Friday, March 25, 2011

It’s just a DAY TRIP!

I promise! I’m really close to home, so it’s almost like BEING home…only….I get to be in Mt Airy NC for the day, giving a Sister’s Choice Workshop to the Surry Quilt Guild!

And that’s just fine with me…I’ve been home “almost” a week, and a day trip means I’ll be back home by dinner time like “normal” folks!

Did you Know that Mt Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith? In love


I’m packing just a few things…a simple load of books, some of the quilts from the new book for a mini-trunk show I thought we would do at lunch time, and the demo quilt for the workshop.

You know, I have to confess something…I “USE” my quilts. What’s the point of having quilts if you aren’t going to use them? And I love this Sister’s Choice quilt, it’s one of my faves. It’s a simple easy quilt all from the 2.5” strip bin, and used a lot of pre-cut 2.5” squares too, so it’s a fun one to help people start their own Scrap User’s System.

And this quilt has lived on my guest bed for YEARS now…which means it’s been loved and slept under, and washed and used all over again. The border fabrics are starting to fade a bit…it’s getting that well-loved-patina. And I feel guilty because it’s not a crisp clean pristine demo quilt anymore!

But who has time to make a new one?

In preparation for this class, I removed it from the bed, and also figured it was time to change out the winter flannel sheets and put the cotton ones for summer back on there. I decided to pull out a quilt that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while and put IT on the bed:

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It’s the ocean waves that I love so much….hello, old friend!

Do you change out the quilts in your home with the seasons? I’m thinking I need to even go around and switch out the ones on the walls, just to shake things up a bit.

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It was a warm afternoon while I was remaking the bed, so I opened a window…and look who jumped up to enjoy the view and the fresh air? Emmy Lou!

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I tried to get her to pay attention and look at the camera, but she is such a shy girl…

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Mean Ole Chloe on the other hand, wouldn’t let me any closer than THIS before storming off in a huff for invading her space. I swear….I’ve given up on trying to win her with kindness. This cat is a BRAT!

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Just look at that face…..can’t you see she is calling me every dirty name in the book? Ungrateful wench that she is….I figure she is at least doing her share to keep the rodents at bay!

I also have a confession:

I succumbed….I bit the bullet….I have ZERO will power and no resistance, my reasoning and rationalization won out this time around!

I stopped at the AT&T store today to cancel my “global texting” package from when I was in Germany. And while I was there I was looking at a kiosk of iphone cases that had been marked down from $35 to $5!! YES…$5! But they were all for Iphone 4…not for MY old 3G…but I thought about it. If I bought a new Iphone4 I would have to buy a case for it, and since that case was now $30 off, I was actually saving $30 off the price of the whole package, right? So…..

I am now the proud owner of a new Iphone4….with a cool blue case…the whole reason I need this phone of course, is for the FLASH that the cam comes with and the ability to take better pictures for….well…this BLOG for one thing! We’ll give it the test run tomorrow…..

Time to pack the car so I can get to bed at a decent hour, and have a fun little day trip tomorrow!

Where Everybody Knows Your Name ---


I’ve spent the morning getting back into a routine I’ve let some-what-slide over the winter months---I went to the GYM!

It wasn’t anything I let intentionally slide, winter and travel and holidays just kind of got in the way, and though I kept up with workouts in hotel fitness rooms, power walking outdoors when I can, going to my actual HOME-GYM just kind of took a back seat to everything else that has been going on in my life.

This morning, I was up early, and I turned down every excuse that could keep me from going. I know I feel better about ME when I exercise. I know I am doing something GOOD for my mind, body & soul when I am pushing myself. I need NEED those endorphins!

But I was nervous, and a bit shy about walking in there….it had been several months since I stepped foot in the place. But you know what? I was greeted with open arms! They still knew me by name, and I got hugs and squeezes. I was told “I missed you, I was worried about you!” by more than one person. I was told I look fabulous by others. Is there anything else better for what ails our broken hearts than to know that people care?

SO, I’m back on track. I have an appointment with my physical trainer on Monday ((Oy! She is going to make me hurt, I just know it!)) and I know that taking care of my body physically is going to help me stay healthy enough to keep doing what I’m doing when I’m on the road.

Sometimes we lose sight of taking care of ourselves because our plates are too full with everything else. Don’t I know it! But it is so true, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

The little sign at the beginning of this post?? That comes thanks to my friend D who had had ENOUGH of my posts of spring already, and wanted to send some snow my way. That made my day too! Little things.

I also received a delicious lavender sachet and card from Victoria. It smells so LOVELY! I’m keeping it here in my desktop area so I can surround myself with aroma-therapy!

Rondi, you sweet sweet girl, your card also touched my heart very much and I want you to know how much it is deeply appreciated. I’m keeping it for always, especially for when I need a pick-me-up. Thank you for thinking of me.

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See this box of scraps?! It is chock full of strips, squares, rectangles, pieces parts and all a sundry! This box was waiting for me when I returned home from Alabama!

Annette, you crazy girl! She writes:

“I’ve learned so much from you about putting together scrap quilts but this big “tub” of squares, etc was and is overwhelming!

Please use them in some of your projects, incorporate them into quilts for a new book or pass them along—“

I hope she knows that this is a HUGE welcome gift! It is so fun for me to paw through other people’s scraps and see the fabrics, especially the ones that are “new-to-me” and find a place where they will go in a quilt. I will have a great time sorting and dreaming and planning and sewing. Thank You!

And OH! I now “KNOW” what I’m doing for filling in the remainder of the hexagon star medallion! Just wait just wait just wait!! Sometimes simple is best, but I think this is going to be awesome in its just-a-bit-more-than-simplicity! I spent some time yesterday ironing scraps of red/green/neutral to fill my travel busy bag again, and I can’t wait to see how this is going to come together…..

SO—I best upload this now. I’ve got a massage at 1:30, and that is much needed too. I feel like I’ve been wearing my shoulders up around my ears and they need to come down.

Have a Super Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Day In Raleigh!

Lisa and I had a fun trip over to Raleigh yesterday! Our main objective? To check out the quilts in the museum archives…she had selected 10 that she wanted to inspect, and inspect we did..down in the tombs, white gloves on, inspecting, measuring, oohing, ahhhing, pondering and wondering about the makers and their stories.

I’ve driven THROUGH Raleigh before, or the outskirts of it, but never have been down town, and there are some great buildings down there! We also worked our way through bundles and bunches of kids on school field trips to the Museum ---It’s a state funded museum so it is open to the public free, which was nice to know! I’ll definitely be going back!

Isn't this a fun pic with the signs? Which way to go first?

Look close.....can you find the dinosaur in the round windows above?

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This pic is of me in front of the museum with one of the statues! What a great day for wandering around with short sleeves just enjoying the sunshine.

Beautiful "Carolina Blue" sky, gentle breezes, birds chirping --And it hit me…for the first time this season. That “MOMENT” when you really know that it is REALLY here….that ambrosia of the senses, the perfume of the Gods, that balm for the soul….I smelled LAWN MOWER! I smelled FRESH CUT GRASS! And I knew it was the perfect day!

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Here is Lisa getting up close and personal with a terrific 1880s applique! And you see that bit of yellow/green in the front left? That is a utility quilt basically in the “hearts and gizzards” pattern made by a former slave somewhere between 1890 and 1910.

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It’s one of those stories that just sticks to you, making you wish you knew more. The fabrics are crude in origin. That yellow? That’s the color you get when using onions to dye your fabrics. The green? That was home dyed too. This quilt was made THICK to be warm out of necessity. The batting is heavy cotton encased in what resembled cheesecloth….it was also stitched, or big-stitch quilted to keep the cotton from migrating..and then this primitively pieced top and a separate backing, most likely made of “Alamance Plaid” was added to the cheesecloth encased cotton batting and quilted with black thread. It is as heavy as a sleeping bag, and I bet it kept many loved ones warm during cold winter nights.

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This piece didn’t hold the dye like the other muslin did! There were A LOT of great quilts. Some nearly perfect in every stitch. This humble one is the one that tore at my heart. I'll let Lisa tell you about the others when she is good and ready!

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Down in the Archives! White gloves and camera!

Thanks for a wonderful day, Lisa! I hope we can do it again soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Need Your Vote!!

I received an email ((and so did many of my favorite quilt peeps, which makes this very exciting!!)) from Sew Cal Gal including me in the nominations for

  • Best Teacher/Instructor
  • Best Author
  • Most influential person in the world of quilting to-date, aka "Lifetime Achievement"

Are you listening to me SQUEEEAAAALING?!? I am SO flattered and honored! There are some great names there!

From Sew Cal Gal’s blog post:

Voting for your favorite Nominees for the 2011 Golden Quilter Awards is accepted here thru March 31st. I hope you will take time to vote, as this is your opportunity to help recognize those that have made our world of quilting so wonderful. Please be sure to follow all the rules, that are listed at the bottom of Sew Cal Gal's post, for your vote to count.
The sponsors for the 2011 Golden Quilter Awards and giveaway are:

These sponsors have generously donated 30 wonderful prizes for a giveaway where those that help with PR, nominate, vote, as well as enter the giveaway for this event, have a chance to win prizes. You are also automatically entered to win a prize in the when you submit a valid vote at the bottom of Sew Cal Gal's post.

If you have not yet entered this giveaway, you may wish to click here to enter.

So want more info? Head over to Sew Cal Gal’s POST and VOTE!

Lisa is picking me up this morning at 10am to head over to Raliegh to go examine some antique quilts up close and personal at the museum! I’m looking forward to this day, we’ve had it planned for quite some time!

Whatever you get up to today, have a good one! ((Yes, and VOTE!!))

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Free Kindle Book (and a bit of spring!)

Didn’t I use this title once before? I believe I might have!

Doesn’t matter…it’s still true! Found a good read, want to share it with you! ((And that wasn’t intended to rhyme either!))

When You Went Away, by Michael Baron, is free on Kindle. This is a contemporary romance published by The Story Plant.

Book Description:

Only a few months ago, Gerry Rubato had everything he thought he needed from life. He was passionately in love with his college sweetheart after nearly twenty years of marriage, he had a bright, independent-minded daughter, and he had the surprising addition of a new child on the way. Then everything changed with stunning rapidity. With little explanation, his daughter ran away with her older boyfriend. Then, only a month after giving birth to their son, his wife died suddenly. Now, Gerry needs to be everything to his infant child while he contends with two losses he can barely comprehend. And when a woman walks into his life as a friend and their relationship verges on something more, Gerry must redefine all that he knows about himself, about love, about loyalty, and about his dreams.

An emotionally charged novel filled with warmth, humor, wisdom, and unforgettable characters, When You Went Away is a novel you will take to your heart.

So what if I’m reading it to get my mind off “Other Things”…it was exceptionally nice last evening just to sit on my porch swing and read and listen to birds and not have to talk out loud or do ANYTHING.

Before my porch-swing-session, Sadie and I took a little walk around the neighborhood to see what has bloomed in the last 2+ weeks that I’ve been gone!


But first…you see this new slab of concrete on my driveway? You can tell, it’s a different color than the rest…

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It’s not an exceptionally WIDE driveway….just fairly normal. It does curve, and it does go down-hill toward the house…but you wouldn’t think it to be exceptional in any way---However, I will NEVER complain about the price of fabric rising again---This little slab of new driveway to replace the broken cracked bits? $1200.00!! UHHUH! Which would you rather have? $1200.00 worth of fabric to play with? Or $1200.00 worth of rock and concrete? Sleepy smile

I’m just glad we didn’t have to replace any more than we did.

The next thing to be done on the house this year? A new roof…and get rid of the skylights that were installed wrong ((Before we moved in)) that require the NEED for a new roof, and to replace the sheetrock that the leaking skylights have ruined, and find out how BADLY things are ruined INSIDE the ceiling. I have a feeling this would buy “A LOT” of fabric too. But we’ll do it. It will be worth it. We are thinking metal roof, since we are kind of in a woodsy area…and I’m pulling for RED. And paint the shutters red too to match. Not Green, I don’t want the place to look like a forest ranger lives here.

At the end of my driveway, I was greeted by a beautiful sight! Though it is hard to tell because of the angle of the sun in the pic…these trees of my neighbors are just GORGEOUS!

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They have a lovely yellow house that looks so springy too…..as I walked down the street, I had to stop and take a pic of this lovely tree also:

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I’m glad I got the pics yesterday…today is kind of windy and it is blowing around snow of a different kind…..PETALS! I know the blossoms will be gone within the next few days.

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Further down the road and across the creek ---- These are the forsythia bushes I found Emmy Lou under! They are full of yellow blooms….and this is not a shy yellow at all, it just shouts SPRING out loud! I love the color of forsythia blossoms.

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The sun was lower by the time I got to this house for this tree….and the color is WAY off. But it was just GORGEOUS, like a flowering weeping willow or something…the pink just cascades down the limbs.

The bradford pears are almost DONE with their blooming and the leaves are sprouting out now….There are a couple places I want to get pics of before they are all gone. Maybe this evening I’ll get out earlier and walk that way….my favorite place has some other pink trees blooming around a curve…So pretty.

Mail order is done. Post Office run done. Bank run done. Lunch with Karen also done! ((Thanks Karen!)) And tomorrow Miss Lisa and I are taking a trip down to Raleigh to go look at some antique quilts in the museum! Should be a fun day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank You ---

It wasn’t until this morning that I read all the responses….and feel a bit embarrassed about how unglued I sounded in yesterday’s post about Oscar dying. But I guess the truth was, I WAS unglued. We had fought over his health quite a bit in the past year, with the lung infection, and the tail abscess and whatever else was going on….

I don’t know what took him this time. But whatever it was, finding out and knowing couldn’t bring him back. Just like Buddy and the snake bite this time last year…Sometimes answers do NOT help. And whatever it was, wouldn’t couldn’t bring Oscar back.

We’ve had other pets ((I have the hardest time just calling them “PETS” because somehow it diminishes who/what they really are in our lives, making them somehow less significant)) who have lived long lives – cats especially – who have just up and wandered off never to be seen again once their lives had reached old age status. I always thought they found their way into the woods to a peaceful place where they just laid down and died surrounded by nature. For weeks after I’d search and call and wonder, hoping I didn’t find them on a roadside somewhere, but I never did.

I guess with Oscar--the place he felt most secure and the most loved was INSIDE the house with the people he loved, and who loved him, rather than out in the wild…being such an outdoor cat, I find that amusing in a way. And comforting. At least we will never have to wonder where he went to if he just disappeared…

Remember how frantic I was over Emmy Lou being gone for over 2 months? And then finding her under a bush on the other side of the creek? I welcomed her home with open arms. She is a different kind of cat ---they DO have their own personalities, you know! She is content to mostly be off on her own, guarding the guestroom bed. She doesn’t come out of there very often, not very curious about what I’m doing down here in the studio….she sleeps, she eats….she stays pretty much unseen.

Oscar, was EVER PRESENT! And I think that is what I will miss the most. Sitting here at the computer this morning, I know he would be already up in my lap as I type, nudging his head against me, purring loudly, begging for me to be petting him, instead of tapping on these keys. Those are the times I’ll miss him most.

Or any time I was feet-up in the recliner, sewing on a binding---He’d have to be RIGHT THERE to the point I'd have to bodily move him to move on down the quilt as I stitched. Emmy doesn’t do that. Oscar was there and IN the picture, where Emmy has always just watched from the side. ((Or stayed up in the guest room)) It isn’t that I don’t love her --- it’s just different.

And I’ll admit…I was a bad cat mommy and kind of wishing and thinking that if it were CHLOE the bad kitty that had gone across the rainbow bridge, I wouldn’t have been so distraught! She is beautiful, but NOT NICE…and never will be.

I got home last night around 7pm. It was a long drive….a boring one! I didn’t stop anywhere other than to get gas or a quick bite to eat, and back on the road.

I was asleep by 9pm.

Today? Well, I think I’ll just start putting the pieces together and tying up loose ends. Book orders, bank run, maybe grocery store…Jeff’s already helped me unpack the car. I’ll probably do some laundry, some light house work putting things back in order, and we’ll see how it goes.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and understanding. In comparison to the Japan crisis…I know this was really on a small scale. I KNOW this…my brain knows this at least, but has a hard time convincing my heart Broken heart

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oscar and the Rainbow Bridge...

I can't stop sobbing...I got a message from Jeff this morning that Oscar passed away during the night.

I can't stop crying. I have to drive 8 hours home. I wish I had been there, I should have been there..I've been gone too much.

I knew eventually his 9 lives would run out ---- but he was doing so much better...

He was the best cat, and will be sorely missed. And the sad part is, I know I'll never replace him. My life is too busy and crazy and GONE..and you have to BE THERE for pets. And I have missed so much of the past 2 years of his life...because I was gone. I know I'm not thinking rationally right now....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Heart for Japan ---

This morning I woke to 4 email messages in my inbox, one after the other asking me to help spread the word about things we can do to help those in Japan who are still reeling from the earthquake, the tsunami, and the fear of nuclear disaster.

I spent time in Japan in 1989 and I keep thinking of all of those memories…all of those people…and my mind just can’t fathom what they are going through. My heart is so heavy and I search for updates and watch with hope as they try to rebuild and put life back together.

I recently read this quote which says SO much about the nobleness of the Japanese people:

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful."

There will be a lot of cracks to fill. But I know there are things that we, as a community of quilters, can do to help.

Hi Bonnie,
Love your quilts and books. But today I join the many people that come to you with requests.

I am sorry. I wish I did not have the urge to do it; but you are such an inspiration that I thought of you when I came across this information.

It is a request for quilts for Japan. I copied the letter to you below:

"This is a copy of an email from the editor of Quilt Tsushin Magazine, Naomi Ichikawa, Naomi lives in Tokyo and her mother and brother survived the tsunami in Sendai.
Here is Naomi’s request translated into english.

It is still bad situation now in Japan. We are still nervous about shaking and radiation,but no way to escape. I start to announce to the quilters to send us comfort quilts for the people who are suffered.I would like to do it to the world quilters. We will deliver the comfort quilts to the people who are very difficult situation. Could you please help to announce it to the quilters? We accept any size of quilts(baby to adult).new or unused.
The deadline would be the end of May or later.

After May 1st:
Naomi Ichikawa
Patchwork Tsushin Co.,Ltd
2-21-2,Yushima,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo,Japan zip:113-0034

I will appreciate if you help me.

My hope is that in the near future we will be collecting supplies for quilt groups in the Sendai region so they can use quilting to confort, heal, and express themselves.
Nomaiaci (Cissa) Kamakura

Another email came from Sandra Shigeno, and may be a better way for those of us in the USA to send quilts as Quilters Newsletter is heading up an effort for quilts to be sent to Japan as well:

Quilters Newsletter has long enjoyed a friendship with Patchwork Tsushin, a leading Japanese quilt magazine.

So when Editor in Chief Naomi Ichikawa emailed to say her magazine is collecting comfort quilts for those impacted by the recent earthquake in Japan, we wanted to join the effort.

QN will gather quilts from U.S. quiltmakers then forward them to Naomi and her staff, who will deliver them to those in need. (If you live outside the United States, email me as indicated below, and I will provide information on how you can send quilts directly to Naomi.)

Here’s how you can be part of this important worldwide response:

Send new quilts of any size from baby to adult to:

Dana Jones
Quilters Newsletter
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401

• Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
• Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
• Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts.

We did it for Katrina…we did it for the flooding in the midwest. We did it to help the Australians recently. I know we have it in us to help those in Japan as well!

***UPDATE*** This just in:
Dana Jones { 03.19.11 at 1:03 pm }

I emailed with Naomi Ichikawa today. She has asked that if you are sending quilts directly to Japan, that you do not send them until May 1 at the earliest. Please watch this blog for regular updates on this time frame as things are changing daily in Japan.

If you are sending quilts to Quilters Newsletter [in Colorado] and do not want to write “Quilts for Japan” on the box, please enclose a note that says this. We receive many quilts in our offices and will only send quilts to Japan that we know are intended for Japan.

Please send only new quilts.

I am amazed but not surprised at the compassionate response to this call for quilts. In just 24 hours, we at QN have heard from quilters in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Italy. We are truly an international community!

Dana Jones, QN managing editor

Friday, March 18, 2011

The most beautiful thing!

Living LARGE! ((Is a lesson we all could use!))

Have you heard this story?

There was an article in People Magazine and in the Toronto Star. Violet and Allen Large, both in their late 70s, met each other in 1964 and fell in love.

The Canadian couple has purchased two lottery tickets every week since 1984. ((That’s a LOT of years and a LOT of lottery tickets!))

Last year, Violet called the lottery hotline to check out the winning numbers to find that they HAD WON $11.2 million dollars.

What did they do with it? What would YOU do with it?

They donated it all to doctors, their own country & family. They kept none for themselves. Not. A. Penny!


They say they are content with their ‘87 Dodge Diplomat Suburban & their 148 year old Victorian home,

Violet is quoted as saying:

“Money can’t buy happiness. We have everything we need-- I have Allen and he has me.”

You can read the rest of the story HERE.

Doesn’t this just warm your heart and bring hope to humanity!? I also love this statement:

“That money that we won was nothing. We have each other.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Questions for Quiltville!

You know, the internet is a funny thing. Every day there are emails from out of the blue…..asking me if I know the value of someone’s vintage machine, or if I sell parts for them ((No, I’m just a machine lover who has too many!)) Or if I know someone who will do a certain kind of quilt for someone else, or asking one of 100 other questions…

Sometimes I feel like the Quilter version of “Dear Abby!” And I’m flattered…but sometimes dumbfounded on how I am supposed to supply level headed advice! And is someone going to say “Well, Bonnie said so…so it’s all her fault?!”

Today I received the following email:

((Names have been changed to protect the Quilty!))

I have been in quilting for the past six years and have a huge stash of fabrics and other necessities. I have made around 100 quilts but I have more money tied up in fabric and the rest to sink a ship. I have a huge amount of books, 10 tops in progress, and 15 quilt tops not yet quilted. I am always starting a new top............constantly looking for new free patterns online and otherwise. The problem is I am never going to use up my stash and keep making it bigger every day.

Do you have any suggestions about the stash problem? I would like to sell my stash and just finish the projects in progress. I have a habit of not finishing for a long time and nothing ever gets done.

Please help.

Is there any way a person can get rid of a stash at a decent price????????? If you have any suggestions or online sites that can help me regarding this, I would appreciate it. I just want to finish and get out of quilting, at least the easy quilts. I would like to work on a Dear Jane or something more complicated than the Moda Bake Shop type of quilts I have been doing.


I wasn’t sure how I was going to answer this! I thought and thought about what I could say to help her feel better….but sometimes, what needs to be said, what needs to be done, has to come from INSIDE the person doing the asking!

How does an alcoholic stop the insanity? It seems to me that M’s problem is not in the wanting to sell her stash ((For a decent price?!?)) but in the admission that she feels she will never be able to “use up” her stash, and it keeps growing EVERY DAY.

Does that stop because she sells it off? No…the problem will still be there.

Does buying new fabric to replace the other fabric solve the problem? No, and if she is buying fabric all the time, her problem isn’t that she has only OLD fabric and is tired of it…..There is something that hooks her in with just the thrill of the purchase.

In the last paragraph she is talking about finishing and getting out of quilting…and in the next sentence she wants to start a Dear Jane or something more complicated? Surprised smile

I really feel for M and wish there was something I could do to help…this was my reply:


You need an intervention!

Stop shopping and start spending your time sewing and creating....it is up to you to fix the problem! Creativity is better fed by DOING...not planning and spending!

Stop starting new projects...pick one that is "almost done" and finish it, and do a happy dance of joy! Donate things you are tired of, look for projects that will use what you have....fulfill your love of beautiful fabrics by putting them to good use...

I don't plan on selling my stash. I loved it when I bought it, it's going to make beautiful quilts. What you have at home is no different than what is in the store.....SEW IT!


For an alcoholic to take control of his/her life, they have to recognize they have a problem. Just as an alcoholic person needs to not even GO IN TO A BAR…..I think she needs to stop and take stock in what she has. Finish some projects, start looking at things with a more critical eye. I’m not a psychologist…..but I have a tendency to think that there are many ways of self-medicating…and for some of us, the purchasing of fabric way beyond our means and control is a way of filling a need of some sort.

A support group of a quilting bee that spends more time SEWING might be beneficial! Spend more time sewing than you do shopping…buy when you need to to finish a project if you don’t have something, but chances are, you might have just what you need in your stash already.

I know from personal experience, when I was going through a deep dark time during my boys’ teenage years ---that some days all I could manage was to pet the fabric, and to buy the fabric and to bring it home because it was the one thing I had control of in my life….but the truth is, it had control of ME. I had to step back from it and see what I was doing. I had to face the facts that no matter how much I loved that fabric….IT was NEVER going to LOVE ME BACK. I was using it to fill an emptiness.

This may or may not be the case….but I just feel M’s desire to make a change, but at the same time…SHE is the one who has to make the steps to do it.

Good luck, M!

And on to my recent mile stone!

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The floral border is finished!! I finished attaching the last two sections at the evening guild meeting on Monday eve!

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I haven’t decided if I want to orientate it on point or straight set…..I’ve been puttering around with the graph paper trying to doodle how it might square up:

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It’s such a weird shape to fill……I don’t want a hexagon shaped quilt..so I need to build it out square/rectangle…and that is a bit odd sized. Here I have echoed the shape of the outer edge with more rows of flowers and green borders…I dunno if I like it or not. Maybe I’ll keep doodling!

I’m here in Alabaster, AL for my two workshops with the Evening Star Quilt Guild. We’ve got Pineapple Blossom tomorrow, and Virginia Bound on Saturday! It will be fun to see familiar faces…I was last here 2 years ago. My how time flies!

As for tonight? I’m tucked into my hotel and I’m going to SEW!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Antiques Thrill Me!

We had a great day for the Cathedral Stars workshop in Franklin today .the gals were so great. After almost 2 weeks on the road, I have to admit the classes are starting to run together a bit for me…..but in some ways I think I am also learning to explain things better….I’m more patient if someone doesn’t understand, and I don’t take it so personally when I am asked things like “well, can’t I do it THIS way instead?” Sure you can! There is always more than one way to skin a cat! ((But why anyone would want to is beyond me!)) Sometimes I think I am learning more than the students do, only in a different way.

You gotta look at this view…..this is what I woke up to this morning! Look at that fog just floating around the mountains. There is a valley beneath that fog, only you can’t see it FOR the fog! The fog was quick moving….lifting, swirling, separating and resettling, it really looked like it was alive. I just love this pic --- I saved it as my desktop wall paper!

One of the students today brought in an antique quilt done in English paper piecing! We KNOW this…because some of the papers are STILL in it! It’s made of silks…layered with wool and tied.

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Doesn’t this just glow??

All of the octagonal blocks were pieced over papers, and then they were set together with the large plaid silk cornerstones. All of the construction was done using a small whipstitch in black thread.

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Closer up!

Don’t those solid fabrics just glow with intensity?

And the plaid cornerstone is such an interesting fabric choice with that solid black fabric in the blocks!

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The quilt was squared up by adding these half elongated hexagon pieces you see filling in the outer edges of the quilt and corner—and then the outer border of herringbone diamonds was added. This last border is really stiff with the paper they didn’t remove! I just wish I knew the story behind this silk quilt…it sure is a fun one!

After the workshop was packed up and and put away and vacuumed, Sarah and I headed out for a couple errands….and on the way to the grocery store we stopped at yet ANOTHER antique mall to wander around!

There were just a few quilts to snap pics of:

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A 1940s & 50s diamond hexagon quilt…this is really similar to one that Nancy had at her house for dinner last night! I love the bold colors, not many pastels in this one….those solid fabrics mixed with prints are so great.

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An antique basket top that must have been used as a “summer spread”. The outside edges are rolled and top stitched…it’s been washed and the seam alowances were almost non-existent! Love the solid black and red though, very bold! Reminds me of Georgia Bulldogs colors! Rolling on the floor laughing

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Here is a close up of one block. I love that the handles are slightly wonky, but yet the piecing is pretty dang good in the points department. Sometimes I think we make things SO purposely overly wonky that it becomes “fake wonkiness” almost the same way I feel about a chinese import made so primitive to make it LOOK like it was original, but it’s not….how else do I describe that? I’d rather have a geniune effort, or wonky antique….than a Chinese or fake American repro of one. But that’s another topic for another time, just random thoughts after wandering through an antique mall and seeing lots of repros made to look old that aren’t. Save that for another day!

((You know what I mean….shops that sell PRIMITIVES…but they are all made in China???))

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Now THIS! This is MY favorite kind of primitive! They did the best they could with what they had. They dyed the flour sacks green because they needed to…the effort on the pieced blocks is wonderful, though not perfect..a little bit of wonkiness brings comfort, it wasn’t made purposely “off”…you know?

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I almost ALMOST A L M O S T bought this one…but there were some really bad shredded spots in it. I love the double diagonal quilting…and how the plaids and stripes turn every which way. It’s primitive in nature, but not purposely made to be so…

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I definitely love this one…it took 100 years for the green to migrate and change this way. Not something we can do on purpose…aging like this takes time!

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I’m going to miss these mountains when I drive out of here in the morning! It’s been wonderful to feel tucked into the Smokies for the past little while. This is the view from the Fire House where we met for our classes--

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I would love to come back some day---I’m honored to call these quilters FRIENDS!