Monday, June 29, 2015

Quilting in the North Woods

Nine women went to the cabin and quilted for four days. We had a great time, great food, great laughs!

the beautiful lake

the mess we made inside

some stuff I made

more stuff I made (The pie is in a cake-pan, because I didn't think the cabin had two pie tins, so we had a strawberry-rhubarb pie-cake; I was wrong, though.. there were two pie tins there!)

We ice-dyed!

C and I modeled our free "Two Men and a Truck" t-shirts (Quilting in Minnesota's North Woods with Two Men and a Truck")

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Books: TKAM

Well, I finally finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Of course, it gets all the stars possible. What a great book in so many ways -- characters, story, plot, setting, emotions, life's unfairness and the beauty of it all! It makes me sad that our racial inequities go on and on and on.

I'm looking forward to reading Harper Lee's next book which comes out in July. I understand she wrote it first, 50-some years ago. It is about Scout as a grown woman. The publisher suggested that a story about Scout as a young girl would be interesting, and that's where TKAM came from! Then Lee hung on to the first one and never published it 'til now.

Did you know that my mom was a friend of Harper's sister, Alice? Alice was an attorney who lived and continued to practice into her 90s.

Thanks for checking in! Keep on reading!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Loose Threads, Challenge One

I know it's Friday and I should have a book review for you, but I don't. I'm still reading To Kill a Mockingbird. So far 2015 has not been a great reading year for me. I have read some fabulous books, but not many of them. I have been a slow reader this year.

Instead I'll share with you some pictures of the first challenge we did in a new small group I am a part of. We call ourselves The Loose Threads. There are five of us, so far. We just got started in April, and we meet once a month. When we had our first meeting, I had purchased a piece of red floral fabric that said clearly "use me for a challenge." So I did. I cut pieces for everyone, and handed them out at our first meeting and said, "make something." Four of the five of us made something. Here's the photo of the results:

table runner by Karrie, small bag by Sally, table topper left by Sunny, wall hanging right by Carol (me)

My little people are paper-pieced. The pattern shows five of them, but I got tired of the tiny, putzy work after two. The woman on the left is wearing the challenge fabric, but I colored in the white spots with a pigma pen. And I also used the challenge fabric on the bottom right for the garden. Mine is called "A Walk Through the Garden." This was fun.

At our recent June meeting Sunny gave us some fabric by Kaffe Fassett which is for our next challenge, Challenge Two. Same rule: "make something." I have my thinking cap on. Maybe I'll let the ideas percolate while I ... finish reading TKAM?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Does anyone else see the resemblance? Do you know who these people are?

Louie Anderson, comedian, originally from Minnesota.

Prince George of England, third in line to be king.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I'm Sewing!

I finally got some motivation and time to sit down and sew. I got a lot done over the last few days. It feels fabulous!

Here's a baby quilt I made:

I also put together a couple quilt tops from blocks made by other people. These will be for Sunshine projects:

Today I'm trying to convince myself to do some housework before I sit down and sew, but it's tough. (Confession, I already did some sewing this morning, but to assuage my guilt, I also did some picking up and organizing in my sewing room... a little.)

It's a beautiful day! Maybe I'll go outside and read! (Too many fun choices - housework NOT being one of the fun choices.)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Books: To Kill a Mockingbird

This week I am re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Our book club at church will be discussing it on Sunday. I'm not done yet, but I have read it at least two times before and have seen the movie multiple times. So, I can tell you now that I will give it a five-star rating. It's fun to read a great book again after several years away from it. But at the same time, I am eager to get back to reading something of my own choosing. I was hoping our church book group would take a summer hiatus, but it decided not to.

After this I will have to read the book for my on-line book group. THEN I can get to a book of my own choice.

We are finally getting somewhat caught up on our yard work... not completely, but at least I got the flowers put in as I want them, and we have done some weeding. That seems impossible to keep up with, but we're trying. So far we have only had one very hot day, so it hasn't been too bad to be outside weeding. Here are some pictures of our flowers. Try not to pay attention to any weeds you notice or the lawn that needs mowing! (As I said, it's hard to keep up completely.) Ha! I think everyone with a yard is always a little bit behind; isn't that true?

A lot of my flowers are just in pots, but I also planted some of the marigolds in the actual garden space between the pots. Once they fluff up and fill in, I think it'll be quite pretty. The white flowers, in a previous photo, were mostly buds on my relatively new bushes. They really popped and are now already nearly done. I am happy with those pretty bushes, whatever they are.

I have been wanting to sew, but my main machine isn't working properly; I need to take it in for service and don't want to! So I'm just stymied while I decide what to do and what I could work on with my slightly less nice machines.

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely summer, and a lovely fall/winter in the southern hemisphere! It has been beautiful in Minnesota.. plenty of rain and beautiful sunshine. Lucky us!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Friday: No Books Today

I have been in a reading slump lately. One reason is that the book I'm currently reading, while extremely well written, is kind of boring. Nothing happens! I'm slogging through. I can't wait to get to a page-turner.

I've gone back to work now, after my month off for traveling and meetings. I was a little nervous to go back, hoping I hadn't forgotten how to do everything. I hadn't. Whew! Also, I was told that I received a compliment from a customer (it's anonymous). They can submit a compliment or complaint any time they want. This is the first time I have received an official compliment. I'll get a little certificate. Whoopee! My first one in four years. I know the customers have to kind of go out of their way to submit these, so I really appreciate it. The official kudos are rare birds.

We've been working on weeding our garden. It is full of tall weeds! When we left for Oz and Kiwi, it was too early in the season to have any weeds or to plant. When we came back, the time had almost passed, so our weeds were tall, and we hadn't put in any flowers yet. It's hard to catch up.

I have a couple little bushes that I planted a couple years ago. I don't even know what they are, but they are flowering nicely this year. I'm happy about that. The smaller bush, that I did not photograph, has way more buds on it. Yay!

That's about the only excitement going on around here. Life has resumed to its normal, quiet yet chaotic pace.

Monday, June 01, 2015

My Hands2Help Challenge Quilts

I'm finally getting back to my real life after Australia, New Zealand, and then a 4-day conference in another town here in Minnesota. Whew!

It's time to post pictures of the quilts I'm sending to Hands2Help for their annual challenge. Thank goodness I was busy sewing before May, because I haven't had any time to sew since late April. And these quilts are the result of many hands, not just mine. I couldn't have done these without help from my local guild. Thanks to all of them!!

This one is going to Layers of Hope: Quilting 911 which gives quilts to 911 Dispatchers who experience vicarious trauma during tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina, natural disasters, and traumatic emergencies.

The next charity, Happy Chemo, is getting two quilts. These go to people undergoing cancer treatments.

The last one is going to a charity in Canada, Because You Matter. Quilts are given to any person who is having a hard time. Most of them go to children in foster care. Of all these quilts, this is the one that I worked on the most, and I love the colors; I also have a tender heart toward kids in foster care, so I'm glad this one is going to that cause.

I hope ALL these quilts will provide some comforting cuddles to whoever receives them. Thanks, Sarah, for organizing this fun annual quilt drive.

P.S. Almost forgot... go HERE to see all the gorgeous quilts others are donating to the H2H Challenge.