Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank You to ALL Who Serve

Memorial Day is here and I want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have put on a uniform and served our country.

My family can be proud of many who did so. My father and father-in-law both served in WWII (both passed away many years ago). My cousins Jim and Kenny - both spent many years in the Navy during the 70's and 80's. My husband's cousin Curt, also Navy, passed away about 4 years ago. Two of my brothers-in-law served during the Vietnam War years. Two nieces - one who just retired after 23 years in the Army, and one who recently chose to return to civilian life following 3 tours in Iraq. Both of these ladies have husbands who are still actively serving. And the husband of another niece is also in uniform. To all of you - thank you!

I took my mother-in-law back to Artesian today for the Memorial Day program, which was held a day early. We drove through the cemetary before going to the community center, and then returned for a longer visit after the program. The traditional Memorial Day program included patriotic readings and music. The program ended with Taps as always. I was struck by how small the attendance has become. The population of the community is shrinking - and aging. But there was still a lot pride showing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stormy skies

Last night's sky in Valentine, Nebraska - between thunderstorms. God paints a beautiful canvas!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I'm on the road for work this week, but my design wall has Disappearing 9 Patch blocks hanging out and waiting for my return.
The fabric was a birthday gift from my friend Sylvia. These were made using most of the charm pack, and I have enough additional yardage to add a couple of borders. I think when finished, it will look great on my big round coffee table in my family room.
Speaking of being on the road, we left the school this afternoon in light hail, drove through a heavy rain, and listened to the tornado warning on the radio for about 20 miles west of us. But we're back in our motel, watching 40-50 mile per hour winds bend the trees. Guess we've skipped summer and moved directly into summer thunderstorm season on the prairie.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Needle Turn Applique

Eight years ago my husband and I went to Hawaii for the first time and I fell in love - with needle turn applique quilts.
I saw so many beautiful quilts in shops, but they were all out of my budget at the time. I figured if I learned the technique I could make my own. So I purchased a book of patterns, and also bought a small pillow cover done in the traditional Hawaiian technique.
Then I went home and put my own spin on it. The choice of peach for the applique was made because I decided to hang it on my bedroom wall and our bedroom at the time was decorated in navy blue and peach (very 80's still in 2002). The floral border was to make it larger without adding an appliqued border because I was afraid I would never get it all finished. I didn't do the echo quilting around the applique, except for one row.
I loved doing the applique although it took me most of one winter to finish. And this little quilt hung in our bedroom until we moved found years ago. Since then it has lived in a closet in my sewing room. Now that I've taken it out to look at it, I think that I'll have to add more echo quilting around the design so that it looks completed.
Maybe I'll remove that ugly floral border too, and just bind the white edge. It will be smaller, but more in keeping with the traditional style. We'll see . . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Focus on Frolic

I finally had a focused day of sewing. Lately I've just worked on random projects and haven't finished anything. The sewing itself is relaxing, but the need to finish something finally got the best of me.

Today I spent about 6 hours in my sewing room and finished up a quilt top - as well as worked on a couple of other smaller things.

This quilt is made from the Frolic line of fabrics from Moda. I just love Moda; this particular fabric feels so silky smooth and was a dream to sew. The center was made out of "turnovers" paired up with an antique beige that looks a little like tea-dyed. I used an off-set layout just to give it a different look.

I'm thinking about putting a cuddly backing on this, like Minkee. The binding is the same dark brown as the inner border. Ready to quilt this one!

The other things that I worked on included making 2 more blocks for an upcoming block exchange. I now have 6 of the 13 done. Maybe I'll get a couple more done tomorrow. We are getting together on June 15 to exchange them.

And I made Disappearing 9 Patch blocks using some gorgeous fabric that I got as a birthday gift. I'll show those off once they are assembled into a quilt top.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've had some fabric set aside for pillowcases for a couple of years. Sunday I decided to dig into it and made 2 pillowcases using this cute western fabric. These should make a good gift for some little cowboy or cowgirl.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's on My Design Wall?

More "attention deficit" sewing going on at my house. I just can't seem to stop myself from starting something new as the inspiration strikes. Oh well . . .

Earlier this spring I bought my first turnover - the Frolic line by Moda. To go with it I recently bought an antique looking beige. I've been working on an asymmetrical quilt top and have just a few blocks left to piece. I have enough to add 1 more to each row on the left side. The plan includes a dark brown narrow inner border and then a wide second border using one of the bright green prints from Frolic.

The other items from Sunday's frantic sewing? Pillowcases made from a cute kid's print. Maybe I'll post those tomorrow.

And I did add the final block to a spring tablerunner and started the hand quilting of that after going to the movies (Letters From Juliet) with Sylvia. I worked on that hand quilting all evening while watching the Survivor season finale on Sunday night and for a little while again Monday night. Maybe it will be ready for binding next week. Here is a sneak peak!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This old quilt

I have a favorite old quilt on our bed. My mother is probably rolling over in her grave, because it would have been something she kept in the cedar chest - waiting for something special. Well, I've been using some of the things in that old cedar chest and enjoying them NOW.

In 1976, a couple of months before I graduated from South Dakota State University, my mother sent a yellow sheet to one of my friends along with instructions. Each of my friends was asked to write a message on it. Then the sheet was mailed back to Minnesota where my mom had some lady embroider and quilt it. The identity of this quilter remains a mystery to me to this day, but she embroidered butterflies all over the yellow top, embroidered every single letter of every message, added a brown border, and then hand quilted the whole thing with yellow thread. The results are lovely- and I enjoy looking at it daily and remembering the friends of my youth.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another new acronym

OK - I heard another new acronym today that really fits my reality lately. I attended a retirement party for a dear friend this morning, and some of the gals were discussing the acronym that a speaker used during the local school district's employee recognition dinner.

AA ADD = Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

It is a perfect explanation for my actions lately. Those who work with me know that I'm pretty task oriented. I prefer working on JUST ONE task until I have it done right. I do have to multi-task a lot, but that isn't my preferred style of work. I tend to be very sequential - including being a list-maker.

However, in my little sewing world, I've always been quite random. I have lots of UFO's and usually have about 3 projects going at once. And it is getting worse, because lately I seem to start and stop numerous projects, and can't seem to get motivated to finish any of them. So now I realize that I can blame it on my AGE!!

I wonder if there is a medication for that? Somehow I doubt that the Bloody Mary I had at the retirement party will help.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to ME!

These 2 lovely young ladies are the reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day! They are pretty, smart, and even better . . . they are GOOD people.

I'm proud of my girls!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cats on quilts

I came across a reference to this cute blog, all about cats and quilts - and the occasional dog. I just had to send them a picture and story about my favorite quilting cat, Sammy.

See for Sammy's story.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Random sewing

It was really nice today to hide in my sewing room for a few hours of "piece" and quiet. I didn't really work on any one project, but instead I worked on little bits of several.

I finished another block for a block exchange. 4 finished and 9 to go before June 15. No problem. This block exchange is using a fun turquoise floral as the focus fabric and 12 of us are making blocks to exchange with each other. A 13th one will go to make a donation quilt for a scholarship fund.

My block for next week's Saturday Sampler is also done. I am loving this pink and brown and cream color combo. This month's block is called Maggie's Wildflowers. This makes 4 of the monthly blocks completed.

I've been playing around with my EQ6 software and figured out how to make a block that I saw some weeks ago on a blog. Of course, I don't remember where I saw it now. But the block is kind of a sunburst pattern. I've picked out some batiks from my stash to use. So far I have only 1 done - in this aqua batik.

And finally I finished 2 more 8.5 inch blocks using selvages on the diagonal. Then I put the 4 of them together. Not sure yet what future life this will have. This size would work nicely for one side of a bag. or it might be a great start on a quilt top.