Monday, July 27, 2009

Mary Jo's Run...

Last Friday, Four of us took a run down to Gastonia for a Mary Jo's Cloth World Fix.

We Came, We Shopped, We Conquered!

I really didn't "NEED" anything. Not in the way of fabric or anything, but I will tell you what I did need! The laughter and companionship of girlfriends out on a road trip.

The other day I read a quote from "Sex in the city" that has just given me the giggles and rang so true in many ways at the same time. It goes:

"Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with" --sex and the city

The longer I live..the more I see so much sense in this! My girl friends are there with support and laughter and understand every quilty need.The guys? Well, in this house, I'll give them the benefit of TRYING to get me, but mostly, they have just learned to raise one eyebrow, but keep their mouths shut! *LOL*

So what did I come home with? Not a lot (unless you count the sore belly muscles from multitudinous and copious amounts of genuine belly laughter!

I hit the remnant bins on the cotton solids. I always hit those, never know when you are going to find some AWESOME solids that will be just the right accent to whatever project. Solids to me are a legitimate purchase, just the same as the B words..backgrounds, borders, bindings, backings.. I love this darkest darkest dark chocolate. There are two pieces of it. It's yumtious! I'm thinking of using it in place of a black background on a solids project.

Two Green FQs.
Two fun fabrics for possible borders. 2 yards each.

That's it. That's all the fabric that said "TAKE ME HOME" and I was able to say no to everything else.

One EZ Rule 6.5X13 inch ruler. I love these rulers. What can I say, yes, I also like the creative grid, but this is just a smidge longer. I like that it has the 1/4" dashed markings all along the outside edge of the ruler, around all 4 sides. Makes it great for squaring things up and trimming. The numbers are HUGE...and it has no green or yellow so it is easy for me to read. And unlike the creative grids, you don't have to flip the ruler around to use the stuff on the half inch. And it was cheap. About $10.00.

Yesterday I got to the point where I actually had to turn the computer off and walk AWAY. The pattern writing is stressing me out to no end. I've got 8 of 12 done. # 12 is still in the piecing stage. #9 and #10 are just not easy for me to diagram even in EQ because I am so EQ challenged. Even today..I'm putting off writing?! That's why I'm writing this instead :c|

My fears? My quilts are too big for what people will want. I make bed sized quilts. All the beds in my house are queen or king. I have no lap size projects in this book. No foo foo book covers or table toppers or cutesy hand bags for this book. None of the novelty "make it quick" type projects. It's BIG QUILTS. Is there a market for that? I hope so. I have some small wall hangings made with leaders/enders but I'm not sure if there will be room for them in the book at this point, maybe just a gallery section with small enticements, but no patterns for them. Then people will want patterns for them. So yes, I am stressing to the max here.

One thing I've always told myself is to make what *I* want to make...just for the enjoyment of it. It might not be the best marketing strategy, but it keeps me anchored to what I love.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I found this little lovely in an antique mall many months back. Somehow it never made it into a post, but I have had the most FUN playing with this thing!!

Quilter's Blocks! Each side of the wooden cube has either a red, white, yellow or blue solid, or a half square triangle. What a boon this would have been to a quilter of yesterday before computers.

What I really like about them is that you play with design, without really spending too much time on color because your choices are limited in the blocks. It's more like just designing in "gray scale" which allows your mind to put your own colors where you want them, without the colors themselves clogging up your design process. At least that is how it works for me!

I'm not sure when this little ditty was manufactured, but if you ever come across one, pick it up..FAST!

I found THIS SET on Ebay. It is set number 14, manufactured in the 1920s. Mine is set number 34 so maybe mine are from the 30s,40s. I didn't pay near what the set on ebay was running for!

Just a sweet piece of Quilt-nostalgia that I wanted to share with you....as I get back to drafting patterns in EQ to the point where I would do ANYTHING to get away from the computer and just go SEW SOMETHING!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Scrap Insanity

Wouldn't that be a great title for a book? I'm seriously considering it!

Especially as I realized what I was doing this morning.....

I am making some little connector blocks out of 2.5" neutral squares, placing a 1.5" square in one corner, sewing on the diagonal, and trimming the excess.

It hit me...that even THESE little mini triangles are the PERFECT size for the centers of my ongoing 5" pineapple project.

GOOD GRIEF. The fabric just never goes away does it? is there any piece that is too small?????

Well yes, I draw the line at dog ears, but there are people who even use THOSE! No thanks...I think this is the end of the Fabric Food Chain for me...triangles trimmed from 1.5" squares and saved for the center of pineapple blocks.

Scrap Insanity, Indeed!

(But oh what fun!!!!) :cD

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kindle, Oh Kindle!!!

I just returned from the gym, and look what is rubber banded to my mailbox!! MY KINDLE from Amazon!!

I've heard so many neat things about this gadget...talked to one of the gals in Oregon who ordered one, and sat next to a guy in the San Francisco airport on my way home from Oregon, and he was kind enough to give me the whole INFOMERCIAL on how much he loves this thing. It was too cute. I've never seen a guy so obsessed with any object!

Come to think of it, yes I have, but that's a story for another day..*LOL*

Anyway...with the traveling I do, books are big and heavy and this seems like just the ticket. And I'm a gadget girl myself, geeky one that I am, so this tickles me.

I can hardly wait to get it out of the box!

The first book I'm putting on it? The Fountainhead By Ayn Rand...a must have read.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mail Squishies!!

Ooooh! Lookie Lookie!!

Carol from Dallas sent me a squishy with 12 different plaids! They are GORGEOUS!! Just what I needed to cheer me up and give me a fabric fondling moment away from the computer and pattern writing...AHHHHHH!

Thanks Carol, you made my day!

Too funny not to share!!

Every day I get silly emails. Some are worth saving in a file I have nicknamed "ridiculous"

Now, it isn't that the people are ridiculous, but sometimes the requests are! I get requests from people saying they want to take a certain quilt I've designed and make it queen size, but not do it scrappy, and this that and the other and would I please rewrite the pattern for them so the block turns out at THIS size not THAT size, and can I tell them exactly how much yardage they need, because they don't want ANY left overs. These make me smile! But No....I don't offer this service, sorry :c)

Then ones like this come in just this morning, and I am rolling on the floor laughing! I need to get to the gym, I've got an appt with my trainer in 1/2 hour, but I have to have to have to share this...

She writes:
I started a disaster of a quilt when my daughter graduated from high school in 2005. Thought I knew what I was doing. Have t-shirt logos (swimming from High school) sewn on yellow and black squares that are way too big. Outlined logos with seam binding - oh my goodness. Bought ribbon to cover up the crooked seams (haven't done that yet) and yellow jacket buttons to attach wherever. I need help. Do you do disaster recovery work? I need to get this done, but it has been sitting under my sewing machine for 4 years. Please let me hear from you. Thanks so much.

OH! MY! GOODNESS! Is this a project any of you would like to take on? Oh, come on, you know you want to! :c)

I nicely emailed her back, and told her no, that I wasn't quilting for others any more because of my travel schedule. It is so NICE to have a legitimate reason to turn someone down...

I'll be smiling to myself all day over this one!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lazy Blogger :c)

Or is that Running Crazy Blogger? You know last Wednesday was a wash, because it was the morning I returned from a red eye flight. That left Thursday and Friday to get myself in order before the weekend.

The weekend was filled with a BBQ for a co-worker of DH's that is being transferred to TX, quilting the mystery quilt for Quiltmaker so it can be sent off today.....

Sunday I spent BINDING and LABELING the quilt so it can be sent off today....

And because it's the mystery, I can't show you ANY pictures! Quiltmaker had sent me the fabric for the borders, backing and binding, and I took the whole shebang with me to Oregon to assemble there, and then quilt it over the weekend.

We also snuck out to a matinee yesterday afternoon to see the new Harry Potter movie. It still ends so open ended that you KNOW there has to be more to the story and just leaves you hanging! Still, it was fun to see how the kids have grown up, and I've enjoyed seeing these movies over the years.

Because I can't show you WHAT I was working on...I've uploaded a slideshow to webshots....

Sisters, Oregon, 2009

*NOTE* The slide show only holds about 1/2 the pics I uploaded to the album. To view them ALL...click the this LINK! You don't want to miss out on all the gorgeous antiques from the show.

The first couple of pics are of our "collaborative" booty from shopping! My friend Randy had a discount for her birthday....1/2 her age in percentage...I won't tell you how much we saved, but it was quite a bit..so she bought EVERYTHING for us, and we divvied up the bill when we got back. Randy, you just get better as you get older and get us a bigger percentage with each year that passes! *LOL*

Oh, my big purchases? A grill pan for my BBQ, a car phone charger for my iphone, and there was something else...oh yes....Lindt DARK CHOCOLATE WITH CHILI..OMGoodness...I know it sounds weird, but it is unbelieveably good in a very grown up chocolate kind of way ;c) Try it. If you don't like it, you can send the rest to ME! (It's got a slow burn..yummy...)

I'll warn you, when I take pics at shows..it's usually PARTS of quilts. Sometimes not even the whole quilt. Just a block, a border, a quilting design. Sometimes it's just a color theme I like...so if it looks like a 9 year old was taking these pics...that's why :c)

Near where my friend lives in Sun River, there is The High Desert Museum. In conjunction with the Quilt Show, they had a display of 1800's quilts that were just PHENOMENAL. I think I enjoyed seeing these quilts up close more than anything else I saw at the show itself. That said, I enjoyed the antique quilt booth at the show more than I enjoyed seeing any of the quilts hanging....

But it was fun to see that someone had entered an "Old Tobacco Road" and there was a "Carolina Crossroads" as well. FUN!

I'm just back from the gym.....need a shower, and then need to get down to some pattern writing for the book that is due to my publisher end of Sept. Time to get this baby on track!

Oh, and I DID bring home a really neat quilt with me. No photos of it yet because the battery on my camera died. I'll see what I can get today for a blog post tomorrow. I think you are going to like it...I know I do!! I have two words to intrigue you...DOUBLE PURPLE. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sisters Sisters!

Here is a pic of the 5 of us with the gorgeous mountain view in the background!

Yesterday I was a zombie. I napped in the afternoon, but it threw my sleeping schedule way off (not to mention I'm still time zone challenged!) and I was up at 4:45 this am which would have been close to 2am Oregon time. Go figure!

Today...house cleaning. Grocery shopping. Errand Running...maybe some quilt sewing??

I've got one of my favorite groups from the 90s motivating me in the background...I've got The Cranberries playing up loud. Fun!

And life swings back into "normal" mode!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Long Road Home..

I know I've gone too long without posting when I get emails saying that the plane in my last post looks like it's been in the air way too long and would I please resurface!

I'm sitting at the airport in San Francisco, waiting for a red eye (yawn!) to take me home via Chicago. It's going to be a zombie of a Wednesday, I can tell you that much!

My time in Oregon was wonderful. There were 5 of us gals just working away on our projects. I'd say non-stop, but we did stop to enjoy the beautiful weather and take advantage of the biking and walking trails around Sun River. I really do believe it has to be my favorite place on earth.

I've got pics on my camera, in my checked luggage, but I do have some on my phone I'm going to try to upload here.

Something looks fishy, you say?? Well, I would have to agree with you! We did the most fun thing, each night someone was in charge of fixing dinner for everyone, and boy did we eat well! What you see here is my attempt at grilled salmon with lemon over grilled veggies. It really did turn out well and there was no salmon left by the time we were done. As each night came around the meals just got better and better!

We rode bikes and walked daily. We stopped here by the river and I had to snap some shots..it was just beautiful! I love this footbridge that curves up and over the river to get to the other side.

The mountains are majestic as well. I couldn't get good photos....it looks like they are so far in the distance but they are not. There is just something so beautiful about mountains with snow on them, even in the heat of July.

Here are a few shots of our working area!! The living room is perfect for laying out projects..you can see plenty of them draped over chairs and other furniture. We had 5 machines set up on 2 tables! And the "cat walk" above was the perfect spot for going up above to look at how a quilt layout looked from down below. Here you see 3 gals looking down to take pics of me, while I looked up to catch them with my camera as well!

I'll write more about the show when I get home. We just had a wonderful wonderful time and it will be hard to wait until next year to see everyone again.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane..

I'm packing and planning and getting ready for my trip to Oregon! I leave Friday!

SO if you don't hear from me for a while, never fear....I'm getting the rest and relaxation I need :c)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Simple Solution CAT

Per special request, this is what I'm using. It comes in a gallon for about $17.00 and it also came with a full spray bottle attached to it as a bonus at Petsmart!

Its a beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

She survived! And she just MIGHT thrive!

I saw no hair nor sound of her after putting her out yesterday. My poor mother's heart was in a panic. What if I didn't do the right thing? What if she just runs off for good? Would she survive the night?

The other voice in my head said "SO BE IT!!"

So this morning, when I let the other cats out...and saw Chloe meowering on the back deck to be LET IN...I knew she survived the night, and all would be well. She even let me PET HER??! Maybe this is tough love for kitties!

We have a 2 tiered deck..the upper level goes across the main floor of the house, one story above the daylight walk out basement. It's shady and tree covered. There are two stairways going down...one to the basement level, and the other steps 1/2 a level lower down to the hottub gazeobo, where the stairs take a turn and continue to go all the way down to the ground level.

She so far has found one stair tread between the two levels that she likes. I tucked a serving of kitty krunchies under the tread with her and she ate. My only worry is that Sadie eats EVERYTHING, and she would eat Chloe's food too, so I have to feed her when the dogs are IN.

I put water out there....

I've watched her exploring, and sniffing, and rubbing her face against everything. So...so far she hasn't decided to run away permanently ;c) At one point I looked out the kitchen window and she was laying on her side sunning herself...and it hit me. What if this is the first time ever that she has experienced the joy of sun on her coat? the first time seeing birds in flight, watching squirrels go from limb to limb? It's a whole new world out there for her and she just really MIGHT prefer it.

At any case..this is the way it will be. I'll have to brush her LOTS MORE (if she will let me close enough) Because that long fur is going to attract every weed and burr out there, but it's a small price to pay.

The other two kitties are in/out kitties and they are happy with the arrangement too. No racoons or coyotes or anything find their way onto our upper deck, so if she decides to make THAT her safety zone, she will be well and good. I'll just need to come up with some sort of sleeping quarters for her, and HOPE that she will adopt herself into it. The gazebo should keep her safe from rain...

Today I bought some of that "enzyme" activated kitty pee cleaner from Petsmart. I am AMAZED at how quickly it took care of the ammonia smell that was left after I repeatedly cleaned that area of the carpet yesterday. I'm sold on this stuff. I even washed down the brick hearth with it, incase the bricks had soaked up any nastiness.

On the other side of my day yesterday...I finished the binding on the Fungly Fifties "Hands All Around" quilt!

I've got it here on my guestroom bed..and I LOVE this quilt. It was definitely a scrap bag project...fabrics are WEIRD. Look at this one with the stripes and SPRINGS?Low contrast between some of the fabrics she used in the blocks. Her colors were limited to clothing scraps, and she used what she had. Good mix of "His" and "Hers" fabrics, which I love to see in true scrap quilts.

Though the fabrics might have been the bare bottom of the scrap bag, the workmanship in piecing them is NOT. This is a difficult pattern to piece with curved seams and inset y seams amongst the star points. The blocks were hand pieced, and then they were set together by machine.

The solid red used here and there REALLY pop to me...and I'm glad I added the inner red and outer turquoise/black check border to frame it all. It made the quilt JUST THE RIGHT SIZE! I'm still pinching myself that I found this top for something like $28.00!

I'm half done with my antibiotics now, and every day is better and better...I'm really glad, I've got just a few days to get everything together before I head to Oregon on FRIDAY!! YAY!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chloe Moved OUT!!

Chloe is NOW an outdoor cat!!!! I kept smelling something down here in my studio...she's been peeing on the carpet in front of the fireplace..NO MORE!!!!!

She poops on my chairs...I have taken care of her for about a year now, and no amount of incentive or cat training (HA!!! That is a contrast in terms if ever there was one!) will work.

She is NOT a lovey cat. You can't pick her up, you can't pet her. It's no wonder she was a rescue, I am such a sucker!

I am cleaning carpet ;c(

I don't want to take her to the pound...WHO is going to want a cat that can't be potty trained? I feel like she has a better shot at life this way..being my porch kitty. I'll feed her in the mornings. I'll try to pet her and love her out there. Lots of people have outdoor kitties. Come winter...maybe she can sleep in the garage, but I am SO done.

It's one thing to have a son you can't train, but a cat is a cat is a cat!

Please. No one comment about how cruel this is to a cat. I've been through the wringer. No animal rights activists.....if you comment, I just might send her to you to poop on YOUR chairs!!

PS...don't try to look for a graphic under "BAD KITTY" *LOL* You will be surprised what kind of adult sites pop up!!!