Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Gift

Terri had my name for Christmas this year and today my gift arrived in the mail. What a wonderful surprise! I have great admiration for anyone who can come up with an original design for a quilt and it comes naturally to Terri.

She tells me she picked out the fabrics in November, so she actually was able to put this together pretty quickly. She must have had the math all figured out ahead of time.

I'm guessing my tall, skinny house was her inspiration.

I'm loving it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sometimes I Knit

I had Brian's name in the gift exchange this year and decided to knit him an afghan. Fortunately I didn't wait until Thanksgiving to make the decision -- this one took much longer than I expected. I don't do a lot of knitting so I really didn't know what I was getting into.

By the time I got to the last few skeins of yarn, I had enough of unraveling rows when I made a mistake, so there are a few left in there. I think it'll still be just as cozy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

"Christmas Christmas now is here,
Festival most glorious;
Bringing joy beyond compare;
Blessed mirth and gladness."

Lots of wishes for a joyful Christmas to all from this very happy Grandma!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

UFO Challenge

Judy over at Patchwork Times is organizing a UFO Challenge for 2011. You can click on the icon on the right and check out her rules, but she does allow bending the rules to fit your hopes and expectations. I've chosen 6 UFO's to work on in 2011 -- here they are:
1. Kaffe Fassett Ice Cream Quilt -- complete assembly of quilt top. 2. Pink/Green Baby Quilt -- baste, quilt and bind.

3. Red/White/Blue Coin Quilt -- baste and quilt.
4. Homespun quilt -- baste and quilt.

5. 30's baby quilt -- assemble blocks and complete quilt top.

6. String quilt -- finish making blocks and assemble top.

Judy will be drawing numbers each month to determine which project we will work on. Since I have chosen only 6 projects, on the months that she draws numbers 7 through 12, my plan is to work on her monochromatic challenge of the month.
I was looking over my 2010 quilt photos and found that I had completed 8 quilts. Four of them were UFO's that I completed, four of them were quilts that I started and finished during the year. So my quilting goals for this year may be more than I can deliver, or hopefully Judy's challenges just may just be the motivation I need.
Stay tuned ;)
After completing my January UFO on time, I decided to forego the monochromatic challenge and instead added six more quilts to my UFO Challenge -- see post on January 30 for details.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Therapy for a Quilter

Lately my sewing room is such a mess that I have to close my eyes when I walk through it. So, instead of cutting more fabric into little pieces and stitching them back together to make something that pleases my eye, I head to the kitchen and find satisfaction chopping up veggies into tiny little pieces

and throwing them all together in a pot to make something to please my appetite.

Maybe Monday I'll dig in and organize my sewing room. Again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wedding Weekend

It was certainly the best weekend I've had for a long long time. For the most part I left my camera behind and just soaked up the joy. I'm fortunate to have a sister, a daughter, and a daughter-in-law that are much better with the camera than I am and were quite willing to capture some special moments. Their links are to the right.

On Friday morning we went to the church to see what needed to be done to get ready for Saturday. It was awesome to see so many ladies taking time away from their Black Friday shopping to help out with preparations.

And just look at how much they were enjoying doing it!

Jodi Helminen made the cute love birds for the bridal table.

It was great that my mom was able to make it to the wedding. She was disappointed when she had to miss the last trip when I travelled downstate for Shannon's shower, but this more than made up for it.
I was thankful to have Bill as a driver for our travels so I didn't have to worry about wintertime driving. We lucked out and had bare roads for the whole trip.
Now I can spend my quiet time wallowing in the good memories made. I feel very blessed to have another awesome daughter-in-law!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Robert's Quilt

Would you like to see another one? I've been doing some cleaning/organizing and finally came across these pictures. This one is the quilt I made for Terri's oldest son, Robert. His birthday was in July, and our Traverse retreats were always in September, so I'm thinking he must have been a few months old before he got it.

I can't quite see what Barb is diligently working on here, but it's hard to not notice that our attire for these retreats is pretty casual.

Robert looks like he was pretty happy to finally get his quilt. I'm not sure, but I think this picture may have been taken at a Christmas get-together at Dennis and Julie's. Is that the last time we were all together in the same place?

Robert turned 8 this year and was pretty happy to have his younger brother start kindergarten and ride the school bus with him.

He looks so grown up since the last time I saw him. I'm really looking forward to seeing Terri and her boys next weekend when we'll all be downstate for Kevin's wedding.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Terri's Quilt

My daughter Terri assembled this quilt top when she was still living at home -- more than 15 years ago, closer to 20 I'd guess. She left it behind when she moved out and I promised to quilt it for her. So. . . . . for close to 20 years, I slowly worked on it. Some years it never came out of the closet. Other years I'd pull it out determined to finish it and plan how many hours I'd have to work on it each week to finish it in that year. I finally shipped it off to her last year.

I certainly hope my current project doesn't take that long.

I got lazy when I reached the borders and resorted to machine quilting.

It ended up being a very cozy quilt. It sure kept me warm for many winter months while I stitched on it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quilting Therapy

Most of my recent quilt finishes have been by machine, and I've been itching to get back to some hand quilting. I also wanted to try some hand quilting with a wool batt because I've heard so much about how much more smoothly the process goes. Everything I heard is true -- hand quilting with a wool batt is dreamy. This is just what I need to relax me through the winter months while I fantasize about next winter when I will no longer have to get up four mornings a week and head to work.

The quilt is quite large -- 80 x 80. It was made from fabric purchased at a quilt retreat a few years back. The challenge was to make something using a Jacob's Ladder pattern with fabric purchased at the retreat. I wanted something large, but didn't have the patience to make too many Jacob's Ladder blocks. Although you can't see any in this photo, there is one in each row.
When it's all quilted I'll share a better picture.

I didn't have floor space large enough to lay this out for basting, so I cheated and sent it to a local long arm quilter (Ann Made Quilts) and let her baste it for me.

Here's the start of my quilting. I look forward to finding out how long it takes to quilt the whole thing, so this blog entry was needed to record the starting point. I picked my favorite quilting pattern -- the Baptist Fan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My sister came back from 10 days of vacation grumbling because I haven't blogged for awhile. I've been busy with more of the same, which didn't seem too interesting to blog about.

I did find some copper metallic thread and continued with my Christmas decoration project. I'm beginning to understand why some stitchers have more than one sewing machine. I'm itching to get back to some quilting projects and wishing I had another machine so that I could do both at the same time.

My brother Jim celebrated another birthday a few days ago and I completely forgot to wish him a happy birthday. He's the one on the right -- in his younger days. Belated Wishes Jim!

And the one on the left in the photo below is getting married later this month. Gets me all choked up thinking about it. The one on the right will be standing in the wedding -- it'll be fun to see him and his family, which is larger than it was the last time I saw them.

Just to add a little quiltiness -- I think this may be the third quilt I made. I have lots of good memories of working on this quilt. Anyone recognize the baby?
No -- you won't win a quilt if you guess correctly.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Let it Snow!

We've been decorating an office Christmas tree that will soon be sent to Aspirus Wausau Hospital where it will be raffled off to benefit their hospice program. The theme of the tree is "Copper Country", so today I made these "copper" snowflakes to add to the tree.

These were made with my embroidery machine. Each snowflake takes about one hour to stitch out. Metallic thread isn't the easiest to work with and the last snowflake was the only one that completely stitched out without any thread breaks. It was a nice way to end the day!

Unfortunately, I didn't have any metallic copper thread so I used bronze. Hopefully there'll be someone in Wausau who doesn't know the difference.

I had a cute little guest at my house today. This one wanted to spend some time with "Auntie Carol"! How could I resist -- all my grandkids are so far away, I'm glad my sister is willing to share hers now and then.

She was a pleasure to have -- she quietly played with the dollies and puzzles, humming and singing all the while.

She and her sister and brother, along with their mom, joined Gram, Barb and me for our Friday night dinner. This one was thirsty!! Probably from all the pickles she ate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This house sits directly across from the old Calumet church. I need to find an alternate route when I go out after dark.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm a Winner!

I spend a lot of time on the internet finding inspiration from many sewing and quilting blogs. I don't often get too interested in the giveaways, but this one from Made by Rae caught my eye last week. I was surprised and delighted to be the winner and find this cute bag in my mailbox on Saturday. It's made from the prettiest soft pink corduroy -- I absolutely love it! Thank you Rae!

And on a quilty note - I found this quilt top in my closet on Saturday. I had put it together from my stash on our 2009 quilt retreat in Traverse. I pulled it out now, thinking I would get it sandwiched and ready to quilt. When I laid it out on my bed, I decided it would serve me better if it was a bit larger, so I've been digging a little deeper into my stash (and doing a little shopping) so that I can add a few more rows.

While I was in the closet, I noticed there were 5 other quilt tops waiting to be quilted. I guess I don't need to start any new ones for awhile. I haven't dared to count the projects that are started but not quite far enough along to call them quilt tops.

Did I really say I was a winner?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Philip's Quilt

I let Terri pick out the fabrics for this quilt when she was pregnant for Philip. It was a challenge to come up with a pattern that would work with the pieces she sent. I remember coming close to running out of one fabric -- I think I had to do some creative piecing. The pattern I chose was called "Aunt Vina's Favorite".

My mom and I were able to make a trip to North Carolina shortly after Philip was born and I ended up finishing the quilt while I was there.

That was five years ago -- this year Philip started kindergarten.

I haven't seen him in way too long -- looking forward to a visit Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hugs and Kisses

This year I've been trying to finish up some old quilt tops that have been hanging in my closet.
This quilt, a pattern by Patrick Lose, has been waiting to be quilted for several years. When I first completed the top I had some idea that I would embroider the grandkids names on it with their birthdays. I finally decided last week that it would never happen and I needed to just get it quilted so it could be used.

#8 - Hugs & Kisses

I machine quilted most of it with straight line quilting. I then added some hand quilting with pearl cotton around the appliques.

#8 Detail

I found a soft yellow polka dot for the back. It's finally ready to snuggle any little ones that come to visit.

#8 quilt back

I just have to add another picture, totally unrelated to this post. Yesterday Barb and I took ma for a ride to enjoy the fall colors. We stopped to get a view from the lookout on Quincy Hill. I love the picture I captured of ma -- I hope I have such a mischievous glint in my eyes when I'm 90 years old!

Ma on Quincy Hill

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flashback Friday

I started quilting about 30 years ago, but by then I had already been sewing for quite a few years. This was my first sewing machine, a high school graduation gift I received in 1963.

My nephew has been putting some old slides onto a CD for me and he sent me this sneak peek of what he's found on those slides. I don't remember seeing this picture before, but it sure brings back many good memories from that little corner of my childhood bedroom.