Sunday, November 6, 2011

Great Day

Yesterday was such a great day.  I met Barb and we eat breakfast and talked for a good 1-1/2 hours and then headed to our first quilt shop.  Like Barb said it seems like we have known each other for years.  I was so out of my norm meeting up with someone I had never met in person and only had talked thru email.  I'm so glad I did, Barb is going to be a friend for a very long time.  We made it to a total of 4 shops that neither one of us had gone to and I have found a few new favorites.  Well worth the miles put on.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that have great blog friends and I would suggest if you can meet up with that friend.   It is so wonderful to find a friend that enjoys that same passion in quilting as yourself.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Saturday is approaching fast and I am so excited because it is the day I finally get to talk to Barb in person.  I have been talking (actually emailing) Barb for probably 3 years now and she also is a quilter which is how we connected.  Barb's job was helping disabled people apply and get benefits that are out there but probably would not find on their own.  Barb answered questions while I was applying for social security for my daughter, Raychel.  When you have a family member become disabled it is so hard to get someone the help they need and trying to figure out all the hoops that you have to go thru to get the benefits.  Anyways we are meeting!  We are going to meet for breakfast and then hit 3 quilt shops.  What a perfect way to spend a Saturday. 

I know that this is off the quilting subject but just an update on Raychel.  Last December Raychel weighted in at 131 pounds which was a hard journey from 76 pounds.  For some reason that we cannot figure out right now she has dropped to 94 pounds.  She went in last week for a complete physical and her doctor ordered some blood test but the clinic was not successful getting any blood.  They were poking her arms and then tried the veins in her feet without success.  She went to the cancer center at the hospital figuring they were use to patients that are hard sticks.  Out of 10 tubes of blood that they needed for all her test they were able to get 1/2 a tube.  I am hoping that it is enough to run the important blood test that might show why she is losing weight.  We are working on just thinking positive thoughts and trying to keep her thinking positively also.

Applique ideas

Mike worked up at a casino in Walker Minnesota this past weekend and brought home these pictures of the carpet.  Granted I would not like to have this carpet in my homes but it would make a great applique panel.  I also would not use the colors they chose but the leaves and flowers I love.  What a great husband.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Vacation with the girls

 My original plans for my vacation with the girls was to leave on Wednesday, Oct 5th, and coming home on Tuesday, Oct 11th, but that got changed.  The week before my trip my boss was diagnosed with a tumor in his head the size of his hand and was cancer.  I work for a small family owned road construction company and it is my boss, Stevie, and his sister, Shari and are more like family than employers.  His surgery was on Oct 3rd and it took them 18 hours and 3 different surgeons.  Was a long day of waiting and waiting and even thou it was a long surgery it was a successful surgery.  He will still have to do radiation and chemo but he will make it thru that and that is all that matters.

I have never flown from Minnesota going east in the early morning.  I have never seen such a amazing sunrise than from a plane at 35,000 feet.  I always feel so blessed when I get to experience these moments.

This is what I saw when I came around the corner of the airport.  My friends, Jean on the far left, Bonnie in the middle and then Jean's daughter, Laura who was along for the ride.  I was so happy to see the two since I had not seen them since we were all in Phoenix this past winter.  

 When we were taking Laura home we went thru Hershey Pennsylvania which was a very cute town.  I love the street lights, a Hershey Kiss. 
 I have fallen in love with this part of the country.  With Jean growing up in the Lancaster area she didn't realize how 2 woman from other parts of the country would be so interested in what she thought was so normal.  Jean grew up Menonite and really knew the area and the way the people live.  One of the towns we went thru was having a neighborhood yard sales and we had to stop.  Most of the homes in this town were either Menonite or Amish which I loved walking thru the yards and seeing what they all had for sale.  Most homes had baked goods that all had been baked that morning.

 Then finally we made it to our first quilt shop.  This trip I really noticed a huge difference between your local quilt shops and the Amish quilt shops.  The Amish shops have all the major brands at half the price of the local quilt shops.  This particular quilt shop had Moda Fabrics for $5.99/yd and beautiful batiks for $3.97/yd.  How could this be.  I did load up on 21 different batiks with a particular pattern I have been wanting to make.

I love the simple life. 

 I could not resist.  Unfortunately I was in the backseat trying to get this picture thru the windshield.  A little hazy but how adorable is he?
 We were stopping at a little shop at a farmer's house that Jean knew and the shop owner's son was out in the field plowing.  My husband can't even get our son to help mow the law with the self propeled lawn mower.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This past weekend Mike actually played guitar with a drummer and a bass player that he had never played with before.  The bass player is a promoter of a show that Mike has worked at every year for the headliner band bringing their stage equipment for them.  This year it was not needed.  The promoter decided that Mike himself and Gene who owns the production company that brings all the sound equipment would put a band together.  It was so much fun and I loved seeing Mike play again.  We got there Thursday morning and the show was that night but we had a hotel room for 2 nights.  We were down in Fairfield Iowa which is in the southeast side of Iowa.  On Friday we headed to the Dutchman Store in Cantril Iowa which is Amish and Menonite and the place was packed.  I seemed to be more of locals shopping then a tourist place so that made it more interesting.  They had groceries, hardware, cookware and of course FABRIC which I didn't buy any because I am waiting to buy fabric in Pennsylvania in October.  

On Saturday morning we decided that we were going to go to the Largest Truck Stop in the world.  This place is on I-80 east of Davenport.  I decided that I was not going to make it all the way to the truck stop so I had Mike pull over at a wayside rest.  I could not believe my eyes when we pulled up and sew all the quilt blocks.  I was so excited I didn't want to go in I wanted to look around.  I need to read more on this but I guess they used the quilt blocks as messages for the slaves traveling north looking for freedom.

This was outside and was the key for the quilt blocks.  What I heard someone saying was that different farms would have different quilt blocks on their barns as a secret message.  Here is one key:

I wish I could read this better but it is the story behind the blocks and how the slaves made it thru the underground railroad as gentleman working there put it.

 I really thought this was worth sharing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ok not completely done I still have to hand sew the binding and will ship it off.

I have to say that I spent more time on this quilt than I have any other quilts.  I don't do well with just grabbing and putting together and this quilt you cannot think about what colors you are grabbing.  I got some blues together that I wish had not happened but oh well, I know she will love it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Every year on this day I feel such a heaviness in my heart like every other American.  I remember when I would hear people say that they remember where they were and what they were doing the day President Kennedy was shot.    I remember being home with my Mom and she had President Kennedy's funeral on but it never stuck in my mind.  My husband talks about being in school and the teachers crying and I never understood having that strong of an emotion for something that did not personally effect me until 9-11.  Every time I see a picture or anything regarding that day I feel this heaviness in my heart.  The National Geographic channel did a interview with President Bush (not my favorite) and I planned on watching it.  I got about half way thru and was crying and decided to turn it off for awhile.  I remember days after that horrible day I felt guilty walking away from the television because I thought I should not be out enjoying myself because these people in NYC can't walk away and go do something fun.  I felt it was all I could to help

In 2009 I went to NYC for the July 4th weekend and was so excited because I had not been there since August 2001.  I love that city and needed to see for myself what had been left behind.  We headed to lower Manhattan to watch the fireworks and where we were standing was just blocks away from where the towers were.  It was lightly raining and we were standing against a building and I started talking to these 4 woman that were standing with me.  They started telling me that all 4 of them had grown up in that building and all married and bought their own places in that building.  They told me their stories of 9-11 and how for months they walked around and cried.  One of the woman told me how her and her husband had gone to South Carolina for a month and their apartment faced the towers and for the 1st time of them leaving town she cracked her windows.  She told me that headed right back home within a few days of the attack and she said it was a war zone.  She told me how the cab was able to bring them only so far and then they had to show identification showing that they lived in that area.  She told me that it was that way for months after.  As they were telling me their stories I started to cry and they started to cry.  I am so thankful for the rain that night because of that I was forced to stand against that building and meet these 4 woman that made me look at life so differently.  When we left that night I hugged them all and thanked them so much for sharing their stories with me. 

Raychel got sick in 2006 and I have to say when you almost lose a child so many times you look at life so differently.  You become so appreciative of the little things in life but after meeting these woman I even became more grateful for everything.  The things that I use to worry about I don't anymore the people that I always knew I loved know now how much I love them now.  I never hang up my phone without saying to my friends and family that I love them.  My life lessons over the last 5 years have been very hard lessons to learn but I would not trade them for 5 years of life going on as it had.  My daughter's life is so hard for her.  She never has a day of without depression, anxiety and feeling so sick she can't get out of bed but she has every day to feel these things.  Raychel's life was going down a bad road before getting sick and 5 years of sickness has saved her from a life of bad choices.  She always says that this illness, how horrible it is and how it has robbed her life she is happy to say goodbye to how that life was. 

I guess this is a good day to reflect on many things in our lives.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I can't believe it.  I WON.  I am so excited.  My arthritis in my shoulders and elbows has been really bothering me the last few months and this will make life a little easier.  




Drum Roll Please.... (I'm so excited)

Cathy, Cathy where are you??? 

You my dear, are the lucky winner of a GO Baby and 3 dies of your choice.!!! Yeah!!  A big round of applause for you Cathy. 

 C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


I am so excited about some up coming travels.  Back a couple of years ago Mike and I drove our friend Jean's car from Phoenix to her other home in Harrisburg PA.  Well I feel in love with the Tennessee, Virgina, West Virgina and Pennsylvania area.  I told Mike that I would love to come back to Pennsylvania one day and go exploring.  Since being out there Jean has moved to Mountain City TN and a friend and I are going out to spend a week with her in October.  The best part is we are going to driver up to Harrisburg and then onto Amish country.  Guess what we are going to go to go do for a couple of days.  Yes, we are going exploring.  All 3 of us love to quilt and Jean grew up Mennonite so she knows a lot of the hidden places in Pennsylvania.   I just can't believe that I am getting to do this and go in the fall which is my favorite time of the year.  The trees should be turning by then, I hope, and the weather should be sweat shirt weather, I hope.

I can't believe that it is almost Minnesota State fair time.  This always has meant the end of summer for me which is ok because by this time I am so in the mood for Autumn.  Perfect camping weather in our motorhome.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The heat is on


This is our forecast for the next 4 days here in Minnesota.  It would not be so bad but the humidity is what kills me.

Mike is in Sioux City Iowa and will be home on Sunday so this is my time to stay inside and sew and oh yea clean my sewing room.  What a mess it has become, I think it has become the dumping grounds for everything we have no clue what to do with.  I don’t do well with a mess around.  It is so hard for me to get sewing when I know that I need to clean the mess up before going any further. 

I’m still working on Emily’s wedding quilt.  I feel like this thing is never going to get done.

I hope this weekend is productive.  Oh yea I’m babysitting tomorrow night and getting my brakes done in the morning.  What are the odds I’m going to get a lot done?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Applique verses piecing.

My niece is getting married over Labor Day weekend and this is the quilt I decided to make her for a wedding present.  I knew that when I saw the picture I knew that there was going to be a lot of cutting but had no idea.  I feel like I have been working on this for a long time, all I have done so far is cut and piecing the individual little blocks together.  I know that it will get done sooner or later.



I am so hooked on applique and have found this wonderful blog that I have learned so much from.  Erin has videos on YouTube and she is a great teacher.  She also has applique blocks that she post on her blog that can be downloaded, how great is that?  I think the reason I love applique so much I can sit and watch tv with Mike and can still sew.  Also the instant gratification of seeing it coming together so quick.  I always seem to pick out pieced quilt patterns that seem to take forever and not with applique except for this quilt I would love to be able to start one day.  I’m sure this one would take forever.


Isn’t this just beautiful!!!

After typing that statement I just realized that I really like such a wide range of quilts.  I really love the quilt I am making for my niece but I really do love the this applique quilt also.  I think back over the years of quilting and how much my likes and dislikes have changed.  I remember the very first quilt I made, it was for Mike and it was 4” squares and all in 100% cotton in different blues.  I then used a dark blue piece of polar fleece (what was I thinking?  Polar Fleece?).


  I knew nothing about quilting then, I used a piece of cardboard to use as a template for my squares and I’m sure if  I was to go back and measure those squares they would be different in size.  When I got my longarm I ripped off the polar fleece backing and used it for a practice piece and now it now sits on the end of the couch.  Much nicer now.  I also did some organizing about 2 months ago and it was so funny to look at my fabric that I purchased years ago and wonder “did I really like that back then?”.  I must have but not sure why.  How things change.


My sister in law gave me 2 quilt kits to do for her.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November and was given 1-3 years.  Well I am so happy to say that she is doing great.  But anyways, she gave me 2 kits and I was able to finish piecing 1 of them and she was so thrilled with how it turned out.  She wants to quilt them so I am hanging onto it.  So now to start the other one.  So 2 Saturdays ago I dropped her and her son off at the airport so they could fly out to California to spend a week with her daughter.  When we got to the airport she gave me money and it was a lot of money for doing her quilts.  I was very confused by my feelings.  I NEVER wanted money for doing her quilts since these are quilts she wants to give to her boys before anything happens to her.  I realized that I don’t like doing quilting for money, it puts a responsibility that I don’t want right now in my life.  I now feel I have to hurry and get the other one done and this comes from my own feeling nothing she has put on me.  I know others who quilt for customers but this is what they do for a living or maybe not.  I just feel like it will take the fun out of it for me.  I also quilted a quilt for Pat’s sister and also a friend of hers.  I now have received 2 checks in the mail over the last week so that made it a little easier to do. 


One of the quilts that I did for Pat’s friend


I have a friend, Kathy, who says she has about 15 quilts she would like me to quilt for her and I could not say no, of course.  So Kathy gave me 2 quilts that she had already sewn the backs on y sewing them inside out and then turning right side out.  I told her I would try.  I’m thinking if I sew a piece of fabric on each end I could attach it to my leaders that way.  When I get a quilt to quilt all I keep thinking is what if I screw this up?  I know how much work goes into piecing a quilt and I would feel so horrible if something happened while having the quilt in my possession.  I don’t think I can screw it up to much all I do is a all over meander and I think the only thing that could happen if my tension got screwed up but that is something I would catch really quick.  This quilt is Pat’s friends quilt that I did. 


I can’t believe that it is the 4th of July already.  Here in Minnesota the weather has not been the best and they are saying 95 and humid for Thursday and Friday.  Mike and I are going to Algona Iowa on Thursday and then from there La Crosse Wisconsin on Saturday.  Mike has outdoor shows so hopefully it is not 95 degrees.  This summer is going by so fast!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This is Sarah, my niece, who is getting married this Friday on the 20th.  This is my older brother, Cal's daughter and this is the first daughter to get married and he is very excited.  She is going to make a beautiful bride. 

I told her and her sister that they would get a quilt when they get married.  Well her sister is also getting married over Labor Day weekend in Boulder Colorado.  I will not be going so I have to get busy because her wedding shower is June 12.  I have the fabric and better get cutting.