Archive for the ‘LetterPlay’ Category

Alphabet Roundup

My children are still young, but are now beyond the age of reading Alphabet books.  I was thinking last night about all of the alphabet books we read while they were little.  There were a lot of them!



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D is for

I haven’t done one of these in awhile — I meant to do it weekly, but I think I missed last week.  Or not.  I’m having trouble remembering.  I could probably go find out easily enough, but it would require moving my hands from the keyboard over to the mouse, and I’m not sure I have that much energy right at the moment.


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C is also for…

My sister left me a comment on my original post about things that start with the letter C.  I think I’m in big trouble.  Aunt Suzy forgot the most important one of all!

My darling nephew Colin!


Sorry, Colin, don’t know how I could possibly have forgotten about you!

(Our family gave him this ISU jersey for Christmas.  Isn’t he a cutie??)

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C is for…..

You may have noticed a slight obsession with the alphabet here on my blog.  It’s a little bit like I’m back in kindergarten learning my ABCs.  My decision to try to use the alphabet to guide what I’m blogging about and working on was born out of my need to find something to help me focus.    I love words and have found that I enjoy trying to use lettering in my quilts and in the other stuff I’m playing with.  There’s lots of possibilities in the alphabet, and I think it can lead me in a bunch of interesting directions.

It’s the theme for my 12x12x12 projects (12×12 is the size, the third 12 means I’m doing it monthly…).  It’s the theme for a lot of my posts, and it’s even the theme or starting point for the daily business cards I’m decorating (I had fun with today’s — you can click on the album "365Art" over in the column on the right.  I didn’t even realize when I was working on it that the medium I chose was a "d" word — digital!)

This will be my third post in which I list words that all start with a certain letter (I’m up to "C" this time).  I originally saw this idea on Red Shoe Ramblings earlier in the year.  I think she got it from somewhere else, but I can’t remember where now.

I hope you enjoy reading these and learning a little about me.  I’m trying to limit the number of words I actually use.  I could go on and on and….well, you get the idea….


Chocolate —  Do I need to say more?  Well, I will — just to say that I’m not really that crazy about really expensive chocolate — Hershey Kisses and M&Ms do just fine for me.

Cookies — Peanut Butter Blossoms are my favorite.  I got a mix at Sam’s Club this year, and while they are OK, I do have to admit that they really aren’t as good as scratch cookies.  In general, I prefer my cookies to be crunchy, not soft, I do not like raisins in my cookies, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chips cookies are my second favorite.

College — Iowa State University — where I met my husband!  I have a degree in Computer Science, and even though the  positions I held before staying home where in the computer field, I never really used my actual degree (which was more programming, my career experience was in networking and desktop support).

Comic strips — I don’t get a newspaper, but each day I enjoy reading Dilbert and Unshelved.

Cross-stitch — what I used to do before I started quilting.  As with quilts, I seemed to be attracted to the large, complicated projects, of which I have many unfinished.  I also have a lot of finished projects, too.

Cocker Spaniel — Katie, my darling puppy,

is a Cocker.  During her most recent haircut (on Christmas Eve, no less…) my poor, suffering DH commented that he thought we had decided that after our first cocker, we would never get another one that grew so much hair.  It’s not my fault I fell in love with her picture on the Internet, is it?

Cousins — I have 2 Iowa cousins, and 3 New Jersey cousins.  The 2 Iowa cousins are both expecting their first babies– to be born within about a month of each other.  I have kind of lost touch with my New Jersey cousins.  I’ll have to try to remedy that.  My boys also have 5 cousins, but that number will probably grow in the future.  They are very lucky to live less than a block away from 2 of those cousins.

Connecticut — I was born in Iowa, but consider Connecticut my "home state."  I went to school from 3rd grade through high school in Ledyard, CT.  I love Iowa, but I do miss New England.  I’m sure it has changed a lot from what I remember.  One of the things I miss is the architecture.  Another is being close to water.  We are little land-locked here…

Character — My favorite Disney character right now is Tinkerbell.  I like her attitude.

Computer — I sure spend a lot of time on mine.  It runs my business, it helps with my quilting and artwork, and it keeps me connected with the world.  The people I consider my closest friends were met online, and we keep in touch via the computer.  It’s the best way for me to keep in touch with my family, and it provides me with lots of information and entertainment.  The boys know that if they ask a question I can’t answer — I’ll go find the answer on the computer.  It is a frustrating tool at times, and right now I’m having some trouble with my laptop.  Over the last week or 2 it has powered itself off for no apparent reason multiple times.  One day last week, I think it powered off half a dozen times.  And now today, it’s been running all day (and I’ve been using it all day) with absolutely no problems.

Color — Red is my favorite.  Followed by blue.  And green.  I used to say my favorite was purple, but recently came to the conclusion that while I still like it, red really wins.  I like my colors clear, not muddy.  I look best wearing bright colors.  I’m pretty pale, so pastels wash me out, something I didn’t realize for a long time.

Cones — of thread!  I have a lot, but I’m pretty sure my collection is a pittance compared to some others.  I’m soon to be the proud owner of the entire 288 colors of the Arc poly thread line (1000M, and I guess those are technically spools, not cones…).  I don’t even want to think about how many cones I’ve used up in 5 years of longarm quilting.  A lot. 

Cones — of ice cream!  I prefer cake cones.  Never have liked sugar cones.  Not sure why.

I think that’s probably enough for tonight.  Did you notice my little photo collage up there?  Me and Adobe Photoshop Elements are trying to make friends.  I have a lot to learn yet, but I’m having fun!

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An Open Letter to my Stuff

Dear Stuff:

All right everybody.  Listen up.  I’m talking to all of you — fabric, thread, buttons, beads, paints, inks, colored pencils, stickers, paper, ephemera, scraps, trims — this is your only warning.  This is your year.  All of you — I’m not kidding.  It’s time you were used and used well, so get ready.

No more hiding in my drawers and on shelves and in plastic bins.  I’m not saving any of you for "good" anymore, OK?  I’m not afraid to use you, just because I might not be able to get more.  that’s just silly-talking, and I’m over it now.

Consider the colored pencils:

They thought they were pretty safe, but look at how much shorter some of them are than their neighbors.

Yes, buttons, it was hard to use 200+ red buttons on one project, but you know what?  I can get more!  I could probably get 1000s of red buttons without even breaking a sweat if I wanted to.  It didn’t take much effort to order 6 pounds of various colors yesterday, and they really didn’t cost that much.  So quit thinking you are sacred and safe and prepare to be USED!

I’m probably going to find other things to use and use up, too.    There’s a whole world of STUFF out there that I want to try.

I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes, and create some things that don’t need to see the light of day, but that’s OK.  Some of the things I do create with you WILL be good.  And don’t you think it will be more fun to part of something exciting, rather than just sitting in dark drawers not being used?  Isn’t that what you were made for???

Watch out world, here comes Suzanne and her STUFF!

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My sister turned 30 a week before Christmas.  I mentioned it at the time.  I’m finally now able to post about her gift from my MOm and I, as it finally got opened.  I sent the box Priority, but it didn’t arrive until the day after she and her family left for their Christmas vacation.  Luckily, they had a neighbor looking for it, so it was kept safe until her return.

On her birthday, my Mom sent her flowers at work — the card said "Gift 1 of 30."

Yup.  We sent her 30 presents.

Here’s a picture of the 29 presents we wrapped and mailed to her in all of their wrapped glory:


Some were silly (a bustier purse), some were scrounged from around our houses (a tin for candy), some were really nice (a framed picture of her son), some were antique (well, old anyway — my Mom sent her the really old Cooky Book that she used to use when we were kids).  Some were practical (tissues, lotion, batteries, etc…), some were just for fun (crayons and a pad of paper, a book about Marshmallow Peeps). 

Some were handmade — an embroidered dishtowel that my mom had made, and a postcard that I made for her. 


She loves sunflowers, so I made one with 30 sunflower petals and her initial.  I wish I had stitched around the edge of the letter to make it stand out better — live and learn, I guess.  She got a little sack with 30 pennies in it, and several things had 30 pieces of candy in them.  We had fun putting it together for her, and I think she had fun opening it and contemplating all of her goodies.


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ABCs of Quilting

Oh boy!  An alphabet meme!  The entire Quilt Studio webring was tagged by Debra, so here’s mine.  Couldn’t resist this one.  Plus, I saw another alphabet meme on somebody else’s blog earlier, so I’ve got that one to do some day soon, too!

A- Artist? Is this supposed to be artist I most admire?  Most emulate?  Wish I could be?  I’ll go with admire:  Jane Sassaman.  I love her work.

B- Best Blogging Buddies? I’m so new at this — I’m not sure I can answer this one (yet)!

C- Crazy or Sane Quilting? Well, my husband would say that all quilting is crazy, but I would have to answer this one "sane".   I admire crazy quilting, but it’s not something that I have a desire to do.

D- Dyeing or Stamping? Neither — I’ve wanted to do some dyeing, but am leery of what is required to really do it and be successful.

E- Essential Item? Only one?  Computer…….

F- Favorite Fabrics? All of it?  It would be easier to say what I don’t like — muddied tones, not crazy about 30s, and orientals don’t do much for me.

G- Great Quilt Design? My favorite block is Churn Dash.  I love wholecloths and I would dearly love to do some more appliqué work.

H- Hand or Machine Quilt? Machine quilting, definitely.  Though I admire hand quilting, and wish I could do it well and without hand pain.

I- Indispensable Notion? Seam ripper.

J- Janome or Bernina?

K- Kits or Original Designs? Both.  Original is best, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the occasional kit.

L- Life in the Studio is? Sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating.

M- Most Projects Made in One Year? No idea.  A lot.

N- Number of Gadgets? I’m supposed to count these things?  You are kidding, right?

O- OH, I wish I hadn’t. . . . .?
Cut my finger with my rotary cutter.  I think it’s been 3 years?  I’ll have the scar (and the memory…) forever, I’m afraid.

P- Pet Peeves about Quilting? Can’t really think of any.  Quilting is my passion, and I enjoy the process as much as I enjoy the finished product.  I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll think of something that frustrates me, but nothing is coming at the moment!

Q- Quilt Show? Haven’t been to Houston — yet….so for now, it’s a tie between Machine Quilter’s Showcase and Machine Quilter’s Exposition.

R- Reason to Rip Out? Yes, I’m crazy.  Yes, I rip out quilting, a lot.  I don’t think I’ve ever ripped out an entire quilt, but I’ve removed lots of quilting in the past 5 years.  Mostly it’s tension problems, but it’s also often design problems.

S- Sewing or Knitting? Sewing.  Although, knitting is kind of fun, too.

T- Tag, You’re It!
I don’t think I know anybody else to tag!  If you are reading and haven’t done it, please consider yourself tagged!  Oh hey — CarlaB — you’re it!

U- FOs?  Too numerous too count.

V- Vexing Quilt Pattern? Y seams.

W- Wishlist Item? More hours in the day.

X- Xtra Fabric you will never use? None of it is extra — it’s all part of my palette.  That’s my story, anyway.

Y- Your Biggest Goof?
Again — only one?  I try to look at goofs as opportunities.  I think my most recent goof, though, was rolling up a pair of scissors in a customer quilt.  Thankfully the hole only went through the top layer and was relatively easy to repair.

Z- Zip! And it’s finished?
For some reason this one has me stumped.  One of the fastest things I make is a layer of minkee, a layer of batting, a layer of colorful print — quilt it with a fast allover, and you’ve got a really cozy kid snuggler.

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