Child of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, quilter, basket lover, amateur photographer, flower and vegetable gardener …….. some a little of who I am, some a lot of who I am, and all a part of me. When I started quilting several years ago, it sparked a passion in my creative side that I never knew existed. I fell in love with it from the very start. I love everything about it, from choosing the fabrics and designing the quilt until the time I finish the last stitch of the binding and everything in between.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vintage looking pillowcases

I have had this fabric since summertime and had made my BFF a set for her birthday.  I have had mine cut out since June and just had not made it a priority to stitch them up.  I took the time yesterday and love how they turned out...

I love the French fold seam method ... no raw edges and stray threads.
Wishing each of you a day full of blessings!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Memory quilts

I have made a couple of tee shirt quilts lately for friends/customers that had some very special touches .... I think I already showed a picture of this one not long ago.  It belongs to a very sweet young lady named Jade.

 Her mom gave me enough tee shirts for not only the 30-tee king size quilt above, but 9 more for this lap size....
and a very special tee-shirt that she had slept in as a child until she outgrew it.   It was very thin in places and even had a couple of little runs in it.  I was afraid to put in in the quilt, thinking it needed a little extra TLC, so I turned it into a pillow for her.  I did a FMQ meandering stitch to give it a little extra stability.  Her mom has sooo many memories snuggling with her baby girl in this tee shirt.  

This one belongs to a young man who was in Jade's graduating class and he has gone on to play college football....

 His mom asked if I could include a couple of very special pieces for her.  One was a baby quilt that had been hers (51-year-old quilt) and then Tyler's when he was a baby.  This quilt is very worn, very loved, and very special.  I carefully cut it apart and made a block for Tyler's quilt, again FMQ stippling ....
She also asked that I add his crib sheet if possible and I turned it into a block with his name, weight, etc.
I am making his mom two more toss pillows from the remainder of the blue and white baby quilt and another from the remainder of the crib sheet.  I am in the process of finishing up two more tee quilts for another very special friend .... pictures and story to follow next week.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another one bites the dust

When it rains, it pours.  A few weeks ago my washer and dryer died within two days of each other and we had to purchase new ones.  That pretty well wiped out any money we had put back for Christmas.  Last week I was cooking supper we had short-out and near fire in the kitchen stove.  In all fairness, I get the stove tearing up because it was nearly 20 years old.  We decided to go with a gas range this time.  I remember my mom cooking on a gas stove when I was a little girl.  My best memories were my sister and I pushing marshmellows onto a fork and roasting them over a tiny open flame on the stove under Mom's watchful eye.  Then came electric burners, then ceramic cooktop, which is what I have had until the issue last week.  My new gas range came today ....

You now see what my husband and I are getting each other for Christmas, and our 24th wedding anniversary (which is today).  I am going to cook a big pot of soup beans (pinto beans or bean soup for those of you who are not from Kentucky) and bake a skillet of cornbread tomorrow to break in my new stove.  Hopefully I can practice on it a bit before fixing Christmas dinner next week.  Just in making my really quick supper tonight, hot dogs and canned hot dog chili (don't judge me --- I have had a hard week), there are two things I love about this gas stove already.  One, when the burner is turned off, the heat is off --- no surface to stay hot for a while.  Secondly, I have four burners that I can cook at any level I want, not just two small burners and two large ones like on my electric stove.  Anyway, supper is nearly ready :P. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A trip down Christmas ornament memory lane

I finally got the ornaments on the tree this evening.  As I am sure is the same for you, I have a memory or memories attached to each and every one.  Here are just a few of my favorites ....

My son's first Christmas ornament -- 1990

My daughter's first Christmas ornament ... 1993

A family ornament bought at a craft fair in 2001, complete with my angel baby's name, sweet Connor ...

An ornament of Pat the Bunny --- so many memories of both my children on my lap reading Pat the Bunny book over and over and over.....

and a gift from a quilting friend, made from a very worn quilt that belonged to her grandmother ...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New quilting ruler

I usually do not jump on the bandwagon for gadgets, but I have found one that I really am going to love.  Quilting friends, there is still time to get this on your Christmas list if you think it is something you might want.  It is called the Quilter's Slide Lock ruler.  To go back a few days, I was cutting some fabric and my rotary cutter ran up onto my acrylic ruler.  If any of you have ever done it, you know it immediately ruins your rotary blade.  I had changed my blade only two weeks before, so had to make a trip to the quilt shop for another one and they are not cheap.  I admit that I was extremely happy to be making a trip to the quilt shop and not the operating room to get a finger stitched back on.  I have always had a very healthy respect for rotary cutters but, let's face it, accidents do happen.  Anyway, a friend and I were talking about it and she sent me the link to a set of rulers she had learned about at a quilting class.  I read the info on the web site and watched the you tube video.  Keeping your fingers out of the way of the blade is just a second bonus of these rulers .... the real reason they were designed is to grip fabric and keep the ruler from slipping during the cutting process.  I had a little extra cash in my Pay Pal account and decided to order both sizes, 14" and 24".  These rulers came in two days all the way from Oregon.  Folks, they are made in America!  Here are pictures I took this morning.  First, the 14"...
This one is perfect for sooooo many sizes of fabric. 

Next is the 24" ...
It fits across the whole width of the cutting mat and makes cutting width of fabric strips a piece of cake.  And, they work exactly like they are supposed to.  The ruler grips the fabric and there is absolutely no slippage when cutting.  Here are two pictures of the bottom of the ruler so you can see how it works ...

And here is a picture so you can see the fingers safely out of the way ...
My rulers came yesterday and I have only played with them a bit to see how they work, but today it gets serious!  I am going to take them to the local quilt shop to see if she might be interested in ordering some for the shop.  Did I mention they are made in America!!  If you want to check it out yourself, click HERE for the web site.  If you want to look at the youtube video, click this link:  I know I will not be able to use this for everything I cut, such as squaring up projects for example, but for cutting strips I will be using this all the time. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day, full of blessings!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful for Football

I know November thankful blogs are over, but I must say that on this second day of December I am thankful for football.  As odd as it may sound, it is one part of the glue that makes my family a family.  My husband played Pop-Warner League as a youngster, in middle school, and high school.  My son played Pop-Warner League, middle school, and high school.  My daughter cheered for Pop-Warner League and all through middle school and high school.  I sat on bleachers when the temperature was so hot that I was soaked in sweat, but that was nothing compared to the sweat on my son's uniform on the hot field.  I sat on the bleachers when it was so cold that I could not feel my own butt, but that was nothing compared to the temperature on the field where my son played.  I was a football booster for oh, how many years???  I have made countless pots of chili, hot dog sauce, and spaghetti sauce to feed hungry boys and cheerleaders.  The kids are now in college, but football is still part of the glue.  We all still LOVE to sit down as a family and watch college and pro football.  We plan meals that taste wonderful during a Sunday afternoon game.  We plan snack foods and hot chocolate for playoff and bowl games.  We look for new recipes for cheese fries and spinach dip.  The kids have invited friends over for Super Bowls since they were old enough to sit and watch the Super Bowl.  We talk about coaching changes, game strategy, who is being traded to whom, who is leading the NFL in receptions, who rushed for how many yards, and the list goes on.  As odd as it may seem, I am very thankful for football.  We are all busy through the week with work and school, taking care of things at home, etc., but my heart still skips a little beat when they say, "Hey mom, are you going to watch this game with us?"  Why yes, I will be right there.  Just let me get the cheese fries out of the oven and get some soft drinks out of the refrigerator.  I hope and pray God allows me to sit on the couch with kids and future grandbabies for a very long time. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turtleman and my daughter???

Uh, I am pretty speechless.  Kentucky's own Turtleman, aka Ernie Brown, has his own show on Animal Planet called "Call of the Wildman."  He is as famous for his trademark yell as he is for getting big turtles out of farm ponds with his bare hands.  Farmers actually pay this guy to clean the ponds of turtles that are eating all their fish.  My sweet daughter is working at Dairy Queen while she is in college and today she texted me and told me to hurry and check my Facebook, she had just met Turtleman at DQ!  There are moments that make a mommy proud and then there are just moments.  She asked him if she could have a picture with him and he scooped her up and said, "This is how we do it in Kentucky."  :) 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Calendar Quilts and Stitcheries

I saw the most adorable little log cabin quilted wall hanging at a local quilt shop last January and signed up for the project.  What I did NOT know was that I had signed up for the whole year --- 12 months of little calendar quilts.  The book is "Calendar Quilts and Stitcheries" by Nancy Halvorsen for Art to Heart.  This has turned out to be a project that I "never-got-around-to-it."  The book has excellent photos and instructions and you can appliqué or stitch each pattern.  I have the book and 11 fabric and button kits, January through November, and will be picking up the December kit at the quilt shop as soon as the owner get those ready.  The cost of the book was $16.95 and I have paid $11.95 for each monthly kit.  I have paid over $160 for the book and kits to complete these adorable little calendar quilts.  I am selling them for $110 with free shipping.  I can mail you the book and 11 kits now (January through November) and then send December as soon as I pick it up from the quilt shop, or just wait until I get December and send them all together.  I just advertised these on Etsy, but if any of my blogging friends are interested I can delete the Etsy listing.  I have taken a lot of pictures and can email more than are shown if anyone is interested. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A day to count blessings

We sat around the table and talked about how fast the year has gone by.  It seems like yesterday that we were sitting around the Thanksgiving table.  We ate early, around 1 pm, and after the cleanup crashed in the living room to watch football.  I did get a few pictures with my brother and sister and my kids.  We have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow and the weekend! 
Here is a picture of me with my brother and sister.... I am the one with the silver hair. :)  And, here is a picture of me with my children ...

And another of my sister with my kids

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful day of Thanksgiving with those you love.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I won, I won!!

I had a very nice surprise this week ------ I won a gift from Butterball thanks to a give-away from Tina at Mommy's Kitchen.  If you have not checked out her blog, she has some great recipes and tips.  Here is a picture of my gift:
Yep, $20 check from Butterball.  I also had a $3.00 coupon, so my purchase of a 22-pound turkey cost me only 90 cents!  After having to buy new a new washer and dryer two weeks ago, I was really happy to have this $20 check to put toward my grocery bill.  My husband and I did the shopping together this time.  We straightened up the pantry and refrigerator before we went, had our list printed out, had our coupons ready, and tackled Wal-Mart and Kroger together.  We usually get a ham from the Honey Baked Company, but the nearest one is in Lexington, 70 miles from us.  We decided to order a spiral sugar-cured ham from Cracker Barrel this year for the first time to see how it compares.  It is half the price and we will only have to drive 3 miles to pick it up.  I hope y'all have had a wonderful weekend and blessings in abundance.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just Blah

This is kinda how I am feeling this week and I am not sure why.  Yes, I have a lot on my mind.  Yes, my job is stressful.  Yes, we have a new household member with Alzheimer's disease and I am the primary caregiver.  Yes, Thanksgiving is near and I know I will be almost too tired after cleaning, shopping, and cooking to enjoy dinner and my family.  Yes, cold weather has kicked in and with it my joints and muscles are crying.  Yes, my washer and dryer BOTH tore up within two days of each other last week and the new purchases put a big dent in the money I had put aside for Christmas shopping.  Yes, I have a lot going on, but then who doesn't?  I am trying really hard to put on my big girl undies and snap out of this whatever-it-is that is going on with me.  I am usually the one who sees the cup as half full.  I am usually the one who always finds the bright side of everything.  I know I have so much to be thankful for, and even in the midst of my blahs I am thanking God daily for all He does for us.  My house is warm, my pantry is stocked full of food, my family is all healthy.  Ugghhh, I just do not like feeling like this.  I know I am physically tired ... more so than I have been in a long time.  I also feel emotionally drained and even kind of spiritually blah, as much as I hate to admit that one.  I need to step back and regroup and try to enjoy the season that is supposed to be full of joy.  Just weary .....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Making memories

Making memories, literally.  I made this memory quilt with high school tee shirts for a friend's daughter who graduated last year.  She gave me enough tee shirts for this king size with 30 blocks, plus a 9-block lap size quilt and two pillows. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And it snowed in October

Here is the view from my bedroom window this morning ....

The term "frost on the pumpkin" takes on a whole new meaning.  I think I would have preferred frost over the snow, especially since this is coming from Hurricane Sandy.
It is still snowing and it is a wet, heavy snow that accumulates fast.  It was 80 degrees here last week, so I am very surprised that it is sticking on the ground.  I guess it was cold just long enough that the snow did not melt when it started falling.  I just say that this first little snowfall in October is already more snow than we had all last winter.  We had one little snow that never even covered the ground.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Little Bit of Heaven on Earth

Fall in Kentucky ..... I do love living in a place where there are four very distinct seasons.  We are having a very colorful autumn season this year....