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Monday, May 20, 2013

Contrary Wife in A Quilter's Reader

A Contrary Wife Block

This post is almost a month overdue. Where has time gone? I really should be posting my May block for the book club's selection of Alice's Tulips, but alas, I'm not there yet.

The April book club selection was The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiverini. What a delightful book!

One of the characters, Sarah McClure, the young wife in the story, was moved to an area where she had no job, no job prospects, no friends(other than her husband), and no family. In the midst of it all she meets Mrs. Sylvia Compson, another "contrary" wife/widow with no children of her own and a lifetime of sorrow and sadness that kept her heart in its own prison of solitary confinement.
Both women were lonesome for a myriad of reasons with a dose of regret thrown in for good measure. Out of these circumstances the beginnings of a beautiful transgenerational friendship emerges. Through the medium of quilting, Sylvia, the teacher and Sarah the student, both begin a journey of healing.

The magnificent pink crabapple tree in full bloom down the street just last week.

On another note, it appears that somewhere in the great beyond, the switch for Summer has been hit. We went from cold damp days into hot and humid in an instant. Just a few days ago we had the furnace running to get the chill out of the air. Last night we had to fire up the air conditioner. Currently, close to eleven o'clock at night, we still have a temperature of 84F. Not good!

Needless to say, the Spring flowering bulbs and flowering trees are finished! The green has flushed totally out on the trees.

Respectfully submitted,
the Baroness of Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook for May

The Baroness's Daybook (as adapted from ....The Simple Woman's Daybook blog)

For Today..... "Fuer Heute Genug"

Outside My Window....the grass is green, trim, lush and freshly washed by a day of persistant Spring rain. The trees are coming into full flush. The Spring flowers have given their last gasp before beginning the retreat into the ground in preparation for next season. The flowering trees are in splendid glory.

I am thinking...I should get going and bachelor B-I-L is coming for a visit and by his phone call is about an hour(or less) out.

I am thankful.......that I get to celebrate Mother's Day tomorrow with my daughter (and her two little girls), who faced down death in March and won.

In the Dr. Viking, cleaning out the coffee pot from this morning's brew. Sirloin steaks will be marinating shortly, for this evening's fare.

I am wearing.....comfy jeans and sweatshirt....and fuzzy pink slippers.

I am niece/goddaughter's T-shirt quilt of most of her college T-shirts. All I have to do is border it, make the back and send it to the long armer for quilting. She graduated from college last May, but life and technical challenges (I'd never made a T-shirt quilt ever) came in to play and caused the delay.

I am going....nowhere today, except maybe grocery shopping to fill the larder here @ Thomas Haus in preparation for the company today and tomorrow.

I am the Summer will play out this year. We have vacation plans, plans for gatherings here, days at the beach, good books to read....hmmmm and perhaps I'll pick up the golf clubs....I have some fabulous looking equipment, shoes, it'd be a shame if I didn't.

I am reading....Sandra Dallas, "Alice's Tulips" as part of my Starwood Quilter reading group. We read and discuss the selection for each month and then make a quilt block (or two) to depict that book, by theme, location characters, ...or whatever inspires us from the book.
I am annoyed every time I pick the book up and begin reading. The main character is so annoying, immature and self centered I could spit. Perhaps the tide will turn as I get further into the book.

I am hoping....for grace and peace in the remainder of this season, continued blessing of good friendships and memorable gatherings.

I am looking the Grande Buffet, Mother's Day brunch @ CiC tomorrow. Two of the three children will be there, as well as my beautiful, beloved, treasured granddaughters.

I am to do improvisational piecing with the above mentioned T-shirt quilt. It turned out rather spectacular.  Picture to be posted soon.When it's finished it will no doubt be a treasure of memories of her college years for my neice.

Around the house...the graden beds have been freshly mulched. The big, red, outdoor pots are planted with deep red geraniums and white allysum and a green spike in the middle. When they are filled out and in full flush this summer they should be a treat for the eye.

I am pondering this morning.

A favorite quotes of the day....
"Not us...not this day...we are going home to our families!"
"A day may come when the courage of men fails....but it is not this day!"
"Courage is Faith in the face of fear!"

One of my favorite things....Red Geraniums!!! Nothing like them in full flush in the Summer. Perhaps it's genetic, a throwback to my German heritage.

A few plans for the rest of the week....quilt group Monday, rug hookers introductory class, Tuesday, working Thursday, friends for cookout of burgers, brats and beer (I'll have wine...hate beer) Saturday ...much more, but that's a start.

A peek into my day...picture to come soon.  :)

Joyfully submitted this day,
by the Baroness of Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"May the fourth be with you!"

Today, May 4th, was a day of great celebration. It brought forth a tremendous amount of raw emotion. We began our day in Cleveland, celebrating our youngest granddaughter's First Holy Communion. She was a beautiful little angel in white. May Jesus remain with her from this day forward and throughout her life.

The evening brought a celebration of life and survival. My daughter, a police officer and her partner, on a traffic stop, for running a stop sign, encountered a man with an AK 47. He leaped from the vehicle shooting. Both officers were injured, my daughter has months of healing and more surgeries as a result, but she is alive and kicking. She can't wait until she can get back to work again. Her collegue returned to work less than two weeks later.

Tonight the local Police Patrolman's Association had a fund raiser for my daughter, her partner and the their police department. It was a celebration of life, love and gratitude. Looking around the room, I was humbled by the massive outpouring of fraternal affection that enveloped them both. It is difficult to capture all the emotions encompassed in this day. For today, the good guys won, a bad guy was taken out and is no longer capable to carry out the dastardly plans he may have been construing.

Two of my three children are police officers. May God keep His protective Hand upon them always. May St. Michael be with them every step of the way while on duty. This is a dangerous world and the devil is alive and well.

Gratefully and humbly submitted,
The Baroness of Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

All Wonderous Things on the 1st of May

So 1st of May, someone hit a switch here in Northern Ohio and we hit Summer. The temperatures were in the mid 80's and the sun shone brightly all day. My Spring flowers are in full tilt. The tulips are hitting their stride. If these temps continue, they'll be gone by week's end. Enjoy the daffodil and the hyacinths pictures.

This is a momentous day, not just for the spectacular weather we had today, (considering ol' man Winter just kept hanging around), but because today my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Theirs is a love story that spans 2 continents and a myriad of countries. It would make a fabulous movie. We made a wedding flower arch and installed it in front of their front porch steps. In Germany, where they are from, the neighbors in your town would decorate a wedding flower arch in honor of your special anniversary. Instead, my husband and I did it for them. They were tickled pink.
 Photo: Happy 60th Anniversary to my beloved in-laws, Leni and Heinz Pannenberg whom I've known now for 36 great years.  They have been parents to me in my adulthood and have always been there to support our family in good times and in bad, especially when we were newly married and struggling to get through dental school with a newborn.  So many, many great memories, drizzled with much affection and gratitude.  XO "Mutti and Vati" !!

Thanks Mutti and Vati for a wonderful journey and witness of faithful love. We know it wasn't always easy. We are so very blessed to be able to celebrate this monumental milestone with you. We're looking forward to celebrating with you at Mass this Sunday. Blessings to you both.

Respectfully submitted,
The Baroness von Thomashaus, Queen Yours Truly

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My First Completed Quilt

It began with the purchase of a tumbler template from Missouri Star Quilt Company made specifically for charm squares. Curious, I found two charm square packs of "Good Morning" from Me & My Sister designs for Moda. It's a bright, cheery, happy fabric line.

Without really having a plan, I took one charm pack and cut it into tumblers...easy enough. The tumblers were then sewn into strips...a couple of them, hmmm, not enough for a quilt. I found some white-on-white fabric...cut it into tumblers and sewed it into strips. ok, now what?

The next charm pack was cut into coins and sewn into strips, 2 for starters, the same length as the tumbler strips. All the strips were sewn together and bordered with more white-on-white. There now, the top was pieced. I had a few extra fabric coins cut, turned them into short strips and pieced them into a creative back. The quilting was done with my walking foot doing some stitch in the ditch and just straight line stitching.
Enjoy the pictures.
 Here is the quilt pin basted on my piecing table.




Front of the quilt with a teaser view of the back.
another view of the front of the quilt
close up of the "coin" strip, border and binding
quilt draped over a black leather chair
a view of the pieced back, note the label in the second white strip down
close up of the label
It is the middle of April and it's still cold here. This little quilt has already been pressed into service and performed admirably.
Respectfully submitted,
the Baroness of Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Michael and A Quilter's Reader for March

This past week has been one of the most emotional and challenging of my life. Well, it is one of the top two, most challenging weeks of my life. If at all possible I hope I don't ever have to revisit something like that ever again. However, with two out of the three kids in police work, the likelihood for scary scenarios is always lurking somewhere on the horizon. However, both offspring have been firmly placed in the protective hands of St. Michael the Archangel, Patron Saint of police officers. Last Sunday was proof of his intervention. We are so grateful and most blessed.

That being said, on to more fun stuff, like what I was tinkering with this afternoon.

In our Quilter's Reader book club, we are reading, "A Single Thread", by Marie Bostwick for the month of March. I read the book about three years ago, and just loved it. This is my second time through and it's as if I am revisiting old friends all over again, Evelyn, Charlie, Abigail, Liza, Franklin, Margot, etc. Since this story is the introduction to the Cobbled Court Quilts series, I wanted to make a quilt block that reflected Evelyn's discovery of the cobbled courtyard and the dilapidated, abandoned drug store on her walk through the little town of New Bern, Connecticut in the Fall.

So here it is....ta da!!! My block, The Courtyard Quilt Block.
I had a bit of searching to do to find the block, then I had to reconfigure it to finish out as a 12 1/2" block.
The white center is for the brightly lit courtyard that Evelyn encountered walking through the dark alley (the black blocks). The red at the corners of the courtyard symbolizes the red sign over the shop door, as well as the bright red geraniums she envisioned would bloom in pots around the courtyard. The yellow leaves symbolize the falling leaves of Autumn when she first discovered the little run down shop.

The Courtyard Quilt Block

Once again, respectfully submitted by,
Baroness von Thomas Haus, Queen Yours Truly   :)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Quilter's Reader

February ~ "The Persian Pickle Club", by Sandra Dallas

In traipsing through the Kingdom of Blogdom, I came upon a lovely little blog from the Starwood Quilter. The predominant theme is very much a quilt block theme woven through the life and times of the Starwood Quilter. She is in the process of making a quilt with blocks that reflect themes from her locale, life, and times.

As part of her blog, she began a book club. The point and purpose of a book club is to read a particular book, for that month, chosen by the Starwood Quilter. She posts discussion questions and periodically, quilt blocks that reflect the different themes, locations, and characters in the book. I plan on making a quilt with blocks that reflect each book we read. Depending on how the story effects me, I'll make a block that reflects a character, the surroundings, the plot, the locale or whatever theme pops out at me.

Our first book, entitled, "The Persian Pickle Club", by Sandra Dallas, was the designated read for February. The story revolves around the time of the Great Depression in the 30's, in the town of Harveyville, Kansas, and the Persian Pickle Club(a quilt guild) and it's members. It was written through the eyes of the principle character, a young married woman, Queenie Bean. She is the inspiration for my block called "Prairie Queen".

In the middle is the material containing the "Persian Pickles" or fancy paisley. It is surrounded in a pink fabric with multicolored circles that reflect the beautiful friendships within the club, despite the quirky times, differing personalities and the trials they faced. On the outside of the pink is a black background in which a variety of prairie daisies bloom. I love it!!!