Sunday, May 31

My One Year Blog Anniversary - Day 6

Had a busy day today. I actually got up early and went to church because choir was singing one last time before summer break. Services have moved to 8:30 a.m. for summer and I really like the 10:00 time that goes from Sept. to May a lot better. Sorry, but I am just not a morning person. I even find it hard to sing in the morning but boy! am I warmed up by 9:00 at night. :-)
So, what else happened today. Well, I cut all the strips for that Old Red Barn Quilt-Along project and then was at the computer when the doorbell rang. It was a surprise as it was my friend, Barb. Actually, I knew the doorbell was going to ring as I heard a motorcycle in the driveway and knew someone was here but it was still a surprise to see her. And then she handed me this...........

for my birthday!! It's a book about tea and I'll tell you more about it when it's time for tea on Wednesday. I've peeked at it and then put the bow back on as it looks so pretty with the tulle and that flower tucked in the bow. Thanks, Barb!!
Barb is not a quilting friend. No, Barb, and I are just long-time friends. I guess that makes her an antique friend!! We met when we were both working at an elementary school as Title I Aides (helping kids with reading and math skills). Plus her girls and my son were all in school together and involved in band so we had the "kids in common" and "work in common" friendship but we have stuck together for the "we enjoy each other's company a lot" friendship. I told you I have really great friends. :-)

With the skies darkening with a threat of rain, Barb and husband, Tom, decided they better get on the road. Nobody wants to make a good motorcycle ride in the rain!! Interestingly they left at about 4:00 p.m. and it took til almost 9:00 tonight before we ever got the rain that we need so much.
But alas, you don't care if we got rain but I'll bet you want to know what's in store for today's giveaway. And it's not these vintage feedsacks, although they were in the drawer with the fabrics I pulled for the giveaway so thought I would take a photo.

These are the only two vintage feedsacks that I own. I bought them in a gift basket of vintage sewing items at the Chaska Quilter's Penny Auction. There were three bags in the basket but one was unstitched and these two are still sewn together as bags. I was so surprised at the Hawaiin print. I love the white bows on the turgoise and one day, I may cut that one apart and use it in a project. The Hawaiin print one will stay "as is".
I chose to do a "vintage theme" today as here in the states this day is when Memorial Day began although it was originally called Decoration Day (for decorating the headstones at the cemetary). This day made me think of my Grandma as I remember going along with her to place flowers on her parents graves and then there would be the wreath ceremony at the river bridge. Thoughts of Grandma and the church ladies and my parents in the 1950's put me in a vintage mood. And so, here is what I gathered together for one lucky winner.............

Brown Bear is ably assisting and even has buttons in his pockets in order to keep all these things together for you to see. First, there is the tiny little "laundry-type" basket (it would make a great little pincushion!) that is filled with vintage fabrics. There are nine fabric pieces of varying sizes and then at each basket handle there are two 1-1/2 yard pieces of red and blue cotton rick rack. I added three spools of thread, five cards of vintage buttons, and then draped over Brown Bear's knee is a one yard piece of a favorite red and white cotton fabric that isn't vintage but it makes me think it's vintage. :-) And just like in all the other anniversary giveaways, there is a Mary E notebook where you can tally your quilts and projects and keep track of your friends. I like the saying on the front of this notebook....."A Friend is someone who knows all about you but loves you anyway." And that would be Barb. I have been friends with Barb longer than any of my quilty, crafty friends so I think we are stuck together as friends for life. :-)
Time for you to add a comment if you'd like to win this prize. I'm going to give you a choice on this one..........You can leave a comment and tell me about a good friend .....or.......tell me what type of fabrics you like (vintage, Civil War prints, 30's prints, Amy Butler, etc. etc. etc. ). And remember to be sure to leave your e-mail address if there is no link back to your blog.
Have a good night!!
Sandi
P.S. Next on the agenda is posting of the Seasons blocks and the Snowman blocks for June. They will both be posted by tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 30

My One Year Blog Anniversary - Day 5

Here I am right on time!! It's summer and it's Saturday so I hope you are all out enjoying the day with some fun activity. Maybe you are gardening or perhaps working on a quilt. Whatever it is, enjoy!!
One of my favorite words is JOY. It's a small word but it packs a lot of punch!! JOY comes in all shapes and sizes from new babies to kids graduating from high school, from a new bike to a new car, a new dress, good news, a new home, seeing your kids grow up and do well, good friends, visiting family, more good friends, kind words in tough times, lots of good friends!! That's where much of my joy comes from..........friends. Recently, my good friend Sue commented that there was something special about her friendships now because they were no longer friendships that were connected by children but instead were friendships connected by similar interests and the JOY of stitching together!! We all agreed with her!!! So, it's in the spirit of quilting friendships that I offer up today's gifties in celebration of my blogging anniversary. And here they are.......

Brown Bear has his arms full this time with a package of Mary E notecards that say "The Art of Friendship" to a purse pattern, then fabric and, of course, a notebook so you can keep track of your projects and/or your friends. :-) The fabrics are a little charm pack by Moda called Clementine that I picked up at FireflyQuiltShop yesterday afternoon. I had picked up the little purse pattern by Sherri Falls (she's a Minnesota designer and you can find her at her website ThisAndThatPatterns). I bought this pattern a month ago for me and thought it would be a great gift here for my giveaway so I bought another one! I was in search of a charm pack of fabrics that I could include with it when Janice (owner of Firefly) asked if I'd seen the new ones she had just stocked. Somehow I had missed them but the minute I saw this charm pack, I could see it as the purse, and then also as a baby quilt for my son's friend's new baby. I bought three of them, so in the picture, you can see the one you that will receive and then I took my charm pack and fanned it out so you can see the fabrics in it. They just say summer, don't they? Or in that baby quilt they will just say "girlie" which is what the new baby is!
All you have to do is leave a comment for a chance to win the gifties that fill Brown Bear's arms. Of course, there is a question you must answer in the comment you leave and here it is..........tell me a favorite quilting memory you have made with a friend or friends. It has brought me great JOY to read the comments/answers you all post and hope you all are enjoying them to!!
One last thought...............in yesterday's post there was the Mary E quote "the best antiques are old friends". Today's quote is an old one and I have no idea where it originated........."Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver, the other gold." I am so fortunate to have old, new, antique, silver, and gold friends!!!
I'll see you late Sunday afternoon with another post for Celebration Day #6. Til then, have a good afternoon and a great Sunday!
Sandi

Friday, May 29

My One Year Blog Anniversary - Day 4

I had a very busy day and because of that I am very late posting about Day 4 of my One Year Blog Anniversary. And since it's late and I am tired, I will quickly tell you why I'm late and then show you the gifties that you could win for Day 4 of this Eight Days of Prizes! :-)
First, I couldn't sleep last night for some reason. I got up an hour later than I wanted to and I couldn't get moving. I headed out to go grocery shopping with a stop first at Little Star's Early Learning Center which is the daycare facility my daughter owns and operates. :-) They had done some major classroom painting and rearranging and gave me a little tour. When my birthday rolls around next week, I will tell you the funny thing one of the little boys said to me during my tour. Too cute! I had fabric errands to run after that as I have baby quilts to make and so more on that when I get to them. I grabbed lunch but should have skipped it as the sandwich from Great Steak was not so great. Sorry, I have to be honest. I needed to eat, though, as one should never go to the grocery store hungry. A quick stop at the Dollar Store for dishtowels and some birthday things for my niece, then off to the grocery store. Now, I love cruising the aisles of the grocery store. I've shared this before.....it comes from enjoying trips to the store with my Grandma and I guess that's why I enjoy it. :-)
So, when I reached home with all the groceries and stuff, then got it all put away, I had 30 minutes before I was heading downtown for "Music on Main". This meant there was no time to post a giveaway. I was not going to miss this evenings musical guest, Amy Korteum and her Celtic Band. That's Amy on the harp. She is a very gifted harpist and has a lilting, lovely voice. if you want to hear a bit of her talent just go here and you'll be at her website. She also has a blog where she shares her sense of humor. Her sense of humor is evident between songs and she has the most delightful laugh! You can see it in her smile in this picture.

Now you may also notice in the photo above that the drummer is not playing and looks like his mind is elsewhere, and the fiddle player is also silent. That's because some tunes are solos or duets and others are done by all the members. And all the members are..........
Sam the drummer (playing the bodhran), Martha on recorders and whistles, Amy on the harp (and vocals) and Marti Ryan on violin. They shared many lovely ballads and a few jigs (sadly no one danced) and it was a lovely way to spend a Friday evening on the patio outside Toody's Sweets. "Music on Main" is a six week series sponsored by the businesses in Henderson and if you want to come and hear the music next week just click here for more info.
If you don't live nearby, though, you are probably not looking for more info on anything in Henderson except what's in the Day 4 giveaway bag. And so...............here.........it.........is.........

Brown Bear is "up to his chin" in a bag filled with fabrics for Crazy Quilting. I picked up the bag at the Dollar Tree and bought one for a lucky winner and one for me. You can see what it looks like in the bag that has been closed. That one is mine. Your winning bag is filled with satins, velvets, laces, trims, buttons, etc. that can all be used for a great crazy quilting project. And just like in the other drawings, there's a notebook where you can keep track of projects or all your quilting friends. I think that saying on the notebook is kinda cute....."The best antiques are old friends". I am fortunate to have a lot of antique friends. :-) That doesn't sound right because they aren't necessarily "Old"........they are "long-time" friends. Anyway, you get the picture.
My love of crazy quilting has connected me with a truly fine group of stitchers and we have more fun together than is believable sometimes!!!
So, this time, the question you must answer in your comment is...............What style of quilting do you like the most? I couldn't answer that with one style if I had to because some days I like crazy quilting best and other days all I want to do is stitch with wool and other days I want new fabric, then vintage..........you get the picture!
Tomorrow is a new day so I'll see you in the early afternoon with Giveaway #5 of my Blogiversary celebration!
Night all!
Sandi

Thursday, May 28

The Thrift Shop Stop

I told you yesterday that I would share my finds from the Thrift Shop stop that I made yesterday after I left the dentist. Almost forgot, so here it is..........

As I went in the door of the Lutheran Home Thrift Shop in Belle Plaine, I told myself you can find just "one thing" to take out the door. Oh, sure, and I was only a few feet in the shop when I spotted the little basket (Dept. 56 it says-did they make baskets?) that will become a pincushion. It's bone china and is light as a feather. That was it, my "one thing". Riiiiggghhht............because then I saw the Chinese teapot and cup. I picked it up and put it back, then picked it up and said "well, it would look so good with some of my other Oriental things". :-) That was going to be all and then I passed the fabrics and books and there was this piece of vintage upholstery velveteen and that needlework book. I don't do needlework but I "see penny rugs" in those designs. Plus
the foreward was by thee Rose Kennedy. By this time, I was juggling too many things and had to get a cart. I found the little Sunbonnet items on my way to get the cart. I am not sure what their purpose is but they are well done. Someone did them in a ceramics class because their initials are carved in the bottom of each one. Do you suppose they were napkin holders? Two toothpick holders for the table? Square candleholders? :-) Who knows? And who knows what those rhinestone things are? There were three of them at just 50cents each and there's a loop at the back of the little top piece. There was no chain with them and no earring pieces. They look pretty when placed on black velvet so I think I will make them "Art". :-) I had a very fruitful shopping trip and instead of coming out with just "one thing", I came out of the shop with just "one bag". Hee hee!

Now to the teapots in the photo above. These also came from the LH Thrift Shop but were all bought on seperate trips. I found the little one last summer, then another trip found the medium one and when I went to the dentist in December, a quick stop at the Thrift Shop yeilded the large one and it had it's lid!! I am going to use the two without lids for plants or dried flowers. And then again, the small one might end up as a pincushion. Who knows?!! :-) This little thrift shop is my favorite of all the ones I frequent. Don't miss it, if you are passing through Belle Plaine, MN.

One last thing......earlier today I took the quilt top for the small Emma's quilt down to the post office and gave it to Connie, Emma's Grandma. I added two borders to it and Connie is going to see if the ladies who handquilted the large fundraising quilt for Emma (see it here ) will also quilt this one. I had planned to machine quilt it, but after seeing the lovely job the quilting group did, it didn't seem right to machine quilt this one. Plus, I just didn't have time. The fundraiser is this Saturday and you can learn more about it here . Connie said there are more items for auction than space to put them. Here's hoping that the entire auction is a huge success!! Sometime next week, I'll give an update on the quilt at auction and also identify each block by it's maker. I think there were 37 of you that kindly donated blocks for this project and I thank you one and all!!
That's all for now. See you late tomorrow afternoon with Day 4 Celebration fun!
Sandi

My One Year Blog Anniversary - Day 3!

So, if two is company and three's a crowd but eight is enough, then I think I have the right number of prizes to celebrate my One Year Blog Anniversary!! LOL! It's Day 3 and time to show you what you can win by commenting on this post. Brown Bear cried out "wow, those are bright colors, not your usual choice, Sandi!" And that's sorta true, but we all need to "color outside the line, dream outside the box" occasionally, right? I know Mark Lipinski would agree and those are his fat-eighths from his fabric line "Katmandu" that Brown Bear is displaying in the photo below.

There are 23 fat-eighths for you along with a Mary E journal and bookmark. Once again, I've included this so that you can keep track of your projects. There's a message going on here. :-)

So, anyway, when I first saw these fabrics in 2007, they really caught my eye. I immediately saw the possibility for a crazy quilt in the fabrics. The designs on the fabric can be embellished with stitches and beading. Perfect! I searched for a shop in the Twin Cities that might carry the fabrics but no luck. I had joined Mark's Pickle Road Yahoo group and member Ruth, suggested that I try Toby's "Kindred Quilts" in New Jersey. With help from my grandson, Jacob, we chose the ones we liked from the fabric line and Toby and her staff filled the order. The fabrics arrived and when Jacob came to visit, he chose the ones for the first block that you see in the photo below. Then my mother got sick and my dad was in the care center and life just happened. The project went into a box. Yep, that box in the picture. I knew that I didn't need all the fabrics that I had ordered for the quilt that I can see in my mind, so I thought "let's cut them in half and give half as a prize on my blog anniversary". And so I did! :-) I keep half and you can win the other half! The blocks when finished will be a small wallquilt that I have named "23 Skidoo". I have to finish it by September for Henderson's Heritage Days which has a 1920's them this year. I'll make it, just know I will. :-)


Since I am reviewing how I got into this blogging thing, I had to mention Mark and his group. As noted in yesterday's giveaway, I was in One Stitch at a Time Yahoo group and enjoyed a challenge to make a quilt and that's how my flannel scraps finally got put to use. There were lots of talented stitcher's in that group. In Mark's group, again, there were so many people and everyone was so much more talented at quilting than I was, that at first, I didn't post or reply. But as time passed, I started "chiming in". I even got to know a member, Donna, and we met when she came to sit with me when my mother was in the hospital. I learned a ton of stuff in Mark's group from quilting to how to find the best iron to politics and more. And I read blogs and websites of members of the group and I knew I wanted to have a blog, too. I began to study the blogs in a different way, not just to read them but to think about what I could share if I had my own blog. More on the rest of the story tomorrow! ;-)
You're probably tired of reading (or skimming this post). You want to know what you have to do for a chance to win these fabrics, right? Well, you have to leave a comment on this post and you have to tell me ......................... how many projects do you have in your "waiting to be finished stack"? I think I have at least 2 to 3 dozen that are started. I can't begin to count the one's I bought fabric for and are still waiting to be cut!!! SO, leave your comments now. Comments close on June 10th and the drawing will be June 14th for all the prizes!
Sandi

Wednesday, May 27

A Quilt-Along with Old Red Barn

One more thing before the end of this day.............Since I don't seem to have enough to do - hee hee - I thought I would add another project to my list. I know some of you have joined in the Quilt-Along over at Old*RED*Barn and I did, too. I remember when Dana of Old Red Barn offered her giveaway last year for a summery looking quilt and now she is going to guide everyone along as she makes this quilt again. She's having a few drawings as she goes along, too, and there is an ultimate prize of a sewing machine! If you want to join just click here and you'll be at the Old Red Barn Blog. I just posted my fabric choices to the Quilt-Along Flickr group. Here they are.............

All the fabrics are from my stash and are all favorites that were waiting for some special project. This one seemed to be it! I am only a bit unsure about the purply green floral on the right. What do you think? Keep or replace? The style of this quilt is probably "out of my comfort zone" but I think I need to "spread my wings". I am loving the fabrics I picked and can hardly wait to get started!

So, let's see........I'm making new blocks in my own BOM series, also making the Bunny Hill blocks, have two little Pat Sloan projects in progress, and as my friend, Laura, knows I am still working on the house blocks from HGTV's "Strolling the block" quilt from a couple of years ago. And then there is the 365 Day quilt started with my Daystitcher's group, and the Christmas squares exchanged with my Tuesday Crazies group, and then the Thimbleberries quilt I started in 1998, and the list goes on!! Obviously, I am never bored!!

However, it is time for a late night snack! See you tomorrow.
Sandi

My One Year Blog Anniversary - Day 2!

Well, it's Day 2 and time to let you know what the next prize is in my blog anniversary celebration. First I have to say "Thank you" for all the comments and thoughts you shared in the Day 1 celebration post. I enjoyed reading every one of them!!
Once again Brown Bear is assisting and he is really liking this giveaway. There are 56 flannel rectangles (6 1/2" x 9 1/2") that you can use for a comfy lap quilt to keep you warm come winter. Now I realize that for most of us, it's summer but if you put these squares in your "to do" pile and then maybe get to them in a couple of months.......well, you might finish the quilt just in time for cold weather! :-) Brown Bear is thinking this would make a great quilt for winter hibernation!!

Along with the quilt squares, there's a little Mary E journal where you can keep track of projects on your "to do" list. So, why send you flannel squares at this time of year? Well, as noted, sometimes fabric has to come and live with us while we work on other projects. I just want you to be ready for winter when it comes. :-)

I love the feel of good quality flannel and love to snuggle down in flannel sheets. Not everybody loves the feel of flannel sheets but for me, it goes back to when I was a young girl and there were yellow flannel sheets on our twin beds. My sister and I shared a room and we had these twin beds that were black wrought iron, very 1950's. :-) My sister's bed was in the corner of the room opposite the door and my bed was tucked by the closet and under the window. The window faced out to the backyard and I could see up the hill behind our house. There was a street light up there along the paved road that came into Lehigh (Iowa where I grew up) from the east. It was just about where the "Castle" is located, a beautiful old brick home and my parents lived in the apartment on the third floor when I was just a tiny baby. I always went to bed comforted by the "nightlight" that the streetlight provided when I snuggled down on those yellow flannel sheets. It's one of those good memories that can make me happy when I am sad. So with happy thoughts in mind, I took some favorite flannel fabrics and made a quilt (yes, I know it's not really a quilt but calling it a blanket just doesn't sound right). I was in a Yahoo group called "One Stitch at a Time" and they were having this challenge thing to make a project or something like that. There are so many quilters out there who make these fantastic quilts but with all the health issues for my parents and our move into our new house, I didn't have time to cut and piece anything intricate. I was happy just to sew the rectangles together into a quilt top and then I backed it with fleece and added a binding of fleece, too. That's what I am doing in the picture. I was in a hurry to finish the quilt because we had this "cold-air" issue in my sewing room and I needed the warmth to sew or be at the computer. That problem has since been solved but I use this quilt all the time. It is super comfortable and it's plenty long enough to cover me from head to toe!!!

The 56 rectangles in this prize are cut from some really pretty fall flannels that I purchased at local quilt shops. They are all washed and ready for you to stitch into your own comfy quilt. All you have to do is leave a comment and this time, tell me about a favorite quilt memory. I have many favorite quilt memories and I'm sure you do, too, so I'll bet you can share at least one.
You can add comments on this post through June 10th and winner will be announced on June 14th.
Have a good night and I'll see you tomorrow with another prize!
Sandi

I took a wrong turn.........

and look what I found.............

All I was doing was driving to the dentist and planned to stop first at the post office. I took the "Bottom Road" (called that because it runs along the river bottom) from Henderson to Belle Plaine. The road is also known as the "Scenic Byway" and it is truly a beautiful drive. You pass farms and trees, bends in the road, horses in their corrals, and then you drive over the Minnesota River. You pass a beautiful old Norwegian church and then I should have turned so I could stop at the post office but I drove a block to far and then took a right. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw this guy in his yard and I thought "that's a castle with a dragon on it" and down the street I went. I mailed my packages and figured I'd get to the dentist after I checked out the dragon. The guy was still is his yard working and I pulled up and complimented him on the piece. It's a large tree that was carved by Bob Halvorson and then the homeowner and his family painted it. I just thought it was the coolest piece of yard art that I have ever seen!!! Anyway, I asked the homeowner if I could post this on my blog and he said "sure" and so if you want to see this for yourself, just get yourself to Belle Plaine (MN) and take a drive down Cedar Street. I don't remember just where on Cedar Street but I don't think you'll miss this if you are driving by!

No need to describe my visit to the dentist. It went fine and I was outta there and off to the thrift shop. Pictures of that excursion tomorrow. Have a couple of pics to share before I post the giveaway prize for today.

Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry*Stitches to let her know that she had been an inspiration to me when I began blogging. I wasn't really expecting a reply but I just wanted to make sure she knew. Surprise! When I checked my inbox this morning she had replied and wrote "thanks for the lovely e-mail...you have made my day! Congrats .....Happy Blogday to you!" I thought that was really cool. She made my day! I had planned to post a photo of the needlecase pattern that she offers on her site and forgot it yesterday so here it is now.


I made it a little over a year ago and loved it when it was finished. You can make one, too, as the pattern is still on her site. Just go to Cinderberry*Stitches and in her sidebar on the right, you will find the link to the pattern "Springberries Needlecase".
Now it's time to post the giveaway prize in Day 2 of my Blog Anniversary Celebration!
Sandi

Tuesday, May 26

It's my One Year Blog Anniversary!!

Let the party begin!! If you follow my blog regularly, you already know that I really enjoy blogging. I like to write, love to draw designs, enjoy sharing what I do and the things I make and collect. I decided to take a look back and figure out how I stumbled into this blogging thing that I have come to enjoy so much. Five years ago, I had no clue what a blog was. I had only just begun to really use e-mail and I was still trying to figure out the "ins-and-outs" of that technical challenge. Friends at church, Dan and Nancy, were in the process of adopting a child and Nancy told me she had started to blog about the experience. I checked it out and found it interesting to think one would journal for all the world to see. It looked like something I would enjoy.

After I visited Nancy's blog, I began checking out other sites. I love to embroider and so I looked for sites that had embroidery designs. I found one that I repeatedly went back to.....Cinderberry*Stitches by Natalie Lymer of Australia. I loved her blog because the photography of her designs and embroidery were like "stitchery eye-candy" to me. Her blog had links to other blogs with embroidery and quilting projects and it was like taking a trip without leaving the chair at my computer!! In one of my searches for embroidery, a site came up for a Yahoo Redwork group, so I clicked and joined the group. I was mostly a "lurker" in this group. I had trouble figuring out how to reply to messages, how to "chat" and so I just "observed". Now I look back and wonder, how could I make something so easy, so difficult.

In the Redwork group, I "met" Anna and she is one of those people who always have a lead on a great site or pattern. She was an introduction into the friendly world of blogging, yahoo groups and sharing on the internet. Thanks, Anna! And thanks to my mother who taught me how to embroider!

SO, with those stitching thoughts in mind, I present the first of eight prizes that I'll offer in my One Year Blog Anniversary Celebration........


And here is my buddy, Brown Bear, displaying what you could win
.......

Two vintage Aunt Martha embroidery transfer patterns

Four skeins of my favorite floss for Redwork -
#'s 498 and variegated 115

Eighteen - 8 1/2" square red cotton prints by Mary Englebreit

and a package of Mary E post-its so that you can keep track of projects!


Now here is what you have to do for a chance to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post for this prize (there will be a prize each day for the next seven days and you can leave your name each day for each prize).

2. In your comment, please tell me who taught you to sew/quilt/embroider (whichever applies).

3. Be sure to leave your e-mail address or a link back to your blog. Comments will be deleted if there is no way to contact you.

4. This celebration is open to all bloggers everywhere. :-) I have chosen prizes that will fit in an envelope and will be less costly to mail, so I am happy to mail international.

5. You may begin leaving comments now! Last day to comment will be June 10th. I will tally comments and e-mail/post winners on June 14th.
So, start leaving those comments! Thanks to all of you that have followed my blog so regularly. I really, really appreciate it!!
Sandi

Monday, May 25

At the end of the day...........

I am recalling that it was just a year ago today, in the evening, when I first began to blog. If you go here you can read that first post. Blogging is one of the best things I have ever done. It was good for my soul because I needed to write after the passing of my dad and just to collect my thoughts. My mother had also been very sick just months before he passed away and for my brother, sister and me there were just lots of things to deal with. Blogging helped.
It opened doors, too, and by reading other blogs, I could peek into their world and see the creativity that abounds in this ring of quilty, crafty bloggers!! I have made such good "friends" and although, I've never actually "met" some of you, I have talked to a couple of you on the phone. It's just been a really great thing to blog and I just want to say "THANK YOU" to Blogger because it's user friendly and it's free. :-)
So, as noted above, it's the end of the day and if it's one year since I started blogging, shouldn't I be celebrating? Well, of course!! And who could I ask to help me make this a celebration?


Why, Brown Bear because he always does what I tell him to do! LOL! He is ready to help me get rolling on my One Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway and because I have had so much fun blogging and meeting so many of you, I am going to really have a great giveaway!! You can see that there are eight green gift bags with pretty orange bows. They just say "summer", don't they? The minute that I saw them on clearance at Michael's I knew I had my idea for my giveaway. I started blogging in 2008 and so there will be eight gifts. The first gift bag and it's contents will be posted on Tuesday evening, May 26, the actual date of my blogging anniversary. Each day through June 2nd, I will post another gift bag and contents. You will need to leave a comment on each post in order to be entered in each drawing. That means you can have a chance to win eight prizes! Once all eight items are posted, I will take comments through June 8th. Comments will close then and it will take me a day or so to tally it all up and notify winners. I'll have more details available when the first gift bag and prizes are posted.
Before I close, I thought I would share a couple more photos of vintage linens. I am curious about the pair in this photo...........

What do you think? Were they hand towels for the bathroom or tea towels for the kitchen? The embroidery is lovely and even the addition of the red and black cotton at the hem is done very well.
Then there is this cutie that my mother gave me the last time I visited her. I know someone who will be abuzz when she sees this. I'm thinking it's cute enough to frame.

This last one is pretty worn but I love that message "cool as a cucumber". I can recall having to be "cool as a cucumber" on several occasions in my life. LOL!! This one, too, could be framed. I'll have some more vintage towels to share in my next post.
Night all,
Sandi

Sunday, May 24

Enjoying the weekend!

I hope you are enjoying this weekend. Here in Minnesota the day was especially fine......rain came last night and so the grass and the flowers received a much needed watering. And the weather was warm and sunny by early afternoon.
Our grandson Jacob is here visiting and we made the most of the day. We decorated the front porch! My mother had these bears and last year she gave them to me. The fabrics in their clothing are patriotic prints and I thought that one day, I'd set them on the front porch just for fun. So, Jacob helped me put their heads on - they are just wire armatures with foam padding - and he chose where to put the flags. I am sure these bears are getting ready to walk off to the Memorial Day parade on Monday morning. :-)

Then Jacob helped me hang this wreath. It's one that good friends sent for my dad's funeral last spring and my mother was going to keep it, then changed her mind and gave it to me. First we hung it on the front of the porch railing and it wasn't working for Jacob or me. He's only ten but he has a "good eye" for color and balance! Jacob thought it needed a flag so we added a little one and then I moved it next to the front door and it looked just right!

I call this my "healing chair". It was my birthday present from my husband in 2004. All I asked for was a simple chair and little table for the deck at our previous home. I thought he had forgotten my birthday until I looked out on the deck and saw the chair sitting there. I still don't know how he got it there without me seeing him. Anyway, it's just a simple chair and it's a great place to relax and read or stitch when the weather is nice. So, I cleaned the chair and Jacob cleaned the table and we added another flag. :-)

You might think some of these things would blow away after all the wind that I've described lately but I do a couple of things.......I use large safety pins combined with chenille stems to secure items in place and so far it works. Well, almost, as somewhere in the woods there is a good-size styrofoam pumpkin that blew off the porch last fall and I haven't seen it since!!


After all that work it was time for lunch and then some computer game time. Then we went downstairs and Jacob helped me put all the Christmas boxes in my freshly painted closet in the basement. I have never had a closet just for Christmas stuff but there was a spot under the steps that was perfect. When we were done, it was time for an ice cream treat so we headed down to Toody's. I'll share photos of that little jaunt later.

We ended the day by roasting brats and hotdogs over the fire and also a whole lot of marshmallows!! It was a good day. Hope your day was, too. :-)
Sandi

Saturday, May 23

Emma's Quilt is finished!

Connie, our local Postlady, called me on Thursday afternoon and asked me to come to the post office on Friday morning for a photo taking session for our local newspaper, The Henderson Independent. The handquilting was finished by Esther and her quilting friends and Connie had finished the binding, so it is ready to be taken to the Fundraiser for her grandaughter, Emma. If you are in the area of Waconia, MN on Saturday, May 30th, you can stop by and bid on this beautiful quilt. Just click here and you'll find all the info. That's Connie in the photo with the quilt and then I took a photo of just the quilt. If you don't see your blocks in this quilt, remember that I took about a dozen blocks to make a small quilt for Emma and her family as a wall quilt that they can keep. The large quilt will be auctioned and monies raised go for costs related to Emma's medical care.

The ladies who did the hand-quilting were led by Esther Wroge. She gathered together Eldora Miller, Marilyn Jensen, Kathy Schrader, Elaine Graupmann, Kathy Stuedemann, and Ardeen Graupmann, Bev Wilkens, Mary Lou Wroge, Leona Wroge, Luella Prehn, Sharon Dummer, Donna Schmidt, Adeline Miller and Violet Zebell to get the hand-quilting finished in record time!!

I took two close-ups of their quilting work. The fan above is a favorite block and was made by Claire who is a cancer survivor and wanted to contribute blocks.

And I loved the simple way they quilted in the center of most of the star blocks. Much of the quilting is "stitch in the ditch" and that allows the design of the blocks and the colors to really "pop"!
When the photo taking was all finished, James, the reporter who will write an article about the quilt gathered info from Connie and me on how the quilt came to be. I'll be sure to link you to that article when it appears in next week's issue of the paper.
After that, I came home to continue some closet cleaning I've been doing this week. I am organizing vintage linens and quilt tops and such, although "playing with them" would be a more appropriate term. I took photos of some things that I'll share as the weeks go buy but I decided to pick one to show you why I'm having so much fun. This is a small tablecloth that was probably used on a cardtable. The color is just as vibrant as you see in the picture and the embroidery is just beautiful. It's in very good condition and has the same flower design on all four corners.
I am not usually an orange fan, but I absolutely love this piece. I have loads of treasures to share, so keep watching for more.
Time to turn out the lights as my grandson will be here at 10:00 tomorrow morning!
Sandi

Quilts at Bittersweet!

This past Thursday afternoon, I stopped in at Bittersweet Coffe & Cafe just before closing. I had a quilt to drop off so that this one in the picture can come home to rest for awhile.

I love this Dresden plate quilt and it is in perfect condition. My dad bought it at Mrs. Larson's auction in Burnside, Iowa and I think it must have never been used. At the same time he bought a Sunbonnet Sue baby quilt that is made with the same border fabric and it is very worn! Don't you wonder about the stories behind quilts? I sure do. I left the pink hexagon quilt for Josh, the manager, to hang and then I'll go back next week to take a photo of it for you all.

Maybe when I go back, I can finally take time to stop and have a sandwich or some soup. I have been so busy lately that I can't enjoy any time to just sit down and relax. This is what the dining area of Bittersweet looks like and it's just waiting for you or me to come in and have lunch. Remember, no one is in the picture because I stopped in just before closing at 4:00. Hours will change soon for summer.

Here's Josh, who kindly posed for a picture so I could post it here. He is currently managing the shop for his mother, Cindy, plus juggling farm and garden and music in his life. If you go here you can read "Outdoors with Josh Reinitz". And then if you go here , you can read about his band "Depot Creek". Henderson is full of busy, interesting folk and Josh is one of many!
Taking a break..........
Back in a minute.........
Sandi

The Firefly is back...............

and I hope you enjoy your visit! It's not a big shop (go here for their website) but it is packed full of lovely fabrics, great samples and friendly staff. Owner, Janice, is shown below in the classroom area. Isn't that a gorgeous quilt?

Now, remember that I only went in for "a couple of fat quarters".............

but there were sooooooooo many fabrics...........

and so many colors.....................

and there were patterns and samples...............

and I really spent a lot of time in the corner behind this display because the staff told me it was "Fat Quarter Friday" which meant that all fat quarters were just $1.50 each so, of course, I had to pick up a few and then...........
just when I thought I had covered it all, I went around all the shelves once and back around again .................
and that's why I came out the door with all of this! It's just a little more than "a couple of fat quarters". Now it all had a destination and since you already know that I am behind in posting pics, you'll see where it all went in the next few days!!
I hear thunder! I hope we are going to get rain! I love raindrops on the roof and we are sorely in need of moisture!
Back soon.....
Sandi

Friday, May 22

So where's the firefly?

Right here.............It's a quilt shop!

And I'll have to tell you about it later because it's been a busy day and I will have to post all my comings and goings later tomorrow. I have pictures to share and will tell you that I only went in to get a couple of fat quarters and I came out with a lot more than two fat quarters. LOL!
Thank goodness the wind died down but no rain fell so the flowers didn't get a drink.
See you tomorrow night.
Sandi

Thursday, May 21

Have you any Wool?

If you don't then all you have to do is stop at Bittersweet in Winnebago, MN. It's a little shop that sits on Main Street/Hwy. 169 South and you will find flowers, fabric, and wool. What more could you want? When I returned from visiting my mother in Iowa a few weeks ago, I had just enough time to stop at the shop and still make it home in time to pick up Kaiser from the Vet/kennel. It was a quick stop but I found a charm pack so that I can make another table runner like the one that you can see in my TeaAndStitches blog. When I made the first one, it was an experiment. I want to do it again and I'll make it a tutorial that I can offer to all of you. :-) Anyway, if you are traveling in southern Minnesota, don't miss this little shop or a couple other nice little places that you find in Winnebago.

This shop is not the only shop by the name of Bittersweet that I enjoy visiting. Right here in Henderson, you'll find Bittersweet Coffee and Gifts and tomorrow, I'll be dropping off a different quilt that they'll be displaying in the back dining area. Take a peek here and you can see the first quilt that I shared. I'll take a photo of the one that's there now and of the new one that will go up and share them tomorrow evening.

I keep forgetting to post a picture of a gift that I received from one of my Wooly Buddies members but not tonight.......finally, I remembered!! Wooly Buddy Kaye sent me this cute little wooly sheep wall-hanging and I just want to say "Thank You, Kaye!!!" He looks great hanging in my sewing room!
Now, I was going to take some pictures of quilts on the line but the wind was blowing soooooooo hard here in Minnesota that it was impossible to hang any quilts on the line. Instead, I spent the day cleaning the closet and sorting quilty stuff in my pink bedroom. So, how windy was it? Well, it's trash day and my husband put out the trash and recycling and I looked out to see the recycling blowing down the street. I tried to run out and gather it up and got frustrated because I was supposed to be at the clinic for a 9:30 appointment. I left him to gather it all up. He repositioned the containers and nothing blew away until the garbage man came by with his truck and the containers were empty. I look out and the garbage can, yes, our large garbage can is blowing down the street. So, out I go to retrieve the thing and as I'm wheeling it home, I nearly get blown over and have to hang on to the mailbox to stay standing. My neighbor Jerry saw this so he would vouch for my tall tale! :-) Way too windy and way too hot for this time of year in Minnesota. Finally the winds died down tonight and a chance of rain is moving in and I hope it comes because .......................

And that's what a good rain does. I made this little quilt a few years ago. It's from a booklet called "Forget-Me-Nots" from Country Threads with designs by Tammy Johnson. It's just done in fusible applique in some favorite fabrics and also hangs in my sewing room. Well, usuallly it does, but I just loaned it to my friend Pandora for a June quilting event that she will be hosting. More on that soon. More catching up photos and stuff coming tomorrow night. You'll finally get to see a "Firefly". Hmmm........wonder what that could mean?
Have a really good day!!
Sandi

Tuesday, May 19

A visit to the Gingerbread House and more........

Yes, it was more than a couple of weeks ago that I was home for a visit with my mom in Iowa and I am still posting pictures of the three days I spent there. The day after I presented the quilt program to the Women's Club, my mom and I went shopping. We headed to Webster City and she took me along a "back-roads route" that she had found that has less traffic. Nice thing was the it was also very scenic! We went to Hy-Vee for a good lunch at the deli and then some groceries and a stop at the Dollar Store and around the corner to the Gingerbread House!!!

You'll find the shop at 309 Bank St. in Webster City, Iowa and it's open Mon-Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 p.m. There are even Gingerbread men waving at you and saying "yes, you can buy all the fabric you like!" :-)
This is such a cute shop, that is chock full of fabrics and bears and all sorts of good gifty items.
I was short on time, so did a quick "look see" and found the cutest little farm boy and tractor fabric and got a fat quarter of each - one for me and one for my mom who was waiting in the car because she was a bit tired.
I've been to the Gingerbread Shop a few times and have bears to prove it, plus some fabric. One fabric I purchased was the "challenge" fabric for our Prior Lake Quilter's group. Each member received a fat quarter of fabric that was chosen by the leader of the group each year (I was the leader at the time) and then the challenge was to make a project that incorporated that fabric. I chose the geranium print fabric that you see in the picture frame below. Edit: Leaders didn't have to cover the cost of the fabric that guild members received. Our dues covered the cost of the fabric and the leader of the group each year got to go out and select a fabric that she felt would be a good challenge in a quilt project. I love to share my fabric but that would be costly to cover fat quarters for the entire group! Sorry if I mislead anyone!

If I remember correctly, I bought almost the whole bolt in order to get enough for the group. I loved this fabric the minute I saw it as it reminded me of my Grandma and the white umbrella like plant holder that sat in the front yard of her farmhouse. Sometime, I will remove the glass and take a close-up of the piece as it's fairly detailed. I fused a section of the fabric to interfacing and then individually cut all the little flowers and leaves to put in the geranium pot. I found the frame at a garage sale for a couple bucks and it was the perfect frame for the little quilt.
Because I am so behind in sharing pictures, I will be jumping all over the place for the next couple of weeks. Here's one, I wanted to show you because I think it would make a great quilt shop. It's "FOR SALE" and it's located in the little town of Vernon Center, MN just off Hwy. 169.

I was telling my son, Devlin, about it because he said he would love to turn an old church into a house. I told him I had the perfect place for him. Unfortunately this would be a long commute to the Twin Cities and his job. Speaking of Devlin, here he is along with his girlfriend, Stacia.

I took this one this past Saturday afternoon when it was a lovely, sunny day but actually a little chilly which explains why they are wearing coats. I was going to give you a sneak peek of the project that we are working on together, but too much of what we are doing shows up in my photos, so I will wait to share those til June.
One last thing for tonight............We're having a "sock swap" on my Wooly Buddies Yahoo group and it all started when someone mentioned colored socks and I posted that I was one who only ever wore white socks. Within minutes, my buddies said that I had to get some colored socks and before you knew it, talk of a "sock swap" began and so socks are crossing the country in our first "sock swap". My moderator for the group, Pat, took pity on me and sent me these cute and comfy socks................

and then, Anett, who is coordinating the swap, sent me these "Quilty Girl" socks and that oh, so awesome bag that she made for me. Yep, just for me!! Don't you love the bumper sticker?

I found some fun socks for my partner at Michael's, of all places. I was looking for totebags and literally "stumbled" upon the cute socks that I ended up buying. I can't show you a picture til I know my partner, Kathy, has received them. Hope she likes them. My package from her is crossing mine in the mail. We were partners in the Egg Swap and by pure chance ended up being partners in this one. Who knew that nearing 60 could be so much fun?
One more last thing............remember the bug bites that bugged me? Well, I went for my yearly physical today and my doctor confirmed they were sand fleas or "Noseeums". Connie, my PostLady mentioned to me last Friday that they might be the bug I encountered. I just know I don't want to encounter them again. I don't like a bug that I "no - see -um" and that bites me and I don't know it til the itching starts!! So, time to turn out the lights and hope those bedbugs don't bite!
Sandi
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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