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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TODAY......

Today is the day I catch up on ALL and a sundry before my flight out tomorrow.

Yesterday? Well, I had such high hopes for yesterday, but the power company meter reader came and told me that she was installing a new meter on my house, and that she would be turning the house power off! OOOOHHHH NOOOOO!!! I asked her if she had other meters to do in the area because the quilting machine was running and I needed time for it to finish that pass before any power went out. I told her I needed a half hour. She came back, installed the new meter after I finished the quilting, and all was well!

Then the Monday run around really started...I went from the gym to the pedicure place (Probably the last one of the season, but need pretty toes for Florida at the end of this Michigan trip!) I came home, grabbed a quick shower, a bite of lunch, and out I ran for my appt at the chiropractor's.From there I drove to the doc to pick up a prescription refill, then to the bank, then to Sam's Club to pick UP the new prescription refill, and finally to my guild meeting. I didn't get home til after 9pm.....and went nearly straight to bed.

Today I've been doing all the paper work stuff. Do you know how much time can be eaten up in details like paperwork stuff? Invoices, filling book orders, doing early check in for my flights, printing boarding passes, doing laundry so the stuff I want to take is ready to pack, repacking the trunk show, going to the post office to mail out the book orders.....that's the whole day, and not a stitch taken yet! I still have a couple other errands to run, but who's counting?



I finished the LAST diamond satellite last night in guild meeting for the hexie quilt. Maybe tonight I'll add that on...and then I get to border the whole star with a row of neutral hexies followed by a row of green hexies....I'm trying to figure a way to do those in segments by sewing a row of green ones and a row of neutral ones together in shorter lengths, and add those to the mother ship as I go. That way I don't have to have the BIG THING in my lap all the time.



This is how I'm building the segments!

And I'm still not sure how the finished quilt is going to be oriented. I'm not sure if I like it best like this:



Or on point like this??



Time to put the laundry into the drier and start the next load.....you know what they say, it never ends!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quilting Out The Blues!


It's on the machine! and Oh, oh oh! I wish I could show you the whole thing! But if you can wait til spring, I'll post a pic as soon as the magazine is out.

I did a string pieced blue border to finish it off, and here is a sneak preview!

Some oldies, some goodies, some favorites, some uglies. It would have been really EASY to simply do a one fabric border from yardage and call it done, but this just called out for more to me.

I took phone book pages....laid strips down the center of the pages the long way, sew and flip and press, sew and flip and press, and filled up the whole page with the strings. Squared it up, and cut two 5" segments from every phone book page with nothing save-able (that is key for me!! *LOL*!)left over. It took me 20 pages full of sewn strings to do the border for this quilt. That's a LOT of blue strings finding a purpose.

It didn't make a dent though. Last week on my trip to Atlanta and North Augusta I was the recipient of some very scrappy gifts!



The Georgia Friendship quilters had even wrapped up a pretty box in gold paper and filled it with all kinds of fabric goodies! This had me rolling as they presented it to me DURING my lecture :c) This will be so fun to go through! What's not to like about such a gift? I know there is a lot of stuff in here that I will have fun using in future scrap quilts.

And when I got to North Augusta for my meeting with the Pieceful Hearts girls, my friend Sally stopped by to gift me THIS large bag of lovelies!



You can just call me the bag lady, and I'm THRILLED with this haul! Just look at all that is in here:



With my string piecing, I save things as small as 3/4"....so there is a lot in here that will work for that. Those skinny strips sewn in amongst wider ones really add a lot of interest! There are batiks and prints and brights and solids and so much variety, it is going to be fun to do something with these. Thanks Sally!

So what's on your plate for your Monday? Do you hit the ground running at the beginning of a new week, or do you kind of ease into it? I've got to start repacking the trunk show for heading to Michigan on Wednesday. I've got to pack warmer clothes, and I was thinking it might be a good idea to do some shopping for some more "nicer" dress pants that don't wrinkle for traveling to guild meetings. You know it's kind of funny, but as I travel, I've packed certain things that I know travel well, and what happens as I look at pictures from guild to guild to guild, I'm half the time wearing the same thing! *LOL* Time to spice up my wardrobe a bit I think!

I'm also sewing on the MYSTERY QUILT!! HA! It's coming along great..just wait til you see!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Long is Too Long?!

I admit it.

I have favorite prints that have stayed favorites and have never gone "out of style or date" with me.

This is one of them:



I think I had this print in every color way it ever came in. I'm drawn to two-color prints, blue on white, white on blue, white on red, red on white, etc. Simple, classic, not too fussy.

This one has a viney thing....love viney things! And I love stripes, and in the day, this was about as close as you could get to a print that looked like an old time shirting when old time shirtings were not being reprinted yet. Back in 1992, if you wanted to make a quilt that looked vintage, this was the kind of things we looked for. Things didn't come in lines or as collections, you browsed the shelf as if the store were a treasure hunt in itself and you did all the work to collect the fabrics that would go together to become the quilt of your dreams. Nothing was pre-cut and kitted in pre-matched bundles. And I loved the thrill of the hunt!

So why has this piece of yardage come out of the closet today? I'm looking for something big enough to back the magazine quilt project...and I think this will do the job! And even better than using this for the backing, is the trimmings I'm going to get afterward to add back into the strip/string bins. It's a GREAT old print, and will look great in scrap quilts to come. It's a classic!

I know I've got enough for the length, if I don't have enough for the width, I'll add a pieced something in between to make it wide enough, but this fabric will have found a home. Heck, it's only waited 18 years to go into a quilt!

What was going on in my life in 1992? My boys were 2 and 8. Oh, I miss those days! And sometimes not! in 1992 we bought our first house in Payette, Idaho. I was publishing my doll/animal patterns and making dolls for gift shops. That is why I probably had a whole bolt of this old print, the stripes made for great bunny bloomers and little bear aprons. Around that time is when I first vended at Quilt Market in Houston, and was picked up by the Butterick company with my patterns. It was a whole new exciting world, back in 1992. I was 30. I thought I was middle aged...LOL!! How could that be? As I'm barely considering myself middle aged 18 years later?

This project has had me going back in time.....I've pulled blues and neutrals just by color, not by print, and I have fabrics in it that date back from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today in it. What a fun walk down memory lane. I can see the quilt appraisers of the future having a hard time dating this one! It's gotta be dated by the newest fabric in it, right? Good luck! *hehe* I just might have to leave that wide selvage visible somewhere...it's an icon!



And through it all, I've had great company...



But it's awfully hard to attach borders when Oscar is asleep in the center of the quilt top on the floor!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Autumn Saturday!

I "ALMOST" ALMOST had to put a second quilt on the bed last night while sleeping with the windows open. Talk about BLISS SLEEP! It was wonderful!

What was NOT so wonderful is waking up to the smell of skunk outside that open window! Just one of the joys of living out in the sticks. It's really hard to sleep through that smell!! So up and at it!

What do you have going on this weekend? It gets this time of year and I really start feeling like I want to be OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE as much as possible, because as fall comes on full, I know it is going to get dark earlier and earlier, and it is going to start getting colder and maybe rainy and this beautiful summer of 2010 will be gone for good. I hide in the A/C when it is really hot and humid at the peak of summer, but as for now? I'm contemplating a good long walk this morning...but first things first!


I spent yesterday quilting Isabeau's puss in the corner quilt!

I just love the scrappy yummy-ness of this quilt. No borders...just the binding will finish it off. SIMPLE but so effective in reproduction scraps. She and Joes will be in Houston for Quilt festival, so I'll have these done to ship to her there. It's fun to have this connection with quilters all over the globe. I can't believe it's almost been a year since we saw each other at Gwen Marston's retreat!

I'll be heading back up to Michigan on Wednesday to visit the Piecemakers Guild in Saginaw, and the Town Hall Quilters in Clarkston! We are sure going to have some fun. One of the classes we are doing in Saginaw is the Crabapples quilt from Adventures With Leaders & Enders...and I have to say that Apples + Michigan can only = HONEY CRISP!! I know it has to be apple harvest season up there, or soon...and I've got Honey Crisps on the brain! We picked some up last year at a little road side stand, and I have never tasted a better apple in my life!

I'll be in Michigan a week...and I'm checking weather.com to see if I need to pack SWEATERS!! But I'll also need to pack some summer stuff, I fly directly to Jacksonville FL for the quiltfest there and I know it will NOT be fall weather in Florida!

I'm going to give you a shameless plug here: If you are anywhere NEAR Jacksonville and thinking of attending Quiltfest, you need to come on Friday Afternoon, Sept 24th for my TRUNKSHOW! It's free with the price of admission! I'll have books with me, or am happy to sign ones you've already got if you just bring them by. I believe the lecture starts at 1pm, but I'll clarify that in the next day or so. Come spend some time at the show, see the quilts, visit the vendors!



And just for kicks, because it is so good to be home, here is a pic of Oscar, the official "Keeper of the Pieces" doing his duty to make sure that everything stays put while I lay out quilt units on the floor. I was able to get the top sewn into rows yesterday, and the rows are now being sewn to each other to complete the center. I'm contemplating borders.....but it will come!



Friday, September 10, 2010

To Save or Not To Save!!

I have to show you the funniest thing that happened to me....

This was with the Bulloch Hall Quilters in Alpharetta, GA! I was in the middle of my trunkshow explaining what Leaders & Enders are. I get to the point where I ask people what they can do with folded over thread covered scraps that they have been using as "thread bunnies" or "Sew-betweens" and pointing out that they most often just end up in the trash anyway. My total justification of why Leaders & Enders are a great idea and that you can build quilt units in between the lines of chain piecing instead of having thread covered scraps everywhere.

One lady said she SAVES them!! And here is proof! *LOL*

Now, I did ask her what she plans to do with them...and she said she isn't sure yet, but I suppose she could zig zag them all together and make a thread decorated bag or something, but I found it so funny that she actually had a whole zip loc baggie of these things! And even funnier that she would bring that bag of thread covered scraps to the workshop the next day. Oh, it was such GOOD fun, and they are great sports!

So...I wanna know...do YOU save thread bunnies? Have you MADE anything with them? Because I'd rather be building quilt units in between than trying to figure out what I could make with these little do-dads!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Those Indigos..Clarification


In the comments on the last post there were questions raised on whether I pre-washed the chocolate and blue indigos. Yes. Of course!! They are stiff as a board before washing, I don't think anyone would want to piece with them that way, and then there is the bleeding factor.

I washed them more than once, maybe three times or so to be sure they were extra soft. I dried them in the dryer on high heat, wanting to shrink them as much as possible.

What it all boils down to is THREAD COUNT and the thickness of the thread. The thread that makes up this fabric is fairly course, and there are not as many threads per inch. It ends up with a feeling much like feed sack. So small even hand quilting stitches are harder to achieve when the fabric is thicker than regular quilting cotton. That is all I was saying.

I still love the history of the fabric, and the designs they are printed with...I'll just use what other pieces I have in things that will be machine quilted, not hand quilted. Unless you've quilted both very soft "regular" quilting cottons and this indigo together, you might not think there would be much difference, but there is.

We watched "Angels & Demons" tonight with Tom Hanks...and I quilted through the whole thing. We'd seen it in the theater, and this time we rented it from netflix to be able to see the "extra" bits. I love Dan Brown's books! What a great story teller...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Needles & Threads....

I didn't get much time to stitch on the hexagon medallion, so I'm still piecing on the 6th "satellite" to be added to this round of the "mother ship." Each guild meeting that I attend (There are 5 guild meetings in Sept that I am visiting, plus the quilt show in Jacksonville FL toward the end of the month!) is an opportunity for adding a few more hexies to their units. Really, small bites of time DO add up, so if you aren't taking a hand project of some sort with you to guild meetings, doctor/dentist visits, kids ball games, etc....you are missing out on a handwork opportunity! Besides, just a few pulls of the thread through the fabric is an INSTANT blood pressure lowering activity for me.

I did kit up some pieces parts for machine piecing, and I got to work on those at Charlotte's house over the weekend when I went to visit my son Jason and his sweetie Kim. Want to know what 800+ half square triangle units look like all chained together? Here you go!!



This is the whole pile...all in one long chain, on the ironing board!

Retreat type sewing, or at least sewing with a good friend is a great way to get the job done when it is a monotonous one, and you can talk and laugh and visit, and NOT be bored with repetition! These are all now pressed, de-dog-earred, and ready to move on to the next step. I know it doesn't look like much...but I spent Saturday Evening, Most of Sunday, and part of Monday morning on these guys. >_< There is something like 850 of them, all blue and neutrals. It would have killed me to have to do them all assembly line style at home with no one to talk to!

I decided that this was going to be a slow down week, and it is now cool enough in the mornings to not swelter and sweat underneath the weight of a heavy hand quilting project! I've pulled out my "In The Pink", the storm at sea variation that uses the Jane Stickle blocks in between the star point units.

I now remember why this got to be such a big UFO. That chocolate indigo fabric from South Africa? It's a HEAVY BEAST! And the hand quilting is just moving slow. It feels like I'm quilting through canvas...and though I love these indigos, I do NOT love the fabric they are printed on. So I want to make a note to myself to find a way to use up the rest of the blues and browns that I've got....and make it PLEASE be a machine quilting project so I can enjoy them without cursing them out!

Because the fabric is heavy...I'm shooting for EVEN stitches, not small ones. But it is still slow going. Here you can see the completed fans in the brown border. It wasn't easy to get the light right...but they are there.

Oh, and I hit the jackpot for the ziploc bags at the Dollar Tree. The Large size are 15X15 with built in handles, and they are 3 for $1.00. the Ex-Large size are 20.5" X 17" and there is 2 in a package for $1.00. I'm bound and determined to get better organized yet!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hello!


Yeah, I know! It's been a week! A whole WEEK since I left home last Tuesday morning and headed SW toward the Atlanta, GA area.

I hadn't taken a car trip in quite a while! And I remembered how much I love it. I love the freedom of being able to stop where I want....See this little map with the stars? Those are the locations of ABBOTT FARMS peach stands and stores! Guess what has been in season the past couple weeks? Sweet, Juicy, Sticky, Sweet PEACHES! I know peaches are thought of as a Georgia thing, but did you know that more peaches are actually grown in South Carolina than Georgia? TRUE!

So I pulled off at one of the Abbott Farms stores after reading all the bill boards about the free samples, and made my way down the aisle of chutneys, chowchows, jams, jellies and other condiments. Take it from me..you do not WANT to even THINK about trying the HOT HOT CHOW CHOW.....I love love hot and spicy, but this one was SO hot my mouth and throat and belly were burning. It took 4 glasses of the "free" peach cider (also delicious) to get my mouth somewhat back to normal.

It wasn't a total waste though, I brought home some peach/pecan preserves...YUMMMMM!!! And a jar of no-sugar-added peach jam too. I also enjoyed some delicious fresh peaches. I love peach season!

And if you want to take a peek, there are some great peach recipes HERE!

I had a great time with the Georgia Friendship guild, and the ladies with the Bulloch Hall Quilt guild.

I even got a chance to tour Bulloch Hall, in Roswell, GA...which is the childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt's mother, Middy. She was married there in the dining room at Bulloch Hall. If you have a chance to check it out, please do! It was built in the early 1800s, and amazingly missed being burned down after the civil war. It has a fascinating history.

We even enjoyed a few quilt sightings!



Of course I loved the old treadle sewing machine shown here in the upstairs...right by the window so there would be lots of natural light!



And isn't this a beauty?!? I was lucky enough to get close enough to get a good shot of the applique block. I was at Siobhan's house (of Scraps & Threadtales fame!) on Friday night, showed it to her, and she called it "Crossed Tulips" And has also seen it in another antique quilt from the Maryland area, in a quilt known as the Mary Manakee Quilt (pardon me if I mispell the name) and it makes sense, because the Bullochs came down to Georgia from the North East in the 1830s? So it fit the time frame. Exciting, yes? I also love how the colors have faded on this one....was that tan originally red?! Who knows?

In getting Siobhan's blog link to include it above, I also saw she posted pics of the trunkshow I did for her guild, Pieceful Hearts in North Augusta, SC on Saturday. The pot-luck buffet lunch was not to be missed of course! We both KNEW someone would bring the pimiento cheese sandwhiches (on white wonder bread with crusts removed) and we were not disappointed! Those ladies can sure lay out a spread of good eats!



But this humble little servant's quilt was my favorite of all....simple 9 patches in a configuration of 5, set on point, simply sashed. Look at the cornerstones! they are little rail blocks too. This is just adorable, and of course I loved the scrappiness of it, and the cheddar goes without explaining ;c)

It was just a WONDERFUL time to be in the Atlanta area, but let me tell you, it was a booger to get out of town on Friday afternoon! I'm talking stand still traffic after 3pm that was mind boggling. Yes, I knew it was a holiday weekend, but even trying to re-route my GPS to keep me off the interstate until I was past Stone Mountain did NOTHING to help. it took me 4.5 hours to get to Augusta from Atlanta! What a zoo. I just kept telling myself that if Rhett & Scarlett could make it with a sick Mellie in the back of the wagon, while all of Atlanta was burning, that I'd eventually get through it too.

I'm home for 9 days! And I'm making the most of them. I'm sewing some, I'm cleaning some, I'm organizing some, and knocking "must do's" off my list. At quite a leisurely pace and that feels wonderful. It's been cool enough at night to sleep with windows open in NC! Contrast that to the 98 degrees in Atlanta when I was leaving town, and I am so relieved to be just "THAT MUCH" more north than I used to be! This is when I really love being a NC girl...beautiful indian summer days, cooler nights with windows open to enjoy the sounds of crickets and peepers and cicadas....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Taming The Piles...


I had an AWESOME weekend! And I guess technically it is still going on for me since I don't leave til tomorrow morning, but today was filled with all kinds of monday things. I've done computer bookwork and invoicing, I've made a bank deposit, a run to the gym, and a pedicure (Oh yes, this is a must.....can't show up in public with gross toes in Georgia!) and have been to the grocery store.

I bought FRESH PEACHES! I love this time of year! And Watermelon (seedless) was on sale for under $4.00 too....

But the one thing I could NOT find was those super duper extra huge ziploc bags for storing things. My Walmart doesn't have them! I just heard from Karen Dianne that her Publix has them, but Publix isn't here near me....I suppose I can find some ON the trip, but I wanted to do some organizing before leaving tomorrow. Maybe Target? maybe...Home Depot? Lowes? they have home organize-y stuff too?

I have boxes of scrap pieces that haven't been cut, and I thought of using these to help organize my closet. I know enough not to zip them shut all the way, to let them breathe, but I like that they could stack next to each other and keep things in plain view which would be better for me than rubbermaid tubs.

I am making great headway on the magazine project. It's all kitted up (and many parts sewn) and will hit the road with me tomorrow, though I don't know if I'll find much time to work on it. Since it is a ROAD TRIP, Shotgun, the Bernina can ride in the car with me.

I'm really looking forward to visiting the Pieceful Hearts guild of North Augusta, SC. I used to belong to this guild, and boy do I miss these ladies! I saw several of them at the NC Quilt Symposium a couple months back, and this will be fun.

I'm also taking next weekend to visit DS#1 Jason and his sweetie, Kim...and giving plenty of love and belly tickles to my 3 grand-cats....Kim's mom is also a quilter, so we might get some retreat time in on Sunday. I'll either head home Sunday night after dinner, or wait til Monday morning. Playing it by ear at that point.

So back to the organizing stuff. There is STILL way too much fabric in this basement. And it's not that I'm tired enough of any pieces or parts to want to ditch them or give them away. I'm very blessed with very useable fabric. I just need to USE IT! And because I had such a great time sewing this weekend, I have renewed zeal for using what I have on hand, finding a purpose for these pieces to make beautiful quilts. I need to be inspired by ideas that will use the sizes I've already cut...because the 2" drawers and the 2.5" drawers (of both strips, and pre-cut squares!) are FULL. I need those to go into beautiful quilts, so I can cut some more of the stuff I haven't. I need the old to go, so I can feed in some new and not feel like I'm sewing with the same old things all the time.

Most of all I need this to be FUN. And I think I'm finding that again :c)However, I'm still looking at these two piles of blues/neutrals that I posted pics of the other day.....and wondering why after all this sewing they haven't gone down a BIT?!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

When Tongues Waggle...

This is me, taking a minute email break during my weekend supposedly "OFF" the computer! I've been sewing like a mad fiend, and listening to books on MP3 and watching movies on netflix and LOVING the down time.

As I went through my comments it seems there has been lots of speculation over "WHICH" magazine was involved. And it is ALL speculation. I'm professional enough, or try to be, to not drag names of a magazine I am working to create a better relationship with through the wringer. Even in my original rant about crazy contracts, I was careful not to mention the country or the name of the magazine. That still holds true.

And if you guys keep hauling it up and guessing and making comments about this one or that one or the other one from whichever country, it is going to get blown way out of proportion. I don't want this to backfire on me in the process now that we have reached a better level of agreement, okay?

The contract has been re-negotiated. Strides have been made in making this beneficial for everyone, so please just let me rest it right now..I need positive vibes to get this project together and have it there by the first week of November. I'll be cramming on it every spare minute between now and the time I send it off. :c)

Back to the machine!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In the Essence of Compromise....


After many many emails flying back and forth over this contract thing, I think we've reached a compromise. I feel better about this. They feel good about this....

The quilt I was going to send just won't work with the time frame of their contract, though they are augmenting it to help me a bit. A NEW PROJECT is what I am sending them instead! Some additional funds have been added to cover the cost of the shipping. This helps me A LOT. Postage gets more and more expensive, Especially to overseas destinations. I can't afford to lose nearly half of what a magazine pays me to ship the quilt to them on my own. So yes, contract negotiations do work, and I'm getting braver about asking for fairness!

So..This NEW PROJECT? Can't show you because THAT is part of the contract too, but suffice it to say that it is one I already have in the works, and it is approved by this new updated contract for inclusion another one of my books down the road, with a projected release date (the book, not the magazine) of Fall, 2012. I WILL be able to include this quilt in both the magazine, AND my future book. The Magazine should be available in May, 2011 so you will get a preview!

When the magazine is available, I'll let you know so you can check it out!

Let's just say that my job for today is cutting a bunch more scrap strips from blues and neutrals! I've got some boxes that have mysteriously shown up on my doorstep crammed with all kinds of good chunks of scrap fabrics, and I'm digging there first, with the purpose of cutting things down and using what I can in this project.

I'm happy with it. I need to be able to do "double duty" with some of these quilts to make it worth my time to make them. And I really need the publicity that this "out of the USA" magazine will bring me. It's cheaper advertising than I could afford to pay for, so....pedal to the metal...I'm SEWING!!

I leave for teaching in Georgia on Tuesday....so I think I'll be enjoying a long 3 day weekend with new renewal toward this quilt! (And if I get it kitted up, It may likely go on the road with me next week too!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's MS-150 Time!!



It's Ride-for-MS Time! Your Pledges Are Needed! (This is the special spam edition to help my hubby Dave raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society)

2010 Bike MS: Breakaway To The Beach!
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of this ride!

Each mile he will ride, each dollar we will raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure Multiple Sclerosis and to improve the lives of all people affected by MS.

No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of millions who suffer from MS, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!

For nearly 15 years I have provided quilt patterns on this website free of charge. If you find this site to be beneficial to you as a quilt maker, I ask that you please consider making a pledge to help fight Multiple Sclerosis as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

If you can spare even $10 to $20, please think of someone you know who is living with MS daily and all that they go through and all that your donation can do to help. If you know someone with MS, PLEASE donate and forward this on to those who have family members with MS. Your continued support is necessary to help find a cure for this disease.


WHY WE RIDE:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs or severe--paralysis or loss of vision. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 but the unpredictable effects can be life-long. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. A person with MS does not know when it will strike, what symptoms they will have, when it will get worse or better, or if they will become permanently disabled. But there is one thing people with MS can count on . . . the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The National MS Society is the largest private sponsor of MS research in the world and proudly provides local programs designed to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by MS. By choosing sponsor the MS Bike Tour, you are joining thousands of people across the country united in the mission: to end the devastating effects of MS.

Click here to Sponsor Dave!

Thank you so much for all your support over the years! It's great to have you on Team Quiltville! :c)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reading Between The Lines...

Today I was getting ready to fill out a contract to have my quilt appear in a magazine over seas.

I've been dealing with Magazines strictly within the USA, and I thought certain things were pretty standard...after a few months post publication, the copyright returns to me and I am pretty much free to do what I want with it, be it publish it on my website, or put it in a future book, or whatever. It's MINE.

Well, I neglected to read some small print ahead of time on this project, and it just about stopped me in my tracks when I read it this morning. The contract reads:

The Artisan agrees that THE WORK will not be given to any other publication --magazine or book -- or published within (Insert country) or overseas, AT ANY TIME.


I had to really stop here and re read that. They were basically telling me that I could not put my own quilt in my own book at any time. Is it not my quilt anymore?

I had to ask myself then....when is my quilt MY QUILT and when is it not? I've basically just signed over my quilt for the rest of my life? How desperately do I want my quilt to show up in this magazine that isn't even available within the USA?

NOT. VERY.

I decided that the fee they were going to give me to have my quilt in their magazine, minus the horrendously expensive shipping charge it would take to get it there, plus the fact that they also want "the project" (does this mean the quilt?) to be made available to their magazine for publicity purposes and craft shows for ONE YEAR after the publication of the magazine.....just is too much to ask for me.

They want to keep the quilt for a year after publication? And not cover the shipping cost of getting the quilt to them....and tell me that I can't ever publish it anywhere else..EVER....Why is this a good deal??

I'd rather keep my quilt to myself 100% and know that it is mine...than deal with this.

I'm feeling cranky today. Why are designers putting up with this kind of restriction on our businesses? Why do magazines think they can get us to limit ourselves far beyond reason like this? I can see why a lot of "big name" designers don't even bother to deal with Magazines anymore.

That said...I LOVE LOVE LOVE working with Quiltmaker. They've been nothing but fabulous with me, and I will be a Quiltmaker girl for life.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Dreamsicle Funny......



Before I left for Texas, I got an email from Mark Pfeiler of Quilting on the Square in Holton, KS telling me that they were sending me a "special package" in honor of my completing the Dreamsicles quilt.

The WHOLE time I was gone to Texas I wondered if it had come yet, what it was, I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive!

I arrived home Sunday afternoon, and there on the desk was a BOX!! But I was a bit confused, because the brochure didn't say it was from Quilting on the Square, it was from some place in IOWA?! This couldn't be the same box, could it?

I tore into the box with reckless abandon. Inside was a brochure for the place it came from, Fernhill Crafts & Quilts, and it looked really neat! I searched for a note, but there wasn't one, just one word on the store brochure that said simply "ENJOY!"

By this time DH had come round to see what I was getting into. I opened up the little white inner box that was labeled with the gold Fernhill sticker.

There was tissue inside.

Inside of the tissue was something wrapped in saran wrap, and it SURE SMELLED GOOD!

DH took a whiff, and I took a whiff, and he looked at me and said..."I know what that smell is, but I can't place it!" I said...."It's DREAMSICLE!!!" :cD

At this point, I remembered Mark saying he was sending something, and I know Iowa is right near Kansas, so 2+2 came together and I was pretty sure I had it figured out.

All except ONE PART. Now bear with me here.....

I've had packages like this before. I've had colorful chunks of stuff wrapped in cellophane that smelled just EVER so heavenly come my way, and turn out to be.....

SOAP!

So I wrote Mark a big thank you letter, thanking him for the wonderful soap and that I can't wait to get in the shower with it because it smelled so good, etc....and...

His laughing reply was:

"Hate to burst your bubble, but think again! It's NOT SOAP!!"


Oh boy, did I go red in the face. Turns out what I thought was soap was actually:

DREAMSICLE FUDGE!!


I didn't know whether to die of embarrassment, or die from laughing my pants off, or both! It's just a dang good thing I didn't take the Dreamsicle Fudge into the shower BEFORE I talked to Mark!!

The Moral Of The Story: Some things that smell really good....ARE EDIBLE! :cD And this one was really really tasty!

Thanks so much Mark, for thinking of me, for celebrating the finish of the Dreamsicle Quilt, for giving me an embarrassing moment that I will not live down for a long long time!

Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, who else can you laugh at?

I think I'll go have another sliver of fudge....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Golden Triangle Quilters of Beaumont, TX!


It was a whirlwind tour to Southeast Texas, but we crammed it full of everything any quilter could want! Mona picked me up at the airport, meeting me down at baggage claim, waving a "bricks and stepping stones" quilt top she had made out of recycled clothing as her FLAG to get my attention. The woman is a trooper! She even brought a collapsible cart thing so we could load up the big duffels of quilts and get everything to her car. I tell you what, the first time we stepped OUT of the airport and into the parking garage, I knew what HOT really meant!

The heat from the previous week in Kansas City did little to "acclimate" me!

With the A/C in the car on full blast, she said "There is a quilt shop 3 miles from here, do you want to go?!" Well.....YES! of course!

I was looking for more english paper piecing hexagons. I was also looking for more roxanne quilting needles, size 9, and the shop had neither :c( But I did find some more YLI quilting thread, this time in PINK! And I snatched that up for my quilting thread collection. What can I say...I might never use that color, but it's good to have on hand?

I did end up a couple nights later just getting online and ordering both the needles and the paper hexagons and I'm set. They should be here in a couple days.


We tipped the scales at the noon guild meeting, pulling people in from Louisiana and Houston....I think the count was something like 141+ but I might be off a bit. All I know is that we had standing room only until more chairs were brought out. This made me one nervous nelly!! But there is one thing I've learned...when you feel like you are going to have a nervous breakdown...talk about the quilts...show them the quilts..get them to ask questions, and it all goes okay :c)

Thursday was the busy day as we also had an evening meeting. Even the evening meeting was busier than usual, and that made me feel really great that so many people came out to support the guild!

One of the fun things I did.....I had gone through my collection of old magazines recently as DH had put me up some new shelves. Not sure what I was looking for, but I came upon THIS:



This was a June 1983 issue of QUILT magazine! I brought this issue with me, and showed it to the ladies, saying "You've come a long way, baby!" And asked if there was anyone in the room who was in this picture? One of the gals in the front row where I was standing said "WE ARE THOSE LADIES!!" This was 27 years later. And they are still active in the guild, still beautiful as ever. WHAT FUN to pass that issue around and have them remember some who have passed on, some who've moved away, and those who are still here.

This is what I mean about quilting being a lifestyle choice. Not just a hobby. Our lives are woven through our quilts and our relationships with each other are so important. I can't imagine any place I'd rather be than surrounded by quilters who "Get me".

Of course, the highlight of my trip was to get to spend time with Bonnie Minor of Naptime News. She has always been such a great email friend, I knew she would just be fabulous in person, and she did not disappoint! I feel like we've been friends forever, and her positive upbeat spirit is just infectious!



Friday, we packed the classroom for a Crumbs workshop! It is so hilarious, to see people come with their scraps all organized into nice little containers, and by the time we've sewn for an hour, they have scrap salad EVERYWHERE! Lots of stretching and growing and out of the box! Look at Denise Green's adorable little project! She had this all together by the end of the day!



And I might be wrong on the name, but I think this is Chris...oh please correct me if I am wrong! I get good with faces, but names don't stick so well when you go from town to town to town like a vagrant the way I do!



These were Winnie's blocks. I just love how she mixed the brights with that very traditional brown floral! FUN!!

Saturday we filled up the day with a My Blue Heaven workshop! of course, we had some batik heavens, and red heavens, and green heavens, and plaid heavens. It was just heaven all the way around! I really like this class because I get to teach how I use the easy angle ruler and the companion angle ruler in all my scrap quilting.

It's really hard to get a good pic when you are talking...and the faces I'm making are less than attractive! LOL!!! and you can see I had my sweater over my sleeveless blouse...the A/C was running overtime!



Now you see them now you don't...fastest hands in Texas! *LOL*!!



My thanks to Bonnie Minor who said I could steal any of the pics she uploaded to her facebook :c) I couldn't have posted these without her! And my thanks to the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild for inviting me to come play! I hope it isn't too long until we cross paths again!