Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Desert Fall

If you have lived somewhere that has a true fall, with color in the trees and a slow down of life, Fall in AZ is odd. While the rest of the country is digging out winter clothes, we are still wearing shorts. It has cooled down some, the night temps are down but there is still a feeling of growth, rather than the feeling of shuting down.

It's hard to describe it, it's not the same feeling as Spring, when everything is new and having a fresh start. It's more the feeling of celebration that you made it through another hot, miserable summer. It's like one last umph before things shut down for the winter season.

So, no leaves giving their final show, but the other plants are giving one of their own. The flowers bloom smaller stressed blooms as if to say, "I still have my punch!" We plant winter veggie gardens and some folks put in winter grass that keeps everything a bright green all winter.

We planted tomatoes but no winter grass. I firmly believe that things in nature deserve a rest just like we do. Wasting water for winter lawns drives me crazy and to use the great white hunter's words, " Who wants to mow grass year around?" So, while most of our neighbors have bright green lawns to set their Christmas displays on, we do it on brown grass. I think Santa approves.

Here's Fall as we know it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Quilt Rack

When I first started making quilting noise, I told the great white hunter that I needed a quilt rack. He does beautiful woodworking so he said ok but not until I knew exactly what I wanted. The man knows me well!

We looked in books and magazines and on the net. We found a couple in stores and craft shows. I didn't like them at all. They were too close to the ground so you had to fold a full size quilt several times to keep it up. That caused extra bulk so that even if it had three racks, there was not space enough between them to put three quilts on it. I had plans to really pump out those quilts, I needed space!!!

Another thing I didn't like was how light weight they were. They were beautiful, graceful things with thin spindle legs and I wanted something more sturdy. At that time, we had a toddler and one who would be crawling soon, here every day and I had mental pictures of the graceful quilt rack crashing down on top of them because it didn't sit well on the carpet.

He found a unfinished one at Joann's one day while I was waiting to have fabric cut. It was roughly the style I had in mind but way too small. It was marked down so we decided to buy it, take it home and modify the basic pattern to what I had in mind.

Above is the end result. I wanted tall, wide, plain and sturdy. This one easily holds three quilts and would hold more if need be. (haven't kept enough of them here to fill it much more but someday it will have.) It never crashed down on the little ones but it did become a great place to hide for hide and seek games. The cat hides her stuffed toys behind it now. It is just perfect..........thank you sweetie!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

That's All Until Next "Season"!

Not much quilting going on at my house. I spent the days my hunter was gone trying to organize all the patterns and hints I have collected. I tried to divide them into categories........took forever but hopefully, now I can find something when I want it. I also cut and hemmed six curtain panels for DD. Definitely not my favorite job. I hate to cut anything that I might ruin because chances are, I will ruin it. I think they are OK and even straight but we will see when she hangs them. I suggested that next time she not buy curtains that needed hemmed with the idea that MOM could do it.

My great white hunters are home. They are both tired and poor husband is disappointed as he came home without his elk. Our son did get his deer so it was not all for naught. Below are pictures from Sunday morning that might explain the lack of game. For two AZ men who came home to temps. in the mid 90's today, it was quite a shock to the system. These were taken outside Meeker, CO.

It's good to have them home safe and sound regardless.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Home Alone!

I married a good man. He is my best friend and my biggest fan. Soon we will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary, but we met and fell in love when I was 15 and he was 16.

There is just one thing about him though, once a year, he leaves me for another love. Physically he leaves for about a week, mentally he leaves a few weeks before when the "season" rolls around. I used to fight it when the kids were young because I needed him to listen to what I was saying now and then, but as I have aged, I accept it because I am happy that he is getting to do something that he truely loves almost as much as he loves me. (it better be ALMOST).

I married a HUNTER. Now I know there are those out there who think killing Bambi is just terrible but, that is who he is. I am the daughter of a hunter and there were times when I was growing up that the venison my dad brought home provided the meat we would not have other wise had that winter. We have the elk or deer that my husband and son kill, professionally processed and we eat and enjoy every ounce. My husband does not kill what we can not eat.

So, after three long weeks of preperation, he and my son left for a week in Colorado to elk and deer hunt. I made sure they had homemade stew and chili (both made with last years elk meat) and a double batch of homemade cookies. Add that to enough canned food to keep them fed for a month and lots of warm clothes.

My plans...........catch up on some sleep, try and find the floor in the sewing room and a long, slow stroll through the mall, shopping as I go. Hope to have time to get some Christmas projects going and work on a quilt. I think I might enjoy being home alone, at least the first couple of days!

He will miss me and when he comes home, he will be with me again, at least until this time next year. About this time 41 years ago, he came home on leave from the AF with two purposes in mind. One was to marry me, the other was to go hunting. There has been a lot of discussion over the years as to which was the MAIN reason he came home. He pleads innocent every time!! His brother made us a plaque that says, "We Interrupt this Marriage for the Hunting Season". That about sums it up.

Good luck and keep safe, my love!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


In case anyone is wondering, why there are no pictures of my grandchildren on my blog. I am so proud of both of them, they are cute, attractive kids.

My daughter and son in law are concerned parents that believe in protecting their children in all ways, including the Internet. So, they have a policy that says, no pictures on the Internet of the kids, except those we send to family and good friends.

Are we being too careful? Not sure about that one but I respect their wishes when it comes to the kids. In any case, I would rather be too careful than not and have some weirdo use my most precious thing in the whole world for the wrong purpose. You will just have to believe me when I tell you how cute they are.

My blog would be more enjoyable and more colorful with pictures but, we have to be careful out here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Julia's Quilt

My almost seven year old grand daughter spent last Thursday with us. She used to be here every day when Mom and Dad went to work but since she started first grade, my daughter takes her to school in the district where she works. They were out of school for fall break and Mom and little brother had a play date, so Julia came here for some Nana/Papa quality time.

She wanted to sew. She has done some hand stitching and is really good at it. She has a little toy sewing machine that she keeps here but we aren't too happy with it. So, Julia thought she might like to try to sew on my machine. She also thought she might like to have some of that Halloween fabric that Nana has been stockpiling this month for some unknown reason.

I cut some six inch strips, she matched what she wanted and pinned them together. Then she sat on my lap, I pushed the foot pedal and she guided the fabric. She was so afraid I would sew over a pin! I could feel her body tense whenever a pin got even close to the needle.

After they were sewed, I cut each two strip section into six inch widths. I let her try the cutter but that gave me a near heart attack so I did the cutting. Then she arranged them and pinned and we were back at the machine. We arranged the last time, pinned and sewed. It was a good thing we were done with the machine at this point because she was tired and I could feel her attention wandering.

After lunch, we sandwiched it, she helped pin it and then I tied it. Later that night I sewed the binding on. She was thrilled and so proud that she used Nana's machine.

Today my grandson, her brother, asked if I would make him one just like it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Look Fitzy, I'm Knitting!

My blogging friend Quilting Fitzy, (link on sidebar) knits socks on her way to and from work. I have never knit socks but did lots of hats and mittens when my kids were small and we lived where there was real WINTER. Arizona doesn't need much in the knitted line. I missed having the hand work that I could do, just a little, whenever I had time, once the table topper was finished. So,I started a afghan/throw for the family room and the new couch. This will replace the old much loved and used broomstick lace afghan that I made a few years ago. I love working with the new yarn they have out now.

I learned the basic of knit, crochet, sewing and cooking in a eighth grade Home EC. class. We looked at it as kind of a joke because we were almost 1960's kids and not going to sit home, we were going where the guys went. I have, however, used what I learned in that class every bit as much as what I learned in math and social studies. (to be honest, I didn't learn much in either one of those.........I am math challenged and social studies was more learn it forget it). I hope they still have these classes out there for the kids who want to know how to tie knots and have a end product to show for it!

Monday, October 8, 2007

News to Me

I just discovered there is another blog out there called Random Stitches. It's a knitting blog so the name makes sense for that too. Really surprised that Blogger would let there be two of the same name, maybe there was some difference, need to check that. I found it when I checked a Google search someone did from site meter.

On a positive note..........last night I decided to delete program that I had downloaded from our server. NOT a good move, Norma! After I did that, I got a message saying that without that program, I could not log on to the Internet. (then they gave me the site I needed to get it reloaded. How can you get to a site when you have no access? Oh well, sat here and pushed buttons until I found it and reloaded it and here I am. Nothing amazing for most people but my computer knowledge is somewhat limited so.............a step forward in that dept. (yeah, if I knew what I was doing, I would have never deleted the program in the first place!)

Absolutely beautiful weather outside................

Saturday, October 6, 2007


I had a goal of Oct. 1 to finish my table topper so I could use it this fall but didn't quite make it. I finally finished up last night after a couple of marathon hand quilting sessions and a sit down and do it binding session. Very pleased with the result.

I rarely make something "just for me" but this one definitely is. It did seem like a lot of work to just use a few months out of the year but I think we will enjoy it enough to make it worth the effort.

Now, want to adapt the pattern with a Christmas theme..........maybe in blues with a snowman applique or red and white with candy canes? Whatever, that one will NOT be hand quilted.

I am amazed at what some bloggers accomplish. I will see a pic of uncut fabric on a blog and then a few days later a finished top or a complete quilt. I do not have the "stick with it" patience to do that I guess. Got to work on that

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Oct. 1!

Whoo hoo, its fall or getting there in the valley of the SUN! Today is overcast but the door is open and the window too.

Had a great weekend after the toe and water woes. The toe is no longer huge and purple but I have a bruise that covers a good 1/4th of my foot on that side. It"s a little sore today but then, I walked on it quite a bit this weekend. The water heater problem was with the timer we have on it. It jammed and there was no power going to the heater. DH fooled with it and its working but we may need a new timer box. That will be a much easier fix than the water heater. On the down side, today I need to do the things I would have done Friday except I used the "I don't have hot water" excuse! Ugh..............

Sat. night we went to the ASU Gammage theater to see "JERSEY BOYS." It's the story of the singing group "The Four Seasons" from the sixties and it was wonderful. It's music from beginning to end and of course, songs we loved. It is very well done and I highly recommend it if it comes your way.

Sunday we headed to Pinetop in the White Mts. to a quilt/antique show. It was a small show but I really enjoyed seeing the quilts. There weren't many vendors and what they had was way out of my price comfort zone but fun to look at just the same. Antique show was fun also.

I did come out of the quilt show feeling like I really have a long ways to go on my piecing. I don't stress a lot about things that are a little off and I guess I should...........but then my inner self tells me that is not the kind of quilter I am! I will never show a quilt, I make them for my family and to be used and abused. Still it is a skill and I should work on improving it, at least to the point that I am not miserable doing it. I was thrilled to see a quilt that was,
"gasp" TIED! I understood that you would never submit a TIED quilt to a show, that a
TIED quilt wasn't even a quilt in most show circles. To me a tied quilt is a real quilt, and ranks even higher than a machine quilted quilt because of the hand work involved. No disrespect to the machine quilter, just a history thing. What is your opinion?

So, got a lot to do today to make up for no hot water/can't clean Friday and Sat. morning and being gone all day Sunday. Where is the mop and bucket?