Monday, January 29, 2007

A few years ago I had a meeting at a packaging company in Green Bay. We were designing a new boxing concept for golf tees and I was lining up the manufacturer. Nervous, was an understatement. Petrified was a better word. There were $$$ involved and the boxes were going around the world. The meeting was outstanding.

I’ll never forget. I talked with Don. He asked, “ How did your day go?” At that very moment looking down a busy street all of the lights were green. There was a stoplight at every block, and at that very moment they were all green.

I said, “Have you ever had one of those days—you look down the road and the lights are all green!?!!?!?” “ Good, then it was a good day- Come home”.

The Green light road led to a quilt shop. I treated myself to the fabric below. The pattern is called Yellow Brick Road.
It was completely fun to make. The flannels are totally not the normal for me, but I was neck-deep in winter and the colors cheered me up. I pull the quilt out every year around this time. The back is sunflower yellow; I wish I’d taken a picture of it.

The pattern cover doesn’t do anything for me, but I’ve seen it made up and always like it.
I’ve even see baby quilt panels made and the yellow brick road blocks surrounding the panel for great baby gifts.

Hope everyone’s day is filled with green lights.

1. A Good Boss
2. A daughter that’ll run errands for me
3. Spaghetti for supper

Sunday, January 28, 2007

We’ve got the dress!!!! We’ll post a picture on the night of the prom, but here’s a peak at the dress. …
Thursday afternoon we hit the trail to Green Bay and found the perfect dress. They even did the alterations while we went out for supper. It looks like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. We tried on several dresses, but this was her favorite. I’m not responsible for the room the dress is in. It’s her room.

While we waited for the alterations, we stop at a shop I’d always wanted to see. Chelsey said I deserved it ‘putting up’ with her. But really she did pretty well on the shopping. I got the painted plate. …
The dried Mums are from the front yard. The folded napkins were bought in Louisiana when I went in December. The Linen table center was a $2.00 find shopping with my Mom one summer.

I was trying to remember a quilted piece to put with the plate when I remembered this that has been tucked away for a few years. …
I suffered from burn out and packed it away. I’m waiting on batting to finish my Mom’s valentine gift so I pulled some scraps together and have begun working on some braided borders for the basket quilt. I so remember hating this piece when I packed it away. The basket block was my favorite block …
and I don’t remember if it was the weather, the timing, pressures around the house, but I do remember stating this piece would probably never get finished. Now I’m having lots of fun with it. I think I’m going to hand quilt baskets outlines in the solid center blocks.

I kind of had the blues all weekend. Maybe it was the cold—highs of only 11 degrees today. But Ransom and I braved a walk anyway and it cheered me up. We all had much needed down time too.

Saving old quilt blocks
Extra quilts on the bed
Manicotti for supper.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I’ve never taken a quilt class. I’ve read about them. Sometimes when I look at quilt shops on line I read their class lists and look at the quilts that would be made. Maybe money was the issue, but more often than not, it’s the time factor plus living in a small town where there are no quilt classes. When Lynette Jensen came out with the second Thimbleberries hardcover book, I saw so many classes popping up to create the quilt, ”The Lost Mittens”. So I looked up the quilt—I love mittens--- but the quilt didn’t do anything for me. In fact, I really didn’t like it. Later I saw kits for the quilt, I thought, whatever. Well, Chelsey and I went shopping in Marquette and I saw the quilt made up…. I loved it. As dumb as it sounds, quilts speak to me--- and this quilt said a lot. Of course, being a thinker, I didn’t buy any fabric for it. I let the opportunity go by. But I couldn’t get the quilt out of my mind. Three days later I’m calling the shop---I really don’t care what colors, just put some Thimbleberries flannels together and the wool pieces… I have to make this quilt.

So a few stitches later here it is…

OK—You’re probably like I was---“I don’t get it” kind of mood….But when I saw it in person, this is what I thought. It’s hard being a parent. Many times you are incredibly unpopular because you have to make the tough calls. ‘No, there’s nothing you can do after midnight that you can’t do before…”
“ No, you’re not leaving the house with that much make up on…” “If you get a MIP (Minor in Possession of Alcohol) You’re done.”.
Your heart wants to be that hero- that be all- do all- Popular person in your kids eyes… but your mind knows that you just can’t be that and be successful at the task--- to be a diligent parent.”

But I can tell you--- I WILL be an outstanding Gramma. I can just picture (About 10 years from now) being wrapped up with a grandbaby trying to match the mittens on this quilt.. Can’t you???? I’ll tell them funny stories about their Mom or Dad. We’ll have cookies and hot chocolate from Snowman dishes and cover up with this quilt.
It was the first flannel piece I ever made. The mittens are wool. Year round it’s folded on a chest downstairs and it’s everyone’s favorite to cover up with and watch TV—Even Don talks about it.. and He doesn’t comment much on quilts.

Turkey tracks in the snow
A Gorgeous Sunrise this Morning
Chicken Noodle Soup for Lunch

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I’m dragging this morning. Chelsey worked last night and so I was up until 10:15 pm waiting for her. When your day starts @ 4:30 am, you’re pretty weary by then.
I got home from work and literally ‘threw’ clothes in the washer and Ransom and I took off trotting through the snow. I wear hiking boots for balance and traction on the snow and ice. They’re definitely heavier than walking shoes.

This weekend I put on the dishes for Valentine’s Day.
They don’t have hearts or anything. They’re just red. Not expensive. I loved them because I loved the Red house on them.
I think I liked them ‘subliminally’ because they look like fabric around the edges.
The Red coffee pot was a Christmas gift from my Mom one Christmas.

I got the fabric I ordered for my Mom’s Valentine’s Day runner. It’s packaged so pretty--- almost too pretty to cut. Maybe, I’ll have a picture for tomorrow. I was going to use the same principle I made for My MIL’s quilt for my Mom’s. But I thought about it. My Mother in Law has two daughters in law. I would pretty much be disappointed if she gave us the same thing. Not that there is anything wrong with Cindy; we’re just different people. If I call Don’s Mom at work, or if I send her a note I always sign it, ‘Your Favorite Daughter-In-Law’. Presumptuous, probably. Arrogant--- Definitely. True? Most probably not. My Mother-in-Law isn’t like that. It’s just a joke between the two of us. She’s a neat lady.

So anyway, I’ve got another pattern and blocks to put together for my Mom’s runner. I’m making it without a ‘Valentine’ theme because anything could happen and it might not make it on time—so she can keep using it long after the holiday.

1. Caffeine – to get me through the day.
2. The Jeep’s Radio
3. Fresh Sheets

Monday, January 22, 2007

Busy Weekend. Busy Monday. After working a long day on Friday, Don, Chelsey and I plowed into the weekly house cleaning. Chelsey was having friends over and we decided we might as well ‘divide and conquer’. Then Don decided we were getting dressed up and going out for dinner… OK—I’ll slow down for a second, while you get back in your chair. Yes—we went out just the two of us. What a treat. We get take out a lot—Chinese, pizza, subs. But with teenagers, you get so involved; some times other things get put on the back burner. We had to come straight home to chaperone the ‘friends’ but it was really good for me. I know, all good things in time…

Chelsey worked Saturday and hung with friends, so Don and I were friends—all weekend. We played “Creative leftovers out the Fridge”. It was fun. It saves on cooking and waste and you do it together and see what kind of dishes you can create. Good memories.

Tons of football. The best teams won. I was pulling for the Saints, but there’s next year… maybe.

I made the labels for my Heart Crazies quilt and my MIL’s too.
Ransom and I slipped outside and took a picture of the quilt. I really love the way it turned out.
The pattern had a variation of this, but I added a block and change the size of the borders too. I'm mailing it tomorrow.

1. Cinnamon Toast
2. 25 Degree Temps so Ransom and I can get outside
3. Letters in the Mail

Friday, January 19, 2007

Three orphan blocks from my last project are going to become a valentine gift for my MIL. I bought the blue fabric over 5 years ago.
I bought it just because it was beautiful fabric. I loved it and yet I never used it. It’s one of those old attitudes that it was too pretty to cut. But now I realize what is the point of having fabric if it is just going to sit on the shelf.

My father in law passed away 12 years ago. I try to remember something for her every year. This will be the project for the weekend along with football. It’s still in the teens and single digits around here. But it’s January. This is normal.

We were heading to Green Bay this weekend, but Chelsey got extra hours on her job. She did the right thing by taking the hours. It was a tough call. There were tears involved. But she made the right choice by working. She’s kind of panicking that Green Bay might run out of Prom dresses. oh… to be 16 again. We have 3 months till Prom, I told her to relax. But when you’re 16….

1. That I thought ahead to warm up the Jeep this morning,
2. Scissors
3. The fact that things are getting easier to let go of….

You're Babar the King!

by Jean de Brunhoff

Though your life has been filled with struggle and sadness of late,
you're personally doing quite well for yourself. All this success brings responsibility,
though, and should not be taken lightly. Life has turned from war to peace, from damage
to reconstruction, and this brings a bright new hope for everyone you know. These hopeful
people look to you for guidance, and your best advice to them is to watch out for snakes.
You're quite fond of the name "Celeste".

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I'd like to believe this were true.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It’s Thursday. I think I can make it to the weekend. I’ve been working on valentines. My Mom has been sharing the postcards I’ve been sending her. She has incorporated a list of friends that would like one. “You don’t have to write them a card, just mail them one.” She’s so funny. So Sunday, I pieced some scraps together and Valentine postcards were created.

I wrote on the other side, “Every day is Valentine’s Day when you share it with someone you love…” Corny, but true…

Chelsey has got to work tonight and I have to work late. I plan on hitting the treadmill, quick supper for Don, get half the housework that’s normally done on the weekend done because we are going to Green Bay Prom Dress shopping this Saturday. I have to wait up for her anyway. Don’s job has been taking it out of him, so he’s been checking out early. If (Big IF) I’m not totally exhausted I have some hand sewing I’ve been working on. Pictures to come later. I got Sunday School Junk to work on for my class too. If exhaustion does set in, there is always curling up with a book. My Mom just finished the 3rd Blossom Street book, and mailed it to me. Needless to say, I’m never bored. Life is good.

1. Crème for my coffee
2. Leftovers for lunch
3. My thread rack Eric gave me for Christmas. (I had more fun lining up the thread,)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Well the kid made it back to school safe and sound. I said to Don, “Maybe that trip will make a believer out of him, that the weather should make him leery of those long trips--- it took 8 hours instead of 6.5.” Don’s reply, “Are you kidding? I guarantee you it made him feel invincible. Like he can now handle anything!!” Guys--- what are you going to do with them?

Without a doubt I read more about quilting than I actually get to do. It’s not a complaint. It’s just a fact. I’m not “poor mouthing” either. I know my turn will come --- it’s just not right now. And I think I do a pretty good job juggling quilting time right now, with all the help I get around the house. Well, Libby and Jeanne have often spoken of Lynda Hall patterns. Well I researched it and have become completely charmed with her Primitive Pieces Pattern line. I joined her Pattern club to get updates and emails. Well—lo and behold, on Dec 29th I got an email saying I had won a drawing as the December Pattern club member and my prize would appear in the mail. I was thrilled

I’ll never forget the first time ordered patterns. She was gone to market and I had had a really crappy day at work. I needed therapy, so I tried to order 3 patterns. I left a message. Well, she called me back the minute she walked in the door from market because she said I sounded “pretty weary” over the answering machine. We must have talked for 20 minutes about quilting, quilt market, and fabric. Now that was real therapy. She didn’t even know me and took the time out for me.

Here is the prize that came in the mail.
It’s Mr. Jack Frost—monogrammed with the JF and Icicles. His home for the moment is the mantel of my fireplace.
The card is as cute as the piece. I’ll always remember Lynda, as it was hand made by her. My favorite part of the woolen piece is her initials she appliquéd on the back.
I guess the message for the day is that if you don’t put a label on your work, maybe just put the initials on it. It makes for great memories for others.

1. Surprises in the Mail
2. Libby
3. The TV Don hung in my sewing room a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Scraps became pieces. Pieces became a binding.
The binding completed the quilt. I’m really proud of it. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve machine quilted before, but never meandered blocks on such a big project. Oh, it’s by no means perfect. There’s even one hiccup on the back where the fabric wasn’t pulled tight enough. But I think it’s just God’s way of telling me where the label in going. Sure, five years from now I’m going to look at this piece and probably be mortified at the quilting job, but I’m a better quilter because of this quilt. It’s in the entry way in my living room.

Eric surprised us Friday evening and came home. He had a 3-day weekend because of Martin Luther King Day. He’ll be leaving today while I’m at work. It was a great visit. I have to laugh. The High school age girlfriend had no idea he was coming home. She was grounded at home for homework issues with her family. So, we got Eric to ourselves all weekend. I guess you’ve figured out I don’t share real well. But we had a lot of fun with him. The weather isn’t real great, but by 10 or 11, the roads will be clear for travel. I’d appreciate prayers for his safety.

Speaking of prayers, thanks for all of the encouraging words last week. I really missed writing things down. I stole a few moments on coffee breaks. Even Don said—“You need to get back to that blogging thing. I think it de-stresses you…” Details aren’t important. What is—is that you all were really good to me. Thanks. And they don’t call us Steel Magnolias for nothing……..

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hey guys – I’m checking out for a couple of weeks. Problems at home. Nothing I can’t handle… just too many irons in the fire. We’ll catch up with lots of pictures later.
Take care. Hug your loved ones. Keep quilting.

Monday, January 08, 2007

No pictures today but a good weekend. The weather is still extremely warm for this time of the year. Ransom and I put on a good 6 miles outside and I got 7 miles on the exercise equipment. Yeah, body is a little achy this morning….we’re not as young as we used to be.

Eric made it back to school. We had it figured out that he needed to leave around 8:00am to stay in front of a weather front with snow in it. The weather kind of stalled out so Sunday morning we were letting him sleep in. We woke him about a quarter till 8, and he said he was picking a kid up in the next town at 8. So we were frantically getting him on the road. At least, this way there were no dramatic goodbyes. We talked with him a couple of times after he made it back. “ Dad, I just don’t want to be here…” Ouch. But this is the same kid that stayed 2 days after classes for a Christmas party with his Pharmacy Frat. He’ll be fine… it’s just an adjustment getting back in the routine… Who am I trying to convince… you or me?

I’m sewing on the binding on the Heart crazies quilt. I’ll have pictures in a couple of days. Then I’ve got a baby quilt to make. I had found some great pastel homespuns from Homespun Ordered them. I’ve been waiting and waiting. Finally I called to check. Maybe the Internet order got misplaced. They’re just backed up because of the 3rd winter storm they’ve had. Nice people. It was so much fun to talk with someone about quilting. So, we’re going to improvise and use other fabrics.

I had better get my stuff together and head out to work.

1. My new Sugarland CD – track 3 is the best
2. Mittens
3. 9 kids in Sunday School

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I’m beat. A 10 and half hour day—nine of those on my feet—for inventory. The majority of it is complete. I’ll begin the number crunching tomorrow. I feel real good about it. Everyone pitched in to help.

My quilt that I’ve been working on didn’t get completed over the New Year’s holiday. Chelsey had a school project and after a little direction the sewing machine got used for it.

Check it out. Their class is reading the classic, “All is Quiet on a Western Front,” by Erich Maria Remarque. Her assignment was to give each of the eleven chapters a name and find some way to illustrate the name.

Here’s the picture.

She used the principles behind the fabric postcards. There’s an appliqué of a symbol describing each chapter and a title. On the other side, she typed a letter describing the symbol and the meaning in each chapter on cardstock and them stitched them together. She called it, “Letters to Home”. She gave her presentation this morning. While she teases me at home about being the “Dorky Mom”, I say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…….

There’s hopes of quilting tomorrow. And running Ransom. I know there’s a balance between work and home life. Everyday isn’t as tough at work as this one. But it was 21 degrees warmer than the average temperature for January 2nd. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky—all day.. and I missed it.

I know. Suck it up. Be thankful I have a paycheck. And I don’t work EVERYDAY of the week. Tomorrow, I’ll be home at 3:00. Hopefully.

Quilt some for me----

Monday, January 01, 2007

It’s 7:00 am on the first day of 2007. I ‘m up and the rest of the house is quiet. Cheerios complete, I’m heading downstairs to the sewing room. Twenty kids last night.. Everyone made it home. The weather was threatening snow and ice, but it remained warm enough for fog and rain.

I’ve got to go in to work for a couple of hours just as mental preparation for the inventory tomorrow. No complaints, it’ll be quiet and I can get a lot done.

Don’s had a rough few days. I’ve just been giving him space. That about all I can do.

This is a picture on Christmas Day. I’ll keep my sled out until March- at least. I put away the Christmas quilts and brought out January's. I completed this quilt the first week in May of 2006. You can't exactly put a snowman quilt out in May, so this is it's first appearance on the quilt rack. It's like finding a new friend. Kind of makes you feel good... Swapping quilts around does that.

I hope everyone brings in 2007 healthy, safe and happy.