Monday, November 30, 2009

Where Has the Time Gone?

I can't believe my last post was in the summer and now it's almost Christmas!! So much has happened along my red dirt road that the time has really flown.

Part of the summer was spent healing from pulled muscles in my chest which mimicked symptoms of heart pain. Since I'd just had my yearly check-up and knew all was well, it was a little frightening. There's still a little discomfort but every day is better.

As I have mentioned before, I retired from teaching high school in 2007. I enjoyed being at home, sewing a lot and generally doing "my thing." But God had other plans for me. In September I went back to work...this time as a church secretary at a local church in our denomination. I really didn't want to to back to work, certainly not full time, but this position was laid on my heart and I felt just as I did about teaching...that this is to be my ministry. The church is at a crossroads, without full-time staff and going through a transitional period to prepare for calling a pastor and other staff. The transitional pastor is a wonderful man and the church members have been so welcoming and good to me. I've made a number of new friends and had some opportunities to see the needs of the community as the church acts as the food pantry and utility help for our small town. It's a blessing to me and I'll be there as long as God wants me there.

Needless to say, my sewing has slowed down a bit and most of what I'm doing right now is for gifts so I can't really show pictures. I've missed blogging but one thing nice about my job is that during the quiet times, I'm free to go online and keep up with my blogging friends.

Now that I'm back, I'll try to be more faithful keeping up with my blog. So for now, happy stitching,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summertime..and the Livin' is Easy!

Summer arrived with a vengeance here on our red dirt road. This week temperatures are around 100 and the sun is blazing!! We usually don't reach 100 until July and August so I'm hoping this isn't an usually hot and dry summer. Thank goodness for a water well that will keep the flowerbeds and garden watered.

Sewing time gives way to taking care of garden produce as my sweetheart has been MOST SUCCESSFUL with the garden this year. We moved to the country a little over two years ago so last year was the first year for the garden. Over the winter, sweetheart worked very hard on enriching the soil organically and this year we are enjoying the "fruits and veggies" of his labor!!! We've been eating onions for weeks and the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. We're getting mostly Romas and cherry tomatoes right now but the big tomato plants are loaded. We're eating sweet green peas and green beans. Peppers, squash and radishes have started coming in as well. I'm freezing what we can't eat quickly and looking forward to garden goodies all year long. My sweetheart is already planning how to enlarge the garden for next year.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying eating our own fresh veggies produced by my sweetheart's labor of love.

We did have a fun outing a couple of weekends ago when we went to Pawnee for the Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show at the original Pawnee Bill's Ranch.

There will be several sewing projects and new quilt blocks to show soon.

Keep cool and happy stitching!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shop Hop

Last weekend was the annual Road to Oklahoma Quilt Shop Hop and Maggie and I had a great time visiting nine quilt shops! We started in Norman and the Oklahoma City metro area and went all the way to Waynoka and Alva. We logged over 700 miles and enjoyed the scenery and the shops. We also stopped at Eischen's in Okarche and had some of the best fried chicken in the world!!

Here is this year's quilt shown at Completely Quilted in Ponca City. We bought a block kit at each shop and the finishing kit at Completely Quilted since we loved the appliqued butterflies, flowers and trees. I think Maggie and I are going to have our own quilt-a-thon and our quilts made quickly because we both love the blocks and the pattern. Can you see the little cow peeking out the barn doors?

The ladies at Completely Quilted took our picture. This was our last shop to visit and we were totally exhausted! Looking at fabric and spending money is a big job!!!!

We did find some wonderful goodies at the various shops. I love 30's reproductions and old-fashioned scrap quilts so these had to come home with me.

And I was very taken with these charm packs, fabrics and patterns. I had been looking for one of the Dresden Plate templates featured on several blogs and found one of those as well.
The interesting fabric with the black background will appeal to a special person who will giggle when she sees this.

Now with all these new goodies, I need to get busy. I'm almost finished cutting ALL my scraps into squares for nine-patches, strings for spider webs and other shapes for future projects. It's so nice to get that huge tub of scrambled scraps into some organization. My reward for all that cutting will be to do some fun sewing.
Hope everyone is well and happily stitching away!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is It Really June??

My goodness, I didn't mean to be absent from blogland so long!!! While I wasn't blogging or reading, I wasn't sewing either. I miss visiting with blogging friends and seeing everyone's new projects. But sometimes it's nice to step back awhile and be busy with other a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

What I have been doing is working with my sweetheart to get the garden well underway and the flowerbeds planted and blooming. We're eating green onions and should have ripe tomatoes by the middle of June. Peas, beans, squash, radishes, corn and lots of fresh veggies will be coming along. Yum...yum!!

These are some of my favorites in the front flower garden!

We've also been organizing our barn/garage. Everything is now in its place and all the things I couldn't bear to do away with are safely stored. We still had some boxes to go through from our parents' homes. When my sweetheart's father passed away, I got some of the boxes from my mother-in-law's sewing room. In them I discovered some real quilting treasures. Here's some of the blocks that were in a box. I'm not sure if the fabrics are from feedsacks but they are old. And the block fabric has turned brown on the edges. There are 14 blocks finished and another 13 that still need to be appliqued.

The applique stitches are so tiny and even. I don't know who made these though it might have been my sweetheart's grandmother or great-aunt. I know I can't match the background material so I'll have to figure something because it must be finished. It's too pretty to leave in a box.

There were also these unusual butterfly blocks.

There are eight of these so they would make a sweet wall hanging.

There are more treasures but I'll save those for another day.

I hope to visit some of my favorite blogs in the next few days. Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 NKJV

Wishing you a joyous Easter,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Sad Day and A Precious Promise

A year ago today, my father quietly passed from this life to the presence of our Lord.
Daddy tried to go on alone but he missed my mother very much and, as his health deteriorated, he ceased to try. It was and is very difficult to believe we lost them both in just a little over a year.

The promise of Easter lessens the sadness of loss. The death and resurrection of our Savior gives the promise of eternal life for all those who believe in Him. My parents believed this promise. That assurance brings me joy in the midst of sadness.

I am thankful for the years we had together and for the love of my parents. I love you, Daddy, and I miss you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday, Monday

It's a sunny but cold day here on my red dirt road. We got some of our tomato plants, herbs and flowers over the weekend but they won't be planted for a few days since we are having freezing at night. Our rule of thumb is not to plant until after Easter. I just can't wait to get my hands in the dirt!

Last week was not very productive since I was a bit under the weather but I did get two more blocks of the 1998 BOM finished.

I love the Grandmother's Flower Garden block in any form. It was one of my own grandmother's favorite patterns and, since she had a big flower garden in the middle of her backyard, I grew up thinking that block was named for her (and I still think of her garden whenever I see that quilt block.) I have an ongoing hand-work project of paper piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks.

I'm hoping to finish some a couple of UFO's this week. This is also a time to thank about the events of Jesus' last week on earth and the wonderful blessing of Easter Sunday. Wishing you and yours a happy and holy week,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Random Thoughts

The past several weeks have been busy but not very productive. Maybe the unpredictable weather was part of my problem. We had beautiful, warm days with sunshine and gentle breezes and cold days with high winds. This weekend saw the north and western parts of the state with record snowfall. We had severe thunderstorms, rain, sleet and snow...all in 24 hours...and today was warm and sunny again. I'm really ready for spring!!! I'm ready to buy vegetable plants and flowers and the sweet potato vines for the big flowerpots on the decks. Hurry springtime!!

Our local quilt guild's email newsletter is featuring a 3-part mystery quilt pattern. I've never done a mystery quilt but this sounded fun. I have the first part finished. I decided to use fabrics from my stash and here's what I ended up with.

I love the little chicks on the green fabric! I need to get another piece of red fabric for the next part of the mystery.

Years ago I bought some BOMs at JoAnn's that I had put away and only rediscovered recently. I remember that I loved the colors in this one and liked the idea of pre-cut pieces. I thought this would be fun to pull out and work on, especially since cutting is not one of my favorite parts of quilting.

I got all the pieces out for the January block (notice it's 1998!) and started to sew. It didn't take long to realize that something wasn't working. Some of the pieces were cut smaller than the dimensions shown on the templates. So parts of the bear paws didn't fit! I got frustrated but recovered and took it all apart. It took two more times sewing and taking apart plus some fabric from my stash, but the block is finished and I really like it. I'll just have to incorporate some of those stash fabrics in other blocks to make it work. I don't know what happened but I didn't get the finishing kit....just some of the fabric in yardages so I'll end up making my own sashings and borders.

The next two blocks are coming together well so I think that was just a one-time problem. I hope so since I have several years worth of these BOMs. I think they will be fun to work on whenever I want to sew but don't want to cut and think a lot. The instructions are all in pictures (as well as words) and that makes them very easy to follow. Some days I feel like sewing but not thinking very hard.

Well, I'm off to get ready to watch the OU Sooners women's basketball team play in the Sweet Sixteen. Our men's team lost to North Carolina in the Elite Eight game today and we were sad to see that. Our women are awesome so I hope they play well. BOOMER SOONER!!!

Hope your days are filled with sunshine and stitching. Wishing you blessings.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunlight and Shadows

Sometimes quilt block names say so much. This week has been filled with sunlight and shadows and will each year for the rest of my life. Tuesday was my birthday and I had a lovely day with precious birthday wishes from family and friends. I love being part of the post-WWII baby boom (which my students always thought was just hysterical!) Here’s a picture from February, 1947. This is me with my mother :)
Two years ago, I spent my birthday at my mother’s bedside expecting any moment she would slip away from us and into the presence of our Savior. She had suffered a series of strokes and seizures and was no longer conscious. Today marks two years since my precious mother went to be with Jesus. I thank her for giving me life and loving me so much. Mother was 82 years old and she and Daddy had been married 64 ½ years.

Mother 1924 - 2007

Mother, I love you and I miss you.

Hope you have a blessed day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Wednesday

The past week has been a busy one but I'm so pleased with the results of our work. The larger room - formerly known as the second guest room with a sleeper sofa and my sweetheart's desk and bookcases - is now sunshiney yellow with MOST of my sewing stuff in place. (The guest room and office is now in the smaller room and fits very well.) I still have a little more to do but it looks so nice with shelves around the walls and my sewing machine out in the middle of the room with a big table beside it to use for cutting and holding quilts as I sew. I'll take a picture when everything is in place. There's a small tv with vcr right at viewing level from the sewing machine and my collections of Christy, Anne of Green Gables and Sarah Plain and Tall are right there for peaceful watching and sewing. I can't wait to get started!

But sewing may be delayed a little. We've decided to go ahead and do some more painting...after two years of all white walls, we crave a little soft color in some rooms just to make them more warm and homey. Since painting requires moving furniture, etc., I'm getting my spring cleaning done as well! I love moving into the spring and summer with the house deep-cleaned and organized. Then I can spend time outside with a clear conscience.
Speaking of spring, thank you all for the kind comments and concern after the early Oklahoma tornadoes. Thankfully we were just fine.

My girls loved the Valentine purses I made for them. Amy is a Native American scholar and writer so I chose these fabrics for her.

Maggie loves the combination of pink and brown so I knew she would like these fabrics.

It's time to get back to putting fabrics and patterns away!
Hope to finish the sewing room today!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit.
Hope your day is happy, productive and blessed!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tornado Alley

The skies turn dark, the clouds start to boil and we know it's tornado season in Oklahoma! It just usually doesn't happen in February but yesterday was quite a day! Our meteorologist daughter emailed early in the day and warned us to be aware...conditions were right for a major storm outbreak. She was certainly correct. My sweetheart works in west OKC and, at his company, they took shelter three different times as the sirens sounded and tornadoes roared very close to them. One touchdown was just north of his location. The real damage in the afternoon was in Edmond, north of OKC. At our house, there was wind, rain and hail. In the early evening, a tornado did tremendous damage at Lone Grove, south of us near Ardmore, and lives were lost. We pray for that community.

We've lived in Oklahoma all our lives and every spring and fall we know to watch the western skies. I can tell by the feel of the weather and the smell when storms can develop. Yesterday was one of those days!

I've been stitching Valentine gifts and will show them when I know the package has been delivered. Until then, I'm moving everything out of my sewing room and will be trading for a larger room after it's painted a sunny yellow gold...a happy creative color :)

Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Hoops

Ooops...I need to correct that the Lady Vols were ranked #12 this week but the game was very exciting and the Sooners won 80-70!!! It was a great evening!!!!!

Stitchery hoops are not the focus today at our house! Instead I'm very excited about basketball hoops :)

My sweetheart and I love to follow college football and basketball! We look forward all summer to the first football game of the season and we are totally lost when March Madness is over :) We are not big baseball fans and that's probably good since we need those months to garden and get things in order before football starts again. We are very devoted fans of the University of Oklahoma Sooners (BOOMER SOONER!!) but we also cheer for Belmont University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee since one daughter and son-in-law are alums of those schools.
I especially love women's basketball and the OU Sooners are number 2 in the nation! My favorite women's basketball coach is Pat Summitt of Tennessee...she's an amazing coach and a classy lady. So the ideal game for me would be Sherri Coale and the #2 OU Sooners against Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols!!! And it's happening tonight and my sweetheart surprised me with tickets!!! He even has to take off work early so we can get there in time for all the pregame fun.

I want the Sooners to win but a Tennessee win would be #1000 for Pat Summit. I'll be a happy lady either way. It's nationally televised so if you see a crazy lady dressed in OU crimson and cream singing "Rocky Top" ... that's me :)

I'll be back to stitching tomorrow! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thawing and Stitching

We are in the low 40s now so there's some thawing going on and we do appreciate that sunshine. Our hearts go out to those north and east in the country who got this storm and lost power and had even more ice and snow than we did. It's hard to see the trees breaking with the ice and people suffering with the cold and difficult travel. I hope the sunshine and warmer temps will spread north and east as well.

I finished two of the BOMs I had planned. The Christmas Wish stitchery was fun to do and I'm pleased with it.

This is such a pretty pattern. You can find it by clicking on the button on the right.

The Country Calendar BOM was a little more difficult for me since I decided to do it by applique instead of embroidery. I have put off learning to applique for many years so I thought it was time to learn. This is my attempt...actually it's the third attempt since I redid the snowman part of the block three times!! The first two attempts were pretty wonky and I wanted to do it right. This one isn't perfect but I'm content with it. I did something different with the's a little busy but it makes me happy so I'll go with it. That's preprinted patchwork fabric on the borders.

Last summer I bought some quilt block kits on sale at Hancock's Fabrics and some of them are appliqued blocks with simple shapes. I think I'll be practicing my applique skills by making's going to take some practice :)

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Wishing you blessings today. Karen