Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Seems Like LIFE to me...

Day two of being HOME for 2 weeks! I get up in the morning, think of what I need to do today, and then eeeeeaaaaassssseee into it....this is GREAT!

Yesterday, I have to admit....I didn't even get out of my jammies until after 4pm! I just..just...didn't even want to leave the house, didn't want to talk on the phone, didn't want to do ANYTHING. I even took a nap in the afternoon.

But lest you think of what a slug I am....I am 25% done with the writing of the pattern instructions for the next book. That's right! 3 patterns down out of 12, 9 more to go, and I'm pacing myself nicely thankyouverymuch! It's not easy for me to pace anything, seriously. I tend to go heck bent for leather, and that means if one is done I go right into the next, but I'm trying it a bit differently this time.

Nap came after the last pattern instructions were written. Then I got up and puttered around in the house a bit (oh so nice to ramble in a quiet house!) and later in the evening, after the sun had gone down...Sadie and I went and power walked the hills in my neighborhood for about an hour. I try to do SOMETHING physical every day, even if it is only walking. I chose evening, because I slept through the coolest part of the day (early morning) and it was the next best thing.

Yep. It is now too hot and muggy to want to be outside doing ANYTHING strenuous in the NC heat and humidity right now. I'm emptying the container for the dehumidifier in the basement DAILY!

I have central air that keeps the main level and the basement nice and cool (Love having this basement studio in the summer!) But there are 2 bedrooms and a bath on the upstairs floor and the one A/C unit we have just can't seem to kick the coolness up there where heat rises, so each bedroom has it's own window a/c unit. I've taken to turning that on full blast about 2 hours before bed time to cool things down. It uses too much energy to have it running 24/7.

Lookie what arrived!! My new EQ7 upgrade! I've heard so much about this.....and here I am still just getting to know EQ6 after being an EQ5 user...and it's time to upgrade AGAIN. Do I do it now? Or do I wait until I finish graphing out the projects for the book so they are all in the same format (EQ6) and THEN upgrade to this? I don't even fully know EQ6 yet! Sometimes I am just so far behind where I'd like to be when it comes to being tech-savvy....but, this is me, as I am.

I tell you what...if they keep upgrading this thing EVERY YEAR, I'm NEVER going to get competent at any version of it they put out!

So here I am with 2 weeks off. Know what is pressing on my mind besides book stuff? What projects to take to OREGON to work on for my week long retreat before the Sisters Show! I go every year to my friend Randy's house in Sun River.....I usually have projects lined up and raring to go for a productive week...and this year? UUUUuhhhhh :::FAIL::::: I've been working on getting the book quilts done. There is one left that the blocks are almost done for, and the top needs set together and borders decided on..but THAT IS IT!

So..I dig into the UFOs...one project that comes to mind is my Nearly Insane that has not been touched really for...*GASP* Years. YEARS!! Should it come with me?

There is the applique that was not touched on a project that went all the way to Oregon and back with me last year. Or...was that 2 years ago?? Ackk! It's the string star with the words in the border. *shaking head*

There are ideas for quilts for the next up and coming book after this one, but do I really want it to be all about work and no play? It doesn't have to feel that way, but there will be an awful lot of kitting up needing to be done in the next two weeks to get NEW projects to the point I want to take them. When you are a scrap quilter, you can't just grab a stack of FQs and go. It's all about variety. TONS of variety.

I might ship my string bin ahead....and work on some string quilts I've wanted to do for the longest time. That would be fun. There is A LOT of variety in that bin. I add to it with every project I make...and there is the "bed in a bag" type zipper container that has all the strings from the recycled shirts too. So that would be cinchy...I just need to figure out the "Go WITH" fabrics that the strings could play against and I'd be raring to go. I might go with that idea.

So Today....went like this:

1. Go to Gym.
2. Proceed to lock key to open NEW padlock on locker...IN the locker...
3. Find someone to break open NEW lock with bolt cutters.. :c/
4. Pat self on the back for buying a 4 pack of locks that all use the same key...((One down, Three to go!))
5. Take car to Best Buy to FINALLY put new speakers in the car since the right front one has been blown out for about 2 years now. Can't take it anymore!
6. While car is at Best Buy, walk to the Sports Authority and buy new running shoes...old ones don't have any support in them anymore. (Sounds like my bra...but that's another day!)
7. Waste more time by having Two fer Tuesday Tacos at Moe's grill.....still waiting for car to be done.
8. Stop at thrift shops on way back looking for a desk for Jeff's computer...no luck there, but found some shirts 1/2 price for ME TO WEAR! (Not for cutting up..I'm banned from buying more of those..lol)

It's not a total waste of the day, even if I haven't done anything quilty...YET. There are still hours to go, it's only 3:30pm.

Yep, it's good to be HOME!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mountains of Scraps!

So here it is Sunday morning, and my time in Arlington Heights is drawing to a close!

I can't believe how fast the time has flown, and I haven't had a chance to sit and type a blog post until now!

Thursday's lecture was amazing. I had a couple special guests come to see me, my mom's first cousin Verlon, and his lovely wife Pearl. I've never seen a cuter couple in my life! I knew I liked Verlon when I met him for the first time the week of Grandpa's funeral, and this time it was wonderful to extend the extended family even farther, and get to spend time with his wife!

I think they were amazed at how INVOLVED we quilters are! I'm sure they thought, when I invited them to the guild meeting, that we were all going to be a bunch of little blue haired old ladies just sitting around a sun bonnet sue quilt in the frame! SURPRISE!!! :cD

There were close to 250 people at the meeting, and the quilters ranged in ALL ages. Some traveled as far as 6 hours away or more to get here. Show and tell was phenomenal, and I think that Verlon and Pearl got a good eyeful of what we quilters are about! I had to explain to them how quilting is every bit as much about community and giving as it is about bedcovers :c) It really IS a life choice, a life style, a commitment.

It was also fun to tell him during my lecture something that I thought of that I bet he didn't even know. He and my mother share the same grandmother. *I* have inherited that grandmother, my great-grandma Manuel's black singer sewing machine. So I told the audience how this special machine came to be in my possession, and he was fascinated that such an object as a sewing machine can be a definite family tie through generations. Isn't that great?

On to Friday's workshop.....

Arlington Hts IL Scrappy Mt Majesties 2010

Little slide show of the blast we had making Scrappy Mountain Majesties blocks from 8.5" squares! I dearly love seeing what people bring in, their color schemes, the stories behind their old fabrics and who/where they came from. I love that fabric has memory...especially if the piece you are using is the left overs from some long ago project for someone you love. It just holds all those feelings and sentiments. Our old fabrics are a link to our past, of where we were when, of what we were doing, of what things were like. It's a trigger for sights and sounds and smells and memories.

As you flip through the slide show, pay special attention to the one pic with the TINY PINK BLOCK!! One of the students had to try it in 1/2 size, and ended up with a mountain block that was only 4" tall, and would finish at 3.5" tall. ADORABLE! (Now I've got all kinds of ideas for doing something like this as a border....someone stop me before it gets too insane!)

If you have paid attention to the weather channel or news over the past couple of days you might have come across details of this huge storm that even blew out windows in the sears tower. It was quite the storm!

We were ending class close to 3:30pm and I got a phone call from one of the guild ladies saying that everyone who lived close might want to head home a bit early because this storm was approaching. Those who lived west were advised to stay until it passed. We were in the Arlington Heights library, and figured that we were in as safe a place as any. You could hear the rain and the wind hit the building, but there were no windows where we were, so we had no idea how bad it was out there.

When we finally left...the power was out in all the surrounding areas. There were trees and lines down, traffic lights were out..it was a complete mess! I'm just so grateful that we were all okay.

It also turns out that a shop that was 2 blocks up from my hotel was struck by lightning and burned down!! More storms later that night...it was a real mess.

My hostesses who have been taking care of me are still without power at their homes and may be for a couple more days...I'm just grateful that we are all okay physically (and that we unplugged all our machines so none of THEM blew up either! Priorities, you know?!)

Okay kiddos...time for me to pack this up and get the rest of my bags organized and head HOME! This girl is on the go again, and I'll post more about the rest of the trip when I get back to NC!

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello from The Hotel Indigo!

I've found HEAVEN....in Palatine, IL!! This is the oasis I've needed for just a bit of "me alone" time after all the running I've been doing.

My flight left Greensboro an hour late this morning...didn't bother ME a bit, I just sat there in the gate area quilting away, but the poor lady next to me...she was going to miss her brother's wedding! Oh well. What can you do? Some things are out of our hands, and I'm really working at decreasing my stress by just letting go of things I have no control over. It doesn't do any good...so I'm keeping that "Serenity Prayer" close at heart these days and "accept the things I can not change."

I was met at the airport by Marsha and her hubby, and they delivered me to my new digs in style. Welcome to The Hotel Indigo!

What a refreshing place! Who would not want to stay in this room and cozy up in this bed? All the colors of the hotel are so refreshing...a light celery/lime green and blue and periwinkle!!

This is the view from the bed side....I love the hardwood floors as well as the furnishings. I'm typing from this desk right now :c)

The "Welcome" area by the door..complete with lime green coffee maker!! COOL! I do feel very welcome here...

I don't know about you, but I always have to check out the bathroom in a new hotel room...GREEN WALLS!!! So restful and peaceful..and it hits me why I like these colors so much together...the blue, the green, the periwinkle...

I'M WEARING THE SAME THING! Oh yes, this place has got my number definitely!

I ran out to get a salad at subway, and look what I noticed on my way back into the lobby! CRUISER BIKES!! It was only 2pm, and I wasn't being picked up until 4:30 (still have 30 minutes to finish this blog post and get downstairs for pick up time!)so I stopped at the desk and asked how much to rent the bikes. $5.00 for 2 hours! What a bargain! How could I not want to ride a cruiser bike around twin lakes park and unwind for the afternoon before activities get going tonight?

I rode for about 90 minutes....it felt good to get those thigh muscles working, to feel the sun on my back and shoulders and the wind in my hair. I enjoyed watching people picnicing, children playing at the play grounds and feeding the ducks. Golfers doing their thing as their golf carts zoomed by on the paths. Lovers young and old holding hands and walking.

I also got dive bombed by a black bird, felt his claws in my hair, and it totally freaked me out!!! He must have thought my braid was something he wanted to build a nest with, but I kept it all to myself, luckily. Freaky Bird.

So I'm ready. Ready to head to dinner with the guild ladies and get everything set up. Ready to have my cousin ((once removed!)) and his lovely wife Pearl come join us for the guild meeting and teach them all the ins and outs of addicted quilters!

And I'll be ready to come back to my little perfect hideaway at The Hotel Indigo tonight when it is all done and dream dream dream, of lime green, navy blue, and periwinkle...

Oh and before I forget:

Lookie what I got yesterday....AT the thrift shop...for $4.99??? And it works wonderfully! I've never had a Rowenta before, so this one is for me. I shall NOT put water in it, I know about irons spitting over time. This one is going to be for dry ironing only! :cD

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And off she goes again....

Packing my bags for Arlington Heights, Illinois!

Yes, I know...I KNOW..I know more than anyone that I just got home, but you see, the family trip was stuck in there in an emergency situation, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. This trip tomorrow? Well, it's been on my calendar for about TWO YEARS. And I'm so happy to be going there! I've had emails from ladies (and gents)from the Chicago area who have traveled as far as Indiana to take my classes previously, and they can't wait for me to be local either, and it will be a reunion of sorts! ((Waving at Kathy and Teri and Ila and Dave and...))

As much as I love my family....it's also great to visit with like minded quilters! I'm just going to have to watch it when it comes to my magnetism toward Culver's Custard! I'm doing what I can to really work on this blood sugar thing. I don't think I can go up to their counter and ask for lo-carb sugar free diabetic custard :cÞ Celery Sticks? AUUGH!

This morning I pulled out the Dreamsicles quilt to check my progress on it. Boy! Things do go faster the closer you get to the center! This is a pic of the back, taken on my front porch swing...it's raining, (AGAIN!) so a pic on the deck wouldn't work to show detail. Too much light in my studio for detail..so...on the swing it goes! Can you see where I've quilted, leaving just an unquilted section in the center? My goal this trip is to FILL THAT IN and start on the border! Whooooo!

You know, if I didn't make the best of making the use of otherwise wasted time, this quilt would still be a P I G....(Project in Grocery Sack) languishing in the cupboard here in my studio. If this doesn't show you that you CAN make progress 15 minutes at a time....NOTHING WILL! This has all been found moments of time while I've been traveling, not a lick of hand stitching has been done while I've been here at home because there are too many other items on the hot plate when I am home.

I found a stencil that I want to use for the yellow border when I get to that point...I'm hoping I'll be to that point by the time I get home on Sunday! But we'll see.

And as for my "lay low" day yesterday? There was still some stuff that HAD to get done...like a run to the bank. I did work on writing some pattern instructions (just a bit) I took care of my mail, I got a pedicure (definitely goes into the THERAPY category!) and I took a NAP!

In the evening, when things had cooled down a bit...I was persuaded by DH to go walk the golf course with him while he played 9 holes. (Well really, it was 11 holes, but that's a story for another time!) After being mostly comatose all day, it felt good to get back out and stretch my legs. The golf course is close, and I love that it used to be an old farm...the silo and barn are still right there near the club house!

I played with my camera! I have friends who blog on a different format and they do what they call GPOYW (Gratuitous Picture Of Yourself Wednesday) I don't know how it got started...but this is me...on the golf course, hot and sweaty with DH, goofing around with the cam on my phone.

Silly Silly...and did I mention how HOT it was?! That pink thing you see in the corner is my ear buds..lol! I look like I've been lasso'd by them! Yes, I have pink ear buds...after buying countless pairs of white or black ones only to have them disappear (AHEM!) I have found that no one else in my house will TOUCH my pink ear buds...and I've had this pair over a year now..amazing! Pink is like kryptonite to the men folk in my family! (Pink rocks!) Pardon the hair..did I mention how hot it was and the wind was blowing? I do not usually sport a "Comb Over" :cD

Hot, Sweaty, and Silly...what a way to end a day!

Today? More pattern writing. Gym. Last of the Laundry. Repack Trunkshow. Fill Book Orders And Mail. Make chicken soup from the remains of last night's rotisserie chicken dinner. Get a good night's sleep....and off to Illinois I go! ((More silliness to follow!))

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From cold and rainy to mid 90s and humid!

My flight arrived home in Greensboro, NC around 11pm last night. I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open on the drive home! (Yes, good that I wasn't driving..lol)

Why was I so tired? Because we were going heck bent for leather in typical Mach fashion! (Mach is my mom's maiden name, and we typically run at Mach 5 speed!) I think the whole week caught up with me!

Now, you have to understand Mach family humor. We are avid as in AVID RABID yard salers. This meant comments such as ....."OH! Yard sale sign! do you think the funeral procession could just detour for just a few minutes?!?"

"Yard sale sign!" "yeah, but it's pouring..." "Doesn't matter! it's a GARAGE sale, and the weather is likely keeping people away so we can still get the GOOD STUFF!"

So yes, we did hit some yard sales Fri, Sat....and when we aren't yard saling, we are hitting the thrift stores! It's in the blood, what can I say?

So yesterday, my aunt dropped us off at a BIG one while she went and ran some errands. I found a few summer blouses for myself, and wound up at the fabric..YES! FABRIC! Loookie what I got!

That nile green calico is of some vintage age...it's only 35" wide (and has been prewashed at some date) and I got over 4 yards of it for $2.50! There was almost 5 yards of the brown with the aqua colored polka dots, and it was $5.00....uhhuh! It's destined to become a back or something. I REALLY like the vintage piece...it's definitely a 10 on the "fungly" scale...50% fun and 50% ugly! Gotta love it!

This did NOT come home with me:

But if you know someone who needs a piano key sequined gown, I know where you can get one! *LOL*

As I unpacked my suitcase this morning (All 46 lbs of it!) I unearthed some other treasures that I am happy to be bringing into my home.

My mom does wonderful painted objects. This is a clock she had painted for my Grandpa's room.....and it just cracks me up! This is what my life is like lately! I don't know what day it is, I don't know what time it is! LOL So THIS is going to hang in my studio (Next to the real clock of course...) On the back is a message of "Merry Christmas" to my Grandpa from my mom, and I cherish the sentiment.

A few of you sent emails telling me to be SURE to snag some of Grandpa's shirts. Don't worry...I was able to put in my request, and no one else besides my mom and myself were interested in his clothing. I found 4 lovely cotton shirts that will work just super. My mom got one sleeve from each and I got the rest! I'm sure it looked strange to whoever went through my bag at the airport! 4 shirts with one sleeve gone on each! (It never fails, I always open my luggage to find little notices from TSA letting me know they've gone through my bag.) She also wanted the buttons, so I gave her the whole strip with the buttons still attached too.

At the service we displayed picture boards of Grandpa's life in the foyer before the service. My Aunt spent hours getting copies of photos made for the display, and I was able to bring a few of the pics I really liked home with me. There is something so timeless about sepia toned photos, isn't there? In this age of digital pictures, it is really NICE to hold something tangible in my hands instead of looking at them all on a computer screen.

I need to be better about printing out my memories in NON DIGITAL format. Poof and they could all be gone if something happened to my computer, my external hard drive, my cd's my memory sticks. You know? I'm thinking about this more and more. Digital is great...but what do you do with it from that point?

So here I sit at 10:35 on a Tuesday morning. I have today and tomorrow to get done what I need to, but I just feel the need for a DAY OFF. Maybe a pedicure. I can deal with the rest later. I need some ME time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mostra a Zoagli!

Guess what I found in my inbox this morning?! A Quilt Show!

I received a lovely email from Luisa who wrote:

I live in Italy (Europe) every year I have a show with two quilter friends. can you see it ?

I made two quilts with your patterns and I thanks you very much.

Luisa Boldori
Genova Italia

You can also check out Luisa's website HERE

I get SO excited when I see how far our love for quilting goes. There may be a language barrier, but our love of color, the texture of the fabric, the feel of the needle, thread and thimble, is a universal language!

Take a look at Luisa's quilt show....there is amazing work coming out of Genova, Italy!

Be sure you have the volume up.....you will FEEL like you are right there in Italy too!

This is my last morning in Minnesota. It has been so wonderful to be here, it also is so hard to realize that we are all going our separate ways again to opposite ends of the country. We have decided that it is important to really try to be together once a year because life goes by faster as it snowballs, and we are just all at the age where we need to cherish every moment.

What is really fun too is my mom's cousin Verlon and his wife Pearl live in Schaumburg, IL! Verlon came to visit this week, and when I told him I was going to be teaching in Arlington Heights and doing a program on Thursday, he said he and his wife would love to come! So I will have FAMILY at my trunkshow on Thursday. Isn't that cool? It's fun to get to know my mom's cousins and hear all the stories of things that went on when THEY were growing up.

So...does anyone know? If Verlon is my mom's first cousin..what does that make him to me? First cousin once removed? I never understood all that "first, second, removed" thing. :cD

I also have a confession.....I thought I was doing so well with my health, but because my mom and my aunt are both diabetic, we've been checking my blood sugar while I've been here. It's still high. It's higher than it was 2 years ago. Even though I have dropped 25 lbs, and have been living healthier, eating healthier...AUUGH. I thought I could manage this with just diet, and not worry about having to go on meds, etc, but now I'm 2nd thinking this.

For instance....I didn't eat anything past 7pm last night. I went and walk jogged 5 miles this morning. My mom checked my blood sugar afterwards,thinking my counts should have gone down after that much burning, but I was up to 134. This is up 8 points since the other morning when I was 126.

My aunt is a nurse, has diabetes also, and said.."Welcome to the family, aren't genetics just GREAT?!"

I'm making an appointment to have a full workup done when I get home. It's time to really take this seriously.

My name is Bonnie, and I am diabetic. I need to make some changes. Starting NOW.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Those Elusive Spiderwebs!

I bet you thought I was never going to get around to posting these spiderweb quilts in progess! Well, it's only been a week...so here you go!

String Spiderweb Class NCQG 2010

The weather here in Maple Grove, MN has been quite rainy today, which didn't bother us a bit. We gathered at my Uncle's house where my mom, her siblings, and what cousins could joined for an indoor BBQ and lots of family reminiscing. When I come to MN, there is only one item that will do for BBQ...BRATWURST! My Aunt says her best way to cook them is to boil them to remove most of the fat and to cook them completely through...and then you put them on the grill until they are golden brown. OH YUM..they were so good!

This morning before the rain started I was able to get up early, put on my running shoes and go hit the greenbelt area that is around here. This is off the little bridge near my aunt's house.....what a peaceful morning!

This is the purple that greeted me on the pathway! I have no idea what it is, but it sure was vibrant and pretty!

The paved pathways wind through wooded areas, through wildflowers and trees, and I always look forward to coming here and spending time with the surrounding nature.

What's not to love about wooded shady paths, the sounds of birds, the smell of early summer in the air? (Even if it only was about 55 degrees when I was out there this morning! I passed several other walkers and runners (or they passed me) and there were bikers out there on the paths too. These paths go for miles!

At one point I crossed a bridge that went over the high way, and then down and into more woods on the other side.....there were power poles above, and I got a big kick out of this sign:

SENSATION OF STATIC ELECTRICITY!?? Well, I didn't feel anything, but it sure made me glad that I wasn't on a bike this morning! I did walk about 3.5 miles, and was ready for breakfast when I got back.

Tomorrow is my cousin's high school graduation...so it's been a fun family filled trip with lots of good memories as well as the more heart touching ones. We are all unwinding around here....my mom is popping popcorn (that was always her job, and she makes the best!) and we are settling in to watch the DVD of "HAIRSPRAY" with John Travolta. It's only fitting since we watched (and sang along!) to Mama Mia night before last!

Maybe I'll get some hand quilting done......or.....maybe not!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gathering Thoughts in MN...

I'm writing from my Aunt's house in Maple Grove, MN.

It's wonderful to be with family, even during such a difficult time as saying good bye to a loved one.

I was met at the airport by my 2 crazy Aunts who I love dearly. My mom is the oldest child, and has 3 siblings, and we are a crazy bunch!

My mom's flight didn't arrive from Idaho until a couple hours later, so we could do one of two things...go to Mall of America (been there, done that!!) or go wander around IKEA!! IKEA won out, and we had a great time looking at goo gahs and doo dads and dreaming of completely gutting our homes and starting fresh with all new furniture and things. What is it about places like that that just make me feel like I need to totally reinvent my house?

IKEA also has a nifty cafeteria with good food at decent prices, so we ate a bit of dinner, picked mom up at the airport.....and because she hadn't eaten yet, we drove her straight to Culvers (oh yes, this was my big fat idea! *LOL*) so she could get something to eat while we all topped off our IKEA meal with peanut butter cup custard, the flavor of the day!

It's so fun to see how my mom interacts with her sisters. Funerals are hard, and sad, but they do bring us together and family ties are strengthened and enriched.

In the van on the way to my Aunt's house, I was asked if I would play the piano for Grandpa's memorial service. (!!!!!) Let's just say that I hadn't really played for a few years. When we moved to NC, the piano did NOT come with me because there was no room for it, but after missing it more than I thought I would, I bought a yamaha electric piano last year. However, you know how good intentions go....if you've followed my teaching schedule you'll know that there has been NO TIME for any piano practice of any kind, so it's sat there....(sometimes buried in fabric and projects! OH NO!!!)

Of course, I said yes, I would play. Sheet music was located. A trumpet player was going to accompany me, and arrangements were made for us to practice before the viewing, before the service. It all came together.

I think I mentioned before that my Grandpa loved to play his trumpet. So it was very touching to have someone playing trumpet in honor of Grandpa. I was also involved in helping write up Grandpa's life sketch, and it turned out that I was designated to be the reader at the service, because I was probably the only one who could get through it without bawling. Something about being one generation removed I think...My aunts, my mom, and my uncle all didn't want to be the one to do it. So..tada. In helping to write his life down, I learned so much! I feel so much closer to him now that I know what his youth was like, surviving through polio at age 3. His early years working his way through dental school, starting his practice in Brewster, MN...accepting chickens, eggs, and produce in payment for services rendered...this was my Grandpa.

I learned about what things were like as my mom and her siblings grew up, and what life in Minneapolis was like during the 50's and 60's before I came around.

I met some of my mom's cousins and highs school friends....and it was just wonderful. Our bodies might get old, but the people we are inside them are still the same. It's fun to see my mom giggle with her girlfriends. She has a lunch date planned with this group of high school friends later in her visit here.

(This is getting really disjointed, but this is what is coming off the top of my head)

Grandpa played trumpet in big bands, and just loved jazz and jitterbug and all of those old big band favorites. His nickname was "Hot Lips". And it is so sweet to hear other people he knew reminiscing of things they remember about my Grandpa and his music.

We had the softer big band sounds (Think string of pearls) playing as prelude, and when the service ended and the people were filing out, the music changed to more peppy sounds of songs that Grandpa loved, as in A-Train. I just love big band music and always have because of my Grandpa.

Grandpa would have really gotten a KICK out of this service and the stories that were told. And there were smiles and laughter all the way to the cemetery......there were BALLOONS all along the route!! (Someone had a 5k run for charity or something and their were helium balloons all along the route...rainbows of balloons!) and we thought Grandpa would have even loved to know that it was like a parade going to his resting place.

It was very touching there at the grave side, seeing his name and his dates finally added to the shared headstone with my grandmother who passed away in 1966 when I was only 4. The sentiment Grandpa had chosen himself for the headstone was "Together Forever" and it just felt like finally this piece had been put in it's right place. It was just such an emotional day.

I haven't spent much time quilting, needless to say, but now that the funeral is past, we can get rid of the "eral" and just leave the "FUN" and have some of our own. We plan on relaxing and enjoying each other and since extended family had come in for the services, we are throwing together another family reunion BBQ of sorts for Saturday and make the most of this that we can. My cousin Bethany is also graduating from High School herself on Sunday, so this is a memorable time to be here.

Still have those pics from the spiderweb workshop to upload..but this is already extra long, so I think I'll have time to write another post tomorrow.

I've been thinking of a phrase that was spoken at the service yesterday "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

I think that also can be said about our quilting!

Do quilts happen while life is going on around us? Or does life happen while we are quilting through it?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Latest Quiltmaker Issue...

The July/August issue of Quiltmaker is hitting new stands!

My "Addicted To Scraps" Column features the block "Twin Sisters" and I know you will want to play with this one! it uses BRICKS! And you end up with two different blocks for your efforts.

Bobbi just sent an email saying:
I'm really enjoying your series of scrap blocks in the Quiltmaker Mag. I know you are heading out today but would love to see the block (twin sisters?) from the latest issue in a layout like you had posted previously.

Gosh you are such an inspiration to all of us!


So I went and typed "Twin Sister" into the search box at the top of my blog and it brought up the whole post!! And yes, to my chagrin, tho I have made more blocks, it's still not a finished top yet! *LOL* You can find the way I was setting them
...along with pics of an antique quilt that inspired me to try this block pattern.

What's so fun for me is to send Quiltmaker the block, and see how THEY want to set them! Look at this diagram here! It looks so different set on point!

The Iron Quilter!

Do you watch Iron Chef??

If you do, you would have died laughing (as we all did) when we closed symposium on Saturday night, packed into the auditorium, and watched 2 quilters QUILT OFF!!

They even dressed us in chef hats, since Johnson & Wales University is a culinary school! *LOL!!!!* (What was even more funny was afterwards, everyone walking back to the dorm was still wearing their hats...hehe) Doesn't Pat just look FETCHING in hers?? ;c)

The beginning video presentation was a HOOT....with music, graphics...and our Contenders! KAREN STONE as "Chef Daisy Blade"!!!!

(I am her biggest fan, and she really put me over the moon when she told me not once, but TWICE, (on two separate occassions no less *blushing*) that she is MY BIGGEST FAN too! :cD Giddy is a good word for how I felt!)

Robbi Joy Ecklow as "Chef Goddess Of The Last Minute!!" (this title cracked me up, it sounds like my life..heheh)

And let's not forget our Judges! David Taylor! Elin Waterston! And the Fabulous Laura Wasilowski! They had a tough job to do, (and big hats to fill! *LOL*)

Karen and her chef helper plotting how to win!

Robby Joy and her helper, Leah Day were working with all things "fishy!" (you just had to be there!)

It was the perfect entertainment for a lovely June night in Downtown Charlotte, NC!

I spent yesterday doing household errands stuff. You know? Car tags about to expire? Ran about to get my car inspection, went to pick up Jeff's prescription from the doc and drop it at the pharmacy, went back to take the inspection to the licensing office, saw the line was OUT THE DOOR (looks like I wasn't the only one putting it off! *LOL*) and decided to mail mine in and risk driving without stickers for a few more days, snuck in a massage (oh I needed it!!)did the banking and other assorted errands...I walked back in the door here at home around 7pm. Where did the day go? I had plans for at least binding something, but nope. Didn't happen.

My flight for Minnesota leaves this morning around 11:45am so that gives me a couple hours to get some more ducks in a row. I'm working on pattern writing for the next book, one down, eleven to go? But I'm eating it like an elephant, one bite at a time!

And I'm looking forward to sitting on that plane and putting some more hand quilting stitches in to Dreamsicles! I haven't touched it since I got home from Decatur Illinois! (I wonder why!)

But OH...least you think I'm slacking....I bound ONE bedsized quilt at symposium, and got all the way down one side on another WHILE watching "Iron Quilter" (I had to avoid the streams of silly string flying and green hair dye spraying, and the whipped cream pie in the face hilarity that was going on too!)

I've got some pics from the spider web class coming up too...they are on the laptop (duh) and I'm typing on the desktop this morning...so those will come next blog post.

Happy Tuesday Everyone! If you can't sew today, at least go fondle yourself some fabric and DREAM!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Home Home Home!

I arrived home from Charlotte, NC and the NC Quilt Symposium this morning!

I dropped Pat Sloan off at the airport, and made it home before 10:30am!! Now did THAT feel weird, or what? Taking someone ELSE to the airport...and then being home 80 minutes later? PIECE. OF. CAKE. Very nice indeed!

So nice, that after unpacking the car, tackling mail and a few other things, we decided to play hookie and go see "Robin Hood" as a matinee in Greensboro. Lots of action for hubbies who like that kind of thing, and I love "period" type movies where I can study costumes and sets and things like that. I think this is going to be the beginning of a series of "Robin Hood" movies...just by the way it ended. Pretty gory in parts, but it was interesting. I wonder what life was really like in England in the year 1199?? The whole "Kingdom, Queendom" thing fascinates me and how politics and religion were so intertwined in those days.

Note to self...remember to bring a sweater to the theater even if it is 90+ degrees outside! I find myself always freezing inside buildings in the summer, and it takes me a few times of being COLD to remember to always have a sweater or other cover up with sleeves in the car!

I came home....and took a much needed N A P ! To be honest, I have to tell you that it is noticeably quieter around here without Buddy's tail thump thump thumping to beat the band when you walk in the front door. No sound of his panting. No sound of his munching his food. And poor Sadie still doesn't quite know what to do. I got her a new, smaller bed that she can really cozy up in. Buddy's bed was bigger, and more empty...and she was always snuggling up against HIM. She seems to like the new one, it has walls on it...it looks like a little padded swimming pool :c)

I've got more catching up to do, and more blog to write, but it's 11:35pm and I'm needing some more beauty sleep, so I'm going to send you over to Pat's Blog where you can see pics of our fun adventures! START HERE....but then click the header after reading the "daily post" this will take you to, so you can get to the full feed and then scroll down and read about the last few days and the fun we had together!

My fabric from Mary Jos is still in the bag, I'll get a pic of what goodies came home with me tomorrow....Night night all!