Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I finally made it the flimsy stage with my En Provence!
I soooo love this quilt and can't wait to see how I decide to quilt it

This was a wonderful mystery quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter.  Check out some of the other versions that were made by her loyal followers here:


Sunday, February 19, 2017

A day of fishing

After reading that the lake in the local park was being stocked with trout, hubby took our grandson fishing.  The weather was gold and damp, the ground was muddy, the didn't catch a thing, but they had fun.

With the weather being so much nicer Saturday, they gave fishing another try.


They caught a dozen rainbow trout.  He was very proud, but wouldn't touch them... not even to pose for a picture!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

5-day weekend

Schools have closed for a 5-day weekend due to illness.... flue, stomach bug and strep.... 

So we started our day out with Lego madness

After some chores and lunch we decided to take a walk along the track around the lake in town.


While the boys enjoyed the tire swing I stood and watched this guy fish as he brought in a nice sized trout.... and then set it free!  Yikes... I was thinking it would be perfect for dinner!

some high school kids climbing the wall

I took some pictures of nature and wildlife


Monday, February 13, 2017

En Provence

I am making some progress on my En Provence.... and nearing a finish.  Family and work obligations have slowed me down a bit, but I do have three of the four rows assembled.

My version is miniaturized... all blocks finish at 1.5in instead of 3in.  It was a challenge to piece these tiny blocks, but I really enjoyed myself and since I don't need any more big quilts, I may miniaturize my quilts in the future.  This smaller size will give me a variety of wall hangings to change out my decor more often.

I laid a quarter on the middle block for size reference
I have the remaining blocks and sashing complete and hope to get the last row assembled this week... hopefully in time to link up before the cutoff deadline.
But for now... here are my three rows.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Starting a New Project

Saturday morning my grandson woke up in a great mood....   And.... he decided he wanted to make a pieced pillow for his aunt.  Last year he had made one for great-grandma and now he wanted to do another.

I had been contemplating what I could distract him with so that I could make more progress on my En Provence.   He provided the answer.

I had some  extra postage stamps cut up and I sat him down and got him started.

 I had him sort through and match up several squares.  I gave him a refresher on getting started and he was off.

He completed four twosies and was ready to quit for the day.

I was able to stitch up the last four blocks and sashing blocks for my En Provence.  I'm ready to finish this soon!.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Art Class

In our elementary schools we do not have art teachers.  Classroom teachers volunteer to head up the art program and they beg for parental volunteers to help them.  I started out helping in class as an aide...  setting out supplies for each student and helping answering their questions as they made their own masterpiece.  

I'm not sure how I ended up doing it, but somehow I ended up volunteering to be the teacher!   Yikes!!!  And there I was.... last week, standing in front of 60 fourth graders teaching about one of Art Masters... Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.... the short guy who painted posters.   Yeah... that's about the limit of my art knowledge.  

Standing in front of a class with 60 pairs of eyes staring at me was un-nerving to say the least. Thank goodness for slide presentations with scripts to follow.  Thank goodness no one asked me any questions!  I'm not good at faking my way through things I know nothing about.

There were step-by-step directions on how to make your own copy of the Master.  The kids seemed to enjoy it and I and was able to lead them through the process... and everyone left with their own masterpiece... including me.

I repeated the process again this week with the second grade class and will do it again with the first graders next week.  It was definitely easier the second time around... and will probably be easier next week too.

It was an experience.  It was fun.   My grandson LOVED seeing me.   But I think I am retiring from teaching!  I'll go back to being an aide in the art class.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Busy Life and En Provence progress

With the holidays done, school-break babysitting duties fulfilled, and family guests and visits complete... life is going back to its normal busy self.  

On mornings when I'm not running into town, if the weather is nice enough, (and if I'm feeling motivated) I walk 2-3 laps around the neighborhood with Toby.  I have to admit I've been lax on that since November and I really need to find motivation and get moving again.  After the walk, my weeks look something like this:

Monday is my paperwork day... paying bills, filing...I am beginning to get tax stuff organized.  I also pick up and clean up after the weekend activities, run errands, grocery shopping for the week.

Tuesday is the church outreach program.  We now have 10 members working with clients and assisting with rent and utilities using funds donated by parishioners.

Wednesday for the month of January I am teaching art at my grandson's elementary school...introducing and helping students make their own copy of artwork from "the masters" (miro, lautrec, rembrant, etc)

Thursday is for cub scouts.  I've become the wolf den leader and need to plan and execute activities to help them earn patches and their level badge by mid-may when the school year ends.

Friday I catch up on laundry and cleaning and errands before my grandson arrives for the weekend.  We keep him most weekends while his mom works... and some weekends... like this past weekend... we have all three boys!

Throughout the week I also work my J-O-B  4-6 hours a day quilting customer tops.  I love my job, and it is an outlet to feed my creative side, but I also need sewing time for my projects.  I attempt to set aside some sewing time for myself each day.  Some mornings I'm up before dawn and spend a quiet hour in the studio; other times I'll snag 15 minutes in the evening before bed... just to fulfill my need to create.

Bonnie Hunter began revealing clues to this current mystery quilt right after Thanksgiving.  I wasn't able to start at that point as I was finishing work on customer's Christmas gifts.  But when I did get started I worked like a madwoman; getting up way before sunrise and working until nearly midnight.   I was able to catch-up on all the piecing when the final reveal and assembly instructions were posted on New Years Eve.

I do not need another queen size quilt so I opted to make mine miniaturized to use as a wall hanging in my studio... The colors are a perfect fit!    The queen- size pattern calls for blocks that finish at 3inches.... mine are only 1.5inches! Yes I must be crazy, bu I am really enjoying putting this one together.

I couldn't continue burning the candle at both ends so my completion is taking a bit longer.  I am amazed at those that posted their finished tops and quilted tops on New Years Day!  It took me a few days to finish making the last components and now I have been working on assembling the top.  

At this point in time, I do have the first half of the top complete, and hope to finish assembling in the next couple weeks.  I really look forward to seeing it complete and hanging on my lavender studio wall.

I have promised to make four quilts for friends and family, between now and the end of June.  OMG!   What was I thinking!  Since  posting my partially complete En Provence on facebook I also have two requests for full size En Provence quilts!  I told those ladies I would have to finish these promised quilts first... and then I'll think about it!  I think I am going to have to learn how to sew in my sleep if I decide to make them!  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Another messy bun ... with something extra

I showed my eldest daughter the hat I made her sister and she asked for a more neutral color, like black or white.... and she wanted a bow!

I delivered this to her tonight and she was quite pleased!

Now I will be making a few more over the next few months.  A local group I belong to makes and donates hats and gloves to our local schools for needy kids.  So I will be including a few of these messy bun hats for young girls with long hair.