder, I will keep making quilts.

You quilters out there reading this you understand!

A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part III

I thought a sleeping dog was the perfect feature photo for this post because if you aren’t asleep yet, I am going to help you drift off to a deep slumber with this 3rd (and final, whew) installment of my audit of my open sewing projects.

If you are just joining us, here are the previous two posts in case you need a little visual sedation before you fully fall asleep:

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part II 

As I shared in the previous posts, I discovered 24 open projects. So far during my audit I found 2 projects that I can let go of and donate, so that brought me down to 22 open projects. But then yesterday I discovered on more project I forgot about – the Nova Star Quilt I want to make from ArtGallery Fabrics fabric:

John was in my studio with me when I discovered it and he tried to help me out and hide it from me…

But I quickly figured out where it was – ha! In the photo above it does like like Mike the Miniature Schnauzer is hanging his head in disgust that one more project was found!

So now I am back up to 23 but we’ll see what the final total is at the end of this post as I share the remaining open projects.

So do you have your pajamas (or pyjamas) on, your pillow and a cozy (cosy) blanket?

Photo by Rigged Photography on Pexels.com

Okay well good, I can continue the sharing audit now…



In 2021 I finished Elizabeth Hartman’s Legendary quilt which features a Sasquatch/Yeti stalking around the woods – see post A “Legendary” Christmas Gift and “Quilt Photo-bombing”. I have a lot of flannel fabric left over but did not want to make an entire second quilt. Instead I am going to make some coordinating pillows (and definitely one with just a Sasquatch on it) to go with the quilt which in on the sectional sofa in the basement:

AUDIT DECISION: Keep. When I make it, I make it.


This bag contains a collection of already pieced blocks (such as pinwheels and 1/2 square triangle blocks) as well as fat quarters and some yardage to make an improv medallion quilt, sort of like the one’s the late Gwen Marston made:

AUDIT DECISION: Hmm…if I’ve not pulled it out to work on by the end of 2023, consider just letting it go. I’ve had this collection of blocks and fabrics for at least 6 years waiting to become a quilt.


I wrote about this project given to me by the friend who designed the quilt (whose pattern was published in a quilting publication) in the post Quilter Distractions: Good Mail filled with “Taupe”.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep as I love the fabrics and the quilt design. Might not be a 2023 project but would like to make in future.


I found this awesome Stonehenge panel at a local quilt shop a couple years ago and I already had the coordinating fabric in my stash.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep. Might not be a 2023 project but would like to make in future.


I came across this panel and coordinating fabric at my first visit to a quilt shop in Fort Collins, Colorado in February 2021. Here is my blog post about that visit – The Fig Leaf Quilt Shop, Fort Collins CO.

They had this quilt on display and I and I really wanted to make it:

So I bought the pattern that it was based on as well as the winter owl panel and the coordinating fabrics.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep. Might not be a 2023 project but would like to make in future.


I got a stash of amazing dragon themed fabrics for basically free from a quilt shop’s clearance bin a couple years ago. They will make great bags for people who like dragons and Game of Thrones themed crafts.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep. Might not be a 2023 project but would like to make in future.


AUDIT DECISION: This is the next project I will finish once I finish the drawstring/project bags I am currently working on. It is going to be a gift so someone important in my life that is a long time coming.


I’ve been blogging about this quilt for quite a while, most recently in this post – The Horizontal Diaries, January 30, 2023.

AUDIT DECISION: I am going to finish this quilt! Not sure when but eventually!


In February 2021 in the post Mind Blowing Mail I shared the Nova Star quilt a friend made me:

In addition to the quilt my friend gave me ArtGallery Fabrics scraps from making the quilt. I put those scraps with the existing ArtGallery Fabrics and I have enough to make this quilt myself.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep. Might not be a 2023 project but would like to make in future.


Out of 25 projects, 2 were donated and 23 were kept!


So now my plan on how to tackle the projects I think I can complete in 2023 that I’ve discussed in this post and the two previous posts. To start I am going to aim for 9 projects and go from there.

Here is the order that I am planning to tackle 9 projects of 23 open projects, and then I will re-evaluate after I finish these 9:

  1. Drawstring/Project Bags (currently working on)
  2. Batik Table Runner
  3. Three Blind Mice Pincushions
  4. Unfinished Table Runners
  5. The Coasters (test one as potholder)
  6. Basket of Fabric for Bags (making some bags with them)
  7. English Paper Piecing Rosette Quilt (as an ongoing hand sewing project)
  8. Colorful Quarter Circle Quilt
  9. Legendary Pillows

I will definitely say “No, Thank You” if anyone offers me their unfinished projects in the future!

A Crafter's Life

New Coffee (and Tea) Station and Some Big News

Taking a break from sharing the exhausting audit of my existing sewing projects (congratulations to those of you who stayed awake for it…and seriously – thanks for all your encouragement and thoughtful comments!) to share a follow up to the post From Junk Drawer to Charging Station and share some big news!

After John and I purged our “junk drawer” in the kitchen, turned it into a “charging station drawer”, and cleaned off the countertop above the junk drawer (which was becoming a “junk countertop”…), we decided we were going to explore our mutual dream of having one of those cool expresso machines.

John loves coffee in many forms including lattes. I’m not a coffee drinker (Tea Drinker for Life) but I do love a good green tea/matcha latte and the expresso makers come with that “milk frothing thingies” (you hopefully know what I mean, ha, don’t make me do a web search for the proper name…) which is perfect to make tea based lattes (like Chai lattes and Green Tea lattes). The expresso machine would also be nice when entertaining – we can make overnight guests lattes in the morning with their breakfast! And as a bonus, I think they are so aesthetically pleasing and add a touch of elegance to a counter.

So we researched and priced out expresso machines and decided to go with the Breville Barista Express:

Here is our new coffee (and tea) station on the countertop above the former “junk drawer” now charging station drawer:

And here is the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: John and decided to buy the expresso machine as our mutual gift to celebrate our ONE YEAR MARRIAGE ANNIVERSARY!

In early 2020 John and I got engaged (see the Postscript section of the post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom ) with plans to have a wedding in late 2020 or mid 2021…but a little thing called the COVID pandemic happened shortly after.

By the time January 2022 rolled around (two years since we got engaged), we decided – let’s just go ahead and get married on paper to make everything official – so we scheduled an appointment at the County Clerk’s Office which is located in the same location as a Colorado DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

Colorado is pretty informal when it comes to marriage certificates – a Justice of the Peace is not required, you just sign papers and have them notarized by a County Clerk’s Office staff member.

So on February 11, 2022 we had the romantic experience of waiting next to people awaiting their driving license learner permits appointments, and kept giggling over how laid back and informal everything is in Colorado.

We did go out to lunch afterwards to celebrate our paper wedding!

We kept our marriage quiet except for immediate family members and a few long time friends. We figured we would have a wedding in the future.

Then we changed our minds.

We decided instead to use the money we would have spent on a wedding to take our immediate family (his sons and their partners/kids; and my brother and sisters and their partners/kids) on a nice vacation together, most likely Cabo San Lucas, to celebrate our love and give our families time to get to know each other better.

We’ll still plan, while we are in Cabo with our families, to have a little ceremony with one of his sons performing the ceremony and the other as his best man. I’ll have my sister as my maid of honor and have my brother walk me down the aisle.

No more keeping it secret, now we are telling everyone and I thought I would now share with my blogging buddies!

No decision yet on whether I will change my last name. I was married 29 years before my husband suddenly passed and I’ve lived with my current last name a long time.

I am so lucky to have met John, who is a widower and understands and respects the grief journey of losing your lifetime partner. We feel like our prior lifetime partners somehow plotted in the after life to bring us together and give us another chance at another lifetime of love and kindness!

I’ll close with a wonderful quote from Megan Devine who wrote the amazing book It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand, that I discussed in the post On Grief.

A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part II

Here is Part II of a three-part series on the audit I recently completed of all my existing sewing projects (did not include knitting knitting or crochet projects) that began with yesterday’s post A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I .

Before I share the next 8 projects of the 24 total projects I had on my docket, I’d like to share some highlights from an article titled “The Ultimate Guide to Tackling Your UFOs” in the February 2022 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting (APQ) that I came across a couple weeks ago.

Why UFOs (unfinished objects) Can Be a Problem:

  1. They take up space
  2. They cause stress or guilt
  3. They block your creativity

Steps to Tackling UFOs:

  1. Get organized
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Track your progress
  4. Use the buddy system

Is social media creating new UFOs? Social media is a great tool for connecting with other quilters…but it can also be an overwhelming place where you are constantly bombarded with new patterns, fabrics, and quilt-along (QAL) opportunities. This can make your…UFO pile grow larger

APQ, Vol. 30, No. 1, Issue 174 (Feb 2023)

It was a great article. My local public library has American Patchwork & Quilting as one of it’s online magazines that can be read through the apps Libby or Hoopla, so if you have this access you could read the full article in the February 2022 issue.

And now back to the continued audit…



I’m not sure why I hold onto these…

Years ago at some quilt shop I found a panel of adorable blocks/prints of coffee drinks – Cafe du jour. I’ve made several sets of gift coasters from the original panel I bought and now I have around 10 random blocks left over. I made the coasters by putting Timtex, a really firm interfacing, inside between a cute backing fabric (like coffee beans). Here is a well used coaster (I made myself a set too) that I had for years:

No one that I have gifted the coasters has ever told me they were life changing (ha) and I am not too sure how many people want handmade coasters as gifts anymore.

AUDIT DECISION: In 2023 try turning one of the blocks into a pot holder (with a border to make a bit larger) and then decided after that experiment whether to make the remaining blocks into potholders (gifts? sell on Etsy shop?) or to donate.


Hmm…some of these are getting embarrassing to share…

I learned to quilt while living in Seattle, WA around 1999. After making a couple quilts (that are now embarrassing in regards to my lack of technical skills back then) I decided EVERYONE important to me in my life needed a handmade quilt from me (whether they wanted one or not).

My late husband Terry came from a large family (7 kids) and to handle all those people for Christmas, including their spouses, they decided to draw names and you only got a gift for your assigned family member. Well back in the early 2000s I pulled the name of a family member that loved lighthouses. So I made her a lighthouse themed quilt, which she loved (whew!).

Yes early 2000s. And I still have left over blocks/sections from the lighthouse prints panel I used to make her quilt. Why? Because I was going to make another lighthouse themed quilt someday…

AUDIT DECISION: Donate. No more to say about that obvious decision! (But I hope some crafter at the thrift store comes across them and exclaims: “Wow! I’ve been looking for these exact lighthouse prints to make into a quilt!” Hey – it could happen!)


No, not more drawstring/project bags! Once I finish the stack of partially completed drawstring/project bags (see Part I), I don’t want to make any more of those for a long, long time.

This fabric is reserved for tote bags I want to make.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep, and I have to make at least one tote bag from the fabric in this basket in 2023!


I was obsessed with Asian themed fabric in the mid to late 2000s and I still have a lot of it in my fabric stash I do not appear to be able to part with. I made a lot of quilts with Asian themed fabrics and I made a lot of miniature kimonos during my obsession with them (see my page Gallery page for examples of the zillions of miniature kimonos I made as gifts, for my home, and sold in the early days of my tierneycreates Etsy shop).

So I have a lot of Asian fabric scraps left over from all those projects. I decided I wanted to someday make an Orange Peel style quilt (see example below) from those scraps.

Source: http://www.leilagardunia.com/blog/orange-peel-quilt-block-tutorial

AUDIT DECISION: Keep for now but I must make at least one tester block for this quilt in 2023 or I need to donate the fabric scraps…or just return them to my Asian fabrics scrap pile!


Here is an old post from October 2017 about these types of table runners I got obsessed with making 6+ years ago – Can We Talk About Table Runners?

They actually sold very well on my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I sold out of them. I also made some as gifts which were well received. I used ombre fabric as the background which had a cool gradation. Here is what they looked like completed:

I made quilted versions and non quilted versions. These unfinished table runners are the non quilted versions.

AUDIT DECISION: As the three runners are nearly complete, finish them in 2023 and list them on my Textiles & Smiles Etsy shop when I open it again for business later this year.


This fabric is from a friend who had an old pieced quilt back that no longer worked but it had some great fabric in it. I took the quilt back and dissembled it to recycle the high quality quilting cottons that were there.

AUDIT DECISION: Not really sure what I was thinking at the time, except “Oooh free nice fabric I can recycle”, as I do not have a project in mind for this collection of scraps. So I am giving myself 2023 to come up with something to make with them and if I do not I will re-evaluate…I could always just add them to my pile of blue fabric scraps…


A friend who is the same dress size as me made a beautiful sheath dress for her son’s wedding. It was a casual wedding and the dress was not formal but something you could wear out to lunch or dinner. The pattern was very accessible for the casual/beginner clothes maker.

She offered to send it to me and I said yes. But it has been sitting around. I really want to make the dress I think it would look great on me as I am tall like her and she looks great in it. It would be a great step towards my dream of learning to make my own clothes.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep it for now but revisit in 2024 if I do not start making the dress in 2023. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s post – going forward do not accept any more projects from others in the future. No matter now appealing!


I actually assembled this quilt in 2020, see post What’s On the Design Wall: “Pride”, but fell short of actually sewing it together. I also posted the design wall photo of Instagram and someone asked if they could buy the quilt when it was completed/quilted.

I am not clear why I stopped working on it, but I really want to make it (this is another project given to me by a quilting friend who did most of the piecing of the blocks but did not want to finish it). It must have been one of those “squirrel” moments where my attention to it wavered and I was called towards the next appealing looking “nut”!

AUDIT DECISION: Get this quilt back up on the design wall in 2023 and get the blocks sewn together!

Whew that was exhausting to go through but I feel this process is making me accountable to do something with all the projects I have in queue (and are sort of weighing me down).

Next post I will take break from this audit and share an update on the post From Junk Drawer to Charging Station, as well as some big news!

Feature image: Pexel Free Photos

A Year of Finishes - 2023

A Year of Finishes: Audit of Existing Projects, Part I

I keep mentioning that I want 2023 to be a “year of finishes” of existing projects. I realized to get there I need to first do an audit of my open projects awaiting finishing. I might as well look at projects that are awaiting starting too!

So I pulled them all out and took photos:

(Note: I did not include any existing knitting or crocheting projects, only sewing projects)

So I have 24 Projects in queue!

I should clarify so you can save yourself complete boredom and stop reading right here – this post is actually for me – to catalog my open projects and motivate me to complete (the ones I decide to keep after this audit) them this year. If this becomes a snoozer for you I understand (smile).

So I am going to go through each project shown above and share background on each project and whether I am keeping the project or not.

But first, I came across on YouTube (one of my favorite sources of random information and entertainment) this video on Why is Decluttering Your Sewing Space So Hard? by Just Get It Done Quilts:

I think this video is awesome in giving context and insight on why we struggle with decluttering our sewing spaces and letting go of sewing supplies and unfinished projects.

If you head over to around 8:20 minutes into the video, the 4th reason why decluttering your sewing space is so hard: Not Asking the Right Questions. Decluttering your sewing space is not like decluttering a kitchen or a bathroom.

Instead of asking ourselves:”Do we need it?” or “Can I make it?”, we should be asking ourselves DO I WANT TO MAKE IT?

This video really helped me with making decisions during my unfinished/not started sewing project audit as I asked myself on each project: “Do I want to make it?”



I have a lot of cut and interfaced sections for drawstring/project bags. I recently finished 9 from my pile (see post A Year of Finishes: 3rd to 11th Finish of 2023 ) and they are a great sewing project to work on while I am recovering from my broken ankle/surgical repair.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep this project and continue working on bags with plan to finish assembling all already cut bags in 2023.


A friend sent me this quilt in progress that she had designed. The first version of this quilt appeared publication. She started a second one and did not finish it. She offered it to me and I accepted it in 2020 – see post Project Adoption Challenge!

But it is now 2023 and I have not touched this project. It is a bit of work and I am struggling with if at this point I want to make it.

AUDIT DECISION: If I haven’t started this quilt by the end of 2023, I will ask my friend if she wants it returned, if not, I will donate it. I’ve also decided not to take on anyone’s unfinished projects in the future any longer, no matter how awesome and tempting they seem.


I’ve blogged about this quilt several times, most recently in August 2022 – Starting an Art Quilt. I started it and got stalled again. I am struggling with the design on the quilt and I’ve tried several layouts that have not been working.

AUDIT DECISION: I really want to make this quilt. I’ve been thinking about it for years. I am holding onto to it and will revisit it when it feels right. Hopefully it will feel like putting it back up on the design wall in 2023, but I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023.


I think the last time I blogged about this quilt it was in July 2017 in this post – More Farm House Vintage Blocks. I’ve made enough blocks to make a lap sized quilt but there are more blocks I want to make before I made a “Farm Girl” quilt. But I do have a friend, who actually lives in farming country in Oregon who is interesting in buying the Farm Girl quilt when I finish it.

AUDIT DECISION: I really enjoy making the blocks from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl sampler books. I want to finish a quilt and either sell to my friend or sell on my Etsy shop when I reopen it someday. I am going to keep the 16 blocks I’ve made so far and turn them into a quilt. I am not putting pressure on myself to finish it in 2023 but in 2023 I do want to revisit the blocks, layout options, and strategize how many addition blocks I need to complete to make a decent sized quilt.


In 2021 John and I attended the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop and it was a blast. Along the way I picked up some really cool panels and patterns from participating shops. Our roadtrip around the Front Range and Southern Colorado was a blast. I have a series of blog posts on our adventures – Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part I , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part II , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part III , Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part IV , and Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop 2021, Part V.

AUDIT DECISION: Keep and put away until ready to work on it. Do not schedule for 2023 finish but revisit during 2023.


I’ve had this package of scraps for 9 or more years. Another quilter made a really cute Autumn themed table runner at a quilt retreat I attended. She gave me her scraps which were enough to make another table runner.

AUDIT DECISION: Let it go and donate the scraps. I haven’t made it in 9 years since I received the scraps and I’ve lost interest in making a table runner with these fabrics.


I’ve had this project for a long time. I think I bought this “Learn Sashisko” panel during my first visit to Cannon Beach, Oregon which likely a year or so after I first moved to Central Oregon in 2005. So I probably had this project for a long time! I bought it at this wonderful quilt shop in Cannon Beach – Center Diamond Fabrics. Many wonderful memories of visit Cannon Beach, Oregon with my late husband Terry and I our various Miniature Schnauzers (here is one of those posts – The Road to Retreat (Via Cannon Beach))

AUDIT DECISION: Keep it and work on finishing up this hand sewing project in 2023.


Another project I’ve had a long time. Not sure when I bought it!

AUDIT DECISION: Make the mice pincushions in 2023 and give as gifts.

I will finish up the audit of projects 9 – 24 in Part II and Part III of this series of posts.

Featured image: Google Pexels

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Bags Bags Bags

A Year of Finishes: 3rd to 11th Finish of 2023

2023 is my year to make a dent in my outstanding projects (next post I will share the audit I did of my outstanding projects); and I’ve sort of made a dent in stack of drawstring/project bags to be completed (which I put on hold in November 2022 – see post That darn grief, the Etsy shop saga, and a little grace ).

Here is the pile of some of the unfinished bags:

I am still non weight bearing on my left leg after an ankle fracture and subsequent surgery to repair, I wanted to return to my sewing machine (enough with the hand sewing only!)

So John helped me get all set up at the sewing machine with everything within easy reach and I got to work!

I started with making bags that need purple thread as there is a thread and bobbin thread change for each set of project/drawstring bags.

I finished 9 drawstring/project bags (3rd to 11th finish of 2023!):

The bags had some fun linings:

Here are close up photos of the bags grouped by fabric:

Next I am switching to an orange thread to work on the next set of bags.

It felt good to be at my sewing machine again even if I had to take some frequent breaks.


The other day a friend share photos of how she is using the drawstring/project bag she got from me last year – as a toiletry bag while traveling:

It was cool to see one of the bags I made in practical use!

A Crafter's Life

Sometimes you just take a photo and then let go…

A little follow up to the recent post From Junk Drawer to Charging Station :

I finally put to use something I learned years ago when I was obsessed with Minimalism and was reading everything I could get my hands on about it (if you want to see my posts related to this obsession they are filed under this blog post category – My Minimalism Journey ).

I read somewhere that if you are struggling with getting rid of something sentimental, that does not really add anything to your current life but you are just keeping it because it holds memories, you can take a picture of it to remember it, then let it go.

While John and I were purging our mega junk drawer and countertop area above the junk drawer which had become a hot bed of clutter, I was faced with making a decision on what to do with this mug that I created like 25 years ago in one of those “paint your own ceramics” classes we attended for a friend’s birthday party.

It was such a fun memory of painting that mug with friends and my late husband.

I was never really clear though if my finished mug was really “food safe”, ha, so I used it for years as a pen holder. It was actually a poor excuse for a pen holder as the mug is too small to hold very many pens, but I kept it around for sentimental reasons.

Well this weekend I did it: I took a photo of it and let the mug go! It was a big thing for me.

I’ll close this post with some recent photos John took while over his Dad’s house of Mike and Goose, his father’s miniature Miniature Schnauzer (who needs a haircut but is so adorable!)

We are never sure if Mike is actually happy that his “grandpa” now has his own Miniature Schnauzer. Mike liked that days when he went to stay at his “grandpa’s” house and it was just him getting all the attention!

From the Woodshop

From the Woodshop: A New Bench and Beginning of the Mudroom Remodel

John’s been up to it again in his workshop, this time making the bench/shoe storage that is Stage 1 of the long awaited MUDROOM REMODEL.

When you enter our home from the garage you enter immediately into the laundry room which is allegedly supposed to be also like a “mudroom” where you could take off your shoes, etc. But ours instead has sort of been a “hot mess”room.

John did try and spruce up the laundry room/mudroom by building a topper/board for the washer and dryer a couple months ago (see post Never Bored When Making Boards (From the Woodshop)), as well as putting in a shelf above them. But still when you first walk into the area from the garage there is no place to sit and take off your shoes…plus it is kind of messy and cluttered there with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer’s dog food, our reusable bag collection, clothes that are hanging dry, and various random crap.

John’s been wanting to turn the laundry into a real mudroom/laundry room for a long time (and no longer dread whenever we need to bring in people through the garage into the house); and he decided the best way to start was to make the mudroom in a modular fashion – beginning first with a bench that you can sit on and take off your shoes.

Here is the bench in progress in his workshop and then in the garage being stained (John designed the bench without formal plans/pattern from watching YouTube videos and looking at online ideas for benches!):

And here is the completed bench in place in the (someday to be) mudroom/laundry room and John happy with his handiwork:

Next he will be working on building a “broom closet” to store the brooms, mops, and vacuum cleaner, as well as some cleaning supplies.

A Crafter's Life

The Horizontal Diaries, February 8, 2023

Still recovering from my left ankle nasty break after slipping on ice (not a good Winter sport…) when walking my dog Mike; and subsequent surgery to repair my fractures in mid-ish January 2023.

I am still spending time horizontal (though not as much as previously as swelling is nearly completely gone) as part of my recovery. So I can justify another installment of “The Horizontal Diaries”.

If you are just joining us I have a several other installments of “The Horizontal Diaries” on these posts: The Horizontal Diaries, The Horizontal DiariesContinued, and The Horizontal Diaries, January 30, 2023 .

I spend a lot of time the upstairs guest room/my office as I do not want to hang out in my regular bed all day when elevating my left leg.

It’s cheerful and sunny, has a small TV mounted to the wall; and Mike the Miniature Schnauzer likes to hang out in the corner of the bed where he can catch sun and watch for any suspicious activity in front of the house (like those dastardly UPS, Amazon Prime, and FedEx drivers who like to ring the doorbell and run off!).

John wanted to make mornings easier for me (and himself when he is working…he telecommutes from the basement) and he repurposed an extra little refrigerator in the closet of his bar area (for chilling glasses) into an upstairs breakfast and snack bar for me.

Now I don’t have to slow “slide” downstairs to the main floor to get my breakfast (I have my new knee scooter on the main floor and a used knee scooter we found on the Nextdoor upstairs). Nor does John have to take time out of his workday morning routine to make me breakfast and bring it up.

So far so good – I can turn on the electric kettle, make myself a cup of tea and put together some yogurt and granola for breakfast. I also have snacks during the day (healthy and naughty) if I get hungry; and a selections of beverages to quench my thirst. It is sort of like my own apartment upstairs – ha!

Speaking of “snacks” (and other fun stuff) – more awesome “Get Well” surprises came in the mail over the past week – two care packages with various goodies; and a wonderful science fiction book from three different family and friends.

Here is Mike with the cool laser cut iron on appliqué schnauzer included in one of the gift packages:

It’s funny, a surprise always seems to arrive in the mail when I am feeling especially down and discouraged over my lack of mobility. I struggle to remember a day in my recent life when I haven’t gone on a daily walk prior to this injury. Daily walks seem part of my existence and always center me!

But the healing continues and I have more energy and can even participate in some household tasks now (on my knee scooter of course!)

I did have a special treat last week – John took the knee scooter and I out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Denver – Hillstone. I just had to take a photo of the delicious roasted chicken and kale salad (loaded with cashews) that I had for dinner. They do a beautiful job of preparing the kale so there is no bitterness just sweetness.

It was so special to go out to dinner and the crowded restaurant was awesome about accommodating my knee scooter.

I came across this quote randomly online (perhaps a reminder from the Universe) and I am trying to keep it in the back of my mind if I start to feel whiny that I am currently not able to walk around:

A Crafter's Life

From Junk Drawer to Charging Station

We spent this past Sunday doing a major purge of “the junk drawer” in our kitchen, discovering that most things could go elsewhere or be donated or tossed.

John found on the web, a special “drawer charging system” which allows you to turn a drawer into a “charging station” by adding an outlet to the drawer. This special system has a swinging arm that holds the cord from the plug which mounts inside the drawer, so that you can easily open and close the drawer.

image from dockingdrawer.com

John did some wiring to set up an outlet in the back of the kitchen cabinet, cut a hole in the former “junk drawer” and created a charging station:

In addition to clearing out the “junk drawer” we also did a major purge of the countertop above the junk drawer area.

We have something fun planned our newly cleared countertop…will share at a later date.

Knit and Crochet Away!, What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the “Design Carpet”

I am a nervous front seat passenger in a car. My best bet is to do something to distract me while I am a front seat passenger (especially when my partner John is driving, ha!)

So I started carrying around either a little knitting to work on in the car or a crochet project (usually granny squares) in this bag:

Last year, after I finished making the granny squares for the granny square blanket I share my finish of this in this – First Finish of 2023 – Granny Square Crochet Blanket Done, I began a new set of granny squares for a future blanket to have something to work on in the car. Here is what I have completed so far, laid out on the “design carpet”:

I am using black and gray acrylic yarn I got from the thrift store, including a variegated yarn of grays and black. So far I have 34 done and I think I will eventually make 100 granny squares to someday join into a blanket.

I am working very casually on this project (only when a passenger in the car with John and only if I am not working on knitting a hat) so who knows when it will be done!

Special Events

Black History Month

This post is a repost from February 2022. Rather than writing a new post about this important month, I thought I would just share what I wrote last year as it still resonants with me, and I hope it will for you:

Black History Month (repost from February 2, 2022)

I had a different post planned for this morning, but I was thinking about “Black History Month” in the US, which is every February. Here is a link from the History Channel network if you are not familiar with it or would like to learn more: Black History Month.

No matter where you live in the world I am guessing you are familiar with the history and struggles of people of African decent in the United States. I want to share a post I put on facebook yesterday about Black History Month:

Today is the first day of Black History Month and I know there are individuals in this country who might roll their eyes each February when this month comes around. When I was growing up my parents always made a big deal about Black History Month and we even had some type of encyclopedia they had bought related to Black History and had me read it regularly. Some of you might might not understand what it meant to me as a young Black child to learn about people like me who did GREAT THINGS. Growing up in the 1970s most of the history taught my school focused on “White History”. Back then they even skewed stories of slavery being focused on African tribes selling their tribe members instead of the horrors of our ancestors being stolen also from Africa. Growing up in a time where the focus was that as a person of color you were “less than” a White person was a very different experience than growing up today. I am so thankful for Black History Month and I will always celebrate it! I am so thankful to my parents that in a country that said I was “less than”, I was raised to know that I am “more than” any oppression that tries to tell me I am “less than”.

I am grateful that my parents who believed in education and making the best of yourself despite any challenges you might face. I always think of that Mahatma Gandhi quote when I think of how I was raised:

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Remembering this quote has served me well when I am in a situation (which still happens today) in which it is implied that I am “less than”.

I recently finished an awesome audiobook by the Young Adult Fiction writer, John Green – The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet.

In this amazing collection of essays where he “reviews” common human experiences during our geological age, the Anthropocene.

To give the readers a perspective of time since the geologic creation of the earth, he uses the span of a year. The time humans appeared on the earth would be late December and what we would consider “major events in history” would be mere seconds, or milliseconds in the time span of the earth.

So you might be wondering where I am going with this…

Well the author’s use of a familiar time scale – a year’s period – really put into perspective how little time has really passed in the scope of human history (and tiny in the scope of earth’s history) of what we consider to be significant changes in race relations in the US like the end of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. I hope in a couple more generations, how people treat each other will evolve (hopefully for the good). Just my musings I am sharing.

I will close this post with a song that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, by Damien Marley, one of the very talented musician sons of Bob Marley, called Speak Life. It gives me a lot of thought on how I want to live my life. (I did some research and the video was shot in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, during Damien Marley’s tour of Africa. It is subtitled in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia).

If you’d like to see the lyrics here is a link: Damian Marley Speak Life Lyrics.

If you are wondering what “Speak Life” means, I did a little googling and it is related to a Bible verse and here’s a general summary which is a consensus of my research:

To speak life is to be a person of encouragement, edification, and blessing to others through what you say.


I say we all go forward and “Speak Life” and make this world as bright as we can.

Featured image from dscout.com


February 2, 2023

In addition to Black History Month, I am so happy there are months for other minorities in the U.S. like National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – October 15), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), etc. because I think it is so important to continue to remind everyone of the contributions of people who are not of European ancestry to U.S. History. I also think these kind of months may inspire children who are not of European ancestry by showing/reminding them what people “just like them” have accomplished in the face of adversity.

Iris Delgado Quote: “Never give up in the face of adversity. It is in the  midst

A Year of Finishes - 2023, Knit and Crochet Away!

2nd Finish of 2023 – Replacement Hat

As I mentioned in recent posts, I unraveled a scarf I wasn’t using and recreated a beloved knitted hat I lost during my trip to Ireland in October 2022. Well I’ve finished knitting it and it is my 2nd finish in 2023, which is a A Year of Finishes – 2023 (this is a link to my new blog category with all the posts on crafts I’ve finished in 2023).

I am so happy to have a new version of my beloved hat back!

I am going to write a post in the future about my plans for 2023 of finishing outstanding projects. I want to wait until I am more mobile (recovering from broken ankle) and can catalog my outside projects. Before I was injured I did put all my outstanding projects together in a section of the closet.

Speaking of injuries, I did have a follow up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday (who repaired my broken ankle) and he moved me from a splint/cast to a walking boot. I still cannot bear weight but before you know it I will be starting physical therapy and progressing on my three month journey to full recovery.

Here is my new reality – the walking boot:

And someday I will be actually walking in it (smile), but for now the knee scooter remains my trusted sidekick – ha!