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Monday, May 30, 2011

Farmer's Market Placemats Finished!

Hooray, hooray - they're done in time!

Memorial Day 2011

There's nothing like the flavor of a small town Memorial Day.  This morning I was in Columbus, WI. 
First the grade schoolers laid flowers and planted flags at the foot of a statue honoring local men who died in the Civil War.
The high school band played...
...followed by the middle school band.
Then everyone followed the parade to the cemetary where a short ceremony and gunfire salute took place.  The minister who spoke honored those who have lost their lives, and those who have and continue to serve our country each and every day.   As do I.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Farmer's Market Placemats x 4

Gotta baste, quilt and bind the last two placemats in time to launder and starch them all for a June 1 deadline.  That's when my friend moves into her very first apartment - these will be a housewarming gift. 

I debated about making napkins to match, using the (non-fruit/veggie) geometric prints.  I keep hoping to find one geometric pattern (gingham perhaps?) that comes in all six colors...but that's probably too much to ask.  Shopped today, hoping to find some cloth napkins I could purchase instead, but struck out. 

On now, to oranges and blueberries!  :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Purple Irises

Some people dread Memorial Day weekend cuz 'round these parts it often involves yard work - and plenty of it.  I say "Bring it on!"  All winter I look forward to the point where you can safely plant in Wisconsin without worrying about frost.  Today I prepped my flower beds and transplanted perrenials.  The weather is warm enough for shorts, and cool enough not to stress the plants, with rain coming tonight.  Ideal! 

These weed-free, grass-free irises are the fruit of my labor.  Isn't the deep purple beautiful against the spring green foliage and grass?  Who needs a color wheel, when Mother Nature can continually suprise and amaze us?

This year I'm going to try my hand at container gardening tomatoes, red and green peppers and green beans - maybe more.  In the past I've been unable to grow vegetables due to deep shade.  But some of my old trees have to come down so I'm looking forward to growing something other than impatiens and hostas.  You can expect future progress reports. 

Hope you're enjoying a glorious weekend!  :) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Lemon?

I finally found time to do some stitching, and got this placemat quilted quickly.  I had instructions for making the binding by bringing the backing fabric around to the front.  It didn't look too hard, so I gave it a try.  I have mixed feelings on the results.

The process is a great time-saver, but I'm not thrilled with the corners.  Can you see the gap?  I'm going to have to hand tack the gaps on all four corners, otherwise food and dirt will accumulate in there.  

Now I must decide if I should bind the other five placemats in the same manner, or if I should rip this out and go with the traditional method.  I applied the 24 Hour Rule (Never rip in the heat of passion.  Wait 24 hours, then re-evaluate.)  I'ts been 3 days and I'm still undecided....I guess I'll do more quilting, and hold off on bindings until I make up my mind.  Phooey!  :(

Wednesday Wellness - Partners & Perserverance

My Sweetie and I joined the YMCA five weeks ago.  Approaching fitness as a tag team has been tremendously helpful.  It gives us more time together, and if one is not motivated to exercise, the other one is.  Who's gonna let their partner down?  Not I!

The other day I overheard a trainer working with a woman about my size and my age.  He said many people don't lose pounds or inches in the first few weeks and they give up too quickly.  This woman did not lose pounds for several months.  But she perservered, establishing regular exercise habits and enjoying better physical condition.  And then she DID start losing -  and losing steadily. 

Ya know what?  More than one person benefitted from that pep talk! 

I'd put forth a month of effort, and saw no weight loss.  With my spirits bolstered by the trainer's words, I pressed on.  A week later my clothes began loosening up.  Today, finally, the scale started moving in the right direction again. 

If you're struggling to lose weight, keep up the good fight.  Its not easy to change both your eating habits and exercise habits all at once.  Be forgiving and patient with yourself.  Grab a friend to help you stay motivated, and above all, perservere! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


All six placemat tops are done! On to quilting next.  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Today's Results

My Friday night sew-in was preceded by a Friday afternoon mow-in. 
(Actually, I mowed OUTside - but that doesn't rhyme.)
Days like this make me appreciate a good pair of walking shoes and my New Balance walking socks.  My feet never get tired when I wear them! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Feelin' Blue

Making this set of placemats continues to affected my diet for the better. 
Think I'll have a bowl of cereal with blueberries for supper.  
Four mats pieced; two to go!  :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011


Dang it!  Now all I can think about is a big piece of lemon meringue pie on that plate! :)

Spring At Last!

Spring has finally sprung in Wisconsin.  My bleeding hearts are up and blooming.
I've worked for years to establish this bed of evergreen vinca between and amongst my hostas.  It's gratifying to see a sea of periwinkle flowers.
I call this licorice fern, though I'm sure that's not the right name.  But when they bloom it smells like black licorice.
This is a picture of my tulips AFTER the hail storm.  Had I snapped this shot one day sooner, you would have seen seven more pink/white tulips.  Still, I'm so happy to see some color.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Food Fabrics

Doesn't this make you hungry? 

I'm about to make a set of placemats for a young lady who will be moving out of the school dormitories to her very first apartment.  Can't wait to get started! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy May Day!

As adults, its all too easy to forget life's little pleasures - such as finding a May Basket at your door!  This basket arrived on May 2, and was placed on my door by a local grade schooler.  I don't know him or her.  But someone put some love into this basket.  The school does this every year, and it's one of many reasons our neighborhood feel like home.
And speaking of creative are some of the things that have been keeping me away from quilting.  There have been numerous retirements at work.  We seem to be feting someone different each week or two.  Tomorrow will be my last day to work with Mr. Bill, so we will give him a nice little send off. 

I often get my best quilting ideas while doing non-quilty tasks. As I added the sprinkles to the cake, I looked at it from the top, bottom, left and right to see if my sprinkle border was even - just as we turn a quilt square every which way to find its optimal placement.

This project came about because of one devilishly persistent chick-a-dee!  A few weeks ago, I entered the garage to hear what I assumed to be the biggest woodpecker on the face of the planet pecking on my poor defenseless little house.  That bully!  Using my best Ninja bird watching skills, I came cautiously around the corner to find a tiny little fluff ball peck, peck, pecking at some old soft trim.  The next day he pecked away another 4 x1" section of the window frame.  I sprayed some repellent on the window, and went to work.  By day's end he had pecked away a 12 x 2" area.  Not bad for a bird that's only 3" long and weighs half an ounce! 

So my Sweetie and I set about to replace the window.  Got a window marked down from $137.99 for $27.99.  Ain't she a beauty?  As you can see, there is insulation to trim, dry wall to replace and inner trim to replace.  Outside we need to trim insulation, and do the exterior trim and caulk it up tight.  Like everything, DIY window replacement probably would get easier if you did it more than once.  But I'm kinda thinkin' this may be my first and last DIY window project. 

In addition, I've resumed physical therapy for my back/hip trouble.  Weekly PT, followed by walking, weight training and yoga.  Had my first yoga experience yesterday.  I've always associated flexibility with yoga, but greatly underestimated the amount of strength involved!  Oh well, when you start at the bottom ain't no where to go but up.  Right?

So that's what's new around here.  I hope to have SOMETHING quilty to report soon.  Meanwhile, I hope my quilty friends are enjoying Spring (at last!) with quilty (or even non-quilty) creative endeavors to lift the spirits!  :)