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!

Candy

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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?

TULIP FIELD

Or maybe you like your tulips in a vase.

SINGING TULIPS

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

SPRING SAMPLER


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.

SUMMER SUNRISE

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!

Candy

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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.

Candy

 

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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!

Candy

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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,

Candy

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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:

IT’S OKAY TO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

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.

Candy

 

 

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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.

Candy

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Enter Fall, Part II

Enter Fall, Part II

I just realized that the Fall Equinox is only two days away.  If someone knows how that happened so quickly, please let me know.  It feels like it was mid-summer about fifteen minutes ago.  With that in mind, it must be past time to make a Halloween quilt.  Or even a general Autumn quilt.  It’s time to snuggle under your favorite or create a new favorite.  Here are a few patterns we’ve created for this colorful time of year.

COLORS OF FALL

A little piecing and some fusing in your favorite fall colors and you have a small quilt that sets the tone for the season.

 

 

HARRY’S HALLOWEEN

Got a great print you don’t want to cut into little pieces?  “Harry” is the perfect solution.  We used a favorite Halloween print and lots of scraps.

 

 

AUTUMN LEAVES

AUTUMN LEAVES

Take some traditional blocks, a fall palette of colors and you’re ready for a bright and scrappy snuggler.  We’ve also made it Halloween style:

 

 

And here’s our newest:

THE MAGIC PUMPKIN

What magic is escaping from our favorite squash?  This pattern will be ready next week.

We have lots more that lend themselves to the season.  Just click on “Shop” at the top of this page in the purple banner to see them all.

Enjoy the last bits of summer and keep quilting for fun.

Candy

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Enter Fall

Enter Fall

It suddenly feels like fall.  We had a little rain over the weekend and the air is clear and the sky blue.  The sun is out, but a little weaker and the evenings are cool.  I even put an extra quilt on the bed last night.  I’m hoping for some more warm sunny days to keep the tomatoes ripening up.

 We have one cucumber plant that must’ve produced more than 25 cucumbers.  I like cucumbers, but there is a limit to how much two people can eat.

Luckily, this one is still young enough to have very few seeds.  A couple that got away from me and I later found under the leaves were big enough to be classified as weaponry.  Given how dry the summer was and how fouled up our sprinkler system was for a while, I’m impressed.

I also have a bunch of dahlias.  I really love them because all you have to do is plant some bulbs in the spring and stake them up by midsummer.  And unless it’s a really harsh winter, they’ll come back bigger and better next year.  That’s my kind of low maintenance garden.

                                                                          

 

We’ve had one of those summers where the words, “Hi Honey, guess what broke today?” were too often spoken.  I’m glad to report that the refrigerator responded to a reboot, the sprinkler repair guy found the leak and got it fixed and the vacuum is working again.  My sewing machine is making a squeaking sound that makes my ears want to bleed.  I took it in last week and the tech tweaked a couple of things and sent it home with me.  It was not fixed.  Naturally, it didn’t make the sound when the tech was testing it.  This time, I’ve recorded the sound on my phone so he can hear it when I take it back tomorrow.  It’s this sort of stuff that makes me nuts.  Of course I have several tops I want to quilt this fall and I’m hoping we have a quick fix tomorrow.

This is one of my favorite quilts.  It’s called Pumpkin Blossom and came from a book called “Treats, No Tricks”  from Thimbleberries. I made it ten years ago and it still makes me smile.

The original in the book, didn’t call for such bright colors, but this is the perfect example of making a quilt from a pattern your own.  As you may have noticed, I tend to like livelier colors.  Making any quilt the way you want it to look is part of the joy and creativity of quilting.

I had a good time playing with my machine’s blanket stitch and some free-motion “seeds” in the flower centers.  Most of our machines have some cool stitches that we seldom, if ever, use.  I’m working on checking them out and using them when appropriate.

I rarely put up pictures of us, but I just got a kick out of this one of Barb and Ella.

Ella’s trying to convince Barb that nobody really loves her here.  That dog is really a piece of work, but she keeps my feet warm at night, so I guess we’ll keep her.

 

Please share us with your quilting buddies.  We’d love to hear from all of you.

Quilting for Fun,

Candy

 

 

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One of Those Weeks and Something New

One of Those Weeks and Something New

SOMETHING NEW

We’ve added a new page to our site.  It’s called “What We Found.”  When we take a break and mess around on the internet, we sometimes find some really cool things that we can share.  AQS has planning pages on its website that can be shared on sites like ours.  The September one is already on our Something New page which will go up as soon as possible.  Until then, try this:

2018 AQS Creative Organizer: September

 

Ever have one of those weeks?  Sweet Husband’s car battery died, as did his (still under warranty) printer, not to mention the sprinklers that wouldn’t turn off.  The last thing was just too weird.  I unplugged the system and the water just kept coming.  SH finally turned off the valve to the whole sprinkler system.  Now my sewing machine is making a really horrible noise, but just sometimes.  (Insert a giant sigh here.)  Some weeks are just like that.

Our neighborhood is very quiet this afternoon as school started her a couple of days ago.  After a record-setting string of days in the 90’s, it’s a fall-like 65 today and the wild fire smoke has pretty much cleared out.  Summer went by so fast, I feel like I missed half of it.  Fall is often really beautiful here and I love the colors.  AND I have more time for quilting.

I’m currently quilting this one:

With the exception of the flowers, which I quilted from the front, I’m quilting from the “wrong” side, using the backing as a pattern.  This method works well (with the right backing) and allows my mind to wander off to new projects I want to start.  The original pattern is called “Autumn Sunset” and has been updated to include “Summer Sunrise.”

I need more minutes to do all the things that are in my head, not to mention the UFO pile.  There is just so much to learn and try, and so much fabric to do it with.

At this time of year, the local and regional produce is wonderful.  Yesterday, Barb and I peeled, sliced and froze a whole bunch of peaches.  We put a little sugar and Fruit Fresh on them and then bag ’em up and freeze ’em.  Come December and January, the taste of fresh peaches is just fabulous.  The only thing left to can this year is salsa.  Sweet Husband really likes it so we try to make enough for the whole year.  Oh, and apple sauce.  Guess I’m not as nearly finished as I thought.

With Labor Day weekend coming up, we want to wish you a safe and fun holiday!

Keep quilting for fun!

Candy

 

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