Monday, July 25, 2011

From Small To Tiny!!

How small do YOU consider as TOO SMALL!

I was working away on my border section for my hexagon medallion during show and tell-- before my lecture on Friday night…and one of the quilters in front of me held out her hand, uncurled her fingers around what she was holding, and I couldn’t believe my eyes!

She handed me that tiny little hexagon rosette sitting there next to my thimble. And then she showed me the whole piece she had been working on.

The one thing she said that she had to pay attention to was SCALE…the fabrics really can’t have the design spread way far apart, and the size of the motifs has to be fairly small or all 6 petals around the center will look too different from each other.

I love how she's fussy cut the yellow centers to include those tulips! PRECIOUS!

Don’t they make my hexies look HUMONGOUS?!

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And mine are 3/4” per side…fairly on the small side!

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I know THIS doesn’t look like much….but it’s the bottom edge…..((But guess what? I just counted and this much is 126 hexes!! Oy! So far to go yet!)) There is a row of Red units that will go up the side too, It’s been weird figuring this out because things don’t always turn corners the way you want them to…so I balanced it out in the centers of the borders..and let the ends fall where they may, thanks to the inspiration from antique mosaic quilts.

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There is just going to be a whole LOT of neutral hexies that will be filling in big open areas. But I think the quilt needs that space to balance out how busy the center is. Neutral hexies…hundreds of them…guess what I’ll be working on all the way to Alaska and back?!

I’ve spent the day catching up on stuff…The pet sitter Deby came by, and she and Sadie got along famously. She’ll take care of the cats, bring in the mail, water my ONE plant…..and this is a huge load off my mind!

Renting a car in Alaska costs an arm and a leg! But it’s a trip of a life time. Same with hotels…I’m sure it will be “PRICELESS” in memory, but it sure hurts to book it!

Like a Bunch of Wild Animals!

I made it home last evening with only an extra hour spent in Chicago. YAY!! I’d consider that “pretty much” on time as far as delays go.

I just stitched hexagons all the way home…making progress on my filling in around the medallion. More pics of that to come later!

((Note to self -- Cut more NEUTRALS out before next road trip!!))

Our weekend was spent at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. I’ve been informed that it is pronounced BEEEWWWWWNA Vista, Not Bwayna Vista! This always cracks me up! I remember moving to South Carolina, and the first time I went to meet Siobhan and Tonya in Augusta, GA….I was told the neighboring town, Martinez, is NOT called MARTEEEEEENEZ, It’s Martin-ehz. Weird. Especially for someone who grew up in the Bay Area of California, and everything has hispanic roots and it definitely would have been MARTEEENez. :cD

So..back to the university! Our classrooms were in the science building! And we were greeted by copious amounts of…….TAXIDERMY!!

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It was really very cool, as far as stuffed animals go. I can see why the students would find the science department an interesting place for hands on learning! Biology of all creatures, you know? This guy was saying “Keep away from my fat quarters!!”

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This guy was saying ---- “I know I left my rotary cutter somewhere!!”

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This guy was saying “Yes, I do believe you can cut stripes off grain and mix them with polka dots!”

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This one was wondering whether she could mix batiks and animal prints together ;c)

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And THESE animals were having a great time even in close quarters! They came from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri and beyond. And we sewed!

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I will say, that this retreat wins hands down ((or is that bottoms down?!)) for the BEST SEWING CHAIR AWARD! Everyone had comfy office chairs that we could raise and lower to whatever height we needed. And when you are sewing like a bunch of wild animals for 2 days straight, we need good chairs!

Friday’s workshop was Pineapple Blossom……and we had many blossoms in many colors going on. I love this class, the blocks are easy, the designs made with them are striking, and you can change up the options to create even more different looks!

It was an incredibly fun day! We left the heat and humidity outside, and stayed in and sewed our brains out! And if you happen to spy some little bow ties in the pics above....Some industrious someone was using them as leaders/enders! YAY!

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I love this pic of Jo from Jo’s Country Junction and her daughter Kelli……Like Mother, Like Daughter, look at that long line of chain piecing!!

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Here’s Jo laying out her blocks in the hallway! Aren’t they looking yummy?!

Jo, Kelli, Amy, Kathy ((all of the 14 Kathys LOL!)) Janell, everyone --- Thank you so much for the terrific welcome and a fantastic weekend!


Me, Amy and another of Amy’s online friends, Anne! Amy came from Wisconsin, her friend from Missouri!

There are more photos to post, but I’ve got a pet sitter coming by to interview for taking care of the animals while DH & I are in Alaska in a couple weeks. ((ALASKA!!! I am so stinking excited I can barely stand it!))

Stay Tuned…more to come later!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Early Morning Edition–Free Kindle Book!


Bonnie is still sleeping! :cD

I found this last night before turning the lights out, and I wanted to get it to you before it expired, but I didn’t want to send it immediately on top of the other post I just sent either, so I am writing this ahead to post in the wee small hours.

As for me, I intend to sleep in a bit. That college life is TIRING! Even if we are all beyond the age of..”cough” let’s say……35?

This looks interesting to me. It might to you to.

The Bluejay Shaman, the first in the Alix Thorssen series by Lise McClendon, is free in the Kindle store

Book Description:

Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from home and up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, mysterious deaths, madness, and – ah yes – passion among the pine needles.

Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her and wanted her dead. But did Wade Fraser, Alix’s brother-in-law and University of Montana anthropology professor, do the deed? What happened to the petroglyph of the bluejay shaman?

Alix follows a trail of romance, moonlit rituals, and legendary artifacts as another murder leads her to a chilling confrontation with the killer.

In this first novel of the Jackson Hole series about Alix Thorssen, Lise McClendon weaves a gripping tale of suspense, blending Indian lore, the timeless clash of western values, and the magnificent landscape of the Rockies.

It’s a who-dunnit and I enjoy those. As far as the passion and romance goes, I like a bit, but prefer it mostly left to my imagination, so that might be the deal breaker for me, not knowing how explicit it is. Still..it’s free, and I have my delete button, right?

As always, check to be sure the price is still free when you click – prices can change without notice.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Night, Live!!

((From Des Moines!))

An email in my in-box asked in a panicked tone if everything was all right with me since I hadn’t posted since Thursday night, the night of my arrival in Storm Lake for the Quilters Gathering with the Iowa Quilters Guild.

WHAT a whirlwind. I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten you all, I haven’t. And it isn’t that I didn’t want to post…I posted Thursday morning before I left North Carolina, I posted Thursday night,upon my arrival in Storm Lake, thinking that post would suffice as a Friday morning post since it came around midnight Iowa time, which was technically about 1am NORTH CAROLINA time….so really it was….a FRIDAY POST, right? ;c)

It’s been NON STOP here. NON STOP QUILTERS going full speed ahead, running on all cylinders.

My Friday went like this: Up at 5:45 am so that I could go walk the lake with Amy and her mom, Kathy. ((Which is funny, because there were about 14 Kathy’s in attendance this weekend and I kept getting them confused ))

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Isn’t this morning view beautiful? We could only go for an hour because breakfast started at 7:30am. There are beautiful parks along the lake shore, and I loved the little statue gathering at the top pic of the blog today. Isn’t that pretty?

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I love lakes….Being a Minnesota girl put lakes in my blood I guess. And this lake was just so peaceful and serene.

A quick shower ((OOPS! no hair dryer!)) and a quicker breakfast set us on our way to our class rooms across the campus. We were full both days of classes…and a greart time was had by all.

I have pics of the class projects, but those are going to have to wait to be edited a bit.

Friday went like this:

I went from a class that got out at 4pm straight to setting up for my lecture/trunkshow in another building between 4 pm and 5pm so that I could make it to dinner at 5:30 pm so we could be there at 7pm to greet those who were filling the lecture hall who were already sitting outside the locked doors waiting for their seats when I got there. The lecture and show and tell started at 7:30pm.

By the time show and tell was over ((FABULOUS QUILTS! WOW!!!)) and I gave my trunk show, and finished with a book signing…..it was 10:30pm as we were packing up and heading back to the dorms!

Of course, we couldn’t go RIGHT to bed, there was a birthday party going on across the hall! So what’s a girl to do but join in? :c)

It was midnight by the time I got back to my room and I tried to upload a blog post but couldn’t get an internet connection in my dorm with the wireless air card, nor would it work this morning.

Not that I had time to DO it this morning!! I was supposed to meet Amy and Kathy back at the door to walk this morning as well at 6am, but I didn’t wake up til 6:30 --- I missed my alarm, my phone was still on silent from the night before..LOL. It’s okay. I needed the extra 45 minutes of sleep?

Today was a repeat….Breakfast, workshop, lunch ((And a trip to the quilt shop)) back to the workshop, pack up to leave by 4pm and drive 3 hours back to Des Moines…..

I’m POOPED. Seriously. I’m staying the night with a Guild member in Des Moines, and I’m writing this quickly just to let you know I’m okay ((Thank you for your concern, really!)) and I’m going to bed!

My flight heads home tomorrow afternoon, so I might find time to write another post before I go……so technically…if I wrote friday’s post thursday night, and it’s still saturday as I write and post this…I reallly DIDN’T miss a day, did I?? Why does it feel like I still did!!

Night night All!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hello, Storm Lake!

It’s been a busy busy travel day, but I’m happy to say there have been ALMOST no hiccups!

I left Greensboro around 11:30am --- I even saw Horace at his shoe shine booth and he said thanks for the post card, that it made his day. That really set my day off with a smile!

The plane was actually early getting into Chicago O’Hare, and it was a beautiful day to fly over lake Michigan --- I love that view as we are nearing the airport and you go over miles and miles of water and finally see the shore and all the buildings…flying over beaches and streets and cars….

I had enough of a layover to wander around, stretch my legs, get some lunch, find my gate…and off to Des Moines we went!

I met Joan as I came toward the baggage claim area, and as we waited for my luggage, things seemed to be right on schedule…

One quilt bag showed up, then my suitcase with my clothes….and……and…..we wait…..and….

No second quilt bag! ((!!!))

Off to the United baggage claim desk we go, to have the gal scan my bag claim checks --- and she said…”well…they’ve all been checked in! Are you sure you don’t have them?” NO! ONE IS MISSING! ((Can you hear the panic in my voice about this time? I’m thinking…okay…how do we do HALF a trunk show, and which bag was it that had the class samples in it?!))

She said…”Well…we show that they were all checked in at the same time.” So…it can’t walk away right? It has to be BACK there. She gets on her radio thing, leaves us and goes searching.

About 10 minutes later, this big guy comes carrying the bag, and having a hard time hauling it! LOL!! I’m sure he was wondering what the heck was IN it for one thing. It must have gotten one of the D rings hung up on the belt and it had fallen off in the back somewhere. So it wasn’t folded up the way I usually fly with them…it was full flat out.

BUT IT IS HERE! And huge sighs of relief from both Joan and I!

As soon as we were in the car I asked her where we could find a Culvers! I was in desperate need of a butter burger and a frozen custard at this point..and I was told that there would be one about 1/2 way to Storm Lake. Okay. Half way is about 85 miles. I can do that.

Miles and miles and miles and miles of farms…and BARNS! With QUILT BLOCKS on them! I am in heaven---it was really a beautiful peaceful drive, and the time flew by quickly.

We pulled into Culvers and I just had to take this photo..I was laughing so hard. You pull right up to…..

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Our front bumper was just about TOUCHING this corn…LOL! You must be in Iowa if your Culver’s parking lot backs up to a CORN FIELD!

But the burger did not disappoint either, and I took this little ditty to GO!

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Chocolate Almond..Oh Baby!!

((I’ll pay for it in the morning, because I’ve got to meet Amy and her mom at 6am to go power walk along the lake!))

So where am I? Buena Vista University!

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This is the location for a Quilters weekend with the Iowa Quilt Guild! There will be two days of classes, and my lecture/trunk show tomorrow night. FUN!

We are staying in the dorms…..my dorm suite has 3 bedrooms, and I’ve got roomies in the other rooms! And….They are SEWING!!

I walked in to find my roomie all set up and ready to go:

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As for me….it’s past 11pm East Coast time as I write this….6am is going to come early for that lake walk/jog ---and even if she sews all night, I doubt I’ll hear a thing!

OH, and this is fun……one of my flight attendants was SO interested in my hexagon project today, I showed her how to do it, and gave her links to english paper piecing and hexagon patchwork so she can start a project of her own! She said she needs a project when she travels and is tired of crosswords, paperback books and sudoku puzzles ;c) We might have another hexagon addict in the near future!  ((I do what I can to promote quilt addiction wherever I go, thank you very much!!)) :cD

Night All!