Irish Lake Quilter

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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pineapple Quilt

There is a small group of quilters that I discovered last summer while we were at the cottage. The small town nearby has a community center where we meet every Monday morning, either for a meeting or for sit-and-sew. One of the group projects is a batik pineapple quilt that must be done for the show in June. Of course, I opened my mouth and said that it would look good with appliqued guessed it - I'm appliquing like a mad woman! The picture is the auditioning of fabrics, most of which I'm using and there will be a narrow pink border between the appliqued one and the quilt. It has to be at the quilter by the first of March so push time has arrived. I don't think I'll do quite as much applique as I originally planned, but I think it will still look good.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Special Christmas Memories

In 1988, we decided that the time spent opening Christmas gifts came and went much too quickly on Christmas morning. Try as we might..........the kids waited at the top of the steps, the smell of the Swedish Tea Rings baking in the oven, waiting until Dad got the video camera balanced and ready to go. The presents were passed out and each waited until the other had opened a present and so on. But still it seemed to vanish into thin air and the magic quickly disappeared. That year, a pair of roller blades and some Legos were the hot tickets. We decided that a treasure hunt would slow things down and add to the excitement of those much sought-after gifts. Jim got in touch with his poetic side and wrote a series of clues in a 4 line poem, leaving out the last word which described the spot for the next clue. After finding 3 sets, the final one took them to their prize. We had soooo much fun! We had to read the clues in the early years as they helped each other find their gifts and only one at a time could be hunting. By the time high school rolled around and the college years often busy years, it wasn't too cool to do such silly things, so the tradition was set aside.

Zoom forward to 2007. Those two young ones are now in their mid-twenties and the question "are we having a treasure hunt this year?" was presented to us. Oh dear! Jim had to dig deep to find those rhymes and clues but we had not one, not two, but three! treasure hunts devised and they also included Anne, Chris's girlfriend.

Now to backtrack again....... Each summer at the cottage the two guys would pair up with their cousins and spend many hours playing board games. Their all-time favorite was the game Hotels that Grandma had given to their cousins. Weekend after weekend for many years, the four spent time on the floor gathered around the coffee table playing the game. For years we searched garage sales but could never find the game. Finally, this year when the cousins were all together talking about those fun memories and Anne said "oh I LOVE that game!" we decided to hit E-Bay and see what we could do. We got the game and I'm not sure who was more excited that we had something that none of the three would ever guess. So, on Friday night as we gathered around the table, Jim passed out the first of the clues. Such laughter and giggling! My my would have thought we had struck gold in them thar hills when they finally found the package under the sofa!! They pushed aside all else and began assembling pieces, talking about the way it was played, the fun times they've had and how much they wanted to get right to it. The game started as soon as the rest of the presents had been opened. By 2 a.m. they were nodding off but staunchly hanging in there not wanting the game to end and as the night turned into morning, they gave up and went to bed. It's for sure they will remember this Christmas hunt and it will be right up there with the rollerblades, the Legos, the GI Joes, the Micro Machines and all those other wonderful Christmas memories. We will remember those special peals of laughter as well. Christmas is such a delightful and magical time! I hope yours is special too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas presents

Retirement means very little time alone - the kind of time one needs to get quilts made for your husband! I've managed to get the quilt to the point of binding, but I think he is suspicious. Oh well.....he'll just have to act surprised instead of being truly surprised.

Jim is a woodworker and loves to putter in his shop. He also likes to make wooden jigsaw puzzles - like the kind you buy at Wal-Mart only better. He takes a photo, has it enlarged, adheres it to a special piece of wood and then works his magic. His puzzles are all interlocking and can usually be picked up by one corner and the whole puzzle stays intact.

Anyway, a couple of years ago on a quilting weekend, my friends suggested I make Jim a puzzle quilt and even went so far as to buy a pattern. The pattern had squared off "bumps" and wasn't interlocking. So I designed my own and came up with a puzzle quilt for him. I don't even want to guess how much I spent searching for all kinds of novelty fabrics depicting the things that he likes.........from french fries to a muscle car to our special pup, Jordan. The bumps were all sewn on by hand and that took some evenings in the upstairs when he wasn't around.

I'm down to binding it now and hope to have it all done by Christmas. It isn't a pretty quilt at all. But it has all the things that mean something to him. I think he'll like it!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


We have walls, a roof and altho the picture doesn't show it, windows, a furnace and some plumbing. The upper left window is in the kitchen area, bottom right is the laundry room with my quilting area behind it. The place isn't real big but it will greatly improve life as we know it when we have kids or company come to visit us at the lake cottage! And...I get to have some space where I can spread out and just close the door when I want to leave it.

Mom has been here for the past week. As part of her Christmas present, I took her to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Show. It was really awesome, especially the live nativity. Mom enjoyed it all and it made me glad I took her. She is 84 and still loves to get out and go. I saw the Rockettes in NY in the late 70's, enjoyed them then and again this past week.

Quilting has taken a back seat for several weeks. Other than making several go-green grocery bags, I haven't done any sewing at all. I'm really ready to get some done! There's been just too much going on and I want to be organized when I go back to my projects. So, patience is being practiced, much against my will!!

We are experiencing a blast of Ol' Man Winter today. Lots of icy stuff all over the ground and the car when we came out of Macy's after doing some Christmas shopping. It is one of those days when a fire, something warm to drink and a bit of quilting feels good. I'll get back to it in a week or two......