Saturday, October 31

Just had to say..........

H A L L O W E E N !!!
Here in Minnesota it is cold and windy so that means leaves scattering and windy noises for a spooky night! I loved Halloween as a kid. Still enjoy it and hope that little kids will ring my bell as I have candy ready for them!
There's another test scheduled for my mom on Monday afternoon. She's actually feeling pretty well and staying with my sister who lives in Iowa City. After Monday's test, we will know what treatment option there will be and then "move forward". Remember those words from my post of a few days ago? I no longer try to "catch up"........I just keep "moving forward"...... and it works!!
Thanks for your kind words and prayers. They are greatly appreciated.
Enjoy this day and the evening, then savor that extra hour when it comes round. ;-)

Friday, October 30

A little update.....

I'm still here just preoccupied with family things. My mind is on other things but I'll get back to blogging soon.

Monday, October 26

Thinking of my mom......

She's going to the doctor today, seeing a cardiologist as she's got a problem with high blood pressure. All we've been talking about lately is getting her up her for a visit so I am hoping and praying that the doctor can get her on some medication to get her blood pressure down and that there is nothing more serious going on. Any prayers will be greatly appreciated. Her name is Mary. I'll post later when I hear more. I was on the phone with her doctor several times last Thursday and Friday and she was so helpful. When I'm here and my mom is in Iowa, it's difficult. I know there are many of you that find yourself in this same place. I'm just hoping that all will go well for her today.

*An update on my mom......she's feeling good and the doctor's have ordered a couple more tests. I will probably be going to Iowa in the next few days so may not post regularly. What I just realized, though, is that this is my 400th post! Wow! I should do something to celebrate but I wasn't paying attention and it just slipped by me. I'll come up with something and have a giveaway or something fun when I return. I appreciate all your prayers and kind thoughts!!

Wednesday, October 21

Stuck on Pincushions :-)

Last night, I taught a pincushion class at Firefly Quilt Shop in Mankato, MN. It was a small class but we had a lot of fun. Owner, Janice, (in the center in photo below) has just begun to carry wool in her quilt shop and this was an opportunity to give it a try. That's Deb, on the left and Karen on the right. I made a couple samples and the pincushion pictured above is one of them. For the class project, though, we all made my little Turkish Rose Pincushion. It's the same pincushion that I taught just a couple of week's ago for the St. Peter Quilt Guild. This night, though, the class time was longer so both Janice and Deb finished their pincushions and Karen planned to stuff her pincushion when she got home. I love teaching how to work with wool and woolfelt and look forward to some more "wooly fun" at Firefly in the future. :-)

In my quest to "catch up/keep moving forward", I'll share these pictures from our "Tuesday Crazies Day-Out" from last week. We usually meet at each other's homes to stitch but we decided to do a little road trip to Mankato and check out the fabric sources. We started at Firefly and enjoyed shopping, snacking and even a door prize.

We are from left to, Sue, Arlis, Adella - smiling because she was the doorprize winner - Kate (in the sunglasses due to some eye surgery), Laurie, and Carol. We all bought something - fabrics, patterns, etc. Here's my "collection"................

I bought that Schnibbles pattern because it's called "Reveille". I laughed when I saw the name of the pattern because if I were in the Army I would never be able to wake up for "Reveille". I like the night and morning is not my time of day. The quilt is cheery, though, so maybe if I make it and hang it in my bedroom it will make me want to get up earlier. Ha ha .......not!
The JOY ornament came from our stop at HobbyLobby. I bought it to remind me of the JOY that my "Tuesday Crazies" friends add to my life. We ate lunch at LeAnn Chin's and had a good laugh as we went around the table and read our fortune's. Actually, we laughed a lot the whole day through. I think we laughed the most when we were all trying to check out with the cashier at Hancock Fabrics. Thankfully the lady who was in line in the midst of us, didn't mind our "happy chaos". There really is Joy in friendship and if you need some Joy in your life, grab a friend and go shopping or out to lunch or something really fun! Just enJOY!!
Night all!

Monday, October 19

Pincushion Fun!

Before I tell you about the "pincushion fun" I had.........let me say this..........I often feel, and especially lately, I feel like I am always trying to catch up. Janice, owner of Firefly Quilt shop where I'll be teaching tomorrow night, offered this advice......."you never get caught up!" And you know, she was right and the way she said it made me think that instead of trying to get "caught up", I am just going to keep moving forward and leave it at that!! Soooooooo, moving forward, I'll get to the "pincushion fun"! I went to St. Peter - not the Pearly Gates St. Peter - but to St. Peter for the quilt guild meeting two weeks ago today (catching up - moving forward, remember). I did a program for the group last May and they invited me back to do a pincushion workshop. I was originally going to package 30+ kits for the group and then I decided to do what I did at the Extension meeting last March..........set out the supplies and let everyone choose their own colors.

I set it up like a "buffet pincushion bar". :-) I passed out the pattern sheets for the pincushion and also gave everyone a copy of my needlecase pattern as there was enough woolfelt in the roll to do both items. Then, everyone came up to the table and chose a tied bundle as their pincushion base, then a square for the flower, a green piece for the leaves and a little square for the flower center. Each person also took a washer and a piece of batting to cover it that was used as a base in the pincushion. All this would make the pincushion that you see in the lower right corner of the photo.
After everyone cut out their pattern pieces, it was back to the table for the next step ........ choosing the Perle cotton to stitch the pieces to the pincushion and to use for the buttonhole stitch that would go around the pincushion.

Here's the whole group busy at work on their pincushions. Everyone seemed to enjoy the project and while no one finished their pincushion before time to close the meeting, most had completed the flower/leaf stitching and would be able to finish up quickly when they got home. In the program I did last spring, there was a bit more time and almost everyone finished. It was good to repeat this and see just how much time is needed for future workshops. All in all, it was a great deal of "pincushion fun"!!
And tomorrow night, I'll have more "pincushion fun" when I teach a similar project at Firefly Quilt Shop in Mankato, MN. More on that tomorrow.
So, what did I to tonight? Well, I presented my "Legacy of Stitches" quilt program to my old quilt group in Prior Lake where we used to live. It was so much fun to see my quilty friends! I had the best time sharing my quilts and stories. Many of my friends had seen several of the quilts that I brought but there were also many new members in the group who hadn't. I really did have such a good time, that I smiled all the way home and barely remembered the drive. Uh, oh, that's not really good! I was being careful, though, and I didn't speed. It's just that I was thinking about what a fun evening it was so my mind was elsewhere. However, I was being very watchful for deer as they are definitely "out and about" at all hours of the day lately. Deer hunting season is not far away here in Minnesota. That's good for the hunters but I hope they don't hurt any of the deer that pass through our backyard. I kinda like watching them meander out of the woods and across to our neighbor's bluff.
Well, that's enough for tonight. Have a good day!

Saturday, October 17

How does time go by so quickly?

I can't believe that it's been two weeks since I went to visit my friend, Sue, in Iowa. I posted about the program I did for her quilt guild and then I had other stuff to share and never quite got to it. Life is really, really busy right now and those computer problems totally threw me for a loop. No one ever really gets caught up but I am woefully behind these days so I keep trying!! I do hope that I didn't pass that computer virus issue on to any one else!
So, here I am tonight and it's a bit quiet right now, a good time to get back to blogging. I had a great day today. First of all, the sun was shining today and it was much warmer. That snow last weekend was too early! The day started with a birthday party........the Henderson Library was 60 years old! I stopped in to sign the birthday card and have some birthday cake and coffee. Then, I was off to the Historical Society in Shakopee. My friend, Sue, had come up for a program at our exhibit of crazy quilts so it was nice to see her again. Afterword, we went for a quick burger at McDonald's (yes, McDonald's) and had a nice visit before she had to head back home. Then I ran a couple of errands and I was home again.

Enough chatter, though, as I suspect you are looking for some photos or something quilty and pretty to look at. Well, there aren't many quilts to show but I there are pictures of the two shops that I visited on my way home from Sue's (two weeks ago.....better late than never).
My first stop was only a few miles from Sue's house.........a little shop called Saintly Stitches in Mason City. There are actually two Saintly Stitches shops as there is also one in St. Ansgar, Iowa. I was a bit early but was happy to wait til the shop opened. And as I waited, I noticed some ladies quilting in a room next door to the quilt shop. I recognised them from the Lake Area Quilt Guild meeting of the night before and waved to them. They motioned for me to come on in and so I did. I got to see some really lovely quilts and thought I would share this spectacular one with all of you. I only wish my brain could remember this quilter's name! (Sue or Vivien, please help me out here.) She said she just used different flower patterns then bordered them with the square-in-a-square blocks. I thought it was just gorgeous.
Yay! Sue helped me our and this is Kris Brockmeyer in the photo with her lovely quilt. I had asked her if it was okay to share this on my blog and she said "sure". If I had been thinking, I would have written her name down then, too!

When the shop opened, I, of course, ......shopped. What did I buy? ..........

Well, they had the cutest wintery snowman fabrics so I had to get a little bit of everything. And then I found a patriotic print for my "Grace and A Prayer" quilt and decided that was enough for my first stop. It was a lovely little shop and I would go back again, only next time I will also take in the shop in St. Ansgar as they carry different fabrics from the shop in Mason City.

It was a really rainy drive back to Minnesota but I didn't mind too much for neither rain nor snow will keep me from my quilting destination. I take that back. This is Minnesota and, of course, snow often keeps us from getting to our quilting destinations but we just reschedule whenever possible!! My destination this day was.........Calico Hutch in the little town of Hayward, MN. It's located just east of 35W and/or I90 near Albert Lea, MN. I had never been to the shop but Carol, the owner, has purchased patterns from me. It was nice to meet her in person!
The shop looked inviting and from the front, it looks like it might be small. However, that's not the case..............

When you open the front door, you walk into a room that is loaded with colorful fabrics. I glanced to the right, though, as I entered and I saw wool, lots of wool and I headed right into that room! Just look at all those samples and patterns..........

and look at all the colors of wool that line the walls!!!

I pulled myself away from the warmth of the wooly room and crossed through the front room and into a large room at the center of the shop. There was so much fabric!
This young woman was buying fabric for a quilt and is proof positive that the art of quilting is enjoyed by younger women, too. I know that the demographics say that the average quilter is about 59 but that's only the average. My quilting friends range in age from 7 to 95. So much for the average......

Anyway, I wandered around the center room and then noticed the door into what looked like a large classroom. Three ladies were working on projects but didn't seem to mind that I wandered around the room. It was filled with more fabrics and oodles of sample quilts hung on the walls. This was a great shop with friendly, helpful staff and one I'll return to again! If you'd like to take a peek at the shop's website just click here .
And did I buy anything here? Well, of course............
I picked up some pretty wools and some fun fabrics that will end up in holiday projects. Then I spotted the little paper pieced patterns from LittleBits and decided I would give one a try.......but not until this winter. There'll be plenty of snowy days when I can do this one.

That's all for tonight. It will be a few days before I can catch up on e-mails and my Yahoo group. Maybe I'll finally get caught up when we get that hour back in a couple of weeks. LOL!
Time to turn out the lights. I was in bed by 10:00 p.m. last night and tonight I'm going to be in bed by 11:00 p.m. So, so tired. I need a couple more night's of good sleep and then I'll be fine.
Have a good Sunday!

Friday, October 16

Computer problems are fixed.....

Due to the technical skills of my husband, my computer problems have been resolved (at least we think so!). What a nuisance it was!!! And it all came at a time when he was busy, I was busy, etc. etc. You know how it goes!! We've been so busy and I am so tired that I don't have the energy to post to my blog. Perhaps tomorrow will be better. Feeling like I could curl up and go to sleep right now and it's not even 10:00 p.m.!!! Oh, boy, that is not usual for me! A little extra sleep will give me the energy to get back into the blogging swing of things, though, so I'll see you tomorrow evening. :-)

Wednesday, October 14

Due to technical difficulties........

I am unable to post to my blog as I have computer problems. Seems a virus has decided to repeatedly knock at my computer door. I'm at the library right now so I can post to my groups and my blog. My husband is going to try to solve my problem for me tonight. I hope this doesn't take long to solve. If I'm not posting or replying, you'll know why.
Sandi who would like to teach all those out there who are using their fingers to compromise other computers, that they should use their fingers for something artfully creative instead of wreaking havoc on someone else's computer!

Monday, October 12

Celebrating Columbus Day.....

with SNOW!! Mother Nature played a trick on many parts of the Midwest and dumped some snowflakes all over our lovely fall colors!! What was she thinking?!! I don't recall significant snow this early in the season. I think we ended up with about 3 inches but by the time I took this picture in the late afternoon all the snow had melted from the trees. I was so glad I did not have to venture out today!

Instead, I took care of some home and family things. One of those "home things" was making a call to tell the people who made my Shark iron that the darn thing died last night. Only four months old and I'm ironing my husband's shirts when it heats up a lot. So much that it begins to stick to the fabric and then it was sort of smoking, made a funny sound and the lights on the iron went out and it was done!! I couldn't believe it! Well, I should have as blogger Stephanie also had an issue with a Shark iron. She got a replacement. I gave all my info to some customer service rep who then assigned me a claim number and told me to call another number. That number is one where I was to leave my info and another rep will call me in 24 to 48 hours with info on how to handle this issue. Guess what, no phone call so far. I found this really frustrating, but luckily my inexpensive Sunbeam, which I had relegated to taking along to retreats, works great and I finished the ironing.
I needed to get my mind off everything so I took out my box of red, white and blue fabrics and I sewed up a block for my "Grace and a Prayer" quilt top. I drew out the crazy quilt block one night last week. I curled up in bed one night with sketch pad and pencils and drew a number of designs for future projects. Sometimes the ideas just come, and I have enough pencil sketches to fill a couple of notebooks. Hopefully, I'll actually make some of them "come to life" in fabric and thread some day!

This is my fourth block for my quilt. Since it's a patriotic quilt, I decided that everytime there is an official U.S. holiday, I'll make a block or two. Next time I post one will be November 2nd, Election day and that's going to be nine-patch variations. Then it's Veteran's Day on November 11th and I have a cool heart block to share for that day.
That's all for tonight. No time to share more photos. I'll get to them yet....just might be a couple of days.
Have a good day and I hope the weather is lovely wherever you are!

Sunday, October 11

Been a little busy..........

This last week has been crowded with lots of stuff! I have pictures to share and much to tell. I'll be doing that later this afternoon and through tomorrow. This coming week is also going to be "crowded with lots of stuff" and then all the "comings and goings" will come to an end. I've decided I don't like being on the road in our crazy wintery weather and am going to make my plans differently from Nov. to March. The internet is going to be where you'll find me, either here on my blog or in my Yahoo groups. I have lots of patterns and fun stuff to share. I'm experiencing some computer glitches, though, that are causing me some grief. Bear with me and I'll get this worked out.
In the meantime, here's a "goodie box" that I received from my blogging friend, Pat.

I'll take the box of "goodies" to our next crazy quilting meeting and we'll have fun sorting through it!!
This post was a test, of sorts. I am able to load pictures in blogger so this tells me that my computer issues are limited to my Yahoo groups/e-mail. Hmmmmm. I wish I were smarter at this computer stuff.
Back later. Time for lunch.

Friday, October 9

Round Robin Extraordinaire!

That's the only way I can describe the Round Robin quilts that I was lucky enough to see at the Clear Lake Quilt Guild. I promised I'd share more of the many different designs that the members made and here they are. Just a bit of background first, though. The project started with my friend, Sue, who found the idea on-line. It started with a 12 1/2" center square then directions were given for what must be used for the subsequent borders. Each participant received this little book of instructions and made notes in it as the quilt progressed. I just think this is a really neat idea. It would be fun to do this but I'm no longer in a guild. I guess I'll have to make one and do the Round Robin with myself!

To see a larger view of these pictures, just double click on the photo and it should enlarge. I had a front row seat at the meeting and took as many photos as I could. Not all turned out "in focus" so there are some I would have liked to share but my picture taking abilities keep me from doing that.

This Round Robin quilt top is the one that belongs to my friend, Sue. She started it with a colorful center and others in her group kept that theme going. It just says "cheerful", don't you think?

That's all, Folks, for the Round Robin photos. I also had a front row seat for their Show 'n Tell but again, my picture-taking skills were lacking. This one below turned out the best..........
It's a Country Threads pattern and it is a perfect quilt for this time of year. Tonight in Minnesota, there is going to be a lot of frost on those pumpkins out there. Freeze warnings are in effect across much of the state. Old Man Winter is trying to drop in too soon!!
Busy day ahead. Hope it's a good one for all of you!

Thursday, October 8

Time for "Sew and Share"........

I forgot to post a link to the info for our "Sew and Share" Day. :-(
For those of you who are nearby, please join us as we use our time and talents to stitch up some goodness for those in need. Go here for more info.......... SewAndShare2009!

I have a crazy quilting Christmas Ornament class to teach tonight. I'll get to the Guild photos and more after that. :-)

Tuesday, October 6

October blocks are here!

I love October! You already know I love Fall so it was easy to do the designs for this month. Some of you may not want a Jack-O-Lantern, so all you have to do is skip the eyes, nose and mouth and add a pumpkin vine and more leaves and you'll have a Fall pumpkin design!

When it came to the design for the Snowman for this month, all I did was recall my daughter and all the times that she dressed up as a witch when she was a little girl. And when she was really little, she was a black cat at Halloween. All I did was add ears and a tail to the little black fur coat and snowpants that I had sewn for her (this was the early 70's).

If you don't want a "Snow Witch", try this........... use another hat design from a past pattern, turn the broom into a rake, use plaid for the cape, add some swirling leaves around the cat, and skip the Jack-O-Lantern Trick-or-Treat container.
Hope you have fun with these designs! There are only two more to go! In case you want to get the designs finished before Christmas, I will post the November designs at the end of October and I'll post the December designs in mid-November. I've had a number of committments combined with some health issues that have made it a challenge to keep up sometimes but just watch my blog and you'll see them soon. My class/volunteer activities all wrap up at the end of October. I will be taking those first weeks in November to finalize my block lay-out and share the info with you when I post in mid November. At that time, I will also have a preview of the blocks that I'll share in 2010!
It's been a rainy day here in Minnesota, positively excellent weather if you were a duck! This weekend, the weatherman says there could be a few snowflakes! Yikes! My beautiful fall weather has been hi-jacked by Mother Nature!!!
That's all for tonight. I'll be back next post with more of those Round Robin projects from the Clear Lake Quilt Guild. I think I'd like to try a Round Robin someday. Hmmmmm, just checked my "to do" list and I think I can get to it in 2015. hee hee hee!
Have a good day!

Just a reminder........If you want pdf files of the above pattern pages, you'll need to join my Yahoo group. Just click on the Snowman button on my sidebar and click on "Join this group".

Sunday, October 4

Quilt Program for the Lake Area Quilt Guild!

As you know from my last post, I went to Iowa last Thursday to do a quilt program. I also mentioned that we had lasagne for dinner. I love it when someone else cooks. :-) While Sue was preparing dinner, she brought out her notebook filled with her "Dear Jane" blocks. I just had to share this with all of you who may be doing this project. She is finished with all the square blocks and is now working on the side triangles. I loved looking through the book not once but twice! This project is on my "to do" list but it may be some time before I get to it. There are just too many fun things one can make when it comes to fabric!!!

And speaking of fun things to make, just look at these cuties that were sitting on Sue's deck. They were watching me as I ate that lasagna. ;-) I'm going to get my husband to cut me some log slices from trees he chopped down a couple summer's ago and make some of these. I think my grandson, Jacob, would really have fun helping me with this project. Plus, they wouldn't blow away like the fake pumpkins that I set on the porch last Fall!

But let's get back to the quilting.............I presented my program by sharing some of my vintage quilts and a few small ones that I've made, shared some stories and poems and sang just a bit (the voice was not quite "up to par" after my bout with the flu). Then I moved on to wool and woolfelt projects.......penny rugs and other wooly stuff. I encouraged everyone to come up and handle the pieces so they could get a good "look see". It was very well received and that made me smile big. That's me smiling in the photo below and my friend, Sue. We "connected" over crazy quilting and stay "connected" even though we no longer live just minutes from each other. Distance is no barrier to friendship!
The photo above was taken after I had presented my program and after "The Big Reveal" of the groups Round Robin projects. They were awesome! There were five to six members in each Round Robin group. This is the first group and that's Sue in the middle just opening up her quilt. This was called "The Big Reveal" because each person had made a 12 inch center block and passed it along with extra fabrics to the next person who added to the center block, etc. etc. The members hadn't seen their center blocks for several months so that's why this night was called "The Big Reveal". They all turned out so differently but were all the size of this gorgeous green and blue one that you see below.................

I've got more photos of these to share but I'll have to post them next time. I'm preparing for a big workshop tomorrow night for the St. Peter Quilt Guild. I'll be teaching everyone how to make a woolfelt pincushion. I need to pull the final items together so I can go to bed knowing that I am fully prepared! It seems, I always forget something so this gives me all day Monday to figure out what I may have forgotten. Hee hee hee!
Oh, and in addition to more Round Robin quilt photos, I have Show 'n Tell photos from the Lake Area Quilt Guild. Then there was a stop I made at Saintly Stitches before leaving Mason City. After that, I had to make a choice as I headed up 35W...........should I turn off and go west to Forest City and the quilt shop there? or should I head further north and then east to Calico Hutch in Hayward, MN. I've been to the shop in Forest City several times so I decided I had to go to Calico Hutch. And what a good choice that was. I had no idea such a great shop was tucked away in the little town of Hayward. I hate to think how many times I could have stopped there with all the trips I make home to visit family in Iowa. That won't happen anymore!! SO, lots of pictures to share coming up in the next few days.
Back to work now ....then it's time for bed!

Saturday, October 3

Over the river and through the woods........

That's what I did on Thursday. Drove over the river, headed east and then was headed south to Iowa. Then there was a detour, so I took a winding road southeast and finally ended up on 35W south which would take me to Clear Lake, Iowa. It was raining and that was okay, but then I hit a nine-mile stretch of freeway construction that narrowed to two tight lanes and, of course, the rain just poured down then!!! Everyone was being careful. Really! The rain steadied off for a time and then it began again in earnest just about the time I reached Clear Lake. I needed to turn there to go east to Mason City. My reason for the visit was to speak at the Clear Lake Quilt Guild but I would be staying with my friend, Sue, who lives in Mason City. I arrived at her house in light rain but not long after that, it began to rain buckets. Really! Well, not really but it rained really hard and I was glad I was safely at her house and not on the road anymore. We had a good visit and then enjoyed a delicious lasagne for dinner. Then it was time to drive over to Clear Lake for the Quilt Guild meeting. Oh, what a lovely group of ladies and so talented. I have pictures to show you but have been busy since I got home and they will have to come tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know I'm still here. In addition to posting photos, I'll be posting the blocks for my Seasons BOM. See you sometime Sunday evening!
Have a warm and relaxing Sunday!

Thursday, October 1

The more you give......

A number of years ago, I used to work for a computer company. Like many offices, someone was always posting a cartoon or something on the bulletin board near the copy machine. My favorite was the following poem. I could almost recite it by heart but not quite so I had to "google it" so I could share it with you. The author was listed as unknown but after a little more "googling" I found the author's name. I was not surprised. Love the poems of Helen Steiner Rice.

The More You Give.....… by Helen Steiner Rice

The more you give, the more you get.
The more you laugh, the less you fret.
The more you do unselfishly,
the more you live abundantly.
The more of everything you share,
the more you'll always have to spare.
The more you love, the more you'll find
that life is good and friends are kind.
For only what we give away,
enriches us from day to day.
Have a great day!!!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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