Category Archives: Family

Memory Quilts

Sometime right before Thanksgiving, MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I were looking at a few things of BigDaddy’s and we decided (maybe in a fit of madness?) that we should make quilts from his shirts for his 5 grandchildren.  We decided on a simple 4″ patch quilt pattern and spent a few weeks sorting and cutting.  We worked away at our little project and by Thanksgiving, we had the quilt fronts all pieced.  As the mother of 2/5ths of the grandchildren, I lucked out and only had to make 2 of the quilts.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

I tried to compensateMyDadLovesMeBestSister for her extra work by piecing all the backs.  BigDaddy was known for some of his funny sweatshirts, so we decided to include a few of each on the quilt backs.  (My favorite was a shirt with a dog skeleton that said “In Dog Years … I’m Dead.”  Or, “If a man is talking in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?”  Classic BigDaddy!)  We chose a blue flannel for the main part of the backs, and I used my embroidery machine software to digitize BigDaddy’s signature with a message that he’d left on a card to one of the kids.  We also included a pocket on the back of each quilt, and into each pocket we tucked a few treasures for each child (now young adults) from their beloved Grandpa.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

I chose to big-stitch the two quilts that I had to finish, but MyDadLovesMeBestSister knew that she’d never get three quilts hand quilted, so she decided to tie hers.  I love them both ways!  I also bound my two quilts with a print from MeMum’s stash — to add a MeMum touch to the quilts, and I love how they turned out.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

Quilts made out of shirts aren’t that fun to make and they’re certainly not at all pretty.  I mentioned these quilts to Jan shortly before Christmas and she compared this sort of quilting to sewing on buttons or hemming pants.  Indeed.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

But.  Sometimes the payoff is really BIG.  MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I predicted that there might be some tears on Christmas morning and we nailed it. I had big plans to take lots of pictures of all the kids holding up their quilts, etc. but the flu wreaked havoc with the rest of the week.  It didn’t matter though — I took a few photos when the quilts were opened.  The one below is my favorite — you can see at least two criers in this shot and there were more to follow LOL.  It was a really fun and special Christmas morning.

Thimbleanna: Memory Quilt

Now Christmas projects are all over and we’re at a new year.  A clean slate.  Are we working on UFO’s or new projects???  Decisions, Decisions!

XOXO,
Anna

P.S. The adorable Puppy Love fabric by Anita Jeram (the illustrator responsible for those darling little P.S. I Love You Rabbits!) has arrived in my etsy shop. It’s accompanied by an adorable minky-style plush puppy spot fabric. Oh, the possibilities!!!

Thimbleanna: Puppy Love Fabric

Back from Break …

Well Hey Hey!  I’m back from our super fun trip out west.  It was supposed to be all business (moving TheFirstChild and his cute little family to Utah for a year), but we had lots and lots of fun instead.  The move went great — MyDadLovesMeBestSister, MeMum and I (along with Winston) drove the kids’ cars out without a hitch.  No traffic, no construction, no mess!  Winston was in my car the whole time and he was the perfect travel companion.

After the kids were pretty much moved in, we played.  A Lot.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

Horseback riding in the mountains  (the mountains don’t look very big, but that’s because we’re already waaaay up there ;-D ) —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Checking out teeny little cemeteries for my ancestors.  In all the times I’d been to the little town where my grandfather grew up, I’d never been to the cemetery.  I found lots of ancestors — as far back as my g-g-g-g-g-grandmother who was born in 1780.  I Love these old pioneer cemeteries — it’s so interesting to see the really old ones that don’t even have grass anymore.  So many stories to tell.

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

A ridiculously fun 4th of July in MeMum and BigDaddy’s hometown.  My very favorite place to be on the 4th — they have the perfect small-town gathering with activities ALL day long — starting with a pancake breakfast in the park and ending with fireworks at dusk.  This little doll couldn’t have been more cute —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Three-legged races —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Potato Sack Races (MAN DOWN LOL!!!) —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Egg Toss —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Watermelon Bust —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Greased Pole — it used to be only the boys who loved to do it, but the girls are all in now too.  That pole is VERY slippery — the objective is to grab the greasy flags at the top.  Look at all those spotters there to protect the girls in case they slip and fall —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

And just all-round fun ALL day with family that we don’t see very often.  Being the only small child around, our little FinallyAGirl was very popular —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

There was more fun after the 4th too.  It was SUPER hot in the valley, so we escaped to the mountains and hiked to not-so-secret Cecret Lake (where we actually saw a skier on those glaciers — in July!) —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

Saw the largest flying US flag, hanging in Pleasant Grove canyon —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

And the day before I came home, we did a 5k in lavender fields (luckily we took cell-phone pictures because my camera settings were WAY off and the pictures didn’t turn out — ooops!) —

Thimbleanna: Utah in July

And now it’s back to real life. Going back to work was Hard. And Depressing. Thank goodness I can sew and quilt and spend too much time on the internet for distraction LOL.

Have a Great Week!
XOXO,
Anna

Whoosh!

That’s the sound the last few weeks made as they flew by.  Holy Cow, it’s been crazy here and I’m looking forward to Easter just to catch my breath!

Last weekend, we had a flyby driving trip to Dallas and then back a longer way through Oklahoma — I should maybe back up a little.  A few months ago, TheSecondChild moved back home while he looked for a new job.  That was around the time that MeMum had been sick with pneumonia, so when she got out of the hospital, we moved her in with us too.  We have plenty of room for both of them, but their “buddies” made it a little extra interesting.  MeMum brought her cat Sally (she’s made appearances on the blog before) and TheSecondChild brought his two cats with him.  For those of you keeping count, that’s five cats (and according to Anne five too many LOL).  That’s too many cats to referee!

Fast forward a few months and a lot of poop-scooping, and TheSecondChild found a great job back in his favorite town of Dallas, so we packed him and his kitties up and took a roadtrip.  One 15-hour drive day, one unload the truck and drive to Oklahoma day, one quick visit with family and 5-hr drive with a fly-by to The Mercantile, and one 9-hr drive day back home.  Whew!  Before we left, we tried to get a Five Cat Family picture, but it was impossible.  We were throwing treats here and there to get them all in one shot, but it was a no-go.  Poor little Sally hates all the other cats, so she wouldn’t play at all.  The other four aren’t all that crazy about each other either, so they weren’t exactly co-operating.

Here’s a shot with Scruff and two black cats.

Thimbleanna: Cats

And here are three black cats.  They must have some rule that 4 cats couldn’t all be in the same picture at once.

Thimbleanna: Cats

Scruff was feeling very outnumbered — four all black cats and his little ol’ gray and white self LOL.  Anyway, the trip was quick but a success — TheSecondChild now has his first week at the new job under his belt and it looks like it will be a success.

THEN, three days after we got back, our little cherub FinallyAGirl brought her parents for a 4-day visit.  We had a great time — what a little doll!  She wore us out though — she doesn’t sleep much and she goes a mile a minute.  We had several days of pretty weather and we took her for her first wagon ride (in her daddy’s wagon ;-D) — she LOVED it!

Thimbleanna: Pixie

I made her the little Pixie hat — the pattern is The Jovie Pixie Baby Bonnet.  I made the largest size (and sized up the crochet hook by 2 sizes) and I won’t even tell you how many times it took me to get the right size — but it was lots of crocheting and ripping out and it may or may not have been more than three times!  ;-D

And finally, in the middle of it all, lots of new fabric arrived in my little etsy shop.  Lots of Atsuko Matsuyama prints from both Yuwa and Lecein …

Thimbleanna: Fabric

Thimbleanna: Fabric

and this super cute little kitty and macaron print from the Yuwa Live Life collection.

Thimbleanna: Fabric

Ok, I’m tired and off to bed! I’m hoping to get caught up on blog reading this week — have a good one!
XOXO,
Anna

A Baby Shower

Hi there! Boy, my blogging sure has slowed down in the last few months. There’s always Just. So. Much. To. Do! I can’t keep up! And who stole April??? It zipped by in a haze and I can’t believe it’s May already. Another busy month with quilt market coming up! (Yipee!)

Anyway, MyDadLovesMeBestSister had a beautiful little baby shower for SweetiePie a week and a half ago. We were a small group but we had a good time and the shower lasted almost 2 hours longer than I thought it would!

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

MyDadLovesMeBestSister always does such a beautiful job decorating. And, of course, the theme of the day was PINK!!! Here’s a partial shot of the gift table – notice the little peek (in the bottom right-hand corner) of the adorable garland of baby socks that are hanging on the front of the table. Too Cute! And pretty pom poms lining the fireplace.

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

We ate first and the food was delicious. Hot chicken salad, a pear walnut salad, croissants, lots of fruit, cheese spread and crackers, chocolate dipped strawberries, and a beautiful little cake. After lunch, we dismantled the pretty table setting so that we could make baby headbands (and eat pink candy!). It was really fun to sit around and work with our hands while we were visiting. It was a fun surprise for SweetiePie and I think she liked it!

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

These are just a few of the finished headbands – I didn’t remember to take a picture until most of them were all packed up.

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

After we made headbands, we tied a few baby quilts, but we’re already picture heavy, so I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, the chalkboard from the shower is now out of date – only 39 more days until the due date – Eeeep!

Thimbleanna: Baby Shower

XOXO,
Anna

Absence

Boy, Oh Boy. That was a bit of a gap in posting, wasn’t it? I certainly didn’t mean to be gone for so long. Thank you so much for all the e-mails of concern and worry — you guys are all so sweet. Many of you suspected that something must be wrong here in Thimbleannaland, and sadly, you were right.

We’ve lost our BigDaddy.

Long time readers know how we all adore our BigDaddy and we’re heartbroken. (I’ve posted about him a lot before, but the best are here and here.) In the aftermath of his little fender bender, he came home from re-hab with a cold and it slowly morphed into pneumonia. He’s been so amazing at fighting off big health issues over the years, that it just seems impossible that a nasty little cold would ultimately claim him.

Thimbleanna: BigDaddy

We managed to get all the grandkids home on very short notice and we were all with him, holding hands when the time came. He surely must’ve known how very much we all love him. After we left the hospital, we went to dinner together and shared some memories. It was so heartwarming to hear the stories, both sweet and funny, from the grandchildren. I think we all parted company that night, thinking that we must be the luckiest family ever to have had such a wonderful father and grandfather.

Thimbleanna: BigDaddy

BigDaddy had a great life. He’s been such a rascal (doing things he shouldn’t) these last few years, that it often made me think that he must’ve been a handful for his mother. He’s the little guy on the right in the above picture — isn’t he cute? Can you see that mischievous twinkle in his eye? I think he carried that with him through his whole life. I think his favorite thing must have been to make people laugh — he had an amazing sense of humor. Oh how he made us laugh — always with a corny joke, funny story, or prank. (He thought the sign in the picture below was hysterical — did you know that they have disabled toilets at Stonehenge???)

Thimbleanna: BigDaddy

BigDaddy taught us many things, but, I think the biggest was the value of kindness. He was kind to everyone and it showed — for as long as I can remember, people have always told me “Your Dad is such a great guy”.  And he was single-minded in his devotion to MeMum.  She’s been a bit of a rascal herself these last few years, but BigDaddy told us many times “I promised her Dad that I’d take care of her”. They set such a wonderful example for us kids — as impossible as it sounds, I don’t remember them ever arguing when I was growing up. They always had so much fun together and MeMum is lost without him. Here’s one of my favorite pictures of them, taken last spring on their 60th anniversary. This is sooooo them — always having fun together.

Thimbleanna: BigDaddy

A day or two before BigDaddy died, the pulmonologist was showing TheManoftheHouse an x-ray and basically telling him there was no hope.

“And look how enlarged his heart is” the Dr. Said.

No Surprises There.

We always knew BigDaddy had a huge heart.

One that we will miss and love forever.

XOXO,
Anna