Category Archives: friends

Should Quilts Look Like the US Flag?

I used to believe about quilts the way Will Rogers believed about men. He never met a man he didn’t like and I thought I’d never seen a quilt I didn’t like, at least to some degree. I was wrong.

“We should make a quilt that looks like a flag.” A member of our guild mentioned one afternoon as several of us were visiting.

“Um, I’d rather we didn’t.” I tried to be diplomatic, after all if that’s what everyone else wanted to do, they’d do it, majority rules and all that. Of course, that didn’t mean I’d have to participate. Someone always sat out a group project for one reason or another.

“Why, not for goodness sake?” She asked.

“It feels disrespectful to me.” I gave her the short answer. ”

“Well, I think it’s showing respect.” She crossed her arms and sat back as though I should immediately agree with her.

I didn’t.

If the subject comes up again, and it will. After all that was just a few of us tossing ideas around, I’m sure the subject will come up at a meeting. I’ll still opt out. But this time, when they ask me why, I’ll send them to this blog.

Today,  the United States of America celebrates not only our independence from King George, but our establishment as a country..

We celebrate as a country united, a country of mixed ethnic groups, cultures, ideas and ideals. We are one country and we defend each other, even as we disagree.

Today, as we celebrate our unitedness (yes, spell check, that is a word, it’s my word) is a good time to explain why I don’t like quilts that look like flags. Why I feel it’s disrespectful.

First, you need to understand what our flag represents to me. The flag represents every US citizen, from the native-born to the immigrants, recent and past, the flag represents all of us. The flag belongs to everyone, high-ranking executives, to minimum wage hamburger slingers, and every economic, and intellectual group in-between.

The flag represents our rights.

It represents mine and my friend’s right to disagree with each other, and have a discussion about it, in public.

It represents my right to own, have ammunition for, and shoot a gun. Your right to not have a gun in your possession. It does NOT represent my right to shoot you because I disagree with you.

It represents the right of the Jews to worship in their synagogue, the Christians in their church of choice (and we have several), the atheists to not worship at all. It even represents the westboro group the right to believe the way they believe. It does NOT represent anyone’s right to disrupt another person’s life because they believe differently.

It represents my (and your) right to visit relatives and friends, or just sight-see in another state without getting anyone’s permission.

It represents my (and your) right to vote for those who will serve us in our state and federal legislature, it even represents our right to vote them out of office when their personal agenda takes precedence over our wishes.

The flag represents our Heroes. Those who serve us at home, and abroad, our police, firefighters, and military. Sometimes at the cost of their lives. The flag represents their choice to serve us, even knowing the possible cost.

The flag represents all of our rights, not just the few I listed, and those who fought, and sometimes died to protect our rights. I do not want it disrespected.

To disrespect the flag disrespects our rights and more importantly all of those who serve and served to protect those rights.

A quilt  placed on a bed, gets tangled with other covers and kicked on the floor. It is not respected and does not show respect for the original flag or those it represents.

A quilt, folded and placed on the floor for a baby to crawl on, spit-up on, and even have diaper accidents on, is not showing respect to the flag.

A quilt,  thrown over a picnic table, used as a tablecloth, and has food spilled on it, is not being showing respect.

A wall quilt made to look like a flag could be considered showing respect, except I seldom make wall quilts, and if I want to hang a flag on my wall, I’ll put the real thing.

No, I do not like flag quilts. I do not find them a sign of respect.

You, of course, are free to disagree. That’s one of the rights the flag represents. How do you feel about flag quilts? Do you enjoy making them? Share your thoughts.

Quilts are Magic

From A to Z Blog Challenge.

I love magic. Even when I know how a magic trick is completed, they fascinate me.

When I was a kid (yes, really I was) television shows that had a “how-to” segment  would often have the next step completed and they’d say, “through the magic of television we have one right here.”

Now, I knew they’d made the projects several times and stopped in various stages to have examples to show. Still, I loved that phrase, “through the magic…”

Not all television magic was fun. Miss Nancy’s magic mirror was a fake. I knew it then, because no matter how still I sat, or how hard I concentrated, her mirror never saw a “Nita.” It had to be fake, that’s all there was to it.

What does all of this have to do with quilt?

Simple really. There are magic quilts. Quilts that start out one way and end up another. Quilts with a disappearing name, the disappearing nine patch, the disappearing four patch, even the disappearing sixteen patch.  These start out as simple block quilts, a nine, four or sixteen patch. However, the end result looks nothing like a simple set of same – sized blocks sewn together.

The Disappearing Nine-Patch. Starts with all the blocks the same size

The Disappearing Nine-Patch. Starts with all the blocks the same size

Then there is the magical healing qualities of a quilt and quilting.

Designing, and/or sewing on a quilt calms cranky mommas, gives them a little time for themselves and is relaxing. Snuggling under a quilt when ill is comforting, and eases the pain somewhat.  Sew days give us the magic of time with friends  to sew, quilt and visit.

Quilts are magical in so many ways. Do you have a magical quilt?

This post is part of the A to Z blog challenge.

 

It’s all about Me Applique

It's all about me button

I love blog hops. It’s an easy way to find new blogs to follow and meet new people. It’s also a fun way to learn new things, and sometimes acquire new friends for your blog. The All ABOUT ME, is a just for fun blog hop for me. I’m not giving anything away, and my blog has been all but abandoned these last couple of weeks while I worked on other projects. It’s also slated for an overhaul, which was supposed to happen BEFORE this blog hop. 🙂 It didn’t, and the hop goes on.

Making the fun little quilt was a nice diversion from my other pressing matters and I enjoyed it. Thanks to  Madam Samm, and, Marlene,  of Stitching by the Lake for doing all the work and making this “meeting” of quilters possible

Of course, I’m running behind as usual. I finally finished by block in the wee hours of the morning. This is after I realized I didn’t have the pattern so generously donated by Amy Butler. Then, there was the issue of downloading, then sewing, and now trying to post.

Lucky for me, Amy designed a cute, easy to follow pattern. Not so lucky for me, I didn’t have all the necessary supplies and such. However, since I’m not much for following directions anyway, I just used the pattern as a suggestion and came up, much to my surprise, with a kind of cute wall-hanging.

Because I was in a hurry, and I’m not a fan of hand sewing these days, I used fusible, raw edge applique and quilted around it. I think I’ll try my hand at another one, just for fun now that I’ve made this one.

I made the hair longer, since my hair is long. I used muslin for the blondish color of my natural hair then quilted it with gray thread to give the darker look my hair sometimes has. I went with a stripe background, because, well honestly, that was handy last night. Since I normally wear dark colors (to hide the fat don’t you know), the dress is a black and white print. Which shows very clearly that black isn’t necessarily all that slimming.

I stuck the pincushion on my arm, since that’s where I usually have one, and my glasses are pink, a little like my natural glasses. Since I live out in the country, I used the fabric designed to look a little like leather for the word “biased.”

I think every fabric came from a different source. But then, I’m a little of a mixed up person anyway so this blending of differences suits me.

It really does look too much like me for comfort. What do you think?

IMG_0003Nin, cropped from others 2012

 

 

 

 

Nin 2011.jpg

 

Don’t forget to check out the other talented quilters to see how their little quilt turned out.

You can find them all at Stitching on the Lake, if these links don’t work.

Buzzing and Bumbling
Cherries Prairie Primitives
Kwilty Pleasures
Sew On And So Forth
Sew. Darn. Quilt.
A Stitch In Time
Doodling In My Mind
Moosestash Quilting
Vickie at That Other Blog
Susie’s World

And, if you missed out yesterday, don’t forget to check out these talented quilters:
Just Let Me Quilt
Sunshine Quilting
Karen at That Other Blog
Grammie Q
Gracie Oliver Arts
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
SnippetsNScraps
Sowing Stitches
Pigtales and Quilts
Stitchin’ByThe Lake

 

Learning about New Friends

Cruising around the internet it’s fun to meet new people. In the last couple of days I’ve met several thanks to the sewing/quilting challenges and a blog building challenge, also known as the ultimate blog challenge.

For the ultimate blog challenge we are attempting to post every day to our blog for the month of January. Every.single.day. Whew.

Since Mondays are about introducing you to others, quilters, authors, inspirational speakers, I figured why not start with me? Here they are, ten questions I borrowed from another blogger.

1.What was the Happiest Moment of your life –

When I realized my boyfriend, later to become my husband, loved me and I loved him.

David & Nita 1972 cropped

2.What is your earliest memory?

Going to my great grandmother’s house with my mother when I was three or four. The house had hard wood floors and I wore those patent leather with hard soles. I liked the sound of the shoes on the floor. Most of the adults tried to get me to walk quietly, but grandma, from her bed would call out, “Leave that baby alone.” Later I’d go in and climb up in the bed with her. She had cancer and the bones in one leg were practically gone. It had to have hurt when I climbed up on that bed and jostled her until I was settled. She never said anything, just smiled at me and then we’d talk.

Great grandparents

Great grandparents

3. Is there something about me that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?

Probably, but I don’t know what it is at the moment.

4. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

We aren’t promised a tomorrow and there isn’t always an answer. Some things have to be taken on faith.

5. Do you have any regrets?

I try not to. Every mistake or decision I’ve made helped make me who I am and I’m a pretty cool person.

6. When in life have you felt most alone? The morning my husband left. We’d been married 34 years and now God had called him home. All I had left were the memories and our fantastic kids.

7. How would you like to be remembered?

As a caring and loving person. There’s a saying about being the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning satan groans and says, “crud, she’s up.” I want to be remembered at that woman.

8. What does your future hold?

I have no idea. Fun. Adventure. Learning. Books. Quilts. The future is waiting to be discovered.

9. When did you first fall in love?

I thought I was in love when I was 17. In hindsight I was in love with the idea of being in love. When I met my husband I learned about real love.

10. Can you tell me about your first kiss?

Now why would anyone want to know about my first kiss? I was in high school; I really didn’t have much to do with boys until then.

There you have it, ten things you never you needed to know about me. Anything I left out? What about you? Want to answer that last question and tell about your first kiss?

Is There Too Much of a Good Thing?

Remember the holidays of your youth, and maybe even the more recent “healthier” versions? Holidays where the family and friends gathered for visits and food. Lots and lots of food. Tables groaning from the weight of the food. Every flat service as a food-server.

Remember those meals? Remember how we’d leave the table barely able to walk because everything was soooooo good and we consumed much more than our usual daily fare?

Remember those feelings? Well, currently, that’s how I am with blog hops and challenges.

It seems every time I click on a blog I’m following they are about to begin a blog hop or challenge. Worse, they’re inviting me to join in. It wouldn’t be so bad if the hops didn’t sound like fun, but they always do. Right now I’m following, or participating in a couple of challenges or hops.

1. The Ultimate Blog Challenge, UBC – the brain child of Michele Scism. The idea is to post on our blogs ever day in January. Every.single.day. Today is day 12 and this post will be number 8. I have another post in mind, was going to tack the information here, but why not give it its own post? That will leave me three behind. With any luck I’ll come back tonight and post about my week with post 10. Then I’ll only be two posts behind. 🙂

2. The Finishers – A Facebook group devoted to cleaning out and finishing projects in our UFO stash. It started last year, I finished, I think, three UFOs. This year will be better.

3. Get it Done – From Judy Laquidera at Patchwork Times. For this challenge we list four projects we’ve started and plan to finish in a given month as well as four more projects we’d “like” to complete. My list is here.

4. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge – From the Super Scrappy Blog, oh my how I love anything with scraps. For this one, a color will be selected each month and we will make something, or finish something, in that color. January is all about pink. Hot pink. I need to get cracking on that one. This challenge didn’t require a sign-up, but I do need to add her button to my sidebar.

5. In the non-sewing/quilting lane we have reading. Specifically reading historicals. This challenge comes from Historical Tapestry.

6.  On Friday’s the goal is to link up with The Gypsy Mama, write for five minutes, no editing, no over thinking, and posting.

As if those weren’t enough, I’m adding another challenge, hop to my plate. It gets it’s own post.

I love Blog Hops and challenges. Enough is enough however, for me there is too much of a good thing. How about you, is there such a thing as too much? Are you involved in any hops or challenges?

Seven Quilty Tutorials

I love scrap quilts, not scrappy quilts, scrap quilts. There is a difference. Today’s tutorial projects all use real scraps. Of course, if you don’t have scraps. You can use charms, or strip sets. Really? No scraps? Can not imagine a house without fabric scraps.

Good thing I like scrap quilts since one of my goals this year is to organize my scraps, and the best way to do that is to simply use them, in a quilt, or other project.

Most of these tutorials are from last year, or older. After all this year just started, there hasn’t been time to post many tutorials. Isn’t it nice they don’t expire and we can go back and find them later?

Remember, these tutorials are shared for your personal use. If you use them please give the original blogger credit. If you wish to make, and sell, the projects using the instructions, please check with the blogger for permission.

This first one is from Michelle at City Houses Studio and is for a scrap asterisk block.

Amy at Badskirt made an even scrappier asterisk block, she called it the Japanese-x, although to me it looks like a scrappy asterisk. What do you think?

String quilts are a popular way to shrink the scrap pile. I’ve thought about making one, but always back out. Now, thanks to Kay, from Miss Print  I have instructions.

Not all tutorials are for quilts or quilt blocks. Sometimes we make quilty projects. Like Kay’s tutorial for making string coasters here. After all, making enough string blocks for a full-size quilt, even a small one takes time. A lot of time. Coasters can be made much quicker. How about a string mug rug even?

Another non-quilt quilty project is this cute patchwork basket from the Pink Penguin.

If you received an e-reader for Christmas (or you plan on making that purchase) a quilted cover would be perfect. Here are two tutorials for you. The first one is from the Sometimes Crafter. It’s a cute pouch you can slip your reader into. If you don’t have an e-reader it’d be a nice little pouch to hold other items.

Clover and Violet made a different type cover. Theirs holds the reader in place and you “open” it like a book.

For even more tutorials check out FaveQuilts. They are currently offering a free e-book with twelve quilt patterns and small projects.

Have fun trying out some of these tutorials. If you use any of them, please come back and leave a link or picture. The bloggers who posted the tutorial would love to see your work too.

What are you working on this week?

Sewing and Family Thanks

Today I’m thankful for my sewing machine.

It allows me to make quilts for friends and family. I can sew on other projects that enter my little brain. The sewing machine helps me retain my sanity.

Any sewing machine could do that though. This machine is special, not special enough for a name, I don’t name inanimate objects. I guess I could call it Bernie? J

This sewing machine is special because it was a gift from my husband. Money was always tight for us, and a new sewing machine seemed like an extravagance to me.

I’d had a couple of used ones over the years. Then mom gave me a department store special. It worked well for several years. Finally, it was on its last stitches. In fact it was skipping stitches.

David told me to find a sewing machine. Yikes! Good new sewing machines were expensive! Prices started in the triple digit range, for a “cheap” one. One day in the local sewing store I noticed a machine on discount because that line had been discontinued. The price was still in that triple digit range, but at least it was a good quality machine, which made it an amount I could justify to myself.

I had no money with me that day. The owner agreed to hold the machine for me if I sent her a deposit the next day. I did. A couple of days later my daughter-in-law and I were shopping in another town and the store owner called.

She told my husband the price of the machine wasn’t what she’d quoted me, but three hundred dollars more. David said I still wanted the machine.

In the meantime, while shopping I had second, and third, thoughts about spending so much money on a sewing machine. I decided to try to get my deposit back and buy another cheap machine from the department store.

David had other thoughts. When I told him my decision, especially in light of the fact the new machine was now creeping toward the four digit area he said, “no, get the good machine.”

It’s not even a fancy machine. It sews fabric together. It does do a buttonhole, and it does have a limited zigzag stitches, but mostly it sews. It doesn’t embroider, it doesn’t sew by itself, it doesn’t come close to washing the dishes. There are machines that seem to do everything except the dishes you know, mine isn’t one of them. It stitches fabric together. That’s it, nothing special.

“But, honey,” I countered “It’ll cost almost $1000 by the time tax and everything is added.”

“Do you like that machine?”

“Well, yeah. But…”

“If you like it buy it. We spend money on other things, you should have it.”

The look on his face, more than the words from his mouth convinced me. I went to town a few days later and purchased the machine. I even splurged and bought a walking foot at the same time. It did cost slightly over $1000.

I know, I know. I can hear you all going, “What?” Especially those of you who don’t sew, and are thinking “that’s a lot of money for a sewing machine.”

Maybe, but it’s not too much money for a cherished memory. And now, I can sew quilts, clothes (sometimes), and other projects.

 

train postcard for one of the grandboys.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m grateful for both the machine and the memory.

 

 

On the blog here, I listed my children and family on my list for Nov. 1.

Part of my family.

They keep me going and make me smile. Every day I’m thankful for every one of them.

My three children call and share their lives with me. They call to see how I’m doing and to invite me to events in their lives.

My six grandchildren give me lots of opportunities to sew for them. They make me laugh. They add color to my life.

My sister and brother keep in touch, and visit. Often siblings lose touch with each other after the parents are gone. Not us, we still call and check in with each other, we still add to each others’ lives.

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members all add to the mosaic of my life, making it more beautiful.

However someone we are related, I’m grateful for everyone in my family and hope I add to their lives as much as they add to mine.