Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Super Size King Flower Garden!

I love my sewing machines....I have too many to mention....BUT there is nothing better than sitting in my chair in front of a good T.V. show with some handwork in my lap. In my chair is exactly where I enjoyed working on the beginning of Our Flower Garden. My sister and I decided that we wanted to make a quilt using our stash. We had our plan and for a year before our sisters retreat I started making around 550 circles using a modified yoyo pattern and preparing about 200 leaves and stems for applique. I go to her cabin on the lake for about two weeks every summer for our retreat, just us and our machines! Doesn't that sound fun?

I was ready for the retreat! I made my way to Table Rock Lake where we got all set up and ready to sew. The flower blocks were the first to be made. Oh, were they fun to put together and see the end product of our work over the past year.

We marveled at all the old fabrics that brought back many memories. We told stories and just enjoyed this time thinking of the past with fondness and sentiment! Between sewing, laughing, eating, sewing, and story telling, etc., we finally got all the flower blocks done. Working on the scrappy squares used in the Irish chain was not quite as fun, however, again we were flooded with memories and stories. WeBloggers Quilt Festival were having so much fun making this quilt. As we started piecing it together we found out how large it was going to be. We actually finished piecing the top together in record time. I will admit there were many late nights!

Our quilt tops returned home with each of us ready to be quilted.

Well, the quilting is done and it was time to go back to my chair and put the binding on. The binding was put together with scraps to tie in the scrappiness of the quilt. I got to end working on this quilt in my chair sewing down the binding reflecting on many memories shared. I was again enjoying this relaxing time alone in my chair with my quilt in my lap. What a great way to finish off a quilt. I call it my super size king. It fits on my bed and hits the floor on all three sides with a fold over for the pillows. I love it!!

Thank you Amy for all your work on this wonderful Bloggers Quilt Festival. It is so much fun to see everyones talent and inspiration.

Luv ya, Gigi

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Christmas All Year at Table Rock Lake

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

I began my quilting journey in 1990 when I took my first class at our local Recreational Arts Center.  Little did I know that my curiosity about quilts and quilting would become a lifelong passion.  I also didn't realize how my life would change, all the wonderful people I would meet through quilting, and all the fun places I would go, either to see beautiful quilts, attend a class, or visit a quilt shop.


Quilting also brought my sister and me closer (if that was even possible) through our love of quilting and quilting together.  Many times a year, we get together to sew, seek advice, and share quilting ideas.  Being together often leads to hours of talking, laughing, talking, laughing and most importantly, QUILTING! Needless to say, we have so much fun!

My sister and I not only share ideas, but we also share fabrics.  We have the same tastes, but often have different fabrics, so it is always nice to "borrow" fabric from each other.  That is especially important when we have a scrappy quilt to make in specific colors like red, green and white/off white.

One of my favorite quilts to make, look at and admire is the Log Cabin Quilt.  Depending on how you set the blocks together, you get a different looking quilt each time.  Many quilters have come up with different and exciting designs, but my tastes tend to lean towards the traditional. 

I made this quilt in 2003-2004 using fabrics from my huge stash and fabric "borrowed" from others.  No fabrics were bought except the backing.  The process of making this quilt was very rewarding.  I love being able to make several blocks at a time and seeing the instant results.  And there is nothing like just grabbing random strips from bags and sewing them together without even thinking.  It is very calming to me.

I love my Log Cabin Quilt.  I love looking at it and I love where I have it....on our bed at our cabin at a beautiful lake in the Missouri Ozarks.  I smile every time I look at it, and often think of my sister and all the women in my life who contributed to it with their fabrics.


Thank you for stopping by and taking a stroll with me down memory lane.  I loved sharing my story and quilt with you.

And thank you, Amy from Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Hop on over and check out all the beautiful quilts!


Log Cabin Quilt:  Machine Pieced by Jackie Rodgers; Machine quilted by Beth Cronhardt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sisters....always trying to get you in trouble!

I got an email from my sister today and it was so funny!! She sounds desperate, excited, worried, unsure, sneaky, manipulative, sincere, and funny all in the same email. I wondered if she was one of my kids trying to get something from I back at home as a little girl and she is trying to get something from I imagining that she is trying to get something from me??????? What am I to do? Here is the email for you to read and maybe you can help me!


I NEED AN INTERVENTION!!! I just joined another quilt a long. This one is using a cake. I know, I know.....what was I thinking??? Well, I wasn't! It was LATE last night and in a moment of weakness, I thought it looked fun. It is every other Tues. until May, so I would have two weeks to finish one block. Not a biggie, right? Right??? OK, so here's my plan... YOU JOIN WITH ME!!! haha! The way I look at it is got me started on these bees, which got me hooked on quilters blogs and that got me hooked on quilt-a-longs, so you owe me!! Haha! (JUST KIDDING!) Here is the blog address: Want to JOIN???? I guess it is good that I am so excited about quilting again, but I really do need help! I didn't realize what an obsessive personality I have until now! Ha! From now on, ask me EVERYDAY if I have joined another group. Hopefully, that will shame me enough to stop! If not.....well then I just won't tell you! Haha! Love you, JACKIE

You notice she asks for help and then finishes with....well then I just won't tell you! Haha!
What is a sister to do?

Luv ya, Gigi

*** Well, are you joining the quilt-a-long with me, or not???  And remember.....payback is h*+l!    ;)   ---Jackie aka The Sister

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Thing, One Week Challenge

I joined the one thing, one week challenge last week.  My goal was to finish a strip quilt that I bought at the Houston Quilt Festival many years ago.  Well, I finished the top EXCEPT for the border which is made up of many flying geese.  That will have to wait until after Christmas.  I am happy to say that I met my goal and finished the "inside" of the quilt.  I can now enter it into the pool for a prize!  Here is the quilt top, minus the flying geese border.

As I have mentioned before in this blog, I had many challenges with this quilt, but overall, it turned out pretty good and it feels great to have it done! 

Thanks, Amy, for the challenge.  Not sure I would have finished it without the "push"!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

First Quilt and Things I have learned.

I joined the "One Thing, One Week Challenge" this week.  My goal is to finish the inner body of a quilt that I started about 9-10 years ago.  It has been so long, that I can't even remember when I started it!  The quilt is made up of strips (or rows) with sashing in between the rows.  The border is made up of flying geese.

The quilt is a strip of the month quilt that I bought on my very first trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I remember being very excited to start the quilt as this would be my first "block" of the month quilt to make.  I managed to make about 4 of the 10 rows before I lost interest and put it in a box for another day.  Well, that other day was 2 weeks ago. 

I had 6 rows left to make and when I started sewing them again, I realized how fun they were to make.  I still don't know why I didn't finish it years ago!  I am happy to say that I got all the rows done this week and that is why when I saw the OTOW challenge, I decided to finish the quilt body.  I'll finish the flying geese border next.

Today, I started to sew sashing between the rows and then sew the rows together.  Here's what I have learned:

1.  My sewing skills have vastly improved in the last 10 years.
2.  I DON'T like doing strip quilts.
3.  I am a much faster sewer than I was 10 years ago.
4.  My tastes have changed.

1.  My rows are not matching up!!  The first rows that I did 10 years ago match and the rows I have done recently match, but they don't match each other!!  Quite a dilemma!
2.  Because of the above, I am having trouble getting the blocks to come out right!  UGH!
3.  It took me at least a day to sew one row 10 years ago and I can do at least 2 rows in a day now!
4.  OK, I do still love the strip quilt, but take a look at my very first quilt that I made in 1990 below.  The colors are pink and blue which I loved then, but not so much now.  I made this in my first quilting class.  We learned to piece, applique, hand quilt and put on the binding. 

So, here's some advice to all you new quilters:  Finish what you start.  Don't save a project for a later date, because your skills will improve and your tastes will change.  You might end up with the kind of problem that I have below....

I ended up taking off a block, eliminating a row completely and fudging on others!  I just hope it turns out OK!  I will post a picture of it when it is all done.  Hopefully, that won't be 10 years from now!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Love Surprises!!

I had a great surprise last Saturday when my sister came to visit. She wasn't even here 24 hours but we had a great time talking about our grandchildren, laughing, sewing, making popcorn balls, swapping patterns, and just being together. Most of the time when we are together we sew on alike projects but because we only had Saturday afternoon and evening we worked on our own projects. I am doing a leader and ender quilt. I learned this technique from my college friend at Lollyquiltz. It is so much fun and so easy to do. I will post a picture as I get closer to being done. Jackie had a strip quilt kit that she got in Houston at the International Quilt Festival several years ago. She had fun working on it as you can see progress with each strip. Enjoy our popcorn ball recipe seen below. We make them every time we get together!!

Luv ya, Gigi

Monday, October 18, 2010

Granddaughters, Sisters, Popcorn Balls, and Quilting

I had a wonderful time with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter this past week.  Even though I haven't spent a lot of time with a 12 week old for almost 25 years, I think I did a good job baby sitting Parker when her mom went back to work.  She was super good for me and we had many fun times "playing" together.  It just warmed my heart when she would look at me and ME!

Parker Dodson---12 weeks
On my way home to Kansas on Saturday, I stopped at my sisters house and spent the night.  My sister lives about an hour from my daughter, so it is easy for me to see her when I am in Colorado.  I was also able to see her granddaughter (Maren) that evening too.  What a treat that was.  Maren is such an adorable little girl!  I just love the way she calls me "Yackie"!

Maren Wyss---26 months
It will be fun to see both of these little girls grow up and become young ladies.  If my sister and I have our way, they will also grow up to be quilters! 

As we have mentioned in this blog before, we both got our love of sewing from our mom.  We learned how to sew from mom, but we also learned how to cook from her.  Many of our favorite recipes come from our mom.  Sadly she passed away a little over 3 years ago from cancer.  Even though she is no longer with us, her sewing and cooking legacy lives on in us.

One of our favorite memories of cooking with mom is making popcorn balls.  They aren't your usual marshmallow popcorn balls, but the kind where you have to cook the syrup first and then pour it over the popcorn.  You then (using greased hands) form the HOT popcorn mixture into balls.  We both just love this special treat, love making it together, and when we eat them, we are reminded of mom.  We want to share this special recipe with you.  It is a great fall treat!

Mom's Popcorn Balls
2/3 c. white syrup
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. butter
2 to 2 1/2 c. popped corn
Combine syrup, sugar, water, vinegar and salt in heavy sauce pan.  Place over low heat, stirring until mixture begins to boil.  Cook without stirring to 270 degrees F. (hard boil).  Remove from heat; add butter, stirring only enough to combine with the other ingredients.  Pour over popcorn in large bowl, using a wooden spoon to mix.  Mix well until every kernel is coated.  With hands slighty greased, form into balls.  Let cool and then enjoy!

Jodi and Jackie with our popcorn balls----and in the sewing room!!
On Saturday night when we were both together, we made the popcorn balls!  We each took one to the sewing room, enjoyed it and sewed until 2 a.m.!  It was a wonderful time being together, being sisters, and remembering mom.  We only wish we lived closer together and could share more of these special times together.  Our hope is that we will be able to share these memories of our mom with our granddaughers and teach them all the valuable lessons that we learned from our mom.  She was a special lady!


Monday, October 11, 2010

A Quilter Is Born!

I am in beautiful Colorado this week with my daughter,son-in-law, and granddaugher.  It truly is beautiful here with the trees turning colors and the sunny sky.  It is a perfect Fall day!

My daughter, Carisa, starts back to work tomorrow after being off for 12 weeks on maternity leave!  Needless to say, she is very, very sad to leave her precious daughter.  Carisa is a lucky lady because she gets to work from home 2 days a week and her husband is able to work from home 1-2 days a week.  They will only have to take Parker to a sitter on one day.  So, this week I am here and will get to "play" with Parker on Wed. AND Thurs. since Blair (my son-in-law) has to go into work on those days.  Yippee for me!!  Oh, the fun she and I will have!

Since this is Carisa's last day at home before she goes back to work, we didn't actually stay home!  Instead, we drove up to a little town not far from here to go to a quilt store.  They have the most amazing selection of fabrics and it is always a treat to shop there.  Of course we took Parker with us and realized that this was her first visit to a quilt store.  She seemed to enjoy it!  Well, at least she didn't cry!


She looks a little over whelmed, doesn't she?  But she DOES have good taste in fabric!!  Parker was a trooper and let us shop and shop!

On our drive back to my daughter's home, I noticed all the aspen trees with their beautiful colors.  We don't have aspen trees in Kansas, so I aways enjoy seeing them in Colorado in the fall.

I did bring my sewing machine and several hand projects to work on while I am here.  But they all may stay in the car......I am busy playing with my granddaughter.  Someday, she and I will sit side by side at the sewing machine and make a wonderful quilt together.  We will have such fun and I will love telling her all the "funny" stories about her mama!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Becoming a Better Quilter!!

Jackie and I made these quilts in 2007 in anticipation of having granddaughters. We are both very blessed with Parker, 3 months (Nanabanana's) and Maren, 2 years (Gigi's). Oh what fun we have planning our projects, getting the fabric, sewing together (she is always faster than me...and I am fast....not sure how she does that?), eating snacks, etc. I am sure you got the picture. I have a few rules that I have made for when we get together to sew. They go like this:

Sisters In Stitches Quilting Rules

1. Always bring the whole sewing room which magically fits into your car.
2. Stock up on lots and lots of extra snacks to build energy - the more chocolate the better.
3. Make sure you have practiced staying up all night even if it means more chocolate and diet cokes.
4. Stitch and sew until you are cross eyed, laugh until you hurt, and make plans to do this again soon!

There is a saying in the teaching world that goes like this, "I am a better teacher because of the teacher next door." When you really think about it, life is like that too! In the "quilting world" it is all about sharing ideas, enjoying the company of friends (sisters), creating new projects, fabric shopping, eating, laughing, and just enjoying life together. My sister has definitely made me a better quilter!! Do you have special friends or a sister whom you learn from, make quilts together, and enjoy life with?

Luv ya, Jodi (Gigi)

Friday, October 8, 2010

When the Husband is Away....The Wifey will Play!

My husband is away for the weekend!  He has gone to the lake for a "mancation" with 6 of his buddies and our 25 year old son.  I sent him off with a kiss and a big smile!  He was so excited....kind of like a kid the night before Christmas!  But, that's not why I was smiling!  I was smiling because I HAVE THE WHOLE WEEKEND TO MYSELF, to do what ever I want!  AND, I don't have to cook!!  Wouldn't that put a smile on your face too?

My house is clean, the laundry is done and my sewing room is all picked up.  My two quilting bee blocks were mailed today and they are on their way to England and Finland.  My "have to do" list is whittled down to just a few things. 

Now, it's time to sew and then sew some more!  Below is a picture of my pile of projects I want to complete sometime soon.

They include making a fabric ball for my granddaughter for Christmas, finishing a strip of the month quilt that I started 6 or 7 years ago, an I Spy quilt, and a new Thanksgiving table runner kit.  (I bought the kit before I made the promise to myself not to buy any new kits!)

So, I'm off to my sewing room.  I have my phone (in case hubby calls), my diet coke, and my 3 doggies at my feet.  The TV is on to keep me company and a dish of candy corn is within reach.  Am I in Heaven?  You Bet!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hi, my name is Jackie and I am a list maker...

If there was a support group for compulsive list makers, I would be a charter member. 

I make lists for groceries, errands to run and I make lists of lists to make.  I just love my lists.  There is something wonderfully rewarding about making a long list and then marking through each item as I complete the task. 

These days, my lists are much shorter than they were when my kids were young and living at home.  Then my lists contained information about dance lessons, football games, dentist appointments, etc.  Now my lists have more mundane tasks and things such as my haircut appointments, the dogs grooming appointments, going to the bank, getting gas....well, you get the idea.

BUT - I cannot make myself make a to-do list of all the quilt projects that I have yet to finish or even start.  I guess it is because I have so many projects that if I list them all, I will be super overwhelmed.  I just don't want to be reminded of how many quilts there are to make.    Here is just a sampling of what is ahead of me.....
Even though I haven't made any kind of list of all my quilt projects, I do have some of them in bins that are even labeled as to size.  Now, the question is, when will I ever get to them?  There are always new projects that are much more exciting and interesting to make. 

So, I have made a promise to myself..... I WILL NOT BUY ANY NEW PATTERNS, BOOKS OR KITS until I have made at least 3 projects out of these bins.  (Notice I didn't mention not to buy any fabric??  I know that that is one promise that I couldn't possibly keep!)  Stay tuned for the completed quilts and wish me luck.  This is one promise that is going to be really hard for me to keep!

I'm off to tackle one of those lists............

In this blog I also wanted to include a picture of the "Ugly Monster Doll" that I made for my granddaughter for Halloween.  I made him/her out of orange felt (off of a bolt).  He/she is a bit lumpy from the stuffing.  Just couldn't get it smooth enough.  Next time I will sew batting in between the front and back and then stuff it.  I think this would make it a lot smoother.

I hope he/she isn't too scary for my granddaughter!  She's only 2 1/2 months old!  :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October and Breast Cancer

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer over 3 years ago a very special friend who had experienced cancer herself along with cancer in her family as close as her husband said to me, "Jodi, you can do is what it is...just get well. It is your husband, children (especially daughter), and close family who will have the hardest time with your diagnosis. It is your job to fight with all you can and those who love you will come along side you and fight with you!!" My friend who was told she had about 6 months to live and her husband was given even a shorter time to live are still here 25 years later coming along others and fighting this devastating disease with them. Oh how I thank God for her and all my friends and family members who stood beside me!! It is a scary diagnosis, but it is much easier with others beside you. If you know someone with cancer be sure to walk beside them and help them fight.

I have always said that quilting is my therapy. In the past 3 years it has proven to be just that. Every time I sit at my machine I think of Mom, who taught me to sew and who lost her fight with cancer over 3 years ago. The love of quilting has drawn us sisters to appreciate our time together, our creative side which we inherited from Mom, and our laughter that fills the our sewing rooms with special memories. Last year my "teacher's quilting group" made a square for breast cancer awareness!! The support from my "TQG" has been awesome. May you never have the dreaded disease but if you do or if you have a friend who does, know that friends and family walking beside you will get you through it!!!
Luv ya, Gigi

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bindings, Monsters and a Lake!

Today I am at one of my favorite places in the world.  A beautiful lake!  And it is truly beautiful today with clear skies, blue water and trees that are turning all different colors.  I just love this day!

AND, I am sewing away in my wonderful sewing loft in our cabin.  I have a really nice sewing room at home, but this one is the best, just because of the beauty that surrounds me.  Oh, I'm a lucky girl!

On to sewing...I had to do the dreaded sewing on the binding this afternoon on a king size quilt.  I think sewing on binding is one of the worst things ever.  I do love to sew it down by hand after sewing by machine, but wrangling a big quilt through a little sewing machine is the pits.  But, it-is-done! 

Once that was complete, I made my granddaughter an "Ugly Doll" for Halloween or as I call them, Ugly Monster Dolls.  If you have never seen an Ugly Doll, just google it on the Internet.  You will see why they are called UGLY!  My daughter saw one in a baby store that we were in together and exclaimed how she just loved them and wanted one for her daughter, Parker!  I looked at the price tag (around $30.00!), and with my mom's voice ringing in my ears, I said, "I can make that!"!  The doll is very simple and it looked easy to make.  My only problem is is that I am in no way an artist!  There are no patterns out there (that I could find), so I had to draw my own.  That took longer than making the thing!   :)  But, mission accomplished and it is done.  I don't have a picture to post of it because I left my camera at home.  I will try to post it later in the week.

As I said, this has been a good day.  But, if only my sister was here with me.....then it would be a PERFECT day at the lake!

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