A Little News

A Little News

I started to write this a couple of weeks ago and then life happened as it tends to do. Anyway, I’m back. The first little bit is what I wrote earlier in the month.

A summery kind of spring has descended on us and it feels so good. The purple tulips I planted last fall bloom way later than the rest so they were the only ones left when I took the picture below. I decided I liked the deep purple next to the California poppies and should consider that combination in a quilt.

In other garden good news, the little rose that I thought I killed last summer has come back. I shall endeavor to give it more love through this summer.

There hasn’t been as much quilting the last few weeks as I would’ve liked. There were a couple of things that had deadlines and we’re slowly getting my mom’s house ready to sell. Because it’s 300 miles away, it’s happening in dribs and drabs. As a service message to you may I say: Thin the herd now; your kids will thank you later. We’ve lived in our house for 30 years and since we have room, we’ve saved stuff. My mom lived in her house for 51 years and boy does she have stuff! We’ll get it done, just not all at once.

Today is Ella’s birthday. She’s 12 years old. While she’s slowed down a bit (which we didn’t notice until we got Wild Bill) she’s in good shape and still in charge.

Clearly, she still has a lot to say.

The garden seems to change daily. This week a bunch of California poppies will come out and veggies will go in. The poppies really don’t care. They’ll be back in force in a couple of weeks.

I finally finished a quilt that I started some years ago. (It’s amazing what you find when going through UFO’s.)

Spring in the Jungle

Jungle Fabric

I started with this cute jungle fabric and used the same colors from my stash for the 3, 6, 9 blocks. It’s always nice to finish something.

I’m sticking with my goal to finish two things before I start something new. It’s so hard. I want to make everything. I bought a couple of cool patterns. What was I thinking? Maybe we shouldn’t ask. I don’t want to know.

My next “to finish” is a pincushion. The top is finished. Now if I can just find the bag of crushed walnuts for the bottom of the inside. I know it’s here.

My embroidery skills need practice. I’m taking a class from Sue Spargo this summer. Looking forward to some good advice.

Now to go clean up my last mess. Making one block for my small quilt group shouldn’t be so messy, but it really is. Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe I can go Scarlett O’Hara and think about that tomorrow!


Sun, Rain, Repeat

Sun, Rain, Repeat

That’s the story here, with the occasional addition of hail. I weeded the front garden 10 days ago and the little beasts are back. On the happy side, the yellow tulips with the pink edges are blooming. I wish I could tell you that I picked these on purpose, but I suspect I just grabbed a couple of bags of yellow bulbs in Costco on my way back to the meat counter.

Got lucky that time!

I finally, (FINALLY) finished a Quilt of Valor top I’ve been working on since the beginning of February. The final border about gave me fits. Had I actually read all the directions I probably wouldn’t have had to unsew so much. It will be quilted on a long arm (by someone else) and given away appropriately.

And last week I finished this. Perfect for spring.

Billy had his first obedience class last night. I’m proud to say that he was the only pup who didn’t bark. He did look at the chihuahua, who came up to sniff him, like he might look at an alien. Now that I think of it, Billy has only known poodles so . . . We learned a few basics and are now practicing.

The other dogs were all “teenagers” also and were actually pretty well behaved.

Next week we’re moving my mom to an assisted living apartment. It’s close to her house and way smaller so it’ll be interesting. Mother’s being a really good sport about it even though she’s not thrilled. Daughter Barb will remind me about this when my turn comes.

You can comment back on this page and I’d love to hear from anyone out there.

Have a good week.




They say that everything changes except the fact that everything changes. And right now I’m smack in the middle of change. My mom is going to move out of the house she’s lived in for over fifty years. The house has been part of our lives ever since my brother and I can remember as my grandparents moved there in 1924. Sweet Husband and I are contemplating a move of our own as the house we’ve lived in for thirty years is too big and hasn’t got the right kinds of spaces for the life we live now. Since no matter how I slice it, there are only twenty-four hours in a day, something had to give. So while Mother on a Broomstick won’t be selling patterns anymore, we will still be here to talk about life and quilting.

Now that spring is finally here, the tulips are looking a lot healthier. We’ve had so much snow, even into March, that those early leaves were looking a little the worse for wear. While it’s warming up, we were getting this sort of thing up until two weeks ago:

Early March!

Nobody was terribly amused.

Now the garden is looking like this and the tulips haven’t even started to bloom yet:

The aroma of the hyacinths is delightful.

The one good thing about the cold weather is that I wasn’t tempted to go out and start weeding. Instead, I made this:

All Tangled Up

All Tangled Up is a pattern I bought last month from The Stitching’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. I was with a bunch of friends and it just spoke to me. I already had the batik strips so I bought the green background and decided to make this quilt just for me. I’m currently waiting for the backing to be delivered so I can start quilting. I think it might be bright enough.

I’ve been looking through my UFOs and I have more than a few. I’m thinking that finishing two before I start something new might work. Then again, I’ve met me and that will be a challenge. I keep thinking of new things to try. Lord knows, I’ll never be bored!

Our 60 pound “puppy,” Billy, is mostly settling in. He has more energy than the law allows and there are times when he’s lucky he’s so cute.

Ella remains in charge and isn’t afraid defend her status.

I’m hoping to finish the top of a Quilt of Valor by next week. I should’ve made it with bigger squares. As always, hindsight is 20/20. I need to write this stuff down someplace so I remember it next time.

I’ve been thinking about the people flooded out in the midwest and it just breaks my heart. When rebuilding starts, I’ll be looking for a way to help quilters get going again. I’ve been very blessed and want to pass it on.

Happy spring to all,


We Have News

We Have News

After some deep thought, getting real and actually counting the minutes in a day, Barb and I have decided that as of March 1, we will no longer be creating patterns and selling them on the website. Our site will remain active and I will continue to blog here, show what we’re up to and perhaps post some videos.

There are many ideas and techniques I want to learn and pursue and some additional family duties in the near future. Also, it’s nice if I get around to fixing dinner and running a dust cloth around the place from time to time.

Our mild winter here has turned less mild. We’ve had a couple of snowfalls in the last weeks. We had some snow last night.

It melted off pretty quickly, but I know a good excuse to stay home and sew when I see one. It turns out that Billy loves the snow and tears around the yard throwing snow up in the air with his nose. He’s learned a lot in the past few weeks, yet he’s still really a puppy. He took his first road trip to my Mom’s last week and behaved better than I anticipated. He has new fans in my mom and her caregivers. FYI: Ella’s still in charge.

Wild Bill, the very big puppy.

The pansies kind of hated the snow.

I spent some days in Central Oregon a couple of weeks ago quilting with four friends. Okay, shopping and quilting. And eating out. And talking. And giving and taking advice. And laughing. I got a good start on a Quilt of Valor. And I got plenty of sleep. (No furry alarm clocks.) Quilting retreats are encouraging on the quilting front and good for the heart. Also, I forgot to take pictures. Except for this one.

Color picture of a gray day.

I’m about to start a quilt with batik strips and bright green background. It’s just for me. It will be a bit loud. It will be the perfect quilt to wrap myself in until spring comes. Hopefully soon.

If you want one of our patterns, this is the week. Thursday is our last day of business. After that it’s just fun with quilts.

Make a quilt just for fun!


Quilting Forward

Quilting Forward

There was going to be some whining about rain and fog here. Then I turned to the Weather Channel. For anyone in Harper’s way, stay warm!

Since the weather is keeping most of us inside, this seems like a good time to quilt something springy. Something with bright colors, flowers or anything that reminds us winter eventually melts into spring. With this in mind, how about a project a little bit like this?


Or maybe you like your tulips in a vase.


How about it they’re just tucked into this springy quilt?


All three of these patterns are on sale for 25% off through February. Go to our Shopping page to order. We have newly upgraded security that Sweet Husband helped me install.

I finally got around to finishing the binding on Summer Sunrise. It’s in the Autumn Sunset pattern since the changes are actually pretty minor. I have a similar quilt in the works – the fabric is stacked up and it’s next on the list.


Got UFO’s? I’m trying out a new plan to deal with them. What if I put a couple of hours a week on the calendar just to work on unfinished masterpieces? And by that I mean, write the exact hour and day in ink. Then actually do it. There will always be other projects in line, dust someplace or a dish in the kitchen sink. Think of how great you’ll feel when you finish just one project that’s been taunting you from the closet. This top has been around for a while. It’s time to get it quilted.

Wednesday we shall meet in the studio to start quilting.

I just found a little reminder that spring isn’t so far away.

Pretty cool for January!

As always, follow us on Facebook and look through the pages on this website.

Quilt for fun!


Happy 2019!

Happy 2019!

Another new year begins and it gives most of us the feeling of starting over.  We want to do more or do less, start some new things or catch up on the undone.  I currently have 55 pounds of newness with more energy than sense.  His name is Billy and it’s a good thing for him that he’s so cute.  He looks so innocent in the picture, it’s hard to believe I’m calling him Wild Bill.

A one-year old, teenaged, bundle of energy wasn’t the original plan.  I called Toby’s breeder to get on a list for a puppy in the spring.  The breeder had recently decided to focus on miniature poodles, but Toby’s great, great nephew was for sale.  We took Ella to visit and Sweet Husband and I took a few days to think about it.  How could we not add him to our family?  We picked him up last Saturday.  Ella’s already taught him a few things and to be honest, she’s put up with a lot.  Billy will go anywhere Ella goes which is mostly handy.  We have some training to do and I think he’ll work out fine.

I’m currently (and slowly) putting away Christmas while organizing and thinning decorations.  The garland over the fireplace is officially crispy and went last night.  (Don’t worry, that chimney doesn’t draw worth 2 cents and we never have a fire there.)  It was supposed to make the house smell all woodsy and Christmasy, but it really didn’t do anything but look pretty.  Now I’m well on the way back to real life.

I have a few new things in my head and I’d like to finish a couple (ok, more than a couple) tops that were put on hold for various reasons.  Sometimes they were put aside for my skills to catch up with the quilting ideas in my head.  Other times, time-sensitive things just had to be finished first and I never went back.  A couple of times, tops didn’t please me enough to put more time into them.  That’s life.  My biggest problem is that I want to do it all, do it well and do a lot of it.  I think I’m going to have to get up earlier.

Sweet husband started work on the new (old Singer) sewing machine yesterday.  The wiring was pretty shot and he worked on that but it’s become apparent that there are some other issues.  I’ve been trying to research using the serial number of the machine and if the first two letters are correct, the machine was manufactured in 1928.  The problem is that I can’t match the rest of the numbers to the online data base.  I have a request in to Singer and we’ll see what happens.


My project of the week is to quilt a top that was a round robin in my small quilt group.  Our quilts will be shown at our guild quilt show in March and I’d like to be finished in plenty of time.



As always, this group did a fabulous job of making each addition an integral part of the quilt.

I keep reminding myself that each day is now longer than the last.  With that in mind, cozy up and quilt the winter away.  Just for fun.



Winter Sunshine

Winter Sunshine

Our little corner of the world is currently enjoying some winter sun.  And yes, it’s not officially winter for three more weeks.  Still, several days in a row of sunny weather anytime between the first of November and the end of March is a real thing here and I take advantage of it whenever I can.  This means I have more energy and there’s no excuse for not doing a couple of outdoor chores.  Yesterday it was mulching the hydrangeas that went in last spring.  The more mature ones are pretty hardy, but the first year plants don’t seem to care for a hard winter.  It will likely freeze overnight while we have sunny days, the price we pay for sunny winter days.

The last dahlia hangs in.

I’m working on two quilts for Christmas and while one will surely be finished on time, the one for Sweet Husband is giving me fits.  This never happens without a deadline.  The pattern was from a magazine and I cut the templates just right.  The only problem is that when the blocks go together, the lines don’t flow the way they’re shown in the pictures unless I take ½-inch seams.  This is why we get headaches. (Insert frustration scream here.)  The new plan is to finish the one I know I can get done, finish the blocks for the small quilt group that meets in two weeks and then hope to at least get the difficult top done before the big day.  This actually reminds me of my maternal grandmother who taught us to play gin rummy.  Grandma always reminded me that you have to be able to change your strategy in the middle of the game to win.  It turns out that Grandma was wiser than I used to think.  And yes, I should’ve started this earlier.

I’m sad to report that I sewed this many together before I realized the curved lines didn’t flow together!

I mentioned in my last blog that I had acquired something fun and here it is!

This machine was given to me by a friend who tells me that it belonged to her grandmother.  My friend no longer uses it and doesn’t really have room for it.  I wanted to buy it, but she was more concerned with the machine getting a good home.  All the cords need to be replaced and the cabinet needs a little love.  I haven’t had a chance to do any research on it and realistically, that might not happen until after the holidays.  The truth is that no matter what, I’m just tickled to own this older machine.

Ella is not above a photo bomb.

I’d love to see what others among you are sewing up this month.  You can respond on our Facebook page, Mother on a Broomstick or comment here.

Be sure to do some quilting for fun!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m not quite sure how it got to be almost Thanksgiving when it was just Halloween.  But here I am, wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Sweet Husband and I will be spending the holiday with my mom.  I have to admit that mostly what I made for Thanksgiving was a reservation.  I’m taking a pie (whose crust is currently cooling in the fridge) and a fruit salad for snacking and letting the pros worry about dinner.

 I’ll take some handwork to do while I’m visiting and having a relaxing couple of days.  I do not plan to leave the house on Friday except maybe for a walk if it’s not raining.  I learned my lesson about black Friday years ago:

One Thanksgiving weekend in the early ’80’s, my mom wanted to see what the mall was like on black Friday.  So the two of us left the kids with Sweet Husband and my dad (aka Ironhand Jack) and ventured out to watch the crazy people shop.  Sadly, we spent 20 minutes driving around the parking lot never finding an empty space, called it a good lesson and went home.  To this day, neither of us has bought more than a quart of milk on the day after Thanksgiving.

Portland area (and beyond) sewers and makers are currently dealing with the closure of Fabric Depot, our iconic giant fabric store of many years.  I’ve actually met people from Alaska who fly down to do a major shopping there.  I will certainly miss the “acre of fabric” that engendered so many ideas.  FD was a local family business that we were happy to support.

We are enjoying a lovely fall.  The pansies still look great.  And actually, if I keep deadheading and we don’t have a long freeze, they’ll survive until spring.  However, the marigold in the picture below is a surprise.  I had them in the window boxes in the summer and allowed some to go to seed just to see what would happen.  The weather’s been so mild, some have come up and bloomed.  They will not last through the winter, but I could easily get some volunteers in the spring.  The forecast calls for rain starting tomorrow and lasting through the weekend.  It’s a good thing since we haven’t had much, but I will miss the energy of the sun.


I’m in the middle of a couple of quilts that I want finished by Christmas.  This will take some dedication.   The last week has been filled with out-of-the-house commitments and December looks to be quieter.  My quilts can be done and the house ready for Christmas guests.

I know, no quilt pics this week but next week I’ll show off something I was given last week that’s really pretty cool.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Quilt when you can and enjoy the heck out of your weekend,


The Dog with the Cute Smile

The Dog with the Cute Smile

After a very foggy start, we have sunshine and blue sky.  And it’s a good thing – it’s been a tough week and and any cheerfulness is gratefully accepted.  If you follow us on Facebook, you know that our sweet Toby passed on Monday.  He was a very large poodle, 85 lbs in his prime and the gentlest of dogs.  He got to enjoy his last Halloween; Toby loved kids and he and Ella were always great with little trick or treaters.  He also had a really cute sense of humor and “beep in the nose” was his favorite game.  Today is the first day I haven’t spent in tears.  Dogs do take up residence in our hearts and are true friends.  Toby would’ve been 15 in two weeks, so it’s nice to know that he had a long and happy life.  He will always ride on the back of my broom.

Ella is feeling a little subdued as she’s never been an only dog.  There will be another companion in her future when we’re all ready.

I’m going to take some time to finish projects (and Christmas presents) and not worry about new patterns until the first of the year.  I need to do some upgrades on the website (or more likely find someone else to do them) and this will also take a little time.  And okay – a little destress time is in order.

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.  Sweet Husband and I are spending it in Southern Oregon with my mom and since this week seemed kind of overwhelming, I made a dinner reservation for the big day.  Mother doesn’t cook anymore ( she just turned 89) and her kitchen drives me crazy.  There will just be the three of us and I’ll bring a pumpkin pie.  Luckily, everyone is fine with that.  It’s only taken me 65 years to figure out that it’s okay to give myself a break.  So let me pass this wisdom on to you:


In the meantime, there will still be Facebook comment and of course some talking here.  Our Christmas runners come together pretty easily, so have a look on our shopping page.

Keep quilting for fun.




The Colors of Fall

The Colors of Fall

We’re having a bit of a funky fall.  The trees seem unsure about what they’re supposed to do.  Many have not begun to turn to their usual fall colors.  Others have green branches, some red branches and some yellow branches.  Even the individual leaves seem confused.

This poor tree has no clue what it’s supposed to do.

We’ve finally had some rain which relieves me of the chore of watering flower pots.  The idea of watering is so exciting and zen-like in the spring and gets really old by the end of September.  By October it’s just a pain.  Yet next March I’ll be looking forward to it.  How quickly we forget.

The cooler, wetter weather also removes the temptation to just sit outside and sip iced tea, which is an activity the calls to me in the warm summer months.

While I’m waiting for my sewing machine that I quilt with to come home from the shop, I’ve been working on a Halloween scrap quilt. The idea was to make some inroads into the tub of Halloween scraps I’ve been hoarding for more years than I care to share.  I found a good idea in a book called “Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts” by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms and decided to make one quarter of the quilt so it would only finish at 39 X 39-inches.  I wanted to be finished with it while I was still young.  The pattern is called Pumpkin Peel, which seemed appropriate.  I’ve made 6 ½ of the 8 sets of these:

Organizing the scraps into color groups and making the paper foundations makes a pretty big mess.

I’m getting to the point where I’m pretty sure the scraps mate and make new scraps while I’m not looking.  I feel like I’ve used a lot but the total pile doesn’t look appreciably diminished.   I just started without really reading all the directions, but if you’re going to go scrappy, you might as well go all the way.  I may live to regret that, but what else is new?

This one goes up on a wall as I decorate for Halloween this week.

This pattern is not yet on the Shopping Page.  If you’re interested in buying it, it’s $12.00 and you can order by emailing us at motheronabroomstick@gmail.com.  We think it’s very cute and hope that you do, too.  Please check out our other quilts on the Shop page.

Barb and I finished out our summer by canning applesauce yesterday.  By that I mean that Barb made the sauce and I ladled it into jars and put them in the canner.  This is not a money-saving endeavor but we know exactly what’s in that applesauce and it’s really good.  And it makes us feel proud of ourselves.    This is what Toby looks like when he’s trying to make apple pieces float themselves down into his mouth.

Look at that intensity!  It pays off, of course, with a few little bites of apple.  Ella only begs once, spits out the apple and walks away.  She’s not really that into fruit, but wants to try anything Toby’s having.

We hope you’re enjoying whatever fall projects you have going and would love for you to send us pictures.  Fall projects are always the best.

Keep quilting.