Sunday, April 28

A lovely spring weekend!

Minnesota finally got some real Spring weather!! Temps in the 60's and 70's blew in on Friday and stayed through the weekend. That was great because my brother, Doug, drove up from Iowa to vendor at the nearby Pioneer Power Swap Meet east of LeSueur, MN. His spot was kitty-corner from all this fun yard-art...............
I could see some of these critters in our flower garden, when we finally plant one. In the meantime, if you see something you like, just check out Garden*Designs&Sculptures
for more info. 
The goat was too were the chickens........
 You can have your own zoo...........
And a lighthouse would look cute if you have a cabin at the lake. We don't but ya never know........
 Here's my brother, Doug..........
His spot was near the newest building that has been added to the Pioneer Power site........this old church........
My husband, Steve, and I walked around a bit but then he decided he was more interested in visiting with Doug...... 
and since I've seen my brother a lot in the last few weeks, I took off on my own and started heading up one aisle after another. I found some vintage Valentines that "called my name". Just had to have them. LOL! Picked up a pretty teacup from Doug's friend, Steve......
I love booths with lots of dishes!  At this swap meet, though, you can buy everything from dishes to tractors to old washing machines, all that yard art, quilts, .........
and tools, vintage windows, toys, furniture and even dollhouses. Would have loved that red one when I was a kid!
And there was good food! You know the kind........French Fries, mini donuts, and more. A sure sign of spring and summer was this produce vendor...........
Now the bananas and oranges clearly were not grown in Minnesota and most of the other stuff probably wasn't either but soon there will be fresh tomatoes, corn, green beans and more. I can hardly wait!
Good weekend all around! Last weekend was good, too, and I just never got to sharing about it. I went to the Mankato Quilt Guild show. Look for my quilty post about it on Monday. Still not good weather for hanging quilts out "on the line" but I saw plenty of pretty ones at the show that will keep me and you inspired!
See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, April 18

January snow arrives in April!!

Here in Minnesota, we are getting more than our usual share of wintery weather! And it's coming at a time when it's supposed to be Spring!  Just two weeks ago, there was no snow on our deck and I was thinking it wouldn't be long til the warm weather arrived and we could enjoy some burgers on the grill. And then, Mother Nature decided to give us another blanket of snow..............

The photo above was taken the day after I got back from Iowa. My mother is doing well following her hip injury but the time had come to transition to the local Care Center. It is, as many of you know, a tender time when these phases of life take place. Not something that I can easily write about at this time.
Before I left for Iowa, I decided to put spring flowers in the pot that sits on our front porch. Interestingly, it looked really pretty with all that snow covering the flowers...........
I still haven't removed my Christmas tree from the front porch but at least I took all the ornaments off of it. It, too, looked pretty and just like it had been "flocked" and ready for Christmas. But it's not December, it's April!  You can see that Kaiser is looking to get outside.
 and so, out he went.............
Those pictures are all from last weeks storm. I thought that was the end of winter storms but dear Mother Nature had other ideas. Yesterday, she gave us rain and then this morning, there was sleet. And then the snow began and it's still falling. This is what the Christmas Tree looked like on my porch at 11:00 p.m.
This is way too much snow! We got two January snowfalls in April! I am not the only Minnesotan who is ready for some warm weather. The one thing I remind myself of is that all this moisture puts an end to the drought condition of last summer and fall.  Knowing that, I won't complain too much. Maybe just a little.............
I'll get back to regular quilty blogging soon. In the meantime, have a good day and great weekend! And thank you to all of you that comment and send good thoughts and prayers. They are very much appreciated!

Monday, April 8

What's on the line?

After last week's windy attempt to photograph a quilt, I decided that a "re-run" of a past quilt was in order. I chose this pretty pink star quilt that also features a lot of really lovely green grass and green leaves!

The area where I hang the quilts is really quite muddy and not yet ready for quilt-hanging. Maybe next week, things will be a little less muddy and damp. If not...........well, there might be another "re-run".  :-)
Have a great Monday and a good start to the week!

Friday, April 5

A book Giveaway of "The Giving Quilt" ...........

Recently, I received an e-mail that asked if I'd like to review Jennifer Chiaverini's latest novel, "The Giving Quilt". Of course, I said YES!  I am almost finished with the book and once again, it is a lovely story of the connections that are made when one is quilting. I'm not going to "giveaway" the story line, but I am going to host a giveaway and one of you will win a copy of the book and the three pins that you see in this photo.............

All you have to do is tell me if you have made a quilt and given it to someone else. While I make many quilts that I keep just for me, I also make quilts to share with others. There is something about giving a personal, handmade item that makes it a very special gift. So, just leave your comment about a "Giving Quilt" and your name and an e-mail or link back to your blog. If there is no way to contact you, I can't let you know if you are the winner!  Contest begins now! and ends April 13th at midnight. Winner will be notified and will have 24 hours to respond or another name will be drawn.

Best of luck and have a great weekend!
And the winner is Karen O! I've e-mailed Karen and she has replied.
The pins and book will be going in the mail this Friday! 

Thursday, April 4

More expressions through art!

In my previous post, I shared about my son's artwork and the piece that he gave me for Christmas. Now I have some more artwork to tell you about. I'm holding three pieces of original art which I originally planned to give to my kids at Christmas. They are unique pieces from an exhibit last November at the Stans Museum in Shakopee, MN. All of the artwork in the exhibit was done by women offenders at the Minnesota Correctional Facility.  Some items in the exhibit were for sale and these three pieces "spoke to me" and I had to buy them.  When the exhibit was over, the pieces were then available for pick-up and so it was only last Thursday that they were finally in my hands. I showed them to my kids, Collette and Devlin last Sunday and asked them to choose the one they liked best but not to tell me right away. I was curious to see which one they would choose. Tell you in a minute, but first...........

Each one of these pieces is an expression of the feelings of the artist.
Here is the detail that was shared with each piece of art.

"Search for Love"
By: Deanna
This Batik art is depicting my search for love and
how confusing and elusive and hidden it can be.

"Eye of the Storm"
By: Greta
"Eye of the Storm" is a representation of my adult life, which has been quite stormy.
Each "eye"  represents the distinct times of clarity.
"Galaxy x33"
By: Linda
You are never too old to be creative and have fun!

While I liked each one of these prints so much that I would have kept them all for myself, it is always better to share! And so..........while my daughter had a hard time deciding between "Search for Love" and "Eye of the Storm", she decided "Eye of the Storm" was the one she wanted. My print is "Search for Love". I really like it. Can you find the heart in that print? And for my son........he wanted "Galaxy x33" because he considers the number 3 a lucky number and 33 especially fine. And he loved the words and so do I........
"You are never too old to be creative and have fun!" 
And isn't that the truth?   Being creative releases lots of good vibes, so I encourage you............Be creative and Have FUN!!!
And in addition to being creative............volunteering also makes one feel good. I was a volunteer at MCF and shared claycrafting and card making, and other projects that allowed the women to not only express their creativity but also to send a personal card to family members.  I only volunteered a few hours just three or four times a year but I always felt that so good when I left and knew that I had helped someone else ............ express their creativity!!

Wednesday, April 3

Creative expressions............

My blog is generally about quilting and often about family. It's also about inspiring creativity and expressing it. And so today, I'm going to tell you about the artwork that my son, Devlin, has been doing. The piece below was his Christmas gift to me. The artwork is created with a phone app called Sketchfree 1.0 and it's done when you draw with your fingers on a touchscreen. He has done a number of really cool sketches with the app. And I mean really cool!! I got to choose the one I wanted and I chose this one.  It's called "Crystal Forest" and the photo does not do the work justice.
He's done a few for friends and as much as I like the artwork, part of what makes the pieces so unique is the way he frames them.  The piece in the photo below is titled "The Spider Inspired."  It was created for Felicia Mitchell. The design looks like a spider wove web upon web. The print is accented with black velveteen and the corners are mother-of-pearl. Very cool!
This print was created for his friend Paul's birthday. It looks like a spinning wheel that is smokin'. Again, the detail in the framing, really makes the print stand-out!
This is a close-up of the print.

I've always believed that art and creative expression is really, really important. When you start using paints, or begin to sketch, or gather a bunch of fabrics, or assemble a bunch of items for collage, or whatever your heart desires..............well, you can get "lost" in the process and pretty soon you have created a piece of art.
Sometimes, something as simple as sticks can become art.  Devlin created this piece with just some sticks/twigs removed the bark, smoothed them, and left the wood unfinished. They represent the number 5 which is the date of my son's birthday. My camera does not do this piece justice either. The fabric background is deep burgundy velvet, not nearly as rosy red as the photo shows.

There are more projects he's been doing lately and I'll share more about them in future posts.  I can see his Sketchfree designs printed on fabric and wouldn't it be cool to take one of the designs and enhance it with some quilting in metallic threads?  Then maybe one could add some beading or bronzing paints...........or who knows? Anything that would allow ............. creative expression is all good!!

Now tell me, what is your favorite thing to do for .............. creative expression?

Monday, April 1

What's on the line? is back!!!

No foolin'!! It was April Fool's day today so I thought it was the perfect day to return to my "What's on the line?" features. It seemed like a good idea to take this little quilt out and hang it on the line. But that was not the case. It was sunny outside and it was windy. Spring is trying hard to blow in but it just can't get here. I nearly froze my fingers as I tried to take photos. The wind whipped the quilt up............
and it kept it up and would not let the quilt fall into place so I could take a picture!
 Finally, I snapped this one and it was the best one I could get..............
 because as soon as I snapped that photo, the wind took the quilt up, up and away!
I decided if you were going to see the full quilt, I better bring it inside and lay it on the carpet. This is a special little quilt that my sister, Judy, shared with me. It's one, our mother, Mary made many years ago for Judy's daughter, Noelle. My mom loves Sunbonnet Sue and she used to love to do a lot of applique with blanket stitch. The quilt was likely made in the late 1970's. I had never seen the quilt before but I recognized some of the fabrics. My mom and I shared some fabrics in the early to mid 70's, some of those fabrics are in a simple patchwork quilt that I made for my daughter, Collette. I don't think I've shared that one so look for it in a future post. Anyway, of the nine Sunbonnet Sue blocks, five of them are fabrics that I still have in my "collection". Oh, yes, I do!!
And that center patchwork fabric on Miss Sue? Well, that fabric is what I used to make a toaster cover in 1974! The brown and navy fabrics are in my "collection" as are the brown and yellow floral on the upper right and the red and yellow floral on the lower right. Made me smile when I saw these familiar fabrics!
Judy loaned me the quilt so that I could share it with all of you. She brought it along when we were visiting our mom at the Care Center. Thanks, Judy, for letting me share the quilt. And, also, thanks to so many of you that have sent such lovely messages and caring thoughts. I really need to say a big "Thank You" to all of you. I've responded to some of your comments and will get to all of them soon. I'll be going back to Iowa this week to visit my mom and, along with my brother and sister, we'll be taking care of a few more things. It's a time of transition, but it's going along quite well.  Again, thanks for your thoughts and prayers!
I am a wee bit behind in blogging and have some fun stuff to share. I'll get to it soon and there is going to be a giveaway coming up. It involves a quilting book so be watching for it later this week!
Time now to turn out the lights and get some sleep!

Spring isn't quite here yet but..........

My apologies...........I meant to post this yesterday morning but I forgot. I was up early to sing at church, then home to peel potatoes and make scalloped potatoes and ham and other goodies. Had a really good dinner and a nice afternoon with family! Hope you all enjoyed the day!
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
©SEA 2001-2018