Irish Lake Quilter

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

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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So much for keeping up with my goals and posting at least weekly! We've been in Florida for the past 5 weeks and all routines, plans and schedules have been tossed! We're headed home in a few days, back to winter for a few more weeks. Maybe I'll get back to the routines and keeping up with things. Since we have the dog with us, one of our favorite things to do is to go to the doggie park and when near the beach, the doggie beach. Freedom to run! She is so happy at both many friends and SO much to sniff! It is quite interesting to watch the dogs - 10 - 15 at a time - getting along no matter the size, the breed or the age. No leashes allowed. They all sniff, wag tentatively at first and then bound off with a new friend. We could all take a lesson from our furry friends!! :>)

Monday, February 8, 2010

February Goals for Me

As I started to post my goals for February, I found them to be much like the ones for January. Different blocks, same quilts. So I'll wait until there are some completed ones to post. But there are some goals for February that I need to write and keep in front of myself.

*** Eat healthier - more fruit, more veggies, more flavor, less salt

*** Walk every day - it keeps me in tune, also an easy way to keep Little Dog's nails trimmed

*** Stitch at least 30 minutes - time spent that is almost as good as time spent in church!

*** Smiles, silent and verbal hugs for my guys every day

That's it! I'm happier already just by putting this into writing. We're going to the land of sunshine for a vacation and I think I can do these four simple things each day - it's so much easier when the sun is shining! What do you do to make you smile on cloudy days?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Great Recipe

I was all ready to list my February goals - I still will, but not in this post. I was surfing over at and found the following and thought it good enough to "borrow" from her and post it here. It would be so great if I could manage to do everything every day! :>)

See what you think.....

GREAT RECIPE....Start Monday .....

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to your higher power about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day..

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. A higher power heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for__________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it. Send this to everyone you care about.

God Bless You!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January completions

I posted my goals early in January. Well......most of them were completed, others are on the back burner for now. But here are a few of the things I did get done!

A block for Pushin' Up Spring from Appleblossom Quilts.

A Jane Townswick pattern - one of 9, I'm on #3.........

The Brights scrap basket was overflowing......made some blocks out of those pretties and they will be a quilt soon!

Edyta Sitar's Dresdan Star..........I took a class last summer and, as usual, it languished in the box. There are 20 of these and I managed to get several done this month!

There were other things on my list that didn't quite get done. Aunt Millie's Garden is started and the second block assigned. I'm working on both! The second block of Applique Affair is cut out and ready for stitching. The Notre Dame t-shirt was finished, bound and has been delivered!
We will be leaving for Florida next week for 4-6 weeks. I'm feeling that I just got home from the lake cottage, but some sunshine will be good for both of us. When we return, it will be just a few short weeks and we'll be back at the lake. The time has flown this winter - I think that when we're happy doing what we like, the time does fly. What is keeping you busy on these cold winter days? Is the time flying for you as well?

Quilts for Haiti

A friend of mine is the director of a Project Linus chapter in IN. PL has been asked by two larger organizations for 10,000 quilts each to send to Haiti! Each summer while we are at the lake, I try to participate occasionally in PL, go to the PL Retreat and also make a few during the winter. When I heard that she needed 200 quilts asap, I quickly put several together. Very simple but a little guy will enjoy this print.If they don't make it to Haiti, they will fill the gaps left by those that have been sent.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Could I Have Forgotten??

I can't believe I have forgotten to write about this! A little over a year ago, Michael (on the left), told us that he and 3 friends were going to climb a mountain. Not a big deal......he and his friends have done that for several years. But this mountain was Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Mom said, "I don't think so". Being the quiet one that he is, he went ahead with the plans, saving his $$ and making arrangements. Long story short, mom worried, they were OK. Isn't that the way it is - or at least the way it works for most moms? The other three guys work together in Madison WI. Michael is a long-time friend of one of them. They worked out, ran and sweat for nearly 6 months so they would be in shape for the trek. In early July, they headed off to Africa and had a wonderful time. A visit to a Masai Village, spending time with their native trek leaders and a visit to a totally new environment all gave them a life experience that they will never forget. It was a great time to explore and learn. As a part of their planning, the four decided to raise funds for the Children's Hospital in Madison. Their group was called Kili4Kids and thru donations from friends and relatives, they raised nearly $10,000 for the hospital. They got to tour the hospital prior to their trip and I think that visit had an impact on how fortunate their lives have been. This picture shows them near , but not at, the summit of the mountain. They were in such good physical condition that they summited a day early. During the time that they were there, a group of blind climbers were featured on the news, making the same trek. Now that would give a mom cause to worry!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project Linus Retreat

Gratitude: A weekend spent with good friends, much too much to eat,and lots of sewing. Thanks ladies for a wonderful time!!

Each January a group of 24 women gather in Northern Indianaat the Geneva Center in Rochester IN. We spend a couple of days quilting for Project Linus. The rule is that we must donate one quilt or quilt top from the weekend to Project Linus. This year I came up with the pattern for our group project. The fun part about the pattern is that with just a little effort, TWO blocks can be made when making one spinning star block, giving us each two tops- one for us, one for PL. Here are two that I made at retreat - unfortunately, their stars are spinning in the same direction. Their mirror images are still awaiting construction.

As part of our weekend, we had the option of having a massage. So nice!...... We also had demonstrations on card making. The pajama party was also quite humorous. Many hours were spent laughing and having fun. Retreats are always enjoyable - I'm looking forward to next time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Done is better than perfect

Some think that having a completed project is better than having a perfect project. I'm one of those! Altho this isn't perfect, I'm happy that it is done. Applique Affair has 25 blocks and a whole lot of half blocks in the border. Not quite half finished with it but I'll be working hard to get the block a month done for the group called Applique Cafe. Have you given applique a try lately? :>)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cars for Lucas

Lucas, 3, is the grandson of a dear friend of mine. He is so cute and loves cars. This quilt pattern was in a Fons and Porter magazine several years ago. Hey buddy, have fun with this!
My friend Julia and I met in 1975 when we were both teachers in a small suburb of Cleveland. Lucas's mom was Lucas's age at the time! We've both moved away but keep in touch and enjoy our visits whenver Oma comes to see her little guy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some January goals.......

A gratitude for today........feeling better after several days of the stomach flu; being able to return to some sewing and normalcy!

Some January stitching goals......

............the first goal is to get the Notre Dame t-shirt
quilt top and backing finished and the quilt done for Chris. Dad is a Domer and the two of them are die-hard ND football fans and go to as many games as they can. When I asked Chris what kind of quilt he wanted there was little question.

Quilting might be a little tricky with all the seams
but I'll give it that old college try!

.............deciding if Aunt Millie's Garden
should have a blue or yellow background?

.......finishing the Applique Affair block assigned for this month on Applique Cafe, an online group where we work on the same blocks. This one still needs some little bell shaped flowers on those barren stems!

and.............each year a group of volunteers meet for a weekend of sewing blankets for Project Linus. I've designed a quilt for this year's retreat and will be helping the group get thru my instructions. I hope everyone is successful! More on that after retreat January 15-17.
My partial list of hopes for the month............with hopes of completion of these and more! Stay warm - it's a cold one out there today!