Thursday, December 29, 2022

First Photo


Just trying it out - the first photo on my new phone.

My iphone 6s has been a good pal for a long time.  Recently, though, battery time has been slowing and slowing until finally a full charge lasted an hour.  Basically, I had to keep it charging all the time.

I had to wait awhile for the 14 Pro, but it did arrive sooner than expected.  I've spent lots of patient time the past day or so setting it up and trying out the new basics.

I'm a little amazed that there is a whole how-to book that can be ordered - I'll may end up getting that.  I know there are lots of new features just lurking behind the scenes. 

Anyway, be happy for me, and admire my creative mess. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Looking Back

A look back today, to when Aaron was 2 and Aunt Sarah gifted him a Strider bike for Christmas.

A Strider is a regular bike with no pedals.  The seat is height-adjustable.  The child starts out slowly, sitting on the seat and flat-footing along.  Soon after, they step a little more quickly, then learn to lift their feet, one at a time.

And then one day, they can fly on that Strider.  For Aaron there were memorable rides down campbround roads, rides down hills, and one day a neighborhood escape from home.  A policeman came to check on the home and give him a stern lecture about riding away.  Or at least, as stern as it gets to a three-year-old.

When it's time to graduate to a pedal bike, the child already knows balance and quickly learns to pedal.  Aaron asked that the training wheels be taken off the first day because, you know, they just got in the way.

These days the Strider lives in my basement because no one can quite part with it.  The tires are shot.  It's been riden many miles.

Way up there with best Christmas gifts.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas Everyone


Picture from last Christmas, when my grand daughter was quarantined to her room with Covid and there was no family celebration.  A gift and food exchange in the driveway with Nora waving from her bedroom above.

This year I am grateful for good health for all of us.

For safe travels for my family, the few adventures ended well.

For the family celebration later today, rescheduled from last night when the roads were icy.

For my neighbor who picked up my Graeter's bakery and ice cream order.  For my daughter who shoveled my steps and sidewalks.

For warm temperatures on their way.

Merry Christmas, everyone..

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Two Days Later


Two days after I sat on my porch steps and watched the sunset on a 70-degree day, it snowed.  The high for the next week is 45, and we will only be in the 40's for two days.

I realized today that in my getting my yard ready for winter mode that I hadn't taken in the hoses.  I guess tomorrow will be soon enough.

My energy just drained away today.  I realized that my iron is in the car after using it for a church project two days ago.  And, it felt too cold to go outside.  I also have non-perishable groceries in the car after picking up groceries on a busy Friday. 

The groceries can wait, but I need that iron.  I read somewhere recently that quilters use their irons every day but never iron clothes.  That's about right. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Reairs One and Two

I was asked to repair the quarter-sized hole in this quilt, that has daisies scattered around.  This is the repair, with a new daisy.  Because the quilt is two-sided, I was careful to change the color of the bobbin thread when I changed the top.

Only thing is, during one of the thread changes, the edge of the quilt flipped under the hoop and was embroidered down.  That led to several thousand tiny stitches removed and then repair number two on the quilt edge.

I'm showing the edge from arm's length, when the repair hardly shows at all.  There is some machine darning and satin stitch repair.  Up close it's more visible, and I feel bad about that.  Pretty sure, though, that anyone who does a lot of machine embroidery has had at least one similar thing happen.

Luckily for me, cotton is more forgiving than knits when it comes to taking out embroidery stitches so this had minimal damage.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Fall Miscellaneous

One last lovely sunset before the rain starts tonight and the temperatures drop.  The picture is disappointing, the sunset was really pink and orange and gorgeous.

Maybe soon my pictures will be prettier - I need to replace my iphone 6.  The battery has no life at all.  Well, maybe an hour.

Thank you to my friends in Pennsylvania.  You know who you are.  You came up big.

Thank you to my friends in Kentucky.  You know who you are.  Rand Paul is back, but the abortion amendment didn't pass, and I'm proud, and a little surprised, about that.

I had one last day of working in the yard.  There is always more that could be done, of course, but this is enough and I am very content with what I've accomplished.

My neighbor's big oak tree looks barren of leaves, the raking is over for this year.  

Last night at the end of the day I was too weary to go to the basement to get my sheets out of the dryer so I put on flannel sheets from the linen closet.  I kept waking up in the night, thinking that they felt really weird.

The rain should start during the night tonight, and we need it.  It is so, so dry.

At the end of the day, I sat on the porch steps and drank a West Side Holiday Ale.  When I bought it I thought I was buying a holiday beer from West Sixth.  This is ok, though.

Monday, November 7, 2022

And Four More


Four more Moda sampler bocks.  One isn't "right," and may just remain that way.  I have two more to finish.  I've seen finished quilt tops online and all of them look nice.  So either all these blocks go together well or, maybe, those that didn't weren't posted.

I'll have enough of my layer cake fabrics (10" squares) to finish the last two blocks.  They may not be the fabrics I'd choose, but there will be enough.  And really, with the generally randomness of what I've chosen I don't think it will matter.

It's another pretty day and maybe this afternoon I can do a little more yard work.  The fall clean-up is going well, but I'm tired . . . not because of the clean-up but just because of life.  The time change, too many unfinished projects, a late evening.

That late evening, though, so worth it.  Nora's last band competition.  The weather was warm, but it was so windy and gusty that the drum majors'  ladders were held in place by some strong guys, just in case.  The band finished third - it was a competition of the biggest bands so they did well.  And the next day they got up and marched in the Veteran's Day Parade.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

I Didn't Need This

I so didn't need this vintage class 21 Husqvarna Viking sewing machine.

I'd sort of had my eye out for one of the little green Elna grasshopper machines, but this one is better for me.  It fits right in with my other Vikings.

It sews perfectly, seventy years after it was made.  It has many of the same features as the machines today, just without the touch screen.

Will I sew with it?  Probably not often, but I'll still love it.  I'd like to think I am one of those quilters who peacefully sews quilts on a vintage machine, but I'm not that peaceful.

Cost was $50, but it came with an unopened package of green Viking bobbins (which it doesn't use but my newer machines do) so I'm calling it $40.  I think it was a bargain.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

November Banner


From now until Advent.  Once again, I wasn't happy with how this looked, not enough contrast, but people seemed to like it so I probably won't do any adjustments.

November 1, and that feels exciting.  Trick or Treat was like usual - maybe six little ones.  A group of six older kids walked on by - were my eight steps too daunting?  Hey, guys, I had the good candy!

I'm planning on using this week's warm weather to finish my yard work.  It's that almost magical time of year when we have warm temperatures prior to the final cool down.

How can this be?  Maybe ten days ago I was tearing some foil from the roll when I got a "foil" cut from the edge of the roll.  Like a paper cut.  It kept hurting and I realized that there was a tiny foil splinter in my finger.  Just so happens that I have lots of needles that can be used for splinter extraction.

Why do we use needles and not pins for splinters?  Are they slimmer?  And is it really necessary to sterilize the needle with the flame from a match?

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Pastoral Stole


This is Pastor Appreciation Month and I was asked to make this stole for the Cincinnati Mennonite pastor.

What I learned:  ecclesiastical sewing is a whole different ball game, or at least the pattern I used went together differently than I'm used to.  I ended up finishing it my way and the result was ok.  Not perfect, but ok.  The lining is light blue, a lucky accident when I didn't have enough white for the lining.  The end is finished with a light blue ribbon, making it a whole lot easier finish than the way the pattern was written.

I was grateful that I made it with cotton since silk would have been more difficult by far.  Our pastor won't wear it at church but at events that may be outdoors, making silk impractical for the elements.

I've started cleaning up the garden beds for fall, including cutting back the ornamental grasses.  I understand the value of leaving the grasses in the beds all winter, but that just makes it too hard for me in the spring when the grasses have dried.  Whatever I can do now makes for an easier spring.  I may feel differently about that tomorrow when the high will be 23 degrees lower than today's high.  

Monday, October 10, 2022

Communion Worship Banner

This is the result of the second try for a communion banner.  The first one just had the background plus the beige strips with the embroidery.  It didn't look right.  I'm not 100% pleased with this second try either, but with the added fabric it is better.  Maybe next time it's used I'll add a little something more.

It's been a month since I've posted, and I can't really tell you where the time went.  I haven't been traveling.  I haven't been sick.  I had three doctor/dentist visits in September, all with good results, except that my doctor phobia is getting worse.  I've felt boring.

I finished a second comforter top to be knotted next month.  Enjoyed altering Aaron's pants for the Homecoming Dance.  Made a few more Bitsy Boxes.  Hemmed some jeans.

I had the best surprise this morning - I looked at a suede jacket that needed the sleeve hems shortened.  I thought that for today I'd just see if there was a slit in the sleeve lining to turn it inside out.  And there was no lining, just a light backing to the suede.  My job was suddenly a lot easier.

I'm also working on something that's out of my comfort zone - you should be seeing that next week.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Not My Favorite


Not my favorite worship banner, but still fun to make.  For a short series called "The Beauty of Peace."  All three fabrics were given to me, from two people.  And I'm sure this banner will be cut up for something new later.

Now that the banner is hung, I'm relaxing with a Madtree Pumpcan, a seasonal beer.  I'm not really a fan of all things pumpkin spice, but I can make an exception for this.

My daughter had escaped Covid for all this time but it caught up to her now.  No family birthday party for Aaron this weekend.  I dropped off his gift, and an un-birthday gift for Nora, on the front porch.  Along with some dinner and ice cream and a package of Covid tests for follow up.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Eight Bags


At a local quilt shop I found a wonderful Lori Holt panel for making zippered bags.  Pretty Lori Holt matching zippers sold separately.  Add your own lining fabric and batting.

I watched Lori's excellent tutorial and set about making bags.  They are as pretty as I hoped.  Eight bags later, I can make them fairly  quickly.

It's a good thing I'm getting good at them because I ordered another panel and more zippers.  My quilt shop had sold out of them, the clerk said that things like this sell out quickly.  I found more on etsy. 

I have hopes of making this other set, then moving on to sewing a few more with my own fabric.  The goose is beginning to fatten up, you all.  One of my goals for this year was to have hand made things ready for Christmas giving. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Thread Change


It comes as a surprises to no one that I use a lot of thread.  For years I've been primarily using a quality thread and been very happy.

Recently I decided to switch to Aurifil thread in my primary machine.  Who knows why, maybe because I use it for quilting and often use it in my smaller machines.  And my machine is in love.  The sound it makes is totally different, so smooth.

This is a good thing, because the cone I bought has 6452 yards.  I'm projecting that I'll use it up by March.  Approximately $38 worth of thread.

For today I'm mindless sewing strips together for my next comforter.  Enjoying the sound of the machine.

Here's my public service announcement:  if you have old threads from your grandmother or threads on wooden spools or polyester threads on styrofoam spools, enjoy looking at them and thinking about old times but don't use them in your sewing machine.  Thread ages, just like us.  Your machine will thank you for keeping those old threads away from it.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Comforter Top


The comforter I just finished piecing.  To be knotted with crochet thread for Mennonite Central Committee.  It's pretty improvisational, but there are a few unifying things.  There are alternating solid and print blocks, each row has three white blocks, and most rows have a pieced block.

I have all my strips pieced together for the next one, which may work out well or may not.  We'll see.

Here's the kind of thing I like to puzzle over.  I needed a bottle of vitamin D supplements.  They were $9.99 for 100 or $12.99 for 400, so of course I got 400.  (I realize it is privilege to be able to do that.)  And then they were buy one, get one, so now I have 800.

Now for the real puzzling:  What will my life look like by the time I need to order more?  What will I look like?

Saturday, August 13, 2022

More Blocks


The past four Moda Blockheads 4 blocks.  If you can't imagine how all these blocks can possibly all work out together, I'm with you.  I feel like I'm traveling on faith.

But now I just took a picture of my design wall, with the blocks in no particular order.  And I can see the possibility.

And so, we'll see.  Really, though, it doesn't matter, the point for me was trying different techniques and learning to be more precise in my piecing.  I'm using fabrics that have been laying around, except for the white, so it's not like I'm using precious fabrics.  I've learned about different designers and their thinking processes. 

So, my project has already done what it was supposed to do.  There is about a month to go.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Bitty Box


Bitty Box pattern by Bodobo Bags.  I thought it might be hard because it's so small, but it was really very easy.  Try it out, it may just be addictive.  I'll be going to Joann after church for more Soft and Stable.

Friday, August 5, 2022



I didn't actually make this whole bag - my friend started it and needed help putting in the zipper and finishing the bag.  She did the tedious piecing of all those little rectangles.

We had the most glorious rain this morning, not too heavy for the most part, just a nice long rain.

Sad update on the three baby possums - none of them made it.  They were just too little.  The rehabber has two more little possums now.  Their eyes are open so they are a little older.

And everyone here is celebrating the zoo's new baby hippo.  Mom's first baby, Fiona, was premature and needed a lot of extra help to survive, including help from nurses from Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  Everyone loves Fiona and is happy for this new full term baby.

You can read about the baby hippo here


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Baby Quilt - Little Ducklings

Baby quilt for the new baby down the street.  Pattern is Corner Play.  Actual fabric color is deep yellow, not beige.40" x 40".

Sarah was here this weekend and spotted a dead possum baby on the street beside its dead mom.  She discovered three live babies still attached to mom and took them to a rehabber.  So far, the three are doing ok, taking possum formula.  Each little possum (they are called joeys) weighs just under one ounce.  The little ones are in an incubator.

It took awhile to find someone to take them.  The recommended person lives outside of Knoxville, on Sarah's way home.

It's good to remember that there are kind people in this world.  I hope the little ones make it.    

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Nicely Caught Up


Caught up with my Moda Blockheads blocks.  Some of the participants are noting that their fabric options are getting limited, and that's true for me too.

That block in the upper right - I did not like the piece of 10" x 10" fabric AT ALL.  Strange birds.  But cut up into sixteen small pieces, I really like the way it looks.

That block in the lower left - there isn't enough contrast in the two darker fabrics (one with blue, one without) to showcase the pattern but I like it anyway.  

I am definitely going to need to put sashings between these busy blocks.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Embroidering Today


I put off this monogramming for way too long, just because it's been way too long since I've embroidered anything.

The things that I used to do so frequently and so easily needed to be considered.  How do I use my software to make the design.  What kind of stabilizer should I use?  How do I get the fixing stitch around the embroidery?

And then there are the changes - change the foot, change the needle, change the throat plate, change the kind of bobbin thread.

Even - what button do I push to get started on my "new" machine.

But now, I'm excited to embroider something else.  I remember getting some new designs a month or two ago.  And doing the embroidery is so easy, now that I've given myself a little refresher.

Feeling grateful for this exercise, and I think my customer will be pleased.  

Thursday, July 21, 2022



I spent a pleasant morning with a friend in the church basement knotting this comforter.  It will go to Mennonite Central Committee's relief work.  According to their website, 45,767 comforters were sent out last year, in the US, Canada, and to foreign countires.  That's a lot of comforters.

When I was very young, I remember being at my grandmother's house when actual hand quilting was done by friends around a quilting frame.  As I grew up, my mother and grandmother would knot quilts.  It's pretty much like it sounds, a needle with cotton crochet thread is pushed down through the top, batting, and backing, then up again and the thread is double knotted.  A quilting frame is still used.

Knotting is much faster than quilting, which I guess is the point.  And, it's kind of zen.  It's the physical handling of the needle, plus the knowing that this has gone on for many years and through many generations.    

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Bells of Ireland


My mother used to grow the most beautiful Bells of Ireland in a bed beside the side porch.  I don't know whether she planted seeds each year or whether they reseeded.  Bells of Ireland are an annual.

I've tried numerous times over the years to plant some, without any luck.  The seed packages warn that the seeds are very slow to germinate - maybe I just wasn't patient enough.  This year though, I do have this one plant.

Several weeks ago, I threw my leftover seeds in a container with other seeds, so there is hope for more, although it's questionable whether they will have time to grow and form the pretty little bells.

On to next year.

Friday, July 15, 2022

All Star Memory


Some memories are just so good that they need to be revisited.

Seven years ago, the baseball All Star game was in Cincinnati.  Preceded by painted moustaches around town and the big ESPN trucks rolling in behind the stadium.

On All Star parade day, the grands and I parked on my side of the river and walked across the Roebling Bridge, which was closed to traffic that day.  A real treat since that bridge has metal grating that "sings" when cars drive over it and it offered glimpses of the river through the holes.

Our parade spot was close to a group of guys who would call greetings to the players in their convertibles.  The players would then turn and wave, and the kids loved that.  

Coming back, a storm was coming up and the river water misted through the gratings.  And then the storm really arrived and we ducked into a check cashing place to wait it out.  On the way home we marveled at the tree limbs scattered on the streets and yards.

That night we walked across the river again to sit in Cincinnati's Fountain Square and watch the game on the big tv.  It was like the best party.  Aaron lost a tooth during the game, to the delight of an older man sitting near by.

It was just the best day.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Dilated Eyes


I took Aaron to the eye doctor yesterday for his check-up.  He has blue eyes, which dilate quickly, and he ends up with just a small rim of blue.

He is one of the lucky kids.  His amblyopia, lazy eye, was discovered in a preschool screening.  A complete shock, since his eyes are straight and there was nothing to indicate a problem.  Patching went about as well as patching does with little kids, although now there is indication that less patching time is required than we used to think.  He was willing to wear his glasses. 

His corrected vision ended up 20/20 in each eye.  Like I said, one of the lucky kids.  I am so grateful.

After the visit, we went to The Gruff for lunch, probably our favorite spot.  Cheese pizza and fries and tots.

We revisited the patching days and about his being one of the featured little kids at a fund-raiser for vision screening.  I'm sure he helped inspire people to dig deep and donate for the next little kid.

Sunday, July 10, 2022



One block fromWooly Stars by Corey Yoder.  Eighteen inches square.  The pictured quilt has nine identical blocks.  I doubt that I might make nine.  I can picture of table runner with three.  A pillow with one.  We'll see.

Corey Yoder, by the way, is my favorite designer.

For now, I've detoured to a baby quilt for my neighbors down the street.  Four years ago I was altering mom's wedding dress and two bridesmaid dresses.  Now there are two little girls.  

I started the quilt a year or so ago with yellow and blue fabric.  I think that a nice pink border will help  it work nicely for a baby girl.

This hasn't been the year for the Reds, but yesterday they had their fourth walk-off win in a week.  That's what I enjoy about baseball, there are always stories.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Current Worship Banner


***Artist statement:  The panel on the right looks like the one on the left, but on close examination there are subtle variations.  This is my way of portraying the series “The Jesus I Never Knew,” that close examination in our ways of thinking reveals differences.

I enjoyed working on this banner at quilting retreat this past week. I was surprised at how easily it came together. I guess there was a lot of before-hand thinking.

It was the nicest few days at retreat. It's always fun to see what others have in progress and to be with good friends for awhile.

Last night, those Reds - won in the 10th inning - balk walk-off by the opposing pitcher with the bases loaded. (A balk happens when the pitcher makes an illegal motion on the mound, usually not following through with a pitch. Base runners advance.)

Today is an unexpected lightly raining morning with cooler temperatures. A lovely break.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy July 4!


Happy July 4 everyone.

I made this long ago and would like to try it again.  I ordered some mini charm packs and Decor Bond.  I no longer have the instructions but I can give it a try.

I got a tomato plant and some sale plants, probably the last ones I'll buy this year.  Actually cleaned the floor mats in my car and vacuumed.  It's one of my goals, to have my car look better.  Made some rice krispie treats.  And that was my day.

It's been a pretty sedate holiday weekend.  Hot and dry.  Not nearly as many home fireworks as usual.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Glorious Squash


The squash plant in the newly cleared off bed in the back yard is just glorious.  Other years the bed had a few overgrown herbs and quite a few weeds.  Something in the soil and the all-day full sun must be just what this plant needed.  That and Miracle Grow.  The plant is enormous.

There are a few squash plants in my front yard bed, but they aren't huge like this one.  Less sun, for one thing.  They still have blossoms, however.  

There was a quick trip to Detroit on Friday for my husband's brother's visitation.  Uncle Don was 93.  Steph and I took a side trip to find the Garden City house where we lived when she and Sarah were born.  We found that, no problem.

Not as much luck, though, in finding the house where my husband's parents spent their summers.  We found the neighborhood and it was much like I remembered.  I couldn't remember the name of the street.

It's a little late, but I want to find the pretty 4th of July table topper that I made years ago.  Really, I'd like to make another like it, and it would be so easy now with mini charm packs.  Whick are 25% off this weekend at my favorite quilt shop.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Four More


And just like that, I was way behind on my Moda quilt blocks.  So, here are four new ones, and I think I only have three to catch up now.  The applique block was a pleasant surprise, it had been a long time since I'd done any applique.

I'll keep going until the series ends on September 28, or until I run out of coordinating fabrics, which ever comes first.  I'm guessing that I'll run out of fabric first.

Backing up a few Sundays, here is my Pentecost banner.  Fire and wind.  It looks pretty simple, and it is, but with a fan blowing the strips it was effective.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Birthday Sundae


One of the nice things about the Graeter's app - the birthday sundae.  Two scoops of any ice cream, any topping.  Today I had banana chocolate chip ice cream and strawberry topping.  Whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry.  It was delightful, and it was dinner.

So, now is the time to consider being this new age and to plan my end-of-year 2022 goals.  I have not yet reached the average life expectancy of women in the US, although I'm approaching it.  And I'm grateful for my years.

Still, this has been a hard week.  I am worrying about my daughters and my grandchildren.  I'll leave it at that.

Last week at this time my daughters and I were at Red River Gorge.  If you haven't heard of it, look it up.  And look up how Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was instrumental in preventing the gorge from being dammed to become a lake.  I think of that every visit.

We had a modern cabin in a rural area, maybe seven miles from the gorge.  We celebrated birthdays, Winnie's and mine.  We ate pizza from Miguel's.  I'm ready to go back.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Berry Block


Back to the Moda Blockheads piecing - other things got in the way for a few weeks.

This is last week's block, Berry-block.  I have to admit that it wasn't one of my favorites to piece, there are a lot of little squares for what will end up being a 9" block.

Today I was doing a sewing job that required hooks and eyes - also not one of my favorite things.  

My grand guy just got back from the doctor for a mysterious itchy rash on his legs that just wouldn't go away.  Poor guy has poison ivy.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Kitten Quilt Delivered

Finally, after way too long, my precious niece Ariel has her kitten quilt.  

People have asked about the top right kitten, with no features, but that kitten is facing the other way.  Ariel likes it, and I am happy.  It's an Elizabeth Hartman pattern.

This morning I went up the hill to the medical center for a mammogram follow up from last week.  All is well, and I am happy.  It was just a glitch.

I was thinking, as I drove through the big medical center complex, about how lucky I am to drive 20 minutes and receive good care.  So many people have to travel much longer distances.  Not that I am bashing rural medical centers, I'm not.

When I moved to this area I asked my former primary care provider, who was at college health services, (what a wonderful perk that was of working at a college,) how to find a new doctor in my new city.  Her advice was to look at the academic center physicians .  I have been grateful for her advice. 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

In the Garden


It's what was in my front yard garden.  Something delicious in its mouth.

And then later in the evening I saw a mama deer help a very tiny baby across the street and into my neighbor's back yard.  That yard slopes down the hill into a brushy area, perfect for hiding out.  I hope the coyotes stay away.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Second Pillow Cover


Second pillow cover for the church foyer.  Same fabrics, different Moda blockheads design.  There are more fabric scraps left, I'm thinking of a communion table cover.

And I'm thinking of the new Graeter's flavor of the month - banana chocolate chip.  After stable AC1 blood work yesterday, I'm going to try some.  

I was a little anxious about the test because ever since the beginning of the year my exercising has been terrible.  Until now, with longer days and the garden needing something every day, my mood has improved and my steps have picked up.  There was a lovely rain shower this morning so I won't spread that last bag of mulch today.

Just to clarify - not the last bag of mulch for the year, just the last bag until I go back to the storeI need more potting soil too.

One of the year's subgoals was to get Miracle Grow poting soil - that stuff produces wonderful results.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Summer Leaf


I've let myself get behind on my Blockheads 4 piecing, doing other projects, but I did get block 10 done today.  I've thought of similar patterns as autumn leaves, but I like this in spring/summer colors.

And summer it is.  Ninety degrees today, and the upstairs sewing area is hot.  Unless I make another arrangement, it will be early morning sewing and little pop-ins later.

Only thing is, early morning is also best for yard work.  I'll need to figure it out.

I've been tackling a back porch bed of hostas and other things that shouldn't be there.  Mint and honeysuckle, mainly.  I have to wonder - once the invaders are gone, will the deer come for the hostas?  They have left them alone the past few years, and I know deer love hostas.


Friday, May 27, 2022

Pretty Dress But More


Preschool graduation, all those years ago.  The dress was an Indygo Junction pattern and I loved making it.  And now this crazy year is over and Nora is a high school senior.  Aaron a freshman.

Yesterday there was a lockdown of all the schools in their district (and there are a lot of schools in that district) because a woman had threatened to shoot up her kids' school.  Because she had left the place where she did the threatening, the police didn't know at first which school was involved.  And the day before there was a brief lockdown in Aaron's  middle school.

I keep thinking of the surviving kids in that classroom in Texas.  How will they ever be normal again?  They can't be.

And even on the smallest scale, the elementary students here yesterday thought they would go to school and have the anticipated graduations and parties and cupcakes and what they will remember is the lockdown.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

All Those Buttons


I had a nice visit to a new quilt shop close to home, Around the Corner.  I got some nice patterns and a few other goodies.

The owner loves vintage buttons and has a whole drawer full, plus more at home.  

I'm eager to try out my new Best Press that is supposed to make fabrics stiffer than the original.  And I'm pretty sure I'm going back soon for some fabric for pillows.  

I'm still such a fan of Just Sew, enjoy their Wednesday Live, their website is wonderful, but they are now online only, and sometimes it's just nice to actually see new things in person.  

I gave up last night and turned on the air conditioner.  I had hoped to keep the windows open a few more days, I love feeling the breeze and hearing the neighborhood sounds.  And it's nice to keep the Duke bill lower.  But, it was just too humid to enjoy those any longer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Middle of the Night


Just have to share this middle-of-the-night picture from Sarah and Winnie's front porch in North Carolina.  The bear is black and the night is too, but you can easily spot the nose and go on from there.  Sarah said she banged on the window, but the bear wasn't impressed by the noise.  Eventually it went on its way.  

Monday, May 16, 2022



We are updating the church foyer and wanted a few pillows for a single long bench.  I used one of the recent Moda Blockheads weekly block designs for this pillow cover.  Just multiplied it by four.

I'll do the same for the next pillow cover, just different blocks.  Which means, of course, that I'll be behind on my own quilt blocks, but that's ok.  I like the diversion.

The fabrics were left from banners designed by one of the artists from the last Mennonite Arts Weekend.  She picked out the fabrics, I did the sewing.

These leftover fabrics have lived at my house since then.  I've been waiting for just the right thing, almost started a comunion table cover a couple of times.  That may still come to be, we'll see what's left after the pillow covers are finished.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Stars Lined Up


The stars lined up at Aaron's 8th grade concert, and Nora's band joined them for a few songs.  My heart feels so happy when that happens.  

It's really a good call on the band directors' parts, to get the younger students playing with the older ones, getting a taste of how it feels to be in a big band.  And hopefully deciding that's for them.

I have a few bags of mulch spread in the front bed, and that makes me happy too.  My gardening is on the slow track, a little most days, as opposed to a full work day.  That's ok.  Some seedlings are sprouting well  in their little peat discs, some aren't.

The compact sunflowers are the best, and I'm thinking of putting them in the front bed instead of in the back as planned.  And direct seeding more in back.  I put a mixture of seeds in a big planter, knowing that some will move.  I was inspired by pictures in May's Southern Living.  Lovely planters with different annuals.

There are always some nice recipes in Southern Living too.  I try to make at least one every month.  Yesterday, some really good baked beans.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Comforter Knotting


Ir may have been awhile, if ever, since you've seen comforters being knotted.  Instead of quilting, knots are tied every few inches through layers of backing, batting, and top.  A binding is added later.

My church friends are knotting several comforters tomorrow for Mennonite Central Committee to take to Ukraine.  Hopefully lots of people will help out and we will get several done.  We have eight to do.  Several of us got together Thursday and put four on frames ready to go.

The battings are thicker than I would usually use, and the knotting goes a lot faster than quilting.  No special skill required.  

I'm pretty sure I have a few knotted quilts in my cedar chest, and a couple are really old.  Knotting was a practical way of getting things done.  Still is.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day


I'd really like today's title to be Women's Day.  More inclusive.  Let's make the table bigger.  And so, happy day to you, whoever you are.

Celebrate the color of that coral rose.  Celebrate with a good meal.  Celebrate with good music.  Just celebrate.

And celebrate with me that the Reds won a series.  A series!  Yesterday morning I wouldn't have believed that it could be a  possibilityThey are still in the cellar, they are 5 and 23, but still, a series win!  A grand slam!  Happy day!

And that Kentucky Derby winner!  Who only got into the race on Friday because another horse pulled out.  Who was the long shot.  It's a dream come true!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Kitten Block


After a very long time, way too long, the kitten quilt is finished.  Washed and dried.  Next week after it's received, I'll post a picture, but in the meantime, here is one of my favorite blocks.

The back story isn't all that interesting, but I bought the local daily newspaper yesterday, and it was $3.50.  For just that one newspaper!  And, it was skinny.

It was raining so hard this morning when I got up - I'm reminded of one of my favorite Appalachian phrases - "it's pouring the rain."

It looks like, finally, it's going to rain and rain today, it's been way too dry.  And tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby.  There may be a wet track and a wet infield, although the day will be dry.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Crack in the Sidewalk

Years ago, I make this banner for a worship series long forgotten.

 After all this time, it's been calling to me.  I added a few things - the defined crack, that's good.  Metallic gold rays of light and metalic blue rain - fail.  It doesn't show up at all.  I'll just consider that extra texture and be happy about it.  Maybe one day I'll take some 12-weight thread and go over the sun and rain.

The seedling coming up through the crack could symbolize hope in hard times or it could symbolize one small voice making a difference, refusing to die down.

I'll hang it after church tomorrow for the coming weeks.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Flying Pig


This is the weekend for Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon, and these cute little guys were in the bakery case at Graeter's.

Why the name?  Cincinnati used to be home to many stockyards.  Apparently some of them used to run pigs through the downtown streets.  This was long ago, in the 1800's.

The weekend is big, with a marathon, half marathon, 10K, and a one mile event.  The marathon is a sight to see, all those runners spilling over the bridges.

I wonder whether I could do a one mile next year.  Just, wondering.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Blockheads Six


I really only meant to cut out the fabrics for this block this morning, but once I was started . . . I just kept going.  The block is supposed to have a spinning effect, but I'm not sure mine does.  It's ok, I like it anyway and it fits in nicely with the others.

I can tell that going forward I'll be starching the piecing fabrics.  The goal was to be more precise, and this is such a big step toward that.  The extra time is worth it.

There is a robin nest on the outside window sill of one of the kitchen windows.  It got bigger and more filled in day by day, and now there are two little blue eggs.  I try to resist peeking, I don't want to startle mama if she is there, but it's hard - I just want to look.

Yesterday I seeded some Bells of Ireland peat pots.  My mother had the best Bells of Ireland, year after year, and she used them in her bouquets for the flower show.  I've never had any luck with them, but just want to keep trying.  They are slow to germinate, fingers crossed.

Are there garden clubs and flower shows any more?  These were a happy part of my mother's life.