Saturday, March 28, 2015


the excitement builds next door, caps and gowns have arrived!

Scholarship banquet  at local Amicalola EMC 

The University of Alabama recruiter came to the high school to give Madison her official yard sign. Yes, she is officially Bama Bound! 

Alabama was not in her original plans but after taking the ACT and making high scores, her mom Googled ACT scores and came up with a list of colleges that offered free tuition for high scores. After a campus visit or two, Madison is in love with UA and can't wait to go. Yes, full tuition scholarship for 4 years worth $100,000 !!  Plus more $ for majoring in engineering. 

She has completed piles of scholarship applications, written prize-winning essays, jumped through hoops, gotten a job to help pay for room and board and meals. All while attending local college classes as a dual-enrollment with high school, student-teaching at the middle school, programming robots, and taking sign language classes in her spare time. I am sure I left out a lot of other stuff, I can't keep up with all she does :)

Friday, March 27, 2015


had fun celebrating this lady's 73rd birthday this week!

love her very appropriate attire: Does running late count as exercise?

can you tell they are sisters?

merit badge for helping an ol' lady across the street :)

I wonder if this is how it all started for our sister Kay - the crazy cat lady.

sisters, friends, laughs, fun times!

Monday, March 23, 2015


This book has been sitting on my book shelf for a while now, The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt
The 1922, The Farmer's Wife magazine posed this question to their readers: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?" The magazine at the time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters. The best answers to this question are included in this book, along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.

I am looking for a small portable project to take on the road, and these 6" squares might be just the thing. I pulled out some fabric and found some Civil War reproduction fabric purchased for half price back when the Ellijay quilt shop closed a few years ago. The fabrics are okay, but there is a definite Yankee bias, just look at all those reds and just a few blues, and no gray at all. And what is up with these UNION fabrics, not a confederate one in the bunch!

I have always wanted to make a sampler quilt, which features a different quilt design in each square. I am still thinking about this Farmer's Wife quilt. It might be appropriate if we do go to Oklahoma, out there with all the farms, in the heartland. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

it's a wrap

the last t-shirt quilt! two generations of kids and grandkids all have one now, time for retirement!

thanks to Peg Hasbrouck in Jasper for all the beautiful quilting over the years

thanks to all the kids for saving their shirts

and bite your tongue Madison for saying I don't have to make any more until they start having kids... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

quilt binding how to

Quilt binding - how do You do it? By hand or machine?

I recently read a blog post by my friend Linda on how she hates to do quilt bindings on the machine but recently had to do just that to fulfill the requirements for a project. Since I have made so many t-shirt quilts, I started sewing the quilt bindings on the machine for durability, and really love doing it that way. So I thought I would share how I do it, in case anyone out there needs some ideas.

First of all let me thank Vicki at sew inspired blog for her excellent step-by-step quilt binding tutorial that I have printed out and have used for many years. I follow all of her steps up until the sewing by hand part. 

sew binding to RIGHT side of quilt

fold over and pin in the ditch

look on the BACK side to check pin position 
and make sure it covers the seam you just sewed

stitch in the ditch from the RIGHT side

Voila! the BACK side  -
and if I had used matching thread it would be invisible!

It is a matter of personal preference of course. Some folks enjoy the quiet hand sewing portion of the project, maybe while sitting watching television.

But I like to just get it done!

How do you bind your quilts? 

~embroidered pincushion part of the Anniversary Quilt 1987, a multimedia project including patchwork, applique, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, fabric paint.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

painted desert

Another prayer shawl done! 
Love the colors in this one - 
Lion Brand yarn Painted Desert

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wild Card Quilt - a book review

Wild Card Quilt by Janisse Ray

Descended from Georgia Crackers, Janisse Ray offers this collection of stories about growing up in rural Georgia, they ring true to this Georgia girl, so many things I can identify with.

She tells of going back home to south Georgia at the age of 35, after moving away 18 years before. Upon her return, she moved into her grandmother's farm house, empty for 5 years since her death.
"after Grandmama died, I sat in her swept yard, listening to stories while neighbors brought chicken and dumplings, pans of rolls, pound cakes"

Janisse tells us about life in the small town of Baxley, Georgia, of life on the farm, stories of family and community, of her passion for saving the forests where she grew up. The chapter titles themselves give great insight into the story - Calico Scraps, Log Trucks at the Crossroads, The Bread Man Still Stops in Osierfield.

I was first drawn to the book by the quilt references. Janisse and her mother together make a quilt, the ritual of going through the calico scraps and finding the perfect matches to tell her quilt story, of layering the quilt and batting and back - "it was like making a pie - crust, filling, crust" - of trying to set up the quilt frame (and hearing her ghostly Grandmama laughing every time it fell):

"a ghost is like a quilt in that both are made of stories, both are made to wear out, both represent a life spent, and those parts left behind"

But more often is mentioned the importance of the stories that bind together the friends and families, stories to collect and tell and pass down through the generations. She tells of preserving the old ways, of saving seeds from the garden for next year, alligator trapping, making quilts, and having a cane-syrup boiling.
"In south Georgia our sweetener is cane syrup, boiled from the pressed juice of sugarcane… we sop it up with hot biscuits and pour it over griddle cakes and wet our cornbread with it".
I love these stories of Georgia country, I can identify with so many of them, well except for maybe this one about catching a gator that made me laugh out loud:
"This is more fun than eating boiled peanuts naked on the courthouse lawn."
Her beautiful descriptions take me back to my childhood, reminding me once again what a beautiful place we live, uncrowded, acres of forest all around, reminded me of the importance of community and family and history and of course the stories. We must preserve the stories.
"Perhaps stories keep us as a people in place glued together. As the stories vanish or are lost - as people depart homeplaces, as the landscapes are destroyed - no new stories form to replace them. Without the stories that fasten us each to each, the web that is community commences to unravel, its threads flapping in the wind, finally tearing loose completely and wafting away."

We must preserve the stories. If you have family stories you love to hear, please write them down, gather them up, bind them together, make a collection, pass them down, don't let the stories disappear.

Wild Card Quilt

by Janisse Ray

~photo of family quilt handed down

Thursday, March 12, 2015

just kill me

a visit to the nursing home, a very sad place

now there is a button to be let into the locked entrance door

down the long halls, between and around residents parked there

visiting a dear friend, but she was not in her room

a neighbor said she was walking down the hall

sure enough there she was, we caught up with her

everybody hates me

do you want to go to back to your room and visit a while? 

no eye contact, just tell me what you want me to do

back to her room, she said she was tired

took off her shoes and laid down for a nap

my legs hurt, my feet are cold

the blanket was pulled up over her purple socks

the left one bulging with the ankle bracelet

I guess you want to kill me

on our way out, once again weaving in and out of the hall folks

passing by the empty recreation room,

buzzed once again through the locked door by the sign

Do Not Let a Resident Leave With You

just kill me

She doesn't belong there, the only patient that can walk the halls unassisted, we are not ready for her to be there. Locked in with fellow inmates, all guilty of the same crime - getting old - either body or mind in lock down. Room and board and meals, walking the halls, looking out the windows, searching for familiar faces.

The smartest woman I have ever known, her mind was sharp as a tack until a few years ago, she started several businesses from the ground up over her lifetime, was an accounting genius. Instead of the terrible disease that robs her brain I like to think she just used up her quota of smarts, maybe there is only a finite number of great ideas or answers to questions, and some people use their brains so intensely and fully that it gets used up, like water squeezed out of a sponge. Oh for a magic cure.

But that is not to be, the memories are lost, the personality gone, the stranger in the nursing home just waiting to die.

We miss you dear friend.