Tuesday, December 23, 2014


It has been 2 months since I have blogged and what a 2 months it has been.  I was suffering from back pain spreading into the legs and buttocks for awhile when we first came down to Florida late Oct.  Since then it became worse and I started on a series of tests, x-rays, scans, therapy and finally an MRI which showed 2 things causing the pain.  One is a cyst on my L3-5 spine area and the other a protruding and degenerated disk at L5-SI - both things pressing on nerves which cause the pain.  I am on pain pills and an exercise program to help alleviate it.  Next are shots in the 2 areas to see if that works. This will not happen until I return to Florida.

Next I was shopping in an area about 15 miles from Mount Dora and luckily Harv. was with me as he was going to get a haircut and then we were having lunch.  After coming out of the store I almost collapsed and was having a TIA.  I felt the numbness in my tongue, arm and leg but got in the van and told Harv.  He immediately took me to the nearest hospital.  By the time we arrived and they got me inside it had resolved itself.  A very small blood clot must have caused it.  They took every test imaginineable and could not find any cause for it. Also there was no lasting damage.I spent overnight there then they released me the second night.  Nothing to do but take a baby aspirin a day.  I feel fine and hope this is the end of it.

We also lost Harv's youngest sister Beth in Toronto in early December.  She was ill and taken to the hospital.  She was just there for 3 weeks and they determined she had Lymphoma cancer and before they could start treatment she passed away.  Her body was so weakened.  We were all in shock.

My daughter phoned me last Sunday night and informed me she had had a colonoscopy and they had found a small mass (oxymoron ?) that showed benign on the biopsy but has to be removed.  She is going in for surgery Mon. Dec. 29th to have it removed.  We immediately booked air tickets and flew home 2 days ago.  We will be with all the family for Christmas and also here for Sue and will stay a few weeks while she recovers.

All in all this is why I haven't been blogging.  I have been working on my hexies and have about 30 done. Working on them has kept me sane. When I return to Florida I will take pics and post them for you to see.

Merry Christmas to all my dear cyber friends wherever you are and hope you are able to enjoy your families and good friends at this time of year.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Here are three more of the hexies that I have finished.  I have 11 finished with the black border but have not done the feather stitching around them.  I am not sure if I want them all one colour or various colours.

10 pieced and embellished waiting for the black backing and 33 pieced waiting to be worked on.  Also 6 half ones for the filling in of the sides.  Depending on how large it will be I will not know until I get to Florida.  We are leaving around the end of the month.  I have 10 more pieces of muslin with the pattern drawn on them and will piece them if needed.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Here are 2 more of the hexies.  I have roughly 12 made and completed with the black backing.  I have made another 30 or so that need to be embellished and finished.  I am working on trying to get all of them pieced before I leave for Florida so I do not have to take all the fabric with me.  Just the thin batting and black fabric.  The problem is I do not know how many I will need for a wallhanging until I get to Florida and see where it will hang.  I also have not done the featherstitching around them.  That will be great for sitting and stitching in florida in the sunroom.  Great light.

I am wandering my kitchen trying to shut doors that do not exist. I told Harv we are like trained monkeys used to things one way only.  I am doing a great clean out which has been long needed.  I wish I had taken some before pics so I could show you the after.  Will show you that anyway.

I have not pressed the edges after sewing down.  I am not sure if I should or if that would make it harder to fit into each other.  I laid out what I had made so far and they fit nicely.  So far so good.

I believe in my first post I said the hexies were like little works of art.  I did not mean that as such.  I meant that each one is like a little story in itself.  Just wanted to clear that up . Now to the sewing room to piece more.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Not much new except I lost a crown and the tooth had to be pulled.  No problem except that tooth has to be added to an existing bridge.  Always something.

  1. Here are 2 more hexies that I have finished.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

kitchen re-do

We are working on updating our kitchen and had the painters in yesterday.  Same color as now but nice and fresh.  I found a company that refinishes existing cabinets if they are good wood.  Ours were solid oak and weigh a ton.  There are 36 cabinet doors and 24 drawers. They took one door and did a sample and I was amazed at what a beautiful job they did.  They even filled in the holes from the old knobs so that you can place new ones anywhere you want.  I have picked a colour called Whiskey Maple.  It is a little darker then the existing oak but also has the glaze over it.  They come into the home and refinish all the existing wood that is exposed.

They tell me they will have it all done by the time we leave for Florida which will be in a month or so. I also have to go out and buy new handles or knobs. We will talk about the counter tops in the Spring. I will get a new sink and faucet then.  My counter tops look like new and are a plain almond colour but the kids say they have to be marble or stylestone, etc. to stay with the times.

Well back to sewing.  I have been working hard piecing the hexies.  I want them to be all pieced before I leave for Florida so I don't have to take all the fabric with me.  Bad enough taking all I do take and even then what you want is never where you are.  Joys of being a snowbird.

Here are 2 hexies I have finished.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the CQI annual retreat in Kansas City, MO.  It was held at the Heartland Center just a few miles from the airport.

I had a great time and would encourage any of you who would be able to attend a retreat to do so.  The rooms were comfortable and the 3 meals a day were very good.  After 55 years of cooking for my man it is really nice when I get a chance to have my meals cooked for me.  I will never complain about the cooking.

It started on Wed. and ran thru Sun.  I flew out of Chicago and the flight was only 1 hour 20 mins. long.  It was so good to see some familiar faces and even more so get to put a face to a name I have been seeing on CQ Embellishers and CQI.  I know a lot of the gals from when the retreats were in Omaha.  Carol from Claremont is a good friend and I get to see her in Florida in the winter.  We room together if we are ever at the same retreat.

It is very informal dress wise.  You just bring stitching to work on if you want and informal classes are taught by the gals who can.  Lisa Boni taught 2 very good classes on intermediate embroidery and beading on seams.  Both classes had a large turnout and were thoroughly enjoyed.  Lisa had handouts for all.

Barb Warner was to teach a class on buttons but unfortunately did not come as she ended up in the hospital with blood clots in both lungs.  Poor Barb.  She is home now and recovering nicely with the help of her hubby and daughter who is an RN.  Her class was picked up by Tahlia from Washington State who filled in admirably.

There are a few highlights every year at the retreat but the one enjoyed by all is the gift swap.  The gifts quite often are handmade CQ items but can be anything sewing related.  Gift boxes filled with fabrics, trims, etc. are coveted.  It is a Chinese auction ? where you pick a number and all the boxes, etc. are piled on the tale and #1 gets to pick first.  Now #2 can either take a new item or can steal away the first item.  After being stolen twice it is retired.  One of the most saught after is Laurie B's wonderful black velvet bears embellished to the hilt.  This never lasts with the 1st or second person.

I actually stole my gift after it had been stolen once and therefore got to keep it.  It was a box put together by Connie Kalina.  The interesting thing about this was the colour.  A beautiful soft pink in various shades.  Connie died the fabrics, laces, ribbons, etc. with AVACADO skins and the inside pit.
You would think green but out came this beautiful pink shade.

I am attaching a few picks so you can see the items. She also made the 2 beautiful buttons herself.  What a gal.

Now you can see why I stole this.  I will have to make something special and use it all together.  Maybe a wonderful journal.  Stay tuned for the future.

Starting with the hexagons I had intended to post more often but was hit with a virus in August that went on for about 3 weeks and included a terrible headache that went up and down and awful muscle aches.  At one point I did not think I would make the retreat but cleared up the weekend before.  thank goodness.

I have more hexagons made plus about 30 pieced ready to take to Florida.  They are a lot of fun.  Little works of art in each one.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Here is a few pics showing how I do the hexagons.  The first pic shows the muslin backing that I have drawn the hex outline on it.  Next I draw the piecing lines with very light pencil so they will not show threw in case a fabric colour is light. Next I turn it over and redraw the outline only on the back of the muslin.  This line is for sewing down when all the block is pieced.

Right side of muslin

Wrong side of muslin.

Next I piece the block with my fabrics.  After this I pin the fabrics then turn it to the wrong side and stitch all around the line I have drawn.  Then I stitch again about 3/8" inside that line and you will end up with the back looking like this.

Please hit the read more as this is continued on another page for some reason.

When all the sewing is finished you will have a hex all ready for stitching and embellishing.  You will note that I leave a very small margin of muslin but that is because I never cq in a hoop so extra fabric is not necessary.  If you use a hoop you will have to leave additional for this.

When embellishing is all finished cut away the muslin and extra fabric as close to the outer black stitching line as possible.  It will now be ready to add the batting and backing fabric of your choice.  I am using black cotton sateen even though very little will show.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sorry about that.

This is one of the flowers I made in a class with Christen Brown.  I have a bag full of various ones that I will use on this project.


I have been gone for so long that some of you will not remember me.  I really did not have too much of interest to show you but now I am cqing again.

I have been watching Viv from Australia and her hexagons she has been sharing on CQI..  She is doing a fantastic job and she did post a tutorial on how she does hers.  I also saw the book Foolproof Crazy Quilting by Jennifer Clouston which is all about the hexagon quilt she made.  This is one of the best books on CQ based on the fact that she supplies plenty of patterns and also cq instructions for  25 hexagons.  This would be such a help for a beginner and is certainly a help to us oldies when we run out of ideas.

I decided to make mine out of jewel and very bright fabrics and it gives me a chance to use  some of my considerable stash of fabric, threads, beads, etc.  I will outline all mine in black which will make the colors stand out.

Here is the first one I have finished.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


June was an incredibly busy month for me.  We had a huge family and friends party to celebrate Kyle's graduation from Fremd High School.  He will be attending the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. I never counted but guess something like 50 people coming and going. Lots of good food and seeing old friends of my daughters and their families.  Wonderful memories.

Here is part of our usual gaggle of boys and Grandpa Erickson.

Here is my daughter Sue and DIL Jeana lighting the birthday cake.

The birthday boys.  Sean turning 16 and Grandpa Phil we will not tell.

My DIL Kim and my son david came in from Minneapolis for the occasion.

This is me in the middle and a very dear friend of mine and her daughter.  We met 46 years ago when the girls were just 2.  They became good friends and went off to kindergarden hand in hand.  We moved when sue was 10 but haveremained friends all these years.

Birthday boys blowing out their candles.

The party was on the Sunday and on the Monday they had to be on the road by 5 am to get Kyle down to IL by 8.30.  Sue is standing in front of her old dorm she was in when she attended.  This is the same school Sue, my son David, her husband Jon and his grandfather attended over the years.  Jon;s father Phil broke the 
tradition  and went to an engineering school in Colorado.

Here is our graduate Kyle.  He worked very hard to get into U of I.  and we are very proud of him.  Great things ahead.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bridal Bag

Hi My Friends.  I have been gone for over a month and feel bad.  Unfortunately life gets in my way and computer problems do not help.  We left Florida mid May and returned to our Chicago home. T here is so much to do here when we return in the spring because this is where my garden is.  In Florida it is hanging baskets and indoor orchids and plants in the sunroom so is easy in comparison.  Ourdeck was in terrible shape and needed both cleaning and staining.  Our deck is very large and covers the complete back of the house with 3 step down levels.  I could not find anyone interested in cleaning.  The kids were all still in school or not home yet and our gardeners were so far behind with the bad spring they are still trying to catch up.  I hauled the power washer out of the shed and did it myself until it stopped working.  We need a new part that is not in stock.  My  daughter said I will bring you ours and she did and proceeded to wash the last section of deck.  Then it had to dry and I stained it in sections.  It looks really good.  I had to do this before I could all the planters out and plant them so I am really still behind.

This weekend my son and DIL are coming in from Minnesota for our daughter's oldest boys graduation from High School.  He heads off to the University of Illinois in Aug.  His Mother, Father, Uncle (from MN) and his great Grandpa Erickson all went to U of I. It is getting so hard to get into some of these schools but he really tried hard and had excellent grades so he made it.  We are proud of you Kyle.

We will be celebrating his graduation, Fathers Day, her middle boys birthday and her FILs birthday.  One big party plus  family friends.  It will be a big bash.

I wanted to show you the bridal bag I made along with Karen Ruane last Fall.   Karen's daughter was getting married in October and Karen made one for her and I just followed along.  No future bride yet but with 1 grandaughter and 5 grandsons someone will hopefully wear white and want it.  I had a great time making it.  Hundreds of French Knots, bullions and web stitches.  I have the pic where I had stretched it when the outside was completely finished.  I also made the lining out of silk and decorated all around the outside of it because when gathered that is what shows.  I finished it the day before I left for Florida but did not have time to take pics of the finished bag.  Here it is:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mirror,Mirror on The Wall

There I was meandering around the flea market and then I spied the mirror.  I have always loved these old, etched mirrors.  I stopped, looked and then said NO Freda you don't need this.  On I went home and all the next week I thought about it.  I went back the next sunday and could not find the booth.  I stopped and talked to a vendor I know and he said oh I just saw one being loaded into  van about 2 spaces up.  I thought well you should have bought it when you had the chance.  I wandered up and said to the gal that I had looked at it and she said that could not have been mine because all I had was a dresser with a large mirror.

Around the market I went and there it was.  this time just a little bartering and it was mine.  A neighbor and her hubby helped me hang it in my bathroom.  That large wall needs something large.  I am very pleased every time I go in there and see it.  Now if I could only figure out how to photograph it without all the other stuff showing up in there including me.

Sunday, April 20, 2014



My little bunny above with the large egg is saying Happy Easter to you.  The egg has 4 sides to view.

I watched the tv show that featured Allie Aller and her sidekick and co-author Valerie Bothell of their new book out very soon. I believe you can pre-order it on Amazon.  What I have seen on the cover is wonderful and knowing them it will be just as good for the rest of the book.

 Valerie happened to be showing this egg she had made and I just had to make one.  I made up my own pattern and with a few starts and stops I ended up with my version.  t is roughly the same size as Valeries I think.  It was fun to do.

 I need a few more additions to it that I did not have in Florida and could not find around here.  I am so happy that we have a Hobby Lobby right near us now and no longer have to drive farther to a JoAnnes just for a spool of thread or other small things.

I have one of Gerry's beautiful painted rabbit buttons at home and will bring that back next Fall and attach.

This was a fun project and Valerie does sell her pattern on her web site.

Harv and I are having a quiet Easter.  No company.  I have a small turkey breast thawed and ready to cook.  I am going to make a egg custard pie for dessert.  Haven't made one of these in years.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


A few weeks ago I mentioned that and my new neighbour went out for a day of shopping.  Well this wedding gown was another item that came home with me.

It is a very pale off white and the material in the skirt is one of the nicest satins I have ever seen.  It might be silk  peau de soie.  I remember it was used extensively in wedding dresses going back probably in my time.  I found on Google they describe it as a very soft silk satin.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Paper Journal

This is the front of a journal that I made.  It is about 7 x 8" and is a tri-fold.

This is the middle and the back.

This is it open with the 3 panels showing and there is a space for a pen or pencil.

This is the inside front page.

This is the middle section.

This is the right section.  Maybe too much black here?

 This is the first paper section.  Inside is a book of paper. It goes over the front and will be sewn down thru the middle of it on the left side.

This is the back of it which will maybe give you a better idea of where it fits.

This is the paper section for the right hand side.  It can be plain writing paper or water colour paper.

This was a double.  Should have been the back of it but I think you get the picture.

I took a class from Nellie Wortman on making a journal to keep paper and a pen in it.  At the same time Suzy Q had a blog about making this kind of journal. Between the two this is what I came up with.  It is picture heavy.

Thank you both Nellie and Suzy for your inspiration.