Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011....

Here is my December block for my Hop to it Quilt. It reminds me of Poinsettias. It was a tough block. With the holidays ---I count myself lucky to get it completed. I found clearance fabric to use on the borders. I can’t wait to get them started. We have two more blocks in this BOM project with Mary and Sue. I have gotten tons better at appliqué working through it. I have grown at choosing my own fabrics and colors. The biggest bonus is the friendship I have built with two great quilters.

I completed the binding on a piece last night. I have a quilt on my frame. I have blocks on the side of my sewing machine. So whether it’s handwork, piecing, or machine quilting, I’m set. With family close by for the holidays, I have done very little quilting. There will always be quilting--- having family close is a luxury.

We played this game with family over the Holidays.  The more people the better--- I highly recommend it for laughter....
My Mom and Mother-in-law hooked with special quilting stuff for Christmas. I want to make every project in this book.

The tree is coming down today. We have an evening with friends planned for tonight, but I guarantee we will be home before midnight. In my book---there’s nothing better than being home at the stroke of midnight at the beginning of a brand new year.

We’re getting all settled in for winter--- but remembering we are gaining about one minute of daylight a day at this point in the season. Soups for supper, Mittens in your coat pockets, that blanket and flashlight stashed in the Jeep for emergencies (a couple of quilt patterns in your purse in case you get held up somewhere). Life is about living—it’s what you make it. Not everyone lives in sunny 70 degree weather… but that doesn’t mean you stop living.

Resolutions for the new year--- Keeping it simple. Hoping for Lifestyle changes, not trendy ones. Daily exercise, eating balanced, reading more—less computer time and television, and of course Quilting….

Here’s hoping everyone in the New year can find ways to be grateful in all things…..

Happy New Year---From My Covered Porch…..

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Both of my kids are home-- bliss.... We've been cramming 6 months' worth of fun in the past 48 hours.
Here's a snapshot of them coming in from ice fishing.....

Last minute sewing is complete.  I didn't get half the projects complete that I dreamed over...but does a quilter ever really finish "it all"...

Sue sent me a surprise package-- a quilter's Christmas ornament.

That's a bird nest next to it.  I have about a dozen of them on my tree.
Michigan Christmas' are definitely filled with the Snowmen from her as well:

Here is s snapshot of our Mantle this year.  I made the wreath to fit on the window frame:

Mary knows the luxury of DMC floss and sent me a pin cushion and thread with the tiniest of stitches:

We're having our big Christmas dinner today -- Steak and Shrimp-- We're sharing the kids with Chelsey's boyfriend's family tomorrow  (a growth moment for me)We've have church and and presents to open tonight...
Safe travel for Family
Having those I love close
Health and a Home with a warm fire
Snow falling for Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

College Christmas Gifts....

It all started with this apron.. Chelsey is running with a group of girls that do Pinterest.  When I saw the apron I decided to make them for Chelsey and three of her friends.  I pictured a cute hawaiian print or a plaid--- Walmart was my first thought.  At walmart the shirts were still $16.00  each--- for something I didn't even know that would turn out. So off to Good Will I marched. Not a ton of options, but I found these
Think about it.. a man's dress shirt really doesn't get worn out. They get rid of them most of the time.
Each shirt became an apron:

Then I added a cookie mix.  Next trip to the store I found cookie cutters.  Then I found a spatuala for each-- the same color as their aprons.  Oh and recipe cards.... I had to get these wrapped and in the mail because I kept adding and adding... So much fun.

I did a sunday school craft that required mittens.  I don't knit and couldn't find any mittens so I found a $3.00 American Eagle Sweater at Good Will .
I cutt out pieces.
And created mittens for little kids:

Our office has an all girl Christmas supper.  You have to bring a ten dollar gift exchange.  No chance to sew, but I stumbled across some great dishes.

They were INCREDIBLY hard to part with... But they went to someone that would appreciate them with a note : Share Christmas with a friend....

My College kids will be home on Thursday. The tree is up.  The packages are wrapped and the stockings are full.

Bring on Christmas.....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lesson for Quilters.....

Ransom and Bruno posing for the Christmas card photo opp.  We almost lost Bruno this fall. I look at this photo and think-- wow, he might not have been in this photo.  Bruno is the pup Chelsey brought home.  She was going through alot-- our whole family was and it was a "coping" thing for her-- for all of us.  We nicknamed him "therapy" because he truly is just  that.  We laugh and say-- She could have brought home a baby-- it was just a goes on.

I was getting ready to go to my third class.  I brought my suitcase up and Bruno  tucked his tail and went and sat in his box.  Ransom and he were going to the kennel-- doggie camp we call it.  Ransom loves it so I know it's a good place.  Bruno just doesn't like change.  I called Chelsey and told her  that her pup was spoiled just like she was.  I laughed and continued packing.

Chelsey said, " No Mom, something is wrong -- I just know it.  I'm coming home and I'll taking them to the kennel."

"Suit yourself.  I have to go to class. Don's out of town. You can't have pups in your  apartment."

I finished packing and headed to church.

When I got home, Chels was there.  laughing--- saying , "Mom, maybe he is a little spoiled."  We had lunch and I headed to Madison.

Two hours into the trip, Chelsey called, Hysterical.." Mom, there's something wrong with Bruno you have to come home. Bruno is crying when he has to poop..."

Great -- a constipated Chiwawa/terrier. 
"Chelsey-- call the vet.  It's Sunday.  You'll have to leave an emergency message and they will call you back.You can do this."

"Mom, I hate you right now."

She called the vet. They thought she was as ridiculous as me, but agreed to meet her at the office.

They examined him and realized he had swallowed a thread and needle and it had gotten lodged in his rectum.  Yep....They apologized to Chelsey for labelling her as overprotective and removed it and gave him antibiotics and paid meds.  He could have died. It could have punctured his insides. She took Ransom to the kennel and smuggled Bruno to her apartment for 3 days until I got home.

I felt horrible.  But honestly, I probably would not have reacted as quickly as she did.
Lessons for quilters:  Count your needles - wow...

I had been doing the cellphone thing letting Don know what was going on.

"Mel, she knows not to spend 2000 dollars on the pup.  I mean, we love Bruno and all, but there are limits, you know."
"Don, don't go there right now.  Let me deal with it.  It's not the time for that right now."

After everyone's blood pressure went down.  I quietly asked Chelsey about the bill.  I had told her to put it on the credit card.  She said it was $262.00.

I decided texting it to Don was the best way to ease the "ouch" of the bill.

His response texted back to me:

" H e ' s    c o m p l e t e l y    w o r t h    i t. . . "

I smiled.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Catch Up....

Tucking away the fall decorations is complete.  I always laugh.  The table starts out with the quilt and candles.  It seems like everytime I take the pups for a run I bring leaves back.  Those aren't plastic. They're the real deal.  By Thanksgiving you just about have to rake the table it's so full of leaves...but they are beautiful.

I've been out of pocket-- But I completed the last of my four classes in Madison.  I am now certified in Supply Management and Procurement. Yeah, OK.. So what. But It's done and in my book, I had a blast touring quilt shops along the way. I met some great people--- I feel smarter just sitting at the table with some of them. And while I'm not a joiner or outgoing in any sense of the word--- I traveled and walked into those classrooms and didn't crumble...huge for me.

The pumpkin quilts are folded away until next year. I try not to wish time away, but I already look forward to harvest season next year.

1. My quilt cabinet
2. My glass of Iced Tea-- always in season, I'm from Louisiana.
3.  Email photos from my kids.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reading - Quilts

In honor of our quilt block project Sue sent me this awesome book.   It's Edyta Sitar's latest and she does a great job at getting to the heart of quilting.  It even came with a CD of quilt patterns. Completely enjoyed it and I keep going back again and again to go over pages of the book.  It's definitely not a "one time" read.

Before flying out to see my folks I had time for coffee at Barnes & Noble.  I love that it's ok to read things before you purchase.  I loaded up with books and magazines and narrowed  down what I wanted to take on the airplane home to Louisiana.  While I really don't buy into the Organic thing-- I loved this magazine.  I don't hate me.  I believe in taking care of the environment and eating right-- I just don't make my own compost.  I love the pages and in November I love to read stories about what people feel about home.  It's worth the purchase price to read about a home being priceless without costing a million bucks.  What caught my eye was this article:

I've always said Quilting is not just something you do - it's something you are-- You find patterns in everyday life.  You see color combinations in what ever you do.  You find minutes --even seconds --to put needle and thread in your hand-- not necessarily hours.  You know you're a quilter because when someone is happy or they're sad-- the first thing you think of is that they need a quilted something---- You may not have a chance to give it to them but you are positively convinced that a quilted object will capture the happiness for that person to hang onto or repair the sadness and loss that that person feels.  I guess I read articles on the subject because I want someone to put on paper exactly what I feel.  But realistically, it's something that everyone has to feel for themselves....

It's almost Sunday - Almost time for Packer Football - and Quilting.

Hop To It Block-- Each Block A Reminder

This is my Block for October from Edyta Sitar's Hop to It Book.  Hung from my Garden fence -- the rust leaves remind me of Fall.   This was the hardest block to do far.  Sue, Mary & I have been working on a block each month.  Each block reminds me of my garden and reminds me of them.

I'm jumping the gun on November's block because the holidays are upon us.  It's funny how the basket block falls on this month reminding us of the blessings we have and how thankful we should be. Without doubt---I am  thankful for my faith, my family-- Don, Eric, and Chelsey.  I am truly grateful for my home, my job, and my pups.  This time also reminds me the gifts I have in my friends---for Sue and Mary doing this quilt with me.  The gratitudes really stack up because I'm thankful for little things you don't consider everyday-- like walking, reading, and of course ---quilting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Soft Place to Land.....

This is the photo that started it.  I loved the quilt from the moment I saw it.  It was a Rail Fence pattern--- only better. I had planned on making Chelsey a quilt for Christmas. I had even purchased pattern and fabric.

What at one time seemed like a federal offense is now pretty common with me.  I changed my mind and decided this was the quilt Chelsey needed.

So here is the fabric---

Not what I would have chosen for myself, but the quilt is not for me.  It's for a fearless twenty one year old-- Incredibly brave--- more than I ever would be.

The blocks have been made

It's going to be bigger than the pattern and I haven't decided on the borders.
Yards and yards of ruffles have been hemmed.

And now the fun part begins-- The ruffles.

Tons of chores to knock out tomorrow... but hopefully more ruffles will be made.  

No Quilting Post......

Yes - I am among the living... I've even quilted some.  I just never have that camera around. 
But tons of stuff has been going on. 

First off--the photo.  I haven't worn heels in probably about ten years.  I completely lusted over these 3 inch heels. They have velvet ribbon and look spectacular on.  After about 3 months of lusting I bought them.  I bought them just because they were red and life would not be the same without these shoes.

We've had our first snow storm-- 6 heavy white stuff.  I was home alone and after trudging home from work I quilted the night away despite the flickering of electricty.

I went to Louisiana.  Vicki-- I ate my weight in Catfish and gumbo. My Mom is in better shape than I have EVER seen her.  She probably is because she has been taking care of my dad.  my Dad--- tough subject.  He's 82 and Pride bigger than Dallas Texas.  I walked lightly because more than anything else-- I knew that I didn't want him to dread me coming home and I didn't want him to remember me fussing about his health and what he needs to do to get better.

My MIL is coming Monday for thanksgiving.  It's going to be wonderful having family for the holiday.  More posts to come --- including quilt pictures.

Don't give up on me....I have really cool shoes....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall at my Home....

I sat on the porch Sunday afternoon and tried to take in the last few days of Fall. We have a chance of snow tomorrow night. It won’t stick, but it will be the preview of things ‘yet to come’.
(Yes, those are twinkle lights on the tree branch-- We're not "Hicks"---They are awesome on Fall nights...Everyone should have twinkle lights...)

I went to a funeral on Saturday. I also had a friend at work that lost her brother at 43 years old. So it was kind of a weekend to remember the blessings in my own life. I shared these mugs with Renee. My heart really goes out to her. I love anything by Bob Timberlake.

I have been wanting to share my pumpkin.

 I got it at the Farmer’s Market a few weeks back. I saw it and it was love at first sight. This farmer began telling me how to cook it and how good it tasted. All I kept thinking was, “Who Cares?!?!?!----This was a REALLY Super Cool Pumpkin.” It almost looked fake ----it was so perfect.

Acorns were scarce this Fall. There weren’t even enough for Sunday School Crafts. I found a few, but I think they were last year’s leftovers.

The deer started feasting on my hydrangeas so I cut them to save them for Christmas decorations for my tree.

Gratitudes Tonight:

Crunching leaves as I run the pups

Soup for Supper

Warm cup of coffee with Vanilla Creme

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Because Babies are Blessings....

Don works with a guy who’s family was having their 3rd baby. I didn’t really know them, but I decided to make a baby quilt for them. The clock kept ticking but so did the excuses not to make that quilt.

Don even asked, ”How’s the quilt coming…”

“It’s not. I don’t really know them. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. I don’t have the time to invest in it. I’m going to just pick something up…”

“oh…well ok.. It’s up to you…”

Then I felt bad. It seemed like he actually wanted to give them a baby quilt. So I opened up the fabric cabinet and used two partial layer cakes, Pure by Sweetwater and Lily & Will by Bunny Hill Designs and clearance fabric I picked up at JJ Stitches.

The pattern is For Baby with Love by The Pattern Basket. I was a little timid at mixing the pink in with the blue but I was pleased with how it turned out. The family had a baby girl—so it paid off.

I loved making it. Completely fun. Machine quilting took about an hour and a half.

When in doubt---make the quilt……

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More JJ Stitches...

I want to remember everything-- so here are more pictures from my trip to JJ Stitches in Sun Prairie Wisconsin...
I showed this picture to a friend this photo-- He said, "looks like Halloween..." Yes, But it will look like Chrsitmas next, Spring, Summer, Independence day--A table and chairs in the middle of the shoppe is a WONDERFUL thing...." I don't think he got it.?.?.?

I loved the bed frame....
So many samples to look at--- and I don't remember one from my last trip.... I thin they change them often....
The 'Baby room' was also filled with thirties prints-- They get an A+ in presentation....

I loved the colors....

I took photos of baby quilts because I need reminding quilts don't have to be difficult to be beautiful. and there's just something about a hand made gift.

The greateset shops have candles and potpourri bins.
I don't know if we talked about it but fat quarters filled metal pans. Some asked about pricing.  I don't get to go to quilt shops often. Yes, prices were a little more than on line but I guess I was willing to pay for the experience. And I know if I had trouble picking out fabric for a quilt they would help (great example-- next trip I'm bring my Hop to it blocks for sashing strip fabric).
They had a Christmas room filled with Samples patterns and the neatest red shutters...
There Christmas room had really beautiful fabrics....

Guys, It's not a huge shop, but it feels larger than life.

I have got projects to work on.  We're kind of having a wind storm-- having woods filled with birch trees, I think the boys and I are staying out of them today.  It just feel like the holiday season is coming.  I need to start thinking about projects.....