into the heart of a friend

If, instead of a gem
or even a flower,
we could cast the gift
of a lovely thought
into the heart of a friend,
that would be giving
as angels give.
--george macdonald, 1824-1905
A gift of a lovely thought. This vintage hanky is from a lovely blogirl-friend, Marlene. I met this woman through her lovely blog & laugh out loud at her funny, funny insights into every day living and wipe a tear for her heart-tugging endearments.

And she sends me this. Does she know that vintage hankies have such a fond place in my heart? I collect these! I love these! I cherish these with every particle of my collecting self!

Ah. Such blessings. From such a beautiful friend.


sewing & mending

These last few days before we gather together to give thanks -- I am spending in front of my sewing machine. Yay. I think I might just get this 'Pumpkin Crazy' wall-hanging completed before Thursday!

And yes, if you know me, the most troublesome part of completing something like this is -->the quilting. Between the thread breaking & a complete tangle of threads on the bottom.... I. don't. like. this. part. I know I must be doing something wrong. It is such a hair-pulling endeavor.........and I see all of your quilts and your beautiful quilted stitches -- oh, please, zap some of your gifted sewing talent my way!

Hmmm. Or I wonder. Can Santa fit a long-arm in his sleigh?


As for the mending --

Jake is indeed mending after his hit-and-run accident. (Sheesh! Who hits a dog and just drives away?) He is slowly healing and gaining back his playfulness -- much to the delight of everyone in this household.



Being thankful for ~


I am paper-piecing these pumpkins with scraps from my fabric stash & using the 'Pumpkin Crazy' pattern from the Nov. 08 issue of this magazine ~

I am hoping to get this wall-hanging done just in time for Thanksgiving....but hopes aren't necessarily a reality in my world. (On a more personal level --> our Golden Retriever, Jake was hit by a car yesterday and the event has been a devastating detour in our somewhat 'normal' family' life. He is recuperating on the couch and thank goodness we have 3 Florence Nightengales -- in the form of 3 children -- who see to it that all of his needs are being met.)

And seeing my fingers doing something with needle or thread calms & soothes the pains that make their way into that thing called---> LiFe.

Still. I am thankful for so much. And yes, w/ smile on my face, I am thankful for all of the friendships from you, dear readers!


catchin' up on Christmas

WARNING---> If you are related to me & your name starts with a B, E or L --->StOp reading now!
I am catching up on Christmas gifts & am in the process of finishing these cross-stitch items for my favorite sisters-in-law and mother-in law. The black & white stitching is going to be a biscornu -- French for a 'quirky, little pincushion with 8 sides'. Because 'L' is soooooo into beading, I will be making a matching scissors fob to go with this pincushion so she can take these to all of her beading classes -- and for those times she sets up 'beading camp' on the dining room table as soon as a family meal has been cleared.

'B' has a love for goldens that almost surpasses our love for this beautiful dog, so when I saw this pattern I just knew that this would become a pillow for her....and most likely her dogs. Hey, she leaves the TV on for them while she is at work -- so providing a stitched pillow is almost a requirement for them......

And here is a blue-bird with apple blossoms that will become some sort of something for 'E'. She is so sad that their cat has chased away all of these birds from their feeders, so I tried to capture their beauty in this stitching. I'm not sure how to finish this, but hopefully an idea will spring forth before the mad dash for getting all of my gifts done hits me on the head-- that mad dash usually hits about the 20th of December. But.....

ThIs YeAr WiLl Be DiFfErEnT!


simply friendship

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: What is the secret of your life?
Tell me, that I may make my life beautiful, too.

Charles Kingsley: I had a friend.

This from my friend, Kris, Quilted Simple.

Simply beautiful.

Simply thoughtful.

Simply a quilted gesture from a beautiful friend.
Thank you. Oh. ThAnK yOu!
And what makes this even more special is that I have never met Kris, I have never personally spoken to her, yet -- she has touched me with the gift of a simple friendship.

And -- I have a special request for all of you -- yes, even those who do not leave comments....*grin*

If you do happen to make one of these flowers, please post your pics of your fabric flower here. I would love to see them!


fabric flower tutorial

Many of you asked me where I got the fabric, pattern & flower for this bag.

Fabric: top edge from denyse schmidt and bottom flower fabric from Walmart.

Pattern: from my head which is just swimming with pictures & patterns that I have seen in the countless books, magazines I have or even from women carrying them in stores, restaurants, church etc....

Fabric Flower: from a book that came from my beautiful Grandma Anna. I don't even remember the name of the book, but I do remember the fabric flower.

Here is the tutorial for

anna's flower

Begin by choosing your fabric. One color, two colors --- doesn't matter.

Trace a circle on your fabrics. This one is approx. 4 1/2 in. in diameter.

I usually cut out 4 circles from one fabric and 4 circles from another fabric.

Find the center by ironing a crease down the middle.

And using ruler & rotary cutter, cut down the center of all the circles.

Your half circles.

Fold each half circle in 1/2, wrong sides together.

Sew approx. 1/4 in. seam down the straight edge. Feed all the 'petals' through your machine w/o cutting the thread.

A petal necklace.....

Clip the threads that join these petals. Turn right side out.

Begin Bottom Layer of Flower

Use upholstery thread and stitch a running stitch on the bottom curve of each 'petal'.

Add your next 'petal' with that same running stitch.

Keep adding 'petals' to this same length of thread, alternating the fabric. I use 9 half circles for this bottom layer of the flower.

Pull tightly on the thread to form the flower. Secure with backstitches. Leave a 8 in. tail when cutting thread.

Top Layer of Flower

Repeat steps for top layer of flower as you did with the bottom flower. I use 6 'petals' for the top layer. Leave a 8 in. tail when cutting thread.

Using the 8 in. tail of thread, stitch the top layer to the bottom layer of fabric flower. Do not cut threads. You will use this thread to secure the button.

Use a button for the center of the flower. Fabric covered, or your choice of button/bead etc.

Using the 8 in. tail of your thread, sew button to the center of the flower.

Bring both threads to back, tie knot to secure.

Trace a circle on felt to cover the back center --messy thread part!-- and using fabric glue, attach circle to back of flower. Add a pinback if you choose.

...and you have a

flower from anna's garden.


it's a middle child thing

Our middle child tends to go without. She does this, I think, partly because she does not want to be demanding or nagging. Or maybe it's because we middle children are somehow programmed at birth to be sooooooooo accommodating & non-demanding.


But when I saw her school bag and saw how torn & ratty it had become, I gave her a stack of books & pictures to browse through for some idea for a new school bag. Just for her.

She paged & paged and looked & looked. She then rough cut a pattern from paper and glued yarn for the right length for the strap. And using fabric that was in my stash -- this is what I/we came up with.

She hasn't seen it yet, but it's hanging on her chair for when she comes home from school.

And, oh, boy, I can almost hear her older sister now -- cue that pre-recorded/highly used phrase -- but that's not fair.........