I Need to Ramble

I renamed the header on my blog to Ramblin’ with Anna a few weeks ago as I thought it better suited me since I either ramble with my words or ramble with my life in so many ways. I can never sit still too long and have moved more times than I remember at this point and that’s only since I left home when I was 19. The last time I saw my dad he asked me how many moves I was up to since I had just moved into my house this past December. I told him I couldn’t remember and he said he stopped counting when I reached 40 and that was over 15 years ago.

When I started living in the RV full-time I rambled all over the eastern side of the United States before we settled down to live in a big house again. This past weekend I told my husband I wanted to move back into the RV because I was tired of cleaning the house.

Today I just need to ramble about all that is going on in my life. I feel like the walls are closing in on me and sometimes I just need to vent and this is my space to do that. Besides nobody ever reads this blog anyway, so I can say whatever I want. Maybe one day my children will happen upon it and realize how much they missed out on by not being an active part of my life. I don’t want to chase that rabbit today as that could be a whole post in itself.

Today I want to talk about what my husband and I are currently facing. Back in December he received a cancer diagnosis and begins radiation treatment tomorrow. They are doing an extensive 5 day regime and we have no idea how this is going to affect him. I pray that this was the right choice for him and for us. If that’s not enough, on April 28th he will be having a full knee replacement. Something he has been wanting ever since I have known him as he is in constant pain. I pray that I will not hurt him while re recuperates from all that he is facing and that I will be able to accept all that is coming down the pike so to speak.

I know my life could be worse and I am thankful that God is holding my hand through all of this.

I will try to steal a few minutes each day quilting, sewing or crafting in order to relax and have a moment of time alone.

If someone really is reading this and you’ve had experience with cancer, radiation or knee surgery; feel free to reach out with any advice that you think would help as we both go through these coming days.

I Love My Porch

One of the main things I feel in love with when we toured this house was the porches as I love to sit out on the front porch in my rocking chairs, but especially like my back porch where I can relax under the ceiling fan and enjoy the day. Last week a wonderful friend came over and we got to sit on this porch catching up for about 4 hours. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year, so we had a lot to catch up on and it was so relaxing to sit out there and take in the moment.

In a previous post you can read about the beautiful kite pillow that is on this couch, which is personally made by me. Unfortunately the weather has not cooperated as much as I would like in order for me to enjoy this space, but I know the weather will continue to change and I will get to spend many days out here.

No porch is complete without RULES and these are mine! I love all of these and look forward to many days doing just what this sign says!

Plenty of room for friends so feel free to call for a visit as I would love to entertain my friends and family any time!

My First Quilted Pillow

There are several firsts in this story about me making a quilted pillow. While being home more than usual for the past year, I have looked for things to keep me busy and because I like to do crafts and sew, I decided to try my hand at quilting something.

My grandmother used to make the most beautiful quilts. She give me my first quilt when I got married in 1984. That poor quilt went through hell and back. I wish I still had it or at least a picture of it, but unfortunately I have neither. A past mother-in-law also used to quilt and I got one of her patterns to make a quilt top, but never finished it and somewhere through the years the quilt top got thrown out with the trash.

While looking online at one of the local quilt shops in town I discovered a pillow kit, which I though went I purchased it included everything you would need to make the pillow. I was wrong. It only included the pattern and applique pieces for the kite part of the design. Being that I paid $26 for this I almost took it back to the store for a refund, but decided to just go for it and buy the necessary fabrics to make it and see how it would turn out.

So along with this being my first quilted pillow, this is also the first time I have made flying geese. I actually had to look that term up to see what everyone online was talking about when I was researching quilt sites and blogs. It was the first time I have every actually quilted something and used the straight line quilt method to do this. I wanted to do the free motion quilting on it, but after several practice sessions and many hours of YouTube videos I decided to straight line this one. Maybe I will attempt the free motion on the next one.

My flying geese made individually.

My flying geese after sewing them together.

Next one? Yes the pillow I chose was actually part of a series representing 12 months of pillows. They change with the season. The patterns are from KimberBell and can be found online or at your local quilt store. The patterns are for actual pillow covers that you change out each month so you only have to make the actual pillow the first time. The pillow cover is made to where you can slip it on and off through the envelope opening in the back. That way you can also wash it if needed. They are approximately 16″ x 38″. Making the pillow was definitely the easy part. I’ve done that several times before.

Another first was doing applique as I have never attempted that. Still not sure that I done that correctly, but chose to use a zig zag stitch all the way around the edge. I will do a little more research on this before I make the next pillow. At this point I think I will skip the April design and go for May as I have so many projects going right now that I don’t want to be overwhelmed trying to get one completed in just a few days as it is very close to the end of the month and I need time to get the pattern and fabrics.

The front piece after adding the inner and outer borders.

After adding the kite applique and rick rack that served as the kite string.

Upclose of the flying geese on the finished product.

My First Quilted Pillow

The one for March is called, Let’s Go Fly a Kit!”

I plan to make more for each holiday, but I don’t think I will be buying patterns as the background and border are pretty much made the same way, just use different colored fabrics and then you applique whatever design you want to use. I’m up for the challenge of learning how to do the applique myself. If your experienced in quilting or applique, please feel free to share any advice you might have.

Surviving the Winter Storm of 2021

On Saturday, February 13th a winter storm started coming into the Middle Tennessee area that would lock us down for many days as the roads became impassable and wrecks were happening all over the city. By Sunday everything was frozen solid due to extremely cold temperatures and sleet. On Monday we continued to receive more and more frozen rain, sleet and snow. On Wednesday, it was more snow than sleet and beautiful. I ventured out for a photo shoot to capture this moment in time. Hope you are all warm and cozy wherever you are.

We received another round of snow that was more beautiful than the first go round. I took advantage of a quiet morning to venture out for these beauties, which included the backyard, the bird houses, the street on each side of our house, which you couldn’t even tell were actual streets and the view from our house to the neighbors. This last batch of snow was beautiful, but I am ready for all of this to be over.

The Victorian Village Cross-stitch Series

This project was inspired by a project I saw back in 1993 in The Cross Stitcher Magazine. I had just gotten into cross stitching and was ordering different magazines when I came across this project and dreamed of making it. I knew it would take a long time, but it was always on my mind to complete, but I didn’t want to do it as an afghan because I didn’t want people to see the way the back of my work looks. I have no idea how people keep the back looking so pretty. I have never mastered that.

Anyway, I kept my magazines that I collected over the years hoping that one day I would get around to making these beautiful replications of Victorian days gone by. I really should have been born back then. I did eventually start this project and it would take me over 10 years to complete. In all that time, I kept all of my magazines and never lost any of my completed shops. This project is what opened the way for me to buy all my DMC floss as back when this pattern was released there were only 180 DMC colors and this project would use everyone of them. Below is a picture of the page from the magazine. I will admit back in 2014 when we were going to live full-time in an RV I let go of all my patterns. Something I really regret right now. Regardless I was able to find these treasures on eBay so that I could have a hard copy to keep in my collection.

The different shops would appear two at a time over the next six months until the entire series was completed. I honestly don’t remember which order I worked on these as I originally started this project around 1999/2000 and it would not be until August 2008 when I would finish it and frame them. The first time I framed them I split them into groups of 4 and framed in three different frames, 16×20 in size. I had a mat cut that went around each shop which are 5 inches square.

The first magazine they appeared in was the December 1993 issue which featured the Flower Shop and Ice Cream Parlor. In February 1994 the Cross Stitch Shop and Barber Shop were featured. The Mercantile and Antiques were in the April 1994 issue and the Quilt Shop and Apothecary were in the June 1994. The excitement of each issue grew each month I got my magazine. The August 1994 issue featured the Dress Shop and Book Shop and finally in the October 1994 issue I would get the Sweet Shop and Millinery.

Each shop was stitched on 14 count aida cloth with 2 strands of DMC and the backstitching was done with 1 strand. Each shop would take hours to complete, but in the end it was worth all the time it took.

When I moved in the first RV I carried these things around in the storage and/or basement area determined that one day I would display them again. That day finally came when I decided how I wanted to change things up. I had several pieces of 1″ x 8″ boards that had been cut for another project I planned on doing but never got around to that I decided to recut to 6 1/2 inches square. Once they were all cut and sanded, I painted them black as that would serve as my background and then I would use Mod Podge to attach each piece to the board. To add a little boarder around each shop I decided to frill out the aida cloth, but one of the shops didn’t have much left over so its a little wonky, but the others turned out pretty good.

To add the mod podge I applied to the backside (no pic) then centered on the black board. I then applied mod podge around the edges so the board would have that shiny look. I did not put mod podge on top of the cross stitch piece only on the back. The below gallery shows the before, during and after pics of the process attaching them to the board.

This is a proud moment seeing these on the wall after all these years. I wish I had framed them like this when I first made them as it would have been easier to display them even living in small quarters.

Because it has been so long since I originally framed this project and even longer ago that I started it, I’m not sure what date I actually started or completed the project; however, at the bottom of each original frame and mat board was a section for the following, but each frame had a different month and year. I want to believe that it was to represent the approximate time that I had finished another 4 shops. The last date I had was August 2008.

I am certain I will never tackle another project of this magnitude as my hands cannot hold out to stitch like I used to. Some days I find sewing hard, so being able to stitch something like this would be impossible, which is why this holds so much meaning for me.

 

Happy Stitching!