Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

I'm writing tonight with a full heart (and a full tummy) at the end of a wonderful Christmas Day. I hope that all of you had a great day, too. We hosted our children, granddaughters, DMIL, my sister, her husband, and their son. Everything I planned for dinner turned out great, thanks to my nephew, Karl, who sauted the broccoli dish at the last minute. It was like herding cats, trying to get everyone to the table! There was a phone call, a diaper change, an intense conversation about a medical matter--but they all made it in and we enjoyed our meal. The younger granddaughter stuffed her face, and the older one would only eat Wheat Thins. Everyone else tried everything!

The best part of the day was watching the girls open their presents. Avery can read her name on the tags, so she delighted in finding the ones for her. Addison ripped away on the paper. Both of them rewarded us with smiles and gasps of surprise when they saw their new toys. Then we got to play with all of them!

I received a gift certificate to a quilt shop and a bundle of fat quarters selected by Avery. It was a great day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Construction Progress

Look at this! I'm posting two days in a row!
We have a lot going on around here. DMIL is going to move here from Tulsa next spring. She will be 89 by then, and it is just time, if you know what I mean. She refuses to live in an apartment or senior residence so....we're building on to our house, with her help. She will have a suite with bedroom, sitting area with small gas fireplace, luxury bath, and walk-in closet.
The builders are at a stage now where we are seeing a lot of progress. Yesterday two exterior walls went up, and today they built the interior walls. Tomorrow the third wall will go up, and we'll be ready for the roof trusses. (The fourth wall is already there, as the addition will join on to the back of the garage and will be accessed through our former back door. My old laundry room will turn into a hall, and I'll get a new laundry area.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Back with "Eye Candy"

I'm baaaaack! Poor neglected blog! I recently returned from a weekend trip to Dallas, where it was mentioned that my blog was severly neglected, so I will try to do better. At least I know a few people were reading it! (You like me, you really, really like me! Apologies to Sally Field.)

I had a marvelous time on my adventure to Dallas. Of course, it was made much easier by my hostess, Debi, who graciously chauffeured me all over the area and allowed me to stay in her beautiful home. Many thanks to Debi for a wonderful weekend and also to her husband, Kit, and her sweet dogs who accepted me immediately. (And thanks to that nice guy who got my carryon into the overhead compartment for the trip home. It was heavy!)

While in the Dallas area, I got to visit four quilt shops and attend the Christmas party of the DFW Gang, whose members all met on the quilting forum I frequent. It was great fun! As a huge surprise, Debi arranged for a visit from my favorite pattern designer, Sindy Rodenmayer of Fat Cat Patterns. She is such a sweet, modest person, and it was such a pleasure to have several hours to get to know her while also visiting with my online buddies.

Since returning home, I have turned over three new quilts to Project Linus: Dinos, Hound Dogs, and Bright Barnraising. I'm also working on a pattern from Sindy's site, "Silly Zoo", as well as two of the BOM series that she shares on her website.

The building of the room addition to our home is in full swing. This is a suite for my DMIL, who will be moving here from Tulsa. I'll post some pictures soon. Today they are constructing the walls, reminding me of a barnraising, although we only have three guys working, not the dozens that help with an Amish barn!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That Song in My Head

I always seem to have some kind of song running through my head. Do you? Today I had to do some yard work with my husband, Larry, which I really didn't enjoy. He was cutting down a redbud tree to make room for an addition to our house and asked me to help. My job was to cut up the branches into short lengths and tie them into bundles for the composting truck pickup. He is a real DIY guy and saves us lots of $$ by being that way, so I felt I should help. While I was working, this old song started running through my head:

(Irving Berlin)
Eddy Howard - 1947

"The girl that I marry will have to be
As soft and as pink as a nursery
The girl I call my own
Will wear satins and laces and smell of cologne
Her nails will be polished and, in her hair,
She'll wear a gardenia and I'll be there
`stead of flittin', I'll be sittin'
Next to her and she'll purr like a kitten
A doll I can carry, the girl that I marry must be" (Note: My mom played a lot of old songs on the Hi-Fi when I was a kid!)

So...I'm working away and thinking that Larry must not have heard this lovely song during his childhood. In Tulsa they must have been playing this version:
"The girl that I marry will have to be
Able to work in the yard with me
The girl I call my own
Will wear old clothes and sneakers and smell of outdoors
Her nails will be broken and in her hair
A sweaty bandana is what she'll wear
'Stead of sittin' inside stitching
She'll get bug bites and be out here itching
A load she will carry, the girl that I marry must be"
Oh, it's not that bad...I burned some calories and will sleep like a baby tonight! What song is in your head today?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Poor Neglected Blog!

I hardly ever remember that I have a blog! When I do remember, I feel guilty! It just seems like my life isn't that newsworthy. I continue to quilt or do some needlework every day, though. Here are a couple of quilts I just finished for Project Linus. (I took the first one as Show and Tell to my first guild meeting. It was my security blanket that night!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Good Summer for Sewing

I have a lot to show this time, and it's probably because this has been a relatively cool summer for us here in Missouri. Friends in the Pacific Northwest have been sweltering, but we haven't had it so bad! (That has been a really pleasant surprise for us.)

Usually in the summer I make tops and save them for quilting in cooler months. This year I've been quilting and finishing lots of things.

The quilts are for donation to Project Linus, and the tote bag is for my sister.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Project Linus quilts

Let's hope they really have the air conditioning cranked up on the pediatrics floor at St. John's Mercy so the kids can use these quilts I took in today! It's so hot here that I didn't even like having them over my arm at 8:30 a.m.!

(The Sea Turtle is from

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hotter Than Blue Blazes

Is anyone willing to admit--along with moi--that they don't like summer? I have always been sensitive to heat, even as a child, so I know it's not just a "weight thing". Also, as of the last ten years or so, it has been a lot worse. Menopause=always hot! smack in the middle of the Midwest isn't the greatest place to have your summer home! (It's great the rest of the year.) Thank God for AC and the ability to pay the electric bill!

Meanwhile, there is fabric to be used in the Wonderstash, and some of the bins aren't as full as they used to be. The bin of fish fabrics went down a little bit for this quilt, "Kitty Goes Fishing". I don't think you can tell from this pic, but the border shows cats gazing longingly at goldfish in their bowls, as well as a few fish bones! I like the way this one turned out. I actually got to meet the girl who received it on a day when I was volunteering at the hospital. She loves animals, especially cats, and wants to be a vet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still Here!

Doggone it, I forgot I had a blog again! I'm asking myself, "How can I expect anyone to follow my blog if I don't follow it myself?" Well, for the few of you still checking in, I have never stopped sewing! We have been busy, including a trip to Oklahoma to check in on DMIL, who is 88 and adamantly refusing to move. Everywhere we go, I have a project bag beside me. I can't sit still without something to do with my hands!

I've delivered a couple of Project Linus quilts to the hospital. The animal patterns on the left are from a book called "Polka-Dot Kids' Quilts". I enlarged them to 200% on a copier. The fish patterns are on Fat Cat Patterns.

I just mailed the following quilt to a quilt guild that is providing Quilts of Valor to soldiers in the Warriors in Transition Battalion at Ft. Bragg, NC. I hope it brings some comfort and encouragement. It's such a small thing to do for someone who has given so much.

I'm also keeping up with two BOMs on Fat Cat Patterns, Baltimore Bliss and Bird Houses.

My best days have been spent with my darling granddaughters, Avery and Addison. Avery is three now and is such a helper. I always try to have a simple cooking project set up when she is coming over. Saturday she helped me make Rice Krispy Treats--and then wouldn't taste them! (It looks like she may be a picky eater like my son, although I would never mention it.) She is a little parrot now and would tell anyone who would listen that she is a picky eater! Addison is ten months old now and just a darling little cherub. She isn't sure if she likes me, though. She much prefers her Papa Bear (Grandpa)! Of course, we know this could change at any minute.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Here's the quilt I'm giving to my nephew, Karl, for his 21st birthday. I thought we would see him Sunday but didn't, so we'll give it to him this coming Saturday, his actual birthday. I wrote up care instructions for him, hoping that he would see this as an heirloom and not just another bedspread that you use for a couple of years and then wrap around the dresser when you move to the new apartment! At the end, I wrote: " P.S. Karl, if you ever use this quilt as a moving blanket, pet bed, or picnic blanket, somehow I will know!"

Since this quilt has been finished, I have done almost nothing but hand applique! I definitely won't be machine piecing any stars for awhile.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Good News Is...

that the Star Struck quilt for my nephew, Karl, (mentioned in my previous post) is finished and ready to deliver next Sunday. I'll post a picture soon. Fortunately, my hands are recovering from the breakneck pace I set for quilting it.

The bad news is that I forgot I had a blog! I was reading a friend's blog and noticed a link to my blog that said I hadn't posted on it for four weeks! You know what I was doing, though.

As breaks from the hand quilting, I made the first two blocks from Sindy Rodenmayer's new BOM series, "Baltimore Bliss". You can find them at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Hands Hurt... wrists are sore, and the fingertips on my left hand are raw, but by golly my nephew, Karl, is going to have this quilt for his 21st birthday on April 11!

The pattern is called "Star Struck" by Bonnie Hunter. Bonnie's patterns really help you use up scraps. I kept the gold and ivory fabrics consistent in all of the small quarter square triangles, but the quilt could be done completely scrappy. I was inspired to use this pattern when I saw Val's version on our quilting forum. She used Christmas reds and greens, and I'm sure it'll become an heirloom in her family.

Karl is a great young man. He's a junior in college right now in Fulton, Missouri. He and his parents moved up here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and it is really great to see more of him now. I pumped him for color preferences at Christmas!

From now until April 11 I will be hand quilting this quilt! I haven't made a queen-sized quilt for a long time, so it's quite a change for me.

And now an invitation...

A very sweet friend of mine, Kimberly, has started a new quilting forum on Delphi, The Quilting Bee. I already know a lot of the quilters there and have even met some of them in person. They are good people! However, we welcome new members with open arms and look forward to what we can share with them and learn from them. Click on the logo at the right to join us!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Four Guys Went to the Hospital and...

...made someone happy! At least, that was the goal of making this quilt, "Sesame Street Quartet". He went to the hospital as a Project Linus donation last week.

This is my second quilt with these applique patterns. The first was ready to donate when my first granddaughter went into that very hospital with RSV two years ago. Of course, I took it to her since she was crazy about "Mo-mo" (Elmo). She still sleeps with it.

I didn't have to buy these patterns. I found them as coloring pages on free internet sites. The pages take some time to search, but they are great pattern sources.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mitten Match

On Friday I finally delivered this quilt to the hospital for Project Linus. It had been hanging in my closet for three years, and I couldn't let go of it! For some reason I just really liked it and thought I would have some special use for it. I finally decided that three years was enough--that it was aged to perfection! Hopefully, it is doing good work on a hospital bed today. It's not just a quilt--it's a game, too! Each mitten has a mate on the quilt, and it could take someone a while to match them up.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blog Award

Thanks to Debi at Quilting with Debi (see link at right) for giving me this blog award! (I better post more so I deserve it!) Debi says that I have to list five addictions that I have, so here they are (in no particular order):

1. Granddaughter smiles and "I love you, Nana"s

2. Hugs from DH

3. Iced tea with lemon or lime

4. Hand applique

5. Chocolate

Wear Warm Clothes

It's about 15 degrees here today and snowing, so it's a perfect time to hang up my new wall hanging for the first time. Yes, I actually made a quilt that I am going to keep, and I finished a UFO that I think I started in the 90s. This quilt is from the Country Threads book, "Wear Warm Clothes", and is an abbreviated version of the one shown in the book because I had to make it fit in a certain spot in my home.

When I started this quilt, I enthusiastically made all of the applique blocks and then faltered when it came time to piece the cabin, the boots, the trees, the mugs, and the snowman. This month I made myself piece them and used Bonnie Hunter's "Leaders and Enders" technique to make it possible to string piece all of them. At the same time, I pieced several blocks of a new scrap quilt I'm making for my nephew from Bonnie's Star Struck pattern. I know it saved a bunch of thread, and it helped me enjoy the piecing more since I didn't have to stop and start so much.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Penguins to Make Kids Smile

These little penguins are ready to fly to the hospital with me for donation. Isn't that a cute pattern? It's from a Fons and Porter magazine called "Baby Quilts" which may still be on the newsstands. I bought the penguin border fabric in Dallas when I visited the DFW Gang from the Quilting Passion Forum in December 2007. I found snowflake prints on sale at JoAnn's for the backs. (I was so excited that I used up the penguin print by making the binding out of it! Yay, I used up something!!!)

I always seem to do this--start three or four projects at one time and finish them all within a couple of weeks of each other! It's wacky but it works for me.

How do you handle your quilt projects--One at a time or several in progress at once?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm glad the holidays are over! I had about shopped, wrapped, and cooked myself into a "Mom at the holidays" frenzy! It would be just fine with me if I didn't have to cook again for another year. (If only I could get the people at my house to stop wanting to eat.)

For me, getting back to normal means more time to quilt and start new projects. I've finished two more quilts for Project Linus--my second time to make the "Doggy Days" pattern and my fourth version of the "Wicked Easy" pattern. They went to the hospital with me today to do their good work. They said the Pediatric rooms are full--lots of cases of pneumonia and RSV. Poor babies.