Archive for December, 2011

I enjoyed having a whole Christmas weekend this year!  Because of our Sunday/25th plans, I was working ahead the previous week.  On Tuesday when Phil suggested we inventory our gifts, I said I’d wrap with his help at the same time.   Wrapping was done on Tuesday!

Once I was home mid-afternoon on Thursday (from swim & errands), I cleaned the house to the point that we’d only need to do quick swipes on the weekend.  Friday was my side dishes cooking day (mashed pots, butternut squash, green bean dish (no carb casserole), and marinated vegetables) and Saturday was my dessert & breads cooking day (homemade crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, peach berry pie, and apple pie). Both days worked well!!  🙂

I was THRILLED when K called at 1:40 on Saturday that she was nearing the toll road for home!  The business was open until 4 but in a Christmas miracle (from the Jewish boss) she was allowed to leave that early.  JOY!!  She was home at 4, we unloaded her, and then all of us together went to church.  I don’t know when it was that the 4 of us rode together someplace.  JP was off of music duty for the weekend.

Sunday was leisurely (joy of adult kids).  I got the turkey in the oven and then we opened gifts.

K got an assortment of small gifts: hat blocks, I-tunes card, design & inspiration books while JP got a joystick for his IPod Touch and a very cool leather motorcycle jacket!!  (Nina got a new rope with balls attached.  She likes it but only if someone plays with her.)

Phil chose a new TV antenna and I picked out the AccuQuilt cutting system.  We both added other surprise gifts for each other.

Dinner was scheduled for 1:00 with Phil’s parents, his maternal uncle & aunt, cousin, wife, and 2 toddlers.  What fun we had!  K was in charge of decorating the tables and she knocked it out of the ball park!  I was thrilled and have the leftovers to still enjoy.   🙂   We had a buffet table in the kitchen that was also decorated.  (of course, it was even better with the candles lit)

After eating, Phil brought a 2-day old pig up for the cousins to see.

And then the 3 yr old (older one) entertained us with an on-the-spot story about his new pirate ship.   What a gem!!

I’m a newbie at videos so I’m sorry you have to tilt your head.  😀

Phil’s uncle is the orchid expert and brought me a new variety to add to my collection.  I now have 4 different kinds!!  🙂  They all bloom at different times so that spreads the fun over nearly the whole year now.

From looking in the gigantic orchid book they also brought me, I think the new plant is Oncidium Alliance but there are a few others that look sort of like it too.   This is the end of its blooming time and I didn’t get a photo of the blooms first. The plant had 3 large sprays of mini blooms in light lavender w/ yellow centers.   Each bloom was only like the tip of my pinky finger.  Mini!

Again thankful that K had Monday off, we enjoyed us being here Sunday evening.  K & I made 3 kinds of soup on Monday and froze most of it in flat bags for her to take home.  We made Wisconsin Cheddar, French Onion, and Cream of Zucchini.  All were so yummy!!

I’ve spent this inbetween week finishing some quilts, continuing on others, and starting some others!  I’ll keep you posted!  For now, it is time for  another wonderful weekend with both kids.  ♥

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His 80th Birthday

Finally, on the 23rd of December, my father-in-law celebrated his 80th birthday.  I say “finally” as his gift has been done since the very beginning of October and I was finally able to give it to him!  🙂

Meet the Farm Quilt:

The quilt is 52″ x 90″… I know, long & skinny, but so is Grandpa!  This represents an aerial view of the family farm and the way it was planted for the 2011 crop year.  The darkest green fields were corn, medium green were soybeans, some hay, and the gold fields were our wheat fields. The quilt has a lot of story that I’ll share with you next month in another post.

Since this is about FIL’s birthday… here they are as Phil held the quilt up as they started to figure out what it was all about.


Later, MIL made him pose by the quilt with the cards he received that had 80th birthday on them.


They were pretty quiet during the big reveal but that is sort of what I expected.  They were interested in the story, my award and the guild show where I had entered it, and the whole process of making it.  At one time, he said, “How did you think of this?”  I laughed as it has been stewing in my mind for years to make a farm quilt.

JP stayed a bit longer for cake & ice cream with them but Phil & I came home as I had more cooking to do yet.  It was 9:20 — past their bedtime as well!!   As we left, FIL thanked me again for the quilt and said, “I’m overwhelmed.”

They were here on the 25th for dinner with some family and he brought it along for show & tell.  🙂  I think he is pretty proud of it!

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Christmas Gifts

I just have to share this before getting caught up here…..

Our small group put this together for one in our group.  Have you ever received such a beautiful stack of gifts?  I haven’t but this was so much fun to give!!

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Pinterest Accomplishments

Do you pin on Pinterest?

I am really enjoying it since a few friends got me started.   In short, it is like a virtual bulletin board.   On your account, you can made as many boards/themes as you want.  Then while online, if you see and idea or recipe or outfit you like, you can easily pin it to your Pinterest board.   When you need the idea, all of them are organized on your site.   Plus it is so much fun to see what others are pinning!

If you’d like an invite, send me your email.  jmquilts AT gmail.com

Sometimes others wonder if anyone ever uses the ideas.  I have!

On Friday, I washed our Dyson Animal vacuum after reading someone else’s pin about it.  I also ordered a new replacement filter as mine is beyond the rinse & dry process.  I let it dry 2 days (I was busy yesterday) and it works like new today!

A few weeks ago, I used a veggie bag closure to identify who’s phone charger cord is who’s.

On Thanksgiving, I was all set to make Flattened Turkey but realized THAT morning that a good pair of kitchen shears would make it doable.  Midst the MYRIAD of scissors here, no GOOD kitchen shears for cutting through a turkey.  :eyeroll:

I have collected paint chips for gift tags this year since I saw the idea on Pinterest–

I have a few recipes marked and some quilt ideas there plus I’ve found it a great way to save quilting designs so others can choose from a smaller selection.

Are you pinning?

On a quiet night when I have enough energy to just sit, I like to click the Everything tab and just see what others are pinning.

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Winter Wallhanging

I just sent this to my mom & dad for a winter wall hanging.  I’m hoping it is hung with care before they host a church Christmas party.  I hurried for a few days to get it done!  I guess it was a good time to have a break in customer quilts for that reason.  My first plan was to give an option for a winter quilt to replace the tulip quilt from a few years ago.   Dear SIL likes the tulips all year so we agreed on another place for a wallhanging.  🙂

It is about 30″ square with 6″ house blocks. I love the bare tree fabric and had to go on a major HUNT at stores, quilt shows, and online to get some of it.  I chose house fabrics from my stash and I’m not too thrilled with my choices.  I did see a pattern like this but instead made my own paper piecing pattern for the houses in my own size.

I quilted this with a feather swirl pantograph.  I also have this in a larger, more open size and really like the pattern.


If you like seeing quilts, you may want to visit my business site.   Leave me a comment so I know you found me!

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Christmas Lists

Does your family exchange Christmas lists?  My husband really, really wants to have a list for shopping for his family.  He only wants to get what is on the list while I prefer to do a little surprise and a little from the list.  However, we only exchange gifts with his family so I try to stick to the list. But we shop together for the most part, with him choosing and me agreeing or not.

This year I tried to have the others make their own lists.  It only went so-so but maybe practice will make perfect!  Seriously at this age, flat & green is easiest and best received!  However, in the future that means we are just exchanging cash.  This is really MHO only…..

When I was a kid we’d tape pieces of long paper to the kitchen door for our lists.   One page per person and there were 6 of us counting Mom & Dad.  Yes, Mom & Dad got pages too but they weren’t very good at writing on them.

Meanwhile, there were years I remember having to run to the list to write something on mine with every passing commercial.  :eyeroll:   Over the years, I learned that often you got the first thing on your list so make that a good one!  Or was it that Mom was too tired to read the whole list so just got the first thing?  🙂  (Usually we just got one “thing” and one outfit for our gifts.  Not a pile of lots of stuff.)

Dad’s writing never varied and he only wrote on his list after much nagging by us kids.  His wish for Christmas?

Obedient Children




Of course, he already had them and this didn’t seem to bring anymore to the family either!

Mom’s writing on the list was also short & sweet.  She’d write….


She already had some so this never computed right with me.  🙂

Merry Christmas 1964!

Do you make Christmas lists at your house?  What is on your list for this year?

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Happy 26th!

Today Miss K celebrates her 26th birthday!  She already has her gifts from us, gifts have been arriving from the family, and she has plans for the weekend.

You are beautiful, a joy to be around, and we are so proud of you!

Happy Birthday!!  We love you!

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A Tale of Two Tablets

A few weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving, Phil got a flier with his points from using their products on our crops.  A few of the top items were highlighted on the page.  He asked I would like a tablet.  YES!! It isn’t something I would have searched out or asked for but I love electornics/computers/gadgets.

I ordered mine with some of the points and then JP wanted one and offered to buy the extra points needed for a second one.  To buy points, I had to call them insteaed of working online.  By then it was the Weds night before Thanksgiving and they were closed until Monday.

Being savey as he is, JP then found the same thing cheaper on Amazon with our free 2-day shipping.  Dad said he could order it.  His was due on Tuesday and mine was on the 3 – 4 week delivery plan.  Ugh… but it figures!

On Monday, instead of calling to buy more points, I asked to cancel my order and redeem all the points for cash.  We will come out $200 ahead this way!

At that point, I ordered my tablet from Amazon and the price was now up $14!  Hmpf!

It shipped on Tuesday and in my interest of my previous Cyber-Monday deal, I decided to check the Tuesday price.

Imagine my FRUSTRATION to find the price had just dropped by $50!!

This time I was more than hmpf’d!  That night I emailed Amazon with my displeasure tht the price dropped after Cyber Monday.  Within 7 hours, I had a message that they had credited my account the $50.  Of course it was with the line, “we’ll make an exception for you” but JP says they “always” say that.  :p

My tablet arrived on last Thursday.  Both JP & I like them.  He tried to get a better case for his via his connections at work (nice boss!) but there wasn’t the correct size so we are keeping our first choices.

This is the first time I’ve had anything but a desktop computer so I enjoy being able to read from the comfort of the couch.  🙂  I haven’t really done much with it but it has a Kindle reader, I have FB there, my email, and the whole internet.  I like using the YouVersion Bible reader as well.  JP gave me a tazer app (LOL!!) and the flashlight app is available too.  heehee

This is just a stock photo… we have the 10.1 size.  Just right for in my hand.  Quite thin.

So far I only have Quilt Calc app on here relating to quilting.  Any suggestions for other apps?

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Last Saturday night, K came home after work.  I wasn’t going to bank on her being able to come until I got the text that she was heading out.  But she came!  We waited at Culver’s for her after church and she got there within 5 minutes of our arrival so it was great timing.

At home, she said we could decorate on Sunday and I was beyond thrilled!!  We started the morning with breakfast out at a new place to us, south of here about 1/2 hr.  It was busy so that was a good sign.  Clean & yummy food inside!

I ordered the Biscuit & Gravy Omelet.  Oh yes!!  I’d never had biscuits & gravy until moving out here and I love that dish!  This time wrapped in an omelet.

With hash browns, too!  Yum!  I couldn’t even eat it all.

At home, knowing that we had redone the basement after putting the Christmas tree away last year, K & I went excavating.  It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  We retrieved the boxes of decorations and dug to the tree, letting Phil pull it out of its spot.

In no time at all, K & I had it together (last year I bought a prelit and boy was that nice this time around!! 🙂 ) and she was getting the ornaments on it.  I arranged the tree skirt while she suggested I get a new one.  Haven’t done that yet……

We sorted through 2 boxes of snowmen that have lived in their boxes for at least 2 years.  She nicely arranged a few and gave the living room a touch of winter and we packed the others to visit Goodwill.  (They went on Tuesday and seemed to enjoy the ride.)

I had my new Christmas tree quilt out and hoped she’d help get it hung. Yes, but she had a better plan than I.  Finally the quilt that has been over the couch for.ev.er. came down, we moved the hanging holes a bit, cut a new dowel rod, dug out the beautiful sconces from a Christmas past and …

I am SO happy with this new arrangement!  Every day it is so much more pleasing to see than the previous version.  I love the peek of the tree reflecting in the mirror.  Nice photography.  🙂

I quickly made 2 Peach Berry Pies (duh!) for her birthday week.  She got to take one home and I had one here for the men.  (It was gone Monday as soon as JP got home from work.)  We had already delivered one birthday present to her work a few days earlier and after decorating, we had a few additions.

Once she was home, she had this all done….

Oh yes, we sent a HOT PINK Christmas tree to the Jewish business (snicker) and then added a silver glittery star, lime green, turquoise, and pink ornaments along with silver bells to the loot.  She was not expecting the delivery to her on Thursday (I WAS going to let her know a package was coming once I had the tracking info but never even got a shipping notice!)  and the others were all interested in seeing photos of this put together.  It is just perfect, I think!

The photo doesn’t do it justice… that dresser & ornaments are HOT turquoise.  🙂

She added a timer so that the lights are on when she arrives home.  Her place must glow.

Once again doubly thankful for her safe travel home as she passed a just-happened 5-car accident with the injured still crumbled inside.  😦  Thankful that I pulled her back in the house for a few minutes to see a special quilt I made this fall.  (no, still a surprise  😀 )

Always thankful for the time we have together!  ♥

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