Thursday, January 20, 2022

A New Year

 It's a new year and, hopefully, it will be a new chance to revive my poor, neglected blog.  The last few years have just seemed to be a constant drag and inspiration to post has disappeared.  To remedy that, I am joining a couple of groups that will help keep me accountable to posting more frequently.

Since my last post was about five months ago, I am just going to hit some of the highlights and show a few of my finished projects.  In August we took a cross country road trip with our daughter's family, including six children.  We toured lots of state parks and spent a few days on my cousin's farm in Iowa.  Everyone had a blast.

Who knew a water bottle could provide such entertainment?

Then DH and I took a lifetime dream trip in the fall to see the colors on the East coast.  Our weather was amazing and we so enjoyed seeing all the brilliant colors.  We don't see much color here in Southern California.  

I've managed to sew a Christmas quilt - a nod to my husband's heritage.  The pattern is Fair Isle, a design from Freshly Pieced Quilts.

My leader-ender project became a quilt that quickly got claimed by a granddaughter.  

Using a cute sewing themed cat fabric, I made a quick quilt for a friend who loved this fabric.  The quilting was paw prints.   

I participated in the 24 Days of Sashiko and so enjoyed the stitching each day.  In the end, I put all of my samples into a table topper to use as a reference in the future.  

The garden continued to give us enjoyment well into the end of the year.  I grew ginger for the first time and it won't be the last.  I have two more pots currently planted.  

The tomatoes were incredible.  This was our final harvest - in December!!!!

I finished pruning the roses over the weekend.  These managed to survive the pruning as my last roses of the year.  

The granddaughters wanted to get into cross stitch this year so we had some enjoyable stitching together.  Using Vonna Pfeiffer's You Tube videos, I finished my small cross stitch off as flatfold piece with handmade braiding.  The technique is a great alternative to framing.  

The end of the year was difficult.  I underwent hip replacement surgery at the end of November and followed that with a fractured femur a week later.  That put a halt to sewing for the rest of the year.

As it is with large families, there are the ups and downs of life.  Sadly, my mother passed away at the beginning of December, just shy of her 99th birthday.  She was an amazing woman and was an inspiration for all of us.  Living her last twenty seven years as a paraplegic was not easy, but she did it with such grace and joy.  She will be missed by all.  We then added a new great grandson to finish the year out.

As 2022 rolled in, I was once again able to use the sewing machine.  The one quilt I was hoping to finish last year became the first that I worked on this year.  The last round of trees and houses needed to be made and attached.  The pattern is Santa's Village by Thimble Creek Quilts.  Although there were some issues with the pattern, help from a blog post written by Elizabeth helped me through them.  I love the whimsy of the design.

Somehow, I ended up with four extra trees.  I'll use those in the backing.

In order to keep me current with blogging, I have pledged to keep track of the number of blocks I make this year.  The goal is one a day which means 31 blocks for January.  My Santa quilt needed 32 blocks for the outer border, but with four extras, I am counting it as 36 blocks so far this month. 

Just to show that this year is off to a new and wonderful start, we were blessed with a new grandbaby this week.  Joy Elizabeth joined her brothers and sisters, breaking the three/three tie.  We are all smitten.  It's going to be a GREAT year.  


  1. Sounds like life has been very eventful. All of your quilts are beautiful, I can't pick a favorite. Okay maybe my favorite is the picture of little sweet!

  2. Best wishes for the new year!

    Congratulations on the new arrivals, and condolences for the passing of your mother.

  3. Mary, first let me send you my condolences on the passing of your beautiful mother. My goodness what a life she has lived and to nearly reach 99, well, she would have been a lady of courage, determination, tenacity........and as you say grace and joy. You will all miss her deeply but the precious memories of her will be treasured forever. It seems great joy has happened with the birth of your two grandchildren; congratulations. As for all your quilts you have showcased here; each one is beautiful. The Fair Isle one is masterful in its pattern and your granddaughter's is lovely with all those tiny squares. The Christmas quilt is lovely and the Nativity cross stitch is filled with whimsy. It is lovely to visit your lovely place once again.

  4. Joy Elizabeth is just precious! Congrats! on a new grandchild and great grand! I'm glad you are back to sewing and creating. Your cross stitch project is beautiful and I really like how you finished it. I look forward to seeing all the blocks you will be making this year.

  5. Welcome back to blogland! I do hope you are well on the way to recovery and full mobility soon. Little Joy Elizabeth is a gem! Growing your own ginger along with all the other things we northerners consider delicacies like avocados, citrus, etc., you are so very blessed!

  6. Oh, my goodness, what an eventful year! So sorry for the loss of your lovely mother, that must have been a tender time for you, and on top of your hip surgery then broken femur! Bless your heart! I hope at this point you are feeling better and stronger every day. Congratulations to all on the new arrivals, how delightful! It is so fun to see a recap of your quilts - what a lot you have accomplished! The 350 blocks sounds like a fun way to be accountable - I look forward to seeing more of your inspiring projects. Best wishes for a happy and productive year ahead.

  7. Oh my goodness! So sorry to hear of your surgical adventures this past year but I'm glad you have recovered so seen in your onward beautiful quilt making! And Joy Elizabeth must have inspired courage for the rehab and keeping your heart happy. What a dear one to grow your family!
    I pray your family has comfort and peace with the loss of your mom.
    The last several months have been intense for me but I ended the year and started the new one with a crazy escrow for the sale of my sister's house. I miss her so much. I'm an on to a new adventure in joint replacement following in your foot steps. Hoping for a new knee in about a month so I can get back to walking dogs :-)

  8. What a wonderfully newsy blogpost, full of joy, tragedy, heartbreak and laughter. I hope both your body and your heart are well on the mend. I am so impressed with all you've managed to accomplish and am especially in love with the sashiko sampler you made. It's quite a testament to your commitment. While I'm looking forward to hearing more for you, I hope you'll be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. Happy New (& better!) Year!

  9. I loved your pics on Instagram of your trip to the East. Glad you are recovering. Great quilts, and love your little cross stitch piece. Oh how wonderful great grandbabies! I am sorry for your loss, but your mama sounds like an awesome woman. Oh growing ginger, sounds like fun.

  10. You had quite a number of events in the last 5 months of 2021. I hope your femur has healed well. Your mother was amazing to accept her situation with such a good attitude.
    I ate my last tomatoes at the beginning of Dec. The green ones ripened in the garage all through November. You have the right weather to keep ripening on the vine.
    Enjoy those new babies. They grow so fast.

  11. I LOVE the Fair Isle quilt! It's not showing up as free, was it perhaps a limited-time promo? I did NOT know you could grow ginger root here, or at least I didn't really think about it for our climate. All of your quilts look great and congrats on the new little one! Yay!

  12. Those are some beautiful quilts! I understand your frustration with hip surgery and then a broken bone too. I had a new rt hip then 5 days later blacked out, fell down 2 steps and broke the tip of my rt wrist arm bone. Thankfully it was on the same side so I could use acane in my left hand. I am amazed at how soon you are back to sewing. But then, I'll soon be 72.

  13. Spotted you on a mutual friends blog, so thought I'd pop in to say hi. It's always fun to meet new bloggers. OMG, your quilts are awesome. I love the two Christmas ones. That seems like quite a challenge to make a block per day. Congrats to the family on new wee one. So nice to see pretty flowers.
    Sandy's Space

  14. Oh, Mary! You had quite the ending to 2021. I hope you have fully recovered from the hip replacement and fractured femur. It may have slowed your creative activities but I am so amazed at all that you accomplished in the last half of the year. Your trips were awesome. I enjoyed what you shared on IG. Congratulations on the new babies! I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's passing, she sounds like an amazing woman.

  15. Amazing tomato's! We may have some by july. All your quilts are beautiful, sorry about your hip! So far I am doing good. Have you had any outages? we are having a hard time getting Med's, at one time we had no can pineapples. and I am afraid it's going to get much worse

  16. It was nice to have a catch up read Mary... I'm sorry to read of your downs but pleased to hear of your ups. I love your latest quilt finish.

  17. So happy to see your blog post pop up in my Feedly!! Welcome back to occasional writing -- only posting when you feel like it. I love your wrap-up, and as usual, even with all the storms in your life, you accomplish more than the rest of us usually do.
    I hope 2022 is a lovely year and with that harvest of grandchildren, it will be. Happy New Year!

  18. Ohhh, a sweet new baby to love. They come straight from God and fill our days with a sweetness that defies all else.
    Your garden harvest looks wonderful as well as the flowers.

    I am so glad you are healed up from hip surgery and can move forward in a new year. I am also super excited you joined the 350 block challenge because I miss your blogging posts.

    Take care!!