Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending 2013.....

These are the first shoes I put on every morning and for 50 hard minutes they are worn.
Here's the elliptical machine that is the exercise machine of choice....and a treadmill in the background.  It's not the most glamorous of workouts, but it's good for my heart and easy on my knees.
My 2013 calendar looks like this:
Everyday I recorded Miles, calories and time of the workout.  The red marks are Puppy runs-- either snow shoeing or hiking in the woods.  The green scratch marks are reminders to myself everyday I have a needle and thread in my hands.  It reminds me that I do get to quilt-- more than most, and exercising doesn't take away quilt time.  If anything it gives me the energy to do it.

It's been a good year.  2014's calendar is waiting  to be tacked up.....

Monday, December 30, 2013

Change of Quilt Plans...

While I would like to think Quilting was my "full-time" job. But I realize that I work 45-50 hours a week behind a desk in an office building. Though there's a quilt picture or two pinned on my partition and a fat quarter or two stacked on one desk corner ... I have to constantly focus with gratitude that the job supports my quilting habit...my quilting hobby.

That being said, I have been doing deep cleaning in my sewing room.  I worked like crazy to get 3 Christmas quilts made by the calendar date I knew 364 days ahead of time.  I worked diligently at cleaning because I wanted to start a new project for myself -- a reward for things gifted away.  I had even narrowed the project down to two quilts (narrowed down from about twenty!!!).

As I cleaned I started folding and re-folding fabric.  I thought about colors and that quilt I was about to begin.  And then my plans changed. I saw blocks that I had begun -- The deal I made with myself is they are made from my scrap box-exclusively.

After I get about 24 of these babies complete I want to purchase solid color fabrics for the sashing and borders--- just like my Grandmother used to make. A couple at a time-- they are real easy -- and I'll have a great piece.

Back to the new project.  I have this bucket list of Quilters that I want to make one of their patterns--- Some people have towns they want to visit. I have quilters and their patterns to make.  Lynda Hall is one of them. I had pinned this quilt a while back.

  She had even responded to the pin.  I told her that if I made one basket a month -- in 12 months I'd have the quilt done.  Her response---" I can't wait to see what you make! No pressure lol!!"  I saw that pattern Saturday and decided it was something was going to try this year. It was fabrics that are being pulled from the stash, so there's no added purchases....maybe a backing is the very distant future. It's one basket a month.  My own Block of the month plan.

Tonight I cut out triangles.  The thought of sewing them together makes me nervous.  Triangle are incredibly tough for me. The practice should do me good.

The best part of winter..... quilting.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Like the song....Here's hoping  Everyone gets to be Home for Christmas...
'if only in your dreams...'
Blessings to everyone....
Merry Christmas....

Chelsey's Quilt for Christmas.....

A plain brown and cream piece---- don't give up on this quilt, I'm really proud of this. It's similar to one we saw on Pinterest and she commented that it would be perfect colors for her home.   She had just landed a new job in a new town. A perfect timing for a Christmas gift.

As time went on the Quilt began to mean more.  The boyfriend of over a year decided long distance relationships weren't working.  So the patchwork heart shows that the pieces can be sewn back together.

Moving to a new town can mean a new start but it can also mean alot of loneliness kind of like the single tree on this piece.  But the strength she's gained and the things she's learned has made her stronger.

Just like a tree changing, those green leaves come out in the Spring, change to gold, and even brown before falling to the ground -- She's changed into a great adult. And she weathers storms much better-- bending instead of breaking.

Merry Christmas 2013 - Chelsey..... You've got a great year ahead.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Thread....

Never thought thread made a difference.  It was always a chance to cut corners and save a little.  Then  a quilter shared a spool of Aurifil thread with me and life in the quilting world has never been the same.  So every year when an online sale comes out, the thread is a treat to myself for Christmas.

We're having a small warming trend in temperatures--- by that I mean it's getting above the 20 degree mark.  But I am faithful to remember those little guys out there with feathers.

I don't know how they do it....

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Stockings hang on the quilt ladder at our house.  I wanted Carolyn to have the perfect one.  I set off to the Goodwill store and with luck on my side found a second hand purple sweater with a single snow flake.  I brought it home and transformed with into a muslin lined stocking to fill with surprises...

Lucy, Carolyn's pup also came for the holiday.  Here's a photo reminding everyone, 
Happiness is that warm puppy'.

Carolyn, Lucy, Eric, Ripley, Bruno, and Chelsey.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Carolyn's Quilt...

We went hiking in the snow for quilt photos...Here is the quilt I made for My new Friend Carolyn...

I've never made quilts with purple.  Don gave me a stack of purple pieces for my birthday back in March.  When I met Carolyn -- a couple of months ago -- I new the fabric was meant for her.  Carolyn is dating Eric...

She's a special girl... 

I have all my kids home and we're celebrating Christmas with them.  It's not a date on a calendar, It's a date in your heart.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Two months later.....

No posting for two months....Life is busy.  But Christmas is here along with Quilts.   More posting to come.

For Eric....
For Carolyn...
and Chelsey's Quilt is on the frame.
Big photos when they are unwrapped.

Christmas photos too.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekend Reading

I love reading about quilters.... what they think about....what makes them 'tick'.  Maybe it's about the hobby.  Maybe it's to check my own sense of normalcy.  Or maybe it because it's this thing that runs through and through me and I just want to find souls out there just like me.

When I say just like me--- I'm not talking about just the common interest of applique versus patchwork, or even primary colors versus pastel.  It's about learning about someone that has a 'connection' with fabric. It doesn't mean they have do have a solomn oath to Jo Morton  or Creme fabric  has to be the main color of the project.

It does mean they appreciate that art of sewing fabric pieces together with needle and thread.  And whether the pieces are on beds, tables, or walls... they create a warmth of heart...at least for me.

That's why the two above books are on my nightstand right now. More than pattern books - they've taught me about tints and tones.  They've taught me about color combinations and why some colors work together and some don't.

But the parts of the books that I love and truthfully have read several times are how quilting enters all avenues if of their lives. It's almost like they were quilters before they ever quilted.

Proving once again that being a quilter and quilting is more than just doing something with cloth -- it's something inside you -- like being left-handed or right-handed... It's something you just are....

Read the books -- there's even a recipe or two in them. Whether you love Modern quilts or gravitate to the traditional ones...I think you'd love these books.

Sunday, October 06, 2013


Boots that would not be left in the Appleton Store... and scarf from Chelsey....there's something about the lace on both....

Saturday, October 05, 2013


Well, the weatherman got it right this morning.... Raining and cold... well 52 degrees.... Just kind of makes you hug your coffee mug closer. Here's my mantle this season...
That's a real pumpkin. I found it along a road side stand.... My pumpkins didn't make this year.
It looked painted.
And the other side is a bouquet-- compliments of Mother Nature.
Plans for the weekend---knock out the chores-- quilt, a baby shower, football, get ready for Eric.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Mended Heart ---

It may look like strips of red fabric....but it's going to be an appliqued heart for Chelsey's quilt.
I kind of like the idea of the red pieces being sewn back together to make one block.

Don has always taught me that even with a wooden board that breaks, with the right glue and pressure -- can be put back together and made stronger than before.

So it is with quilting fabric and Chelsey's heart... Both are being put back together to be stronger than before.

She's a tough girl, with the brightest of futures... and a Mom that loves her....

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Sunshine and Blue...

Don't you love it when the weatherman is wrong?!?!?!?!

At least for today -- we were supposed to have a rainy day and other than a 5 a.m. shower, we've had a partly cloudy 62 degree day.

My hand sewing project I'm working on right now is Sunshine and Blue by Kathy Cardiff. I started it last year and got the winter blues and decided it made me wish for weather I couldn't have....  I needed the wool piece for the water pitcher and emailed a picture to Cathi at Shakerwood Woolens and she sent me the perfect piece.  I completely trust her judgement.

I have worked on it in sections so I didn't lose the small pieces. The hand-dyed pieces made great leaves and blue berries.  There's another border I haven't added yet until I complete the handwork.

More snapshots to come....

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

On the Sewing Front.....

I spent the Summer on several projects-- not necessarily quilting.  My kids have this knack of bring stuff home they don't want, but aren't ready to part with.... I'm not complaining... simply stating a fact... and they get it honestly...they're just like me.

Eric basically hasn't lived at home for about 5 years.  Our home as just kind of been a pit-stop. I started cleaning out a set of drawers and a closet along with a couple of boxes of things that I decided he truly didn't want.  I started seeing a pattern of old tee shirts in every spot.  There were tees dating back to 2003.  It was a pretty safe bet that he had no intention of ever wearing them again,but I just couldn't see myself  throwing them out.

I gathered them together. Wash them.  Dried them.  Pressed them.  And started cutting them up.

I was going to make a Tee-Shirt quilt for Eric.  That way, he'd have the shirts forever.  Then I started researching all the tips I could find on making the quilt.  I read about several 'horror' stories and thought I may be in over my head.  I folded everything neatly and laid them on my sewing counter in my sewing room.

A while back I told Eric my plan-- He thought it was a great idea.  When I saw him over Labor Day, he even brought a box of tees to me and said - "  These are really sacred -- I want them in the quilt.  But be careful with them and if you don't use them -- I want them back..."

Great - I'm going to cut these babies up and be the story of scarring the kid's childhood memories....
I emailed a friend.  They said, Use light fusible interfacing-- that's the trick.  My Mom even said -- 'You can do it.'

So I tackled my first tee-shirt quilt:
 Chelsey told me she had always thought they were ugly, but the  black sashing strips set it off.
And while it may not be the most beautiful quilt in the world--- it IS full of memories... that High School Job, 
a Varsity Wrestling Team, The College Fraternity, the first 5K run, a Rock Concert.....Close to ten years worth of memories for Eric...

I have to get backing material and get it quilted for Christmas.....

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Summer's End....

A Pinterest project from this summer -- And my Apple Harvest.
Not just a sample of the harvest-- the entire harvest. We had tons of blossoms on our apple trees but a Spring freeze  killed the chances of fruit -- Except of the two above in the picture.  Somehow they managed to stay tucked away and protected from the ice by other leaves and branches.  I don't mind .  there's enough fresh apples growing everywhere else in the U.P. and Wisconsin that we'll get some.  

I picked these two -- and told Don,
" Enough-- one for each of us...."

Summer walks, Garden weeding, and flower picking are all over and the season now changes to Fall.
Though the seasons change the players in our house are still the same...
There's Bruno

and Ripley

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Playing Pinterest...

Chelsey and I found this project for Don to help us make.  Don handled the power tools and I did the sanding and painting.
It's a four-cubby box.

Daisies from the roadside.

Black-eyed Susans on the other side of the road.....
and Queen Anne's lace sprinkled in between.... It was forty one degrees this morning... But Summer is coming back--- 80 degree temps expected for the weekend.....

Monday, August 12, 2013

She Did It.....

Chelsey finished college.  She finished with her Bachelor's Degree In Business Communications with a minor in English.  She's started working in the advertising department for the CBS affiliate station in Marquette today.

Her school did not have the cap and gown ceremony for summer students. That didn't stop our family.  We drove up on Sunday and she  wore my 1984 Cap and Gown for photo ops and we took a few friends out to dinner.
There were some  several bumps and bruises along the way, but beginnings are very over-rated--- what matters is she didn't quit.... An education is something no one can ever take away from you..an awesome finish...

Hey Chels -- if you read this....you have no idea how proud I am of you......

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Views from the Porch....

It's been a cool Summer.  Great weather for flowers and grass. The garden has not produced as well.  I'm scared I may not have pumpkins or gourds this year.  We' keep you posted.

Daisies frame my garden gate.
I love this variety of petunia... the pink and red are stunning.

The Bee Balm is just starting to come out.  Being on the north side of a hill everything blooms later than other areas.
This is my first year with Butterfly Weed.  It's a perennial that I hope will come back.  Winters are so hard on them.

The Echinea plant has a steady crowd of friends hanging around....
The lavender boughs are tiny this year . The heat hasn't burned or bleached them at all.  You can see that while the Black-eyed Susans have not bloomed in the picture, Along our roadsides they have almost finished.

At the center of my perennial bed out back is this old chair. The ladle keeps bird seeds for the birds.  The ferns grow wild.  Thanks to Don's labor, it's framed with rocks that also 'grow wild' around our place.....

On the quilt front, the Baby Quilt is finished and delivered.  I love the disappearing nine patch.

  I did not want to find a distinct pattern, just wanted blocks to appear.

Sunday Morning Early sunlight.....

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Sunday Morning on My Porch...

Put it down... get ready for church... 

It would be easy to never leave this spot on sunny mornings.  Hopefully by this evening this will be on my breakfast table.  This is a Primitive Gatherings pattern -- doubled in size -wool onto cotton backgrounds.

The thermometer hasn't seen 80 degrees in over a week.  But I sleep with the windows open every night and a quilt on my bed.  The other night I awoke at about 1 am to rain and the sound of raindrops on metal gutters just singing away.  I smiled. Rolled over. And went back to sleep.  Better than lullabies.

I made blueberry bread yesterday.  So keyed up about having muffins earlier in the week and yet having another cupful ripe to bake with I forgot to photograph..  Who cares about diets... the blueberries make it 'good for you'.  I can just about justify anything if I try hard enough.

Days getting shorter.... I intend to make the most of this last month of summer.....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

On the Line....

It 's Saturday.  We've had a cool front come through -- a high of 73 degrees scheduled for today. 

It was a day at home...playing with the pups, vacuuming, dusting... all those things we would like to pretend happen magically.  If I'm going to do them I definitely want credit. 

The fun thing I did was cut out quilt blocks from the fabric above.  I usually talk to my mom and my mother-in-law on the drive into work.  I told my MIL that I planned on cutting these blocks out for a baby quilt this weekend.  

Her response:
"Man, you  folks have a lot of babies..."

Truth be told... these are the same blocks I have been planning on cutting out for a couple of months.  Things get in the way.  Summers being short -- quilting takes 'the back seat'.  I just couldn't spit out the words that I just haven't gotten around to it and this is the same project I keep dreaming out in office meetings, those church bulletins when I should be paying attention, and there's even that walmart receipt with  a doodle while I was waiting for a train one day.  

Life is busy.  Summers short.  But I think this is going to be a great Baby Quilt.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Afternoon...

The Machine quilting is complete.  I need to wash out the old marker lines.  But I'm tickled it's done.

One for the books--- a collage of fat quarters..Not my favorite quilt but a great one for keeping someone warm at night.

It reminds me not to quit and give up on pieces-- no matter how old they are.  I'm going to work on a brand new piece next...then back to finding another UFO. 

Summer is flying fast.  We're losing 2 minutes of sunshine a day...yuck...
I find myself looking for any excuse to be outside.  I live on my porch-- where I'm typing right now. Weeding the garden, watering flowers, running my pups... reading a book.  Just to listen to the woods.  Lawnmowers are completely insulting - unless they are push mowers...somehow they fit the picture.