Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Hands


 I got a sweet little card in the mail today from Grey and Micah. Plus a Valentine photo. Don't they have a clever mother? My granddaughter, Becky, is always creating darling little things to make life memorable! My mother, the artist, would be so delighted to see all the cute things Becky does!



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 Some of you have been getting glimpses of these twins as they have been growing up. They are almost three years old, can you believe it? On Becky's blog she often shares conversations with the boys. For example:

Micah: I want a cookie!
Travis: You can have a cookie after you eat your dinner.
Micah: Hmm. I think you're tricking me.


Naturally, I laugh at everything they say and do.

More later, my computer is so slow today that I am done waiting!

For all of you out there in the frozen snow and ice, my sympathies. I put in so many years of that  and I know what you are going through. Thankfully I am in Arizona now and basking in a surge of winter warmth -- 85 degrees today!

PS: Happy Birthday President Lincoln! We still love you!



Sunday, February 02, 2014

Needful Things



Let me begin by thanking you, my dear blogging friends, for your warm and touching comments on my last post regarding my Dad. I know we all suffer these losses in our lives, and having friends offer kind words of sympathy and encouragement means so much. 


Needful Things
Today I had the pleasure of attending a class taught by Lisa Bongean from Primitive Gatherings. I was at her website a month ago and noticed that she would be in the Phoenix area this month, so I quick called the shop where she was teaching and got the last spot! I didn't even care what project she was teaching, I just wanted to be in her class. This sweet little table mat is called Needful Things. Lisa gave us all kinds of tips and techniques for wool stitchery. Including "keep the steam iron moving" when you are fusing the wool in place. This was one I needed to keep in mind as I have a tendency to press down and scorch the wool. Ouch. Not a good look. So my project is all pressed in place and I will have hours of enjoyment as I perfect my embroidery stitches. Lisa is a great teacher. I am so glad I was able to take this class from her. Sadly, I was so busy stitching away that I forgot to take any photos!

Now a word about the shop I was at. It is called Olde World Quilt Shoppe and is about a 50 minute drive from my house. I had not been out to the shop before, but will definitely be going back again. The shops close to where I live focus on bright and modern prints. While I appreciate that look, it is not me. (My granddaughters? Yes!) Olde World Quilt Shoppe is filled with awesome plaids and beautiful flannels and wools, along with wonderful Civil War repros. Lots of kits and beautiful quilts on display. Plus the staff was so friendly! I immediately relaxed into a state of total bliss. They were named a Top Shop in 2009 (AP&Q Quilt Shop Sampler magazine). Great shop!

So that was my fun day. I came home to find that my granddaughter Mary had made dinner and Super Bowl treats. A good day made even better--I didn't have to cook!
 
Needful Things: Good friends, a little sewing, and someone else cooking!

I hope your needs are being met as well as my own were today!

Marcie

Monday, January 27, 2014

In Memory of My Dad


I have been out of the loop for so long that I wonder if anyone remembers me? If you will recall, my Dad moved into our home in Arizona the beginning of October. We were blessed to have him here for three months. He had his problems with oxygen and breathing, moving about, and so forth. He always maintained his positive attitude and his sense of humor. He passed away very quickly on January 3. He kept us laughing til the end. That morning he said to me, "Do you think it is worth it to get another haircut?" I looked into his sparkling clear blue eyes and we both laughed. Who knew that he would be gone that evening? 


Because of my faith I know that when my father reached the final rung in his ladder of life, he kicked off that weary old body and stepped into eternity to join our mother Louise, and other loved ones.This is what takes the sting out of death. While we mourn his loss, we find joy in our faith in eternal life and eternal families. I feel like Dad is kicking up his heels to be rid of his failing body. It's funny, but no matter how old he was, I always saw youth in his eyes. That spark of who he really is was always shining through. We all loved him for that and for the love he gave us as family and as individuals. He made it his business to stay close to his friends and to each family member, including his great-great-grandsons who were here recently.

This photo is from Dad's 90th birthday last February, 2013. That's me on top, Granddaughter Becky, my daughter Polly, and Micah and Grey, Dad's great-great-grandsons. Five generations! Becky wrote a lovely post about Dad that expresses who he was and how much he loved us.

Dad's full name was Wallace James Winspear, Jim to his friends. He was born in Buffalo, New York in February 1923. He left behind five children, 23 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. 

We are so blessed to have had him in our lives and for the love and example he has given us. We cherish our memories and hope we can reflect his attributes in our lives. 

Until we meet again dear Dad!


 "Maybe I should talk about my future, but I don't know what will happen there. 
Actually, that is pretty exciting -trying to figure out what will happen in the future. What is it like? What do we do? How will we eat, love, move, breathe?  On one hand I can't wait to get there. On the other, I don't want to leave the ones I love here. So, I guess it's all the hands of our Heavenly Father and he's done a pretty good job of me so far. My life has had a lot of really good stuff happen so we'll see what the future brings. 
As for you, you have your whole life still stretched out in front of you and that sounds pretty exciting to me too."
Excerpt from a letter from Grampa Jim to Becky


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From the heart of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was a poet! I have been reading a couple of his speeches of late and one can't help but be impressed with the beautiful way he has with words. Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the commemoration of the Gettysburg Address given by Lincoln at that solemn event. He message was brief and eloquent.


PHOTO: Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), the 16th President of the United States of America.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
-- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 19, 1863

I am not a historian, but I do enjoy books, movies, etc. about historical events. I love the personal stories. When my friend Joan and I had the privilege of visiting the Gettysburg battlefields a couple of years ago we took a tour from a very nice man who had grown up in Gettysburg and was dedicated to sharing its history.  We were delighted with the information he shared with us. For example, he told us that it was a last minute decision to invite the president to speak at the dedication of this cemetery that contained the graves of scores of soldiers who died in battle. President Lincoln honored them with his presence, and since it was upon such quick notice, he wrote his address on the train en route from Washington, DC to Gettysburg.  No speech writers, no teleprompters, but words from the heart of Abraham Lincoln that still touch us deeply 150 years later. Surely he has been a great influence upon our nation, and his influence continues as we remember him and words.
 As mentioned in my last post, my newest quilt pattern is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and his reputation for honesty. It is called Lincoln's Promise and is now available on my website. I had the pleasure of making it with Pam Buda's fabric line, American Gothic. If you wish to do the same, this fabric is available now at The Fat Quarter Shop, and other places as well. Follow the link to Patchalot Patterns and go to pattern page 2. Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lincoln's Promise


 My life has taken a dramatic shift and therefore so has my attention to blogging, quiltmaking, etc. Here is the deal. My 90 year old dad became quite ill in September and my siblings and I felt he should not be living alone any longer. The most logical solution was for him to move in with me and my husband in our Arizona home. So I flew to Arizona earlier than I intended, and my brother came from Minnesota with his two sons and they moved Dad and his belongings into my house. Dad's health has greatly improved, I am happy to say. His strength has increased and so has his desire to get back behind the wheel. That is our only bone of contention. Aside from that, things are going well. He is hooked on Netflix and watches lots of TV, and I am attending to his needs. I am happy I can be here to help him. Don't expect lots of new patterns from me however. That department has taken a back seat to Dad. Life changes, doesn't it? 

Before I came back to AZ I had the pleasure of designing a quilt with some fabric that Marcus sent me. The fabric is from a new line by Pam Buda of Prairie Women's Sewing Circle fame. Her quilts are wonderful and so is her fabric. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Pam as we email back and forth. Her new fabric line is called American Gothic and if you follow the link you can take a look at it. It is all wonderful little black and cream prints. I combined just a small amount of red with those beautiful prints and came up with this design that I call Lincoln's Promise. Somehow all the black prints made me think of Abraham Lincoln as he was always seen in his black suit and tall black hat. Lincoln has been called Honest Abe for his reputation of honesty. A promise made was a promise kept. Here is a man to whom all politicians refer, but few actually emulate.  So here is my small tribute to a great American President. May he long be remembered and cherished as one of our greatest!


 
 Photo: I just got this back from Mary Flynn of Quilt Hollow fame. She did a beautiful job quilting it for me. The black and cream fabric is from Pam Buda's new fabric line called American Gothic from  Marcus Fabrics. Love it! Thanks Pam and Marcus! Now I have to get to work on the pattern!

 By the way, if you are going to Quilt Market in Houston the quilt above will be hanging in the Marcus Fabrics booth, and the quilt below will be hanging in the American Patchwork and Quilting booth.


Photo: Do you have your copy of American Patchwork and Quilting, Dec 2013 issue? Check out my quilt, Star Patch! As always, their display and photography are outstanding!

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved

I hope you have seen this quilt in the Dec. 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. I had lots of fun making this quilt and yes, it took a while! But this is what I love, playing with little pieces of colorful scraps and seeing what comes of it. I love traditional designs, and I have fun making them a little unique to give them my signature. 
 “Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 
I have to show this additional quilt as well. It is designed by Pam Buda and is made from the American Gothic fabric line. It is just gorgeous! Check it out at Homespun Quilts, Pam's website. I just noticed that Fat Quarter Shop has it kitted, if you are interested. 

On a totally different vein, I HAVE A NEW GRANDDAUGHTER!   
 Photo: I have a new granddaughter! Meet Olivia Ann Patch, 7lbs 7oz. What a treasure!
 Her name is Olivia Ann Patch, 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Isn't she the sweetest? I am now blessed with 9 grandchildren. Three boys and six potential quilters! Plus Micah and Grey--my great-grands! 

All is well with the Patch family! Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, September 08, 2013

Stash Talkers

So, how was your summer? Mine went fast. I feel like time is slipping away from me. I will never ever catch up and am not really trying anymore. On the bright side, that does take the stress off!

My friend Marae in Arizona does a lot of quilting for me. When she quilted Diamond in the Rough she fell in love with it and made her own. Her colors are a little softer than mine and it is lovely!
Marae and her twin sister belong to a sewing group that they call Stash Talk. Follow the link to their blog and you can see lots of fun projects, like this one below!

 And this one above!

This is Marae's daughter Michelle and she has completed my Indian Paintbrush pattern. I never get tired of seeing my quilt designs made by others. Beautiful job Michelle!


 Michelle is a pattern designer and her designs are wonderful. The one above is called Zipper. She has an Etsy shop called Red Bucket List where she sells her patterns, plus fabric packs and some kits. It is a great site. I know you will love it!

Hope you had a nice weekend and got in a few stitches! 
And thanks to all of you who LIKE me on Facebook!
 **** I have just been corrected! The Zipper design above is a pattern from Thimble Blossoms. Follow the link for lots of darling patterns!  (9-17-13)



Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Summer of Books

 I'm sitting in the kitchen waiting for little pasta shells to boil so I can make some shrimp salad for dinner. Shrimp salad is a summer favorite around here and summer is all but gone today. I cooked the shrimp and need to peel it. Also need to chop up some celery and onion. A simple and satisfying meal. Maybe I will throw the last of the blueberries into some muffins too! An ambitious feat for me!

This has not been a summer of blogging for me, but it has been a summer of reading. I have read lots of good books this summer and listened to a few as well.

The King's Deception - Steve Berry


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer was my favorite!
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I read and enjoy all types of books and must admit that this one sat on the shelf for a long time simply because the name turned me off. Once I picked up the book and read a few pages I was hooked. This is a beautiful book in every respect. It takes place during and just after WWII in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands between England and France. The island was occupied by the Germans during the war and the book describes life there; the hardships as well as the joys. The characters are so endearing that you fall under their spell and feel that you are a part of their merry band. You feel the need to go there and meet them all.
The worst part is when you have completed the book and discover that the author, Mary Ann Shaffer, passed away in 2008, the year the book was published. A great loss for all of us who love this book! We would have loved more from this author.
If you are a Goodreads member you can friend request me and we can share what we read! I love that website!

I have been getting a little sewing done as well, but nothing that I can show, which I feel bad about. I have also been painting and doing yard work, not too exciting, and it leaves me exhausted! It all takes a very long time as I work for a half an hour and lay down for a half an hour. 

Don't forget to check out my Patchalot Patterns Facebook page and please LIKE my page! 

Have a great Labor Day weekend! And put your flag out!