Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Annabelle Quilt

First finish of 2015:  Our Sweet Annabelle's Quilt.    Annabelle Morgan is due to arrive in March and I can't wait to meet her!  This is our daughter's first baby and she is planning her nursery in vintage pastels.

The back of Annabelle's quilt.  (quilt pic taken upside down, label in corner).  I quilted this one by machine, using  the walking foot for the entire process.  This was a very relaxing way to quilt and no muscle soreness, like when I attempt free motion quilting.

An embroidered corner label:   This is the first time I've used the corner label and I like the way it looks on the quilt.   This quilt was made entirely from fabric and batting I already had on hand.  It is very satisfying to see the stash being used. 

I have this quilt in the washer now and will pack it up for my trip to TN next month.  I'm planning to go out and help my daughter 'nest' a little before Annabelle arrives.  AND she has promised to take me to Paducah KY for a day trip to see Quilt City USA.  I'm looking forward to our little time together.

Friday, January 16, 2015

January Birthdays

Happy Birthday to Will and Ashley this month.  (Ash is 28, Will is 30!!)  Oh my, my baby boy is 30 years old!  

I asked them to choose their birthday meal, and this is what we came up with:

Will's plate
Yes, we had a carb feast!  The kids chose chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, and lima beans .  I added broccoli casserole and creamed corn.   Oh, and biscuits... Will had forgotten his biscuit when this pic was taken.

A surprise shot of the boys, while eating at the bar.  Avery will turn his head EVERYTIME, if he knows you are taking a pic. :)

And then there was birthday pie... chocolate pie with the only three candles I had in the house.  This is the original pic of the candles being blown out.  It was too dark, so we did a couple of re-do's:

Re-do #1 with no fire.  Brinley is paying attention; she will have a birthday in a few months!

Re-do # 2:  Can you see Chan's foot in the air?   A little Chandler slobber just made the pie a little bit sweeter!

Happy Birthday to Will and Ashley.  We  are very proud of you both!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Back to the Business of Blogging

Happy 2015!

Sometimes I think about stopping my blog, because I really don't take care of it like I had planned.   But then I go back and start reading; page after page; pages of MY story.  And every now and then I run across something that I had already forgotten about!  Yes, how quickly we forget!   I am very thankful that I have memories recorded here, it's fun to go back... so yes, back to the business of blogging.

Annabelle's quilt

Happy 2015!  Do you still set goals?  You know, losing weight, exercising more, etc. etc.  Me neither... not anymore.  After 51 years of seeing what doesn't work, I think I'll just live.... yes, I will attempt to be healthier, I will try to make wise choices, I will educate myself on what's best for me, and I will live. 

I will look at the sky, each and every day, to be reminded of the wonderful Creator, who paints that sky for us daily.   I will look for Him in all places, I will listen for His still small voice.   I believe God can be found in the small stuff.... the flowers that grow, the birds that fly, the rivers that flow, the laughter of my grandchildren, etc.  He is still there, waiting for us to recognize and join Him.  I will put away any distractions that keep me from Him and I will keep my eyes and my ears open.

A dear friend from work gave me this Downton Abbey planner for Christmas.  I have decided it will be perfect to record my sewing progress for 2015.  I have so MANY things that I want to complete this year.  I hope that by seeing my progress on paper, I'll be able to move forward.  These things are not going to sew themselves.  I completed this square in square quilt top for my 4th grandchild today; Annabelle is due to arrive in March.  I get to write this in the book tonight.  ;)

Do you see these two little embroidered kids that I made a few weeks ago?  ahem, more like when I was in HIGH SCHOOL!!  Since I made these (I painted them with oil paints, that my brother let me borrow, as he was taking an art class in school... thanks Dale), I have gone to nursing school, married, had two children,  a boy and a girl, just like my embroideries!  I have raised those two kids, am semi retired from my nursing job, and have my 4th grandchild on the way!  Those embroideries are still there.  They have moved from house to house to house, along with our moves through the years. I still like them.   I enlarged these patterns (by hand) from a magazine, using the back of Christmas wrapping paper to make a grid.  I loved them then, and I still love them today!  The magazine plan was to make a quilt.  (I still have the magazine) I have decided to have these little kids framed and I will hang them in my living room.   They are at least 33-34 years old now. 

And I do read , a lot, especially since I purchased a Kindle a couple years ago.  As much as I love my Kindle, I still prefer 'paper' books.  I've recently learned that you can purchase used books on Amazon, too... not just new books.  (I know , I know, everyone else already knew this) Lately I have been purchasing a few used books to read.  The one in the picture was a fun read.  I love reading about simple living, farms, domesticity, quilting, cooking, etc.  There is a second book about this farm that I want to read soon.   I think I will write my completed book list in my journal, too.   You know, just to remember.

When we are young, we don't realize how much we have to forget.  I think it's a great idea to keep records.  Who says all record keeping has to be hard? (like money, vaccinations, etc)  Our blogs are priceless; they belong to each writer; as do our journals.   Write it down! Keep a record!  We'll be glad we did.

Happy 2015!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Aunt Jane of Kentucky (free ebook)

This is a quick post to share one of the best little finds I've found in awhile.
Aunt Jane of Kentucky  was written in the early 1900's.  I stumbled across this book by reading a portion of it reprinted in another quilting book.

Aunt Jane was a quilter and a wonderful story teller.  I promise that Chapter 1 will have you in stitches and for those of us who love quilts and quilting, you will love Chapter 3.  This book is filled with short stories, making it an easy read.   If you are looking for something fun to read and something that takes you back to many many years ago, this is your book.

It is a free download on Amazon.  Click this link to take you there.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Pumpkin Sunday

Papa and I spent the afternoon with these precious little ones yesterday. 

And this one:

Isn't she growing up???

We went to Kersey Valley (where their mommy works) and spent a fall afternoon.  There were pumpkins, a cow train, duck races, jumping pads, trolley rides... we had a nice afternoon with the family.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The 1991**Didn't know what I was doing* quilt

In 1991, I was in my late 20's and was making quilts.  I have learned a lot since then, but I want to share this quilt with you:

This quilt makes me happy and it makes me sad. 

When my grandmother died, my grandfather gave me a box of fabric scraps that  had belonged to her.  She was a quilter, too.  I made this quilt for my daughter.... she was 4 years old... and I dreamed of the day that she would grow up and it would become a part of her home.

You see, I did not even know how to make the blanket stitch for appliqueing the pieces.  But I thought I had taught myself.  I whipped these little sunbonnet sue girls up in no time.

I embroidered some of my favorite Bible verses on each dress, thinking that one day my daughter would look up these verses, to see what  scripture had spoken to her mother.
 I hand quilted this quilt on a wooden frame, that sat in the living room until the quilt was finished.  My children played underneath the frame while I quilted away.  I look at my quilting stitches now and am amazed that I had such small neat stitches 'back in the day'.  My stitches no longer look that nice.

When I finished quilting the quilt and turned the edges over for binding (I did not know how to make binding  or how to  bind a quilt in 1991) I promptly washed the quilt. 
To my horror, when I pulled it out of the washer, all of my blanket stitches that I used to hold the sun bonnet girls on with, had shifted.... pulled away and were distorted. It's a wonder there were any Sue's hanging on at all!

So, it was at that moment, that I decided my little girl could not 'use' the quilt at all while she was a little girl, as I knew it would get dirty and not be able to withstand frequent washings.   I folded it away and put inside a plastic container and there it has sat for years!

My little girl is 27 years old now and has a house of her own.  I still have not parted with the quilt, because I know what will happen when she washes it.  

I've been thinking of putting the quilt on my sewing machine and machine stitching the Sunbonnet Sues in place and calling it ok.  I will then send it to my daughter and she can decide if she will display it, use it, or keep it in plastic its entire life. 

Any suggestions?  Man! I wish I could still quilt like that!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Underground Railroad completed

I am definitely an 'under' achiever with my quilting goals, but I have managed to finally finish my Underground Railroad quilt sampler.  

This picture was taken in a hurry with assistance from  an impatient husband.  The sunshine is washing out the lower portion of the quilt in the photo.  I bought the fabric 2-3 years ago, using Christmas money given to me as a gift.  I very slowly worked my way through Eleanor Burn's Underground Railroad pattern book.  By the time I was finished with the blocks, I was pretty bored with the color of the fabrics (attempting to use Civil War type fabric colors).  I decided on the black and red to make the blocks pop a little more and then chose the blue border because I wanted the quilt to look happier than it was looking at the time.  ;) 

The backing and binding were made from several yards of fabric that I found at Goodwill somewhere along the way.  I think I paid $2 for approx. 6 yards of fabric. 

Of course, it is all machine quilted.  I saved the quilting for the black sashing for last and debated on whether to even meander stitch on them.   Well, I did it, but not sure I would do that again... especially with contrasting thread colors.  On a happy note, I straight stitched 'in the ditch' the entire quilt before I started any  free motion stippling.  This is the first quilt that I have machine quilted that didn't have a huge pucker or fold on the back somewhere. 

This quilt now belongs to my husband because he claimed it right from the start.  He loved the colors and still loved the colors when I was done.  Those must be 'man' colors.   I'm happy it's finished, because it just feels good to mark an unfinished project off the list! 

And I threw this picture in for the grandkids.  Hoping that they will one day enjoy reading my blog, I wanted to throw in something that is sure to make them giggle one day.  These brothers are so much fun and it's cute to see Chandler growing into the little brother than can now 'play' with big brother, Avery.