Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mikey's Walking

This was taken at his first birthday party on Sunday, June 5.  Now two days later he's proud to carry a toy and walk down the hall -- boy do they learn fast.  He did have clothes on earlier in the day -- but after he had his chocolate birthday cake he needed a quick bath!

Other news of the day:  my house is officially listed for sale as of last night.  I'm going to hate leaving this place -- my quiet spot in the country with plenty of trees and wildlife; but it is definitely apparent that I can not take care of this place alone -- my flower beds need weeding, the asparagus bed got away from me the first week I think, the grass needs mowing and I broke the riding mower and it's being fixed at the moment, lots of trimming needs to be done and I do have someone to do that for me but it's hotter than blazes this week -- at least til Thursday, so I don't want him working in the heat.  I've spent months getting the house ready for showing -- cleaning out and putting away "stuff".  I think we all probably have too much stuff and I know I do for sure!  I've sold a lot of furniture at auction, but I still have enough to fill a house.  I finally have a sewing room I love here in the basement -- but that's okay because I will definitely buy a house with a basement that's big enough to hold it all!
Speaking of which, my latest purchase was a "find" in my favorite quilt shop:  A primitive table that came from a printing company in the area.  It's huge and it's heavy (it took 4 guys to haul it into the basement).  It sits between my sewing area and the longarm, so I have all the pieces of leftover batting pieces shoved onto the shelf on the longarm side.  On the side near the sewing machines there are two drawers.  I have lots of my newest fat quarters and my baskets of sewing notions along with some extra cutting boards spread out on top.  This is not my cutting table, though -- that is in the area of the basement on the other side of the staircase.

And finally, I think I'll be able to actually do some sewing soon.  I have four of the Bunny Hill Henrietta Whiskers blocks finished, but that still leaves me two behind, so I'm going to try to get both of them prepped today or tomorrow and maybe pull out a long ignored piecing project -- it just feels like I haven't sewn in years and I'm sure it's only been months!

I do love these happy squirrel and bird blocks -- I think this will be a fun quilt when it's finished.

Until next time, remember, Be Kinder Than Necessary!

Note:  I have revived my old blog at porchrockersplace.blogspot.com and will be posting there for the time being.

Friday, May 20, 2011


                                   Steven Michael Talbott, 1/18/1969 - 5/19/2011

Our beautiful, amazing son lost his fight with brain cancer yesterday morning.  We were all there with him.  He was the most amazing man and accomplished so much in his short life.  He was an inspiration to all and he fought long and hard against all odds.  We will all miss his humor and his strength.  I will miss his phone calls and his love.
But now, he is at peace with Bill -- probably enjoying a round of golf and a rum and coke.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Favorite Quilt Shop

My favorite quilt shop finally made the Quilt Sampler -- Page 44!  Yellow Creek Quilt Designs in Pearl City, IL. 
I stopped by last Thursday and picked up my signed copy, and also......bought an old, huge table that will be going into my new sewing room in the basement in a couple of weeks.  It was used in one of the printing companies in Mt. Morris, IL, which is another small town in my area.  it's primitive -- which I love.  Also, the reason I love Yellow Creek (formerly Sew Many Antiques) -- they carry primitive items along with the "country" fabrics I like and the Civil War Repros, which I've really been getting into lately.

Since the auction, I've been busy getting the house in order and working on the yard -- I've been mowing until my high-school helper finishes the year out.  Yesterday I  cleaned up the raised beds Bill made for our garden, so I can actually plant some veggies this year -- who knows if I'll be around to enjoy the harvest, but just in case.....
I also cut asparagus for the first time this season.  I had fresh asparagus and a salad for dinner last night -- superb! 
I'd really like to get my flower beds in shape this year -- nothing got done last summer at all, so I'm a year behind on the weeding.  If the house does sell this summer, I plan on taking a few plants with me when I move.  I have a clump of Virginia Bluebells from the family homestead and a couple of peony plants that were at my mother-in-law's house.  Also, a fern-leaf peony that I bought about 18 years ago and transplanted to this house and a few of my beautiful daylilies.

All in all, I'm splitting my time between getting the house whipped into shape and getting the yard/gardens whipped into shape!  And hopefully in the process I'll be able to get my shape whipped into shape!

Steve called me yesterday to wish me a happy Mother's Day -- it was a nice surprise because either the cancer or the radiation treatment has taken his memory, so he can't hold on to a thought very long.
Steph and family took me out to dinner on Saturday night for the occasion. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I survived the auction!

Yesterday was the big day.  All week they were calling for rain, thunderstorms, wind, you name it.  It started out cloudy and we did have a lot of wind, but the rain held off til many hours after the fact -- and it was only a little rain, no thunderstorms.
It was a long day though.  My daughter and two of her sons came down Friday night and spent the night.  Mikey is cutting teeth, so he managed to keep Steph up during the night and I didn't sleep well either.  I was up at 5:30 and after my shower, I got to keep Mikey company while Steph took her shower.  Is this not the most angelic face you've ever seen -- what me cutting teeth?!  He'll be 11 months on the 5th.
The auction guys started arriving at 7 am and set everything up.  They spent four hours here on Wednesday sorting and organizing the shop/shed and hauling furniture out of the house.  On Saturday they still had to haul some heavy furniture from the basement, but it took no time at all.  People started arriving at 8:30 or so for the 10 am start.  There were a lot of people here.  And that was really great, because the sale went very, very well.  Over the next two weeks some of the buyers will be scheduling time with me to pick up the items they bought -- namely firewood, a radial arm saw and a pool table.

Now it's time for me to start cleaning up, rearranging and getting the house ready to sell.  I did a little bit this morning.
Remember this was a before auction picture of part of the basement:
This is the after picture of the same part:
And here is Phase 1:
The Brother machine on the left and both heavy parts of the table were on the second floor.  The Bernina and tables were on the main floor.  Did I mention that I started a diet and exercise program today?  I actually did get on the treadmill this morning, but I think I got more exercise doing the stairs and heavy lifting!  Whew!
This is about all I can do for now because the pool table needs to be taken apart and brought through this area to the door and I do not want to have to move everything out of the way after I finally get it all set up.  But the goal is to consolidate all my different rooms for sewing/quilting into this one big room -- the longarm is already in the other half of this room.

The weather held for the auction and we had a great turnout.
Hack's Auction from Pecatonica, IL were wonderful.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I just noticed that I haven't updated my blog in a month.  I don't have any great quilt pics to show because I've been really busy getting ready for an auction I'm having the end of April.  This first pic is of some of the furniture and big items I'll be selling -- this is just a small portion of things!  This is in the basement.
This second shot is just a small amount of stuff I've pulled from the storage area in the basement -- that's the section I'm working on now -- the storage area (lots of Christmas decorations yet to go through).
And this third shot is not even going in the auction -- it's a Small part of the paper I have to go through before I can throw it out. I started shredding things, but the shredder overheated and I realized it'll take me years to shred everything, so I'm going to have a big bonfire after I go through everything page by page!
Not even going to take pictures of the 32' x 72' shop and shed that's full of "stuff"!
After the auction and I get my house put back together again, I plan on putting the house on the market. I'll be moving to a much smaller house.
Sometime in May my friends and I are going to have a quilters/crafters garage sale, so I'll need to go through my excess "stuff" to downsize that area too. I'll be getting rid of some ufo's that are hanging over my head but that I'll never finish, some old patterns, books and miscellaneous. The idea is that once I get moved, I can start out fresh with less and get back into quilting with a new resolve on finishing the ufo's I will be keeping!

And on another note:  Steve's cancer is back once again and he's undergoing another round of radiation treatments, 5 days a week, for five weeks.  He's still fighting, but I don't know how much more he can endure.  This radiation is really tough.  Prayers are appreciated.

Friends and family to help us through each day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another February Finish

I quilted Leaf Seasons (Judy Laquidara's Quilt for an Hour project from a few years ago) a couple of weeks ago.  I finally finished sewing the binding down on it on Friday.  I just threw it over my bed to get a picture -- it's really a big quilt and quite heavy, but I love it and think I will keep this one for myself.

This afternoon I finished the stitching on Bunny Hill's Henrietta Whiskers, Block 2.  I love this quilt too -- the applique is really quick and easy on these blocks, so you get to see what it looks like in a short period of time -- I like instant gratification!
I delivered the preschool quilt to my daughter yesterday.  We went to their house for AJ's seventh birthday party (his birthday is actually next Thursday).  It was a nice day for a family get together.

I also spent some time this week cleaning out a storage closet in the basement and a bookcase in the basement -- gotta get ready for an auction this spring, so it forces me to dig out all the "stuff"!

Met with my brother and sister in law for breakfast this morning -- always nice to keep in touch.
Cleaning out and sorting stuff -- the sooner the better.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day quilt

So, my friend Kris gave me this cherry fabric last year -- the charm pack and I bought the border fabric.  I put the quilt together fairly quickly and then it sat with the backing fabric waiting to be quilted.  I quilted it the other day and today hand stitched the binding down -- another ufo bites the dust!

Today, I did some quilting on a Bonnie Hunter quilt (Starstruck) that I put together last summer finally.  That was in between having my neighbor get his truck with the plow stuck at the end of my drive by the road for a few hours, and having him borrow my snowblower and clear the drive and my sidewalk, and the end of his drive.  We got about 15" of snow, but the biggest problem was the gale force winds we've had since Monday.  Living out in the country is great most of the time, but not so great during a blizzard.  Those of you who live in the city can't really fathom the drifts caused by winds in open areas.  The snowplow did come out and do our road this afternoon and the winds finally died down after noon also, which helped a lot.  The main roads out here are not in good condition, however, so I'm not planning on going anywhere again tomorrow -- that means more quilting :-).  I can live with that.  It's supposed to be -27° wind chills in the morning so no school tomorrow for most of the area too.  I'm thinking a fire in the kitchen fireplace will be nice and some handwork in front of it!

All my kids and grandkids are safe and sound.  Some are snowbound, but my DDIL managed to make it to work today -- she's a nurse.
Tim, my neighbor.