Friday, June 30, 2006

Thinking Ahead to Christmas

I made this quilt probably three years or so ago for my niece. But I couldn't give it to her until I made one for her sister. Well, I've procrastinated long enough. I will start Lisa's quilt this weekend. It wasn't like I didn't have the best intentions. In fact, the focus fabric was purchased with her in mind when I first started quilting five years ago. They are both getting quilts for Christmas!

Kyra's favorite colors are pink and green, so the Robyn Pandolph "Secret Garden" line was perfect for her. With a lot more experience under my belt now, I would do different things with the color placement, but too late now! LOL! Queen size. Beautifully quilted by Judy.

It was SO hot today I couldn't even touch my steering wheel when I got in the car to come home. When my car was in the shop a couple of months back, they reset all the computer gadgets, and now my temperature gauge is in Celsius. I had to look up the conversion when I got home. 40C is 104F. 104! And that was at 5:20 tonight. I'm too old for this heat!


~ My nice cool home

~ A long four-day weekend ahead

~ Dinner with Jane tomorrow night

~ Still managing to get up on time this morning even though I was awakened by a late night call

~ Fresh rosemary


I hate thinking about electronic things. I really do. My internet cable service has been down for two days. So I called them last night, and they can't have anyone out until July 5th to fix it. I asked if I was under contract, and am not. I hung up with them and called Verizon and asked about their DSL package. About ten days to get it all hooked up. So I ordered it. Figured I'd be doing a lot of sewing in the meantime.

Then, lo and behold, last night I came back online. Now I don't know what to do. Any preferences or suggestions on DirectTV cable versus Verizon DSL will be appreciated.

Off to work earlier today. It's going to be a long one, but then FOUR DAYS OFF - IN A ROW!!! I'm as excited as a child on the last day of school! :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

B-I-G Ruler

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a ruler/template junkie! Just when I think I've found the perfect rulers, something else comes along! I mean, it's always something!

This puppy is a 20.5" square. It's humongous! I used it to square the poppy string quilt and it worked perfectly! LOL. I don't have a lot of arm strength and my rulers will sometimes slip because I can't press down hard enough on them while I'm cutting. This ruler is big and it's heavy and it ain't going nowhere once you plunk it down! It's a neon green OmniGrip. This one worked so well that I've picked up a few other sizes. I was worried about being able to use it on green fabric, but not a problem. I highly recommend these rulers! :)

Stopped at the market on the way home just to get a couple of things. Well, $140 later I still didn't have anything to eat for supper. But I discovered that pushing that cart around made me very aware of the sore spots in my shoulder. Guess I need to baby this thing along. I could just kick myself for falling like that. I suffered for four and a half years with the shoulder, and had such tremendous relief after the replacement. I'll get back there. I just need to take it easy for a bit.

Aha!!! Picture posted!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Testing, Testing

Now it works. Go figure!

Unable to Post Pictures

It's been three days now. I'm not doing anything differently. Hmmmm.......

I've got two quilt tops with backings boxed up and ready to be mailed off tomorrow. I needed a little *push* on the backings, but they're done. Now to get this mess cleaned up and pull that other one back onto the sewing table.

I sincerely hope someone reminds me to take a vacation next year on June 26th just in case it's been designated "Pick on Vicky Day." Sometimes I just want to go work for a nursery and water plants all day. Of course, I'd probably be living out of my car, but it does sound enticing.

Judy, thank you for letting me blow off steam.

Jane, I miss you.

Sally, you know what I want to say.

Mar, thanks for the reminder.

Gracie, happy you made it safely home. We can talk now. :)

Leora ---- just 'cuz.

Gratitudes: Man, this is gonna be hard today!

* Downey Wrinkle Release

* Frozen skillet dinners

* Remembering that I forgot to get toilet paper :)

* Wide backings

* Laughing at Daisy when she sneaked my water bottle to chew on and got wet

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I had a good chat with Judy yesterday about the amount of background fabric I should buy. I seem to never have quite enough. I think we resolved the issue by deciding that I should come to visit her and we would go shopping for BOLTS! LOL!

I spent a few hours at The Fabric Patch yesterday. It was so crowded in there! I really feel for Jane and the ladies - but I know this is all part of closing the store. After I had done my shopping, I noticed that there were so many bolts behind the counter that they were almost tripping over them. So I started putting them away. I guess because I had no purse over my arm and was putting away bolts, ladies assumed I worked there. When asked, "Do you work here," I would reply, "I can help you." :) I ended up picking out a bunch of borders for ladies, finding patterns, locating fabric. I hope I was helpful because at 1:30 I was worn out. I told Jane it was funny because I have trouble deciding on my own fabrics for borders, but it sure was easy to make decisions for others!

The most interesting thing was I thwarted a shoplifting. I saw a lady who was standing close to the front door and she was looking around in a suspicious kind of way. Then I noticed that she had a Gingher scissor set that she was easing into her oversized purse. I quickly walked up to her, put my hand out and said, "I can put those away for you if you're through looking at them." Her facial expression and body language really gave her away at that point. She puffed up and looked like she was going to argue with me. Then her shoulders relaxed and she sort of smirked and handed them over. I turned and hung them back on the notions wall, and when I turned back around she was gone.

Another interesting thing - and I don't know if this happens all the time or just because it's a sale and was crowded in there - but ladies would pick up several bolts of fabric, and then walk around the store trying to match it up. I was seeing that they would abandon the bolts anywhere in the store when something else caught their eye. So I started roaming around and gathering up the wayward bolts and putting them where they belonged. One lady in particular was driving me nuts doing that. I must have put away at least 15 bolts that she abandoned. I hope I'm a much more considerate shopper than that! I told Jane to call me today if I can help in any way. I know she won't, but I'll go if she calls. They are working long hours with no hope in sight for a day off until things slow down a bit. She's going to really enjoy her well-earned retirement!

I picked up several more cuts of background fabric yesterday. And a bunch of empty cardbolt bolts. So I came home and wound all the 5-10 yard cuts I've purchased in the last week on those. Sure will make it easier to see what's there when I'm looking for something. I need to get in that backings closet and wind more of those flatfolds on bolts. It's hard to move those flatfolds around. These bolts standing on end will be better.

This buttery yellow is for my oldest niece's quilt. I didn't have enough of what I had already pulled. There's no excuse not to start this quilt over the long holiday weekend! [Well, Blogger wouldn't load the picture. I'll try later.]

Today I sew. But first I have to do a little housecleaning. Dusting, wiping down the kitchen and toilets. I've dedicated one hour to doing that! Better get busy!


* Availability of beautiful fabric

* Claritin

* Construction is finished on the new wall near the walking path. Daisy will appreciate it when they've planted the new grass!

* An enjoyable couple of hours reading blogs of remarkable quilters

* Blooming magnolia trees near our morning walk

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's Hot

It is SO hot here, and supposed to be even hotter this weekend. If you need me, I'll be in my sewing room enjoying the A/C!

Had my appointment today with the orthopedist who did my shoulder replacement. He x-rayed my shoulder, and the prosthesis is intact. He could see a little pooling of blood where a tendon attaches to the prosthesis. He said I really gave it a good tug when I fell down the stairs, but it is still attached. So I'm to just rest it as much as I can and go back in four weeks if it's still bothering me. He thinks everything will be fine, though. He's such a funny old man - told me he would like to write one prescription for me, for a one-story house! LOL!

I don't have any new quilty pictures to post. I'm still plugging along on the red and white shooting star block. The problem with doing such an easy, repetitive block is my mind is constantly designing new quilts. I think I'm up to about 3,467 now!

I miss my roses....

Safe travels to Gracie as she makes her way back to New York.


* A good health insurance plan at work!
* Leora is back home for good!
* Deb's mom, Blanche, is out of the hospital and doing a lot better!
* Jane and Marlene's inspirations!
* It's Friday!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Fabric Patch is Closing

Last night was a pre-GOOB sale for 100 customers. It was packed in there. It was fun. When Jane was ringing me up, she said I was going to get kicked out of StashBusters.

I bought six or eight five-yard cuts of background fabric, a couple of backings, batting, straight pins, curved applique scissors, sewing machine needles. I resisted the temptation on a LOT of fabric. I might have redeemed myself with StashBusters!

A couple of things I need to think about. I'll go back this weekend to see if they're still there.

My whole five-year quilty life has been spent there .... it was sad.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Judy posted a while back an interesting thread on copyrights. Since then I've been reading the copyright language on patterns, books, etc. I hardly ever copy a pattern - sometimes when I'm appliqueing - but I think it's interesting the different interpretations from one designer to another.

I have a new pattern called 'Country Girl' by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Her copyright language was a really interesting, and refreshing, read. Just thought I'd share it with y'all.

"Requisite Legal Mumbo Jumbo...Copyright 2006 by Carrie L. Nelson. All Rights Reserved. And that means...? Copyright law is changing, to the extent that you are probably prohibited from making copies of this pattern for any purpose, even personal use. However, for the purposes of this particular pattern, I do not have any objections with your making a copy for your personal use, or to share with a friend. Just don't make a hundred. You may also sell up to ten finished quilts from this pattern, but you will need prior written permission to sell more than that. If you do sell finished quilts made from this pattern, I would appreciate your giving me credit as the source of the design. :)"

I like this lady! LOL.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Simply Boring

I have absolutely nothing to blog today. I really think the older I get, the more boring I get!

I did something so stupid Monday morning. I was skipping down the staircase at home and I slipped and bounced three or four steps down. Trust me, there's enough padding to keep from getting bruised when I landed. However, I didn't let go of the railing and managed to twist my right arm/shoulder pretty badly. I took Tylenol several times yesterday and had a tough time getting to sleep last night. So I called my orthopod's office today figuring it would take three to four weeks to get an appointment. They had a cancellation for Friday afternoon. I'm sure everything is okay, hopefully just strained some muscles, but it's best I get this checked out. I sure hope I didn't undo anything from the replacement. I tried to use the rotary cutter tonight, and couldn't get enough leverage to make the cut. Yep, it's best I get it checked out.

Other than that, boring boring boring. Daisy is even looking bored lately. So I didn't kennel her today - made her a pallet in the middle of the living room floor and piled all her toys on it. When I got home tonight, she was asleep in her kennel with the door open. I guess that's her little house, her own private bedroom! She had probably been in there since I left this morning. Silly dog!


~ The wonderful pictures and reports of the Retreat in the Middle. Those ladies look like they were having so much fun.

~ Butter pecan ice cream. An excellent dinner choice! :)

~ The Ott Light

~ Daisy hugs

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Red Fabrics

I've had piles of flat folded FQs still downstairs around my sewing table from when I was making Around The Block. Rather than just haul them back upstairs (out of sight; out of mind) I decided to do something with a stack of reds.

The Shooting Star pattern, 6.5" block, is real easy. But I was having quilter's guilt throwing out the cut-aways from the corners. So I decided to go ahead and piece those together, too. I cut a huge stack of reds into squares and put them into a plastic tub, and then pulled a four yard cut of WOW from my stash. The picture is dark, but the reds run from very light to dark maroon. The red FQs are almost gone. :)

I think I'm going to decide on a quickie block for the blues and greens, too, just to clear them out of here. When I first started quilting, I bought a lot of random FQs, but hardly do so any more - except for those ever-tempting towers of a whole line. I might be able to clear off a whole shelf if I can stay on course here!

I went to a BBQ at my boss' house last night, and picked up the quilt that Miss Gracie designed. I've got my work cut out for me! I'll post a picture of that this week.

Still fighting a sinus headache. With everything pollenating now, it's going to be difficult to stay allergy-free. I guess I need to pay the doctor another visit.

My gratitude today is having the whole day to myself. It's nice to shower in the morning and just let the hair go curly for a change!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Kicked out of Stash Busters?

Can that happen? Tonight was the PJ Party 25% off sale at The Fabric Patch.... need I say more?

Actually as far as fabric goes, I was pretty good considering. Considering I just picked up a few pieces of the Robyn Pandolph line which just came in today, Holly Go-Lightly. Beautiful stuff. The other fabrics were: some 108" backing, Michael Miller Jet Black, some background for fabric I already have, some Dimples for another set of pulled fabric. All good purchases. Not a piece of "speculation" fabric in the bunch!

What did me in were the notions - as usual. But I picked up three cartons of Aurifil thread. That certainly won't go to waste. Some zippered project bags, a ruler, some snips, an Omnigrid cutting & pressing station, a few patterns, a few books ..... okay. I didn't need those, but, I mean, 25% off! What's a girl to do?

Now I go back on the fabric diet! It's okay to indulge once in a while on a diet. It really is. It makes the long-term goal bearable! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

(And I just noticed in the picture that one of the cushions is backwards on the sofa! ROFLOL! I guess it's been like that for a year! Sheesh, you can't take me anywhere!)

Consider Yourself Tagged!

Amy's "ABCs of Me" Meme

Accent – Southern, Cajun
Booze – Occasionally a half glass of wine. I’m a really cheap date! LOL
Chore – Piecing backings; cleaning bathrooms
Dog/cat – Sweet Daisy dog
Essential electronics – Computer, camera, Bernina
Favorite perfume – Anything that smells powdery
Gold/silver - Gold
Hometown – Sulphur, LA – I’m SO homesick!
Insomnia – Unfortunately, yes.
Job title – Administrative Manager
Kid(s) - None
Living arrangements – A condo for now.
Most admirable trait - Loyalty
Number of countries visited - Four
Overnight hospital stays – Six, yikes!
Phobias - Snakes
Quote – “It is far better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” ~LaBruyere
Religion - Catholic
Siblings – One brother, 10 years older
Time you usually wake - 5:00 am
Unusual talent – None really
Vegetable I refuse to eat – Cooked spinach or turnip greens
Worst habit – Not being able to say NO. I’m practicing that!
X-rays – So many - it’s a wonder I’m not glowing!
Yummy foods I make – Don’t cook much any more. Used to be good at making Cajun food.
Zodiac - Leo

Thursday, June 15, 2006


My wonderful friend, Sheila, sent this wool rug to me last year. Her stitching is so gorgeous on it. No, it's not done by machine. She did it all by hand. Just gorgeous. She also sent a Christmas one that I'll share with you later.

This has me thinking about the wool bed rug I want to make. I've got the background wool, have been collecting small pieces of wool for almost two years now. I'm a little scared to start it because I'm not sure my blanket stitching will be as perfect as Sheila's. Guess the only way to find out is to just prep one and try it. I'm not building a piano.... I'm not building a piano....

Today I felt a tad better, but this sinus headache just won't go away. It seems to be worse when I lay down at night. My eyeballs hurt! LOL! I wish I would either just get sick or get better. Started antibiotics today. We'll see.

Marble Houses UFO

These were the 1st Saturday blocks from The Fabric Patch in 2004. The houses were fun to do - the same house with a different wall in them. All Moda Marbles fabric. I need to get borders on, probably just a keyboard. I might even machine applique something in those white spaces. It will be a donation quilt when it's done, so maybe just the borders will suffice. One thing I decided last night is that I'm going to quit looking around for UFOs. There were more than I thought there were!

Yesterday was a really long and bad day. I'm trying to get sick, trying really hard. I think it might be just a sinus infection. I hope it's not the flu. Why is it that when you feel bad, everyone chooses that day to pick on you? Well, they really weren't picking on me, but it felt like it. I finally threw in the towel at 4:50 and headed home. I went upstairs at about 7:30 last night, and tossed and turned and got up about a dozen times during the night. Might have to run over to see the doc today.

Maybe tonight I'll feel like doing something quilty.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


That does it! I'm going to get a little Weber BBQ pit this weekend. When I opened the door tonight to walk Daisy, several neighbors were grilling, and now I am SO hungry! I've got a bunch of steaks in the freezer. No excuse not to just do it!

Today was busy at work. My boss, the CEO, doesn't do computers, but I told him that I can send emails for him. So he writes them out in longhand, and I type them and send them. Of course, now he's constantly in my office wanting to know if anyone has answered him yet. I think I've created a monster!

His grandchildren are visiting from Wisconsin. Grace will be five in August. We have the same birthday. And Will just turned two. Grace is going to be designing her first quilt this week. I cut some muslin and sewed it together, packaged up some colored squares, and wrote her a "pattern" on how to lay the squares out on the muslin. Her mother and grandmother are going to help her pin the squares to the muslin so they won't fall off before I can sew them together. We'll see how this project turns out - but she's real excited about making her first quilt! I'm going over on Saturday and I'm sure she'll have the design all finished. Then the work begins! LOL!

This little patriotic top was another wheelchair quilt for the Veterans Hosp. in Atlanta. I won the blocks in a little lotto our online group had. The top was mailed to Judy and she quilted it, and the ladies at the RiM retreat two years ago put bindings on a bunch of these quilts.

My gratitude today is the nice market near the house. It wasn't too many years ago that our ancestors had to grow it, shoot it or catch it to have dinner!

Quilt Stuff

There's not an area of my house that doesn't have something quilt related in it. I was wondering if it's because I can now do that. I had always kept my stuff confined to one or two extra bedrooms but now it's spread all over. How much is too much?

I had the bookshelves almost full, and then it occurred to me that I didn't like it at all. So I started taking all the books down and got this far last night. The quilts aren't folded right - and actually there are too many of them there. I was going for bursts of color, but this isn't working. Back to the drawing board! LOL!

This got me thinking of the colors I use in quilts. At first I only wanted to make things that matched my decor. Then I moved to experimenting with different colors, trying for bold contrasts. All fun, for sure, but it's hard to find quilts that actually match the house. Most of the quilts I've made have been to learn a technique or to use up a color combination that I put together. I seem to less like making quilts for others -- that didn't sound right. What I mean is if Miss X tells me she wants a quilt with ABC colors, I don't enjoy making that one as much as the ones for which I choose the colors. It's probably the creativity and stimulation of those choices that attract me to them, the experimentation. I don't know. Perhaps it's time to focus on "my" colors more, now that I've conquered most of the technique demons. Ha!

Ramblings today. I'm just procrastinating about getting my day started. Seem to be doing that more and more these days. It's definitely time for a vacation!

I want to wish safe travels to all of my quilting friends who are heading to RiM (Retreat in the Middle) this week. Missouri will probably never be the same when those hooligans are done with her! Wish I could be there with them!


~ That first sip of coffee in the a.m.
~ The peaceful silence when the dishwasher finally finishes
~ The dance of the sprinklers first thing in the morning
~ Daisy's new way to give me hugs
~ The acres of roses at the nursery I see every night coming home

Monday, June 12, 2006

Thank You

I was very moved by the lovely comments you all posted on my last blog. I did a lot of thinking about the past ten years on Sunday, and I came to the conclusion that things happen for a reason. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, and I've been given another opportunity, or several of them, to get it right. So for the next ten years, that's what I'm going to work on - just trying to be the best person I can be and living my life to the fullest. It's funny when I think about this: I've had really two different lives - up until 12 years ago when I moved to the Left Coast, I was something right out of "Southern Living." Then out here I find myself being much more casual, enjoying more the company of others, having a ton of fun with this quilting thing, and maybe, perhaps, a lot happier. Of course, there were a lot of bumps in the road to get to this place, but here I am!

My friend, Gracie, has a quote that she uses as her signature on a site we both frequent. I don't think she'll mind if I borrow it.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW, what a ride!" ~author unknown~

Well, I may be too old and fat to do much broadside skidding, but I'm ready to take that ride!

So, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who posted comments or sent emails to celebrate this anniversary with me. I am overwhelmed by the kindness and beautiful words sent my way. I don't know why I'm overwhelmed, though, because I already knew that quilters are the kindest folks on the planet!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

June 11, 1996

Just a normal day in every single way but one.

In May I went to our company doctor here complaining of headaches. I was told by another doctor that they were probably just migraines. Well, these "migraines" were turning me into a person who couldn’t do anything but work and come home and go to bed. I wanted no pain meds. I wanted to find out what was wrong. I was always very active. I rode my bike 20 miles a day, golfed, worked in my garden – but for the last few months I could do hardly anything.

The company doctor said he thought we needed to do a head x-ray to check my sinuses. I went that afternoon to the local imaging center. The next day Doc called me at the office and told me he had the x-rays back and could I come in. Since he’s just around the corner from the office, I headed on over figuring he would tell me it was just a sinus infection.

I knew it was much more serious when he walked in the room. He proceeded to show me the x-rays and explain that I had a very large brain tumor that was on the front part of my brain behind my forehead. He was referring me to a female neurosurgeon in Pasadena, and he suggested I make the appointment that afternoon.

It took about two weeks to get in to see her. I was so scared waiting for that day. A few days before my appointment, her secretary called me and said she had scheduled me for an MRI so they would know what they were dealing with before my appointment. I went over the next day to the radiologist. I just remember about 10 minutes into the test they turned the machine off and pulled me out of the tube. The radiologist said he wanted to inject dye for contrast imaging. I asked him what he had seen – and I thought it very strange that he said he would show me the pictures when we were done. Almost always the radiologists say that your doctor will discuss the findings with you.

When the imaging was all done, three or four radiologists called me into an office and they were all gathered around the light box on the wall. One of them took me by the hand and drew me close to the light box. What I could see was my head and brain and a huge black space on the front that almost completely filled the space behind my forehead. They explained what I was looking at – a large tumor that seemed to be fairly solid as not much contrast had penetrated it.

At the appointment with the neurosurgeon, she said that it was necessary to go in and take out the tumor. She did not think it was malignant but wouldn’t know until she got in there. I remember sitting there with the most horrible headache, the kind where you just want to go to sleep and never wake up. I told her that she could do anything she wanted in the surgery; I just wanted the headaches to go away. She sent me right over to Huntington Hospital for pre-admission. That hospital is wonderful. I was taken on a personal tour of the operating facilities, the ICU, and great attention was paid to my feelings at that time. I remember thinking that not once did they say “Everything is going to be fine.” What they said over and over was that they would take very good care of me.

So the morning of the surgery, I went for a long walk, a swim, planted some annuals, and then showered and was driven to Pasadena. When the doors opened on the elevator in the hospital, my doctor was standing in there. She gave me the biggest hug and kept her arm around my shoulders all the way into pre-surgery. I felt a great sense of comfort at that moment.

I don’t remember much else until I woke up in ICU. There were what looked like millions of tubes coming out of me, and all sorts of machines bleeping and clicking around me. And my doctor was standing there. She told me the surgery went perfectly, and that the tumor, about the size of an orange, was off at Pathology. We would know later that day their findings. She asked me if I was in any pain, and I realized right then and there I was not in pain. I had no headache at all. I remember telling her that they sure had good drugs and she burst out in laughter. She said that I had been given no pain medication as she wanted to know my pain level when I woke up. She told me later that I kept saying over and over, “I can’t believe I don’t have a headache.”

I was scheduled to be in the hospital for 7-14 days. The morning after surgery I was put in a private room. The following morning she told me I could go home as I was past the point of seizures and I didn’t have any paralysis, something which they fully expected and had warned me about. I was given some cognitive tests which I had a lot of trouble performing. She told me that I might have some problems with logistical thinking and perhaps being able to communicate thoughts, but I should be able to work through those.

The first few months were sort of rough as I had to really think about simple tasks a long time to be able to do them. I had always been a very quick thinker, but I had to ponder things a bit more. Cookbooks seemed to be written in a foreign language. My daily tasks at work were confusing. I cried a lot when I couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste something in Word. It took me 45 minutes to figure out how to do it. I had to speak slowly so that I wouldn’t twist sentences. But because I was very aware of the problems, I was able to work around them and function on a day-to-day basis.

The real turning point in my recovery was five years later when I decided to take a quilting class. Even the simple task of cutting squares was so difficult at first, but with a lot of help from friends (thank you, Jane and Judy!) and just sheer determination, all those baby steps I had been taking were turning into leaps and bounds of progress. In only a few months, I was able to look at and immediately comprehend patterns, look at a quilt and be able to break down the components, and in short order I was able to think through design changes and make them work! Even now if there’s a day when my brain isn’t firing correctly, I’ve learned to just put it aside and come back to it another time. Or not. I avoid a lot of frustration by doing that.

I know it’s awfully dramatic to say quilting saved my life, but that’s kind of how I feel about it. Today I’m “almost” normal. Unless you spend a lot of time with me, you’d never know anything was ever wrong! A few months ago I was talking with a neighbor and I couldn’t think of the word “sprinkler” for anything. I stumbled around a bit and came up with “waterer.” I later told her why I stumbled on that word, and we had a big laugh about it. So I just make up a word if I can’t say the one I’m thinking. It’s okay! I just figure it’s just another occasion to chuckle at myself!

This is an awfully long blog. However, I must tell the rest of the story here – but will do it in a few short sentences. Four months after the brain surgery, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I underwent an emergency hysterectomy on October 31, 1996, and the next few months were difficult ones. But it’s been ten years. Ten years!

My gratitude: Life!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Leaf Progress

This is the first time I've laid them all out to see what they'll look like. The ones that are not sashed yet I did today. When I rummaged through the project bag this morning, I discovered that I had already cut the remaining leaf pieces out and had them all organized in a little plastic snap pouch. It took me a little while to orient myself again on this project, but I'm going to get this one finished up in the next couple of weeks. I really like this quilt.

It was a fun sew-in day at The Fabric Patch. The owner was going through her expansive book collection and had authors A-D culled and out for sale. I picked up a bunch of old applique books. Great books. I can't wait to sit down tonight and go through them. I also picked up a few half yard cuts of some more brights for my Freddy collection. And some really fine Clover pins. These are nice, and my Bernina didn't mind sewing over them a bit! :)

My gratitude today is a haircut - although way shorter than I wanted. Oh, well, it'll be cooler and easier to fix this summer!

Delivered Finally

This is what will be seen when you walk in the front door. Not the best decorating idea at all, but at least I won't be staring at a blank wall any more.

I was disappointed when it was delivered last night because they stained it instead of just putting on a clear lacquer like the others upstairs. I really was considering returning it. Someday when I get all those shelves together in the beautiful studio I have planned out in my head, this one won't match. But then I realized that it matches the downstairs furniture much better, and it's what I have to look at until I decide whether I want to buy another house out here. So it stays!

Can't believe I'm so excited over a silly bookshelf. I love getting tubs and containers. I'm always beside myself with anticipation of what I can put in them. I'm going to unpack some books in the garage tonight, and then figure out where everything will go on the shelves. Lots of room for some quilts, too.

I rummaged around in my closet last night and pulled out some quilts. I made one trip downstairs with an armload, and then decided it would be much easier just to drop them from the balcony above. Daisy was sitting about six feet away, so I dropped three or four quilts. It scared the bejeebers out of her. She jumped and all four feet came off the floor! I dropped over another pile, and that was enough for her. She yelped and ran in her kennel. Took me ten minutes to coax her out of there. She's SO brave! Jane said last night, when I was telling her about my "killer" dog, that Daisy must have thought, "Oh, great, I knew it would come to this! Now quilts are falling from the sky!"

I'm off for a new hairdo and a sew-in day at The Fabric Patch.

My gratitude today: Just rejoicing over all the little pleasures in life!

Friday, June 09, 2006

UFOs Are Multiplying


Another one hiding in the to-be-quilted pile. I swore this would be my last Yellow Brick Road! More one-handed sewing after my shoulder surgery. It's time to get it quilted and on my bed for this Christmas! Robyn Pandolph fabric.

Waiting for the delivery of the bookshelf. I got the downstairs vacuumed last night, but there's "stuff" everywhere. Someday I'm going to have a quilting room big enough to have everything in one room! Well, I can't dream, can't I?

I've got a haircut and manicure in the morning, and then I'm footloose and fancy free for the rest of the weekend. It feels good not to have any obligation stuff to work on. I'm going to get started on a folk art applique project. Maybe prep a few more Dutch Treat blocks. Maybe another White Christmas block. I'm in the mood to sit on the sofa and stitch. Besides, Daisy likes it when I sit by her. :)

My gratitude today is a new lavendar scented candle. I had forgotten how much I like that smell.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another UFO

This one is 99.99% done. Just need to figure out how to make buttonholes on my machine. The top quilt panel buttons to the back quilt. There are four or five more panels in this series. I want it to hang above my sewing machine table. Maybe this weekend I'll tackle this project. I need to block it also so it'll hang straight. I accidentally sewed the binding on backwards, and instead of just stitching it down on the front, I took the binding off. I'm afraid I stretched the borders a tad. I think I can block it flat again. This was the project in the four-day Robyn Pandolph workshop I took at Road to California 2003. I'm going to pull out another panel and get it prepped next week.

It's scary how many almost finished UFOs I have languishing around. Time to get organized here!

Today was a good day.

My gratitude: The bookshelves are being delivered tomorrow night - finally!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Long Day

Boss was in real early today for a meeting. Makes for a long day when he's there all day. And I don't get near as much done. I wish he'd just go ahead and retire instead of bouncing in and out. He's what I call a moving target!

It was so hot today in the building. We've got huge furnaces out in the plant that generate a lot of heat, but the offices are normally cool. If it's that hot in there tomorrow, I'm going to get the maintenance man to check out the two A/C units. It was nice to have a lot of errands to run midday. At least I could crank up the A/C in the car for an hour!

My friend, Trudi, has a new blog. If you all get a minute, please pay her a visit. I don't know how she gets as much done as she does with working outside the home and living on a farm. But she manages to do all of that and quilt, too! A neat lady!

This was a little quickie quilt I put together for a friend down in South Louisiana who just had an adorable little boy. Laney and I met on the old Alex Anderson message board. It turns out she lives in the same town as my brother, and when I was down visiting him about three summers ago, she came over with her three kids and we all spent a lovely afternoon together, barbecued, and really became friends. She was just pregnant with little Adam then. When my computer crashed, I lost an adorable picture of Adam at about a year old curled up asleep with his quilt. It looked like it was well worn and well loved -- exactly what I want all my quilts to look like!! Laurie quilted this one.

Tonight I've got to start hauling stuff back up to the stash room. I manage to tote so much fabric downstairs to my sewing area. Someday I hope to get it all on one floor! That would be wonderful! In the meantime, I just pile what needs to go back upstairs on the staircase. I'd better get busy getting that stuff back up there before I trip on it and break my silly neck!

Haircut Saturday. I've been thinking all day that I might make drastic cuts this time. Pondering that. I'm ready for a change!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This is the other quilt that intrigued me at Road to California 2004. What first caught my eye were the pomegranates. I appliqued those once and loved doing them, and haved picked up more patterns using them but never got around to them. Another one with tiny pieces, but was a real beauty up close and personal. Wish I had thought to write down the quiltmakers' names on these quilts!

I called the management company today about the smell in the attic over the garage. She said my neighbor complained, too. Might be a squirrel or other such varmit that got up there and kicked the bucket. She said she would get the pest control company up there on Friday to check it out. I would HATE to have that job!! I figure in this heat by then it'll be totally decomposed - or at least I hope so.

Jeanne, it was cooler here today, too. I actually went for a short stroll at lunchtime. Found the sweet olive tree! Smelled wonderful!

Tonight, to avoid coming home before I had to (don't tell Daisy I said that!), I went over to Target and walked around. I only had to pick up one thing, but you know how that is!!

My gratitude today is a real peaceful feeling. I know I've posted that before, but after several years of unhappiness, it feels so wonderful to walk into a peaceful home. Oh, another gratitude: the little duck that Sally gave me. I smile every time I look at it! I just saw it and smiled big time!

Monday, June 05, 2006


I'm about to get organized with my scraps. They're taking over the joint! At lunchtime today, I read through Bonnie's suggestions for organizing them, and I'm just going to do it!

Tonight I was looking through pictures from Road to California quilt shows past. I never take many pictures, just the quilts that truly inspire me for whatever reason. This one caught my eye again. I'm sorry but I don't know who the quiltmaker is. This was from Road 2004.

I don't know why it is that I'm drawn to teeny tiny piecing. Am I nuts? Don't answer that! Must be that I like giving my bifocals a full workout! This one I'm going to have to ponder a while.

It's so hot here - and to make matters worse, I think something must have died in the attic above the garage. Makes me gag when I walk out there. Ewwwww.......

Also I got my "This is Your Last Issue Unless You Act Now" copy of McCall's Quilting today. Everytime I think I'm going to let these subscriptions run out, they know exactly what to include in my very last issue. There's a blue and white quilt, "Honor Abides Here," that is so singing to me. It's real simple, and I can just imagine it on my bed. Something else to ponder. I've got a bolt of Kona Snow and a huge dark blue stash. Yep, pondering is already underway.

My gratitude today .... well, I guess it's that I get to go to work tomorrow and away from the stinky garage!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Triangulations CD

This could easily become my favorite quilty gadget! I was worried about accurately doing all these little half square triangles for a block swap I'm in with two friends. We're making the Lori Smith pattern, "Quilt Block Sampler." We're each making a third of the blocks, and making three of each one. Mar and Deb are both fabulous piecers. I forget that sometimes less is more on seam allowances when there are a lot of seams in an 8" block like this one. :)

I remembered that I had the Triangulations 2.0 CD by Bear Paw Productions. I had only used it once before for HSTs on a round robin top a year ago. I pulled it out last night, and made up these HSTs very quickly and accurately. What I like about this program is that you can print paper foundation pages from 3/4" finished size all the way up to 7.5" - in 1/8" increments. Obviously I don't use this a lot, but on these small HST-intensive blocks, I'm glad I remembered I had it.

Yesterday I spent catching up on swap blocks. Just one more of this one to put together today, and then I can move on to my Christmas project. I changed my mind last night about the quilt pattern for my niece. Well, I think I changed my mind. I'm worried about having enough border fabric. I've had this fabric for almost five years, tucked away for her quilt. Just need to ponder this some more! LOL.

Since I didn't leave the house yesterday, today is definitely market day and a trip to the quilt shop to see Jane.

My gratitude today is the sunshine streaming through the windows - reminding me that I need to dust!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Another UFO

Everywhere I look I keep finding more of them. The sad thing is this one just needs a little "reverse sewing" on the inside border quilting and it'll be done. I was just so mad at myself when I was quilting it that I just folded it up and put it away.

This quilt is from Alex Anderson's applique book. The book and some hand dyed fabrics were given to me by my Secret Santa's Elf that year; he dyed them himself. My Secret Quilter for the year gave me the rest of the hand dyes. Then at Alex's retreat in 2004 I asked her if she could bring hers the next day so I could look at the quilting on it. She did. It was kind of fun to see them laying side by side! No doubt about which one was mine, but it wasn't that bad next to the original!

This is 1st Weekend which means I have to work on Christmas projects! I need to find the magazine that had a quilt I want to make for my oldest niece. Her sister's quilt has been made for over three years, but I can't give one without the other. They're 36 and 41 and still think about things like that! LOL! Guess I need to head upstairs and dig in those magazines on the bottom shelf of the bookcases.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Antique Quilt

Here's the antique quilt I mentioned in an earlier post. I'll just type in the provenance that I was sent, and I'll let you all decide when it was made. I will not post the person's name from whom I purchased it, but she is speaking in first person in this note. The quilt is in remarkably good condition except for some slight fading on the green sashing, and a couple of seam separations on the backing, all small and easy to fix. It is nicely hand quilted. I purchased the quilt in August, 2004 for less than $200.
"Elisha Ladd (from Connecticut) settled in the town of Hounsefield - Jefferson County - N.Y. State in 1812. He had five children one of which named Nathan, came to Hounsefield in 1811 and was the first settler on a farm on Road 76 (now Co. Rt. 63). He had four children one of which was a son Elephalet. He married Charlotte Spaulding of Camillus, N.Y. (Onondaga Co.) And they had one son Marshall and resided on the family farm on Road 76. Marshall married Lydia Hall from the town of Hounsefield and they had two children Brayton and Charlotte.

"When we moved to our farm (where we reside now) in 1973 we met Charlotte - our two farms butted each other. Charlotte had lost her husband Harold and had no children, just several cousins who were also elderly. She lived on the farm all but four years of her life. When she was a newlywed she and Harold lived in Potsdam, N.Y. In 1917 a tragic train/car accident took the lives of her mother, father and brother. She and her husband moved back to the farm to care for her great aunt Mary (maiden lady) till her death in 1925. Charlotte who was born in 1891 passed away in 1982 - one week short of her 91st birthday.

"She and I became great friend (more like Grandmother/granddaughter) and being neighbors my husband I looked after her. She was a vital, active and energetic lady and a 'wealth' of knowledge. She told me her Great Aunt Mary and her Grandmother Ladd made this quilt. How they use to wash them and lay them out on the grass to dry. As you can see four generations lived on this farm."

I'm sure the quilt is not valuable, but it's real special to me. It affords me the opportunity to view mid to late 1800 fabric up close. Also I'm holding a piece of quilters' lives here, feeling the stitches they put in the quilt, and am benefiting from the care the quilt was given. I always say a little prayer for them when I hold it.

My gratitude today: My family members who tell me they think of me every time they touch the quilt I made for them.