Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 and Hello Happy New Year

For you, maybe this saying is a bit trite, but for me, it says it all...Some green tea with local honey and a message I could wear on my hope for me for the New Year.

 I decided that in saying goodbye to the old year, I should be saying goodbye to some old blocks. So after our foray out to our annual Mexican food New Year's dinner, I scrounged around for some UFO's.  It was not hard to find these, that is for sure.  All in pieces, several years old, were these Ohio Star blocks.  I hurried   to make them at least into recognizable blocks.  Delighted with myself, I counted this my old year or what???
 So I decided to be creative and whipped up this 20th block..yup..this is and old..
 I put them away and had more plans for myself this old evening.  I then took out some red blocks...when low and behold what do I see, but a red Ohio Star staring at me:)

 Old and new,my favorite way to work is like in Rayna's book.  I always thought I was making strips into "new" fabric...Rayna has coined the phrase, "therapy sewing" and that is the truth. Today I enjoyed this book in a spirt of "self care", sitting in the 60 degree weather on my cool and awesome deck.  Heaven!
Now, this New Year's post would not be complete without a review of the highlight of this past year... my mother's wake.  It was fun and scary and sad and joyous.  Visiting with family and friends and my mother...we had the best time.  And the joy of it all is that my mother "missed the train", in her words, and skipped the funeral.  Today when I visited, she was sitting in her wheelchair with her hair newly done, enjoying her 90 year old life.  The lesson I learned and learn again and again is that I am not God.  My mother learned it too....and I know that the doctor who gave her 48 hours to one week to live has also learned that lesson.  A liberating lesson if I do say so myself.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January cuddle quilt done

This donation quilt is such an easy scrap sew.  The original one on Moda Bake Shop was for one solid charm square sewn to half a layer cake.  I have an entire drawer of 3" strips that I routinely cut from scraps. I cut 6 inches from these and then added 3" squares of a random blue solid I had.  Then I chain sewed them together.
 Mollie always has to steal the show!

 I wanted to use a darker thread for the channel quilting here, but decided instead to use up a thread I had bought on sale.  I must learn that every time I buy a thread other than Aurefil, it is a mistake.  Look at this thread..says 50 count but it is thicker and look at the amount of thread on it...I mean, really...the size of the cardboard middle gives the illusion that there is more thread there than there is...ugh...See the inner cardboard I have marked with green marker..ugh again.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The cycle of life...and being positive...

My mother is sick again! Please tell me how modern medicine cannot cure C Diff.  This is the 4th bout of it she has had in two months.  The minute that the two week course of meds is over, bam...back it comes.  How long can a 90 year old last with this???  Grrr..I feel so helpless.  So, on this rainy day, I decided to get out my grandmother's 100 year old cast iron pot and make a pot roast.  The look and and smell has lifted my spirits as I feel the essence of my grandmother here and realize that my mother at 90 is becoming part of that cycle of life. My grandmother is here to help me now...a blessing today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Needle books for Christmas...

From Rosey Corner Creations comes an awesome needle book tutorial.  It was fun and easy enough to make for my two quilting groups for Christmas...Lots of gluing...but fun and relaxing and adorable.

Monday, December 19, 2011

De-stressing....or sometimes called quilting....

All my holiday presents are done.  I had planned to do baking tonight, but stress is upon me again.  Much like age, stress creeps up.  Therefore I decided to make January's cuddle it was de-aging too:)
 Scrap relaxing until I realized that I had made a mistake on 10 blocks..watching sappy channel 23 movies.  I had not realized that a person could make a mistake on this kind of quilt.  I was wrong.  It is now undone and corrected and peace is here again.
I will bake between clients tomorrow.  Nice to have a home office.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Small gifts of love

A scissor holder for my birthday handmade from my friend Sherry.  I love the fabric.  I love the button.  I love the feeling.  Thank you Sherry!

 Block of the month for the Guild breast cancer donation quilts. Thank you Karen for giving us a choice this month.
 For Barbara who had surgery...a gift of love for cuddling! From the Heart quilt department at Guild.

Small gifts with great love.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The birthday bowls

My husband has been working in the garage on his lathe forever.  Every night after work he has been out there listening to his classical music and woodworking away.  He said that he was relaxing and creating which I certainly understand.  Today is my birthday.  This is what I found all wrapped nicely on the table when I got up.  From Poplar and Red Oak, my man made me this beautiful set of wooden bowls.  He said he had thought of Tiffany's but decided on bowls instead.  Much better...Thank you are the best.  I love my birthday bowls and I love my man:)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Isabella

Isabella turns one soon.  Here is the dolly quilt that I made her.  Happy Birthday Isabella!

Pet food bags

I had no idea how popular these bags would be...They are really sturdy...Yesterday I took my poor old Milito for shots and had one for the vet for a Christmas present...Lordy, was he over the moon with it.  I can understand the vet...but...others?  Well, I do get attention when I go into Aldi's with these bags for carry out.

First, I take the bags outside, squirt dish washing soap inside and wash out with a brush.  I turn them upside down to dry.  Then I smooth them on the rotary cutter board and slice 2.5 inches twice for the handles.  I try to position the animal in a good spot.  Then proceed like any bag without lining, using a zigzag stitch most places for strength.  When finished, I usually wipe the bags again inside with the sanitizing wipes.  The bags that are lined with paper are not good for this project.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh, It makes my heart sing.....

Perfect condition 49 patch...about 100 years old.  I cannot believe my find.  A checkerboard.  I wonder if there is any significance in "49" patch.
 Happy Birthday to me!
Lets see now...the master of spin called her old mother from the antique store.  Mom has been sick again and all of us are depressed.  I reminded her that it was my birthday next week...her beloved eldest child:)  Oh, dear I have nothing for you, said my mother.  Well...I just happened to be in an antique store right now buying your present to me.  Oh, thank you says my mother, that makes me sooo happy.  Second spin...:) to my husband...well of course we know that dear old Mom has no money...all of it having gone to Sunrise Assisted Living for her Parkinson's care for the past nine years.  So I told my dear old husband of my joyful find at the antique store and how it makes my mother sooo very happy.( not to mention make my own heart sing.)  So much for the family budget!  And so much for simplifying..  Sigh....I had been wanting to make a blue and pink with reproduction fabrics....but now...I am overjoyed with this one.  I think of the lady who made it 100 years ago and did all that hand piecing and hand quilting.  I want her to know that it is no longer stuffed on the bottom shelf of a stuffy store.  It is now being loved and appreciated by another woman who knows what it is like to put time, work and love into a quilt to spread joy to others.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bag and a half tells a story

My mind is always thinking...never ever thinks when I am awake and it thinks when I am asleep.  The latest thoughts are about my cluttered house and who wants my things when I die.  Who would appreciate every little detail of memories that I have of my life...well the answer is no one...of course.  So I decided to start using some of these things I find around.  I just finished making a bag and a half with some things I have memories of...First of all the fuzzy navy-ish fabric from Andy's house/garage sale.  Then the cool batik flannel I found today at Hancock's 50% off sale, the red stripe trim from a shirt I had bought in Guatemala years ago...a patch I found  from my son's jeans.  Those horrid jeans that hung way below his bottom and looked way too big for him.  One holiday he bought some with his money and they were way expensive and very ugly.  Me, the saver, saved the pocket.  Here it is now on my new bag and a half!!

 I know that these pictures do not do this bag justice.  But I was just so excited to finish it tonight that I took inside at night pictures.  Below is the bag and a half that I have been using forever.  I love it, it carries everything.  The Bag and a Half  was introduced to us by Patti Bethune right here in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She tells me that it is a twist on an old bag used to carry quilts for hand quilting.  Her kids loved them at college to carry their many uses for this wonderful bag.

Pain management

3 Naproxen and 14 pretty zippers from Hancock's 50% off sale = feeling good!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Christmas Mom.....

My mother's annual Christmas party.  Age 90, still alive.  She actually wrote her holiday poem.  I was worried, but she pushed herself and dictated it to others and voila!  Love you Mom and I am proud.

Here we are sharing the gift of life
A festival of family and friends

Celebrating existence.
We look at each other
and our hearts are glad
Glad for that little flicker
that ignites our spiritual selves.

We are here together
Rejoicing in the fact that we live.

It behooves each of us
To have a secret mission,
A purpose.
With hope, we make the world better

With hearts full of joy
We wish you a Happy Holiday
Merry Christmas

alice burt
25 December 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Charlotte's Modern Quilt Guild

We had a wonderful time the other night at the Modern Quilt holiday party.  Madam President Jennifer, has started this great group, plans out wonderful things for us...and still stays beautiful and classy...Oh, and did I mention that she was super nice too?  Thank you Jennifer for all you do.  So visit her blog, Ellison Lane and enjoy her style.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The gift of a comfort pillow

These pillows are perfect quick gifts.  I give them to folks who are sick, in the hospital, are traveling or in wheelchairs.  They use them to put on their laps for a food tray, or to tuck behind their neck, etc. My mother has many of them.  She uses them to prop herself when the Parkinson's makes her lean to one side too much or to use between her knees at night.  I get them at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $3.99 each.  It is such a perfect size and quality that I do not bother making them.  Sometimes there is a coupon for 20% off the entire purchase and not just one item...I go then for a few to keep on hand.
 A very, very quick sew...5 minutes, in a cute fabric has made this pillow cover for one of my mother's friends who just had a birthday.

Adult bibs for my mother.

Stage 4 Parkinson's disease is not nice.  My mother has been very lucky that her tremor and weakness so far has been on her left side.  With disease progression, it is now on her right side too.  This interferes with her writing and with her eating.  So she spills, she spills a lot...not all the time but with the "stop and go" of Parkinson's, she spills enough that I made her bibs.  Fun bibs...cause even at 90, a girl just wants to have fun!
 They are two sided.  I googled "adult bib patterns" and found the basic one here.  I then rounded it out for a size that was good...