Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:

July 2012 - Posts

Sue's Saturday Morning Musings

I just finished changing the bedsheets and vaccuming the carpet. I opened the windows, to let the cool breeze air out the room. Aahhhh, fresh air. It has been so hot & humid, that a breath of cool air is refreshing. Yesterday, a storm blew across mid-Michigan as I was driving home from work. Traffic slowed to 45 mph on the freeway, and many pulled off to the side of the road or under overpasses. I didn't note any hail, but my 3-1/2 year old granddaugter told me all about the "ice on the ground", when we visited later in the evening.

What fun to play with the granddaughters. The 4-month old continues to teeth, much to the chingrin of my breast-feeding daughter. I cautioned her on the possibilities of biting and she responded with an emphatic, "She already has!" Later, I sat on the floor and helped the 3-1/2 year old put together a puzzle. She chatted the entire time. Every time that I put a piece into the puzzle, she responded with, "Good job! You're good at puzzles, Grandma!" I told her Mom that I needed to start a Grandma/Granddaughter day every couple of months. I can just see us baking cookies, reading books, playing dress-up and running around outside. I'm already planning that first date!

I hope to get a lot more accomplished on my applique Hungry Catepillar quilt blocks, this week-end. Here's what I have done so far.

My eldest daughter is getting excited to see the finished product. My grandson is growing so fast. When I visited on Thursday, he kept babbling while I held him. I seriously think he is surpassing his older cousin in size and weight. He will be three months on Monday. The quilt has to get I can work on other projects, as well. I saw the cutest quilt in Fons & Porter's Summer 2012 Scrap Quilts magazine.

Easy Quilts Scrap Quilts 2012 (EQ120027) 

Check out page 24 - Tangerine Zoo. My favorite in the magazine. It's still on newsstands; I picked mine up last week-end, while on vacation.

Enjoy your Saturday!


Posted Sat, Jul 28 2012 8:53 AM by Pamela | with no comments

Sue's Monday Musings 2

Four days in a camper is enough for me. We're home; I've unpacked; the laundry is nearly done; and I'm ready to sleep in my own bed tonight. I guess I'm not much for outdoor camping. The confined spaces, the shared bathrooms & showers, and the dampness in the morning, are just a few of the things I can only take for a few days.

But, we did enjoy being away from home in the Michigan outdoors. We spent time with two of my husband's brothers and their families, that were also camping, The weather was beautiful, although hot & humid. My DH and I went on a bicycle ride every morning. I cooked several meals, which I usually do not get to do. I do enjoy cooking. And, I was able to do some hand sewing. As any die-hard quilter will do, I packed several projects to keep me busy. I mostly did hand applique on my Hungry Catepillar blocks. But, I also stitched a hanging sleeve on a quilt I recently finished. And, I cut out the squares for the last Mystery quilt. I had more things along to do, and didn't even pull out my Featherweight. But, I had it just in case.

We visited my youngest daughter tonight. She finally got pictures taken of the newest granddaughter and gave us copies. They make such adorable children. Of course, Grandma is a bit partial. Tomorrow, I have to head back to work. As you all know, that is always difficult after a vacation. And, I have to leave earlier than usual, so that I can go to a training in another town. Four hours in a training the first day back after a vacation; hopefully I don't nod off.

My brother called from California, and left a message while we were away. He just wanted to know what was up with the heat wave we were experiencing in Michigan. He said that he's still got us beat out in L.A. We remember, as children, a couple of hot summers, but nothing that seemed to last like this one has.

Stay Cool and Happy Stitching!

Posted Mon, Jul 23 2012 8:21 PM by Pamela | 2 comment(s)

Sue's Sunday Morning Musings 5

A light rain showered the landscape yesterday afternoon, and today, there is a cool breeze blowing. A bit of a reprieve from the hot, humid weather everyone has been experiencing. As the day progresses, I'm certain that the heat will again make it more comfortable to stay indoors. This morning, I spent time reading a couple of blogs. I have been following the 1812 War & Piecing blog by Barbara Brackman. If you are interested in quilt history, this one is a good read.

I visited my two granddaughers yesterday. The youngest is four months old today. She has become more interactive, grasping onto anything within reach. She has a toy with a steering wheel, knobs and push buttons that plays music and makes car sounds. We sat on the floor and played with it for quite awhile. She also likes to grasp her rattles. Of course, everything still goes into her mouth. Speaking of her mouth, she has two teeth and another one coming in, already. Her sister and I danced around the room and she had to show me her new two-wheel bicycle with the training wheels. It's too warm to go outside, so Mom & Dad have it in the basement. Safer, as well.

For any of you with grandchildren, you will understand when I say that I am finding less and less time for myself. I plan one day a week to stop after work and visit my eldest daugher and my grandson, who is growing tremendously. I must say, he is quite different from his cousin, who is only 1-1/2 months older. He doesn't engage with me as much. I find that he is always turning his head and looking away from me when I hold him. Maybe this is the difference between boys and girls, but I haven't ever had a boy to make the distinction.

 Although my grandchildren are taking more of my time, I am still finding time to quilt. This week, I have been basting my five fruit and number pieces onto the Hungry Catepillar quilt blocks and have started the hand applique. Today, I plan to make bias tubes, for the vines on my applique heart quilts. Both of these quilts will be my take-along projects, when my husband and I go camping later this summer. One of the benefits of doing hand applique is that they are portable projects. I'm also planning on taking my Featherweight, plus my mat and rotary cutter. I'm probably planning more projects than I will have time to complete, but I want to be able to switch activities once in awhile.

We are taking our bicycles along on the trip, but mostly we'll be relaxing around a campfire, or visiting with family and friends that are camping with us. We are hoping to hit some garage sales and do some letterboxing. Look that one up, if you're curious. My younger brother got me interested in this activity. Summer is moving along fast. Hope you're enjoying yours.

Happy Stitching!


Posted Sun, Jul 15 2012 8:48 AM by Pamela | with no comments

MQN Mystery Qult - Step 4 Piecing Instructions

Here is the next step in the series on a mystery quilt.

Clue to the pattern:

The woman from the previous clue was the editor of a magazine that was important for providing women’s fashion and etiquette of the day.

Step 4 Piecing Instructions:

We are now moving on to piecing together two rows of the block.

1)      Go back to Clue #2 baggie and take out the light 2-1/2 inch squares.

2)      Go to Clue #4 baggie and take out the pieced HST sections that look like flying geese. These sections have a cool color triangle in the center.

3)      Place a light 2-1/2 inch square on either side of the geese section and stitch. Complete this process with all of the light squares and cool color #1 triangle sections.

4)      Press seams toward the light squares. This is the first completed row of the block.

5)      Go back to Clue #1 baggie and take out the pieced light and dark 2-1/2 inch square sections.

6)      Go to Clue #3 baggie and take out the pieced HST sections that look like flying geese. These are sections with a warm color triangle in the center and two different cool colors on the sides. Choose the warm color triangle sections with the cool color #2 triangle sections. Place the cool color #1 triangle sections back into the Clue baggie #3.

7)      Place a dark/light section on either side of the HST geese section, with the light square on the outside and the dark square next to the HST section; stitch. Complete this process with all of the light/dark sections and cool color #2 sections.

8)      Press seams toward the dark squares. This is the second completed row of the block.

Have you been researching the clues to find out the quilt block pattern? The next steps will put together the final row of the block, so that the pattern will emerge. I’m looking forward to the reveal.


Happy Stitching!

Posted Tue, Jul 10 2012 9:13 PM by Pamela | with no comments

Stitching with my Sisters

Happy Independence Day, Everyone! God Bless America!!

With the holiday midweek, I had to work today. But, I did not have to work on Monday. Neither did either of my sisters, so we made it into another Sister's Sewing Day! We've been doing these sewing days for a couple of years, but they are becoming more frequent. Maybe because our children are grown and we have more time to sew. We set our sewing machines up at my youngest sister's house. Since we all live within five blocks of each other, we take turns rotating at each other's house. We each provide something for lunch. My youngest sister planned fruit smoothies, which were refreshing.

I always take far more projects with me than I can accomplish. I chose to work on parts of four projects, but only completed two. First, I stitched six-inch pinwheel patches into 12-inch blocks. These are part of the Hungry Catepillar quilt that I am making for my new grandson. The next step is to applique my fruit blocks. I have five blocks that represent each of the five fruits that the catepillar eats through in the storybook. I am putting one apple with the number one on a block, two pears with a number two on another block, and so forth. This is a quilt that I designed, that follows the story using the Hungry Catepillar fabrics, along with a panel that my daughter purchased a few years ago at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The second part of a project, was to put together the alternate blocks from my guilds Applique Hearts quilt. I finished the last block, the Hawaiian applique block, and re-did the Shadow Applique block. Here is a peek at the Hawaiian applique block. Most of my alternate blocks were altered from the original patterns. I created this heart design, with flowing curves rather than waves with points in the first block.


Then, I stitched the blocks together, adding a five-and-a-half inch mitered border.

This is the finished top. The background is a black flannel, which wanted to stretch. Check out previous posts that tell the story of creating each monthly heart block at my MMQG Applique Club, over the last nine months. Each block used a different hand applique technique. Now, I have to make my vine and add the leaves and berries. The vine will be a bias tube, likely in a shade of brown/tan. I prefer to use Gwen Marston's technique for making bias. Check it out in any of her recent books. The leaves and berries will be made from more of the wool felt, homespuns and flannels used to make the blocks.

Stitching with my sisters is always fun. We catch up on what's happening in each other's lives, reminisce about our childhood, and plan ideas for the future.

I sure wish it would rain! Enjoy!

Posted Wed, Jul 4 2012 8:25 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)