Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Brother's Woodworking

I can't believe that I have hardly posted in the past few months, and now in just 2 days I have posted 3 times. I guess once I get started I can't hush up.
I wanted to share some more of my brothers tables. A few months ago he made me a laptop desk very similar to these, and I guess he liked it too because he has made himself these two. The darker one is walnut and he made it first for a laptop table for himself, and then he made the second from cherry and just finished it in the past few days. He wanted it to hold an old singer sewing machine that he had gotten for himself and uses occasionally, although he is not a quilter. The legs were a little short so he added some ebony wood and it looked nice so he also made an ebony knob and added some little round insets on each side that he made from oak and dyed ebony. Between the three of them, they are similar but a little different from each other and I love all 3. I'm really proud of his skill, he just started a few years ago and is self taught and does really beautiful work. He does almost everything himself except cut down the tree, when he starts it is a big heavy rough board and he goes from there. I think he is quite something.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I've been doing a "little" shopping, some not so "little". I have been wanting to get a new car for several years, and due to something my daughter said, I went ahead and did it. I have some buyers remorse, but hopefully, it will be a good thing. We were talking about a 40 something friend of hers who has shingles and the treatment for it. She said something about her friend being young, but people who are 60ish, as is usual for shingles, only having 10 or 15 years to live (quoting from her friend's doctor). After I got over my initial dismay I decided that hopefully, I have many years more than that, but just in case, what am I waiting for. I want to enjoy my new car while I am able and I feel like having it will hopefully get me out more and keep me a bit more active. The fear of making such a purchase in hard times is giving me my buyer's remorse, but hopefully it wasn't a mistake. I talked myself into thinking I deserved it, lol. We got it the day before Father's day, so my husband likes to tell everyone that he got it for me for his Father's day. It's about the same color as this print. Khaki.
I went to the quilting group that meets in our town last week for the first time, and was shocked to see that there were about 35 people there. This is the slow time too, as in the winter when the snow birds are here they have close to twice as many. One of the ladies had some of their challenge fabric and asked if I'd like it as she didn't plan to use hers and I said yes, thank you. The smallest fabric below is the challenge fabric, and I purchased the others today to go with it. I'm thinking that I'll make one of the little baskets that are on so many blogs courtesy of Pink Penguin.

The fabrics below were on sale for $5.00 a yard, and I needed some neutrals. The wild one just caught my eye, and I was surprised when I got home that my DH really liked it, too.
I also signed up for my first "shop hop", and am looking forward to going around to the different shops. There are only 4, and one is about 5 miles from me, so it should be fairly easy. It goes on for 4 days too.

About a week ago I went to Joann's Fabrics and got a few things that I had been needing, basting spray and invisigrip, and some that I had been wanting the Gingher rotary tools. Unfortunately, after using it about 20 minutes on and off I dropped it on the blade, and now that blade is ruined. Luckily, I got the extra one, and I got them for 50% off, but I had read in one of the groups that one lady had been using hers for a year and hadn't had to change blades yet. I sure didn't get my year.

All Five Little Girl Quilts Finished

These two quilts look a lot like each other, and a lot like the one that I finished a couple of weeks ago. It went to the little girl across the street, and I received a very nice thank you note from Katie and her mother. Katie is 5 and a half. I made them from Quiltmaker's Super Sized Nine Patch pattern and just super sized them a bit more to the size of about 4 feet by 5 feet. They are for 2 of my nieces children who are toddlers about 2 and 4 years old, and the Strippie quilt from Mary's pattern is for her third little girl who was born December 2008. She has older children also, but these are for her 3 little girls who are still home. The older ones are all in school, and not so apt to be needing a quilt for napping. These were mailed off to Iowa yesterday.

The little quilt below is for my granddaughter, Breanna, who will be 4 this summer. It isn't very big, but neither is she, so hopefully she will be able to use it for the next year or two. We will hopefully see at least some of her family this weekend and give it to her then.

Julie was sweet enough to send me some of her hens and chicks and another succulent a while back, and I have actually been able to keep them alive, although something seems to want to eat them up. A couple of days ago I looked on the porch and there was an odd little yellow thing peeping up. A few hours later I looked again and it was about 4 times the size. The next morning it had turned into this mushroom looking growth so I took some pictures. It is on the back porch and we do have mushrooms grow in our yard at times, but they never have looked like this, so I assume that this is the "flower" of one of these plants. I'm still amazed at the speed of growth. It's kind of like an exotic umbrella.
I hope that you are all having a nicer day than us weather wise. We are having rain all day, which we need, but I'd rather have an hour or two and then it's over.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Me Again

I'm finally back to working on my quilts. This one isn't fancy, but it's a beginning, and it is finished. I wanted to try the Sharon Schamber method of boards for basting, and ended up doing an adaptation of it. I used the boards, but instead of doing the hand basting I spray basted. It worked pretty well and was quick. I don't quite trust the spray 100%, so I pinned around the outside edge and went for it. My free motion is pretty sad, but I did another one today, and it was a little better. I have one more like this put together to quilt, and then 2 more little girl quilts to do. When I finish the bunch, I will take a picture and put it on my blog. The little girls are from one to six years old, so I don't think they will study my stitching too closely.

My daughter has been working long and hard taking college courses while raising six children by herself, and she was beaming when she got her AA degree with honors. She's still deciding if she will take more classes, right now she is just taking a break.

We have our first married grandchild. The next to the oldest, Nathan married his sweetheart Marcy on my birthday. The first picture is the one they used on their announcements and the second was at their reception. It wasn't an expensive wedding, but it was very nice and everyone had a good time. My daughter and her kids, all six of them, danced up a storm.

My daughter came over on the first anniversary of my mother's passing with this rose. It was very thoughtful, and the rose was beautiful.

Friday, April 17, 2009

More of State Flower Blocks

I don't have a lot to show for almost a month away from blogging, but I have been working hard on my state flower blocks. Each block takes about 3 hours on the embroidery machine, and a little time to finish the borders and some computer work, so it has been time consuming. I am caught up again though, yeah! I am making two quilts, so I have double everything. I added a little extra to Iowa and Nebraska, as my mother was born in Iowa and my father in Nebraska. I just wanted to make mine scrappy, but as I was adding sea shell material to Illinois, I thought that it would have been nice to use fabric with the state flower from each state as it's border, or maybe even fabric with the state birds. Oh well, I don't think that I'll be making a third one. I have 24 of the 56 blocks done, so I have a long way to go, but I'm getting there.

DH and I haven't been doing so well on our walking, as my daughter has had the flu, and DH has had some sickness also, but we did see this fellow on one of our walks. I don't know why, but he seemed to be fearless and let us get within about 2 feet. Mockingbirds are our state bird, and I'm rather partial to them, so I found it very exciting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


DH and I have been doing well for us with walking. We walked 2 miles yesterday and today, and even ran a little. Those muscles haven't been stretched in a few years, and I jokingly told DD who is also walking with us that I thought my behind was having an attack, but I think it was just my unused muscles rebelling. We walk by the lake, and had really nice breezes so it isn't too hot. The pictures are a picture of the light on the dock refecting on the lake, and one of the ugliest squirrels ever. He is homely from his head to his scraggly little tail. He was enjoying his dinner though.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tampa Race

This past Sunday was a lot of fun. DH and I got up early and drove to Tampa to a state park to watch our son and our 2 grandsons run in a 5K race. They all did well, and I got to take pictures of the race and the way Florida really looks, or in many cases, with the advent of civilization looked.

It felt really good to be out in the cool and humidity of the spring morning, and made me feel like I may try to get in shape to do some walks or in my wildest dreams maybe a run. That is a long way from a physical possibility at this point, but could be a goal.
This second picture was a tree that I liked, and the third I just liked how the palm tree looked from the bottom looking up. Odd, but kind of neat.

Here is my son's oldest son just after he finished the race.

His youngest son wasn't far behind. His oldest doesn't run but does a lot of outside work and surfing, so he is in good shape, and the youngest amazed me, as he hasn't done a lot of running either, and has fought asthma most of his young life. I was very proud of them. My camera didn't cooperate when my son crossed the finish line, but he did well and was happy with his results. He has run in the past, but had gained weight and just started back running three weeks ago. He has been battling a lot of pain in his legs, but he has kept at it. (sorry, I haven't been able to delete the duplicate picture)

Here's the youngest getting a much needed rest.

More of the real Florida. The sun was still coming up.

These are the Wragg boy's, the oldest boy is DH.

My oldest grandson won this stainless steel mug for winning in his age group. His brother wasn't too far behind, so I think he may have won if they had had a prize for his age group.

All in all it was a very nice day, and I've volunteered to be the official photographer for any future races. I just hope they are all shady and cool like this one. (not likely in the Sunshine State)
We finished off the morning with a nice leisurely breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and then a long visit on their porch.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Few Little Things

My goodness, I can't believe it's been a month since my last post, bad bad blogger. I was going to blame it on my grandson and his visit, but he was only here for a week, so I guess that pops my balloon. The first picture is of him and his girlfriend and her children, they are quite a nice little family, and it was fun having them here. He's from Florida, but she is from Pennsylvania, and this was only her second trip out of state. She liked her visit well enough to consider moving here with him later this year. The children are my first little things, Ethan is 3 and Savanna is 2, and they were quite fun to go be tourists with. We went to Sea World and Old Town with them and it was fun to be around such little ones.
The next little thing is my new netbook, an Asus 1000he, it's just 10.2 inches and the battery lasts up to 9 hours. I think that it will be nice to take places and just to drag around the house. I will need my glasses, but I need them for books and labels and everything anyway, so that won't be any problem getting used to. It only weighs 3 pounds and will fit in a pocketbook (unless you carry little ones).

Here's my little Featherweight with the little pincushion that I won from A Redneck Dingbat Quilter. She had a fun word game on her blog, and I was fortunate enough to solve it. The pincushion is adorable, and just the right size for my machine.

I got this small wallet to hold my new carry in my purse camera. I have a camera, but it is so large that I find I either don't take it with me or get it out when things are going on and I got this one to have with me and ready to take pictures when they present themselves. No excuses now.
I'm still gearing up to quilt my little girl quilts, I just keep procrastinating. One of these days I'll have pictures of finished quilts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Homely Quilts, But Been Busy

First of all, I went to my LQS and they were having some of their fabrics on sale for $5.00 a yard, so I treated myself to a few miscellaneous yards. I don't have any plans for the fabrics except for the one on the right which I got for the bindings on my children's quilts.

Speaking of my childrens quilts, I have all the preperations done, and hope to actually baste and quilt them soon. I used the Super Sized Nine Patch from Quiltmaker and just made them a bit bigger (kids are from 2 to 6). As my title suggests, they are homely, but colorful and hopefully that age group won't be too fussy.

Here's my other homely quilt. I decided to participate in the Quiltville Super Bowl Twist, and then decided to make it bigger and make it for my Grandson, the only one out of fourteen who has actually requested a quilt. I had bought some fabrics to make him a lap sized quilt a couple or three years ago and so used that fabric for the borders. It was never my taste, but was the colors he had requested at the time. Back then, he was living by himself, and now he is living with a girlfriend, so this will hopefully turn out well enough that he'll like it. It is huge, about 92 x 105, so I'm waiting to try quilting it after I finish the baby quilts, and hopefully by then I'll have my courage up.

This last picture is the beginning of my little wallhangings for the Pay it Forward. If I don't get anyone else, I may make pillowcases for hospitals instead. I'm not going to let it stress me, if I don't I don't, at least I tried.

DH and I drove about 90 miles to see the Sandhill Cranes en masse, and found out that there had been about 7000 and they were down to about 200. Sadly, we didn't see a single one, although one time we did hear them. We enjoyed the ride together though, and while we were out we had lunch at Cracker Barrel. Sometimes I get a craving for a "good" hamburger, and now I know where to find one. Cracker Barrel makes a very good burger.
I hope everyone is safe. Like everyone else, I worry about the fires in Australia, and am saddened by the tragedy of it.