Thursday, November 8, 2012

Doe Sew Day

Next week starts the 2 week white tail rifle deer hunt here in Michigan.  Living in the northern part of the state it is a big deal to many people including my husband and our two sons.  Many people have a hunting camp where they go to relax, hunt, eat, drink adult beverages, play cards and shoot the bull.  We don't have a camp but my guys like to get together at my brother-in-laws to chat, share stories of their day in the woods and eat a few meals together.

For several years now our Quilt Guild has held a Doe Sew, a quilter's version of a deer camp.  We gather in the morning with our sewing machines and a specific project or we can work on our own projects.  As with any "deer" camp we always have lots of food (pot-luck) and lots of chatter and laughter.  This years project was a really cute snowman wall hanging.  I decided not to start another project right now so I worked on my log cabin blocks.  It is very scrappy and I am using 1 1/2 inch wide strips.  I am not in any hurry to finish this quilt so it is a perfect project to travel with.

Speaking of traveling, I am packed to head to a 3 day retreat tomorrow.  I am not taking the log cabin project but I did pack 2 UFO's, both mystery quilts that I started while working at Thunder Bay Resort.  I am hoping to have both of the tops done before I come home.  I also threw in a few smaller projects just in case.  I am always afraid that I will run out of projects so I always over pack when going to quilting retreats. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Little Bit of Organization and A Little Bit of Time in My Sewing Room

It was a busy weekend here but we were able to move some furniture into our "new" living room.  I am not real fussy about how things look.  I feel that it is our home and if it works for us that is good enough for me.  We still need to make some changes as we are moving rooms around and we have a process in mind.  We decided not to move things out of my "old" sewing  room and into my "new" sewing room until we can get another metal storage system.  We have one know and are hoping we can match it as there is the perfect spot in my sewing room.  We think we bought it at Lowes and the nearest Lowes in in Gaylord, about an hour drive.  We are going to Gaylord this weekend so with the price of gas and our busy schedule we decided to wait.  It is nice to have a chair, a TV and some hand work in the evenings.

I did climb over boxes yesterday to spend some time in my sewing room.  I spent quite a bit of time cutting strips for a log cabin quilt.  The strips are 1 1/2 inches wide and I like to cut them to the proper length.  Our Quilt Guild is having our annual Doe Sew on Thursday and I have decide to work on the Log Cabin blocks instead of starting a new project by making the really cute snow man wall hanging project that is being offered.

We also enjoyed a visit with our son Greg and his two very lively and very busy two year old twin sons Gavin and Grady.  They are at such a cute stage, singing and dancing and just having fun.  I made home made pizza for dinner and was surprised at how much those little guys ate.

Off to work now.  I am the election administrator for my community of 1700 + voters so as you can guess I have been pretty busy with all of that.  Like so many others I am looking forward to all of the campaigning coming to an end bit for a slightly different reason.  I am on the ballot but I don't have any opposition.  I have been the clerk here in my township since 1988.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Finished Project -------Finally!

I was able to get the binding finished on this Honey Bee Quilt last week and I really like the way it turned out.  When we started our remodeling project we moved as many things as possible out of the two rooms involved.  Every room in the house ended up as a storage rooms except the bathroom.  And since my sewing room doesn't get a lot of traffic it seemed to be used the most.  As of right now I couldn't get to my Viking if I wanted too as it is in a cabinet.  But my Janome and Featherweight are accessible and I have used both of them for three retreats in the last few weeks.  I hand quilted this quilt, added the binding by machine during the early stages of the remodeling, so I just had to hand stitch the binding.  I have done both methods of binding, totally by machine and by machine and hand stitching and I still prefer the hand stitching.  I just like the way it looks.  Last night I finished the binding on another quilt and will have to get a picture of that one.  I have not even started settingup my new sewing room yet.  We are going to wait till we can get to town to buy new storage shelves.  I am anxious to get things rolling.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Big Decision and a Lot of Chaos

We made a decision.  I orderd the long arm quilting machine a few weeks ago.  And I am so excited.  As I posted earlier Steve came up with 4 options for remodeling our house to make room for the long arm.  After a lot of thought and measuring we decided on a 5th plan.  The 5th plan involves a lot more work but we both decided it would be the best plan.  Steve removed a closet, 2 half walls, carpet, a split stone fire place and the chimney that was in the garage.  He replaced dry wall, built a closet where the chimney was and had to do some other repairs.  We picked out new carpet for two rooms and then it was time to choose paint.  I have never been good at picking colors, I have always felt safe with an off white color.  My sister Carol and I spent quite a bit of time with paint chips and decided on a soft green color and I love it.  My sister loves to paint so she did all of the walls.  Steve and I had painted the ceiling in one room and did the primer paint on the new dry wall and the walls where we had removed wall paper.  It has been a lot of work but we are now on the down hill slide.  Actually I am waiting today for the carpet guys but I have a feeling it is not going to happen today.  I am very tired of dealing with the chaos but I am excited about the final outcome.  My sewing room has more than doubled in size.  Oh, I think the carpet guys are here, yea!!  Yes, they are here and figure they can get both floors done today.  Then the fun of putting everything back together will begin.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Very Fun Day

Last Friday our Guild hosted a 25th Anniversary/Friendship Day.  Two of my sisters, my Mom and I were on the committee.  We had 124 ladies and 1 man (my husband) attend the festivities.  The morning started with a 2 large tables full of muffins, cookies, donuts and other goodies brought in by our Guild members.  Attendees were asked to bring in a fat quarter and we filled two baskets that were given away.  We had three vendors, Backstreet Quilt Shoppe from Elkton, Hollyhock Quilt Shoppe from harrisville and Sandy Dee's Sewing Shop from Hillman.  The vendors each donated a door prize and we also gave away the 18 centerpieces.  Our guest speaker was Tresa Keyes from Petoskey who gave a beautiful trunk show sharing her quilts made with 1930's original and reproduction fabrics.  We served a delicious lunch of sandwiches and salad.  Dessert was this cake made by my sister Carol.  She always does a beautiful job with her cakes and they always taste yummy too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Have Missed My Blogging

I have really missed blogging.  I think about adding a post but for some reason it just doesn't happen. I guess I am just like everyone else, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day.

My family - It is back to school time and 3 of our grandchildren went back to school on Tuesday.  Cameryn is in 6th grade this year (hard to believe) and he is also playing pee wee football.  His first game is on Saturday and we will be there to cheer him on.  London is now in second grade and this is his first year in public school.  He was so excited to ride the bus and he said it was really fun.  Allie started kindergarten and told me that she cried when the teacher asked each one of the student to tell the class what they did during the summer.  My sister Connie has been doctoring at Mayo Clinic for two benign brain tumors.  She had 3 appointments yesterday and will have surgery in November to remove one of the tumors.  Her oldest grandson Jacob (14 years old) has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and is receiving chemo treatments in Ann Arbor, a 4 hour drive from home.  He is doing very well and the doctors are very optimistic that it was caught in time and that he will do well.

My quilt world - Most of my spare time has been put into making favors for our Guild's 25th Anniversary/Friendship Day to be held next week.  My hand quilting was put aside when the weather was so hot as I quilt on my lap and it was just too darned hot.  The evenings have been cooling down some so I have picked up my hand quilting project again.  My husband Steve and I went to the AQS show in Grand Rapids last month and we had a great time.  We saw some absolutely beautiful quilts and also did a little damage with the vendors.  I bought a couple of patterns and a couple of small kits.  We also spent quite a bit of time with a long arm salesman/manufacturer.  He and his wife make the machines and the frames in their shop in Tennessee.  I really liked the way the machine felt and worked.  It got us thinking about making a purchase again.  We came home and did some measuring as it would take up quite a bit of space.  My husband came up with 4 options.  I nixed two of them right off the bat and told him that one of them really appealed to me.  The problem is that it would require some remodeling and I have been through enough of that with our old house to know that we always have to be prepared to expect the unexpected.  So right now everything is on hold as we "think" about it.  I have no interest in going into business quilting for other people.  I would just want to do my own quilts and perhaps some for my mom and my sisters. 

Our garden - Steve has taken over most of the gardening as I have trouble bending over after my brain surgery.  He has a beautiful garden this year.  We have eaten lots of green beans and I have canned and frozen some although we still have lots left from last year.  The zuchinni, summer squash and tomatoes have been going crazy.  I have made 42 pints and 7 quarts of zalsa and canned some tomatoes.  I also have lots of zuchinni bread and muffins in the freezer.  I found a recipe online to make oven roasted cherry tomatoes.  I tried them and they are ok.  I won't turn the oven on for 3 hours to make them again.

Today is Guild business meeting and we always have a fantastic show and tell.  I finished hand quilting a Guild Block of the Month that we did when Donna was Project Chair.  I am anxious to ask Donna what year that was as I am sure it was at least 5 years ago.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Something to think about

Last week at our Guild meeting a Friendship Quilt was shown.  The quilt top consisted of blocks made by several members of our Quilt Guild.  Nancy, the owner of the quilt passed on before she finished the quilt.  Her family passed it on to our Guild and a couple of the members finished hand quilting and binding it.  Discussion was held on what to do with the quilt.  I suggested that we raffle it on our Guilds 25th Anniversary Friendship Day in September and that was the general concensus of the group.  I brought the quilt home, opened it up to check it out and to show my husband.  There are 20 blocks in the quilt, each made by a member of the Guild.  Well, as I was reading each name I discovered that I am the only one of the 20 that is still a member of the Guild.  About half of the quilt makers are no longer living, 2 of the quilters have moved and are still quilting and I don't know about the remaining ladies.  I didn't find a date on the quilt but I do know that it was made quite a few years ago.  Of course, I decided that I must have been really young (maybe even in high school!!) when those blocks were made.  It did give me an chance to reflect on each one of the former members and it also made me decide that I need to kick it in gear and get some more of my UFO's finished.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

AWOL For Too Long

I have been AWOL from my blog for too long.  Like everyone else I have been very busy with lots of things.  Two of our sons coached their sons Little League teams so Papa and I went to every game that we could.  And now our son, my brother and our nephew play on an adult slow pitch soft ball team and we are going to as many games as possible.  I guess it doesn't matter how old our kids are we still enjoy getting involved and encouraging them.  I have been very busy with work as it is election season here in Michigan with the primary on August 7.  I have been mailing out absent voter ballots and trying to keep up on all of the paper work involved.  Like so many others we have been hit with the heat wave and it just seems to drain so much of my energy.  We don't have a/c in our house but luckily it stays fairly cool.  I have been trying to sit in front of a fan in the evenings and work on my hand quilting.  I have also been able to do a little sewing during the last few days and am working on some small tote bags for gifts.  I finished a block of the month quilt, had it machine quilted and got the binding on it.  I will have to get my camera out a take a picture of it.  I have been doing as much as I can to help with our 7 grandchildren and totally love that.  We celebrated my Dad's 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I told him he is a very young 80.  He is still driving school bus 5 days a week during the school year and loving every minute of it.  On Saturday I helped my sisters cater a wewdding reception for 450 people and am still trying to recuperate from that.  It was a lot of fun but also a lot of work.  My sister Carol and her family are doing well.  Now another sister is facing some medical issues and will see a specialist on Monday.  Take care of yourselves and the ones you love.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life Is Too Short!

Last week we lost my brother-in-law Perrin after his 12 1/2 month battle with mesotheleoma.  He was married to my youngest sister Carol and the father of three children, Ryan, Lana and Cody.  He was only 52 years old and it just seems so unfair.  Cancer is just such a miserable disease and is affecting way too many people.  Perrin was not in physical pain, thankfully.  I made this small wall hanging and presented it to my sister at the visitation.  I prefer something like this instead of putting money into flowers.  My sister is doing well.  We spent several hours together sewing yesterday and she was able to share some of the things of the last years jouorney, including several trips to a meso specialist in Boston. 
Remember that life is short, be sure to express your love to those who are close to you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

 Here is a picture of my Bow Tucks bag.  I love it.  This is the larger size and it works well for all of the necesseties.  I would like to make the smaller one too some day.
This is a project that I finished during the winter but I don't think I shared a picture of it.  At Guild we had a 2 inch fabric exchange, then one of the members taught this table topper pattern.  A lot of the information was basic information but always good as a refresher.  I have it on my coffee table and enjoy looking at it.  Quilt Camp was wonderful.  I spent lots of time finishing up some machine button hole applique on some very small pieces so it doesn't look like I accomplished very much.  Today we have a mystery quilt class at Guild.

A Visual !?!

This may not be for the faint at heart.  This morning out oldest nephew was confirmed at Church.  Following the worship service we enjoyed family time and a delicious dinner.  When we left there we went to the other side of town where a benefit dinner was being held for a local man who is seriously ill with pancreatic cancer.  We didn't go for dinner, just wanted to make a donation, then ended up visiting with a very good friend for awhile.  We got home around 5 o'clock.  As I have stated before hand quilting is my favorite part of quilting but I haven't had anything sandwiched and ready to quilt for quite some time.  I decided this afternoon would be a great time to put my quilt frame up, especially since it was 90 degrees outside.  Since it was already early evening I decided there was no sense in changing out of my church dress.  I did take my jacket off, leaving a sleeveless dress and not a pretty sight.  And since I needed some pockets for the clips for the quilt frame the only thing I could find was a Christmas apron.  The pockets worked great for the clips and for my I-Pod.  But wait, it gets even better - I also put my crocs on as they are so comfortable, especially on the cement garage floor.  I am so glad my husband didn't think about getting the camera out.  Oh, and to top it off, one of the songs that played on my I-Pod was Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Woman.  When I told my husband about the song he just looked at me and gave a very faint smile and nod.   So now I have a quilt that is ready to be hand quilted.  I left the frame up in the garage and am thinking that if I have enough energy left after Church I would like to get another quilt sandwiched.  I haven't decided yet but I may have quilt that one.

Right now in my sewing room I have a dress that I started for our grand daughter.  It is the first garment sewing I have done in a very long time.  I would like to get it done before she comes to visit next weekend.  I also have parts and pieces of a quilt that I have been working on.  The blocks are sewn into rows.  Now I need to sewing the sashings and corner stones together and get the top finished.  I have a sewing station set up here in our family room where I have been working on the mystery quilt I started at Guild last Thursday.  I have 12 blocks done, I think the pattern calls for 20 blocks but I may make the quilt bigger, not sure on that yet.  This week is going to be busy with work and helping with grandchildren but hopefully I can get Allie's dress done and maybe even work on a few more blocks for the mystery quilt.

How many projects do you have "in the works"?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Very Good Week

This has been a very good week in my sewing world.  On Monday I took a class at Sandy Dee's Quilt Shop.  She is hosting a bag of the month and the first project was a Bow Tuck Bag.  I have been wanting to make one for awhile now and so this was the perfect opportunity.  It was fun, although I didn't follow the directions, but I still have a beautiful purse.  Yesterday several of us met at Sandy Dee's to work on our Block of the Month project.  Today I am going to my Guild's monthly business meeting.  Have I told you about all of the talent in our group and the beautiful show and tells?  Sunday afternoon I am going to my Guilds camp for four days and am really looking forward to some serious sewing.  I have a couple of UFO projects in mind and have to see what else is in my sewing room waiting for me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Very Proud Wife

Last weekend Steve and I traveled to Indiannapolis to attend the Fire Department Instructors Convention.  This beautiful truck was one of the many thousands of trucks we saw.  The stadium (the same one that hosted the Super Bowl this year) was jammed packed with all kinds of fire fighting equipment as was the huge conference center attached to the stadium.
 During the conference a Memory Stair Climb was held in memory of the fire fighters who lost their lives their lives in New York City on 9/11.  The climb consisted of 110 flights of stairs (3 trips through the stadium).  Almost 200 people participated in the climb including my husband.  The climb started with a beautiful opening ceremony, prayer and a bag pipe band playing Amazing Grace. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lifes Twists and Turns

Life here has taken quite a few twists and turns during the last few weeks, hence the lack of posts.  Also because of those twists and turns there hasn't been much sewing done here either.  I have managed to get a litlle bit (a very little bit) of hand applique done on a project that I have been working on for several years.  Yesterday morning I got up extra early to spend some time with my sewing machine and it felt really good.  This morning I got up early but so far am spending my time on the computer.  The twists and turns have made me really apperciate my husband, our children and grandchildren, our home and all of the beautiful blessings in our lives.  Today I plan to go to my LQS and spend some time sewing and visiting with friends for a few hours. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pillow cases

Our Guild, Thunderbay Quilt Guild meets every Thursday. On months when there is a fifth Thursday we use that as a Charity Sew. Last week's charity sew was pillow cases for children with very serious illnesses (ConKerr Cancer). We had a very ambitious group of twelve members attend. Sewing machines were buzzing, irons and rotary cutters were flying and of course laughter and conversation was aplenty. On about a 5 hour period we finished 85 pillow cases plus we had 49 pillow cases that were brought in before the sewing day. I am very proud of all of our participants, thank you girls. We are going to make lots of kids very happy and also help to brighten their days. All of the pillow cases had to be washed, dried, pressed and put into individual zip lock bags. I brought home the majority of the pillow cases. I ended up washing 4 loads and by 2:00 p.m. on Friday they were all bagged and ready to go. I will deliver them to a "middle person" next week who will make sure they get to the appropriate person for distribution. And I suspect that I may get a few more pillow cases at our business meeting tomorrow. Charity sewing is so rewarding. If you haven't been involved in any such activities I suggest you check around and see what you can do to help others.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Boot Fettish

One day last week I was straightening up part of the garage and cleaning the floor. I lined up my husbands boot and shoes and although the picture isn't real clear there are 10 pairs of boot and shoes here and a few pair up on the shelf on the other side of the garage. I think he has me beat in footwear.

Friday, March 23, 2012

When Life Hand You Crap..............

Oh, I think it is supposed to be "When life hands you SCRAPS, make a quilt. Oh well!.. Life has been a bit stressfull the last couple of weeks with some family problems. Everything is going to work out. I decided that I needed to do some easy, mindless sewing. I had a zip-loc bag of pieced 4 patches sitting on my sewing table. The blocks started out at 2 inches. I pulled the 4 patches, found some additional fabric for sashings and began sewing. I ended up making these two baby quilts and am really happy with the way they turned out and I truly enjoyed and appreciated the therapy. These quilts will go to the Baby Basket here in our county. It is an organization that accepts new and gently used items for families in need.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Completed UFO

I finished this quilt about a month ago. It is a Spider Web quilt that I started several years ago in a class with Gyleen Fitzgerald at Thunder Bay Resort here in Hillman. It isn't a pattern that I would have picked but Gyleen had some great short cuts that helped to make the quilt a fun project. As a side note there were a couple of nurses in the class and they thought the spider webs resembled hazardous waste signs.
Today was sewing day at Sandy D's Quilt Shop. We had a small group today but still had a good time. I spent the majority of the time drawing, cutting and fusing the bumble bees onto some Honey Bee blocks. This morning before I went to the shop I got half of the machine quilting done on a baby quilt. I should go outside and finish cleaning up the last flower bed but the temperature right now is 87 degrees and I think I will wait till it cools down. Besides that half quilted baby quilt is calling my name.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Very Busy Weekend

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in Hillman with temperatures in the high 70's. Friday night I attended the Mock Rock Concert at the High School. I have to admit that I must be getting older, or maybe it is just that I am not into rock music. I didn't recognize most of the songs or the artists but I do give a lot of credit to the kids for performing on the stage to a packed house. Saturday morning I spent 3 hours with our 2 year old grandsons Gavin and Grady. We spent about 1 1/2 hours on the golf cart touring the town. Every time I stopped they would say "Moe". After their Dad picked them up I headed to the Nursing Home to attend the St. Patrick's Day party with my Grandma. We were given the choice of green milk shakes or green beer (non-alcohol, of course). So Grandma and I enjoyed green milk shakes and 2 games of Bingo. It was a cover all and the winner of each game received $2.50. My Grandma didn't quite get the total concept of the game but we still had fun. After the party I came home and changed clothes and my husband and I headed to the Community Center for the 37th Annual Firemen's Ball. The meal (prepared by the firefighters) was great and so was the country music band. Over 160 door prizes were handed out and there were a couple of raffle items too. The band played till mid-night and then it was time for clean up. We got home a little after 1 a.m. so that wasn't too bad. I got up for Church on Sunday morning, stopped to check on my parents after Church, then came home and made brunch. Shortly afer we finished with brunch we headed to Mio (about a 45 minute drive) to attend our grandson Cameryn's basketball tournament. His team won their first game and since the second team did not show up they forfeited and Cam's team won the trophy. It was pretty exciting. My evening consisted of a warm bath, a little reading, a little hand quilting and and early bed time. I have a feeling tonight's evening may be a repeat.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Completed UFO

This sampler quilt was a Block of the Month we did at Guild in 2010, about time I got it done, eh? The picture doesn't really do the quilt much justice. I used my much loved 1930's reproduction fabrics. I wasn't real thrilled with the quilt. Maybe if I hadn't put the red in the middle I might have liked it better. But of course, it has grown on me. I tried to machine quilt it using an all over stippling and it just wasn't working out. Then I remembered I have lots of large stencils so I decided to use one of those and hand quilt my quilt. Well, with all of the variety of color in the quilt it didn't matter what color thread I used none of the stitching was showing up. And if I was going to hand quilt I wanted my stitching to show up. So I decided to machine quilt doing a cross hatch using my walking foot and the little foot that attaches to it to mark the lines. Someone told me it wouldn't work so of course that made me want to try it even more. I am really happy with the end results, it was easier than I thought and actually kind of fun. I will definitely use that method of quilting again.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Couple of Completed Projects

Here are pictures of a couple of projects I finished awhile ago. The little troll dolls quilt is a panel that I have had for years. When I found it this winter it just made me happy and I knew I wanted to get it quilted. It has brought back some great memories of my younger days. I hand quilted it and at this point I don't know what I will do with it. The embroidery quilt was a block of the month that I worked on last year. All of the little raggedy Ann centers are hand embroidered. I love the 1930's reproduction fabrics that were included in the kits.

Life has thrown our family a couple of curve balls in the last few days. So many times I wonder why God gives us challenges in our lives and I know that in the end it does make us stronger. I have no committments today and tomorrow and I really enjoy that. A huge part of me would love to lock myself in my sewing room and not come out for a very long time, but I know that can't happen. This morning I washed several of the windows in our house (the ones I don't need to use a ladder). I am taking a little lunch break right now then I think I will go in and wash the kitchen walls and then perhaps sweep the garage floor and maybe if I still have any steam left will clean out my car. Along with getting some spring cleaning done my ulterior motive is to be so exhausted tonight that I will crash when it is bed time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Weather Update

The winter storm hit us very hard last Wednesday night. Just yesterday and last night we lost all of the snow that was hanging in the trees due to high winds and warmer temps. That wet, heavy snow caused lots of problems for lots of folks here in northern Michigan. Many, many people were without electricity and some still are. The reports on the radio are that some may not have electricy until Friday. On the up side the temperatures have gone up and are predicted to be in the 50's today. I saw on the news the other night some electrical line workers here from Indianana strapping on snow shoes to go to find downed power lines. Fortunately we didn't lose our electricity. My heart goes out to those who did lose electricity and as a fire fighters wife I know first hand of the stress this kind of thing puts on line worker spouses and families.

On the upside today is the day we have our small group sewing at our "LQS". I baked a pan of date bars to share this morning and right now I have some granola in the oven - a new recipe from my sister. I had better go and get my sewing supplies packed for a fun day of sewing. Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's A Girl

Our newphew Josh and his wife Jill are expecting their first baby next month - and it's a girl. I attended the baby shower last weekend. I made 3 receiving blankets for the baby. I made some for our girls a couple of years ago and they said they really liked the size (I used 3/4 of a yard of soft flannel). I also made some burp clothes and really wished I would have had them when my kids were babies. I made a diaper/wipes carrying case and plan to make more of them. Thanks to JoEllen for sharing the pattern with me. While shopping at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago I found this pink camo yarn and I knew it would be perfect to make an afghan for the baby. Jill said the colors were perfect as that was the colors they were using in the nursery. And I love the idea of giving the baby a book instead of spending money on a card.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quilter's Heaven

Today felt like Quilter's Heaven. I was able to spend most of my day in my sewing room sewing. Seems like most of the time there is laundry to do or other housekeepping activities that interfere with my day, but not today. Well, I did make breakfast and dinner and I took a little break to do some snow shoveling but other than that it was just me and my sewing machines. As you can see I had a beautiful view out my window, the snow is still hanging in the trees.

The UFO that I worked on was something that I had started probably a year or so ago at open sewing at Guild. The pattern was called Red Hot Stars, designed by Sharon Sebrow and was in a 2005 Quick Quilts magazine. Since I used blue fabrics I was thinking about calling the quilt Winter Blues but I don't mean it in a negative way. I started this quilt on our featherweight so I wanted to continue sewing on the featherweight. The pattern called for hand appliquing the stars onto the quilt. Although I like to do hand work I decided to machine stitch the stars down. At first I tried to do a button hole stitch on my Viking but it just wasn't working for me. So I put the walking foot on the Viking and did what I would call a top stitch applique. It was kind of fun going back and forth between machines. I plan to machine quilt this one some day, just don't know when yet. Now I am off to do some hand quilting for the evening. My husbands teases me that I have a rough life and I guess that I would have to agree with him!

March Snow Storm

This time the weather forecasters were correct. We got the major snow storm that was predicted. Yesterday just before the snow started to fall I went outside and shoveled off our back deck. I just went out and shoveled it again and measured 9 inches of snow in a 26 hour period. The snow was very wet and very heavy. A couple of times it even stuck to the shovel when I tried to throw it off the deck. All of the trees are still covered with snow and it is very pretty. We have been very fortunate and have not lost our electricity but I know that some of my family members and friends have been without electricity all day. The temperatures are starting to drop now so I hope everyone get their electricity back on soon.

With the heavy snow we had a very large branch break on one of our trees along with a few other smaller branches. I always hate to see this happen. On a good note I spent most of the day sewing and I loved it. I have a couple of pictures to post and will try to do that after dinner.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Crazy Winter Here In Northern Michgian

The weather has been very crazy here this winter. We had very little snow all winter long. On Wednesday, February 29 we were hit with a major snow storm. We didn't measure here but I heard any where from 6 - 8 inches of snow, and it was a very wet and heavy snow. And it is predicted that another storm will be coming in later this afternoon with predictions of 8 - 11 inches. I say BRING IT ON!!! Of course for the most part I don't have to go out in it.

I always have fantasies of spending the winter inside in my comfy clothes playing with my sewing machine and my fabric. I haven't been able to do as much of that this winter as I would have liked. As soon as the Christmas holiday was over the absentee ballots arrived for the February 28th primary election here in Michigan. As Township Clerk I am the election administrator for Hillman Township. I have a list of permanent absent voters and I automatically send them applications for absent voter ballots before every election. I do not work full time in my office but once the applications go out I try to go to the office every day and keep up on mailing out ballots, especially those that need to be sent out of state. And then there is all of the work of getting all of the election equipment set up, tested and ready to roll. On Tuesday I worked as a precinct inspector (I can't do that when my name is on the ballot) and it was a 16 1/2 hour day. And of course I didn't sleep well the night before. So I welcomed the Feb. 29th storm with open arms. I was able to sleep in, stay home, d0 a little sewing, a little reading and also take a nap. Yesterday I went into the office for an hour or so, enjoyed lunch with a friend and then spent time in my sewing room. I had made up 42 Honey Bee blocks and have been machine appliquing the little wings in the corners. I ran out of the black fabric just before dinner. I had hoped to go to Alpena tomorrow morning for our grandson's 8:00 a.m. basketball game, then see about getting some more black fabric but now will have to wait and see what this storm brings. I have a couple of errands to run this morning, then I think I will come home and machine quilt a little table topper I made during a Guild workshop last fall.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hot Off The Sewing Machine

I just finished these place mats. I started them in a class at Guild almost a year ago and had planned to give them as a wedding gift last June. Well, that didn't happen but they are done now. The picture doesn't do any justice for the beautiful greens, browns and reds that I used for the tops of the placemats. On the back I used the wine bottle fabric and I am thinking they could definitely be reversible. MMMM - maybe I will keep them for our table.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Great Retreat

I was very fortunate to be able to attend another Quilter's Retreat last weekend and I had a great time. I was able to spend three days with two of my sisters, 3 friends from Atlanta (neighboring town) and my sewing machine. We did lots of laughing, chatting, sewing and sharing. And all of us managed to get quite a bit of sewing done.

This was my work station and where I spent many, many hours.

I finished putting together this quilt top at the retreat. Actually this was the 3rd retreat for this quilt. It is the final project from the Prairie Women's Circle I was involved in last year. I really had fun working on it. All of the bow ties are scrappy. I love the color blue and most of my quilts have blue in them. I decided that I wanted to do a project and challenge myself to not include any blue. I am very happy with the way ot turned out.

My sisters Connie and Carol are very intent in their projects.

Sue and Sue are working on projects. I wonder where Mary is? Maybe making dinner. The retreat was held at a Quilt Shop and I know I told myself that I had to use some restraint until I could get some stuff used up here. Well ...... the Quilt Shop had a sale corner of $3 per yard fabric. Who can resist that? Not me, I bought 1 yard of fabric just because and 6 yards of fabric for a backing. I also bought a cute pattern and a cute pin cusion/thread catcher. I have one that I made many years ago but forgot to take it with me. So I guess I didn't do toooooooo bad. Before our retreat was over we talked about when we can get together to do another retreat. I have to admit that I was pooped when I got home. I think I am finally caught up on my rest.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am a very lucky quilter!

I am a very lucky quilter and also spoiled by my husband. I am on my way to another Quilter's Retreat first thing tomorrow morning. This retreat is held at a Quilt Shop about an hour from home. Guild friends who have retreated there before invited 2 of my sister and I to join them this weekend. I am really looking forward to going and I totally appreciate my husbands support. I got most of my packing done yesterday and am taking the bow tie blocks and the honey bee blocks that I started awhile ago. I took both of them to the camp last week but ran out of fabric to finish them. Hopefully I can make some progress on both of them. I also threw in a bag of squares that I have accumulated and started making 9 patch block just in case I need another project. And I think I will throw in some yarn in case I need to take a break from the sewing machine. Now comes the challenge - I will be sleeping and spending 3 days at a Quilt Shop. And remember my issues of not buying anything until I get some things finished up? What is a girl to do? I will make my confession when I get home!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Adventure

I have been a member of the Michigan Quilt Network for several years. Last year I was the secretary for our region. For several years I had a desire to get involved on the state level but it just was out of reach with working two or more jobs. Now I am working just one job and keeping busy with it but when the opportunity came last fall to run for a seat on the board I decided it was just as good a time as any. I was elected to the board last October and we had a short meeting after the retreat. This past weekend was the first quarterly meeting for 2012. We gathered at the Days Inn in Grayling on Friday afternoon. After dinner we met for a couple of hours to discuss the retreat to be held in October. I am a member of the retreat committee and am in charge of instructors. Our meeting continued on Saturday morning and ended around noon. I had no idea what all was involved in running a state wide organization. I had a real eye opener and I have to tell you that by the time we left my head was spinning. I really enjoyed meeting the other board members and I look forward to getting to know all of them and working together for the Michigan Quilt Network. This pictures shows all of the board members except one who wasn't able to attend the meeting. The quilt is the raffle quilt that will be raffled at the retreat in October for a fundraiser. I will have tickets if anyone is interested. The pattern is Dresdan Stars by Edyta Sitar.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some Random Pictures

Our desk top computer was "out of order" then in the "fix it" shop for a week. We now have it back and it seems to be working very well. I was able to use the lap top but didn't want to deal with posting pictures from the lap top. These are just some random pictures.

This is the only Arnold Line boat running between St. Ignace and Mackinac Island right now. Steve and I rode the boat over to the Island on December 14 to attend Allie's first school Christmas program. Her pre-school class sang "Hark the Herald" and they did a great job. All of the school kids on the Island participated in the program and we really enjoyed it. We were able to make a second trip over a couple of weekends ago. The boat is still running as of today but as the temperatures stay cold and the ice forms the boat will be shut down before too long.

Allie, our 4 year old grand daughter loves to put on plays and dances. She is quite a performer and as you can see she is also quite a "ham".

The kids bought me a docking station for my I-Pod. I won this I-Pod at a conference along with an I-Tunes gift card in June of 2010. In December Rachel came over and showed me how to down load songs. She helped me download 5 songs and I have worked with it and now have 13 songs down loaded. The docking station changes colors and works perfect in my sewing room.

When we celebrated Christmas at my parents house (41 of the 43 family members were in attendance) a sister and my brother hired a friend to bring out his team of horses and wagon. Quite a few of us went for a wagon ride. It was very cold that day, alth0ugh there wasn't any snow to speak of. We had lots of blankets and did some snuggling.

Both Steve and I love Christmas and we love to decorate. This year we did a little bit different with our decorating as we have four 1 year old grandsons right now. The nativity set was set up high and the Christmas village stayed in the boxes this year. We always keep our tree up as long as possible and we just took it down last Sunday. We would have left it up longer but it was that day or some time in February.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just a little update

Still using the lap top so I don't have any pictures to share yet. I finished machine quilting the first UFO last week and even have the binding finished. I found out that it was a Guild project from 2010 so I will get a label made for it. I have been machine quilting a second UFO and have that about 3/4's done. Last night I started hand quilting on a Raggedy Annie hand embroidered BOM from last year. Yesterday several of us met at the LQS for a day of sewing. I am working on some scrappy blocks with my featherweight and got a couple more done. It is a slow project as I am using it as a travel project. Darned work is getting in the way today. I have to take a break from sewing and go to the office. I need to get all of the W-2's and 1099's printed up and mailed up. And I received notification that the absent voter ballots for the Presidential Primary are supposed to be here this week so that will keep me busy too. And I have a meeting tonight but I am hoping for an hour or so at my machine sometime today. Oh wait, I have some home work to get done for a class I am teaching at Guild next week.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Still Alive and Doing Some Quilting

Well, we survived the beautiful Christmas holiday season and a nasty bug that seemed to go through most of our family. Some how even our desk top computer was affected. We have been using our lap top for a couple of weeks now and I sure miss the desk top. Our computer repair guy has been very busy becoming a daddy for the first time, congratulations Brian! I have managed to get some sewing done and will share pictures once we get our computer back. I managed to get myself caught up on the Wildflower Rhapsody Block of the Month. Yesterday while at the Quilt Shop I picked up the December and January blocks and was happy to learn that I just have one more month to go. This BOM has been a bit different than any I have ever done. Not only do you get the blocks each month but you also get additional components of the quilt. It is a very beautiful quilt and thanks to Sandy D's Quilt Shop all of the block pieces are pre-cut. During the New Years weekend Idid some major cleaning and organizing in my sewing room, moving some storage shelving and throwing out some stuff that I haver no intenton of using. I am also going through a huge pile of magazines and sharing the ones that I will never use. One thing that I learned in the process is that I do not need to purchase any fabric, patterns, magazines, books, gidgets, gadgets or kits for at least ten years. And I definitely do not need to start any new projects for a very long time. Ya right, I went to my LQS yesterday and started a new BOM quilt with some family members and friends. But I am serious, I need to finish up some projects before starting anything new. I found a really cute panel that was sandwiched and waiting to be hand quilted. I finished quilting it this week (it is small) and am anxious to get the binding on it. I can't remember that last time I did any hand quilting. And I have a UFO on my sewing machine that I started quilting yesterday. Once that one is done I have another one ready to go. I love this time of year when there isn't much to do outside and I can do lots of sewing. How about you?