Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Last night I went with my parents to a funeral home for a visitation of a family that has been friends of my family for many, many years. The man who had died was married, had 5 children, some grandchildren and great grandchildren. I hadn't seen any of the family members for many, many years. When I read the obituary in the newspaper I knew that I needed to go to the visitation. It was a real eye opener for me and I have thought about their entire family all day. I never knew that this family had so many issues. One of the sons wants nothing to do with his parents and he didn't attend the visitation and had no intention of attending the funeral today. Two of the other sons and their daughter have very little to do with their parents and one of the sons told me he hadn't seen his sister in over 10 years. I just can not imagine a life like that. I still have both of my parents and one grandmother. I am the oldest of five children, all but one of us is married, we all have children and two of us have grandchildren. Lots of people tell me that I am very lucky to have such a close knit family and after last night I am seeing that in a different light. We certainly aren't The Waltons, we do have issues at times although in the whole scheme of things they are very small. And I am sure the Waltons had their problems too. I am so thankful for my family and I thank God every day for them.

A Bit of a Crazy Week

This week has been a little crazy for me. I usually consider myself a "Last Minute Lucy" and at this time I am usually in a panic to finish up my Christmas sewing, gift wrapping and cooking. Other than pumpkin rolls I don't do any Chritmas baking so that is not an issue. Anyway, we had two family Christmas parties last weekend so it seems as Christmas is all over. On Saturday we had a family party at my parent's home with 46 of the 48 family members in attendance. It was a wild time and also a very fun time. The day included breakfast, gift opening, games, snacks, horse drawn carriage ride, more games, more snacks and then dinner. Then on Sunday Steve and I celebrated Christmas here at our house with our family, all 14 of us, plus my parents. It was a fun day of family time (7 grandchildren, including 4 - 1 year old boys), gift exchange and dinner. It was so good to have everyone home at one time. I have been able to kick back a little bit and have enjoyed it. Yesterday after volunteering at school and an office party I finally got back to piecing a block from the Block of the Month that has been cut and waiting for probably a month or better. This morning I made made another block for the BOM and started on the 4 corner blocks. It has been fun to just relax and do some sewing. In fact as I write this post it is almost noon and I am still in my jammies. I have a couple of loads of laundry to fold and put away, then I need to get ready to go to a Christmas party with my Grandma at the nursing home here in town. I told Steve that it felt kind of wierd this week since we have already celebrated Christmas with our kids and grandkids and he agreed. He said he had been thinking about it too and was glad that we have two Christmas programs at our grandkids schools this week. Oh, and I need to add that we will be celebrating Christmas this weekend with Steve's family. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Confession and an Excuse

Ok, so in a post a week or so I said that I needed to be more selective in my fabric purchases. Steve and I went Christmas shopping in Saginaw last weekend, about a 2 hour drive from home. We had a great time. Our first stop was the JoAnn Etc store there. I have to confess that I bought 19 1/2 yards of fabric, but I can explain. Seventeen yards of that fabric are for Christmas gifts and the gifts have already been made and wrapped. The other 2 1/2 yards will be used for a Christmas Block of the Month quilt we will be doing at Guild next year. We did some major power shopping on Friday and Saturday. Saturday evening we had tickets for a concert featuring the Oak Ridge Boys. They sang several of their original songs for an hour, took a short break, then sang Christmas songs for about an hour. On Sunday morning we attended a german worship service at a Lutheran Church in Frankenmuth. It was pretty neat although the only word I recognized throughout the entire worship service was Amen. That Church was offering a Christmas Concert that afternoon so we decided to stay in town for the concert. It was great. I am very lucky to have a husband who likes to do those kinds of things.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Fun Day of Sewing

I enjoyed a fun day of sewing yesterday with my sister and a friend. Last winter we met at a Church here in town on Wednesdays to sew. The location was convenient but the heat didn't get turned up until we got there and it was always very cold. Actually by the time it was time to go home the room was finally warm. I mentioned that perhaps we could sew at Sandy D's Quilt Shop. It is located 4 miles from Hillman, Sandy is a wonderful lady and friend, she is open every day and she has a large class room area. So yesterday was our first day to sew there. We had a small crowd but that was ok. Carol worked on adding the borders to her quilt for her son Cody. Jessica worked on her block of the month quilt from Sandy D's. I had planned to do that too but had a change of plans and sewed on a stash buster quilt. It was so nice to be able to spread our stuff out, visit with each other, visit with Sandy and visit with the customers. We decided to meet every Wednesday, beginning in January to sew and socialize.
After dinner last night I sewed 3 small Christmas gifts.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Great Quilt Camp

I was so lucky to be able to attend a wonderful Quilt Camp last week. Our camp was held at the Julka and Hardies cabin in Hulbert, in the upper peninsual of Michigan. Five of us drove up on Friday afternoon. Four of us headed home on Wednesday afternoon. Throughout the camp we had some campers who had to leave early and some who had to wait and come up a little bit later. At one point we had 9 campers in attendance including my Mom, my 3 sisters, two nieces and a family friend and her daughter. We had such a wonderful time. My Mom has been having some health issues and she did so well this time. We sewed, ate, laughed, ate and sewed some more. In fact we wore our jammies for the entire camp, except for the three who made a little trip to the Quilt Shop. I made these two pieces while at camp. The bottome picture is of a Block of the Month that I hand embroidered. I also made a jacket and will have to get a picture to share. We had such a great time and I hope we will be able to have this camp for many, many more years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Disease?

I am afraid I have a very serious disease? I have spent many hours during the last few days sorting through my stash and cutting fabric for a project. I am drowning in fabric - HELP. I can not make myself throw fabric away. I am cutting pieces as small as 1 1/2 inch square as I have a really neat quilt that uses pieces that small. The project I am cutting for uses 1 1/2 inch and 2 1/2 inch squares and I want the project to be scrappy so I am trying to make all 120 blocks different fabrics. And I am trying to challenge myself to not use any blue fabric. Blue is my favorite color and I seem to use it in most of my projects so of course I have a huge blue collection. And of course I do not have them all sorted and organized so it means sorting through many, many totes of fabric. I am having fun but I am wondering if I am the only one with this disease. A self diagnosed prescription is to not buy any more fabric unless I really, really, really need it for a specific project.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Iron Caddy

This was my project yeterday afternoon. It is called Caddy Pad by Sister's Common Thread. It is an ironing pad that folds up to carry an iron. I have seen these patterns before and finally decided I needed one. I had a little difficulty figuring out part of the pattern. Thanks to my husband and his advice we got it figured out. I am looking forward to using the caddy for classes and retreats. As a matter of fact I am going to our family quilt camp this weekend and am really looking forward to it. I had hoped to do some project packing yesterday but that just didn't work out. Why is it that when you have time to sew on weekends the days go so fast? Oh well, back to work today and hopefully this evening I can start some packing. I did make up a list of what I want to take to work on.

Some of my retreat projects

I thought I had better share some the of projects that I worked on at the retreat last weekend. I don't want you to think I am a slacker! Actually, I finally remembered to take some pictures. These blocks are part of a block of the month from Sandy D's Quilt Shop from a few years ago. Of course I am behind, but am picking up speed a bit. I used fusible web and now am machine appliqueing the pieces. I use my Janome 760 because I really like the button hole stitches the machine makes. Then I pull the threads to the back, tie then off, then weave the ends under some of the stitching. That is the tedious part of the job but I really like the way it looks.

I also finished a few more tote bags. These bags were made with the fruit lady fabric and I will be "gifting" them to some special people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Shower Gifts

Tomorrow I am going to a baby shower for our niece Michelle who is expecting her first baby. She and her husband have decided not to find out the sex of their baby until the birth. I like that. A cute little poem was included in the invitation asking us to give the baby a book instead of buying a card. I had this little book panel so I made this book up this afternoon.

I made this baby quilt this week and am very happy with the way ot turned out. I always say that I am strictly a pattern person, but maybe not. I had these little panels that I thought would be cute in a baby quilt. I took them to the Quilt Shop to buy coordinating fabrics. I machine quilted this quilt. I hope the momma and the baby like it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Great Quilter's Retreat

My husband Steve and I attended a Quilter's Retreat last weekend. This was Steve's 2nd time attending this retreat and I have been there 7 o 8 times. It was so nice visiting with many old friends, making new friends and spending quality time with my hubby and my sewing machine. My machine was acting up so I used Steve's machine (one of my older ones). He spent most of Friday working on my Janome 760. It is not perfect yet but is working a lot better. Then on Saturday he tried working with the little scanner be bought to scan photographs onto a memory card, then later move them to the computer and a cd. Well, he had lots of problems getting the scanner to work so he put it away. He had taken a box of T-shirts that he wants to use to make a T-shirt quilt so he got those cut up. Just on a whim I threw in the fabrics for this 10 minute table runner he had bought during the summer. He made this table runner for a family member. I had fabric for 2 Christmas table runners so he also made those. I finished putting together several small tote bags for a craft show to be held in December. I also got three sides of the piano key borders done before I ran out of fabric. Then I did some machine applique on some flower Blocks of the Month that I probably started 4 or 5 years ago. When I machine applique using the button hole stitch I use a self threading needle to pull the threads to the back, tie them off, then snake the threads through some stitches to hide them. It is a tedious project but I like the way it turns out. Thank you to Sylvia and Delphine for hosting a great retreat.

On another note I have had some women tell me that they would not share their quilting hobby with their husband. I am enjoying sharing quilting with Steve and I feel it has some advantages. He has been interested in quilting for a very long time and he has been to many quilt shows and lots and lots of quilt shops. I don't have to explain or justify expenses as he knows what quilty things cost and why I need them and what they are used for. He has his own rotary cutter, scissors and fabric. In fact he has quite an extensive stash of fire fighter fabric that he has been collecting. I have found some patterns for his fire fighter fabric and I always get the same comment, "But then I would have to cut my fabric!" I love it and I also remember when I had that same thought. We both have totally different interests in techniques and projects so it is interesting. I have absolutely no interest in making T-shirt quilts so while at the retreat he got some advice from women who had made the quilts. I also have no interest in photo transfers and he has figured that out and made several wall hangings using the photo transfers. He puts many hours in at his job in the forestry industry so he doesn't have alot of time to quilt right now but I see it happening some day. Today he is hunting as this is opening day of white tail deer season here in Hillman.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quilt Donation

Remember this little quilt? I made it from blocks made by our grandson's parochial school class. It sold at the Annual Fall Gala fundraiser auction for $110.00. I was very happy. I talked with the Mom who bought it and she said her daughter (a student in the class) was sleeping with it but she wanted to get it hung up on a wall to preserve it.

On a different note yesterday was a very rainy day and the only thing I had planned to do all day was sew. Well, we all know that plans don't always work out. One phone call in the morning and my plans were all changed. All is well and I am not going to go into details but it was a stressful morning. And what do quilters do when we are stressed? Well, I went to a Quilt Shop and had a good time. Our niece is expecting her first baby and the baby shower snuck up on me so I am in a rush to get a baby quilt done for next weekend. I had an idea and just needed a little more fabric for the project. And I found exactly what I was looking for at the Quilt Shop. And I was also able to get an adjustment from my chiropractor. Then I came home and did a little sewing both before and after dinner. Today is open sewing at Guild and I am all packed and ready to go. Tomorrow my husband and I leave for a 3 day Quilt Retreat. I have most of my sewing projects and supplies packed and I have laundry going this morning. The rain has stopped and I can see a little bit of blue sky. It is going to be a great day. And as a finale we have our family craft night tonight so I am looking forward to that too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Block of the Month

This was a Block of the Month from Guild probably 4 or 5 years ago. I pulled it from the shelf last week to see how far along it was. I discovered that I just had to do a little hand embroidery and then put the blocks together. Thanks to some rainy weather and a little free time I was able to get the blocks together. It is laying out on my living room floor right now. I do that quite often so I can enjoy seeing my projects. As I was talking with a friend on the phone last night I discovered that I have a couple of blocks out of order. But you know what? I am not going to make any changes, aka unsewing. I like it the way it is. I cut several strips for a piano key border. They are 2 inches wide and 5 1/2 inches long. I am going to a retreat this weekend so will sew the strip borders together there. I know I have several more UFO's in my sewing room and plan to work on them this winter.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Quilter's Retreat Center?

On Wednesday I was on a mission for Michigan Quilt Network. My partner in crime Sandy suggested that we meet at Sunshine Quilt Shoppe in Oscoda. I told her that was a perfect idea. On my way to Oscoda I drove through the little town of Greenbush. I noticed a sign along the side of the road that said, "Resort For Sale - Let's Make A Deal." Well, that set my brain just a spinning for the rest of the drive to Oscoda. I could buy that resort and host Quilter's Retreats. It would be a great time. My mind was going 100 miles per hour thinking about projects, classes, demos, acitivites (you get the idea?) And when we didn't have quilters we could host family reunions and I am sure the current owners have a clientele list. On the way home I decided to pull into the driveway. There is a circle drive with the house in the middle and 7 cabins across the driveway of the house on one side and 7 more cabins on the other side and it is all on the shore of Lake Hurron. The cabins looked like they were pretty good sized. There was no building for quilters to gather and sew but it did look like a very large room on the back of the house. The mind started spinning again. Then I started thinking about things like a mortgage, we haven't had one of those in over 20 years. And I can't even imagine what the property tax bill would look like. And there is no way I want to be that far away from our kids and grand kids (two hours). So it was a fun dream/fantasy while it lasted.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where Does The Time Go?

Sometimes it just seems like time flies way too fast. I always have good intentions of keeping up with my blog postings but for various reasons it just doesn't seem to happen. Sounds like my quilting lately too. I am so glad that I was able to go to a retreat a couple of weeks ago and was able to bond with my sewing machine as I've hardly seen it since I got home. To tell you the truth I don't really know what I have been doing to be so busy, except it seems as though I have spent a lot of time on the road. This is an extremely busy week. But ...... as part of my road trip today I was able to visit two Quilt Shops. It was great to visit with the owners and employees and even a former Thunder Bay retreater Paulette. And yes, I did make a couple of purchases. Hopefully after the dinner dishes are done tonight I can get a little sewing time in. And tomorrow is our monthly business meeting at Guild so I need to get some things ready for that. What have you been doing lately?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I feel like I am dragging my tail today. I had a wonderful time at the retreat last weekend and still haven't caught up on my sleep. I told myself that I wasn't going to let myself get so worn out but you know that doesn't happen. I am sure it is a combination of things but I am going to blame my brain surgery and not my age. I got a few projects done at the retreat and will post pictures when I get a chance. My Mom had a medical proceedure at the hospital early this morning and everything went real well. She has had so many problems over the last few years, I really hope she can get a break for awhile.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Free Day

Today was a totally free day for me. I was called for Jury Duty so kept today and tomorrow cleared on my calendar. When I called yesterday I was told my services would not be needed, thank you. So, today I gave the house a D & C (dusting and cleaning), washed a couple of windows, cleaned the bathroom and even mopped the floor in there. I have to admit that I don't mop as often as I should and boy the bathroom sure looks nice now. I even managed some time in my sewing room. I made this carrying bag for my sewing table. Last fall I bought one of the sewing tables from JoAnn Fabric and I just love it. But it didn't come with a cover and as much as I haul it around I wanted some protection for the table. I had this upholstery fabric and thanks to Guild member Pearl some strapping. I just laid the fabric down, did a little folding, tucking and pinning and started sewing. I like the way it turned out. I may put some velcro on it yet. I consider myself a pattern person, give me a pattern and I am good to go, but not real creative on my own. Although this was a rather simple project it may be proof that I don't give myself enough credit or maybe I don't have enough confidence in myself. Tomorrow I am taking my Mom in for a ultra-sound in the morning and in the afternoon will finish packing for a retreat that starts on Friday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Very Productive Weekend

It has been a very long time since I have been able to spend so much time in my sewing room. The weather here was quite wet and windy the last few days so I enjoyed indulging in my passion. This afternoon I sandwiched two small pieces and the birthday gift. I also made up another one of the little tote bags (this one is for me). I also cut out another 28 bags. They will be used for gifts and for a little craft show that I will be involved in for our school children. I have totally enjoyed myself. I also got another load of laundry done, clean sheets on the bed and made a home made pizza for dinner. This week with be a bit busy but hopefully there will be a little more sewing time. I am going to a retreat this weekend and like to have little "kits" made up so I don't have to do a lot of cutting and thinking. I think I will do a little crocheting this evening.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Donations Items

The weather here today was quite wet and dreary - a perfect day to do some sewing. The parochial school at my church is having a fundraising gala next weekend. I made two back packs last week, one for a girl and one for a boy to donate. I also made this little quilt (33 X 51 inches). I had the kids in kindergarten and 1st grade draw pictures on 4 1/2 inch blocks, then I sashed the quilt. Today I sandwiched the quilt, got it machine quilted and bound. I still want to make a label for it and would like to include the names of all of the students who made the blocks. I also made 2 Halloween bags for our grandchildren just have 5 more to go. I found a really simple and cute pattern on the internet and already have some Christmas ideas. I have left the table up that I use to sandwich quilts and hopefully tomorrow after Church I can get two small pieces sandwiched and a quilt that is a little bit larger that will be for a special little boy as we celebrate his 1st birthday next month. Along with the sewing I also got two loads of laundry done and cooked some squash in the oven. What did you do today? Now I am off to do some hand sewing and hopefully there will be something good to watch on tv.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Quilt of Love for Perrin

In May our brother-in-law Perrin, my sister Carols husband of 31 years was diagnosed with mesotheleoma (cancer of the lung). He has worked in the plumbing and heating industry for most of his adult life. In June Perrin and Carol traveled to Boston to met with Dr. Sugarbaker and specialist in mesotheleoma. The Dr. did a thorough exam and said that he would operate and he felt the outcome would be good. In July Perrin and Carol, along with their 3 children traveled to Boston where Perrin underwent major surgery. His left lung was removed as was his diaphragm and lining of his heart. He spent about a week in the hospital and them 3 weeks in a hotel close to the hospital so nurses could come in and check on him. The Dr. prescribed 6 chemo treatments and he has already had 3 of them. So far he is doing very well. Their life has undergone some major changes but all is well. While they were in Boston our family and close friends hosted a benefit dinner for the family. Along with the dinner was a live auction, a silent auction, various raffles and games. To our surprise and delight we had over 700 people attend. I prepared 4 1/2" quilt blocks, provided fabric markers and asked each family to sign a quilt block and include words of encouragement. I ended up with 159 signed quilt blocks. thanks to my friend Donna for the suggestion I made the quilt reversible and used the quilt as you go method. The sashing on one side is camo and the other side is black. I finally was able to present the quilt to Perrin a couple of weeks ago. Both he and Carol loved it. And of course there were lots of tears. They said they are still having fun reading the names and messages and there are a few blocks signed by people who they don't even know. It is so great to live in a small, loving and caring community.

Strip Club

No, it is not what you are thinking. In January I thought it would be fun if fellow Guild members participated in a strip exchange. The strips were to be 2 inches wide and at least 22 inches long. Eleven members of the Guild participated and we ended up with over 1900 strips. My sister Carol came over yesterday and we separated and sorted the strips. After discussing how we were going to do it we decided to dump all of the strips into 2 laundry baskets, mix them up, then count them out into piles of 20 strips. It was quite a project but we enjoyed visiting while we sorted, folded and tried to count. We have a class at Guild tomorrow making a table topper using the strips. It should be a fun class and I am anxious to see how the variety work out.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little More Canning

I thought that I was done canning for this year but Steve and I talked about the fact that maybe we needed to can some tomatoes. On his way home from work on Friday he stopped at a little produce stand and came home with two bushels of tomatoes. That was my project for yesterday, getting them canned. Steve worked on cleaning off the garden, bringing in the left overs and getting it tilled. He also helped me with the last 1/2 bushel. We ended up with 35 quarts of tomatoes plus enough for a large batch of chili in the crock pot some day this week. It is a lot of work but I do enjoy the home canned tomatoes. Now maybe I can put the pressure cooker away!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A couple of finished projects!

Last weekend Steve and I went on a little road trip. We drove to Sault Ste. Marie for a little get away. We had hoped to see a little bit of the beautiful fall colors but I guess we were a little too early for that. We did find lots of beautiful colors at the Flying Geese Quilt Show hosted by the Keepers of the Piece Quilt Guild. The Guild members there shared some very beautiful quilts. The vendors had some very beautiful items there but I was able to resist temptations. I have so many UFO's (Un Finished Objects) and kits that I really need to be concentrating on them before I make any more purchases.
While in the car I was able to finish crocheting this baby afghan. It really is a pretty pink color, my camera just wasn't cooperating today. The pattern is the same one I have been using for the veterans quilts, I just used a smaller crochet hook. I wasn't happy with the way the sides turned out plus I wanted the afghan a little wider. So I added two rows of double crochet to each side of the afghan. As of right now this afghan doesn't have a home but it will sooner or later, either for a baby or a doll.

This is a small wall hanging. In February I taught hand quilting at my Guild. I used this for demonstration purposes. I provided all class participants with a small panel so they could practice. It has been fun to see the finished projects and hear some of them say that they actually enjoyed the hand quilting. On this piece I used muslin and purple hand quilting thread. I decided to add a very thin purple floating border to this wall hanging and I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Form Of Recycling

As I was driving to the high school here in town to donate blood yesterday it dawned on me that I was once again involved in recycling (we recycle plastic, cans, paper and cardboard here at home). Any way I started donating blood about 9 years ago in honor of our great-niece Amy. She was born with lots and lots of medical problems and wasn't expected to live very long. She celebrated her 9th birthday in May. She still has lots of problems and has undergone several surgical procedures. She has seizures quite often and pulls through. I am not as prompt in my donations as I should be. Part of the reason is because I am still a little nervous after the brain surgery I had 2 years ago. But I will continue to give when I can for as long as I can as it is such a good feeling to know that you are helping people. And kudos to my husband Steve as he earned his 5 gallon pin last night. If you have never donated before I strongly urge you to give it a try.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A valuable lesson learned

On Friday after making my blog post I decided to remove some of the pictures from the memory card in my camera. Well, I got a little crazy pushing buttons and ended up deleting every one of the 1150 pictures on the memory card. I was just sick. There were pictures of the births of our 4 youngest grandsons, birthday parties, vacations, quilts, etc and they were all gone. I went over to our son's to see our daughter-in-love and grandsons and she reminded me that she had borrowed my card and had copies of some of the pictures. That did take away some of the pain. I called Wal-Green's and the woman I talked to said they could mail my memory card to a recovery company along with $60 and perhaps they could retrieve the pictures. I asked on face book if anyone else had ever done that and if so was there a solution other than trying Wal-Greens. Our daughter-in-love Tasha did some research and found some recovery software that I could download onto our computer. I got into the site, downloaded the software then hit the button. All of my pictures were retrieved from the card and then I was told it would cost $39.99 to get my pictures. It didn't take me too long to decide that that was what I was going to do. Within a matter of seconds my pictures were downloaded to my hard drive. I am so happy to have all of my pictures. I learned a valuable and will never let that many pictures build up on the card. I knew that I should have been moving them to the computer and to a cd but I just didn't want to take the time.

Friday, September 16, 2011

AHHHH - Finally a little sewing machine time

Yesterday I got all of the beets from the garden canned - 19 quarts. After dinner I told Steve my next project was going to be in my sewing room. I just haven't had enough time in there lately. I made this U of M back pack for our grandson. London and his parents are going to the U of M game tomorrow in Ann Arbor and I wanted to get this done for him. On the day before school started he told me he couldn't use his camo back pack because that was for hunting. Hopefully he will like this one and will use it. I have a few errands to run today then hoping to get some more sewing machine time in. I pulled out the hexagon quilt that I have been working on for a very long time. I need several more background hexagons. Since I am starting with 4 inch sqaures of fabric I am machine basting the fabric to the papers. I would like to get a few more of those stitched later today. I also have the Guild banners of the month laying out and waiting to be finished. Hopefully I can trade my pressure cooker in for my sewing machine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Canning - A Family Tradition

Today I am canning beets from our garden. Among other things ti has me thinking about years past. I was raised on a small family fram, the oldest of five children. My parents always had a big garden and my Mom did lots of canning. I can remember her saying that she had to have at least 1,000 jars of food put up to get us through the winter. That sounds like a lot but it really isn't when you are feeding 7 people plus extended company that enjoyed visiting us. When Steve and I got married we planted a garden and have every year. I have to admit that I don't can nearly as much as I did when our kids were home. This year I did not have to can green beans or tomatoes as we had plenty left from last year. I have canned several jars of zuchinni relish and zalsa (salsa with a zuchinni base) and beets. As of right now that may be it. If Steve gets a deer during hunting season I may can some venison. We enjoy the canned venison. In fact dinner tonight is venison stew in the crock pot. This year our yellow summer squash has gone crazy and we have lots of it in the freezer to enjoy this winter. I also chopped up a squash and put it in the stew. In years past I used to can a 50 lb bag of small potatoes. I haven't done that in a really long time and I do miss having them on the shelf. They are a lot of work but worth it. My father-in-law used to go downstate and bring home trailer loads of carrots and sell them for deer feed from his front yard. I would go out and sort through the trailer and bring carrots home to can. I tried making dill pickles but for some reason they just never turned out. With just Steve and I here now I don't seem to can as much as I used to but what I do can I share with our kids.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Motocross Fun at the County Fair

Our family has enjoyed the sport of motocross for several years now. Our sons traveled quite a bit and raced in their "younger" days. And of course Mom and Dad followed along and cheered them on whenever we could. Our six year old grandson London raced for the first time at the County Fair. Here he is "getting some air".

London is receiving his 3rd place trophy from the race director and his great aunt Amy.

Our son Greg came out of retirement for the race this year. Here he is getting the whole shot, "the first one out of the shoot", beating out all of the teeny boppers. Steve and I were very proud of our racers and also our oldest son Mike who ran the start gate.

Monday, September 5, 2011

County Fair

Our County Fair was held a couple of weeks ago. County Fairs always hold very special memories for me. I was raised on a dairy farm. I was involved in 4-H showing dairy cattle. Katie was my Mama cow and her babies were Princess and Star. In fact, in the local newspaper last week my name was printed in the Looking Back Section. Forty years ago I won the showmanship sweepstakes at the Alpena County Fair. One of my sister called (almost in hysterics) to tell me she saw it in the paper and of course I didn't find the humor!! Any way county fairs have always held a special place in my heart. Our family was always very involved in volunteering in the fair. Coming from a large family with a small income we knew we couldn't take part in the carnival rides all week and that was ok with us. If I remember right we were able to go on the rides one afternoon during the fair. I went to the Fair this year twice but I never did get to the barns. Our Quilt Guild made and donated the quilt in the 3rd picture to the fair board. I went to the Fair one morning and sold raffle tickets for the Fair. That same afternoon several of us Guild members volunteered to work in the 4-H kitchen for a 4 hour shift. This is the 4th or 5th time I have worked in the kitchen and I really enjoy it. Then the next day I went back and worked with our Quilt Guild on a Charity Sew. We made 132 helmet liners to be used by the soldiers over seas. That evening I helped the the lap counting for the motocross. Our 6 year old London raced for his first time and our son Greg raced for the first time in several years.

Our Guild's Fair Booth consisted of the Challenge quilts we made. All of the quilts were offered for Silent Auction and the funds raised wil be used to purchase toys for area children at Christmas. My challenge quilt is in the middle of the picture with the dark stars. I heard that it raised $30 in the auction. And our Guild earned a 3rd place ribbon for our booth.

This is the raffle quilt made by our Guild.

Friday, September 2, 2011

An All Night Sew-A-Thon

Sandy Dee's Quilt Shop hosted an all night sew-a-thon last month. We started at 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday evening and ended at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Forteen quilters started out the evening, working on a variety of projects, enjoying a bountiful buffet of sloppy joes, chips, cookies, watermelon, cheese and sausage. Kursten and Courtney presented a wheel of fortune type game and only by luck did I win the game. I wore pj's robe and my bunny slippers. My husband told me he hoped I didn't get stopped by the police on my way to the quilt shop because dressed like that they would surely haul me away!

I made a couple of back packs, this one was a birthday gift for our great nephew Nick. I also made one for myself.

I also worked on the Block of the Month, Wildflower Rhapsody hosted by Sandy Dee's. It is a beautiful quilt. I am still not caught up yet, but I will get there some day.

I would like to extend a big thank you to Sandy, Kursten and Courtney for hosting such a wonderful event. Hopefully we will be able to do it again. Oh, by the way, eight quilters made it through the entire event.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Already??

Wow - I can't believe it is September already. Where did the summer go? Fall is my favorite time of year but I would still like some more summer days. August was a busy month for me and I just didn't have a lot of time for posting. My calendar looks pretty hectic, no wonder I am tired. I had two Dr's appointments (all is well), an all night Quilt-A-Thon at our local Quilt Shop, County Fair, trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a wedding reception, a week on Mackinac Island helping with two of our grandchildren, working at my office and doing some canning of produce from our garden. I will get some pictures and posts asap.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have been quite busy lately but nothing real exciting to post about, until yesterday. I went out to my parent's house to "borrow" some more yarn from my Mom. We were looking through some boxes in her upstairs and to my surprise and delight we opened a box that had a couple of quilt tops made by her Aunt. I really liked all of them but decided to bring one home to hand quilt some day. And we also found these two little kittie pieces in the same box. Mom told me that she had made these to be used as dresser scarves when I was a little girl. Considering the many times that my parents have moved and their age (ummmmm!!!) I am surprised that they are in such good condition. It was a no brainer that they were coming home with me. My husband suggested that I label them so that some day our kids will know their history. Thanks Mom!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fun Day with London, Allie and Nana

Yesterday London named it Fun Day with London, Allie and Nana. We went to Alpena to play at the Bouncy House. We had never been there before so really didn't know what to expect. We got to the Mall at 11:30 and the Bouncy House (not sure that is the real name) didn't open until 3:00. We went to K-Mart as I had a couple of things on my list. From there we went to Dollar Tree and it is easy to burn time there and to get some very inexpensive toys for the kids. After that it was lunch at, where else with a 4 and a 6 year old, but McDonald's. Then on to the playground that is on the beach of Lake Huron. I took bathing suits along for the kids so they were able to play in the water although they said it was a bit cold. The Bouncy House has 4 large inflatable "bouncy things" and the kids had a great time on them. We have already talked about going back there some day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


One day last week I pulled out a WIP (work in progress). I thought I took a picture of it but right now I can't find it so you will just have to imagine. It is a hexagon quilt and I may have posted a picture a long time ago. I was involved with 6 other gals in a square swap exchange and I decided to make a hexagon quilt with my squares. Note to self that I need to start writing down the date when I start a project so I can keep better track. Anyway, I saw this project on the shelf in my sewing room and decided to lay it out on the floor and see how it looked. I did do a little hand sewing, adding a partial row to the quilt. Then our daughter and her two precious little ones came for the weekend so I put it back in the shelf. Our grand daughter Allie is staying with us this week so I haven't had a chance to get the hexagon quilt out again, but I plan to perhaps next week. I have been sneaking in a little time at the sewing machine, working on the signature quilt for my brother-in-law. As usual it is a bigger project than I was thinking but I am still glad that I came up with the idea. I was hoping to have it done for him before he came home from the hospital but that didn't happen. He is home and doing well. I will continue on with the quilt as time allows.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back Packs

A group in my Church is collecting items for childrens school kits. The list included crayons, pencils, rulers, erasers, scissors, etc. At the bottom of the list they asked for cloth, draw string back packs. I knew right away that I had the perfect pattern for the back packs. A few days ago I cut 4 of the back packs out. Yesterday we had an open sew at Guild. I was able to complete 2 of the back packs and get a good start on #3 there. After dinner I finished #3 and made back pack #4. I would like to make a few more but if this is all that I can get done I will be very happy and proud of myself.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three More Afghans Delivered

Today I delivered three more afghans to the gal who distributes them to veterans. The variegated afghan was made from yarn I had here at home. I had started an afghan some time ago, tore it apart and recycled the yarn. The other two are made with yarn scraps from my Mom. I am using this ripple pattern because it goes quick and because I like it. I started one using black, red and cream colored yarn. I think I have enough of my Mom's yarn to make one more multi-colored yarn. Then it's back to Mom's Yarn Shop in her upstairs. I am doing some quilting but it is harder in the summer. I have discovered that it is nice to be able to pick up the crocheting and add a row or two when I have time. It is also a nice road trip project as long as it doesn't get too big.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Little Bit of Sewing Time

We were hit with the big heat wave here last week like in so many other areas. I spent a lot of time at my parents pool. But I also set in front of the sewing machine and the fan to finish this charity quilt top. It is the Jelly Roll 1600 pattern. I had to do a little adjusting as I used left over bindings that are 2 1/4 inch wide instead of 2 1/2 inch wide. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of a 1/4 inch. In a previous post I showed pictures of the charity day at Guild where we worked on this pattern. A couple members of our Guild are friends with a couple of gals from another group down state who are making quilts for an orphanage. We decided to offer some assistance in making quilts. A long arm quilter has offered to quilt the quilts. Hopefully some kids will enjoy the "fruits of our labors".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Water Fun Day at Tiger Paw Park

Our small community is very fortunate to have a beautiful park for families to enjoy. When the Township bought the park several years ago it had 3 base ball fields. With the help from some very community-minded folks several grants were written and awarded and the park now also has a very large playground with lots of fun things for the kids to climb on, swing on and twirl around on. There is also a very nice concession building with bathrooms. Three years ago the Township board began hosting children's activities for the months of June and July. Yesterday was Water Fun Day and about 35 kids participated in the activities. There were able to swim in a small pool, play on a slip and slide, run through several sprinklers, slide down a water slide and enjoy a water balloon toss. Snacks were also provided. Since we in a major heat wave right now the water part of the day was perfect timing.