Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shop Hop Results, and a WIP, Progressing!

Some of my friends asked me exactly what a "Shop Hop" is. This one featured six quilt stores that are located near each other. Each store featured its own sale items, treats (yum) and a charm for a charm bracelet, that was sent to me when I signed up. In addition, you could purchase the "Shop Hop Quilt Kit": each store had one page of the instructions, and 1/6 of the fabric needed to make the quilt top. Too bad for my "don't need any more fabric" resolution:I just really, really, love novelty fabrics. Most of these are 30's reproductions. The one on the far left is enough to make Laura Carrot and Sweet Pea matching sundresses. The green with cherries will go to something in Forget-me-not's kitchen, and I am going to definitely get more of the Dick and Jane collection!
Some more things I love--the two on the left are from the Mary Frances collection (see here, and other "just fun" things.
Here are a few more that appealed to me--I had the blue fabric on the left in the golden-brown colorway, purchased several years ago. It had such a beautiful, silky "hand," I grabbed this one up when I saw it.

I can never resist a beautiful cream, or the slightly darker "lattes". The reason there are not more is because I already owned so many that were on the shelves!
On the home front, I finished my "Manchester" top. You know, I always knew that certain colors appealed to men, but I love the reaction from my menfolk to this top. Usually, when I show them a top, they say, "very nice," or sometimes, "Very Nice!" This time it was "W.O.W.!" or "I'd really like to have that one myself," and "remember this when you make the next one for me."
Does anyone know why these appeal to men, and women like pink and green and florals?
A little closer up of these very pretty fabrics, several of which have gold metallic in them.
Now that I have three quilt tops done, maybe I'll take time to quilt one of them! Tho' I am still anxious to start another one. These three are part of a two-year project of five quilts for gifts. I've been collecting the fabrics for five years, and spent the last year finalizing pattern choices. So I have been excited about this for awhile now--who knows, maybe all five tops will get done before the quilting is started!

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's "Hop"--pening!

I am so excited! Tomorrow morning I am meeting my dear sister-in-law Robin at 6am (ugh--Must. Remember. Coffee.) to have a girl-day, going to a Quilt Shop Hop. I've never been to one of these events. Six quilt shops in one day! Little prizes at each stop--and the Fabric! How will I be able to divide my money and spend wisely in each shop? I can spend next month's food budget faster than you can say Jack Robinson!

I am grateful she said she would drive. The "base" store is two hours from home, and the farthest shop is near Detroit--a little over three hours away. I don't travel that well, getting very sleepy as the afternoon goes by. I'm hoping to find a Starbucks, though...

Robin and I are sisters under the skin, as well as sharing the mutual blessing of my brother! She grew up in a little town, and has near 100 cousins! She always has lots of stories to tell. We always have an adventure when we are together, so it will be Quite The Day, when all is said and done.

Have any of you been on a Shop Hop? Any advice?

p.s. Next week I will post a photo of my third quilt top, which will be finished by then! The sewing muse seems to be parked at my house for awhile. At least that is what I'm telling Charming. The housecleaning muse, however, is on vacation. Same for the cooking muse. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it....

Thursday, February 22, 2007


We woke up Wednesday morning to beautiful threads of frostiness on the trees and bushes:
The weatherman said it was due to "frozen fog," a term I had never heard before:
Visibility was down to 1/16th of a mile--I had an appointment in the morning, and I couldn't even see half a block ahead. Public school was cancelled for the third time in ten days. The fog didn't begin to lift until after noon.
Seeing frost on the bushes and trees, instead of just on the grass, was something we don't see everyday, and was worth a photo. The Lord is so, so creative!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Found on the floor next to my side of the bed:

From the library: The Street of the City by Grace Livingston Hill
A New Name (also by GLH)
Winter in Thrush Green by Miss Read
The Christmas Mouse (by Miss Read)
The Cross-Country Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini (love this series)
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (working my way through the Newbery winners)

To go to Goodwill: A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock
Stories to Enjoy--Literary Heritage Series
Junior Girl Scout Book ca. 1963

I picked the first two books up at a thrift store. The first one was a good story, set in the Depression. I just know I will never read it again, so off it goes. The second book is the "short story" book I had in school in seventh or eighth grade. Almost all the stories are depressing, though. Maybe they wanted to "expose" us to a new level of stories with unhappy people and unhappy endings. The Girl Scout book (from a library sale) was the edition I used, but after looking through it, I don't really see a use for it for myself or my family.

From Blackeyed Susan's bookshelf: Mystery on Cobbett's Island--Trixie Belden
Nancy Drew--Secret of Red Gate Farm
The Bungalow Mystery
The Clue in the Diary
Anne Emery--Married on Wednesday
Rosamond du Jardin--Wedding in the Family

Susan is reading through the original fifteen Trixie Belden books. I read a couple of Nancy Drew's every year for myself--a couple of years ago, my older sister bought a set of six to read on airplanes. Fun! The other two are residing on Susan's bookshelf until Violet gets a place of her own (she is a dorm rector at a university). She has quite a collection of 40's and 50's teen-girl novels. I have enjoyed sharing these books from my girlhood with my two older girls. Violet's favorite author is du Jardin--Forget-me-not's is Anne Emery. I love Lenora Mattingly Weber's "Beany Malone" series m'self!

From my Grace Livingston hill bookshelf (four shelves full!):
The Gold Shoe

Finally, my Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. I read this once a year to keep me motivated. AND my One Year Bible, which I have faithfully (so far) kept up-to-date!

Why? might you ask, are all these things not-put-away? I'm afraid this is a pretty constant state for my bedtime reading. I mean, if it is 11:30 at night and I finish a book, who wants to get out of bed to put it away? And somehow, the little book fairies seem to push them under the side of the bed by morning...

Friends, this is Nineteen Books I have not put away. But, today is a New Day, and since I filed our taxes yesterday, and it looks like we will have enough coming back for a New Mattress (oh, frabjous day! Callou, callay!), this was a Decluttering Job that was calling my name.

I wish I could say that there will never again be nineteen already-read books near- and under-my-bed, but my Charming says that it is silly to make promises with my mouth that my personality won't keep. I always have Hope, though...

edited to add: Lest you think that I never read anything with "tooth," the stuff I read in my bed is almost always Froth (exception: the One Year Bible, of course!). Somehow I feel that I need to be sitting up while reading "real stuff." The exception was John Adams by McCullough, 600+ pages, which I did read at bedtimes.

Friday, February 16, 2007

New Project

I've started (yet again) another quilt top. The good news is, is that this is three-of-three I wanted to do this year. I will still have to quilt all three, but at least I can put away the sewing machine! So here is "Manchester"--the pattern calls for the snowball and nine-patch blocks to be on point:
...but I'm not sure but that I will like them in a straight-set better:

For my grandbaby Blueberry's birthday (which was a couple of days ago) I wanted to make a fabric barn-bag with animals, which I had made for Alvin Fernald's first birthday. But I am *still* looking for the pattern. We did give him a gift my kids loved--a small rubbermaid food container filled with milk jug caps of all different colors. We used these for "counters" in early math years, but I found the children loved to divide them into colors, make flowers with them, etc. I begged different colors from friends who used different brands or %'s of milk, juice, etc. and there was quite a variety. The gift was an instant hit, as Blueberry discovered that he could take them out of the box one-by-one and drop them on the floor! Ah, it was a great day!

On "my other blog," (see sidebar) I blogged about my brother's news that he has leukemia. I am strangely not worried (partly because the doctor told him it was very treatable and he has a good chance for full recovery), I think because, as I have lived these 50+ years, I have seen the Lord be ever, Ever, EVER faithful. *He* is in charge, and that is a good place for me to rest.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blueberry Birthday Love

Our dear little Blueberry is One today! He came six weeks early, and still weighed in at nearly six pounds. He has added twenty more to his avoirdupois, but even better is watching him grow! I can't say it enough, Grandbabies Are Da' Bomb!!!


Happy Valentine's Day to my beloved Charming!

(to make your own candy heart, go here.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Everybody Safe at Home

Well, we are in the middle of a blizzard here. It's really kind of unbelievable, considering that November and December were filled with rain and higher temps. than normal. We finally got frigid temperatures a couple of weeks ago, and had a few inches of snow on the ground. But this is the Real Deal. The tv station breaks in every hour for a weather update. I watched as the different little towns called Snow Emergencies. For the first time since 1999, the malls closed, and so Joe Hardy got to come home early. Charming had to be at work this morning at 5am, and really thought he might be able to close the restaurant early. They may be closed by now, but the word came down that they want to try to open on time tomorrow. So he came home to get two days' worth of clothes, and headed back up to a hotel right behind the restaurant where he works. My final cubbie who had been at work is now safe at home for the night. So I am a happy mama.

The word is that the bulk of the snow and wind will be from 7pm to 1am, so we aren't finished yet. How grateful I am for a warm house with plenty to eat and wear. Since Charming isn't going to be home, my sewing machine may be running. My telephone seems to have been on duty non-stop today, including my Daddy, who called seven or eight times to check up on the various happenings with everyone. I'm also grateful that he is safe in the nursing home, with oxygen, meds, food, and heat.

Praying for all who have to be out in the storm--the snowplows, police, hospital workers, tv station folks, etc. And that everyone else will reach home safely, and bed down for the night warmly!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm Satisfied

A few days ago, I posted about my finished blue and yellow quilt top, then decided maybe it needed a border. I found this fabric in my stash:
Here it is, a little closer up. It looks like Blue Willow china: There. Now it's Done.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Things I love

My grandmother's 1977 Kenmore, my "work-horse." So many projects, so many memories...
The machine on which I learned to sew--a 1915 Singer treadle, later electrified. My neighbor likes to say "electrocuted." My mother bought this used when she married in 1941:
My little $5 ebay beauty, a 1955 Singer model 99:
This one will go to Lily, after I find a table for it.

Eventually I suppose I will have a Featherweight, that "gold medal" of quilters, but I love having my mother's and grandmother's machines.
What do you use?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Finally here!

Go Colts!!
This football game is Big News here in the town where Tony Dunghe said that the game *should* be played because it is halfway between Chicago and Indy. I don't think there was a schoolchild standing at the bus stop on Friday that was not wearing a jersey. Restaurants were full of entire families wearing jerseys. Bakeries with displays on one side of blue/white cupcakes, and blue/orange on the other. The Midwest Super Bowl is here!
I am really not sure how this game got to be such a huge event. In the early years it wasn't, I know. We all know the thing about the advertising--2 1/2 million for 30 seconds. Huge parties with food that rivals wedding receptions. Somebody, somewhere decided that this should be the Biggie.
Sometimes I wonder just what Laura Ingalls (as a little girl) would think of the world in which we live. Sometimes it is when I am driving down a superhighway at 70 mph. Other times it is when sitting on a beach in the summertime. And then, today...
Andy Griffith had a stand-up routine called "What is was, was football." He described the game as one who had never heard of football, and indeed didn't know it was a game. How they ran down a field with some kind of object, hitting each other, and then kicking it, and the people cheering and all. You can read the text of his monologue here. Just click on the link "see it here."
Well, we are not having, nor are we attending, any "Big Bash." Pizza, salsa-and-chips, and Hershey bars will do, here at home, quietly. There will be some discussion if some of the commercials are especially bawdy. We are definitely Colts people here, but 'da Bears is not a bad second choice.
By the way, *I* don't have a jersey. Football is not my "life." But I may pull out my blue sweater to wear....

Friday, February 02, 2007

Finished Top! (well, almost)

I finished the blue-and-yellow quilt top last night:
Here is a close-up of four special squares. It is a "family" story--Charming's sister wanted to play the French horn in the school band, but her mother did not have the money to buy an instrument. She did find a used one for $100, but even that price was prohibitive. Enter the neighbor farmer, who, not knowing the need, asked the five children to "pick pickles" for him. He would pay them...$100!
I've been collecting these fabrics for about five years. I was able to find (clockwise from top left) a French horn, cucumbers, jar-of-pickles, and money fabric with $100 bills. This was so fun, and I had a hard time waiting to make the top. But this is one of three quilts that I decided I wanted to make in 2007. It's a marvel to me that it is February 2nd, and I have two tops done already!
I laid out the top to photograph this morning, and now I'm kind of wavering on the "it's done" theory. I think I may want to add a yellow border, oh, about three inches wide. That may make it look more finished. What do you think?
With these two quilt tops done (of course, they need Quilting, as well!) I am actually doing two projects that have been sitting around for...years. Love the Finish What You Have concept.
Well, tonight, Alvin Fernald and Blackeyed Susan are going to the Winter Jam concert. Five bands *and* a George Bush impersonator for $10. Aunt Robin is going to take them for me, so that Charming and I can have a quiet evening at home. I probably won't blog about *that...*