Sunday, October 11, 2015


I was ready to move onto the borders for Sunflower Gatherings.  I hadn't read ahead much.  Figured on cutting four lengths and beginning the last of the wool applique. I opened up the last package.

I purchased my kit directly from Primitive gatherings.  They are always good at giving generous portions as well as cutting tips when pattern pieces are tight.

I looked inside.  It's a pieced border. several  pieces to be sewn together.  It's really going to add to the quilt.  I guess I better get that sewing machine threaded, right?

Glue Sticks-- I baste my wool applique using Elmer's glue sticks.  I struggle with the steam -a-seam.  I've even taken a class directly from Lisa Bongean and I still struggle at making the pieces stick.  I end up losing pieces or the minute I start stitching that peel up.  The glue stick mounts the pieces well and has no impact on hand applique or machine quilting later.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bottom Rows....

I loved Sunflower Gatherings from the minute I first saw it.  A 2014 Summer Block of the Week program, I had to have been one of the first ten people to sign up.  I was enchanted with the dragonfly. The bright colors totally went with my home.  There's nothing like getting quilt stuff in the mail. It was like Christmas once a week-- every week during the Summer.

But my son got married, My job took some twists and turns. A season changed. Christmas projects came to the front of the line.  Who wants to work on Sunflowers with 3 feet of snow on the ground?

But alas, the snow does melt. Porch sitting returns and I was ready for handwork again. I didn't want to fund a new project.  My kitchen got the extra funding this Summer.

 I want to believe that I don't quit.  It's important to me.  So I pulled out the blocks. I realized I had more not finished than I had even sewn last year.  So I got busy.

The photo is a pictures of the final rows.  I'm going to sew them together --- Now On to the the Borders....

I hear rumors...Christmas Gatherings is coming out soon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

On the Eighth Day....

God Created Pumpkins....

I've never seen an ugly one....

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.....

The seasons are changing fast.... Autumn is in full swing.

I run my two pups daily and seldom do I come home without a leaf, an acorn, a dried branch of something.

A perfect time for quilts.  Quilts on my table, that ladder back of a chair, the foot of a bed -- Fall and quilts just go together.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Wool Applique

Hand work is my permission slip to sit still on the couch and listen to television at night.  Don doesn't get how I can be into a tv show without actually seeing it.  I don't know.  It just works for me.  I can't tell you things that happen if they weren't spoke, but I completely enjoy sitting close to Don while I do it.

I am a planner.  Holiday details, Work details, appointments -- I'm on top of it.  But when it comes to quilting I fall short.  Yesterday the strawberry quilt was proof.  A girlfriend wrote me and said I wasn't behind, I was ahead for next year.

I don't feel the Christmas thing  in June and it's hard to work on a pumpkin quilt at Easter Spring time.  But there's nothing more "Holiday" spirited that to look in the living room and see that wicker basket filled with the makings of a pumpkin quilt -- right now, in the season that it belongs.

This is a Heart to Hands Block of the Month quilt.  I just bought the patterns and I'm using wool I have on hand. The backgrounds I purchased quilt shopping with Carolyn my daughter-in-law, so I keep her in the loop on my progress. She doesn't quilt, but is the first to grab the car keys and take me shopping when I visit.

Every house should have pumpkins this time of year.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

And then there were Strawberries....

While it may not be strawberry season-- it is definitely a strawberry quilt cover-up season.  I started this piece in January with a couple of quilting friends. I believe one used thirties prints and one used Daysail fabric. Me, I chose 3 Sisters fat quarters. There may be some Fig Tree Quilts pieces as well.

Not my kind of quilt-- Not my colors.  I just wanted to make it with friends.  It started from a pin in Pinterest.  Every time I looked at the quilt all I could think of was the grandbabies I'd have one day and how I would bribe teary-eyed kids fighting taking  naps with dreams of Strawberry ice cream, strawberry milkshakes and strawberry milk and promises of each if they would just rest a few minutes under that quilt.

I really got to get me some of those grandkids.......


Friday, October 02, 2015

Lessons Learned...My New Kitchen

I thought it was going to be a four week project....It wasn't.  Try six months.   But it was so worth it.

Introducing -- My new kitchen....

The photos were taken from my cell phone.  My camera battery needs charging.
If you are like everyone else your thought is-- nice kitchen, but it doesn't look anything like Melanie.

Even I always pictured myself with this farmhouse white kitchen with neutral counter tops.  Don wanted a classic.  He said we were getting older and the upkeep on a white painted kitchen would be more than I bargained for.  This was his vision.  He lets me hang quilts -- literally all over the house, Window panes, cross-stitch pillows, and wooden signs have tucked in spots everywhere.  I decided I could charm any kitchen into something of my own.

They are Kraftmaid cabinets but my husband installed each and everyone of them.  He took each one off the truck and hung each on the wall.  He had never done it before, but learned things from dismantling the other cabinets and the internet --- he soon became a professional ...again working on this after putting in his 45 hours at the grown up job.

Things we learned along the way -- A Fifteen inch  plate rack is for plates smaller than 15 inches.  He modified the rack with carved scallops in the edges to make my plates fit.  

We started with a map of our old kitchen and discussed what we wanted to change --- what we didn't like about the old kitchen.  The floors of gray hickory, for a barn wood feel.

I have this paranoia about microwaves frying my brain when the microwave was above my stove -- so I moved it.  Don thinks it's too low the jury is still out on this.

The company wanted a fortune for a plywood backing on the snack bar.  Don bought cherry boards and built his own bead board wains-coating  for half the price plus it looks stunning.

Our house is a the definition of 'OAK-R-US', so it was scary choosing cherry wood, but we changed the door trim and baseboards in that room and it all blends just fine.

Spacers are important.  The Kitchen lady insisted we buy them and we could return what we didn't need.  She was right.

Crocks, quilts, cloth napkins,  wooden spoons, and a wicker basket or two cozy it up just right.

There hasn't been a lot of quilting.  I'm not much of a carpenter, but I was his sidekick for clean-up duty and a sounding board when he needed it.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

He has No Idea.....

Truthfully, he has no idea just how talented he is... We finished remodeling the kitchen. (Details-- next post).  With the additions and subtractions, we realized my buffet and dish shelf no longer fit. Trying to be grateful and not complain, I kept saying-- no big deal-- but in my heart I was dying.  I changed my dishes with the seasons and yes-- it's probably a sin of some sort, but I truly appreciate dinnerware of every kind. He promised me we would replace the furniture one day -- not to fret. All I kept thinking was-- maybe it was a sign that I was obnoxious about the plates and cups.

A Saturday a few weeks ago we headed to Green Bay -- the objective -- A china hutch.
Folks, there were none to be found.  There may have been a couple, but none would fit  the spot or match the kitchen.  I saw a Yankee Candle display--" Don, this is it. Just like this, but half the size and not red... I'll paint it another color.  His response, "Easy enough-- I'll build it for you".

This guy has already remodeled a kitchen this summer and has that grown-up job that finances our life.  He even wanted the drawers to have " Dove-tail joints-- so he bought a gadget and made them:

So between helping a friend remodeled their basement he worked on my project... He goes to work at 6:30 every day-- He even got up 2 hours early one morning to work on it.

The end result---- My Hutch.... The floors are gray hickory, so the hutch has a cherry top to match the kitchen cabinets and painted gray sides.

I'm completely bragging. Guilty as charged.  But when you talk to him about it, he only talks about ways he could make it better next time. These days I don't complain when he helps out friends-- as I did when I was younger--- because he truly has talent, a gift that should never be kept to himself.