Friday, March 30, 2012


Johanna Blakely: Lessons from the Fabric Industry on UTube thanks to Leah Day.  An interesting take on the copyright stuff....Dear me...I was starting to be nervous that on every applique piece I did, I would have to get permission and give credit to the freezer paper company.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quilts and thoughts

So here is a baby quilt top.  We went to Springs Creative sale a few weeks back in Rock Hill, SC.  I bought this panel for 20 cents.  It was a book panel, but I just had to make it into a quilt.  Actually there were 5 panels for a dollar, but this was the only one I liked
Here up close is one of the pages...cute! 
 With my mother stable now, I still cannot think clearly.  It has become more than my mother now.  Her close experiences with decline and death in the past 9 months has brought my own mortality to the forefront. Totally would have liked to skip that part.  You see when my mother dies, I will be the oldest member of our family.  That is a scary thing.  Not only is my own demise a nearer possibility, but the responsibility of  the keeper of the flame..."matriarch"...jeeze...and all that goes with that.  It brings me to one of the most important books I have read..Julie Hall's book...see below.  I read it a few years back and realize that I need to look at it again.  It is not just all my mother's things, but now my things that my children will not want.  Julie says that in the estates she processes, 90% of the attic things go directly into a giant dumpster, not looked at and not cared about.  My mother has done things right.  When she moved into assisted living, she divided her valuables amonst us...she gave us her things while she was still alive.  She moved from a 5 bedroom house in Arizona, to a 2 bedroom apt here in Charlotte to a room in Assisted living.  When we moved her from Arizona, her attic was completely empty  At the time I was disappointed, but I came to be grateful.  No one really wanted Grandma's pig collection and no one really wants my mother's poetry book collection (other than the books she authored) and who will want my fabric or my great collection of quilting books and antique quilts...How many quilts does a person need, unless you love them so much like I do..??  So it is not just the junk in my head and my heart that disturbs me now, but the junk in my house. UGH!!!

Five Little Monkeys and one old cat...

Xander's quilt is all snipped and washed and ready to give.  I took it to my mother to show her before I gave it to a staff member to pass on to the baby.  But, my mother insisted that it was hers to give and I should put it in her room for when Magen came by to show off her baby.  Yes Mam!!  My mother told her lunch seat mates that I was very busy and couldn't visit often...Like Jeeze Louize...I am there every day!!!
 I left dear old Mom sitting on the porch holding court with her friends.  I want to be a cat.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A glorious day

Today is the day of all days!  It is stunning outside and happy inside.  I have finished sewing down the binding of this quilt...Thank you to my friend Terri Feehan for such a wonderful quilting job.

 Below is the better picture of these two quilts, but someone got in the way....I spent $1 a block for 15 vintage blocks and made these two quilts from them.  Such recycling fun!!
So I guess I have never really learned the old Southern expression, " Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you"!  For yesterday my mother got her hair done for the first time in a month and today I found her in the bistro with her volunteer, Tanya, chatting with her friends.  That she struggles with her swallowing has not seemed recently to interfere with her socialization.  Two nights ago as I fretted, my sister called with the news that she was in bed with wine in her sippy cup reading.  TBTG...a lovely day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monkey Quilt top 2 or dirt clods from brain partially cleared..

Finally, something to blog about...process.  Magen, I think you do not read my I am showing the tops and back of your baby's quilt here first.  So if you do see it, pretend you don't.  And if you do not want to pretend, then I hope you like it...I hope to baste it tomorrow and get going...sigh...Hard to do much with dirt clods on the brain.....
 Short for Alexander...your Xander:)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow pudding

My mother is visiting the past.  She remembers her childhood home in Woburn, Massachusetts and she remembers her mother's cooking.  She told me yesterday that she remembered that I had the family Bible   cookbook.  It is 62 years old and I am yup, it is mine and we are both vintage:)
 She told me to look in this cookbook and find the recipe for snow pudding with custard sauce like her mother used to make.
 She wanted me to make it because she knew she could swallow it and she had memories.  Well, I never knew how time consuming it was.  And as kids, we just ate it up, never realizing how much work it was...sorry Grandma...but we loved it.
 The gelatin, the egg whites.....the snow pudding part finished, in Mom's old glasses on Mom's old tray...
 And then there was the custard sauce.  I had never ever made any of this before...
 My husband and I had a try tonight...hmmm...Mom I think you will like it...
Grandma would be proud...I will deliver it to my mother tomorrow!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

cooking today

Well, my husband is down at the parade...the MC of all the Irish music groups playing today.  I was visiting my mother who had decided to get out of bed to go to the bathroom when she hasn't walked in 5 harm done..but scary since she was found on the floor.  So I came home, read a little of the Kindle in the back yard with the dog.  Then I decided to make more chicken broth for Mom and do it the Susan Branch way.  Mmmmmm  such a great smell in this house.

My husband announced that corn beef and cabbage was not real Irish and he never liked it anyway.

OK, But Marie said that cabbage was on sale for 4 heads for a $ and that corn beef was half price today.  She gave me an easy crockpot recipe..put it all in with season pack from corned beef, add carrots, onions, cabbage and bay leaves and cook for 6 or 7 hours in the crock pot.  So I decided to do it anyway, while he is at the parade.  Unfortunately, somehow along the way, I unplugged the crockpot and do not know for how long.  I just plugged it in again, and I think I will just guess and see what happens.  Too many things going on at once and brain still not working properly..hope it comes back some day.

Happy St.Paddy's Day 2012

I am Swedish, but married a Muldoon 32 years ago and never looked back.  Today is full of memories.  This is the Irish Step dancing competition dress that I made for my daughter, Emily.  She traveled to Ireland and all over the states in champion dancing in this dress.

 And then there is the button collection:)
And a repeat of Muldoon's Irish soda bread recipe:
Ingredients: 1 cup white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 of a stick of butter sliced and stirred in
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups of buttermilk

Mix all ingredients together and add buttermilk. It will be a bit hard to mix, so you can knead it if the spoon is too hard to use.  Cook in an iron frying pan or large glass pie dish sprayed with Mazola.  Bless with knife by making a cross in the dough, edge to edge,  in the dish.  Cook in oven at 325 for one hour and 10 min.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quilts, advice, today's work me and my ma...etc.

1.  Diary of a Quilter posted some advice on quilting that I thought was good . I thought I would share that here.
2.  The disappearing nine patch that I am working on now with the charm pack I bought (Malka's)..I so do not like white, but it is so modern that I thought I would try it.  Then I pricked my finger and got blood all over it and it is not even in use yet. Ugh!  I think that I will finish the two baby quilts I have to do and then work on my Swedish flag quilt.  Gotta start thinking sometime!!!
Then, my mother and me.....she looked so good today.  It was a great moment..a light in the dark.`

Celebrating life

Mom, in her new Hospice wheelchair that supports the ever weakening neck and her legs.  She is holding her sippy cup:) and playing with bubbles.  Her teeth are missing due to dry mouth from Parkinson's medication.  When that happened, of course she hit me up for tooth fairy money:)  Life is good today.  She is on her way to the front of Sunrise for a sit under the tree after 3 weeks in bed.  Clear minded with sense of humor intact, her voice muscles weak, she whispers her gratitude....I shout it out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Misc..not quilting perusings....

 I am a fanatic quilting blogger...just love to see what others do.  In the past year I have come about two blogs that I love and they are not quilting...OMG..One is inspirational...even though I know it, gotta hear it again once in awhile...that would be.Marc and Angel.  And then a gardening blog...the best of the best...that would be Melissa and her Empress of Dirt blog.

Now a small report on the bed end stage Parkinsons is no picnic.  She whispers now because vocal cords are not strong and she takes her meds crushed up in chocolate pudding because she struggles swallowing. And of course you have heard enough of the other bad stuff.  Today when I visited her she had had a nice bath and rub down by her Hospice aides, she had her retired Russian oncologist volunteer cleaning up her place and trying to make her drink.  Then two friend of a church showed up with a daughter who was a violinist in a junior symphony.  Next thing I knew, my mother was ordering Mediation from Thais...and the young girl was serenading her with the violin.  Life is still sweet:)

Honorable Mention and the integrity of judging....

Back in the day when I could think, I took a few experimental blocks and worked medallion style from the inside out.  So much fun it was to do wonky, no pattern and just pure creating with color and fabric.  I said to myself, all the world celebrates Gees Bend and Gwen Marston, I can at least celebrate me.  And so I did.  I wanted to share with my friends at the Guild my idea of the freedom of expression with no rules. So, I put this quilt in the recent quilt show here in Charlotte.  And then it happened.....Oh, NO...the quilt police!  

At the preview party and presentation of awards, the speaker said that the judges decided that they could do whatever and maybe give 10 first place prizes or none at all.  So in this small quilt category, she announced that the judges gave NO first place, NO second place and NO third place.  Then she announced this quilt of mine and asked me to come up for the honorable mention ribbon.  Now there is no shame in an honorable mention prize, but I was a bit taken back by this presentation.  At first I said...oh nice... queen of the bad ones, until 8 other wonderful quilting friends in this section presented themselves with shock and awe and no ribbon at all.  After all the laughing and hugging and enjoyment of a great show..the question still begs....This being a quilt show in Charlotte, North Carolina, not a big international show.  Is the priority to encourage quilting by judging within the section what is presented or is the priority ............what?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vintage blocks small quilt with a little help..done

We have had Zoey for three days now.. What do we know about her?  Well, she was adopted from the shelter with her sister 3 years ago.  She enjoyed, I think, a family for 3 years before they had to move and the two labs were then dropped back to the shelter.  The shelter saw them and realized how adoptable they were so they called Lucky Lab Rescue.  She was in foster care for a month before we got her.  So what else do we know??  Still finding out.  She can stay in a strange house with three old cats all night unrestrained.  There have been no cat/dog fights and no messes.  She does not beg at the table and she loves to be loved.  She does not fetch the ball, but she sits and stays.  She is so laid back that yesterday, she let a complete stranger at the assisted living, pick her up and put her on my mother's bed.  And from the below picture, she is evidently a quilt picture ham.  I no sooner put the quilt out for a photo, when herself got into her pose!!  She will keep me motivated I can see!
They say that free motion quilting is nothing but practice.  So, yesterday I took this basted quilt and went at it..Practice, not perfection!
 Evidently I like my own pictures because I just had to get the composing bins in the background.
Not only is the dog a rescue, but this quilt is too.  This quilt is one of two I made from purchased/ rescued vintage squares.  I really do not know what is best to do with this quilt.  It is baby size, but not really baby colors.  It could be on a wheelchair lap, but again, the colors are not that cheery.  Could it be a guy or a gal..either one?  Do not know.  I only know that it is done and I like it and so does my new buddy, Zoey.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zoey visits Mom in Assisted Living

Three year old Zoey and ninety year old Mom...enjoying each other's visit today

Mom will not give up the Christmas quilt for a spring one.  She loves the holiday colors.  Whatever you want Mom!

Forcing the Free motion thing

Just sharing this awesome free motion foot for my Janome 6600.  I got it two years ago and never used it.  I know, I was unfocused than too...and I had no excuse.  The brilliant Sherry showed me how to use it, and now we all have one:)  We do things in groups around here.  It seems to just float on the it.
 Not much thinking around here for unusual projects, so TBTG I have some basted quilts to just pick up and work on.  This lap quilt made from vintage blocks was ready to go.  I decided to just start free motion quilting with my new foot....nice to be in a project again.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

C.Diff...a therapy post, not a quilting post

I know this is a quilting blog, but sometimes I just have to vent and do a therapy post.  You all may be sick and tired of it, but I just need to!  Yesterday, my sister and I thought was the day our mother was dying.  We both sat by her side holding her hand while she slept doing some apnea stuff, scaring us to death.  In fact, I was so sure of her dying, that I let some of my favorite staff members choose a hat from her hat collection on the wall to keep themselves.  After work today, I went to see her.  Someone was feeding her, she was clear minded and  weak and when I left she was reading the New Yorker.  Found this article on AOL today, C.Diff....It is exactly what is contributing to her demise..I hope I never have to go to a hospital!

There is joy in the world after all...I mean Zoey:)

So, look who arrived this very sweet.  Zoey can sit, go down, doesn't beg at the table and already knows the dog door.  She is visiting with Daddy in his upstairs office, while I work downstairs.  My heart is happier today!  

From Lucky Lab Rescues:

NAME: Zoey

This is Zoey. She and her sister were turned into animal control because the family was moving. Zoey is 3 1/2 years old. She is super friendly, greets everyone with her tail going full speed, needs leash training, loves to go for a ride, and is house trained. Zoey is one of the most gentle dogs I have ever rescued. She is awesome with kids, other dogs, and curious about cats. She can be trusted to have full run of the house when alone. This girl is very well trained and has impeccable manners.

Zoey is spayed, current on vaccines, microchipped and house trained.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Sewing again....TBTG

My sister and I have had constant anxiety this past week.  Mother is now bedridden with a catheter.  She is on Haldol which is working for confusion and various antibiotics for infections.  She is only eating my homemade chicken broth because she struggles swallowing due to nasty Parkinsons. (she did manage to get down some fudge!!)  She is clear minded and we have had some great laughs, but this is not quality of life...therefore the anxiety is that she will not make it the 8 weeks left to her 91st birthday and that she will continue to suffer.  The final straw for me was my husband injuring his back and in bed on muscle relaxers.  Today things looked up and I think I am back in the saddle. I worked a bit and was able to finally focus enough to sew these pink Guild blocks for quilts for women with breast cancer.  

 Who could be sad with this!!  Such joy...a joint birthday party..two candles on one end of the "cake monster" and three candles on the other end...and so life goes....the good and the bad and the sewing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The birthday and the Pinterest account


I know I am in big trouble for posting this picture of years ago of my darling daughter,Emily.  I think it was at her 
audition at Manhattan School of Music...but, today is her birthday  HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!!!!  I am not even prejudiced, but you are beautiful, talented, kind hearted, clever and sweet., and the best daughter ever! ...etc..and I miss you mucho.xxoo, even though I know you are so happy in Ireland.

AND, as for posting pictures without permission....There is the Pinterest thing.  When I read this post from 
lMarianne about Pinterest, I thought it was a bit much..I mean what harm is there in a little pinning?
.  That is until I read the links and the blog post.  Whether or not you follow this lead..I think the information is interesting.  Now, I have deleted my Pinterest account.  Sigh.  I should have been sewing anyway.