Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Conversation Overheard at Road

Him:  "Look, honey, this lady quilted both sides of her quilt!"

Her:  "That's amazing.  I'm doing good to get one side quilted!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Road Deux!

I couldn't stand it.  I had to go back over to Road today.  It was chilly but not raining, and I dressed comfortably with good walking shoes. 

It wasn't at all crowded today, which made it pleasant to look at quilts and the booths.  But it was so cold in that building.  It was  hot inside there yesterday, so I almost didn't wear a sweater.  I'm glad I grabbed one as I was walking out the door.

Yesterday afternoon while I was stretched out unkinking my back, I started pondering whether I wanted to go back and look at the Berninas today.  I finally decided why not.  So I went straight there first thing.

I have a Bernina 440 at home and a small Bernina 135 that I haul around to sewing groups.  I've really enjoyed both of these machines.  The 440 is about six years old, and the 135 is a little older than that; I bought it reconditioned.  The thing that bothers me most about the 135 is no knee lift and it doesn't have the Bernina foot pedal that can raise and lower the needle.  I love the 440 but I really fight trying to quilt something on it because of the small throat.

Bernina has some hunking big machines.  I wasn't interested in the embroidery stuff.  So I looked at the 750 QE.  It has a newer version of the Bernina stitch regulator (BSR), new dual feed feature, an onscreen help section, the new bobbin hook, and other upgrades.  The bobbin is larger and holds two or three times more thread.  I played around with it for about an hour and then decided to just do it!  There will be a learning curve and some things to get used to on it, but I think I will like it.  And I'll now have a 10" throat instead of 7.5".  It doesn't sound like much more, but, wow, it's a lot!  It's on its way from Europe, so I have time to get a new insert for my Horn table.

Here's the link to the 750 QE.  This picture shows the embroidery thing hooked up to it and I didn't get that.

There was such a mark-down at the show that I decided to also look at an upgrade to my smaller machine.

I know, I know!  Don't say it!

Anyway, I played with all three in the 300 series, and decided on the 350 PE.  There will be hardly any learning curve on this one.  The one above it in the series had way more bells and whistles than I need for a haul-around machine.  The 350 does have a knee lift, and although the foot pedal doesn't have the needle up/down feature, the pedal off of the 750 is interchangeable with it.  So I can just take that one along with me if I feel the need, or order another one for this machine.  Again, they gave me a great discount on this machine because I ordered it at the show.  It's on back order, too, and should arrive at about the same time as the 750.

Here's the link to the 350 PE.

And while I was at the show, I went over to the Ezi Table booth and ordered an insert for the 350. Frankly, I'm surprised I remembered to do that!!  I'm just too smart for my own good!  ;)

Now, with that out of the way, I decided to go around the booths once more.  Didn't want to leave anything at the show that I couldn't live without!  I went to Primitive Gatherings'  booth and it was pleasantly uncrowded.  I picked up a couple of patterns for friends.  That's it!

I leisurely strolled around the rest of the booths and I'm real happy that nothing else came home with me.  But there was one more thing I was thinking about last night, so I headed over to the Bohin booth.

Bohin makes those wonderful needles that I use a for needle turn applique.  I didn't need any needles, but I did pick up a needle threader.  However, the main reason I wanted to go back over there was this:

These are Nogent scissors that I've been lusting over for quite a while.  I've never seen them in person but had only heard about how wonderful they are.  Yesterday I saw a small glass box with scissors in them and I wondered .........
Yes, they were Nogents.  They had six pairs of them.  Each one is made by hand and no two are exactly alike.  They're stamped and numbered.  They're made by an elderly French craftsman.  The two gentlemen in the Bohin booth were both French, and he knew a little of the story but not all of it.  I gave him my business card and he promised to send me more information.
When I got home, I Googled the Nogent scissors, and here's a link with a little bit of information about who makes them.  They come with a handmade wooden case designed to fit each pair of scissors.  I really can't believe I have a pair of these now.  They're so beautiful, so sharp, and feel wonderful in my hand.  Truly heirloom quality. 
Sorry this is such a long post.  I don't talk much about acquisitions -- well, except for fabric -- but I'm so pleased with my purchases today.  These are my last sewing machine purchases ever, and the scissors ... well, what can I say.
I'm happy!

You know, I often lament that there are not more quilt shows around here to attend, but I guess for me that's a good thing!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Road to California 2013

The quilt show today!  It was misty rain, and, yes, my hair turned frizzy, but who cares!
Jane and I got there bright and early.  Everything is in one picture, so I'll try to describe what I purchased today.
Our first stop is always Primitive Gatherings.  Before it gets crowded!  Which is about ten minutes after the show opens!  The two patterns on the bottom left, "9" and "Four Score," are both dynamite.  I don't know if I'll ever make the 9 pattern as it's 2" nine patches, but it'll be fun to look at!!  :)  I bought the kit for the Four Score pattern.  I know, I know, I didn't need the kit but they're hard to resist in that booth.  I also picked up the Flag Day Penny Banner.  Kind of appropriate that that's the one thing my Penny was most interested in! 
The next stop was Stars & Scraps. I love that shop!  The owner is just the sweetest person I know.  I did a little damage in there but there *might* be a gift involved, so I won't show what I got there.
Third stop was Jaybird Quilts.  Got to hug on Julie, and also met Mary Ann, a friend who leaves comments on my blog.  It was so nice to be able to put a face to her name.  I got Julie's new BOM book, "Toes in the Sand."  This is such an ingenious BOM.  I am definitely going to make it!  It was good to see you again, Julie!  It's been about, what, four years now that we've been hugging at quilt shows?  Oh, and you have the sweetest significant other, but don't tell him I said that!! :)
Over on the far right beneath Penny is Scandinavian Christmas.  It's not the pattern.  It's the Iron-On Transfer Pack.  I mentioned to the Christmas Shoppe owner that I had the patterns and fabric, but I was kind of scared of all the marking.  She whipped out the iron-on transfers!  Wow!  I'm so glad I took a moment to discuss it with her.  This will make it so much easier for me - $11 well spent!! 
We walked up and down all the aisles.  My friend, Gay, had a quilt hanging in the show, and it was so beautiful.  I saw Thelma's two quilts.  Both gorgeous with stunning quilting!  There were a lot of ladies taking pictures of and discussing the Red and White Tribute.  I overheard wonderful comments on it.
The vendors were fun, but I guess because I browse so many online shops, most of it wasn't new to me.  A couple of things caught my eye ... patterns that I was familiar with that used a different color scheme, or fabric that I was familiar with that was used in a different way.  For instance, I saw a lot of cute children's clothing made from Camille's fabrics; also, aprons, placemats.  Inspiration!
The last thing I purchased were two Go Cutter dies. I probably would have passed even going in that booth, but there was a 25% off sign just beckoning to me. Picked up the Dresden plate and quarter square triangle dies. Don't know when I'll use them but at least they're here if inspiration ever strikes!
Jane and I usually go around twice, but I was hurting so badly that I couldn't go any more.  We went back to look at the new Berninas and also the new Sit Down Gammill, but I had had enough.  If I can get my back unkinked and feel up to it, I might drive over there again tomorrow.  It's only 15 minutes away.  If not, that's okay, too. 
All in all, a fun day.  I rarely get to go out and about because of work, so I really look forward to this show and the Long Beach show in July.  But between you and me, I like Road better!!
Going to stretch out now .......................

Friday, January 25, 2013

One More Day

One more day until I can get to the Road to California quilt show!  I'm about to bust wide open!  There aren't a lot of quilt shows within striking distance of me, so I really look forward to Road in January and the Long Beach show in July.

Jane and I will be meeting over there bright and early on Saturday.  Well, I don't know about "bright" because it's been raining here with more predicted for the weekend.  So much for the California sunshine factor!  My apologies to all the quilters who came to SoCal to get away from their bad weather!

The thought of buying anything at the show gives me the "heebeejeebbies."  I don't need one single solitary thing.  I always seem to pick up a kit at the Stars & Scraps booth because I love that store so much, so we'll see how I fare on that score. 

Fabric?  Nope, my stash room is full! 

Patterns?  I have hundreds of them here so I probably don't need any!

Books?  I've run out of bookshelves!

I want to spend more time looking at the quilts this year.  Might have to go back on Sunday morning to do that.  It's less crowded then.

Whatever happens, it'll be a fun weekend!  I just need to focus and make it through work today!!  :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Good Thing!

There's one good thing -- only one good thing -- about having to work on a national holiday.

There was hardly any traffic on the freeway.  I drove 19 miles home in about 25 minutes.  It'll take me 45 minutes longer than that tomorrow!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Blocks to Go

I'm on a mission - two more blocks to go! These have been fun to make, but I'm ready to finish the blocks and figure out the enlarged setting. And get back to my short list!
Unfortunately, I won't be able to sew much next week. I have a small project that I have to stop to do, and there's the quilt show over the weekend. They'll stay out on my sewing table, though, and not tucked away out of mind.
The quilter finished another quilt, so maybe I'll at least get some binding done at night! There's no time to sew when I get home from work, but Penny likes bindings because we sit on the sofa and talk while I'm stitching!
She's quite the little conversationalist!  :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Cutting

Moda was so generous in the Brrrrr Park kit that I bought in (gasp!) 2008.  I thought perhaps I might want to enlarge the quilt at the time, so I bought two kits.

This morning was time to cut the second half - six more tree blocks.  I started with the leftover fabric from the first kit, and was able to cut all of the tree blocks from the leftovers. 

Now, I'll need more setting blocks and I'm all out of that background fabric from the first kit.
What's a girl to do?
Why, pay a visit to their stash, of course!
It turns out I bought a boatload more of the background, probably thinking I'd use it as a backing.  I won't need that much more from this yardage.  But then that will probably leave me short on backing, won't it?
Never fear, there's a lot more Winter fabric up there!   :)  :)  :)
I haven't even opened the second kit.  If I don't need it before I'm done here, I may offer it up for sale if someone is interested.  A ways to go to get to that point, though.
I just feel so righteous today! 
See?  I told you I'd eventually use that stash!!!
Well, I guess it's a good thing I went back and looked at the last two tree blocks I made.  Had a couple of rows of HSTs heading in the wrong direction!  Those two blocks had been through a hurricane!!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thimble Blossom Designs

I was honored to be the winning bidder on a package of fabric and patterns donated by the wonderfully sweet Camille of Thimble Blossom Designs.

In December, Camille blogged about an auction that Tiffany of Tiny Seamstress Designs was hosting to raise money for the Emilie Parker Fund.  Emilie was one of the victims of the senseless Sandy Hook school tragedy.  I'll quote Tiffany here, "This fund was originally established to just help Emilie's family, but her family has decided to divide up all the money with each of the families affected by this horrific tragedy."

This was another bid that I placed and lost track of in all of the Christmas goings-on.  Of course, I was delighted to win this auction, but, more importantly, was grateful that I could give a little to the fund.  I still can't wrap my mind around something like this happening, and pray every day for the families, the children, and all of those affected.

Camille's package arrived yesterday.  She is absolutely the most creative person.  Her fabric is just go "Happy-Go-Lucky"!  The perfect name for this gorgeous stuff!

I can't decide which one I want to make first!  The yardage will be out in May, and I'll definitely poke buttons when that hits the Fat Quarter Shop.  But I really want to get Honeycombs to make Camille's "Juggle" pattern.  Honestly ...... I want to make all five of her new patterns!  I'm challenging myself to do just that!
Thank you, Camille, for your generous donation to the auction - and for your continued inspiration!  You totally rock!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Six Blocks

Six blocks made in two weeks. Not very fast, for sure, but steady progress. So far I'm resisting the temptation to put them aside.  So far I'm sticking to my resolution for this year.  So far.

There are four fabrics, three blocks from each fabric. I need to cut the next round. I only cut six out first because I wasn't sure if I wanted to make it bigger.  I do. 

I'm not quite sure how it will all go together without making it way too big for a longarmer, but I'll worry about that when I get there!

That's the way I am.

Did I ever admit that I learned how to swim by diving in the deep end head first?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Coming Out Even

Years and years ago I had a condo on False River in Louisiana. There was an sweet, sweet elderly lady who lived next door, Miss May.

Every weekend Miss May would come over for fried catfish.  Towards the end of the meal, if she had some ketsup left on her plate, she'd take another piece of fish.  If she had a piece of catfish on her plate with no ketsup, she'd get a dab of ketsup. She said she always had to make it come out even! We laughed every single time about that!

I was "fixing" to start my sixth Brrrrr tree block, when I looked up and saw that my thread was almost gone. Figured I'd better look at the bobbin. It was almost empty, too.

Gosh, I haven't thought about Miss May in over 20 years. But I smiled today just remembering her always trying to make it come out even!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chemo Quilt

I brought a stack of quilts over to my friend, Gretchen, yesterday.  She chose one to go to her dear neighbor friend who is undergoing chemo for a recurrence of breast cancer.  When Gretchen asked me if I could make a chemo quilt because her friend was so sick, I thought perhaps one already made would be better.

This was made at a retreat in 2005 and was quilted and bound in 2006.  It's made from Chocolat fabrics.  I had fun making it.  This picture is before it was squared and bound.  I seem to never get pictures of finished quilts.  I need to remedy that!

Since the quilt has been hanging on a rack for a while, it needed to be washed.  Gretchen was taken aback when I just stuck it in her washing machine, let the water fill until the quilt was wet, and then added a small amount of mild detergent.  When it was done washing, I threw it in the dryer with an allergy-free Bounce sheet.  In less than an hour, the quilt was washed, folded and ready for delivery.  I think Gretchen would have had it dry cleaned.  I explained to her that it was 100% cotton and would wash nicely, and that washing was probably better for the quilt than dry cleaning.
Chocolat was such a pretty line.  I had oodles of it leftover, and last year purchased a fat eighth bundle of the reprint of that line to supplement the scraps.  I'd like to make another quilt using those fabrics.
I've always said that I just want to keep making quilts and that they will find a home someday.  In this case, I was really happy that one was ready for gifting.
I hope this sweet lady will feel comforted and loved wrapped in this quilt.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Simple Joy

Often in life, one experiences joy.  Joy comes from many sources, many people, many experiences.  But for me, the most pure joy of all comes from the unexpected, the surprises. 

In early December, Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company, posted on her blog about an auction she was having of some of her quilts.  All of the proceeds would go to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.  Here's the link about that auction.

Because I had already donated to the Red Cross for Sandy, I wasn't going to participate in the auction.  But you know how that is!  While all of the quilts are stunning, the Quadrille quilt really tugged at my heartstrings.  So I placed my bid and promptly forgot about it in all the rush to wrap up things here and get ready for my trip home for Christmas.

When Carrie contacted me about my winning bid, I was floored.  I have been for the past few years collecting quilts from my favorite designers when an opportunity comes about.  Carrie's Quadrille will now be in my small collection.  But more importantly, the Red Cross and our East Coast friends are the recipients of Carrie's generosity.

She shipped to my office because I would be away.  That box was sitting there when I returned to work, but a whole day -- yes, 24 long hours -- passed before I could open it. 

Oh, my! What a tease she is!



The quilt is stunning! The fabric is wonderful! 

The surprise -- the back! And here's the pure joy!  The labels!!


The label on the left says, "Quadrille, Made by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. Quilted by Louise Haley. Phoenix, Arizona. March 2009."

The label on the right says, "When memory with her golden key unlocks the past, I hope you will think of me."

Carrie also tucked in some goodies! I was blown away by the lovely pincushions she made, and especially by her lovely note!

Penny was totally blown away by the treats that Miss Rosie tucked in the package for her!  Thank you, Miss Rosie!!

Carrie, the quilt, the labels, are all so beautiful. Pure joy!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to own one of your quilts.  More importantly, thank you for your generosity in helping those in need.

You have a heart bigger than the State of New Jersey!!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Six Days

Six days, four blocks.  Definitely slowly progressing.

To steal a line from Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare, "Slow and steady wins the race."

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Questions Answered

Thought I'd answer the questions here for you.

The pattern is Brrrrr Park by Minick & Simpson.  Here's the link to their Esty shop and their pattern.


It's also on their website:


As for the picture fixes:

Wackywoman told me to add photos to Picassa Web and then download it.

Darlene told me when I opened up a window to do a new post, go to the tab that says html - the "add an image" link is there, too - I'd see the old way to do it.  After I downloaded my picture using the "old" hmtl format, then I clicked back on the "compose" button to get out of hmtl.  If you used to do it this way before blogger decided to update everything, this will be familiar to you.

I went to the blogspot forum and it seems everyone is reporting this problem.  The response was that their folks were working on it and it was going to be fixed soon.  We'll see.........

Sewing and a Nap

Not much accomplished today, but I did take a short nap.  Priorities, you know!  At least I got the candy canes all in the same direction!

Saturday Sewing

At least I hope I'll be Saturday sewing.

I had a rough night last night.  Kept getting cramps in my right leg.  I had to get up several times to walk it off.  I don't think I slept more than four hours, and that was broken up.  The episode at 5:30 made me just get up.  Don't know how long I'll last today.  I see a nap looming!

Well, I was trying to add a picture, but Blogspot isn't cooperating.  The browse button to find a picture to link has disappeared.  I'll add it later if a fix happens.

I was trying to show a piece of the Winter fabric on a blue background with red and white candy canes on it.  That piece is going to be the next tree block.  The problem is that the fabric is directional and I don't know how it'll work with all those half square triangles with an on-point tree.  I think I'll make one and see how it turns out.  There was supposed to be three of those on my finished and enlarged quilt.

Sheesh ......

Okay, just a short comment here on something.  Apparently I stepped on someone's toes when I posted my word for the year.  A lot of emails from groupies advising me of that.  When I was visiting home over the holidays, I mentioned to a loved one that I seemed to be all over the place with the numerous things going on in my life lately.  Their advice:  Just center yourself and focus; do one thing at a time and then move on.  Maybe my new word should be "center."  In any event, I'm going to heed that advice and do just that this year.  I don't really need a word to accomplish that feat.

Moving on, I need to shower and sew.  I want to accomplish what I can this weekend as I might have to stop this to make a chemo quilt.  A friend mentioned to me yesterday that her very dear neighbor has had a recurrence of breast cancer after being cancer-free for several years.  It has metastasized and the prognosis is not good.  She asked if I could make her a chemo quilt.  I thought about it last night, and decided to go through my quilt stash to see if any finished quilts I have could work.  I pulled out three or four and will show those to my friend this week.  If she doesn't think any of those will work, I'll immediately start making a quilt.  So while I said I would finish what I started this year, there will be some exceptions.  This is an exception.

I see the Princess of the Manor has finally aroused herself this morning.  I want to be my dog!  Anyway, a walk is in order on this frigid morn.

That might be just the ticket to shaking the cobwebs out of my brain!

Thanks for the picture posting suggestions! It worked!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Focused on New Year's Day

Well, it's taken me this far today to make one block!

It even came out fairly accurately square, although it's hard to tell because it's on the sofa cushion which is not perfectly flat.  Just needs a good pressing.

There should be only five more to go, but I'm enlarging this quilt.  So it'll take a while to get it done, but I just said today that I am working to completion!

I may have, though, rethought my cutting things in advance.  Even though the pieces were all marked, it took me over an hour to think it through and get organized.  Might not do that again.

The block is 18" x 18".  Each block will be out of a different blue fabric from the Winter line by Minick & Simpson.  I really love this fabric!


End of day and the second block done!  I'm shutting it down for tonight.  Work day tomorrow!

I had fun today!  This one won't be quick but I think I'm going to like the finished quilt!

Happy New Year

I got home last night.  The flight seemed to never end!  I splurged and arranged for a car to pick me up.  He was waiting right there when I walked out of baggage claim.  I could get spoiled!

Slept until past 7:00 this morning.  Guess the old body needed that.  Of course, Penny is not here, so no early morning walk.  I miss her.  She'll be home tomorrow.  She'll either be real peeved at me for leaving her, or will keep going to the front door looking for those other pups she's been playing with for a week.  Either way, there will be lots of cuddle time with her.  I saved a binding to sit and stitch.  We bond while sitting on the sofa!

Since I didn't get a Christmas picture of her this year, this one will have to suffice!

She's such a funny little dog.  Tons of personality and always good for a laugh!

Today I sew because --

Whatever you do on New Year's Day, you do for the rest of the year!

I've been sitting here trying to decide what to sew on.  I think I'm going to take out "Brrrrr Park" by Minick & Simpson.  I cut it all out a year and a half ago!  It's going on my bed next Christmas.  Of course, I wanted it on my bed in 2011 AND in 2012.  This year is the year!

My only goal this year is to finish what I start!  I'll work through this one until completion.  The UFOs will be worked on during the year and will be finished.

I guess my word this year is "focus."  I'm so easily sidetracked by all the new sew-alongs, new fabric, new patterns.  That's okay.  If I start something, I can't get sidetracked by something else until that one is done!

Before I head into the sewing room to focus, I want to wish everyone a healthy, happy, and, of course, a quilty New Year!