Showing posts from March, 2012

Foreign Friday

Major Don Deaton, Nancy Stearns, JoAnn Deaton Robert D. Edgren High School Junior - Senior Prom chaperones Club Mutsu (Officer's Club) Misawa AFB, Misawa, Japan Spring 1980 One of the duties of a high school teacher is to chaperone student dances, and the largest event every year is the Junior-Senior Prom. I have attended over 35 proms in my life: two of which were in Japan. ( Four of the proms were ones that I attended as a student. I attended a small high school and freshmen and sophomores could also attend prom. Years later, serving as a chaperone myself, I came to appreciate my own teachers more.) The two years I was in Misawa, the dance and after-prom activities on base were held in the Officer's Club (Mutsu). Very little decorating was done for the dance. After-prom activities included movies, games, lots of food, and more music until the wee hours of the morning. For the chaperones it included lots and lots of coffee and a great deal of patience. The Razorbac

Mistletoe and Holly

Mistletoe and Holly started January 4, 2012 finished March 2012 Even though the grass is starting to green and the trees are budding, Christmas arrived at my house this week in the form of an Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket. It was started in Washington and has traveled to Canada, Oregon, California, Texas, and Wyoming. My knitting buddy, Cheryl will add the border. I added the last section (shown on the right) to Mistletoe and Holly, using the Purled Ladder  stitch and Caron Simply Soft (Forest Green). The blanket was knit on size 9 needles. Update : April 10, 2012

On a Clear Day. . .

Riverton, WY March 26, 2012 Wind speed 55 - 60 mph with gusts to 70+ mph If things weren't tied down or secured on Monday, they were probably in Nebraska on Tuesday. Between the persistent winds, strong gusts, and blowing dirt on Monday, driving conditions were terrible if not downright dangerous. Visibility was significantly reduced as the following photos illustrate. Riverton Main Street looking east March 26, 2012 Riverton Main Street looking east March 27, 2012

Here's a Teaser

According to my "plan," this Quilt of Valor is easily coming together: I am happy with the pattern. It is hard to see from this photo, but I used quite a few of gMarie's 2.5 inch squares for the wings of this center medallion. Some are visible just outside the tiny red frame. The top is nearly finished, so if all continues to go well, I can show the whole top tomorrow.

I Have a Plan. . .

My friend, Sue gave me another set of embroidered, ribbon blocks. I made Ribbons of Valor from her first set, but this quilt is going to be very different. I have a plan. . . Come back tomorrow and the rest of this week for updates.

Foreign Friday

Southern Japan April 1980 I did not write on the back of this photo, so I am unsure where it was taken. All I can think of now when I look that this beautiful landscape is the tsunami that came ashore last March. The coastline in this photo is very similar to that of the Sendai area, and the unforgettable video images of the tsunami rushing ashore keep playing through my head. Even though a year has passed, the impact of the tsunami on this region and its citizens will be felt for decades. Please continue to pray for them.

Favorite Motivator

Everyone needs a pat on the back or a kick in the rear from time to time. For me, it is the posts on the Daily Motivator . Sometimes, I feel like the author can read my mind or knows what is going on in my life because 98% of his posts are appropriate for the kind of day I am having. I read the daily posts on my Google Reader, but you can easily bookmark the site, too. Spend some time browsing the other features on the site: Motivators archive Monthly Motivators Inspiring Images  (note the "next" button to view more images) Special Features Inspiring Videos (click on the tab to select one) Hopefully, you will find pleasure, support, affirmation, and motivation from this site - I certainly do.

Eagle's Flight

In January, Alycia posted a photo of this panel, and I commented on how attractive it was. Alycia and I decided to swap panels, and I was amazed at the beauty of these eagles when I opened the package from her. The panel is large, and I pondered how to feature it in a quilt. Did it need other blocks around it? Should it be off-set on the top? Finally, I decided the panel was too lovely to have other elements create a distraction around it. I allowed it to shine on its own. Eagle's Flight  is #10 in the twelve  Quilts of Valor in 2012 challenge . Thank you, Alycia for this awesome panel.  Eagle's Flight Quilt of Valor 55 x 66 inches Update: May 26, 2012 Alycia posted this quilt on her blog today. It should be wrapped around a hero soon. Alycia posted a photo of the person who received Eagle's Flight , and the presentation can be seen below.

Words of Valor #2

Because I liked gMarie's 36-patch blocks with the embroidered words so much, I split them into two different sets (check out those in yesterday's post, too) and paired them with her nine-patch blocks.  Each of the twelve "word" blocks is unique. The fabrics she chose are really gorgeous, and these photos do not even begin to do them justice. In an email, gMarie said, "I was looking at those fabrics and just couldn't help myself. I just had to put the patch blocks together."    She continued, "While I strongly dislike quilting, this is a very worthwhile cause, and one I couldn't pass up. I hope our combined efforts give someone comfort." Even though she claims to dislike quilting, her blocks were spot-on accurate and crisply pressed. Working with her blocks was a joy. Thank you gMarie for making the blocks for Words of Valor I and II. It was a pleasure working with you on these two quilts. Words of Valor II Qui

Words of Valor #1

Words of Valor was created using half of the blocks that gMarie made and donated for this Quilt of Valor, which is quilt number 8 in Alycia's  12 Quilts of Valor in 2012 Challenge .  gMarie made each 36-patch block unique by embroidering  a single word of valor.  This quilt is going to warm the heart of some soldier.  The fabric is bright and colorful and cheery.  Words of Valor 56 x 70 inches Quilt of Valor Thank you gMarie for your making this Quilt of Valor possible. Update : May 26, 2012 Alycia posted this quilt on her blog today. It should be wrapped around a hero soon.

Foreign Friday

Rice Planting Near Misawa, Japan Spring 1980 I was thrilled to happen upon these women planting rice in the flooded fields one afternoon. The women were very gracious and allowed me to take their photo and to watch them work. The blue basket tied around their waists held the seedlings, and each one was planted by hand. It looked like back-breaking work.  The women were definitely skilled because their rows were perfectly even and straight.  I can't even imagine how many hours it took them to plant this one field.  This short video shows how today's technology has made planting much easier and faster. The Fall rice harvest can be seen in this post .

Wonderful Surprise!

In January,  gMarie  offered to make twelve blocks for the Quilt of Valor  12 in 2012 challenge , and Tuesday, her package arrived. Oh my, that box was a treasure chest! Enclosed in the box were 24 red/white/blue blocks, plus a couple extra for good measure - enough for two quilts! gMarie's generosity did not stop there because she also sent the scraps (pictured above). These are simply luscious scraps: gMarie's sense of color is wonderful. Yesterday, I started sewing the blocks together into tops. Wait until you see her unique and classy blocks: they are beautiful. Please come back on Monday to see gMarie's blocks made into Quilt of Valor tops.

Another Favorite

No doubt, having a blog can be frustrating, especially if you don't know how to personalize it or make it user-friendly. Karen from Sew Many Ways has gathered all the common concerns and provides a page of solutions on her blog.  She offers help on the following topics: • How To Add Pages To The Top Of Your Blog

 • How To Add A Button To Your Blog

 • How To Link In Your Blog Post

 • Don't Be A Lurker, Anonymous or a No Reply

 • Change To New Post Editor

 • How To Change The Time And Date Of A Post

 • How To Add Labels To Post And Sidebar

 • How To Comment On A Post

 • Gmail and Answering Comments

 • Linking To Your Profile Picture

 • Followers And Links

 • How To Add A Comment Greeting

 • How To Change Your Comment Label

 • Blogging-Getting Started

 • How To Add A Static Sentence Under Your Blog Header

 • Are Your Pictures Flipped In A Post Spend some time on Karen's blog, it's packed with great ideas and helpful information:

Holey Moley!

A couple of weeks ago, I blew out a heel on the first pairs of socks I knit, and close inspection revealed that several other pair were also getting thin heels, making it necessary to get busy knitting. This colorful yarn was given to me in a swap and is knitting up nicely. I doubt that the socks will match, but that really doesn't matter to me. * Holey Moley! definition - to exclaim or show surprise.  (The exclamation used by the comic book character Captain Marvel, "Holey Moley! A whole quarter! Shazam!"   Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.   Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw Hill. 

Finishing Up

The last of the Orange Blossom  and Bluebell  Bernat Baby Jacquard yarn is destined to be knit into hats. It amazes me how the starting point on the yarn changes the entire look of the finished project. These little hats knit quickly on my twelve-inch addi turbo circular needle. It is one of my favorite needles, and is the perfect size to knit baby hats.