Category Archives: family


My kiddos are graduated.

My son finished High School and will be moving on to college. My daughter finished college and is navigating her next steps.

Both will live at home and I’m learning how to live with two adult children.

wish me luck,


Happy Thanksgiving!


This year we are keeping it easy. I worked the first part of the week and we ordered our Thanksgiving meal from our favorite place to order it from. My daughter is bringing over a couple of friends who isn’t able to go home for the holiday.

Tomorrow is the start of Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt along and I will not be participating. I will collect the clues for a future make. My friends picked up the paint chips for me. They are so sweet and I’m thankful for them this year.

~Happy quilting!


Happy Thanksgiving!


We are still on our PNW college tour. I haven’t posted much about it but I’ve prepped them just so I would remember what happened and they’ll get published eventually.

While we’ve had memorable experiences and I’m grateful for a lot. -a whole lot… I really miss quilting. The past few years we’ve been holed up – and not just due to Covid. I have spent Thanksgiving week quilting and I didn’t bring any with me on this trip- not even any hand work! I have knitting and cross stitch.

Tomorrow is the start of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt and I will not be participating. I will collect the clues for a future make. My friends picked up the paint chips for me. they are so sweet and I’m thankful for them this year.

~Happy quilting!


Happy Thanksgiving!


This year it’s just me, hubby and the boy.  The girl is with her grandparents in Northern California.  She’ll be flying in on Saturday and will be staying for the rest of the semester until spring semester starts in January (I think).  

We drove back from Northern CA Tuesday and it’s been a nice few days getting some work in, some crafting in, and even a trip to Ikea.  

The trip up north was nice too.  We ended up not doing too much in the garage as it was mostly my sister’s stuff that my mom wanted out.  The remaining items were already things my parents had gone through and decided to keep. So I sat around and knit for the most part.  My mom has been collecting fruit trees for me too.  Now that we have our own place I am being given fruit trees to plant and nurture.  I have a Meyer lemon tree, 3 banana plants – one of which is a java banana (ice cream banana), brazilian guava, mexican mango (2), dragon fruit, sugar apples, and cherimoya.  Hopefully they bear fruit and they are yummy.  I planted the trees in pots for right now until I can figure out where I want them to go.  Since the 2 big trees were trimmed we have a lot more sun now and I have more planting options. 

Here’s what I’ve been doing today while the turkey is in the oven. 

I was practice quilting. I have 1 more orphan block to quilt and then on to the quilt tops I’ve finished this past year!

But first, tomorrow is the start of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt and I can’t wait!!!

~Happy quilting!


Day 46, What I miss most …

#1 – hanging out with friends and our craft days. Generally we have knit nights on Thursday nights. And every few weeks we do a craft Saturday or a craft Friday. We are doing zoom to meet virtually but it is just not the same.

#2 – I miss my retreats. There is something about taking all my quilty stuff and working on just quilts for 3 or 5 days.  I get so much done.

#3 – Popping over to the store – my LQS for some fabric, my LYS for some yarn, and even my LNS to hang out and stitch with my stitchy ladies. And, even Joann’s or CVS or Petco for that one thing that I need.  The hubby is our point person when going out in public and those things I needed before – well, I don’t need them so much anymore.

#4 – Making plans. It’s hard to make plans for the future because we don’t know what it will bring. How life will be and how we will need to adjust when we are allowed to go out again. International travel is definitely not in the books this year but what about domestic? I’m itching to go camping which we haven’t done in YEARS but for some reason I am feeling the call to do.  Anyone else?

#5 – Food, eating out, going out to eat with friends and chatting about our lives

and I’m sure there are more… but these are just the top 5 that come to mind.



Happy Thanksgiving!



This year, we stayed home and kept things easy.  It seems that as I get older I’m all for easy.  We ordered everything from Claim Jumpers and Kayla decided to make candied yams and Jacob wanted to make pumpkin pie.  Both came out surprisingly tasty.  But the hard stuff – turkey and ham – came already made so nothing for me to stress about on my end.  I did buy a turkey and I’m baking it today, Saturday, so we can have turkey everything over the next few weeks.  I know, it’s weird.  But it works for me so that’s how I do it.  I remember my mom doing the same when we were younger.  A huge turkey on Thanksgiving for the big family gathering and a smaller turkey just for us to enjoy over the next few weeks.

I spent the holiday break crafting on my projects and spent Black Friday on the first clue of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery QAL (Quilt-a-long).  There’s only 50-9 patches so I hope I can get those done by Monday!

~Happy crafting!



Being thankful on a rainy Saturday morning

I live in Southern California and we’ve been in a drought for so long.  This year is the most rain I’ve seen in a long time.  I forgot how to live in rain.  It’s not fun.  I know for those of you in more wintery weather laugh at us SoCal people but we’re just not used to it.  When we got the first rain, I was thankful, grateful for it.  Now I can’t wait to see the end of it.  We’ve got flooding.  I had to buy my boy pants to wear to school!  He lives in his basketball shorts and he absolutely hates to wear pants.  But with the weather being what it has been, he’s grateful for them.  Yesterday, it was storming so bad and I had to drive in it!  lol.  Okay, there’s enough complaining.  Now that I’m snug in my home with my coffee and my computer I am okay with the rain.  I am grateful that it’s here and hopefully it’s one step closer to being out of this drought.  I’m not sure what the status is on that and I don’t care.  I will continue to conserve water as I do and not be wasteful with it.

I’m getting into a groove again.  I think I said this last week.  But it’s still true.  I’m starting to recognize my routines.  The best thing is jotting them down and finagling them to find the best routine and habits.  It’s working and helping me get myself organized again.  One of my team members submitted her resignation yesterday.  There’s another change but it is what it is.  I wish her the best and hope it doesn’t cause too much disruption in the overall scheme of things.  Thankfully we have two weeks to plan and adjust.  Other than that, I didn’t get to yoga all week and I’m really sad about that.  I enjoy going to yoga.  I’m hoping I’m able to go this coming week.

Today, I’m helping a friend move and then this evening a group of us are gathering at a friend’s house to get together post-Valentines.  I can count on good food, good conversation, and one of our friends will be continuing her lessons on crocheting a slipper.  I got one slipper done during the SuperBowl.  I tried to do the second slipper since then on my own but could not figure out how to do a Half Doube Chain?  I know I could have googled it but it’s not high on my crafty to do list so I chose to wait until we see each other again tonight.  Thank goodness it’s a 3 day weekend.  I can be social tonight and spend the following two days secluded in my craft room (office).  🙂

On the crafty side of things, I got a lot of knitting done this week.  I’m well on my way to finishing the magenta socks and if all goes as planned I should be finished by next weekend.  I haven’t done any quilting related stuff and very little cross stitching.  I did get my drawstring bags prepped and partially put together.  I need to figure out what the next step is and do it.  I hope to have time this weekend to go through my closet.  I am a bit disorganized with my quilty stuff which is why I’m not able to do much on that end of things.  To be fair, I’m finishing the top for Have yourself a quilty little Christmas and I’m not mentally ready to do my next project.

Have yourself a quilty little Christmas! 2/13/2017

Have yourself a quilty little Christmas!

So on the crafty agenda for this weekend is:

  1. go through and organize my closet
  2. finish putting together my drawstring bags
  3. do the zipper pouch project
  4. Border on Quilty Little Christmas
  5. Pull out Provence and see where I’m at.
  6. knit, knit, knit
  7. Rainbow Garden for Slow Stich Sunday
  8. Cross Stitch a bit

I’m back!

The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster.  With the girl going away for the first time, the elections, and then the hubby and I going on our first couple vacay with no kids, I didn’t find the energy to do any blogging.

First, the girl had fun.  A ton of fun.  It made the expense, the fears, and just general upheaval in our day to day lives worth it.  She visited a number of colleges over the week located in the NorthEast United States.  The elections came and as a parent, I worried about her not being with me during the post-election shock.  It didn’t help that she texted me from NYC to say she was in an anti-Trump rally or to tell me how she was crying and upset about the results.  But had I been where she was at her age, I would have done the same thing.  So I put my fears aside and hopefully she had no idea.  By the end of the trip, she loved Boston University and Emerson College.  There were others but those were her top two.  I am thrilled, scared, and hopeful that everything comes out all right in her journey.

Second, the elections.  As a woman of color, I’m sad, angry, and fearful of the results.  I know racism exists in this country.  I experience it regularly.  But I’m hurt and shocked to realize that it is still loud and big enough to elect someone who spouts racist and sexist comments as Trump has.  I really thought that we were growing as a country.  I really thought we were becoming a better people and a better society.  I know there were bad apples.  There are always bad apples.  But apparently, they are enough to get Trump voted in.  I lived through the George W. Bush presidency and the fear and war and division he spread during his 8 years as president and the resulting economic downturn.  I am hopeful that President-Elect Trump doesn’t do what he said during his campaigning and does what most politicians end up doing after becoming elected (nothing, flip flops, learns to work with others).  I hope that although the Republican party dominates the house and senate, they don’t bend over backward and let Trump do whatever he wants just because he’s a so-called Republican now.  I am really afraid that they do.  I don’t usually write about politics on this blog but it’s the main reason why I haven’t blogged these past couple of weeks.  I know there a lot of people who will disagree with me and I’ll probably lose some readers.  But this is who I am and I will not apologize for it or pretend that what is going on in the US is not happening.

And on to better topics, third, our first couple vacay without the kiddos!  The Wednesday after the election, the hubby and I boarded a plane to Colorado and spent about a week in a cocoon in Breckenridge with another couple.  We’d never been to Breckenridge (or Breck as the locals call it) or even to Colorado.  Actually, I was in Colorado for a business trip but I didn’t see anything but the ride to the hotel for a conference and then the ride back to the hotel so I don’t count that. ;0  The snow hadn’t hit yet so there was very little snow and we had to go even further up the mountain to see it.  It was a wonderful visit.  I enjoyed it a lot and would love to go back with the kids to play in the snow or even during the summer for river rafting and other outdoor activities.




I plan to get back to my regular posting now that I’ve got a weekend at home.  I’m looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving week since we’ll have time off.  My son is off the entire week and I’m really excited about that.  My daughter is still in school until Tuesday so we’re planning on heading to Northern CA to be with family Wednesday morning.

Until next time,

keep quilting, knitting, crafting

<3, Melanie

Saturday Ramblings – wish I was quilting

Today, the family and I are heading off to the Los Angeles County Fair.  I think I went once a long time ago when I was in college.  I know it wasn’t a memorable experience when I went so never really wanted to go again but I felt that the kiddos should probably go once to experience it themselves and figure out if they ever want to go back.  We’ve been to a bunch of fairs before – Strawberry Festival in Oxnard, Garlic Festival in Gilroy, the State Fair in Sacramento, but never to our own county fair.  I’ve heard that the Orange County Fair is so much better than the LA fair but we’ve never been to that one either.  Maybe we’ll go next time around.

Anyway, no quilting going on here today.   Follow me on Instagram @thousandneedles as I’ll probably be posting up a storm with pictures from the fair.

I still need to get the binding on to Hampton Ridge but need to get the foot #57D for my new machine so I can properly use it.  On my Bernina 330, I used to use a walking foot to attach the binding to the front.  With all those layers the walking foot helped a bunch to get things on smoothly.  With the new machine, which I am calling Luna (as in Luna Lovegood for those Harry Potter fans) I didn’t know if I do the same thing or something different.  So I made a trip to my Bernina dealer (thank goodness it’s only 5 minutes away) and asked them.  With the dual feed on the 790, all I need is either the #37D or #57D which is the quarter inch foot.  Both feet are similar to the #37 and the #57.  For non-Bernina people, they are the Bernina’s quarter inch feet.

img_2417The #57 has the little hedge on the right so that your fabric really stays within the quarter inch.  I love this thing and use it 95% of the time.  The #37 is the quarter inch foot without that little hedge so you can slip off and not stay within the quarter inch.  The #37D and #57D are pretty much the same feet but is created to be used with the dual feed on the Bernina.  My dealer ran out of the #57D so I got the #37D for now until they get more in stock.


I started the binding on Hampton Ridge as you can see in the background but still need to do a bit more to finish it up.  I hope to get the binding attached to the front this weekend and spend next week hand sewing the binding to the back.

In the meantime, I’ve been planning with bullet journals for the past few months and I’m absolutely loving it.  I didn’t blog much about it before because my earlier pages were very plain.  I wish I had taken pictures so I could show it but now they’re filled with sensitive information and I can’t.  Slowly I’ve added pens and washi tapes to my bullet journal arsenal and my pages are getting more colorful and more artsy.  Here’s a pic of my weekly page last week:



And here it is now:


I got the original inspiration from a you tube tutorial made by  “Alexandra Plans“.  But as I used it for a couple of weeks I figured out what I liked and what I wanted and changed it a bit.  I have tried different weekly spreads over the past few months but I’m really liking this one right now.

Happy Saturday!

~Living life, Melanie!