Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This pretty little sampler is from the Blackbird Design's book, You're Invited. It is a quilting book, but shows pictures of rooms with lovely samplers on the walls. I am smitten. We have a wonderful cross stitch shop here in Virginia Beach called Dying to Stitch, and it is just two doors down from the quilt shop. They are so friendly and helpful there and they have walls full of beautiful samplers. I could get seriously carried away. They helped me pick out this beautiful linen for my project. I have only X-stitched on aida cloth in past years. I was skeptical if my eyes would work on these tiny threads. I did feel relieved to find out that I crossed the floss over two strands of thread. I work under an ott light and pick up a magnifying glass from time to time. It is coming along! I would like to say I am almost finished, but it goes so slowly! I wonder how many hour I have in this project? I wonder if anyone else will love it in future years?
We don't pay much attention to pennies these days, so I didn't realize that they had made changes in our change. My niece held up a penny the other day and wondered about the new picture on the back. She thought it looked like a polo player. My daughter took a look and said maybe it was a lumberjack. Now remember how small a picture on a penny is. It was years before I learned that you could actually see Lincoln sitting in the doorway to the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial is no longer on the new pennies. (Follow that link to read about it.) But at least Abraham Lincoln is still on that penny! Those dingbats really had me worried!

Regular readers of this blog have heard me talk about my youngest granddaughter whom I have dubbed the Plumpkin. We cannot call her plump any longer, but I still like the nickname. She is now a sassy and comical four year old. Doesn't this picture say it all?

Last night my daughter was traveling from Minnesota to their new home in Montana. Her husband had gone on line and arranged a room for her and the kids at a very nice hotel. The Plumpkin took a look around, jumped up on the bed, laid down with her hands behind her head and her ankles crossed, and said, "Princess Kathryn, you got it good!"

Well my friends, with the 4th of July holiday coming up this weekend here in America, and even in spite of all the political turbulence, I hope we can all sit back and relax and say, "We got it good!" Give thanks!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009


While in Atlanta my daughter and I visited this quilt shop called Red Hen. I loved the red barn look of the outside, plus this great quilt was cut and glued on a board and sealed so that the weather wouldn't damage it. Great idea! It created a very exciting visual entry into the shop!
This is my darling daughter Jennie that I went to visit in Atlanta. She loves the brights, and when I come to visit she suddenly gets inspired to make a quilt! So we worked on this design a bit before I came home.

Jennie also possesses my first Bernina! Isn't this the sweetest machine? I bought it in 1970 for $300, and believe me, it broke the bank. I was so thrilled to own a Bernina, and used that faithful machine for twenty-five years before I got a new one! I now have a Bernina 440, which is a dream! But my first little workhorse will always be my sentimental favorite.
Can you tell how tiny these scraps are? Jennie knows I love scraps so she pulled these out in case they could be of use. I should have placed a ruler in the picture, but maybe you can tell the size from the lettering on the selvedge. When I laughed she indignantly replied that I was the one who taught her to save scraps. OK, guilty, but I feel it is important to have a little room for the seam allowances. :) So there you have it, a little more about my Atlanta trip.

Summer is flying, and so am I. Next weekend I am off to Arizona, you think to have my head examined, going to the desert this time of year. But no, my son's family is moving into a new house and they think I can be of help. If sitting under a fan giving directions will help, then count me in!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Does this look familiar? Well if you visit Karen at Sew Primitive, you will recognise it from her blog banner. Imagine my delight when it was the first thing I saw when I entered her home as well! If you read my previous post you know that Karen and I had the opportunity to spend time together while I was in Atlanta. We had such fun! Plus, I had the added pleasure seeing Karen's persona displayed in all the delightful accoutrements that make up her home.

The artist must have her studio, and Karen has created quite the artist's habitat in her home. Every where you go you see evidence of her unlimited skills. Sometimes it is represented in the form of workspace and materials.

And sometimes in whimsical displays. I just love this doll!

Cats rule at Karen's house, and lord it over you from high above her neatly arranged stash. Rembrandt went into hiding when I showed up, but sweet old Ginger was not intimidated.
Can you even imagine visiting someone who allows you to investigate their closets? Well, I guess if my closets were this clean and organized I wouldn't mind. Hopefully I will become inspired!
And the design wall! I have seen little previews of these things on Karen's blog, but I so enjoyed seeing the real thing! Hmmm--what is she up to now?

Karen comes across as a rather private person on her blog. She is non-assuming and modest in her self appraisal. That is where I come in. She needs to be exposed for what she really is! She is absolutely amazing!

This little creation of hers is one example of her skill as a designer. I love this! The pattern is available on her website www.folkartchildren.com along with several others that you will love!

Wasn't that fun?!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009


Here I am in Atlanta, visiting my daughter, and who should I find but Ms. Sew Primitive! Karen came and picked me up on Friday and we hugged like old buddies, which, due to excessive e-mailing, we actually are! But this is the first time we have met face to face, and though we both joked about "what if we hate each other?" we knew we wouldn't. Karen actually lives on the other side of town from my daughter, so while in this area we visited two shops that she hadn't been to. The first was the Scarlet Thread, which is a beautiful new shop, bright and lovely as its contents. It carries bright and beautiful fabrics. We both found some fabric that we purchased, even in the midst of all that brightness! Remember, Karen and I are both residing mostly in the 19th Century! (In terms of our quilts).
Second stop was Sweet Home Quilt Shop in Conyers, GA. This shop occupies a darling house that is on the historical register. As you can see, there are lovely quilts hanging on porch railings and swings, etc. It is so welcoming!
Yup, here we are, enchanted by this old beauty on the porch. I am referring to the quilt of course.
Inside we met these two nice ladies! We took an action shot of Pam on the left, and shop owner Melisa on the right cutting fabric. Karen and I felt right at home at Sweet Home! Then we found out that Melissa reads our blogs! She was especially familiar with Karen and asked her about Rembrandt! Isn't that funny! Melisa has a blog also. Check it out!

As we left this charming shop we noticed these irresistible stone steps just begging to be photographed. This was the perfect photo op for our purchases.

We spent the evening at Karen's house wading through her many vintage quilts and current projects. I met Rembrandt when I first entered, but then she went into hiding for the rest of the evening. More of that in a future post!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I was browsing through my photo albums today while looking for something to blog about. I opened the folder of blue quilts and sighed. Aren't they lovely? I love all kinds of quilts, but there is something about a blue and white quilt. Very soothing, or something!

I have been saving photos of blue quilts in a folder on my computer. Some are my own and a couple were lifted off blogs. Lyn from Bluebird Quilts made the one in the upper left, and Karen from Log Cabin Quilter made the one in the upper right. Aren't they wonderful? I hope they don't mind me showing them.

Recently I showed a photo of Granddaughter Becky wrapped up in the quilt pictured below. Someone asked if I had a pattern for this, and I don't. I never created one. But here is a photo of the whole quilt before it was quilted, and

below is a shot of a couple of the blocks. I went a little crazy using LOTS of scraps of blue in all shades and lots of backgrounds.

Sew many blue quilts, sew little time. Has that phrase been beaten to death yet? Well, suffice it to say, I think I may have a few more blue quilts in my future.

Tomorrow I head for Atlanta to spend a week with my daughter and also devote some time stalking Karen from Sew Primitive. She knows I am coming and she cannot avoid me! Ha! We will be collaborating on a book called Folkart Children Patchalot. What do you think? (OK, I am kidding, but still...)

I will be mostly off the computer, so don't forget me while I am gone for a week.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I am packing up this top to be mailed to the quilter at long last! It is one of the first quilt tops that I made, and it never got quilted. When I first started quilting I fell in love with the 30's prints. They are so clean and fresh, and such cute little prints! I thought this quilt would look lovely in a beach house, like the one we had when we lived in Minnesota. We always dream of returning to that lifestyle. In Minnesota they call it "the cabin" no matter how big the house is. But it was the summery, beachy look that I was longing for. I was always going to make one more row so that it would fit a queen bed, but that never happened. Now my four year old granddaughter is asking for a quilt of her own, and it occurred to me that this one would be perfect and I could get it done fairly quickly. Today I prepared the binding. I cut a multitude of colored strips. They all look so pretty to me that I feel inclined to make another quilt from 30's prints! Now here is the sweet part of this story: I am sending the quilt to the Plumpkin's other grandmother, who is a long arm professional quilter. She will give it the finishing touches that will make it beautiful! Hopefully some day Plumpkin will find it special to have a quilt that both her grandmother's created!

Above is a picture of my latest purchase! I love all Judie Rothermel repros, and was so excited to find this fabric on sale at a local store for $3.50 a yard! I bought the whole 8.25 yards left on the bolt. My darling granddaughter Becky, pictured below, was with me, and I commented in jest to her that she would inherit all my fabric some day. "Well then don't buy THAT!" she replied. Sorry dear, you are out of my will. It is essential that my large and glorious stash go to someone with my same vision for beauty!
Becky left today to go to Minnesota. We loved having her here for the past six weeks. Last night Becky and I watched that Renee Zellweger movie, New in Town, which takes place in Minnesota. It was kinda cute and hokey too. I wondered aloud how actors can speak with a Minnesota accent because I lived there for forty years and I can't talk that way. Becky immediately started speaking Minnesotan. It was so funny to hear it coming out of this home-grown Minnesotan girl who never speaks that way, but obviously has the ability. The accent comes from a high percentage of people who are of Swedish decent. Ya, and Norwegian too, don't cha know. No one can make fun of Minnesotans as much as they make fun of themselves. The Sven and Ole jokes are a good example. Minnesota is a great place to raise a family. Funny thing, all the movies focus on the cold winters, and the truth is, if they ever made a movie about Minnesota in the summertime on the lakes people would be flocking to move there. You can't beat it!

"So, Ole --- I see you got a sign up that says, 'Boat For Sale'. But you don't own a boat, Ole. All you got is your old John Deere tractor and your combine."
"Yup, and they're boat for sale."

Monday, June 08, 2009


I love when bloggers come up with their lists of favorite books. It gives me an opportunity to see what others have enjoyed, and that maybe I would also enjoy. Yesterday I saw two blogs who have lists that they created in a challenge to come up with 15 books in 15 minutes. Nicole at Sister's Choice has a list on her blog, as does Cathy at Quilting on Main Street. Cathy mentioned listing books that have stayed with you over time, and I liked that concept, so off I went to come up with my own list. I am sure I have missed a good many books on this list, but I tried to think of books that have had staying power for me over the years. Most of these books are old, but I would read them again! And in some cases I have read them more than once. Some of these books are dear to my heart, some have touched me deeply and some are just darn good stories. Chesapeake is a book that I read years ago, and then when we moved to Virginia I read it again. I love historical novels and this book gave me a wonderful history and background of the area we now live in. If you are too young to remember Michener being on the Best Sellers list you need to go find his books and soak them up. Hawaii was another of his that was unforgettable for me. Many of these authors have several books that I have read and enjoyed. So here is my list--

1. Katherine by Anya Seton http://www.curledup.com/katherin.htm

2. Except for me and Thee by Jessamyn West

3. From Sea to Shining Sea by James Alexander Thom

4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

5. These is My Words by Nancy Turner

6. Exodus by Leon Uris

7. Roots by Alex Haley

8. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

9. Quentins and all Maeve Binchey

10. Evergreen by Belva Plain

11. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

12. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

13. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

14. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

15. Chesapeake by James Michener

I think I should also do a book list of more current reads that I have enjoyed with some of my new favorite authors. I will try and do that in the near future!

Join the fun and add your list to your blog! Let me know if you do so I can see what books you like!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


In case anyone is breathlessly waiting for the results of the drawing, I am here to tell you that we have the sealed envelope with the results! I cannot take credit for the cute picture on the left, I got it off Google, but I must say the little girl looks exactly like I did at that age! What do you think? Oh well, there were no colored pictures back then, sorry.

So here is what I did: I printed out the names of those of you who were kind enough to put "The Patch" on your blog. I cut the names into strips and shuffled them and laid them in a row with the blank sides up. Then I had Granddaughter Becky choose two numbers, and those numbers belong to Karen at Dogs N Quilts, and Julie Q at Julie K Quilts. I will e-mail you for mailing instructions! Congratulations ladies! And thanks for placing the Quilt Pox Patch on your blog! I am still hopeful that more of you will do so, and if you let me know I will have another drawing in the future.