Sunday, May 29, 2022

Life per Grandma O'Quilts

Aoife, my heart...last few days in Ireland at a family function.

Finally finished...took forever as I dawdled and dawdled...
 In the bright light of the day. (with backing)
In the dusk, colors fade and take on that subtle evening hue..
I had to make myself finish this top.  It has been going on and on forever.
Will now piece the backing and put it in the quilting pile.  Money may loosen up a bit with my darlings moving back with their mother.  I may choose to have a few long armed so I can gift them.
Meantime, I am all over the place trying to find places for my excess of trinkets, etc. The family collections of a life time.

As I work on downsizing, I found a huge batt of Insul-brite...cutting some of it into 8 inch squares for my beloved potholders.
Change is so hard...aging is too.
Today's relaxation on my screened in porch...lovely.

My broken heart presents this:
I have no control

But, I can control this:
My heart that knows that love can only be given by small things with great love (Mother Teresa)
I try to spread it one potholder at a time.  If there is an outside chance that this mini piece of useful art can bring a smile to someone else....It is so worth the try. xo

Saturday, May 28, 2022

All About Aoife

 Aoife posing on the rocks in Ireland.

 Dineen cousins enjoying the Irish beach.  Each girl looks like her father.  Fathers are brothers. Who would ever have known!!!??

Another day of peace in my home.  Another day of sewing and pool.  Tomorrow will be an exciting adventure!!!  A long, leisurely lunch with friends, is my very favorite thing to do!!
Recently, it has occured to me that age is upon surprise to anyone but me!
As I go through my home to declutter, my heart breaks to let go of things of my grandmother, my mother, my brother, my sister, my daughter, my son, my grands and myself.
I am evidently the only one in my kinship group to consider myself, the family matriarch!!
Well...very soon I will be retiring from that too.

I will also be grateful when school is over.  I have been a bad grandmother not supervising homework.  It just was not in me this year.

Stitch still has an attitude..

Aoife and her first Irish Step Dancing video, 22 months

Just jiving down a street in Portland.

Adventure in an Irish park.
Aoife eating strawberries from the garden of her Irish grandma.
They will be back in the US of A on  Tuesday.  Yes!!!



Saturday, May 21, 2022

My Blog and I

I am doing some de-stashing as the elderly often do. My sister said 12 bags of scraps are too much and I must get rid of some.

I am relaxing by proving my sister wrong. Sewing scraps together in a random way for use in my Accuquilt cutter.

My blog has been a bit neglected as we prepare for the children's move to their mother's house.  Bureaus have been moved, changes taking place and school soon over.
Messing around tonight with pre-cuts...a relaxing project for Zooming.

Self-Care for Grandma is here.  This morning I took myself to breakfast, chatted with my favorite waite-staff, then sat in my cool and awesome car by a lake to relax.  I reminded myself that I am still alive and thus will make choices for myself. I then came home to a clean house....Thank you Yadi!! My cleaning lady is the best gift to myself.

 School is out on June 8.  I have already signed my darling teenagers back to their parents.  Their mother stepped in immediately with doctor appointments, school registration, vacations...etc...Their father....not so much.  That is OK..I am going to retire from childcare in just a bit...So exciting for  me.

I live in the woods...a lovely secluded property.  Yesterday someone set the playground equipment on fire behind my house  Fire chief said it was definately arson. I took this picture from my deck.  Way too close for comfort.

My front yard  yesterday, included fire trucks...TBTG for them.

Aoife enjoying childhood in the grass in Cork, Ireland.  
                                                            Oh, to be Aoife at 22 months.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Cousins at the petting zoo in Cork.

Today was a lovely day of peace and quiet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               This singer cheers my day with her beautiful voice and her antics. Anne Reburn 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Changes A-Comin'

 Three years ago on Mother's Day, my son brought me this.....Lisa???  Not only has it bloomed again, but evidently a seed  has spread to  another random pot.

See how love spreads!!

In our backyard, neighborhood kids...teenagers!!! OMG

Last night we signed papers for the children to live with their mother starting June 8, the last day of school.

Today, I went to the pool, to Goodwill and to the grocery store and took a nap

Such a very lazy grandmother!!

Mesh Bags for Organizing

I bought two sets, I  love them so!! Planning on making an Easter 16 patch....some day....The strips are already cut now for mindless sewing when I have friends visiting.

Stitch is pouting.  He knows, I think, that he will be moving to the cornfields of Union County with Lynsey soon.
Cry, Grandma, cry!!!

Thanks  to a little help from my friends...I have been able to start assembling this Patriotic top.
What a wonderful day!! My mind is  non=stop thinking...about this and that....Trying to downsize all my belongings...not my five sewing machines of course; not my 5 irons...ooops...I just dropped one on the floor and all the insides came out...Now...all my four irons!!

I tried to contact you  Mary, but the link was invalid  and came back to me..

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Help Needed

Finally getting it together for this rwb top.
Maybe I am running out of red checks for the end pieces.
Help!!  What is the formula for the side triangles..
The main blocks are 8.5 inch squares!!

Help....Aoife does not like her annoying grandmother....Dear me.
The middle school grands think I am off  the mark...and the 22 month grand wants me to go away.
Poor, poor Grandma!!

And so it goes.  The last week or two of school is testing.
Right now, we are working on turning in missing assignments and
transferring school records from my local middle school to the local middle school where their mother lives.  June 8 is the last day of school in our county.

I love my grands....but I miss them when they were 8 and 10...not 12 and 13...a whole new ballgame for old Grandma.

Sewing and swimming and lunching with friends...Yeah retirement xoxo


Sunday, May 8, 2022


I am so losing my touch.  That is what happens when the brain does not listen to me.
Why does every quilt mistake like these busy attempts just start another quilt with the newly cut pieces?
It is like scraps...they multiply
Guess solids are in store here...Oh, well...learning thru blogging pictures.
Aoife and her daddy having so much fun.
Brothers showing their girls the tractor parade in front of their  house.
Fifty tractors out for protesting, no other motive but to wave at the country folks and make children happy...Wow!!
Aoife learning to blow Dandelion fuzz

Both of my children called to wish me Happy Mother's Day
My favorite candy mailed ahead of time from Portland
And a promisary  note for a daughter/mother lunch at one of my favorite restaurants: Le Monte when she visits in July
My daughter from Ireland and my son from a local park

I do not know why rain is coming through my eyes..Maybe because May is fraught with painful memories....ALS awareness month, my  mother's birthday, my mother's death day (tomorrow, May 9), my father's death day , My husband's diagnosis day, the day my mother fell out of her wheelchair and broke her neck, Mother's day, the big flood anniversary 

 ...All of these memories are in May  June first is our wedding anniversary...How can I get through May?

Tomorrow I must leave the house and see friends...There seems to be a committe in my mind that stresses me thing I know, Pearl and her sisters will come visit....UGH

Thank God I have lunch plans tomorrow and supportive friends.  Thank God I have quilting and quilting buddies.  Thank God for a lot of  things..

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Peace in My Day

Our Aoife in Ireland, checking out the land.
and hanging with her Irish kinfolk...
Aoife Dineen and Abby Dineen, cousins just a few months apart!
Some people go to Ireland and the beach and Iowa and everywhere.
I go to Zoom and my sewing room and am oh, so happy with the peace it brings me!!

Messing around here with my 16 patch blocks.  There is nothing like starting twenty new quilts when I have millions of tops all done waiting for quilting.  Now is the time for a long arm,  unfortunately that would not be for me without my man.  He was  the guy to figure things out!!  Plus I have no room... One day I might wake up and start quilting on the great machine I do have!!  Too bad our quilting groups are not yet meeting in person . It is so much more fun  to quilt with other quilting friends.

My sister came by today to help me organize.  She is certainly good at that!!  She took some of my mother's things and some of my dearly beloved items  to enjoy as I try to simplify

Tomorrow will be another day of peace as I sit outside  going thru my old quilting books.
Maybe I will start randomly sewing scraps together...or maybe not. 
 Nice to feel relaxed

This is ALS awareness month.  ALS is a thief of money and peace of life.
A disease of torture and paralysis of all muscles...Your legs,  your arms, your lungs, your throat, your everything but  usually not your brain.  In 150 years there are no cures and no one knows why it exists.
ALS is a fatal disease, each day being worse than the day before.  There is never hope
Ice water is good for donations and awareness, but nothing seems to ever be enough.
I pray for a cure.

Life is so unfair.  I miss him so much. xo

 What is this with "Be Back Shortly"  So annoying for Bloglovin to keep me from my favorite quilting blogs.!!!!

Friday, May 6, 2022

The World According to O'Quilts



Bye, bye Portland.  Hello, Amsterdam and Cork.
Our Aoife goes again to Ireland.
Taking a rest before her big adventure...enjoying her Christmas sheep quilt.

Bye, bye Portland.  Soon, Hi there Ireland xo

My mother, Alice Franzen Clemons Burt, published her first poetry book at age 84 and her second at age 86, inspite of the devastation of Parkinson's disease.
May 5, 1921 was my mother's birthday. Yesterday, she would have been 101
Missing her so much. Here are three poems from her books.


Shuttered windows open wide
Sparkling sunbeams sweep inside,
Reeling on the patterned floor,
Polish circles on the door.
Dancing diamonds of delight
Entertain me while I write.
This is where I want to be,
Touched by sun and poetry. (Alice Franzen Clemons Burt)


In a niche in a rock carved by the sea lies a cradle of comfort, a haven for  me.

Threatening tides roar with their spume of salt spray while seductive waves rise only two feet away.

Danger abounds on this high windy place as the lure of forever kisses my face.

Alone in a circle of stone, protected yet wildly free, will I cling to the solid rock...or yield to the tempting sea?
Painting by Tatyana Kulida

Then it Happened

The moon rolled over
turned out the light
covered itself with 
a blanket of night.

Here she is at 90, Cinco de Mayo birthday as usual xoxo

Thirteen year old someone went to their first Bat Mitzvah last week.
She announced she was going, she gave me $30 for her dress, she went online and ordered it.
This is the upside of  independence at 13.
We will not discuss the downside.!!!!!

My dear man loved!! roses.  In Miami, he had 80 rose bushes, entering them into rose shows.
This pink climber is the first rose he planted 22 years ago when we bought our home in Charlotte.
It blooms once a year for a week or two and smells sooo devine...

Inspite of great stress from my adolescent grands...Grandma had a bit of time to mess around with fabric.
Progress here:
Some microwave bowls.
Progress with a bit of patriotism!!
I have a delightful weekend to myself.
Big fat thunderstorm to keep me company!