Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Sewing

I started the month with great plans for making grand kiddo gifts.  I had great ideas for the girls, certainly I could just shop for the two boys and be done.  Well, the typical Star Wars stuff and I was done for them.

Next up, a ruffly purse for the oldest...I knew which fabric I wanted to use but trying to lay out the plan just didn't come together.  Having a pattern may have helped but I gave up before that and went to the store.  Found cool stuff, on sale....three down, three to go!

Little girls costume dresses!!  Natalie LOVES Snow White and Addisyn LOVES Tinkerbell...piece of cake!  Not so much.  I had planned to use fabric I had on hand but really, if they aren't shiny or sparkly princesses and fairies lose their appeal.   Back to the cool thing, one ok...nothing on sale (yikes)...five down, one to go!

So.  Middle grand girlie is getting an American Girl doll and she needs a wardrobe.  Knowing this several months ago I made a great find of Simplicity patterns for $1 each at Jo Ann Fabrics.  Easy, right?  Well, happy to say I persevered and only need to add one fancy dress at this point :)

Nothing more to shop for since dog surgery blew any budget for ourselves.  I did pick up a little something for my sweetie.  Nothing special but I know he'll enjoy it (yes, food related).

Poor Ratchet!

It's been an interesting few dog weeks.  Took Ratchet in to be neutered, rabies shot, license and such.  All went well.  The weather that week was especially cold and I couldn't bear to put him out in the kennel so I put a crate up in my shop so he could at least be warm and close by.

BIG MISTAKE!  Ratchet's middle name really should be Hoover (as in vacuum) because he sucks up anything he finds on the floor.  I never saw him get into anything.  A couple of days later he started vomiting and wouldn't/couldn't stop.  Murphy's law couldn't let it be during normal vet hours....NO! A Saturday morning trip to the emergency vet.  Ratchet had swallowed a straight pin and it perforated his stomach.  Surgery....brought him home the next day....along with plenty of meds.
Poor sweet puppy totally doped up and wearing the 'cone of shame'.  It's not the most wonderful accessory though it is useful if one wanted to be hit in the back of the knee or scoop gravel from the driveway during a potty walk.  He's done a great job in the last ten days of attempting to destroy it and we will both be happy when it comes off tomorrow when the sutures are removed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving AND "Favorites" is going to RTC!!!

 Michele e-mailed me today to let me know that "Favorites" was juried in to Road to California.  This is our second year in a row to be accepted.  She calls me "oh great quilter person" and I call her "oh great applique master", yes, we are a mutual admiration society.
So here is a little detail of the quilting and a small glimps of Michele's amazing applique.

In other news:  Today was my very first time ever at physical therapy.  Ouch!, however, I have high hopes that this will take care of the pain in my knee, leg, and hip.  The knee cap isn't tracking properly, muscles are super tight and bursitis in the hip....but, there is hope so it's all good. 

Wishing all a happy thanksgiving.  My  silly husband said today that he was thankful he wasn't the guy he drenched as he drove past this morning.  I'm thankful for my home, family, and most of all God's love, grace and mercy that He so generously gives to each of us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're on our own!

Yes, It's hunting season.  All of our men left last Saturday so they could get a decent camp spot and be scouting the elk until opening day, which is tomorrow.  Ratchet and I are "home alone", so to speak.

Seeing as how Ratchet really is Scott's dog I'm happy to day I've survived the last three days pretty well.  We've gone on some super long walks and I've found my man voice. The nail trimming and bath time even went ok.  All that to say, I'll be really glad when my guy is home again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Silver Falls Retreat - 2011

I've had an amazing week, when is it not wonderful to spend time with friends, eating delicious food and having time to sew on all the projects you've wanted to have time to work on.

The Silver Falls Conference Center is a wonderful facility and the staff are extremely accommodating.  The dining hall serves the most delicious meals.
 So, no pictures of the ladies sitting around in jammies for the evening but here is a peak at our snacks!

 Leola and DeAnna were looking over some projects being shared.  My projects in the back corner (strippy quilt and hourglass block quilt).  The Wedding Star is a quilt I made way way back (when I was still hand quilting).  It belongs to my sister, JoAnn, now and she brought it to share.
 Michele's white pumpkins turned out so great!  I had just finished quilting it before retreat.

 Many areas to hike and take photos around the park.  I think the leaves were just beginning to turn this week.
 It's a fair walk over to the cabins from the meeting hall and dining hall but nothing bad as long as you have an umbrella.
 More beauty to behold.

 The meeting hall is just roomy enough for twenty four industrious quilters.
My first two projects.  Finished the strippy on Monday and the hourglass on Tuesday.  Experimented with some other projects and techniques on Wednesday and then spent just a bit of time working on my hopscotch :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Learning" what comes natural

Here is a shot of our sweet puppy, Ratchet, on point.  It isn't so much that a pointer needs to be trained to do what comes naturally.  Ratchet will point every bird on the way to the potty corner.  He's learning to find specific game (pheasant in this particular session), point and hold.  He loves this play time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Check this out!

Hurray!  I've been waiting to share this little tidbit.  Months ago, Kathy Schmitz asked me to quilt a table topper for a book she's been working on with her sister, Bonnie Sullivan.  Doing a bit of blog surfing this morning I came across Kathy's blog and there was the quilt and the beautiful pictures and projects included in their book, French Inspiration for Artful Hands.  The two of them have done an amazing amount of work and it's obvious they have done a terrific job.  The table topper is called Acorn Manor, here .  I can hardly wait to get my own copy and create a few of those adorable pin cushions.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Puppy!!

Introducing.....Ratchet!!! All legs, super sweet, eager to please, and full of energy.  He is an English Pointer, came to us from Kensington, KA and he's fourteen weeks old. 
Scott and Ratchet are already enjoying their yard time.  We had a great time calling him back and forth to us in the wheat field across the road.  Who knew having a dog again would be so much fun (other than you who are dog people).  We are looking forward to many great dog years with this guy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Juried in!

"Favorites" and "Seasons", both made by Michele Byrum and quilted by yours truly have been juried in to the Pacific West Quilt Show.  My friend, Cindy, and I will make the trek to Tacoma in a couple of weeks to enjoy ALL of the beautiful quilts on display.
August 26-28, 2011
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
1500 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seafood Fest!!! Ate too much, laughed too hard.

This event falls under the catagory of "all things good".  For many years, at least five, we've camped together with a group of friends at Barview County Park, just north of Garibaldi, for a weekend of feasting, laughter, walking the beach, and even shopping. 

It all started accidently, that first year some friends had gone clamming at Ft. Stevens and a few of us dropped in just to visit.  A day trip north to Ilwaco and Ocean Park found a few dozen oysters to bring back to the campfire...what an amazing time we had.  That day we decided it had to be an annual party.  The next year we met at Barview.  Our guys went crabbing while the women hit the local fabric store and seafood market (shrimp/scallops/oysters).  My husband found a great recipe for cajun barbecue butter...the beginning of a tradition! Three days of beautiful weather, walks, talks, shops...and the feast.

Our numbers have swelled from those first years.  Last year we had five rv's plus visitors.  This year was much more initimate, just eight of us (four couples).  I started the day planning to document the feast but only twice picked up the camera.  Maybe I'll do better next year.
These are the leftovers...yumm!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet Greyson!

I might be crazy, time will tell.  Meet my new kitty, his name is Greyson.  Today he is missing his mamma and siblings and I don't have time to sit and make him feel all warm and snuggly so we'll see how it goes.
Temporarily the meowing has stopped.  He's either fallen asleep or escaped his cozy home.  Earlier he was checking out the front walkway.

I had pretty much forgotten about needing to wash my hands often after touching animals, it's been awhile since we've had pets.

If you're an early riser you might know this already, but every morning when the sun comes up and first touches across water and the temperature of the air warms to the point of being equal with the humidity level fog develops.  It can be momentary or not but this morning was especially lovely.
It never fails to inspire awe for me. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing for joy!

Sometimes I just need to sew for the fun of it, nothing serious, just little experiments.  I always take my featherweight with me when we go camping, which we just did a couple of weeks ago.  Since the first time I sat outside at the picnic table sewing in the sunshine and the light breeze I love it.  Usually I have stitching friends with me but this year I was on my own.

My friend, Nancy, shared her "inspiration" file on her blog and there was the cutest quilt, just so happened to match a die I have for the Accuquilt GO!...of course I was and simple camping project!!  Awhile back I pulled all of the brown, red, green and gold fabrics from my stash into one bin with the goal of using them together until they're gone (unrealistic, I know!)  I still need to add the border rows.  It's not very big, but big enough to try an old/new idea.
Another little project I played with was the Lil' Twister tool (template).  I love the Moda collection of Sherbet Pips, it's adorable, and I had not come across it in any of my usual fabric haunts.  Lucky me, on the way to Phillips Lake (west of Baker City) we stopped at the Stitchin' Post in Sisters, OR and there was ONE (1) charm pack...good enough.  I think it turned out simple and sweet, though the tiny designs were lost in the cutting.  I'll find some grey minkie for the back and bind it with a darker grey, good for a tiny baby or better yet a grandgirlies dolly.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Teeny weeny name in print!

The July issue of American Quilter has hit the stands.  Besides the beautiful winning quilts from the AQS shows there is a great article on page 40 by Michele Byrum.  She explains how she uses commercial prints (non-typical to say the least) for her beautiful floral applique.  I've taken a few classes from her and if you ever have an opportunity to learn from her, do it.  Michele allows me the privilege of "quilters choice" when it comes to working on her quilts....and that is why my name is on the credits.  I'm honored, and excited.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

June, the wonder month

May has gone by so fast, I can hardly believe it.  I call June "the wonder month" because it keeps you wondering what the weather will be.  It's been such a cool wet spring I just now have my garden planted.  I love June, it's seldom too hot yet has a nice mix of warm sunny days.  Of course more than 20 days of rain will result in a lot of whining from this one.

The apple trees are blooming and I can hear the bees working away.  We have an old hive in one of our firs, so much activity coming and going. 
The flower pots have been planted and I spent part of the morning yesterday convincing a shepherds hook into the gravel so I could hang a basket of wave petunias.  It's a double hook and I have one pot so I'll be off to Wilco for another before it's put to use (maybe tomorrow, I have errands anyway).

Lisa's lovely quilt of beautiful Kaffe fabrics was casting the warmest red glow in my studio.  The flash of my camera made it disappear but the quilt is still lovely.  It's off the frame now and tonite I should be able to finish stitching down the binding.  DWS and stitching, a nice combination.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

May Day

Tomorrow is first day of May, already!  The forecast is for a spring-like, sun-shiny, warm day.  It's been a long, cool, wet spring so I am looking forward to some heat.  We did a bit of yard work today and it makes such a difference when everything is crisp and it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mid-Valley Quilt Guild 2011 Show....

The show is over but it was wonderful.  All the volunteers did an outstanding job of making it a great show.

This first quilt is one I entered, yes, I managed to piece AND quilt three.  I call this one Solid Mystery.  The mystery was the Roll Roll, Cotton Boll! on Bonnie Hunters blog at  I didn't follow the rules "exactly" and the further I went along the less I followed them.  I chose to have a lot of open spaces so I could play more with the quilting.  It won first place in the Tradition Pieced Bed category.

All together there were twenty three quilts in the show that were quilted by me. 

I'll never win an award for quilt photography, seriously, in person is the best.  This quilt, Americana, made by Margie Bergan and quilted by me won Best of Show.  Margie was not even going to enter it because she felt it didn't judge well at the state fair.  It is gorgeous.  The piecing and applique were perfection and the quilting was pure freedom to play.

Over the River and Through the Woods was made by DeAnna Morse (yes, I quilted it).  I went to the show on Friday with a good friend and this was her personal favorite.  The embroidery is spectacular and on the quilting I had the most fun making the snowflakes on the center panel.  My friend thought I should make one for each of my grandchildren (I have six!), easy to guess she is not a quilter.

This "Favorites" is the amazing applique work of Michele Byrum.  There is an article coming up in the next issue of AQS magazine featuring her one-fabric floral designs.  Stay tuned for hearing more about this quilt.

Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 Mid-Valley Quilt Guild Challenge...completed!!

The theme of the challenge is: Let me tell you about my best friend.   Obviously my best friend is my husband.  The design idea came to me as soon as I heard about the challenge but I had planned to do raw edge applique or something in a Mary Lou Weidman style.  Clock ticking, time running out quickly, I decided I could try drawing (doodling, zentangle).  It was so fun to do, just letting the spaces fill with the thought of the moment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another winner - Veggie Cats!!

Just sharing a photo of Michele Byrum's Veggie Cats quilt.  She does the most amazing applique and then lets me play.  Of course I can't help but be inspired.  I love the lettuce mix fabric, and the black cats in the background.  This quilt won first place in Mixed Techniques AND Long Arm Hand Guided Quilting at the Northwest Quilters Show!  I'm pretty sure it will be showing at the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild show in Rickreall, Oregon the weekend of April 21, 22, and 23rd, 2011. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Am I a blogger?

Truth be known, it's more fun to change the background and play with the colors here than it is to contemplate what to write about.  I've never been at a loss of words before, so why now?  Where is my voice, and what does it want to say?  Time will tell, I suppose (or more likely hope).

Weekend plans are up in the air, except for one certainty.  My darling dear will be home and I am looking forward to time with him.  We did have a family birthday dinner planned for Sunday afternoon but our daughter will be having surgery on Friday and who knows exactly what is going on with the other family.  I can't say I'm upset to have a weekend home alone with my husband, if that's how it works out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tangle doodle!!

I love learning new things.  Today I learned that the method of doodling I've practiced for years has a name.  It's called string or tangle doodling.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  So I came across several cool websites including  They also have a blog and galleries.  Fun stuff...give it a try!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fabric Adventure

Too bad Scott had homework...ha?  I visited a nice little fabric store in Walla Walla this morning by the name of Stash.  Therefore I felt compelled to add to mine.  My goal was to find a few pieces with words on them...I hit the jackpot!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What an Honor!!

Exciting day!!!  Just found out that "Seasons" won 2nd Place: Innovative, Wall, Mixed at Road to California.  The quilt belongs to Michele Byrum, of Salem,OR.  We seem to be a great team for so many reasons.  Michele gives me complete freedom to quilt as I please on her spectacular appliqued beauties, such a privilege for me.  Her designs are gorgeous and so well done I can't help but be inspired.  This quilt also traveled to AQS in Paducah, KY.
The judges comments were exciting: Quilting is beautifully done, evenly distributed, and, happily, not excessive.  We had to laugh, so many quilts in the shows are excessively covered in stitching.  They are exceptional but just not our style.  Michele and I had to chuckle that we might start a new trend...NOT!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shower Curtain

Shopping at Target over the weekend I came across a shower curtain that looks just like my blog background.  First response...I could redecorate the bathroom!!  Second response...maybe not.  Retrospect...I wonder if the fabric was cotton?  I could use it in a quilt.  Might have to check

1/29/11-Obviously when one changes the background to the blog the original comment is no longer relevant, whether to delete or not is the question.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thanks Nancy!!

I spent the day getting tremendous help from an amazing lady to get this blog going, more interesting, and just in general to know what I'm doing.  We had a few glitches along the way and I just figured out what we did wrong.  I am SO 

Currently I seem to have two blogs.  One has a cool machine and I'm following a bunch of great blogs and on this one...well, on this one I have one very appreciated friend "following".  I think we made great strides, the learning curve is a couple of notches less steep, and I'm looking forward to sharing along the, thank you, Nancy...I appreciate you so much.