Monday, February 23, 2009

“What doesn’t break you…. only makes you stronger…” It’s written on the gift tag for the bag I’m mailing Chelsey today. It was a request from my daughter. She had seen a gift bag I had made earlier and she wanted it twice the size and bought ruffle fabric and a button for me to create it.
I’ve been trying to get it made since New Year’s Day. Well, yesterday afternoon I made it and she’ll have it for your trip to visit an Aunt for Spring break. It’s not a great picture (taken in a hurry) but you get the idea.

Thank you for your notes and prayers. Some burdens are too heavy to handle alone and I appreciate every one of them. Our family is definitely going through “Character defining moments”. Please keep us in your thoughts.

Friday night we went to a dinner theatre to raise money for the Women’s Shelter in town. The play was a good Cause and a fun evening for everyone. Saturday night we had supper with Friends. Quiet and Comfortable are the two best words to describe it. One of those nights you have so much fun you want a “do over”. She’s a new Quilter so it was fun chatting with her. I made a lunch bag in about fifteen minutes and brought muffins for dessert. I brought a copy of the free pattern also. It’s fun to share.

Saturday for lunch we made a pot of Italian Potato Soup. I’m an incredibly picky eater. I think it goes back to the way I grew up. Food was expensive, so eating out and at home—you never wasted it, so I was never very adventuresome. Don and I made this together and it was delicious, I’m totally addicted to it. I’m even bringing to work for lunch today.

This is not an original idea,
but saw it and fell in love with it. I want to get better with the camera and search for items to practice on. So I set up my latest animal feeder off the porch. I don’t care if I get pictures of birds, squirrels, or chipmunks.
I just love the idea of them perching on a graniteware soup ladle. Now to only catch them in the act….

Time to head off to work. Our days are getting longer; it’s almost daylight on clear mornings now. We are officially on the downhill size of winter.

Homemade Soup
Crisp clear mornings
I guess times in our lives to see what we’re really made of

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baskets of life---Here’s my Valentine’s Day gift . The BOM project is from Country Loft. I debated on whether to take on this project because it was so similar to last year’s project. I just enjoyed it and thought I could always give it away or pass one on to my kids. They’ve been on “quilt demand” here lately. Never really asked for one before. I just know what quilts mean to me and wanted them to have an appreciation and respect for them. That doesn’t me that I don’t want the quilts to be used. It’s just that there’s a difference between use and abuse. But it’s like Judy once wrote and I’ll never forget the words, “ When I create a quilt for someone else, I make it and give it away. I let it go and never think about it again; it’s theirs now.” And she’s right.

Work days have been good days. Another example of getting out of something what you put into it. We’ve got a snow storm predicted starting tonight. I’m hoping it holds out until I get home and run Ransom. The weatherman says snowfall could total 7-8 inches. It’s that time of year, it’s supposed to be snowing.

Chocolate chips
Pancakes for Breakfast—Ransom got the leftovers
Phone calls from old friends

Sunday, February 15, 2009

They were great therapy for me this weekend. They are exactly 12 ½ inches square, consisting of 45 pieces each. These blocks will be on their way to Australia for quilts for the fire victims this past week.
The best way to get your mind off of your problems is to focus of something else. Here’s my weekend detour. When I decided to make blocks I left the computer and went to my book shelf instead.
It was a great opportunity to realize how many books and patterns I do have ---that I’ve never been applied to fabric. To me, the blocks just say "hope". And I guess that is what we want for all those people losing things in the disaster last week. Not everything was lost--- they still have hope.

I used my scrap basket for the fabric. It’s amazing how fabric in the basket seems to multiply even when you don’t add to it.

Ransom and I continue to enjoy the winter. I thought I’d point out a few of my favorite things. I don’t have flowers or garden vegetables but I have bark from the birch trees that I do love.
It “ravels” itself into the neatest curly streamers. I never get tired of looking at the trees …even without leaves. On our trail home there is a mushroom-like fungus on a birch tree.
It stands there as a mark that I’m on the right way home. It’s frozen solid and I count on it being there marking our route.

Several asked how the girls liked their gifts. I think they loved them. Neither left them behind. I don’t think it’s a birthday either will forget.
President’s day tomorrow… no mail, I guess my blocks will go out on Tuesday…. Everyone have a good week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

They were sitting on the shelf on the close out bay in the department store-- four of them. I just couldn’t leave them sitting there. None of the matching pieces were left.
They sat all alone – four of them that no one else wanted---Discounted from $20.00 to $3.00 a piece. I can just picture them with yellow and red napkins. Food just has to taste better on stoneware trimmed in plaid. I can just imagine dinner on the porch when spring arrives – If and when spring arrives.

Haven’t sewn a stitch this week. Serious family problems. No need in dragging anyone down with the details. But the reason I type this much is to hold up the looking glass and say--- no family is perfect. In fact, families are built on a foundation of imperfections. But it’s the heart of that family that cements them together despite imperfections. I hope above anything else, I’ve never given anyone the illusion of perfection. I do hope people realize happiness can be found in rising above the catastrophes.

Warming temperatures into the 40 degree range have melted much of our snow. Ransom and I still trudge through the woods daily --- it’s great therapy. I guess we have gotten our January thaw in February. Temps are supposed to drop back to the 20’s this weekend, the normal range for this time of year.

I have a weekend ahead – Needle and thread calling me.
Remember to count your blessings. I try to every day.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The girls will be home tomorrow. I picked up items to make them a birthday cake yesterday, so I’ll probably tackle that tonight along with wrapping their gifts I made.

The first gift if a three ring binder cover.
Not an original idea, Kim had created one a couple of years ago and emailed me a set of instructions.
It was a Thimbleberries Club project. We have a little Thimbleberries, Fig tree Quilts, Kansas Trouble quilters, along with a few others to make up the strings. I have always like the Heartstring quilts but never truly appreciated them until this project. Sewing the strings one at a time is INCREDIBLY labor intensive—not to mention ironing each down after the seam. I really liked how they turned out. But for the time---it just seems like the project would be bigger…..

I had pulled a couple of different patterns for other projects, but read about Mary finding this Terry Atkinson design.
So after a trip to the dollar store for pens and paper, I whipped these to up. Totally fun, quick, and easy.
The Pattern said use interfacing as a liner. I knew the kind of lugging around and use – Hopefully—these babies would get so I lined it with Peltex, the stiff interfacing used in fabric postcards. I really like’em. I may have to make one for myself.

I had wanted to create something with ruffles, but there will be another holiday coming up. Tomorrow the weekend will be at my doorstep. I can’t wait. Sleeping late – 6:30 am for me--- Snowshoeing with Ransom and of course quilting….

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Morning----Early. But I’m already dressed for work and started a pot of stew and put on a load of laundry. Amazing the power of caffeine in a strong pot of coffee.

I did some sewing this weekend but still have handwork to finish. In my last post I mentioned that Chelsey’s birthday is this week and in our house, you don’t have birth days—you have birth festivals. She’s bringing a friend home this weekend who also has a birthday but lives too far from home to travel. I was fretting that I didn’t want Chelsey to open all the presents and this poor girl sit back and watch. A friend I work with reminded me it wasn’t about money—it was about thought and getting clever. So I went home and flung open the fabric cabinet doors. While I don’t have fabrics that are really Chelsey’s type—I think I came up with some compromises and have worked this weekend on gifts for both girls. Pictures will come soon.

The remainder of this post is type for memories…..not quilting.

My Sunday school class was outstanding yesterday. We started out reviewing last week’s lesson. Jesus walking on water with Peter. I had a pail of water and we played a guessing game whether things from Don’s tools would float—nails, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches –no….wood blocks, crayons, pencils yes--- We ended with a kid, shoes and socks off stepping into the water… I had them totally captivated and drove the point home on miracles. Miracles for a four year old isn’t an easy concept to grasp. This week’s lesson was Jesus feeding the five thousand with fives loaves of bread and two fish. We held an indoor picnic (complete with red and white cloth of the floor and my burgundy graniteware) of goldfish crackers for fish and oyster crackers for bread. It may have been twenty degrees outside but it was warm in that classroom and we had a ball. Not every week does the lesson just “click” but I felt like at the end of class those kids would not forget today’s adventure…. Man, I love teaching that class…..


Homemade stew of supper tonight
Don’s willingness to share his junk
Goldfish crackers