Saturday, December 31, 2005

As usual, when I'm not playing with scraps of fabric, I'm playing with orphan blocks. It has gotten to the point where some quilter friends offer up their "trimmings" and parts of blocks. LOL..that's pretty bad..but for me it's a challenge that I enjoy. And it doesn't bother me what other people think. I reside here in my tiny corner of the world. I have chosen to have this small, little life. I like it that way. Trust me, I've run the bigger race. I've climbed the mountains, forded the rivers, and dug the tunnels. As the wife of a school administrator, daughter of a parent with cancer, mom to five adopted kids, foster mom to more newborns than I can remember, church member, community member, etc, etc, etc I know all about the "flow" of life in the fast lane. I've spoken out, spoken up and been counted.

And now I'm choosing again. And this is the road less traveled. I don'thave to impress or please anyone any more, unless I choose. If you want to say my time could be used more productively, making trophy quilts, or maybe quilts that would win are right. But I'd rather make 9 patches for babies of my daughters friends. I'd like to know that every baby has a snuggly quilt to love. And maybe they don't all have one, but I do my part and that's the best anyone can do. So if you are making the quilts, and doing the needlecraft things that make YOU happy, you understand. And if you aren't then you probably aren't happy with yours or mine, but that's not mine to change. I'm doing whatI love doing. And that dear blogger friends, is exactly what I will be doing again, in 2006.

On 1/1/05 I put an empty half gallon jar behind my sewing machine, on the table where I sew. I love little quirky things, and I wondered how many spools of thread I'd finish this year. Well, today is the last day of '05, and here is my jar and empty spools..*VBS* The larger white spools number 10 and that's 4000 yds right there. Since I don't machine quilt all of this thread was used to sew seams...probably make sense to no one but me, but that's ok....*G* I like who I am...and I can say "it's fun being me"..*VBG* Posted by Picasa

And this is how many spools were in the jar.The bigger white ones are C&C 400 yd ones. I finished some colored thread on the gold spools and the few wooden ones held thread that I use for basting. Posted by Picasa

New scrappy pieces..not even 24 hours old..LOL..One of the neat things about being a quilter is "moving on". The quilt below makes me sad but that's just like the sun going behind a doesn't stay that way. When I was reading Bonnie's blog I was struck by the little quilt she just basted made up of these blocks. They probably have a name..maybe they are "hovering hawks"..I like that name..*G* Anyway, I took a break from the baby quilt blocks and whipped these up while watching Jeopardy yesterday. The 2.5" HST's were already made and it wasn't hard..LOL And scraps make me happy again..the sun is out again..dark clouds have moved on..*VBS* Posted by Picasa

Scrappy Pieces..I apologize for the poor quality of this pic. The quilt is "gone" and I only have the pic I snapped a couple of years ago before I gave it away. This is a mostly sad quilt for me. One that makes my face go straight, my lips to purse, and my eyes to blink. I guess I'm lucky that I've never had a quilt poorly received until this one. All you gals who quilt from your heart know what I mean. You do what you think is a good thing, for a good reason and then if spits in your face.Over a two year period I had made snuggle quilts for all 6 of my DD#1's nieces and nephews on the inlaw side. The kids loved the quilts. I should have quit then...but I had scraps from the backings, etc, of those 6 quilts. I got the bright idea that I should make a quilt for the son in laws mom...since she is grandma to those 6 and they are at her house frequently. So I did. I admit it's not a beautiful quilt or one that I love, but I saw it as a challenge and probably that was my mistake. It's couch size, all flannel and a combination of tied and utility quilted. I made a nice label with all the kids names on it. Gave it to her one spring day. She doesn't handle "receiving" very well, being a very "control everything" person. It embarassed her. I still don't know if the quilt is that bad..probably it's that. Or what, but basically she hasn't spoken to me since. At my son in laws 40th birthday party...with a large group of family and friends..she "cut me dead" so to speak. Never acknowledged I was there, spoke to me, etc. She adores my DD#1 who is married to her figure??? Seems pretty strange to me..and I don't understand..but?? OH WELL........ as the saying goes. I've never asked my DD what became of the quilt. Better to pretend that nothing has happened I think, and act naive. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 30, 2005

Well, as I said yesterday, I am going to show you a few older quilts. I still own a few of the quilts from the 1970's, but need to take pictures of those. And I have quite a few from the 1980's. This is a top, Jewel Box pattern that I pieced for a firend's first grandchild. She asked me to make the top and then she had it machine quilted up in Duluth, MN. The fabrics are all Roberta Horton type plaids, the background a tea dyed muslin. I really like the look of it and probably would make this one again from plaids. The year was 1995. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This is the time of year for looking back across the years, and the miles you've come from where you began. I am not exempt from this "auld lang syne" time of year. Over the coming days and weeks, if you are reading this, you will be traveling back towards the beginnings of pieces that come from my scrap bag. This little wild geese wallhanging is an "oldie". Back in 1984..moved by autumn mighration I templated and cut these "wild" geese, and sent them flying south(and north *G*) swept along by the wind. Clever me felt I had to quilt wind I did. And then worked out a template for pine trees. The method of hanging was ribbon loops, hidden behind grograin ribbon bows. I still had a lot to learn...LOL Machine pieced, hand quilted. Posted by Picasa

A closeup of the geese, but what I really want to share, is the quilting. I quilted the geese with "wind", or at least what I felt represented wind. I worked out a tessalted pine tree for the upper and lower borders. It was a paper template way back then..much as I made for my camels walking across egypt quilt. Note the 1970's and 80's of pindots. Posted by Picasa

OK Tonya, here is the first row of my freeform fans. I think I go from 6 arcs in the first one to only 4 in the last one..LOL. Probably cause I can't really see how many I did previously..but it's practice..right *VBG*??? Posted by Picasa

The fans show up better on the backing. I have turned the phote sideways, as it was too big horizontially. Interesting how my fans get higher as I move across the surface..LOL Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Awhile back I added a collection of bright flannels to my stash. Not sure WHAT I was thinking I'd do with them, but I coveted them and I bought them as a pre-cut kit for making a rag quilt. I had no intention of making a rag quilt, but buying kits saves the time it takes to cut fabric. And so they were washed and SAT, and SAT, and SAT. I pulled them a couple weeks ago, and used several of the 1 yard pieces to make flannel pillowcases for grandsons. I also decided to cut a few of them into 3" strips and make a quilt for Grandson # 7, Quenten. He's 5 now, and a middle child. Everyone around him talks, so he rarely has to. My observation is that he could use a little "special attention", so he will be getting a mid sized quilt that looks like these blocks. I've done a version of someting similiar(?) to the bento boxes that I've seen pictured in Keepsake, I think. These blocks are made of 4 single blocks, and now measure 16.5". I think I only need 12 or 16 of these, and I have that many made. Now to lay them out. I will tie the quilt, and he'll have a quilt that matches his pillowcase. It'll be good for his two brothers to be a bit envious..*S* Call that Grandma wisdom! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This was Christmas...or at least a part of it. I'm sharing a more intimate part of myself today...a glimpse into my home. The kitchen is just soooooooooooooooo far from the front room, that Daddy needs BOTH boys to help him find his way back. The dark green chair you see on the right side is my offical "throne"...and where you'd find me most evenings..*S*. The kitchen is small, but I have all I need, including a dishwasher..*VBS* More to come.... Posted by Picasa

Presents are a serious business....and Mr. D, who is 6 yrs. old could qualify as "Flash Gordon" in the removal of wrappings...LOL. Mr N, at 2, is amazed and wonders how to get his fingers in there..*S* Supervisor DS# 3..the daddy. Posted by Picasa

Construction Area...wear Hard Hat !.....Darilyn over at Tropical Screamer was just commenting how nice it is to catch glimpses of other peoples lives, as we share blogs. I haven't shown you much of "my" personal consider these photos a "peek through the window" on Cottage Lane...*S* Posted by Picasa

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee....I guess little boys definitely are "snips and snails, and puppy dog tails". Mr. D is showing Grandma how "fierce" he can be...LOL Posted by Picasa

The Big Woods..second in a series of quilts honoring Laura Ingalls Wilder. A friend in DE who liked my first quilt(the red and brown 9 patch) did this same one in her colors. My colors were browns, greens, golds with an off white background. I had hoped the stars would be more prominent, but the browns are too strong. Flying geese are leftovers from a differen quilt. Machine pieced and profesionally machine quilted. It is about double bed size and lives with DS#1. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 26, 2005

The end of a very quiet day..and much needed rest for this weary grandma..*S* I've read, watch a movie from my new DVD player...SeaBiscuit, which made me cry, sorted scraps in sizes, and in general did pretty much NOTHING..*S*
I offer you a favorite bit from The Treasury of Days..."After all" Anne had said to Marilla once, " I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but those that bring simple litte pleasures, following one after another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." Sweet dreams and gentle rest my blogger friends..I will be off to read in bed...see you tomorrow.

Monday, Dec. 26th..."and I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night". And so it becomes the "day after". Hope you all had a wonderful celebration of your holiday....I did..*VBS* Today I'm offering you a very scrappy bow tie snuggle quilt made for DD#2. She doesn't get a lot of blog time, she is one of (mostly) missing in action kind of daughers. I love her dearly, but as with anything you love, you set it free, and if comes back to you...well, you know the rest. Before I was as "addicted to Quiltville" as I now am, I had two basis quilts I made from my overflowing scrap bins. I had one or the other in progress all the time. I did bow ties and/or variation of half square triangles. Lots of layouts possible from that one. These bowties are 6.5" blocks. When I worked with the hst's they were from 4.5" triangle. This bowtie was made for Christmas about 3 years ago. Machine pieced, utility quited with a flannel backing. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday, Dec. 23rd...a gray, rainy morning in my part of WI. Hard to believe we were below zero just a few days ago. Yesterday the temps hit 40 felt like spring. Here is another Father Christmas piece I am working on. Originally I had planned a 6 block wall hanging, but after completing 2 blocks, I was satified. I added a narrow border of the black fabric to make it just a bit bigger, and am now piecing the checkboard to go around all four sides. I've photographed it against a piece of red fleece on my ironing board. Actally the red looks pretty good there..but I don't think I would add it. I will be embellishing this one with star buttons for sure, and maybe something else.A couple of questions answered...For your suggestions..have no clue what I will do til I begin..*VBG* For Calico Cat..the squares were 1.5", finishing at a 2" four patch, so it wasn't hard to make that black inner border the right size for the checkerboards to come out even. If I had done 6 of the FC's, there would have been 3 different red coats and same with 3 different green ones. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The shortest day of the years has drawn in upon itself and the long period of darkness prevails. Winter has begun. It has been practicing for it's appearance for several weeks now. The dark winter sky arches velvet black above me, sprinkled with pinpoint diamonds of light. There is a glimmer and shimmer to the quality of the air, as I shiver taking in the night.

The sun of late afternoon lay in deep bluish purple shadows across the mistaking the time of year. No warmth to the sun, no real promise of the lengthing days that are to come. I wonder, does the world stand, poised, as it used to, in anticipation of the winter solstice? I think not.

Light and energy, flash, and boom and roar of the manmade kind shatters most landscapes. Matters not if they be woodlands or pavement...humans have arrived to claim them all. To find a woods on a snowy night, to have a horse and sleigh to find it with, to watch the woods fill up with, I don't think so. But the miles to go before we sleep, and the promises to keep..that we still have.

I find solace in one promise the earth keeps for us...fulfill the time of darkness and then turn towards the light. We must remember..turn towards the light. This quarter of the year, so recently turned from autumn to winter, may lie at hand, but it begins with the shortest of all days, and slides continously toward the light. Light that balances the darkness always, and has it's moment of glory on the opposite side of the year.

Wed, Dec.21st...Solstice greetings to all...on the shortest day of the year. Now we can begin turning toward the light. This is my Santa Puzzle. It IS made from a pattern, rather than just worked from a block idea. It's an older Red Wagon pattern. The pattern maker had a remnent of an old quilt, and worked the pattern based on that old scrap. This was a templated pattern with many, many pieces. The best approach seemed to be to work one FC at a time, and then build the rows. It's harder to photograph this one, as it's quilte long and fairly narrow...28" X 48". Personally I love it..but then I love red and white quilts. You almost have to figure out you are looking at Santas or Father Christmas for it make sense. Not everyone's cup of tea..but it works for me. Machine pieced, hand quilted. And yes, it only has one border, the black, but its being photographed against the backing from the Candle in the Cabin quilt...*VBG* Posted by Picasa

A detail of the half FC's that make up some of the outer edges. I quilted wavy lines in the beards..following lines in the fabric. It's a Jeff Gutcheon fabric that had the wavy line in it.(When I showed an orphan FC, from this pattern, Tonya had suggest I give his face, features. As you can see, these guys have no faces. Just the hat, beard and robe...sorry Ton) Posted by Picasa

A close up of one of the Father Christmas figures. The dark borders have medium size stars quilted in them. Not sure if that will show if you enlarge the pic or not, I'll have to try it..*S* Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A little doll quilt I recently made. It measures 14" X 18". I've told you I love puzzles, games where you must "find" things, or solve problems..right? Well, this quilt is a result of ordering a small package of fabric samples from Gohn's in Indiana. They sell to the Amish, and I was curious what sort of calicos they carried..LOL. Didn't find anything I wanted to buy, but I did see a chance to be challenged. All the fabrics except the lattice, borders, backing and binding are from that little package..*VBG* They were 1.5" squares and I just used them as they came. I probably never would have used "lights" of so "medium" a tone or range or hue, or whatever it is..*G* But I am pleased with the outcome. Machine pieced, hand quilted. Posted by Picasa

Here is a close up. Sorry the quilting doesn't show better. I did a double line through the lattices, and "Xed" the 9 patches. Quilting in the 9 patches just follows the diagonal runs. Borders are just quilted in the ditch. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, Dec. 20th..gray and warmer in WI today. We are actually above zero degrees...7, is what I heard on the news. Regarding yesterdays post...yes, I wondered also, "how in the world do you get shot in the hand?" Maybe by someone else? Boggles my mind..also, the "other than that" comment..LOL. Dawn said she had been wondering about these vintage pictures. They are old postcards Dawn..they used to be called "penny postcards". Not sure if they cost a penny, but you could mail someone a greeting or a message for a penny.I think they were used because not everyone could afford a telephone. Not much we can do with a penny these days. Do some of you remember when you could get candy for a penny? Not just a piece of gum from the gumball machines, altho that time is gone also....but an actual piece of candy. We had a little Mom and Pop grocery store across the street from where I grew up. If you had a nickle you could get alot of candy, by buying the penny candy. Two rootbeer barrels for a penny, 2 of those little marshmellow topped cones..made to look like minature ice cream cones..I like those..*G* Mary Janes..the forerunner of Bit O Honey, suckers of all sorts, jaw breakers, bubble gum, and a little black baby or child that was black, and had anise flavoring...those were 10 for a penny and would be totally unacceptable today. Probably a forerunner of Gummi bears. This time of year you could get ribbon candy, or candy canes 2 or 3 for a penny. The little brown bags they had just for this purpose filled nicely as you spent your nickle. We actually got to go behind the counter and pick our candy in my little store. Then Mr. D, the owner, dumped it on the counter and made sure you had what you were paying for...LOL..his wife just trusted us not to cheat. To this day, if I am filling a bag with ?? for a $1- I feel compelled to "show" the owner that I have just what I am suppose to have. Isn't it odd how things like that stay with you? Like manners, lessons from early childhood seem to influence how we live our lives. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday, Dec. 19th...the countdown to Christmas Day. I love vintage graphics..actually I love almost anything old. This postcard was mailed on Dec. 23, 1931 to Mr. Archie Cone, Rt. 5, Elk Mound, WI. It has a one cent stamp on the back and says, "all best wishes to you. Elmer was accidently shot through the right hand last Sunday. Otherwise all is well. Love from Della". Message aside, I love the little blond guy with his button back pajamas with the button drop seat..*VBS* Hope "all is well" with each of you today..*S* Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday, Dec. 18th..Candles in the Cabin. This is a seasonal wallhanging I finished a few years ago. The background "light" is a small gold and cream check. The candle is pieced but the flame is to be fused or appliqued on. I love working with the red, green and gold. The piece measures 38" square, with the blocks finishing at 10.5". The logs are quilted down the center of each. The candle squares are cross hatched at 1". Took quite awhile to quilt it, but I'm happy with the outcome. Posted by Picasa