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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A finish

I finished his little ditty last week while Phil was in Florida & my babies were in NJ for the birthday celebration.

I was feeling a bit blue, what with the kids growing up and all the changes.
Just getting back from my trip to see Claire and wishing she were closer....
Christmas was over and Jimmy would not be coming back home for a while...
The syracuse weather certainly hasn't helped with my mood either.

But this bright quilt has cheered me a bit.
I feel I'm on my way back from the post holiday winter darkness.

Thank God for that.
I need to get over myself.
Mopey Meg is not who I like to be.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!


19 years ago today, God sent me a surprise....

                                                        & what a great surprise it was...
                                                                         my baby...
the apple of my eye...
                                               
                                                              a blessing in my life...
                                                 
                                          so much fun in 19 years...
                                           
                                          there was baseball...
                                                               
                                          & lots of footy...


                                                 the pair was now a trio...

and so it was...

from this...
                                                                     to this...

and every second in between...it's been a great ride!

my jimmy...
my baby...
a piece of my heart...
you make me smile...
& laugh...
you care for me...
& understand...
you inspire me...
you keep me on my toes...
& keep me guessing...
you keep me going...
you are just beginning...
with still so much ahead...

i can't wait to see what life holds for you.

i'm so, so proud to be your mom.
you are a joy in my life.

i hope you can always feel how very much i love you.

"HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUGGY!"

*you'll always be my baby*





Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Toots!

Oh happy day!
It's my baby girls birthday!
Isn't she beautiful??


so sweet...
and so loved...
the best big sister...

to her 'little' brothers...


                                                             

                                                               
gorgeous and smart, too...

                                                 
always hardworking and sometimes fierce...
                                 
so many friends...

she may be small, but we couldn't be 'us' without her...


she always brings the fun...


my first born...
my only daughter...
a piece of my heart...
so cute & irresistible...
my little ball of energy...
so full of love...
my tootsie...
a joy in my life...
i'm so proud of all you are...

i thank God everyday for trusting me with her heart.

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY, KELLY!

i hope you can always feel how very much i love you.

*always follow your heart cause your heart always knows the way*




The times they are changing

"Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

It seems like just yesterday..
That they were these 3 little angels
(Ok, not angels to everyone, but they were to me)

There is so much change in my little family.
My babies are growing up...
For Pete's sake, they're adults!
Weddings are about to happen...

I'm so proud of these 3.
They have become awesome human beings.
They are my everything.
I love them so.

Still, I can't help but worry...
Will life be kind to them?
Will they keep their hearts open?
Will they make happiness?
Will they strive to make the world better in their own way?
Will they get back up when they're knocked down?
Can they stay true to themselves in this crazy world?

And my biggest concern....
Will they continue to stay close?
Will they make time for each other as life gets more complicated?
Can they keep each other in their hearts?
And be there for each other?
Will they keep Phil and I in their lives as we grow old?

Since they were itty bitty,
I always told them this one truth...
No matter what, we'll always have each other.
So long as we have that, we've got all we need.

I hope they were listening.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Modern Quilting

Today is "support your local quilt shop" day.
I bet you didn't know that.
But it really is...honest.
In honor of this awesome holiday, I am going to weigh in on modern quilts, quilters & quilting.

I've read lotsa blog posts about modern quilting.
And had lotsa conversations about it.
Some pro..some con.
All very civilized and polite.
Cause quilters, in general, are refined.

Here are my thoughts on the matter.
(I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seat waiting for this....
oh wait...
Never mind...
i keep my blog private...
Which means....
I have no followers...
so no one is even reading this....)
And yet I still continue to write...

Art is art.
It's an individual thing.
It's expressing yourself.
It's making something beautiful.
Or making a statement.
Or making waves.
Even the original quilters, who used scraps of whatever was on hand for utility quilts, made them visually appealing.
How about Gees Bend quilts?
These old time quilts have a modern feel to them.

There are many modern quilts that I love.
And there are some I find boring.
I can say this about traditional quilts as well.
It's all in the way your eye sees it.
It's called 'personal taste'.

Some 'traditional' quilters I know say modern quilting is the lazy way out.
They believe you need a plan to make a quilt.
They think modern quilters who are truly 'quilters' will find their way to piecing with a plan.
And all the others will eventually fall into another hobby.
Maybe they're right.
But I don't think so.
I think modern quilting is like modern art.
And we all know modern art is really art in modern style.

I love some of the modern quilting designs coming out of these modern quilters.
I've used them on both modern and traditional flimsies with success.
They're great textures, and texture is awesome on quilts.

I make quilts for my kids and nieces and nephews.
They are young people.
I want them to like and use the quilts I give them.
They like the geometric patterns of the modern quilting movement.
They like the randomness of improv piecing.
And the 'modern' fabric lines with fresh colors and happy prints are right up their alley.
Let's face it...thimbleberries is not for everyone.
I'm a batik-freak.
Not everyone loves batiks either.
(Although I can't see how)

I think any quilt or quilting is great.
Especially if it involves young people.
Because young folks are innovative.
And, frankly, young.
So quilting will stay alive.
For more years and generations.
Which makes me happy.
Because I love it.

I'm all for modern quilts.
Or traditional quilts.
Or scrappy quilts.
Or batik quilts. (In the interest of Full disclosure...especially batik quilts)
Or Amish quilts.
Or precisely paper pieced quilts.
Or Kaffe Fassett.
Or novelty quilts.
Or Victorian, romantic quilts.
Or thimbleberry quilts.
Or tied quilts.
Or 30's.
Or civil war.
Any and all quilt style.
Any and all style of quilter.
Whatever floats your personal quilty boat.
I'm happy to see you quilting.

Lets live and let live in our quilty commonness.
And embrace the differences between us.
Maybe the rest of the world will follow.

Now I'm off to support my LQS.
After all, it would be blasphemous to stay in on such an important day.
And, I consider it my civic duty in these tough economic times.
Nuff said.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

a week with Claire...

Each new day is another chance to change your life...
This is where I've been the last week...
visiting Claire Ella, Jeannine and Josh.
In their nice, new home in northern California.
They have great shopping....
It's convenient to get to San Francisco.  Which, by the way, is a GREAT city!
The Redwood Forest was so cool.....


 Its so hard to believe nature's beauty sometimes...
There is a nearby ranch with a petting zoo that Claire LOVED!

And, of course, some quilty shopping for me....
When you are able to stay in the home, you really feel a part of a child's life....
Thanks Jeannine, Josh and Claire for a great week.
Your gorgeous family has touched my heart.
I'm honored to have share in your happiness.
I miss you guys already!  XOXO

Even though I'm sad it's over, I feel so lucky to have been able to spend a week with Jeannine and her adorable family.
And even luckier that it was in such a great part of the country.
I'm going back there with Murray, for sure.




Back in the saddle

I had a wonderful week visiting my niece in San Francisco.
Her beautiful daughter, Claire, stole my heart.
I will devote an entire post to Claire, but first, what a day I had back in my studio.

While I was away, some longboards I ordered came in. YIPPEE!!!!!
I have this king sized UFO just waiting for the feathery one.
I want to use 2 batts, 1 wool and 1 cotton.
My freehand feathers are too tiny for this.
It would weigh a TON!

I was all geeked to load it up and get moving.
I always do a thorough cleaning at the start of each project.
OK....always is a strong word. Lets go with most of the time.

This is where the drama begins.
I'm running Lola with some WD40 to clean out the spinny part where the bobbin goes.
(I hope I'm not getting to technical on you here)
As I turn to pick up my tweezers, a piece of batt that I was holding in my hand gets sucked into the spinny thing!
Lola is now jammed with batty fuzzy messiness.
I start shaking...
(I think shaking is a sign of nerves of steel)
And crying...
(Another sign of strength)
I call Amy at APQS and nearly lose my mind waiting for a call back.
Amy has the patience of a saint and always helps me.
I post to the forum and some of my quilty friends mention the retime word.
Ghastly, horrifying, OMG!
I've really done it this time, Ollie.

Thank God Amy called back quickly.
Did I mention that APQS has the best service in the industry?
She had me remove a cover and rock the flywheel til the batt popped out.
I LOVE AMY.
She is a rock star.
She told me to go slow, clean it out and try a bobbin.
After much tweezing and WD40ing, I gather the courage to insert the bobbin and give Lola a try.
She worked!
I loaded the flimsy and am on my way.
4 rows and 2 bobbins and all is well.
I am a survivor!
And so is my beloved Lola.




Friday, January 11, 2013

Design Wall

Deciding if I should make 12 more in different, but complementary, fabrics or just leave it as a throw.
Decisions...decisions.

Luckily, I'll have a week to ponder.
In San Francisco.
With the one and only Claire Ella!!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Present

All my bloggy friends are picking one word to guide them through 2013.
I decided to join in the fun and pick one, too.
I went round and round on this.
So many inspirational words are out there.
But I have settled on PRESENT.
Here's why...
I have a busy year.
It's our first year as empty nesters.
After 28 years of kids underfoot, that, alone, is A LOT!
Phil has joined a club that he wants us to be a part of.
Enter social anxiety.
I've many trips planned to visit friends & family.
My sisters and brother..we MUST remain close.
But we live so far from each other.
Maintaining my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
I miss reading lots of books...
Empty nest means I am officially retired from mothering.
Decisions...decisions.
Should I take quilty customers?
Find a job outside the home?
My beloved Francis House commitment.
Only daughter gets married in June.
In the Bahamas!!
There is dress shopping, showers, travel arrangements.
My son, John, is engaged to be married in 2014.
Lots to think about & plan there.
Baby boy will finish his first year of university in May.
So much to support & be proud of.
Family babies....
I've a new grand nephew and a new grand niece.
In Texas!
Claire calls to me from San Francisco.
Nico.
He's a busy grown man, but I've been missing my godson, Scotty.
And, of course, my quilting.
So many promised quilts.
I have a class with the one and only Sharon Shamber.
2 quilt shows (maybe 3) that I want to attend.
A long list of to-do's.
An even longer list of UFOs.

See what I mean?
I could go on, but you get my drift.
All this..... and it's only January 9!

I chose PRESENT cause I want to stay present.
Enjoy every moment.
Give every minute of this year my undivided attention.

I can get obsessive.
I can find things to worry about.
With all that's going on, this could easily happen.
And then I get distracted.
And miss so many beautiful things.

So, this year, I am making an effort to stay 'PRESENT' in each moment.
When the kids are around, enjoy them.
At the club, meet new people without worry of what they think.
When the studio calls, lose myself there and be confident in my creativity.
At FH, see the good in each resident and make them feel love.

I know it's a tall order, especially for me.
Can I do it?
I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.

PRESENT.
I'm really gonna try!

A favorite quilt on mom's newly recovered loveseat.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

My name is Meg....

...and I'm a threadoholic.

I swore when I loaded my nephews quilt on my long arm that I was not going to over-quilt it!
I chose this design purposefully to keep it simple.
Yeah...right.
I just can't stop myself once I start.




Oh well, it may not be snugly but he'll surely not have trouble with the layers coming apart.

And I learned a lot with this quilt.
I can SID freehand with my M&M wheels.
Rulers are overrated.
Done is better than perfect.
Changing thread color is not that bad.
It's easier to rip if you keep the stitches per inch low.
It's not difficult to find a continuous path if you look at the areas perimeter instead of middle.
Magna glide bobbins are worth the extra $.

I hope he likes it.
He's turning 40 in April.
He's was always a dear boy.
Now he's a dear man.
I hope to have it bound to take with me to Florida in February.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year





Happy New Year...

appropriately, i rang in 2013 at a wedding/nye party in detroit.
what a fantastic event it was.
touching, personal, delicious, aesthetically pleasing...they got everything just right.

the bride was gorgeous...


since kelly is getting married this year, i was so happy to attend a wedding.
the mother of the bride is a dear friend from my michigan days.
she's a great gal, and i miss her.
it sure was great to see her again.
and its always fun to be with barb & tim.

there are very few things about michigan that i miss.
but these 2 ladies and their hubbys are at the top of my short list!


i also got to see some of my herman's friends from high school.
it's really amazing to see how these kids have grown into good, serious people.
and handsome, too!



because of hurricane sandy, we would have been unable to do our traditional brigantine polar plunge this year.
and i did miss being with kelly to welcome 2013.

but i had a blast with old friends.
thanks sherry, for including us.
it was a great time!