Monday, May 28, 2012

Decoration Day and Graduation

When I was growing up (back in the 70s!), my family referred to today as Decoration Day. I, incorrectly, thought you HAD to visit the cemeteries and put flowers on the graves of any deceased family members.  As an adult I realize that is a nice idea but not the true meaning.  Today is to honor all of those that served and died for our great nation. 

I start flying my flag today and generally have the buntings on my porch by today.  That flag represents something to me and I am very grateful to all those that have defended her throughout our history.  I hope that the current generation knows there is more to Memorial Day than bikinis, beer and the Indy 500.

Around here Memorial Day weekend has become the weekend of graduations.  I went to two and to three open houses over the weekend.  My cousin got cash.  I am pretty sure that is what he would prefer.  My husband's niece and my best friend's daughter, who is like a niece to me, received quilts.  Taylor also got a bulletin board my husband & I made.

Taylor and her mom and sister are all excellent instrumentalists. So, I had to give it a little musical flair.  I found this ribbon at Hobby Lobby.

The center is a wipe board and the rest is just random fabric and ribbon I have on hand.  If you can see the three little white buttons above the bottom center square, those are kitty cats.  When she graduated kindergarten she and I went and picked out a pattern, fabric and notions and I made her dress.  I used those buttons.  I saved the spares and they just had to appear on her graduation gift.  She loved it.

I posted the girls' quilts earlier but here is Taylor with hers.

She loved it.  She really liked the backing, too.  She is such a beautiful girl inside and out.  I asked her after her open house if her face hurt.  She said, "No, why?"  I pointed out that she hadn't stopped grinning the entire day.  We fed tacos to about 150 people yesterday who came to tell her congratulations.

Meghan's quilt was a hit, too.  She really liked it.  It is very much her and she put it on her bed.  I didn't really plan for that and now wish I had made it a little bit bigger!  Hers was in this post.

My other big accomplishment this weekend was finding the rebuild instructions for my husband's tranny.  He and son #3 had both looked and couldn't find anything. I didn't try until yesterday (about an hour before I needed to be setting up for Taylor's open house).  Guess what I found?  He was one happy man.  No idea why they didn't find it but he was thrilled that I did.  I have to say that I may have had one too many "shop dates" since I actually knew what I was looking at and that it had the information he needed.

All this sewing and cooking and middle age makes me seem far more girly than the grease monkey my husband dated.  I was reminded of all this yesterday when we were talking to one of our teachers from high school about cars.  He made a statement that I corrected.  He looked at me and grinned and said, "You are right!"  He turned to my husband asked, "How can you beat a girl like that?  She can cook and talk cars with you."  Glad to know I have SOMETHING going for me!


Congratulations to all the graduates.

Thank you to all who have and continue to serve and those that support them.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I swore I would never do

Cole over at All the Small Stuff has 3 on Thursdays.  I know I am probably old enough to be the mother of most of these women (I am 47) but some times I like to play along.  This week's is three things you will never do.

I just happen to have a letter that was an exchange between myself and a teenage girl I love dearly.  The point was for her to realize your priorities change.  She was 13 when we did this.  So...I have more than 3 but the exchange is telling in itself. 

And, fair warning to the mothers of girls everywhere.

My lists:

Things I said I would never do but ended up doing anyway:
1.  Wear small framed glasses.
2.  Wear flaired leg pants.
3.  Eat any form of seafood.
4.  Have boys.
5.  Wear yellow or green.
6.  Let my hair be straight and not pull it back.
7.  Highlight my hair.
8.  Wear capris
9.  Paint my fingernails or toenails.
10. Travel anywhere w/out my husband or kids.
11. Wear pants to church.
12. Live in Indiana forever.
13. Ask my kids to go up or down the stairs for me.
14. Prefer getting up early to staying up late.
15. Have fewer than 4 children.
16. Wear an uderwire bra.
17. Weigh more than 125lbs.
18. Let dogs in the house.
19. Cook w/ mixes or "shortcut prepared food" - i.e. not make it all from scratch
20. Drive a car with an automatic transmission.
21. Go more than a couple days w/out reading a book.
22. Take longer than two days to read a book.
23. Watch any form of ballgame on TV
24. Wear skirts that hit above the knee.
25. Wear a turtle neck or mock turtle neck.
26. Let my kids watch sports on TV.
27. Curse like I do.
Things I still swear I will never do...
1.  Wear plastic small frame glasses.
2.  Eat brussel sprouts, liver or brains.
3.  Wear shorts that come to my knees.  Okay, I'll probably do this but I hate them just like I hate capris.
4.  Wear jeans, shorts or tennis shoes to church.
5.  Wear orange
6.  Drive a station wagon.
7.  Have a house cat.
8.  Write in a Bible.
9.  Get overweight like my mom is.
10. Give up reading.
11. Read sci-fi
12. Watch sci-fi
13. Watch horror films.
14. Wear pants that don't come down past my ankles.
15. Wear "granny panties".
16. Wear a bikini.
17. Drink the water in Mexico
18. Hate my children.
19. Have any form of heart surgery.
20.  Use the "queen mother of all curse words"
21. Have a tv in the bedroom
22. Forget you.
It has been 5 years and I am still doing fine with everything but item 1.  Never trust the opticians to pick your glasses for you.  I hated them and replaced them 6 months later.
Now for her list:
Things I will never do:
1. Wear old women clothes
2. Act like an old geezer
3. Stop talking to all of my friends and relatives
4. Wear old ladies shoes
5. Smell like an old lady
6. Take drugs
7. Smoke
8. Get drunk
She was 13.  This weekend she graduates high school.  The next 10 years will be fun.
By the way, I think she wears old lady shoes already.  I sure wouldn't wear some of what these kids wear.
Linking up with Cole, just for fun.
This is the best I could do today with my migraine hangover.  Really.  I wasn't drunk.  I just look like it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


News of my death has been greatly exaggerated but it isn't because I didn't pray for it.  Migraine since Monday night.  Recipe later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

BOM Monday Madness, aka: Aprons!

Hello, all.  I had a busy week that left me MIA.  Doubling back onto days at work just left me exhausted.  I have been sewing all weekend, though.  As a matter of fact, I was scheduled to work today and took a personal day to finish the sewing I did not get done.  I might have gotten done if I didn't spend so much time RIPPING....grrr!

I am working on graduation gifts.  This quilt is made of blocks from a block exchange I did.  I really liked how it turned out.

 Apparently, too much.  See how the swirly has been sewn over 4 or 5 times?  I kept getting "stuck" and couldn't get out the correct direction.  I think I did this three times.

 If that wasn't bad enough, I have wrinkles.  I thought I was past doing that.   At this point it is a design element.  I suspect that it was because of how it was loaded on the frame.  It didn't come off square and that is all I am saying about that.

 The girl that is getting it will love it whether or no.  I just wish it were perfect for her.  Nothing to be done at this point.  I am dragging it with me to find binding for it tonight.  On to the next project.

For my quilt group this month we had to do our BOM stuff which I posted about here at the end.  We also have "projects" every month.  This month's were aprons.

The one on the far right I posted about last month.

This one is from an Eleanor Burns book called Egg Money Quilts, I think.  I lined mine because I knew I would wear it and I like mine lined.  I do have to modify it.  The pattern was designed for a woman with a less generous bosom, as Tante Ida would have said.  I need more room! So, I will have to lengthen the strap around my neck.  As usual, I made the ties longer. I want them tied in the front where I can stick a dishtowel or whatever in there.

This one I designed myself.  It is a clothespin apron.  I grew up without running water.  When I was a teenager and doing all the laundry for 6 to 12 people on a wringer washer and hanging it out to dry, I wore an old hooded sweat shirt and kept the clothes pins in the pocket. (Aggie Sloan would DIE if she saw THAT run on sentence!)  It worked so well.  I wanted mine to be prettier. I got a "build a clothesline" embroidery package from Embroidery Library.  I have plans to make my sister one and will change how I embroider so as to get more on my line.

I wanted my husband or sons to be able to use my clothes pin bag and I wanted a way to store it.  So, I put a sleeve behind the waste band and bought a pack of these suit hangers at the local Hell-mart.  

Slides on and off of the hanger quite easily and is just the right length for this short bodied woman.  Tails are long on this one, too.  Same reasoning AND if other members of my family want to use it, it will fit.  When I make my sister's I am going to make a tutorial.

My final thing for my BOM is a block we all were to make so that we can sign it and a quilt will be made.

So, I am taking everything in this post and everything in the post I linked earlier to my meeting tonight.  I feel like I am moving in!

It was a fairly good day.  I have a chicken alfredo lasagna ready for the oven and bread rising.  My guys will be happy.  Dishwasher is running and I am going to jump in the shower.

I am linking up to Sew Many Ways' Sew Darn Crafty Party.

I hope to post more this week including my recipe for Chicken Alfredo Lasagna.  It isn't for the faint of heart.  Very rich.

Keep stitchin'!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Those Extra Blessing

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers.  I was fortunate enough to have three of my five with me today.

Last month I took a couple of classes about my quilting machine.  My DIL asked me how it went and I (foolishly) told her about it and how it had me looking at buying micro handles for my quilting machine.  Guess what I got for Mother's Day?

When I opened them they told me they were "from all three boys and the two extras."  I protested that they were way to expensive.  She told me that it was okay because "your extras will use them, too."  I know better than to mention looking at stuff without buying it.  My kids will go get it!

Neither of my DILs sewed before marrying my sons.  My husband says, "They came in and took a look at your toys and decided they wanted to play, too."  It is fun to be able to share with them and does make me feel less guilty about the nicer "toys" I have.

I have to say that my "extras" are a blessing to me.  First they make my boys happy.  Second, they like the brothers they aren't married to.  That is important.  My boys seem to be unusually close - or at least that is what other people tell me.  Having their wives accept this is does make me question those girls' sanity, though.  They are mine and I love them but three of them together is a LOT to deal with and not all of it is good!  Third, they are just such beautiful girls, inside and out.  Different as night and day and as smart as whips - which they proved by having the good sense to marry my sons!

And, the fourth reason is they are so very good to me.  That is selfish but I surely didn't expect it.  I have sons.  I know without a doubt that they all adore me but they are men.  Their wives are the daughters that grew in my heart instead of under it.    I have always heard, "A son is a son until he takes a wife..."  I worried but I shouldn't have.  A son is a son until he takes a wife.  Then he brings a daughter into your life.  I can't imagine our lives without them.

Today the new micro handles have me squealing with delight,  but my "extra blessings" remind me of the every day joy I find in being Mama and the new delights it brings me each year.

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 11, 2012

Finish it up Friday, Making Change

I know most people are saying, "TGIF!"  I am not.  I start on nights tonight.  I am saying, "How can it be Friday already?"  

I had such great plans.  You know what they say?  "We plan and God laughs."  I don't think God laughs.  I think he probably sighs and says, "That is not my plan, my child.  My plan will make sense some day."

I did finish the Making Change quilt for my niece for graduation.  My husband has a such a way with words.  He told me it looked like Walt Disney threw up.  He meant it is BRIGHT.

He isn't wrong about that.  I think she will love it!  She better or I have people with beating sticks ready to change her mind!

Side note here:  My clothes line is not very tall.  When they were putting the posts in the ground my husband wanted the lines to be 7' or 8' in the air.  There was a discussion between him and #3.  I was called in.  I pointed out I am just under 5'4" and that was awfully high for me.  They ended up under 6'.  They are a little low but I will not complain.  Do you like my clothes line props?  They are PVC pipe with notches cut in to fit over the clothes line.  I store them inside in the winter and they are easy to wipe down when I wipe the dust off the clothes lines before use.  Now that I don't HAVE to use the line year round, I enjoy it in the nicer months.

Back to the quilt!  I backed it with a batik from Connecting Threads.

The binding is a pink batik, also from CT.  She loves hot pink and orange together.

Here is a close up of the quilting.

The pattern is called Hearts A Flutter.  I just realized I had the shadow of the other clothes line on both these pictures.  Ansel Adams I ain't!  The quilting is done in a variegated pink from Aurifil.  I like their thread.  It has no lint and quilts beautifully.

I made a label on my embroidery machine.

You can see just a wee bit of the binding.  Her mom and dad were adamant it needed a label.  They think the labels are great.  I hate hand work.  Hand is a 4-letter word, you know.  But, after putting some labels on and quilting over them, I decided I didn't like that.  So, now I sew them on by hand.  That sucker has such tiny stitches it would take a bug to get a toe caught in it.

Stephanie, a friend of mine from blogging, may recognize the backing.  I honestly couldn't see me using it again and I had a piece that was 2 to 2 1/2 yards by 12" or 14" that I cut off the backing.  Odd shape but totally usable.  So....I sent it to her.

My other finish this week was the center for my BOM.

The green will still need trimmed.  I measured the white part and measured I was 1" too small.  That made no sense.  I could see a half inch but not a full inch.  I added the orange and measured again.  Now I was two inches too small. I double checked all my seams and my measurements.  Couldn't figure it out.  So, I cut the next strips an inch wider.  Sewed them on and now it is an inch and a half too wide - Right where I expected to be!  GRRRR!  The fabric frays so badly I think having it too big and trimming it later will be fine.  All the blocks going around it are on point, too.  So, I am going to wait and trim it when I have the others ready.

Do you see the laundry in the background?  That is my son's bedding from school.  He brought it home in plastic bags but did not open them.  After being in plastic bags for a week I thought I might need a gas mask.  He informed me afterward that they hadn't been using their AC and he knew it was bad.  UGGHHH!  I thought I might need to throw it out.  Washing twice with borax and a day on the clothes line and you can't tell.  Boys!  The things they will do.

My kids are coming home tonight for Mother's Day.  So, lots of cleaning and cooking to do today.  Then, off to work.  Had my MIL back in the hospital this week.  So, need over there today, too.  I hope I sew a little this weekend but am not counting on it.

Happy Friday, all!

I am going to try linking up with a few blogs.

Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Whoop Whoop!
Marcia's Minutes for Me

Keep Stitchin'!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend in Review

Hello, all.  I hope your weekend was great.  Mine was busy.  If you look at Indiana on a map it really doesn't seem that large.  I have to tell you, when you spend three days in a row traveling her roads she is huge!

Friday we took #2's graduation gift up to him.  My husband was pretty excited.  It was a power tool.  Our youngest was running the steeple that evening further to the northwest.  Our oldest met us at the middle's house and we all went "to the races".  The steeple is an amazing event to see. It is not for the mother that is faint of heart.  EK did well.  Did I mention he has plantar facitis?  It was painful to watch but he scored for the team.

We got back home at midnite.  Hubby went to work yesterday morning and I drove south.  My first stop was a quilt shop 45 miles away.  I bought these.

A close up of some of the larger prints.

As I have mentioned in the past, we draw names at Christmas.  My 11 year old niece wants a quilt.  She gave me these paint samples.

I am not sure but I think she said her walls would be purple and pink and the blue and green are accents.  But, I could have that wrong.  I still have 5 more fabrics to get for what I have in mind.  I have to say, I am sick of brights!   I think she will like these. I am using big blocks.  So, the large prints work well.

After I bought these I went another 50 miles south to a wedding.  I ended up staying the night.  At 2:00 a.m. I heard knocking on our door.  I went to the door without my glasses expecting to let my friend in.  I thought she had forgotten her key.  Imagine my surprise when a man said, "Sorry." 

I said, "It's alright." and shut the door.  Then I realized, "I think he was naked."  I put on my glasses and looked out the peep hole.  Turns out he was naked!  He was sleep walking and my opening the door woke him up!  Poor thing! He was part of the wedding party but I thought he was a drunken idiot.

I came back home this morning.  I was happy to make the trip without any tickets.  I confess, I deserved a couple.  I really have to practice passing without leaping up to 90mph. 

Tomorrow I am going to bind this quilt.

I am also going to make the label and add it tomorrow evening.

I hate to confess this but I am turning the AC on tomorrow morning.  It has been upper 80s the past few days and my sewing room is upstairs. I hate using AC before June but I am caving.  The humidity is so heavy I have to mop it up off the floor three times a day.  I have to sew this week.  So....I am caving.   I know.  I am a wimp.  It is 10:48 p.m. here and it is 78° outside and still 83° in my kitchen.  I can deal with the heat but that humidity messes with my asthma.

So, that is my weekend in review.  Lots of driving, race, kids, wedding, Naked Man, and....oh yeah, I read a book.

I completed The Witness by Nora Roberts.  I had almost sworn off her books.  I thought the cursing was getting a little over the top and the paranormal stuff was wearing.  I am glad I read the reviews and read this one. It was good and just what I needed to relax today.  I finished it tonight. 

Sweet dreams, one and all!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Finish, May 4, 2012

I am going to try to set this to publish on Friday at noon.  If I am successful that will be when son #2 has completed college.  It has been seven long and sometimes painful years since he graduated high school.  This is his third attempt at college and his third major.  Turns out getting a wife and going into Ag was the ticket for my genius farm boy.

I am not being facetious.  He truly is brilliant.  He just loses interest easily. 

We are going up tomorrow (today?) to take him his graduation present.  It is woodworker's table saw.  He should be thrilled.  He earned it.

Two down, one to go.  How did we get so lucky???  Congratulations, Ben!  Mama is proud of you, as always.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

3 on Thursday, Guilty Pleasures

Cole over at All the Small Stuff has asked people to share their three guilty pleasures.

I think mine are a little different than most of theirs.  I have no interest in designer purses.  I like one pillow that is not too fluffy but not flat.  I only get one or two pedicures a year.  I have no guilt about books. I think they are good for me and the people I share them with.

In no particular order mine are:

Turtles candy.  They are over priced and hard to find around here.  I don't like the cheaper Pot of Gold versions.  I like Turtles.  When one of my sons or my husband buys them for me I get to eat the entire box or package.  One a day until they are gone.  I love them.


My car.  I have driven grocery getters and mom-mobiles for years.  I still have my Explorer.  Last year I ordered this.  It will do 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds.  It can get 110 in just over a quarter mile - yes, I know this personally.  If I drive it nice it gets 30 mpg.  I never get that.  But, damn!  Is it ever fun!

My other guilty pleasure would either be fabric or sewing machines.  I just can't decide.  I have too many of both.  My family says it is okay because I share them (unlike my car and my Turtles) and I make gifts for lots of others using them.  Maybe.  I still enjoy acquiring and using all of them.  And, I am a snob.  I like nice fabric and good machines.

Okay, what are your guilty pleasures?  Hop on over to Cole's and check out the others.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Quick note.  This morning I have been through all.  I will go in reverse order.

The ugly:  I fell, AGAIN.  This time on the stairs to the basement.  Not the first time I have done that and I am grateful I didn't break anything.

The bad:  I dropped a thing of powder in the bathroom.  It made a mess that had to be cleaned up (before I fell again!).

The good:  While mopping the bathroom I found my missing earring!

Okay, now I am going to try again to go to work.....two hours late.  Sigh.

Winnings and Miscellaneous

Part of me wants to start this post with, "I'm not dead!" (that is a quote from Monty Python and The Holy Grail).

I have just been super busy with family stuff and work.  Not much sewing.  I did manage to quilt the Making Change quilt on Sunday with the help of my husband.   I had a very full mailbox yesterday.  I received a package from Kelie over at Craft Nurse Quilt .  THANK YOU, Kelie!  What a generous gift.  (let's see if the darn pics will up load)

   Yay!  It did.  Not a very good picture, but as good as it is going to get with the artificial lighting in my kitchen at 4:30 a.m.  Kelie wrote me a very sweet note.  I have definite plans for two of those threads already because of what my niece wants for Christmas and I am thinking of working that ribbon in. Thanks so much, Kelie.

The other two packages I received were a bit disappointing.  I inadvertently bought the same sewing machine attachments twice from eBay and they are not the right ones for my Singers.  They do fit an old Kenmore I have.  I really liked the boxes and got a good price on them.  I may keep them for decor unless I find someone that needs them.

Aren't the tins cool?  The disappointing thing is both sellers put them in the mylar envelopes and sent them.  both tins were jammed shut.  One of them has significant damage to the finish from shipping.

The purple inside the boxes is pretty, too.   I have a small collection of vintage notions and sewing items that I have collected over the years and will probably just add these to them.

Okay, I have been up since 3:30.  I still need to get some laundry folded before work.  I lost an earring and spent quite a while looking for it.  I am so disappointed to lose it.  My husband thinks it will turn up.  It is a gold hoop.  So, it isn't so small it is invisible but still....

I apologize to everyone for not commenting on your blogs.  I have been so busy recently and just a bit overwhelmed. I am trying to read them but it is generally from a phone or at work while I eat.  I will do better.

I think I will post a non- quilting Friday Finish because it is so wonderful.  Stay tuned!

Keep Stitchin'!