all the things I do in my hideaway

Archive for July, 2011

Random thoughts…

Last Wednesday, we went to a movie!  Yes, my wonderful husband found a movie he wanted to see – Seventeen Miracles.  The movie shows events from both the Willie and Martin handcart companies, combined in one movie.  There is mention made of the wagon trains following, which brings the movie to family history.  My great….grandfather, Hans Ulrich Bryner, was in the Hunt wagon train.  If you have the opportunity to see this movie, we recommend it.  Take tissues!

This week, we are going to visit Rob and Katherine in Kansas.  We plan to visit Winter Quarters, where more family history will be seen.  We are excited about the visit – praying for a change in the weather, but will enjoy the visit regardless.

Had a wonderful visit with my two grandsons, who live close, on Friday.  They loved watching old Tom and Jerry cartoons.  New movies, fancy sound and visual effects are fun, but the old animated cartoons were enjoyed greatly.  Waffles for dinner, with huckleberries in them!  Yummmmmy!  I’m amazed at their intelligence.  We talked about simple machines, which will be part of my new curriculum this fall.  They each made a “levers video” to post to Facebook.  My “starting third grade” grandson went online and played the science games I will have my students play!  He had a great time.  Sent the boys home tired that night!  Love having them close.  Being a grandma is great!

Life is good…I am so blessed.

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Past meets present…

I love batik prints.  I have been working on my batik quilt, made of 2.5 inch wide strips.  All of the strips are sewn together:

Strip sets ready to press.

Strips are pressed, ready to cut into block components:

Pressed and ready to cut.

Sewing blocks, when the past meets the present.  I got my grandmother’s 1936 Kenmore Rotary sewing machine back from the repair shop this morning.  My husband helped me get it back into the cabinet, and I sat down to test sew.  I had so many memories as I sewed.  My only memory of “sewing with Grandma” is sitting in her front room on a stool, watching her tie a quilt for my brother.  I must have been 4 1/2 years old at that time.  I asked to “help.”  Grandpa said I was too little, but Grandma sent him for some red crochet thread (she was using yarn).  She threaded a needle and I helped tie the quilt.  Grandma died soon after my fifth birthday, but sitting at her machine, the one I learned to sew on, brought back my little girl memories of this talented woman.  My mother made my clothes on this machine, as well as clothes for my six siblings.  I made many clothes for my own children on this machine.  Grandma probably never sewed on batik, but I think she would have loved the rich colors and designs available to me.

Sewing pieces together on 1936 Kenmore Rotary machine that belonged to my grandmother.

Block components all sewn and pressed, ready to take one piece from each stack and sew into the main blocks.  This will be fun.  I can look at the variety of colors and patterns I have in the component blocks, and create an interesting block.  The quilt will have 36 – 10 inch blocks, each made with one of each block below.

Ready to assemble three component blocks into quilt block.

I can’t wait to get this assembled into a quilt top.  This will be a lap quilt, 60×60 inches, a bit larger if I decide to add a border.  I will have to see the top before making that decision.   I am dreaming this quilt will be finished this summer, but with a vacation coming up, and school meetings starting Aug. 26, I don’t have many days to sew for hours.  Maybe completing the quilt top is a more realistic goal.

If you remember something about this machine, email me.  We can write a history of Grandma’s Christmas gift, so many years ago.

Traditions…revisited (a hideaway away from home)

Big Kachess

In 1975, we made our first appearance at our ward campout.  We packed up our GMC pickup with gear and two children, and camped at Lake Kachess for the first time.  We slept in the back of the truck, and had a great time.  We shared a campsite with a good friend (her husband couldn’t come) and their two children.  The lake (actually, two lakes made one by a dam) was very low that year.  Tree stumps, long underwater, and the stream that joined Big and Little Kachess were our “beach.”  The weather was beautiful.  Friday night was the ward campfire activity, Saturday morning was breakfast, cooked by the bishopric.  We went regularly as our children were growing up, and have many wonderful memories of the times there.  As the children grew older and ward boundaries changed, we didn’t attend for several years.  However, with the  boundary changes a few years ago, we are back in the May Creek ward.  We haven’t spent the night recently, but have driven up on Saturday morning for the breakfast.  This year, I went up on Thursday.  This was coming full circle.  I camped next to the same wonderful friend.  This time, she had her husband, some of her children, and grandchildren.  My husband came up for breakfast on Saturday morning, and we were able to spend some time walking around and remembering our times there with the family.  The lake is the highest I have ever seen.  The beaches where we played (and drove our van when the lake was really low)  are all underwater.  Thursday was rainy, off and on, with time clear for some good walks.  Other days were clear.  Both nights were COLD!  Think – all your blankets, socks on your feet, and a hooded sweatshirt to keep your head warm!  I did have a tent to sleep in.  Somethings don’t change – Friday night campfire and Saturday morning breakfast!  Great time….waiting to put the dates on the calendar for next year!

Our favorite campsite for many years, now very overgrown. This area was closed for several years, but is now open.

"Camp berries" - a tradition that sometimes isn't available. They were few this year, but good.

The war years…

I remember reading the Book of Mormon the first time (not the first time I tried, finished).  Like many, I reread the first part many times before I just read the Isaiah chapters and went on.  Then there was Alma.  That book was long, had more flashbacks than I could count, and I was lost on who/when/where.  There were some great people, like Captain Moroni and the sons of Helaman, but I just didn’t understand why all this war and strategy “stuff” was in the scriptures.

There is a reason we are to study, not just read the scriptures.   Reading something doesn’t mean you understand the lessons there.  The lessons of the war years continue to teach me.  I am  enjoying studying these chapters with the help of Righteous Warriors – Lessons from the War Chapters of the Book of Mormon, by John Bytheway.  I’ve read Bro. Bytheway’s book before, too, but there are more lessons to learn.  Love the Book of Mormon!

My new project…

I have been collecting batik fabrics and batik quilt project patterns for some time.  I have actually made several quilts using batiks, also.  Part of my collection is batik “strings”  I purchased from a company that cuts quilt kits.  Yesterday, I cut all the “strings” into 2.5 inch strips, preparing to make the quilt pattern I’ve chosen for these strips.   I will sew the strips together, cut the strip sets into blocks of different sizes, assemble the blocks into larger blocks, then put the quilt top together.  I have an abundance of blues and greens, as well as an assortment of all other colors.  I’ve got the strips matched into sets, now to do the sewing.  This is a project that lends itself to working in little chunks of time, as I can.  Hope it doesn’t take me six months to finish this quilt top, but who knows…

I hope to start this project soon, but might wait until I get my “new” machine back.  I have a 75 year old Kenmore Rotary machine that belonged to my grandmother, my mother, then me.   I used it constantly for many years, then it was set aside when I bought a machine that zigzaged and more.  My older daughters used it some as they grew, but I haven’t used it for years.  I want to be able to piece quilts and watch the large screen TV at the same time (without moving my machine from the hideaway).  I took it in to my favorite sewing machine shop and they are working on it…it is the best straight stitcher I’ve ever been privileged to sew on.  It needs new wiring, cleaning, and such, but nothing that is serious.  Just old age on those wires, they are original equipment.   Grandma passed away when I was five.  She was a quilter and a talented seamstress.  I hope she is watching as I use her legacy – may my creations be as special as the one I remember snuggling under for many years.

A quilting project…

I have wanted to make a black/white/red quilt for some time.  I started collecting various fat quarters (quilter talk for a piece of fabric 1/4 yd, approximately 18 x 22 inches), and, when I had enough collected and a purpose for making the quilt, I got started.  The finishing work waited for summer vacation.  Here it is…

Welcome to my hideaway!

My hideaway goes by many names.  It is my study, sewing room, office, shack (where a ham radio operator has their radio equipment), TV/movie room, study, library…you get the idea.  I spend part of every day in this room.  My morning begins here (after I crawl out of bed), and often, my evening ends here (before bed, of course).  In between times, well…I’m a busy woman!

My plan is to share parts of my hideaway time with you.  I might share a recent project, inspirational thought from my scripture study, reading, or experience, I may just tell you about something that excited me, made me sad, happy, thankful, whatever.

Enjoy visiting!