Thursday, May 28, 2009

Papa's Kerchief

Papa's Kerchief
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Papa's birthday is this Sunday. We are happy to have him visiting for the week. The boy enjoyed writing Papa's name so I could embroider it on a handkerchief for a gift. We have other goodies, for Papa, but I think he will like this the best. Maybe I should save the blanket I'm making him for Christmas. The baby girl will sing "Happy to you" in her sweet 20-month-old voice and I bet we will get a good smile out of that old, German farmer. Happy Birthday, Pop!

If you'd like to make one, just do simple thin hem on the edges of a 12 or 13" piece of soft cotton. Get your child to write the name you need, trace with a window and stitch away. Simple and sweet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Magic Beach

So we're off to the beach today. . . Here are some photos from the "magic beach" as our son calls it. These photos from our last trip. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, the sunshine dictates the day's activities. Far too often, we are stuck inside, or we venture out fully clad in slickers, rain boots and our determination to make fun in puddles. When the sun shines, we play outside. Hope the sun is shining in your world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Double Wedding Ring Quilt class

Oh, now this I think I might be able to do--I wish the class was in my neighborhood and starting now, not back in March. It is the double wedding ring quilt done with machine piecing and machine applique onto foundation blocks. All the curvy stitching has made me adore this pattern and fear it.

Have any of you done this challenging piece in any way? I've seen a great poston Crafy Stylish about how to make a small one for a picnic basket. Maybe that is the way to go. I've seen many of Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl quilt, but I wanted to do something for a friend's wedding. I may chicken out and do something much easier.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Read Full of Perspective for Parents

I don't spend very much time writing about my kiddos. I don't have photos on the blog of their sweet faces. Sometimes their hands appear. . . sometimes their backs. . . I know many have lovely postings with their whole families and I applaud that. The openness and bravery of that type of sharing doesn't quite fit my personality.
I have mentioned that quilting has taught me to deal with imperfection in my whole life. The above book, Mitten Strings for God, brings to light a similar perspective. It begs for attentiveness and simplicity in parening. It acknowledges that we do our best and get opportunities to do better when we fall. Maybe most parents have that securely in mind always, but I seem to lose hold of it. As I read it, it reminded me of the lessons of attentiveness Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" provides. Emily of that play asks, "Do human beings ever realize life while they live it, every, every minute?" and the Stage Manager responds, "Saints and poets, maybe they do some." The writer, Kenison, suggests that our children will be stronger, happier and more fully themselves if we attend to them as Wilder's saints and poets attend to life.
If you are longing for stronger connections and the anxiety of the present is weighing on you and your family, this book provides ideas for slowing down, for creativity and for giving of ourselves. Katrina Kenison writes from her own experiences and shares simple wisdom about parenting. The reading is fast and the ideas are all grounded in love and kindness.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Last Project Improv Piece

Project Improv
Originally uploaded by hmsohly
Though I completed and sent it weeks ago, I still wanted to share this block. Jacquie needed a few more blocks to finish up tops that she was completing. This little blue and green number is what I sent. I had fun playing with the angles and the prints. Her project has created so many pretty quilts that will be auctioned for charity. I love that she let me play and help.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Embroidery Fun

A while ago, I posted a number of free block or the month projects. Here are four of the five blocks of Gail Pan's BOM. The suspense is a bit much for me to manage, but I've enjoyed making each and have the fifth ready to start. I haven't added teh sashing, though I have the material--just debating whether they should all be the same color or if I should use a variety. These dainty medallions, stitch up very quickly and other stitchers have made the pieces their own by varying the colors and the backgrounds.

I also stitched up her Christmas Gift. . . what do you think? Should it become a quilted wall hanging, a table runner, just a framed little bit?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Joined. . . and then the OCD set in.

Crazy Mom Quilts is hosting a 9-Patch, one-a-day to finish a lovely quilt this summer. I learned about it and then pondered whether I could be successful. Then I signed up and started. Well, one a day turned into 12 blocks yesterday and 14 today. I don't know if it was the guilt for being behind the group or my own OCD that prompted the progress. I swear I didn't neglect the rest of my life--kids were fed, clean, read to and entertained, two floors were scrubbed and loads of laundry were finished. Some days conspire to help get things done. I guess the last two days have been great! Here are some photos of my blocks in Linen and Moda Recess.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Gift for Mom

My father, brother and I have schemed up a present we know my mother will adore. She will be surprised and enjoy it very much. Still, even when one receives a "big" gift, getting something thoughtful and small is also dear. In her Mother's Day card, she will get this little hanky. It was super easy and I free-handed the embroidery. If you want to make one for your mom or grandmother, just take two pieces of very soft cotton, embroider the motif(s) you choose, sew them right sides together, turn and top stitch. I used 12" x 12" material. Happy stitching and sewing!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day

If my mother lived in your neighborhood, you'd find some of these goodies on your doorstep today. She is such a great baker and thoughtful friend. Her sugar cookie recipe is in my February archives, if you get a craving. She uses Martha's suggestions for flooding cookies (the type of frosting that makes a nice, solid surface--the center of the daisies you see), but does her own thing with icing, sprinkles, sugars and gumdrops rolled out and cut into tiny little yummies. May always brought trips into the forrest to find the sweet little mayflowers, trilliums and wild geraniums. My parents have 240 acres in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Go ahead, label me a Jack Pine Savage. I loved my childhood. We had freedom to explore. Spring meant flowers, frogs, baseball, lambs, calves, chicks, ducklings and mud.

She is also an amazing seamstress. This little dress was for my niece D. I intended to make it for her as an Easter gift. I cut the pretty Amy Bulter fabric, but knew I wouldn't get it done. Bless Mom for taking the pieces and making it. Of course, she had it done in time for Easter.

Oh, I've been making around here, too. I just need to get some photos loaded. I'll have fun things to share next week--plus something fun for you to stitch, if you like.