Monday, June 05, 2006

Tour De Cure for Diabetes

I had a wonderful weekend for the American Diabetes Association's Tour De Cure! My mom is diabetic, and Dave's Mom was diabetic before her death (which played a definate roll in ending her life early 22 years ago) and one of his brothers is also diabetic. This cause is near and dear to our hearts. I want to let Patty at Morning Ramble know that Dave's team was riding for her daughter Melanie too!

Dave and his team had rented one of those huge econoline 15 passenger vans. There were 8 people including me plus all the bikes and gear, etc. The 400+ cyclists left from the USC stadium to ride their choice of either 85 miles if you were doing the regular ride, or if you wanted to ride the "century ride" you took an extra loop that put you at 100 miles for the first day. Dave and his buddies are die hards and decided to do the century ride!

So while they were setting off on their cycling, I loaded the van with
my massage canopy and table and all the other stuff I needed, and drove
down to St George SC to meet everyone at the finish line at Woodlands
Highschool out in the middle of "nowhere'sville SC". It is SO fun to be
in the lowlands area of the state. The rural roads are scenic, and the
spanish moss drips off the old oak trees and just waves in the
breeze...love it!

I set up my massage booth outside in on the grass, The canopy/tent thing
gave me lots of shade, and there was a nice breeze blowing. Saturday was
mostly overcast, so it took most of the brutal heat and made it
bearable. I was fully booked with massages from about 12:30pm when the
first riders came in, until close to 5pm when we had to tear down and
head to our hotel...they had set up huge tents at the hotel outside and
we were catered a dinner by "Sticky Fingers" BBQ...mmm! It was also a
"luau night" And everyone was in hawaiian shirts and leis. Actually
since it wasn't quite hawaiian fare, it was more like Margaritaville
night! Fun.

Everyone was so exhausted from riding the 100 miles (and me feeling like
I gave 100 massages) that we were in bed by 9pm. We had to be up at 6am
to get breakfast and transport the team guys back to the highschool so
they could start their second half of the ride at 8am.

After dropping the guys back off (this ride had about 400 riders total,
plus all the spouses and families and support/volunteer people. It is a
very well run and well attended ride!) I went back to the hotel to
gather up the rest of my stuff, take a shower, and head out to James Island County Park, which is just off Charleston. This is where the ride was ending,and it was a beautiful setting for the party at the end of the two day ride.

I got to the park just about the same time as the other vendors and
support vehicles...the lunch after the ride was being catered by Moe's
Southwest Grill! What is funny too, is that as I was setting up my
canopy/tent in my chosen spot...the beer wagon set up next to me. I knew
this was a good location because it was going to give me great walk-by
traffic....and cyclists didn't mind sipping on a beer while they waited
their turn for their massage! *LOL*

Again I was fully booked, and also cozily tucked inside my canopy/tent
when an afternoon shower came through. It just added to the ambiance.
the shower didn't last long, but it sure cooled everything off nicely
and smelled great. I was so busy that I never had time to get some of
the Moe's grub myself...so on the way home I made the van stop at Mc D's
instead of a rest area, just so I could have something to eat.

I enjoyed meeting the cyclists from all over. Quite a few of them are
from my area, so I passed out a lot of biz cards, and hopefully will get
some calls from that in the future.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, June 02, 2006

More About Me Than You Ever Wanted To Know!

I have the honor of being the Featured Quilter for the month of June on Real Women Quilt!

Pam has been after me for quite some time to submit myself to the interview...she first contacted me when I was in the middle of school and drowning with 3 term papers to write, and I told it her it would have to wait until AFTER school. :c) It's now AFTER!

What seems funniest to me is since I took this massage therapy position in February....my creative streak has suffered a serious time crunch! So it's really egging me on to get back to my own projects as soon as I get my machine back :c|

This weekend is Dave's Tour De Cure ride for Diabetes. So many of you donated to this worthy cause and I want to personally thank you for your efforts! Thanks to you we raised over $3,000 for the American Diabetes Association. WAY TO GO! Tonight the team is coming to our house for a cook out "aka carbo load!" And the ride starts tomorrow morning early.

The first day they go about 85 miles. I'll be at the finish line set up with my tent/gazebo thing, and my massage table set up in the shade under it...he's riding, I'm massaging tired biker legs.

The second day they ride the rest of the 150 miles and end in St John's Island, which is just outside of Charleston SC. There is a big BBQ and party at the finish, and I'll be massaging participants there too. Somehow..I don't think I'll get any quilting done this weekend either! But I can dream, can't I?

Have a great weekend everyone!


From An Avid Ring Reader..

I received the most wonderful email yesterday and I wanted to share part of it with you!

Sally writes:

On your blog will you let your friends know that I (and lots of others I'm sure) are "checking on their lives" regularly. They have become dear to me. I am holding Patty's daughter Melanie close as she fights for her sight, I love the sound of Finn, and "Screen Door" is somewhere in the UP where I lived for 5 years and where 2 of my 3 children were born. So many threads that seem to tie us all together. I don't like feeling like a voyuer or one of the "dead" characters on Ghost Whisperer, but not being a blogger I can't let them know I am here and enjoying their work and their thoughts so much. From all of the interlacing comments I see how special you are to each other and I hope everyone realizes that the ripples go much farther.

So ladies, I want you to know how much your lives are touching the lives of all of us, bloggers and readers alike!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bobbin Along!

Ever have one of those days? One of those days that just....you wanna give up and start over? Or un-quilt it and start over?

I'm not even sure how this happened....but it must have been when I was changing a bobbin. Did I put the empty bobbin back in the bobbin container? Nope! All I can figure is that I laid it on the roller, and when I advanced the quilt....in it went!

I just finished this row of pantograph on this customer quilt..went to clip the threads, and....behold! I find a LUMP..a very distinct, round lump mind you...INSIDE THE QUILT! Can I wiggle the bobbin out? NOPE! It is completely encompassed in the stitching! AUUUGHH!

Okay, I know from your point of view it is funny. And from mine..well...okay..I can see some humor in it, and you know what? i don't know HOW I ended up not jamming the needle bar into this thing and completely messing up the timing of my machine, so this is a good thing.

So...now that I've had this break of venting and whining, I'll grab my trusty seam ripper and go get that bobbin the heck outta there, and get back to business!

I'm sure i'm not the only person who's ever had unknown objects wander their way into the inside of the quilt :c)


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Woe (Woah?!) Is Me!

I hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend. I was planning on taking it easy here, and I pretty much did. I stayed at home, caught up on house work (ugh) and worked on some customer quilts.

Monday was a beautiful morning, and I thought I'd celebrate by getting back out on my bike, since my knee had healed nicely, and the rest of me wasn't in too much discomfort to climb up on that seat again after hitting the bar with the last fall....

Do I dare even mention that if falling once is embarrassing enough, that....I fell again? :c( This time I made it all the way through my ride, but on my way up the steep driveway to my garage, I didn't downshift fast enough into a gear that would let me up the driveway without too much effort, and at the same time trying to remove myself from those (*&@#$& clip pedals...and over she went. I re-opened the knee that was healing so nicely, and now it's not! I swear, I ought to give up on those clip pedals!

Then last night, while finally having some time to sit at the sewing machine, I sit down to my trusty Bernina 1080 to wind some bobbins. The machine turns on. The panel lights up. I push the foot pedal...but NOTHING HAPPENS! It's like the lights are on but nobody is home! I unplugged, replugged, fiddled, cursed, pleaded, begged...Nada.

I walked away, snuck back up on it, tried it again...and still nope! This morning...after a good night's sleep...come on baby! GO! Nope! I think there is a short in my foot pedal...so today I took Bernie to the Bernina shop.

I don't know if the bernina shop is the same in your area as mine, but this one is a MESS! And when I told him I needed my footpedal looked at, I was told it would be 2 weeks! ACKK! So I said, it does need a cleaning/tune up too, can we add that in? (thinking it might make it more worth his while to get to it sooner) And was told that they are scheduling cleaning/tune ups 7 to 8 weeks in advance! TWO MONTHS!!! AUUUGH!

I told them that I use this machine in my machine quilting business, to apply bindings, piece backings, etc, and I am in dire straights without it. So....we are back to 2 weeks. *SIGH*

And yes, I do have a back up machine, but it has something wrong with the tension or something. It's a Pfaff and it hasn't been fixed since Lucy was here and tried to sew on it..that's a YEAR ago. BAD BONNIE. I've got my 2 featherweights, but I don't have a walking foot for them for putting bindings on with.

So, I'm kind of up a creek with one paddle going in circles! One good knee, one bad knee, one bruised ego (thank heavens the neighbors didn't see me fall over on my driveway!) but at least I treated myself to an ice cream today to make it all better!


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quilters Rock!!

I just got an email from Patty that thanks to the quilters out there, she has found the fabric she needs to finish her daughter's wedding quilt! YEAH PATTY!

Once again I am amazed and awed at this wonderful medium we have here to communicate with each other!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Searching For This Fabric!

Do you have this fabric!?!

My friend Patty is in urgent need of more of this Marcus Brothers Judie Rothermel print! She needs it to finish THE wedding quilt for her daughter! The model number on the selvege is R33 V522 111T and it is from Judie's 19th Century line.

Online searches have not turned up anything as this fabric is Out Of Print, can you help?! Please contact Patty at Chatz4259@aol.com with any info you have!

Thanks for checking your stashes!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last Week Of School!

I know I know, I've been quiet! But it doesn't mean I've fallen off the face of the earth, maybe just got swallowed up by it a bit is all!

Last week I got a last minute call from a friend to come down to Florida for a few days. I checked my schedule at work, it was pretty empty! I called some clients, just to see if they needed me because I didn't want to leave them high and dry and they all said GO! So...at 1pm on monday I threw my stuff in the car, and down to Florida I drove!

I had a great time....It rained tuesday, so I shopped. :c) Good alternative, yes?! Outlet malls are everywhere, and there were some things I was looking for that I was able to find, so all the better. One thing I wanted was a handbag that was not too small, not too large. I've got to carry my day planner, two checkbooks, assorted business stuff, and most bags were too small. I like the organizer kind, lots of pockets, places for credit cards etc. Then there were the ones that were TOO BIG (this is like goldie locks and the 3 bears?!) It was like a piece of luggage, I swear..can't carry that...one big cavernous bag with no pockets, or not enough pockets...and Id be frumping around in the bottom trying to find my stuff.

Store to store I went...you know where I finally hit gold? TARGET! After a couple days of outlet malls and retail stores....I found what I wanted at TARGET! But I'm a happy girl, and it gives me memories of my fun trip to florida.

Weds and Thurs were beautiful days. Much pool lounging commenced! AHHHH summer! There were also fun restaurants for dinner in the evening, places to listen to music, people watch, enjoy the wonderful weather in the evenings. We even went to the Universal Studios City Walk! It's free to park after 6pm, and we just had to endulge in dinner at Margaritaville!

It was all very relaxing and fun and even though I had just been to Holland a month ago, I tried not to make myself feel guilty that I was yet again galavanting off somewhere :c)

I returned on friday, trying to beat the stream of camper vans and winnebagos toodling up I-95. I was only partially successful! But I made it a leisure trip and stopped at different places I wanted to see on the way. One place was called Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, which was once a thriving rice plantation on the Altamaha River outside of Brunswick GA. The house isn't the "TARA" kind you think of with plantations, but is a normal plantation style house. Kind of reminded me of "the waltons" It was all furnished inside and very fun to tour.

I loved walking the trail from the visitors center through the big old gnarly oak trees just dripping with moss!

Saturday...what can I tell you about Saturday?! This is one of the reasons I've been slow to post. Do you really care to know that I went Saturday to buy a bissel carpet shampooer?! Well maybe you do! Actually, it does a very good job, and I'm pleased with it. I have sand colored carpet in a place where the dirt outside is red georgia clay. It is not a good combination! I'd love to get rid of it and switch it out completely, but no money for that right now. This will have to do. I've been doing a couple of rooms each day, all that's left now is the stairs (two sets of them) and the front living room. It's easy to run, it does a good job...and I hope it will be great for keeping the traffic areas not so down-trodden! That's it for catching you up to speed I think! Oh, I even took my hexagon project with me to Florida. Other than getting it out of the car, and placed on the couch, it didn't get touched! That seems to be the way my quilty life has been lately!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day....

I've had a very relaxing mother's day......especially since neither of my sons are home! Jeff spent the weekend with a friend who was moving to the next town...he helped them move, and just stayed there helping with boxes, etc..until later tonight. He did call a couple times.

I worked this afternoon on an idea floating in my head. I have 2 cram packed bins of 2.5" strips. I wanted a block that would use the strips, but something really easy in construction.

Thanks to the use of my easy angle ruler (Oh, I LOVE THIS RULER!) all I had to do was pair a light and a dark 2.5" X 18" strip with right sides together, cut 9 triangle pairs, feed them through the machine one after the other already matched up, and then after pressing....assemble the block like a simple 9 patch. It is working so slick, and I have made 14 blocks in just a few hours. Not sure how I'm going to set them, I'm thinking of a solid color for setting fabric, and I am more prone to putting them on point than setting them straight with an alternate block. I think this is called "hovering hawks"...or maybe that's just my mind putting ideas in my head.

You can see one really scrappy block in there...that's because I could actually get 10 triangle pairs out of a pair of 18" strips, so I cut 10 pairs and set the spares aside. When I'd done more than 9 blocks, I decided to see what one block made with all the leftovers would look like. I think they will add a spark of "fun to look at" when all the other blocks are only in two fabrics. I might do some other blocks with alternate fabrics or backgrounds added too, like if a strip is too short to cut all the same background, use extra triangles of another background to fill in. Substitution. I think that's the technical word for it.

The brick thing....thanks for all the comments. I'm still not sure what I want to do with it, but I do know that I don't want to do a monochromatic thing, nor do I want to separate anything with mortar, because that is going to give a more MODERN look and I'm looking for a more muddy old utility quilt look, with a chaos of fabrics that don't go together, kind of like a mishmash from the 1940's. It's still on the back burner. I might keep going the way it's going and just finish it. The blocks are done. I'm not taking anything apart, and I'm not starting over. This just might end up being a beach blanket, you know? Sometimes you just gotta try things even if they don't turn out the way you thought.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Falling in slow motion...

I became a fully initiated biker today. I got new clips for my biking shoes....the shoes step right into the clips instead of using pedals...you know...tour de france style? I had another pair for a couple years, but the old ones were too wiggly and getting hard to clip into.

So...new clips. This morning was so beautiful that I thought I'd just take myself on a little 20 miler, and wow..stepping into those new clips was NO problem! They held firm, no squirrely wiggling of my bike shoes....and away I went. The first rest area I planned to stop at......uhoh.....my feet were in the clips so firm, I couldn't get them UNCLIPPED!! By this time my bike was skidding into gravel and I had nothing to do but to fall....I think I got "oh crap, oh crap, oh crap" out 3 times...before I hit the road.

And my shoes STILL stayed clipped in.

I've done a bit of a mess to my left knee...so much for looking good in shorts and short skirts! And my left hip is going to be purple. It's not my favorite color, but maybe it will look good on me? I know it's plenty sore anyway.

Luckily I didn't break the skin of my hand open when I hit. I wouldn't be able to massage. I'm a bit bruised from hitting the street, but no broken skin there on my palm, and no broken bones. Just a bloody knee, bruised hip, and a more than bruised ego! My nether parts are kind of tender too....I hit my pubic bone on the bar of the bike when I went down as well.....I can't tell though if the soreness I feel is from hitting that bar, or just from 20 miles in the seat.

I did get up and FINISHED my ride....after pulling over to a mailbox, hanging on to it for balance, and testing just what it would take to get my foot out of the clip at the NEXT rest stop, or whenever Id need to stop. It's still pretty tight. Going to have to loosen it up a bit, and you have to try to remove your foot LONG before you stop..you can't stop on a dime anymore.

I've been pretty sore for most of the day. I gave myself a treat to feel better...went for a pedicure :c) So now my pink toenails will contrast with my purple hip and my bloody scabbed up knee....color coordinated?

I want to wish a happy mother's day to all the mothers in our reader's circle. I hope it is a special memorable day for you!


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is This Better?

This is a pic of 4 of the blocks separated by the sashings (made from 3 bricks) and filled in at the corners with 2.5" cut cornerstone squares. If I set the quilt this way...it is going to be VERY much bigger....I have 30 blocks to set 5 X 6.

Anyone think that the blocks look more like the pavement picture below by the addition of the bricky sashing between the blocks? HELP!



Some things just are ewwww...and what works in your mind, just doesn't translate to fabric. These are the blocks laid block to block...what I was going to use for sashings is laid against the outside as a maybe inset border. But still. Here I was going on and on about the Ghee's Bend quilts....wanting to make a quilt that looked like I had used everything with little rhyme or reason, and I'm not crazy about it! Charity Quilt Anyone? :c|

The pics above are of a cobbled pavement in monnickendam. We had stopped there on the way home from Marken to look around, and it was this picture that really inspired me, but it looks better in bricks than in brick fabrics!

Rainy Sunday.....

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and Bonnie feels like Snoring..*lalalalala!* That's what kind of lazy day I'm having, but boy do I need it! I need to just unwind to refuel for the next week coming up. I'm not even sure what it will bring. I've got some clients scheduled, Friday I'm going to do chair massage in a Dr's office for his staff..that should be fun! Guild meeting tomorrow night in Aiken. Was hoping I'd have a quilt ready to deliver to a client there, but it's just not going to happen..Jet Lag has dragged me down more than I thought it would.

I am playing with an idea for a quilt though.....I've got a bin of bricks in the 2.5"X4.5" size..and a lot of strips that width too, so I am thinking of a bricky something. I spent time in Lucy's garden....just pouring over every word in her huge book that she got on the Ghee's Bend quilts. I am SO inspired by the stories the quilters told. Can you imagine having to make quilts, not just because you wanted to, but because you had to to keep warm in the winter? Sometimes sleeping under 10 or more quilts to keep the chill off? Several people to a bed huddled together for warmth? And you couldn't go to the store to buy whatever fabric you want to make the quilts pretty....no....you are limited to old clothes, dungarees, aprons, dresses that are too worn out to be clothing, but can be cut into scraps for quilts.

So here I come home and look at a fully stocked quilting studio.....how can I even THINK that I have nothing going on here to inspire me? I think we are definately OVER stimulated and that is why we get bored with our UFOs! SO....I'm making a bricks variation quilt, kind of a kick off of courthouse steps....It's just in the beginning stages but I'll send a pic when things are more looking like "QUILT". I'm using bricks that are already cut, and taking the shorter lengths of my strips and cutting them into 6.5" lengths and 8.5" lengths. Is your interest piqued?! :c) I think I'll piece the sashing between the blocks from bricks too...that is going to use A LOT of bricks. In my mind, this quilt reminds me of all the cobblestone streets and courtyards and front gardens in Holland. (but way more colorful!) The pic at the beginning of this post is of one of the streets in Haarlem....I don't know if you can see the cobbles or not..but they are there!

I'm also going through my pics and deciding what to post here for you to see. I loved the buildings so much. Especially the rooflines that did the 'stair step' thing. They are so wonderful to look at!

And that's it for now!