Up-Cycling T-Shirts to help Our Dog Heal!

Hi Friends,

Me here.  It’s been a little crazy here lately and I haven’t been able to sit down and get a post in until just now.  Last week I took our dog Holly in to the Vet for her annual exam and asked them to figure out what a big lump was on her chest.

It turned out to be a real nasty cancerous tumor (I’ll save you the gross details) but she needed to have surgery to remove it and that happened this week Tuesday!

So yay!  Holly is doing just great but I’ve had to make these little body koozies to go over her so I thought I’d put a little TUTE together for you in case you ever get/need to do this!  They are super simple and since they’ll be tossed once they are not needed there’s no need for fancy styling!   Ha!

Here’s our little Holly, 2 and a half days post surgery.  She looks like a little slasher movie but it’s a lot better then it was and today she was back to her super spunky self…


I found this old x-tra large t-shirt in the closet.  I have measured Holly and I need to make sure I have a circumference of 20″.  This will give about 2-3 inches of ease room around her body.  I don’t want her Koozie too tight… DSCF2999

I’m able to get 2 from this 1 shirt!!!  Perfect!  I cut just under the arm pit and the shirt in half…


…so 2 of these…


Now all I need to do is zig-zag the long edge closed…


I measure down the length of her head to her shoulders (this was about 5-6 inches) and clip to locate a place to cut our an armhole.


Then I cut out the armholes on both sides  (I folded the tube in half and cut the 4 layers as one) like so…


Next, I slipped the Koozie over Holly’s head and put her legs through the armholes…


Then I rolled back the head portion of the Koozie and pinned in place using a safety pin behind her head…


Here is the pin behind the head holding the fold…


Then fold up either side under her chin and pin those in place in the back.  By having these pins behind her she can’t mess with them!


And here’s the end result…completely covers her stitches and is loose to give her room to breath.DSCF3018

The Koozie get’s changed daily or when it get’s dirty for 10 days until her stitches come out!

Hope you’ll never have to make one…but in case you do, I hope this is helpful!

Have a great day everyone!  Time to put some pills in some cheese, peanut butter, or some other tasty tidbit!

More soon!


Free Motion Quilting “Snow In October” Video 1 – The Brown Logs

Hi Everyone,

Are you ready for one of my visually boring videos??  Ha!

For those new to the blog I like to record my stitching, especially when I’m free motion quilting.  It helps to save it for posterity sake so if I ever need to review what I did I can do that.

In this video I also talk about the starting and the stopping and how I do it (bringing the thread to the top of the quilt) as well as how I work with just my hands, no gloves, pads or fingertip grips (something I’ve been trying for a while now).

This is part 1, the feathers will be in part 2.




Almost to the Borders on ‘Snow In October’ Quilt!


I love the feeling of progress!


I  have the last few corner blocks to go then the middle section will be finished!DSCF2485

Here’s some detail of the brown logs…      DSCF2472

…and some detail of the blue logs with their meandering feather…DSCF2475

…another look.DSCF2478

I’ve taken some video though not sure if it will be good enough to show yet.  The sound is always something I can never get right!  Not to mention the camera I used isn’t that great.  (Note to self…get out a better camera…I know I know I know!).

Ah well.  I’ve some of the feather detail left then I will be moving on to the borders.

My thoughts for the first inner border is to go with an oak leaf design.  We have Oak trees in the park across the street.  Those leaves turn brown in the Fall and stay on the tree all winter.  Reminds me somewhat of this quilt!

Stay tuned!  More to come!


Quilting ‘Snow In October’

Hi Friends!

The project I’m working on right now is the quilting on the ‘Snow In October’ log cabin quilt.

I’ve been slowly figuring out a plan as to how I’d like to go about the quilting.  First I print a copy of the quilt (I used EQ7 to help with that) and then with a pen try simple free motion movements in areas…DSCF2430

Then I set-up my workstation to free motion quilt and go for it.  This is always the most nerve wracking part, the beginning.  Once you begin you are committed.  I don’t mark the lines but do give myself some ‘registration marks’, little guides to help me shoot for a mark on the quilt.  I’ve quilted the last 4 quilts this way and felt it has worked for me.  My quilting is very rustic, not perfect so going an ‘organic’ route suits me.DSCF2442

Hopefully someday I’ll be good enough to follow a line and actually make it look good but for now this is what works for me.  I love how the quilting makes the quilt start to come alive!

I’ve got a ways to go before it’s finished so stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Happy Sewing!


Vermont Quilt Festival!

The Vermont Quilt Festival!

One of the nice things about traveling is you never know what surprises will pop up!  The Vermont Quilt Festival was one of those surprise coincidences that was happening very close to where we were camped in Vermont…and how could I not resist?

For your enjoyment.  Most of these were from my phone camera so the quality isn’t that great…but you’ll get a great idea!  I captured the names of the makers as well!



Scenes from the Dashboard Series: The Road FROM Vermont!

Hi All!

Ahh!  Now the fun of the trip coming home.  We decided to travel the northern route by way of Canada!  I thought it would make for a great adventure and shock some of my nerves to see how easy (or hard) it would be to cross the border with our RV!

Garmin took us on a route that skirted the border along the St. Lawrence seaway.  We could see Canada at many points along our 100 mile journey before the crossing.  I snapped lots of pictures of the countryside…old barns, very rural…DSCF0331

As we approached the checkpoint we decided to fill up with gas and in the parking lot of the gas station I spied this dog in the driver seat!  Bad picture here…DSCF0350

…but if you zoom in you can see him just as cool as a cucumber taking over the wheel waiting for his owner!


I drove through the border crossing and prior to entry we were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.  They were looking for a fugitive on the run (Sweat) and had narrowed his location close to the Canadian border.  They were checking every vehicle and they checked every hatch of our truck and our trailer.  We had to stay in the vehicle while they did this.  I kept thinking if I’d put my undies away in the laundry basket!  Ha!

Then we went over the bridge and waited at the Canadian checkpoint.  I wondered if they would do the same thing.  I declared our liquor and worked through the 10 questions I was asked about weapons and illegal drugs.  Nope, Nope, Nope and nope, nope, nope….ad hominum 10 plus times!  I thought it interesting how many ways to ask if we had a weapon.  I was about ready to share I had a shovel and saw if I needed to use it but thought better to stay silent.

We then were welcomed to Canada!!!DSCF0364

We had a relatively short trip (another 3 hours) to our destination for the evening, Pres’quile Provincial Park in Brighton, ON!  I chose this location because of the bird sanctuary, not to mention they had a site open on the water!

Hello Lake Ontario!!!  This marked it official for Jim and I that we’d now seen all of the Great Lakes!  Our site was amazing, just wished we’d had more time to spend there and explore all that the park had to offer!DSCF2417

It did rain so we had to deal with wet grass and tables and such but the skies cleared up to a haze for dinner and we sat out by the fire and watched the shorebirds… DSCF2422

The obligatory timer-selfie was taken to document our existence… DSCF0361

…and in the morning I awoke to see a group of white birds out the dinette window!  What could those be?DSCF0364

SWANS!!!  How cool is this?  14 swans were swimming by just leisurely going about their morning routine!  I burst into song… “Seven Swans a Swimming…” then through in an added break “and their mates!”

Just a very neat sight to see.


We gathered our things together and checked Garmin to see how far it would be to get home.  Ooh.  It was going to be 10 hours of driving time.  Could we do it?

We left it open ended.  I knew it would be a long day of travel but also knew once we crossed into Michigan we would start seeing familiar sights and know we were close to home.

Driving near Toronto…getting closer.  How far was the border?DSCF0379

Garmin routed us to the Sarnia crossing.  We waited and waited.  Only one lane was used for RV’s…and I can’t even tell you what I thought of the cars that kept rushing the lanes and budging their way into our lane!!!  In Chicago people get shot for some of those moves.  I kept calm and kept checking my phone to see if I was back on-line and waited.  I figured we get there eventually…


At the checkpoint we were inspected through and through and the border agent quizzed me on the Who, What and Where’s but his last question was just loopy!  “Is this trailer light?”  Huh???  My sarcastic self wanted to say “yeah, it says lite right on the cap!”…but I calmly proclaim “…why yes, it weighs about 4,000 pounds!”  …I’m sure he was checking our weight ratings as he looked over the trailer and hitch and our truck.  Uggh.  Then with a smile he handed back our passports and said “Welcome Back!”.

Lovely!  Now onto home!

This first sign to say Chicago!!!  Just one more fill-up to go and we’ll be home!20150629_203347

We arrived late but amazingly I found the night driving to be okay.  I could tell I’d need to get different glasses to cut the glare from the lights but the traffic was smooth sailing!  Well, except for the semis that barrel through this 80-94 corridor!!  No wonder so many accidents occur on that route…sheesh!

Well.  We are home now and ready for this 4th of July weekend with festivals, grill-outs and celebrations!

Next up…the Vermont Quilt Festival!


Scenes From The Dashboard Series: The Road to Vermont!


Hi Friends!

We’ve been gone for a little over a week on a camping trip to Vermont.  Our destination was South Hero, VT for a family reunion.  As part of my ‘Scenes from the Dashboard’ series I’d thought I’d post some highlights of that trip.

We planned our journey to take us on the way there across Ohio, then into New York and a ferry trip across Lake Champlain into South Hero.   Once into Ohio the roads were very smooth and the  rest stops are quite nice…even having places for RV’s to spend the night…    20150623_154000 20150623_154006

We didn’t spend the night though but made a note to ourselves if ever we were on this highway again that there’s an option for that.

Oh!  Nearly forgot!  There was a small tragedy prior to departure.  Why is it always Me-vs-Robins?  Here on our battery compartment was a Robin’s nest filled with three of the most beautiful blue eggs.  I was in tears.  I didn’t want to move it and Momma and Pappa Robin were having a fit, as rightfully so.  I thanked whoever would listen, God included, that these were eggs and not yet chicks (because we would have had to leave them there, I was no way moving the trailer if chicks were in a nest).  I carefully moved the nest but knew it was doomed and the Robins would need to start over.  Very sad….


We spent the first night at a park just East of Cleveland, Ohio!  Hello Cleveland!20150623_185054

The State Park we stayed at was situated on Lake Erie, it was Geneva State Park and I chose a Full Hook Up site…20150624_102529

That made for a nice night on the road.  We didn’t have to worry about filling up since the water would be right at the sight.  In the morning  I went for a nice little bike ride along Lake Erie and Jim went for a jog…20150624_080120 20150624_075916 20150624_07480920150624_075921

Geneva State Park had Camping, a Lodge and Camping Cabins.  All in all I thought it was a really nice place!

Getting on with our trip we left Ohio and headed into New York.  We stayed the night at another little park near Syracuse, NY.  I did not take pictures (Jim did though) so I’ll have to get one up later.  Then it was time to get the last leg of our journey started.  We planned to take the Lower Adirondack trail, beautiful scenery.  I reminisced about my summer in the Adirondacks as a camp counselor when I was 21 years old.  This ride brought back a lot of memories…


Then we could see Vermont!  We took a ferry across Lake Champlain!


And arrived at our destination, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta for our family reunion!20150625_205050

The sunset was quite spectacular!


We set up our camp and spent the next three days catching up with family.  We rented this camp and had use of the cabins, the activity center, tennis and basketball courts, the pool (with hired lifeguard) and the kitchen.  The camp is still under construction so we were a good group to test it out prior to the campers getting there!  This is a camp for children with cancer.  It was hard not to think about them while we were there as many reminders of why the camp exists were all around.  A big group shot on the last day…DSCF2369

We’ll re-cap the trip home in the next post!

Till then!


Cherries! Oh Yum!

Hi Friends!

We have cherries!!!!DSCF0188

I can hardly believe it!  We haven’t yet had a crop of cherries.  Sure, we’ve had the half dozen or so but our tree is so so young, combined with the last 2 years of terrible weather that affected the pollination that we have been hoping and praying this year we’ll see some fruits of our labors!DSCF0183

I came out this morning to check if any were ripe when I discovered ANTS!!!


Oh my goodness, this is WAR!!!  You should of heard me out there yelling at those pests!  “Get Off My Cherries…you little buggers!!!”

Seriously.  I was a little upset.  I went inside directly and got a bowl and picked as many red ones as I could find, then blasted the little buggers with the water hose and pesticide sprayer.  “Take That!”

Hopefully that will be enough to keep these beauties from being eaten.  I don’t mind a few going to the birds but the ants can take a hike!


We just have the one tree, it is a self pollinator with 4 different types of cherries (grafts of 4 sweet cherries) so it’s a one shot deal!  Anywhosey…I can’t wait to dive into these sweet gems!  They won’t last long!


Happy Sunday everyone!


Growing fruit is a lesson in patience!