Wednesday, October 31, 2012

red, blue, and white quilt completed

Well, the binding is finished and now this quilt if FINALLY on my bed.  HOORAY!  
I got it back from the quilter at the end of May, so it honestly took me 5 months to get the binding on. Ridiculous, but it actually only took me a few hours!  I know how to put things off.
Here is an older post about this quilt where I prophesied the length of time it would take for me to bind it!  
I was a few months off!
I made the valances for the windows last winter just to match this quilt.  I am so happy it is finally finished and on the bed.

This was all scrap fabric - the only fabric I purchased for this quilt was the borders, binding, and backing.  Some of the quilt blocks were made and given to me as well.  I love scrappy quilts - they are my favorite!

Monday, October 29, 2012

just a few rolls of duct tape

 My dear mom shops early for Christmas. Her goal is to have all of her Christmas shopping completed by Halloween.  My goal on the other hand, is not to start until December 1st!  I may change my tune soon, since life is getting more complicated!  Anyway, my mom called me just the other day and asked if Kelsey, my 10 year old, liked a certain item.  I told her the truth - not really.  My mom then asked for ideas for the sweet girl.  I told my mom "She would be more than happy with a few rolls of that fancy designed duct tape."

Its true.  My Kelsey is a creative child and enjoys making things, especially jewelry.  Look at these earrings she made!  She makes me laugh.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

red and white, almost complete!

 First off, my sweet little Kenna just turned 4 months old.  She is the sweetest babe on the planet, I honestly believe that.  She is rolling all over the place now and it makes me smile.  I am happy for the new partially-mobile phase of life for her, but saddened that the tiny infant stage is gone.

Okay!  Here is the quilt my Grandma Lela Ackerman Chappell made laid out on my bed.  I talked about it a few weeks ago here.  I need to talk to my aunts and see if they know a time frame of when it was made.  Red and white quilts were very popular to make from about 1840 to the 1920s, with the biggest surge in the 1880s.  Since my grandma couldn't have made a quilt when she was just a child, she must have made it later on in her life.  Perhaps making a copy of one of her grandmother's quilts???  hmmm!

Anyway, I began cutting out my red and white fabric after I did all the math to figure out how to reproduce this quilt of my grandma's earlier in the week.  I cut 3 inch strips and got busy! I kept thinking as I was using my handy rotary cutter and mat, how much faster and more accurate it is for me to cut fabric than it was for my grandma to cut fabric with scissors and templates.

Here is my progress yesterday afternoon.  I now have the entire quilt sewn into 7 rows, I just need to sew those 7 rows together and put on the borders.  It has gone together REALLY fast and has been so much fun to make, but I think I liked the math part the best - making my own pattern.

 I made approximately 37 trips from the front room where the quilt was laid out, to the kitchen where I iron, and then into the sewing room, where my sewing machine is kept.  I passed this hallway mirror too many times and so I once took advantage of that mirror with my little helper.  She is a sweet little bundle that kept me busy moving her from the bumbo in the kitchen, to the walker in the living room, and into the bouncer in the sewing room!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dad's Christmas in the works

This is what my sweet dad is going to get for Christmas this year.  SHHHHH!!!  He falls asleep every night in the recliner waiting for the news to come on.  I think a snuggly flannel quilt will add to the coziness of the whole recliner situation!  The fabric will be here next week, and then I need to get busy sewing!

 One of these days I will catch him with his face up and looking at the camera! He is such a super dad, and a most amazing grandpa.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

According to Emmitt

Emmitt and I were driving in the car the other day and a Primary cd was playing the song "Choose the Right."  He said "Push pause for a minute mom, I dot someting to tell you."  So I turned off the cd and asked what he needed to tell me.  He said "Mom, you need to choose the right and not spank me anymore." I held back a laugh and I told him that when kids act naughty, sometimes mom and dad's spank them.  He then came back with "But Jesus loves me and you need to choose the right and don't spank me anymore.  I am a dood boy!"  That was the end of the conversation.

Today we got our first snow.  Emmitt came upstairs after he woke up while I was nursing the baby.  I told him to look out the window.  He was so excited.  He wanted to go outside right then and there in his gray and white striped bulldog pajamas.  I told him no way. Then he got a mischievous look on his face and said: "Tan I go outside in the snow naked? Then roll around in the snow and betome a snowman?  When I am done being a snowman, I will jes shake my head like this (he shook his entire upper body) and then jes be a boy again."  I was shaking so hard from laughing that the poor baby girl's breakfast was very much interrupted.

Emmitt told me a few nights ago when he was getting ready for bed that his name was not Emmitt anymore, it was Bruce Banner, pronounced "Buce Banno."  I can't wait for him to turn green and split out of his clothes and he transforms into the Incredible Hulk!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kenna's blessing day

Here is the blessing dress I made for Kenna last week.  I talked about making it and how pitifully sentimental I am in a post a week or so ago that can be found here.  The underskirt and sleeves are made out of the bolt of pima cotton from Matt's grandmother, the purple sash is made from leftovers from Kelsey's blessing dress, the skirt is made from leftover eyelet from Kendal's blessing dress, the bodice is made from leftovers from my friend Amanda's wedding gift I made the day before, and the two buttons on the back are my grandma Lela's buttons.  She is the grandmother Kenna is named after.

My grandmother Lela Ackerman Chappell was an amazing woman and the grandma that just lived over the hill as I was growing up.  She wasn't a hugger or even a real physically compassionate woman to anyone that I ever witnessed, but she had the biggest heart.  She was a softy and also an emotional woman who was touched by simple things.  She kept an amazing garden and yard - she made a clay hillside bloom into what seemed like the Garden of Eden.  She could bake the best bread and cookies, and I loved to watch her hang clothes out on the clothesline for some crazy reason.  She passed away in 2007.  Anyway, her grandfather, Jan (John) Akkerman and his wife Hendrika, moved from Holland to the United States in 1881 when he was 38 years old.  Kenna's middle name is Holland in honor of this side of our family.

Here is my little Kenna Holland Crane on October 21st 2012, almost 4 months old, getting ready to put on her new blessing dress.  She is the happiest baby on the planet I believe.

We blessed Kenna in Salina where Matt's mom and dad attend church. They were speaking in church about their recent LDS mission to Missouri on October 21st, so we decided it was also a good time to bless our little Kenna since the family would be gathering anyway.

My Crane Crew, I love that Kenna is pulling Kendal's hair and Kendal is smiling.  That is just so typically funny to me!

Kenna is a such a wonderful addition to our family and brings such sweetness and peace into our home.  I am so grateful for her and her mild manner and personality.  Everyone seems to talk a little quieter, a little nicer, and a little bit more kinder with her in our home.  She brings so many smiles and laughter into our house and we all love her to pieces.

Monday, October 22, 2012

monogrammed bed runner

I traced this G monogram and this little fancy fleur de something design onto freezer paper,

from this vinyl table decoration when it was rolled up in a box in my friend Amanda's basement last week.  I was so so sneaky! 

I bought some white pre-quilted fabric as well as some plain old black fabric.  I starched and pressed the black fabric 6 or 7 times to make it nice and rigid to make the applique designs easier to work with.

I ironed my freezer paper stencils onto the black fabric and cut out the G, for GRAY, and I also made a beautiful arrangement of nice, solid, even numbers.  (My mother, and I have come to realize myself as well, have a love affair with even numbers!)  I cut out my stencils and black fabric, placed them on the white pre-quilted fabric, and appliqued them on with a close zig-zag stitch, although a nice satin stitch would be great as well.

The intricate fleur de something design on the vinyl freaked me out, so I took the design to the copy machine and just increased a portion of the design.  Then I made another freezer paper stencil.

I added those to the white fabric, stitched them on, and added the same black fabric as a sharp looking simple binding.

This bed runner is a wedding gift for my dear friends Amanda and Caleb, who were married just over the weekend on October 20th, 2012.  This is my bed; it will look much better on their bed -  a 4 poster canopy bed with a dainty, classy white and red bedspread.  This quilt on my bed is not the prettiest little bed covering, but it was made with supreme love by my mom and dad for me about 10 years ago.  I say supreme love because my mom does not sew.  She hates it, horribly hates it.  That is why I love this quilt, and because it hides any of the bodily fluids that may spill from my little baby as I change her, feed her, or bath her!

Okay, just had to throw a picture in here of it on my bed with the quilt I just finished binding the other day.  Still not the 4 poster canopy bed though!

Anyway, this is the new happy couple and the new happy owners of my totally-made-up-but-worked-out-great monogrammed bed runner! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

in my dreams

A husband, who has been at work all day long stamping out disease and saving lives, is driving home after a day of stimulating adult conversation and is listening to the radio station of his choice. He has quite a bit on his mind, but is looking forward to a relaxing evening at home with his beloved family. As he nears his home, he notices the huge amounts of water draining down the gutter and wonders if the Luckings have a broken sprinkler head again. He pulls up in front of the house and sees his 3 year old, naked as a jay bird except for the cowboy boots and black cape blowing away from his back, as he swings on the swing set in the yard. The 3 year old is smiling of course, with a messy face with remnants of something bright red. The husband, who normally pulls his car into the garage, can not today due to the dozen or so bikes, strollers, and scooters in the driveway along with sticks and pieces of sidewalk chalk and every yard tool from the garage blocking the way. It is then that he notices 3 doors of the family car wide open and empty papers of approximately 4 packs of gum on the drivers side seat. He parks his car on the street where he also sees the mailbox wide open with various mail on the ground in a 5 foot diameter of the mailbox, some of those being bills of course.

It is then that he notices the hose turned on full blast just laying idly on the sidewalk, water running down and soaking everything in its path. The front lawn is strewn about with super hero and princess costumes, empty Pringles cans and cracker boxes, and what looks like 3 dozen match box cars. He is starting to wonder what in the world has happened at his normally peaceful home when his naked 3 year old runs to him shooting him with his Spiderman webs and yelling “We gotta get the bad guys Partner!” The husband and kind father asks his 3 year old “Where is Mom?” The little superhero cowboy exclaims “I don’t know” and runs off to the backyard after grabbing a shovel off the driveway. The husband begins to get worried. He steps over a pile of crushed up Goldfish crackers and sees that 3 of the 6 pumpkins just set out on the front porch a few days earlier have been smashed on the front porch and used as finger paint, where he reads “I (heart) U.” As he ascends the stairs of the front porch, and he notices 4 boxes labeled “Refrigerate Upon Arrival” that the UPS truck has left near the front door who knows how many hours ago. The front door of course is wide open.

As the husband steps into the front door, a scene of chaos assaults him. The front room has the looks of what used to be an amazing pillow, couch cushion, and blanket fort, but has long since been demolished and abandoned. There are piles of chocolate chips and coconut amongst the rubble. As he follows a book path into the living room, he is assaulted by the distinct smell of vinegar and sees a random winter scarf tangled up in the ceiling fan. From the looks of the living room, a Barbie Bomb has exploded and there were casualties. He makes his way into the kitchen where the refrigerator is left open and a jug of warm milk is on the counter among a mess of Lucky Charms and Life cereal. 80% of the cupboards are open and the sink is full of dishes; most of them cups and bowls, but a few mud caked pots as well. The smell then hits him and he peers into the laundry room where a pair of soiled underwear and shorts lay on the floor surrounded by 9 pairs of shoes.

The pantry doors are spread wide apart and the bins of oatmeal and sugar are open with some of their contents on the floor near the rug that is caught in the back door, and is holding the door open just an inch or so. Enough to let the pesky flies looking for a warm place to live for the winter to enter. As our now very concerned husband crunches through the marshmallowless Lucky Charms on the kitchen floor, he sees his 3 year old now on the deck feeding the cats with the muffin tins overflowing and what looks like a Sanpete County ant pile of cat food. The cat is being sung to and the words “down through the woods or out in the pasture” can be heard.

As he exits the kitchen, the book path leads to the top of the stairs where he sees his sweet 10 year old on the computer at the bottom of the Polly Pocket and tractor cluttered stairs watching tutorials on how to make jewelry. She has headphones on so she doesn’t hear the song from the deck, nor the TV blaring Dora the Explorer dvd. The husband then walks down the hall in search of his dear wife, who must be very ill, or possibly even dead. He passes the bathroom where the light is on, the toilet is 1 millimeter from overflowing and full of toilet paper, the rug is wet and so are the 6 or 7 swimming suits on the floor. What looks like 3 tubes of toothpaste is spread across the sink and counter. He continues down the hall on the book path and peers inside his 10 year old’s room. He sees her trumpet and violin on the bed with music books and papers scattered over the floor and the distinct smell of Cool Ranch Doritos.

He finally reaches his bedroom; the one he shares with is dear wife. The door is locked. He knocks but there is no answer. He pounds, no answer. His mind makes him see his wife unconscious on the floor or in the shower and his heart pounds. He runs to the top of the stairs and summons his 10 year old from her 9 hour youtube induced trance and tells her to get the key to the door or he will tear it off its hinges. She runs up the stairs dodging John Deeres and goes to her room, fetches the key, and unlocks his bedroom door. The husband rushes in to aid his wife in whatever may have befallen her and sees her; sitting on top of a nicely made bed wearing scrubs, a t-shirt, and a ponytail reading a quilting magazine with their darling baby asleep on her lap. The room is pure joy, as it is the only room in the house where order can be found. She has a pleasant smile on her face and welcomes him home.

The husband, very confused says to his wife “What has happened?” The wife, very sweetly replies “Last night you asked me what I did all day. Well, today I didn’t do any of it.” The husband, charmed by her sweetness and good looks, crosses the room with a hearty laugh, kisses her like he used to when they were dating and goes outside to find his 7 year old who has secretly buried herself in the sandbox and is using only a straw to stay alive because she saw it once in a Robin Hood movie. But before he makes it outside to locate her, he steps through the Lucky Charms and grabs a piece of the delicious roast left over from last night’s dinner because the fridge is already open!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

purple and white

One of my projects today - make something out of this mess to have my daughter blessed in on Sunday.  On the right is a bolt of nice pima cotton from my mother in law's mother - old but fantastic.  Next to it is some quilted cotton left over from a gift I am making for my best friend's wedding this weekend.  The purple at the top is left over from the blessing dress I made my 10 year old (yes, I kept it!) and the fabric below that, is left over cute stuff with purple embroidered flowers from my 7 year old's blessing dress.  The white fabric on the left is eyelet cotton also left over from my 7 year old's blessing dress.  It is funny how sentimental I am.  Of course I kept the fabric for 10 years not used from the other projects so I could make my last daughter's dress from her two big sisters' fabric and be quite the sentimental mother.  I know, I am pitiful.

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012's Heber Valley Civil War Weekend Quilt Show with Sandra Dallas

The Heber Valley Civil War Weekend 2012 was one of my babies this year.  I wrote for a grant through the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and received a nice chunk of funding that allowed me to keep the quilt show free, do some great newspaper advertising, and pay for New York Times best selling author Sandra Dallas to come and chat with us, free to the public of course! 

It was held during our regular Heber Valley Civil War and Living History Weekend the last weekend of September.  This is the 3rd year for the event and quilt show that my best friend Amanda and I have put together, with help from Wasatch County, Utah Civil War Association, Fort Douglas Military Museum, Utah State Parks, and a handful of other great entities.

We only had around 20 quilts entered in the show, but they were a fantastic 20 quilts!  WOW!  The workmanship was superb!  Actually, there wasn't much room to display too many more quilts.  I took these pictures early Saturday morning before the show opened.  The lighting coming into the lodge was not the best, but it was the only time to get shots without people in them.

The show was from 10 to 5, the same hours as the civil war event just down the hill from the lodge.  I was busy most of the day at the event, so I wasn't able to visit the quilt show until it was time for the presentation from Sandra Dallas.  She was also the judge and was able to award the quilts with the fun ribbons I arranged  for the show that can be found on the event website,  There were fun ribbons awarded like GENERAL SHERMANS AWARD and WHISTLING DIXIE AWARD.  It is the only quilt show of its kind that I know of - a unique experience.

Most of the quilts are from quilters here in my valley that I know.  There were a few outside quilts from new quilters I just met, but the local talent and love of civil war quilting is amazing, and it makes me smile!

In the morning when I took these pictures, I set up around 60 chairs.  I figured around 40 people would show up to the presentation and that we would have oodles of room.  WRONG!  I guess more folks are interested in civil war quilting, and Sandra Dallas in particular than I thought!  Seats were being saved at 11:00!

This is Sandra Dallas.  I first found out about her when I saw a quilting book in our local library called The Quilt that Walked to Golden.  I of course love love love quilting history, so I checked it out.  I took it to our guild meeting and shared my find with the ladies there.  A year went by and I was trying to plan a free presentation for the 2012 quilt show and that book came to mind.  I emailed the author, Sandra Dallas, and asked if she were interested in coming to our quilt show.  She was super sweet and said of course.  I was on cloud nine!

As the quilt show got closer, I decided to read some of her historical fiction books.  I started with Alice's Tulips since it is set in the civil war time period, then read The Persian Pickle Club.  It is a depression era book and I fell in love with the main character Queenie.  I want to be just like her.  Spunky but a thoughtful sweetheart.  By now I was sucked in.  I read The Diary of Mattie Spenser and cried through the whole thing.  Such a great book. I think it is my favorite book I have read so far.  I then read Prayers for Sale and loved it as well.  You should go see her website and decide which one you will pick up at the library next time you visit!  I still have quite a few I get to read this winter!

I purchased True Sisters just a few days before the quilt show so I could have her sign it for me.  I left it home in the hurry of course, but she did give me a signed copy of her latest book, The Quilt Walk that I actually just started tonight.  I read True Sisters last week and once again, cried through it.  It is a story of the LDS handcart company, the Willie Company, that had many many hardships as they crossed from Iowa City to Salt Lake City.

Sandra did such a fantastic job and everyone loved her presentation.  What a treat it was!  I had so many ladies thank me for such a fun day as they were leaving the show.  This is myself, Sandra, and Amanda.

When I went to the lodge from the encampment site where I had been all day, I was dumbfounded that the parking lot was full.  I could not believe that many people had shown up for my quilt show.  When I walked into the lodge at 2:45 for the 3:00 presentation after being outside in the heat all day talking to the public about life in the 1860s, I was overwhelmed and giddy.  I had Kenna with me, who was adorable in her white little civil war gown and bonnet and the people just oohed and awwed as I made my way to the front with my hoop skirt on between tiny little rows of chairs.  The 60 chairs did not suffice.

Another 60 chairs had been set up and by this time the chairs were clear back into the entry way of the lodge and there wasn't room for anymore chairs, so ladies were standing.  These are horrible pictures because of the lighting, but you can kind of see Sandra up at the very front of the room.  She was super funny as she talked about writing her books and the characters she placed in them.  I actually didn't get to hear too much of it because I went to look for more chairs!  It was a very great time and such a perfect opportunity to share my love of civil war quilting with others, thanks to that grant money and our wonderful Heber Valley Civil War and Living History Weekend event!


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