Thursday, July 31, 2008


One of the local berry farms - and there are dozens (over 70% of all the raspberries and blueberries in the US are raised in our county) has a special Raspberry Festival and we took our grandsons.

Ben in his car seat with his "punkin" berry picking basket. He has used it for the Easter Egg hunt, and now berry picking - it is his favorite bucket.

There were barrel-train rides, wagon rides, ice cream sundaes with raspberries on top - face painting, balloon animals, good fruit and vegetables to buy and just general fun.

Jahn took his favorite bunny on the barrel-train with him - my grandsons seem to confuse their holidays!

Jahn getting his face painted - he was some transformer or something like that - Grammy seems to not know about things like this.

Ben preferred his ice cream "just white" - also Grammy's favorite!

Two boys riding on the hay wagon. The farmer stopped and picked us each a big bunch of carrots right from the fields. He washed them off and we snacked on the way back to the berry sheds.

Jahn ate 7 carrots.

Then there was the raspberry picking - Ben loved running up and down the rows with Grampy - we did get some berries in his punkin.

Jahn got his balloon just before time to leave.

The day was perfect - sunny but not hot at all - and everyone had such a good time.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Ohhh - look what I got from Tami in our Pay It Forward outing. I had signed up on her blog some time ago and so was completely surprised when this nice little packet came in the mail. It is nice to forget about something and then have it suddenly appear. If you haven't visited Tami at her cute blog - be sure and stop by.

The knitted dish cloth is soft as can be - and will come in very handy. The tea towel with the blue flower applique is so clever - and Ben said he likes "the little bumpedy pillows" - the tea mug coasters - the best. They have spices inside and when you put your hot cup of tea on them - you get such a sweet scent.

Thanks so much for the package Tami - I will really enjoy using everything in my new kitchen.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is sort of a quilting project - at least it is quilting related.

I am always interested to learn just how someone got interested in quilting - or who influenced them. Often it is our mothers and grandmothers, aunts or close friends - and sometimes a stranger that became a good friend.

I'd love to hear your stories - as I am collecting the stories for a publication, and I know you'd love to be included. I would really like to hear the stories - but also to see photos, perhaps of the person that influenced you the most in quilting - or pictures of the quilts they inspired you to make and quilts you have made since you started this journey. If you are interested in joining the others I have interviewed - please send my your pictures and stories to

Nothing will be published without your complete approval - both of photos and of stories.

We are a country full of wonderful quilters who come from different backgrounds, love different styles and colors and express ourselves through our quilts.

Part of my story of beginning to quilt is from Wisconsin. But first - I grew up in Southeast Alaska - the daughter of a commercial fisherman. In the winters our dad was hired as a watchman for fishing villages and we often didn't see other people for months at a time. I had a doll and made a quilt for her from scraps of fabrics - and that was my "first" quilt. Then later, when we were expecting our first child, I made her the darling pink quilt in the last blog entry - and nothing much for a couple years.

We had moved to Wisconsin to be near Don's family a couple years later and I met and Old Old Old Old farmer's wife, who made beautiful quilts. I mentioned I would love to quilt like she did, and she said "Deary, it is easy, just get some scraps, a pattern and bring them out here so we can get started". So I did just that - got scraps from my own sewing (I made all our clothes at that time), and scraps from friends. The pattern I picked was a windmill, again purchased from a newspaper ad, and no one had told me a pattern with curved seams was too hard for the "first" quilt - so away we went.

You can tell by that neon green when this was made - in the late 60s - and the prints are not the kind we would pick these days - but they certainly represented the time the quilt was made.

I hand pieced the entire quilt - good thing I didn't try to machine piece those curves. I sure learned a LOT about unstitching on this quilt. I started it when I was first pregnant with our son - and finished piecing it the day I went to the hospital. We still use it on our bed and someday it will belong to him and his wife - but I'm not ready to give it up just yet.

And about that very old farmer's wife - I realize now that she was probably not as old as I am now - but when you are 22 I guess most older adults seem VERY old. The other day we were driving past a car wash, put on by a junior high soccer team. I waved to the darling little boys holding the signs and heard one say "Wave to the old lady" . That really cracked me up.

So let's hear your stories


I found this idea on Beverly's blog and followed several of her links to read and enjoy the Pinks. Such pretty ideas - such pretty pictures and sentiments.

I thought I'd try my hand at it - as pink is one of my favorite flower colors. I don't have much pink in my house - unless you include pinks in my quilts. Then I have a lot!!

At first I thought I'd have trouble coming up with pink - but look what I found!!!

My first quilt for our oldest daughter. I got the pattern from the newspaper and did the embroidery in variegated pinks - set the blocks together with Pink Gingham - I love the little spring hats on the animals.

The ad from the newspaper for the quilt pattern. I paid 49 cents plus one stamp for the pattern.

And another quilt I made for her - little baby animals again!

I reproduced the quilt on the left - for our oldest daughter's family one christmas. The Bubble Gum Pink - or Double Pink - so popular when Don's great aunts made the original quilt was hard to find at the time I made the reproduction - but once I found it I was able to make this lovely quilt that can be used - instead of just placed for display like the older version, that is worn and shabby from years of use.

A close up of the reproduction quilt - this was made using all Civil War reproduction fabrics.

Next - a close up of the quilting on a hand appliqued quilt I made in the 90s. It is dedicated to Don's Aunt Mary - who handed down the Flying Geese quilt to us years ago. This is the spring quilt we use on our bed.

And a quilt I plan to make soon. I saw one of these quilts - made from kits from the 40s and 50s. I loved the kits as a kid and always wanted one - but couldn't save up the 9.98 needed for the kit - there always seemed to be something else that I just "had" to have instead. I found this complete kit on ebay - for 51.00 - and won it - so soon I will start on the applique. The backing and batting is not included in the kit - but the light pink binding is, plus it is marked for quilting - this is going to be fun.
I hand paint fabric - and make photo-sensitive prints on the fabric - this piece of pink, using wild bleeding heart leaves, is one of my favorites.

And of course pink flowers - on our way to nearby Mt. Baker we often see fireweed growing alongside the roads and creeks. Tradition has it that when the Fire Weed has bloomed to the top, then summer is finished - I hope these take a long, long time to finish blooming.

And we can't ignore the Foxgloves growing wild along the hillsides beside the road. The story is that the name came from "Folks' Gloves" - because the Wee Folks would wear the flowers for gloves at their fancy balls in the woods.

Hillsides of them growing - in pinks and white - just lovely, and plenty of "gloves" for all the Wee Folks.

A pink rose - growing in the Heron Preserve in Chilliwack, BC - so delicately beautiful - and oh the scent!!

Don buys me flowers every week - or whenever the last bouquet is done - and these gladiolas were for the 4ht of July. They just say summer!!!!

I hope you've enjoyed my jaunt through Pink Saturday - I've had fun discovering how much I have around me that is pink.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This is a good day to be thankful - Rhondi - at
has started a Thankful Thursday and I have a lot to be thankful for.

Today I'm thankful for feeling good - yesterday was one of those days when the flu had overwhelmed me - but with the help of some little yellow pills from the accupuncturist (the pills speed you through the flu or a cold), a good night of sweating it all out, and the help of Don with the housework that I didn't get done - I am feeling my old self again - thankful for that.

I'm thankful for the deer in my yard - there is a mother and baby right now - the spots are so cute this time of year. I'm also thankful that, so far, they haven't eaten my daisies - though the mother is standing near them and chewing suspiciously.

I am thankful for bubbles

And for little boys who run and play in them

And little boys who smile in the summer

And for my camera that sometimes takes wonky pictures of bubbles. I don't know how that happened - but the picture makes me smile too.

All in all - a good Thankful Thursday. And thanks to Rhondi for starting this.

Happy quilting and bubbles

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'M STITCHING AGAIN - and a give-away

It seems it's been a long time - but finally I got back to the butterfly quilt. I have been making some flowers for the quilt - but have not actually been stitching on the quilt. I dragged it down from the shelf and began work on the 4 trilliom miles of bias vines that wind round and round, in between the butterflies and along the edges. My, that is a lot of stitches on 4 trillion miles of vines!!!

Here is the bias cut and stitched together to form that unbelievably long piece.

And here it is being tortured with an iron. I press under one side of the bias - baste in in the design I want for the vine and applique the pressed under side first. Then I turn under the other side by hand and it slips right into place, making a nice curvey vine for the flowers to grow on. Isn't that the prettiest iron you've ever seen? The first time our grandson Ben saw it (it was unplugged of course, since Grammy never irons when the boys are around) he said - I touched that purple machine. Cute boy!!!

Some of the pretty GFG flowers I'v been making at work.

More of them stacked up in piles - I love the 30s fabrics for this quilt!!!

I have put one or two flowers on, just for funsies, and I really like the looks of it. The flower is only partly appliqued, but I was impatient to get the picture taken. I haven't tried a YoYo flower yet and I still need to cut out leaves to go
with the flowers and vines.

There is a fun giveaway over at - a Christmas one - not too early to begin planning for the gifts and fun of the holidays.

And here is a cute picture of the twin fawns that often come to our yard - because everyone needs a good deer picture now and then. They are the reason my flower gardens now have bird netting all around them. Here they are enjoying the buttercups across the street, near the woods. Mama was nearby the whole time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We purchased our new carpet in April - and then had the closet doors remodeled so they would be done before the new carpet arrived. Who knew it would take so long for this project to be completed. While moving the bookcase in the den we found a wet, soggy wall behind it - and had to have a contractor come out and inspect it to see what the problem was.

He determined that the enclosure around the tub was leaking into the wall during our showers because there was no caulking at all in the corners of the enclosure - leaving a space for the water to run into the wall. The water damage shows that this had happened before - and the sellers had to have known that this wall got wet. The house had been empty long enough before we bought it that the wet had dried up and they had repainted the wall to hide the damage. The contractor caulked the seams and the water stopped running into the wall and it dried up quickly enough so that the carpet could be installed. The contractor is coming back next week to fix the damage - not the ideal situation, but there wasn't time to get it done before the installation, and not delay the date - which had been delayed twice already - and we wanted the carpet installed!!
Now at last - the new carpet is in - the installers have been back and fixed the things they did wrong and the closet support they broke in the linen closet (actually fixed things THREE times before they got it right) - but they finally did it to my satisfaction and we are walking on clouds.

Literally - the new carpet is so much thicker and softer you just can't help but walk in your bare feet. Ahhh the luxury. And the color is wonderful. No more dark green!!!!! Ben says it is Khaki color - and I think he's right. It is the perfect color for our house.

BEFORE - DINING ROOM - look at that dark green carpet!


The table, chairs and sideboard have been in my family now for four generations. The grandsons will make five generations. When I was 6 our family moved to Alaska and my parents had this dining room set. Of course it was too big to take along - they had inherited it from my grandparents, who inherited it from my great-grandparents. Since it was too large to take to Alaska in the late 50s my parents stored it at my grandparent's house in central California. My grandmother told them they would have to pay $150.00 if they wanted to leave it there - since it had been hers and they never paid for it when they got it. They paid the money - and left the dining room set along with other pieces of furniture.

Many years later my parents (they had moved back to Central California again) went back to retrieve the set, after I was married and had children of my own. My grandmother told my mom to pay $150.00 for the set, since it had belonged to my grandmother and she would sell it to my parents. To not cause a fuss, my mother paid the $150.00 and took the set to their house in California. Later, my mom moved back to Alaska, and at that time, took the dining set with her, and when my grandmother found out she was taking it, she insisted that my mom pay her another $150.00 - because the set "actually" belonged to my grandmother. Again - my mom paid the $150.00 and off to Alaska she went.

Again - fast forward - my kids are all grown and moved away from home except the youngest one and my mom offers to give us the dining room set. Problem-it is in Alaska, and we are in N. California. So my mom has the dining set packed professionally in a big wooden box, along with a marble topped dresser that had also belonged to my great grandparents. Onto a barge the big wooden box went, and we waited and waited for it to arrive - excited to once again see the dining set, and we had just moved into an old house that had a lovely dining room and no furniture. Nothing arrived - we called the barge company - my mom called the barge company - we tried to find the dining set.

Then one day she gets a phone call - from the barge company - the big wooden box is in FLORIDA - now to get there it had to go all the way around through the Panama Canal - after traveling down the coast of the US Mexico - so back on the barge it goes - and back through the Canal - and up to Northern CA.

Finally - after months and months the big wooden box arrives - and a truck is hired to bring it out to our house. The box is about 9 feet tall and 10 feet square - almost big enough for a small bedroom in some houses. It is sitting atop the bed of a truck - no lift gate - no forklift to pluck it off and set it on the ground. The driver says - No Problem!!! I'll just shove the box to the back of the flat bed - and then drive forward really fast and it will drop harmlessly to the ground.

Oh noooooooooooo - I run into the bedroom - dive onto the bed and cover my head with pillows. I don't want to hear the crash when it all shatters to a million pieces. Don comes in soon and taps me on the shoulder - he is grinning - he's not supposed to be grinning - he should be tearing his hair out. The box has dropped to the ground - I felt the house shake when it hit - and they have opened it and everything is safe and sound - even the marble top to the dresser is safe.

Who would have guessed you could do that? So we began unpacking all the wonderful pieces - filling our dining room in our 1888 house with wonderful memories - and we didn't even have to pay $150.00 to anyone for the set. While unpacking the big wooden box, everyone going by (we lived in a very small town) - would ask us if we were moving out - and many asked if they could buy our house. When the big wooden box was empty a neighbor asked if he could have it for a play house for his kids. We were happy to be rid of the big wooden box - he hooked a chain to it - and with his tractor he dragged it off down the street - digging a nice little rut in the pavement with one of the corners of the big wooden box.
Since that time the dining room set has moved from that house to a smaller house out in the country, near that same town, to a storage unit here in Bellingham, WA while we hunted for a house, to a big house in the country while we looked for a house to buy, to our oldest daughter's new house (and they didn't have to pay $150.00 either), to another house we rented out in the country, when they decided to redecorate when Ben was born and didn't have room for the dining set and all the baby furniture needed for a newborn - and finally to our new house here in January of this year. Its last move!!!! It is solid oak and very heavy - plus you can't pick the table up by the top - because the bottom braces are so heavy they tend to pull the top away from the legs and braces, so it is painful to reach under the edge and pick the table up
by the supports.

Our living room furniture does not have such a strange history - it is just living room furniture - but is certainly does look great on the new carpet.



AND ONE MORE VIEW OF THE PRETTY LIVING ROOM. So - do you think the new carpet looks grand????
It was a huge chore to get everything moved out of the rooms (we had four rooms carpeted) and then back in - and then to have to deal with Lowes to get them to make sure the installers fixed everything they did wrong or broke while doing the installation - but certainly worth the wonderful new carpet. We still have to carpet the back hallway and guest/toy room and put laminate flooring in the studio - but that is for another time - we have to recuperate from this project. Moving the stuff out of the studio is not going to be fun - it is packed full in here - but it will be nice to be rid of the dark green carpet everywhere in the house.

If you are remodeling or having carpet laid - I sympathize - but hang in there - it is well worth all the hassle!!!



These two characters go most places with us. Most times we can keep them out of mischief -but you just never know what they are going to do, at any moment.

Buddy E is the frog - he has really long dancing legs, like Buddy Ebsen (remember Beverly Hillbillies?). Buddy E. loves to get into just about anything and always wants to join in, no matter what I'm doing. He cooks, cleans (well messes up while I clean), reads, sews, writes (on things he shouldn't write on) and eats.

He likes a drink of Pepsi now and then

Loves the swings in the park and

Gets into things in my studio.

He is sometimes joined by a friend or two - and then we are really in trouble. Grampa is our travelling bear. He has gone to Wisconsin on the train, shopping at Oshkosh B'Gosh in Wisconsin, on boat rides, on picnics, to Canada and often stows away and I don't notice him until we are on our way, and it is too late to turn around and leave him at home. His favorite place to ride now is in Ben's carseat in the back of our car - he can see things better from that spot.

His favorite thing is picnics - any time - any place!!! And like all good bears - Grampa likes to rummage around in the food and see what's happenin'.

And of course, like all bears - he eats too much - but is happy as can be.

When we went to a cabin at Silver Lake, Grampa made friends with the Blue Jays by having his friend Murray give them some peanuts. Sometimes he is nice about sharing.

At the lake Buddy E likes to have a snack of Mexican food - and a good dose of hot sauce.

He climbed up on top of the birdhouses at my cousin's house in Oregon

And sat by her flowers - he was pretty good this time - didn't pick any flowers - that I saw

And took a long ride, dangerous on her wooden whale

Got dizzy on her whirling flower - urrrp

And swung n the aliums in the wind!

Come back again for the the later adventures of Buddy E and Grampa!!!