Friday, March 31, 2006

The end of the month

Ah - the end of March. Windy, a little rainy, a little sunny this morning -- guess March is going out like a lion -- it did come in like a lamb in these whereabouts if I remember correctly.

Resolution update: I think I did fairly well on the purchase of fabric -- mostly I bought background fabrics, with a few fqs or half yard pieces for specific quilts.

I have managed to make the backings and bindings and labels of the new quilts I made. Still have to deal with ufo's that don't have the backings or bindings or labels made ahead of time!

UFO's: I actually finished two because the blue/green baby quilt was a kit I had made up last year (and I was thanking myself profusely for doing this when I needed a baby boy quilt and really didn't feel like making one -- so nice to just pull it out of the drawer and put it together!). I also finished the Nickel Pinwheel Quilt -- and I found the original label I had made for it back in January (it was hidden among the book/magazine mess I had in DD's old room! - Amazing what you find when you clean things out!). Still need to get a picture taken!

Looking ahead, I started quilting another ufo today, so it will be finished in April - ahead of the game for that month!

Went back to the library today to take back the Sandra Brown book I didn't like, and Catch 22 -- I listened to 3 discs of that one and I found myself completely annoyed with the writing and with the reader -- the voices he was using for each of the characters was truly annoying. If I'd been reading it myself, I think I would have still put it aside -- did not really enjoy it at all.
So, picked up 3 today -- two Danielle Steel books, and Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Listened to the first two tapes of Johnny Angel today while quilting (and can't wait to hear the ending!).


1. Starting the day with sunshine after a rain last night.
2. The grass is starting to green up and we have one tree that has leaf buds on it.
3. Making a bridge date for tomorrow night - even though it'll be at our house so I won't have time to quilt tomorrow!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

More progress

I finally got the baby quilt pressed now that I have a new iron (it's a $20 Black and Decker, Dona! that I actually got for $16!). Anyway -- this quilt was done scrappy, but some of the fabrics that I picked kinda bleed into the other ones - not enough contrast in those areas. But done is good! I traced some bunny, chick and duck cookie cutter shapes in the center of the green squares and quilted those (by machine). I hope the new mom will like it for her baby boy.

Today I had a doctor's appointment and then lunch with a friend - Olive Garden soup, salad and breadsticks -- that's our diet plan! Then came home and put the label on the Nickel pinwheel quilt that is finally finished. Forgot to take a picture, so that'll have to wait til tomorrow. And then, I managed to stitch some backing together, cut some batting, press, and pin baste my next project, which is another ufo, this one called "Argyle Sox" by Kansas Troubles. Hope to get that one finished in the next week or so.


1. Lunch with Deb -- we can't always get together, so it always makes our lunches more special.

2. Accomplishing more than I had planned.

3. Leftovers for dinner -- no thinking.

4. It was an absolutely beautiful midwestern 65° spring day today.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Spring has Sprung!

We're supposed to be in the high 50's, low 60's this week -- yay! Also supposed to get some more rain -- I'll believe that when I see it! But at least with the warmer air, I could be rockin' on the porch watching the daffodils grow!
Today's quilt that will be given to one of my kids was another mystery quilt (see a trend here? -- I used to do a lot of mystery quilts a few years back!). This one was designed by Beth Ferrier. I like it, but I've had it around long enough now -- so think maybe the kids would like it.


1. Flannel Sheets -- even though it'll be in the 50's, it's still in the 30's at night!

2. Finding a cheap iron at Bed, Bath & Beyond and getting another 20% off!

3. Sleeping in this morning.

4. Bill made dinner today (Bean & Ham soup), and he cleaned up his mess afterwards! Plus, we have two containers in the freezer because he made lots!

Monday, March 27, 2006


Well, blogger won't let me upload any pictures now, so I'll be brief!
Managed to get a lot accomplished today -- laundry is all done, except for the ironing -- gotta get that iron tomorrow!
Took the audiobooks back to the library and got two more: An early Sandra Brown story that is "gag me with a spoon" implausible and predictable and I won't be able to finish it, seeing as how I couldn't make it through the first disc! vbg And, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. I'm looking forward to listening to it.
Got a few more things done on my master to-do list (actually Bill did one of them for me -- replace a lightbulb in the clutter room fixture that I hate taking down because I know I'm going to break the glass shade because of the very poorly designed lighting fixture).
Managed to straighten up and put away a large pile of fabric and things on the extra sewing table -- the piles were beginning to fall over and I couldn't find anything! Don'tcha just hate when that happens?!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Another weekend gone by

Managed to accomplish a few things this weekend -- well enough to cross off the to-do list anyway. Finished the baby quilt I was working on -- need to press it a little because I left it in the dryer too long. Managed to kill my iron, so have to wait to do that. I buy cheap irons -- none of them last much more than a year and I don't see the point in spending a lot of money on them. I did buy a Rowenta once and it didn't last any longer than the cheap ones. So, next week I have to buy a new iron - hopefully on sale and with my 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond!
Finally finished quilting the pinwheel ufo from months ago. Couldn't sew the binding on because it hasn't been pressed yet (see above). vbg
Also wrote, printed and have ready to mail the final newsletter. That has been a big relief and the stress has eased somewhat.
Recommitted myself to losing weight -- I fell so far off the wagon that it went on without me!
Walk and water, walk and water!

This quilt is another I have decided to give to the kids. This was a mystery quilt designed by Deb Kauffunger at a long time ago. The print fabric I used has all kinds of garden tools in it. This is a large table cover.


1. Seeing large clumps of daffodil leaves poking through the mulch and leaves.

2. Spending an hour raking the leaves from the flower beds.

3. Taking our taxes to the accountant, finally.

4. Finishing the newsletter.

5. Finishing another audio book while sewing - so very enjoyable. (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and The Good Earth are both excellent books, btw.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

We have a new addition to the family

I bought this baby from my DD's DMIL for $50! It is definitely a steal! Spent hours cleaning her up today. Ordered a new belt for her, and still need to clean a bit with sewing machine oil I also ordered, but really happy with my purchase. She works great. Has lots of feet included, the original book, and a package of about 100 needles (a tiny little box with Singer needles -- so cute!). Officially, it's a Singer 66 and from what I've been reading, I think she's known as a "Red Eye" because of all the red in the decals, although there is also some green among the gold. I checked today and it seems she was born in 1910 in Elizabethport, NJ.

Doesn't seem like a very productive day -- still doing laundry at this late hour and dinner was at least an hour late because I had to go to the doctor to find out that I do, indeed have bronchitis -- so now have an antibiotic and some nasty cough medicine with codeine. My darling grandson also has a bacterial infection, so he's on an antibiotic and steroids -- but his cough isn't quite as bad as it was last time. Darling granddaughter has a cough, so we're hoping she doesn't come down with the crud. Rest of family is healthy!


1. I'm grateful my doctor has a sense of humor -- he's never too busy to spend the time with questions and small talk and we get along well because he does have a good sense of humor.
2. Computers in the examining rooms that fax prescriptions immediately to the pharmacy -- by the time I got to the pharmacy 1/2 hour later, it was packaged and ready to go.
3. I'm grateful DD took AJ to the doctor today, too. It is harder to see your children or grandchildren suffer than it is yourself.
4. Treadle sewing machines.
5. The first day of spring.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Visited with my grandson today -- what a joy he is -- and starting to talk really well now -- he repeats every word for you.
Also got to visit with his parents and a bonus visit by our son, Steve. All in all, a good day trip.
We hauled half a truck full of daughter's stuff from the attic steps in her closet that I finally got cleaned out yesterday. The builders actually added the steps to the attic in her walk-in closet, and made them wide, deep and tall specifically so that teenage girl could put stuff on them! That teenage girl is now 30 and it was time to finally get the rest of her stuff out of the closet! We also picked up a treasure for me -- a treadle sewing machine that her in-laws were getting rid of. It's now in my garage waiting to get cleaned up and brought into the house!
I still have a mess of quilt books and magazines dumped in the middle of her bedroom floor -- but everything else is cleaned! I've been sorting through my old quilts and am pulling some to give to the kids -- I have plenty and have plenty more to finish, so it's time to reduce the stacks! This is the first one that will be going -- this is a true leader/ender quilt that I made while I worked on three or four other projects. Until I had all the blocks done -- then I finished this quilt! I did this one a few years ago. (It's draped over my hand quilting frame that has had a quilt on it for at least a year that I have yet to put a stitch into -- shame on me! I keep it covered with a sheet so it doesn't fade!)

Friday, March 17, 2006


This is what my week has consisted of! I'm "spring cleaning" my DD's old room -- which has actually been turned into a quilts and other things catchall. I've cleaned all around the room now, including washing windows and curtains, vacuuming walls, ceilings and beams (a real joy to living in a log home -- most of the walls don't need to be washed, and they never have to be painted -- just vacuumed now and then, and the woodwork cleaned, of course). What is left, is the semi-empty bookcase, and the entire center of the room has quilt books and magazines dumped on it. I am slowly sorting through them each night, some will return to the bookcase, some will go to DD's for her to sell for me on ebay, and the magazines will be ruthlessly purged after I tear out what I want to keep! The rest of the magazines are shown on the shelves in the walk-in closet that I started to clean today -- it is a storage area of wrapping paper, quilt hoops, luggage, and various and sundry items -- a whole bunch of which got moved out to head up to DD's this weekend -- enough storing of her stuff, it's time to declutter!

The little birds wallhanging was made by a friend of mine. We both took this applique class, but obviously, she finished her project, and I have not finished mine! I hung this on the clean wall in DD's room! I have also sorted a large stack of quilts and some of them are also leaving my house for my kids' houses -- it's time!

Monday, March 13, 2006

New beginnings

Well, the picture didn't come out as well as I hoped -- but this is a tablerunner I made last year -- I finished it two days after Easter, of course! I bought this as a kit; the applique is all fused on and sewn down by machine blanket stitch. I loved the rich colors of the design and especially the lilies on the sides.
I am getting so antsy for spring, I just had to get it out now and put on the island in the kitchen. Last night we got those storms Finn was talking about -- the tornado siren went off about 9 pm and we headed to the basement, dogs in tow. Pita (the big dog) is terrified of thunder, so he spent the next two hours shaking like a leaf and sitting in my lap or Bill's. We finally closed him in the bathroom in the basement where it's a little harder to hear the thunder and no windows to worry about. JR slept on our bed last night -- which he is usually not allowed to do unless it is thundering. We had tornado warnings -- which means one was sighted, lots of heavy lightning and thunder and rain. Today it is windy, windy, windy and we have a 30% chance of snow for the next 3 days. Gotta love March in the upper midwest. Funniest part of the storm last night -- we never lost power once -- and we usually lose power if someone looks at the power pole out front wrong! (vbs)

Went to the library today and checked out two more audio books: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.


1. Aaron got the job he's been trying for for a month!
2. The nuclear plant sirens.
3. The library.
4. Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups in Easter colored foil.
5. Crossing things off the to-do list.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

End of an Era

Tonight was the end of an era for a landmark restaurant in Byron. The current owners have owned the Indian Village for more than 30 years and they are in their early 60's. The Indian Village has been around much longer -- my parents used to come down here for dinner way back when. Tonight was a private party for the regulars and old customers! We've been going there almost every week since we moved down here in 1994. The owner also is a bricklayer and he helped build our 3 fireplaces when we built this house. Coincidentally, I had worked with his wife way back in the 60's in the bank!
The restaurant was bought by the state finally, to make room to expand the road. The road would have come right up to the front door -- and the back door is the Rock River -- absolutely no where to go. So, we said goodbye to a landmark tonight and wish the owners well in their new life of semi-retirement! It was a bittersweet time tonight!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fun Day

Isn't this just the cutest print? This is the half-yard cut that jumped right off the shelf into my hands yesterday and I just couldn't put it back -- they were raising such a ruckus with their whining and meowing, I had to take them home with me!

I'm off today to pick up my buck-a-block and then spend the rest of the day doing something quilty -- I have a long list. It may be actually sewing, or it may be writing the newsletter, or it may be sorting more books and magazines, or it may be getting a couple of quilt designs out of my head and onto the computer.....who knows -- but it'll definitely be quilt related! Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Robins are Back!

Saw my first robins of the season yesterday -- can spring be far behind?

Haven't been doing any quilting to speak of lately. Seems there's always something going on. Tuesday Bill had another endoscopy and the good news is that his ulcer has healed. (I brought a book to read while I was waiting.)
Yesterday I spent the day cleaning house -- actually made it through my entire to-do list, including cleaning the coffee pot, baking bread, and emptying the crumbs from the toaster! This relatively new toaster we have has two little trays to catch the crumbs and all they catch is dust. I have to turn the toaster over and shake and out comes tons of crumbs! Anyway -- no sewing yesterday.
Today I had to run some patterns to the quilt store (and of course spent a lot more money than I made!). Had to buy some backing fabric for another baby quilt DD thinks I need to make, bought a half yard cut of some darling kids print -- couldn't help myself; and a new book and some quilting patterns to maybe help me get creative!
Then ran to Best Buy and bought a new phone and by the time I got it hooked up and figured out the day was gone! Tomorrow have to run to another quilt store to pick up this month's buck a block, but hopefully will get some stitching time in tomorrow afternoon. Will have to do some straightening in the sewing room before I can get stitching though!
And that's about it from my corner of the world -- spent the past week getting over this cold -- nagging cough that really isn't in my chest, just in the back of my throat, but annoying as all get out!
Feeling the need to get some spring quilts out soon, so will get some new pictures posted soon!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The end of the day

Well, I spent the day frog stitching the quilt I took off the handiquilter -- just don't like the stitching and don't want to ruin the quilt, so will redo it. I needed a non-thinking task today -- I've got that dang cold Bill and AJ and everyone else in the world has had (way too many have turned to bronchitis, so should feel lucky just to have the cold!). Listened to Predator by Patricia Cornwell (well, the first two of 9 CD's!) I've read all her Kay Scarpetta books except this one and loved most of them. A couple of years ago she wrote Blow Fly and I have to say it was the worst book she's ever written -- it was gross and disgusting and it seemed to have been written in a hurry and like she wanted to prove to everyone that she originated the medical examiner stuff before tv shows like CSI ever came about. And then she ended it abruptly. I hated it. So much so, that I was afraid to read Trace, but it actually wasn't too bad. But Blow Fly really left a bad taste in my mouth, so I haven't been in any hurry to read Predator, so I decided I'd try it out with the audio books. So far, not too bad - still have about 8 hours to listen to though!


1. JR taking a nap with me this afternoon.
2. I'm thankful my teenagers are grown and married off.
3. Talking to my son, Steve on the phone while he's stuck in traffic in California.
4. Finding out Steve and his partner closed their first sale last week -- nice to know he and his wife won't starve to death! vbg


(I couldn't get the scanner to do what I wanted, so in case you can't read it, Jeremy asks his mother "What's That?" "It's a picture of me breastfeeding you." "Does that embarrass you?"
"I'll let you know once my brain cells unclench.")

This was my chuckle for the day! To all those mothers of teen boys giving them trouble right now -- embarrassment is always a good tool! vbg (Works on teen girls, too -- right, Steph?!)

Gonna spend the day doing quilty things and listening to another book on tape/cd. My Antonia was wonderful.