Monday, May 25, 2009

Yep, it's BROKEN!!!

I'm off to Best Buy. I need Geek Squad Help. (GSH) Sometime yesterday, I went to go check my mail. The computer was already ON from checking earlier in the day. You know how it goes into sleep mode in between times? It would NOT come OUT of sleep mode. I hit the button, it just blinked..I wiggled the mouse, it just blinked..nothing would wake the comatose thing up!

I held the button down, powered off, powered back on..and it wouldn't boot...so..*sniffles* Either something has taken over and gotten past the anti-virus, fire-wall, anti spam, anti-phishing, anti-spyware stuff...or some vital part of my computer has given up the ghost and passed into another realm.

I have laptop, so I'm okay for quicky stuff, but I really like a desktop (with a big ole huge monitor) for doing design work, etc. I planned on doing a lot of that this week since I don't have to leave home again until June 5th!

Puter is in the car....and either they'll be able to fix it, or I'll buy another one....it seems a computer just doesn't last longer than 4 years around here. Bummer.

PS...I am back from Best Buy. I went from Best Buy to Sam's Club and back....and the Best Buy WAS at Best Buy. (This is sounding reduntant!!) Turns out that my mother board went up in smoke...it was going to cost around $200 for the new board, plus about the same for the installation....not worth fixing it at this point.

They had a floor model on sale..monitor not included (good because I didn't want to pay for another one because I don't NEED another one) and it has more space and is much faster than my old one. So I'm sorted. I just have to go back and pick it up after the Geek Squad has removed the demo software from it. I'm a happy camper. Really, I did look at macs..but just can't justify the $1800+ for it when All I needed was to spend $450. Maybe some day. I know people who have macs love them....but then so do people who drive BMWs. I'm just not in that category in being able to justify the price :c)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Stuff...

First off I want to thank you for the overwhelming openness sharing your "failure to launch" stories with me. It is an INCREDIBLE thing to know I'm not alone, that you are praying for me, (my sanity), and my son!! I even told him that I had people praying for him all over the globe, and you should have seen the look on his face....it was a combination of "uhoh! Busted" and the "Their here!!!" heebee jeebies from poltergeist! Just letting him know that the whole quilting world is pulling for him...AND for me.

One of the comments that came really struck me. I need to put this in a greeting card to hand him when/if he does go live in his car:
Goodbye, good luck, be careful and let me know if you are sick or hurt and I'll be there.

Maybe we should submit this to Hallmark? Don't you think we could find appropriate use under many circumstances for such a card, be it a co-worker, an ex-friend, a bad relationship? *LOL*

So what did I do today?


2.Staples to get copies for Saturday's "My Blue Heaven" Workshop in Goldsboro, NC.

3.Walmart to buy a new blender. (YAY oh yes..this one comes with a food processor jar too...I'm so easily amused!)

4.Dropped off car at the Saturn dealership for it's 50k flush out appt. Got loaner car in return...Weeeeeee! It's an Outlook with all the bells and whistles. I want one. Of course they knew I would, that's why they loaned it to me in the first place! (*&@#($*&(*&! But..I'll keep my Vue another 4 years or so. I love that car.

I'll pic the Vue up tomorrow around noon when I leave for Goldsboro.

5. Ran to Sam's Club (in the loaner car) for assorted stuff.

6. Finished quilting Jared (HALLELUJIA!!!) and got the binding and sleeve on, ready for hand work this evening.

A Scottish friend in Canada sent me a DVD of "BAD GIRLS" and I can't wait to watch it.

Bad Girls was an award winning British television drama series that was broadcast on ITV from 1999 to 2006. It was produced by Shed Productions, the company which later produced Footballers' Wives and Waterloo Road . It was set in the fictional women's prison of Larkhall, and featured a mixture of serious and light storylines focusing on the prisoners and staff of G Wing.

It sounds hilarious...and great for stitching by.

So here are the pics of Jared....over my front porch rail, binding on, sleeve hanging (it's like a slip hanging below the skirt...*LOL*) and that's what my evening entails.

Thanks again....for carrying me through tough times! It's great to know we are not alone, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

*singing* PRO-CRAST-IN-A-TION!!!!

Remember that Carly Simon song, "Anticipation??" And then it was used for the sound track to the ketchup commercial?? (don't remember, del monte, heinz,or hunts...whichever...I just remember it was ketchup!)

Well, that's what I'm humming today as once again Jared Takes A Wife gets put on the back burner as far as quilting goes! But it's only noon-thirty, so there is still hope!

A box came from Anna, and inside of it were pieces and parts and scraps and chunks of stuff she didn't want in HER sewing room any more, so they came to mine :c)

In a midst all the cute kid flannels and brights and Christmas fabrics and lots of other fabric "stuff"...there were these 16 Yellow Brick Road blocks that just needed to be put together! It niggled at me and it niggled at me, and I finally convinced myself that in about 1.5 hours I could slap those puppies together, and put a couple borders around them and call them done. Anna....thanks for the gift of the blocks! It gave me a quick surge of piecing pleasure, and I am so thrilled with this! It's helping me work through some very stressful emotional times.

I'm not sure if it's going to be an autumn table topper at my house, or be gifted to someone (I have someone in mind...but not sure of the colors she likes yet) but this really lifted my spirits today. What a way to pay it forward!

And all this....really IS helping me deal with a 19 yr old high school drop out son who wants to blame us for everything that is "wrong" in his life without taking any responsibility for the fact that HE is the one who quit school, quit the GED program, quit his job, finds EVERY job beneath him. We offered to pay him for painting the deck, but he did half a job and quit..so no money until he finishes...and now he wants to go live somewhere else.

(yes, this is my rant and I need to get it off my chest or die)

He forgets we pay the insurance on his car..and his cell phone..and he is going to find himself without BOTH very soon. He has a way of twisting things....of saying he is going to QUIT the electrical courses we paid for at the community college that just started this week, as a way to get back at us. Geeze, tough love is hard. Is it really best for my son to go live in a gutter to figure it out that he isn't entitled to everything he has, he needs to WORK for it?

Do I want my son to go live in his CAR? It's put a torture on my heart and I am hating this so much. We have all been WORKERS in this family. To have one who isn't..who just wants to slide by...is driving me nuts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where's Bonnie?!

She's back in NC!

I got back Sunday evening from visiting the Crossroads Quilt Guild in Perry, GA. Had an absolutely FABULOUS time!

I know you think the travel has got to be killing me,but you know what? It isn't! I might not have as much time to post as I did before, but when I can drive...I find that very relaxing. Me and books on MP3, a couple antique malls to get my wiggles out and break up a long drive, and I'm a happy camper!

This time I was able to go through Augusta and had a fun lunch with Siobhan of Scraps & Thread Tales. We hit an antique Mall there, and I bought the cutest little Sew Handy by Singer....with the box in tact! It was so fun to see her, even for an hour or so.

And Sio, I didn't come back through Augusta...I went 75 to 85 instead, so I didn't make it back to get that red cabinet with the drawers...if you still want it, it's yours! *LOL* Atlanta isn't too bad to navigate around on a Sunday morning, and going that way meant I avoided all the little tiny towns and stops along the way. Besides...their antique malls were closed on a Sunday! :cD Thanks for the wonderful lunch, the batik tote bag and the gorgeous china inside! It's already in my hutch, and i'm going to USE it!

I quilted and quilted in the evenings while enjoying my time with Angelia and her hubby. We laughed and laughed, went out for Vietnamese food, BBQ....what a wonderful time.

I am nearly done with the center of the "Love in The Barn Door" quilt....then the outer border is all that's left to go, but not sure what I want to do there yet.

You can see...in the center of my hoop...the SMALL area that needs to be filled in...almost there!

I'm using wool batting in this one, wow..I love how that needles. I remember Gwen Marston saying when we had lunch in Fl with her, Tonya and I, that she didn't like wool because it beards. Maybe so....but it sure needles better than cotton, and it doesn't get the little fleckies of batting pulling through on the thread like quilter's dream cotton does either. So what's a quilter to do? It's not something that will be heavily washed or used..so I think it's going to be less likely to beard.

Besides...it was scraps of batting that needed a purpose, and using them in this cleared them out :c)

Here's a close up of what I was doing in the pieced borders before I got the center done as far as it is.

And this little ditty! I finished this one on the plane to Idaho, and the binding and sleeve are done.....finished that while watching The Biggest Loser finale a week ago :c)

Today? Jared Takes A Wife goes ON the machine. I need it quilted and bound before the Quilter's Unlimited show at the Dulles Expo center in June. That's my goal for today...get it mounted in the machine,and start the quilting.

But FIRST..I'm off to the gym!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Memories....

Hey Y'all!

I survived the Mother's Day reunion! I got back Monday night late..and as usual, so many other plates are spinning, it's hard to keep them all up there.

Would you believe we had 2 parents, 6 siblings and 3 spouses, and 7 kids 9 and under? There were 18 of us all together,and what a zoo it was! But I love zoos....so this was so worth it.

Every minute was spent either eating, cleaning up from eating,or preparing what next meal would be served. Isn't that how it always goes with huge amounts of people?

It was wonderful watching my siblings with their kids. I'd met one niece and one nephew, but the other 5 were new arrivals since the last time I had visited.

I'll give you an idea of this....there were 2 5 year olds and one 3 year old, and all of them (girls) had to be the BOSS all at the same time. Get my drift?

Saturday we found a yard sale and I found a little china tea set...tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, 4 plates, 4 cups...4 knives and 4 forks, all little girl sized, for $6.00!! Too cute....So from there the idea sprang...give the girls a TEA PARTY! We found some cheap swanky bead necklaces for the girls, and some fun hats, and we were on our way...

And the bossy girls became docile! And polite! And then after a while my nephew, age 9, joined in, and was saying please and thank you. Too cute.

We took long walks up mountain roads....every day. Most days twice. I love it up there. The air is so crystal clear. Lilacs were in bloom and my mom's garden was coming alive with spring.

I took a lot of pics of cabins I liked...I'd love to have a log cabin some day in the mountains...

and I took pics of my mom's place,not log,but still a cabin....love the smell of the pines and the sound of the wind blowing through them.

I wish I had taken more pictures. Some family had left by the time I took these. My brother Michael and his wife Nicole had gone back down to Boise where they live. My sister Mary and her hubby Kelly and two kids had left to go back to Salt Lake because Mary had to work an evening shift on Mother's Day.

But I got these!! Forever Hugs!!

Me and my mom. We are 20 years apart. My sister Mary and I are also 20 years apart.

My handsome brother Rick! Rick was born when I was 15. Since I was married at 19, I was gone most of his growing up. I felt more like his Aunt than his sister..but we reconnected, and he is a wonderful young man.

My gorgeous and talented sister Joy. She is a JOY to my life!

My brother David who entertained us with his tales of farm life and soothed us with beautiful guitar melodies around the camp fire.

There is more to post,but it's getting late....and guess who has to leave for Perry, Georgia in the morning? It's a 7 hour drive...yep. She's on the road again!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Off She Goes..

Thanks to the comments, I did some re-thinking. I'm taking the MACHINE as a carry on, and checking my clothing bag. I'm using my wheelie case for the machine so I CAN wheel it, and just leaving the case with my mom as a bonus, or if I end up buying a bunch of stuff (doubt it but you never know) I can use the machine wheelie case to bring stuff home.

I KNOW I didn't get enough sleep last night, maybe....4 hours? urgh. So I hope to sleep on the plane, but doubt that too! :cD

I'll be back Monday night! Happy Mother's Day, Even if you have no offspring of your own, we as Quilters are always mothering someone in our lives. It's in our nature!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I just got off the phone with my mom for last minute details. I'm taking her my older Viking 500 machine...SHE'S QUILTING!! And needs a machine, and heaven and all a sundry knows I have machines to spare.

I just plugged it in to clean it up and run it..the only thing missing is a 1/4" foot. I think I used my "little foot" that I also use for my featherweight when sewing on the Viking, and sorry mom....you can't have my own foot!

I'm off to the dealer to buy her a new one and see what else I can put together. This is a combo Mother's Day/Birthday gift for her since her birthday is right around the corner in June.

I'll box it up with styrofoam peanuts (another thing I need to do today) and it will be my "checked" luggage, since I'm going to have to check SOMETHING, it will be the one thing that doesn't have wheels :c)

For Chrisee..

Chrisee asked in her blog comment about what is "allowed" on planes now, and I tried to reply to her privately, but when I clicked reply, I got the dreaded "noreply@blogger.com" address. Urgh.

I still think it's a valid question, some might find interesting! I had more trouble getting back FROM Canada to the USA when I flew last month (was it ONLY last month??)than I have had going anywhere within the US or from the US to Canada.

Before going though Customs in Winnipeg, I was told ALL scissors would be confiscated. So I quickly took my sewing kit out of my carry on and put it in my checked bag, and just read a book on the way back to the states.

But travel within the US? Small thread snips are allowed, needles are no problem, and no one has even questioned my seam ripper (a tiny brass one) that I use for removing the basting stitches from my small hand quilting project.

My little travel bag consists of thread, a needle book with needles, small thread snips, thimble, and that small seam ripper. If you don't want to take the whole spool of thread due to space shortage, wind thread on a bobbin! That helps save space.

My hoop is 12". It's not huge, but it's not tiny. It's big enough for me to work with the space I'm given on a plane without it going past the arm rests and into someone else's lap, which is always a consideration when flying coach! This little quilt is only 28" square. I don't like to fly with much over 36". It's just too much to deal with.

That said, I do find lots of opportunity to quilt at layovers in between flights, during flights....if we have to be to the airport 1.5 to 2 hours early, bringing a project can really put that time to good use!

I do keep a book with me as well, because sometimes stitching does NOT work out. Right now I'm going retro..I'm reading a novel by Ayn Rand first published in 1957. The title is "Atlas Shrugged". The idea for writing the book came to her in 1943.

It's amazing the fore sight she had, because what I'm reading sounds so much like what society has done in our day! And it's fun to read the nuances and words of that time period. Gay still meant happy then! :cD And references to things like "straigtening the seams at the back of her stocking...." I love that era in movies, so it is fun to read it in this book too. Not for the faint of heart, it's about 1000 pages.....

And with the mention of this book, I must add the following question "Who is John Galt??" (Read the book if you want to know!)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Thurs morning I leave for Idaho! I'm getting very excited...I hope the weather holds out well. We have plans to do lots of hiking and BBQing and enjoying each other. I'll be meeting nephews and nieces I've never met before...one brother in law and one sister in law that I haven't met yet either.

I need a hand project to take with me...and I unearthed this top while cleaning out my studio this afternoon! I backed it with a fun gold/yellow print and quickly meander-basted it with huge stitches on the quilting machine. I was able to use up some scraps of hobbs wool batting in the process.

I plan on hand quilting it with black thread. The other hand quilting project has less than 2 sides of border fans to go, and I know I'll finish that on one leg of the trip...so this one is for working on while I am relaxing and visiting with family, and on the way home again on Monday.

It has poured ALL DAY here, which is fine with me....I've used the time to stay home and get things in order around here. It's been a productive day,and I hope tomorow will be too.

No, Jared Takes A Wife didn't make it on the machine, because the little Churn Dash Love did....so maybe tomorrow?

Oh..and this little interesting bit...I just got an email from a gal in Canada, who is distraught because she BOUGHT a mystery at a shop in Canada...10 bucks per clue...($70 for the whole mystery!!) only to find that it is my Double Delight.

Lovely. I have given permission for shops to give it out free....to teach it as a class as long as they don't charge for the class...but not to sell it with a kit,etc. It must remain FREE. But to charge $10 a clue when it is on my website for free? Couldn't they, shouldn't they design their own?

I told her to print out my email with my comments and go to the shop and ask for her money back. I hope they give it to her.

Summer rain taps at my window.....

Remember that song?! Only it wasn't tapping during the night, it was POUNDING! Not sure what time it started,but I woke up about 2am and had to shut some windows because it was splashing in.

No complaints here...really, I love a good rain storm,and summer ones are the best! And yes, for me summer starts the moment temps reach about 80 degrees. So it is summer here in NC :c)

I had a wonderful time in Jacksonville! And I did get to run on the beach one more time...Sunday morning...before heading out of town. I love Jacksonville! What a great place! I was also able to hit a couple quilt shops down there, one Friday night during the art walk when we went out to dinner in St Augustine (Neat old town!)and also wandered art galleries and schmoozed with people. FUN!

The other shop we hit during our lunch break on Saturday....Old Green Cupboard...oh MY! My fave shop by far. I did a little bit of fabric buying there. There was this stripe I wanted on the back sale rack....50% off if I took what was left on the bolt, so I did. I love stripes....they are great for sashings, bindings, borders...love them!

So here's a little slide show of things from my trip....photos from St Augustine (where I wish I had more time to spend) and the Crumbs workshop and Cathedral Stars workshop.....fun all around! There are a few Savannah pics towards the end...but it was hard to take them from the trolley tour :c) (I only had an hour and a half there..)

I've pieced a back for Jared Takes A Wife, and hopefully will get it on the machine today.....*fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happiness Is...

Running miles on the beach in Jacksonville, FL!!

I tell you, time on the beach this evening was worth the 7+ hours of driving it took to get here!

If things go right, I might be able to hit the sand again Sunday morning before returning back up to Columbia to spend the night with Jason and Kim.

Now for a good night's sleep before a workshop in the morning....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's a Top!

Look what I did today?! And that's about ALL I did today....believe me! It wasn't for lack of wanting to do more, it was just all I was able to do.

I have a confession to make. I started sewing the rows together on the Janome, and just was not liking how things were NOT lining up. I got back out my Bernina 1080 and things went FINE. There *IS* a difference in machines, and for me, that Bernina just can't be beat when it comes to joining blocks with thick intersections, matching seams without having to pin every 2" etc. I'm a Bernina girl through and through.

So what about the Janome? Well..it will have to be a backup machine. I've got it set into it's own table..if someone wants to come sew with me, I'm set up with two machines ready to go. I'll still use it for various things that the Bernina can't do. I'm not writing it off. The Janome can't be beat for that thread cutter when paper piecing...and I have it facing the TV so I can see myself mindlessly piecing pineapple blocks and getting my money's worth right there. I guess for me not one machine can do everything the way I want it...I don't feel like it was a waste of money, it just wasn't the end all beat all that I thought it would be.

Speaking of pineapple blocks....I've had so many people email me already saying they couldn't find the pineapple block pattern on my website after seeing my post with pics of them here on my blog. Well duh! *LOL* The quilt isn't done yet! I've barely done a pile of blocks. It's a work in progress.

There are lots of paper pieced patterns for pineapples out there. You just need to find one. Here is one in a 6" size. Go bigger if you want....you can get 7.5" on a single sheet of printer paper without having to tape anything (and that is where I draw the line..I'm not taping anything!)

I just want to keep this one thing to myself for a while :c) The ones I am doing are 5" finished. When the quilt is done (and it may be a LONG time from now)I may post it as a printable pattern on my website, but not until then, okay?

Burgers are on the grill....and I'm off to Jacksonville FL in the morning! Cathedral Stars workshop and Crumbs workshop coming up!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Too Funny.....

After reading my statue of liberty post, Debbie sent me a link where I can put my face into the statue of liberty. How funny!!!

I really did enjoy wandering around NYC by myself. If I had had more than just a few hours, I would have contacted some of you to meet me for lunch, but it was such a spur of the moment impromptu day, that I just didn't think of doing it.

Walking up Broadway gave me all sorts of opportunities to watch people and admire the flowers everywhere..just look at these!

I had to take a pic through the iron fence at the church yard of Trinity Church near Ground Zero. Look at that color!

These trees were blooming on Liberty Island. it was such a beautiful day to take a ferry ride. I'm glad I chose to do this instead of stay inside in a museum all day. If the weather had been bad, or hot and muggy, I may have chosen the museum route! But after this long winter, I've really been longing to just BE OUTSIDE.

These tulips around this fountain were even more orange and vibrant than you see in the photo. SO happy to the eyes. Yes. I am drawn to orange, even in my quilts. I know a little goes a long way, and I sometimes think I add too much, but I just love orange!!

This floor is INSIDE the building at Ellis Island. Wouldn't it make a great border? It's amazing to me that even though the place was dilapidated and fell into disrepair for many years before it was restored, that they were able to keep details like this in tact for us to see. I wonder how many children who stood in line traced these designs with feet or fingers while they tried to occupy themselves.

This is the ceiling in the "great hall" where immigrants had to wait for hours to present themselves for entry in to the USA. I love the herringbone pattern of it. A lot of beautiful workmanship went into this building, and I'm sure it made a statement to those who waited so long to enter.

This is the front of the building at Ellis Island...quite a foreboding structure isn't it? And yet full of so much hope for so many at the same time.

I've spent 2 days now trying to get my ducks in a row. I had a killer workout with my trainer this morning. Mostly arms and legs...arms are my weak spot...I never really cared about having buff arms! *LOL* By the time we were done I felt so wobbly, it was like they had surgically removed all my bones. Needless to say that today's activities (after bank and post office duties)involved a long NAP! I need it!

I keep beating myself up for time I'm NOT spending at the machine. I want to be in the mood to piece..I really do...I've got the rows all ready to join together into a center..maybe tonight? If I don't fall asleep first...