Thursday, October 31

Halloween 2013!

The cool, crisp air of Fall was really cool and crisp this Halloween night!  We were fortunate that there was no rain but oh, my it was chilly!  I had my treats ready by 5:00 p.m................

set out lots of decorations to make the place look fun and festive! And I used those battery operated tea lights, so no worry about burning candles!

I lined the steps with some of my favorite bears and black cats and the Halloween quilt I finished last night...........

I was going to hang the quilt on my front porch railing so the rhinestone would shine in the night. It was too damp and cold out so I just laid it on the steps. The little kids especially love looking in and seeing what I line up on my stairs. The kids also liked my front door skeleton. This is one that my son and I made many years way back in the 1980's. We wanted a skeleton decoration so he laid down on the floor on some tagboard and we traced his body, then each hand and foot and cut the pieces for our very own scarecrow. The "joints" are held together by those brass brads we used so many years ago. I have to wonder........can you even buy those things anymore? 
Our first "trick or treaters" were neighbor girls Grace and Ava. The girls are just so bubbly and fun! Love to have them visit.  :-)
I decided to dress up a bit when I found a pair of felt ears and a black felt tail in a box of my Halloween stuff. I added lovely pink hair to make me a Fancy Cat!

Several of the kids thought it was really fun that I dressed up. I had plans for another costume but decided to do that idea for next year. Must find the right pieces for the fun costume for next year so I will be checking out lots of thrift shops!
Speaking of thrift shops...........I stopped at the Lutheran Home Thrift Shop in Belle Plaine last week and found a few little treasures. This little turkey was just 50 cents. I have a rule that if I buy a fabric item at a thrift shop, I bring it right home and it goes in the washing machine. If it survives, that's great. If not, then it's not a big loss. I have never lost an item yet. Anyway, this turkey-lurkey was so cute and I thought my mom would like this one to set on the shelf in her room. 
I tucked a couple of little Halloween candies in the bottom of the box, then carefully squished in the turkey, folded over his arms, his legs, then crammed in the two little pumpkins..........and I'm hoping it will be like a "turkey-in-the-box" and sort of "pop up" when she opens the box. And I hope it will make her laugh. I sure laughed as I packed the box.  LOL!
Time now to put away the Halloween things and focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So much to do, and so little time but I'll enjoy every minute of it. I remind myself that what doesn't get done this year, can always be put on the list for next year.  :-)
Time to get some sleep. Have a good Friday and a great weekend! So sweet to get that extra hour back!!


Monday, October 28

What's on the line? it's a re-run again.........

That's right, it's another re-run. I had great plans to finish a couple of Halloween projects and get them "on the line" but it's just not happening. They are all "on the list" for next Halloween! In the meantime, here is the quilt I made last year and gave to my daughter, Collette, to hang at her daycare/preschool.

The cottage design is from Nanette over at Freda's*Hive and you can find the tutorial for the blocks here.  I made a slight change as I chose to center the windows instead of having them next to the door. It's a fun and easy block to make. In fact, one of those projects that I thought I'd get to this Halloween is a stack of cottage blocks for a quilt for me!  It was fun to pick out all the pieces for the roofs, fussy-cut the pumpkins and ghosts for the windows and then add some rick-rack and buttons to make it all "scream" Halloween!
I am almost finished with a small quilt that I plan to hang on my front porch for Halloween. Look for it on Thursday! And if you stopped by last Monday, you might be wondering who won the little Noah's Ark fabric panel............and that winner is
RockGranny.  As soon as I get a reply with her address, the little panel will go on it's way!
It was a lovely weekend, very relaxing which was good as I am still catching up on sleep from last week's trip to Iowa. More on that later. Have a great Monday, a good start to a "howling" good week!

Monday, October 21

What's on the line?

A little "Noah's Ark" quilt is hanging "on the line" today. It's a little piece that was hand-quilted by my mother, Mary, a few years ago. This is a pre-printed panel and she stitched around all the characters and the block sections.

I took the photo last week so that I could pre-schedule my post for today. I'm still in Iowa visiting my mom, brother and other friends in my hometown of Lehigh. While I'm away, I thought I might have a little bit of a giveaway, a tiny celebration of hitting 1000 posts and because it's Fall which is my favorite season!  The tiny item I'm giving away?.......I have an extra pre-printed Noah's Ark panel and if you leave your name and answer one question, I'll enter your name in a drawing for the panel and a few tiny delights that will go into a USPS Flat Rate envelope.  And the question is...........what is your favorite animal?  I think mine is horses but sometimes it's cows. Kittens are cute and dogs are sometimes cuddly but I would love a horse. Don't want a turtle or a giraffe......just think I'd like my own horse. :-) Tell me your favorite animal and be sure to leave your e-mail or make sure your comment links back to your blog or profile page. The giveaway is open to US and International friends, and ends on October 26th at midnight, CST.
When I return from Iowa, I'll be sharing a post about some Christmas ornaments and some quilt show fun with my daughter, Collette.
Back soon. Have a great Monday, a good start to the week!

Saturday, October 19

Missed the count.........

Life has been so busy these last few months that I missed a major milestone here on my blog.........I hit 1000 posts!! I suppose I should celebrate and have a giveaway but I think that will have to wait a bit. I am headed to Iowa to visit my mom. Looking forward to the drive. Always love going home to Iowa at Harvest Time. Looking forward to lots of pretty autumn leaves, scarecrows and mums............just like the ones that are here on my front porch......

Be sure to stop back on Monday and see "what's on the line?"  There might be the tiniest of giveaways that day. Just maybe. :-)
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 17

Making some Halloween fun!

It's been almost two weeks since our small quilting group gathered to make my little Halloween sampler project. I figured it was about time I got the pictures posted!  The project is simple and requires just a few pieces of fabric for the pieced block and for backing, a small square of batting and Heat-n-Bond Lite.
Just a couple weeks before this class, I received an e-mail from Julia, the rep at Therm-o-Web, the company that makes Heat-n-Bond. She shared some information with me about products and programs and I told her some plans I had for future projects. The timing was perfect as I have several plans for projects for our little group. And a little bonus for the members..........she said she'd send some sample products for use in our classes!! The products didn't arrive in time for this class but they did arrive in time for the next class I did........Christmas ornaments and that will come up in my next post. But back to our little Halloween Sampler............

The hardest part of any project is choosing the fabrics. Granted, there are only six pieces of fabric in the little sampler but still one wants to choose just the right fabrics. And then we all have a different idea of what color pumpkin we wanted, or should we add leaves, or spiders............ And that's what makes it fun, using our own creative ideas!!  Enjoying some fabric fun are............Diane and Nicole..................
and Darlene and Sadie ....................
and Dottie and Connie..............
Everyone went home with all the pieces needed to make their little quilt. Some will hand-stitch the pieces together and some will sew them by machine. The pumpkins, ghosts, or leaves can be ironed in place using the Heat-n-Bond Lite. Connie and Dottie are experienced quilters who also belong to our Kindred Kwilters group that meets in LeSueur but the rest of our group was not familiar with Heat-n-Bond. It was really fun to learn how to use it and to imagine the possibilities of using it on a variety of projects!
We are going to have a lot of fun in the coming months as we work on projects. Each month I plan to share some new pattern and a technique or tip that will help members become true quilters!  It was only this past summer that Darlene, Diane, Nicole and Sadie made their first little quilting projects.  Here are Nicole and Sadie with their finished placemats............
They are hand-stitched and hand-quilted! Awesome work on both little quilts!
And then the fun was over.........time to pack up.....
and everyone will stitch away and bring their finished Halloween Sampler to our next meeting. If they're not finished, though, members of our quilting group can begin their very own pile of UFO's. Those of us that are experienced quilters know what that means..........unfinished objects!  :-)  Seriously, though, it's fun to get others excited about quilting, sewing, creating with fabric. These small items will add some decorative fun to our homes and will be a stepping stone to bigger projects. Keep watching because I'll share the quilting fun again next month when the group will make a little Christmas tree sampler. In case you want to make the Halloween Sampler, you'll find the project featured on this blogpost back in 2008 ....  Halloween*Sampler!  Enjoy and have fun! 

Monday, October 14

What's on the line? Something warm and wooly!

Today's quilt that is "on the line" is just a small quilt that my mother made long ago.

It measures about 30 x 40". I recognize a couple of the fabrics in the quilt and especially the black and red plaid that is in the second row. I had a skirt in that fabric that I really liked! There are a couple other pieces that look familiar, too. A few years ago when I was home to stay with her while she recuperated from some surgery, we did some decorating in her apartment. It was fall then, too. She had a little drop-leaf table and two chairs in the corner of her apartment and I draped the wool quilt over the table and added one of her fall baskets of flowers. It really looked pretty. A couple years later, she decided she didn't want the table and chairs, and decided to sell them. I was trying to help her find a buyer and then I realized ..... "hey, that table and chairs would look great in your sewing room, Sandi!" So I bought it from her. She told me I didn't have to pay her but I wanted to. Just felt better that way. And now, since my mom has moved to the Care Center, that wool quilt, and many other quilts she had, have come here to live with me. I enjoy looking at them and also sharing them. In fact, I'll be sharing a few at Kindred Kwilters meeting later this week.

Once again, it will be a busy week. Seems like every week is busy these days. You are probably getting tired of hearing me say that. So, I'll change my tune............instead.........this is going to be a "fun-filled" week. On Tuesday, I'll be taking quilts over to Fairview Assisted Living along with a pumpkin cake treat for the ladies to enjoy. Then Thursday, it's quilt club and I will gather up a bunch of vintage quilts to share. And in between those events, I'll be preparing for a trip to Iowa this weekend and a program I'll be doing at the Christian Church in my hometown of Lehigh, Iowa. I'll be leaving dear old Kaiser home with my husband while I head out to watch the combines in the fields as I travel down Highway 169 and then spend the weekend visiting my mom, brother, etc. and doing the program at the church. For those of you in the Lehigh area, here's the flyer on the program. 
That's all for now. I promised a post about the little Halloween Quilts and our Henderson quilt group and will get to that on Wednesday of this week. Have a good Monday!

Tuesday, October 8

What's on the line?

Note to self....... "It helps to remember to schedule a post, instead of leaving it in 'draft' format".  Uh, yes, that's right. I took photos and had a post to share, and forgot to set a schedule time to activate the post!  This is a sign of getting older or.......just maybe too busy?  Anyway, here is just a little something "on the line" that I picked up when we were back in Humboldt, Iowa for my husband's 50th Class Reunion. This little quilt was for sale in the gift shop at the Humboldt County Historical Society and it called my name. Imagine that? :-)
There were several small quilts for sale and when I asked about them, I was told that they were donated by members or local quilters who had a few too many quilts, some made several years ago. And again, I say.......imagine that? Even my husband said.........."don't you already have enough quilts at home?" And my answer........"well, yes, but not one like this one."  It's just a small doll quilt (about 15 x 18") and it is hand-quilted. I have a particular fondness for nine-patch blocks and the moment I saw this, I had to bring it home. I took this little quilt along when I went to LeSueur Assisted Living today to visit residents and share some quilts and a treat of pumpkin cake. It is so much fun to share my quilts and pretties with the residents. They enjoy seeing the quilts and then sharing stories of their quilts or needlework. And then there is coffee and a treat. Everyone enjoyed the pumpkin cake, along with ice cream and if I do say so myself, it was very yummy!

I began visiting the assisted living facility in LeSueur last May and thoroughly enjoyed the visit. It always made my mother-in-law smile when I brought handwork to show her when she was in a care facility. My dad, too, always wanted to know what was the latest thing I was working on so I would bring a few things each time I visited him. I do the same now that my mom is at the Care Center. And so, it seems natural to pack a little suitcase full of quilts and pretties and take some "Show 'n Tell"........ on the road!  I choose a few things that fit each month's theme or holiday and sometimes share a reading or poem. Very enjoyable for me and for the residents.  Here are a few little quilts that I took along today ..............

And I'll tell you more about them in my next post and how much fun they were to make at our Henderson Quilt group last Thursday!  Lots of photos and fun stuff coming up.
While I was "on the road" today, my husband was at home washing windows. He's spent the last week washing every window inside and out and now we have windows that sparkle so much that the birds are going to fly right into them. They are that clean and clear!  There was some curtain washing that I did while he cleaned windows and then I figured why not flip a mattress or two and wash a bunch of bedding. And then the dog needed a bath and there were all his blankets to wash because he's spoiled and has multiple cushions around the house. He no longer has one in my sewing room, though. Nope, I have pretty much banned Kaiser from my sewing room. He has eaten one-too-many items that aren't good for his stomach. Of course, right now, he's sleeping peacefully and, oh, so sweetly on his cushion. You would never know that he is sometimes a wee bit naughty. LOL!
And while Kaiser sleeps, I think I will do a little work on a Christmas project. Yes, I know it's not even Halloween yet, but at this time of the year, one side of my brain is thinking "Fall/Halloween" stuff and the other side is thinking "Winter/Christmas" stuff.  Not thinking about any snow, though. Hoping it stays away til November.......or maybe even December! All for now. Back soon.....
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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