Bee's Hive

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here's how it works. I am one of the three people who committed to 'Pay it Forward" on everythingquilts blog, which means everythingquilts will send me a hand made gift sometime in the next 6-12 months (or sooner if she can). In turn I promise to send a hand made gift sometime in the next 6-12 months to the first three people who comment and commit on my blog to playing.

In order to play you must post it to your own blog, and promise to send handmade gifts to the first three people who leave you a comment committing themselves to playing along. (I sure hope that makes sense - if it doesn't and you're not sure how this works just ask me.)

Who wants to play? Just leave a comment and post this to your blog and you'll get a handmade gift from me sometime in the future! I will send internationally.

The title of this post came from the blog where I commited to do this :

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LED lights & Firemen

From the time my son was about 10 he always loved wires. Getting through his bedroom without getting tangled in them was always a problem and I never knew what new idea I might be pulling apart. By the time he was pre teen he had aquired several hazard lights from a construction company and had wired them to his stereo so the lights danced to the music.

In the Navy he worked on helicopter wires and now works on the harnesses for the tow missile, tanks & torpedo's. He also developed an LED headlight for the Lancaster, Pa. Amish community buggies.

This son holds a patent on an LED light. It took lots of money and many hours, in fact years,but he finally did get the patent. Now he is taking it one step beyond just a light. A local Fireman has been testing his "pimped up mag light" in the dark & smoke. They came up with a way to mount it that it is free from the visor. This is always exciting to see something new being developed. I'm waiting for him to develope a light for my sewing machine, soon maybe.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kevin's Quilts: Delivery

I know I told everyone that Leslie's friend would take the quilts to Florida last week and I'm sure you are wondering if she got them.

It would have cost a lot of money to board the plane with an extra suitcase and I'm not even sure if we could have gotten the Quilts into one suitcase. Kevin's Quilt alone is very big.

I just spoke to Leslie on the phone. She has seen the photo's of the quilts and said they are beautiful. After talking to her it was decided that the Quilts would be safer back here in Pa. and sent to storage with her apartment things on Nov. 1st.

She is living in one small room in a community house, much like the Ronald McDonald house. Space is an issue. Also, they will be leaving Florida for another hospital for more surgeries in the future. The less she has to move the better off she'll be. She does have the small lap quilt which she said Kevin has been using.

Although she won't get to see the quilts now, she is looking forward to coming home and these quilts will be a welcome home gift for all of them in their new home.

Again, I can't Thank you all enough for helping make these wonderful quilts!

New Swap

I'm trying to get together items for the new swap I signed up for: Challenge in a Bag Mini Quilt swap at :

I started with fall colors because that's my frame of mind right now. After thinking it over I decided the swap is due the end of January. After the month of January in North Western Pa., I will be happy to look for spring.

Here is what I am starting with. I still need to add floss and other things to the extra's bag. I was going to do shabby, pale green, pinks & white but I'm getting a little tired of that look. Maybe it's time for happy colors. Red is my favorite color but after just getting past Christmas I think I'll leave red behind too! (the little blue bird is my favorite bead)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Better then a roller coaster

I was never brave when it came to amusement parks. The day they installed my first stair lift, I saw amusement park written all over it. Time goes by and you forget it is just a machine and could break at any time. I have been caught halfway down the stairs when a storm knocks out the power, but never considered other things that could happen. I do know now why the chair has a seat belt!

There is nothing like a quick stair descend to knock out all your depression! I don't know what I was thinking about when I slid onto the chair and clicked the button, but within seconds I was thinking I might not stop at the bottom and might end up flying through the bath and into the kitchen!

Those 2 little steal cables are suppose to be taught. They are what pulls you up the stairs and keeps you from sliding down. As the cables pull you up the stairs, they disappear into a steal box. At the third upper step the cables broke, sending me and the chair on a free slide. I hit the motor case at the bottom, bending it and throwing myself into the dinining room.

I figured I was safer back in the sewing room after my trip down the stairs so I managed to sew all but 8 of the needles cases together. Stuffed some pin cushions and laid a few out and tried out some embellishments.

I did manage to take a photo of the hill behind the house.

5 weeks ago and Today

Middle of the night melt down

It was one of those nights. It started with an email from a friend I haven't heard from in 10 years. She started with: "I know it's been a long time, but I need a traveling partner and I thought of you".
She went on to say she was booking a bus trip "and" I'm hoping you finally got yourself over Mark.

I didn't need to read another word, just hit delete I told myself. This was one of my life long friends who never really was. This email brought back every day I spent alone after the death of my son. Those who "couldn't handle" my grief or those who "didn't know what to say". They all slowly stepped back and away. I just wasn't any fun anymore.

These "friends" led me to write this poem one night. It isn't much of a poem, but it says what it had to say then and still speaks for how I feel now. "Get over" is not something that will ever happen. Goodbye old friend, you will never understand.
To read this poem, you will have to click on it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't look in the box marked Christmas....

or you might discover you're WAY behind! Like these 2 quilt tops from a 2004 swap. I know I tell myself each year to quilt them...then they end up back in the Christmas box. They do have the backings folded up with each one so I have to ask myself why I haven't finished them.

The Let it Snowman quilt from 2005 with all my own designs also with the backing I ask myself again, why?

And then there's this row quilt I made this year. I hope this doesn't end up stored for 4 years too! I really can answer the question.
I'm finishing up swaps, have a charity thing I'm collecting for, have 10 CQ jewelry boxes to finish for granddaughters, have an order for 30 kids wheelchair T shirt bags which I'm gifting to them. Half of this with a November 20th dead line and half in the mail before December 10th.
Once again the quilt tops will wait but I'm doing the next best thing...not putting them back in the Christmas maybe........

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Needle Case progress & a gift

When you're locked away in your sewing room for enough days, you can make progress. I think the fun is picking out the buttons and deciding on how to embellish the front. I'm not to that stage yet, but I have some ideas. (we won't talk about the progress in the basement!)

My son just arrived home with a purchase from work. A single Mom is trying to pay ahead on her heating bill so she made up some really nice smelling soaps to sell. I think they are wonderful so I'm sending him back tomorrow to buy more for the daughter in laws stocking gifts.

The Cost of Making a Quilt

Another blogger asked what items should be priced at for a craft fair. It got me thinking about the cost of making a quilt. Just food for thought.

Quilt top: 5 to 6 yards at $8 to $12 dollars a yard
Sashing: 2 yards, same $8 to $12 dollars a yard
Border: 2 yards, same $8 to $12 dollars a yard
Batting: approx. 2 1/2 to 3 yards $11 dollars a yard
Backing: all depends on if you use wide backing or yardage, approx: $40.
Binding: 1 yard $8 to $12 dollars a yard
Thread: 5 or more spools at $3 to $5 a spool

Average cost: $175.

Makes you wonder when they auction one off and it only brings $50. Or when you gift a Quilt and it's not appreciated. Of course, this only reflects the money, I haven't mentioned the time put into making a quilt .. and that is most disappointing, people who do not Quilt, never think of the time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some days are just wonderful!

I decided I couldn't stand the stink of our sewer problem so I shut myself up, upstairs in my sewing room and worked on the needle cases. I'm pretty happy with the end result with only one change to make. I need to put the decorater stitch around the edge of the first needle sheet.

I used elastic cord to close it and a button. This gives 2 pages for needles and a spot for a ripper, marker and success strips, or even a Hershey bar!

The day was looking like a good one. Then the mailman came. He wasn't too happy with me having to tote 3 large boxes around, but he made my day!

The first box I opened was from my grands in Idaho. Other then hugging your grands who live so far away, getting a box with some photo's of some of your grands is the next best thing! I can't believe so many of my babies are now pre teen or teen. The photo on the left is the baby of them all, already age 6. He tells me he doesn't want to be called Scottie anymore, just Scott.

My friend Kathy from the HGTV group sent me a huge box of strings, lots of red fabric (my favorite color) and some fancy beads. Sweet roses and butterfly's, hearts and shiny silver circles. You know I'm going to jump into the box of new love!

My friend Norma from California sent me two wonderful books on crazy quilting, some beautiful fabric's and fancy threads.

This is another item Norma sent to me for Crazy Quilting. It's on elastic, like a garter. All I could think of when I saw it was with the right high heels and sleezy dress, I could be a dancer for Halloween! All in all, today was very good!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If it can get worse, it will

After blowing insulation into the attic, we spent the rest of the morning putting up R8 outside insulation on the laundry area to prepare for siding.

Fresh snappy air does one good, but when we entered the house for lunch, we both stopped dead at the kitchen door and just looked at each other with our noses wrinkled up. There was no mistaking the smell...sewage. Of course the sewage pipe is not in the basement, it's in the part of the house with only a crawl space. Son just loved his trip under the house. He did find the problem. A cracked old cast iron sewer pipe. Looks like tomorrow will be another fun day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Winter, a lot of work

I'm tired, exhausted in fact. I really need to whine tonight so since this is my blog, that's just what I'm going to do! Since we moved to western Pa. 4 years ago, it's been nothing but a night mare when winter shows any sign of being just around the corner.

Western Pa. seems to have been cut off from the world. The average home is 100 years old. There is almost no new anything here. The people have missed the reason for the engery crisis and have no idea they are suppose to be conserving it and have no idea that they shouldn't be polluting the water ways. Car batteries along with old tubs, tires and toilets end up over the bank & in the creeks. They drive huge gas hog cars/trucks and most homes have no storm windows, insulation or even studded walls to blow insulation into.

We spent 3 years rebuilding the house we bought and have just moved a county away into a rental. I can tell you I've seen more studs and insulation, copper pipe, heating tape & foundation mortar then anyone should see in a life time.

The present house has no studs so once again, because we live here and pay for the heat and know it's the responsibility of each person to save on energy, we started building a house inside a house today. With temperatures promising to be in the 20's from here on in, today we ran for studs, insulation, a blower rental to blow insulation into the attic, heating tape and dry wall. Today I was in charge of cutting insulation while my son put up studs. Once again I'm looking at walls that say R13. Tomorrow we'll do the attic. We had to put heating tape on the pipes to the laundry because it will need a lot more work then we can do in one weekend to keep the pipes from freezing.

Now I guess you are wondering how the last people lived in this house and heated it. I'm wondering the same thing! The laundry room is a back porch walled in with pine boards on the outside and plaster board on the inside..yep, plaster board from the 30's, nailed right onto the pine boards. The walls are about 1 1/2 inches thick. There is an antique gas heater hanging on the wall. The electric bulb hangs from the ceiling on a cotton covered electric wire...surely this is not up to code! The walls were a dirty slime green until we painted them white, also a color from the 30's. The back door is just wood and locks with a skeleton key!

I miss Lancaster, Pa. I want to go home! This has been nothing but hard work. I miss modern life. I use to love antiques but living here has me longing for a brick house with central heat and running water in the up stairs, Oh, did I forget to mention, we have no bath up stairs..none.

Now that I got that out of my system maybe I can fall asleep and start in tomorrow again.

I've been taking a photo of the same spot out my back door for 4 weeks. Not much of a change this week, a few more bare trees and the white winter sky. Tonight we are going into the 20's so I think next weeks photo will surely look like winter, full blown.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Needle case progress

Here they are, 30 needle case fronts! They go from dark to light and will have matching pin cushions.

I have always avoided any messages on strings. I knew if I tried them they would soon cover my sewing room just because they seemed so simple and eye catching. A friend sent me a package a few weeks ago and used strings for packing. When I opened the box I knew I was in trouble!

I packed them in their own container and slid them under the day bed in the sewing room. When I was going through my stash looking for fabric's for the needle cases, my eyes drifted to the container. Twenty minutes later I had whipped up an 10 x 8 needle case know it, I was hooked! Thirty cases later the over stuffed container is down to one very small roll of strips, how sad!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting together swap items

While I was watching Project Runway I put together a sample needle case. Of course it's not sewn together yet but I think it will be fine with a little embellishment. These string blocks go together so fast!

Getting back to my swap items today. The Bebe Birds are coming along. The beading is taking a lot longer then I planned, but then, I'm the one who keeps adding beads!

I also decided to do needle cases for a swap and hostess gifts. When I embroider or bead I am always looking for my scissors so I decided to add a spot for that. My new found love and that of many other's doing embroidery or CQ'ing is the Success Strips: I decided to leave an opening behind the felt needle keeper for them and I am also adding a small pin cushion attached with a ribbon.

After deciding my design, I also decided to do them in strings. If this goes fast, and I think it should, I'll be making 24, a few extra as hostess gifts, one for a friend and one for myself. With that said, if I'm going to make 28, I might as well round that out to 30 because there is always someone you forgot. I'll up date this later as I make progress.

On set of Winter

For the past 3 weeks I've been watching the sky and tree's change slowly leaning towards winter here in North Western Pennsylvania.

Last week the sky was a beautiful blue and the tree's had just started getting color.

Today the color behind my house is dotted with bare trees already and a mean looking white fall sky. I can't say I'm looking forward for the lake effect snows to start which are just around the cornor.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Need help for Kevin

I was just asked to post this to benefit Kevin. A Recipe book is being made to be sold. All money will go to Kevin and his family.
They are looking for RECIPES from all over the USA and from all of you who live in other Countries.

Full directions can be seen at:

Please email all your favorite recipies to: by October 28th. Thanks

The finished Quilts for Kevin & Family

Getting these photo's was not easy! We were fighting the wind today and just the weight of 3 quilts pulled the line down! But here they are (with my son hidden behind them holding the line up with a 2x4).

Quilts are usually from a pattern, planned block by block. These blocks came from the hearts of woman all over the USA, none seeing the other's block. It always amazes me how these blocks, all together, play off each other and make a wonderful display of magic.

Thanks to all the ladies, the longarm quilters, quilters and those who sent money to help with the cost of the quilts and mailings. You all did a splendid job!

Quilt Labels

Kevin's quilt

Leslie's (Mom's) Quilt

Sister Breezy's Quilt

Quilt backs

This lap quilt has already been posted but was part of the quilt project so I wanted to add it here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple fest CAR SHOW

It was hard to get any photo's of the cars because of the crowds of people, but we did manage to get a few!

This is the tail end of the Corvette Parade of about 70 beauties.

The Taylor Tot stroller on the top of the station wagon is just like my son's first Hot Rod!

These 2 Beauties were parked in my yard.