Tuesday, October 12

Friends to count on.........and counting Combines!

So, the weather here in Minnesota is positively awesome. It was 80 degrees yesterday and almost unbelievably fine. However.......the leaves were falling rapidly from the trees in our backyard so there is no fooling us.........it may feel like summer but those trees will soon lose all their leaves and winter won't be far away. That's okay.........I have plenty of quilt projects planned for this coming winter!



Today, I have some retreat photos and also some more Iowa trip photos.......I'll start with retreat photos and introduce you to my friend, Sharon Ritchart. We met when Sharon signed up for the twelve quilt series that I offered through our community ed program in 2000. The schoolhouse quilt in yesterday's post was the September quilt. I offered a class each month in a different small quilt and so a person could pick and choose. If they didn't like a certain month's quilt project, they didn't have to sign up for that month. Sharon and three other gals took all twelve quilt classes. When Sharon started her first quilt (The Snowman Quartet for January) she hadn't done much quilting. However, she took to it "like a fish to water". Evidence of that is the little quilt she is holding up in the photo. The purpose is to use one scrap of each fabric that you have used in quilts you have made. It's a great scrap quilt idea that starts with a 1-1/2" x 2" strip and you sew another one, same size to it. This is your center piece and then you add one to the top of that, then one to the bottom. Next you sew two together and sew to the side of the center piece and so on and so on. It's a project that was shared by Sandy B. at "Sew Close to Home" quilt retreat.

Since Sharon began quilting in 2000, I have watched her make several large bed quilts, and lots of baby quilts. There was a time when she was making one baby quilt right after another for her friends! She also knits and earned a Purple Grand Champion on one of her projects at the Scott County Fair this past summer. :-)

Next up is Laura Cloutier. She also attended the "Sew Close to Home" quilt retreat and started the scrap quilt project this past February. The retreat is hosted by Sandy, whom you met a couple posts ago and two other friends that you'll meet at the end of the week. They call the retreat "Sew Close to Home" because almost everyone comes from just a few miles from home to spend the weekend at Emma Krumbee's AmericInn for quilting time. :-)

I met Laura in 2001 when she signed up along with her two kids for a beginning quilt class that I offered at the library. She had quilted before but after that class she really got into quilting and now she excels at paper-piecing! I've shared some of her projects and Sharon's, too, as the three of us go off to Bonny's Quilt Haven every summer for a retreat. We have such a good time together and it all began with quilting! I am blessed to have such good quilting friends!



Here are two more friends that are a blessing..........Sue Harris and Carol Fehler. I met Sue and Carol through the first quilt show series that was held in the Scott County Libraries in March of 2001. During that month, there was a quilt show in at least one or two branch libraries in the county every weekend. I proposed the idea to the library board in 2000 and they liked the idea. It was fun to go from library to library and see lots of different quilts and meet new quilters. It was so much fun that in New Praque (where Sue and Carol lived), a group of women who had displayed quilts at the library decided to form a quilt group and they've been meeting ever since then. Sue was intriqued by the crazy quilting that I was doing so she joined our Scott County Crazy Quilter's group and we saw each other regularly. We met the 4th Thursday of every month in the evening. In 2003, I thought it would be fun to also meet the first Tuesday of the month in the afternoon. That's when Carol joined our group. Do you see a pattern here? We all love quilting and fabric, and we are always thinking up ways to have more fun with it!!! I've shared many projects that Sue and Carol have made because they are in the group of friends that are called "Tuesday Crazies".
So, here is Sue........deep in thought, because she is working
on blocks for this quilt top below. She didn't quite finish it at the retreat but sent me a picture of it after she got home and put the finishing touches on it. Now it's ready to go off to be machine quilted as it's a gift for her son and his wife. :-)
What a nice mother-in-law, right?
Sue is definitely an advanced quilter. She does such beautiful work. She made a beautiful black and white embroidered crazy quilt that took a third place ribbon at the State Fair. We all would have given her a first place blue. :-) At about the same time that my husband and I moved out here to Henderson, Sue and her husband moved to Mason City, Iowa. You'd think we might not see each other as often but we just make time to get together. Life is too short not to enjoy it with a good friend! Sue and I met in Des Moines last March and enjoyed a great weekend at Heidi Kaisand's retreat. That reminds me that I need to post our finished quilt projects from the retreat. Ah, the "to do" list gets another item added. :-)
Carol didn't share any "Show 'n Tell" at the retreat but I remembered that she was carrying this bag she made. I went back to photos from last spring and found this one that was taken at my house. She made the tote from a charm pack that I gave her for her birthday. I was also looking for the photo of the rag rug with the parrot design as she took a blue ribbon on it this past summer. I'll find it and get it posted..........another one on the "to do" list. :-)
So there you have it .......... four more friends I can count on! I got teary-eyed at our Villa Maria retreat because we have all become such good friends through our quilty connections. :-)
Okay, now I'll go back to this past weekend...................
First off........if my mother had never taught me to sew, I wouldn't have so many great friends. Oh, I might have learned to sew in high school home ec but to be honest, I was already sewing my own clothes by the time I was in 9th grade and it was thanks to my mother. My home ec teacher did not like the way I did a zipper but it worked and it was how my mother had shown me. My mother still enjoys sewing and I have shared several of her projects here on my blog. However, lifting an old portable is too much, so I brought her an early Christmas gift............
I bought her a little Janome so that she can pick it up and move it easily. When she came to visit in June, I showed her my little Janome and how easy it was to operate. She thought she might like one but then wasn't sure. In August, she called me and said she'd like me to pick one up and bring it next time I came for a visit. And so I did. But instead of having her pay me for it, I thought...........bingo! perfect gift. When winter gets long this year, she can pass the time with some machine stitching. It had been so long since she'd used a machine that she said she wasn't sure she could remember how to use one. I went through the steps of threading and such, then she took over and pretty soon she cut out some fabric and started stitching a little pencil case for her granddaughter, Sue Ellen. Then she said........"it's kind of like typing.......it all comes back to you in just a few minutes!" :-)
I was so glad she liked it! My dad would have been so pleased. :-)
This is beginning to be like a long "chapter" in a book but I have more to share so please keep reading..................

I told you that I counted combines in the field on my way from Minnesota to Iowa on Hwy 169. Well, I have a little math problem for you and a chance to win some fall themed charm squares (similar to the ones in my Fall into Fall giveaway but not quite so many). Yesterday's Schoolhouse quilt reminded me of those convoluted math problems that teacher's would give us. I thought.........aha! that's what I'll do for a chance for my prize. Here is the problem.....
I left Henderson, MN at 11:30 a.m. When I arrived at the halfway point of the Minnesota/Iowa border, I had seen 12 combines harvesting grain in the fields and six combines were over the hill and I couldn't see them but I could see the dust from them. I could also see the semi trucks waiting to take the corn to the grain elevator and tractors and wagons filled with corn. From the Minnesota State line to six miles west of my destination, Lehigh, Iowa, I saw 22 combines in the fields, which includes the one in the photo below..............
I stopped to take this photo when I saw these guys trading places.....one in the tractor, one in the combine. After I took this photo, I passed this scene where there was a combine fire. Double click and you can see the firemen trying to put out the fire. I passed this just as fire crews were arriving and while no one was hurt, the fire could not be brought under control and the combine went up in flames shortly after I took this picture.
I didn't know that til the next morning when I saw it in the paper (go here for the complete story). Farming is hard work but things like this make it even harder. The good thing.........neighbors are always there to help out.
I saw 1 more combine before I reached my mom's place at 5:05 p.m. Tell me........how many combines did I see on my trip to my mom's house? Leave me your answer and if your name is drawn and your answer is correct, you could be the winner of some fall charm squares. I'll have my husband draw a name on Friday evening when he does the drawing for my Fall into Fall giveaway.
Oh, boy, that's it. My fingers are tired so I am getting off the computer!
Have a good day! I am planning an all day meeting with my sewing machine. Last night I sewed up a Halloween candlemat and today I am going to work on another one!
Sandi

23 comments:

Pat said...

If you don't count the 6 combines that weren't visible over the hill, I think you saw 36....but if you add in those 6 (which you didn't actually SEE), the number goes up to 42. How nice of you to get that machine for your mom. She looks really happy with it. I loved hearing about more of your quilting friends, too.

susi said...

i think you saw 36 combines,not counting the 6 combines you didn`t saw,have a nice day,susi

luv2quilt2 said...

I think you saw 36 combines, but passed at least 6 more that you didn't see.

Crispy said...

Ok, I'm going to say 42 because if you didn't see them how did you know there were 6 of them over the hill, unless you ended up on the other side of the hill and actually saw them LOL.

Your mom looks very pleased with her new machine :0) I LOVE Sue's quilt!!

Crispy

quiltingnana said...

what nice comments about your friends...combines..you got me there...not a "farm girl" so it took me a while to get your title meanimg!!

Donna said...

I guess you saw 35 combines. There were 6 more you knew were there because of the dust but you did not see them (or if you did they are part of the 22 you saw between the state line & 6 miles west of your destination). And, the 1 on fire, I am calculating, was also 1 of the 22.

Now did I sufficiently confuse the math teacher? 35 is my final answer. Wonder if I am smarter than a 5th grader? Happy quilting!

Farm Quilts said...

It all depends on if you just counted green ones or the red ones too. So I guess 45. Maybe even a silver one.

annemarie said...

My guess is 35 as it is not fair to count the ones you did not actually see - dust does not mean you actually saw the combine. I know you mom will really enjoy her new machine - what a wonderful way for her to keep busy.

Stitched With Prayer said...

Sandi, Thanks so much for another wonderful post. I didn't get to comment yesterday but the little Schoolhouse quilt just stole my heart away. My dad used to tell me the most delightful stories about the one room school house he attended. I want to share a couple of them with you one day when I have more time. I love seeing all the wonderful projects from the ladies at your retreat and reading about your memories of 'going for a drive'! That was always wonderful family time for us too, then we would stop at A & W Rootbeer Drive Inn and have root beer in a frosted mug. Such wonderul times and happy memories. Is seems like when ever my brother and I were really 'down', like when our poor 16 year old dog who was deaf and totally blind, got hit by a car, Mom and Dad would get us in the car and head for A & W !!! They knew just what to do...while my brother and I sat weeping and sipping at our rootbeer, mom and dad started sharing fond, funny memories of Tiny (our dog) that my brother and I were too young to remember and before we headed home, the tears had been replaced with smile and laughter. There were many other trips for rootbeer...sometimes to lift our hearts, sometimes just cause it was fun, family time. Such fond memories. I really enjoyed reading about the gift of a sewing machine for your mom. She looks delighted and it sure sounds like the machine will be humming away much of the time. A perfect gift! Okay, now to the combines...Like everyone else, I count 36 total that you saw and 42 if you count the ones that you couldn't see but knew they were there from the dust trails. OH...and don't forget the 1 fire truck you saw too! *wink* I read the article too, boy it could have been much, much worse. Thank the Good Lord no one was hurt. Okay, I've rambled quite enough...Big Hugs coming your way...

Sarah or Semmy said...

You "actually saw" 36 combines. The rest was evidence that their might be more. I really have enjoyed your introducing us to the talented women who are in your life through sewing.

Lindah said...

As always, I enjoy your posts, "meeting" your friends, "attending" your classes, ooh/ahh-ing at the show and tell photos, "traveling" with you.
How neat that your mom will have a little sewing machine to keep her company on the dark winter days.
Now, your combine story is interesting and we all enjoy math. ;-) You spoke of counting the 'bines in the fields and of seeing a certain number of them, so since you could not see the ones over the hill, I'll assume you could not really count them. There is a little question about the 'bines beyond "your destination," so either you backtracked or you didn't see those either, but I cannot see how many those were. Anyway, I'm coming up with 36 combines seen plus 6 imagined. Either 36 or 42, whichever way you look at it.
I'm sure all involved with the combine fire were thankful that the whole field(s) did not go up in smoke.
Blessings.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Hmm 22? Love the story about the Janome. Heartwarming.

Anonymous said...

36 combines that you actually saw. 6 that could have been combines. I grew up just off of 169 in that same neighborhood you drove by. Always nice to see the Deere's going up and down the fields!!
bjwalsh101 at yahoo dot com

Lina said...

36 combines. Would have liked to've seen the smile on your mother's face when she saw that she 'still remembered how'. I'll bet it was wonderful.

sue said...

You actually saw 36 combines and the dust of 6 other combines.

Marie said...

ah the number of combines is not as important as the color of the combines ....after all green seems to rule in Southern Minnesota!!!!

scottylover said...

Sounds like a fun trip! O think you saw 36 combines. Thanks for introducing us to your friends, too!

Sandy A

Judy C said...

I never di well on these but I believe you saw 36 with 6 more you could not see only their dust. Sounds like you had a pleasant drive except for the combine fire.

PZQUILTER said...

I think you saw 36 combines. The hidden ones in the dust were not seen. So I'm sticking with 36.

Jen said...

I think if you saw their dust, that's good enough! My answer is 41! Thanks for the story!

Kristy said...

You didn't say the one on fire was part of the others, so I'm going to say 36. Though, you said the dust of 6 combines, how did you know it was only 6 if you didn't see them?! Boy, I spend way too much time with my 4th grader & word problems. They are not my favorite :0)

Deb said...

You actually saw 36, although you seemed to know there were 6 more just over the hill.

Marcia said...

36 combines that you saw and 6 more where you saw dust...

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