Birthday Weekend

IMG_0316It started out on Saturday. I traveled to Kewaunee for a birthday gathering for my mother. ¬†98 years. Hard to imagine but she’s doing fine. Her body doesn’t like movement, as her elbow, shoulder and finger joints refuse to move at times. But she gets around fine at her assisted living apartment, and wins most of the money at their sheepshead games–she’s the only one who can remember which cards are played.

 

Four of the siblings were there to celebrate with her. We gathered for the picture, but had to reposition ourselves so we stood in birth order. Totally Jim’s idea, but it works. Right to left is oldest to youngest in second picture. Oldest and youngest were unable to attend. Joanne, Lois (deceased), Elayne (deceased), Judy, me, Jim, Mari, Debbie. My mom was #2 of 6 and is the only one remaining in her family. But they produced lots of cousins for me: over 60. I know. Isn’t it great?

Then I had to return home so I could attend a party for Hailey. She turned 11 on Sunday. But first I had to make her birthday cake. Monster cookie icebox cake. She picked out the recipe, I made the cake. Cookie butter, cream cheese, whipped cream for the filling. Layered with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chips, peanut butter cookies and m and m, caramel cookies and Heath pieces. More whipped cream on top. Yum.IMG_0326then she opened presents. I bought her a sun dress, shorts long enough to wear to school, and a summer top. Kelly got her nail polish and nail art, hair barrettes, and lip balm. She got lots of money, too, but presents are more fun to open.

I love Memorial Day weekend just for the birthdays. I got lots of family time with my mother, I stayed with my sister, Kelly spent 3 days with us and we saw the grandgirls and Dan and Kari. Couldn’t ask for better company.IMG_0372

Frustration, But Finished

IMG_1260I completed one quilt in the past few weeks. I read a blog post about a picnic quilt recently. Now I’ve been wanting/meaning to make one of those almost since I began quilting. ¬†After reading that post I decided it was time. I pulled out a jolly bar set, Sundrops by Cory Yoder, I got in a Sew Sampler box from The Fat Quarter Shop and decided to make Picket Fences pattern from the jolly bar book. The main color is such a beautiful peachy pink.

Turns out, it is not a picnic quilt. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer so it went to her. It HAD to go to her because that peachy color is her favorite color. She can now surround herself with a quilt of her favorite color. The picnic quilt will have to be another project down the road.

What frustrated me was the quilting. For the first time I decided to spray baste the quilt. I read a few blogs and it was as easy as they said. BUT something went terribly wrong. Either I sprayed too heavily or the spray was too old (I think I bought it a year or so ago) and the machine quilting was nearly impossible to do. First it skipped stitches, and then it frayed and broke the thread.

I refused to give up. I found a needle/thread conditioner that I received from a Sew Sampler box again, and I stopped and conditioned the needle every few feet of stitches. It was a quilt-saver, for sure. I refuse to show a close-up picture of my loop-d-loop quilting as I could never get into a rhythm. But I finished and gifted the quilt. Ruth is not concerned with perfection, nor am I. Her perseverance is much more critical than mine will ever be.