Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tumpy's Quilt

I've finished the quilt that I've been working on and am itching to start my next hand quilting project.

I probably should call this quilt something like "My evolution quilt".   

It all started many years ago, (think 25 years or so), when my kids were little ones.  I started hand piecing hexagons for a grandmother's flower garden quilt.  It was all planned out in my mind, with green hexies to separate the flowers, making it into a flower garden quilt.

Life happened; the kids grew up and the hexies ended up in the attic for several years, tucked away in a cardboard box. Fast forward quite a few years and I purchased the paper doll fabric, having no idea what I would do with it.   I believe they had a front and a back and could have been made into dolls. 

One day I pulled the hexies out and decided to applique them onto a solid fabric and would throw the dolls into the mix and make something pretty for a future granddaughter.

The next thing I knew, I had two granddaughters and the quilt wasn't even close to being done.

I had been wanting to try big stitch quilting with colorful threads and remembered this quilt top that I already had, ready to go.  I started on it a few months ago, with my faithful companion, Tumpy, lying beside me for almost every stitch that was put into the quilt.  He was sick, but I didn't realize how sick at the time. 

Tumpy (the black dog in the picture) died in July and I was still working on the quilt.  When I picked it back up to stitch, it just didn't feel right without him by my side.   I would see his little black dog hair on the quilt and wish so much that I could just bring him back.  I began to call it Tumpy's quilt.

I embroidered his name on one of the hearts, as a way to honor his memory.  It was then that I decided that this quilt would be mine.  He loved to snuggle on the couch with me and this quilt reminds me of our last few months together, we both got lots of snuggle time. 

This pic is kind of cheesy, but the quilt is draped across Tumpy's little grave that we made in the back yard.   I think he would have approved of the finish.

Even with its sadness,  it's been a good summer....

I had the pleasure of seeing all the grandkids at the SAME time and it stirred my heart  to see them together again.  I leave you with this completely spontaneous photo taken of them without any prompts... isn't cousin love grand???

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 2018

A lot has happened since my last post.  I think I'm ready to see Fall arrive this year... I need cool weather and a change of pace.

We had to say goodbye to this sweet angel last Wednesday night.  It was a very sad night and has been a very sad week for me.  This little guy taught me a lot about love.  I'll love you forever, Tumpy.

Yesterday I had a birthday:

It was a nice quiet day.  I received a few phone calls.  Hubby took me to a favorite seafood restaurant with a river view in Sneads Ferry, NC.   And I was able to take a nice nap with my other two doggies.

I did sneak away for a few days and see this little sweetie back in late June.  It was a good visit and I sure wished I could see that baby more often.  I miss her sweet mommy too.

I bought myself a quilt from an antique shop while in Tennessee.  I just loved the colors and the design.

Sweet Annabelle started preschool last month.  She LOVES getting up to "go play with her friends."

Grandma borrowed a vintage bike from their great granddaddy :-))

These two guys came to spend 9 days with Grandma and Papa  while their parents went on an anniversary trip to NY. We had a nice week.... Avery lost a tooth and Chandler learned to ride his bike without training wheels!!

We took the boys fishing one day; Avery had more luck than any of us.  It was his day.

I painted myself a new quilt block that we hung on the fence. I love the bright colors on this one.

color, color everywhere!

What I've been reading:

I read my first Jane Austen book and totally loved it.  I found an online FREE college lecture series to go along with the book, if anyone else is interested.  Hillsdale College  There are other free things to study there, too.   I also just finished reading another classic :  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn that I highly recommend.  

Tumpy 2008-2018

Birthdays and deaths always make me turn inwards and examine a lot of things about my life.  (we also had two friends to pass away yesterday) It can certainly lead to depression, which seems to be easy for me to slip into... but I am trying so hard to make this into new ambition for myself.  I need to make some positive changes in my life , and I have a few ideas already.   I need to stop wasting time, as time is very precious, and it goes so quickly.  If you pray, I would love for you to add me to your list.... I sometimes wonder if anyone ever prays for me, since my Mom passed away.  :-((    If there is anyway I can help lift any of you up, please let me know.  Love to all!

beautiful hydrangea picked from my brother and sis in law's new house in Bath, NC

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1

How is it even possible that June 1 is already here?

 I was sad that Christmas 2017 was over and it's almost time for another one!! .

It's hot in eastern NC, with lots of rain so far this year.  I've actually enjoyed the rain because we planted a new tree and some new perennials, which has meant less watering from me.  I think most people are getting tired of all the rain and I've seen some horrible flooding on the news, some in my own state at my beloved Biltmore Village. 

I am now wrapping my thimble disk with duct tape

I'm still big stitch quilting on my flower garden quilt.  It's been a fun process, as there isn't much pressure to be perfect with these type of stitches.  I've moved my project from chair to chair, hoop to hoop, and room to room.... trying to find the perfect spot to quilt.  I finally found it last night when my husband offered me his Lazy Boy recliner. Yep!  my new quilting chair....the sweet spot.... I guess I need to buy my own lazy boy. 

So my daddy found himself a new dog.  Doesn't she look sweet?  Well she is a puppy and wilder than any puppy we've ever had before.  She has been very challenging for him, so much so that he asked me to find her a new home.  I "advertised" her on facebook, but there were no takers.  LOL  She must have realized what was going on, because she actually calmed down a bit over the past few days.  I don't think he really wanted to rehome her anyway, so we are hoping things will work out with his new love.

This picture is too cute not to share.  Annabelle loves her chickens.  She pets them, holds them, feeds them, and keeps a good eye on them.  She is definitely her mama's child.  I hope to visit them soon... it's difficult for me only getting to see her a few times a year.  I haven't seen her "in person" since before Christmas.... sniff sniff.  Does anyone else let their dogs keep them from traveling?  I know it's crazy, but I worry about them so much if I'm not here with them, especially now that they are older and need daily medication.  The things we get ourselves into..... ha!

We attended the annual family reunion on my dad's side of the family.  This is me and my sister in laws.  We decided we had not had a picture made together in over 20 years.... shame on us!

Hubby and I have been low carbing since Easter.  I had lost 10 pounds and was never hungry, which was a great thing.  But I got sick of eating that way.... this week I've had pizza, cake, and bread.... all I wanted.  And I've been hungry hungry hungry!  I guess we get back on the low carb kick next week.

Joy joy.... Until next time!

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Busy May

Spring seems to have finally arrived and life has gotten busy. 

First beach trip done (kite)

We aren't having a garden this year, but we did set out three tomato plants and harvested a few asparagus stalks from our asparagus bed.  I plan to enjoy my dad's garden harvest this year.  He lives alone and has plenty for everyone.

This little girl had her vet visit and the vet recommended not removing her fat tumor.  She did perform a biopsy on it, so we know it's not cancer.  She's getting stiff and achy in her old age, but she can still tree a squirrel !  She's 11 years old now.

Brinley Kate

I visited with this little girl and her brothers for a couple of days.  We celebrated her 4th birthday on Saturday.  Grandma took her to get "birthday nails" on Friday and she wanted rainbow nails.  They are growing up quickly!!

Nursing home yo yo quilt
I had not visited the place I had worked in over two years, and I got a chance to stop by for a little visit.  We weren't allowed to have phones in the building when we worked, so I finally got a chance to take a picture of one of my favorite things there.  One of our patients made this yo yo quilt years ago and donated it to the activities department for auction.  The nursing home owner made the highest bid and had it framed and hung on the wall where this patient resided.  It has always been special to me.

This little girl's daddy built her a tree swing and she's been having a lot of fun.  She's growing up quickly too.  Grandma hopes to make a visit to TN to visit with her soon.

I brought out an old quilt top to work on and put it in my pvc frame for some hand stitching.  I could not seem to find a comfortable way to quilt, so I moved it to a hoop.

Slowly, but surely, I'm getting a little big stitch quilting done.  I made all these hexie flowers when my children were little ones.  Of course, I dreamed of a "real" grandmother's flower garden quilt, but this is the best it will get.  :-))

Here's one side of my sewing room since I rearranged the whole mess.  I like sewing better on this end of the room and hope to spend more time in there. I love having a whole room just for my fun stuff.

Good bye for now.... that' s me and Chandler in the caboose.... we took a train ride for Brinley's birthday party.  I have to get busy cleaning, because these same kids are coming to stay with me this weekend, while their Mama and Daddy go out on a big fishing boat.  Two weeks in a row!!!!!  I'm so excited to see them so soon.  Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Baby Boy Quilt for Soren

I finished up a baby quilt for a cousin's baby boy, who is due to arrive in July.

I used my 'go to' baby quilt pattern from one of  the Eleanor Burns books.  It's an easy quilt and makes a nice size for a play blanket for inside or outside.  The green squares were totally from scrap pieces, but I had to buy the blue fabric and backing fabric.  Now that I'm not working at a paying job, I am beginning to pay more attention to how much fabric costs these days!!  whew!

This is not a very good picture of the backing fabric, but the backing makes me happier than the pieced top.  You can see it better in the next photo.

Aren't those critters so cute???

This is a sneak preview of my new porch being built on the back of my house.  It's not very large, but so much safer than what we had, which was just a set of steep brick steps.  I hope the porch will be finished later this week and I will try to remember to share completed pic's.  (that's 11 year old Sweet Pea in the background)

If you click to enlarge, you can see little orange embroidery stitches made to try to brighten up the top of the quilt.  There is quite a pop of orange in the background fabric, so I added a few orange stitches on front.  Hopefully, baby Soren will get to use this quilt for a long time.

So, I saw this beautiful quilt by Jen Kingwell in a quilting book and immediately thought this would make a great hand piecing project for me.  You are seeing all seven of the blocks that I made and decided to stop.  They are all very wonky and were difficult to get consistently sized.  In all fairness,  I traced and made my own templates, which may have added to the confusion, but I've decided to look for another less challenging piecing project.  I really enjoy hand piecing while watching tv or listening to the radio.

Here's a picture my girls sent to me from Easter.  Annabelle turned 3 last month and I'm amazed at how well she is talking and just growing up overall.  My other grandbabies took a big trip to Florida and took in several amusement parks during their Easter vacation.  I think they had a wonderful time!

And..... she now has 12 chickens.  Our little girl is a chicken lover.  She is just like her mommy, loves animals of all kinds.

That's about it:

I have read a couple of really good books.

 GIRL IN THE SONG by Chrissy Cymbala Toledo    (this could almost be my life story)

I am currently reading a funny older one (2006) by Fanny Flagg:  CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN 
She has such a way of describing us Southerners and this book is a hoot.  I should finish it up by tomorrow, I hope.

I'm trying to pick up real 'paper and print' books from my own stash to read, instead of using my kindle so much.    I have so many that I haven't read , so my goal is to read through them, so I can pass them along and clear out room for more!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Penny Squares

I've always loved redwork and am fascinated by Penny Square quilts.  I have always thought it would be fun to make one, but will I ever do such a time consuming thing? 

*** Do you ever wonder what you would be working on if there was no internet to keep you distracted?***

We have so much to see and learn and do these days.   I used to look forward to getting my monthly quilt magazines for ideas and inspiration.  I would sit for days and look through the pages, over and over again, trying to take in all the details and goodness in each copy.  Now we have so much to see,  I tend to click, click, click and over stimulate my mind,  forget what I saw, and have a difficult time finishing anything. 

If I didn't have the internet,  I just might be working on a Penny Square quilt.  Or a state bird embroidered quilt. (I have a pattern)

But back to the Penny Square quilt....

Here is a history of penny squares that I found on the internet. 

I can just imagine the excitement of going to the store each week to pick out the next square.  I would have begged to go with my Mama or Daddy so I could spend time with the penny squares.  I have loved having a needle and thread in my hand since I was a little girl.

So what's a girl to do?

I  had ordered a 'cheater' cloth panel from ebay years ago. 

When I was cleaning up my sewing room, I found the panel, which had each block 'set' in red strips.  I wanted my penny square quilt to look more like those  old ones I had seen on Pinterest. (  So, I cut all the squares out and decided to make a doll quilt for my granddaughters' doll play.

Nothing fancy and I didn't have to stitch the squares.  I sat down last night and added all the X's and ta-da ! I have my own mini version of a Penny Square quilt.  I have quite a few blocks left, so I may make something a little larger for myself. 

Another fun and *mindless* project this week. 

So what do you think you would be working on if you didn't have internet?  Would you still be using templates?  Would you be hand stitching?  I just wonder how it would be.... probably not as many quilters, for sure!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is it really March?

Grandma's helper

Ok folks, time is flying by!! (it'll be Christmas before we know it)

February was a busy month for me.

 Several of you have asked about Butterbean, as my last post was about him and his surgery.  He recovered extremely well from his surgery and acts like a young dog again.  I guess those large two tumors were affecting his activity level.  He has been kicking and playing and chasing his tail, and acting like a young boy again.

The  bad news is that he does have malignant cancer.  Both biopsies showed the cancer, which has pretty well been removed at this time.  We have elected not to do any type of further treatment, but will love him for as long as we can.
Brinley Kate

This little girl came to stay with Grandma and Papa for 9 days.  She was a pure pleasure to have around and is growing up so fast.  I realized two things about her while she was here;  1. She loves suckers (lollipops) and spent a LOT of  time trying to decide which flavor she could have the next time she was allowed one.  2.  She loves playing baby dolls as much as her Grandma did when she was a little girl.  

I loved seeing that she included her doll in all day play.  Whatever we were doing, we had to consider the doll.... what she was wearing, if she needed to eat, if she could ride in the car, etc.

Since Brinley has gone back home, I have been going through my scrap flannel and making bedding accessories.  I have two cradles and I'm trying to get them both fixed up for when both granddaughters are here at the same time.  

From there, I made mini burp pads for the dolls; then wash cloths and towels.  I need to pick up baby bottles, make cloth diapers, and anything else I can think of to get our granddaughter doll center into place. It has been fun and mindless sewing so far.


As if we need another sad dog story, here's another one about our black dachshund.  He woke me up at 3:00 Monday morning (snow on the ground) and needed to go outside, which is rare for him.  He was acting a little strange, pacing, scratching and just not being himself.  By last night, he was vomiting and very lethargic.

I took him to the vet this morning and he was diagnosed with liver and heart problems.  We came home with a bag of medication to see if we can get him better.  He is already feeling better by this afternoon, but I'm not sure how the long term will be for him.  

I know my dogs are now known as 'old dogs' but it seems odd to me that so much is happening all at once with them.  (Sweet Pea, the other dachshund has a fast growing mass on her shoulder that we will have looked at next)  We moved here two years ago and the only thing that is different with them is our water supply.  We are now on municipal water, whereas we had used well water before.  Any thoughts?  The whole dog process is a first time thing for me.  

I have been cleaning out and reorganizing my sewing room which has been a busy job.  I have rearranged the layout and I think I like it better.  I'm hoping the new arrangement will make me spend a little more time in there.  The weather is still cool here, but I just know Spring is right around the corner!!

Question:  I have noticed that a lot of bloggers no longer reply to their comments with an email.  This means we have to go back to their blog to see if they have any kind of reply for us.  I'm not really a fan of this way, but I'm wondering if there is a way to know they have responded without having to go back to the same post to find out.