Tuesday, December 20, 2011



as Herod,

we fill our lives

with things, and again

with things;If we consider

 ourselves so unimportant that

we must fill every moment of our

 lives with action, When will we have the

time to make the long, slow journey across

the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch

the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the

coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us,

there is a desert to travel.

A star to discover.

And a being within

ourselves to bring

to life.

                                                                           Author  Unknown

Make of yourself a light.~ Buddha
From our home to yours,
Wishing you a very
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Kansas Troubles Christmas Quilt
Scrap quilts are my absolute favorites,
especially ones with half square triangles.
This quilt was one of a series of "winter mystery classes" I taught.   I designed the projects mainly for the students to use up their scraps and I gave them pre-cutting directions so when they arrived at class, they were ready to sew. Depending on the size of the finished quilt, they would need to make 144 or 400 half square triangles.  My job was to show them how to do this quickly and accurately.

There are many different ways to make half square triangles, but my favorite is using the Quick Quarter, a small ruler that marks the stitching line on the back of a square.  Since this tool came out before the turn of the century,  I'm calling it a "retro tool".

1. First cut the squares 7/8" larger than the  finished size of the triangle square.  For example, if the finished size is 2", cut the squares 2 7/8".

2. Next use the ruler to find the diagonal on the wrong side of the lighter fabric, and mark the stitching lines. A piece of very fine sandpaper glued to a clipboard helps to keep the fabric from slipping.

 3. Sew on the marked lines.

 4. Use the rotary cutter and a ruler to cut between the sewing lines.  You don't need to get too hung up on accuracy here.  Just don't cut into the stitching and be sure to leave enough on each side to press.

Jill's Christmas Throw

This one of my student's quilts.  She's finished it, but the one at the top of the page is mine, which I'm presently machine quilting.

I wonder if I can get it done before Christmas?????
Are you stitching anything for Christmas?

Hope you enjoy making triangle squares as much as I do.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Pumpkin Time Pattern by Crabapple Hill

“If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 
~Albert Einstein

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you a multitude of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A CZECH FEAST (or Plum Dumpling Adventures)

Myska's Plum Dumplings
One of the highlights of our trip to the Czech Republic this fall was the delicious food, some of it prepared by our guide's friends who so graciously invited us into their homes.

In Novy Bor, Myska prepared the plum dumplings.  I would love to go back and have lessons from her on how to make the dough, it was so tender.  Here she topped them with melted butter, sour cream and powdered sugar. Is your mouth watering yet?

My Fruit Dumplings

Lessons or not, last Saturday we had a family get-to-gether to share the photos from the trip along with some Czech food.  I made the dumplings.
My sister-in-law and I rolling the dough.

These were not my first try, but don't they look good?  We had many trial dumpling meals before the party.

It was good to have help making them ....the beer and wine was helpful as well.

We rolled out the dough and filled it with berries.  There must be a few tricks we could learn from some Czech cooks to get it just right so the dumplings are round and the fruit is not crushed!  I could use some pointers on doing this!

Boiling the dumplings

Here they are boiling.  Fortunately, the fruit did not escape the dough (this was the least of the issues making fruit dumplings) and they were done when they rose proudly to the top!

The sandwich chefs

Sandwiches at a Czech Bakery

While we were rolling the dumplings, the cousins assembled the sandwiches and made a Czech sopsky salat.

Check out the sandwiches we could buy at the bakeries.  Not only were they delicious, there were many different combinations to choose from.  What a difficult decision....which one? The prices are in Czech Crowns..about 100 equal 6 American dollars.

Jirina's sandwiches.

These are the sandwiches Jirina made for us at her home in Podivin. She had a special spread she put on first made of hard boiled egg, garlic and butter. Most of the vegetables were from her garden.

Here the table is ready for the hungry diners.  Typical of our meals in Czechoslovakia, there was plenty to eat.

Good food and family to share it with.  What could be more wonderful.

That is my wish for you this week.


Hem your blessings
With thankfulness
so they don't unravel. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The first weekend in November is always reserved for opening deer hunting and our annual Sweet Adeline Show.  This year the music and choreography was about dancing:

          Rhythm of Life

The performance included a power point about what makes our hearts sing....families, milestones, and the beauty of the world around us.

We also featured an award winning quartet and the Adeline Idol contest, a competition for junior and senior high school students. Over 500 people attended the performances led by our talented and creative director.

At the end of the day we laughed, danced and sang for our friends, families and other supporters at the Afterglow.

My wish for you is beautiful music in your life!


Friday, November 11, 2011


Hen & Chick's Studio
On grey Tuesday morning I received news that a good friend and neighbor I had in Iowa lost her son at the age of 35 after a valiant battle with cancer.  My husband and I hurried into the car and headed south.  Our first stop was a quilt shop in Conrad, Hen and Chick's Studio just opened by my friend, Heidi Kaisand.  Although it's a work in progress (and we quilters know what that means) it's quite a wonderful renovation of a building over 100 years old.  Upstairs will be "the nest" where quilters or scrapbookers can sleep, eat and create.  Besides a lovely assortment of fabric, Heidi also stocks wine from a family members Iowa vineyard, scrapbook supplies, jewelry and candy....what more could a woman want?????

Chris & Grant Summer 1977
Then it was on to Des Moines to give  hugs to my friend.  Grant was my son Chris's best friend during their first 4 years.  As we headed home in a heavy rain storm, it seemed that even the skies were crying.

Farewell Grant........



The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.  ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Monday, October 31, 2011


Click here to check-out the quilt show!

Whenever a family wedding comes along, my favorite part is making the gift...usually a quilt.  But first I spend a lot of time thinking about the bride and groom and how this project will fit into their home and new life together and will they like it????  Bed quilts are too large and usually a personal choice so I try to make a throw size and tell them when they have a disagreement, they need to get under the quilt to "make-up".  At my youngest cousin's gift opening, they christened it "The Make-up Quilt" and it stuck.

This summer, we were pleased and excited to be invited to Carley and Dan's "green" wedding.   This was very inspiring so I challenged myself to make them a quilt completely from my stash!  It was so much fun to see the colorful blocks go together on the design wall. The pattern is a Log Cabin variation, one of my favorites for scraps.  The fabric for the back was rescued from a tornado in 1998 and naturally, the middle came from my spooky "batt" closet.

When the top was completed, we took it to our church where my husband helped me pin-baste it for machine quilting.

Carley & Dan's "Make-up Quilt"

I picture these quilts on couch backs or chairs in a living room or family room.  But for some reason, they seem to end up at the foot of the bed???? I wonder why?

This is my first Bloggers' Quilt Show entry.  I hope you enjoy it!
Wishing you a day filled with inspiration and lots of stitching.  Mine will be!