Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reflection on 2006

I say this every year, but I'm glad this one is over. Especially after yesterday at work.

Thought I'd try to recap my quilty year. I didn't get as much accomplished as I usually do, but I did some *important* quilts - gifts and helping Judy a bit. A lot of these still need quilting, but my part is done! :) Here's the piddly list:

- Lisa's quilt which still needs a name. Strawberry Fields? Nah ...
- Don's wonky leaf quilt. Guess I ought to give this one a name, too.
- Alex's 2005 retreat quilt
- Alex's 2006 retreat quilt
- Polka Dot quilt
- Judy's Dancing Bears
- Judy's floating nine-patch
- CA poppy string
- Around the Block

Other quilts in progress that were either begun or worked on in 2006:

- Dutch Treat blocks - hit the 100 mark. This may be a lifetime project!
- Jane's crumbs
- Red and white shooting stars
- Another quilt top that is 80% finished - a Judy design

I'm sure there are other things I worked on, but I can't remember now what they are. I know I spent a lot of time cutting strips to have them ready for next year's scrappy quilts. I also have two or three other quilts that are cut and ready to sew up, so that was a weekend spent cutting. I went through a period of a couple of months of not wanting to sew, and I also worked a lot on weekends this year, so I guess that explains why my list isn't longer. But I guess it's quality and not quantity that counts here. :)

One thing that didn't happen in 2006 is much stashbusting. I blame that mostly on the fact that the quilt shop closed and I "tried" to buy it out. I had small binges here and there at other quilt shops through the year, especially at Retreat, but really didn't buy as much as I would have had it not been for the blog ring. See? It worked!

I was going to post a picture of Daisy but Blogger says, "Sorry, we are unable to complete your request." Story of my life!

So, onward to 2007 - with resolve to enjoy this quilty passion to the fullest!

Happy New Year from Daisy and me!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Today was a wonderful day with Jane and her sweet DH. Fabulous dinner, great friends, lots of laughs ... the perfect day!

A very special "thank you" to all my new blogger friends for making this year so special. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

More Adventures

Jane and I did Antique Row in a little town near here yesterday. Great stuff we found - and also a lot of junk. There was one shop that was SO messy. We were laughing last night talking about it. I'm not joking here -- she had yellow crime scene tape across some areas that were too messy to even walk in! I am hestitating about buying any antique furniture right now because I'm just renting. But if I still had my house, there are a couple of pieces that I would have snapped up!

I found an old secretary yesterday just like my dear aunt had. I always told myself that if I ever found one, I'd get it. Well, I backed off from it yesterday, but I can tell you, it made my heart sing to see it. At least I know they are still around. Maybe next year! :)

I did buy this thread holder. It fits in perfectly with the collections I have. I don't think it's very old, but that's not important. I photoed it laying flat on the floor, but it's going to be hung on the wall. Cute, cute!
Last evening a quilter friend of ours had a birthday gathering for Jane. We had a delightful sit down dinner, and lots of good talk. A really diverse group of women, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I spoke too soon

Seems I've lost my "Comment" button somewhere along the line. This is a test to see if it'll appear on this post.

December Leaves

I'm sure in most of the country, this is just an ordinary sight, maybe even unwelcomed, but here in SoCal, it makes my heart happy to see leaves on the ground. That must mean that our ten minutes of winter is just around the corner. Surely it must! Since the gardner comes today, and these will all be gone tonight, I figured I'd best get a shot of them now. LOL

Tomorrow my friend and I are going to browse antique shops again. My list is a mile long of all the things I want to get .... but not until after Christmas. Maybe someone else will buy them before then! :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Well, that was easy!

I just switched to beta. I was expecting all sorts of tears and hair-pulling. It took about five minutes for it to capture everything, but I think it's all there.

So this is a test. I went back and was able to post a picture to my last blog. If this posts, then I'm a happy camper! :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Finished Gift Quilt Bindings

I'm so happy that these quilts are ready to wrap, box and mail next week. Since I know they open gifts when they arrive anyway, I've given my nieces "permission" to go ahead and open them the moment they get them. Kyra's quilt, the pink/green one, has been finished and folded away in the closet for three years. The other two were recent finishes. I know Don and Kyra will love their quilts. Kyra is so soppy and sentimental. Honestly, it could be made out of old bedsheets and she'd love it just because I made it. Lisa is hard to read most of the time. I will tell them both that I'll take them back and make another one for them if they don't like them. :)

Am I the only one that bonds so fiercely with quilts? There were fleeting moments while making all three of these that I was considering keeping them and making something else for them. They'd never know, right? I'm so bad.

As I sit here looking around my sewing room, I see a lot of things that need to be boxed and mailed out. In addition to Christmas packages, I've got some 1st Weekend prizes to mail (very long overdue), and also a few Retreat gifts that I forgot to put in my suitcase. The little post office in the town where I work will see a lot of me in the next week or so. I've just got to remember to put my car keys in my pocket!

For those of you who commented on my last blog and sent me such wonderful, supportive emails, thank you. My friend has unconditionally forgiven me for my slip of fingers. That means everything in the world to me, but that is the kind of person she is, truly someone who practices what she preaches. Doodlebug was correct -- an innocent comment fell into the wrong hands. While it saddens me to think that this can happen, it doesn't surprise me, especially in light of who is attached to those hands. I have learned such a valuable lesson from this. Again, thank you for your understanding and support.

The two little trees outside the front door of my condo are going through a change of leaf color. After the hard rain we had last night, the ground is ablaze with beautiful red and gold leaves. Daisy isn't quite sure what to make of it ... she's tiptoeing through them with much coaxing from me. What a wussy she is! Maybe I'll take the camera out there and try to get a picture. I'm still having trouble editing my photos, but I'm determined to figure it all out.

Off to make the binding for my Christmas quilt. I hope to have it on the bed by next weekend. Thank you, Judy, for getting all of these done for me. I owe you massive favors!


Well, picture won't post, no matter what I do to it. I'll try again later.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Going Offline for a While

I learned a hard lesson today. I betrayed the confidence of someone who is so very dear to me. It was not done maliciously nor intentionally. But it happened all the same. My blog is not my private journal. It's on the internet for all to see.

Until I can sort this out and come to terms with what I've done, the loss of respect from someone I love like a sister, I need to be away.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas Decorations? Anyone?

I haven't done anything yet, but a lot of my friends are already decking the halls. I saw that Jeanne has her beautiful Christmas quilts out in her bedroom.

I thought it would be nice if everyone could post a picture as they get decorated this year. I'm thinking that might motivate me! :)

I've been doing work stuff all day at home. A little quilting later if there's time.

I did get the binding finished on Don's quilt. I have two more that I want to bind next week, but if I just get my niece's done, I will be happy. My finger is so sore. It wasn't until I had almost bloodied it that I realized I didn't have my thimble on. Pushing that needle through batiks is tough. You'd a-thunk at this ripe old age I would have learned a thing or two. But Daisy Dog was really happy that I sat next to her on the sofa all day yesterday!

Next week I also plan on getting all my Christmas presents wrapped, boxed up and ready to mail. No last minute lines at the post office this year! Funny story ... Two Christmases ago I went to the little post office in the town where I work to mail off my secret quilter's package. I was in line a good 20 minutes because we only have one postal clerk in that branch. Well, got the deed done and walked out to my car. No car keys. No car keys anywhere. OMG, I didn't do what I think I did -- did I? Well, I sneaked back in there and caught the eye of the clerk. I asked her if I could have my package back that I had just taped shut. She retrieved it for me. Everyone in the place was really quiet and watching me. I shook the package. Yep, my car keys were inside. There's not a month that goes by that I don't run into someone in line at that post office who doesn't remind me of that package! I would have been moritified if I had had to call Kathy in Florida and admit that I was her secret quilter, and could she please not wait until Christmas to open that package! Sheesh, you can't take me anywhere!

Hope Jane is feeling better today ....


* My friend is buying a new house, and I'm absolutely delighted for her!
* A wonderful box of candles that I discovered in the china chest drawer!
* Even though I'm behind in my quilting, behind in my housekeeping, I'm in a really happy place right now!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Don's Wonky Leaf Quilt

Almost finished. I have the binding made and will machine it on tonight. Then I can sit by Daisy the rest of the week and do the hand stitching on it. Beautifully quilted by Judy! Don's going to love it!

I haven't figured out how to adjust colors on this camera yet. But, hey, at least I can get them to post!

Busy day at work today. Then high wind warnings posted on all the lighted signs on the freeway coming home. It's really howling, and the leaves are totally covering my front stoop and sidewalk. Daisy was up to her chest in them when we walked out the door tonight. Of course, with four inch front legs, I guess they weren't that deep!


* Convictions
* Chipotle cashews
* A roaring fireplace

Monday, November 27, 2006

100 Dutch Treat Blocks

These little puppies are 4" finished. I'm going to take a break until after Christmas, and then start the last 96.

I've got a new camera that I can barely operate. A new printer, too, although that one was fairly easy to install. (I walked into a sale at Office Max!) This is when I miss having a computer person in the house -- naw! Forget I said that! LOL


* Frozen pizza
* Spending only $50 at Target tonight - a first!
* Daisy sitting up and begging for half an hour. :)
* Finally cooler weather!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Recovery

I have been really lazy since Thanksgiving. I have been content to do no more than sit next to Daisy on the sofa and applique on my Dutch Treat blocks. The good news -- I finished the 100th block today! That was my marker. I told myself way back when I started this project on 7/4/04 that if I ever made it to block 100, that I'd have to finish the quilt. I've enjoyed these little blocks. Too bad I had to put it down for a long period to get my shoulder fixed or I may be further along now. ONLY 96 blocks to go!

Yes, I am heading out bright and early in the morning to look for a new camera and probably a new printer, too. Merry Christmas to me.

I was really good on Friday at the 25% off sale at Ginger's, the new quilt shop. I got there at 7:00 a.m. and left at around 9:00. For the first hour and a half I was only picking out quilty Christmas gifts, but I panicked in the last half hour when I realized I hadn't gotten myself anything. So I picked up two yards of four pieces of fabric, an orangy floral. It's pretty, but I have no idea what I will do with it. The stash grows .... sigh!

But on a stashbusting note, I needed a background fabric for the Serenity pattern by Verna Mosquera. I picked up all the other fabrics at Thimble Creek while at retreat. I looked and looked in my stash and nothing seemed right. I had resigned myself to using a white-on-white, but Jane said she had something that would work. I went upstairs to turn off the lights in the stash room, and I spotted it, the perfect background. It was hiding up in my stash room all the time! I feel so smug - teehee!

Bindings are calling to me. I plan on getting two bindings sewn on tomorrow so I can sit and stitch them down next week. Both of these need to sent to Louisiana for Christmas, my niece's quilt and the wonky leaf quilt for my brother. Judy did an awesome job on them. Then one more binding for a quilt for my bed for the holidays, and I'm all caught up on finished quilts. Then I'll tackle the backings in the UFO pile! My New Year's resolution is to have no more quilts just sitting there needing backings ever again.

On a sad note, my sister-in-law's mother passed away on Wednesday. She lived with them until their house burned in August. Gail visited her on Wednesday, brought her some poinsettias and decorated her room. About 30 minutes after she returned home, the nursing staff called her to say that Maybelle had died. She was in her early '90s and had Alzheimers. My heart goes out to Gail. They have been through so much in the past few months.


* The abandances in my life ... health, happiness, friends
* Nicky's good news! A baby on the way!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Insomnia Gets Me in Trouble!

When I can't sleep, I wander downstairs and start window shopping online quilt sites. Honest to Pete, I don't even remember ordering this!!

Does anyone do any of the quilt clubs at I got a big box of stuff today - beautiful stuff!

It seems I signed up for the Quilt of the Quarter Club. The quilt is Pumpkins, Turkeys & Geese. It's a great quilt.

Then apparently I signed up for Linda's Club, and received the Apple Basket kit. I like this one, too.

But what had me stumped was a huge bag of scraps. OMG, what else did I sign up for? Turns out I got these for being a new club member. Great scraps. Big, usable Moda pieces. These will definitely get used in my prim projects next year.

I really have to start sleeping the night through!

Another surprise in the mail today was a letter from Southwest Airlines. They apologized for the inconvenience on our flight back from retreat. They said it was due to a "prank phone call." Anyway, there was a voucher for $100 good until 11/13/07. So Jane and I each get $100 off our retreat flight next year! We were seriously considering driving up, but this might sway our thinking in that regard. Surely lightning wouldn't strike twice! We surely wouldn't have another security problem next year! Hmmm, something to ponder!

This is going to be a busy, busy short week at work. So tomorrow is hump day! :)

This weekend is shopping for a camera! I'm lost without it. I'm going to look for a new printer, too. This one was real expensive, but is about four years old and is driving me nuts. I can probably get a similar one for half price now!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


A couple of you asked for a definition of neutrals. Wow, a loaded question! I'm going to explain the neutrals that we talked about last weekend at Retreat, and how Alex demonstrated those to us.

Her neutrals are shades of white to light brown. This would include creams, tone-on-tones, dark tans, gray (yes, gray), etc. The quilts she brought from her neutrals book coming out in the spring were interesting to examine. A lot of different fabrics, a LOT of them. Small figures, polka dots, flowers, stripes, checks.

Most all of those quilts had another color punched into it. Not to highlight that color, but to make the quilt sparkle. Alex had a neutral quilt in one of her older books. I'll go digging in my unorganized book shelves this weekend to see if I can find it. That quilt photographed as mostly white/tan, and I was so surprised to see a touch of green in it when I examined the quilt in person.

One quilt that will be in the book was made by Paula Reid. Paula is a machine quilter (Bernina) who quilts the majority of Alex's quilts that are published. Paula is a master quiltmaker in her own right. Her quilt was stunning. It was soft whites and beiges, with touches of pale pinks in it. At first blush you didn't see the pink. It didn't scream at you. But when you looked closer, you could see the beautiful neutral backgrounds with soft pink florals on them. She used a very pale floral fabric (Yuma maybe?) on the border. And, of course, the gorgeous feathers she quilted throughout the quilt top just made that quilt sing.

Holly and Jim, two of our long-time retreaters, went on a neutrals shopping spree. They came back with FQs of over 50 neutrals each. They went across the hall into the dining room and spread them out. Absolutely stunning fabrics. Jim also picked up several FQs of soft blue to incorporate in his quilt. He has the most wonderful eye for color. Some of you may remember Jim Kankula. He was only "Simply Quilts" a couple of times. He's the guy that dyed fabric using the shaving cream method. Alex also dedicated her paper piecing book to Jim. A fabulous, funny guy! It's a joy to see him every year at retreat.

I've already made a neutral quilt. Jane gave me a huge bag of neutrals for Christmas a couple of years ago. That quilt is just squares with sashing and cornerstones, but I love it, especially since it was one I could sew one-handed while recuperating from shoulder surgery. I'm also working on Verna Mosquera's White Christmas applique pattern. I have a goal -- to get the remaining blocks prepped as soon as possible so I can "release" the rest of the fabrics in my huge neutrals basket back into the stash.

We are to collect neutrals all year for our 2007 retreat project. I'm off to a flying start in that regard. I need to pick up some very soft grays, and decide whether or not I'm going to introduce a color into the fray. Since there will be quilts with pink, blue and green at the next retreat, I'm thinking maybe a soft yellow. I don't know. I need to ponder that for a while. After all, I've got 12 months until next retreat!

I hope this answered most of your questions. I know there are other colors such as black that can be a neutral. But for this project, we're using the white to brown pallet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back from Retreat

What a glorious four days! We had so much fun - and laughed so hard we were crying. I finished all the component parts for my retreat project, but decided to wait until I got home to figure out the layout. I brought the red and white shooting star blocks and got those almost all sewn together. I want to finish up both of these tops over the Thanksgiving holidays. I'm real ready to get started on something new. Oops, I have to make my boss' quilt first. Darn!

The flight home was real interesting. We left the hotel at 12:00 noon and took a taxi to Oakland airport. It's a 50 minute flight back to Ontario airport - normally. We boarded and taxied away from the terminal, and sat for what seems like an hour. It was probably close to that. Then the pilot said we had to return to the terminal for dispatch instructions. They brought the plane almost to the terminal, but then stopped again. We had to remain seated, no A/C in the plane. Then the pilot came on again and said we were going to be brought to Terminal 1 for rescreening of all the passengers, the baggage and the plane. We were escorted to the far end of the airport grounds and taken off the plane and put on buses.

When we walked off the plane, we could see the whole plane was surrounded by FBI, air marshals and Oakland PD. Bomb sniffing dogs were out there, and our luggage was all spread out on the tarmac. We were escorted back into this secure terminal, screened again, and the wait began. Finally they let us go to the bathroom in escorted groups, and brought in some soft drinks.

To make a very long story a little shorter, the FBI came in and arrested a guy that was in our waiting area who was wearing a black teeshirt with a large "Police" across the front of it. I had seen him but thought he was part of the security team. Jane told me there was some derogatory comment on the back of his shirt. They then asked the last two rows of passengers to step forward, and those folks were interviewed. Finally we were escorted back on the plane.

We arrived back in Ontario at around 9:30 p.m. One of Jane's bags wasn't on our flight, but they told her it would be on the next flight coming in a little later. She decided just to take me home and deal with that later.

The whole process, while extremely irritating, was interesting. I have never been on a plane where there was a security problem before. Jane overhead someone saying that this guy made some comments about what was in his luggage, and this was apparently overhead by a flight attendant.

We heard at retreat on Saturday that there was a heightened security alert, but by the time we got to the airport on Sunday, it was back down to orange. But it is comforting to know that the airlines and the security forces take this sort of thing very seriously. VERY seriously!

We went to three quilt shops while at retreat. Friday evening is shopping and dinner on our own. We went to a shop that I can never remember the name of (sorry), to In Between Stitches in Livermore, and to ThimbleCreek in Walnut Creek. I love ThimbleCreek. I spent mega bucks in there - but, hey, it's my once-a-year dispensation!! I picked up a lot of patterns, and a tower, both cotton and the silky plaids, of the new Fig Tree line from Moda. It's called Folklorique. Gorgeous!!! Lots of other stuff, too numerous to list here, but I'll suffice it to say that I'm all stocked up until next year! LOL

I'm slowly catching up on all the blogger shenanigans while I was gone. Everyone ignored the rule --- no talking while I'm out of the room!

It's good to be home, but I miss everyone already. This is my fourth retreat, and some wonderful friendships have developed over the years.

Alex has a machine quilting book coming out within a couple of months, and next spring is a book on neutrals. She brought several of the quilts from the book. To say they were stunning is a huge understatement! Our retreat project next year will be a neutral quilt, and we're to collect billions of them this year! Oh, darn, more shopping! :)

Well, I have a picture of Alex and me, but I can't get it to post. Probably just as well. I look like Miss Piggy! Guess I need to go on more than a fabric diet! :(

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Off to Retreat in the A.M.

I didn't get home until almost 8:00 tonight. I called my hairdresser and she agreed to take me in at 7:00 for a recut. She left this short hair way too long. It's so thick and slightly curly, so it was doing all sorts of weird things since my haircut on Saturday. Now I think I can manage it okay while I'm gone. I just didn't want to have to spend an hour each morning on it.

I got almost all the way home and felt something in my pocket. My file cabinet keys. Geez. So I turned around and went to the CEO's house and knocked on the front door. His wife thought it was funny. I'm so glad I found them. Imagine the problems that would have caused tomorrow!

I'm waiting on socks and underwear out of the dryer to finish packing clothes. I'm trying to figure out how to get the quilty stuff and clothes in one suitcase. It's always something!

Anyway, Jane is coming to get me at 8:00 a.m. and we're off to the airport. We're going to have so much fun. I can't wait. It'll be so good to see all my friends, and make new ones. And it's always great to get to be with Alex and Paula Reid.

Here's a sneak preview of Judy's quilting on my niece's quilt. It's beautiful, Judy. I can't wait to see it in 3D! Next week!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Thank you, Jeanne, for sending me a copy of my post! Since this is my journal, I'm going to retype it. I'll need it to remind myself of all these things next year!


I'm so excited about Alex's retreat. We're flying up Thursday, so not much longer but a whole lot to do before then. (I must buy a new camera!)

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I want my quilting to go next year. I hate making lists because I feel like a total failure when I don't complete them. I'm way too goal-oriented to enjoy that process. But I've focused on a few things that I'm going to do next year, and I made a list! LOL

1) I'm going to concentrate on stash. I've got more fabric than I'll ever be able to use in my lifetime, but I'm going to try to make a huge dent in it. If I pull a piece of fabric out of my stash to use some in a quilt, what's left is not going back into the stash. It'll either get used on a pieced backing for that quilt, or will be cut up into the strip bins for the scrappy quilts.

2) I'm going to make a couple of scrappy quilts, or more, next year. This will be hard for me as I don't do scrappy well, but here's my chance to get over that hang-up. Even if I use only one neutral fabric for the background, the rest of the quilt will be out of those scrap bins.

3) I'm going to concentrate on quilts from the several hundred quilt books I already own. I'll admit it - I'm a quilt book addict. But if I seriously curtail the purchasing of new books, I'm sure I'll discover dozens of quilt patterns that I want to make out of the books I already own. Probably more than "dozens"!

4) I'm going to get serious about applique next year. Now, that's not to say I haven't always been serious about it, and I've made some wonderful appliqued quilts, but I've got a couple started that are begging to be finished, and I've got all the fabric pulled for a couple that have been just sitting in the closet for two or three years. What am I waiting for?

5) I'm also going to seriously curtail pattern purchases. Jane said it best -- she will oftentimes buy a pattern for a quilt that she really doesn't need a pattern to make, but just so she won't forget about it. Maybe a notebook of thoughts and ideas like Finn has would be better.

6) I'm going to make as many Christmas quilts as I want. I absolutely love Christmas quilts, probably more than any others, and I've made quite a few of them. I've enjoyed making them; they make me smile the whole time I'm working on them. So next year if I get the urge to sew and hum "Jingle Bells," I'm going to go for it!

7) I'm going to not feel guilty at all for making quilts out of my favorite colors. I always feel like I must deviate, play with other colors; make a quilt from a color that I've never used before. Why? If those colors give me joy, then I'm going to make them!

8) I'm going to sew for at least one hour every single day. It may be at the sewing machine. It may be sitting on the sofa with Daisy snuggled up next to me while I applique. But one hour a day -- every day. Thank you, Judy!

9) I'm going to slow down a bit and enjoy the process. I did that this year. I didn't do power sewing like I had done the first four years, and although I made less quilts, I absolutely loved every minute of the sewing. Like the leaves for the quilt for my brother. I made those leaves one at a time, and I fell in love with the different fabrics in each one of them. I've made over 80 quilts in five years. What's the rush?

10) This is going to sound funny, or maybe silly, but I'm going to "link" my quilts. Every quilt I make is going to have a piece of the previous quilt in it, even if it's on the back. Our forequilters didn't have the luxury of running out to the local quilt shop when they sat down to make a quilt. Often several of their quilts had some of the same fabrics in them. I actually did this one year, and it was not hard to do. In fact, it was kind of fun. I wish I hadn't stopped doing it.

11) I'm going to put a little humor in every quilt. It might be real subtle, something only I will "get," but it'll be fun trying to figure out how to work the humor in. Jane gave me a ton of neutral fabrics for a quilt, and in it was a piece of frog fabric. I giggle every time I look at that quilt. And when I did the "Around the Block" quilt, I used some French fry fabric for two windows. It just looks like a yellow/gold -- but look a little closer! Another giggle moment! Even a serious quilt can have something hidden in it that's fun!

12) And, finally, I'm going to enjoy my quilt making, something that hasn't always happened. By making only the quilts I want to make, slowing down the process a bit, using colors I love, and adding a touch of humor or whimsy to each quilt, I think it's going to be a fabulous quilty year!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Broke Blogger

Geez, you can't take me anywhere! Several of you have emailed me to say that you're not able to post a comment on my last blog. You're right. It won't let me in either. Sorry about that. I really do appreciate the emails from you encouraging me on my Ponderings!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Or as Daisy would say - Happy Halloweiner!

Still no camera. It's on the to-do list for this weekend. But I found this in my photo albums, and thought I'd share it. It's a Curtis Boehringer pattern called "Halloween Boo". It was the very first quilt I machine quilted myself. Not fabulous, but not bad for a newbie!

And tomorrow is another ten-year anniversary for me. It was the day I underwent a hysterectomy and began ovarian cancer treatment. All I was worried about was whether my then DH would pass out the candy I bought for the trick-or-treaters!

I wish they would delay the clock turn-back until after Halloween. I'm always so nervous driving home with all the little kids running about. Between their usually ill-fitting masks and their excitement, I'm so scared one of them will dart in front of me. So I'll be driving home very slowly tomorrow night!

I've been looking at all the online quilt shop sites, and all the beautiful new stuff popping up now from Market. So far only patterns have interested me. Still thinking stash reduction here! :)

Oh, another Daisy funny tonight. This is the second time in as many weeks that I've come home from work to find her tightly sausaged in the sleeve of my robe upstairs. I left it hanging off the foot of the bed this morning, and I guess she pulled it down and tried to snuggle in it. What a silly dog! I guess eventually she'll figure it out! LOL


~ A healthy body
~ A happy heart
~ A puppy dog who makes me laugh every single day
~ Cooler weather at last!

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Nancy asked about our collections. I've collected darning eggs and wooden darners for years. Alex got me interested in textile bobbins a few years back, so those are also displayed around the house. Here's an example. Excuse the messy shelves. This picture was taken when I was unpacking books!

Friday, October 27, 2006

October Goals

My goals for October were few, but they were important ones. I'm HAPPY to report this progress!

1) Finish Lisa's quilt and piece backing -- CHECK!

2) Finish the batik wonky leaf quilt for Don and piece backing -- CHECK!

3) Piece backing on at least one other quilt in the UFO pile -- CHECK!

4) Get all of the above off to Judy before month's end -- CHECK!

5) Decide on a retreat project and gather fabrics -- CHECK!

6) Pull an applique project from the UFO pile and begin working on it -- CHECK!

I'm on cruise for the rest of the month!! :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Still No Camera

I either need to get a new camera or quit blogging because my posts are b-o-r-i-n-g without pix!

Busy busy at work and tired when I get home, but I'm SO motivated to do some quilting now. It must be Alex's retreat in a couple of weeks that has me so fired up!

I've been reading around the blog ring for the past couple of weeks. Haven't been commenting much, but please know that I'm thinking of everyone and keeping up with the shenanigans!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saturday's Adventure

It's so much fun exploring different quilt shops with Jane on the weekends. Yesterday we went down to Material Possessions in South Orange County. I forget what town it's in. I was way lost down there! LOL

That store is awesome. And, surprise surprise, there was a huge sale going on. All fabric was 20% off and books 15% off. I probably should have been shopping for a new camera instead, but this was more fun!

I was real good. It's amazing how that one month of buying no fabric has colored the way I think about purchases now. I only bought things I immediately need, or for the Freddy Moran quilt collection.

Picked up the background fabric for Alex's retreat - which is Nov. 9-12. Getting close now! And a yard of the brown TOT Chocolat for this quilt as well as an applique project in the organizing stages. I picked up a pack of WOW for my friend Sally. Jane and I split yard cuts of five or six black and whites. Two books, "Christmas Heart Lights" by Peddlers of Danville, and "Square Dance" by Martha Thompson. I found an old Pandolph BOM set of patterns for $24 in the deep discounted stuff on the second floor.

I also picked up a magazine that I had not seen before, "Designers' Quarters." Interesting concept - each article focuses on a new line of fabric, about the designer, and a pattern using that fabric. I probably won't buy another one of these magazines as the quilts weren't very inspirational, but I'm glad I got to check one out.

I could have done some serious damage in that place three months ago. I feel righteous today! LOL

I was doing some side-splitting laughter at Jane. First, she pealed out accidentally making a U-turn. You should have seen that Honda go!! ROFLOL. Then she let out the biggest squeal when she entered the book section and spotted a book for which she had been searching. I had fun relating Jane's "peal and squeal" to her DH at dinner. She's a hoot!

Today will be spent doing borders and backings. I'm determined to get the two quilts I need for Christmas off to Judy by Monday, Tuesday latest. I can do it!

I'm so excited about retreat coming up shortly. It's a wonderful opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. The retreat project is Alex's pattern, "Shades of Autumn." So I'll be making more leaves, some houses, and LOTS of HSTs. I might do some pre-cutting so I can get more accomplished at retreat.

Feeling 500% better except for a residual cough that seems to come on in the late evenings. A lot of folks down here are suffering through this crud. Jeanne, hope you're feeling better by now.


* The inspiration from visiting a new quilt shop.
* Crockpots
* Realization that I'm now settled and happy in my new world
* Fun with Skippy, Jane's Jack Russell terrier
* Daisy's love - slug that she is!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Feeling a Little Better

Of course, plenty of sleep this weekend helped a lot. I got up early for a haircut on Saturday and then came home and went back to bed and slept until mid afternoon. Then went to bed at 8:00 p.m. I woke up this morning at 8:00, started the coffee pot going, and went back to bed. A friend called and woke me up at noon.

This afternoon I've been piecing leaf blocks - this is a project I already had going before Judy unveiled her October project. I'm going to give it to my brother for Christmas. I think I have all the leaves made now. Just need to lay it all out and see what I have left to do. It's turning out nice.

I found out I have not one, but two broken cameras. I guess it's time to bite the bullet and get a new one! Hopefully I'll get to post pictures soon.

I did venture to the new quilt shop Saturday afternoon. It was their grand opening. They had a bluegrass band in there, and then had some young children playing the cello and violin later. It was really nice. I picked up some fall FQs for Alex's retreat project. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to do that one, but just wanted to be prepared just in case. It's another fall quilt with leaves and houses.

I haven't been around the blog ring in over a week, but checked in on a few of you today. Some beautiful projects are being done by you. You constantly inspire me! Hopefully this cold is wearing off, and I'll feel more like sewing and blogging. Hopefully!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I've been such a bad blogger. This cold really knocked the wind out of me. I'm still not well, but at least I feel a little better.

Today I started getting pumped up about Alex Anderson's retreat in November. Got good news today that my friend was able to get in, too, so we're going to have a blast. This will be my fourth retreat - had to miss one year because of my shoulder surgery - and it will be so much fun seeing all my friends again!

Off to figure out what I can eat tonight that I can actually taste. I guess it's going to be soup again!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Several folks have asked me what a muffaletta is. I thought it could be found all over the country, but apparently not. This picture was taken after we got home, so it was cold. It's best eaten hot. A huge round loaf loaded with Italian meats and olive spread. Yummy!

I've got a horrible cold. I dosed up on antibiotics while I was in Louisiana so as not to get them sick, and I was feeling great on Monday. Well, yesterday I got sick again, and it's a full strength cold now. I'm going to head over to the doctor tomorrow, but he probably will tell me just to keep doing what I'm doing. I think it just has to run its course. The antibiotics only delayed this thing until I got home.

When I got to the airport in New Orleans, I realized I had left my phone on the counter charging back at Don's house. He called me Monday night to tell me he had put it in the mail to me, just regular mail. The post office there told him that an Express Mail envelope wouldn't get here until Wednesday (today), so he decided just to send it regular mail. It was in my mail box tonight. Not bad for four bucks worth of postage!

I appliqued a couple of Dutch Treat blocks on the flights to and from home. I could have finished the second one, but the flight back was a tad bit bumpy. Thought it best to put it away after I kept poking my finger!

Really nothing to blog about today. Ate some potato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I couldn't taste either of them but at least my tummy is full! LOL

Monday, October 02, 2006

Got Home Last Night

I had such a wonderful trip to Louisiana. I can't even begin to describe all of the emotions. I made a vow that I'm going back at least once a year, hopefully twice, from now on. I didn't think it would be long enough but it was. Don and I spent every moment together.

I made it to Ginger's Needleworks in Lafayette. It's a tin building on a road with mostly houses. Nice nice people there. She said most of her business is online; not a lot of quilters in that area. In fact, there were only three women in the shop when I was there and we were all from out of state! Picked up some black and whites and a novelty piece that Jane wanted. And one pattern to make a Louisiana wallhanging. It was fun.

Susan, we had this muffaletta at Mabile's in Laplace! Wish I had known we would be there; we could have arranged a meet! We also went to Berwick to a little place that had the best fresh boiled crabs! OMG, I ate my weight in those crabs! They were fabulous, seasoned to perfection! And I was totally covered in crab juice when I left there! LOL

Don's birthday party on Saturday was wonderful. A friend of theirs offered to let us have the party at their home on the Teche. I can't tell you how beautiful it is. They have a huge party room out by the pool, and you can see the bayou from this huge veranda. Huge green rocking chairs out there and ceiling fans. It was like I was on a movie set. Just gorgeous.

We didn't tell my two nieces I was there. When we saw them drive up, I went in the bathroom. When they were there a few minutes, I heard Don tell them where the bathroom was in case they needed to powder their nose. When Kyra opened the door and I stepped out, she just froze. Lisa just stood there staring. I don't think it was registering with them who I was for a minute. They haven't seen me with short hair. All of a sudden Kyra let out the loudest scream, and they both about knocked me down! It was priceless! Diane, the lady whose home it was, was taking pictures of the whole scene. I can't wait to see them! Lisa's birthday was Friday and Don's is today, so we had a double party with two cakes. Yep, we were all on a sugar high! We barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs, made potato salad and baked beans, and had lots of munchies. It was probably the most perfect party I've ever had! It was hard saying goodbye to the girls at the end of the day, but I'll see them again in the spring.

Didn't get any boiled crawfish because they're out of season. Sheesh, you'd have thunk I'd have known that! I did have some etoufee over broiled catfish one night. It was okay, but I really wanted boiled crawfish. I'm going back in the spring! The crabs were a pretty awesome consolation prize, though!

Don's house is really going up fast. The outside is almost done. They started building the "barn" as he calls it, which will house the motor home and his workshop - although he'll have to start from scratch buying tools; he lost all of his in the fire. And there'll be a bathroom out there with a door near the pool area so the grandkids won't go in the house with wet bathing suits. In probably another couple of weeks they'll be starting on the inside of the house. Don had back surgery a few months back and although he's doing well, he's still not able to do a lot of stuff. So I helped him clean up the pool. It was pretty nasty from all the fire debris that had fallen in it. We shocked it a couple of times and it was looking pretty good by the time I left. He has a saltwater pool. I had never dealt with one of those before, but it's pretty nice.

The house they're living in is a wonderful old home and is just filled with antiques. I slept in a tester bed that was purchased from a plantation auction. Gorgeous bed. There were tons of curio cabinets and china hutches, all mahogany with curved glass. Beautiful stuff. I wish I had taken a picture of the dining room table. It was gigantic, and very old, sort of a mission style. Don said this house might be going on the market. I'm hoping to get a shot at buying it. It was really lovely. Not fancy, but big rooms and lots of potential. We'll see.

When they took me back to the airport, we left early so we could drive around New Orleans. The French Quarter looks virtually untouched, although there weren't very many people milling about except at Cafe du Monde. Other areas were just abandoned. It's so sad. I don't think New Orleans will ever be the same. I don't see how it can be.

All in all, the visit with Don and Gail was perfect. There was a discussion not long ago with my online group about where home is. I haven't lived in Sulphur since I was 17 and went to college, so that really didn't feel like home any more. I lived in Baton Rouge for 25 years but never really liked it there. After visiting Don and Gail in Franklin, that's my home. It's the most beautiful little town, lovely people there, and is a place I could put down roots. Something to think about.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Off in the Morning

I'm flying out at 6:30 a.m. I've still got lots of stuff to do at home tonight, and I'm hoping I get to leave work at a reasonable hour to do those. But I've also got to get everything organized here at work before I leave. Can you tell I'm stressing now?

Judy, I didn't get that backing done. When I get home, I'll do that first thing and off to you.

I'm really excited about going home, even if just for a few days. I hope to get lots of pictures, but last time I was there I forgot to take any! LOL! I hope all those Louisiana crawfish know they're destined for my tummy! I plan on seriously reducing their population over the next few days!

I hope all my friends in bloggerland have a wonderful week and weekend. I'm sure it'll take me a while next week to catch up on all the goings-on. But we could make that task real simple - as my friend Gracie would say, "No talking while I'm out of the room!"

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A New Blogger For You

I had a nice comment from Elaine and went to visit her blog. Some beautiful quilts. She's a fan of our Bonnie at QuiltVille, too!

Check out her blog if you get a few minutes! Neat quilts!

I was supposed to be doing some work today, but I just started on it a couple of hours ago. I was making more crumbs instead. I think I've got 30 now made. Just love those things!

Other than that, it's been a lazy, relaxing day. I've got to go in earlier tomorrow as I found I had the accounting key in my pocket when I got home. So I've got to get there before those ladies.

Spaghetti sauce almost done. I'm hungry!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fun with Vic and Jane

That's what my friend Mar calls the shopping excursions when Jane and I get together. We got off to a later start today than usual. We both had errands to run this morning.

When Jane got to the house, she suggested we go to The Calico House in Yorba Linda. I had not been there since they moved to their new location over a year ago. So we took off and enjoyed our day.

We were both very good shoppers today! I said I wasn't buying any more FQs, but there's a purpose for these. I'm still collecting black and whites, and also brights and dots for a Freddy Moran quilt. I think FQs are a wise purchase in this instance!

But then I really fell off the moderation wagon and bought two patterns and two books. The one not pictured is "Pieces of the Past" by Nancy Martin. Someone recently mentioned it - was it Finn? - and I was surprised to see this 1986 book in the store since it's out of print. It's a great one!

But the best part was I remembered I had a full punch card for Calico House in my wallet, and another almost full! So I got $25 off these purchases! Found money!

Jane is getting over a really bad cold. I felt so sorry for her. She was a trooper today but I knew she wasn't feeling well. Hope our trip to Souplantation for cornbread made her feel better! LOL!

Had a haircut and manicure this morning, so I just need to organize clothes tomorrow and I'm ready for the early Wed. morning flight to Louisiana. I can't wait!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I love pincushions. I've got tons of them. But the ones I use most are the magnetic ones. This one is on my sewing table with the thin glass head pins that my Bernina loves. I've got one on my cutting table, one on the Nelly table on the arm of the sofa where my applique stuff is. And there's one just for Jane's pins when she's over here sewing.

But the other four pincushions are real special to me. I first went to the Alex Anderson retreat in Nov. of 2002. I didn't know that each retreater gets a pincushion from Alex as a momento. The blue and white one was 2002. The one with the pink heart was 2003. The black and white was 2005. I had to miss retreat 2004 because of my shoulder replacement surgery. My friend, Mar, made the red and black pincushion for me for Christmas! So that's my 2004 pincushion. And Sally just recently sent me one from a shopping excursion to the big city. I love it!

A couple of years ago, Sheila sent me this antique make-do. I knew nothing about them, and was delighted to find that old is new again. There are patterns out there to make these. The fabric on it is old, as are the lace and buttons. Sheila always sends the most interesting things! Lucky me!

This week is almost over. This weekend I've got a haircut scheduled, a manicure, and then begin packing for the trip to Louisiana. It's getting really close!

It was so hot today - and it's so pleasant tonight. Daisy and I enjoyed our walk this evening. The setting sun was bright red! Even it's ready for autumn!


~ Sheila's benign diagnosis! Prayers answered!

~ Accountant is getting it. Hope she does as well while I'm gone next week.

~ Leaves are turning on the trees outside my front door

~ Six more days until I go home!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


KC Quilter posted a picture of her two babies, her featherweights. Reminded me that I've got a couple of them.

I have a black anniversary featherweight, my birth year. And I've got this white one. A lady who used to be in my online quilt group called me one night and said she was bidding on a white featherweight on eBay, and did I want it. I told her I'd take it. Turns out it was in Hollywood. So I arranged with the guy to drive over and pick it up, but I didn't want to go to his house. So he left it at his mail box place near the corner of Hollywood and Vine. I had never driven there before, and got lost a couple of times getting there, but found the place. It was my adventure for the year!

Now, if you've never been to Hollywood, let me just say that Hollywood and Vine is not an area that you'd want to be caught in after dark. A lot of prostitutes and surly types. I call her "The Hussy" because she was hanging around that corner when I got her! LOL

I have never sewn a stitch on either of them. They're in the back of the hall coat closet. Jane has a place here that will go over them and fix whatever needs fixing. I should arrange to get that done. Everyone says they're fabulous machines to sew on. I just had to have them because all of my friends were getting featherweights. I'm such a pushover!

My friend, Deb, told me from day one that if I ever decided I didn't want it, that she'd take it. I was kind of feeling guilty for having these things and not wanting to use them. So I had just about decided to let her take it. You'll never guess what happened! She was driving home one day and saw a house with a huge pile of trash in front of it over by the side of the road. She saw what looked like a featherweight case. So she screeched over to the shoulder, and went trotting back to look at the case. It was a case in perfect condition, and inside was a white featherweight in perfect condition! Someone was throwing it away! Only Deb would have noticed that! LOL!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's Decided!

I want to come back as my dog!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mindless Sewing

My sewing room looks like a tornado was turned loose in there - and I don't mean the famous "White Tornado"! So I might as well make a bigger mess before I drag out the vacuum.

More crumbs ... more mindless sewing. These are 9.5" so it won't be long before I have a quilt! These are SO much fun! And fast! Jane's going to want these back, I just know it! LOL!

I'm an impulse buyer. I went to Target tonight to get a new coffee pot. Might as well pick up a DVD, oh, and some Skillet Dinners and bread, and I can't forget Dr. Pepper, detergent, etc., etc. I'd love to walk in that store just ONE time for under a hundred bucks!

I searched my stash room high and low last night, and I don't have enough of anything for the backing for Lisa's quilt. So I guess I'll have to visit the new quilt shop one night this week.


~ Last auto at work purchased. Hooray!

~ Everyone laughed at a picture of fat little Daisy dog today!

~ Leaves are starting to fall. Does this mean autumn is finally coming?

~ A real peaceful feeling today.

~ Blessings overflowing!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Dancing!

Finally finished Lisa's quilt top. I brought it outside to take a picture, but it was too shady. It's always something!

I dug through all the backing fabrics I have and nothing seems to work. Going to go through them one more time before I cave in and head to the quilt shop. Stash busting first!

Thank you, Judy, for your inspiration and help! You rock!

Getting In The Mood!

Cook up some beignets this morning, and brewed up a pot of Community coffee! Won't be long until I'm home!

The first batch came out kind of flat. I rolled them too thin. The mix said to roll to 1/8" but they didn't puff. So I rerolled the next batch to 1/4" and the puffed perfectly. Unfortunately, I ate those before I took pix! LOL

Nine days until I set foot in Louisiana again. NOW I'm getting excited!

Translation .... Boring!

You Are Olive Green

You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.
For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.
You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.
People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Must Love Dogs!

New Quilt Shop Opened!

It's Ginger's Quilt Shop in Montclair. Really cute, nicely laid out, big! It smelled so .... so .... new! All of the bolts were still almost full, and there's a nice selection of fabrics.

I was so good! I need to award myself with another gold star! I picked up two books that hopefully will aid in reducing stash. And got a free FQ to boot!

This weekend I will finish Lisa's quilt. I'm real ready to get it finished and off to Judy to quilt. And I'm real ready to start some serious stash busting! So Katie bar the door after my trip home! :)

One car purchase finalized at work today. Check! The other vehicle will be finalized Monday! Check! Quarterly estimates mailed off today! Check! Accountant working out nicely! Check check!


~ Some inspiration with bright fabrics tonight at the new quilt shop

~ A missed phone call but a sweet message from Don today reporting that his birthday party was almost all planned out for me! (And said with MUCH sarcasm! LOL!)

~ A nice long chat with Connie last night. What a sweet lady with a really funny story about a one-eyed mouse!

~ Unusual that I'm hungry tonight. Maybe if I eat something I'll get some much needed sleep.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Busy Day!

The new accountant started today. She did good! Cross your fingers, but I think she's a keeper.

CEO had four appointments today, and I was working both ends of the building, back and forth to my office by his and down in Acctg. I honestly don't know why I'm so fat because I must run 10 miles a day in that place! Every time I'd sit down with her to go over another procedure, he'd buzz me that he needed me down there. I was plumb tuckered out by about 2:00. And then to top it all off, he decided that he wanted to buy a new Suburban today. So I'm off during my (ha-ha) lunch hour to bring a check to the dealership. Got back to the office and thought all was going to settle down a bit until his next appointment, and lo and behold, he decided to buy a new car, too! This is real unusual for him because he's real conservative. His Caddy is a 1998. I've been after him for a long time to get a new car, but today? Two of them? LOL. We had a huge laugh about that!

Tomorrow hopefully will settle down some. He's got one appointment in the morning, and then I think (I hope) he's going out of town. Maybe I'll have the afternoon with the new lady. One of these years I need to get in my office and shovel out the stuff that's been piling up in there over the past couple of months.

I'm going to stop in tomorrow night on the way home at the new quilt shop. They're staying open until 7:00 at night! Hooray! I know that I can now stop there on the way home when I'm desparately needing something....... well, I might need something. You never know! Anyway, it'll be fun exploring the new place. Jane has already been in there and says it's adorable. She's going to help her tomorrow get it up and running. It'll be fun!

Sad news today. My friend in Missouri's little puppy was hit and killed by a car. I'm just heartbroken over this. I called and talked to Jace tonight. Sally is out of town with her brother who just lost his wife after a long illness. Such an awful thing to have to deal with alone. It was good talking to him, and we ended up trading funny stories and laughing a bit, so I hope the talk helped him some. I got off the phone with him and gave Daisy a huge hug. Same old dog - same old hugs!

It's only 9:30, but I'm heading upstairs now. I need to stretch out in a prone position and relax! I've enjoyed reading about all the quilty things getting done by all my blogger friends! Keep posting those pictures! Please!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nothing New Here

Absolutely nothing! Same old chores at home that I can never seem to get done; same old project on my sewing table; same old dog. I'm real envious of Judy that she's got all those bindings to do!

I'm in a funk today. Woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible headache. Headaches scare me, but this one is just the same old allergy/sinus thing I always suffer from this time of the year. Still in all, I was awake half the night, and then way overslept this morning. I hate it when I do that because then it's straight into the shower, a quick Daisy walk, and then fighting the traffic in to work. I didn't get a cup of coffee until almost 10:00.

I've been thinking a lot about gratitudes today. I'm hard-pressed to come up with anything new or original. Just the old standards: good health, Daisy, a comfortable home and lots of quilty things to play with. And my friends - especially my friends!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

Judy shared her story of where she was on 9/11/01. Here's mine.

I was getting dressed for work. I had not even turned on the TV that morning. The phone rang and I answered. It was Don. He was obviously very upset. When I asked what was wrong, he told me to turn on the TV. I was standing in the bedroom and grabbed the remote. The TV was mounted on the wall in a corner near the ceiling, and I remember standing there looking up at the set. I was too shocked to even sit on the bed.

The first thing I saw was not a picture of the towers, but a newscaster saying that the White House was being evacuated. Then the picture shifted back to the twin towers just in time to see the second plane hit. Don and I both started crying then, and he began saying a Rosary in which I joined.

We didn't say much but stayed on the phone with each other for 30 minutes. I then got the call-waiting signal, and asked him to hold. It was the office wanting me to hurry up and get there because I had the keys to the CEO's office and there was a TV in there.

The rest of the day was a blur. The CEO, VP and I stayed in there in front of the TV most of the day. We would call the other employees in when there was breaking news. I just remember being very nauseous by about 10:00, and throwing up a lot during the afternoon. We were worried about the CEO's two daughters who lived in New York. Jennifer, the youngest, had a part-time job in one of the Towers, but this was supposed to be her day off. As it turns out, she was evacuated from her apartment building which was very near there, and called her mother about mid morning that she was okay. The older daughter was on a flight coming in from Italy which was diverted to Canada. There was much relief when we finally heard from Susan in the afternoon.

My thoughts and prayers today are with those who lost their lives that day in this senseless tragedy, with the brave people who aided the victims, and for our military personnel who continue to protect us.

God Bless America.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Done for This Weekend

One more pieced border to go. I may can get most of the blocks made this week, and then finish the assembly next weekend. The light at the end of the tunnel!!

Two Sides Done

Sorry to keep posting this quilt, but it's all I've been working on for the past month! Just the two shorter sides to go. Push or shove, I'm going to get one of them done today! Once it's altogether I'll get a better picture. Right now I've got "stuff" in the living room which prevents me from laying it out and getting a straight-on shot.

I'm really loving this quilt, but I have to admit I'm getting a little tired of it. Does that happen to anyone else?

Jane and I were talking yesterday about our cache of quilting books. I told her that often I flip through them once or twice and then on the shelf they go. Well, here's my new challenge to myself. Before the year is out, I'm going to go through some of the first quilt books I bought and pick out a quilt and make it -- totally from my stash. This will give me the opportunity to go through my books and, knowing me, I'll fall in love with most of the quilts in them all over again! It may be a quickie pieced quilt; it may be an appliqued one. I don't know at this point. I just know that it's a shame to have such wonderful books up there on the bookshelves and not utilize them!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sewing Day!

I had the most fun today sewing with Jane. She came over this morning and left about 9:00 tonight. She got lots more accomplished than I did as I continued to piece the woven border on my niece's quilt. She told me I could share this picture of the blocks she was working on.

Are these adorable? The pattern is "Fore & Aft" by Mountainpeek Creations. Jane has a HUGE stash of black and white fabrics, and the pink is perfect with them! Such a simple block but stunning!


~ A perfect day sewing with my quilting buddy!

~ A phone call with Mar and her sewing day quilting buddies!

~ Great Mexican dinner!

~ My brain is about to bust wide open from all the inspiration! :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Too Cute!!

My friend Cheryl from Boston sent this to me for my birthday! It's the most adorable little lamp! There's even real thread on the spool! Thank you, Sweetie! I love it! I'm going to put it up in my stash room on Grandma's treadle machine. It'll be perfect there!

Cheryl and I met on Alex's old message board. She flew out for the Road to California quilt show in 2004, and then we saw each other again last November at Alex's retreat. Can't wait until this November to see her again!

It was a very long "short" week at work. But everyone was in a good mood and the work flows seamlessly when it's like that. I need to get busy picking up around this joint tonight. Jane's coming over tomorrow for a sew day! She suggested we go to a nice little Mexican take-out place near here for food tomorrow, so no cooking. Just sewing up a storm! I can't wait!


~ All of my online friends, many of whom I have met in 3D!

~ A good interview today with an accountant!

~ A wonderful call from my brother tonight! Less than three weeks until I get to do some major hugging on him!

~ An email tonight from Judy that made me smile!

~ The inspiration I get from all of you!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Surprise Package!

Judy!! I keep telling you "No packages" but you just don't listen!

It's a Jim Shore dachshund named "Longfellow." How adorable is that! Got him/her up on the mantle right next to Daisy's picture! Daisy wishes she was that cute (and that skinny)!

The timing was perfect after a totally stressful day! When I opened the door to take Daisy out for her walk, she had to sniff the package on the front porch before we could head out. Really interested in this package! Did she know what was in there?

I love it! Thank you so much, honey! Made me smile, and that's a very good thing!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sewing Tired

This is why I don't sew when I'm tired. A LOT of HST. Drew a line down the center, and sewed 1/4" on one side of that line. Turned the blocks around and proceeded to sew right down the center penciled line. Oops! I got the seam ripper and was just about to start taking that center line stitching out when I occurred to me that I didn't have to. Those would be cut apart on that line. So back to the sewing machine to sew 1/4" down the other side of the center line.

I think that's as far as I'm going tonight. Not an hour of sewing. 25 minutes of doing the oops-dance! I'm going to bed!

Answers to Questions

A lot of folks emailed me with questions about the quilt in my last blog. The main question was what pattern is it and where can they get it.

Well, I should have asked Judy's permission before I posted it, but, as usual, I was in a hurry to show everyone that I actually do sew occasionally. :)

The main part of the quilt is part of a design that Judy is currently working on. I think those two blocks together are awesome. The border is from EQ. Judy reworked the instructions a bit using larger pieces where possible, and it was very easy to put together. A bit tedious, but easy. Of course, having Judy hold my hand through the process helped tremendously!

So there you have it! You can take this to the bank - I will never in a bazillion years be able to design something so beautiful. Judy, you're remarkable. Thank you!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Making Slow Progress

Moving slowly along on the pieced borders. One side is done, working on side two. I'm anxious to get the focus fabric back on the outside border to tie it altogether.

I showered this morning and didn't blow my hair dry. I'd forgotten how many curls I have. Of course, they're sticking out every which way. I swear Daisy did a double-take at me a little while ago! LOL!

Just grilled a steak and it was good. I was going to do that last night, but opted for breakfast food instead. I'm enjoying the grill. I can't believe I waited so long to get one. Next weekend I need to clean up the patio, sweep up the leaves, and put a couple of chairs out there. When it's cooler, I sit out there and applique. There's too much dust and pollen in the air now. I started sneezing every time I went out to check on the steak.

Tomorrow is going to be a tough day at work, so I need to hit the hay earlier tonight. I hope I can sleep. I quilted in my sleep the last two nights, and actually got up once last night and wandered into the stash room looking for a fabric. I must have dreamed about it because it was sure important to find it. :)

Lately I've been counting days/weeks/months until the next long weekend. For me that will be 9/27 when I go home. 23 days! Then the next time off for me will be Alex's retreat in mid November, another four day weekend. I must be getting old because I never used to look forward to days off so much. Or maybe I'm just worn out.

Not much to blog about tonight - subject hopping.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lazy Slug Today!

I leisurely started working on borders on my niece's quilt. Got the first round on, and now I'm making the pieced border. I'm so pokey! Tomorrow I'd better get busy and get moving on this thing. It's not going to make itself! And I'm real ready to dive into some of the inspiration quilts from yesterday! But first things first!

I hope everyone has a fun, safe, and relaxing Labor Day!

Well, drat!

Blogger gremlins would only let me load one picture on the last blog. That was the photo of the Leah's purchases.

This one is Cozy Cottage!


Well, I did it! I shopped! Had a wonderful day with Jane. We went to three quilt shops, and then picked up her DH for a lovely dinner. I was so tired when I got home last night, but had that warm and cozy feeling after such a great day!

Pictures are from two of the shops - Cozy Cottage in Brea and Leah's in Orange. Neither of us had been to Cozy Cottage before, a real cute shop, and I had only been to Leah's one time over four years ago. Beautiful quilts hanging in both of them. Lots of inspiration - and a LOT of fabric we ooohed and aaahed over remained at the store. :)

I bought only what I felt I absolutely needed to finish a project, and small cuts at that! The books and patterns are inspiration for using up more stash, so good buys! The first picture is Cozy Cottage purchases - stripes I need for a Christmas project, dark brown print for a binding on Chocolate Covered Cherries top (with a little left over for an applique project), and only two FQs just because I wanted them! The books are all fat-quarter related because I'm wanting to use up those FQ towers that seem to have multiplied in my stash room over the long, hot summer!

The second picture is from Leah's. The yardage is inspiration for Judy's October project. That fabric may end up on the back of the quilt, but I like working from focus fabric - keeps me focused! LOL! The stripes for a binding, a turquoise for the stash color I'm collecting now, and polka dots because I LOVE polka dots! Since all of my magazine subscriptions have run out and I'm not renewing them, those two magazines were okay to buy. The thing I'm excited about is the prepackaged Aunt Grace fabric by Judie Rothermel - a backing for the crumb quilt I'm putting together from emptying Jane's waste can after our cutting day. If any of you are looking for '30s backing, you might want to look for these packages. The fabric is 110" wide by 3.25 yards (117" total) big enough for a queen size backing. It was only $12.99! I couldn't resist, and now wish I had picked up more than one of these.

All in all, a perfect day! And today I sew!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

September 1st

I was wondering how I'd feel today about buying fabric - and I didn't even want to! Of course, tomorrow going to quilt shops with Jane may be a different story! I'm going to make a list tonight - bring a couple of patterns with me, a book that I'm looking for a particular border for a quilt in there. I know I won't be buying any speculation fabric. I'm SO over that!

This was a very long and hard week at work. They always seem to be more intense right before a long weekend. It's like I worked at fever pitch all week. Dip & clip at 8:00 a.m., and then off to pick up Jane. I'm really looking forward to getting some inspiration - both from the quilt shops and from her. She's so knowledgeable about all aspects of quilting. I learn something every time I'm with her. But mostly I just have fun. Neat lady!

Then home to sew for the rest of the weekend. I'm looking forward to being lazy and doing things at a leisurely pace!

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! :)