Sunday, December 23, 2012

All That's Sweet, Delicious and Calling

Embroidered ornament pattern from Bird Brain Designs
A sweet message from Martha Beck:

"Winnie the Pooh. There's a scene in which he, Piglet, and Rabbit get lost. Rabbit, the frantic intellectual, keeps steering them in circles. Then he leaves, and Pooh tells Piglet: 'Let's go home.' 'But, Pooh,' cries Piglet, 'do you know the way?' 'No,' says Pooh. 'But there are 12 pots of honey in my cupboard, and they've been calling to me for hours. I couldn't hear them properly before, because Rabbit would talk, but if nobody says anything...I shall know where they're calling from.' All I ever do is help people quiet their Rabbit minds until they hear the pots of honey speaking to their tummies. That's the way to our destinies: Follow what's sweet, delicious, and calling."
                                                                           —Martha Beck

Choir of Angels hand pieced and quilted. Pattern by Pat Gaska

Aren't we all lost, wandering and suffering from rabbit minds? 

May you find what's sweet, delicious and calling you this holiday season.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Treasures in the Stash

While digging in my stash for border fabrics, I found this panel...long ago bought and buried.  I then proceeded to dig for a border for the panel, but nothing seemed to make it "dance".  Finally, I stitched a string border for the piece and now it's hanging on my door (instead of hiding in my stash)!

We had our first snow....just a few inches...but enough to pretty things up.

I love the way the snow decorated the trees and bushes...much better than I could.  What do you think?

I hope you find many treasures in your stash and that mother nature decorates your home this holiday season.


Saturday, December 1, 2012


Angels can fly…….
. . . because they take themselves lightly.
                               - GK Chesterton

It is difficult to fly when we take ourselves so seriously that:
- we feel we must be on "top" of everything,
- we have to have "all" the answers,
- we must provide a "perfect" Christmas,
- we have to "do it all" ourselves,
- we must be "in charge,"
- we have to "fit" it all into our calendars.
May we take ourselves a little more lightly this
Holiday Season
- knowing that God loves us
and understands what it is like to be human.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I don’t want you to just sit down at the table.
I don’t want you to just eat and be content.
I want you to walk out into the fields
Where the water is shining and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there far from this white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with mud, like a blessing.
~Mary Oliver

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond. 
~ Rumi ~

November 20, 2012   

I have so much to be grateful for.....
Wishing the same for you.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Little Sampler

I designed and stitched this little sampler in 1991.  It measures 15" x 17" and it's hand pieced and quilted.  I'm posting it for an online quilt show of little quilts at Taryn's.  I've made a lot of little quilts and find that they are quite therapeutic since they allow you work up some of the patterns and fabrics that you love in a hurry.  Besides, as a collector of fat quarters, they can always justify a trip to the quilt shop.

I like to display them around the house as they're easy to hang or fold over a little chair with a doll.  This quilt keeps Raggedy Andy and two beloved teddy bears company.

Sometimes I hang them in our entry with a little angel to watch over them.

I hope you make many quilts...especially the small ones for yourself and all the people you love.


Friday, November 9, 2012

An Event in October

 In October there's always pressure to get out on the lake one more time before we pull in the dock and put the boat away for winter.  The warm days are fewer, but the lake is a quiet and calm place to fish read.

We love to enjoy the sunsets and see the moon or first stars come out without the natives (mosquitoes) bothering us.

It's fun to snuggle up and read with a grandchild.

But this October there was a family wedding and that calls for a make-up quilt!  The first quilt (in a previous post) was the Christmas sampler...not a very good example of a make-up quilt.  So I started once again putting up blocks on the wall.  This bride had a wool quilt for graduation, so I decided a pinwheel scrap quilt with a wool batt and a flannel back would be the one.  Scrap quilts are my absolute favorites.....haven't I said that before?

When the top was together, Grandpa helped me pinbaste the top.  He's also good at setting up and taking down the tables.

Then Bernie and I quilted it.

Here's the finished quilt.  I bound it on the morning of the wedding.


Put it in a pretty box that I bought the day before.

And here it is, ready to go!

That's the real blue sky in the background!!!

We started out for Minneapolis on a very foggy and cold morning.  The wedding was outdoors.  By the time we arrived at the venue, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.  

Here comes the bride.  Her dad put the grooms hand over the brides and advised him that this will be the last time he has the upper hand.

The newlyweds come down the aisle.  There was a sprinkling of autumn leaves that drifted down over them as they said their vows.

Followed by the bride's brother and family.  A wonderful reception followed with family and friends.

The following morning we woke to a beautiful sunrise with a skyline view of Minneapolis.  Another gorgeous October day!

I wish you many beautiful days and wonderful events all year long!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

First I voted.

Now it's time to get this puppy together!

My wish is that every one of you get out today and exercise your right to vote!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

This Christmas sampler measures 56" x 72" and I machine pieced and quilted it.

Once again, it takes a deadline (thank-you Amy) to get me to post.  I'm going to try to get better at this, but right now here is my entry in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative side.

I had two sets of 12"blocks from a block a month we did in my small quilt group a few years ago.  There was a wedding coming up and I thought I'd put together the blocks for the gift.  Once I finished it, I had second thoughts.  Traditionally, I give the couple a make-up quilt (see a previous post for that story) and I didn't see them making up under the Christmas quilt. There was a deadline so I was able to make the cozy throw in time for the wedding.  Perhaps that will be my next post.  So this is one more UFO off my list.

I hope you finish your UFO's, too.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Where Did Summer Go???

Woodland Sunflowers

Yesterday I noticed that the woodland sunflowers had started to bloom under the evergreens and the chives were sporting their dainty white flowers.  Oh my gosh...these are sure signs that summer is coming to an end!
Garlic Chives

Wasn't is just yesterday that the peas were popping up in the garden?

Sugar Snap Peas

Audrey takes a plunge

A week long trip to Lake Vermilion with family in June was fun with fishing and swimming plus a side trip to the Soudan mine.
Nana cools her heels as Katie takes the plunge!

Standing: My brother Nick, Niece Julie, Melanie and Mom Karen.

On the 4th of July, we headed out east for my niece Melanie's high school graduation party.  It was a 100 degree day but a wonderful gathering of family and friends. 

Lubec, Maine as viewed from Campobello Island, Canada.

Next we headed for Lubec Maine with my niece Lisa for a week long piano intensive and some serious seafood! 

And here are the likely victims

Served up at the Water Street Tavern and Inn where we stayed

Lubec is known for it's summer music programs (SummerKeys) and for being the most eastern point of the United States.  It's a charming small town and the place we stayed once was a cat food factory.  While everyone else was melting in 100 degree heat we were enjoying the 70's and cool ocean breezes.
Lisa and I performing

After a week of piano practice (and delicious seafood) Lisa and I performed our  duets before the other students and instructors. I truly can't believe I was play the piano and smiling!

Lisa and I gift shopping

Of course there was the usual shopping and touring.  We visited many lighthouses and Roosevelt's summer home at Campobello on the Bay of Fundy.

On our way back, we stopped in Intercourse, PA to visit the Old Country Store Museum where they had a lovely quilt exhibit.  Using Skype on my phone, I was able to share the exhibit with a friend in Wisconsin.....oh the amazing things we can do with technology!

This was a delicious Pennsylvania Dutch salad at the Cork Factory in Lancaster.  I love pickled eggs and beets.  Yum!
That was just the first half of summer.  More later.
I hope you are enjoying the last beautiful days
as much as I am.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Quilt That Started It All

Amy's Creative Side

This is my entry in The Bloggers' Quilt Festival. My second son was just a few months old when I innocently picked up this magazine at the drugstore!  Who knew what a monster was about to emerge.

I knew how to sew and always wanted to make a quilt, but most of the patterns looked overwhelming and besides, I didn't know a soul who quilted. There were no quiltshops around and J. C. Penney was the only source of fabric in town.

This small project appealed to me immediately!  I had plenty of gingham in my stash.  First I had to enlarge the pattern.  The instructions on applique were one paragraph suggesting that I sew on the seam allowance around each piece before turning it under.  Many dogs and cats bit the dust as I taught myself to applique.

By the time I got the top together, I discovered Quilters' Newsletter Magazine and from their catalog I ordered a disappearing chalk to mark it.
I worked late into the night marking the quilt only to discover the next morning the quilting lines had disappeared due to the humidity.  My husband laughed and said I'd never finish it!  Now I was really determined and I marked it again with a pencil.  The batting was the old unbonded variety that made the quilt soft and cuddly.

Four c-clamps and some wood I found in the garage provided a frame.  I wasn't looking forward to the quilting part but when I sat down and started stitching, something happened at that frame. It was a sense of peace and serenity that I had never experienced before.  Quilting grounded me in the moment, connected me to the past and handwork has been my refuge ever since.

I wish you that same sense of peace, serentity and connection to the past in whatever you do!


Friday, May 18, 2012

16 Years At The Lake

We enjoyed the daffodils and tulips for a long time this spring. They welcomed everyone at the front of our home.

The Forget-me-nots bloomed in the back yard garden.  Most were blue, but I found one pink in the bunch.

My friend, Mrs. Schraml gave me this Columbine many years ago. The most precious flowers in my garden are the ones that come from my friends and family. 

This is the garden in the back.  Mostly full of creeping Charley and a lot of sedum.

My husband (despite the fact that we have a huge lake in our backyard) always wanted a pond.  So we had our neighbor (who also has a landscaping business, Creative Landscaping)
design a pond, patio with a fire pit and surround them with a beautiful garden
First, I dug up all my plants and put them into pots.

Then there was a whole lot of digging going on.  They tore out my garden, saving many of the plants.  These were the most amazing workers. They did an excellent job!

They brought in rocks and lovely black dirt (we live in Blue Earth County on top of clay).

One week later, on Mother's Day we had a pond with fish and the grand-daughters named them.    

They put in steps to a patio with a fire pit.

And by Wednesday of the following week it was finished.  Here is the layout without the landscaping.

Most of the plants are originally from the garden.  The sedum was tucked between the rocks.  It's breathtaking!

Here Mrs. Schraml's  Columbine sits next to some fieldstone.

And here are some of the Forget-me-nots.

And this is where I'm going to sit and enjoy it all...on the screened porch.

Today we celebrate 16 years from the day we moved into the garage where we lived while the house was built.  That's a story for another post!

This is how the backyard looked then.  The deck was quite high and now it's at ground level.

We are so grateful to have such a beautiful spot on this earth!  I hope we can enjoy it for many years to come!