Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When Customer Service Counts!

A while back I did a post on how over time as a hand quilter, my fingers have changed. Yes......I'm getting "Old Lady" hands, and my thimble finger has experienced (or is experiencing from here on out) a thickening of my knuckle joint. It doesn't hurt, I don't think it is arthritis, it's just getting knobby and bumpy. But it's my thimble finger!

I had tried to get thimbles that really fit well before, and the ones I used most were those cheapie plastic adjustable ones....until recently, because I can't get them to fit comfortably anymore. they go too far down on my finger, and the rim of that thimble rubs where the knuckle has gotten big.

I've tried to put them in hot water, and force them a bit wider, but the length of the thimble is what is causing me the problem....they will continue to rub where I don't need them to rub, and this made me extra sad. What was this quilter girl to do?

About 5 years ago I bought a really pretty silver thimble from "Thimbles Plus" when I was in Hilton Head, SC during a Jinny Beyer weekend. I loved this thimble, it was beautiful, it seemed to fit right....for a while..but it was the same problem. The thimble came down too far on my finger and interfered with that knuckle.

Fast forward to this past week at the Jacksonville show!

The Thimbles Plus girls were there, and I was telling them that I was looking for a new thimble, and that the old one just didn't fit right. They told me to bring it in, so I did.....

We tried various sizes and kinds, and it was decided that instead of something that came down so far on my finger, I just needed a shorter style that wouldn't interfere with my old lady knuckle!

This one did the trick!



See how much shorter it is? I can bend that knobby knuckle and the thimble isn't in the way! There is room for my nail, it has great dimples for catching the needle, and it is PRETTY, isn't it?

Well here is the most unbelievable part. I was ready to buy this one, and they told me no, they would just swap it out for my old one. (?????) After 5 years, it was still under warranty and if it wasn't working for me they would just let me trade it in and get one that did work for me.

I tell you what, I never felt as much of a valued customer anywhere in my life as I did at that moment. The new thimble was mine, with a trade in! Equal value for equal value, used or not!

And to celebrate, I bought this:



This little beady beauty is a thimble keeper! I was looking for a thimble cage, but they can be big and bulky to wear. Instead, you insert the chained end through the open space in the thimble, and the thimble rides on the top bead, and actually looks really pretty on!



The little clip encircles the chain, the thimble is secure riding on the bead! Now I don't have to worry about losing my thimble in my carry on luggage, or worry about losing it in the plane seat, etc. Who needs fancy jewels when you can have a thimble that fits, and a pretty thimble keeper for it to ride on?

It's been raining pretty constantly since I got home Saturday night. I'm okay with that. Saturday night's heavy thunderstorms have left behind a couple days of gentle soft refreshing rain in their wake. Everything is so green. I love the sound of the rain, and of being able to just stay inside and enjoy it.

Laundry is going, house work is progressing, and it feels good to be home even for just a few days.

I enjoyed meeting with my Bee last night at Holly's house! the Ms BeeHavens were missing a few.....Laura had gall bladder surgery (well wishes Laura!!) Claire is in France (oh we don't feel sorry for her at all!) Sharon is getting ready for a wedding if I remember correctly, but those of us who did come enjoyed some wonderful conversation, lots of laughs, and even got some stitching done!

I've finished 2 sides on the binding for the magazine quilt....well into the 3rd side so that is coming along. Maybe tonight I'll get to watch that netflix that came in the mail for DH...if it's a bloody gorey thing, I'll just tune it out and stitch anyway :c)

Wednesday....I'm headed to Hickory to meet up with a school friend I haven't seen since Highschool graduation! We went to school together from 3rd grade on.....and just recently found each other through facebook, finding we live just over an hour apart. Is this cool or what? So Lori and I have a lunch date tomorrow and I can't wait to see her in person after 30 years!

Thursday....off to Colorado! I'm teaching for the Colorado Quilting Council's fall retreat, and I can't wait! Just look at this blurb from their events calendar page:
Colorado Quilting Council’s Fall Retreat will be held at Peaceful Valley Ranch in Lyons, Colorado. Peaceful Valley is one of Colorado’s most popular ranches. Nestled high in the Rocky Mountains (8400 ft), it sits right on the St. Vrain River amid 800,000 acres of the Roosevelt National Forest. Although secluded, it is only 60 miles from Denver and easy to reach. The ranch also features an exercise room, swimming pool and beautiful fall hiking.


It's the fall hiking that I am in the mood for....I hear the quaking aspens are turning a brilliant yellow as of now...And in anticipation, I think I'll turn on John Denver today and let him entice me with "Rocky Mountain High!"

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Infamous Clark's Fish Camp!



IF you are in the Jacksonville area, and IF you have your own transportation and can get there (Because it is a bit of a haul if you are staying down town) be sure to visit Clark's!

From the outside, you would swear there is NO WAY ON EARTH that this could be a viable eating establishment, it looks like an over grown and added on to chicken shack sitting there at the edge of Julington Creek....one good strong wind should push it right off its moorings and into the water it would go!

In fact, it looked extra uninhabital this visit due to the construction and excavation....seems the bathrooms always flooded and alligators would be found swimming around on the water covered floor!

So for our convenience, since the bathrooms were closed, there was a porta-potty-trailer just outside, if you should happen to need one!

It started out as a simple bait & tackle shop. I'm not sure when they started to serve food there, and I am doubly unsure of when it came to be the retirement home for copious amounts of really weird taxidermy, but there you have it!

Everywhere you turn, there are animals and birds and reptiles of all varieties staring back at you from behind their glassy eyed expressions. In other words, it's a ZOO in there, and it's not just due to the mobs of people that frequent the place. It's everywhere!

This blurb is from the website:
"Rumored to be one of the largest privately owned collections of taxidermy in the country, Clark's menagerie of preserved animals includes lions, tigers, monkeys, bears, giraffes, deer, bobcats, and a flock of birds that gaze eerily at guests in the bar area and dining rooms."


Weird or not, it is just plain fun! And the food is great. I ended up with the stuffed flounder florentine, which had spinach and scallops as the stuffing...it was baked, not fried, so delicious!

And these are some of the lookers-on while we dined!



This guy was just hanging around and chillaxing.....



Don't you think this is extremely weird? Musk Oxen and Lions together? Add Christmas lights, and some how it is "ambiance" !



I just know this guy had his eye on my hushpuppies!



I'm not sure how the taxidermy collection started. I don't know where they all came from. It's sad and it's beautiful all at the same time? I'm not sure how to describe it.



It's a very very interesting place! If you have a chance...go! It's a Jacksonville Tradition for me!

These pics were taken by Marcia's hubby, Lou!



He caught me trying to duck out of the way from his camera, but he got me anyway!



A view from outside...yes there are gators, and turtles and other marine life right there in the water!



Even with the cloudy skies predicting rain, it was a gorgeous Jacksonville Friday evening!



My special thanks to Marcia and Lou for making sure that my one request of a return visit to Clark's HAPPENED! It was a great show, and this was the perfect end to a perfect visit!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ooops!!!

Dear RCP...
Your comment on my last post went PPFFFTT when I hit the wrong button on my phone to publish! I didn't mean to reject it, or you! Send again please! I tried to email you back but you have your email set as noreply@blogger.com and you have no blog for me to comment on so...this is my S.O.S. to you!

Raining raining raining here....finally decided to get out of my jammies! I've got a binding on, working on the hanging sleeve right now, planning to meet up with DH at the Japanese steak house for a late dinner!

His MS ride was TODAY! I want to thank everyone who donated so generously. With your help we were able to raise over $2600.00 for the fight against MS! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

Back to that hanging sleeve......

A Rainy NC Sunday....

And I'm spending it in my jammies! I am refusing to get in a car today. I don't want to go anywhere today...this day, is for UNWINDING!

And for playing with this:


IS SHE NOT GORGEOUS?!? I first saw her on Thursday morning when I arrived at the Jacksonville Quiltfest. I must have walked by her a dozen times, drooling, oohing, ahhing and telling myself...NO. MORE. MACHINES!!

She was still there Friday after my two trunk shows! Still there when the show closed down and we went to Clark's Fish Camp for dinner (More to come on Clarks, I think it deserves it's own blog post...lol!!)

Yesterday morning (Was it only yesterday?!? Saturday??) I went to take the skyrail from the hotel to the convention center, only to find that the skyrail doesn't RUN on Saturdays!! (#@($*&(@#*$&!?) So what's this girl to do? Walk! It was just about 2 miles, and it wasn't all THAT hot yet....a bit humid, but what a perfect day for walking across the bridge and enjoying Jacksonville one more time before flying out yesterday afternoon.

I got across the bridge, only to see miles and mobs of runners and walkers do a HEART WALK through the center of downtown! I just joined the mob, talked to some people, accepted a free bottle of water they were handing out....and when they turned LEFT at the end of their route, ending at Jacksonville Landing, I turned RIGHT...and continued on down to the convention center.

By this time I had convinced myself that the machine would not still be there. How could it be? It had been a fabulous show, mobs of people, the machine was SO gorgeous, it had to have found a home, right? And besides...HOW on earth was I to get it home? My checked luggage was 2 miltary duffels of quilts, a total of 100 lbs, the limit I could check. I had my roll aboard carry on with my clothes and my laptop bag as my "allowable" take-with-me luggage. There is no way on earth (Or Jacksonville) that I was going to be allowed to carry an extra package aboard the plane....

Or was there?

I got there, hot and sweaty, found my way up the aisle....and....there she was. At that moment, I knew she had to come home and I was going to risk it.

After some quick thinking, I remembered that the 2 planes I was taking were "United Express" (Nicknamed "United Distress" by a friend of mine!)and that they took the roll aboard luggage and checked it plane side, so I'd only be walking on the plane with the laptop bag and this small black FW case, which fit just fine in the overhead bins on the smaller planes.

It took some doing getting through the check point.....but even the TSA agents agreed she was a beautiful machine and she got oohs and ahhs from the passengers behind me too as she was checked out going through the x ray station!

14 lbs in her case was switched from one hand to the other as I also switched which hand was pulling the carrying on behind me with the laptop bag looped over it...my arms are TIRED!



Here she is all tucked into her little case with all the accessories. She came with a walking foot and a 1/4" foot as well as a bunch of other goodies...and look....even her foot petal is painted metallic magenta!

A further inspection shows that she was born in 1937, and she runs like a dream! I'll be taking her on a voyage with me when I go to retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana in a few weeks!

I think I need to go get a pedicure to match her paint job, don't you agree? :cD

PS! CLICK HERE if you want to visit Johnny's website. His specialty is the featherweight, but he has other vintage machines as well...301's and hand cranks and toy machines and EVERYTHING. He does repair and servicing, and he carries a full line of parts too.

I just got this email from him as I was writing this post! (You should have seen his puppy dog sad face when I said I was buying this machine, I think he thought he could KEEP it forever!!)

Hi, this is the old sewing machine man, Johnny. I didn't know who you were or anything about you at the Jacksonville quilt show. I am really impressed, I had no idea you were such a renown quilter and teacher. I can't think of anyone else I would have wanted to see my hot rod featherweight go to, I hope you will enjoy it. I have cruised your machines, you better never come to my little shop cause you would need a truck to leave with. Check out some of my machines on my web site, and those are only some of them. Of course some have found new homes, but many are still in the shop. I see you are seldom home, wow what a schedule. It was a real pleasure meeting you, best of luck and if you change your mind about my hot rod, I'll take her back.
Guess your quilting like my sewing machines (keep you in stitches!)
johnny



Friday, September 24, 2010

Playing Catch Up!

Do you remember the story of "Flat Stanley" and how he used to show up everywhere? Kind of a where's Waldo thing! And Stanley and Waldo, tho they never did meet, were both probably having only HALF the fun that this traveling quilter is!

So where I have I been the past couple days since my last post? I spent a couple days with the quilters in Clarkston Michigan! We had two workshops, and a lecture....and never let it be said that quilters don't persevere...

Remember a few months back when I made the decision to put off taking the trunk show across Canadian borders until they get something better worked out? Well.....there are a handful of quilters from Ontario who made the jaunt to come see ME instead! We had an absolute ball. They even brought show and tell for ME to see!



And here is where I feel really old and blond and all the other adjectives I can think of, because tho it has only been a few days since Monday/Tuesday when I was with these gals, I've got their names all mixed up in my head! But just LOOK at her beautiful Star Struck! She used black as her accent fabric, and look at that border!!



The half square triangles used in the friendship star border are all the BONUS half squares she got from double seaming the larger triangle units....WHOOOT! Isn't it fabulous!?

And this one....her Carolina Christmas Mystery.....she actually made two smaller quilts instead of the one bigger one:



And the back...so totally fun!!



These gals are so prolific, even a Blue Ridge Beauty top was brought across the border for show and tell! :cD



The only thing that was NOT wonderful about Michigan was LEAVING! My flight was delayed just enough that I missed my connection in Washington/Dulles. Then what was supposed to be a 5 hour layover turned into an 8 hour layover due to weather. I didn't get to my hotel here in Jacksonville until after 11pm. Yesterday I felt like a zombie for most of the day, but I did learn to navigate the sky rail system from the hotel to the convention center and back. The weather has been sunshiney gorgeous....just like Florida should!

I've got at least ONE trunk show to do today at the show. If it fills, we'll simply do another one so no one will miss out!

For those of you coming, I can't wait to meet you! For those who WERE coming (ahem! You know who you are!) and life got in the way.....I miss you, and we'll do it again another time!

My flight home is tomorrow...we might get one more update before then if I can get my ducks in a row. I want to tell you about my wonderful experience with the thimble lady people yesterday, the painted featherweight I drooled over, and all the other wonderful things about the show. I'll get some pics and if I don't post them tonight, I will over the weekend.....

Have a super Friday, ya'll!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm an Auntie!!

My baby sister had HER baby yesterday! Isn't it great how families can grow, and I don't have to do it myself? LOL!! I still haven't heard on the name, but they are thinking of calling him Logan. So when Auntie Bonnie gets home, the quilt that is all done and waiting will get its label finished and off it will go in the mail. I'm sure Kenzie and Porter are all excited about their new baby brother, and I can't wait to see pics of him either. I just wish I weren't so far away.

Michigan keeps flip flopping between rainy cold and windy autumn weather, to the most glorious Indian summer glimpses!

Yesterday was my "off" day, and I was picked up in Saginaw by Linda, the programs person for the guild here in Clarkston, and she brought me to my new digs. There is a huge mall here, Great Lakes Crossing. I had my first experience at a Toby Keith's "Man, I love this bar & Grill" restaurant, complete with a mechanical bull!

I walked and walked and walked around this place, it's HUGE..and it was the perfect afternoon for doing so.



Look at this color! Isn't it glorious? This was yesterday morning when I did a 5+ mile hike around Saginaw before being picked up. But the whole day was like this....short sleeves, no jacket! The day before?? BRRRRR! But I was told, if you don't like the winter here, give it a few minutes, it will change.

I wish there was more to report....it's been busy fun days of quilt teaching and laughing, and eating, and trying to walk/jog it off!! LOL I think I'm fighting a losing battle!



I am gaining ground on the "In The Pink" quilt though! I've started the second round of fans, and it is OH SO MUCH EASIER to quilt in the white areas, than in the brown ones. Again, it's the fabric, the weave, the thread count and thread thickness of the fabrics that make all the difference. But I still think this quilt needs to be hand quilted. I just can't see myself being happy with machine quilting stitches marching all over the whole thing with piecing this intricate...so on we go. I've been working on it in the evenings, and my quilting callouses are pleasingly tender, since I started working on the hexagon thing I stopped hand quilting, and heaven forbid you lose your callouses all the way and have to start OVER!

Today's class is Cathedral Stars. I was told we have quilters from all over coming, even some from Canada, so it's going to be an exciting day!

Tomorrow is the busy day...we have Blue Ridge Beauty workshop during the day, and the guild meeting and trunkshow tomorrow night....

Come Wednesday morning...I'll be on another plane making my way to Jacksonville Florida and the Jacksonville Quilt Fest!

Have a super Monday, everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hello from Saginaw!

I arrived yesterday afternoon via Chicago....my flight was an early one, I had to be up at 4:30am to leave for the airport in Greensboro by 5:30am. *YAWN* Luckily, I was able to sleep most of the way to Chicago. SOME hexies got stitched, but not many!

You wanna know a funny? How often does it happen that 3 friends who live in Oregon, California, and North Carolina all end up at Chicago O'Hare on their way to various destinations within HOURS of each other?

But our lay overs were too far apart for us to even share hugs! How disappointing is that?

I landed at O'Hare at 8am. My flight left just after 11am for Detroit. Randy was at O'Hare late afternoon for a flight that left around 6pm! Lori was on a red eye flight last night that arrived at O'Hare in the wee small hours this morning. Isn't this a crazy world of traveling quilters? Maybe next time we will be lucky enough to be there at the same time.

The guild meeting in Saginaw was wonderful last night and I'm having a great time! Guess what came with me this time?? The "IN THE PINK" Dear Jane! I had requests to bring it to Clarkston when I visit them after Saginaw..there are a lot of Dear Janers there. I didn't think I could fit it in the trunkshow because I am only alotted two 50 lb bags, but I decided that a couple other quilts could stay home, and I can take some time to show a hand quilting project in progress as part of the trunk show, can't I? :cD

So I'm able to tuck myself in to my cozy hotel room and put on some girly tv and hand quilt the next several evenings! So...maybe even a bit hand quilting project can become a traveling project to stitch on in the evenings so that I can make more progress there, and I can show how far it's come as I travel place to place. WHY NOT?! Don't quilters like to see things in progress too? I know I do.

Today was the Star Struck class, and we had a ball. The shop next door is fabulous....there are 3 restaurants within walking distance and we ended up at a place called "CRUMBS" how perfect is that?! I had the turkey sandwich on homemade cranberry walnut bread...OH. MY. GOODNESS. Talk about a taste treat.

I don't have any pictures to post, the day was just too busy, but I wanted to share with you a pic of the Crumbs quilt that Regan sent me!



Isn't this awesome!?!?! I love it so much. What a great use of scraps, color and value! She writes:
I discovered Quiltville at exactly the right time.....as I had just 'inherited' an entire quilting stash and crafting room contents from a friend's mother who had just passed away. Her stash, combined with mine, totally overwhelmed me! Then I started refolding, cutting, and binning, and now it's totally organized, I can find EVERYTHING, and I have been cranking out the quilt tops like a maniac!

I love love love making pieced backings, and have used your block method several times now. Love the easy math!!!

Attached are pics of the Crumby Quilt front and back I just finished for my father (the back is a bit blurry, but you get the idea). It's the second one of these that I've made; this one is twin sized, and the other is a queen (just the top so far). You'd think that these would have made a dent in my crumbs bin, but no! Why is that? Crumbs multiply like bunnies!



I so agree! I'm not sure why it is so much more fun to re-purpose someone else's fabric scraps into quilts than it is to play with my OWN fabric, but I love playing with the goodies I bring home from other people's cast offs. I love playing with color and texture and strange combinations and just coloring outside the lines. I'm so glad I'm not the only one because it is so much more fun when we can play and create together!

Here is the back she pieced...cleared out a bunch of reds:




Thanks for sharing the pics, Regan, they are great! It's about 8pm here. I napped before dinner so I've got a few hours yet to get some hand quilting in on the "In The Pink" before I turn in. Tomorrow's Class?? Crabapples! I'll try to remember to take pics this time!

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!