Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Decade!

Wishing all in Blogland a happy new decade!   So ready for the old decade to be history and the new one to step in.   The motto for the upcoming months will be "Hope".  May all your hopes come about in 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Back in the new year with updates on the block-of-the-month quilts and life in general.   Have a wonderful holiday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Playing Catch Up Part 2

Back to the sewing room this week to try to get caught up on the other Block of the Month, the Kansas City Star’s Women of Influence quilt. Did manage to get blocks 6, 7, 8 and 9 done. Will work on block 10 and hopefully have it finished in time for the next block to come out, third Sunday in November.

Block 6, Love Apple, honors Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was a significant part of the suffrage movement.


Block 7, Log Cabin, honors rights advocate and abolitionist Sojourner Truth.


Block 8 is called Tulip and was designed to honor Lucretia Mott who was an activist for abolition and suffrage.


And Block 9, called Whirlwind, pays tribute to Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.


So enjoying the women’s history that is being intertwined with these blocks! Anxious to get the measurements for the Flying Geese borders for the blocks which will form a secondary pattern when the blocks are put together. Even though many of the blocks are very simple, I think this bordering of the blocks is just going to make the quilt.


A little daydreaming going on too! In the new magazine I picked up the other day, More Fast & Fabulous Quilting Ideas, I fell in love with this adorable purse. I mean really, can you have too many pockets??


May be time to dig through the autumn or Christmas fabrics…

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Playing Catch Up

As I attempt to get back into quilting, I am reminded why I LOVE this block of the month so much! It is the Tisket Tasket series from Anne at Bunny Hill (see sidebar). Each month’s design is even cuter than the one before. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite.

I’ve been trying to hang out a little more in my neglected sewing room and this was the first project I ran to. I was four months behind so this week has been filled with tracing patterns onto fusible web, cutting and ironing.


Lighting is pretty poor there this morning due to overcast skies and just generally crappy illumination!!! Trying to improve the photo with a photo-editing program was no help! But here are the July, August, September and October blocks all fused. Now to add the machine blanketstitch, hand embroidery and some button embellishments and they should be ready to join the party!


Two more months of blocks to go—can’t wait!

Off to fight the rain and get a haircut.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tiptoeing Back In…

It has been said that life is what happens when you’re making plans. Oh, boy, so true. Thanks to the readers who expressed concern. I am trying to get “on with it” so thought I would start back into blogging with a post about those wonderful Gee’s Bend quilters. In case you haven’t heard their story, there are wonderful posts on the internet. Here’s just one:

Last Sunday DH and I traveled about an hour and a half to a charming small town, Marshall, MO, to a quilt show where the Gee’s Bend quilts were being featured. Three of the quilters were there in person, along with about 15 of the quilts.


It’s hard to look at these works of art and not reflect on the influence they’ve had on today’s “modern” quilts—whether intentional or not. I see so many designs on the internet and in books that could easily have been in the Gee’s Bend collection. Here are some I was privileged to see.






Quilt6 Quilt11

Their appeal to me is in the functionality and utility. It was so fun to see how they were able to incorporate scraps and pieces of fabric in comforts for their families. Nothing appeared to be off limits—leftover corduroy from a Sears plant, husbands’ work shirts snippets, whatever they could get their hands on! To the uninformed, these quilts might not be appreciated. To me, they are what quilting is all about. They are expressive works of art with a very necessary purpose.

If I have not commented on your blog in a long spell, please forgive me. I will try to do more of that!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Break

I will be on a blog break indefinitely.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Inspiration, Motivation, Incentive and a Fire Under the Seat of My Britches

Was that title long enough???   Those words may all just be synonyms for the same thing-- what I need right now.  But they all seem to express what's lacking around here.   I was so sure that after things settled down from the Fourth, my little self would be holed up in the sewing room--but no. My little self has been just holed up!  What's been going on?   Reading, lots of reading.  Just finished The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.  An absolutely fascinating look back at the Dust Bowl during the Depression, it delves into the lives of some of those who lived through the hardship.   I learned so-o-o much--from how much of the blame for the dust storms belonged squarely on human shoulders to what federal programs were first initiated during the Depression.  Of course, the winds and the drought were dealt from nature's hand but the soil that was bared by overplowing millions of acres and laying the land raw in No Man's Land could not be attributed to Mother Nature.  We as a country hopefully learned a lot about soil conservation.   For some reason, I have become very interested in the Depression.  I immediately checked out The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck from the library.   Oh, sure, I have read that book---but probably 40 or 50 years ago  LOL!  Its first copyright is 1939.   And I do vaguely remember Henry Fonda in the movie version.   But I think I will read it now with new eyes.    Hmmm...maybe I should look through my 30s reproduction fabrics to find the missing inspiration, motivation, incentive and fire!  Or, dear readers, you could leave some comments relating what motivates you when you get into a sewing slump....

On a very exciting and delicious note, we are planning a trip to PARIS!!!   I am so beside myself I can hardly stand it.   Of course, it won't happen till 2010--probably May, but all I can think about is I'M GOING TO PARIS!!!   The one in FRANCE!!!   We'll travel with dear dear friends.   We'll also go to the beaches of Normandy.    Mmmmm....Eiffel tower, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, wine, pastries....ooh la la!   I'd also love comments and suggestions from any who have been to Paris.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer—WHERE ARE THEY????

Gosh, June is GONE! Not much sewing or blogging got done this month. Between the weddings, the showers, the high school grad parties, two weekends of houseguests, an out of town funeral, visiting relatives from Colorado in another town, attempting to keep the weeds away from my herbs---whew!

Oh…and this vice



…nose firmly stuck in books. Dating back to the bookmobile days of my childhood, it just seems right to read away any spare time in the summer. I loved Julie and Julia. Back in the infancy of blogging Julie Powell decides to learn to cook by cooking all 524 recipes in 365 days found in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking---and to blog about the adventure!!! Gosh, I wish I had been reading blogs back then (2002ish—2003ish).

Of course, the story is about so much more than cooking—although it is fun to read of the successes and hilarious failures. It is a tale of a Texan transplanted to New York, her zany friends and supportive husband, her “career” which she despises, her family relationships, her life in general and even some snippets of Julia Child’s life. Great read. Can’t wait for the movie.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was a bit of a stretch for me. A good stretch. The premise is what if there really were true witches in 1690s Salem. Very supernatural, very intriguing.

Oh, forlorn sewing machine…where art thou mistress? I am at least THINKING about sewing. Here’s Block 6 of the KC Star BOM (photo from the newspaper):


I do at least have the parts ready to fuse. Maybe after the Fourth…

This block honors Elizabeth Cady Stanton who helped officially start the struggle for women’s right to vote.

As Independence Day creeps up, I am preparing for a family gathering at my house. Recipe-digging-out, grocery shopping and more grocery shopping, cooking and the dreaded housecleaning will consume the rest of the week. Can’t wait!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Things We Leave Behind

My MIL passed away one year ago on June 14th, Flag day. She was 96 years young. DH and his siblings have been going through her things in preparation for a sale later this summer. The treasures of old family photos and letters and greeting cards, bibles, newspaper notices of deaths, births and wedding announcements have been pored over. The woman saved EVERYTHING! One of the interesting things SIL found was a list of every gift she’d ever given! And of special interest to me, she kept a list of every quilt she’d ever made and to whom it was gifted. I don’t recall ever seeing one of her hand-pieced, hand-quilted beauties on any of her own beds. We proudly own these—and they have each graced a bed in our home at one time or another.





They were not labeled so I am hoping her list will help me remedy that! I know approximately when each was made but would love to have better dating info.

This experience of digging through another’s belongings and wondering why items were saved has certainly made me think of the day when my loved ones will be faced with the same task. I really believe that DH and I must start culling through “stuff” to lighten the chore of our sons from those decisions of what to keep and what to donate, what is valuable and what is trinket-y. It is a daunting task, no matter who does it.

On a lighter note here’s Block 6 of Tisket, Tasket.


This looks orange-y on my screen but in “real life” the basket is a softer peachy coraly color. I adore those coneflowers!!!!

And on the decorating front, I love to put some patriotic touches out (then leave them out!) from Memorial Day through D-Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.


Isn’t that a little on the lazy side????

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Not I, Said the Duck

I can’t imagine having a hubby who a) CAN cook and b) WILL cook. But Sista’s DH does both! A few days ago he sent me a bag of mushy stuff:AmishBreadStarter

Doesn’t look much like bread, does it? It was the beginning of Amish Friendship Bread. Years ago I kept a Sour Dough Starter going for a lo-o-ong time. When it became a hassle to “babysit”, I finally threw it out. But if memory serves, it did make delicious bread. So I decided to play along with this new starter stuff. After ten days of mushing and adding ingredients, the day came to bake it off:


Two loaves! One to eat today and one to freeze!!!


Very tasty! A lot like cinnamon bread. Now, what to do with the new baggies of starter it created! Much like the Little Red Hen, I think it will be hard to find “takers” who will want to mess with it. Think I’ll start with a couple of unsuspecting neighbors…

Baby shower gifties are DONE DONE—and a bit early! Since I can’t attend the shower due to a prior commitment, I’ll get them delivered tomorrow to the granny-to-be and she’ll take them to the shower for me.



And from the “I’m Just Sayin’” department, could anyone greet the morning with these beauties looking back and not feel a smile creep around the lips?



Even after being beaten down by a huge rainstorm we had yesterday, they just keep going!

Monday, June 01, 2009

June Is Busting Out All Over!

The colors of early June inspire.








And…drum roll please…a quilt is DONE DONE!


Thanks to Carrie of Cricketwood Prims and Gardens for her suggestion of a limey-green flange between the quilt and border! And thanks to the other Blogpals who weighed in with other suggestions. It really helps to get another eye. I put four plain blue cornersquares in so that baby’s “stats” could be embroidered after he makes his appearance. This photo could have been better—the holderperson isn’t home!!! So the quilt is laying over the sewing table and some odd features occured LOL! Today I’ll get a label made for the backside.

The weekend brought some reconnecting with longtime friends—always a pleasure. As our talk turned to travel, I had to laugh at DH as he told everyone that he had been in quilt shops in Alaska, California, Colorado, Arizona, New York, Tennessee, Georgia—and on and on and on!!!! Can anyone relate?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Somebody Stop Me!!!!

Crochet has its grip on me---BAD! But just look at this cute lion amigurumi

AmigurumiLionFront AmigurumiLionSide

Who could resist whipping this up? Hope Baby Boy Great Nephew likes it. (I’ll be glad when BBGN has a name!)

And crocheted flowers? Oh, my—so quick and so fun.


But I must concentrate on the quilt!!! Squares are all stitched together and I am auditioning borders.


I was thinking of a calming small print but nah, let’s stay with “busy” LOL! This cute number print caught my eye and I hope there is enough there for borders and backing. I’m thinking maybe I’ll have to put an inner border to stop those red squares from flowing right on into the red border! Maybe a bluish? Help, please.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Fun

DH’s niece is having her first baby in the fall.   Yippee!   I thought I had lots of time to make a quilt….BUT…the shower is in two weeks!!!  Due to scheduling conflicts among her friends and family, the shower had to be really early.   This may sound familiar.  The same thing happened to me two years ago (see this post) when I made a mad dash to whip up Kyle’s quilt.


So…yesterday I decided to make a quickie Eye Spy Match ‘Em Up type quilt for the new baby boy who is on the way.   I dug through my stash of novelty prints.   How much fun is that??  I have a tendency to buy those adorable fabrics with absolutely no idea in mind as to how I’ll use them.   Well, this should be perfect!   Most of the Eye Spy quilts I have seen have rather small blocks.   I decided to give Baby (and myself) a break and use 6” finished blocks.   And since I could, I cut two of each to make it a Match the Pairs game too.

EyeSpy&MatchQuiltSomehow I want to incorporate into the label what to find and what to match:  teddy bear, horses, butterflies, watermelon, farm, lunch boxes, crayons, chocolates, sheep, kids, cowboys, Dalmatian dogs, whales, baseball stuff, hen & chicks, frogs, monkeys, lemons & limes, flamingoes, cats and penguins.

This really looks busy but then, I’m sure Baby Boy will be busy one day too!   Here are a few of my favorite prints:





And on the I’ve-Gotta-Stay-Off-Attic24’s-Blog scene (it’s just too-o-o much fun over there) here is a cute way to spiffy up an old pickle jar.


Crocheted Jar Jackets!!!   Who’d a thunk?  I tell ya, that girl is a designing genius.  And what a great way to use up bits and bobs of yarn.  I just love all her colorful crochet goodies.   And now, she is into patchwork!   Give her a look.

Tomorrow is a day of remembrance.   Along with the barbecued brats, coleslaw, baked beans and strawberry pie, I hope to pause in reflection and think of all those brave ones who have served, are serving, and will serve in defense of our freedom.


Have a peaceful, safe and mindful Memorial Day!