Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Woe (Woah?!) Is Me!

I hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend. I was planning on taking it easy here, and I pretty much did. I stayed at home, caught up on house work (ugh) and worked on some customer quilts.

Monday was a beautiful morning, and I thought I'd celebrate by getting back out on my bike, since my knee had healed nicely, and the rest of me wasn't in too much discomfort to climb up on that seat again after hitting the bar with the last fall....

Do I dare even mention that if falling once is embarrassing enough, that....I fell again? :c( This time I made it all the way through my ride, but on my way up the steep driveway to my garage, I didn't downshift fast enough into a gear that would let me up the driveway without too much effort, and at the same time trying to remove myself from those (*&@#$& clip pedals...and over she went. I re-opened the knee that was healing so nicely, and now it's not! I swear, I ought to give up on those clip pedals!

Then last night, while finally having some time to sit at the sewing machine, I sit down to my trusty Bernina 1080 to wind some bobbins. The machine turns on. The panel lights up. I push the foot pedal...but NOTHING HAPPENS! It's like the lights are on but nobody is home! I unplugged, replugged, fiddled, cursed, pleaded, begged...Nada.

I walked away, snuck back up on it, tried it again...and still nope! This morning...after a good night's sleep...come on baby! GO! Nope! I think there is a short in my foot pedal...so today I took Bernie to the Bernina shop.

I don't know if the bernina shop is the same in your area as mine, but this one is a MESS! And when I told him I needed my footpedal looked at, I was told it would be 2 weeks! ACKK! So I said, it does need a cleaning/tune up too, can we add that in? (thinking it might make it more worth his while to get to it sooner) And was told that they are scheduling cleaning/tune ups 7 to 8 weeks in advance! TWO MONTHS!!! AUUUGH!

I told them that I use this machine in my machine quilting business, to apply bindings, piece backings, etc, and I am in dire straights without it. So....we are back to 2 weeks. *SIGH*

And yes, I do have a back up machine, but it has something wrong with the tension or something. It's a Pfaff and it hasn't been fixed since Lucy was here and tried to sew on it..that's a YEAR ago. BAD BONNIE. I've got my 2 featherweights, but I don't have a walking foot for them for putting bindings on with.

So, I'm kind of up a creek with one paddle going in circles! One good knee, one bad knee, one bruised ego (thank heavens the neighbors didn't see me fall over on my driveway!) but at least I treated myself to an ice cream today to make it all better!


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quilters Rock!!

I just got an email from Patty that thanks to the quilters out there, she has found the fabric she needs to finish her daughter's wedding quilt! YEAH PATTY!

Once again I am amazed and awed at this wonderful medium we have here to communicate with each other!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Searching For This Fabric!

Do you have this fabric!?!

My friend Patty is in urgent need of more of this Marcus Brothers Judie Rothermel print! She needs it to finish THE wedding quilt for her daughter! The model number on the selvege is R33 V522 111T and it is from Judie's 19th Century line.

Online searches have not turned up anything as this fabric is Out Of Print, can you help?! Please contact Patty at Chatz4259@aol.com with any info you have!

Thanks for checking your stashes!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last Week Of School!

I know I know, I've been quiet! But it doesn't mean I've fallen off the face of the earth, maybe just got swallowed up by it a bit is all!

Last week I got a last minute call from a friend to come down to Florida for a few days. I checked my schedule at work, it was pretty empty! I called some clients, just to see if they needed me because I didn't want to leave them high and dry and they all said GO! So...at 1pm on monday I threw my stuff in the car, and down to Florida I drove!

I had a great time....It rained tuesday, so I shopped. :c) Good alternative, yes?! Outlet malls are everywhere, and there were some things I was looking for that I was able to find, so all the better. One thing I wanted was a handbag that was not too small, not too large. I've got to carry my day planner, two checkbooks, assorted business stuff, and most bags were too small. I like the organizer kind, lots of pockets, places for credit cards etc. Then there were the ones that were TOO BIG (this is like goldie locks and the 3 bears?!) It was like a piece of luggage, I swear..can't carry that...one big cavernous bag with no pockets, or not enough pockets...and Id be frumping around in the bottom trying to find my stuff.

Store to store I went...you know where I finally hit gold? TARGET! After a couple days of outlet malls and retail stores....I found what I wanted at TARGET! But I'm a happy girl, and it gives me memories of my fun trip to florida.

Weds and Thurs were beautiful days. Much pool lounging commenced! AHHHH summer! There were also fun restaurants for dinner in the evening, places to listen to music, people watch, enjoy the wonderful weather in the evenings. We even went to the Universal Studios City Walk! It's free to park after 6pm, and we just had to endulge in dinner at Margaritaville!

It was all very relaxing and fun and even though I had just been to Holland a month ago, I tried not to make myself feel guilty that I was yet again galavanting off somewhere :c)

I returned on friday, trying to beat the stream of camper vans and winnebagos toodling up I-95. I was only partially successful! But I made it a leisure trip and stopped at different places I wanted to see on the way. One place was called Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, which was once a thriving rice plantation on the Altamaha River outside of Brunswick GA. The house isn't the "TARA" kind you think of with plantations, but is a normal plantation style house. Kind of reminded me of "the waltons" It was all furnished inside and very fun to tour.

I loved walking the trail from the visitors center through the big old gnarly oak trees just dripping with moss!

Saturday...what can I tell you about Saturday?! This is one of the reasons I've been slow to post. Do you really care to know that I went Saturday to buy a bissel carpet shampooer?! Well maybe you do! Actually, it does a very good job, and I'm pleased with it. I have sand colored carpet in a place where the dirt outside is red georgia clay. It is not a good combination! I'd love to get rid of it and switch it out completely, but no money for that right now. This will have to do. I've been doing a couple of rooms each day, all that's left now is the stairs (two sets of them) and the front living room. It's easy to run, it does a good job...and I hope it will be great for keeping the traffic areas not so down-trodden! That's it for catching you up to speed I think! Oh, I even took my hexagon project with me to Florida. Other than getting it out of the car, and placed on the couch, it didn't get touched! That seems to be the way my quilty life has been lately!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day....

I've had a very relaxing mother's day......especially since neither of my sons are home! Jeff spent the weekend with a friend who was moving to the next town...he helped them move, and just stayed there helping with boxes, etc..until later tonight. He did call a couple times.

I worked this afternoon on an idea floating in my head. I have 2 cram packed bins of 2.5" strips. I wanted a block that would use the strips, but something really easy in construction.

Thanks to the use of my easy angle ruler (Oh, I LOVE THIS RULER!) all I had to do was pair a light and a dark 2.5" X 18" strip with right sides together, cut 9 triangle pairs, feed them through the machine one after the other already matched up, and then after pressing....assemble the block like a simple 9 patch. It is working so slick, and I have made 14 blocks in just a few hours. Not sure how I'm going to set them, I'm thinking of a solid color for setting fabric, and I am more prone to putting them on point than setting them straight with an alternate block. I think this is called "hovering hawks"...or maybe that's just my mind putting ideas in my head.

You can see one really scrappy block in there...that's because I could actually get 10 triangle pairs out of a pair of 18" strips, so I cut 10 pairs and set the spares aside. When I'd done more than 9 blocks, I decided to see what one block made with all the leftovers would look like. I think they will add a spark of "fun to look at" when all the other blocks are only in two fabrics. I might do some other blocks with alternate fabrics or backgrounds added too, like if a strip is too short to cut all the same background, use extra triangles of another background to fill in. Substitution. I think that's the technical word for it.

The brick thing....thanks for all the comments. I'm still not sure what I want to do with it, but I do know that I don't want to do a monochromatic thing, nor do I want to separate anything with mortar, because that is going to give a more MODERN look and I'm looking for a more muddy old utility quilt look, with a chaos of fabrics that don't go together, kind of like a mishmash from the 1940's. It's still on the back burner. I might keep going the way it's going and just finish it. The blocks are done. I'm not taking anything apart, and I'm not starting over. This just might end up being a beach blanket, you know? Sometimes you just gotta try things even if they don't turn out the way you thought.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Falling in slow motion...

I became a fully initiated biker today. I got new clips for my biking shoes....the shoes step right into the clips instead of using pedals...you know...tour de france style? I had another pair for a couple years, but the old ones were too wiggly and getting hard to clip into.

So...new clips. This morning was so beautiful that I thought I'd just take myself on a little 20 miler, and wow..stepping into those new clips was NO problem! They held firm, no squirrely wiggling of my bike shoes....and away I went. The first rest area I planned to stop at......uhoh.....my feet were in the clips so firm, I couldn't get them UNCLIPPED!! By this time my bike was skidding into gravel and I had nothing to do but to fall....I think I got "oh crap, oh crap, oh crap" out 3 times...before I hit the road.

And my shoes STILL stayed clipped in.

I've done a bit of a mess to my left knee...so much for looking good in shorts and short skirts! And my left hip is going to be purple. It's not my favorite color, but maybe it will look good on me? I know it's plenty sore anyway.

Luckily I didn't break the skin of my hand open when I hit. I wouldn't be able to massage. I'm a bit bruised from hitting the street, but no broken skin there on my palm, and no broken bones. Just a bloody knee, bruised hip, and a more than bruised ego! My nether parts are kind of tender too....I hit my pubic bone on the bar of the bike when I went down as well.....I can't tell though if the soreness I feel is from hitting that bar, or just from 20 miles in the seat.

I did get up and FINISHED my ride....after pulling over to a mailbox, hanging on to it for balance, and testing just what it would take to get my foot out of the clip at the NEXT rest stop, or whenever Id need to stop. It's still pretty tight. Going to have to loosen it up a bit, and you have to try to remove your foot LONG before you stop..you can't stop on a dime anymore.

I've been pretty sore for most of the day. I gave myself a treat to feel better...went for a pedicure :c) So now my pink toenails will contrast with my purple hip and my bloody scabbed up knee....color coordinated?

I want to wish a happy mother's day to all the mothers in our reader's circle. I hope it is a special memorable day for you!


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is This Better?

This is a pic of 4 of the blocks separated by the sashings (made from 3 bricks) and filled in at the corners with 2.5" cut cornerstone squares. If I set the quilt this way...it is going to be VERY much bigger....I have 30 blocks to set 5 X 6.

Anyone think that the blocks look more like the pavement picture below by the addition of the bricky sashing between the blocks? HELP!



Some things just are ewwww...and what works in your mind, just doesn't translate to fabric. These are the blocks laid block to block...what I was going to use for sashings is laid against the outside as a maybe inset border. But still. Here I was going on and on about the Ghee's Bend quilts....wanting to make a quilt that looked like I had used everything with little rhyme or reason, and I'm not crazy about it! Charity Quilt Anyone? :c|

The pics above are of a cobbled pavement in monnickendam. We had stopped there on the way home from Marken to look around, and it was this picture that really inspired me, but it looks better in bricks than in brick fabrics!

Rainy Sunday.....

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and Bonnie feels like Snoring..*lalalalala!* That's what kind of lazy day I'm having, but boy do I need it! I need to just unwind to refuel for the next week coming up. I'm not even sure what it will bring. I've got some clients scheduled, Friday I'm going to do chair massage in a Dr's office for his staff..that should be fun! Guild meeting tomorrow night in Aiken. Was hoping I'd have a quilt ready to deliver to a client there, but it's just not going to happen..Jet Lag has dragged me down more than I thought it would.

I am playing with an idea for a quilt though.....I've got a bin of bricks in the 2.5"X4.5" size..and a lot of strips that width too, so I am thinking of a bricky something. I spent time in Lucy's garden....just pouring over every word in her huge book that she got on the Ghee's Bend quilts. I am SO inspired by the stories the quilters told. Can you imagine having to make quilts, not just because you wanted to, but because you had to to keep warm in the winter? Sometimes sleeping under 10 or more quilts to keep the chill off? Several people to a bed huddled together for warmth? And you couldn't go to the store to buy whatever fabric you want to make the quilts pretty....no....you are limited to old clothes, dungarees, aprons, dresses that are too worn out to be clothing, but can be cut into scraps for quilts.

So here I come home and look at a fully stocked quilting studio.....how can I even THINK that I have nothing going on here to inspire me? I think we are definately OVER stimulated and that is why we get bored with our UFOs! SO....I'm making a bricks variation quilt, kind of a kick off of courthouse steps....It's just in the beginning stages but I'll send a pic when things are more looking like "QUILT". I'm using bricks that are already cut, and taking the shorter lengths of my strips and cutting them into 6.5" lengths and 8.5" lengths. Is your interest piqued?! :c) I think I'll piece the sashing between the blocks from bricks too...that is going to use A LOT of bricks. In my mind, this quilt reminds me of all the cobblestone streets and courtyards and front gardens in Holland. (but way more colorful!) The pic at the beginning of this post is of one of the streets in Haarlem....I don't know if you can see the cobbles or not..but they are there!

I'm also going through my pics and deciding what to post here for you to see. I loved the buildings so much. Especially the rooflines that did the 'stair step' thing. They are so wonderful to look at!

And that's it for now!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Home Again!

It is always good to be home, no matter how much fun you have while away! I think Dorothy said it all..."There's No Place Like Home!" This post rambled out very long, so please bear with it all! There is so much to talk about!

My body clock is all screwed up. And I thought I would have time to recover yesterday, but I ended up with 3 clients needing massages yesterday. AUUUGH! So...no rest for the weary! Not much unpacking either. But that's okay. I'm not in a hurry, I can do it a bit at a time, and the major house cleaning I wanted to do can also just be patient with me. Life is back in full swing!

I had such a wonderful time with Lucy and her family. These memories will live forever in my heart, and I hope we have lots more fun times ahead in the future. I can hardly wait until her whole family come to see ME this summer! We get to see each other two times in ONE YEAR..how cool is that?!

I love meeting quilters from all over, but never have I met anyone who is such a "carbon copy" of myself as Lucy. Even though we speak different languages, we can still finish each other's sentences and thoughts. She is definately my "heart sister". And people told us that we could BE sisters because of how similar we look! Tall, blonde, blue eyed and completely addicted quilters!

Something else I've always known deep down....FABRIC IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE! Even if you can't speak the language, when in a group with other quilters, you can see their eyes light up, and the ooh's and ahh's over fabric are the same in any language. It was SO great.

I uploaded about 175 pics from my camera! It's going to take a while for me to sort through them, name them (I hate it when they are all numbers and you don't know what anything is..) and figure out what I want to post about. I still feel like I didn't take ENOUGH pictures. And what to post, and what to say about it....my brain is so dead right now!

The pretty flower pics are from Lucy's back garden. There were a few days where the garden was warm and wonderful. We sat out enjoying the weather, having a cup of tea and looking through quilt books. :c) I took these pics to remind me of the beauty of Lucy's garden and the care she takes to have such a lovely welcoming home! She loves flowers, inside and out. My one regret is that her tree that is usually covered with pink blossoms was NOT quite ready to bloom yet..the weather wouldn't stay warm long enough! So...she will have to post pics of that tree in a couple weeks when it finally does pop. The buds are oh so ready!

This pic is of a street in Amsterdam. You can see that the weather turned VERY cold! Not a great day for beautiful photos. This pic was taken right off the stoop of Den Haan En Wagenmakers, the shop with the beautiful reproduction chintzes. Click the photo, I think you can make it bigger to see the sign that says "patch work" on it :c) This shop has the honor of being the home of the most expensive fabric I have ever bought in my life! *LOL* ONE FQ (a metric FQ) was NINE EURO! But it was a once in a life time purchase, I went for it. I want to reproduce the look of antique dutch quilts...*dreaming*

Aren't they GREAT?! I've never been much for really florally fabrics...but I love these antique ones. One quilt they had hanging in the shop just wowed me. It was hanging in the stair well, and I just had to get pics. It is PERFECT for using the dutch chintzes in the big center hexagon, and I love the combination of the plaids and solid black and red to show everything off. It's another quilt that proves to me that people who say "solids just read as flat" do NOT know what they are talking about! I'd love to draft this up. They only sold it as a kit, and there was no way to afford that! I snuck photos. I don't know if I was allowed to or not, but too bad. :c)

I am so far behind on catching up with everyone. I hope you will forgive me, and I hope to catch up with everyone's blog as soon as I can! I've got two clients scheduled today, one at 10am, one at 2:30pm...so in between I am planning on working more on my own hexagon UFO. I got quite a bit done while at Lucy's and sitting at the airport for layovers. We visited with another customer of mine (the one I put the 3 quilts in the space bags for!) on friday night after shopping at Den Haan. She had us to her house (oh wow, it was so unbelieveably GORGEOUS!) and showed us her quilts and studio, etc. So fun! It was a great evening! And I am so inspired by how much HAND PIECING she gets done. She has a crazy job with incredibly long hours and lots of stress...but she always keeps something in a little tin for hand piecing while waiting for this and that, and she gets TONS done! So...that's my inspiration. If she can do this with her crazy work schedule, so can I!

Rambling Still.....