What to do with DNA information ?

suprise, DNA results!

My Ancestry DNA results

It is not a surprise that my ancestors are from Europe. It confirms all the family lore of my mothers family. Irish and Scots came to the US looking for a new life. My mothers ancestor immigrated from the Netherlands, all in the lore. What is also in the lore is that my great grandmother told me I looked like her grandmother who was Native American. We have pictures of her. But pictures don’t tell everything–was she family, was she a friend in the photo? What year was this photo and who is everyone in the picture.  I did not test for this in the DNA. I was a bit disappointed , I cannot find who she may be in the lineage at this time and thought it was all legend.

This hobby of mine started when I was a child and watch the movies “Roots.” Genealogy was hot back then, I knew 6 of my great grandparents. YES GREAT Grandparents. I interviewed them and had them write down stories. Most of which are true. Such as stated above, however, some were not as one of my grandmother’s thought her late husband was from France when, in fact his ancestors were from Wales. So all things much be researched and verified! My dad is a photographer and keeper of photos and family items. He also is a genealogy hobbyist. His DNA returned much the same as mine, EXCEPT he did have the Native American gene. Tiny amount but maybe there is some truth to the story his grandmother told me. I hope to find out as I continue my Ancestry journey.

We recently went to the Cultural Museum in Saginaw : Ziibiwig Center of
Anishinabe Culture. Something my husband and I have always wanted to do and finally had time during the hours that the museum was open. I was deeply moved by listening to the history and culture. We learn about the creation story, the traditions and the wisdom of the Grandfathers. The rest of the post is self explanatory photos I took in the museum. Click on photos to make them larger to see details or read the plaques. It is well worth the trip to  see the art, hear the language and learn about the culture of people who lived in my state for so long … and may very well be part of my history also.


I love museums, it is so inspiring!!!



I love museums, they are so inspiring!!!




Nature walk

It was such a lovely day I decided that I should walk outside rather than go to the gym. The trail I walked on didn’t disappoint! It is good to get outside and I haven’t walked this trail in a year or two. I hope to do it more while we have good weather.

Some still pictures on the walk:


What’s so interesting is that this park is only a couple of miles from my house on the edge of town. The city keeps elk and deer in the meadow for the tourists to see them especially but they were not seen today. I see the woods, the elk, hear the birds everyday. But I don’t get out of my car or house or work and experience it often. Totally different view when I was experiencing the moment. The road less taken. Reminded me of simple times and with a child like wonder seeing nature for the first time. Spring’s gift after a long winter, seeing all the green and being in awe of it.

So get outside for I bit. I am not talking camping or anything… just a little walk to experience nature today. It is good for us!


Highland Games season is here! 


Opening the festival with a Ceilidh or party. He recites the Burns poem addressing the Haggis.

Opening the games with the stone throw

Hanging out after the games

Caber challenge my husband is on the left

This challenge was a VFW fundraiser

Highland cows

We were all so hot and tired!

Memorial day weekend is the Alma Highland Festival and Games.  50th anniversary, so cool. I was able to see the Pro athletes compete on Saturday.  My husband competed on Sunday with the amateurs. It is like a decathlon,  one competes in all events.  There are several events the stone thrown,  weight for distance and height and the caber throw.  He had a great day. I saw friends and family. 

I made this video of the sights and sounds of the festival.  There was a bagpipe competition. So many bagpipes!!!! And dance competition Too! Overall , it is a wonderful Memorial day tradition and the athletes helped raise money for the VFW wreath program for veterans. 

Two weeks till the next game! 


Two quilts off to their homes

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I have been working really hard on finishing two customer quilts by the end of May. I had this fabulous batik queen sized quilt. I tried some new things. I used a ruler! I made each frame like a facet and the colored center had some dense quilting in it. I tried to the desires of the customer to keep the stitching linear and not curly or swirly. Wow, I had to really put my thinking cap on. It is amazing how we can get into set habits. I really enjoyed working on the quilt and it is all free motion. I even took the quilt off and turned it to do some straight line stitching. Lots of new things I learned and it all turned out in the end!

I also finished this really adorable t shirt quilt. It was so flat. I don’t know what stabilizer she used but it is amazing. I have never had such a great turn out for a knit quit top! I did overall swirls on it. The batting was just the right amount!


I am working on one of my Mom’s quilts now and I love making all over patterns for texture.

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Love free motion quilting!


Machine Quiltig Blog Hop Week 2

How was your week ? I hope you had time to practice at your machine! I did and it never ceases to amaze me the more I invest in practice, the better I get. Why is it that we forget that simple truth?!? Join me and HollyAnne, Kristin and Jen as we blog each week. And as an added bonus the book is on sale now, get your copy here .

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Chapter 2 in the book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson is about contrast.  The quilt in this chapter is has 2 challenges- it has tons of colors, and it has long spaces that need to be quilted with a unifying texture very different from the background. Thread color can be overwhelming for this type of quilt but I am like Angela in this … I audition several neutral threads and pick the one that blends into the background color without standing out. I chose a light grey for the quilt in the photos in this post.

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flames in the background with the less successful leaf shape in the blue area

The take away from my practice session is that contrasting quilting isn’t easy to always decide. What I thought would be contrasting  texture didn’t turn out that way on my quilt block.  In hindsight I could have chose pebbling, or tiny swirls, or lines would have had more visual contrast of texture in the blue area of the quilt block. That is what practice is all about, experimenting and testing. I want to say I practice on my quilts. I have a long arm and it is very difficult to practice on little sandwiches.  I am practicing concepts on my quilts. I think that by actually making quilts with our practice we will be invested in improving our skills! Plus those WIPs turn into something finished!!!

The next lesson in the book, and what I had to really think about, is how to travel through the block without unnecessarily stopping and starting. This is something that takes a ton of planning. I started top left– quilted through the white fabric– then ended the flame stitch on the blue and traveled back to the left with the leafy stitch–  end in the white and travel back across the bottom in the flame stitch. Ok, hard to explain easier to see, there is a video link in the end. After some time and experience you won’t have to think about it so much,  you don’t want to back yourself into a corner and have to cut your threads! I really don’t like burying threads , it just isn’t fun.

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pebbles and circles

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Flame shape in the center, can you see how I did it ?

There are 2 stitches I chose to focus on from this chapter- flame shapes and pebbling. Pebbling is not easy for me and takes lots of brain power to do. It is gorgeous when done but very time consuming and I can get motion sickness doing too much of it! My video chat gives in depth detail on how I quilted it and the flame shapes. I also talk about my tips and takeaways from the book.

Click on the video for more discussion and a demo!

I  want to show you a great block of textural contrast, that was  the week 1 block! It is visually very pleasing to see all the contrasts and they worked very well together. I have a hashtag on Instagram that I feel is a very important lesson in life — looking back to look forward. I like to study each practice piece and evaluate what was successful and why. And the same for things that weren’t as successful.

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Quilt on my friends!


Exciting things episode Show notes

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Click here for the podcast!

Here is my block for week 1 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop. Here is the first post. In this post are videos, my written takeaways and tips while working on the block using the book lessons as a guide. A directory is linked to the chalkboard in the sidebar.

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Here is the book!

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Here is the quilt I made from the orphaned blocks in my drawer from testing patterns for Quiltmaker 100 blocks magazine. Here is the post about the issue and the baker’s dozen I tested the patterns for.

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The simple garter stitch I am working on small size 4 needle.

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I went on the nature walk to look for 4 things for the prompt Challenge.  Link to the Facebook group is in the side bar!


Quiltmaker 100 Block Vol. 15 blocks


Quiltmaker 100 Block Magazine is hitting the newstands this week and their blog tour

is in full swing at Quilty Pleasures here. I had the pleasure of making this Baker’s Dozen of blocks testing the patterns for the magazine. I love them and I think this is the best magazine ! It really has something for everyone. I am so happy to have been part of this testing cycle.

Click each picture to enlarge and see detail of the blocks. Join the blog tour for a chance to win prizes and see what other blocks people tested or designed!

Thanks Quiltmaker, I had a great time!