Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Remember these blocks?
Well I made the half square triangles by drawing a diagonal line halfing the square.  I stitched on the line.  then cut away the excess and pressed. I tossed the scraps in the trash.
I got this magazine for Christmas.  It goes with me just about everywhere these days-- memorizing the pages.  I kept thinking about the pieces I threw in the trash. I couldn't deal with it.  With the price of fabric these days, I dug them out of the trash.

then I stitched them up.  It literally took five minutes to do the chain piecing.  It took more time to dig them out of the trash, honestly.
After pressing I have an entire set of baby half-square triangle blocks.

I don't know what they'll turn into ...But I can tell you it'll be better than just trash in a basket.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hearts are Always in Season....

Chelsey was practical this holiday.  She asked for a vacuum, pots and pans, and corningware. I still wanted her to have the special stuff "just because" that's what Moms do.  This is a pattern from Stina and I turned it to a Candle Cozy for her patchwork apartment up North.

The kids are all tucked back in their Homes away from Home and I went back to work today.  It was quiet-- an easy way to get back focused on work.

We've been snowshoeing--- pictures to follow soon.

Football is about to come on so I better go down into the sewing room for a bit.  Just trying to cram a 36 hour day into 24---

My Kids' safe travel
A new Quilt Book for Christmas
Brand New Gloves

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas....

Here's hoping your Christmas is all you wish it to be.... Keep your Family Close and your Faith even closer to your heart....

Photo:  Ransom's Paw Print Stocking... Don and My Mouse Stockings--- made in 1982 from a college dorm room. Bruno's Bone Stocking and the Kid's Cross-stitch ones.... Matching stockings are really great, but I just couldn't part with these......

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Random Thoughts...

We’ re enjoying the holidays. Eric and I went for eye appointments this morning….I’m getting older—so are my eyes. But thanks to Rene Descartes I just upgrade the contact lenses.

I haven’t updated lately. Here is my ironing board cover I made. I returned about three different ones. I never found one that fit my ironing board, so I made it myself. The blue and white checks go great with my yellow and blue sewing room.

I wanted to sew last night. I didn’t want to spend hours picking out the fabric or days studying the pattern. I had a ribbon-tied kit from about a year ago. I just wanted to cut and sew.

Chelsey asked, “Who’s this for?”

My response,” Me… just me…”

“It’s not your colors..”

“So, I’ll tea-dye it…”

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. When I bought it, the colors looked like ice cream, or jelly beans… I’m showing off the back—because I’m bragging, plain and simple. Truthfully the backs of my quilt Very seldom look like this so ‘one has to bask in the moments’.

When my folks came for a visit this summer, my Mom brought me a grocery bag full of bird’s nests.

I save them—poor birds hide their homes from me. I’ve decorated my tree with them, raffia and pinecones.

A bird’s nest is one of the purest forms of art. Made by a creature without hands--- Silly to some… but I marvel at them.

Both kids are home—as a Mom, I’m in heaven.

Homemade Fried Chicken—Family kitchen cooking
Snowmen CoffeeMugs

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Gifts.....

I realized it still has the chalk marks but I wanted to share a Christmas gift for my Mom.  It was super easy.  We're tucked in for the weekend.  A snowstorm is brewing outside with possibilities of fifteen inches of snow. Feels good.  The Christmas lights a twinkling and there's coffee in the cups.

My Office Girls Christmas party was so much fun.  I really nice girl got my gift. Good friends, Good Food, Good Company.... Chelsey is through with finals and Eric is gearing up for them.

We've invited friends over for supper tonight.  Snow is a fact of life in the U.P., so barring electrical outages, I'm hoping we still get together.  Plans for today--- a date with the treadmill...I have this bucket list thing about running in ONE 5k run in my lifetime... So Don has me in training.  Wrapping presents and cleaning my sewing room.  Oh -- and I'm kicking around making an ironing board cover.  I'll take before and after photos.......

Free "XM" radio sort of... go to http://www.klove.com/ and click on the Christmas link.... It's echos through our house pretty much the entire time we're home.  I just love the sounds of this season.

Chelsey goes to school right on Lake Superior so is Incredibly snowed in with lake effect snow...

But it does feel like Christmas......

Christmas Candles
Plaid Napkins ... the little things....

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Always have ... Hope

Here’s my project for the weekend. I have a Ladies Christmas Party Thursday night. All of the girls in the office are getting together for a meal and a $10.00 gift exchange. I went to the scrap box and found this drawn out on fabric. I just had to stitch. Scraps from the box made up the rest of the bag.

It is going to hold Chocolate mints and this dessert plate and cup I found for $3.00 each. With my thing for dishes, I really fell for the cup.

I’m making gift tags this year. Don has learned to never throw out the tea or coffee. I’m dying these manilla tags.

We had my office Christmas dinner in town this Friday night. I won a blue-ray dvd player. I was pretty surprised. Saturday night we had the church Christmas dinner. Lots of music and delicious food. It felt like a holiday.

I’ve been dreaming about work, so I guess I’m getting into the routine. I’m almost finished with my Christmas sewing. It’s nice not having to rush.

We’re still low on snow--- no complaints. We’ve had daily flurries for about a week, but still very little accumulations. It’ll happen anyday….I’m not worried.


Eggnog Quick Bread (Pretty much all of my holiday baking)
Phone calls with my Mom
Plaid ribbons for package wrapping

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of November

One last photo of this project. It’s at its new home with Eric. Definitely the hardest piece I ever completed. Eric loved it so he’ll have it for years to come. I sent a care package back with him to bring the holidays to him and his two roommates.

 They are all pharmacy students living far away from families. He called and they bought a Christmas tree. He called it a Charlie Brown tree, but he said it had “a lot of potential”.

It was his first trip home in almost 6 months. Study loads and distance combine with jobs and no holiday time off kept him from coming home sooner. He must have commented on quilts and “pumpkin stuff” ten times. He said it felt like home. He said –“ You don’t realize what a difference it makes”. I guess I type this out because I wanted to remember it……..

Here are my stockings finished. We got our Christmas tree put up – all ten foot of it, a Frazier fir and it’s gorgeous. So much different than the chaos of last year. Contentment is the word of the season.

If you didn’t live where you do now--- where would you live?…I always pretend it would be on the east coast somewhere….definitely close to water. I wish over cottages like the ones Jane Coslick talks about.
I won a copy of Cottages in a drawing she had. I curled up on the couch the day it came and got lost in the pages. What a treat. Coupled with a pot of coffee, warm socks, and quilt--I'm good.

The kids will both be home in three weeks for the holiday.  We've had two days of rain so our snow is gone, but there's a chance for more the remainder of the week. Most of my christmas shopping is done.  I did it on-line this year.  I knew what I wanted to purchase and took advantage of the free shipping deals out there.  I've been making a couple of gifts, but if they don't get finished it will be alright. Some times the best gifts are gifts given "Just because...". I'm ready to kick back and enjoy the season-- the colors, the music, and all its meaning....

My laptop
Breakfast for supper tonight
An envelope of DMC Thread

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In Every Thing Give Thanks....

Last Friday night we had 14 people over for a casual Thanksgiving dinner.  I found these paper plates and Chelsey stamped up the napkin rings.  The dinner just kept growing so I decided friendships meant more than China and "the more the Merrier".  We had so much fun. On top of it, I worked until after 4 pm.  with everyone coming over at 6.---- In other words--"I am woman, here me roar.." Truthfully Don and Chelsey rocked and we were a machine getting last minute details done. Completely fun.

I've been stitching away on my stockings.  I'm realistic enough to know I won't feel like much sewing during the week so on weekends I get projects ready.

I made this stitchery a couple of years ago.  I made a patchwork heart for the center piece.  I took the patchwork off, because I now can needlepunch so last night I finished the heart. You'll get one more look at it-- hopefully it will be framed tonight.

I wanted to document this pumpkin.  About 10 days ago I finally cleaned the garden signs out of the garden.  I noticed a pile of leaves with shadows of oranges.  Brushing things away this pumpkin sat there waiting for me... I don't believe in coincidences it was definitely a good sign.

I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop -- listening to sounds around the house.  Don and Eric are laughing downstairs, the pups are playing toys, the football team I picked just scored.  I couldn't wipe the smile off my face if I tried.  All four of us have jobs we love, a warm house, all the contentment in the world. Contentment - that's the word in our house.  We've really been working at recognizing our blessings and being grateful.  It's always fun reaching for the stars.  But sometimes it's fun not feeling the pressure to have to.  Oh sure-- I could make a list of everything  I don't have that I'd like to...but I can always hold a matching list of all the things I do have.

A prayer request-- my daughter's best friend is stationed with her husband in South Korea.  Communication is tough, and her safety is a concern.  Remember them and our service people away in foreign places today.

Tomorrow - I'm off too-- a paid holiday- go figure - The pumpkins will be replaced with holly, maybe a little shopping, and the Christmas music will be dusted off.  The last three months are positively my favorite times of the year.

Quilting Friends throughout the world
Cornbread Dressing
Louisiana Phone Calls

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For Lillian Hope....

I got a layer cake of Lily and Will by Bunny Hill Designs and used half to make a baby gift for a friend.  I had plans for a really detailed, complicated pattern, but Chelsey showed me this Patchwork Pottery Design and we each made one.  It was easy and fun--- and sometimes easy and fun is good.  It's even great.

We had our first official snow on Sunday evening. We took the pups running in the woods.  The flakes were the size of quarters.  It was way too pretty to stay inside. This snapshot was taken as I pulled out of the driveway on Money morning about 7am. I wanted to remember that sight.

That photo reminds me why I work....and what I have to come home to.....


Eric coming home this weekend
Chelsey feeling better from the flu
Our icemaker---remember those old metal ice trays?!?!?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Stockings were....

Well, the stockings aren’t hung, but they are cut out anyway. These are little Primitive Gatherings Patterns. I end up shipping most family gifts south, so this year I’m tying these to packages with the gift tags inside the stockings. Words like Joy, Believe, All Hearts Come Home At Christmas, and Love will be embroidered on each.

I knew I’d be tired at the end of the day this week. When I sew on my machine like that, the mistakes seem to snowball. But this will be relaxing at night. I won’t be using Valdani threads, I have a plastic tote of DMC floss. Sunday evening I piled my wool pieces around me—I keep them in a wicker basket instead of my sewing cabinet—and cut away. In the Wool class I took from Lisa Bongean, she taught us to save all scraps because you never know when you’ll need a toe for a stocking or a flower center or a heart for a crow to hold onto.

We have a chance of snow Thursday and Friday. It’s that time of Year. I need to get my Pilgrim stuff out and tuck away the black cats.


My Pellet Stove purring in the background.

Chelsey forgetting her laptop this weekend(It gave her a chance to pop in for an unexpected visit)

Leftovers for supper(less cooking)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Almost a Finish...

The days tick by faster than I would like…My Google Reader has 900 entries to catch up on. I’m afraid it may not happen. I’m working hard during the day, but I really love it. I’ve decided I’ve got the same 24 hours that everyone else has. It’s my choice how I carve it up and use the time. I pieces just vary day to day.

I finally got that quilt of Eric’s machine quilted. Oh, it was tough. The layers with all of the half square triangles had thread breaking right and left. If the quilt had been for anyone but Eric, I would have drop-kicked it in the yard. I made the binding this afternoon. I feel the need for an evening of “chick flicks” and needle and thread to get the binding finished.

I came home exhausted Wednesday, but rallied early Thursday morning and played in my sewing room an hour before I went to work.

I completed my BOM projects out of wool. I love the pink on the bunny block. Again, I’m a season behind as this is not gardening season. But with life really being a perspective, I keep telling myself I’m ahead of the game and will love this piece come spring.

If I can get this binding done, I’m starting on Christmas projects. I kicked around a shopping trip, but decided I could either shop for quilting or ACTUALLY do some quilting. I’ve really enjoyed my Saturday.

No snow yet, but the leaves are down and the trees are bare. The temps are steady in the forties. Hunting season is almost upon us so the pups and I have to stay out of the woods for safety reasons. The porch has the hammock packed away along with the porch stools.

Something to think about… I read this week that fear –worrying over things you can’t help or control---is a lack of faith. You never need to lose faith…. You may miss out on things because you worry over situations that may or may not happen-- those things you have no control over.  You have to trust that when the time comes you can handle it and dread will not make it any easier. And you just might miss out on something incredible if you sit around contemplating scenarios that probably won't happen.  I think as women and mothers we always just seem to always exercise so much caution....
I'm working on letting go....

Phone calls from my kids
Pumpkin Candles
Saturday Afternoons….

Friday, October 22, 2010

October Sewing...

I guess for a little while my sewing will be measured by the moments versus the minutes. It’s Friday night and Chelsey came home from school for the weekend. The sewing machine is humming because she’s making a baby quilt for a donation project… Funny, huh?!?!

I told her to be careful, she could be turning into her mom....Home on a friday night quilting... I'm pretty smug about it....

Work is going so well. I’m learning so much.  A totally different environment than I'm used to.  I know I'm still honeymooning at the office and sooner or later it will turn into "work" but I am really liking ti so far.

I have been sewing. I don’t have a lot of time for writing in my journal. I just seem to have so many things I want to do in a day. I DVR shows but TV is really off the list except for Sunday football (does that count???) . I’ve been reading, running the pups in the woods, because the Fall has been gorgeous. I’ve been staying on top of the housework and working through a couple of devotions-Simple Abundance and Mothers of the Bible.

I made postcards to send Chelsey. To fit her college apartment, I made the colors match. I completely forgot to photograph them so the photo is from her.

Again I completely forgot to photograph the journal I made for a bridal shower gift. I grab a quick snapshot right before putting it on the gift table.

Lastly Chelsey went to an A-B-C party last weekend….Anything but cloth. People made clothes out of garbage bags, wrapping paper, duct tape.
Chelsey found play money at the dollar store and I made a
paper sheath and we attached the dollar bills to it. She made jewelry from play coins. It turned out real cute.

I've been keeping up with my block of the month project. I'll photograph it maybe tomorrow.

Chick Flicks with Chelsey
Flying Geese-- the real ones heading South for the winter
Vanilla Creme for my coffee

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Nine Patches

It’s Sunday evening. It’s been one of those weekends where you think Monday has got to get here where you can rest. It’s fun every once and a while.

I pulled four fat quarters and began cutting them up.

Next weekend I have a wedding shower. It’s another gift card shower. The third one I have been to recently. I’ll be the first to admit that the idea of gift cards is practical for these young couples. They are leaving the area… not many of these young adults stay in our hometown--- there’s nothing to keep them there. They can get to their new homes, no unpacking, and purchase needed items--- all perfectly matching to their own personal tastes. But there is that sentimental side of that still has the rolling pin my mother in law gave me..( It’s marble and we passed it around a wedding shower laughing about how good it would be for keeping Don in line!!!). I have the pewter bread plate from Nina O’Quin with all the memories attached.

So I have this young girl a gift card and I’m making a quilted journal for a keepsake for recipes, bible verses, lists, and memories.

Those fat quarters have turned into nine patches on the way to this project found in the December Issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

I’ve been slicing and drying the apples from yesterday’s post. The house smells so good.

It was 28 degrees this morning.

Last night we went to a party with 8 other couples. We had an adult “Scavenger Hunt”. We dvided up into teams of four and scoured the town for two hours with our lists of tasks. Examples were getting a photograph of a team member pumping a stranger’s gasoline. Get a doctor’s signature. Find a coaster with a beer logo on it. There were 41 items. My team lost despite getting a photo of a policeman in uniform, and someone in a concert tee shirt. Don’s team won and received this bottle of holiday wine from Door County. The bottle will probably never be opened but it looks like Halloween.


My Sunday School Class

York Peppermint Patties

My favorite Pair of Levis

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fall Blessings...

Hey—I’m still here. Thanks for emails, thanks for caring. I hope everyone guessed it--- I got a job. We could spend paragraph after paragraph bad mouthing old jobs but it would be a waste of time and typing. Business Models change. The economy changes. It’s as simple as that. My old job gave me the gift of a paid summer off and the tenacity to look for a new job. Now my family has paid medical & dental insurance, a 401K with a match, a raise, and a bright future. I’m living proof that life goes on. It turns on a dime…. Never take it for granted.

I think I’ve got the “groove thing” worked out. I have different hours than before, plus I’ve cut wayyyy back on television so my attitude feels good.

I friend brought over apples for my Sunday school class. I love the bright colors. You can see it’s raining leaves here today. While everyone in the U.P. loves the colors --- it’s a healthy reminder for the winter ahead. The old people look at the squirrels, deer, and mice and predict a rough winter ahead. Me….they’re all kind of rough. Quilting weather I say.

I get a break daily at work and have decided to take it. I never did before. Wandering through a second- hand shop I found an old wooden box and some scraps of wool. Looks like perfect Christmas stockings. What is it about wooden boxes? Chelsey and I both gravitate to them.

I’ve made a lot of changes. My old job was a chore. This job is a challenge and a gift. Sunday evenings I spend getting my clothes ready for the week. I round up sewing for the week. I get my kids Sunday school letters made. The coffee pot is made the night before. It sounds like I’m overcompensating for something. But truth be told--- the less I have to think about first thing in the morning the better. And walking away from the television (I still DVR shows in case I need them!) all the things I thought I missed sitting behind a desk seem to be getting done.

Yeah, I know. I’m still “honeymooning” on this adventure. Sooner or later it will turn into work. But sometimes you have to lose something to appreciate it when you get it back.


A Pot of soup on the stove

Yankee Harvest Candles

Crunching leaves in the Woods

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer's End

A quick post to start the week. My folks came up for a few days last week. It was a nice visit. Families aren’t always easy. I guess the best part is that you love each other regardless--- because you’re family...enough said.

I completed another wool block and have another prepped for applique hand sewing at night.

I had a few friends--- yes, I actually made friends this summer---for lunch as a summer finale. It was fun and unexpectedly we ended up in my sewing area---the one room I hadn’t cleaned. But we were so focused on the quilting, I wasn’t even embarrassed….And it was truly a disaster.

I have a super busy week ahead… a lot of changes for me, but I have the support of my team at home. We’ll discuss more later.

I played in my sewing room a little this evening, finishing up these post cards to pop in the mail.

The scrabble pieces are part of a 35 cent purchase at a second hand store in town.

Hey folks--- good things are just around the corner.


Fall leaves sprinkling down.

Chelsey’s visit

My Sunday School Class’ new season…