Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Here we are just 2 days from Christmas - are you ready??  It's a good thing it finally arrives, so we stop shopping - right?   So, let's get on with it - it's time to be done with all the work & enjoy the celebrations!

What are your plans?

We are having Christmas Eve with a large part of the family here at the farm, then going to our youngest son's to celebrate there. I'm thinking that Kentucky will be warmer than Iowa next week. We'll be at their lake house on the Cumberland, so it'll be a laid back relaxed atmosphere & we're ready for some relaxation!

Wishing everyone a joyous Christmas & all the best in the New Year 2012. As Ellen says, always remember to be kind to one another.   I really do believe the world can use alot more kindness these days & it begins with each one of us.   But then, too, I believe that quilters are the kindest people in the world!
Have a good one!
And thank you for your business and friendship
this past year!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Winter Wonderland Overnight!

Christmas at the Farm
Yes, we got our first dumping of snow making it an Iowa Winter Wonderland here; but the best news is that it was less than 5" so it's just perfect for this time of year.  Temperatures are cold enough to keep it snow & not slush - for now anyway.

So if you live where you see no snow by Christmas, you can enjoy these pictures of the farm to get you in the mood.  Lights & trees are going up all over town & country in anticipation of the holidays right around the corner now.

I surprised myself & finished decorating the house early this year; feels great to have some extra energy for those things. 

What about you?  How's your decorating going??

 The Christmas caramels
are wrapped & ready;
but there's lots more baking to do. 

Of course, we have to have kringla & lefse
 at this Danish celebration.

Windham Sampler blocks

Quiltingly, I've been working on the blocks for a new 
Windham Sampler & just now finished them. 

Love the browns & tealy blues with the black. 
What do you think?

Guess I'd better get back to some gift wrapping & maybe more baking. 

 Have a great week
& enjoy some of those
open houses & concerts
 that make this time of year so special.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jo Morton's been up to so much good again!

Elizabethtown in red/brown/gold
Another beautiful grouping from Jo at Andover Fabrics;


Creative juices have been running since they arrived
a couple weeks ago!

Gorgeous border prints & coordinates in three colorways! 

Good job, Jo!

In blue/gold/navy

In plum/green/gold
Which is your favorite?

Just wanted to show you these
& wish you & yours a very

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Take care & travel safely!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!!

Don't let that little spot of sunshine fool you; it's very cold outside today; and the wind is not really even blowing.  Time to get out the gloves & scarves whether we want to or not.

I finally got my Thimbleberries Pumpkin Quilt up in the family room; this is one of my favorite quilts for the fall season. I can remember when I first saw this quilt; we were at the Thimbleberries studio in Hutchinson, MN & I had to make it.  I hear so many quilters talking about how certain quilts affect them like that; this was one for me & it's been years ago. . . would not want to figure out how many years it has been! Oh, but they've been good years with lots of quilting a part of them.

I have to share a new recipe I found at the Better Homes & Gardens site.  It's Pumpkin Fudge & it is awesome & easy to make.  Go to & search for "pumpkin fudge."  Believe me, you'll want to give some of it away or take it to a bake sale or bazaar, because you cannot keep it in the refrigerator, it is just too tempting to have it so close for snacking.

Also, check out the Upside Down Caramelized Apple Pie; it is made in a cast iron skillet first on the stove top, then baked in the same skillet.  And, it, too, is delicious!  Well, you can tell what's on my mind today - eat, eat, eat!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turkey Time!

Wow, here it is November & we're talking turkey already!  Where do the weeks fly off to . . .

Golden Pond Farm
This time of the year I always get out my
Golden Pond Farm quilt!
It just dresses up the house for the
fall season!

I remember mixing the batiks
with the country fabrics
for many different sizes of leaves
and loving the results!

What do you think?

Union Sampler
We finished the new Union Sampler just in time for Candy from Homespun Quilt Shop
in Estherville to take it to Festival in Houston. 
It really turned out quite impressive - red & black always demands attention, I believe. 

Union Sampler makes a great Block of the Month program since it features 12 different 5" blocks; finishes to 33" x 40" ~ a great size
 to fit  a small wall! 
 I love to add the scalloped border for a super cute finish!


Just a reminder to save those flower seeds falling outside & share them with your friends.  They'll thank you next year & there'll always be
a reminder of you in their flower garden!

Anyone wanting seeds from my beautiful white moonflowers,
just let me know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quiltmania - Special Autumn 2011

The mailman made a special delivery of Quiltmania to me yesterday - Surprise!  My
Ft. Sumter quilt is in the new issue; I am so honored. 

Quiltmania is such an awesome magazine; it is published in France and it features the most beautiful photography of any magazine I've seen. 

The quilt is still in Europe - Italy, I believe, for a show.  Soon it'll be sent back to me; I wish it could speak & tell me about all the wonderful places it has been & all the wonderful things it has done since it left here just 6 weeks ago!  This quilting business has some of the highest highs & quilters around the world, I have experienced, are  such wonderful people!  This is just so thrilling!

This quilt features a grouping by Windham Fabrics from a couple years ago.  I think the name of the line was Indygo & Gold.  It was sewn by my dear friend Shirley Berryhill & quilted by Sue Omtvedt, both from Estherville, Iowa. 

Get your copy soon; I'm sure they won't be on the newstands for long!

Back to stitching -

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pink & Chocolate for Baby Khloe

Turned out so cute! 
And it's off to the quilter!  As for me, I'm busy sewing stars for a new General Jackson quilt - lots of half-square triangles - a little boring, but I had my fun break sewing the baby quilt, so now it's back to business.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Every new baby needs a quilt - Right?

Yes, I'm sure we all agree with that statement.  Well, I'm stopping everything this week to make a baby quilt - such fun!  This quilt is for a baby girl who has been in a neonatal unit since she was born on June 23 this summer.  God is with her & her parents &, thank God, she is improving slowly, but surely.  Little Khloe is my niece's baby & she is in the NICU in Iowa City, IA.

Well, I'm doing a simple 4-patch quilt in pink & chocolate using my pattern Rainbow Cuddler.  This pattern is fast & easy to improvise when you want to change the size.  It's perfect for theme fabrics such as this grouping of Riley Blake Designs called Hoo's In The Forest by Doohikey Designs; it is just so cute.  I look forward to the day that little Khloe can play Hoo's in the Forest with the quilt & her mom & dad & sister Katelyn, who just turned 3.
Don't you just love the frog's eyes!!

Back to stitching!

Just a few of the fabrics I'm using.
Isn't the main little animal print so sweet!  
One little fella you'll find in the forest!
         I should have a picture of the quilt for you later today

Keep on Stitching!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Where did our fall go???

     Well, what's happened to our fall??  Feels like we went right in to winter around here today!  Got the first big frost last night, so I was so glad we covered the garden & flowers; otherwise, they'd all be gone, gone, gone.  And I'm looking forward to many more nice sunny days this fall.

     We have bushels & bushels of tomatoes this year.  Our plants were just huge & now are full of tomatoes; will have to begin the canning, I guess.  You can see one of the plants in the back of this picture; the plants are as tall as I am!

     Gotta love these moonflowers!  They are always so late coming in the spring that I think we're not going to have any at all, then by mid-July they are everywhere & now they are full of big white trumpet blooms!  They reseed everywhere so you really don't know where they'll pop up next.  This was a whole new plant that reseeded behind the garage.

     I'm back working on my Harriet's Patchwork blocks & they're looking really good.  Block #3 is Chisholm Trail & you make 3 of them for the quilt!

Bye for now!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My favorite cucumber pickles!

If you are lucky, you have a garden full of fresh produce; however, I have only tomatoes, green peppers, & cucumbers, then the remainder of the garden is perennials to enjoy.

I wanted to share with you the best cucumbers recipe I've ever tasted & easiest to make.  They have the skins on & are sweet, just like I like them.  I got this recipe from my husband's ex-mother-in-law; she's a doll & we've enjoyed her visits to our farm in the past.  She loves to come to see her grandchildren & great-grandchildren who visit us, too.  We live in the northwest corner of Iowa & she lives in the northeast corner, but it's quite a trip for her to drive by herself since she's in her 80's.  I hope she is able to come for many more years.  Thanks for the recipe, Marian!

We just call them Cucumber Pickles!

16 cups of thin cucumber slices with skins  (about 8 medium size cucumbers)
1 cup sliced thin onions
3 T. salt
   Combine these 3 ingredients, then set aside for 3 hours.  Rinse & drain.

Meanwhile, mix together:  2 cups vinegar
                                     4 cups sugar
                                     1 t. celery seed
                                     1 t. turmeric
                                     1 t. whole mustard seed
                                     1/2 t. powdered alum

   Set aside for 3 hours, stirring often to dissolve sugar.

After 3 hours, pour over rinsed & drained cucumbers & onions.  Refrigerate for several days, then put into containers & freeze; can also just be left in jars in refrigerator.  These pickles are crisp & very good.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I found my camera!

I am so excited; I found my camera!  I just knew that I couldn't have lost it, but then you know how past things like that tend to haunt you until you believe you've done it again.  Well, now I can move on!
General Grant's home in Galena, IL
General & Mrs. Grant

Yes, we enjoyed a tour of General Grant's home in Galena!  Such a beautiful old home, so stately with bedrooms for each of the 4 children, a front & a back staircase - I always think that's so neat in an old home.  However, they didn't live very long in this house before he became President & moved to Washington.

Dining Room
The parlor is where they
 received guests after his
nomination for the presidency.

And the dining room
with all the beautiful painted
family portraits!

Jill Shaulis @ Yellow Creek Quilt Designs
And visited Jill Shaulis's shop, Yellow Creek Quilt Designs, in Pearl City, IL!  Her new design Grant's March is hanging behind her!  Don't you just love it!

True Lovers Knot
I was thrilled to see my True Lovers Knot design hanging from a bolt rack!

Kay & I

And ate at Fried Green Tomatoes!  This restaurant used to be the Olde Poor House Restaurant; I guess the Poor family owned it ??  Funny; was also thought to be an insane asylum & is haunted - yow!!  The food was awesome anyway!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What a wonderful family weekend!

Every summer, the first weekend in August is Sweet Corn Days in Estherville.  This weekend is a great time for family & friends to reconnect & this year was no exception.  With many of the kids here, we had to take some pictures.  Since Grandpa had just driven a new tractor onto the farm, the grandkids decided it would make a wonderful backdrop for a picture.  You can tell how much fun everyone had just finding their perfect spot - what fun!

And here I am with just the grandkids in front of the house!  Aren't grandchildren just the best! 

The last time I posted I was heading to Galena, IL for their quilt show & I was so excited to see my Battle Series & Generals Series displayed in the quilt shop there, Phat 1/4's Quilt Shop.  Well, to my dismay, they had about 12" of rain in 12 hours a couple days before we arrived & what a mess.  The very old DeSoto House Hotel in downtown Galena where they were planning to host the quilt show was flooded, as was the quilt shop.  What a disappointment!  I felt so sorry for everyone & the messes they had to clean up, let alone the damage they incurred.  Then to top it off, I haven't found my camera since returning, so not even any pictures to show you of what we did do.

We did have a wonderful getaway though & really enjoyed the tour of General Grant's home there.  They do a wonderful job of keeping the house open to the public which continues the Civil War history there in Galena.

Then we made the drive to visit Jill Shaulis at her in Pearl City, IL.  Jill had designed a new quilt for the show, Grant's March, & I snapped a quick photo of her in front of the new quilt, but ... of course, it's also on my lost camera.

Well, so it goes - Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New fabric from Jo

Main brown of Sweet Emilee

I received a new bundle of fat quarters from Jo Morton - Sweet Emilee!  Isn't it just beautiful; I especially love the blue & browns.  Makes me want to run right out to the nearest quilt shop to see it on bolts!  Of course I'll be making new quilts for the spring market booth.  The blue/brown colorway will make a great new Union Sampler; it'll hang with Remembrance just lovely!  Then the pink/browns would look great in a new Windham Sampler. 

Does your mind go on & on like that when you see new fabric?  Especially a group of fat quarters all arranged so prettily!  I'm sure that is one thing all of us fabric lovers hold in common - right??

And the weather here is again very hot & muggy; again a good day to stay inside & sew.  I've begun a new Harriet's Patchwork design, taking that pattern & redoing it, tweaking it here & there as I sew a new quilt.  I started with the alternate blocks so I could look at the new blocks together with the alternates to be sure I get the total look I want for this pattern; it can be tricky as we all know.  Using the new Emilee's browns & golds & throwing in some red; here's a little preview!  The black/cream block is the alternate block that makes a grid over the whole quilt.  I think it's shaping up just fine!

Packing my bags & off to Galena, IL this weekend for their quilt show & a little antiquing; love that town & it's been too long since I've been there.  My Battle Series & the Generals quilts are hanging at the Phat 1/4's Quilt Shop there, so we'll be stopping in & meeting everyone at the shop.  Great fun!  We'll probably visit Grant's home, too; Galena is just alive with history.  Love it! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  I'll have pictures for you next week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hello! I think I've started a blog!

I've been thinking about starting a blog for over a year, so it's hard to believe that I've actually done it!  I think this is going to be fun, but I have to have quilting time, too, 'ya know.  This blogger format is fun to work with, but for me, it's one of those things I just have to jump in to & go through the learning curve.  Years ago I had to read the manual first, but not anymore; there's just too much new technology out there to do it that long way.  Just go for it - then go to the Help when you run into trouble, so here goes . . .

Just a month ago I published my first newsletter, too, so if you've not received it, just go to the website & sign up & you'll receive the very next one.

Of course, summer is hot in Iowa these days, but today is a gorgeous day.  I was just out & watered the flowers which I haven't needed to do a lot of so far because of all the rain we've had.  I'm still praying for all the farmers who are flooded out on our western border along the Missouri River.  The pictures are just heartbreaking & we are counting our blessings here in the northwest corner of Iowa.  Our corn is tasselling even though it had a slow start this spring.

Well, I'm going back to my sewing, so I'll have something to share with you in a few days.  Also, I have to contact Gail to have this blogspot added to my website; won't do me any good if no one knows it's here!  Take care!
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