Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is a day to remember....

The following is a wonderful article from Tony Perkins' Washington Update with pictures I've added in remembrance.

Where Poppies Blow -

Until about 40 years ago, Memorial Day was observed--not celebrated--on May 30 every year. Eager Cub Scouts would work their way through the crowds at small town parades selling bright red artificial poppies. In reviewing stands, graying veterans would salute or place their hands over their hearts as high school bands marched by. Often a young girl would be called upon to read the World War I era poem "In Flanders Fields" that describes the poppies blowing row upon row among the graves of fallen warriors of the Great War.

You can gain a real appreciation of Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. There, soldiers of the Third Army, the ceremonial "Old Guard" will place little American flags on thousands of well-tended graves. Visitors will be told the story of Arlington, how Col. Robert E. Lee paced the floors of the Custis-Lee mansion back in 1861, praying and pondering. He had to decide whether to serve in the U.S. Army to which he had dedicated his life or to leave the Union with his beloved Virginia. The terrible Civil War that followed for four long and bitter years helped to fill thousands of graves at Arlington, once Lee's beautiful hilltop home.

When the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in 1921 at Arlington, President Wilson spoke as a Bible was included among the objects placed in the cornerstone of this sacred space. Today, 24 hours a day, Tomb guards march their appointed rounds, honoring those who have fallen to defend our freedoms. "America--land of the free because of the brave."

Americans have always loved their country. We love our country still. And we have a special reverence for those who gave what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion." Even today, with casualties in the War on Terror mercifully coming down, there are still flag-draped caskets returning regularly to Dover Air Force Base. There are fresh graves being filled daily at Arlington--and across America.

So great is the call of America that even foreigners feel its pull. The Marquis de Lafayette --a brave hero of our Revolution
--took home to France enough American soil to bury his earthly remains.

In recent years, Memorial Day has become the occasion for sales at the mall, cookouts, rock concerts, and days at the beach. Our fallen heroes died for this America too. They knew that a certain lightheartedness, of ever-youthful exuberance, is a part of what it means to pursue happiness. It is for all of this, the paths of laudable pursuit, the fruits of honest toil, that America stands.

May we always be worthy of those who died to give this America to us.

"Thank You" to all those who have made and kept our country the free and wonderful nation it is and "Thank You" to those who made the supreme sacrifice for us all.

We have a new baby in the family....

This must be the Mom-time for bringing home new babies, 'cause we got one, too. Our DD brought over our new furry grandbaby on Mom's Day--a little white Jack Russell Terrier named Holly. She's really cute, too, but boy does she have lots of energy. And she's not as good in the house yet as she should be, she poo'd on the living room rug once and on the bathroom floor twice, and pee'd, too--even though we took her out to do her business--yuck! But DD says she's still a baby and she'll get better.

She is all white except for some little brown freckles on her ears and one big brown spot in the middle of her back.

Katie had to slap her a few times, 'cause she kept yipping into her face and bouncing all around her like a Jack-in-the-Box. Katie is very low-key and not used to being with such a noisy, young, whippersnapper. But now Holly is learning that Katie is boss, and Holly is only VISITING!

We had to babysit Holly overnight and tried to put her in the kennel so we didn't have to worry about her while we slept, but she cried and cried. DD said we had to take her to bed with us, so I put her in bed with hubby when he went, but he's such a restless sleeper that she kept coming back out. I finally got her to sleep on my chest (yep, she's like every baby, loves those boobies, hehe) while I watched TV in my chair. Once she was asleep, I put her back in the middle of our bed with hubby. She snuggled up against his arm and they were both death to the world.

When I went to bed, she woke up for a minute and then crawled up into my neck and chest (yep, after the boobies again) and settled back in. Of course, I didn't get much sleep all night, but that hot little body sure kept me warm. Katie followed me to bed and was not happy to find an interloper cuddled up to HER mommy in HER bed, but she finally settled down on the foot of the bed for the night.

In all the excitement, I completely forgot about taking pictures of Holly and Katie, so when I do get some taken, I'll post them here. Holly went home to DD's the next day and Grandma took a really long nap. Sigh! Guess I'm not as young as I used to be. But Katie was happy to have the bed to ourselves while we napped, lol.

Until next time,
Happy quilting from Sharon and Katie

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Swaps

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I've been completeing swaps and starting on new ones. The newest one I found is over on Sandra's blog, Quilt at Home, where she is hosting a Summer Pincushion Swap. Since I've started to get into pincushions lately, it seemed a perfect fit for something new and different. I received 2 neat pincushions in my last couple of swaps and am starting to collect different patterns to try. I even went out and bought some wool to play with. Who knows where this will take me.

I mailed out my Doll Quilt 6 Swap quilt to Tracy in California 2 weeks ago. She received it and emailed back that she loves it. I'm so glad. It was a fun little quilt to make and I enjoyed picking out and sewing on some cute little bee and dragonfly buttons. I called it Dots of Spring in the Garden because the fabrics all had flowers or polka dots in them and were so bright and cheerful. I imagined the green as a garden just coming to life with all the wonderful colors of Spring--yellows, pinks, blues, and reds. I printed my label on the computer and fused it on--it's so much easier than sewing it on. And in my package I included a package of Thangles and some fat quarters. I like the looks of the quilt so much, I think I'll make one for my entry table for summer. What do you think? Doesn't it look Springy---or Summery?

My other swap was Toni's Miniature Booty Swap 3. So far I haven't heard that my package arrived safely, but I think it's okay to show you the wallhanging and the matching towel I made to go with it. This is all applique, which I love. But I'm not anywhere near to being an expert at it. Now my friend, Mary, she's the expert! She's tried to teach me all her tricks, but sometimes these darn hands of mine just will not cooperate. My new Elna sewing machine has a blanket stitch on it that I just love! And I've been putting it to good use lately, so I am improving. This is the wallhanging with just a little ribbon-like first border for accent before the main border. My towel took some thinking about, but I finally ended up just making a bunch of four-patches and sewing them together and topstitching them to the towel. I think it turned out pretty good for my first try. We had to include one of our favorite recipes in this swap, so I sent along Mary's Pear Salad recipe. It's yummy in summer and a sweet treat in winter. I also found a darling set of wooden blocks with a rooster and a chicken stenciled on them and tied with a bow that I added to the package. And just for fun, I threw in 2 funky chicken candy holders that I found in the grocery store. I just couldn't resist them, but I had to hide them from Katie, 'cause she kept trying to play with them. Aren't they cute?

I received my gift in the Booty Swap from Shelly in PA, who made this darling quilt for me. It fits perfectly on a wire hanger I already had, so it went right up on my kitchen wall. She also made me this matching towel that's too nice to use, so I just have it on display.

I really enjoy doing these swaps. They get my creative juices flowing and make me try things (and fabrics) outside my comfort zone. Now I'm waiting impatiently for my Doll Quilt to get here. I can't wait to see what my partner made for me. That's another reason I enjoy the swaps so much--I get to see other quilters' work and choices. Each swap is a learning experience for me.

And on a final note...I won half of the April Happy Blocks in my Block Central HB Swap. April's block was a WOW center square with a pink border fabric to remember and honor breast cancer survivors. There were 17 of us in the swap and we each made 6 blocks. So my half of the blocks came to 51 blocks. I'm thrilled because I have a couple of baby/little girl quilts to make, so these will come in very handy.

That's it until I have more pictures to show of my next swaps. Katie and I are working hard on them now, so we should have more pictures soon. In the meantime, though, Katie says it's time for bed, so we can get an early start tomorrow again. So until next time...

Happy Quilting,
Sharon and Katie