Opportunity - One Word 2019

I have struggled the last few days in choosing a "word" for 2019.  I chose "Clarity" for 2018 and I felt like it backfired on me. In the past year, I have had a detached retina and a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion in my right eye. At the present time I have a cataract in that eye which will be corrected on January 21st. So, it has been a struggle to apply "Clarity" to my life in 2018.

I had finally decided on NO Word for 2019 when I saw this cartoon by Linier on Facebok and it is perfect! I look forward to new opportunities, adventures, friends, and travels.

2019 Opportunity
2018 Clarity
2017 Balance
2016 Promise
2015 Abundance
2014 Believe
2013 Simplify

I am participating in a few challenges (opportunities ) for 2019:


UFO Challenge 2019

UFO Challenge 2019

My Quilt Guild, Calico Cutters, has issued a challenge to all members.

The rules are as follows:

  • Before January 1st make a list of 12 projects you want to finish before the end of 2019.
  • Every month, the Guild organizer will announce a randomly generated number bewteen 1 and 12.
  • Check the list you made in December. The number generated tells you what project you should work on each month.
  • Share your works in progress or finished project at the next Guild meeting or on social media.
  • If you are swamped one month, skip it and move on. Can't motivate to work on the project or your list? Choose another. 
My 12 projects:
  1. Flamingo Quilt
  2. Gnome Quilt
  3. Baby Quilt
  4. One Block Wonder
  5. Bootacular
  6. Splendid Sampler
  7. Solstice Quilt
  8. Rail Fence Star Quilt
  9. Charity Quilt
  10. Bargello Quilt
  11. 2018 Monthly Color Challenge Quilt
  12. Organize Sewing Room
Instead of a 12th UFO, I added organizing my sewing room because this project will force me to do it at least once in the next 12 months. I decided to bag and number the projects. Clearing off the pool table was more challenging than I imagined...and I really only moved everything to my sewing table for the present time. Tomorrow is another day!

I am also partcipating in the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge and will be posting my blocks each month in addition to the UFO.

Another Goal for this year is to learn a new technique in quilting...I will be keeping my mind open to new opportunities!

The numbers chosen:

January - #7 - Pat Sloan's Solstice Quilt

#2019UFOchallenge #Calicoufo2019


Folded Christmas Tree

There are plenty of Folded Christmas Trees on Pinterest and Pat Sloan's Facebook Group has been flooded with them. I really liked them and decided, how hard could it be to make one?

I read Pat's instructions about 4 times and I must be dumber than dirt. You can find the instructions here...Kay’s Fabric Trees at Pat Sloan’s website.

I was not clear on how to attach the tree sections.

Elmer's Glue is very helpful in holding things in place.

My zipper foot kept my lines straight.

It's coming together!

A Star and ribbon for a hanger and voila! 

#foldedchristmastree #hangingfabricchristmastree 


Retreat by the Sea

I have the opportunity once a year to attend a Quilt Retreat at a hotel on the beach. It is off season so the weather can be iffy, but the rewards are great. We arrive on Tuesday and return home on Sunday. There are @100 quilters in the Grand Ballroom and the views are spectacular.



We each have our own table and set up a workstation... Many different types of sewing machines, projects, and quilting tools.

Do you think we brought enough stuff?

Sew when you want to...sleep when you want to...eat when you want to...NO rules, no quilt police!


We bring some food with us and usually eat dinner at local restaurants.

This is the amazing view from my room on the 6th floor.

Everyone brings their own projects to work on...
I decided to use this bright colored jelly roll to create a Bargello quilt. Using Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Bargello pattern, I had fun making this quilt. Borders will be added later this week.


I have made a few pencil cases, however, this one by Lorelei Jayne is the easiest and nicest one I have found. It is a free pattern and available here.

Each retreat we are given a craft to complete (totally optional) and this year our kit included enough supplies and instructions to make two coasters. Very easy and very cute!

It's a great opportunity to rewind, refresh, and rediscover the joy of sewing and reconnecting with friends.

Til next time...

#quiltretreat #quiltretreatsarethebest #sewingbythesea


The Lightkeeper's Daughters

The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol. New York: Harper Collins, 2017. 311 pages. Includes "About the author" "About the book" and Read On" ****

Told in the alternating voices of Morgan, a juvenile delinquent who is performing community service and Elizabeth, a resident in a nursing home who has lost her sight. An unlikely alliance and friendship is formed between the two. Morgan reads aloud Elizabeth's late father's diaries who was the lightkeeper on Porphyry Island on Lake Superior. As the story unfolds, Morgan and Elizabeth realize that their pasts are connected and both receive some of the answers they have been seeking.

A complicated tale about an unlikely friendship. Morgan a hostile, foul-mouthed teen who has to repaint a fence that she tagged and Elizabeth who seeks solace in her music because she can no longer enjoy reading. They form a kinship that bridges the generations and discover that they both have a connection to Porphyry Island.

I was drawn into the story from the very beginning and suspected that there was a connection between the two. While the story seemed to be confusing with the identities of the daughters (no spoilers here), it is a book that once started I wanted to stay with it until the end. I enjoyed it and will pass it on to my reading friends.

Jean E. Pendziwol was born and raised in Thunder Bay, and is an award-winning author of books for children. She lives in Ontario, where she can see Lake Superior (when it isn't foggy). The Lightkeeper's Daughters is her first novel for adults.

#historicalfiction #lighthousefiction


Sold on a Monday

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris. IL: Sourcebook Landmark, 2018. 352 pages. **** Reading Group Guide.

It's 1931, two years after the Stock Market crash and the country is in the middle of the Great Depression. Ellis Reed, a struggling young photographer snaps a picture of two young children playing in front of their farmhouse, but it is the sign on the front porch that captures his attention. "2 Children for Sale" Ellis doesn't intend to exploit their situation, but when a colleague submits the picture to the editor, it becomes Reed's big break. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Reed and his colleague Lillian Palmer, play a role in two other children being removed from their mother and their home. Who gets to decide what is better for a child, a Mother's love or someone financially able to care for them? Reed and Lillian struggle to do the right thing at the risk of losing their jobs and security.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph, it is a compelling tale. The extreme poverty, hopelessness, and desperation of that time in history is clearly evident in the premise of parents having to sell their children because they can't feed them. I enjoyed many aspects of this book which included romance, friendship, and redemption. Even in desperation, there is always hope. Like a Dorothea Lange photograph, the story haunts me. The Author's Note describes the original photograph and the subsequent research as background for the book. Definitely a worthwhile and enjoying read.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author published by Sourcebooks Landmark, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Kensington Books. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA's RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. For more information on Kristina: http://www.kristinamcmorris.com/home

Book Club Guide: http://www.kristinamcmorris.com/pdf/sold-on-a-monday-book-club-guide-aug-2018-comp.pdf

#thegreatdepression #historicalfiction


Quilting Bus Trip

 September 11- 17, 2018

40 women on a bus for 7 days headed to the Fall Paducah Quilt Show and Missouri Star Quilt Company, over 2400 miles and we lived to tell about it.

 This trip was planned by Martin's Sewing Center  and Elite Coach  in Pennsylvania.

We needed to be at the bus by 5:45 am, so we were in the car by 4:44 am. My husband Bob drove us and it was dark!

We were greeted by Eric our driver and Janelle Martin, we were handed a folder with our assigned seats as we boarded the bus.

We are greeted by a Band at the Fall Paducah Quilt Show.

Brandywine Valley Quilt Guild Members pose for a picture at the entrance to the Show.

After seeing the quilts, shopping at the Vendor's booths and trying out the Longarm quilting machines, it was time for an afternoon adult beverage!

The next morning we were off to St. Louis...My sister and I pose in front of the arch and then a rush to buy tickets to actually go in the Arch and to the top.

Some amazing views from the top. 

 Time for lunch..

Next stop The Fairfield Inn  Chillicothe, MO. The excitement builds for Hamilton, MO and the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

Jenny's Trunk Show is fabulous and her message heartfelt...I am impressed by her enthusiasm (she must have given this speech a million times) and her approachability. What is especially touching is that her husband is the quilt holder and he still laughs at all of her jokes!

We were served a delicious lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Our Bus Group!

The MSQC Shops are amazing and pictures do not do them justice, you will have to travel there to see them for yourself...


Rob Appel of Man Sewing has informative and fun quilt tutorials on Youtube and I am a huge fan. Imagine my surprise when I ran into him at one of the shops, he graciously posed for a picture.

If you are traveling with your husband, MSQC has a store for him too...Mansland.

Last Group pictures before we board the bus, next stop, Indiana!

The last hotel, The Drury Inn in Indianapolis.


The hotel had a reception and evening beverages for us, a wonderful way to spend our last night.

I had a wonderful time and would absolutely take another bus trip. More than once, it was suggested that our next trip include a tour of breweries and quilt shops.

If you are considering taking a similar trip, a few suggestions:

  • Take a pillow, blanket, snacks, and travel cup for the bus. With 40 women, someone was always hot or cold.
  • Movies made the trip go faster...we watched two of the original Gidget movies on the way home...lots of laughs.
  • We were offered a bottle of cold water each time we exited and entered the bus. This was always appreciated.
  • Headphones are a life saver...some people speak loudly and may talk on their phone while you are trying to nap. 
  • Collecting a little extra for the bus driver and tour hostess is a nice thank you. One of our hotels did not have an elevator and some of the rooms were on the second floor, the bus driver carried many suitcases up those steps. (he volunteered, it would have been really difficult if he hadn't) 
  • Be courteous and exit the bus quickly (if you can), rest stops are brief and someone may need to go!
  • Be on time...all of the ladies on the bus were early and we always left each location on time. 
Enjoy your trip and make sure you partner with someone who is fun! The women in our group were compatible and really enjoyed each other's company. Thank you, Janelle and Eric, for making it a memorable, fun trip.

#missouristarquiltcompany #paducahquiltshow #quiltbustrip #quiltersonabustrip #martinssewingcenter #missouristarquiltcompanybustrip