Monday, November 28

What's on the line?

This is a quilt that has been with me for years. It's a nice warm, tied quilt that has a mix of fabrics that are wool or wool blends. When my mom made it more than forty years ago, it looked quite nice. All the squares were flat and the same size. But then..............

as you can probably tell, I washed it.  The time came when it just plain had to be washed.  I remember that I washed it in cold water but even that was not enough to keep the 100% wool blocks from shrinking and the wool blend ones stayed the same size.  The quilt has always been a "car quilt" because it was perfect to have if the heater in the car wasn't working or in case we got stranded in a snowstorm (never happened).  I decided this past summer that it was time to let the car quilt come inside. I washed it again (it did all it's shrinking in that first wash long ago) and hung it to dry (this pic was taken about a month ago on a warm October day).

This quilt may be a bit mis-shaped but I still like it. I can fold it and set it on a shelf and it looks nice. It's sort of a "memory quilt". The fabrics are from old clothes that my mother cut up for the quilt squares. Three of the fabrics are from skirts I wore in high school. My favorite is that fuschia and yellow plaid. It was a cute mini skirt that had a "hip-hugger" belt that matched it. I wore it a lot. :-) It would have been made in the late 60's/early 70's, just about the time I got married. And speaking of that, it was our anniversary last Thursday on Thanksgiving Day, November 24. We were married in 1968 and I can remember that we left Fort Dodge, Iowa on a Sunday evening after our wedding and headed west. We were on our way to San Diego where Steve had his first job. We reached Flagstaff, Arizona on Thursday of that week and it was Thanksgiving. For that first Thanksgiving together, we both ordered cheeseburgers and fries. LOL! Every year since then, it's been turkey. For many years, I cooked the turkey but Steve took over the duty about ten years ago. I like to make the pies..........
These are the pies I made this year..........pumpkin and cherry and apple!  We had a houseful of family for Thanksgiving this year and we enjoyed the pie and the turkey and all the trimmings. I'll share some family pics in my next post.
Hope you had a good weekend! Have a great Monday!

Monday, November 21

What's on the line?

You've seen this quilt on the line before. I shared it last November (in this post) and I decided I would share it again.  I'm not fond of numbers (I am math-challenged) but I do enjoy "counting my blessings".  I count family, friends, and so many things as blessings. Being able to spend time with friends is a blessing. Having nice weather in Minnesota during November is a blessing. Well, the weather was nice when I joined my friends, Laura and Sharon for a "quilty day-out". It has since turned a little snowy but by Thanksgiving Day it will be in the 50's. On our "quilty day-out" it was 60 and that was awesome for November. We made a visit to Quilter's Dream over in Montgomery (here's the post I wrote after my first visit to their shop) and then we went to The Fishtale Grill in New Praque for lunch. That's where we spotted the moose..........
When we came out of the restaurant, I asked the gals if they would pose with this big guy. It was, after all, deer hunting season and I had seen several guys in their bright orange jackets and camoflauge gear heading out for the big hunt. We "snagged" a moose without even trying. LOL! That's Laura above and Sharon below..........
I am blessed that my friends don't mind my goofy sense of humor. That's me chuckling at the silliness of this.
We followed up the silliness with a visit to "Hands of Friendship" Thrift Shop. We were on the hunt for bargains and I snagged these items...........
A couple of the items are little gifts for friends. I realized after I posted the picture that I forgot to include the deer that I "snagged". Seriously, I got a deer. Well, it was a wooden one but it was a deer and I'll get a picture later this week and show you just how cute he is.

So, you know I love fabric and you might be wondering, did she buy anything at Quilter's Dream? Well, yes I did but only a couple tiny items and they are gifts for friends who read my blog so can't show them. Also found something for my mom and she doesn't read my blog but some of her friends do, so I don't want the secret to get out. I didn't buy anything for me that day because I had ordered some "goodness" from Hen*and*Chicks*Studio a few days before our outing. Owner Heidi Kaisand shared this photo (I checked with Heidi for permission to share) on Facebook and I loved these pink fabrics, especially that stripe on the right........
It was important that I get them ordered now even though I won't be using them til Spring. I have a challenge that I'm going to make to myself and it could be very interesting. I'm going to share more on the "challenge" subject in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, life is busy around here with preparation for Thanksgiving and also doing some Christmas decorating plus sewing machine shopping and gathering some items for a donation project. Lots to keep me busy. Many blessings to count. Much to be thankful for. More blessings and thanks coming up in my next post.
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 16

Out and about to "Down Under Quilting"...........

Are you thinking I was "out and about" to Australia? No, not me. I was visiting my quilty friend, Anne Tuma, owner of "Down*Under*Quilting". That's her smiling face "behind the wheel" of her long-arm quilting machine..............

Anne and I met several years ago during a series of quilt shows in the Scott County (MN) libraries. She was so generous in sharing some of her quilts when we did not have quite enough for our display at the Belle Plaine library. Her work is exceptional!
So, are you wondering why her business is called Down*Under*Quilting? I can answer that question. It's because Anne is originally from Australia! Minnesota is home now, though, and Anne is well-known for her excellent machine quilting.
This is a really eye-catching quilt on the wall in her studio.............

I liked this one a lot. She also did it in a different colorway that I found stunning because it's autumn and I do love autumn colors!!
Anne also teaches in local community education programs and offers retreats. One of her classes is making a T-Shirt quilt. She has made this a class that even a beginning quilter can complete!
I brought along a couple quilts to share with Anne and I'm going to have her do this one below...........
It's called "Brick and Tile" and is a project that I taught at a retreat (Sew Close to Home Quilting Retreat at Emma Krumbee's) in 2006. I made the top, taught the class, never had the top quilted. It's time that quilt top grew up and graduated to a real quilt. :-)  More on this one in a future post. And yes, you all may have read my last post where I mentioned that I'm getting a new sewing machine and am planning to take a long-arm class at Quilter's Dream so you might wonder........why have someone else quilt this top for me? That's easy. She will get it done sooner than I will! LOL!  Once I get the new machine it'll take me a year to figure it out. Same goes for the long-arm classes. :-)
As I was leaving, I noticed this wallhanging and floral arrangement near her front door. My favorite color is usually pink but when the colors of autumn are put together, then they are my favorites, too!
 And speaking of autumn............on my way home, I passed this pretty farm scene...........
This really is Minnesota.........sunshine, no snow, awesome Autumn!!!  This photo was taken about two weeks ago. I was "out and about" this past Saturday with more quilty friends and it was still..........awesome Autumn. More on that adventure in my next post!

Monday, November 14

What's on the line?

I'm late getting this posted but here is the donation quilt that I sent off to BASICS .......

I finished the quilt a week ago but wanted to get some pictures before I mailed it. It's been a wee bit windy up here on the ridge so it wasn't easy to get that picture you see above. Here's what it was like right after I hung the quilt on the line.........

I was not sure I could get a decent picture as the wind was blowing so hard it practically wound the quilt around the line!  I was patient and I watched it come down and snapped a photo......a bit too late but almost..........
and then the wind took it away again........
and, oh, did it take it away!  Flippity, flap it snapped in the wind!
and then the wind died down and the quilt slowly began to unfold......
 just a bit more.........
 oh and then the wind took it up again........
 then back down.......
and then I snapped the photo and knew this was the best one I would get on that windy, windy day!!

I hope the quilt will warm someone and become a very favorite quilt. It was made in rememberance of my friends, Cathy and Cindy. I titled it "Crazy for Cats". Cathy especially loved her cats, along with her family and friends. Cindy also had cats but her favorite was her chickens, along with her family and friends. Cathy and Cindy were lovely women who were taken by cancer. I and many of my friends miss them but we think of them often.
This quilt began with some cat-themed squares that were shared by quilty friends so that we might make a lap quilt for Cathy. There were not quite enough blocks collected and before enough could be gathered, Cathy had passed away. When the call went out for quilts for BASICS I got out the squares and laid them out to see what might work for a quilt top. There were colorful crazy cat squares and then there were brown, black and white squares of real cat drawings. The two did not look good together. So I took only the colorful ones - 17 of them - and then cut squares from a white on white cat fabric and laid them out in the pattern below.

I added a darker border and then that blue fabric with the mice on it. I bought that one just for this quilt because the mice are saying "hee hee" and I think they are happy because they have surrounded the cats. LOL! I can't recall where I got the colorful cats in the border but it made me smile. At first glance, I thought they were just colorful cats. Then I looked closer and they are all cats who are sick or hurt. One has an ice bag on his head, another has his/her arm in a sling, one is getting his/her temperature checked, etc. etc. I thought about looking for a different border because I wanted happy cats but then they are so cute that I decided to "leave well enough alone" and keep it for the border. I rimmed it all with the softest pink fabric that I found in my friend Cindy's stash. It was just a few weeks ago that I went to her studio and gathered fabrics from her sewing room. There was plenty of this fabric to use for the backing so it will be a comfy quilt for a child.  This is the first quilt to use fabrics from Cindy's collection. If you haven't read the story behind her fabrics, you'll find it here
I was hoping to finish a second quilt to donate but I just did not have the time or the right sewing machine for quilting a larger quilt. That will soon change and I will get another one finished come the new year. This is an ongoing project. If you have a quilt that can be shared, the info on the project is here at the BASICS website.
On to the next project.........setting up the Christmas tree in the basement Family Room. With family coming for Thanksgiving this year, I have moved up all my decorating so it will be a festive mix of Turkeys, Santas, Manger Scenes and Trees. :-)
Have a good Monday!

Friday, November 11

Veteran's Day

Remembering today all of the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.  That includes my dad, Melvin, who is pictured here somewhere in Germany near the end of World War II.  I am thankful for his service and the sacrifices he and everyone who is in the military make in the pursuit of freedom.
As you know from reading my blog, my dad encouraged my sewing and quilting projects.  For some time, I've thought I should share this little pattern. It's one my dad really liked.
If you have someone who is serving in the military, you could make it in honor of their service. If you back the quilt with plain muslin, you could write personal messages on the wallhanging.
There is bit of symbolism in the little quilt. The three stars represent the three branches of our government...... Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The four red and white bars represent all the states........North, South, East and West. The fireworks represent the celebrating we do on Independence Day on the 4th of July and also when our loved ones return home safely.  Sadly, many of our military do not return home safely.
If you'd like to make this wallhanging, you will find the pdf for the pattern cover and quilt instructions posted here. The pattern page for the stars is here.  The pattern page for the letters for Stars and Stripes is here and the pattern page for the word Forever is here.
If you have any questions about the pattern, just leave me a comment and I'll reply. You may share the pattern with friends. If you make the little quilt, I would love to see a picture!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 7

What's on the line?

Something brand new is on the line today. It's the quilt that I won back at the end of August. While I won the quilt then, I didn't actually get it until the first part of October. And then I brought it home and took this picture on a pretty fall day in mid October............

I won the quilt in a raffle held by the Lehigh (Iowa) Historical Society. When I was home visiting my mom in early August, I bought tickets from Roger Smith, president of the historical society. I decided to go for six for $5. I had no idea what the quilt looked like. I bought the tickets in part to support the Lehigh Historical Society. However, I'd be lying if I said that was the only reason. I've been buying raffle tickets for quilts at all sorts of events for years and have never won. I was hoping my lucky day was somewhere in my future..........and it was! Here's how I got the good news...........
On Sunday, August 28th there was an Open House event at the Lehigh Historical Society. I wasn't able to be there. I was home in Minnesota. Late that Sunday afternoon, I was doing some sewing and watching TV. I looked over at the clock and saw it was 3:30 p.m. and thought........."hmmm, they will be drawing the name of the winner of the quilt soon. Wouldn't it be nice if I could win it?" And then I went back to my sewing. At 4:25 p.m. the phone rang. I know this because I wrote the time in my journal. :-)  Thanks to Caller I.D., I could see that it was my brother, Doug calling. He's the secretary for the historical society. I answered the phone and jokingly, said "Hey, are you calling to tell me I won the quilt?"  Momentary silence..........and then he said "well, actually, I am." To which I replied, "Oh, you're kidding me!"  And he said "no, your name was drawn. You won!"  Well, I could not believe it. I didn't even know what the quilt looked like but I was just thrilled. Doug said he would keep it for me until the next time I came to visit.
I picked up the quilt after my mom and I returned from her visit to Iowa City at the end of September. When I saw it, I immediately loved the colors. It was just "me"! I love that design, intricate and almost a lace effect aroiund the center circles. The quilt was not made by members of the historical society or local quilters. Member Judy Smith purchased the quilt and donated it to raise funds. You may know the maker.......Name on the tag is J.C. Penney. I think I've heard of her before. LOL!  Hope you all understand my sense of humor. Anyway, the quilt is queen size and just plain comfy and wonderful! Thanks go the members of the Lehigh Historical Society for hosting the raffle. And to Donny Ford who drew my name!

Here is another view of the quilt draped over the deck railing..........

There is only one thing that would have made winning this quilt more fun and that's if I could have shared the story of the win with my dad. He would have been telling everyone in Lehigh the story of how I won it!  I'll be sharing the story when I do my "Legacy of Stitches" quilt program. It's one more quilt that I can share along with the stories of so many other quilts that my dad and mother brought my way. So happy that my lucky day arrived!

Had a great weekend. Loved getting that hour back! I finished a donation quilt for Basics and also did a little sewing just for me. Oh, and my husband brought home the Christmas tree. Granted, it's not real, but we need a new tree for the living room and so we went tree shopping last weekend. I found four I liked and told him he had to like at least one of them.  We decided to think about which one would be best, one that would go in front of the window or one for the corner of the living room. We decided on one for the big window, so he stopped at Menard's and picked up the 9ft Cedar Canyon. I even like the name of the tree. Oh, and it was on sale!  I'll light pine scented votive candles and once the tree is decorated no one will know it's articial. I can hardly wait to start decorating it. Am zipping right into Christmas now that the Halloween stuff is put away. We have family coming this year and some other fun stuff planned for December so I am going to make sure the place looks very festive! If you are reading this Monday morning, I'll be in the closet under the steps pulling out the Christmas decorations. Sewing may have to take the "back burner" for a few days..........
Have a great Monday!  You know, I kinda like Mondays. They are a nice fresh start to the week. How about you?

Wednesday, November 2

The Devil's Puzzle.............

is not a puzzle at all. It is a really, really good book!! It's Clare O'Donohue's newest novel in her Someday Quilts Mystery series..........

I received a copy of the book a few weeks ago from her editor. It came while I was in Iowa with my mom. I was really busy that first week after I got home so I dared not touch the book. Finally, though, I had to check it out. Last Thursday, I went to bed a bit early and read the first chapter. I was only going to read one chapter but then I decided I would read the second chapter.
The next morning, I read the third chapter and then went about the day's duties.  I didn't pick up the book again til later that night. However, I went to bed early so I could read.......chapters 4......5.......6.......7.  Come Saturday, there was laundry and cleaning to do but in between all that I was picking up the book and reading.........and reading......and reading. It was so hard to put it down. I think I managed to read up to about chapter 33 by the time I turned out the lights on Saturday night.
On Sunday afternoon, I decided the book was just too compelling and I had to finish it. So, I curled up in my chair with a really comfy quilt and did just that. It was a really, really good book!! It's one of those books that I'll keep around and in a couple of years, I'll read it again. Right now, I loaned my copy to my daughter. But..............I was sent two copies and I have one to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me the name of your favorite quilt block. Make sure you have a link back to your blog or e-mail address. The last two giveaways that I hosted, I drew names that had no way to contact so I had to draw again. You have until Sunday, November 6th at noon (Central Standard Time) to leave your comment. Good luck! Oh, and of course, the book will come wrapped in fabric and maybe a little something else will be tucked in, too!
Have a great day!

This giveaway is closed. Winner has been notified. Congratulations to Nadine/Owl Lady!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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