Baby Batik Quilt FINISHED!


Remember that scrap bag I bought at the garage sale that had these batik scraps in.


One of the reasons I bought it was for those pieces that could be sewn together to make the hour glass blocks.  I thought that would be an easy quilt to make.  At the time I purchased the scraps I had no idea what they would make or how many scraps there were.

It turns out there were actually quite a few scraps.

Once the hour glass blocks were sewn together I started to play with layouts.  I started with a simple alternating the blocks…hmmm.  I didn’t like that.  I needed more blocks to make the design symmetrical.  Nope…keep trying.


The batiks are really a light pastel and almost get lost in the white.  I tried this….I kind of liked it better.  Putting the wide colored parts of the blocks together made the color brighten and stand out more.


Then I tried this…I off set one column.  This I liked best as it made the zig zag.


That was the plan…only I needed a few half blocks.  I got them made and then sewn together.  I didn’t have a good batik for the border and I was determined to not buy more fabric.  I had some squares in the scrap bag so I cut a few more and away I went.  This is what I ended up with. [Read more...]



I’m a weather watcher.  I have to be for a couple reasons…  The first:  I have a houseful of kiddos that I am responsible for.  Their safe is important.  Second:  Hubby is a volunteer firemen and much of what they do in our rural area is watching the weather to insure the safety of the community as well as respond to fires.

All week long they had targeted Wednesday afternoon as a stormy weather day.  My hope is always that if the storms come, they come AFTER childcare.  The kids get so worked up about storms.  Luckily, the storms did come after childcare but not really far after childcare ended.

My last parent left at five-I still had Carver as Kalissa was working late and Craig was coming home and going straight to the fire station to go watch the incoming weather for tornados…the weather was starting to look worse and the scanner we have that monitors fire and police started going off.  I turned on the television. The weather was on and I could see Carver and I wouldn’t get a walk in and the storm would be coming soon.  We were in a thunderstorm watch but often that means little.

Carver was ready for a second nap of the day so I rocked him and listened to the weather on television.  Carver fell asleep and I ran upstairs to do a couple things in the sewing room that could be continued downstairs once Carver woke.  That’s when the scanner went off and said, “The storm will be hitting Waucoma at 5:35pm”.    I did the things and the storm blew in…I looked at the clock and yep, it was 5:35pm.  That’s when the power went out.  UGH.  It was raining and really windy.  I went down stairs.  Thinking I might as well go down as there wasn’t anything I could do upstairs with no power.

I came down the steps to see this out my front window.  The neighbor across the road had a tree that fell over and was lying in the next door neighbor’s yard.


UGH…what a mess.  I could see that the house was okay so on to check Carver….he was awake now too.  The house was so dark…I finally found a candle.  It’s not easy to entertain this guy with no electricity.  It’s not that he needed electricity… was that he was uncomfortable roaming in the house when it was so dark.


The storm passed but still no electricity.  The neighbor’s tree took the power line down in our neighborhood thus the lack of electricity.

With no air conditioning the house was warming up so I opened the back door to let air in and put Carver near it so he could have light and a breeze as it was still lightly raining out.


Then I gave him some Cheetos….


After that I entertained him with a bath.

Then the rain stopped but the house was still dark and Carver wasn’t content to play so outside on the front porch we went.

By then this crew had gathered at the neighbors to help…. [Read more...]

Charity Quilts from Ronda


You might remember Ronda the charity quilter…well with reader help, she’s been at it again finishing up some awesome charity quilt.

The email from Ronda says, “Hi Jo,  I have four finishes to share with you this time!  The first three were sent to me from Cynthia Emerson in Ohio.  All they needed was the binding attached and sewn down and she included the binding with the quilts ~ already made!  I prefer the look of hand sewn binding, so just attached it by machine and then hand hemmed them.  The fourth quilt is one I made using scraps you forwarded on to me.  I provided the background squares, batting, backing, and binding…..

Wow…How impressive that Cynthia would have all of these quilts so close to a finish yet pass them along for charity.  How sweet of you Cynthia!!!  The pops of dark colors on this one sure is fun. (I apologize that the photos aren’t larger.  It was my intention to get them bigger but the email they were in won’t allow me too.  That’s okay.  I’m sure you are getting an idea on how good these are all looking.


Here’s a very traditional looking one!


WOW, check out this pretty off center log cabin.  Nothing says comfort more to me than a log cabin quilt.

Ronda-12 (2)
This is the final one from Ronda.  I had sent here some left overs….here’s the great quilt that she made from them. [Read more...]

What I’m Watching–Manor House


A post from Kelli–

Lately, I’ve been in a sewing streak again.  I recently decided to work on prioritizing things that make me happy, so it’s no surprise that I ended up back at the sewing machine.

A while ago, mom and I each bought a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  This makes it considerably easier to listen to a show or book while we sew.  mom often uses them at the quilting machine while she is longarming and I use mine more for piecing when I’m at my machine.  They also come in handy when mowing lawn–but Jason has needed to remind me a few times that just because I can’t hear myself singing along to the songs when mowing, I sometimes get loud enough that he can hear me across the yard and over the sound of the mower–OOPS!

I’ve really been trying to find a new show rather than the good old stand-by shows I regularly watch–House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Love it or List it, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.  I decided to expand my horizons over to my Amazon Prime account and was delighted to find Manor House, an Iowa Public Television show!

The premise of the show is that they take a modern day family and other individuals or volunteers as they are called and pretty much transport them back to the very early 1900′s and teach and show them how people would have lived at that time.  One of the most interesting parts is that each character gets their own rule book and has to abide by the rules.  Some things weren’t a surprise to me–like showering weekly or working long hours–but some things were new and interesting–like who can look at who, much less talk to who.

The Manor family–The Oliff-Coopers– consists of the husband and wife along with the wife’s sister, the couples 10 year  old son, and another son away at college.  It’s interesting to see the differences between rights of women–both married and unmarried– compared to today.

Manor House

The servants however were the most interesting to me.  I liked getting to know each of them and their little quirks.  It was also interesting to see the heirarchy of the servants.  Previous to watching the show, I new that the Butler and Head Housemaid were likely in control, but didn’t realize the difference in roles and their status among the servants.

Manor House 2


I would say however that the most interesting thing was how the young 10 year old child of the manor was raised.  It perplexes me that the servants weren’t good enough to even speak to or be seen by the lowest servants, but it was just fine for their child to spend the day with the servants being watched or played with.  I wonder if this had any influence on the “fall” of the manor type system.

Throughout the show, they also do things such as host parties and bazaars to raise money for hospitals and charities.  It’s interesting to see how much work and preparation went into the event from the staff and their considerations compared to now days when someone throws a party and has the event professionally planned and catered.

If you are interested in more information about the show, here’s a link to their website–

Check it out and let me know what you think!