Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have you been bit by the 10 minute table runner bug?

I have never been real fond of table runners, maybe because our table is round. Anyway I have been enjoying making these fun little runners. They take 1/4 yard of focus fabric and 1/2 yard of background fabric. And although I haven't actually timed myself I am sure there is a little more than 10 minutes involved. I made a fall runner for our table and enjoyed it so much that I made a Christmas runner and we are enjoying that. Our grandson London attends kindergarten at a parochial school. I thought it would be fun to make table runners for the kids to give to their parents. I provided the pre-cut centers and asked the teachers to have the kids use finger paints to put their hand prints and names on the fabric. Then I took them home and finished the table runners. They will be used tonight for the kids Christmas program, then each child can take theirs home, all 23 of them. We also have 7 table runners for gifts in various stages right now and hope to get them finished by the weekend. As I have mentioned before, my husband has been doing some sewing. Six of the seven table runners are his project and he has been working on them. He also helped me with the table runners for the school kids. He did a lot of the ironing and I did the sewing. I thought it was a perfect match.
PS - I can't take credit for the hand print idea. I owe a huge thanks to my friend Donna from Gaylord who shared with me a similiar project she had going. I was thinking that it would be fun to make these featuring the kids art work or rubber stamps or . . . . . . . . The possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Little Family Christmas Tradition

Before I started quilting I dabbled in lots of differents crafts including macrame, crocheting, counted cross stitch and plastic canvas items. Many, many years ago I decided to make these tree ornaments for my parents with the names of their grandchildren. As of today they have 14 grandchildren. Five of the grandchildren are married so their spouses also have their names on the tree. And once the great-grandchildren started arriving they couldn't be left out. As of today they have 14 great grandchildren (and 7 of them are ours). This year we had 5 new babies join the family and 4 of them were ours. I recently finished name tags for all of the new babies for my parents tree and for our tree. I made our grandchildrens ornaments in gold and white. All of my siblings have ornaments with their childrens names for their trees and my sister has ornaments for her 7 grandchildren. WOW - that is a lot of ornaments. Some day I will have to sit down and do a count to see how many I have actually made - or maybe I don't want to. With the additon of 5 more name to my parents tree I am anxious to see if they have room for any other ornaments.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thunderbay Quilt Guild Christmas Party

Yesterday approximately 50 members of the Thunderbay Quilt Guild gathered at the Brush Creek Mill in Hillman for the annual Christmas party. My sister Carol did a wonderful job of organizing the party and preparing a delicious lunch. My sister Connie and our friend Karen helped with set-up, serving and clean up. The afternoon started with socializing and enjoying wonderful appetizers prepared by Carol, Connie and Karen. Then the girls served a delicious salad, followed by 2 types of lasagne - one a traditional lasagne with a few extras and the other a seafood lasagne, with grilled vegetables and rolls. Secret sisters were revealed and several ladies "wowed" us with show and tell. Members received the resolution cards we made in January and that brought a lot of laughter to the group. A few members (myself not included) did very well keeping their resolutions. Members decorated a Christmas tree with hand made ornaments to be included in the Christmas tree decorating contest at the mill. A delicious raspberry pastry dessert rounded out a wonderful afternoon. A big thank you to Carol for organizing the party, for the favors and door prizes and to Connie, Mom and Karen for all of your help too. Oh, and as part of the party we were all invited to bring fat quarters in and we were given a ticket for each fat quarter we brought in. The large basket of fat quarters was won by Carol - the perfect recipient.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Quilt Shop Funny

I forgot to add to my post yesterday something funny that happened at the Quilt Shop. My cash register experience is very limited. I did work at a party store many, many years ago just as a fill in when my sister (the manager) need some last minute help. For me cash registers can be a bit intimidating. I had told Sandy that the cash register was the only thing that worried me. I have been hanging around quilt shops for almost 30 years so I figured I wouldn't have too much trouble. Don't you know my first customer was a very good friend who recently closed her Quilt Shop due to health issues. Sandy left excellent instructions for the cash register so I didn't have any problems but I was a bit nervous, especially the first time. Then my second customer was a gal who works at JoAnn Fabric in Alpena and has for many years. She bought fabric to make some new pillows for her living room. And she wanted 1 and 1/8 yards. Ok, so my math skills aren't all that great. Again Sandy left a very detailed list of the fractions so I made it through that. Talk about intimidation. The only problem I had was that I forgot to print off a second receipt from the credit card machine for a customer (sorry Claudine). At least I hope Sandy doesn't discover any other boo-boos.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Wonderful Day

Today I helped my friend Sandy in her Quilt Shop, Sandy D's, here in Hillman. It was a lot of fun. All of the fabric was such beautiful eye candy. I loved visiting with the customers that came into the shop. You can always learn something from another quilter. Along with waiting on customers I also cut some fat quarters, made up some snap bag kits and even got to do some of my own sewing. I also straightened up some of the fat quarters and I can see that that can be a never ending job. Hopefully I will be able to go back and help again some time. I have to admit that it was a true test of will power. I did buy 2 fat quarters. I had bought yardage of this same fabric for an ongoing project and I thought that I had bought all of that fabric that was in the shop. When I spotted the 2 fat quarters I knew they had to come hone with me, just in case I need them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pumpkin Rolls Are Done

Pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling are on the list of family favorites for the holidays. I have discovered that a big can of pumpkin and a 3# box of cream cheese from GFS will make 6 pumpkin rolls. Since I already have the mess going in the kitchen it just make sense to make 6 at one time. I have a request for pumpkin rolls for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house and we will also enjoy them at Christmas time (they freeze real well). I still remember the first time I tasted pumpkin rolls probably about 30 years ago. We were at a family Christmas gathering down state. One of my aunts had made pumpkin rolls as part of her dishes to pass. I still remember my grandma "scolding" my aunt. The words that I remember my grandma saying were, "Oh honey, you and Dale (my uncle) are always struggling with weight issues, why would you make something like that". Although my grandma has been gone for many years now I can still hear her saying that to my aunt. I should probably listen a little closer to grandma's scolding.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Papa and London

Papa Steve is a logger and also a foreman. The company he works for does a lot of thinning of forest lands and not clear cutting. Steve operates a skidder, picking up logs from the trees after they have been mechanically harvested. Steve hauls the logs to the landing where the semi truck driver picks them up and takes them to one of several mills. Our 5 year old grandson knew that Papa worked in the woods but I know he didn't realize what Papa did. Around here there is a lot of hunting so I think he figured Papa just hunted every day (wouldn't Papa love that?). We had a couple of days of beautiful weather last week so I told London we would go for a ride and visit Papa. I am so geographically challenged that after our second attempt to find the crew I told London it was time to give up. He very promptly told me that his Dad says never give up. After a few chuckles I headed for home. After we got home Papa returned one of the many calls that I had made while in the woods. He gave me a little more detail in directions so London and I headed back out to the woods. This time we found Papa driving his big skidder. He hiked London up into the cab and they went into the woods to pick up a load of logs. Papa let London drive the skidder and I don't know who was more proud. It smelled so good out there, they were cutting balsam. Hopefully I can get the rest of the grandkids out to drive Papa's skidder as they get bigger.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Wonderful Quilter's Retreat

My husband and I recently attended a Quilter's Retreat in Gaylord. The retreat was co-hosted by the Alpine Lodge and Delphine's Quilt Shop. This was the 5th annual retreat held in Gaylord and the 5th time I attended this retreat. This was Steve's first retreat and although he had to miss the first day because of work I think he enjoyed himself. He was involved in most of the retreats at Thunder Bay Resort for five years but never as a retreater. He took a sewing machine and added bindings to three wall hangings. One is hanging on the wall in the first picture. He found this pattern when we were in Tennessee several years ago. It was made with batiks and I am not a batik fan. Because of the background fabric he used on this wall hanging you can't really see the two doves in the upper right hand corner. He said when he first saw the pattern it made him think of his parents. He decided that he wanted to try photo transer and add pictures of his parents to the wall hangings. Since I know nothing about photo transers (and I am not interested in learning) I told him he was on his own. The picture of his Dad was taken about 15 years before the picture of his Mom. He did a great job in editing the photos and getting them onto fabric. He also did a great job in machine appliqueing and machine quilting the wall hangings. He made 7 or 8 wall hangings and has a few more to make yet. While at the retreat we tagged teamed to finish some Tiny Miracle (preemie quilts) tops. Steve did the machine quilting and I add borders. It was fun doing it that way. We also tag teamed and made two pillow cases using kits provided by the Quilt Shop to be donated to a local charity. I wasn't sure how the women would feel with him attending the retreat but they were all so supportive of his quilting venture. I also accomplished a few things at the retreat and I will post about that at another time. PS - Steve has a pattern for a deer head that is paper pieced. He thought about taking that to the retreat but I said no. I have only done a little bit of paper piecing and I told him that I was not going to be the teacher during the entire retreat, that we would have to work on that here at home some time. Maybe I should have had him take the deer project and maybe someone there would have taken pity on us and helped out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A new hair do

I got a hair cut and a "new do" yesterday and I am very happy with it. When I turned 40 I decided to fight it by letting my hair grow. Every once in awhile I would get a perm but still kept my length. Forty, came, then fifty and fifty five hit several months ago. I decided it was time to make a change. I was pretty nervous but I totally love my hair. The only down side is that this morning I couldn't make it look like the hair dresser did yesterday with the curling iron. I know I will never get it to look like that I am not going to give up and I will try it again tomorrow. I did buy a new curling iron today so I will see how that works out. Now ...... I may have to get up the nerve to get something done with all of the little grays.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nursing Capes

Last weekend I totally enjoyed some time in my sewing room. I made two Nursing Capes (a.k.a. Hooter Hiders) for our new Momma and Baby. I have made these for both daughter and daughter-in-love and they have been well used during the last 8 months. They are made with 1 yard of fabric. I modified the pattern slightly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Annual Fall Gala

Last night Steve and I attended the Fall Gala hosted by the parochial school that holds classes at my Church. The room was decorated with art work made by the children including the life size scarecrows. It was a fun evening with a delicious dinner followed with a live auction. Several raffles were also taking place. We did not purchase anything at the auction but had fun visiting and laughing with family and friends. I donated a 10 minute table runner and 4 placemats and they sold for $40. I was very happy with that. I realize that there are several different opinions about parochial schools and I respect those opinions. I just know what I have seen with two grandson attending the program - 1 for a year of pre-school and another for a year of pre-school and now as a kindergartener there. Both boys learned so much and really blossomed during their experiences.

A New Baby Grandson

Last week we welcomed Liam Samuel Roy into our family. Congratulations to Dad, Mom and big brother London. We now have 7 grandchildren, 6 boys and 1 girl. And 4 of the grandsons were born in the last 32 1/2 weeks (yawn, smile, yawn, smile). We have truly been blest. While Mom was in the observation room being monitored and prepped for c-section I noticed that there were several very tiny quilts framed and hanging on the walls. The quilts aren't any more than 4 inches square. Have you ever noticed that quilts and quilt related items just seem to find us quiltmakers?

Friday, October 29, 2010

It is official!!

I am no longer employed at Thunder Bay Resort. The decision was made to discontinue the Quilter's Retreats due to declining attendance numbers. My boss said that once the economy picks up the retreats may be re-instated. For me this is the first time in 25+ years that I am working at just one job. And so far I am liking it. My other job is that of Township Clerk, an elected position. I will soon begin my 3rd year of a 4 year term. I have been Clerk here for almost 22 years. I have several responsibilities but the one that takes up most of my time is administering elections. We have an election on Tuesday and I have been very busy with that. Once the election is over I will have lots of free time. I am planning to spend time spoiling our 6 and soon to be 7 grandchildren. I hope to get some things caught up here at home that have been ignored for far too long and I plan to do lots of sewing and quilting. I would like to continue with my blog. Any suggestions for a "catchy" title? Please give it some thought and send me suggestions via "comment". Thanks!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Orphan Train Rider

Ann Zemke of Crocus Lane Quilts was the guest speaker/instructor a couple of weeks ago here at Thunder Bay Resort. She gave a very interesting and informative talk about her grandmother and many, many other children who were loaded on oprhan trains and sent off to points unknown. She also taught her Big bag class to our retreaters. I didn't get a chance to make my bag yet but I do intend to do so. If you are looking for an interesting speaker for your group (it doesn't have to be quilters) I highly recommend you contact Ann.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New baby, road trips, busy, busy

It has been a long time since I have made a post and I apologize. Life has been very crazy for the past 5 weeks or so. We welcomed our newest grandson, Kingsley into our family on September 23. Congratulations to Heather, Shawn and big sister Allie. It seems like I have spent an awful lot of time in the car lately. Kingsley was born in Petoskey, about 80 miles west of here and we made a couple of trips from here. He also had a Dr's appointment in Cheboygan, about 80 miles north of here. Steve and I traveled to Lansing for the Michigan Quilt Networks Annual Showcase and I drove to Gaylord for our MQN Region 2 meeting. The colors have been absolutely beautiful this year and I have really enjoyed being a "leaf peeper." I also totally enjoyed a 3 day quilt camp with one of my sisters and several of my quilting buddies and two trips to the apple farm with two of our granchildren. Today was the day to get things finalized for a retreat that starts here at Thunder Bay Resort tomorrow. This will be our second to the last retreat. We will host a UFO retreat here next weekend, then we will close the retreat doors. I have truly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people and making some great friends along the way. I will try to do a posting during or right after this weekends retreat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last weekend the Michigan Quilt Network held its annual Showcase in Lansing, MI. The Showcase started on Thursday and featured a quilt show, classes, lectures, and vendors. Steve and I managed to get there and enjoyed about 2 hours of the show on Saturday before it was shut down. We were also able to attend "Two Men and a Trunk Show" by Dan Burke and John Putnam. Both men are quilters and both have totally opposite quilting styles. Dan is very much into paper piecing and designing. John is much more traditional and enjoys using other peoples patterns (that is my style too). All of the quilts were beautiful. Sunday morning was the annual business meeting. During the meeting I received the Volunteer of the Year Award from president Sherrie Jaqua. I thank all involved and truly appreciate the honor.

A Trip To The Apple Farm

Last Friday our daughter Heather, grandchildren Allie and London and I made a trip to Knaebe's Apple Farm in Rogers City, about a 30 mile trip from home. The weather was great and the kids enjoyed the petting zoo and the playground. We wandered through the gift shop, bought some apples and discovered some delicious apple cider donuts in their kitchen

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Has Arrived

Fall has definitely arrived here in Hillman, Michigan. The temperatures have cooled down and the colors on the trees are turning very fast. Our downtown went through a total face lift, including a new bridge, new streetscape and 3 of these beautiful pocket parks. Doesn't this look inviting? I would love to sit in one of these parks and soak up some sun and do some people watching. I wonder what would happen if I took along some hand sewing. Do you think anyone would notice? No time for sitting and soaking up sun right now. I have been busy enjoying time with our daughter Heather and our 3 year old grand daughter Allie. Allie is going to be a big sister most any day now. We do not know yet if it will be a brother or sister and I like it that way. We are anxiously awaiting the big day. I have also been busy doing some more canning and spending time at both offices. Last night Steve and I presented our Trunk Show to a group of about 25 ladies at a local church. There were just a couple quilters in the bunch and everyone was very complimentary of our quilts. Maybe this evening I can sneak in a little time for some hand applique.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ann Zemke of Crocus Lane Quilts will be our guest instructor at our next Quilter's Retreat. The date is October 14 - 17 and the place is Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, Michigan. Ann will present her lecture/trunk show, Orphan Train Quilts and then teach a big bag class. Additional details can be found on our website, Thunder Bay Quilter's Retreats. I would just like to remind
you that the retreats at Thunder Bay Resort will come to an end this year. We will hold the Oct 14 - 17 retreat and the final retreat on October 21 - 24. That retreat will be a UFO retreat where retreaters are invited to bring along UFO's (unfinished objects) to work on or a quilt that you have been anxious to start. This is a perfect time and place to work on both UFO's and new projects as there won't be any interuptions by husbands, kids, pets. Let us prepare your meals and even make your beds and you can just spend 4 glorious days sewing and creating. We have room at both of these retreats and we would love to have you come and join us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I acomplished my mission this afternoon. I sandwiched 4 Thunder Bay Resort Quilter's Retreat signature quilts (nopw just 2 quilts behind) and 3 Tiny Miracle quilts. I have a Guild camp coming up in a few weeks and I think I will take these to quilt at the camp. Now after dinner off to my sewing room to pack a sewing bag for Scrappy Sewing Day at Guild tomorrow.

Sandwiching Small Quilts

Here is how I do it: I use my table from JoAnn Fabric that has a smooth finish. I use brown tape to tape the quilt backing to the table, stretching the fabric as much as I can. Then I lay the batting on top of the backing. Then I tape the quilt top to the batting and backing, again stretching the top as much as I can. I use little brass safety pins and pin the three layers together. I probably use more pins than I need but I want to make sure nothing moves. Once all of the pins are in place I am ready to hand or machine quilt the small pieces. I have used this method for a long time and it works for me. For large quilts I use my frame to sandwich and then pin the three layers together. Last night after dinner I pinned three Tiny Miracle (preemie) quilts. My plan is to sandwich 4 retreat signature quilts and a few more Tiny Miracle quilts this afternoon and evening. As of right now I plan to machine quilt all of these quilts when I have time.
We had a very busy weekend so there wasn't much sewing time but that is ok with me. We enjoyed visiting with out of town relatives, attended our twin grandsons baby dedication at their church, did a little shopping, canned salsa and beets and even squeezed in a little time for relaxation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Mystery Quilt Project

We just completed another fun quilter's retreat here at Thunder Bay Resort. The retreat was a Murder Mystery Quilter's Retreat with a Mystery Quilt. Thank you to Sherrie Jaqua for a wonderful job in writing the murder mystery, designing the mystery quilt and teaching the mystery quilt. The name of the quilt is Storm Over Thunder Bay. Here are pictures of 2 of the quilts that Sherrie showed. Paulette of Morresville, Indiana is shown here with several of her blocks. Paulette and her friend Susan of Wawa, Ontario Canada had never made a quilt. They heard about our retreats and decided it would be fun to give quilting a try. Both of the girls did a beautiful job with their quilts. They both said that they learned a lot and that there is more to quilting than they had realized. Thank you to all 22 of our quilters, to Sherrie our instructor/vendor and to Darlene her helper for a wonderful weekend.

A Murder at the Thunder Bay Resort's Quilter's Retreat

A murder was committed at Thunder Bay Resort on Thursday evening. Coordinator Pam Achatz was strangled with a tape measure. Throughout the next two days 6 suspects were investigated by Inspector Darlene and interrogated by Inspector Sherrie. Following a thorough investigation Sheriff Steve arrested Anna for the murder. Investigators discovered that Anna had a long time crush on Pam's husband and decided it was time to take action.

Before and After

Picture #1 - all set up and waiting for the party to begin!
Picture #2 - The girls have arrived and the party has begun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My County 4-H Fair Entries

I entered 8 items in our county fair last week. I won 1 blue ribbon, 1 red ribbon and 2 white ribbons. The competition was pretty tight this year so I am very proud of my winnings. And I also received a check for $12.00. Should I add that to my vacation fund or use it to buy more fabric? Decisions! Decisions!

Another Busy Weekend

I thought that after the kids"left the nest" things would slow down a bit, but boy that sure hasn't happened. Friday evening we went back to the Fair so Steve could check out all of the exhibits. Saturday morning I did several loads of laundry and some general housework. I also put our design wall up and managed to sneak in a little sewing time. I worked on piecing a signature quilt from our Murder Mystery Quilter's Retreat last weekend. We also attended a wedding for our neighbor (congrats Jenny & Mark). Our daughter-in-love Tasha was a bridesmaid and our grandson London was the ring bearer. Sunday morning we went to Church, I went back to the fair grounds to pick up my quilts, then Steve and I went to Alpena to buy some canning tomatoes. We both got busy and ended up canning 32 quarts of tomatoes. It was fun working together on the project but was also glad when the final timer went off at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yesterday was Guild sewing at our annual County Fair. Several Thunderbay Quilt Guild members enjoyed sewing and visiting during a "Sit and Sew" Day. Most members worked on Christmas stockings but there were also a couple of baby quilts in the works. Members of the Guild brought in quilts to decorate our building for the day. Fair attendees stopped by to visit and to see what we were doing. I took in a presidents quilt from 1995. Members of the Guild each made me a block after a year as President of the guild. I put the blocks together and made a wall hanging. Of the 16 blocks in the quilt only one of the women is still in the Guild and 8 of the women are deceased. It made me stop and think about our Guild and how much I enjoy the friendship of so many people. Do you belong to a guild? If not, I highly recommend you find one to get involved in or start your own.