Thursday, November 27

A Trio of Tree Ornaments!

Hope you are all enjoying a Happy Thanksgiving!! If dinner is over and you're looking for some fun, grab some scraps of fabric and just a few other supplies and have a go at my little "Trio of Tree Ornaments". I designed this little set for a class at "Quilter's Haven" in Rosemount, MN and had a great time teaching others to make some for their tree. I even entered the set in the Scott County Fair and it earned a Blue ribbon. :-) Make them in fabric or paper but whatever you do - have fun!!!

Note: To print the patterns..........right click on each page and do a save to your picture file and then you will be able to print out the page from your own printer. If you have trouble with this, send me an e-mail and I will send you the pdf file. As noted before, blogger offers no option for loading pdf's. Photo of the finished ornaments is on the front of the pattern.

Wednesday, November 26


This rather large hay bail turkey sits at the west end of Main Street in Henderson, MN and right in front of the Sibley County Historical Society Museum. I just think it's so fun!! He is no danger of ending up on anyone's dinner table. Hope you are all looking forward to a fine meal with lots of family and friends. Our kids and grandson will be joining us and we each have our part - Steve cooks the turkey, I'm the pie baker and mashed potato maker - real mashed potatoes (I fell down on the job last year when I didn't cook the potatoes in time and we had to eat instant mashed potatoes - won't happen this year!!), Collette and Daryl are making green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole, and Devlin is bringing bread. His girlfriend Stacia will be in Iowa with family. And Jacob will be busy playing with cars and toys and Kaiser will be cruising for crumbs! :-) We have much to be thankful for and family is at the top of the list. We are also blessed with food on our table, sufficient clothing and shelter for our needs, and so much more. My heart was truly warmed when yesterday I received word that many of our donations from the Sew and Share group have been so welcome to those who lost so much in the flooding in Iowa this past summer. Many are still not in their homes and so what I have is so much more than they have. We made only a dent but at least we made a dent!!! There is still a need for larger quilts, queen size so if you are reading this and have a quilt you would want to donate, please e-mail me. It doesn't have to be a machine quilted fancy quilt. Nope, a lovely patchwork tied quilt that will provide winter warmth is all that it takes. Let me know if you have one you could spare.
Must run and frost a cake for the coffee time after this evenings Thanksgiving service at the church. And while I'm at it, I'll remember to grab the peanut butter ball recipe (I got it and added it below). There is, oh, so much to do at this time of year that sometimes, I "short-circuit" and forget things. Well, that's my excuse anyway. :-)

Peanut Butter Candies

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

1 tsp.vanilla

1 - 16 oz pkg. powdered sugar

1 - 6 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

2 tblsps. solid vegetable shortening (Butter flavor Crisco)

In medium bowl, mix peanut butter, margarine or butter, vanilla and sugar with hands to form a smooth dough. Mixture will be very stiff (and may be somewhat crumbly). Shape dough into small balls. Place on wax paper or parchment paper covered tray and then refrigerate while you prepare chocolate coating. You can also make the peanut butter balls one night and do the chocolate dip the next night. Use double boiler to melt chocolate and shortening together (I don't have a double boiler so I am just very careful to melt the chocolate and shortening very slowly). When the chocolate mixture is smooth, it's ready for dipping. Remove peanut butter balls from refrigerator and insert toothpick into ball and dip into melted chocolate and coat 3/4's of the ball (so that the peanut butter ball "peeks through"). Place on the wax paper/parchment paper surface and remove pick. When all are coated, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes and then they are ready to eat. These are a bit of work but they are really good. They also disappear really fast!!! The original recipe was given to me by a neighbor back in the 80's and I think it came from one of the women's magazines of that time. Have fun and enjoy the goodies!!!

Tuesday, November 25

A package in my mailbox!

I had to go to the dentist yesterday afternoon so I took along my little Snowman doll quilt and the Holly Penny Rug swap projects that I made. You see, my dental hygenist, Dana, is also a quilter so it was necessary to take along my "show 'n tell". She was very happy that I did. :-) Our conversation made having my teeth cleaned seem like fun!
From the dentist, I stopped in to visit our postmistress, Connie, because she is also a quilter. I wanted to show her what I made and get advice on how to package and send the items. Today both packages went in the mail and are now on their way to their new owners.
When I got home, I stopped to pick up the mail at the box and was surprised to see a nice big envelope and I knew it was either the Secret Santa Swap or the Doll quilt swap.

The package came from Marian in Australia. I couldn't wait to open it......................

and it was the Doll quilt swap! The quilt that Marian made is perfect for me! I love 30's and this will look so nice in a doll cradle in my green bedroom with all my 30's quilts and vintage toys and teddy bears. There were also two fat quarters, some floss and a great Australian patchwork magazine. I am so pleased. I don't have a blog address for Marian so I will be sending a thank you to her via snail mail. :-)
Busy day tomorrow........pies and goodies to make. Tonight I made peanut butter balls, then refrigerated them and tomorrow will dip them in chocolate. They're my son's favorite holiday treat so I am making up a batch that he can take home with him and share some where he works. The recipe was in a Ladies Home Journal years ago and is called Buckeye Balls but they should be called Reese's Taste-a-likes. :-)
I'll be back with a little post tomorrow and a turkey photo to share - but not from our trip to Turkey. This is a big turkey but it's not going to be anyone's dinner on Thanksgiving day. Come back tomorrow and you'll see what he looks like. :-)
Time for a little stitching..........
a little note........Later today, I'll post the peanut butter balls recipe and, also, I just got my doll swappers blog address and have sent Marian a thank you. You can check out her blog at Dreamweaver. :-)

Celebrating our anniversary!

Last night after I loaded our wedding picture and posted my thoughts, I forgot did we celebrate this major milestone? No big party or anything, just dinner at Red Lobster. We were both "in the mood" for shrimp so that seemed the logical place to go. Now the funny thing is that we could have gone just up the road to Emma Krumbee's (a family restaurant that many Minnesotans are very familiar with for it's good food, great baked goods and the annual Scarecrow Contest) but Steve said "we go there enough, let's go to Red Lobster". And so we did, and we waited 30 minutes along with lots and lots of other people (did somebody say people were not spending?) and then we were seated at a nice window table. The waitress was great and earned a nice tip. The shrimp, though, ........... guess what? the shrimp dinner at Emma Krumbee's is a whole lot better!! LOL And so, the next time we're craving shrimp, we're only going "up the road" to Emma's.
Now the way we really wanted to celebrate this anniversary was to "hit the road" and take a trip to San Diego. That was the plan until things got busy at my husband's job and then the economy took a "nosedive". We've tabled those plans to another day and so there is still some celebrating yet to come!!
When we do finally make the trip to San Diego, we'll also head up to the LA area to see our friends Lynn and Gary. Lynn called last night to wish us a Happy Anniversary. We didn't become friends as neighbor's or through church or anything like that but instead, it started when our husband's would end up at the same business meetings/conferences. And that was over 20 years ago so when you find good friends, even distance won't keep you from staying friends. We only see each other maybe every other year but we make occasional calls and send cards, too. Lynn and Gary are two of the nicest friends that have blessed our lives.
I don't normally post in the morning, but Kaiser the beagle nosed me early this morn and was insistent to go out. And so out he went and now he is back under his blanket because he thinks it's too cold in here. There is a bit of a chill this morning but no inclement weather so it looks like we are headed for great traveling weather for everyone in our area this Thanksgiving holiday.
Time for some breakfast and then I think I'll work on Christmas Ornaments. :-)

The Happy Couple!

That's us - forty years ago on November 24th, 1968. I barely remember the historic moments that took place that year because first, I was in school, then I got a job and then I got married and I was all of nineteen!! The photo is faded from having hung on the wall at my mother-in-law's house. I wanted to scan a better one from our album but it is a "landscape" photo and I cannot figure out how to scan, copy and rotate it and then get it to upload to blogger. I don't like the way this one looks because it doesn't "fill the frame" so when my son comes out for Thanksgiving dinner, I am going to ask for a little help in the scanning and uploading of old photos. I wanted to post pictures from our trip to Turkey but I am doing something totally wrong because they scan in too small and my not so young brain has been taxed to the limit tonight. Sooooooooooooooo..............
let's go back to our wedding picture and when I was nineteen. I really, really liked my wedding gown. My mother made it and all the bridesmaids dresses, too. She was a gifted seamstress, no two ways about it! I can still recall when we purchased the fabric. We went to the Boston Store in Fort Dodge, Iowa and road up to the second floor on the elevator to the fabrics and drapery department. There was actually still an attendant on the elevator at that time. I remember the yards of fabric that the clerk ran through that little machine that clicked off the yardage. Some of you will have no idea what I am talking about and others will go "oh, I remember those!" My mother bought a lovely soft white satin and then a couple yards of Alencon lace. She saved the extra lace and when our daughter got married, I used that leftover yard of lace in her gown. I have both wedding gowns and sometimes they are fun just to look at. My mother sewed hundreds of seed pearls on the lace on my dress and I did the same on my daughter's dress, both were labors of love. It's really too bad that a wedding dress is only worn once. Someday these may be worn again, though. One never knows what the future holds.
Following our wedding, my husband, Steve and I thought our future was in California. We were a young couple from central Iowa who headed to San Diego where a job awaited him at General Dynamics. Didn't last long, though, as the local draft board, said......"come on back, we want you in the Army!" And so, we returned to Iowa and I went to live with his folks and Steve went off to basic training and then into the Air Force. It's funny how things go, because I had gone to a business/airline type school in Minneapolis (Humboldt Institute) because a guidance counselor at my high school thought my dreams of being a fashion designer were just a little too lofty and "perhaps secretarial training would be better".........and so I thought........if I have to do secretarial jobs let's do it at a travel agency and the perk will be travel to exotic places. The funny part is that it wasn't my job that took us too exotic places. No, I quit my job to get married and then the military and the companies my husband worked for took us to places I never imagined. I have been so fortunate to travel and meet so many wonderful people and see so many historic sights. All in all, it's been a good forty years. There's been some "ups and downs" but if we're lucky and if "the good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise" (as Tennessee Ernie Ford used to say - dating myself again), then we will have a few more years to come. And if I'm lucky in just a few days - instead of years - maybe I can learn how to more successfully scan in those photos and show you a couple of favorite sites. That's all for tonight.
Hope you are all looking forward to a lovely Thanksgiving. I'll be posting a Christmas ornament pattern that day so gather your felt scraps and after the turkey and trimmings are put away, you can sit down and make a little memory. Smiles across the miles.................. :-)

Monday, November 24

What have I been doing?

Since I started blogging, I don't think I've gone this many days without writing at least some little thing. However, I've been busy sewing and such. I'll get to the "such" in a post later today. In the meantime, here are the results of my sewing.........
A few posts ago, I showed you some fabrics that I planned to use in quilt for a doll quilt swap and here is my finished quilt. I combined several techniques to get the end result. I paper-pieced the "snowball" squares and then did "turn-under applique" for the fussy-cut snowman heads. After that I used Perle cotton and did a button-hole stitch around each one. I cut strips and sewed the blocks together and then added that wonderful wiggly stripe for the binding. And all along, I planned to use these glittery snowflake buttons so when I got them stitched in place, I was pleased with the result. I hope my swap partner likes it. She encouraged in her preferences to "use color and pattern and to try something new" and that is just what I did. These are not the holiday colors I would normally choose but something about the fat quarter pack of these fabrics just caught my eye and it was fun to do. So much fun, in fact, that I want one for me, so I have started another one!! But before I can finish it, I have four ornament swaps to wrap up and get in the mail and I will have finished by "Season of the Swaps" for this year!!

In addition to sewing on the little quilt, I also put the finishing touches on this Holly penny rug that I designed. This will go off to my Secret Santa Swapper along with a couple of other goodies that I will tuck in the package. Unfortunately, the colors don't look as nice in the photo as "in person". Perhaps I'll try another photo with a different background. Anyway, my Holly penny rug is made of wool. The beige oval is a lovely cashmere wool that I found several years ago and bought a good length of. I really wish I had bought more!! I haven't talked much about my penny rugs but my friends nearby know that even though I enjoy quilting, the thing I really like to do is make penny rugs! I offered my first class and design at our local Michael's store several years ago. That was long before I knew about woolfelt and I searched for "country" colors in the acrylic felt but never got the nice look that you do with woolfelt or wool fabrics. Then I began teaching penny rug classes at a local quilt shop and woolfelt was one of the products they began carrying. I loved the look and feel and the ease of stitching. And I loved that if a flower petal wasn't quite right, well, you just trim it up a bit, something one can't really do in traditional quilting. I taught designs offered in patterns the shop featured for almost three years. Then in 2003, I scaled back on my teaching as family health issues took precedence. During the years since, I have drawn sketches, stitched up some of those designs and have many more (over three dozen) just waiting to be taken from paper to an actual textile! My pattern line is Pleasant Memories and come December, I'll be sharing more on my penny rug designs and the patterns that will soon be available. And there's more to look forward to as next week, I'll be telling you about a "Tea and Stitches" little delight that I have planned. Years ago when I worked for a computer company, I had a boss who talked about "delighting the customer". He was a very good boss and well-liked by his staff. (I was fortunate for the most part when I was working in the "corporate" world to have good supervisors and great co-workers!!!) That "delight" conversation has stayed with me and I hope to "delight" you next week when I introduce "Tea and Stitches". It will actually have a connection to that Redwork pincushion I made for my mother's birthday and that I keep telling you I'll be posting the tutorial!! Stay with me. Sometimes, I may be "all over the board" with my projects and plans, but I can guarantee you, it is never boring around here!
Hope you are having a good Monday!! I'll be back later on with a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day which was forty years ago today!!! And I'll finally tell you a little about that trip to Turkey and my "Turkish Delight" quilt. Later then.............

Thursday, November 20

"Purses with Purpose"

Some of my friends nearby have been involved in several projects that I come up with and for some time I have been meaning to tell you about our "Purse Project". A comment on the Pickle Yahoo group gave me the gentle nudge to do just that. At this time of year, there are many in need and many more will be in need as the economy sags. If you have the extra time and money here's a project that can help someone out. I gave it the name "Purses with Purpose". Lots of you are in groups that donate quilts. I've been in several quilt groups that made quilts to donate to the women's shelter and to some area nursing homes. And, of course, we got together this past summer to form "Sew and Share" to make quilts and totebags for Iowa Flood victims. Several years ago, our quilt group made the usual quilts, and then one year I coordinated a project for our small church women's group and we made tote bags - some for kids filled with coloring books, colors, toys, etc. in bright, fun fabrics. And then we made "mom" bags and filled them with cosmetics, notepad and pen, nail file, etc. The next year we took it a step further and made more totebags but I asked for purses, too. I figured we all have a new purse we've bought and never used but then most of the gals bought purses to donate! Cool! From a small group of about 11 women we assembled 43 new purses (included a few totebags). I asked my friends to think what it would be like if they had to leave their house in a hurry and left their purse behind and fill the purses accordingly. They really came through! Some were really stuffed, others not so much but they filled them with wallets, photo albums, hairbrush, nail care, cosmetics, personal care, notepad, pens, earrings, dental floss, phone card, etc. I dropped them off and a few weeks later got an e-mail from the shelter director that the purses were a very popular item at their Christmas distribution event. So, my challenge to you today would be that if you have a new purse sitting in your closet or you can make a few totebags, do so and fill them and then take them to a nearby shelter. Sometimes a new purse can really make one feel good and a kid loves a totebag with a new box of colors and a few other goodies to provide entertainment. And if you have time and you're so inclined, make a couple of Christmas stockings, too and fill those. I started a "Stuff a Stocking" program where I used to work several years ago and my co-workers had a great time filling stockings for kids. I asked each to take an age and boy or girl to shop for and they filled those socks to the brim. I like doing stuff like this because it makes me smile and know that I have made a smile come to the faces of people I don't even know.
A very good friend, kindly called me a "sentimental slob" and I think she's right. I'm also kind of a "sewing room slob" but I sure have fun in my fabric mess!!!
Got a busy day ahead and will share more later. Oh, and the description on my quilt needs to be posted. Gotta run now though. Later.

Wednesday, November 19

A Good Day............

Yes, it was a good day. Some might not call a day that is cold (about 25 degrees) and windy and no sun a good day, but I didn't have to go out except to walk the dog today so weather didn't bother me. I got to stay nice and cozy at home as it was my turn for Bible Study. I had baked a cake, had the coffee on and we had a good afternoon. That's the cake on the right. Looks better than it tasted. It's just a dark-chocolate cake mix with fudge frosting. That was to plain so to give it some added flavor, I smashed (yep, smashed) a box of peanut brittle and sprinkled it around the cake top. My friends all said it tasted really good but I am not so sure I liked it although it seemed like a good idea at the time.
We had an interesting lesson from Ecclesiates Chapters 11 and 12, that provided some interesting conversation and thoughts considering the current state of economic affairs here in the U.S.

When we finished, we all pitched in to fill the stockings from our "Sew and Share" project. I was lucky last week and found Halloween candy at Target at 75% off and bought several big bags. We filled each stocking with a coloring book, colors, three gel pens and lots of candy.

And here is what they looked like when they were all filled. Twenty six of them will go off to Iowa for flood victims plus the assorted items in front of the stockings. A dozen will go to our local toy drive here in Sibley County.

In addition to the stockings, I had also purchased (from donated funds) hats and gloves to go with the many scarves made in our Sew and Share group. Total of twenty six sets with twenty going off to Iowa and six to our county. This project is coming to a close and I will finally get the last of the pictures posted on the Sew and Share blog sometime this coming weekend.

And in my spare time, I have been working on my little doll quilt and I am really liking it alot. Pictures when it is finished. Also working on my Secret Santa project that is a penny rug and I have one ornament to mail off for a swap so I am keepin' up with my swap committments.
I am not, though, getting any pictures posted of that trip to Turkey I keep talking about. That is partly because I have been looking for the journal I kept from that trip and I cannot locate the box that it is in. I have decided that I am making a bigger mess by looking for it, than if I just unpack boxes and put stuff away. And then, you know what? I'll find the journal when I am not looking for it! You know that's how it happens! We have several boxes marked "books" and one of those is the travel books and journals I kept. Soon I'll find what I'm looking for........ but in the meantime, here is a small wall quilt that I was inspired to make after that visit to Turkey. It is called "Turkish Delight" and I'll tell you the story of the quilt tomorrow. It's a detailed story and requires a post all it's own.
End of a good day! Night all........

Blog Pick of the Week is..........

.......Sharon at RedGeraniumCottage!! I had planned on choosing Sharon's blog last week because I just find her blog so enjoyable when she starts talking about her "sista's" and "hunka" and you'll have to go there to find out what I am talking about.
Interestingly, Sharon kept me posted on fire updates as we have dear friends who were only blocks from fires that took the homes of several families in Yorba Linda, CA. I talked to our friends Lynn and Gary on Saturday afternoon after I just happened to turn on the weather and heard "fires in Yorba Linda". I got right on the phone to make sure they were okay. Wierd to be talking to them and hear the planes fly over with fire retardent. At that time, they were not sure if they would have to leave but on Sunday Gary called to say that they stayed and their home and neighbor's we're fine. Not so, for so many others. The fires weren't far from Sharon either and she has pictures of what our friends described. Here in the midwest we get the tornadoes and blizzards which I am not crazy about but I think fire is worse than either of those. Lots of prayers go out to all those who have lost their homes and so many memories.

Just wondering.........

.......if any of you out there in Blogland have any clue as to the maker of this sugar bowl and creamer. I have been unpacking boxes this week and had forgotten that shortly before we moved I bought these at a thrift shop in the cities. I only paid about $5.00 for the pair and they don't match a thing in my kitchen but I love their unique shape and the color is so vivid. The finish on the orange sugar bowl is flat while the blue creamer is glossy which is another unique feature. I've googled all sorts of sites and have found nothing similar so thought I would see if any of you have any clues.

Tuesday, November 18

My Angel Swap items arrived!

I'm a little bit behind in posting photos and such so decided to "hop to it" and get caught up! Last Friday the mailman brought me a package from Anna in Spain. Anna was my Stitching Angel and she was very generous in the gifts that she made and sent. When I opened the box, here is the first gift that I saw. It's the arm-chair pincushion designed by Helen the mistress of the Stitching Angel Swap. I love it!

But that wasn't all, because next was this cute zippered bag and embroidered Raggedy Doll that looks a lot like one that is setting on a shelf in my sewing room!

And then I realized there was still more in the box! Look at this cute zippered tote! I love the sewing machine applique!!

And then I unzipped the bag and look what was inside!! Do you agree that Anna was very generous!! I have sent my thanks her way and plan to send a snail mail card, too, as I am very appreciative of her sewing and sharing gifts!!!

I have been really busy with "things" and am just a little disorganized these last few days with a few too many things to do. That is often normal for me. This is a very busy week and I'll not get to a really good post for at least a few days.
Time to turn out the lights.

Saturday, November 15

Lookin' Back..............

I'll bet that a lot of you are familiar with the Garth Brooks song "The Dance". You know, the one that's all about "lookin' back" and how things aren't quite how you thought they'd be but if they had been different then you would have "missed the dance". Prophetic words aren't they?
I've been doing a lot of "lookin' back" for a variety of reasons the last couple of years - family health issues that make you wake up and take notice, a high school class reunion that I returned to and wondered "just exactly what have I done that was worthwhile in my life" and now our upcoming 40th anniversary. Come on, has it really been that many years!? Time doesn't just slip away, it literally disappears at Mach speed as old Spock might say (well,maybe it was the Captain who talked about Mach speed). Anyway, so I am "lookin' back" but aside from the fact that the body I occupy is a little more fluffy than the one I occupied at 19, I am still me. I was 19 when I married. It's hard to believe that 40 years ago, at just about this time, I was only days away from becoming a bride. Ten years ago at this time, Steve and I were in Turkey celebrating our 30th anniversary. Gee whiz, and I'm asking myself "has it really been ten years since that trip?" You know what they say - "time flies when you're having fun" - so I guess we have been having fun because time is sure flying away!
I thought it might be fun to share some old wedding pics from 1968 and then some from our trip to Turkey in 1998. I have been busy unpacking boxes in the basement to find just the right pictures. Still searching for a couple so it may be a day or two before I post any pics of those momentous events. I'll be back tomorrow with a little more on "lookin' back".

Friday, November 14

It's National Pickle Day!

I'm not sure who came up with the idea for a National Pickle Day but I suspect it was someone who was looking to sell pickles. This site on AmericanFoodHolidays will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and more about holidays for food and the fun that goes along with it. And so, in the spirit of the food season, I say "Happy National Pickle Day".
To celebrate the occasion, I am going to share a couple of sketches that I did last fall. It all started when I joined Mark Lipinski's Quilters Home group which he calls his "Pickle Posse". And that's because he lives on Pickle Road. At our house, my husband loves dill pickles and I like sweet pickles. If he orders a burger, he always asks for "double extra pickles". I order mine without the pickles or give them to him. A dear friend who is gone now, shared a great bread and butter pickle recipe with me and it is my favorite. I suppose if I were thinking here, I would share the recipe. I'll look it up and get back to ya. ;-)
Anyway, so I'm a member of the Pickle Posse and I am enjoying the "chatter" that goes back and forth in the group. I "met" Donna Jo and told you about that in my post about the Pickled Pink Pincushion. So, that was last October and at the time, I was having fun unpacking boxes in my new sewing room, working on projects, starting new ones, watching old western movies, listening to a couple of Roy Rogers CD's, and then..............I got this idea for a quilting pickle and started sketching. So right here and now, if any of you have found my posts too serious, well, this one is my "comic relief". Meet "Pickle Pete"...............

And here's his story and he's stickin' to it! Hee, hee.

Howdy, Pardners,
I’m “Pickle Pete” and this is my sidekick Mat (no relation to Mr. Dillon). I am the fastest quilter west of the Mississippi. Born a purebred Gherkin, I was raised and pickled in the valley of the Jolly Green Giant. My tools are at my side – scissors are ready for cutting into the stash of fabric at my feet and my rotary cutter is ready for some strip piecing. With my ruler tucked in my measuring tape belt, I am ready to put Mat to work. And like a magician and his lovely lady who never suffers a cut when he saws her in half, my trusty sidekick, Mat, is “self-healing”! Now it’s time to whip up a quilt for my horse “Jalapeño Pickled Pepper”. My boots are “made for walking” out to the barn where I keep my sewing machine tied up. It runs like a mighty stallion when I start sewing my blocks together. And if I run out of thread, I just unfasten a new spool from my belt and “off to the races” I go. I sew so fast, I leave my neighboring quilter’s in the dust. And when the dust clears, I have a finished quilt top to show for it. I keep it green and lay my quilts out in the grass to pin the batting and backing in place. Then I lasso my neighbor “Sweet Pickle” to help with the machine quilting. She’s my little darlin’ and always comes through when I’m “in a pickle” to get a quilt finished. With one last cloud of dust at the sewing machine, I stitch the binding on the edge of my quilt. I pull the needle from my hat and whip stitch the binding in place. Jalapeño stands ready for the quilt to be tossed on his back and we ride off into the sunset. Ever the faithful sidekick, Mat waits patiently at the barn for me to return to work on my next quilt.
Riding the Trail of Stitches,
Pickle Pete

©Copyright Sandra E. Andersen
October 3, 2007 6:25 p.m.

And now, I'll bet you'd like to meet "Sweet Pickle". She's a bit shy but she tells it like it is. Here she is..................

Hello, Folks,
I’m “Sweet Pickle” and I’m glad to meet y’all. You know, that Pete is quite a talker but I’m the one that gets the quiltin’ done. Without the horsepower that drives my Corral A-1 quilting machine, Pete’s horse would just have a blanket on his back. No clouds of dust for me. I just keep a steady pace ‘til the quiltins’done. Got a bluebird sittin’ on my window sill and my friend, “Thyme” to keep me company so I am one happy pickle. Stop by and visit anytime. Show me your quilts and I’ll show you mine! Hugs and kisses to all you good folks!
Sweet Pickle

©Copyright Sandra E. Andersen
November 14, 2008 1:30 a.m.

Now, folks, I have made you smile and I have made you cry with some of my posts and you may have found some very boring, but I really hope you giggle when you read this post. And if you LOL that would be even better!!

Now on a little more serious note........While I drew the sketches for Pickle Pete and Miss Sweet Pickle on the first two weekends in October last year - and I wrote Pete's story then, too - I had to lay them aside because family life took front and center. By the third weekend in October, my mother was seriously ill and we weren't even sure she would survive. But we were blessed and my dad was relieved that "ma was all right". Both my folks loved old western movies and talked of going to Roy Rogers and other cowboy movies as kids. So, if anything inspired me to draw a pair of quilting pickles, it would be my mom and dad and watching those old flicks, listening to tunes and thinking of them. And my dad would sure think these are funny! I hope you do, too. Have a great National Pickle Day and put on a big pickle grin for the entire day!!!

One last thing, please don't copy my sketches or alter in any way for your use without permission from me the author/illustrator. If you do, the Great Pickle will haunt you. Surely if there is a Great Pumpkin, there must be a Great Pickle. One of these days, I'll sit down and color the sketches and who knows, I might have a "Pick-aso" exhibit. :-)


Thursday, November 13

A little early Christmas gift for all of you!

I promised a little Christmas Sampler and here it is! It's nothing fancy, just a simple little expression of what Christmas means to me. As always there's a story............I designed this little sampler for a retreat in November of 2001 at Inspiration Point in Alexandria, MN. I had been given the opportunity to "fill in" for a teacher who scheduled to lead a class at the retreat but had to cancel due to back problems. My friend, Jean, learned of the situation when she picked her daughter up at summer camp and said she knew someone who might be able to fill the spot. And so, thanks to Jean, I got my first chance to teach at a "real retreat". On another day, I'll share photos of "Winter Star" the quilt that I designed and taught at the retreat. In addition to teaching the quilt class, I offered to prepare a little project with kits that could be done on the Friday evening before classes began on Saturday. And "Christmas is Love" was born.

That fall we were all still reeling from the events of September 11th and I think all of us held our family more near and dear that year. For me personally, it was a tough time. My dad's health was not good even then and it would be the first Christmas without either of our grandparents as my grandpa had passed away in 2000, joining Grandma Goldie, his favorite piano player. Family is an amazing thing, you know. We have these wonderful people in our lives and yet time slips away and sometimes we don't get to spend as much time with them as we would like. I have been blessed to be able to enjoy many times with my parents, grandparents, brother and sister and family and my own two dear kids, their loved ones, my husband, and my grandson, Jacob. Christmas is a special time for our family just as it may be for your family. Again, this year, there will be a change at Christmas. We will be missing my dad and he loved Christmas and giving just about more than anyone I know. And so, thinking of him, I share this little sampler with you as a gift for Christmas really is all about Love. Make it up for a friend or loved one and let them know how much they mean to you. Give them the gift of Christmas Love.

In the photo above, I used woolfelt for all the pieces (measurements given below). In the original pattern and kit, I used cotton fabrics and fusible web and embellished the piece with glitter trim. The little piece measures approximately 8 x 10" and fits perfectly in a picture frame.

All you have to do to print out these pages is .........right click on the picture and save to your computer, then you can print out the pages. If that doesn't work, though, just send me an e-mail or leave a comment and I will send you the pdf file.

If you are using woolfelt for your project, cut........
One strip 2" x 10" of cream/beige for "Christmas"
One 2 1/2" x 3" piece of green for the heart block
One 2" x 2 1/2" piece of red for "is" block
One 3 1/2" x 5" piece of gold for "Love" block
One 5" x 6" piece of blue for tree block
All other pieces are the same as printed on pattern and color guides are printed on patterns.
To sew the woolfelt together, I placed the pieces on muslin and lightly glued them with a fabric gluestick. Then I used Perle cotton and cross stitched the seams together. After this stitching was finished I added the tree, heart, etc. I used Perle cotton to embroider the words "Christmas" and "is" and embroidery floss to stitch around all the woolfelt shapes such as the tree, heart, etc. I added beads for lights on the tree and bells for a little jingle (and because a ringing bell means an angel gets her wings).
If you are using cotton fabrics for your project, cut........
One strip 2 1/2" x 10 1/2" of cream/beige for "Christmas"
One 3" x 3 1/2" piece of green for the heart block
One 2 1/2" x 3" piece of red for "is" block
One 4" x 5 1/2" piece of gold for "Love" block
One 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" piece of blue for tree block
All other pieces are the same as printed on pattern and color guides are printed on patterns.
I fused all the shapes - tree, heart, etc. to each fabric piece, then sewed them together with 1/4" seams. I embroidered the "is" and "Christmas" after the pieces were sewn together. So, you will start by sewing the "is" block to the "heart" block and press. Then stitch that section to the "Love" block and press. Next piece to add is the "Tree" block, press and add the strip that will be embroidered with "Christmas". I used Perle cotton to embroider the words "Christmas" and "is". I used a fine point glitter paint tube to trim all the fused pieces - tree, heart, and letters for "LOVE".
While I framed each of the pieces that I made, you could also make them into a little wallhanging by adding borders, backing fabric, etc. It takes so little fabric to make one so pull out your scraps and stitch one up for someone you love.
If you make the pattern, let me know. I'd love to see photos. And if you have a special "Christmas is Love" memory, leave a comment and share it with all of us. I share this little project with all of you and just ask that you not make the design for sale but make as many as you want to give as gifts. The message is meant to be shared. You know that old saying - Love isn't love, 'til you give it away"!!
And as my dad would say - Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite!

Can you hear me smile?

You might be wondering what on earth I am thinking to ask if you can hear me smile? But think about it. Can you, in fact, hear someone smile? I can. I hear it all the time when I read something that someone wrote and they were happy when they wrote it. Smiles come through in words, just as sadness and anger do, too. Thank goodness, I hear more smiles than anger. I hear smiles from my friends when they e-mail me. When my friend Kate e-mails me, I see a big smile and a twinkle in her eyes. Kate smiles from just up the road from me. My friend, Sue, smiles at me from my home state of Iowa and not all that far from the town I grew up in. She brought me a smile when she came to visit me when my mother was in the hospital a couple of years ago. I was smiling the entire weekend of our retreat because I was so enjoying the time with my friends. There are lots of friends that make me smile, some nearby and some far away. Some are people I've known for a long time, some for a short time. A new friend is, Joanie, from Bible Study. We "clicked" right away, perhaps because we both graduated from high school the same year - okay, if you must know, it was 1967 - but she's just a joy to be around and she has a smile that just beams!! No kidding. In fact, I can see and hear it right now! There are blogging friends that I've never met in person but I can still see them smile across many, many miles. Nihal made me smile when I won her recent contest but I also smile when I read her posts because she shares such lovely stories and sights. I smile when I read Sharon's posts at RedGeraniumCottage. That woman has the best time with her friends! I have been smiling a lot lately and that's a good thing because it takes less exercise to smile than frown and I can tell you, I am not fond of exercise!
I am fond of smiles, though. They can do wonders for the soul.
Case in point........earlier this week on Veteran's Day, I was to sing the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America for the local service in honor of our veteran's. I was a bit nervous, never having sung the anthem solo before, but there in the crowd one of the veteran's was smiling at me and singing along with every word and it just put me at ease. Afterward, I thanked him for smiling and told him that it had helped me relax. So, if you want to make a difference today - SMILE! It will make you feel better and I'll hear everyone of those smiles!!

So, since I'm in smile mode, here's a few things that have made me smile this week...........

On Monday, I went to my mailbox and found this envelope from Lee in Australia and inside was this lovely package and card. This is one of four or five ornament swaps that I am in (I love Christmas ornaments).
She had e-mailed me that it was on it's way and I could hardly wait to open it because I knew it would make me smile! Sure enough, look at the charming little felt ornaments she made ................ a little garland of felt "owlies" (I am sure they are wise old owlies) and a pink cupcake and a whole bag of stars!! I loved it all and it made smile then and now when I'm recalling it.

A few weeks ago, my friend Cindy made me smile when she sent this package filled with fabric. I didn't know she was sending it so it was a real surprise. That's right, made me smile. We have been friends for almost ten years. Wow, time flies. She's "down-sizing" so shared her "stuff" with me knowing I might find some new life for it. I can hear Cindy smile when she tells me about her daughter, Kaite, and then it makes me smile. :-)

The election made me smile for a number of reasons and so as not to get political because some of those I voted for won, so I smiled big and others didn't, so I smiled small smiles because I was glad all the campaigning was over. Just knowing there will be no more political ads for at least a few weeks is cause for some really big smiles.

I've been doing some smiling this week as I work on my patriotic crazy quilt piece because it is coming along nicely. No, it wasn't done by Election day as I planned, nor did I get it finished by Veteran's Day but I'm pretty sure it'll be finished by Inauguration Day!! Hee, hee. I write my goals in pencil so I can erase them when I don't quite make the schedule I set for myself. :-)

Another blogger that makes me smile and a whole lot of other quilting bloggers is Nanette of FredasHive. When she designed her little Christmas cottages, I doubt she realized how much fun they would bring to so many people. Mine came in the mail today and are pictured below. They come from the east to west in the U.S. and from Europe and Australia. Now is that fun or what? I have two ideas for setting the blocks but will do some playing with the blocks before I make up my mind for sure. Will add the other twelve that I made to these or perhaps make two separate quilts. I had so much fun making the Christmas cottages that I started some Halloween ones that you can see in the photo above. I changed the window placement a bit by cutting 1 1/2" strips to go on each side of the windows and I cut just one 4 1/2" strip for that bottom of that section instead of 2 1/2" squares.

As you can see, I've been busy and I am lovin' it. I made a lot of trips home to Iowa this past couple of years plus our move and everything else so projects sometimes got laid aside. I've been doing some more unpacking this past week and finding all sorts of stuff that made me box of sweatshirts I was looking for, my Christmas books, vintage quilts and old quilting magazines. It's like shopping but I'm not spending money! Boy, that's a really good reason to smile!!

In addition to unpacking boxes, I unpacked this chest that my mother-in-law gave me and brought it upstairs to my sewing room. I want to use it for storing the small quilts that I have made. She won the little chest in the early 1930's. It was a raffle in a store window and her dad bought tickets for her and so did her uncle and she won it!!

Here's a tip that I learned from the staff at the Scott County Historical Society. If you are planning to store textiles on a wood surface line that surface with heavy duty aluminum foil. It will serve as barrier to the acids in the wood. I line shelves with it, too. Adding this chest to my sewing room, makes me smile because my quilts are out of the light and dust now.

Just a couple more things and then I'm done with the smile topic. Earlier this afternoon, I was giving a little sewing lesson to our neighbor girl and I was thinking about supper. I had hamburger cooking but wasn't quite sure what I would do with it. Then I came up with this concoction and it tasted so good that, of course, it made me smile so I have to share it with you.
I call this ...........
Lazy Girl's Poor Man's Muffin Pie
You'll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 can Veg-all (drained)
1 can Campbell's Lentil soup
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
Spray two pie plates with cooking spray so you can eat one and either freeze the other so you'll smile later when you don't have to cook or give to a friend so that they can smile because they won't have to cook. Set oven to 350 degrees.
First, cook 1 lb. lean ground beef - I brown my ground beef, then slow cook it on medium low for almost two hours. I just season with salt and pepper but add what pleases your palate. When the ground beef is cooked, drain if necessary and then add one can of Campbell's Lentil soup and one can of Veg-all (drained). Mix this all together and cook for ten minutes on medium high heat, then pour half of mixture into each pie plate. If desired sprinkle half cup of shredded cheese on top of mixture. (I desire cheese on most any hotdish that I make!)
Last step - Mix one box of Jiffy cornbread mix per package directions then spread (like frosting a cake - see photo above) over ground beef mixture. Repeat for second pie plate. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until top of cornbread is golden brown. Every oven is different so judge your time according to your own oven.
And this is what it looks like. Nothing fancy but I sliced up a piece very quickly and enjoyed it very much. Yep, it made me smile.

So, that's about it for tonight. Oh, except one last thing. Now that the cottage exchange is done and my Stitching Angel gift arrived in Australia, I need to focus on a couple other swap projects. I am working on ornament swaps and also something special for Chooky's Secret Santa swap. Then yesterday, I started working on the little Doll Quilt for that swap. Here's a little peek at the fabric I bought for this project. It just made me smile because it's so bright and cheerful. It's kinda Christmasy but I also think you could use this right up through January.

That's all, folks. This was waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy long, but I have been so busy and it just makes me so happy and yes, I am smiling as I write that. Hope you have many things to smile about in your day today!!
P.S. The little Christmas Sample pattern will be posted later tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12

Time for a Blog Pick of the Week!

This week it has to be Scott at BlueNickleStudio. He has a new camera and has some great photos he's recently posted on his blog. He's also got a new quilt made from Anna Marie Horner fabrics that went off to market. Scott had to stay home but check out his blog and you'll see one busy quilter. And you can link to his wife Linda's blog as she is a dollmaker so they are one creative pair!!
I'll be posting more a little later on. I have been a busy bee in my sewing room and in the kitchen. Do you think one day, we'll be able to speak into a microphone and blog while we sew and cook? Probably, because a few years ago, I never knew what a blog was. Wow, technology is fun but gee, how it does strain this not-so-young brain these days!!!

Tuesday, November 11

In honor and remembrance - Veteran's Day

This is my dad, Melvin Linn, in a photo taken somewhere in Germany in 1945. He served with the 94th Infantry, U.S. Army. Today is Veteran's Day and we honor and remember all those who served their country. As most of you know, my dad passed away last spring. He talked often of the war. The experiences of his time in the service stayed with him all his life. He was proud to be a veteran.
Today there will be services around the country in honor of all service men and women. A service will be held here in Henderson in the afternoon, and I will sing the National Anthem and God Bless America and remember my dad. I'll also remember our friend, Danny, who lost his life in Vietnam and all those who gave their lives for our country. We are blessed that they served for us.

Monday, November 10

Down the slide to winter!

Oh, my, winter has landed in Minnesota. We may have been 70 and sunny last Monday but that was likely the last of our warm fall days. We got a little snow this past Friday, and no, I haven't been out sledding or making snow angels but I did take a little blogging break after doing all the posts about our retreat. With the change in the weather, I realized I needed to do something about warmer clothes. The flip flops are gone and the winter coats have come out. Even my dog isn't fond of wind and snowflakes while he's doing his duties. Speaking of Kaiser, here he is in all his regal beagleness.........That's his blanket that I whipped up for him. He has a cushion he lays on and then I cover him with the blanket. In dry weather it clings to him when he gets up and walks so this time I took a picture of him because he looks like a king in a royal red robe. He likes to think he is a king and prefers my sewing chair for his throne but I have demoted him to his cushion these days. We're doing a little training. :-)

As you can see, Kaiser has no problems staying warm and comfy. I, on the other hand, was not warm and comfy so had to go in search of a warmer sweater. That's when I realized, I needed to do something about my closet. I am amazed that we have lived here not quite two years and I already need to "thin out" the stuff in my closet. Some of the stuff needed to be "thinned out" because I am not "thin enough" to wear some of it anymore. Get what I mean? Then I keep some things for sentimental reasons but I think it's time to pass the sentiment along, so I got a bag and started filling it with .......a jacket, slacks, shoes, sweaters, knit tops, a lovely suit, a gorgeous jacket for somebody's night out, purses, etc. It'll all go to the county thrift shop and someone else will get some good use out of it all. None of it's worn-out or out-dated, it just doesn't fit right. A thought here - I've discovered that you can really like something and it can look great on a hanger and then look awful when you put it on. I needed the folks from "What not to wear?" to come to my closet. :-) But enough "clothes talk" ............ How about a cool picture?

This was the sun setting last Tuesday afternoon. We were still enjoying warm weather that day but it was so warm that those of us attending Bible Study that day, all agreed that it couldn't last. When we saw each other at church this morning, we all commented on how quickly the weather did it's turn-around. Time to think of soup in the crockpot and warm bread from the oven!

Speaking of food, look at the lovely dessert that Arline served us at Bible Study last Tuesday (I was busy posting retreat pics and never got to this one). Arline is a collector of teacups and I chose to sit at the plate with this lovely pink tea cup and saucer. Each one is unique and has a story. I have a few tea cups but none as lovely as Arline's are. The dessert she served was a peach/pecan concoction that was delicious. I had not been to Bible Study for a couple of weeks because of preparing for and then winding down from the retreat so it was a joy to be with all my friends. As always, we start with food and friendship, then it's a lesson and sharing thoughts. Good food for the body and the soul!

This past Friday, I was out doing my grocery shopping and then rewarded myself with a stop at the GoodWill store. I actually found a lovely little teacup and saucer and it was $1.98! I have to take a photo of it and a couple of other tea related items that I found and will post those in the next few days. And while I've not been blogging the past couple of days, there is a "thread on friendship" that is taking shape in my head and I will be posting it in the next few days. It kind of expands on the "Friends" theme from my retreat and then adds in the new blogging friends and connections.
That's all for tonight. Time to snuggle under the covers and get some sleep.
P.S. For a peak at our "Winter Wonderland" that arrived on Friday, check out SuesBlog for some lovely photos. :-)

Thursday, November 6

My Blog Pick of the Week!

Looks like I am a day late getting my blog pick posted. I said I would do it on Wednesdays but somehow I lost track of time again this week!
This week's pick of the week is a blog that became one of my favorites shortly after I began blogging. It's "Mr. MonkeySuit!!! I think what I liked about Joanna's blog was that she sews and does things with her children that remind me of when I was a young mother. She makes really lovely things and you will want to check out her blog. Plus, I was lucky enough to win one of her little felt cupcakes back in July and I love it. It sits atop my little TV in my sewing room as a daily reminder of her and the day I learned that I won it. The little cupcake win came on a day when I was really blue and just winning it really cheered me up! Then she decided that September would be quilt month just when I was preparing quilts for the library quilt show and asked to add the info to her blog. It was fun to see all the different quilts she featured that month. And now if want to see the adorable items that she has made for the school fund-raising auction, go right now to her blog. I'd be bidding on them if I could attend that auction!

Wednesday, November 5

Final Retreat Photos!

So, are many of you like me and you got caught up in all the election coverage yesterday and then more today? My what a historic time in our country - great voter turnout, almost no glitches in the voting process and Barack Obama elected President. I found the entire coverage compelling. I thought John McCain's concession speech was eloquent and heartfelt and Barack Obama's speech inspired hope and change. We are in tough times in our country but we've been there before and we'll get through them again. While I watched the coverage, I was stitching on my patriotic crazy quilt piece. I am all done stitching along the pieces and adding trims. However, there are some spaces that needed something and then last night, I figured out what I'll do. My hope had been to finish it on Election Day, now I'm shooting for Veteran's Day! :-)

Meanwhile, back to the retreat. Here are the photos from our last day, Sunday.

In the picture above you can see the chapel that it in the center of Villa Maria. Lovely isn't it?
A Sunday morning mass is held at 9:00 a.m. and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. You don't have to be staying at the Villa to attend mass there so many neighbors also come for worship.
A continental breakfast is always available for early risers on Sunday morning and then a brunch follows Sunday service. The brunch was yummy. The kitchen cooks make really good scrambled eggs!
I wanted to show you this piece as it hangs in the dining room at the Villa. Double click on the photo for a close-up and you will see that it is done with wool. The picture doesn't do the piece justice. There are several items at the Villa that are donated by visitors. I would love to tell you the name of the artist who did this piece but there was no name with it.

Just before I went to bed Saturday night, I laid out the paper-pieced blocks that everyone did so they would be ready for the lucky winner on Sunday afternoon. And I had four final doorprizes that were going to go to the last four names in the "Lucky Duck" wicker basket.
Here are three of the final four prizes. You'll see later what the fourth one is. :-)

After morning brunch we only had a couple more hours of sewing time. All the big projects had been packed and everyone was just working on last minute stuff. I finally found the pic of Barb and her basket. She made this one and another one with a solid fabric instead of the pieced squares. Those baskets are so cute. Thank you Ayumi for designing the pattern and sharing it with all of us!!! The Library becomes like home when we are there. We get so settled in that it is hard to pack up and go home!!

Our last two hours of sewing time just flew by and pretty soon it was time for an afternoon snack before everyone left for the drive home. Kate had given a call to home and learned that the weather was windy, wet and there was blowing snow falling so everyone started seriously packing up so we could enjoy our snack and final thoughts and doorprizes.
Jane is "racing" to the table for the leftovers from our Friday night supper. :-) We all managed to gather around the table while I shared some readings and thoughts on friendship and our weekend together. We are and will be "Friends Forever"!!

So, who won the doorprizes. Well, Carol M. won the fall fabrics in the oval box with the tin lid and Arlis won the fabric wrapped package that was a pretty journal for special quilting thoughts. Barb was thrilled to win the glittery fall fabrics that came from JoAnn Fabrics. That left only one doorprize and one name in the basket and that was Kate.

I had filled a small basket with all the scraps from the paper pieced project plus a few more fall and Halloween fabrics....................

and as she took them out to look at them .................. and she got to the bottom of the basket...........she was so surprised..............because she got the lovely ugly fabric but the bonus was a ten-dollar bill (and it was real) to go out and buy some lovely fabric of her choice. Oh, did we have a good laugh over this!!!! The deal is that she has to make a small totebag with the leftover ugly fabric and bring it back when we meet at the next retreat and she is to put a length of ugly fabric in the bag for one of us to win! Oh, we do have fun!!! We laughed some more when Collette's name was drawn for the paper-pieced blocks. She wasn't sure she should take them but everybody encouraged her to keep them and bring them back finished at the next retreat.

We had one more treat for the gals and we almost forgot to do it. Collette had found a recipe for Pumpkin Lattes in "Autumn by Susan Branch" so we quickly put on the coffee and Collette got to work making the concoctions for those who wanted a coffee. They were pretty yummy!

I asked Sharon to snap a picture of Collette and me together. We had so much fun planning and preparing for the retreat plus just being at the Villa is something we enjoy so much!

Once everyone else had left, we sort of relaxed and sewed just a bit and organized our stuff as we packed so it wouldn't be such a mess to unpack and put away once we reached home! It had been a lovely weekend but the wind was bitter and light rain was falling so packing the car was not all that pleasant. We really hated to leave but took comfort in knowing that we'll be back again soon.
I wanted to share one last original connection to finding Villa Maria came through the church I attended in Prior Lake, MN. Prior to our move from there, the church went through a change in worship/ministry style and so there was a lot of "out with the old". There were many banners, some that I made, others that were made by my friends Nancy and Laurel, artificial flowers, music and such. It was my place to find homes for some of those things and I brought all but two of the banners (about 13 total) to Villa Maria. The staff has hung some in various areas and some are brought out just for special occasions. It is really nice to see them being used and appreciated. The flowers came to the church I attend here in Henderson and the music went on to another members church. It is good to know that they continue to be of value and use to other congregations rather than tossed to the wind.
Turn out the was time to go was dark and cold but we talked about our next retreat all the way home (a two hour drive) and we are so excited about what we have planned for our friends in September of 2010!
That's all for the retreat unless I recall some things that I may have forgotten. It was on my mind all afternoon as I sorted through my box of Halloween fabrics and projects that I brought home from the retreat. I spent several hours playing with the stuff and making Halloween print crazy quilt blocks and my Halloween cottage blocks. Got to start thinking Christmas pretty soon. Maybe just a few more days of fall and Halloween and then I'll put it all away til next year. It's hard to think of Christmas when it's warm enough here to have the windows open and not wear a coat. Lovin' it!!
Good night and good morning!
Oops! I forgot to tell you who left the bedbugs in the hall on Saturday night. It was Kate but that quiet, shy Joan had left them on Kate's bed this time and then Kate brought them down the hall and left them for us to find as we went to bed. Oh, we did have a good time!!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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