Sunday, September 30, 2007

Trees Gone

Along with my 50 year old house, I had some 50 year old trees that were dying. I'd had a couple trees cut before so I thought this would go fine too. Well the cutting and removal did go fine but it is so sad to see the back yard, minus the largest tree. It provided shade and a perfect limb for the tire swing. It had large dead branches and the bark was falling off, but it was not dead, well not until I killed it. Loss of this tree is not a good thing and I have regrets. I don't have another 50 years to grow another tree. Crazy what makes me melancholy. I'm checking the internet for replacement ideas. Fast growing ones. Thought about a cotton wood but not sure those roots would be good anywhere near my septic field. Ever heard of a Royal Empress?

Speaking of trees, I recently read a book titled The Shade of My Own Tree by Sheila Williams. It is a first-person novel about the courage to change. "If you keep looking backward, you can't more forward." Okay, on this the last day of September, I get the message.

Fall and Grilling
We are having very warm weather for this time of year. But the days are getting much shorter. The nights and mornings are cool. It is interesting how different parts of our vast country look at this time of year. Here in MI I see things shutting down. Leaves, and those pesky nuts too, falling. Woolly worms and wasps building winter homes. Squirrel tails flying everywhere to get those nuts buried. Checking the furnace and windows for the winter weather we know is coming. Not my favorite time of year. Then I listen to those folks living in places like Florida and parts of California who are so happy to be turning off their air conditioners and opening their windows. They are headed into their favorite time of the year. Yup, I'm being drawn their way for a few months.

Yesterday, I finished cleaning up and painting the inside of the garage. Before I rolled it back in, I just had to cook on the charcoal grill again. What is your favorite food for the grill? I like lots of things, but roasted sweet potatoes are high on the list. I cooked five of them yesterday and will put some in the freezer. I also like to cook hamburgers there and do a whole bunch so I can freeze them too. Really good in goulash, chili and hash. Watch out here comes another memory, this one from my childhood. There were lots of old trees in our front yard resulting the lots of leaves. My dad would rake them into the ditch and burn them. Sorry folks, we didn't know better then. Back then people would have thought it impossible that in 2007, people would be buying bags to put the leaves in and then pay for people to pick them up. But, back to my memories. Those leaves made super coals and I always ran into the house to get potatoes to throw into the coals. It didn't take long until they could be raked out. The outsides were black but inside were the very best tasting fluffy white potato, just waiting for a hunk of butter. I've never been able to resist putting potatoes into glowing coals. My kids remember me doing this during their growing-up years. It was never the treat for them that it was for me. They ran for the marshmellows.

One more item on my non-quilty ramble today. Have you found anything worth watching on the new fall TV shows? The War series on PBS is good. Only problem is that it is so visually presented, it is hard to sew while "watching." And I liked ER on Thursday. This show has been on TV forever and is as fresh and well written as ever. I haven't seen any new shows that I'm likely to watch regularly. I did just see on TV that it is the anniversary of the creation of the take offs of the smiley face for computer correspondence. So I leave you hoping you have a happy day. : = )

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Silk Ribbon

Many a year ago, while I was still employed and had little time to sew, I got interested in silk ribbon work. I kept playing on this vest and it just grew and grew. I have no idea why I put it on denim other than it was popular then and I liked the blue background for the embellishments. I make a dress and this was the vest that went with it. It had Velcro on the ties leading to the back. I should take a pic of the back too. Back then, I wore it for special occasions and haven't worn it in years. Hummm, should I take it apart and recycle the hand work? Thinking. More close up pics in the next post.

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Close Ups

More pics of silk ribbon and other embellishments.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Another Find
I have been looking through a box of hand work. This was a panel that I embellished, mostly with embroidery and some silk ribbon. I worked on it while sitting with my dad in his nursing home during the last seven months of his life. He had been there for four years before this but seven months before he died, a resident stopped the antibiotic that the urologist had ordered for him to take for the rest o his life. The nursing home "cleaned" his chart removing the order and my large sign on the first page saying that this medication was never to be stopped. It took me a week to discover what they had done, but the damage was done. Dad got a major infection and everything that could go wrong, did. They sold the nursing home, resulting in staff changes and tons of problems. I still can't tell you all of it, but eventually, I had to get the state involved due to other medication errors and such poor care. He was a gentle man who lived with major pain and was unable to get out of bed most of his last year. I stayed as "on top of things" as possible and fought every battle I could for him. After the medication error, I looked at his medication chart daily and got a copy of it weekly. My dad remained mentally competent through all this. He had a very hard road to travel that last year of his life and was 93 years old when he died. I got a battery powered light that I hung around my neck and did a lot of hand sewing many a day and many a night. This was three years ago. A few days ago I ound this piece. I've added a last few stitches, sighed and smiled and declared this piece finished.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Leaf Fabric

This is another leaf fabric I found in my stash. The first pic is the front and has copper colored around many of the leaves. The second pic is the back side of the fabric which I like a lot too.

Really crazy weather for the last five days. It has been in the mid 80's which is about 15 degrees higher than normal for us here at this time of year. It rained last night and has been steam bath all day today. Storm suppose to be coming in tonight and clear it all out. The pattern repeats a lot more than the other fabric I used. I tried the method of cutting large block (about 7 inches) and cutting it into hour glass. Of course this means bias sewing. And it means only one was to arrange the pieces. I prefer the squares especially as it allows more designs to play with.

Today was another day of errands so I stopped in at the LQS. I picked up a couple fabrics to go with this print. All I had was black and I didn't like it. Good news is the long arm quilter said she would do the DDL Christmas quilt and finish it in a month's time, before I go to FL. I sure appreciate that as there is usually a 4 to 6 month wait. I used to take a date to bring in the quilt way before I even decided what I'd be making.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


I sure used every bit of fabric up on this one. The border is pieced in several places but I didn't have to take apart the extra block. Last pic is all that is left.

The good news is that my DDL says this would be a wonderful Christmas gift at her house. I'm so happy that she likes it that much and as soon as it is quilted, it will be headed her way. She has a real flair to decorate her home and I'm very pleased that she thinks this quilt belongs draped over a certain chair for the holidays. :)

I have been auditioning more fabric from my stash to make another one. And I thought those letters were addicting.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Sky In Falling

Your right, Henny Penny. The black walnut trees beside my driveway are dropping nuts on the garage, driveway and sometimes even on the house. It sounds like they are being thrown and really make a bang. Kipper doesn't like it at all. I have to be extra careful not to step on one and roll an ankle. Yes, I sweep them up but .... I used to take the husks off - best way is to drive the car over them and let them dry and finally crack them to get the nuts. They are very good but sure make a mess. The husks really stain your hands and everything else. The Native Americans used about every part of the black walnut trees for medical purposes and the husks for dye. My trees were full grown trees when I moved here 45 years ago and they are in what was a fence row between fields before this. I would guess they are 100 years old. Walnuts trees live a long time. There used to be about 20 black walnut trees along the road edge just north of my house. When they developed the road, they cut them all down. I contacted the owner of the farm field and told her. The wood from those trees should have had some sale value, even back then. Black walnut wood makes beautiful wooden furniture and other things.

Well, these are my musings on this the official first day of fall. To celebrate the last day of summer yesterday, I fired up my charcoal grill. Hamburgers were good but the roasted sweet potatoes were supper!
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Stack and Whack Squares

The top pic is what the fabric looked like before I cut it up. I've had it a long time and was never sure, but think it was fall fabric. The red was the only thing I had that I liked with the blocks. It is now 41" by 58" and probably should have some borders but I don't like anything I've auditioned so far. This is sure an easy way to make a stunning look. So nice with no bias edges. Thanks to Andrea, Norma, Linda J and Paula for the encouragement and ideas to look at. (See comments on my last post.) Makes me want to start another one.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stack and Whack Squares

I saw some square Stack and Whack blocks on Linda J's (Life With Quilts and a Little Old Lady in a Fur Coat) Sept. 9th post. Had to make some. So easy and so fun. Reminded me of working on my Hawaiian quilt. I have 36 blocks each 7 1/2 " square. In the pics, I grouped some of them together. Don't know how to put them together. Hummmm.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kitties and Puppies

What do you think these are for? The fur makes wonderful hair for the Bonnet Girls. I learned this from a class I took to make them. The class also taught the technique of copying the pattern page from the book onto a sheet of label adhesive paper. Then you cut out the pattern and stick it onto fabric. Cut the fabric leaving enough fabric to turn under for applique. Remove the paper before sewing it to background. Another hint was to sew small pieces together into a unit and then applique the unit to the area it belongs.

I'll still looking through a box of my applique stuff. I haven't been in there for a while.
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Monday, September 17, 2007

More Bonnet Girls

I finished my September Bonnet Girl. This book is by Helen R. Scott and has detail instructions. Each of them is named and has something written about them. The book is poorly bound and I had mine redone. I'm thinking of doing April Rose so represent spring.

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Patriotic Quilts

There were some very nice patriotic quilts. The first one was titled Welcome Home. It was pieced by Marilyn Hamilton Goyette and quilted by Karen Quilting. Sorry I didn't get the info on the other quilts. The bottom one is a small quilt.

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