Friday, August 28, 2009


We had another big storm last night. Our deck, which is covered by a roof, was totally soaked. All our wicker furniture and cushions was covered, fortunately. But sitting on the table was my cute little red, white and blue quilt with a plant on it. Last summer this little quilt sat on the table all summer and when fall rolled around, I took the plant off it to bring it in the house and noticed that the center was rotted! I had the plant sitting in a clay saucer, but apparently they are more porous than I realized. Oh, my poor little quilt! I had planned to do some sort of repair job this past winter, but that never happened. Summer came and I put it out on the table again, with the rotted center covered by a plant. How ingenious.

Well, my poor little quilt took another hit. It was dripping wet from the rain when I brought it in the house, and the red fabric was bleeding. Sigh! Now I will try to save it once again. Spray n Wash all the red stains and throw it in the wash with a load of darks and a dye catcher sheet. Hope for the best. The worst that can happen is that it will come out looking like an old quilt. How bad is that? I love old quilts!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Have you been waiting with bated breath? OK, probably not, but here it is just the same. The completed top for the new baby boy that is joining our family! It measures 50 inches square, plenty big for a boy to grow into. I have it all packed up to go see a very nice quilter.

This was a fun quilt to construct. I fussed with the dimensions to get the stars and nine patch blocks a good size for cutting and construction. I try to avoid measurements that include "3/16ths" or "1/8th". I would much rather cut an eighth inch larger and trim to perfection.
This is the end of my Prairie Paisley, except for small pieces which I will now feel free to cut into with wild abandon.
Hope your day is filled with smiles!

Friday, August 21, 2009


How are you keeping cool this summer? Way back in the 1950's there was no air conditioning that I ever heard of. We would run under the sprinkler, or lay in a plastic blow up pool. Fans would be running inside, and we would be outside as much as possible. Find some shade and play in the cool grass. In the evenings I would swing high on my swingset and sing my heart out as my hair flew back and forth in the breeze.

A few times in the summer heat our family would pack the station wagon and we would head over the Peace Bridge that took us from New York into Canada to Crystal Beach on Lake Erie. This was the ultimate summer treat!

The photo above shows my grandmother, on the right, relaxing with friends in the water. She has the cute hair thingy on. I have been wondering how old these ladies are? I am guessing they are in their fifties. My grandmother was born in 1898, and this photo must have been taken in the early 1950's. Here is hoping that Grandma doesn't find out about me sharing this picture or there may be a haunting taking place. 

Grandma is the one who taught me to stop and smell the flowers, literally. When I was 18 months old I escaped from my crib during nap time and walked to my Grandmother's house. She lived  around the block from us. My mother never knew I was missing. After that Mother always walked me to the top of the street and I walked the rest of the block alone, with Grandma waiting at the bottom of the block. And I actually remember this! While walking with me Grandma taught me to look at the flowers and smell them, but don't pick! I also remember her leaning over me as I examined bugs and she would identify them by name. 

Now I am the grandma, and  I sometimes wonder if my grandchildren feel linked to me at all in the same way that I was to my grandmother? It would  be a great honor if they did, but in the hectic lives that everyone seems to live these day would they even notice that I tried to teach them to smell the flowers?  

I think my grandchildren don't worry so much about the flowers. They think "Life's a Beach"! I think my grandma could have told them a thing or two about that as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Remember this darling quilt that was in McCall's Quilting, June 2009 issue? I love it, in all its simplicity! Julie Hendrickson is the designer, and she also has a new line of fabric out of those darling little shirtings and small prints called Gathered Over Time, from Windham Fabrics. They are right down my alley. I ordered some the other day to add to my large stash of shirtings, also gathered over time!

And I bought a red stripe that was just the perfect thing for the baby quilt I am working on for my new grandson that is coming in December. I sewed all the blocks together yesterday. Those shirtings and stripes go perfect with the Prairie Paisley blues!

For those who enjoy looking at vintage quilts, check out this Youtube video of Julie Hendrickson showing some of her collection. Yummy!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009


This has been a month of fiddling with many projects. I began this little cutie last month while in Arizona so I would have some handwork with me. You may remember when I talked about it HERE. I love showing off all the cute little fabrics in both the appliqued segments and the background pieces. A perfect little project for a fabric junkie. You can handle and fondle to your heart's content. This project is from Remembering Adelia, one of Kathleen Tracy's doll quilt books. Check out her cute books on her website! Kathleen doesn't know it, but we are kindred spirits.
I am doing a different border fabric than she used, as I rarely copy anyone's design exactly. More on that later when it is completed.

Also this week I was delighted to get this quilt back from my quilter. I showed the details of this quilt in an earlier blog HERE. I added a border (Kansas Troubles fabric) to this to make it big enough for a queen bed for my newly married son and his wife. The quilting is very nice! I hope they love it! And I am saying "YAY! Another quilt finished!"

Now finally, I was determined to spend some time cleaning my sewing room yesterday, and as I cleared things from my over flowing cutting table, I found this quilt that I made months ago. I even had it spray basted and ready to quilt. It needed a little smoothing and pinning after waiting so long, but I quilted it up in a jiffy. As you can see, I am a straight line quilter. If only I was a straight line worker! Instead I seem to take so many side trips down a windy little Quilter's Lane! :)

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yesterday I had to go to the Post Office to mail out a pattern order to England. (I mention that just to impress you). This Post Office is in a little shopping strip, and next door was a small thrift store. I had a few minutes to spare, so I decided to go in and browse. I am always drawn to the dishes and they had a big wall of shelves full of dishes. I picked up a little pie dish and held on to it. Then I saw a little silver tray by Oneida and thought of all the silver I received as wedding gifts and never used. I spotted a silver casserole just like one I once had, all tarnished and unattractive. How sad. Where did mine go?

"Oh look!" I say to myself, "I had dishes just like these that I tried to sell at a garage sale last summer!" Funny how one's mind races from "I should buy this" to "wait a minute, I got rid of this"! Further searching of the shelves found many of the same dish pattern scattered around in no particular order. "Well for heaven's sake, they aren't even arranged together. This is a terrible sales approach!" By this time I am having quite a conversation with myself. "Why are these dishes not selling? These are cute dishes! I only got rid of them because my daughter has some Fly Lady approach to streamlining, and my dishes fell into her path. And then, the ultimate realization: "These are my dishes"!

The thing is, they didn't sell at my garage sale, and now I found them cast off by Goodwill, and still sitting on the shelf at a thrift store that isn't even a major name thrift store. A little part of me is feeling rejected.

After the garage sale last summer my daughter boxed up all the leftovers (after I fled the scene) and she immediately drove them to Goodwill. Sometimes it is difficult parting with things, even though it is the logical thing to do. "I might need that later on", I think.
I do the same thing with all those fabric scraps. "I know I can use that", so it gets saved in a box with others of its kind. I think if you are a scrapper, that logic prevails in other aspects of your life.
But how many remnants does one need, whether they be dishes or fabric or something else? This question remains unanswered. But one thing I do know. Sometimes we have trouble letting go, even when it makes perfect sense to do so.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


My computer has been giving me fits and I feel like I have been ousted from the game of blogging! Oh, I know, we all have our woes when it comes to our computer. So this may be boring for you, but just picture me trying to post on my blog from a black screen. OK, it is not quite that bad at the moment, but because that is what it has been doing of late, I hurried and edited and posted my photos just in case it tries to outwit me at my own game. The thing is, my screen does not want to cooperate, so editing is my own personal joke. Does it, or does it not look better? I have to publish, and then look at my blog on my husband's computer to see for sure. He doesn't like me using his laptop for fear that I will wreck it. Who me? So I must innocently wait until he takes a little nap and then snag it. So who am I playing
cat and mouse with, my computer, or my husband? Both, actually!

So let's get to the good stuff! I no longer have to contain myself, the secret is out! My son and his wife are expecting a baby boy! This news has had me spending hours at the computer, when it allows me, working on quilt designs in EQ6 for my new grandson, who is due to make his appearance in December. I have come up with many ideas, and then settled on one that I really like. I felt the need to design a quilt just for this welcome little child! And I still have some Prairie Paisley fabric that I managed to reserve in my stash, waiting for just the right project. Yay! This is it!

Here are a couple pictures to make you curious. I think it will be cute! More a little boy quilt than a baby quilt, actually. I may have to get Goldilock's approval on this quilt for Little Boy Blue. I like the way she thinks!
My dad was here to visit this past week. He lives in Arizona, but he came here from Minnesota. He spent a month there with each of my two brothers and their families, and had fun visiting friends, etc. This time he decided that he needed a cell phone, so my brother helped him get one. He hasn't quite figured out how to work it. A lady friend of his asked him to attend a wedding with her at this big basilica in Minneapolis. In the middle of the ceremony -- you guessed it! His cell phone went off. Well, he didn't know how to turn it off, so he just opened it and closed it and put it back in his pocket. Then it rang again! I know he was totally embarrassed. Some lady sitting behind him was able to turn it off for him. He is 86 years old, so we cut him some slack.

We enjoyed having him spend some time here. We walked down to the beach a couple times, and ate fish at several different restaurants. But mostly he sat on the deck and read books. He knows we always have tons to choose from and I think he finished the last three Harlan Coben books, our favorite author. He is now back in Arizona. We encouraged him to stay longer, but he said, "I don't want to miss Arizona in August"! What a crack up! His outlook and attitude is something we all need to aspire to!

Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying August as well!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Once upon a time Grandma Mousie made a little quilt. And actually, the center was created using a Little Quilts pattern for the Sunbonnet Sue. This little quilt went to live with Granddaughter Danielle, to hang on her bedroom wall. Years passed and Danielle grew up to the age of 13. Little girl quilts were no longer of interest to her. Recently this little quilt surfaced again while packing up the closet in Danielle's bedroom. Grandma Mousie thought that it would look cute in Goldilocks' bedroom, with her 1930's repro quilt that she just finished for her bed. So she mailed it off to Goldilocks' house.  Above is Goldilocks, pretending to sleep.
Goldilocks likes her new little quilt, and wraps up in it while watching TV, reading a book, or riding in the car! She even took it camping!
"Oh no!" Says Goldilocks! "Don't hang it on the wall, I want to snuggle with it. I love it!" This makes Grandma Mousie very happy! 
Above, the photo shows the little quilt sitting on top of the 1930's repro quilt on Goldilocks' bed.  When asked how she likes her big quilt, she says she likes it, but not as much as the little one! She hardly lets that one out of her sight. Someday Goldilocks will grow up and prefer a bigger quilt. Grandma Mousie will happily make her another one, because Goldilocks knows how to show appreciation for a quilt! No doubt she will live happily ever after!