Saturday, March 26, 2011

Critter Week

This must be critter week.  For the last couple of years we have had a resident toad in our basement.  He hibernates in the winter and shows up again each spring.  When Wayne goes down there in the morning to get his chores clothes on, little toady shows up.  He likes to have his back scratched and will lean into Wayne's finger.  When Wayne switches to his other side, he leans that way.  Maybe this should be called "Strange Pet of the  Week".    I'm taking a week or more off from blogging.  Hopefully when I get back my first blog isn't about critters!  Jolyn


Friday, March 25, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

   This little critter showed up at our yard this week.  What he lacked in beauty, he definately made up for in aggressiveness.  Trooper went to inspect the intruder and the critter went after him.  Then Wayne came on the scene and he went for him.  It's a muskrat.  I've never seen one and believe me...he was uglier in person!  We wondered if he had rabies beings he was so aggressive.  He didn't comment.

    Ok- so we did the beast first...this is my new fun project.  They are called "Snap Happy".  They are made using pieces from a metal tape measure. (The remains are shown...remain is shown...English??)  The leftover tape measure is shown.  You open the bag by pulling on the little triangle tabs on each side and when you let go the tape measure pieces inside the top little piece snap the little bag shut.  (unless you insert them wrong....another lesson.)


  Stopped at the Calico Hutch at Hayward yesterday.  Always so many temptations. 
   What could be more tempting than a "Sale" sign on something!
   This is probably my favorite.  Course--I always love the '30's prints. 
   How is this for bright! 
   Some of the quilts are so new they aren't even up on the wall.
     Those tied stacks are the kits!  All ready to go home.  No hauling bolts and bolts of fabric to get cut.
   Here was the one that did go home with me...a Moda pattern, a charm pack and a little fabric for border and binding!  (Carolyn said she would come and clean house for me if I mentioned her name!)  (Wednesday will be fine.)
 I have mine pieced and bound, but is waiting to be hand quilted.
   You really have to see this one in's all wool!  Someday.
  The center is a cheater and then pieced around it.  A great "guys" gift. Didn't we all vow to get started making our Christmas gifts early?  Now's the time!

  Also picked up some "stuff", but can't show you until I get them done--which hopefully will be later today...unless I decide to make more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blue Earth Valley Quilters

   Monday night was our quilters meeting and of course one of the highlights is the show and tell.  All those snow days came in handy as we had a lot to share.  Janine showed a cheater runner on which she is practicing her machine quilting.
   Each month part of the group is given instructions on making a particular block.  Here Lorraine has joined two of them.

 These two are part of Janine's show and tell.
  Lorraine showing another group of blocks.
   This was a gift from Mrs. Payne's daughter.  On the back she had put a little bird.  Must have been looking for his house.
   Arlene finished her block of the month that she got from Michelle's.
   This was a kit from the quilt shop in Winnebago.  Each white patch had a Psalm written on it. 
   Mike used some jelly rolls and stash fabrics to make this.  He was still in the process of quilting it.

 Peek a boo--can't see you.  Couple of cute baby quilts.  The bottom one had frogs on the fabric! 

   Monica is expecting her first grandchild and is having lots of fun making baby quilts!  I think that baby will be well supplied.

  Jan had a number of smaller quilts.

 Plus this larger one.

  don't know why everyone likes to hide behind their quilts!  Lissia made this for her daughter.

 Couple more from Jane.  Aren't these fun!  (On my list!)
   This was the backing for Lissia's quilt--using up the leftovers.
   Tracy showed a number of woolies that she has designed.

  Corrine with two table mats.  Both really neat patterns.

  The next three  pictures are more of Tracy's woolies.  Some neat designs!

  Mike gave a short demo on sewing a circle to a square without appliqueing it.  The iron was not cooperating.  The description said the process would take 6 minutes.  I think 5 minutes of that was waiting for the iron to get in gear.  But was a really neat idea and could be used on a variety of curved pieces.   

  Unfortunately (like usual) I forgot to take a picture of the finished square!  I guess you should have been there!  Our meetings end promptly at 8!  And we cover a lot of ground!!
  (with all these pictures today--don't expect a post tomorrow!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Officially Spring !!

   You know it's spring when the rivers is rising!  This is crop land that floods as soon as the river rises.  With all our snow this past winter they're talking lots of flooding.  We live about a 1/2 mile from the Blue Earth river, but we are also close enough to the beginning of the river that we don't have problems with flooding here. 
  Here's the other sure sign of spring...the tulips are rising!  Just 3-4 days ago these were covered by a foot of snow.  Isn't God amazing in his designing these beautiful (well...not yet) tulips!  The song birds are back and greet me with all their songs when I get outside!  And yes, the weather men are talking more snow.  After all this is Minnesota!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011



Still trying out various threads.  Both of these are Valdoni threads...beautiful threads...expensive threads.  The larger one I used a variegated brown. The smaller one is a dark tan.  So I'm still undecided when it comes to the really big one that I plan to tackle.  
  Until then we are having batting practice.  (you know...swinging that tennis racket trying to hit the resident bat.)  Somebody actually suggested that I name him...I'm afraid he might feel welcome then.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Always Room for Shopping

 Here's Isaac with his finished top.  I think he likes it.
 On to finding just the right backing.  Glad Calico Hutch still had some of the fabric to match.
   Max is contemplating his selections.  The two on the floor are his first two choices.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of his final ones.  He went with three color families, blue, red, green and a green border...all flannels.
   After meeting up with their Mom and Dad we went to Pizza Ranch for our dinner.
Time to say "good bye".  Came home to a much too quiet house.  But towards bedtime I was making lots of noise...screaming...there was a bat circling the living room!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Practice, Practice, Practice

 One of the treats for us when the boys come down is to listen to them practice their piano lessons.  Their other Grandmother is their teacher and she picks such fun music for them.  Now I took lessons for 5 years, but I never played anything that has so many notes on the page as these two play.  Love listening to them!  No, this isn't in my sewing room, we run over to our church.
   This is what Max worked on this week...sleeping bags for his stuffed toys.  Gives him lots of practice on using the sewing machine. All of his stuffed toys should stay warm now. 
  Here's Isaac giving me a cheesey smile as he practices.   Today we meet their Mom and Dad in Albert Lea for them to go home.  But first we have to venture to Calico Hutch so Isaac can pick out backing  for his quilt and Max can pick fabrics for his quilt project for next summer.  (Grandma has to have a little recovery time between each quilt.)