Thursday, March 29, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen, block #25: Famous Cookies

After nine months, we have arrived at the final block of my Grandma's Kitchen quilt! In truth, the quilt is finished, but I seem to quilt faster than I write, so it has taken me longer to write up my posts. 

The name of the final block is Famous Cookies

Gramma Ann's famous cookies are her five beloved daughters: Ann, Chi, Mary, Terri, and Lori. 

Earlier in this process, when I made the 7th block, Oh My Stars, I originally used some Scrabble fabric before I found crossword print that fit so well of my memory of seeing her doing her crossword puzzle every morning. She told me that crosswords would keep her brain sharp. And they did, into her 90s!

Gramma did play Scrabble, but it was her daughters who have really embraced the game.

I remember Mom's blue rotating board being brought out at every family gathering, and even now as Gramma's girls are spread out across the US, they still engage in competitive games on Words with Friends.

The Scrabble fabric line is long out of print, but I had some left over from the Western Scrabble quilt I made for my mom.

I knew immediately that I had to use the Scrabble fabric for this last block. 

And the blue striped fabric surrounding the Scrabble tile blocks is from one of Gramma's shirts. 

It isn't often that all five sisters are able to get together, but much fun is had when they are! 

First gathering since Gramma's funeral, Spring 2018.
Gramma's funeral, Spring 2014

Grampa Leo's 80th birthday, 90s

Blackduck, 80s
Blackduck, MN, late 70s

Easter Sunday, mid 60s.
Hanging in Gramma's House in Arizona
I know that Gramma was very proud of all of her girls, who she raised to be independent, intelligent, curious, and lovers of life and laughter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: March 2018 Update

Spring break is a few hours old and we are already 2 states down the road. But, I'm happy to say that I did finish my One Monthly Goal this month and just before we left home, I took a picture of the finished top of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake.

After all the social quilting I did last year, my goal this year is to finish all the quilts I started. I am just thrilled with the reveal of Bonnie's mystery quilt. Last year was my first year participating in her mystery quilt along. She has such great ideas for using my overflowing pins of scraps.

Bonnie used teal, brown, coral, and white in her version on On Ringo Lake, which was inspired by a trip to Minnesota.
As a native Minnesotan, I was delighted that my beautiful state provided her inspiration. Last year, I loved seeing the variation in colors used by other quilters. So this year, I chose my own colors. I used the watery blues for Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, gray and white for our long winters, and purple for the Minnesota Vikings. (SKOL!)

I was too late to join the completed quilt link up, but you can see other On Ringo Lake quilts here.

To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, look for #OnRingeisLake on Instagram. If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me at de Jong Dream House.

March 2018 - On Ringeis Lake top complete.
February 2018 - Grandma's Kitchen complete!
January 2018 - Project Linus complete!
June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen, block #24: Grandma's Purse

Block #24 of Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen sew along is Grandma's Purse. Since I'm not really a purse person, I don't really remember much about Gramma Ann's purse, other than her eagerness to grab it and go whenever there was fun to be had! Gramma loved Wickenburg, the (sometimes wild) west, and the world.

Gramma lived most of her final years in sunny Wickenburg, Arizona. It's a sleepy western town known for ranches, roping, and Remuda Ranch, best known for its sex addiction and eating disorder recovery programs.  

I have been visiting Wickenburg to my see Gramma, Grampa, and or my Mom for close to 35 years!  It's always fun to introduce a new generation to the jail tree in the center of town.

My favorite place in Wickenburg, though, is just off a dusty road behind the retirement community where my elders called home. Decades ago, my grandparents started a tradition of writing names in the rocks. I believe my Grampa Leo was the first one.

My mom, aunt, and I have all been combing through our photos trying to find a photo of "Ann" or "Manthei" without luck. Hopefully one of us will find a picture and I'll add it here. I did find a photo of my name, which was has been there since the 80s.

My husband and son both added their names. And there is a very special name there, JO.

Niels and I lost two babies before our son was born. Because I was 35 when I got married, each loss was accentuated by a fear that I would never carry a child to term. After our second loss, and before  D was born, we added "JO" to the rock collection. It stands for Just Ours. It is comforting to know that our babies are remembered among the names of their relatives.

I found some rock fabric after I finished all the blocks and I knew I needed to include in some way. All I had left was the binding, which I think is perfect.

Before Gramma moved to Wickenburg, she used to take trips around the world. My grandpa wasn't big on international travel, so Gramma visited Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Ireland without him! She used to bring me dolls and coins as souvenirs. I'm said to say that both the dolls and photos of her travels are gone.

Gramma used to keep stenographer pads as journals of her travels and of her days. I saw a few of them the last time I was in her Arizona house. Unfortunately, her handwriting is as hard to read as mine is!

For the last decade of her life, after Grampa passed, she still traveled around the US to visit her daughters. They would take pictures and make binders of travel memories for her.

I suspect she looked through these photos often as she missed the ones she loved.

I chose the fabric I did for this block because I couldn't believe it had tiny Wickenburg on it.

And for all her adventures in life--and a move to Wisconsin at the end--her travels came to an end in Wickenburg, where her ashes rest next to those of Grampa Leo.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen, block #23, That One Item

Block #23 of Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen sew along is a That One Thing, a free choice topic. I've been waiting for this one. Anyone who knew my Gramma Ann knew of her love for Betty Boop!

I'm not sure why Gramma loved Betty so much. Mom thinks maybe it's because she was so popular when Gramma was a young woman. I do know that she liked to draw her.

Throughout her life, Gramma was gifted with all sorts of Betty Boop collector items.

Two of my aunts found a large paper mache Betty in New Mexico.

Ms. Boop made the move from Arizona to Wisconsin with Gramma for the last years of her life. Here she is watching Gramma open up the memory quilt I made for her.

Gramma hung my quilt up on the wall for all her visitors to see. And Betty got dressed up for St. Patrick's day.

Family would often send her pictures of Betty as we found her on our travels.

Personally, my favorite Betty Boop find is this one.

Friday, March 2, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: March 2018

March is really coming in like a lion here in Ohio. After temps in the 60s early this week, we woke up to about 4 inches of snow this morning. Perfect day for staying inside to quilt!

On my radar this month is my One Monthly Goal for Elm Street Quilts.  My overall goal for 2018 is to finish all the quilt alongs and social quilting projects I participated in last year. This month, my goal is to finish my On Ringo Lake mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. 

Last year was my first year participating in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. Bonnie is a master of scrappy and since my scrap bins are overflowing, I now look forward to participating each year. 

Last year's quilt was called En Provence. Here is my finished quilt. 

Last year I followed Bonnie's color suggestions, but I loved seeing other participant's variations. This year I decided to venture on my own.

So hopefully this stack of blocks will be turned into a finished top by the end of the month!

February 2018 - Grandma's Kitchen complete!
January 2018 - Project Linus complete!
June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

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