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.