Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm a bad blogger

I apologize for not getting on here and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. At any rate, I hope you all had a great holiday and that your New Year will be wonderful in every respect.

Our snow is all gone, and it has been great to be able to be out and about a bit now. We can get out and walk, and it's surprising how much I missed that when everything was too icy to take a chance on taking a walk.

In October at our guild meeting, we had the Portland/Vancouver Project Linus volunteer speak to us. She was very, very good, and showed us a DVD that left most of us with damp eyes. It motivated me to work on some quilts for Project Linus, so the following are two that I have completed so far. I have another top that I did, but it needs to be sandwiched and quilted.
The pink one is made with fabric that was given to me and I am pleased with it.

The second quilt with the bears is a kit I bought several years ago and made the top by never finished it. It is such cheerful fabric (flannel), and I hope it will be enjoyed by some child.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Enough snow and ice already!

We are in our 11th day of heavy snow and ice here. They say it's the worst storm since 1968, and any snow and ice that we get generally happens after the new year. Anyway, we had a break last Wednesday, I think it was, and we got out and ran a couple errands, but other than that, we've pretty much just stayed home. We have at least 18 inches of snow, with a layer of ice in between two layers of snow. Most flights were cancelled, so there are folks who have been camped there for days. We got a little snow today, and there may be a little tomorrow, but then we should start warming up and transition to our usual winter rain. After our morning snow, it did warm up to 37 degrees, so we got some melting, but there is still a lot to go. The main roads have been sanded and plowed, but residential areas have not, so those roads are heaving covered with snow and ice and deep ruts. We just don't have the equipment here or the manpower to do it.

This evening I had about had it with being inside, so hubby and I walked around the block and then got in his truck and went around a couple blocks. Even with four wheel drive, there was a lot of slipping and sliding. It sure felt good to get out for a few minutes though.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Early Christmas

I think I mentioned before that we were having an early Christmas, since Kurt and family will be in San Diego on December 25. Sunday was the day that everyone came up with that would work for all. We started with an early brunch, and feasted for a while and then moved on to presents. I think the four grandchildren were very pleased with what they got. The nightgowns, pajamas, and fleece throw were quite a hit. I was very gratified by the pleasure our sons and their wives displayed when they saw their completed quilts. I also made them a set of matching pillow cases.

The first picture is of Kurt and Tonya. Both DILs had chosen the colors that they wanted for their quilts, but for the most part, I chose the fabrics.

This is our older son Kevin and his wife Marion. Theirs was the first French Braid quilt that I made.

I consider myself very, very fortunate. Both families live close to us, and we have a very good relationship. To make it even better, they have given us four beautiful, darling grandchildren.

Well, back to our day together. Cold weather and snow was in the forecast, and that's exactly what transpired. Wind came with it, so it was really cold. The kids did go out in the backyard with one DIL though, and made a snowman. It has remained cold, so the snowman is intact, and it looks like it will be for several more days yet. More snow is forecast for tomorrow.

Have you ever played the game Catch Phrase? We played that later in the day, and it's a fun game. The funny thing about that is the night before we were frantically hunting for the game so we could get it out, and we absolutely could not find it. So we went up to the store and bought another one, thinking that we could take it back if the first one surfaced. Well, first thing the next morning I walked into the room where I sew, and there it was sitting on the table in plain sight! We had opened every cupboard, looked under beds, and in every imaginable place, including the toy box, which is right beside where I found it! Talk about feeling foolish!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Presents for DGC

It seems to have become tradition that I make nightgowns for Christmas for our DGDs and something for each of the boys. The Oregon Ducks throw is for Tanner, and he will love watching sports on TV and covering up with that. Anson is the little guy, and I chose an AWFUL fabric to work with. I had a pattern that needed a stretchable neckband, so i got this waffly (rhymes with awful :-) ) fabric that was very cute but stretches so much, and it was horrible to work with. I don't think he'll be able to wear them very long, because even though I preshrunk the fabric, the top especially seems to shrink up when it is washed. Alas, why are my lessons always learned the hard way.

For the girls, however, I am very happy with the nightgowns. Tylee will get the one with the little doggies, because she is just nuts about dogs and cats. Aubrey gets the one with the purple butterflies because she loves butterflies and the color purple.

So now, with those all done, I can wrap the last of the presents for the DGC. I still need to put the labels on the French Braid quilts for our sons and their wives. I printed them out on the computer, but I hate doing labels, so once again, I have put it off until the last minute almost. I guess I just don't feel very creative, so they are just a big pain. I haven't labeled my Winter Wonderland either, and need to do that very soon.

Okay, I'm off to wrap presents. I wish you a great Wednesday.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday is coming fast!

Our Christmas celebration is December 14, because Kurt and family will be in San Diego for Christmas. So, in light of that, I have six more days to be ready. Thankfully, a lot is done. I have one pair of pajamas to sew; I've made two nightgowns and one fleece throw (Oregon Ducks fabric, of course). I need to make cookies, but I think I'll make the dough tonight or tomorrow and put it in the freezer until Saturday, and then make them so they will be fresh.

We are having a brunch celebration on Sunday, so I'll be making two breakfast casseroles and probably cinnamon rolls. That way hopefully there will be plenty to please everyone. One of the casseroles will be your Tamworth eggs, Dee, and the other an overnight apple french toast, but this time I'm making it with marionberries.

My hubby and Kurt got the tree up, and I decorated it yesterday, except for the decorations that I've save for the grandchildren to put on - four separate piles of decorations, one for each child to add. I've got to be fair, you know.

Oh, and there's the wrapping. That's the part I like least, but I've got to get that done also. Well, maybe after the pjs are made I can do that.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I have made quite a few quilts, but none I like better than this one. Too bad it is so seasonal and will be put away for most of the year. Actually, that may not be a bad thing, since it has so much white in it. Anyway, I really, really enjoyed making this. I started on the embroidery at least two years ago. I pieced the blocks in May of 2008, and put it together in the fall. The quilting was done with Superior threads glitter thread. I just love the way the quilting just sparkles

This is a closeup of the quilting. Except for the red border, I did a meander of loops and stars.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Well, we are more than stuffed, and will have some pounds to try to work off before we start indulging in all the Christmas treats that will be tempting us before long.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! We went across the street to our son and daughter-in-law's house. Our DIL really outdid herself, as usual. She sent some leftovers home with us, and we continue to eat those. I made six pies, which, of course, was way too much, but that's what I do. We sent some home with everyone, and still have a little left, but surprisingly enough, I am a little tired of pie.

Our DIL sent home the turkey carcass with us, and we made up a big batch of turkey stock. Tomorrow night we will have the kids and grandkids here and have turkey noodle soup. This is definitely the season for soup, and it seems I don't make much else in the winter.

Today I should be able to finish the quilting of my Winter Wonderland, and get the machine portion of the binding done. Then I can vegetate and hand-sew on bindings on two almost completed items - the other being a silver bells stained glass wall hanging. Pics to follow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there.

Since we are on the west coast, so far the only thing we are enjoying is the smell of the turkey cooking. It is hard to wait when it smells so good.

Yesterday was pie-baking day, and they look wonderful - pumpkin, caramel apple and marionberry (a wonderful large Oregon blackberry).

Today is a good reminder of all I have to be thankful for, and there is so much. Even in these tough economic times, and yes, the economy has definitely affected us, there are many, many blessings.

Have a great turkey day everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Football and Quilting

Well, what do football and quilting have to do with each other? Actually nothing other than it seems that I can get so much quilting done while sitting and watching football. I like pro football the best, but quite a few college games interest me also.

Anyway, I finally got to my redwork embroidery quilting project. A couple months ago or so I had put together the embroidered blocks with the pieced blocks, and now I am quilting away on it. I obviously want to have it ready to put out for the holidays this year. This is a picture of one of the blocks that I have finished quilting. I am using white glitter thread from Superior threads. I have gotten quite a bit done yesterday and today, along with football and four of our grandson's basketball games. Obviously, I haven't done much else!! :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Latest quilting adventures

I have been working for several months on king-sized French Braid quilts for our two sons and their wives. The wives were involved in choosing approximately the first three of each of the two main colored fabrics, and then I went and finished on my own. The first one I made was the aqua/brown quilt. I bought a medley of six fabrics from Keepsake Quilts, and my one DIL really liked it, so I ordered more of the fabric, and then rounded out with more fabrics.

On the other quilt, my other DIL and I went to a quilt shop sale and picked out a few fabrics, and I went to the huge Fabric Depot in Portland and got most of the rest. The piecing was the easy part, even with them being king-sized.

The quilting was a huge challenge because I was having so many problems with my Juki sewing machine. After repeated (at least five) trips to the repair shop, the machine still skipped horribly, so in desperation, I bought a Janome 1600P, I think it is. This machine works like a dream, and is, essentially, pretty much like the Juki, just a straight stitch machine.

The quilting is shown below. I used a stencil for the actual braid components. The center large squares and the cables on the dividing rows are patterns I traced and needled onto Golden Threads paper. The rest of the quilting is freehand.

This is a Thanksgiving table topper my friend and I both decided to make. It was such fun, and is fusible applique. The pattern came from the Fabric Trends magazine.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

My blog says Sunday, November 2, and I haven't investigated why, but it really is Tuesday, November 4, and election day is finally here, and I haven't yet cast my vote here for my darling grandchildren.

This cute little tyke is 4-year-old Anson. His daddy is a Portland firefighter, and it looks like Anson will be a fine firefighter also. He was a bit tired, so his eyes are kind of glazed.

Then we have Tangelina and Tannika. These two cheerleading beauties are also know as Tanner S and Tanner F. The one on the left is Tanner S, and he is our all boy granadson. Their costumes were quite a hit. They went out with three boys dressed up as Hannah Montana, so pretty darn cute.

This little beauty is dressed as Taylor Swift. She is Aubrey and she made a haul trick or treatingwith her cousin and friends.

And last, but most definitely not least, is our lovely Tylee, dressed up as Sharpay. Now I realize that I most certainly butchered the spelling, but that is phonetic, and that's about as good as I can do.

We had 175 ghosts, goblins, etc. come to our door. I just love seeing all the little kids (and some not so little) come and get their treats. We found the ones with the best manners were the smaller kids. Of course, they all had parents standing in the background.

And now, since it is election day, I hope you have all gotten out and voted. Here we have elections by mail, and that is so very, very nice. We can sit at our kitchen table with the voters' pamphlet and study the issues, not be rushed, and best of all, not have to wait in long lines to vote. It's been that way now for several years, and we love it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finally put it together

I have become so hooked on embroidery as a portable project. It works so well for travelling, and I have finished several things while riding in the car (mostly driving in the car to and from CA, visiting my MIL).

I finished this basket some time ago, and finally got around to making it into a pillow cover. I think I need to get a bigger pillow form for it go to in, and then I will be happier with it.

I am working on a group of four embroidered baskets that I am going to put together with pieced baskets, to make a wall hanging. It will be a good while before that becomes reality, but at least I can visualize it in my mind.

Then, speaking of embroidery, I have my Winter Wonderland quilt all put together, and waiting to be quilter. I am so anxious to complete it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Beauties!

Aren't grandkids just the greatest?! These two little grandgirls of ours got into my Halloween stuff and of course we had to take their picture. For Halloween they both are going to be something from the High School Musical craze.

We spent a week in Central Oregon and came home Wednesday. One day there was just a little skiff of snow on the ground, but that didn't keep our sons, grandson and my husband from going out golfing. Actually, the snow melted as soon as the sun came up. We really enjoy our week there, and we have been going every October for seven or eight years.

I took my sewing machine and worked on my Thimbleberries Big Club block of the month quilt. The is the link to what it will look like when I am done. http://www.prairielandquilts.com/images/tbc08/Lakeside_a.jpg I got caught up through the ninth month, and I really like the parts that are done. I won't do this again though. It's just too much money for what you get.

I pieced in one of the one-third sections of the batting for my king-sized quilt. I had previously cut out the two outer portions, and am now done with quilting the middle third of the quilt. So tomorrow I will head back to my machine and start on the second third. It is such a big quilt that it really helps a lot to not have all that bulk in there when working on the middle of the quilt.

Our autumn weather has been so beautiful. Our yard debris bucket is full of trimmings and leaves, and will continue that way for several weeks. The colors have been so spectacular. Our journeys though the mountains to and from Central Oregon were so beautiful, with so much vine maple and other trees changed in color.

Well, I think I'll call it a night. Last night I sewed until 1:30 a.m., so am feeling the need for bed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Halloween Wall hanging

Does this pattern look familiar? It is in the current Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine. I fell in love with it when I first saw it, so my friend, Patti, and I decided to each make one. We worked together one Saturday evening, and then finished them up at home. I am very pleased with mine, but dear little DGD Aubrey pointed out to me that my candy corns are backwards. The pointed end is white and the wider end is yellow. Oh, well, it's just a little creative license, I guess (aka mistake).
I also finished a baby quilt, and have been spending many hours quilting on the first French Braid quilt. I am now two-thirds done with it, and there will be great rejoicing when I actually get it done and can then start spending many hours on the binding. And then, after that, I can make the backing for the second French Braid and start the process all over again. The things we do for our kids and grandkids!!

Thank you, Dee at Dee's Studio, for the I love your blog award. I have been very inattentive to my blog, and now much try to get it updated. I still have so very much to learn in this blogging world.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a beautiful day!

September has been fantastic so far. We love it when it's cool, and it has been that. Today was supposed to be 78, but it didn't reach that. Our weather will be warming up again though.

We got out for a walk this morning before coming home and tackling the house cleaning. How is it that two people can get it dirty so quickly? Anyway, with that and grocery shopping, pulling weeds, etc., I haven't gotten much sewing done today.

Yesterday was much more productive with my quilting. I have two more borders to put on the French Braid quilt for second son and DIL. I have gotten a lot of piecing done while my Juki has been in the shop. This evening I plan on finishing the pillowcases that will go with the quilt. I like to use my leftover fabrics for the backing, and that means I need to have the pillowcases and binding made BEFORE I start putting the back together. I have made that mistake before of needing binding and wanting to make pillowcases and had no fabric.
We really enjoyed the UCLA/Tennessee football game on Monday night. Our favorite is pro football, which starts tomorrow evening, but we like college also, especially if it includes the Oregon Ducks!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Almost September

Oh, my gosh, tomorrow is September 1!

This past weekend we went camping with our sons and their families at Big Lava Lake in Central Oregon. There were such lovely views of the mountains, and it was a very relaxed, enjoyable time. One son has a bed for us in their trailer, so it works out great for us.

I never did post about our trip to Seattle with our DGDs. We had a lovely time and they were well behaved. We went up in the Space Needle and then they went on quite a few rides at the Seattle Center. They also went to a park and to the Children's Museum, so had a full couple days. Aubrey (9) is on the left, and Tylee (7) is on the right.

Quilting-wise, I have been so frustrated with my Juki, which I only use for the actual machine quilting process. Thankfully, there is a store that sells and services machines just a couple milse from home. First there were serious tension problems and problems with skipped stitches. They got the tension f ixed, but the skipped stitches have been a nightmare. It will skip a half-inch or so, and connect for one stitch or a few, and skip again. Finally, they are ordering a part, and I sure hope it takes care of the problem. It has been more than frustrating. Having the quilting issues does mean that I have been pretty successful in getting some piecing done, so that is a plus, I guess.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today's ramblings

Oh, my, where does the time go?

We have gone and watched our oldest grandson's football practice a couple times. He is quite a good little player, and yes, I'm prejudiced, but he really is. He also is playing "fall ball," which is baseball, and he has a game Sunday.

I can't believe how fast the summer is going. The kids will be back in school before we know it, and boo hoo, we have picked the last of our blueberries. We enjoy them for a couple months in the summer, and then presto, summer is nearly gone, and it's back to berries from the freezer. However, there are still fresh peaches, so that's a huge plus! Gravenstein apples will be at the farmer's market probably this week, and I want to buy a box and make applesauce in my crockpot. Yum-yum!

Next week we will take our two granddaughters to Seattle for a couple days. They are beside themselves with excitement. I hope the trip lives up to their expectations. Seattle is such a pretty city, right on the Puget Sound.

The beautiful days have made it a joy to get out and walk for a while. We have a much harder time pushing ourselves in the winter, when we have so much rain, and it's cold. Maybe we just look for excuses to stay hunkered down inside, do you suppose?

My Juki is in the hospital hopefully getting its tension issues and skipping stitch issues resolved. I certainly have found plenty to do in the interim. I put together my guild row quilt, and I am making the braids for my second French Braid. I want to have both French Braids ready to give to our two sons and daughters-in-law for Christmas, or if I can't wait, sooner. I THINK I can do it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Darling granddaughters

Well, I said I would post pics of my cutie-pie DGDs all dressed up and made up at Tylee's birthday part at the tea house on Saturday. Tylee is the one with the crown, and Aubrey is the other little girl. Tylee just turned seven and Aubrey had her ninth birthday a month ago. They just looked so cute and had such a good time.

The first thing they do is pick out shoes, dress, jewelry, etc. and get dressed. Then comes hair, makeup and nails. After that they take pics and then have the tea party and the gifts. It is all so cute, and the little girls just love it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What fun!

I started this post earlier and did something dumb, and lost it, so I will try again and hope to avoid whatever it was I did.

Yesterday was a day pretty much filled with the four grandchildren being here. We had a very large fort constructed in our living room, with quilts, chairs toys, the couch, etc. I do wish I had taken a picture, as it was quite impressive. Each of the kids had their own "room," which involved, of course, quite a bit of crawling to get to. And then, of course, they each had to have an assortment of toys in their "room," so we had quite an assortment of stuff spread all over. All too soon, the kids will be too old for things like this, so we need to enjoy it while it lasts.

Today is our darling Tylee's seventh birthday. There was a birthday party at a tea house near here for her and her little girlfriends today. They dress up in dress up clothes and shoes that are there, and then have their hair, nails and makeup done. They looked so cute. Then they have "tea," which consists of lemonade and little snacks suitable to their age group. (No cucumber sandwiches there!!) I will plan to post a picture another time of Tylee and her cousin Aubrey there, all dressed up. Before we know it, they will be doing their own hair and makeup. Time goes so fast.

We're nearing the end of our blueberries in our back yard. We have four bushes and have enjoyed a very good crop this year. We will go back to frozen berries when the home grown ones are gone.

I think Dick and I will go to the beach Monday or Tuesday and spend a night there. It's about two hours from home, and the weather should be just wonderful. We have some friends staying there all week, so we'll spend a little time with them and walk and walk and eat and eat, and just relax a bit. The Oregon coast is just drop-dead gorgeous, so if you ever get a chance to see it, you should take advantage of the opportunity.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

At the top of the Space Needle

These two handsome lads are our two DGSs. We took them to Seattle this last week for a couple days. We saw a Mariners/Boston Red Sox game and they swam at the motel.

The next day we played at Green Lake Park and then went up in the Space Needle. That was a super experience, but Anson (the little one) thought we were going on the space shuttle, so he was a bit disappointed. We had lunch at the cafe, and the kids rode a few rides that are there at the Seattle Center. Dick rode the log flume and roller coaster with Tanner, and I rode some other thing that goes very, very fast. Anson rode some little kid rides, and was pretty thrilled with the little rockets he rode. Maybe that made up for not going on the space shuttle, I'm not sure. :-)

Our weather has been awesome - not too hot and not too cool. We got out and took a nice walk this evening. Tomorrow Dick is going golfing and I will stay with two of our DGC so our son can go with Dick.

I am working on completing a couple throw pillows. I embroidered birds for the center, and then am doing log cabin-type piecing around the birds. They are for two good friends. One is blue and one red.

We have really been enjoying our back yard this summer. Most mornings we go out with our coffee and look at the paper, and then eat quite a few meals out on the patio. I know, it's a rough life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This quilt is probably my most rewarding so far. It had quite a bit of hand applique, which I enjoyed, and the piecing was challenging. It seemed to go on forever. I finished it in January of 2008. The pattern is Spring Beauty by The Rabbit Factory - yes, The Rabbit Factory!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

My first post

Oh, goodness, where do I start.

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have been married 41 years to a terrific man, and have two sons and daughters-in-law. We all live in a Portland, OR suburb. One son and his wife and two DGC live across the street, and the other son and his wife and two DGC live a little over a mile from us, so I am very, very lucky in that regard. Each family has a boy and girl. Their ages range from four to ten. We see a lot of all four, and enjoy them immensely.

I first start quilting in about 1979, and did a few things, and then never went back to it until 1998, when the first grandchild was on the way. I made quilts for each of the grandchildren, and then when the third one was on the way in 2001, I took a beginning quilt class, and I have been hopelessly addicted ever since. I have made a lot of quilts, and enjoy every aspect of the process. I like to piece, paper piece, applique (both machine and hand), redwork, and quilt. I do my machine quilting myself on my Juki. I've made small and very large quilts.

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