Sunday, April 27, 2008


Once I got going, the free motion quilting was fun! I tried something different in each of the pink blocks.

This stippling is fun!

A little free motion tic-tac-toe.

Do you see the project manager making his inspection?

Kari's quilt is finished! This is the first quilt larger than a baby quilt that I have quilted on the machine, and if you could see my tiny sewing corner you would see why I prefer smaller projects. I was a bit intimidated, especially when I could tell I did not have enough purple thread to do the whole thing. Our foremothers didn't let a little thing like that prevent them from finishing their projects, and I didn't either. I did a very simple grid pattern overall, making enormous 9" squares. Then I used bright pink thread and did free motion quilting in each of the pink squares. It looks okay until you see the back; the pink thread does not enhance the purple backing, but we're not going to worry about that. You know what they say; "Finished is better than perfect." Yes, it is!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best Mailbox!

The Martin family has graciously awarded ourselves "Best Mailbox" for the moment! ;>}
Our status drops to "Far From Best" once the tulip season is over, so we have to enjoy our self-proclaimed fame while we can.
A message to Tine in Denmark: No, the beautiful tree actually belongs to a neighbor, but we get to admire it when we walk around the block, along with lots of other lovely flowering trees.
Regarding the quilt; I haven't made any more progress on it - thanks for asking, and I'll be sure to post a picture of the finished project.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thank you, Mother Nature!

Everywhere we look we see the most glorious signs of Mother Nature at work. Daffodils are my favorite flower. They look so cheerful, and they don't mind if the weather takes a turn and covers them in snow or frost; they bob back up smiling.

This is truly a banner year for the flowering trees. They smell so good and look splendid. What is prettier than a carpet of petals beneath a lovely tree in bloom?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

quilt in progress

This is the completed top for my niece Kari's graduation quilt. The pattern is called "Ribbonworks" by Ursula Riegel. I glanced at the calendar and realized that graduation is in a few short weeks, so I needed a forgiving pattern. This one is very forgiving, indeed, and I love the design. My machine quilting skills need work and I am a little nervous to begin, but nothing ventured nothing gained. I made the back in a giant nine patch pattern out of some remnants I had on hand. This afternoon I tried putting the top, batting, and back together. Our cat was determined to help in every way, so I decided to take a blogging break and go back to it when he is busy elsewhere.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Purse

One UFO down, several to go. I finally finished the purse I started last month when I had the week off. The colors look a little off here. It is actually a gorgeous shade of purple with forest green trim. It has a zippered pocket inside and an open pocket outside. I love making a purse to my own specifications. The outside pocket is where I put letters to mail so I don't forget them.

The lining is aqua. I like the inside to be a light color because it makes it easier to find things. My wallet, glasses case, and cell phone case are all black and show up nicely against the aqua lining. Maybe I need to branch out and make the above items in more interesting colors!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've been tagged.

The charming Tine/Sodeste tagged me. She is amazing. She is a wonderful mom with really fun ideas, and it turns out the she is/was in the Danish military. She also makes lovely quilts.

I've been challenged to share six random things about myself.

1. I only drink cold things, mostly water with lots of ice. I never touch coffee, tea, or any other hot drink.

2. I am a very picky eater - nothing spicy please.

3. I am presently maintaining four journals (including my blog). It started out with the one I've been keeping for years, writing a page or two once or twice a week. I added a daily gratitude journal but it got a little repetitive so now it's a daily journal. I recently added a food journal because . . .

4. It has taken me six and a half years to lose 30 pounds. I have 20 more to go which should only take four or five more years!

5. I prefer to stay home. I have not been out of Ohio since 1999, but thanks to Lisa Boyer's blog, I am determined to visit Kauai, Hawaii.

6. I get up an hour early to exercise every day - well almost every day.

7. Six down and I'm just getting started. I cut my own hair, I once owned my own fabric store, I love visiting alpaca farms.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thank you, Mother Nature!

Wow, four glorious days right in a row. Thank you, Mother Nature! And by the grace of God I had the day off for three of them. It rarely gets better than that. Sunshine and warmth are such a delight. We played outside in the form of raking up some old leaves that somehow escaped our attention last fall, gathering up sticks that came down over the winter, and generally tidying up the yard. We also took a walk to the post office to mail - who hoo! - our taxes, which are finally finished.

Pepper's Market had corn outside on ice and one customer remarked that they won't be needing ice this weekend because it is supposed to snow again. Sigh. I am just not listening to that. I like sunshine and 70 so much better.

The bulbs are coming up, and the crocuses are in bloom. We walked past some that are simply huge - the flowers are as big as small tulips on tiny little crocus stems. Our crocuses are small but still pretty. I would post a picture, but it's 2:30 a.m. and quite dark out.

The tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are coming along. Mom and I saw some daffodils in bloom already at Anna Maria, when we took a walk outside. Nice!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Snack Time

When our children were in elementary school, the school cafeteria offerings included "ants on a log". It was celery with peanut butter and raisins. We improved the recipe by using graham crackers instead of celery, and mini chocolate chips instead of raisins. Chocolate is the new health food, you know! Perhaps we should rename it "ants on a plank". Whatever it's called, it is our favorite snack - yummy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Good Books!

I would have included Lisa Boyer's other book "That Dorky Homemade Look" except my friend Liz is borrowing it at the moment. You will love her books! She is hilarious and has great ideas, and of course her quilts aren't dorky at all, they are gorgeous. You can see them at her website,

Liz and I went to hear Jennifer Chiaverini read a little from her newest book, "The Winding Ways Quilt," and answer questions from the audience, last Wednesday at Laurel Lake in Hudson, Ohio. It was the third time I've been to see her, and she was charming as always. I thought the audience came up with some fairly lame questions but she was a good sport about it. One person complained that the paperbacks aren't all the same size, and don't fit well on her shelf together. (As though the author has any control over that.)

Well, ladies, I love your books and I collect them all whatever the size. I might not be able to afford to get my hair cut, but I can always buy books!

I keep pestering Lisa to write another book and include all the great info she posts on her blog about color choice and quilting techniques.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Buzzards Are Back!

I am so happy to see that the buzzards are back - a sure sign that spring is finally here. I admire those amazing creatures ever so much - from a distance. Their flight patterns make the other birds look silly - all that flapping and squawking. Buzzards just soar and dip; one little tip of the wing and they go gliding off in another direction. I could watch them for hours.

Last summer we went to an outdoor concert and I happened to look up to see seventeen of these majestic birds soaring and weaving among one another as though dancing to the music. It was indescribably lovely. When the music ended they dispersed; the dance was over.

I dare not post a picture because they fly so high they would not show up well in a photo, and up close they are UUG-LY. They are the most humane of creatures - they only eat decaying cadavers that mother natures needs to have cleared away from the landscape. When we're working outside, if we are quietly pulling weeds in one place for a while we might see a shadow overhead. It's time to wave our arms around to remind Mr. Buzzard that we are alive and well, go look for dinner somewhere else.