Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank you Julia!!!

What a wonderful surprise to get in the mail! I was stunned. I absolutely love the dish rag- though, this one is too lovely for the name "rag." We'll have to call it something else. Dish cloth. Isn't it beautiful? I'll be hard-pressed to use it, as it is so pretty and I am particularly hard on dish towels. Might have something to do with the 8 kids... And the book mark is a marvel and the thread- well, I'll be sure to put it to good use! I am pretty sure I have never used any thread so fine as that pink variegated, but now I gotta give it a try! Thank you ever so much for thinking of me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pillow Talk...
Just a quick snap shot at some pillows I threw together, yesterday. The "Talk Sweet" is my favorite because my husband is ever saying that to the children. I don't think it's just the way that it has to be- siblings bickering. They can be encouraged to be friendly and peacable and, tada- they are. Well, it might take a bit more effort than I make it sound like, but I love to see brothers and sisters acting like they love and like each other. Now that's heavenly. The "E" on my Bless Thee pillow got a bit swallowed up by the sashing- silly me, didn't notice until too late. Oh, well. I repurposed some old bed pillows that nobody liked- too hard or too flat. I actually broke out the ole serger and sewed up the inside pillows with it. I made the pillow covers removable- not that my darling children would ever get them dirty...
Been hot here and the air conditioners in the big house are all humming. I have one in my quilting room, but the I only run it when I have company. I don't mind the heat as long as there's a breeze- I have a stand fan out there and it suits me fine. When I went to take this picture, I grabbed my camera from the living room and didn't realize that the climate change was fairly extreme! Fogged up the lens, right away. Had to keep wiping the steam off it! High humidity. My ice tea glass keeps sweating a huge puddle on the cutting table. oh well, tis summer. And the livin' is easy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cutesy crumbsy...
Aren't these crumbs adorable in my friend, Sandy's quilt? I think I've made a crumb-making monster! I showed her the crumb concept a few weeks ago and she whipped up enough(270, 3" blocks!) to make sashing for these sweet little embroidered children. What a neat idea! I took a picture of the whole quilt, but alas, my hands were shakin' a tad- so it didn't come out clear. But I think you get the drift with just the one block. I just thought it was a cool use for crumb blocks. Sandy was sweet enough to embroider me a set of redwork children- can't wait to get them in a quilt. I never much saw myself using an embroidery machine, but these little blocks are just so charming!! I am collecting red and white fabs to set them in. Topsy turvy is the plan.
I've been making words and putting them in pillow tops. I have three tops made, so far. I'll show you as soon as they are done. I'm washing them now so that they get nice and crinkledy. Love that. My quilting room is a disaster and my Mama is coming to visit! Eeek! Time to stop the playin' and get to work! Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art and my interpretation...
Art is like a foreign language to me, I enjoy the way it sounds and I can occasionally understand it! Evabeth drew this picture for her Daddy on Father's Day. I just loved it and its been hanging on the wall for a couple weeks... got me to thinkin'.... yep, dangerous.
So Kelli and I headed out to the quilting room this morning before she had to catch her plane and I started pulling colors. The blue and several of the circles are my own hand dyed fabrics and the rest is batik. Then I started slicing and dicing and I got Kelli to man the iron as I sewed- how fun is that? and in about an hour we had our foundation. I finished up the applique while watching a movie, this evening. ("The Bonneville" was a good one.) I still need to quilt it, but you can see how it's gonna be. I didn't make it too exact- we'll say it was "open to interpretation." The "translation" of this little piece was a blast and it was time spent with a friend. She boosted my ego by ohhing and ahhing over each step- what a friend! It was just a great time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Inside out cinnamon rolls...

Don't they look like they are having just too much fun??? My friend, Kelli, had this great idea for a little child entertainment. We took canned biscuits, the children flattened them out, they sprinkled with cinnamon and then added a marshmallow- folded the dough up over it, pinched it all off and placing it seam side down on a foil-lined pan- bake as directed on the biscuits. Aren't they just too cute? The marshmallow melts and coats the inside with its sticky goodness. The kids were in raptures- and it was a whole lot of fun. The goofy kid is my nephew Stephen- he is home in the North for the summer. Gotta take Kelli to the airport, today. sniff. But wow! have we had fun!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lots goin' on...
Just checkin' in. Didn't want ya to think anything had happened to me! I am having a wonderful visit with my old college room mate- Kelli and I have been friends for 23 years! That's quite a long time. Last year, I went out to Oregon to see her for our birthdays and this year, she came here. They're one week apart- her anniversary is on my birthday! We have such a grand time together. Our lives run in complete opposite directions, but our friendship is still wonderful.
This is the doily I made for her for her birthday- FINALLY got it done! She is redoing her bedroom and using some pink as an accent color, so that'll go nice. That outer border in cream took me twice as long to do as the whole rest of the doily. I am thinking that next week I'll be back in the quilting room- watch out! I got some new thread for my birthday and I'm achin' to use it! My Mom also got my serger up and running while she was here- thinkin' that serging the edges of a couple utility quilts might just do the trick. Mom and Dad might be coming next weekend- all my yard work is waiting on him!!! My mower, weed-whacker, chainsaw- even the bushhog- broken. Hoping he can help me out with that!
That picture of Abe- taken by my sis- is just too cute and I had to share it with you. He and Exodus are buddies. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Yeah, we need them. I've got some. Not too many, not too few. Quality versus quantity. I have some stellar friends. I don't know how that happened, but I'm mighty thankful that I am so blessed. I'm a happier person because of them. A more thoughtful person. A more generous person. They not only enrich my life by their goodness, but my life is more worthy of them because of them. It's a paradox. See, I have friends who think of me when I need thinking of. Sweet gifts in the mail. A Willowtree figure, with two friends, just talking. A bottle of sunless tanning lotion and good smelling soap. A few new skirts. An old raggedy book of children's poetry. A gift certificate to my favorite restaurant. Photographs of flowers, all framed and on the wall. New thread and a fresh rotary cutter. A seam "unsew-er" with a handcarved handle. Hand-dyed fabric. A bag of Jelly Bellies. The most beautiful wallhanging I've ever seen- a joy to touch. All needed? Oh yes, they each serve a purpose, filling my days with the love of good friends. But even more precious are their kind thoughts toward me. Thank you, friends, for thinking of me when I need thinking of. You make me stronger than I thought I was.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another doily done...

This one felt like it would never be done. It just kept going and going... I am working on the last round of another unending one and so when I finish that up... wow. That'll feel good.

Goal for the week: One good sit-down-at-the-table-and-eat meal. I have a couple roasts in the crockpot with carrots and onions. I am gonna have the little ones peel the potatoes for the mashing. I have defrosted the corn from last summer and we'll warm that up with some green beans. And I even have hopes of getting some cornmeal rolls thrown together. So, what I'm saying is, the house smells good.

The quilting room is drawing me in. I bought a "fresh cotton" candle for $3 at Wal-mart and I must say, the thing smells mighty fine- like... fresh cotton, Downy soaked, fresh cotton. I might need to get some binding on that last retro-quilt I did up. Figure I'll be able to find enough pink, blue and brown in my scrappy binding stash to get-er-done. Looks to be another gorgeous day, here on the prairie. Hope every one has a great one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The baby chicks arrived, last week. I have 16 layers and 20 broilers. Actually, I have a straight run of Rhode Island Reds, 6 total, so I might have more than a few roosters. For those less farmy people, a straight run is just whatever hatches at the hatchery, while you can order just pullets- the hens. It costs more to just get hens, so I have a couple sets of those, but I like a rooster around- I think they lay better. And you have to order them in sets of 5. Which got me in trouble, last time. I like a variety of color out there- just like my quilts- and so by the time you order 5 of this type and 5 of that type.... I had 75 chicks arrive!!! Way too many. I was giving eggs away in buckets! So I restrained myself this year. 15 seems mighty meager.
As you can see, they were living in my whirlpool. It was looking like some sort of Frankenstein movie in there- wires and bags and boxes everywhere. The heat lamps made it a sauna and it was something of an ordeal just to go pee. The noise they make is at the same time charming and annoying- lots of peeps and squeaks. Sweet William brought me home a huge pallet box and now all of them are tucked in there and I have reclaimed my bathroom! Might need to take me a soak, today!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thought I'd share some pictures with ya.
  1. That doily is the funky one I bought myself for my birthday. Isn't it cheery and fun? Like a giant cobweb- on meth. I love the bright color- very retro. I think it looks great even with my primitive things, though. Matches the garland of flowers nicely.
  2. There's a picture of my swing that my sweet man got me for my birthday. I am lovin' it! I sat on it with my neice, last night, while we crocheted together. She is making dish rags in the shades of sunshine. I am working on a doily in Darcie Taupe. By the way, Darcie, I get my thread at Hobby Lobby and Walmart. It's 10 weight and the brand is Aunt Lydia's. Hope that helps. I also use a #7 or #8 hook. I'll bring you some thread when I see you in September, K? Yes, that is my "purse." I finally gave up trying to carry a "cute" bag and resigned myself to something more the size of a peice of "carry-on" luggage. You need room for crochet thread and diabetic supplies. And a small child, if needed!
  3. The last picture is of the view from my swing! The June skies are something to behold with their big puffy clouds and the clear blue of early summer. My closest neighbors' house is visible- about 1/2 mile. His name is Laverne and he's what I call a "good ole boy." Some one you can call on when you're in a bind. If you have the guts to pass the rottweiler and the doberman...

Monday, June 16, 2008

206, 60* triangles...
yep, I counted. It was pretty easy. 12 rows x 17 triangles + 2 extra... 206 total. And so my dear husband says, "Why?" and I say, "I have no idea." That's just the way I dreamed it. And ya have to listen to your dreams. Right? Someone mentioned the saying- "The valley of the shadow of death" the other day and I guess it struck a cord. Cause that's what this quilt started as. And then It turned out to be more like Bipolar Disorder. Then it morphed into More Good Days Than Bad... It occured to me that, what's the point of being Bipolar, if you have to make up your mind?
The triangles are about 1" high, so it's smaller than it seems- about 13" x15". I wanted to leave the sides raggedy- ("Rag-ged around the edges") until I started binding and then I had second thoughts. What a pain. And I am pretty sure no two angles are bound the same. oh well, it is what it is. It kinda looks like a critter with those top two triangles hanging out- not an idea I was going for. It does lay flatter than a flitter- a nice thing. It is all batik with the exception of the black and white which is from my vintage repro. stash. I did a small meander in it, and the black triangle is quilted in Darcie's topography design. Just a small and simple project that was a nice return to quilting. Can't say if I'll sew anymore this week- a day at a time, but I might. I have a couple new doilies in the works.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sweet girls...
Grandmother has returned to the mountains and Grandfather. We're sad, but we had a wonderful time. She promises to return with the handy man, soon. The mower-deck, the weed whacker and the chainsaw are all broken. Things like that happen in three's, according to hillbilly lore. I don't mind the weeds too much, but a mown lawn would be nice.
Grandmother gave the girls a couple of her nightgowns. They are snugglely soft! The girls are as brown as nuts from all the sunshine they've been enjoying.
News Report... I actually sat down and sewed some, today!! Shocker. I just haven't been inspired and the past few weeks have been doily central. And that's OK. But then, the other night, I had this dream about 60* triangles and the valley of the shadow of death... no, it wasn't a creepy dream, just matter of fact. So I cut out tiny triangles and have 9 out of 12 rows, sewn. They are pretty small. And it didn't turn out like I dreamed. Not a shocker there. The execution of something is often a far cry from the inspiration. But it's fun, just the same.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

Guess what today is? It's my birthday!!! My sis says that I need to start going backwards on the birthdays... She has a point. #41 on this day. I have been having a fairly grand day- all aside from having to euthanize my cat... but let's not talk about that. Look what I woke up to find draped across my bedroom door:

Wasn't that sweet? My four youngest were very busy quite early this morning. My husband gave me a "heads up" about heading out of the bedroom rather carefully. They know orange is my favorite color and then they added the pretty blue streamers and snowflakes. How could I not have a wonderful day when they were so thoughtful? Mom and my sisses and I went shopping, today, and had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants- Mexican. Got home all tired. My sweet man put up the most wonderful swings in the yard for me- said he would be very happy to find me crocheting on it when he gets home in the evenings. I aim to please. We are suffering from too much rain, right now, but as soon as the weather cooperates, I plan to be out there. We are baking a lasagna and garlic bread for dinner- they wouldn't let me bake my own birthday cake, so I guess they have plans.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quilt Retreat...

Ok, it's not exactly a "quilt retreat." More like a "quilted retreat!" This is the bed I made up in my quilt room for my sis Steph. We are having a blast- no quilting, but having a blast. We sat in the sun for a while, today, and then we sat in the shade on the porch for a while, too. Ahhhhhhh.... very nice. We did go shopping, yesterday, and I bought... a doily. It is really funky- bright yellow and red. But I love it and it was only $1.25. How could I not get it? We are going to have a couple friends over for a breakfast at lunch date, tomorrow. And then Friday we're planning a fabric acquisition. I gotta get back to the quilting room because I can hear them laughing and yuckin' it up- without me!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Doily toily...
Been working on doilies for two of my sisters and my Mom- who will start coming in tomorrow. I can hardly wait! Funny thing about that, though... while my Mom is really my mom... neither of these sisters are really my sisters!! But I love them like they were my very own!
  • Lisa- the one for whom this doily was made(who talks like that, anyway? I do, I guess.) is married to my baby brother. She and I were friends in high school- we were in chorus, together. And band. I never played an instrument, but they ran out of classes for me- long story. Lisa sings beautiful alto and played lots of brass horns. Yes, she has really big lungs. She's rolling, laughing, at that one. At any rate, Lisa was a year younger than I, and Craig was a year younger than her... but they were highschool sweethearts and have been married...18 years. Easy to remember because I went into labor with Joe, my oldest, at their wedding.
  • Steph- is a dear, dear friend. One of those people that you love on sight. You see her and you love her. Yes, she's gorgeous, but she has the sweetest spirit. I'll post a picture and you'll see what I mean. She was married to a guy that worked with my Dad. That's how we met her. The guy turned out to be... well, a pig, and so we got rid of the guy and we kept Steph. A very good trade on our part. I can't imagine any family gathering without her and this will be her first trip to Indiana, so I am excited beyond belief. She works so hard and I really want to try and spoil her a little. A lot. A lofty goal, but I'm gonna dedicate myself to it.

So... doily-wise. I like this one- there are things I would do differently. It was harder than it looks and it took me a while to get it done. Almost 4 days! OK, only working a couple hours a day, but still... The champagne color I love and I will definitely use that again. I am determined to use a smaller hook on the next project- I have been using a size 7- and that seemed so small when I first started making doilies a couple weeks ago. But I bought me a size 8 and some pretty pink thread.... wonder what trouble I can get into....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Who has seen the wind?
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
the wind is passing by!
That was one of my favorite poems as a child. That, and "The Owl and The Pussy Cat." Don't get me started on that one.
I love the wind, and I've dedicated a numerous amount of posts to the winds here on the prairie. They are an ever constant thing. They just won't stand still for a picture! High winds, quiet winds. Maybe just a breeze... but always there to lift your hair up off a sweaty brow, when you're hoeing the corn. Spring winds are something different from other times of the year. They bring the rains- by the bucketful. But usually only after dark. Sometimes it is so windy, you can't open the windows- it'll blow the tea cups right off the window sill! We're at that point now. But it is so hot, we just moved the teacups and are enduring the winds and thankful for the slight cooling they bring. With the humidity so high, the front door sticks and it takes a hefty fellow to pry it open. SLAM! The wind closes it very conveniently- just make sure your skirt is out of the way- can't say how many times I've been trapped by that door over the past few days- waiting for a hefty fella...Good thing I have a few of those types around! Tornadoes are on the prowl and I hope everyone is keeping safe and sound. That kind of wind, I can do without.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Quick Cut Tool...
Someone asked me what a Quick Cut ruler is a couple weeks ago, and I forget to answer- I meant to... A quick cut ruler is a very cool thing. It takes a little work to get used to it, but once you figure it out- wow! what a time saver it can be. I love mine.
I don't know if you can see it clearly in the first picture, but it is laying on top of my fabric. It is a large squarish ruler that has slots cut into it. These slots are in different increments- depending on what ruler you have. Mine is called a Shape Cut Plus, by June Tailor- it allows me to cut strips in quarter inch increments. Most are slotted in 1/2" increments. So you lay the ruler over your fabric and just put your rotary cutter down into the proper slots for the size strips that you need. Skip-counting is a plus- 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5... Zip, zip, zip. You just cut 7, 2 1/2" strips- without ever having to lift the ruler. Cool, huh? So fast and very accurate. No resetting the ruler and having to make sure that you have it on the fabric's straight edge. The ruler is only 13" wide, so 45" wide fabric does need to be folded in half, but I've not had a problem with that. There are reference lines on the ruler to help you keep everything straight and true.
While cutting strips with the Quick Cut ruler is fun... it's nothing as fun as sub-cutting. When strip quilting, you know how you often have units of long strips- maybe like three 2 1/2" strips sewn together to make a 9-patch? And you need to cut that long strip into 2 1/2" units? Well you just lay the Quick Cut ruler over the strip and cut all of your units. I can cut about 7 layers, easily. That soldiers' quilt flew together because it was full of strip-cut units that I was able to use the ruler with. love it! And cutting binding is a cinch, too. I know how we all love binding...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Doily #2...
Yeah, yeah, I didn't exactly stick to the course... I strayed, I veered, I crocheted. But didn't it turn out sweet? This one is much more naturally flat than the one I made for my Mom. Maybe I'm getting better at it! I'm giving this one to my sis, Steph. It was very easy- easier than the first- until I got to the very last row. Thought I was so close to being done... only to be stalled by a gazillion picots! See those tiny little... blips, around the edge of the doily? They're just a chain three, slip stitch in the first stitch and then you move on. But what a bugger they are! I finally got the hang of it about half way through! And they really do add a sweet touch, so it's not like I'll skip that step, next time. Just brace myself that it's gonna take a while. I've got one more doily to make before next week... plus, I figure, I don't need to do any house cleaning before, say, Thursday- else the kiddos will undo all our hard work. Right? So that gives me two more crochet days!! woo-hoo!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just because she makes me smile...
It's June, the year is at the half-way point. Hard to believe. Summer is in front of me and there's never a shortage of things to do with a big family- bet that's true of any size family. Gardening. Summer camp- we have two this year. Family visits. Friends coming from far away. Lots of fun planned.
Next week, my oldest three and a nephew are going to camp- so my sister, Lisa, is coming to stay with me for a week. How fun is that? And then, to top it off, my sister Stephie is coming, too, and bringing my mom!! A whole week with three of my favorite people! I am having a hard time concentrating on all the housework that needs to be done. But figure, these people know me... and they are much better housekeepers than me... maybe they'll help me out when they come! Shameless, I know. Maybe I'll get everything done and then we'll have all week to play! Now that sounds like more fun, doesn't it? So, I rather doubt I'll be sewing much this week- unless I get distracted. Which wouldn't be the first time. And then there's that crocheting addiction I seem to be acquiring... Maybe I could reward myself for each chore done I can crochet a round... or sew a row...