to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Big Grins!

Check out this lovely smile!
Isn't she beautiful??

This is Esther,
and she is smiling because she drew my name to receive some free
hand crafted buttons from ButtonMad.

Aren't they cute???
And they are coming to me clear from South Africa!

 I really like this company and what they stand for.
I copied this directly from their website:

Incomparable, SA was started as a small company in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working around a kitchen table, often late into the night, Jennifer Pascall was busy transforming small pieces of clay into buttons of all shapes and sizes. Many of the first designs, which are still popular today, were inspired by Africa’s rich ethnic artworks and distinctive wild animals. Over the years Incomparable began specialising in the creation of handmade buttons, craft pieces, craft kits, painting kits, greeting cards and jewelry. 
As the company evolved, ladies from the local community were hired and trained in the art of button making. Today, Jennifer’s entire family, as well as 45 women from the local community are involved in the business. Most of the Incomparable team had never held a paintbrush before they joined the company and are now absolute masters of their brushes and justifiably proud of their work. The ladies sense of belonging within the company and skills as crafters not only gives them tremendous pleasure but also provides them with economic empowerment and has uplifted all their families.

How cool is that?
Look for more of these buttons in my crafts very soon!

Actually, all the photos have been taken from their blog.
I emailed them for permission, but I am an impatient person.
They are probably sleeping or something  right now in South Africa!
I am fairly sure they won't mind. 
Go have a look RIGHT HERE

Monday, March 28, 2011

We have had some great response to May for Me!

Marcia has set up some wonderful prizes and fun. She also did an awesome job of explaining why you need to join us. I don't care if you make crafts or not. You need this!!

Pop over and have a read...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hee Hee Haw Haw Haw Ho.

Whew!! I made it!
I was really pushing this deadline.
I had a T-shirt and photo ministry quilt that needed to be done by April 1st, so that it could get to a long arm person and then to the recipient by April 19th. 
I know--this is even pushing the deadline for long arm, but it is going to my hometown,
 Pleasant Hill, Mo...population 6,739...Salute!!
 (oh sorry...this isn't Hee Haw is it? I got a bit carried away.)

Anyway--I completely trust the long arm person there to get it done. She understands the need. 
And she knows that I didn't have a big window of time either.
I am not at liberty to discuss much about this quilt, other than a mother tragically lost her grown son on April 19th of last year. This years anniversary of his death will no doubt be hard on her but she will be able to surround herself with him.

Included are his T-shirts, photos, and jeans.
The inner border was made from some of his dress shirts,
while the outer border is music notes.
The recipient chose everything for this quilt...
the colors, fabric, layout; all I did was piece it together.

This is a big load off my shoulder because I have had several time-sensitive quilts.
It will be nice to breathe a little.

Oh, and since I have blog friends from all over the world,
I am betting that most of you have NO idea what Hee Haw is.
Hee Haw was a variety show that used to come on television once a week when I was a kid--
and it's one of those shows that warms my Hillbilly heart!
They would pick a small farm town every week and say the population,
then all the musicians and actors would jump out of the cornfield and say, "Salute".
My post title today is from the show's theme song.
I was looking for a clip...and there are so many great ones!
I couldn't pick just one...impossible. 
So, here are a few Hee Haw videos
 for your Sunday Hillbilly entertainment...

Two or Four?

Kids are always getting in the way of my sewing!

Actually I am quite proud of Seth and will have to blog about it soon.
He has a couple of awards that I need to claim bragging rights on.
But, for now, he needs to get out of my way because I have a question for you.

In the photo, I have used four strands of floss on the left,
and two on the right.
Which do you like better? Click to enlarge so that you can tell better.

When I start a new hobby, I bury myself in it.
I find everything I can about it. The internet and blogs are so wonderful for this!
When I started hand embroidery a few months ago,
I really did some reading. And learning.
I have done LOTS of embroidery over the last several months.

Next week I am going to show a few tricks that I have learned.
(Such as the easiest way to iron wrinkles so that you don't smash your stitches or if you use beads and they get in the way. I will also show how to print right on fabric --as that is how I do my design transfer--, and how I make it so that my blocks just don't wrinkle and distort so that I can pre-sew the blocks together without worry.) 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Still working..

Ok, so I've figured out my background and I think I like it. I think I like the colors. But I need to do alot of work on the header. Not even sure what I want to do yet...but I don't like what is there.

Pardon my mess

While I try to re-decorate.

It's spring cleaning time, you know?
It's more fun to spring clean a blog than a house.
Don't you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just a little over a month til...

May for Me!

Last week I alluded to some fun that we have coming up in May.
Marcia, of Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting, had the great idea to have a month of sewing just for me...
because she knows that I have a list a mile long of things that I wanted to make..but never get to do because of sewing for others. (Don't we all have one of those lists?)We emailed back a forth and decided that we'd make a blog event of it..and invite you to join along!

I plan to make some items just for me out of this book:

(Like the sewing tote bag on the front, 
as well as several projects inside.)

I also want to make some Peanuts embroidery squares for my Peanuts quilt.

As well as planned projects, I am already working on some great posts for May!
I have a May for Me page up top. 
It is ready and waiting for the names of those of you that would like to join along.
You don't have to be a quilter. You don't even have to be Crafty.
You just have to be ready to have a great month!
Will you join us?

Here is a button you can add to your blog. 
Just save it as a photo, then when it asks for a link,
link it back to my May for Me page:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fun in the Sun for Carlos

I am a bit sad as I write this post.
The prison where I make the dog blankets for does a yearly shuffle of employees.
The lady that I had been working with was so good 
about getting me info on the dogs. 
She has been shuffled to a different part of the prison,
so now someone new is in charge of the program.
I am not getting the information that I need.
Jerry (my hubby who works at said prison) says that there 
are several new dogs coming in...and I know nothing about them!

At least before the last program director got removed,
she sent me photos and names of the next two dogs.
This is Carlos.

Carlos must have spring fever too,
because all I could think about was him having fun in the sun!

Oh, look, those of you that requested toes--
you got them.
(If you have no idea what I'm talking about,
it was from a previous post.)
 Ha! How funny.
 I didn't know they were there til I uploaded to blogger.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bring it On!!

Sunday was the first day of Spring;
and I didn't even realize it!
I did, however, take advantage of the almost 80 degree weather!
I loaded up the boys and headed to the local nature park.
We hiked around a lake--
I can't tell you how good that felt to hike again.
I had to carry Stephen on my shoulders
part of the way but it was so worth it! 

After hiking the lake,
 I introduced Stephen to just how cool of a mom I am.

Before our play in the water was over,
him, Seth, and I had all fallen at least once.
We were covered in algae and mud.
Our shoes were soaked.
But it was fun!

I am a bit jealous of my grand-dog. 
She got to go geocaching.
So kind of her to send me a photo and flaunt it.
I will go again someday. 
I will. I will. I will.
(hear my foot stamping?)

Besides hiking and playing in streams,
there is another reason that I really love Spring.

I just love those dark, ominous clouds 
that are ready to burst forth in thunder and rain!
(Isn't that the coolest photo, courtesy of public domain)

It's supposed to storm tomorrow.
Bring it on! I can't wait!
(Photo also from public domain.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stephen's First Zoo Adventure

One day I just got tired of it. 

I told Mommy that it has been a very long time
since I got to go adventuring.
 I decided that we were going to go to the zoo.

I have read lots of books about animals
but I had to see for myself if they were real or not.
Ha! Just as I thought. 
Check out this "Polar Bear". 
He's about as real as Big Foot!

Oh, wait a minute...
that one is real.
Real scary!
I had to hold brother to keep him safe.

After seeing the bear,
I was really ready to see some more REAL animals.
Like a Gator!, I said real please!

Well, let's just say this was the great zoo of fake animals.
The real part of the zoo was closed cuz they were building something.
I did have tons of fun though.
It's not everyday a boy gets to sit on a gator or a toad.
The rock climbing wasn't bad either.

And the food?
I found the bestest thing EVER!!
Corn dogs!!!
(Especially the dipping into ketchup part)

I hope you don't mind if I tell you about 
another zoo adventure again someday.
Cuz I still need to investigate things like
Lions, Zebra's, Giraffes and Monkeys.
And I might just need to eat another corn dog!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What does St. Pat have to do with Human trafficking?

I don't spend my St. Patrick's Day like many of you.
I don't dress in green,
don't normally go to the parades;
I just stay home. That's what I like to do.
And I am not saying you should. 
This is just me. Always has been. Always will be.
(I do the same on New Years Eve.)

I wanted to share with you something that was shared with me.
But, I was afraid if I just put the link then you wouldn't read it.
So I copied and pasted it...trying to give credit where credit is due.
I hope it is ok. 
I had no idea of the background behind St. Patrick. Did you?
Read on...

  Mar 17, 2011 – 3:07 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 17, 2011 3:51 PM ET
By Clint Humfrey
Green beer sales mark the globalized celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and for many who are only Irish once a year little more is thought of.   But it may be time for St. Patrick’s Day to become an occasion of global awareness for something more than the taste of Guinness, namely the problem of human trafficking.
Patrick was only 16 when he was seized by human traffickers.  Removed from his family and home in Roman Britain, he was transported across the Irish Sea to the foreign surroundings of Dalriada  in what is now Northern Ireland.  The traffickers sold Patrick to a local warlord who exploited the young Briton for six years of forced labor.
Patrick escaped and fled Ireland, yet his conversion to Christianity while a slave gave him a mission to return to minister to his former captors.  From that point Patrick’s ministry in Ireland became so significant that his identity and the country’s are difficult to separate.   Yet it is easily forgotten that Patrick’s early experience of his adopted country was as a victim of human trafficking. 
Today when people think of slavery they rarely think of a modern problem, but rather something belonging to earlier centuries. But in the transnational world that is ‘flattened’ modern slavery can take many different forms than those associated with plantations or estates in the Caribbean or American South.
In one scenario, traffickers will promise jobs in foreign countries only to put the victim in a permanent indebtedness so that they must work  without rights and without hope of freedom.  With no advocates in a foreign land of foreign language the victims are forced to rely on the traffickers for their survival.  Long hours of demanding work in unsafe conditions become the desperate reality for these victims that had been promised a job in a land of opportunity.
Another scenario has traffickers offering the allure of marriage or glamorous jobs in modeling or acting in order to force young women into prostitution.  Such exploitation occurs at local levels in every city of  the world but for victims of sex trafficking, the removal from one country to another isolates them further.  Without the language skills to communicate in the foreign country, the sex trade victim cannot seek help even if support services are available locally.
Another horrific product of the globalized sex trafficking economy is the enticement offered to parents to sell their children into prostitution.  The demand to stock child prostitutes for sex tourism destinations such as Thailand is great. In sex trade economics, an unthinkable act by a parent becomes all too commonplace.
Human trafficking is a global and local problem. In order to fight it we need to admit its existence.   Maybe on this St. Patrick’s Day we could take up the challenge by caring less about all things green, and a bit more about the life of Patrick himself.   If we could imagine what life was like for St. Patrick we may have greater empathy for the plight of victims of human trafficking in our communities.
Clint Humfrey is pastor of Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Alberta and supports

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Savanna...future Vet

For the young animal lover...

(Please click on photo to enlarge)

Savanna is 13 years old.
She has cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.
Savanna loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian someday.
The Max and Whiskers line of fabric is perfect for her!

My daughter helped me design the animals
to hand stitch around the outer edge;
then I chose a fun font to stitch her name in.

If you look very closely you can see white dots;
that is where it is hand tied...
each a prayer lifted for Savanna.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sore thumbs

It's Done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to show you pics tomorrow.
My thumb is sore from all the yarn ties;
all the more reason I'll appreciate that new machine someday.
I am excited to get this quilt into the mail
and off to it's new owner.

Up next is a prison pooch quilt,
then a T-shirt/photo Memory quilt
that I am pushing a time limit on.
April 19th will be the 1 year anniversary date
of the person's death and I need to get it to a long-armer too;
so I may be a bit hit and miss and may be a bit 
slower to leave comments on your blogs.
But, after the memory quilt,
things will slow down a bit. 
(I hope!)


A blog friend of mine mentioned a couple of weeks ago
that I need to take a break from sewing for others;
and take some time for me.
After she and I emailed back and forth,
we decided that we would have 
and would like you to join with us.
A month of making what we want;
but also rejuvenation; etc.

Are any of you interested in joining along?
I will blog more about this as soon as I get 
these pressing quilts finished.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stephen shares his toes...and a winner

Stephen has been a bit slow about having Adventures.
It is kind of hard to have adventures when cooped up
inside all winter!!
He did, however, get his book made.
They are so cool! 
I will be deleting his adventures from last year 
very soon. (to save photo space.)
Since I won't share my toes with you,
Stephen was kind enough to share his 
while I took the photo of his books:

Stephen will share an adventure with you on Monday.


Thanks so much for your help with my quilt. 
I liked the wonky too--but thought I might be crazy.
I am awaiting thinking I may be pulling a couple of late nights 
to get it finished and on its way next week.
I'll let you see the finished quilt!


For the large pattern/book giveaway,
I went back and tallied comments from February,
comments from this week,
extra entries for faithful followers,
and gave extra entries for all those helping me
with my quilt dilemma.

I get a little tired of Mr. Random generator.
He gets just too much publicity.
So I used my facebook friends to pick the winner.

you can think my friend from high school. 
Send your address to

Ps. Mariliz and Patty@Granma's...
your numbers were chosen as well.
But, Gene was quickest...
just thought you'd like to know you ALMOST won.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What do you think?

Thanks so much for all the response and offer to help!! 
I will be gone a good part of the day;
 so we've all got lots of time to ponder.
I really need to try to finish this weekend 
because other pressing quilt commitments.
Any input would be wonderful!!
(Please click on photos to enlarge them.)

Remember above is the original pattern that I chose for the contest.
Below is what would happen if I followed this pattern.

I like the blue, green and brown together,
but the name would be all crooked going down the sides.
And all the stitching blocks too.
Here is the other reason I didn't design them to be on point,
Max is directional; he would always be tipped on his nose.

Here's where my brain wasn't working.
I thought that if I just made the blocks square,
somehow that brown would be there.
I have no idea what I was thinking!
This is what it would actually look like.
(of course it would be straighter.
Stephen is a fine helper!)
I left out the Max need.
As you can see this layout makes a much smaller quilt!

Finally, I guess this is the solution I am going to have to live with.
I really wanted the stitching to border the quilt,
and all the Max blocks in the middle.
This looks too scrappy for me;
but I don't think I have another option.
(The 'holes' will be filled with blue bordered blocks.
This design is larger and I'll need to make more to accommodate.)
I have quite a few jelly roll pieces left over,
I will probably make a couple of borders,
one with them and one with brown.

What would you do?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hillbillies Hate Geometry!!

At least this one does. 
When I was in high school, 
I was an honor student. 
I Aced Algebra. I loved the stuff.
well I found myself begging for extra credit.

So, why in the world was I dumb enough 
to pick a hobby that uses so much geometry?
Probably for the same reason that I picked a hobby
that uses so much drawing....when I can't draw.
(I still am not sure of that reason.)

What am I getting at?
Well, I was going to enter a contest for Moda Bake shop.
I was using this pattern:
(find it HERE)

If you saw yesterday's post, 
you will see that I had several embroidery squares,
including a name.

I wanted to write Savanna along the top and right side,
and put the other embroidery along the left side and bottom.
Only, the fabric charm pack I chose...Max and Whiskers,
does not look good 'on point'. 
(Diamond shape for you non-quilters).
Ok, I figured, no big deal.
I'll just make all the blocks square instead of diamond
so Max doesn't always fall on his nose.

I spent a month stitching all those blocks...
and then went to piece it together today,
and guess what?
When you don't put it on point,
then you don't have that pretty other color
separating the blocks.
(In the photo the ABC blocks around the outer edge
is separated by green diamonds.)
Without the extra color, mine looks terrible!

So, I had to figure out a completely different way 
to piece the thing together.
 I don't like it near as well as the on point version.
And I am not even sure if I'll enter it into the contest now.
I'll see when it is finished--
Which I guess won't be for a few days now.

Stupid geometry.
This is probably why I never design quilts on point.
Do any of you struggle with this as well?

Okay, Okay...

I hear ya. 
You want to see the blocks 
but not my toes.

Excuse the wonky-ness and over exposure.
Lighting is hard to come by in the middle of  the night.
I'm hopefully putting the whole quilt together today;
but here are the stitchery blocks.
They are in no particular order, by the way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The not so big reveal


I got all the blocks finished for my Max and Whiskers quilt.
Besides the regular blocks
(which were very easy)
I did 16 stitchery blocks. 
They took... f o r e v e r!

Wanna see them?

There they are. 
All 16 of them.
Rinsed and drying on a quilt rack.
As an added bonus you get to see my toes.

Oh, you want to see them better?
The blocks or my toes?
The blocks...soon.
My toes...never.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Not right now

I read a really good and inspiring blog post today
over at The Noble Wife.

She talks about her beginning journey with her business.
She, like all of us, faced several bumps in the road
before she got to where she is today. 

It reminded me that even though I don't have a machine...
I will someday when the time is right.
God isn't saying "No"...He's saying "Not right now."

Trying to get my little business off the ground
has had many bumps in the road.
(Starting with that little unexpected bump in my tummy 
two years ago...)
It can get discouraging because I think how God gave me
the talent and the desire...but I just can't get anywhere it seems.
Then I read that post today...and there's the reminder again...
"Not right now" does not mean "No".

Anyway, I am glad that I stumbled upon her blog and read her story.
And now I am going to have to figure out a way to get my hands on 
her new line of fabric:

As a bonus,
her blog has some great free stitching patterns!! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Since I didn't win...I guess I'll let you

Guess What? 
I didn't win the sewing machine. 
None of us crossed our hands or toes enough.
Oh, well. 
That Horizon is still somewhere over the horizon...


Remember when I said that for today's giveaway that I would
see how many books or patterns that I could fit into a flat rate envelope?
I had enough to fill 4 flat rate envelopes!
Here was the original pile....

I would have loved to just give them all away to you;
but I could not have paid the shipping.
So, I picked out the BEST of the bunch
--that would still fit in a (very stuffed) flat rate envelope. 

For this giveaway today we have

(sorry; all I could find was a thumbnail for this;
and I'm too lazy to set up for photos right now)

(A couple have been opened though.)

What must you do?
Just leave a comment;
be a follower;
 and make sure your blogger is not set to no reply.
Those that were eligible for extra chances have been noted
via my very high tech system of pen and paper.

I know I was going to originally only leave this up a day;
but it's got too many goodies for that. 
I'll probably throw in extra chances for comments this week too.
I'll post the winner next Saturday.
Good luck to each of you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Things Remembered

This Hillbilly is very behind in her blog reading. 
I will catch up. I promise!


A wonderful blog friend has given me an idea 
to help me balance the charity quilts and personal projects.
Did you hear that big sigh of relief?


A very dear friend of mine passed away suddenly of the flu.
We first met years ago when I was a teen.
We worked together at a gift engraving store
 called Things Remembered.
Oh the times we had!
(I worked off an on there helping out on holidays 
for 20 years.)
In the "Old Days" engraving was an art.
We had a manual machine that required both arms be working 
at once and extreme precision. 

It also took a long time. 
During holidays we would work around the clock.
We kept a cot in the back room to nap on.
(Now engraving is computerized. Not near as fun.)

You would not believe some of the things we've engraved.
Oh the laughs we've had!
Once we engraved an urn that already had it's contents.
The man would not come back and pick it up. 
We had his wife there with us for months and months!

My teen years were pretty tough.
My real mom had passed away;
my step-mom hated my guts;
it was just really, really tough.
I am so thankful for MamaRo during those years.
She saw me through the teen years;
 as well as the next few equally as hard years.

I was going to go to her funeral today;
but decided I wasn't up to all that car driving time with Stephen.
And it's going to be cold and rainy. 
She is to be buried in the same cemetary as my mother,
grandparents, cousins...
(this is the actual cemetary-one of the prettiest in all of Kansas City)

With all my family being buried there as well,
It would have been a tough day.
I'm wimping out and staying home. 
Every time something like this happens it stirs up memories.
Then I have nightmares reliving the teen years.
 I have the last two nights.

I had to come back and edit this blog with a good note!
MY SISTER just finished a quilt top for me for the quilt ministry.
How nice was that?


On a lighter note--
Giveaway of some pattern books tomorrow!