Monday, August 30

What's on the line?

Lots of colorful hexagons, that's what is on the line today! Yesterday was so hot and windy. In fact, it was so windy, I wasn't sure I would be able to get good photos of the quilts. I would watch and wait patiently while the quilts swayed back and forth, then snap my pictures when the time was right.........Both of the quilts today are made by Mrs. Danielson, the maker of the Sunbonnet Sue quilt that I shared last Monday. Each of these quilts is hand-pieced and hand-quilted. You can see the even quilting on the white backing in the lower right-hand corner. It's lovely. :-)

The quilts are large and so I hung them over the line as otherwise they would drag on the ground. I will get measurements later today. Take note of the large hexagon in the lower right corner. More on that in a minute.

This is the reverse side of the quilt. This one is soft and comfy and I plan to use it this winter.
This next hexagon quilt is even bigger than the one above and very heavy. Oh, how I love to watch the quilts blow in the wind.......
Notice the corners in the photo above and below. On the lower left you can see that the yellow row of hexagons is not squared off and the edge tells me that this one was made as a bedspread. It's especially noticeable in the photo below.
This is the reverse side of the quilt. Notice that prominent lime green ring of hexagons and the floral backing fabric.............
Remember that hexagon block in the lower right corner of the first quilt? Well, they are the same fabric. Funny thing is that I did not notice it until I looked at the photos!
Both of these quilts need to be laid out, photos taken, and then you could see the "whole picture" of the quilt. I thought about doing that yesterday but when I got inside with those quilts I plopped them on the sofa and went for a cool drink. It was 93 degrees outside and I felt like I'd done a bit of aerobic exercise after I came in from wrestling these quilts up on the line. Yes, the word wrestling is appropriate because I am just barely five feet tall and I have the clothesline set at about 6 1/2 feet high. That means that I have to jump up, grab for the line and then try to whip the quilt over the line. The wind made that a very interesting task today. All this led to the feeling of aerobic exercise. :-)
Hope you have enjoyed these colorful quilts. They are sort of a last hurrah of summer color as in a week or so hot summer weather will be replaced by crisp fall days. At least I hope so!! I'm going to keep hanging quilts on the line as long as the weather allows. When the snow falls though, I'll have to come up with another reason to make Mondays special. I'm already plotting what that might be. :-)
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 29

A funny thing happened .......

........ to that birthday package I sent to my mother. It took a rather long trip to get to her. More on that in a minute. Here's what was in the package............ I found this cute vintage planter at Antiques and Uniques back in July. The minute that I spotted it, I knew it was the perfect gift for my mother for her birthday. She loves deer and when the time came to sell the home that she and my dad had enjoyed living in, one of the hardest things to part with were the two lawn deer that they had in the yard (those cement ones that you can get at garden centers). A cousin, Coral, liked the deer so my mother gave them to her. Now my mom can drive past Coral's house and see "her" deer. When I saw this planter, I thought of those deer.
So, what funny thing happened to the package? Well, I mailed the deer package on Monday, August 23rd. I sent the little box First Class and I sent a cared in a separate envelope. Both were only going a couple hundred miles to Iowa so I knew they would get there by Wednesday, August 25th, her birthday. The card arrived that day, but no package. Again on Thursday, no package. I was sure it would show up on Friday but again, no package. My mom suggested I should call the local post office and see if it was there and just hadn't been delivered. The nice postmistress said "no, not here" but she took the insurance receipt number and entered it in the computer (I couldn't track it myself as it wasn't a "signature required package") and then told me the package had left Des Moines at 12:18 that day. I said "wow, it took that long to go from Minnesota to Iowa?" Even she was surprised it took that long, so she offered to check further and that's when she discovered that when the package left Minneapolis it was sent to Wharton, Pennsylvania!!! No wonder it wasn't arriving in Iowa on time! She said the package had been "misdirected". It sure was! Who knows why it went east as there is nothing in the address for my mother that even remotely resembles "Wharton, PA".
Now, is there a happy ending to this "deer" tale? Yes, there is because on Saturday afternoon the mailman delivered the little package to my mother's door. She loved the planter just like I knew she would. All's well that ends well. :-)
Thanks for all the comments/birthday wishes for my "Mother's Birthday Giveaway" post. Winner will be drawn late Tuesday evening.
Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, August 25

A Giveaway for my Mother's Birthday!!

Today is my mother's birthday. I sent her a special little gift that I found at Unique Antiques on Main Street in Henderson. It should arrive in her mailbox today. I was going to post a picture of what I sent, but just in case anybody from my home town reads this and tells her what I posted........well, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it? So, I'll wait until she receives the package and then I'll post a photo to show you what "goodness" I sent along to her. In the meantime, I thought I'd share some "goodness" with one lucky winner in a "My Mother's Birthday Giveaway". Since she grew up in the 30's, I thought I'd share a stack of 30's charm squares ..............There are about 155 charm squares in that stack. I started collecting them when 30's reproduction prints first appeared in the late 90's. I decided to fan them out so you could get a peek at what is in that stack. Here are the yellow, green and red squares................

.......and lots of blue, pink and just a few lavendar squares.............

And since I was cutting, I made sure to cut a set of 5" squares for me, too. :-) I already have 3-1/2" squares from a couple years ago and all of it will go into a 30's quilt that will likely involve Sunbonnet Sue. Anyway, I cut a whole bunch of those 3-1/2" squares and sent them off to my mom. It was when my dad was in the Care Center. I thought she might want to stitch as she sat with him but that last year she didn't really enjoy sewing. About a year after my dad passed away, she called one day to say she had been sewing those squares together. Some of you that read my blog regularly know that she made them into doll quilts. If you go here you can see them. And then if you want a chance to win all the squares you see above, here is all you have to do..........leave a comment and share a happy sewing memory. My mother doesn't have access to a computer but I'm going to print out the comments and send them on to her as she will enjoy reading them. Remember, share a happy (or funny) sewing memory. That's all you have to do. Oh, and make sure there is a link back to your blog or e-mail so that I can contact you if you are the winner. Giveaway will end at midnight on August 31st and winner will be announced at noon on September 1st. :-)
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, August 24

Posie Swap in my mailbox :-)

A pretty little posey needlecase arrived in my mailbox today along with a very pretty handmade card. It came from Bettina in The Netherlands. She was my swap partner in Michele's Quilting Gallery Needlecase swap. Bettina did a great deal of embellishment on the posey and the sparkly beads on the leaves made me think of dew on a cool summer morning. Now, according to the weatherman, we are going to have a cool summer morning on Wednesday! If we do, I'm throwing open the windows and I'm going to sit at my kitchen table and enjoy the fresh air while I do some stitching. And, if you come back on Wednesday morning you will find a giveaway here on my blog. :-) It's just a little one but good things come in small packages........just like this little posey needlecase. Thank so much, Bettina, for your lovely handwork!
I actually would have had another picture to share if I had been thinking earlier this afternoon and got out my camera. I had a visit from Sheryl, who is sister-in-law to my neighbor, Kathy. Sheryl is here visiting from South Africa. She's a quilter and came over for a visit to see some of my quilts, plus she showed me the lovely yellow and blue Baltimore Album blocks she is working on. She's a Minnesota gal who married a guy from South Africa and the rest is history as the saying goes. They raise sheep and I should have asked her if she does anything with all that wool. Just imagine what we could do with some of that wool in my Wooly Buddies group! So, there would have been a picture of Sheryl if I had remembered to get out my camera. However, she's promised to send me a picture of her album quilt when it's finished, so when she does, I'll be sure and share it with you. :-)
See you tomorrow with that little bitty giveaway..............

Monday, August 23

What's on the line?

Why, it's Sunbonnet Sue and she is as cool as a cucumber even though it was hot, hot, hot when I hung this on the line yesterday afternoon! This is one heavy quilt, very large and I cannot imagine being covered with it right now during these hot August days. Pretty soon though, the cool nights of fall will roll in and a warm quilt will be just right!

This is a quilt that belongs to my mother although she's put the quilt in my care because I have more room to store her old quilts. She bought this one at an auction in Iowa. The maker was Mrs. Danielson of Harcourt, Iowa. As I mentioned, it is quite large......87" by 101" to be exact. I laid the quilt on the carpet in the living room, then took a picture from the upstairs landing so you could see the entire quilt...........
All the Sunbonnet Sue's are hand-appliqued and then the quilt was hand-quilted. I do not know if Mrs. Danielson did all the hand-quilting or if it was done by her and perphaps ladies from her church group. My inquiring mind needs to know and I think I can find out more about this quilt the next time I go home to visit my mom.
Just in case you like Sunbonnet Sue, I decided to take close-ups of various sections of the quilt so you can see all the different fabrics that went into Sue's dresses. There are a few blocks that are alike. The fabrics look to me like they are likely from the 70's and 80's with some even older.

I tried to get all the little gals but I think I missed some and I think I took duplicates of others. Oh, well, you get the idea. LOL!
Now, here is a photo of the hand-quilting................
It's very precise, very uniform and is done in white around all the Sunbonnet Sue's and in a very light gray/green around the blocks. Each block measures approximately 9 1/2" x 11 1/2".
I have a favorite block in the's this one.........
You all know by now that I love pink and this little block is just the kind of dainty pink that I like. If I were doing a Sunbonnet Sue quilt, I would probably have to have several little gals wearing pink. In fact, I'm planning to do a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I was going to start the blocks at Bonny's Retreat earlier this month but I decided to focus on the 3 1/2" square quilt project that I started last year and hopefully will finish it by next year when we go to Bonny's. And when that is finished, then I will reward myself and start my own series of Sunbonnet Sue blocks. That totebag that I made in that Sunbonnet Sue fabric is what will hold my "blocks in progress". I am getting myself organized and trying really hard to stay focused on the end result. It is so easy to be distracted when new fabrics come out and new patterns and ideas but I'm working on it!!
That's all for today.........except to say that you should be sure to stop by on Wednesday as I will be having a teeny tiny giveaway that you might want to enter. :-) Have a good Monday and a great week!

Thursday, August 19

Posies and Tulips!

I love real flowers. However, I don't have a flower garden yet, so in the absence of real flowers, I enjoy stitching them. :-)
In the spring, my favorite flower is the tulip. This past spring, I stitched a number of them on pillows, tea towels and little candle mats like this one............I designed this candlemat for my Wooly Wednesday class at Firefly Quilt Shop. I realized that I had never done a post about it sooooooo ..... as I mentioned a few days ago, I'm going to be doing some "catch up" and this is one of those "catch up" items. I made samples for the class (will post photos soon) but the candlemat in the photo above was made especially for Nihal, a blogging friend in Turkey. I wanted to make something special for her as a thank you for a book I won at her blog a couple of years ago and for the lovely earrings she sent last Christmas. Since Turkey is synonymous with tulips, I knew I had to make one of the little candlemats for her. I am happy to know that she really liked it. :-)
When summer comes, my favorite flower is the rose. I am hoping that I will find some hardy rose stock to grow in my garden next summer. In the meantime...........I am stitching rosey posies. :-) This is a design by Erin Russek that was created for the Posey Needlecase Swap over at QuiltingGallery. All we had to make was the needlecase but I decided to make a coordinating pincushion, too. Each swap participant listed the colors/theme that they wanted. My partner likes fall colors so I found a fat quarter pack in my stash that was perfect for this project. I had it all stitched together when I decided the pieces needed a little something extra. I decided to embroider around the edge of the pincushion and the needlecase. This photo shows that I have just started the embroidery............. and in this photo, the embroidery is complete...........
In the photo below, you can see the inside of the case. And then on the back of the pincushion I added a label but I blocked out the name so it will be a secret in case my partner would happen upon my blog post.
I wrapped the pincushion and the needlecase, plus some other goodies in those fabrics you see in the background. Then I took it to the post office and it is winging it's way to my swap partner as I write this. :-)
I didn't get much done yesterday. Had to take Kaiser the Wonder Beagle to the vet for removal of a small growth on his leg. All went well and it has been removed. I picked him up at about 5:00 p.m. and he was still a little loopy from the anesthetic. His back legs weren't going the same direction as his front legs. LOL! He slept all evening and then got up and went to his cushion to sleep all night. :-) Just glad that it is over and he's going to be all right. Jacob was a bit worried about him.
That's it for now. Finishing details on my wintery projects are on the list for today. Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 18

Tired Grandma :-)

That's right.........I was one tired Grandma after my grandson went home. LOL! We had a lot of fun and we were busy the entire time he was here. His visit started on Thursday and I can't say he had the most exciting time that day, but he got to go along when I took Kaiser to the vet. Kaiser is having allergy problems again so we had to go for a shot and then he's got something wrong with his leg, too.
On Friday morning, we enjoyed a visit to the Henderson Library. Jacob loves to go there. It's small and he can wander the aisles and I can sit in a rocking chair and read so I enjoyed the visit, too.
We always make a project and if you go here you can see what we made. I should warn you that there are tunes on our project page so you might want to turn off your sound. Jacob picked them and they are rockin'. :-)
Jacob was my official helper for drawing winning names for prizes for my Yahoo group. He enjoyed this alot and would have happily drawn more winning names if I had more prizes to give. :-)
We enjoyed ice cream at Toody's, watched a movie, worked on a puzzle and even spent some time in the basement when stormy weather threatened. Sunday, though, was beautiful so we tried to play croquet.............
I say "tried" because we played before Steve cut the grass and should have done it after he cut the grass. We had fun anyway. Jacob offered Kaiser a chance to play.........
He wasn't interested but managed to wrap himself around those two trees (in the background) three times while we played. He has to be on a leash because he's a beagle with a busy nose. LOL!
Jacob also loves to play games on the computer and while he did that, I worked on another little project made from the Quilt Minnesota fabrics.............

I got all the blocks sewn together before I took Jacob home and tomorrow I'll finish it. Yesterday, I just did laundry and a little reading. When we were at the library, I picked up Earlene Fowler's latest quilting mystery, "State Fair". It's going to be hard to put down, I can just tell.......... :-) I also put the finishing details on a pincushion swap project that I am participating in over at QuiltingGallery. I took pictures and that's what will be in my post tomorrow. Busy day ahead with another trip to the vet for Kaiser, and then an afternoon of finishing the "winter blues" and writing the pattern instructions. The stitching part is so much fun, but that writing part is work. :-)

Have a good day!


Monday, August 16

What's on the line?

This weekend my grandson has been here visiting. We have been very busy and I knew that would be the case so I took these photos last Monday. This may look like just a totebag hanging on my clothesline..........
but it's a totebag that holds this quilt that I made and sent off to "Quilts*for*Kids" last Tuesday.
I loved the bright fabrics that were provided in the kit that I received. It went together very quickly! Believe it or not, this is only the second quilt of this size that I have ever quilted on my sewing machine. I tend to make smaller projects and the few larger quilts that I have made have either been tied or machine quilted by friends who have longarm quilting businesses. My walking foot wasn't walking right (still "clomping" after that project I did at Christmas), so I just pinned carefully and did a wavy stitch across the blocks and it worked! I had quite a few scraps left and I thought it would be fun to make a bag for the quilt. I love to just take scraps/fabric bits and see what I can make. :-) It was necessary to go to my stash for fabric to line the inside of the bag but I found a black and white polka dot that I found was close enough to call it a "match". There are two pockets inside the bag. I was going to take a photo of the inside and forgot. Typical of me. :-) I even made a little covered notebook and with the last teeny scraps I made a patchwork decoration for a matching pencil. :-)

Each side of the bag is slightly different.
The final detail was naming the quilt and adding the label.........
I called the quilt "Jungle Dreams" and in the note I sent along I said that was because "so many kids dream of a visit to the jungle, or to the next best thing.....the Zoo!......and I hope some child enjoys the quilt and bag. " And for an extra touch, I tucked in a storybook. :-)
With the quilt in the bag, I took it off to the post office last Tuesday to mail and forgot all about it. My mind was on Jacob's upcoming visit! On Friday morning, the phone rang and I did not recognize the name or number. When I answered I was surprised to find the caller was Linda, the founder of "Quilts*for*Kids" . She had received the package with the bag and quilt and she was very excited. She loved the quilt and the bag and the notebook and the pencil! She said it made her smile big and she knew that it will do the same for some child. I know it will, too. When my son was just seven, he was hospitalized twice in one year and the littlest things can make a child smile during tough times. I know. Been there, seen that. :-)
Linda and I had a nice chat and one of the things she mentioned was a need for "Fairy Princess" quilts. She said it seems almost every little girl wants a Fairy Princess quilt. So, if you have some fabrics on hand that would make a good "Fairy Princess" quilt, go to the "Quilts*for*Kids" website and you can get a free pattern so you can make one that will provide sweet dreams for some special little girl. Linda also shared a bit of news and told me that I can share with all of you......there is new fabric coming out for the "Quilts*for*Kids" projects............. "Animal Party Too" by Robert Kaufman will be available soon. If you want more info on this project, please click on the links I've provided. I know that many of my blogging friends have made one or more quilts for this project and congrats to you if you are one of them. I'm planning to make another one and, of course, it will be a "Fairy Princess" quilt!
Have a great Monday! It's a busy one for me. Grandson Jacob will be going home today and then I'll come back and take a nap. LOL! Tomorrow, I'll share some of what we did while he was here visiting. See you then.....

Friday, August 13

"Sew Many Possibilities" Tablerunner - Introduction

I promised a tutorial for a table runner that is based on this project...............
This is going to be a challenge project in my Seasons BOM Yahoo group (click on the Angel button on the sidebar to join my Yahoo group). I wanted to do a brief tutorial so that members could see the steps to making this simple piece. I titled this runner "Sew Many Possiblities" because I am going to show you the very basic pattern pieces for this project today. Then in subsequent posts, I am going to share the many "possiblities" for how a basic design can so very different just by changing the cut of a piece or the fabric, etc. Consider this post the "introduction" to this project. This will be especially good for beginner's but anyone who enjoys sewing will have fun with this project.

You will need to gather fabric, supplies and tools.
You can make this runner from your stash. If you don't have any stash on hand then two fat quarters and a half-yard of fabric (this will include backing) is what you will need for the runner.
Thread to coordinate with fabric
Batting (I love Quilter's Dream and use either poly or cotton) - one piece 17 x 30" (slightly larger than actual dimensions of runner)
Rotary cutter, mat and ruler

Before you begin.........
Take a look at the photo below. This is the lay-out that you will be working toward. Use this photo for reference. You'll see it again after you have cut your pieces. :-)
Step 1:
Cut one 12-1/2" square from the fabric that you wish to be your center square.
Step 2:
Cut two rectangles 5" x 12-1/2". I folded my fat quarter and cut two at the same time.
Step 3:
Cut the following strips from the fabric that will be used for sashing.
Cut 4 strips that measure 2-1/2" x 12-1/2"
Cut 2 strips that measure 2-1/2" x 29-1/2"
Note: at this time, you may also cut your backing piece which will measure 16-1/2" x 29-1/2"
Step 4:
Take all the pieces that you have cut and lay them out so that they are placed in the lay-out that you see in the photo below.
Step 5:
Take the 5 x 12-1/2" rectangles and sew a 12-1/2" sashing strip to each side of the rectangle as shown in this photo. Press.
And right here I must ask your forgiveness for there is no photo of Step 6 because I got so excited to sew this together that I forgot to take Step 6 and Step 7 photos..........sooooooo.........
please read and pretend there are photos. :-)
Step 6:
Take the 12-1/2" square and sew it in the center of the two pieces that you stitched in Step 5. Then press.
Step 7:
Sew the 2-1/2" strips to the top and bottom of the piece that you stitched in Step 6. This finishes the piecing of your tablerunner top. You should have a piece that looks something like this..............
I was working on this project at Bonny's Retreat and we were busy chatting and doing show and tell and so I didn't get a good picture of the final stitched tablerunner top. Just ignore the red item in the upper corner (it's a mini wallet, my favorite new pattern from Valorie Wells and I'll be sharing about it in a future post). Then there is that bit of crazy quilting that is in the lower left corner and that is a needlecase project from a Mary Graham pattern (also something I'll share about in a future post).
Okay, so now you have a completed tablerunner top and you have some decisions to make. Do you want to embellish it with any fusible appliques or do you just want to quilt it? That's part of the challenge of this project. I have given you the basic steps to creating a simple tablerunner and now you can make it your own. If you make the runner just as described above and add no other embellishments, then this piece can provide an excellent "slate" for practicing either machine or hand-quilting.
So, to my Seasons BOM Yahoo group, read this post but check in next week for some other ideas and then the stitching fun can begin! And if you are reading this and you aren't in my Yahoo group, just remember that I will be sharing other variations of this basic pattern so watch for the many ways you can vary this design!
Have a great weekend! My grandson is here visiting and we are planning a stitching project with a football theme. Of course, I'll share photos when I can. :-)

Thursday, August 12

I found another new blog!

Actually, it's not really a "new" blog but it's "new" to me. You see, I was "googling" for something about hearts when a link to "The Patchwork Heart" came up. And so, I checked it out. I love hearts and country things so I immediately liked the blog. I sent an e-mail to blogger Heather and asked her if it would be okay if I featured her blog on my blog and she said "yes"! She is from England so in addition to hearts and country things, there are lovely pictures of the English countryside. And there's a bonus......Heather is hosting a giveaway.........
Just click here and take a peek at Heather's Patchwork Heart. :-)
That's all for today. I'll be picking up my grandson, Jacob, this afternoon. :-)
Check in on Friday for the intro to the tablerunner tutorial. :-) Have a great day!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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