Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raffle Quilt for the Wisconsin Burn Camp

The handsome gentleman with me is my boss, Deputy Chief Michael Payne.

Every summer for one week children from Wisconsin who have suffered from burns are able to attend what we (members of the Milwaukee Fire Department) call Burn Camp. This wonderful camp is sponsored by fire departments throughout Wisconsin. Many MFD members dedicate several days of their own time each year volunteering at the camp. It is a wonderful week for these children and their families.

At the Wisconsin Fire Chief Association convention, held every June, a quilt is raffled off with the proceeds given to the Burn Camp. This year the Ladies Friendship group from Ye Olde Schoolhouse quickly agreed to my suggestion that we piece the quilt to be raffled this year. Each double star block was made by a different lady - some making more than one! The colors are burgundy, black and off white/tan. I think these ladies did a fabulous job. After the blocks were done, my friend, Terri and I arranged them and I added the lattice and corner stones. The quilt came together beautifully. Today I purchased the batting and backing and hopefully by next week it will be at the quilters. I will bind it with the same material as the lattice.

I'm retiring in August. This morning in our conference room at the Fire Academy, we were having coffee and the guys were discussing the sports of the world (typical morning conversation), one of the guys asked me what great legacy I would leave the Milwaukee Fire Department - what stories about me would be told over and over. After 32+ years with the City of Milwaukee I am sure there are tons of "Julie Ann" stories! LOL. However, I hope this quilt will be my legacy. I am very proud of it and especially of the ladies who so quickly volunteered to go through their stash of material and make a block.

Besides, I'm telling all of the MFD chiefs who attend the conference this June: they better purchase lots of raffle tickets and if they win, give the quilt to me as a retirement present!! (Just kidding - kind of).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Quilt Girl

Isn't she lovely?

She is designed by Karen over at Karen sells these great designs under This one is entitled Quilt Album 1870.

Check Karen's site out. She has great designs that are quick and easy to follow. And, although they call for hand turned applique, I did the blanket stitch. Slightly bulky around the face (I will use different thread next time), but it turned out fine. She was quilted by Meandering Mary, who once again did a great job. I love this wall hanging.

And, when I was in Atlanta over the Christmas holidays, Karen and I (along with my sister, Suzanne) met for lunch. We also visited a quilt store in Marietta. It was so much fun to meet her in person after becoming blogging buddies. Hopefully, we will connect again when I am down there over Easter.

She also designed, as you may remember, this little girl, entitled Portrait in Silhouette No.1. What I love about both of these is that they have a 3-D effect. Although you can't really tell from the picture above, the little girl's quilt is not sewn on, but glued to card board to give the illusion that she is holding it up while hand quilting it. It really doesn't show up this way on the pictures, but is adorable on the wall.

On this picture you can see the curtain/drapery that hangs on the side.

Now, I am waiting for a little boy to go with this girl. Karen????? After all, she is called #1? Where is #2? LOL

I just purchased Karen's Berks County 1850 girl, but it may be a long time before I start her! Got the material, too!

I need to retire soon so I have more time to quilt.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Help Regarding Flying Geese (quilt blocks, that is)

I have Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day flying geese rulers, which I find to be a God send. However, I have the instructions for 4" x 8" and 2" x 4" size, but I can't find the instructions for the 3"x 6" and 1 1/2" x 3" flying geese. I just need to know what sizes to cut the two squares for each size.

Can anyone out there help me?

Thanks! Me and my flock greatly appreciate it!

Happy Valentine's Day

Don't eat too much chocolate!

Saturday, February 13, 2010



Sunday, February 07, 2010

Packing it Up/Letting it Go

In about 5 weeks my home will be on the market. Retirement (at least from the City of Milwaukee) looms just over 6 months ahead.

Slowly, very slowly, I am going through stuff and tossing, giving away and maybe packing. Oh - I really need to start packing. Not that I am not ready. I am collecting boxes. I purchased packing tape, bubble wrap and I'm bringing home newspapers from work (I don't get the paper here at home).

A few weeks ago I made a plea to my sister, Suzanne, in Georgia. HELP! I need help organizing and labeling boxes. I need a kick in the butt to get going on the packing. She is just the person to do it - firmly, but nicely! She agreed to come up for four days in late February. What would I do without my sister?

I called my nephew, Patrick and asked him to come over a few times in the course of the next few weeks and do a few things for me - tightening towel racks, replacing broken glass in the china cabinet, helping me get rid of tools I have never used and never will use. I need a couple light switches replaced, too. Oh - the list could go on, but he is a busy man himself and when preparing a house for sale, there comes a time so say that it is as good as it is going to get!

I watch enough HGTV to know what I need to do, how my house should look and how to stage it to make it look welcoming, inviting and like someone elses home.

I am by no means a hoarder, but I am a very sentimental person and sometimes I have a hard time letting go of things. I have to keep telling myself that the memories are in my mind and in my heart. I have been moving the same "stuff" around for 35 years. It is time to let go.

Nancy, after retiring and moving to Mesa, AZ, has given me some good advise. Give it away to friends who like it and will use it. I have been giving artwork to friends. I am parting with my porcelain bird collection and offered birds to many of my gal pals. It is amazing how many of them will find new homes. They are beautiful and it makes me happy to know my friends will have beautiful reminders of me. I have told my friends that if there is any thing of mine they have always liked or admired and would like for themselves, just ask. If Iam ready to part with it they, may have it. I am happy to note that several things have been promised. How wonderful!

My co-worker, Judy's son loves Ebay. He agreed to sell things for me as long as I provide pictures. So, I will be snapping pictures and calling Bobby to work out a deal on how we will work this out. I have some antiques that need to go. And, will someone buy all of these old tools that I have? Tools going back to my grandfather? Who needs sickle these days and how in the heck did I end up with this stuff?

A rummage sale has been suggested several times. But, I don't have the energy for that. Plus, my house will be on the market in March. Not a good time for a rummage sale in Wisconsin. I don't want people tramping in and out of my house. Showings will be difficult enough with the dogs.

Then there is all of the quilting stuff. I love quilting and it is amazing how much I have accumulated in the past year and a half that I have started this wonderful hobby. But, other than starting a queen size quilt for my great nephew's 18th birthday, I need to pack up a lot of what I have and not purchase fabric or start large projects. I will keep out smaller quilting kits and continue with my BOMs, but I need to clear out a lot! Where did this all come from? In just a short time quilting has taken over my home!

So, I am getting all ready for selling my home and moving on. But, where am I moving to? I'm moving south, but will it be 90 miles or 900 miles? Will I be with someone or alone? I think this issue is what is stalling me the most. Indecision, questions and putting my life on hold for the several years now is taking its toll. Decisions need to be made and they need to be made quickly. I have written about this before, yet nothing has changed. This is my own fault. I need to stop waiting for someone else to make up their minds and/or take action and I need to reclaim my own power and decide for myself. But, it is so hard. If I had a friend in this same situation I would shake my head and think, "She needs to get a grip." In someways I am ashamed of myself for being in this position, for allowing myself to be in this position. I am truly a strong and independent woman. So why am I and/or having I put my life on hold for so long? Jeez.

Lots to think about. Lots to do.

Meanwhile, every time I open a drawer or closet I take something out to be given away or toss. I look at everything in my home with a critical eye and think do I really want it or can I live without it. Keep it or let it go. I think I need to carry this attitude on to more than just my house.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Jeannie's Quilt - BOM - Blocks 11 & 12

Cut the Corners on the left & Robbing Peter to Pay Paul on the right.

Here's January's installment of the Block of the Month we are working on at Ye Olde Schoolhouse. This month's fabric was the cheddar - best seen as the center square of the block on your right (Robbing Peter to Pay Paul).

I admit I am getting MUCH better at deciphering the patterns! And, the flying geese pieces (4 in one the right and 8 in the one on the left) are a piece of cake now that I am using Eleanor Burns' flying geese ruler and instructions. I actually find them fun!

In these two blocks I used the same two fabrics in the flying geese, just reversing them. I had fun with that and I LOVE how the black fabric came out in the block on the left (Cut the Corners). I was a little nervous about adding the black and will be sure to use it in at least 2 more blocks to balance it out. I got both blocks completed in a few hours.

Normally, since we meet once a month, I pound the blocks out right away and forget about them until our next gathering. It didn't happen that way this month, so on Thursday I will get a fat quarter of fabric and two more patterns.

Twelve down, twelve to go. We're half way there!