I’m Back!

I’m Back!

I’ve been absent from this site for a few weeks now, but I’m finally back. After starting the year with a three-week cold that lasted from Christmas to mid January, I was just getting my energy back when my baby granddaughter decided to make the scene two weeks early! So I was off to Los Angeles for 12 days of snuggling.

It’s been a long time since I fed, burped and changed a newborn. Luckily, it’s one of those things that comes back pretty quickly. Baby Girl is a generally happy baby and seemed to like snuggling in with her new grandma.

As you might expect, there was some catching up to do when I got home, not to mention a couple of appointments that got moved and a trip to my mom’s. No rest for the weary and all that. I’m just happy that I can do all that and play tennis and quilt.

My first introduction to needlework came when I was about 7 or 8 from a neighbor whose passion was knitting . I come back to it every now and again and have especially enjoyed knitting for kids as it goes pretty quickly and if it’s a little big, they’ll grow into it. I started this one before I left for LA and I’m just finishing the collar. I had to learn a new stitch for the little puffs at the hem, cuffs and soon-to-be collar. Gotta keep those brain cells challenged. It’s a project I mostly work on in front of the TV in the evening. I’m hoping to find some little white bunny buttons to put on it. If anybody sees any, let me know. I’d like to get it to the Baby Girl before she outgrows it.

One of the things that happens when a planned trip gets moved up is that something I thought I would have a week to do needed to get done in a day. A white square was sent to me to make a block for a retirement quilt for a friend of over 40 years. After a few minutes of complete panic, I came up with this:

The bottle and label are fused and the rest of the picture, including bottle highlights and shadows are painted with craft acrylics. I saw the finished quilt yesterday at the retirement party and it turned out great. Lots of pictures and memories. Of course, now that I look at the block, I see some things I might’ve done better or differently. And I realize that perfection was not the point; sending some love to an old friend was the important thing.

The weather here during the last week has been quite sunny. It’s a false spring kind of thing. Even today, which started off stormy, has had quite a lot of sun. I did some weeding while getting whiffs of my neighbor’s daphne. That wonderful scent just seems to me to be the essence of spring.

The little daffodils are blooming and the tulips are giving it their best shot. The tops of many of the tulip leaves have been nibbled off by deer. Sweet husband caught them snacking one night last week. They might have chewed up some weeds, but NOOO. They certainly did not. Apparently tulips are tastier.

Now that I’m home for a bit, and mostly caught up, there will be quilting. I’m still planning to finish some UFO’s this year. They continue to mock me from the closet and need to be finished or rehomed.

Stay warm and quilt lots.

Candy

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A New Day

A New Day

31 December 2019:

The year is almost over. The trees are bare; it’s cloudy and chilly. It’s the sleep before the morning that is early spring. This is not looking terribly exciting, but then neither are we when we’re sleeping. I seem to get more done during long spring and summer days. Dark winter days make me want to take a nap. Maybe I should just take one. We all need the down time that nature brings to her plants and animals.

1 January 2020:

My new year begins with a surprise of sunshine. I’m not much into omens and signs, but I’ll take this as the beginning of good things to come. It’s also showing me how much I need to wash windows. Not doing it today.

These little beauties are enjoying the sunshine in my front gardens. Apparently it hasn’t been cold enough to put them to sleep for the winter.

The “Wild Animals” quilt was safely delivered just before Christmas.

It will be a while before I sew black fabric with black thread. I love how it turned out and I hope our baby girl will love it, too.

I’m nearly finished quilting a top that I started a couple of years ago. I had some Laurel Burch Christmas fabric that made a really fun top. I abandoned it after the holidays last year as I was ready to move on from Christmas and now I want to just finish it. There are plenty of UFOs waiting. And they’ll wait a bit longer for the joy of a finished project.

I’m catching up on my Block of the Month project. In this project there are actually two blocks every month. I caught up with October (the purple flower), November (the green one) and the first December one. For the second December one I chose to appliqué with an Italian Knotted Edge Stitch. It’s not hard, but it is slow going. (Check the close-up.) The January stuff will be here soon so I want to get with the program.

We celebrated Billy’s first year with us on Sunday. He turned two the week before and while he’s officially an adult, there’s a lot of puppy in there. He made really good progress this year as he was pretty wild when we got him. There are still some challenges. We’ll be working through them as he continues to settle down. The good news is that he’s really sweet and a cuddler. Self control is our ongoing issue. He’s also kind of a goof.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Candy

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Holiday Time

Holiday Time

It’s that very busy time of year again and I know this because I just searched for my cell phone and found it in my hand. I’m attempting to be organized and yet life continues to feel a bit out of control. My brain well knows that control is really an illusion. I still make a plan and hope for the best. Right on cue, there was an unexpected trip to the vet (Ella’s fine; the truth is that at 12 ½ she’s reached the place in life where it’s always something) and an unplanned trip to the shop for Sweet Husband’s car. So much for control.

It’s less than three weeks until the shortest day of the year. I really hate getting up in the dark and having it be almost dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s not much of a mystery why our ancestors celebrated the shortest day and the fact that the days would begin getting longer. There’s always the outside chance that December 21st will find me dancing in the street.

I’m very tickled to have finished the quilt for my granddaughter. This one I made for love of the fabric and it also reminded me why I swore off black a couple of years ago. Hand sewing the binding on was a real trip. Now it’s ready for cuddling, drooling and maybe a little spit up. Clearly I don’t make baby quilts as heirlooms. If they wear out, they wear out and I’ll make another one.

Now I’m finishing a small group quilt. Each person in the group made three triangles for each of the other members. Because we used equilateral triangle rulers, we received perfect triangles, making them really easy to put together. Each of us is on our own to decide how to set them so it’ll be interesting to see what the different members came up with. I would love to have it be just this diamond, but that would be a real challenge to hang and since we’re entering them in a show, the diamond will be in a light gray rectangle.

The block of the month is going well. Two of the first four are completely finished and the other two are almost there. While I was in the Rogue Valley last weekend, I picked up my December blocks. I’m not letting myself start them until the Christmas decorations are up.

Sweet Husband put up the lights on a sunshiny day last week. I’ve already hung the Christmas quilts. Beyond that, I’ve done nothing. The plan is to be decorated by the end of the week. The one thing I did do was make bourbon balls yesterday so they’ll be tasty by Christmas. The hard part is staying out of them for a couple of weeks.

I’ve got one more Christmas top I’d like to finish, but that’s iffy, at best. Still, it could happen.

Packing a lot into the next three weeks? Don’t forget to give yourself a break to enjoy a hot coffee or tea and just be for awhile.

Got something cool you’re working on? Send a picture; I’d love to see.

Candy

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The Last Rose of Summer

The Last Rose of Summer

The Northwest has been gifted with very unseasonable sunny weather for the last couple of weeks. And it is glorious. We’ve also had a bit of wind so some of my favorite colorful trees are mostly naked now. There are some stubborn holdouts. The other great thing is that I can hear kids outside playing. Never mind that their parents probably shoved their post- Halloween sugar high selves out the door and locked it! Later today I’ll be doing the great Halloween put-away. As I was walking Billy the other day, I took this picture of the last rose of summer.

There are still a couple of buds that think they’re going to make it, but given that it really is November, they may not.

I love the colors of strawberry plants in the fall. The one below made strawberries this summer for the first time in years. Sadly, it didn’t really get enough sun and the berries were kind of terrible. And now it’s beautiful.

In a moment of possible insanity, I decided to make a list of my UFO’s that I couldn’t ignore. It’s totally terrifying. The things with red dates beside them have deadlines. The plan is to finish two before I start anything new. This may not help shorten the ongoing list too much, yet crossing something off a long list is incredibly satisfying. Sweet Husband has suggested that I sell a few quilts on Etsy and I may do that. The sheer numbers are getting a little out of hand.

Actually, I finished Rocking Horse II. I’ll post a picture next week. It’s kind of a surprise for this weekend. Most of these UFO’s are unquilted tops. Like a dog who sees a squirrel, I see a new cool thing and I’m off in another direction. What I wish most is that I had made the bindings for the finished tops before I put them away.

Now that Halloween is over, the big run-up to Christmas is in full swing. All I ask is that Thanksgiving get its due. I’m not ready for Christmas carols yet, mainly because I don’t want to be tired of them by Christmas. Also, I find that a little Alvin and the Chipmunks goes a long way.

The last weekend of October, I was in the Rogue Valley to visit my mom and stopped in at Sew Creative in Ashland. It’s a very fun shop with lots of Modern Quilting fabric and patterns. In a weak moment, I signed up for a Block of the Month. I brought home the first block and the second one already came in the mail today. Each month I get background fabric, wool, threads and directions. I can’t believe I started 10 days ago and I’m already behind. I’ll post pictures as I get the blocks finished. Guess you no longer wonder why I have a long UFO list.

Now I need to go sew. There’s so much to create and so little time!

Candy

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Colorful Fall

Colorful Fall

We’re fixed and back! I must admit that while I love the quilting and writing and taking pictures, technical issues really wig me out. When I finally figured out who to ask for help, they fixed the issue in a hurry. Thank you Green Geeks! For the time being, I’ll post the blog both here and at motheronabroomstickcandy.blogspot.com. The blogs missing from this page are on the blogspot page. I’ve become a belt AND suspenders kind of gal. I like to think it’s an age and wisdom sort of thing.

We’re enjoying the most colorful fall in recent memory.

This has been kind of a weird fall, weatherwise. I grew these Jack Be Little pumpkins and love them with these perennials (whose name I have long forgotten).

The purples and oranges with the touches of blue just say “fall” to me.

The plant the pumpkins came from has not yet given up.

We’re supposed to have some sunny days coming up, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for these little guys.

The dahlias took forever to get started this summer and are hanging in as if to prove a point. The bit of dark brown in one petal is a tiny snail and you can see his handiwork in several of the petals. If anyone knows the part they play in the ecological circle of life besides wholesale destruction of whatever I plant, I’d really like to know.

Sweet Husband cut this out for me several years ago and reattached her head after a windstorm. It’s rained quite a bit so her cauldron isn’t out in the yard yet.

Daytime isn’t really her thing, but she’s pretty cool backlit at night.

All except the last minute Halloween decor is up. I’m finding that I now have more Halloween quilts than wall space to hang them or furniture to hang them over. These three are pinned up on my office wall just to keep me company.

The two on the right are fused. Both are patterns I bought from catalogs or online. They were quick, easy and fun. The one on the left is from the 90’s and one of the first that I designed myself. The fabric is from a Debbie Mumm collection that I just fell in love with. I actually have a few scraps left. Because the images in the center of the stars were kind of an odd measurement, it meant I had to draft the pattern to fit them. The fabric collection remains one of my very favorites.

There’s just something about this fabric.

I’m working to finish two baby quilts, so some unfinished Halloween quilts will remain unfinished for a while longer. Given how tickled I am to become a grandmother, it’s not really a thing.

Billy, aka Wild Bill, returns for another session of dog obedience this evening. He’s still a goofy teenager as you can see below.

How does he even DO that?

He’s very flexible and a complete silly!

Apparently it’s time to ramp up for Christmas. The one fabric I had a hankering for is currently out of stock. Next year I’ll start Halloween in June and Christmas in August. Okay, maybe not actually quilting, but buying whatever fabric I might love before it’s sold out.

Keep quilting for fun.

Candy

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News From Off the Beaten Path

News From Off the Beaten Path

I’m finding it hard to believe that July is almost over. Summer took a while to get started around here and has generally been not too hot or smoky which has been a big hit with most people. The vegetable plants would be the big exception. I have two big tomatoes and one cherry tomato starting to ripen up, but that’s about it. There is also one tiny little yellow summer squash starting. With luck, we’ll have a warm autumn and we’ll be picking fruits and veggies well into September.

I took a chance and cut the morning glories back almost to the dirt last fall. Luckily, they liked it.

I love these guys because they’re so easy care.

Sweet Husband and I have made several trips to Southern Oregon to get my mom’s house ready to hit the market. It’s a bit overwhelming what with opening drawers filled to the brim, finding some great old pictures and sending snaps to kids and nieces to see if they want anything. Then hauling their stuff home to hand over to them (not to mention finding a place for a few treasures of my own). This weekend will be the final sweep before the estate sale people take over. It’s bittersweet as I hate to see the place leave the family, and yet it’s too much for any of us to take care of.

There has also been quilting squeezed in between trips. Barb and I and three friends spent a quilt week at Sisters before the Outdoor Quilt Show. I took three classes and here’s the project I’m almost finished with. It’s called Under the Sea.

It’s from a class with Frieda Anderson which was quite fun and as always, I learned a bunch. There was also a painting with dye class with June Jaeger. I love this kind of class where you pay a fee to use someone else’s supplies before you buy $400 of supplies you’ll never use again. It was a fun class, but since I have about four kinds of fabric paint already, I won’t be investing in fabric dye.

The last class I took was from Sue Spargo. I do enjoy embroidery on wool and this class was both instructive and relaxing. The thing I love most is that her Eleganza threads are on colored spools according to thread size and the tubes her needles come in use the same colors. I can use all the help I can get and this is brilliant. Here’s the beginning of my sampler which will ultimately be a needle roll.

While in Central Oregon, Barb and I went fabric shopping (as if we don’t have enough fabric and patterns to last for life). It was so much fun and now we have even bigger stashes and more projects on deck.

Earlier in the summer I made this little quilt of some kind of invertebrate. (The book wasn’t too specific about this one.) The idea came from a Dover book of copyright free animal drawings. I got to use some of my favorite colors and try out a couple of techniques.

I also finished a top I did last fall. I’m determined to whittle down my pile of tops, most of which I really like and would like to finish. At this rate, it’ll take me a while. If I didn’t have to do grocery shopping and occasionally take a swipe at cleaning the house, it would go faster.

That kind of wraps up summer so far. Hope everyone is enjoying the season.

Candy

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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!

Candy

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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.

Candy

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Changes

Changes

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,

Candy

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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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