Friday, September 30, 2005

This is a pic of my first quilt! I was 20 when I made this in 1982 as a baby quilt for my baby sister when she was born. It's faded over the years of course, but it touched me when Mary sent the pic that showed she still had and treasured this little humble quilt. DH's grandmother showed me how to make cardboard templates, trace them and then cut the pieces. It's a wonder I ever finished this thing at all because I really hated that process, but it got me well on the way to my quilting obsession, and I haven't stopped since! The fabrics came from a children's clothing outlet in Boise, Idaho. They would sell the bags of factory scraps, I had bought two bags, one pink, and one blue floral stripe. I guess I didn't know too much about contrast then! I quilted it in the ditch, not knowing any other way to do it, and learned to do prairie points for the borders. Oh, my quilting thread? Regular sewing thread, a double strand! I'm not sure I buried knots on the back either...Oh how far we have come, and enjoyed the journey!  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Some stars for Finn! I have been participating in a monthly block lotto with a group of online friends. Sharon aka Quilt Granny from Quilt Mavericks is also in this list! This month's lotto fabric is the blue shirting fabric you see common in all the blocks. You use this lotto fabric, along with go-withs from your stash. the first of the next month, the winner is drawn and the blocks are sent to her! Then SHE chooses the next lotto fabric for the next round and sends a fat 1/8th to everyone participating. There should be more blocks coming....this is just what has come in so far! I have no idea how I am going to set them...I just ordered a couple of books on settings from Sharyn Craig, hopefully they will help me come up with something. These are all 9" blocks....a great size...not so big as 12", and not so tiny as 6". Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 19, 2005

My hands, on the news :c)

Yesterday I worked at the school clinic.....as a fundraiser. All money from massages went towards people who have been relocated to Columbia after Hurricane Katrina. Little did I know when I went into the clinic that a news crew would come in! After getting home, I tried as best as I could to stay awake to see the 'film at 11'....but I was too exhausted from the day. I hope someone has taped it!

However I did find the article online!! They didn't mention me by name, but these are my hands...I was the only therapist that they taped :c)

The article reads:

(Columbia) - Thousands have put elbow grease into doing what they can for Hurricane Katrina's victims. One group of students is taking that task literally."I'm getting a massage and relaxing while donating some money to a good cause," said one massage client.

The Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy opened it's doors Sunday for a special fund raiser."We're having students come in on their own time and give treatments in a student clinic," said Elan Schacter, the school's anatomy and physiology instructor.For each massage, the students get educational credit and the hurricane victims get a $25 donation.

"We're gonna have money go to specific families that are in need that are in the area, here in Columbia," said Schacter. "And we're hoping to be able to try to help as many people as possible yet without spreading it all too thin."

All 24 time slots were filled for a total donation of at least $600, since some people gave a little extra."It's a terrific idea. You feel doubly good about spending money to help other people and yourself," said a client.

Schacter said this is one way to keep donations coming, "At some point, we've gotta jump back into life, do what it is we do and if we can do it at the same time as donating, that's fantastic." After 50 minutes of relaxation, the school's clients probably agreed.The Southeastern School will have another fundraiser in two weeks. To learn more, call 798-8800.
Ashley Yarchin, Reporter

Friday, September 16, 2005

Update from Houston!

I just recieved this post from Quilts, Inc. They report:

"Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from quilters worldwide, the Quilters Comfort America project has received more than enough quilts to place with evacuees. If you were planning on sending us a quilt but have not yet, we urge you to find use for it to help those within your own community. Thank you for your efforts."

Wahooooo!! This is just OUTSTANDING! And I'm oh, so glad that I decided to donate my quilts here locally. On Sunday my massage school is having an open house kind of thing, we are doing massages for 'donation' and anything that comes in will be donated to the relief effort here locally since we have had busloads of transplantees from the disaster. I'm glad to help that way too!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm officially "OLD"

Today I was fitted for bifocals!

I was tired of taking my glasses off to do a massage, and on again to read the charts, and off again to do this, and on again to do that....so I went today for an eye exam. The good thing is...I've got disposable bifocal contacts! And they feel SO great!

The bad thing is....I also have to have bifocal glasses for reading at night....not that the glasses in themselves are bad, because it is so GREAT to see clearly, but the price was (*&@#$&* and I know DH is going to freak. I went with the next-to-the-least-expensive frames, but I definately wanted the no-glare-no-line-scratch-resistant lenses...and just the lenses themselves without the frames were $145 at WALMART!

I think the eye strain has had alot to do with my headaches lately too, and while reading I would get these blurry spots in the words where some of the letters seemed to disappear, spotty vision. Hopefully this is all solved now!


Monday, September 12, 2005

We are growing again!

I hope everyone has had a terrific monday. I've been fighting with what I think is a tummy bug here...tummy has been queasy since mid morning, and I haven't accomplished as much as I thought. You know how certain smells can get at you when you feel the slightest bit "off"?? Jeff burned some pancakes just a bit ago, and oooooh boy....that makes how my tummy feels worse!

I'm very excited about a new Notification List I've added to my website. I've always added patterns and then waited for people to find them :c) Now, people can sign up for the notification list and voila...all I have to do is send one email and everyone on the list gets the address of the new pattern. There are already 263 people on my notification list!

We've also added two new Mavericks today.

Check them out!
Judy is at Sunshine Quilts


Carolyn is at Lakeside Quilting

Welcome Ladies!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Two New Quilt Mavericks!

I'd like to extend a special welcome to two new Ring members! They've got a great start on their pages, please stop by and check them out!

You will find Kim Massey of Augusta/Evans GA at Dogquilter


The Porch Rocker of Northern IL at Porch Rocker's Place


Trip Around the World, Helping Katrina

It's boring, but it's done! This is a demo top I made while figuring out how to do a trip around the world in a twin size, perfect for katrina survivors. The red cross wants twin size....and there are absolutely ZERO websites out there with a simple trip around the world strip pieced quilt pattern. That is until NOW. This was donated fabric, about 10 years old I think. Heck, the selvedges don't read www.cranston.com so it had to be before then. However, someone will like it, and the instructions are up on my website if anyone has the desire to try a trip around the world for a katrina quilt
Trip Around The World
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Friday, September 09, 2005


DH is out of town for a triathalon this weekend. I'm trying not to be glued to the Weather Channel for reports on Hurricane Ophelia that is said to come hit SC after the weekend. Sheeesh...don't we get a break from these hurricanes? I'm inland about 2 hours drive from the coast, but we still get bad storms from the hurricanes that tend to knock down trees and take out powerlines and just make a mess in general.

I quilted a bit on a customer's quilt today, but late this morning the school called. Jeff (15) is suspended from school for 3 days :c( He gets provoked, can't control his temper, says stuff to another student he shouldn't, and whammo...he's out. The student that did the blatant provoking didn't break any rules, and other than a talking to from the teacher, is fine.

I had to give Jeff another talk about letting other people push his buttons because it always backfires on him. Luckily while the calls from the school were going on I was talking to a dear dear wise friend...we also exchanged a couple more emails through the day that encouraged me to tell jeff stuff like "Poking a rock with a stick is nowhere near as interesting as poking a cat with it." (Thanks for the visual words of wisdom JH...let's hope it makes an impression!)

They poke at him because they know how he will react. I think he sees this and hopefully can find a way to not give them the reaction they want. Maybe they will get bored of poking the rock? He's still grounded though! I told him that those other kids were not in charge of HIS mouth, and he still has to follow through.

Then I quilted a bit more.....when I wasn't peeking back at the weather channel watching Ophelia go from hurricane status back to tropical storm status and then back to hurricane again...ugh.

I did upload the bricks pattern to my website! I actually probably spend too much time on that website dibbling at this, dabbling at that...and I'm not sure anyone ever notices a difference, but its an obsession....in progress!


Thursday, September 08, 2005

I got a call from Zoltan (the intellistitch guy) who told me immediately that my motor brushes were causing the problem!

Luckily I had a spare pair, Zoltan talked me through switching them out and I am back up and running again....

So...I am going to be sure that I keep an extra pair of motor brushes on hand at all times or I could have really had some serious down time.

I am counting my lucky stars that I was only down for about....an hour :c)

Bonnie Posted by Picasa
So here I am trying to get going on the next quilt for a customer, and the quilting machine won't run. I don't know what is wrong with it. The needle up/down went really slow when I powered it up. The fail light came on and it wouldn't run. So I powered off, back on....now the needle won't move up/down at all and the fail beep just wails. :c(

I've emailed the company that installed my intellistitch, but of course it's after hours. I have a customer quilt in the machine that is supposed to be MAILED by monday....and I can't get the machine to run. I left a phone message for the guy that installed the intellistitch so hopefully he will get that urgent message too...and I've left a message on the machine quilting professionals list so maybe someone can help me from there?

All I know is....something is fried :c(

Bonnie Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Pledges needed for MS fundraiser!

I feel bad that I have waited too long to send this out. Poor DH is
getting ready for his 150 miler ride for M.S. in just a couple weeks and
he is afraid to ask because everyone is sending money to Katrina
fundraisers. He needs pledges.

The fact remains that Multiple Sclerosis still effects far too many, and
still needs your help even with all that is going on with the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina.

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

Thanks for all you do!


The following is info from Dave:

Dear Friends and Family,

I know there are a lot of different organizations that are asking for
money right now, but I would really apprecaite any help in sponsorship
of my MS 150 ride. Please don't feel obligated by any means to donate,
but this is for a great cause and hopefully someday a cure will be found.
I am also sending this again to everyone because I was told that some of
the emails did not get recieved. I apoligized for any problems this may
have caused.

Thank you - together we can make a difference!

To sponsor me:
Click here

To visit My Personal Page :
Click here

For more information about this event:
Click here

For more information about the National MS Society:
Click here

And this is my sewing spot! I was joining dark and medium strips together willy-nilly, until I had about a mile of them all piled up behind the machine! Gotta love the power sewing :c) Posted by Picasa

This is the second quilt I've played with using 2"X3.5" cut bricks. I had hoped that the diagonal chain design would show up more....I bet it would if I used all brights, and BLACK instead of the lights, so I might play with it more, but for now, this is another going going to Katrina Survivors. The way the bricks go reminds me of those cinnamon twist doughnuts that you can get at the bakery...mmmm.... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Movie Madness

Last night was interesting. We aren't safe from terror ANYWHERE. We went to the theatre in the mall...and we got there early because we weren't sure what we wanted to see. We bought tickets for "dukes of hazzard" (Jeff's choice....go figure! He didn't want to see the penguin movie!) and then because we had about an hour before the show started, we opted to go eat dinner at the chinese buffet, which turned out to be about the same price as a large popcorn and two drinks at the movie! We always try to eat before, because spending nearly $15 on two drinks and popcorn is ridiculous.

I'm also not beyond hiding contraband snacks in my purse.....I'm a regular movie smuggler!

Anyway...on the way from the other end of the mall where the chinese place is, back to the theatre..we saw this area all blocked off with that "crime scene, do not cross" yellow plastic barrier tape. I asked a shop owner who was standing outside his cellphone shop what had happened?

While we were eatting dinner, a woman was shot. He didn't know any more details than the fact that a woman was shot. :c( We hustled to the movie and didn't loiter around. There were cops thick everywhere.

Sometimes I just don't know what this world is coming to.

I've cleaned up the quilting room this mroning, trimmed down some scraps from the last few backings I've trimmed...the extra border pieces and binding strips are all trimmed and stored in their bins, and small pieces have been cut down into squares of different sizes.

I've got to vacuum...you should see this floor....especially from the denim quilt..icky! *LOL* I can only go a few days before I have to stop making a mess, clean it up so I don't feel claustrophobic, and then can start freely creating a mess again. I have a sign on my door that says "Quilt Room...Creative Mess in Progress!" And it is so true!

Today I'm going to quilt and bind the scrappy bargello I pieced yesterday.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Top done! In the nick of time too.....My son Jeff and I are running out for dinner and a movie...mother and son night. I'll find backing and see about getting this quilted quick tomorrow.

One I shop that I made demo quilts for, Common Threads in Waxahachie Texas, sent an email saying they would be a drop off place for quilts to go to Houston. I emailed Denice back since she still had some demo quilts I had done for the shop. She is going to send one of them now, and one of them later when she finishes the class that it is a demo for. That feels good. Something for now, something for later. Both of them going to Houston, so I can deliver the ones I've been working on here this week locally. Covering two bases :c) Posted by Picasa

Saturday Stash Busting

Today's scrappy refugee quilt :c) Someone want to explain to me WHY I get such a kick out of sewing really ugly fabrics together? I'm sewing 3" strips together with glee, whizzy-whacking the panels into 3" subcuts, and arranging them bargello style. I've got 1/2 of this top together already. Some of the fabrics have been in my stash/scrapstash for up to 20 years? It's like playing "hey, I remember you!" and it gives me such a great feeling to have them find a home in a quilt that will go to someone who needs it. Quilt center will be 60"X70" before borders.

The latest news is that refugees are being relocated to here in Columbia, SC. So....the question of the day is, do I save on shipping costs from sending quilts intended for Houston, and deliver them where there is an immediate need here? South Carolina has a state quilter's guild, so things are under way right where I live to establish a drop off/collection point. My heart tells me that I should support the effort HERE at home, because so much attention will be going to Houston/New Orleans by the rest of the world. So that is my plan.

DH is off to watch the Georgia Bulldogs vs Boise State Broncos game. He is a Boise State alumni, and this is a BIG game for him. He has had tickets for months, so I guess the skyrocketing gas prices aren't going to stop him. Besides, driving to GA is going to be cheaper than his flying back home to Boise ID? He borrowed my car. I'm embarrassed to say that my little white PT Cruiser is now covered in Bronco memoribilia, including floormats, flags flying, big football helmets with Boise State Bronco mascots magnets adorning the side panels. :c/ Poor PT!

I have some comp passes to the movie theatre, so I think Jeff and I will go catch a matinee later, but in the mean time, it's back to sewing more panels!


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Friday, September 02, 2005

Houston, We have a problem!

The following was posted on the quiltart list with a request for quilts to be sent to HOUSTON for the refugees immediately.

A Cooperative Project
To Comfort Victims of Hurricane Katrina

To quilters everywhere:
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast is
beyond belief. Here in Houston our hearts are heavy with sorrow
for all the horrible losses, and we are preparing to welcome the
thousands of refugees that are being bussed to us because they
have lost their homes or have no access to whatever is left of
their homes. Like so many other people, we want to help. Knowing
quilters, we think you want to help, too, because there are no
more generous, giving, open-hearted people than quilters.

Therefore, we are launching a two-part drive for Hurricane Katrina
relief, and we urge you to join us in this project. We're calling

PART 1: Urgent Donations to the American Red Cross Disaster
Relief Fund.
We will match EVERY donation made by quilters to the American Red
Cross, up to a maximum of $10,000, on a dollar for dollar basis.
In other words, if you make a $25 donation, we'll match that with
another $25 donation. If you make a $100 donation, we'll match
that with another $100 donation, right up to the maximum. To avoid
delays in your donations reaching the Red Cross, and because we
have trusted quilters for more than 30 years now, just email us
with the amount of your donation that you sent to the American Red
Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Every penny of every donation--up to
$10,000--will be matched by International Quilt Festival. You have
my word on that. Please use this email address: exec5@quilts.com
and use the subject line: RED CROSS DONATION.

Many thousands of the Katrina refugees are being sent to Houston
RIGHT NOW, and no one knows how long they will have to be here.
Most of them escaped the hurricane's fury with only the clothes on
their backs--nothing more--and they may have absolutely nothing to
go home to. They don't even know. The Astrodome is ready as
temporary housing, but there is a serious shortage of bedding.
Part 2 of QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA is the collection of quilts of
all kinds to be distributed to the refugees here in Houston so
that they have something soft to sleep on instead of the hard
concrete floors of the temporary shelters and something warm to
cover up with against the chill of otherwise welcome
air-conditioning (we've been in the 90s and 100s for weeks now).

Many of us have unfinished projects filling our closets and
cupboards. Get out one of those projects--twin size preferred but
no smaller than baby quilt size, please--and finish it up for
this. Use lightweight batting--do whatever binding is the
quickest, even a close zigzag stitch. You don't have to quilt
it--tie it! If you have only small projects, add borders. Think
about a mother lying on the floor cradling her baby--that's the
size quilt we need to provide. These quilts are not meant to be
heirlooms, although they will probably be treasured for many years
as a symbol of the caring of strangers. Tie them, machine quilt
them, work in a group with your friends and finish several on an
assembly line, do whatever it takes to get these finished quickly.
THE NEED FOR THESE QUILTS IS RIGHT NOW! If you already have some
finished pieces that you don't have plans for, send them too, as
long as they are no smaller than baby quilt size. If you are a
professional, you may have sample quilts that have become
shop-worn or faded but are still clean and very usable in an
emergency--send them!--we are IN an emergency! Be sure to put a
label on the back of your quilt or sign it with a kind thought and
your name and date. Every piece will go to a refugee family driven
from their homes by the hurricane.

To participate in QUILTERS COMFORT AMERICA, send an email to
exec5@quilts.com (subject line: COMFORT AMERICA) to let us know
how many quilts you are sending. That will help us help the Red
Cross in its planning. Please do not expect a confirmation that
your quilt has been received or any kind of nice thank-you.
Sometimes we just have to do things because they are the RIGHT
things to do--this is one of those times. People need help...the
kind of help WE can give.

Use this address to send your quilt/s:
c/o International Festival
7660 Woodway, Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

Please note: for security, do NOT use the word 'quilt' ANYWHERE
in your address label!

Many of us have also amassed linen closets full of old but
completely usable sheets--perhaps a size you no longer use, or
juvenile prints that your college age kids don't like anymore.
Clean sheets and blankets are also most welcome to QUILTERS
COMFORT AMERICA. Naturally, everything should be clean and fresh.
These folks have lived with enough mud and dirt to last them the
rest of their lives--let's give them a clean bed to rest in.
Please note that we cannot use fabric, patterns, scraps, etc.

Quilt Festival will serve as the collection point for these
quilts, and we will deliver them DAILY to the American Red Cross
staffing the refugee centers in Houston, where they will be
distributed by the Red Cross volunteers. Because we are right here
in Houston where more than 25,000 of the refugees will be, we can
make a difference RIGHT NOW...if you'll help.

Time is critical--the need is NOW! People are arriving by the
hour, children are bedding down on the cold concrete, bedding is
needed by people of all ages who have lost everything in this
horrible storm. Please help if you can. If you live in or around
Houston, you are welcome to hand deliver your donations to us.
Our address is 7660 Woodway, Suite 550, Houston 77063. You can
find it on Mapquest. Please note that this is one block of Woodway
that runs perpendicular to all the rest of Woodway.

Thanks to everyone!

Karey Patterson Bresenhan
Director, International Quilt Festival--Houston and Chicago

Amazing how taking different pics at different times of the day can make the colors so different! This one is of the quilt, finished and bound. There was barely enough shade left to take the pic on the fence.....but it sure looks bluer than the one I took this morning at 8am in complete shade, doesn't it? I've got another top ready to load into the machine. I've pieced the backing for it. This top was given to me by someone in the guild when I taught a charity quilt workshop on delectible mountains blocks. My plan is to grab some lunch, and get that one loaded and quilted and bound. I didn't want to drive anywhere today, so I will probably see what else I can do over the weekend and mail these tuesday. Posted by Picasa

High Noon....and it is done. Even has a label, though I'm not crazy about how crooked it is! This is the first time I sewed a label to the back before loading the quilt in the machine. It's kind of russian-roullette where that edge is going to end up when you stretch the back, and then after quilting trim the quilt. Oh well. It's on there....and it's on there good as it's quilted through! Machine binding is not my favorite either, because it seems no matter what you do, when you curl that binding over to the front to top stitch it down, it is going to pull and curl and a once straight edge just isn't anymore. Oh well. It's not going to be hanging in Houston, it's going to someone who needs it and won't care if the binding or label are straight or not, right? Posted by Picasa

Early Morning Quilt Top...

First Denim Quilt for Katrina Refugees. The blocks were all finished last night, but I woke up about 5am this morning and spent the past 3 hours sewing them into rows and sewing the rows together. Top done! And it's only 8am...I wish I could get more of these energy spurts. I like what I can accomplish with them.

The crazy thing is, this did NOT make a dent in the bin of denim I've been saving. So there are going to be more denim quilts for Katrina Refugees. I like how quick this pattern sews up. It's an interesting phenomina. No matter how you arrange the blocks, it always comes out different. Almost modern-arty, which is funny for me because you know I don't "do" art-art quilts. But I like this. Abstract, but functional :c)

The top is a bit heavy, but I think it will be good as a pallete on the floor even. It's sturdy, it can get dirty without being ruined....all those good things about denim will apply to this quilt. I'm trying to think of something nice to put on the label without saying too much, you know?

Gotta get a backing together, and I am going to meander it to hold it all together with a light batting inside to keep from feeling the bumpy seams through the back side. I've done lots of denim quilts, and the batting/backing really do NOT add alot of weight to the quilt, and I think it makes it nicer.


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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Making a Dent in the Denim! I've got 1/2 the blocks I need for the first Denim quilt I am doing for Katrina. There are 36 blocks, here but I need 72 to set it 8X9 for a quilt that measures 72X81. I'm not going to do borders. Not sure what I'll do for backing yet either. I'll have to dig through what I've got. I'm ready to cut the second set of blocks for it....I took a break to sew these up because cutting denim is not only boring, but it is tedious and hard on the hands! I think I need to replace the rotory blade already too.  Posted by Picasa

AUUGHHH!! Evil-comment-spam!!

I can't believe that I got comment-spammed on a post for refugee quilts to send to Houston for the people who are being relocated there? Being spammed by someone for DOG CARE PRODUCTS?!!!! *shaking head*

Hahahahahha! I have found out how to do the anti-evil-spam-comment protection! I see the little word thingy and the first one on my page is

There! HA! I dare all you evil-spam-slammers to dare try to pronounce that! :c/

And now I will get back to cutting. I have this huge bin of denim jean pieces. I've been wanting to bust this stash anyway, so the urge to purge, and the desire to help victims have collided. I am cutting pieces for yellow-brick-road style quilts out of all this recycled denim. We have cancelled our plans to go to Myrtle Beach because right now gas is hard to come by in South Carolina with the pipeline issues due to Katrina.

I have a full tank as of this morning, but it was $3.00 a gallon or more. Most places were sold out of regular (if not everything) and if they had anything, it was only the premium which could be as high as $3.60. UGH. Lots of stations aren't open at ALL....because they are out of everything.

So I am using this opportunity to spend labor day weekend at home laboring over refugee quilts and happily busting stash that needed to be used anyway.

I have my home, my health, my family, my furry-purries, my happily napping golden retriever, my home, plenty of food, lots of fabric to play with, and as long as we don't lose the electric, I feel connected to the world. I am blessed beyond measure.