Improve

My new word for 2009 is IMPROVE. Yes, I am making resolutions again. I am forever optimistic. For 2009 I want to improve in every way – improve my quilting, improve my organizing, improve my eating, improve my energy, improve my thoughtfulness, improve my attitude, improve all aspects of my life. I suppose we improve all the time whether we try or not, but I want to make a conscious effort to improve myself in 2009.


Feel free to keep me accountable as the year proceeds.

(Mary, of Maryquilts.blogspot.com, helped me with making this Wordle, taking a screen shot and making it the correct size so that it could be seen easily. Thanks Mary.)

Happy New Year to all.

Welcome Banner

Yesterday I blogged about the wonderful banner that my friend Lindsay made for me and today I am showing you the banner I made for Lindsay. Here is it all wrapped up…. It is a Welcome Banner and I included a hanger. The O on the banner has a button above it to attach little quilts for each month.

This is the basket containing all twelve months of little attachable quilts.

And here are all the little quilts – January is mittens, February is a heart, March is a kite, April is Easter eggs, May is a flower, June is a bird house, July is fire crackers, August is a watermelon, September is a school house, October is a jack-o-latern, November is Fall leaves, and December is a Christmas tree.

November is one of my favorites.

And May is another favorite.


Today I am grateful for –
1. A nice visit with my sister
2. Snow melting
3. Pumpkin bread

Christmas gift

My friend Lindsay and I exchange a quilted gift each year. This year the theme was “Banner” and this is the one Lindsay made for me. I am thrilled with this piece. It is beautifully made and full of meaning for me. My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31 which is the verse on this banner – “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” The eagle on this quilt is paper pieced. I love the fabric she chose and the wonderful quilting to make the wings look like feathers.

She included a lovely cross at the top of the church spire. Please note the echo quilting. She made this for my front porch where I have a metal hanger, however, I’m not sure I want to keep this quilt outside. I hung it in my front hallway to take this picture and it just may stay there.

It is so much fun to have this yearly exchange. I guarantee you that each year the quilt I get from Lindsay is always my favorite gift. I now have a cat quilt, a paper-doll quilt, a cuddle quilt, a Santa quilt, two charity quilts that we gave away, and now this banner. What will next year bring?
(The banner I made for Lindsay will be shown in a subsequent post.)

I leave you with another picture of my visiting cats, all curled up together (so sweet) on my favorite chair. Guess I won’t watch TV tonight on that chair!

Snowed In

Snow, snow, snow. My driveway is covered with fresh snow. You can barely see the tire tracks from when I gunned the motor and spun my way out and back in on Sunday. I don’t mind shoveling, but my family yells at me. (They think I’m too old.) However, on Sunday it was bitter cold and very windy so shoveling was completely out of the question. Now there is too much snow and I had to give in and call for a professional snow plow to come tomorrow morning. The snow is beautiful, especially when you get to stay home and look at it out the window.
This year I purchased two jigsaw puzzles to do on New Years Eve, but I pulled them out early and finished them up this morning. I love to do jigsaw puzzles and usually only allow myself to do them on New Years Eve (they can be a time waster), but now that I have done these, I may need to go purchase some more. Oh darn.And while I puzzle away, the visiting cats make themselves comfortable on my snuggle quilt. (Notice the ceramic cat on the hearth – black and white just like Elliot and Rudi.)
To all those who read this blog, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays. May you be safe, warm, and find joy in your celebration.

Woolie

My friend Moe gave me a piece of Ralph Lauren fabric – Chesterfield Houndstooth Cranberry – and I thought it would go well with my bed quilt. I had a good piece of RJR wool to use for appliquing some cat silhouettes. It is very simple, but I like it and think it will look nice on my bed.

And speaking of cats…………my two visiting cats wait patiently for their evening treat while I play on the computer.Elliot is wondering when on earth I will be through and
Rudi sits primly waiting with his little pink tongue barely visible.

Today I am grateful for –

1. My car that works well in snow and ice.
2. Christmas cookies
3. Diet Coke
4. Hope that 2 and 3 cancel each other out.

Secret sewing

Since it was very cold in my (basement) Quilt Studio, I turned on the not-very-efficient electric fireplace that came with my house. I had some hand sewing to do on my secret Christmas project. With visiting cats in the house, it can be hard sometimes to sit and do something because the cats want to be included. The ever-watchful Rudi stayed on the floor until I was nicely settled.

As soon as I had my sewing across my lap, my needle threaded and ready to go, both cats decided to join my party. Sewing was impossible of course, but fortunately Rudi soon left and Elliot settled down beside me, wedged between me and the chair arm.

It was rather difficult taking a picture, but you get the idea.
Today I am grateful for –
1. Butter lettuce
2. A book that is making me think
3. Crossing things off my ToDo list

Wednesday at home….

Feeling sad today, I decided to post to my blog and remember good things instead of feeling so sad. My sister is back in the hospital again after going from nursing home to hospital many times in the last few months. It is hard watching my dear sister’s health decline. I thought I would spend some time remembering good things from my sister. Below are two dolls that my sister made for me. (Behind the dolls is the only quilt I have made by my mother.) My sister has always loved dolls, especially the homemade variety. This is Charity and Polly. My sister also stitched my favorite Bible verse for me.

At church last week, we strung prayer beads as part of a study on prayer. Our pastor strung some beautiful blue beads for my sister and she wears them around her arm. These are my green prayer beads.

My friend Moe has decorated her home so beautifully for Christmas and I will have to admit that I am a little green with envy. I have not decorated other than putting out some Christmas quilts. This one below is a crayon quilt that I made years ago. It was so much fun to make and always makes me smile.

(Note – you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.)

Today, although I am sad, I am still grateful for…..
1. A purring cat in my lap
2. Being blessed with a wonderful sister
3. Church friends
4. A room full of fabric – a room full of possibilities

Photos

The past few hours have been spent trying to figure out Photoshop. I downloaded the program thinking it would be a snap to figure out. Ha Ha. I am forever optimistic. It certainly is not a snap. There is MUCH to learn.
This little quilt I probably showed a few years back, but it was the first “quilty” thing I saw to snap a picture and try out the new program. The only thing I could manage to do was crop it a little. Here is Elliot, sitting in MY chair. He doesn’t like it when I start snapping pictures and usually manages to turn his head just as I push the button.
This picture of Rudi needed a caption which I figured out how to do, but since I have not figured out how to get the pictures from Photoshop to Blogger, I had to copy all the pictures back to my computer and the caption does not copy.

The hour is late and I have to stop playing and go to bed.

Mini Quilt

This little mini quilt is the one I sewed heart buttons on the other day, upside down, and when I removed those buttons I decided to use star buttons instead. It is hard to see them in the picture, but if you click on the picture it will appear larger. Today was spent in the kitchen making cookies for the church Cookie Walk this weekend. These are shortbread cookies to which I added peppermint bits.
Plain sugar cookies made into pine trees – some a little brown (crispy), and some pale – are my poor attempt at “decorating” cookies.


Elliot is licking his chops hoping for some treats.

And Rudi is pretending he doesn’t care.