Charlotte’s Baskets…


Every since I wrote the blog post about have “have you ever made every quilt in a quilt book” regarding Bonnie Hunter’s String Fling book I’ve had the itch to actually really make EVERY quilt the book.  I’m not putting any time table on the endeavor but the more I thought about it, the more fun I thought it would be.  It might be a push and challenge for me to “make a quilt that wasn’t my favorite” or to try a new to me technique like applique or actually finish my Pineapple Crazy quilt.  The more and more I thought about it, the more and more I liked the idea.

At about the same time I was thinking about that, I was tidying up the sewing room.  I was putting away the bonus triangles that I made when I made with my Texas Tumbleweed quilt.   That’s when the idea hit me that I could use the batik bonus triangles left over from Texas Tumbleweeds as the basket triangles for Charlotte’s Baskets.  SCORE!!!


I’ll admit that one of the reasons I haven’t made this quilt yet is that is didn’t sing to me.  I love the design idea but the colors just weren’t quite me.  Doing it in batiks would liven it up…and it might prevent my batiks scraps from getting out of the control like my other scraps are!!  This was perfect.

I took the triangles downstairs along with the book and set them on my island.  If the childcare kids all napped at the same time one day, this would be the project I worked on…trimming those bonus triangles.  The next day it happened and the kiddos slept for 2 1/2 hours!!!  I was so excited.  I cleaned the kitchen AND got all of these cut out.  I started lamenting about what I would use for the baskets and nothing came to me.  That night I dug through my batiks.  I mostly have fat quarters and that’s not enough so the next night after childcare I ran to New Hampton and bought some of the same brown I used for backing the Texas Tumbleweeds quilt.


The next day at nap time the childcare kids all slept at the same time again.  This time I only got an hour’s worth of time but that was enough for me to start cutting the next pieces.


I was happily cutting along when WHAM!  Something didn’t seem right.  All of the previous directions were talking about 1 1/2″ unfinished.  Now from what I am understanding those 1 1/2″ unfinished triangles are hooking up to 2″ pieces.  Hmm…something is not right.


I looked a the final diagram of the block…6 1/2″ unfinished.  I was right.  Those triangles can’t be 1 1/2″ unfinished.  They have to be 2″ unfinished.


I looked….and then looked again….


Then I looked again….


Yep.  There is an typo.

Diagrams A and C should read 2″ unfinished.  AH!!!!!!!  I cut them out the wrong size.

I went and read the cutting instructions.  YES..I KNOW.  I should have been using the cutting instructions to cut out the quilt but instead I was looking at the “Directions at a Glance” and just cutting from there.  Here’s what they said…. [Read more...]

A Trip to the Doctor


I’m still waiting to hear about my shoulder…ugh.  But in the meantime, I was scheduled to go to Lacrosse and connect with my endocrinologist to check up on my thyroid…or rather lack of thyroid.  I go and see her every six months for follow up after I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in March of 2016.   Part of the routine visit is an ultrasound of my neck where my thyroid used to be.

Kelli went along with me for company.  Hubby usually goes with me but this time he was able to be in the field and work on harvesting.  He offered to go but I said no…work on the harvest instead.

I started out early with the hope of stopping into my local doctor’s office and getting a flu shot.  That worked out perfect.  A little poke and I was on my way to meet Kelli in Decorah.  The drive was pretty.  For those of you who don’t know, Lacrosse is located along the Mississippi River.  There are lots of bluffs along the way.  Everything was changing colors.


The weather was perfect for a drive too.


My appointment was okay….not everything I wanted to hear…but okay.  Let me explain.  I have a lymph node to the right of where my thyroid used to be.  Last spring when I did this check up, it was enlarged.  Not grossly but still it was enlarged.  My blood work was all good so we attributed it to the cold I had the few weeks before.  We decided to keep note of that but not worry.

This time when I came, that lymph node was slightly smaller but still considered enlarged.  She suggested that being my blood work was still good, let’s watch it another six months.  I am not that kind of girl…I consider myself pro-active.  I’m not very good at sitting and waiting…so, I suggested that we do a needle biopsy on it and find out if it’s cancerous or not.  The lymph node is big enough that it does meet the guidelines to do a needle biopsy so that’s what we made plans to do.  I was hoping they could squeeze me in that day but they couldn’t.  I am here today instead.

It meant taking another day off of childcare but in the end, I am very happy with my decision to not hang out in limbo.  I did have a cold not too long ago, so that could easily be the reason for the enlargement…I could have a re-occurrence of cancer.  I could have a large lymph node with no other explanation.  Whatever it is…I want to know and not just wait for the next 6 month testing.

So I’ll get one of three results after the testing…benign (which is what we’re hoping for), inconclusive (which I’ll opt for surgery to remove it) or cancerous.  If it is cancer, I will have it removed and go through the whole radioactive iodine treatment regiment again.  If it isn’t cancerous then on we go with life…well that’s not quite right.  Whatever happens, I am going on with life.

I do have a hope that if this is benign that I won’t have to go through the low-iodine diet, with shots and testing this spring.  Then I might be able to move into the “every two years” testing instead.

Results won’t be in until the end of the week…of course I’ll let you know when I know.  I’m not worried about it.  I will “work the plan” whatever the plan is that is put in front of me.

From there we went up town and ate at a really good bar called The Old Crow.  It was packed so be took a seat at the bar to eat.  The hockey game was on in front of us.  Our son Buck is a hockey fan so I snapped a picture to send to him joking saying “I was in a bar on a Friday afternoon to watch hockey!


The food was awesome…Here’s Kelli enjoying a flat bread pizza…the fries were AMAZING! [Read more...]

What I’m Working On…


I have lots of projects that are close to being done.  When I work on so many projects at once, that often I’ll go quite awhile with no finishes and then all of a sudden I’ll have several projects done at once.  That was the case on Friday night…the projects came together and I had lots of quilt top finishes.

Hubby is gone nights now and often not home until 9pm or later so I have lots of free time to do whatever….and my “whatever” is typically sewing.  Pumpkin Patch became a top.  I’m really happy with it.


I’m hoping to get it on the frame tonight and quilted.  Dare I hope that by the end of the week it’s all completely finished and bound.  Stay tuned for then.  I’ll tell you some more details about it.  I will say that the pattern is in Quiltmaker magazine for those who want to know that.

That pieced border took a bit but wasn’t bad.  I had lots of fun working on this.

I also finished up the last borders on this top and got it all ironed.  This is the second quilt I’ve make of this.  The original went to Hubby’s great niece Amber.  This one is heading off to be published in an upcoming magazine.  Here it is…. [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: Down a Dark Road


I just finished listening to the audio book Down a Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Lindad Castillo.  I have long been a reader of this series and have enjoyed every one of the books.  Sadly my on line library didn’t pick up this selection so I had to burn an Audible credit to get it.

Image result for down a dark road

The series is really good.  It focuses around Kate Burkholder.  She is the chief of police but the twist is that she was formerly Amish.  She had a love interest John Tomsetti.  He only played a very small part in this book.  That didn’t bother me a bit as that’s how real life is.  When Hubby is in the field harvesting, he doesn’t play a big part in my life as I don’t see him much.

Here’s what Amazon has to say:

[Read more...]