A Day Out and About

So about every two weeks or so or when the summer weather isn’t blistering hot we will take a day trip up to the Princeton area.  Such a pretty town with the university and its gorgeous buildings and  landscaping that the university does.

Yesterday was one of those days.  We started out early and as usual got stuck in the traffic north.  I seriously can’t envision myself having to make that drive every morning to go to work.  No wonder most look so miserable; I would be too if I had to drive that commute everyday.  We finally made our way through and picked up the NJ Turnpike north.  It was an easy-peasy ride to Exit 7.

First stop, why of course, Mastori’s for breakfast.  If you have never been and are traveling in the area, this is definitely a place to eat.  Huge omelettes, delicious crispy home fries and the best sweet breads with a choice of cinnamon or cheese, warmed.  YUM.  I can tell you that after eating a slice of sweet bread, the crispiest of the homefries and my omelette; I was stuffed.

After breakfast we headed over the river to Morrisville to a wonderful produce store where I found huge cherries, Canadian blueberries and all sorts of nut/dried fruit blends.  They also carried imported chocolates.  Had to have some of those too.  Also purchased some imported Acacia honey imported from Poland.  It looks like liquid amber.  Can’t wait to taste it.  I remember my dad talking about the Acacia tree and the honey they used have from the bees when he was a child in Poland.

Next stop  was Pennington Quilt Works.  I was looking for a backing for Seasonal Bouquets but instead found this gorgeous floral/bird print from Blackbird Designs.  It definitely deserves the front and not the back of a quilt.  I plan to use it as a border fabric.  Now, to find other soft, coordinating colors and make blocks for the center.20160804_192731

This is so pretty and soft looking.   Background is a caramel color with greens and muted reds/pinks.

I love red.  Any opportunity that I may have I will add to my red fat quarter stash.  This piece piqued my interest.  I can see it as flower petals in a needleturn block.  20160804_192744-1

The last purchase was the window template for 1″ honeycombs.  I love to do EPP  when I have a chance and want to try some fussy cutting of some of the pieces.  Don’t know when I will get to that but winter will give me a chance to play more.  (no yard/garden work to tend to)

The final stop was for some homemade ice cream at CJ Sweets in Princeton.  We don’t eat sweets often so when we do, I want artisan made ice cream.  This was the first time we ever stopped at CJ Sweets and it did not disappoint.  Hubbie always gets chocolate with nuts.   Me, I venture off a little and get mint chip and chocolate.  You could taste the deep, rich cocoa in the chocolate and it was not overly sweet.  The mint chip was minty but not overpowering.  It had tons of fresh shaved chocolate chips in the mix too.  The consistency was smooth, rich, creamy and delicious.  This will be a stop again before summer is over.

So today, recharged and full of ideas I am headed to my studio to finish writing the pattern for Puffy Stuffy-Autumn’s Arrival and the last two blocks of Seasonal Bouquets.  Lots on the plate to get accomplished.

Wishing everyone a wonderful summer weekend.  Hope you all get some stitching in too!

Newest Design for A Great Cause

I have been busy sketching and working out the details for a new design, The Plight of the Monarchs.  The monarch butterfly population has been in decline due to many environmental issues.  I love seeing these beautiful butterflies stop by my gardens in late summer.  As time has gone by, I was seeing less and less each year.

Some of you may be familiar with a group called Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River.  They do such phenomenal work to protect the birds and all that surrounds the Maurice River watershed.    Each year they sponsor an event called the Chili Bowl.   Many of the local artists donate artwork to be auctioned during this event.   For the past couple of years I have donated a piece of my work to be auctioned off during this event.  One year was my interpetation of the Swamp Pink, an endangered species of plant that lives in the wet areas along the river.  This year I donated a lap quilt of appliqued butterflies.  When I dropped off the quilt, the ladies in the office suggested that I create something in relation to the declining population of the Monarch butterfly and the Milkweed Plant. The Milkweed Plant plays a major role in the survival of the Monarch.  Not sure why the Milkweed Plant population has been in decline but it is a factor in the loss of the Monarch.

So after a couple of weeks of sketches different elements of my design, here is my design.  I will have this enlarged to fit a 24″x36″ sheet and begin the process of making this into a wall hanging.

Plight of the Monarch

The colored butterfly at the bottom is just my color key for the quilt top.

For those of you who garden and love nature, take some time out and find out what you can do to help the Monarchs.  Remember, once they are gone, they are gone.




Setting Up House

Setting Up House Final Picture.MKD604

My newest design for Spring, Setting Up House is now available on my website as either a PDF file download or a paper pattern.   The wall hanging measures 22-1/2″ tall and 26-1/2″ wide and is wool applique on cotton design.  Complete embroidery detail instructions as well as full sized templates and Layout diagram is included in the pattern.   Website address is  Click on the Online Store tab.

Snow Globes

Been working on April’s design for the snow globe of the month design I am doing.  The background fabric is a homespun and is fraying so I decided to frame each 6-1/2″ block with a tan/brown civil war fabric.  I cut the strips 1″ wide so they will finish at 1/2″ when all the blocks are sewn together.  I laid them out on another navy with tan, red, gold, brown leaf civil war.  This is going to be the border fabric.

framed on background

Paniers de Petite Fleur Month One

The first month’s set of blocks is ready for those of you who are participating in my Stitch Along. You can now go to my website’s Online Store and order your first month’s set of blocks at

Photo of the first month’s blocks below.  Hope you will join me for this five month project.Month One Blocks

New Quilt Top

I really don’t need to start another project but a red and green applique quilt is so hard for me to resist.  I debated back and forth on whether or not to do this and you guessed it, I’m in.  These are blocks offered by Sentimental Stitches, 3 or 4 each month as a free download.  What’s better than a red and green applique quilt?  One that has bits of yellow in the blocks.  So this afternoon I prepped the first three blocks.  I am using Kona natural for my background.  I am already in love with this quilt.

Yesterday I was able to prep the first three blocks for stitching.  Blocks 1 and 2 are already needle turned.  Block three is ready to stitch.  These will finish at 10″ square.  I need to add the 4 corner orange peel applique pieces to the blocks.  Need to dig through my stash to find a civil war red big enough to do all 64 blocks.

The free download is from  These are for January and will only be available through the end of the month.  The quilt top is The 1857 Album Quilt.  Did I already mention that I love these types of quilts.  Thanks Gay Bomers for doing this pattern.

Home and Hearth is Back Home

Was able to pick up my 2016 Block of the Month design Home and Hearth today.  Just in time too as it began snowing on our way home.  Now it is steadily coming down.  A perfect day to get the binding made and sewn onto the top.  Again, Jo Kuchera outdid herself with her long arm skills.  I am in love with feathers and she took it up a notch and added them to the block backgrounds as well.  Here’s some photos of the top.  Couldn’t get a whole shot as it is snowing outside.    Maybe in a day or two.  A couple of repairs to do, a loose thread and replace a bead.  Nothing serious for all the obstacles she had to go around on this one.