Sunday, September 30, 2012

FO for September

In spite of all the cleaning and painting I did in September, I did manage to get back in the sewing room for a few hours.  I started and finished the doll quilt for my partner, Judee, at Doll Quilter's Monthly

The leaf blocks are 1.5" with the overall size somewhere around 13 x 16.  

I also did a mini quilt for our quilt guild but I can't show that as we haven't had our big reveal yet.  I'll just tell you that my partner requested a winter theme.

I started making blocks in a new Block of the Week which started in September.  
I've made four blocks so far.  The first three went very well.  

I got up early this morning and did this week's block.  It's called New Jersey.

That one went well, too.  But, I couldn't for the life of me get last week's block together.  It's called Kansas Sunflower


I gave up on this and came up with my own.

I have to applique the stem and leaves on this.  All these blocks are 6 1/2 inch and very challenging.

Tomorrow morning I have to take Minnie to the vet for a little surgery to remove a pesky cyst.  It never heals and she keeps worrying about it.
She'll also have her teeth cleaned and any other humiliating procedures that need to be done while she sleeps.

Do you think she knows her food will be cut off at 6:00 tonight?

She's going to be one upset little pooch when she doesn't get her usual treats tonight.   We'll have a long talk about it later.  Minnie and I have some good conversations.  Well, I mostly do the talking and she does the listening.  

That's it for quilty projects.  I've been doing bear making and will show some of those in the days to come.  


Thursday, September 27, 2012

FMQ Challenge for September

It's time to post my September FMQ results.  This month's expert is Paula Reid and she gave us her insights on free motion quilting, tips on how to get started and her fluff & stuff technique.  She gave us a design to practice and I put it on an orphan  9-patch block.

 It's actually a very nice design for a 9 patch, don't you think?  I put the design on my sample FMQ quilt next.

 It really shows up nicely on plain blocks.  I used Don Linn's method of transferring the design onto the quilt.  He was the April expert and you can check out his method here.

Hard to believe there are only three lessons left and I have to say my sample quilt is looking mah-va-lus.

Thank you Sew Cal Gal and Paula Reid for all your encouragement and expertise on free motion quilting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Swaps, Giveaways and WIPs

Catching up on stuff..actually getting some bears sewn and the FMQ Challenge for September is ready to post.  First, I wanted to share the Doll Quilt Swap quilt I received from Judee in California.  She paid attention to my posts about liking sunflowers so she made me this.  

The center of the sunflower is embellished with beads.  She also sent me the cute little fall mug rug to the left of the quilt.  

I sent her a fall themed quilt of Minnesota's fall foliage and flying geese.

I won a giveaway from Sandi at A Legacy of Stitches a few weeks ago.  She had a subscription of Folk magazine to give away and I won the drawing.  The first issue came in the mail yesterday.

A glitzy magazine full of down-home articles, art, photos and recipes.  Check out their Facebook page at 

As for my WIPs, I joined a new Block of the Week group.  Yes, you read right..a block a week.  It's the Grandmother's Choice: Votes for Women group.  You can click on the button to the right or go here
to learn more.  The blocks are fun to do and referenced with BlockBase so templates can be easily adjusted to the size you wish to make.  The tutorials for the blocks are for a finished 8" block but, of course, I have to be different and make mine 6".  With BlockBase it's easy to do although a bit more challenging.  This week's block is the Sunflower block and the pieces get a bit small.

 I will be hand piecing this one.  I hope the blocks don't get any more challenging than this.

Okay, I think we're caught up for now.  I need to go outside and tackle the garden clean up.  We got a hard frost Saturday night so the tomato plants are done.  There are a lot of green tomatoes ready to ripen but the plants can go bye-bye.  We're having some gorgeous fall days in Minnesota but it's very dry.  No rain forcasted.  The box elder bugs are thick and those Asian beetles are swarming as well.  No pictures of those to share as they swarm around me as soon as I go out the door.  
Have a great day, everyone.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I spent yesterday afternoon attending my very first Powwow, or Wacipi (Wa-chee-pee in Dakota means dancers).  It is the Native American people's way of meeting together, join in dancing, singing, visiting and making new friends as well as renewing old friendships.  It is a celebration of the community and was held in Mankato, Minnesota this weekend.  This year was the 40th annual Wacipi honoring the 38 Dakota who were hanged in Mankato on December 26, 1862 bringing an end to the Dakota War of 1862.  To learn more of this event click here.  Not an event that Minnesotans are proud of.  

The Wacipi began in 1972 and is held the third full weekend in September at Dakota Wokiksuye Makoce (Land of Memories Park) in Mankato.

The arena is blessed before dancing and considered sacred ground and treated with respect.  The arena is treated as a church.  The MC specifies who is to enter and dance.

 The Wacipi begins with the Grand Entry of all the dancers entering the arena.  Leading the Grand Entry are the flag bearers.  These flags may include the eagle staffs of various tribes and families in attendance, the United States and Canadian flags, tribal flags, service flags and the POW flag.  Flags are usually carried by veterans.

 Following the flag bearers are other important guests of the Wacipi including tribal officers, elders and royalty.  Next in line are the men dancers followed by the women dancers, and then the children.

 These are the "Jingle Dancers" because of the beautiful jingle sounds coming from their regalia.  Dancers wear traditional regalia, not costumes.  Each dancer creates his or her own regalia through many hours of hard work with each component having historical, spiritual, and personal significance.
0ften items are passed from one generation to the next or gifted to friends or relatives.  Just feast your eyes on the next few images.

 If you ever get a chance to attend a Wacipi, I highly recommend it.  It will move your soul.  Now, I'm going to go sew.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Morning Bark

Hello Friends.
I've been caring for my sister most of the week so have been away from the computer.  I have a lot to share and will be back on the grid by Sunday, hopefully.  Have a good weekend everyone.  It's on the top of my list.

Wait, one more thing.  I have a third cousin who has discovered a quilt in perfect condition made during the Civil War by one of her ancestors.  She desperately needs to know the name of the quilt block in this quilt.  I haven't done any searching on this myself but thought I'd throw it out to my blog land friends just for fun.

  Any idea?  The center is bit hard to see but it's curved in the center and muslin pieces around that.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Miracle Solution

I've been angsting over how to move some of the big pieces of furniture in the area that I'm painting and cleaning.  Namely, Rog's man-cave.  His daughter and grandson are going to be taking a dresser and a hutch but now that it's harvest season, they can't get it for a few weeks.  Last night my friend Beth mentioned that her mom moves her furniture around with these plastic slidey things that she puts under the furniture feet.  So this morning I motored into the big town and visited Menards and this is what I found.

 You all probably know about these and use them but, as I mentioned before, I live in a hole.  These things are wonderful.  I was able to move this monster all by my own self.
 I had to use the 2-wheel dolly to pry the corners up so I could get those little hummers underneath but once that was done this beast slid happily where I wanted it.  This wardrobe will be used to store batting.  

I was also able to move this chest out of the bedroom.
 Rog built this many years ago and moved it in but I don't remember how he did it or who helped him.  I know it's heavy and at the time we were both younger and stronger.  So it's possible I helped but my back has no memory of that.  He also moved this in.
 This was his mothers and it is destined to go to his daughter.  I had to move it to get to the other wall so I could paint.   In summary, it was a good day.  I moved the furniture so I could clean the carpet in the bedroom and get at the wall I need to paint in the big room.  I'm doing my happy dance and my back has been saved.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Retreat Day

Saturday was a day of sewing for members of the Kindred Kwilters.  The weather was glorious and there was a lot of activities going on over the weekend.  AppleFest and Dozinky Days to name just two but 18 Kindred Kwilters felt compelled to spend the day just sewing together.

We all worked on our respective projects throughout the day and some of us didn't get much done at all.  Me, for one.  I was too busy flitting about taking pictures (but not enough, I found out later) and visiting.

Here are some pictures of those that actually made strides on their projects.

Pat is busy cutting something.

Bev is hot fixing crystals on her Christmas tree wall hanging.

Margaret is working on a fall table topper.  She also showed the cute fall picture she did with the little boy legs sticking out of a pile of leaves.

 Jan is sewing strips together for a quilt.

Dottie, our president, brought her Featherweight but I don't know what she was working on.  I didn't get that far.

Alyce was putting together a fall table runner.

Barb finished a block which I would call a figure eight ribbon but I'm sure there's a better name for it.

We also had a trunk show put on by Michelle at Quilter's Dream Quilt Shop.  I think she brought a sampling of everything she had in the shop.  Here she's demonstrating the ipad covers that can be made from a template. 

 A quick and easy project.  The template will make three sizes to fit the ipad, Kindle or Nook or a regular notebook.  She also sells those beautiful hand made baskets from Ghana that you see lined up behind her.  

I can't show what I worked on because I didn't get very far.  And I'm not so sure it's worth showing.  I think I have to improve upon the design a bit  before I show any of it.  We had a great day of sewing and visiting and I'm ready to do it again.

Cooler weather promised for this week.  I think it's time to start doing some yard clean up.  It's been so dry and most of the flowers are done.  I've started discarding some of the flower pots already.  Have a good week everyone.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Nearly a week since I last posted.  Is it because I have nothing to say?  Oh, when will that happen?  No, it's because I've been busy with the painting and cleaning of the other half of my house, i.e. lower level.  Two more walls have been painted and a portion of the floor has been cleaned.  I have to move furniture away, clean the carpet, wait for it to dry, then move furniture back.  Yesterday I did too much as my back is complaining so today I decided not to paint or move furniture.  Instead, I sorted and organized my paper craft suppliesSince it's hot and windy, I did three loads of laundry and hung them out and then the power went out in the neighborhood about 2:00 so it was hand sewing time.  

I received two things in the mail that was fun to get.  A doll quilt from my swap partner Andra in New Mexico.

 You can check out all the cute doll quilts at Doll Quilters Monthly or click on the Doll Quilt Swap gadget on the right side bar.  It's a fun group and new members are always welcome.  

I also won a giveaway from SewCalGal on her Fun Friday Giveaway.  The prize was the new DVD by Don Linn aka Mr. Quilt.


He was one of the experts a couple of months ago on the Free Motion Quilt Challenge.  For more info on that, click on the button on the right side bar.  I watched about half of it so far and it is excellent.  Thank you SewCalGal and Mr. Quilt.  

I'm off to a book club meeting tonight, my first.  We will be discussing Kris Radish's novel entitled Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral tonight.  I was hesitant about reading this with the timing of Rog's death but I'm glad I did.  It's a fabulous read and I highly recommend it.

Minnie wants me to get supper started so I best get to it.  Power is back on and the house is cooling once again.  A nasty hot, windy day in Minnesota.  It may be the last time I say that sentence for many months.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Finish

Yes, I said a finish.  Would you believe I actually have one bear finished?   My sister's jacket....

produced this little guy..or girl.

Black, shiny material is so hard to photograph.  I had to fiddle with the exposure so you could at least see the eyes.  One down and 22 to go.  I actually have another half sewn.  Obviously, my tectonic  plates are lined up and I'm hoping my life starts to balance out a bit.  My sister is safely tucked into a transitional care unit until she regains her strength.  She's had more problems but I'm not going to give all the sad details.  I visited with her today and she is slowly recovering.  Thank you for all the prayers.

I also finished painting the bedroom closet.  I've never painted a closet before and I never want to do another one like this.

Why the builder put two shelves in there I'll never know.  And, they were put in before the doorway walls were erected.  How else could 12 foot planks get in there?  Okay, the bedroom is painted.  Now I have to wait for Rog's grandson to come to take a dresser before I can tackle the floor cleaning.  In the meantime, I'll get another bear finished and paint another wall in the next room.  I'm also working on my swap partner's doll quilt.  That's my 5-7 a.m. project.  

The weather has finally turned cooler which makes outside work more enjoyable.  Plenty of that coming up in the next few weeks.  

A friend of mine sent me this and I will share:

Life is short,
time is fast, 
no replay,
no rewind, 
so enjoy
every moment
as it comes.

Have a great weekend.