Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Back in Beautiful North Carolina!

The day began in Beckley Virginia - this motel did not have scones for breakfast. {sad} We survived and when we checked out they had cookies! No place has cookies in the morning but this Country Inn and Suites did! And not just any cookies, they had chocolate chip and Ray's favorite macadamia nut. I didn't indulge but Ray soon forgot all about scones!

The day went well with a stop in Wytheville, VA at Sew What Fabrics & Batiks Etcetera. The people there are so nice and I just happened to find fabric that I wanted needed!

This is such a pretty place!

We headed on to Mount Airy, NC. That is the place on which Andy Griffith based Mayberry. 

It is a cool place and they have one store where we both love to shop. After a little shopping and a nice walk on the main street of the historical area, we had lunch at Barney's Cafe. 

We left Beckley about 9:20 this morning for a less than 4 hour trip. After 5 hours, we were about halfway! The last part of the trip was all in very heavy traffic - there sure are a lot of people that live around here and many of them think they are race car drivers! Anyway, we made it fine.

With our room, we have free breakfasts in the restaurant and free appetizers in the bar.  We went downstairs to check on the appetizers and both ended up with Carolina BBQ sliders with slaw. Although we didn't intend to eat dinner here, it became dinner! Really good!

OK, time to relax and welcome 2014! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

And another journey is underway...

We travel to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

We are on our way to North Carolina to see some friends and our son and his family. Yesterday we were in freezing rain most of the day. What a mess! On a typical travel day, we usually spend 6 hours or less in the car and we make a few stops. Yesterday we didn't do much except travel due to the miserable weather - I did get some knitting done. At lunch, I almost fell on the ice when I stepped out of the car. Whoosh! Last night we were at a Hampton Inn where we've stayed before. This morning we found that their normal breakfast fare now includes mini scones! For breakfast, I had oatmeal with sliced almonds and a mini scone 1/4 to 1/3 the size of a regular scone. Good!

Today we have been in mostly cloudy weather with some snow showers. We stopped at a quilt shop in Indiana - a disappointment with unfriendly clerks and not much fabric. The sporting goods store next door was much better and Ray even found something he needed!

Tonight we are in Beckley, West Virginia. When we checked in, we were offered a suite at no additional charge - nice! And  there were warm cookies at the desk. Usually they have chocolate chip but tonight there were chocolate chip and oatmeal with cranberry. Ray had the former and I had the later. Very good! There are at least 2 bus loads of kids here, probably ski trips. Glad we beat them to the cookies!

Updated 12/31/13: At least 6 buses were here - maybe more!

2013 NewFO Challenge - December Update

The NewFO Challenge with Barbara over at Cat Patches is easy to do (I think!) - just start a new project each month! You should stop over and see what everyone else has started this month. 

As for me, well I made a couple of pillowcases and a duffle bag but … I forgot to take pictures!!! And now they are gone

I began a baby boy quilt. The background is more tan than yellow. I really shouldn't take pictures at night OR I should ask the photographer in the family… The background is done. The blue which doesn't look the right color either is one of the borders and the binding.

I did finish a baby girl quilt.

I wasn't very productive this month. Although I did quilt the fabric for the duffle bag.

Guess I was busy with other things. Life is getting back to normal. For us, that often means traveling. In fact, we are on our way to North Carolina where we'll see our oldest son and his family and we'll visit some friends. When we get back home, I plan to blog a little more and quilt a lot more!

Recap of 2013:

Quilts finished in 2013 - 27 quilting projects finished!

Quilts started in 2013 that need to be finished:

  • BOM from Lucky 2B quilting (all blocks are finished)
  • QOV - February
  • String triangles with white - July
  • 3-D table runner - August
  • sort of secret project - October
  • baby pinwheel quilt - October
  • baby boy quilt - December (above)
Quilts started before 2013 that need to be finished:
  • I decided to not even look!

My goal is to finish everything I began in 2013 before the end of 2014. Of course, there will be more new quilts too!

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

One last finish for 2013!

It's been busy around here. Add to that an ice storm then a snow storm. The storms may have helped since I was prepared and lots of baking happened while we were 'house bound'. 

I have finished one quilt - our great nephew and his wife are expecting a baby girl in February.

This quilt was a kit I bought in Shipshewana last May. At the time, I didn't know about this baby. The pattern was horrible. A friend of mine recently made the same quilt from a different pattern and that would have made a big difference! Also, the amount of  fabric didn't match up with the pattern. So I just worked it out!

I am definitely NOT the photographer in the family. I never seem to have my quilts smoothed out and my lighting isn't good. Oh well … I'm the quilter!

The back of the quilt is Cuddle Cloth - it's like Minkee. There is no batting in this quilt although I did add a plain piece of Kona white in place of the batting. This one's headed to Florida.

I did a lot of work on this quilt while we were in Colorado this fall. Because I was so frustrated with the instructions, I decided to pack up my sewing machine and fabric and finish it when we got home. A few hours later we evacuated the area - due to the floods - with less than an hour's notice. I am so glad that I had the chance to pack up my supplies before that frantic push to "get out". Isn't it amazing how things just work out?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A knitted vest

I finished this vest  last month. It is now blocked and I wore it today. Yes, it fits! And I love it.

This is made from 100% alpaca yarn that I bought at the Alpaca Market in Estes Park, Colorado last September. The owner of the alpacas, called this Tweed. It is two natural colors of fiber together - no dyes.

It was fun to knit and is super soft! I was told that I needed to do more than just a stockinette stitch with alpaca - it has a tendency to stretch. 

I don't think you can see the detail very well - sorry about that. The top is a double seed stitch then a cable band and the bottom is a sideways stockinette stitch.

The pattern is My Antonia Vest by Rosemary Drysdale. I saw the vest made up in Estes Park at The Stitchin' Den and loved the pattern.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 New FO Challenge - November Update

The NewFO Challenge with Barbara over at Cat Patches is easy to do - just start a new project each month! You should stop over and see what everyone else has started this month. 

As you may know, it's been a sad month here and I haven't done much sewing. I did manage to begin one project. This wall hanging was made from a panel and now hangs in our side porch/entry way. The quilting is straight horizontal lines with free motion feathers around the leaves.

I  have couple of other finishes - I just had to finish the bindings on each.

A baby boy donation quilt started in September.

A baby girl quiltbaby bricks, started in August.

I also finished a couple of Santa aprons:

I have a few unfinished projects from this year that might(?) get addressed in December.

  • QOV from February.
  • July triangle quilt
  • August 3-D Mini Table Runner
  • September baby girl quilt log cabin stripes
  • October baby quilt
  • October secret project

Goodbye again...

It's been a sad November. It started with the funeral of my aunt. Then I watched my mom's life end. And now I am saying goodbye to a friend.

Karen was the first friend I had in this town. We moved here and Karen came to greet me. Ray was the guidance counselor and Karen's husband was a science teacher. Karen helped me figure out my surroundings - where to buy groceries, where to shop for diapers, where to find a doctor,… all of the things a young mom needs to know. 

Karen kept my son when I had a miscarriage a couple of months after we moved here. Not knowing I was pregnant, I went to the doctor and ended up in the hospital. Karen was supposed to watch Brad for a couple of hours. Ray called to tell her what was happening and she never missed a beat. She had clothes, diapers, food - she was also a young mom - and she kept Brad. She was that kind of friend.

A number of years ago, Karen and her family moved to a neighboring town. We didn't seen each other much because of busy lives but Karen was one of those friends that once we were together, it was as if we'd never been apart.

Today is Karen's funeral. Today I'll say goodbye again.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Santa aprons - done!

I wanted to finish something this weekend and I did! 
I started a couple of Santa aprons a while back. 
I was a little surprised this morning to see 
how much was left to do. 
Lots of busy work!
Now it's all done 
and these are ready 
for baking Christmas cookies!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quilts are on the way

I just packed up every donation quilt in this house - all nine of them - for victims of the Washington, Illinois tornado.

The wonderful people at Peddler's Way I really need to visit this shop.  are coordinating the efforts if you have any quilts that you want to donate. As of this morning, they are still accepting all sizes of quilts.

It's tough being a victim. We've been blessed to walk away from natural disasters  with our health and many of our belongings. We were both affected by the tornado on April 21, 1967 in Belvidere, IL and recently by the September, 2013 Colorado floods. Many are not so lucky and I'm glad we can help is some small way.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
I've included a picture of our backyard. 

It's really cold out.
I just stepped out onto the screened porch 
and snapped this shot through the screen 
so it looks a little weird. sorry 
It looks and feels like WINTER!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A November finish!

I just finished a wall hanging! I haven't seen my sewing machine very much this month so it feels really good to have a finish.

I don't usually use panels but I really liked this one and bought it last month at Lucky 2B Quilting. I think I began this on November 2 - just as life was getting really crazy. The quilting is straight horizontal lines except for the leaves which have free motion feathers around them. 

This is now hanging on our side porch/entry way - in the narrow space between the door on the right and the wall on the left. 

I think this may stay on the porch all winter - and yes, it is winter here even though the calendar says not yet! The ground is totally covered with snow and more is falling right now!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A gorgeous bright spot

These beautiful flowers arrived 
from an equally beautiful friend last week. 
They have provided 
a much needed bright spot for me.

Aren't they gorgeous?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pretty in Pink

A baby girl quilt! I don't make a lot of pink quilts and I love how they look so sweet! I finished this a couple of weeks ago but haven't had time to post.

I began this quilt  while we were in Colorado this fall not knowing where the quilt would end up.
It has already been laundered.

 I love the texture with this quilting design.

The back is flannel with some left over pieces from the front.

And one more picture of the back.

Oh, I do  know where it is headed now! One of the nurses that lovingly cared for my mom is expecting a baby girl in a few weeks. The baby shower is Friday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Celebrating Mom

My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's years ago. She told us that she did not want us (her 4 children) taking her into our homes to care for her; she wanted us to live our lives. Mom entered a facility in 2005. In 2009, when they could no longer care for her, we moved her to an Alzheimer's home. This past August, because of a new State of Illinois regulation don't get me started!, we had to move her to a nursing home. All of her 'homes' had caring, compassionate staffs. The staff at the Alzheimer's home became family to us - absolutely wonderful people.
Dorathy Meyers 1924 - 2013
Amazing mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother
Equally amazing daughter, sister, wife, aunt, friend
Mom was an amazing woman that fiercely loved her family and loved almost everyone else in the world. She did not even utter unkind words. Children loved her - I think they sensed she was special. She worked hard and did not have the easiest life - Dad died in 1981 - but Mom always made the best of things and she was happy. Oh that smile!

On October 30th, I got a call from my oldest brother that hospice had been called in again. Two and a half years ago, hospice thought she had about 2 weeks to live and then she stabilized. She lost the ability to walk, talk, move etc. sometime ago. She could swallow. Although she couldn't talk to me, I could still talk to her. Sometimes she would respond to my voice or to my touch. 

Then on November 6th she began to lose the ability to swallow. Another call from my oldest brother came on  Sunday, the 10th. This time we headed that way prepared to stay. The days and nights were long and difficult. Hopefully you have never had to watch someone you love more than life suffer. 

Early Wednesday morning, the 13th of November, Mom went home. A little later there was a glorious sunrise. I believe that was a sign she had made it to Heaven.

Thirteen happens to be a lucky number in this house. We were married on the 13th of June. Our oldest was born on the 13th of November. The birthday of our youngest has a 13 if read in reverse. Mom went home on the 13th. No more pain. No more suffering. Mom is free. She is with the Lord and Dad. She is in Heaven. I rejoice in that. Yes, I still look at the 13th as a lucky number. 

I have precious memories. And the phone calls, the cards, the social media, friends and family all tell me others have some of those same memories. 

I sent her a card when we were in Colorado this fall. It expressed my sentiments exactly and I knew the nurses and my brothers would read it to her.

She Who Is My Mom 
by Suzy Totonto
As a child, I opened my eyes for the first time to
"she who" wiped my tears, 
kissed my boo-boos, 
and loved me more than life itself. 
As a young woman, 
I opened my eyes once again and saw 
"she who" was a strong and independent woman. 
She gave me wings and taught me how to fly. 
Today I open my eyes and see 
"she who" is my dearest and truest friend.
 She encouraged my dreams, 
applauded my accomplishments, 
understood my mistakes, 
and has always been so proud of me. 
She's my mom 
and I love her more than life itself! 

Mom's services were yesterday. Many family and friends  came in the middle of some pretty ugly midwestern weather to help us celebrate her life. 

The card from my aunt and uncle was so perfect. It said:

I’m sure you’ll miss her.
The very one who rocked you
In the beginning
Needed you most in the end…

You were there with your tender heart
And your steadfast loyalty,
Doing the right thing
Exactly the way she would have hoped,
Exactly the way she taught you to do.

What a beautiful tribute to your mother.

I rejoice that Mom is home but I do miss her. How I'd love to hold her hand one more time….

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A blue baby boy quilt

I finished the baby boy quilt that I began in September while we were in Colorado.
I bought the fabric in Loveland, Colorado. I think the animal print is cute.
This is the first free-motion quilting I did after returning home from our trip - the first since July! I just stippled this and it went quite well!
 The back is a very soft blue flannel.
This is a donation quilt so I hope some little guy loves it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2013 NewFO Challenge - October Update

Happy Halloween! I am sitting here giving out candy and thoroughly enjoying all of the little ghosts and goblins!

The NewFO Challenge with Barbara over at Cat Patches is easy to do - just start a new project each month! You may want to stop on over and see what everyone else has started in October. 

I've been gone more than I've been home this month but one of those weeks was at Quilt Camp so I do have new projects! Most of these were done at camp and since getting home, I have not pressed anything so you will see wrinkles!

This is a challenge quilt from camp. My charm squares were pretty busy for so many little pieces. 

I pieced this baby quilt which was a kit from camp. I love the bright colors!

I also began this project which is sort of a secret so I'm not saying anymore!

This is a baby quilt that I hope fits right in a new nursery done in turquoise and gray. I began this quilt after I got home from Camp. It was quick to make and I love the way it turned out.

I know there will be new things started in November and I hope to get a few things finished too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A 30's type finish

At camp, one of the charm square challenge quilts was this one. I'm not a 30's fan but the more I worked on this, the more it became OK!

It's about 25" X 29". It's been quite a while since I did any free motion quilting. I quilted this in Paisley one of my favorite designs and was happy that all went well!

The back is an older looking fabric - I thought that fit.

And this is its new home - a sewing machine cover. When my machines are not in use, I like to cover them with small quilts.

This looks really good in my sewing room! Yup, I'm pleasantly surprised!


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