Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jessica's Wedding Dress

Such a beautiful gown. It was found by googling "Irish Wedding Dress" but it can no longer be found. Wondering if I can make this pattern for my sweet friend who is getting married in 2015. I think I will try out a scale model for one of my dolls.

updates to follow. I just wanted to save this photo so I wouldn't lose it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

10 random things you may or may not know about me

This is a meme going around Facebook that I participated in. Since it includes a bit of my own personal history, I thought I'd include it here on my blog.

1. I grew up in the country and remember the outhouse. It always creeped me out because there were spiders. Also going out there in the dark was scary because it was far from the house. I had nightmares about that place, the earth cracking and opening up and millions of spiders pouring out from the cracks. brrr. I still shudder to think of that dream.  I remember when we got an indoor bathroom, how luxurious that was. I don't remember where we took baths before that.

2. Mom's counter tops and cupboards were orange crate boxes stacked on top of one another with a board on top and homemade curtains on one of those spring curtain-"rods" to hold them in place. I got under the curtain and wrote my name in chalk on the orange crate in my 4-year-old hand writing. On the wall of the kitchen was a saying which I will never forget which read: "I had no shoes and I complained, until I met a man who had no feet." We looked at that while we did dishes every day.

3. I remember having my tonsils out, when I was four. The doctor came to my room the night before the operation and knelt down by my bedside and said a prayer for a successful surgery. I was comforted and wasn't afraid. But when they put me under with ether, I could hear my name echoing, and my hand-printed chalk name floated in all sizes before my eyes. It scared me.

4. I remember a trip to Pennsylvania when I was two. I remember loving the tunnels and standing on the bump between the back and front seats (there were no seat belts) and exclaiming, "come anuder hole!" I also remember when we got to Pittsburgh, I was looking for the "clock shop on a corner in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania", like Perry Como sang. It wasn't until just a few years ago that I found out it was a "pawn shop"!!!!!! all these years I thought it was a clock shop on a corner. I remember asking my mom where the clock shop was as we passed all the corners in Pittsburgh. My parents giggled. I listened to Perry Como and Tennessee Ernie Ford in my young life. I always thought I would marry Tennessee. I was in love. He taught me much of what I knew about my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through his beautiful songs.

5. I attended a four-room/8-grade school with a hot-lunch cafeteria in the basement. Mrs. Lolis was our beloved cook. I know this makes me sound ancient, but I don't feel that old. . . There were two grades per room/teacher. Our principal was also the 7th and 8th grade teacher. My first and second grade teacher, Mrs. Winslett, owned a skating rink, and Friday nights we would go roller skating. She was there, ringing the bell and turning the crank on a display board which would say, "Reverse Skate, Backwards Skate, Girls only, Boys only, couples only, etc".  Mrs. Winslett saved the boxes from the candy bars and put our phonics cards in them. I loved Phonics, maybe it was the association with the chocolate smell?

Once, my best friend and I were sent to the Principal's "office" for giggling in class. We had to write our times tables from 1 to 12 in front of the 7th and 8th graders. It was mortifying and I learned them permanently that day, never to forget. But our Principal, Mr. Gauthier was also an amazing gymnastics coach, and when our country school was closed, he moved onto our Jr. High, as a science teacher, where he taught my friend, a few other girls and myself to do many gymnastic stuff. We loved that man. We had ink-well desks in 5th/6th grades, but more modern ones in the first four grades. I still have some of these ink-well desks from when the school closed down.

6. I gave birth to my third child alone in the bathtub after I drove myself to the hospital and they sent me home, telling me that I was NOT in labor, even though I was a week overdue. . . When Dave got home (he had to call for a substitute so he could leave the control room of the power plant) and found me with a brand new baby in my arms, he turned almost as white as the wall and slowly sat down. The hospital took us serious when we showed up with a brand-newborn baby in our arms. . .

7. I LOVE dolls, and have several walls in my sewing room filled with stacked boxes of Barbie dolls on display which includes all the princesses and princes, and the two who sing in harmony. I also own the Carol Burnette one from their skit, Went With the Wind, with the curtain rod and curtains draped over her shoulders, Farrah Faucett and Jack Sparrow (yum).  I own three Patty Playpal (three-year-old dolls) and usually have one in the front room dressed for the season. For Halloween, I dressed her in the costume I'd made for my own three-year-old son. She sometimes freaks people out because she is so life-like. But I think she's cute.

8. I sang my first solo when I was five for my dad's shop Christmas party. I have sung in a beloved 100-voice SATB choir, the Choral Arts Society of Utah, in Salt Lake for the last 10 years, driving 300 miles round-trip every week, and sometimes up to three times in one week on the week of performance. I served 7 or 8 years on the board of directors as the Executive Secretary and still have many business cards to prove it. 

We have sung in Carnegie Hall, at Larry Miller's funeral, the Kennedy Center on Memorial Day, in Montana with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, in Austria for Mozart's 250th birthday, along with 4-6 performances every year around the community. Our beloved and very talented choir director, Sterling Poulson, is also the channel 2 news meteorologist. This Christmas I will sing in my very last concert with the choir (I am moving out of state) and our guest performer will be Colin Raye. Previous guests have included Nathan and David Osmond, sons of Alan Osmond, George Dyer, Bar-J Wranglers, Michael Ballam, Joseph Paur and several others I can't think of. I also sang in an 8-person backup choir for Lyle Lovett.

9. My hubby and I met at the student branch of our Church, and were friends for two years before we married. We have been married for 39 years and are still best friends. We have six children, three boys and three girls, and twenty grandchildren, ten boys and ten girls. When the last grand daughter was born she evened out her family to two girls, two boys and the grand children's numbers. When her dad was born, he evened out our count as well. The oldest boy and girl were born in March, the youngest boy and girl were born in February and the middle boy and girl were born in January.  They are scattered from the east to the west coast and several in between. They have awesome spouses I love them all.

My husband recently retired so I have twice the hubby and half the pay check and it is just fabulous. We have such a great time together and are still very much in LOVE!
I spent 8 years as a farmer's wife, helping out with the lambing, cattle drives, driving tractor, irrigating, and canning 30 bushels of fruits and vegetables every year. I miss the beautiful scenery from that farm. We are moving to a home on 5 acres on a mountain-side, so we might be able to pick up the fun parts of farming again. . .

10. My sister and I went on a 2000 mile road trip for a month when I was 23 and she was 19, in Ted Bundy country, camping out at nights in our car at the road-side rest stops. In the years before cell phones, we called home every night from a pay phone using the operator and person-person long distance. Somehow the code would include where we were, and my parents would say that person was not there and not accept the call most times unless they wanted to talk. Years later we discovered we fit the profile of Ted Bundy's victims.





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grandma Hahn's Bread and Butter Pickles


25-30 medium cucumbers
8 large white onions
2 large sweet peppers
1/2 cup salt
5 cups vinegar
5 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Wash cucumbers and slice as thin as possible. Chop onions and peppers. Combine with cucumbers and salt. Let stand three hours; drain. Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in a large preserving kettle, bring to a boil.
Add drained cucumber mixture. Do not boil but heat thoroughly. Pack while hot into hot sterilized jars. Wash rim of jar with wet washcloth, put hot lid (sitting in hot water) and seal.

To keep jar hot, put clean jars into oven set at 170 degrees.

Pickle Recipe to end all Pickle Recipes

 by Susan Woolsey

2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 spear of dill
1/3 clove of garlic
onions (optional)

Mix first four ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.
Pack dill, cucumbers, onion (optional) and garlic into jar. Pour solution over cucumbers, add hot lid and process 20 minutes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Quilters Favorites




Recently I stumbled upon an amazing quilt made by Geta Grama and was immediately smitten. I began reading her blog and decided to participate in her link party of quilter's favorites.
She asked us to write about as many subjects as we wished from her list of questions. So here is my take.

I am answering three of the questions posted by Geta:
If you enjoy other quilt techniques than patchwork, could you share some tips with us ?  
List one or two of your favorite quilting techniques and a tutorial/pattern/book where you learned about them ?  
Do you have free tutorials on your blog? Share the link. 

Oh before I start, I want to mention my favorite tool. That is machingers, which are gloves that help you push your fabric around under your domestic machine. The site I have referred you to is that of Leah Day's. She is an amazingly talented lady in North Carolina who freely gives you videos on how to free motion quilt. I love this lady, she has helped me immensely to try new things and to become more confident in my own work.


I will start with the tutorial link to my blog that gets the most hits of any. It is a tutorial on a mitered corner for receiving blankets.  

I love all sorts of quilts and have done everything from my first one, a Log Cabin done in jewel tones, which took the Sweepstakes prize at the county fair, to Cathedral Window, but most recently I have begun to enjoy making the Stained Glass quilts.

Back when I only had eleven grand children (I now have 20), my oldest was about to turn 8 years old and was to be baptized into our Church. I wanted her to remember this day, so I set about to make her a quilt. I thought long and hard about this decision, because I knew my children weren't done having kids and I have six children myself. I knew I was setting a precedent and needed to make sure I would be able to follow through to the very last grandchild with the same quality of quilt for all. I realized my age would continue to proceed, and I may have poorer eyesight, but I just couldn't help myself. The first quilt I made was from a pattern by Nancy Halvorson called Be Attitudes. The technique required a lot of applique and I managed to complete this quilt in time to attend Madelyn's baptism. It was a tremendous effort and thus began the pattern of quilt-making for grandchildren. Two years later I had TWO grand daughters who needed a quilt, and this time they were only a week apart, so not only was I frantically sewing another BeAttitude quilt for Calise, who was the first daughter in my second son's family, but also for Lucy who was the second daughter in my first son's family. So Lucy required a different quilt from Madelyn. I had to come up with something else, so they wouldn't all have the exact same quilt in the household. And so I came up with another plan, this time I derived my picture from the first quilt I had made, a picture of Jesus getting baptized.
Since I couldn't find a pattern, I ended up making my own pattern. I called the quilt "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus". This was the stained glass method. I had found a beautiful Stained Glass pattern for a banner with the word Joy on it. I had made this one year for Christmas and decided to try my hand at it again, this time a complicated and intricate pattern I made up.
I first enlarged the picture to about 2.5' by 3' and made two copies, then I traced over the lines with a sharpie so I could see through muslin. I numbered both patterns, then cut one into pieces Then I placed muslin over the uncut pattern and began to cut out the pieces of fabric (with a Steam-a-Seam backing) that belonged on the quilt. I started with sky, then moved to the water and mountains. I filled in the trees next, then the leaves and the figures of Jesus and John the Baptist.  When all were carefully in place and ironed onto the muslin I made some black bias tape with a Steam-a-Seam backing and began to iron on the "leaded" part of the stained glass. When all was ironed on, I then proceeded to stitch one side of the black bias to the muslin. After that I placed the rest in a sandwich of a backing and batting. and stitched the other side of the bias. Then I built the rest of the quilt, with the sashing on all sides. The reason I didn't sew the whole quilt top at once was the difficulty of stitching all those black bias lines with all that sashing fabric my tiny domestic machine.
Once the sashing was in place, I sandwiched the rest of the quilt with the backing and began to machine quilt. I wanted a message Lucy could read on her bed, so I tried to sew that message in the blue part of the sashing,

If you look carefully, you can see the writing in amongst the bubble quilting. It says: "I'm trying to be like Jesus"  The other sayings around the picture say "Read your Scriptures, Go to Church, Say your Prayers", suggesting that these are ways to become more like Jesus. You can see my blog on the process and the rest of the quilt in this post.

After six hours of quilting, I realized that these sayings just didn't show. I was so disappointed, but I wasn't going to let this stop me, because the baptism was only hours away. So I took a crayon and colored the letters, then took a paper towel and heat set the crayon.

I had a bit of a break between the next baptisms. But the next year, I had two more baptisms, this time not a week apart, but six months. To my horror, I had filed away that pattern in a VERY safe place and could NOT find it! So I proceeded to make another pattern of Jesus and John the Baptist.



I added more colors to this one. It was way more complicated, so to rescue me from 6 hours of quilting, I cut out the letters this time and appliqued them onto the quilt.
I think this one turned out better, and maybe it was a blessing in disguise to have lost the original pattern.

I did the same procedure as the original, quilting the center panel before adding all the rest of the sashing and backing.


















The final quilt I just completed in December was another Stained Glass. I purchased this pattern online. I pretty much copied the colors, but I think my background really made it pop.

This was a much simpler stained glass quilt to  make because the pieces are so much larger.

I hope my grand children think of Jesus as they look at the gift I have given them. That is my purpose in making these. I will be making another one of the Jesus and John the Baptist quilts and because the next child to be baptized will be the first boy in the family. The other one will be the fourth girl in my first son's family. I have yet to design this one. I'm thinking Christ and the little children picture. There are several pictures out there that I love, but I haven't started designing it.






This is probably a long enough post. But I wanted to add one name that has really changed my life. That would be Sharon Schamber. She is a Master Quilter from Payson Arizona. She has won many quilting contests, and the first quilts she did for years were quilted on a domestic machine. She said she would have continued to quilt on the domestic machine but she has a condition which causes her hands to tremor

She has many videos online, but two of my most favorites that have changed the way I quilt are the one on basting and the one on joining pieces together.

The basting one makes it so much easier to machine quilt on your domestic machine. She recommends you baste with 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss. It has made all the difference in handling the quilt. And the two pieces stick together through all kinds of handling.

The other video on joining pieces together teaches you to glue your pieces together with school glue. She has you put on a special tip to make the glue line very fine. Then you press your two pieces. School glue is just starch, so when you wash the quilt, the glue washes out. It has made the sewing process so much easier because nothing shifts like it would with pins.

As I began this quilting journey, I had no idea what I was doing. I began searching online for helps and basically spent five years watching videos and learning from blogs on how to quilt. Most people around here either pay someone to machine quilt all their quilts or they own their own longarm machines. I can't afford either, which led me to the internet to search for helps. I am grateful for people who are kind enough to share their talent and tips.

I hope my humble blog helps you in some way. I'd love to hear from you who visit me.

Thanks Geta for linking us all together.
~a


















Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Newest Flower in our Bouquet

We have a new addition to our family. My youngest son and his beautiful wife
just added a fourth child to their family.This makes two girls and two boys in their cute family. This baby is named after a flower (a little bit different spelling, but that's OK) and her maternal grandmother, but coincidentally the spelling of her middle name is also the same as her paternal aunt, my second oldest daughter, so it is all in the family. A beautiful name for a darling little girl.

Welcome little one. 

She also evens out the grandchildren numbers. We now have 10 grandsons and 10 grand daughters. How fun is that? I love numbers and was thrilled when this son, pictured above, was born and evened out the number of girls and boys in our family, (3 and 3) The oldest son and daughter were born in March, the middle son and daughter were born in January and the youngest son and daughter were born in February. So I think it is appropriate that his newest baby evened out the numbers in his own sweet family and my grandchildren, doncha think?

This sweet little flower came on the second day in April, and only 12 days after the first day of spring. She is beautiful and I cannot wait to get a chance to hold her and get to know this darling little addition. Her brothers and sisters are such sweet children, but of course they are being raised by two very special parents who love each one. Her oldest sister is only four years old, so this sweet mama will have a handful when she gets home from the hospital. Especially since her dad works and is in school full time. 

We wish them all the best in this endeavor, and in our prayers, we constantly plead for the safe-keeping and well-being of all our sweet children, their spouses and children. We feel so very blessed. 

Thank you Lord for the blessings you have bestowed upon us, and thank you for this sweet newest blessing in our family.

hugs
~a


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UR Priceless Give-Away Winner

And the winner of the drawing for a coin purse frame is

her comment was: LJ
Sounds like life just gets in the way at your house like it sometimes does at mine. Lost things can be irritating! But...your coin purse turned out so cute and I love the fabric - I can imagine the heavy-weight of it was a real challenge.

Please send me your mailing information so I can send you the frame. Thanks to all who joined in on the fun.

~a

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