A Christmas Carol

‘There is a lot of buying and selling.’ -Ebenezer Scrooge
‘Is that all you can see?’ -Ghost of Christmas Past

A lot of buying and selling.  Yup.  To my discredit, that is all that I have been able to see.

Every Christmas season, either my husband, or myself would read aloud to our children the classic,  ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.  We would read a portion every night, and then, on Christmas Eve, we would watch the movie, starring George C. Scott.

It is a tradition that our children now practice with their children.

I am a US Postal employee.  I work six days a week.  That’s not a holiday schedule…that is my normal schedule.  Like many offices, mine is short staffed.  That’s just the way it is. 

However, I have been, and am, working 9 to 11 hour days.  That is the buying and selling that I have been seeing.  Perhaps, because I am so tired, I am not seeing the wonderful gift giving inside the hundreds of packages and cards that I handle every day.  Homemade jam, cookies, toys and more, shipped to those far away loved ones.

This post isn’t a rant, or a ‘pity me’ post.

Tonight, the words have come back to me:

‘There is a lot of buying and selling.’ -Ebenezer Scrooge
‘Is that all you can see?’ -Ghost of Christmas Past

I want to give a shout out to all of those postal drivers and workers, to UPS employees, to the FedEx employees, the retail clerks, the waiters and waitresses, to the bakers, and many more who have neglected their blogs, their families, and  their Christmas card list.  Those who couldn’t go to the Christmas parties and plays and concerts; who didn’t have time to bake holiday cookies and fruitcakes, nor go shopping and out to lunch.

To all of those who are working so diligently to bring a merry Christmas season to many others:

May you experience the love and joy from Him, of whom Christmas is really all about.  And may you be blessed with much peace in the New Year.

Thank you!  God bless you, everyone!

Tiny Tim/Anthony Walters

Color/Value Visual

I thought that you might like to see a visual experiment on what color/value can do in a quilt design.

I am using the Autumn Tints block in a straight set and with the same five colors in every design that you see.

The very first design is the Autumn Tints block set side by side with no sashing.  All of the other designs have sashing between the blocks (I wanted to see if I could introduce some perspective to the design).

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

Autumn Tints Straight Set

I came up with even more variations just by moving the color/value around.  Sometimes there are very interesting effects, such as squares appearing to ‘float’.

There will be a visually appealing look just for you if you experiment with color and value!

I participated in the Around the World Blog Hop in this post from last week.  I encourage you to check out this week’s participants:

Cathi Godwin over at Quilt Obsession
Linda Jo Reed over at Upheld in the Battle
Amy Johnson over at Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures

Around the World Blog Hop

For a few months now, I have been working a day job six days a week, and with long hours.  Everything and everyone in my life has been neglected to some degree or another, including this blog.  I even considered closing the shop, but talked myself out of that one.  After all, this is only a season; this too shall pass.

So when Marjorie, from  www.mydyeblog.wordpress.com , invited me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop, my first reaction was to tell her no.  I really don’t have the time, but thank you for asking.

Upon reflection, I thought this is a good opportunity for me to resurrect my squashed creative self.  At the least, I could come up for fresh air!

As a participant, I am to answer a few questions, and invite three other bloggers to participate.

What am I working on?

Hah!  Didn’t I just say that I have neglected everything?  It seems my creative self will not die without a fight.  I have snuck in some sewing time, albeit very little.  But it is the snail (Or is it the turtle?) that wins the race. 

Remember this post?  I have almost completed 15 blocks of the design.  I say almost, because I piece them all at once.  There are just a couple of seams left, and all 15 will be done.  Then I will begin to work on the alternate blocks.  This red and white quilt will become a reality!

Aunt Sukey Spins Off

*For those who look close…it will be square; the pictured block is not pressed yet and my camera angle was off (I’m not the best photographer that ever lived.).

You can see lots of examples of virtual quilts that I have designed by clicking on the Quilt Blocks tab on my blog.  I have been randomly choosing quilt blocks and playing with ways to use them in quilt designs.

The finished quilts?  I do have some.  Maybe I should make a tab for those?  In the meantime, click on Categories in the left side bar and scroll down to quilts.

How does my work (I’d rather call it play) differ from other’s of its genre?

I really don’t know that it does.  I like both art quilts and traditional ones, so I make both.  I like applique, and I like piecing…so I do both.  I like sewing quick projects, and I like the long-term ones too.  I like commercial fabric, and I like to dye my own…so I use both.  I like to learn new techniques.  I don’t specialize in one particular genre.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I dunno.  I honestly haven’t given this much thought.  I do because I want to.  It is an expression; a way to bring joy into my life, and sometimes gives someone else a little joy too.

How does my writing/creative process work?

Many times with a lot of effort, and many times effortlessly.  Sometimes I need to get motivated, and sometimes I am so excited by a project that no motivation is needed.  When I need motivation, I can find it in a book, or from music, or attending a quilt show.  I can find it by cruising the internet, or taking a hike.  Inspiration comes from many places; be open!

I’ve looked back over a few previous blog posts that I have written and found some helpful tips for getting organized and motivated.

On Monday, November 10, three bloggers will be participating in the Around the World Blog Hop. 

Cathi Godwin, my neighbor in Canada, from Quilt Obsession, is a very prolific hand quilter.  She creates her beautiful quilts with the help of Inklingo, an innovative printing process created by Linda Franz.  Cathi also gets help from Baxter and Jake; you will like them, and the fun cartoons, featured on her blog.

Linda Jo Reed is a speaker and published writer.  Linda Jo draws from her personal trials, tribulations and joys to spiritually encourage those around her.  Her book, Upheld in the Battle, is a wonderful testimony to how faith can bring us through some really tough times.  I think you will be uplifted by Linda Jo’s creative writing…I know I am!

Amy Johnson has inspired me (and many, many others) to quilt our own quilts with her free motion quilting adventures.  Amy freely shares lots of tips and creative quilting ideas (grab your hot cup of tea and get comfy…you’ll spend a lot of time here).  I am especially intrigued by her use of ruler work with domestic machines.

I thought you might like to check out the blogs of a couple of past participants:

Franki Kohler
Gurli Gregersen
Suzanne Kistler

I also thought it would be fun if I offered a free pattern.  No instructions, but for most quilters, it is easy to follow.

WSQ Raffle Block 2011

One of the ways I like to help the quilt guild that I am a member of, is to create a raffle quilt block every year.  I posted about this here.  I’ve chosen to share the block that I made in the year 2011.

You can find that pattern here, or under the Patterns and Tutorials tab.

Washington State Quilters 2014 Raffle Quilt Block

In a previous post, I shared about making quilt blocks to contribute to the Washington State Quilters-Spokane Chapter raffle quilt fundraiser (that’s a mouthful!).

Hubby and I attended the quilt show last weekend and I finally had the opportunity to see the raffle quilt all completed and on display.

There were enough blocks turned in to make two raffle quilts and some pillows!

This is my block:

WSQ 2014

Lots of crystals were added to the quilt but, unfortunately, the glitz doesn’t show up in the photo:

WSQ 2014

Oh yes, I bought my raffle ticket! 

And here is the other raffle quilt:

WSQ 2014

I wish you could see the quilting of the second quilt; it really is wonderful.  Whoever the winners are; they are fortunate indeed!


Good Luck Quilt Block Part 2

After a vacation, and a bout of congestion, I have finally played with on point settings using the Good Luck quilt block.

Good Luck Quilt Block

If you are looking for the straight set inspiration, click here.

The following design shows how the Good Luck quilt block looks set side-by-side in an on point setting.

Good Luck On Point Set

Still on point, but with some rotation:

Good Luck On Point Set

Not a fan, yet, but still experimenting.

Good Luck On Point Set

What if I add more value?

Good Luck On Point Set

Color and contrast can make a considerable impact.

I’m seeing pinwheels!

Good Luck On Point Set

Still the same block; still set on point:

Good Luck On Point Set

I might change the border, but I am liking the last two designs.  How about you?



Olympic Game Farm

If you love wildlife, or have children, then you may want to make the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA, a destination.  This farm worked exclusively for Walt Disney Studios for 28 years, and is a secure home for many types of animals.

You can get up close and personal by taking a driving tour.  You can even feed the animals wheat bread!

Olympic Game Farm

Peacocks abound!

Olympic Game Farm

Fallow Deer

Olympic Game Farm


Olympic Game Farm


Olympic Game Farm

Exuberant zebras!

Olympic Game Farm

Got bread?

Olympic Game Farm

How about those claws?!

Olympic Game Farm

Lots of friendly black and Kodiak bears!

Olympic Game Farm

Olympic Game Farm

Olympic Game Farm

Bengal Tiger

Olympic Game Farm

Siberian Tiger

Olympic Game Farm


Olympic Game Farm

Elk…oh yes…he is alive and magnificent!

Olympic Game Farm

A regal lion.

Olympic Game Farm

Sleepy cougar.

Olympic Game Farm


The above is just a sampling of the wonderful wildlife to be seen at the farm.  There is also a petting farm, museum barn, education area and gift shop.  The farm is a great family place to visit!

*Clicking on a photo will produce a larger version.





More Vacation

I am back to the day job, but behind in posting vacation pictures. 

How would you like to take a late afternoon stroll here?


We are strolling along the bluffs.


It is a long way down!


A beautiful sunset in a magical place!


When the kids were young, we enjoyed camping at Dungeness Wildlife Recreation Area and Refuge.  This evening, we simply enjoyed our stroll, but in the past, we have taken the time to hike, look for crabs and other beach treasures, and walk out to the lighthouse on the spit. 

There is much here to fall in love with!