Pumpkin crow berries

*whew* I’ve Been FAIRLY Busy!

Our Minnesota State Fair (the best 10 days of summer) starts next week, and I’ve been busy as a bee trying to finish as many projects as humanly possible to enter in Creative Activities.  Yesterday was the last day to bring your entries in, and last night I slept.  Like a baby.

So here are my finishes:

Swoon’s adorable “Brooklyn” handbag.  I quilted the gray Essex linen and paired it with a black pebble vinyl.

Brooklyn front

Swoon “Alice Shopper Tote” bag.  Free pattern at the Swoon Patterns site.  It’s a great pattern to try if you’re interested in purchasing any of the Swoon patterns, as it gives you a feel for her directions.  Plus this is a great bag!

Swoon Strawberry Allice sofa

A little wool framed art, pattern by Becky Delsman, published in the 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.   Can’t wait for fall so I can hang this one up!

Pumpkin crow berries

This is great-nephew Peter’s bee quilt.  (The family’s last name starts with “B”.)  Wanted to do a woven type design with these fabrics, and figured out how easy it is to put together.  This will go in the fair’s Bee & Honey department.

Peter's Bees

Here is an embarassing one…DH Jim’s socks.  This photo is from spring of 2014.  2014!!!  I pulled them out to finish this summer, and all I needed to do was about an inch of the toe and close the toe.  AND I forgot to take a photo of the finished pair, so I have to show DH’s naked toes.  Hope he doesn’t read this…

05-02-2014 365 Jims Sox

I’m working backwards in time, so you perhaps have seen this one already:  the Cane Bay Wrap.  Here it is being blocked.  One of my most favorite things I’ve every made.  Love it so much, I went back to Jenny’s shop (The Twisted Loop in Prior Lake) and bought this fabulous yarn in another color for wrap #2.

Cane Bay Wrap blocked

It took me a while to finish this one this spring, but I ADORE this Swoon “Charlotte City Tote, done up in green glitter vinyl and Tula Pink Bumblebees.  Charlotte is also entered in Bee & Honey, so if you go in the Ag-Hort building, check out the Bee & Honey items…and I always buy some sort of honey or honey products while I’m there.

Swoon Charlotte angled

This is Swoon’s “Dollie Mini Cross-Body” bag.  With its cross-body strap, it would be perfect to carry at the fair.  If it wasn’t IN the fair…

Dollie no handles close

This is the “L is for Lattice” wallhanging I did for my part in our guild’s Alphabet Challenge in 2015.  Yummy batiks in Lemon, Lime, Latte’, Lava, and Licorice.  I know…you’re thinking, “What the “L” is she talking about?”  Twenty-six of our guild members each made a 26″ x 26″ wall quilt.  We drew for letters, and I drew the letter “L”.  A 27th guild member did a wall quilt depicting the letters from A-Z.

Lattice quilt

So there you have it — my nine items I brought to the fair this year.  It’s always more fun when you have some of your items to look for.  Thank you, both of you, who read this all the way to the end!

— Sue


Bernina 950

Monday Update

Last week I was fortunate to spend time in Huntsville, Alabama, with my Aunt Bertha.  We always have a wonderful time, and it never ceases to amaze me how much we are alike…the same food, the same TV programs, bird watching, and quilting!

And in case you need an intro to my aunt, here’s a photo from last year’s visit to Missouri Star Quilt Co, and of course that’s Jenny Doan on the right (another FUN time!):

msqc bertha

Okay, back to this year!  My sewing time at retreat was mostly spent on this hugs and kisses quilt.  I completed the top, at last!

Hugs and Kisses quilt

I love two-color quilts, but I have to confess, this was really boring to work on!  Next, I pulled out a UFO that is several years old…Four Patch Posies (a four-patch stack & whack).  I finished the framed blocks, and completed one row with the sashings.  This quilt is well on its way to being a finished top:

Four Patch Posies

Bertha has several birdhouses in a little garden/sitting area behind her home, and the birds were so cooperative!  My favorite had to be the mom and dad bluebirds that were kept busy bring food to the babies:

Bama bluebird 2

My dear aunt sent home a quart of fresh blueberries from the farmers’ market for my hubby, as she knows he loves them.  Last night I baked a blueberry cobbler that was to die for.

Blueberry Cobbler

Recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s blog (I just substituted blueberries for the blackberries).

In other news, I brought home a new stray sewing machine that needed a good home:

Bernina 950

A Bernina 950.  She sews beautifully, and will be very helpful in my handbag making.  And speaking of handbags, my next project will be to continue working on this Swoon bag, “Charlotte”:

Charlotte Swoon Bumble

I’ve been holding off on construction until I got ‘Nina to help me out!  Thanks for stopping by, and for more sewing/quilting fun, check out what people are doing on Judy Laquidara’s blog.

Cuddle Qlt 2  Dakota

Monday Morning Progress Report

KNITTING:  I’m up to 34″ on my crazy stripes scarf (26″ to go…)

Crazy Scarf

HANDBAGS:  I’m going to make the Swoon “Maisie” bag next.  It’s a smaller handbag with some interesting vinyl accents.  The cream in the upper left of the photo is the vinyl I plan to use.

Maisie Supplies

WOOL:  I’m working on a pattern called “The Great Pumpkin” by Becky Delsman, published in Primitive Quilts in 2012.  I like that it is an off-white pumpkin.  I am ready to blanket-stitch the crow.  Then there are a bunch of berries and vines that overlay the pumpkin.

Great Pumpkin progress

QUILTING:  I have about half of this top pieced into rows.  It is sort of a modified hugs & kisses (or Xs and Os).

XO Quilt rows

OTHER SEWING:  I was in need of a quick baby quilt pattern, and I saw this video by Jenny Doan for Shannon Fabrics just in time!  It uses Minky type fabric, and you are talking about minutes of time invested, rather than days.  And they are so cute!  This one is 30″ x 30″, just right for a little drag-around cuddle quilt for a special little girl.  So soft and snuggly…

Cuddle Qlt Dakota

That’s it for now.  Linking to Judy’s Patchwork Times.


Langhe Alba countryside

Monday’s Progress Report

It’s been a busy time since I last reported in.


I wanted to make a carry-on bag for a trip I took this month.  I decided to make Swoon’s Blanche in the large size.  It wasn’t too hard to do if you just take the directions a slow step at a time.  I love the bag, but it was too small for the amount of cameras and other “stuff” I like to have at my disposal.  I do plan to remake the short handles to make them a little beefier.

Swoon Blanch map end Swoon Blanch map strap Swoon Blanch map

The tweedy looking fabric is Essex Linen (love it!), along with a map fabric and a crocodile print.

KNITTING:  Also on my trip, I started knitting a scarf.  The pattern is Crazy Wool Stripe Scarf, a free pattern offered by the Twisted Loop yarn shop.

Scarf crazy stripes

No progress on my Cane Bay wrap.

TRAVEL:  Italy!!!  I was so fortunate to be able to go on a 10-day group tour in April (actually, I just got back *yawn*).  We landed in Milan and spent a short time there.  From there we went to Turin (or Torino, if you’re Italian), and then on to Alba.  This photo was taken in the the hills of the Langhe region, a rich agricultural area that is considered to be Italy’s garden.  In the distance are the Swiss Alps.

Langhe Alba countryside

And for a totally different flavor, I’ll jump ahead several days to Rome, where the Colliseum and the Arch of Constantine were within easy walking distance of our hotel.

Colliseum at night

Gabby front copy

Monday’s Progress Report


I’m just about done with this nice little candle mat designed by Buttermilk Basin.  All I have left is to blanket stitch around the outer edge.

Sheep mat


I’m still working on my knitted Cane Bay wrap:

Cane Bay progress


I just finished up a handbag called “Gabby” by bag designer Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags.  Right now, the bag is only available as part of a six-month subscription with the Bag of the Month Club.  I believe when the subscription is over (July or so), the patterns will be offered individually.  This bag finished at 12″ W, 10″ H, and 3″ deep.

Gabby front copy Gabby side


Here’s another sunrise photo I took in Port Aransas, TX, this winter.  This one was taken February 14th — Valentine’s Day — and my dear Hubster got up in the dark with me to help me watch the sunrise.  Taken with the use of a tripod and delayed shutter.  All together now:  awwwww….

Sunrise 2-14 jim sue 2

That’s it for now.  This week I’m going to make a small carry-on bag for a trip that’s coming up.

Linking to Judy Laquidara’s Patchwork Times.

Sue H.


Sock Yarn

Knitting News

I had so much fun last night starting this Cane Bay Wrap.  Knit in chunky yarn (Extra by Sky Blue Alpacas in Butter Cream) on size 10.5 needles, it goes quickly.

Knitting Morning

This will make up in a shawl/wrap/wide scarf of 17″ by 56″. I’m thinking it would be lovely as a wrap in lieu of a sweater for travel or those chilly restaurants.

Yup, this is my Morning Mess of knitting, crossword puzzle, and coffee.  If I had a little chocolate, it would be PERFECT!


p.s.  The header image is a look into my sock yarn drawer.  If you’re shopping with me, DON’T let me buy any more sock yarn…

Photography& Stitching…Home & Travel…by Sue Hecker