Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Lots to Celebrate!

Here in DillyDallydom, I am always embracing different ways to celebrate!
This is the first week of a new month ... always a time to refocus on my goals and current intentions!  Every month is like a new beginning ... a fresh start!  Welcome September!
September is also ... National Sewing Month!  I have been celebrating this since the 1980's!  In my classroom, we always began the new school year learning how to create with a sewing machine!  Now that I have retired from teaching ... I still celebrate ... "Her Majesty" and I are busy.  I usually sew a bit every day!
A 10 year anniversary passed quietly in July ... I have been celebrating privately ... but now it is time to celebrate with you all!  Ten years ago ... while developing my dillydally philosophy ... I began this blog!
The Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop was the original purpose behind Dilly-Dally Days ... I had happened upon it in 2007 and wanted to share it with my QBees (Quilt Buddies)!  In 2009, I returned to Minnesota with the purpose of journaling this statewide event ... blogging seemed the best way to accomplish that ... and here we are 10 years later!  Sew fun to revisit those early posts ... seeing the adventures I had ... and eventually it did lead to four QBees joining me in 2011!
As you can see, sewing was the driving force behind the beginning of this blog!  It made complete sense to celebrate this blogging anniversary in September!
Then the question was ... how to share this anniversary here ... with you!  I wanted to make something that was sewing related and would spread the dillydally message! A plan formulated in my mind ... it had to include my beloved Alaska Forget-Me-Nots ... accented with my favorite fabric, gingham!
Her Majesty and I got busy ... privately celebrating as we worked together creating ... definitely in our happy zone!
Appliqué, quilting, and binding done!  All that remained was the hand stitching!
We took that task outdoors!
Long time followers know how much I love dillydallying outdoors.  In order to truly reflect me and my nonsense funsense ... some of its construction had to done "out the road" here in my remote corner of the planet!
Finished!  It is a sewing machine cover!  But actually it could be used for other purposes as well!
It could be a toaster cover!  If the ties were tucked in ... it could be a table mat!  It can cover the back of a dinning room chair!  Oh ... the possibilities!
I love how the bow ends up looking like it is part of the Forget-Me-Not bouquet on Her Majesty!  Originally I had intended to give this away through a drawing ... collecting comments and then randomly drawing the recipient!
But then it occurred to me ... why not reward a follower ... one who has shown their loyalty by commenting the most often.  When you are a blogger who lives in the middle of nowhere ... the fact that anyone reads your musings is humbling ... add to that a comment ... and my dillydally heart is filled with affirmation!  Sew ... Marilyn ... from Waukehsa, Wisconsin ... I have sent you an email requesting your snail mail address!  Thank you Marilyn for consistently reaching out and supporting my silly dillydally life!  Your comments and kindness have touched me in ways that are impossible to measure!

Do what you love!  Celebrate!  Do dillydally! 
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, September 2, 2019

I Believe in Magic!

As a child, I felt magic everywhere around me.  Growing up on a farm meant that the natural world was to a large degree our livelihood ... and it felt magical.
Associating nature to magic is an easy assumption to make ... especially while we transition to autumn.
And ... while we're on the subject of magic ... twenty-one years ago today the magic of Harry Potter entered the DillyDally household!  All four members of this family excitedly read the first book ... we began to see a bit of magic from the Wizarding World in every aspect of our lives!  We are all Harry Potter fans and each of us agree that we have been mistakenly identified as Muggles!  Today the magic continued for me ... all these years later!
I received a message at 11:00 am this morning that an owl had delivered a package near our front door.  What?  Sure enough ... there was an Owl Post!  Addressed to ME!  Now that is magic!

Yep ... it is September 1st ... and 11:00 am!  To think I might have missed the magic!
More magic was found inside the brown paper envelope!  I received an official membership to S.P.E.W., the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare ... a cause led by Hermione that I am happy to be involved in!
And more ... this bewitching hand dyed yarn ... from A Homespun House ... called "Diary of Tom Riddle"!  And if you look closely ... a knitting progress marker ... it is Tom's Diary!  It even includes the fang from the basilisk that Harry used to destroy the diary! So fun ... and magical!
But authentic magic ... like what we find in nature ... can be found in our relationships as well!  My dear friend, who created all of this Harry Potter themed fun ... is the real magician!  The thoughtfulness that went into her planning and preparation to make September 1st magical for several of her friends is touching in the most wondrous of ways!  I am so grateful to have her for a friend ... one who creates magic ... and shares it generously with those around her! I believe ... and today I was touched by magic!

Do what you love!  Believe in magic!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDallly

Saturday, May 4, 2019

My Blueberry Friend!

Sharing an interest with a friend is a the absolute best way to dillydally!
I love berry picking ... in particular our Alaska wild blueberries!
And I especially appreciate a friend whose berry picking passion is equal to mine!  That is Barb on the left ... her college friend was up visiting that summer and joined in our fun!
Every year ... rain or shine ... we harvest berries together!
Berry picking isn't all we enjoy doing together!  We share a love of wool appliqué, cooking, baking and quilting ... life in general!
Together, with a few other close friends, we schedule and plan regular Dillydally Playdates!  It is always fun to share projects and life in general with others ... all the ingredients that add up to wonderful friendships!
Barb's birthday recently came around and I was trying to decide what to make for her.  Last week I had a dillydally brain windstorm ... and instantly knew what to do!
I bought this blueberry basket fabric years ago with Barb in mind ... just couldn't decide what to do with it until that windstorm hit!  Using Lori Holt's pattern as a resource I began to bring this sewing machine cover to life!
Machine quilting ... raw edge appliqué ... piecing and quilting the spool blocks ... and before I knew it, I was nearly done!
Barb and I have the same sewing machine ... sew ... I had to try it on for size! 😁
Yep ... the ties work!
The fit was perfect!
A mutual friend hosted a birthday luncheon for Barb today!  When she got home, she sent me a pic of how she has been covering her sewing machine!  Too funny!  Cracks me up!
Now her machine has a proper cover ... one that fits both the machine and her!  Makes this blueberry pickers heart very happy!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally
Barb was there on Nissa's first blueberry picking adventure!  

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today, May Day, would have been my mother's 82nd birthday!  As young children, she would help us make up simple May Baskets for our grandparents and neighbors.
We celebrated her day ... by doing for others.  That was her way ... always doing for others!  In this photo she was 16 years old!
Not long ago, my aunt sent me photos that I had never seen before.  This is my mother at 19 years of age ... recently divorced ... working two jobs ... and pregnant with me!  I cannot imagine the stress, pressure and exhaustion she must have been dealing with!  When I was 19, my biggest worries were taking exams and writing papers for college classes!  She was about to turn 20, and I would be born a few months later in July.
Immediately after my birth, my mother returned to work while my teenage aunts served as babysitters.  This photo documented four generations, my mother and I are with my grandfather (her father) and my great grandmother.

My mother accomplished so much in her lifetime.  But what I admire most was what she did for others.  Since her passing in 2006, I honor her by doing some sort of act of kindness in her memory on her birthday and the anniversary of her death.

If you follow me here, on facebook or instagram, you know that I have been busy teaching a garment making class!  Mom taught me to sew and was our 4-H sewing leader!  I have so many fond memories of sewing with her ... a love we both shared!  It seemed fitting to sew and gift a garment in her honor this year.
This linen/cotton dress/tunic is being gifted to a young woman in our community that loves and appreciates the natural world.
She works hard to educate and coach young adults in the wonder of our environment!
 I appreciate all that she does to enrich our community!  She doesn't sew herself, but has an appreciation for handmade things!  When I thought about who I would share my mothers memory with, she was the first to come to mind!
June 11, 1960
My mother married my adoptive father shortly before my third birthday!  I actually remember their wedding day!  I have always thought that was very special!  Dad chose us!

By 1964, Mom was a mother of four!  We enjoyed a wonderful childhood ... surrounded by love ... and empowered by our parents and extended family!  We were blessed in too many ways to count!

While wrapping todays gift ... I thought about what message my mom would send to this young woman ... I settled on "Enjoy Life".  A simple concept, but one that we often need to be reminded of!
 Thanks Mom!  For everything!  I love and miss you every day!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hello April!

Spring arrives slowly here in our remote corner of the planet.  The most obvious sign of spring in Alaska is the hours of daylight that increase daily!
Currently the sun rises before 7 am and sets around 9 pm ... it feels wonderful!  And the first week of April gifted us with several days of clear skies!
On April 1st the sun actually felt warm!  Nissa enjoyed the warmth as much as Mr. DD and I did!  Her joy and enthusiasm reflected our feelings perfectly!
When the sun is out ... so are the DillyDallys!  Mr. and I appreciate every walk we take that doesn't result in us getting wet!  However, Nissa likes being wet ... even when the sun is shining!
Dillydallying does take place daily even when the sun is shining ... both knitting and quilting ... lots of 007 projects in progress! Things I cannot share at this time!  Even with all that going on ... I found myself agreeing to participate in a quilt "Round Robin".  The idea of doing a "for fun" project was sew appealing ... I just had to sign on!  Thursday night I poured through my quilt books ... seeking a block pattern ... trying to decide what direction I would take this group project!  Then the task of choosing fabrics ... a dillydally wind storm was brewing ... oh, sew many possibilities!
 At 5 am Saturday morning, I woke to the sound of rain on the roof.  I thought about rolling over and going back to sleep ... but that dillydally windstorm in my brain wouldn't allow it!  With a cup of freshly brewed coffee in hand, Flicka and I entered DillyDallydom with a purpose!  We are experts at creating our own sunshine!  My purpose was to begin the 6 inch patchwork block I had selected ... apparently Flicka's purpose was to nap!
Silly kitty ... at least I knew she approved of my fabric choices!  I did not have the heart to disturb her, so did a bit of cleaning up around the sewing room.
Fortunately, cat naps never last long ... and six inch blocks are fast to cut out ... before long we were ready to sew!  I decided on a Sewing/Quilting theme, and Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book has the sweetest sewing machine block!
Before long the block was done ... but the machine sort of got lost ... sew, I added a small background border.  It helped ... but just didn't have enough color to truly reflect my dillydally spirit!
There!  That is much better!  My six inch block became twelve inches!  I plan to add a bit of embroidery before I pass it on!  Cannot wait to see what other quilters will do with it ... sew much fun!  And what a sunny way to spend a rainy morning!
Over the years, I have adjusted to the slow way in which Alaska experiences spring.  I find it  important to embrace the pattern of nature, whatever that may be.
Happy April to all ... in every corner of the planet!
Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally