Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Ninety Percent chance of rain and it didn't happen.  I'll be watering the garden this evening.

Here is my Primitive Gatherings stitch along.  I added the pink because I want it to be a summer piece and not look like Christmas.

My son has bought a home and we've been making trips to help with home maintenance and get him settled in.  We spent Independence Day there - so I'm still enjoying the Red,white and blue here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Kitchen Table....

The candle is held in the wooden bowl by dried black-eyed peas.  They were a gift from a friend who found them in a local grocery store. It looks like summer.

Here is block two of Sunflower Gatherings. Pieces aren't attached yet and there still embroidery to be added.  It has been a great summer project. Small and portable, and I feel like a have a win every time a block is finished.  Have you ever had a project that feels like you just can't finished?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reason for Doing it--- Number 642

 I do it faithfully every year.  I realize it is life-saving…but for some reason I always feel like I’m walking into a game of “Russian Roulette”.  Odds are--- you have been there. It's your mammogram. You know exactly what I’m talking about.  I hope after this email I can change your mind.

I had spent the week prior to the x-ray scheduling it and trying to do my “preregistration” to get through the process quick.  After literally six sessions of phone tag, I gave up on the preregistration and planned on being there at 7:00 ( the test was at 7:30 am).  Monday morning—even after all the gambit phone tags—I completely forgot about the appointment.  I’ve never done that.  Usually I don’t even sleep the night grandmother had breast cancer. My Mom stresses over hers and I always tell her, “ Mom relax.  It skips a generation, honest”  She always tearfully squeezes my hand.

Any way, I forgot the test.  Tuesday morning, when I realized what happened, I called the hospital and confessed and they set me up with a Thursday appointment – 8:30 am.  I set a phone alarm, and an Outlook alarm. Forgetting the appointment would not happen twice.

I raced to the hospital on Thursday; Visited with two nurses in the building, and after registration settled in my chair in the x-ray waiting room.  A woman sat across the 8 x 8 area along with a half a dozen other people.

 I first noticed her shoes:

I have almost the same pair.  We laughed and talked about the need for these ‘ kid-like tennis shoes’.  Then I go back to playing with my cell phone. I glance across the room and noticed she had a tote with tea cup fabric.  I laugh to myself  thinking, 

‘She looks like a quilter…’ 
'Melanie—you’re over the edge.  You are profiling quilters’...

Then she opens the bag, and starts to pull out needlework.  I think, ‘Nice… she does do embroidery…’ Then I look over and it’s the same Sunflower Gatherings BOM project I’m working on. 

 The world stops …I move over next to her and we start chatting away.  I met someone working on the same thing I was.

Then the nurse calls my name. The look of devastation must have been on my face, because the room full of people laughed. ‘ This will be the fastest mammogram in history ‘ I said.  I’ll be right back.

I won’t say painless, but it was quick and I went back and we exchanged names and email information and a promise to keep in touch.  We have written a couple of emails and she’s a Civil War style quilter and uses a treadle sewing machine for some of her piecing. 

She said it was Serendipityluck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for; a fortunate happenstance.

If I hadn’t missed the first appointment I’d never have met her.  She lives 20 miles away in a small town.  The odds of our paths crossing would have been very slim.

My fourth block is just about complete.  Summer travels have me behind.

Go get the mammogram…. 
For a ton of reasons...
especially because it could save your life.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Summer Time

Here’s a weekend check-in. Summer is full of living outside.  Longer days means garden weeding and flower bed watering.  The pups get walks in the woods as the seasonal wood ticks seemed to have died down quite a bit.

On my recent trip to Louisiana, I managed to squeeze in time for two  quilt shops.  Both shops brought ‘Southern Hospitality’ up a couple of notches.  

Aunt Nell’s ran a color coded sale that weekly a color was called out and any fabric with even a dab of that color got 20% discount.  The color on special the week I was there was cream. I purchased a couple of yards of fabric because--- well, just because.  It reminded me of Louisiana I guess.

The blue fabric is a Jinnie Beyer print that I bought In Grand Cane Louisiana.  I went to this shop that is literally up the road from Don’s Mom.  I went alone, I guess I needed a ‘ time out’.  I laughed and told family I was the ‘out-law’ among a bunch of ‘in-laws’. It was just a little time to talk with someone who could relate to me about quilting.

On Pinterest, I had pinned Reese Witherspoon’s antique find:

All year I have researched two-color quilts.  I think this is what my blue fabric will be used for.  I just have to pick out the pattern. Ideas? Blue and crème, or aqua and crème, or pink and crème, or maybe tan and crème.  I’ve studied the colors for six months. 
I remember when my kids were little --- road trips required a major feat….packing the activity bag.  Their bags were filled with books, crayons, notebooks and Game-boys.  Heading out Summer trips—I still pack my own backpack filled with entertainment for the long rides --- Don doesn’t want me driving.

Here are Backpacks for a quilter to love.  Walmart and Kohl's had the fabric carryalls by Union Bay that I could not leave behind.   One for quilt projects and one for the tablet I type on. My bible readings and a Summer read are tucked in.  With the exception of a Diet Coke I’m all  set.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summertime Stitching

Home from Louisiana, our version of Summer is in full swing.

The temps rarely get into the 80's this summer and "Overcast" is our weather man's favorite term.  Not complaining, just merely pointing out what we have to work with this summer.

I've been porch sitting between showers and I've completed Primitive Gathering's first step in the free Stitch-A-Long in honor of their ten year anniversary.

 I used pieces of my fabric stash.  I haven't played with wool in a few seasons so I am really enjoying the change.

Also Lisa Bongean designed her Summer Freebie and I have the first 4 weeks completed on it.

A Mother's Day Gift from Don, I have two weeks of Sunflower Gatherings prepped for road trips.  They lay in my sewing backpack.  More photos to come. I have a full day ahead.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Card

I hate the price tags of wrapping paper and cards.  It's not letting go of the money--- It's not really having anything to show for the funds.  I uploaded photos to Walmart and made a card for 97 cents. I was able to use 8 snapshots and plenty of room to write a  letter.  She'll have it as a keepsake with the quilt.

Here's the label on the back.  Stripes help make  the lines straight.

While working on the hand-stitching, a little girl watched while I worked.  She told me that if it were her quilt she'd make a lot of "really great tents".   So on the card I told Chris and Anne I hope that the quilt keeps them warm when they're cold, 
Comforts them if they're sad.
Calms them if they're afraid.

I told them I hope it gets to go to many picnics and gets to swing in a hammock--- And I hope that it gets used for some "really great tents" for a little girl.....

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dixie Gin

My Nephew is getting married soon.  He's getting married here.  I wanted him and his Fiance, Anne, to  have a quilt.  I sat down and started developing a game plan.  Time was a key factor (Isn't it always in my life?!?!?)   I had Don out of town for a week, so my porch became Quilt Command Central to get this project completed.  No time to order fabric - In my true fashion of knowing well in advance, I finally commit with 10 days to complete the project.   I pulled some Georgia Lou pieces from Acorn Quilt Company and Lecien Fabrics that Don had given me for Christmas in 2010.  Why this fabric? -- I thought it looked Southern. 

Making a quilt for someone is such a personal thing for me and at this point, realized how little I knew about Chris and Anne.  I stalked her Pinterest account, and her Facebook account trying to discover patterns-- like and dislikes and looking for some sort of clue as to the kind of quilt they needed.

Because everyone needs a quilt.....
 I knew her wedding plans and saw photos of an empty home she and Chris were purchasing.

I wanted this quilt to have meaning.  Despite how much I don't know, I do know they're special people.
So a quilt name Dixie Gin was created. after the place where they are getting married.

The quilt is 72 x 72.  The crème is a Kona crème Solid. The Georgia Lou Fabric is filled with Sky Blues, Carnation Pinks, a Sage Green, and a neat Cranberry color.  The blocks are album blocks with a scrappy stepping stone border.  The binding is pieced as well--- out of necessity… I had no other big pieces.

The photos.

For years I had admired this old house on a cut-off road outside of Norway MI..  I knew it's where I wanted to take pictures of of the quilt.  Upon further research, ( I was honestly going to ask permission to get on the property for a change) I discovered it is scheduled to be leveled any day.  There was just something about the aqua paint peeling from the boards that said the building was tired and ready to go.  It had weathered a million snow storms… it had endured season after season of hot and cold.  There was just something those painted boards. 

I labelled the quilt and included a wedding card for them....

Story to be continued........