Thursday, December 31

Happy New Year's Eve!!!

Hi! and hope you are all enjoying a great evening, the last night of 2009!! I am ready for a new year and a new start. Got my new calendar and making my plans for lots of good things in the year 2010. To make sure the year gets off to a good start, we have been cleaning and sorting and that kind of thing. Not exactly what I was planning for my days after Christmas but it had to be done. Kinda kept me from doing the quilty, bloggy, Yahoo group things I was planning but I am ready to get back at it starting tomorrow!
First, though, there is still snow out there and lots of it. This past Monday morning, I ventured out to mail these.........
yep, finally I sent the packages out that contained the charm squares that I offered up in my Christmas in July giveaway last July!! Better late than never............
On my way to the Post Office, I passed these fellas...........

Somebody that's a lot stronger than I am put these sturdy snowmen together!!! No snow in the forecast for a few days but we are headed into the deep freeze!! Later in the afternoon, the mailman delivered two unexpected little packages and one came from Nanette..............

I love her little three inch square pack and know exactly what I am going to do with it. :-) Thanks, Nanette...........
And then there was this lovely card and gift from Nihal in Istanbul. She made me a pair of "Blue Moon" earrings and I am wearing them as I write this!
Lovely, aren't they? I've checked out the "Blue Moon" that is rising on this New Year's Eve and it is beautiful!! Thanks, Nihal!
If you live here in the Henderson area, you might want to stop in at the Historical Society on Sunday afternoon and check out the quilts on display. I was asked to come and take a peek at the quilts this past Tuesday and help determine names of patterns used in the quilts. I took several pictures and will share on Saturday! :-)

As noted, we have been sorting and such and here are a couple of fun items that I came across when I unpacked boxes that were packed for our move three years ago!!

There were old linens.........my baby book and a magazine given to my mother when I was born and then an old issue of Woman's Day from December, 1960. It belonged to my mother who always bought a copy of Woman's Day and Family Circle each time she went grocery shopping. I'm going to sit down and read this one in a few minutes while my husband is watching some movie, probably an old Clint Eastwood flick. :-) It was fun to go through some of things in the boxes and then again, some of it made me feel like ....."whoa!! where did the time go?!?!"
And speaking of time, that's all the time I have for posting now. I'll be back tomorrow at about 1:00 p.m. - right after the Rose Bowl Parade is over - and I will share the first of a new Redwork block series of Angels and I'll have a little bit of a New Year's Day Giveaway, too. :-) See you then..........
Happy, Happy New Year!!!
Sandi

Monday, December 28

More Snow pictures.........

When I looked out the window on Sunday morning, the sun was shining and the trees were covered in frost. Everything just glittered. I grabbed my camera and threw open the windows so I could take these pictures of the trees in our backyard............................

and the trees in our neighbors back yard.................
and the sun was so bright and it looked so cool when I took the picture!
Remember that croquet set that I got for Christmas? Well, this is the spot where next summer there will be green grass and we will have some good old-fashioned fun playing croquet. I can hardly wait but considering we got more snow tonight, I think there's a long winter ahead before spring blossoms!
Thank goodness, I have plenty of sewing, quilty, wooly, stitching projects to keep me busy during this long winter's nap. Today, I made some curtains for my husband's office. Then I sewed more striped candy canes so I can stuff a ton of them for a project I have planned for next year. It is going to be so cool and I am so glad that Carrie shared the project during the Christmas blog hop. :-) Tomorrow, I am working on quilt blocks for my block of the month projects. Oh, and we're cleaning and sorting in the basement which is not nearly as much fun as sewing. Oh, well, ya never know what project I might find in one of those boxes!!

Have a good Monday!!
Sandi

Sunday, December 27

Happy Christmas Pictures.......

Here are a few pictures from our family Christmas Eve gathering......We started with a ham dinner. Steve cooked the ham, I did the rest. :-) Please note his red plaid shirt. Next year there will be a red flannel shirt theme to our Christmas. Collette has it all planned. :-)
Prior to the big snowstorm's arrival, we were going to attend the Christmas Eve service at church but the snowstorm changed those plans. I must admit that it was kind of nice to eat a leisurely meal and not hurry to clean up and get out the door and yet I missed not attending the service. I was just glad we were all together and safe, what with all the snow and icy roads. Finally, Jacob asked "when are we going to open gifts?"...........and so we did. He was wearing his Minnesota Vikings Santa hat the whole evening. :-) There were Transformers, cars, books and a couple of electronic games so he was a very lucky boy.
All of us big kids were lucky, too......this is Collette and I getting all excited over Martha Stewart glitter assortments that Devlin gave us. He needed an idea for us and I suggested it. Nice. :-)

I am opening a big gift that Collette wrapped in fabric because she couldn't figure out how to easily wrap a Croquet set. I forgot that I had suggested this way last fall. Nice, again. :-)

We got Collette a new iron because that was what she wanted. Jacob didn't think that was a very good gift as he said "you already have an iron, mom". Yes, she does, but she is happy to have one that will work better. :-)


Our son-in-law Daryl, is a Star Wars fan and he is way happy with his gift of the Star Wars Encyclopedia. He didn't even ask for this because he didn't know it existed. We found it at Barnes and Noble and knew it was "just right". We lucked out for Devlin, too, as he wanted some computer thingy that Steve found and it was just what he needed. Stacia was in Iowa with family so her gifts went home with Devlin.
Here's Jacob still wearing the Santa hat and opening more gifts. :-)

Then there was the gift that Daryl got for Jacob because when Daryl was little he enjoyed playing it .....sorry I can't remember the name of it but Devlin had it, too, and could remember playing it. (Pat came to the rescue.......it's "Rock 'em, Sock 'em, Robots!!") Collette couldn't remember the game at all so Devlin gave her a boxing lesson and showed her what it was like to be a kid again. :-)

The "kid in me" loves to fill the Christmas stockings with lots of good little gifts and some gag gifts, too. Steve is in charge of filling the stockings with candy. Each year, I start right after Christmas collecting the things that will end up in everyone's stockings. Most are just right and even the gag gifts get a good laugh. Here's Devlin with his gag gift.......it's a giant "grow snake".....you know, it's one of those you put in water and wait for a few days to see it "grow". He always said he wanted a snake and I thought "no way". Now he can have his snake and grow it whenever he wants, too. ;-).

We had a very happy and blessed Christmas together. I hope you all did, too. :-)
Sandi

Saturday, December 26

And the snow has ended.........

Well, it has almost ended. It seems to stop and then it starts again. I can't recall a Christmas with this much snow! The heaviest amount of snow fell on Christmas Eve. While our stockings were hung on the stair railing with care............

the snow was accumulating inch by inch on the lawn outside our house. On Christmas Day, there was still more snow and by Saturday (today), it was deeper than I've ever seen it since we moved out here three years ago!!

My husband, Steve used the snowblower to carve paths in the yard for Kaiser, the Wonder Beagle. Here's Kaiser wondering...... "where did my yard go?"


The sun came out for just a bit and I snapped this shot of my favorite tree in our backyard. It was my inspiration for my "Path of the Seasons" wool throw project. Now that Christmas gatherings are over, I'll get back to that project and other quilty, wooly, stitching things. Before I do that, though, I'm going to pick a few Christmas pictures to share and will post those tomorrow evening. I'll see you all then........

Sandi

Friday, December 25

Snowy weather but a wonderful night!

The weather outside was frightful and driving was something one needed to do slowly but......our daughter, Collette and husband, Daryl and grandson, Jacob all arrived safely. And then a little while later, our son Devlin made his way here after he got off work. It was not really a good night for travelling but I am glad that there was a "window" of slightly less heavy snowfall that allowed them all to get here. We had a lovely evening this Christmas Eve and I am writing at this hour because we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and didn't start it til well after midnight! It's a great movie to go to sleep on. Sweet dreams everyone! I am headed to bed to dream of "visions of sugar plums" and such. :-)
To all who celebrate Christmas......Merry Christmas!
I have had the best Christmas in years even though it wasn't how I expected it would be. Isn't it interesting how that can happen? Enjoy this coming day wherever you are!
Sandi who is dozing off as I write........zzzzzz.....zzz

Thursday, December 24

Need help from Santa!

Dear Santa,
Last Saturday I went to the post office to mail a package to my mother. I filled it with many little wrapped gifts so that she would have something fun to open on Christmas day. I sent it Priority. I insured it. I trusted the USPS. It only had to go 180 miles from here in Minnesota to my mom's in Iowa and it's had more than five days to get there. It didn't arrive before Christmas. Our local carrier said that "yes, it should have arrived by now". Now it's "wait and see if it ever arrives" and then I'll have to file the insurance claim if it doesn't get there. I just want you to know that I was a really good girl and did my part to keep the USPS solvent by sending out lots of Giveaway packages and I have a dozen packages to mail to blogging friends right after Christmas. Yes, Sir, I sent lots of packages all over the world this past year and everyone got to it's destination in a timely manner...........except this one!!! I thought I'd let you know about this in case when you look in your sleigh for gifts, you might find that package was misdirected into your pack and then you could just drop it on my mom's doorstep. You know where she lives. Hoping that if it doesn't arrive after Christmas that she will at least get it by New Year's Day!!! What a bummer!
Have a happy Christmas! Watch out for the heavy snow that's settling down on so many of us. Oh, and make sure your sleigh runners don't ice up as we don't need to hear about you and your reindeer crashing into a snowbank! Time to get out the stockings so they can be hung and ready for you to fill!!
Love,
Sandi who has always believed in Santa :-)

Wednesday, December 23

Snowy Days Ahead!

Sorry, I've been the "absent blogger" but Christmas things needed to be done and blogging had to take a "back seat" for a bit. Everything is ready now but it looks like no one will be able to make it to our house for Christmas!! If the weatherman is even half-right, we are in for a lot of snow!! There is no doubt that we will have a white Christmas. The thing is that we already had plenty of snow and last Sunday we got more so we don't really need what we're getting right now!!!
I took the photo above right after the snow that we got last Sunday morning. This is the "town tree" that sits outside City Hall. I loved this picture because most things around it looked black and white and then the ornaments just "popped". :-)
So, what has kept me so busy that I can't find time to blog.....well, there were Christmas cards and a letter to write. I finished those on Monday and off they went in the mail..........
Then there were "Chocolate Molten Mug Gifts" to put together for friends and neighbors. I am so glad Terry Atkinson posted this little giftie on her blog as it was just what I needed for giving. I did take a "short-cut" though.........I didn't make fabric bags to hold the mug-cake ingredients but instead found Snowman plastic bags that worked great and allowed me to put together more mugs because I wasn't spending time making bags.
I made one of these for me last week just to see what the cake tastes like. It was very rich and chocolatey. I should have added ice cream as Terry suggested and it would have been even better! :-)

Some of the mugs went to friends in my Bible Study group, so I took them along when we met on Tuesday. We were at my friend Joanie's house and it was so beautifully decorated. She has such a knack for arranging things. I've shared pics of her flowers and gardens during the summer months but here is the arrangement she had on her dining room table. It was so lovely!

I baked cookies today and then, of course, I had to make fudge! And then.......... our Christmas present was delivered today! We bought a kitchen table and chairs right after Thanksgiving and decided it would be our Christmas gift. We relegated the cardtable and chairs that we have been using since we moved here (3 years ago) to the basement!!! I should have taken a picture but I forgot. I've been too busy watching the snow fall and following the weather story on T.V. We'll know in the morning if our kids will be able to make the drive to be with us on Christmas Eve. If they can't, then all we want is that they stay home and stay safe. We can share our gifts and enjoy that ham dinner on another day. In the meantime, here's wishing you..................
Have a wonderful day wherever you are!
Sandi

Friday, December 18

The visit to The Woolen Needle!!

My visit to The*Woolen*Needle was exactly like a kid entering a candy shop and I found myself wanting a little bit of everything I could see!!! The shop is located in Williamsburg, Iowa which is about 25 miles east of Iowa City and just south of the Amana Colonies. I've been to the Amana Colonies a couple of times when visiting my sister so I thought I would venture in a different direction. With my mom out of the hospital and recovering well, Judy (my sister) told me to go ahead and take a couple of hours to go out and do some Christmas shopping and such. She pointed out a couple of shops that I might like and I had already decided, that if there was time while I was in Iowa City, that I would visit The*Woolen*Needle. It was so worth the visit!!! I would show you pictures of the shop and the beautiful wall of wool and other goodies, but in my excitement to get to the shop........I forgot my camera!!! However, I bought some things so let's have "show and tell"..............
There were so many cute gift items and Christmasy things that I bought several items. Most are gifts for family members but I bought that snowman with his sheep because it reminded me of my Yahoo groups. In my Seasons BOM group, I shared my Snowman designs, and then in my Wooly Buddies group, I sign off as the "WB Shepherd" and so this was just perfect to remind me of the joy those groups have brought me this past year (and more to come this next year!). Then there were the cotton fabrics. They were beautiful and lots of designs I had not seen before. I am not sure what I will do with these red and green fabrics but I liked them. All I know is they will be some type of Christmas project. I also bought a couple pieces of yardage for Dawn Heese's Civil War quilt blocks (yes, another block of the month in progress......I love making blocks, it's just getting them finished into a quilt top that becomes a problem!). But the best thing about The*Woolen*Needle was their "wall of wool". If you go to their website, you can see it and all the wonderful fabrics and gifts, too. I was in search of a green wool that I will be using for holly leaves in my wool throw project "The Path of the Seasons". I spotted just the right color and texture deep down in a stack of wool and here it is.......
And then there was the bin of scraps..........see that bulging plastic bag in the photo? For $9, you could stuff that bag as full as you can get it with scraps from two barrels full of wool!! I put my "mother of a Boy Scout who packs for camping trips" skills to good use and I rolled and folded til I had it chock full. The rule is that a staff member must be able to tape the bag shut and my bag was successfully taped. The fact that I filled this bag on Dec. 4th and did not open it til today Dec. 17th is amazing! All it took was a quick poke with my scissors and look what popped out..........

....lots of lovely pieces that will work beautifully in my wool throw!! The wool is priced by weight and had I bought these scraps, I would have paid $18 for them so what a deal!!! I probably should have bought two or gone for the bigger bag at $25 for all you stuff, but I had Christmas gifts to buy so I restrained myself from buying anymore wool! All in all, this is a great shop with friendly staff and other nice shops to visit in town, too.

And speaking of other shops, as I left Williamsburg I passed a little antique shop called Maple Tree Antiques (or something like that, I knew I would forget the name). Yes, I passed it but I turned around and went back. It was one of those shops that I could have spent a long time in and then a lot of money but I had neither. Instead, I found some vintage fabric and this little treasure for my mom. This little figurine of Mary and her lamb has the name "Mary Belle" printed on her and she is in fact ....... a bell! Since my mother's name is Mary, I thought it was just too appropriate a gift for her. And she really liked it so I was very happy that I turned around to go back to the little antique shop!
It's the end of a busy day.........afternoon was spent wrapping gifts and such. The morning and evening were spent preparing for the next block of the month that I'll be offering in my Season's BOM group. I posted the first two blocks for the series that is called "Coming Home to Quilting". I'll tell you more about it in the next few days. It's going to get a little busy here with Christmas activities and I'm sure you are all busy, too, so I am not sure how often I'll be posting. Let's just say, I'll be back soon...........
Lights out!
Sandi

Thursday, December 17

Christmas is coming......

and the goose is getting fat............so goes the old Christmas rhyme. I was singing that last night when I was putting together a little "Molten Chocolate Cake" Mug gift. I suspect those things are loaded with calories but everything that tastes good usually is! Earlier in the day, I mailed off some packages and cards, then treated myself to a mocha at Bittersweet, the coffee shop in downtown Henderson. And that's when I learned that it will be closing on Saturday. :-( I hope someone with a yearning to run a coffee shop snaps it up and reopens it in January!
No photos tonight. Actually, I didn't get much of anything else done in the last 48 hours except housecleaning. Sometimes vacuuming can very therapeutic. I e-mailed a couple of my friends that I felt like my "get up and go, got up and went". I am hoping to find more get up and go tomorrow as there is no more vacuuming to do. :-)
I did get the patterns revised for the 2010 BOM that I'll be offering in my Seasons BOM group and will get them posted on Thursday afternoon to the Yahoo group. I am going to use some fabric that I bought at Firefly Quilt Shop last Saturday to make a new set of blocks in this series. I'll get a photo taken tomorrow and post it on Friday. And then I have to share my wooly visit to the Woolen Needle. I have a shopping bag sitting next to me that has wool in it and I have not opened since I brought it home from the shop. I told myself I couldn't open it til I took the pictures for my blog and posted about the wonderful wools I found there. I can't believe I've actually not opened it!! Time to get some sleep so I can rise early and get to my stitching!
Sandi

Monday, December 14

Sad news.............

Early this morning I received a call with sad news. My friend, Cindy Mark, passed away last evening. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only a couple of months ago and too soon, it took her life.
Many thoughts have been running through my head all day. There were things that needed doing but I had to push myself to get them done. It was later this evening when I sat down to read the post for today, Dec. 14, in my Daily Guideposts (2007 edition - a "hand-me-down" from my friend, Arline). I was surprised when it started....... "The death of a friend turned my world to gray"......... and that kind of summed up the way I felt. Except that the passage for the day, went on to say that as the rest of the day unfolded there were little kindnesses and conversations with other old friends which at the end of the day made the writer smile. And the same thing happened to me.......another friend called and we chatted and remembered Cindy, a blogging friend sent me an Angel card with a message that brought tears to my eyes, and my mother called to say she had won a quilt at a benefit for my brother's friend who is also suffering from cancer. I delivered a box of toys for kids in need at Christmas and I made plans to gather even more next year. Christmas cards from special friends came in the mail. I was asked to be a speaker at the Spring Extension Banquet and I replied that "yes, I would love to share my story and quilts." And so, life goes on. But I'll miss my friend. Even though we didn't see each other as often once I moved, we were still friends and knew that we would be friends forever. Cindy had a great laugh and she was a consumate believer in the belief that a woman could do anything she put her mind to! She often shared quotes at the end of her e-mails and one of my favorites was this one from Eleanor Roosevelt...........


Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.


It's one that I memorized.......that is until I had to type it so I had to google it to get it right. When I read the rest of the quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, I found one that I feel summed up Cindy's attitude .........


You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.

I found two other quotes that are worthy of sharing.........both are from Eleanor Roosevelt......


In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.


I recently had an exchange of e-mails with another friend whose name is also Cindy. We were discussing "joy" and how even in difficult times there can still be joy amidst sadness. I find joy in knowing that I crossed paths with Cindy and that she became my friend. I am a stronger, more creative person because of her encouragement. I came to know other people in the arts field that I would never have met, if not for her. I was blessed by her friendship and so were many others. My heart goes out tonight to her husband, Steve, and daughter, Kaite.

I am going to take a day to regroup and will post again on Wednesday.
Hug your loved ones and your friends........call them........write them.......let them know you care......

Sandi

Wooly Fun, Part One

Good morning! Did you have a good weekend? Got all your shopping done? Cards in the mail? Cookies baked, the house is clean…...........wait a minute………I didn’t get all those things done, did you? I did really “move forward”with lots of stuff on my "to do" list........You may remember that I am no longer trying to “catch up”, I am just moving forward. It works so much better!! And so, while my Christmas cards aren’t in the mail and there are no cookies baked, I did get almost all my Christmas shopping done!!
In fact, I had a very successful and interesting shopping day on Saturday. I started with my list……..first thing, get to the post office by noon to mail a few packages and I did!
Next stop…….Firefly Quilt Shop which is conveniently only about a block from the post office. :-) The shop was busy. There was an appliqué group meeting in the classroom and several customers were checking out fabrics. As I walked in, I noticed a tall woman and my first thought was……”my, she looks like Heather Mulder Peterson from the Christmas Blog Hop.” And then I thought, “no that can’t be, she doesn’t live in this area” but then I kept wondering. One of the gals who was shopping mentioned that they were all on retreat together and then said something that made me realize, “hey, it must be Heather”. And yet, I’m thinking … “what are the odds that I would run into Heather Mulder Peterson when I am planning to post about her Peppermint Candy Penny Rugs on my Monday blog post?”

Well, the odds were in my favor………..it was, in fact, Heather, and so I blurted out how I had stitched up three of her little penny mats and the last two were done while I was with my mom at the hospital. And how, whenever I would get out my stitching, it seemed that a doctor or nurse would come in or we would be told to go to the next appointment but I kept stitching even if it was in small bits of time!! Heather was ever so nice and so were all the gals with her. I’m thinking they had a great weekend retreat together. Now, you would think that I would have perhaps taken a picture, but I figured if they are out having a fun weekend together they did not need to be bothered by some crazy lady with her camera. If you want to check out Heather's blog, just click here. You can see my finished mats in use on the tea boxes in our living room. I bought the green glass dishes for 50 cents each at a thrift shop last summer and I think they look great on the little penny mats!




I actually did have a purpose in stopping by at Firefly (other than buying Christmas fabric at 40% off!). I dropped off a little something to tweek the interest of those who like to sew with wool. My good friend, Sherry, who was in my Wooly Buddies group in Prior Lake, gave me the picture frame with the sheep on it and I knew it was perfect for the flyer I typed up because............................starting in January, I’ll be at Firefly the first Wednesday afternoon of each month to share tips and a special little pattern for everyone who signs up for "Wooly Wednesdays"! If you live in the area, just call Firefly or check out their newsletter if you are on the mailing list. :-)

Janice, owner of Firefly, is getting in lots of new wool and patterns so you'll find lots of fun things to make. Winter can be so cold and dreary so we'll make it wooly and fun!
That's all the photos for today. No photos of my great Christmas stocking finds because somebody might be reading this and figure out what they will find in their stocking.
Oh, I did have one other great find while I was shopping. I decided to purchase the Martha Stewart glitter for the candy canes I'm making because it's just so fine. Really, it's super fine and just plain looks better. And I got lucky because the large bottles of the Mica glitter that I wanted were marked at 40% off so I bought two! Now I have enough glitter to make an entire Army of candy canes!
As noted above, this is Wooly Fun, Part One. Tomorrow will be Part Two. :-) I'll be sharing a little about the visit I made to "The Woolen Needle" when I was in Iowa City last week. Til then.....have a good Monday!
Sandi

Saturday, December 12

Only 12 days............

until Christmas Eve. I checked my little hiding place where I keep my stocking stuffers and I think I have everybody covered except my husband. So that means that I'll be heading out tomorrow to do some last minute shopping! I deemed today too cold to go out and Kaiser agreed with me. It was a good day for "catching up" and that's what I did! You don't want to hear about my laundry or cleaning so instead I'm going to share a couple of "pet" photos. Some of you have commented or e-mailed me that you enjoy the pics that I share of Kaiser. I remembered that I had a couple of photos of him in his reindeer ears and I thought you might get a chuckle out of these.........I put the reindeer ears on his head and he would not look at the camera.............

and when he finally turned around it was as if he said "okay, I'll turn toward the camera but I will not open my eyes!!" LOL!!
This next photo is my sister's cat and her name is Liz..........the cat is Liz........my sister's name is Judy......... :-)
My husband is allergic to cat's so we can't have one but if I was going to have a cat, I would want one like Liz. She was very sweet and quite petite. Liz is playing with the fabric that I had laid out so I could trace candy canes. I had so much fun making the ones from the Christmas blog hop that I bought some cool striped fabrics so I can make lots. Tomorrow I will pick up some Martha Stewart Glitter to decorate the candy canes. I tried regular glitter but it's just not fine enough.
When I was looking for the picture of Kaiser in his reindeer ears, I came across this one of my grandson's cats. Jacob named them Marty and Emmet and in this picture I can't tell which one is which. What I can tell you is that sweet as they may look in this picture, they managed to topple the Christmas tree at my daughter's house! They get kind of mischievous but they are also quite cute and fluffy. I'll be seeing them tomorrow when I stop by with some little Christmas treats for Jacob.
I'll be busy this weekend with Christmas things so won't check in again til Monday. Enjoy the weekend!
Sandi

Friday, December 11

And now it's really cold!!

This has been some weather week! We went from barely a dusting of snow on the ground to several inches and then wind whipped it all into big drifts. Now the deep freeze has set in and while I would love to go out and do some Christmas shopping this Friday, I am not willing to do it in nearly zero degree weather!! Too cold for me. I'll be staying in and doing projects! Speaking of projects, I finished my patriotic block for Pearl Harbor Day. I had one idea and then didn't like how it was looking so I changed the entire thing and ended up with this......... a simple star.

I was inspired by the Gold Stars that my mother has told me about that families put in the window when a son or daughter was killed during WWII. The history behind the stars is interesting and can be found here . I wanted my star to be white so I thought I'd applique white tone on tone cotton but then I remembered that I had some white wool from my Grandma Goldie. It was from a jacket she wore and I thought how fitting to have something she wore in the quilt that I am making in remembrance of my dad and his service in the war.
In the photo on the left, you can see that I cut a pentagon shape from a blue wool and stitched a star to it. Then I cut five identical triangles from the white wool. I positioned it just right and then used a fabric glue stick to hold the pieces in place while I stitched.
I bought the background fabric at "Seams to Me" which is located in Algona, Iowa. I made a quick stop there on my return trip from Iowa. This all-over flag print was in the clearance fat quarters but I liked it the minute I saw it. I also found a great snowflake print for a January project. :-)

That's my car parked in front of the shop. There's only that "dusting of snow" on the roads at the time of this photo.
And while this is not a very good photo, if you like Mickey and Minnie then you would love to see this in person.
The entire window of the shop was filled with animated Mickey and Minnie/Disney figures! I also made a stop at Heartland Quilt Shop which is also in Algona. I found fabric there for another patriotic project. Actually, I can find fabric just about anywhere. Or maybe it finds me! LOL!

I promised I'd share my Pago Pago connection when I showed you the gifts I received from Barb at BejeweledQuilts and InchWormFabrics. Barb made the Blueberry Muffin towel and potholder and her niece who owns Inch Worm fabrics sent that Pecan Praline Muffin mix. I am saving it for Christmas morning muffins. :-) Thanks to both of you for such lovely gifts!!!
So, now to my Pago Pago connection. More than twenty years ago, my parents bought a small chord organ at a garage sale in Ames, Iowa. The current owner said that it had been owned by a missionary who used it when assigned to Pago Pago. My folks paid $40 for it and then gave it to me. I loved playing that organ but always wondered if it was really used in Pago Pago or if that was just a story. One day some of the keys stopped working. My husband is handy with repairing things so he opened it up and what did he find??.........lots of sand and, of all things, Cheerios! I was pretty sure it had been in Pago Pago and I'm guessing the family had small children who "fed" Cheerios between the keys! So while I have never been there, that's my Pago Pago connection. I was near there once, though.........forty years ago I flew to Tokyo to join my husband when he was in the Air Force. The plane made two stops enroute......with one in Hawaii and one in Guam. I could hardly wait to see Hawaii, "the Island Paradise". It was sunny and the flowers were beautiful. We deplaned briefly and then took off again for Guam. What I remember about Guam was how small the island looked from the sky and I wondered how the plane could land on such a small strip of land......but we did! Oh, my ..... long ago memories!
That's all for tonight.
Sandi

Thursday, December 10

Warm and Cozy..........

The snow has ended but when it was falling last night, it was really pretty. I couldn't resist taking this photo at our back door.

Look at the perfect scallop that is forming on the ledge outside my kitchen door. We don't have a deck yet, so there is just a wood barrier there to keep one from falling into the back yard. I thought it was really interesting that the snow was building up in this way. By morning, the scallop was gone because the winds whipped the snow across the yard and around the house leaving some spots in the yard almost bare of snow and in other places there were large drifts of snow. I was happy to be warm and cozy inside. And so was Kaiser.............
There he is, all curled up in my sewing chair on my favorite blanket. I covered him up with a scrap of fleece because my sewing room was not real warm and cozy first thing this morning. While he slept, I enjoyed going through my mail...........
That reindeer ornament is in the little pink package in the lower left and then I read some cards from an exchange with some pincushion collecting friends. Look at the beautiful little ornament that Marielle machine stitched. It can be removed and made into an ornament. That's two machine stitched ornaments in one Christmas!! Then there are the Blueberry Muffin goodies that I received from Barb in Pago Pago. I'll share more on that in my next post. :-)
I thought that I'd share a few more pics from my trip to Iowa. Here's another lovely place that I passed when I ventured "off the beaten path" and drove through the town of Parkersburg. I don't know why, but when I think of that town, I think of Nancy Drew mysteries. Her fictional town was River Heights so I haven't a clue why I think of Nancy Drew. :-) Anyway, what did happen in Parkersburg was a very large tornado in June of 2008. I didn't realize that until my sister mentioned it when I told her about seeing this house..........

This beautiful mansion is home to The Parkersburg Historical Society. It was formed in 1970 to preserve the home which was built in 1895 as a wedding present to C.C. Wolf and Mary Wilson Wolf. What a lovely wedding present!!
I drove around the block three times so that I could see the house from all angles and then snapped some pictures. The sun was quite bright and made picture taking difficult but I know that sometime I would love to return for a visit to the inside of the home.




My favorite feature was the third floor windows. Yes, I think I can picture someone sitting up there on a window bench, reading a novel of the day and looking out at the fields in the distance.





Maybe they could see cows like the ones in the picture below. :-)
I had to take this photo. All the way from my home in Henderson, MN to Iowa City, I saw the same thing................cows grazing in recently harvested fields. And if the fields weren't harvested yet, then there were men (maybe women, too) in combines harvesting the corn while big semi trucks waited to haul the grain away. I don't recall seeing so much harvesting going on so late in the year. They didn't know then that a big snowstorm was on the horizon.

When I returned home to Minnesota this past Monday, the scene was almost the same, only this time there was a light dusting of snow as the combines worked their way through the fields. My heart went out to those farmers who were making a huge effort to get as much crop harvested as they could before the snow fell. And now the ground is covered with several inches, and in some places a foot or more of snow lies over the fields. Winter is here for sure.

In addition to seeing cows in the fields, I also was on the look-out for Barn Quilts. I saw them everywhere but was usually too far from the buildings to get any good pictures. I was lucky to be driving through Grundy County where the Iowa Barn Quilt project began so there were plenty of patterns to see! Guides to the Barn Quilts are available and I think it would be fun to return in the summer for a more leisurely tour and a stop at a few of the neat shops in the area. If you want more info on Grundy County Barn Quilts go here . For background on how the Iowa Barn Quilt project began, just click here . And if you want to know where the Barn Quilt Project originated then you will want to go here . You'll find yourself in Ohio and the story is fascinating so venture on over. And then.............since I don't have any pictures of barn quilts, you might want to check out Ryan's blog, "I'm just a guy who quilts". Just click here and you'll be there and you can sign up for a chance to win this...............

Then you might want to read about the barn quilts of Neversink and you'll find yourself in the state of New York. And after all that traveling you won't have spent a dime on gas!!
I am thinking that next summer I will have to paint a small version of a barn quilt and place it on my front porch or perhaps in the garden we plan to start. Right now, I'm a little tired from all this traveling so it's off to bed for me.
See ya tomorrow.
Sandi
(oh, and my patriotic block is still "in the works" because I changed my mind on the design and started all over again)

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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