Tuesday, May 29, 2007


We're on our way to Florida! Jim will referee the Goalball Nationals in St. Augustine and I will explore the area. I have a list of quilt shops and I will travel.

Tomorrow evening we'll be at Tropicana Field rooting for the Detroit Tigers to beat the Tampa Bay DevilRays. It should be a fun trip.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Brandi in cap and gown
Memorial Day - designated to honor the memory of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice serving their country; a day of flags, parades, and barbeques. I hope you are enjoying your day.

Thursday we attended the graduation of my youngest niece and godchild, Brandi. She received many honors, including graduating in the top ten of her class. When Brandi was about five and living in Colorado, I started a little kitty quilt for her. Now if you remember my history, you won't be surprised to learn that it is still in top form. Her party is a little less than a month away. My goal is to have it done and ready by then. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it....

kitty quilt top

We have a new ballpark in Midland, (just northwest of us) and a single A ball team, affiliated with the LA Dodgers. The field is called Dow Diamond and the team is the Great Lakes Loons. You can walk all around the
ballpark and behind center field there is a giant nest. It's a very family friendly place and a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. We went yesterday with my brother, Jim, sister-in-law, Lori and nephew, Eric. Today I have a bit of ballgame sunburn, just on the left side of my body.

There was an ad in the paper for perennials that I had to check out. Now I have more planting to do this afternoon. I brought home a red hibiscus, yellow primrose, purple sage, trumpet vine, giant black eyed Susan and a few others. Off to find my gloves.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Lilies of the valley
There hasn't been much quilting or any other stitching going on here the last few days. We've been working in the yard, digging dirt and pulling weeds. The flower areas need a lot of work - much more than just one or two days worth. Maybe I should say the weed areas need a few flowers. I've decided to tackle it the same way as my quilting projects, one section at a time. This ole body doesn't bounce back from the bending and pulling as quickly as it used to. No need to overdue, right? Our lilacs and lilies of the valley are about done blooming for the year, but other plants or bushes are ready to take their turn in the spotlight. Here are pictures of what is blooming in our yard (and our neighbors) during the final days of May. We have daisies, irises and snowball bushes.


Purple iris flowers

white snowball bush

Sherry, our next door neighbor, loves to work outside and has many, many roses that she enjoys nurturing and growing. A few years ago, she planted a peony tree. Now, I've had peonies growing wherever I have lived since I was a young tot, but they were always bushes. The first year her tree sported one big, pink flower on top. Check it out now! The blooms are huge and so pretty. I had to take pictures.

Sherry's peony tree
Another view of Sherry's peony tree

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hershey's Ice Cream

giant Hershey's ice cream cone outside of shop

Summer is definitely just around the corner because the Hershey's Ice Cream shop has reopened for the season. Strawberry Hershey's Ice Cream is my very, very favorite of any kind, but it's difficult to find around here since the corner store that used to sell it closed. In desperation last year, I wrote to the company asking for local businesses that carried their products. They gave me a few and sent a coupon for a free half gallon of ice cream. It's probably a good thing I can't get it everyday or I'd be looking like a double scoop before long. If you are fortunate enough to have some near you, I highly recommend the strawberry. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Hershey's Ice Cream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

String top Tuesday

string quilt
The kitties and I made our final decision on the layout of the Heartstring blocks. We kept the star in the center and added rows around it. For the outer border, top, bottom and both sides, I cut the blocks in half. I had no plan when I started these blocks except to use up the strips already cut from the aqua and yellow fabrics. Next time, it may be easier to have an idea of what I want to do before I piece the blocks. All in all, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It still needs to be pressed, but I was anxious for a picture. I think I'll bind it in purple.

Now that the weather is nice, Jasper and Annie are always trying to sneak outside when they hear the door open in the kitchen. Jim took Jasper out today while he worked in the yard. Before you could blink, he had parked himself in the cherry tree with his eye on a birdhouse.
Jasper in tree
Last night JJ walked into the bathroom and saw Jasper sitting in the window. JJ thought maybe he would like some fresh air, so he attempted to slide the storm up so the screen would be there. Somehow they stuck together and both went up leaving a gaping hole for Jasper, who wasted no time jumping to the ground outside.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day. It was a lovely day here shared between a visit to my mom's and being visited at home by Mike, Simone and JJ. Simone cooked a wonderful dinner for us and they all gave me pretty flowers to plant outside around the house . The Wisconsin section of our family, Kari, Craig, Abby & Ian, called to send their wishes and sent lovely flowers from Hallmark. I could get used to the extra attention.

Our quilt show is now history. I haven't heard how well we did in attendance figures, but the next guild meeting is Wednesday. I'm sure the details will be shared with everyone then.

I played with the string blocks I have made so far. Jasper and Annie immediately showed their approval of the star design. I may have to use that as my starting point.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Strippy Friday

Yippee! I finally finished some Heartstrings blocks! The bad news - you can't tell that anything has been used from the bag of strips I started out with this afternoon. Do they multiply while you are sewing or when you are trimmming the blocks? I used mostly strips I had cut for my Mumbo Gumbo challenge with yellows for the other side and purple down the middle. Not sure how I will set the blocks or how many I will make. There's lots of strips still to use.

Yesterday I worked getting our local quilt show ready for the 4:00 opening. If you are near mid Michigan, stop over to Valley Plaza in Midland and check out the quilts. There are about a dozen or so vendors as well as a silent auction, raffle quilt and small quilt auction tomorrow afternoon. The link has all of the information you may need.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Too Many Magazines

I've spent hours and hours in the last couple of days trying to tame my quilting magazines. Tonight I think I have them all found, sorted, labeled and ready to go back upstairs tomorrow. There are many that won't make the return trip, but will go to one of the second hand stores in the area. I love browsing through them when the mood strikes me, so don't want to rid myself of all of them. And I've discovered that sometimes my likes and dislikes of certain color combos or patterns change over time.

My fabric purchases are all washed and folded and ready to find a shelf in my sewing room. (Good luck with that)

The weather has been beautiful here. It's difficult to imagine the horrific destruction from the storms in and around Kansas when the sun is shining through your window. I see the pictures on the news and shudder.

I have strips cut and muslin squares ready hoping to sew some Heartstring blocks this week. I'm using some of the fabrics left from my Mumbo Gumbo challenge quilt plus a group of yellows.

My lilacs outside the kitchen window are opening now, filling the room with their beautiful aroma. They are just in time for Mother's Day this year and are my favorite flower. The tulips and grape hyacinths are still blooming, too. These pictures were taken before the weeding occurred.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Frogs in Paducah & Stash Quilts

My friend, Jane has been making FROGs (Fully Rely On God) for her church members for some time now. There is a map of the world posted in their community area and photos showing where the frogs have traveled. Connie and I took our frogs to Paducah! In addition to the brick photo from my last post, the frogs were checked in the First Aid booth and perched atop the Viewers Choice sign. For the Welcome To Paducah sign, we had to climb over a fence and clear a ditch near our hotel to get that picture.

The AQS Museum had a wonderful display of miniatures this year. The quilts are also in a book which was for sale in the Museum Store. While checking the store, we found these cute little mini chicken pincushions. I sat him on my thread to showcase his tiny stature.

Award winning quilter, John Flynn, from Billings, MT brought his victorian patchwork horse, which was stationed in the lobby outside of the 2nd floor exhibit area of the Convention Center. It's next stop is the exhibit “4 Guys & Their Quilts” which will be at the American Quilter's Society Museum from May 16th until August 12th.

Thank you for accepting my blog into the Stash Quilts ring. I've been reading the blogs here for awhile and counting down the three months until I could apply for membership. Time flies when you're having fun!

Happy birthday to my childhood best pal and lifetime friend, Patsy! I hope your day is as special and wonderful as you are.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More Paducah memories

I just noticed that the May Fabric Diet badge was right across from my Paducah purchases. That's rather embarrassing. This fabric sort of sums it all up.

I didn't take as many photos of the area as other years. I thought maybe I'd share some from previous visits. The dogwoods were bloomed and gone by the time we arrived in town. Someone told us a frost killed most of them just a few days after they had opened. There's a rest area Connie and I stop at during our ride down. Two years ago, this tree was gorgeous when we got there.

One of the treats we enjoy is taking the local trolley to town. Some days your feet just scream - no more walking! The trolley will pick you up and drop you off just about anywhere between downtown and the Convention Center. It gives you a different perspective of the area while your feet get a short break.

One of the first places we usually check in Paducah is the Museum. No, not the quilt exhibits inside, that comes later in the week, but the brick pathway outside of the building. Several years ago, we bought a brick with our names on it. We check on it every year and tend to any weeding that is needed around it. Aren't we silly?

You may be wondering about the frogs sitting on either side of the brick. More about them next time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Paducah bus tour

Connie and I try to do something new on each trip. This time we decided to take the bus tour of Paducah which included a stop at Whitehaven.

Whitehaven is now a rest area and welcome center off of I-24 in western Kentucky. The original building was built around 1860, with many additions since. The mansion became vacant in the late 1960s and was virtually destroyed by vandals. To view it today, it is difficult to believe that it was ever in such a miserable condition.

Besides serving as a welcome center and rest area, the mansion also houses memorabilia from Vice President Alben Barkley who served under President Truman.

Historic buildings provide lots of inspiration for quilting patterns. The stained glass, stencils and ceilings all provide a starting point for desdign.

Eleanor Burns opened a new storefront downtown and also had a building with tents a short distance from the Rotary Show. Connie and I walked into a tent full of bolts priced at $4.00 a yard. Each day a color was chosen for an additional discount. When we shopped the color was blue. Here is Connie checking out the blue bolts. About half of my yardage came from the tent, so the $ damage to my wallet wasn't as bad as the picture in my last post might appear.