Windy Nights

It’s been very windy here in Mid-Michigan lately. Howling winds, dark nights… reminds me of my favorite poem by Robert Louis Stevenson called

“Windy Nights.”

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.
I made this quilt in 1987 in honor of Mr. Stevenson.
It’s not very large: 30 x 34 inches.
But it was a lot of fun to make, and I experimented with hand dyes for the mottled background.

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Soldiers, Sailors and a Rhodi

The last Dear Jane block I finished from earlier in the week. Not too bad… applique and piecing. It’s called C-11 Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Much better looking than the block I am fighting with right now, C-7 Megan’s Mountain Laurel. What a struggle that block is! I’m at the point where I’m about ready to put it on my rotary board and run over it about 20 times with my rotary cutter. Do you ever feel that way? ARGH! But it’s the last block I need to do for row c, and I want to get it done and move on to row d. Geesh!
The phrase of the day at work today seemed to be “Calm down, go to your happy place.” So ahhhh, now I’m at home and my rhododendron is in bloom. Isn’t the color fantastic?! I love these flowers, but this poor plant won’t seem to grow very much, and its losing its lower leaves. I’ve had it now for about six or seven years. I need a rhodi expert to give me some suggestions. Any takers?
Jake and Sammy are coming tomorrow to spend the night while their mommy and daddy go see Tom Petty. I think I will have more fun than they will!!! Really looking forward to their visit. Jake just turned four last week. Time to bring out the floor-size dinosaur puzzle I have hidden away!
Have a great weekend – I know I will!

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Memorial Day Sewing

We don’t go up north or usually plan anything special for the long Memorial Day weekend. It’s a nice weekend to hang around the house, do whatever we want to, play in the yard with the flowers, and for me, do some sewing. This first little block is C-12 Family Reunion. I know some families plan reunions for the Memorial Day weekend. We don’t.

Memorial Day is a day that was set aside to honor all the patriots who lost their lives serving and protecting the United States and her people. This block, C-10, is called Patriot’s Lantern. Quite fitting for today, don’t you think?

The last little block in the cute orange print is C-9, Jane’s Tears. I would imagine Jane shed quite a few tears when making her quilt in the time of the Civil War.
Richard Trevithick lost his life in the war in Iraq. Both he and his wife, Kristen, were former students at Gaines Elementary in Michigan, a school where I used to teach. I knew both Rich and his wife, who were both wonderful students from great families. Please click on Richard’s name and read about him and consider making a donation to the scholarship fund his family has created in his memory. Missing you, Richard.

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Chinese Coins, 1986

Back in the 80’s I hand dyed a lot of fabric. I haven’t done that in quite awhile, but I think this summer I’ll give it another go. This quilt, Chinese Coins, was made to show those fabrics. Everything here was hand dyed except the black.

Chinese Coins, 1986

Close-up of hand quilting

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What I Did On My Day Off

I took yesterday off from work, thus extending my long weekend. It was a sewing day, and I had a blast. I started turning this

into this

As you can see, still in progress.

I got up early this morning to do more work before I go get my haircut at 9:00. Stormie decided to watch me drink my coffee from her perch on the chair (on a string-pieced quilt from the 80’s).

Hope you have a great day!

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Brookside Creations: A New Venture

I’ve wanted my own quilting business for a very long time. That time is now. I’m starting small and will be growing bit by bit. I’m happy to announce that Brookside Creations was launched earlier this month. While I will be adding supplies for quilters and embroiderers gradually, I will also be creating and selling quilts. I’ve been impressed with the fiber art an quilts at The Artful Home, and am working toward quilts of this nature.

Brookside Creations will have a regular web page, not just a blog, but as I’m currently working on a new quilt and putting all my time into that, the website may be a month or so down the road. Please check out the blog page at and bookmark it so you can come back and visit again.

The blog you are reading, “Michigan Quilts,” will continue to stay current, so please don’t abandon it!

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I Need a Sewing Machine!

I’ve been using a Bernina Nova since I bought it new in 1978. It’s about time to get a new one, but there are SO many different kinds on the market, I don’t know what to buy. I want to be able to machine quilt, do embroidery and piecing. I’d like a longer-than-usual arm, and good space under it for rolling a quilt. Help me out! What do YOU use, and why do you like it? Please vote on the left side of the screen, and leave me a comment and tell me what you like and don’t like about your sewing machine.

I need help, friends. This is a major decision!

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Trilliums and House Tour, Continued

I hope you had a great weekend! I spent some time with my father on Saturday morning planting flowers on my grandparent’s graves. It is such a pretty cemetary in Davison, Michigan. Huge pine trees line the narrow dirt paths (some so narrow I didn’t think I’d be able to get my car through), and the cemetary is very, very old. My father’s cousin Burton was in the war with him. Unfortunately, Burton didn’t come back. His aircraft went down in the ocean. His grave and those of my grandparents and many other relatives are all resting near each other. Rest in peace, Cousin Burton!

Does it seem strange to post photos of a grave on a blog? I don’t think so! I rather enjoy walking through cemetaries, especially old ones. These are people from all walks of life, and they had families and people who loved them. While dad planted flowers Saturday, I picked up sticks and wiped off headstones that appeared to never be visited. Years of dirt and pine needles covered many of them. It’s a peaceful time to reflect and say a quiet prayer for those who went before me. Tombstones also have some interesting artwork that can be an inspiration for quilting!

I promised the rest of my house tour. Today: the dining room! One wall of our house is painted terracotta orange. Just the south wall! Hubby Dean made the table. The photos should enlarge if you click on them. See the grill getting heated up for dinner? It should be on the table in 30 minutes, so hurry!

You can see into the living room from the kitchen and dining area. Cat toys all over the place… Stormie has been busy!

One last picture… a white and purple terillium in my dad’s back yard. I didn’t think they came in purple!!! How pretty! They are a protected plant in Michigan.

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Patriot’s Lantern

Last night I paper pieced block C-10 Patriot’s Lantern for my Dear Jane quilt. Seems fitting, as Memorial Day is coming next week. Looks kind of squirrely here, but in person everything lines up just fine. I hate my scanner. Why can’t it scan a square so it LOOKS like a square? Geesh!

I’m off to work this morning, then tomorrow hoping for sunshine so Dad and I can go plant flowers on my grandparent’s graves. It’s too far for him to go alone, and it will be my responsibility far too soon, I’m afraid.


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Reading About OwlsThanks to my Blogland and Dear Jane friends for sharing their redwork patterns that include owls. I’ve loved owls since I was a little girl and heard them at camp. From way up in the trees, they called to me, and I would search and search for their little faces. Now, as Dean and I drive the roads of Michigan, I watch the treetops for owls. I get SO excited when I spot one! This is my first owl block; I added the words at the bottom. Curious little guys, aren’t they?


A blogger friend asked me to show a photo of my granddaughter Samantha. I can’t show her in her christening gown yet, because that isn’t until June 8th. Be patient, friends! This is Sammy when she was at our house 3 weeks ago. Now she smiles and coos!

I watched American Idol tonight with Dean. We both vote for David Cook. I like David Archuleta, but I think David Cook has more versatility. I think the girl is on her way out this week. Mark my words! 🙂 LOL There was a time in high school when I would have wanted to be on that stage. I was a vocal music major with high aspirations, but I guess musicals and operettas will have to be the highlight of my career as a singer. Ahhh, youth! Now, you couldn’t push me on that stage!!!