Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wow! Had no idea it had been so long since I've posted! The Journey has indeed been busy and time flies when you're having fun (and even when you're not).

I showed the quilt for the school auction - well, I went from that to a special graduation quilt for our very, very special administrators - squares with written notes from each of the seniors and squares with their pictures and then squares with group pictures, the commencement announcement, etc. Above are some of the squares as the top was in progress. I managed to get the top put together to show them at graduation but now have to finish it. School colors are purple and gold, so I got a purple Fusions fabric for the strips between and will have a narrow gold Fusion fabric as an inner border and then more of the purple for the outer border. I want the focus to be the pictures - just want them nicely framed!

This year's wren eggs on the left and babies almost ready to fly on the right!

This is a little birth announcement quilt - obviously a tad late in getting finished. I messed up my original plans for birthing it and so will just use this red store-bought bias binding for it.

Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things. I've got big plans, anyway!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Well, I've survived the little quilt for the school auction that wasn't going to be any trouble and also getting ready for and getting through Beth's marathon.


The marathon was yesterday - the Country Music Marathon in Nashville - over 32,000 people raced(23,000 were doing the half-marathon) The heat was dreadful and the humidity made it worse. There were lots of ambulances zipping around, with runners being carried off in addition to all the folks who were treated at the multitude of medical stations at points over the course. It was really hard for me at times when I knew Beth was going slower than her planned pace and there were long periods when I didn't hear from her or know where she was. I could just imagine her in every ambulance I heard or saw. Many seasoned runners fell by the wayside or were much, much slower than their normal pace. For those of who live in the area, it was still almost an overnight change from late winter/spring weather to summer heat and humidity. For the first 11 miles all 32,000 were together, before the half-marathon folks split off to finish and the others went on for the full run. That meant extreme crowding for the runners - Nashville streets just can't accomodate so many folks! I'm so proud of my sweet baby who survived it all with a smile on her face and good spirits in spite of the difficulties.
This is the little quilt I made for the RCA fund-raising auction. It sounded like such a simple thing to do, and I guess it really is. I just seemed to have hiccups at various stages along the way, probably because I was trying to hurry. I dithered over whether or not to quilt inside the blocks of the children's artwork and finally decided against it. Their drawings were the whole point, anyway. I just quilted in the ditch around each drawing and then did 2 rows using a decorative machine quilting stitch on each sashing strip. Next time I'll have smaller blocks so the fullness won't be so noticeable. I DID press it again after this pciture and helped the appearance. And it brought $300, which tickled me no end. (I was just hoping it would bring $50 or somesuch!) The back was black with white polka dots. I tried various fabrics for borders including that one, but they all seemed to detract from the kids' artwork, which was the reason for the quilt in the first place. This quilt marked my first use of the popular jelly rolls - in the interest of time and straight strips, I bought a jelly roll for the sashing between the blocks. I loved using it!

Blessings: a daughter with the strength and faith to accomplish difficult goals, God to protect and bless her, this beautiful world we've been given, the sweet songs of birds in the early morning

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lilacs! Some of my most favorite flowers! And they smell SOOOO GOOOD!!!! An empty jar was just the handiest thing to grab to hold them, and the smell is so good I figured it didn't matter what they were in!

They graced our table for lunch yesterday. Beth and Joshua came home with us after church to eat lunch and then move on to the afternoon's activities. (Of course, they had to see what the Easter Bunny had left them here first...!) Evan went to the nursing home to stay with his mother for the afternoon, Joshua had computer stuff to do for a programming class, and Beth and I worked outside. Mowing, flower bed, etc. It was all great.

Today I had taken the day off, and I worked on a couple of small quilt projects...didn't get any pictures, though. Maybe tomorrow. Then this afternoon the sunshine called to me and I did a bit more in the flower beds. Got rained on and thundered over - it's just that weird time of year. Last Friday at work there was a tornado warning and we had to gather up all the patients and everybody and go to our designated safe places in the clinic building for a while.

Pillowcase with crocheted flowers and edging done by my great-grandmother. I always loved these dimensional roses and even as a child did not want them to be damaged. Isn't it funny how you sometimes feel about things when you're a kid? At a time when I normally didn't think about such things, I was always very careful with these pillowcases.

Block in baby quilt done for Evan by his grandmother....very pale because the floss colors were pastel anyway and have faded with years of washing and being hung on the line. I love that we have it. It has prairie point edging.

Blessings: family, items shared through generations of family, safety from weather disasters

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A lovely day. Warm and breezy and redolent with the scent of lilacs. No hint of the storms and rain and cold temperatures to come.
Managed to take care of a few weekend chores while Evan was at the nursing home with his mother this afternoon. She's going downhill, and it's so sad. Her physical self is outlasting her mental self. For over a year, one of us has been there with her most of the time. Not that it's actually necessary, but she's always happier with someone there. (she always preferred to be surrounded by people) It is quite heart-breaking to see her always trying to check the pantry to make sure there's something to fix for everyone for supper and to make sure there are clean pillowslips for the guests and take care of other such things. She has always been the one to take care of everyone and feed everyone and she simply doesn't know what to do with herself not having those chores. It's getting to the point that she doesn't always know us, either. She somehow recognizes that we belong, but she mixes us up with folks long gone.
This tattered quilt below is one she gave us to use for packing material when moving years ago - Beth has had it over a chair in her room for a long time. Many of the blocks are just fine, and then some are tattered as you see here. Below is a hooked rug thing my mother worked on while recuperating from open heart surgery years ago. It looks much better than this picture, and is a great memory.
All in all, I am prompted to be mindful of and thankful for my many blessings. I don't deserve any of them, but oh, how I have been blessed with my family, Evan's family, friends, food and shelter beyond that of most of the world....on and on.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Done by me a long time ago for my mother...very faded because of having been in a chair that got a lot of sun...but I like having it now because I know how much she loved it for all those years.

Beautiful spring day today with lots of sunshine and birds and burgeoning life everywhere. The lilac even has its clusters of florets beginning to open and already giving out that heady fragrance. I was amazed while mowing this afternoon!

This pillowcase is one I managed to use most of the time as a kid...not sure why I loved it so much other than that Nonnie (my grandmother) had embroidered it, but I did. A good friend who was making pillowcase dolls gave me a naked one for Christmas a few years ago and told me she would dress it with the pillowcase of my choice. So I chose this one! I love it.

This picture of a wedding always hung above my grandmother's bed. At some point from the angle and distance of the side of the bed I saw the 2 black hats as being a tiny black being of some sort and was afraid of it. Isn't it funny how a wrong interpretation of what you see can stay with you?

A little doll that Nonnie painted...she did many of these little jewels. Most were given away, but I have a few of them. Will show more later.

Rough week at work which would jaundice any reporting - so I decided to share some treasures with you.

Have a blessed weekend.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pillow bought at antique store...made from piece of old quilt...
Today Beth and I got a few things for the flower and herb beds and some fence to try to protect plants from the Sweet P's. The bigger girls never bothered the flower beds until PittyPat came along and taught them how nice it is to scooch down in the dirt to sleep - whether looking for warmth in the winter or coolness in the summer. Now all three are addicted. Relocating flowers planted there also provides an interesting diversion whilst working out just which spot would be best for napping.
This Holly Hobbie quilt is one my mother-in-law made for Beth when I was pregnant. Louise had one pregnant daughter and two pregnant daughters-in-law at the same time and made each baby one of these quilts. She let each mom-to-be make any fabric choices desired...and I picked fabric left over from my favorite maternity dress made by my mom to be the dress for the Holly Hobbie girl and let Louise choose the others. I did choose the basic color scheme of blue and yellow. Back in those days we didn't know if we were having a girl or a boy, but I knew I'd like blue and yellow regardless.
You can't really tell from this pitiful picture, but the solid yellow and yellow gingham are actually quite a nice and bright yellow. The hearts were appliqued in each corner, angling toward the central picture. And when you look at the quilt you never notice that the horse's back shadows through the dress!
She did a great job of using floss and cutting it for the mane to properly have strands. And my very first few quilting stitches are somewhere in this quilt...very, very bad ones.
I need to get some better pictures.

Weekend blessings: sunshine, rain, the greening and springing earth, time spent with loved ones

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is Here!!

Spring, glorious spring! (this to the tune of "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver!)
It started out quite chilly yesterday, but even with the breeze warmed up nicely to around 60°. Today started at 30° but is supposed to get even warmer than yesterday. I'm trying to make the most of it, because I know there will be more cold, wet yuckiness.
Beth and Joshua came over to help me yesterday, and we got a great start on yard work. We even replaced some broken lattice that spans the 12" between the side porch floor and the ground. It's partly cosmetic and partly to keep the dogs and other critters out. Worked on pea gravel paths, mowed, pruned, worked on a flower bed - and then was ready to DROP!
My fabulous son-in-law even managed to remove the post that held the old satellite dish! It was never my favorite yard sculpture, and now it's gone!! HUZZAH!

This quilt was my birthday present from some folks at the office. I had seen it in a thrift shop in Huntsville and liked it, so they dispatched someone to get it! Quite a surprise.
It is truly a scrap quilt. A utility quilt. Much used and worn - it's patched patchwork! I think flour and sugar sacks and wornout work clothes and scraps from other household sewing are here. I'm not even sure which is the front and which is the back.
It has great personality.

I love the wonkiness - from before wonkiness even had the name. Binding? Maybe? She obviously used stuff till she ran out and then used something else.

The colors are really more reds, blue, and yellows. In spite of being outside in the sun (and shadow - oh, well - a photographer I'm not, as Yoda might phrase it), it looks even more faded than it is in these pictures and more purply.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring. Yep, it's nearly here. It was 80° and then 26° (with snow) and then 70° and now 44° with wind and rain.
Here's a nice green to make me feel like spring . . . I've been playing with one of Donna Poster's blocks called Block Party. I saw her "do" it on Simply Quilts several years ago and wrote down the simple directions. It's one of those dummy-proof blocks where no seams have to match, etc. and you can be really scrappy or more controlled. Me, I like scrappy. These retro-ish prints are JoAnn's fat quarters. I'm thinking of maybe a fun little tabletopper thingy that will be okay if gravy is spilled on it, etc. It's really just to have some fun requiring no thought or concentration.

In case you haven't noticed, quilters are just the neatest people. They are so creative, and the creativity goes much further than quilting. I've been trying to catch up on some blog reading, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of Marlene's work including stitcheries and how she uses it in her house. And Melanie always has such neat things, whether quilts or gift bags or bunnies. And there are so many others that I'd like to mention, but the laundry is calling me, and my internet connection is mostly not working this morning for some reason - most likely the wet weather. It almost always causes problems with the phone lines out in the country.

Blessings: this beautiful, beautiful world awakening with birds' spring songs, spirea and forsythia and peach trees blooming, and a different smell to the air

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Sound of Music!

It's back! The sound of music. Frog music, that is. For the last several nights we have been able to enjoy the lovely sounds of the treefrogs. I don't know how many varieties we have here, but there are several different songs going on. It's absolutely wonderful! I keep a window open at least a little bit all year round, and for the last few nights we've had it open quite a bit....for the air as well as the music.

Beth and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show Sunday. There were many inspirational gardens and displays of various kinds. A few favorites were of the Cumberland Herb Society as well as other folks with displays/wares to sell. One of the best things is something I don't have a picture of to show - a marvelous garden of succulents - in an old enamel bedpan of all things!!
this lovely garden miss had motion sensors to let her tip the watering can and to let the other thingy spin (don't even remember what it was)
This is a wide view of a wonderful display full of delightful vignettes of various herbs and sedums and hypertuffa containers...

And EVERYWHERE were variations on vertical gardening...for small spaces, for folks who have trouble getting up and down, and for every other reason you could imagine! Quite lovely and lots of good ideas.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Are you tired? At the end of the week? Well, me too! It's been a really rough week with end of month with critical people out and it's deductible time so revenue is hurt and after our beautiful snow it's been warm and springlike which means it's terrible to be cooped up indoors . . . but - as Robert Browning said, "God's in His heaven; all's right with the world." There is so much more to be thankful for than to be annoyed with or discouraged by. Sometimes - like this week - I have to remind myself of that more often than other times, but it's true, nonetheless. These lovelies came from beneath the snow...aren't they pretty? Jonquils have always been just about my favorite, and if they made perfume in that fragrance I'd probably bathe in it! I was so tickled recently to read Marlene's mention of jonquils! (most folks here call them buttercups but I grew up with my mother calling them jonquils) I've been able to enjoy several bouquets of them over the last couple of weeks. They are truly THE harbingers of spring to me.

I've worked on a couple of projects in odd bits of time, always wishing for more time...

pincushions made with teacups from Goodwill @ 49¢ each..don't know if the embroidery's visible on the left of Natalie's birds...

Got the green fabrics for a special project for a special person and then made a few extras...didn't have enough ribbon and had to use something else...typical of me...but I'll figure out something to do with them at some point (having already put the special first one in the mail)

Blessings: beautiful days, DST coming this weekend which means sunshine later in the day!!, a jaunt to the big Nashville Lawn and Garden Show with Beth on Sunday (we'll go up for an early service at church in Nashville and then hit the big show at the Fairgrounds), a sweet and lovely husband who's all for such jaunts

Sunday, March 1, 2009


They said it would! But who knew to believe them this time - of so many, many times when we were lucky to see 5 flakes in the air. Hurrah!!

We've got 3 inches in some places and 5 - 6 in others because of the wind. Beautiful and wonderful as it is, though, the frustrating part is that if it had not been so warm and wet beforehand, we might REALLY have a snow! It must have snowed at least 8 inches to give us what we've got because the first so many inches melted! It was 70° Friday and has rained a fair amount in the last few days, so it's pretty wonderful that we have as much as we do. It's 27° this morning and quite windy, with gusts around 25 mph.
I'm out of suet cakes for the little birdies, but I have replenished the seed feeders this morning and scattered more on the snow. (above you can see evidence of the pitter patter of little feet wanting me to hurry up with the grub!)


Saturday, February 28, 2009

rainy days and Saturdays

(inventory of old rake-like shelf in the stairway: tiny metal pitcher from my mother's childhood tea set, cute little dish of unknown (to me, at least) purpose, tiny brass container with lid - probably for pills?, one my grandmother's pretty fans that doesn't at all show up well in this picture, bird's nest, old chalkware rabbit, enamelled metal purse, handmade diary from big dinner and overnight party my grandmother went to as a teenager in 1915, shoes and sock from my mother's girlhood, metal hanger from a craft show, another enamelled purse)Cloudy, rainy, chilly . . . but it's still going to be a great day! Beth and I are heading to Nashville shortly - we have tickets for the matinee of Riverdance!! The production is on its farewell tour, so we wanted to see it one last time. While the basics are the same, each production has some different things, and they're all fantastic! We're going kind of early so we can do some other things. One big item on our agenda is to scope out the course of the marathon she's going to run in April - find the best route to the drop-off point for the runners, various spots to go to be able to cheer them on during the race and best place to park for picking them up after the race. The starting and stopping points are somewhere in the neighborhood of the Titans stadium, and I just haven't navigated down there since it's been there - never having funds for tickets, why would I? It's down on the river and there are lots of little one way streets and suchlike, so we thought it would be good to do some preliminary checking.

Blessings: finally finishing up with W-2's and 1099's and property taxes and such, new during-the-week Bible study started that will be challenging but very good, sweet husband who doesn't care if I go gallivanting for the day instead of cleaning house, beloved daughter to go gallivanting with

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fairy godmothers and valentines and birthdays

Recently had a great surprise from my fairy godmother in the form of a 40% off coupon at Michael's! I get a newsletter from them via email every couple of weeks, but the only coupons seem to be for custom framing. I found a wonderful book that I wanted to use my gift coupon for, but discovered at checkout that books are excluded. So I reconsidered and decided on this bright and cheery flag to go on my office door instead. I just love Mary Engelbreit stuff and have used this pic from her website as my desktop wallpaper.
A couple of little valentine pillows (including a lavender bag with their stuffing) I fixed for Beth. The redwork heart is one I did who-knows-when and recently found, so I cut some a bit of a red print to frame and back it. The other little heart is one from a recently purchased Bare Roots pattern (I left out the "Be Mine"from the inner heart). I really like it and it worked up so quickly I see several of these in my future...!
This lovely little quilt was a surprise birthday gift from my talented sister-in-law. She just sat down and drew a little house on her computer, printed it out and cut out the fabric! She was going to put "The Hudson House" on the porch roof but ran out of time - I may do it. You can't tell, but the sky fabric has tiny sparkles scattered over it. Each fabric is just perfect for where she used it, including the one with flowers just the right size for the pot in front!
This last little goody is a pillow (complete with tiny pearl button on one of the back flaps) that I got for 50 cents at a thrift shop in Huntsville. It is hand pieced. The fabrics have clearly seen a lot of wear and tear and washing and hanging in the sun (very faded). But I just love it!! There are a few missing squares, but it's just so neat that I know I won't be able to cut into it!

Blessings and gratitudes: loving family and friends
these springlike days to keep us going through the last of winter
knowing Who is in charge and taking care of us

Saturday, January 31, 2009

In my ladies' Bible class we were talking about the fact that life IS a journey and that it's not that you actually ARRIVE's about how you travel. We were talking about how easy it is to fall into the trap and say we'll do this or that WHEN blah blah blah is in place...I'll be able to keep the house clean and have people over when the kids are gone...I'll think about trying to please God when I'm not so busy building my career at work...I'll spend time with my kids/friends/whomever when I retire and don't have to juggle work outside the home and get the idea. With all the things that January brings (year-end stuff, quarterly reports, annual reports, W-2's, 1099's, etc) MY own particular journey has been pretty hectic lately. However, I'm happy to report that Beth is coming out here today, and we've declared it to be a fun day. She's near the end (hopefully) of a bout with allergies and bronchitis and I'm having some similar problems, so we're going to start with a lovely cold, thick, rich milkshake that's soothing to the throat as well as to the psyche. (so deliciously decadent!) No restaurant-bought milkshake can even BEGIN to match the ones I make at home like the ones I grew up with. Good ol' Nestle's Quik and milk and rich vanilla ice cream. MMMmmmmm. We may watch movies, we may play with quilting stuff, we may stroll around outside and do some gardening planning. We may even get wild and go somewhere - like to Michael's in Murfreesboro (about an hour away) since my fairy godmother sent me a 40% off coupon!
I was fascinated with these little Pennie Pockets and just had to try them. Here are my first attempts. Sorry the pictures aren't better - and I even went outside and froze just to use natural light and most of the inside ones were better! The verses are on the same yellow stripe fabric that's inside the pocket with the red dots on the back. (wanted to use something different than the same yellow so it would show up better, but it was all I had handy where the color/pattern weren't too strong for the words to show up) Anyway, the colors are nice and bright and cheery. There are so many things you could do with them that I am determined to make more of them! They cry out for something to be put in I immediately thought of little cheer-you-up things and chose some Psalms and other verses....I really like these with the same thick insides used in the quilt postcards because it's a substantial thing to pull out and look at, but that makes them so big you can't really get many in the pocket. So I may try just a heavy version of regular fusible stuff.
Happy Saturday!

Blessings of the day: sunshine, birds singing and enjoying the feeders, a kindred spirit daughter

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A couple more Christmas items . . . dishtowels using a great pattern I found unexpectedly!
These kinds of gifts are not valuable in monetary terms, but they are very valuable in terms of good thoughts and caring thoughts and energy and time invested to bring another person pleasure. Quilters and stitchers seem to me to be among the most generous folks around, and I feel humbled to be even on the fringe of this. As I read blogs and learn of the lives of others and the things they do and the things that are done for them, I feel such a renewed sense of faith in people. Truly, good people are in the majority and the ones in the news are in the minority - which has been put to me as being a good thing - as in, it's good that bad folks make the news simply because it means they ARE the exception to the rule. Kind of a weird way of looking at things, but thankfully somewhat true.
Different topic entirely . . . I think I've mentioned that my daughter, Beth, has taken up running. In November she completed her first half-marathon (13.1 miles) (on a morning when we had a matinee performance of A Christmas Carol as well as an evening performance, the goofy girl!!!!). I was tickled to see the shirt she wore - as a kid she loved watching the tv show Wonder Woman, and her sleeping bag was a Wonder Woman one - and she made sure to take it to college for those times when tons of folks are in one room or tons of girls go to someone's house for the weekend (lots of different girls have used it here at our house for sure) {yes, she'd graduated to a "real" dark blue one for her junior and senior high years but got over that in college, teehee} Anyway, she's a wonder woman to me. I am so proud of her.

Blessings: a wonderful daughter, friends both quilty and otherwise, faith

Monday, January 5, 2009

I got a lovely and unexpected present from Mel! I feel as though we're old friends because of one of those interesting connections you sometimes come across - she and Don moved to Michigan for his job with a plant that other friends of mine went there to build. (Janet, who worked at the same doctors' office I do for a number of years, lived in the UP for several years and she and her family moved there because hubby Joe worked for a huge construction company that sent him there to build a particular plant. Janet talked a lot about how beautiful it was up there and how friendly everyone was and just generally how much they loved it. When I first found Mel's blog and saw that she was in the UP, I felt an immediate connection . . . and then found out there really WAS a connection! Just one of life's serendipities . . .) It's a covered planner! She made the quilted-of-course cover and stamped the cards (and chickadees are probably my favorite birds!) and wrapped it all up in gingham tissue! Isn't that just the greatest thing? I was having a fuzzy picture day but wanted to show the special tissue. I think another picture is a little better . . .

The planner is a really nice one with Bible verses and short little inspirational writings, places for tracking prayer requests and answers, and Mel even wrote in little quilty thoughts here and there throughout the year! Inside the cover she even made little pockets for pens and highlighters!

An altogether lovely surprise when I was in the midst of closing out a month for 1 corporation, a calendar year for 2 corporations, and fiscal year for 1 of the corporations!! Thank you, Melanie!