Monday, March 31, 2008

Dreary Monday

Well, it's another dreary Monday - raining, but at least a little warmer today. However, I feel refreshed. We went to the Lancaster show this past weekend. I didn't buy too much - some threads (which seem to be my latest passion) and some cording that Bernina was demonstrating with their machine. And I bought a kit for a new bag, however they were sold out of the pattern and will ship it. I did love looking at all the quilts on display. I noticed how many were embellished with beading and crystals. The beads really made the quilts pop, and I found myself taking a closer look while saying, "Wow, what is that?". So yesterday I ordered Pat Sloan's book on beading and a few of her bead packs. I really need to check this out. DH was with me and it is so cool when he looks at quilt blocks and says, "Didn't you make that block?" He's a designer, and especially notices the geometrics of the quilts, but lately he's also been commenting on the colors. He finally admitted on Saturday that somehow any quilt with purple in it really appeals to him. Guess I better finish up the sampler quilt that I did with purples in it. Hope your Monday is a cheery one. Linda

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This morning I'm excited. Today DH is taking a couple hours vacation, and we are going to the Lancaster show. Got a reservation confirmed at our favorite Comfort Inn, and we'll go that far on Friday afternoon. Then we can get up Saturday AM, have a good breakfast at the Eat-N-Park across the road, and head for the show all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Don't have a lot on my wish list, but I'm sure I will find somethings to spend money on. Especially want to look for a couple of magazines that I hae missed. I love getting out of town even if it's just for one night. Have a great weekend! Linda

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Accidents

I used to watch a painter on PBS named Bob Ross. He always said that we don't make mistakes, we have "happy accidents". I guess that's what sort of happened to me yesterday. I've been working on an applique quilt about "Old McDonald" . He's in the center block along with the first line of the song. Top and bottom blocks of "Old McDonald" were simple blocks with "E-I-E-I-O" appliqued on them. On either side were four appliqued farm animals. Been working on it for a couple of weeks now. Finally yesterday I was able to start putting it together. All the blocks are flannel, and I found an adorable baby animal flannel to use for the sashing. So yesterday, I started putting the blocks together and discovered that my top and bottom center blocks had been cut at 22" instead of 15-1/2". When I went to cut them to proper size, I cut off the first and last letters. I was so frustrated, and just didn't have the patience to start over with the fused letters and new fabrics. So, I cut two blocks of the baby animal prints and put side borders on these blocks with the background color. I really think I like it better than when I had the E-I-E-I-O blocks there. I still have one side to sew on and will post a photo next week. It could have been a real disaster, but instead ended up being a "happy accident". Hoping any accidents you have today are happy ones. Linda

Hump Day, again

Wow, I completely missed Gratitude Tuesday yesterday. I'm just having a little trouble getting into the routine after that long weekend. But this is hump day, and we're trudging along to Friday. We had planned to go to the Lancaster show this weekend, but the weather doesn't sound very promising for running from building to building. So, we cancelled our reservation, but if we wake up on Saturday and it looks good, we may take off for the day. Lancaster is less than 5 hours from here, and DH and I have done some of our best dreaming and planning while riding in the car. DD Kristin went to school in Philadelphia - across the state from us and a six hour drive. We used to go out and back in the same day. At that time it was our CD player for background music-- now it's a Zune. How times change!

It's a very sad day here today. Last night we had to euthenize our chocolate lab, Gravy-Gravy. (Don't ask how he got his name) He was a member of our family for nearly 15 years, living with us for most of that time and then moving in with the twins shortly after they got their own place. He was a good dog, and loved to sing. He even learned to whine "I love you". He was great with the kids, and will be sorely missed.
Here's a photo of a quilt I made for DD Kristin (the vet) based on Ami Simms's "Puppus Doggus" pattern. Using stitching for eyebrows and winks gave each dog a little more personality. It was really a scrappy quilt, using dog bone flannel for the border and sashing. Have a good hump day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Monday

Our long Easter holiday has come to an end. DD Kristin called me Thursday AM to tell me she had been admitted to the hospital late Wednesday night with a rapid heartbeat. So DH was home part of the day on Thursday, Mary went to work late, and I had all three kids. Then on Thursday evening DSIL Jimmy (Mary's husband) came home with the news that he had been laid off. We colored eggs and baked Easter shaped cookies with the kids on Thursday evening. Kristin got released on Friday afternoon (the dr. forgot she was there until the nurses called him). Kris is OK, just exhausted and dehydrated. But she worked Saturday am. Rod and I finally got to shop on Friday evening. Wow that money really goes fast.

Yesterday we had brunch with all the kids and grandkids, even two of Kristin's stepkids ages 15 and 20). Then for dinner I made prime rib - my first time, and scalloped potatoes for Rod and I, my mom and the twins. Mary and her family came back after having dinner with Jimmy's family. The recipe I used for the prime rib was so simple and I didn't understand how the meat would have much flavor. But it was really good. It was a recipe from recipezaar.

I got almost nothing done as far as sewing goes, and spent most of Saturday am trying to put a quilt on my John Flynn frame. I think I could have pieced another top in the amount of time I spent. So, I have decided to machine quilt the quilts, and worry about the frame after the Saddle Up.

This morning I'm worried that I won't get all the quilts done, but can only do my best. Hope your holiday weekend was a good one. Bye for now. Lindabee

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Thursday

Well, the chicken lo mein was horrible! That recipe won't be in my permanent collection. It used both soy sauce and hosin sauce, and I think it was just too strong. So I ended eating a Wendy's classic single for dinner. One of the twins had a cheese omlet, and the other had peanut butter bread. DH ate it, which surprised me since he's not a big fan of Chinese food, and so did my Mom. I don't know if it's one of my meds, but sometimes food just doesn't taste good. Of course, anything sweet hits the mark, but I have to break that chain. So, I'm back to writing everything down and measuring my food just like I did when I was first diagnosed as being diabetic. My doctor calls it my "honeymoon". Guess it never hurts to have a second honeymoon. Linda

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hump Day

Yes, it's hump day, and aren't we glad! Today it's gloomy and rainy here and although tomorrow is the First Day of Spring, the weatherman is predicting "rain changing to snow" for tonight. AHHH!!! I'm so sick of snow I could scream -- oh I just did. If Bubby goes to preschool this am, I will have no kids this morning, and can try to get the sewing machine to smoke. I'm going to attempt to make Chicken Lo Mein for dinner tonight. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gratitude Tuesday

Today is Gratitude Tuesday, and I have a lot to be thankful for today. Bubby's day at clinic was great. He doesn't have to see Neuro-surgery or Orthopedics until next March. He sees Urology in September, but didn't see them this time. They recommended both Physical and Occupational Therapy as outpatient, and feel that he's ready for arm crutches. This is all really good news, and his EEG went fine. Thanks to all for their prayers. Don't forget to take a few minutes to think about what you're grateful for. Linda

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top o' the Morning to You. St. Patty's Day has arrived, and I have my corned beef and cabbage ready to go into the crockpot. My MIL was Irish, and always had corned beef on St. Patty's Day. When she could no longer cook, I took over the tradition and I'll never forget the tears in her eyes the first year that I took her corned beef dinner to her. So, here's to you Dee. I'm still doing it. I also found an Irish Soda bread recipe that sounds pretty easy. I've never made it, but will give it a shot today. Check it out at . Today DD Kristin works a 12-hour shift at the clinic (she's a vet), so I'll be preparing two meals and will send one home with her hubby when he picks up the baby. DD Mary will be at Spina Bifida clinic with Bubby, so she and her family will come her for dinner this evening. And to satisfy those who won't eat corned beef, I've picked up two frozen pizzas which will make them plenty happy.

Did you get alot accomplished this weekend? I finished 4 baby bibs on Friday night, and worked on Saturday on the bandana log cabin quilt. This quilt top has given me fits. First I ran out of fabric and had to order more. Then when it came I finished the blocks which were almost done. Saturday when I started to put them together, I found I was 2 blocks short. I'm sure they're here somewhere, but it was faster to make two more than it was to look for them. So finally the top is finished, and I'm really pleased with it. I'll post a picture probably tomorrow. Once the quilt top was done, I fused some pieces I had traced for the next quilt top onto the fabric and got them cut out ready to fuse onto the background blocks. And still I managed to get to the grocery store yesterday morning. So, for me it was a pretty lucrative weekend. I'm hoping to get a top onto my quilting frame one evening this week. Have a great day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meet my Bubby

Let me introduce you to two of my grandkids -- Krissy age 7 and Bubby age 4-1/2. Krissy is in first grade, and quite the little lady. She is really bright, and loves to play school. Bubby couldn't have asked for a better or more loving sister. Our Bubby was born with spina bifida and as my granny would say, "could charm the stink off a skunk" with those brown eyes. Twice a year Bubby visits the Spina Bifida Clinic at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh for his check-up. Normally I'm not worried, but this time is the exception. As the result of a brain stick by the surgeon who put his shunts in when he was a newborn, Bubby has a seizure disorder (along with some other problems). His seizures were under control for the past 18 months until last month. He has had 4 seizures in the last month, and they have increased his seizure meds, which seems to be doing the job. However, tomorrow he is scheduled for an EEG. The last time he had an EEG he ended up with an infection from the EEG leads. I'm concerned that this will happen again. Tomorrow's test will be a little different. DD Mary has to wake him tomorrow AM at 5:00 and keep him awake until his test at 11:00. I don't envy her this task. My DD is an extremely strong woman, and I do so admire her. Please if you have a few seconds in the next few hours, say a little prayer for Mary and Bubby. We know that prayer works -- that's how we still have Bubby. Thanks.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's Saturday

It's Saturday, and I'm dragging for some reason. A whole weekend to sew, and I sleep in until after 8 am. Then after breakfast and a shower, it's already 9:30 and I haven't sewn a stitch. Guess I'd better get cracking. Have a good day

Friday, March 14, 2008


Thank goodness it's Friday. It's been a long week, and I'm really looking forward to the sewing weekend that Pat Sloan is planning for those who follow her blog. However, since there's been a death in my family (which also happened just before the sewing weekend in September), I don't know how much sewing time I'll actually have. I'm hoping to finish up a log cabin quilt which I'm making with blue bandana fabrics. It's for a Saddle Up Trail Ride to benefit St. Jude's Children's research hospital in Memphis TN.

Each year I make and donate at least six quilts for our local Saddle Up Trail Ride. These are photos of the quilt tent from last year's ride, and a group of riders at the covered bridge in one of our local parks. I generally have donations from quilter friends , but this year have had no "givers". I think it must be the economy. My neighbor (and DD Kristin's FIL) sponsors our local ride, and we usually have over 100 riders and raise over $20,000 for St. Jude's research. The quilt auction raises only a small portion of that money, but every little bit helps. So far I have a cowboy boot applique quilt (my own design) and a jar quilt ready for quilting, and have several other quilts in the works. The Saddle Up is held the first Saturday in May, and is a family event for us. My twins (age 28) are right hand ladies to the coordinator and ride. DD Mary is on the registration and accounting committees, DD Kristin also helps out with registration. And DH Rod and both SIL's work traffic control. The Texas Roadhouse caters a BBQ for those riders who raise $50 or more. The day starts at 9:00 when registration. The ride leaves at 1:00 pm and riders are usually back by 4:00 pm. At this time, the BBQ is served and then door prizes are awarded. It's a fun day. For more information see their website at
How will you celebrate National Quilting Day? Will you make a charity quilt or a special project for you? Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I hope it's a good one for you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Black/White or Color

Last month I worked on a Log Cabin Quilt -- my first log cabin block. Pat Sloan had designed the quilt called "Log Cabin Insanity", and we had a weekend sew-in to help break up our cabin fever. I wanted to use fabrics from my stash, and chose to do my blocks with a white on-black and a black-on-white combination. The result was really stunning, and I can't wait to finish the quilt. I noticed yesterday while watching the boob tube with my grandkids that so many of the ads this spring are featuring black/white combinations in the fashions. Then others are featuring bright, bold colors. I'm ready for some bright colors, and am really loving the bright greens and oranges. Which do you prefer, brights or black/white?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No more snow, please

I live in a rural area of western PA about 25 miles from Pittsburgh. We've had a lot of snow this year - what the road crews call "nuisance snow" because it's a little for several days in a row. I'm so tired of snow, and was much excited yesterday as I saw my first robin of the season. Now, the robin's appearance is supposed to be a harbinger of spring, but this morning when I awoke -- you guessed it -- more snow. They say it will melt before the day is over, so one can hope. Temperatures for the weekend are supposed to be in the 40's so maybe spring will arrive someday soon. I dream of seeing the daffodils which line the fence along the front of our property in the spring. Even the pussy willow in the yard seems to still be in hibernation. I usually have an Easter Egg Hunt for my grandkids, and my great nieces and nephews. This year, however, I have cancelled it because I don't think it's fair to ask kids to dig through the snow for Easter eggs. Have a good "over the hump day".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday is Gratitude Day

It's Tuesday, and I'm still not used to the time change. I'm usually in the sewing room around 6:30 am, and I read my emails and favorite blogs before starting on that day's project. It's still dark nowat that time of the morning, but I have to admit I like having more daylight in the evening.

For those who don't know, I watch two of my grandkids during the day while their moms work. Bubby is 4-1/2, and has spina bifida. He's a real hoot, but doesn't walk independently yet. He uses a walker, and can scoot faster than I can walk (or so it seems). I also watch Izzy who's 5 months and just a beauty. They keep me hopping most of the day. Two days each week, I have Izzy from 8:30 am until 8:30 pm. Those days are really long. Today, however is a short day. I look forward to those.

Since I'm waiting for fabric to arrive so that I can finish the log cabin quilt I started over the weekend, I'll work on a couple of applique blocks that are in progress. Do you work on more than one project at a time?

Today is a gratitude day for me. I concentrate on those things in life that I'm thankful for. I do this on most Tuesdays. Today I'm thankful that spring is nearly here, that I have all my senses in tact and can hear the laughter of my grandkids and the singing of the birds outside my window. I'm always thankful for the fact that all four of my girls live within 5 minutes of me, and that I see each of them nearly every day. What are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sew Much to Do....

Seems to be the story of my life, but if it doesn't get done, I adopt Scarlett's attitude, "I'll think about it tomorrow."

I decided I needed a blog so DD Mary created one for me. I've made friends all over the US (and beyond) through quilting and thought this would be a great way to keep in touch with my cyber-friends and my IRL friends, too.

I'm wife to one, mom to four, and Grammy to three. I've done crafts most of my life and did craft shows for almost twenty years. Now I'm a stay-at-home-Grammy and my sewing is mostly for family and friends...and sometimes for me, too.

Quilting is my passion, but I also enjoy sewing. I've made purses, backpacks, Christmas stockings, and wallets. I made wedding gowns for my older two daughters, and for DD Mary's wedding I also made the dresses for the bridesmaids and flower girls. I made the dresses for the flower girls in DD Kristin's wedding, too. I made the christening gowns for my granddaughters, Krissy and Izzy, and made a little suit for grandson, Bubby.

I made this quilt for my Blue's Clues-loving grandson for his 4th birthday. I used coloring book pages and appliqued each block. It was one of his favorite presents and the only one he still uses six months after his birthday!

This is one that I made as part of online weekend quilting retreat with Pat Sloan's online quilting group. It was based on her Crooked Cabins book. Didn't think that I wanted to do this quilt, but never pass up an opportunity to learn something new, so I decided to give it a try with blocks and bee fabrics that I had on hand. Now it's one of my favorite quilts.

I enjoy cooking so you may see an occassional recipe here. Check back occasionally to see what's new.