Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2007. Things have been calm around our house. We are just having a nice dinner of Duck, for my parents and myself, Pork Chops with Stuffing for my husband, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans with Carrots and an Apple Lettuce Salad. For desert we have a choice of Raspberry and/or Cherry Pie. I did not due anything special this year, because the same four people will be at the table as usual.

Most of the time my husband and I go to Wisconsin to be with his family sometime during the holidays. We decided against that this year and it seems strange to just talk on line or via phone. This is just the kind of a year that makes one remember the real meaning of Christmas and to appreciate family and friends.

Today I listened to and watched Ricki Tims Christmas Concert at http://www.thequiltshow.com/ You must register, but it is free and look at the blog if the link is not up.

Happy Holidays to all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Special Day

Today is my father's 81st birthday. He came from a family of 10 children and 8 of his brothers and sisters are still with us. Believe it or not, my father is fourth from being the oldest child still alive. Actually he does have a twin brother, but he was born before my father, so he is older. They also have a sister age 89. I have some wonderful pictures of all of them taken last June, but I don't want to post them without permission. They all have some health problems, but for the most part are doing well.

My father also has another older sister, I don't know her age, but she still keeps us up to date on her family via e-mails. He has two younger sisters and two younger brothers. Unfortunately they live in different areas of the country, so we don't see many of them.

My father is what I like to call a down to earth man. I mean this with great admiration and wish that we had more people like him on this earth. He is the type of person that you can count on. He puts family first and always has put his family first. He still gardens and likes to go fishing. His activities have slowed down greatly the past couple of years, but he is still active. He does the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, puts together jig-saw puzzles and makes his own lunch. Sometimes he will make dinner for the family.

My father, with the help of family and friends, for the most part built two of the homes in which we have lived. He did hire a few things to be done, like pouring the basement floor and laying block. He was right there while all this was done and even helped. He also had someone else dig the well and put in the septic. So I guess that is why working with puzzles of making quilts comes naturally to me.

I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. I was not surprised when he finally decided that he wanted meat loaf, scallop potatoes and baked beans. I didn't ask him about the cake, because I already knew he would want a Date Nut Cake. I have been making him this cake for years, but usually only on his birthday. The recipe makes two loaf cakes and one gets frozen for later. I remember my Grandmother, my father's mom making this recipe when I was little. It is moist and tasty, but weighs a "ton" kind of like a fruit cake. It usually gets better when it sits for a few days.

Yesterday I sewed together a pillow top from the stash box pattern. Patti wanted a sample in blue to use in the Batiks by Design booth at the upcoming quilt shows. I am going to machine quilt it in a royal blue metallic thread made by WonderFil. Here is a picture part of what I have done so far.

Tomorrow I will wash some fabrics so I can finish my Dashing Nines and a table runner I made last weekend. Both will then need to be quilted and photographed to be used as covers on my new patterns.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well not actually busy, just have not felt like writing. I have been sewing on the dashing nines. While putting the rows together I noticed on two different blocks one piece of fabric was sewn wrong side up. So I practiced a bit of unsewing, frogging or what ever you want to call it. That did give me a minute or two with my DH and a rest in my living room chair.

This shows the progress of the dashing nines. I hope to finish sewing the top together tonight or maybe not until tomorrow. I also need to make sure I made all the corrections in the pattern before I forget what changes I made.

I will post another picture once I get it finished and the pattern published.

Last night I was looking for a design my friend told me about and stumbled acrossed a great site for rugs. I kind of got lost there and found some great designs. I was so inspired that I designed another quilt last night. I wonder if I will get all my designs made and into pattern form. I didn't copy the rug, I just liked some elements of the rug. I found that creating the setting was a challenge, but managed.

This afternoon I was sewing a block for a table runner. I was sewing the last seam when the electric went out. It seemed strange, because our weather wasn't bad like other areas of the country. It wasn't out too long, so that was good.

I need to practice machine quilting. I just don't have the time or desire to hand quilt, but I am not the greatest machine quilter. I learned free motion when I was doing machine embrodery. I liked the hoop to help with guiding my work. Wish I had a hoop for machine quilting on my home machine! I know one is being developed, but it isn't for sale yet. If I dont come up with a comfortable method I will be buying that hoop.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dashing Nines

I finally found some time to sew. I had cut out the Dashing Nines....my own design.....several days ago. I finally have made some progess with the sewing.

I know the blocks don't look like much now, but I wanted to show some progess and display the Traditional Batiks with the Bali backgound.

I want to get as many samples as I can made before January. I also need to design a baby quilt and get it completed by April for a new great great niece due that month. Her older sister has one that I made using the dashing nines pattern, so I need a different design. I also must hand quilt parts of this quilt.

Back to the salt minds...or for me maybe to bed. My eyes are tired.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Day of Investigation

Usually on Tuesdays we go into town early. My husband goes to his cardiac rehab and my father and I go shopping. This means that the shopping must be nearly completed in about 1 1/2 hours. Today my husband stayed home due to a cold, so my father and I went into town later in the day when the frost was gone. We really didn't have that much shopping to do, but had bills to pay all over town. Town is not that large, but some parts parking is a problem. I have also decided that parking spaces are too narrow for most vehicles. I had to hold my van door so I wouldn't hit the car next to me when getting out and into my vehicle. Then one place my mirror and the neighboring vehicle's mirror lined up exactly. Now that was a fun place to get through.

One of the places we had to visit was the County Clerks Office. Earlier I had investigated the need for license with the State for selling quilt patterns, teaching classes etc. I am somewhat confussed with the answers on their web site, so will need to call them. I did find out that I needed to check with the County Clerk where the "business" will be located. I explained to them what I wanted to do and they said they do not license that type of business, but I needed to go talk to the City Clerk.

The City office was not far away, so I went to talk to them. I really couldn't understand why I needed to talk to the city, because I am in the county. The city office confirmed my thoughts. "If you are not conducting business in the city we do not need to issue a license."

I will be able to take care of all the federal stuff with the help of the state web site. So nice that they have the links I might need. I know some people don't worry about this stuff, but I want to do things correctly. I don't want to be fined later on for not doing all the leg work first.

I feel like I have made my first steps to getting my patterns out to the public. Actually maybe the second or third step, because I have patterns and samples. I have also contacted some people who may be of some help after I do all the legal stuff.

I will be posting some samples of patterns as soon as I can after the first of the year. Some will be quilts, but you never know what I might create. I will also let you know the link for seeing the rest of the collection.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mixed Blessings

About a half hour ago I sat down at the computer. I checked my mail and there was great news from my Aunt. My Uncle's operation revealed good news. The tumor was next to an organ instead of part of the organ. It also didn't look like cancer, but is being tested. He will be fine if he can survive not driving for 3 weeks. That will be difficult for him! This is the man who drove a semi truck for a living. He continued driving long after he could have retired.

I was really happy about that news and took a copy of the message to my husband to read and then took it to my parents to read. When I returned to our part of the house the telephone rang.

It was our friend Patti. Patti, JoAnn and I went to see a friend, Tina Goodman, last Friday. A few months ago she found out that she had a tumor. This tumor was cancer and it was in the back of her head. She had lost the use of her left side, lost some vision and memory. She spent much time in the hospital. They managed to shrink the tumor, but all knew she was terminal.

When we visiter her on Friday in her home she was happy, laughed, got up to eat lunch, talked about her tumor (which she discribe to us as looking like something out of the program Lost In Space. It had, in her mind, a green body with a yellow fuzzy head like a dandelion. She named the tumor Fred!) We all thought she was doing so much better then we had expected. She asked about my parents. She told Patti that she was sorry she could not make her sample quilts from Patti's fabrics in the patterns she sells. Tina also told JoAnn how she brings so much joy into a room, which she does. Tina did that also. She smiled all the time. Made everyone laugh and loved to quilt.

Well today the tumor...green body and fuzzy yellow head and all...took a very dear person to the other side.

Patti called to tell me that Tina had a seizure and died today. Today Tina and her husband were to leave on a trip to see Tina's mother. Tina's mother was not able to be with her daughter due to her own health problems. At least her memories of her daughter will be of the fun time they had when they were last together. The two of them shared the love of quilting. I pray that those loving times will help her to accept the passing of her child.

Tina will be missed by all who knew her.