Sunday, May 30

Memorial Day 2010

I am looking forward to this Memorial Day Monday. I'll be visiting my mother and we'll attend the services and the wreath throwing that takes place at the bridge. We'll have lunch at the local Senior Citizens Center and then she is going to return to spend a few days with me. I am really looking forward to this and fortunately I am feeling somewhat better so all should be well. My blogging may not be very regular for the next week or so as we will be out and about or just here at home enjoying some stitching and crafting projects. I'll check in when I can. :-)
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 27

Wishing I were Nancy Drew.....

and then I would be able to solve this allergic reaction problem that I'm having. A fever has been added to the mix and my doctor took me off the antibiotic because I could be allergic to that. I was convinced it was bug bites from those Noseum/sand fleas that I stirred up when taking my quilt pics on the line. The doctor says my rash is too widespread for it to be bug bites. All I know is I'm hot, but I'm cold and I itch. He put me on a Prednisone drug to get rid of the rash and gave me something for itching relief. Must admit, I feel awful. Even being at the computer isn't fun. I might not be blogging much til I get over this.
There is good news, though...........I won a Charm pack in a drawing at RJR fabrics. Can hardly wait to get it!! Not because I need more fabric but because they said it will be perfect for me based on my answer which I can't remember now. It's this stuffy head. Brain can't function. I won a copy of Quiltmaker Small quilts the other day just for commenting. Before I found blogs and such, I barely ever won anything. Always something to look forward to in blogging.

And, I promised pics of the finished projects and here they are..........the little wallhanging from a Pat Sloan design.................
The border fabrics has the names of herbs printed on it and the minute I saw it, I knew I would use it with this block design. I'm going to send this one along to Pandora for her Quilts in Bloom show. And then this is the baby quilt that is a donation quilt........
I decided to give it a little extra "fuss" and instead of just sewing the binding by machine, I did blanket stitch all the way around in Perle cotton. I've had that lavendar train print fabric in my stash since the 1980's. Always wanted to use it but never had a project til now. As I was stitching the binding I realized that I should tie the blocks in the center as well as at each corner, so I'll do that tomorrow. Maybe. It will depend on how I feel. :-)
Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 26

I really did go for a ride on a camel.........

Here's the proof............

These photos were taken in November, 1998 by my husband, Steve. We had just eaten lunch at a little cafe in a small village northwest of the city of Antalya, Turkey. Nearby there was a gentleman with a camel who was offering rides for a fee. My husband was insistent that I go for a ride on a camel. He felt that I shouldn't return to the states without having ridden on a camel. So I did. Sometimes I protest a lot, as he comes up with things that I am just not crazy about riding the "Bigshot" that's on the top of that hotel out in Las Vegas. I watched it. No one would ever convince me to get on that ride. The camel, however, was a different story. It was sitting and so with help from the camel's owner, I was seated upon it's back and then he commanded the camel to rise slowly.............

and then we rode off into the sunset............... :-)

It was actually a very nice ride and so I was able to return to the states and say....."yes, I visited Turkey and went for a ride on a camel". During that trip, we shopped in the local stores and markets, and visited many ruins and museums, and walked where so many famous people from history had worked and lived. I absolutely loved our trip there and wish that we could return one day. Sadly, that's not likely as my husband doesn't travel as much anymore, but good dreams never die.

As I was searching for the camel photos, I realized that were a lot of photos of interesting sites so I'm thinking that every so often, I'll share a picture or two about that trip. If I can't visit again in person, I'll just relive the trip that we already took!!

I was going to post a pic of my finished projects from this post but I never got to taking the pictures yesterday. That was because I was so busy looking at pictures from our Turkey trip and then I spent the afternoon printing the postcard invites for our family reunion in July. I added the mailing labels and took them to the post office and they are in the mail and on their way to family members!!! It's a "finish", although, not a "quilty finish". As I walked out of the post office, I decided to walk across the street and treat myself to some ice cream at Toody's Sweets and Treats. It was delish!!
I'll have pictures to share tomorrow ..... for sure!
Have a great day!

Monday, May 24

What's on the line?

Good morning, Monday! Time to see "what's on the line" today and I think you can tell by this photo, that we are not in my backyard!

No, this quilt is hanging on a really high clothesline in the yard of my friend, Pandora. The picture was taken last summer during the "Quilts in Bloom" show that she hosts in her gardens. This is one of my favorite quilts that Pandora has made and I really want to make one similar to this as I have so many floral fabrics that would be perfect for this quilt.

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you all know that this past February I shared (with Pandora's permission) photos of the quilts that were displayed in her garden last summer. I had planned to share the photos right after the quilt show in June but sometimes the "best laid plans" do not happen like you think they will. I injured my back last summer and it took me weeks to get back to normal (however, is there really a "normal"?). More on "best laid plans" in a minute. But first, if you would like to see lots of quilts on the line, in the trees, and even little ones nestled in the flower beds like those you see in the photo below..............

all you have to do is go here , here , and here to see the beautiful quilts made by Pandora and friends. Pandora is one of my crazy quilting friends. I should explain......we met when she came to a retreat that I hosted and then she joined our evening crazy quilting group. Then some of us decided we wanted to start an afternoon crazy quilting group, and so....... we are, as many of you know........the Tuesday Crazies! Oh, and we do have a crazy, good quilting time together!

Now, if you live anywhere near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, you might want to check out the quilts that Pandora will have on display in her backyard this coming June. Just go here for information on this year's event.

Last thing for this post relates to those "best laid plans" I mentioned earlier. I had made really good plans to go to Quilt Market in Minneapolis this past weekend. I had a list of booths I wanted to visit, blogging friends I wanted to meet, vendors I wanted to check out. I even printed up some new business cards in case they were needed. I was ready to prowl the aisles, enjoy all those quilts and stitcheries and just plain observe. And then........those "best laid plans" were tossed out the window because of that allergy reaction I mentioned in last Friday's post. It didn't get better, it just got worse. I was in no condition to prowl the aisles of a supermarket let alone Quilt Market. I know because on Saturday, I did a "trial run" to the supermarket for more soothing skin care products and one hour out and about, just about did me in. I was very bummed to think that Quilt Market was so close and I was so not going to be able to go there. :-(
I did manage to do a bit of stitching each day on a little quilt that I'll share at Pandora's Quilts in Bloom show, so it wasn't a total loss these last few days. In fact, it kept me sane to at least stitch a little bit. I'll take pictures later today and show you the quilt in my next post. And for today..........I see more stitching and less itching. I'm better now but not clear of symptoms. In fact, I'm not all that sure the allergy is to the medication. I think it began with a bug bite, and like my grandpa who was severely allergic to bee stings, I think I got stung by the wrong bug. Something similar happened last May. I've made some notes and will be calling my doctor with some info because I don't think I could go through this again.
Here's wishing you a very good Monday, a wonderful start to a great week!

Friday, May 21

A "Turkish Delight" for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Blogging offers us so many opportunities to share our creative endeavors and Amy is providing yet another one with her Blogger's Quilt Festival! This is her third year and I decided that this year, I would share one of my favorite quilts called.....

"Turkish Delight"

This is not a large quilt, just a small wallhanging that measures about 21" x 27". The label that I made for the back of the quilt says....
"Turkish Delight - 2000"
An original design based on patterns found
in Persian carpets. All stitching done by hand.
Made by Sandi Andersen
"Shop 'til you drop"
Millennium Challenge Contest - Twin Cities 1999-2000
The fabrics in the quilt are from Ginny Beyer's Millennium fabrics from the year 2000. Entrants had to purchase a fat quarter pack of the fabrics and use them in a quilt that represented the observance of the Millennium. All entries would be displayed at the Minnesota Quilter's Show that year and there was a prize of $500 for the winning quilt. As I worked on the quilt, my husband asked if I thought I could win. I said "oh, no, there will be other quilts that will be better than mine, but my quilt will be displayed at the Minnesota Quilter's Show and that is something I would love to see".
There was a special inspiration for making this quilt. In 1998, my husband had to make a business trip to Turkey and because it was the year of our 30th wedding anniversary, it was decided I would go along and we would add a week and enjoy a visit to southern Turkey. We stayed in the city of Antalya. It was a wonderful trip and I enjoyed visiting museums and shops and I loved the Turkish rugs. We even bought a small one to bring home as a remembrance of that trip. So with that inspiration, I designed my quilt.
Here is a close-up of the center design.......
I did needle-turn applique on the center medallion and then quilted with gold thread. I did an embroidery stitch around the medallion in a black and gold twist floss. The label on the back of the quilt is actually a pocket and inside the pocket is a note that I wrote on fabric that explains my thoughts in designing this piece......

When I saw the packets of Challenge fabrics, I was reminded of my wedding colors - 1968 - olive green and ice blue. Second thing I was reminded of was our 30th anniversary trip to Turkey. I was fascinated by the colors and the patterns in the rugs. I bought two books on the history of the rugs and their symbols and we also bought a rug for our living room. One day in January, I was looking at the rug after having read about some of it's symbols. I suddenly realized how similar the designs were to our quilt patterns and I wondered.......Did some of our designs we stitch today, come from women who drew inspiration from their carpets?
Some of the designs I incorporated (names found in the books I bought) were the "Wheel of Fortune" symbol , the blocks in all four corners......the "Rose" in the center, and above and below it, the "Clover".......and to each side, the "Hyacinth". There are four red "poppies" and in each corner, a "triangle of charm". There are five borders that symbolize "earth, sky, water, holiness, productivity and fertility". In the outer border are six "eye beads" to ward off evil. The colors of blue, green, meadow saffron and deep red are common to the Turkish carpets. The blue fabric especially reminded me of the ruins we visited (on our trip) in what was once "the Cradle of Civilization".

I remember that as we visited historic sites and ruins on that visit to Turkey thinking......."wow, I am standing in places that I read about as a young girl growing up in Iowa." I could not believe that I had been so fortunate as to visit such an exotic and lovely place that I had read about in books. I even rode a camel. I'll see if I can find my pictures and share that one with you.

That's my quilt and story for Amy's Blogger Quilt Festival. If you have a quilt to share, just go here and you'll find all the info you need to add your quilt and story. Thanks, Amy, for doing this!

Now I'm off to find that box of pictures so I can show you I really did ride a camel!


Almost forgot to mention......I didn't win but my quilt was displayed at MN Quilter's Show along with 24 other quilts made from the challenge fabrics. The winning quilt was a "stunner" that incorporated applique work of Cleopatra, the asp, a pyramid and other symbols from that time. I got a nice note and a compliment from the judges for my "lovely use of the red in the quilt". I was very happy. :-)

Finishing projects!

I have a couple of projects that I have been trying to finish up this week. I'm in Pat Sloan's Quilt Mash Up group (go here for Pat's blog) and she's currently challenging us to a "May FIU Challenge". Several members are making headway toward finishing projects. I just have three little projects I want to finish............

This is a block from Pat's Farmer's Market Quilt and all I want to do is make into a little wallhanging with the fabrics you see in the picture. I did get the handquilting done around the pots, so at least I got some sewing done tonight.
Then there's this baby quilt that needs only a binding. It's a donation quilt that I started more than a year ago.

The third project that I want to finish is the binding on my pink and green quilt. However, this week did not go as planned so I thought I'd let you know that while I've been "itchin' to stitch", it just hasn't happened. Instead, I find that all I do is itch because I had an allergic reaction to a medication that my doctor prescribed. Yes, it has been an interesting week. Per doctors orders, I stopped taking the medication. For relief from the itching I took Benadryl and that helped some, so did a vinegar bath and lots of calamine lotion. However, it wasn't until after midnight last night that I finally felt I was itching less and finally able to stitch instead of itch! LOL! Sorry, I just couldn't resist. So, if I'm lucky, I'll finish the little wallhanging and the baby quilt by Sunday and then next week, finally I will stitch the binding on my pink and green quilt! I have a personal reason for wanting it finished by the end of next week, so I will get it done!
On another many of you know, Quilt Market is taking place in Minneapolis this weekend. I was actually planning to go today but I'm taking one more day at home to make sure I'm free of this rash and itch. If all goes well, I will be at Market on Saturday. I sure hope so!
Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, May 19

Let them have cake!

This past Sunday, my daughter, Collette, was a cohost for a baby shower for her sister-in-law, Mandy. She had a lot of fun decorating and preparing for the shower. She even made a cake..............
Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? If you look closely though, you'll see that the cake is actually made up of layers of disposable diapers ready for that new baby to wear! I thought this was just too cute and had to share. Collette found the idea on-line and all you have to do is type "Disposable Diaper Cake" in the search box and you'll find plenty of instructions for a diaper cake. Whoever thought of this one was very clever! Collette also prepared little favor bags for all the guests. Each bag has a votive candle in a glass holder and a little picture frame for a favorite photo.
The new mom-to-be, Mandy, received lots of lovely gifts and in just one short month, she'll get to give it all a try. :-)
So did we get any real cake to eat? Yes, we did along with a lot of other good food from cucumber sandwiches to deviled eggs to veggies and dips to.................cupcakes!!!

These were delicious and were made by the other co-host, Barb, a long time friend of the guest of honor, Mandy. I want this cupcake rack and Barb said she found it at Home*Goods . If I have time, I'm stopping there on Friday when I'm out and about. I love cupcakes and I think I'd want to make them all the time just so I could have this cute cupcake tree on display!
Busy day ahead. Going to clean closets and do some spring cleaning tasks. I'll try not to get distracted with a stitching project. :-)

Monday, May 17

What's on the line?

Lots of sunshine and warm temperatures are back in Minnesota! When I went out to the line to hang quilts for picture taking yesterday, it couldn't have been more beautiful. There was only one problem........a slight breeze and tons of mosquitos!!! Usually the wind blows the mosquitos away but not then. The quilts look so pretty when they blow in the wind and then they are dappled with sunshine. I love it and I love this quilt that I'm sharing today. I made it from 4-1/2" squares that I hand-sewed together into a quilt top, and then hand-quilted it with Perle cotton (chunky quilting as my friend, Denise, calls it!). This is from a class I taught called a "Baker's Dozen Beginning Quilt" class. I drew on the skills I learned from my mother and many years of sewing and quilting and shared those skills with fellow friends and students. :-)

The quilt in the photo above is the result of teaching lots of students how to quilt by just taking twelve 4-1/2" squares and sewing them together into a small quilt top that can serve as a doll quilt, a placemat or a wallhanging like the ones you'll see in the following photos. I sewed lots of samples in the years that I taught beginning quilting in our community education program, at Murphy's Landing (living history museum), Michael's and as a volunteer activity in our local county libraries. Each little quilt measured 13" x 17 " when finished. All of the quilts you'll see in this post were done by hand from 1999 to 2000. The class was a hand-piecing/hand-quilting project. I felt that it was important to start with hand sewing as it is necessary to sew bindings on those quilts and once you are good with needle and thread, then you can move on to sewing these little projects by machine.
All of the quilts used fabric from my stash and so today, I will be sharing a similar post over on Rae Ann's Stash*Manicure blog. It's my first post there and I was thrilled when Rae Ann invited me to participate. I had planned to share these quilts on this day and decided to do similar posts here on my blog and also on Stash*Manicure . Stash fabrics were the basis for all these projects. I brought a suitcase full of fabrics from my stash to each class and then students could select scrappy fabrics or coordinating prints for their little quilt and I was always making new samples!

In the first class that I taught, I showed students the little quilt you see on the left in this photo. I loved the scrappy colors in that little quilt. :-) I made a number of the little quilt tops in those colors as samples when I would teach. Then I began to make samples that followed the seasons or holidays. For a closer look at any of the photos, just double click on them.

I made a small quilt for a favorite teddy bear, then a placemat for Valentine's Day and then one for St. Patrick's Day.

Each of the little quilts fits just right on my old antique sewing machine and when the right accessories are added, they make a sweet vignette.

The little quilt on the left in this photo has ceramic heart buttons that were in bags of fabric that a friend gave me when she decided to give up quilting and focus just on knitting. She left five grocery bags filled with fabric on my doorstep! The jelly bean fabric had been around for some time and I had never used it. It was just right for a little quilt. The blue and tan quilt looks great with a clay pot full of flowers on it, and the blue and black one is for tea and crumpets. :-)

I really enjoyed teaching adults and kids how to get started quilting. Whatever the season, I shared fabrics that fit the time of the year........and I kept making samples as I taught. I found that simple as this project was, to some it was a real challenge. My youngest student was a seven year old who was destined to be a really fine quilter. The oldest student was 73 and when she finished her little quilt, she could hardly wait to show it to her 93 year old mother and say "Look, I finally learned to quilt". I laughed as that was so fun and so cool!

When summer arrived I pulled out red, white and blue fabrics to celebrate........4th of July, birdhouses, apples.......

and then when summer ended I made a scrappy little quilt in autumn colors, then Halloween and one in an fat quarter fabric that I had saved but never knew what to use it for and I love it as a fall mat for a dried floral arrangement.
I showed students that just by adding more squares they could make a tablerunner or candle mats from scraps. It's may seem like a simple project to an experience quilter but to someone who is just learning, the simple approach allows them to succeed and then they want to learn more!

Cute Christmas buttons were used on the blue and red fabrics for a little wallhanging. For the Christmas poinsettia fabric, I sewed a crocheted doily in the enter of the little quilt. This looks lovely with a poinsettia sitting in the center.

I love to share my joy in stitching and delight in encouraging others to know that joy! These are simple projects but they look lovely in just the right setting. They look cool just hanging on the line but I'm afraid if I left them there "for looks" that one strong wind would whip them into the woods!

Here's one more photo of the larger quilt that is made by sewing sixteen of the small quilt tops together. This was a quick and easy way to make a warm and snuggly lap quilt. :-)
Sometime next fall, I plan to offer this project as a class and for those of you who live nearby, just watch my blog for details.
That's "what's on the line today" but I have one more thing to share.....
the clothespins that I use belonged to my Grandma Goldie. After she passed away in 1994, my mother ended up with her bag of clothespins and she passed them on to me. I like to think that Grandma is watching and enjoying the quilts I bring you each Monday. :-)

Hope you have enjoyed this days quilts. Have a good Monday!


Saturday, May 15

Reading "The Threadbare Heart" and a Giveaway, too!

This giveaway is closed.......we have winners.......Jayne and Nihal. Both have been notified and I await their replies. :-) Thanks all for your comments. Jennie also read them. :-)
Last weekend was so very busy but there was something I was doing in every spare minute.....even in the car on the way to my grandson's birthday party. :-) I was reading The Threadbear Heart by Jennie Nash. It was such a good book that I have to tell you about it!

First, though, I must share how I found out about it. The truth is that Jennie and the book found me.......A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Jennie that offered a free copy of her book to the first five people to reply to her e-mail. I was on the computer when her e-mail popped in so I sent off a reply right away........and I won an advanced reading copy! It was even signed by Jenny. :-) In the e-mail she sent there was a photo of the cover and these quotes about the book........

"Sometimes fabric speaks louder than words. Just in time for Mother’s Day, a story about love and loss, mothers and daughters, and the redemptive power of fabric. The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash is exquisite. I was riveted to the many hairpin turns in her lovely prose, and having just finished reading, feel both the trauma and comfort of a deeply felt and written novel.” --Luanne Rice
“Jennie Nash gets all the details right: the quirky obsession of fabric hoarders who dream of the possibilities woven into a piece of cloth, the smell and panic of southern California brush fire season, and the roller coaster ride we call marriage. You know her characters - or you wish you did. The Threadbare Heart may do more than Project Runway to bring sewing machines out of storage.” Kitty Felde, KPCC/NPR Reporter
After reading those quotes, I could hardly wait to receive the book. And then when it arrived, I was so busy there was almost no time to read......... but I made time! I was hooked on the book from the first sentence when I read the name of the main character, Lily. That was my great grandma's name. I've already mentioned that she was a quilter but what I haven't mentioned is that almost all of her quilts that she had made and kept were lost in a fire a number of years ago. They had been passed to my cousin Charlotte ( I always think of her as my aunt but I got to thinking that she is my dad's first cousin so she can't be my aunt) and she treasured them, then mourned them when their home burned to the ground. I cannot imagine how awful that would be to know that there were no photos, no mementos, no threads of anything left........just ashes. And that thought compelled me to read this book, knowing that the main character Lily was going to suffer such a loss. The story is also about Lily's marriage, her relationship with her mother, and her sons, too. And, of course, it shares her love of sewing and her treasured stash. I don't want to tell you anymore except to say that it was so hard to put this book down once I started reading it. The characters seemed so "real" and when the book ended, I wanted to know more about them. I really hope there is a sequel to this book.
You can purchase the book or you could request it from your local library, but how about a chance to win a copy of the book "The Threadbare Heart"? Jennie has two copies of her book that she has sent me and I will mail them to two winners who leave a comment on this blog post (and only comments left on this post will be entered in the drawing). Just leave your name and make sure that you include your e-mail link in your comment if it is not posted in your profile. Without a way to contact you, I can't notify you if you are the winner! If you'd like to, please tell me about a most treasured item that you lost and what it meant to you. My "Random Number Man" will draw two winner's names on Thursday evening, May 20th at 10:00 p.m. CST. The winner's names will be posted on my blog on Friday morning, May 21st. :-)
Now, after you leave a comment, you might want to check out Jennie's website and then you might want to visit her group called The*Story*of*My*Stash . And to further entice you......... Keepsake*Quilting is sponsoring a special challenge contest so you'll want to check it all out here.
Okay, that's all for today. I'm going to be enjoying some Minnesota sunshine and 70-degree weather! It's been a pretty rainy, dreary week so I am ready for a sweet weather change!
Have a good weekend. See you on Monday!

Friday, May 14

Something totally different!

That's right, this post has nothing to do with fabric but I will share something creative. I made this necklace and earrings for my sister, Judy, for her birthday.....................

I sent it off to her a couple of weeks ago and as I was preparing to mail it my husband asked what I was sending to her. I said it was a necklace that I'd made for her birthday and he said "oh, when is her birthday?" The answer.......March. Oops! He thought maybe I was a little late but actually my sister and I frequently send each other gifts "after the occasion" so I knew she wouldn't mind. :-) And she didn't! She liked the necklace and I knew she would because when I saw the beads, I thought of her right away and had to buy them. I strung the beads in two strands so that she can choose to wear one or both of the necklaces. :-)
Interestingly, I've never taken a quilting or stitchery class as my mother taught me to sew and the rest I learned from books, friends and quilting shows on TV (think Georgia Bonesteel, then Alex Anderson on Simply Quilts). I did try rughooking and I failed miserably but I had always wanted to learn how to make jewelry so I took a beginning jewelry making class and loved it. That was several years ago and at the time, I was teaching a number of classes in making things with Fimo and Sculpey clays, especially jewelry. I wanted to make more professional looking pieces and the class taught me what I needed to know. And then I bought a really good book titled "The Book of Beads: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Beads and Jewelry Making (you'll find it here). I've made bracelets and earrings for me and for my daughter and, of course, I have a box full of beads and findings so that I can make more. :-) I only do it when I need to do "something totally different" as I find it very relaxing when I'm stringing the beads. Takes me back to the days of pop-beads and playing dress-up at Grandma Goldie's house. :-)
If you have never taken a beadwork class, give it a try. It's really fun and you, too, can make gifts that are mailed "after the occasion". LOL!
Have a good Friday!

And just in case you're wondering.....I cleaned the left side of my desk. It was easy. I just put the stack of papers in the pile on the floor next to my desk. :-)

Thursday, May 13

Cleaning my desk.....

I have a very messy desk. I try very hard to keep it neat but then I put one project on one corner and then set another project on top of that......then on the other side of my desk, I start piling little "to do" notes and then a card or two that I plan to send finds it's way into the pile, so that means my address book ends up there, too..........and before you know it.......stuff gets lost in my little piles. was time to clean my desk and do a few of those "to do" items in the pile. Here's the first "to do" gifts from Andrea.............

These sweet little treasures arrived unexpectedly in my mailbox last Friday! Andrea, a fellow blogger who lives in Budapest sent them to me along with a lovely notecard. You can find her blog and better pictures of the little wallhanging here and the pincushion is here . I "met" Andrea when she found my blog a little over a year ago. Shortly after that she won one of my giveaways....a quilting book......and then she won another.....pre-cut flannel squares for a lap quilt.....and then she won Christmas Charm squares (one of a dozen blogging friends who won packs of charms from my stash)!! She was very lucky! And so, she sent me a little something in return and wrote...."I've sewn these little projects thinking of you. I hope you'll like them." And I immediately wrote to let her know that I love them! Apples are the theme in my kitchen and in my previous post you can see the little wallhanging has a place by my kitchen stove. :-) The pincushion has taken it's place on my pincushion collection shelf. What a lovely pair of gifts!

Second "to do" about winning roosters.......... Well, I didn't win real live roosters but I did win a giveaway last Friday over at Pat Sloan's blog. I left a comment on Pat's Radio Monday post and I was the winner of Florine Johnson's rooster patterns which you can and the patterns I won were "Hilda" mother of the Radical Roosters and "Rock" and "Ricky". They remind me of some wild roosters from my childhood. Sometimes I wonder how I can like chickens when I have no fond memories of those old roosters. LOL!

Third note in the "to do" pic of Jacob on his birthday......Here he is on Saturday, and it was a lucky, gift-filled day for him. Three of his friends came over and then they all went to "Ironman2" and then spent the night. :-)

That's Jacob on the left eyeing the Pokeman cake that his Aunt Mandy made. Dad Daryl is lighting the candles and Grandpa Steve is eagerly waiting for Jacob to blow out the candles so we could get to the cake and ice cream!

Okay, that's three "to do's" posted, several notes with "to do's" that are done were tossed, and then I addressed a couple cards to friends, and that meant I could put my address book away! Then I decided to "reign in" the clutter of my jars of pencils, scissors, etc. and boxes of paper clips, stapler, etc. I found a basket that would hold all of them perfectly and now I can just pick it up and dust under it. The right side of my desk is clean!............the left side of my desk is not. :-( That's a good task for tomorrow. :-)

So are you a messy desk person or is your desk neat and tidy? I would love to know!
See you tomorrow!

Monday, May 10

What's on the line?

Last week, I brought you just one quilt on the line but this week, I have many things on the line! Sunday afternoon there was a bit of sun and not too much wind so I filled a basket full of goodies and headed out to my clothesline in the trees. And since today is National Apron Day..........

I thought I should hang some aprons on the line! I picked three from the little collection that I have . That first one in orange may look like a child's apron but it's not. I made the apron in 1969 for me to wear as a young bride/happy homemaker in the kitchen. :-) And I really did wear it. I was 19 and weighed 98 lbs. For obvious reasons, I no longer wear this apron. :-)

The middle apron is one that my mother gave me a few years ago. It's done in Seminole patchwork and she bought it at a garage sale.
I took a close-up of it (double-click for a close-up view) so you can see all the tiny patchwork and all that tiny rick rack! I've never used this apron, but it's owner did as there are a few stains on it that would not come out when I laundered it.

The last apron is just a little cotton paisley apron that my mother gave me, another vintage treasure. I love it because the fabric is the kind of print that my mother would use to make aprons for my Aunt Bell. My mother would buy the fabric and make large bib-front aprons for Aunt Bell (she raised my mother). I would love to see this fabric reprinted today. I just love it!

As I was getting out the aprons, I came across the yellow pillowcase that holds this quilt....... You may look at and think - wow, that has been "well-loved" and you would be right! This is the first quilt/comforter that I made and I did it in 1970 when our daughter Collette was born. We were stationed overseas at the time (near Tokyo, Japan) as my husband was in the Air Force. I had a very, very small fabric stash then. I loved to go to the shops and look for fabric but we didn't have a lot of extra money then, so I used scraps from some of my clothing and the small bits from my stash. I used an old green blanket for the batting and backed it with an old green sheet. I made it for her as a baby but it was always on her bed right up through her high school years. The quilt was so important to her that when she went off to college she wanted to take it with her. The fabrics hadn't worn away on the quilt top then but the backing was in shreds so I gave it a new green sheet and then repaired the seams on all the blocks. Then I added the rows of rick rack to hide all my repairs. When she graduated from college five years later, this is what was left of the quilt. It will never be thrown away, too full of memories. :-) (And yes, I know that technically this is not a quilt because it's "tied" but to her it was a quilt!)

This next quilt that I hung on the line was made by my mother. Her work was much finer than mine........embroidered blocks and all hand-quilted!She made this one just before I made the patchwork one for Collette. She embroidered the blocks using patterns she had used in the early 1950's. When it was finished, she sent it off to us in Japan. It hit me yesterday, that it must have been very hard for her to send the quilt off knowing that she would not see the granddaughter that would be using it for almost three years. I remember well, just how exciting it was when we finally returned home to the states!
Here's the last thing I hung on the line to share's a Sunbonnet Sue made by mother!
She made this little wall-hanging for me this past winter. It was a long, cold winter and there were many days when she just couldn't get "out and about". So she sewed to "pass the time".
She also made the hearts and the mini wallhanging in the photo on the left. And when winter continued to stay cold and snowy, she made the St. Patrick's Day potholders and then used an Easter panel to cut and make coasters. She had stitched all of them for me and gave them to me when I was home at the end of March.

And since I'm sharing things my mother made, here's another piece that she did several years ago and gave to me as a Christmas gift. She found the hat pattern in a magazine and she used her "stash" to make the hats and then embellished them with bits of lace and trim, ribbons and buttons. I may have shared this one before but decided to share it again. My dad loved this one. He was always really proud of whatever my mother made. :-)
It hangs in my sewing room where I can see it every day because when I look at it, I can remember my dad describing how my mother worked on the quilt and it's just a very pleasant memory. :-)

That's the end of "what's on the line" for today but I have one more picture to share. First, though, I said I was going to sew on Mother's Day but I never got to it. I did get the fabric pressed and cut out for my rick rack project so it's ready to go for today. :-) What I did do on Mother's Day was to finish a good book (more on that later), wrote a letter and then our son, Devlin, and his girlfriend, Stacia, came over for supper. I asked him to take a picture of me wearing an apron since Monday was National Apron Day. And he laughed and said......"oh, so you can show you cooked on Mother's Day" which made me laugh. Yes, I cooked on Mother's Day but I didn't mind because my husband treated me to dinner the other night so it wasn't a chore to cook last night. Since it was unseasonably cool outside, I decided it was a good time for a Sunday night breakfast. :-) That's right....scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, hashbrowns and biscuits. It tasted realllllllllly good, if I do say so myself. And the apron I'm wearing in this was a Christmas gift from my friend, Pandora, and I really use this one. It fits me a lot better than that little orange number at the beginning of this post!
Have a great day!

Sunday, May 9

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to Moms, Daughters, Grandmas, Great-Grandmas, Aunts, Cousins, Girlfriends..........all the women who are important in our lives!! Here's a picture of my mom that I've shared in a previous post...........
It was taken last December after she had finished stitching up a whole bunch of little doll quilts. You can read about it in that previous post here. My mother taught me to sew and I am so thankful for that. I love to work with needle and thread. :-) I'll be doing that on this Mother's Day. Just something fun for me and it's going to involve that rick rack I showed you a few days ago. :-) It will be a couple of weeks before I can share any pictures of the project. Stop by on Monday, though, and I'll have some fun things "on the line". Til then, have a lovely day!

Friday, May 7

Crocheted Ladies

I thought I'd share something vintage today so I went to my box full of "pretties" and pulled out these little treasures..........three crocheted ladies.

I was thinking of Mother's Day and what I might post that would recall "mom's" and this was it. My mother didn't make these, though. She bought them in a box of needlework items at
one of the many auctions or farm sales that she and my dad enjoyed going to in their later years. I think these pieces are really lovely. I can't crochet but I can certainly appreciate the work that went into them. In the photo, I placed them on the reverse side of a vintage pink and white baby quilt. I think that the two smaller ladies were meant to go on pillowcases but then was the larger lady for a bedspread? They are too pretty to continue to sit in a box but I am just not sure what to do with them. Tell me what you think. :-)

Some of you asked what was in those birthday gifts for my "Tuesday Crazies" friends and so.......there was a FourSeasons tablerunner pattern and pretty blue fabric for Adella, and for Kate there was a Schnibbles pincushion pattern and red and blue fabrics. I stitched up a purple tulip on a yellow tea towel for Pandora and included a packet of flower seeds and a little garden journal. In only a month, Pandora will host another "Quilts in Bloom" event in her back yard. (You can see photos from last summer here and here .) Laurie's package contained a cute kittie fat quarter (she loves cats), hand creme in a zippered case and a pair of my favorite tiny sharp scissors that I like to buy for gifts. And in Sue's little package there was a Kansas Trouble Charm pack which had an extra special meaning because we met Lynne, the designer of Kansas*Troubles fabrics, at Heidi's Retreat in March. So that's what was in all those fabric wrapped packages! And guess whose birthday it is when we meet in June? me :-) As noted in my previous post.......our little gifts are just "icing on the cake" of a really great friendship group. :-)
It has been an interesting week here as my husband has been home on vacation. Let me translate he is not laying around the pool (we don't have one) or anything like, he's been working in the basement hanging ceiling tile and stuff which is not my idea of a vacation. However, I convinced him we should enjoy at least one night out for a shrimp dinner and so Wednesday night we drove over to Emma*Krumbees and did just that. I do love it when someone else cooks! Now he's moved on to staining trim boards and he'll finish that just in time for a Saturday trip to celebrate our grandson's birthday!
I'll be sewing today.........trying to catch up......never happens.....but I keep trying. :-)
Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 5

The gift of friendship

Yesterday, I showed you birthday gifts I had wrapped for my Tuesday Crazy stitching friends. They were simple little things chosen for each friend but as I drove home this afternoon, I thought once again that the true gift we all share is friendship! The little gifts are just "icing on the cake". :-) Being friends and enjoying time with each other.......that's the real gift!!
We all enjoyed our lunch and caught up on the latest news. Then the birthday girls opened their gifts and we had a bit of "show 'n tell".
Here is some of what we shared..........Kate is all smiles because she finished embroidering this tablecloth. She bought it at a thrift shop five years ago and has been stitching away at it for several months now.

Pandora shared this little wallhanging that is almost finished. She used a new technique called "Fabulous Fractures" and if you go here, you can find it on Amazon. She shared a bit on how the fabric is cut and pieced to get this neat look. I have some fabric that I would like to use and give this a try, so I think I will have to get the book. :-)

Adella has been busy making things for her Spring fundraiser at her church...........
like these gorgeous totebags........
and this cute little "mock dress" to hold clothespins or plastic bags.
The afternoon flew by, as it always does. How comforting, though, just to be able to sit and stitch, chat a bit, enjoy the gift of friendship. Makes me smile. :-)
Okay, so I got a little sentimental but that's just me. I get sentimental about a lot of things..........even rick rack! LOL! See all these pretty colors of good old-fashioned rickrack.........reminds me of the 50's and 60's and so many dresses and crafty projects! I love real rick rack and by that I mean........100% cotton rick rack. I found all of these at the thrift shop over in Arlington last Wednesday, the day I was out running errands. I was looking for a teacup for a pincushion swap and I didn't find one but then I noticed a bin filled with rick rack. Sometimes there are a few cards of rick rack but this was like hitting the rick rack lottery!
I bought almost all of them at 25 cents a package. There were so many colors, that I immediately saw a project. I only needed some linen to complete my good find. My luck was still with me when I stopped at JoAnn Fabric's a couple days later and found a beautiful beige linen on sale at half-price! This is my Mother's Day treat to myself! Come Sunday evening, I'm going to start the little project that I can see in my mind. It will be fun and I will share it when it's finished.
I'm headed to Arlington today for my yearly exam so I might just have to "treat" myself to another stop at the thrift shop. A girl just has to have fun ya know. :-)
Have a good day!

Tuesday, May 4

It's Tuesday......time for Crazies!

That's's the first Tuesday of the month so I am off to join my "Tuesday Crazies" friends for lunch and some stitching fun! We are meeting at Adella's today and it's also a celebration of her birthday which was yesterday, and Kate's birthday which was May 1st. There are gifts for them in the picture below. There are also gifts for Pandora, Sue and Laurie because I forgot them when we met at my house last month. I was so busy worrying about lunch and getting my house clean for their visit that I totally forgot birthdays. I mean, totally! Got it covered this month! ........Now,......... Pandora, Sue and Kate read my blog, so gals..........I didn't put the cards with the gifts so you will just have to guess which package is for you. :-)

All the gifts are wrapped in birthday print fabric that I found at JoAnn's on clearance, of course. So was the ribbon. I got three reels of ribbon that have 100 yards on each reel for just $1.00 each. I had to ask the store clerk if the price was right and she confirmed it was! I love it! Wait til you see the deal I got on rick rack at the Thrift Shop last week......wait that's for tomorrow's post.....

So what am I taking to stitch on today? I'm taking this piece of vintage wool work. Over on Pat Sloan's blog last week, she featured Jo Ann Mullaly who has authored the book "Wool Crazy". If you go here , you'll find Jo Ann's blog and lots of information on her book and groups who are doing her project. I've not seen her book in any of the shops I've been in recently but when I do, I'm sure I'll buy the book. I have every title that is currently available on crazy quilting and share them with my Tuesday friends and our evening crazy quilt group. So, as I listened to Pat interview Jo Ann last week, I remembered this piece of vintage wool work and I had an "a-ha" moment. I remembered that my mother had given me this piece (another item that was in a box of fabric items that she purchased at auction) and it was unfinished. It's all wool and the maker handpainted those leaves and the tiny flower. The pieces are stitched on an old flour or feed sack and I can make out the words "Waseca, MN" and that's it. I never knew quite what to do with this piece.....should I leave it as is or should I embellish it and make it a finished piece. After listening to Pat's radio program, I knew it was time to make this a finished piece!! Thanks to JoAnn and Pat for the inspiration needed to get this piece out and start finishing it!

The floss colors that you see laying across the wool piece are from Gentle*Art*Threads. I love their floss and use it on my penny rugs and wooly things. Once I found it, I was hooked on it! The floss in the photo is all wool and the colors are just perfect for this ..... just like they were "meant to be". I recommend their threads to my students and demonstrate stitches with their cotton floss when I teach. This will be a nice piece to demonstrate working with the wool floss. I'll get this started today and will be able to share it at my "Wooly Wednesday" class next week. I folded it up, then tucked it and the floss in my covered sewing box and I am ready to go..........

The box is just one of those paper-mache boxes that I painted, then my husband added grommets for the rope handles. I covered the top with wool-felt scraps that I stitched together by hand, then added it to the lid of the box. This could be a tutorial so I'll add it to my list. I could use a new one as this one is beginning to look a little worn as I have carried it to classes for several years now. I can grab this box and this will be my "take-along" project for the next few months .... no pressure, just plain stitching fun!
Later then........
P.S. I have some blog comments that need answers and will be replying to those in the next few days. :-)

Monday, May 3

What's on the line?!!

After last week's experience with the wind, I didn't think it could get worse. I don't know what my mind was thinking because, of course, the wind got worse!! It really rattled doors and windows! I was planning to take a certain quilt out to the "line" for photos yesterday but the wind was still so strong that I didn't even bother trying! I'll get to that quilt on a calmer day. In the meantime, here's a quilt top that was "on the line" last summer..........
It is so fun with all those nine patch blocks and then that crazy 1950's kitchen print! I shared this top in a previous post and mentioned that I'm going to turn it into a tablecloth. I was going to do it last summer and never got to it but I am going to get it done soon because I want to use it at our family reunion in July!! This is one of many quilt tops that my dad and mom bought at auction a few years ago. The blocks are stitched together well but just not real accurately. :-) I am thinking of some type of binding and give it a wavy look "on purpose" to cover up the fact that the rows are uneven. :-) Now here's a question.....since I'm going to use it as a tablecloth, should I use batting and do some simple quilting on it or just tie it? Share your thoughts, if you would.
A little info on that "Hearts and Flowers" quilt that was pictured in my previous post..........that quilt was handmade by Delores Jebron from Dayton, Iowa in about 1951. She made it with her mother and they hand-pieced and hand-quilted it together . She told me she thought it was from a pattern that she had seen in a magazine or newspaper but couldn't recall for sure. I have searched many books including Barbar Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Blocks and have never quite found this block. I did reproduce the block pattern when a good friend and an excellent quilter, asked if she could make a reproduction of the quilt. It was beautiful when it was finished! If I can verify the pattern is not a design that is still copyrighted, then I will include it in that book I'll write ....... sooner than later. :-) Thanks for your encouraging comments on my desire to write a book. I have moments when I'm sure that I have a book that others might want to read and then moments when I'm sure they wouldn't. Your responses and those of the women who have enjoyed my classes and programs this past year, have encouraged me to follow through with a book proposal. If anything ever materializes......nice pun, huh?........I'll be sure and let you all know. :-)
Have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, May 2

Blowin' in the wind!

The wind was so strong today that I was almost blown away!! Well, almost. :-) As I drove to the church this morning, I was surprised by the strong gusts of wind that almost seemed to grab my car!. And I was even more surprised that when the program was over, the wind was even stronger. I thought we might be blown away or a quilt might be whipped out of a basket and blown across the cornfield never to be seen again! I had lots of help loading and that didn't happen. :-)

In spite of the wind that blew outside, the ladies of Trinity served up a wonderful brunch. It was worthy of a photo ...... several varieties of egg-bakes, fresh fruit on skewers and creamy sweet dip for them, muffins, juice and coffee. I was hungry and thoughts of picture taking went out the window when I saw what was on my plate. :-) I enjoyed meeting so many new people, especially Melissa who played the piano and her mother. It was just a lovely event.

I took this photo before I saw the food. I arrived early enough to set up all my quilts and penny rugs, plus for this program I brought more of my miniature gift boxes.

While I made my first quilt in 1970 for our daughter, I didn't make another quilt until 1976 for our son, and the next ones were done until the 1980's. That's because I put all my creative energies into miniature making from the early 70' through the late 1990's. Once both my kids were grown and gone, I really went back to quilting in a big way but folks always enjoy seeing the little miniature items that I've made. I fashioned them from clay, bits of jewelry, upholstered chairs from cardboard, all sorts of odds and ends that become something useful! The ladies in the photo below are studying a little clay Jack-o-Lantern scene.

All of my miniatures and dolls have a connection to the family quilts I own and the newer ones that I have made. It's all part of the story that I share in my programs. One day maybe it will all be in a book. Ya never know. :-)
These ladies are studying a floral applique quilt that is always a favorite. I have yet to discover a pattern for it in any vintage quilt pattern booklet. It's owner and maker, Delores, called it "Hearts and Flowers". If you seen or know of this quilt block, I'd love it if you would e-mail me.

Once again, I enjoyed sharing my quilts and stories. Each time I present my program, I think I get better at it. I mentioned afterwards that I thought it needs more "polish" but one lady said she thinks it's just right and it was "wonderful". It made my day. :-)

Now onto something totally different.......

I was heading home and as I was driving down the hill into Henderson, I see flashing red lights on a police car parked in the middle of main street and an officer directing in ...... lots and lots of motorcycle traffic!

There were motorcycles and riders all up and down Main Street! I had to stop at the grocery store for bread and several cyclists were there so I asked what the purpose was of this ride. .......because there were so many cycles that they had to be on some sort of mission.

Sure enough.........the mission was the annual MS fundraiser ......the CarverFunRun . The little town of Carver is north of Henderson and the riders drive down a route that is known as "the ScenicByway".......and that it is! The road winds and curves along the river, up and down hills, past beautiful banks of's just plain scenic!! That's part of what I like about living out here. I love the river......the sunsets......the cornfields......the people.......everything about living in a small town. :-)

I don't usually post to my blog on Sundays, and in fact, I'm trying not to blog on weekends at all. I need time away from the computer! However, I just had to post yesterday and again today because when I'm having fun, I love to share so that you can enjoy it, too. Here's to a lovely Sunday for you, wherever you are! Have a great day!

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