Saturday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hearts! Hearts! Hearts! I love, there, everywhere and in all colors! Several years ago, I designed this little penny rug that I call "Connecting Hearts" because if there is one thing that happens among friends and family, it is that our hearts are connected in love and friendship! I took a few photos last week so I could share these with you. This first one is made from woolfelt. Love working with woolfelt (from National Nonwovens) as it is soft and so easy to stitch and it comes in an abundance of colors. Plus you can dye it if you can't find the color you want! I took photos with my camera and with my tablet and neither one could get the colors right. This first one is close.......soft teal, with burgundy hearts............
But this next one.....oh, not right at all! Looks like it's bright blue and hot pink! Not!

It is deep blue with red hearts and a light blue floral motif in the center. The large hearts are the same as the outer hearts. 

This one is closer to it's true colors........Christmas red and Christmas green. I made two in these fabrics, one for me and one for my daughter. Each is just a wee bit different but still all the same fabrics/colors.
 I figured I needed a heart penny rug for each season of the year so this is my one for Autumn. Love the plaid and it, too, it almost true to it's colors. I entered this one in the Scott County Fair in 2004 and it earned a Blue Ribbon and a Reserve Grand Champion Ribbon. That's as good as winning a lottery ticket for me!

My favorite of the heart penny rugs that I've made is this one as I love the colors and enjoyed doing the embroidery on this one. This one just makes me smile........

Actually, anything that has hearts and has anything to do with Valentine's Day makes me smile. I remember how much I enjoyed making special Valentines, decorating those boxes and hoping for a Valentine from that special boy. My kids loved the whole Valentine thing, too. They're grown and long gone from the nest but I went on to do after-school kids classes making Valentines and then we started coloring them to donate. And so last Sunday, a group of us gathered at my church and colored and cut Valentines that were then delivered to nearby Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Homes. It was a good project all around as we all got creative..........
 mothers, daughters, sons, cousins, .........
younger members and young-at-heart members like Arline and Bert Karels who taped the candies to the cards.
 Pastor Deb and Dawn McConnell are so intent on their coloring!!
 And so is Hailey!
We enjoyed a hot dog lunch and treats and enjoyed a great day that led to a little bit of enjoyment for others. At the end of the day, we had about 120 Valentines that had been colored and another 118 that I printed by finding free Valentines on-line. In the background is my little white tree that now has red crystals on it and a giant heart for celebrating Valentine's Day. ;-)
This was just half the Valentines that were delivered. The total Valentines that were delivered was close to 250 (I colored a few extras after I got home).

The Valentines that we colored are designs that I drew back in the 1990's for miniature projects that I was making. I wanted to recreate those Valentine memories and just sat down and started drawing things that I recalled from when I was a kid. There's more to the story but for now..........just Have a Happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, January 27

A little January Christmas surprise!

One of my longtime blog followers sent me a little package last week. Inside, were these pretty little ornaments. Sending a big THANK YOU to Nadine, the Owl Lady!!
Have been busy stitching, enjoying family time and cleaning some closets. The tree is still up but must come down this weekend!  I am ready to "kick into Valentine mode" so time to put away all the Christmas pretties til next year.  Happy End-of-January!

Wednesday, January 21

A little stitching project............

I have been enjoying this time of "stay-at-home" vacation. Have watched several favorite old movies and read some good books. Am enjoying lots of hand-stitching on wooly projects. This afternoon, I finished this one.

I have posted the pattern in my "Pincushion and Pretties" group on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, check it out!  To visit my group, just go here.........
Each month, I will be sharing a new pattern. Tutorials for the projects will be posted here on my blog. All of the pincushions will be made from Woolfelt from National Nonwovens. Back to my stitching.........

Monday, January 12

No resolutions for this year but I have set a goal!

I have read a number of resolutions that folks have made and I thought about it and then thought again. I have rarely succeeded at resolutions. However, I sometimes set goals and achieve them. That's what I am going to do this year and here's my goal. It involves quilts. Little quilts. Twelve of them. All the monthly quilts that I made in 2000, the Millennium which seemed a long way off back in the late 80's and early 90's. And now.......the Millennium is long gone! I just can hardly believe it is 2015! Back when I made this little quilt titled "Snowman Quartet", I had every good intention of making the same design using wool and flannels.

I never quite got to it. And it's sort of understandable as each month in the year 2000, I designed a small quilt, then taught it in a class in our community education program. Oh, and also provided all the fabric. It was great fun but it was a hectic schedule! I am looking forward to lots of wooly fun as I make each of these little quilts again! I am determined (this is my word for the year!) that they will be completed by the end of 2015. Determined!
Now if you wonder why I never got to the quilts in the years since then, we finished up the last quilt in this series, I had an idea for a five quilt mystery series that I designed and so I taught that as a class in 2001. Then came a block of the month in 2002 and another one in 2003. I designed a couple of large quilts for "Sew Close to Home" quilt retreat in 2005 and 2006. I was always sketching, always stitching. Some designs were realized, some are still "on the drawing board". All during these years there were family health issues going on. As I look back now, I can hardly believe all that has transpired, especially in the last six years. Life sometimes moves at a crazy busy pace! In addition to health issues for my mom, I have had more than my share of ups and downs with hospital visits, especially this last year. I decided I had to slow things down a bit. I/We haven't had a vacation since 2005. We make trips home to Iowa but haven't been any further than that since our last trip to California in 2005. So, I decided I would take a vacation at home this January and do just what I felt like, no commitments, no deadlines, just relaxing. So far, it's almost working. :-)  I have read two really good books, especially the one I finished today titled "The Frontier Lady" by Judith Pella. It was hard to put down so it made for good relaxing! This week, I'll take a break from my vacation and go to our quilt group meeting. Otherwise, I am just chillin'..... reading.....and stitching. Oh, and cooking. I couldn't get rid of that so I guess we still need to take a real vacation.
I'll be back in a few days.......Heat wave coming in on Friday.......going to be 34 above zero! Yay!
Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 6

Getting stuff done!

I am busy getting stuff done, checking things off my "to do" list. Feels so good to know I am making progress. So, nothing exciting to report except that today I finished our Kindred Kwilter's newsletter and sent it off. Then I did the yearly booklet for our Women's Guild at church and it's ready to be handed out on Thursday. Up next...working on the newsletter I first published back in 2006. Looking forward to making it happen again. It's called "The Independent Penny Press". There have been many "ups and downs" in the years since then, but I just remind myself that "good things come to those who wait". I can be very patient.  :-)

Sunday, January 4

The wind has stopped blowing........and next it will start snowing!

And that means that this is a perfect little penny rug to share in this typical Minnesota weather! I stitched this one back in 2002 from a pattern called "Let it Snow!" designed by Tara Lynn Darr of Sew Unique Creations.  

I made it as a class sample during a time that I was teaching penny rug classes at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in nearby Shakopee. This was a favorite pattern of students and was usually made in red woolfelt with touches of white and blue. I chose these pretty blue wools at Eagle Creek, then reduced the pattern by 50% as I wanted a slightly smaller version than the pattern made. 
Yes, this is a perfect penny rug as last night the wind blew like crazy and then today it was colder than cold and on Monday we are to get 4-6 inches of snow! I'm thinking some kiddos in the neighborhood might be hoping for a snowday on Tuesday so they can go sliding or build a snowman. It could happen! 
I'm okay with snow, because we have no place to go! And it never snows in my sewing room. ;-)
Time to do a little wooly stitching........

Saturday, January 3

Finished my book.......

Yes, I finished the book I started reading earlier this week. I picked up the book at the library on Monday when Mary Ann, Arlene and I took down the big Christmas tree that was used to collect books at our Silent Auction. When we were finished, we took a look at some of the books that have been set aside for the next book sale. Both Mary Ann and I found books that looked interesting. The one I found is "The Senator's Other Daughter" by Stephen Bly. It's set in 1880's New Mexico territory and I enjoyed the book so much that I am going to request other titles by this author. I have nothing to show for my day because laundry was my only other accomplishment, and left-overs for supper tasted good but were not worthy of a photo. Oh, I did make a phone call to my Uncle Gordie and got some good advice on my recipe plans for my blog. More on that when I share my next recipe. 
Cold and windy here tonight. Many counties in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa will see blizzard conditions and extremely low temps in the next couple of days. I'm just fine with that as I am staying home, staying safe and stitching wooly projects! 
Have a blessed Sunday! 
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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