Oregon is burning

Classes began August 31st. What a week that was! Very short on student help, still learning the routines, abilities, confidence of the full time people. And corporate support. Bless him, I could not have opened with out him, but at times, the job also became more difficult.

Then lets add in my lack of computer skills and IT issues. Computer screen says to reboot so I did. And lost everything on the desk top. Which held ninety percent of the information I need to use every week. Everything was gone. And of course it was Friday. IT had sent out a message that they were overwhelmed with help tickets with new students & faculty back on campus. A whole week before IT even helped, but it was too late. They fixed my credentials so the campus links would work again and I could start hiring students. But Pioneer links still need to be installed.

In the midst of all, this happened

Water main broke between Brad’s house and the neighbor. Crawl space under the house totally filled. Even in the air ducts of the house. What.A.Mess. They lost a few things in the garage and a lot of sleep. Fans were set up in the crawl space for at least a week. And then…

Forrest fires. Donna said they are historical in that so much area, in different locations have been affected. A coworker of my brothers lost her house and barn. The smoke in the air is oppressive. God bless fire fighters!

So with all that has happened I only made a Peanut Butter Pie to celebrate a day off and finished the heart quilt with straight line quilting. Miss having Jeanette around the corner…

For Willow, Therese granddaughter.

Settling In

So much has happened in the last month. 97 percent of my belongings are in Uboxes out of my reach. Starting to feel like they are being held hostage. With school starting and their delivery schedule, I think the first realistic date is Sept 13th for me to actually get access to them.

Glad I brought my sewing machine and a few projects with me in the car. But then a baby came early so I had to go shopping. My SIL recommended the perfect store… here is my start.

I actually got it done last night. Hopefully I can start doing some quilting this week end. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the trip out.

My brother offered to come along for the ride and I would never turn that down! We didn’t have a plan, but to start heading west towards Mt. Rushmore. As we drove, we kept seeing more and more motorcycles. Denny looked online and sure enough, Sturgis festivities would be starting up on the week end. His wife went online to start looking for a hotel for us. Almost triple the budget, but it was comfortable and nice. That night we talked to my oldest brother and decided we wouldn’t be driving through the area again anytime soon so we should be tourists. Which led to stops at Devil’s Tower, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone.

As we were leaving Devil’s Tower, I got a message from my realtor. It was the first day for showings of my townhouse and I already had offers. Devil’s Tower is a bit off the beaten path, so there was no cell service. We pulled over at the first town to get the details. One of the offers wanted to know by 6:00 that night if the offer was accepted. None of us appreciated being given a deadline with no reason, especially when there were still a dozen showings still scheduled, so no, and we kept driving. By the time we got to Gillette, Wyoming, things had changed again. One of the offers had improved, but someone else came in with an offer 22,000 over list price. We were not expecting that. Not at all. Now we are just hoping it will appraise for that as well. Definitely a sellers market.

All together

This was best of all, my brothers and I together. Hasn’t happened in a long time.

Quilts completed

I finished my One Monthly Goal for July! I am normally very slow at binding quilts, but for these two, it wasn’t so bad. The hardest part was trying to space black binding along the black skyline of the quilt. I didn’t want one color all the way as the quilt is purposefully total opposites, the neutral, creamy top and the black on grey skyline. It isn’t a perfect match up, but considering the time crunch, I was happy. The pattern is Skyline by Coach House Designs. I bought it 3 years ago at a small quilt shop in New Ulm, near down town, on a state wide quilt shop hop. I was very intrigued by the design and mix of neutrals. Later I had the thought it would be great to use the school’s logo where I work (skyline of Minneapolis) in place of the patterned skyline. In looking at the pattern further, I didn’t want it to be as large, so had to start doing math to reduce the 12″ blocks to 9″ blocks. Not too bad. The next summer on the shop hop, I started buying fabrics. I was really happy with the mix of grunges, neutrals, and textures I found for the top. Erica, in Marketing, sent me over the jpeg of the logo easy enough. My first stall. I opened it up at home and wondered how on earth I am supposed to print off a 2 inch visual on my screen to spread out 63 inches on my quilt. Jeanette, machine quilter and graphics expert, to the rescue once again. No big deal she says! I admire her so much! Meanwhile I am making the different color combos and sizes of star blocks and loving it! My second stall. I am not an appliquer. I am all thumbs and have no confidence. This time Mary Alice to the rescue! She talked me through reverse tracing my skyline onto freezer paper and searching out the correct fusible foundation (which I found the third summer on a retreat at a store in Rochester) for the black fabric and how to bond them wrinkle free. This quilt would never have been completed with out the help of my friends.

I made this quilt for Jeremy. We have known each other for about 10 years, I would say, in different ways. He was a student first (we catered his grooms dinner), then a fellow employee at the college for several years. We then reconnected when he became my Realtor. It was such bad timing. The afternoon of our fall opening event, my realtor back in Litchfield called me with an offer on my house. I was so anxious I went to Todd, who told me that Jeremy was now a Realtor. He was so patient and thoughtful with me. HUGE decision to make and I only had a couple of months to find a new house. I even put an offer on one place only to have misgivings and he worked it out for me. Very happy with the house I did purchase – since the master bedroom is the largest with a great closet, it became my quilting room which is just wonderful. The next summer he came back to the school to work again! He truly deserved a quilt, just wish I could have completed it in a more timely manner.


I started the Flying Geese quilt for Todd last summer, at the retreat in Zumbrota. Inspired by a quilt on the Cupcakes and Daisies blog, I just started making flying geese blocks. I found that the more pattern to the fabric, they really didn’t flow. I now have a stack of them that didn’t make the cut. I will be making another Flying Geese quilt for myself because I love the versatility of the designs that you can make with them. I put little pops of color in the binding, it just seemed fitting and fun.

But the back of the quilt was Todd’s favorite. His family lives more outside the city so they have chickens, alpacas, and a huge dog. I found the pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts. You can see the dog pattern I used here for my nieces Dog Gone Cute quilt, also from Sew Fresh Quilts. Todd loves his Alpacas! He felts their wool and does shows with his projects from it and now has a machine to help in the process. The new quilt will be a perfect backdrop to his merchandise. It really was fun to watch him look at the Geese, just for him to turn it around again and look at the other side, and back again. It really does give me joy to see my labors of love so well received.

July One Monthly Goal

I got a phone call just before noon today with great news, at least I think it is great news. There is an opening at an account in Portland! I could be roughly an hour away from my oldest brother! Honestly, for the past couple of years, I have been craving more time with family. In case I end up moving soon, I need to finish a couple of quilts that have been in the works for quite a while.

Flying Geese, front of quilt
Back of quilt

This is for Todd. He is over the Student Life Dept. Not an easy department and always such a pleasure to work with planning events, and even helping with students. And connecting me with the right people in times of stress. Like a realtor.

Skyline quilt

This is for Jeremy, my last Realtor, and then coworker in the Student Life office. He was so patient and diligent with me in my house search. He was a student at my college, worked there for several years, left to pursue Realty while the kids were very young, and is now back. I am leaving many good people behind. Too many to make quilts for everyone!

So my goal is to get bindings on these two quilts so they can be delivered before I leave town. Please check out other quilters projects for some great ideas at Elm Street Quilts.

Projects of June

June was a productive month for me! Three finishes for me starting with the Jacob’s Ladder top!

Jacob’s Ladder, top completed June, 2020

At this point, I only have one quilt for my bed, a lovely blue floral from last years Guild Challenge, found here https://wordpress.com/view/bowtiesnstars.net . This will be great to have in the fall months! I will start hand quilting it when it gets cooler.

As the Quarantine started, Laundry Basket Quilts offered a free mystery quilt sew along called “California” and is now available on the web site. I mostly kept pace with this one, although the week end was used as a catch up time as well. 90% of this quilt is from my stash of Fig Tree fabrics. I used a couple charm packs whenever I could. I bought more background fabric and the final border fabric from my local quilt shop, but am really glad about how much ‘free’ fabric I used since it has been on the shelf for a while now.

Laundry Basket Quilts Mystery quilt, Fig Tree fabrics

I don’t usually do mystery quilts because I tend to second guess my fabric placement the whole time I am working on the quilt. In this case I did have to remake a few blocks because I had introduced another shade of green that just didn’t play well with the others. In looking at the picture, the red in the corners really seems to stick out, but it isn’t as bold in person. I do love how she presented the blocks – outside of the quilt in towards the center. And I learned new blocks and techniques. I am pleased how this mystery turned out. Six inch blocks with a six inch border. My stash is already increasing though as I would love to make a Fig Tree Christmas sampler or the All Hallows Eve line. Someday.

I have so many projects to do, I feel like I am a collector more than a maker. One day I decided that instead of checking out the latest sew along or something new on pintrest, I took a project down off the shelf that I had been hoarding for quite a while. The French Quarter pattern is dated 2013. I probably bought it that fall during the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop in Anoka. The fabric is from V and Co., I think her first fabric line. The quilt is designed from the inside out, but sewn together in rows. It came together so fast! Love the Drunkards Path look but no curves makes it even better!

I like the green, but it was too strong for the center so I eliminated that, auditioned the multi print white, but that was kind of blah, and ended up with one of the blues.

French Quarter by Fig Tree Co, with V & Co Simply Color and Simply Style fabrics.

I love how it turned out. 72 inches square. Wish I could get a better picture…

Please go over to https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2020/06/one-monthly-goal-june-finish-link-up.html to see what other quilters have made this month! One Monthly Goal – great motivator to get things finished, one step at a time.

First Week of June

It is so unusual to be off from work. The days kind of run into each other and it is hard to get motivated. Good thing there are deadlines. Saturday is a drop off day at Bundles of Love so have been trying to get a few more knitted items done.

Baby booties and dishcloths.

I now have 11 sets of Baby booties done and 6 dish cloths. Thanks to the patterns from Mary Alice, they are turning out pretty cute. I have a Cardinal, Hummingbird, Topiary, Birdhouse, Cherries, and Butterfly. Different sizes because two different weights of yarn and I’ve used 3 different needle sizes. The butterfly is pretty loose, but all cute.

My favorite summer flower – the Peony! Beautiful, lacy, delicate, fragrant and elegant. Just had to share.

In working on the Jacob’s Ladder quilt, I got back to my Christmas blocks as my leader and enders. They have been super fun to create.


June One Monthly Goal

It is hard to believe it is June already! Last post was about the fabulous find of my Jacob’s Ladder blocks so my OMG is to finish putting all those blocks together!

There has been much rearranging of blocks and after awhile, it was hard to keep straight -a color in block or color out, direction of block, etc. But I am now happy with the set up and ready to start sewing into rows and getting this top put together. Would be really nice to have my floor back! I don’t want to stack the blocks up again and risk losing yet again!

Connecting with https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2020/06/one-monthly-goal-june-link-up.html. Check it out for some quilt inspiration!

Jacob’s Ladder

One of the quilts I made for a student was a Jacob’s Ladder quilt. I used Kansas Troubles fabrics and alternated the color placement in the blocks then hand quilted it using the Baptist Fan pattern. I loved the way it turned out so much, I started making one for myself. Then I sold my house in Litchfield and quickly had to pack up and move. They have been missing for the past 2 and a half years!

Last week, while drinking my morning coffee, I toyed with the idea of starting the Lucy quilt I have been collecting orange and black fabrics for a fall lap quilt. Who doesn’t need yet another Work In Progress? I decided it can’t hurt to read the directions at least. So I brought down the tote it is all stored in. Looked easy enough so thought I would check out the oranges to make sure I still liked them all, and there in the bottom were two storage bags with KT fabric.

I was so excited I went and searched for the notes from my first quilt. I had made it back in 2016!

I had 9 blocks finished and perhaps another 10 cut out. Now I am up to 40 blocks done and love how it is turning out! I am going to make mine bed size with a block layout of 7 x 8 so it should finish up at 84″ x 96″. I will hand quilt this the same way as Gina’s.

I love the warm colors of fall so am sticking to the reds, purples, oranges, and greens with a few browns and blacks thrown in. Easy to find in the Kansas Troubles lines. It is 90 percent KT with a few other Moda lines in the backgrounds, Primitive Gatherings and 3 Sisters.

Doll Quilt Exchange

In the spring, Humble Quilts blog has hosted a Doll Quilt exchange for I think the past seven years.  I was able to participate again this year and was thrilled with the doll quilt I received from Laurie B. Simply Amazing.


Such tiny half square triangles and flying geese!  I do love flying geese, but have never made any this small!  It is an amazing quilt and so generous of Laurie.  Quilters are the best people!  She even included the adorable pincushion as well.  Personally, I think I received the best of the bunch in this years exchange!

The doll quilt I made went to Ruth in McMinnville, OR.  I saw a large quilt in Vintage Legacies by Carol Hopkins that I loved and though I would try it in Doll Quilt size.  The whole thing was one block repeated in different fabrics.  I have heard it called Broken Dishes as well as Hourglass.  Either way, I love how when the blocks are next to each other, the eye will also focus on the pinwheel created.

I hand quilted roughly a quarter inch inside the background triangles.  It was super fun to make and I even have a few extra blocks to create one for myself.  In Ruth’s thank-you, she mentioned that she also blogged about the Doll quilt exchange at Country Log Cabin.  I feel I should know Ruth – she lives in a town where one of my brothers used to work, her son is retiring from the Air Force, as my other brother did a few years ago.  I also am making a quilt for him using red, blue, and cream grunge fabrics along with a few of his old uniforms that I am in the process of ripping apart.  She spent summers at her Uncle Henry’s farm in Minnesota, as did I at my great Uncle Henry (and Aunt Ardis in my case), but for only a week at the most.  Love her sampler quilt at the top of her blog…

This is the fifth year I have participated in the Doll Quilt exchange and it has always been a positive experience.  I would encourage others to participate as well.  Lori recently gave some stats of the participants.  There are people from over half the states participating and several countries.  It really does seem like a small world.

Reminiscing on Students

Last week I found out that the job I had for over 30 years will likely soon be over.  Greg (my boss) and I were blind sided.  The school we work at found a company that will pay for the renovation they want to happen, so Pioneer is out and Sodexo is in.  I am over the shock of it, finally, but as soon as someone stops to say good-bye I tear up.  Perhaps it is a good thing a pandemic has hit and so few people are on campus!

In cleaning out a drawer, I found pictures from years ago of student workers.  We have had so many students pass through our dining hall.  When I got home I started looking at pictures of some of the quilts I’ve made for the students that made an impact with me.

One of the first was a Butterfly quilt from a Debbie Mumm pattern.  I actually made it twice.  As pictured, for Katie, and in purples, for Lindsey.


One of the early ‘disappearing’ patterns from Missouri Star Quilt Company was the Disappearing Nine Patch.  I used patriotic prints for a quilt for Greg.


For Joni, I had a new book called Scrap-Basket Sensations.  All made out of Jelly Rolls, another thing new to the time.  I bought the book for one pattern, and have yet to make it!  I made Island Chain, but instead of using the island batiks pictured, I used Kansas Trouble fabrics, as that was the color palette I loved back then and all I bought.  I made it over a spring break and loved the pattern so much, I bought 3 more of her books!


It was Snickers approved.

Using yet more Kansas Troubles, I made a quilt for Gina using the pattern Jacob’s Ladder.  By switching the color placement of the blocks, it formed a cool pattern.  An old block called for an old quilting motif as well so I had quilted it using the Baptist Fan pattern.


I made a quilt for Seth that is from a favorite designer, Carrie Nelson.  I modified it for size from the pattern, but it is called Tire Tracks!


Gone to Pieces quilt shop in Kimball offered a Block of the Month program one year that I admired every time I went to the store.  I finally signed up to participate in it.  So many stars!  I enjoyed individual blocks, but it was so much work.  In the end, I loved it! But I had already promised it to Natasha.  It was really hard to give away.


Long post, so one more.  Jeanette and I went to Des Moines for an AQS quilt show.  We also took a few classes.  One was using a new ruler to help sew diamonds.  In the class, I of course used Kansas Troubles 🙂 but MJ liked red and purple.  So that is what I used.  I was doubtful, but I think it turned out pretty well.


Every time I look at the pictures, I think of the student I made the quilt for, and am thankful for the time that I had with them.  I had many good years at NCU and met many wonderful people, a few of them quilt worthy.  🙂