Monday, December 30, 2013

Catching Up!

First of all, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I know it's difficult to read, but this banner was made by my granddaughters Quinn and Sadie today, and they had help from my niece Claire. I think it's fun and wish you could see how many of the letters were colored in a patchwork pattern. It sure make me one proud quilting grandma/aunt.  :-)
We celebrated our Christmas today and had a wonderful time. My sister Ann and family joined us for the festivities and we are so glad they're here.
For a number of years now (I think it's been 12 years), we've celebrated Christmas on December 23rd with a special dinner that consists of crab legs and various other fun side dishes. This year, because of work schedules, other family obligations, etc. we decided to celebrate today, Dec. 29th. It really doesn't matter what day we pick, it's just fun to be together.
Here's the picture I sent Nikki and Lynn yesterday while they were at other holiday parties. I just wanted them to know that I had begun the preparations for our party. Can you see the crab legs and shrimp. Yummy!!
I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but I've been very busy.
My family had our Thanksmas (Christmas and Thanksgiving combined) Celebration in Middletown and it was wonderful to spend time with my siblings, their spouses and children. It was the first year without Mom and I missed her terribly. There were a lot of youngsters there and I love how they interact with each other. Ronan REALLY wanted Avery to try the pretzel.  :-)
I had my first cookie order due on December 12th. This year, I also made a few different kinds of candy to go along with the cookie orders. They were simple candy to make, which is why I chose to make them. Back in September, I had made the decision to reduce the number of orders I would take for Christmas cookies and as it turned out, that was a very wise decision.
Crock Pot Crack!
Although I like most of the cookies and both kinds of candy, I think the turtles are my favorite! 
I continued to substitute teach until December11th and then I spent the next five or six days quilting for the shop.
I was so happy that Ann was able to spend a long weekend with me. She was amazing and so helpful. We were able to get a lot of quilts done in a very short period of time. It was amazing how quickly we could load a quilt, and while I was quilting, she was making the binding, trimming quilts and attaching the binding. She even hand stitched the binding on three quilts. I'm sure I could not have finished everything that needed to be done without her help!
Unfortunately there was also sadness during my blogging hiatus. My brother-in-law Ray suffered a massive stroke and died on December 17th. It was a shock to everyone and we all miss him. Ray loved to fish and I think this a wonderful picture!
Kathie Thomas
Even though it was rushed, Jack and I were able to spend a day with Sheryll and family, and David stopped over on Christmas Day. I look forward to a time when we can spend time with our ENTIRE family. It doesn't have to happen on a holiday. Any day will do. I don't know if and when that will happen, but I sure hope it will be soon.
Nikki and family will be leaving tomorrow and Ann and family will leave some time Tuesday afternoon. It sure will be quiet around here. I think I'll sew and I'm sure Jack will spend some time on the radio.
Neither Jack or I work this upcoming week, but we both return to our busy schedules the following week. I will be teaching English 10 and 12 for another four weeks (all of January) and then be heading to Tennessee for a week-long workshop with Judy Niemeyer. I am looking forward to that, but I have some work ahead of me to be prepared. I have to get a little more fabric and then get it cut. I plan to work on the Prairie Star while I'm there. If you aren't familiar with the pattern, you should click on the link above and check it out. I love this pattern and will be using red and white fabrics.
So much for the quick rundown of my recent whereabouts. Thanks to those who have e-mailed asking if everything was ok. I know you were worried because I hadn't posted recently. I'm sure things will be back on track soon and you'll be wondering why I post so much.  :-)
As I stated in my last post, I'm participating the a new blog hop that starts very soon. It's the Wake Up to Kona! hop and I'm really looking forward to it. I wish I could give you a sneak peak at my project, but you'll just have to wait. I post my project on January 9th so be on the lookout.
Have a wonderful day and a Happy New Year!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Hop!

I had so much fun with the For The Boys blog hop that I signed up for another hop.

Wake Up to Kona!

Sew we quilt
I've been playing around and collecting Kona solids for a while and this is just the kick I need to create something with it. For more details, click the logo on the right sidebar.
As you can see, the hop isn't until January so that should give me time, right?
Stay tuned...

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's My Turn!

It's Friday and it's my turn to show off my For the Boys Blog Hop projects!

First and foremost I'd like to thank Madam Samm of Sew We Quilt! and Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy for this awesome hop.

This is not my first  rodeo blog hop, but it never ceases to amaze me how these women are able to organize such successful hops. I know it's probably not true, but everything seems to run so smoothly and all I have to do is sew my project and then sit back and enjoy everyone else's creations. I think I've been living the good life. Thanks Ladies!

This has been a fun hop and I've truly enjoyed seeing all the wonderful creations from some very talented individuals. It's the last day of the hop and here are my cohorts for the day. :-)


As soon as I signed up for this hop, I knew what I wanted to make. I sketched it out, pulled fabric and happened!
I think that my fabric and design sat in my sewing area for a good two weeks before I decided that I had better get working on it. I was able to quickly piece the quilt and make the pillowcase. That was the easy part. It was the quilting that was slowing me down.
Actually, it was everything else that was slowing me down, but if I say that I just sound like I'm whining. Well, two weeks ago, I finally finished the quilting and binding and I love this.  I think it will make a great "sleep over quilt" or "get better while sleeping on the couch at Grandma's house quilt." What do you think?

I love the big strip of dinosaur fabric across the lower section of this quilt! This is one of those fabrics that would have been very difficult for me to cut into small pieces. I decided to leave the strip pretty big so it could be a play area for a little guy while he is waiting to fall asleep or for everyone else to wake up.
I really do enjoy the piecing process of making quilts, but sometimes simplicity is the best way to go. The big, simple dot fabrics, separated by the solid brown just worked for me. I don't think I could make this any easier.
Lately, when I've made a child's quilt, I make at least one pillowcase to go along with it. I couldn't resist using the dinosaur fabric for the pillowcase.
I do like these two items together!
I had every intention of making a vinyl mesh bag to carry the pillow and quilt in, as well as a fabric box for some toys; but alas, that didn't happen - YET. I will do it...soon.
I'm hoping that a special young boy will like his Christmas gifts. And yes, the box and bag will be ready for Christmas.  :-)  Enjoy the hop!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

For the Boys - Day 5

It's Day 5 already of the For the Boys Blog Hop and I continue to be amazed at the talents I see. WOW!  My day isn't until Friday, the 15 - the final day of the hop and the other participants continue to raise the bar.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day and "For the Boys" Blog Hop

First and foremost, thank you to all the veterans who have served our country. There really are no words to thank you for the sacrifices you made. I am honored to be part of a family that has MANY veterans and that makes me very proud. THANK YOU!

Today is day 4 of "For the Boys" Blog Hop and here are today's participants. Enjoy!

By the way, my posting day for the blog is Friday and I'm really looking forward to it.

BQuiltin Studio ( not up, can't do reminder, comments not working)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 3 - For the Boys Blog Hop

It's day 3 of the For the Boys blog hop and here are today's contributors.

It never ceases to amaze me how creative some people are.

Maybe some day....

Enjoy the eye candy!

Quilting, Losing & Tea ( crashed, no post, no photos, maybe someday soon)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"For the Boys" Blog Hop

It's the second day of the For The Boys Blog Hop and here's the list of today's contributors.

Here's yesterday's contributors for your "blog hopping" pleasure. (Sorry that I forgot to post these yesterday!)

Enjoy yourselves!  I'm sure you'll find the perfect inspiration for that baby shower gift, birthday gift or Christmas gift that still need to be made.  :-)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good Things Happening

The last week or so has seen some really wonderful things happening around here; and although it's been busy, it has been great.

Halloween has always been a fun time for our family and Nikki has ALWAYS loved to make really great costumes for herself and her kids. Check out what she made this year.

Quinn was The Cowardly Lion until she got her badge of courage. Notice the courage?

And a close-up of the head. The ears are great!

I think Glenda the Good Witch (Sadie) was a little more interested in today's technology (a cell phone) than her magical wand.

Of course we all know that Dorothy was chased by those nasty little Flying Monkeys, right? Well it took me a long time and lots of shots to get a picture of Ronan as a Flying Monkey. It was really cute and he sure seemed to be flying around when I was trying to take his picture!

The only bad thing about these costumes was that it rained on Halloween and trick or treating was postponed until Saturday.
Unfortunately Nikki and Zach were busy on Saturday and couldn't take the kids out that night.

They were getting married!!!!  YEAH!!!

They did take the kids out with Zach's family on Sunday before they headed back to Cincinnati, so all of Nikki's efforts were not wasted. The kids had fun and it was a wonderful weekend.

I'll share more pictures later. Life sure is good!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Overdue and ARRGGHHHH

It sure has been a long time since I've posted anything here! I have been crazy busy and have neglected the blog. Sorry!

I saw something this past weekend that has prompted me to write up a post and hopefully that will get me moving again and get in the habit of posting again.

While I was grocery shopping, I saw some Christmas items and was thoroughly disgusted. Come on, it's still October!!! Later that night, while watching the World Series baseball game, there was a commercial for Christmas. Again, I was taken back and not too happy.

It used to be that I got upset when I saw Christmas displays before Thanksgiving, but now they are up before Halloween. That is just way too early for me.

I don't really know why it bothers me. Maybe it's because I have not even begun to think about Christmas and I have lots to do. My family celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas together the weekend after Thanksgiving. We call it Thanksmas, kind of like Festivus from Seinfeld.

It's nice because we all get together and don't have to worry about traveling during December. We don't usually have to worry about bad weather and trying to get to three or four houses on the same day. I think it works well for us all.

The bad part of this is that means that I have to do some Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. It's really not too bad though because we pick names and only have to get one person a gift. (I really shop for two people because I have to get my person and Jack's person a gift, but it's a lot better than having to shop for everyone.)

Well, whatever the reason, I was none to happy to see the Christmas decorations our and the commercials starting already. Does it bother anyone else?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Life is Good - Babies and Quilting

My sub-teaching assignment is going quite well, especially since I've kind of figured out some of the computer stuff and the regular teacher had such awesome lesson plans. Of course, it helps that the students are all pretty darn good too!  :-)

Anyway, life has slowed done just a bit and I was so happy to have the opportunity to watch Avery for a short time earlier this week. Look at this picture that I took when she first got here. I'm choosing to believe that smile is a result of realizing that she was at Grandma's house and that we were going to spend some quality time together.

And boy did we spend some quality time. Just look at what Avery did!
She wasn't here for more than a couple of hours, but she must have been starving. Each of the tall, skinny bottles had 2 ounces in them and them I made 2 more ounces because she was definitely still hungry. As you can tell, I made a tad too much. She took two or three long drags on that bottle, closed her eyes and promptly went to sleep. It was funny to watch.  :-)
When Jack came home she was still sleeping, but he needed some "baby time."
She continued to sleep until it was time to go. As a matter of fact, she was sleeping so soundly that she didn't even wake up when Lynn put her in the car seat. Maybe she was just worn our from all the fun here. (I was afraid to ask how she slept that night.)
On the quilting front, there was some actual sewing done this past week. It consisted mostly of sewing bindings on for other people, but the machine was running and I was sewing. I completely finished one binding and have the machine stitching part done for two others, both of which are quite large (queen and king). I'll get a good start on at least one of them today and hopefully finish it tomorrow. I like the idea of having the machine part sewn so I can just sit down and hand sew in the evenings.
The weather has been kind of brutal here (95+ degrees) and there is no air conditioning in my classroom so I have been quite spent by the time I get home. I tried sewing one night but had to spend some quality time with my seam ripper and decided it wasn't a good idea to sew when I'm hot and tired. (A cold front came in and Friday was beautiful. I'm afraid to look at the weather forecast, but I sure hope these cool temperatures continue.)
Yesterday was our guild meeting and I'd like to share a couple pictures from that. Here's is Carolyn's Maple Leaf Log Cabin quilt. This is one of my patterns and I love seeing the finished quilts from these patterns. I think this turned out quite beautiful and hope that the recipient appreciates how much time and energy Carolyn put into making this. This is a big quilt (107" x 117") and all she needs to do is add the binding.  
My friend Kare quilted this and I think it turned out beautifully.
I have a couple of other pictures to share, but I'm still having some issues downloading them. Hopefully I'll resolve that later today. They are beautiful quilts...just saying!
Well I guess I had better get moving if I plan to get anything creative done today.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have something to post for Design Wall Monday. Who knows, it may still be my Celebrations Tree Skirt, which you can see HERE.
Don't forget! There is still time to enter the Mystery Giveaway. Click HERE for details.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I've got my Celebrations Tree Skirt up on the wall today because I need to keep looking at it so I can decided how I'm going to quilt it. The top is ready, as are the backing and batting. Now I just need the inspiration and time to actually quilt this.

I really want to have this quilted within the next couple of weeks so I can use it as a throw on my bed. This is a Judy Niemeyer pattern and even though she offers suggestions on how to quilt this and I've seen some quilted versions, I need to be realistic on how I quilt mine. I'm quilting this on my domestic machine and I want to do something sort of simple, but not too simple. Does that make sense?

I'm still kind of struggling with finding a good size chunk of time on any given day that I can devote to quilting. I'm afraid that if I start with a real detailed quilting pattern here, I just won't be able to really get in the groove before I have to stop and do something else. It's funny, but I often start quilting on a donation quilt or small project before attacking a larger one so I can get the feel of what I'm doing. There have been times that I haven't done that and I'm not happy with the quilting so I rip out stitches and do it over. I really don't want to have to do that with this project!

Anyway, I'm hoping that since this is up on the wall, staring me in the face, something will pop and I'll be able to just sit down and quilt. Wish me luck!!!

Don't forget that I'm having a Mystery Giveaway. Click HERE for details.

Avery is 16 days old today and as much as I would love to be able to add a few pictures here, I'm having trouble uploading them from my phone. I'm sure it's something simple, but I guess I'm too tired to figure it out right now. Hopefully I'll get them posted soon. Maybe this link will work and you can see some that Ty's cousin Amber took.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Design Wall Monday and a Fun Giveaway!

Quilting time has been pretty elusive the last couple of weeks but I did spend a few hours fondling fabric, cutting it and even doing some simple piecing. I needed something simple that didn't take much thought and the Magic Carpet Quilt kit was just the answer. Here's what's done so far. I have all the large squares cut, the four patches made (they are part of the nine patch blocks) and the center section of the nine patch blocks. Oh it sure did feel good to sew, and this fabric is gorgeous!


I bought this kit from Nancy J's Fabrics and they were wonderful to work with. My friend Denise send me a picture of her kit and I loved it. (If I was trying to go on a spending moratorium, I'd blame Denise for me buying this. But since I'm not, Thanks, Denise!)

Here are some specifics about this quilt. It's designed by Roberta Horton and the pattern can be found in
I have to be honest, I didn't really care for the quilt in the book. I wasn't thrilled with the fabrics and just really didn't take the time to explore different fabric possibilities. Boy was that a mistake!

While at a show (I think Paducah),Denise saw a sample that Nancy J's had made up using very different Kaffe fabrics and it was stunning! She bought the kit and then send me pictures. Even looking at the quilt on the screen of a small phone was beautiful. I called the shop about the kit and was pleasantly surprised when they still had all but one of the fabrics. I asked her to substitute what she thought would work and before you know it, I had purchased the kit. (It was wonderful timing because the shop was packing up to got to Grand Rapids and most of this fabric was going with them. Whew, that was close!)

Anyway, I cut the fabric for this soon after receiving the kit because I wanted to have it ready to sew on a moment's notice. Well, my plan worked and it was wonderful to hear the machine purring away. I even enjoyed the pressing! I have another busy week ahead of me so I don't know how much sewing will get done, but it sure is nice to know that it's there and ready to go. Heck, even 15 minutes of sewing feels great and I'm ok with that.

I announced the birth of my latest grandchild Avery Lynn in my last post as well as the possibility of a giveaway. I've been playing around with some ideas of how to host this giveaway and I've come up with what I think is kind of fun. (I hope you do too!)

Since Lynn and Ty had decided to be surprised by their little one and did not find out the gender, I've decided to follow suit and host a
Mystery Prize Giveaway

Here are the specifics:

1. In honor of Lynn's 26+ hours of labor, this giveaway will last for 26 days, with the winner being chosen on September 27th.

2. To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog, answering the following question: 
What is your favorite childhood memory?

3. To gain an extra entry, link to this post on your blog or Facebook and leave a second comment telling me you've done so.

4. You do not have to be a follower of my blog, but you are more than welcome to do so.

5.If you are a no reply blogger, please make sure I have an e-mail address for you so I can contact you in case you're the winner.

What will the winner receive?

The winner will receive the above pictured bag filled with various fabrics, notions and items that can be used to make a baby quilt and/or other baby related products.

Sound like fun? Want to play along?
I sure hope so.
Good Luck Everyone!!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Big News and Updates Galore

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted, but I have good excuses for that. Really, I do!!

First of all, I've accepted a six-week sub-teaching position at a local high school and I've been spending some quality time brushing up on my literature knowledge. Yep, that's right. I'm teaching American Literature to sophomores and British Literature to seniors. I have a Media class thrown in there for good measure. It's interesting, challenging and fun all at the same time.

I am very fortunate that the regular teacher was awesome and prepared all the lessons for me. You have no idea how amazing that is (unless you're a teacher). Of course there are always the glitches of a new year, but the students and I are adjusting well and things are beginning to fall into place.

Nikki and family were here for a wedding two weeks ago and as usual, it was wonderful to have them here for the weekend. This was the best picture I could get of the entire group right before they left for the wedding. I really do stink at taking pictures!

The great big news and latest reason for my absence is that I am a grandmother again! Avery Lynn was born Saturday, August 24th and she is just adorable.

Of course I've got more pictures, but I don't have time to post them right now. I'll try to do that in the next couple of days, and I might even try to post something quilt-related. :-)

Nikki and family came back for Avery's birth and I have some wonderful pictures of Quinn riding a bike and Sadie playing office. Ronan is just too darn fast for me to get any good pictures. It seems that they are all blurry because he's always moving. I'll keep looking to see what I can find.

With all the wonderful things happening lately, I've been in a really good mood, so I'm going to spend some time in the quilt room this weekend and pull out items for a giveaway. Sound like fun? I'll post details later this week or early next week.

Until then, have a great day!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I've been quite busy the last few days and will not be home most of the day today so I doubt that too much will get done on this quilt, but I really do need to work on it soon. This is for Lynn and Ty's baby. They picked out the fabric and design a while ago and I kind of procrastinated.  :-(

Of course, we were all hoping that Lynn would go into labor this weekend because Nikki and family were here and school starts this coming week, but it didn't happen.

I've been having some fun and have been sending text message to Baby, via Lynn and Ty with suggestions and encouragement on the best days and times to make his/her grand entrance. So far Baby hasn't listened. Do you think that a finished quilt will be enticing enough to move things along? Oh, I think I need to get busy!

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Check out Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Finishes

Well, at least the top is finished! Does it count that I have the backing ready for this quilt, as well as the binding?

The pattern for this quilt is in Spring 2013 Fons & Porter's Scrap Quilts magazine. The designer is Tony Jacobson and this is a very scrap and fat quarter-friendly pattern.

I had no intention of making this quilt and didn't even own the magazine, but then I saw Eileen working on this during the last Old Bags' Day Sew-In.
(If you really want to see some awesome quilts in progress and finished, click HERE to check out this picture-laden post from the Old Bags' Day.)
Anyway, I saw Eileen working on her quilt and thought it was really cute. I kept thinking about Eileen's quilt and finally just bought the magazine and started pulling fabric. I love how it turned out (except the outside border. I don't know what I was thinking when I was attaching those. Well, obviously I wasn't and I'm not changing it now. I'll just be sure to quilt the heck out of it and hide those misguided seams.)

Check out what other quilters are finishing up today.
Go to Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Late Pictures of Old Bags' Day

As promised, here are some pictures from our last Old Bags' Day Sew-In. There were 30 people in attendance, plus Kare and myself so we had a full house and a bunch of fun. I really do need to work on getting pictures of EVERYONE during these events. I just never seem to have my camera with me when there's a really good photo op. I'll try harder during the next event in September. :-)

I really don't know which part of these days I like best.

Is it a room full of people with a common love of quilting? Look at the concentration and hard work of these talented ladies! They mean business and are ready to complete some projects.

There's lots of consultation during the day and PJ, Karen and Cindi always have some great ideas.
Maybe it's watching people work together to discuss a problem or offer design suggestions. It looks like Chris, Mariann and Connie have some possible solutions to a design issue.
And Kare, Janet and Mary lay out this somewhat complicated quilt that will just be stunning when it's all together. This picture really does NOT do it justice.

It could be witnessing a stroke of genius, like Connie figuring out that those pockets are a great place to put your rotary cutter so you don't cover it with the quilt when you're trimming. 
Perhaps it's sharing a laugh and wishing you had a shirt that offered such kind words to quilters everywhere. Thanks Pam!
Maybe it's the food!
Or the fact that you get to share a meal with some really talented, creative and fun people!

Or maybe it's being there when projects are being completed and shared with the group.

Ann is the queen of purses and bags and I just love these fabrics!

Carolyn is ready for her next border.

Fran was a busy bee, finishing a couple of projects.
I love seeing the progression of all the various projects.
Someone in Janet's block exchange group didn't complete their block, but that didn't stop Janet from getting  a head start on this quilt top.
I also love the fact that relatively new quilters feel comfortable enough to bring projects that they've been working on and ask for opinions on thing like borders options! I love Chris' Weaver Fever.

And Chris' Twisted is gorgeous! It looks so much like blue china dishes. I can't wait to see this one completed.

An then of course, there's the show and tell.

I think people like the back of Connie's quilt almost as much as the front.  :-)  

Isn't Mabel's Bali Wedding Star stunning?!?
 If I'm not mistaken, this is an old guild mystery quilt project. Congratulations on finishing it Mary!

I know Pam is thrilled to have this Trade Winds quilt top done. It's beautiful and ready for quilting.
Darla's ready to bind her scrappy Buckeye Beauty; and it sure is a beauty! 
Aren't these blocks of Karen's so much fun?

Look out Karen. I think April likes your completed row! 

And so does the next generation of quilters! Sadie came to visit and just loved all the quilts. She even gave one of them a hug and said that it was beautiful and she loved it.  

I'm still playing catch up with posting so in the next few days I'll be showing some of my projects and sharing some pretty exciting news.