Friday, June 29, 2007

A 5 AM photo before I head out to work shows the embroidery that brings to life another block in the Journey of a Quilter. It’s a chilly morning 41 degrees on June 29th.

They had frost advisories out, but I just said if it frosts tonight, the garden just wasn’t meant to be… I don’t think we got any….

Every day this week has been pretty uneventful--- just the way I like it. Weed a row of the garden, water the petunias, run Ransom, quilt a few stitches every night.

We’re off to see the new Die Hard movie tonight—Yeah, I’m a Bruce Willis fan. We’re having dinner with friends tomorrow night and church on Sunday.

Tuesday I did hit a small quilt shop in Eagle River. She’s closing her doors. Not because of lack of sales, but she’s going to be wholesaling her hand-dyed wool to quilt shops around the country. Everything in the store was 30% off, so I picked up a couple of pieces, three yards each just for wishful thinking. It was therapy--- cheaper than a psychiatrist I say.

Don & I getting along well
Grilled burgers last night
Presents in the Mail

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I just came in from watering the garden. We’ve spent the weekend catching up on Chelsey’s adventures in Mexico. While traveling is fun—I think she’s figuring out “there’s no place like home…”.

I had eleven kids in Sunday School. We went outside for our summer bubble expedition. We talked about giving your troubles to God and letting go of what you couldn’t fix… My favorite response was..”But Miss Melanie --- the bubbles don’t make it to heaven…” My response, “God knows they’re there…”

I’ve been pretty useless on the homefront. We held ‘family house cleaning' on Thursday night before Chelsey got home, so I’ve been totally absorbed in my Journey of a Quilter Blocks. Here’s one
and the other is probably completed by the time you are reading this.
I keep thinking—‘Just a couple more stitches and I’ll put it away…’

We’ve got a consultation with a Photographer in Eagle River on Tuesday for Chelsey’s Senior Pictures. There’s a quilt shop in Eagle River, So we just might have to stop and check it out….

A gorgeous weekend
Cashews for snack
4-year olds…..

Friday, June 22, 2007

I’m still here. Work was outstanding this week. After you’ve been away, you always wonder…It’s a “Catch -22”, if they did fine without you…Are you needed? If they suffered without you do you delegate well and are you ready to pick up the pieces? I think there was a balance… A manageable list of task to conquer and get caught up.

I receive this box of gifts from Connie and was just amazed.
A friend who has never met me and yet shared so generously…there’s a special place in heaven for quilters—definitely. I told her I couldn’t begin to pick out my favorite thing… the handwritten card… the gingham paper it came in… or maybe the 30’s reproduction fabrics. I’ve never had any before. I guess I always looked at it like I had my stash of fabrics built and never varied from the color scheme. Now I’m psyched to get some more and start cutting them up for a project.

What’s been going on all week? A little nightly stitching on the Journey of a Quilter blocks. Maybe pictures will come on Sunday.

Ransom and I have been strolling nightly. The guys worked late on Wednesday so I brought the camera. We went after a thunderstorm. While I don’t spend an obscene amount on flower—nature provides free ones on the side of our road…I look forward to them every year. Rain drops on oak leaves.

My kids say I gravitate to anything “rusty”, here a farm tool
that neighbors up the road display on a corner. It’s been banged by teenage drivers making the corners too fast several times, but still I stop and look at it for a second every time we walk. Here’s a view up the road, you’ll find a hundred of them just like it –just about anywhere in the U.P., but I appreciate the view I have.
And here is someone’s mailbox.
They have a flag displayed. Sometimes –I wonder… will mailboxes ever go “out of style”…Ours got hit by someone last week. They didn’t even stop. Don wanted to replace it. I told him, “No way --- It now has character… a mark left by a rear view mirror…” Walking up the driveway, here are impatients peeking through the wagon wheel.

Summer time is great with the longer days, the ease of being outside without bundling up. And while I may not write as often, there’s not a day goes by that quilters aren’t thought about…. Enjoy your weekend… and enjoy your stitches.

Chelsey’s safe travel home
Eric’s safety traveling for tests this weekend
Warm temperatures and clear nights.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I’m having a great week. Work has called a couple of times, but I’m grateful for the job, so it is what it is….

I’ve been catching up on some things--- visited a friend who had lost her husband recently. I remember she used to sew all the time. I brought her a book and a couple of fat quarters. I guess I’m pretty naive, but quilting is the ‘fix’ for just about everything for me…. I worked in my Sunday School Classroom, just doing some organizing.. again things I don’t normally get to do. Got a baby gift. I had dreams of making something, but settled for purchasing a little outfit, but I made the card and gift bag. A nice compromise, I think. Recognizing limits is a good thing.

I made another block for the ‘Journey of a Quilter’ quilt. I even traced for the stitching.
The remainder of the week, I’ll work on it and My Primitive Garden quilt.

Monday afternoon my book came in….so You can guess the time I’ve spent dreaming over it.
I highly recommend it to everyone. I finished ‘ The Quilter’s Homecoming’ in the hammock yesterday.. a good book, but my favorite was a ‘Circle of Quilters.”

I’ve been keeping up with the daily chores, they don’t seem like drudgery – they almost seem like a race to complete to get to the fun stuff. A few days off really help.

1. DMC Thread
2. Sunny Days
3. Ransom at my feet

Monday, June 11, 2007

Paradise—no – vacation—no—just a week at home. I couldn’t be more content. Don and I made a pact last year that we’d take one week a year home doing home projects, sleeping late, and doing fun things together. Housework, yard work, everything is better when you have someone to do it with. Sunday we broke out the bicycles for the first summer ride.

We‘re not glued at the hip. Today he went on a 5 mile jog and I opted for the elliptical machine and weights. It has gotten to where I have to do lots more lifting at work, so Eric’s put me on a weight training program.

I ran errands, He’s re-doing some landscaping. I picked us up salads for lunch. This afternoon I completed a block on my Journey of a Quilter.
I still have the stitching to do on it but I’m extremely pleased. Her directions were great, and by taking my time everything fell into place. It’s hard to get a feel of it from the pictures, but I pulled fabrics that have special meanings to me--Fat quarters from friends, Thimbleberries, pieces from gifts I’ve made for others.

At about 6:45pm last night, I told Don, I could fold laundry, catch up on some paper work, or read a book in the hammock on the porch. He said, “You have a week off of work, I vote for the hammock.” So He took the porch swing and I the hammock. About ten minutes into it a thunderstorm comes up and we listen to the thunder and watched the rain. Swinging back and forth he said…” You can’t watch this on a deck…” I just smiled.

My Irises are blooming,
thanks to the generous rain last night, the snap beans are popping up.

The neat part of all of this is I get to do it again tomorrow…..

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I’m thrilled. I finally got my 3rd block completed for my Primitive Garden.The block hasn't been pressed yet, but I couldn't wait.... It’s only fitting to photograph it on a barbed wire fence since the block is a picture of that.
I’ve got the fourth blocked marked and cut, now for the pressing and stitching. On the next block, I’ll take a before and after photo. It’s amazing (I think) how the stitching brings the block to life. The blocks are kinda ‘naked’ with out it.

Lessons learned—I’ve shared with several already. I placed a lightweight interfacing on the back of the block and it made the quilting and stitching a lot easier and the fabric anchored in the hoop a lot better. On the crows-- I cut off the legs and appliquéd them separately.
I’m just not that detailed a person and it was impossible for me to appliqué them otherwise. I also took a tip from Leanne Beasley, and sewed scrap fabric around the edge to give myself more holding room in the quilting frame. I used the widest stitch on my machine and the seam-ripped it after the block was complete.

I started this project a month late. I said I’d never do another BOM because my attention span failed. But I am really enjoying this. I’m now 2 months behind, but I’m not stressing at all. I’m having fun and it’s a nice portable project. Who wants to be stuck in the basement during a U.P. Summer?!?!?!

On the home front, Chelsey flew to Mexico with her Spanish class yesterday. I hope she has fun. Seventeen-year-old girls go through a lot growing up--- so do their parents. I hope she spends some time thinking while she’s there.

I’ve completed the first week on my 365- challenge quilt. Pictures coming this weekend.

Isn't this a great birdhouse?!?!? This is on the road where I live. I don't know whether it's the evergreens in the background, the wire fence or the mossy stuff growing on it. I just loved the picture...

Chelsey’s safe flight
My guys at home listening patiently to “quilt talk”.
Summer time weather.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Saturday was my Wedding anniversary—Twenty-three years, a huge investment in a person’s life. Over time, relationships evolve and change, Don and I have spent a lot of time talking about that lately. Age and wisdom are incredible things. We went out to dinner Friday night – and relived the wedding rehearsal and wedding details. We laughed this time because the first time we both were pretty nervous.

Saturday, I planted the garden. Don tilled it up for me. In past years, it seemed like I fought to get it all done. It’s not like we depend on it for food or anything but it just seemed like a battle to get everything done. But this year, I enjoyed it like crazy. It even sprinkled a little while I planted. Friends who have lived here all their lives swear that planting during sprinkles is a sign of a bumper crop. Time will tell I guess. Don laughs, maybe we’ll get that bumper crop of Black eyed Susan’s, daisies, oh and pumpkin gourds—he can hardly wait!!!:). My Garden signs aren’t up but the Garden Angel is watching over the rows as you read this….

A few months ago I found this website, Leanne’s House, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Not knowing anything about Australia, I looked to a friend for answers. She’s been great. I asked those ridiculous questions like how the seasonal colors work with seasons being opposite from ours, and what do you have for Christmas dinner and does Santa wear that big red coat with White fur in Australia in the summer time???? She’s answered the questions and the word ‘Dingbat’ was never typed. She sent me this.
Chelsey and I have enjoyed the DVD (Yes – we’re totally enchanted with the accent!!) and I’m saving the wrapping paper for something special. Thanks again- quilting friends are the best.

1. My anniversary gift of a new flash for my camera.
2. Family time last nite, it’s getting harder and harder for us all to be on the same time schedule.
3. Rain watering my garden last night.