Friday, December 4, 2009

A Sunny Day

Today is a sunny day in Middle Tennessee, even though it is a little cool. I have been busy swapping my laptop for my hubby's desk top. He kept having problems with the Quicken program on the desk top (loosing entries) so I convinced him to start using the newer system. I have just finished setting up everything and now I am off to quilting. I am working on the Carolina Christmas mystery from Bonnie Hunter as well as starting up a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler in shades of red with a white background. Of course I have other quilts in the works so I am always staying busy. My painting is coming along well. I am working on "The Creation" for our church. It is 3ft by 4ft and will hang behind the choir loft. This week I worked on getting the base colors of the arms and hands in. At first I was not pleased, I told them at class that it looked more like a piece of wood. I kept working on it and it finally came around to looking more like an arm. I must learn patience when painting. Enough of this chatter, I have work to do. Have a great day! See ya!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Good Day!

Today was a good day, a little cool but good. I finished Mom's flannel quilt top (it's really scrappy), pieced the flannel backing & used my serger to edge about 15 fleece & flannel pieces for Project Linus. Now I am ready to finish my Friendship Basket quilt and pull fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's next mystery quilt. The first set of instructions are due out the day after Thanksgiving. That's great for me because I am not one to get out & shop or fight the crowds for it. So, I plan on spending my time sewing the day away. May the day be good for you and yours!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home at Last!

Well, I just got back home from a trip to the mountains. Ricky and I flew to Gatlinburg. I was a very good flight, no turbulence, which is the way I like it. We had friends already there so they picked us up at the airport in Siervierville. The weather was great but I wasn't. I have this problem with allergies and they decided to act up while I was there. I love the mountains but I am still very happy to get back home. On our way back, I took the controls of the plane. Ricky explained some of the gages to me while I was flying. It helped me a lot to know exactly what each one was for. Who knows, I might try a few lessons in the future. Note to self: I doubt it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler Quilt

I just spent the week making sample blocks from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler". This is the quilt that was inspired by the Elm Creek Quilts novels. I love those books. Right now I'm reading Cross Country Quilters. Anyway, these classes were great. I learned so much and I am now planning out my quilt. Joan Sheridan taught the class and she really did a great job. Her quilt is one of several that were published in this Sampler book. She taught Y seams, curves, partial seams as well as various other techniques. Even though I have been quilting for several years, I was amazed at the accuracy I achieved in these classes. It really was a week well spent. Thank you Joan for your expert advice and time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I really don't know where I have been. It seems that every year about this same time I have a shutdown. I go through a few weeks with the "don't want to" attitude and I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I think it has something to do with the change of seasons, you know, going from bright sunny to dull and dreary. Anyway I am back from my "lost in space" time and I'm trying to get into the "just do it" mode. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Always Remember

As I watched some of the news programs yesterday it amazed me that 8 years have passed. It really doesn't seem like it. The days go by so fast sometimes that it is hard to keep up with everything that is going on. I have always believed in angels and I feel that even though I get so wrapped up with day to day tasks that I know God is ever present. Sometimes I feel that he sends little hints and if we just take the time to look or listen we will find Him. This is the saying that comes from my calender for Sept. 11th.

If we look hard enough, we can find plenty of angels right in our own lives. They heal us, shelter us, feed us, and teach us. They keep us safe. They entertain us. They help us. They are us.

As we remember the ones lost let us also remember the ones saved as well as the ones that helped us through the days that followed. May God be with all of us and may we always remember.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Back!!

I have finally arrived back home from my cruise. Today is the first chance I have had to add a post. Everyone had a great time and the weather was perfect.
Here is a shot from the ship while we were docked at Calica.

This photo was taken the evening before we docked at Cozumel. I was lucky to get this because it only lasted about 2 minutes and then disappeared into the clouds.

And here is a shot from the ship while we were at Cozumel.

But this is my all time favorite. Right in the middle of Cozumel's business district I found this man. There was this small "hut" set up between some buildings and he was sitting outside of it.

He never looked up or noticed anything that was going on around him and it made me feel like he was just a small part of the real Mexico mixed in with the hustle and bustle of the daily business of tourist shopping. I could here people talking inside the hut but there were no lights inside for me to see them. I can't help but wonder if they lived there all the time or if they worked for one of the shops and just stayed there during the day.

You never know what you will see if you just take the time to look around. Anyway, I am gald to be home and hope to get back into sewing and quilting by the end of the week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's Cruise Time!!!!

Mother had a good birthday. Ricky and I had lunch with her and later Amanda had supper with her. She ate a piece of cake after each meal. I told her nurse to not be alarmed when her sugar levels went up.

Tomorrow I will be leaving for my week long cruise. Ricky is going to stay home and take care of the farm. I am going with a long time friend (her husband can't go) and another couple. We will board in Mobile on Monday and head to Cozumel. I hope the seas will not be too bad. I am looking forward to some sun, fun & relaxation.

Everyone keep busy, have a great week and I'll see ya later!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mother's Birthday!

Tomorrow is Mom's birthday and she will be 79 years old. As I think about all the years that she was around for me and my daughter I can only feel grateful that I am able to be with her as much as I am. Here is a picture of Mom and Amanda.
This was taken when Amanda was about 6 years old. I can see the love in Mom's eyes as she watches Amanda sleep.

Fast forward 24 years. This is Mom and Amanda on her wedding day, October 2007.

After all the time that has passed and even though Mom has trouble remembering things I can still see that same love in her eyes when she saw Amanda in her dress, for the first time. I am truly blessed to have the life I have and will always cherish the times I have with my family.

Here is my calender quote for tomorrow, Moms birthday.

"There are moments during the day that are undeniably touched by angels."
As I look at these photos I can absolutely say yes there are those moments.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Busy Week

This week has been a busy one for me. I had to take our dog JoJo to the vet. He had 3 tumors removed. We sent them for testing to see if they are clean. Hope so!

Yesterday I spent most of the day with my Mother-in-Law. She had to have some outpatient surgery which turned out fine. Today I am off to spend time with my Mom.
We are having lunch together, which she always enjoys. Then tomorrow I am going to Nashville to bowl in the Tennessee Senior Women's Singles Tournament. Wish me luck!

I hope to be back in my studio next week but then I am off on the 24th for a week long cruise. Looks like I am going to need it just to relax a little. Have a great one!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today is a FUN day!!

Today I am off to my local sewing shop for a trunk show and seminar about embroidery. It's an all day event with lunch included and I am really looking forward to it. There will be samples of purses, clothes, towels and I am sure a lot of other stuff. There will also be a presentation on digitizing (which I need)and something about foam or puffy stuff. I don't know what that is, but I guess I will find out. I hope to come home with some new ideas and inspiration to get me and my embroidery machine working again. Lately it has just been sitting while I have been playing with my new long arm quilting machine. I have some ideas about embroidery floating around in my head and I need to put them in motion before they fade away. So, today is going to be a FUN day and then I will get back to the other stuff tomorrow. Have a great day and I'll chat again soon.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bear With Me

Today I started another journal of Mom's. It is very hard to read her words and think back to those days. It makes me tearful to think that I was so blinded by so many things. God surely must have been with me and my daughter during those days. I am so blessed to have her in my life and so proud of the woman she has become.

My relationship I now have with Mom is special. I will always cherish the hours we spend together. One day I will look back on all of this with a smile and thank God again for giving me the family I have.

Here is something that Mom wrote in July 1996:
Another new book. I wonder what these pages will hold? Only time will tell.
Go with me through the days to come ---
Bear with me if times are bad or hard---
Steady me if I need it---
Always be my friend---- Mom

May you always cherish your family and be grateful for the times you have.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Isn't This Beautiful!

I was walking out to the barn this morning and noticed this rose. Wow! It just took my breath away. I am amazed at the way they look so delicate and this one still had the dew drops on it. I had to take a picture of it and I think it will be my next oil painting. We always seem to be in such a hurry that we seldom stop to "smell the roses". Make sure you take time to enjoy what God has given us and have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Let Me In!

Today we have a steady rain falling. I have the windows up and the breeze is quite nice. I looked out from my shop and saw our little Yorkie, Will, hiding under the car. He looked so pitiful sitting there that I could not resist taking his picture.

I let him in the house because of the rain and the first place he goes is our bed. So, here he is sitting there, looking at me wondering if I am going to make him get down.

He is the sweetest little thing. I told him I was going back outside so he decided to follow me. Now he is going in and out of my shop. I think he wants to go back to the barn where our other dogs are at. They love to hang out there with Ricky. Maybe if the rain slows he will venture back that way.

I'm getting ready to load a quilt on the frame so I will check in later. Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ready for Quilting

I have worked on this quilt since March and I am finally ready to load this on my long arm. I remember saying that Ricky should be careful what he asks for when he wanted a quilt to cover the bed. I said okay and went to work. This quilt is 94" x 107" and I am a little concerned about loading it on my frame. When I started this quilt I did not have my long arm so I had a good idea about the cost of having it quilted. Now, it's up to me, but I am loving every minute of it. I am up to the challenge and look forward to throwing this one on the bed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dear Jane Blocks & Mother's Journal

Today I finished 2 new blocks for my Dear Jane quilt. The pink one is Old Windmill and the blue one is Hanni's Crown.

I have also started my journey down memory lane with my mother's journals. It was something to read her words and wonder how she was really feeling that long ago. I don't know how long it will take me to get through 24 journals but at least I have started. I'll keep you posted on the progress and throw in some of her words along the way. I've been thinking about starting a blog with her writings, that way you can keep up with the progress. What do you think?

Here is a sample:
The tree of life is within each of us for it is the ones who come after us. We are each a tree and our children and their children are the branches. Then, same as the tree grows, we grow old and frail but the branches become stronger and make new branches and continue to grow and do well.

Mom, at times, had such a way with words.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Anniversary

Good morning to everyone! Today is our anniversary & it's hard to believe that we have been married 14 years. I jokingly tell people that Ricky "dumped" me for another girl when we were in the 3rd grade. Now look at us, years later & still having fun. I am truly a blessed person for having him in my life. Of course we have our disagreements but who doesn't. I look forward to another 14 years & sometimes wonder what it will be like when we are "old & gray". But for now I'm going to enjoy my life to the fullest and I hope that you do too!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Emma's Quilt

Here is a quilt that I have just finished for my niece, Emma. She will be going to Middle School this fall so I wanted to give her something to let her know how proud I am of her accomplishment. I titled this one "Spring Time". The actual pattern is called Spring Break from Adkinson Designs. This is a shot of the front and back. I hope you can see the quilting. This is the largest quilt that I have quilted with my new long arm. It is a Homesteader 19" and I really like it. I am still getting used to the way it moves but so far it is going okay.

This is the label that is on the back. I really had fun coloring this one.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Have you ever stepped outside your comfort zone? I can say I did when I decided to take lessons in oil painting. Up until that day I had never drawn a picture, wanted to paint a picture or considered the fact that I could draw or paint. Now 3 years later painting is one of my favorite hobbies and each time I finish a painting I can't wait to pick something else to start working on. When my mother saw my first painting she said, "you must have some of my genes after all." She was the one that did all the art work, even up to the day she retired as a teacher's aide.

Now I am getting ready to take another step. For years, close to 20, Mom kept journals and I now have them. I have not read through all of them but I am going to start a memoir of my mother's words. With God's help and help from family and friends I am going to tackle a great task. I know there will be times when I will ask myself why she wrote that but I can get through it. Hopefully, in years to come this will become a treasure for my family.

Here is something she wrote in May 1981 which is the start of her journey.
"Who ever should take the time to sit and read this journal & the ones to follow, there was at no time any intention of causing any hurt to any one. The things that are written here are my thoughts & feelings. Sometimes they are not to great & sometimes I am down on everything & everyone."
And then she wrote:
"This is a journal about my family, friends & my thoughts as we slip through the days of the summer. They slip by so fast, we can't go back. Times maybe we wish that we could, but we can only have them just once & sometimes we lose more than we gain. We should treasure our time for it goes so quickly."

The day mother wrote this she was 51, she is now 78, still living but in a nursing home unable to walk. She has Parkinson's, Diabetes and the beginning of Alzheimer's. There are days she doesn't remember, but lately she has been good. I pray that I will be able to do justice to her thoughts and words.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dear Jane Blocks

I started the Dear Jane quilt in April & I have changed my mind about my fabrics 3 times. I finally abandoned the idea of making 2 different quilts. I don't know where my brain was at that time. I have completed 8 blocks so far. I really like the fabrics, still using Civil War & I changed the background so I thought I would post some that I have completed.

This one is titled "Rayelle's Fence" and has 25 pcs.

This is "Trooper Green's Badge" with 13 pcs.

This one is "Four Corner Press" with 9 pcs.

This is "Florence Nightingale with 11 pcs.

And this is "Uncle Homer with 9 pcs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Bull is Out & Blackberries Are In!

Today our young bull got out and joined the neighbors cows. The phone message said they were headed for the creek. I guess he wanted to take a dip to cool off. Apparently our pond is not good enough. Ricky is working on the fence and we will try to get him back in our field in the morning. I imagine he will be ready for breakfast and a rest by then.
The blackberries are beginning to ripen so I am off to pick what are in. We have an arbor in our yard with thorn less berries growing on it. It sure makes it easier to pick them. These berries will be great in a cobbler!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

Today has been quite productive for me. Washed clothes, washed windows, trimmed my horses manes, confirmed my booking for a cruise (yea!) and now I am getting ready to play in my studio. I have a Dear Jane block to complete, a quilt on my long arm ready to complete & I have a shirt to embroider for a friend of mine. This evening Ricky & I are grilling and enjoying our time at home. I hope everyone has a great Independence Day and I'll be chatting with ya later.

Friday, July 3, 2009

House Quilt Update

I am still working on my house quilt. This is the first shot of my sewing cottage.

I have the pieces taped down because I wanted a test sample before I used any fusible. I think I will go with this one. Next comes the house and then all the extras along with embellishments.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back in Art Class

Well, this morning I was back at art class. Here is a sneak peek at what I am working on now.
This one is a study of an original that I just fell in love with when I saw it. After drawing (tracing) it on the canvas, with the help of a projector, I looked at it and thought what the h-- was I thiking. That was about 2 months ago and I am so pleased with the way it is turning out. It's going to look great hanging in my living room.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Is Over!

I can't believe that June is over. It seems like I just posted about my last quilt yesterday. How can a month get by so fast? I feel like it has just flown by and I have not accomplished much at all. Sooo, what have I been doing for the past few weeks? Let me see, I visit Mom every 3rd day of the week. She is doing so well lately I'm almost afraid to talk about it. I made several items for our church BBQ which was Saturday. I have found that most people want baked goods, jams and jellies. Next year that's what I plan on making. No more quilted, sewn or embroidered items. They just don't sell even though the money is for the church. Maybe the economy has something to do with it as well. I hope to post more during the following months. I would like to get into a routine of a daily or weekly post. That shouldn't be that hard to do, so I will try that for July. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jarred Top Complete

I have finally finished "Jarred Takes A Wife" from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site. I am having difficulty selecting the border fabric. That red-orange is just so bright that's all I see. I am just going to have to hang it up and look at it for awhile. I know it will come in time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

House Class Lesson One

I have started a new class from Learning Fiber Arts, another group I am part of, and I wanted to post my progress. The first thing I had to do was take a photo of our house.

Then I traced it on a sheet of transparency, which was standard paper size.

I took the transparency to my local copy store and had them enlarge it about 275% which makes it come out about 30" X 24".

And today I finished my pattern which I created by taping sheets of tracing paper together. I used a pencil & ruler to trace the house again. This time it was more accurate. I have even added the lines on the tin roof. Next comes the fun part, playing with fabric.

Completed 2 Rows for "Jared" and 5 Dear Jane blocks

This is a shot of my quilt I am working on from the Quiltville site. I have completed 2 rows that are 6 blocks across. Just wanted to get this in so you would know I haven't given up on it.

I also wanted to show what I have done so far in my Dear Jane quest. I am working on 2 different quilts at the same time and I like the way they are turning out.

These are the 2 color blocks.

And these are my Civil War type fabrics.

I will say working with such small pieces has caused me to look at my other piecing in a different way. I have realized that I must slow down and enjoy the journey instead of being in such a hurry to finish.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doing the Dance!!

I am doing the happy dance. I have finally purchased my first long arm quilting system. I'm so excited. I have decided to go with the Homesteader 19" with the 10' frame. If all goes well, she should be ready for pick up by the end of this month. I have waited a long time for this and I am really looking forward to quilting my own quilts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Life Changes!

This past week I found out that a good friend lost her father & another close friend has cancer. Sometimes it seems like things in life change so quickly that we can't keep up with it all. I am a firm believer in God & I can only pray that each person & family going through troubled times will find comfort in their faith. The following is what is on my calander for today:
Some people in our lives are like angels; their very presence makes our world a safer place.
As we go through our days let us all remember to be thankful for friends & family. We never know how long they will be with us.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Watching the Masters

I am a fan of golf & even play when I get the time. I spent Sunday morning in church, had lunch at my mother-in-law's, came home & watched the Masters. I have to say this year was one of the best I have seen in awhile.

I always like to do some kind of hand work while I am watching TV so I picked up a couple of items to work on.

I finished the aqua colored scarf that I had been knitting and then I finished the hand warmers that I crocheted. The thread was for socks but I haven't attempted that pattern yet. Since Mom's hands get cold I thought she would like these. She already has 2 pair, but I really like the way this fit on the hands.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Slideshow

I have spent most of the day taking pictures of my quilts I have finished & blocks I am working on plus some other stuff. I realized my paintings were showing but not my quilts. Even though it has taken some time I am really excited about having them posted. This is not everything so I will continue to add to the list as I get pictures made & as I complete old & new projects.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dear Jane Quilts starting in April

I am starting a new class next week and I will be working on two Dear Jane quilts. The class meets once a month and will last for one year.

One will be in these Civil War fabrics with a cream muslin background.

I so admire the talent that it took to make that quilt. Jane must have been one patient lady to hand stitch & applique all of those pieces and then quilt it.
One corner block is stitched with the following:
In War Time 1863, Pieces 5602, Jane A. Stickle.

This is the fabric for the 2nd quilt.

This print is called "The Quiltmaker's Gift". I have had this fabric for several years. At one time I was going to use it on the back of a quilt, but changed my mind. I think it will work up well using a cream color background. I believe it is quite appropriate to use this fabric because Jane Stickle was certainly a quiltmaker with a gift.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My New Baby!

Here she is, born December 9, 1948. I'm not sure what time of the day, but she is simply a beauty. I have dreamed of owning one of these little ladies and now that has come true. Tomorrow I take her to be serviced and when she gets back home I plan on making my Dear Jane blocks with her, and maybe I will do some paper piecing. The stitch on this one is great and I can't wait to get started.

As you can see I have several bobbins and attachments that came along with her. I only wish I had the manual, but I know I can find one online so I'm not dissappointed.

The case is a little worn but that is okay too! I was told that it used to belong to an older gentleman that sewed and when he passed his daughter gave it to her friend. That lady did not sew at all and when she moved here to Tennessee she put it up for sale. I very seldom look on the internet for anything but I just happened to be browsing the other day. I found this and only had to travel about 15 miles to look at it and buy it. I still can't believe it! She is actually mine!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wow, What a Day!

Today I had to take Spanky to the vet. Then I was off to my art class, I had lunch, had my hair cut and then back to pick Spanky up to go home. I try to make my trips into town combined with other things to do. This makes it easier on me, to do it all at one time and saves on wear and tear on the car. All in all the day was okay except for art. I really got frustrated with my painting. I always have a difficult time getting the canvas covered. I want to add the detail as soon as I start which makes it impossible for me. Sometimes I just have to get up and walk away and tell myself I will work on it next time. That’s kinda what I did today because I know the more I try the worse it gets.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March Madness Block

Well here it is. The first block of many for my March Madness Quilt. There is one thing for sure, working with 2" strips is not an easy thing for me to do. Maybe as I progress through the piecing I will get better.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Madness Quilt

This morning Ricky came into my shop and looked at the Tennessee Roads quilt. He said he liked the colors, but thought that it would be to small for our bed. He likes for a quilt to hang over the edge. So I have picked the next one to start working on. Instead of Orange Crush I am going to make Bonnie Hunter's design called "Jared takes a wife". I pulled all the fabrics today and have already started cutting the strips. Here are my colors.

This one is 82" x 95" finished. I think I will add some extra blocks to make it larger. That should make him happy until he finds out how much it will cost to have it quilted.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tennessee Roads Quilt Top Finished!

I can't believe it but, I have finished my first mystery quilt. This is my "Tennessee Roads" quilt that I have been working on for quite some time. It was a mystery quilt from which is Bonnie Hunter's site. Her quilt was titled Carolina Crossroads. I thought I would never get this done. I'm pretty proud of it.

This is the close up of the blocks. Those tiny squares and triangles gave me fits, but I hung in there. My next challenge is going to be the Orange Crush Mystery. I have the steps printed out so all I need to do is select my fabric.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Geese Are Back!

Another year has gone by and the Canadian Geese have returned. I wait each year to see if the couple will show up and nest across the pond. This morning I woke up to find "mom" building her nest and it's very close to where she was last year. Ricky has just put up the electric fence to keep the goats out of the area. Now all we have to do is wait. I did check my blog for last year and she is about 5 days earlier than last year. Isn't it amazing how they keep to their instincts?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Tea Room

This painting is an original I finished in December. The Tea Room is located in Springfield, Tn. my hometown. I was at an art show last fall and took the picture as I was on my way home. When I got home and printed off my photos this one just said "paint me". I think it turned out very well.

Butterflies and Blooms

Well, I have just finished a new oil painting. This one was painted especially for Mom. She said the butterflies looked like they were getting ready to take flight. It really makes me feel good knowing that I can put a little brightness in her life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let's Get This Year Going!

I think I have my studio finally like I want it. Now I can start this year with a positive attitude about my work. I have already decided on 2 new oil paintings to work on for the year. I have also decided to make my cards (birthday, etc.) this year, so I have my work station set up for that. Wow! I think I'm ready. New quilts, new paintings, scrapbooks, and cards, let me see if I can fit anything else in my days. Oh yeah, take care of housework, and visit my Mom at the nursing home. I think I can handle all of that, it just takes one day at a time so I better get started.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe I let December get by without a post. My how time flies! I am looking forward to this year being another good one. We have not had a bad winter so far and I wonder if snow will come this month or next. I wouldn't mind seeing some snow for a day or two, but you know I'm not in charge of the weather. I will take what I get.
I am still trying to decide what new things I want to learn for this year. Maybe I will try to work on some things I already have and improve my knowledge of them. That sounds like a good thing to do.
So, I'm off to straighten up my studio and get some things organized. May you all have a wonderful New Year and may life be good to you!