Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chelsey is back at school. So, after work I ran to the post office and headed home. Ransom and I checked the mail. We have one of those small town scenarios where you get mail at home but if you want to send mail and it arrive to it’s destination in less than two weeks, you better drop it off at the Post Office.

I was going to run Ransom but it started raining. Inside, I picked up a little, did some washing and Ironing of clothes. I didn’t mind doing the chores because I was home alone. It was great therapy--- time to regroup. I even called my Mom and had a nice visit on the phone. Don called and said let’s have pizza. He didn’t have to ask twice. By the time Chelsey and Don got home around 6:00, I was ready to be Mom again. I didn’t quilt, but the weekend is on its way. There’s a time and place for every thing, right?!?!

Here’s the quilt that’s going on the breakfast table.
I don’t remember who designed the pattern. I do remember that it’s a four part series that is supposed to be connected. I just did the fall portion. It’s machine appliquéd and quilted. I kinda like the black binding.

The leaves are suppose to peak in color next week. Maybe Ransom and I can get out and get some pictures.

1. Office doors to shut out the noise.
2. Leaves in every color.
3. Pizza Takeout after a hard day’s work

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It’s a rainy Wednesday with a high scheduled of 54 degrees. I still say the rainy days help you slow down. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of it, but every once in a while is OK. Eileen asked about my recipe for Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins---OK, You got it….

We could surf the Internet and come up with an elaborate recipe, but this one is great, especially for working Moms. I whipped up a batch this morning to mail to Eric. I left two on the counter for my favorite daughter too. She’s back to school today. She’s gonna live. I have a tough time dealing with stomach flu; I don’t know how Moms do it with a really sick kid.

Quilting, There hasn’t been any going on the past couple of days…maybe tonight. Here’s another favorite of mine—My rocking chair quilt.
It was made from a Country Threads pattern. I saw it made up in a quilt shop in Green Bay. It’s made with brush cottons, a look of flannels without the bulk. The Pattern is supposed to stop after the letters but the extra column is added to give it width. I hand quilted it. I’m kind of partial to plaids. Each pumpkin is quilted a different way—with hearts, or stars, even a tic tac toe sketch on one of them. ….
I grew up in the generation that you were taught to match your plaids. I had limited fabric to work with. I realize in the ‘folk art’ world, matching plaids is not necessary. It’s just hard to ‘unteach’ that part of me. ….
So, I camouflaged the mismatch with stars. The eye-catching part of the quilt, the reason I wanted to make my own, was that crow in the middle. I just loved it.

1. Time – running its course to heal the viruses.
2. Bake Potatoes – extra butter
3. Orange Plaids

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I want to get these in the mail today. I’m always running about three steps behind, so we throw them on the couch and take a snapshot. I’m sending them to Clare today for the Quilts for Leukemia project.
The fish block didn’t turn out great—points don’t match and the pattern said 8-inch block, I thought it would finish at 8.5 for seam allowances. But folks, when the instructions say 8-inch block---they mean 8-inch block. Her group may come up one block short and they can stick it in a bottom corner some place…or toss it. The other two blocks came together real well.

Chelsey had a 24-hour flu bug, but she’s on the mend now. I laughed with her last night as we worked on that insane calculus again. She gets it, I think it’s just a confidence think she’s lacking. Trust me, working with me on it, is a REAL confidence builder…it’s like a foreign language to me.

My 3-4 yrs olds in Sunday school made potpourri bags for their Moms last week.
They don’t have a lot of coordination at that age and you can just crayon color so many pictures. I sew up fabric bags and they fill them with the potpourri pieces and we tie them with raffia. The kids have fun. Chelsey says it’s just an excuse to play with fabric…..she may be right.

I’m drying apples like a mad woman this week. We’re going to string them in Sunday school this week, if I can get enough done.

1. Email—Makes the world a smaller place.
2. Apples
3. Gasoline prices are falling….

Monday, September 25, 2006

Catch up day at work. Last week we finished a lot of special projects, so I have to catch up on the everyday stuff now. It’s a job.

On to better stuff. Here is my pumpkin Thimbleberries Quilt.
It’s hand quilted. I took a pumpkin leaf out of my garden and quilted a pumpkin leaf shape on each pumpkin and a vine of leaves around the border.
I really like the look of my hand quilting better than my machine quilting, there’s just the time factor and I guess I’ll get better with practice. I get tickled, Finn calls it utility quilting, her stitches pretty much mimic my “fine” quilting. It’s still fun and I never count how many stitches there are in an inch, it’s not about that. It’s about this tradition that my grandmother had. It’s about the love affair with fabric and piecing squares together that could keep someone warm at night. It’s about looking back and having memories attached to each quilt.

1. Having job I’m able to leave when Chelsey gets sick.
2. Pumpkins in all shapes and sizes
3. Definitely Diet Coke

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It’s Sunday night --- it’s gotta be a good week, the Packers won…. Might be their only win so we have to savor the moments. Eric was home this weekend. With a seven hour drive both ways, he was home for about 36 hours. We shared the time with a girl friend so it definitely wasn’t enough. I’d kind of adapted to life without him around, now we’re starting over again. He's seems real happy.

At half time today, Ransom and I went out to take some quilt pictures.
This is a scarecrow quilt I made a couple of years ago. I hang it on the closet doors. In years passed, I’ve even taken an old branch hung the quilt on it and draped it over a chair. I do love the fall season. Here’s a picture of my helper. He guards the quilts while I photograph.

I completed my red and white blocks. I’ll post a picture tomorrow. I’m also still plugging away on my Buggy Barn quilt. It’s a lot of fun. The pattern is real forgiving. None of the seams have to be perfect.

Chelsey’s cheering every Friday night, so we go to watch her. Her plate is pretty full with work, school, cheerleading and she’s a student intern for our local paper. We’re taking off Saturday to Green Bay—I’m counting the days already.

1. Cool Fall days
2. Eight Great kids in Sunday School
3. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Well, at least I’m one step closer to those red/white blocks to be sent to Quilts for Leukemia. I got on Quilter’s Cache last night and picked out the 3 blocks I’m going to sew.

I worked late, but it was raining so Ransom’s walk was cancelled. I cooked supper, and studied Calculus to work with Chelsey on homework. It’s been a long time since I worked with a Math book. Man, am I rusty.

I talked with Eric. He’s coming home this weekend. It’s been 3 weeks since He’s been home. I think he’s a little homesick, but I’m missing him, so it’s his call. He’s made it 2 weeks and now 3 weeks between visits, maybe by the time bad weather sets in, he’ll be set for the long haul.

The low tonight is thirty five degrees predicted. Looks like summer is over.

Clare had asked a couple of days ago about my Broccoli Soup recipe. This one turn out real well, so I thought I’d share it.

Crème Of Broccoli Soup with Cheese

6 cups Water
10 oz fresh or frozen broccoli
¾ cup finely chopped onion
1 teas salt
1 teas pepper
1 teas garlic powder
12 oz Velveeta cheese, shredded (pasteurized cheese)
1 pint Half and Half
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup flour
½ cup cold water

Bring 6 cups of water to boil; add broccoli and onion and boil 10 minutes. Add seasonings and cheese; stir till it melts. Add half and half and butter; stir and heat to boiling. Slowly add ½ cup water to flour in separate cup and stir till smooth. Slowly add to hot mixture. Cook and stir until soup is the consistency of heavy crème. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

1. A sense of humor at work, even when things aren’t fun.
2. Shelves full of fabric – My Mom or my grandmother never had that.
3. Warm Socks

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

School meetings so there were so quilting last night. I really wanted to sew, but I knew I was exhausted and mistakes would be made so I watched football with Don instead. I had to work late, so I didn’t even get to run Ransom. Remember I’m the kid that thrives on routine – I don’t know why – We seldom have it—but that’s what makes life interesting.
I did pull fabrics for Clare’s red/white quilt project for leukemia. Hopefully, I will make 2 blocks tonight.

O.K. here’s my picture for the day; it’s my Fall Wreath.
There’s a little woodworking shop in Crystal Falls, MI and they have a crafter that I really like her wreaths. I have her spring, summer, and fall ones. This one hangs on the back door, but the flash kept reflecting in the glass so I moved it for the picture. Corny as it is, I want you to think back to grade school days and make ‘Harvest’ an Adjective—Harvest Dreams. O.K., now make it a Verb---Harvest Dreams. I like the thought of it. Maybe I’m easily entertained. I don’t know. Anyway, the patches on the scarecrow’s knees are my favorite part. But once a quilter—always a quilter.

1. Sleeping with the windows open.
2. My daughter at home for the night—the best part about school nights.
3. Having Breakfast for supper

Monday, September 18, 2006

I’m so glad the sun has come out. Talk about the blues… on the way to work this morning. But, it’s amazing how the sun can fix things. I had a great weekend. It was Homecoming in 5 area high schools in our neck of the woods. So Friday night we went to the football game and Chelsey went to the dance afterward. Saturday, she went to another dance – Of course we can’t wear the same dress 2 nights in a row (same date and all). She was going to borrow a friend’s dress, but it didn’t fit, soooo, 20 minutes before her date gets here I’m cutting and hemming an old prom dress (with lining). We had a hair appointment crisis (She had to give up because of working). I told her she had to of lost weight as many tears as she shed---- But we got her dressed for Saturday night and she went off happy. I don’t know what girls do whose Moms don’t sew….Chelsey – when everything works right she can move mountains with her smile, but when there’s a crisis… we ALL feel her pain… oh well; she’s a 16 year-old girl.

The weather was gorgeous. Don and I worked out, and ran Ransom 2 miles each day. I started pulling up the garden. I harvested (I guess you can call it that with 8 broccoli plants) the last of the broccoli. Don and worked together and made the best broccoli cheese soup.

I had 12 kids in Sunday school; we had lots of fun. They are kind of getting in the routine of things.

Football – The Packers lost again, at least they play half way decent and the media didn’t beat them up too bad. Lots of over-times in Pro Football this week.

I worked on the Buggy Barn Quilt.

I finished cutting all the pieces for the 3 color hearts. The next step is to mix the colors.

First the inner hearts, then the middle layer.
Next you shuffle the outer layer to give it the crazy quilt “look”.
Then you start sewing the pieces back together.

1. Crunching leaves as we walk.
2. Broccoli Cheese Soup on cool nights
3. Hometown football games.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The weather has been in the low 60’s all week, It rained Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday was gorgeous. After work, Ransom and I were out in the woods for an hour. You know one of the best things about Fall – aside from the colors – It’s the smell. We’re not going to get analytical and talk about composting and things dying, we’re just going to enjoy it because it happens just once a year. I don’t think any other “season” smells this great. Ransom is totally intrigued with the chipmunks and squirrels stock-piling for the winter.

I played in my sewing room while Chelsey and her friends had a Psychology study group. I never took Psychology—never wanted to know how crazy I was. But she’s really into it. Her first test is today.

Soooo, 5 days in a row, I’ve done some form of sewing. It really helps my attitude about a lot of things on a lot of levels. I think I should make it a priority.

O.K.—The Buggy Barn Quilt. After getting the 3 color groups lined up, I pinned the pattern to each stack.
Remember, fat quarters aren’t all the same size, so lining up is important. The next thing I did was cut away the extra fabric--- but don’t discard.
I’m going to add a pieced border, I’ve never made one, so this will be my first. You know why this will be great???

I never know what border pattern to do when quilting a solid border, so a pieced should be easier. The little scraps I’m going to use in my quilt journal. I even save the printed parts on the selvage that says the fabric name.

Fifty years from now when my great-great-grand-daughter looks that my quilting journal, think about it….. She’ll see fabric names and swatches—I think it’s pretty cool…

Remember this isn’t a paper-piecing quilt, it kind of a planned crazy quilt.
The next thing you do it start whittling away the pieces. I pinned each one because location is important.

You repeat this process for all 3 colors—

I’ve got a meeting at Chelsey’s school tonight, so no quilting but I’ll read about yours to make up the difference.

Take care—

1. Sunny days
2. Ritz bits crackers
3. The car heater warming my feet on the way to work….

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Your Brain is 73% Female, 27% Male

Your brain leans female
You think with your heart, not your head
Sweet and considerate, you are a giver
But you're tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!
I always tell myself, ” You always have time for the things you put first…” I’ve been working lots of hours, but I’ve been coming home, playing with Ransom, knocking out chores, catching up on school with Chelsey---and sewing, almost an hour a day. I always think if I put things in the right order, I have time for everything. Confession: It’s a constant battle –I always want to put the quilting first, but nothing else will ever get done. I get lost in the sewing room.

I completed the rest of my postcards. My Mom and Mother-in- law each got their card in the mail and they were just like brand new. So girls--- it works!!!! I misplaced my Thanksgiving clothes for the bunnies so I made a new black dress for the season coming up. Easy stuff, no facings and a very forgiving pattern.

Quilting, remember the Buggy Barn pattern? Well, I’ve got the pattern drawn out, the fabric lined up and started cutting out the pieces. I cleaned a workspace before I began because I think the success of this pattern depends on being organized.

I excited about the challenge. I’m even saving up to have the quilt quilted by a long arm quilter.

You’ll probably be seeing the step-by-step process of the quilt, but I just love having someone to share it with…

1. Cheesy potatoes for supper
2. A’s from Eric and Chelsey---A good start to a new year
3. My Parent’s 56th wedding anniversary – I can’t imagine them apart.
4. My Dad’s 76th birthday- He says he gets younger every day!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ok—You give a quilt, big or small away. What’s next??? Don’t you ever wonder what happens next? What did they do with it? How did it look in their home? I got these pictures emailed to me earlier this week. My Mother-in-law wanted to show me how her quilted table runners looked in her home.
Living 1200 miles from her we don’t get to visit in person very often. But you can tell from my daily entries we stay in touch real well.

The High today was 50 degrees, it’s just a front; I don’t think the warm weather is over yet. Ransom is sad, the weather is too rainy to go outside for running.

I’ve got to work a couple of hours tomorrow, but hopefully I can quilt some.

Pro-football season starts….confession…I’m an addict.

Go Pack—(Quit laughing, It could happen!!!!)

Have a great weekend…

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I did pull the fabrics for my next project together. It’s not much, but at least it’s something. They are spring like colors, but I feel by the time I get it complete, I’ll be sick of the dark colors of winter. Our winters are pretty long. There’s a healthy price for a beautiful fall.

I worked late yesterday, but went home and got the chores done. I cooked spaghetti and sauce for supper. I realized that I need to adjust to cooking for just three people. I made enough pasta to feed a third world country—or a family with an 18 year-old boy…same thing. I guess about the time I get it figured out, he’ll be back home…

About the time we went to bed, Don got called back into work. I started to get up and do something, but realized in order for people to survive tomorrow, I had better get some rest.

I did, however, study the periodic table of elements for Chemistry with Chelsey and learned more than I wanted to about a Spanish 3 class novel the class is reading together. It was good spending time with Chelsey working on this… and I’ve got to say I was totally impressed when the phone rang and she said she couldn’t talk she was doing homework---No, the lightning didn’t flash, and there was no earthquake--- but maybe she’s getting the idea…too early to tell, but we’ll keep you posted.

I better get to work—

1. Coffee in the morning
2. Paper clips that are different colors – don’t you love school supplies!
3. Thread in all colors

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This is a picture from Sunday. Autumn is here.

A glimpse of what is ahead.
O.K., you’re walking up the sidewalk, to the front door.
Up the steps—to my home.
After opening the door, this is the view. The Bunnies are set for the season. There is usually something sitting at the top of the stairs, for the next person going down to bring.
The green chair is a junk store find. I’ll never forget.
Don & I both took a day off of work—in the fall. We went junk store hopping on the way to Green Bay. We bargained for me and we got two old chairs. I painted this one green and the other one Don just stripped. It’s the one the bunnies sit on. There is a quilt on the rocking chair, a quilt on the wall, and my money says there is a quilt in a basket by the couch that I’m working on.

I’ve decided to begin the Buggy Barn Hearts quilt. I’m tracing the pattern tonight and pulling the fabric. I think keeping it neat is the key to this quilt. It’s going to be done in yellow and gold.

I forgot to show the stamped card.
A girlfriend told me there is better stamping ink I’ll have to try. But I mailed 3 cards today.

Instead of Gratitudes, today I think I’ve got a few concerns—
1. Tensions are high at work…lots of changes
2. Chelsey has got to get into study mode to get a grip on school
3. Don worked 19 hours yesterday. Exhaustion is definitely setting in.

I guess basically, I’ve got to step up to the plate plus find lots of understanding on all counts. But really, isn’t that what mothers and wives do?

Until tomorrow…..

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Today was the first day of Chelsey’s Junior year in high school.
She’s pretty much self-sufficient, but I was home for the picture taking. I can’t wait to hear how the day went. She’s doing an internship at the daily newspaper in town. She’ll even have a column. We’ll keep you posted.

Eric made it back home. I’m a lot more relaxed now, and I know he’ll be fine. He had a test today and called giving me sass about how easy it was---Chemistry. I don’t think so. I said we’d talk when the grades come out.

I pretty much stayed on top of the housework all weekend, so after 9:00am Labor Day when Eric left, I headed for the sewing room . I have this scrap basket.
From this basket I found the pieces to make several postcards. You can’t even tell I touched the basket. .

I swear scraps multiply in it. I’m not taking credit for any ideas. Fiona, and Prairie Quilter gave me ideas and all kinds of help. They still have threads on them but I couldn’t wait to post them.

I ran out of the Timtex that goes in the middle, but I have these completed and the fabric ordered..

I can’t believe how much fun I had. We still ran Ransom every day, biked some and I got 3 miles indoors on the elliptical machine. I know I can’t eat ridiculously, but for me with a family and working it’s really hard dieting—so I have to rely on exercise to keep the weight down.

I’m trying to decide what the next project will be—AFTER I clean up the mess from this one.

1. Beautiful weather for the past 5 days
2. Vacuum Cleaners
3. Bubble Bath
4. A new watch band.