Category Archives: Quilting

My quilt projects.

Good-Bye 2020 Welcome 2021, I Think

What a year 2020 has been and it just keeps on giving.  When the new year started, it seemed like everything was so fresh and new and that wonderful things would happen and then,…. China gave us the present of the Covid Virus. I’ve heard that was an act of aggression on their part or even an act of war, but we Americans calmly accepted it and started the journey of quarantining ourselves, wearing masks and not gathering together.  It was all so strange. We are a people who like to do things in large groups.  This year we won’t even be able to gather in Times Square and welcome in the new year. Oh, the ball will still drop, but no one will be there to see it.  Is it kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, will anyone hear it kind of thing.

I hate wearing a mask. I have breathing problems at times anyway and wearing a mask gives me claustrophobia and shortness of breath so I try to avoid places where I have to wear one.  Thankfully, we are not required to wear them in church.  I try to do all my shopping at once so I don’t have to go several times a month.  I try to spend time outdoors in the fresh air as much as possible. With three dogs, I have to be outside.

Speaking of dogs, they have been a life saver, keeping me company and giving me entertainment.  Lucy and Sugar have definitely become MY dogs. David can be outside playing with them and all they have to do is hear me open the back door and they are off to the races seeing who can get to me first and jump on me.  We are working on that jumping part because when you have two fifty pound puppies slam into you, you really feel it!  At least they are happy to see me and I am usually happy to see them unless they get muddy paws all over me.

Three needy dogs.  They are all three people pups. They love being with people.  The puppies have grown so much and they are still only about half the size they will be.  Our vet said they were slightly overweight, but they look skinny next to Molly and she has lost some weight. The vet told us Labs were always hungry and she was right. They act starved all the time.

They are so darn cute, I can’t get mad at them even when they tear up everything in the back yard. One of them dug up all the flowers I planted around our porch.  I hope they get that out of their system before next growing season.  Lucy still has those beautiful eyes.

They are all partners in crimes. Here David has a treat waiting for them.  All eyes on it!

All our dogs when they were puppies destroyed something. Well, our new pups tore the pool liner getting in and out of the pool so we are going to have to replace it next Spring. The pool is eighteen years old, so the liner was needing to be replaced.  David didn’t even act disturbed about it. Hmmmm.  When Molly tore up the pool heater he had built, I thought she was dead dog walking for a while.  He is attached to these puppies like no other.

Then there’s the chickens or chooks if you are in Australia.   They are such good little layers.  We haven’t had a period without eggs for a long while.  Our new layers are starting to lay some pretty big eggs.

One of these eggs is not like the others…..

I love our eggs. They taste like butter.  We have given away dozens of eggs this year. People always offer to pay for them, but we like giving them away.  As long as we are able, we will continue to do so.

I call this one our loner chicken because she stays outside looking in. When I feed them, she waits for all the rest to begin and then she will find a place to fit in. She’s not henpecked, just chooses to be alone.  I guess if some people live like that, so can chickens.

This is our bossy hen. She meets me at the gate every single time telling me I’m not feeding them fast enough. She has grabbed a bowl of feed right out of my hand and will peck me if she feels like it.  She is also a talker and will follow me around clucking up a storm.

Our only Buff Orpington left. She has been a good layer and the next time we get chicks, I’m getting more Buffs.  They are a gentle, sweet chicken.

No exactly sure what kind this chicken is. I thought I was getting a Silver Laced Wyndotte, but I don’t think that is what she is. She is a lot smaller than the other hens.

It’s been a little cold for bird watching although I still feed the birds, but the other day I got a few photos.

He looks well fed, doesn’t he?

Remember Frankenbird?  She has blossomed from an ugly bird.

She’s got a crest and more feathers. Here she almost looks rainbow colored.  I’m happy for her.

Sitting in the living room the other day I noticed the light at the window was beautiful through our lace curtains.

I took a few pictures.  “Scarlette, it’s the land you love.”  Does this look like that scene a bit?

The sky was on fire.  Just beautiful. God’s creation on display for all to see.

Back to the puppies. I couldn’t resist.  David had to build this gate because the pups were eating our shoes we leave on the porch and they tore the screen door out.  David didn’t seemed disturbed by that either. Hmmmmmmmmmm.  Is he getting soft in his old age?

In the new year I am starting a new quilt project. I have never joined a quilt along before. A quilt along, if you don’t know, is where several people get together online and follow instructions on how to make a certain quilt and we make our quilts together and when it’s over, we should have a finished quilt top. There are over 5,000 people all around the world getting ready to quilt with this quilt along.

We are using this quilt book by Kathleen Tracy.  All the blocks measure four and a half inches square and there are 72 squares and a middle medallion with a saw toothed edging.

It’s not too late to join, but you need Kathleen’s book and lots of different materials. You will need to follow her on her Facebook page. I’ve been going through my stash.

As you can see, I  am very well organized. I’ve got boxes and boxes of material and it’s like shopping for new when I go through them as I’ve forgotten a lot of these fabrics. but…

Wouldn’t you know?  I ordered more!  And I’ve ordered more again and am waiting for it to come!  And,… I will probably order more before this quilt is done. I always can find an excuse to order more fabric. One of these fabrics has chickens on it, too!  I’m going to try to make two of these quilts at a time. One in reproduction fabrics from the 1800’s and one from Christmas fabrics, so I will have two finished quilt tops by March, I hope.  It’s going to be so much fun.

Years ago, I use to quilt with a friend and all of a sudden one day I lost my quilting mojo. I just didn’t feel like making quilts. It was awful.  I could not get interested. My friend was worried about me. Thankfully, that little blip lasted a very short time and I was soon quilting again. We had just closed our quilt shop at that time and I think I was just burned out with quilts, quilting, fabric, the whole thing. But now I am as passionate about it or more. I love making quilts I can share with others and our house is full of them.  I told my daughter that was my legacy to her and she can do whatever she wants with them when I’m gone.  She already has several quilts I’ve made her as do her two boys.  I love knowing that when I’m gone people will still be snuggling under quilts I’ve made for them.

So I already know what I will be doing the beginning of the new year. These are a few of the blocks I’ve been practicing on.

Do you make new year’s resolutions?  I use to long ago, but I found that I could never keep them or I forgot all about them. I think it’s best to just live each year and be the best you can be. Be kind to people. Enjoy what you do each day.  Find a passion and stick with it. Take a walk.  Get a pet.  Grow something.  Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.  Remember each day could be your last one. We never know.  I’m glad God made it that way.  I don’t think I would do anything much differently if I knew when I was going to die, Maybe patch up some broken relationships if I could.  I’ve tried before.  But the people I love know I love them so I’m good.  Make a new friend.  Go to church because we are to assemble together with one another.  Pray for your country and its leader. We still are not completely sure who our president is.  There was a lot of chicanery that went on with this last election.  I hope it all turns out well. It will be up to the electoral college so pray for those people.  Give money to a charity that helps people.   I’m all for helping animals, but we people are in need of help too. I find that the Salvation Army is one of the best charities to get the most  to more people.  Pray for a cure for all the illnesses in this world. I pray for a cure for MS because my daughter has it and I truly believe she will be healed one day, but pray for anyone you know who is suffering with any illness.  Pray this Covid thing will go away for good.  I could go on and on about what we could or should do, but you know all that.

While it’s been very different this year, I think it’s been a blessing in disguise, too. Families have had to stay together and do things together.  I know my daughter and her sons have had some real quality time. I do hope the boys get back into school at some time because they need that social connection with their peers.  I’ve enjoyed not feeling like I have to be on the go all the time. I’ve read more books, sewn more quilts, and had more free time than I ever have had before and I love it.  My life was not as interrupted as many have been and I know all you social people are ready for a BIG party so I hope you get it soon.

We will face this new year and we will live right through it like we did 2020.  Many did not survive, but we who did have been blessed and we should make the most of every day.  Thank God in Heaven for all you have because we do live in the richest country in the world.  I heard the other day that just one of our states, California, has the fifth largest economy in the world.  One state!  So we are extremely blessed and we really don’t deserve to be. So thank you, God.

I pray for all of you who read this blog that your year will be full of blessings. That your troubles will be few and your blessings many.  Hugs to you all.  Virtually, of course.  Happy New Year. Pray for 2021 that it only can get better from here.  Bye.

 

 

Entertaining Myself

I read a blog the other day, Yarn Harlot, where she told how when she and her siblings were young, her mother would tell them to entertain themselves. They came up with some very inventive ways to entertain each other.  I had to laugh because my mother was the same way except she told us if we couldn’t find anything to do, she’d find something for us to do which usually meant “work!”  I would hide out and read or play with the kittens in the barn or do anything to keep out of the house.

So during the quarantine days I have found many ways to entertain myself.  One day I made some blueberry pancakes which David loved and I didn’t and I decided to feed mine to the chickens and Molly.  I wanted to see how they all would react to the pancakes. First the chickens.

These two are the “bosses” of the chicken yard and think they will get the most if they stand the closest, but it doesn’t always happen that way.

So once a piece is thrown, the running and grabbing begins. Every chicken manages to get at least one little piece. Even the younger ones who are still learning the rules of the chicken yard.

It’s really a free for all, but I try to throw the pancake to every chicken so each one gets a little piece. They love blueberry pancakes!

Now Molly gets a pancake.

Here it comes, Molly.

Closer, closer. She stays seated like the good girl she is.

Take a bite. Now Labradors have a soft mouth which means they don’t bite down hard on anything unless they are actually eating. It was bred into them so they would not chew up game after it has been shot and they bring it to the hunter.  Molly forgets that I am not a hunter and she really can eat this thing.   She won’t bite it.

“Well, am I going to get to eat that thing?”

Chomp. She took it.

And she chewed it all up and wanted more, but I only had the one pancake for her. Sorry, Molly.

Well, that was entertainment for about ten minutes.  So I still have to fill the days with other things and surprisingly, I have no problem doing that.

This is one thing I am working on, but I can’t show you much of it as it will be a gift, maybe.

I made a pair of socks with left over yarn and I love how these turned out. I’m trying to use up some of my yarn before I buy more.  It’s fun trying to match up yarns that will look good together.

I’ve finished this pair and am on to another.

There is always bird watching.

“What is down there?”

Frankenbird is still around. He/she is growing, but still no feathers on that head.

We are getting so many tomatoes off my four plants. There are about twenty here now. I try to eat a lot of salad with tomatoes, but I think I will have to make some tomato juice before they rot.

We had this vine grow up on our porch steps. We thought it was a morning glory, but the flowers on it are tiny white ones so I’m not sure.

We have this Autumn Clematis coming up in very strange places where I know I haven’t planted it. We think the birds must have done some planting themselves.

Just a picture of the sweetest dog in the world.

The garden by our back door is flourishing and we’ve had some bird families in the birdhouses. Molly torn down a wren house we had on the fence. Thankfully, the wrens had already hatched and flew away, so David put the house back up, only higher so hopefully the wrens will come back and nest again.

David and I took a very exciting trip today.  I have a wonderful surprise to tell you in my next blog.  Hope to see you then.  Have a happy Autumn. It’s here, whether we are ready or not. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating

I’ve had plenty of time the last few weeks to put my creative juices to good use.   A couple of weeks ago I got these.

That necklace was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter.  You can’t see them very well, but my grandchildren’s names are all engraved on it.  I love it.  But what I was really trying to show was the paint by number picture.  I ordered two of them in March and just received them recently. The colored picture is what I will be painting.

I also got this one which is a picture of a flower in a small vase on a table. Doesn’t look much like that right now, does it?  I love these because you don’t have to mix colors. A few years ago I bought a paint by number at Hobby Lobby and you had to mix some of the paints to get the color you needed.  I wasn’t very good at it and gave up half way through. Now that I’m painting these pictures, I think I will go back and see if I can finish that one if the paints haven’t dried up!

Anyway, I ordered yet another paint by number from another company and they wrote me that they were weeks behind because of the high volume of orders they had received. Must be a lot of bored people out there wanting something to occupy their time.  I find painting is very relaxing.  I wish I had taken some art classes in high school and college because I think I would have loved painting pictures of my own making.  I know I love painting in general as I have painted every room in our house several times since we’ve lived here.  Something about taking a brush with paint on it and transforming a room or a canvas  just makes me happy.

I’m hoping to have this one done in a week or so and then David is going to build a frame and we’ll stretch the canvas onto it. Saw them do that last night on the show Home Town. One of my favorite fixer upper shows.   David and I took a road trip to Laurel, Mississippi where the show takes place and where the hosts’ have a little store downtown.   Very nice little southern town with beautiful houses and big oak trees down the streets.  I can see why people want to move there.

Do you notice how I get off subject pretty quickly? That’s how my mind works. It meanders through one thought to another thought until I forget what the first thought was!   I was talking about painting, wasn’t I?   When I was a girl I would get color by number picture sets for Christmas and used color pencils to color the pictures. I absolutely loved doing  it. I wish I still had some of those pictures. They sell them on E-bay now and people decorate with them.

But painting is not all I’ve been doing.  I am working on six quilts. Six!  I have a plan, but I can’t write it here because nosy people might know what I’m writing about.  I found some wonderful fabrics in aboriginal prints that I am using in a couple of the quilts.  It’s really amazing fabric.   Sadly, my stamina isn’t what it use to be and it’s taking me a lot longer to get sewing done than it use to.   I have a deadline when I want these quilts completed, so I’m going to have to get it in gear and work harder.   Maybe I’ll show you a corner of a quilt sometime.

And of course, there is always socks.  I could knit all day I love it so much, but it would not be very good for me to sit so long so I get up and do other things like feed and water the chickens, chicks and dogs.  That’s my life. Feeding and watering birds, both wild and domestic and the dogs.  They can’t do it themselves and I’m the only one here most of the day, so somebody(me) has to do it.  Yesterday I accidentally left the door open on the young chick’s pen and two of them got out. Luckily the pen was in the cabin so all I had to do was shut the cabin door and catch the little rascals and all was well. The chicks are getting almost big enough to join the big girls.   Next week we will put their pen inside the coop so they all can get acquainted.  I always worry how the older chickens will take to the younger ones. Once our daughter’s family was going somewhere and needed chicken sitters while they were gone so they brought their flock over to put in with mine.  Well, the rumble began as soon as her chickens saw mine. Her chickens were thugs!  Bullies!  I had to keep them all separated or someone would have gotten hurt. Not going to try that again. Chickens are very territorial.

But, back to knitting.

I got this lovely yarn in the mail.

And this one. This is called Monopoly because it has the colors of the Monopoly game.  This designer always sends a little charm with each hank of yarn she sends to her customers.

Of course, Monopoly had a little green house.

The pink yarn included this pink and white sucker charm. I have several charms from this lady and I bought a charm bracelet the other day and am going to put all the charms on it to remind me of all the stockings I’ve knitted from this one business.

I’ve also been going through my yarn and finding like colors and making patchwork stockings. I knit until one color runs out and join yarn and keep knitting. I’m loving these Christmas colors socks.

The flowers in my garden change almost weekly. The peonies were so beautiful this year, but just did not last long enough.

The last paint by number I ordered is actually a picture of peonies in a vase somewhat like this picture of my peonies. So I can have peonies all year through if I get the painting done.

We practiced social distancing long enough and our grandchildren were ready to get out and the came down to see us.  It’s so nice having grown grandchildren you can carry on a conversation with. They are such fun to have around.

I just love these kids so much and could not be any prouder of them than I am already.

The one on the left is the youngest! I told his brother that one day he’d be taller than him and I was right.  Two are in college and the youngest will be a freshman.  I can’t believe how fast these children grew. Seems like just the other day I was holding them on my lap and reading them stories.

I baked banana bread twice. It is so good with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee.

Well, hope you are getting out and about. We’ve eaten out a few times at restaurants that are serving.  Have you noticed most of them expect you to have a cellphone and place your order with the phone? David and I are old school and don’t carry our phone with us every place we go. We went to one restaurant where there was a wait and we said we didn’t mind waiting and the young man told us they would call us on our phone and David told him we didn’t have a phone with us and would you believe, the young man told him we could go to another restaurant!  Banned for not having a cellphone with us?  Needless to say, I wrote the company and told them what I thought of their policy. We have had no trouble at any of the other restaurants. They gladly have someone tell us our table is ready.  Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

June is here. Can July be far behind?  Summer is going fast!  Bye.

 

 

Good-Bye March, Hello April

Saying good-bye to March was bitter sweet. I always look forward to the month because it’s my birthday month and I celebrate all month, but this March, well, it sure wasn’t the usual March.  It started okay. We did the usual birthday stuff, eating out, cake, shopping, antiquing. But then everything seemed to go downhill fast.  The corona virus attacked and people went into hibernation, stores closed, people were out of work, people were getting sick and some were dying.  Not what I envisioned for the month of March.

David and I have adjusted to him being off work. Other than a short retirement right after  he left the military, he has never been home this much.  He’s always worked at a job somewhere, Sometimes two or three jobs. Now he has all kinds of time, is sleeping in past 5:30 in the morning and even has breakfast sometimes.   When he’s home I tell him I have to work harder because he’s always doing something and I can’t allow him to outdo me.

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing.

Surprise, I’ve been quilting. This is a small quilt I started January 2019 and I’m just finishing it up today.

 

 

Planting seeds. I’m wondering when the nurseries will be open or if they will be and if I can get some more plants this year. I’ve order two lilac bushes so I can plant something.  These seeds are cucumbers and phlox.  I’ve never tried raising phlox from seed before so we shall see how this turns out.

Decorating for Easter. Our younger grandsons asked us the other day if we are still having our annual Easter egg hunt. I told them we didn’t know yet.  It’s hard to plan things when you don’t know what’s going to happen. They’ve cancelled all the egg hunts around here.

The sky was so blue this day and the bush cherry I planted years ago was the tallest it’s ever been.  When the man next door cut down all his trees, our bushes and tree got a whole lot more sunlight and are growing taller now. I don’t remember this bush flowering like this before, but it was so pretty.

Our neighbor’s Bradford pear is just gorgeous. It fills my kitchen window with its beauty. We are going to get new neighbors over there as our neighbor has moved. It’s always a little worrisome getting new neighbors. You hope they are nice and you get along with them.  We’ve been pretty fortunate with most of our neighbors over the years.

Our little mulberry is full of bloom this year. ( This is not a mulberry tree. It’s a magnolia. I know that just didn’t have my brain in gear while typing.)  I’ve always dreamed of having a mulberry, (magnolia again)now I do.

Checking out all the perennials that are coming up. This is Dame’s Rocket. It came in a packet of wildflower seeds and reseeded itself and there are several more all around it, but this is the biggest one.  I love flowers that reseed themselves and don’t need much care.  It will be tall with pretty blue flowers.  Last year I had to protect it from the contractor’s builders as they were working around it, but it made it through.

Everywhere I look there are flowers coming up.

These big planes fly over us once in a while. They are from Camp Atterbury and the pilots practice their touch and takeoffs at the local airport.  I love seeing them. Our son flew in something similar when he was in the Air Force.

I’ve gotten a pair of socks finished.  And started another pair.  I love knitting socks. So relaxing.

I baked cupcakes, some of which I took to our daughter for her birthday.   Today I baked an orange chiffon cake.  David and I are going to have to loosen the elastic on our pants,

A friend asked me the other day if I had any eggs she could have. Do I have eggs?? At one time I had nine dozen in the refrigerator and couldn’t give them away. Then we took some to our daughter and then this friend got some.  She brought something to trade even though I didn’t expect her to.

Toilet paper!  She wrote on it, “Don’t hurry, don’t worry. Do your best and flush the rest!”  We got a good laugh out of that.  Now we are set on toilet paper for a while. I’ve got good friends.

So how are you coping with this enforced isolation?  We do get out and get takeout and ride around. We took a long ride Sunday through Brown Country down roads we’ve never been on before.  Took a ride through Brown County State Park which waived its entrance fee for the duration. There were a lot of people enjoying being out and exercising.   I try to get outside as much as possible and breath fresh air and play with the dogs.  My daily routine hasn’t really been different other than having David home all day.

When this whole enforced quarantine is over are we all going to come out of our houses like groundhogs on a bright Spring day?  Hopefully we’ll not see our shadows and won’t have to go back in.

Some of you are finding our what retirement is like except without all the fun because you can’t go anywhere. Believe me, retirement is a lot more fun than this.

This quarantine has made a lot of us think about our freedom and how wonderful it is to be able to go anywhere you want and not be impeded.  Right now it’s the grocery store or feed store to feed the animals and people and to the pharmacy to get meds.

This is giving our young people something to tell their grandchildren one day, about the great quarantine when the world almost came to a stop.  How they couldn’t go to school and had to learn at home.

Are you catching up on all that sleep you said you’d get once you didn’t have to work any longer? I know I am and I’m retired!  Between the quarantine and the cloudy, rainy days we have had and it still feeling cold to me, I want to sleep all the time.

Molly and Belle don’t know there’s a quarantine.

They just know David is around a whole lot more.  They like that he’s outside with them working around the yard.

Well, it looks like at least another month of this, so I will continue to look for projects. David is building a new fence along the back of our property so that will keep him busy for a while.  Hope you have something to do that you enjoy.  This time is really a blessing.  Really, it is.  And one day it will be over. Bye.

 

Back So Soon?

I don’t usually write two blogs so close to each other, but I hated keeping the coronavirus blog up too long. As far as I’m concerned it’s a downer and I don’t deal in downers very often.  I just hope I didn’t disturb or cause angst to anyone who is truly concerned about it all. I just can’t make myself get too upset about it.  I guess if the grocery stores continue to have empty shelves, I may get a little worried, but we are being assured the trucks are delivering and the stockers are stocking the shelves.

Enough of that. I’m sitting here this Saint Patrick’s Day watching John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in the wonderful movie, The Quiet Man and thinking how different this Saint Patrick’s Day is from last years’ for many people. No celebrating in bars or wearing of the green so you don’t get pinched.  I guess I could have made green cupcakes or something, but I didn’t.  Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. We will all remember this one as the one where we were not allowed to gather and celebrate because of a nasty old virus.

I’ve been sewing up a storm in my shop.  I’ve got most of the 123 blocks finished for the six quilts I plan to make.  I’ve been sifting through my containers of fabric finding treasures I had forgotten about and today I found a quilt top I had forgotten I made years ago with my quilt class when I was teaching beginning quilting.  My class made a different block every week learning how to sew straight seams, do curves, match points and other things until they had twenty blocks and then they sewed it all together into a quilt top.  Then they’d come to my house and we would lay their quilt top, batting and backing together and baste them together. Then it was up to them to finish the quilt. I don’t know how many completed their quilt, but it was fun teaching all the ladies I taught.  I always made a quilt right along with my class and I have finished all of mine except this one, but it will get finished now.

This is what my shop looks like now.  Believe it or not my cutting table was clear of anything a few weeks ago, but since I’ve started making all the block, it’s a jumble of fabric right now.

A stack of the quilt blocks I am making.

There is work going on in this mess. Really.

Each of these piles of fabric will be a quilt block.

When I have them all completed then I will have to decide which blocks go into each quilt.

About two weeks ago my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. When my sister got married, I was in the fourth grade and she had been like a second mother to me.   When she got a job at a bank in the city right after graduation, she used some of her hard earned money and bought me a bride doll. I still have her. I’ll have to show her to you sometime.  Anyway, I wonder if this was a portent of things to come because she soon met my future brother-in-law and got engaged. When I learned she was going to get married and leave home I cried.  Then at the wedding I cried and cried.  I did not want my sister to leave me.  But she did and 62 years later we were sitting talking and my brother-in-law said, “You didn’t want me to marry Joanne,” and I told him he was taking away my sister.  But he’s been a good brother-in-law and I’ve forgiven him for taking Joanne away.   Seems like only yesterday.  I forgot to take any pictures of them because we were visiting and talking about everything.  My parents’ farm is right next door to my sister’s house and it was sold to a relative who did not take good care of it.  The barn fell down and the house is falling down and there are trees growing in all my daddy’s fields where he use to grow corn and hay and oats.  It’s sad to see it like that.  My parents took such good care of their home and farm when they were alive.

We drove some back roads as usual when we went to my sister’s house.

Saw this along the way.

Never heard of this place, but we came upon it on our drive.

We went through the town of Liberty where my mother grew up and I have a cousin who still lives there.

His father began this supermarket many years ago and now my cousin, Tim, is the owner and manager.   We stopped in to see him. Usually I don’t see him anymore except at funerals, the last one being his mother’s, my Aunt Suzanne, so it was nice to see him on a normal day.  He and I and another cousin were all born within months of each other and we grew up together and saw each other whenever we’d visit my grandpa and my other cousin was down from Detroit where she lived. He was so surprised to see us. We had a nice visit and then we had to go on.

I didn’t show you my birthday cakes so here they are.

David got the candles on there wrong.  It should be 17!  Ha!  Seems like I was just 17 yesterday.

This was a sweet little cake that I let David eat as I ate the entire chocolate by myself. And was sorry for it!

We’ve been doing some chores around the house getting ready for gardening time.

David cleared out what I call the kitchen garden. Right now it looks barren, but it won’t be long until the rhubarb is up and all the perennials I’ve planted  through the years will be coming up.

You can barely see at the bottom of the birdhouses day lilies beginning to pop out.

Daffodils are popping out all around the garden. Spring is only days away.

Hope you are surviving the coronavirus scare and looking forward to warm and bright days ahead.  Bye.

 

 

 

I Love Color

I’ve been working with fabric all week. Something I find very satisfying and enjoyable.  I do have a rather large selection of fabric since we had a fabric store years ago and I have added to it since we closed our little shop.  Sometimes I miss the store and being able to order fabric. It was like getting to pick out my Christmas present just about every month and when the fabric would be delivered it would be like Christmas morning.

I ordered some fabric this past week. It’s dangerous for me to go on fabric store sites because I love just about all that I see.  No color is off limits to me.  I even like orange if used carefully in quilts.

These look like they could have been material used in my mother’s aprons years ago.  So bright and cheery.

These made me think of vintage French material.  So gorgeous. I wish I could have bought the whole line, but I will find a place for these in a quilt.

I bought six yards of this. It’s prettier in person. A dusty pink.  It’s going to be hard to cut because it’s so pretty.

This is Lori Holt’s fabric from her line of fabrics for Riley Blake.  Lori likes bright, cheerful colors and she has designed some of the cutest quilts.   Anyway, I got enough of this to back a quilt.  Don’t know which one yet, but who cares.

I’ve been making blocks for my Grandmother’s Fancy quilts.  I need 115 of them for five quilts.  It’s going to take me a while.  But it’s so much fun going through all my fabric to pick out what I need for each block because each block is a different color.   I’ve even come across fabric I forgot I had and it’s like, well, Christmas, once again!   I have found fabric I have never cut and didn’t remember buying.  But that’s okay. It makes it interesting.  I don’t know if you remember when I was cleaning out my fabric and I gave a lot to a local charity shop and several bags full to a friend who was making lap quilts for nursing home patients.   That still left me with boxes and boxes of fabric.  I will never use it all in my lifetime so my kids will have to haul it all to a charity shop because none of them sew or quilt.  I’m sure they will thank me. Ahem.

I told you we went to an antique show Saturday. Sometimes you kiss a frog before you find a prince and this time I was disappointed.  I have more nice antiques than this sale had. It was more of a flea market. But David and walked through the two buildings it was held in and saw some interesting things. One lady was selling bunches of flowers and she had planted a lot of little succulents in tea cups and other small dishes. Her booth was cute. Another booth had all old laundry items such as a wringer washer, old wash tubs, old clothes pins three for a dollar!  I had to laugh at that as I have so many of those in an old clothespin bag in my shop.

When we were just about to leave, I saw a box of books.  I always look at old books when I see them, especially when they are in a box all jumbled up because you never know what you will find.  I love old children’s books and in one box this man had was the book, “Bambi.”  Three dollars, the man told me and I snapped it up.  It was copyright  1929.  It was first published in 1923 just about the time Walt Disney was young enough to read it and start dreaming of making a movie.

Felix  Salten was an Austria writer and critic.  He is best known for his book, Bambi. I’m so glad he wrote it.

Deer even run across the inside cover.

I love what John Galsworthy wrote about the book. Notice he recommends the book to “sportsman.”  Not Bambi!

Bambi’s mother.  When I saw the movie for the first time and Bambi’s mother became a victim of the hunter, I was too little to realize what happened and my mother would not tell me.

Could this be the model for Thumper who Walt Disney created?

Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading this.  Glad I found it.

Coming home we stopped at another antique store we like called Vic’s.  Outside it is parked all manner of old army vehicles, an airplane, old cars and this…….

 

Wouldn’t it be crazy to drive this down the road?   It would certainly make other drivers take a second look….or wreck!

And this caught my eye because it made me think of my sister-in-law.

About the only thing that looks like her is she’s blonde, but her name is Terry.

We had a fun day and ended it by eating out at IHOP.  And something happened there that was so cute. We were done eating and walking out and a little boy with Down’s Syndrome waved at us and said, “Hi,” and I smiled and said “Hi,” and as I passed him he grabbed my hand and would not let go so  I went back to him and patted his hand and said “aren’t you going to let me go?”  He had a big smile on his face. He was so darling.   His mother told him to let go and he said, “Bye,” and I said, “Bye,” and we left. I told David I wish I could adopt him he was so cute.

Here’s to beautiful fabric, wonderful books and darling little boys. Bye.

 

It’s a Beginning

I love to start quilts almost as much as I love to finish them.  I love every part of quilt making. The picking the pattern.  The choosing of fabrics. The cutting out of the quilt.  The piecing of the quilt.  And finally, the quilting or tying of the quilt.  It’s called a comforter when a quilt is tied. At least that is what my mother always told me.  It’s only called a quilt when the fabric, batting and backing are sewed together in tiny quilt stitches.

If you have ever made a quilt, you understand what I am talking about.  And once you make one, you almost always have to make another one and another one and another one.

Right now I am working on a certain quilt that I have made before called Grandmother’s Fancy.  I found the pattern in a quilt magazine I bought almost twenty years ago.

I use to buy this magazine all the time. I don’t know if it is still sold.  It always had some interesting stories about quilters and at the back it had several of the quilt patterns that were shown in the magazine.

As you can see, I wrote Grandmother’s Fancy on the front so I would know this particular pattern was in this particular magazine.  I have done that a lot through the years when I wanted to keep a pattern I found in a magazine.

And I write myself notes in the pages while I am working.  Sometimes I write something I have heard on the radio or some advertisement I am interested in. My quilt magazines became sort of diaries through the year.

This magazine was good about showing how to put each quilt together.  This may look hard to some, but it’s really an easy pattern.  I would love to make one for each of my grandchildren, but the ones I am making now are for our bed.  As it’s a king size I haven’t made very many quilts for it because it’s getting harder for me to quilt a big quilt on my home sewing machine.  I may have to hand quilt these.

This was the first quilt I made from this pattern.  I made it many years ago and it’s been used and washed several times and is beginning to get the vintage look I love in quilts.

It is on our guest bed in our guest bedroom.  We haven’t had too many guests to stay here for a while and the bedroom started to look like a storage room until this week when I put everything away and cleaned the room and made up the bed again.  I’m glad I did because I like how it looks.  Maybe now I will have guests again.

This is a king size version of the pattern.  I plan on finishing it this year.  It’s on the top of my list of quilts to finish. Because…….

I’ve made enough of the blocks to make yet another one.  One that will be more Spring like.  I really love making these blocks.

I still have a few more I want to make before I decide what fabric I want for the borders and sashing.  I’m thinking I’ll use some shirting material for it.  I’m reading a book right now about some people during the WWll times and one of the women in it is a seamstress and she said, “Textiles are a woman’s delight.”  I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.  I delight in textiles.

David took a week off for his birthday and we thought we might do something, but we haven’t done a darn thing except go out to eat a couple of times, but that was all right with both of us.  It’s been so cold all I want to do is stay in where it’s warm and work on quilts or knit and David has been working on our taxes and almost has them done.  I’m so glad he likes to do that because I would be lost if I had to do them.  I’d have to hire someone to do my taxes even though I actually took a class on taxes in college. A lot has changed since then.

We did go see our two youngest grandsons in their orchestra concert.  Children from all the elementary schools, middle schools and high schools in Bloomington joined together to put on the concert.  Each class had a song to play and at the end the whole group played together. It was awesome. The middle school group played a song from Star Wars and their bows were lit up and they turned down the lights and it was just wonderful.

This was his debut performance on his cello. Our youngest grandson.  He’s so cute and funny.

For some reason the picture is sideways, but that is his brother smiling. This is his second year of cello and I am proud to say he has signed up for orchestra in middle school next year.  I love that they are learning an instrument.  My biggest regret of my life, and I have very few regrets, is that when I had the chance to take piano lessons I refused to take them and my poor mother could not talk me into it.  Now, when I hear our church pianist play, and she is wonderful, I think to myself that could be me up there if I had listened to my mother.  I can pick a few songs out on the piano and can read music a little, but not like I could have if I had taken lessons.  I did take violin lessons when our boys took them.  I was in the same class with them at one time and I could play somewhat well, but I found that getting the time to practice was getting harder and harder and violin fell by the wayside.   I gave my violin away.  Now I wish I had it again.

David and me and the parents of our grandsons, our daughter and son-in-law.   Sara took piano for eight years and violin for a couple of years.  Jeremy plays the drums.   Out oldest son played cello in orchestra and our youngest son played the Bass.  I use to haul them to class every week, the bass bigger than our son until he grew into it.  They both were pretty good. I guess you could say we are a musical family.

What have you been up to?  Do you have any projects you are enjoying these Winter months?  Here’s to musical grandboys and quilts to made. Bye.

 

 

Here’s What I’m Doing

Turn around and the trees have changed and dropped their leaves and all of a sudden we are talking about Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas gift buying.  It’s all strung together into one big to do list that can be overwhelming if I think too much about it.

We watched the last of the soccer games. Our youngest played his tournament and their team won handily.

It began on a Saturday morning when the trees still had their leaves and were beautiful.

We drove to Bloomington where the games were played.

Out grandson is a real hustler.  He really likes soccer a lot and will be playing again next year.

He was put in as goalie which he doesn’t like as much as there isn’t as much action, especially when your team keeps the ball at the other end of the field.  At one point we looked at him and he was dancing.

Later this month our two youngest grandboys’ school honored veterans.  Since their grandfather served in the Army National Guard for 36 years, they wanted him to come to the program. David always enjoys these so much. It’s wonderful seeing school children singing patriotic songs and saying the pledge to the flag.

Here is our youngest grandson.  They go to an International elementary school and this picture depicts the diversity in the student body.   There are children from everywhere who go here. Some of their parents teach at the college and live in Bloomington for a while.   When I was in school there was no one who looked different from me and I always longed for a black friend.  Now my grandsons make friends with people from all over.  I think it’s wonderful.

Kids are kids no matter where they come from.  And they are all so cute!

This is one of the songs they sang

The school orchestra played.

Here is our second youngest grandson in the blue with his class.  This is his last year at this school. Can’t believe he’ll be in Middle School next year.  Just yesterday we were waiting in the hospital for him to be born and he was the tiniest baby.

The veterans were asked to come forward and for their grandchildren or children to join them. We are so proud of these boys.  There are a lot more women veterans than there use to be. Sometimes I wish I had joined the armed forces when I was younger.

Children can be so angelic at times!

There was a nice reception after the program with food for brunch which was very good.  The principal asked the children not to take seven or more things because he was afraid there would not be enough food as so many veterans showed up, but in the end, he was passing out donuts and muffins trying to get rid of them.

It was a very nice day.

Me, I keep making things. Don’t know if I showed this pillow I made from a state handkerchief I had bought.

And, of course, I keep knitting socks.

This yarn is called Monarch Butterfly.

A while back I ran across a magazine with a quilt pattern I have made before.

It’s called Grandmother’s Fancy.  I had a few blocks left over from that quilt so I made some more and bought some fabric for the borders and binding.

Today I finished piecing the quilt except for the border.  It’s huge.  I think it’s at least king size.

Now I have a Christmas quilt I want to get quilted before Christmas and this quilt which I can only show a corner of because it’s for someone.

While cleaning out a drawer the other day I found these.

Post-it notes with what I call my Yellow Book stories. I began writing about this imaginary town with people I made up and drew.  I couldn’t stop writing them. Then I lost them and now I’ve found them again. There are some characters who live in my imaginary town.

I don’t pretend to be an artist, but I drew each character for my stories.  Maybe I’ll finish this one day.

Sunday we have our first Thanksgiving dinner and then I’m having Thanksgiving here and then it will be Christmas all the way. Jingle jingle.  We’ve had lights up for a couple of weeks. David surprised me with tickets to a Beatles’ impersonation show. I’ll write about that later. Can’t wait to see it.

 

Here’s to our veterans who serve our country and to children who honor them. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Daze

 

We are smack dab in the middle of Autumn.  It seemed we were living in forever Summer with the temperatures rising to the eighties into October, but, finally, it’s beginning to feel like the season.

We attended the funeral of our son-in-law’s mother.   Nothing makes you think of your own mortality more than a funeral of a peer.   She was only one year older than me and had a lot of living to do, but it was not to be.   The funeral was nice as funerals go. Her sister gave a wonderful tribute to her and had us all laughing at things that had happened to her sister.  She got out of bed once and her robe sash brushed her foot and she thought it was a mouse and she proceeded to run into the wall and knock herself out.  Her husband said, after he knew she was okay, if it was alright for him to laugh.    Her eight grandchildren were the pallbearers.

Our two youngest were at the end.   She would have loved to have seen them all together.  She will be missed.

So today we left church and got a bite to eat and took a tour of our own through a town just north of us that has decorated itself for Halloween.  This town has some really beautiful older homes also.

Can you see the witch and her “bubbling” cauldron?

What’s this on the roof?

A fisherman spending a beautiful Autumn day

I was loving the color many of the houses were painted. No white or taupe houses here.

We loved this gate and fencing.

I just liked the barn quilt on this house.

Several skeletons sitting on a lounge.  Why not?

Not sure what these two are supposed to be.

This house has a real spider problem!

This skeleton is waving at passers-by from a front room window.

Most Indiana towns have a court house and this one was very majestic.

It was so fun to see all the decorated houses and  then we

came back to our house that has a few decorations of its own.

 

We have wooden jack-o-lanterns that David made years ago. We had driven through the finger lake area in New York and saw some in a store that were kind of pricey and David said he could make some and he did.  I don’t have a picture of them here, but you can kind of see them on the porch.  We also have orange lights strung in the front of the porch.   Everything looks so dry in this picture. We finally had a day of rain and it looks better now.

We’ve been to another soccer game and the boys have their tournament this Saturday.

Hope the skies will be as beautiful as they were at this game.

Do you decorate for the season?  I find the seasons are changing so quickly now, it’s hard to keep up, but I try.   Here are some of my seasonal quilts I ‘ve made.

I think this is a Country Threads pattern that they sold years ago.

I made this when we had a fabric store.

I made this quilt as  copy of an old doll quilt I’ve had since I was a little girl.

I just completed this quilt this week. It was a doozy to make with over eighty small pieces in each block. I made a smaller version than the pattern called for and will use it as a throw on a couch or chair.  I really love this quilt and would like to make it in Spring colors.

I just ordered another quilt book. I need it like I need a hole in the head, but there was a couple of quilts in it I would like to make. I ordered it from Country Threads which you can find on Mary Etherington’s  Country Threads Chicken Scratch blog.

I hope you are enjoying the cooler Fall weather. I see that some parts of our country are getting lots of snow.  We won’t be far behind.   Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling the Backroads

If you have read my blog for any time at all, you will know that David and I like to take back roads when we travel.  We don’t have to go far to get on backroads and we always discover some hidden gem along the way.  Before my pacemaker, or as I like to call them, my huff and puff days, we took a short journey on  back roads to Cataract Falls.  I found it on the map and we had never been there before, so we decided to find it.  Cataract Falls is in our state and not all that far from our house, but it is on winding back roads and it helps to have GPS to find it because I really don’t think we would have otherwise.

Cataract Falls is a series of Falls along a River in a small state park where there is a covered bridge going over the river.   The day we were there it looked like they were setting up for a wedding or wedding reception on the bridge. How neat would that be?!   As I was still tiring out easily we did not walk far but got a feel for the park and may go back one day.  There were kayakers at the bottom of one of the falls that must have kayaked from down river.  There were lots of families enjoying the park and one amorous middle aged couple who acted like they were just married.  Maybe they were!

We left cataract falls and followed signs to a general store.  This store was really off the beaten path, but so worth stopping to see.  It was a real old fashion general store run by a very genial man and his wife.  They sold everything and the kitchen sink.  I found a state scarf from which I am going to make a pillow.  And I found this……

TRUMP ALERT!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Oh, yes.

Someone had included a handwritten message….

And several outfits President Trump could wear if he so chose to.

There were several more outfits, but I thought that is as many as some people could endure!

I have a friend who would get a kick out of these.

So, as you know, I had a pacemaker put in and I am slowly getting my energy back.   So we went to a football game of our oldest grandson’s last night.  He was wearing a cast on two fingers, but he played anyway. Their team won handily.  I’m not much for football, but I will endure it for my grandsons’ sakes as I like to watch them play sports.

Today we left Indianapolis for home, once again on back roads.  It was such a pleasant drive. Much better than on interstate where everyone is in  such a hurry.  It was a perfect Autumn day.  Went through little towns and saw some really nice older homes. Glad people are still restoring the old things because once they are gone, they won’t be back.

I have been doing other things besides traveling on backroads. I have been getting back into quilting again.

And knitting socks.

A small quilt and a pair of socks I completed last week. I have some larger projects I am working on that I will show later. I also painted a sign to put in front of our house that I will have to show you next time.

Oh, and here is something that has built its web right by our front door.

Isn’t he/she beautiful?  I love spiders. David, not so much. Before I told him about this one I made him promise he wouldn’t kill it.  Notice the coiled like web. They make it this way. Don’t know how, but then I don’t understand where spiders get the material to build their webs. They spin it from their bodies, but how?

Anyway, spiders are welcome at my house.  They are good bug catchers. And they fit right in with the Halloween décor!

Here’s to back roads and fun discoveries.  Bye.