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.