Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy 90th Birthday Dad!

We are celebrating my dad's 90th birthday tonight in my hometown, Earling, IA. His birthday was Wednesday, so he celebrated with the family that lives near that night, but we are having the official PaRtY tonight. Four of my five siblings will be there, as well as many nieces and nephews.  For some it's too far to travel for a weekend. 

My First Communion
 As I went through some old pictures to post for the occasion, I spent some time thinking about the "old days"...growing up on a farm in SW Iowa with four sisters and one brother. I'm the oldest, so I remember lots of funny stories about the others (which they really can't argue with since they might have been too young to remember). My dad farmed the land and raised cattle, hogs and chickens, so it was a busy life. We spent many hours playing outside under the trees in our small orchard. No AC in the summer, so that was the coolest place to be! I loved helping dad with chores and I remember walking around  with him, feeding the animals and talking. We had some awesome talks doing chores. He washed out 2 paint cans so I could carry feed too and really help.
Easter, complete with fancy hats
We also worked with Mom, gardening, canning, cleaning,  helping with my younger siblings so she could work on the many things that had to be done on a busy farm. Sometimes we were given the choice of taking the "little kids" outside to play or stay inside and work...well, we weren't stupid, you know what we chose!

As I grew older, I started helping around the farm with bigger buckets, learning responsibility along the way. I didn't realize at the time that that was what was happening, but I do now. Dad always says that I liked helping outside more than being inside, learning to drive the tractor (which I loved!) to help with the field work. One of my best memories is of going down to the hog house late at night to check the sows to see if they were farrowing. Dad could tell if one of them was close to delivering, so liked to check them to make sure everything was going ok.  It was warm and peaceful at night and sometimes we would witness the miracle of birth.
Dad with my daughter, Wendy
 We had trees to climb, a timber nearby to explore, and many adventures growing up on the farm. I wouldn't trade that childhood with anyone, even though sometimes we thought it was boring. I remember one summer day Dad came in from working in the fields for lunch and my sisters and I were complaining about having nothing to was so boring living on the farm, why didn't we live in town (we thought that would be much more exciting!) so Dad said he had  something for us to do. He took us to a nearby field to cut out thistles. (I know if you are a parent, you are laughing right now. We've all been that route, right?) I don't think we complained as much about being bored after that.
Since his birthday is in April, we have celebrated it many years along with Easter. Here he is a few years ago with his bunny cake! He's had several bunny cakes...

Mom and Dad's 60th Anniversary Party in 2010
I am so lucky to be able to celebrate his 90th birthday with him. Happy Birthday, Dad...see ya later!
Summer 2012

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eye candy and Colorwheel group

Marilyn came to last Saturday's Modern Cathedral Window Pillow class and brought some Circle and Spin show and tell with her. She was going to make a queen size quilt originally, but decided  she didn't like all of the colors in the same quilt, so made two throw size tops instead. They both turned out so pretty...these pictures don't really do them justice. I love it when people bring quilts from classes back to show me how they turned out!

 The Colorwheel Stash group met Tuesday night. I finally got the border on my Sunrise/Sunset quilt. This quilt is finished! It's funny because I'm still not sure I'm totally happy with this one...and I'm not sure why. Do you ever feel that way about your quilts? It's finished now, for better or for worse!

 Dorothy laid hers out on the tables and pinned and basted it so she can try machine quilting it. She hasn't done much quilting, but wants to give it a try. We talked about several different ideas she had about what she wants to do.
 Dianne was busy sewing down her shiny trims. She hoped to find some yellow/orange trim for the corresponding corner, but hasn't had any luck, so she came up with another idea for that spot.

I found the fabric I'm going to use for my setting squares and triangles on the new sampler, so I hope to get those cut out and made tonight. I'm excited to get it sewn together now!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Modern Cathedral Window Pillows

I had a great time Saturday teaching some eager students how to make Cathedral Windows using their sewing machines, no hand sewing. Some used other colors behind the Joann.
Some used the same color to frame the windows....either way there was a wide assortment of fabrics, all of them were shaping up to be winners!

You can make the windows out of just about anything, including holiday motifs.
Florals work well too, and Candy's batiks just shine!
Darlene used yellow behind the windows. She is using up some fabrics that she made a quilt with several years ago.

We all loved these florals!

Rachel had some coffee prints, so got a good start on her pillow. She posted on Facebook yesterday that she couldn't wait to finish it and here it is! They really are fast and easy to make. I will be teaching this class again on May 3, so if you've been wanting to learn this technique, that would be the time to do it!

I finished the new sampler blocks yesterday, so now I have to find two fabrics for the setting blocks. They will be simple half square triangles...very large ones. I am anxious to get this finished now!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Don't you love a new block?

Happy Friday! I started working on a new sampler quilt when I went on retreat in Jan. but have been so busy with classes the past few months I hadn't gotten back to it, so I have been working on some new blocks for it this week.
I am using lots of different batiks with a multicolored batik background.  I got the block below finished and started another one, not really looking at it. Later when I took the picture, I realized something was off! oops!
That's better!

I had finished five blocks on retreat, so now I have ten. Two more and I can start putting it together. One thing I really like about samplers is that you can try a block out without having to make dozens of them. Plus it's a challenge for me to design a few new blocks to mix in with the traditional blocks as well as design a setting that I haven't used before.
What are you favorite quilts to make? One or two blocks repeated or multiple blocks in a sampler setting?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sewing day

 While I was on retreat in Jan. we decided we needed a sewing day before our next retreat, so planned one for March. We met on Saturday, bright and early and sewed and chatted through the day. Pat had her center all put together for this sampler, but was unhappy about the stripes on her border so spent most of her time recutting them and taking the old ones off. It is so gorgeous! She has the woven border ready to put on, so it's just a matter of time until she has a finish!
Diana worked on a Miss Tess baby quilt and brought this one to show us. She also brought her two finished Zigzag quilts...she made these for twins and used the same polka dot fabric for each, coordinating with the pink and purple so they will be able to tell them apart.
She also brought her finished Spiderweb Stringpiecing quilt for show and tell.
Dianne got her Against the Tide Mystery quilt finished. It's not as light as it appears in this picture, you can see the light from behind showing through. It's hard to get good pictures of larger quilts in the classroom!
She also got her border sewn on her Miss Tess quilt. She found a black with small white polka dots that seemed perfect and mirrored the black and white polka dots in the centers of the shapes.
Here's a close up so you can see the dots!
I worked on my red and white challenge quilt. I like it so far.
Awhile back, Carole emailed me from VA that her daughter loved the Circle and Spin quilt she saw on my blog and wanted her to make it for her.  I believe it was for a wedding gift. I received an email the other day with a picture of the finished's so beautiful! I love it when people send me pix of quilts they've made with my patterns!
My daughter and I did a little thrift shop shopping yesterday...she found a rocker/recliner that looks like new so snatched it up after we determined it would fit in her Kia Soul. I didn't find anything, but that's ok since I don't really much at this point. It's always fun looking though!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

More randomness ...

Dianne has finished her Miss Tess quilt top...isn't it gorgeous? She is debating what to use for a border.
Barb's Which Way is Up? quilt is quilted and ready to give as a gift.

In case you missed Kerstin's post about her Against the Tide Mystery quilt, here it is in all its glory. I can't wait to see the other mystery quilts finshed!

Diana sent me this picture of her Spiderweb Stringpiecing quilt...she is almost finished!

Cindy brought this to S & B, our small quilt group, the other night. This is a quilt she was working on during our retreat. I don't know the pattern, sorry, but if you are interested I can ask her.

Do you ever get tired of kitty pix? Smokey was sitting quietly, watching me sew. Conrad jumped up beside her and started the tail swishing back and forth, back and forth....
in her face, over her back....he eventually left and she took a nap.
I'm sewing with my retreat group's our mini retreat day! Are you having a quilty Saturday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday randomness

I've taught quite a few classes this past week so I thought I'd share some of the pictures of blocks from these sampler classes. I have one group that chose which sampler they wanted to make and are each making a different quilt. The others are making the same quilt. Sometimes they put their finished blocks up on the design walls to see how the new one fits in. So it's always fun and colorful. 
Some are beginners and some are seasoned quilters. I didn't get pics of everyone in the classes as some didn't finish their blocks so didn't want them taken until next time. One group has to make 10 of these friendship stars, so they definitely have homework.

 Several brought show and tell also, so I'll share those tomorrow. 




I got together with my small but mighty quilt group last night. We had fun chatting and sewing...I attached the binding on my challenge quilt for that group, so it is finished! One of the gals had an accident with her challenge quilt...her dog chewed a hole in it, so she has a new challenge to face before next time! We are all bringing them when we meet in May so that we can take a picture of our challenge quilts together. They are all so different but incorporated fabrics from all of our stashes.

The CB quilt show committee met for the first time Thursday night. We felt we had a productive meeting and have chosen a theme and laid the groundwork for next time. We are going to focus on modern quilts this time, including art quilts. If you live in our area and want to help plan this event please let me know!