Sunday, December 26, 2010

Make Way for Thomas

Here is the quilt I made for one of my niece's twins as a Christmas gift. I tried to find a Tinkerbell panel for her daughter, but could only find a fleece one that I liked and it was the wrong colors and I don't really love working with fleece. So I will have to work hard this year finding a Tinkerbell or other suitable panel for a little girl.

I found this panel while we were visiting our son at college. When I parked at his fraternity house, he was gabbing with some of the guys in the parking lot. I couldn't wait to show him the panel of Thomas the Tank Engine. I was afraid the guys might razz him, thinking I had bought it for him. When I unfolded it, they were all ga-ga and wanted one to hang in their rooms at the fraternity house. They loved Thomas! I guess they are just big kids at heart.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet my friend

I am so fortunate to have a wonderful friend. She is 92 and a lovely lady. We used to work on a church committee together, but she decided to give it up because her eyesight was not as good as she would like. Our committee required a lot of reading, but she is helping us in other ways. She loves to be involved, so we have found different things that she can do. Since she no longer drives, I visit her when I can and we went out for lunch to celebrate her birthday. The florist truck came to our house last week and lo and behold, my dear friend had sent me this gorgeous poinsettia. It really lights up our house. What a generous thing to do and it is just so like her! Aren't I lucky to have a friend like Evelyn?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Three French Hens??

Or a partridge in a pear tree?

Would you believe six turkeys in a crab apple? Yep, they have taken up residence in our tree and our yard and just about everywhere else on our property. They are so funny to watch. They hop up and down trying to grab some of the crab apples off the tree. They really have to crane their necks to reach. They have cleaned out all the bottom branches and now have to sit on the fence or fly up into the tree to get more. We have a turkey parade everyday. Yesterday they stayed 5 or 6 hours. Today they came and went most of the day. The deer joined them for awhile, but one turkey got brave and chased them off. It's better than TV.

I got a picture of one turkey who was taking off in flight.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monzu Birthday Cakes

For my daughter's birthday, I bought two little cakes from a local restaurant. They specialize in custom cakes and have these adorable little cakes available daily in about 10 different flavors. Each type is decorated differently. I got a Double Chocolate Caramel Truffle (chocolate cake flavored with Butterschnapps with buttercream between the layers and ganache frosting) and a Java Explosion ( the same but flavored with espresso instead of Butterschnapps). There was even a coffee bean on top of the Java cake that was dusted in gold. These are so delicious and I sometimes give them as birthday gifts to my friends.

This was such a treat to be able to celebrate with her --the first time we have been together for her birthday in 4 years. We are having such a nice visit and are so glad to have her home for a whole month.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On your mark

This is a Christmas Quilt I made last year or the year before. The pattern was generously provided on the Patchalot website, so I got busy and made a couple. It was a fun and easy pattern to put together during the holidays.

We are gearing up for our daughter's birthday on Thurs. She has declared no decorating or Christmas hoopla until we finish celebrating for her. I don't blame her. It is easy to rush into the holidays without really focusing on what is important.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's a 32 Turkey Day

I looked out the window this morning and saw huge bunch of turkeys gathered under the crab apple tree in our back yard. I counted 18 and watched for awhile as they jumped onto the branches, onto the fence rails and just jumped up and down pulling the little berries off the tree. They stayed for about 10 mminutes and then moseyed on down a couple of house til they came to the chain link fence. When they returned I counted again as they headed into the woods and counted 32. I could not believe it! Where was my net when I needed it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Little Houses

I finished this little wall quilt on Sunday. Even the hangers are on the back so I could use it right away. The patterns for the trees and houses came from a quilt-a-day desk calendar that a friend gave me several years ago. When I first got it for Christmas, I thought "Wow! I can do this. " There was a picture of a finished quilt on Monday and then each day of the week there were patterns for each block and additional settings. The next Monday a new quilt was introduced. I figured I could whip out a quilt a week easily.

January almost killed me and I got 2 quilt tops pieced and one of those got quilted. This is the 2nd quilt. I made up the templates for the quilting for the borders. The border at the bottom has the year. When I got ready to quilt it this past weekend, I saw that the year on the template was 2007. I guess it is a good thing I finally got it done! LOL.

I added little trees to the houses and some buttons for extra decoration. It still looks very plain to me, but I really don;t want to spend any more time on it. Now I can move on to sewing for Christmas.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneak Preview

I got busy quilting a small wall quilt that I pieced together several years ago. I had made templates on freezer paper for quilting the borders. I decided that wouldn't work so I then copied the templates onto tissue paper. I did all this several years ago and was amazed when I found most of the tissue paper templates without much trouble as well as the freezer paper ones. I got the borders quilted today. Each one is different. The one above says "home" and has little houses in a row. One border says "heart" and one says" hand." The fourth border has the year. I have started the binding. Then comes a few embellishments. I will be glad to have this finished and off my to do list.

I have started cutting out pieces for my next quilt which will be a Christmas gift. It's always so fun to start a new project and I do better when I have a deadline, so it shouldn't take too long to whip this one out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear Jane Pillow

All of you Dear Jane fans, have you seen this pillow? My mother-in-law, who by the way is the greatest ever, made this pillow for me. It is a cross stitch pattern that she made for me as a Christmas present. I love it. I think it will even match most of the colors in my quilt whenever I finish it. Just don't ask me when that will be.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Chilly Fall Weekend

This weekend was the Purdue- Illinois football game. Our son is a student at the University of Illinois and I went to Purdue. We drove to Champaign for the weekend and went to the game on Saturday. It was windy and cold, but the sun was shining and we were sitting in the Purdue section with lots of other Boilermakers. Purdue lost miserably, but it was still fun to see all the colorful orange shirts and watch the bands from both schools and just soak up the atmosphere. We even took in the women's volleyball game in the evening. Next year, maybe Purdue will have a comback!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goats & more

No trip to Door County is complete without a stop at Al Johnson's. It's a scandinavian restaurant with a grass roof and goats that keep it neatly mowed. They serve lignonberries as a side dish. What a treat! I have no idea what those guys are doing on the roof. They look pretty official with their clipboards. Maybe they are on goat patrol.

Saturday I took a machine quilting class called Beyond Stippling. What a humbling experience. I always think it looks so easy until I try it. I have a Bernina with a stitch regulator so my stitches usually are even, but I just can't seem to make transitions well, so my squared off corners are kind of rounded and my straight lines are kind of shaky. I know the secret is practice, so I will have to make time everyday for awhile to get it right. The poor lady next to me did not get a supply list before class, so came unprepared. She missed the first practice session while rounding up fabric. Then her machine broke 3 needles and she had some problem with her bobbin. She changed threads on top and in the bobbin several times to no avail. When we came back from lunch, she had packed up and gone home. I can't say I blame her. I probably would have done the same.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Frabjous Day

What a fantastic day! We drove to Door County today to check out the fall colors. We made the wine tasting tour which is always fun. Only I don;t recommend starting at 10:30 am (altho we were not alone since the parking lot was full, LOL), since I was already a little light headed when we left the first winery. Glad my hubby was driving. Guess I should have had breakfast. We took in 4 or 5 wineries and an Amish quilt show. Sorry no photos. There were about 40 - 50 quilts that were folded in half on two tables. Two ladies unfolded them one at a time and described the pattern, the quilt size, the drop, and any other pertinent info, including the price. All were handstitched, of course, and very lovely. There was one quilt that featured cherries, since Door County is known for their cherries and another was a white whole cloth quilt with a huge lighthouse stitched in the middle. The border had seashells, anchors and chain. It was really unique and well done. One quilt was sold while we were there. It had a black background with tan fans. At the edge of each fan, beautiful lace was inserted in an arc. Each quilt ranged from $800 - $1200. There were also lap quilts, wall quilts, placemats, quillows, potholders and doll clothes.

The highlight of my day was stopping for lunch at the Gibraltar Grill. The grill is owned by a former high school classmate. What makes this special is we went to high school 500 miles from here and we hadn't seen each other in 40 years. He took us to his house after lunch to meet his wife and daughter. It is fun to know that an old friend is nearby.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Triple Wedding

One of the news highlights for our area this week is the coming of the triple wedding. The president of the local college has 3 daughters who are getting married this coming Saturday in one ceremony. A fourth daughter is serving as maid of honor to all 3 sisters. Each couple is having their own priest, wedding cake, attendants, processional and recessional. I don't quite know how the dad is going to walk all 3 down the aisle, but I'm sure they have it all figured out. Two of the 3 sisters lives away from here, so the one bride who is local is doing almost all the planning. The other two say she does a fantastic job of organizing and they trust her taste and judgment.

The local Fox news channel is interviewing a different vendor each day this week. Yesterday I saw the photographer who is bringing along 2 more photographers so they can capture it all. Fox is also interviewing the caterers, the hairdressers, etc. On Friday morning the brides and grooms are all to appear on Good Morning America. What a hoot. I don't know any of these people but I want to be there. It sounds like such a special event. Fortunately the local news will bring it all to my doorstep.

The dad has a wonderful blog that he has been keeping for the last year. Some really special and poignant moments.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thanks Luann

Luann gave me the great suggestion to add embroidery floss to this little scarecrow to give him hair. It turned out so perfect. Wish I would have thought of that! Thanks so much for the idea, Luann.

Had to cover the plants last night as we had FROST! Yikes. I am not ready for winter yet.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My favorite

My favorite quilt from the quilt show yesterday was this quilt called Playing in the Jungle. It is so cute and extremely well done. So creative. Each of the animals is so colorful and the quilter put lots of embellishments and extras into the design. A real treat to see.

I also took photos of the badges (?) that the prize ribbons were attached to. The name of the quilt show was Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Quilting. There was a traveling show of quilts on the American/ Red, White, Blue theme and the badges were made on that same theme.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another Quilt Show

I had the great fortune to spend the afternoon at another quilt show. This one was really nice. Some beautiful applique. These are photos of some of my favorites. It was a very chilly day and one of the vendors told me that there was not a very good turnout. What a shame. The quilters and the guild work so hard to put it on. Hopefully Sunday will have better attendance. I went with a friend who is a beginning quilter. It is always fun to see the reaction to such beautiful work.