Friday, April 29, 2011

What A Nice Surprise!

Yesterday, mixed in with the junk mail and bills in my mailbox, I had this surprise package from Cathy at Big Lake Quilter!  Inside was a lovely note and a little bag.

Just what I needed! The note made my day and the bag, well, as you can see, looks so much better than what I was using!

A definite improvement!  Thanks, Cathy!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Sewing Room

I know I'm not alone in this---our stash and what to do with it. It is a common problem amongst quilters.  But we military quilters have another problem.  We move, about every 3 to 4 years, if we're lucky.  I am now preparing for another move due to my husband's retirement from the Army.  I have to face my stash and I'm nervous.  It has grown alot during the time we've lived here.  After over 4 years in Germany, I went overboard when we moved back to the states.  Quilt shops, Jo-Ann's, Hancocks, more quilt shops, many fabrics!  There is a wonderful quilt shop here (that I found while we were still in Germany and that I work at on a very part time basis) that has been the source of a lot of my additions, especially when the owner had a huge inventory reduction sale.  I bought even more at that sale.  After all, in my defense, you have to take advantage of 50% and over off the price, right? 

My sewing room is now suffering from all that collecting.   The closet is full top to bottom, stuffed in every corner, to the point where the doors can't close all the way.  Every shelf, drawer, and even the space under the table in the room is full.  All the scraps have just been piling up.  Something has to be done and soon.  We will be moving sometime this summer!

There's always a moment of silence when the movers first see my stash.  A look of astonishment.  Then the inevitable look at me, ...are you serious!?  I hear, "That's a lot of material" in some form or another.  I'm sure if I were to hear what they were really thinking, it would have some colorful language thrown in!  It's not all loose piles of fabric; I try to keep it somewhat organized in bins, totes, and bags.  But it's a lot of bins, totes, and bags!

I've let my sewing room go here lately, trying to get quilts for others done. Honestly, it doesn't always look like this!  Really, it doesn't!  I'm trying to straighten it up, get things somewhat organized for the move. In working on the closet, I found 8 quilt tops with their backings ready to be quilted.  I knew they were in there, but you know, out of sight, out of mind.  I don't even want to count how many kits from shops and kits that I've put together are in there. I think I'm better at selecting the right fabrics, planning it all out than I am at actually getting the quilts made.  (Tony would say, "You think?") 

I have to get ready for this move.  My sewing machine is in the shop for general maintenance and cleaning.  It's going to take me a while to get the house ready for the move.  I try to go through our things on a regular basis, but you know how things tend to pile up.  All closets and drawers have to be looked at.  I don't even want to think about the garage.  But I can't go without sewing some; it's my therapy!  I have a hand project (that's a whole 'nother story for a later post) that I'll be working on during all this preparation.  But I know one thing I won't be doing...buying more fabric!  Well, maybe just a little!


The Joy Of Easter!

Matthew 28:6

"He is not here; for He is risen, as He said."

Have a blessed and happy Easter!

LaDonna and Diana

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The pinwheel quilt is done, washed, shown-and-told, and ready for delivery!

Thanks to Tony for holding the quilt up, despite a sore shoulder! 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just a Little Bit More!

On Sunday, I spent the afternoon on the borders of the pinwheel quilt.  On the inner border, I marked my spacing lines for the feathers to be an inch apart and two inches long.  I like to mark to ensure my spacing is accurate especially for the corners and wavy spines to work out right. 

Here are the feathers in the corner and you can see where I also marked the outer border. 

Tony took a picture of me looks like I take my quilting seriously!  I like quilting, really, I do!  My gloves look so dirty!  I prewash my fabrics, but the dye still gets on the sticky part of the gloves.  I wash the gloves between quilts using every kind of stain remover I have, even a little bleach, but I can't get all the stains out.  If any of you have a solution, please let me know! 

Yesterday, I spent all day, in between laundry, chatting, computer time, etc... quilting the last of the quilt.  And the binding is on!  Yeah!  Just have to trim the excess batting and backing and plug in some movies for all that handsewing!  I'm so glad it is nearly finished!  After all that sewing yesterday, my ears were ringing from the hum of my sewing machine all day and, would you believe it, my foot was sore from the constant angle on the pedal!  But it is done!

I love the connections we have with our regular readers, now friends!  I want to thank everyone for all the suggestions you gave to Diana! That's the way quilters are...we want to help our sister quilters any way we can! Thanks again!


Monday, April 18, 2011


I don't know if I like quilting or not... the quilt that I am trying to finish (for a baby that is already 4 months old !) is not cooperating!!  You know it's bad when your fur baby gives you this look.......

 I don't know what the problem is....could it possibly be the machine...the thread...the quilter-wanna-be... or the interruptions?  I only redid the stitching 3 or 4 times on the SAME block!!! UUGH!!!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

no posts

Yes I know that I am not the "poster" in this blog...remember...I like to stay in the background and not draw attention to myself.  However I did want to share the following....

When I retired from teaching in 2008, several of my "teacher friends" threw a get-together for me.  One of those friends ( I had all three of her children over the years) gave me an orchid.  She raises them.  Now, all I knew about orchids was that they were pretty. I thought that they were exotic looking and high maintenance.  She told me that this variety was easy. I thought to myself...yea....right...we'll see about that...I'll probably kill it.  I was amazed that it not only lived but bloomed for me!!  But this year I got a big surprise.  It actually put out two stalks and both of them were covered with blooms!  That had never happened before...I felt that I would been  lucky to have a bloom much less even one stalk. The flowers haven't fallen off yet so I thought I would share.......


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Sunday Afternoon

My husband is retiring from the Army and his retirement ceremony is next month.  I need a dress.  Not a ball dress (thankfully, those days are over!), but a nice dress.  Do I have a dress that would be appropriate? No, I'm a t-shirt and jeans, yoga pants kind of girl.  I love shoes, but I hate shopping for clothes.  Absolutely hate going to the mall, hate trying on clothes because they hardly ever fit.  Shopping for clothes usually ends up with me nearly in tears and mad.  One size on top, another size on bottom, long arms, long waisted, and flat chested.  And, everything costs so darn much these days!  That takes money out of my quilt budget!

On our errand run today, we had to go to the PX.  Normally, we don't shop at the PX for clothes because it is still too expensive, but we were there so I thought I would look for something I could wear to this ceremony.   I looked and looked, but dresses were hard to find.  Everything I tried on did not fit, except for one skirt and blouse which were in my price range.  I was surprised that they looked nice on me and I already have the perfect dress shoes for them.  I bought the shoes 3 years ago when a local shoe store was going out of business.  (I haven't even worn them yet!)  But, because it's hard to find shoes that fit me too, I bought them just because they fit me and they were super inexpensive with all the closing discounts. 

On my way out of the dressing room, I noticed a beautiful blue dress on the clearance rack that I had missed seeing before.  And it was in my size!  I've never had a dress styled like it before so I just had to try it on and when I did, I loved it!  Except for one thing.  The seam at the shoulder strap on both shoulders was broken and hanging together by just a few threads.  It was discounted 25% but with that damage, I felt like it should have been more.  I asked the supervisor if it could be discounted more because I would have to repair the straps and she said, "Oh, yes, 75% off."  I acted all cool about it but as soon as she turned to walk Tony and me up to the checkout, I was practically dancing in the aisle! 

Good thing I know how to sew!  Just the threads are broken, not a tear in the fabric.  Whip these seams back together and it's good as new!  And, I just happen to have the perfect shade of nail polish and the right shoes for the dress!  I love it when it all comes together (it happens so rarely!) and for only, get this....$12.25!  Yeah!

Tony laughed at me when I told him I was going to post about this, but that's ok!  I know it's a little weird, but hey, that's me!  I'm happy to provide a source of entertainment!

(still giddy with a new dress!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Are Stylish!

We are now stylin' sisters!  We have been selected for the Stylish Blogger Award from Betty Lou over at Sugarland Quilts!  Thanks, Betty Lou!  Visit Betty Lou's blog at Sugarland Quilts!  Betty Lou supports our military with Quilts of Valor.  And, she has a cute pincushion collection!

So here's how the deal goes:
  • If you have been selected for the award, you thank the blogger that gave you the award in your post and link to her blog. That would be us at A Sisterly Connection!
  • Then select six (or in our case, 3!) stylish bloggers that you think deserve this award, a good idea to give them a little advance notice to see if they are willing to accept.
  • Tell the whole blogging world 7 things about yourself!
Here are our winners!
1.  Regan at Floating on a Quilted Cloud 
2.  Susan at suemacseeds

Seven things about Diana:
1.  I've been a teacher for 30 years. Now retired! 
2.  I'm a proud Air Force mom!
3.  I'm a grandmother of 2 wonderful children.
4.  I like to say I live in a "map dot" ...I'm so far away from everything, except my husband of 30 plus years!
5.  I love cats!
6.  I am definitely a morning person!  I turn into a pumpkin by nine o'clock!
7.  I don't like to draw attention to myself... I like to stay in the background.

Seven things about LaDonna:
1. I am a proud Army wife!
2. I'm a pretty good shot with a 9mm.
3. My middle name is Lou. When I was young, my parents would call me LaDonna LouLouLouLouLou in front of my friends! How embarrassing! But now all the youngins' in the family call me LuLu and I love it!
4. For some reason people love to tell me blond jokes. I just don't get it.
5. I tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor that sometimes gets me in trouble. My son says I have no filter!
6. I love to stay in my pajamas all day, just doesn't happen much!
7. I have 4 tattoos. And no, I'm not showing you.

Thanks again, Betty Lou!  This is fun!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just A Little Sewing

This afternoon I made a couple of pillowcases to go with the pinwheel quilt.  I figured I had better get them done before the quilting, because by the time I get done quilting, I wouldn't want to work on the fabric anymore!  Since it had been awhile since I made pillowcases, I refreshed my memory with my own instructions at this link here.  These took a little bit longer because of the pieced hem to match the border on the quilt.

I used the backing fabric for the inside of the hem.

Today was also puppy toenail trimming day.  I use a nail grinder and have for their entire lives.  Maggie doesn't fuss and lays there for me to trim her nails.  Fergus on the other hand, say Fergus cries like a little girl is an insult to little girls.  He starts crying before I even touch him!  How he purses his doggie lips into a perfect little circle and cries is amazing.  And for the perfect ending, he goes into a howl, throwing that Scottie head back.  All before I have even touched him!  Once I get started though, he quits crying and licks my hand.  Then when I am completely done and let him outside, he runs around the yard barking like crazy as if he's tattling on me to the whole neighborhood.  He does this every single time!   

Tomorrow I'll start quilting.  My thread came in today so once my morning chores are done, I'll be quilting.  At least that's the plan! 


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Scottish Weekend!

We had such a good time at the Highland Games yesterday.  We missed the opening ceremony with the Parade of the Clans and the Scottish Dog Parade due to unavoidable Army business that my husband had to do, but we enjoyed visiting the booths, listening to the music, and watching the games.  My husband met up with his friends.   A reporter was out at the games, saw them talking, (I'm sure it's because they make a striking group!) and took their picture.  They may be in next week's paper!  That's my husband on the far right. 

This little girl was thoroughly enjoying the music!  She was almost more entertaining than the band!  She was twirling and jumping around...oh, to have that energy!

Here is a Viking explaining sword techniques to a couple of future warriors, I'm sure!

The competitors come from all over the country.  There were more competitors in the games this year than in previous years.  Man, are these guys big!  One of the games is the sheaf toss.  The sheaf weighs 16 pounds and the bar keeps getting raised!  The bar eventually was removed and the guys threw over the line connecting the two poles at the top. That was 36 feet!  A competitor in the over 50 age group has the world record. 

This "game" is tossing a 42 pound weight over bars that also keep being raised.  This was the last game and the guys were getting tired.  That's a lot of weight to be throwing around! 

Other games were the caber toss, the 16 pound hammer throw, a 26 and a 56 pound weight for distance, the braemer stone (an 18 pound stone thrown like a shot put), just to name a few.  These guys are serious athletes. 

Maggie and Fergus had a wonderful time too.  They get so much attention!  People stop us to take their picture and pet them.  Fergus acts like he's royalty!  When we were sitting watching the games or listening to the band, he would start to act a little restless.  I quickly discovered what he wanted...a walk around the grounds so he could be loved and adored by all the people!  You should have seen him struttin' his stuff!  It was so obvious what he was thinking, at least to us! 

To continue our Scottish weekend, my husband made a Scottish breakfast:  porridge and haggis!  Yum!

This was a good weekend!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Ready to Quilt

I have been sewing like crazy to get the top of this quilt done!  Yesterday, I put the borders on, and off, as I had to unsew one side after cutting the inside border the wrong width.  I hate when that happens!  I even had it written down on my paper as to what width it needed to be and I still cut it wrong!  Today, I did my quilt aerobics and pinned all the layers together. 

I won't get much sewing done this's the Highland Games Weekend!  We  go every year and have a great time... eating Scottish food, listening to Celtic music, and watching Scottish games!  And of course, we take Maggie and Fergus!   It's always a fun day!

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