Thursday, December 31, 2009


Yes, a week in Provo, not Provence, but we loved it!  We got home from Utah late last night and we are still recovering. After sleeping most of the day, I just showered and am now pouring myself a Diet Coke. Ahhh.

We spent a delightful week with my son Renn, wife Keira, and baby Isaac Michael! Isaac is three weeks old and we loved every minute of time we had with him. He coos and gurgles and squeaks and even smiles sweet little baby smiles as tho he is having the best dreams. Sometimes when his daddy starts laughing at something he appears to laugh as well. A good omen, as we laugh a lot in our family. This was their first Christmas together as a family and it was wonderful to be able to share it with them.

I will try not to overwhelm you readers who are looking for quilt-action here, but having just returned from what is facetiously called Happy Valley you must forgive my exuberance in baby sharing!

More later on my visit to The Corn Wagon Quilt Shop in Springville, Utah.

It was snowing in Utah yesterday and we were afraid our flight would be cancelled. Son Renn drove us to the airport, and it got icier as we progressed. We got there by 10:15am and found our flight had been changed to leave at 1:00, an hour later. We watched out those big airport windows and saw the snow stop and the ground visibility clear. What a relief! We caught our connection in Dallas with no problem and got home late, but happy to be home again. Sigh. Yes, Dorothy is right, there is no place like home!

And I really should add Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Thursday was a sweet and peaceful day as I gathered with two friends for lunch, visiting, and a gift exchange. These are the sweetest gifts because we all love the same things and that makes it fun to give and fun to receive! Joan made us each the darling little framed log cabin block. Isn't it adorable?!

Sue and Joan with Ladybug in the middle. I am so blessed to have these ladies as my friends! They are the best!

Sue made each of us this really great sewing kit. Opened you can see all the pockets for various items. The flaps fold down to cover things while it is folded. A small cutting mat fits in the back pocket and a 4" square ruler will fit in the right square pocket. Sue has been teaching this as a class at the LQS and everyone loves it! Joan and I have been wanting to make this but now we have one made by the expert! Isn't it great!

This is the little quiltlet that I made for each of them. I made the hourglass blocks with 5" squares, and the simple applique is wool, ala Cheri Saffiote Payne. What a fun day we had!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Recently I was sitting on the couch in our living room and my eyes darted past a pile of magazines scattered on the table. I did a quick double take as I focused on the one thing in the pile that had instantly brought peace to my soul. I love my quilting and other things that bring me happiness and satisfaction, but the flash of this image of our Savior had an effect that came so quickly and so quietly, and it was amazing to me. I am not even going to elaborate, but leave you to "ponder these things" as the shepherds of old in that faraway field were left to ponder.
Four year old Kathryn told her mother, my daughter, that she and her friend from school REALLY believe in Santa, because if you don't believe in Santa he won't bring you presents. My daughter replied that there are probably some children in her school who don't believe in Santa. "Yes", Kathryn said. "Claire doesn't believe in Santa".  "What does Claire believe?" my daughter asked. "Claire believes in kittens!" said Kathryn. 
Well of course! Who doesn't?! 

Along with kittens, here  is what I believe: I believe in the Spirit of Christmas! I believe in Peace on Earth Goodwill to Men! I believe in the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I believe in many other things as well, but this is enough to get us through the Holiday Season no matter what religion we may be. In fact, this is a great way to go through life! At least that is what I Believe!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


I want to thank all of you who left comments on my last post. Wow, there are some really funny stories of food flubs out there! If you haven't had a chance to read some of these stories you should go back and see the comments on my previous post. I feel so much better about myself now!

There is a new star shining in our family! 
Yes, for unto us a new grandchild has been born!

My son and his wife have a new baby boy! Born December 2, 2009 at 8 pounds 2 ounces and named Isaac Michael Patch! We are so delighted! All is well with both Mother and Baby, and Daddy is thru the moon! We will be spending Christmas with them, so we have to wait a couple weeks before we get to see him. 

Big yawn for the little guy! Let's hope he is a good sleeper. His father was a good sleeper---during the day!

Ahh, to coin a phrase, Life Is Good!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Long, long ago, I yearned to be an accomplished cook like my mother and aunt. I collected their recipes and tried to mimic their tips and techniques. When I was 19 my aunt advised me that adding whipped cream to mashed potatoes was really yummy.
I was living in a college dorm at the time, one with a kitchen. I had next to nothing in the cupboards and refrigerator, but I had potatoes and meat of some sort that I wanted to prepare for my boyfriend. I was whipping the potatoes when I remembered that there was Cool-Whip in the fridge. So, feeling quite proud of myself, I added it to the potatoes. Not a good thing. When I admitted to my aunt what I had done she fell into fits of laughter. She still tells the story, much to my chagrin.
TIP: whipping cream added to mashed potatoes is wonderful,
Cool-Whip is not!

CONFESSION: When I was first married I kept a bag of flour under the kitchen sink and each time I made chicken I would dredge the pieces in that same bag. Oddly, we never became ill with salmonella poisoning. Call it
beginner's luck!

While making chili the other day I carefully read the label on the chili powder container. This is a habit I had to develop after sprinkling a large amount of cinnamon on a pot of chili many years ago. You don't need a picture for this, just think: CINNAMON---CHILI---too close in color when you are grabbing a container and your mind is elsewhere. That is what lead me to think of these other
food goofs from years gone by.

I will never be as good a cook as my mother or her sister, but I have learned a few things over the years -- and occasionally I learned it the hard way!

You may have something to share on this topic as well.....

Have a happy and healthy holiday!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Regular readers probably recognize my youngest granddaughter, the one I call Plumpkin. She is four years old and quite the entertainer. When her older sister got married last month this little girl kept approaching the microphone at the family dinner. She wanted to share a story like everyone else. She never did get the nerve to say anything, but she was so tempted!

Yesterday I got an e-mail from her. She composed it and her daddy typed it out. It said:
Dear Grandma Marcie,
I have missed you for a really long time. I wish I could be with you.
I really want you to come visit. I wish you could be with me, so I decided to visit you. And now I decided when I get there, I should surprise you and sneak in as a mouse in the morning.
In the morning I might surprise Grandpa too!

Love, Kathryn

I think that is the cutest, sweetest e-mail I have ever received!
She lives in Montana, so I am not likely to see her for quite a while.

Thanksgiving is all about family traditions at our house. Even when our house is empty and devoid of our children, the traditional foods must be prepared. Here is what we will be having. Seriously, we have the exact same thing every Thanksgiving:
Turkey, of course!
Chestnut dressing --a favorite from my side of the family
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Scalloped corn --a Patch family favorite
Cinnamon rolls --Patch family
Green jello with pears and cream cheese --Patch family
Stuffed mushrooms --my family
Apple pie --American family favorite!

The chestnuts, pictured above, have been coming to us for the past several years from Spangler, PA, where my daughter-in-law's parents live. They have chestnut trees. For years my mother bought chestnuts and my dad cleaned them for our Thanksgiving dinner. (Not horse chestnuts, mind you. Those are different!) Now we look forward to the package we receive from Pennsylvania with the wonderful chestnuts that we love.

In the photo you can see what the chestnuts look like. They are not as big as those that you find in the grocery stores for $3.99 a pound. Those come from Italy, and you never know what you will get in terms of quality. Sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes not so much. The PA chestnuts are small and sweet. This year's crop cleaned up beautifully!

First you take a sharp knife and cut an X in the shell. Then put a small amount of water in the bottom of a pyrex dish and add 6 to 8 chestnuts. Place in the microwave for 45 seconds. When they come out the shell is partly opened where it was X-ed. Peel back the rest of the shell and the brown skin. Chop the nuts. At this point I put them in the freezer for later, then get them out for Thanksgiving. Saute them in a skillet with chopped onions and celery with a stick of butter. Add about a loaf of cubed bread and stir it together to soak up the butter. Salt this mixture as well. Try not to eat too much as you stuff the bird. All the ingredients are based on personal preference. One and a half to two pounds of chestnuts is usually about right for the stuffing. Well, that is the way we do it at our house!

With grateful hearts and helpful hands, have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Isn't this the cutest little Snow Baby? I began buying one of these SnowBabies each year for my granddaughter (Plumpkin) who is now four years old. I decided I needed to take pictures of each one because I already forgot which ones I bought! This little sweetie is for 2009! I don't think she cares that much at age four, but hopefully some day she will enjoy having them.
And I found this little Czech bird at an antique store when we were in Bird-In-Hand two weeks ago. According to my husband, everybody's grandmother had these. Mine did, and apparently his did too. I had my grandmother's bird many years ago, but gave it to my friend because her grandmother was from Czechoslovakia. Now I am happy to have this one. They must have made a ton of these, but aren't they sweet! And from Bird-In-Hand, PA!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The Christmas holidays are fast approaching, and now we are all beginning to panic over all the things we still need to do. Maybe it is already too late for you to make this darling little Christmas quilt. However, if you are looking for an idea for a nice little gift for a special friend, try a little Christmas Punch! That is the name of this sweet little quilt that measures 22-1/2 inches square. The link to the free directions is at the top of my sidebar.

This pretty blue and white version was made by Dot at Rantala Rags. Dot has made one of my little Christmas designs each year for the past three years.

This little cutie was made by Karen from Sew Primitive. Karen has plenty of her own design creations to work on, so I was pleased when she made one of mine! Love it!

Elaine Adair took this design to a new level. She made a bigger block and set it on point for a totally different look. She is making hers for Quilts of Valor. What a wonderful quilt with a wonderful purpose!

This little quilt was made by Janet at Mrs. Sew 'n Sew. It is from last year's design, which can be found at the same link on my sidebar. I was pleased to see this on her blog the other day! She is finishing this one up from last year. Nice job Janet!

Are there any others out there that I have missed? I hope you will let me know if you have a Patchalot Christmas quilt in progress so I can share a link to your blog. Maybe these nice quilts will inspire you to make one as well.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Being a chocolate lover, it has been a lifetime dream of mine to visit this place. Notice the lamp posts! I had to borrow this picture off a post card, but we were actually right on this cute corner of Cocoa Avenue and Chocolate Avenue! Milton Hershey built this town around his chocolate, but he also built it with lots of love. One can't help but be impressed with the man and all that he accomplished in his lifetime.

I believe that, don't you?

Yes, there was a chocolate store with as much Hershey product as you could want. The tour was free, but they know you are going to shop! Here is Joan making off with her loot.

The town of Hershey is absolutely lovely! Beautiful homes in well cared for neighborhoods. Plus the leaves were fabulous! We spotted this Japanese Maple that was amazing! Yes, it is actually a tree, but obviously untrimmed. I have always had a weakness for Japanese Maples, so I had to take a picture.

On top of all that fun, we found this very nice quilt shop right on Chocolate Avenue. It is located in a house and had a few cars in front of it. When we walked in we were amazed to find it crammed with quilters! Turns out there was a bus tour from New Jersey making the rounds of shops. They were having a ball! The shop owners were lovely and even bought some of my patterns. Naturally we reciprocated and bought some of their fabric. This is why I never come out on top! (Financially I mean. I DO have lots of great fabric!)

As they say in Hershey, Have a Sweet Day!

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Oh the wonder of it all!

Joan and I actually stayed in Hershey for two nights and visited other places from there. And of course we visited Hershey World! We loved it! And yes, I was like a kid in a candy store! Only with more money! Heh, heh, heh.
Anyone care for a little ice cream to go with all that syrup?

Listen to this: they actually had Hershey bath products! And I have to tell you, as much as I love chocolate, the image of bathing in all that brown stuff doesn't do much for me. Hershey Kisses however--now there is creative genius behind that idea!
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Monday, November 02, 2009


Beautiful Lancaster County, with the rolling hills of farmland and forests. We did see Amish buggies traveling on the roads. This photo is exactly like what we saw, but I refused to take photos of them. I got this one on line. Apparently the Amish own most of the farms and farmland in this area, in spite of the fact that they only comprise about 8% of the population. They obviously know what they are doing! I wonder if they have any idea how much they are admired by most of us?

This beautiful stone barn was on the property to the left of Sauder Fabrics. Across the street were fields of standing. dried corn, ready to be chopped up for silage, I imagine.

This is another store from the first group in my previous post in Bird-in-Hand, PA. Joan and I were totally charmed by the whole town.

And here is their display of "edible squash". I imagine it is labeled for the tourists in case they confuse it with the gourds. Let me tell you, their gourds were amazing also!


We left Wednesday morning, October 28th, on a wonderful adventure. My friend Joan has a new car and we had to break it in on a road trip. We have been wanting to do this for such a long time, and we finally made it happen. We drove north with the help of Suzie, Joan's GPS navigator, named after the Susan B. Constant, the ship that sailed to America and into Jamestown. We love our history! Destination: Lancaster County, Gettysburg and Hershey, Pennsylvania.
We drove north from Virginia Beach and gloried in the beautiful fall colors as we got into Pennsylvania. Wow, what a beautiful state! The colors of fall accented everything to perfection.

We arrived in Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania in the afternoon. We wanted to stop at every door on the way into town, but Joan said, "NO". Of course we thought we might have time to go back later to a few shops, but that never happened. This beautiful shop above sold fabric, quilts and gift items.

There is glare on the glass windows, but this one has a great looking quilt displayed. This window was so darling I couldn't stand it! The quilt is wonderful and the accessory items are perfect!

This was the first place we stopped when we arrived in town.

Next door we found lots of pumpkins, gourd, flowers, etc. We both bought bouquets of dried flowers.

My favorite stop in Lancaster County was Sauder Fabrics. It is run by the Amish and it is in the basement of a home out in the country. We were glad for the GPS to find it! Yes, that is me with a bolt of Jo Morton fabric that was so cheap it would make you cry. You had to buy the whole bolt to get the price, so darn it, I HAD to do it! I bought about a dozen half yards that were at least $3 cheaper per yard than what you find in the shops. Now that I am reading the sign I am thinking I should have looked at the spices. I bet they were in bulk, and cheaper also!

I have lots more great pictures, so this is just the first entry for our trip. Please come back for more!