Christmas is Coming!

Are you ready for Christmas? 
photoI still have some wrapping to do, but all my shopping is now complete.  Hooray! I was much more frugal this year than in the past, and I’m okay with that.  There comes a time when you just need to cut back, and this was the year.

Stormie helped her daddy open his birthday presents on December 11th…  something she really loves to do!  She loves pulling on the ribbon and wrapping herself up in it. 

Our Christmas tree is up.  I love looking at the ornaments we have collected through the years.  I have many that came from the AQS 1991American Quilter’s Society founders, Bill and Meredith Schroeder that I treasure.  They used to send them to their authors every holiday.  Here is a photo of one from 1991, front and back.  Isn’t it cute?  It’s made of wood and hand painted.  So cute!

Most evenings have been spent relaxing, snuggled up under this quilt that is still in progress.  Lots of hand quilting going into it, and I love how it looks.
photo 4

A little peek at it until next time…
Yes, keeping you in suspense!
We got a lot of snow over the weekend, and more is coming down right now.  It’s so pretty!  I love having snow for Christmas, and can’t imagine living in a warm climate where everything is green for the holiday. 
I hope everything is good in your “neck of the woods,” and that your Christmas is happy, healthy and Blessed.

A Happy Easter



What a beautiful Easter yesterday!  After church, we came back to the house and we all changed into our “play clothes.”  A good dinner, lots of laughter and plenty of time for playing.  Samantha had fun with Bumpa (AKA “The Woodworker”).


Jacob had fun playing with Uncle Loren…


And Aunt Margaret relaxed after a good game of Tag with the kids.

These two photos on the bottom come to you courtesy of Samantha, age 3, who learned how to use Grammy’s camera.  Not too bad, Samantha!

(Notice I managed to squeak in a quilt photo?)

Quilting Outside of the Box

What kind of quilter are you?

Do you always design and sew the same types of quilts? If your friends and family had to choose from any of the following descriptions, which style below would they say most sounds like you?

  • Country quilter
  • Scrappy quilter
  • Piecing only person
  • Applique only person
  • Bright, loud colors
  • Civil War style and colors
  • Funky art quilter
  • Intensely detailed quilter
  • Big picture quilter
  • Machine quilter
  • Hand quilter

Insidethebox My day job finds me behind a desk staring at a computer.  I am a proposal writer.  I do research in the medical field, and write 100+ page sales proposals.  I love what I do!  During the past two weeks I’ve been very stressed.  Instead of mailing the finished proposal to the intended company, I had to enter all 187 question responses into little squares on a website.   187 pre-determined little boxes that would each hold only 2000 characters.   Now, 2000 characters might seem like a lot.  But trust me, when you have a lot to say, 2000 characters is very limiting.  I don’t do well with restraints.

Sometimes other people put restraints on us.  Sometimes we put them on ourselves.  We do what we do because it is comfortable.  We couldn’t possibly do… anything else!  And why?  Is it the fear of the unknown?   The lack of belief in our abilities? No self-confidence? For whatever reason, we have put ourselves into a box, and we are stuck there.

I am working on a little quilt for an exhibit.  It’s coming along rather nicely, and I’m pushing myself to do things I haven’t tried before.  I’m making myself grow.  One little item on my quilt is about 3.5 inches wide.  I can’t tell you what it is yet, but I will show you:DSC03427

See those tiny little blue circles?   I had planned on doing those with applique.  Every little circle a tiny piece of needle-turned applique.   Applique is something I like to do.  But you have no idea how small those circles are! And then I thought to myself, THAT’S NUTS!  I can embroider those and they will look much better.  So I did.  I stepped out of the box.

We all have our own boxes.  Tomorrow is National Quilting Day.   It’s a day to visualize yourself stepping outside of the box.  It’s a great day to make a commitment to try something different.

This year, I am trying new things.  I’m using new colors, new kinds of fabrics (not all 100 percent cotton), new techniques (including paint and pastels) and new styles. 

Join me outside of the box.  Come on… you can do it!

Climb on out!

It only took one year

…but it’s finished. Last December while we were decorating the house for Christmas, Dean grabbed a long piece of red fabric to cover the beautiful table he made that sits in our living room. He wanted to put a collection of santas and such on the table, but not scratch it. He hinted pretty strongly that perhaps I could whip something up to go on the table NEXT year. This is next year. And whip I did!

I don’t know why the colors in the photo aren’t right… the big squares are a pretty burgandy and green and gold print. Here they look pink. The gold in the border is a metallic. The table is long and narrow, but I think this works quite well for the holidays. YIPPIE! It’s done, and it only took about four hours.
What have YOU made for the holidays?

It’s the Little Things…


Like a little snowman, given to you by a second grader


Or a snowman sitting on your mantle


Or a snowman sitting on a box of candy


Or a little car hanging on your tree


Or searching and searching only to find…


Your favorite mouse under the packages


Or an unexpected bouquet of flowers

It’s the little things that often mean the most

and put a huge smile on your face.

Thank you for the little things.

Can You See Me Now?


This big blob of snow, ice and rain is covering almost the entire state of Michigan. I’m under the blue part waving at you. Can you see me? The snow is coming down at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour. Everything around here is closed. Colleges, day care centers, airports… everything. I’m working from home today writing a large proposal. I can do that and stay off the roads. Life is good.

We went to a Christmas program last night that was put on by Jacob and Samantha’s school (really cool day care center). It was in an auditorium with a stage, and the kids did such a good job! Sammy was even on stage, being held by one of her “teachers” doing Jingle Bells. The toddlers all had bells and rattles, which they loved shaking.

Jacob was on with the Pre-Kindergartners, front and center. He knew just what to do, and followed directions to a T. That’s our boy!!! Singing “The Mitten Song”, Jake’s in the front row, black mittens right in the middle.Christmasprogram08

Sammy Sammy sat with us when she wasn’t on stage being adorable… either with Grandpa or with Daddy. This will be a really fun Christmas!


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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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

DSC02246What a relaxing day! We went to the early service at church this morning, then went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We spent a good part of the afternoon putting up our tree and decorations, which was fun. Dean is making something for dinner that is fabulously yummy (judging by the fragrance wafting in from the kitchen). I love it when he cooks! He’s a great cook!Wendell

Tonight, we’re going back to church for a concert by Wendel Werner. Wendel is an awesome pianist from the Tennessee area. He plays at our church just about every time he is out on tour. If he comes to your area, I highly recommend him! He’s so talented, funny, spiritual, and has a great voice. He was named “Composer of the Year” by the Tennessee Piano Teachers Association, and has several CD’s out. You can find them on his website. They make great gifts!!!

I hope your day has been as much fun as mine!

Have a hoot this week!

DSC02244 Caron (and Hootie)

Mish-Mash Mad Dash

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. It’s not like I didn’t want to… my laptop has been on the fritz and the WiFi won’t connect to anything. Looks like I have to mail it to HP, which I definately DON’T want to do, especially this time of year. Geesh! And, of course, it crashed the day my 11 day vacation began. Geesh again! Now I am relegated to sharing Dean’s computer, and not wanting to be a “puter hog,” I try to stay clear of it when he’s home from work.

We had the family over
for dinner at our house on Thanksgiving. It was a fun day, lots of laughter and cuddling. Grandson Jacob loves playing with his Uncle Loren (my youngest son), and Samantha was in a wonderfully playful mood. It’s hard to believe she’s old enough to crawl and pull herself up to stand at the furniture! 10 months old already. Time sure flies!

We woke up on December 1st to our first major snowstorm of the winter. It was very pretty, and all the area schools were closed, giving teachers, children and bus drivers an extra vacation day to add on to the Thanksgiving break. I love it when the snow clings to the trees! This morning when I got up, it looked like a sepia-tone photograph out my back window.

Awhile ago, I showed you this quilt in its early stage. Yesterday, it crawled onto my quilt frame, and today I’ll be working with Millie to begin the quilting process. Here’s Millie’s photo with her hugging the new quilt, officially titled “Simply Squarific.” It is a full-size quilt, approx. 84 by 96 inches.

I announced a Thanksgiving giveaway, and have selected a winner by random number generator.
The winner is…
Nihal of Istanbul! Her blog isn’t a quilt blog, but it is extremely interesting, and I’m happy to send her my book “Contemporary Quilts From Traditional Designs.” Nihal, please contact me so I can get your mailing address.

Now, I’m off to shower and go play with Millie. Have a wonderful day!

It’s coming!

Ahhhh, Turkey Day! The smell of cooking turkey, stuffing, potatoes, acorn squash… the setting of the table, anticipation of good food and time spent with relatives. I love Thanksgiving.

I especially love pumpkin pie with “dilly whip” (that’s what my family calls Cool Whip or whip cream). You see, as much as we love pumpkin pie, the pumpkin pie just serves as a medium for eating a ton of “dilly whip.” We eat mounds of it on Thanksgiving. I should just buy everyone their own container of Cool Whip and put that in front of them on Thanksgiving. Hmmmm. Maybe?

Another special treat we have is “cranberry sauce shaped like a can.” It’s a gourmet thing at our house. Maybe I should make a tutorial on this so you can share the fun!

Our bird is thawing… actually, we’re going to have one in the oven and one on the grill outside. Yummy!

What special things do you have for Thanksgiving?

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