Tuesday, November 30


I just want to say "Thank you" to Peg and Kris, the hosts of the OPAM challenge. I may have not kept up with posting to my "finishes" list on my sidebar but I was finishing projects these last few months. Here's what I finished last Friday night...........It's just a big pillow for the back of my sewing chair but I started it last Christmas!! It was a square panel that my mom gave me years ago and I finally decided I would hand-stitch along all the crazy quilting lines in the panel. I used Perle cotton to do the stitching. I finished the stitching part way last winter and it lounged in my "to do" pile until last Friday when I finally sewed it up and slipped it over a pillow form. This wasn't the only project that required just a bit of stitching to be finished. Oh, no, there were lots of "almost finished items" in my "to do" pile. I had a pincushion I finally finished, another pillow, sewed casings on wallhangings, handles on a totebag, even added labels to a couple projects. Sometimes the finishes were so small that I couldn't see bothering to take a photo of them. I was just glad to know they were done. I'm hoping to finish a few more little odds and ends on projects in the next few weeks so I might have a little more to show at the end of December. It was fun to sign up for the OPAM challenge. While there was a chance for prizes, I was happy just to finish projects so that was prize enough for me! Thanks, again, Kris and Peg!!

Christmas thoughts to share.......

Go here to read my Christmas thoughts that I'll share in the days up to Christmas. :-) The tree above sits in the park next to City Hall here in Henderson, MN. This would make a pretty Christmas card!
Hope you are having a good day!

Monday, November 29

"What's on the line?"

A little quilt that I made in 2001 called "Hearts in the Pines" is on the line today.............
By now you know that I took this when the weather was nicer. It obviously is not that green and lovely outside here in Minnesota today. However, yesterday it did reach into the lower 40's and that made it very nice for shopper's who were out and about. I know because I was one of them. :-) My main reason for going out was to get groceries but I also enjoyed lunch with my daughter, Collette, and grandson, Jacob and then did a little shopping, too.
But back to the quilt.........it began as a sketch of one block, then I added a little more and another detail here and there. I liked the idea of hearts and pines together. I wasn't necessarily thinking of Christmas trees when I added the tree appliques but instead was recalling the pine trees in northern Mississippi. I remembered smelling them as we drove through the area on our way to Biloxi, Mississippi where my husband was stationed in 1969. I can still recall that cool night air and the smell of those trees. Do you have memories like that......so clear you could almost touch them? I wish they was a way to "capture" them and yet, perhaps that's what I did when I was making this quilt top. I did the piecing and my friend, Sara Peterson, did the machine quilting. I designed five quilts in this series that are all about 36" square. I shared the first of the five quilts in this post. I will eventually share photos of all of them and then get the patterns revised for sale. I taught this as a class to a group of friends and in classes in our community education program. I use the quilts as tabletoppers but they would also look great hanging on the wall. :-)
So, if you celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, did you enjoy a good time with family and friends? I hope so! Our son, Devlin, came for a midday dinner on Thanksgiving day. Daughter Collette and family were at the in-laws. The turkey my husband cooked was really good but the part I liked best was ....... the pies!! I baked them the evening before and they came out of the oven looking and smelling so good that I could hardly wait to eat them. My husband's favorite is apple and he even offered a compliment......"hmmmmm, that was good!" And my son's favorite is pumpkin. I ate a half a slice of each! Devlin sent an e-mail the next day "dinner was excellent". :-) Even the gravy turned out tasty which doesn't always happen in my kitchen! LOL!
Oh, and that pretty tablerunner under my pies is a gift from my friend, Connie. :-)

The day after Thanksgiving, Collette and Jacob came over to spend the weekend. She brought ingredients to bake up some Christmas cookies and they were yummy. Proof is in the picture below. I wish I could remember what these are called but all I can tell you is that they tasted really good! Chocolaty and peppermint combined and they were yummy. The recipe for them is in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies. Go here for more yummy cookie recipes.

I'm going to bake up a batch of these peppermint treats tonight. Collette brought along her mother-in-law's Kitchen Aid mixer so mixing the cookies was sooooo easy. She mixed up more dough for other cookies she'll bake each evening this week. She has a reason for baking all these cookies and for a craft project that Jacob helped her with but I can't tell you yet. It will have to wait til later this week so as not to give away the secret to those who will be receiving them!
The tree is in the living room and waiting to be decorated. Of course, I have to put it together but that's my project for today. I thought about doing it this past weekend but I was enjoying just spending time with family and never quite got in the mood to get going on the "tree-decorating". Since there are just 26 days til Christmas, I must get "in the mood" now!! I think I'll do a "countdown" to Christmas of memories or projects........something for each day. I'll start on Wednesday, December 1st. I'll be back then with photos and a memory. :-) Til then, have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 24

From a "Barn-on-the-Byway" to a Happy Thanksgiving!

A week ago this past Tuesday, I participated in a little program sponsored by the Henderson Friends of the Library at a place called "Barn on the Byway". It was an event to share information on Quilt Barn Signs and a little information about quilting. The barn is located about three miles north of Henderson along Hwy. 6 also known as "The*Scenic*Byway". The route begins in Belle Plaine, just a few miles further north and then meanders south and then to the northwest through beautiful river valleys and just plain pretty country scenery. There are lots of old barns along the way, too, although many of them are showing their age and some that once stood proud and strong, are now only a shell of what was once a vital part of a long-gone farmstead. Some barns now exhibit popular quilt barn signs. I keep seeing more and more of them here in Minnesota. And when I travel to my home town in Iowa there are lots of them to see along the Hwy. 169 route and all around the state. If you live in Ohio you may be very familiar with the current barn signs that are showing up on barns today. That's where it really took hold. And if you are from Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, you are probably very familiar with the hex signs that adorn barns in Pennsylvania Dutch areas. Here's a picture of the barn where the library program was held..........

You can tell immediately that this is not an old barn. It's a new barn and it has a story. More on that in a minute. The logs in the cabin on the left are very old and are being "re-purposed" into a modern little cabin. Just to the left on the barn there is a quilt barn block and it looks like this.......

Here's a picture of this great new barn. I took it yesterday afternoon when it was cold and crisp but sunny and clear. It was the first opportunity I had to do that since I went to the barn last Tuesday evening. Our weather has been snowy and icy and more of the same is coming today!

To the barn story.......the barn was built by Gregg Thomas and his brother. Gregg told me he had always wanted a barn, talked about it and never did it. Then his brother was finishing a job and had time to come and stay and asked if he would like to build that barn. Gregg said they got started and in three and a half weeks the barn was finished! It's been used for a wedding (Gregg and wife, Joyce's daughter) and has lots of potential.

The barn sign was painted by Andrew Hunt of Henderson and donated as a raffle prize at Heritage Days this past fall. It was won by Friends of the Library presiden, Arlene Busse. Now, Arlene doesn't have a barn and the sign wouldn't fit over their garage so she called me and wondered about hanging it in the newly finished library basement as a piece of wall-art. And if they did this, how about if I would do a program with a little info on barn quilts and quilting? So, that sounded okay and then Karen Swenson, Friends treasurer came up with an even better idea. She knew Gregg of the "Barn on the Byway" and wondered if he would like the sign for his barn and maybe we could do the program at the barn. Well, as you can see from this post, that is just what happened. The sign looks so much better on the barn and maybe we can hang some real quilts in the newly finished library basement. In the photo on the right, you can see the two guys who did the sign.......Andrew on the left made the quilt block sign.......and......Dave on the right built the barn with help from his brother and family. Andrew has a vision of seeing lots of quilt barn signs on the barns that sit along the Scenic ByWay. And while he chose a Mariner's Compass block for the quilt barn sign that he made, there are so many quilt blocks one can choose. We ran into each other at the grocery store this past Saturday and were talking about how cool it would be to do a workshop so that others could make the barn quilt signs. And Gregg would love to see his barn used for something like or .....for a quilt show! Oh, yes, the minute I saw the place and the loft in the main barn, I could already see quilts hanging all over the place! :-)
While Andrew told the story of how quilt signs evolved and told how he had made his barn quilt sign, the guests could enjoy cider and those yummy looking pumpkin bars. And when he finished his portion of the program, I shared a little bit about my love of quilting. I brought along a quilt that I shared recently on "What's on the line?".......my sampler*quilt because it has some simple blocks that would look great as barn quilt signs. I also brought along.........

a couple of old quilts that were made in the 30's. The Dresden plate on the left was made by the same woman, a Mrs. Larson, who made the very worn but still charming Sunbonnet Sue quilt. The Green point star quilt was picked up at auction by my brother and was a real deal.....just $30 if I remember right. I just know he called and told me he'd found a quilt and that if I wanted it and paid him for it, that it could be mine. I was very happy to do that! The two books on the quilts are two of my favorites for finding info on vintage quilt blocks. On is Carrie Hall Blocks and the other is The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt. That copy is from 1935 and was a gift from friends, Judith and Megan. The book can occasionally be found on e-bay. The copy they got for me, as a thank you for work on quilt shows at the Scott County Historical Society, is in almost perfect condition. I just love it!

I also brought along a little something new. I shared all the little placemat sized quilts I've made in the beginning quilt classes that I offered at the libraries and in community ed classes. I'll be offering the free class next March at the Henderson Library. It will be all the basics that you need to know to get started in quilting. Underneath the smaller quilts is a larger lap quilt that I share as a sample of what one can easily do once you learn to make a placemat. You just make a whole bunch of placemat sized pieces and sew them together for a bigger quilt!!! If you live nearby and are interested in the class just check with the Henderson Library in late February.
When I finished with my part of the program, I let everyone come up and check out the quilts. I like to do the "hands-on" thing because once you touch that fabric.......well, if you're a quilter you know that you are hooked once you touch that fabric. LOL!!
It was a really fun evening and I look forward to another opportunity to do an event out at the "Barn-on-the-Byway". I do hope to do it in slightly warmer weather. Even with heat on, the barn was still a bit chilly as you can see by all those folks with their coats on.
And speaking of chilly, it's going to get cold in Minnesota tonight and tomorrow will dip down to close to zero. Light snow fell late this afternoon and then some fine mist (not really rain) so travel was not so great. But it wasn't so bad that we couldn't make it up to EmmaKrumbee's for dinner tonight. Today was our 43rd wedding anniversary and I had wanted to go out for lunch because I thought the weather was going to be too awful this evening. My husband said he thought it wasn't going to be that bad. Turned out he was right, although we did see two cars that had gone in the ditch just before we got to Emma's. I enjoyed the Shrimp dinner and he had the giant tenderloin sandwich which I reminded him was the same thing he had the year we celebrated our first anniversary. Only back then - 1969 - he was a lot younger and ordered two tenderloins, an order of onion rings and a coke. The days of eating meals like that are long gone!! It was a nice evening and it was fun to make the drive because so many people already have their Christmas trees up and lighted. Not here! The tree comes out tomorrow and then the lights will be lit here, too.
Okay, so this was a long post but I don't plan to post again til next Monday. Tomorrow our son will join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Our daughter and family will go to her mother-in-law's home for dinner. So, if you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving day. And if there are little ones at your house that need a little fun, I thought I'd add a worksheet that I drew when I was a teacher's aide at an elementary school in the 80's. You can print it out (as many as you want) and let the kids hunt the turkey for dinner. I loved these mazes when I was a kid. Still do!
Have a great day tomorrow and a lovely weekend! Oh, and be careful when you are out shopping. It will be a busy weekend for those great Christmas deals.

Monday, November 22

What's on the line?

If you live anywhere near Minnesota, you know that there are no leaves on the trees now and there is no green grass either. The trees are bare and the ground is covered with that white stuff called snow. Yesterday, there was freezing rain and ice! And winter hasn't even officially arrived yet!! I am so glad I took pictures for "What's on the line?" when the weather was nice. It would not be fun to trek out to the clothesline on these cold, snowy days!
This little quilt is another one from the series I designed in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium. Because November is usually a month to celebrate "giving thanks" here in the U.S. for Thanksgiving Day, one might think I should have had a big turkey on this quilt. However..... I like the idea of "counting blessings" and being thankful every day no matter where I am and so I wrote the little poem for this quilt. It's embroidered in black floss and then I just added some rosettes and little yo-yos with buttons for some extra detail. I hand-quilted the wallhanging and just folded backing fabric over for the binding. I like this little quilt and it's message. I have many blessings to count and am very thankful for them. It is hard to have one blessing mean more than another but I think having family and friends is one of the best. Without them even the blessings of home, food and such aren't quite as sweet as when they can be shared with family and friends. Or so it is in my book. :-)
This will be a busy week with preparation for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My husband may be cooking the turkey that day but I'll be doing the pies and the rest of the goodies. In addition to preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, I have some Christmas gifts I've been working on and once that turkey is baked and the clean-up is done, the Christmas tree is coming out and the decorating will start. I just love this time of the year. Got my Christmas carols playing in the background and I am singing along. :-)

I promised I'd show a little something I have been working on and here it is.........
This is the candlemat I made for my swap partner for the swap over at Michele's QuiltingGallery . My swap partner is a secret so I can't tell you her name. She does like 30's fabrics so I wonder if she will guess that this is going out to her?
I had so much fun designing the project for the swap and for my retreat friends. But what's been even more fun is seeing all the different variations of colors and fabrics that everyone is using. That's one of the fun things about quilting is how different one pattern can look when you change up the color or fabrics. If you'd like to see some of the variations just go here to the Flickr group and take a peek. I am looking forward to receiving a candlemat from my swap partner and can hardly wait to see what colors and fabrics she has used in it. Photo coming as soon as it arrives at my door! In the meantime, I am making more of these candlemats as gifts for some friends and family. I have to get out and do some shopping for candles to go along with the mats. That will come this Friday after the big Turkey day. :-)
Have a good Monday everyone!

Saturday, November 20

Lots of quilting fun!

Last Thursday, I finally made it to the monthly Kindred Kwilters meeting. I joined the group last spring but I found myself on the road alot or busy with programs and family things and just never made it to recent meetings. I figured I better get going or I would miss out on a lot of quilting fun! And that sure would have been the case if I had missed this meeting!
The speaker/program for the evening was Lucy who is teacher and staff member at Firefly Quilt Shop and she has a long-arm business, too! That's Lucy in the photo on the left. She's holding a beautiful vintage quilt that her mother made years ago. It's a tied quilt and so, yes, I know that it cannot really be called a quilt but it is a quilt top that was stitched with love so that's what counts in my book. Lucy shared that quilt and others that she sees as her "Legacy". And of course, I had to share her photo and story because it fits with my blog title and my own quilty mission in life! Love those old quilts and cherish them!
Lucy also shared some wonderful examples of her current quilts and the beautiful machine quilting that she does. Sorry, but I didn't get pictures. We were all too busy "oooooh and aaaahhing" over the quilts as she took each one from the huge bag she brought.
After Lucy's presentation, there was Show and Tell from the members of the group. I love Show and Tell and actually had finished projects to share! Next meeting, I'll try to engage my brain and get pictures during Show and Tell. I did get one photo of Diane who was sitting near me. She made one of my penny rugs and brought it to share. It's always fun to see projects made from my patterns. :-)

After we finished "showing and telling", it was time to go down the hall to the room where Firefly Quilt Shop had set up shop for the group. I was just at the shop a week ago and bought some batiks but I couldn't resist adding four more for a project I'm making for my son's friend. I also bought one of those 10-minute tablerunner kits and patterns. I've looked at it and I am not so sure it can be made in ten minutes. LOL! I loved the Christmasy fabric in the kit but decided I will try the pattern first with some old fabric I don't care about and give the pattern a test first. If I don't like how it turns out, I'll use the pretty Christmas fabrics for another project. :-)

Here are some of the gals doing some shopping. You might recognise those blue and white projects. They are the ones I made for the annual Minnesota Shop Hop event from this past summer. The bundles of fabric for the "10-minute tablerunner are in the case at the bottom of the photo on the left. There were oh, so many goodies one could buy but I restrained myself quite nicely. That was not easy to do, as I do love fabric so much. LOL!

Just before I arrived at the meeting, I took a quick side-trip to the local library. Many members made small quilts that were being raffled off in a silent auction with all the proceeds going to the library. There were so many lovely projects on display so here are a few of the items you could have bid on if you stopped into the LeSueur County Library in November. Each quilt was given a number but one did not know the quilts maker. Bids were to be placed with the librarian on duty. I really liked how they did this and it is such an easy fundraiser for the library. I've been involved in many silent auction projects but this one is set up very efficiently!

The quilts were displayed above the rows of books...........

And some were displayed on the endcaps of each row of books.......

I really liked the two handbags/totes that you see in this photo.

The placemats in this photo were really pretty and a popular bid item.
And I thought this apron was a really cute way to use charm squares!

The auction ended today so there's no chance for any of you to add to the bidding but you might find inspiration in these photos for a project of your own or for a fundraiser for your favorite library!
Today, Saturday, I spent sewing and doing laundry. Which do you think was my favorite activity of the day? Easy..........sewing wins for sure. LOL! I'll share photos of what I was sewing in my next post which will be on Monday when you'll see "what's on the line?" See you then. In the meantime, have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, November 19

Speaking of "paying it forward"......

When I wrote my previous post, I knew that a package was on it's way to my good blogging friend, Pat. I had mailed it on Monday and thought at the time, it was sort of a surprise "pay it forward" gift. Pat didn't know it was coming but I knew she would like it when it arrived. Some of you that follow Pat's blog know that she loves penquins. Well, I found that Snowman and penquin mug last year after Christmas and I have been waiting almost a year to fill it full of cocoa mixes and send it off to her. LOL! Then a couple weeks ago, I was going through a box of fabric panel pieces and I found this big penquin door panel. I knew right away it had to go off to Pat! It was a panel my mom had bought and was in her fabric stash, I mean "collection", that she gave me some time ago. If you "double-click" on the little photo you can see the full panel. Pat received the package yesterday and I got the nicest, "full of surprise" e-mail from her. Very fun! The panel may one day get finished in Pat's hands but here in my stash it would have just stayed folded on the shelf. So much more fun to pass along the fun!

And speaking of fun, I've had a good week, although busy. There were a couple quilting programs this past week and I have yet to load those photos to the computer. Coming soon!
While I had a good week, my husband has had a bad cold and worked from home most of the week. I am just hoping, I do not catch his cold. No time at this time of the year to be sick. My list is long...........outdoor lights to decorate the front porch, carols to sing, Christmas gifts to sew and some to buy, tree to decorate, carols to sing, cookies to bake, cards to send, carols to sing, and so much more .........and always singing carols along the way. I love this time of year!


Wednesday, November 17

Paying it forward...............

I have a few things that I planned to post about and never quite got to. This is one of them.....................a beautiful covered notebook that was made by Mary of NeedledMom blog. Some time ago, she did a "pay it forward" post. She had signed up to make something for three bloggers and she was looking for bloggers to sign up for her gift and then to "gift" other bloggers in return. So, I signed up and then agreed that I would do a "pay it forward" post on my blog. So here I am but.......... I have to be honest here..........I signed up to do a "pay it forward" post over on my friend, Sue's blog, FeatherstoneQuiltworks . She sent me two lovely mugs and a potholder. I realized I never posted about it. But I also realized, that in the months since she sent it, I've sent off several little "pay it forward" packages to quilty friends nearby and blogging friends here and there. I sent another one off this morning and I can't wait for it to arrive at it's destination. :-) Sue and I know each other personally and she doesn't know this yet....... and you won't tell her, right? I am going to send her a little "pay it forward" gift to say thanks for her gift. I'm not sure what it will be but it will be quilty and fun. Then, I'll need to make three more gifts to fulfill my committment to Mary the NeedledMom. If you would like one of the three gifts that I will make and would then be willing to send three gifts to three blogging friends, then please leave your name in a comment. I'll contact you to get your address and then sometime in the next few weeks, I'll send along a little something. I plan to make three different gifts that I will send. The first one that I'm thinking of making is going to be from these fabrics. I saw them and thought.....oh, those are sparkly and so festive that I am going to make something from them for Christmas. So if you are the first to sign up for this "Pay it forward" opportunity and you would like a gift made from these fabrics, please tell me so in your comment. Hope this all makes sense!
Now back to that covered notebook made by Mary. It was so lovely that I "oohed" and "aahed" when I opened the package. I had almost forgotten that I had anything coming to me in the mail so it was a really lovely surprise. She customized it with my initial and she must have remembered that I love pink. It's so pretty that I knew right away what I would use it for......it's going to be a "guest book/journal" for my pink quilty bedroom. When friends come to stay, I hope they will leave me lovely, quilty thoughts so I can read them after they leave. Now I need to make one for my green quilty bedroom so my grandson can leave me notes when he comes to visit. :-)

Monday, November 15

"What's on the line?"

Those photos I took on the line a few weeks ago are finally going to pay off. The snowfall this past weekend has ended my treks out to the clothesline between two trees. Since it snowed so much, I thought it was only appropriate that I share a quilt that was inspired by another snowfall.....meet "Charlie's Snowman"...................
I made this little wallhanging several years ago. Inspiration for it came when I looked out my window one night and saw the lonely snowman the neighbor boys, Michael and Charlie, had built on the hillside near their house. I drew a quick sketch and voila! a snowman was born! If you double-click on the photo you will see that the snowman has a little coal eyes, a long carrot nose, and tiny raisins for his mouth. I made them from Sculpey clay (you can bake it in your home oven). A wool scarf keeps the snowman warm but I really should have added earmuffs for him, too. I'm working on another version of this one that will have a few added touches. Remember this project because it will reappear in January and I am going to share the pattern with all of you. Think of it as an "after Christmas gift, something fun to do in January" project!

In the photo below, you can see why I will not be going out to the trees in our backyard to hang any quilts. This is what it looked like on Saturday morning about 9:00 a.m. ..........

Snow had been falling steadily since 1:00 a.m. and it was heavy, wet snow that weighed down the branches. When I looked at those trees I thought "how pretty!" but I also thought "we are going to lose power". I knew that the way those trees looked meant that branches would snap and take power lines with them.
Kaiser wasn't crazy about having to go out in such weather. The flakes got in his eyes and the snow was so deep in places that he could barely walk. Now the thing you have to know is that earlier in the week it had been in the 60's for several days in a row. We weren't wearing jackets and the grass was still green. You can't even see the grass anymore! When I had been at Bible Study on Tuesday, some of the ladies were recalling the great Armistice Day blizzard of 1940. It ranks as #2 of the top*five weather events in Minnesota history in the 20th Century. Go here to see photos and then for an interesting account of the storm, read this.

Our weekend storm wasn't nearly as bad as the Armistice Day storm but it left a lot of people without power and there were a lot of fender benders (fortunately no one seriously injured). When the power went out, I already had my flashlight handy but I got out the candles and put on an extra pair of socks and a sweatshirt. With no furnace running, it only took a couple hours before the house was a bit chilly! By late afternoon, I was craving something warm to drink so I had to get clever. I had to have something that I could put a candle in so I could set a cup of milk on it and make a hot chocolate. I found this one at a thrift shop this summer and it was perfect! It took several minutes to warm the milk but it worked!! Those candles were my evening light and the chai vanilla candle from my friend, Laurie, adding a soothing scent to the night. To keep warm through the night, I just added two extra thick quilts to the bed. I was nice and cozy! I threw an extra blanket over the dog and we waited patiently for the power to come back. If it sounds like my husband wasn't there.........well, he wasn't. He was trying to fly home from a business trip and having a difficult time doing it because of the storm and cancelled flights. He finally got home Sunday morning. Interestingly, he was home just a few minutes when the power returned. And here I was thinking we might have to go take a jaunt through the snow and find some place for a nice meal. LOL! I was so happy to hear that furnace click in and the lights come on that I headed straight for the kitchen and another hot chocolate.........and it was much easier to make it in the microwave than over a hot candle!

This storm was a very good reminder of just what a good old-fashioned winter can bring. I had plenty of food on hand and projects to work on and thought I had it all covered........but losing your power puts a whole new "light" on just how dependent we are on modern technology. I am very thankful to the power line crews that worked long shifts in snowy weather to get the power back to so many of us. As I write this there are still a few thousand folks still without power but all are expected to have power by Monday afternoon. This won't be the last winter storm of the season but I sure hope it's the last one that we go through without power!
Have a great Monday wherever you are!

Friday, November 12

The Swap that almost wasn't!

Some of you may remember that back in August I posted about the Posey Pincushion swap that I joined over at QuiltingGallery. I sent my little swap package off on August 18th. I posted about it here. I was so excited for my partner Caroline to receive the package as I chose autumn colors which she said were her favorite. I only had to make the needlecase for the swap but it looked lonely so I made a pincushion to go with it and tucked in fat quarters of the fabrics that you see in the photo. Time passed, a month, and no little package arrived at Caroline's door. I knew because I was checking her blog. She was to be a secret partner but when I saw she posted about another swap and no mention of the posey swap, I suspected it was lost. I e-mailed her that I was her partner and when I had sent my package. She said perhaps the post was just slow and surely it would come. More time passed, another month and still no little package. Now even Caroline thought it must be lost. I imagined my little goodies had arrived at someone else's door, someone who was not a quilter and would wonder why there was such a small pillow and what is this fabric book for? :-) Luckily, I liked these fabrics so much that I had started a set for me and so I e-mailed Caroline and said I would finish that set for her and send it along in the mail soon. I was quite busy that last week in October when I sent that e-mail so I didn't get to it right away. Then when I had time to finish it, I couldn't find the little box with the half finished project in it!! Oh, boy! Finally, just before going to bed on the night of November the 1st, I found the little box. When I got up the next morning, I checked my e-mail. I had a message from Connie, the postmaster, and she wrote.........

"A package was returned today to you. You sent it August 18 to the Netherlands. I cannot determine the reason for return. I'll send it up with the mail today. Have a great day!"

I couldn't believe it! The little package with the posey pincushion and needlecase had come home! I had to go to the post office and see for myself! Here is Connie holding the returned package. The label was in Dutch so we could't read why it was returned. I opened it up to make sure everything was okay and, so that I could show it to Connie because she's a quilter, too. :-) When I got home and checked the address I had written on the envelope, I found the reason why it was never delivered. It was all my fault!!! I left off one important line in Caroline's address and so in a large city it could not be delivered!! I was so amazed that it had been returned to me and so thankful! I put the items in a bigger box and tucked in a little something extra "just because" and then mailed the box that next day, November 3rd. It arrived very quickly at Caroline's door and she was very pleased with the contents. She posted about it this past week and you can check it out here. I am so happy it finally arrived and am still impressed that the postal system returned the package to me instead of tossing it in the "dead letter" bin. And in thanks and support of the postal system ......... I will continue to host giveaways and send off goodie packages and notecards to as many friends and quilters as I can afford postage costs for mailing. :-) I guess I will have to come up with a new giveaway so I can continue to provide support. An idea will come soon, so stay tuned. :-)
Have a great weekend! Could be snowy here in Minnesota. We shall see if the weather folk are just excited at the possibility of our "first of the season snowstorm" or if Mother Nature is actually planning to "kick off" winter with a heavy blanket of snow!

Thursday, November 11

In honor of our Veterans.....

I was looking for just the right image to honor our Veterans for their service to our country. I found it in my own photos. This was taken last May on Memorial Day when guys from my hometown of Lehigh, Iowa marched in honor of their fellow servicemen and women. In Lehigh, there is a service at the cemetary and then another service at the bridge when a wreath is tossed into the waters below and a 21-gun salute follows. That's my high school friend, Lonnie Johnson holding the U.S. flag. He, along with many other guys in my high school class were drafted into the Army or entered the Air Force or Marines at the time of Vietnam. Lonnie served in the Navy. My husband, Steve, served in the Air Force. I remember the era of Vietnam well and how it affected many of my friends and classmates.
It occurred to me that there is no better image than one such as this..........an image that shows veterans honoring veterans, and knowing that along the way men, women and children are standing in salute to honor them, too. As long as we honor those who serve, and those who have given their lives, our country will continue to be a strong nation. That's just my opinion but just thinking of the men and women who have given of their time to serve to protect others, brings tears to my eyes. We are blessed that so many choose to sacrifice to serve the greater good. If you have known someone who has served or given their life in service, stand up and salute them wherever you are right now. I can still see my dad on one of the last times he attended a parade and the Veteran's marched by. He was using a walker then to get around, but he still rose as they passed, and you could see the emotion in his eyes as he recalled time spent serving in WWII. In remembrance of him, I had to share these thoughts.
May you have a blessed day.

Wednesday, November 10

Busy as a bee!

I'm a little busy this week. I'm doing this sorting/cleaning thing in my sewing room and I'm getting the job done but wow!!! what chaos I've created in moving things around!! If I ever finish, I'll share pictures.
I'm also preparing for a couple of upcoming programs. Thursday night, I'm presenting my "Legacy of Stitches" program for an evening group at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Then next Tuesday, I'm doing a library program on barn quilts and an intro to a beginning quilting class that I'll be teaching at the library next March. It will be a free class so if you live nearby stay tuned and I'll give you details next February. Yes, it may seem like a long way off but planning in advance makes it work better. :-)
I had a couple photos I wanted to share that I took this past Sunday afternoon. You may remember I had to go for an ice cream after I worked so hard to hang those quilts on the line. :-) Well, when I turned onto Main Street in Henderson and headed toward Toody's Sweets I was really surprised at all the motorcycles and these vintage vehicles that lined the street. Our mild November weather had lots of folk out for a Sunday ride on their bikes or drive in their car. I can't help but look at that old car and start humming.........Come away with me, Lucille, in my merry oldsmobile............ I love that song and, in fact, it's one of the songs I share in my quilting program. I would have loved to have gone for a ride in that old car!!
Since I didn't know who owned the car, though, I went in to Classical Glass, a shop owned by Dee Thomas, glass artist (and also school principal at MinnesotaNewCountrySchool here in Henderson). This is Dee at work in her studio..............
Some of Dee's pieces can be seen sitting on the counter above. She also carries other gift items, like the lamps in these photos.......
and beautiful glass vases......
The rose panel in the photo above is an exquisite example of Dee's work. More examples of her work can be seen in the shops front window..........
So, how many of you see a quilt design or two in these pieces? I sure do!! One of these days, I am going to have Dee do a piece for one of my windows. I have some vintage glass pieces that a friend gave me years ago and I think they would look lovely as a "window quilt block". If you are passing through Henderson, be sure and stop for a visit at Classical Glass........it's simply gorgeous "eye candy"!!!
I'll be back with a quilty post in a couple of days. Till then......have a great day!

Sunday, November 7

"What's on the line?"

Early in October, I took pictures of lots of quilts because the weather was a bit chilly and I wasn't sure there would be many nice days left before Jack Frost brought a permanent nip to the air outside. Well, Mother Nature must have Jack sitting in a corner somewhere because there was no nip in the air yesterday afternoon when I took these photos. Southern Minnesota is enjoying temps in the 60's which is rather unusual for this time of year here. Since it was so nice, I decided to take a few quilts outside that were just the right colors for the month of November. This first one has an interesting story. There are stitches from my Grandma Goldie in this quilt. It's a preprinted panel quilt that has been machine "bonded". I say, "bonded" because it's not stitched but is sort of stuck together somehow with these pressed dots. My Grandma must have felt it needed more quilting as she added her own hand-quilting to various designs on the quilt. Double-click on the photo on the right and you can see the "bonded" technique on this quilt and you will see the hand-stitches made by my Grandma. She gave this quilt to my sister, Judy, several years ago and then Judy passed it on to me a few years ago because she knows how much I love quilts. :-) It's a very soft quilt and made of cotton. The colors and design are likely from the late 1970's to early 1980's. At that time my Grandma would have been in her mid 70's.

The weather outside was just gorgeous as I took the photos of the quilts. The breeze that was blowing felt more like spring than the coming of fall! I love watching those quilts blow in the breeze! This quilt is one that my Dad and Mother would have purchased at a farm auction or estate sale. It is in very good condition but is in need of a good washing. It will be getting one today! There is a dirt type spot on one of the blocks and I'll carefully clean that and then launder the quilt. It's also very soft, made of cotton, and the embroidery is exceptionally nice as is the hand-quilting. I have no idea how old this quilt may be but I love it because it is yellow! It just says "Sunshine" and that's what Sunday held.
This next quilt is one that was a favorite of my Dad's. I know.........I said the embroidered quilt last week was a favorite of his, but he really liked this one, too. He really appreciated the handwork in this quilt and there is good reason for that. This quilt is beautifully stitched and the handquilting is lovely.
This was a preprinted cross stitch quilt top. You can still see the faint blue lines that marked the places to do the cross-stitch. It's made of cotton and is in exceptionally good condition. The photo on the right is a close-up of the center medallion. Just double-click on the photo for a closer look. I think it's possible that this could be a kit that might have been ordered from a company like Hershner's. It could have been made anytime from the 1950's to the 1980's. My dad and mother bought a number of quilts at auction, "rescued them" if you will, but there is little information on the maker's or dates the quilts were made.
In the photo below, you can see that the quilt is so large that I had to drape it over my clothesline. And you can also see the beautiful hand-quilting. The quilt is for a double bed but could be used on a queen if one had a dust ruffle on the bed. I laundered this quilt yesterday afternoon and it washed up beautifully!

After I took this pictures, I decided it was such a nice day that an ice cream treat was needed. I headed downtown to Toody's for my last ice cream treat of the season. Actually, this was my second "last ice cream treat of the season" as I had one in early October .... LOL! Anyway, I was not the only one that thought it was a good day for ice cream. I had lots of company!
I want to say thank you to all of you that have left such nice comments regarding my last post. I am still smiling about the sweet news that I was chosen as an AQS Blog of the Week. I do love this blogging thing and look forward to continuing for as long as I have something to say and share. That could be a loooooonnnng time!!
Have a good Monday!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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