Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A New Beginning

112 four-patches (3.5 inches)
January 2020
At last week's quilt guild meeting, we were told the local hospice center needed quilts. Since I was in-between quilt projects, I decided to make Bonnie Hunter's Bricks and Stepping Stones. I already had a bin of "bricks" cut, so I needed to make the required B/W four-patches.

The four patches would have been faster and easier to make with yardage, but I had some small scraps of both white and black and decided to use them.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Dinosaur Discovery

Dinosaur mural
Laramie, WY
August 2019

From Wikipedia:

The fossil record of the US state of Wyoming spans from the Precambrian to recent deposits. There are a large number of different fossil sites spread throughout the state. 

Wyoming is such a spectacular source of fossils that author Marian Murray noted in 1974 that "[e]ven today, it is the expected thing that any great museum will send its representatives to Wyoming as often as possible." Murray has also written that nearly every major vertebrate paleontologist in United States history has collected fossils in Wyoming. 

Wyoming is a major source of dinosaur fossils. Wyoming's dinosaur fossils are curated by museums located all over the planet.

Monday, January 27, 2020

American Valor

American Valor
60 x 73 inches
Quilt of Valor #173

Pattern: Stars of Valor by Sandi Irish (this pattern was free several years ago and distributed by Timeless Treasures for their American Valor Fabric Collection) If you want a copy of the pattern, I recommend you contact the fabric company.

This is the third QOV I've made with this pattern. Earlier versions can be seen in these posts:
      Stars of Valor (2017)

      Humility (2015)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

From My Perspective - Infant Carriers

random family
January 2020
This scene is one that makes me cringe, and I've seen it countless times in the last twenty years.

Why on earth do people put their babies on the floor in public places! The worst drafts in any building are near the floor, and babies have vulnerable immune systems. Many restaurants have high chairs that will easily hold an infant carrier and bring the baby up to table height. A chair could be used to get the carrier off of the floor if a high chair is not available.

When I volunteered at a hospital for several years, I saw some of the most ludicrous behavior as people left the hospital with infants in carriers. Some put the child on top of the car while they opened the door; some put the carrier on the ground by the exhaust. Really!!

I know infant carriers are convenient. I know they allow babies to sleep comfortably while their caregivers go from place to place. However, it appears that the the carriers allow the babies to be treated like a sack of potatoes and not the precious little humans that they are.

Am I the only one who thinks this behavior is troubling.

Disclaimer: I do not have children, so my point of view presented in this post is based merely on observations

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Time to Make a Plan

Over the weekend, I went through some project boxes in my sewing room and found a stack of neutral triangles left over from this project. This stack has been moved from box to box and pile to pile for over a year, and it was time to actually DO something with them.

I slipped into a rabbit hole when searching for scraps to pair with these triangles. I unearthed even more triangles in various sizes and colors, and before long, I had stacks for HSTs, ranging in size from 2.5 - 4.5 inches. I'm sure some larger triangles may also be found in the scrap bins.

over 100 HSTs - some trimmed and others waiting to be trimmed
January 2020
It appears I need to plan a project to use all of these HSTs - perhaps they will become star points or pinwheels or remain HSTs.

Monday, January 20, 2020


Surprise package from Connie H.
January 2020
Connie (Far Side of Fifty) has been going through her "stuff" and deciding what can stay and what must go.

I was the lucky recipient of a package of fabric panels and some white yardage. She even sent a crocheted scrubby. It's fun when someone's "stuff" becomes your treasure.

Thanks, Connie for sending this unexpected, yet welcome package.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Boldly American

Boldly American
59 x 68 inches
Quilt of Valor #172
Boldly American is the first finished project and QOV for 2020. Ironically, this pattern was also used for the first QOV of 2015.

I adapted the pattern (Simply Susan) to accommodate the center panel.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bleak yet Beautiful

Houses in the Snow
Norway 1895
Claude Monet
as seen at the Denver Art Museum
November 2019
In an earlier post, I mentioned being surprised that Monet had painted Winter scenes. The bleak landscape in this image reminds me isolated Wyoming ranches. Those who live in such areas are hardy and have a work ethic that is hard to match. They know that the animals come before their own creature comforts. They don't have set schedules for meals or bedtime: they work until the work is done - period. They work in miserable conditions, and the pay is minimal; yet it's a lifestyle they will fiercely defend.

photo courtesy of WYDOT

Monday, January 13, 2020

Generous Gift

yardage from Marty S.
Knoxville, TN
January 2020
A heavy package arrived in last week's mail from a generous lady I haven't had the pleasure to meet. Even though, we've only connected through email and snail mail, Marty S. has blessed me with two wonderful gifts. First, she sent the beautiful blocks made by her mother, Eileen, which I turned into a QOV I named Eileen's Stars. Second, Marty sent fabric from Eileen's stash.

Marty emailed photos of four fabrics and asked if I could use them for Quilts of Valor. I responded that they would work perfectly. When the package arrived, I was surprised that it wasn't simply fabric: it was yardage. The box contained 15+ yards of 100% cotton, quilting fabric.

Readers who are also quilters will understand my amazement: quilting fabric is expensive. The fabric in this package is perfect because the colors are basically neutrals and can be used for backgrounds in blocks or quilt borders. This gift will allow me to make many QOV, and every time I use it, I will think of Eileen and Marty.

Thank you, Marty! I am truly humbled by this generous gift.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Winter Knitting

worsted weight, scrap yarn
January 2020
One of my new friends moved in October and asked me to take her worsted-weight, scrap yarn. I seldom knit with worsted, but I accepted her offer, thinking I would knit some hats or neck warmers to donate.

I haven't knit a hat in years, so I had to consult my stack of patterns to find the correct number of stitches to cast on. Many of the balls are small, so the items will most likely be striped.

All the scraps are Plymouth Encore, a wool and acrylic blend, that knits, washes, and wears well.

* yes, that's snow in the photo - the latest storm was two days after Christmas.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Gorgeous Trees

decorated tree
Main Street, Parker, CO
December 2019
I have always loved large trees. They have so much character, and they have many stories to tell. I often take photos of dead trees because their gnarled branches are beautiful.

Today, I'm sharing a few photos of some large and elaborately lit trees in two states.

The town of Parker, CO has many large trees decorated on Main Street, and on Christmas Eve, my brother-in-law pulled over so I could take some photos.

Several years ago, my family went to the Denver Zoo, and many of the trees were similarly lit. I can't imagine how long it takes to put the lights on the individual limbs. The decorated trees are simply gorgeous.
photo by Vicki K.
(a friend of my sister, Marilyn)
Cottonwood Drive and Parker Road
Parker, CO
December 2019
I failed miserably when I attempted to take a decent photo of this tree, so I borrowed a photo taken by Marilyn's friend, Vicki.

West Fargo, ND
February 2016
These blue trees were outside a Wells Fargo bank in West Fargo, ND. They were lit in honor of a policeman who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

No matter what the reason or the season, I love to see beautiful trees decorated with lights.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Slow Progress

Quilt of Valor in progress
January 2020
When I returned from Colorado last week, it was my intention to cut out several kits to make Quilts of Valor. I find that when the fabric has been cut to the pattern, that I am more motivated to sew. Somehow, I stressed my right wrist. and it was painful to even hold a rotary cutter let alone use it, so no kits were prepared.

I had some 3.5 inch red squares in the scrap bin, so I put on a wrist brace and carefully cut the neutral fabric to sew with them. It didn't take long to prepare the checkerboard border and add it to the center panel.

Yesterday, I managed to sew on the outer dark frame. Three more borders will be added to meet the QOV size requirements when my wrist decides it is strong enough to hold and use the rotary cutter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Welcoming 2020

Twenty, thirty, and even forty years ago, 2020 seemed lightyears away, but here we are opening the door to another decade, a decade filled with unimaginable events and inventions.

May 2020 will be filled with exciting adventures and endless possibilities for you and your loved ones.

Happy New Year!

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