Irish Lake Quilter

......snippets and quilts, family, pets and friends....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's On My Wall and More.........

What is on my "wall" today? This picture shows the start of a 4000 piece quilt that I am making for Michael's girlfriend, Jen. Since the photo was taken, I've increased the number of blocks to over 30 (there are 200)in the quilt and I may reduce that to a number less than the 200. These little blocks take a long time to make and accuracy, as I'm learning rapidly, if of utmost importance! There's been a lot of frog stitching lately!

A friend was working on a red and black quilt at retreat and I really liked it. Hers was being made for her husband and it looked like a 'guy' quilt. Guy quilts are kind of hard to settle on for me - the design has to be a little more angular, a little stronger. So when I needed to make a quilt for a man, I borrowed her pattern and raided my stash and came up with this. It's in line downstairs at my longarm, along with several others.

It's a snowy day here in Northern IL once again, but the temperature isn't terribly bad. We haven't been hit with storms like the northeast so travel is OK. A walk with the dog may be in order - well, maybe a stroll. She like to sniff everything and make a few dog angels along the way. No matter, just being outside makes her happy. We all should enjoy the moment as our pets do?!! :>)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some Finishes and Retreat!

The first several days of the New Year brought some finishes! Those UFOs have been lurking in my closet for a long, long time. One of the first ones was a Boy Scout quilt that only needed to have the borders taken off and made less wavy. Ready for the long arm! The fabric was given to me by a friend who knows that all the men in my life have been involved in scouting in some way or another. An easy one, but done!!

Some Project Linus ones almost ready to take to retreat on Friday.......

.........and an applique BOM from Apple Blossom Quilts. This will go to the new lake cottage in the spring. I took some liberties with the pattern and am happy that it is finished, ready for the long arm!

There are a couple more finishes that I've accomplished here but I'll post them later. it is so exciting to get them out of the closet! Now I can start some new ones??? :>)

The annual Project Linus Retreat is this weekend and I'll be happy to see all those wonderful ladies who devote so much time to this great charity. It is always a fun, food-filled, laugh-til-you-cry kind of weekend. That area of Indiana has been hammered by lake effect snow so it will be a winter wonderland when we all get there but we won't mind the snow at all. It doesn't get much better than a quilty weekend with friends. Life is good.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's 2011........a New Year, hope for change, ideas to try, dreams to pursue. We are always inspired by that New Year's Day whether it comes on a Saturday or a Tuesday. For some reason, for me, it is a time to sit back and think about how I want to make my life better, list the things I want to accomplish and figure out what is 'out there' that I haven't done and want to try. Resolutions don't work for me - they last a few days and then I forget that I promised myself that certain things would get done! It has also been proven in my life that stating my promises out loud isn't always the best thing to do because when I don't reach those goals, I feel like a failure. So this year, the only thing I feel important is becoming a better me - and there is a lot of room to do that. As you head into the New Year, I hope you have what will make you happy, lots of love and good health, and most of all, that you enjoy the journey in the days ahead!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Sunny Day

Blue skies, lots of pretty white snow, decent temperature - what more can one ask in late December? This morning I took a short trip to the library for more books on tape (CDs)for my own personal enjoyment while I sew or putter in my sewing room. That way I get the pleasure of 'reading' a book while I quilt. Last night I worked on one basket of scraps which was sorted and emptied. The bigger one is left for today. The closet is now somewhat organized and nearly all of my stash is in one place. The piles on the floor are considered "to be filed".

Tomorrow my friend Julia whom I met over 35 years ago while we were both teachers in Cleveland, will be here along with her daughter Carol and two grandchildren. Lucas is 4, Lily 6 weeks. Julia lives in NC now and Carol lives not far from me, so whenever she visits, I get the added pleasure of seeing my friend!

I'm enjoying these wonderful snowy picturesque views and days......hope you are too!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


We awoke to 8" of new snow this morning - totally surprised us all! We jokingly laughed at the predictions that had been on TV for the past few days because it had not hit us by last night. It is truly gorgeous out there! A cardinal or a deer amongst the trees would make a wonderful Christmas card photo for next year. Here's a shot from a few days ago.

The guys were here overnight, we laughed a lot and opened gifts, ate way too much and generally had a good time. Today Dad is helping them install a few new things at the apartment, do some general upkeep on the place and I have some well-deserved time alone this morning. Over the past week I emptied the two closets in my sewing room and re-organized and purged....or at least tried to! In the next few days I'll try to get some pictures of the newly organized closets and some of the things I've been working on. After six months, I have to get back into this slowly! :>)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quilt Show

Last Friday and Saturday our (lake) quilt club held a quilt show. About 200 quilts and wallhangings were shown, there was a garage sale (thanks to Nancy's things) and a small Bazaar. I took 5 quilts to show and my Rose Medallion won Viewer's Choice!! This is the first time I've ever shown a quilt let alone win accolades. I think the swelling of my head is starting to subside. :>) My quilt is the large center star one in the picture, done in dark green, red and light gold. The next show won't be until 2012 so I've got some time to work on the next show project.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A few weeks ago a friend from church called me. This gal and I had formed somewhat of a bond with each other because of quilting and stitching. She informed me that she would be moving to assisted living soon and wondered if I would like her stash. Of course I wanted it and we made arrangements to go to her home. It was the first time I had been to her home and it was quite lovely, filled with a lot of "treasures" from over the years. Nancy was a very good golfer and bowler as well as an avid sewer. We did the usual chatting and catching up and then went upstairs to her sewing area. There walls held her thread racks, three sewing machines sat nearby, the cutting table neatly folded up, her rulers and scissors in a box. As a quilter, I recognized all the necessities needed for making dreams into reality. When I left that area, I had three boxes of books and had completely forgotten about where the fabrics might be found. As I was preparing to leave, she said......"Now let's go to the garage and look at the fabric". OH MY!! Boxes were stacked floor to ceiling and the width of one garage bay. All were filled with fabrics, batting, pillow forms or miscellaneous stuff needed in some way for sewing. She wanted me to take it all!

Three mini van loads later - two loads were packed front to back (no seats), top to bottom. The third almost the same. We unloaded into our garage. I took box after box into the house where I sorted into piles of things I wanted to keep, things I would not use but could donate, and things that should be disposed of. By the end of the two days of sorting, I found myself with a new box of books, 100 yards of additional fabric and a ton of miscellaneous items. Probably the treasure of the group was the Ultra Suede box, loaded with a multitude of colored scraps. All of it made it up to my sewing room and merged into my own over flowing stash.

A few days later, I received another call......"I found more stuff that I want you to see". Adjoining her sewing area was a walk-in closet that was filled with more goodies. She and I went thru it all and I once again, left with more treasures.

Let me fill you in on what Nancy thought was happening and what was really happening. She knew her four children were moving her to assisted living and she wasn't really happy about it all. Two of her children live near her, one in CT, one in WI. They had made the decision to move her to WI to be near her daughter. As we went thru things and walked thru her home, she would say that she wanted to take that particular item with her, she wanted the sofa from her living room, her queen size bed and some of her beautiful china cabinet knick knacks. She was planning to take part of her home with her. I encouraged her to keep her sewing machine(s), not realizing that in the end all of her tools and notions would be left thread, no scissors, nothing. I thought it strange that her daughter had flown in to help pack things up, yet when we were there, she was playing tennis and the house had a lot of packing to be done. Little did I know about what was to come in the days ahead.

On Saturday - all of this had taken place in a little over a week - Jim went to pick up an item that had been forgotten. The small cargo trailer was only partially full. No bed. No sofa. No favorite chair. She was packed and had been moved....... While those things left behind were only "things", they were her life, her memories. Now she is four hours from her church friends, away from all those things that made up her life and in a place where she knows no one and without those comforts of her home.

This past weekend there was an estate sale. If I had known when it was to be, I would have been there early in the morning, rescuing things I knew Nancy would have wanted rescued. As it turned out, I found a few things that meant a little bit to her, but not things of great importance. Had I been there early I would have gotten her little Hitchcock chair, something I knew she loved and treasured. It may have gone into the trailer - I truly hope it did. I did send a message to her sons to keep her quilts, but there were several still there.

My sadness for her is deep. Her body was failing, her mind still sharp. The experience made me realize that control over one's life is in one's own hands. Planning ahead and being aware of one's own abilities/disabilities has to be first. At some point, I want to be able to make the decisions about where my own treasures land and hopefully be mentally able to make the decisions about where I spend my final years.

This experience has been sobering to say the least. I hope my journey thru life doesn't come down to being shuffled off into two tiny rooms and much of my journey left for strangers to sort thru to buy for nickels and dimes.

How to end this post........I'm not sure. Today I'll write to Nancy and let her know that I found two antique and very well worn quilts in her garage. I bought them for 50 cents each. They have been well loved, but I couldn't let them go along with all the leftover napkins, odd shoes and garden tools into a warehouse someplace where no one would have a clue.

We all have to face the music at some time. I want the music to be my song....... Life goes on.