Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

In case you didn’t guess it from the title, we will have a little boy join the family soon. My daughter is having her second, and he will be my 4th grandchild. Holy Cow! Four grand children! I still don’t understand how that could be true when I am only 29! {in my mind}

Don’t you just love little babies? They are so sweet and precious. Their little toes are so tiny and cute, and their little cheeks so ripe for kissing. And in a short month, I’ll be able to hug and cuddle him. In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to make a few things for him.

We went on a cruise in June, and for most of the drive to FL and back I worked on a blanket from a free pattern I found on ravelry. After the first couple of rows, the pattern was pretty easy. However, it was super important that I count the stitches each row — missing just one would throw the other rows off.  I love the waves, and the popcorn stitches make it a little more thick than a typical blanket but not too heavy.

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Next up were some burp cloths and onesies.  I usually make burp clothes from pre-folded diapers and add some flannel.  This time I used flannel on one side and terry on the other.  They were super easy to sew up.  I hope they are absorbent.

DSC_0806 DSC_0808And the onesies I embroidered with an adorable little elephant and dinosaur that I digitized.

DSC_0800Up next, a quilt.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  This little one is going to be ‘hooked-up’.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Posts

I find it interesting to look at the stats to see which posts have been most popular.  Two posts stand at the top with 3 times the views as the third post on the list.

First up is 1 Year Blogiversary.  The top search terms have nothing to do with a blogiversary, so my guess is that all the visits to that post came internally from WordPress.  If I had known it was going to be such a popular post, I would have put some more meat in it.  It was pretty boring as posts go.  Oh well, lost opportunity there.  For my next Blogiversary I’ll be sure to plan something grand!

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Up next is Baked Apple Slices – no added sugar.  This is an excellent recipe and everyone loves it.  Even if you’re not trying to cut down on sugar, the apples themselves have so much sugar you feel like you are eating an apple pie without the crust.  I find it strange that this is the second most visited post though because this isn’t a recipe site.  In fact, I have just three recipes listed.  This one, Choconut Chippers, and Game Day Sausage Dip, which is, ironically, the least visited post ever.   But search terms for the baked apples are coming from all over with things such as:

  • baked apple slices no sugar
  • no sugar baked apple slices
  • stewed apples no sugar
  • baked apple slices without sugar

I sure hope someone has decided to try the recipe and that they loved it!

Baked Apple Slices

And rounding out the top three posts… Lego, Car, Truck Sack Tutorial.  This is a cool sack for kids to carry their toys around.  I first heard about it as a lego sack, but I thought it would work great for cars, especially with road map fabric on the inside, so that is how I made it for my grandson.

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And the top referrer to my blog is Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thank you!   Go check out her blog when you get a chance.  It is full of great quilting projects.

What does all this tell me?  Keep linking up my quilting projects with Crazy Mom Quilts until I can turn this into a full-time blog.  And, I either need to include more no-sugar/low-sugar recipes or I need to create a new no-sugar/low sugar blog.  Hmmm… now, that’s an idea!

Here are some of my favorite posts that I think you might enjoy.

Thanks for reading.  I am truly humbled that you have taken the time to read my posts and follow my blog.  I do appreciate each and every one of you!!

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I must have been crazy to think I could vacation outside of the country for a full week right before Christmas.  We went on a cruise last week and returned this past Saturday which left me just 10 days to finish making and buying gifts for Christmas.  It was a beautiful and relaxing week.  We had ports of call in Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau.  But seriously, WHAT WAS I THINKING??!!

Grand Turk

Grand Turk

Wild Donkey on Grand Turk

Wild Donkey on Grand Turk
Oldest Church on Grand Turk (1840s?)

Oldest Church on Grand Turk (1840s?)

I was able to get all the crocheted gifts done to and from the drive to Miami.  At least I could mark that off my list…

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And I started on a knit shawl that I just LOVE!  I found the idea from Expression Fiber Arts using scrap yarn pieces.  So I decided to try my hand at knitting again and use up some of my yarn scraps. Since I’m a bit bigger than her, I’m planning on making mine a bit longer.  So far I have used 20 different yarns — all types and sizes.  I’m going to call it my “Shawl of Many Colors”.  DSC_0305

Other than that, I’m still working on THE quilt with the quadrillion half-square triangles.  I have most of the top done — but I keep having to stop assembling to make more blue half-square triangle units.  So far, I have had to make about 150 extra units.  All I can figure is that I seriously miscounted when I first made all of them.  I was supposed to have the sandwich done by Friday noon so I could start quilting it on the long arm I rented, but that’s not going to happen.  Maybe if I didn’t have to work I could do it, but otherwise I’m looking at Sunday before it’s finished and ready for quilting.  I love how the many different fabrics are giving it a marbled look.

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I really have to wonder if I was crazy to try to make a quilt this large when starting just 6 weeks before Christmas, or if I was crazy to go on vacation for a week. On to sewing a little more, and online shopping a little more.  I WILL BE DONE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

1 Year Blogiversary

I can’t believe it!  I missed my blogiversary by 3 days.  One year ago, I posted my first blog.  And boy, was it scary!  Since then blogging has become easier, just as I knew it would; but that first blog, that first time putting myself out there, was really scary.  But, it’s always good to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.

Since then, the blog has seen a few changes.  Originally it was going to be a little bit of quilting, a little bit of homesteading, and a little bit of activities with the kids.  And there has been some of all of that.  But my passion really is with quilting and crochet, when I can find the time, so that is the direction I have been heading in lately and probably will continue down that path.

It’s really neat to read some of the older posts to see what was happening back then.  It was 79 degrees outside today — in December! — in North Carolina!  Our normal this time is year averages around 45-50.  So 79 was a true blessing, and I took my computer outside and worked most of the day to take advantage of it.  Then, I found it quite hilarious to read my first blog and see that it was 73 degrees that day — in December!  — in North Carolina!  I guess 70s aren’t all that uncommon in December after all.  And in two days, they are calling for the high to be 38 with a chance of sleet and freezing rain.  That is going to be a huge shock to the system!  But I won’t be here… Nope, in two days I will be heading to Florida and will have this view from the deck of the cruise ship.  I can’t wait!!!

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Otherwise, I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  I am no where near ready for Christmas, and my 13-year old continues to count down the days for me.  Only 19 more days to go!  Oh, joy!

I did finish one thing this week. We do an angel tree each year at work where we sponsor and buy Christmas presents for an under-privileged family in the local community.  So, among other things, I crocheted a hat for a 5-year old boy in the family and that is my finish for the week.  Yes, it’s a crochet finish again.  Sorry, it’s just that the quilt I’m working on is HUGE and it’s going to be 2-3 more weeks before it is finished.  But I am working on it as much as I can each week.

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

 

 

Oh! Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is up, the stockings are hung, and the snowmen are playing in the snow.  And it appears even my blog is in the Christmas spirit.

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The annual job of decorating is mostly done. It is certainly not a job I look forward to, although I really like the end result. My two oldest boys are living on the other side of the country this year, and don’t plan to make it home for Christmas.  I was missing having them here and shed a few tears when no one else was watching.

I also spent this weekend cleaning up and purging some old clothes, toys, books, and stuff. In fact, I have a whole car full of stuff to take to the thrift store tomorrow. Really, where does it all come from? I wish I could do that daily until I get the house and storage areas uncluttered, but earning a living requires that I spend most of my time each week working for someone else instead.

So, due to all the other extra curricular activities this weekend, I haven’t gotten as much sewing done as I would have liked on the quilt top I’m making with the HST’s. Hopefully I’ll make a little bit of progress this week.

Otherwise, I did want to show you the flannel blankets I made. Remember the elephant and robin I spent forever and a day trying to digitize? Well, I did finally finish it and was able to get the blankets embroidered and made. And I won’t share any of the pictures of the baby with the blanket since it is not my family and not my right to share them. But the baby was adorable with her blankets and the mom was very touched. The robin was meant to be a reminder of her grandmother, the baby’s great-grandmother, that has passed and wasn’t able to be there for the birth.

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I also finished crocheting another baby blanket. But of course, I forgot to take pictures outside today so you’ll have to live with an indoor photo.
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I would say December is off to a good start. Now, if I can just get my Christmas shopping done and presents made before the 25th. Haha, that might be pushing it.  I would like to request a few extra weeks…  Do you think we could delay it?

Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention, I added a few things to my etsy store and everything is 18% off thru 12/2 and 15% off the rest of the December.   Check it out.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MonkeyNeedle?ref=si_shop

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

A Little Progress

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted.  I’ve been quite busy.

I spent a weekend at the beach with the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild.  I enjoyed a full weekend of sewing and getting to know other quilters.  We all had a great time!  And I did make time for a walk on the beach each day and a little bit of butterfly watching.

IMG_3451Then I spent four days in Connecticut for continuing education.  A weekend working in the garden to clean it up from the summer crop.  Then the Duke/Wake Forest football game last weekend.

IMG_3514In the midst of all that and working, I was able to finish up all 1200+ half-square triangle units.  Phew… that was a huge job!

DSC_0209-001And the pile of trimmings was almost as big.

DSC_0206-001And I’ve made a few blocks already.  These are 15″ blocks so things should move faster from here on out.

DSC_0231-001I also added some crocheted hats to my to-do-list for Christmas gifts.  These will be for a few little boys and will have a few things added to them before they are finished.

DSC_0229-001Last but not least, I promise not to turn into Crazy Cat-Lady, but…

Yesterday, honeyman brought home this sweet little kitty for me.  Oh, how will I ever get anything done now?  When he’s awake, I want to play with him, and when he’s asleep he loves to sleep on my lap or just under by chin.  It’s not real easy to sew with a cat sleeping on you. 

IMG_3523And we’re still trying to name him.  I’m thinking Soloman.  Do you guys have any ideas?  

So, I guess that’s my update for now.  Thankfully, we’re not traveling this weekend, so hopefully I’ll get lots of sewing done after lunch tomorrow — IF I can put the kitty down.  What plans do you have for Thanksgiving?

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Friday Crochet Finish

I’m so excited!  With busy season through mid-September, and then my daughter’s wedding in mid-October, I feel like I haven’t had much time to craft.  Therefore, I’m so excited that I finally finished something.

I’ve haven’t really shown you much of my crochet work prior to now.  Just know, that I always have at least one (read this as 2-4, some more difficult than others) crochet project(s) in the works at one time.  However, I typically only crochet when I don’t have access to my sewing machine.  So, I’ll crochet when riding in the car, waiting in the doctor’s office, etc.  Meaning that a project that might normally be pretty quick for me to push out, ends up taking quite a bit longer.

So during my trip to Charleston, I was able to finish this beautiful baby blanket.  This is one of the simplest crochet projects I’ve done in a while.  The pattern is from the booklet “More Circular Baby Afghans” by Leisure Arts and was very easy to follow.  I thought I would take pictures of it while I was here in this beautiful city.

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As much as I love to make my own quilt patterns, designing my own crochet patterns is much more challenging to me.  About 2 years ago I made an angel for our tree.  This is an original design.  I made it up as I went along, but converting this into a pattern for others to follow is beyond my skills.  Wonder if there’s an app for that?

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.