Tuesday, March 29

What's Red and White ..........

and being talked about all over blogland? Well, it's the exhibit of 650 Red and White quilts that are on display at the American*Folkart*Museum in New York!!  It's the largest exhibit of quilts ever held in New York City. If you go here, you can see the dates and times the show is open. You have until March 30th to get there. I know it would be worth the trip. I really wish I could get there, but it's just not possible. I'm in Minnesota and the quilts are in New York City. Forty years ago, we lived in New Jersey and I could have easily made the trip to see the quilts. But now, I guess that if I want to see red and white quilts for real, I could go to our local Sibley County Historical Society where these pretties are on display..............
And if I really want to get comfy with a red and white quilt, I do have this one in my collection that is hanging on the line.  I've shared this quilt and it's story in two posts.......one last summer (go here) and one this past February (click here). I just love this quilt! It makes me smile!!
And I would just love to see all the different designs and quilting on all those red and white quilts in New York. I know they would make me smile, too. But when you can't get there to see them...........well, you have to see them through the eyes and blogs of others who have been there. And the best way to do that is to go over to Pat Sloan's blog and the list that she is building so we can all go see those red and white quilts!  Just go here.  Pat said "Tell everyone so we can build the list!" So, I'm telling, and after you go check out the list and you visit some of those sightings of red and white quilts, then you go and tell your friends. These are too lovely to keep secret. And I'm just wondering now.......do you think if there was enough interest that this exhibit might travel to other museums? hmmmmmmm.... now that's an idea!!!
Hope you enjoy seeing a lot of red and white all over!!
Have a great day!

Monday, March 28

What's on the line?

I wasn't sure what I to share "on the line" today. Nothing in the photos I took last fall seemed appropriate for today and since we got more snow last week, the path to my clothesline is still not clear. No photos in the great outdoors anytime soon. :-(  But then I remembered what got me started with this whole "hanging the quilts on the line and taking photographs" thing. Yes, long title, I know. I'll try to make it a short story.....
If you have followed my blog since I first began blogging you may remember that I organized a quilting/donation project for victims of flooding in Southeast Iowa in the summer of 2008. I had begun my blogging journey just three weeks before the floods hit the Iowa City area. It was a way to cope with grief following my dad's passing. The flooding was severe, historic even. My sister lives in Iowa City. I was grieving the loss of my dad. The floods were happening just at the time of what would have been his 82nd birthday (go here to read my post that day) . I just had to do something to help. So I put out the call to quilting friends nearby and also to my blog readers. Those who were nearby gathered in the Community Room at City Hall and made quilts, pillowcases, hats, scarves, etc. And churches in the area also donated quilts. Readers from as far away as Alaska sent totebags and The Easter Long Island Quilt Guild sent bundles of pillowcases and Target Gift Cards. And there was money donated, too, $750 from Redeemer Lutheran Church in rural Henderson. So I started a blog about it all and if you go here, you can see lots of things I hung on the line so I could share them with quilters nearby and far away, like this one.............

This quilt is one of many that were donated but I never found out just who donated it and several other quilts. I just know that it went off to someone in Iowa and it was appreciated. I received a very nice note from the coordinator that I was able to connect with for this project.
I thought about the donation project last night because my friend, Dorothy, was one of many friends nearby who helped make quilts. It was her church that raised that $750 which went to the United Way in Johnson County, Iowa for the flood victims. That's Dorothy on the right in the photo below and friend, Joanie on the left. Both are in the Bible Study group that I was invited to join when I first moved to Henderson.  
Dorothy was on my mind because as I shared with you all recently, she has faced a serious cancer challenge. Sadly, Dorothy passed away last Monday. Her funeral was yesterday afternoon. She has been on my mind all these many weeks and especially these last few days. She, along with Joanie, are two of the happiest gals I know. You can see it in their smiles. I, along with many friends and, of course, Dorothy's family, will miss her smile and her wonderful laugh and just her sweet nature. I have not known her as long as other's but I do know this.........it was a gift to be invited to join the Bible Study circle that she, Joanie, Arline, Doris and Carolyn all participated in. Sometimes you just get lucky and friends draw you in to their circle. That was the case for me. I repeat.........it was a gift!!! Today's post is in memory of Dorothy and.......

it's also in memory of another friend, Cathy (see in the photo above). Cathy was in my quilt groups at my church and she's as sweet as Dorothy.  Both of them helped make quilts for the flood victims and both have been taken by cancer. Cancer robs us of their presence in our lives and so I am sad for that. Their smiles and sweet nature will remain in memory forever. But, oh, how I miss the sound of their voices. I am glad I knew both of them and could call them friend.
And while I'm in a reflective mood......thank you to each and every one of you that reads my blog and to those who leave me comments. I read them all but am not good at responding these days. Time seems to be short because I am always putting my fingers into some new project or cause. Next one on the agenda........assisting the Easter Bunny. More on that in a couple of weeks.
Here's hoping today is the start of a really good week.

(Oops! I set the post time wrong for this and just realized it had not posted for today. Guess I was tired when I wrote it.)

Saturday, March 26

Swapping Pincushions and Mug Rugs, too!!

If you are a quilter/crafter/stitcher, you know that swaps are great fun! The first swap that I ever participated in was in the Crazy About Pincushions Yahoo group. I think that was sometime in 2008. It was like being "Secret Pals", something my mother and her friends used to do. I've been in quite a few swaps since then and I keep telling myself.....one more swap, then that's it. LOL!! Right........you may see a lot of "one more swaps" before I finally stop swapping. :-) And here's one right now.......another pincushion swap in the CAPC Yahoo group.  My partner was Patti from New Mexico and here are the goodies she sent me. The theme was strawberries. She made me that plump little strawberry pincushion and a needlebook to match (from PatSloan's recent pattern) and she tucked in other goodies, too!! I loved it all!!!

Above you can see a close-up of the pincushion and the needlebook (pattern is here).

And here is what I sent to Patti. I made a gingham strawberry and a matching needlecase and tucked in needles and some extra strawberry buttons that she might want to use with the strawberry fabric that I used to wrap up all the goodies. That little polka dot strawberry is a lucky find at the Dollar Tree store. Open it up and pull out the bag inside and you can fill it with fabric when you are out shopping!

Here's a close-up of my strawberry. It's plump and firm and is stuffed with crushed walnut shells (otherwise known as lizard bedding at local pet stores). I'm going to share a tutorial on this little project when I celebrate my blog anniversary at the end of May. It will be just the perfect way to kick off summer!!!

My strawberry pincushion swap wasn't the only good thing that came in the mail this past week. I was also "gifted" with an unexpected mug rug and goodies. It came from Renita in Florida. She's in my Seasons BOM Yahoo group.  Members of the group have recently been chatting about those mug rugs that are popping up on blogs everywhere and sharing links to various tutorials. The more we chatted, the more the conversation turned to swapping mug rugs. And so I set up a swap and away we went!  A few of us in the group had also swapped mug rugs in Michele's Quilting Gallery Swap and knew how much fun it was so I'm sure that had something to do with the excitement for these cute little projects!  Renita sent me this cute cat mug rug with his green button eyes and a mug to match them and hot cocoa, too. Those socks are so cute. So, what do you think ...... should I wear them with my black patent leather heels for Easter Sunday?  Hmmm, maybe not. :-) 
Thanks, Renita for sending me a mug rug "just because". You see Renita isn't even my partner. She just sent me these goodies "just because" she has fun sharing and enjoys our group. I still have a mug rug coming from a member of the group!!! I love looking forward to the arrival of the mail.
And that reminds me.......I got an e-mail today that my dies have shipped for my GO! Baby and I expect them sometime early next week. I am ready to GO! and get a project made with that little Baby. :-)
Well, that's enough for this post. I finished up a wooly project yesterday that I'll share with you next week. Have a good weekend everyone and I'll see you on Monday with "What's on the line?"

Wednesday, March 23

The Garden Angel book from Country Threads..........

I just found out from Country Threads that the booklet "Forget-Me-Nots" is still available. Just hop on over to their site and scroll down until you see their e-mail address where you can request the booklet. And "just for fun", tell them "Sandi sent me". It's just $5.00 (plus some shipping and handling, I'm sure)!!  In that book, you'll find the designs by Tammy Johnson that include the angel from the the little quilt in my previous post and four other designs. They would be great done in flannels, wool or woolfelt. There is one design I want to make but not any time soon as it's the one that says........."Let it Snow!" Well, this morning most of us here in Minnesota woke up to more snow and I'm just here to say that I have had enough snow for one winter!!  The calendar may say Spring but Mother Nature has a slightly different opinion. :-)  Also, Kevin our mailman was just here and he said that the roads are awful with cars in the ditch and not good driving conditions at all! He told me to "just stay in and enjoy it". And I am! I'm working on some mug rugs this afternoon, then more work on a tablerunner project......Off to the sewing machine I go...........

Monday, March 21

What's on the line?

Hanging on the line today is a little quilt from the book "Forget-Me-Nots" from CountryThreads. I love the message on the quilt...........

"I bring fresh showers for thirsting flowers."

It's actually lines from a poem by Shelley and if you want to read the entire poem just go here. Late Saturday night, in fact just about midnight, I heard rain on the roof. I love the sound of rain on the roof. We still have lots of snow on the ground and there are worries about flooding so I wasn't hoping for too much rain, but I did love the sound of it while it lasted (only about half an hour).
This quilt makes me smile. I enjoyed making it and did the angel in fusible applique and then added touches of embroidery and yo-yo's for the flowers. Many of the patterns from Country Threads are more country/primitive and are shown in darker colors in the book. I wanted a fresh springy look and just used scraps to get the colors I wanted. I made this in 2001 after buying the book on "close-out" at Country Threads. I don't think it's available anymore but if you like the pattern you could contact Country Threads. There are four more designs in the pattern booklet and someday I hope to make them all. :-) Someday..........
If you are wondering why I haven't posted about my GO!Baby yet, it's because I am awaiting shipment of the dies that I chose. They are on back order. In the meantime, I am working on a couple other projects. Always plenty of fabric to play with so I'm never bored. :-)
Have a good Monday!

Sunday, March 20

Spring has arrived!

Yes, according to the calendar, Spring has officially arrived! 
And, that means that in just about a month, we'll see my favorite spring flower......

These aren't flowers from my garden.  I don't have any flower beds yet. We were going to do some landscaping last spring, but other projects got done instead. This spring, there may finally be some flowers in my yard and then I won't have to go to the neighbor's yard to take pictures of flowers for my blog. :-)  Oh, well, at least I don't have to go to the neighbor's yard for the clothesline where I hang my quilts! A soft rain fell last night, so the snow is disappearing quickly. I would say in two weeks, the snow will all be gone and the path will be clear to the backyard and my clothesline!  Hmmm......wondering what quilt I will share "on the line" tomorrow.......
In the meantime..........hope you are enjoying a lovely day wherever you are and whatever the season in your corner of the world!
(And if you are wondering if I celebrated National Quilting Day yesterday..........yes, I did. Played with fabric while I did laundry and listened to tunes!)

Saturday, March 19

Winners of the little Lapel Stick Giveaway!

Here they are .....two winners as promised
 and they are.........
Denise over at MountainQuilter
Please send me an e-mail with your mailing addresses and the Lapel Stick,
 plus all those other goodies will go in the mail to you next week.
Some of you asked where to purchase Lapel Stick. If your favorite shop doesn't carry it,
share the info here and perhaps they will order it! Also, some wondered if it works as well as gluesticks. It does. I don't know what it's made of but it doesn't seem to get as "gunky" (thanks for that word, Diane!) as a glue stick. I wish I could send all of you a Lapel Stick as I know you would love to try it. Now, I have to be honest ..........if I was picking the comment that made me really smile........it's this one from Linda J.

"Great giveaway, I would like to be entered and also I enjoy your site so much that my tea gets cold before I take a break from the Internet....quilting is my Therapy and also Applique!

Enjoy your day!  Linda J"

You all leave me the best comments but that one just warmed my heart even though Linda ended up with cold tea while reading my blog. LOL!
I have a busy day ahead and it's totally related to fabric! What could be better? Fun stuff and photos coming up next week. See you on Monday for "What's on the line?"
Have a good weekend everyone!!

Thursday, March 17

What a happy St. Patrick's Day for me!!

And why would it be such a happy St. Patrick's Day for me?
That's because there's a new arrival at our house.......
a little GO! baby! from AccuQuilt.
And isn't she pretty?!!!

She arrived on my doorstep just after 4:00 p.m. this past Tuesday, the 15th of March. I was expecting her but I was a bit concerned that she might be "over-due" as the UPS guy usually delivers earlier in the day here in our neighborhood.  He must have been in a hurry because he ran up the driveway with the box, placed it on the front steps and didn't even ring the doorbell. Now what if I hadn't been expecting her arrival? She might have been left outside all night and suffered in the cold. Okay, enough of this silliness, let's get down to business. A big Thank You goes out to AccuQuilt for sending me the GO! baby and another Thank You goes to Pat (click on her name to check out her blog) as she mentioned my blog to the staff there and I am so glad she did. There will be a chance for you to win a GO! baby, too and details on that will be coming up soon after I do a tutorial using the dies that I chose.  Stay tuned for that for sure!!!

Now, I have one more bit of fun regarding the arrival of my GO! baby......I'm going to name her. A couple of my blogging friends asked if I was going to name my GO! baby and I had actually given that some thought. Since I knew she might arrive near St. Patrick's Day and since Ms.  Pat  was in essence her fairy godmother, I just had to give her the name..........
Ah, yes, it is a very good St. Pat's Day here and while there is no "pot 'o gold" at the end of the rainbow, I think the arrival of Miss Patticakes GO! baby is as good as gold!
Since this a day for the "wearin' of the green", I thought I should share a little something made with green and white fabric. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I cover copy paper boxes with fabric and sort of color code them. Some of you asked to see a sample so here is one of my covered boxes. Obviously, this box below holds St. Pat's items and fabrics...........
And a peek inside the box reveals that is exactly what you'll find.  And again, no pot 'o gold here but fabric is also worth more than gold in my book!  :-) 
When I'm covering the boxes, I often use fabric that I've bought that I like (usually on clearance after a holiday) but that is either too thin or too thick for quilting. Such was the case with this box. I actually covered the lid first with an old sheet, then glued the shamrock print to the box. I didn't want the lettering to show through the fabric. I do it as if I was wrapping a gift. It just works. :-)  The green for the bottom of the box was a heavy cotton duck fabric and I covered the outside first, then lined the inside. I keep the decorations for St. Pat's there and also my little "collection" of green and white shamrock prints. And it's those fabrics that will be used in my first experiment with the GO! baby, I mean, Patticakes. :-)  After I get used to "changing her" (the dies and mats, that is), I'm going to use some of these lovely fabrics that Jacquelynne over at The*Noble*Wife sent me. Oh, I am going to have so much fun and when I do, I will be sure to include all of you in the fun, too!

Here's hoping you are having a Happy St. Patrick's Day, too!!!

Wednesday, March 16

A little Lapel Stick Giveaway!!!

I promised a little giveaway today and here's what it's all about. Recently, I received some samples of a product called Lapel*Stick. It works great for positioning wooly pieces on my projects. It also works super to hold ribbons in place on my wreaths and decorative crafts.

I've put together two little giveaway packets so you can give the Lapel*Stick a try, too. Each packet will include a Lapel stick but you need something to try it on, don't you think? You might like to make a towel like the one in my picture.  So, I thought I'd send you a dishtowel and how about some woolfelt, too? Oh, and how about the pattern for the tulip? I'll send that, too. Maybe you need some needles so I'll toss a pack of those in each packet and embroidery floss would be nice, too. Who knows what else I might put in each packet but it's spring and the sun is shining and I can walk to the mailbox without wearing a coat. That's something to celebrate. Just leave your name and a link back to your blog or your e-mail address for a chance to win this little Lapel Stick Giveaway! And remember ......... there will be two winners!
Thanks to Lapel*Stick for allowing me the opportunity to try your product. It works great!

I'm thinking something green for tomorrow......see you then........

Oops! forgot to tell you......you have until Friday, March 18th at 6:00 p.m. to enter. Winners will be notified Friday evening and names posted here on Saturday. :-)

Monday, March 14

What's on the line?

Tis a wee bit o' good luck hanging on my line today! Since it will soon be time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I knew just the quilt I wanted to share.

It's called "A Wee Bit Irish" and that describes me to a "T". :-)  Several years ago, I got involved in helping with our Linn Family Reunion. Thanks to my cousin Charlotte's genealogy work, we learned that our ancestors came here from Ireland and Scotland in the early 1800's............and so, I am a "wee bit Irish"!! 
I never knew our heritage when I was growing up. When we were asked to do school reports on our heritage, I just figured we might be Scandinavian because Linn was my maiden name. It seemed like it might be a name that had been shortened.  I was so pleasantly surprised when we learned that our great great grandfather had come from Ireland. When I sing, some folks tell me I have an "Irish lilt" in my voice. I think that's nice. Sometimes I'm full of blarney, too.  :-)   But here's the truth......this is another of the little quilts I made in 2000 to celebrate that long ago Millennium. Not sure you can tell from the picture but the piece is hand-quilted in gold thread. The center shamrock is done in fusible applique. The little quilt measures 22 inches square. And the scenery behind that quilt is lush green from last fall. However, we could hit 50 degrees by the end of the week and so spring may be just around the corner. Once that snow is gone, I can get back to the line and share some big quilts. I only have a few photos left that I took last fall, so I need to have that snow melt away!!! 
Be sure to stop by on Wednesday. I have a little giveaway I'll be posting that day. You might just want to see what I will have to share. :-) 
And in answer to my blogging question.......a big thank you to Debbie and Astrid who both offered me the advice to update from "old editor" in blogger to the "new editor" format. That was all it took and I can cut and paste once again. Thank you so much for your help!!!!!
Here's to a good Monday to everyone!!

Saturday, March 12

A wee tutorial for a Cookie Coaster/Mug Rug!

Here it is...........a little tutorial/instruction on how to make a quick and easy mug rug that I have named a "Cookie Coaster". You already know that I got hooked on making these back in December when I made the coffee themed mug rug for my son's girlfriend. I liked it so much I made one for myself and then joined Michele's Quilting Gallery mug rug swap, etc. They are so quick to make!!

I happened to mention the mug rugs to Janice, owner of Firefly*Quilt*Shop in Mankato and she thought it sounded like something that would work for favors for the spring retreat that she was participating in. So I made up a sample in batiks and she liked it. I proceeded to write up a pattern and made a storyboard of the steps required to make a mug rug.

Two things you need to know.......if you'd like a kit for this project, please contact the shop as they have kits for sale and, of course, you can use your own fabric scraps!! The other thing you need to know is that sometimes mistakes are made in measuring, and yes, I made one. I cannot tell a lie.........I made a big mistake in my directions. Well, maybe not that big but I was a 1/2 off and that's a lot in a tiny little mug rug!! The finished mug rug measures 6 1/2" x 10 1/2". I told Janice 6 1/2" x 10" which meant the backing piece in all kits she'd prepared (a lot of them) was a 1/2" too short. Janice was very understanding. I was willing to retype directions and reprint and restuff kits but Janice felt that wasn't necessary. So, I typed a correction for the storyboard and Janice planned to share the correction/adjustment with retreat guests when they were given the kits. I was so bummed that I made this silly mistake but it did highlight a couple things.........one, I should have had someone else follow my kit instructions first, then finalize my storyboard and instructions. And two, this is, after all, just a mug rug not a full-size quilt and it doesn't have to be a certain size. Not all of my mug rugs are the same size. Sometimes, it depends on the size of the scraps that I want to use. As you follow these directions, I'll share a step that shows you how you can adjust the size, especially if you are using some favorite scraps and don't quite have enough fabric.

Here we go...........
I created a large storyboard that I made from a large piece of posterboard. I took photos and divided it up into four sections. You can double click on these photos and read the test on the photos or follow the additional text that I am providing here. You can also choose to print out the photos as a paper pattern.

To begin, gather some scraps of fabric and a bit of batting.
The largest piece needs to be 6 1/2" x 10 1/2" for your backing and you will need a WOF/width of fabric strip that is at least 1-1/4" wide.

I cut some 5" charm squares in several colors so that

I could select the ones I wanted as I laid out my design.
Step 1. Choose one 5" charm for the flower. I cut a simple flower shape by folding a piece of paper. You can also trace a flower from a cookie cutter or a coloring book. Apply fusible web product to reverse side of fabric. Cut out your paper flower pattern and trace to reverse side of fused fabric and cut out your flower shape.

Choose a 5" square, preferably green, for the background for your flower.

Iron the flower in center of the 5" green charm square. Refer to photo below.

Choose a small bit of fabric for flower center and fuse it in place. When flower is appliqued to charm square, you can go on to the next step.

Note: I prefer to add the outline stitches to the flower after the Cookie Coaster top is assembled.

Next step...........

Cut two 1-1/2" wide strips and two 2" wide strips from your choice of 5" charm squares. Sew together in this order............2" - 1-1/2" - 2" - 1-1/2" in a row. Refer to photo below.

The sewn strip set will be larger than what you need. Press the strip set and trim to 4-1/2" x 5". Look at the strip set in the photo and note that the side that must be 5" is the strip end side.

Note: This is where you easily adjust the size of your mug rug. If you have scraps that are only 3-1/2" long as I did when I was making my coffee themed mug rug, then use them. All you have to do is trim your backing to the correct size once you finish the top.

Next step.........
Sew the strip set to the flower square. This is now your Cookie Coaster top. You are ready for your WOF strip now. Cut two pieces that are 5" long from the 1-1/4" strip and sew one to each end of the Cookie Coaster top. Press.
Next step.........
Cut two 10-1/2" strips to the top and bottom of your Cookie Coaster top. If you used strips that were shorter than 4-1/2" please adjust strips accordingly. Also, double check this strip measurement as sometimes, depending on the seams, you may need more or less for this strip. Sew the top and bottom strips in place and press again.
When the top is finished, you can add any embellishement stitches. I did a blanket stitch by hand on my flower and center but you can also do it by machine.

Final steps.......
You are ready to add the batting and backing. Cut a piece of batting slightly larger than your Cookie Coaster top. You can pin or spray baste the top to the batting, then trim away your excess batting. Note: you are going to sew your top, batting and backing together as a sandwich and turn inside out. To make the opening area turn under nicely, I zig zag along a two inch area where I want the opening to be. This secures the batting to your top.
This is difficult to share in my photos. :-(

In the photo above, I have pictured my finished top with batting and the polka dot backing fabric that I used. Position your backing piece to the Cookie Coaster top, matching right sides of fabric. Pin together and then using 1/4" seam, stitch almost all the way around the Cookie Coaster top, leaving that 2" opening. Snip your corners carefully so they are not too bulky when turned inside out. Press and stitch opening closed and press again. You are ready to add a little quilting. You can stitch around the flower and also add a leaf shape in the strip area if desired. I did a "stitch-in-the-ditch" on my samples. I made several but did not take photos of all of them. The one below is trimmed in a slightly different purple fabric than the pieces I used for my storyboard.

Your Cookie Coaster is finished now and ready for your favorite cup of tea,
cocoa, or coffee and cookie or biscuit to go with it! Enjoy!!

If you have any questions, please e-mail me.
And ..........
if any of you can help me with the following issue, I would love to hear from you. Here's the scoop..........since switching to my new computer and Windows 7, I am unable to "cut and paste" in Blogger. This is proving very challenging. I cannot copy links and include them. I cannot type something in Word and then paste it to my blog. And for some reason, when I was half-way finished with this, it didn't save and all my typing disappeared. I was ready to scream!!!! This is only happening in Blogger, not when I am working on documents in other applications. Does anybody have any advice on what I may have done to cause this? It is really hampering my ability to create posts for my blog. Must get this fixed so I can easily do that tutorial when my GO!Baby arrives. It's due on Tuesday. I feel like a mother who has a baby coming and the crib isn't ready. I hope you quilter's out there know what I mean. LOL!


Friday, March 11

Mug Rugs from the Quilting Gallery Swap!!

When I first started blogging, I had no clue what a "swap" was about. It didn't take me long to figure out what was going on and I signed up for one. I found it fun and a bit of a challenge. In the three years since I began blogging, I've made a few things and sent them here in the states and across the Atlantic and the Pacific. And in return, I have items that have come to me from the same places. It's really interesting to have things from so many corners of the world made by fellow quilters and stitchers!!
When Michele offered a new swap at Quilting Gallery for mug rugs, I had to sign up. She used my coffee mug rug for the logo for the swap, too, so I felt I just had to sign up. :-) Believe me....no one had to "twist my arm". My partner's name was Terri of The*Quilting*Pirate . When I saw that, I went straight to my flannel scraps where I knew I had just enough fabric to make this................
After reading her blog, I learned that Terri was going to a meeting of the Modern Quilters in Nashville so I tried my skills at a "Modern Art Mug Rug". I have a whole bin full of sample swatches I bought at a garage sale and that's where that pretty range of colors came from. She liked both of them!
When my swap package arrived last week, it had the most beautiful butterly and floral stamps on it and I could tell it had come from a distance. It certainly had! My swap partner, Cathy Bonnell is from La Reuion Island close to Madagascar!!! I had said I love pink and Cathy made these gorgeous pinkalicious mug rugs that are hand-quilted!! They are so lovely that even my husband was impressed! Thank you, thank you, Cathy!I enjoyed this swap and the candlemat swap that Michele hosted, so I just had to make a little thank you mug rug for her. She's a NASCAR fan and loves cats so I took my scraps and made her a reversible mug rug.
It easier to make the rug reversible than you might think. When I share my tutorial, you'll see why. I'll be posting it sometime on Saturday, probably late afternoon.
Have a great Friday everyone! Thanks for your prayers for Dorothy. :-)

Thursday, March 10

In the Mug Rug Mode and a little more......

First things first.......this isn't the mug rug tutorial I promised but I will get to it yet. This is a post that is about mug rugs but also by the time you read to the end, I have a request. It's a post that will give you a peek at some mug rugs I made and why I am in a "Mug Rug Mode" lately. There'll be more mug rug photos tomorrow and finally on Saturday, I'll get to the Mug Rug Tutorial. There's not likely a need for anymore Mug Rug tutorials but I will share a tip that may make your mug rug stitching a wee bit easier.
So, what got me in the "Mug Rug Mode"? Well, it all started last fall when here in Blogland, everyone was making mug rugs. They were so cute. They had themes, were colorful, quick to make and useful!!! So, at Christmas I made a mug rug for my son's girlfriend, Stacia. It was similar to this one...........
I liked it so much that I made one for me and have it at my computer desk. I love Hazlenut Belgian Cafe coffee and that's what's in that cup. I'm likely drinking a cup right now, if you are reading this in the morning. But back to the mug rugs.......... I signed up for Michele's Quilting Gallery Mug Rug swap. I had so much fun making a mug rug for my partner in Tennesee. You'll see what I made in tomorrow's post. And you'll also see what I received from my partner. It came from a long way away! I was thrilled when I opened the package. But that's for tomorrow.
Once I sent my swap mug rug off to Tennesse, I was still enthused about mug rugs and when Janice at Firefly Quilt Shop asked if there was some little thing I could do for a kit favor for a retreat she was going to..........I said yes and came up with this...............
I call it a "Cookie Coaster". I decided that's what these are really for because I may get a mug of something but I really want space for that cookie!! I had never made anything with batiks until I used them in this project. I loved the colors! Janice did, too, and used a variety of batiks in the little kits and they definitely say "Spring". When I share my tutorial, you'll find out just how "not-so-easy" making a mug rug can be. Actually, it's not the mug rug that was hard to make. It was that I made a mistake in my math and well......you'll hear it all when I share the tutorial. :-)

My sister's birthday was coming up on March 2nd, so I thought I'd make a little mug rug to tuck in with the little book and card I was sending her. Here it is........... I had that all over print that I used for the backing and the other pieces for the mug rug came from this...........
I love to repurpose things and I have had this vest panel for ages and knew I would never make it and wear it. I made a similar vest panel years ago and it looked good on the panel but never fit right. This is not the first panel, I've "re-purposed". I have made totebags and pincushions, book covers, etc. from these panels. And I have several more of them in all sorts of holidays and themes that are never going to become clothing! I figure why not cut them up and put them to good use! I didn't use a pattern for the one I made for my sister, Judy. I just started cutting and stitching. I love doing that. It goes back to one when we were kids and played dolls and paper dolls and we had a great time.
After I finished the mug rug for Judy, I decided to make one for my friend, Dorothy. I cut more pieces from the vest panel, but I had to piece a block to get another little church. Then when I was done piecing, I realized there were letters in each corner from words on the vest. It looked kinda goofy, so I used my gel pen to turn it into two words and embroidered......."Blessings and Love".........
Dorothy is a very dear friend and is a member of our Bible Study group. I've mentioned our Bible Study group a lot here on my blog. It usually meets Tuesdays, although this winter there have been a lot of Tuesdays when that didn't happen. Too much cold and snow! It's a group of six friends who generously invited me to join them not too long after we moved out here to Henderson. They have met for more than 25 years and I felt honored to be invited into their group. I have to be honest. I wasn't looking to join a Bible Study group, but this is more than just a study of the Bible. And yes, there is dessert and it's always good but there is a friendship and caring that makes the bond among these women a wonderful thing. As I said, I am honored to be included in their group. We share about our families, the fun times, the hard times, our health, recipes, and so much more. It is a very good thing. Right now, though, one of our group, Dorothy, is facing a cancer challenge that is not going well. Last Tuesday, we took Bible Study to Dorothy's house. Her daughter Pam gave us the "go-ahead" and we brought dessert and gathered to share time together. It was both a sweet time and a bittersweet time. We didn't do any study, we just enjoyed visiting with Dorothy. Her smile is the same but she's not got that same spunk we all know and love. I wish that something as simple as a mug rug could make it all better. My little gift seems inconsequential in the whole scope of things. But as I stitched it, I prayed for peace and comfort for Dorothy, just as many others are doing. She's one of those people that everybody loves. She has a wonderful sense of humor and amazing faith. She is taking this challenge far more gracefully than most of us would. I don't usually ask you all for prayer because we are all in different corners of the world and of different faiths or not. But I would like to close this post and ask you to pray for peace and comfort for Dorothy. I checked first before posting this so I have permission to share this with all of you. To read her Caring Bridge journal and see her smiling face, please go here. Blessings and many thanks to all of you!

Tuesday, March 8

Good things come in big boxes!

Yesterday was a very busy day. It was a good one for the most part. And I did exactly as I said I would do......"make a list of the posts I need to do to catch up, etc......." And here's the first one! I also promised I would tell you my good news........and there are two parts to my good news. Just look at this big box full of lovely fabric and goodness that arrived at my door last week........... It came from my blogging friend, Jacquelynne at The*Noble*Wife. It's yards of her yummy fabric line "Sewing Room Social". Click here to check it out and then click on the Sewing Room Social button on her blog! Wouldn't you love to have some of it? Well, if you stay tuned to my blog you might get a chance to win one of those ribbon tied bundles or maybe a pattern or a few fat quarters. Most of the fabric, though, is for me to play with and I am so excited that I can hardly wait to start creating with these fun, spring fabrics! And you will see it all, right here on my blog!! Thanks, Jacquelynne, for sharing your abundance so I can share a little bit of creative fun with all of you, my readers. That was good news number one. :-)
Now here's good news number two. Last Friday, I got an e-mail that my blog is going to be gifted with a new arrival........a GO!Baby from AccuQuilt. That day, I had been out all day running errands, and a doctor visit and grocery shopping and when I finally got to reading my e-mails, I was so tired that at first, I didn't realize what I was reading. And then, I sat up and yelled "Yesssss!!" and I had to run downstairs and tell my husband the good news. He was happy for me but was more interested in his TV program. I ran right back upstairs to reply to the e-mail but then I waited til yesterday for a response to my reply. I didn't want to share the news if it wasn't for real. But it was for real and so then I had to choose three dies that I wanted and would use with a project on my blog. It was easy to pick three. However, I picked about ten times three so I will be doing some shopping because I want that little GO!Baby to have lots of "outfits" to change into. :-) You'll see what three dies I finally settled on when I share my project. And what fabric do you think I will be using for that first GO!Baby project? Why I do believe that I will be stitching up some "Sewing Room Social" right here in my sewing room! I wait expectantly for another box to arrive at my door and so while I wait..........I'll get to the next item I plan to blog about and that is Mug Rugs. Back soon with photos and a tutorial for the mug rugs or Cookie Coaster as I have called my version.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 7

What's on the line?

Spring is on the line today!!! Yes, this basket full of tulips just says "Spring"...............

however...............it's not spring here at all. In fact, we are supposed to get snow for the next three days!! I am very tired of the white landscape, though, so I had to share something that was full of the colors of spring. I've shared this one before in photos taken last spring on a very windy day. To see just how windy....just go here . This photo was taken last fall when I was taking pictures so I would have plenty to share during the long winter. It's certainly been long enough. I am craving some color other than white. The red tulips in this quilt would be quite nice to see in full bloom and I know just the place nearby that has beautiful tulips every spring. Yes, I do love tulips. They are my favorite spring flower and the red ones are the best! And it was red ones that grew in the flower beds along the side of our house that inspired this quilt. I don't particularly have a very "green thumb" but I managed to get a few red tulips to pop up every spring. The only thing I don't like about tulips is that they have such a short bloom time. Ah, but with this little quilt, I can have tulips in bloom all the time! I made this one in April of 2000 which seems soooooo long ago. It's another one of the twelve little quilts that I made to commemorate the Millennium. Can you believe we are eleven years from the Millennium? I cannot believe how time flies. But back to the quilt...........the tulips and basket are done with fusible applique and I trimmed them with fine line acrylic "puffy" paints. It's not a traditional way to embellish a quilt but it worked for this one. I've started the same design in traditional applique. It's in my "to do" pile which keeps growing because I keep starting projects and my finishes are fewer than my starts. :-)

I hope my tulips made you smile at the thought of spring. And that's because if you are waiting for spring to arrive, it's only a thought because winter is hanging on like frozen sheets on the line! LOL!

What other news do I have to share...........

Well, some of you are quite interested to learn how I found the owner of the Bible. It was a tip from reader, Sarah, that I search the wife's name. Don't ask me why but I never tried that. I was always in search of the man's name and there's another thing I didn't try......I got a disconnected number message for the phone numbers I tried and I made an assumption that meant the address was also not good. It is never wise to assume anything. Long ago, my boss, Gary, told me that. Oh, I should have remembered that........because a note to the address might have solved the mystery a good half-dozen years ago. I can't fix that, though, so I move forward and will be returning the Bible to it's rightful owner. I like to think I was it's caretaker because here's a really interesting part of the story..............I've told you the Bible was in the desk that I had when I worked in the office at Murphy's Landing and when it was not claimed, I was told I could use it. So I took it home and I have used it. A few years later and I was no longer working at Murphy's, there was a fire and the office burned to the ground. Had the Bible been left in that desk, it would have burned, too. But it wasn't in that desk because it was with me. And soon it will go back to it's original owner, something that would not have happened had I not kept the Bible. :-)
Okay, so more news...........
This past weekend, my husband and I did some housecleaning furniture moving. Geesh, are we getting old or what? Thank goodness for Danny, a friend, we could hire to help move the old living room furniture to the basement. After that was done, we vacuumed up a storm. Then we were tired. Yep, getting old. :-)
On the fun side of things.........all my new computer stuff is in place and I can load pictures so I will finally get a mug rug/cookie coaster tutorial posted. And I have some wooly tulip themed projects to share and then there's a table runner project I'm working on that I think will be ready in early April. Now that all the computer stuff and the house project stuff is out of the way, I am planning to sit down today and make a list of the posts I need to do to catch up on things planned/never posted and things planned/to be posted!
There's also some fun going on in my Season's BOM Yahoo group where we are having our first swap and can you guess the swap item?..........a mug rug, of course. Some of us participated in the swap hosted by Michele of Quilting Gallery and it was so much fun, we got members in my group excited, too. There are fifty swappers participating and once again, I think the most fun thing in this is thinking that all those swap packages are criss-crossing their way across the country and around the world spreading smiles and friendship. Just too cool!
Last news.........actually I can't tell you yet but I have some really good news that is such good news but I'm not sure it's real yet so wait til tomorrow and I should know by then. How's that for getting you to come back and find out what I'm talking about?
See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, March 5

I'm not getting lazy....

In fact............my brain is working very hard these last couple of weeks as I learn the "ins and outs" of a new computer! I'll be back to regular blogging by Monday when there will be something new "on the line". I have soooooo much stuff to share plus, thanks to an idea from one of my readers, the owner of the Bible has been found!!! That makes me "sew happy"! :-)
Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 1

Help me find the owner...........

of this Bible. I have had it for a number of years but it belongs to someone else. I have tried several times to find the owner but it occured to me that perhaps through my blog, I might finally locate it's owner. Here is the story about this Bible...........

I found the Bible in the bottom drawer of the desk I was given when I went to work as Assistant to the Director at Murphy's Landing back in the late 1990's. It's a living history site that is now called "The Landing" and is owned by Three Rivers Park District in Minneapolis. I asked a couple of co-workers who the Bible belonged to and was told it had been around for some time as someone had left it in the Bloomington Ferry Church on site. No one had ever called looking for it and it's owner was a mystery. I was told if I wanted it, to go ahead and use it. And so I have. It wasn't quite so worn when I first found it although it had been scotch taped on the side so it's first owner had used it well. The owner also wrote in numerous places in the Bible and the frontispiece has this inscription............... It says.........

Presented to:

Christopher Charles Roberts


Claudia Lynn Roberts

your adoring wife


Twenty Seventh Birthday


Surprise Party, December 21,'79.

I started searching for Christopher Roberts almost immediately after I found the Bible in my desk. I didn't find a Christopher Charles Roberts in the Twin Cities. A local radio announcer did some searching for me but he couldn't find the right one. I took the Twin Cities phone books and started calling people with similar names and no connections. I even did some on-line searching but never found the right one and, in fact, there are way too many to start trying to contact every Christopher Roberts.

I figure this particular person is just about 60 years old. I'm just a wee bit beyond that and if this was my Bible, I would love to have it return to me. I don't know any other way to find it's owner - unless I hired a private detective and that's not something I can afford - so I thought I'd appeal to all of you. Tell me any tips you might have on how I can find the owner of this Bible. I know this has nothing to do with quilts or stitching but in a way, it's like an old quilt....pages are soft and edges are worn like the edges of a soft quilt. It's been well-used like an old quilt. It's comfortable like an old quilt because sometimes you open it up and the words you need to read are right there. And sometimes they are words that were underlined by the original owner, Charles. I really need to find him or his wife or some family member. The Bible needs to go home. Any help you can give would be wonderful!!

And, so, if this is Tuesday, it must be Bible Study today and that's where I'll be this afternoon. Sometimes, it's also "Tuesday Crazies" day. Either way, it's about friendship and sharing. I am hoping that through my blogging friendships I can find a link that will lead me to the owner of this Bible. I don't know why, but it has become really important for me to find him. Thanks for your help!

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