Saturday, May 31, 2008

Daily doily...
I wish I could make a doily a day... probably could if I didn't, you know, have to tend to my tummy and that of 9 other people and such! I finished my first doily, ever, last night. I think that' it's pretty impressive, seeing as it is my first-ever project! I could never follow a pattern- all those numbers and symbols were just too overwhelming. This graph pattern system makes much more sense to the visually-inclined person that I tend to be! My Mom is coming in a week and a half- along with two of my favorite sisters, so this doily is for Mom, she has a beautiful oval, oak, coffee table. Crocheting has been the perfect mindless distraction that I've been needing during some stressful times here on the prairie. Oh, nothing major, at least it shouldn't be, but I am just... having a difficult time coping.
So imagine me out on my porch- I have an old tumble-down porch off of my bedroom- and there I sit, crocheting with two little cats- Genesis and Exodus- in the seat next to me. Chain six, single crochet. The wind is blowing at a fierce pace- bringing the rain our garden is needing. Chain six, single crochet. Two teen boys are walking into the wind, their brown shoulders braced, they wave to me- I send Jacob out with water bottles- you should have heard the glad "Dude! Thank you!" Chain six, single crochet. The wind blows through the trees and our black Lab, Shadow, joins in on the crochet time. The cats force her off the porch- she's too hyper for their taste. She is happy to lay in the tall grass, tongue lolling. Chain six, single crochet. A call to my Mom. Chain six, single crochet. The little ones bring me a freezie. Strawberry. Chain six, single crochet. My neice stops in for a short visit. We sit on the porch, together. Chain six, single crochet. Jacob is laying in the tall grass with Shadow and John has pulled some catnip- the cats are purring and rolling on the porch- wallering. Chain six, single crochet. Somehow I put one too many rows of that chain six, single crochet combination...imagine that. It was a very sanguine evening. Just the way it should be on the prairie.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's more than ccCooORN!!!!
in Indiana! At Indiaaaaanna Beeeeach!!
We just had our annual day at Indiana Beach. No, it isn't a beach- well, it has a beach... it's complicated. Indiana Beach is what they call a "retro-park." It is an older park, with roller coasters and rides, but also arcades. Maybe like a Coney Island- it's from the same era. We have been going every year for the past 12 years and this is the first time it rained. But most of the day was dry, so I'll not complain. The kids wore themselves out... OK, they wore me out. Abe got to ride the carousel, and the flume ride with his Dad. This will be his last year to ride all the little rides- He'll be riding the coasters, next year- he can hardly wait! Just 4 more inches to grow. How do they do that? The picture in the van has most of the older kids(all cousins, but one blonde) that went with us- a couple are missing. We just make a day of it and come home late, tired, but happy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!!
It's something of a red, white, and blue day. I made this little block in between time on my soldier quilt. Lots of HST- which I kept getting twisted in the wrong direction! I even had to unsew some. But all's well that ends well. Not one batik. It happened. I'll be quilting it up for my friend Sandy- to thank her for helping me with the crochet. I am enjoying that so much! I'm on row 20 of a 29-row doily. And it's still looking like the picture. Amazing.
Picnic planned for this afternoon. I made macaroni salad, last night. It doesn't taste like my Mom's, yet, but I am hoping that after sitting in the fridge overnight, it's had some time to reconsider and has shaped up its act. I also got a good start on potato salad. That one, I can do. Fixed some chili sauce and will fill the crockpot with hotdogs and chili for the kiddos. Then there's the sausages and sauerkraut- the older people like that. And then I'm going to make a few batches of cookies and a Texas sheet cake- chocolate. Or maybe a spice cake with applesauce. Then, I'm gonna sit outside- hope it doesn't rain- and watch my kids play.
Have a blessed day and be thankful!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Yep, even the binding is on. I cheated on the label- just wrote on the backing- sweated I'd spell something wrong... but figured I could always just cover it up with a real label in just such an emergency. Turned out fine, though. I went ahead and washed it for him so it'll be ready to go! Hope everyone has a great weekend! See ya on Monday!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Got that soldier's quilt put together. I think it turned out pretty snazzy. Got the back sewn up. That's the cream colored fabric there. It's a Debbie Mumm- and is so soft! (I avoided using any true white- he has been sending pictures of dust storms- he says they are like sand storms only no wind- just like someone is dumping truckloads of dust. Says it does drop the temps 10-20 degrees- but it gets into everything! So it's red, tan, and blue, for him.)
Even got it on the quilting frame, yesterday morning, with the help of my sis. Well, we chatted on the phone while I pinned- makes that particular chore go by so much faster! Any excuse to talk to her, dontcha know! I plan on getting that all quilted up, today. Hopefully. And put the binding on. I wanted to use that border fabric for the binding, but I just wasn't impressed with the quality- seemed a little thin, so I'll be binding with the red or the blue. Which do you think?
I admit, I've been a distracted quilter, this week. First, I worked on a doily for a couple hours and then, well, I think I was missing HST because I saw this pattern in a magazine- you know how it is, you see a pattern you just have to try- just one block... But wow, this one block... I'm doing a red, tan, and blue version- just because that's where I am. Maybe I'll get that done, today. It's rainy out and that always seems to help when it comes to buckling down and getting some work done. Who am I kidding? Work? hardly. But don't tell anybody that I'm really just having fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bread baking days...
Funny thing happened last week... yeah, I was tired of looking at the back of my head! Anyway. DS Jacob(15) loves white rolls- they all do, but I seldom make them because... well, I have a sneaking suspicion they aren't so good for you. But I finally caved and made him some. Alright, I made enough...for everyone in the county!! I don't know what I was thinking! Probably this sinus infection, rotting away my brain. I am getting better, by the way. This is what 12 pounds of flour will get ya- just in case you were stuck with only 12 pounds of flour and you were wondering how far it would go. Trust me, it goes and goes and goes... So I made two big trays of rolls. And then we made a big pan of cinnamon rolls and a couple smaller pans of cinnamon rolls and then I just gave the girls a couple handfuls of dough to play with! The cinnamon rolls aren't baked in this picture, because the kids couldn't wait to dive into the dinner rolls. They like a little bit of powdered sugar and cinnamon mixed into their butter- in for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. Darcie, this is the recipe that I got from your Mom- figured she'd get a kick out of my compulsive overdoing it!!


  • 2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 egg, 2 t. salt.
  • stir together and add 2 t. yeast and slowly add enough flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • Knead for 8 minutes and round up in an oiled bowl.
  • Rise and punch down.
  • Rise again.
  • Shape into rolls. (We roll ours in butter- I told you they weren't healthy!)
  • Bake at 375* for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Our HUGE amount of rolls was made from 12 cups of water- so if you multiply this recipe by 6, you should have enough rolls for a very, very hungry family or a rural county.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

middle of the week. And I am already tired. Not a good sign. I made a deal with myself that I would spend at least a portion of the day in bed. I just have so many things to do... but getting over a sinus infection tops the list, so I rented me a big ole stack of movies and as soon as I tote the kids to and fro from violin and piano lessons, it's the bed for me! So why are you staring at the back of my head? Daniel took a picture of my new locks so my friend Donna could see what I had done. Yes, I have bedhead, but I promise I have not been spending too much time there!
I got the rows of my soldier quilt sewn and now I just need to join them together. And put the borders on. And quilt it, and bind it.... so many steps to get to the done stage! Hope everyone can sqeeze in some resting time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Progress report...

I had an easy time finding what I was looking for at the fabric store, yesterday. I don't know why that is, but when I decide to make a soldier quilt, things fall into place very easily. No dithering on whether this is the right shade or if I have enough contrast, too feminine, too masculine, too stupid... nope. It all just works out very smoothly.

I am supposed to be working on a secret project- and you should see the distress I am in over a stupid little three-color combination! Now, true, it is for someone else that I don't know all that well. Then it has to suit her and not me... and trying to think like someone else... well, it can be a trial, that's all. And I get all overwhelmed at the LQS and pick something out that might not even work at all. See? It's a problem. My friend Sandy says you should just do what you like and hope they're not picky... I suppose I see her point. I'm trying for the middle ground- something I like but think she will, too. Maybe it's all too much thinking!

The soldier's quilt is going along smoothly. I bought all my fabric, yesterday morning. I found three out of the five I needed at Hobby Lobby and bought the last fabric and the backing at Joann's. So there shouldn't be anything to keep me from finishing it, except pure orneriness. And that should be sufficiently squelched as it's all for a good cause.

The three youngest children decided they wouldn't mind hanging out with me and I enjoyed their company. Makes me feel very young when I have my youngest children out with me! I took them for a quick lunch before heading home. There was a baby in a carseat who was jabbering really loudly- you know how 6 month olds are- they are just discovering their vocal chords. Abe couldn't see the baby, but he could hear her. Next thing I know, he is hollering as loudly as he can, "Is that baby alright?!!!!" We all busted out laughing! I guess he was worried. He got an invitation to check on her, himself. Then he settled down to eating his taco.

I had the quilt cut out in 15 minutes- I love my quick-cut ruler! And I had all my blocks sewn up in about 2 hours and now all I have to do is join them together! woohoo! A very easy pattern. Better get to it. I have a day wide-open, as violin lessons were postponed until tomorrow. Jacob had some help slamming his finger in the van door- hoping another day of resting it will help with the soreness. Have a great day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

That kinda says it all, huh?

John decided to make a thank you pillow for his Aunt Isobel. He had a blast once he understood the concept of wonky! He made all the letters, and sewed them together and I just set them in the green fabric and doodled up the pillow with some quilting. It is so cute! She's gonna love it. I have decided that I might make some for my couch- I rarely have throw pillows on the couch, because it just becomes part of the daily chore to pick up the pillows from the floor. What is so hard about keeping the pillows on the couch, I ask? But I made this little pillow cover removeable and so it washes up nice- we prewashed Aunt Isobel's- like that wrinkle-dy look. So... What shall I write on my pillows? I think it would be cute to write out all the little things that we say a 1,000 times a day. Like, "Talk Sweet" "Be Nice" "Love You" and "You're A Buggerhead"- what you think that one isn't quite right? Well, we'll see... Maybe one should say, "Please don't throw me on the floor."

I'm off to the fabric store, today. I have an urgent soldier's quilt to make. You guys know I usually take months to finish a soldiers quilt, but I am determined to getterdone, this week! He is already "overthere" and while the temps are over 100, he says he gets cold at night- can't have that, now can we? I have decided on the coffee time quilt that my Mom made in green- only I'll being doing it in red, white, and blue- hopefully. We'll see what Hobby Lobby has to offer. Hope everyone has a great week with sewing fit into their plans!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A story by Rebekah, age 7

Once upon a time...

there was a beautiful princess. She lived in a beautiful castle, surrounded by beautiful things. Everything was shiny and sparkly. Princess Elisabeth had a closet full of beautiful dresses. There were pink dresses and purple dresses and yellow dresses and green dresses. Each one was more beautiful than the next. But Princess Elisabeth had a favorite beautiful dress. It was white and pink and light purple and Princess Elisabeth insisted on wearing it everyday. Each night her sweet maid would wash her dress for her and hang it back in her closet along with her other beautiful dresses and each morning Princess Elisabeth would wear her favorite beautiful dress that was white and pink and light purple.

One day, while she was going for a walk, she saw a beautiful tree filled with beautiful apples. Princess Elisabeth thought they would make a beautiful apple pie. She loved apple pie. She ran back to the beautiful castle to get a beautiful basket to pick the most beautiful apples. She climbed up into the apple tree and very carefully picked the most beautiful apples she could find. Beautiful red apples, with no spots and certainly no worms. But as Princess Elisabeth was climbing down from the beautiful apple tree, she torn her favorite beautiful dress! Princess Elisabeth stared down at her favorite white and pink and light purple dress and she began to cry because it wasn't beautiful anymore! What would she do? Princess Elisabeth sat down beneath the beautiful tree and cried beautiful tears.

A soft voice asked her why she was crying and Princess Elisabeth explained that her favorite beautiful dress was torn and that it was no longer beautiful. She then looked up and saw some one who wasn't beautiful at all. Before her stood a little old lady with a wrinkled face and frizzy gray hair. Her teeth were all gone and her back was all bent. Princess Elisabeth thought she wasn't beautiful, no she wasn't beautiful at all. But the little old lady sat down on the ground beside her and opened her big bag. Inside there was a rainbow of beautiful colors. Scraps of fabric and snips of thread. Rummaging through her bag, the little old lady found a piece of beautiful fabric with beautiful flowers on it, all white and pink and light purple. She quietly stitched a patch on the beautiful princess' torn dress. And as she sewed, she spoke in a soft voice that Princess Elisabeth thought was beautiful. And as she watched her torn dress being mended, the little old lady became beautiful. Her wrinkled skin began to glow and her eyes became all shiny and sparkly.

"At first, you weren't beautiful, but now you are! How did you do that?" Princess Elisabeth asked the little old lady. The little old lady began to explain how true beauty is in our hearts and the kind things that we do for others. And true beauty is in our eyes and when we love someone, we always see them as beautiful. Princess Elisabeth loved the beautiful old lady and she took her home to her beautiful castle where they ate a beautiful apple pie for dinner. Her most favorite beautiful dress was always mended and patched and she still thought it was beautiful.

picture by Evabeth, age 9

picture by Abraham, age 4

Friday, May 16, 2008

What? This doesn't look like a quilt shop?

There's a perfectly good explanation for that. Well, I did go to a quilt shop and it was packed full of lovely fabrics, but I am having to get to work on a secret project so... no "show and tell" on that score. Sandy and I did get a little quilty-type stuff done... I showed her how to make crumb blocks- she loved that! I cut out ten more blocks for my feed sack quilt- which Sandy sweetly provided. We looked at some fabrics and patterns... and then I noticed all these doilies lying around.

She had a washer full of them! I lamented that I would never be able to do such a thing as crochet anything with a pattern, because I can't make sense of the patterns! At which point, she dragged out an old magazine and showed me these English charts for crocheting doilies. Have you seen these? It's like following a detailed picture. Very cool and even I seem to be able to do it. Well, then she grabbed a roll of string and a tiny hook and showed me how to make these adorable coasters. I think my sister needs a set of them- the white is right up her alley! I had a blast making it- didn't take very long at all! The hardest part was learning to hold the thread and the hook like someone else, but I was determined- I don't think I ever learned the correct way of doing that, and since she is such a fast crocheter... I felt it was worth the effort to do it her way. A better teacher I've never had- you know how some people can't describe what they do? She didn't have that problem and she really didn't make me feel like a total clutz with that itty bitty hook- which I was, but she was sweet to not say so! I made a good start at her house, but once I got home and scrounged up my applique glasses- things slipped into place so much easier- amazing what being able to see that tiny little hook can do for ya! And after I get done with the coasters, I'm going to try my hand at a bigger doily. Dh's mother has boxes of really cool variegated threads, which she doesn't use anymore. Now if I can only find them in that storage bin of a house! Am I going to give up quilting for crocheting doilies? Nah, but it is a lot of fun and it will be nice to have something to tote along in my purse. But now I think I need a bigger purse...

It's also the time of year that the green houses open their doors and show off what they have been working on since Xmas! I love walking through them! The smell and all that sweet oxygen they give off! This market had three large ones and I found this tiny white flower that had to come home with me! I can resist anything but a tiny white flower.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I have a playdate with my friend, Sandy. We're meeting for breakfast and then we are going to a quiltshop and finally back to her house to sew for a while. Doesn't that sound just lovely? I love starting my running days early. Seems like you can get a bit more into the day. And speaking of loverly... Aren't these fabrics fabulous? I'm starting a new line in my stash- the Light and Airy Collection! Yes, there are a couple down on the left end that are a little more on the Dark and Earthy side, but I'm not having a total personality transplant, ya know! I got a great deal on these- I didn't pay more than $4 a yard for any of them. And they are very nice quality. Well, if I'm gonna get to my morning cup of tea on time, I gotta run! Hope you all can squeeze some sewing into your day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What shall I post about, today?
Well, it is my Papa's birthday. He's 65. And official senior citizen. How cool is that? My Mom was talking about how neither of them expected him to make it this far- and I thought that was a bit morbid, but sadly true. He had his first heart attack at 47. So he has plowed through a lot of difficulties to get here, and a tougher man, you'll never meet. Makes Clint Eastwood look like a sissy. Funny thing about him though, he's a real renaissance man. Guess what his favorite movies are? Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables- he's got a very sentimental heart. I've never heard him raise his voice in anger- oh, yeah, I've heard him raise his voice in excitement, that's what this familiy does, we get excited and we start talking really, really loud. You guys know how the littlest things fascinate me... it's safe to say, I got that from him. He knows lots of stuff and still he is constantly investigating a whole lot more. There's not much he can't fix, and he's even got a real talent for helping you fix it while talking to you on the phone! My refrigerator and clothes washer are still chugging right along, thanks to him and Ma Bell.
He does have a little defect, and I wouldn't be fair in portraying him to you if I didn't make mention of it. He likes to write letters. How is that a problem? Well, it's not- when he is writing you a letter and he's telling you how much he loves you and how proud he is of you and how he wants you to keep loving God, putting Him first, and raising His grandchildren in that faith... but if you are the president of the United States or the Governor of West Virginia... well, I am sure my Papa is on some sort of list that I don't even want to know exists. He is a straight shooter and he'll let you know when he thinks you are messing up or if something is messed up that you should know about. I'm pretty sure they have a task force assigned to him. "Got another letter from Wayne ______"... can't mention his last name 'cause that might get me on "the list" and I work real hard at layin' low. So Happy Birthday Papa!! May you have many more!
(Flower: Star of David- I didn't even notice that little bit of fabric matched exactly until I saw the picture on this screen. These flowers are bulbs and grow all in our grass here. They only open when the sun is shining.- just a little more information for Papa.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nines' break from reality...

Usually that term contains the word "psychotic," but I don't think there's any need to get nasty here, do you?

Most of you know that I don't "do" tedious. I once said that to a friend, and she laughed in my face and said, "Oh no, you just cut fabric up into little pieces and then sew them all back together. Not a bit tedious." Ok, maybe she has a point. But there's tedious and there's tedious. If one of my necklaces get tangled- it hangs on a hook until one of the kids takes mercy on me and untangles it. I just don't have the patience to sit there and figure it all out. yuck.

And I don't cut out tiny little pieces of fabric and then sew them all back together... until last weekend. I told you it was a break from reality. Everyone needs a break now and then. Darcie's fabrics were just so yummy, I wanted to nibble on them all day, I suppose. And that's what I did. (Finding a thimble took longer than making one of these tiny blocks! My fingertips are so callused, no thimble required!) And the little 9-patch blocks were made from leftovers from the churndash blocks- waste not, want not!

It all started with this dream... if I cut 1" strips, and 2" squares... a churn-dash block would come from it. And it did. Do you quilt in your sleep? I don't think it would be unusual if that's what you spend a good deal of time doing/thinking about. Seems reasonable. When I can't figure out the diminsions of something, I sleep on it. Come morning, the solution is there- in all it's minutest detail. Then I have to run really fast to the quilting room and start cutting and sewing- or else, well, you know how dreams can be- easily forgotten. I do my best thinking in my sleep- that's what I say when I need a nap!

Unfortunately, I didn't dream about buying a new spool of thread... I had about 10 inches to spare! Shew, that was a close one. If I'd been thinking clearly last week, I would have gotten online and ordered me some while I was holding the couch down with this cold... but thinking clearly while your head weighs five pounds more than usual... didn't happen. I got four new spools for Mother's Day.
The little quilty with the green border is Darcie's and the one with the peachy pink border is mine. Each 1" strip made two churndash blocks... who would I be to mess with a perfectly plotted-out dream? Thanks Darcie!

Monday, May 12, 2008

How cool is that? John gets loads of new homespun to play with and I get 8 new fat quarters of my favorite fabs!!! Light and airy and just so yummy!! That Darcie! She's just the sweetest, most generous thing ever! She's always knowing when I need a little lift! These scrumptious 18"x20" pieces are buttery soft and so rich in color. And what a source of inspiration to soar!! I can't wait to show you what I made with these!!! But not today... 'cause I want to quilt them and be really finished. But my little projects are just as yummy and light and airy as they can be. I promise. For now, let's just sit back, sip on a cup of tea and enjoy the yumminess that is October's Child hand-dyed fabric. I think you need some. I really do.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Girls, we've created a monster!
One that grins from ear to ear. John got a package in the mail, yesterday. Darcie sent him a couple huge stacks of plaid blocks. He is so tickled. He had me cutting batting right away to sandwich between his pieces. He must have sewn for 4 or 5 hours, yesterday! I'd say he's hooked. When I asked him if he could grin any bigger, he said, "I just can't help it! It must be...instinct!" And then he mentioned how much straighter Darcie's blocks were than mine. Little munchkin.

Friday, May 09, 2008

She breaks my heart...
in a good way. This is Evabeth. She is 9 years old and her light shines so bright, it hurts my eyes, sometimes. A sweeter girl you'll never meet. Eva is generous and thoughtful, funny and kind. Everything a mother could ever hope for and so much more than she could have ever dreamed. Of course, I'm her mom and so I allow that I'm biased. But it's all true, nonetheless. Her appointment with the neurologist went really well. No surprises and no changes. And then I think, why would I ever want to change one hair on her beautiful head? She's perfect just the way she is.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Feeling crumby...

That play on words would be a lot more fun if it weren't so true. So true. I've been feeling crummy..crumby...crumbly... The cold has moved from a contant drip to a constant cough. Just a little niggle of a cough, so I'm thankful. I'm half-deaf due to the congestion in my head, but who's to say that's a bad thing in a house full of hootin' and hollerin' kids? Just moving slow and not taking on any challenging projects. I'm in a zone with the crumbs.

For those of you that visit my blog and are not quilty- gasp- I know, my quilty friends, hard to believe that one can maintain a relationship without the fanaticism that is the quilty in me, but I love them in spite of their lack of addiction to quilting- and they are ever supportive of my co-dependency. Crumbs are the little bits and pieces of fabric that I trim off and toss into a basket... then a tub and when that overflows, another tub. You get the picture. Lots of bits. I usually use these little pieces when I am making postcards- it takes so little to cover a 4x6" card, in numerous ways, that even the smallest piece can be used. Unfortunately, it would take me ten years to use all of those tiny pieces up in postcards- it just is not ideal for stash-busting. So I am stitching them all together into crumb blocks. Just slapping all kinds of fabrics together until I have something big enough to cut a little 4" square from. Some blocks have as many as 20 fabrics and some only 2. It goes really fast, even between nose-blowing and trying to cough up a lung. Aren't they adorable?

I don't know what I'll be doing with them... Bonnie sews hers together- four patches per block. Which makes sense because they are so small. I have also seen them with tiny sashing- which does not sound like anything I'd be interested in!! Just noodling has created 69 blocks in the past couple days- two more tubs of crumbs to go. No hurry. They'll keep.

I have to run into Indy, today. My first day out, all week. Eva has an appointment with her neurologist at Riley Children's Hospital. Just routine and we feel like things are going great for her, so- no stress. Hope everyone has a fun sewing day.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Room with a view...

This has been my view for the last couple days... Nines has a bad cold. Kertchoo! (The kid on the couch has been rotating, but they all seem to find that book on medieval history equally fascinating- what's not to like? Swords and plagues and castles...) So I spend spells on the couch... too miserable to read- and that's really miserable. I have been flipping through quilting books, looking at the pictures. And then... I've gained a good bit of pleasure and inspiration from just looking at this quilt on the wall. It was made by my Grandma Jessie and it is in the Spring rotation- I rotate the quilts over the piano. This one is just so light and airy. I love the aquas and the pinks mixed in with that periwinkle blue...Now why don't I make quilts like that? Mine are all earthy and gloomy. OK, maybe not gloomy, but certainly not "airy." I need to branch out a bit, I'm thinking. So I set to "work-" as only a post-nasal dripping, tissue-toting gal can, and tried my hand at one of Hegdehogs little projects...Now where did I put that link? yeah, there it is. She had this little quilty that was so cute- ya might need to scroll down a few posts. It was three little flowerpots with improvisational flowers growing out of them. How cheerful can ya get? I thought this would be a good beginner's project for me. Not too big. Just get my feet wet, so to speak. I am a generally cheerful person, I just am drawn to work with the earthier color palette. Sometimes you need to step outside the box. So I tried, I really did. Only to realize I have a very limited "light and airy" palette- something I need to remedy. Mine isn't as charming as hers, but ya got to admit she has some stellar fabs there. Did the best I could with the few lights that I had- needed to throw in some darker values, 'cause I just didn't have enough lights. Then I needed to throw in some more couch time. I think quilting it up with petals and leaves and maybe a little moss on those flower pots will be fun... only on another day, when bending over and my head rolling off seems less of a possibility!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

John says, Thank you!!

Ds Joe(18y) took this photo of John, last night. He said, "Now he's really under the weather!" Too funny. And what a cool picture! We had a gorgeous day, yesterday. Warm and sunny. Perfect. And then, come evening, a storm blew in and this rainbow showed up. Just thought you all would enjoy it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

John's first quilt...

I asked John(11y) if I could take a picture of him and his new quilt and he says, "Sure! And then everyone can leave comments on how much they like it." He's not lacking in confidence. I had this lap quilt cut out for several years and was saving it for one of the boys to sew up. John has been feeling poorly- found out last night he has walking pneumonia, so he had been prowling the quilting room for something to do. John is very crafty. I set him up on the old Necchi and gave him a very brief course on how the thing works and then let him go. I think one of the tricks to teaching sewing is to let them learn on their own. The bobbin misbehaves- then you need to figure out how to put things to rights on your own. That way you gain confidence, and aren't as intimidated. After a few rough moments, I didn't hear a peep out of him- just gave new instructions at the beginning of each stage. He threw it into the washer last night and was very happy with how soft it came out. He has been cuddling on the couch with it- drinking his juice and taking his antibiotics. A very happy fella. That's John!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Now see? It's not that bad...

Sarah and I stopped in at an antique shop the last time she was in town, two years ago- wow, how time flies. As usual, we were looking for quilty things. I found this quilt top and thought, "Hey, the price is right!" It was $3.50. I added the outer borders from my vintage stash- used every single inch I had. I think the vintage fab came from more of Sarah's grandma's closets. Those were some cool closets... I wish I'd had some interesting pink in my stash, but sorry, no dice. I think this quilt is what the magazines refer to as "naive." I haven't got a problem with naive. Kinda like it actually. What makes it naive? Well, there are rules- just general guidelines, to my way of thinking. Things that folks have learned look good to most people. Just a couple in particular that might apply to this quilt:
  1. The sashing should frame the entire top- not just end on the inside of the blocks, at the end of each row. In this doesn't bother me.
  2. If you're a beginner quilter, ya might want to consider cornerstones. It might seem more difficult, but it really will help to line up all that sashing so that your rows are straight in both directions- tilt your head and take a gander at the close-up. Most horizontal blocks are almost one inch off the straight line. Still, doesn't bother me.
  3. Dimension is important- if your quilt is four feet wide, it should probably be less than 8 feet long. But maybe a tall, skinny person will find it a perfect fit!

And yet... you know me, don't you? I couldn't care less about rules when I just like something. And I liked this quilt from the moment I saw it. Some of it's good qualities are:

  1. The colors are very cheerful and mid-century modern. Love that.
  2. That brown- who would have thought to put it with that pink and blue combo? But I just fell in love with the quilter when I saw how carefully she cut the brown half-square triangles right on the same line of flowers. Isn't that too sweet? And no easy feat in the days before rotary cutting! It's one of those imitation colonial designs that's just funky and fun.
  3. It was $3.50!! The border fabric that I added was free- as was the pink sheet my Aunt June gave me that I backed it with. I might have paid $5 for the batting and I have a quilt for under $10. And doesn't it look charming on a bed?

So... I think even Sarah will agree. It's really not bad at all.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Most of you know that my husband works for Habitat for Humanity and he manages a store that sells used and discarded home-improvement items- like kitchen sinks and cabinets- all perfectly good, just needing a new home. He even sells toilets- and they can't sell old toilets as toilets- 'cause they aren't water-conservation approved. So they are sold as "flower pots with bowls." I have been trying my best to finaggle a green one- really cool art-deco design to it- for my flower garden. Honest, it would look super-nifty with some vinca overhanging the bowl and lots of dianthus and alysum... he's not buying it either. sigh. But I figure my yard is a mess, anyway- what difference would a toilet make?? Hey, I already have a bathroom sink! Been trying to get that thing off to the rehab store for a while, now. Maybe he'll trade me. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em.

This sweet little block has been salvaged from the rubbish bin. I found it at the Chicago quilt show, a couple years ago. One of the vendors had a tub full of old orphan blocks. I picked out this one and two maple leaf ones- for about $2 each. They were very cool, but I'm thinkin' probably no one has a call for a purple house... whatcha know?! My friend Audrey and her husband just bought an old house- their first, and guess what color their toilet, sinks and tub are??? Yep, just that same shade of purple. Maybe it's lilac. Anyway, they plan on keeping the old- 'cause it works just fine and the tiles in there match exactly... yeah, I wish I had that purple toilet in my yard! Busted! But anyway, I added a little border of Auntie grace repro and even hand-quilted it. Well, it was just such a small project and I couldn't imagine machine quilting it! I used Dream Angel batting in it and so it was a breeze- not too boring, but I shouldn't think that I'll being doing that again, any time soon. So somebody made a littlehouse block back in 1930 and now it's hanging on somebody's wall. Ain't that cool?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just wanted to share the finish...
My Mom pieced this quilt for a friend of ours and I quilted it for her. I think the Spring sunshine just makes this one sparkle! The multi-colored fabric is a vintage piece. The pattern- which is very easy and way different that what you think it would be, is in the
Coffee-Time Quilts book by Cathy Wierzbicki. Some people collect pattern books, but I really don't. So when I say that this is one of my favorite books, it really is one of the few that I have bought. There are several patterns in the book that I like. And I am looking forward to trying several more! She has a really fun way of thinking about the easiest way to put a quilt together- while still keeping it interesting. And oh OK, she has recipes in the book that are soooooo yummy!