Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lora's Quilt

Hand-stitching while watching Christmas movies over the holidays I got Lora's quilt finished.  I'll UPS it out tomorrow.

Her yellow walls and white cabinets will be the setting for this quilt.  Her farmhouse kitchen -- complete with fire place will make the perfect home for this piece.

 It may be late, But I did a much better job not being rushed by a date on the calendar.  I'll get another shot at it next year.

We showshoe'd twice a day for the last 4 days.  The trail is packed enough now to go without snow shoes.  Bruno has had a little trouble managing the deep snow with Ripley being a puppy and rough-housing him.  I got a puppy backpack for Christmas so Bruno rides until Ripley settles down a little bit. Plus I get an extra work out lugging an extra ten pounds.  Pictures to come soon.  

Tomorrow we have family coming from Florida -- but tomorrow I also turn back into a pumpkin and return to the office.  But that's life.  I'm grateful for the time off and grateful for the job at the same time....

Merry Christmas....

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
 for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
 like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
 the good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Norman Wesley Brooks

From my Covered Porch, I wish you not just presents under the tree, but presents in your heart.... And remember sometimes presents come in unlikely places and events....Kind of like thinking you are getting a labrador and ending up with something really special, like Ripley..

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Mom's Gift...

Remember these blocks?  Every Christmas I make something for my Mother. I should have done the Christmas gift throughout the year--- I didn't. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda....Next year.  I remembered I had these blocks and coupled with this fabric it will look nice on my Mom's Louisiana table.  I mailed their Christmas packages on Monday--- this got mailed a day later... But at 80+ years old I wasn't going to save it until next Christmas.  Some things just won't wait.

It's December now--- see the snow covered steps.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Gift Almost.....

Stacks of Blocks have been sewn into place to become this....

Tonight I sewed on a 6 inch border and made the bias binding.  I am holding onto the fact that my sister in law does not read about the daily quilting here, so I'm showing  pictures.  She's is arriving at my house on Wednesday--- 48 hours from now.   Logic tells me that time is running out.  I made an adult decision.  Last minute picking up, groceries need to be bought, a dessert or two needs to be made.  Oh yeah -- I have a full time job to go to every day.  The backing, quilt top and binding were gently placed in a box. They were wrapped with care and they are going to my sister in law to be unwrapped with the family this weekend.

 I'm pretty confident she'll give it back to me to complete for her... I wanted to do a good job - and I wanted to enjoy the quilting.  I know she'll understand.  I'm a lot harder on myself than she will be. Sometimes priorities  have to be realized and torturing my husband for the next 48 hours was not an option.

Family is coming-- not strangers that do not understand. Christmas is just around the corner...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Tabletop...

I saw pictures of this piece before I even had the magazine. I knew I was going to make it the minute I pulled the Winter 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects out of the mailbox..  When it came, I was immediately pulling fabrics from my fabric cabinet to put the quilt together.  Yes, I could have waited until I went to the Quilt shop and purchased similar fabrics from the magazine pictures, but no--- I was completely too impatient for that. I pulled and started cutting.

As usual, --life-- got in the way. Work, laundry, vacuuming--- all those things we'd like to pretend that don't have to be done.

In the mean time, Quilters started posting their finished projects--- the one.... that had gotten on the back burner due to 'life'.  Wow--- my fabrics were way off  from the Magazine photos, and just as far from  the internet quilters as well.  I started second guessing my choices.

They were cut out and wasted.  In my head, I thought it would all come together, but now I was having my doubts.

I decided to put it together anyway.  The more I sewed, the more stressed I got.  My quilting time is sacred and to be working on "a dud" was not O.K.

Then there was a turning point.  I took some snapshots and things didn't seem so bad.

Last night, I finished the project and I love it.  It doesn't look like everyone else's pieces and I'm kind of O.K. with that. Not everyone has a house in the Northwoods of Michigan.

I left off the moon and stars.  I didn't want to introduce another color into the piece. My appliques are wool scraps that I'm always talking about saving....and the binding is cut on the bias.

It looks like Winter without screaming, "Christmas", so I can used it a lot longer that 4 weeks a year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twelve Blocks-- Heart & Home

My BOM quilt has all twelve blocks completed.  I've got the winter ahead to put the border on and applique the vines. I love the Pup-- It was Ransom-- with his white paw. I should has purchased backing for it.  Next trip to Green Bay, right?

It's a wool applique piece from the Country Loft. It you have ever consider wool Applique-- try it... you'll love it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quilters' Angel....

I don't wear it every week, but most weeks you'll find it pinned on the left side of my sweater or jacket, close to my heart.... It's a pin, a Quilters' Angel pewter pin.  A 90-year old friend admired the pin and wanted to know about it.  It lead to a dear friendship.  Marion was a wood carver--- making pieces out of scraps of wood, just like I used scraps of fabric.
 She asked to borrow the pin as an example to carve for me.  Weeks went by.  I wasn't worried. I knew she was in good hands.  Marion told me a few weeks ago--she had failed, she didn't like how it turned out.  I told her I didn't care, I'd love to see it. So she gave her to me  last week.  So the piece will hang from my Christmas tree, complete with her thimble in her hand.   

My Quilters' Angel....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chain Piecing

Quilt blocks are growing, and there's 2 inches of snow on the ground.  I've been pressing the seams open as it makes machine quilting easier for me. Definitely a patchwork piece, I'm pleased with how it is coming along.

A Couple of quilt shops were closed on Friday when I went to Green Bay. Quilters' Connection was open with 20% off storewide and 5.00 a yard Kansas Trouble and Thimbleberries fabric. I got black perle cotton thread, a backing  for two pieces.  The red and navy piece just spoke to me.  If you are a quilter you know exactly what I'm talking about....

Back to work tomorrow. I loved the four day weekend. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I spent the day throwing out the gourds and pumpkins.  The fall leaves were returned to the woods from which I borrowed them from.

I did take my favorite gourds and pulled out the seeds and dried them for next spring. Don's response, " Will it work?" 

Well, I've see my Grandfather dry tomato seeds and my Mom did the same with flower seeds, so I have four different envelopes fill with different kinds of gourd seeds. Every time I shake them I think--- ' I have something to look forward to...'

Tomorrow I get to play in my sewing room....

Friday, November 23, 2012


Not the food kind..... but the pieces clipped from working on this project from the latest issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects....

Christmas Carols, Christmas Shopping, Christmas decorating.... It's that time of the year....

We had a dusting of snow  last night....just enough to give you that Christmas feeling.... 

Enjoy your day....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012

"Give Thanks no matter what..."(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Dried milkweed from my garden--- long passed the days of green leaves, pink flowers, caterpillars and monarch butterflies.  Just goes to show there's beauty in everything if you look for it.

I will get better in posting updates.  I have been quilting.  I've worked on some Christmas decorations and Christmas gifts.  I always want to post photos. But I leave for work in the dark--- and come home in the evening to the same thing.  So that leaves lunchtime forfeiting food and heading to the woods with the camera. I had one day when not one but BOTH camera batteries were dead.. but if I have to correct my own mistakes, I don't makes them a second time.

So in the interest keeping secrets---

These babies will be half square triangles I made using a new triangle method.

I plan on enjoying family, friends, and food today. I'm hoping to put a needle and thread in my hands some time. The one thing I will count on is appreciating my blessings-- my family, my home, my pups, my job, and my faith.......

Happy Thanksgiving......

Sunday, November 11, 2012


"Mom, you think you are overdosing in pumpkins?????".  That was Chelsey's comment last time she came home... Probably so, but I do love this time of year.  Once November hit the doorstep, I realized there may have been some truth to her statement.  So I have been rearranging dishes and quilts.

Two weeks ago, I was picking up the sewing room and looking at left over Hop to It border blocks.  They were 3 1/2" hourglass blocks.  I pulled out left over fabric and 2 fat quarters and made a Tabletop piece-- no pumpkins included.

The weather has been rainy and gloomy.... much too warm for this time of the year. I would much rather have the snow than the gloom.

Here is last month's Heart and Home Block.

The tabletop piece proved to me that I can still make Christmas gifts --- in time for Christmas.  I went to Marquette yesterday with Chelsey and picked up a couple of pieces that I need to get to cutting out.  I plan on throwing stash pieces with them.

I've got to buy my Turkey this week.  Look's like it's just going to be Don and I for Thanksgiving. Don said he didn't care-- We were still have turkey and dressing. *S*.... Two Points for Don....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pieced Star Blocks...16 of Them

I finished these Sunday--- Crummy weather has kept me from taking snapshots.  I don't have enough fabric for alternating blocks-- contemplated maybe nine patches...but I think I'll just save them until I can get back to a quilt shop.

I've mostly been doing hand-stitching at night, But I did manage one night of machine quilting.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Talked with Eric this evening. We try to schedule a Wednesday evening phone call each week to stay in touch.

Work is been tough--- just flying under the radar.  Then coming home to what matters....

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Morning....Priorities Straight.

Ripley had his last vaccination for a while this morning.  So Bruno and I load him up and were off to the Vet at 8 a.m. this morning.... This snap shot was taken today after the vet, a bath and all the doggy stuff ran through the washer.  Nothing like clean pups....

Next of the docket for Saturday---Weekly house cleaning-- you know the weekly vacuuming, dusting, bathroom ritual that we all would like to pretend happens by magic.  But first.... I played... I strung up the left over dried apples from last week's Sunday school project.

and I stretched and framed my finished project from Primitive Quilts magazine.

It had an embroidery stitch I had never done before-- completely hooked on it...just looking for another reason to use it!.
 Note:  I actually started AND finished a seasonal project in the SAME season.... A rarity in my life. But--- I accept it and move on-- and it doesn't stop me from projects.  The Winter issue is out--- I've seen pictures of a snowman project I'm just dying to make.....

Now I'll do the housework.... 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Starry Mornings - Early....

Wednesday Morning Don had to be at work at 4:30 AM....So the clock was set for 3:50 am. But you know what it's like when you have an important reason for getting up early... you can't sleep.  You worry you will oversleep...Consequently, our house was up at 3:30 am.  Ripley and Bruno thought it was wonderful!!!

After the initial fit of, " I'm going to die if I don't get some more sleep.." Don assured me that I would live.  It was a choice to make...lay in bed mad at the world, or take advantage of the time..

I opted for a 3:40 am date with Cheerios.  I blew off the work out, and jumped in the shower for clarity.

Then I headed down to my sewing room. Radio playing in the background and puppies wrestling on the carpet I had about an hour and a half of quilt piecing.

Here are the end results:

When I was plundering through my old stash and scraps I found this old Sunshine and Shadow Thimbleberries print that I may calculate and see if I have enough for alternating blocks.  I am working on the stars with a quilter who doesn't blog.  We are both using the Temecula project to work on piecing skills.

So while I did go to bed early Wednesday night --- the day getting up early was completely worth it.....

Monday, October 08, 2012

Monday Morning...

The pups have been heaved into bed with Don..... The three of them are all sacked out.  I've got a big mug of coffee and a few minutes to chat.....
The Great Pumpkin is almost complete.  I have 50 orange berries to stitch around. The original in the 2012 Fall issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects had more of a solid homespun  background - but I used what I had -- I like the plaid.....

Leaf raking is on the docket for this week after work.  Dividing the yard into sections, I'll have it complete by the weekend-- as long as I have good weather. 

I'm going to work with a good attitude today( who am I trying to convince-- you or me????)
 with an hour of Star piecing tonight.

Eric, Chels & Don all traveled this weekend.  Everyone is safe now in their own homes.
Cheetos & Diet Coke
Ripley sleeping through the night...

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Best Day.....

The Mail box held gifts from Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs.  There was a drawing last week on their blog and I was a lucky girl.  I have a bucket list of quilt designers I want to meet and the girls of Blackbird Designs are on it.-- Given a choice I'd rather meet quilt designers than movie stars--- I'm a dork. This is their new line of fabric.  Cinnamon Spice.  As much as design and color--- the names of fabric lines are important to me.  Even better if there is a story to go with it.

Chelsey came home for Friday and Saturday.  She calls it 'Playing Pinterest'. We go to Pinterest and pick out something fun to do.  The weather was crummy - so today we made homemade puppy treats.

Today was a holiday. It marked Ripley's first snow.

Ripley catching snowflakes with his tongue....

And there's Ripley and Chelsey with Snowflake kisses....

I've stretched my Hop to it quilt on the frame and begun quilting it.  There's hand stitching watching old movies now. My pumpkin piece is over half done. And still another day off... Life is good.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Cottage Flowers

My check list is complete:
Pups' Breakfast.Check.
My Breakfast. Check.
4 Miles on the Elliptical. Check.
Shower. Check.
Make the Bed. Check.

Now I have a few minutes to have coffee and chat.  Keep in mind-- between every step was bathroom breaks for Ripley and tons of hugs for both.  They are my shadows....

Cottage Flowers - These never go out of style and are never out of season.

These are possibly the best examples of needle turn applique I have ever seen.  And I didn't sew a stitch.  I received a complete set of them from Karen. She made an extra set and asked if I would be interested in having them. I was overwhelmed.  When I received the blocks I had star blocks already cut out and a bundle of border fabric.  The generosity of quilters is something special.  I can't even get these down into my sewing room.  I keep them on the corner table and just study them. The applique --- I can't even see stitches...something to shoot for. Again Karen-- thank you ever so much.

The leafs rain daily off the trees in the U.P. as the Color Peak has come and gone.  
Bruno helps with photography.
'"Hello, My name is Ripley-- and I get into mischief."  No hate mail please.  That collar will save his life, because we have deer " like dogs" in our neck of the woods.  He runs into the road chasing them-- The car wins and Ripley loses. I think he's going to be easy to train.

One last picture...
Yep - I'm the dork that loves the leaves being blown into the Covered Porch screen door...It's a beautiful time of the year...

Monday, October 01, 2012

Frames and Mail....

I received a gift I won from Country Loft Quilt Shop. Truthfully I would have been tickled over the crow tissue paper (completely cute!) But I also receive 3 fat quarters of Lynette Anderson fabric.  I've bought fabric, patterns and 3 BOM clubs from the shop. Their packaging  is as nice as the product itself.

I worked on my Pumpkin project yesterday.  Don built me a frame from some lumber he had lying around.  I'm going to paint it black--- sooner than later.  It's warm right now, but there's a chance of snow this weekend.
I cut the Bittersweet out of different colors of orange-- just like I see it on vines.  I thought the frame building was no big deal.  After all, the picture look like 4 pieces glued together.  But Don brings it to a new level...with lapped joints.  

I had delusions of taking notes....and using power tools... and learning to make my own...I'm kind of snickering as I type this..... I think I'll let him be in charge of frames for a  while longer.

The Great Pumpkin....

My handwork for NFL Football on Sunday Afternoon. The Orange wool pieces are from Shakerwood Woolens .  Cathi does a great job with her hand dyeing.  I have even emailed her patterns and said I needed something to go with a part of the pattern and she hooks me up. 
The Ghourd harvest is done and it was a great crop this year. Fun and easy to grow-- just left them climb fences....

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses

Last weekend I headed to Green Bay. Quilt shopping was on the 'to do list', with strict objectives== two backing for the projects I was working on. Backings are no fun to buy...because they are just it.... backings. I said it over and over again.  You've been there. You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Two backings.

I failed at achieving the objectives--sort of. I did get a backing for the Hop to it Quilt, but the black fabric were just too pretty to pass up.  She was cutting the packs up while I had my bolts of fabric set up to get cut out. I knew I had a certain dollar amount to spend - and convinced I could find a sale fabric on line or maybe piece something together with fabric I had at home (You're a  quilter, you know the reason we justify buying fabric we have no plan for what so ever!!). I haven't even untied it yet.  I just love looking at it for the sake of being beautiful fabric.

Every year I tell myself I'm going to do it. I'm going to plant bulbs.  It gets cold early, I get busy with life, I'm generally tired of gardening by this time of the year. I always regret come Springtime when the feet of snow start to melt.  This year is different. No procrastination---This packaged came in the mail this week.

It's filled with tulips, buttercups, and allium....pink, yellow, and purple. The tulips are planted in the garden.  The fence protects them form the deer.  Buttercups have a smell the deer do not like so they are in the porch side perennial bed. The Allium is sprinkled among all of them.

Don't put it off.  It's planting season.  Come Spring you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Welcome October.....

Saw a decal picture in Country Living Magazine--- I'm way too impatient to wait for it to come in the mail.  Postage is appalling as well, so I drew me a crow and painted it myself. 

This is my Heart and Home block for this September.  Fitting,I have it clipped to a turning Maple tree.  Though I work 7 to 4 every day-- my heart never leaves here...Just like the quilt block... My little brown house in among the Maple trees in the U.P.

Gratitudes-- A picture perfect weekend...
Bake Potatoes cooking in the oven--Supper is steaks off the Grill
My Family, My Pups, My Quilting...(throw in the lap top and credit card life is just about perfect)

Ripley Watch.....

He's four months old and Forty pounds.  He thinks he's as small as nine pound Bruno and Bruno thinks he's as big  as 40 lb Ripley.

He got his Rabies vaccination yesterday - so Now he's has 'Bling' on his collar.  

And Guess what??? We've figured out what exactly Ripley is (Aside from lovable)...
His Mom was a Lab Beagle Mix.  His dad was a German Wire Hair Pointer....Google it and you'll get it.  We've had purebred dogs before, But we think he's a Rock Star in his own right-- no papers needed...
To keep this a quilt journal-- fair and square-- here's the quilt part..
Carol showed me this Scrappy Stars Along with 12 inch blocks.  Determined to whittle down the scrap box, I figure two blocks a month, I'll have a quilt in no time.
These are the Volunteer Mums that came back form last year. I just let them go wild this summer even though the rest of the flower bed was filled with begonias-- my flower bed-- my rules---.Now the begonias are gone and I have fall flowers left....