Thursday, August 31, 2006

Jane's Crumbs

Okay, so I dug in the trash can in lieu of buying fabric! These are Jane's crumbs from our cutting day last Saturday.

I sewed these together tonight into an 8.5" square. Is this what a crumb block is supposed to look like? I went back to Finn's tutorial, and I think I've got it right. Opinions, please?

I made my flight reservations to New Orleans today. I'll be flying out on Wed., 9/27. I'm way too excited for words, especially since I'm going to be there to help my brother celebrate his 65th birthday. All I'm thinking about right now is wanting crawfish! He's going to drive in to New Orleans to pick me up - about an hour - and then take me back to NOLA on Sunday. I'm going to get plumb giddy as the time approaches!

The second accountant applicant we made an offer to accepted another job. I asked the placement service what we were doing wrong. She said it wasn't us; both of these ladies wanted to stay in the industry in which they were already working. Well, why in the heck did she send them over for us to interview? I suggested that she only send accountants with background in manufacturing from now on. It's a huge waste of time that the CEO and I don't have right now. Disappointing.

One more day to get through and then a long weekend. I'm looking forward to bonding with Miss Bernina and Miss Daisy!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Daisy's New Bed

This is one HAPPY camper! I took the big pillow out of the center, and tossed it on the floor so I could move her other one. She dove into her new bed and wouldn't come out! LOL! I think she likes it!

I also bought a new pad for her kennel. I'll have to get a picture of her in the kennel this weekend when the light is better. She looks like she's in jail, but that's her little safe house. She often goes in there to sleep on the weekends or when I'm busy and ignoring her. Such a silly dog!

I guess it's time to start working on her quilt. It's going to have flowers, black background (black hair and all), and daisies in the border. I finally rescued my Inspiration Quilt from her, washed it and put it on the bookshelf. For a couple of days she stood there looking up at it and whining. Yep, time for her own quilt!

I'm hiding a secret from Jane. I know she'd fuss at me if she knew, so I'm not telling her! Tee-hee!

Finally a good accountant interview this afternoon. I hope this one doesn't get away. CEO said he'd make a decision tomorrow. She's a tad less qualified than some of the others we interviewed, but I sat and talked with her for almost an hour and I feel I will be able to train her to do things our way. Let's hope she accepts the position. I'll feel more comfortable going home knowing there's someone in that department.

August 30th!

For all you August Fabric Depressionists, we're almost there! Nancy's been counting down the days for us! :)

I still can't believe I was able to do this! How did everyone do? It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be!

The gold star is for everyone who participated and perservered! Kudos!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm Blue

No, I'm happy. Really! I'm just thinking blue! Whew, didn't want to worry anyone! :)

Back a couple of months ago when I did the Around the Block quilt, I pulled out hundreds of FQs to make the buildings. Well, most of those remained on the staircase, hopeful that they'd be reunited with their friends in the stash room. Sorry, Charlie! There was a method to my madness! I've been going through those stacks and separating them into color groups. This picture represents about 50 of the blue FQs. It's time to do something with them!

I found a pattern in my stash, and I'm sure you'd recognize it - but now I can't find it! Santa, please can you leave me some organizational skills, or at least a little memory this year? That pattern has been sitting on my sewing table for two months and now it has vanished. I promise I do have a plan! Just gonna have to trust me on that one!

These are going to be cut up this weekend (assuming I find that pattern) and I'm going to start piecing them with tans for a blue/tan quilt. The beauty of these FQs - they are already washed. I had to wash all my fabric after the fires near our house a couple of years ago. I just had a thought -- uh oh, not again! I bought a lot of yardage as background for a someday blue quilt. Hmmm... okay, plans may have changed a bit, but I'm still thinking blue here!

I had so much fun making the red and white blocks, that now I'm wanting to use these up. Then I'll do the yellow/gold stack, and then the green stack. Whatever is left over after I finish this quilt will be cut into strips and blocks and go into the tubs for future stash quilts.

I don't buy FQs any more. I bought a lot of them when I first started quilting, but except for those eye-candy FQ towers, I've only bought maybe a dozen FQs in the last two years. I don't know why these FQs are bugging me so badly, but they are. And right now I'm rambling.

Why I'm fiddling with these now is that the TV is on and I really don't want to watch the Katrina stories today, the one-year anniversary of that horrible storm making landfall. I can't turn it off, and I'm hearing bits and pieces of it. My heart still hurts so badly over the devastation and loss of life last August that I can't make myself sit there and watch it. Then Rita was a few weeks later and struck the heart of the area where I grew up. As you could see from Judy's posted pictures when she went home on vacation, it's still not back to normal and may never be. My friend, Jolene, just told me that blue tarp is still the prevailing roof color in Sulphur. Such sadness.

Back to the blues -- I'm going to have fun with these. Blue is hands-down my favorite color, and I've got stacks of all shades of it. Probably enough for several quilts. One at a time, Vicky. That's how you got into this mess of untold numbers of UFOs!

I'm so looking forward to this weekend. I had a blast with Jane last Saturday at our cutting party. Sunday morning I got up all revved and motivated to do some things I've been putting off doing around the house. First order of business, hang the sheers in the bedroom. I got my rods up and started unpackaging the sheers, only to find that two of them were not a match with the others, even though the SIC code and picture on the package said they were. So the ladder is still in my bedroom until I can get back to Linen & Things to pick up more sheers. But it was so cool and inviting in my bedroom that I decided to take a short nap. I woke up 30 minutes later to the sound of water running. Yep, the master bathroom toilet was overflowing. I threw every towel I had down on the floor, and finally thought to turn the water off at the wall. What a mess! So much for my day of doing fun things around the house. But I'm going to get back to that project and a couple of others over the long weekend. That is, after Jane and I do a little shop hop to a couple of quilt shops neither of us have been to. I don't need any fabric for sure!! but I could use a good dose of inspiration! I can't wait! :)

P.S. Found the pattern! It's "Country Girl" by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Why I Quilt

I can say in three words why I started quilting. I was lonely. I moved to California in 1994 and was working long hours each day, often six and seven days a week. I was working that much because I didn't have a whole bunch to come home to. I had a husband who traveled a lot, and when he was home, he was always with his golfing buddies. I dug out the old sewing machine in 1996 and started making table mats and napkins just to have something to do during that long recuperative year. All projects had to be easy ones that I could concentrate on - remember my brain cells had been a bit "jostled"! LOL.

In 2000 during a long holiday weekend I caught an episode of Simply Quilts on TV. I remembered that 15 years before I had purchased two or three quilting books, but had been discouraged by all the templates. Now I was watching these ladies using rotary cutters and making do-able quilts. That renewed my interest in quilting. So I looked in the yellow pages and found The Fabric Patch near my house. I went over there and looked around, but was scared to try something like that. Would I be able to absorb instructions? Would I be able to concentrate for long enough periods to be able to make a quilt? I thought about it all weekend, and decided that the next weekend I would go back over there and sign up for a beginning quilt class. I figured, "What's the worst that can happen? I screw up some fabric?" Yes, it was worth a try to me. But I was so scared. I had been a success my whole life at whatever I tried to do. Here I was trying something at which I knew I would fail going in.

Well, the Friday night before I was going to take the plunge, I fell and shattered my shoulder. My arm was strapped to my waist for over four months, and then I couldn't lift it enough to even bring a fork to my mouth. So I reverted back to doing things left-handed. (I was a left-hander until I was in the fourth grade when a teacher insisted I learn to write with my right hand.) A year later in July of 2001, I went back to the FP and signed up for Rotary 101 and two beginning quilt classes.

It was tough going for a while. But I stuck with it and very quickly I regained motor skills that I thought I had lost forever after my brain surgery. I had learned in the preceding year to compensate for lack of function in my right arm, and in very short order I was able to rotary cut. Believe it or not, ironing fabric gave me strength in my right arm and a little bit more range of motion!

I immediately fell in love with quilting. Well, reading that sentence makes me ponder it a bit. I fell in love with fabric. I fell in love with the creative process. I fell in love with the ladies I met. I had lived here now seven years and didn't know a single person outside of those at work. All of a sudden I was surrounded by women, laughing and giggling and talking up a storm, busy hands, infusion of colors, limitless creative possibilities.

I progressed very quickly as a new quilter. The reason - I was constantly challenging myself to learn how to do new things. I absorbed everything I could find about quilting. I listened attentively to other quilters. For instance, I took a paper piecing class because I had tried to do that at home and my brain just didn't work. I ended up in tears - frustrated and doubting myself again. That was one of the most difficult classes I've ever taken. The class wasn't difficult, but it was so hard for me to think backwards and to envision mirror imaging. I had to draw out each block and tape a piece of fabric to the pieces so I wouldn't get them mixed up. I pushed aside the fabric I had chosen to use and bought batiks so that either side would work. That eliminated a lot of the problems. The Hurricane quilt is one of my favorites to this day.

When I felt confident enough in my ability to read patterns and follow instructions, I then decided I wanted to learn to applique. I basically taught myself, with a little help from Alex at retreat and from Robyn Pandolph in a four-day workshop. My first project was Botanika - way too hard for a beginner, but for me anything was now possible. That quilt is next up, by the way, to get quilted! It has seasoned long enough in the to-do pile!

I celebrated my five-year quilty anniversary this month. I've made eighty something quilts. I have many times thanked God for leading me down this path. I still get lonely, but now I'm only a mouse click away from wonderful ladies I've met along the way, and to my new blogging friends. I have regained a lot of the confidence I lost after the illnesses, and can honestly say I'm happier than I've ever been.

That's why I quilt, and why I'll be a quilter forever. I'm wondering one more thing, though -- do they let little old ladies at The Home have rotary cutters?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Other Side

The blog gremlins wouldn't let me post but one picture in the last blog, so here's the other side of the pillow! Gorgeous!

Sheila's Wool Applique

I posted a penny rug that Sheila sent me for Christmas in an earlier blog. This pillow was in the wonderful package she sent me for my birthday last week.

Pictures don't do justice to the pillow. First off, it's two-sided. Sheila's hand stitches are absolutely perfect. If I didn't know better, I'd think she had done them on a machine. I am getting ready to start working on my wool bed rug project, so I really picked her brain about this. Absolutely beautiful! I really couldn't pick the side I like best!

She always send me something from Michigan, and this year was a little log cabin tin with the most wonderful maple syrup made locally to her. I've got a date with some French toast! Also, a great little kit for making a travel case for your applique supplies, a yard of preprinted quilty labels, and a wonderful little wooden plaque that says "Blessed is the heart of a friend." I am indeed blessed to have Sheila as a friend.

The quick story of how we "met." Sheila was a new quilter who found Alex Anderson's old message board, and although I had only been quilting about a year myself, we struck up a friendship. She asked me tons of quilt-related questions which I tried to answer for her. After 9/11 and the rag quilt project of over 600 quilts that Alex's message board did, I found a huge box of flannel scraps leftover from those quilts. No piece was more than about 2" wide and 6" long, but I had already learned not to throw any scrap away! :)

But they were taking up room, so I posted on Alex's message board asking if anyone would like them. Sheila responded that she would, and I taped the box shut and sent it off to her. She took the scraps to her local quilt shop, and the ladies there showed her how to piece them together to get blocks big enough to make a rag quilt out of. This was her very first quilt!

She's a really special lady, and one whom I am very proud to call my friend! I just hope one day soon that we'll be able to meet up for some 3D hugs!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Presents from Mar!

Mar is THE sweetest person I know. She's truly a gentle soul, a fabulous appliquer, an accomplished quilter, and I am blessed to have her as a friend. We "met" on Alex Anderson's old message board, and in person the first time I went to Alex's retreat in 2002.

She went way overboard on my birthday this year, but I'm glad she did! :) I love quilty coffee mugs, and this one is from In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA. I love that shop! We always make a trip or two over there while at retreat. A wonderful cookbook. I'm already eyeing a pork loin recipe in there, among others. Yummy! And Mar always finds the cutest Daisy pins! I love this one, and have worn it twice already!

Mar, thank you for making my birthday special this year. It would have been perfect, however, if we could have celebrated together! Next year?

I'm waiting for Jane to come over to start our cutting marathon. Dinner is all done, so there shouldn't be any interruptions. I woke up at midnight last night and pulled some things I want to cut today. Guess it's true that I quilt in my sleep!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm Going Home!

I'm going to see my "brubber"!

Had a talk with Mr. Boss today, and he was extremely nice about my going. So it's be a Wed. through Sun. either the third or fourth week of September. The company can survive without me in accounting for a few days! And he again said he wanted to pay for my ticket.

I just called Don and told him. He started crying - happy tears. We both need this time together. But he was so excited to tell me that the quilt (the ugly quilt) I made for his motor home survived because it wasn't in the motor home. It was in the laundry room, and the roof didn't collapse over that area. He said it's nasty and asked me how to clean it. I told him to wash the bejeebers out of it, use Oxiclean if he wanted, and throw it in the dryer. He was worried about it fading. I told him it would probably improve it! We had a good laugh about that! But I did get a request for a new quilt for his new motor home - and I've definitely got that on my to-do list! I won't get it made by next month, but for sure by Christmas I'll have it to him. And I'm going to make Gail a quilt for their bed. She fell in love with that Robyn Pandolph "Butterfly Flip" I now have on my bed. I have all those fabrics, and will come up with something for her. She lost all of her grandmother's and mother's quilts, so it's the least I can do for her. She's such a sweet lady.

So that's my good news. I'll see if I can find a picture to attach to this blog, as Leora would say, just cuz!


~ The weight seems to be lifted from my heart tonight.

~ My brother.

~ Jane's coming over tomorrow for our cutting day!

~ My little talk with Daisy tonight. We'll see if it works! I'll blog about this later. LOL

~ Geez, I never thought I'd say this -- my boss! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where in the World is Judy?

In case you've been unable to find her, her new blog address is:

I've had the most wonderful week. Dinner with Jane last night was so much fun. We visited after dinner until 11:30. Yes, it was hard getting up this morning, but what a great time I had! We've decided that since she's not working weekends any more, we're going to get in the car and do some sightseeing. Might go up in the mountains by my house, and then down to San Diego to an area she wants to visit, maybe Palm Springs to meet up with Marilyn at the quilt shop .... the possibilities are endless. I'd like to do some of the touristy things, too. As I've only lived here 12 years, it's about time!

Jane gave me the most awesome birthday presents. Yards and yards of the most beautiful background fabric from the "Christmas Presence" line by April Cornell. And a fabulous book, "This Old Quilt." I laughed out loud reading a poem titled, "The Quilting Party." I'll have to blog that one later.

But the most fabulous gift in the whole world -- and, yes, I fussed at her for going way overboard with this one -- is a Sew Ezi table. You can see it here:

It's the neatest thing. Has a sturdy cover and rolls for easy toting. All of the ladies in our sew-in group have one, and it's perfect for setting up a sewing station when you're sewing in someone's home. Jane, I love you! You always know exactly what I need and want!

Got packages full of gifts from Mar and Sheila, too. I'll post about those next. I'm absolutely spoiled rotten this year! And VERY blessed! I think I want to be 55 every year!!

Oh, one thing that is just SO funny and SO Jane. It seems we've been passing back and forth the same birthday gift bag for a couple of years. Naturally she gave it back to me this week, and had written in the inside, "J to V, 2005. V to J, 2005," etc. I was ROFLOL!!

And, lastly, I received an email newsletter about the reopening of The Fabric Patch under new management next weekend. I might mosey over there; might not. I'm really thinking I'd rather remember it the way it was.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How Are We Doing?

It's August 22nd, a day I usually spend doing online shopping. But not this year! I'm so out of the fabric-buying mode it's not even funny! I decided this year I would forego the usual shopping "trip" and instead pull one or two quilt kits from my stash! :)

Going to dinner in an hour with Mr. & Mrs. Boss. I'm really looking forward to dinner with Jane tomorrow night! I haven't seen her in two weeks. Wow, just realized I'm having lots of dinners this week.... guess that's what happens when you turn 55. My brother called me today with birthday wishes, and it was so good talking to him. But it really tugged at my heart when he said how much he missed me. Really tugged - hard! I'm going to get to Louisiana next month no matter what!

Daisy is still snoozing. She opened one eye and looked at me when I got home. She's still being real tippy-toe around me, ever since the bath Sunday. LOL. She has such a hard life! *sigh* I guess I'm punished!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Silly Dog!

So much for cleaning up the toys! I had all of her toys in a basket by the hearth. We went for a walk when I got home tonight, and within five minutes of getting back in the house, she had fetched them one at a time from the living room into my sewing room! At least she didn't encircle my sewing chair with them like she usually does when I'm ignoring her!


~ Holly's home from the hospital!

~ Gwen has two more radiation treatments to go! Happy dancing!

~ A wonderful package on my doorstep tonight from Mar!

~ Dinner just needing to be heated up!

~ Four more days until the weekend! (But who's counting!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Good Weekend!

I didn't leave the house except to get a manicure Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend I cleaned house and rested. Finally turned on the sewing machine this evening for the first time in over two weeks. I started back on Lisa's, assembling the rows. Still have several more rows to add, but I think it's looking good.

Jane and I are going out to dinner on Wed. night. I miss her! (Used to get a Jane fix every weekend at the quilt shop.) And hopefully next weekend we're going to have a day-long sew day. Of course, I think we're actually going to do a cutting day - but either one will be fun. Before my shoulder surgery, I cut out six or eight quilts, and it sure was nice having those all ready to go when I was up to sewing. I'd like to do that again - sort of a "cut stash"!

And speaking of stash, it hasn't grown one iota this month. Well, except for that beautiful lime green Judy sent! LOL! Of course, it hasn't shrunk any either, but that's okay. I've planned out about 100 quilts in my head, so it won't be long before the stash begins to dwindle!


~ Deep cleaning the house felt good

~ Daisy getting a bath - as much water on me as her!

~ Waking up this morning to the smell of beef in the crockpot

~ Vanilla candles

~ Resisting the urge to make a cake!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judy, You Silly Goose!!

I was ROFLOL'g when I opened this package!!! Had to share this one! Thank you!

Just got off the phone with Brother. His sense of humor is intact! If you need any fire jokes, he's knows about a bazillion of them! I feel better now that he's back to usual his joke-telling, smart aleck self. Of course, seeing as how Gail was groaning in the background, I'd guess they're getting old around his neck of the woods. I was new bait tonight!

Careful What You Wish For

I'm back in accounting almost full time now. I'm by myself in there two days a week. I'm zonked when I get home at night. We have two headhunters looking for an accountant and only have one interview scheduled so far. I hope we get more applicants soon.

I tried to call my brother last night but couldn't get them on either cell phone. I'll try again today. I just need a brother fix!

It's taken me two days to get around the ring. There are some beautiful quilts being made. And I see the fabric depressionists are sticking to their diet! Nancy's counting down the days for you - it's almost over! :)

Done absolutely no sewing. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get in the sewing room and figure out where I left off on Lisa's quilt. I also want to start the one-hour-a-day quilt, but that will have to wait. It's been fun viewing all your fabric choices. Good jobs!! And I must piece backings. Must! It would be nice to get all of those quilts off to be quilted and start afresh, so to speak. I mean, it's ridiculous at this point not to finish them.

Allergies have flared up again. It's real dry here and the dust really bothers me. Guess that comes from growing up where there's a bit of rainfall every day - or at least every week - to settle things down. Two or three more months of this dry stuff and then I'll be able to breathe easy for a few months.

Happy sewing to all my friends out in Blogland. Make a few stitches for me!


~ A strong resolve - I can do this!

~ Family and friends.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Going Through Family Pictures

I'm pulling some that I think Don might like to have copies of. I found this one, and it kinda sums up how much I adored my big brother! Still do, for that matter! Except for all the pranks he used to pull on me. Still does, for that matter! Guess some things will never change!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Give Up!

I'll never be a stash buster no matter how hard I try or how much I want to be!!

Here I am feeling so good about no fabric purchases. I'm going to get this stash off of the shelves and out of the closets and into quilts!!! Yeah, right.

Why is it that I can't throw these green scraps away? I know there are 40-50 applique leaves there, but, sheesh, it's not like there's never going to be any more green fabric manufactured ever!

It's a sickness, I tell you, a real sickness!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Purple Scrappy

This was one of the Katrina quilts made by someone at The Fabric Patch last year. I put the binding on it using a batik I won at an auction to benefit the tsunami victims. Although I'm not a purple fan, I liked this one. Simple squares, no borders - this would be a fun weekend project from scraps. These were either five or six inch squares. I don't remember now.

I'm procrastinating house cleaning .....

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I finally found this picture of the fires in the San Gabriel Mountains back in 2002. Jeanne's post about the fires near her cabin made me go on a search to find these pictures. I was so scared. We were on voluntary evacuation and I had the cars packed and ready to go. Forest fires form their own weather cycles, and the wind was horrific the night this picture was taken. Big embers were falling on our deck, and I stayed up all night with a garden hose out there spraying it down.

I guess fires have been on my mind this week. I talked to my brother today and they are settled into a nice rental home that is fully furnished. Just need to get more clothes. They are over at the homesite today trying to salvage what they can from the debris. Don said Gail has been crying continuously since last night, and is trying to keep burned sofa frames and charred tables. Don said he's not going to try to reason with her now, but is telling the boys just to put everything in one area that she wants to keep. I told him just to let her do that. After a while when emotions aren't so high, then she'll be able to throw the stuff out. They found her family pictures, and although they're burned and charred, he thinks some of them might be able to be restored. Her mother's paintings are all lost, as are the family quilts. All of Don's family pictures are gone, but I'll be able to replace a lot of those for him. He broke down when he told me he found a little ceramic panther intact that Mom helped him make when he was just a little boy. Precious things to him right now.

Supposed to be cleaning house today, but other than unloading the dishwasher and putting clothes in the washer (oh, sheesh, did I turn it on?) that's all I've done. I need to get up and start doing something, anything. I'm just feeling worn to a frazzle. I certainly earned my keep at work this week!

Last night was a surprise 40th birthday party for a member of our sewing group. Such nice ladies! It was fun sitting around the table and just talking about quilting. Good food. Lots of laughs. Then Jane came back to the house and we talked a bunch more. I was zonked when I got to bed last night, and slept right through until time for my haircut. Maybe another good night's sleep tonight and I'll start feeling normal again.

My brother finally admitted to me today that he will probably have to have another heart stent procedure done. He's going back to the doctor next week. If that happens, I'm going to try to fly to Louisiana for at least a couple of days. I'm going to be alone in Acctg. on Mondays and Tuesdays for the next three weeks as the clerk has vacation scheduled to be with family members visiting from Poland. But the CEO was SO nice this week - told me to go ahead and take off when I was ready to fly home. It will leave them without an accountant for a few days, but it's not the end of the world.

No quilty progress to report. But, happily, no desire to purchase fabric either! I even got the nerve to look at today and came away feeling righteous! LOL

Friday, August 11, 2006

Calendar Check

How are we all doing? I know Nancy's hanging in there. She cracks me up watching her counting down the days! :)

I think I've got this buying compulsion licked! Of course, it probably helps that I'm too tired at night to look at oneline quilt shop newsletters, and also that I don't have an LQS (local quilt shop) any more! I just need to get myself organized so I can sew at night. I think when I start using the stash, that I'll really get excited about this new chapter in my quilty life.

Work has been slow on Lisa's quilt. It's next to impossible to get anything done during the week. Hopefully this weekend I can get the house clean, and get my projects organized so sewing at during the week won't be such a chore. I have zero energy these days. It's probably the toll the long, hot summer has played on this old body, and I know this week it's been the emotional toll of worrying about my brother and his family. But quilting is the one thing that I truly look forward to, so it's up to me to make that happen!

Day 11 here and holding strong!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Brother Update

I have been thanking God all day today for sparing my family. They came so close to losing their lives. Nothing else matters.

Don went to his doctor's appointment today and did another stress test. I didn't talk to him, but I did talk to his wife, Gail. She was sitting in a doctor's office waiting for paperwork to be signed so that she could admit her mother into a nursing home. Gail said Don was on his way home from Lafayette, and while she didn't ask him much about the appointment, the fact that he was heading home instead of being admitted to the hospital meant that he had passed the test. She said he had another appointment for a week from today.

Their home and everything in it is lost. They will spend tomorrow going through the ashes and debris to see if anything can be salvaged before the bulldozers clear it, but they're not holding out much hope. She mentioned today the loss of her grandmother's quilts, and the paintings and sketches of her mother. And they're both sick over the loss of family pictures.

Don asked me last night to wait a few weeks before I come down, and I agreed to do that, but I will go immediately if there's any medical emergency with him. They have checked into a hotel and want to stay there for two or three weeks. Gail said they decided this morning that it's too soon to think about rental property. They need a couple of weeks to see how quickly they'll be able to rebuild, and they might replace their motor home first and stay in it during the construction. She said she just didn't want to think about buying furniture right now. She said the first thing she did this morning was go to a local WalMart and bought personal hygiene items and underwear, jeans and shirts, and a pair of tennis shoes for both of them. She kind of chuckled at what cute shirts they had at WalMart and how little she spent!

I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers today for my family. It was such a freaky thing - but they're safe and that's all that's important.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Frightening News

My niece just called and told me that about an hour and a half ago, lightning struck my brother's home and burned it nearly to the ground. His son ran in through the fire to wake him up, and Don said they could barely find their way out of the house for all the smoke. His mother-in-law lives with them and has Alzheimers. Gail grabbed her mother and got her out. Micah got Don out and then went back in and found the dog. So everyone is safe.

The fire dept. is still there putting out hot spots. Don is crying and upset because all of the family pictures are probably gone. He said he tried to go back in to get a picture of Mom and Dad but the fire was too hot. Then the gas tanks in the motor home and both vehicles blew up almost simultaneously. There's a horrible rain storm going on now and it's dark. He couldn't even call the fire dept because his cell was in his car and Gail's was in her purse in the house. A neighbor finally pulled in about 30 minutes after the house started burning, saw what was happening and called 911.

I talked to Don by calling the neighbor's cell phone a few minutes ago. He said when the roof caved in, he knew it was all gone. This is their dream home that they lovingly built and was in it three weeks when Hurricane Andrew took the roof off of it. So they rebuilt it and planned on staying the rest of their lives there. He is worried about what they'll do in the meantime, but he's got plenty of insurance. An ambulance came to get Grandma to take her to a facility that can take care of her until they can get settled somewhere.

I'm just so worried about him as he just had the back surgery a couple of months ago, and has a really bad heart. The neighbor told me, before he put Don on the phone, that they have taken charge of him and will watch him real closely to make sure he's okay.

He's so far away, and I know I could be of help to them if I were there. I'm feeling real helpless right now.

Please keep Don and his family in your thoughts and prayers. It's so heartbreaking to know that his beautiful home on acreage with all those gorgeous live oak trees is gone.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Two Neat Quilts

These quilts were both made by Debbie Foley of fame. About three years ago I happened onto a sale of some of her older quilts, and I just fell in love with these two. They are signed on the back.

I had in the back of my mind to gift the blue and yellow to someone, but so far I still have it. :) And the other quilt is really pretty. I have enjoyed examining her use of fabrics and especially the floral border. As a new quilter, it was interesting to me her use of plaids mixed in with florals and the bright turquoise. I've learned a lot from this quilt.

I haven't purchased any finished quilts since these two -- I had a long talk with myself about that! Well, I guess I did purchase the Boomerang quilt since then, but that one doesn't count! LOL!

Just wanted to share these.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Throes of Creativity

I was rolling on the floor laughing when I got home tonight. What a pig I am! And I cleaned up this twice this weekend, although you could never tell it from this picture!

Daisy's little bed is back in that corner between the sewing and cutting tables. She is so funny -- tiptoeing through the fabric and paper that missed the trash can. She keeps coming over to me with that "OMG, what happened?" look on her face!

I don't care. I'm having fun!

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.....

August 1st Weekend

First weekends are my time to work on Christmas presents. This weekend I worked on my niece's quilt. Finished all the blocks and got the first row sashed. I didn't sew the second horizontal sashing on yet because that blue is bothering me a bit. It looks too dark for the blue strawberry fabric in the picture, but it looks all right in person. It's a Dimples fabric. After pondering it last night, I think I'll go with it. I've got a long work week this week, and cleaning house is a must, but I'm hoping I can finish up the sashings and start the borders.

Six days into the no-fabric month and I'm hanging tight. I only peeked at one online quilt shop newsletter and almost got busted with a BOM. But I didn't poke the button! I immediately thought of Jeanne when I saw it.

My friend, Mar, is making a Christmas quilt and miscalculated the background fabric for her applique blocks. Naturally I had it :) and am delighted to be able to stash bust a bit. Another friend called me last week looking for an old Pandolph pattern. I not only had the pattern but the exact border fabric she needed. Another opportunity to stash bust! Every little bit helps! It feels good to help out, but what really amazed me is that I immediately knew I had those fabrics considering how long it's been since I looked at them! LOL

August is another milestone month for me. Five years since I began quilting. Rotary Cutting 101, a prerequisite for other classes, was completed and I signed up for two beginning classes. I was off and running, and have never looked back!

I guess I'll find out today if the accounting lady shows up. If she does, we'll terminate her tomorrow. If she doesn't ... well, if you need me, I'll be in the Accounting Department!


~ A whole weekend with no commitments other than sewing!

~ Grilled filet mignon, parsley potatoes and a salad last night. I cooked!

~ Watching chick flick DVDs all day yesterday with no guilt!

~ A fun weekend with my online quilting buddies!

~ Listening to Daisy snore!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I Was a Good Girl!

Went to the closing of The Fabric Patch today. I was so good. Everyone should be really proud of me! I just picked up a few more spools of Aurifil thread at the good sale price, and a couple of packs of Hot Ribbon. A friend, Lady B, has designed a teacup BOM for her local quilt shop, and I'm wanting to start this applique project soon. She used this to embellish some of the cup and saucer rims and they were gorgeous.

The new owner of the FP was in there today. I picked up a flyer about what she's going to be doing to the shop. They currently own an embroidery business down in Orange County, and are going to be selling embroidery machines, etc. I don't think she's a dedicated quilter, so I'm thinking there won't be as much quilty stuff as we're used to seeing in there. Probably a good thing. My stash will definitely be my number one shopping place from now on.

I've been piecing the second block on my niece's quilt. It's a paper pieced block. I do real good on one or two, and then get all backwards on the next one. The frustration factor is high now. I'm going to plow through, though, on these as I really want to finish this quilt up within a couple of weeks.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Confessions Again!

I don't know why I tell on myself so much. Perhaps it's that Catholic upbringing? LOL

This is what my staircase looks like right now. About once a week or so I haul all the stuff back upstairs. My sewing area is downstairs just to the right of the staircase, and my stash room is upstairs. So I end up hauling stuff down to the cutting table, and then in the throes of creativity, I just pile it on the staircase to be dealt with later.

One thing I am going to do this weekend is get a cutting table set up again in the stash room. I think that will eliminate a lot of trips up and down stairs to the cutting table in my sewing room. Usually I just needed a strip or a hunk of something, but the whole piece has to come downstairs. That basket of Civil War stuff has definitely got to go back up. I almost tripped over it a few minutes ago.

I'm not lazy. I'm really not. But you could never tell it from this picture.

I sure hope I get some sewing done this weekend as I've run plumb out of quilty pictures to post. Yes, Judy, I left the PP templates at the office today, but I'm getting ready to draw it out again and go over to the Office Depot around the corner to make copies. While I'm there I should pick up ink cartridges. That would solve the copying problem! LOL

Four days and only one peek at an online BOM. No, I didn't order it. If it's still there next month, then it was meant to be. This challenge is SO hard! I've come to realize what an impulse shopper I am. A couple of weeks ago I would have poked that order button without even thinking! And it would have ended up in the BOM purgatory closet with the others.

Today was an interesting day. The 'former' employee made mistakes on the payroll that I handed out, and checks had to be recut. Found a major posting error when I was closing out the week and I had to deal with that before I could leave. But the good news is that I got everything balanced, another accounting project finished and off to the outside CPAs, and the backlog balanced. Bad news is that I don't think I'm going to get to Louisiana this fall as I planned. I don't see how I can when I'll be having a new accountant coming in to train. I did talk to the CEO about a vacation week, though, and we agreed to see how quickly the new hiring goes. I'm really homesick ...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What a Day!

First, I overslept and was scurrying around getting my hair dry and dressed this morning. I grabbed shoes out of the ones I had put aside to polish. This is what I saw I had on when I got home a while ago! Sheesh...

Then when I got to work, there a long memo from our Receptionist. It seems the employee who had two strikes called in at 7:00 this morning that her dad was in the hospital and she wouldn't be in. When the Receptionist said she was going to put her in my voice mail, the employee responded that she didn't want to talk to "that b**ch," and proceeded to give the Receptionist confidential accounting information that I would need when I got to the office. Three strikes. She will be a former employee the moment she sets foot in the office from her personal leave. The CEO was furious. Give 'em enough rope ...

And I just realized that I forgot on my desk at work the 17 copies of the paper piecing pattern I drew out last night. So much for getting started on that block. Guess I'll work on the red and white quilt assembly tonight. Oh, yeah, and polish shoes!

I'm doing real good on the No Fabric challenge. It's only three days into it, but I really don't want any new fabric. Of course, this Saturday is the goodbye get together at The Fabric Patch. I've already said my goodbyes, but I know myself well enough to know I'll mosey on over there just to give another hug to everyone. But I'm leaving my checkbook in the car. I am! Watch me!


~ Very light traffic all week. (I probably just jinxed it for tomorrow!)

~ Determination!

~ New flowers being planted in the medians in our neighborhood!

~ The never-ending inspiration from my quilty friends!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Thank you, Nancy!

Nancy's blog yesterday reminded me that I also need to add books to my list of banned purchases for August. I'm such a book person. But truth be told, I mostly only glance at them when I get them home. But all that's about to change as I need to find new ideas to use up the stash!!

This is the messy site that greets me as I go up the staircase. It wouldn't be so bad if there weren't bags of batting piled on one side, and two bolts of Moda wool on the other! One thing I plan on doing this month is getting them organized, and getting rid of those magazines on the bottom shelves. I need to spend an afternoon going through the mags, removing the quilts I like, and then tossing the rest of them. And I also need to go around the house and gather up the rest of the books that are on every table, every surface, in the car ....

August 1st - and the first day of my new quilting adventure!!