Friday, December 23, 2016

blessings...



Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas.





"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hello There!!



Well, hello there!  I have been absent for way too long!  Gosh, I just didn't realize how long it had been, and once I did...well, it became longer because I knew it would take a bit of time to sit down and catch you all up on what's going on around here.

Not that there is much that is exciting...if anything, at all.  Just busy.  And, more busy.

Things are going well with Mum being here...and looking more positive.  Back in late October, she had abdominal surgery.  Went to the ER with a distended abdomen...found air in her abdomen, which was leaking through a very thin wall in a small portion of her colon.  Removed and resected.  Good deal.  She did well...very little pain afterwards.  At this time, she is experiencing a bit of progression with her Parkinson's Disease, but she is stronger than she has been since she moved here and we're determined to build on that.

Jill and I had lunch with Brenis in November.  We met about halfway between here and Aurora...ate at 3 Margaritas restaurant and spent a few hours chatting and laughing and exchanging gifts. Brenis' birthday was in June...you wonder why she was getting her birthday gifts in November?  Well, the thing is, we had been trying to get together (as in, trying for her to come and stay a few days) since before her birthday.  Not sure why she brought gifts for me, but who am I to say no to gifts of fabric and a 24" Omnigard ruler??  LOVE it!!!

Brenis


Brenis did some quilting for me.  Fabulous quilting!  You may have noticed that the list of flimsies (on my sidebar) has gotten shorter. That's because I have gotten 5 quilts finished this fall.  YAY!!!  I showed you both the HST String and the Anna Maria Horner patchwork quilts here.   Bren quilted the Kashmir Filmstrip quilt, the Lotta Jansdotter patchwork quilt, and a baby girl granny square quilt. I need to launder them and will get some good photos, so you should be seeing them very soon.

I have been working on Christmas gifts.  Cannot show you much of anything...except for some extra things I made.

This Patchwork Christmas Tree Pillow was so fun and easy to do. Sherri, over at A Quilting Life blog, shared it here.  I did not do the patchwork border, so my pillow cover measures 12".

I was planning on turning this next piece into a pillow cover, but left it as a mini mat, instead.  Jennie, over at the Clover and Violet blog, offered this free Pixelated Present quilt block pattern...find it here.   I didn't do the pixelated part, but I think it is dang cute as is. I made it to measure 12", I think.  

Also, I made this mini quilted zipper pouch.  I found the tutorial here.  I plan to make more.  Cuz how could I not?  And, besides, this one is mine...you may have recognized that it is made with Kashmir III fabric.  (it's okay if you did not know that.)  It measures 4" wide by 2.75" high by 2" deep.  Love that big metal zipper on the little pouch, don't you?  This has got to be one of the most adorable little zipper pouches ever.  EVER.


I made a 16" pillow cover and fabric basket for sister Julie's birthday.  Fabric is from the Purebred collection by Erin Michael.  Love it!!

Then, just because I could, I made some cloth napkins.
2 odd remnants of fabric.  Playing around with decorative stitches on the blue one.

These are from the Blossom fabric collection by Urban Chiks.  2009?

2 different pairs.
Lots more sewing for Christmas going on, but nothing else I can show you.


And, here are a few random photos...
Me Mum on Thanksgiving Day.

Pumpkin French Toast.  YUMMY!!

Ran across this...it is exactly how I feel about Tag.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Girl with Butterfly...

One day last winter, me Mum saw a counted cross stitch pattern that immediately made her think of her niece/my cousin, Barbie. She ordered the kit, but soon found that she was unable to do the work as nicely as it should be done...as nicely as she once had been able to do.  Because of her Parkinson's Disease, her fine motor skills have deteriorated greatly.

She asked if I would do the piece for her and, of course, I told her that I would.  So, I did.  Then I framed it.    

Here is the finished piece.  The frame measures 8 x 8 inches.

This is the story behind it...the reason this pattern brought Barbie to Mum's mind.

"Barbie's 7th birthday was coming soon and all she talked about wanting was a butterfly net.  Nothing but that would do.  Her mom and dad were a little skeptical as to how their little sprite was going to catch a butterfly in a net.  But, they decided to get her what she wanted.  

On the day of Barbie's birthday party, as the family was gathered around the picnic table, Barbie opened her gifts.  Just as she opened the gift from her mom and dad, a beautiful Monarch butterfly came flying right over the table!  Barbie was off and running...."

Barbie told me that she did actually catch that butterfly!  (Did you notice that I put a few orange stitches on the butterfly's wing?)




"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 26, 2016

Snow Days Quilt Top is FINISHED!!!

Yup.  That's right!  I am done!  Finished!  

I am so pleased - with it AND with myself - I can barely stand it! This quilt top has taken a very long time to complete.  I started it in March of 2011...5 1/2 years ago.  And, now that I am this far, I would love to have it custom quilted; therefore, I need to save some pennies (dollars!).

But, hey!  You don't want to hear all of that...you want to see it.  Right?

Okay,  here we go...

(be sure to click on the photos to get the BIG picture)
66 x 66 inches
  
bottom left
middle left
top left
top right
middle right
bottom right

So.  There you have it.  What do you think??


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Fruit Vendor...

Once upon a time, I was engaged to a man from Canada.  I wrote a bit about Dwayne here.  In the summer of 1973, my family drove to Calgary to meet his family.

While there, Mom bought a needlepoint canvas and the wool yarn needed to work it.  "Marchande de fruits"...roughly translated, "The Fruit Vendor".  I remember that she spent a LOT of money for it. She worked on that needlepoint on and off for several years.

Until she set it aside and didn't pick it up again.  Time went by. Years.  One day, she thought about it and dug it out of wherever it had been packed away.  Knowing that she was then unable to work it, she turned to me.  Would I please finish it for her?  Of course, I would.

But, I put it aside because I had other things keeping me busy.  

Fast forward to present time...time to get it done.  There is probably less than 5% to work...Mom put a lot of time into this piece.  

I am very much looking forward to finishing it for her.  


(be sure to click on the photos to better see the details)

Most of what is undone is on the upper right side and on the basket.


Some filling in of black on the basket is needed.

Upper right corner...are you able to see the areas of  the bare canvas?

A photo of a professional photo that was taken of Mom in December, 1997.

I will more than likely make this needlepoint into a pillow cover. I am not going to tell Mom that I am working on it, because I am sure that she has completely forgotten about it.  Her birthday is in about 5 weeks and I think this will make a lovely birthday gift for her.  Don't you? 




"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Feelin' Good...

So happy to be able to cross 2 quilts off my list of WIPs.  

First up is HST String...I started this in February at the urging of my friend, Brenis.  She was here for a visit and helped me get started.  (Thanks, Bren!!)  It was very easy to put together and I enjoyed working on it immensely.  It measures about (not quite) 60 x 72 inches.  Yellows and grays.  LOVE it!


Of course the backing is pieced!!!

And then we have this one.  I absolutely adore this one.  Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent fabrics with a Kona Cotton Solid in Charcoal for the backing.  This one is vying for the title of "favorite quilt to keep on the ottoman to cover up with while watching tv".  Measures about 57 inches square. Simple patchwork.  


No pieced backing?!  Gotta change it up sometimes, hey?


I am still working on Snow Days.  I have just a little stitching left to do.  As in embroidery. Backstitch.  It's looking good and makes me super happy to be almost done!!  

Have a good Friday...almost the weekend!!


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 19, 2016

Snow Days...Closer and Closer!

Still moving along on my Snow Days quilt.  I finished the center section last night!!! I did a happy dance...believe it!!   ~grin~

Here is the center section...

It measures 36 1/2 inches square and was made in 5 sections.   There are 46 elements to this center section...Squares, HSTs, Flying Geese, Churn Dash blocks, Cut the Corner blocks (33 pieces to each of these blocks), Martha Washington Star blocks (28 pieces to each of these blocks) and Pinwheels.  I am in the process of sewing the borders on, but had to stop because there was a bit more stitching (backstitching - as in embroidery/stitchery - that is) to do. A tree that was on the outside edge of the bottom border extends onto the inside edge of the right border.  You will see what I mean when I post the finished quilt top photo.  

I can see the finish line!!!




"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 16, 2016

Snow Days - ALMOST DONE!!!

I put some time in and finished all of the blocks for the center of the Snow Days quilt!  I cannot quite believe that I am this close to finishing!  And, it didn't seem like as big of a job as it did any other time I thought about working on it.  I guess I just had to have my head in the right place, hey?  

Here are the rest of the blocks...
Cut the Corners block 12"

Cut the Corners 6" and 9" blocks

Martha Washington Star block 9" block

Martha Washington Star 12" block

Martha Washington Star 6" block




These blocks took a lot of time to make...and some patience. Each Cut the Corner block consists of 33 piece and each Martha Washington Star block consists of 28 pieces.  That is a lot of cutting and piecing!  They are lovely blocks, though, don't you think?   

These next few days are busy, so I am unsure of when I will get the center pieces (all 46 elements) put together.  It will, no doubt, take a lot of arranging and rearranging and I want to take my time with it.  

In the meantime, I did a lot of chain-piecing yesterday...
More on this next time.

Today is Friday...have a great weekend!
 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 12, 2016

Snow Days...WHAT?

Hold onto your hats!  I am working on my Snow Days quilt.  Again...and for the final time.  Read all about the journey here, then here.  Before I moved, I had just the center blocks to piece.  But, you know how I am with random and colors...every single time I thought about working on it, I just could not handle all of that thinking.  ~grin~  Well, then the decision to move was made and you all know the rest.

So.  Here I am.  Trying to clear the decks, so to speak.  Getting old projects finished, quilts quilted (some of them, anyway), and the list checked off.

I pulled out Snow Days last week and took a peek at what I had left.  Yup, just need to piece those center blocks.  Not a job for the faint at heart.  At least that is what my feelings have been.  Somehow, though, things just sort of clicked into place.  46 elements to that center...some of them just simple squares, some HSTs, some blocks.  As of last night, I had 39 of those completed!  YAY!!!

Here they are...

15 squares, 8 HSTs, 2 pinwheels

2 churn dash blocks

5 more churn dash blocks
6 flying geese blocks
That's not bad, hey?  I am super excited!!!  The last 7 blocks are more complicated than any of these elements I've finished thus far. Goal is one per day.  Wish me luck!


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

One Year Ago...

  1. Today is the one year anniversary of Tag's death.
  2. Already.

  3. It is so very difficult for me to believe
  4. I have been without him for this long.

  5. Yet, here I am.
  6. Without him.  

I have had several dogs throughout my lifetime...and all of them have been special to me.  In their own way.  But, don't you know...that brown boy grabbed hold of a larger place in my heart than any other...and certainly more than I ever could have imagined.  

I do not often speak of TagEButt...reason being that it has been almost impossible to do so without crying.  Until just recently.  

I really thought that it would be easier to leave him behind. To have this new apartment in this new location be a place that he had never been.  Wow. My imagination just didn't leave that alone.  Not.  At. All. For many months after moving here, I saw him in every single spot that one would imagine him being. On the new chair ottomans (after shoving the numerous pillows out of his way, of course).  In the new corner behind my chair. Squeezed under the new dining table. Under the light table in the sewing room.  Those flashes of seeing him here only made me miss him more.

For a very long time after last September 7, I knew that I would never have another dog.  The pain was that sharp...the grief that deep.  Proven again..."grief is the price we pay for love".  (click here)



A sort of chronological progress....

*On the day Tag died, I could only write:
My laughter.
My heart.
My always.

*In December, I wrote:
I have said this before...upon the loss of another of my dogs..."Grief is the price we pay for love."  It remains true today.

I think it does not help one little bit that I am dogless...with no dog by my side.  Before, there was always another one there to help me get through the pain and the loss.

Would I give up the 13 years of being with Tag to not feel what I feel now...grief so great that it feels as if I am wrapped in it?  No. Absolutely not.  The time I had with Tag was priceless.  He was the best spur of the 'yes, I'll take him' moment ever.  Ever.  And, once I am able to tuck him deep within my heart...to always be there with me, I'll be able to smile instead of cry with thoughts of him.

As it is now...it is difficult to breathe.  With almost every thought I have of him, I am on the verge of crying. Not just 'tears in my eyes' crying, but sobbing that completely overwhelms me.  I miss him with every breath I take...

*In March, I wrote:
Tango was my calm.

Cruiser was my love.

Allegra was my joy.

Tag...well, Tag was my laughter.

And, my heart. 

Which continues to weep.



It is only recently that I have begun to think that I might have another dog.  To consider what breed would be acceptable. Of course, no pets are allowed here, so I would need to move.  But, the fact that I see that day coming has given me hope that my heart is healing.  That I am almost ready to tuck Tag deep within.  To open my heart again.  To be able to just breathe...



"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Favorite Hooked Rug...Ever!

The anniversary of my move to Colorado is coming up.  Of course, what that brings to mind is all things that occurred before my move which are Tag-related.  (Like, for real, those things are never out of my mind, though.  Ya know?)

I am not going to say anything about the brown boy.  Perhaps someday, just not today.    

What I wanted you to know, though, was that I found something today that I had completely forgotten about...and when I saw it, I smiled.  That, right there, was reason enough to pull it out and put it in place.

I hooked this 22 x 29 inch rug in 2007.  It was a free pattern in Rug Hooking Magazine that I fell in love with.  I enlarged it (a lot!).  I hooked it with woolens I had dyed.  And, I named it 'Tag E. Butt'.  Yes, I did!

When I finished it, I declared it to be my favorite rug.  Ever.  Why? Because the dog is so goofy looking.  Though Tag was not goofy looking, he could be a very goofy boy...caught on film and shown several times on this very blog.  I thought this goofy looking dog captured the very essence of the brown boy.  

It makes me smile.  

This hooked rug is now on the bedroom floor in front of my cedar chest, which is at the end of my bed.


I'm still smiling.



"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

That Long List of Projects? FINISHED!!

In this long overdue post, I have photos of family members who visited us this summer.  And, there are photos of the rest of the summer projects I was able to complete.  Most of the projects on my list were for others.  But.  First thing I am going to show you is a pillow I finished for myself.  

Sister Julie did the stitchery work and I simply made a pillow insert and put borders, a zipper and backing together to finish it off.  I love this!! 

                     

Sister Joyce wanted a case for her notary stamp.  So, I made this little pouch, using fabrics from the Lilac Hill line (seen first here).  


Joyce came for a 5 day visit with her granddaughter, Ashley (center of photo).  Michelle (my godchild/niece and lives here now) is the smiling face on the right.  


Because Joyce was coming for a visit, I thought I should have kleenex cozies to send home with her.  So, I made some.  11 of them.

Joyce's daughter, Jody - also my godchild/niece - lives about 4.5 hours from here and came for a 2 day visit while her Mom was here.  I was able to - finally - finish Jody's t-shirt quilt.  


My nephew, Tony - with Sabrina - came to visit.  That's me Mum and Michelle (same smiling face shown above/sister to Tony) with them.


So, moving on more projects completed...

I made a pencil case for my granddaughter, aka Princess Kaylynn. Just because.


I made this backing for my HST string quilt (seen here).  I do love pieced backings!

I will give more detail on this later...I have several quilts that will be quilted and ready to bind within the next little while.  Here are the bindings...ready to go.  


I stumbled across a gorgeous pineapple quilt that I absolutely love! But, you know, I have no need for another quilt.  What I did to satisfy the urge to make one was to make one block and make it into a very mini quilt.  (Who am I kidding!  I still want to make that as at least a lap quilt!!!)

Here's the second pillow cover I made for sister Julie's stitchery piece.  It goes with the one I showed in the previous post.



And, I made a small pouch with a pocket on the outside of it for Joyce's friend.



Well, I think that's about it for what I have made this summer.  


New adventures are to begin soon.  


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tattoos.  I never ever thought I would want to get a tattoo.  I mean, truly.  It never even entered my head.  Not for one small moment! Until 4 months ago.  I saw a tattoo that really spoke to me...involving sisters.  I thought it would be a great idea for the 4 of us, the 4 J's as we were once (and sometimes still) called, would have matching tattoos.  With Joyce coming for a visit this summer, Jill and I thought it would be perfect timing.  So, we booked an appointment at the local tattoo parlor.  The Dungeon, Inc.  However, Joyce and Julie chickened out.  Jill and I went ahead and kept the appointment...and while there, asked if there was time for one more tattoo for each of us...and there was! 

The first...there's no better friend than a sister.   
sideways on inside of lower right arm

The second...Just Breathe....  
inside of lower left arm near wrist

I am actually wanting a third one...we shall see.  ~grin~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more thing...me Mum has not been well, but is recovering nicely.  For the present time, she is in a rehab care center, working on regaining some strength.  She is looking good and we are happy with her progress.  I am so very thankful that she is here where I can spend time with her.  



Next time you hear from me, I should have some gorgeous quilts to show you.  Keep your fingers crossed.




"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

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