Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Quilting~Orange

Saturday was quilting day and most of us were working on the Buggy Barn quilts we worked on last month. I finished embellishing my blocks last month with stitches, so all I had to do was square them up, which was what I finished in no time at all, but I was not prepared for any other quilting, so I was lazy and didn’t do anything after that. I need a huge floor space to lay out my quilt to decide the layout of the squares, so I will do that later…whenever the urge hits me. Hmmm…wonder when that will be. I have been quite short on ambition lately………


Leslie and Margaret were busy working on their blocks, and Polly had just finished cutting her quilt out, as she missed last month. 20151003_133540_resized

Christie worked on her Buggy Barn and Renea had another project she was working on. I did not get any photos of KT, and Ronelle, Kate and Patty were unable to make it. We missed them.


Renea’s husband Doug made us Double Decker Chocolate cake. Yummmmm. I won’t tell you how many pieces of cake I had. Embarrassed smile The platter was full!


Renea and I got lots of nice gifts, (I did not take any pictures at the moment we opened them) but here was my pile of gifts.


Leslie brought Renea and I both some beautiful fresh flowers.


Margaret won the draw last month and chose Orange. I love all the fabrics and the colors went very well with our flowers!


Louie and I went junkin after quilting, and I found this pumpkin pincushion. Just perfect for this time of year.


On the way home, we stopped to see my sister and her baby grandson Eliljah, who I am SO in love with. I needed a baby fix. He wasn’t feeling the best, but we did manage to make some ‘raspberries’ together, (please disregard the old woman in the picture and just focus on that cute baby!) and I got to kiss those soft little cheeks and give him lots of hugs. I love that little man!


Sunday I put out my fall basket of flowers and added my birthday flowers and pincushion with them. That’s it for fall decorating here!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

September Quilting~Buggy Barn Crazies~Jewel Tones

September 19th brought our little quilting group back together after a 3 month break, and the project we worked on was a quilt called Crazies, by The Buggy Barn Company. When we started our little group in August of 2000, this is the first quilt we all made. It was fun! We decided to do it again.


As I was setting up for quilting, I was trying to decide how much space we would need, so I brought out my little blue card table that we shortened for another purpose, and I needed to raise it back up to normal height. Hmmm…what can I use? I wonderLight bulb……let’s try upside down cones of thread!  Perfect….and colorful! Rolling on the floor laughing


The pattern is a ‘stack and whack’ pattern, cutting through layers of 4-6 at a time, or whatever your preference is, . After you get all layers cut, you ‘rotate’ the stacks so all the fabrics on each layer are different.  We have found that the LARGEST pizza box that Godfather’s Pizza has, works perfect!! The template for the blocks is 15 1/2 inches, I think, if I remember right. Godfather’s has always been very generous by helping quilters out!




It was fun to see all the fabric choices everyone had made, and the end result. Each block in this quilt will be different. No two will be alike.


Patty was the first to show her finished block, and she needed to leave a little early, so I snapped this photo before she left. I can almost see a star pattern in this block.


The rest of us laid our quilt blocks out later. From top left, the blocks belong to Renea, Michelle, Christie, bottom row, KT, Leslie, and Margaret. Renea used pinks and browns, I chose fabrics that blended well with my furniture, and Christie chose blues and browns. KT used batiks, Leslie chose her fabrics by ‘shapes’, and Margaret said she just ‘kind of pulled’ fabrics. Well, it looks like ‘just pulling’ worked well Margaret!


I have a confession to make. Everyone else started their quilts from the beginning. I had a quilt in progress from a couple years ago. All the blocks were sewn, but I had been working on embellishing seams. I had put it away and had to find it, but I finally did, so I finished embellishing the seams. Now I plan on working on finishing it.

This year we are doing something different with our fabric exchange. For the past 15 years, we have exchanged fat quarters, with the winner who chose the fabric, getting double fat quarters. This year, a few of us were considering dropping out of the fabric exchange because we are ALL ‘well stocked’. A different idea came up to still have a fabric exchange, but just for the winner of the draw. Our original plan was to just bring one fat quarter each month for the winner, then another idea came up to exchange ONE YARD (or two half yards, or 4 FQs…we aren’t picky!) of fabric or pull from our stash. It makes it more economical to exchange one yard, rather than 2 1/2 yards for FQs, and this way, ONCE A YEAR, with everyone exchanging, the winner will receive NINE YARDS of fabric Rolling on the floor laughing

KT was our first winner, and she chose jewel tones. We had a couple girls who were unable to be with us yesterday, so KT will get a couple more fabrics next time. Aren’t they beautiful?


My day ended perfectly with a visit from my grand nephew and his grandma (Sissypoo)…..



…and watching Do You Believe on Blue Ray. A perfect day!


Friday, September 11, 2015

The Happiest Day of My Life~ September 11, 1975

Forty years ago today at approximately 3:30 pm, Louie and I said our ‘I do’ ‘s’ in the Galena, Illinois courthouse. We were accompanied by our friends Diane and Steve, who were also a couple. We were to be married by the Justice of the Peace, but he was not available. I panicked. Thank the Lord though, a Circuit Judge married us. I giggled from nerves all the way from the beginning to the ‘I now pronounce you man and wife’. I was one month away from being 18 years old.


This announcement should have also mentioned my father, Sanford McClure, who passed away when I was 12, and Louie’s father Emil Bartels, who passed away when Louie was 6. Both of our mothers remarried.


This is us today. Forty years later, and I am just as much, or MORE in love than the day I took his last name. Thank you Lord Jesus for choosing Louie for me. I prayed for a man just like him when I was 13, and He delivered.


We are taking some vacation days this week and just spending time together. We don’t have any big plans, just doing whatever. No schedules, no pressures, no far away destinations. Yesterday we went to Dubuque and ate at Pizza Ranch. In case we weren’t sure before, we now know. We are old. We got the Senior Discount!!!!


I’d be really happy if the Lord blessed us with 40 more years, but I know that is probably pretty unrealistic, so I’m going to ask God for another 25 years, AT LEAST. Red heart

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Shaw-Walker Card Catalog File Cabinet~~Shipshewanna


In August, Louie and I took a little two day trip to Shipshewanna, Indiana for a nice little getaway and to see a Gaither Vocal Band Concert in the event center. Now most people who go to Shipshewanna go the auctions and shop all the little shops in Shipshewanna. Nope. Not us. We looked for all the thrift shops and flea markets in the surrounding areas. I found this little gem in an indoor flea market. I think in Elkhart. Don’t quote me. Looks pretty sad, doesn’t it, but it was HEAVY! I was very excited, and Louie saw the vision of a ‘refinish’.



Louie started with a complete teardown so he could reglue it after the finish was removed.


As he started removing the finish, he found this Shaw-Walker decal under the blackened finish. Of course, this was not salvagable.





Yes, this side has quite a bit of ‘character’.


Isn’t the dovetailing and contrast in the color of the wood pretty with the staining and first coat of finish?





We even found a new decal to put back on it.



The drawers were missing the rods and knobs that went through the cards, so I found some small knobs and Louie inserted them into some wooden plugs he made for the open holes in the fronts of the drawers. He also shined up the pulls. He then wanted to put four words of inspiration inside the pull openings. He chose Live Love Laugh Believe.


I set it on top of my end table next to my chair where I can look at it from across the room from where I normally sit. It will be my constant reminder of the time we spent in Shipshewanna and better than any souvenir I could have ever chosen. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Porch-Update

July 30th….

We added rails!


Surprise!!! No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I just have been tired. I work, then come home at night and sit. I have been going through medication adjustments, and my ‘get up and go’ has gone AWOL. Hopefully that will all be fixed soon…..or maybe it’s just laziness. Who knows? I mostly have been posting on FB. It’s quick, and addictive.

Anyway, we did an upgrade to our porch! I am so excited, and loving it!! We did this last weekend. So glad we did, because today was rainy and tomorrow is supposed to be too.


Years ago, (and this is even after an upgrade from the brown siding and green astro turf, I painted the brick on the planter to blend in with the new siding. Here is what it looked like before. I wish I could find my photo album of the house when we first bought it so I could show you what it looked like back then.


The carpet was wearing out, and we never were happy with the ‘platform’ we built to step up into the house.  Before we moved in, people just had to take a HUGE step up into the house from the porch . People have tripped or fallen off the platform, and we have contemplated for years what we could do differently than carpet that would be safe. This year, the idea came into my head to build a ‘deck’ over the original porch floor and raise it up so when we stepped out onto the porch floor it was be just about the same level as the floors in the house, and the porch floor would be all one level, then build a step the width of the porch.

There are a lot of photos, and here is the transformation. Enjoy the process. Louie and my brother Jack did this all in about 6 hours.

The materials arrived from Lowe’s on Tuesday June 30th.


Because we were going to be raising the porch floor about 8 inches, we bought 12” pavers and stacked them on top of the brick planter, which would eventually become more of a bench.


Years ago, we piled a lot of rock on top of the dirt, so Louie removed a 5 gallon bucket of river rock and put some smaller pavers in there for a base for the pavers he would stack on top.

20150703_201515 Louie used liquid nails to secure them so they wouldn’t move around.



On July 4th, the project began by building the framework for the ‘deck’.


It took Louie, Jack, my sisterinlove Polly and I to set it in place on the porch. With the new frame, we actually made the porch floor longer front to back than it originally was. They brought it out to the edge of the brick planter.




Looking out from inside the house.


Building the step.




Finishing up the floor.



This is how the porch looked this week, until Wednesday night.


On Wednesday night, our friend Jeff picked up our custom cut 2’ x 8’ x 2” piece of Indiana limestone on his way home from work. It took 6 men to lift it out of the truck and place it on top of the pavers.


After they left, I got out my can of paint and painted the pavers and the lower piece of limestone.


I can’t begin to tell you how much I love my porch going from this……

barn quilt 010[3]

To this. #onehappygirl!!!!


Update July 30: We added handrails tonight. Smile




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