Wednesday, March 09, 2011


This is a Tag  Along Tote designed by Atkinson Designs.  Very simple and fun to sew. 
Here is a new purse I made called a Carolina Carry All.  All winter I carried a weird summer purse and so now that it going to be spring maybe someday soon, I made another summery type purse.  It has two neat "hidden pockets" in it, a little tedious and difficult to sew the first one but the next will be better.

Speaking of weather, its snowing majorly here.  So depressing anymore.  On the good news front, one of my customers has a wallhanging accepted into the Paducah quilt show in April so I am celebrating for her!  I'm so proud that she decided to just take a chance and enter.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Exciting News

Since my last post, I've had a couple nice things happen.  I entered my quilt, Sweet Candy Dots, into the Road to California show and was accepted.  Then I received a second place ribbon in my category so how neat is that!  The show looks really great and someday I'd love to attend it.
Then my same quilt was used by AQS in their advertising background in the most recent issue of American Quilter on page 63.  I think they did a nice job of showing off my quilt too along with their new books, makes me real proud. 

In the meantime, I did put together a simple project from Amy's CreativeSide , a quilt called Hunky Bars.  Simple, fast and sweet way to use prints.  This goes together in a couple hours and I did linnear and geometric quilting very quickly and its done!
In my journey around blogland, I also found the BabyBoomerQuiltingBee which I also featured on our guild's blog.  The projects she has are so nice, I'm really interested i making Missy's Fall Garden and Nicoles Journey.  Fun places to visit.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Quilts

Before Christmas, I did some jammies for the grandkids, think they turned out cute and used up some terry fabric and some flannels.

 Here is a cute little quilt I made from some panels with circus scenes.  Very colorful and fun with simple quilting.

 This is a scrap quilt that I made with my huge scrap collection.  The border is a dessert fabric print which I really loved.  On the back is some ittsy bittsy teeny weeny bikini fabric which of course would not be worn after the desserts.

 This is quilt that was made with charm squares, I loved the colors of it.

My sister and I started a blog for the Pine Needle Quilters, our local guild.  It promises to be an experience!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catching up with some of my projects

 I have been busy, I swear.  I have pictures to prove it.  Here are two New Wave Quilts that I have done.  One is a top yet but the other is quilted and is bound now even though at time of photo it was not. It was a pattern from Oh Fransson.  This is a super fun and wonderful pattern.  There are so many ways I want to make this quilt!
Here is a Kaleidoscope quilt that I did .  It is from the Ricky Timms video instructions which are really well done and understandable.  I would like to make another of these some day.  Cutting the wedges is exciting because you just don't quite know what that quilt will look like.

This is a small wallhanging done is a very free style and whimsical way.  The grandma's flower garden block were demonstrated by my Mom as she is the queen of the gardens.  (She is working on the fifth one!!!)  This is the only garden you will get from me.  I think they are great, I just can't piece that many.  This contains some hand embroidery which I love to do.

This is a table runner that I did this fall as a demo for our quilt guild.  It is called Shadow applique and came from an issue of American Quilters Society.  It demonstrated how to add a shadow effect to your applique by applying a background to each piece of applique. 
This is a favorite recent project that I have finally finished up.  It started with a lovely hand embroidered tablecloth that was old and had some small holes in it.  I cut it out eliminating the holes and added some blocks that I had started from another demonstration that I did.  My little granddaughter was three at the time and she sat on my lap for a long time piecing those blocks.  I just love this quilt and would like to go through my linen collection and cut it up!
Happy quilting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday wish list

Holiday Wish List 
There is a great big giveaway if you put this meme wish list on your blog.  Go check it out.

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family? good health and good jobs for our families

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition? sleep as long as allowed, drink lots of coffee and start prepping food!

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be? a trip somewhere warm

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money? I sew a lot of gifts. I also make up "gift certificates" for family to use up favors with me, like babysitting, bake an apple pie, etc.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up? Our family does a special version of name that tune.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood? I have some special dishes that I use for our table. Also, cookies that my Mom or friends have made through the years.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip? Hawaii

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? Playstation Move, Call of Duty-Black Ops, and U Draw game tablet

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Apple Kuchen and Stuff

I'd love to have a lot of things to show on my blog but I don't. I'm trying to change it but I can't yet. My machine hums all day long but its my customer quilts and when I look at my stuff, its exhausting but I know I'll have new things sometime.
In the meantime, I do know a lot of "stuff" and stories. I had fun with my grandma's story the other day, so I thought I'd share more. My grandma Jenny raised nine kids during the Depression and in Northern Wisconsin. Most of the time its still a Depression up here so I shudder to think of what it was like back then. They had a house on a hill off of a "back street". When I was young, I was pretty sure every street in our town was a "back street". You'd go down the hill, cross the back street, cross the state highway and there was a railroad track. We lived in a logging town so that train was busy pulling carload after carload of logs to make pulp for the mills in Green Bay or the Valley. But that was when I was a kid and I have no idea if there was a lot of that happening during the Depression. I do know they had passenger cars then because my Ma said they'd ride it to go visit family.

I've stated before that my Grandma could make something out of nothing. We still do some of her recipes but of course she didn't write anything down. Our favorite recipe I've learned from my Ma as I watched her hundeds of times cutting up apples, making the dough and it was the treat of the whole day just as it probably was for my grandma's family. Its a German recipe called Apple Kuchen and I've seen variations of that recipe in cookbooks but they look pretty fancy to me. Our family version is just like a biscuit dough pushed into the bottom and sides of a pan, my Mom uses her mom's pan, and I couldn't make a good kuchen until I found the proper weight pan, its critical for kuchen. Then you have to find the right apple tree. This is also hugely important, they can't be grainy apples or too sour or too sweet and you want them juicy. Do you realize that many apple trees grown along train tracks? Thats where we'd find some good apples too. Slice the apples on the dough in the just right pan and then sprinkle on sugar. Of course how much sugar you use depends on the sweetness of the apples but this is no place to be too stingy either. A critical German seasoning is cinnamon and add just enough of this to the top along with a stick of butter or margarine or oleo as we used to call it here in Wisconsin. Some of my old recipes still say oleo and I kinda like it so I might use it again, oleo. Bake until it bubbles over in your oven, its not good until it sets off the smoke alarm or drives everyone out of the kitchen. My grandkids have not witnessed anything quite like this technique before but they are getting used to it now and don't run too far for fear of missing kuchen.

Just like my grandma and my ma, I've used kuchen to pretend that we had a really, really good meal. It doesn't matter that you served potato soup again or a fried egg again, you ended that meal with apple kuchen and thats all that matters now.

Another dish that my Ma talks about with her brother Frankie and some of her sisters is Doughed Potatoes. Now I've never seen this recipe anywhere though I'm sure it must be. My Uncle Frank was being sassy and put the recipe down like this: Make pastry dough. Put a squirrel on the dough. Make sure the squirrel is dead. Add chopped carrots, onion and celery and bake. If you can't get a squirrel, use a chicken. Now I think that version is just wrong. My Ma describes her ma's like this. You do make pastry dough. Then you peel a lot of potatoes and onions and layer them all in a huge pot, layers of potatoes and onion, then add some dough, more layers of potatoes, etc. I think you add salt and pepper and maybe oleo or bacon grease to this because without that squirrel there is no fat. Now my mom did not make this for us but it is legend. It's really high carb isn't it. But people really didn't sit around back in the day and the kids all played hard and had jobs too or the families didn't make it.

Another thing we had sometimes when I was a kid was something my Ma called Minute Pudding. We knew that it was tough in the kitchen when minute pudding came out. You take a pot of salted water and whisk in flour and cook it until it makes a pudding, this is served for breakfast along with sugar and cinnamon on top and with milk over it all. Now it really wasn't bad because we had fresh milk from our milk cow and about 1/3 of that gallon of milk would be cream. It's an unforgettable sight to see that much cream on milk. Sometimes in the late fall and on certain mornings, I get a craving for minute pudding but I'm not seven years old anymore and my brothers and sisters aren't sitting around the table with me and my Mom's not in the kitchen of that old house.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

4th of July birthday

My Mom stopped by and while swinging away on the porch, she's been known to tell her wonderful stories about her family and sometimes just little bits that make me wonder why I don't listen better...

Her mom's birthday was the 4th of July, I'm sure I heard that before but it didn't sink in. You'd think I could remember it on that day but no. My grandmother's name was Johanna Ehlinger and I think she had a tough childhood. She contracted rheumatic fever so severly that she was in bed for over a year and it damaged her heart. It appears her father was a pretty rigid character and her sisters became nuns, all three of them and her brother became a priest, mostly to start a new life I think. My grandma toughed it out at home and got married at the age of 32. She was not ever supposed to have children because of her bad heart but she had nine.

Most of the houses they lived in had no lights so they had lanterns, my grandma raised a huge garden and canned enough food on a wood stove so she could feed eleven people. Her mother in law moved in at some point and she didn't care for my grandma so that must have been nice, my grandma was a Catholic and great granny was a Methodist, crumps sake, thats a good reason to hold a grudge all that she had time to cook meals from practically nothing. Everyone said she could take a little bit of nothing and come up with a great meal, thats a skill thats gone now. My grandma appeared to be a great friend to all, she could do sign language and anyone who was deaf and desperate for a conversation would come visit her. She was also ambidextrous.

My grandma Johanna also known as Jenny, died in her mid-fifties from the bad heart that plagued her most of her life. She died about a year before I was born so I only get to hear about her. She did take care of her mother-in-law to the end of her life and before my great grandma died she asked my grandma Jenny why she took such good care of her when she had treated my grandma so badly. I think that speaks volumes of her and the way she lived each day. Both of my grandmothers died early in my life but the tales and stories about them are inspiring and make me realize how small some of my problems are in comparison. Perhaps thats a good reason to sit on a porch and tell stories about our grandmas and grandpas and parents and make sure our children hear them as they will have their own tough times and need their own inspirations.

Minnesota Quilt Show and the 4th of July

About a week ago, I found out that I had received the Best of Show ribbon in the large category at the Minnesota Quilters Inc. show in St. Cloud. Knock me over with a feather, thats all I can say. The quilt is my Sweet Candy Dots that I entered into Paducah. Right now its the only show worthy quilt I've made for a while so thats all I can enter but I am so proud of it!
The Minnesota quilters show has been a favorite of mine for a long time. A small group of ladies and I would get together and eventually we became a dozen, we called ourself the Dirty Dozen. Almost every year we would rob from our grocery money, pack up two cars or SUVs or whatever we could squeeze in and head for the city of the moment for the Minnesota show. They have a revolving show in Duluth (which is my personal favorite as its not real far from us and quite lovely on Lake Superior), Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul. We cram ourselves into two or three rooms but that was after our 15 hour road trip to get to the show since we had to stop at every quilt show along the way, no matter how far out of the way it was. We're talking Amish on dirt road out of the way but they did have good prices on fabric!
The show is huge, and its fun and the people are nice and the food is good. We had an entire turkey dinner with all the fixings in Rochester for crumps sake...served at the show. Nice. Anyway, I did entered into one of their challenges one year and did get an Honorable Mention. I was so thrilled and I always wanted to enter that show with a "real" quilt and this year I did. Unfortunately, our Dirty Dozen has dwindled due to health and death. That kinda knocked the wind out of our travelling sails but I've heard rumors of rekindled interest in a road trip. I think the Moonlight Quilters will be making another run...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fairy Festival 2010

Once again we went to the fairy festival at Thistledown Greenhouse. Such a good time was had last year, that it was a given to do this again. Here are my lovely fairies.

The day was gorgeous for weather, not as hot as last year and we brought a picnic lunch and lots of water and such to be more prepared.

I made the costumes this year, my first venture into this. Couldn't find purple wings so my son bent some aluminum wire for me and I covered them and painted the purple wings. I think you can kinda see whats going on in this photo of their backs.
They did some belly dancing with some wiggly ladies from the Shimmy Shoppe, did a treasure hunt and followed the peacock, King Arthur, around for a bit.
We were all tired when we got home so I guess thats good~

Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Trip to Paducah

Its been darn near a week since we got home from the AQS show in Paducah and I'm still having a hard time submitting to my routine here at home. Large quilts are overwhelming me with their vastness and miles of quilting to do and my brain is still on overload from all the beautiful color of the show and all the ideas. I'm just a little depressed in the normal world.
We did have a great time! It was four years since my last visit to the Paducah show and took me that long to work up the courage to enter a quilt in that show. I was thrilled to get juried in and even more thrilled to have won a ribbon!

This was a truly unexpected honor and I have the picture to prove it, the unattractive one with my mouth hanging open, but wow, it was a cherry on top of the ice cream sundae! My entry, Sweet Candy Dots, was in the 1st Time Entry into the show division and there were many lovely quilts in that division. You can see the first and second online at AQS website.
Our trip involved a 12 hour bus ride before we got there but a dozen of us from our area went together so it was a lot of fun and especially having my sister and friends with me. We always have a great time together no matter what. We'd shop and look at the show, take classes and lectures every day and then meet back at the hotel for show and tell and glasses of wine or apple martinis! Nice way to end the day too. We had a couple of "rookies" to the show with us and on the first day Maggie said, We got to come back to this again!

My dear friend, Deanna, has tried for years to get a picture of herself with Eleanor Burns and succeeded this time. Deanna is her greatest fan I think and this year Eleanor even made it to one of our parties...she didn't know about it of course but it was pretty crazy. Thats my sisters jeans and shirt with a paddle face of Eleanor drinking some of our wine of course. She was propped in a wheeled desk chair and rode the elevator to our room which startled a man in the elevator I guess. He said, I won't even ask...I'm pretty sure we were the noisiest guests and had the best time but we shut her down at 10:00.
It was much more difficult to pack up our purchases though and lift them onto the bus. Lou Ann who owns the bus company and drove us to Paducah is a patient woman and I think she likes us quilters.

Funds were running low so it was time to head back to Wisconsin but I'm sure a return trip is being planned. As usual, all the people of Paducah went out of their way to make us welcome and did everything possible to make our trip memorable. Some told us they were grateful for the extra hours of work that week and in this economy, thats a great thing too. We did hear some critical remarks about the show or buses or their own fabric choices for crumps sake, but there are always sour grapes in the bunch, aren't there? Not in our bunch though!
All I can say is, even without a ribbon on my quilt, we'd have all been smiling while we were at the show! This is my sister Laurie and myself and we hope to get my other sister down there and my Mom too. Thank you friends for the great companionship, to Paducah for hospitality and AQS for a great show.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Paducah

Just a quick note to say that I did win a giveaway by Jessie who has a lovely blog about her illustrations and also an etsy shop. I received my lovely card already, most wonderful! It had a cute balloon sticker on it and my granddaughter found that sticker and took it off right away! The little beast but she put it on a birthday card she made for my niece so that was very sweet of her. She is a sweetheart and thinks of creative things very quickly. We are like peas and carrots...
Tuesday I am off for Paducah! I can hardly believe it, I can't tell you the last time I went on a trip so dispite all the work to get out of my house and leave without guilt, it will be worth it. I am travelling on a bus with twelve of the best people in the world so in addition to wonderful quilts and good friends and some good food and fabric, it just don't get any better. I hope the dogwood are still in bloom.
I hope to have some nice pictures when I get back and some good tales.