Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here Comes Fall...

Fall is and always has been my favorite time of the year. I love being able to wear shorts and sandals... but to still be able to throw on my snuggliest sweatshirt in the evening. This pictures was taken on October 7th, 2002... in front of the lobby doors at Cragen's Resort in Brainerd Minnesota. I joined Mom and Dad there for one of Dad's annual union conventions. Mom and I spent the day shopping and hopping around quilt stores in town looking for the perfect fabric for the quilt pattern I had finally picked out.

We had a fireplace in the room at the resort that week and we took advantage of one of Minnesota's fall evenings to snuggle up by the fire. I can't enjoy a fire on this cool fall evening, but I can snuggle up under my new quilt. Mom is right! I was completely shocked when I turned around and realized what was laying across her bed last night. What a special gift for my 30th birthday!

Thank you Mom! I love you!

PS: Please continue to the previous post for photos of the quilt and the rest of the story!

Happy Birthday DD1

This is D. This is D with a very big grin ~ VBG.
I think she loves her birthday present!
This is the quilt on the long-arm at the Quilters Coop Quilt Shop in Duluth, MN. The happy faces belong to Donna and Linda, the girls who rescued me when I was too frazzled to quilt D's quilt...even though I had this quilt top finished by the end of July, I ran a bit short of time, ahem, life has been a teeny bit crazy around here for a while. You know how it's been! This is custom quilting that took more than 10 hours at the long-arm, hours that they "made room for", yet they had it done beautifully and in plenty of time for me to attach the binding. I spent no less than thirteen hours (OMG) hand sewing the opportunity to listen to a good book on CD. :o) Each square in the design is stitched a quarter inch from the edge. A lot of stitches!! The hatchwork quilting in the borders is perfect for this quilt. Click on the photo for a closer look.

D' was completely surprised, shocked to tears, she was not expecting this, not one little bit. So all I can say is YAY and WOW, she was totally surprised! Surprised because she had settled on this pattern years ago! We purchased the fabric at least five, strike that, seven years back. Finally, I got my act together and got it done, I know, what was my hurry? LOL. Well, this was a very special birthday, D's 30th!! I just had to get the quilt made in time to mark this special occasion! This is what I spent the entire summer working on, it's not as simple as it looks. Mitered corners in those borders and a trick to laying out the fabrics to create the design as I had adapted a pattern that used all scrap fabric to accommodate D's color choices. It worked out okay, but I have to say that it was the quiting that brought this quilt to life. Donna and Linda truly pulled it out of the hat for me and I can't thank them enough. Thanks girls!!

This is the inspiration quilt. A Seminole patchwork invented by Seminole Indians. It measures 88 x 103, not wide enough for today's thick mattress styles. D's quilt is 96 x 101 so it will fit her mattress. You can find this quilt in a book titled Mountain Mist Quilt Favorites published by Oxmoor House and Leisure Arts, Inc. There is a quote at the beginning of this wonderful book.

"For the winter I think I shall make a quilt to keep from getting too lonesome, for some of the women around here are real interested in quilting again."
Minnesota Letter, 1931

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gorgeous Blooms! What a BIG difference a few days made!

A Mum from My cheer Tom up.
Thanks, Mom!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Donuts and What a Difference A Week Has Made.

This is my one and only sister, Lauri. A while ago when here from Italy, she completely enjoyed a Krispy Kreme Donut ~ your know those fat filled pastries that were all the rage a few years back?! Not a regular part of her healthy Italian diet. My goodness but she did enjoy that donut!! Can you tell? Tee hee! This is also the girl who took the time to hand write a recipe book for me. Yep, she took a book of blank pages and in it she wrote her favorite recipes and tips for delicious healthy Italian meals. She is a very very smart and talented cook!!

Meanwhile, back here in Minnesota this past week has been full of challenges. It is a week that ended with improvement for Tom and more restful times for me as well. As many of you know, recovery from surgery or in this case multiple surgeries can be daunting, but I have to say that Tom has faced this challenge head on and is doing well because of it.

There are still trips to the lab for blood work as the level of the Coumadin is up and down and everywhere but where they want it to stick! Next week some of the staples can come out of his twelve incisions.

There is also the issue of the groceries, label reading and healthier choices...not one of Tom's favorite things but something we have to do more carefully. In some areas we were already doing well...there are no custard filled Long Johns to be found on the low fat, low cholesterol list of healthy foods, none of my favorite butter either - if there were you can be sure Tom would find it! Yeah...he loved his donuts. Maybe once in a while a treat, but the daily donut diet is a thing of the past for him. While deprivation is not the answer, attentive choices for healthy eating is going to be the norm rather than the "treat" for his new arteries! Genes are not 100% to blame for blocked arteries.

The nurses say that a person needs to have a quality of life and while it might seem obvious that I/we must feed Tom and me only the best and healthiest choices, they tell me that we have to have a balance or he/we will not be happy campers for long. So we bump along as we travel the path of even closer examination of labels, nutrition information and the search for healthy cooking ideas that end with food that tastes yummy! Fast food and prepackaged foods are over the top with spices and unhealthy ingredients so that is out, but plain old healthy foods can be bland. Some of the so called healthy recipes that spice things up are filled sodium and the unhealthy variety of F-A-T!!! So tell me!!! Just how did Julia Child eat all of that butter and still live nearly forever?! Huh?