Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great Idea for Mom

Mother's Day is coming soon! Here's a great idea to honor your mom. You need to hurry and order in the next couple of days!


(Remember to comment on my April 19 blog entry to join the contest for a free book - drawing is on May 1st!)

Here's a re-run of a photo of my mom, taken a couple months ago, and below her, a photo of my grandma taken in the early 60's.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sew Happy

Wow, I sure was successful at ignoring housework this weekend! (Please don't pay me a surprise visit. Yikes!) And I got a lot of sewing done. That felt great! It was cold and even a little snowy (though our snow has melted by now), so it was a great weekend to stay inside and work on quilts. I did have a good visit with some old friends at a Saturday evening dinner/planning meeting. Otherwise I pretty much stayed home. Here are pictures of my progress:

I made a block for the Lotto I participate in. This one is for April. I only managed to make one, because previously I made one and then accidentally sewed it to the bottom of another project! Dumbo! I didn't have any interest in making more than one. It was just a miracle to get this one finished.

Since it is so close to May, I went ahead and made two lotto blocks for May. These were kinda fun. I wouldn't mind winning these!

This is a Home of the Brave quilt that I volunteered to assemble. My guild makes a lot of these, along with Quilts of Valor.

While I was in the mode, I made these blocks for another Home of the Brave quilt.

And I made two blocks for Quilts of Valor

I tried to get caught up on my quilt journaling, but realized I didn't have all the pictures I needed. Since I started quilting in 1999 I have kept a record of the quilts I make for friends, family, and for me. I'm already into Book 3! I don't even record all the charity quilts I make, except for a rare one that may be for a family member or unique cause. It's really fun to look back and see how far I have come. I'm still loving quilting, and I keep learning more and more about it. I am still amazed that I know how to do this wonderfully fun art/craft!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Off to a Good Start

My weekend has started off in a very nice, quilty way. I took Friday off and just stayed home and sewed. It was drizzly and cold here (40's F), so a great day to stay inside. And I'm very happy that my daughter gave me her "reject" digital camera, so I now have a working one again. Life is good.

I got borders put on my Tonya Summer 08 quilt. I had intended to use a bright pink instead of that purple. I think the purple is too dark. Or it should trade places with the blue. Right now I don't want to think about it, so it'll sit and marinate for a while.

I put together this crumb-blocks top. Each row (except one, I think) has at least one block with a fingerspelled letter in it. I like how this turned out (I especially like the plain blocks that are from world map fabric) and like that it's a little larger than average (50" x 68"), so I'm contemplating where to donate this one. I think it'll stay in North America because that's where American Sign Language is used. Someone who gets this quilt might even be a sign user. I'm trying to decide if I want to go to the effort to make sure that happens, or if I should just take my chances.

I made these two star blocks for Leslie at the Sunshine group.

And now I'm working on a quilt for Home of the Brave. I agreed to assemble the quilt top for the coordinator who is a member of my guild.

It is sort of my "obligation" sewing weekend.. trying to finish blocks and other projects that I need to donate here and there or give as gifts. Tomorrow I'll have to face reality and do some housework, but for now I'm loving the sewing time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Church Ladies

[I'm sneaking this little edit into this post. Pay no attention.]

I went out for dinner with a bunch of church ladies. It was fun! Our ages ranged from almost 40 to 95. I took a couple of pictures, but my camera refuses to cooperate. Everyone turned out a weird shade of Pepto Bismol pink.

When I came home this insane woman had taken over my house. She grabbed my camera and made these "beautiful" self portraits. She insisted that I post these photos. The color is still weird, but not quite as pink. Does anyone have an extra straight jacket? I think this crazy lady might need one before the night is over.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quiet Week

I'm posting a random picture of me.. it was early this month when I went to California (obviously). I can't share current pictures for a while, because my camera died. Boo hoo! Sob! Do I really have to go back to using film and a scanner? Doesn't that seem so cumbersome and old fashioned?! Dang. I want to shop carefully for my next camera, so I refuse to rush out and just buy any old thing (although it's tempting, just to be sure I have one - my camera is like my right arm!)

This week I have been taking it easy. I've had a couple of optional things to do in the evenings, all low stress. Tomorrow I'll go out for dinner with a group of women. That's about as much fun as a person can have! Friday I am taking a day off, just for rejuvenating myself, and I am really looking forward to having a long weekend!

Check out my April 19 post and join my contest to win a free book! Author Ann Zemke sent me a free copy, and it arrived today, with a nice signature from her inside the book. I can't wait to see who will win it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Birds and Quilts

Before I talk about Birds and Quilts, I want to remind people to read my post from yesterday, April 19, to see how you can win a free book. Ann Zemke is donating a copy for this drawing!! How super is that?! I hope lots of you enter my little contest. Winner will be announced on May 1st.

Now on to my day's report. This morning I walked to church. It's just over a mile, like 1.2 miles. I didn't leave as early as I had planned, and I should have. I got to church all red in the face and out of breath, and I was surprised at how long it took me to recover. Mostly the red face -- I always get beet red when I exercise. (One guy thought I was sun burned.) But I was also hot for a very long time. Harumpf.

Anyway, the walk was very nice, and a little robin hopped along with me for a while. I managed to get a picture. I also walked home from church, and for some reason it seemed like a shorter walk. Must have been Divine inspiration after getting my church "fix." ha! I also didn't get so tired and so hot on the way home. I was pleased to get over 5,000 steps on my pedometer right away this morning! (Yes, I'm back doing the 10,000 Steps program through Health Partners - my third time. Maybe one of these years regular walking will turn into a habit with me. Keep your fingers crossed.)

Then I spent most of the afternoon finishing two quilts. One is for Wrap a Smile and one is for Rosebud. I'm taking some quilts along when I go to Rosebud in late summer.

This one is for Rosebud. I used charms I bought from BrendaLou in California when I went on her retreat in early April. I bought the green yardage there, too. The green is a Maywood fabric that is sooooo soft! (Maywood is always so nice and soft. I love it.) I started this with almost no plan in mind, but I like how the simple idea turned out so nice. The backing fabric is super soft, too, so this is just a cuddly and soooofffft quilt. I'm picturing it on some elder's lap while she/he rocks in a chair telling stories to the children -- but who knows where it will end up.

The next one, for Wrap a Smile, also couldn't have happened without BrendaLou. It's just a bunch of orphan pieces and blocks. The borders, however, are from BL. The blue one she donated free, and the red one I bought at her moonlight madness sale at the retreat. Then... the binding fabrics I also got free at her retreat. They are Blank fabrics. This is the first time I have pieced bindings to change color exactly at the corners. I wasn't sure how to get it perfect, but I guessed, and it turned out OK!

While I was working on this second quilt, I looked out our dining room window and there waddling by was a huge wild turkey! I couldn't grab my camera in time to catch a photo. He was big! And quite a pretty bird, though very funny looking while walking. So I had a bird-viewing day as well as a fun quilty day.

It's a gorgeous afternoon, so I think I'll go out and catch a few more rays before the sun sets. It's finally warm and springy here! Yippeeeeee!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Win Ann Zemke's Book!

[photo by Kim]

Thanks to Finn at Riding the Orphan Train blog, lots of people are learning about the orphan trains and especially about one particular woman, Marjorie. Her granddaughter, Ann Zemke, wrote a book about her grandmother based on diaries she found after her grandmother's death, They Named Me Marjorie.

So many people would love to read this book that I am encouraging you to buy a copy. If this one (my copy) travels the world, as it appears the world wants it to, it'll be in shreds by the end of its travels. For all the money we are spending on postage, we could buy a few copies of the book. In fact, I have decided just this minute to hold a contest. Reply to this blog post, and I will put your name in a drawing and will buy a copy of They Named Me Marjorie to GIVE to the name I draw. I'm willing to send internationally as well.

I believe in supporting the efforts of authors and artists. Sharing is nice, but buying from the author is nice, too. I'll collect names that reply to this post and will post the name of the winner on Thursday, May 1st - May Day! Good luck, everyone!

Before you comment, I would like you to read what Ann Zemke had to say at Kim's blog:

>>Thank you to everyone who has read my book "They Named Me Marjorie." Grandma would be delighted to know that so many people are interested in reading her story, too.
A very kind reader with good intentions put a review of my book on amazon.com. Because I don't sell my book through amazon, it appears that my book is "unavailable" which isn't true. My book is available through my website at www.crocuslanequilts.com.
After reading my book, one reader commented that my grandma had a choice - - she could have been a bitter person or a better person. She chose to be better and the world is better because of her. It's the essence of her story. Although difficult at times, I try to live in her image. She is a terrific role model for us all.
Best wishes to you all as you continue on the orphan train quilt journey. You are sharing an important part of American history through this project. I'm delighted and proud of you all.
Kind regards, Ann Zemke<<

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Joke? You Decide

Q: How do you know that this man is gay?

A: He is coming out of the closet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good News/Bad News

The good news is I finished these little quilt tiles for Caron at And Still Counting. Her project is worth reading about. Check it out at her blog. With these tiles I honor and remember ALL those who are dying in Iraq: USA Americans, insurgents, Iraqis who are trying to maintain/protect/recover their own country, and far too many innocent civilians. The bad news is all the terrible things we humans do to each other.

On another front, the good news is that my upcoming weekend was booked solid, and now it has freed up. I was going to attend an all-weekend workshop at church. I'm willing to do it, and it will be interesting, when it gets re-scheduled. But I was sad about giving up my whole weekend (which is supposed to be sunny and beautiful). Lucky for me, the workshop was cancelled, so I can now reclaim my weekend time. However, it came at a price (the bad news part) -- our pastor was going to lead the workshop but can't because she has been ill following surgery. The doctors just put her on two-week bed rest. I'm sad that she is having such a rough recovery and sad that her bad news has become my good news. I'll pray for Penny and a quick recovery to strength and health. Any readers who are inclined to pray may join me in praying for Penny, if you wish.

Meanwhile I intend to enjoy a beautiful weekend coming up and will be able to fit in some sewing time which makes me happy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Oz Country Quilting Mum (Tracey) sent me these great cards, pictures, and little gift cards. Aren't they great? My favorite is the quilts hanging behind the little chooks (top left). Such a cool photo, but they all have great character. I shall use them carefully and for just the right occasion.

Last night we took a birthday cake to our son's house. It's his GF's birthday tomorrow. We had a nice chat and enjoyed a yummy cake. She is wonderful, and they are very fond of each other. It warms a mommy's heart.

It was a beautiful spring day today, finally! It got up to about 65 F. Wheee! This is late for us to not have reached 70 yet. It'll come soon, and then I'll start feeling too hot. Meanwhile I'm loving these mild temps; 65 to 70 is just perfect in my book.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

She's Got the Blues

I finished some blue quilt tops. Funny, I didn't even realize that I was working with so many blues until I saw them piled up together. This was the first real sewing I've done all week. I was so tired after the retreat and a busy week of meetings. Last night I was just thrilled that it was Friday, and that was enough to give me energy for sewing. So I finished up some UFO tops.

Actually the only thing I did to this one was take the picture. These are lotto blocks I won several years ago. I don't know why it took me so long to put them together! This will go to Wrap Them in Love.

This is lotto blocks that B.L. gave me at the retreat. She'd had them sitting around for quite some time, too, apparently. I got right to it and made this top. This is headed to Wrap a Smile.

And another for Wrap a Smile! All I did to this one was put on the border. Why do I have this disease: finish a top except for the border, and let it sit for months? It's because I don't like doing borders. They're my least favorite part of making a quilt.

Janet is so nice that she agreed to quilt these for me, plus a few other tops. Yippee! When I have a small pile of tops to be quilted, I begin to feel overwhelmed. I sure appreciate others who help finish them off for me.

This week I donated lots of stuff to our church rummage sale, and today hubby is taking computer carcasses and old, dead TVs to a free recycle drop-off. Oh, it feels so great to get all that junk out of our house!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Here are more pictures from the retreat I attended in California. Isn't it fun to see more beautiful quilts?? This is Ann's quilt that she made for her husband.

Bev made this mystery quilt which was called Periwinkle Blue.

Suzanne made this mystery quilt at the same retreat last fall. The red and white one behind her is the mystery we made this time. Mine isn't done yet, but it shouldn't take too long to get it all put together, if I can only find the time.

Sally and I were very surprised to discover that we had been named Honored Guests of the Day at our hotel. How did they know that we were the queens and should be so honored?? Amazing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Retreat to California

I just came back from a quilting retreat in Eureka, California! I had a great time! Nine people from Sunshine Quilt Guild attended (we are an on-line Yahoo group). It was fun to meet them all. Plus there were several attendees from the local and nearby areas. We worked on a mystery quilt, ate lots of good food, enjoyed laughs and gorgeous scenery. Three of us even got to enjoy a wonderful lunch at my cousin's house. Later she came to the retreat and sold some of her hand-made beaded jewelry.

Northern California beaches are beautiful.

And then there is the gorgeous redwood forest.

My cousin lives among the redwoods. Wow!

It was fun meeting other Sunnies. This is Bev H et moi.

This is my first step in the mystery quilt.

I'm still catching up from lack of sleep and jet lag, so I can't take time to write more tonight. This is just a few pictures; I will add more in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Unbelievable Coincidences

Back in February I posted pictures of two quilts I was handing off for personal delivery in Panama. I was born in Panama and thought it would be great to give quilts to some current Panama babies. When my sister and mom planned a trip there recently, I had the golden opportunity to send along quilts. My sister added one to the pile; they had three quilts and had the mission of finding a good place to donate them somewhere in Panama.

As part of the trip, they spent time looking for the houses we had lived in. Some no longer exist, but they did find this one. It was the last house we lived in there; we moved away in 1955!

Now here is one of the coinkydinks: after the Panama Canal Zone was given back to Panama, much of the former Canal Zone housing has been abandoned. (There are several reasons for that which I don't have time to explain.) In fact, the block we lived on appears to be nearly completely abandoned, except for our house! Currently a doctor lives there, and he has done a lot of remodeling and very nice upkeep. The house looks great! How easily it could have been that our house was abandoned and crumbling! But no, it's the one house that has been preserved. Here are three abandoned buildings right next to the house that was ours.

Anyway, the doctor who now owns our former house noticed my family members taking photographs, and invited them in for a tour! Can you imagine the fun my mom had, seeing her house 53 years later?? At the end of their visit, Mom asked him for a business card. Lo and behold, (another fun coinkydink coming) she discovered that he is an obstetrician! Voila! A perfect person to take charge of our three quilts.

He was delighted to take them and promised to deliver them to families who really have a need. There will be no shortage of appropriate recipients, I'm sure. I wasn't lucky enough to see exactly where and to whom my quilts were delivered, but getting these pictures of the "delivery man" was almost as good. Doesn't he seem pleased at the prospect of delivering these? In a couple of these photos he is reading the labels on the quilt backs and is looking at the Minnesota-themed fabric I used on the back of one of them.

All the planets were aligned, (or something!) to have all these happy events come together in one day! It surely gives me something to smile about!