I’m Baaaack

It has been a wild ride in the time I’ve been out of the loop. After 5 days of Hurricane Matthew preparation, hunkering down with no internet, tv, cell or landline service and then clean up, we headed to Mayo Clinic.  My husband underwent a minor cardiac procedure, as if ANY cardiac procedure can be minor.  He’s just fine, we’re back home and now I’m back to blogging and sewing.




First, I want to share this cute, quick and easy Halloween faux-pieced wallhanging that I really enjoyed making just before Matthew made his unwelcome visit.  A complete photo tutorial is posted here at Brother’s new blog, Stitching Sewcial.  The designs are from the new Disney Halloween Collection at ibroidery.com

There is still time to whip up this kid-pleaser for the increasingly popular Halloween season. Unlike corn stalks or hay bales, this decoration can be packed away for next year and more years to come.

Children love this, especially when they see Goofy’s skeleton glow in the dark.


Goofy by day


Goofy by night

Goofy by night


I especially like the yo-yo pumpkins that dangle from each side.

The quick and easy technique was developed when dear Mildred Turner and I taught an AG doll dressing school on Cape Cod, many years ago.  When asked if I could teach a night class for a doll quilt, I jumped at the chance.  Then I got the news that 1. none of the students had ever quilted, 2. the class was just 3 hours long, and 3. please make sure the quilt could be completed in that time!  Whew!  Now that was a challenge!  That was the motivation for developing this technique. And it worked! But it has so many variations on the application.

So please take a look at this post at Stitching Sewcial and leave a comment if you are so inclined.  I would really appreciate it.


Autumn in Florida is usually glorious.  I was reminded of last year’s lovely fall when came across this photo.  It shows then 2 yo Vivian Rose wearing a CC Mindy that her mother wore 35 years ago.  It still looks pretty good!


2 yo Vivian Rose wearing CC Mindy, a hand-me-down from her mother

2 yo Vivian Rose wearing CC Mindy, a hand-me-down from her mother.  Sweet memories.


Now that some sewing has been covered, let me share a little about the hurricane.  We are so thankful that we were spared the full impact of what was expected to be a totally devastating direct hit to Daytona Beach.  That’s just 30 miles from our home.  We remain prayerful for those who suffered terrible losses as Matthew worked its way up the coast.

Expecting the worst, and prepared to evacuate if the order came, we spent a full day tucking away all the potted plants, lawn furniture and anything that could become airborn.  Bob fueled and fired up the generator to see that it was ready for service.  I prayed while surveying my yard and house, thinking this may be the last day we have in our home of 44 years.

Unlike many of our friends, we were too busy to take pictures of the house and garden.   But I did snap a quick shot of my white mandevilla climbing over the wrought iron arch.  I love this and expected it would be blown away in the next 12-24 hours.


12 hours before Matthew was due to hit

24 hours before Matthew was due to hit.  The little arbor gates are open as we were passing through often.


Instead, 36 hours after this photo was snapped, as tropical storm force winds howled, this ancient oak near the road toppled.   Mercifully it missed the gate. It damaged only a few rails on the fence and crushed several azaleas.  But they are tough and will bounce back.


good bye live oak

Good bye live oak.


After all the wind stopped, there stood my white mandevilla absolutely intact, with every single blossom in place!  The leaves looked bruised, but not a blossom had fallen!  How does that happen? Those flowers had to have held on for dear life!  I could take another picture but the only difference would be Florida’s signature sunshine blazing instead of the pre-hurricane gloom.

We are thankful beyond words.  We continue to pray for those who were not so fortunate.



17 responses to “I’m Baaaack

  1. Glad to know that you and your family are all safe and sound. 🙂

  2. So thankful you are OK after Hurricane Matthew, I was thinking of you during that time and praying you were Ok. I love reading your blog and seeing the sewing projects you do. Thanks for sharing this latest one with us.

  3. Thanks, Betty, for your prayers during the hurricane. We were so blessed by the hand of God moving the storm just a little to the east. The Halloween wall hanging uses such a fun, easy technique. I hope you will try it some time.

  4. Thank you, Dee, for thinking about us. One very sad loss from the hurricane is that our older grandchildren’s week-long visit was cancelled. They were scheduled arrived the day before the storm hit, so of course they stayed home. It broke their hearts and ours, but a hurricane is not a place to put children voluntarily. Sigh….I don’t know when they will be able to come in the foreseeable future.

  5. So glad that all was safe and sound (minus the oak tree) at your home!

  6. Thanks, Karen. The oak was a loss, but there was more. My spectacular passion vine which covered an entire arbor arch and two bouganvilleas which reached the 2nd story are also goners. Small potatoes for sure!

  7. from Martha Pullen forum: Darling Halloween decoration, I’m not much of a fan of this “holiday” since it has become so creepy, but this is great.
    Nice tutorial as well. Hope your hubs has a quick and complete recovery.

  8. Thanks for taking a look at this and your kind comment. Halloween is not my favorite “holiday” either, for the same reasons that you mentioned. I did like these wholesome designs for children. They are just fun. Thanks for your comment about the tutorial and wishes for my husband. He’s darn near perfect and I’d never want a replacement!

  9. from Martha Pullen forum: That is so cute! You met a real challenge when you taught that class…a finished quilting project in 3 hours by non-quilters! Thanks for sharing.

    I am especially glad to know your DH is doing well and I agree that there is no minor cardiac procedure. Also glad to know you did not suffer any severe damage from Mathew. He was a real stinker…and I am still keeping the storm victims in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. The truth about finishing the doll quilt in 3 hours is that I had precut all the pieces and marked the grid on the flannel used for the foundation. But the students still scrambled to do the embroidery and everything finished. Thanks for your confirmation of my opinion that there is no such thing as a minor cardiac procedure. And thanks for your comment.

  11. from Martha Pullen forum: So nice, and embellished with yo- yos, one of my all time favorites! I found out about burlap quality while making some items for my dgs’s wedding reception. Wow, there sure is a difference, isn’t there? You did a great job on this project and I’m sure the students loved it too. How did you like embroidering on burlap? Any special tips? My new dgd-in law loves burlap so it would be fun to make some home dec items for her.

  12. I, too, love yo-yo’s. They add an unnecessary but welcome bit of color and texture, like a little surprise or bonus. With regard to embroidering on burlap, I find few differences from regular embroidery. When I was searching for better quality burlap, all the colors and prints were better quality. I had to look a while to find plain, natural good quality burlap. I made a burlap Halloween table topper some time ago and found that weaving ribbon through the channel of drawn threads gave a nice effect. My only caution is that embroidering and drawing threads from the printed burlap is a real challenge. Certainly, the thread drawing can be done with a little difficulty, but after a stitch rehearsal I skipped embroidering on the print and embroidered on a patch which was then appliqued. Also, with the print, the embroidery can get lost or confusing when a huge orange dot appears within or touching the embroidery. Good luck. I’d love to see photos of what you make.

  13. Glad that everything is ok on the home front. Love seeing the little Mindy dress. It was always one of my favorites to make. Quick to smock, with a bit more structure than a bishop. Wish my hands would let me smock again. I have a new great niece that is a candidate for all things smocked!

  14. Thanks for your concern, Beckie. That little bishop was worn by Vivian’s mother and her cousin. It’s just a quilting cotton so I am surprised that it has not faded, especially being blue. I love that pattern, too, and should pull it out for Vivian. I’m sorry your hands have kept you from smocking, Beckie. Try machine embroidery for that little great neice. It requires a lot less hand dexterity.

  15. from Martha Pullen forum: You put it exactly right, a yo-yo is like a little surprise or bonus!

    Thank you for the tips on burlap. My ddil bought the burlap I used for my projects, she’s a non-sewer so bought ready made tablecloths from Hobby Lobby instead of yardage. There was a tremendous amount of waste doing it this way but the quality of the burlap was superb. It might be a consideration if you’re looking for high quality tan colored burlap for something.

    On taking a look at your pulled thread table topper I had to smile at the bows on the corners. I saved every long piece of thread I could because it looked too valuable to throw away. Now you’ve given me a way to use it.

    My project right now is to try to use some of the waste to make the burlap wreaths shown online. I’m not sure it will work out since I’ll have to seam several lengths together but I’m going to try. Thanks again!

  16. Thanks for the tip about ready-made burlap tablecloths from Hobby Lobby. I was pleased with the better quality I bought at the Sewing Studio in Maitland, FL, but would be interested in seeing if there is an even better grade. So you saved the burlap strings or pulled threads too! I just knew there would be a use for this unique textile and a few ziplock bags are packed full. Who knows what we may come up with? Good luck with the burlap wreaths. Let me know how it works out. Thanks for reading my blog.

  17. from SewForum: I just found this….now tell me that isn’t one happy little girl!!! and the dress is darling on her.

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