Thursday, December 27, 2012

40th Anniversary

        This was taken 40 years ago today at our wedding. 
Here are our parents.  Bill's dad had heart problems and was too ill to travel.  

It was a wedding on a budget for sure but it has lasted!  My brothers had long hair and Bill had hair.  Our parents have all passed and three from the wedding party are gone as well.  The ring bearer, is now in his 40's and his youngest son is about his age in the picture.  The flower girl is a grandmother.  It was a wonderful day and it does seem like it was not so long ago at all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Blessings

It will be Christmas day in a few minutes.  I am blessed in so many ways and I am so thankful.  I had a good Christmas Eve with my husband, daughter, and my husband's brother.  We had some traditional foods such as dressing/gravy and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.  For dessert we had gingerbread cake with lemon sauce - a traditional holiday dessert for my husband's family.  
Tonight our daughter, Emma, and I went to candlelight service at church and drove around our little town to look at lights.  There is one home that is really something - the  Crazy Light Lady- it has lights timed to music.  Then another home had some sort of projections inside.  One looked like Santa sneaking around in the living room with his sack and then waving out the window.  An upper window had Mrs. Santa  wrapping gifts.  Almost a little spooky but really neat.
I am fortunate to have sisters and brother-in-laws and a brother and a sister-in-law and their families that include lots of nieces and nephews.  While one sister and her family live out of state, the others are a couple of hours away.  We had planned to go to my other sister's home tomorrow and have her wonderful homemade enchiladas and lots of other good food.  Then the adults play a fun filled Chinese Christmas gift exchange.  However our weather is to go from almost balmy today to rain, freezing temperatures, and snow starting around lunch time tomorrow.  We may have 4-5 inches of snow and in our area that causes major traffic problems.  So we have decided it is best to stay home and be safe.  We will miss everyone, especially the newest member, great-great-nephew, Gunner and two adult nephews who live far away.  We will call and find out about all the goings on.
It will be nice to sleep in tomorrow and have a lazy breakfast and see if Santa left anything in our stockings.
Hoping you all have a blessed Christmas!
Since we are all grown up at our house, I will leave you with a few pictures of our "babies" under the Christmas tree.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas stuff and NewFO 2013 Challenge

Christmas Stuff

I am currently working on a Christmas quilt for my family gift exchange.  I need to get the top finished today and get it quilted on Wednesday as I work tomorrow and Thursday.  I will get it bound on Friday.  That's my plan and I'm sticking to it!  We had a Christmas Open House type party on Saturday.  We've been married almost 40 years and have never had that type of party.  I told my sweet husband that was what I wanted for my anniversary gift - a Christmas party!  Worked for him!
So in getting the house ready for a party, my quilting machine was put away and projects stashed. Today I will pull them out again. I have a Tshirt quilt that I need to get the binding on before Christmas so that I can get it delivered to my great niece.  
Here is a peek at the Christmas quilt I am working on....just a peek in case any of my large extended family happens to read this post.
Coco, one of my Christmas kitties from last year, decided that she needed in the picture sitting on the stack of blocks.     
                                                                                  2013 NewFO Challenge

I am joining Barbara for her NewFO 2013 Challenge at her blog, Cat Patches
In January, I will be taking 2 classes from Bonnie Hunter when she comes to Texas.  Teresa, my quilting friend from McKinney, will be taking the classes too.  Yea, lots of fun planned!
One class is Virginia Bound, from Bonnie's book, Scraps and Shirttails.
The second class is Bricks in the Barnyard, from her book, Scraps and Shirttails II.

I imagine that I will be working on these for several weeks to get them finished.  Most likely I will have many more FOs by then!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

September and October Sewing and Stuff

 I think September is sewing month but most of my months are sewing months! Some more than others...but I've worked on a couple of things lately.  My preschool class started last week so I was busy the week before getting things ready and meeting the kiddos and families at open house. My husband got a new puppy to celebrate his retirement from 39 years of teaching. She's an adorable and very busy yellow lab.  Some of the pictures further down are from October too! 
We had lots of beautiful butterflies in our late garden.  They loved the zinnias that had sprung up all over the garden.  The late ones were gorgeous.  I guess we tilled in the seed heads from the early ones when we tilled in August.
My favorites were the sunflowers.
This is a top that I finally finished for my daughter.  I started the center about 5 years ago.  She wanted it bigger so I just kept playing with the borders.  I can't wait to get it quilted. 
Our quilt group meets at the senior center and these were a couple of very old unfinshed blocks that someone had donated.  They were up for grabs so I took them, quilted and bound them for table mats. 

The baby quilt is one I made for one of my daughter's college friends.  It's on top of my bed - therefore the quilt under it.

My "Love Shack" wallhanging that I finally finished.  It was from a class I took with Bonnie Hunter in January 2011.  It looks crooked but it's really not.  It's the photographer!
This is a donation quilt that my quilting group made back in April.  I finally got it quilted. We gave it to our Children's Center for an fundraiser they recently held.  I believe the pattern is called Arkansas Crossroad.
This is another donation quilt that our group made and gave to the Children's Center also.  I quilted it with black as it has a black backing. 

Easy Street Clue 1

Sketti anyone?  No butter or ketchup needed!  20 strip sets
Today I got really busy and made the cute little 4 patches for clue 1 of Easy Street, Bonnie Hunter's new mystery on Quiltville,,  Look for the Easy Street tab at the top.  I needed to make 192 of these patches.  I remembered that I had made lots of 4 patches for another quilt and that there was a "nesting" technique that might make it go faster.  After sewing a grey strip to a B/W background strip, I cut these strips into about 21" lengths.  I matched each strip set to another strip set that had a different B/W print.  After smoothing and nesting them carefully, I cut these into the 2" parts to make the 4 patches.  But since I cut the 2 parts together and they were already paired up, it went pretty fast.  I timed how long it took to sew the pairs together and I did about 200(I have some extras.)in 35 minutes.  Then I only needed to twirl the seams and press. 
Here's the link up to more fun with other quilters and their blocks!

Nesting the strips
The 4 patch on the bottom is one I sewed and tested for size.  The stack shows pairs ready to be sewn together.

My 200 4 patches with swirled seams and pressed.

I haven't posted since August!  I've done quite a bit of sewing and quilting and have spent less time on the computer.  I will try to get photos updated soon.
Today I started on Clue 1 on Bonnie Hunter's "Easy Street" mystery. 
Here is her blog and click on the Easy Street tab at the top to see it.

I have other projects in the works but will save the pictures of those as they might be gifts. :) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Sewing

August has been a busy month around here.  My sweet husband has been putting in a more permanent fence for my garden spot in the backyard.  I've gotten things planted for a fall garden and we've had some good rain. 
I finished a quilt top for a friend's daughter and husband.  It's a late wedding present.  Just need to get it quilted and bound. Here is the top - didn't have a quilt "holder" so laid it on a chair on the front porch.

I've sewn a little on an applique quilt I started a few years ago for my daughter and am starting to put the blocks together.

Then something new and sparkly caught my eye and I started a free block of the month....had to go back and copy everything up through August.  It's called "Hello Sun" and is at:
The original blocks are applique.  I had been wanting to try the technique of using crayons to color a quilt.  So I adapted her pattern by tracing the designs onto white fabric with a pigma penI then colored them with Crayola brand regular crayons and ironed them face down on white paper towels to remove the extra wax and color.  
 The next step is embroidering on the drawn lines for the details.  I may also add some buttons and rick rack.  The little blocks will finish at 6".  I'll probably put these into a little quilt for my preschool room.  I think I will name it "You Are My Sunshine".  We love to sing that song and another one called "Mr. Sun".

The block on the left is for February - the original didn't have hearts which would have been super tiny to applique.  The one on the left is for March.  Still have some embroidery outlining to do.  The orange outline isn't quite so neon in real life.

This is a baby quilt top that I put together in July.  It's for Emma's first college roommate who had a baby in July.  It just needs quilting and binding.  It's actually a little brighter than the picture.

Our poor dog, Sophie, had to have surgery to remove her dew claws that weren't correctly removed by the breeder when she was a puppy. She's done pretty well until today after  the stitches came out.  One foot has to still be wrapped and she is in quite a bit of pain tonight.  
I'll leave you today with a picture of one of my quilting supervisors.  Cookie has decided  that the batting makes a nice cave. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4 Quilts

I finished up 4 quilts for my brother, sisters, and myself last Friday. They were made from Mother's clothing. We are all meeting up this week in Colorado for a few days and I wanted to take them as it isn't often that all 4 of us are together at the same time.  There is an earlier post (March) of one of the quilts in the beginning stages.
                                     Here we are with our quilts.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Handprint Quilt

I got several pictures at my friend's retirement party but I was helping her hold the quilt up and forgot to have anyone take a picture with my camera.  Here are two photos taken before gifting.  I need to get a better one of it with her. The colors are actually brighter than they look in these photos too.

Garden Bounty

Wanted to share some pictures of my backyard garden and it's bounty before the weather gets too hot and the garden isn't as pretty as it is now. I'm sorry some are sideways.  I haven't figured out how to turn them as I'm using a different computer now with a different photo program. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I am going to try to put a link to a quilting site that is hosting a quilt a long.  It is hard for an old girl to learn new tricks.  
The Quilt Along is on Quilting Gallery and will be hosted by Michelle (Mishka) of QG and Pat Sloan.  It says it is for beginners but that more experienced quilters will enjoy it too!  So here we go for the try...

The link seems to work - yeah!  Now to figure out how to copy a logo for it.

Well the logo button seems to work too!  Now if I can just remember how to do this again!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tomorrow, the handprint flower retirement quilt gets gifted.  Last Wednesday, my husband's small co-op had a reception for him and I gave him the "Trip Around the World" quilt.  Pictures soon as I still need to take one of husband and quilt and will get some tomorrow of my teacher friend and her quilt.  Busy time of year here.  I have a small backyard garden but the green beans, squash, and cucumbers have been producing lots.  Trying to keep them picked and watered has kept me busy.  Also I have been freezing beans and squash and making pickles.  It gets so hot in this part of Texas that folks have to take of advantage of this early growing season.  Pretty soon, some of the crops will be done due to the heat.  We are lucky that we can plant again in August for a fall garden. Pictures of this soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Trip Around the World

This is not the best picture but wanted to get it on quickly before moving on to my next chore for the afternoon.  I think I just heard the dryer sing its little tune.  This is a Trip Around the World I'm making for Bill for his retirement this May. 
This is the top without borders which I can't get sewn on before he gets home today.  The orange in the photo is really a dark rusty red.  While most of the blocks look like solids, the only solid is the white.  I used Bonnie Hunter's pattern (  Hear the garage opening so I'm off from here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Red Letter Day (Days)

Had a "red letter day"....actually a couple of days.

The quilting group that I belong to here in town got together yesterday and today for a retreat -the first one to which many of us had been.  We visited, ate lots of yummy food, and even got 2 group quilt tops made.  We plan to donate these as finished quilts later this year to a children's service in our county.  
I suppose this should be called our best efforts for Earth Day.  We brought scraps from our stashes.   Nothing new was bought for these two quilts! I had purchased the red for another project and then found something else that worked better.  Love the frame it makes for the string blocks.
The pattern of the top quilt is Arkansas Crossroads.
The bottom is a Scrappy String.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Teacher's Love Helps Us Grow

 Here is a layout of one of each of the different colors of handprints.  The hands are traced from her students' hands.  Their names are written on the leaves with a pigma pen.

Here is a close up of part of the center of the quilt.  It is a 3D pinwheel that I found directions for online.  Very easy - the only hard part is the bulk in the seams.  I appliqued the "stem" for the pinwheel.

I love the sashing batik.  It has all the colors of the handprints in it.
This is the center of the center.  It will have a white strip above with friend's name and school embroidered on it.  That's being done professionally. LOL Then a bottom strip of green under this strip will have a quote embroidered.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break

Besides some rest during spring break, I worked in the flower bed, visited my new great-great nephew (and some other family), went fishing, and sewed a little.  Oh yes I got to go to the Dallas Quilt Show on March 10th with my friend Teresa!  We had fun at the vendors and saw some beautiful quilts.

I made this little quilt top from leftover blocks from a wedding quilt (November 2011 post). The couple didn't know if they were having a girl/boy and I made them a neutral quilt in February(February 18th post). When the sweet baby girl was born, I decided to put the leftover blocks to use.  Need to get it quilted this week so we can go see her soon.
These are pictures from my latest "scrappy" adventure.  I won't say much about this quilt yet but I do have 4 more to make like it.  Goal to finish these is middle of June.  I believe the pattern is called Arkansas Crossroads.  I found it in the American Patchwork & Quilting, August 2008 and adjusted the block size.

Sorry this is sideways but you can see the block anyway.  The quilt will have 48 of these blocks and I have them mostly done.  Now just to lay them out to balance the colors a bit. The fabrics are very scrappy for a reason to be revealed later.
I got a new foot pedal for my featherweight at the Dallas quilt show and it works so much better!  I also got a 1/4" foot and it works much better than the stack of post it notes I had placed to butt my seam allowance against.