Wednesday, June 30

A collection of odds and ends........

You may wonder what this picture has to do with quilting........
Actually, it has nothing to do with quilting but the items in the picture have a story, just like my quilts and stitcheries so that's why I'm sharing it. We all have things we love no matter our age or stage in life. The toy garage you see in the photo was a Christmas gift that Santa brought to our son, Devlin, a long time ago, probably some time in the early 80's. It got a lot of play time as he collected lots of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Time came when the garage and the cars got packed away in a box. I didn't want to sell it or give it away for I knew one day a grandchild might enjoy playing with it. Sure enough, grandson Jacob loved the garage, in part because it had a "sound panel" and with just a press of the button (battery operated) you could hear the sound of a horn, or an engine trying to start, etc. Whenever he arrived for a visit, the first thing he would do is go to the bedroom where the toys were kept and he'd get out the garage and the cars and begin to line them up, position them just so and have a great time just playing "cars and trucks". He came for a visit this past Sunday because it was Sauerkraut Days here in Henderson. But I had to chuckle because after we returned from watching the parade, he came in the house, went right upstairs and got out the garage and the cars and trucks. :-) He played for a bit and then he was ready to play games on the computer. It struck me how comforting we find certain things......a quilt, a doll, a favorite knick knack, something, anything special. It usually has some connection to a good memory of a time, a place or a person. There will come a day when the garage will no longer be taken from the closet and when that time comes, I'll pack it in a box, along with the cars and trucks. I'll label it so one day it will go to Jacob and he can give it to his children (I like to think there will be great grandchildren one day). And hopefully, he'll share stories of visits to Grandma's house and playing with cars and trucks and doing crafts and other fun stuff. I just had to share these thoughts. There's so much depressing stuff in the news that I had to offer something more comforting. :-)
Now, I mentioned that it was Saurerkraut Days in Henderson this past weekend and it was to be an event-filled weekend. However, Mother Nature had other plans. We got some pretty severe storms on Friday night that cancelled the Classic Car Cruise. Saturday dawned cloudy, hot and humid. You could just feel the weather was going to get "rocky" and sure enough around 5:00 p.m. storms and tornado warnings started to pop up in our area. Saturday night's events were canceled due to the storms. At around 8:00, the sirens went off and I took the dog, some sewing and went to the basement to wait out the wind and rain. Eventually, even my husband decided he should head downstairs. As always, with severe storms, some areas got more hail, wind and rain than others. There were lots of branches down and some very tipsy trees...I think because the wind blew so hard and with the ground saturated, the trees just leaned over. Both our kids had water in basements to contend with at their business places and our daughter's car suffered some hail damage. Everyone was okay, though, so plans were still on to attend the big parade at noon on Main Street. We found our favorite spot for watching the parade and hoped that there would not be rain. Looking to the east, you could see that big thunder clouds were billowing and the storms were heading east. This was just before the parade began at noon..........
I love to take pictures of clouds. :-) There was lots of sun and we were ready for the parade to begin. We were not dissappointed as it was a great parade even though a few rain drops fell on the crowd. And what a crowd! I'm going to share my parade photos with you all but I'm not going to do it today. Instead, I'm going to post them on July 4th. When I was a kid growing up in Iowa, we always went to the town of Gowrie for it's big "4th of July Parade". I miss not seeing a parade on the 4th. So, I will be blogging about the Sauerkraut Days parade and it will be almost like having a parade on the 4th. :-) You just won't be able to hear the music or see the live action of all the queens and princesses as they wave to the crowds! Oh, and you won't be able to gather candy that is tossed to the crowds. LOL! So, if you live nearby and didn't make it to the parade, you can see it here on Sunday. And if you don't have a parade where you live, then you can stop by and "watch" the parade, too. :-)

As my title noted.......this is an "odds and ends" post. That's because I didn't know what else to call it. LOL! I have lots of "odds and ends" that I need to finish up, but here I am at the computer. I find I am at the computer a lot (maybe even too much). Anyway, I might not have much computer time for the next couple of weeks as I'm going to be kind of busy with some family reunions, etc. Don't be surprised if I don't post regularly. Speaking of posts, be sure you go over to visit Nanette's blog as she is the hostess for Sarah's Placemat Party today. I'm guessing it will be something really cute as she finds the best fabrics for her quilting projects! I took the placemat that I made to my daughter and she's going to give it to Jacob. He was at the park with a playgroup so I missed seeing him. She liked the placemat so much she asked if there could be two for her and one for Daryl. So, guess what I am going to do today? I'm going to make two more placemats! And then I'm going to make a table runner for me and I'll be sharing about that on Friday. :-) Time to get off the computer and get to those "odds and ends". Oh, and the July Angel will be posted tomorrow. See you then!

Tuesday, June 29

It's a Placemat Party!

A few weeks ago, Sarah of SewJoy blog sent me an e-mail and asked if I'd like to participate in her "Placemat Party". She designed a cute and simple placemat pattern and all we had to do was make a placemat from her pattern and then join in the fun of a blog hop party!! I love fun, blogging, and fabric so it was easy to reply with a "yes"! For all the details on the blog hop just go here to Sara's blog, where you'll find examples of her design done in different fabrics. Plus, there are even prizes!!
Once I decided to join the Placemat Party, I let Sarah know that I would be using patriotic fabrics for my sample. Here they are.........
I have had these fabrics for quite awhile. I won the four large print pieces at a quilt club meeting in 1999 when Hancock fabrics did a trunk show and those four fabrics (1/2 yard cuts) were the door prize. I like them because they have "sparkle" so when I found the two blues and the flag print that also had "sparkle", I had to have them, too. When I unfolded the "patchwork" looking piece, an idea popped into my head..........
"fussy-cut squares"..........and that's just what I did to get fabrics that I could use for the corner of Sarah's placemat design! And here is my finished placemat...........

I followed the pattern but made one variation.....I added a pocket to each side of the placemat so that tableware could go in one pocket and a napkin in the other pocket as you see here.......

I made this placemat for someone grandson, Jacob. He's going camping this weekend so I thought it would be fun to have a special placemat for the picnic table. He was here to visit this past Sunday and I gave him some patriotic tinsel garland that he can use to decorate his tent. And this afternoon, I am going to go visit him and take him this placemat. He's young enough that he'll think this is cool. :-) I even bought some patriotic plates so when he parties for the 4th it might look like this ...........
I used a mottled red fabric for the backing and sewed it together "pillow-case style" as I call it. Translation.....I sewed backing, batting and quilt top together and left a small opening so I could turn it inside out. Then I slip-stitched the opening closed and did some machine quilting along the border and along each block. Then I added a label because as I was making the placemat, I realized that the fabric is from the same year Jacob was born! This then made me realize that he's growing up too fast and also, that I really need to use my stash and not buy any more fabric for awhile. Ha! Jacob will continue to grow and I will continue to buy fabric! :-)
So, there you have it ......... a patriotic placemat that was as fun as a party when I was making it! I enJOYed making it a lot! Seriously, it was very easy and went together very quickly. Thanks, Sarah, for a fun pattern which gave me the opportunity to make a special gift for my grandson! And yes, I have enough fabric left that I will probably make more of these. I think they would also be really cute made up for kids in bright prints with polka dots and zoo animals and other fun kid prints.......and in Christmas fabrics.........and in cute kitchen prints. Oh, yes, lots of variations and I have fabric in my stash for all of these ideas. LOL! sure to check out Sarah's blog for details on how you can win her pattern, fabric and some other goodies. She is also offering each of us on the blog hop, a pdf of her pattern so one lucky winner will get a copy of Sarah's pattern just by leaving a comment on this post. And to sweeten the JOY, I have added a journal for keeping track of your projects ....... and...... a new little pattern (from Valorie Wells) for a wallet so you can make one and then tuck cash in it so you can save to buy fabric.........and then there is a pair of my favorite little scissors from Singer (so sharp for cutting tiny pieces and snipping threads, plus they have large rubber handles for easy grip!).
All you have to do is leave your name and a link to your blog and/or your e-mail address so that I will be able to contact you if you win. Comments are open now through Friday evening. A winner will be announced on Saturday morning, July 3rd. Good luck and enJOY!


Monday, June 28

"What's on the line?"

I have a couple of favorite quilt tops on the line and they are full of fabulous scrappy prints! These quilt tops were given to me by my friend, Kristi. We were members of the same church and became close friends even though she was young enough to be my daughter. Age is no boundary to friendship and isn't that a nice thing? We are still friends even though we haven't seen each other in more than ten years. She moved to the west coast with her family and we moved from the suburbs to the lovely town of Henderson. :-) Distance is no barrier to friendship and that's also a very nice thing. Shortly before Kristi moved she asked me to come over and look at a couple of quilt tops that she thought I might be interested in seeing. They were scrappy tops made my her grandmother in Kansas. It wasn't her grandma's normal style of quilting, Kristi said, as most of her quilts were pretty applique ones and well-planned patchwork quilts that were hand-quilted. She showed me two of those lovely quilts that she had received when her grandma passed away. These quilt tops, though, were ones that no family member wanted, but Kristi took them. She saw something in the quilts and knew they couldn't just be discarded. She knew how much I enjoyed teaching and making quilts and so she asked if I would like to have them. And I, of course, said, Yes! Here is the largest one...............
Doesn't it look beautiful blowing in the wind? Now if you double-click on the photo below, you can see a close-up of some of the fabrics............
And another view of the fabrics........
And still another view of the fabulous scrap prints that make up this quilt top!

The second quilt top is slightly smaller and looks just as pretty blowing in the wind as the first quilt top did!
Here are a couple of pictures that you can double-click to enlarge and see the variety of fabric scraps that make up the quilt top.
I really like the fabric strips in the picture below.......yellow ribbons tied in a bow and wouldn't I love to have some of that fabric in my stash right now!!!

I have thanked Kristi many times for putting these quilt tops in my care. One day, I may have them machine quilted so that the fabrics will be stabalized but right now, I keep them wrapped in acid-free tissue. I love to take them out and look at them and wonder what the fabrics were originally used for......dresses or curtains or just for quilts? What a treasure they are!
Now, one more thing about Kristi........a number of years ago, the purple Bachman's Floral truck pulled up in my driveway and the deliveryman brought a bouquet to my door. I remember thinking he might have the wrong house as my husband is not a flower guy. The last time the purple truck came to my door was on my 30th birthday when my mother sent me flowers. It was a lovely and extravagant surprise from her. So when I opened the card and saw that the flowers had come from Kristi, I was a bit surprised. The sentiment on the card made me smile. It said simply......"Just because, Kristi". I loved the sentiment. It was real reason, just friendship made Kristi send those flowers. Each time I see the quilt tops that she gave me, I think of those flowers and I think of her and her grandmother, a woman I never met but I know we would have connected through quilting. I love connecting through quilting, through needle and thread and a love of stitching. I count my blessings when I start to count all the friends that I've made through those connections! Some are quilters, some just enjoy looking at quilts and needlework, some craft while others don't, some blog and some don't. They, and you who are reading this, are all friends........just because!!! And isn't that a really nice thing?
Hope this day is the start of a great week!! After several days of very stormy weather here in Minnesota, we are looking at a week of sunshine ahead! Something fun is coming up on my blog tomorrow. Be sure to check in....just because!

Friday, June 25

A Family Favorite Recipe!

I'm a fan of Mary Englebreit's work. I love her fabrics, her notecards and scrapbook pages, and all the little home decor items. About a year ago, I was checking out her website when I saw a "call" for family favorite recipes for a new cookbook she was planning. I submitted one right away and then almost forgot about it............until this past spring when I got an e-mail that my recipe had been accepted and would be in the book. :-) It also said that in June, I'd receive a copy of the cookbook in the mail. And I did!! That's the cookbook on the left. It arrived this past Monday and, in fact, there were two copies in the package and both were autographed. :-) I'm keeping one for me and the other will go to my daughter, Collette. One day, my son can have my copy. :-)
The book is filled with some yummy sounding recipes and I plan to try several. The recipe I shared isn't actually my recipe. It's from my Grandma Goldie and here it is in print. I think my Grandma would be so pleased. :-)

I "tweeked" it just a teeny bit for the cookbook (I added baking soda as I discovered through a baking mistake that it adds a bit of "golden color" to baked goods.) Her original recipe is one that I shared here on my blog quite some time ago. Go here and you'll find my post on her recipe. Of course, you could also go out and buy Mary's book. I plan to buy a couple more copies and give one to my mom and, ............ well, I can't tell you who else might get one because she reads my blog. :-)
So that was how my week started and it was definitely a good way to start the week. It got a little busy as the week went on as I taught a wooly workshop to a nearby quilt guild on Tuesday evening and then I've been working on a little winter project that I can't post about yet. I'll share some photos of the wooly workshop in my next post. It's going to be a busy weekend's Sauerkraut Days here in Henderson. :-) Hoping for lots of sunshine and no rain. Back with more later............

There's still time to enter the drawing on my bathroom decorating post so just go here and check it out. Drawing is at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Tuesday, June 22

Celebrating Two years of Blogging and 500 Posts!

This is just a simple celebration of the simple joy that blogging has brought to my life this past two years. During that time, I've met so many new friends, learned so many new crafty and quilting techniques, and entered and hosted many a giveaway!! And to celebrate my two year anniversary (a bit late as it was May 26th) and 500 posts plus a dedicated group of followers, I looked for a little something that would describe the joy that blogging has given me........and it is...........
When I saw this journal with this quote by Adele Basheer .......

to find the joy in each day is
to add light to the world.
I knew it was going to be part of my Two Year Blogiversary Giveaway because I find joy in every day! There are some days when it's a challenge to find the joy, but it's there even if it's just a tiny bright spot in what some might call a "bad day". Sometimes, I am fortunate and the joy I find in some days is the joy that I accidently bring to someone else (and vice versa). And yes, it adds light to the day, to the world. :-)
I needed the "light" aspect of the quote and when I stopped to buy some votive candles for my table, I thought........aha, buy candles to add some "light" to the giveaway! And how I love Yankee candles! They smell so delicious and so I picked seven to go with the journal........Tutti Fruiti, Fruit Salad, Honeydew melon and Lavendar Lemon. They sound good enough to eat! And then I found three that just said "Summer vacation!"........... Lakeside Birch ™, Willow Breeze ™, and Beach Vacation ™. There's one for each day of the week!
All you have to do for a chance to win the journal and the votive candles is leave me a comment on this post and this post only. The giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers anywhere in the world. If you are a follower of my blog or a regular who comments, you will get two extra chances in the drawing if you leave a comment here. And one, more important thing.....make sure you leave your e-mail address or a link to your blog so that I can contact you if you are the winner. My "Random Number Man" will draw the winning name on Wednesday, June 30th at 8:00 p.m. And, when the winner receives the package......... they just might find a little something else tucked in among those candles for I do love surprises! :-)
Thanks to all of you who read my blog and have encouraged me with your comments. Words can hardly express how much I appreciate it!

Monday, June 21

What's on the line?

It's my birthday gift from my mother! This pretty quilt top is one that she made in the mid 1960's. She knew that I liked it and so she gave this to me for my birthday. I've always liked the design. When I asked her what pattern she used she said that it was one she had ordered from the Des Moines Register newspaper. Have any of you seen it or know the name? I'd love to find out more about the pattern.
While I may not know much about the pattern, I do know something about the fabrics she used. Many are scraps from clothing that she made for herself or for me and my sister. That striped fabric in the upper left corner is from a dress that my sister wore for her school pictures one year. In the next row, the second block from the left is fabric from an outfit that I made when I was in high school. And the last block in that row is fabric from a dress that my mother made and I remember how pretty it was on her. It's also a really good quality cotton fabric and has a soft sheen to it. In the last row, the second block from the right, there's a pretty turgoise and white polka dot that my mother used to make skirts for my sister, Judy and me. We wore them with white blouses and white socks and more than one "can-can" (crinoline) underneath the skirt so that it would be full and pretty. Somewhere, I have a picture of the two of us in those skirts. I'll find it and post it one day. Those are just a few of the fabrics that I remember well. Some are scraps from dresses that my mother made for the women who lived at what was called "The County Home" back in the 1960's. She worked as a seamstress sewing clothes for the ladies and then went on to work at a store called "Lillian's". I always loved the name of that store. It just sounded elegant and it looked it from the outside. I only remember going into the store a couple of times and never owned anything that came from there. Since we could all sew, we didn't really buy much clothing. I do have the dress that my parents bought me for eighth grade graduation and I'm going to do a post on that one day. I got it out to show my mother when she was here and we were amazed that it looks almost brand new and it's at least 45 years old!

I took a close-up of the quilt block pattern so that you can see how it's made. I would love to have yardage of the pink tulip stripe. I remember it so well. I do love tulips and perhaps it started with that fabric. :-) Anyway, my mother hand-pieced all the blocks and then added the sashing by machine. The blocks aren't exactly square or lined up but I don't care. I like it just the way it is. I am not sure how I'll quilt it, or whether I will do it by hand or machine. I'm happy just to look at it right now and felt it was just the perfect gift for my birthday......especially since my mother was here when she gave it to me. :-)
I've added one more picture for today..........a charm pack that I won from RJR fabrics. They had a contest on facebook using this fabric line.............."Summer Solstice". I thought I'd tell you about it today, since this day is the "Summer Solstice" for those of us in the northern hemisphere. :-)
Contest entrants had to purchase fabrics from this line and were to make a purse or totebag from the fabric. I decided I'd like to do this and so I tried to purchase the fabric but it was sold out at more than one sight and another site was "on vacation" and no one in Minnesota carried it. So, I posted to the RJR site to let them know I wouldn't be able to enter after all. Okay, fast forward to a few weeks later when I enter a little drawing for a charm pack and I am one of two winners. I get a message that says they have the perfect charm pack for me.........and when I opened the package on arrival.........there it was "Summer Solstice!! It was perfect, just like they said. Now the challenge is to come up with a project for the fabrics. I have an idea brewing in my brain so I'm going to see if it translates to paper to fabric sometime this weekend. I'll be sure and share photos when I finish the project.
Actually, I was trying not to start new projects because I have so many old projects to finish. I have at least ten "in progress" projects on various surfaces here in my sewing room. I have got to finish some of them! LOL! Being here at the computer won't get any sewing done, so it's time to scoot. Check in tomorrow because I am going to post a little giveaway celebration for my two year blogaversery and 500 posts. Yep, I write a lot and I love it. Thank you Blogger for making this two year anniversary possible!!!!!
Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 18

Decorating help and a giveaway!

The last time my son was out here for a visit, he said he thought maybe I should do something with the bathroom that is just off the kitchen. It's a little too white, a little too blah. He's right. I think it needs paint.......or should I do some wallpaper........or a border? Maybe there should be a frame or stenciled border around the mirror. All I know is it needs help.

Recently, I was contacted by a CSN rep to either offer a giveaway or do a review of a item for their BathroomVanities line of products. The "light bulb" went on and I thought......."aha! I'll offer a giveaway and readers can get their name in the drawing for a prize if they give me a tip for my own bathroom." So, I'll get help for my bathroom and you get a chance to win a $60 shopping spree just by visiting the Bathroom Vanities site at CSN . I looked through lots of the vanity accessories and such and thought about just picking an item to giveaway but then I thought.....the winner should be able to pick the prize that fits their bathroom. All you have to do for a chance to win is give me an idea for my "oh-to-white-bathroom". It's as simple as that.
Please make sure that you leave me a link to your blog or your e-mail address. Without one or the other, I won't be able to contact you and let you know if you are the winner. Anyone can enter.........bloggers or non-bloggers. The winner will receive a code that can used for your shopping spree. Please note.......most items include free shipping but if you choose an item that requires a shipping fee, then you will be responsible for that fee.

About a year ago, I was contacted by CSN with the opportunity to select a rug and all I had to do was write a review of the product. Just click here and you can see the rug I selected. I was delighted to have the opportunity to review their product because I had no rug for my entry. The one I chose gets compliments every time someone new visits. :-) I could have selected an item and done a review this time, too, but I'm going to let one of you have the prize. Just please give me some ideas for my bathroom! Comments will be accepted through noon, Friday, June 25 and winner will be notified by 6:00 p.m. that same day.

I can hardly wait to read your ideas!


Thursday, June 17

A new blog that you might like..........

And all you have to do is click the button on my sidebar and you will find a really great, new blog........but first, let me tell you about where you'll be going. This story starts with my sister. She's not a blogger but every so often she sends me a link to a blog or website that she thinks I might be interested in and this was one she sent me this past spring. It's not a quilting blog but it's author, Elizabeth, is a young mom that is doing a project each month that she will give to her kid's at Christmas......hence the name of her blog..... "TwelveCraftsTillChristmas". When I read her posts and looked at the photos of her projects, they reminded me of all the fun stuff I did with my kids. Sometimes the most simple supplies can become a really fun activity for kids!

When my daughter was four we had moved to a new home in a neighborhood that was loaded with kids. It was soon clear that I was the "crafty mom" in the neighborhood and our house was known as the place where you could use glitter and glue to your heart's content. When I would wax my kitchen floor it often had a bit of sparkle because we never quite got all the glitter cleaned up after a project. LOL! We made doll furniture from oatmeal boxes, painted Plaster of Paris projects, dyed weeds we picked along the railroad tracks, oodles of things from felt, and we painted rocks to look like turtles, fish and lady bugs. We spent 33 years in our house and shortly before we moved we emptied out two large flower pots and in the dirt we found a lady bug. Not a real one, though. It was one my daughter Collette had painted almost 30 years before and probably placed it next to the flowers in the pot. I laughed to think how long that ladybug had been sitting in that pot. I took it out and washed it off and gave it to her to sit in her ladybug themed laundry room. Some things that we enjoy never change. And the memories that go with them last forever. That's what I liked about Elizabeth's blog. She's making fun stuff for her kids and it will provide lots of fun memories for many years to come. So right now, just click on that button and check out the fun stuff she has been making. Enjoy!!
Could be a stormy day here in Minnesota. I'll be watching the skies. Hope it's a good day where you are!
P.S. My favorite project on Elizabeth's blog is the play mail carrier...........just click here to see it. :-)

Wednesday, June 16

A teacup swap received!

Okay, here it is. Susanne in Australia sent me the sweetest pink-a-licious teacup swap ever!
It arrived in this pretty box...........

And when I opened the box, this beautiful totebag was inside!!! I gasped. Really!! I love pink and roses and she made such a beautiful bag. I nearly cried.
But then I peeked in the bag......and actually everything was wrapped when it came but I didn't take pictures then as I was too anxious to see everything she had sent. Look inside that bag.........
It was filled with more pink goodies and here they are..........

First, I opened the custom made teapot card. Then I unwrapped the needlecase (you can see it opened below). And then I unwrapped that teeny-tiny teapot pincushion!! And then came the teacup! The felt sweets that she made on the saucer look almost good enough to eat! And the last little goodie was a thimble from where she lives in Western Australia. :-)

Here's a close-up of the teacup pincushion...............

I loved every single thing she made and as I mentioned yesterday....she spoiled me but I am so glad she did. Now you can see why I said that what I sent her just wasn't as fine as what she sent me. Soooooo, when my mother and I were out shopping, I found a little something that just said "Susanne needs this" and after I embellish it a bit, it will go off to her in the mail as a thank you for such a lovely swap. Some of you have e-mailed and wondered about this swap. It was not a swap I organized but is one that was hosted on the Yahoo group......... CrazyAboutPinCushions. Just click on it and you can join, too. It's a fun group with lots of inspiration for pincushions of all shapes, sizes and designs. :-)
I mentioned yesterday that I would tell you about another little "hidden treasure" that my mother and I visited while she was here. Actually, it's not really hidden, but it's kind of small and unexpected. Many of you are probably familiar with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Well, the brothers who began the clinic grew up in the little town of LeSueur, MN just a few miles south of Henderson. The family home sits in the heart of downtown LeSueur.........
It is such a petite little house and a very interesting style. We arrived too late to tour the house so I just took a photo but one day when I'm in LeSueur on errands, I'm going to visit it and will share some more photos.
If you double-click on the photo below, you can read the history behind the house and the family.
There's an old saying............"You learn something new everyday". Well, that was certainly true today and I have to share what I learned because I can't believe I didn't already figure this out. It has to do with blog comments. I didn't know that you can have your blog comments sent to your e-mail address. I always wondered if there was some easier way than how I was doing it. Whenever I would reply to comments it was time consuming because I'd click on the commenter's profile, then open my e-mail, then type the comment and then sometimes go back to the comment because I didn't remember to copy it so I can remember what I'm replying was cumbersome. Well, today, I got lucky and learned something new. I hadn't been over to visit Chookyblue's blog lately so I stopped in to see what she had been doing (her photos are always beautiful). I happened to notice on the left sidebar that she had a new topic in her "How to-blog bits" titled "get your comments e-mailed to you". I clicked on it, followed her how-to steps and like magic, my comments began coming to my e-mail address! Oh, my gosh, it makes it sooooo much easier to reply to your comments. I wish there was a way to have it be retroactive to old comments so that I could reply to some of the many comments that you have all left for me. I have amazed myself that I have learned as much as I have in this blogging journey but I am constantly amazed at how much I do not know. It took me two years to figure out the easy way to answer comments. I wonder what other great things I'm missing in this blogging world but whatever they are, they will just be opportunities to "learn something new every day!" :-)
Hope you'll leave me a comment so I can answer it right away. :-) Have a great day!!

Tuesday, June 15

A teacup pincushion swap sent........

A couple of weeks before my mother arrived, I participated in a "Teacup Pincushion Swap" in a Yahoo group that I belong to. Our challenge was to use a teacup and create a pincushion from it and also include a totebag (purchased or sewn), along with some goodies. My partner Susanne from Australia said she liked blue and so I went in search of a blue teacup. This turned out to be a difficult task. It never occurred to me that blue would be so hard to find. I found lots of teacups with pink roses and pretty yellow ones but the delicate blue china teacup I could see in my mind never came to be. Finally, at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop I found one with some blue on it and here's what I made........
I had some tea-colored fabric that I used to make a fabric ball and then stuffed it for the pincushion. I added a little floral piece to represent a dollop of cream and then a pretty bow and a doily from another thrift shop completed the teacup pincushion that I sent off to Susanne.
I wanted to make a totebag for her but time became an issue because I wasn't feeling well and my mother's visit was coming up so I was busy with that. I sent along a purchased totebag and then added lots of goodies.....woolfelt bundles and a tin filled with yards of pretty trims so that Susanne can make more pincushions. In my search for a blue teacup, I found a couple of other treasures in blue that she can use for a pincushion or whatever she wants. I was surprised to find pins with button heads at JoAnn fabrics and sent a pack of them along to her. And the Dollar store yielded the notebook and the little Teatime Treats book. Of course, I had to include a fat quarter of sewing themed fabric. :-) Susanne enjoyed all the goodies I sent and I enjoyed what she sent me. It arrived just a couple of days before I left to go to Iowa to get my mother. Wait til you see what Susanne sent. I'm going to share photos of all the pink goodness that she made for me and I can tell you right now that she spoiled me!! She is awesomely talented and I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened the box filled with so many pretties. I will take photos tomorrow and share in my next post.
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from places my mother and I visited when she was here. This photo was taken in the community of Arlington, MN and is a park area near the hospital. The flags were still on display as this was the day after Memorial Day.
Surrounding the helicopter are bronze statues of men in the various branches of the U.S. Military. As my mother noted.....they almost looked real. It was quite impressive.
Just west of Arlington, is the community of Gaylord (our county seat) where we spotted this pretty view.
We were just driving up and down streets looking at houses, when we came into a park that is at the north end of the town and a small lake. There we saw this pretty gazebo/band shelter and the most lovely view of the lake. My thought when I saw this ........ it's amazing what one finds in their "own backyard" when visitors come and you take them sightseeing! I had no idea that little lake was there so I've decided I have to wander around streets in the little towns I pass through more often and see what treasure I can find! Tomorrow, along with Susanne's pincushion goodies, I'm going to share another little hidden treasure that is in the town to the south of us.
I'm hoping for a little sun today. Weather has been a wee bit rainy and gloomy which I don't usually mind but this is summer so I'm hoping for sun!

Monday, June 14

"What's on the line?"

Today is Flag Day here in the U.S. so I had to hang something patriotic on the line.............

This is a small quilt that I made in June of 2000 . It's one of those twelve quilts that I made to celebrate the Millennium. Each month of that year, I made a quilt to celebrate a holiday or special occasion. I chose to make a quilt in honor of Flag Day for June (go here for info on Flag Day). It was also my dad's birthday so I made the quilt in honor of him. And now, it is a memory quilt as he passed away a little over two years ago. He would have been 84 this year. I still miss him dearly. It was shortly after he passed away that I began blogging. It helped me to think and often got me through periods of grief because having to create a post and share photos gave me some purpose. It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for two years. My blogging anniversary came and went recently (May 26, 2008) because I was busy preparing for my mother to come to visit. It had been almost twelve years since she had been up here to visit us. Health issues for her and my dad overwhelmed their lives in those years but she is doing well now and as you all know from the last three posts, she had a great time during her visit. There was a moment shortly after she arrived when she looked around the house and spoke the thought that I was thinking ...."it's just too bad that your dad isn't here to see this". He would have liked the house and would have had questions about how this or that was constructed. He would have loved the backyard and the deer that come through and the birds that sing in the morning. And he would have enjoyed visiting the grandkids and great grandson, Jacob. Yes, I wished, too, that he could be with us. But if he couldn't be here, I know that he was happy that my mother could be. He was always making sure "Ma was happy". :-)

So, this day is a day to celebrate our nation's flag and, for me, it's a day to remember my dad and his birthday. And what about you, my readers and followers? You've stayed with me when I've had "ups and downs" this past two years and you keep stopping by. I appreciate each and every one of you. The time has come to celebrate because I not only reached two years of blogging recently but I also surpassed 500 posts and over 250 followers. So, if you regularly read my blog or are a follower, please stay tuned for I'm going to host a giveaway to celebrate these milestones. I think I'll probably post it on June 21, the day of the Summer Solstice here in the U.S. It would be a good day to celebrate. I might even celebrate all the way up to July 4th. You just never know. :-)

That's all for now. Hope your week is off to a good start. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 10

Four Generations

Today, I'll be taking my mother home but last night there was one last celebration......dinner at Country Buffet, a treat from daughter Collette. And, when we were done eating way more than we should have (do I love a buffet? yes, I do!), Daryl, Collette's hubby took this four generation picture..............we are.........
My grandson, Jacob on the left sitting next to his mom, Collette, my daughter. Then it's me and my mother, Mary. This past Sunday, we drove into the cities to visit my son, Devlin so here's a three generation, my mother and Devlin. :-)
My mother has had a good time, but as it always is with is good to get home so she is packed and ready to return to Iowa. I'll stay a couple days and week, I'll get back to quilting and stitching.......and catching up on my Yahoo groups and blogging!!! I've been doing a little bit of stitching on a project that I can't show you but in a couple months, I'll be able to post about it and share the fun. :-)
In the meantime, I thought I'd share some fun with this photo.............
My mom and I were looking through some old photos I had in a box and this one was too cute. I remember those dolls that we are holding. They were "walking" dolls and we played with them a lot! I love the look on my sister, Judy's face. Way too cute. :-)
I'll be back in a few days. Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 7

What's on the line?

I tried to post this last night but kept getting a "blogger is currently not available" message and only now, late this afternoon, am I finally able to share "what's on the line". This is a special quilt block that my mother made. Since she's here visiting, I thought I would share something that she had made. She has always loved Sunbonnet Sue and this is a block she made sometime in the late 1950's/early 1960's..........
And, of course, there's a story behind the block. There were actually 18 more blocks that she made but she sold them to a sewing group in Evanston, Iowa that made the blocks into a quilt. She loved the blocks but said that she sold them at a time when extra cash was needed. It would be so neat to someday meet that quilt but who knows where it might be now. I keep thinking I will make this into a pillow but I might do it as a small wallhanging instead so that it will have "longer life".
My mom is enjoying her visit. We have been to almost every thrift shop in a 25 mile radius, plus we've visited our daughter and family in Mankato and our son and girlfriend in Minneapolis. We've had some good meals and seen lots of pretty sites and taken lots of pictures. I'll have plenty to share when I get back to regular blogging next week. :-)
Have a good week!

Thursday, June 3

Thank You! and pics of a great day!

My goodness! What a surprise to see all those good wishes for a Happy Birthday yesterday. Thanks to each of you that commented..........Caryl W., Barb, Lois G., Gene B., Pat C., Joanne, Luv2quilt2, Pat, Diane, Crispy, Laurie, Nancy, Happy Cottage Quilter, NanaKaren, SarahVee, Knitwit, Kaye, Needled Mom, Pat, Beth, Owl Lady, Stormy Days, Barbara, Nanette, Mary on Lake Pulaski, Joanna, Judy C., Lynn-Teacupstitches, Rhonda, Robin, and Grandmarockton! And especially thanks to Pat at A Little of This and a Little of That because she sent a lot of you over here to send me those good wishes. What a sweet thing to do!! The comments were the icing on the cake of a really nice day. Proof that we had a good time is here.............
This is my daughter, Collette, and my mother, Mary. We have just eaten our lunch at The Pizza choice, we loved everything. :-) Then here I am..............
all smiles........because we are enjoying ourselves so much and Collette has just given me this pretty gift bag. So what was in the bag..............
Pretty little sundae dishes that Collette found at a thrift store, plus some Mary E. scrapbook embellishment items and a lovely old Record book. Her mother-in-law, Connie, found the book and knew I would like it. It is the handwritten journal of a pastor 's sermon outlines. There is no name of who this book might have belonged to. The only clue is on the first page where the pastor writes..........
Vol.II, Sermon Outlines, preached in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Sermon 51, Evening Text Dec. 4, 1887, Heb. 4, 15. Theme: The Sympathy of Christ for men.
The last entry was made on page 219 of the journal .......
Sermon 88, April 8th, 1888, Morning Text, Matt. 18, 1. Theme: Humility.
I'll share more on this little journal in another post as it is quite fascinating. It's not everyone who has a great mother-in-law (mine was, her name was Ora), but when your daughter has a great mother-in-law that thinks of her son's mother-in-law, well, I think that's pretty cool. :-)
So anyway, after we ate lunch, we spent almost an hour wandering around in Hancock Fabrics. My mom hadn't been in a fabric store (other than Walmart) in more than five years. I can guarantee you we had fun and enjoyed finding some treasures in the fabric and decorating items. Then we picked up Jacob at school and we made a stop at the Salvation Army thrift shop where we found more little goodies, plus they had a bag of books (kid's titles) for $5 so Jacob and I had fun picking titles for him and some cousins. :-) The only thing I missed was taking that four generation photo that Pat mentioned and there is still time to do that in the next few days. Thanks everyone for those birthday wishes. What a treat!
I'll be back when I have time.........

Wednesday, June 2

June Angel!

This month, Audrey the Angel is tending her garden. In April, she planted her seeds of friendship and now she can harvest the joy from those friendships. She's also planted a vegetable garden and is tending the plants so they grow and become ripe. Then she'll reap the harvest come fall. Friendship is the same thing...plant the seeds of kindness and friendship and then reap the joy that friendship brings! Have fun with this design!
My mother and I will be off to Mankato today to meet daughter, Collette, for lunch. It's my birthday, so we are planning some serious fun. :-) After school, Jacob, my grandson, will join us for some more fun. It should be a good, good day. :-)
More later........

Tuesday, June 1

Welcome June!

I can't believe that the month of June has arrived! May flew by so quickly that many things I wanted to get done, simply did not get done. I'm feeling better and thank goodness, because I was able to go home to Iowa and visit my mother. And.......she's come back with me for a visit. She'll be here for at least a week or so and have several things planned to keep us busy. This morning we are headed out to a couple of thrift shops and then lunch. I may not post often in the next few days but I'll be taking photos so when I do post, you can see how much fun we're having. :-) Lovely weather here in Minnesota. Hope it's nice where you all are! Have a lovely day!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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