Thursday, December 31, 2009

Drive carefully...or you could spin out of I did!

This title has nothing to do with these pictures, but isn't my niece Brittany a beautiful bride and my new nephew Doug a handsome groom. Also I wanted to show you that I do have a better picture than the one on the blog. I just haven't gotten my solo shot yet to replace my current one. And when you get a good picture, you WANT to use many years as you can.
Meanwhile back to the topic. It is mighty snowpacked here in Iowa. I slid down my steep driveway today, braking all the way to no avail. Then I turned almost 180 degrees as I was turning right onto 17th street. Scary, but not too bad as no cars were nearby.
Drive carefully whereever you are. I want you to make it to 2010.
I think it is interesting that it will be 01 01 10. Little things like that delight me.
I hope something delights you as the year ends and begins again.
Happy New Year to each and everyone of you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oops...and problem solving!

I chose to remake this little red and white quilt I had made many years ago for Annette. I had it all pieced, hand quilted and (even though I tested in advance) found the Sewline pink markings would not mist out. And in addition the red faded into the white. Eek! So after a presoak and handwash with Oxycleen, I was pleased to see my goal accomplished. I gave this 14" x 18" little quilt to my sister, Debbie. She loves red and white, and I love her.

I hope you have someone whom you love in your life.

Merry Christmas!


Conniving behavior in this blessed season.

Finally, I have completed a quilting project after experiencing a dry spell. I made this 15"x 27" wall quilt for my niece, Erin. Her birthday is October 30 and she loves Halloween. I purchased the sateen Halloween panels at a merchant booth at the Des Moines AQS show in October.
I was given the task of drawing names for Christmas. I rigged the drawing so I could have Erin. Forgive me?
I hope you aren't in a dry spell. The therapy of quilting is a gift I have missed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Hello! You are probably thinking...what a sad looking little.....potholder? Well, I made this "potholder/trivet" many years ago. I had taken a photo of my childhood home and transferred the details onto graph paper. Using old fashioned tube paints I traced the lines onto muslin. After batting and backing, I handquilted the details in and machine sewed on the brown binding and hanger.
I know it is not much to look at. But when I see it, the memories of childhood and Christmases past are there.
In 1961 my mother gave us a "stereo" with two swing out speakers and one 45 RPM...."Big Bad John" by Tennessee Ernie Ford. We listened to it hundreds of times. Even now we five can still sing that song.
One year there was a stretch of bad weather and school was cancelled. My mother said since we were staying home, we should use the time to make gifts for each other. Someone made a little figure, but discarded it as a failure. My little sister rescued it and put it into a bandaid box. It became a "jack-in-the-box". Someone made a fish out of gold felt and stuffed it. I still have that little pin cushion. Christmas was so simple then.
When I was twelve, she gave us each--all five--a toddler doll. I helped set out the gifts. There were only four. I was so happy the next morning to see a fifth one. She always treated us each equally. What a wonderful gift that was. I still miss her. She always made Christmas special.
Mostly we had real trees. One year we went to Blanchard to my Uncle Clif and Aunt Jennie Martin's farm. We all got on a wagon pulled behind his tractor and went out into a field to pick out a tree. We found the perfect one and had a scary ride as the tractor and wagon slid down a hill in the snow.
And we can't forget the baking. So much came out of that little kitchen....Grace Hartstack's Oatmeal Coconut cookies, Spritz (Christmas trees, red poinsettias, golden stars, brown camels) cookies, fudge, divinity and pecan joys.
Surely we played Christmas carols on that Kimball piano. We all took lessons. I did for 8 years. Alas, if I had only practiced, I might have been able to play today.
And what I remember most....the love.
May you have it in your home this year and next.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mystery revealed!

My Iowa quilt guild, Scrap Happy Quilt Guild has recently had the reveal of our 2009 mystery quilt. Before I construct each of my quilts, I create them in Electric Quilt 6. I search for the fabrics I plan to use, draw the block pattern, create the layout and insert virtual fabrics into the blocks and borders. I know what my quilt will look like--before I make it. And I change many details until I get exactly the look I like. Above is the EQ6 drawing of the quilt as I expected it to be...and below is (the poorly edited photo of) the top I pieced.

Do you have any mysteries in your life?

Amberly and Trey celebrate Independence Day

Many things happen at a Independence Day celebration party. We had delicious potluck dishes and homemade ice cream, we had thunder and lightning, we had a firepit and a dog running in circles barking at our fireworks and we had a visiting adopted baby goat.
Trey's mother and two siblings (he was a triplet) died soon after he was born in May, 2009. Amberly and Derek rescued him by choosing to bottle feed him every four hours for several weeks. Trey runs to them when they call, follows them around the farm, walks on a leash, and cries and calls to them whenever he is not near them or they leave in their car. After we were introduced and he was returned to his pen, we witnessed his ongoing cries for them from his pen 100 feet away. He has nearly two dozen other goats in his "herd", but they didn't and don't feed him that bottle daily. Amberly and Derek will be celebrating their second wedding anniversary next week. Little Trey (named because he was a triplet) is their first kid.