Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quilts for Kids

Recently I became aware of a wonderful project called Quilts for Kids.

You can access all the information about becoming involved with this group at this website:
Sign up and they will send you a kit of fantastic colorful fabric designed to make a child's eyes lighten up as soon as they know this is "their new quilt"

P&G's Downy Fabric Softener Creates the Downy 'Touch of Comfort' Program to
help Provide Quilts to Hospitalized Children

'Grey's Anatomy'Star Chandra Wilson Joins Downy and Quilts for Kids, Inc. to
Help Deliver Quilts to Children in Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
throughout the United States

About Quilts for Kids, Inc.
Quilts for Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization that transforms
discontinued designer fabrics into quilts that comfort hospitalized children
suffering from life-threatening illnesses as well children of abuse.

Headquartered in Yardley, PA, Quilts for Kids, Inc. was founded in August 2000
by Linda Arye. The organization was established with hopes of comforting
children hospitalized with life threatening illnesses by providing a hand made
patchwork quilt. These quilts are created by caring volunteer quilters
nationwide who wish to make a difference in the lives of these hospitalized
children. Since then, the charity has distributed over 50,000 quilts
worldwide and saved millions of pounds of fabric from landfills. Quilts for
Kids, Inc. is associated with children's hospitals throughout the United
States and has 50 chapters throughout North America.

Because of allergens, children often cannot bring their stuffed animals to the
hospital. However, most hospitals and treatment centers welcome the Quilts for
Kids, Inc. washable, all-cotton quilts, which kids can hold onto for security
and comfort.

I have copied the above information from the website to make sure I had everything correctly done. I have just received my first kit from this very worthwhile project headquarters and the fabric is beautiful.
So far this month I have made 4 quilts for our local charitable donation project and will make another one to accompany this Downy quilt to a new home.

Sign up to make a couple! Your soul will feel so good!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A new idea for fun!

Here is a new idea for a fun quilt which I just found on the stashbusters website. A family reunion quilt! and I think this is definitely doable for our next big get-together next year!

Check it out at this website:

I tried this and it worked for me..let me know if you have a problem. Once you are on the site look for the family reunion quilt info!
You will have to look way down on the right side to find the listing for quilts, click there and then go down to the 6th one on the list, the family reunion quilt and there it is! This blogspot has a LOT of info for fun projects. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My fun landscape quilts

Clay's Village Greeting

One of the parts of quilting that I really enjoy is making small artsy landscape quilted wallhangings.

The first one I ever made was done at the request of one of my grandsons. Now a tall handsome young man of 16, but once a little kid who loved seeing his name on things!
He asked me to make him a picture quilt which included so many things I had to write them down to keep track of them all. First and foremost was an airplane in the sky pulling a banner that said "Happy Birthday Clay"!

So that was where I started--with a piece of beautiful blue fabric with fluffy white clouds, an airplane and a banner. All of this took me a couple days to accomplish, by the time I fussy cut the airplane, and embroidered out the words to make the banner!

The fabric that I have used for most of my little quilts is made by Cranston Mills and I bought it at Wal-Mart. Now that Wal-Mart is enlarging their stores, but diminishing their craft departments most of the stores are no longer carrying this fabric and it is becoming much more difficult to find "picture" fabric.

But for me, for the last few years it has worked fine. I have saved even little pieces of the scraps hoping to find a use for them in other small quilts.

Then we had to have a village with buildings and people and animals and water--somewhere!, and trees and flowers. He was 10 and his imagination was endless and exciting, filled with energy!

After doing all of this, his next instructions were to put a village on the bottom of the
picture. So I did! and here is the finished product! which he still has hanging on his bedroom wall after 10 years!

The next blog will be about the companion piece that almost matches this one!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A new day to celebrate!

How many times have you been all ready for the day or a night out, gotten all dressed in your favorite outfit , then realized that you are missing an earring that matches your outfit?

I must have about a dozen of what I am calling "orphan" earrings in my jewelry box. I wonder why we keep them? thinking perhaps the lost one will show up as if by magic the next time we want to wear them? That has only happened to me once, when my husband found a poor lost soul out in the driveway about a week after it disappeared!

So I am hereby proclaiming Thursday as the day to celebrate the disappearance of all
lost earrings and declaring each and every Thursday as "wear an orphan earring" day.
I hereby give you, each and everyone of you, permission to wear two different earrings on Thursday and discover the joy of being different!

If anybody asks why you are wearing two different earrings, simply say...oh, yes I have another pair just like these, somewhere! and who knows someone else might be wearing them!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another FROG story! Froggie goes acourting!

One of the projects in our local quilt guild is a challenge each year with an unusual fabric. A couple years ago we were given a colorful piece that included frogs sitting in a floating ring and on lilypads, with water bubbling around everything.

I was at my wit's end to come up with a plan for this piece of fun fabric until I remembered my neice who loves frogs! and games and was moving soon into a new house! The perfect housewarming gift would be a new game.

So I decided to make a real "frog" game where "Jumping" determines who wins!

I cut out the frogs using a very distinctive design....I drew around a drinking glass works every time! Then I drew circles on some green fabric, from my stash, of course!
Actually I cut out two green circles for each frog. Put them together with a small magnetic circle in the middle and sewed that to the frog pieces, serging around the outside of the circle. (I used magnetic circles with adhesive on one side and then sewed by hand around each one.)

Then I found some more green fabric and made lily pad designs and put them together the same way...with the magnets all hand sewn in the middle.

Now all we needed was a home for the frogs and the lily pads. I did extensive research on the design and sizes of various checkerboards. I measured at least 3 different boards and decided that it should be in various colors of blue and green. Found the colors I liked and went for it.

All that was left to do was to put a tie string on each end. Oh yes I almost forgot...I also put small magnetic circles in each block on the board. So that when the frogs jumped they would have some place to land.

When you play the game, you can fold it carefully with all the pieces inside, tie it all up and use it as a travel game.

Since this is not trademarked, or patented, or any of that other legalese mumbo-jumbo, feel free to copy and make your own "Froggie goes acourting Checkerboard".
Happy Jumping to all! ps you can click on each picture to see it larger!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Wonder of Air Conditioning

After writing my previous blog, I started to think about the things we take for granted these days. Air conditioning is definitely one of those items.

So I went to that great fount of wisdom--google search--which lead me to Wikipedia, where I found the following information.

"The concept of air conditioning is known to have been applied in Ancient Rome, where aqueduct water was circulated through the walls of certain houses to cool them. Similar techniques in medieval Persia involved the use of cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season. Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier.

While moving heat via machinery to provide air conditioning is a relatively modern invention, the cooling of buildings is not. Wealthy ancient Romans circulated aqueduct water through walls to cool their luxurious houses.

The 2nd century Chinese inventor Ding Huan (fl. 180) of the Han Dynasty invented a rotary fan for air conditioning, with seven wheels 3 m (10 ft) in diameter and manually powered. In 747, Emperor Xuanzong (r. 712–762) of the Tang Dynasty (618–907) had the Cool Hall (Liang Tian) built in the imperial palace, which the Tang Yulin describes as having water-powered fan wheels for air conditioning as well as rising jet streams of water from fountains. During the subsequent Song Dynasty (960–1279), written sources mentioned the air conditioning rotary fan as even more widely used.

Medieval Persia had buildings that used cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season: cisterns (large open pools in central courtyards, not underground tanks) collected rain water; wind towers had windows that could catch wind and internal vanes to direct the airflow down into the building, usually over the cistern and out through a downwind cooling tower. Cistern water evaporated, cooling the air in the building.

Ventilators were invented in medieval Egypt and were widely used in many houses throughout Cairo during the Middle Ages. These ventilators were later described in detail by Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi in 1200, who reported that almost every house in Cairo has a ventilator, and that they cost anywhere from 1 to 500 dinars depending on their sizes and shapes. Most ventilators in the city were oriented towards the Qibla, as was the city in general"

There is a lot of information there on that site. And interestingly enough it mentions that "in 1906, Stuart W. Cramer of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, was exploring ways to add moisture to the air in his textile mill. Cramer coined the term "air conditioning", using it in a patent claim he filed that year as an analogue to "water conditioning", then a well-known process for making textiles easier to process. He combined moisture with ventilation to "condition" and change the air in the factories, controlling the humidity so necessary in textile plants. Willis Carrier adopted the term and incorporated it into the name of his company. This evaporation of water in air, to provide a cooling effect, is now known as evaporative cooling."

So I bet you thought this had nothing to do with quilting or fabric use!!! Wrong!!
Where would we be without air conditioning helping us as we struggle with that quilt in all the heat and humidity as I did yesterday. On the hottest day of the year, so far in Ohio, I was finishing up a huge quilt. Without the AC....I would have been TOAST!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anybody here from Detroit schools?

I am hoping that someone readng this blog might know someone else who lived in Detroit during the 1950's and graduated from Cadillac grade school. I left there in 1950 and attended Cooley High School until the spring of 1951 at which time I moved to Cleveland Ohio. I have lost contact with everyone I went to grade school with except for two men who lived near me.

Cadillac Elementary School was and is still located on Schoolcraft Avenue in Detroit. We had a large class, about 40 people and they cannot all have disappeared!

So if you know someone about my age, 73, ask them where they went to grade school and then if they went to Cooley High School. They would have graduated in 1954. The high school had a fire sometime ago and all the alumni records were destroyed. At least that is what I was told when I called and asked for information.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime and the living should be easy!

WOW! Here it is the end of June already. Where did the first six months of this year go? I haven't done half the jobs I had lined up for this year. I did finally get all my flowers planted. And a few peppers and some tomato plants. They are doing well, but a couple of my quilting projects are still here: in my head; piled up on the table; just waiting for me to get to them.

Now that July is almost here I want to share a story with you. One that I have told so many times I think my family thinks I made it all up. But it is honest to goodness true story and I will tell it again.

I was born during the hottest time in recorded history in Detroit Michigan. You can check this all out for yourself by going to the following website>
You can see the photos from the Detroit newspaper and see for yourself how horrible this all was.
I have reprinted some of the highlights of the article here from the Detroit News website.

Detroit's killer heat wave of 1936

By George Cantor / The Detroit News

August 4, 1996

There were 10 in all on the first day. No one could have known that it was only the beginning of one of the greatest and deadliest disasters in the history of Detroit.

Sixty years ago, the most terrible heat wave ever recorded fell upon the city. At its end, one week later, hundreds were dead and the daily lists started on the front page and filled an entire column inside the paper.

Healthy men and women would start off for work in the morning and never come home, falling in the streets or at work when they were overcome by the sun and heat. Weeping relatives besieged Receiving Hospital and the morgue, where the dead were lined up in corridors since no space remained on the slabs. Doctors and nurses collapsed at their stations, overcome by heat and fatigue. "It's as if Detroit has been attacked by a plague out of the Middle Ages," one observer wrote.

And yet this disaster of 1936 is almost forgotten. Ask Detroiters who lived through it and they probably could not recall the dates or even the year. Those too young to have firsthand recollection very likely have never heard of the July when the summer turned killer. There was no great destruction of property, no visible aftermath, as is the case with most disasters with a death toll that high. Heat depends upon a cumulative impact to make an impression, not one quick and terrible strike that is seared into the memory. After it has passed, it blends in with all the other hot spells of a lifetime.

This one was different, though, not only in the number it killed but in the very intensity of the heat. Records for high temperatures set during that summer still stand in 15 states, including Michigan. In Kansas and North Dakota, it reached 121 degrees, marks surpassed in this country only in the deserts of the Southwest. In Mio, Mich., the mercury leveled out at 112. In Duluth, Minn., which had never topped 100 degrees before, stifling, incredulous residents camped out on the Lake Superior shore. Detroit had counted only seven days of 100-degree readings in the 63 previous years since the U.S. weather station started official readings here. That mark would be equalled in the space of seven days.

And during all this my poor Mother was giving birth in a small bedroom on the second floor of a two family house. It boggles my mind to think how horrible that must have been for her. She went on to have 4 more daughters, but carefully (?) planned for their births in much cooler early winter and late spring months!

Later in the day my Grandmother decided I should go outside for some air(?) in my bassinet and I am told that the even older lady living next door said I would surely die from being exposed to all the "fresh air"

On Wednesday, July 8, the heat reached Detroit. By 4:50 p.m., the mercury registered 104.4 degrees. And the dying began. The health department published some tips: Add a pinch of salt to each glass of cold water. Avoid over-exertion in direct sunlight. Eat lightly and avoid fats. Don't swim after excessive perspiration.

The old-timers wore a cabbage leaf under their hats, but some golfers, more modern in outlook, used a cold towel under theirs.
Beyond that, what else could you do? Air-conditioning was still a pleasure of the very rich. Hudson's had become one of the first department stores in America to install such a system and Crowley's followed a few years later. But even their crowds were down, because few people wanted to brave the heat to get there. Many movie theaters were air-conditioned and ran ads that showed shavings of ice clinging to a sign that said, "It's cool inside." Some stayed open all night and people slept inside. The sleeping cars on many railroads also featured air. But home units were almost unknown.

"The rest of us," intoned The News editorially, "like Joe Louis from the fourth round on must stay in there and take it." Many homeowners went down to their basements, spending the days in the cooler confines there.

On Thursday, July 9, it was 102. A man was caught stealing an electric fan from Kinsel's downtown and demanded that it accompany him to his jail cell. The judge declined.

On McNichols and Livernois, the pavement buckled and formed a concrete mound, four feet high, stopping traffic in all directions. The wrestling show was canceled at the Naval Armory and 22 were dead in the city.

Friday was the first time in history that three consecutive 100 degree days had been recorded in Detroit. It reached 101. As the weekend began, crowds began to throng to Belle Isle. It was a Detroit tradition to camp out on the island when oppressive heat moved in. But never in such numbers. Police reported that there was not a parking space to be found on the island and traffic was backed up from the bridge along East Grand Boulevard all the way to Kercheval. The island looked like a massive gypsy camp, with hundreds of thousands of families sleeping out in the open, wherever there was an open piece of grass. The scene was duplicated in neighborhoods across the city as people took bedrolls out on their lawns to spend the night.

By now, the heat wave had reached the East. In New York, the Olympic trials were being held and athletes were rushed to nearby hospitals after collapsing. All the bridges over the East and Harlem rivers stuck in the open position when the metal joints expanded, trapping thousands of motorists on Manhattan. Heat records fell in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, in West Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana.

In Detroit, the death toll took a sudden jump as news came in from Eloise Hospital that 63 previously unreported victims had died during the weekend. Hospitals were not air-conditioned and heat-stroke victims brought in often found no relief. Heroic efforts were made to treat them as all rooms filled up. Doctors and nurses, working 18 hours without a break, administered treatment on cots or on benches in the waiting rooms. Hysterical relatives crowded the lobby, trying to find news of missing loved ones. Newborn infants died in the delivery room. Old people succumbed to heat-induced heart attacks. In a house on Magnolia, a mother and daughter died within 12 hours of each other. The morgue reported 90 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

Still, the heat held on. It was 101 both Saturday and Sunday and 100 on Monday. Rain was expected anytime, moving in from the west. "The city looked like a deserted village," reported the Detroit Times. Nothing moved on the downtown streets as offices closed down. A schedule of sandlot baseball games went on but played to empty stands.

Suddenly, on the seventh day, it ended in Detroit. The temperature reached 104 at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, then started to slide. A massive thunderstorm swept across the city. Crowds on Belle Isle were drenched by the sudden deluge as they ran for buses and cars. By midnight it was below 70 for the first time in a week, and at 5:30 a.m. it bottomed out at 61. It was over.

There were 364 dead in Detroit, 570 dead in Michigan. Only Ohio had a higher death toll. Medical experts said the deaths were so numerous because the early summer had been mild and people hadn't had a chance to be gradually acclimated to the heat. Tourist officials used the death toll as an odd verification of Michigan's status as a summer resort. "People can't cope with heat because they're not used to it here."

But here I am 73 years later writing this story because I think it is an important part of my life history. And to this day I still donot like extreme hot weather!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time in a bottle!

Did you ever have one of those days when you wish you could capture the whole day, the whole wonderful experience in a bottle and then let it out when you need it?
Wouldn't it be wonderful to call up time when you need it and let it go at other times?

For instance, when you are sitting and waiting for a call in to the Doctor's office, you could just transport yourself away to that wonderful day at the beach.
Or when you are rushed and know you won't possibly make it to the bank or the post office before they close, you can just recall sitting in the sunshine reading a book of poetry that makes your whole body feel calm and relaxed.

Living in the moment hasn't been possible lately for me. So many of my friends and a few relatives have been ill, my dog had a major scratching problem that was driving him and me crazy, my grandson's dog sat down and refused to get up and was in terrible pain. All these things upset me a lot but I have to take it all in stride, try to keep the ball rolling, so to speak, because someone has to remain calm.

So I said a lot of prayers for all those folks who were very seriously ill, and one by one they started to get better.

I took my dog to the vet; we got medication for his itching which wasn't a serious infection, more like an allergy to something in the grass and now two weeks later he is much calmer.

My grandson's dog,on the other hand, will never get better. The vet says his knees and hips are about done for at the young age of 5. Even if we could afford the very expensive surgery to save his knees he will still be somewhat crippled. But today my little guy went to look at the shelter dogs up for adoption and they asked him if he would like to foster a puppy! And of course, he said YES! PLEASE! like me he would have 10 dogs if Mom and Dad said Yes, and he had the room. But like most little boys he only wants a puppy! But maybe,just maybe, his time is now to love another dog as he does the first one and make his heart happier if the older dog does not get well. His time today will be in his bottle for quite a few days and he can look back and be joyful about it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More purses

In answer to an unexpected large number of requests from my ardent followers, here are the other clutch purses I have made!

Only two are here, because I haven't taken a picture of the third!

They are really so simple to do that they actually become addictive! all there is to them is to take squares, sew them together in a block of 12, fold in half, put a zipper in and make a lining to match and you are done. If you want it even simpler, use a snap closing, or a button over tab! Make one to match each outfit and you will feel like a very rich lady!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The FROG project is complete!

Finally I have finished my last project! To begin, this project was a challenge issued by our local quilt guild...Berea Mill Stream Quilt Guild, in Berea, Ohio.

It started out with a piece probably a bit bigger than a fat quarter of fabric which looked like this:

And from that we are asked to create anything we wish as long as we use 2 neon bright colors along with that fabric. Since black and white lead to all colors, it was fairly easy for me to find colors to go with this piece.

So since I saw no need for any quilted project, had just finished a quilt top with black and white fabrics, and there were pieces left over, I decided to go another route.
I made a purse! from a pattern I had downloaded free from the internet, have no idea where, but am willing to share the pattern if you like it, and forged ahead.

Unfortunately the pattern is not very explicit. Although I have been sewing for over 60 years, yes you read that right, 60 years, I was dumbfounded by the pattern. Oh, I got the basics down OK, the front, the sides, the lining features, but as far as putting this little darling together, I was completely lost! Perhaps the sewing part of my brain has gone away to be replaced by the quilting side.

At any rate, I sewed, I ripped, I sewed again, and ripped again...thus the name FROG project! Sometimes I thought I was doing more ripping than sewing!

I think it turned out fine. I was not making a museum quality object, just something for me to use. And it is just that, attractive, and I am told right in style for today!

Judge for yourself and let me know what you think!

Since it was all black and white on the outside, I decided to make the lining very bright. I think it looks like the mouth of a rather angry whale, but it is pretty! There are pockets on each side of the bag, and several on the inside. I should be able to hold all I need for the day in there.

So once I was on a roll, I then made several small clutch purses. I am determined to figure out how those darn zippers go, but for now I think I am back to quilting! At least until I finish all my current projects, which at last count was about 10! I think the handbag world is safe for now!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time to update the blog!

Sorry I havent been around much to blog! Sometimes even Grammys get overwhelmed with work, caring for big people in the hospital, and helping with their grandkids. And sometimes just plain tired! I didnt know the "blog police" would be checking up on me!

I will have another article soon! You will just have to wait until everyone is better, my quilt guild newsletter is done and published, and I have time for the blog! Sorry! but family comes first!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Great uses for ordinary things!

It is amazing how quilters have turned ordinary everyday items into great quilting and sewing aids. Here is one of my favorites which until today I have never shared with anyone.

Thanks to Ami Simms at Through the Eyes of a Quilter for reminding me of this:

Get some small magnets and put one in your pin box. I found mine when we threw out our old refrigerator. Behind the door gasket is a long magnetic strip (which closes the door for us!) . It can be cut in sections and used wherever you keep pins. They are very strong magnets and since you cut them up in little pieces you can use them in many places.

Her blog can be found at Http:// The product she refers to in her most recent blog is called Needle Nanny and is available at

Another item I love is my magnetic bowl and long extension magnet pickup device. Both of which I found at the auto parts store! Although the magnet pickup "pen" which is looks like! has a warning about "using it without protective eyewear" I have found it quite useful! It means I don't have to crawl around under my machine to pick up pins anymore.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Crazy for Fabric, or just plain crazy!

I started this blog a couple months ago after joining Stashbusters. And while I really like the idea of cutting of scraps it can work against you sometimes.
For some time now all this fabric has been driving me crazy! I started out in January with an LLBean BIG bag of scraps, and cut and cut and cut some more and finally ended up with a huge pile of squares in every size from 2 - 5" and was so proud of myself because I threw out only a small bag of scrap pieces. The advantage of that is I can cut while doing other things, like watching TV!
Then today I started in on my drawers in my work know those Sterilite plastic stacking drawers....I have two that are 3 deep 24" across and 3 that are 3 deep about 14" wide and 3 self covered bins about the same size. I haven't even touched anything except the LLBean bag and the top drawer and I am drowning in fabric!

One of the 3 deep 24" drawer units is sitting under a card table where I am stacking my pieces by color. I haven't even reached the corner where I have had a string quilt on a John Flynn frame for about 4 months! I don't just have UFO's I have" Never even starteds!" lots of good ideas but no time or energy to do everything! I think it is time to go for a walk!
Later that day...

Well I have reached the corner, cleaned it all out, didn't touch the shelves in the closet yet but they have nothing to do with fabric or quilting...although I did find a large box of old pictures I had forgotten about. And a large pile of Christmas cards, brand new...maybe I should address them now, do for the next 2 years and I won't have to worry about them.

Decided I should do the top shelves of the closet and found still more pictures and another box of fabric pieces! I must have been mad keeping all this stuff! Threw most of it out including a Mickey Mouse Doll I had started for my youngest daughter about 30 years ago with the polyester fabric for a polka dot shirt still pinned to the pattern. Saved the pattern pieces as it was an original Disney pattern..who knows maybe someday it might be worth something, but I doubt it!

Now I can move on to the 5 drawers in this old dresser here and one more plastic bin under the desk. soon!

Now the final question is: am I going to live until 125 which is what I figure it will take to finish all this! And in the meantime, I know and you know, those scraps are worse than rabbits! They have the nerve to multiply while we are in the same room!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I have finished the FROG project! Well, it isn't made of FROGS, but sure did a lot of ribit, ribit while making it. I can't tell you what the project is yet, not until after the guild meeting on May 20, but this was something I have never made before and probably won't make again, and I have been sewing for about 60 years! It was so puzzling, and most of that is because the directions were not clear or illustrated, but I finally figured it out. And I am so relieved! and tired!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My new name--Frog Queen

I think I am slowly going crazy! I am making a project for the quilt guild. A challenge! And what a challenge it is. So far I have made this project over 5 times! It is driving me nuts because I can't figure out the pattern. Stands to reason, download a free pattern and go for it and something will go wrong! Very few instructions, and I have found some left out! When I finish I will print a picture. FROG means, or so I have been told, ripit, ripit, ripit...and that is what I have done now for 3 days! I am going out to plant grass and flowers! enough of this FROG stuff!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wonderful news!

For the past week I have been wearing pink a lot of the time! thinking of my friend Janet, who lives in Tennessee. After a routine breast exam showed several lumps, she decided to have both of her breasts removed last week and asked us to think of her wrapped in pink and surrounded by love. Which I know several of us did.

We have just learned that all of the lymph nodes and the breast tissue that was removed, except for the original cancer site, have now been analyzed and
found to be negative of further cancer!

That is such wonderful news for all of us. No chemo or radiation and she can now go on with her life and enjoy everything especially our 55th high school class reunion next month!

Check for yourself for lumps monthly! We want you around as long as possible!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wow! What a crazy week I have had! I belong to a group called the Strongsville Glitz. It is a group sponsored by the Strongsville, Ohio Senior Center and every town should have a group like this.

It is a group of people over 55 who like to sing and perform and this week was the annual show to raise money for the Center projects.

We had a wonderful group. Although I just joined about 3 months ago, they made me feel like family. The director is a retired high school choral music director; the band is led by a retired high school band director. Both men are so full of energy and enthusiasm that it is contagious.

We did a show based on music through the ages and it simply was fantastic. We did three shows, Friday and Saturday night and one this afternoon Sunday. A lot of the people were from Senior Centers around the area but a lot of them were young people who came to see their parents and grandparents having so much fun!

We dressed in 50's clothes, blue jeans, our Dad's white shirts, saddle shoes, bobby sox, letter sweaters, poodles skirts...whatever we had or could come up with! We dressed in 70's clothes...tie-dyed shirts, flowers in our hair, sandles, leather get the picture! Our director does a great Fonzie imitation and the audience was so appreciative. Everybody went out smiling and thanking us for a wonderful performance!

And we thanked them for taking time to see us have fun! I wish I could do it all over again tomorrow! Not go back in time.... just sing and enjoy everything so much!

This is something I will truly remember forever! and be anxious for practice to start again next Spring!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

There has been a request from Marguerite McManus for readers of the blog to post pictures of their sewing here is mine. My room is about 8 x 8 at the most! but does have two windows for lots of light and I overlook the backyard, which at this time of year is not too special. In a couple weeks when the apple tree is in bloom, and the tiger lilies start up it will be nicer.
You will notice that I use a laptop but the keyboard is covered. I simply cannot type on those little keyboards so I have a regular keyboard on the shelf below and I use a regular mouse! a little new, and a little bit old! And I do have more fabric, mostly scraps, in the bins underneath the table and in the corners. Not a lot, but enough! But as of today I am out of batting, so off I must go to get some! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What do you mean the dress is too big?

I went shopping one day to the most glorious fabric shop in Bettsville, Ohio called The Door Mouse...they have probably 5000 bolts of fabric in every color imaginable. I called it overkill for the eyes. I spied a lovely turquoise print and a beautiful purple print and a couple others that matched it completely.

I had a pattern that I had bought at Walmart a couple years before that. I had seen this gorgeous dress made in burned-velvet...remember when that was popular? just before the holidays. Well I couldn't find the velvet after the Christmas season and after all, I had the pattern, we were going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple months, so I bought all the fabric to make the dress. It was gorgeous! I was sure it would fit so never bothere
d to try it on. I had made it smaller because I had been losing weight. The night I wanted to wear it to dinner on the cruise...I put it on and it literally fell off my shoulders. Apparently I had forgotten to take in that part of the pattern. So I told my husband the dress was way too big and I couldn't wear it! Thus his comment...".What do you mean the dress is too big?"

I painstakingly took the entire dress apart, ironed the pieces all flat and made a quilt out of it. The pattern was a mystery one for our quilt guild. And I adore it!

I added a narrow strip of bright yellow on two ends, and a flanged narrow
strip on the other two, and took liberties with the final border, incorporating extra pieces into it and it is absolutely fantastic.

Our guild has an annual summer picnic outdoors in the pavilion in our lovely town park here. We string clothesline and hang our projects for everyone to see. With the sun shining on them they are beautiful. This one looked fantastic! as did all the others. I like to call the display "Flowers in the Air"

Gee do you get the idea I like my quilt?

Monday, March 30, 2009

On the 8th Day.......

God said: "Let's Dance!" This is the name of one of my favorite small quilted wall-hangings. Made as part of a challenge project for the guild I belong to---Berea Mill Stream Quilt Guild, in Berea, Ohio.

The challenge fabric was the multi-colored dots on a black background surrounding the entire border and the dancing figures. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I would do with it! To me it represented chains of DNA or molecules. So I knew it had to be some kind of a figure involved in the final project.

Because one of my granddaughters takes ballet lessons, it was almost her birthday, the quilt took on a life of its own when I decided to use the dancers as the figures.

Here is how I made this: I went to a program which I use a lot to make my own birthday cards and searched for a graphic of "dancer" and found this one. Just an outline of a ballet dancer. I printed it out in several different sizes; used them for the figures and just played. Later that day I was wrapping a gift and noticed the silver ribbon among my possibility of tying up that package. When I took the ribbon out, it fell off the spool in swirls and seemed to be just what I needed to link the figures together!

Now I needed something to start this process....and some silver satin backed crepe from my stash made itself known to me! So that became the cornerstone. It seems that whenever I look for something specific I never find it, but when I am just browsing all the components leap out at me! The rays coming from the left and right were a scrap of silver, dotted & shiny fabric I found about the same time.

I tried to make this a very festive active picture. You will note that the characters are jumping and playing as though skipping through space and having fun. They are all linked with the ribbon to the DNA or whatever they are made from up to the beginning of their life. The large SUN! or GOD!

After this was all done I drew around the cut-outs I had made and used them in different sizes for the quilting done between the actual figures. The back is a composite of silly things--- a dog, a tree, and a flower along with the leftover figures dancing and playing!

The quilting was all done with invisible thread on the back so it doesn't detract from the characters. Then I went back to my greeting card program to create the label. I scanned in the background from a scrap of sky fabric, printed out the label and it was done. Whenever I make a label this way, I try to always have a component of the quilt included in the information.

It was great fun to work on and I hang it proudly in my workroom. I hope you enjoy seeing it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

For success in life: learn something new everyday

And boy was this a new event for me! Saturday afternoon we all went to a rugby game!
None of the family had ever seen a game of rugby. When my 14-year-old quiet grandson announced he was going to be on a rugby team we all had looks of shock on our faces. This boy who really didn't like football, but did play basketball was taking on this new sport?
Although he didn't get to participate in this game, along with the other "newbies" he will soon we are assured. No wonder he likes to play. This game looks like pure fun for all the boys!
I had researched the rules via the Internet before we left, decided against printing out 15 long pages of instructions that I came upon, so went knowing nothing about this new (to us) game. The older boys (juniors and seniors) were so nice to us. They explained all the rules, the scoring and kept us informed as to what was happening on the field. And it soon became obvious that these boys were having a great time. With one exception which was a little scary when one boy was knocked down and didn't move for a few minutes....getting the wind knocked out of you can do that! was an exciting hour.

And now we all know much more about the game and will be going often to watch!

What does this have to do with a quilting blog? Absolutely nothing, but we all learned something! and it was fun! for everybody! well maybe not the boys who didn't play, but their time will come I am sure! as it does for everyone learning something new, which I will do next time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Alzeihmers Art Quilt Project

Ami Simms has given me permission to copy and print her entire message from her blog...It is important that lots of people read it.

Alzheimer’s On The Rise

The news is not good in a new report released on Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association:

The number of Americans with the disease has grown to 5.3 million. Their care continues to be a huge financial drain on our already fragile healthcare system and on the families who care for loved ones with this disease. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death across all age groups in the United States. As yet there is not a single Alzheimer’s survivor.

In the next two years, the first baby boomers will reach their 65th birthday. One in 8 persons 65 and older have Alzheimer’s.

Don’t sit on your hands. Use them to fund Alzheimer’s research by purchasing a quilt from, or donating a quilt to, the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

Use them to write a check to support Alzheimer’s research.

Use them to email, fax, or call your congressperson to urge more funding for Alzheimer’s research.

We need YOU. Now. Pass it on…

Curator, Alzheimer's Forgetting Piece by Piece
A nationally touring quilt exhibit of heartbreak and hope.

Check out her website at It is beautiful!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

After being disappointed yesterday at not finding any quality fabric for my quilt project, I returned today to my favorite quilt shop, Quilter's Source in Parma, Ohio. Such beautiful fabrics are featured there. And I came up with a solution for the back of my grandson's quilt. Black with little gray squares. Nothing that has to be cut a certain way or matched, but just random squares.

I have had to make this quilt extra long since this guy is 6'7" tall! and he said "make sure I can pull it up please" so I did.

Before we went out to lunch, I put together two more tops for our community quilt projects. They are all cut in 8" squares so they go together very quickly. That makes 7
done in two months plus I have one from strippy squares sitting on the John Flynn waiting patiently for me to figure out how to quilt it. Pretty soon! during the summer hopefully!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A somber day!

Not a whole lot happening today! It has been a very gray dreary day. And so far my trip to look for a quilt backing fabric has found nothing of interest. I started off for Joann Fabric store carrying my trusty coupons. Nothing I wanted there and everything was on sale anyway. I find the fabric is so thin and cheap that it doesnt warrant using in my quilted treasures. So I will go back to the quilt shop for this important piece.

But I did buy a package of Bamboo Batting. I have never used this before but the label says it is non-allergenic and easy to use. It is my effort of "going green" for the week. Bamboo is an annually renewable resource and is about the same price as Warm N Natural batting. It is also naturally anti-bacterial which means it doesnt have to be sprayed for insect control or have any chemicals used on it which might be injurious to our bodies. Since I am using it in a quilt with squares and just doing stitch-in-the-ditch it should work out fine. I will let you know when I am finished how it works out!

I did find two pieces of fabric on sale at Wal-Mart which coordinates well with the two community quilts I am in process of doing, but forgot about the third one completely. See what happens when you make a list! I have 3 more quilts ready to go for our guild project, just needed a backing and now I have two of those.

Time to get started on my newsletter for the guild. Next month we are having an old-fashioned tea party at a local church. Good time to get dressed up and pretend we are royalty! Tea and biscuits! And a talk about doing square-in-a-square quilting and a trunk show. Should I try and find my white gloves? I think not, but will wear my fancy frillies that only come out once a year!

Back to work!

Monday, March 23, 2009

MY first day of blogging

OK here we go! As I say on the header, this is all a mystery to me, but I am sure it will be figured out by somebody, then they will tell me and I can learn a lot!

I thought I would start out by telling you about myself. I live in Berea, Ohio. A college town, Baldwin-Wallace College is here right in the middle of town. It is fairly quiet around here, a lot of dogs, and some kids. Not as many as we used to have about 20 years ago, but enough that on warm spring evenings they are out playing kickball or most recently hide-n-seek! Which really surprised me! Some of the kids are so small you cant see them anywhere such as behind the big trees, but then they tell me that climbed over a 7" high fence to go between the yards! They are all so nice! When we walk our dogs every night they take a break to come over and chat and pet the dogs. We have a German Shepherd and an American Eskimo dog which we adore.

We have raised 6 kids in this house. Our"starter" house which we bought 50 years ago this year. Originally had 3 bedrooms, then we added on to become 4, and then made our living room bigger, so now we are back to 3! And with just 2 people living here, we are running out of space. But, then as quilters you all know why!

Where does this all come from? It seems I only buy as necessary but now people are giving me fabric and I have to give it away again!

I will start sharing my quilts with the readers soon. I am going to tell you some of the ways I make my "pretties" and some of the tricks I use. I don't win any prizes and they aren't all wonderful but I love them just the same, because they are my ideas!

So for now all I can do is hope that you will like them and come back, visit and comment, ask questions and enjoy!