Sunday, July 16, 2017

Balance, New Quilter, 4th of July

No, this is not trick photography - it is real! Our daughter, Genevieve and her bf Dave are pregnant! We are so excited to welcome our first grandchild - a girl! - in December!

Dave was a competitive gymnast, and Genevieve is a dancer.  

Genevieve and her little dog, Buddy.  

My niece, Natasha, recently contacted me about teaching her to quilt! Woo hoo, always great to welcome a new quilter into the fold!  Now I live near Chicago, and Natasha is in Austin, Texas - but we communicated via email, and this is the result.  I think she did great!

Natasha designed her baby quilt (for a friend's baby on the way) with a simple pattern of squares.  She found the skull fabric on spoonflower.

So proud of her first attempt!  Natasha has made a splash with her adorable quilt, and already has an order for another!
It's a very ancient saying 
But a true and honest thought 
That if you become a teacher 
By your pupils you'll be taught

(from "Getting to Know You")

Congrats, Natasha!

My handsome husband grilling up our 4th of July dinner.  It was a perfect day for a bbq!

Happy 4th of July! 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mother's Day and Blogger Woes

Wow I have no idea why my banner looks so strange all of a sudden.  If anyone could enlighten me on this, I would be so grateful! Now read on as I gush about my lovely family. :)

Happy Mother's Day! Darling daughters:  Genevieve, Hannah, and Emily, and happy Mom (me)! It has been MANY years since we were all together on Mother's Day.  Oh happy day!

All gathered around the table - my preference over brunch in a restaurant at $40 each! My daughters can all cook, too!  Scott, Hannah, her fiance Danny (they just secured their wedding venue for next year!), Genevieve's boyfriend, Dave.

Scott and Hannah.  

Danny, Dave, Genevieve, Matt, and Emily.  It's a special Mother's Day for all of us because Matt and Emily just moved back to our area (Illinois) from Texas! 

There was a theme to this year's gifts:  the pool! I have a goal of going to the pool weekly this summer.  Tote bag and cool shades...

...nice big towel, plastic zippered pouch for essentials, shades again...

...coverup (maxi dress), bling-y sandals... gift of all, a lovely dinner at home surrounded by my loved ones.

Now if someone could help me figure out the changes they have made to blogger! I used to know how to use it, really I did!  But now I can't figure out how to make my banner look awesome like everyone else' it takes me forever to make each post, probably why I don't post very often.  Oh well, I know it's not a big deal, but sometimes it's the little things that can be the most frustrating!

I hope that all of you had a lovely Mother's Day! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunset Inspiration

Back in September of 2011, my nephew got married in a "destination wedding" at the Outer Banks, N.C. Although the day started with hints of a few clouds, and perhaps rain, it cleared up and produced the most amazing sunset.  The rainbow colors were something out of a picture postcard.

Miranda's dad created the wedding arch out of some old wood, accented with fish netting and seashells.  We all gathered on the beach for a special ceremony, for a special couple.  

Although this photo is not from the wedding day, it echoes the same purples, oranges, and pinks we saw that night.  This was from their wedding website, and I used it as a "map" to create a wedding quilt keepsake gift for them.  First step, shopping for some gorgeous batiks! (never a bad idea)

Sorry I don't have a better photo of the finished quilt! I asked Nathan to send me a picture of the quilt hanging in their house...I will post it when I receive it.  I simply cut rectangles and pieced in a bricks pattern.  Quilting was done in organic horizontal lines, in various thread colors.

Quilting detail.

I do like the look of parallel lines quilting, but it is quite time consuming! I was so pleased that Nathan and Miranda were happy with the outcome.  Pretty memento to a their beautiful wedding.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Coming home!

Three years ago, Emily and Matt took off for Austin, Texas.  They have had a new opportunity come up for Matt, and they are moving back to the Chicago area, as of today!
The trip to Texas was the two of them, plus Emily's dog, Cohen.  They have since bought a house (on the market soon), got married, and got another dog for Matt, Vinny the boxer. I hope that the looooong drive today and tomorrow goes well for them!

Emily and Matt at a recent event in Austin. Love those two!

Nice photo of Cohen (beagle mix). I've missed him!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

Happy Easter! 
We have had nice weather this past week, which has caused the garden to spring up almost in front of your eyes - like a Disney movie!  Ploop, ploop, ploop - voila, it's spring!

Dora, not so patiently waiting for Scott to throw the ball!

Little Buddy, not thrilled with wearing bunny ears!
Our apple tree starting to pop, our neighbor's redbud trees getting ready to burst, brilliant hostas...spring has sprung!  We were wearing winter coats in the past week!

Happy little violas, about the only bedding plants that are hardy enough for this time of year.  How cute are they!

More violas in my hanging basket (photo bomber is Scott).  So glad we finished our massive mulching/weeding project yesterday (when this was taken).  We had a big rain during the night, and everything is so pretty today.
Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pin Basting 101

I am excited about finishing my current project, but don't want to actually show the piece until it is finished.  I love every step of quilting, and machine quilting is one of my favorites.  Today, I pin basted my project, so it is ready to go!

First, I trimmed and press my top, and set it aside.  I pieced my backing fabric, pressed well, and set it aside.  I can't show you that either, but suffice it to say, I found the PERFECT backing fabric! I also pieced my batting.  I butt the edges, and sew together with the multiple zigzag stitch.  Then I layered the project - backing face down, taped securely to my table; batting, smoothing it out nicely; and then the quilt top, also smoothing it carefully.  Then I start putting in the safety pins, starting in the center and working out from there.  

Detail, showing the pieced batting.  This is a poly/cotton blend, 80/20, my favorite batting. 

My tip:  I insert ALL of the pins BEFORE I close any of them.  Why? Well, when you close the pin, you distort your carefully layered project.  That is why I wait.  When all the pins are inserted, then I can sit down and close all of the pins. 

I found this tool years ago, and it works great.  Helps me to close the pins without hurting my fingers.  Another tip:  when you remove the pins while quilting, throw them back into your storage container while still open! Then you don't have to open them later.  Saves lots of time.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Birthday Fun!

Well I made it another year, and had a great birthday! New Year's Day is my birthday.  It's a great day to celebrate, and I also do some reflection, that's for sure.  Thinking back over the past year, and thinking ahead - thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2017. 

The girls made my birthday dinner, but I didn't want people slaving in the kitchen all day, so I said a store-bought cake was fine.  And trust me, this was MORE than fine!  It was "thanks for the extra five pounds" fine.  Yum!

We also had a nice girls' brunch the day before - first brunch, then mani-pedi's! Lovely daughters Emily and Genevieve.  It's always extra special when Emily is in town from Texas. :) 

Third lovely daughter Hannah and myself. 

More birthday fun! My awesome sister-in-law, Jean, sent me a CASE of Sofia sparkling wine!!! It comes in little cans, COMPLETE WITH A LITTLE STRAW!  It makes the perfect little pick-me-up after a long day of work and teaching.  Jean knows what I like!

This is random, but had to take a picture at Target.  These throw pillows are EXACT COPIES of some pillows we got as wedding gifts in 1978! Except ours were large, FLOOR pillows!  Super groovy, very '70's.

One more thing - I recommend you check out my cousin's new blog:
THE GOOD LIFE IN WISCONSIN - adventures of a city girl gone country. You can find it here.   Julie is on a new adventure, living with her dad and her son, on the family farm.  Julie is a poet, and an adventurer, and her charming style comes through her prose.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

String Quilt Legacy

String quilt, made by my grandmother, Frances Timson Heggestad, c. 1965-1970.  Grandma made all of the string quilts in this post.  My grandmother was extremely frugal, used scraps from everyone she knew, used and reused fabric to make these glorious, colorful string quilts.  Grandma foundation pieced the blocks on pieces of plain cotton - probably old sheets.
This quilt is owned by my uncle, Orville Heggestad, and is being repaired/retied by my cousin, Julie Heggestad. Julie just sent me these photos - I had never seen this quilt before.

Detail of Orville's quilt.  I love seeing old fabrics that I recognize!  The red/blue/white checked print was a shorts and top outfit that I had as a girl.

This is MY string quilt.  Look familiar? Same fun polka dot print running through the quilt, lots of the same prints.  I can hear my grandma humming (she loved music) when I look over these riot of color. 

Detail of my quilt.  It is "just a coverlet", no batting - but with the top layer, backing, and the cotton base of the string-pieced blocks, this is warm - and heavy!

This is another of Grandma's string quilts that I own.  I used it a LOT when I was first out of college.  I lived in an efficiency apartment and slept on an old sofa bed, and the quilt was unfortunately damaged by the bed (when I folded it up every day).  It is old, and well-loved, and the pieces are so worn and soft they feel like silk.
A number of years ago, I took the quilt apart, with the idea of repairing it.  I removed all of the ties holding the layers together.  The ties were made from a thick cotton thread - perhaps from feed sacks?  

Detail showing some of the damage.  I am inspired to get busy and repair/restore this quilt.  I plan to just replace the damaged pieces, add a soft batting - wool? and a backing, and tie it again.

Surprise! When I took my old quilt apart, look what I found inside, instead of a batting - another quilt!  This is a handmade Dresden plate design, hand-quilted (with more of the blue thread from feed sacks).  I doubt that Grandma made the quilt - I imagine it was gifted to her, and she used it as a quilt batt.
Grandma made LOTS and LOTS of quilts - but mostly for charity (world relief).  She lived a very frugal lifestyle on a very limited income, but still found ways to give to others.  

Balance, New Quilter, 4th of July

No, this is not trick photography - it is real! Our daughter, Genevieve and her bf Dave are pregnant! We are so excited to welcome our fir...