2012 UFO Challenge

I discovered a UFO Challenge on Judy Laquidara’s blog and decided to join.  So, here are my 12 UFOs (in no particular order):

  1. Dear Jane quilt – 47 blocks and 56 triangles left to do.  This is being sewn by hand in Civil war reproduction prints (sorry, no picture).
  2.  Civil War “Jane” – only 98 more blocks to go.  This is also done in Civil War reproduction fabrics and sewn by hand.  One day it will cover our bed at Civil War reenactments.
  3. Red, White and Blue full-size quilt.  Needs to be quilted.
  4. Alter/lengthen sleeves on Civil War work dress.
  5. Add trim to Civil War dress for Kathy.  Finished most of the other work on this dress.
  6. Remove trim and fix neckline, then make new trim for Civil War sheer dress (hopefully before summer!).
  7. Finish cutting out pieces and start sewing on Second Hand Clothes quilt.  Using Civil War reproduction fabrics and sewing by hand.  Now that I found the background fabric, I can get working on it.
  8. Pink, Purple and green doll quilt.
  9. Make clothes for Civil War reproduction doll.  She’s been nekkid for far too long!
  10. Quilt Christmas table topper.
  11. Finish quilting mini scrap quilt.
  12. Applique stars on bib of secessionist apron.  Then finish assembly.  Sorry, no picture of this one.

Well, that’s the list of projects I’ve already started.  What is blatantly missing are all the projects I have floating around in my head.  Or the ones that I have yet to come up with this year.   But I have high hopes.

Happy Sewing!

Mrs. Clark

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Did you have a great Christmas?  I surely hope so.

The day after Christmas can feel kind of empty.  I mean, we’ve been so busy with all that goes into making Christmas CHRISTMAS! for weeks.  But today it’s back to … whatever.  There’s a stack of dirty dishes that I gave myself a holiday from yesterday and since the dish fairy did not show up while I was sleeping, I guess I’m the one who’ll be doing them after all.   And because Daughter #1 and Son-in-Law will be driving from the Big City to visit this afternoon, I have plans to make a big pot of chili and cornbread for dinner.  In fact, I’ve already started it.  The meat is thawing on the stove.  It’s kind of nice having a gas stove with pilot lights that keep it warm all the time.  Except in the summer.  Yesterday I put the butter in the oven to soften up a little before dinner.  It was nice having soft butter for the corn on the cob.  And baked potato.

Anyway, our Christmas was rather quiet, just not right at first.  We got up to the ringing of the cell phone.  Daughter #2, who lives in a completely different timezone, called at 7:28.  And said we didn’t answer the first time she called.  At 5:38!  It’s just a good thing I leave my phone at the other end of the house at night.  She and Son-in-Law #2 were on their way somewhere having an argu..er, discussion about the route he was taking…that being of the scenic variety.  But they got to see a raccoon cross the road.  You’d think that would have made it better.   After that, we opened our gifts.  Mr. C liked his.  I don’t want to talk about mine.

After getting home from Christmas Eve service, I made our traditional Coffee Cake.  For some reason, though I really do try, I can never seem to make it earlier.  Last year I managed to set it on fire, but that’s a story for another day.  Having learned my lesson, this year I set it on the table to cool.

The swirls are cinnamon/brown sugar/butter yumminess that could put a weaker woman into a diabetic coma.  So I had two pieces for breakfast.    Along with eggs and sausage.  And hot chocolate.  Then, because it was Sunday, we went to church.  This was Mr. Clark’s day to be head usher which means he has all kinds of things to do, like get there early.   I arrived in time to find a good seat.

Home again.  This is when the day got really quiet.  Just the two of us and not much else going on.  So, out came some unfinished quilting projects.  And I actually located all the parts I needed.  Needle, thread, scissors, buttons.  Then I put on the latest Netflix selection, Lost in Austen, and started working. Don’t you just love Jane Austen?  I wish we still talked like that.  “I love you. I have followed you to this infernal place because I would follow you anywhere! I would harrow Hell to be with you!”

That is until Mr. Clark came in wondering if I was as hungry as he was.  I doubt it.  He’s always hungry.  Or he’s eating.  So I had to make dinner.   Well, except for grilling the steaks.  That’s his part.  Because he knows how to light the grill.  No, I do not want to learn. And he doesn’t complain about standing out in 40 degree sunshine.  Not much anyway.  It’s the least he can do after those “presents” he gave me.

After that little diversion, I got back to working on my quilts.  That is until I had to stop and spend about 52 minutes looking for the bias binding strips that I had when I sewed these quilts together back in September.   But a good thing!  For the better part of the last month I’ve been searching for some fabric I got for another quilt project, and there it was as plain as day.  So, I guess it all turned out okay.

Wow.  Can it really be true?  I actually finished something?!?  I am rather amazed with myself.  No, I think I can be, even though they are rather little.  Finished is finished.  I used a Lil’ Twister Primitive Gatherings pattern I got from Olde World Quilt Shoppe.

This one is 8 inches square.  I tried quilting with my sewing machine before, but it ended up looking something less than acceptable (bordering on ugly).  And since this is so small, didn’t want to quilt by hand.  I think the buttons worked.  (I used DMC #12 perle cotton and made it appear as if they are tied on.  If I had a better camera, I could take a closeup of the buttons.)


I didn’t want to copy the button idea on the larger quilt, so I just used #10 DMC crochet cotton and tied it.  It ended up being 12 1/4 inches square.  I used flannel for the batting in both quilts.  The candy canes are for perspective.

The pattern starts with 2 1/2″ squares.  I was using scraps of fabric I get from Mrs. K, so didn’t really follow the pattern.  I just sewed until I thought I had enough.  After cutting and re-sewing the blocks, they ended up being smaller than I thought.  Oh, well.

So, I was able to make these little quilts with materials given to me and what I already had on hand.  What a sweet deal.  Finished.  Finitura.  Completo.  Komplett.  If I keep this up, I may have to change the name of my blog.

Mrs. Clark


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Where Are You Christmas?

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.  Who’s got a penny for the old man’s hat?  If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.  If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”  I can hear Miss Piggy singing.  There are several songs Daughter #2 and I would sing every Christmas.  Our favorite was “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Only a hippopotamus will do.  Sung at the very top of our voices.  <Heavy sigh>

I have spent the better part of the last few weeks wallowing in self-pity.  You see, I love, Love, LOVE! Christmas!!  Always have.  Not really sure why, but there it is.  I love it in it’s own time, of course.  Can’t start before Thanksgiving.  Can’t start on Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving deserves it’s own day.  But the day after, out came all the boxes of decorations and ornaments.  Boxes and boxes.  And boxes.  Yes, those too.  Because you cannot have too much Christmas.  Isn’t possible.

Then there are the Traditions.  You know, the things you do every year; year in and year out; and if Mom tries to discontinue one or change it in any way total and absolute mutiny and mayhem ensues, loudly.  Don’t ask how I know this.  Just take my word for it.  I don’t know how or when some of these traditions got started, but we can’t have Christmas without them.  So, every Christmas eve, I make our special coffee cake.  I do all the food preparation the day before.  Which may explain why we’re always late for Christmas Eve Church Service.

Then there is the order that must be observed.  The girls would get their stockings right away and sit on our bed while we all got to open the little silly gifts that are the Stocking Presents.  Then we’d make our way to the living room.  Christmas music would be played on the stereo.  Candles would be lit.  We open gifts one at a time.  Of course, the girls got more than the parents, so they often opened two or three to our one.  This process could take hours.  We savored the whole process.  This was Christmas and it only comes once a year.

But.  Life goes on.  Things change.  Daughter #1 moved out and got married and has other family to see too, and we are only one of her stops in a very busy day.  So, we make it work for a few more years.  Then Daughter #2 goes away to college.  And we move to a new town.  For several Christmases we live in our itty-bitty 5th-wheel trailer.  Daughter #2 gets married and lives on the other side of the country.  We move into a smallish single-wide.  There really is no room for even a Christmas tree, much less all those boxes and boxes of “Christmas”.  I do a little decorating, but it just isn’t the same.  And my girls want the coffee cake recipe so they can continue the tradition at their homes.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of person.  Let’s look on the bright side.  God has been good this year.  We can enjoy what we have and not regret what we don’t.  But still there are times sadness overtakes me.  And this year it seems to have gotten the better of me more often than not.  So, when I heard the song by Faith Hill, “Where Are you Christmas“, the other day, I just let the misery that had been building up wash over me and had a good cry.

This year we bought a tree.  I guess this is the one year I really needed one.  And though I’d kept my gloomy-gus attitude pretty much to myself, Mr. Clark made sure we got a tree.  We’d always had a cut tree.  A real one that smelled good and lost all it’s needles.  (One year we even had to get two trees, but that’s a story for another day.)  This year we got a live tree.  That we have to plant in the yard.  It’s a little scotch pine.  And we’re thinking of planting it near the chicken coop so come summer it will provide a little shade for the girls in 10 or 20 years.  It’s still sitting on the front porch.  We’re supposed to “acclimate” it to being in a warm house.  I don’t want to get out any of the boxes of ornaments and then have to pick a few that will fit on this little tree.  I haven’t seen any of my ornaments in over 5 years and I don’t have the heart to look through them this year.  So I’ve bought a few new ornaments.  My pile looked rather small and pathetic.  Mr. C brought me some pretty jingle-bell ornaments in red and gold.  They will look nice.

I saw some pretty red mitten ornaments at Jo-Anns, but even on sale they were rather over-priced.   But then I found some children’s mittens on sale for $1/pair.  I picked up several in red, green and blue.  Then I got some buttons and ribbon.   And this is what I did with it all:

And now it’s starting to feel a little more like Christmas at my house.  And in my heart.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.    May the Lord bless you in every way.  And bring peace and joy in the new year.

Mrs. Clark





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Has this ever happened to you?

Maybe it will be done for next Christmas

Imagine It’s Finished.   Have you ever said that?  Or rather, how often do you say it?  I have a little….okay, I’ll admit it:  I have several mini quilts that are pieced and basted, but not quilted.  But I was so proud of my efforts, I took them to show the ladies at my church’s quilting group anyway.  They are such sweet ladies.  So encouraging.  Totally willing to overlook the unfinished-ness of my quilts.  They even listened politely to my story.  About how I planned to spend the day in my sewing room working on a Civil War dress for someone else, but had to move the bag of fabric scraps Mrs. K had given me and then made the mistake of looking into the bag.  Wow!  Look at this great fabric!  Hey, these pieces seem to go together.  What’s that I hear?  Are they asking me to do something creative with them?  I’m pretty sure that’s it.  So I started playing and next thing I knew, I had a little quilt top pieced together and Mr. Clark was wondering what I was planning for dinner.  The whole day was gone and the dress didn’t so much as get touched.  So there I was a few days later, sitting around the table with these wonderful women, saying, “See what I did?  Of course, you’ll have to imagine it’s finished”.   Sadly, my friend is still waiting for her dress.

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