Friday, December 31, 2010


Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

On Enjoying Life and What It Gives YOU

My friend Lynda Milligan who is one of the owners of the Great American Quilt Factory and Partners with Nancy Smith from Possibilities brought this to share many years ago when she took my Asilomar class- I am sharing it here because she asked what "Welcome to Holland" Meant
Welcome To Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

Matthew and I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Do you Know WHY You Create? :Look at THIS- it is awesome!

"We create because God continues HIS creativity through us." Mary Lou

Puns for Educated Minds

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Need a Laugh?

I’ve just heard from a friend in North Dakota . He says it has been snowing heavily for three days now.
His wife has done nothing but stare through the window. If it doesn't stop soon he’ll probably have to let her in.

Christmas IS a time to enjoy family and fun!

I had my glasses in the bathroom and my Grandson came out with them on...good playtime for awhile before he opened presents
Below is it true a guy can be a retired hocky player and have a soft spot for dolls and family-yup, that's my son in law Mark (his daughter loves this!)

My Grandson was thrilled with the toolkit he got-now he can be just like his Dad and go to "Verk"-he can't say his w's

Two kitties for two little girls whose dad's are allergic to cats! I have to laugh at the look on Mary's face (Elvis Presley) because if you scroll down a bit more you can see a totally different face with the headband! Pretty funny..........

Below are five kids who adore each other and their parents...the youngest wouldn't get into the photo, oh well. These kids are together alot every week as their folks make sure they grow up together-very fun to see how close they are-the boys love anything lego and Starwars.....

Didn't want to bore you with family photos but it is kind of fun to show you who I was with......
Now stay tuned for quilts by students and friends

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hat's Off to YOU! What fun these headbands are! A new site to visit!

The photo above is my namesake...can you tell?
I had a lovely surprise this Christmas Season. I have loved Just Another Button Company's buttons and used hundreds of them on my quilts. Now Cecile's daughter has her own company too! So in my mailbox came this wonderful headband and so on Christmas day we all tried it on and had alot of fun with it. I wore it to Christmas Eve dinner. For the link to visit, go to
I know you will enjoy the creativity and fun that is here and she has an Etsy shop as well! Isn't creativity wonderful and when it is passed along from Mother to daughter that is really quite wonderful!

My oldest daughter didn't like her hair that day so no photo of her but everyone else loved having their photo taken!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Little Ornaments from my Tree and a lovely poem about Christmas

I received this card from my neighbor Cindy and I thought it was so lovely that I put it into my tree

I picked this out one year because it was so cute and the bell actually rings-nice for Christmas to have a bell ringer that is so cute!

A good friend that moved away long ago gave me this ornament she made about 12 years ago. I think of her fondly each time I unwrap it to hang.

Molly sent me this cherry ornament this year and I love it! Isn't it cool? I have some smaller glass cherries but nothing like this one.

Everyone who knows me knows that my most favorite collection in the world is my Christmas ornaments. I have been collecting for years and most every one of them remind me of a friend, a happening or a family member who made it (like my kids or my kids spouses). The ornament below is only one of a set that my friend Sandy from San Diego gave me. I take them out every year and think of her.

You won't need a special star- I am no longer just in Bethlehem.
I am right there where you are.
You may not be aware of ME amid the celebrations-
You'll have to look beyond the stores and all of the decorations.
But if you take a moment from your list of things to do
And listen to your heart, you'll find
I am waiting there for you.
You're the one I want to be with, you're the reason that I came,
And you'll find ME in the stillness
as I 'm whispering your name
Love, Jesus

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If Animals Were People. Click on photos for a better look. Wonder what these animals think? And God too....

Elves have been decorating Susan's Tree also- Grandchildren Elves that is! FUN

I loved the little cartoon on the right and then my friend Susan sent me her photo of her tree in her home....she has four Grandchildren and I suspect they decorated the tree, what do you think? Quite fun. This would make a darling story quilt wouldn't it?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Maja Toffee Recipe from Linda of Possibilities in Denver

Lynda MilliganDecember 20, 2010 at 2:25pm
Subject: Maja Toffee
Here it is Mary Lou,
It's called Maja Toffee-I'm not sure why.
2 cubes butter (I Use Land of Lakes slightly salted and then I don't add the pinch of salt)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp Karo syrup
1 tbsp hot water
pinch of salt

Melt and stir (constantly) these ingredients together in a heavy pan. I use a wooden spoon, but I'm not sure if that is necessary or just me and my superstition. You also need to hold your tongue just right. ; )

Keep stirring until the mixture boils and starts to turn the color of brown sugar.(If the phone rings or someone wants you to do something for them do not answer them until you add the Hershey Bars--see below.) Take off heat and add 1 cup of diced almonds and stir quickly to mix. Dump mixture on cookie sheet that has been treated with Pam.

Spread as thin as possible. Lay 5 Hershey Bars on the top and spred as they melt. Sprinkle some more diced almonds on top or pulse some in a food processor to make finer crumbs. Let cool--usually overnight to allow the chocolate to harden correctly. Break into small pieces and enjoy!

Also, just so you know--if you give boxes of this away, you will be expected to every year for the rest of your life. ; )

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Retirement Home for Quilters/Sewers and Crafters-they adore Christmas time!

I found this photo in a group that Mel took and sent must have been hanging at a show somewhere. I am not sure where.
If you click on this photo you can get a better look- lots of gems and embellishments too!
Sheesh, I wonder why this looks so small? Anyway, like all pieces we work on, we begin them and then they develop. This quilt started out as a castle and ended up being the Quilter's retirement home as I worked on it longer. There is the Royal Stash for all of us where we put our fabrics...the door hardly shuts and we have two guards to watch that no one takes anything they shouldn't. There is an applique lady, a machine piecing lady, a Grandmother, a vavavoom girl looking over the edge and a guy falling off a tree trying to get in. The only men allowed in are the ones who sew, rip out, lift heavy objects and bring groceries to the kitchen. Now the lady in the front door is the most interesting. She doesn't like sewing or quilting or crafts. She loves to cook and bake and everyone there tells he how fabulous she is and how much they love her cooking and baking. They all tell her how they don't like sewing, quilting and crafting because we need her as the cook! I think I have it pretty well planned, now all we need is someone to give us a castle somewhere. THIS was fun!
Under the bridge is a mote and there is a mermaid, a troll, fish and at the end of the bridge is Cinderella's quilter is going to go and look for her but maybe the troll might. The troll is my Grandkids favorite part...they didn't know what a troll was before this quilt. See kids can learn from these too

Preview of just a few fabrics in my line coming out next month-Thank you Benartex!

Above is the close up of the fabrics that will be in the line called
The best of Mary Lou." I love the basics and when I get a chance I will take some photos of swirls called "Curly Sue" and also some black ground dots with awesome colors! This line is loads of fun to work with and so many possibilities!
This is a plaid we recolored and what is better than red with purples and violet? There are NOT enough good, fun, bright plaids out there and this helps solve the problem-would love Benartex to let me do a whole plaid line-if you agree, ask
Would love to do big water color flowers and plaids wouldn't that be awesome?
The plaid above is different than the other plaid-two plaids for different textures and different colorwaves that go well with loads of things in your stash

Hey, what wouldn't go with these darling dots that Benartex brought back? These come in pretty green too, I just don't have a photo ....yet.....
Stay tuned for more fabrics and ideas...I can't stop thinking of new things and fun creative ideas........

Thursday, December 16, 2010

These Owls are a HOOT!

Did you know a group of owls is a parliament? These photos are of the people who were on my chatroom swap list this time. I give out a pattern I designed occasionally and a group of people in the chatroom sign up and end up with an owl from everyone. I did this with Bees this summer and the results were wonderful. I think these owls are exceptional and you can see what a difference it makes once you put the eyes on-the eyes are eveything! I love the choices of fabric and the hoochy technique makes them fun and free and wonderful!
The chatroom is available at (Marylouweidman OR Marylouand you). Or if you scroll down on the right side, you can see the link in the right hand column-NICE girls in there and we have become good friends.
You can see that the buttons are in a little bag attached to each owl belowTIP- The stripes above made quite wonderful wings..and legs below..
These swaps have brought together new friends and given people new ideas to try using free and easy techniques-wait until you see our new book! MORE ideas. Hope you join the chatroom and introduce yourself to us!