Friday, December 30, 2016

Good Morning!

Yesterday, DH and I visited one of our favorite spots in the area.  Kline Creek is a living history farm dating back to the 1800's.  The wind was blowing, but, we ambled along the site saying hello to the chickens, horses and sheep.  Lets hope 2017 comes in as a lamb (picture of sheep as the lambs have not been born yet).

The battery in my iphone drained, hence, lack of more pics.  

Although I have more projects in mind than I can realistically handle, I think this daily stitching project is fairly realistic and should be a nice companion to my story cloth.  Here is the link: 

So many wonderful stitches out there to learn.  Anybody game?  

Blessings for your day!   

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Just a few pics to share of decorations.  

May each and every one of you and your loved ones be blessed this Christmas Season.  You are a blessing to me.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Sharing a few items

This is the start of my story cloth which runs from November 28, 2016, my 60th birthday and going forward to November 28, 2017.  Using Liz Ackerts's Patchplay method and Jude Hill's invisible/gluebastingtechnique  Also, the three white patches with birthday cake, balloon and streamers are designs from my Etsy friend, Mollie Johanson.  Mollie has a delightful blog and a terrific Etsy shop
I will be featuring more of Mollie's designs throughout the year. 

The hexagon mat and little red reindeer ornament were made last Christmas using patterns from Mollie.  

These wee wool mittens are from my Etsy friend, Tammy Volk.  I have been purchasing a mitten from her each year for awhile now as she attaches a "year disc" to the backside.  They are so sweet. Tammy's Etsy shop is

Here is a pic of some of the strawberry pinkeeps which I collect.  Most of them are handmade by my Etsy friend, Liz D., - her shop is filled with treasures.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Great Expectations...

Not the book.  Not the movie.  Great Expectations of the holiday season which I struggle with each year.

Self imposed, familial, social.  Although I have always loved Christmas and, as an adult, became more and more aware of the Reason for the Season, the "struggle"  lies within.

Yes, I realize that I cannot please everyone.  Ha!  It is the time for families to draw near.  Unfortunately, its not always Currier and Ives or Norman Rockwell, is it?  I tell myself, its two days out of the year to grin and bear it  Expectations!  More considerations.  More "zip my lip."  I am far from perfect.  Expectations...

No doubt, others feel this way when including me in their plans.  Ho Ho Ho!

So, here is my little sunshine patch from Jude Hill's shop, using / technique for face details.  As many times as I have looked at his face, I cannot quite define the expression.

Today, I think he is pondering about Expectations.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Good Morning From BRRRRRRRRRRR IL...

 Will finish posting pics from vacation here today.  Texas was quite an adventure.  Wished we had more time to explore further West to see prairie lands.  Next trip!

First, please excuse the quality of the pics!  The first is the Alamo in San Antonio.  No inside photography permitted.  The second is a fish pond (more like a canal) located on the Alamo grounds. These fish were huge!  Note to self:  learn how to take selfies!  DH was trying to scrunch down to give room to the Alamo in the background.  Don't you like the Lone Star Flag protruding from my head?!

Took a boat ride through the San Antonio Riverwalk.  Lovely place.

If you are familiar with the "Fixer Upper" series on HGTV, you will recognize the Magnolia Silos.  Fun place.  Would like to spend more time in that area.

We also visited a Texas Military Museum (good choice for a very rainy day) - I only took one pic (see below):

Can you guess why I took this pic?  The moment I saw it, Jude Hill's mending came to mind

A true highlight of this road trip was meeting a Kindred Spirit  Since we did not know exactly where we would be on any given day, an e-mail was sent to Liz the night before we met.  It was meant to be!  So grateful we had the chance to break bread together before we continued on the journey.  What a true pleasure to have actually seen and felt Liz's story cloths.  She also graciously bestowed a heartfelt token which will be treasured: (pics of front and back sides).

From Texas, we started heading home through OK, MO and IL as your's truly developed a sinus infection.  Just grateful the the malady manifested itself on the flip side of the trip.

Later or tomorrow, postings will return to "stitchy things."

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Good Son Day Morning!

The snow is falling here.  Appropriate time to show more warm weather pics from the trip.

We were traveling the day of my birthday (November 28).  Originally, we had planned on spending a few hours in New Orleans; however, after hearing about a shooting around the French Quarter that day or the day before, we decided to have our treat of Beignet and Chickory Coffee au Lait at a satellite Cafedumonde near the motel we stayed at outside of NOLA

Nice drive along the Gulf Coast through FL, MS and then, on to LA.  Although I don't recall the name of the restaurant and the food was marginal, dining along the coast was nice.  

The quilt blocks were at a "comfort stop" along the way through Louisiana.  The bear sign and Hot Pepper Express train were at the McIlhenney Tabasco Museum on Avery Island  Was so surprised to see quite a few signs throughout LA for bears.

Next post, Texas, pardners.
Blessings to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Seventeen Days, Sixteen Nights and 3,143 miles...

DH and I returned a few days ago from an extended road trip.  When we started out, we had a sketchy idea of how long we would be away from home and several ideas as to which direction we would head.  

The first six days of the trip were spent in Pensacola FL, where we celebrated Thanksgiving with DH's Aunt A.  Lots of eating, sitting, visiting, eating, sitting...well, you get the picture.  While in Pensacola, we visited a favorite antique mall milesantiquemall.  Purchased a few odds and ends.  Oh, by the way, we did have lunch at a favorite spot in Pensacola (wonderful Grouper and smoked gouda grits)  Here are pics of the Christmas tree outside the restaurant:

Six days flew by before we knew it.  On Nov 28, my 60th birthday, we headed west.  More to share in next post.  
Snow predicted here in IL - possibly 2-8 inches depending on path.  That is 2-8 inches more than we want.  Gratefully, we did not have to deal with snow or inclement weather while on the road.  Blessings for sure.

Bless you all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Good Morning!

Looking back at some older pictures, I came across one from a visit to a museum in South Carolina in 2014. This is a shawl with a Paisley border, probably from Europe, 1800's.

Until a few years ago, I did not even realize that I had acquired a varied assortment of items bearing the Paisley design.  It was one of the "ah ha" moments.  Purses, shirts, fabric...Paisley.  Now that I am aware of the attraction, I am drawn to it even more.

So, how does that happen?  What part of our brain or what influence triggers us to gravitate towards certain patterns, designs, colors?  Experiences?  Generational or ethnic traditions?  These shawls have a history of being made in Scotland.  I do have Scottish ancestry.

The more I interact with textiles, I grow more aware of a kinship, a "oneness" with the fibers.  Threads are not just "string."  Rthymic flow of thread through fabric.  Peaks and valleys as the needle enters and exits, like our lives.  We are the thread winding our way through life's paths.  Connecting with other souls, some, joining with us as the journey continues.

Maybe, Paisley is contained wanderings.  A journey experienced and, then, contained.

I am happy to be contained with the people I have come to know on this journey.  Have a blessed day friends.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Good Morning!

Thought I would share this pic with you taken while DH and I were out on this past Sunday.  My first attempt at blocking out details in a pic before posting.  The blocked items were political posters.  Nuff said...

Isn't this a neat quilt block?

Currently under my needle (literally) is an overdue project for my Mom-in-law.  Will post pics when it is completed.  I want to surprise her.

Today also marks the 15th anniversary of my own Mom's passing.  Hard to believe it is that long already.  My Dad, 30 years this past June.  Where did all that time go?  On occasion, I wonder what those who have gone before us would say about current events, technology, etc.,.  Probably no different in some respects to the changing of ages throughout history.  Each generation has no doubt shook their heads over "crazes."

I miss my Mom and my Dad.  They were good people.  Hard working.  Old fashioned family values and morals.  Mom worked in her earlier years at various jobs, then, after having children, became a full-time homemaker.  Dad was a tool and die maker and all around handyman.

Mom taught me needlework skills for which I will always be grateful.  I did take some courses here and there, but, the foundation began as a little girl watching my Mom sew, crochet and knit.  Fortunately, Mom was still able to crochet almost up to the end of her life (age 85).  She had crocheted many afghans of various sizes.  The surplus was donated to a local charity.

Well, friends, have a good day.  Blessings.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Ceramic pumpkin light was a gift from dear friends.  Wool mat beneath was made by me a few years ago.  Love pumpkins, to the point, that some decor stays out all year round.  My feeling on "favorite things" is to display them no matter the season.  Just to let you know, however, the Christmas tree is an annual event!

Stay safe.  Enjoy and save all your extra candy for me (just kidding!).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Hope today finds you and yours well.

Today, I finished my quilt top from  Lori's Madder Quilt SAL.  Here is a picture of the top, which has a few boo boos; however, I am OK with the boo boos.  Really lending itself to the homemade - make do approach!  While I was ironing the top, I thought to myself, each item I make is one more lesson in how to improve or accept the outcome.

My husband is very supportive of my hobbies, thank you Frank!  He reminds me every so often that this is something to be enjoyed; not a chore.

One of my other favorite past times is reading mysteries.  My dear friend, Liz D, has introduced me to a number of great series.  Today, I will start reading the most recent installment  Sheila Connolly's Orchard Series.  The title of this book is "Seeds of Deception."  Nearly finished with Ann Cleeves  Vera Stanhope Series, most recent book "Moth Catcher."

Does anyone else find that in reading books in series, you become familiar with characters who are a constant in each installment, then, missing them when the series is awaiting the next installment or has reached its final chapter?  I hope I'm not alone!  There are other series which I will comment on going forward.

It's a beautiful Autumn day here in Illinois.  Chilly at 50, a bit windy, but, sunny.  I will gladly take this weather.

Have a great day.  Be well.  Be happy.  Be safe.  Blessings from my threads to yours.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy Saturday!

Hope this finds you all well.

Today, I am sharing two works in progress.  The first one is  Maggie Bonanomi's "Turkey Lurkey" piece nearly finished last year.  Not sure if it will be a pillow or a wall hanging?  Maggie has great designs and patterns.  Have most of her books.  Love her work and style.

The second piece is my own creation titled "It Takes A Village."  Started with weaving strips of fabric ala Jude Hill , adding Sari remnants and various embellishments collected over the years.  Eventually, I want to add trees, flowers and pottery?  

This abstract style of artwork is so new to me.  For years, I have been sewing pieces and quilts which had a distinct form.  Quilt blocks which followed a set pattern.  Measured and cut with rulers and rotary cutters.  To  tear the fabric or cut with abandon is so foreign to me.  BUT, I want to learn this style.  Almost like dipping your toe into a pool of water and then shrugging and diving in.   

While I still love the traditional style of sewing quilts and follow numerous designers, some of whom have become good friends, I find myself spending time on line with the Artists who dance to a different drum.  Checking out books from the local Library to study different techniques, watching tutorials.  Then, I pick up a pad of paper and a pencil and I start drawing and erasing and erasing...

Maybe I should stick with "things" instead of people!  Have a good, creative day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Good Morning,

This morning, my husband and I attended a funeral Mass for a lady whom we never met.  Let me preface the following by stating that neither of us did this to win accolades.  The Pastor sent an e-mail to the congregation explaining that Mary, age 87, died with only one surviving relative, a cousin, who was unable to attend the service.  Nothing more was known about Mary, other than that Mary's Mother was buried from this same Church 12 years ago (the only connection spoken of).  My husband and I felt sorry for this woman, bringing to light that, this could very well be us one day.

When the priest began Mass, he thanked the attendees, perhaps thirty in total, for coming to celebrate her life and journey to the Lord.  It gave dignity to this woman.  She was not forgotten.  All that attended were considered brothers and sisters.  We belong to each other in some form.

Mary was cremated.  At the end of the Mass, the congregation filed alongside the baptismal font, making a sign of the Cross over the beautiful, wooden box which held Mary's ashes.

I am so glad that my husband and I attended.  We were "called" to walk beside Mary along this path of her life.  We hope to meet her someday. God Bless You Mary.

May you all be blessed today and always.  Treasure who you have.  I have come to call you, my fellow bloggers,  friends.  Even though I have never met most of you face-to-face (yet!), I have come to know your hearts.  You continue to share your time, talent and treasure.  I am happy to call you friend.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Good Sunday Morning!

Hope this finds you and yours well.  I have two works in progress to share today:

The first one showcases the hand dyed fabric patches recently purchased from Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth.  This is my attempt at joining in for her SunMoonStars project.  Over the past few days, I used Jude's glue baste method to prepare the patches for joining.  All patches were whip stitched together using a single strand of medium/dark gray DMC floss.  Eventually, I will add embellishments.  The patch packets from Jude sell quickly.  What attracted me the most about this particular packet (Cosmos #22) was the center Moon.  The texture of the fabric and the color of the Moon.  Although green is my ultimate favorite color, more and more I find myself leaning towards gray.  Maybe its because I am sprouting more gray hairs on my head?!  Love gray hair.
 This next piece is my own concoction of the nine patch with practice stitching and embellishing.  Again, a Jude inspired creation.  The blue patch with stars is actually pre-printed fabric.  Just seemed to fit in with the theme.  "Good Morning, Mr. Sunshine, you brighten up my days..."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Maiden Voyage In Blog World!

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for stopping by.  This is my first blog, so, please bear with me as I stumble and fumble my way through!  Please feel free to offer suggestions, ideas and tools-of-the-trade to get me started in the right direction.

Here is what is "under the needle."
A work in progress from Lori (Humble Quilts) Madder SAL.

As with most quilters and needle workers, there are countless works in progress.  More to show at a later date.