The Best of 2017

Hello! How was your Christmas? It has been such a fun and busy Christmas at my house. I have had a houseful of family and friends. Nothing says Christmas more than lots of good food and family:)

But now that there is a moment to breathe and think, I am happy to reflect back on a year full of creating. It has been a wonderful year!

It was hard to choose my favorite posts from this past year, but after thinking about it for a while, I have decided that the best projects must be the ones that have enabled me to connect with and make new friends.

The Top Five:

1. Long Time Gone QALI enjoyed quilting along with Angie @Gnome Angel and many other online friends. We all stretched our sewing and color combining skills as we made this Long Time Gone Quilt by Jen Kingwell together. My FAVORITE part was quilting along with my friend, Cindy. It was fun to compare our finished quilts:)

2. The Splendid SamplerAfter a full year and a half of two blocks a week, I finally finished my Splendid Sampler! I was introduced to so many talented designers and made 20,000 plus Splendette friends:). I loved watching and being inspired by their beautiful blocks and quilts. There was a hole in my sewing table when these blocks were sewn together as well as a small hole in my heart as I left the group behind.

3. Fantastic Bake AlongThis year, I started a monthly Fantastic Bake Along Group. We all Bake a recipe selected by someone in the group and then share our results later in the week. Talk about yummy fun!! We have made pizza, homemade bread, quiche, and more. I have truly LOVED baking along with such SWEET people❤️❤️ The group is open to anyone and everyone. We would love to have you join along:)

4. Stardust Melodies I enjoyed crocheting and singing along with Polly Plum on her Stardust Melodies Afghan. Each block worked up fairly easily in an evening. It was like finishing new blanket twice a week:). It was fun to read about how excited everyone was as we waited for the next block to come out.

5. I Wish You a Merry QAL And last, but not least, is my beautiful I Wish You a Merry QAL quilt. I think I have made the most new friends with this fun Christmas quilt. I have connected with the designers who are all fairly new to blogging. I must admit I wish I could have been part of their group. They did such a good job!

There you have it, my top five of 2017. Some of you who follow me may be asking, “Tracy, why haven’t you included Delilah, or Down the Rabbit Hole?” Well, while I have connected with many new friends with these beauties, they aren’t finished yet. They will have to wait for next year.

Speaking of next year, I am so excited to begin the MYSTERY QALnext week on January 1st! Cindy @In a Stitch Quilting and I are trying this new approach to a QAL and would LOVE to have you join us!

Thank you for dropping by today. I am excited to be linking up with Meadow Mist‘s Linky Party. I’m headed over to check out what all the other bloggers have done this year:)

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

Stardust Melodies Finished!

I am so happy to say that I have finally finished my Stardust Melodies Afghan.  Yea! :).   It turned out even nicer than I thought it would.  I just love it when that happens!


Here are all of my beautiful blocks stacked and ready to be sewn together.  I love looking at neatly piled blocks.  Don’t you?


Then it was on to sewing them together.   That took longer than I thought would because I laid them out on the floor and had to go back and forth changing colors to match the block.  Then I had to weave in the tails as well.


It was no problem, it just took longer than I thought it would.   Next was the border.  I am absolutely in love with it!


The border is this gorgeous textured finishing touch for this afghan.  Before it was added I felt the blocks kind of fought against themselves with each trying to be the star of the show.   The border calmed them all down and unified them.


Isn’t it great how that happens?!   Here are a few more shots of my finished blanket—

It makes me want to snuggle up in a soft chair and read a book or write a blog post 🙂


I am going to fold this blanket and wrap it up to give to some dear SWEET friends for Christmas.  I am excited to give it to them❤️

Thank you for following along on my Stardust Melodies crochet journey.   If you are interested in making this beautiful afghan,  you can get the free pattern on Polly Plum’s everytrickonthehook.   I paid for the larger option offered on ravelry.com

This is my second finish for the Q4FAL. I’m on my way:)

It is definitely a SWEET day at my house today!

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Road Trip Eye Candy

It’s road trippin’ time!  I just love a good road trip❤️❤️.  My DH and I are going up to help my #1 son move to school.  It’s what parents do, right?  

I love driving through Arizona and Utah in August.  The weather is a little cooler and the rains have come.  It is picturesque at every turn.


My favorite part is the view of the Grand Canyon from the Highway 89.  The land is cracked for miles and miles.   

It is GRAND indeed!   I like to stop for a minute and drink in the beauty and majesty.  

And as if that isn’t enough, the other side of the highway is nestled into these tall, smooth, red rocks.  If only I were a rock climber like my son! 

I know, I know,  we are all gaining spiritual weight with so much beauty, but wait, the dessert is still to come!


Lake Powell is just a little bit further down the road!  Can you believe it?!  I am truly happy today.  

Of course a happy road trip would not be complete unless I had some fun hand work to keep my hands busy.

I am on the last few blocks of my Stardust Melodies Afghan.  I will definitely have them all done by the end of the trip.  Oh yea!!



Driving in the car also teaches new techniques because necessity is the mother of invention.


I forgot my stitch markers at home, so I have learned that a hair clip  works GREAT!  In fact it is easier to use because as the name implies, it just clips on.  How cool is that?  Its TOTALLY TIPSTER:)!


Road trips really help me get caught up on projects. But best of all, I get to sit by my cute husband and enjoy his company.  SWEET!!❤️


I hope all of your life roads are leading to happy places filled with people you love:).  

Thank you joining me on my road trip today!

Stardust Melodies – Adventures in Crochet Texture

Good morning!  I am excited to finally have a moment to share my progress on my Stardust Melodies blocks. They are all so textured and beautiful 🙂


One of the things I really like about this CAL is that each block is a mini afghan in and of itself.  


I can easily finish one in an evening of sewing or a short road trip with my DH.


I am using yarn that has been in my stash for way too long.  I’m glad to have a project where I can use it up without the need of matching perfectly:)


Most of the blocks are quite easy to just jump right in and crochet away.


Don’t they look fantastic?! — But one block in particular took a little more patience.


This one filled with “x”s was an adventure in stitch and frog, stitch and frog until I finally got it!


I have also learned that scratchier yarn is better than soft, silky yarn on this project.


This block is super soft, but very flimsy, and the pattern kind of gets lost.  I don’t know if I will make another with this yarn or not.  I definitely need the lighter block color….we’ll see:)


Here are my blocks neatly blocked and stacked.  Yum! Yum!  They are so SWEET!!


And this is my current block that will be done tonight.   It may be my favorite yet:)  And now there are only 12 more to go!

If any of you are interested in joining along in this crochet texture adventure, you can join in here.

Thank you for stopping by:). I hope you have a great day filled with all kinds of creative adventures!

Stardust Melodies and a New BABY!!

I have been happily crocheting along on this adventure in textures CAL.  Each block is so unique and pretty!  I love how  all of these different shades of purples look together:)

This past week I made three different blocks.  The first was this deep purple block.  I find that I am looking at the crochet map more than reading the instructions round by round.  I like that Polly gives the option for both.  She also has video tutorials if needed:)

The next was a fun basket weave block.  It worked up really quickly once I got the hang of the pattern.

Isn’t it great?  

For my final block this week I chose a fun magenta colored yarn.  Most of these yarns are leftovers from previous projects.  Some of them have been in the drawer for years now.   I’m glad to be using them!

This is a really fun CAL and not hard at all. If you have done a bit of crocheting in the past,  it is a breeze.  You can join along here if you are interested in the patterns.  Some of these are free on her blog while others are in an ebook available on her Ravelry page.

If you want to check out my other blocks, you can find them here:

Stardust Melodies Block #1

I hope you have a SWEET day!

PS– for those of you who have been following me and know that I have been anxiously looking forward to my two grandsons coming this month and next,  my daughter had her baby on Sunday!!!  He is perfectly beautiful and mother is doing well.  My buttons are bursting with joy over him:)!!

How to Back Loop and Front Loop Stitch 

I like to have hand work to do at night.  Since I have finished my baby afghans, I am ready to start another needlework project.   I have noticed that a few of you are joining Polly’s Stardust Melodies CAL @ Every Trick on the Hook.  I love all of the textures she is introducing, so I will definitely be joining in:)

I have a lot of purple yarn just lying around in my stash that I want to get rid of, so purple it is!  I think this afghan is the perfect project for all of these  lone skiens of yarn.  I may need to add more to these, but I don’t want them to match, so that makes it easy!  

The only tricky part of this square is learning the techniques of back loop only stitching BLO, and front loop double crochet FLDC in the previous row.  

Here is how to Back loop Stitch:

  • A regular stitchgoes under the v of a stitch, but a back loop stitch only uses the top part of the v.  I have pointed the arrow to the stitch on the top picture.
  • Place your needle in the center of the v and stitch as usual.  Easy!

By stitching this way, a line of stitches is left on the front.

Here is the Front Loop Double Crochet stitch:

  1. Wrap the yarn around your needle and identify the front stitch that you will be going around.  The arrow in this picture shows the horizontal bar that was left from last rounds back loop stitch,
  2. Place your needle under and through this stitch 
  3. Wrap the thread around your needle.
  4. Work off as a normal double crochet.

Once you get the hang of it, it is so fun to crochet this way.  It adds texture and interest to the finished piece.  It also holds my interest longer.  

Am I the only one who tends to get the doldrums about midway through a project?  This CAL should help solve that problem by making it easy to finish one small afghan square at a time:) 

Here is my first small finished afghan –the Bequine square.  

I just love all of the texture and the directional pattern:). Don’t you?  It sure would be SWEET to have you join along!