Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just What A Quilter Wants

This adorable little girl is my great-niece (or is is grand-niece?). I made this quilt for her when she was born two years ago. (I wrote about it here on my other blog.) Her mama posted this picture today and told me that Lucy drags this quilt wherever she goes. She sleeps with it and drags it around the house with her.

And obviously, it's the perfect quilt to snuggle with while reading a good book!

It makes my quilter's heart happy to see someone (even a two year old!) loving and using a quilt I made for them. Thanks to Lucy's mama for posting the picture and letting me share it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Award Winning Hodgepodge Edition

Well, it seems as though I forgot about the blogging this past week. Oops. So here goes another edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1. Did you watch The Oscars? How many of the Best Picture nominees have you seen? (American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash)
I watched only the last hour or so of the Oscars. I was busy that night talking to my son on the phone, watching The Great British Bake off and of course I was very engrossed in Downton Abbey
I have seen The Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma. I loved Selma, but thought The Grand Budapest Hotel was strange.
Do you think actors should use their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to promote their political and/or social agenda?
No, I don't think the Oscars is not the place for an actor to promote their own agenda. It's an award show for movies, people!
Does that sort of speech make you more or less inclined to change the channel? 
It would probably make me mute the TV while they are speaking. That mute button is a wonderful thing.

2. Speaking of the movies... are you comfortable going to a movie alone? How about dinner in a restaurant (not fast food, but an actual restaurant)? The second half of this question was posed by Carrie who blogs over at It's Not Easy Being Queen. Thanks Carrie! 
I have gone to countless movies alone and it doesn't bother me at all. When my kids were little I saved my sanity by leaving the kids with dear Hubby and spending an evening out by myself. I would go shopping, see a movie and even eat out at a restaurant by  myself.  I haven't had a lot of friends in the last few years, so I will often eat lunch out by myself. I always make sure to have a book with me. :)
3. What's the last home repair or home improvement project you had to pay someone to complete? In hindsight was this a project you could have done yourself? 
I think the last time we hired someone to do a home repair was for the ice maker in our refrigerator. Totally worth it since neither of us have a clue how to do that. It will be interesting to see if we hire people to do home improvement projects in our new house. Over the years we have learned what we are capable of and what we just don't want to do. Would hiring someone to clean the house fall under the "home improvement" category? That is a dream of mine!
4. Have you ever had Indian food? Like it or no? If you're a fan, what's your favorite dish? Have you ever prepared this yourself at home? Is there an Indian restaurant in your current hometown? 
Yes, I've had Indian food. I like some of it. I'm not a huge fan of curry. My daughter made an Indian dish recently that I really liked. I can't remember the name of it, unfortunately. (Chicken Tikka Masala, maybe?) She also made my favorite Indian food -- Naan Bread! Yum!!! 
I haven't fixed Indian food at home. Maybe I need to branch out more in my cooking. I could at least make Naan Bread. :)
I'm sure there are many Indian restaurants here in our new town. We've been having fun checking out lots of new restaurants but haven't hit up an Indian one, yet.
5. A song that reminds you of your parents? 
I had to quickly message my sister to ask her the name since it was escaping me. 
Two years ago my parents took all four of us kids and our spouses on a wonderful cruise to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. It was such a God-blessed week we all spent together. My mom had a terrible stroke only 5 months after the cruise. 
Anyway, all ten of us crammed into my parents' cabin to give them cards and gifts and to talk and to sing a hymn sung at their wedding: Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us. I remember thinking that night how faithful God has been to them as they sought for Jesus to lead them and their family from the beginning of their marriage.

6. The 26th of February is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day. What's your favorite, or one of your favorite, fairy tales? Do you have any childhood memories associated with a particular fairy tale? 
I remember for my 10th birthday getting a record (yes, an LP record) of The Three Little Pigs. (Is that a fairy Tale? I guess I don't know what qualifies a Fairy Tale)  Anyway, I just remember playing it over and over on a little record player we had.  I don't think I would say it's my favorite Fairy Tale, but I remember how much liked being able to listen to it when I wanted and that it was mine. That's a big deal when you are the youngest of four. I remember listening to the record and eating some peanuts in the shell from my very own bag that some friends of the family gave me for my birthday.
That was bonus information since question was about Fairy Tales. You're welcome.
7. What's a problem you solved yesterday? 
Yesterday I was hunting for a hair salon that sells Aqauge Uplifting Foam, but not hang any luck. So my solution was to come home and order it on Amazon. The downside is I will have a few days of not using that amazing mousse that helps me along the paths of big southern hair, but at least I will get it next week. I'll just have to experiment with what products I have on hand until then.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last Saturday we wandered around town a good part of the day looking at furniture stores and appliance stores. We bought a washer and dryer, looked at a bazillion refrigerators and ordered a round table and four chairs for our breakfast room. I'm excited to see the table and chairs (in 10 weeks). We realized this is only the second table we have bought in our 30 years of marriage.
The whole refrigerator hunt is not going well. Consumer Reports rated Samsung as a good brand. A friend who works for a repair place said they are very hard to work on and not many people do. Grr. Then there's the whole debate of Side-By-Side compared to French Door. I had almost convinced myself that French Door was the way to go until I realized that most of them are probably too tall for the space in the new house. Any advice internets?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I'm joining up today with the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click on the button below to hop over to Joyce's blog to join up and read all the other participant's answers to this week's questions.

1. When did you last have to interact, either by phone or in person, with someone in a government run agency? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the experience? (10 being fabulous and 1 being pass the Tylenol)
In December, I went into the local post office in Smaller Town, Minnesota to inquire about how to stop, hold and forward our mail. We were leaving Minnesota, but had two weeks before we would be in our temporary apartment in South Carolina.  The postal employee gave me good instructions, but when I went back a couple of weeks later to hand them the paperwork, another employee was very confused and tried to give me different, more confusing, instructions. Oh the joy of a small town where no one moves in to or away from. I'd rate these experiences as a 3. We will again have to have our mail forwarded when we move into our house in the next month. I hope we don't totally loose stuff because of that. But what else can we do? My next interaction with government will be to get a driver's license and change the plates on our cars. I've heard rumblings that neither of these are simple processes.

2. The current governor of Wisconsin is considering a run for President next time around. Walker attended Marquette University, but never graduated. In terms of any candidate running for the office of President (not asking here if you agree or disagree with Scott Walker's politics) would the lack of a college degree influence your vote or no? Would that be a factor in your support of any candidate running for public office, even a role less weighty than President?
I do think someone running for a political office should have a college degree and it would influence my vote.

3. When did you last visit a place or site named for George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and what was that place or site?
Hmmmm..... we drove through Lincoln, Nebraska several years ago...

4. February 16th was President's Day in the US, but did you know it was also National Almond Day? I didn't think so :) Do you like almonds? If so, what's a food/dish/recipe you enjoy that contains almonds? 
I love almonds! I like to eat them as a snack. Jaarsma Bakery in Pella, Iowa makes the best pastries with almond paste. My all time favorite is these Dutch Letters:

My mom also made a dessert called Almond Cookie Cake. I'd include the recipe here, but being in the process of moving means I don't have access to my recipes and cookbooks right now.

5. The television program Saturday Night Live celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past weekend. Were/are you a fan of the show? If so what has been your favorite (or one of your favorite) skits, sayings, or characters that came out of the program?
I really liked the late 70s time period with Billy Murray, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, etc.  The Loud Family and the Coneheads were some of my favorites.

6. Anything purple within ten feet of you? What is it?
Since I am in a small one bedroom apartment, almost everything here is within 10 feet of me. ha. One purple thing is some eyeshadow that I use sparingly and not very often. Another is a pair of amethyst earrings.
7. Back in December I asked you to submit a question for a future HP as part of a giveaway I was hosting. I grabbed this one from those entries, submitted by Zoanna who blogs over at Penchant for Pens. Thanks Zoanna!
She asks, "How often do you make your bed, and how do you like to make it-pull the covers all the way up over the pillows, tuck the covers in around the pillows, or place all the pillows on top of the covers?" 
I like the idea of a made bed every day....but in reality, it doesn't happen. I'd say I make the bed anywhere from 2-4 times a week. I like to pull the quilt over the pillows and do a little tucking, then add the "pretty" pillows. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
These is a picture of my baby girl when she was nine days old. She will be having her first baby (a girl!) in less than a month! So exciting and so hard to comprehend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Weekend Review

A couple of posts ago I wrote that we were headed to the coast to my sister and brother-in-law's beach house  for Valentine's weekend. It turned out to be a very relaxing weekend and I'm so glad we went. We need to find a much better route, though. The last two hours of winding around on what seemed like back roads just was no fun. GPS was acting weird for us for some reason. When I entered the address of the beach house, it randomly changed it to a different address a mile on down the road. Frustrating.

Anyway.... I promised pictures:::

The view from the bedroom.

The house from the beach side. There is a pool at the bottom of the stairs that you can't see in this picture.

 When we have been there in the past, there have been over twenty family members there. The dining room, kitchen never looked like this:

The living room only had my Hubby (& me) in it. Notice the quilt hanging over the ottoman in the picture below. I never leave home without it. ha. I never had a security blanket when I was little, so I thought I should as a grown-up. I actually used it to snuggle under while we watched movies. It was chilly at the beach.

We enjoyed the quietness of  the weekend.

Saturday night we went for a walk on the beach as the sun was setting. It was romantic, but we didn't last long as it was super windy and quite chilly. I did manage a couple of shots of the seagulls and the sunset.

I admit to running at the seagulls to scare them into flight. ha. It gave Hubby a good laugh.

We even made an attempt at a selfie. We tried to get the sunset in the background, but obviously failed. You can tell by my hair that the wind was strong. I thought it was better to face this way rather than have the wind plaster my hair back. ha. Selfies are not for the faint of heart.

Me and my Valentine. He's been my Valentine for 32 years.

This beautiful piece of artwork hanging in the living room was made by my dad's friend, Pat. Pat and his family spent a week at the beach house last summer and this was his thanks to my sister and brother-in-law. Isn't it just stunning? What a talent!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Since September 6, 2013 I have been a witness to some remarkable friendships. That day is the day my mother had a severe stroke. That day is the day I began to watch my parents' friends step up and demonstrate what friends really are.

When that terrible stroke hit my mother, my dad and Mom's friend, Lois, were with her. As they were following the ambulance to the hospital, Lois was on her phone calling my dad's friend, Pat. Within a few minutes Pat was at the hospital by my dad's side and stayed until my sister arrived. The next day Pat brought sub sandwiches for all of us who were in the ICU waiting room. I was with my dad for the first week Mom was in the hospital. Every single day Pat came by and Lois came by. There were also visits from several friends they have been in a Bible study with for years. When Mom was finally able to move home five months later, those friends continued to visit and bring meals to their house. Pat came every Sunday afternoon to visit. He would great my mother with, "Hello, Beautiful", which always made her smile.

We got news today that Pat is now on hospice care for cancer that has metastasized.  My heart just aches for my dad. I ache for the hole that will be left when Pat is gone. Pat has been an encouragement for Dad. Pat has been a support for him. Pat has made my dad laugh. Pat has been a help to Dad. (Pat built a ramp in their garage for my mom's wheelchair.) Every Sunday, Pat is right there as my dad pulls up to the building and gets the wheelchair out of the back of the van for Dad, the footrests that are in the back seat and then will park the van for Dad.

Today I read this post by Sophie Hudson on Ann Voskamp's blog about what her mama taught her about friendships. At the end of her article, Sophie said:

Because in sincere, God-honoring friendships, you don’t compete - you serve.
You don’t push people down; you lift them up.
You encourage.
You esteem.
You honor.

I have watched Pat do all of these. My dad is blessed to have had a friendship like this. I have been blessed to witness this friendship.

I have thanked God many times for Pat and Lois and their loyal friendships with my parents. Many times I have asked God to bless them. Pat is ready to see Jesus and to see his wife (who passed away about 3 years ago).

I am praying for my dad as he grieves the loss of his friend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Limbo

Life lately has sorta been just hanging around in limbo here in South Carolina. We have a contingency contract on a house and are waiting for some details to get ironed out. If it all works out, then we close on the house March 19. That means another month of apartment life. If that doesn't scream limbo, then I don't know what does.

We continue to search for a church. Last week we managed to stumble into a church that was a bit lot too charismatic for us. When some of the people let out a scream or two during a worship song, we cringed. That came after the flag dancing and the announcement about prayer training in "Authority and Healing". We slipped out the back because we knew it wasn't for us. I guess you don't know what a church is like until you walk through the doors. God created all sorts of people.

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about what we should do for Valentine's Day and realized it came on a weekend and said to Hubby, "Want to go to the ocean for Valentine's weekend?" We both kinda giggled at the thought. It is so foreign for these life-long Mid-westerners to think that we can drive 3-4 hours and be at the Atlantic Ocean. Crazy! So we are off to Holden Beach, NC. Why there? My sister and brother-in-law have a house on the beach there and no one is using it right now. I know just the two of us will rattle around in that seven bedroom house, but we'll enjoy the view of the ocean! I'll make sure to take same pictures.

Speaking of pictures, Hubby says I need to post more pictures on here. He's right, of course, but I have gotten myself out of the habit of thinking about taking pictures for the purpose of blogging. I'm working on it, though.  Can I photograph almost 70 degree days in February? I wish I could. I'm just so glad to not have snow outside my door to photograph. So glad!

Well, that's the sparse news from Lake Wobegon. (Can I say that if I don't live in Minnesota anymore?)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Four Corner Jelly Roll Quilt

For some reason my laptop (where all my quilt pictures are) won't recognize the wi-fi in this lovely apartment, so I resorted to my tablet and was able to upload from Facebook one picture of this quilt. There are more on my computer, but sadly, technology isn't my friend tonight.

I found the pattern/directions for this quilt some where on Pinterest several years ago. It took me a while to look through my 489 pins (I might be slightly obsessed with quilting...) on my Quilts Board, but I finally found the link to the blog I got the instructions from. Click over to here for the directions.

(The term Jelly Roll refers to the precut fabric strip that are 2.5" by width-of-fabric. There are about 42 strips that are rolled up and I guess it looks like a jelly roll.) (I'm sure that's clear as mud....)

The directions were very clear and this quilt went together very quickly. I added the borders, but I am not overly thrilled how they turned out. I like the idea of the pieced borders, but it might look more balanced if they were longer. I used a charm pack (5 inch squares) and cut them in half. I guess by trying out new things helps me learn what works and what doesn't. No matter how pleased I am with the borders, I love the fabrics and it's a snuggly quilt!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Third T-Shirt Quilt

I have made t-shirt quilts for each of my kids. I don't remember where I first got the idea, but it was so fun to put these together and remember the younger ones that wore those t-shirts. Most of the t-shirts are from the kids' upper elementary, middle school and high school days.
Aren't my babies so adorable?

Last spring my daughter and son-in-law made a big move back to my son-in-law's family farm in Iowa. In the process of moving, my son-in-law came across a box of his t-shirts from his high school days and asked if I would make a quilt for him. I was tickled that he asked me!

I really like to make these quilts with all different size blocks. I see a lot of t-shirt quilts that have every block exactly the same size. I just love the randomness of the different sizes. My wonderful engineered-brained hubby puts the puzzle of all the different sizes together for me. Then I sew them together and fill in the empty spaces with "blank" pieces from the backs of the t-shirts.

I found a perfect red and black flannel fabric for the backing.

I feel like I get a  little better with each quilt.  I like the quilting on this one.  You can't really see in the photo, but I used a red and black variegated thread for the quilting.

I finished in time to give it to my son--in-law for his birthday in September.