Birthday and Done


My Paddlwheel quilt finally set sail yesterday. After a frantic midnight until 3 a.m. binding session, I was able to gift the quilt to my roommate who reached a big mile-stone birthday yesterday.

I know he really likes it, because he immediately installed it at NASA, er, his home office.


In other news, last week we picked a hot afternoon and headed over to the Allegany County Fair. Our small county puts on a wonderful old-fashioned, family-friendly event every year. However, it’s been several years since we’ve attended. So, Wednesday night we took our time and strolled through the 4H and “domestic arts” building first.


I wonder when this original sign was made?


I love how this Hoosier cabinet is displayed.

The quilt show was small, but lovely. Here are some of my favorites:


Stand-out winter themed red-work quilt.


I’ve got a Dresden plate project on my “to do” list. The quilting on these pedals is perfect.


I stand in awe of these quilting skills!


I believe this quilt took the grand prize. It is the Dance of the Dragonfly kit from Keepsake quilting. It is stunning in person. The quilting and the iridescent fabric are mesmerizing.

Next we strolled through the animal barns. Where rabbits, chickens, pigs, goats, cows and  horses were on display. We got the chance to see and smell Holsteins again. I do miss our old cows every now and then.


Gotta tell you that the smell doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I quite like that earthy scent!

We were happy to run into one of my son’s old friends from another area school. We haven’t seen her in ages. I see she still loves pink! Where has the time gone?


Free Pattern: Christmas Joy Pillow

While Sandy was visiting, we went to the Red Rooster Quilt Store in Dublin, Ohio.  They have a great selection of 2017 Christmas fabrics in stock!

Jingle Toss by Maywood Studio caught my eye because it has a colorful mix of Christmas words and graphics.  I bought 2 fat quarters, a few coordinating fabrics and designed a pillow cover.  Here is the result!


I designed the pillow cover to fit a 16 x 16 inch pillow form.  It’s the perfect size for my couch…not to big and not too small!


I used three pairs of ties at the top of the pillow to finish the closure.  To make these ties, I used extra wide, double fold bias tape.  I think the red bias tape ties in nicely (oops…pun intended!) with the red “JOY”.  Here is a closer look at the ties, they are knotted at the ends for extra texture.


If you are a beginning quilter, this step by step pattern can guide you through this easy weekend project.

You can download the pattern using this link: Christmas Joy Pillow 07 25 17

I will also post this pattern on the FaveQuilts website.  If you haven’t visited the FaveQuilts website, be sure to take a look!  You will find hundreds of FREE quilt patterns and amazing inspiration.  FaveQuilts hosts a wide variety of quilting tutorials, eBooks, techniques and videos for quilters of all skill levels.  Stop by and take a look at all the seasonal quilt patterns they offer and did I mention they are FREE?

I hope this pillow brings you (or someone you love) Christmas JOY for many years to come!


Family Will Every Time

Last Saturday Cindy and I attended the annual summer reunion for my mother’s side of the family. Cindy, her son and his wife drove up from Ohio and we surprised mom by walking in just as the party started.

Mom grew up in Buffalo NY in a very large family. She was child number 10 of 12 original siblings. After her mother passed away, my grandfather created another family with 5 more children. Let that sink in. Dude had 17 children. Only three generations away from their roots in Bavaria, this group certainly made their presence known in WNY.

As a result of Mom’s birth order, we weren’t close to many of our cousins — they were so much older! There was only a small set of aunts/uncles and cousins who would venture down to visit us on the farm (2 hours away from Buffalo). We loved it whenever they arrived, bringing a big city vibe to our dull-by-comparison life. On a couple of special summers Mom loaded all of us girls onto the Greyhound bus and treated us to a week of vacation in Buffalo. I remember sitting on the stoop of a brick apartment house in the sweltering summer city air and trying to image why anyone would want to live in such a place. But the fun and the laughter of family always helped to make up for my homesickness.

What a treat to find out that our cousin Jeannie was at the reunion! I’m pretty sure that I haven’t seen her in 45 years. She lives in Washington State. She and I are nearly the same age, but when we were growing up she was a beautiful blonde who knew how to take a plunge in the city pool, and I was her darker-haired, shier, country bumpkin side-kick. Here we are trying to look glamorous down on the farm.


In the lower right is our younger sister. I know she’ll be happy that I posted this picture!


Jeannie’s still glamorous, but now I’m blonde too! 

The reunion committee organized a basket raffle to raise funds from the attendees to help support next year’s reunion. Cindy and I donated some quilted items for a live-bid auction to help raise more money. I put on my auctioneer hat and called the bids. It was so much fun! The bidding was lively and bidders went crazy for Cindy’s Family Pillow and Family Banner.

My cousin Teddy’s wife was the high bidder for a Valentine’s table topper I made a few years ago.


We’re already planning what we can make for next year’s reunion fundraiser. It’s always fun to watch someone else fall love with your babies!

I hope you get a chance to reconnect with your far-flung family this summer.