Sister isn’t answering her phone, so I’m telling you …

General blog news bites

Check it off: Pamper Yourself!

FL Sister id tag

We love making lists and checking them off!

And we accumulated lots of check marks because we got so much done during this year’s September trip to Colorado to do the CQC  quilt show!

 

  • Finished putting lace on our Legacy of Lace quilt.
  • Put together patterns for our Linens and Old Lace Collection.
  • Planned two presentations for the show’s classroom: Care and Use of Vintage Linens and Mother’s Medallion projects.
becky-class

Quilters did actually sit in the chairs a little bit later.

cindy-class

Lots of good ideas and, also, coupons added to the fun of the class.

  •  Packed for the show, unpacked at the show, repacked at the end of the show and unpacked when we got back to the ranch after the show.
empty-booth

We still had some work to do after this point.

We got it put together in time.

  • Worked the show together in our double booth – one with demonstrator duties and the other with the cashier duties. We really liked the opportunity to display patterns with the antique sewing accoutrements on one side and then, on the other side, embellish the pattern displays with vintage fabrics and linens.
  • Enjoyed the Jacuzzi time and renewed friendships
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Long time friend, Margaret, and her daughter, also a Cindy

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The special gals from Hands All Around Charity booth who let us keep a running tab as we continuously raid their stash

 

  • Treasured watching football and lunch out with our dad
lunch-with-dad

How does one take a selfie and avoid the triple chin look?

  • Delighted in a spontaneous stop at a little museum festooned with flowers
library

The flowers drew us in and there were treasures inside galore!

  • Appreciated a morning of stitching encouragement with the Calico Quilters club
  • Sorted through treasurers which had accumulated in the sister’s joint stash.
boxes

Confession: this is only half of the boxes

AND the Colorado sister brainstormed with me as I was preparing to speak at a Ladies’ Day on the topic Pamper Your Soul. She helped me tie it up with a bow with her ideas about God’s Personal Touch every day. We brainstormed about cultivating a “What’s RIGHT with this picture?” mentality. We believe that because of God’s great love for us, His touch on our days is very personal. You know, how He orchestrates a variety of people, places, and things unique to our individual needs. And that means there is a lot right in the picture, we just need to watch for it.

We quilters might see His touch in giving us …

 

the soft nap of flannel,

the vivid colors of natural dyes,

the hum of a sewing machine

sharp cutters, plenty of pins, and fat quarters

 

Others might think of …

humming birds, hot coffee, pleasant cashiers

soft perfume, kind words, thoughtful cards

sleeping babies, laughing children, understanding friends

kitten

soft kittens …

 

Or maybe you would say …

things we hear, things we smell, things we see

things we remember, things we anticipate, things we enjoy

things that are soft, things that are scarlet, things that are sturdy

 

We could sum it up as …

the creativity of God touching our lives;

the power of God touching our lives,

the love of God touching our lives.

 

I’m thinking that if we make it part of our daily checklist to really see His personal touches, our spirits will be massaged, our hearts will be refreshed and our perspectives will be filled with hope. Our souls will be pampered.

 

Pampering yourself – and stitching! Be sure and check those things off your list every day!

to-do-list

Anticipate the pampering!

 

PS – I have to add that one undeniable way I have known soul pampering is the quality sister time that is inextricably woven through being in business together with Cindy. And the best part is knowing that the sister connection started long before our business did and it will last long after our last business day.

sister-shirts

Sisters at Heart – something right in this picture!

 

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Sun, Summer, & Sewing

CO Sister id tagSummer fun really is winding down but you just can’t tell it at our house. When school starts things are supposed to go back to a “schedule” right?  Guess we missed the memo because when sister called to say she was sending her round robin quilt to the quilter I was taken aback that a month had passed (August) and I wasn’t sure what I had done with it.

Calendar-web

I checked the photos on my phone and discovered where I had spent my time.  Yes, here is my list of summer vacation photos.  (Insert patience smile from you)

  1.  We all know the benefits of a good neighbor with a bountiful garden.  Yes, please, I’ll gladly take your abundance of produce: corn, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and the “Oh, I’ve died and gone to heaven!” Palisade, Colorado peaches.  Some things actually made it to the freezer.
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Palisade Peaches – makes your mouth water.

2.  There were more than a few tea parties in the gazebo.  Grandpa has taught all the grands the importance of a good coffee break.

tea-web

Tea master, Perrin.

3.  I was fortunate to spend a couple days getting to know the newest grandson, Henry, and we had sooooo much fun that I had to come home and take more than one nap.

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Lillian & Henry

4.  If you haven’t ever seen a “living history” presentation it is great fun.  We went to the mountains for a day and meandered through a wonderful cemetery while the spirits told us their true stories.  The picnic afterward was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.

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A loving memorial

(This young woman’s story included murder and mayhem!)

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Sisters through history

So literally on the 31st of August I sat down to do my assigned portion of one of the Sister’s At Heart projects, my own round robin.  But I may have been in a bit of a hurry because when I tried to explain to sister that I had met the deadline with a “new & creative” arrangement, she just flat said I did it wrong!

wrong-web

You’re doing it wrong!

She may have been right; so I technically may not have met the deadline but it is now on correctly and I’m working on the final (?) round.  This sneak peak will let you in on what is happening later this fall.  Turn the calendar page and get back to some hand work, fall is just around the corner.

right-web

Now you’ve got it right!

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Birthdays and Babies

CO Sister id tagFrom my perspective, birthdays come too fast and too often.  I’m not even talking about mine.  I have earned every one of those and I’m just looking for an excuse to celebrate.  I’m talking about the birthdays of the next generation or even their kids’ generation.  I barely get to see or hold the “baby” before they are off to school.  A few more birthdays and they’ll be driving!  Slow down!  Which happens to be the title of a song with my new philosophy.

Just a couple calendar pages ago I flew to sunny California to be with the grands as their mama went off for an overnight “hotel” stay.  They came home with this wonderful bundle.  Eden Orion is the “star” of the day!

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Eden at birth

Now a blink of an eye later, she is ready to celebrate her first birthday.  Sweet mama asked for a birthday quilt that the guests could sign each year; one that Eden could love and grow with each year.  We all know who gets to pick colors and pattern (mama) so we went with the 1930s  reproduction fabric and began to work on the hanky quilt.

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Selection is the tough part

 

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Origami folded dresses

The complete tutorial will be given next week, but wanted you to share in the delight of working on a special gift for a special girl right away. Her cousin thought he was just as wonderful and he had already received his special quilt a few months before.

pair-web

Eden & Perrin (Cousins)

So we folded and pressed and stitched and now we are ready for cake and party time.  Happy birthday, Beautiful. Eden is now the proud owner of a quilt selected by her mom and stitched by her grandmother.  Wish I had one, too.

hankie quilt sm

Hanky quilt with Friendship Star

 

Eden-web

Eden-1 year

 

 

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Extended Contracts & Cigar Box Treasures

FL Sister id tag

I’ve decided to extend his contract indefinitely. The list of reasons for the contract extension is very long. And this summer the list has just grown longer and longer.

You may already know about Dietz and his amazing feats making and setting up quilt racks

quilt rack Jim

He can make it happen – and he smiles while he does it!

and the old sewing machine he turned into a vanity

vanity m

He does amazing things to bring concepts into reality!

and the blue bird bath he found at an estate sale.

bird bath sm

He offered to paint it any color I wanted but somehow the blue was just right!

And now this summer he raised the bar way high with a road trip through the Smokey Mountains

which took us through Pidgeon Forge,

pidgeon forge

Look closely in the lower left corner. Yes, outside our restaurant that is a pigeon at Pidgeon Forge.

the Biltmore,

biltmore library sm

They didn’t have a sewing room so the library was my favorite room.

zip line adventures …

zip line sm

Yes, I did close my eyes the first time and after that I did scream.

and a lake boat ride.

boat ride sm

And the day ended with ice cold watermelon!

And I brought home a hummingbird for my back door.

humming bird bell sm

The perfect souvenir!

I need to mention the quilt shop stops along the way, too.

quilt shop sm

They had wool on sale!

 

quilt shop1 sm

This one was right next door to a quilt retreat venue!

And now in the middle of summer’s heat, he caps it all off with a cigar box.

box sm

I couldn’t wait to open it!

I know nothing about cigar boxes, Cuban or otherwise. But this box is valued because Dietz found it for me (of course!) – and because of what is inside.

box full sm

These are a few of my favorite things!

This treasure box is filled with hankies of all kinds! He knows what warms my heart!

hankie sm

Bouquets of flowers!

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A cuddly puppy!

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Delicate simplicity!

What will I do with more hankies? Oh, the possibilities are endless. And the Colorado sister is giving me inspiration as she works on a quilt for her smallest granddaughter. It looks like a dress-up fashion show to me!

postponed

Photo cannot be viewed at this time by order of the Colorado sister. Check back in a couple of weeks.

I plan to sign myself up for a hankie project as soon as I finish the Sisters round robin and the August class I’m signed up for and the To Do list for the fall show …

But most important, I’m signing up for 41 more years with this guy!

jim small

I think he’s saying, “What is she going to get me mixed up in next?”

You can see more inspiring ideas on our Pinterest Old Linens board.

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Purged and Prepped – Story of a Stash

CO Sister id tag

We have all seen it.  The sign that promises total organization for your crafting area / sewing studio.

OrganizingSewingSupplies-web

Great ideas

I’m all for it.  I have tried several methods, several times.  I just can’t seem to get past the purge your stash steps.  How small is too small?  How big is big enough?  Which pieces do I pile and which pieces do I fold?   Do you put your pieces aside that “might” work for a project? And heavens-to-Betsy, “only keep what you’re working on right now” was the worst idea ever!  Has no one ever heard of a fabric “stash”?  The very word suggests a controlled type of hoarding.  I can’t give up the stash!

stash-web

No, it won’t fall. It is crammed in too tight.

I would consider myself an organized person.  Not really over the top OCD, but I do like to know where something is once it is put away.  My spices are alphabetized in the cupboard, my shoes are separated by season and style, and the medicines are in color coordinated containers.  But the fabric….well, there is no real way to describe it.

messy-craft-room-web

Not mine, but she is creative!

I have a pinterest board for helpful ideas for storing fabric.  I have a friend willing to give most of it a good home.  I have little boards to fold the remainder onto.  But no success story here.  I’m still waiting for the perfect solution.  Creativity can be VERY messy.

My daughter folded hers onto neatly hidden hanging files.  If I did that it would look like an old fashioned file room at the IRS office.  Not that many file drawers let in America.

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File folded fabric.

I saw a cute color coordinated system that fit on one shelf.   LOL

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Seriously?

The only one I thought might work suggested you empty everything out and only put back what you love.  I actually opened the cupboard doors to start that and realized I would never be able to get out of the room until it was put back.  That would take days!

empty-web

No creativity here.

I tried the “take one out when you put one in” method.  But when I put in a 2 yard piece of fabric, I was only taking out a fat quarter.  It didn’t seem to make much difference.  Go figure.

So I start to justify the importance, nay, the necessity of having a fully stocked stash.  Where else would I come up with setting fabric for the 3 odd blocks I got at the guild rummage sale?  Only in my stash.

fabric-web

Who knew?

Or where else would I get just 2 tiny squares of batiks in order to finish the baby quilt for grandchild number ten?!  Only in my stash.

batik-quilt-web

It could be the signature block.

I have come to grips with the fact that my sewing area will always look like I’m in the midst of moving in (or out). And as long as I can find the latest project pieces it will pass the organized test.  (There have been times when it couldn’t!) I’ve come to love the security of having a stash to choose from and it feels like a warm, comfy blanket…er, quilt.

Sister wants to know your best organization tips in an effort to help halt the hoarding.

 

 

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To Recombobulate or Not: that is the question

FL Sister id tagI’ve been accused of inventing words. Like I would DO that!  Like there aren’t enough words in the dictionary already. Or like I would try to improve on Mr. Webster! Really! The very idea!

Okay, put away the truth serum, I will reverse that denial. I hereby plead guilty! But the title of this post is not evidence of that creative word quirkiness. I have proof that REcombobulation is a real word and I found it in an airport – St. Louis, I believe.

REcombobulation area sm

OOOOPS! Sorry about that. Let me REcombobulate …

 

REcombobulation cropped sm

Yep! There it is in plain English …

The huge sign was there just after the part where I had to unpack the carry-on of all “hazardous, explosive and noxious materials” as well explain the seam ripper and needle threader to the TSA man as I stood there in my bare feet holding my scarf, my sweater and my laptop while trying not to drop my watch, my bracelet and the zip lock baggie of 3oz grooming supplies. I desperately NEEDED to be REcombobulated!

Becky with RE sign sm

See, I even have my scarf on straight!

Now, the DIScombobulated verbage – and status thereof – is not unfamiliar to me but this RE sign was a new encounter. Never having seen such a sign, I had to investigate its origins. So as I sat waiting in the gate area I googled “combobulate” and here’s what I found:

(Verb) To put together in a somewhat mysterious manner. To manufacture by some unusual or novel means.

Very helpful. Especially the part that gave me an example of usage: Usage: We must think out-of-the-box in order to combobulate a solution to overcome all these seemingly impossible challenges.

After reading that, I realized that much of my life has been spent combobulating! I am a combobulator! I have combobulationary gifts! And now, after going through the St. Louis airport, I had taken it to a new level – I had achieved REcombobulationary success!

I felt validated and affirmed beyond what any sign maker might have imagined!

dictionary

Dictionaries can be a wonderful tool for establishing self worth!

As far as I’m concerned, the DIScombobulated part is so much easier to achieve! It comes without any effort whatsoever. I think it has something to do with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – that part about everything falling apart instead of improving.

You, too, may have encountered “discombobulation” in conversation before. Or maybe in your sewing studio. (that word sounds so much more productive and efficient and organized than “sewing room” – know what I’m sayin’? I mean, “studio” sounds like a step away from DIS and toward RE – combobulation, I think.)

So I carried my new identifying word home with me. I would now not only be a master combobulator but I would also pursue REcombobulation in multiple areas of life! Here’s my thinking: however quirky my original combobulation might appear to be, if it can be REcombobulated after life causes it to be DIScombobulated then it becomes a pillar in the stabilization of my arena of life and it is therefore to be considered valid and real and wonderful – and not quirky at all!

Ah-ha!

thC1WEATTX

This is NOT my studio. I just keep the picture to feel better about how my studio gets when “creativity” is at high levels.

My first challenge to the REcombobulation Transformation was, not surprisingly, my STUDIO. It had fallen out of combobulation in a major way. Fortunately I could consult Pinterest where I found the following advice from popsugar.com.

Now I warn you, this is some hard core stuff. This writer surrounds her organizing posts with layers of other organizing posts. Like: 11 Things you need to throw away. Which is right next to: 100+ Cleaning and Organizing Hacks. 100? 100+? I feel like I should put a big red D on the front of my shirt. (For DIScombobulated, of course! And DISmayed! And also for DISaster!)

But, the ideas I found could be a giant step toward studio REcombobulation!

Questions to Declutter Your Studio:

  1. Have I used it in the last year? (Tools)
  2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy it? (this one brand)
  3. Is the only reason I’m keeping it because I don’t want to waste money? (you already did if you aren’t using it)
  4. Am I holding on to it for sentimental reasons? Someone gave it to me?
  5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose? That I like better?
  6. Do I have a realistic plan for using it? Bag it as a kit
  7. Does it really fit me or my living space? (brights and I only use homespun)
  8. Is it broken and I plan to repair? Sharpen? Mend?
  9. Is the project FINISHED that I used it in? (backed, bound, labeled, etc.)
  10. Can it be cut into a pre-cut scrap? 2 1/2″ strip, square, charm, layer cake

Does all of that help you at all? I surely do hope so because I feel better just thinking and writing about getting my studio REcombobulated. Even though now, after all this talking and writing, I need to go make supper and I don’t have any time left today to actually get REcombobulated.

But at least now I have a partial plan for it. Kind of. Starting soon. Maybe.

orderly studio

This is NOT my studio either. It’s just my inspiration, motivation photo. Can that count as REcombobulation Step1?

Wait – didn’t someone once say “DIScombobulation is the mother of creative genius” ???

I was sure I saw that embroidered on a pillow somewhere. Or on a cool pallet board sign in a cool font with a cool decorative flourish in the corner.

No? You could be right. I think that was “Begun is half done.”

Does talking about REcombobulation with blog friends count as having begun? No?

Would you mind leaving your best REcombobulation tip here while I go combobulate something for supper?

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Sweet Memories

FL Sister id tag

Memory is priceless. Never is that more clear than when a loved one begins to loose hold of the memories that weave your lives together. This last month when we got to be together to celebrate my sister’s landmark birthday we made some new memories and we “rememberated” together about other landmark days. I know that isn’t a real word but I like to think I invent things.

So when I got back home and started to work on a workshop I’m hosting on embellishing quilts, I pulled out the Memories quilt top that we did together long before we were officially Sisters at Heart, Miles Apart.

When we started this shared project, we reviewed life by decades, recaptured milestone moments and divided them between us. We used the high-tech method to accomplish this: writing on little squares of paper and taking turns drawing them out of a bag.

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For unknown reasons the mailing paperwork is still in the folders with all the graph paper plans and fabric swatches. I may be a bit over sentimental.

After graphing the layout to plan the size of each block and setting the design parameters (I’ll put those down later in the post in case you want to try this project with someone else.) we specified which blocks would be pieced and which would be appliqued. And we planned to put a row of Friendship Stars across the pillow fold – for obvious reasons.

Both of us began life in Colorado so we put the Colorado block in the upper left hand corner.

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We added some mountains to the right and some farmland at the bottom of the Colorado block.

 

Cindy chose baby buggies and baby blocks for the early childhood blocks.

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She embellished with buttons on the baby buggies.

Childhood fun for us included tobogganing and snowmen, Fourth of July picnics, reading, cooking and Christmas celebrations including church Nativity programs and a dilapidated wind-up Santa that rang a little bell even though he only had one surviving arm.

little memories sm

Favorite book titles are included: Five Little Peppers, Green Leaf in Drought Time, Pilgrims Progress, Nancy Drew, Dr Suess …

As older kids our lives were impacted by time at church camp in the mountains of southern Colorado near Monument Lake.

camp

Pine cone fights, the pillow pole and Bible sword drills will forever bring smiles to our faces. And the homemade noodles and bread. Oh, my, the home cooking!

Later there were weddings for both of us. Cindy in her hooded cape with a blown glass bouquet and I in our mother’s wedding dress.

wedding

We stitched this long before we introduced our Wedding Wishes line of patterns.

 

wedding ring sm

And the pieced block to commemorate that significant life event was, of course, a double wedding ring.

In the middle part of life we both invested much to teach our children at home. We shared ideas and curriculum and encouragement and accumulated many sweet memories along the way. Hence the schoolhouse block. The other building with “Fire Sale” in the window reminds us of an unforgettable time when we found treasures because the store next door to a fabric shop had experienced a fire. All the fabric needed was a thorough washing to bring it back to life.

school and fire sale sm

Did we go back 3 or 4 times to get fabric? My memory is not good on that point.

Some things span more than one decade of life – coffee and tea …

sister love

Constant Comment has been a life-long favorite. Maybe there is a deep significance in that even!

… and Our Favorite Things …

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One sister collected Noah’s Ark and one collected chickens. We both loved baskets and fat quarters – and the telephone!

Down in the lower right hand corner the memories conclude with a Tree of Life complete with significant charm ornaments.

tree of life sm

You might be familiar with other blocks called Tree of Life. This was our version.

 

tol close up2 sm

a diaper pen, music notes, tea-pot and cup, an old car ….

 

tol close up sm

sewing shears, a pencil & an apple for the teacher, a diploma, wedding rings …

WELCOME HOME at the top of the tree reminds us of what is important here and, also, that at the end of life we will get to go HOME in the best sense of the word.

welcome home

p.s. HOME is my favorite word of all

Now, I really, really need to make a quilting plan! Any ideas?

memory quilt sm

can you find: church window, hopscotch, checker board, sisters choice, windmill …

The fabric of shared history is irreplaceable.

 

Here is our design plan which kept us on the same page. (Our choices are in parentheses.) Maybe you will want to make your own memory quilt to preserve seasons and moments that have made life good.

  • color parameters (no primary colors, pastels or white-white)
  • range of tone for backgrounds (light to medium)
  • setting plan (no sashing between blocks, set block to block)
  • main color (use green in all blocks)
  • trading plan (send a 6 1/2″ block of fabric with each completed block for use in future blocks)
  • journaling option (journal throughout the project)
  • solo work (each do our own letter blocks)
  • scheduling (finish 2 blocks per month, 1 month for bottom row, 1 month for letter blocks)
  • embellishing parameters (dimensional is good and embellish at will)
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Candles, Cake & Catch Up

 

CO Sister id tagIt all started about a month ago, and no one should party for that long!  I somehow manage to have an anniversary, a birthday and Mother’s Day within a few short days of each other.  This year is a big one for the birthday part so we decided to celebrate for a looooong time.   It all started with a drive to the snow-capped mountains for coffee with hubby and dinner out.

ep-web

Coffee in the snow of Estes

A few days later, Sister arrived to visit our dad.  (That’s what we tell him.)  He’s our 93 year old Marine of our own. So proud of him and his years as a pastor of rural churches.  He shared Mother’s Day lunch with us and the family as mom has been gone a while.  That day we shared a birthday cake for my granddaughter. You could say I lost my New Year’s resolution this week!

dad

Once a Marine, always a Marine

From there Sister and I went shopping.  Don’t know why “they” feel like we need a chaperon/driver now.  Was the birthday really THAT big of a deal?!  But even after all these years, I learned something from my big sister.  How to fold your tank tops for the drawer so you can still see them.  You really can teach an old dog a new trick.

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Tri-fold hot dog way; quarter-fold hamburger way

Then the gifts and cards started arriving.  If you knew how far out we lived, you would never expect to see a floral delivery truck out here.  But there they were waiting for me when we got home.  Thank you, dear daughter.

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Twelve different kinds of blooms!

Sister unloaded her suitcase and found these wonderful pillows for the guestroom. Gifts galore!  The quilt is my guestbook and she signs it each time she comes.

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The REAL 30’s fabrics

Once we got our beauty rest, it was off to high tea with all the girls.  Some drove and some flew in but we got a few short hours together.  So blessed to be with these fine young women and call them family. Thanks, girls.

girls-web

Can you pick out the sisters?

My dear mother-in-law and a family friend from childhood also joined our table and we were a merry party dining on cucumber sandwiches and scones! (I go straight for the Devon-shire crème and lemon curd.)

dj-web

Life-long friends in both

We hurried home so sister and I could do a little bit of sewing on the next project we had hatched.  Since we are working on the Linens and Old Lace patterns we set ourselves a challenge of our own.

challenge-bd-web

Sister’s center; open spots for more lace

Start with a vintage linen (of course) and then pass it to sister for the next round.  Add a border and send back to owner for the next round.  Somehow, we switched our usual color pallets and have finished the first exchange.

blocks-web

Which one? Both?

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Background chosen

I’m auditioning some blocks & fabrics for the next round. We have decided to leave our options open and there are only suggestions of what to use but not when to use it.  Some borders will be pieced, some applique, some dimensional and of course, some with old lace.  So as you follow our progress, see if you can tell who has used which border and what is to come.

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Fabric options

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Next row?

So after all the cake and candles, it is now time to catch up:  bills, housework, laundry, sleep and deadlines.  Thanks everyone for the celebrating and for the memories made in my life quilt.

 

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Dan the Man!

CO Sister id tag

I don’t normally “gush” in social media about my husband, but I want you to meet Dan and it just MIGHT sound like I’m being a little mushy. He entered my life approximately 40 years ago and we will celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this week.  So I think I’m entitled to a few warm & fuzzy remembrances. ann

He’s lovingly referred to in many of my posts as DH (dear husband).  Some of the references are true. Sometimes it should be in bold.  Sometimes in italics. But I always refer to him in love.

So heeeeeere’s Dan….

dan-only-web

  • Dan is a rancher by occupation.
  • He is a passionate truth-teller by nature.
  • He is a gifted wood worker by experience.
  • He is multi-talented fixer-upper.
  • He is a (very) hard worker.
  • He is an analytical thinker.

Dan will not be reading this post because he really isn’t into the internet unless he is ordering tractor parts or listening to big band radio, so I can brag on him a lot.   To him history is more than a hobby, it seems to run through his veins. He loves militaria and  knows more names & dates than the average professor. The past is part of what makes him who he is as his father, George Jacob, and grandfather, Scott, were also ranchers and very special men.  dan-1web

 

But all of those things are not why I feel “warm & fuzzy” about him.  I remember him as a humorous young man who made a young lady, who took herself way too serious, laugh a lot.  Memories of a patient father with 4 young kids are at the forefront. Days of concern for a sick loved one (or animal) were far too familiar for him. Dan’s passion for his God makes him passionate for the well being of others.  I am truly blessed to be his wife.

He is still humorous, but slightly older, even more caring & patient grandfather of nine and a half, with a passionate concern for his family and others.  As we celebrate 39 life-filled years this week, just know I’m proud to say, “Dan MY man!”dan-2web

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Spring Is Here! (Almost)

About this time of year I get a little anxious for some warmer weather.  The snow is brown or gone.  The trees are bare and it won’t change for a couple more weeks/months.

gazebo-web

Spring/Winter storm

So I decided to go on a hunt for spring right within my own home.  I didn’t “stage” anything for a photo shoot but just needed some in-the-moment reminders that spring is in the eye of the beholder.  One of the first things I saw as I looked across the room was a plant that Dan and I have had since our wedding (in spite of my black thumb).  I never met a shade of green I didn’t like, especially growing green.

plant-web

Green AND Growing

Nearby was an arrangement of flowers (silk) that my daughter had done when we re-decorated together one weekend.  She now lives far away and I’m grateful for the “fragrance” and beauty she left behind.

white-web

Gone but not forgotten

Last week I had put out the tea set when I put away the Valentine’s decor and just now realized that the tea cozy is such a floral print.  Sister and I share a tea cozies that match.  Wish she was here for a cup of tea right now.

tea2-web

Tea Time (again)

I walked into the bedroom where I saw another colorful, floral treasure from our early marriage days (it was actually part of Dan’s hope chest). The pitcher and bowl set have been in every house we have lived in and it holds many treasured memories, as well as our loose change.

pitcher-web

Flowers from our past

Right above the little walnut washstand hangs a picture of roses.  Antique dealers call them yard-longs – guess why.  I think the designer of those frames may have been married to a quilter as “yard-long frames” are an approximate translation/measurement.

yard-web

yard-long of roses

On the dresser was an embroidered piece of linen with flowers and birds.  It was done by my 84 year old quilting friend many years ago.  She was clear on her instructions about “hiding the knots and quilt in a straight line”.  She also had one of the most prolific flower gardens I know of.

bird-web

First birds of spring

Across the room is one of my all time favorite prints that hang in our home.  Painted by the turn of the century artist Paul de Longpre, known for his exquisite flower paintings.   You’ve probably noticed a theme in the art work I’ve shown.

paul-web

Notice the bumble bee?

I found spring is around me all winter long if I chose to find it, as is true of most of the blessings in life.  So I think I’ll forget the gathering clouds outside–

bins-web

Northern Clouds

–and go sew on a baby gift with BRIGHT fabrics and good music.

brights-web

Bold and Bright

Hope your spring arrives for real in the very near future.  Happy Hunting.

 

Categories: Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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