Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Friday and I'm Sewing

Getting a few doo-dads done..

Daughter asked for a pillowcase for this mini pillow. This is my first experiment. I'll make another one soon, so she'll have options. Here are the two sides:

Ann from Sunshine and Quilts Beyond Borders asked me to test her pattern to see if I think it's easy for a beginner. YES! And it was fun to make something from a kit where all the pieces were already cut. That sure makes the sewing go faster!

At Sunshine we started a new idea of making "stringy thingys" for members or family members who are struggling and need a cheerful little get-well flag. I collect the pieces, and I have made three so far. (I learn something new each time I make one.) One person was in a bad car accident, one is a newborn baby with some life and death struggles, and one person has cancer. I hope these help cheer them in a small way.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Merry Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with husband's family a couple weeks after Christmas. We ate food, had White Elephant gift exchange (lots of laughs), and I had my first meeting with our newest great-nephew. All in all, a fun day.

I gave little guy the quilt I made... with owls on it for his owl bedroom, and he got a toy owl from me as well... and he also got a toy penguin. Such cute, soft toys!

After our late Christmas, I received this Ugly Fat Quarter as a challenge.. make it into something pretty. So I made the quilt top you see here. Do you think I succeeded? I'm OK with it.. it's better than it was as an ugly FQ!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Friday Books: We're In America Now

We're In America Now: A Survivor's Story by Fred Amram is my first 2017 finish. Amram was born in Germany in the early 1930s. His family is Jewish, and they quickly realized that things were going from bad to horrible, so they made their departure and came to America. At the time, Amram was 6 years old. He remembers life under the Nazi regime, the terror he felt, and Kristallnacht. His parents were wise to get out as soon as they could. Many of his family members died in the Holocaust, but he and his parents and a couple of uncles made it out in time.

Amram eventually came to Minnesota and became a University of Minnesota professor, but this book is about his years from birth to college age, living in New York. He starts with life under Hitler, and then his memories of coming to America, learning English, being picked on for being different and called a "dirty Jew." He weathered all the difficulties and thrived. The story is told simply and lovingly. I was so impressed with the optimism of his father. His father made it possible and was a cheerful, hard-working man. America and Minnesota were the lucky beneficiaries of this family's wisdom.

It's time to stamp out Hate!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Finished One Year, Started Another

I have been absent from my blog for a long time! Wow.. Christmas and New Years have come and gone. Did you miss me?? We had a quiet, fun Christmas with our adult kids here on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day hubby and I took a little trip to northern Minnesota for 4 days. We visited a couple of state parks. We had never seen these parks in the winter season. They were beautiful!!! And waves on Lake Superior were huge. We also toured the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, MN. Very nice. I'd like to see it again in the summer time.

New Years was also quiet. We stayed home and played Monopoly the card game. I like it better than the board game.

Then I have been sewing whenever possible. This is a gift I made for a coworker. It's a secret-santa type of thing. I hope she liked it. She doesn't know who gave it to her, so I will never know what she thought! (She got a little Christmas candy with it.)

This is the back and next photo is the front.

I finished a quilt for our new great-nephew. We will have a family gathering soon when I will give it to him. The owl is for him, too. He has a bedroom decorated with owls, apparently.

I made a quilt top on New Year's Day, using some jelly-roll-wannabe fabric that I had to trim (still had the selvage on it). I wasn't thrilled with the fabric, so I just made a quick one to get it over with. That's the purple one below. Then I put bindings on the blue and the green ones. I'm calling them 2016 finishes, because it wasn't their fault that I dawdled so long on the bindings. The purple one is my first technical quilt top of 2017.

Since I wrote last, my mother-in-law had a stroke. She was very ill, and I thought she was going to die. I was still in raw recovery stage from my own mother's death and didn't know if I could take another death in the family. Luckily she has bounced back once again. She's very tough! She's not home yet, but she is doing really well. Her 87th birthday was on Monday. And.. I'm not feeling quite as raw any more in my recovery from the loss of my mom (sad, but not as raw). Here are my parents-in-law. FIL will be 97 next month!

I am going to update my tab of Quilts Made in 2016 and hopefully have that done in the next few minutes. I don't feel like I was as prolific this year as other years. Maybe 2017 will be a productive year.

I'm thinking of going to the Women's March on Jan. 21, but locally, not in DC. Anyone else going?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Friday Books: The Lost City of Z

I finished a book! Finally! I read The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. Despite the fact that it took me forever to read this one, I liked it and thought it was quite good.

It's the true story of Percy Fawcett who was an explorer in the Amazon jungle in the early to mid 1900s. He was quite successful and famous in his time. He insisted that he would find a "lost city" in the Amazon. He called the city Z. He went on several expeditions into the Amazon. I found that part hard to read, because there were so many deadly snakes, bugs, diseases, dangers, and illnesses that they suffered. Fawcett, however, seemed to have a magic power to survive what others found intolerable.

Many other explorers were fascinated by the idea of a Lost City and also went on fruitless searches, often giving up, going mad, or dying before realizing their dream.

Flash to the present day, and the author, a reporter, has caught the bug to follow Fawcett's trail. The book then jumps between the two stories: Fawcett in the 1920s and the author in the 2000s. He, too, is attempting to find the City of Z, as well as collecting information about Fawcett and his story.

The entire book is about an obsession that would never take hold of me, and adventures that I would never undertake. Reading about them, however, was quite interesting and even spell-binding at times. I am now headed over to Google Earth to take a look, from above, at the area they explored.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Wouldn't this world be a sad place without babies?? I just love them! Today I got to visit with my Little Guy who lived at my house for a brief time. I still get to see him and even babysit him sometimes, which I love. He is almost ten months old, and doing very well. He is still a little behind, due to being a preemie, but I don't think it's a worry. I'm not worried, anyway. He can sit up now, and gets up on all fours and rocks. He'll be crawling soon. He loves to stand up when holding onto hands.

I wobbled, and the picture is a little dark, but you can see he is happy to be standing up.

It has been a good year for babies. Yesterday I posted a picture of our newest great-nephew. Here is a recent one of our great-niece. Like I said, aren't babies great??

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I'm Still Here

Hello, world. I am still here! I have been feeling a bit depressed, so it's hard to motivate myself to write anything. Depression is just something that I deal with; it comes and goes. This fall/early winter it has been worse than usual due to Mom's death, Mother-in-Law not doing so well after a stroke, and other stuff (OK, the election and Drumpf acting like an idiot), but I know I'll get better and will be fine.

I do have some completed quilts to show you:

Most of these blocks are Lotto blocks that I won at Sunshine. The cat in the middle I made from looking at a paper-pieced pattern that a friend sent. I didn't want to paper-piece, so I free-pieced it and was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Soon I'll have to settle on destinations for all these quilts. I love when I have a pile so I have some options.

Here's a quilt I made and donated to the church; it was given away to this baby who was baptized today. It is fun for me to see that happen.

Here is a picture of the whole quilt:

And here is something way cuter than any quilt. Our nephew and his wife had a baby boy on November 30. Our nephew is a doctor, so I imagine he'll be using that stethoscope every once in a while, just to check. Sweet.
Look at that cute little dimple. I have not met this little sweetheart in person yet. I hope to soon.