All smiles!

This big smile is because I am on my way to see some of my quilting friends. Only six of us can be in the room at the same time, but I can’t wait to see their smiling faces… Or at least they’re pretty masks!

And as expected, it was a sweet time!!!

What makes you smile these days?

Thank you!!

I wanted to make something to send to Darlene, who had so graciously invited us into her home and family!! She and I had talked about an affinity for sunflowers so that made the idea a no-brainer!!

I first picked a background fabric and some 3 inch squares to play with…..

When I laid them out in the basic shape, I got excited about how it could look…..

I cut out the pieces and laid it out again before fusing……

Next I wanted to add a narrow border of some sort so auditioned several different possibilities….

….but none were that exciting.

Then I decided to pull out the color wheel and look for a color opposite to the background and found…..

Now that is an idea that I really like!!!

Then, I decided to only put it on two sides of the piece to balance it better.

Now it was time to add some oomph to the sunflower and I enjoyed enhancing it with machine embellishments and hand embroidery…..

The final touch was to quilt the background and add a binding…..

The red border is a little wonky (and for some reason it isn’t this noticeable in the actual piece) but, overall, I am happy with this quick and easy Thank you gift!!!

Happy 100th!!

Today would have been the 100th birthday for a wonderful man named Grover Edward Swinson. He was my father and he passed away almost 21 years ago…..I still miss him!!

I have the cancelled check that was written to pay the Doctor who brought him into the world…..

Yes, he was paid $25 for the privilege of giving my Dad his first spanking!!!

He met my mother (Lois Frances Langston) in 1938. When I was cleaning out the house I found this stone that my Dad had engraved….

They were married for almost 60 years.

He was a sports nut, especially when kids were involved.  He coached Pony League Baseball before I was born and had photos of all of his teams. Many of those boys grew up to be men who were leaders in the area. I think that my Dad helped to push each of them forward.

When I was a kid, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for girls to be involved in sports,  but he made sure that I knew how to catch and throw a softball and that I understood all of the rules to Football, Baseball and Basketball!!! 

He taught me how to drive and I spent many weekends going with him to our farm (30 miles away) just so that I could drive.  He laughingly said that he was going to enjoy the time while he could because he knew that I wouldn’t be going with him once I got my driver’s license.  I remembered those words and enjoyed that time with my kids as well.

He encouraged me to be involved and active. When I got joined the pep-squad, he was always there in the parents section yelling for the team too.  When I played in piano recitals he patiently sat and listened even though he would much rather have been listening to Porter Waggoner and Dolly Parton.

He insisted that we take vacations each summer and, although he said that I slept thru most of the car trips, I still have some wonderful memories of those times….

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He ran a gas station on a prominent corner in Abilene, Texas and many of my friends and fellow students would go by and talk to him. Michael has always said that he could be a Crotchity old guy but he made Michael feel comfortable as a part of the family. Michael says that my Dad taught him how to be a good Father-In-Law!!

He was a handy-man deluxe and I spent many, many hours in the garage helping him with his various projects.  I think of him every time I  need to pry something apart (he had a wonderful lecture on using levers), spackle a hole in the wall, or fix a venetian blind.  Most of these projects were performed while listening to the Houston Astro’s on the radio. He used to quiz me about what could happen on the next play and wouldn’t be happy until I worked thru ALL of the possible options.

He loved his farm and especially his cows which were basically just pets……

He loved his Grandkids and was so proud of them.  He loved it when they got old enough to  start playing baseball and softball.  When Brian decided to switch to Soccer, Dad immediately started to watch it on TV and learn the rules to the game.  Unfortunately, he never got to see Brian play in person, although he did enjoy a few videos.

His health deteriorated and he was seldom able to play with the kids, but he loved to watch them when they were visiting.  He always talked about the day that he told Jenny to “choke up on the bat” and then she went out and hit a home run!!

Jenny continued to play Fastpitch and Dad’s service flag was hung at Warrior field during all of the home games of her Senior Year…..

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She said that it felt like he was there too!! 

He was affectionately known as “Uncle Buddy” to all of my cousins and I remember the fun that we had at the funeral home remembering all of his antics….. 

…..that is what I am remembering now!!!

Making Perfect Applique Circles

As I mentioned in my previous “Planning” post, I am back to working on the Color Wheel quilt and making MANY, MANY more circles.

The next post will be about my new corner design….hint….it looks NOTHING like what I had planned to do, but today I made a video about using the Karen Kay Buckley templar templates.

Enjoy…….

This is such an easy method and I am SO excited to have this skill in my “toolbox”!!!!

Passing along the passion……

Several weeks ago a young friend contacted me and said that she was wanting to do some sewing and could she find a decent machine for under $100. As I prepared to write back, I started thinking about my old Singer machine that was my THIRD machine and hadn’t been used in years…..

So, instead of telling her what kind of machine to buy, I packed mine up and sent it to her. But I couldn’t just send the machine, I had to send the box of goodies…..

…..a pin cushion that I made about 15 years ago…..

…and a few extra rulers, scissors, rotary cutters, quilting supplies, etc…..

And, of course, there needed to be something to wrap and protect the goodies…..

EVERYTHING that I sent was something extra and it felt so good to move it out of my life and into someone else’s!!!!

I can’t wait to see where this leads…..

The Not-Negative Post

Yes……the double negative was on purpose!!

Four days ago, on April 15th, I was in a funk. It was the original tax deadline day and I was NO WHERE near finished. I was feeling like there was a big rock sitting on my chest that simply wouldn’t budge.

I sat at my computer and wrote a VERY negative post…..and then deleted it the next day!!!!

But since then, the rock has slowly, ever slowly, started to budge. I am finally getting tax returns finished, Financial Statements issued and 3 clients have received the Small Business Administration Loans that will help their businesses to survive!!

My mood was also lifted by receiving this sweet note in the mail…..

….made by one of the wonderful university students from our Church.

Then there is this gorgeous lily blooming in the back yard…..

…..these two deer crossing the road on our walk (followed by yet another one)……

And, finally, finding the PERFECT Zoom meeting background screen……

What else could I want!!!!!

And, before I know it, it will be……

Folding, folding….always folding!!

This weekend I needed a break from taxes, loans and other accounting projects so decided to spend as much time as I could in my studio…..folding fabrics!!

I had originally planned to take a break from folding, but once I got started, I began to enjoy it again!!

At the end of the weekend, I had finished with the pinks and purples……

There were several pieces that puzzled me. When I held them up with the oranges, they looked pink, but when I put them with pinks, they looked orange. What is a girl to do???

There are a few that I pulled from the purple box that made me wonder if I was struggling with being color blind…..what was I thinking when I filed them previously!!

I also made a decision that the bottom shelves would house those fabrics that sort of fit into the groups that are above them but maybe contain lots of other colors too……

Blues are next……

…..but since there are FOUR boxes, I am thinking that I will be in this color family for quite a while!!!

It was good for me to take a break this weekend and now I am actually looking forward to hitting my desk again tomorrow.

I hope that your weekend provided a bit of diversion too!!

It’s a new world

As I have come to the end of this week it has been interesting to look back and contemplate the ways that the world has changed.

On Monday morning, we had to close on our home loan refinance, normally done in an office with all parties sitting around a conference table. In this instance, the closing attorney drove to our home, discretely handed us a packet containing 132 pages and then climbed back in his car. He then called us from the car and walked us thru the process of understanding and signing the myriad of documents. AMAZING!!

Then, Michael was contacted by our GP about his second Shingles vaccination. If he didn’t do it soon, he would have to start the series over again and he REALLY didn’t want to do that. He explained to the receptionist that he was in the “immune-deficient” category and that he was concerned about coming into the office. The receptionist replied that, if he would drive to the office and call in, they would send the nurse out to give the injection while he sat in his truck…..EQUALLY AMAZING!!!

Later in the day, he drove to the local package store to buy some wine and was serviced while sitting in his vehicle…..drive thru style.

Since we have had to start walking instead of using the equipment at the gym, Michael realized that he needed new running shoes. He went online shopping at one of our local stores, found the same shoes that he currently has and we are going to do curb-side pickup today to get them. We also bought a new grill online and it will be delivered (for free) this upcoming week.

It is amazing to see how people are managing to make their lives work even when the world has been turned completely upside down.

My work week has also been turned over. I would normally be focusing entirely on personal tax returns, but several of my clients have had to close operations and are worrying about their employees who aren’t getting paid and how they are going to survive. Fortunately, the US Government has presented a large relief package that allows for small business to obtain Small Business Administration (SBA) loans where the principal will be forgiven if the money is used for certain expenses. The only problem is that there is a limited amount of money available for these loans so everybody is scrambling to apply for them.

When this was announced last Friday, it seemed that many in the finance business (banks in particular) already had the details and were going into action. I started to panic a bit that I couldn’t find any information this past weekend. On Monday, I listened to my first webinar on the subject and quickly realized that NO ONE knew what they were doing and that the final regulations had not even been released yet. Since Monday, I have participated in 4 webinars and listened in on two conference calls (total of 9.5 hours) trying to understand how these new rules were going to effect my clients, both business and personal.

On Friday, about 6:00pm, the first bank started accepting applications. We had been told that it would be happening earlier so I had kept my web browser open to the site and kept refreshing the page every few minutes. Michael reminded me of the scene from “Big Bang Theory” where the guys are trying to buy Com-icon tickets….

It has been encouraging to see so many quilter’s putting their sewing skills into making masks, scrub caps and headbands as a way to support our struggling medical professionals. Again….I am amazed at the resilience of life!!

It has also been heartening to see kids playing outside, people taking walks with their families and SO many dogs being walked. And, based on the number of people that I see working in their yards, I am honestly expecting this Spring and Summer to be a confluence of flowers!!

I have been thankful for the Daffodils and Tulips that encourage me that this season is temporary and that there are better things to come!!

STAY SAFE……AND SANE!!!!!

A splitting decision….

I have enjoyed thinking about colors as I have continued to VERY SLOWLY work thru my fabrics and realized that, for the most part, the colors just naturally flow from one color to the next.

But, after I finished the Oranges, I had a decision to make……

Do I head into the reds next or should I go for browns!!

Then, as I thought more about it, I realized/remembered that Brown is not actually a color on the color wheel. I should have remembered that from my current WIP……

So….I followed the color wheel and moved into Reds. Right now I am solidly in the Pink range and boy are there a lot of shades to sort!!!

Then I have the Purples to look forward to….then the Blues…..when will this end!!!

By the way, I can’t wait to get back to this color wheel quilt and think that the next phase will be much easier when I can see all of my fabrics at the same time!!!

Problem Conquering…..

When I was going thru all of the magazines, I came across an article that included this wonderful quote……

So many of my recent projects have started with BIG unknowns in the upcoming process and it is such a good feeling to get to the end and know that I tackled those problems and CONQUERED them!!!

Here’s to continuing the conquering…..won’t you join me!!!!