Friday, October 31, 2008

Floor Scraps

First I want to thank Leslie for her quilty suggestions. It turns out I was probably doing all the things Leslie suggested -- or was too tired to know what I was doing. After a good night's sleep the quilting went swimmingly. I finished the quilt today. Here it is! (And by the way, the stick really hangs straight and so does the quilt - miraculously - but it looks wonky in the photo. Just thought I'd mention that.) Floor Scraps #1 --

My friend KR asked "what are floor scraps?" I got this idea from Comic Book Lady at Quilt as Desired. C.B.L. attended a retreat put on by the famous "mother of liberated quilting," Gwen Marston. Lucky her!! This is what C.B.L. said on her blog:

She [Gwen] then told us about floor scrap quilts. "Don't worry about cleaning up your scraps", she said, because after each week of retreats she collects the floor scraps and makes quilts out of them. She encouraged us to do the same. It was funny, as many of us were searching the aisles for floor scraps.

Here is a floor scraps quilt made by Gwen (again, borrowed from Quilt as Desired - thank you).

When I read about floor scraps I had been doing a variety of sewing projects and had a hodge-podge of scraps all over my sewing area, table top, and floor. So I gathered them up (even retrieved some from the trash can) and made this FS quilt. The beads are from a local store that is going out of business. Boo hoo! I had been wondering where to find beads on a ribbon, and only now found them when the store is closing. Rotten luck!

I plan to make more Floor Scrap quilts.. try to hone my skills in this area and pretend I'm an artist like Gwen. haha! Fat chance, but I like the idea of Floor Scrap quilts, so I'll go with it.

I've had a bad cold for a few days and left work early today to go home and take a nap. I took the beautiful route home and got these pictures. (Couldn't resist!) We're past the fall-colors peak, but there are still beauties hanging on, and it is a different kind of beautiful. These pictures are along a high bluff over the Mississippi River. This ravine was "on fire gorgeous" a couple weeks ago, but I didn't manage to get there when I had my camera. Because it's a highway, I just pulled over in my car - there's not a good place to stand - and took this picture out my car window, so it includes the bridge rails. It's pretty in its own way but was spectacular a while back.

Same with these others... random pictures of trees along the Mississippi, most leaves are gone, but there's still some beauty left. It's fun to have the color lingering so long into the post-fall season!

Here's my co-worker all dressed up. The patch is real because of eye surgery, so she turned it into a total look...

...and here's a little flag I made at the very last minute before the kids came trick-or-treating... BOO!

This my Accidental Movie. I didn't even realize my camera was set in the movie mode and that I was shooting a movie!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tops and Scraps

This is the red/white/blue quilt top I have been working on. Some of the fabrics I just bought are in it! I am going to add a border, maybe two. Then it will be done and on its way to a vet somewhere in New England.

The other day I read about this idea on someone's blog.. I'm sorry I don't remember whose. Was it Cheri of Jovali Quilts? It was someone who had attended Gwen's retreat (I'm envious.. can't wait 'til I retire so maybe I can go, too). The idea was to make a quilt using Floor Scraps. I loved the idea and made one from what I had worked on that weekend.

You don't get to see it yet. But here is what happened when I was trying to quilt it today. The stitches kept turning out way uneven. Can you see some that are way larger than the "normal" ones? (You might have to click on the picture to enlarge it.) This happened on different quilting patterns, so it's not just this goofy up and down line pattern. Does anyone have a suggestion? I couldn't get it to work properly. I re-threaded, changed the needle, tried different thread.. and still couldn't figure out why it kept happening. Maybe it's just my crappy technique. I'll keep plugging away at it, I guess, unless someone has a brilliant suggestion.

I plan to make another Floor Scraps quilt in the next few days. I love the idea! It's fun and it keeps my scraps from piling up too fast.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shopping - Whoo!

Today after work I went to a quilt shop. I needed a few more pieces of red, white, and blue for a quilt I am working on. It was fun to choose my pieces. Then, for a surprise bonus, I filled my Frequent Buyer card and got to pick $25 worth of stuff for FREE. Oh, I love those moments. Usually I choose a book or something I wouldn't normally buy, but today I chose these half yards of greens. Aren't they pretty??? I'm going to use these to practice an idea I have, so I was happy to get them free.

As for what is new on my blog.. see the picture to the right? The quilt on my deck? I had a different picture there, taken during the summer. Now I took this picture in the fall. Watch for a winter picture after a while, too. Don't know if I'll rest a quilt there on a snowy deck, but we'll see. (But the guess about my list of followers as a new item, that's true, too. It's fairly new, and if you guessed that, you're a winner in my book! In fact, anyone who takes the time to stop by and read my blog is a winner! Thank you!)

Tonight I get to go to my Book Club! Yippee!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Honoring My Mom

Today we traveled to my mom's town and attended her church. They had a little ceremony honoring her many years of service to the church at the local, district, state, regional, national, and international levels. She worked for years in almost any role you could name. Finally her work was recognized; a theological seminary has named a permanent scholarship in her name. They added my dad's name, too, for his years as a minister and because he graduated from that seminary. (He is watching from heaven.) I am so proud of my mom! She got a very nice plaque and some nice things said about her. Then we had a fun lunch with family and friends. It was great.

This weekend I also managed to make a few blocks, and I got this top put together. With all that excitement, the weekend FLEW by, and now it is nearly time for another work week. (Oh, and guess what we encountered on our trip today... it's a 4-letter word that starts with an "s" -- s**w!)

P.S. Notice anything different about my blog layout? First person who gets it right wins. There is no prize, but you can call yourself a winner.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunshine Blocks

Oh, this is fun! I made some Sunshine blocks for kid quilts! Tammy is running a Lotto. October colors are red and black. Can you see my progression? I started with these 4 traditional blocks. Then I got tired of following rules and made these three. One "rule" is to make blocks in duplicate. I even broke that rule. But it's OK, because I'm donating them all to Sunshine and not really playing the Lotto part of the challenge. It's so much fun to finally have time for these fun projects!

Oh, by the way, not many of my quilty projects sold at my church bazaar this week, but I took leftovers to work and sold several pieces to a co-worker. That felt good!

And, another p.s... my future d-i-l is home and doing well after her surgery. Thanks for the good wishes for her.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2 Books and 2 Girls

Here is a book that I highly recommend: The Faith Club by Idliby, Oliver, and Warner. It's excellent! Easy to read, and a lot of food for thought. Three women of different faiths got together and over a period of years talked over their beliefs, their stereotypes, their misunderstandings, and found their common ground, plus friendship. In the process they also all three strengthened their own faith. It's a great step toward understanding each other and learning to see the dignity in all faiths and their followers... something we desperately need in today's world.

Here is another great book! I bought Bonnie's book! I have not had a chance to read it yet, but it looks great. I have loved everything Bonnie does on her web site, and this book is an extension of her wonderful work we've all enjoyed for years.

These are two girls who go to my church. One appears to be feeling very shy. I guess I was tormenting them with my camera. I have to learn to be a nicer camera lady.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Will Have to Do

This last weekend when I had made enough progress on organizing my sewing room, I dedicated my time to finishing items for the bazaar at church. The bazaar takes place this Wednesday. The main event is a turkey dinner, and then a few people buy stuff at the bazaar. As usual, I didn't get as much done as I had in mind, or even that I started... I have one more table runner quilted but not bound, and a baby quilt that is quilted but not bound. (I'm not going to push it. I just don't have time to finish them.) And I have another table runner that didn't even get quilted. Maybe I'll give it to someone for Christmas, or maybe it'll go into next year's bazaar. These things that I finished will just have to do.

Some of these pictures are repeats, some are new.

Small Santa wall hanging, about 8" x 12". The ribbon is just for show in the picture. It doesn't go with the quilt.

This Christmas table runner seemed a little boring, so I added some twinklies to make it appear more Christmasy. I found out that the twinklies are hard to photograph.

I went a little crazy on checkbook covers and made 15 of them! They're so easy and fun to make. I got the pattern here, from Crazy Mom Quilts.

This is a placemat, or candle mat, or mat for a Santa collection... however the buyer wants to use it. The little pretend pie is a gift from a friend of mine.. it's NOT for sale. Isn't it cute? It used to smell like apple pie but lost its smell some time ago.

Today my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law had surgery. It went well, according to the doctors, so we hope she bounces back. She was in pain when I saw her this evening, and the nurse bumped up the pain meds. I hope tomorrow is better for her.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Peace for all Snowmen

I made this from a doll body that someone gave me several years ago. I had the idea in my brain ever since we went to Iraq, but I only got it done today. I got the idea when I attended a rally and saw someone with a sign that said "another teacher for peace." I was going to sell this at our church bazaar, but I decided to keep it. So I am the proud owner of a peace-loving snowman (or woman, by the look of that flouncy jacket.)

Friday, October 17, 2008


These trees look like they're on fire! This is the most beautiful autumn in many years. I'm loving it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Hate Housework

quilt and photo by JG Mehlin

How many of you love housework? I hate it!! It's a huge, endless job. When you finish, you need to almost turn around and start over, especially if you have kids living with you. Today I am trying to clean out my sewing room. Believe me, this is not a small task. I have made some progress, and that makes it very tempting to stop what I'm doing and start sewing. I can see the tabletop! I have room to sew! But I am trying hard to force myself to keep cleaning. If not, I will soon be right back to where I started, surrounded by a mountain of mess. I know I'll be happier if I finish this room. But.. where is my fairy godmother when I need her? I wish she would come over and wave her magic wand. I want to seeewwwwwww! Waaaah!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Front Yard

Wow! Our landscapers worked lightning fast and made our jungly yard look so pretty! I'm excited for spring and summer when the plants will have a chance to fill out. I have not had *any* time to sew lately. I am hoping to get some done in the next few days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grass & Jingle Dancers

Here's a short video (with no sound) of some dancers I saw last weekend. I hope this works!

Glorious Autumn

Last weekend I went up north. I had the most gorgeous drive I can ever remember. Fall colors were ablaze! The drive on Hwy 10 between Little Falls and Motley was breathtaking! Mile after mile of glorious, brilliant colors -- what a beautiful world! It was raining most of the weekend, so it was hard to get pictures. I did capture a few. Please enjoy the spectacular views!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We are having some major landscaping done. It'll be so much fun to improve the look of our front yard. It has been a jungle for years.

Here are a couple of "before" and "during" photos. Stay tuned for the "after" -- maybe next spring!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


This is something going around the e-mail world. I altered it slightly to use here at my blog.

Food for thought regarding the presidential campaign...
What if things were switched around? Think about it!
Would the country's collective point of view be different?
Ponder the following (be honest):

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption
in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings
and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate. It discounts negative qualities in another, emphasizing the distracting attributes that hide the real issues of which we need to be aware.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

This is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. Don't you want some intelligent people with high moral standards in these positions? Do you want a careful thinker as president or someone who shoots from the hip and flies off the handle? Think about it, and vote accordingly.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beautiful Autumn Day!

This morning started out very foggy. Fog has a soft beauty all its own. Later the sun came out and it became a brilliant, blue & gold day!! This is the BEST time of year!

This is a house I have always admired. Today with the golden leaves surrounding it, I liked it even more!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


my hubby

Lotto blocks I won.. my arrangement

cat's arrangement

our DD and her BF