Sunday, June 7, 2009


Oh my goodness! How did winter and spring get away from me? I blame it on seems I spend more time online fiddling around and wasting time than anything else anymore. I have been in a deep sewing funk for months now. As I told the other Bitches, my quilting Mojo seems to have disappeared. But I am trying, however, to get going again. I did finish the black and white quilt top that I spoke about in my last post in January. I have the backing ready to go whenever I decide to get my act together and sandwich it. However I don't know when that is going to be. My school year is just about up and I was hoping to have a long summer to relax and get some of these quilt projects done but I don't think it is to be. Other obligations are quickly taking up my time. I don't begrudge those obligations, but they sure seemed to crop up all at once.

One obligation is to finish a wedding quilt for my eldest son and his bride-to-be. I finished the 72 blocks for the quilt yesterday and will now spend some time playing with their arrangement before I put it all together with 1" sashing. I hope they like it...I had them pick out the fabric and the pattern and it is something I would have never chosen so it is good I let them make those decisions. The wedding is the end of July and we've been asked to come a week ahead to help with final preparations so that will keep me hopping.

Another obligation is to try and get my mother through some medical treatments to help her with some back pain and balance issues. She's much too young to be so crippled up by it all and I fully expect her to hang around for another 12-14 years so its off to see doctors and try to get her some relief.

Inbetween all of that I need to paint a room, try to weed out some of the clutter that seems to accumulate, attend a few weeks of classes out of town, entertain some out-of-town guests, and hopefully squeeze in a nice vacation for myself somewhere relaxing. Oh...and see my grandsons as often as I can too. :)

Maybe I'll even post more regularly too. Ya think?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Binary Quilt Progress

I decided that since I had today off I'd get to work on the black and white quilt again. To start off, I sewed each white centered square to a black centered square. From there I'll put them into blocks of four before settling on my final layout. Here's a bunch of those blocks all laid out on the counter so you can get an idea of how this will all look when it gets finished. Of course this is all random and I think some fabrics need to have a little distance between them or be scattered out a bit more, which hopefully they will be in the final product.

Here's a closeup shot of those darned blocks. It's enough to make your eyes cross sometimes! Snowball blocks are simple to make but when you make as many as I did (at only 4.5" each) they take quite a bit of time.

Finally, I shot a picture of one of the red blocks that I'm throwing into the mix just for good measure. There will be three of the red blocks taking the place of white centered blocks. How they will be placed is anyone's guess at this point but I think they'll be a good counterpoint to all the starkness of the black and white. I doubt if much work will get done it this week but at least I made some progress today. Hurray for an extra day off! Next weekend is the monthly midnighter too so I hope to get a lot of work done then.

Have a great week...I hope everyone in America takes the time to watch the inaugaration. I know I will be.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Black and white quilt

I have been plugging away at the black and white quilt I mentioned in my last post. At last count I had all 256 4.5" blocks made. Whew! Now the trick comes to make sure the different fabrics are pleasingly mixed up throughout the whole quilt. To facilitate that process I am working at sewing the blocks together in groups of four, forming a square. That way I figure it'll be easier to lay them out on a design wall and visualize how they look.

It was noted to me that two is binary so I think I'll name this quilt "Binary." I'm not about to start coding in binary anytime soon though!

I won't be getting any sewing done tonight though. We are watching the oldest grandson so his parents can go to a local basketball game -- the big local rivalry is tonight! Go Dawgs! That's ok...I miss the little guy and the quilt can wait. It doesn't have a date it needs to be completed. It's just for fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Break quilting progress

Unfortunately my alarm will be going off in the early hours tomorrow morning and I'll have to get back into the routine again. It is always hard to go back to work after a nice long break. My break this time was very relaxing. I spent the first few days prepping for Christmas and the big dinner, but then the remainder of my vacation left to just kick back. As shown on an earlier post, I finished up a baby quilt. Currently I'm working on a black and white snowball quilt. Four inch blocks! It's the quilt shown was on the cover of one of the recent quilting magazines, but I don't remember which one. The blocks will alternate between the black and white snowballs. I made three red blocks with black corners that I will scatter through the quilt for just a little pop. Right now I have about 40 more of the blocks to make before I can start laying them out and arranging them before sewing. I have a nice mixture of fabrics so I want to make sure they are all evenly distributed throughout the top. I think it'll be pretty dramatic looking when all is said and done.

The other bitches haven't had as much time off as I have, but D was the recipient of a new Pfaff sewing machine for Christmas! She said sewing on it is like the difference between driving an old car compared to a Lexus. M recently bought a Pfaff for herself and I know she's enjoying it too. My ole Viking, which is now 7 years old runs beautifully, but it sure is a loud machine compared to Pfaffs.

I spent a bit of time today transcribing another one of Bessie Barnhart letters. This one was from 1908. It's posted at This was a pretty long letter, but thankfully the paper on this letter wasn't in as bad as shape as the first two I transcribed. For the first time the mysterious suitor signed his first name, so I now know that C. E. Rowe is Clint Rowe. That gives me a little more to go on when I go to check on census records.

One final bit of fun...I bought a Wii earlier in the week and managed to snag a Wii Fit at the local WM today. Surprisingly it is a pretty good work out and lots of fun. My balance isn't what it should be and the feedback you get while playing the balance games and doing the yoga poses helps with form. I think it'll be a good motivator to get my body moving!

Have a great week!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Day pictures

My youngest son without his girlfriend...Mom hanging out in the background.

Newly engaged eldest son and his fiance (I just love saying that.)

Middle son with his wonderful wife, who is an awesome daughter-in-law.

Grandson #1 -- Almost 3 years old -- Always fun to have around!

Grandson #2 -- Almost 6 months old -- Isn't he just precious?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Latest Baby quilt

This baby quilt was originally started for my second grandson. However, after visiting with my DIL I found out that she had a very specific, non-baby-like color scheme in mind, so I wrapped up this top and put it aside and made another baby quilt that matched the nursery colors.

Fast forward to this fall...we have new neighbors, friends of our children -- a nice young couple that are expecting their first child in late January. Great...that top I started last year now has a new home! I wrapped it up this week and will try and get it delivered over the fence one afternoon this week. It is always nice to have a few baby quilt tops in reserve so they can be quickly finished when the need arises. Heck, while cleaning out my sewing room a few weeks ago I even found a baby quilt sampler that I finished many years ago but it was never quilted. That'll be an upcoming project so it'll be ready to head to the home of a some new baby down the line.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Letters to Bessie

I set up a new blog site today. I was the recipient of some letters that are about 100 years old that we thought belonged to my Grandma, but as I read them it was clear they weren't hers (how many Bessie Barnhart's could there be in my small Washington County?). Anyway after Xmas I am going to start transcribing the letters and posting them on the new blog in hopes that I can find the real family of this lady. The few that I have read are beautifully written. This man was truly in love with Bessie Barnhart and was a devout Christian. They cover a time span of 1907 until 1911.

Come visit and check them out. I think they'll be interesting and fun to read for me and for you! If you know anyone in your family history who settled in Loomis, Washington with a bride named Bessie Barnhart who I think was a school techer around 1911-1912, please get in touch. All I have on the prospective groom's name is C.E. Rowe. Come check it out!