Thursday, July 31
An hour after that a big thunderstorm came through and we were without power the rest of the morning. Had to do some laundry and cleaning today so never really got to much sewing. But I did do some sketching and made plans for projects I'll offer this fall so that counts in the creativity catagory! Come September when it's "back-to-school-time for the kids", it'll be "back to quilting and stitching" for all of us (no, I don't have any kids that go off to school anymore but my grandson does and to me, September just plain means "back-to-school"!!). Be sure to check in every once in a while to see what's new. I may set up a separate site (another blog or a website) for the patterns I'll offer but will keep you posted. If you're checking in for my Giveaway be sure to post a comment on my July 30th post about it. I'm going to find a basket tomorrow that will hold the 25 items that someone will win. I might post a peek at the basket just to get the interest rolling. I do prizes really well. ;-) My quilting friends and retreat guests can vouch for that!!
Wednesday, July 30
So what's the celebration? Well, I am having a great deal of fun doing the blogging thing, plus it's my mother's birthday on August 25th - that's her in the picture holding a teacup pincushion I made for her birthday last year, plus many of my friends sent her cards and fabric. She really enjoyed that but can't use anymore fabric, so in honor of her birthday and the fact that she taught me to sew and embroider, I will give away a basket of items drawn from my vintage stash of fabrics and patterns, plus my current stash of fabrics and patterns. So are you wondering what might be in the basket? Well, I will start with a few blocks of feedsack fabric on August 1st, then every day for the next 24 days I will add something new to the basket such as a vintage pattern or two, fabrics, vintage trims, perhaps a special pincushion, a little wool, thread, a tiny kit, etc. etc. etc. It's kind of like a mystery quilt where you don't know what it will be until it's finished, only this will be a "Mystery Basket of Goodies". This could be fun! Be sure to tell your blogging friends to join. The more the merrier!
Tuesday, July 29
It's only been a week since I returned from Iowa. I mentioned that there are certain points along the way that are favorites. I'll post my favorite spot along Hwy 169 tomorrow but here are some spots that I always look for.
If you find yourself on 169 just north of Algona (Iowa), you'll see the sign for Country Peddler. It's a thrift shop and on more than one occasion, I've stopped there and come out with a good buy. This time, I found some old laces, some pretty beads, some teacups that can become pincushions and an old prom dress that will find it's way into some crazy quilting blocks!
North of Algona is the little town of Burt and I've passed this little replica (about 6-7 feet tall) of the Burt Elevator for years but never stopped to take a picture. This time, I had to stop. It would be easy to think it's the real thing.
That's my cousin, Betty, on the left and on the right is my Aunt Loretta (my dad's sister). Betty guided the reunion for many years, my mother did it for a couple of years and Betty's mother Ophelia kept it going for a number of years. They were all ladies of the United Brethren Church in Lehigh and as much as they stitched quilts together they also stitched our lives together with soup suppers, bake sales, and picnics and reunions. What great times they were!!!
In addition to good food, my cousin Charlotte (1st cousin to my dad) is really into genealogy and our family history. Every summer she brings new boards that have pictures and the names, birth and death dates of our family members. Pictured below is just one of several boards she has prepared!
Saturday, July 26
And now it's a week later, I'm back in Minnesota and only just a few showers have popped up here today. Otherwise it's been sunny and gorgeous. My grandson, Jacob, arrived for an overnight and while we usually plan a project, this time he played car games on the computer while I put my aching back to the heating pad. Not sure what I did but it started a couple days ago with not being able to stand up after sitting, then just pain in my lower back. So our plans to do some painting will wait til he visits again in August. We did take a quick trip down to Toody's Sweets and Treats for an ice cream cone and a bit of playtime for him at the park. The day really was a perfect summer day.
Jacob has gone to bed now and I am going to gather up my embroidery and sew a few "fine seam or two" before I go to bed.
Sleep tight this lovely night!!
Friday, July 25
So, that's me on the right (almost 8 years old) and in the middle is my sister, Judy (just turned 5). Our little brother, Doug, is on the left. He was just a couple months away from his third birthday in this picture and, in fact, today is his birthday. I called him earlier to wish him a Happy Birthday! He doesn't look all that happy in this picture, does he? I'm thinking that might be because we were all dressed to head off to Sunday School and he would rather have been playing in the dirt with his cars and trucks!
Today started off with a welcome rain shower and you could almost see the grass turning green when the sun came out. I went grocery shopping in the afternoon and that's about as exciting as it got around here today. Who knew that the most exciting thing of the day would be learning how to scan in my black and white photos!
Have a wonderful, colorful, sunny weekend!!
Thursday, July 24
My mother still has the original brown paper pattern piece that my Aunt Bell used to cut out the butterflies. This Butterfly quilt is a combination of Aunt Bell's stitching and my mother's handwork, too. Aunt Bell embroidered all the blocks and then sometime in the 50's my mother set the blocks into the pattern you see on the bed. I realized when I placed the quilt on the bed that my mother used the solid butterflies for the quilt center. I couldn't find any two butterflies that were alike. Some were florals, some stripes, some geometric patterns. The blocks were likely stitched in the 1930's to 1940's.
I have headed south on Hwy. 169 so many times that if there was an "auto-pilot" feature on my car it would know the way!! Certain spots along the route are favorites and I was reminded of this when I had to stop for construction. This is a view out my window as I waited for the one way road to clear so our line of traffic could pass. It's just a cornfield near Burt, Iowa but is that sky pretty or what? And look at that great field of corn!! On my return trip, I took a few photos of those favorite spots I pass on Hwy. 169 and will share them with you in a couple of days.
With storms, of course, comes hot weather so we had to make a stop at the Nifty Fifty's Ice Cream shop.
Wednesday, July 16
Before I took the quilt to Lisa last winter, I thought I should take a photo of it and that was when I discovered a funny thing. Sometimes through the camera lens we see things that aren't so obvious to our own eyes. That was the case here. As I looked through the lens, I noticed that one block was turned the opposite of all the other bow ties. You can see it if you look carefully. It's in the sixth row down on the right and the second block in - turgoise and plaid! (You can click on the photo to enlarge.) Now do you suppose that the quilter who made the quilt did that on purpose? Many a quilter knows that there were quilters who purposely turned a block so as not to make a "perfect" quilt because it was believed only God was perfect. I have a bad habit of turning blocks by accident or cutting them wrong, so I have to do a little fudging and I certainly never have to worry about making a "perfect" quilt!
Anyway, today I went to Bittersweet to take Lisa a different quilt, a pretty Dresden plate with a scalloped edge and bound with a soft orange cotton binding. Every couple of months I'll bring her another old quilt to hang, so if you're passing through Henderson stop in and have lunch, then check out the quilt on the back wall!
There's not been much time to sew these last few days because I have been so busy with the "Sew and Share" project, but I do try to squeeze in a little embroidery work each night. Time for some right now! I was hoping for a little rain and thunder to accompany my stitching and to water the garden tonight but I don't think it will happen. Perhaps it will rain tomorrow and that will be fine. I am done taking pictures to post on the "Sew and Share" blog so I don't need the sun tomorrow! I'm off to stitch now.
Monday, July 14
Busy day tomorrow so that's all for tonight. Sleep tight!!
Wednesday, July 9
I had planned to post to the "Sew and Share" blog last night but needed answers to some questions before I could post some final details. And today, I got the answers, so tonight I will post an update on the "Sew and Share" blog. However, there are no questions about the good food that we will be eating for lunch on Saturday. It was my turn to host Bible Study group yesterday and after we were finished, everyone coordinated what dish or dessert they will bring. It will be a feast!! Speaking of food, here's a picture of the dessert I concocted for us yesterday.
It was really tasty and starts with a crust made of crushed Chocolate Chex, then a pudding mix that uses a carton of whipping cream and it was really good!! I need to make it one more time as the crust wasn't quite right (too crumbly, think it needed more butter) and then I will post the recipe. Our Bible Study group meets every Tuesday afternoon and starts with dessert and conversation for an hour and then an hour on a chapter in a book of Bible studies. We have lively conversations and enjoy our time together!!
This evening I will finish stitching on the tulip blocks that will go in the 30's quilts I am making. I will post them later tonight. I decided I will offer a couple of free block projects in the coming months so stay tuned for details!! After we get through our Saturday of sewing, I will get back to some of my own projects. Hot as it is outside, I am really anxious to work on some wool quilt blocks and penny rugs. Even though I had planned to do that today there'll be plenty of time for that next week.
Sunday, July 6
Rain is hopefully headed our way. The grass is so dry that our dog Kaiser is not fond of where he has to walk in the vacant lots near our house. That's him in the picture below. It was taken a little over a week ago right after they had mowed and baled the alfalfa. Looks more green then than it does now.
Kaiser is truly a house dog and doesn't like walking on the cut stalks nor does he like getting his feet wet and when it snows, well, he tries to walk on one paw so he can keep his paws from getting cold and wet! Right now he is sleeping quite soundly in my sewing chair, his favorite place to be! He'll soon have to surrender it to me! Later all!
Saturday, July 5
Last evening we went down to Toody's Sweets for an ice cream cone and then I worked on a crazy quilt piece that will eventually go to my son. I tried to sit on the porch and sew but it was toooooooo sunny. It was not too sunny to just sit there and eat ice cream, though! :-) Anyway, it's a piece done in patriotic colors that I started about three years ago. All the pieces were pinned in place and I had begun to stitch them in place when it got laid aside and well, it's a year since I last stitched on it. Do you have projects like that? Here's a picture of what it looks like now that the stitching is done. It's ready to be embellished with fancy stitches, buttons and trims. My goal is to finish it by Election Day and I'll embroider the date on it on that day. The piece measures 16 x 20" and I plan to frame it under glass.
I am also posting a pic of the fabric postcard that I sent him for his birthday. In celebration of his birthday, if you e-mail me, I will send you a fabric postcard, too. However, it will most likely have a sewing theme unless this happens to be your birthday, too! The deadline to let me know if you want one was midnight tonight, but I'll extend it to midnight Monday night, July 7th just in case you were out of town and won't be reading this til you return.
Friday, July 4
I hung a couple of my quilts on the porch railing to add a little patriotic spirit to the front of the house. This one shown below is one of 12 seasonal/monthly quilts that I designed and stitched in 2000. This was the quilt for June and I made it with my Dad in mind as his birthday was Flag Day, June 14. And by getting it done in June that year, it was ready to hang on the 4th of July.
These two small wallhangings are from the same pattern. I drew the design in the summer of 2001 during the weekend of the 4th of July while I was thinking of my son's birthday coming up on the 5th of July. I made the cotton version first and taught it as a class through Prior Lake community ed.
Then in 2003, I made a version in woolfelt that I could send to National Nonwovens for a display in their booth at market.
I embroidered the words "Stars and Stripes Forever" on both quilts in Perle cotton. It shows up well when you see the quilt "for real" but doesn't show up well in photos. There's probably some feature on my camera that would help with that but I haven't figured it out if there is!!!
Now sometime this weekend, I am going to master putting patterns into PDF format and when I do I will celebrate and post this pattern for free for a limited time.
Here's to a great Independence Day! - Stars and Stripes Forever! - Land of Liberty! and God Bless America!!
Thursday, July 3
So here's a challenge. Anyone who is reading this between now and Saturday, July 5th - leave a comment and I will send you a fabric postcard. I'll reply back to you and get your snail mail address. Why do this? Well, I am inspired by all the blogs that are out there that are so enjoyable and so creative. I found one this evening and even registered for a free "Give Away!" that Red Geranium Cottage is offering. You'll find it on my list of "Blogs that make me smile". I decided it was time to make a list of the blogs I regularly visit and a few websites, too. Check them out as they run the gamut of quilting, crafting, cooking, reflection and fun!
Earlier I mentioned "a major committment" that I fulfilled today and that was to prepare a program for our Women's Guild at church. I presented a program that focused on our given names and their meaning. I made bookmarks for everyone and printed a gardening poem on the front, then on the back added their name and it's meaning. I read their names and the meaning and then everyone exchanged bookmarks and had to write something special about the other person and read to the group what they had written. It is really interesting to hear what other people see in us and can be very encouraging, uplifting to the person they wrote about. It's a simple thing but very personal and gratifying to know that others enjoy your smile, or your laugh, or appreciate all you do for others. This can work in a book club, quilting group, any gathering of friends. I did it at a retreat several years ago as an "ice breaker" and it worked really well.
No pictures tonight although if my camera could have caught the image there would be one of the glorious red, pink and blue cotton candy sky that was tonight's sunset. Picture that!!! Even my husband was impressed!!
Have a glorious, family-fun, safe and great food for all Independence Day!!!