Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crazy Big Block IV and Digital Cameras

Finally, the last entry on my Crazy Big Block quilt until it comes back from being quilted. I messed up my measurements, and thought I didn't have enough room on the oxford cloth sheet I got for a backing to add my extra border, but had looked at the wrong measurement. So, it only ended up 60 x 72. I am thinking of giving it to a cousin who just lost her husband, but since I don't live near her and haven't spent much time with her since I was in fifth grade and we shared a room for about half a school year (my father was USN and on a Med cruise so we stayed with her family for a few months) I need to do a little research through my niece to see if she is the type of person who would like a quilt. The good thing is she is short like me, so 72" long would probably be enough.
I was thinking the other day about how great digital cameras are. It is so nice to just grab the camera upload the photo and add to to a forum or a blog or email it to family and friends. Are we spoiled or what? No more buying film and waiting to take all the pictures, then waiting to get them developed, and the expense. One roll of 24 was probably about 11 or 12 dollars, so with what you save with the digital camera it really does pay for itself in a relatively short time. Just my old mind marveling about the new-fangled.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crazy Big Block III

Here is my Crazy Big Block quilt with the sashing. I still intend to do a small border of the cream color, and a large border of the not quite right roses, and at the two long ends another strip of about 3 inches wide, possibly of bricks. For me this is going along pretty fast, and I hope to finish the top today or tomorrow. It should end up about 58 x 76. Landsend had some oxford shirting sheets on sale, so I ordered a twin sized pink striped sheet to use for the backing. I figured if people buy the shirts at thift stores, why not for a backing. Well, back to life, we have errands to do and then hopefully my husband will be up to helping me with a little yard work. Have a nice day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Crazy Big Block II

Here is my quilt after completion of step 2. This is my stack of 9 crazy big blocks waiting to be sewn together. I have decided that I want to put sashing between the blocks, and also that I need to choose a border, so I think that I will take an undeserved break (as I haven't really done anything much yet) and go to JoAnn's. I may check first and see if a cut of rose print fabric with a black background that I have had for many years (probably at least 17 or 18) would do, or if it would clash big time. I got these fat quarters at Conncecting Threads, and thought about checking there, but I don't want to wait that long.
I just went and got the fabric that I was speaking of, and I can't quite make up my mind. I guess I'll think on it, and if anyone has an opinion, I would like to hear it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crazy Big Block

One more picture of our family gathering. My brother sent me this one which has all my mother's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren except for 1 out of state and my husband and I who left early due to his illness.
Either tomorrow or Sunday, I plan to do the Crazy Big Block workshop on Cyberquilters 4 C-Bees, and these are the fabrics I chose. It starts with 9 fat quarters, and I had bought a pack of thirty something to use for the OC, but since these were mostly mediums, and I need the darks and lights for the OC, I decided to use them. I think I may try to applique a heart or two on it, too, and so I may rob 1 more fat quarter. I have a lot more actual scraps than I thought though, so I will still have plenty for the OC. We may go to see our son and his family this week-end, so which day I work on my quilt will depend on that. The actual workshop is tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quilt Giveaway

This beautiful quilt is being given away
at Simplify by Camille Roskelley. All you have to do is go to her blog leave a comment and you are entered. Please, mention that I referred you if you decide to enter the Giveaway.

Sewing Room

I've been busy working on my sewing room, and it is starting to look better, but at the cost of the rest of the house. The closet is almost organized, although I have a lot more scraps to cut up for my organization project than I thought. The picture with the bookcase is looking to the left from the hall door, and the gray cabinet has my embroidery machine, the closet door is in between the bookcase and my embroidery machine. The picture with the TV is looking in through the hall door to the right, and the cabinet has my bernina, which I was quite shocked to find paperwork and realize that it is 18 years old. The picture with the sewing machine on the tables between the 2 windows is my Janome Jem, which I usually use to sew because it is easier to just sit and sew and not have to put a machine away in a cabinet afterwards. The big space between the gray cabinet and the 2 little tables with my Jem is where the bed will go when it is delivered. I am hoping to have enough room on each side of the bed to kind of scoot into to get to the back of the machines. My husband is still not feeling well, so I waited until he was asleep and moved everything myself. My mother's recliner is still on it's side in the middle of the living room, but I haven't talked myself into pushing it the rest of the way into the family room yet.
I am trying to get things together because the Cyberquilters 4 C-Bee's is having a workshop for a Crazy Big Block on Saturday, which is supposed to be very easy, and I thought that I could probably get that top done on the week-end and then get back to the CC and OC. It was nice having quilts in reserve to give my SIL's when they had surgeries, and now I have none, so I thought this would be a good way to have one quickly.
Well, back to work. When I was younger I would have had this finished in a couple of days even though I was working, but now, I putter and then break, putter and then break some more. It's a good thing I'm retired.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Family Gathering

Sunday we had our family gathering, all 34 of my mother's kids, grandkids and great-grandkids except for 1 great-granddaughter who is in New Mexico. All the cousins had a really good time together, there was a group for each age group. We had people here from Clermont, Starke, Minneola, Lawtey, Mulberry, Palm Bay, and Jacksonville, Fl., Brunswick, Ga. and Diagonal, Iowa.
My DH and I had to leave early, as my husband was feeling ill, we still don't know what the problem was, but he was dizzy and his equilibrium was off, and he was a little disoriented. I think that it could have had something to do with the heat, as he is not in real good shape.
My daughter said that we should do it at least once a year, and my niece who is the one from Iowa said that she would make it at least once a year. It is really heartwarming to me to know that they all get along, and all enjoy being together. It is interesting to see the younger ones looking up to the older ones, and being included by them. My niece commented to my daughter that the kids didn't once come to tell on anyone, or complain about anyone, they were having too good of a time. Evidently, after we left, there was a really good basketball game, and a few wrestling matches. We can go on with the cycle for awhile, as we have some early twenties, but a few babies, too.
Part of me was feeling like, oh no, I have so much to do, but then I reminded myself that I am retired and there is no time limit to getting things back together, or even working on things I want to work on, like my CC and my OC.
Nothing is more important than family, and in all 3 branches, mine and my 2 brothers, there have been divorces, some pretty messy and more than heartbreaking, and it is so good to see the children together, and I'm hoping that they will realize that even though bad things happen, that family is still important, and extended family still loves them and is there for them.
Off my soapbox now, I really hadn't intended to climb onto it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


We got some beautiful flowers this week in sympathy for my mother's passing away. The orchid is from my mother's main nurse, and the flower arrangement is from my DH's sister and her husband. It was very thoughtful of them, and a cheerer upper. The orchid is alive, and I do not have a green thumb, so I hope that I can keep it that way.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Wendy to give you 7 Random or Weird things about me.

Here are the rules:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3 Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Here are Seven Random or Weird Facts About Me:

1. I only have 2 children, but they both believed in large families, so I have 14 grandchildren. My daughter has 6 children, 5 boys and a girl, and my son has 5 by his first marriage, 3 girls and 2 boys, and 3 in his second marriage, a step-daughter, a stepson, and a baby girl who is 2 now.

2. I spend way too much time on my computers, I have a desktop and a laptop. I read and read about quilting, and don't get nearly as much done as I should because of it.

3. I'm scared of dogs. My mother was terrified of them, and passed it down to me. I didn't want my children to have the same fear, so I tried to hide it, and so they have a respect of them, but not a fear. There are so many animal lovers who quilt that I'm sure that seems awful to them, but I can't help it. I like them, I'm just afraid of them. I even like to watch the Westminster dog show on TV.

4. If I am down in the dumps and see a baby, it cheers me up and makes me happy. Even the pictures of grandchildren and nieces and nephews on my screensaver can do the trick. Their cute little innocent faces make it hard to stay grumpy or sad.

5. I buy too much on HSN and QVC. I am not out of control, but I have to watch myself.

6. My mother lived with me for 20 months and wrote about 30 poems, which I feel are kind of a legacy, and gave her a way to get things out of her system, but I have never written a poem. I don't know if I have one in me.

7. I used to have quite a few family (extended family, too) parties, and enjoyed it, and hope to start again. Unfortunately though, I have a pattern.First I want to have it, then when I am in the thick of it, I think why did I do this, then I enjoy it again. I don't like to hurt people's feelings, but somehow I always seem to say something that I am afraid may have. So the last 2 steps are usually laying awake worrying about it, and then calling them on the phone to apologize and explain.

I am now about to become the "dreaded" blogger, as I have to find 7 people to tag. I can see that I will be lying awake worrying if I've made anyone mad at me.
Also, I'm feeling proud of myself. I just did my first link.

I am tagging the following people:

Renee who just got a great new Bernina with BSR.
Angela who is a runner just like Wendy who tagged me.
Donna who is a new blogger like me.
Suze who is the same age as I am.
Linda C. who is also the same age as I am, but is much more experienced at quilting and needle work.
BitnByAQuiltingBug Regina, who has beautiful quilts and delicious looking bean soup and home made bread.
Roslyn who has cut and organized her fabrics. They look beautiful, and I hope to do the same.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Wondering

When I first started my blog I asked my husband to come and read it, but he was in the middle of something. Later, he was going to go to read it, but I could see that he didn't really want to, so I told him that was ok, he didn't have to read it. He didn't, and hasn't mentioned it since. I haven't told anyone else in the family that I even have one, as I know that they probably would only read it from duty or loyalty, as they haven't got any interest in quilting. I was just wondering if most people share their blogs with family, or if it is pretty much just for themselves. I must have an idle mind, I guess I need to get to work.


My house is still in a mess, i haven't been able to really get going too well. When my mother moved in with me, she moved into our second bedroom, which had been my sewing room, guest room. One of my best memories is the look of happiness she had when she first got here, and saw her room ready for her with her little sitting area with her recliner and bookcase and TV. She also had a big dresser with a mirror that my brother had brought down, and it looked nice and gave her some of the privacy that she wanted. I got a hug for that, and my mother was loving, but not in a physical way. I am in the process of trying to get things organized to move back, but now it just seems like "mother's room".
Part of me wanted to just have a sewing room, as I had given my queen sized bed to my daughter when my mother got her hospital bed, but then there are guests who we may have occasionally, who would be more comfortable in a bed, than on the couch. Also, there are times when my husband is ill, or is snoring too loudly, that I like to have a place to go.
I have ordered a new queen bed and headboard, and it should be 3 to 6 weeks, and I have 3 folding bookshelves to put in the walk-in closet for storage of fabric and misc. quilting and sewing items. I have acquired an embroidery machine since I moved out of my sewing room, so I'm not quite sure how I will fit that in. I guess that I need to go in there with a measuring tape and do some figuring. I am weird in that not only does it have to work and be efficient for my comfort, but also, it has to be attractive or I won't really like it. I wish that it could be all self contained, but I think that pressing and cutting may have to still be done in the family room, or dining room. I dream of having a short arm, but I don't know how I'd ever fit that in.
I have acquired another box of scraps too, and I am hoping to do some cutting and preparing of the fabrics ala Bonnie, and then have strips ready for future mysteries and possibly do some crumb blocks. I am kind of tired of the same old fabrics, and would like to have them used up. I don't have a big stash, but I can see how some people feel that the scraps are breeding behind our backs.
It will come together, and I will get back to my Carolina Straightaway, and my Orange Crush, soon I hope.
As you can see, I have a lot of work to do.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Getting Back to "Normal"

It has only been 2 days since my mother passed away. My brothers both left this morning, one had been here since Easter and the other just got here yesterday. No more nurses round the clock. My mother was with us for about twenty months. It is now back to just my husband and I, and it will be an adjustment. There is more to do than I had realized. Hospice has to pick up medical equipment, and another company will be coming Monday to pick up a CoughAssist machine and my mother's hospital bed. My niece in Iowa is planning to leave this week to drive down here, and next week-end everyone will be back (including nieces, nephews, grandchildren etc.) here to just get together at the park or somewhere not determined yet. I ordered a bed for my mother's room, which will now be a combination sewing and guest room, and it will be a few weeks before it gets here. Meanwhile, I have sorting and organizing of my mother's things, and the same for mine to go back into the room. It is hard to go through my mother's things as it feels like an invasion of privacy. I am starting to feel like my blog is a real downer, I feel like it is me, me, me, and I'm getting tired of myself. Hopefully, it will be better when I get back to working on things, meanwhile my apologies to anyone who had the patience to wade though this.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Mother Passed

My mother was under hospice care at home 24 hours a day from Sunday until last evening at 6:55 PM, and then she passed peacefully away. It is a sad time, but we all know that it is a release for her, and at least she is not suffering anymore. Her disease was a cruel one where had she lived she would have just continued to get weaker, until she wouldn't have been able to move any parts of her body, and with her age, she was ready to go. Until the last week or so, she was still able to get back and forth to the bathroom with help, and able to read and do her puzzles, so at least she was spared the worst of it.
Now, there is just some sorting and such to do, and getting back organized, and then hopefully, I will get back to my CC and OC. Right now, I don't feel much like it, but it will come.
In June, we will take her ashes back to Iowa, which she loved, and have a graveside service and then she will be settled and hopefully completely at peace, and we will feel we did our best for her.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I am the caretaker for my mother, who has lived with me for about 20 months, and been diagnosed with ALS for about 3 years. Since January she has been on hospice, and as of this past week-end she has been on critical care, and we have had a nurse in our home for the past 24 hours. They feel the end is near, and so I won't be working on anything for awhile, but hope to catch up sometime.
Hospice has been wonderful, and they make a hard time much easier for all concerned. They are keeping her sedated and as comfortable as possible.

Orange Crush

I have plans to start my Orange Crush and have gotten the fabrics. I am grateful that Bonnie is taking 2 weeks before the next clue, as I am still lagging behind as usual. The sunflower material is for the back, just because I like sunflower material, and the fat quarters I will use for the lights and darks for my 4 patches, along with whatever else I dig out of my "stash". I use the term loosely, as mine is not very impressive, but we will see what I can come up with. The only fabrics I haven't gotten yet are whatever will be used on my borders. I plan to make 2 lap sized quilts rather than 1 queen sized at this point. Who knows, I could change my mind.

Carolina Crossroads

I have been plugging along slowly on my Carolina Crossroads (mine will be a Carolina Straightaway lap sized) and was thinking about using a red, white and blue in the center instead of a neutral, but I think that it would be too busy, so will follow the plan. Also, I got my rail fences turned the wrong way, but this was good enough for me to kind of get the idea.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Granddaughter's Christmas 2006

Well, here I am again, I can't seem to stop. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I'm about to run out of things to write about and it's only my second day. I'm the queen of squares, and I'm hoping that I will get out of my comfort zone. I have a feeling that the Orange Crush is going to help with that problem. I'm still working on the Carolina Crossroads (my version of it) and it has been mostly squares again, but tiny ones, so still a challenge. For Christmas a couple of years ago I made quilts for all my granddaughters, and yes they were all charm squares. In my defense, I did have six of them to do, so quick and easy was my excuse. I also make rectangles, quite a stretch. For the past 4 years I have made pillowcases for family children, and have probably made about 125 all together. They are kind of like potato chips, and I make the ones that start out a tube and end up all finished even without the serger. It's almost like magic.

New at Machine Embroidery

I am new to machine embroidery, but have lots of plans for things I want to try to do. I did fleece blankets for several grandsons for Christmas, and due to them having the names on them, they were well received. I also did towels for my DD, DGD, my DD's friend, and my brother. They all were suitably impressed. Even though my skill level is about a 2 on a scale of 10, they aren't aware of it. I did a couple of hand towels for myself with the old world Santa's on them, and they are my favorite things I have done so far. I'll post a picture. The one is in Irish. I got the spelling of Merry Christmas in Irish off the internet. I just need more energy and time to keep up with my ambitions.

New Year's Eve Sudoku

Not a mystery, but still comeraderie and sociabiltiy involved, was the Sudoku quilt on Stashbusters. Stephanie Driel, came up with the idea to get a group together for the Sudoku, and I liked mine enough so that I use it on my bed. I have a queen sized bed, and it is a little big for my sudoku, but my DH and I like it there just the same. I got to use my new embroidery machine on this one too, as I did an embroidered Sudoku in each corner of the quilt. I'm posting 2 pictures of this one, one on the bed. I call it Sumo Sudoku, as it got a little bloated compared to the original.

Simply Squares Mystery

The first mystery I took part in was the Simply Squares Mystery by Marge Gordon on CyberQuilters 4-C-Bee's. I liked the experience so much that I have taken part in more since, and plan to hopefully finish the ones I have started and do more. I am posting a picture of it, although I only have a picture of the top with borders, I didn't get another picture of it after it was finished.

Another SIL had surgery for breast cancer recently, so this one also had a home to travel to. She called it lovely, and said that she used it when sitting or laying on the couch, so it will hopefully be well used. I sent some rice bags for my BIL with it, and she says he uses them everyday. We live in Florida, but they live in Rhode Island, and I guess that feet really can get cold there.

Learning Curve

I guess I'm not doing as well as I thought at this new blogging learning curve. The last post was supposed to have a picture of my Bargello Bowl, so I'll try again.

Bargello Bowl

I think that it was the first day that Quiltvillechat was organized that I joined. Unfortunately, due to life I didn't get started on the first mystery, Carolina Crossroads, right away and am still lagging behind. When Bonnie came up with the idea of the Bargello Bowl, I thought that was something that maybe I could join in on, and I finished that in a semi-timely manner. I was happy with how my scrappy one turned out, and before it was back from the LA'er, I heard that one of my SIL's was having a knee replacement. It sounded like the place that it needed to go, and she has since received it and called to say that she really liked it. It's nice to have something you made appreciated.
I liked it so much that I think that it is back on my list of future quilts.
One of the nicest things about quilting is the people you communicate with are so nice and willing to help and share. Bonnie is one of the most giving, and I appreciate the beautiful patterns and helpful methods and hints that she shares.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New to Blogging

I have been resisting blogging. I have enjoyed all the blogs that I have visited and am not sure that I am up to snuff, but have decided to give it a try. I am neither a prolific writer or quilter (crafter), but I enjoy the process and I guess that there is no time limit to come up with something wise or helpful to others (or just to rattle on).
I retired from a large companies business office back in March of 2006, and in September of 2006 my mother, who had been ill for about a year or so with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) agreed to come and live with us. She lived in Iowa, which she loved, and we live in Florida, which she doesn't love so much, and it was hard for her, but became necessary as it was harder and harder for her to live by herself. She has grown progressively weaker, and now my brother, who retired this year, is staying here indeffinitely to help. My mother loves having him here, and my life has become easier, as my husband was willing to help, but her modesty prevented it. Now, I will have more time to quilt and to blog.
I have been married to DH since June of 1964, which is probably before much of the population was born. We have only 2 children, but they both believe in big families and so my daughter has 6 children and my son has 5 from his first marriage, and 2 stepchildren and a now 2 year old from his second marriage. My blog won't be a specialized just for quilting blog, but will be about quilting and family and a little bit of whatever comes to mind.
If I get the nerve to actually tell anyone that I have a blog, thank you for coming to visit and putting up with my learning curve.
This could be fun.