busy life

after a week of weird rain we have sun.

it’s hot and humid.

not quite a combination washingtonians are used to.

the rain totally decimated my rose garden.

the roses were so heavy with water that the stems were snapping.

they were hanging off the cane looking like broken finger.

it was sad.

so yesterday at 7am, when it was still cool, i got out and tidied up.

this last week (since our fishing trip) has been full.

i quilted this beauty…


d and chloe painted her room…

here’s the before


and the after


it’s very blue.

her room is officially arranged the way she wants it with all her bits and pieces hung.

she loves it.

and, i’ve got to say, it suits her perfectly.

then i put this bad boy on the frame…


still working on it.

so far there are two and a half days of work into it.

should be able to finish it up today after church.

it’ll be hot sweaty work.

the girls were busy creating this week.


chloe made this bag for her doll.

she also made a hat, a ring and a necklace.


you can’t see it well here (because an arm is in the way…chloe took the pic with my phone)

but she made a little pillow for her doll’s sore ankle.

as well as a painters palate, a necklace and a few other bits and pieces.

grandma genelle has arrived from sydney (yesterday) so now our fun really starts.

we’re going to have a splendid time with her here.

and finally, we went to my friends wedding yesterday.

they had lovely pink champagne cupcakes (which i didn’t eat…but they were still lovely.)


and the food was amazing.

the chef actually went and cooked some salmon for the girls and i that had no butter.

i was such a happy girl!

the brides was beautiful and glowing.

it was a happy ending.

and now i’m going to eat some breakfast and get ready for church.

i’ll post pics later of the quilting with all the details you want.

a moment to celebrate

it’s a double posting type of day.

yesterday was insane with our 15 hour fishing trip.

no internet connection either or i would’ve posted yesterday.

but this isn’t about fishing.

or about internet connections.

this is about my 6 year project.


i have news.

it is finished.

and, thus, a moment to celebrate.



(wild cheering!!)

normally i try to do better at photographs.

but, really, i was just so excited to have it done that i just snapped the pic.

here’s a close up:


i still find the green very over-powering but there’s not much i can do about it now!

the purple binding was an attempt to bring out the purple in the quilt.

it actually accents well.

and makes it look like a small frame on a photo.

one last shot…a close up of the quilting.


and there you have it.

: :

project details:

the pattern is called English Trellis from the Better Homes and Gardens Quilt-Lovers Favorites book published in 2002.

(as a note there are (64) 3/4″ squares in a 6 1/2″ square.  i kid you not.)

i quilted it with the taro pantograph by urban elementz


the thread is king tut signet ring

and i used warm & white batting.

most of the fabrics are jo-ann’s old.

(except for the pink and the two borders, which i bought at my lqs and have no idea what they are called.)

one fish, two fish


people, this is the skagit (pronounced like badge-it but with a ‘sk’ in the front) river.


isn’t it gorgeous?

my dad’s friend bill (aka mr. bill) has a cabin on the river.

it’s about 2 hours north of us.

our goal for the day?

to catch fish.

namely, little girls to catch fish.

my nieces, sana and sera, came with us.


there they are, folks.

now we actually went out to lake mcmurray.

bill said it would be too hard for kids to catch fish on the river.

only two kids could go out at a time so the little girls went first.


there they are…getting ready to head out.

at the beginning of the trip my dad gave me a walkie-talkie.

he had the other.

came in handy when driving and trying to find an open kfc.

at any rate, throughout the day i would hear,

“fish on!”

followed then by details of who caught a fish and how big it was.


do you see them?



chloe and sana played with the rocks and the water.

(they even found a dead fish.)

after a couple of hours they switched.

(sorry…no photos…my phone was nearly dead…)

by the end of the day this is what they had:


final count: 11 fish

sana maxed out with 4

followed by abi with 3

chloe and sera (pronounced sarah) tied at 2 each.

poking dead fish in the eyes is gross…


and amusing.

it’s the small things in life.

i’d say not bad for their first time!

the bathroom

i promised, not too long ago, to show you pics of the bathroom d just…updated.

(i think that’s the best word.)

maybe redecorated.

at any rate…

here’s the before:


lovely, don’t you think?


i wasn’t feelin’ it.

neither was d.

he started the week after he was able to get both cars into the garage.


first took out the vanity,


painted the top half,


took up the linoleum floor,


then our friend ed came and put the tiles in.


isn’t that better?!?

ed did an amazing job.


meanwhile d was painting wainscoting and trim.

when the floor was done d put these up.


here he is hard at work.


and voila!


there’s a bit of trim to do but d needs another saw then learn how to use it.

isn’t it great?!?

he did such an amazing job.

i helped too.


here’s the proof.

i repainted the trim.


cherries and berries

d and i took the girls to our local quilt shop, the quilt barn, today.

on our way there we passed the spooner farms stand.

d said, “let’s stop on our way back.”


(did you catch the excitement in my voice?)


why on God’s green earth have i bought strawberries at costco and the grocery store?

the first strawberry caused my salivary glands to kick into overdrive.

the sweet and the tangy danced in my mouth.

it melted.


(okay, okay.  you got me.  this was taken at home.  isn’t it pretty though?)

then we went to the grocery store.

(oh the irony…)

and there we found these beauties.


now, i want to note here that if the locally grown strawberries were that heavenly

then what about locally grown cherries?

i’m seriously curious.

though these happy guys came from selah, washington we all know they weren’t picked yesterday.




then this evening i used the left over chicken from last night and made chicken quinoa salad.






fresh lemon dressing.

it called for green onion but we are out of them.

used red onion instead.


a little dinner prep.

today i was in food heaven.

and i got my six year project quilt and the binding on it.

tonight i will watch my show and stitch.

a good day.

sorry…no pics of the quilt yet.

give me about four days then i’ll share.

black and white and read (red) all over

you know the joke, right?

“what’s black and white and read all over?”

a newspaper!

ha ha ha

kids love that one.

it inspires more silly jokes.



today as i was quilting this…


the joke kept going through my head.

not just because the quilt is black, white and red.

but because my client wanted red thread.

all over.


get it?


can you see the red thread?

the girls have been happily playing four-square and what we call “arting” in the art center with the neighborhood girls.

no need to interrupt them.

i will work.

and so i did.

now to work on the binding…


quilt details:

she got the kit from a local shop.

after making up the blocks that were in the quilt she decided it would be too much so put those black squares in.

signature 100% cotton thread ~ scarlet

warm & natural batting (client choice)

feather fancy pantograph from urban elementz (link below)


camping quilt

linda brought me this quilt.

it’s for her husband.

she wanted stars.


so stars she got.

it’s for her husband and it’ll go in their shabin.

get it?

cabin mixed with shanty equals shabin!

it’s super teeny tiny.

i bet this quilt would fill it up.

here are the best parts of the quilt:


can you see??

the cartoons are hilarious!




this one’s my favorite.

the bear passing out from the hunters stinky socks.



now to make dinner.

have a good evening!

summer is messy

i’m going to admit right here that it’s taken me 10 summers to admit this to myself.

not just admit it but to embrace it.

enjoy it.

savor it.

because ‘messy’ means that someone had fun.

someone created.

someone enjoyed.

and with children around messy is sure to follow.






as i took these photos and wrote this post my two happy girls are quietly reading under the apple tree.

they have created in their art center,

made lunch,

played with water (and toys),

changed their clothes at least once

and there’s only a hint of clean up.

they moved from one activity to the next as a monkey swings from tree to tree.

going where their legs and imaginations carry them.

very rarely does it include cleaning up.

you know what?

messy just doesn’t seem that important this year.

and it makes for a peaceful house…

so far.

: :

(as an end note…our version of messy is different from other peoples version of messy.

this post was not written to make one feel guilty or judged for the messiness of their house.

i wrote this post because i realize that i have been super-sensitive to mess.

and my super-sensitivity has exhibited itself in hurtful words and tones that say to my sweet ones they aren’t clean enough.

they aren’t organized enough.

that they just aren’t enough.

the truth is they are more than enough.

the size of their mess indicates the size of their imagination.

the size of their play.

the size of their characters taking shape.

and it tells me that i need to lighten up.

for they were created in the image of God.

and my unrealistic expectations put around their little necks a mill stone too large for them to carry.

so i’m asking myself this question,

“how important is a tidy house 100% of the time?”)

summer.  is.  messy.

under the apple tree

today is the first day of summer vacation.

chloe was none to pleased.

“it feels just like a saturday.”

(insert frown here)

“the whole summer is going to feel like saturdays.”

abi was at a birthday party.

so we…


sanded and painted a bench to a little desk that will hold flowers by the front door.

there was duress.

she ended up enjoying herself.

though she won’t admit it.

she had a snack.

how could a chocolate muffin not cure all ills?

but then, of all things, she wanted to read with me.

usually reserved for bedtime we read together on my bed, snuggled under a quilt.

today she wanted to read in the middle of the day.

i had a better idea.

“let’s read under the apple tree.”

“no.  let’s read on your bed.”

“oh chloe…i can not tell you what heaven it is to read under a tree.”


so we got it set up.

appropriately enough we read The Secret Garden.


do you see the apples?


frank just had to join us.


sorry for the shocking picture…


frank playing with the apples.

after we picked abi up at the party the girls went to play with the neighbor kids.

then chloe comes in and announces that they had to go in.

where was she heading?



to read under the apple tree.

summer has officially started.

: :

(are you wondering about the quilt?

homespun half square triangles.

i made it for d years ago.

he loves it because it’s big enough for him.)

spring mystery quilt

first of all i want to say ‘thank you’ to ALL the input regarding the block with the red.

such good advice and it got my brain a-goin’.

i’ll share later what i’ve come up with.

hopefully the finished block itself!


 my plans to have this guy done before the start of mystery quilt was foiled.


but, i decided to trust that it would all work out in the end.

this morning i got it done!

well, the quilting at least.


the binding is made and as soon as i’m done with the client quilt for the day i’m going to go and put the binding on.

then help d by painting some trim.

for the bathroom.

oh the pictures of that…wait til you see!

but i digress.

amy asked about minkee.

first of all, it washes beautifully.

personally, i don’t wash my fabrics beforehand but the quality of fabrics these days it almost doesn’t matter.

but if you’re really concerned about it do a small sample quilt and wash it.

do it in all combinations:

all fabrics washed, just the top fabrics washed, just the minkee washed, and none of the fabrics washed.

then compare and see what you like best.

the trick with minkee?

(okay, people…i don’t share this often so feel privileged…)

the cut edges are pinned to the leaders.

longarm quilters will get it.

the grain from cut edge to cut edge has almost no stretch to it.

the selvage to selvage grain stretches…a lot.


did i stress that enough?

the key is no stretching.


so here’s the back…



now the question i may or may not get is:

why purple on the back if there’s no purple on the front?

in an effort to de-stash a bit i used this purple minkee that a friend gave me years and years ago.

i like it.

it’s the same value and it’s minkee.

which means it’s soft.

and warm.

the pantograph is called persian princess and you can get it at


and i used warm & white batting.

any other questions i didn’t foresee??