Monday, June 26, 2006

We have a winner

Consensus of opinion is without the inner border (that's the way I like it, too), so that's the way it's going to be. Now just need to get busy on the rest of the applique.

Spent some time playing with the Handiquilter and my Tulip Farm quilt. Not doing a great job, but learning some stuff anyway and I'm keeping this quilt, so won't be taking out stitches unless it's really bad!

1. A nice dinner at Red Lobster for my birthday today.
2. I think I'm going to like being 59 -- actually planning on enjoying the next year.
3. Making a decision on the Double Four Patch quilt borders.
4. Back home after dinner and it's still light out.
5. Enjoying all our blooming flowers as we pulled into the driveway.

Need Your Opinion

The applique borders will have these big flowers on them and also leaves between the flowers. I have the flowers appliqued on one border so far. I need your opinion on whether to put a narrow border between the top and the wide border or not. I'm using a print that is in the top for the example above; could also probably find a tone on tone in maybe green to put there. I'm not sure it really needs an inner border. What do ya think?

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Thanks for everyone's kind comments about my mom. The good news is that the bad parts fade and it's possible to go back and remember the good times instead!

No pictures again today, but I am going to go up and quilt today. Had a wonderful breakfast with my brother and his family this morning (and don't need to eat the rest of the day because of it! vbg). It's been raining off and on since last night, so don't have to do any outside work today and the applique borders on the double four patch are calling me!

1. Blogger friends that understand.
2. Catching up with my brother and his family (all part of my trying to spend more time with family and friends).
3. Aaron starts his training for the new job July 5 -- we finally have a date at least.
4. Bill - what a wonderful man I married.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom

No pictures today -- I'm working on the applique for the Double four-patch.

Today would have been my mom's 86th birthday. She died 11 years ago. We actually lost her 16 years before that -- she had Alzheimer's. It presented itself when she was 59 - which is the age I will be in a few days. I keep having this feeling that I just want to quietly get through the next year without any indications that I also have the disease -- kind of like other odd milestones in my life.
I do get forgetful -- but don't we all. I know the worst sign is not the forgetfulness -- it's the confusion -- it's not misplacing the keys, but not knowing what the keys are for. My poor dad at the onset of the symptoms did not understand any of it. He still expected a lot from her that she couldn't comprehend. She quickly lost her ability to speak and understand sentences. She was frightened and so were we. It was quite a while before we finally got a diagnosis -- this was back 27 years ago -- Alzheimer's was just in the early stages of being a diagnosis. My dad took early retirement so he could take care of her -- which he did at home for the first 8 years (and yes, I helped as much as I could). We finally convinced him that he couldn't take care of her any more, so he found a good nursing home to put her in for the last eight years. He went to see her every day until he died (he even was on his way to the nursing home the day he died). Dad died two years before she did. And, yes, of course, I did what I could to take his place for her -- but I could not go every day.
For all those last years, it was very hard to remember the early years -- the good times. I had a very wonderful childhood -- my parents were both wonderful people and loving parents. I had a sister and two brothers (I was the third child). All that's left is my younger brother and me, but we all had a great childhood - filled with laughter and fun. We knew we were loved and really, what else is there?
So, thanks, Mom (and Dad!). And Happy Birthday, Mom.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You know you're getting old when.....

you vaguely remember making the quilt, but you can't for the life of you remember who you made it for. Must have been a girl baby -- pink binding! Pretty sure I made it sometime in the last couple years. Maybe DGS's babysitter's new daughter? Who knows -- I may drive myself crazy til I figure it out, though!

Had guild last night. Claire Powers was the speaker. She's from the Rockford, IL area. And she does the most exquisite hand applique I have ever seen. She does hand applique exclusively, only piecing to put the quilt tops together or for a guild challenge occasionally. Most of her quilts include birds and usually flowers, and she designs all of them herself. Absolutely stunning work. I was in a workshop taught by her about 5 years ago. She doesn't do needleturn -- she prepares each piece as she goes along -- using index cards and glue for some shapes, etc. She does her trees by cutting and appliqueing an inch at a time and the tiny branches are amazing. Anyway -- thoroughly enjoyed her program last night.

1. Both AJ and Briana were here for Father's Day. What fun we had.
2. Aaron passed the driver's test in prep for his new job.
3. I have two projects to do in the sewing room before I get back to appliqueing the borders of the double four patch.
4. Even though I'm intimidated after seeing Claire's applique work, I think I'm going to like what I've got designed for the said double four patch!
5. Quiet dinner for two at home tonight.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Still Working On The Double 4 Patch

I have the top together (although this picture only has vertical rows together). Now I'm working on borders. Saw a quilt in a magazine with an appliqued border, so thought I'd try that. Cut 6½" wide white on white strips to add as borders. Cut some fabrics I used in the quilt on the bias for stems and started stitching down the first side border. Haven't designed the flowers/leaves yet -- I'll do that after I get the stems appliqued down. I really like this quilt. I have a few leftover blocks and some more floral fabric I haven't cut yet, so eventually, I may make another one!

Note to Forest Jane: No, I didn't tea dye or buy FQ's -- I just shopped my considerable stash for the flag quilt.

1. Spending the afternoon piecing and appliqueing.
2. Roy Clark, Tom T. Hall, Keith Urban, Fleetwood Mac -- cd's I sewed by today.
3. Air conditioning -- it's hot and humid here.
4. Watching the hummingbirds at the feeder and the Eastern Bluebird checking things out too.
5. My new Bleeding Heart plants are prospering.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flag Day

It's Flag Day in the United States. Hope everyone is flying their flag -- we do, everyday.
Here's two more of my flag quilts.

No quilting going on here at the moment, but for sure tomorrow!

1. I'm an American citizen, born and raised.
2. Renewed my committment to my weight loss, yet again.
3. Finished my to-do list today.
4. Phone conversation with my brother.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Because the camera is always in the basement and the quilts are all upstairs, you get to see an oldie but goodie today.
I took a class from Nancy Lee Chong at Quilt University at least 3 years ago, to make this Celtic Tablerunner. It is all hand appliqued, using bias cut fabric, not the bias tape stuff. I've taken a number of classes from Nancy and have learned a ton and enjoyed every class.
I wish I lived in the Pacific Northwest sometimes because I love taking classes from her - she's really a great teacher.
This quilt currently resides with my son and his Irish wife! (Oh yeah, and it's hanging on batting that is hanging on my french doors with sunshine pouring in -- the show-through is the panes of the door!)

1. Finishing all the to-do list today.
2. I'm tired, but it's an "accomplished something" tired!
3. Talking to Stephanie on the phone today.
4. Looking forward to meeting friends for breakfast in the morning.
5. JR sleeping at my feet.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another Flag Quilt

This is one of the first flag quilts I made. I "think" it's from the book, Fast Fun and Fabulous or something like that. Back in the early to mid 90's. I liked it -- still do actually. It's hanging at the bottom of the basement steps for now -- my other spots upstairs are not wide enough for it!

I had one of those productive/unproductive days. Didn't feel like walking on the treadmill, so did some crunches and some squats and leg lifts and curls and let it go with that. Then checked mail on the computer. Then went up for coffee and the newspaper. By this time, Bill has gone out to mow. I look like the Wreck of the Hespers (my mom always said that -- have never looked up what it meant - vbg!). Anyway, knock on the door and it's the girlfriend of the farmer that rents our land. She admires the house (and probably thought I looked like an old hag!), and brings our rent check -- which her procrastinating boyfriend should have gotten to us two months ago - vbg -- but we know him pretty well, and he's already planted corn, so if he expected to harvest it, we knew he'd pay sooner or later! Anyway -- she left, I finished the paper, had breakfast,put the ingredients together for a loaf of bread and threw it in the breadmaker, back to the basement to vacuum, clean the bathroom and wet swiffer the tile floors. Then Bill headed out to get the cylinder on his tractor welded, and I went out and weeded the 1st flower bed for the second time and spread 15 bags of mulch on it (still need more, but we're temporarily out!). Back in to finally shower, write the check to pay estimated taxes and fill in deposit slip for farm rent check; run to post office (and please tell me why I have to pay taxes and in addition, have to pay for return/receipt/certify to make sure they get where they are supposed to because I can't trust the postal service to do it!); stop at bank in the grocery store, and pick up 5 lb bag of whole wheat flour and the brand new quilt magazine, Quilters Home. Bill brings in the mail and of course there's another check that needs to be deposited -- the next time I go to town.

I had all these big plans of playing in the sewing room today and it never happened at all. But I did get a few things done that I needed to; also got the paperwork stuff all caught up and synchronized three calendars I keep!


1. Bill showed up to haul the last 5 bags of mulch for me -- they are really heavy!

2. Got my new "calendar" plan all thought out and started up. I've always been a list maker and calendar user, but now I've got the calendars down here and in the kitchen and in my purse synchronized with all appointments, etc., plus birthdates of family and friends and notes when to buy cards and when to mail cards. Also, notes when to call extended family -- I'll do it if I make an appointment, otherwise, it's always "been meaning to" which ends up being long stretches of time.

3. Called old friends (one of those been meaning to calls) last night and made a breakfast date with them for next week. It'll be great to catch up.

4. The rain held off til the front yard was mowed and the weeding was done today.

5. Memories of Mom.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Patriotic Quilts

Finally got some of my patriotic quilts out as Jeanne did. She had hers out by Memorial Day -- I'm a little slower -- but at least they're up by Flag Day! A few years ago I made flag quilts every year for 3 or 4 years. So here's one of them:
Once again I snapped the picture inside where the lighting is not that great for pictures. I gave my daughter-in-law one of my red, white and blue quilts, so guess I'll have to get busy and make some more -- especially scrappy ones -- be a great way to use up some stash, too.

1. Got all the things crossed off my to-do list today.
2. Went to the visitation for a friend of DH's today (instead of high mass tomorrow). Carl had not been well for a while, but died unexpectedly, which was a blessing as he would not recover from his illness and is no longer suffering.
3. Talked to both Bill's sisters and my brother's wife in the last two days -- nice to make the connections and vow to not let so much time pass between calls.
4. Dinner with friends.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What I'm Working On

Basically -- what I'm working on is a mess!

This is my "design wall" -- it consists of a large quilt hanging from a nice quilt hanger in the clutter room. On top of it is pinned the other "ugly" sunflower table runner that I just need to sammich and quilt; a sunflower wallhanging in the process of being designed -- it's folk art, which means I can't draw a lick! It's mostly going to be hand appliqued. Then there's that block that Linda showed on her blog that I like and am doing leaders and enders to make a few more of and the main attraction is a Double 4 Patch I'm working on done with my collection of flowered prints. I needed to do something with that stack of fabrics and that block just jumped out and grabbed me and said, please, please, use me.

Anyway -- I'll get to each and every one of these projects sometime during the summer -- maybe even in time to change the quilt they're all hanging on!


1. Strawberries fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun.

2. Doing the second round of weeding -- lots less weeds if I keep after them.

3. These amazing computers -- think how much they've opened up the world of quilting.

4. Running to the store without makeup on and not running into anyone I know!