Monday, February 28

What's on the line?

On the line today is one of my favorite little quilts. It's a "Turkish Delight"!!

I named the quilt for the candy that we bought on a trip to Turkey. It was sooooo good! If you have followed my blog for awhile, you have seen this quilt before but not hanging from the line. :-) In fact, I did a search on my blog and found I've mentioned this quilt and shared photos of it at least four other times! I do like it a lot, in part because the trip to Turkey that inspired the quilt was just so wonderful that looking at the quilt brings back good memories. Now if you want to read about the quilt, you can go here for the post I did that tells the story behind the quilt. And in that post, I mention that I rode a camel during our trip to Turkey, so if you want to see that picture, just go here.

Seeing this photo and so many others that I took when the grass was green really makes me long for our snow to disappear. The landscape has been white too long and I think it's time for some color to start popping up!! The good thing is that since this is the last day of February, it means we are only one month away from spring. I just know it!! And when March ends, the worst of the snow is behind us. Then again, March arrives tomorrow and it will "come in like a lamb" here in Minnesota and you know what that will go out "like a lion" and that would mean a snowstorm or spring thunderstorms! Ah, Mother Nature sure provides variety!!!
Have a good Monday everyone!!! Going to be a busy one but sewing is on the agenda, mixed in with some laundry and cleaning, so it will be a good day!

Saturday, February 26

Signs of Spring!

This past Thursday morning, I had to make a trip to Mankato to Firefly Quilt Shop. I had a little project to deliver and while I was there.........I noticed that there were lots of .......... Signs of Spring!!! There may still be tons of snow on the ground here in Minnesota but you would never know it from the fabrics on the shelves and the quilts on the walls. Just look at that gorgeous pink and green quilt and that basket filled with fabric bundles topped with sunflowers! And up in the corner that gorgeous wall-hanging even says Summer!

I thought I'd share a few more photos with you all that are signs that spring is coming! Take a look at those swirly table runners! Aren't they pretty? They have a name and I can't remember it nor the designer's name. But I do remember that Janice said she is from Canada.

Several of the members of the Kindred Kwilters group took a class for this runner and shared their projects at ou meeting a little over a week ago. And yes, I am way behind in sharing photos.
These runners really have "motion" in them and almost look like they wiggle. The project requires a special ruler but the gals said the pattern wasn't all that difficult. The results are awesome!
The project that I took to Janice at Firefly was tiny but it caused me a big headache when I got a measurement wrong. I think I've shared before that math and I do not get along. However, color and I get along great and I loved the batiks I saw on this wall. I bought a few to add to some I got recently. And come next Friday, I'll share what I did with a few of them. :-)
In the meantime, what am I working on? Well, I am in the midst of another batik project that I can't share for a few weeks but I can share this one........... I decided to take some batik fabrics I bought a couple years ago and make a small wallhanging. I'm using my Irish Blessings penny rug pattern and threads from The*Gentle*Art for this project. You can't see the scalloped border very well yet, but when I choose the right thread color, it will look great! In my book, there is nothing that says spring more than tulips. And beautiful red tulips are the best! We are a long way from seeing any tulips here in Minnesota, so this is the next best thing!
I'm off to visit some friends at a nearby quilt retreat later today and it will be fun to see what they are all making. Maybe I'll take a photo or two that I can share with all of you. Have a great day wherever you are!

Wednesday, February 23

Thinking Spring!!

A couple weeks ago, my friend, Marianne, came out to visit and work on a quilt pattern project. She's helping me "test" some table-topper quilts I made several years. We had a great day........
I bought some of this lovely floral fabric at Firefly*Quilt*Shop and it was just perfect for the project we were working on. The fabric is "Fresh Palette" by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. I loved it the minute I saw it because it just screamed spring and warmth and sunshine!!! You'll get to see the entire project in a few weeks but here's a little peek at Marianne's lay-out.........
In addition to fabric fun, we enjoyed a great lunch at Bittersweet*Coffee&Cafe on Main Street in Henderson. Then we walked across the street to Classical Glass and Marianne loved it. I was so glad she enjoyed it as it's like a little hidden treasure here in town. If you'd like to see some of the beautiful things we saw, you can click here and you can read a post I did on shop owner/designer Dee Thomas. And now, like all of you, I love gifts and Marianne brought me these..........
the bag was adorable but inside was that cute little wallplaque and that adorable candy dish. I added the Hershey's kisses and yes, they are all gone now. LOL! There was also a sweet cinnamon apple scented candle. Lovely gifts from a lovely friend and a lovely day. Doesn't get any better than that!!
And speaking of getting better.........things are getting better around here lately. There has been so much family illness and stuff going on that time and energy for blogging just hasn't been there. Today was the first day in ages that I felt relaxed. I was actually working on a project but it was going well and lots of fun to work on. It's all done in batiks, something I have not worked with very much but I am loving the results. Will share one of the little batik projects in about a week. As noted in my last post.......taking one day at a time...just one day at a time. :-)

Monday, February 21

What's on the line?

Today you will have to pretend that this quilt is "on the line"....................
I have quilts that I hung last fall and photographed, so I could share one of those but I just have to tell you about this quilt!!! It came to my door this past Saturday. It was lovely day with lots of sunshine and not too cold. It wasn't quite as warm as earlier in the week when we had temps in the 50's and lots of melting snow, but it was nice. While lots of snow has melted, I still can't get to my clothesline. And then....yesterday we got this............ more snow!!!
Getting to the clothesline is impossible! The snow was really pretty! I loved the way that it accumulated on the railing and my Christmas garland. Yes, it is still in place on my front porch and the lights are still lit. I liked the way the lights shine through the snow. Very cool. So, how much snow did we get............. about 12-14" ! My son-in-law joked that with all the melting we had last week, we were in need of "replacement" snow. And that's definitely what we got!! Did we really need it, though? Poor Kaiser, the Wonder Beagle, can barely walk in the stuff because it's very heavy, wet snow! Sure glad my husband bought that super large snowblower when we moved here because it will be put to good use today!
Enough about the snow..............back to the quilt. As I said, it came to me and I was not expecting it! The doorbell rang Saturday afternoon and it was my neighbor's Grandma. Her name is Ruth. I met her shortly after we moved her and when she found out I was a quilter, she told me about an old quilt top that she had and could never quite toss - although her sister told her she should because "what good was it?" She kept it, though, just like I would. :-) But now, she's "downsizing" her quilting things as she moves from a house to an apartment, and wondered if I wanted the quilt top? And, also, would I like her quilting books, mostly hardbound copies? Well, I said yes, of course!!! We went to her car and got the quilt top and the box of books. Look at all these books............
There is only one book in all of these that I already own and it's the Patchwork Quilting book on the upper left. I will share it with a friend who collects vintage quilting books. I was thrilled to see Grandma's Best Quilt Blocks in the box as it was on my "want" list. I put all the books in a stack and will use them as "porch reading material" when that snow melts off the front porch and summer finally comes. :-)
Now, again..... back to the quilt top. I loved it the minute I saw it! It's quite old, although how old, I have no idea. Go back to the top and take a close look at it. Double click on the photo to see it in detail. You'll notice something............all the tiny red/pink fabric is the same in each block except the block that says M.M. Bartlett. That name is stamped. So are a couple other names......S.G. Everett, S. E. Everett, and Ida J. Sherman. Most of the rest of the names are written in ink. In some blocks, the ink ate away the fabric so the name is sort of there but you can't read it. Some names are faded away to almost nothing. Others are quite vibrant and are written in elegant handwriting that I would guess is pre-1900. Here are a couple close-ups of blocks..........
This block says Sarah T. H. Munroe.

This one says Wm. M. Munroe.
This one says May & Willie Munroe.
Other blocks that I was able to read were Mary H. Hall, Sophia B. Ingraham, Eleanor Spalding, Sarah H. Spalding, Edward C. Spalding, Clara O. Spalding, and E. M. Haskett (may not be spelled correctly, it was quite faded and hard to read). I am intrigued by the quilt top and would love to know why it was made. Was it made for the person whose block was different? Who was M.M. Bartlett? A mother, a child, a friend? Where was the quilt made? I actually googled a few of the names and came up with some genealogy links with these names in Indiana and Michigan. Did the quilt top come west in a wagon and simply never get finished? Oh, how I wish I knew, but the quilt will hold it's answer and will never be revealed. I'm just glad it came to me and now I can add it to my family of quilt treasures and stories! Thanks to Ruth for ringing my doorbell and bringing me such a neat surprise on a winter afternoon!
Today is a holiday here in the U.S. It's President's Day. I should have made another block for my patriotic quilt today but instead I am working on a project made with batiks. It's something fun that I will share pictures of soon but it will be a few weeks before I can share the project. Then there was a mug rug project or two that I made last week and they are on their way to swap partners. Mug rugs are fun to make. They get finished and I like that! A tutorial for my coffee themed mug rug is coming up soon. Then another one in early March in batiks. Last week, I met my Tuesday Crazies friends for some lunch and I need to share those pics plus a project I did with my friend, Marianne, almost two weeks ago! I am working on things for an upcoming retreat and........oh, so many things to think about!! Lots going on these days and I've had trouble keeping it all straight. So, to help me "keep it all straight" is a day just for the batik project and when that is done at the end of the day, I will set the batiks aside and move on to the next project. Taking things one day at a time. Just one day at a time. :-)

Just noticed that this is my 701st post. Yes, I do love to write. :-)

Sunday, February 20

An Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing!!

This Sunday morning I was so excited to head to church to hear my friend, Gloria Jesperson, at the piano. Now some of my quilting friends know Gloria because she was the pianist at the church I attended in Prior Lake and where I hosted my quilting group, Hearthside Quilters. I haven't seen Gloria since we moved almost five years ago. I realized one Sunday before Christmas that I just really missed hearing her talented hands at the piano keys. I was wishing I could hear her play again when I thought..."why not invite her out here to play in my new church?" Why didn't I think of this before? The church council thought it was a good idea and so Pastor Brigit and Gloria set a date. All was looking good and then...............the weatherfolk started talking about a big storm. First there was a Winter Storm Advisory. Then there was a Winter Storm Warning and then it was a Blizzard Warning! I thought "oh, my, Gloria won't be able to get here and if she does, what if no one else can get to church to join the singing?" Ah, but the weatherfolk were just a wee bit off in their predictions. The snow arrived later than they anticipated and didn't begin to fall until just as we all gathered to begin worship. It was gorgeous, big flakes and at least three inches fell while we enjoyed the Old-Fashioned Hymn sing (and a baptism, new babies!) but nobody cared. We enjoyed listening to Gloria's fingers roll along those keys and singing all the hymns that we all enjoy. In addition to talented fingers at the piano, Gloria also plays the accordion!
And her husband, Jim, plays rhythm with spoons! In addition, to sharing her gifts as a pianist at her home church, Gloria also takes her talents to area nursing homes. And yes, Jim the Rhythm Player accompanies her! I'm hoping she can return again so that those who could not make it because of the weather can hear her on a future date.
There was coffee hour after service and Gloria shared some fun tunes like "You are my Sunshine", "Take me out to the Ballgame" and other songs so many of us know. It was such an enjoyable morning! I came home and could not stop singing. My husband had to ask me to "hold it down" so he could hear the opening of the Daytona 500. LOL!
So, no real quilty news in this post but it did my quilter's heart a world of good to hear the music of my dear friend, Gloria. And a bonus.......she gave me a gift of one of her CD's so I don't have to miss her music anymore!
The rest of the day was very quiet as the snow continued to fall ...... and fall! There was almost no traffic by the house. In fact, I think the only traffic was the snowplow that has gone by a couple times. It's been a good day to read and enjoy the day. Oh, and finish up my taxes. Thank goodness. Our son got his done before us this year. Now that's a first! LOL!
I have something really sweet to share in my next post. See you then!

You can find a little bit of video of Gloria and some more

Thursday, February 17

My OWOH winner is.....

Miss Mary! and you will find her Lillian's~Stitches.
There is other news to share and I will get to it soon. Just very busy and time to blog is in short supply. :-)

Tuesday, February 15

No chocolates here.....

and that is A-okay! I do love chocolate but I was not looking for chocolate for Valentine's Day this year. Instead, I got a phone for Valentine's Day and I like that even better! I wasn't expecting it so it came as a nice surprise. ;-) And what did I surprise my husband with.....well, I made this.......
It's his very own personal giant sized placemat/mug rug just for watching NASCAR races. You see, at this time of year, while I am thinking Valentines Day, all his thoughts are on the upcoming NASCAR race at Daytona for the season opener. And so, he usually buys chocolates just because that's all he can come up with but I told him last more chocolates, please put some thought into this one day of the year. He's not a flower man so that's not gonna happen at our house. And I gave only one tiny hint about Valentines Day a couple weeks ago so I was impressed that he remembered the day and that he remembered not to buy chocolates. :-)
I really was so surprised by the phone gift and he was surprised by the placemat. He was worried "what if I spill something on it and ruin it". I told him......"it's meant to be washed!" It's just made from the scraps that were left from the NASCAR themed quilt top I made for him in 2005. Having that top quilted was his Christmas gift this past December. And now, it's all finished and I'll be picking it up on Friday. I think I can get the binding on so it's finished by the start of the race. Photos will follow when it's finished. :-)
So, will you be watching the big race on Sunday? I'll sort of watch but I'll be more interested in the sewing project I plan to work on while those cars go around and around the track....... :-)

Monday, February 14

What's on the line?

Happy Valentines Day!! I wanted to make this a red and white post but I didn't have anymore heart quilts to share. Then I remembered this red and white quilt ....................Isn't is lovely? And the bonus in this quilt photo is all that sunshine! Now, you all know that I live in Minnesota and there may be sunshine here but all the green grass is covered with snow at this time of year. However, when I went out to church yesterday, it almost felt like spring. That's right!! The temp reached 46 degrees which is awesome for us in the month of February!! It warmed my heart just to feel that warm air and a bit of sunshine.
And speaking of a warm heart, it was a warm-hearted friend who gave me this quilt. I've shared it before in a post last summer. Take a trip back to this post ...... Summer*and*what's*on*the*line?! ...... and you can read all about it and a few other favorite vintage quilts from my collection.
Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share a little greeting...........
This is a little cross stitch piece that I designed and stitched sometime in the late 1990's. The little bear is purchased and is about 3" tall so that gives you an idea of scale of the items in the photo. I like that message "Be Mine". Simple and sweet. That same message is what will be on my mini block of the month project this month. It's not finished, so "coming soon" is the ticket for that project. I also used "Be Mine" on the the little Valentine the bear is holding. It's one of many that I drew to use in my miniature scenes. To see some of the Miniature "Eye Candy" that I have created from bits of fabric, clay and other goodies, just click here and you will see a tiny world full of sweet Valentine treats. I rarely make any miniature projects these days as I am always stitching something now, but I made plenty in the almost twenty-five years that I belonged to the Midwest Miniature Guild. One of these days, I have to get a shelf or something so I can get them out of storage and display them. I miss seeing them as I only get them out for special holidays. Hope you enjoy them! And I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day!!!
Happy is the heart that smiles, so smile big all day!!!

Saturday, February 12

A Quiltbox is a treasure!

I thought that I would share a little something that I bought just for me last fall. It's a Quiltbox.........
And it's a very special Quiltbox. It's made by Dave over at ......... Quiltboxes , of course! Someone posted about him on Facebook so I checked out his blog. I was taken with the beauty of his wood boxes and so I wrote and asked if he took requests for quilt block designs for the boxes. He said "yes". Then I asked if he had any "purple heartwood" in his stock and again he said "yes". So, I sent him a sketch of my favorite block pattern, one that I had used in a quilting block of the month for a group of friends that quilted with me at my church group "Hearthside Quilters". He took my sketch and turned it into that beautiful box that you see above.
Now perhaps you wondered why I asked if he had "purple heartwood". Well, I had seen some in a woodworking shop and saw how lovely it was. I always thought I'd like to have something made with a bit of that wood in it. When I saw Dave's boxes, I thought of that "purple heartwood". The box has a special purpose and is a memory box for some of my dad's things.....a ring, a watch, some pins from tractor and thresher events, some old photos. My brother has most of my dad's things and some medals from WWII but my dad never earned a Purple Heart. And that is why I wanted the box to have "purple heartwood" in it. It will hold my dad's things and they will be in a box with purple heart! Look inside the box and you can see that each treasure will have it's own place......... The work on these boxes is exquisite and I am so glad to own one that I can treasure both for it's work and what it contains.
When Dave makes these boxes, he makes four of the design in varying wood colors and if you look on his blog, you can see the four variations he made. I got to choose which one I wanted. I initially asked him to do one with brown in each corner but when I saw this one above, it was like he made the one I really wanted! Before I made my final decision, I sent the photos of all the boxes to my son Devlin and asked him to pick the one he thought was the nicest. His response was "they are all VERY AWESOME!" He chose the one with the lighter burled wood that you can see on Dave's blog. It was hard to choose just one. And you know what? I couldn't choose just one. I bought two and just between you and me, the one above is mine but there's another one that somebody I know is going to be gifted with one day soon. It's a secret for now but I'll let you know when I give the other box so I can share it's beauty with you, too.
That's all for now. I am doing a bit of stitching these days and working on some projects that I'll eventually share. I'm also still coping with some allergy issues that nag at my time but it's just annoying, nothing serious. The most exciting thing about today is that we are going to be in the 30's for temps and by midweek here in Minnesota it could be in the 40's. Now that is something to celebrate!!! Perhaps our long winter is getting a kick to become an early spring! Oh, I can hope!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 7

What's on the line?

I've got another sweet look at warmer weather for all of you! And because it's nearing Valentine's Day, I had to share this little heart-themed quilt..............

This is the February quilt from the series that I made in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium. I love hearts and plaids and combined the two in this piece. I drew hearts in all shapes and sizes then appliqued them to all shapes and sizes of squares and rectangles. I embroidered and blanket-stitched around all the hearts, pieced the blocks together, and then hand-quilted the little quilt (it's about 20" x 24"). I call it "Crazy for Hearts", of course!
Things are still busy around here. I'm not posting real regularly but soon will. There is stuff to blog about, just other stuff taking my time. :-)
Have a great Monday!!

Tuesday, February 1

What's on the line?

With all the snow and icy weather that is covering much of the Midwest and east coast of the U.S., I thought I would bring you a bit of summer in my "What's on the line?" feature..................
For those of you who are snowbound, just look at this quilt for a few seconds. Then look at it a few more seconds. Continue starring at this little quilt until you can feel the warmth of summer, smell that fresh cut grass, taste that sweet watermelon and imagine yourself picking a bunch of daisies to put on the picnic table. Yes, there may be ants who will join you, and even a ladybug or two, but at least it will be warm and you will be able to walk without slipping on the ice. Ah, summer, I am really going to enjoy it when it finally arrives!
Oh, and the story behind the's number seven in the series of twelve quilts that I stitched in celebration of the Millennium. Wow, that's already ten years ago!! This is the July quilt and it's the month that we hold our Linn Family Reunion. In fact, today I verified the reservation date for the Lehigh Ballpark Shelter so if you are Linn family member, please mark July 17, 2011 for the 82nd Linn Family Reunion. So do you and your family hold an annual reunion? And if you do, what fun events do you always do that we might want to know about so we can do them at our reunions?
Here's hoping you have a good day!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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