Monday, June 30, 2008

A Happy Day

Yesterday was Larry's and my 28th anniversary. I made my dress and his suit and shirt. My dress was made from some curtains, and it was meant to be a sample so I could see if I liked the pattern, but I liked it so much I used the sample for the real thing.

We had a tasty homemade ice cream cake.

Company came for dinner. On the right is my sister-in-law, Judy, my husband Larry, our oldest son, Daniel, and my brother, Peter's profile.

On the left is my brother, Peter, my sister, Sara, and another picture of Daniel. David was at band practice and arrived home about twenty minutes after the company left. We saved some dinner for him!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh my!

Oh my, I just received an email from my favorite quilt shop that they are closing. How can this be? It is such a gorgeous shop, conveniently located about six miles from home, and about halfway to my mom's, so I drive past it twice a week. I have gotten some lovely fabrics there and it makes me so sad that they are closing. First Wal-Mart's fabric dept, and now the quilt shop. I know that in the big picture this is a small thing, but it still makes me sad. :>{

They are having a big sale, everything 35% off, and they ship orders over $100 for free. I guess I'll stop in over the weekend and see what's left. I really don't need any fabric right now, but I may as well plan ahead. (Don't ask me where I'll put any more fabric!) My friend told me her mother-in-law has a plaque that says, "She who dies with the most fabric wins!" :>} LOL

On the bright side, I have the upcoming week off! Last year our vacation was spent painting my parents's house which we were preparing to sell for my mom. I absolutely hate to paint and I am not comfortable on ladders or being in the hot sun for very long (unless I'm submerged in water!) so it was not a very fun vacation. This is my second vacation already this year, as I took a week off in March. I feel so spoiled! My sister is coming up again, and we plan to have mini quilt camp like we did in March. We'll also visit with our mom and get together with our brother and his wife. Our other sister just moved from Pennsylvania to Kansas, so she won't be able to join the fun. She is far away getting settled into her new surroundings.

In my next post I'll introduce you to my dh! I realized that I don't mention him often, but he is a very important part of my life, and I really do spend a lot of time with him even though I haven't introduced him to my blogging friends yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tagged by Suzanne!

Suzanne, my good blogging buddy from Australia, has tagged me, inviting me to share six
random things about myself.

1. I visit my mom twice a week, taking her some lunch which includes her favorite mushrooms. She lives in assisted living, and for some reason they never serve mushrooms.

2. I don't like mushrooms!
3. I love to admire the beauty in nature.

4. I love to watch things grow.

5. I love water.

6. I like to stay home, but when I go somewhere, it is fun to have such a cute little car! My mom bought it in 2002 for herself. Her diminished vision forced her to give up driving, so she asked me to give her car a home. I take her lots of places in it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One former UFO and a big improvement.

Has anyone else ever made a quilt just for the back of the couch?
Hallie has to be part of every project - the self acclaimed project manager.

The colors didn't come out well, but this jacket was in UFO status for six months or more. I needed something to wear to church Sunday, so I sewed on the sleeves, made the buttonholes, sewed on the buttons, and presto! it was no longer a UFO. It is really a rich chocolate brown with very bright orange accents. I think the camera must have focused on the project manager, seated just in front of the jacket. He kept wrapping himself up in the jacket while I was trying to photograph it.

This is the back of the couch from outside. It makes me happy to see the big improvement when I come up the driveway and see it in the window.

It used to look like this. Sitting in the sun for ten years caused some serious discoloration.

I must apologize for the random order of the photos. I often forget as I am loading the pictures that the first one you load is the last one that will appear. You would think I could remember that little detail. I suppose there must be a way to rearrange them, but I can just barely get them posted - I am not computer savvy. :>}
Have a great day, and thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sewing corner

Jodie shared her sewing studio with us at and inspired me to do the same. I was going to tidy up the fabric stash, but that would be cheating! I do tidy it up often, but then I need to find something and it ends up looking much like this again.

I sew in a corner of our dining room. It is not a large room to begin with, and it also contains my desk and of course our dining table and four chairs, as well as my parents' corner curio cabinet that needed a home when their house was sold. The saving grace is that it is off our living room with no wall between them, and a very high ceiling, so it doesn't seem nearly as crowded as it would if it were confined by walls and a regular ceiling.
When the boys were little I loved being able to sew while being in the same room with the family. I still have great conversations with Daniel while I'm sewing. Larry and David are often in their music studios (crowded places like this one, but down the hall) making music. They both play guitar, and maybe someday you'll see a post about that.
The shelves above my sewing area have boxes of partly finished projects, fabric scraps too small to be included in the stash shelves, four large thread boxes, gift wrap, tissue paper, and dinner napkins! They are a handy reach for setting the table which is a mere half step from the sewing corner. My "good" stash is stored in a little unit just behind Daniel's chair at the dinner table. I covered it with an unquilted (as yet) wall hanging, to keep the sun from fading the fabric.
The rest of my stash is here and there. Some in a plastic bag underneath the chair I am sitting in right now (the corner of which you can see in the first photo), some in the lower cupboard of the curio cabinet, some in plastic storage boxes in our porch.
When I saw Lisa Boyer's sewing studio at I thought I could never show mine, but I guess hers is the exception, not the rule. It is gorgeous!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Project

We love our couch, but the back has been against the window for ten years, and has gotten faded and worn from too much sun. This little quilt top is about half finished, and will cover the faded places nicely. I had to come up with something that I would be able to wash frequently since our cat spends about six hours a day looking out that window from the top of the couch. :>} I had to remind myself sternly that it will not matter if it fades in the sun. Quilts are meant to be used, and I much prefer sunlight coming in rather than a darkened room from closed curtains.

I found the neatest directions to do this pattern in a quick "cylinder style" strip piecing. The above portion took about two hours of cutting and sewing. Not bad! I used to be an old school quilter, using templates and tracing and cutting each piece separately from whatever little scraps I had on hand. Two years ago I finally joined the 21st century and bought a rotary cutter and decided it is perfectly okay to have a generous stash of fabric on hand. Just like other artists, quilters need supplies!

My sewing machine is out for repair, but fortunately I have a back-up. I have had my machine since 1974, and about 12 years ago I found one JUST LIKE IT!! at a garage sale for $35. I wasn't going to buy it, but my friend wanted the accessories that came with it for her similar machine (also from a garage sale) and talked me into buying the machine so she could have the accessories for $5. I am so glad to have a back up machine!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Mother Nature's timetable is amazing to see. Something lovely is in bloom from April through November.

I walk past this tree every day. Behold! See what happened to it overnight? It is a Catulpa tree and has shiny heart shaped leaves.

June is the time for roses.

I sure wish I hadn't jiggled the camera - these roses are glorious in their setting.

This is the picture my dad painted (in 1970 I think) of an Amish farm auction.
I hope everybody has a happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Persistance pays!

No, this isn't someone's garden, it is the street! Last fall when pumpkin smashing was sport for a few local teens, some seeds must have lodged between the street and the curb. This one survived rain, snow, ice, countless encounters with the snowplow and road salt, and finally the warmth of June produced this proof that persistance pays. When I walked by the other morning it was in bloom looking lovely. I had to get to work, and didn't have time to go home for the camera. I went back later after the blossom had folded, but took a photo anyway.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday. We miss him, but we have some wonderful reminders of the talented and fun man he was.
Here is a picture of him with my mom. His Teddy bear is beside his clock, which was a wedding gift to his grandmother.

Here is his monkey, Jocko, alongside a history of the clock, which he wrote in 2001. Do you see him at age three standing beside his Teddy bear, who is riding his tricycle?

Dad was a splendid artist. He was always drawing something, even up to a few months before he died. I wish I had more samples here to show you. Mom has the Amish auction picture he painted hanging in her living room. Her diminished vision makes it hard for her to see, but she says when she looks at it she remembers what is there. I'll try to remember to get a photo of it to share.

Dad made these vehicles out of wood for David several years ago, shortly after all of us chipped in and gave him a drill press for a present. He made the tires using the drill press.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I think of you often, but especially on Sundays when I wind your clock.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life is Good!

Wow! Isn't Mother Nature the best artist?
This pillow is for my father-in-law for Father's Day. It is supposed to represent a lovely sunrise. In front of it are some future pillows or mini wall quilts.
More efforts at trying to represent nature. Above is a rainbow, below another sunrise.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Let's face it, I am really bad at computer use. I finally got my links added, with a lot of help from my son, Daniel. Then I discovered that Connie W's blog has gone AWOL - Connie I miss your blog. Then I tried to add a new post, and here my photographs came out huge! I have no idea why. Anyway, this bag is for one of the nurses at work who is moving on to greener pastures. Her last day is Tuesday, and it took me a while to decide what to make for her. I had in mind something summer with pink and green, but another nurse assured me that she would prefer something dark. Okay, I can do that. I was going to braid the handles, but they were pretty lumpy, so I just stitched the three sections together flat, and I like the way it came out. There is a pocket on one side. I wimped out on the quilting and just used my tried and true diamond pattern. I hesitate to experiment when it's a gift for someone. Enough of this indoor activity, I'm going swimming! :>} It's 90 degrees today, and the pool water is 75. Not bad!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mysterious Award

I'm not sure I quite understand about this award, but it is from the amazing Tine, so it must be a very good thing. I always love to visit her blog and see what fun things she and her family are doing.

I would like to pay it forward to some of the other wonderful bloggers I have met, all thanks to Lisa Boyer. I would never have started blogging in the first place if it hadn't been for her. Thanks, Lisa!

Suzanne, of course, the marvelous photographer and creater of lovely cards and scrapbooks, who is teaching me about seasons in Australia. She also reminded me of the most useful life lesson. Create memories now, don't spend all your time on housework. (Not that I was in any danger of that!)

Julie K Quilts who never fails to inspire me to jump up from the computer and go sew something. She makes lovely quilts, both large and small. I love the applique quilt in creamsicle orange she recently posted. Her Baltimore Album quilt is even more amazing.

Jodie at Ric-Rac showed me that selvedges can be useful, too! She actually made a doll sized quilt out of selvedges, as well as a scarf for herself. Of course she makes other lovely things as well.

Connie W and Happy Little Quilter receive my respect and admiration, too, and now I have to figure out how to add links.

The rules are:

Once you've been selected, please follow these guidelines and pay it forward:

1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.
3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Please post these rules!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cat and mouse

As perhaps you have noticed, I have lots of small quilt projects hanging in our home - in fact I can see 27 from where I sit, and just around the corner are five more. I started with just one wall in the dining room, and then added another, and had to expand into the living room. My family is very tolerant of my hobby!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy June!

June is my favorite month! I love the long long hours of daylight. We can take our early morning walk in the daylight, and then another one at night, still light as day. Larry and I got married in June, another reason it is my favorite month.

Hmm, Blogger doesn't appear to want to post pictures today. And here I was all set to post my finished cat picture. I have a little fantasy that I would like to enter it in the quilt show next March. They accept small quilts as well as large, and I do love it! The whiskers are made of nylon thread and look very whisker-like. The eyes and nose are beads, and check out the mouse in the corner. It's a wooden button I picked up at a yarn store nine years ago. You never know when you might need a mouse button. The four borders and binding are all from my stash, and came from the Cotton Candy Quilt Shoppe.

We had such a nice weekend. Sunny and high sixties. Today we went to hear my amazing friend Liz perform at a piano recital the Cleveland Institute of Music hosted at the fabulous Mixon Hall. She is an outstanding pianist! The Botanical Gardens happened to be right across the street, so we went there as well. The Costa Rican rain forest was filled with colorful butterflies, none of which I had ever seen before around here. We do have butterflies, but not like the ones fluttering around in the artificial rain forest. Normally I don't approve of animals in captivity, but this place is more like paradise than captivity. It is enormous and full of lovely flowering plants and trees. The butterflies are free to fly wherever they want to. The Owl variety spent a lot of time perched on wedges of watermelon taking delicate sips of watermelon juice.

For a person who mostly stays at home, I sure have been on a lot of outings lately. :>}

Hopefully Blogger will allow me to post a picture of the cat in the next day or two.