Happy New Year!

OK, so I’m a little late. I’ve got a good reason for that: I’ve been busy!

I’ve been quilting, writing, and reading for pleasure most of the time. Yes, I do still cook and clean and spend time with my family, but now that I’m not homeschooling, I can embrace my freedom, and I do!

So if you’re tired after a long day of working with your children, and you still have all your other tasks waiting for you, please know that your day will come: lesson plans will be just a good memory, and you’ll be able to pursue your interests. There really is light at the end of the tunnel!

P.S. Guess what? My Stages of Homeschooling eBook series can now be read for free at Amazon.com! Learn more HERE.

Jelly Roll Race Quilt and Ripple Effect Table Runner

A while back, I emailed a friend a link to this video, saying “This looks like fun!” And the next time I saw her, she had already made the quilt! So of course I had to try it, and discovered that you really can make a quilt top in a little over an hour, and have fun doing so. Here’s my version post-quilting:

Another project I made was a Secret Santa gift for someone at church. This name of this table runner is “Ripple Effect,” and it comes from Gudrun Erla’s book, “Fast and Furious Family.” It was easy and fun to make, and now I want to make one for myself!

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Your Time Will Come

 If you’re a mom in the homeschool trenches, you may often wonder (when you get a moment to yourself) when you’ll ever have time to do the things you used to enjoy doing. I used to feel that way a lot.

Now my kids are grown and I have more time to myself. I can finally do things just for fun. Here are a few of my recent projects. I pieced the bed quilt and began hand-quilting it in the 1980s. Tried machine quilting some of it in the 1990s but burned out the pedal on my vintage sewing machine. Recently I bought a new machine intended for free-motion quilting and decided to turn the bed quilt into my practice piece. What fun!

I bought the smaller quilt as a kit at a quilt show last year. It was fun to make, too.

What do I like best about these quilts? That I was finally able to finish them! :)

 

Back from the Quilt Festival

My friend and I are back from our vacation. Many thanks to those who sent us best wishes! We had a great time.

We went to the Shipshewana Quilt Festival in Shipshewana, IN. The show itself was wonderful, with some of the most amazing quilts I’ve ever seen. Quilting has become a sophisticated art form.

There was also a display of World War II quilts in the Hudson auto museum; we enjoyed that, too.

We hit all the best shopping spots in Shipshewana, including Yoder’s Department Store. We also visited several small Amish shops in the outlying areas and came home with some nice fabric, including several pieces for a quilt I’m making for my first grandchild, due this fall.  :)

While in the area, we tracked down several quilt gardens, which were just beautiful despite the drought in the region. Here’s one in Elkhart, IN:

We also enjoyed the barn quilts on various buildings.

I spent a lot of money at the Amish bulk store, where I bought 25# of natural sugar (cane, not beet), several pounds of three varieties of popcorn for 60 cents a pound (my husband makes popcorn almost every night), and 5# of cocoa for $1.09 a pound, along with some other goodies that we will enjoy (for quite some time!)

But the very best part of our trip was the night we went to an Amish farm.

While there, we were served a yummy homemade dinner (salad, fried chicken, Salisbury steak, homemade bread, buttered noodles, stuffing, gravy, green beans and two kinds of homemade pie!) followed by a quilting bee.

What fun! There were nine of us quilter-tourists plus two Amish women who quilted with us. We chatted while we worked, which is how we learned that the Amish lady quilting next to us had ten children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. When we told her that both of our youngest sons have Down syndrome, she was clearly quite touched and it gave all three of us a lot to talk about. We had such a nice time that night.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys and their dads were doing just fine without us. I think we had the harder time adjusting to being away from them. We really missed them, plus it felt weird not to have to make meals for anyone; we just went out to eat whenever we got hungry. Between outings, we’d take a break in our room and comment on how quiet it was without our families around. And before we checked out of our hotel, we both scoured the room, looking under the beds and in the drawers out of habit from years of making sure our kids hadn’t left anything behind.

We returned home very tired, but refreshed just the same. If you get the chance, check out Shipshewana, IN. It’s a nice place to visit. And if you’d like more info on how you can quilt with the Amish, just let me know and I’ll send you the contact info.

 

 

A Delightful Young Lady

I was flipping through a quilting magazine the other day while waiting in line at the grocery store when I happened to see an article about a young lady with Down syndrome whose mother taught her to sew.

The article mentioned this young lady’s blog. Since I refuse to pay $6 for a magazine, I memorized the blog address and actually kept it in my brain until I could get home and type it into my browser. (If you know anything about menopausal brain fog, you know that was an accomplishment!)

I was rewarded with a peek into Sarah’s world. It’s a lot of fun. Whether or not you know and love someone with Down syndrome as I do, I think you’ll like this blog.