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Friday, December 31, 2010

End of 2010 and another Mystery

It's almost over - another year, that is. Time flies so quickly these days. And it doesn't slow down much even if I'm sitting at the computer reading blogs instead of posting :)

And the end of another year also means the end of another Mystery Quilt. This one -
the Miami Valley Album Quilt is is in France right now and the patterns will be in my book published by Quiltmania next spring. I didn't have time before it left but when it gets home I'll embroider names on the blocks - that will be fun. We do have a few kits left so if you want one now you can still order one.
Meanwhile I'm multitasking today. Cullin and Quinn are here for the weekend and I'm refinishing my mother's twin bed for Cullin. Then there are curtains to make. And of course, stitching on blocks for next year's Mystery Quilt.
Have a good New Year's Eve Day. Be sure to watch the blog and your email tomorrow. The women in this family are football fans so tomorrow promises a big pot of chili and football games. But Tara and Kelly got together and cooked up something quilty for those of you that aren't.
Happy quilting.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day 2 of Christmas

As you can see it was a "White Christmas" here - and just the right kind. It covered the ground well, was great for sledding and snowmen but came off the walks and roads easily. Pep had no trouble driving home from KC Christmas morning, always a worry with snow

To celebrate we're having a 1 day, "Day 2 of Christmas Sale". All of our Christmas patterns and books are Buy 1, Get 1 Free (of equal or lesser value, of course). That's for today only. And we have a few of our neat stockings left - a penny a piece. We'd give them away but our storefront won't let us put -0- as a price. And 1 stocking per customer, please. ( You can buy all the patterns and books you want.)

Here's what I did last week.

I always like to make the smaller grandchildren something. I found this really cute little pattern for pillows. It used fleece and fusible webbing but NOT for my grandchildren. I decided to applique all of the eyes and spots and noses and of course, use mostly Brannock/Patek fabric. It was really a lot of fun. I think Zoie's cat kind of looks like a mouse. Pep said that was "cataflouge". Hmmm! I've been married to him 41 years so I'm kind of used to it. Zoie thought it was really funny though.

Today really is "Merry Christmas, Day 2" for us. Brian and Shannon and their 4 are coming over for opening presents and dinner. Brooke is only 4 months so I didn't make her a pillow, nor did I think Brian Jr (12) or Jake (14) were pillow pet candidates. They agreed :) How embarrassing that would have been?
After a great buffet yesterday, the adults all took naps while children played.

Dueces and Davey had gotten there before us but they shared.
Merry Christmas Day 2 to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost done

This is what the garden looked like a week ago - not really very neat and tidy - the shapes all blurred and mussed. But I do like to leave a lot of the plants in the beds. It leaves seeds for the birds and for replanting. I haven't bought marigolds or zinnias in years. And I always get some self-starting pepper plants.

So last Saturday afternoon was garden clean-up time. I just try to break or cut the plants off at the ground and lay them down in the beds. The seeds are still there but my Winter Garden shapes are back. After I got the raised beds done, grandson Jake came out and helped with the fallen branches in the back fence row. Then he helped put up the lights on the front of the house.

And got a ladder from the barn so we could hang Pinecones & Hollyberries in the front hall. He does the climbing - I give encouragement - much better arrangement these days.

And Whiskers does his part. What is Christmas without a kitty asleep on a quilt.

Come back if you can on the 26th. We're having a one-day-only "After Christmas Sale" and giving away a few more little stockings.
But meanwhile - the last minute things need to be done - some wrapping and some baking and waiting up for Santa with the grandkids.
Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We have a winner!

The winner of the Harmony House quilt is Julie Saville (one of the many that emailed Tara their entry). Julie if you will now email Tara your snailmail address she'll get your kit out to you. I hope you enjoy the quilt as much as I have.

We had some questions about the pillow to the left of the quilt. That is "Olive - the other reindeer" pillow from Up On the Rooftop. "Olive the Other Reindeer" is a children's book about Olive, a dog who thought the poem was talking about her. When I did the Up on the Rooftop book full of reindeer quilts, Pep just had to have an Olive Pillow. The book and the pillow are now part of our Christmas tradition.

Sheets on the line getting crispy, clean for tonight. I'm recuperating - slowly but surely. I slept all through yesterday and last night with small only sips of 7-Up and Ibuprofen to keep the fever down. But at 6:30 this morning when I awakened, I felt somewhat human again.
I haven't had the flu this badly since I started getting my flu shots each year. That was after a bad bout turned into pneumonia. Thanks to all for their comments and well wishes. I wish you all could have won the kit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 5

This is Harmony House - one of my favorite Christmas/Winter quilts for the couch,

We only have 2 kits left and we're giving one away today. Just post a comment - anything at all - OR -if you don't have a blog, email Tara at and tell her to enter you.

I spent part of yesterday morning changing my bed to my winter quilt (Baskets, Berries & Leaves) and my winter shams. It's a good thing, because I'm going to be spending the day in bed. I started throwing up last night and haven't really stopped. I have 2 wool blankets, 2 quilts and a sheet on the bed and I'm cold. I plan on sleeping most of the day if I can. Have fun and hope you win. (Pep said to have you give me flu remedies - my flu shot seems to have missed this one.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And a kittie in a big wreath.........+ Day 4 of Salebration

If you haven't read Debbie St. Germains latest post and you love kitties, you need to hop on over and read it. I must say our kitties are a little better behaved BUT that could be because we tie our Christmas tree to the ceiling. Wendy and Davey who came to live with us when their parents (Zoie & Jake) moved to a "no pets" apartment, regularly flattened the small tree Kelly had and took all of the ornaments off her big tree. They are better behaved here but that may be because there is always the threat of becoming a barn cat. (For those of you who flinch at the words "barn cat", our two barn cats Lucky and Oscar live in the grain room with a big basket full of blankets, a warming light and a warmed water dish. To say nothing of daily treats when Tara gets to the office)

This is my cat Whiskers being a wreath ornament up by the office.

Today is Day 4 of our celebration. This is "Kathy's Baskets" one of the 3 kits we have on sale for 25% off today only. It's a great wallhanging for over a Christmas Buffet or for hanging in the back hall by the kid's rooms all winter. Check out all 3 specials on our Specials page. And don't forget to come back tomorrow to have enter our large kit giveaway. See you then.

Monday, December 13, 2010

3rd Day of Saleabration & White Christmas

We're having a Celebration - and a Salebration. Ever since August we've been building a new storefront and redoing our website. It finally came time to transfer things and we hit some kind of glitch. Our website was down for a week. It took that long to transfer the domain name for some reason. But we're here again and my Blog is my new Home Page.
To celebrate we're having a 5 day sale. Day 1 was a Book sale, Day 2 was Freebie Friday and this is Day 3.
Day 3 is Precuts Day. Order any Charm Bundle or Turnover and get a free pattern.

Order any Layer Cake or Jelly Roll and get 2 free patterns.
Just tell Tara what pattern or patterns you want in the comments section.

Then click on "Check out with PayPal." You don't have to have a PayPal Account to use this option. They also have a space where you can use your credit card instead.
Or you can email Tara at or call her at 816-632-7632.

This is a picture of the kids on tree day last year. We had our tree day Sunday afternoon
but it was too darn cold to have the kids outside. We didn't get very much snow but we
got a little. About like this. After you play with the precut sale, hop on over to
Minick and Simpson's blog if you like the movie White Christmas. It was great.
Not only is the music wonderful but it brought back fond memories.
The men were all in uniforms and my father was in the Army. Good Christmas
memories. Thanks Laurie & Polly. And save me some cookies. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stacy's Blog Hop Day and Freebie Friday

This is Day 12 of the Holiday Blog Hop and it's Stacy's Day. Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin organized the Hop for us and has done a massive amount of work on it. It has truly been an enjoyable experience for all of us. And I want one of her Snowman Mittens. I don't think I'm saving this project for later. It's fast and simple and my grandkids will love it (that's always my excuse to make something now!) You definitely need to Hop on over to her blog. And thank you Stacy for being who you are.

But before you go, stop for a second and get one of our 8" stockings. They FREE while they last. (Well - they're a penny, my store won't let me list -0- as a price:). They're our Christmas gift to you. Please, only 1 per customer.
They're also a celebration gift. We're having a 5-day Saleabration to celebrate the fact that Jan Patek Quilts is back up and running smoothly again. It's been a long haul since we had our trouble on our website last August and you all have been such wonderful customers, not cranking as we had to jump through hoops to get things done. If you're not on our mailing list you need to be so you get all the specials like this. Anyway, I saw these little stockings and just had to have one for my house and thought you might like one for yours too. They are, of course, tea dyed and I added a twine loop to hang it with.
So grab a stocking and then hop on over to Stacy's to read her post and get the mitten pattern.
But keep coming back because I'll post the Sale each day - I missed yesterday but I'll be better from now on. And - - - We're giving away a big kit the last day so watch for it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A great big Thank You to Moda!

When I first designed the Angel Pillow for the Blog Hop, I asked Moda if they had any sample fabric of the homespuns I used in the pillow. I wanted to make a few Pillow Kits to sell. The homespuns aren't due to ship until January and really aren't even in the country yet, but I thought they might have a little at the warehouse. I wasn't too surprised when Debby said there wasn't any available. So I had Tori cut two kits out of the fabric I get for the giveaway.

My day on the Blog Hop was Tuesday, Nov. 30th. On Friday our friendly UPS man delivered a box from Moda. When I opened it, it was all the fabrics needed for the pillow. Thanks guys. Moda is such a great company to work for.
So - if you haven't started your pillow yet and would like a kit (or would just like two pillows made out of different fabrics), we have a few kits for sale. I added them to the storefront this afternoon.
And watch for news tomorrow of our New Website and Store Saleabration!.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 11 & the Dentist

A belated welcome to Day 11 of the Blog Hop. Sorry to be so late but I've spent most of the day at the Periodontist. Dr. Thomas is a very nice man and taking very good care of my teeth - well, really my gums - after Brian sent me to him. And I still would have much rather been at home blog hopping.
Every post has to have a picture as far as I'm concerned and I chose this one. We'll hang Pinecones and Hollyberries in the hall this weekend as soon as Jake gets here to climb the ladder.

I really love Fall. It's my favorite time of year. I love the colors and textures and general feel of the air. And as much as I love winter, I'm usually slow in letting go of fall. But today's Blog Hop did it. Besides the neat project and scrumptious looking cookies - its about those little girl's dresses - they so got me in the mood for Christmas. The dresses Debbie and her sister's wore were just like ones Nancy and Susan and I had when we were that age. You simply must hop over to Debbies blog and see them. Good memories. Thank you Debbie.
But come back soon because we finally got the website up and running again after a week and we are going to celebrate. We're giving away a really big kit and having a bunch of specials :). I'm really excited about the whole thing. See you soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 10 & some Girl Gang quilts

It is Day 10 of the Holiday Blog Hop - only one more week left. Wow - how quickly time passes. And for right now you need to hop on over to Tara's blog and get the pattern for a really cool snowman penny rug and another great cookie recipe. We are going to be totally set in the cookie business for grandchildren for awhile. And she's having an awesome sale on all sorts of quilty things.

Speaking of quilting we had our "Finish the Girl Gang quilt and Christmas party" last night at Missouri Star Quilt Co. We were all making "Sunny Days" and boy they were all really neat. And so varied. A couple of ladies couldn't make it and I'll try to get pictures of their quilts if they bring them next month.
Meanwhile - this first one was made by Caroline Peterson (on the right) and quilted by Maxine Hicks (on the left).

This is the backside of the quilt in the beeskep section. Can you see the little bees? The whole quilt is done with that kind of detail. So cool, Maxine.

Quilt top made by Marie Boyles.

Quilt top made by Amy Gertz.

Center section by Maxine Hicks. We told her it was ok that she didn't get the side blocks sewed on since she was rather busy quilting.

Center section by Debbie Youd

Center section by Marcy Reagan.
It was really fun to see so many variations in colors and fabrics.
If you didn't get a chance to make it last year, the pattern will be in my Quiltmania book that comes out next spring.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Country Paths - The quilt behind the pillow on the chair

Luned asked about the quilt behind the Angel Pillow on the chair. It's Country Paths - kind of a wishful quilt. The three houses belong to my 3 children. It would be nice if I could just take a walk down a path on a beautiful fall day and visit them. Alas, they all live too far away for that. Or maybe it's not alas. Some space for everyone is a good thing. It's easier to be your own person without your parents that close - or your children. I wish Brian and his family were a little closer though. Anyway - Country Paths comes out every fall. It's one of my favorite quilts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the Winners Are..........

Quilt Pieces and Jackiero. (We had such a response that we drew 2 names.) Ladies, if you will email Tara at and give her your info she'll mail you your kits.

I want to really thank all of you for your comments. I wish you all could have won. I won't get my yardage to sell until sometime in January so I won't have kits until then. But - Angels are always in season. At least I need them all year long.
It was great to hear that other people have cookbooks with duct tape binding and share the same kind of traditions. And I know what you all mean about the walnuts. We rake them up and cart them off in wheelbarrows except for the few the kids take the time to crack and pick out for cookies.
We've been in a big transition here - building a new storefront where things are a little more secure for both of us. Right now if you google Jan Patek you'll get a page saying the site is under construction. It takes about 48 hours to go from the old one to the new one. At the end of the 48 hours my Home Page will be my blog - right here - and you'll see all the latest stuff and go to the store from here. The new store (what used to be the catalog) is a lot more user friendly and we're still figuring things out so occasionally there's a glitch or two.
Between the new site and the Blog Hop and Christmas - whew!
When I quit working in Kansas City, I was worried that I would be bored just staying at home and taking care of a house, a farm and the kids. So I wanted to make a quilt. Wow - what wonderful places that has taken me. And I have never been bored.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome to Lucky #9 of the Holiday Blog Hop

I was just at Stacy's blog and read what she said about me. Wow! I am overwhelmed. Thank you Stacy. It has truly been great to be able to spend my life doing what I love. And it's OK to put the quilts in a closet or chest for awhile - we need to rotate them with the seasons. Just so they come out again. Besides the creative part which I love, I get to meet so very many nice people.
On to the holidays - we start on them each fall. The first thing you need in our cookie recipe is grandchildren for the thumbprints and a walnut tree. Well, maybe you can go buy some chopped nuts at the grocery store but if you have a walnut tree handy it's nice. Zoie and Cullin spent almost one whole gorgeous fall day cracking walnuts on the sidewalk by the barn, picking them out and putting them in a plastic jar for the cookies. And it's their idea every year.

Then I make some mint and cherry jelly each summer. The mint jelly, especially, is so much better if you make it yourself and it's really easy. The recipe is in my Betty Crocker cookbook - the one with the duct tape for binding because it's been used so much. Mint will grow anywhere. We have some right in front of the house - smells great when you hit it sweeping the walk or raking the leaves. If you don't happen to have mint by your front porch or a cherry tree by the driveway, you can buy both those at the grocery store too.

Here' the recipe. Also from my Betty Crocker cookbook. I can do cookies and cakes and always make a great pound cake to have with coffee in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

(Pep is a gourmet cook and whips up delicious meals from nothing. He does tastes the way we do color.) I, on the other hand always say that as a cook, I'm a great quilter.
And speaking of quilting, here's my project for the Holidays. I always try to make something new for the house and thought an angel pillow would be just the thing. It's made out of our new Classic Wovens line that will be in stores (my store too) in January.

(I want to thank my friend Michelle for figuring out how to fix it so you could download the pattern. She's a genius!) I hope you like it. I resized the block from the Primitive Primer to make an 18" pillow. Since the fabric won't be in until January, I can't sell kits now but we will offer them in January. You can preorder one from Tara by emailing her at or calling 816-632-7632. I do have enough fabric, however to give one kit away today. Make a comment and we'll do a drawing tomorrow to see who wins.
If you want to make the Primitive Primer quilt to go with your pillow, I put the book on special for half price today.

Either this weekend or next, Pep and Jake will go out in the front pasture to find a tree. Missouri Red Cedars are kind of prickly but they fill the whole house with such a wonderful smell. That first day we just bring it in and get the lights on.

Zoie & Quinn, Jake and Cullin - last month in the back pasture. They are 4 of our 9
grandchildren and the 4 that live nearby. They're here on a regular basis. I put this
picture in because I was totally amazed at how much they've grown in a year. Too
fast - it can make a grandma's eyes leak.

Once the tree is in and up with lights on, we have cookies and milk or hot chocolate. And grandma usually puts the higher decorations on while the low ones go to the kids. Zoie always sits on Grandpa's shoulders to put the angel on top. We may have to rethink that this year :).
On Christmas Eve we go to church in Kansas City and come home to unwrap one present - always Christmas jammies. Then we're up early on Christmas morning if Cullin and Quinn are here and they will be this year. Stockings are a pretty big thing at our house. Pops is off Christmas night but not usually on Christmas Eve too so we have to wait until he gets home to start on presents. Stockings keep us busy until then. With Grandmas 2-tone pound cake to munch on we can make it until the presents all get opened. Then the kids go to the back of the house to play and the adults usually take a little nap.
We used to have a big Christmas sit down dinner but the last few years have toned it down a little. We get a ham from Burgers Smokehouse and have a buffet of sides that can be pretty well made in advance. The only thing we need to cook is Kelly's killer macaroni and cheese - sooo good.
Our oldest son, Brian, his wife and 4 kids live about 1 1/2 hours away. With little ones, they, of course, want Christmas morning at home. We always have our Christmas with
them on the weekend before or after that Pep is off work. We get to have lots of
Christmases that way.
When I first stopped working in the city years ago, I wanted to learn how to make a quilt and paint some Christmas dishes. I started with the quilt. I finally bought the dishes years ago :)

This is Christmas 101. Back to the Basics of Christmas and what it is all about. May the blessings of the God that loves each and every one of us be with you today, through the holiday season and the coming year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday tired, The Bible Quilt and Day 8

Yesterday started at 5:00 due to grandsons who hunt. And it ended rather late for me. Pep works nights at a hospital in Kansas City. He can have either Thanksgiving or Christmas off, not both. So we have Thanksgiving dinner after he gets up at night, before he goes to work. It was really good - turkey and all of the trimmings. And Pep makes the best gravy in the world. Zoie (10 years old) wanted to help cook this year for the first time. She made the mashed potatoes. Not very many lumps either.
Then this morning started at 4:30. When Pep left for work last night he noticed that I had a flat tire on the van. Kelly drove back out from town early this morning and picked me up so we could do Black Friday shopping. Usually I don't go but she talked me into it this year and we did have a lot of fun. The air is cold and crisp and in this small town people are pretty nice and in the Christmas mood when we shop. Then we go out to breakfast when we've finished. The shopping was successful.
But when we got back from shopping the van still had a flat tire. The boys pumped it up for me and I drove into town to get it fixed - taking my quilt block with me to stitch on while I waited.
I'm working on Block 1 of the Bible Quilt. (I was piecing the sun and remembered why the quilt became a Block of the Month :) I will have a tutorial on it on the blog in January). Anyway - I changed the name of the Mystery Quilt BOM to The Mystery Quilt/Classic Quilt BOM.

The Mystery part will be the fabric I choose to kit it. I originally did it in 1998 and those fabrics are long gone. We're taking preorders for it now. If you want to be in on the fun, email Tara at and let her know. The kits will be 18.95 this year - a little more because each block will include a skein of Weeks handdyed floss. The price includes shipping and handling though.
Anyway- what started that whole line of thought was waiting in line to get my tire fixed. Everyone who went out for Black Friday must have had a flat tire. I was really tired so I just sat in my car in the sun and stitched instead of going in to the waiting room. It was so relaxing. I enjoyed it so much I almost didn't want them to tell me it was done. The only thing that would have made the experience better was a cup of coffee and some of Lynda Hall's cookies. You really need to hop over to her blog and see her project. Then you can listen to the music and look at the pictures in her smile box. I am getting really intimidated by all of these awesome bloggers. Thanks Linda, for sharing with us. And I really liked her comment about having some many projects from the Blog Hop lined up for retirement. Stitch On!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple Strings & Homespuns - Lots of reasons to Give Thanks

It's almost Thanksgiving and every year at this time I make a new apple string to go over the mantle. I've always loved apple strings but in the ones I saw the apples all fell together on the string and took a gazillion apples. I came up with this years ago as a way not to have all the apples fall together. It's a lot less work and takes fewer apples and less time. I thought I'd show you how I do it.
First you need to slice and dry your apples. Pep always slices them for me - about 1/8 -1/4" thick - as thin as you can get them. Then he puts them in a vinegar/water or lemon/water bath for a few minutes so they won't turn brown. Then we put them in our dehydtrator for about 24 hours, checking to see when they're dry. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can do it in your oven. Put the slices on racks on cookie sheets or pizza pans. Turn your oven as low as it will go (you don't want to cook them) and leave the door open a crack so the moisture can escape.
When they're dry you can set about stringing them. You'll need a large eye needle - a tapestry needle or doll needle will do - and some fabric you can tear into strips about 3/4" wide. I always put my apple slices in a bowl and sit and make the string while we watch TV at night.

Tear a strip and make a loop at the end in case you want to hang it on something. Then put your needle through an apple slice. Make a largish knot in the string a couple of inches down the fabric. Put on another slice and make another knot. Pretty simple and it holds the slices apart.

When you're almost at the end of the 1st string, take your needle off and make a slit in
the end of the fabric. Get a second strip and put it through the slit.

Now make slits in both ends of the 2nd strip and pull one end ot the 2nd strip through
the other and tighten somewhat to join the 2 strips.

Now rethread your needle, make another knot
and put on another slice. Just keep on going, adding slices and strips until your string is the length you want. It really goes pretty fast. And you don't need a lot of apples. I got a 3 lb bag but Zoie & Cullin and Quinn ate half of them and I still had enough to do the string above our fireplace.

Now here are my homespuns again. I'm pretty excited about them as you can probably guess. I really like all of our fabrics and the Lilac Hill line for next spring is a neat change of pace. And the homespuns are our first love. (I really don't like to use anything else for backing - they're so comfy when I'm sewing on the binding) The wovens are going to be a Moda Basics line and for that reason, I'm going to carry bolts and the Fat 1/4 bundles in my storefront. There are a lot of shops, particularly in the warmer areas of the country, that don't carry them and I want to make sure people can get them if they want to. We're transitioning to a new storefront that you can access from the blog and we'll have them posted shortly. Moda ships them in January but you can preorder yardage as soon as I get them posted. Wahoo! Can you tell I'm excited. I really was down to barely useable scraps on some of these.
If you order a pattern and want to order the fabric to go with it, we can email you a pdf of the fabrics we used so you can make your choices.
And finally - This is Day 7 (I looked this time before I started typing) of the Blog Hop and Lisa Bonegan's Day. You've got to be sure and hop on over to her blog and see her really cool cookie jar wrap. To say nothing of print off the recipe for her soft ginger cookies.
There hasn't been a project yet that I didn't want to make immediately and this is definitely another one. Many thanks again to Stacey for all her organizing.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gabriel's Ark

This is one more day in our Holiday Blog Hop. I never was good with numbers so I can't remember which day except that it's the day for Tracy from Plumcute Designs. And they are. A charming stitchery with candy canes and snowflakes awaits you at her blog as well as some yummy cookies. I've loved Snickerdoodles since I was a kid.

Meantime, back here in Missouri, I'm playing with my homespuns again. This is Gabriel's Ark. Before Gabriel (our grandson who is 3) could talk, he knew all of the animal sounds. His alltime favorites were the snakes and the wolves .... but he knew them all. So of course his quilt had to be an ark. One of the interesting things about designing and running a pattern and kit business is that if you want to give away a quilt, you get to make two so you have one for Festivals and lectures and trunk shows. I'm working on his at the moment. I didn't make all of the first one so this is a treat for me. And there's no deadline because he's 3 and really doesn't have much of a concept of time. Right now, he just likes to look at the blocks and tell me what sound they make.

He wants a dinosaur on the quilt - a T-rex, or course. I told him that the dinosaur would have to be on the back because he doesn't play well with others.

This is Oscar, Brian Jr's cat who is staying with us for awhile. He makes me want to go take a nap in the sun in the garden. I may put on a jacket and go sit and stitch for awhile. Happy quilting ladies.