Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just checking in

I had a friend contact me today saying she had a problem with my blog. So - this post is just to check things out. My life the past 1 1/2 months has been a bit hectic and I'll write some about it and about giving the quilt to my brother but right now is just not the right time for that post.

There were some adventures and some life changes but - that's for another time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jan Remembered

This coming weekend is the National Firefighter Memorial ceremony in Colorado Springs. Jan, my sister-in-law will be added to the wall. To add to the special weekend, I worked hard to finish the memory quilt to bring and give my brother. Last Christmas when he came I asked him to bring me some of her fire fighter t-shirts and I would make a memory quilt. Something of hers he could wrap himself in and remember.

Being one of the world's best procrastinators I rarely finish anything early but, the quilt is done and ready to bring to Jim.

Working with t-shirts for quilts creates special problems. You need to stabilze the knit t-shirt material so it doesn't stretch out of shape and cause problems for the quilt.


All the t-shirts were different sized pictures so making standard blocks didn't work. I ended up making 16 - 18" blocked and pieced it 4x4. So it wouldn't be too busy, I decided on one background material and because Jim loves baseball and he and Jan would go to many games together - the background material is little baseballs. The border is bigger baseballs on a navy background to frame the main quilt.


All in all I think it turned out pretty good and hope Jim likes it when he sees it.

One of my "oh my" moments making this was a few days ago on Sept 11 while I was quilting it all together. I realized I was quilting the 9-11 t-shirts from when Jan went out to NY after 9-11 to help out and go to funerals. They had lost so many fire fighters that day and had so many funerals that fire departments around the country sent representatives out there to help honor the fallen at their funerals. And now Jan's name will be added to the wall that contains the names of these fallen heroes.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Catch Up Time

Summer finally came and it made me forget how to type on the laptop keyboard. At least that's my story....

Father's Day was my last post and so much has happened since then. A quick run down:

The godson's wedding took place. It was beautiful,  exciting, wonderful, all the things you want a wedding to be. New goddaughter-in-law is such a sweet person and I can't imagine anyone better for godson. They went on a cruise around Italy, Greece and other places in that part of the world. They went to the All-star game and events here. Godson was the Target mascot, Bulldog, in the mascot race and won! He also caught a ball in the homerun tourney. They are enjoying their summer and life together to the max!

I had my 15th anniversary at work. Holy cow! 15 years!! It seems like I've been there forever but it also feels like I just got there. So many people have come and gone over the years but also many people are still there from when I started. I got a jacket with company logo and an extra day off. Better than nothing and I'm glad to accept the "gifts".

Between the non-stop rain and the lawn needing to dry out after the rains it took forever to get around to mowing the back yard. Front looked OK but the back got better bad. It's looking OK now but about time to mow again.

I made a wall hanging because I needed to do something fairly small between working on the godson quilt. I've also been working on a few smaller knitting projects - hat, socks, and a crochet project.


Pretend other project pictures are here - I'll get my act together and take some to post later.

Someone at work just had a baby boy so I made a sweater with multiple fronts. Off white cotton with 3 separate front pieces (off white, blue and brown) that button on both the right and the left. I figured cotton would be good for a summer baby and the multiple fronts would be good for the "occasional" spit up and for being able to use the same sweater for multiple outfits.

The boys are enjoying their summer by doing a all of sleeping and eating and running around the house like crazy. Wait - that's what they always do. Guess no changes here.

Life is good, why should we make any changes?!

Go away, I'm busy sleeping!

Finally, I bought a new SUV this week. I loved my Saturn Vue but it was getting a little old and I didn't want to have a car that ended up in the shop all the time. I got a really good deal and talked them into a moonroof for only $300 because it was on the only one available n the color I wanted and I did the whole "love it but don't know if I can justify the extra price" thing and the sales guy was a brand new salesperson and really wanted his first sale of a Rogue. We both came out happy.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day is such a different day when you no longer have a Dad living. But - no matter - I had the best Dad in the world. Even when he isn't here, he is. I have memories.So, today I will celebrate the person he was and remember all the great times, teaching times, loving times.

In live in the house I grew up in. That means it is filled with Dad. The clock he made, The basement he finished. His tools. The rocking chair he refinished. I can't go anywhere in the house without some physical reminder of Dad. But there's more.
In the kitchen I remember the time Dad was in his brown hoodie looking out at the back yard and our white cat was sitting on the TV next to him. Both were just looking out seeing something I couldn't see. He was often deep in thought.
In the basement I can see him in his workroom making the bench for my loom because I happene to tell him about one I saw and liked. Or when I was younger, practising shots at the pool table.
In the yard, he's there. Mowing the lawn, clearing out weeds, practising his horseshoes. Everywhere I go, he's here.
So, Happy Father's Day Dad. Thank you for choosing to be my Dad. Thank you for all the wonderful memories that will stay with me forever.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Quilt - Mostly revealed

Godson and future god daughter-in-law (J&K) have seen the quilt mostly done at their party last weekend so I can post a few pictures without worried that someone they know will see it and tell them.

Before showing a few pictures, a little bit of back story. You may or may not remember me talking about BFF in past posts. Laurie and I were joined at the hip for much of our school years and that friendship remained until they day she died almost 10 years ago. At the time the boys were in their early 20s so were grown up but they are such special boys we've always stayed close. J's older brother and J have come to our groups parties and kept us up to date on their lives. I've been so blessed to have them around.

Back 10 (ish) years ago when we cleaned out Laurie's house I kept a box of her shirts thinking some day I would make a quilt of each of the boys. Time passed - no quilts - more procrastination - no quilts. You get the picture. Then J got engaged. Perfect time to make one of the quilts. And this is what I can show you some of the pictures of now.

Back about a year ago I started playing with design ideas. I liked this but the border didn't work and having the stars go all the way to the border just looked wrong.

At Christmas while talking to J&K I found out their bedroom would have sage in it so I started playing with the colors and changed the border. I also added some background between the border center. Much better! 

Liked the colors but tried some different ones. The border seemed too busy and the center stars were going to be paper pieced and time was running out so I simplified the center stars. Also, I kept playing around with the brown edging of the center piece. One thing that's so great about EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) is the ability to play around with colors, designs and everything until you like the final look. Much better to do that on the computer than with actual fabric!

Then I found out more about their colors and the lilac changed to a green/sage and I made some other color changes. That worked. The stars around the outside are not the pale color but rather the centers are made with pieces of Laurie's shirts.

Design settled on - time to get fabric. I tried buying fabric from an online source and they were wonderful. However, I didn't read one small word in the background fabric description - flannel. OOPS! It was also more orange/gold than I wanted so I've got 7 yards of orange/gold flannel sitting around. The brown was more orange and the pale green was bright and slightly sparkly. All of them match but they didn't go with my vision of what I wanted. Off to the store to get fabric in person, other than 2 of the greens. Oh well, all the fabric was good and it will be used for something else, someday. 
Bert has discovered quilting and the joys of helping out. He loves when I trim up the blocks. The stars and snail's trails block were made by paper piecing so there was a lot of Bert goodies after each block was completed.


The pale color in the center stars is a fabric I had and it worked out perfect. It's pale brown, sage/green and pale-pale pink. It gives a little something else to rest your eyes on between the other green stars. The border (green leaves on the right of the picture) was one of the original fabrics I bought. It's actually the center background and not the outer border. The light green matched the light green of the leaves fabric perfectly even if the picture doesn't quite show that.

Here's the center before it got the green leaves added. Everything blends well and the blocks mix to create and interesting look.

That's it for now. I'll post more pictures when I finish quilting. The border is done, the binding is on. The center stars have been outline quilted. Things are starting to look complete. But before I finish the quilt - I need to head out and find a new outfit to wear next weekend to the wedding. Nothing like waiting till the last minute!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Typical Day

Since I'm working on a project I can't post pictures of (yet) I thought I'd show what a typical day looks like around here when I'm home.

There's usually a little TV watching. I never have to worry about being lonely because the Boys like to watch TV too, Sometimes near the TV like other pictures I've shown and sometimes they like to hang out with me watching TV.

What!? Did you think I was actually going to post pictures of me?
We also enjoy dining together. Of course there are times when I think we share a little too much when dining.
After dining the boys usually like to take a little nap. You'd think with all his fur Chief wouldn't get cold but sometimes he need a little extra warmth.
Yes, that's Chief's tail under the covers and partly under Bert.

Finally, there are times the boys think I need a little extra exercise and they like to create special obstacle course for me to get from the TV room to the bathroom. Actually, this happens quite frequently and I always have to walk between the 2 rooms with a shuffle to be sure I don't step on cats or tails.

Well, there you have it, a typical day around here. As you can see I'm never lonely and life always has new adventures around here.
Pictures of the project will be coming in a week or 2.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day - the big picture

I grew up with a great mother. She was a person everyone loved. "You're so lucky to have her as a mother." was a common comment. I'd answer back something about she was great but living with her could be a challenge. Mom didn't make decisions well, she was always cared for by Grandpa or Dad and never lived independently. That was one of the reasons she would tell me the story about Grandma warning her not to let me lose my spunk. Mostly I didn't.

What Mom didn't have, she tried to cultivate in me like "spunk". But there were things Mom did have that I learned from her. Things like caring for others, a solid belief in God, the importance of family and so much more. She started me young in being creative and saw that was something built into me and something that I needed. I made my first machine sewn thing (a nightgown) when I was about 8 years old but I was already hand sewing and knitting before that with the help of Grandma and Mom.

My creativity came from more than just Mom getting me started on things. I had a second mother. The one that gave me life. In a time when being an unwed mother was looked down on, she gave me life and then gave me a chance at a good life by giving me up for adoption. I thank her frequently in my thoughts for not finding some back alley doctor  so she wouldn't have to go through 9 months of people staring at her. I thank her for believing in giving me my life that I've enjoyed.

I met my birth mother when I was 25 years old. It was not one of the meetings like you see on TV where everyone hugs and becomes instant family or where the child cries and wonders why they were given up. It was a one time meeting where we talked for a few hours and never met again. I learned she was a creative person, had a son 18 months older than me, married and had a good life. We just didn't make a connection that needed meeting anymore. We both got what we needed: I saw who I came from and she saw I had a good life. It was enough for us.

There have been other mother's in my life including my godmother/aunt, my other aunt, my knitting mother (friend of family who owned the first yarn shop I worked in), my best friend's mother and so many more. Each mother has given me lessons in life and helped to make me the person I am today.

I looked up the meaning of mother in the dictionary and found it to be more than just the lady we usually call Mom. It includes:

to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.
So, today I celebrate not only Mom but all the other's in my life who have given their time, love and wisdom. I also celebrate the people in my life who have cared for or protected me, the people who have given rise to my creativity - my teachers, mentors and life guides.
Thank you all and Happy Mother's Day!