Sunday, November 1

And the dark of night comes early today!

Yes, today is the day we got that hour back, you know......the one we gave up in the Spring when Daylight Savings Time kicked in. I never really bought into DST and I would be happy if it would just disappear and we would not have to worry about setting clocks forward or backward. But........that is not going to happen. What is happening? Well, I am here blogging. I keep saying I am going to blog more regularly but this past year has been the busiest and one of the best for family times and volunteer projects and there was just never enough time for blogging. I miss doing my regular blog posts, though. I began blogging in May of 2008 following the passing of my dad. It helped me through that time of grief and beyond. It doesn't seem possible that he has been gone for seven years. It seems like only yesterday that he was still here. I think of him so often when I am doing projects or we are enjoying some family activity that I know he would enjoy. When I go home to visit my mother, I take things for "show and tell" and we share treats and pictures and good times. A few weeks ago, I was remembering some special times in the fall of the year. It's my favorite season. Yes, I dearly love the Christmas season but autumn warms my heart. I love the colors, the sound of the leaves as they rustle down the street, the smell of bonfires, and even the early darkness as we head into the winter season. It was with those thoughts that I sketched a little design for a pincushion and needlecase set. You may remember that I shared a pincushion back in January - just go Here and you can see that first pincushion.
Here is the little autumn themed pincushion set I designed and titled "Autumn Nights"............

Patterns for the designs are posted in my Pincushions and Pretties group on Facebook. You'll find the group here......

and also in my Wooly Buddies group, also on Facebook now.........

This was a quick and easy little set to make. That said, took me a week to do it just because I was busy with some volunteer projects that had to be done. You could easily make this in an afternoon or evening of stitching.
Stitching the applique pieces….Position pumpkin shape on one 5” square of woolfelt, tacked lightly with glue stick. Stitch the pumpkin piece, then add stem, leaf and vine. I chose to stitch outer edge of pumpkin and stem in blanket stitch. Leaf and vine were done in a stem/outline stitch. I mark these lines with a silver gel pen, then stitch. 
For the needlecase, fold a 5 x 8” piece of wool or woolfelt in half, then position moon on front of needlecase piece. Tack in place, then stitch. I used blanket stitch but a simple overcast stitch would be fine, too. I added stitch lines for the eye and mouth. 

I used Heat’n Bond Lite and ironed it to the reverse side of cotton fabric, peeled the paper away and pressed the cotton fabric to the inside of the needlecase.  Next, position a 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangle in center of folded case and stitch along left edge. Stitch around edge of needlecase with blanket stitch. I added a felt star but in future, I would add a cute star button!
I "auditioned" several colors of Perle cotton that I thought I might use to stitch around the pincushion and the needlecase. In the end, though, I chose black and I liked that the best.

To complete the pincushion, place the finished square on top of remaining square and stitch around outer edge. I leave a 3” opening across the bottom. I make small bags from scraps of knit fabric and fill them with the crushed walnut shells. Cut a 5 x 8” piece of knit, fold it over and stitch on both sides. Turn inside out and fill with crushed walnut shells (about one cup, don’t overfill!), then machine or hand-stitch to close the opening. Stuff this into the finished pincushion “shell”. Get it just right, then finish stitching along the edge of your pincushion and you are finished! 

Hope you have enjoyed this project and "mini" tutorial. Next up is a Thanksgiving themed pincushion. I bet it might have a turkey theme.........just maybe!
Have a great Monday and an awesome week!

P.S. Here is the pattern page that you will find in my stitching groups.............

Friday, October 2


Yes, it's me. I have had the busiest, but the best summer in years. There was little time for blogging. My last post was about computer problems and those were solved the day after I posted. But then a flurry of activity just kept me from the computer. It was all good. I will catch up on all that goodness when I return from the quilt show in my hometown of Lehigh. If you are anywhere near my hometown this weekend, please stop in and say HELLO!

Here are two reasons for my busy, happy summer. Daughter Collette and son Devlin are pictured at her annual Little Stars daycare picnic in June. Her daycare was making a transition from a downtown location to a new, renovated space in the old Mankato Fire Station. Collette and Devlin worked together this summer just like they used to play together as kids.  We all got involved. Steve helped with computer and phone set-up, I made treats. :-) More pics will follow of the new space and all the other summer activities that we all enjoyed.

And now, my car is packed full of quilts, aprons, and other pretties and we are headed to Iowa. Devlin is driving and is going to be my "muscleman" for setting up the quilts, along with my brother, Doug. My energy level isn't what it used to be and let's face it......I will never get any taller and it really helps to be tall when hanging quilts and stuff. ;-) I will have lots of pictures to share when I return. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 7

Computer Problems!

This past Wednesday morning, just a few hours after I posted that I was going to share photos and fun stuff..........guess what? we got a rather lively thunderstorm and quite a bit of lightning and it appears that it zapped our router for the computer. My husband tried all sorts of technical things that day to resurrect said router but it was not to be. So, he called to order a replacement..........and it's "out of stock"! On Friday, he went shopping to see if he could find one locally but none in stock. But, he did find one that Office Max ordered up and it will be delivered by Monday or Tuesday. And they gave him free shipping. Nice touch! I am typing this from his computer which he somehow hooked up to an old router but it doesn't work to have more than one computer on it. This technical stuff is a real pain. I would have had to call the Geek Squad for sure. LOL! Hopefully, he will have the computer up and running soon. I am really missing the daily check-in for e-mails, blogs and Facebook!!
Hope to be back soon with the promised photos!
P.S. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Tuesday, June 2

What a great day!

Today was my birthday. It was awesome! It was relaxing and refreshing, just the day to get me inspired to get back to my blog. There has been so little time to blog these last months, so many things going on and no time to share. However, that means there are fun things to share and now I have time. There are pictures and projects just waiting to see the light of day. If I had remembered to charge my camera battery, I could load pics and share them now. That will have to wait til tomorrow. Here's a little peak at some fun that took place this past Sunday. I took this photo with my tablet. I'll share the story in my next post on Wednesday evening!

Saturday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hearts! Hearts! Hearts! I love, there, everywhere and in all colors! Several years ago, I designed this little penny rug that I call "Connecting Hearts" because if there is one thing that happens among friends and family, it is that our hearts are connected in love and friendship! I took a few photos last week so I could share these with you. This first one is made from woolfelt. Love working with woolfelt (from National Nonwovens) as it is soft and so easy to stitch and it comes in an abundance of colors. Plus you can dye it if you can't find the color you want! I took photos with my camera and with my tablet and neither one could get the colors right. This first one is close.......soft teal, with burgundy hearts............
But this next one.....oh, not right at all! Looks like it's bright blue and hot pink! Not!

It is deep blue with red hearts and a light blue floral motif in the center. The large hearts are the same as the outer hearts. 

This one is closer to it's true colors........Christmas red and Christmas green. I made two in these fabrics, one for me and one for my daughter. Each is just a wee bit different but still all the same fabrics/colors.
 I figured I needed a heart penny rug for each season of the year so this is my one for Autumn. Love the plaid and it, too, it almost true to it's colors. I entered this one in the Scott County Fair in 2004 and it earned a Blue Ribbon and a Reserve Grand Champion Ribbon. That's as good as winning a lottery ticket for me!

My favorite of the heart penny rugs that I've made is this one as I love the colors and enjoyed doing the embroidery on this one. This one just makes me smile........

Actually, anything that has hearts and has anything to do with Valentine's Day makes me smile. I remember how much I enjoyed making special Valentines, decorating those boxes and hoping for a Valentine from that special boy. My kids loved the whole Valentine thing, too. They're grown and long gone from the nest but I went on to do after-school kids classes making Valentines and then we started coloring them to donate. And so last Sunday, a group of us gathered at my church and colored and cut Valentines that were then delivered to nearby Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Homes. It was a good project all around as we all got creative..........
 mothers, daughters, sons, cousins, .........
younger members and young-at-heart members like Arline and Bert Karels who taped the candies to the cards.
 Pastor Deb and Dawn McConnell are so intent on their coloring!!
 And so is Hailey!
We enjoyed a hot dog lunch and treats and enjoyed a great day that led to a little bit of enjoyment for others. At the end of the day, we had about 120 Valentines that had been colored and another 118 that I printed by finding free Valentines on-line. In the background is my little white tree that now has red crystals on it and a giant heart for celebrating Valentine's Day. ;-)
This was just half the Valentines that were delivered. The total Valentines that were delivered was close to 250 (I colored a few extras after I got home).

The Valentines that we colored are designs that I drew back in the 1990's for miniature projects that I was making. I wanted to recreate those Valentine memories and just sat down and started drawing things that I recalled from when I was a kid. There's more to the story but for now..........just Have a Happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, January 27

A little January Christmas surprise!

One of my longtime blog followers sent me a little package last week. Inside, were these pretty little ornaments. Sending a big THANK YOU to Nadine, the Owl Lady!!
Have been busy stitching, enjoying family time and cleaning some closets. The tree is still up but must come down this weekend!  I am ready to "kick into Valentine mode" so time to put away all the Christmas pretties til next year.  Happy End-of-January!

Wednesday, January 21

A little stitching project............

I have been enjoying this time of "stay-at-home" vacation. Have watched several favorite old movies and read some good books. Am enjoying lots of hand-stitching on wooly projects. This afternoon, I finished this one.

I have posted the pattern in my "Pincushion and Pretties" group on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, check it out!  To visit my group, just go here.........
Each month, I will be sharing a new pattern. Tutorials for the projects will be posted here on my blog. All of the pincushions will be made from Woolfelt from National Nonwovens. Back to my stitching.........

Monday, January 12

No resolutions for this year but I have set a goal!

I have read a number of resolutions that folks have made and I thought about it and then thought again. I have rarely succeeded at resolutions. However, I sometimes set goals and achieve them. That's what I am going to do this year and here's my goal. It involves quilts. Little quilts. Twelve of them. All the monthly quilts that I made in 2000, the Millennium which seemed a long way off back in the late 80's and early 90's. And now.......the Millennium is long gone! I just can hardly believe it is 2015! Back when I made this little quilt titled "Snowman Quartet", I had every good intention of making the same design using wool and flannels.

I never quite got to it. And it's sort of understandable as each month in the year 2000, I designed a small quilt, then taught it in a class in our community education program. Oh, and also provided all the fabric. It was great fun but it was a hectic schedule! I am looking forward to lots of wooly fun as I make each of these little quilts again! I am determined (this is my word for the year!) that they will be completed by the end of 2015. Determined!
Now if you wonder why I never got to the quilts in the years since then, we finished up the last quilt in this series, I had an idea for a five quilt mystery series that I designed and so I taught that as a class in 2001. Then came a block of the month in 2002 and another one in 2003. I designed a couple of large quilts for "Sew Close to Home" quilt retreat in 2005 and 2006. I was always sketching, always stitching. Some designs were realized, some are still "on the drawing board". All during these years there were family health issues going on. As I look back now, I can hardly believe all that has transpired, especially in the last six years. Life sometimes moves at a crazy busy pace! In addition to health issues for my mom, I have had more than my share of ups and downs with hospital visits, especially this last year. I decided I had to slow things down a bit. I/We haven't had a vacation since 2005. We make trips home to Iowa but haven't been any further than that since our last trip to California in 2005. So, I decided I would take a vacation at home this January and do just what I felt like, no commitments, no deadlines, just relaxing. So far, it's almost working. :-)  I have read two really good books, especially the one I finished today titled "The Frontier Lady" by Judith Pella. It was hard to put down so it made for good relaxing! This week, I'll take a break from my vacation and go to our quilt group meeting. Otherwise, I am just chillin'..... reading.....and stitching. Oh, and cooking. I couldn't get rid of that so I guess we still need to take a real vacation.
I'll be back in a few days.......Heat wave coming in on Friday.......going to be 34 above zero! Yay!
Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 6

Getting stuff done!

I am busy getting stuff done, checking things off my "to do" list. Feels so good to know I am making progress. So, nothing exciting to report except that today I finished our Kindred Kwilter's newsletter and sent it off. Then I did the yearly booklet for our Women's Guild at church and it's ready to be handed out on Thursday. Up next...working on the newsletter I first published back in 2006. Looking forward to making it happen again. It's called "The Independent Penny Press". There have been many "ups and downs" in the years since then, but I just remind myself that "good things come to those who wait". I can be very patient.  :-)

Sunday, January 4

The wind has stopped blowing........and next it will start snowing!

And that means that this is a perfect little penny rug to share in this typical Minnesota weather! I stitched this one back in 2002 from a pattern called "Let it Snow!" designed by Tara Lynn Darr of Sew Unique Creations.  

I made it as a class sample during a time that I was teaching penny rug classes at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in nearby Shakopee. This was a favorite pattern of students and was usually made in red woolfelt with touches of white and blue. I chose these pretty blue wools at Eagle Creek, then reduced the pattern by 50% as I wanted a slightly smaller version than the pattern made. 
Yes, this is a perfect penny rug as last night the wind blew like crazy and then today it was colder than cold and on Monday we are to get 4-6 inches of snow! I'm thinking some kiddos in the neighborhood might be hoping for a snowday on Tuesday so they can go sliding or build a snowman. It could happen! 
I'm okay with snow, because we have no place to go! And it never snows in my sewing room. ;-)
Time to do a little wooly stitching........

Saturday, January 3

Finished my book.......

Yes, I finished the book I started reading earlier this week. I picked up the book at the library on Monday when Mary Ann, Arlene and I took down the big Christmas tree that was used to collect books at our Silent Auction. When we were finished, we took a look at some of the books that have been set aside for the next book sale. Both Mary Ann and I found books that looked interesting. The one I found is "The Senator's Other Daughter" by Stephen Bly. It's set in 1880's New Mexico territory and I enjoyed the book so much that I am going to request other titles by this author. I have nothing to show for my day because laundry was my only other accomplishment, and left-overs for supper tasted good but were not worthy of a photo. Oh, I did make a phone call to my Uncle Gordie and got some good advice on my recipe plans for my blog. More on that when I share my next recipe. 
Cold and windy here tonight. Many counties in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa will see blizzard conditions and extremely low temps in the next couple of days. I'm just fine with that as I am staying home, staying safe and stitching wooly projects! 
Have a blessed Sunday! 

Friday, January 2

Recipe thoughts.........

Today, we were "out and about". We did our grocery shopping and ran a lot of errands. We both have winter projects we're doing and needed supplies for them. The weather wasn't bad today so it was good to do it while the temps were sort of mild. Especially since they will not be mild for the next week. Noooo, the temps are dropping down to the single digits so it will be soooo cold that Kaiser the Wonder Beagle will not want to go out! While we were "out and about" today, one of our stops was a visit to Collette. She's back at work and doing pretty good. She knew I was bringing her banana bread and was excited to have it delivered. Interestingly, I sent Devlin a text and said I'd mailed him a couple loaves to his work and he was quick to reply with a "Yay!" Who knew they'd get so excited over homemade banana bread!

When we got home, Steve and I had some of it with our supper. It's been several years since I made banana bread and after eating a big slice, warmed in the microwave and then added a bit of butter........well, I understood why they were looking forward to it! That got me to thinking about an e-mail that my Uncle Gordie sent me. He had asked me about my blog and wondered if I ever offered a recipe. I answered that I had shared a couple but not on a regular basis. He said he thought that adding a recipe would be a good thing, that my readers would "eat it up!" That made me smile. If this banana bread is any indication, yes, dear will "eat it up!" And so, here is the recipe. It's been in my recipe box for at least 35 years, maybe more. I can tell by my hand-writing and the worn recipe card. It's quick and easy and so tasty!

Each month, I am going to post a new/old recipe. I have some great resources for recipes........a cookbook that belonged to my Grandma Goldie (Gordie's mother) and one from my Great Aunt Bell. I have all the recipe cards from my mother Mary, plus I have favorites that I have made since I started cooking and baking in the late 1960's. Good recipes are good recipes and need to be passed on! Hope you enjoy this new feature I'll be adding to my blog!

Thursday, January 1

And Happy New Year again!

I am finding it hard to believe when I look at the date and it is January 1st, 2015. How did the years from 2000 pass so quickly? And yet they do. Time can slip away so easily. Sometimes time is needed for things other than my quilts and crafty stuff. And sometimes, time isn't the only thing that slips away. For instance........some of you may recognize the little door pillow in the photo above. I shared it back in January of 2011. I had drawn designs and was planning to make a project each month to share on my blog. Well, I misplaced the rest of the drawings. I looked everywhere for them. Or so I thought. About a year ago I found them. I went through a stack of papers and notebooks and there they were tucked in the back of my 2010 Planner. That's because I designed them in 2010, then made the first one in 2011. Don't ask me why I didn't think to look in my 2010 Planner. I'm just glad I finally found them because now this year, I can share the designs! There will be one each month and it will be posted on the 5th day of the month! There will also be some other projects I'm going to share. Stay tuned because I will have to post most every day this month to let you know all the fun stuff I have planned.  I'll give you a little clue about one of the projects.......there will be a Christmas stocking pattern on the 24th of each month. Details will be shared mid-month. In the meantime, if you are interested in the project above and want to make it, just check out my original post from January 5th 2011. Here is the link to that post.........New*Year*Door*Decor!  Enjoy!
This first day of January was a busy one. It started out slow and relaxing......reading my book and enjoying a cup of cocoa, reading my book, then lunch. We decided to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade (Steve had taped it) but just before that, I put a good-sized rump roast in the oven. For some reason, I had this flash of thought that I should clean my pantry shelves after supper. Then I thought better of it and went to watch the parade. And for the umpteenth time, I say.......someday I am going to go to that parade and see those gorgeous floats and horses in person! Someday! Anyway, when it came time to have supper, the thought to clean my pantry shelves popped into my head again. The roast was yummy and when I was done I asked Steve to get the ladder from the garage for me because I was going to clean the shelves in the pantry. Yep, I just could not get that thought to go away! LOL! But it's done and so is a batch of banana breads for us and the kids. Now I just have to clean up my mess.
Have a great Friday!

P.S. I almost forgot..........we put all the names of every comment from December into a bowl and the name that my Random Number Man drew was............Beth!!! Just send me an e-mail with your address, Beth, and I will be sending off a little surprise package of goodies to you. :-)
"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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