Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011


Traditions...the pig with olives on toothpicks from Great-grandma..a must...long after no one eats olives any more:)
 My nephew, Barry's birthday cake.  We used to tease him when he was young that he was the turkey on Thanksgiving...poor at 28 we cannot let it go...his favorite cake and his favorite candy..tradition!
 Family carrying on the two wonderful children.
 Generations in the kitchen carrying on..Lynsey helping Aunt Emily make her apple pie from scratch.
 Lynsey helping her daddy make the mashed potatoes, quality control.
Family and gratitude.

Purplish Trip Around the World...finished

This is my second Trip Around the World quilt.  The colors do not show the vibrancy..too bad it is a cloudy day.  My first Trip quilt is posted here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Flannel Story.....

Black Friday came and my daughter and I decided to go ahead and do it...get up at 5 and go to JoAnn's Fabric Store for the big flannel bargain of $1.47 a yard.  Five o'clock came and I heard nothing from my daughter and I heard nothing from sleep kept coming.  We said that it was not worth the hassle and had a great day.  Then evening came and I was a bit stir crazy or maybe just plain crazy...wanted an adventure...get out of the house you know.  So I persuaded my man to take me to JoAnn's.  It was 8pm.  I thought things might all be gone, but what the heck..adventure.  Emily got her man to go too and we met up there.  NO ONE was in the store..only employees and the racks were absolutely full of flannel all for that wonderful price.  Emily and I gathered up our loot and carried it to the cutting tables.  The women had no other customers so they were enjoying our flannels.  They would say things like.."Oh, I never saw that one...or how adorable"..and they would feel it and love it and then cut it.  The pig fabric I had to share with the worker because she loved it so.  Mr.Two Red Wellies was talking to Mr.O'Quilts and observing that in any respectable hardware store, one would be hard pressed to hear the worker say something like," Oh, wow...that hammer...I just love that, can I feel it?  Or, those nails are just awesome, etc!"  I just love quilters:)
And, I just love that price of $1.47 a yard in Charlotte's brand new JoAnn's Fabric store.  And I just love that   
I do not have to pay the now price of $6.99 or $5.99....Yeah for adventure.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday thoughts from Mary Couch

I found this post from Mary at the above blog.  She said that I could re-post it here.  Food for thought on the holidays.  Happy Thanksgiving.

I received this as an email from a good friend, and thought, "This is the perfect post for the blog.

If you would like a copy of this article to put on your blog
or email to friends just leave a comment
and I'll make sure you get it!

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking 
  into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of 
  cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been  
  produced at the expense of American labor. This
  year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift 
 of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an 
  excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is 
  produced by American hands. Yes there is!
  It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift 
  needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced 
  wrapping paper?
  Everyone--yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about  
  gift certificates from your local American hair salon
  or barber? 
  Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are  
  thinking about some health improvement.
  Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, 
  American owned detail shops and car washes would love to  
  sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
  Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of 
  plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? 
  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway 
  sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed  
  all winter, or games at the local golf course.
  There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift 
  certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort,
 what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. 
  Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is 
  about supporting your home town Americans with their  
  financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
  How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, 
  truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American
  working guy? 
  Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE  
  the services local cleaning lady for a day.
  My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find  
  some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business
  up and running. 
  OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local  
  crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.  
  They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
  Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants 
  and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to 
  see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.
  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local
  Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten  
  thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five  
  dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. 
  If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman,  
  trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
  You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American  
  pockets so that China can build another glittering city.  
  Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging  
  American small businesses to keep plugging away to  
  follow their dreams. 
  And, when we care about other Americans, we care about  
  our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways
  we couldn't imagine. 
  THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
  Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to 
  discussion groups--throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants 
  and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your 
  local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments.  
  This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that  
  what Christmas is about?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...not!!

I see folks posting "Wordless Wednesday", etc.  That word is not in my vocabulary:)  Here is the next mug rug/ trivet/potholder made with Insul-brite...Gave Emily's B the other one for Christmas!

OMG, who said that the lessons should start so precious machine....and my precious the same room?? 

 The visitor who refuses identification, who hates cats and loves children's books..My Milito only knows that this is my chair:)
 Experiment in color and the fall leaves.

 Happy the front door.  Great-grandma's birds a-watching.

 Good Irish training has my wood all stacked perfectly on the porch by the  Camilla bush.  Thank you honey.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Guild holiday donations...Done!

This month's BOM for breast cancer is another paper pieced house.  hmmm That is not for me.  So I decided to make a wonky no-pattern Poinsettia.. grown in a hot house!!  ha!  It is very wonky..but so much fun to make.  One for Guild and one for me:)

 This weekend was very productive. Look at all I finished. The Guild holiday donations are now all done.

More excitement here.  My daughter set up my old Bernina in my sewing room and we are sewing along together.  Her boyfriend flew in tonight from Dublin.  I told him that he was welcome at least every two weeks because not only do I like him, but Emily cleaned my whole house and it looks wonderful.  Thank you Emily and thank you Brian!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More holiday finishes for the Guild

 So isn't this the cutest rug mug  you have ever seen???  OMG I am getting carried away with that fabric...And, I hope this is mug rug size...7 and a half inches by 9 and a half inches...batted with Insul-brite.  Our Guild holiday party is asking for a gift to share at the table...see previous post and one to donate to the Guild store at the March, 2012 quilt show.  I just know that everyone will be lining up to grab this latest mug rug of mine:)

Here are my December contributions to our Quilts of Valor group.

I made my December cuddle quilt at our retreat.  The only thing left to do now is to make the pink block for our BoM for breast cancer...and I am done..yeah me.

Focused on the holidays:)

Ok...second present done!  IKEA sent us coupons in the mail for free $25.  Yesterday we went to IKEA to redeem them.  My sister had to work so I picked up this fabric for her.  It won a 2011 design award for IKEA and my sister did NOT like it...ooooo...but I love it..I love funky.  I just finished making this bag for the Santa exchange at the Guild.  You know the one where you get one present and then the others at the table can take it from you.  I think it is perfect for that and I am glad it is done.  It only took about an hour and a half.  Second present down.  In the background you can see the last of the color in our yard.  One rain storm and one day made the difference between autumn and winter.  Hello winter in Charlotte.

 Look at the surprise that my daughter and husband cooked up for me on the computer yesterday.  It is art canvas from Polaroid that she got in the $1 (Euro) store in Galway before she came home.  I soaked it in water all night long and ironed it good and now I have labels....lucky me!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Starting Christmas....

There is about 5 weeks till Christmas and that is for the family celebrations.  For friends and donations and guilds and bees, it is earlier.  So I guess I had better not start any new quilts till the New Year...Here is a mug rug I made, with Insul-brite and my daughter tells me that it is not a mug-rug.  She says it is too big for that.  It is 10 inches by 13 inches.  Oh, well...guess it is a hot pad then.  And it is the beginning of my Christmas sewing.  I really loved making it and knowing that the Insul-brite would protect most surfaces.
Since stress is still upon me, I guess I will be sewing a lot.  My gift to myself:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Solomon's quilt

My friend, Peggy recently flew to Uganda with her daughter-in-law to pick up her new grandson, Solomon.  Sooo exciting for them!  I think Solomon is about one year old, not too sure, but when they got there he had some parasites and maybe some Malaria.  Thankfully they are home and fine now.  Because my children are adopted too, I have a soft spot in my heart for adoption.  I just finished Solomon's  "Welcome home" quilt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


How could anyone be sad with such wonderful things to celebrate.

 And thank you Uncle Kieran for coming all the way from Galway to plant this to remember you by.  We think of you every year.

 Camellia...the first plant we planted when be bought the house.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Alice, the poem

When I closed my practice in Miami, 17 years ago, and moved to Charlotte, I decided not to work.  I told my husband that I was just going to clean the kitchen floor and eat M&M's.  That didn't go over too well and I ended up working in a Hospice house in the country.  I have seen death and I have seen how the body fights for life itself and loses.  It is difficult.  But, it never is as difficult as watching someone you love decline.  When my mother was dying, her friend Mike wrote this poem for her.  And though she has now rallied, this poem will always touch my heart.  I want to share it with you.

by Michael Ham

Here, in the twilight, she stands in the shadows
and looks back upon the road just traveled.
Limbs, once young and limber, hold her frame with difficulty now-
the clarion voice of youth now mirrors the song of the butterfly.

She was the poet, and now she is the poem-
a story for the reader yet to come.
There is a clarity to her rhyme-a subtlety to her meter-
and in her verse is the story of humanity.

Here in the twilight she awaits the evening,
not in melancholy, but in anticipation.
She does not stand alone, for here-further back in the shadows-
are all the characters who shared her stage-her light.

She was the play write-and she inhabited her play-
a generous actress always ready to share the applause.
When a fellow actor stumbled, she picked him up
and infused him with a desire to be better-for her.

She was the teacher-sharing the song of poetry with the world.
She was the mentor-passing her love of words to youth.
She was the friend-she was always the friend-
showing each fearful soul what courage looks like.

Here in the twilight- as shadows deepen-
she does not hide her eyes from the coming dark-
but sees the dawn of discovery
that rises on the far horizon-and she prepares.

Here in the fading of the day-when meadowlarks serenade-
She sees the faces of all she loved-of all who loved her-
And as that last glimmer of light falls softly on her aging cheeks-
She hears the angels sing; hosanna.

When I asked Michael for permission to print his poem on my blog, he generously said that it was my mother's poem...his gift to her and it was her permission, not his.  Thank you Michael for this wonderful gift.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Awesome retreat with my awesome friends

Last weekend 9 of us with our 9 sewing machines went to a retreat in the mountains of West Jefferson, North Carolina.  My mother was stable, so my sister and I were both able to join in the fun..3 nights and 4 days.

Brilliant Sherry brought her homemade long arm for us all to practice on.

 I quilted my entire hour-glass quilt on this machine!!  I hated the learning curve...ugh, but got with the program thx to St. Sherry and love the end proud!

Thanks to Muggs, we had great fun playing, "Right, Left and Center" for fat quarters.

Quilts were finished (Especially great for Drenna's 3 years worth of work) and quilts were started.
And then there was the bonfire with s'mores! 

 Nothing like friends, nothing like a vacation, nothing like laughing and nothing like quilting!! Oh, did I mention shopping..ooooooooo