Sunday, April 30, 2006

End of April

I'm pretty sure I've posted this picture before, but I needed to look at it again -- it's still my favorite!

I've been in a bit of a blue funk lately and not sure exactly why. Haven't been sewing much --- reached the point of being caught up with "have-to" projects and have worked on lots of ufo's this year and quite a few scrappy quilts, and just haven't been in the mood to sew much for the past few weeks -- and that is really odd for me -- usually after a week, my hands are itchin' to stitch.

Maybe it's the fact that Bill's 80th birthday is coming up soon and I didn't plan a big celebration. We're leaving this week for Branson and when we get back I'll only have about 5 days to get something together. We will celebrate with our family, of course, along with Mother's Day and our DDIL's birthday, but nothing really special for Bill.

Maybe it's because the kids are going to court for full custody of our dear granddaughter, Briana, who lives with them and her "mother" is having a conniption fit -- even though she has never complied with the original parental agreement in order to claim custody of this child. I know we have to leave it in the hands of a judge who hopefully will look at the benefits for the child, but it's still on the mind and in the heart until he rules -- and the first court date isn't til June.

Maybe it's the strange weather we've been having, still. Although, I should certainly be used to the changes in the midwestern weather -- I've lived here all my life! And spring has arrived -- the tulips are blooming now and most of the trees are at least budding. The redbud is in bloom -- and the redbud is my favorite tree! We got an inch and a half of rain last night -- and enough wind to steal the Windy City title from Chicago.

Well, I know for one thing, if I don't bring any applique project with me on our trip, for sure the stitchin' itch will be back! We're going to Branson to meet up with a group of Navy guys, and their wives, that all served in the same squadron during WWII in the South Pacific (and Bill is the youngest vet there!). This really is an amazing group -- we try to get together twice a year and go different places (last spring was San Antonio, last fall was Las Vegas). I have trouble keeping up with them and some of these people are well into their 90's! They have everything planned for this trip, but I'm pretty sure I can squeeze in a trip to the quilt shop!

Taking a look back over this month: I managed to only buy background fabrics this month and didn't do too bad on that. I finished another ufo (Argyle Sox) and gave it to my friend for her birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday, Deb!) I even managed to finish Tulip Farm top -- but not the quilt yet. I started yet another diet, but this time I really feel motivated, so maybe I can accomplish it -- 1 pound a week is the goal.


1. I'm grateful for that sweet baby AJ in the picture. I haven't seen him or his sister since her birthday party almost two weeks ago and miss them terribly.

2. The rain we got last night, with more to come.

3. The wind -- the newly leaved trees are dancing in the wind today like they are showing off their new spring finery.

4. JR, who warms my lap every evening, and stole a place on the bed last night during the storm!

5. Long phone conversations with my daughter.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Saturday in Spring

I've been among the missing this week -- had the tough job of playing with the grandson on Easter, then on Tuesday we had a birthday party for his big sister (8) at Chuck E. Cheese's. Let me tell you how fast you learn how old you really are when you spend a couple hours with all those kids at Chuck E. Cheese's! vbg
And I bought myself a laptop on Tuesday afternoon, so spent the rest of the week here and there trying to get it filled up! I think I'm about there now. First things after MS Office was EQ, of course!

Here's a couple more pictures of the tulips that just popped open yesterday and some more of the different daffodils that are blooming now. We've really had beautiful weather here this week.
And, now that I am caught up on all the "have to" quilts, I've taken a couple of weeks off to do some spring cleaning and just relaxing -- needed to regroup! And, it felt good to not do any sewing for awhile -- sometimes we just need to take a break! So, now I've had my break and I started a project I've had kitted and bagged, just waiting for hand applique. Finished the first block today: This pattern is from Fons and Porter, called, simply "Oak Leaf". I collected tons of brushed cotton fqs for a long time before I finally cut into them. This project is another ufo and stash duster!


1. The trees are beginning to leaf out.

2. Freshly mowed grass (today for the first time this season).

3. Fresh cut and home grown asparagus - fabulous!

4. Grandchildren.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Daffodils

Here's our view from the front porch! It is so nice to look out the front windows and see their bright shining faces! The next two pictures are of one of the patches of the tiny daffodils, next to the larger ones!

Oh, and last night we had golf ball size hail -- honest -- and it didn't hurt the daffy's at all! Yesterday and today we've had temps in the 80's! It's supposed to be back in the 70's and 60's next week though.
I haven't been doing any quilting at all -- but I have been doing some much needed cleaning projects -- windows and screens today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Different views of the same bed of daffodils. They started blooming Monday, this picture was taken Tuesday and today they are a riot of blooms. This bed is in our front yard. I love daffodils!

This is the same bed, but the opposite end. That's JR doing guard duty while I snapped the pictures -- just in case he had to protect me from anything! The daffodils above that haven't opened yet are tiny ones -- both white and yellow. They'll be opening soon. There's also daylilies and brownberry lilies in this bed along with early tulips, Virginia Bluebells and some wood violets and some ferns I dug up from the woods and transplanted, among other things!


1. Daffodils - I love their bright flowers early in the spring - such a promise they bring.
2. JR - if I'm outside, he stays by my side instead of off with Bill.
3. 70° temps finally!
4. The phoebes are back picking the site for their new nest -- looks like the same spot over the thermometer on the back porch, right in front of the kitchen window so we get to watch the progress of the babies.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Relaxing Time

I made three more of the lighter background blocks and hung them up with the darker background blocks -- much easier to see this way. I like them both, but I'm going to stay with the lighter backgrounds -- I think it'll be a brighter quilt. This will be a leaders and enders quilt. I have plenty of colored squares cut, and will just add a few more cream colored background fabrics when I add them to my stash -- I have plenty of the whites already.

I have finally caught up on all the things I "needed" to finish, so now I can work on what I want when I want -- I will probably do some hand applique for awhile because my fingers have been itching to do it! I have plenty of projects waiting in line to pick from.

It's a glorious day here today, so I'm off to enjoy the rest of it (and cheer Freddie Couples on to win the Masters again!).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm baack!

Dinner was steak and baked potato and salad -- excellent!

Anyway -- here's the Depression Blocks I made yesterday -- four of them and when put together, they form a negative (or opposite) block in the center. I really like that. The colors are lighter than they really are, I think -- I used a lot of tans/beiges as my backgrounds.

So today as I was doing the borders on Tulip Farm, I made hst's as leaders and enders. Only, I used WOW's for the background fabrics. So, here's one of each of the blocks side by side. Which do you like better?
I'm a dark, country fabric usually, folk art, primitive. But more and more I seem to be gravitating towards the lighter/whites as backgrounds in my scrappy quilts. I think they are more universally liked. I think my kids would all pick the lighter backgrounds in quilts.
I'm going to have to replenish my supplies of off-white/cream colors in my stash. I have a lot more white on whites and tans. I'm going to make more of the lighter blocks for now -- I'll probably end up with a quilt of each!

1. Steak for dinner -- it's a treat and I love having it at home more than at a restaurant!
2. My daffodils are almost ready to bloom.
3. Actually accomplishing something in the sewing room today.
4. JR curled up at my feet no matter where I am.

Tulip Farm is bordered!

Here she is in all her glory! Put the 1½" inner border and the 6" outer pieced borders on today. Feels good to have the top done and I really like this quilt, so want to get it quilted sometime in the next couple of months!

Also finished the binding on the Argyle Sox quilt. This is from a pattern by Kansas Troubles Quilters. The little squares in the center are flannel and top stitched a 1/4" from the edge, so when it is washed, the edges will curl. I really like this quilt too -- think it's the colors!

Note to Jane: the Nickel Pinwheels are called that because the pattern was from the "Nickel Squares" book by Pat Speth. Nickel refers to the 5" squares that are used to make the blocks.

Also: "Buck a Block" is a Block Of the Month (BOM) from a local quilt store. The blocks are made using Thangles, which is a paper piecing tool for making half square triangles. Each month you pay a buck for a block, you put it together as per instructions, bring it back to the store next month to show you've finished it, and buy the next block. This is my finished block for April: (All of mine are using these Christmas fabrics -- which are also supplied with the instructions each month).

Gotta go start dinner! I'll be back later with a couple more pictures!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Catchin' up

The Nickel Pinwheels Quilt is finished (and has been for a week!). The second picture is the back of the quilt and the closeup shows a little of the quilting I did on the pinwheel blocks (just a flower loop on the short part and a double flower loop on the longer leg). I had started quilting this on the Handiquilter and didn't like what I was doing, so took it off, frog stitched the whole thing, sammiched and basted and did the quilting on my Bernina. Wasn't too bad -- just did ditch quilting on the sashes and free hand on the pinwheels themselves.

Today I played.....pulled a bunch of scraps, cut 3-7/8" squares and made a bunch of half square triangles, then put 4 of the Depression Blocks Finn was doing earlier in the week together. I love how the 4 blocks together make a negative block. (I'll take pictures tomorrow). Then I spent another hour cutting more scrap fabrics into squares, so I can make hst's whenever I sit down at the machine and in between other projects. This one is definitely a winner in my book and I don't think it'll be too long before I have a completed top - they are 12" finished blocks!

I also spent a little time hand sewing the binding on another ufo -- that should be finished tomorrow also -- I'll need to recharge the camera's batteries! vbg

I also hope to get my Buck A Block made tomorrow and hopefully put the borders on Tulip Farm -- I did pull the fabrics for those today -- just need to cut, piece and attach!

All in all -- starting today, this is going to be a quilty weekend! I decided against going to the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont this year, so I'll spend the days sewing instead!


1. Getting a new satellite dish service - I can get Simply Quilts and the Food Network now!
2. Chocolate bunnies.
3. Garlic and herb shrimp for dinner.
4. Making up with Bill after yesterday's silly spat.
5. Spending the day sewing.