Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from my family to yours... We're taking time out to count our many blessings.  Winter storms are on their way and we're all tucked in at home.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Gifts

I’d always said my job provided for my Sunday School class, my quilting and my kids going through college. Well, now it provides for everything else too. I’m not complaining--- quite the contrary, I’m incredibly grateful. While, Christmas may seem “leaner” I have complete faith it will be just as special.

Inside our church, we all have mail boxes with our names on them. Letters and memos from the church office and congregation are swapped back and forth and it says a ton in postage. A few Sundays ago a wad of bills with a note signed “the Rat Pack” appeared in our box. After the initial shock, I just sat back and thought about the gesture. Gratitude didn’t come close to how I felt. Also, thoughts of so many folks more deserving of this present crept into my head. I knew I couldn’t waste the money. So every year previously, I’ve purchased a hardcover book for each kid in my Sunday school class for a gift the season. I want them to love all the traditions of Christmas and still focus on Christ and the true meaning of the holiday. I used the funds to purchase this book for my kids and put the rest of the money back in the offering plate.

It can be a gift re-gifted to someone else….
Yesterday after “family” housecleaning…(Eric’s home), I went and worked in my Sunday school classroom an hour. When I got home the guys had grilled burgers. After the Mandatory afternoon Saturday naptime, the guys left for the movies and I danced down to my sewing machine. After 3 hours that include a snow shoe break with the pups—I came up with this gift for my Mom.

It was a free pattern from the Moda bake shop and fabric from my stash. If it weren’t for football games today—I might be down there making myself one. Great instructions --- easy. Now I have to pop it into the mail Monday with a prayer hoping it gets there my Christmas…..

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday Evening....

I worked on Christmas gifts this weekend. The second stitchery was a freebie designed by Judith Tetley.  It's one thing to have talent--- but when you share it with others freely, it's a blessing to many. We’ve just about finished our Christmas shopping. Life feels sort of normal again. We made our first snow shoeing treks this weekend. Now that we have Chelsey’s little pup with us, we’ve got to overcome a few obstacles—namely deep snow…. He’s pretty much a trooper. He’s figured out that he doesn’t go if he doesn’t put on the sweater…He’s realized that if you’re tired, stay in Mom’s footprints….and Hang with Pop if you want to have the most fun…... I’ll get a snap shot or two and post real soon.

We’re having dinner with friends tonight, so no cooking for me…..feels like the holiday is just about upon us. I just love the music.

Chelsey came home for lunch Sunday to have lunch and visit for a couple of hours and left like the tornado she came in on….. I worked off and on all weekend on a new company project, but no complaints. It’s a job.

Eric’s stressing over finals…keep him in your prayers….. I can’t wait for him to come home…

Gratitudes –

My new snow tires for the Jeep--- Picked out and purchased by your truly.

Christmas cooking…. Homemade fudge never tastes the same as it does at Christmas.

My Sunday School Kids --- I love Christmas through the eyes of kids….

Friday, December 11, 2009

Catch up...

Thanks for the emails... It really lifted by spirits .  But anger, hate, and hurt are wasted feelings and just make you old fast.  It's just a lesson I learned and I posted to save someone else from the same mistake.....

Thanksgiving coffee Don brought me home from an Airport in his travels. Coffee is pretty sacred in our house. I knew he was thinking of me when he pulled it out of his bag.

We have frigid temperatures here as I woke up to 8 below zero. One thing about it, the pups don’t spend too much time nosing around. They take care of business and get back inside.

Our anniversary was back in June. Life circumstances kept us from really celebrating. So at the risk of everyone thinking I’m more of a dork than previously noted--- Tuesday night--- amidst a blizzard--- Don & I went to see Kenny G in his Christmas concert in Green Bay. Quilt shops closed for the weather…but his concert went on. The talent some people have… and to see the performances in person was outstanding. He’s an incredibly personable guy. He plays with his band that has members that have been with him since high school. I completely recommend it to everyone. We were fifth row at the Weidner Center.

We’ve got a couple of Christmas dinners throughout the season and I’m been sewing away on something to bring. We’ll show the finished product later. I’ve pulled the fabric for a gift for my Mom too.

This weekend, I’m hoping to paint my sewing area. Eric will be home in a week. He’ll probably want a place to sleep. So the sewing machine will go back to the basement. The Pellet stove is on down there and so it’s a cozy place to work throughout the winter.

I finally decided  on borders for the confetti cake Harvest Home quilt.  I'll post a complete photo when it's all together.


Charter Commission—really helped with Christmas shopping
My kids studying hard for finals
Mittens to keep my hands warm on cold mornings

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Well, Now I know....

I learned the hard way…..Information you put on the internet is read by everyone not just your friends. Don is doing some consulting work but we are not moving. We’ve got high hopes of it turning into something permanent and one company wanted him permanently but, truthfully, while I believe there is good everywhere, it was a place we were for the long term not comfortable with.

All I can think of is I innocently showed someone at work a quilt, or a photo of my kids . They’ve been stalking my journal ever since. I never mind people reading. Lots of people quilt, have kids that make them scream occasionally , or just enjoy reading. That’s why we post (We're on the internet for God's sake!!!)… Never once did these people at work acknowledge to my face that they were reading my journal.

I thought it was odd the day the day my boss walked in my office, shut the door and out of the blue had said, “your circle of friends…. My circle of friends…. One common denominator--- and I would appreciate a 2 week notice before you left….” No more, no less. My boss asked for a two week notice when I left--- my response…”two weeks… I’ll give you two months notice…”

Never once did they say, “Your quilt sucks --- throw away the scissors before you hurt someone.” Or Hey – congrats on your kid,” or “ Hey – Hang in there with those kids.” Or “Cute pup picture”.– Well, they took it as an opportunity to inform my boss before I could -- ….Once moreover, started preying on my job.

When you are the breadwinner of your family (right now) you get a little sensitive about it. Every ounce of ‘Sunday School Teacher’ I had in me went out the window. I really regret how I behaved. But I have never been so hurt as to when my boss turned his laptop around to show me my weblog this person sent….and to listen to another apply for my job with me in the same room. Our family has been through a lot. And small towns don’t make it any easier.

But my neighbor said it best,

“It’s kind of like when I went through my divorce…. Many of the people you thought were good and your friends turn their backs on you. It hurts…But in the big picture, aren’t you glad you know. Would you rather go through life not knowing…”

She’s right – I could type countless stories that this small town has said about them--- But I will not.

I started to give up my journal… But the friends I’ve made outweigh the vindictiveness of these people. Let them read ---

My husband –the mature peacemaker---tries to present a fair opposition to what happened to me. But all I say… is why didn’t they come to me??? And I’d never walk out on my job without notice. My job would definitely take more than two weeks to train someone. My job has been good to my family---I owe that to it in return.

I’ll live… and be smarter for it. No comments for this post... but life happens....

Monday, November 16, 2009

This was made from the cover pattern of Create and Decorate Magazine. A week ago I was stressing over fallen leaves--- Note to Self: There are MANY more important things to feel bad for…. leaves not one of them. After church, a family asked me what I was doing this afternoon. My response was “Pretty much nothing.”

“Well, we’re coming over to rake leaves.”

“No – I can’t have you doing that…”

“Well you just stay inside and we’ll take care of it…”

They were coming over at 2:30 pm. Mortified at the thought of how lazy I was -- and the dog poop that was probably out there--- I went home and raked like a mad woman--- kicking myself as to why I ever felt sorry for myself. For 2 ½ hours I raked and got everything but the very front yard done. They came and laughed at me. "Like we've never seen dog poop"  they giggled with their labrador in tow.  We finished up in twenty minutes. I just needed that kick in the pants I guess.

The candle cozy was funny to make and was made of muslin coffee dyed after the stitchery was made.

The homestretch is on--- Don will be home in three weeks. I’ve mostly just taken care of myself the months. I need to get busy. A Minor meltdown… Ransom has become arthritic. One we got him on the right medicine he’s rebounding real well. With the active puppy around, he tries to keep up.

Chelsey has been coming home regularly “babysitting” me. I’ve really enjoyed her. Oh—and I’m no longer afraid of the dark….


Baby Aspirin

A warm autumn for the U.P.

Fabric Scraps

Friday, November 06, 2009

Scrappy Stars

Keeping in touch…..I’ve begun the slow progress of piecing blocks for Eric’s quilt. With the time change I seem to get sleepier with the nightfall so I stitch less. I’m hoping to get the actual blocks together by Sunday. There’s lots of chain piecing which is kind of like therapy for me.

I decided the yard was not going to rake itself. So I made an imaginary map and divided it into six sections. If God wants those leaves out of that yard, he’ll give me six good days to get it done….. Some have said—“Mel, $75.00 and it’s done, hire it out…” But honestly, there’s pride involved and if I was going to spend $75.00, it would be on quilt fabric…….

Eric got the H1N1 vaccine. He and Aimee (the girl he calls “the One”) do tons of volunteering in health clinics and are pretty much involved in ‘Germ Saturation’…. So they decided to get the vaccine.

Chelsey has her own column in the newspaper in Marquette. She calls it “A Northern State of Mind” --- College life in Northern Michigan. So she’s living life…. And Lord help us… writing about it…. I keep telling her I want a quilt story…..

Next Post--- quilt blocks…..

Gratitudes –
A Gorgeous Full Moon…The pups and I are up at 1:00am the past few mornings
The Oldies Radio Station – 60’s, 70’s 80’s music….I’m an oldie….
San---- thanks again….

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Cut Out

I started cutting out pieces for my latest project and got discouraged. So I emailed a quilter who had made the same project and asked her advice. That's all it took and I got busy.
Thanks again for the advice....

She had recommended breaking things down into sets of ten. I liked the idea. So doing housework --- I'd cut out 100 pieces and stop and work on the house a little more. Before you know it I'm labelling zip lock bags and have all 1176 pieces cut out for this quilt. Tonight, hopefully I start half-square triangles. I plan on --again-- breaking things down in sets--- rather than being overwhemed by thehugs undertaking. Yep-- you'll probably be sick of me talking about it before it's over with....

This weekend. Chelsey was home about 10:30 Saturday night. She's still got the cold-bug she's had. She's been tested for H1N1, but she's just got the oldfashioned, vanilla flavored cold. The pups were thrilled to see her. But I was even more glad. I got up early Sunday and cooked a huge lunch and left instructions for oven times and temps for her. I went off to church and an outstanding sunday school class. Came home to Chelsey and football. I snuck in the afternoon nap while she was at a friends. When she got home we cooked spaghetti and then watched 'The secret life of Bees." If you haven't seen it... you must. It's a great story.

I talked with Eric... he's out healing the world giving out flu vaccines or testing people's sugar counts or something. They really make the students focus on volunteer hours. He's got a life and he's living it to the most.

The weather was cold, dreary, and rainy... but you couldn't tell it by my attiude -- it was perfect for quilting. Again-- watch that movie....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quilting Catch Up

OK – I’ve decided it’s a lot of work taking care of yourself….while I haven’t got it quite mastered, I’m improving at it all the time. It’s catch up time. Three weeks ago.. Let’s start.

I went to a quilt show in a neighboring town that Saturday. Fun--- I love admiring others work. There wasn’t an ugly quilt there. While it was a small show, they even had a section for children making kids quilts. I always say that if we don’t teach the next generation the art of quilting it will die out. The one thing I wished that they had done was to include something from the artist as to why each quilt was created. Quilting is kind of this “soulful” experience for me and as much as I love the piece itself I love knowing what inspired the quilter.

Two weekends ago I went with a friend down to the Green Bay-Appleton area with our own version of a shop hop. We hit 3 quilt shops and had a ball. She’s a relatively new quilter—but very talented. She belongs to guilds and does a ton of charity work. I had been to the three quilt shops before. But it was amazing seeing things through her eyes. It’s the first time I ever went fabric shopping with someone other than my Mom or Chelsey. I figured with Quilt Market going on shelves may be bare, but they weren’t and it was so much fun. We went to Primitive Gatherings and I purchased this book. I have all of Lisa Bongean’s books. It even has recipes in it. My friend kind of shys away from books, but I assured her this was an afternoon date. I cup of coffee and I could get lost of hours studying her book. We Went to Piece by Piece in Appleton. With 20-foot ceilings they have quilts covering the walls. I’m going to attempt Lynda Hall’s Gathering Basket Quilt, so I’m collecting navy and tan fat quarters. This was my purchase there. We had lunch, hit a craft store and in Green Bay toured Quilter’s Connection. I always talk about quilts and fabric talking to me. Living in the Northwoods, I have my collection of pumpkin and snowman quilts. I always feel that as short as spring and summer are, I don’t have much to display. I saw this bundle of fabric with a pattern included. It’s muted pastels just said ‘Spring Time’ to me. If I make it and it seems to bright I can always tea dye it to fit a “cabin” spring . I’m working on Eric a scrappy quilt and scooped up red fat quarters whenever I saw them.

I’d been saving my Coke bottle money, rebate checks, any added chunk of change I could find, for a while. I think I’m set for quilting for the winter. I can’t even pick a favorite store. My friend is not really a traditional quilter. Every store had a variety of styles and she found great ideas and purchases for the winter. We are already penciling in our spring-time trip…

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wreaths and Angels

I’ve been intending to post all week. I’m just now finally getting a chance to hit the keyboard. I’ve been working on my Baskets of Life BOM. Here are two more completed blocks.
The Turbin Squash in the corner came from my garden. I love the colors. They’re kind of small, but for a first attempt and a really cool summer, I think they’re pretty slick.

The buggy is ready for the season. I made the wreath hanging in front. If you look closely you’ll see it’s made from old Barbed wire. Safety note—I used gloves when working with the wire, as I didn’t want rusty pokes. My bicycle has moved to the light post.
It was surrounded by Chrysanthemums until the deer had a feast one night.

Yesterday I received a surprise in the mail – an awesome Quilter’s Angel holding a thimble.
It was a “hug” just when I need it. The fabric is fat quarters from Buggy Barn’s newest line. Thanks again Karen. Your kindness will be truly remembered. I hope to pass it on to others….

Angels – both the “Quilted” and the “Quilter” ones
A good night’s rest
The weekend ahead

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Pinwheel Tablecloth

I’ve been busy --- but there’s been tons of sewing going on. It’s a bad picture. But I’ll take a better one when it’s quilted. I finished my pinwheel tablecloth. I’m definitely running a season behind….but maybe we’ll get an Indian summer day.

I’m not a perfectionist, but I’ve been working on quilt blocks being better than just “good enough”. Before I started this piece I read a lot about making pinwheel blocks. I took pictures of the method I used. And while my points aren’t perfect--- I’m really pleased.

I started with a charm square and the same size piece of muslin.

I drew an X point to point.

Then I stitched right on top of that line..

Next, I cut top to bottom and side to side..

When you open the fabric pieces, you have a great half-square triangle. I used my quarter-inch foot on my machine and game up with the pinwheel blocks.

My quilt was made with two 40 piece charm packs plus 1 block out of the border fabric. The quilt finishes nine blocks by nine blocks, with borders, 54 inches square.

I emptied all the junk out of Eric’s room. Just piles of stuff I don’t think he’ll miss. I got tired of my kitchen being trashed with things only a quilter would appreciate. I moved my machine and ironing board in his room. He won’t be home until Thanksgiving. I even have three windows…. I’m still debating on telling him….
There’s a quilt show in a neighboring town. I’m going to knock out the weekly cleaning and go. I’ll bring my camera. I’m looking forward to it.

It’s supposed to rain for the next six days. I’ve got some painting---- and quilting--- to keep me busy.

Have a good weekend –
Understanding sons (maybe)
Pups to keep me company

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cottage Garden.....

Keeping true to fashion...and staying just about a season behind,
I saw this book clearance on Connecting Threads and treated myself along with batting for Harvest Home. Last week they had it $14.00. I'll probably have it worn out before ever quilting a stitch. Gorgeous photographs capture the quilts perfectly. And some quilts just aren't seasonal, they're beauties year-round. Order it while they still have some.

I had a friend over for soup and salad Tuesday night. It is all part of that thing that people say I need to be more social. Being social is exhausting after working all day. I've decided not to be pressured with that anymore... if it happens it happens. I'm pretty content with work, sewing, and my sunday school class right now.

A rainy weekend is forecasted, so I just might get Harvest Home stretched on the quilting frame. I'm planning on tearing down my garden some this evening---a couple of rows a day. It's a lot more fun to put up than tear down.

Kind of missing my kids today -- I'd just like them home for supper. I'd send them back to their busy lives...but supper would be nice. Went to church last night. Completely fun....It's never something I look back on and say--"man, wish I hadn't done that..." Sleepy today, but it was worth it.

That riding lawn mower
My new tires for my jeep
Hebrews 11, 1 John 1: 6-8

Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer/Fall Pinwheels

I’m still here. I got socked with a huge cold – but thanks to Nyquil and Dayquil, I am on the mend. What turned out to be an incredibly cool summer as transformed in to a really warm Fall. We’ve had a couple of frost warnings, but I’ve turned it over to fate---and the garden is still growing. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and snap beans are still getting picked daily.

I’m that quilter that is always a season behind in projects. My home is decorated in the Northwoods cabin look with evergreens and browns and rust. Perfect for the fall – but springtime and summer occasionally run short on seasonal colors.

I had intended on starting a quilt for Eric when I walked into my sewing room and decided to pull a project on the table rather than put it away. I had two packs of charm squares sitting right next to the quilt frame. Dandelion Girl- by Figtree quilts. I have a set of yellow graniteware and wanted a table cloth for the dishes. I love charm square packs--- I’ve bought several just to share. This is the first chance I’ve had at cutting them up. Yep—I’m that person that usually keeps one in her purse just to wish on.

I had been admiring pinwheel quilts. Vanessa, and Jodi have displayed different styles on their journals. I’ve been guilty of doodling patterns on legal pads when I was supposed to be paying attention to conference calls. So after research, here’s the color scheme and my first stab at pinwheels. I had read the horrors of bulky points, but Jodi gave a tutorial on the Moda bake shop and I decided that would be the way to go.

I’ll finish with 81 pinwheels -- each pinwheel measuring four inches in width. Muslin is the alternating color. I’ve been on a kick with Muslin. I even have a backup plan that if the quilt is too bright for my kitchen I could tea-dye it to blend. Hopefully I’ll get to work on it tonight.

My yard needs mowing – but it is raining today – I think the good Lord is demanding I quilt instead. I have a friend coming over for supper tomorrow night. I want to show her my progress.

Camp Road
The Good side of Rainy Days and Mondays
Wintergreen TicTacs

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thank you Mary—She put me on a list to receive this award. I’ve felt a little less an “awesome” lately, so the kindness was truly felt. I’ve been trying to think of ten random things about myself that would be of any interest … we’re really struggling here but here goes ---

1. I’m a mayonnaise only kind of girl. Mayonnaise only on my burger, my ham sandwich, and my BLT (bacon lettuce tomato—does that count). I always looked at it as if I wanted a salad I’d order it… Mayo-Meat-bread… that’s me.

2. I’m really realizing what a recluse I am --- never much for girlfriends (in person). I’m working on it. I realized my life is My Husband, my kids, my job and my quilting. Three weeks ago, I sorta lost 3 out of four. I was laid off. My husband far away and my kids back at college --- thank goodness for quilting and the pups.

3. Definitely a dog person. Love cat pictures, but life is better with a pup.

4. There can never be too much dark chocolate in your life --- ever.

5. I love fabric for the sake of it being fabric. A wicker basket full of fabric is as beautiful to me as a $100.00 flower arrangement – probably more. Don’t you wish you could grow fabric from seeds out in the garden?!?!?

6. I don’t believe in coincidences – I believe everything happens for a reason and my faith tells me everything is a gift, I just need to find it.

7. When I get a favorite song in my head, or a favorite CD – I can literally listen to it over and over again – drives my family nuts!!!!

8. I believe you impact people when you least expect it… that’s why … as tough as it is… you need to be the best version of yourself. Looking back, there have been times when I wish I had been that ‘better’ person---it’s bitten me in the hiney—for not. I’m a work in progress.

9. Life is better for eating raw cookie dough and cake batter before it has been cooked (please do not leave me comments on food poisoning—I know it—as this is probably the riskiest thing I do in my life!!!!)

10. I love cookbooks have tons – but seldom use them. I think it’s because I grew up with money being tight and you had to eat everything on your plate so I seldom tried anything new. Don and the kids are working with me on this. I thrive on routine – when you find something you like I’m not one to change it….I’m learning that’s pretty boring….And I try cooking something new once a week.

There you have it....Saturday is housecleaning, sheet washing days for me. There's a lawn to mow, and I'm judging a Bible Bee at church. I plan on sewing some -- so nap time is out. I have so much fun to do... Everyone have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Finish --- Almost----

Every quilt starts with a vision….. at least for me it does. My famous line is that “ I read more about quilting than I actually get to accomplish.” Well, my Harvest home quilt started with this vision. It’s a four year old picture torn out of a Sundance Catalog.
I must have stared at this clipping for hours. I had it taped to the wall in front of my desk. The quilt looked “labor intensive” to say the least to me. Short of cutting out the individual squares ---I never could figure out the pattern to make the assembly easy. That, coupled with the two color combination that I loved but figured I would get bored with before completing the project --made it seem impossible --- no matter how I drooled over the quilt. I even emailed a friend with EQ software thinking I could maneuver a short cut or too. I still just kept it as a quilt “wish”.

Then I ran across a Pattern Basket Pattern called Confetti Cake. It uses Strip Piecing and a layer cake to create this: I used muslin as a background fabric. It still needs a 7 inch border around it. I haven’t decided on muslin or some yardage from the Blackbird Designs Harvest Home line. It was a fun quilt to cut out. I loved mixing and match the fabric strips. I can’t wait to stretch and quilt it.

I’m a complete NFL junkie. Tonight is the first game of the season, so I’m completely psyched.

Confession ---my television has four remotes. Don is a ‘Teckno-geek’ and we have every high-def gadget hooked to it possible. I have always refused to learn anything about it. It was just easier to yell for Don or the kids– or throw a fit when it came to using it or when it didn’t work. I simply chose to place no effort in learning about the TV or the remotes. Well – spending considerable time alone, last night I popped in a DVD for sewing and the DVD remote didn’t work. Without a sigh – I rationalized I hadn’t dropped it… no one else had touched it….it must be the batteries. And without hesitation I changed them and was back in business…No fit required….

I may just be growing up………

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day 2009

It’s Labor Day --- A long weekend was appreciated. Our leaves are starting to turn. Here are the maple leaves from the front porch. A fluorescent orange…. It seems like the trees change every year… which ones change color first, their shades of yellow and orange.

I’m grilling pork ribs for Chelsey and friend who came home yesterday. I’ve never done them before… always had Don to do it, so this should be interesting.
The pumpkins are beginning to turn orange. These are Baby Bear pumpkins.

I give them regular pep talks about growing to their full potential and getting the color game going.
All twenty blocks for my Harvest Home quilt are complete. The wind get blowing leaves on the blocks--- so I decided they were meant to be there... I have to square them up and attach the borders. The inner borders will be Muslin. The outer borders, I‘m thinking, will be six-inch in width and will be a selection of the Blackbird Designs Harvest Home fabric line. It just depends on what I can get. I’m saving up for fabric.

A long weekend – I made it that full week back to work. I definitely don’t have as much free time in the evenings. My Sunday school class got all new bulletin boards for Fall. We now have a “Pumpkin Patch” of Bible verses.

I’m definitely tired of being angry and sad over the entire job loss thing for Don. It’s wasted energy and I don’t want to look back and say I missed out on life being angry over something I have no control over.

Things happen for a reason….Life goes on.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Moms Just Know....

My folks don't know about the stresses in our lives lately. They don't believe in the internet and living far away and with my acting skills over the phone they have no clue the job stresses were facing. But look what surprised me in the mail yesterday:

I think my Mom probably knows something's up--- just not what.... but what treats. A cookbook, a bookmark and socks.

I finished my second day back at work. I feel kind of like I have wobbly knees -- just because my feelings are hurt -- but this too, shall pass.

Twelve blocks are completed on my Harvest Home quilt--- pictures to follow soon.

Monday we awoke to 38 degrees and supposedly frost -- I refused to cover anything up...just chalked it up to fate. The plants seems to fair OK.

Kind of getting a routine down...Life goes on...I don't want to waste it...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Apple Pie

“Mom, I’m picking apples at Matt’s and we’re going to make an apple pie…”
So driving off in the pouring rain she set off on her mission. A few hours later, we had created this:

Lots of fun – she ‘camera-phoned’ pictures of the pie to her Dad. We had girls night watching chick flicks and eating pie. I ended up with Ransom, Bruno and Chelsey all in my Bed – and no… I don’t have a king size bed….But there was enough covers for everyone so we all slept well.

I’ve got 8 blocks completed on the Harvest Home project. The completed size will be 64 by 76 ¼”. I’m shooting for four blocks a day. But first I’ve got my last class with my Sunday school kids before getting a new crop for the coming school year. I want the class to be special so I’m off to play with the construction paper for tomorrow’s class.

Cellphones to talk with Don
Pie plates and Dishes - I’m guilty of having too many
The hum of the dishwasher this morning while everyone else sleeps

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rainy Days

A rainy day, quilt blocks, and a porch hammock…. Not too shabby I guess.
I pieced the first four of a twenty block quilt. I love the look and with working with a layer cake there are plenty of options for coordinating the groupings of three prints in each set.

I moved my ironing board and sewing machine upstairs next to a window to where the pups aren’t navigating stairs to the basement sewing room. Bruno did fine through the surgery. I just want him taking it easy for a while.

Chelsey is coming home today to check on Mom. I got a call and I’m expected back at work o n Monday which is a blessing.

I’ll probably head to the store later for a few groceries… and sew till my heart’s content.

Enjoy your weekend….

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baskets of Life Blocks

Here are two more completed blocks from my Baskets of Life quilt. I’ve got two more prepped and ready to go. Getting the binding completed on the Cottage Garden has been top priority in the evenings.

Bruno is getting ‘fixed’ this morning at the Vet. He can’t have anything to eat until this evening--- so I’m making Ransom be a ‘team player’. I know it’s the right thing to do…but I hate taking him to the Vet and leaving him. Oh well, this, too, shall pass. And Ransom can have his breakfast .

Of course the furnace is acting up. They are only predicting temperatures in the upper fifties on Sunday so I guess I need to get it looked at today.

Just pausing to count my blessings:
My warm coffee this morning
Chelsey got a job at school
Sunshine peeking through the porch rails

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fabric Cut Up

I took out my frustrations on the fabric. I finally cut up the layer cake of Blackbird designs Harvest Home last night.
The game plan for the moment is to start piecing today. I’m using muslin as my background fabric. I have a friend that doesn’t quilt, but listens patiently to my stories. She always tells me she doesn’t want to quilt---she just wants to buy the fabric to hold and look at. That’s exactly how I felt about those fabric squares.
Thanks for the support in yesterday’s post. It’s a tough situation and friends make the difference.

The forecast is predicting 73 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. That will go a long way to healing heart aches.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scallops on my Cottage Garden

Hey—remember me? My college kids are tucked away in their universities and the house is quiet. For the record—Bruno,
Chelsey’s dog, is an official college dropout and home with me…we tell Chelsey she’s paying child support. I don’t mind... he’s a lot of company to Ransom.

Here’s my Cottage Garden quilt. The binding is partially own. Yesterday I dove into the scallops. It’s my first attempt. No fancy rulers (but they are definitely on my Christmas list), I used freezer paper and A pie plate to set up the alignment. The scallops on just two inches deep, next time I think I’ll make them deeper. For my first attempt—I rate myself at a B+. Never a risk taker – to cut on a completed quilt was definitely a “grown up” moment for me.

My husband lost his job. There I said it. I am laid off a week at a time—on my second week. Not easy to talk about. I don’t think I’m special – why shouldn’t bad things happen to me? It just doesn’t make it any less hurtful. I try to not make it personal… but when it is happening to you it’s INCREDIBLY personal. I tell myself the appropriate things:

All things happen for a reason.
Nobody died – no one is even sick
I have food, a roof over my head, and even quilt junk(short of batting) to last until 2020.
We’re planners and list makers…My kids will never skip a college beat.

But it really hurts.

Life goes on. My garden is full of ghourds. The echinea and Black-eyed Susans are beautiful this year as we haven’t had the heat to burn any of them.

Thanks for all of the emails checking on me. Hopefully, you’ll have another post tomorrow. I’m taking it a day at a time.