Summer Happenings

July 24th, 2017

Maggie smelling the iris 

2 C. all-purpose flour
1 /4 C. white sugar
2 teas. baking soda
2 teas. cinnamon
¼ teas. salt
2 C. shredded carrots
½ C. raisins (I used cherries)
½ C. chopped walnuts
½ C unsweetened flaked coconut
1 apples,  cored and shredded
3 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
2 teas. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350’. Grease 12 (I used 18) muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, coconut, and apple.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Earlier I mentioned that we drove to Denver for our grandson, Conor’s Cherry Creek High School graduation. We knew that the Cherry Creek  seniors would put on quite a show for the outdoor graduation. The nearly 1000 graduating seniors  are extremely smart and talented. We couldn’t help but be reminded of the program three years ago when our granddaughter Quinn graduated.
Conor was counting on a T-shirt quilt as his graduation gift.  To be honest making T-shirt quilt quilts is not my favorite thing. The quilt wasn’t a surprise but Conor was pleased. He liked all the parts and pieces I’d put together for his dorm at Montana State University.
I used three T-shirt books for inspiration. Using 2” gridded Quilt-Smart to tame the stretchy T-shirt pieces made the construction more doable. What was really fun was using the T-shirt scraps to weave a coordinated rug. I used my grandmothers rug frame. I’ve made dozens of these rugs since I was about 10 years of age when she taught me. I still have the first one—a blue ribbon winner at the Audubon County 4-H fair! What made this rug more fun than ever was the t-shirt fabric! Now I’m saving other t-shirts for my new thing-making rag rugs with the great throw away fabric! Since I’m not sure that a college freshman needs to take a rug coordinated to their quilt with them to their dorm room, I plan to give this one to my daughter. I think it will be great as a runner on the kitchen table with her colorful Fiesta dinnerware. What do you think?
As I mentioned earlier, Conor plans to attend Montana State University this fall. Conor and his family came for Freshman Orientation. This grandma got oriented too! The event was fun, educational and so well organized. Bill and I tried to recall our orientation at Iowa State and decided we didn’t have any such thing. We were driven to Ames, dropped off at our dorms and our parents left for the trip back to our family farms—all this in one day-not three! We did remember the long lines we stood in to sign up for classes. Conor left on the third day of orientation with a full schedule of classes ready to go! We’re looking forward to Conor being nearby by at MSU. We hear the food at the dorm is fabulous and we want to try that soon!

The high school graduation ceremony was inspiring and gave me confidence that these young people will definitely make a positive difference in our lives and world. Awarding the diplomas went smoothly with four teachers announcing the graduates names at the same time. That was no small task with so many different nationalities to pronounce correctly.

Conor’s younger brother, Cory, stayed behind to spend some time with us. He encouraged Bill to finish the Chicken Tractor they had started 3 years ago. Cory is very calm, patient and helpful. It is great to have him here with us this week! The Chicken Tractor is nearly 100% recycled materials.  Now I’m envisioning some crazy paint colors!  Chickens are probably color blind so they may not care about the color theme and we can get rid of some of those half empty paint cans in the basement!

My quilting career maybe taking a turn to charity quilt making- remember the cute quilt I helped the 2nd graders make last spring? I was asked to contribute to an event called Confluence. Montana Land Reliance and the Montana Chamber Music Society collaborated in a musical celebration of Montana’s Open Space. Wonderful art was contributed for the live and silent auction. For years I had procrastinated—putting off using a lovely giclee print of sheet music from an opera that was written for an early  Sweet Pea Festival in the early 1900’s. Since time was limited I decided to make a pillow using the Sweet Pea print and men’s silk ties from my collection. I love the way it turned out with the wonderful machine quilting by Bev Palm. The pillow was presented with a bottle of port, antique goblets.  Displayed with a bouquet of sweet peas the collection garnered  $503!
If  you like to purchase a high quality giclee print of the Sweet Pea Sheet Music the 8” x 12” block can be yours for $17.95.  Special for the Sweet Pea Festival lovers on your list. Order by replying to this email of following this link.

I’ll write again soon.  In the meantime I hope you’re enjoying the wonderful summer.  It’s raspberry season in our garden.  I’ll send a raspberry recipe soon!  Yum!


Here are the books that inspired me for Conor's quilt. I really don’t have a favorite. Each title added ideas different from the others.

By Leasure Arts. Order by following this link or replying to this email.

By AQS publishing. Order by following this link or replying to this email.

By That Patchwork Place. Order by following this link or replying to this email.

Although my t-shirt rug is unfinished in the photo it is finished now and I’m anxious to start another one!
 You can order a book or DVD to help you get started.   One more thing! Mary Etherington, the author of this book and many more books from Country Threads is a longtime friend. What a coincidence that we both learned to make rugs in Iowa years ago.
Rugs from Rags by Country Threads. Order by following this link or replying to this email.

And also available: A DVD would be extremely helpful in the rug making process. Order by following this link or replying to this email.



Perhaps you remember the beautiful Montana Star quilt we made at the Quilting in the Country retreat from last June. We have some kits left over and we are now making them available for you at a great sale price.

There are several color choices. Click on the fabrics you prefer to access the web page for that kit.


MT Star 1 (Teal)

MT Star 2 (Orange)

MT Star 3 (Brown)


MT Star 4 (Purple)

MT Star 5 (Spring)



MT Star 6 (Rose/Purple)

MT Star 7 (Brown 2)



I love these books but they need a new home. All are 50% OFF their original price.

Easy Style-300 Decorating Shortcuts
​by Better Homes and Gardens

An inspiring easy style book featuring 300 decorating shortcuts for maximum style in minimum time. Tips to quick color schemes and furniture plans. Step by step how-to instructions for 20 projects. Decorating with art and collections. How to arranging for whole rooms to tabletops and wall. Order by following this link or replying to this email for local pick up. Original price: $14.


Victoria-Intimate Home 

Creating a Private World.
We all need a place to soothe, restore, and refresh our spirits after the stress and demands of life. This book will help you create a tranquil haven in your home with a little imaginative decorating. Order by following this link or replying to this email for local pick up.