The Masterpiece by Javan

The Masterpiece by Javan

We are born into the world like a blank canvas and each person that crosses our path takes up the brush and makes his mark upon our surface - So it is that we develop - But we must realize there comes a day that we must take up the brush and finish the work. For only we can determine if we are to be just another painting or a Masterpiece.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Quilts and Remembering

Quilts from Christmas Past and Present.  Making Christmas quilts has always been special and all were a true joy to make. Hope you enjoy.

Please leave a comment with your favorite and
a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to each of you from our house to yours.

Reflections - red and white tree with candy cane skirt

Table topper sent from blog friend - just perfect and my colors.

Currie Christmas Morning Quilt for our table

Christmas Morning Quilt upright


The master bedroom with the  Roman Holiday Quilt, holiday pillow covers
and Christmas stitchery pillows - the new colors of Christmas

Counter topper in red, white and green

Carolina Christmas Cardinals Quilt

Winter Wonderland Embroidered flimsy - now quilted by the wonderful Mary Flynn
of Quilt Hollow

A Little Something - Candy cane vase

Presents Wrapped
Poinsettia wall quilt in sewing room

Stained Glass Table Runner


Candy Cane tree for me

Sewing Room Socks

Christmas Stitchery Towels

Little tree with miniature ornaments
on gold accented tree skirt, pattern by Cheryl Phillips

Cardinal outside our kitchen window - just beautiful

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Observations or Pondering

Our gardens have grown leaps and bounds - for all to enjoy.
 The pictures really have nothing to do with the post ...
you just really need pictures, don't you?
Impatiens in June

Impatiens in August
An example of patience ... what beauty ... we highly recommend planting impatiens in your shady areas.
"Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation..." Jane Austen 

We wait for the perfect set of days, we try to arrange long weekends around life appointments, and we end up spending time waiting for tradesmen.  We never seem to get anywhere.  We talk about "destination lunches," while taking the back roads  to other towns, but never take the time or initiative to take off and do it.  All of a sudden, I come upon an afternoon with nothing to do and wonder - why did we not have something of enjoyment planned?
Unfortunately, our little dog is no longer here keeping us home,  and while  there is a sense of freedom there is also a sadness in our hearts.
 Mr C and I love the journey so much more than hurrying and getting to the destination.
We are re-thinking all the adventures waiting for us.

Now that summer is coming to an end and the flower garden planting is over -  we need to just do it.  How lovely it will be to walk on the beach and eat very fresh seafood at the restaurant the locals go to.  Always so much more enjoyable.   The summer holiday rush is over and with school starting the families are going home. 
Strolling the path to our cottage backyard
 On our list is the Moravian village of Old Salem.  DWH and I will love all the history surrounding this "not too far from Raleigh village."  We have read great reviews and it seems to be calling out to us, especially the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the oppotunity to see some of the early homes.  Since the public buildings and gardens are closed on Mondays we will need to plan accordingly and go for a couple of days during the week.
We are definitely thinking of Williamsburg at Christmas - just imagine all the intrigue, beauty and history of this wonderful town, and Christmas would be the icing on the cake for me. This year our Christmas theme for our cottage home will be our lighted Williamsburg Village spread all over the house. Very colonial, very red and green and historical.  Some of the Williamsburg replicas like Bruton Parish Church, Governor's Mansion and the King's Arms tavern are very big and we have no single place to display them all together.  I will have to let you know how many pieces there are when we unpack in December.

   We spent three wonderful days in Williamsburg in the Spring of 2005 which was so good for the soul - everything was growing, blooming and becoming. We had rain one day and really loved it, especially with the french doors open that faced the treetops from our bed and breakfast room.  I still remember the oatmeal souffle with vanilla cream sauce and have never been able to duplicate it.

Little Casey Strolling the Gardens Around Our Little Cottage
 Do you have any plans for Fall excursions?  Living in North Carolina definitely gives us lots of opportunity to just do it!!!

 I love A.A. Milne quotations ....

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart I'll always be with you.” ~ A.A. Milne

Have a delightful and spontaneous day full of surprises and love.
Judy C

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our Sweet Baby Girl Casey Has Left Us

We lost our little warrior princess, Casey Gail (Cairncroft's Nightingale) on June 20th. 
  She has left a very big void in our hearts and in our home.
  Casey and Brady were together in everything until we lost our Brady three years ago
  with complications from diabetes. Casey never had major medical issues, she was a little blind and her hearing was going and she was almost 16 years old.
In the past few weeks we started noticing a different behavior -
Marty and Casey going for a ride
 no interest in walks, no interest in food and weight loss, did not want interactions with us, aimlessly walking around the house and staring into corners. After looking for answers, we believe that she had a lot of the symptoms caused by Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  We talked with our vet and made our decision based on her needs.  Our vet came to our home for the euthanasia.

 She had such an attitude and it always made us smile - she was definitely in charge - even up to four months ago she let Marty know when he was going for a walk.  Casey in Gaelic means brave and alert and it suited her perfectly. 

Casey Gail will always be our sweet baby girl.  We sure do wish these little angels came with guarantees to outlive us. Our hearts are so lonely without her. I know she must be with Brady over the Rainbow Bridge  waiting for us to join them. 
We know our life with Brady and Casey was so much better than to have had a life without them. 

Judy and Marty 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Quilt That Shrank and Became ...

Hi - I couldn't be happier that you are here. 
Doesn't this say Spring? Not sure of the pattern or maker, I just know I love this little quilt.
 If you know anything about this wonderful quilt, please let me know.


Fooled you for a second, didn't I?  Bet you thought that is how I shrunk my Hook!
I wish...

Thank you to Sinta at Pink Pincushion and Sherrie at A Quilting Life. for posting the parade and of course to Carrie Nelson who continues to be our inspiration with all of her creativity

 The quilt that became a Table Runner is my this little Schnibble I named
Hook, Line and Sinker and is for my Dear Wonderful Husband (DWH)
who takes very good care of me in this, our waiting room of life.
My Hook was downsized and became a table runner - why, you may ask?
surely I can make a small quilt in 30 days - not this time!
Some may have thought this pattern was easy - not so much for me and it started with step one!!!
  I do wish I had bought the paper piecing pattern because I think I would have been much more successful. 
I came down with Shingles on my back and side March 3rd, so along with my frustration with that, doctors and all the steps in the pattern, I am sure my patience level was very low - plus I could only work a couple hours a day sewing.  I quickly decided a table runner would be best for me this month instead of a quilt. 

I give you my Hook, Line and Sinker...
On Red Bench
 Another kinda closer look ...

On Green Bench
Sure wish these pictures were better - my camera batteries decided to die on me in the middle of our photo shoot.  Well, of course!!!

I used two Moda Road 15 charm packs by Sweetwater and I love the squares with the charming little houses on them. The backing is a Jo Morton fabric from stash, the binding is Riley Blake's Lost and Found and the background is the only color in my stash that truly went with all the charm squares.
I am glad I used a stripe bias binding to brighten up this quilt.
 Sure do hope the next selection is a breeze and happens to be a pattern I already have.

May your day be delightfully filled with happiness and lots of fun things.
I know for us it would be better if the sunshine would just stay on ... for awhile!!!
Judy C in NC

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On Sewing

In the waiting room of life, my desires and my health are in conflict with each other... but I have been sewing every chance I get.

Since I have not sewn much for the last two years... my tub of kits is still full; the project containers are still full of projects; the stash is mainly still unused, well maybe a slight dent was put in it; and the decorative containers,  the ones you buy at Michaels and Hobby Lobby - well they are still full of the Civil War block of the months to be completed and various jelly rolls, charm packs and layer cakes.  I do believe there might even be a fat quarter pack left in there.  I have had four garage sales since we downsized - and participated in a side walk sale at the local fabric shop and I still feel as if I am busting at the seams.

When I found the Schnibble sew along last month, I thought what a wonderful use for  all those layer cakes and charm packs. Thanks very much to Polly over at Aunt Polly's Porch who convinced me it really would be fun... I just needed to be nudged a tiny little bit and no arm was broken.  Which BTW, I did also spend part of last year with a real broken arm.  Be sure to check out all the patterns available from Carrie Nelson.  For certain you will probably find quite a few you like.  I did.

Don't forget to visit Sindy and Sherri to check out all the gorgeous Schnibbles on parade for this month.   "Free choice" patterns were a hit this month.

Dulcinea Pattern by Carrie Nelson
My Schnibble selection for February "free choice" month was "Dulcinea" ... I really love those sweet little double pinwheels and just knew my two charm packs called "Lovely" by Sandy Gervais for Moda, would look wonderful for a Spring quilt. My dilemma was that this line is a couple years old and there was not very much  yardage for sale.  I dug dip into the stash to find the perfect rosy coral.  Not a very good picture !!!

I got so excited with this first Schnibble, I bought nine more patterns only to find out that I already had two of the patterns in my Schnibbles Times Two book. What's a girl to do!!!   Give them away of course.  The patterns for "Spin City" and "Imagine" are going to be giveaways for two people who leave a comment - tell me what your favorite quilt color combinations are and leave a way for me to get in touch with you.

I also made some mug rugs this month for the wonderfully kind caregivers at the Cancer Center of NC who give so much to so many. 

and some Valentine mug rugs for family and the ladies in my neighborhood.

This banner is a "just because it was something I wanted to make" for Valentine's Day and happened to be just the right size to fit over the mirror in the entry way.  Love it when a plan comes together.  McCall's Quilting magazine, Jan/Feb 2010 issue.


Hope all you wonderful people have a delightful March.  I am patiently (not) waiting for all the new growth on the plants, bushes and trees this year and all the bulb plants to break ground - out second Spring in the cottage home.  Sure hope March Schnibble will be a pattern I have and looking forward to creating another Schnibble with you.  Judy C in NC

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lessons We Should Learn

We all need to read this - at least once a week.  Please make sure you read to the end,

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good..
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15.. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words : 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does..
33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

My contribution...
If you always worry about what others think,
 you end up believing their opinion is more important than your own.

I had several "light-bulb moments", did you?
Friends are the family that we choose and I wanted to share this with you.

Happiness on your journey - it is yours to make.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

God Bless America

My little flag,  29" x 24",  I made from a Hancocks brochure hand out. 

North Carolina celebrates our military
and our Patriotism shines brightly for all to see.
To all the Men, Women, and their Families who keep our country free
we thank you for our freedom...
we are so proud and grateful for your service and dedication.

Happy Birthday America

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cottage Maze

Look what happens ...
with a few days of rain.
A quilt is completed.

This went together fantastic and
I love it.  The pattern is Cottage Maze
by Carolina Patchworks and
the beautiful fabric is Terrain by Kate Spain.
Love the colors and a beautiful combination.

Will become part of the long-arm quilter's list now...

May your journey be an adventure...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Choices ...

"You are never too old to be what you might have been." George Eliot

Heartfelt thanks Madame Samm and Jane ...
for choreographing all this inspiration and creativity.
A big thank you to the very generous Debbie, Cyndi, and Madame Samm
for these wonderful patterns -
what would we do without you - you give us sew much!!!

We all love Presencia and Colonial Needle, our
wonderful sponsors.

I downloaded all the patterns, printed them ... and then decided.
The three I picked really told a story to me of a different time. 

Being a child of the 50's and 60's
 - what a clean, fun time with really good music -
 there were very few options for females after high school.
Some of my friends got to go to college or as they referred to it,
"A place to find a husband and get away from home."

 Others were limited to finding work at the local store or telephone company,
 or to get married and start a family.
We were accepting of being stay-at-home wives and mothers,
and were content with that choice.
In my opinion, they were the greatest and hardest vocations of all.
Sad but true, my generation simply did not aspire to be a lot more independent.
Aren't we happy today that our sons, daughters and grandchildren
 have so many options open to them.

Did you see the 2003 movie,  Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts?
  A really great one to rent or buy.

excerpt ... 
"In 1953, a time when women's roles were rigidly defined, free-spirited, novice
art history professor Watson (Roberts) begins teaching at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College - which despite its academic reputation, is an environment where success is measure by "how well" the students marry.  Encouraging these women to strive for a more enlightened future, Professor Watson challenges the administration and inspires her students to look beyond the image of what is, and consider the 
possibilities of what could be - contrary to popular belief." 
from the Yahoo Movie clip  
"Professor Watson lived by example
 and compelled us all to see the world through new eyes."
My stitchery represents so much more than what is shown -
I have stitched all the dreams, the choices, the acceptance,
 and determination of our generation into this,
while remembering a really happy other time.
I chose the comfortable old chair pattern because 
I love being a wife and mother and to me it represents my home.
The 50's gal (had to add ruffles for Samm) gave me so much comfort and the
styling lady (turned her around) gave me the joy of dreams and what could have been.
My professional career came later in life.
In truth, we really do get to choose our destiny.
I decided to do another stitchery as I have a lot of time right now -
a redwork "House in Spring" pillow to add to my collection.
I Love this pillow... and the bunny surely is quite comfortable. 

 Jane had the perfect "Spring green" Presencia Finca Perle Cotton,  
  and the red floss is new for me - DMC 115, variegated garnet. 
  Kaaren Johnson told me about this and I really like it.
 I used an off-white, tonal background

Please be sure to visit all the blogs and let them know you love their participation
in this wonderful, creative and inspiring hop.
I leave you with this thought ... because we could start a Bee!!!
"In my Father's house there are many mansions, I hope yours is next to mine." 
 Kristin @That Other Blog
Shade Tree Quilting - there you are !!
Happy Easter Everyone from Judy C  
Spring has Sprung

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting and Wanting Spring

Seems like I spend a lot of time wishing my life away ...
here I am waiting for Spring and wanting to get to planting things.

I keep trying to organize my sewing space ...
and then again just maybe I should accept the fact that it
isn't going to happen.  It is suppose to be a working room after all.
This little wall hanging quilt is only 38" x 38" and was on my UFO list from last year...
remember, the year I took off, so thought it was time to get 'er done.

First Five Blocks
Simple enough to piece and the applique
will be a good project to do when I get to sit outside on
my first ever screened porch and watch the flowers grow
while the birds and squirrels squabble for the seeds.  The pillows for the wicker were
made before we moved in and the cushions have been under wraps all winter.

Brings me to a question I have ... what to do about the treasures.
As I try to decorate my new sewing space, I realize all that I have made
and framed over the years - embroidery, needlepoint, applique, cross stitch.
 I had oddles of room before and I am now faced with what
to do with all my pictures.  I can part with the bought prints
or silly little signs, etc. but I am really stumped
over parting with the handiwork I have done.
My daughter is left with no more room to store these treasures,
even though she wants them all because I made them.
Any advice at all will be considered and very much appreciated.

North Carolina, at least where I live, had their first snow over the weekend.
I know it does not look like much compared to what
most of you have gotten ... but we love any and all snow we get.
We are not choosey at how much either - the great grands
got a snowman out of it, and they were so excited and happy.   Yeah!!!

 Garden bench by the
driveway with husband's
sign that says.
Welcome, be nice or leave!

Our kids have had a lot of chuckles
 over it.

The Garden Fairy keeping
sentinel over the
Lenten Rose plant that had
just started blooming.

The tulips we planted in January
 have started sprouting up -
Surely the Jonquils
can't be far behind.
I did see some little green peeks
through the mulch.

We surely do love our seasons here in the South.  Come on Spring
in all your glory.  I would love to make a quilt with just the
colors of Spring.  Can you replicate that Spring green from the trees?
I have yet to find the perfect shade.

Cross stitch and embroidery I can't part with.

May your week be delightful, creative and full of happiness
Judy C