Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I need some help from those of you who are quilters. 

My daughter has asked if I would be willing to make her a herringbone quilt. Here’s her inspiration:
Herrringone Quilt

DD is wanting to make it from a solid gray and a very soft white.  It’s 5” HSTs, so piecing it and then quilting it shouldn’t be inordinately difficult.  What I need help with is a good source for solids in a fairly wide array of colors … since I’ll be hand quilting it, I’m looking for cottons that will quilt up easily.  Even if you could point me in the direction of a specific line of fabrics, I’d appreciate it.   

Thanks ever so much, my friends!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

Whatever this bug is, it sure is a strange one.  I wake up in the morning feeling like I’ve been run over, I hit a spot in the afternoon where I’m feeling much better, and by dinnertime I once again start to feel like I’ve been run over.  I haven’t taken my temperature, but I wonder if I’m running a bit of a fever as I have spells where I’m feeling way too warm … trust me, the only time that happens is if the temperature is about 95 degrees and the A/C isn't on!  ha!  Thankfully this bug isn’t keeping me from some time with my needle and thread … English paper piecing is fairly mindless, so working with my hexies doesn’t overtax my brain.  Winking smile

Yesterday I managed to finish up the MWFG block I started last week and complete another block.  Hand quilting is slow, but it seems speedy when compared to EPP … but there’s something addicting about working with those little pieces of paper.photoForgive the poor quality picture … I took that this morning when I was up waaaaay before the crack of dawn.  I started a third, but when I sewed together two wrong hexies, ripped out the stitches and then proceeded to sew them back together, I knew that it was time to be done.  Surprised smile 

I took a break in my stitching yesterday … and spent some time reading some quilting blogs.  Reading blogs always runs the risk of chasing a few rabbit trails … yesterday was no exception, but this time it led me to the discovery of a quilt shop in St. Louis that’s a mere 45 minutes away, as opposed to an hour away.  Plus, this shop offers classes, a retreat, Friday night sew-ins and bus trips to Quilt Week in Paducah!  45 minutes is a bit of a trip, but it sounds like it might be worth the drive!

Another thing I’ve noticed with this bug is that it’s definitely affecting my sleep … I fall asleep easily enough … I just can’t seem to stay asleep.  Friday morning I was up at 3:30, yesterday at 4:30 and today at 4:00.  At least I was up in time to watch the gold medal hockey game.  Winking smile

I plan to take it easy again today … and spend some time in my recliner, slow stitching hexies.  Hopefully I’ll have a couple more blocks under my belt by the end of the day.  I’m linking up to Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching … if you want to see what everyone else is up to, just click on the button.
Slow Sunday Stitching

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekend Musings

As I mentioned Thursday, we had severe thunderstorms move through the area.  Any time we get unseasonably warm temperatures (like the 74 degrees we got Thursday), we know to expect bad weather.  And we were not “disappointed” Thursday, although the storms weren’t the culprit this time … it was the strong winds that followed on the heels of the thunderstorms.  Places in our area reported winds as high as 60+ mph.  Surprised smile  Needless to say there was plenty of damage caused by those winds.  DD’s neighbor’s freestanding pergola was toppled, landing just inches from one of DD’s landscaping beds.  On my drive home yesterday, I saw several trees that had been uprooted.  And there was damage here in our neighborhood.  One neighbor will need a new roof.
Storm Damage 001
Another will need to have the ceiling fan on their deck repaired/replaced.
Storm Damage 003
(Click on the pictures if you'd like a better look)

I feel that I need to clarify something else I mentioned on Thursday ... I wasn't complaining one little bit about my busyness keeping me from spending time doing what I wanted when I wanted.  As much as I love working with needle and thread, it doesn't even begin to come close to bringing me as much joy as spending time with DD and my Ts!!    So I gladly give up stitching time in order to have some T-time!    

My weekend plans have certainly changed!  I had planned to watch the USA men’s hockey team play Sunday morning … instead I’ll be watching them play today … for bronze instead of gold.  Sad smile  It’s hard to believe that the Olympics are almost over … I’m already looking forward to the 2016 summer games … all the more because we have swimmers in the family now.  Winking smile 

I’m sure that most of you have heard the saying “Sharing is caring” … I’m here to say maybe NOT!  At least not when it’s an upper respiratory bug that’s being shared!  Thankfully I don’t think I’ve got it quite as severely as DD and the Ts, but even a mild case is no fun.  I’m going to take it easy this weekend in hopes that I can keep this just a mild case … and can be back to normal by Monday.

In spite of my puny state, I will be spending my weekend stitching … as much as I’d like to get back to work on my Storm at Sea, I think that basting my hexies is a better choice, given the URI-induced brain fog I’m in.  Winking smile  I’ve got 13 Martha Washington’s Flower Garden blocks completed … I plan to set them in a tumbling block setting to make a lap-sized quilt … I have no idea how many blocks I need to do that … maybe next week, I’ll lay 3 blocks out on the floor to get a rough idea how big a block that creates and use it as a rough guide on how many blocks I will need. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Little Bit of Random

When I was working, I longed for the carefree days of retirement ... when I could spend all day doing whatever I wanted.  So just where are those days?  Seriously I cannot complain ... my busy days are usually days spent with DD and my Ts, and while I may not have whole days to do whatever I want, I can usually manage to get a little time each day to spend some time with my needle and thread ... best of both worlds in my estimation.  ;-) And that's been the case this week.  We had T#2 and #3 here yesterday afternoon.  Today I stayed a little longer at DD's since the bug that took down T#3 and #4 last week has taken down T#1 and is threatening to take down Mama.  By the time we have dinner, I'm too tired to put in any stitches on my Storm at Sea ... the mindless work of basting hexies for my Martha Washington's Flower Garden is perfect for a couple of hours of watching the Olympics before calling it a night. 

While basting a few hexies last night while watching the men's hockey game (recorded from the mornining's broadcast), I noticed that my basting thread matches my scissors!

There will be more stitching (hopefully on my Storm at Sea) tonight as I'm recording the women's hockey gold medal game today.  I don't know about you all, but I'll miss the Olympics when they come to a close on Sunday.  I'm certainly looking forward to the summer Olympics in 2016, now that we have some swimmers in the family.  

I know that many locales lay claim to the saying that if you don't like the current weather, wait a little while and it'll change. It's certainly true here in southwestern Illinois ... we had freezing rain/ice on Monday and on Tuesday we had a high of 60. Today we're going to have more springlike weather ... warmer temperatures and severe thunderstorms (which have just moved in, bringing some small hail with).  No worries, though, winter will be back in full force next week, with single-digit lows and some more snow.  

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

Slow Sunday Stitching

There hasn't been much slow stitching this weekend ... at least not as much as I would like. I walked with my friend/neighbor yesterday morning, and I celebrated T#1's birthday yesterday evening. Today is his friend party, and he insisted that he wanted me to be there ... I realize that this may well be the last year that he is cool with having his Nana at a friend party, so I wouldn't pass on this for anything!

I did get some piecing done on my Martha Washington's Flower Garden yesterday afternoon. I finished piecing one block and got a start on another. 
I had originally planned to make this as a wall quilt, but I discovered that I love EPP too much to stop ... so I've picked up a few more pieces of some Kansas Troubles a couple of weeks ago and will keep going.  ;-)  It might take me a long time to get this finished, but if I wanted fast, I'd go to Target and buy a quilt. The process is as every bit as enjoyable to me as the finished product. ;-)

I hope to be able to do a little more slow stitching tonight after the party while watching the hockey game ... I'm recording this morning's game as we'll be leaving for church in about 15 minutes, so I won't be able to see the end of this game. It's hard to imagine that it will have as an exciting finish as yesterday's, which was made even more exciting by the fact that TJ Oshie plays for "my" Blues!  ;-)

Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Valentine's Day


It’s been a busy week … at DD’s every morning to watch the Ts, staying late a couple of days to help with swim practice or just have some fun time together, a trip to my dad’s to help him with an insurance appointment.  And it’s going to be just as busy for the next couple of weeks … T#1’s birthday party for the grandparents tomorrow and his friends birthday party on Sunday (he’s invited us to join … Red heart awww, I’m touched that he doesn’t think that he’s too old to have his Nana there Red heart … he’s 12 so I know it won’t be much longer Sad smile).  So my plan is to take advantage of the snow day and get in some time with my needle and thread.  Who knows when I’ll get another block of time to spend quilting with things so busy.  Winking smile


Speaking of quilting, I saw this and laughed out loud … I thought you quilters/sew-ers might find it amusing as well.



Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday again ... which means that it's time for some Hodgepodge fun!  What a fabulous and fun way to learn a little more about each other ... why not join in?  Just click on the button above!

1.What makes love last?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?
I wouldn't say that I'm a fan, although I did enjoy and still do enjoy the Beatles' earlier music; I really didn't (and still don't) care for their later works. 

3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you? 
I always gave DD a special gift (often a stuffed animal - she loved stuffed animals) for Valentine's Day when she was growing up, and now I give my grands something nice for Valentine's Day. This year, I'm planning on giving them each a Big Joe.  DH and I exchange cards, and occasionally we'll go out for dinner but it's not that big of a deal for us ... he's such a sweetie all year long ... I don't need him to do something special on one specific pre-determined day.  And I think he's secretly relieved since neither one of us will forget our first Valentine's Day ... we'd been married 2 months and had just moved into a two-story house.  His gift for me was a Dust Buster (handheld vacuum) ... he really didn't understand why I was not pleased with his gift ... not that I didn't appreciate the Dust Buster (for vacuuming those stairs), but not as a gift on a day honoring love.  ;-) 

4. Steak or have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it? 
This is a no-brainer. Give me a steak ... medium rare please. Yum!

5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.'  Do you agree? Why or why not?
I would say that how one handles power would certainly reveal one's character.
6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)?  It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?
I save - and spend - my pennies.  If I see one on the ground, I pick it up ... a single penny may seem to have very little value, but it only takes a few to add up to real value. My only question about discontinuing the penny is how will we handle payments that include odd cents ... no matter what the price of something is, by the time tax is added, the cost is more than likely not going to be a nice, round number.
7.  Do you think pop culture deserves serious study?
No, not really.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm looking forward to this afternoon's Olympic coverage ... US vs Canada in women's hockey.  Gold medal preview??

Monday, February 10, 2014

Five Days? Or Five Weeks?

It's been "just" five days since I last blogged, but it feels like it's been five weeks!  Maybe because that's how long it's been since I have quilted. :-o

A lot has happened in those five days ... nothing terribly exciting, but they've been good days for me ... and since I know you all are on the edges of your seats, waiting to find out what I've been up to, I'll cut the suspense and share. Thank you. 

Winter is still alive and well here in southwestern Illinois. 

Thursday I ended up staying at DD's after she got home ... she and the Ts threw a surprise (early) birthday party for me.  They ordered pizza delivered from my favorite pizza place and gave me my gift.
I have to admit that I teared up when I saw it (and yes, photos of my Ts are coming after their spring photo session). 

Friday morning, we packed up to head to Hannibal for another 3-day swim meet.  DH and I left early so I could visit the quilt shop (yes, my hubby is definitely a keeper!). I didn't see many fabrics I was interested in (they carry mostly batiks, 30s reproductions, and flannels), but the fabrics I loved just happened to be in the half price section!  Happy birthday to me!  

On our way to the Y for Friday night's events, I saw that even the local gas station wanted to wish me a happy birthday, too!  

I had every intention of staying caught up with blog reading and maybe even posting during the down times between events at the meet, but thanks to my cell phone provider's decision not to place any towers in northeastern Missouri, I had to suffer through slooooooooooooow internet speeds and phone calls going directly to voice mail.  Argh! Not only did DD and DSIL have excellent coverage, they get 4G (I have the same model iPhone as DD and I can only get 3G ... but only in my coverage area).  Don't ask me what that means ... all I know is I want that extra G!  ;-)  Needless to say, we will be changing providers as soon as our contract is up.

And while I was out of town, I got an email from the Managing Director of Gutermann Thread ... it was called to his attention that I had voiced my frustration with how twisty and tangly the Gutermann hand quilting thread that I'm using on my Storm at Sea.  They want to test this thread to see if they can determine where the problem might have occurred so they can correct it.  They've asked me to send the offending spool to them and they'll return a replacement spool to me in exchange.  Wow!  I'm VERY impressed ... they are certainly showing that they're serious about providing a quality product. 

There were 650 swimmers at this meet, so that meant some long, long days ... add in an early get-up this morning and then driving out to my dad's this afternoon to help him with an insurance program appointment ... and I am exxxxxxhausted!  I'm going to crash as soon as I wrap this up ... watch a little Olympics, get to bed early ... and get back to my normal routine tomorrow, including (but not limited to) plenty of time with needle and thread.

Have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday HodgePodge

Another week has come and gone ... And it's time again for some Hodgepodge. Why not join in the fun?  Just click the button above.

1. Are we always responsible for our actions? Are there any exceptions?
I hate to say "always" or "never", but I will say that the majority of the time (if not all the time) we alone are responsible for our actions/reactions. 

2.  Has anyone from your home town become famous?
No one who was born/grew up in the town where I grew up has become famous, that I know of anyway.  However, there’s a small town 9 miles to the west (that small town's schools are a part of my hometown’s school district) where Gretchen Wilson was born and raised.  When I married DD’s father, we moved to a large town about 45 minutes away from my hometown ... I lived there for 37+ years, so it feels more like my hometown than my original hometown does.  Manny Jackson, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, grew up in my adopted hometown.  

3. January was National Slow Cooker month. Do you own a slow cooker/crock pot? Did you use it last month? What's a favorite dish you make using a slow cooker or crock pot?
Yes, I own a crock pot and will be using it later today to create Chicken Stroganoff.  

4. How do you feel about private companies collecting data about you?
In my opinion, it’s an invasion of privacy, and I can think of no circumstances that would warrant it.

5. The Games of the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off with their opening ceremony this coming Friday....will you be watching? Which Winter Olympic event would you most like to see in person? Have you ever been to Russia? Any desire to go, Olympics or otherwise?
Unfortunately no.  We’ll be in Hannibal, MO to watch T#1, T#2, and T#3 swim in the Tom and Becky Classic … another 3-day swim meet.  There’s a quilt shop in downtown Hannibal … I think DH and I will leave early, visit the quilt shop, and do a little sightseeing.  

6. Share a good or bad sports related memory from your childhood or teen years.
The only bad sports memory that comes to my mind is being among the last chosen when teams were being picked. :-(

7. What's a must have song for you on a work out play list? If you don't work out, run, swim, bike, walk, or anything else that could be construed as 'exercise', then what's a song that movtivates you to at least get up off the couch?
I don’t have a specific song that I need to listen to while exercising … I set my playlist (praise and worship music) to shuffle and off I go.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I was on my way home from DD's yesterday morning when I got an SOS call from my dad ... we spent the afternoon with him in the ER ... after he was released, we got him home and settled on. We hit the road to get home before the roads got too bad.  Good thing we were able to leave when we did ... the roads were getting quite treacherous. Thankfully DH drove carefully and we got home safely. It sounds like surgery just might be in my dad's future.  He'll be 91 next month, so while the surgery itself is simple and routine, the prospect of surgery at his age is troublesome ... but so is the prospect of choosing not to do the surgery.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

And Hello February!


It turns out that January had to get in one last laugh … we had snow/freezing rain last night … but the good news is that February said no more of that!  It warmed up around midnight and has been just plain rain.  Hopefully February will continue to treat us well weather-wise.


Now that it’s February, it’s tax time.  I’ve prepared our taxes, but we cannot file them … we’re *still* waiting on one last 1099.  We got an informational report so I know how to report that, but until I see the 1099, I’m not comfortable filing our return just yet.  So we wait. 


As I mentioned yesterday, February brings spring training!  Spring TrainingI think we’re going to have to pass on a spring training trip again this year … March is a busy month for our swimmers.  They have district competitions early March and state competitions mid-March.  Choosing between watching our grands swim and watching a meaningless baseball game is a no-brainer.  ha!  But at least 16 of the games will be broadcast on TV, so we’ll get to see some games.


Maybe February will bring a finish for my Storm at Sea … if I can devote some nice big chunks of time to quilting, I just might get it done by the end of the month.  Next up quilts for my 2 grandsons … I made quilts for their sisters last year, so I owe them quilts.  One of the many reasons I love my grands is that they provide excuses to make quilts!  ha!


And speaking of finishing my Storm at Sea, I think that’s exactly how I’m going to spend my weekend … so I can link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday StitchingSlow Sunday Stitching


Have a wonderful weekend!