Sunday, November 26, 2006

Something finished, yea!

I finished quilting the Fancy Grandmother's Flower Garden! I wanted it finished before Thanksgiving, so I could show my MIL that I had it done, I didn't make it, but I was close. She gave me another of Grandma Glenn's quilt tops (she was my DH's grandmother). I got to pick from a few, and the one I picked is similar to the one I picked last year, except that this one is a traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden.

I love patchwork and especially in vintage fabrics. Patchwork was not Grandma Glenn's favorite, probably the reason that these weren't ever quilted, but the family sure seems to enjoy them, when I picked this top my MIL & SIL were saying; "Mom had an apron made from that print that she wore all the time", "Do you remember that dress Grandma had that was from the fabric in that block?", "She made me a blouse from that fabric!". It makes me wish I'd saved my kid's favorite clothes as they were growing up and made them each a quilt, I love that when people have such a connection to a quilt. I'm going to wait a while to quilt this one, though, enough hexagons for a while! I do love it though, I can't imagine what it was that Grandma Glenn found less desirable about patchwork quilts. Maybe because her family was poor when she was growing up. Being able to go out and buy nice fabrics to make any quilt she wanted might have seemed preferable to her, since people with less resources used to make patchwork quilts more often than not because they didn't have the option to go out and buy any fabric they wanted. Just a guess, she never said.
I'm working on another UFO now, I should be able to get it done before Christmas. It's a candlewicked & embroidered Christmas tree skirt. I found the kit at a yard sale, partly done, and thought I'd sell it on eBay or something. I ended up working on it myself (don't ask how many years I had it!) and then last year my old tree skirt finally fell apart so I made myself finish it. I'm just doing some large curls in hand quilting to hold this together, I don't think the design needs a lot of quilting, just enough to hold it together. I really need to get this done quickly as I want to make some Christmas presents. I love working on things like this at this time of year, it really gets me in the mood for the holidays. My kids used to tease me for starting to listen to Christmas music in October, but if feel like the holidays fly by too fast, I like to enjoy the feeling for as long as I can!
This is another little item I just finished. I'm exchanging some cards with some other quilters that I met on-line, this one is going to Australia! It's fun working on fabric postcards, I get to play around with a lot of different fabrics, as well as using beads, embroidery floss (you can't see it, but some of the stars are shiny, made of some cool metallic floss I found, as is the wreath on the door) and I even got to use fairy dust on this project.
This Christmas will probably be kind of a bummer for me, my sons can't come home from California because of their jobs, and my daughter & her husband are going to visit their grandparents in Florida. We're going to celebrate Christmas in January when my daughter & SIL get back home. I'm going to look at the bright side, this way the season will be stretched out a bit, so that after-Christmas slump will start a bit later!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Galena- woohoo!

This is the Farmer's Guest House, where we're staying on our weekend in Galena, Illinois. It was built in 1867, apparently so-named because the farmers used to stay here when they visited town for business in the old days.
It's a pretty awesome town, I must say. So many beautiful old houses and buildings that it's amazing. Where we live most of the old towns burnt to the ground once or twice. They'd get started and usually take out the whole block or the whole town because they didn't have a good way to deal with the fire back then.

This town somehow escaped that, but they did have their own problems since they're on the Mississippi river and have been flooded over the years. Now they have big berms along the river's edge and huge flood gates that they can close when the water gets too high, I was shocked to see that, I'd never seen such a thing before. The town was bigger than Chicago in the mid-1800s, but from what I've read things went bad in the lead mining industry when lead was found to be dangerous (The town is named for galena, an ore of lead).
This is our room. It's so nice, the owners have decorated it so nicely, right down to the small details. The green cupboard holds a cute collection of little shoes. They go all out on their Christmas decorating, it's really a charming place. We've never stayed at a B&B, I thought it might be a little uncomfortable staying in someone's house, but Kathie & Jess & Charlie are really nice and made us feel very welcome.
Talk about a mile of bad road, can you imagine trying to get your horse and carriage up this hill? This is blocked off so it can't actually be driven on, but it sure gives you an idea of how different life was back then. We were told that about 100 years ago the town flooded up to the second story of the buildings downtown, I hope to go to the museum tomorrow and get a book about the history of the town, it seems like a really intersting place.

Oh yeah, there is a quilt store here, but nothing really special. I was disappointed that a lot of the shops sell 'stuff', you know what I mean, just junk that you can get anywhere. Or just junk. But there are so many shops here, and some are wonderful. They have an awesome store for knitters, I don't knit but I wanted to start after going there. They also have a wonderful bead store that I could have spent the whole day in. And FOOD, yikes, good thing we we're walking a LOT. Did I mention that they make their own wine here, too? I rarely drink because of my diabetes, but DH gives his approval. Okay, I'm done going on about it for now, but can you tell that I'm having a good time? *grin*

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Day!

Tomorrow's my birthday! Sorry, no big surprise party or anything. DH is taking me away (to Illinois- woohoo!). This is finally the Galena weekend. I'd seen some article about the town a long time ago, one of those places with the old brick buildings and lots of cute shops. Also a good break for my husband who works too hard and is feeling real tired. I have to drag him away to get him to rest. I'm serious, his company already asked him to work Sunday! Luckily it's my birthday weekend so I can say NO! Sometimes it pays to have an ornery wife you can blame things on.......

Since I don't have any new quilt pics of my own to show you, here's a cute quilt that I saw hanging in Shipshewana. It was right outside the fabric store so I went in to ask about the pattern, but they didn't have it, it was from an old book (If it was my store I'd have a quilt up there that I had lots of patterns for). The lady very kindly called someone who knew, and found out it's from Christmas or Not by Gerry Kimmel, Linda Brannock & Jan Patek. And I actually found a copy at a used book store on-line. It's really cute, looks even better in person. Sorry about the crooked pic, that's just something I do lately....who knows why.....maybe it's something that happens about the time you turn 50.

It's raining again today, it rained most of the night and everything is soggy and muddy. We just didn't get a very nice fall season this year, and I'm wondering if all this rain means we'll have a lot of snow this winter. Do you ever wake up in the morning and just for a moment think it's early spring or summer and then realize it's actually winter? Eh, it's probably just me that does that. I hate that moment of realization, not that I despise winter or anything, but there's something magical about early spring when everything is coming to life, the air has that certain sweet smell, all that beauty is just getting ready to blossom. I envy bears.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quilts of course

What a day! It was about 60 degrees today, maybe a little warmer. So beautiful, I wish is would stay like this for a month or so!
I don't have any new projects to share (I'm still hand quilting the Grandmother's Flower Garden), so I thought I'd show you some old quilts I have. This was made by my husband's grandmother (Marie Glenn). I believe the pattern is called Nosegay. She made such beautiful quilts, and her hand quilting was so neat and small. I believe this is the first quilt we got from her, she didn't care for this one too much, she wasn't real excited about scrap quilts and this was an old top she'd done in the 50s, so she seemed a little confused by my choice, but I LOVE this quilt.

This Ocean Wave quilt was in Grandma Glenn's house, I'm pretty sure she made it, but she didn't sign or label her quilts, so I can't be positive. This one was under a mattress, and it's in really bad shape, very faded, the edges are just torn apart. It must have been special to her to keep it despite it's condition.

This indigo quilt was from my Grandpa's family. Grandpa Pete was born in 1891, and I'm sure this belonged to his parents or he wouldn't have kept it.
He never showed this to us when he was living, and didn't talk about his family, so I don't know the story on it. There are some great old fabrics here and I love the look of the indigo blue.
Lastly is a picture of my new quilt hanger, I've wanted one of these forever. We bought this at Lolly's in Shipshewana on our last visit there. Looks like I need to get a bigger quilt done!
I wanted to mention something helpful that I learned just in case you've had the same problem. Sometimes I can only get blogger to upload 3 pictures or so, then it will tell me the pic uploaded, but it's not there. I read on someone's blog to just take the html from one of the other pics you've uploaded, and just replace the name of the picture file with the name of the one that didn't show up. And it WORKED!Hooray!

Monday, November 06, 2006


I'm such a homebody these days, I used to love to get on the highway and go somewhere from time to time, but now I almost always find that I'm wishing I was back home. Things sure didn't turn out as I thought they would. Our family was always close, but in the last few years things have really changed. My folks moved to Florida and don't want to travel back to MI, so we don't see them too often. My oldest son and his wife are in Seattle, and my youngest son is in San Mateo, CA.
My husband and I don't like the city much, we moved out to the boonies (well, it was then, now everybody wants to live here) so that we could raise the kids in the country. Never thought they'd end up liking big city life so much. Fortunately my daughter and her husband are close, in our house in fact.
We're part of a current trend (wow, never thought that would happen!), you've probably read in the news that a lot of young people are moving back home. We offered to let them live here for a while so that our daughter can go to college and not run up a tremendous debt. Her husband was in college, too, but for now he's working full time so they'll have insurance and can build up some savings.
It works out well for me as my husband is on the road a lot, so I enjoy the company (and having someone to lift heavy stuff and kill big spiders!). I like to wake in the morning and hear people moving around in the house and it's nice to know that someone is coming home at night. I've always enjoyed my time alone, but I don't want THAT much time alone. Hopefully by the time Taiya and hubby are ready to move out my DH will have worked things out with his job so he can be home more.
Well, it looks like I need to get on the roof and paint that! Funny how you see something so often but don't really see it.
It looks a little gloomy, but actually it's a nice day. It's warmed up a bit, a good day. Hope you have a good one, too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Girl's Day Out

I really like Marshall, it's a nice little town with a main street made up of those old brick buildings from the mid to late 1800s. They have lots of cute little shops, but it's not a tourist town, it has that Hometown, America feel to it, for me anyway. My daughter and I had a girl's day out today and she wanted to go to Marshall since she hadn't been there for quite a while.
I wonder how many people look up and notice the architecture. I love to see that, there are so many towns around here that have modernized the store fronts on the old buildings like this and they look awful. Marshall is a town that appreciates it's history, I've never seen so many nice old houses in one town, next time I'll take some pictures of some of the homes.
It was a nice day, pretty chilly but at least the sun was shining. I didn't find a lot to buy, but did get a couple of little things. I've been looking for a good old rolling pin for my daughter for a while, and I found one in my favorite antique store in Marshall. It's one of those places where you just keep finding more rooms around the corner, like magic! Not sure why I love the old kitchen utensils, we didn't have antiques in our house when I was growing up, but maybe it reminds me of my Grandma's kitchen or something. I also found the cute little measuring cup, I just have a kitchen stuff jones I guess. Give me a cookie cutter with a colored wooden handle and I'm a happy woman.
This is a pic of some tile work at the entry way to a store. My kids think I'm strange because I see quilt patterns everywhere, I'll bet a lot of you do that, too. What I love is when THEY do it, too, just because they're in the habit from having me point such things out. Or when they see a quilt and know the name of the pattern. Hah! My evil brain-washing scheme is working!