Category Archives: Quilting

My quilt projects.

JUNE!!

June is busting out all over.  I remember when I was a girl on a beautiful June day walking down the gravel road to my older sister’s house, singing the song from the musical, State Fair, June Is Busting Out All Over.   I use to know all the words.   But I had a song in my heart, was free as a bird and happy to be going to my sister’s house.  She was like a second mother to me being eleven years older.   School was out until September. A long, lazy, fun filled Summer lay ahead on the farm.  After breakfast and my chores were done, I had the whole day to wander the farm, play with the animals and lay for hours on the front porch swing reading books from the library. I was in 4-H which kept me busy, too, sewing, embroidering and baking cakes or yeast rolls.

Now that I am retired from any outside job, there are days when I get the same feeling of freedom.  I can choose whatever I want to do and I’m telling you, it is a grand feeling. I hope all of you get to feel that way one day.  I could burst into song right now!

We had a graduation a week ago. Our oldest grandchild and only granddaughter graduated from high school.  It just seems like only yesterday I was all excited about her being born and driving up to Chicago to see her for the very first time.  I was in love.  She has been the most wonderful granddaughter a grandmother could have. We are so proud of her.

DSCN7451

She is cute, funny, smart and full of life.  She has a bright future ahead of her.

DSCN7436

Here she is going up to get her diploma.

DSCN7437

DSCN7442

Here she is with her dad who is VERY happy she has college practically paid for already.  She has worked hard for this.

DSCN7431

The choir held hands as they sang. It was very touching. The kids in this school are extremely close.  There is no bullying there and everyone is treated with respect.   When you enter that school, you can feel the goodness there. I can’t explain it, but when a school is Christ centered, it just feels differently.  Most schools use to be Christ centered until God was taken out of schools.  Sad.

DSCN7419

I would recommend this school to anyone who wants their child to get a well rounded education.  Most of the graduates are either going to college or the military.

DSCN7422

My grandson.  He’s growing up, too.

DSCN7424

And his older brother. He graduates in two years.    I still am not use to the fact he is driving.

The next day they had a party and it was fun.  There was so much food and almost all of it was eaten. I think about one hundred people came through the house that day.  I made a big pot of macaroni and cheese and had to make another one.

DSCN7447

The tables were decorated with books as our granddaughter is a bookworm and has had a book published.

DSCN7443

Lots of pictures of her were on the walls.

DSCN7445

She displayed some of her artwork.

DSCN7469

Her dad, who is an Indiana University graduate wore this shirt……

DSCN7473

He said he never thought he would ever wear a shirt with Purdue on it. His brother went to Purdue and there was always a competition going on there.  Never say you will never do something because you will find yourself doing it!

DSCN7414

I made her this quilt. This was taken in my house. See that floral chair? That’s my new Lazyboy  I got for Mother’s Day.   The pattern on it is called Van Gogh so now I can say I have a Van Gogh in my house!

DSCN7415

I made this quilt this past Winter.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t get it done in time, but it had been completed for a long time only I had not made a label for it. So the week before graduation I finally got the label made.

DSCN7416

I try to label all my quilts.  I find it sad to find an old quilt with no name on it. I always wonder about the women who have made some of my quilts that I have purchased at sales.   I have so many and don’t have a clue who made them or when.

It was a fun weekend but we were both exhausted when we got home.

Yesterday we went to a textile fair not far from home.

DSCN7489

There were booths and several buildings at the fair ground with yarns and other textiles for sale.  I was in heaven. This particular booth had the best selection of feed sack material I have ever seen and why I didn’t buy any, I don’t know.  But I can see why women back in the thirties and forties made clothes out of feed sacks. They are very colorful.  Many florals that would have made pretty dresses.

DSCN7488

This lady had a camper full of yarn and yes, I did buy some.   Traveling the country with yarn in the back of your camper sounds like a great thing to me.

DSCN7483

There were sheep there. Some man was walking around a little, black sheep, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Do any of you remember the Disney movie back in the fifties called So Dear To My Heart?  It was about a little boy who raised a black lamb and all the trouble the lamb got into with the boy’s grandmother and how he showed it at the county fair. It was my favorite movie when I was a girl.  The little boy got to see the racehorse, Dan Patch, taken off a train for exercise.  As a girl who was mad about horses, I loved this scene in the movie.  Dan Patch is mentioned in the musical, The Music Man when  Professor Hill says, “want to see some stuck up jockey boy sitting on Dan Patch, make your blood boil?”

DSCN7484

There were llamas too.

DSCN7486

Any animal that provides wool for yarn was there. There were angora rabbits too.  They had the most beautiful fur.

There was one booth where young girls were learning to card wool and spin it into yarn. What a wonderful thing to learn while you are young.   One girl was explaining the process to me and she was so well informed and so mature acting.   Conner Prairie, a pioneer village which is based on the  people and times of the year 1806, sponsors this and it truly is a way to keep the old arts going.

DSCN7490

Even some of the bags had sheep on them.  And I bought several skeins of yarn.

DSCN7491

DSCN7496

The lady selling this yarn had a sock knit up with it and it was so pretty I had to buy some.

DSCN7498

One of my grandsons said he wanted me to knit him blue and black socks so this should fit the bill.

DSCN7493

I cannot wait to knit this up.

On the way home we stopped at an antique store called Vic’s just north of where we live. We are looking for an old floor lamp.   We got one there a few years ago, but I knocked it over and ruined the lampshade.  We were also looking for old lampshades, but I found this instead.

DSCN7492

An old tablecloth, but I am either going to make curtains with it or a Summer skirt.  It is so soft and the colors are so pretty.

We have several things planned this Summer since it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year.  Next trip will be to some caves and a pioneer village with our grandsons.

Here’s to high school graduates and wonderful fairs.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Playing Catch Up

I told David we were never going away for a vacation in the Spring ever again. Too much is going on around here and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, it’s planting time and so many things to do around the yard to get it ready for Summer. Right now our yard looks like a jungle because the lawn mower man hasn’t come yet. Well, I didn’t get him called soon enough.  I am amazed how quickly our lawn has grown in one week.  And I don’t mow anymore.  That’s one job I am more than happy to pay for.

DSCN7332

DSCN7334

I didn’t miss any of the Spring blossoms. Here is the crabapple tree in all its glory.

DSCN7337

The pink flowering almond outdid itself.  One winter the rabbits ate this clear to the ground so we had to put a fence around it. Now it’s too big for the rabbits to care to munch on it.

DSCN7335

DSCN7336

To look at my garden you would never know I love the color pink.

DSCN7340

Even my painted garden has pink in it. I made a trip to one of my favorite garden shops and bought some geraniums in different hues of pink and planted them in eight planters this morning.  I have a few flower seeds to plant and some tomatoes and pumpkins and then I will be finished with the planting this year.

We had a little surprise when we returned home from Alabama.  A little furry surprise. We were going out the door to church the Sunday after we got back and I thought I saw a kitten run under our porch.  When we got home, David staked out a place to watch and before long he saw four little kittens.   Then as he watched longer, he saw there were five!  Five kittens born under our front porch and we didn’t even know it. Their mother is a feral cat that runs around in our neighborhood. David got out the animal trap we had bought  to catch a ground hog that had taken up residency under our porch. We caught a possum that time. Soon he had caught mama cat and four of her babies.  The fifth one, that looked like a Siamese cat, took longer.  It took a couple of days.

DSCN7325

This is mama, but she is vicious.  David had a tangle with her and she bit him five times through leather gloves and scratched him all up his legs.   I didn’t see it happen and he said I wouldn’t have wanted to.

DSCN7321

One long haired and two black and white, one tabby and the Siamese looking one.  Strange how so many different kittens can come from one mama.  So cute, but so wild.

DSCN7328

Such cute faces with a look of danger in their eyes.

DSCN7316

This black and white one was my favorite.  In a week they were litter trained, eating kitten kibble and drinking from a bowl and I found homes for every one of them. The mother is still running loose.   I am hoping she finds a new place for her next litter or I will be calling animal control which I really don’t want to do.

Work is progressing on my shop. I have almost all the painting done now. Woohoo!  That was a chore. I did it all with a paint brush, wall and floor.  I still have a bit of the floor to complete. Meanwhile, David is working on my new cutting table.

DSCN7330

It will be six by six feet, made of heavy wood and on heavy casters so that I can roll it anywhere in my shop I want.  If that isn’t love for him to do this for me, I don’t know what is.  I don’t need any boxes of candy or flowers.  This does it for me.

DSCN7342

DSCN7344

And this is what I do in my shop. Sew and make quilts.  These are two I have pieced in the last few weeks.  And like all quilters, I am already thinking of my next one.

DSCN7347

From Kathleen Tracy’s book.  I love this quilt.

DSCN7346

And part of the fun in making a quilt is picking out the fabrics.  Here are a few I plan to use in my next one.

David’s grandmother had a clematis in her garden that was so pretty. She had it for as long as I could remember.  She babied that clematis and it was her pride and joy.  When her house was going to be sold, David and I rescued Grandma’s clematis and brought it home with us and planted it behind our garage, which is now my shop.  It bloomed there, but the last few years it hasn’t seemed happy there so this year we decided to transplant it to a more favorable place. At least I hope it will be.

DSCN7361

David worked very carefully to get it dug and to trim the fencing away from it that it had grown on.   We think we found some new little clematises beside it so I planted them in pots to see how they would do.   They might just be weeds, too!

It now sits in my kitchen garden where it can spread its roots and hopefully grow bigger and have more flowers on it in the future.  If any of our kids are reading this, we will Grandma Henley’s clematis to you.   It’s at least fifty years old.

Meanwhile other bushes are bursting at the seams.

DSCN7365

The Spirea always looks pretty.

DSCN7364

And another transplant from Grandma’s garden. A snowball bush. This one has become quite big and is full of blooms.  I’ve gotten two more transplants from this one bush.  It brings back fond memories of being in Grandma’s garden.  She was the only Grandma I really knew as my grandmothers had passed before I knew them  or they were not well while I was growing up.  My one grandma lived with us for a while and did teach me how to make good pie crust.   But we never talked.  Isn’t that strange?   She didn’t talk to anyone.

I try not to get hooked on movies during the day, but last Saturday one of my favorite movies was on.  Giant.  Starring Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor.

DSCN7358

Both were in their prime.  I really believe Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful women in her time.  She had those violet eyes and shiny black hair.  Giant is about a Texas cattle baron and his family. It’s about women’s rights and the prejudices of the time, cowboys and finding oil and becoming rich off it and the disparity between people,  with horses and cattle and bucking broncos all thrown into the mix.   It’s a long movie so I had to tape it to finish it later, but I love it and will watch it again.  James Dean, who comes from my state, was also in the movie as a nemesis for Rock Hudson’s character.  He died in a car accident not long after this movie was made.  He was the stuff of legends.

The cinematography was wonderful.

DSCN7353

It made the old west come alive.    So much of the west is gone now.  Overrun with housing developments and ranchettes and shopping malls, but there are still a few places off the beaten path where you can still see what it use to be like.

And because this has been a hodgepodge  of things I will show you some lipsticks I purchased recently. Found the company on Facebook. Lipstick for women over forty.   Which I have been for some time.

 

DSCN7306

I don’t own any stock in the company or anything. Just like to share when I find a product I like.   I got a set of lipsticks and have tried them all and love them all.   They come in the cutest containers.  The lipsticks are not suppose to feather into the wrinkles around your mouth like some lipsticks do.    I’m still testing them, but so far I have been very happy with the product.   I usually wear Covergirl, but their ads have become kind of freaky and that turns me off a product. Just telling you the truth. I also like Maybelline lipsticks.  These new ones may become my favorites.

So that has been the first week back from vacation.  There’s a graduation coming up. Our first grandchild finishing high school and has her college all picked.  Wow, does time fly.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Celebration and a Tutorial

Can’t believe Easter was just last Sunday.   It’s one of my favorite holidays for many reasons. For one, it’s the happiest day for Christians all around the world who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was beat, tortured and hung on the cross on Friday and on the third day he arose.  He took every last one of our sins upon himself. Only God could do that.   Because of Jesus, I can face every day knowing that He lives and lives through me.  One day I will see His face.

The other reason I love Easter is because of the fun things we do with out grandchildren.  We always have an egg hunt. This year two of our grandchildren were in California with their daddy and our granddaughter was in Florida with friends.  As our grandchildren grow older, their lives get busier and we see less of them which makes me sad, but that is the way of life.  But we had two grandboys and our son’s girlfriend’s son here to hunt eggs so it was fun. David and I prepared 216 eggs.  Seventy-five of them had little pieces of paper in them with dollar signs on them. Those who found those got a dollar for each one.  Dangling that carrot in front of young boys gives them a big incentive to hunt the eggs.  We hid some in he house and in my shop because we were expecting rain and when it didn’t rain, we hid more outdoors.

The hunt was a great success and each boy got a wad of dollar bills. All but two of the eggs were found. I suppose I will run across them sometime just like I do every year.

DSCN6862

I cut some of the daffodils from my garden for the table.  I had fun dyeing those eggs using just food coloring water and vinegar.

We had a nice dinner and conversation as we ate. In the course of talking we got to laughing about the Debbie Downer character who was on Saturday Night Live years ago.  Debbie Downer always found something pessimistic to say when her friends were discussing something.  Every time she said something pessimistic, the music would go Wa-wa-wa.   It was really funny.  Well, we were discussing whether we were getting any eggs and I mentioned one of our hens had died of old age this week and my son went “Wa-wa-wa,”  and we all started laughing. Then I tried to think of pessimistic things to interject in the conversation just to get to say it.  We were all laughing so hard.  I guess you had to be there, but if you have ever seen that sketch on SNL you know what I am talking about.

This week besides painting in my shop, something that seems to go on and on, I did manage to do a little quilt making.  And by little I mean the quilts are little.

DSCN6873

I have been working on this quilt.  Orange peel.

DSCN6874

Kathleen Tracy made this quilt. Now I have made orange peel blocks before and the instructions for them are in this book, but I make mine a little differently so as to get uniform orange peels.  Here is how I do it.

DSCN6863

Take one small piece of fabric.

DSCN6875

Draw the orange peel shapes on freezer paper.  Cut them out.

DSCN6864

Iron one on each piece of fabric you are using for all the orange peels. I used 64 different colors of fabric to make it more patchwork looking.

DSCN6865

Next, iron in the ends.

DSCN6866

Press all around the orange peel shape. Don’t burn your fingers!

DSCN6867

Remove the parchment paper.

Then I go one extra step some people don’t do.

DSCN6868

I baste around the orange peel.

DSCN6870

Pin it on your square.  Sew around it with tiny stitches.  Do this 64 times and you will have enough little blocks to make this particular quilt.

DSCN6872

I must admit it is quite habit forming making these blocks.  I so enjoyed stitching each different orange peel on its block.  I have them sewn together, but I will show you that in another post.

We are expecting yet another round of snow tonight.   I’m so ready for warm weather and sunshine.   We were going to go to the Indianapolis Zoo Saturday, but that’s been cancelled.   We will get to the zoo sometime this year.  Maybe even go to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Here’s to Spring, wherever she is and may she get here before Summer. Bye.

 

 

 

 

Authors in the Family and Letter writing

I always have loved to write.  If I were disciplined enough and didn’t have so many hobbies like quilting, knitting, gardening and reading, I might have had time to write a book.  I have written short stories for my grandchildren in which they are the main characters, but that is as far as I have gotten to being an author.  Writing here on my blog seems to satisfy my need to write.

Our oldest granddaughter actually wrote a book when she was fourteen and had it published.  One of our grandsons likes to write and wrote a story about me trying to get to my birthday party.

DSCN6781

I guess that’s me in the picture!

DSCN6782

DSCN6780

Wish you could read it. According to the story, I took a subway from Chicago to Lafayette, Indiana. There was a ship wreck and cyclone I had to deal with also.  Quite a feat if I do say so myself.  But I did get to my birthday party!

His brother made a really nice birthday card for me also.

DSCN6783

DSCN6784

Better than any store bought card any day in my estimation.

I got a letter the other day from the same grandson who wrote the story, asking for a size 11 pair of socks.  I think he was asking for his dad because I did not knit his dad socks for Christmas this year.   Not sure.  I was just glad to get a letter. The art of letter writing in this day of cellphones and texting and E-mails has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  It takes time to gather a pen and paper and sit down and write down your thoughts, then find an envelope and a stamp and go to the mailbox and mail the letter. If someone does that for you, it’s a real blessing. It means they are thinking of you and you are worth their time.  I wrote him back and also told him to tell his brother to write me also and I would write back.  Maybe we have started something here.  Maybe I need to sit down and write a letter to everyone who means something to me.  Have you ever written a person and told them what they have meant in your life?  A teacher, or relative or friend?     I bet if you did, they would be so happy to get it. I got a birthday card a couple of weeks ago in which a friend had written a prayer for me and it meant so much.   For some reason, a letter means more than a text or even a quick phone call because it means the person thinks you are worth it.

Do they even sell stationary any longer?  I remember as a girl looking at all the pretty stationary and spending time selecting some. Stationary came in pretty boxes and there was usually a picture of something on the top of each page.   I had pen pals I wrote to in Sweden and around the United States.   The two girls I wrote to in Sweden would send me little gifts and I would send them something and we did this for a few years and then we lost contact.  I still have a picture they sent me of the two on them on ice skates  by a lake.   Hard to imagine they are old ladies like myself now.    I often wonder about them. I tried to find them on the internet, but someone I contacted, who  I thought might be one of them, never contacted me back, so I figured it was the wrong person.

I just finished writing a story based on my daughter’s Golden Retriever who lost a leg in a trap a few weeks ago.  I tried to write it from the dog’s point of view and I tried to imagine what he went through, caught in a trap in the middle of the forest for fourteen days.   I still am amazed he survived his ordeal.  My daughter says he runs fast now and coming toward you, you can’t even tell he is missing a leg, but he limps when he walks. It’s amazing how resilient animals are.  After I have done some polishing of the story I will give it to my daughter and her family to read and then I may post it on here.

Have you written a letter recently?   Is there someone who would LOVE to hear from you?

In other news, the work on my shop is going quite well. I have several shelves painted and all but one wall painted and now I am working on the floor.   It takes two days for each coat of paint I put on the floor to dry so it’s a slow process.  Plus, I can only do small portions at a time as I have to move stuff from one side to another.  When this gets done, I am done for a while. I did mention to David that my girly room is in need of fresh paint and he told me to get one project done before I started thinking of the next one!  Maybe this Autumn that room will get freshening up.

DSCN6795

It looks like the walls are pink, but they are dazzling white.

DSCN6794

It’s so nice to have clean, freshly painted walls on which to hang things again. I have decided I am not going to burn candles in here anymore as everything was blackened by the candle smoke.   I have burnt a lot of candles in here through the years.   While I love to burn candles, they do leave a bit of soot even if you cannot see it at the time.   So air fresheners will have to do unless someone can give me some advice on what to use. I’d like to do something with peppermint extract because spiders don’t like peppermint.

I also am trying to make some little quilts from these two books I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

DSCN6790

I really love this quilt on the cover and want to make it.  There will be some appliqueing in my future.  In this book, Kathleen Tracy writes of a young woman, Adelia, who lived during the Civil War and shows us some of her diary entries.  It is very interesting. I love reading about this time in American history although it was a very hard time and many lives were lost.

DSCN6791

This is another quilt in the book that I want to try. I love green and pink together.  So Spring like.

I am working on this quilt right now and am loving the process.

DSCN6788

It’s a small quilt and just about all I can handle right now.   Its from this book by Jo Marten.  I want to make every single quilt in his book.  I’m thinking of having a quilt wall in my shop of all little quilts.

DSCN6786

It’s becoming Spring in my neck of the woods. Daffodils are blooming on the south side of my shop and many more are getting ready to burst into bloom.  I know this sounds crazy, but I’m kind of sad to see Winter go as I had so many plans to finish so many projects that did not get done.  I did get some more socks knitted.

DSCN6777

Believe it or not, David loves these and wore them to church this morning.

DSCN6778

These go in the gift bag. I have another pair completed and am working on my Christmas socks. Yes, Christmas. I think about Christmas all the time because I make so many presents.  But the Christmas socks will be mine. The first pair of Christmas socks I knit turned out to be too pink, so they go in the gift bag also.  I also have yarn to knit David Christmas socks.  So, there you go.

Spring starts next week.   Enjoy it because right behind it comes Summer and the heat.   I hope we have a mild Summer this year. Not too hot or cold.

I will leave you with a smiling face.

DSCN6796

Molly Marshmallow says, “Hi.”   Took her to the vet for some shots and  she remembered him from when she was there a few months ago because she got so excited when he walked in the door like she was greeting her long, lost friend.  She doesn’t greet me like that!  Here’s to happy dogs. Bye.

 

 

A Birthday and Celebrating Christmas in March

Well, since I wrote my last blog I have been busy.  David was sick for most of the month of February and has had this weekend off for my birthday.  He is planning on going back to work Tuesday.

Today was my birthday. We started celebrating it Friday by going to this place…..DSCN6733

DSCN6727

With my best buddy by my side we set off on a glorious, almost Spring day.

DSCN6734

The skies were so blue.  A welcome change from the dark clouds that have been in the sky for days.

Zachary’s is a  candy factory with an outlet store. I had read about it in a magazine we get.

DSCN6739

DSCN6741

Well, I was like a kid in a candy store. I was looking for Easter candy and we loaded up two large bags with candy.    There was candy of every kind made fresh at the factory. They only use ingredients produced in America which is another reason I liked it.

DSCN6731

We saw this mural on a building in Frankfort.  Remember Grandpa Walton on the Waltons show?  Will Geer was the actor who played him and he was born in Frankfort, Indiana.

We also stopped at the best antique store where I met the two nicest ladies.  We talked about a lot of things, but one thing we discussed was Saturday Night Live in the days when it was funny.  If you are old enough, you will remember Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken in a skit where a band is practicing and Will Ferrell’s character was playing a cowbell.  Christopher Walken’s  character kept saying he needed more cowbell and Will Ferrell would bang that cowbell so hard.  It really was one of the funniest sketches on SNL ever.  Well, I bought an old cow bell in this store and I will use it to call David inside when he is working outside.  I don’t know if he appreciates it, but I am having fun with it.

DSCN6729

I don’t know what this building was, but I like the look of it.  It’s not their courthouse.  Looks like an old hospital.  But we didn’t drive by it, so it will remain a mystery.

Today started out with me feeling sick to my stomach. We were supposed to meet some family after church for Chinese. I didn’t make it to church and thought I might have to call it off, but I took some Pepto-Bismol and felt a little better, but I didn’t eat much at lunch.  Then everyone came back home for cake and ice cream and to celebrate a late Christmas.

David bought me a cake because I didn’t want to bake my own birthday cake, but our daughter brought a chocolate cake she had made.

DSCN6745

Dark chocolate with peanut butter icing.  The sugar high we are going to have. It’s back to veggies, fruits and protein next week.

DSCN6746

It was just like Christmas day again.  With paper all over the floor.

DSCN6750

Watching people unwrap presents we have gotten them is one of my biggest pleasures.

DSCN6758

I think he was surprised with his quilt.

DSCN6759

I love this quilt pattern and how colorful it is. I hope he gets many years of pleasure from it.

DSCN6761

He knows what is being unwrapped because he got one for Christmas.  A hoverboard.

Our son gave us all wristbands for Walt Disney World.  He is taking all of us there this year and I cannot wait. It’s his 50th wedding anniversary gift to us.  We are going to stay in a rented house with five bedrooms  and four baths so we shouldn’t be too crowded.   The last time we did this it was with our older grandchildren and that has been at least twelve years ago.  We had such a good time then.

I am still working on my shop.  It’s been a slow process with us being sick and very tired for so long.

DSCN6772

I am dusting, cleaning and painting every surface I can.  I am going through all my fabric and have taken two large bags of it to a local charity.   I still have boxes and boxes to go, but it’s getting there slowly but surely.   I really am enjoying going through all my fabric, but some of it I will never use and hopefully someone else can get some good out of it.

This has really become a major project.  I wonder how people on those hoarder shows ever manage to get out from underneath with all they have accumulated. It’s funny. You spend the first several years of your life getting stuff and the last remaining years of your life trying to get rid of stuff.  I have become a minimalist in thinking, but my shop doesn’t show it.  Hopefully, when I am done it will.

I did manage to make two little quilts this week. I cleaned off my cutting board and cut them out and pieced them and have one almost quilted.

DSCN6768

I call this one Rhapsody in Blue and Birds.   I used some bird fabric I love.

DSCN6769

DSCN6771

DSCN6770

DSCN6767

Kathleen Tracy has been showing these quilts on Facebook and I figured out the dimensions myself, but she has a small quilt book you can buy on Amazon. I bought one of her quilting books this week that I will share with you later.  Check her out. Her quilts are darling.

I love my grandsons and granddaughter.  My granddaughter grew up too fast and is a senior this year and is going to New York City this week with all the seniors. What an experience that will be. I have never been to New York City, but David drove through the center of it once. He said he got a lot of one finger waves while doing so!    Here are my two younger grandsons who always make me laugh.

DSCN6765

DSCN6764

Candy corn teeth!

Oh, and if you think I am done buying stuff, I’m not.  We went to a La-Z-Boy store on Friday also and I ordered a new rocker recliner in fabric called Van Gogh.  Bye.

.

 

 

Brrrrrrr!

It’s been so cold here in Indiana. How cold, you ask?

DSCN6643

So cold my little snowmen had to build a campfire.

DSCN6654

So cold the birds eat two full feeders of birdseed in less than a day.

DSCN6656

So cold Belle gives me the evil eye when I have to make her go outside.

We have been under storm watches, freeze warnings and snow storms for what seems like weeks even though it’s been about a week.  This weekend warmer temperatures are coming.  Up in the fifties  by Sunday.  Woot! Woot!

I am really like a little mouse who wants to just build its little nest and snuggle down inside it and stay warn until this weather goes away, but, alas, life happens and the chickens have to be fed and watered and the eggs gathered before they freeze and the dogs have to be let in and out of my shop about twenty times a day, it seems like.

For outside dogs, they have spent a lot of this winter inside.

DSCN6661

Molly in her crate.  She is very possessive of this crate. Belle made the big mistake of getting in it once and there was a huge dog brawl right in my shop.

DSCN6667

Anyway, Belle has her very own soft, warm bed.

David gets up every morning before five and goes to work and never complains.  He sees this weather as a challenge to be conquered while I look at it as something to be avoided at all costs.  I don’t like to be cold.  But I don’t like to be hot either and I wonder where I could live where the weather would be perfect for me,  Like the three bears’ porridge. Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  We have those perfect days about two or three times in the Spring and again in the Autumn.  Next month the Farmer’s Almanac says we are having deep snows.  As long as it’s not this cold, I will love it.

I feel like I am on hold for some reason. I have started cleaning out my shop. This is what it looks like right now.

DSCN6659

Okay, this isn’t a good picture, but everything is off one wall while I paint it.  I’m doing one wall at a time and then this Spring I am doing the floor.  It’s going to be a long process I am afraid.  I did manage to take out a huge bag of stuff to the trash.   I am hoping to one day have whitewashed walls, a grey floor, everything organized and everything clean and dusted and new burlap curtains.    I am at the place where I ask myself, “Why did you start this?”   Ever been there?

I have knitted three pair of socks since Christmas and completed two quilts since October.  I am still working on the pumpkin quilt. I was doing really well on it today until I looked and saw I had sewn a row upside down.  How does one get pumpkins upside down, but I did.

DSCN6664

I was so close to being done piecing the top.

DSCN6665

That’s what happens when one gets cocky. Mistakes happen.   I really am enjoying sewing this quilt, though.  I have another quilt ready to start as soon as I get this one done. And I have a Christmas quilt in line to quilt.

We did get out into the frozen tundra to see a couple of movies.  “Downsizing.” Save your time and money. The concept was interesting, but the movie derailed halfway through. There is full frontal male nudity too, if that isn’t your piece of cake.   This movie tells me why Hollywood is in trouble.

Then we saw “The Darkest Hour” and I realize that every once in a while Hollywood gets it right.   While everyone is giving kudos to the man who played Winston Churchill, I loved Lily James in her part as Churchill’s secretary.  I have loved her in all she has done. Loved her in Downton Abbey, loved her as Cinderella and she was so good in this part.

January is already half over. This weekend David celebrates a BIG birthday.   Time marches on Bye.

 

 

Of Mice and Music Men

I’m not a fan of mice. At least those not of the Mickey Mouse kind.  I’ve had my run-ins with mice through the years.   When I was a young girl, my family was seated in our living room watching television,  when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement across the floor. It was a little mouse scurrying to wherever it was going. I screamed and that’s when my brother, Andy,  jumped into action. He ran and stepped right on that mouse’s tail and held it there.  We all sat in surprise as we looked at first my brother and then the mouse whose tail was caught under his shoe.  My mother ran and got a box to put the mouse in and it was scooped up and put outside.   We all had a good laugh about it and it’s been tucked in my memories ever since.

When we moved to our old house forty years ago we were plagued with mice for a time because the house had sat empty for several months and the mice decided to take over.  I had had enough when one day I opened a kitchen drawer and out popped a mouse, just as scared as I was.  We set traps and caught mice and  finally were rid of them. At least we didn’t see any more for a long time.

Several years ago some piles of rocks were removed from behind a business across the road from us.  After that, I began to see rats in our yard. In fact, the first I noticed them, I stepped on one in a flower bed.   Then I started to see rats everywhere in our yard. We believe the rats had had their homes in the rock pile and by removing it, the rats were looking for a new home. I was so scared the rats would get in the house.  I found dead rats in our dogs’ pen that they had killed. Our neighbor said he was seeing rats too. So we all put out lots of rat poison. I had to put it in boxes with holes so my dogs would not get into it. Little by little we noticed the rat population was dwindling.    After a while we saw no more rats and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the Autumn, when the weather starts to get cool, the mice come in seeking warm places to make a home. We haven’t had a mouse problem for years, but this year I began to notice mice tracks in my shop. I would put out poison and the mice were eating it, I could tell, but still I was seeing mice tracks everywhere. When I sat at my sewing machine and saw mouse tracks on it, I knew the poison was not doing the trick so David bought some mouse traps and set them in my shop and in the house and the first day we caught four.  The next day we caught one and we have caught no more since so I am hoping our mouse problem is solved. (We have since caught nine since this post and not done yet, I’m afraid.) No, I am not a fan of mice.  Cute as they can be.   Ever see a baby mouse?  They are so cute.  But I don’t want them in my house.

This past weekend our granddaughter was in her last musical at her school as she is a senior. They performed The Music Man and it was great.

DSCN6305

She played Ethel Toffelmeir  and we were so proud of her.  She was in the scene where the ladies sang Pick a Little, Talk a Little and she danced during the song Shipoopie.   When the townspeople sang the Wells Fargo Wagon is A-comin’, in came a wagon pulled by a real horse and the crowd went wild.   Since the Music Man has been my very favorite musical ever since I saw it with my mother, with Robert Preston as the music man and Shirley Jones as Miriam the librarian, I so enjoyed it.  I have memorized all the songs and could have sung right along with them.

DSCN6301

Here she is with her “baby” brother who is taller than she.

DSCN6298

I am so blessed to have these two as grandchildren.

Remember the pumpkin quilt I was making?  I had it all cut out.  Well, it turned into an apple quilt.

I have had this fabric for a very long time.

DSCN6277

DSCN6276

I always thought I would make an apple quilt with it one day and the day finally came.

I searched out all my red fabric and some green fabric.

DSCN6114

Using this pattern I made apples instead of pumpkins.  I also used the pumpkin pattern from Lori Holts Farmgirl patterns.

DSCN6278

Soon I was piecing each block together feverishly.

DSCN6288

DSCN6281

DSCN6283

Block after block went together.

DSCN6287

I couldn’t stop.  I was on a mission.

DSCN6294

And I finished the top.  I love, love, love it.

DSCN6291

I had to pose it in various poses.  Such a wonderful Autumn quilt.

DSCN6293

I don’t usually piece a complete quilt top in a matter of days, but this one went together very quickly.   Now I have to quilt it.   Then, maybe, I will get back to my pumpkin quilt.

DSCN6325

But at the moment I am hand quilting this quilt and loving every minute I am working on it.   This particular quilt has been on my to do list for years.  I am finally getting it done.  I have a Christmas quilt I want to do after this one.  So many quilts. So little time. I quilt into the wee hours of the mornings most often. The best time for me to quilt because I have no distractions then.

Last night our daughter called and said we have new granddogs. Her golden retriever, Lily, had her second litter of puppies.  Our daughter said this will be her last.  She lost five of them, but five survived so we are going to have to go visit them soon.  They are going to sell them and probably already have them sold.  They have the most beautiful golden retrievers.  Three and they all are house dogs. They are not allowed upstairs and I didn’t know it and one time when I was there, I threw their ball up the stairs and they just sat there looking, but didn’t even try to go up the steps.   Good dogs.

DSCN6273

The leaves have finally changed and Fall is in the air most definitely.

DSCN6292

A busy season lies ahead.  Veteran’s Day program at our grandsons’ school this week.  Two Christmas programs coming up and in between it all I must get all this quilting and sock knitting done.

Despite all the tragedies we are seeing around the world, God is still in control.  Evil will not win.  Love will triumph.   Remember there is hope and peace with Jesus.  My prayers and sincere sympathy to those whose lives were taken this week.   May God be with them.  Pray for peace and love to abound. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

October, How I Love You

I love the month of October. After March, April and May, it’s my favorite month.  It usually starts getting cooler although we have had unseasonable temperatures for the last several days.  Today it was in the sixties and I was loving it.  I feel so much more energetic in cooler weather.  The leaves on the trees are slow to change this year, but that’s okay.  The longer the season lasts, the better.

It’s been a busy month.  Aren’t they all?    I was telling a younger friend with young children not to expect to take time off when her children were grown because then the grandchildren come and there are things you want to do with them.  We had fun at King’s Island with one set of grandchildren a  couple of weeks ago and last week we spent time with the other set at Grandparents’ Days at their school.  Our older grandchildren go to a wonderful Christian school where their mother also teaches.  The school ranks #1 in college prep schools in Central Indiana and 98% of their graduates go on to college. Pretty impressive, I’d say.  Our granddaughter will be graduating next Spring.  I believe she and our grandsons have had an A-plus education.

So Grandparents’ Day begins with a sign in and then like a bunch of ants at a picnic, the grandparents swarm the tables with the coffee and donuts on them.  They serve very good coffee and donuts.

DSCN6115

Then they have chapel and our grandchildren join us.  The first day our sixth grader was with us.

DSCN6126

Let me just say that a few months ago, he was a short, little boy and now he’s taller than me(which isn’t hard as I am 5’1″) but almost as tall as his grandfather too.  His voice is changing and he looks like a teen-ager all of a sudden.   Waaaaaaa!  I told him it was just a short time ago I was babysitting him and he would sit on the piano bench and we would play the piano, neither one of us knowing how to play.  He was a baby then. Such a short time ago.  Such a nice grandson.

DSCN6127

He plays football.

DSCN6119

Sings in the middle school choir.  See, he is about a head taller than all the others.

DSCN6131

His class is learning the entire book of James in the Bible and they got up and recited some of it.   He looks like he is really concentrating here.

DSCN6129

This is his good friend who we adopted for the day as his grandparents couldn’t make it.  A really nice boy.

We took him out to eat and told him he could order anything he wanted and his eyes lit up.  Then back to school and we drove home to take care of the animals and then drove back up to Indianapolis to spend the night in order to go to the second Grandparents’ Day.

With these two.

DSCN6148

Our tenth grader and

DSCN6152

our senior.  She painted this mural and she is in the musical in a few weeks. Another trip to make.

Once again the grandparents crowded the coffee table and donut table and then we sat down for chapel. Our granddaughter is part of the praise team. She said she was nervous about singing in front of us, but she seemed very composed and professional.

DSCN6144

It so nice to see our grandchildren growing up to be the kind of people they are.  So kind. So talented. So grounded.

DSCN6142

This young man has my heart.  He can make me laugh so easily, many times when we should not be laughing!   See that lady in black?  She is from Scotland and her granddaughter is a good friend of our granddaughter.

We took them both out to Five Guys, a hamburger joint and they got to order what they wanted and then back to school where our granddaughter had an interview for a scholarship.  I hope she gets it.

It was a fun two days.

Driving home we drove through downtown Indianapolis. When I was young, I really thought this was the BIG city.  Our senior class made a trip there and it was so much fun.  Now I just can’t wait to get out of it.  Too much traffic for me.

DSCN6164

This is our state capitol.

DSCN6165

The top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument smack dab in the center of the city.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole thing. I have walked up to the top of this monument several times through the years.

DSCN6168

Tall buildings. It’s not New York, but it’s big enough for me. This country girl likes dirt roads and trees and no traffic.

DSCN6166

A very busy downtown.  People out eating at restaurants, walking their dogs, skate boarding.   Fun to drive through. Wouldn’t want to live there.

DSCN6170

The sky was so blue and it really was a pleasant day.

On the way home we stopped at a quilt shop called The Back Door where I had a gift certificate to use. I was looking for background fabric for the pumpkin quilt I am making.   Of course, I found more than I was looking for.

DSCN6176

I just like this fabric and know I will use it in something so I bought a yard.

DSCN6179

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this fabric looks grey, but has a tinge of green in it. I like the little swirls all through it which remind me of pumpkin vines.  I cut out most of the background pieces for the quilt today.  Hope I have enough of it.

But what really caught my eye and made me swoon was this fabric.  I almost didn’t get it as I really don’t need anymore fabric, but this is the most beautiful fabric I have ever seen in my life.  A masterpiece on fabric.  A Monet.   I just could not leave the store without it.

DSCN6175

DSCN6174

DSCN6173

Just so incredibly beautiful. I bought three yards and wish I had bought five!   I don’t have a clue what I will make with this, but it has to be an especially wonderful quilt.  I just love it.  Did I say I liked this fabric?   I love it so much I made it my header for this blog.

There are a few other things going on in my world, but that will wait for another day.  Bye.

 

 

Back to Cincinnati

 

I love driving to Cincinnati.  Especially when we take the river road along the Ohio River.  We did that over a week ago, but because of things happening in the world, I didn’t feel like writing about it.     We took off on a Saturday and headed down the road.

DSCN6057

Following the river most of the way. There is something about a river that makes me feel wanderlust.  I think of all those who have traveled this river throughout the years or lived by this river, building little towns and living their lives as the river swept by.   There is so much history along this river. David and I have driven most of it and several times, at that.   It never fails to lift my spirits.

DSCN6062

The sky was so blue that day and the river so calm, but this river has flooded many times through the centuries, flooding those little towns and creating havoc to their citizens.  Still, people continue to settle along it, camp beside it and watch as it lazily flows along.  It’s mesmerizing.

We passed through one little town where I saw some ladies decorating the city park.  And along the road hung on electric poles were these………

DSCN6065

DSCN6064

DSCN6063

Scarecrows. I don’t know if they were having a contest, but there were several of these all along the roadway.  Made me want to go home and make my own scarecrow.

DSCN6066

I think it might have had something to do with breast cancer awareness because of this sign I saw.

We spent the night in Cincinnati and went to supper with our older son and his girlfriend.  We went to The Outback to eat and they had the slowest service.  We finally got our names on a list and waited and waited. They didn’t look all that busy. Then three more people came in the door and the waitress started to sit them immediately and David spoke up and asked why they were being seated. The waitress mumbled something about the waitress wasn’t ready for our table. Humbug!  Our son said, “Let’s go,” and we went across the street to a restaurant called Mimi’s Café and were seated immediately and I had the best liver and onions I have ever eaten. So, good things happen to those who wait!    It was a pleasant evening, but we were going to King’s Island the next day so we headed to our motel for the night.

The next morning we met up with our daughter and her family.

DSCN6067

The boys were excited because we were going to King’s Island.

Now King’s Island is for the person who likes to ride scary rides. I am not that person. The last two times I was talked into riding certain rides, I cried.  So I knew no one would be talking me into riding any roller coasters or rides that went up high that day.  I loved watching my family ride the rides.  I rode a couple, but I really enjoy people watching and just being with family.   It was such a fun day.  We went to the arcade and there is where I had the most fun playing Ski-ball. I could play that all day.  I helped our son win a card he had been trying to win for some time.  You see, our son goes to King’s Island almost every single day whether it’s before work or after work, just to ride maybe one ride. He’s a big kid at heart.  He plays those arcade games and saves the points. He has enough to get a computer now.   He could have probably bought one a whole lot cheaper, but he loves playing those games.  I do too. It must be in the blood.  David and I, when we were dating, use to love playing the arcade games at the fair.  Tossing rings to win cheap dishes.   I once spent fifty dollars playing ski-ball at King’s Island to win a set of juice glasses!  They were the cheapest glasses I have ever had and they all got broken very quickly.   Needless to say, we don’t go to King’s Island all that often.  Can’t afford their dishes!

It was a fun day and I am sure I got my 10,000 and more steps in as my feet were hurting so badly by the time we got to the car.  We drove home at dusk as the sky was showing off  it’s beautiful colors.

DSCN6068

DSCN6069

DSCN6076

Where we live there are tall trees so I cannot see the sunset like this at night. It was so beautiful.   Then I saw it.

DSCN6083

A UFO.  Or at least it looked like one to me. And then I saw this.

DSCN6085

Remember in the first Ghost Busters where that dog chased that little guy from his apartment and down the street?  This made me think of that dog.

It was good to get home and back in our own bed.

The past couple of weeks I have been working on quilts.

DSCN6091

I pinned this quilt ready for quilting. I can’t decide if I want to machine quilt it or quilt it by hand.  It’s got hundreds of safety pins in it and my fingers can attest to it.  I am quilting one by hand right now that I want to get done.  Can’t show it as it is for someone special.

DSCN6090

Not sure what this pattern is called. I pieced it years ago. I am going through all my unfinished quilts and trying to get them done.

And yet, I keep buying fabric to make more.

DSCN6095

I bought this fat quarter assemble to make a pumpkin quilt.

DSCN6088

I pre-wash all my fabric and here I hung these on a little line I have strung across my shop porch. I love hanging things out on a line.  Didn’t take them long to dry.  I will show you some of the blocks I have made soon.   I was working on my pumpkin quilt today.

DSCN6087

This glorious fabric will be the backing.   I had to order five yards of it just because I loved it so much.  I will use this in several things, I am sure.

DSCN6093

This fabric I bought on Haight Ashbury in San Francisco years ago when we visited our son who was stationed in California with the Air Force learning to speak Russian to be a Russian linguist.  That was many years ago.  I don’t know why the fabric looks stained in this picture because it isn’t.  There was a wonderful quilt shop there with some very exotic fabrics.

DSCN6097

This yellow fabric was bought for me by my son and his ex-wife when they visited England years ago. They asked me what I wanted them to bring me back from England and I said, “Fabric.”  I have used this in several quilts.

DSCN6105

We got this postcard in the mail a few weeks ago telling us about Grandparents’ Day at our grandchildren’s school.  I was looking at it and saw someone familiar on it.

DSCN6104

David and me and two of our grandkids!.  I must say it was kind of disconcerting to see our faces on there.  I always wondered through the years how they picked the pictures for these things.   We are visiting their school this week.  They  treat us grandparents great.  I am really looking forward to it.

Here’s to river rides, fun times with family and quilting. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Last, Fall

Busy days around our house.  Once Autumn gets here, it’s like a locomotive goes out of control and we speed through the days until Christmas.   I have already been Christmas shopping.  I know.  I’m crazy, but I think about Christmas all year and what things I would like to give to people.  It becomes a little bit obsessive sometimes.

I love the Fall, with its cooler temperatures, although for the past several days we have been in the nineties here in southern Indiana.  So, of course, I choose those days to do a little outside painting.   We are replacing boards on our back porch one board at a time.  I stain the wood and David puts it down.  I find painting relaxing as long as I’m not on a ladder and on beautiful days like today, I crank up talk radio and stain to my heart’s content.   When these get done, I am going to paint some old fencing that David is going to use as woodwork around my shop windows and then…. I am planning on painting all the walls in the shop white.  I’ve been looking at pictures on Facebook of rooms that are all white and for some reason, they appeal to me.  Since my shop is pretty well, my shop,  I can do anything I want to it and I want it all white and lace and quilts.  When I get it all done, David is building me a new, larger work table so I can lay out my quilts on it instead of on the floor when I get ready to pin the layers together.  I love having projects.  When we don’t have any, I think up  some.

Here are a few of the things that have been going on around our house these past few weeks.

DSCN6009

Winds were blowing from the hurricanes down south.  I hope those poor people are getting things done and getting their lives back together.  The Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico are having a really rough time. My mother-in-law lived in St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands the year the last really bad hurricane came through and they were without electricity for quite some time.  It shirred the palm trees and made a complete mess of the island. Not so sure I would want to live on an island now.  Sounds like this hurricane was as bad, if not worse.

DSCN5997

Loving the glow of the sun through the trees. I love the light of Autumn. It’s different than at any other time of year.

DSCN6027

Closing the pool time.  Doesn’t seem like we had a Summer. I know we did, but where did it go? I sold our hot tub last week since David and I rarely use it and it takes a lot of electricity and is just one more thing to take care of.  It was fun, but it’s time to move on.

DSCN6034

DSCN6037

Reading some really good books.  I love it when I find a new author who has written many books.   I just read one about WW2 and the Italian Resistance. Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. It was hard to read in places because war is well, hell, and cannot be glossed over.  This book is being made into a motion picture. I’m not sure I will be able to watch it.  Saving Private Ryan had me so choked up most of the time I could hardly stand it.

Jan Karon has her new Mitford book out and I have it on my Kindle.  Her books need to be read slowly so they will last longer, but I always hurry through them.  I have read her entire series through at least three or four times.  It’s like visiting with old friends when you read her books.

DSCN6019

DSCN6023

DSCN6021

DSCN6041

DSCN6040

DSCN6006

Enjoying the last of the Summer flowers.  It won’t be long until the first frost and they will all be gone until next year.  I have planted some more lilies and fox gloves so will look forward to seeing them when they bloom.

DSCN6024

Picking pumpkins. I think we ended up with about fourteen.  We gave some to our grandkids and I am decorating with the rest.  Pumpkins are so much fun to grow. Very easy, really, although they take up a lot of room and grow over the fences and through gaps wherever they can reach.

DSCN6039

My little vignette on our front porch.

DSCN6036

The young chickens are starting to lay now. We get about two to three dozen eggs a week.  I give some away and with some I made these….

DSCN6029

Homemade noodles.  I must say these were delicious.  I think we will be having chicken and noodles for Thanksgiving this year instead of turkey since my family doesn’t like turkey all that well, and I don’t like all the leftovers.

DSCN6004

Still knitting socks. I call these Café Au Lait.  I love the colors and someone will be getting them sometime.  Shhhhhhhh.

DSCN6012

I have a quilt in the hoop and this is all I can show because of nosy people in my family.

DSCN6042

And I bought this for the binding.  I ordered more fabric today. I think I’m getting my quilting mojo back after a long period of sock knitting.  I found the cutest pumpkin quilt pattern on a blog and ordered it and had to order some fabric so I could start it immediately despite the fact I have at least ten quilts that need finishing!  If you are a quilter and fabriholic, you will understand this tendency to have to buy more fabric and start more quilts even though you have more than you can handle right at this moment.

DSCN6031

My BFF sent David and me hats she had knitted for us.  They are thick and soft and will be really warm this winter. Thank you, thank you, Carol.  You are such a good friend.   I didn’t get a picture of David’s but its blue with a white stripe.

DSCN5980

As the days grow shorter….

DSCN5978

and the nights grow cooler, and they will,

DSCN6016

DSCN6017

I light candles to make the house seem warmer.

DSCN6018

Bake a cake for us to eat.

DSCN5981

And think how blessed we are right now.   It was a wonderful Summer but Autumn brings school activities at our grandchildren’s schools that we will attend, like Grandparents’ Day and Veteran’s Day celebrations, trips to King’s island with our older son and our daughter’s family and a Harvest Festival at our church where we provide games and candy for any children who want to come.  It’s a fun night and lots of children show up.

So I intend to embrace Autumn with all it has to offer. Walks through the leaves, eating a new, crisp apple and baking pumpkin bars.  It’s all good.  Have a great day. Oh, and Molly sends you a big, wet kiss. Bye.

DSCN6008

s