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, well......as 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 readers.......you 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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