I’m back…

My hubby reminded me this morning that I haven’t blogged in awhile. SORRY! Sometimes life just gets in the say. Here’s what’s been going on:

<-Remember this mess? THANKS to my wonderful hubby Dean, It has been greatly improved:

A nice “Lemon Pound Cake” paint, a new storage cupboard (doesn’t yet have the doors on it) and some cleaning and sorting yet to do, and I’m making headway. It’s still not a “finished” basement, but much improved and I’m liking it.

Critter Report
Our little pond has new life! This little froggy is probably one of the babies born last year here. His buddy, a new baby turtle, is camera-shy and wouldn’t let me take his photo yesterday despite several different attempts. The little fellow is about 1.5 inches in diameter and cute as can be.

Speaking of little things, I made a few little business card holders yesterday that ended up in my Etsy shop; here’s one of them.

That’s it for now… hope you have a GREAT week!

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Clumps of Color

I love the color that comes with spring and summer. The flowers, the leaves, the grass – everything about it screams color, and that makes me want to dive head-first into my stash of fabric and match it up.

We planted this little tree last summer… or the summer before that. I LOVE the huge clumps of flowers that it has this time of year. Aren’t they luscious?

For several years now, we haven’t had any buds on our Rhododendren. But this year – WOW! I’m feeling in a purple mood. How about you?

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Ahhh, A Great Morning With Sunshine and a Kittie

I LOVE mornings when the sun is shining! Even when there are no leaves outside, this time of year when the sun shines early in the day it gives me a feeling of hope. It’s March 14th. Where you are, there might be flowers and leaves and birds chirping. But in Michigan we are just starting to think those things just might be possibilities.
Yes, lots of hope!

I had hopes of sleeping in this morning. My usual “get-up-and-go” time is 5:45 AM. Today I “slept” until 7:30. Slept is not the right word, though. Dean nicely shut the bedroom door when he got up at 5 AM. But Stormie missed her mom, so she sat outside the door for what seemed like hours going MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!

You get the idea. She knew I was not a happy mommy, as when I got up she was nowhere to be found. Until I started crawling around looking in lower, hidden places. Like this.
Under the guest bed dust ruffle, on top of, and then behind the exercise mat.

Kitty Kids… you just have to love ’em.

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The Truth, Revealed

I visited Amanda Jean’s blog this morning while I drank my first cup of coffee. This is part of my morning ritual… coffee, read quilters’ blogs. Amanda Jean’s was the first blog entry I happened upon. I looked at it, read it, scratched my head, thought about it, read a few more blogs, then came back to hers. I was baffled. I still am. Before I go any further, please go read her blog entry so my story will make sense to you.

I will wait.

OK. I think by now you have looked at Amanda Jean’s “Stash.”

Amanda Jean makes some very beautiful quilts. She’s a talented lady!

But, in all honesty, (and I love you Amanda Jean), Amanda Jean could make many more quilts if she wasn’t so obsessive about folding her stash into neatly arranged 5 by 5 squares. I thought about this for a long while… ok, maybe only five minutes… but the question that popped into my mind is this:

Do most quilters spend so much freaking time

folding their stash into neat little squares?

It may be that I need a psychiatrist who can help me analyze my sewing area and habits and help me grow into a better, more “normal” quilter. Perhaps. So I’m asking my blog-o-sphere quilting friends to give me some honest feedback.

Your comments will be read without any negative reactions. (Yeah, right). On the first day of November, I will send a small part of my stash to a “randomly selected quilter” who has been brave enough to respond. Yes, this is a FREE GIVEAWAY. I will use a number generator to determine the “winner.” That person will receive “some stash.” It could be a little, it could be a lot. It will probably not be pressed or folded. But then, there is a chance that it will.

So, here is the state of MY stash. Please click on the photos to open them up and see the real, raw honesty portrayed here. Keep in mind, the sun is STILL not up, and I am on my second cup of coffee.

First, a view of my Quilting Studio.

OK, it’s the basement. There are no walls containing the studio. I call it “free range quilting.”

My stash is kept in several different places. We’ll say it “oozes” from one spot to the other. But in my defense, I know (mostly) where my stash is, and can find it in a moment’s notice after much digging and swearing. I’ll let you enlarge the photos and look around. If you can find the purple paisley fabric I bought recently, please let me know where it is. I want to use it.

Just so you know that this system of stash storage works (kinda), here is the little Dear Jane block I finished yesterday. It is F 7 – Star Struck, free at last.

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The Colors of Fall

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. In Michigan, you never know if the colors are going to be good; it depends on the weather. This year, the weather has cooperated, and colors are gorgeous, as you can see from these beautiful pictures of our yard that Dean took yesterday.

The first photo is looking out at our pond. It’s in our little fenced-in side yard. This time of year, the pond area really needs cleaning up. Looks a little scraggly.

The second pic is looking out over the naturalized portion of our back yard. We live in a subdivision on the very edge of town. We were the first to build here, and because of the beauty behind us, we chose to keep a portion of our yard natural. We like the wildlife, birds, our deer, etc. So we only have grass around the house out back. This picture shows why. It’s beautiful!!!
The third pic shows our pergola that Dean built some years ago, and our bird garden to the right of it. We get a LOT of birds, and this is where we have most of our feeders and our backyard birdbath. We can watch the birds from our windows and our deck (that you see peeking out of the left corner of the picture).
The fourth photo shows the very back of our yard, looking down the “deer trail” that goes down the hill to the creek. We own all of that, too. We call it “the flats.” It’s a pretty steep, narrow trail and the deer use it to go up and down the hill. They like to come up and eat the apples that fall from our ancient apple tree. Colors down there have just started to turn!
Here’s a quilt I made some years ago based on the colors of fall. You can’t see the small triangles, but there are different greens, golds, blues, rusts…
Fall is definately a big part of my color wheel no matter WHAT season we’re in.
Hope you are enjoying a beautiful fall, wherever you might be.

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Fall Colors are Beginning in Michigan

My favorite season is fall. I love the temperature, with the cool nights and fair days. I like the smell of the falling leaves, the colors in the trees and bushes, and the crispness of each step. I don’t think I would be happy living in a place that didn’t have a true fall.

I’m drawn to muted tones, and you will rarely see me make a quilt with a white or muslin background. I adore textures, and the one here is one of my favorites, called “Fossil Fern.” The burgandy colors in the flowers are similar to the color of the bushes that are in front of my house… deep, rich and yummy. This is the last little ten inch block for my sampler quilt. On to the border!
Hope you have a colorful, crisp and crunchy weekend!

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My favorite things


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of favorite things.
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on thir wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things!
When the dog bites, When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad
A few of MY favorite things… my needle box, given to me by Dean years ago.
My Grandma Ryan’s three-legged table from her house in Philadelphia.
My Great Grandpa Burton’s trunk that my dad gave me many years ago. It sat for quite a while in the attic of Dean’s shop until one year, he had it lovingly restored for me as a Christmas present. He even made a base for it to sit in, and it has a glass table top that fits the top so it can be used (if we want) as a coffee table. I love these favorite things!

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Hey Mom, What’re Those?

“Those are lotz bigger than the birdies, Mom.”

“Those are even bigger than the squirrels, Mom!”

“I don’t know, Stormie, let me look. Scoot over so I can see.”

“Hmmm… those are baby deer, Stormie! They’re eating our apples that fell off the tree!”

“Where’s their mommy, Mommy? Don’t they gotta have a mommy?”

I’m sure they do, Stormie. Just watch, she’ll probably come by.”

“When, Mommy, When? Can I go out and see them?”

“No, Stormie. You’re an indoor cat. You don’t go outside.” (Major pouting on the part of the cat…)

“Hey Stormie, there she is!!! Look! She was just over in the neighbor’s garden, eating their corn and tomatoes!”
Later that same day… in the quiet of the evening… Dear Jane block number I-8 “Pete’s Paintbox” is sewn. What a great day!

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A Front Porch Kind of Evening

We had a beautiful evening last night here in
Flushing, Michigan. I started the grill, then went out and watered the flowers, most of which are in pots scattered around the yard. I threw the chicken on the grill, hubby came home, and everything was perfect. Then the rain blew in out of nowhere! The chicken survived under the lid of the grill.

Actually, it was a beautiful evening, even with the rain. It was one of those great summer rains… a little thunder, a little lightening, then a peaceful, warm rain. The kind I used to love when I was a kid. I’d sit on the screened porch on the glider with a good book (sometimes two) on my lap. I loved to read on those kinds of evenings, listening to the rain come down and the thunder rumble. I’d get up and go outside when I knew there was a strong possibility of a rainbow.

Dean and I went outside last night and saw the beautiful rainbow off to the south. It was stunning! But I missed having a porch. My next house WILL have one. Maybe a partially covered deck, too, to protect my grill.
I love the American front porch. Do you have one? Please share your photos on your blog and post a comment below so we can all see! This is one in Selma, Alabama, USA. Selma is the second oldest city in Alabama (behind Mobile), and has the largest contiguous historic district. It is known for its Civil War and Civil Rights history.
I’d show you my front porch, but there isn’t room to sit on it. Not really a porch. Sad, sad me.

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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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