Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Bye 2009!

My cousin had this quote on Facebook:

There's an ancient Chinese curse/blessing that says "May you live in interesting times!" That's the way 2009 has been, and I for one am EAGER for the new year! May all your wishes come true, all your resolutions turn out well, and may you live a year of hope, joy and service!

I could not have said it better. I want to say I am glad 2009 is over but it sounds so much more positive to say I am looking forward to the new year.

Our holiday was great. We had family here and a crowd the day after Christmas. It was so much fun. We got together with my husband's mother's family last night. My aunt, her daughter in law and 3 grandchildren came today. They had a blast with my two grandsons. My aunt said we used to spend the week between Christmas and New Years visiting and we don't do that any more.

My kids went together and bought me a Kindle. They know how I love to read. Does anyone else have one and how do you like it? The funny thing is we gave our daughter one too! She is going to be traveling with her new job and she thought she would really use it.

My daughter in laws mother sent me a huge bag of remnants. There is nothing a quilter loves better than free fabric. There are lots of very interesting fabrics, different from what I would buy and I like the diversity.

I got some time to sew today. I have wanted to do something with black and white. At first I had thought I would do a snails trail with black and white but I think I am going to do something more graphic. What do you think? I trimmed the blocks to 7 1/2". I might use them for bedspreads on the twin beds in one of my extra rooms.

Happy New Year to everyone!! I appreciate all my blogging friends, thank you so much for your support.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holiday

Our house renovations are complete. Including our porch being closed in! We moved the furniture in today. We are very excited.

I have really enjoyed reading everyone's blog the last couple of weeks and reading about all the holiday plans. Barb is visiting her sons for the holidays. Victoria at Bumble Beans is enjoying the city and had a beautiful snow last weekend. Finn also has neat pictures of the snow, it really looks like Christmas where she is. Even Tonya had snow and a new car even though it is buried under the snow. Lots of you are planning to travel for the holidays and lots are expecting family to visit them. I hope everyone has a wonderful time and remembers the real meaning of the holiday.

I have four wreaths at different places in the house and this is my favorite. I didn't have a place to hang it to I put it on the inside of the front door.

Don't you just love pre-lit trees!

We have a local nursery that sells the most beautiful poinsettias. I remember when you only got them from the florist. Over 35 years ago I so wanted one. My husband came home on Christmas Eve with one. They had some at his work and they drew for them and he won! I will never forget how beautiful it was.

We are having a bunch of family the day after Christmas. We are really looking forward to everyone being together.

Next week when things calm down I am sewing, taking time for myself.

Merry Christmas to all

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Hiatus

Hiatus: 1. A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break

After Thanksgiving I had lots of ideas and even started what I thought might be a placemat.

The more I thought about it the more I wondered if making Christmas placemats was a good use of my time. I have not bought a lot of gifts, we are trying to finish up our remodeling project, and I know this does not apply to anyone but me but my house needs cleaning.

We have decided to close in our screened porch. It won't be glassed in it is a new product with clear mylar panels that can be lowered and you have screen or raised and you are weather proof. We are hoping it will be finished by Christmas and I really want some furniture so we can use the room when everyone is home. We have been shopping for our new room. I am really excited.

And there are so many little things to be taken care of. Lights to put up, doors to be painted. Please let them be finished soon. I am tired of my space being invaded.

I did do a little sewing on my black and white snails trail. I am not sure how I like the one with the black on the right.

We are taking our older grandson to Disney on Ice on Sunday for his birthday. His birthday is Christmas Day! It should be fun for all.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Remember all of those who aren't as fortunate. I will see you on the other side. I will continue to read all the wonderful blogs out there. I enjoy everyone's blog so much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey soup

You know Thanksgiving is over when you make turkey soup which is what I did today. We had a wonderful holiday. We had dinner with my aunt and her family. Isn't her table beautiful? I love a beautiful table. I think Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. There is not the pressure of Christmas and you almost always are with your family. If you don't want to cook you can even order a whole meal from the grocery store! I have done that before and it isn't bad.

The greatest thing for me is that the members of my family are also my friends.

This is what the turkey looked like when my cousin finished carving. My other cousin's sweet potato biscuits were to die for. We had so much food and it was all so good.

My aunt and I visited our favorite quilt shop on Friday and I found some great fabrics. I actually followed a lady around to grab the piece on the right.

These are for my black and white snails trail.

My aunt is giving some of her stash away and I got these two great prints. Aren't they darling?

We got home on Saturday and I got some time to sew on Sunday. I have put together my snails trail but I have no idea where to go from here. I want to add a border but that may have to wait until after Christmas.

I hope to do a couple of Christmas placemats. And I do need to do some shopping!! I can't decorate until they finish with my house. Oh well!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to all. My husband and I are getting away from all the mess at our house. We are having dinner tomorrow with my favorite aunt and uncle. All the kids are off on their own adventures. My aunt and I hope to hit at least one quilt shop on Friday.

I hope everyone has a safe, fun filled holiday. Don't eat too much!!

Mr. Turkey, thanks to my grandson who is obviously an artist.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Mess!

Our yard, our house is a big mess! We do have a new roof and they have made some repairs. Rain prevented the people doing the siding working today. But they could have come and picked up some of the shingles they took off the roof.

There was a really bad place outside our kitchen door and they repaired it yesterday. My dining room is on the other side and yes they did come through the wall, UGH!!

And try getting kids to take naps when folks are banging on the roof!

This is not our truck and you can't see it very well but it is full of the old shingles they took off.

There is stuff all over the yard and we have a big yard. It makes things in the house seem so out of order. Oh well, it will be great when they finish.

I did get up to my studio this afternoon. I made a few more snails trail squares. I got lots of great advice. Thanks so much for your help. Some said keep the coral and some said no. Actually in person it sticks out but not like in the picture. I have rearranged them a bit and I really like this. It is more orderly than I had before. Ok now give me some suggestions for quilting these squares. I really like the patterns that emerge that you didn't expect. Yes I know some swirl one way and some another. I did that on purpose.

I think I will use all the four squares I have over for the border.

Now this is my next project and it is hard not to give up on what I have started and work on this. I have seen so many of you do things with black and white. I am going to do snails trails with black and white fabrics only! I am doing a snails trail series of quilts. Last fall and winter I did several D9P. I really enjoy doing more than one quilt using a particular technique. You can really explore different aspects of the pattern.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Where is the sun?

We have had four days of rain, drizzle, clouds and wind. Every day we wake up and hope we will see the sun but so far no luck. The weather man said sun today but he was wrong! I know some of you would not think it is cold but it is hanging in the 50s and with the wind it feels cold to us southerners!

I did get upstairs to sew a bit this afternoon. I am working on my snails trail and liking it so far but I need some advice. First how do you like the bright one on the upper left. That is not pink but it looks pink in the picture. It is actually a coral. It is a beautiful color but I am wondering if it is too bright. I could take both that square and the purple out and make it more muted.

I am also considering putting the squares in groups of 4 with sashing. Yes I know some of them swirl clockwise and some the other way. Personally I like them that way. It adds some visual interest.

I needed more room on my design wall and moved my houses over. I actually like the haphazard way they are arranged. I wish I had about 2 days to do nothing but sew and make more houses and more snails trails. It doesn't seem like there is enough time.

I do a lot of thinking while I am sewing and I have been thinking about the challenges to finish UFOs before the end of the year. I didn't do any of them because I just didn't know how much time I would have and I didn't want the added pressure. I learned when I was teaching that everyone had a unique level of what they can handle. I also think your level may change as you get older. I used to be able to juggle three children and a full time job. I almost always put a meal on the table that I prepared myself. I enjoyed it but I could not do it now. What I am saying is we should all be more tolerant of each other and easier on ourselves. Almost everybody I know does a great job of handling their life. Somebody may do more than the next person but maybe that person is doing the best they can.

I am amazed at how much some of you accomplish while I am plugging along. I celebrate all of you hard workers and hope you will be tolerant of us slowpokes!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Go Away Rain!

We had a wonderful relaxing weekend. Does this looked relaxed to you? Would you believe he didn't catch a thing! But he had a good time.

We are having some work done to the outside of our house and the first thing that was done was to take out a huge pine tree that was right in front of our front door. I am always amazed at folks that take down trees.

This guy took a chain saw and laid the tree right down in the only place in the front yard where there was enough room! The next thing is to put the roof on but we are getting the remnants of Hurricane Ida and it has rained all day. Good for me because I was in the studio sewing all day. I will post pictures soon! But bad for what we need done.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Flat Boy

My cousin's son is in the second grade and he has a little friend who we will call Flat Boy. Flat Boy is traveling around to friends and family and keeping a journal of his adventures. We were lucky enough to have Flat Boy spend a couple of days with us.

He met our dog Gus.

He had breakfast with us one morning. You have to look closely, that is him in the middle of the table in front of the sausage.

He even was able to go to school with our grandson one day.

It has been so much fun having Flat Boy stay with us and he is no trouble at all. I am anxious to see what other places he gets to travel to.

I haven't been sewing much this week. I am still working on my Snails Trail. I ran by the fabric store the other day. I only had a minute and I needed one specific color, sort of a azure blue and believe it or not they had the exact color I needed. How many times does that happen?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Charm blocks

My daughter in law surprised me this weekend with some charm blocks. I have never used them before. I have made several quilts for her to give friends who are having babies. She honestly didn't need to give me anything because I really enjoyed making them. I don't really know how to use them but it seems like endless possibilities. I would love to use them to make a coin quilt.

She also brought me this darling robot fabric. This will make a great back or maybe I could fussy cut some of the characters. Don't you just love the colors?

We had a wonderful weekend. Our youngest grandson was baptized. He did so well. He doesn't like strangers and I was afraid he would cry when the minister took him but he didn't. It was so great to have everyone here even if it was just for a short while.

I was messing around yesterday and did some snails trail. I think the purple is a bit strong. I really enjoy making these blocks. I think I will use some different colors and see how that works.

What was the most fun for me was figuring out how big to make the next layer of squares by using that famous old theorem of Pythagoras. Well you know us old math teachers have weird ways of having fun!! I should do a tutorial. This is one of those blocks that is much simpler than it looks.

Yes I did use a calculator for those nasty square roots.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful suggestions on my house quilt. It is up on my design board and I am just going to look at it for awhile. I think I need to use softer colors if I do sashing. I am also making some different size houses. I can actually add to some of the houses I have already done to make the sizes vary a bit. I love the liberated way of working but it does take a lot of creative energy. Sometimes it is soothing to work on something simple that doesn't require so much creativity.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whack Whack

I made these blocks a couple of years ago and they had been in a drawer ever since. They are Jan Mullen butterflies. For some reason they never spoke to me. I would get them out occasionally and look at them but never could figure out how to use them.

I love the fabrics so I thought lets cut them up! So whack, whack and each block was turned into 4 blocks. You can't imagine how liberating it is to whack up quilt blocks!! It releases a lot of tension.

I took the one of the blocks and made it into a house. I may make houses out of the rest or use them is some other way. The angles that are formed when you cut them up are really interesting.

This is where I am so far. I welcome any suggestions. I was thinking of a bold sashing or possibly putting 4 blocks together. All the houses are 8 1/2", maybe I should make some taller or thinner. Maybe a more subtle sashing would work.

I am a doting grandmother and I don't apologize. I have to include this picture of my "helpers". Why are stairs so fascinating to crawlers?

Notice the tool belt! This boy is going to be a hand man!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two finishes

I have finished two more baby quilts. One is for a friend of my daughters and one for a friend of my daughter in law.

They will both be here next weekend for our youngest grandson's baptism. I am looking forward to a wonderful family weekend.

I am working on my scrap blocks and making houses out of them. I think I will call this my Sanity quilt and make it for myself. I have never made myself a quilt. Then this winter I can do the hand quilting. I am varying some of the backgrounds. What do you think? I thought I would do the wonky stars for a border. Do you like my new "design" wall? It is a couple of plastic tablecloths from Target.

Did you see the interview with Dan Brown last night? I was fascinated with what he had to say about the Free Masons. I bought his book at Sams Club the other day. I was going to wait and read it later on but it sounds so interesting I am going to start it tonight. Anybody read it yet?

My mother has a young woman with her now. My husband and I visited an assisted living facility the other day. I don't know if that is the best thing for my mother or not. It is so hard to know what to do.

Monday, October 12, 2009


For my own mental health I had to get into my sewing room yesterday. I don't have a pressing project. I wish I had one to concentrate on but at the moment I don't. I have two quilts that I have sewn the binding on and I need to do the handwork. I have the quilt for my grandson that I am hand quilting but I need something that is so engrossing I cannot think of anything else. Any ideas?

I did make a liberated star yesterday that I just love. A bunch of these would make a great quilt.

I am still doing scrap blocks. I didn't like this one so I cut it in half and put it back together.

This is kind of a wonky scrap log cabin. I really like the scrappiness of this one. Is scrappiness a word?

Still working on a few houses. I am having an affair with dots. These are scrap blocks made into houses.

I really like these. How would they do for a whole quilt?

Two more scrap blocks. They are a great thing to work on when you just need to do something.

I am still working on my mother's situation. I was so dependent on her caregiver that it has really been a jolt for me. Her caregiver is doing well and will recover but won't be able to come back to work. She did so many things for us. She is almost irreplaceable. I am looking at other options and we may try assisted living. It would give my mother some companionship and more stimulation. I am determined to look forward and make good decisions. Thanks so much for all your kind words. It means so much to me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I can say that this week has not been what I expected. We are all dealing with my aunt's death. Thanks so much for all the thoughtful comments. My mother's primary caregiver had a stroke yesterday! I am hopeful that she will recover but she won't be able to come back to work for us. She had been my lifeline for the last 6 months. Now what?

On a much lighter note and very exciting, my aunt found a workshop with Freddy and Gwen in Texas in March! She called and asked would I be interested! Would I be interested!!! OH YES!! So we signed up and are very excited to be going.

Anybody ever heard of these folks? Or been to any of their workshops.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My dear sweet aunt Net died unexpectedly Sunday night. She was in the hospital but expecting to go home the first of the week. We are all so sad. She was an absolutely wonderful person. I can't begin to tell you how good she was. She was my mother's youngest sister and had visited my mother at least once a week since mother's stroke in November. She lived her life the way we all should. One of her daughters told me she found a note her mother had written to herself praying to be a better person. I honestly don't know how she could have been better. She was always thinking of others and what she could do for them. She leaves a husband, three daughters and nine grandchildren. Also, many nieces and nephews and other family members and friends who loved her dearly.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Driving the firetruck!

The husband of a very good friend of mine is a captain in the fire department and he showed our grandson around the fire station yesterday. That was one excited little boy.

I made another house earlier in the week.

I am not super motivated this week. I have a couple of quilts to put the binding on and I can't quite seem to find time. I have my boys back and I am sort of busy these days. I did want to do a little something this afternoon. This is my scrap box.

One of the great things I learned from Gwen Marston was take those scraps and put them together and make squares. It is like putting together a puzzle.

I love doing these squares. I have no idea what I am going to do with these blocks but they are so fun to make. You really use your brain when you make these. I try to make them roughly
6 X 6. You could use them to make houses or as a border if you had enough. You could make a whole quilt using these blocks if you made a lot

Something fun to do when you just need to sew a little to get your head straight.