I'm so glad you are here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer doldrums....

It is incredibily hot outside and grandchildren stuck inside get really bored.  Today my 8 year old grandson expressed an interest in sewing so I jumped on the oppurtunity to teach him some basics.  He made himself a school bookbag for that hopefully cooler day when school starts.  Check it out!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New projects

It's been a while since I have posted.  Darn arthritis has been acting up, but I have managed to keep the sewing machine going anyway.  Been making kid-type things and decided to try dolls and stuffed animals.  The challenge is in the stuffing.  It's hard to make legs that will stand up.  My guys have a bit of a wobble when they try to stand, but they were a lot of fun to make.  Hope you like Zoey the Zebra and Jerry the Giraffe.  (Have you ever tried to tie a Windsor knot on a giraffe's neck?)  Notice Jerry's eyelashes!  Dolls are my next project.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

This is a special day for all mothers--and grandmothers.  We had dinner on Thursday night with my dear daughter and I received flowers today from my dear son.  I am so blessed.  In church today they read Erma Bombeck's description of a mother.  It brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.  My dear mother faithfully read her column in  the local paper and one of Erma's books was always a good choice for a birthday or Christmas present.  (Check out this link to read the whole thing.)  Erma was a wise philosopher although she probably thought of herself as a humorist.  At the end of this piece there is a discussion between an angel and God:  Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.  "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
"What's it for?"
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."
"You are a genius," said the angel.
Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there."   
Happy Mother's Day to all.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Saturday Block

Yeah!  It's Saturday and I was up and eager to check the Barbara Brackman blog where she introduces a new block each week to commerate the Civil War which began 150 years ago.  Civil War block website here  She is creating a new block every week for 52 weeks.  So far I have kept up and we are on the nineteenth block.  Today's is Missouri Star. 

Along with the block she provides stories and photographs that relate to the block.  I am using a number of fabrics designed to look like fabric typical of the era.  They are commonly called Civil War reproduction fabrics.  Here are the 19 I have completed to date.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My love affair with fabric

Quilters will know what I mean when I say I dearly love fabric--not every peice--but lots of it.  For a year or so I have been collecting bits and pieces of Barbara Brackman's designs based on the Arts and Crafts genius, William Morris.  I now have a stack of it and can't decide exactly what to do with it.  Right now I am still caressing it and leafing through quilt books and patterns trying to visualize how it might look.  Sometimes a quilt project has to simmer for a while before it speaks to me.
 Tonight I am mulling it over and thinking about
what pattern would show off the fabric designs
the best.  Since the fabric is so elaborate, I'm thinking the design needs to be fairly simple.

The colors are rich and the designs are flowing and flowery.  It's going to be special when I finally figure it out.
For now it's going back on the shelf while I wait for insipiration.

And here it is Friday night.  That means tomorrow Barbara Brackman will post her next Civil War block.  I will write about that tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who is Jumpin' Judy?

In 1997 my first grandchild was born.  He was a beautiful boy who immediately made my heartstrings curl around him like a vine.  It's amazing how a grandparent's heart expands to encompass every new little one that comes into their life.  There are now six little darlings that bring us joy and that first one is 14 years old.  When he was in preschool he learned a song called "Jumping Judy" and assumed it was about his grandmother.  It was one of the peppy songs that young children jump around and dance to as a form of exercise.  I have been known as "Jumpin' Judy" since then.  Lately I decided to Google the phrase and was amazed to find out that "Jumpin' Judy" is an old African American prison song that was recorded by Leadbelly among others.  Imagine my surprise!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We had a big time at Legoland

Today I had the honor of accompanying my grandson's second grade class to Legoland in Grapevine, TX.  I was specifically invited to be a chaperon--and how could I resist that?  Legoland is an amazing place with a gazillion Legos in every size and color.  My grandson must have thousands of the little plastic bricks, but they never seem to lose their fascination.  He can spend hours building all kinds of things with them.  Even grandpa likes to spend time with him building fantastic vehicles and scenes.  We had a great time, but I must say my feet are really tired.  But a good day with a great kid is worth some sore feet!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Speaking of fabric.......

My dear husband worries that it will fall over and crush me!  I'm sewing as fast as I can, but never seem to put a dent in it.  I counted the other day and I have 23 works in progress (mostly quilts).  Seems like as soon as I get focused and start making progress, another cute pattern or fabulous fabric line comes along and I am off to the races.

This picture isn't really all the fabric, but it's the stuff that is currently percolating through my mind.   Hopefully I will retire some day soon and I can wade into it and fire up one of my seven sewing machines and make some progress!  OK, no one really needs seven, but sometimes you just can't resist.  Who knows, the Chinese may start buying up machines!  I'm just ahead of the curve.

If you aren't into fabric, you may not know that cotton is going to take a leap in price.  It seems China is buying up cotton worldwide because their own crop failed this year because of flooding.  Therefore, it seems to me that I need to buy up as much as possible before the price skyrockets!  Makes sense to me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Jottings from a New Blogger

This is my first post and I am excited about doing it.  Thought I would share some good books I have recently read.  My favorite is A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.  Wow, what a page turner.   Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was surprised, even stunned as new twists and turns developed.  It was full of thoroughly unlikeable characters, but I couldn't wait to see what would happen on the next page.  Put it on your list for summer reading.

I've also recently finished the first two books in the Steig Larsson trilogy about that quirky gal Lisbeth Salander.  If you can get past the frequent references to places in Sweden (that I can't begin to pronounce) they are wonderfully complex and suspenseful.  Each book stands alone, but I would recomment reading them in order.  Larsson was a masterful story teller, but alas he died in 2004 so unfortunately there will  be no more chapters in the life of Lisbeth Salander.  As soon as I can get my hands on the third one, I will be staying up late reading it.  The titles are The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

Currently I am reading Julia London's A Light at Winter's End.    Since I live in Texas, this book is particularly interesting.  This time I am familiar with all the places being mentioned and know how to pronounce them.  These characters are likeable and sympathetic, they just got themselves entangled in the huge dramas of their fractured families.  There's nothing like dysfunction to make for an interesting plot.