Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday's Helpers?

Or is it HINDERERS?!!

Bless their hearts, they look too cute to be malicious, but so much for my layout!*LOL*

By now, Tonya is in Amsterdam! And I'll be joining her there on Tuesday! I'm dreading this flight. Mostly because of the length of time it takes to get there. My flight is at 12:15pm here from Greensboro, but Jeff has to be to work at 10am, so he is dropping me off at the airport so I don't have to leave a car in the lot. Still, that puts me at the airport 2 1/2 hours EARLIER than I need to be. Which makes for a very long day.

I fly first to Detroit, where I have ANOTHER 2 hour layover. UGH.

My flight to Amsterdam is 7 hours and 40 minutes...blech blech blech.

And arrive in Amsterdam...at 6am! UUUUUURGHGHGHG. Quiltmania is coming at 10am for the interview. Can you say ZOMBIE?! How do you say ZOMBIE in Dutch anyway? Is this a word I need to know? :cD

I'm going to TRY to sleep on the plane,but that has never worked for me in the past. Just too excited, too nervy, too wired!

Friday, December 12, 2008

What's on your player?

I have very eclectic music tastes. I like everything from classical to 1970's hair bands, and everything in between including jazz, standards, disco, country, folk, celtic and instrumental. Oh, and don't forget the show tunes :c) I generally like stuff I can sing along with.

The car is permanently on a station that is playing Christmas music 24/7 right now, and I definitely want..urmmm..make that NEED...the Michael Buble' Christmas Album! That man's voice can melt butter, I swear!

I've never gotten into the new fangled way of just downloading 1 song at a time from I-tunes, and I prefer hard copy CDs...but I do find them used, either on Amazon, or secondspin.com

I've been on a celtic kick lately! And I love the group Celtic Woman. You want to talk about "ethereal voices?" These gals have it nailed.

They do some fun folksy stuff, but their version of Pie Jesu and Panis Angelicus just take me away to another land, another time,nearly bringing tears. I don't know why latin does that to me, but it just does.

Here is Cloe singing Ave Maria

In fact, if you do a search on you tube,you will see just WHY I am just so over the moon with Celtic Woman!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Thank You, Barnes & Noble!!

I'm really tickled to share this issue with Mark Lipinski, who always leaves me in stitches, and a fellow North Carolinian, Scott Murkin, whose work I love!


I was laughing to myself last night....one of those "roll over minutes" commercials came on.

You know the one where the kid thinks his roll over minutes are not as good as new minutes on his cell phone? And his mom says "Some other kid would be HAPPY to have your roll over minutes!"

I think of my older fabrics and my scraps as my "roll overs". They are just as good as the new stuff, and even though I love the new stuff, I am just as happy making quilts out of my old stuff. My roll-over scraps. :cD Isn't that silly?!

I'm working on these "Nine-in-the-middle" blocks for a future project. The 9 patches in the center are of course made from leaders & enders. All scrappy, with light corners, dark crosses, with red in the centers. I'm not sure how I'll set them yet, I only know I need to make about a gazillion more :c)

The mystery quilt center is finished, and I priority mailed it off to Quiltmaker yesterday so they can choose "new" border fabric. I guess it can't be a roll-over!

All my ducks are ALMOST in a row for my trip to the Netherlands next Monday. I'm staying with Lucy, teaching two workshops, having an interview and photo shoot with Quiltmania! The folks from Quiltmania are coming all the way from France for this! Lucy, Joes, Isabeau, Me....and TONYA! What fun we are going to have!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Got Fabric Shirts & Born To Quilt Tattoos!

The following message is from Leann, regarding the shirts seen below, and the tattoos!

You can drop me a note if you want to order a t-shirt ($10 plus shipping)

The tattoos were ordered from www.blockpartystudios.com
they are great!!!

The proceeds from the shirt sales are benefiting a terrific local cause here in Winston Salem, so I hope you will support Leann with the shirt sales! If you get a girlfriend to go on in with you (or more) It will probably save some on shipping.

I'm working on a 3 part Mystery for future issues of Quiltmaker. I LOVE DOING THIS! The hardest part for me, is keeping it a mystery because I want to show you all SO BAD how great this is turning out.

The frustrating part also,is that 3 weeks ago we decided (We being one of Quiltmaker's Editors, and myself) that we would order this special fabric direct and have it shipped to me. Two weeks later...no fabric. Turns out they were OUT of the one we wanted and neglected to tell us!

We try to choose something else....no fabric. They didn't have ENOUGH.

So yesterday I get word to just use what I have on hand, which is great, because I would rather deplete some of my stash.....no....scratch that.....GIVE PURPOSE to some of my stash, than add do it. But I wish we decided this THREE WEEKS AGO, because now I am under the gun to get the top finished to send off to Quiltmaker by FRIDAY. URGH. Oh well, bad use of time that couldn't be helped. I can do it!

The mystery will start around mid year, and finish around November just in time for the Holidays... :c)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Postal Elves!

Goodies have shown up on my doorstep!

The first...with an address of "Santa Clause, North Pole, Alaska". The envelope contained beautiful star scattered piece of batik, all for me! Also included was a pamphlet for a quilt show in the Netherlands in 2009, asking if I was going to be there. Unfortunately the answer is no, not this time! I wish I could,but I am scheduled to be elsewhere while that show is on.

Thank you, Thank you, Santa, whoever you are!

And look what Deb sent me from Battleground, MN!

Remember me talking about these insulated cups and tumblers this past summer? My memories of using them at my grandparent's house when I was growing up? (I always fought over the aqua colored one with my brother!) Deb has sent me some heartstring blocks to go into a charity quilt, the cutest little Santa ornament, and SIX holiday colored squatty insulated tumblers!

I love them Deb, thanks SO MUCH! :cD

Last night was our Christmas Dinner for Forsyth Piecers & Quilters. Each "BEE" was to decorate a table. I have to tell you that we have very talented ladies in this Bee, AKA the Ms Bee Havens, and they also have wicked senses of humor! Amongst all the holiday sparkle of green and red tables decoarted with Christmas Cheer, our table was covered with black table cloths, lengths of silver chain (and some red glitter ribbon as well) and our center piece was a Singing Santa on a Harley! He actually bounced and danced and sang "Born to be Wild..." *LOL*

We complimented our decor by wearing "GOT FABRIC?" Shirts with white writing on Black....and tied batik "DO RAGS" on our heads. The finishing touch? a "BORN TO QUILT" Tattoo!

At the end of the night, the Born To Be Wild Santa on the Harley was donated to the 'Toys for Tots' box...and we posed for this picture.

The GOT FABRIC? shirts are a fund raiser for a local cause here in Winston Salem. I've emailed Leann asking if she would like to accept mail order for the shirts if anyone is interested. I'll post again with her reply! It could be that she is already swamped and taking on a mail order thing might be a bit much for her. They sure are fun shirts, aren't they?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cancer Causing Cutting Mats?

I went to Joanne's today, looking for bubble jet set. They didn't have any. And danged if I was going to buy those "Printed Treasures" pre treated sheets of muslin...at $18 a pack just to print labels!

I usually just use my laser jet printer because the black ink on that is permanent...but...low and behold, my old trusty 1995 HP Laserjet 4p has given up the ghost. It amazes me that at the time that technology was new, the printer cost me over $900.

I came home, after finding NO bubble jet set. And who wants to soak fabric to use it anyway?

I looked at the pre-treated sheets of fabric... the Printed Treasures envelope says if you HAVE to wash the item, to NOT USE DETERGENT?

I came home empty handed and logged into Amazon. I found a GREAT HP laserjet marked down from $224 to $99 with free shipping! I'm a happy girl.

But the point of this post, isn't about the laser jet...it's about the new mat I bought at Joanne's. I really LIKE the Fiskars mats because they are 2 sided. It's like getting 2 mats for the price of one, and they last twice as long. When one side gets all carved up, I simply flip it and use the reverse side. It has markings on BOTH sides.

They had Donna Dewberry mats 50% off! And I liked the lilac/blue colorway. But as I'm standing there in the checkout line I read the lable..get this! It says:

WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, and/or reproductive harm.


Just what ARE these chemicals in these mats and why are they in there in the first place? Are there any other brands of mats that carry the same warning?

Maybe if we were to INJEST the mat particles it would be bad, but...is rotary cutting in moderation upon said mat going to be causing us any issues? Or is the chance of slicing off a finger with the cutter itself more of a likelihood than any adverse affects from chemical infused cutting mats?

It's just weird. It boggles my mind. Is there anything else these could be made of to be safe to use? Or do we just chock this up to our modern world of pollutant-laced living? In my kitchen alone there are chemicals for dishwasher detergent, cleaning agents, spray cans of aerosol PAM for cooking, etc. The bathroom is much the same, the garage? Loaded with chemicals for insect repelling, antifreeze, lubricants, cans of left over paint...why should a lowly lilac and blue cutting mat push me over the edge?

Living Dangerously in a Chemically Infused Paradise in Wallburg, NC

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Elves Came!

Look! The tree is UP...and I didn't have to do it myself :c) Do you think my family has been reading my blog? *LOL*

Oh, and before I go any further....Sharleen sent me this FUNNY VIDEO you HAVE to see. It's entitled "BEWARE OF THE DOGHOUSE" I died laughing...please take a side trip to see it!

This is just one of those things where many hands make light work. Okay....Four hands is better than Two? Jeff was at work, so he missed out on the festivities.

There are a lot of things I'm not putting out this year....like garland down the banisters. I'm not decorating the front porch either because the porch railing is completely hidden by bushes. But I did get the candle lights in the windows. I love those.

I swapped the every day dishes for the Christmas dishes....

The only thing left to do is to hang the stockings. This mantle needs some cup hooks :c)

Here is a pic of the little "Streak of Sunshine" I pieced at Charity Bee on Thursday. It's not much of anything, but it is nice to have a top to donate to a good cause at the end of the meeting. Somehow, these kinds of quilts are the ones that fill my heart more than any other, no matter how humble they may be.

Mad City Mama is now QUILTED! Yeah! And I've got the binding ready to stitch down. I'm glad I was convinced not to bother with borders, the black stripe print I used for the binding really is going to finish things off nicely!

So now....that's two bindings and two sleeves to finish. I think I'll be placing my butt in the recliner and watching some movies to do handwork by today.

*SINGING* "Baby, It's Cold Outside!", and I'm staying IN!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

2 offers...TAKEN!!

LISA, Please email me from your regular email address, I can't reply to you in blogger. I need your snail mail to put on this form for AP & Q!~

KATIE R...I will sign you up for the BH & G...but I can't reply to you in blogger either, so please contact me with your snail mail address.

If I don't hear from either of you in 24 hours, I'll open it up again.


I received a notice to renew my American Patchwork and Quilting subscription.

It also says that if I renew "now", I can give someone else a free 1 yr subscription. This is going to the first commenter who wants it. It's a $29.95 value :c)

Please, check the comments section to see if someone else before you has claimed it. I will also post HERE when it is TAKEN.

I also bought a couple rugs for my hallway, and with them comes a free subscription to Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I bought two rugs...so one subscription for me, and one for...YOU? Whoever you are?

Please, if you are after the American Patchwork & Quilting subscription, leave the Better Homes & Gardens to someone else, okay?

Ready? Set? Let me know!

PS.....The CHRISTMAS TREE is UP!!!!! I'll get pics tomorrow ;c)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Quilting with Rosie Archives

I just checked and my radio show with Rosie is up in the Archives!

After clicking, you will find the recent shows listed on the column on the right side of the page. You can choose from Windows Audio or MP3 to listen. I couldn't find a way to save it....just listen.

Hang Those Lights!!

Bonnie M from TX sent me this pic with the following caption:
My wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks.

They are up now and for some reason she will not talk to me.

Thanks for the laugh, Bonnie!! I also mailed her back to tell her how funny it is that we, two Bonnies, are both married to guys named David. Twilight Zone music needs to play, I tell ya!

I've been out to pick up a few goodies this morning, I've also been to the bank...and joined the Mall Walkers for about 45 minutes of hard fast power walking. Nice to be able to walk in climate controlled spaces! :cD

I've started the binding on "Crabapples", a leader ender top that I finished a couple years ago. Yes, it finally got quilted! So binding is commencing on that.

I've put together a turquoise backing for the Mad City Mama quilt..not sure when that will get on the machine, I've got some other things in the work for today.

And tonight I have an honest-to-goodness Christmas party to go to! Will that bring on more Christmas Spirit around here? I hope so.

Did you get your 15 minutes of something Quilty yesterday? I Hope SO!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mad City Mama!

Part of the fun of traveling to teach is experiencing places that are "NOT" Chain type places that you would find anywhere. Madison Wisconsin has a TON....a PLETHORA (don't you love that word?) of unique places to discover!

The very first day I was there, I drove up from Mc Henry, IL...and picked up my friend Randy who had flown in the night before to join me at the retreat I was teaching at. We always have so much fun together. Randy is GREAT at finding places to eat by using "City Search" on her phone ;c)

One of the places she found was a Brewery Pub called Great Dane in Downtown Madison. It was the perfect place to experience things like deep fried cheese curds, bratwurst, and other yummies!

I love reading menus. Sometimes the names of things are just SO GREAT they would make fabulous quilt titles. Hense,the title of this post. There is a dish on the menu called "Mad City Mama's Meatloaf". Isn't that GREAT!?? So the name of this quilt, Mad City Mama was born. (Madison is referred to as Mad City)

The fact that this quilt was sewn on 3 different machines, made the piecing a bit of a challenge. I should have named this quilt "In search of a Galloping Horse" because the piecing is WAY less than perfect, but perfection was never my main goal to begin with. Just know this....start with one machine,and finish with that same machine, don't go machine hopping..it's just no good!

The main reason I wanted to do this quilt was to use up a mass of 1.5" squares and strips. My first design was so mushy that I had to revise it and revise it again. You see, I'm not a EQ designer. I just make a bunch of units and lay them out and play with them, letting things evolve as I go. And the 25 patch blocks and rail blocks were SO mushy.

Darlynn, bless her heart, had a BOLT of a black kona solid with her, so I bummed a yard! And the rail blocks became striped snowball blocks.

At Patsy's....we put everything up on the design wall and thought we'd like to have some plain blocks in there..but at this point everything was set block to block without sashing. Again. Too mushy.

Night before last I started separating things into BIG star blocks, and put the yellow sashing in there and it finally sang to me.

Yep. It's big. Yep. The sashing is WIDE. I'm really inspired by antique quilts that break conventional rules, and time and time again I fall back on those things that please me, whether it matches up with a preconceived idea of a Fibonacci Sequence or not.

The purple fabric (yes it is a periwinkle that is more purple than blue in reality) came from the Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc (I love spelling that word too!) Wisconsin. Fun memories of my trip there!

I'm not sure about borders yet. The last time I asked about borders on a quilt I couldn't decide on, I ended up putting on a border that I really didn't like.....and...I think that one is going to come OFF at some point!

Don't you really think the "home dec" industry plays too big a part in what we think a quilt has to have to be "RIGHT"? (Borders that go around all 4 sides, no rows of 1/2 blocks, etc) In the antiques I love, many of them do NOT have borders. They end where the sashing does, or sometimes the sashing doesn't even contain that last outer row...It's just done when the quilt is big enough.

The question is....is this one big enough? Right now it's 76" square, so I suppose there is room for something on the outside, if I want it to be bed sized..but do I? It may have to sit and stew a bit for me to decide.

I'm headed out in a bit to meet up with Mrs Goodneedle at the Charity Quilt Bee at her church. I haven't seen the ladies in over a month! I've got a top that Karen sent in from Heartstrings for the ladies to tie and donate to the Southwest Indian Project. I've got my FW and strips already cut for another Streak of Sunshine I hope to get pieced this morning. More than anything I want to catch up with Mrs G!

The Radio Broadcast from yesterday should be archived by sometime this evening according to Rosie. If you missed it, you can go back to the link from yesterday and check the archives. I'll post the url when I know what it is.

Do something quilty today, even if it is only for 15 minutes!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Interview with Rosie!

I'm doing a phone interview with Rosie of Rosie's Calico Cupboard in a couple hours!

Can you tune in to Quilting with Rosie? Yes you can! And it's live! Click HERE for info :c)

The fun begins at 11am Pacific time! (that's 2pm my time....I keep checking the clock!)

In the Spirit of Yesterday's Post...


I didn't think that my question about who is responsible for Christmas in your house would get such a variety of replies! I think many of us are feeling overwhelmed. (I love that word overwhelmed....reminds me of a question I heard once....is anyone ever just plain ole WHELMED? Or ....under-whelmed? What is Whelmed anyway? :cÞ)

Just in time, this funny pictorial of Red Neck Christmas Decorating came into my email box (Thanks Randee T!) and I thought it might give you a giggle. It's something that, yes.....even my menfolk might want to try!

*NOTE* Since these pics came in an email, I have no idea who they belong to. It is not my intention to "steal" pics, so I'm happy to link if someone can send me the original site.

*UPDATE* (Dec 2, 2009!) Almost a year from this post, someone sent me the LINK for these pics! Thanks!

Plus..I think once this is assembled, you can just throw a sheet over it and leave it in the garage all year!

Supplies Needed?

About 379 Mountain Dew Cans (give or take a few)
PVC Pipe
Wire (or as they say here in the Deep Southeast... WAHHHHHRRR!)
DRILL. (Oh yes, power tools get their attention!)
Christmas Tree Stand.
Shag Carpet Optional ;c)

I'm sitting here wondering how this would look with my affinity to diet Dr Pepper cans :c)

Add some lights, some ornaments, and a big 2 liter bottle "angel" for the top!

Turn on the Christmas music...preferably "Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer" Or my latest Red Neck Christmas favorite, Jeff Foxworthy's 12 days of Christmas!

Yes, Virginia...I'm really getting into the mood now! I have to laugh at this because I have a friend who has an old mustang GT....This one is dedicated to you!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Participation?

Every year at my house....the same thing happens.

It seems the "family" wants Christmas to be wonderful and decorative, but yet no one wants to help put up the tree, hang lights, hang stockings from the mantel, decorate ANYTHING.

It's like they expect Christmas to just "HAPPEN", and I seem to be the only one responsible for both putting it up and taking it down.

I am not a happy camper about it this year.

Last year we didn't put up the tree and stuff because the house was on the market, and the realtor suggested we keep things "neutral" and "minimalist".

This is our first Christmas in this house. I'm hoping that Jason and Kim will be able to come up, and I'd love to enjoy the lights on the tree, and all the beautiful memories that come with hanging ornaments from "Christmas Past". But how come I have to do it by myself? Did I sign up for this when I said "I DO?" Was there a statement that said "for richer, for poorer, for being solely responsible for Christmas decorations until death do you part?"

This leads me to this question. In your household.....is there family participation in Christmas Tree installation, or is it just your job, has always been your job, and you don't mind it being your job? Are you also responsible for putting the tree away after New Years by yourself? Or is it a family affair the way I want it to be?

Maybe I'm just dreaming....but maybe, just maybe....I'll let Christmas stay in the box until someone offers to help me put it up. ;c)

The sun came out today! I'm so HAPPY about that! It might have been only 25 degrees this morning,but the sun is out. It's not the temperature that gets me, it's the gray cloudies. Because the sky is blue and the sun is out, I went and threw the Tropical Twist quilt on the deck railing for a couple pics.

This is the quilt that is in the latest issue of Quiltmaker Magazine, of which I have YET to see, or to find on newstands!

It might look sort of familiar to you. Yes, it is a Star Struck variation....but it was a great way to use up 2" strips and still make BIGGER blocks. The bonus units from trimming the corners are used in the pinwheels in the border. It was really fun to put together. So if you want to make one yourself, go find a Quiltmaker mag ;c)

I loved the colorway. I had sent in files in various colors, and they came back with this one. I pulled strips of every different print in blues and purples with some greens and yellows added for accent. My favorite fabric? I don't think you can see it in the pics..maybe you can....but it is a lime green of pea pods. :c) I have a friend who thinks so much like I do that we often finish each other's sentences, or say the same thing at the same time. So the joke is we are "two peas in a pod."

The pea pod fabric was gifted to me, and I was happy to find it a place in this quilt.

Jeff is off work today, and he is begging Mom to treat him to lunch at the Chinese place. I can't say no to the Chinese place. I could eat Chinese food til the end of my days....it's my FAVE!

How are you going to enjoy your Tuesday?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Quilting Away....

It's always amazing to me how fast hand quilting goes even when you can only sit at it for 15 or 20 minutes at a time in between everything else. I guess it's that same ole advice on how to eat an ELEPHANT...one bite at a time!

I'm still working on the center, while thinking of what I want to do in the borders. The stripped outer border is easy enough to figure out..it's those big purple areas that I haven't decided on yet. It's my fave thing to just draw a feather in there and quilt it...but...does that make me too predictable?

The Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine is out to subscribers. I have a quilt pattern and article in there, and can I get my hands on the magazine? NO!! I may have to run and hit Barnes & Noble today to see if it is on the shelves yet. Silly me..I don't have a subscription,because when I have a quilt in an issue, they send me my copy free, so why have doubles? Now I'm chomping at the bit to see it.

Here are a couple pics of an antique Princess Feather quilt I snuck pics of in the museum in Charlotte. Don't worry, I didn't use flash! But I wish you could have seen it up close. I think how these ladies did all this work by window light....or kerosene at night...it's a wonder they didn't go blind! I know with my eyes, I can never get ENOUGH light...how did they do it?

I love 4 block quilts. Maybe some day I'll do more applique, but right now if I'm going to be hand stitching anything, I want it to be quilting, not applique. If I hang around appliquers long enough, will it rub off on me? Or will I always see things divided up geometrically into little pieced pieces? I really love that diamond sashing on this antique quilt :c)

DH & Son are both off to work and I am HOME ALONE! I've got the turkey carcass all boiled and picked, the broth chilled until it gels to remove the fat from the top. This morning all the veggies are chopped, the meat added back to the broth and all is simmering in my crock pot. I love days like this....