Archive for January, 2010

A Wednesday

Just because I feel like it…

This morning I loaded the crock pot with potatoes, peas, and chicken legs.  Then I made breakfast and checked in with my online world.

Usually by the time I’m done, Phil has come in and I’m off to work on something.  I mixed a batch of soap and got all that cleaned up and ran a load of laundry.  Then I did my morning workout using my Wii Fit Plus I got for Christmas.  Lately I’ve been doing a combo of the Wii Fit Routines and choosing enough so they add up to about 30 minutes.

By then it was time to change… I was having lunch with Beth! 🙂 We met at a little tea shop about 20 minutes from here.  She had 1 1/2 hrs for her lunch break at school.  Delightful fun and we are aiming to gather once a month for other treats like this. 🙂

We had blowing snow for a few hours but only a light dusting was on the highway.

Once I was home, I cleaned up some of the lunch dishes and headed to my sewing room. 🙂  I only have 2 more shirts to add to the quilt and then assemble the sections I have together.  The center is nearly done!  I was glad to have 2 hours to sew this afternoon.

I came upstairs and did a Total Body Workout with Jillian & the Wii.  I have the 2010 Ultimatum.  It is all right, a good workout, but the flow of the program is archaic.  Makes me think of early computer games! LOL!!  I did TBW – B which is about 30 minutes.  It is hard for me but I did much better today than the previous days!  The 60 SETS of obliques followed immediately by 99 SETS of bicycle about do me in!!  I’m not 100% on those yet.

After that I finally sat and spent time online.  After seeing some new hat pictures from K, I made supper.   I’m enjoying the treat of sugar-free whole wheat biscuits so made a batch for tonight.  I gave them the choice of soup or leftovers to go with the biscuits.

I planned to head back to sewing after supper but then saw Phil getting a bucket of soapy water.  He had his office so emptied, it was time to wash the walls!!  Blech!!  I helped and it didn’t take too long.  He continued working by taking off the baseboards and then I washed them.  I washed the window frames and the windows.

Phil brought in the BIG shopvac and vac’d the ceiling!  He took most of the bumps of the sprayed on ceiling off. Yeah!!  Happy Dance from both of us!!   The light is gone and he has just a single light bulb there for us to work with.  I’m thrilled he has helped this much with the job.  I think he is ready for a new do in there too. 😉

Maybe we can start painting by the weekend.  I’ll get new joint compound tomorrow.  Nearly 35 yrs as an office has left a LOT of holes in the wall!!  Ack!!

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Foggy but Fun

Saturday was the Pre-Bowl sale at the Galena quilt shop so I headed out at 7:35 a.m.!  It was a bit foggy but visiblity was just over 1/4 a mile or so … it was OK for driving.

I arrived just before 9 and the best deals were from 9 – 11 a.m.  {40% off all fabric and 25% off notions & books} I added the fabrics for the border, binding, and backing for the tshirt quilt and then got fabrics for the guild’s nickel square exchange.  But I chose as many of the fabrics that work with my 2009 BOM quilt so that the leftovers from cutting nickel squares can be used in a scrappy border on the ’09 BOM.  I felt so smug I thought of that! 😉

(All of these coordinate with my 2009 Block of the Month.  Maybe having notes here will help for whenever I get to this! LOL!!)

The line to check-out is always long and the store owner runs the check-out on this big sale day.  I don’t think she does it often so it takes her longer than the other workers.  ???  I probably held my pile of fabrics (including one of the bolts b/c the sku number was hard to read) for a good 30 mins.  Sunday I realized my biceps had a better workout than I accounted for!

I left Galena at 10:20 and decided that since  it was a yucky day, I’d continue shopping!  I drove across the northern part of the state to Rockford.  A new quilt shop there was having demos throughout the day.  I was interested… so I drove the 1 hr 40 mins to get there!  Ack!!  I arrived within a minute of the next scheduled demo!  🙂

It was just great! There were 7 of us there and could stand around in the classroom.  The instructor gave us lots of tips and explanations for making booty slippers.  🙂

I got the pattern and a kit for all the extra things you need.  I’d love to make more but will test out one pair first.  Then I’ll hit a sale at Joann’s for the extra things like gripper fabric & foam.

In the classroom, were 2 large racks of bolts all on sale!!  One of my favorite designers is Amy Butler and there had to have been over 25 bolts of her fabric at 40% off!!!  >happy dance!!<  I chose from those sale racks for my slippers.

There are 3 sections to the slippers and I am thinking of using the pink for the ties & binding.

But the sale was 1 yard minimum so I will have plenty of fabric leftover.  They just sing to me wanting a quilted jacket so I got a few more fabrics that I couldn’t resist at those prices! 😉

I was at the shop for 1 hr and 20 minutes.  I stopped by Panera to grab a quick bagel for the way home (cuz I just love an upset stomach I guess…) and saw a dear friend from awhile ago!  Carol & her husband were there finishing lunch and it was so delightful to chat with them a bit!  Carol owned the quilt shop nearby when I started quilting in the late 1980’s.  She is a dear!!

The fog was much thicker by then and visibility was poor.  Thankfully it was still “daylight” so that made seeing easier.   I got home and started cinnamon rolls for JP to take to share with the band on Sunday. He had already left to play for the Saturday services.  We headed up for early church and I baked the rolls when I got home.

I added these 2 new projects to my inventory of projects list.  Ha!

Another 2 hrs on the tshirt quilt today has me working on the next to last row.  🙂   Yahoo!!

Yesterday my feet were SO very cold, I was really wishing for these boot slippers to be done.  Isn’t that how it always is!

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1915 Wedding Gown

… and then when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Mom led me to the guest  room.  (Actually where I was staying but she had a treasure up her sleeve!)

After I scooted my suitcase and pile of dirty clothes out of the way :blush:, she reached to the shelf in the closet and pulled down a box.  Not very big, but now I realize, bigger than one of those bulk envelope boxes she used to bring home from work.

Inside was MY grandmother’s wedding gown from 1915!!

August 16, 1915 ~ Besse (Whitmore) and Earl M. Riddle

wed in Maryland ~ pictures the following week in Indiana

Besse made all of this!  (Mom says with the help of our Great-Aunt Blanche, Besse’s sister.)  There is machine stitching and beautiful hand stitching!! Really impressive!  I wish I knew her more.  (She died when I was 4 y/o and I only have 2 memories with her even tho she came to live with us when I was 6 weeks old.)

This is the first glimpse as we took off the lid and the layer of tissue.

This is the top layer in the box.  Now after all our studying… we don’t know where this goes.  Maybe it wasn’t even used for the wedding.

But the back of the bodice sure is cute!! 🙂  The back tucks in behind the bow and there are snaps on that part that could snap onto the waist of the dress.  This just isn’t in the picture.  There are snaps on the one shoulder.  The bias binding  is machine stitched and then hand stitched under like in quilt binding.

The top of the dress.  I still had the skirt folded in for this picture.  But there is a spot there on the skirt.  :\

The bodice of satin wraps around and snaps separately in the back, with gathered ends.  (One side is not stitched anymore and the snaps are gone.  The other side is finished.) The double straps are again edged in bias binding but not as nicely folded under on the underneath side. 😉  The fabric roses are beautiful!

Under the satin bodice is a lace top with what I’d call netting for the sleeves.  They are full-length sleeves with a point at the end.  The lace is quite yellowed but not tearing at all.

The top of the lace bodice closes with more bias binding and a snap.  (Mom doesn’t like that part.  (the snap)  I’m telling Grandma when I get to heaven!! 🙂  )

The bottom of the dress (outer) has a scalloped edge with bias binding.

This is the layer underneath.  Like a rough muslin and then the last 10″ or so are the pretty satin.

In the wedding picture, you can see this with a layer of lace in the middle.  My sister, Margaret, used the lace on the end of her wedding veil (1983) so that isn’t with the dress anymore.  It was quite wide… I’d guess 8″ – 10″.  Lovely!  I don’t know where the lace was attached to the dress. There is nothing still hanging here that it was cut from.

This dress is in really good condition for being in a box all these years.  Mom said it had been at my aunt’s most of this time since Grandma died.  There is the spot pictured above and then another spot that is like a line dried black tar. 😦  Not sure what that could be.

And to top off the afternoon, here is the ring bearer’s pillow she made as well!

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1949 Wedding Gown

My parents were married June 24, 1949 in the town where I was born and where they still reside, at the church where they still attend!  I think that is just wonderful!  (They did move around in between the wedding and my birth.   Bruce was born in Columbus, Nancy too, but they were living in KY at the time, and Margaret was born in IN. Then they moved back to Ashland.)

My sister, Nancy, wore Mom’s dress for her wedding in 1977.  I used their headpiece with new netting for our 1983 wedding.  Nancy didn’t know where the gown was and it was presumed lost or stolen during one of their many military moves.

However, good news was celebrated when the gown was found this fall in my brother’s attic!  (We used to live in that house.)  I was so happy… not that I had worn the dress but I’m a lover of family antiques (sorry Mom! 😉 ) and of course, nearly anything with fabric.   With K’s new job, we know a whole lot more about wedding dresses than we had ever imagined!

While I was visiting my parents last week, we spent Thursday afternoon playing in the wedding gowns.  🙂  And here is the documentation to go with it all… along with the usual commentary from me! 🙂

The gown is in the gold box, which was in the plastic bag, which was in the brown cardboard box.  The receipt for preserving is taped to the box:  $35.

We started to work our way through the layers….

And the dress is upside-down!  Oopsie!!  We think we opened the box wrong! (Go back to the picture of the gold box on the bed.  Doesn’t that look like the way it should go?)

So we repeated our steps backwards, flipped the box over, and started again.   This time we found….

Thankfully mom admitted with me that it looked a bit morbid in the box all stuffed.  (Stuffed more than that dress ever had been! 😉 )

We were dismayed at these snags on the front of the bodice.  I wondered if they were from Nancy’s bouquet so we wandered to the hallway to check their picture.   It seems unlikely.

Detail of sleeve.

Neckline with bias strips and hand faggoting.  My mom’s mom made her dress.  Had I mentioned that?  😉  It is ivory slipper satin.  Beautiful sewing!  Luscious!

The long sleeves end in a point with 3 covered buttons & loops.

We checked the back.   Some of the buttons are completely gone and some are missing the satin cover.

And more snag-type damage in the back; so we are puzzled about this!


Mom had the headpiece & veil in the hall closet so we got that out too.  I thought I should try it on again… 26 1/2 yrs later! 😉   (See the 4 pictures in the hallway?  Those are our wedding pictures!  Nice & close for comparisons. )

Next it was Mom’s turn!

And then she suggested a picture with the bridal couple and Dad happily agreed.  Aren’t they cute?  We celebrated their 60th anniversary last summer!  (Sorry about the shadows…. I didn’t notice them until I got home.)

Mom had more up her sleeves for our afternoon…. to be continued….

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Trip to Ohio

While the weather held its breath last week, I made a trip to Ohio to see my parents.  I had wanted to go in the fall but the fall was just not a good time for me to be gone.  This worked great!

My men were settled at home with food to eat & work to do so I left on Wednesday morning.  I had a great day to travel, no construction in Chicago, and not much traffic.  A great trip and I arrived by 4:30 OH time.

We headed out to choir supper that night and I could see a few friends of theirs and some of my cousins there.

I just had a wonderful time and felt great the whole time.  Pleased as punch with my health being back & so much better than ever!!  (Go Guai! 🙂 )

Their house had had a changeover in the preceding 4 weeks.  My brother & his wife moved in mid-December and the paper-signing was on Friday while I was there.  Dad had built the house with a wonderful lower level that opens to the south and B&S have private quarters there.  After they settle, they’ll finish off the former shop area for a family room.  It is really quite nice!!

Mom & Dad have downsized their main floor area and most of B&S’s things have been moved in.  I was so pleased to see it all working out well.  Mom & Dad enjoy the luxury of knowing others are there and show that by sleeping in later now.   Retirement affords one such luxuries! 😉

For my visit, it meant that I had extra visiting time with B&S and that is always delightful!  Their daughter-in-law was over for a painting project 2 nights and we had fun family times all together.

On Thursday, I worked with Sue on her pillow topper quilt project.  After lunch Mom & I played in wedding gowns (oh delight!!) and then I quilted while Mom made dinner.  (My, what vacation for me!! 😉 )

Friday, they all met for the signing while I visited with a childhood friend I had invited over.  I just love we have more frequent connections now with Facebook but the face to face is best of all!

Friday night 3 of the great-grands came for supper with their parents.  I enjoyed reading Lucy’s quiet book with her and later with Sam.

I was thankful to have Bruce’s packing muscles & expertise as I had a few more things to bring home with me.  I headed out Saturday a.m. and arrived mid-afternoon at my nephew’s house in Indiana.  What a treat to spend time with them and have a great break in the trip!

It was so much fun – I don’t even have pictures of 2 more of the greats that I got to see!  I did get hugs & kissed their little cheeks so I cherish that.  I even got a haircut from my niece-in-law’s sister before I headed out.  Yahoo!!!

It was such an easy trip… I think I’ll do this more often.  😀  Let’s hope the men feel the same way….

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Update on the Tshirt Quilt

Not counting the interruptions of Christmas project sewing, my main sewing has been on Nick’s tshirt quilt.

Here is the post of the start of the project.

I probably have about 2/3 of it pieced but not all of it is pictured here.

Here is row 1:

The next few rows didn’t really go in rows as easily as this one.  So with a lot of partial seams (sewing term, they really are all sewn!) and a bit of sweat & tears ;)… here is most of the progress so far:

I have sections of the next 2 rows pieced and think there is only one after that.  So it is coming along.  I’m a bit behind my early (self-imposed) schedule but all is well with the mom so… all IS well!


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Shopping with K

On the first Sunday of January, Phil & I met K at one of the suburbs for some after-Christmas shopping & meals together.

> insert a cute picture of Phil & Miss K that is somewhere lost on my computer… :tears:<

K had about a 30 minute drive and Phil & I drove just over 2 hours.  It was bitter cold outside so JP stayed home with a sore throat.

Our first stop was Uno’s for pizza and their hot wings that we have fond memories of enjoying in decades past.  The pizza… still yummy!  The hot wings… not so.  We’ll stick with Cimino’s in the next town over for now.

Next we shopped for a few hours in IKEA.  Ahhhh…. bliss!  The few times we’ve been there, I’ve not had a plan or room for new furniture so I usually come home with either not much or nothing.   This time I had a plan.  A down comforter & duvet cover for our bed.

I went.

I shopped.

I conquered.

I sleep so cozy now!!


K & I both got hanging shelves for holding our hand-washed dishes.  She has that new cordless drill to install hers… I’ve not gotten mine unpacked yet….  Plus some other odds & ends that she & I really needed.  😉

Next we moved across the street to the mall.  The mall.  The last weekend before school & work resume.  Full of teen-aged shoppers.  Ugh!  So we didn’t last long there after checking out some shops K wanted to see.  We did find a way to spend some of her Christmas money in Macy’s … on new colorful sweaters!  (she wears only white, gray, and/or black for work)  Actually really good prices for what I was expecting in Macy’s.

We made a quick trip (relatively speaking midst the traffic that needed traffic cops just to get in & out of the mall parking lot!!!) across the way to another store on the hunt for WARM not frilly gloves and were successful!  🙂  She is so cute & cozy while out & about! 😉

We ended the day with soup at Panera’s (we are a Broccoli-Cheddar family!) and some time to just sit together before parting ways.

Such fun & easy to do!  At least K & I want to do this again! 🙂  And so ends, our holiday fun for this Christmas….

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Another Snow!

Ok… it was back on Jan 6th but…

My new bird feeder.  No one has chosen to eat there yet…

Molly waiting for Phil to finish chores and let her back in the house!

We can’t even see the dark line of the highway.

We were snowed in for Wednesday & Thursday but able to finally get out on Friday.  Good thing!  I had my massage! 😉  We netted another 8″.

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Mixed Media Tags

First off I’ll tell you that I really don’t like wrapping presents.

So when my quilting friend extradonaire said she was wrapping presents – doing mixed media work – that was something I could be happy about!  I think Mickey was still “just” wrapping presents but I’m sure her gift wrappings were lovely!!

I took it a step further.  IF I needed to wrap a lot of presents, why not make it more fun!

So I decided to make mixed media tags for the gifts.  🙂

I started with some of the tags I bought at the office supply store back in April!  (It is a BIG box and really… I have no other use but to alter them.)  I have also bought coffee for the sole purpose of dyeing tags & such!  LOL!!  I have no other use for coffee either…

So I mixed up some coffee and dunked the tags.  Laid them out on paper towels to dry and sprinkled them with a bit more coffee grounds.  (this is instant coffee, btw.)

Next I printed off a page of vintage Christmas images I’ve been saving on the computer.

I embossed the tags.  I love this step!!  I only had clear embossing powder so that just gives a hint of another layer.

Then I applied the image, some stamping, some Christmas music, and whatever else hit my trigger.

It was fun!

Soon I was out of images but wanted to make more.  I knew I had some perfect “vintage” images in another folder on the computer.  🙂 Family pictures of Christmases past from Phil’s mom.

I printed another sheet and now added a little more fun.  (Phil is in the Santa suit! 😉 )

At the end, I added buttons or snaps or various trims and an assortment of fibers through the hole.

I couldn’t resist the picture of Grandma, Deb, & Phil so made one for each of them.

Wrapping day was much more fun as I planned out which tag went where!  🙂

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Another Christmas!

Phil’s family gathered on New Year’s Day to celebrate Christmas together at his mom & dad’s.

K was able to do another 22 hour trip home since she had New Year’s Day off.   But she worked until 4:30 on 12/31 so she had a late start.  The roads were clear so that was wonderful!!

(No, I didn’t stay up to welcome in 2010.  Cuz really, in my mind… it felt no different than the day before or the day after and I was t.i.r.e.d!!  Just say “twenty-ten”.  (small pet peeve…)  {that includes YOU, Jason!})

Friday morning, I made a triple batch of cheesy cauliflower.  Some to take for dinner & some for K’s leftover stash.  🙂  We also spent about 1/2 an hour working to de-junk straighten Phil’s office.  (more on that later)

Oopssiee!!  Lost track of time and I had to shoo everyone out the door for Grandma’s!

We had dinner (noon) together.  We are 9 when we all gather.

Then we moved to the living room for the exchange of gifts.

JP & his cousin passed out the gifts to everyone.  It gets confusing with 2 names that start with J, 2 start with D, and 2 start with P!!  And then throw in cursive writing for those that can’t read it and that is why JP helps. 😉

After the gifts, we were expecting Grandma to hand out the 2009 installment of her book.

Instead she brought out shadowboxes for the 3 grandchildren.  🙂  Do you see her large one on the wall (above FIL’s chair) in some of these pictures?  She loves these!

Then she brought out antique rug beaters for Phil & Deb along with the story she had written to go along with it.  She told of her memory of beating the carpets as they hung on the line.  Cute!




she brought out the books.  The first several pages are a running diary of family activities from the year which is always fun (& funny!) to read.  Bob’s last sister-in-law had died in August 2008 so this family history part focused on their children.  She even had copies of their graduation announcements!!

We came home about 4, had supper together, packed K back up again, and she headed back home about 6:30 p.m.  That night we (3) went back to Grandma’s to play 2 more rounds of Killer Bunnies with them.  Even young cousin enjoys playing that game.

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