And Yet, There’s More

More snow. Yes friends, Mid-Michigan is getting more snow today. This has been the snowiest winter I can remember having in years! And so freaking cold! I keep trying to think of warm days, sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine, listening to the birds, playing with my flowers. Ahhh, that’s better already!
Here’s another block for my Dear Sammy Jane quilt. This was an easy block to do… around and around, paper piecing with itty bitty pieces. I love the crisp orange with the beige! The block is G4- Shutter Bug, with 29 pieces.

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Sometimes the best plans go awry

My plans yesterday were to finish marking “Paper Lanterns” and put it on the frame. It is now marked, but not on the frame. I thought I had enough batting, but it turns out I am about a foot short in length. So today I will travel to JoAnn’s and get more. HEAVY SIGH. I think I’ll try that new bamboo batting. If you have used it, please comment below. It’s new to me!

So instead of starting to quilt, I did a cleaning of my sewing area. Lots of threads and little bits of fabric and such on the floor, so I grabbed my basement vaccuum. The belt was broken. Another HEAVY SIGH.

I opted to sew this little block (F12 Starburst) and then go upstairs and hand quilt.

Some days are just like that, aren’t they?

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Church Window – God is Watching!

This is F-8, Church Window, a paper-pieced block for my Dear Sammy Jane quilt. I started it on Saturday and finished it up tonight. I have now sewn 109 little blocks like this and 15 triangles for the border, a total of 2,499 little pieces of fabric.

I am getting ready to machine quilt another top, hopefully starting this weekend. I still have a little marking to do on the lanterns in my “Paper Lanterns” quilt, seen here.

This has been a wonderful week for the United States; with a new president and a renewed hope for the future, there have been many times I’ve been close to tears. I feel compelled to comment on a part of President Obama’s Inaugural speech that really touched me.

“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.”

“Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

I attended a community college part-time while I was still in high school. I was a music major, and participated in a few vocal music groups. One night after a concert, one of the guys in the group was gracious enough to give me a ride home when my car wouldn’t start. We’d developed a friendship, and he was a good friend going out of his way to help me out. Mom and Dad gave me a huge lecture when I got home; I wasn’t supposed to associate with him because of the color of his skin. I was SO angry!

When I went away to college, my parents were also horrified to learn that my roommate was African American. They insisted that I demand a different roommate. I’m happy to say, I refused to do so. Patty and I got along great; she was a year ahead of me, so I learned a lot about being at college from her. I enjoyed her friends, her sense of humor, and the long conversations we had into the wee hours of the night. Everytime I called home or went home for a weekend, I heard the lecture over and over. It angered me. These were my friends… and the beliefs of my parents were NOT held by me. This was the early 1970’s.

I was so proud of America on this Inauguration Day. Proud that we had moved past the racist ideas of our parents. Proud that we had come together as a country. Proud of our new President, that he ignored the plea of athiest groups and included scriptural references in his speech. God was present at this Inauguration, just as our forefathers had planned. I know that God was smiling down at our country, and saying “Well done, well done.” Our President is a Christian, eager to move our nation forward along the right path. I’m happy – no, I’m proud to be walking that path with him.

And he also said PATCHWORK. What a good man!!! Let the quilting begin! I challenge each quilter who reads this blog to make at least one donation quilt this year. It could be an Alzheimer quilt, a quilt for the Heartstrings Quilt Project, or one of any number of great charity quilt projects listed on Dana’s Quilting For Charity site. As quilters, let’s do our part to help keep America warm. Ready, set, STITCH!

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Poof – It’s Christmas Time!

Is Christmas sneaking up on you this year? It seems like just yesterday that it was Thanksgiving, and I was starting to think about the next holiday. Then POOF! Here it is, slightly over one week away. Where has the time gone?

I love this little bear. Dean got him for me years ago, and it’s one of my favorite Christmasy things to get out each year. Don’t you just want to cuddle on him?

A quick block to work on during the holidays or at any time is G-5 called… Poof! Seemed appropriate just looking at the title. A cute plaid fabric, a little POOF, and voila! You have your block done!
Have a great day!

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Hop on the Motorcycle – Or Not!

If you live where the climate is warm year ’round, having a motorcycle can be a really fun thing. Unfortunately, living in Michigan (USA) reduces your opportunity to enjoy anything that is best suited for warm times… swimming pools, motorcycles, playing golf, etc.

Because we have four seasons – which I absolutely love – it also means that SOME people have seasonal allergies. I am one of them. Every fall and spring, my allergies flare up and turn into the mother of all upper respitory infections. I’m on the down side of one right now, and it’s driving me nuts.

But, I managed to “hop on the motorcycle” by creating H5-Michael’s Motorcycle for my Dear Sammy Jane quilt.
Hope your weekend is a great one, wherever you live. I’ll leave you now while I go find more tissues.

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Autumn Aster

This is block F-9 Autumn Aster

You have to look carefully, as the color values are fairly close and the pattern doesn’t jump out at you. I appliqued this block, and it was enjoyable to sit and stitch on it. I usually struggle with the “melons” but this time they didn’t give me any trouble and actually cooperated with me.

Nice to sit and stitch on a cold, windy night, isn’t it?

Stay warm~

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100 Dear Jane Blocks

This is what 100 blocks and 13 triangles looks like!!! I started this quilt on Dec. 26th, 2007. This evening, I stitched block 100. I’m so excited… I might just finish this baby!

<– This is block K2 – Grandpa's Chickens… and SO easy!

The one below is F10 – Potholder.

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owl on our tummy

Jake and Samantha spent the weekend at our house. We had a GREAT time! We played, went to the Harvest Festival in downtown Flushing, read books, did a lot of sleeping (which was a good thing for Grammy), and went for McDonalds.

I’m not fast enough with the camera to grab a smile from Sammy, but I was able to photograph her technique for overcoming sore gums due to teething. She spent most of the weekend sticking her tongue out.

After a morning bath today, we got on our fresh diaper, and I pulled out a purple outfit from her suitcase for her to wear home. To my surprise, it had an OWL on the front. I love owls… wonder if that was planned or just a coincidence?

I sewed another Dear Jane block (E-9 Quilt Jail) when we returned home; but now I need something to do that doesn’t require movement or a brain. The television will probably get turned on… I’m exhausted!
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Kaleidoscope and Pincushion

This little block took awhile to piece, but I love how it turned out! It’s F2-Kaleidoscope for my Dear Jane quilt. It looks a little puckery here, but that’s only because of the way the scanner squished it to take its picture. It turned out so nice and flat.

Do these colors look familiar? They are left over from my Paper Lanterns quilt. I offered a giveaway after posting hints about the quilt, and JoAnne won this little pincushion.
I am amazed by the quilts produced by Diana of Diana’s Art Quilts. Visit her Etsy shop by clicking on the link, and then see her slide show here.

You should recognize this man… I just know you’ve seen him before!!! Can you believe this is a QUILT? She is also a member of the DESIGN STYLE GUIDE – INTERIOR DESIGN ETSY TEAM that I also belong to. Please check it out.

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Dear Jane Progress Report

A quick report on my Dear Jane progress. I’ve slowed down to focus on Jake’s quilt, but have tried to do a few blocks each week. Today, I did the block to the left, called “E-12 Mary Ruth’s Corset.” Fairly easy paper piece, but in thinking ahead, I wish the quilt fairies would come over some night and pick the paper pieces out of my finished blocks soon!

Below is a peek at the quilt thus far. I’m planning on putting cornerstones between the blocks in the sashing, probably in a deep maroon color.

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