Reflections/ #AtoZChallenge

Creativity can get stale, stagnant and cause a mental ‘writer’s block’ of sorts at times. In my REFLECTIONS post for the 2017 A to Z Challenge, I’m going to share some things that I’ve accomplised in the week since the end of April.

But first, I’m going to wish my husband a Happy 30th Wedding Anniversay as this is today. We’ll be celebrating later on in the week but I had to throw that in there. He has been my biggest advocate in The Challenge each year. Just when I think I am not going to go forward with it, he’s right there cheering me on. He even helps me catch up on the household chores in the evening just when I think I’ll never make the necessary adjustments to one of the letter posts in time. Everyone has a letter that stumps them and causes us to put it off until the very last moment. Thanks to my hubby for being there to give my mind time to work it out.

Back to the accomplishments. I haven’t written a line since April 30th. I have taken the needed break that many find rewarding after such an intense writing event. It’s not my usual practice to blog every day. The combination of blogging and quilting made it even more intense, even though I worked ahead most of the time. Working full time and blogging daily is indeed an Olympic-style event for me.

To return to my regular routine, there was the crochet,Reflections4

This is a crochet round made with a new ‘scrubby’ yarn. I’ve been giving a few out to try out as both dish washing and showering/bathing use. The results have been good for both. It’s just a matter of personal preference. The yarn comes in many colors so I look for these to be a hot item this coming year as a gift item.

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And then there was more quilting. This is my latest project that is waiting for a ‘name sash’. I will be embroidering it and inserting it in the quilt. This is a special request and I’m trying very hard not to rush this one. Some things need careful planning.

In the middle of The Challenge, there was a custom order. I’m very thankful for #1, the patience of the customer, and #2, the volunteer model who helped me out in a pinch. The timing worked out in the end and I think everyone was happy. Thank Heaven!

As for the Challenge itself and the changes in posting technique, I found it worked out very well. I didn’t run across but maybe 1 or 2 blogs that weren’t legitimately participating. There weren’t near as many participants this year, true. But I found it pretty nice to see the conformists running the show and being fine with the changes. In the end, I am happy for the Team Leaders who run the show and were able to have a much less stressful event. Kudos to you all and many thanks for a great year!

 

 

Zenobia’s Puzzle/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

Puzzle:  From Merriam-Webster

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1:  to be uncertain as to action or choice

  3. 2:  to attempt a solution of a puzzle by guesswork or experiment

I had an uncertain day today. A basement trying to flood due to a tremendous amount of rain kept us on the edge of our seats all day. We are lucky to have 2 sump pumps in our basement. Without them, there would not be a post for letter Z. At least not like this one and probably wouldn’t be a timely one. So we thank the Lord above for this blessing and we send our prayers out to all who have suffered much more in the flooding going on currently in the Midwest.

Zenobia'sPuzzleCollage

Zenobia’s Puzzle may have something to do with a Queen of the Palmyrene Empire. She ruled an impressive area during the 3rd century. Maybe this block is in honor of her?

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For me it’s a Letter Z quilt block and fits my needs for the Challenge.

I’m finishing this year with a little vote. I hope you’ll take part and let me know your preference on which color below should be used to join the A to Z quilt blocks. Just leave your choice in the comments.AtoZVoteImage

I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who stopped by, followed along, left comments, or just peeked in to see what I’ve been up to. Your presence is appreciated. I’d also like to send out my thanks to those in charge of the blog challenge itself. Your organization of this yearly event is applauded!

Quote: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.                   John F. Kennedy

Year’s Favorite/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

If you search ‘Favorite’ on Pinterest, you get a slew of favorites from the whole wide world. The same goes with other search engines across the Internet. The possibilities are endless. But add “Year’s” to the search and it narrows down only slightly. I could list favorite recipes, quotes (but I’m already doing that daily), spaces, clothes, movies, blogs, actors, restaurants, songs, singers and on and on and on. But for today, I’m sharing a tune from my ‘Gibson’ for my favorite girls, my beautiful daughters. I’m proud of you both and come what may, you will always be my favorites!

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As for the Year’s Favorite Quilt block,…..

YearsFavoriteFramed

It’s a favorite for sure!

Quote as promised:

 In the end, it’s not the year’s in your life that count,  It’s the life in your years.   Abraham Lincoln

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

Path Through The Woods for X/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

My childhood home was at the edge of the woods. NellieFramedI would often wander into them, following a path worn down over the years by our horse, Nellie. As children, my sister and I would hop on without the saddle (bareback) most times because she was pretty good at holding her breath. In case you aren’t aware, horses do that so you can’t get the saddle cinched up tight. That leads to the saddle slowly sliding sideways and you dropping off onto the ground. Not a very dignified way to find yourself. We were just lucky she always stopped and didn’t run off with us halfway on and off. No morbid tales to tell here . I think the lesson learned here was Trust and Patience. We had to be patient as she would side-step away as we tried to hop on. In the meantime, she learned to trust that we just wanted to enjoy her company. And we always had a sugar cube to sweeten the deal.

Friendship is like that. No motives. Just enjoying the companionship. I’m a firm believer in this quote: “We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our paths for a reason.” Author Unknown

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This was not an easy block. Ripping out a couple sections taught me to read twice, sew once. I gave my Patience and Trust to the book author that this had been done before. I will survive this Challenge with so many new blocks under my belt. I feel pretty exuberant about this let me tell ya. Mom, all those tears cried while sewing for 4-H have paid off!

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So the X in Path Through the Woods reminds me of paths taken, friendships formed and kept, as well as those walked away from. Kind of bittersweet at times, but mostly good.

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

West Wind/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

WestWind2 windmill

West wind is considered the mildest and most favorable of the wind movements. The heralder of light spring and early summer breezes in Greek mythology is known as Zephyrus. Wind definitely has a part to play in weather changes and I thought some weather superstitions would be appropriate for this post.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.” Thin, wispy clouds are good picnic indicators. Remember Mother’s Day is not far off.

Clear moon, Frost soon.” We are not in the clear yet in Central Missouri for a late spring frost. Keep an eye on the weather forecast.

When clouds appear like towers, the earth is refreshed by showers.” A sure sign that April is here are those spring showers.

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.” Meaning, rain is West of your location.

And for the sake of a “Quilt’s and Quotes” theme, we’ll move on even though we hear many others here in the rural heartland of the country. I welcome you to share yours in the comments.

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Introducing the West Wind quilt block. It was one of the easiest and at this point in the quilt-making, I’m pretty darn thankful for that. I have had to set aside a bit of extra time for hemming prom dresses, creating a custom order from the Etsy shop, and will soon return to finishing a wedding signature quilt. I am a bit panicked but things are going to be ok.

WestWindframed

I really like it when the cutting plan in the book gives you pieces for 2 blocks. (Hint, Hint to any future quilt book writers out there.)  Any extras are a good start for other projects.

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

Vermont/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

For Letter V, the book I used gave me a couple choices for the quilt block. I chose this one because I liked the pattern best. The way it’s designed, there seem to be V’s all over it kind of like those ‘how many squares can you find’ puzzles.

Vermont collageImage

I’m keeping this post short and sweet because I’m pretty sure I know very few things about Vermont other than they have gorgeous fall color and that I’d love to visit. It’s on my bucket list.

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My Quote today is for the V in LoVe:

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

Ann Landers

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

Union/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

In 2001 Lech Walesa was a keynote speaker at a pre-graduation lecture that my husband was invited to at The University Of Central Missouri (UCM). We both had tickets to attend. Unaware there would be a meet & greet afterwards, we didn’t take a camera. Unfortunately, there weren’t phones with cameras then. It came to my turn in line and I spoke to him through a translator. I said, “My father was a Union man and really admired you.” He answered me in clear English, “Your father was a good man.”  I was so in awe of the moment that all speech left me. The gravity of meeting such a huge icon of history, not to mention a Nobel Peace Prize Winner blew me away . And I got an autograph and went to sit down to eat cake. I can visualize my dad poking my rib asking me what the heck?! But with much more colorful metaphors.

The lead-up to this story goes back to my childhood in the 70’s, the CBS news with Walter Cronkite, my father’s membership in the AFL-CIO (union), and the Polish “Solidarity” movement. We payed very close attention to the news, watching history unfold. Our discussions molded my thinking of the treatment of the common working man/woman. The support from our country’s unions extended to theirs was something he was very proud of. For all the working class, I present this block.

UnionCollage

First I have the pattern layout in the book showing that this is for a single block. Lots of prepping for this one. But pretty easy to complete. I’d make more of these without hesitation. Just not this month 😉

Unionframed

un·ion
noun
  1. the action or fact of joining or being joined, especially in a political context.
    Quote: “The fall of the Berlin Wall makes for nice pictures. But it all started in the shipyards.”       Lech Walesa
    Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

True Blue/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

This is inevitable. There are Royals fans in the house. Fans from the beginning. I used to thumb-tac baseball cards to my paneled walls back in my teen years. I probably committed sacrilege unknowingly at the time. But to this girl, it was better than a Teen Magazine poster. Who needed Leif Garrett or Shawn Cassidy? I had George Brett, Amos Otis, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry and many more. Can you say plastered on a wall?? That was me.

Not a tomboy. Just a girl who couldn’t play ball due to bad knees. So I did the next best thing — cheer on my Boys in Blue.

Enter the era of my daughters. Ball became a huge part of their upbringing with games each and every summer until they outgrew the Girls Softball League. Now we attend the games and wear our gear and decorate the home to show our pride.

Royals2014Image

We want to extend our deepest sympathies to each and every one feeling loss this season of  ‘The Ace’. Some moments above captured on Memorial Day the year before our Big Win.

This True Blue quilt block was in the book.

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The author has my appreciation for providing the best name ever in a quilt block!

Pardon my level of maturity. I really am a huge fan. Ask my sister. 😉 There are a few witnesses to say the least.

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Quote:

Tony Muser: “There are 50 games a year when you beat the crap out of them, and there’s 50 games a year when they beat the crap out of you. The rest are swing games. You’ve got to win these games if you are going to win.”

And one more for good measure:

Charlie Lau: “There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them works.”

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

Southern Belle/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

Davy Crockett has become a favorite in the hearts and minds of two of my daycare brothers. At least the song. You see, their dad has used it as a ‘lullaby’ for them to settle in with at bedtime. And when they come to my home for daycare, they are singing it to the infants whenever they are crying. My family thinks it’s the sweetest thing ever. So I’ve recorded it for your listening pleasure.

The only connection here with “Southern Belle” quilt block is the fact that Davy Crockett was born in Tennessee, a Southern state. So with that connection, we’re going with it.

SouthernBelleCollage

And yet another single, 6-inch block for the upcoming quilt top. Sometimes, I have to wonder about the name choices for these blocks and the ‘why’. I have not a clue what was going through their minds to give it this name. But it will be a pretty addition and I will now always think of Benson and Hudson and Davy Crockett when I see this block.

SouthernBelleframed

They have that Southern Charm, believe me!

Join me again next week for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!

Railroad Crossing/#AtoZChallenge

During the month of April, I’m participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for my 4th year in a row – 3 of which are on this blog. Each day, except Sundays, there will be a post for the letter of the day as well as keeping with my personal theme of Quilts and Quotes. Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! Also check out the other A to Z’ers in the comment section of the Official A to Z Blog Page.

Sedalia, Missouri’s rich railroad background is evident in many business names. There’s the Katy Trail Community Health, Katy Trail Children’s Center, Katy Park Baptist Church, Katy Motors, as well as Kehde’s (say Kay-dees) Restaurant which features a train car dining area. There are more but you get the idea. Recently I found someone on Facebook had shared some old pictures of the M.K.T Shops. Many thanks to them!

Mktshops

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Our family connection to the Shops goes back to my husband’s Grandfather, my Uncle and I’m sure there are many more I’m not aware of. I have a rather large extended family.  I would love to have seen the place in its hayday. Now it’s just a fraction of what it was then. Much of it torn down or abandoned.

The Railroad Crossing block has come in different variations, changing with the times and/or interpretation.

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Mine was from the book, naturally, to keep the size consistent with the previous ones.

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Here’s my finished block.

RailroadCrossingFramed

I could see a whole quilt with this one turn out beautifully.

Some sage advice in today’s quote: RailroadWillRogers

Photo taken at the 3rd & Engineer crossing in Sedalia, Missouri, April 2017

Join me again tomorrow for more of the April A to Z Blog Challenge 2017!