Saturday, December 22, 2007

Going to visit grandkids for a couple weeks. I'll be reading some of your posts while I'm gone but probably not post anything myself. This is unexpected trip so..... Have a healthy, happy holiday and I'll be back next year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Station
Sue from the Magpie's Nest has a meme on her favorite things during the holidays. Here are some of mine. 1. Handmade decorations, especially those made by family members. This station was made by my dad in his retirement years. He had a bone disease in his leg and did crafts to keep this mind and hands busy. The detail is really neat.
2. I love German Christmas cookies. These are molasses based and have candied fruit. The original recipe called for lard and after the ingredients were mixed up, the dough was to be covered tightly (to keep the mice out) and put in the attic (to cool). Of course, I used shortening and a refrigerator. They were made ahead of time and stored in tins like a fruit cake. They really made a big batch so I got to eat them daily for a long time. I found this recipe when I was a young mother.
3. I love to sing in my soprano voice the old fashion Christmas carols like It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and Joy to the World.
4. Like Sue, I like all the sappy old TV Christmas movies.
5. My favorite gifts both to give and to receive have always been books and things I can create.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This and That

I'm back in my FL home after dog sitting for my DD's dogs for a few days. The bottom pic is one of her dogs. Sorry I didn't get a pic of the other one. Everything went fine. It was very hot (86 degrees) but I hate to complain knowing the miserable weather up north and out west. I was pretty lazy. I read Ordinary Heroes which I'd been meaning to do for some time and really enjoyed it. It is a novel but has a solid historical foundation (WWII). Very well written. It amazes me all the work an author does to research the facts in a book like this. Before Kipper and I came home, my DD gave him a hair cut. It is not easy to do with all his layers of fur and hair but he is much cooler now.

A bit ago I went to an arts and crafts show/sale. I just had to buy several things. I guess I'm a real sucker for hand made items. I prefer to call it having an appreciation for individual creations of all sorts. Anyway I bought some things including the bench in the first pic. I had the snow man figure from a prior sale and he needed a bench. This is my porch and I have a pot of basal and a some chives growing.

A bit ago a saw this kitty fabric in a store and just had to have it. It is washed but not ironed but you can see how cute it is. I showed it to my DD who reminded me I didn't have any very young grandchildren any more. (Youngest is almost 7.) Gosh, I liked it myself. Maybe I'm getting to my second childhood. No idea what I'll do with this fabric but I have it.

When I got home, I had lots of mail including a card and Santa to finish making from Finn. It was so exciting. I have always liked gifts that let me make something with them and I have tended to choose them for children's gifts too. As a child I liked paper dolls, paint sets, beads to string and fabric to weave. Oh, lots of books too. My family is definitely a book family.

I've got fabric out on my dining room table that is converted to cutting and working table but not sure what I'll do or when I'll do it. Hope everyone's holiday plans are coming along fine.
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Fabric Update

I've been struggling with how to make top and /0r bottom borders to lengthen my 4 four patch rose posy quilt. The first pic shows where I'm at just now. I've had it with trying to decide what to do and am going to try to finish.

Second pic shows part of my FL stash out on my porch to show it's true colors. I think I don't have much of a stash here as compared with my MI one but when I drag it out, it looks like so much more.

Third pic is my converted sewing room. As you can see, it used to be a dining room. The early morning sun is reflected in the mirror and shows my front windows. Those two stacks from the porch are piled on the left of the second shelf from the top. Yes, there is a lot of fabric. Then why can't I find anything I'm happy with? The dining table is used for my cutting board. How about that bag! I won it from Joyce back a bit ago and just love it! Thanks again, Joyce.

Why did I get all these fabrics out last night? I thought I might do Bonnie's mystery quilt. I have such a terrible time choosing colors. I really need help with it. I finally choose the three fabrics in the last pic. Will I get them cut and sewn? Maybe. Maybe not. I really need to make a "to do" list and see what needs done now! I'm going to my DD house to dog sit for a few days. I keep thinking of all the things I could take with me to get done. It's enough for four weeks instead of four days. Oh, me.

Have a nice sunny quilty day!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Problem and Progress

Yesterday I went to Hancock's to get some backing for my UFO Celtic Christmas design. I found some nice heavy black interfacing. Just what I needed. Was it fusible? I read, "Place shiny adhesive side up...Use a hot steam iron at wool setting...." Yes this is perfect. At home I started cutting out the shape and told myself to make sure to use a scrap and check how the fusing worked. Well, it didn't. Hum.... Read the directions. I must have faulty stuff. Oh here are some different directions. Oh, me. The plastic insert has directions for three types of interfacing. One is for single-sided fusible, one for double sided fusible and one for firm smooth stabilizer (no adhesive). I had bought the nonfusible. The back is definitely a different color and texture than the front. Humm. I had no idea they would have instructions for multiple stabilizers inside the bolt of one of them. I had already cut it so decided to glue it to my mat. Glad it is done and I sure learned something - to always ask the sales clerk even if I think I know the answer.

I looked at the cut off corners of the blocks from my quilt before the sashings were added. Just had to finish them too. Neat little things, huh? They'll finish 5 inches. The bottom pic is taken in the sun on my porch floor without flash to show you the true colors. I was thinking I'd use them some way to make my currently square flimsy longer. But wouldn't they make a darling pillow?. Hummm. I also bought some fabric to use for borders but forgot to take a pic of it. I use the laundromat at the recreation building of my mobile home park. It is close and not as expensive as commercial ones but a headache when I want to prep fabric.

Sunny today. Much better than the high 70's with 85% humidity yesterday.

Ready or not December is here. Have a great day.
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Sing With Me
I was determined to get these blocks together. I'm not a driven person but I could see the end and it was oh so near so.....

First the sewing machine had its say about that. I have a nice Elna machine in MI but just an inexpensive
Simplicity one here. It was making the stitch short and not the length I had selected. I thought it was the feed dogs but they looked okay. Finally I gave up and took it all apart. Bobbin area dirty, of course. Then I decided to take a screw driver and take the top off. Fearing the site of rust, I was surprised to find none. I found a couple places to oil and got it all back together. I checked the needle that I had replaced very recently. Finally I tested and adjusted the tension. Hurrah! She hummed right along making nice stitches. I was trying to get the sewing done so I could watch a TV show. Of course bobbin went empty. Okay, that is fixed and those two rows are done. I'll iron. Oh, no. I flipped them wrong so now must unstitch. But before I went to bed, this much is put together. Not the best picture and needs some ironing (yes on my new board) but you can see that they are all attached to each other. I need to add some type of border on the top and bottom to make it longer. These are not my colors but I had this piece of fabric and am into playing with four patch posy just now. I do like the modified snow ball design. Someone will like it when (notice I didn't say "if") I get it done.

I pulled out my Florida Christmas box of goodies. I think my favorite is the snoozing snowman. I got him at a bazaar sale last year. I had set him out on the porch and sprayed with Fabreeze. Today when I was putting him back in his chair, I discovered he had a thing under his pants in the back for batteries. Would it work? Yup. Would he sing? Nope. What is does is snore and his chest goes in and out. LOL I really relate to his guy.

The last pic are animals I bought several years ago. They don't have batteries and I was afraid they could no longer sing. But sing they still do. The song is We Wish You A Merry Christmas. The cow sings the notes with moo and the cat meow. Sorry I can't send the audio so you really must sing the song using the moo and then the meow. Now isn't that cute?
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Four Patch Posy

After playing with a lot of ideas, I am putting the blocks together like this. I wanted the flowers to dominate. I should have all 16 blocks put together today. I'll need to figure something to lengthen it. Then borders.

I'm also trying to make a Christmas table runner but not sure how to finish it. Picture to follow soon.

This is how big the ducklings have gotten. There is a second adult in the lower front. The young ones are loosing their fluff and getting feathers.

It has been in the 80's every day for a while now. Little to hot for me - and Kipper, too. Suppose to get down to 70's next Tuesday. Hard to think Christmas.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quilt's New Home

I'm sure you remember my space quilt that I worked on for much of the summer. I still call it my space quilt even though I named it What's In A Name? I dedicated it to Barbara Morgan who so impressed me as such a marvelous modal for young women - really for all of us.

After displaying the quilt in the 50 years in space challenge in September, I decided to give the quilt to Barbara Morgan. I finally got her address and sent it to her. I told her to keep it or donate it where ever she wished. I got a phone call from Barbara herself and she was so nice. This week I got a letter from her explaining what she was doing with it. I don't have a scanner here in Florida so can only retype the letter for you.

"What a delightful surprise to receive your "What's In A Name?" quilt! It's beautifully made. I love how it's bright and cheerful, and I absolutely love the space vehicles theme. We had a lot of fun with it here in the Astronaut Office - quizzing ourselves on the questions you prepared that correspond with the words on the quilt. What fun!

I am honored that you , a retired teacher and talented artist, would dedicate this quilt to me. With your permission, I'd like to dedicate it to teachers and students everywhere by donating it to the Idaho State Historical Museum in Boise, ID where it can be enjoyed by many. I have spoken to the folks at the museum and they are thrilled to be able to display it, your questions, and with your permission, a picture of yourself. I know that the Idaho State Historical Museum folks will take good care of the quilt and share it with teachers and students and parents as part of the museum's educational programming, for many years to come.

Again, thank you. Your gift truly touched me."

And I was truly touched by both Barbara's phone call and letter. Maybe I should plan a trip to Bosie.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What is that?

I keep getting "stuff" under my ironing board. I clean it and it is back the next day. Hummm So I took a look and found this. That's what FL heat and humidity does. Granted this cover has been on there for several years but so had my cover on my MI ironing board and this hasn't happened. Easy fix. I'll buy a new cover. When I took it off I found a rusted frame. Okay, time for a whole new board. I buy inexpensive irons because they don't do well in this climate either. I expected to replace it but the iron is okay.

I have put some corners on the four patch blocks and like them. Not a true snowball because of the 10" block size. What's next? hummmm

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dog Park
Burrr. Who sent this cold weather down? It was 40 degrees outside when I woke up yesterday. It got up to 65 degrees. Suppose to be back up to 80 tomorrow. Kipper said yesterday was a perfect day to go to the dog park so we did. This is a new park not that far from where we live. The top pic is "come". He was so excited when a nine month old yellow lab came to play. Kipper is nine years old now and kept up, for a while anyway. Hard to get the moving pics so I made Kip pose by the fire hydrant. This park is only four months old and is three acres divided into large and small dog areas. The agility equipment is such a nice touch. There is water for both the dogs and the people.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here is another try to show you what I have been sewing. I found a piece of fabric here in my FL stash and thought it would make great four patch. I forgot to take a pic of the fabric before I cut it up. Sorry. It is neat to see what it looks like before it is cut. I used all the larger pieces up, even had to piece one of them. But I have 13 blocks, each will finish at 10 inches. Now what? I thought about mixing them with nine patch but not for a 10 inch block. Now I'm thinking snow ball but there's that 10 inch thing again. Lots of thinking and looking. hummmm.
Good News
The local Hancock Fabric store is still open. I really miss the MI one that closed. The FL one is close by and I can stop in and get anything I need. Yesterday I did just that and got some sewing machine needles. And looked around. Had to have my fabric fix. VBG
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Still Here

I'm not able to post pics. Hope to get it working very soon. Yes, I have done some quilting. Also doing water aerobics. And reading your blogs.
More soon, I hope.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day 2007

My Deepest Gratitude

For Everyone Who Served - Then and Now.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quilted, Bound and a Pillow, Too

I got this quilt back from my LAQ just before I left MI. I tried to get the binding on before I came to FL but only got it about half done so it came with me. The top pic is it finished. The second pic shows the quilting on the front and back. I sent it to my DDIL and it has arrived. My DGD is taking it to school for show and tell. They are reading a book about a patchwork quilt. How nice. I wish she had my Autumn Walk one to take as it is more of a "true" patchwork quilt but I'm glad this one arrived in time for her to take.

I also brought what little fabric I had left from this quilt to FL and just used it to finished a pillow. The red back has seven seams. Good print for hiding them. The pillow is not as lopsided as the pics show. Now I need to get it sent.

I've been looking through my stash here in FL. It is not as extensive as my MI one but has some fabrics I'm looking at through new eyes. Hummmmm.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Sure seems strange for November, but this is what I found walking down my neighbor's driveway this afternoon when Kipper and I returned from our run. Aren't they cute?

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