Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Day

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that you are looking forward to a Happy New Year. We had everyone at our house Christmas afternoon to open gifts and have dinner. I cooked a standing rib roast which is impressive but amazingly easy to cook. Everyone pitched in as you can see.

Our son making something delicious.

Our daughter and daughter in law helping in the kitchen

Serving dishes waiting to be filled.

Our daughter was in charge of making the table look terrific and she did a wonderful job. She came back from the grocery store with her arms full of fresh flowers and did it all herself. She also made a delicious carrot cake. We all ate way too much.

Our table just waiting for all of the food.

We missed mother being here but she had plenty of visitors. She was even part of the wheelchair Christmas parade!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas

es I have decided to have Christmas this year. With the chaos in my life the last month at times I wondered if it would happen. Our kids have all pitched in and taken over some of the duties of cooking, etc. Isn't it wonderful to have kids that are such great people?

My mother didn't do as well as we had hoped in rehab. I talked to an agency about home care and they could not take care of her safely. She has so many mobility issues. We moved her to a skilled nursing facility last week. She is not happy but it is actually a very nice place. It looks like a nice hotel. They have a beautiful dining room and lots of activities. They also have a rehab program that is not as strenuous as the rehab unit at the hospital. We are hoping that she will get stronger and come
home in a couple of months. Our goal is to bring her home not to leave her there.

Isn't this a great stocking? Go HEELS!!

Merry Christmas to all. I hope there is a hole in Santa's sack when he gets to your house and you get lots and lots.

You notice how Stanley has coped with the chaos!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My mother's quilts part 2

Here are three more of my mother's quilts. The first one is so gorgeous. It is colorful and full of fun fabrics that she collected over the years.

The second one is cat fabrics for all you cat lovers.

The third one is on my bed every night. I love the hearts on it. I wish you could see the hand quilting, tiny even stitches.

My mother continues to be in the rehab unit of the hospital. She isn't progressing as quickly as we would have liked. She has had a few setbacks. I am not sure what it will be like for her when she comes home. I am trying to set things up for her to come home. She will have to have someone with her 24 hours a day. I am going every day usually in the afternoons to help her with her dinner. It is hard to get excited about Christmas when you have so many other things on your mind.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Liberated stars

Thanks to all for the good wishes for my mother. She is in rehab now and doing well. I am going back and forth to the hospital every day. I want to be part of her recovery. I haven't gotten much sewing done this week and I don't know when I will get back to it.

This is my aunt's quilt that she made at Gwen's workshop. She had a professional photograph made and is using them for Christmas Cards. This is a great quilt. The colors are even more beautiful in person. My aunt is going to use it on her sofa so her grandchildren can fight over it when they come!! It is gorgeous!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mother's quilts pt 1

I spent Thanksgiving afternoon in the ER with my mother. Her legs suddenly would not support her weight. After many tests it was determined that she had a stroke in the area of her brain that controls messages to her legs. There is strength in her legs but the message is not getting through. She is expected to recover and hopefully will move to rehab the first of the week. This is fantastic news considering she is 90 years old! We all wish to be as healthy as she is at that age.

To honor her I am going to share some of her quilts. She favors a different look than I do but this is just a sample of some of her work. The one with the hearts is because her birthday is Valentines Day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tom Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Some in our family are traveling to their in-laws and other places. One of our sons is in Hawaii at the Maui Classic!! Poor Guy, three days of basketball and sitting on the beach. We will have a small but thankful crowd this year.

More squares that will become hot mats for Christmas gifts. It is so much fun to make these and put interesting colors and prints together. I used Mary Lou Weidman's method for making liberated stars. She cuts her blocks 3 1/2 " or 3 1/4 " and a strip of star fabric about 4" wide. You can basically strip piece the stars. You put them down one side and then cut and put them down the other side. It is hard to explain in words. I will put them together with the batting and quilt them this weekend.

Don't you just love the red and purple.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Productive week

I have had a very productive week and an especially productive Sunday afternoon. I machine quilted the quilt that my aunt made for my daughters Israeli friend's baby and one of the D9P for my daughter in law to give one of her friends.
I posted some blocks several weeks ago and Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio suggested pot holders or hot mats. I thought what a great idea. Maybe I am late to the party and some of you have been doing hot mats forever but not me. I did a little internet research and ordered Insul-Bright. It is similar to batting but it supposedly reflects the heat. The package says to use one layer of their product and a layer of thin cotton batting.

Well let me just tell you I have had a ball making these hot mats the last two days. I have so many ideas for more in my head. There is a group of 5 of us who went to school together. Some of us have been friends since the second grade, (sort of sick isn't it). We meet once a month for din
ner. I made each one of them a Christmas hot mat. Then I started to think of all the people I could make one for: my grandson's teacher, some of my other friends, my sister in law. It is just like making a mini-quilt, but in a hour or so.

This is a not Christmas one and the back. I love some green and purple.

Monday, November 17, 2008

FUN Fabrics

My aunt and I had such a good time this weekend. we went to dinner Friday night and she told me that a nearby quilt shop was having a sale on Saturday. If you got there between 8 and 10 am you got 40 % off. Who could resist? I went nuts. I used to think you could not buy a piece of fabric unless you knew who you were going to use it. Well I got over that!! I found this great print with colors I love, purple, green, orange. I have no idea how to use it but at some point I will. Anybody have any ideas? I am also in a dots phase. I found two really neat dot fabrics. I also found this really cute monkey flannel. My grandson is crazy about monkeys. I can't quite figure out how to use it.

My daughter has a classmate who is here with his wife and baby from Israel. My aunt and I met they a couple of weeks ago and decided to make a quilt for the baby. She made a very very cute quilt and now I am going to machine quilt it. She used some fabric that a friend gave her when she gave away her stash. I wasn't really excited about it until she added the yellow border. Boy what a difference that made. So cute!!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I finished a Disappearing Nine Patch top and I love the way it looks. I wasn't crazy about the print I used but I love the way it looks with the dark blue print. The D9P makes all kinds of patterns. It goes together quickly and looks much harder than it is. Now I have two tops to quilt. I guess that will be my goal next week. I still haven't started on my grandson's whale quilt.

We have had an interesting turn of events this week. Our daughter broke her engagement. I don't know if we saw it coming or not. We are in the process of making phone calls to see if we can get any of the deposits we have made back. you know just because something is for the best it doesn't mean it is easy or doesn't hurt. We have all been through a range of emotions this week. Our daughter is getting an MBA and is very busy. I think that
contributed to the demise of this relationship. His parents are good friends of ours and that makes it very difficult for everyone. We care a lot about the young man but we support our daughters decision.
I made these two little blocks and I really like them. They are more purple than it looks in the picture. I am wondering what to do with them. I need something to get really interested in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Neat quilt

A good friend of my daughter sent me pictures of the quilt she made from t-shirts she collected during college. She and my daughter were sorority sisters at Chapel Hill. They were members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. What a creative way to preserve those memories of your college years.

I also have my own personal Charlotte. My son noticed Charlotte yesterday when he came to pick up the grandson. The beauty in a spider web is fascinating. The grandson had a bad day yesterday. He woke up throwing up and spent the day being cared for by his Nana. He has not been sick hardly at all because he stays here with us and doesn't go to day care. I felt so sorry for him yesterday, he just could not understand what was going on.

I have another book recommendation. St. Dale by Sharon McCrumb. It is about a group of people that go on a Dale Earnhardt memorial tour. You don't have to be a NASCAR fan to enjoy the book but I guarantee you will learn something about car racing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great Day

As a career educator today is a wonderful day. Barack Obama has achieved through hard work and dedication what we told students they could achieve. I taught in a predominately black school (85%) for many years and it was the most satisfying years of my career. I loved and admired those young people. We told them they could do what they wanted in this world if they worked hard enough and today Barack Obama has shown us that is true. His young years were not stable but he had a family that loved him and that made such a difference. It makes me teary to know that his beloved grandmother died the day before he realized his dream. I just hope he will be safe during his years in office. There are some crazy people in this world.

We have been riding around this morning looking at the beautiful trees.
Last year this time I was doing some work in my kitchen and choosing a color to paint. I chose a lovely orange and I have wondered what color I would have chose if it had been spring instead of fall. I love working in my kitchen and I don't regret the color one bit. I love the Georgia O'Keefe prints and she uses a lot of orange. My daughter says don't say orange mother say melon! My daughter brought me a pottery bowl back from a visit to Texas and I used those colors for my inspiration. I should use those colors for a quilt.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We went to a very interesting art exhibit the other day. Here are some of the things we saw. The picture of the shoes was taken by my uncle in Copenhagen. He is a great photographer, always taking pictures of the family. He has done some excellent work. We are so fortunate to have someone chronicling our family activities. I like the orderliness of the picture, reminds me of a quilt top.

The two small watercolors are by my friend Brenda, who is a hair dresser. The one of the nun is titled The Original Terrorist. I told her that was controversial and she said she was raised Catholic so she could do it.

The small quilts are by a friend of Brenda's. I wish you could see the detail on her work, it is amazing. The figures are appliqu├ęd on the background. She has also combined hand quilting, machine quilting and embellishing. I was so disappointed to see that whoever did the displays had placed some objects on top of the quilts making them hard to see.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

My son and I took the grandson with his preschool class to the pumpkin patch the other day. He had such a good time, He got to pick out a pumpkin although he didn't want to slow down for long. He got to pet some animals and just generally run around and tire himself out. It is so much fun to watch kids exploring and seeing new things. During his nap my son put together the big boy bed so now Nana has to get to work on the whale quilt.

I got to spend a day working on my Christmas project. So Nana had some fun of her own. I added the border and the words. I am going to put small houses and trees up each side. I really enjoyed the letters.
My goal next week is the whale quilt.