Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An apron by any other name...

I am readying the instructions for a new pattern I have come up with, and I really puzzled over the title a long time.  That is a tough part of the process, it has to be appealing, attention-getting, memorable, but not inappropriate.  I am liking the idea of staying with rhymes, but try and come up with something good for apron!  I even use a couple websites for rhymes and they weren't much help for that.  So then I branched out my thinking along the line of other kitcheny-type stuff, and kind of a little retro feel, and lo and behold, "Flower Power" popped out of a cobwebbed corner of my brain, and morphed into "Flour Power"!  So that's that!  Soon available for purchase at Bear Patch Quilting Co. and any other store that's interested!  The sample on the clothesline above is the one Maggie made as she tested my directions, it is cute in the 30's repro prints.  There also is another sample available for purchase on the store's silent auction, I will snap a picture when I go tomorrow.  Now to my machine!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sew Red silent auction

We are preparing a new display at the store which will include this quilt to be auctioned to the highest bid.  It was sewn by Debbie Engh and quilted by myself and I am hoping it will bring a good amount to contribute to the American Heart Association.  There will be many other items, large and small, on the silent auction.  Watch here and the Bear Patch website for more info.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Of strawbales and winding roads

Yesterday was a perfect day for bouncing around on a hayrack and winding around some country roads, good thing Larry and Denise had all the arrangements made!  We had a tour of some of the land just north of where Bob lived, including a stop at the house where his grandparents lived when he was young.  Five of his brothers and sisters plus the matriarch, Ruth, were able to take the tour, too, so it was good to catch up on family doin's.   And enjoy all of Larry's wisdom and corny jokes!  Ended up at a perfect little hunting cabin with weinie roast and smores, thanks to Denise for putting that part all together.  Had to take a shower at 11:30 last night when we got home to get the straw and dust out of my hair!  How did that not bother me when I was a kid?  We used to have regular adventures in the haymow, covered with dust and leaves, and likely a few bugs, too!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I don't remember if I have covered this here before, but I recently left my employment at North Memorial, making this the first time in about 32 years that I have not been involved in nursing in some form.  My past few years have been spent working in the Trauma/Neuro ICU, a very interesting place.  It was so nice to be invited to a little farewell get-together last Monday.  Thanks to Sharon for offering up her lovely home to entertain us!  You have always been a special person to work with, and have saved me many troubles with your medical secretary skills!

Pictured below is my Girl Gang, my #1 supporters, the cream of the crop!  Second from the left, Diane, has just moved from ICU to PACU, so we shared the party night!

Thanks to these 4 and many more, patients will be blessed with the care and attention they need.  

Friday, September 12, 2008

A lovely bag

My luck was good last week, I purchased an unfelted wool bag from my friend, Thora Lee, at her stash buster sale. She had knit the bag but never got around to felting it. She wanted it out of her space, so for a small fee I was able to do that. Well, now my lovely bag is the love of my life! I gussied it up with a pretty lining, magnetic snap, and cute little fabric flower and voila!

The fabric flower instructions can be found here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

State Fair part deux

I had some more great pictures to share from our recent trip to the MN State Fair:
creepy looking vegetables
Notice the scale on these bad boys!

Imagine being immortalized in butter!

You just never know what you will find!

Free Leisl!

It was an important occasion so we had to have a special celebration--what could be more special than $2 beer and $1 burgers!  We really know how to party in style!  If that wasn't enough frugality, get this:  a friend/neighbor of Leisl's picked up the tab for our table so this was indeed a "free Leisl" party.  She's the one in the white shirt in the center.  We are celebrating the fact that Leisl's household has shrunk from 4 teenage boys to 1.  So our good friend no longer has to live in her vehicle, shuttling kids back and forth, cell phone glued to ear.  I do not understand how she does it, but she has proven that she is well-suited to be a den mother.  Maybe she should adopt a scout troup.  Add to this the fact that she survived knee surgery last week so now she can get back to running marathons!  Of course, all this means more quality sewing time so we will no doubt be seeing great things coming from the depths of her basement.  And retreat time is fast approaching, allowing days and nights of uninterrupted fiber frenzy.  Life is good!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I figured out how to place a video of my quilting here, it's only a few seconds and doesn't have great detail, but it gives you a little feel for what I do.  Yesterday I finished quilting a small Christmas quilt that has been a group project for the daughter of a friend, Kay, who was killed in an accident.  She had the pieces all cut in preparation for a class she was registered for, and when her family was deciding what to do with everything she left behind, I was asked if I could help get it finished.  So Maggie put all the blocks together, I quilted it, and now Debbie is going to stitch on the binding.  Needless to say, I have thought often of Kay lately.  Wish she was here to see her quilt!
I have added a couple things to the blog page as little experiments, let me know if you like/dislike them.  They are easy enough to add and remove with changes by Blogger.  Wish I had more time to explore the possibilities.  One thing I wanted to pass on to you is the link to another blog that I really like to follow.  It is written by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a knitting author from Canada, known as the Yarn Harlot.  She adds lots of humor to the world of knitting and good reading for non-knitters, too!  
Speaking of writers, I was sad to hear this week of the death of Helen Kelly, a quilting author.  I was a reader of her monthly columns in Quilters' Newsletter Magazine long before I met her.  She was from the St. Paul area and frequented the quilt shop I work at, Bear Patch Quilting Co., as she searched for just the right fabrics for her creations.  Dressed in jeans and sweatshirt, she definitely was not one to play on her fame!  I would never had known she was other than any of the other great customers had I not been informed by a co-worker.  She was gracious and funny, creative and practical.  We miss her.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

weekend away

OK, so I haven't been glued to the keyboard lately!  Although Bob has been dropping hints (not so subtly) that I am overinvolved with my computer, like this morning when he inquired if I had found a way to attach the laptop to my body yet.  I don't think he was joking!  So I will share some great pictures that I took on our little 3 day tour last weekend.  We drove eastward, stopping in the Dells to see if the lake had filled up again (yes, even though it appears low there were still tourboats operating) and then to Madison.  Not usually thought of as a vacation mecca, but a hotel room was available and it is an easy drive and Taste of Madison was happening.  So we wandered, had good food, good beer, listened to music that was not outstanding, and got sunburned.  We spent awhile Saturday strolling the Botanical Gardens, which were lovely, and a good source of pictures as you see:
And we found a cool spider tunnel web:

The second closeup picture shows the spidey in its lair!
Sunday we drove to Geneva, Illinois, to explore what I had read was a quaint little old town, which is true, and they were holding a Folk Musical Festival on an island in the river so we wandered there and found some entertainment amongst the antique hippies.

The railroad bridge was a busy place, several trains crossing and sometimes going both directions.  There is this sort of oddball windmill in a park there and Bob felt his Dutchboy ancestry calling or something.  It was perfect summer days for us.  We continued on to Galena for a stopover but decided not to spend the night.  It reminded me of Stillwater on steroids, if you don't live around here that doesn't make sense, but it didn't hold a lot of allure for me.  It was a bit of a long drive home after that.  But I thoroughly enjoyed all the fields and little towns that we went through, that is to me just as scenic as the mountains or the ocean.  Actually, I can't really think of anyplace I have travelled to that I haven't found to be interesting and beautiful in its own way, yes, even the Badlands, even Nebraska!
So now home again, finished a quilt on Labor Day and have the next one ready to go on.  Yesterday I had the Ladies Sewing Society group at the store:

We are nearing completion of our block-of-the-month club, I will have pictures of some of the projects next month as they get blocks together.  They are a good group!