Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween & Giveaway time!

Good Morning to Everyone and Happy Halloween,

Now this will really scare you! Here I am on the left, my sister is on the right standing in front of the House on Edgewood Lane in the 1950's. (Don't you love my bangs!) We were so proud of our fish that we caught with our Dad.

Here is the side view of the house in one of the first snows on the season. See the snowball in my sister's hand that she was going to throw at me!

I loved this little house. So much so that it inspired me to make my first quilt pattern.

This is what I've written inside the front cover of the pattern.........

The origin of this quilt came to me when I was thinking about the first home that I remember growing up in as a child in the little community of Paradise in Northern California. My parents were tired of living in the San Francisco Bay Area and decided they needed a slower pace of life to raise their two small girls, my sister Gail and me. My father bought eight acres with a small house, chicken coop, barn and corral without my mother seeing it first. Now that is what I call trust. They packed up all of their belongings with crates of chickens tied on the back of the moving van and headed north.

When my mother saw the house for the time, her first thought was to toss in a match and start over. Back in the early 1950’s, (now I’m giving away my age) money was very tight so they proceeded to turn the little house into a little cottage. It just goes to show you no matter what your circumstances are in life, you can turn your surroundings into a little piece of heaven with elbow grease, love, determination, and of course a quilt or two.

While designing, piecing, appliquéing and quilting this quilt, memories of that home came flooding back to me just like it was yesterday instead of five decades ago. I remember the rhubarb growing by the squeaky back door. There were many happy hours picking berries down by the stream with Grandma Ross. I remember running through the sprinkler on the front lawn on a hot day. I loved visits from our “city” cousins and playing outside until dark. To light our way, we would pick daisies and put them in a mason jar which became our lantern. I remember birthday parties, getting my first doll one Christmas, my first dog named Blue, watching Howdy Dowdy on a very little black and white console Philco television. We put many a mile on the Radio Flyer wagon and then rode off into the sunset on the saw horses just like Dale Evans and Roy Rogers. It was a time of double-dog-dares from my sister and I still have the scars on my knees and elbows to prove it!

Of course I remember getting my first quilt from my berry-picking Grandmother that she made on her treadle sewing machine out of leftover scraps from clothes she made for my mother and herself. I still have the quilt, and I have the treadle machine that is in working condition.

I was seven when we left the house on Edgewood Lane in 1959 and moved into town. I have many happy memories of my first home. Most of all, I knew I was loved and was being raised in a loving family. It was where I developed my sense of place and sense of self. That is the story behind this quilt. I invite you to make your own “first” house. I double-dog dare you!

So just to see if anyone is actually reading this blog, I'm giving a pattern away for The House on Edgewood Lane. Travel down memory lane with your thoughts and really think about your "first house" and make a comment about it in the comment section. What was your favorite memory? I'll post the winning comment on Wednesday, November 4th.

I double-dog dare you!

As always,


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The frost is on the pumpkin

Good Morning Blossom of Friendship Followers,

If I had a pumpkin up here at the cabin, the frost would have been on it this morning! But if I had a pumpkin at the cabin, the bears would have eaten it by now. So here is a ceramic pumpkin from my sister's wedding last weekend at our home.

My daughter took all of these pictures for me while I was greeting guests, taking care of the loose ends prior to the ceremony and fishing Zinny out of the pool! Our sweet little terror (not terrior) decided to swim a few laps before being the "bling bearer". It wasn't too bad until she got out and shook herself all over me and a few others. Oh well, it added a bit of excitement to the day.

Fall weddings are wonderful for decorating. The weather was absolutely fantastic. We couldn't have asked for a prettier day. After the torrential rains we'd had earlier in the week, I was getting a bit nervous.

Three weddings for our family in five months has pretty much sent me over the brink! Our son was married in Hawaii in May. Our daughter was married at Lake Tahoe in August. Last but not least was my sister's turn last weekend. Here is my sister Gail, with her new husband Bill.

Now it is time to get back to my quilting passion. I feel free for the first time in months! But then, it's also time to get ready for those pesky Holidays!

Hope all of you have a wonderful week. Check back soon for my first giveaway on my blog site.

As always,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Quilting at the Cabin

Good Morning Friends,

Joe and I had the pleasure of Kathy and Barbara over the weekend. We'd been planning our quilting retreat for the last two months and then we ended up not doing too much quilting. We did a lot of eating, walking, chatting, and played games every evening.

This is Kathy, Barbara, (Barbara's quilt) and me in the back yard. Barbara took the Stone Cottage class that I taught at In Between Stitches this summer and she finished her quilt in record time!

This is a picture of Kathy's quilt made out of batiks. The beautiful colors of the quilt looked so good against the maple tree in the background.

Here we are with Zinny.....our sweet canine companion. She enjoyed the guests just as much as we did. (We think we've found some new doggy sitters!)

Most people, myself included, post beautiful pictures of food they've prepared. Well, here is my absolute failure at cookie making. I was trying to do too many things at once and doubled everything in the recipe except for the flour! I did Paula Dean proud with the amount of butter in these pound cake cookies. The cookies spread out about the size of Frisbees on the cookie sheet then rolled right over the side. I learned how to turn off the smoke alarm this weekend!

Surprisingly, they tasted good and Joe loved them! My husband is very easy to please.

This is how they should look with the proper amount of flour. They tasted good too! But the smoke alarm went off again because I forgot to clean out the burned cookies on the bottom of the stove.

Oh well, so much for having the cabin smell like heaven when the guests arrive.

The coyotes sang to us one evening. When you hear their haunting voices, you realize you are in the mountains. Much to Kathy's disappointment, we didn't see any bears this weekend. Only one deer on our walk and lots of raccoons in the evening.

I'll be at the shop today making up kits for The House on Edgewood Lane quilt for PIQF. I finally finished getting the pattern instructions together. I could have made this quilt five times in the amount of time it took me to get the pattern together. This is the Christmas edition of the pattern.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. The weatherman in predicting a "gully-washer" for us over the next couple of days. It sounds like it is going to be good quilting weather to me.

As always,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Miss Collette

Dear Blossom of Friendship Followers,

It is with a bit of sadness that I'm posting the last completed block for the series. Next month we are down to the remaining border flowers and borders.

When making the basket, I appliqued the woven basket down to the background fabric. I know some have used basting glue which gives you another option.

I haven't done embroidery for eons, so I took a close up to show you that it's not so bad! I wasn't going to do any embroidery on mine until I started seeing blocks completed by some of you, and they were beautifully embroidered. It added such a nice "touch" and enhanced the overall look of the block.

I've been terrible about updating the blog. I do most of my blogging at the cabin, and we haven't been able to get up here until this week. It is so peaceful and I can work on a project or do my blogging without interruption.

The fall colors have arrived since our last visit. I went around the backyard with the camera yesterday and snapped a few photos.

This was taken looking down from the deck at our little fire pit. We roast marshmallows and make S'mores with the grand kids on Christmas Eve while watching the sky for Santa. While they watch the sky, I'm watching the woods for any hint of movement or eyes watching us!

Looks like I need to get out with a rake and scoop up some of the pine needles and pine cones.

I'm taking a break from quilting for the next couple of days. It's time to get my thoughts together and get my pattern finalized in the computer. It has to be completed this week, so the patterns can go to PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) in Santa Clara next week. The patterns will be at the In Between Stitches booth. Please stop by and enjoy the beautiful booth decorated by Leslie and Melissa.

Just one more wedding to plan. My sister is getting married on Oct 24th at our house. The guest list is under no problem. This is just like having a regular family get-together. Three weddings in five months has been a bit much! That's my only excuse for not having my Blossom of Friendship quilt completed....but it's a great excuse!

Take care all and have a fabulous week.

As always,