Category Archives: Quilting

My quilt projects.

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.

 

June?!

I guess it’s June and almost Summer, but how did we get here so quickly?  I’m still back in May when Spring was new and the flowers were just opening up and the weather was almost nice except for all the rain.  And guess what?  June is becoming a very rainy month also. I feel so sorry for the guys who have been working on our house. They have actually worked outside in the rain, getting drenched and never complaining. At least I never hear them complain. Today is a beautiful day and they are working inside, of course.

The porch is more or less done. They will give the floor a second coat of stain and put up the screen doors after they are done working on our bathroom/laundry room.   Right now the place is all torn out and we have to run upstairs to use the bathroom. I can’t believe we lived like this for years with three children and one bathroom, but we did.  Now I look back at how we lived and I sound like an old pioneer woman when I tell our children how fortunate they are to have two or three bathrooms and Pampers.  I use to rinse all the cloth diapers in the toilet and wring them our WITH MY BARE HANDS and take them to the laundromat because as a pioneer woman, I had no washer and dryer at the time.  But I loved how fluffy and soft the diapers were after they were cleaned and I don’t regret it at all that I had to do all that. Now it’s  flip, a tape and a throw away and you are done with a diaper. Can’t help thinking how many landfills are full of those things.

But back to the bathroom/laundry. I can’t believe all the decisions one has to make about one little room.  Where to place the toilet and sink.  What kind of tile for the floor and shower.  What kind of faucets. What kind of lights. What color paint for walls, ceiling and woodwork.  I had no problem picking out the new washer and dryer. We have Maytags right now and they have been the best.  I could have probably used them for several more years, but me being only five foot one inches tall, it is becoming harder for me to reach clear down into the bottom of the top load washer to get all the clothes out, so we bought a front loader washer and dryer with stands so I think it will be easier to load and unload as I keep going into my tottering old age. Anyway, I hope it will be easier.  And they have a ten year warranty which is just about the time my warranty is up, so it’s all good.

I’ve been working on a patriotic wall hanging for the Fourth of July and onward. I get in the mood to sew and then something happens that I can’t get out into my shop and nothing gets done.  But here are some of the fabrics I am using.

 

Okay, this is how my fabric piles usually look when I am working on a quilt.

I really love this fabric and wish I had bought more of it.   This picture does not do it justice.

This is the pattern I am using. I got it over at Country Threads Chicken Scratch, Mary Etherington’s blog. I think you can still buy the pattern there until July 4th if you are interested. It’s a fun pattern, but I have to admit, it’s been a difficult one for me for some reason with all the pieces and my mind not quite on the job all the time with all that is going on.  But I have it pieced now and am starting to piece another one to go with it that I will show you when I’m done. It may be next July 4th, but be patient with me!

Here’s Uncle Sam’s legs. This is a long wall hanging which surprised me because I thought it would be little, but it’s not.  There is a pattern for a smaller one included which I may try sometime.

I did finish the quilting on a quilt I started last year.  A quilt I wanted to have for Autumn.

My apple quilt. I did a trash job of staging this quilt, didn’t I? Maybe when it’s done, I will show it off a little better. It deserves that.  But I do love it and will hang it up this Autumn. Maybe with a bowl of apples by it.

And I am still knitting socks. It’s really addictive and something I can do in the evening when I am watching my current favorite show, Wild At Heart, on Amazon Prime about a family that moves from Bristol, England to Africa. The father is a veterinarian and moves his family onto a game reserve and takes care of the animals. I really love this show. It’s family friendly. No cuss words.  No nudity. An old man in his underwear is as risqué as it gets which is fine with me. Too many shows now are so vulgar and going for shock value instead of a good story and good people.  Game of Thrones is one of them. So popular, but so vulgar.  I won’t be watching that one.  Not my cup of tea.  It’s getting harder and harder to find anything to watch on tv so I find myself watching it less and less which is probably a good thing actually.   I don’t even watch the news much any longer because it’s all so negative when I don’t think it needs to be.   Watch too much negative things and hateful things and you soon find yourself being negative and hateful.  And life is way too short to be negative and hateful.  I didn’t mean to get on a soapbox today.  Ignore me.

But, back to socks, I knit this pair and gave them to a friend who likes purple.

She had given me some flowers in a mason jar for Easter so I rolled these up and put them in the jar and tied a ribbon around it and gave them to her. Hope she likes them.

If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been having some health issues. I went to the doctor yesterday and he said it may not be my heart and was going to schedule a lung scan for blood clots. I really don’t think that’s what the matter is, but I’ll humor him and do the scan. Then the cardiologist set me up for a heart checkup where they go into your heart to see what the matter is and if they find something, he said they will fix it.  Still feeling breathless and faint at times even though I did plant twelve perennials this morning, but I find when I lean over and my head is below my knees, I don’t feel breathless or faint. Would be kind of hard to walk around like that for long though. Ha. Anyway, if you are a praying person, send up a prayer to My Father in Heaven because He knows exactly what is wrong.   But I don’t feel any fear about it all.

Enough about that.  Back to our new screened-in porch.  We had a gully washer of a rain the other day and we sat outside on it and didn’t get wet at all.

The wind was coming in at every direction and it was thundering and lightning.

Molly and Belle came running in and decided they really needed to rub against me!

Silly ol’ dogs.  And there’s David as close to the weather as he can get. He loves thunder and lightning.  I do, too, but at a safe distance and only if lightning doesn’t strike something.

Have a great day.  Hope the sun is shining down upon you. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Spring Fling

I can’t believe March is already gone and April is half over. My three favorite months are March, April and May and I really wish they’d go a little slower, but I’ve learned that time waits for no man or woman and is going by ever so quickly. I love this time of year when the birds are busy nesting and the flowers and trees are budding or bursting with bloom.  I walked out my front door this afternoon and was amazed how many things were blooming seemingly overnight.

 

I haven’t even taken pictures of the Weeping Cherry which just broke out in bloom today and the azalea that is engulfed in pink blooms. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow before they lose all their blossoms. We are  expecting rain the next two days, so don’t know how long all the blossoms will last.  It surely is beautiful and lifts the spirits.

David and I took  little trip to Streamcliff Farm last weekend where we met up with our oldest son, his girl friend and her mother. Streamcliff Farm is a farm built before the Civil War.  It has many out buildings that have been turned into little shops selling antiques and garden paraphernalia.  There is a little chapel where weddings take place.  There are gardens to wander and a nursery, but it is still a little too cold here to set any flowers outside.

There were two green houses open that I looked and dreamed through.

This sign shows where the gardens are.

Garden art everywhere.  It was magical.

Inside the chapel.

You can buy all kinds of gardening things.  They have these wagons you can pull around and fill with all you purchase.

This is the house with a nice patio out front.  They have a Christmas dinner you can go to every year and I’d love to attend it one year.  I would love to see inside this grand old house.

There is a café there where they sell lunches and so we put our names on the waiting list.

Once inside you are seated at a pretty table and a very nice waitress comes to wait on you.

I ordered the Birdseed salad which had no seed in it at all. It was a pasta salad with broccoli and tomatoes and the best dressing.  All the salads came with their own flower which you could eat if you are so inclined. It was delicious. I also ordered their lemonade which is the best lemonade I have ever tasted.

I have had it before and had to have it again this time.  It was a very pleasant meal.

Enjoyed visiting with our son and his girlfriend and her mother.  Then David and I decided to order dessert.

Blackberry cobbler with ice cream. Yum. Yum. So good I decided I am making it for Easter dinner this Sunday.   Dave and I shared this, but next time, I am only ordering this with a cup of coffee and that’s all I’m eating!

Back during the Civil War, Morgan’s Raiders, a confederate band got as far as the Indiana border and came up near Streamcliff over this creek.

They didn’t get much farther.  Northern soldiers ran them back south.

It was a fun day and then David and I took the back roads home. Indiana is beautiful and interesting in the Spring.  We saw this old church. You see a lot of old churches on back roads.

Sad that it stands empty. I hope the congregation is meeting someplace new.

Since it’s bird nesting season, I asked David to put out all the old birdhouses we have had laying around here for a while.

This one has been around for a long time. It looks like a haunted birdhouse. It is home to a bird family every year.

The birds have homes now so I hope they pack their bags and move in.

And David got the pool open, but it’s much too cold to swim yet although every year one or more of our grandchildren jump in no matter how cold it is.

I’ve been doing a little Spring cleaning.  Washing some quilts.

I only have about one hundred or so.  Some are very old and one of them I washed fell apart a little bit.  I should have washed it on handwash.  Oh, well.

Dusting is something I don’t like to do very well and in this old hundred year old house, I can dust and the next day it doesn’t look like I’ve dusted anything, but I manage to get off the layers.  Having company coming always makes me look at my house a little harder and notice things I don’t usually pay attention to.  Several are coming for Easter and we are having an Easter Egg hunt for the kids so we have been busy getting ready for that.  I should say, David has been getting things ready.  Our church is having an Easter cantata Sunday and I’m looking forward to that.   I love Easter. I’m glad it’s late this year or I would not have been ready.

And because I don’t have anything else to sew, I have been making these little mug rugs just for fun.

I love making little things that take very little time, but look cute.

Hope you all have a blessed Easter and remember the Savior who died for us all. He loves us that much.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s a Little “Cheeper”

Turn your tv off. Stop listening to all the talking heads who only have opinions.  Put down your cellphone, unless you are reading this on it.  Take a deep, hearty breath of the fresh Spring air, if it’s Spring where you are and come visit with me for a while.  The more I hear the news, the more I want to turn it off because according to most “news” people life will end soon. So I have decided since I have such a short time to live, I may as well enjoy myself.

I indulged myself this week and got some baby chicks. I had argued with myself that I really didn’t need even more critters around that depend upon me for their livelihood.  Then I walked into Rural King and back to the troughs where they kept the baby chicks and my heart melted. I have lost two of my hens in the past month and it’s been kind of traumatic for me so I felt like I needed some little cheepers.    They are so adorable.  I had to get six as that was the fewest Rural King will sell at a time so I got two more Buff Orpingtons, two Barred Rocks and two Auracanas, ones who lay blue eggs.  I’m so looking forward to seeing those.  And here they are.

The Auracanas looked like little chipmunks. In fact, I asked the guy who was getting mine for me to get the ones who look most like chipmunks.  David said I should call them Chip and Dale, but since they are females, I am going to call them Chippy and Dahlia.   The Buff Orpingtons are Rosy and  Peony  and the Barred Rocks’ names are Violet and Pansy, keeping with the flower theme. In the past my chickens have been named for women in the Bible and women in my Sunday School class. This made it kind of bad when one of them died and I’d have to say so-and-so had died.  Miss Mary Foster is one of my older hens and the name of a good friend of mine and I’m thinking when Miss Mary Foster dies, I’m not telling anyone for fear someone would get the wrong idea.

They are as curious about me as I am of them.

Can you see why I think she looks like a chipmunk?

They keep me company in my shop while I sew.  One of them was cheeping all afternoon.

 

I have had to use this seam ripper several times with these blocks.

 

This is what I have been working on.  I am sewing a mystery quilt featured on Kathleen Tracy’s blog.  If you go to her blog and click on the files on mystery quilt, you can get the directions for four months of quilt blocks. When we have them all sewn, she will show us how we are to put them together into a quilt.   I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but this has been fun and I look forward to each month’s new block. And while going through some of my fabric, I found this fabric that has all the colors in the blocks.

If you are a quilter or sewer, you can understand how I felt when I found this fabric. Kind of like Christmas.  I can come upon a fabric I had forgotten about and it’s just like that to me!   I’m hoping I have enough of this for a border for this quilt.

It just goes so well with all the blocks.  It really does not take a whole lot to get me excited especially when it comes to quilting.

Another project I am just starting is this….

Found in this magazine…..

The blocks are made with one and one half inch pieces, the smallest I will go to make a quilt.

Then there is this square to be appliqued and embroidered.  I think I am going to really enjoy making this as I do love handwork like this.   I am making this to hang in my shop.  I’ll have to hurry because when the weather finally gets warm, I want to be outdoors as much as possible.  We are looking at 70 degree temperatures by the weekend.

And speaking of outdoors, we have corn out for the birds and whoever else wants it, but we never have seen anyone eating it until this week when I saw this squirrel busily munching on it.

He/she sat there for quite a while picking off kernels and eating them.

We are still feeding the birds, but soon they will be foraging for food in the wild again and won’t need our help.

The puppies are so happy with the warmer temperatures.   I do believe Molly is smiling here.

And she’s in a playful mood.  Both dogs’ tails are wagging like crazy here even though you can’t see it.

“Come on, Belle, let’s play!”  Belle will be twelve years old this year, 84 in people years so she decides when they play.  She still acts like a puppy at times and then at other times her joints hurt and she limps around.  I can’t believe she’s that old already. Seems like we just got her as a puppy not long ago. I guess that will be the next new pet I will be looking for.

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Spring and that it’s warming up in your neck of the woods.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Did you hear the brouhaha about this song before Christmas? That it was “sexist?”  People have way too much time on their hands and get incensed about the silliest things.  Maybe they need to get a job or hobby that takes most of their time so they can leave well enough alone.

That said, baby, it is cold outside.  We are supposed to have the coldest temperatures we have seen in a long time. I spend my days letting the dogs in my shop and out again.  They are mostly outside dogs, but when it gets this cold, I feel happier knowing they are inside where is it warmer. I look back at the hot Summer days when I was wishing for this and now here we are and I don’t feel so glad about it.   My favorite temperature is somewhere between 50 degrees and 70 degrees.  I can be pretty comfortable then. Anywhere lower or higher and I feel it. Is there a place on this earth where those are the temperatures all the time?

You would think the days would drag by when it’s this cold and I’m not outside all that much and we haven’t really gone anywhere all month except out to eat occasionally, but the month has flown.   We did have a late Christmas with our oldest son and his girlfriend and her son where I gave what else, socks and a quilt for some of the gifts.  I am already planning quilts for next Christmas and one for a friend who shall not be named, although I don’t think she reads my blog.    I’m ordering more fabric just because my stash needs refreshing and I have so many ideas in my head running rampant and I need some new colors.  You fellow quilters know what I’m talking about.

Here is the Bullseye quilt I am making that Mary over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch, has been teaching us.

It’s a little bigger than a lap size quilt. I’m going to sew it together and then with some leftover blocks I have a plan.  Plus, when you are cutting out this quilt, you are left with a lot of circles and I have plans for some of them, too.  This has been such a fun quilt to put together, I already am planning several more with one being in reds and greens for Christmas. You should see my cutting table. It’s piled high with all the fabrics I’ve picked out for these future quilts.

Meanwhile, I have managed to knit a few socks.

Hey, the colors in the socks match the colors in the quilt!

I do love color.  I can’t stand monochromatic decorating.  An all white room or an all blue room is not my style.  Right now we are getting ready to remodel a bathroom. The contractor who will be doing it, added this bathroom in an addition we put on the back of our house over thirty-five years ago, so I think it’s time for an uplift. We picked the tile for the shower yesterday and I can’t wait to show you the floor tile for the shower. The tile reminds me of a quilt.  The room is tiny so I’m going to use light, bright colors.  We are also getting our back deck rebuilt and screened in with a roof over it.  So there is much to think about for this coming Spring.

David celebrated fifteen years working for Ralph Lauren at the outlet mall the other day.  When he retired from over 36 years in the military, he was at loose ends for a time.  For nine months he cleaned closets and puttered around the house until he ran out of things to do.  So I told him it was time to look for a part time job as he was not an old man.  The store was just opening and he was one of the first hires at the time.  He’s been part time, assistant manager, manager and now back to part time and I’m trying to get him to cut back even more. He really loves the job and the customers.  He has customers who come in and ask for him. Even some from Europe who come in almost yearly to buy clothes.   Anyway, the vice president wanted to do a conference call with all the people who had been working for Ralph for fifteen years.  I was called and asked to come to hear it, but to keep it a surprise. Well, anyone who knows me knows I cannot keep a secret, especially surprise parties. I have “accidentally” ruined two surprise parties just by innocently saying something I shouldn’t have.  I was so afraid I would let it out of the bag to David.  But I managed to not spoil it and he was so surprised when I showed up at work.  The manager of the store had food and the best cupcakes I have ever tasted and she bought me flowers for being so supportive of David and his job for those years.

Gerbera Daisies which are some of my favorite flowers.

If David works another ten years, Ralph Lauren will fly him to New York for a celebration. I told him he was not going alone because I want to go to New York, too. We will both be close to or in our eighties by then, so let’s see if we make it!  I hope we do.

Speaking of birthdays.  Oh, I didn’t?  Well, David had a birthday this month.  We were going to go out to eat with some of our kids and grandchildren, but that was the weekend we had a big snowstorm so everyone stayed home. I baked him a cake and we had our own private celebration.

And we ate it all ourselves! Not all at once, of course.

The seed catalogs came right after Christmas and I have ordered some flower seeds. Found a new company I tried and this was on the outside of their package.

Kind of like I felt when I got the seeds.

It won’t be long before I will be planting these.  I got some more seeds in the mail yesterday that I will have to show you another time, because the packages are so pretty.

We are in the deep freeze now so I will be spending my day inside working on a quilt and knitting socks and baking bisquits.  Not a bad way to spend a day. I would be content to spend the rest of my days in such pastimes.

Hope you are keeping warm where you live.  If you live in the tropics, enjoy the warmth, too.  Have a happy day everyone. Bye.