Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Evening

Hi Friends & Relatives

Here's hoping everyone had enjoyable holidays with family and friends. We enjoyed all the C'mas cards and lovely letters and pictures of families! I tried to keep up but I ran out of cards and was too lazy to go get more so I will be emailing messages to a few people! We had a quiet day with Nate & Deanie and Mark! Lots of good food and leftovers - of course! Tracy called and we chatted for a bit. J.D. is in Phoenix with his mother. He calls and taunts us with weather reports! We hope he's enjoying his visit there, he's due back here on Friday. We've had a couple of days with temps in the high 50's and low 60's - a real treat after the bitter cold.

Mark will have his teen house guests for the week - he's gone to Fort Wayne to meet them and will bring them back here. Tia & Tori have grown up so much since they left; they keep in touch with school friends here and make frequent visits. Mark is so good to them - even takes them shopping!

It's rained a lot here and it's been rather gloomy. Even my big fabric stash didn't tempt me to sew very much. I did make a small wall quilt but can't post a picture of it yet - it's a gift and won't be a surprise if I show it now. So - maybe next week!

Friday I fired myself up and decided to get back to sewing. A few years ago I made the Pioneer Braid quilt shown below and there were a lot of pieces cut in that size so I decided to add more fabrics and started cutting. Saturday morning I cut some more and this morning I began to sew the strips. I have four finished this evening. It is truly a scrappy look quilt but it will keep someone warm.

Often someone will ask me how long it takes to make a quilt. There isn't anyway to know unless you time the entire process. So out of curiosity, I tried to keep track of this one. I estimated 8 hours to dig out the fabric, press it, cut it into strips and then cut to sizes I needed. Today I made the four strips (need a total of ten) and it took about an hour and ten minutes to piece one strip. So - get out your calculators! I'm far from finished and hesitate to begin doing a tally! ! Anyone want to figure it for me?

It will be a quiet week here - I plan to keep working on the quilt. In a few days I'll put away the C'mas decorations - that won't take long tho. The fireplace mantle will stay for a month or so - I love to see my collection of snowmen and Chet likes the lights behind them as his night light! We will also work something out to visit with Tia & Tori and hopefully JD will be able to spend a bit of time in town before he goes back to Bloomington.
Till next time - - take care and keep in touch. . . .

Sunday, December 21, 2008

BRRR - - - And Christmas Past - 2003

Greetings from Greensburg where it is bitterly cold! We've not had a measurable snowfall but had ice a couple of days earlier this week; school was closed one day, a rare event here! I did venture out to pick up medications, groceries and gas. Friday was a nice day and a friend and I "motored" to Rushville where my longarm quilter had a quilt ready to be picked up. (I brought her two more quilt tops to start the New Year with!) I will have to run to the grocery store to pick up last minute things for our Christmas Dinner. Nate, Deanie and her son Chris, and Mark will be joining us. J.D. flew to Phoenix Friday to spend his break with his Mom and Grandmother.

I don't have recent pictures to post so dug up a few from December of 2003 when Tracy, Jon and Anna Grace came for a week! We had snow for them and they were thrilled! Anna was so excited she ran outside without a jacket or shoes!

Jon wanted to "sew something with funky colors" so I did some digging and came up with something that fit the bill - Also found a box with alot of Hole In The Barn Door blocks in it. We set up the Featherweight sewing machine and he choose fabrics and I cut strips to add to each side.

After a quick lesson on how to sew, Jon began sewing the strips to each block. Tracy pressed the blocks and Anna collected all snipped threads in a plastic glass to be scattered outside so birds could add them to their nests!

Next we laid out a few blocks to plan out layout and then started sewing them together!

Interest faded and Tracy & I ended up sewing the blocks together. I added the backing and quilted it after they'd left and later mailed it to him!
And this is a photo of Anna showing her thread snips - for the birds!
Oh - the children have changed so much in the past five years!
Hoping you all have a Happy Holiday season - till next time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Basket Blocks

I went ahead and took pictures of the baskets - remember they're in progress - blocks are sewn into rows and haven't been pressed yet. That's the next step, then I'll sew the rows together and decide if I want to put an outer border on it or not. Decisions - decisions - decisions!

Indiana Iced In

Oh my goodness - we're iced in for a few days. Kids were even lucky enough not to have to go to school today. I was busy sewing away in my little corner of the world and kept hearing noises outside the window. I peeked out and the neighborhood kids had gathered in our driveway to do some "icing" - sledding is on snow, right? (I just coined a new phrase.) Bless their hearts - I conned them into setting my recycle bin and trash down at the curb and asked them to bring up the mail. Will had already brought up the mail earlier and knocked to give it to us but we didn't hear him so he handed it to me in the garage.

Josh was scooting on a small plastic lawn chair and the other kids had the plastic disks and rectangular snow boards. I asked if I could play and heard a big "NO"! Hanna, in upper photo with Will, is accident prone and didn't take a chance on the ice for fear she'd break something. We are so fortunate to have such good neighbors!

I have been sewing but don't have pictures to show today. I've made a stack of basket blocks, using fabrics from my "pinks bin". This is going to be dainty and feminine looking - just throw size.
We are as ready for the holidays as can be - a few decorations are up, cards and checks are in the mail - have to make a menu for our C'mas dinner and shop and cook - and that's it for us this year.
Till next time - take care and keep in touch.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sharing Photos

I just had to share these pictures with all of you! First of course, I have to say that I hope everyone is well and not fussing and fuming over preparing for the holidays. It seems like a lot of people are cutting back on buying and opting for "family time" which I think is more important.
I just had to get a picture of my name "in lights". I was telling a friend that my name was in lights on Lincoln Street and he brought me back to earth by reminding me that it's not in neon like on Broadway in New York or the Strip of Las Vegas! The next three photos are of my niece Ranaye, I was her Godmother and she has a birthday coming up next week. Ranaye is undergoing chemo treatments for breast cancer - she is so brave and we are all very proud of her. We hope and pray all goes well for her. I've always heard the chemo rooms are cold - so I decided to send her this Dresden Plate quilt. It is all machine pieced and beautifully machine quilted (by Carolyn in Rushville, IN). Ranaye received the quilt today and had her husband Larry take photos - I'm so glad he did!
This evening I had an email from her saying the quilt "worked fine" - she took a nap and snuggled under it. It has also received the seal of approval from Rossi, their dog! She draped the quilt over a chair, left for a bit and came back to find the dog sleeping on it! I'm so glad it got Rossi's approval, too.

I also delivered a stack of doll, baby and crib size quilts this morning to a gal who works with a local fund raiser here in town. The Cheer Fund was started 98 years ago. The gal I spoke with said donations are really coming in slow and they fear they won't meet their goal this year. Of course there are a lot of other charities in town that help those in need, too. I also took some lacy embroidered (machine, of course) ornaments - snowflakes, stars and angels, along with a couple of hand knit dishclothes - to my hairdresser and an 84 year old who lives across the street from the beauty shop. We call this lady "the greeter" to the shop! She lives alone and is lonesome, very sharp and witty - I look forward to seeing her and enjoy her alot!
I want to write out C'mas cards tonight and hopefully I'll be inspired to do a bit of decorating around the house tomorrow.
Till next time - stay warm and well.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trees Quilt Info

I meant to talk about the "trees" quilt in the photo with Mark. Several years ago the ladies in my quilt guild had a block exchange. The larger blocks are from the ladies in the guild, and I made the little 3" blocks in the sashing. I put the quilt together and sent it off to Florida where a gal hand quilted it for me - quilting is "loose and free" - like wind blowing among the trees. In exchange, I pieced three crib size and two dolly quilt tops for her. Nice swap, eh? Oh - the quilt won a blue ribbon and $2.00 at our local county fair. It was the first quilt I'd ever shown and I thought it was so lovely and wanted to share it. Well, it created quite a stir at judging time (I heard it all second hand) - I had no idea when you "show" a quilt you need to give boo-hoo details - guess I should have written a note saying it was made by a group and quilted by another person. . . I got the impression a few of the gals thought I was trying to pass it off as totally my own creation. And would you believe - they even created another category for this type of quilt! Fine - but guess who hasn't exhibited a quilt again! Heck - all I wanted to do is show and share what I think is a lovely quilt.

Almost Tis The Season

Greetings Friends & Kin Folk from a lightly snow dusted Greensburg. The temps have dropped and the wind is blowing - I know I have no reason to complain, compared to what other parts of the country are getting.

Will, our kind teenager neighbor, strung sparkling blue lights across the front of our house last week and I dug up the automatic timer - no way am I going out there twice an evening to plug and unplug the lights! Like I said last week, best money I ever spent! Chet tried to take our C'mas decorations from the closet and derailed the sliding door - he's on "MY LIST"! I will change the mantle cover and add my snowman collection and put "pretties" on the piano and candelabras in the windows - and that's it!

Mark and a friend are in the decorating mode, too. His picture looks like a male version of Vanna White, doesn't it? Gotta love that guy. He called in distress, wanting to know if the bow on the wreath wall hanging I gave him last year was attached to the top or bottom of the wreath. . . and then he whined and said he needed a C'mas tree wall hanging - so being the loving mother I am, I made one and it's shown below. A gal in the chat room was surfing and found the pattern and I immediately went to the site and printed it out. The next morning I was digging through the C'mas fabrics bin. The entire piece is from my stash. If you enlarge the close-up shot, you'll see how I stitched a swag garland in gold thread - have to put a dash of spark in it! It was fun to see all the old fabrics again and try to remember what I used them for years ago! (Didn't do very well in the recalling department!)

Speaking of using up stash fabrics, I still have quite a selection of the Aunt Grace fabrics (1930 & 40 reproductions) that I'm trying to use up. I'd made the "broken dishes" blocks a while ago, dug those out, sewed them together and added a border of white & yellow bunnies on soft blue (left over from a large quilt now residing in New Jersey). Found some tiny yellow/white check and used it for the binding. The backing of blue flannel with white clouds - had to piece the leftovers to have it big enough for the quilt - but it looks cute as a button and will keep a baby or a dolly cuddly warm!

Early in the week I had a surprise phone call. The man informed me that my name had been drawn to win the $100 Gas Card for the month of December! Gosh, isn't that neat? I had phone calls and emails from people I'd not heard from in a long time - years, in fact. Mark got calls and emails, too, telling about it. Best part of it all is that my name is on the Car Wash Marquee, on Lincoln Street - in lights! (Not neon, like Las Vegas, just back lighted) - A friend brought me back down to earth and told me not to get carried away. If it hadn't been so blasted cold, I'd have taken a picture of it for this blog posting!

Friend Pat and I "motored" to Batesville which is about 15 miles from here, to check out the sales at the quilt shop which is closing in a month. We really didn't need anything, but would like batiks and they are not on sale yet. Would you believe - I was in a quilt shop and didn't buy a thing! We went into Oldenburg for lunch and spotted a shop we'd not seen before - Dotty's - so of course we checked it out and found goodies there. It's the type of shop you'd go to to fix a basket for a hostess gift, etc. or person who has everything and you need to give them "something"! Herbs, spices, flavored teas, candies - I found Coconut Bonbons and oh, they are so tasty, just melt in your mouth. I also picked up Swiss Mocha Cappuccino mix and a package of chili mix. I've had some cappuccino and bonbons and will do the chili sometime this week. (I make lousy chili and need all the help I can get with it.)
The little boy next door was selling a variety of things as a school fund raiser - I got two boxes of chocolate covered cherries. I hope they're as tasty as they look on the picture on the box. Mitch also brought us an assortment of chocolates and they definitely are tasty! I'm so glad "aged folk" don't get zits from chocolate!
And I'll leave you with that thought!
Oh - one more thing. Some of you have asked about the "Feedjit" on the right side of this page - it shows locations of people who have visited this blog. I really enjoy looking at it - am wondering who it is in Hutchinson that is visiting this site - - I am going to add my email so people can contact me.
Contact me at:
Stay in touch, stay warm and well and take it easy.