Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Wednesday--

Got up at  5 A.M.
Worked Out.
Helped a Friend with some Bookkeeping.
Came home.
Pancakes and Bacon - The pups and I are dining alone...It's one of our favorites.
Made the weekly trek to the roadside with the Garbage cans( Tomorrow is Garbage pick up day.  I never complain about bringing it to the road -- I don't have to dump it, right?!?!?)
Oh yeah, did I say it was raining????
Stopped to check the mail.....
Rewards for my efforts....

Kicking back with a cup of coffee.

What I'm working on to relax this evening.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


So that I can have purple tulips when it is 20 below zero outside.

Now to get it on the quilting frame....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The story behind the blocks….

For me there’s always a reason.  A reason for choosing a color, a reason for cutting beautiful pieces of fabrics to only have to stitch them back again, A reason for wanting to make a quilt, every quilt.
In February, I went through a tough time. I’m not sure if it was the tough winter, my kids continuing to grow and feeling like I wasn’t, or maybe for a short period of time I was simply sad.  I attempted to doctor myself the best I could.  I studied my Bible – My source of strength and faith, I leaned on Don.  I tried not to lean on my kids.  But being a close family and even though we are scattered dots on a map, the day of intervention came.

Chelsey said it.

“Mom, you have to come out of the basement.  You have to come out of your sewing room and start living again.”

I had always considered my sewing room a haven, not a hide out.  So without the ‘Yeah, but’s”… I thought about it and regrouped. Maybe she had a point.  I wasn’t going to give up my quilting or my sewing room, but I needed a new perspective.

I started with extra snowshoe runs….I needed to work out the blues—literally.

I started with cleaning the corner cove of the basement saved for quilting and that included a bulletin board that held, patterns, ideas, envelopes from quilters, threads, needles etc.   After a trip to get copies of photos from my journal, and a half an hour on Pinterest--the end result was this:

I had a free pattern picked up from a quilt shop that long ago closed its doors, but was memorable enough not to be forgotten.  Not an entire quilt, no samples sitting beside it…..just a simple tulip block with one page of directions. 

I knew I needed flowers and after stripping wallpaper from my kitchen, I knew I wanted a shot at a color I had never used before – purple. 
After about a three week break – and a new attitude I ventured back to the sewing room and started making blocks. I've doodling out different layouts, even kicked around adding an extra color.

I’ve got flowers, real flowers in my yard right now – But I'm piecing this quilt for that reminder when I do need flowers and can’t have them.

Saturday Highs and Lows

The thrill of getting 30 blocks completed quickly left me when I Laid the blocks out and realized I need 32.

Back to the sewing machine...

Saturdays are made for quilting,,,,

A black-eyed Susan With dew on the pedals.....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pieced Blocks and a Memory...

The pieced blocks that accompany the wool applique blocks created weekly are four-patch blocks stitched together.

I need to sharpen up my embroidery skills because they will be used for curly vines and stems on each block.  I remember learning embroidery stitches as a kid.  My Mom had to work during my summer vacation after third grade.  We were going to have a high school girl take care of us while she worked 8 to 
5 every day throughout the summer. She got me colored pens and spiral notebooks and a printed pillowcase and Coats and Clark embroidery floss in ten colors.  She sat with me at night and taught me stitches and during the day I practiced on the pillow case.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Ninety Percent chance of rain and it didn't happen.  I'll be watering the garden this evening.

Here is my Primitive Gatherings stitch along.  I added the pink because I want it to be a summer piece and not look like Christmas.

My son has bought a home and we've been making trips to help with home maintenance and get him settled in.  We spent Independence Day there - so I'm still enjoying the Red,white and blue here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Kitchen Table....

The candle is held in the wooden bowl by dried black-eyed peas.  They were a gift from a friend who found them in a local grocery store. It looks like summer.

Here is block two of Sunflower Gatherings. Pieces aren't attached yet and there still embroidery to be added.  It has been a great summer project. Small and portable, and I feel like a have a win every time a block is finished.  Have you ever had a project that feels like you just can't finished?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reason for Doing it--- Number 642

 I do it faithfully every year.  I realize it is life-saving…but for some reason I always feel like I’m walking into a game of “Russian Roulette”.  Odds are--- you have been there. It's your mammogram. You know exactly what I’m talking about.  I hope after this email I can change your mind.

I had spent the week prior to the x-ray scheduling it and trying to do my “preregistration” to get through the process quick.  After literally six sessions of phone tag, I gave up on the preregistration and planned on being there at 7:00 ( the test was at 7:30 am).  Monday morning—even after all the gambit phone tags—I completely forgot about the appointment.  I’ve never done that.  Usually I don’t even sleep the night grandmother had breast cancer. My Mom stresses over hers and I always tell her, “ Mom relax.  It skips a generation, honest”  She always tearfully squeezes my hand.

Any way, I forgot the test.  Tuesday morning, when I realized what happened, I called the hospital and confessed and they set me up with a Thursday appointment – 8:30 am.  I set a phone alarm, and an Outlook alarm. Forgetting the appointment would not happen twice.

I raced to the hospital on Thursday; Visited with two nurses in the building, and after registration settled in my chair in the x-ray waiting room.  A woman sat across the 8 x 8 area along with a half a dozen other people.

 I first noticed her shoes:

I have almost the same pair.  We laughed and talked about the need for these ‘ kid-like tennis shoes’.  Then I go back to playing with my cell phone. I glance across the room and noticed she had a tote with tea cup fabric.  I laugh to myself  thinking, 

‘She looks like a quilter…’ 
'Melanie—you’re over the edge.  You are profiling quilters’...

Then she opens the bag, and starts to pull out needlework.  I think, ‘Nice… she does do embroidery…’ Then I look over and it’s the same Sunflower Gatherings BOM project I’m working on. 

 The world stops …I move over next to her and we start chatting away.  I met someone working on the same thing I was.

Then the nurse calls my name. The look of devastation must have been on my face, because the room full of people laughed. ‘ This will be the fastest mammogram in history ‘ I said.  I’ll be right back.

I won’t say painless, but it was quick and I went back and we exchanged names and email information and a promise to keep in touch.  We have written a couple of emails and she’s a Civil War style quilter and uses a treadle sewing machine for some of her piecing. 

She said it was Serendipityluck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for; a fortunate happenstance.

If I hadn’t missed the first appointment I’d never have met her.  She lives 20 miles away in a small town.  The odds of our paths crossing would have been very slim.

My fourth block is just about complete.  Summer travels have me behind.

Go get the mammogram…. 
For a ton of reasons...
especially because it could save your life.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Summer Time

Here’s a weekend check-in. Summer is full of living outside.  Longer days means garden weeding and flower bed watering.  The pups get walks in the woods as the seasonal wood ticks seemed to have died down quite a bit.

On my recent trip to Louisiana, I managed to squeeze in time for two  quilt shops.  Both shops brought ‘Southern Hospitality’ up a couple of notches.  

Aunt Nell’s ran a color coded sale that weekly a color was called out and any fabric with even a dab of that color got 20% discount.  The color on special the week I was there was cream. I purchased a couple of yards of fabric because--- well, just because.  It reminded me of Louisiana I guess.

The blue fabric is a Jinnie Beyer print that I bought In Grand Cane Louisiana.  I went to this shop that is literally up the road from Don’s Mom.  I went alone, I guess I needed a ‘ time out’.  I laughed and told family I was the ‘out-law’ among a bunch of ‘in-laws’. It was just a little time to talk with someone who could relate to me about quilting.

On Pinterest, I had pinned Reese Witherspoon’s antique find:

All year I have researched two-color quilts.  I think this is what my blue fabric will be used for.  I just have to pick out the pattern. Ideas? Blue and crème, or aqua and crème, or pink and crème, or maybe tan and crème.  I’ve studied the colors for six months. 
I remember when my kids were little --- road trips required a major feat….packing the activity bag.  Their bags were filled with books, crayons, notebooks and Game-boys.  Heading out Summer trips—I still pack my own backpack filled with entertainment for the long rides --- Don doesn’t want me driving.

Here are Backpacks for a quilter to love.  Walmart and Kohl's had the fabric carryalls by Union Bay that I could not leave behind.   One for quilt projects and one for the tablet I type on. My bible readings and a Summer read are tucked in.  With the exception of a Diet Coke I’m all  set.