Archive for October, 2009

Pumpkins and pincushions 016

Living out in the country, we have few if any little trick or treaters that come to our door on Halloween. Still, we do keep candy on hand – just in case.  John, my main trick or treater of 43 years, prefers the dark chocolate so with that in mind, the choice is easy! Thank goodness for Sam’s Club! The mix includes Milky Way Midnight…so good!

I also tend to do more “Fall” accents by the front door rather than ghostly, spidery, decorations. This year’s pumpkin has some character to it – kind of gnarly and rustic, don’t you think?

Pumpkins and pincushions 012One year, DH brought home these cute stacked pumpkins that light up – that is about as Halloweenish as it gets at Taylors Outback.

Pumpkins and pincushions 014So what was I thinking when Crabapple Hill introduced this pattern in 2008? Both my friend, Connie, and I thought this was so clever and would make a darling pincushion…did we notice the sentence at the bottom of the pattern (on the front cover, no less) that stated this pumpkin would have a 12 1/2″ diameter? (Circumference? About 43″) NO!  My keen mind told me it might be a tad larger than originally thought when I started stitching each of the panels…and 1 1⁄2 bags of stuffing later, plus 8 yards of green cording to do the wrap, the final creation was revealed. Bigger than a breadbox, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound – I had created Super Pumpkin!

Pumpkins and pincushions 005I have other unsuspecting friends who fell under its spell also – there is a chorus of stitchers echoing – “I had no idea it would be this large” – A pincushion…probably not; a cute little accent for a coffee table…not unless you use a pool table…it is best used as a centerpiece where you really want to make a Statement. Great fun, nevertheless, and this Super Pumpkin always brings giggles to the viewer and that is what it is all about.

Have a giggled filled weekend – be safe and always read the directions first!

“…from ghoulies and ghosties and long leggedty beasties, and things that go bump in the night – Dear Lord protect us!”



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Thoughtful Thursday…

Hi everyone – what’s in your thoughts today? I hope this finds you having a good day and able to sneak a little quiet time for yourself. Or maybe gather with friends or a special family member over coffee.

My thoughts today? It seems like things keep skipping around in my head and I have trouble zeroing in on a specific task. When I am working on one thing…a dozen other thoughts keep distracting me…it always seems to be hurry, hurry, hurry and getting farther and farther behind. Or is it “further and further?” What exactly is the difference between those 2 words? Have to add that to my list of things to do…get out the Webster’s. But then I would be farther (or further) behind!

And “furthermore” – my head is still spinning:o)

Quilting – never far from my thoughts on any given day.

These are 2 tiny quilt tops that are ready to be sandwiched and quilted…started these at our Retreat last weekend. A real quick and easy project from Chickadee Hollow. Gotta get moving on Christmas gifts, hostess gifts, so glad you dropped by gifts, Oh!-You shouldn’t have gifts, just because gifts and I Owe You, Bigtime gifts!

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Did you know Margo at Reproduction Fabrics has started her own blog? Lots of great information on the history of fabrics – just this past week her post was about illuminated indigos with some really nice photos.  Check it out. Her blog is called Cottonopia.

Do you have a copy of the (C & T Publishing) Little Lone Stars? Such tiny blocks – all paper pieced using a new folded method. Add that to the list of things to do – on a future snowy day…

Thoughtful Thursday 012These are the new (at least to me) applique needles I mentioned about 2 posts ago – brought by a friend who attended Baltimore on the Prairie. I gave them a try at our Retreat and was impressed at how fine they are. Yet they seem “stronger.” When compared with the usual John James Sharps #11, the new Gold ′n Glide needle is just a tad longer. They were not too pleased at being threaded by way of the handy Clover Needle Threader, which takes the regular #11 so well. However, the small heart shaped Clover threader did very well. I am struggling with applique, but these needles gave me smaller stitches which makes me happy! This border is #3 out of 4 being done for an old project. It is my learning quilt. Oh and see that big bell on my thread clipper cap? I have lost count of how many caps that have ended up in the trash can by mistake. Now I can hear the jingle when emptying the trash. You should see what my tiny key to the potting shed is hooked on!

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In my ongoing Shameless Parental Promotion – you are invited to visit Our Favorite Photographer who just happens to be our #1 Son. He has a new feature on his blog and will be offering a Print of the Month at a special price. Looking for a special gift?   – this is just the very thing  in time for Christmas, though Dave will be offering a different print throughout the year. Be sure to browse his Portfolio for additional images.    www.sixtyonenorth.com

Plum Pudding week!  My husband’s favorite dessert during the holidays.  Have to get that going so that it can mellow out over the weeks ahead. There is an adorable stitchery project over at Among the Gum Trees which you can download for free. It has a very happy little mouse who has sampled a plum pudding !

So there you have it for this Thursday…share your thoughts with us and have a wonderful day!

Always take time to stitch…


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Golden Moments…

Golden Moments 055October 23-25, 2009. We came from all directions, laden with projects, all makes and sizes of sewing machines, every conceivable quilting tool designed and loads of snacks…oh yeah, and jammies and a toothbrush. Why? It is our annual Fall Retreat! This journal posting is dedicated to the ladies of our Pine Tree Quilters October Retreat. So come along and see what we have been up to. There are lots of photos – and lots of Golden Moments.

Let’s get the snack table set up quickly!

Golden Moments  015What should I do first? Marlene setting up her machine…

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Pat G. working with reproduction fabrics

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Billie Jean – sashing prep…

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Cheryl and Jeanne – dueling machines!

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Early on – finishes start to appear – Pat A. and her pillowcase

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Angie gets started on batik blocks

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Ann piecing many, many block sections for a Buggy Barn pattern

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Rosemary – hmmm, maybe if I cut this part off, it will fit???

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Becky – the ironing is never done…

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Golden Moments 018 Cheryl – love those flying geese – how many do you have to do?

Golden Moments 023Sue, with her center piecing done – getting ready for Christmas…

Golden Moments 022Joanne’s quilt top for a favorite foreign exchange student

Golden Moments 038Oh no, reverse sewing…but Becky’s has a nice stack of completed HST ‘s all ready.

Golden Moments 033Ingrid – putting completed rows together – 9 Patch quilt from the August Karen Witt workshop

Golden Moments 030Mary’s growing pile of red churn dash blocks – lots of different reds.

Golden Moments 026Marlene with a really cute baby quilt top – done!

Golden Moments 032Sally’s pumpkin wallhanging – coming along nicely!

Golden Moments 017Pat G. – early evening – a little sip of wine, perhaps?

Golden Moments 016Angie with a really cool wine bottle opener

Golden Moments 014Rosemary – a little cabernet sauvignon?

Golden Moments 001Connie with her first finished top of the weekend.

Golden Moments 020Okay, time to get comfy – Connie & Kathy love to sew in p.j.’s

Golden Moments 021The same for Mary Lynn! And a sweet little vintage look piece too!

Golden Moments 048Bonnie in her p.j.s – with a broccoli corsage – presented to her because she refused to eat her veggies at dinner

Golden Moments 057A completed quilt top by Billie Jean – hand pieced and hand appliqued

Golden Moments 036Bonnie just kept piecing blocks until she got to this…

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Pat A. says sometimes, it is just nice to sit and relax with a fun book!

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Golden Moments 024Geri’s red and green applique – a Blackbird Design pattern

Golden Moments 025Sue brought really cute door prizes for all of us – Johanna draws her number

Golden Moments 068Sue with her completed I Spy quilt top (first of 3 she will make!)

Golden Moments 049Our newest quilter – Liz – her very 1st quilt block on the left and her 2nd on the right

Golden Moments 042Billie Jean and her Bugs! Just the cutest darn quilt blocks – bugs with an attitude…

Golden Moments 045My “smushy” quilt – so named because the colors all run together – a lap quilt for winter

And a quick little side story – because I screwed up and cut one of the blocks incorrectly and everything came from a kit and the quilt shop just happened to be located in Green Bay – about 1 hour+ away from our Retreat location – and Connie & Kathie just happened to “need” a quilt shop fix, we all jumped in Connie’s RAV and made a beeline for G.B. – flew pass Lambeau Field – made a few wrong turns – finally found The Quilters Connection and the fabric needed, plus a few other must haves – stopped at the Subway right across from Lambeau – grabbed a quick lunch and back on the road again shortly before noon…we were back on Retreat grounds slightly after 1:00 p.m. and continued to Party On!!!!!!! Now that is what I call “quilting friendship!” I owe them – big time!

Golden Moments 019Johanna with her totally completed tablerunner – quilt as you go!

Golden Moments 058Rosemary has been working on this watercolor quilt for  awhile – almost done!

Golden Moments 029Joyce – the peacefulness of handquilting

Golden Moments 062Totem by the lake at Wisconsin Lions Camp where we stayed

Golden Moments 061Our group – in the dining room after our Sunday lunch

Golden Moments 064Time to head back to the cabins and pack up – no one wants to leave this golden moment

Golden MomentsWhat a great weekend – with golden friends!

Always take time to stitch…


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A Patchwork Week…

Happy day – My Friendship Bag arrived in Friday’s mail…Annette from North Carolina at A Day In The Life chose  happy, contemporary colors for my bag, filled it with wonderful pieces of fabric and chocolate. How good is that?!!! I really enjoyed this Swap which was hosted by Quilting Gallery. Thanks so much, Annette!

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One thing about the Fall season – it sure has you jumping around doing multiple tasks! No longer with that one foot in summer that I wrote about a few weeks back…we are definitely into Autumn full speed now and even experiencing a taste of what is to come…

Our week started off with this morning wakeup call…

A Patchwork Week 001We still had the last of the deck furniture to store away…

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And those viburnum berries that have been changing color…had a snowy white cap

A Patchwork Week

Now, the ground is bare again and we can get back to fall yardwork – cleaning out pots and storing them away; dividing up my white phlox and Siberian Iris (which requires about 3 sticks of dynamite) and moving some of the garden “art” to the potting shed.

With the wind picking up and the Packer game in progress, it is nice to come back inside and putter around with one eye to the TV.

This is a little peak at a gift in progress for someone – almost done –

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Starting to gather everything that I will take to our Fall Quilting Retreat next weekend…

Trimmed the strips down to 2 1/2″ from the kit I bought at our Quilt Show back in September – that is one of the projects I hope to start while there. The lure of making one of those easy to piece quilts that feature warm, “smushy/dusty” fabrics finally got me in the form of an appealing display at one of the vendors booths.

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I plan to take 2 other projects along; an applique WIP (for 14 years now – I will share the story when the borders are finished) and a new pattern that makes up small Christmas mats for gifts. How about you – when you get away on Retreat, do you always take way more than can be accomplished? A lot depends on what kind of mood I am in – what colors give me comfort at the time…

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I would like to give these new applique and quilting needles a try too…one of my applique friends recently attended Baltimore on the Prairie in Lincoln, Nebraska and brought back some goodies to share – quilting friends are always thinking about nice things like that! I found the black quilting needles at our LQS – hearing good reports on how nicely they go through the layers when quilting…has anyone out there given them a try?

A Patchwork Week 019When not visiting the Bloggers Quilt Festival this week (can you believe it – over 600 quilts displayed online! Good thing we didn’t have to walk far!)…focused on

Cleaning out papers and trying to straighten my desk…right, that will last about 2 days…

Rearranging pantry cupboards and taking stock of baking needs for the coming holidays…thinking it is time to get that annual Plum Pudding going. Gained 5 pounds just handling all the wonderful ingredients you need for baking…

Organized the freezer(s) better…it helped to move some of the many jars of frozen produce down to my Mom’s freezer. Besides, now my folks have easy access to homemade applesauce!

Finally, I would recommend highly, if you have not seen it yet (I am always behind the rest of the world in most things) – find a copy of the PBS special Journey of Man. I got my DVD from Barnes & Noble. What an incredible story of our origins and absolutely proves that we are all indeed the same. Though quilters are connected to each other with a very unique “mutation” in our DNA:o)

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That is about it from my little neck of the woods. Please don’t forget to leave a comment – I really enjoy hearing from you and love to know where you are from.

Way to go Packers! Sloppy, penalties and too many sacks on #12, but a WIN!

Always take time to stitch…


More needlework pieces from a Gail Wilson pattern

More needlework pieces from a Gail Wilson pattern

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…My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

..George Eliot

Still in between ending or starting a new quilt project and having to wind up the last of the garden clean up…and my thoughts are down in southern Wisconsin with my dear friend, Connie and her Mom. On Tuesday, my husband and I will join them along with family and friends to celebrate the life of Connie’s Dad, who passed away on Friday night.

Our Autumn colors are fading and I found that the Prairie Fire Crabapple tree, which had bright pink blossoms last May,  has put forth tiny dark cranberry colored fruits for the birds.

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My photography is very basic. It is our son, Dave, who has a natural born ability to capture this special season. I invite you to visit his website Sixtyonenorth and spend some time with him  for some magnificent Fall images (of course, he has also done a fantastic job with the other 3 seasons – you will understand the shameless parental promotion.) Browse around and look in his Portfolios.

I will be back later in the week with more of a quilt-related posting. In the meantime, have a good day and I hope you are enjoying the Blogger’s Quilt Festival...Amy has done such a great job in organizing this online quilt show…there are now over 400 quilts displayed from around the globe and if you need inspiration, you will find it there!

Always take time to stitch…


Two of my needlework pieces from a Gail Wilson pattern

Two of my needlework pieces from a Gail Wilson pattern

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PTQ Quilt Show 09 023My First 65 Years Quilt – made during the winter of 2008-2009 to recognize reaching my 65th Birthday in February. I have blogged about this quilt, both during the making of it and just recently when it received a blue ribbon at our September, 2009 Quilt Show. You could say that I kind of got caught up in it – perhaps because it was somewhat time consuming. It measures 68 X 68 and has 1024 9 patch units that finish to 1 1⁄2″. There are 954 alternating 1 1⁄2″ squares…everything is set on point as that is one of my favorite ways to position blocks. For the past 17-18 years I have been “accumulating” reproduction/conversational prints. These include pieces from the 1992 collection of “Discover America” by Marcus which was introduced during the 500th Anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to the New World. Other prints are direct reproductions from late 1800 fabric prints which were popular…such as keys, bugs, dogs, tea cups, scissors, bicycles, horses, etc. They were called “conversational” prints at the time in hopes that by their very nature, they would inspire a topic of conversation in a Victorian parlor. I really learned more about careful piecing and assembly on this quilt due to the small scale of the blocks. It took more time, but the attention to how I pressed each individual row and then pinned row to row as I sewed everything together gave me a more accurate overall quilt. I used a striped woven fabric for the binding and was not sure this was the right choice at the time. However, during a workshop with Karen Witt from Reproduction Quilts she commented that it was an appropriate binding considering the reproduction time frame of the piece. Whew! This quilt was a journey down memory lane for as I chose fabrics to use from years past. I thought about all the remarkable moments in my first 65 years of life with each little square that was pieced.My favorite comment from a total stranger at our Quilt Show? – She simply looked at me, stated “You are crazy” and walked away…

100% cotton, bamboo batting and machine quilted on my Bernina 440QE with 100% silk thread.

Thank you for visiting and I would love to read any comment you might leave – even if you think – I am crazy! I look forward to visiting your wonderful quilts too – so much inspiration!


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Thoughtful Thursday…

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY 007What are you thinking about today? I hope you have good thoughts, busy plans and time to enjoy the gift of this day. If your thoughts are troubled, may you find a quietness and sense of peace.

What is on my mind today…the fact that the day is half over and I am so late getting this post up – which should have been done in the morning…

Joining in the growing group of online quilters who are each making a 9 1/2″ block for Terry…be sure to click on the button under “To Give Comfort”  on my sidebar.  I have the fabric laid out along with one of my favorite quilt block patterns…most of us will probably never actually meet, but are forever linked together through quilting.

The last sinkful of carrots from the gardens…washed and ready to be stored for the months ahead…whew!

Tackling the quickly ripening tomatoes that are covered with newspaper down in our basement…yikes!

Wondering why I prepared a little container of leftover stuffed squash for lunch today, promptly put it back in the frig and then turned the microwave on to warm it up…no sir, no loss of brain cells here:o)

Glad my semi-annual dentist check up is over (white knuckled patient that I am) but…

Discouraged with the report from my family doctor that the cholesterol  numbers flew up while on the new Zetia…292 – not good,  and we will meet soon to discuss alternatives. Have tried about every type of medication for this ongoing problem…”it is in the genes…” I am a walking bowl of salads & veggies. Well, there is that thing with chocolate I wrote about a while back…

And finally, quilting or stitching is never far from my mind…just saw the newest Crabapple Hill pattern – the Winter Gardening Angel (Faith)…oh my, she is beautiful and me with only Spring (Hope) completed…and not even set into the rest of the piece I have running around in my head.

Have a good day – no matter where you are or what time it is. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.


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