Wanna join me?
Wanna join me?
I’m writing posts ahead for while I’m gone.
Sometimes it can be mind numbing type type typing – but I think you’ll like what I have in store for you while I’m out of the country…..so from the time I arrived home after putting myself behind the wheel of the RIGHT Shamu, on the LEFT ((HA!)) I have been sitting here at my desk working on those, answering emails, updating the online calendar for workshops henceforth and what seems like forever!
I just took a breather to find this!
Hidden in the Shadows by T. L. Haddix is free today in the Amazon Kindle Store!
Even the good guys sometimes have secrets they don’t want revealed to the rest of the world….
For thirty years, Wyatt Dixon had worn a badge. Sworn to protect and serve, he’d done just that for the people of Olman County, Indiana. He’d even sacrificed his first marriage on the altar of the office of Sheriff. But then the blackmail letter came… And everything he’d worked so hard to build threatened to crumble around him.
Wyatt wasn’t the only one to receive a letter, either…
Fighting a deep attraction to a woman he should know better than to become involved with, Wyatt’s professional frustration also grows as the investigation is thwarted at every turn by a master extortionist who has the citizens of Olman County, Indiana, in an uproar.
With decisions to make that will affect his life and the sheriff’s department for a long time to come, Wyatt has to choose – to reach for personal happiness and risk it all, or to walk away from what could be his soul mate.
Come to Leroy, and see just how dangerous small-town living can be.Hidden in the Shadows is the fourth book in the Shadows Collection, standalone Romantic Suspense novels by T. L. Haddix. Other titles include Secrets in the Shadows , Under the Moon’s Shadow , and Shadows from the Grave .
If I get the rest of this stuff DONE – I can QuiltCam!
Back to the grind ----
We brainstormed last night while on QuiltCam just what to name my new little machine!
She’s a 1957 girl! And that proved interesting. When I looked up the popular names for that era, all I came up with was “normal” stuff like Debbie, Cathy, Jo Anne, Cindy – These are names from my own childhood era because I was born not much later in 1962!
We looked up movie star names popular in that era….we looked up music and singers popular to that year.
We had it narrowed down between Polly, Tammy, Jo Anne, and Doris!
Doris Day sang “Que Sera, Sera” in 1957
This morning when I woke up the name Doris had really stuck with me! It’s perfect for her! Doris it is!
I'm still pretty knocked out on those muscle relaxers by the way – HOLY COW!! It was after 9am when I woke up and I still feel like I’m stuffed head to toe full of cotton wadding!
She didn’t come with a full load of accessories..but I do have her manual and a tube of lubricant that is so old I dare not open it!
I love the photos in her manual!
She has a KEY!
when I was showing her off last night on QuiltCam --- how fun! We had 357 people at one point! ((My son Jason pinged me on the cell phone and said “357?!? PEOPLE!?”)) I mentioned WHY I bought her. Since my Magenta baby died in that awful baggage mishandling fiasco, I have been on the look out for one that was worn out and ugly enough to repaint. The price limit in my head was “no more than $200”. I found this one in a booth in the antique mall with a sign that said 20% off EVERYTHING. That put the price on Doris under $200.
The only problem is –she is too perfect! She is in gorgeous condition as it is, and I’m not going to repaint a machine in this good of shape!
And maybe I’ve found myself OVER wanting a souped up machine. Maybe what’s important is what’s on the inside – just like our mothers always told us. Or maybe ---I just need to wait until I cross paths with an already painted machine at a show and let it call to me that it needs to come home.
Whatever it is, I’m in no hurry to HAVE a painted one anymore.
This morning I woke up with THESE lyrics in my head from Bad, Bad Leroy Brown:
"Well, Friday 'bout a week ago,Leroy shootin' dice. And at the edge of the bar Sat a girl named Doris. And, oh that girl looked nice"
Doris and I are bonding just fine!
Wanna join me?
I’ve posted about the Tobacco growing and harvesting that happens in my corner of Wallburg, NC each year. The first time I saw Tobacco growing was about 4 years go – the first year we lived here. The whole process is fascinating to me. And yes, I know there are lots of feelings from all over the globe about how “terrible” it is that North Carolina still grows something as vile as Tobacco --- but you have to understand how deep rooted this crop is here and how tied to history it is.
I don’t smoke. I can’t stand it --- but the history is as real as real can be.
“In North Carolina, tobacco growing developed a long and rich history that spanned almost three centuries. Sir Walter Raleigh was the first explorer to bring the leaf to Europe, and in later decades before the American Revolution, settlers in Carolina grew tobacco with moderate success along the Atlantic coastline. In the 1880’s, however, a new tobacco boom occurred in the state when Washington Duke introduced mass-production techniques in cigarette manufacturing. From then until 2001, tobacco growing and manufacturing were the largest source of income for North Carolina.”
It’s been a way of life for close to 300 years. It’s provided for families through good times and bad. And I love this photo of these women preparing the harvest for drying and curing! All over North Carolina you will find the remains of tobacco barns dotting the countryside. Some still in use, some fallen into decades of disrepair and crumbling into non-existence.
These are some pictures I took of the fields around my house.
Little by little these fields are giving way to other crops, as progress marches on and fewer and fewer farmers are making a living from growing tobacco.
The green leaves are turning yellow as harvest time approaches. The North Carolina heat and humidity and yearly average rainfall provide for these crops, and they’ve thrived here for generations.
The planting, grooming, and leaf removal are all done plant by plant, by workers and knives, the way it has been done for as far back as tobacco has been grown here. I love the view of the house far in the back corner of the photo. Their view? Green tobacco, as far as the eye can see.
The plants stand about waist high at this point…..my favorite part of the harvest is the “tobacco wagons” that connect to each other much like train cars --- two or three wagons being pulled behind pick up trucks laden with leaves ready for curing and drying. I know summer is almost over when I hear the rumble and jumble of the tobacco wagons being pulled down the road past my house to the drying facility beyond.
Another summer drawing to a close!
It’s been a good one, hasn’t it?
This morning I called my doctor’s office because the muscles in my leg were really acting up ---I had been putting it off, but it has me really worrying about being on that long flight to Bali, and how I’m going to deal with this as the leg pain happens mostly when I’m sitting for long periods --- like when driving a car or flying a plane, and even sometimes when I sew.
When I was in Pennsylvania, the doc’s office called ahead a prescription for “pain pills” for me. I picked them up at a local pharmacy, only to find that it was vicodin, and I can’t take that stuff. It makes me ill, so I’ve just been dealing with the pain since then.
I've been doing the stretches that Helen suggested when I met her in my class in Williamsburg. I hope she is proud of me!
So now comes the muscle relaxant ---they say this should help. I’ve been warned that it WILL make me drowsy. And the long list of side effects is a bit scary, as always – but at this point I’ll do anything to get those muscles in my right leg to let go!
It was for this reason that I mentioned that I was trying to get used to sewing with my left foot instead of my right when someone asked why sewing with their right foot is bad. Your right foot isn’t bad….MINE IS! :cD when I push on the foot pedal, or the accelerator of the car, it engages those muscles and whammo – shooting nerve pain.
One of the warnings say not to operate heavy machinery on this drug.
I suppose that should include power tools like sewing machines and rotary cutters!
In the mean time – I’m still stocking up my kindle for this trip!
Do you like time travel stories? I am such a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon, and I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for the next volume in the Outlander Saga and I don’t know when that is expected to be released.
This one has kind of a similar flavor, so I thought I’d give it a shot:
Out of Time by Deborah Truscott is free tonight in the Amazon Kindle Store.
Genre: Fiction/Time Travel
Kathleen Findlay is married to a cad, her mother is driving her crazy and her life is falling apart. Then her uncle dies, leaving her the family’s Revolutionary-era home and, she believes, an escape from her chaotic marriage. But one afternoon, while searching for a rake, she discovers a man in her garden shed — and a free fall through the centuries.
As her life spins wildly out of control, Kathleen finds her heart and in the process, her own place in time.
Sounds good to me! And in my muscle-relaxant induced stupor, I downloaded it and will commence to reading! Be sure to check first before clicking that it still is for you.
Tomorrow is another day closer to Bali and my packing frenzy will start in earnest once we hit the weekend.
FIVE MORE SLEEPS!!
I’m off to lunch to meet up with Karen and Lisa!
Before I go – I just had a couple of things to share with you ----
I heard back from Sally and the Smith Mountain Morning class in Aiken that I posted about yesterday. I just SO died laughing this morning!
There is no more room at the Aiken Inn! LOL! I’m so excited that several of you were able to sign up and attend and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you on the 8th of September in Aiken, SC!
Also..just for fun…these are photos that were tagged to me during last night’s Quilt Cam broadcast.
How fun is THIS?!
Amy was watching me on Quilt Cam! Awesome!
So was Angela! Hi, Angela!
I love that she was sewing along with me on her trusty featherweight baby.
I’ve got plans tonight, so won’t be around for Quilt Cam hour, but we will try it again soon!
I’m off to lunch---- later, gators!
Last evening I thought I was SO SMART to have the men-folk do all the heavy lifting and put my Accuquilt Studio in the back of Shamu for me ---this sucker, unlike the Go cutter is a HEAVY DUTY BEAST. And I like it that way ---it does it’s job well. It's going to be living at Karen's house while I'm gone to Bali.
But I was thinking too far ahead of myself!
After last night’s QuiltCam sewing session I realized that I was going to be faced with cutting all these strip sets into three-sies the OLD WAY. Rotary Cutter Style.
What to do what to do what to do?
I went to bed and decided I’d worry about it later.
The machine is too heavy to bring back into the house to set up. BUT ---We Quilters are a resourceful lot! If I couldn’t bring the Accuquilt to the table --- why couldn’t I take the table to the Accuquilt?
SO here I am--- in my JAMMIES no less --- setting up a folding table in my driveway! ((Don’t worry, my driveway is secluded!))
Load Up That Tray!
Place the plastic sheet on top!
Crank it through!
About this time Jeff comes outside and gives me a funny look – “Mom?! WHAT are you doing?!” I said “Is this any different than the construction guy who has is circular saw outside the back of his pick-up truck?!” The response? “Oh yeah, RIGHT!!”
But in nothing flat I had all of my strip sets cross cut!
Whooowhooo! Hopefully this will tide me over for a while!
And for those worried about waste?
it wasn’t enough to even BEGIN to fill a dog bed.
The Accuquilt is back in the back of the van. The table is folded back up and stored in the garage --- I’m headed for the shower! I’ve got a lunch date with Karen and Lisa to hand the Accuquilt off to THEM! I can’t wait to see what they do with it!
I have enough books. But if they are free, and they stay forever on my Amazon bookshelf ---I’ll keep downloading them!
This one just came across my radar --- it’s free now, so grab it while it is!
I know I’m going to have a lot of time on a plane from Greensboro to Houston to LAX on the 20th. Then just after 1am on the 21st I’ll have about 15 hours to Hong Kong – much of which I hope to be SLEEPING! But you know how hard it is to sleep on planes – that’s where kindle comes in!
And then there is the nearly 5 hour flight to Bali from Hong Kong, and on the way home, we do it all over again in reverse. LOTS of hexie time. LOTS of reading time!
Carrots by Colleen Helme is free tonight in the Amazon Kindle Store.
Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children.
All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber’s mask, a shot is fired. And the next thing she knows, she’s lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head.
Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn’t suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly ‘hears’ what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she’s bossy and too old to understand them, but that’s nothing compared to what her husband thinks… As if that isn’t enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he’s out to silence her forever.
In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone’s thoughts can not only hurt your feelings, but get you killed.
Sounds like a fun one to me!
My massage was AMAZING. And I so needed it. I ran some other errands and found myself back at home in cleaning mode.
My friend Karen is going to borrow my Accuquilt while I’m out of the country --- so I quickly cut up what I needed for the nearly insane border. You know what’s holding me back on this one? The fact that all those units, all 200-and-something of them ---are all the SAME TWO FABRICS! This is what makes it feel like torture to me…I love variety! I love scrappy! I can’t do two fabric things forever-and-infinitum!
But they are cut…and I’ll get them done!
I want to finish that handful of 9 patches first…I’ve got the three-sies sewn into pairs – I got that far before my afternoon errands called me away, and I think I might do more strip piecing tonight so I can sub cut those before my Accuquilt machine goes to Lewisville to live for a couple weeks.
I may turn on the Quilt Cam if so --- be watching for that post, I’ll let you know!
I am being hosted by the Carolina Pines Quilters in Aiken, SC on September 8th for a Smith Mountain Morning workshop!
I received an email from the guild program contact, Sally King, that there are openings in the class and she wanted me to extend an invite to those who might want to come.
The cost is only $25.00 for outside-of-guild participants, so the price is very reasonable.
There is an option for a box lunch from “Somethin’s Cookin’” Which is supposed to be really yummy.
I’ve got some other South Carolina and Georgia dates on the calendar, but they are farther in the distance and many say they are already full up, so if you’ve wanted to come take a workshop, I’d love to have you join us!
Contact Sally at email@example.com and get yourself signed up!
This is a class where I demo the Easy Angle, Companion Angle and Tri Recs rulers. If you’ve always wanted to know how those work, this is a great one for you!
My book Scraps & Shirttails II is needed for this class. I’ll have copies with me if you don’t already have one, or you can order it from my website here.
Come play for the day!
How many 9 patch strip sets can one girl do in an HOUR?! THIS MANY!
You all motivate me so much, you really do!
Last night around 9pm I turned the Quilt Cam on while RE-DOING my 9 patch strip sets to see just what I could do in one hour.
227 of you showed up to cheer me on!
I’m working from an image in my memory because the photo of this quilt was lost in the damage of my laptop ----and I’m searching my memory to try to remember how these blocks were shaded. At first I thought they were the traditional 9 patch with darks in the corners, but that leaves way too much light showing when the blocks are joined and I don’t THINK it was that way in the antique top I fell in love with at the Vermont Quilt Festival.
That should teach me – next time….just BUY THE DANG TOP!
I was then left to wonder if each 9 patch block was made with 2 fabrics, both of them colors ((no neutrals)) and well, that’s just a lot more work because I have to actually PLAN for those to have enough fabric for each block. I don’t want to think that hard.
So I set last night determined to do this with completely scrappy 9 patches, leaving the neutrals out for how they are joined!
As I’m sewing I’m trying to think of ways to explain how I choose what --- I peeked at the comments from last night’s Quilt Cam hour, and it was Colorado Lady’s comment that made me think of going a bit further into detail. She said:
Bonnie....I think I see part of my problem....I am trying to match fabrics and never pick and sew...that might help with more progress!
When I’m going “scrappy everything” All I’m going for is variety, and that means I go for variety not only in color, but in the scale of what I’m putting next to what so that things catch my eye as “more interesting” rather than “more boring.”
I took some photos of some strip sets as I was ironing to show you what I mean.
We’ll start with the most ordinary one.
This is my least favorite of what came out of my machine last night. WHY? It isn’t because of the colors. It’s that the scale of the pattern on each strip of fabric is nearly the same. It will cut up okay, and I’ll have it scattered throughout, but to me it’s boring.
Let’s look at another:
The plaids are separated by a print. This strip set makes me smile because that is my grandpa’s shirt at the top, next to my shirt in the center ((From my 1990s line dancing days!)) and of course the orange at the bottom is a different scale than the other plaid, and well – it’s ORANGE!
This one is good too.
I’m not saying the print has to always go in the center, there are many that don’t have prints at all – but prints do add a lot of interest. What I’m talking about here is the scale of the pattern on each fabric. The larger plaid at the top is going to break up the monotony of the tiny “expected” look of small plaids. So in my strip sets I am trying to not only have the color combos interesting and unpredictable, I want the scale of the design in each fabric to vary.
And this is where things get fast and fun!
I do love my Accuquilt Studio for cutting strips. I pretty much use it ONLY for strips, but oh the strips I can power through! And then after sewing strip sets, I can lay them cross-wise on my die tray and cross cut them into three-sies! If you look carefully you will see I’ve drawn perpendicular lines across the die foam as a placement guide. This helps me to NOT cut parallelograms!
Load it up, put the plastic sheet on top and crank it through!
Here I’m sorted in to two main piles. The upper left has squares with seams pressed to the center square. The lower left corner has seams pressed out toward the corners away from the center square. That small pile? Those are 2” squares that were left over trimmings from short ends that are ready to be sewn back into three-sies.
As I’m joining sections I’m looking for the same kind of thing…I want variety in color and variety in the scale of what goes next to what. I want each square in the 9 patch to stand out against its neighbors. This becomes a bit more picky-choosey as I decide which three-sie goes next to what!
plaids in different scales, stripes going every which way, prints and polka dots!
Yep! This is what I’m shooting for!
I’ve got a few “to-do’s” on my plate today including a much needed massage this afternoon!
And I had the weirdest dream last night --- all about how I mistakenly brushed my teeth with the water in Bali and got sick. OH! NO! That is my one big fear! I’m praying it’s just a nervous dream with my brain working on things while I sleep. I had no problems in Mexico or the Caribbean. I had people emailing yesterday to avoid salads, avoid fresh fruit unless it has been peeled. Do not drink anything with ice in it because the ice could be made with tap water. OY!!! This could be interesting!