Thursday, August 31, 2006


I finished the top to the Weed Whacker Quilt today! I like it SO MUCH! All my favorite ugly scraps are in here....as I'm sewing these, I'll pick up a piece and look at it and think "Aren't you out of my stash YET?!??" Some of this stuff has been around for as long as I've been quilting. There are little VIP print hearts..white on red that I know I've had since the early 80's. I know there isn't yardage left....but when you start digging through strip bins, you will find the tail ends of just about everything I've ever worked with. Kind of fun that way.

Just for fun, I also laid out the bocks "straight" in strippy fashion. Wouldn't this be fun with sashings between? I like it both ways! Lots of options.

I also find it a challenge to work with stuff that I would never buy again. I am SO sick of white-on-whites and white-on-creams UGH! I think we've been sewing with them for about 15 years, and it's time for them to go. I much prefer a light print of some sort that has more depth and interest. White-on-whites read so flat to me.....and I just don't like the "painty" feel of them. However, I paid good money for these once upon a time, and they are in my scrap stash, and some still in the yardage stash, so it is a challenge for me to work them into whatever I've got going along with fabrics that I really DO like. (like the shirtings and stripes!)

Now I'm down to borders. And I admit that I am border challenged. I can do pieced borders as much as the next person, but do I really want to spend time doing it? Especially with scrap quilts, the center is so busy, that maybe it just needs a couple plain-jane borders to frame it and tone it down a bit.

The other thought is to go ALL OUT and use the bonus triangle squares in the border...look at this pile! They all need to be trimmed down and squared up, and that is a bit daunting to me right now, but they will be fun to play with at some point. I don't think the border.....maybe the middle of a whole "nuther" quilt! These turn out the same as the bonus tri squares from the pineapple blossom quilt on my website, so you can combine the bonus tri squares from both projects and REALLY have a gazillion!

Foot is still swollen, but I can walk on it. I stayed home from work today just to stay off of it. tomorrow I've got two clients, so I've got to go in...besides...I have bills to pay!


Fun Picture!

Here is a pic of Lucy and I together! We were at one of the big turn-outs for visitors on the Smoky Mt Parkway. What a fun day we had! I love this picture so much :c)

I had a very *DUH* moment yesterday. I was at the gym...so gungho to get back into my routine of working out. I had my phone in one hand, my water bottle in the other. I put my foot on the eliptical trainer runner and when I went to hoist myself up, the machine started moving before I was ready for it to, and I went flailing.....twisting my left ankle and falling backwards over the back end of the machine, landing on my tailbone on the floor, and up against a stationary bike. My water bottle landed against the back wall of the cardio room...my phone went the other way...Oh boy.

Luckily there was no one there to witness my graceful moment! But...the ankle is very sore and swollen...I spent last night with ice on it. Today it is a bit better, but there is a huge bruise on my butt where I hit so hard! I'm still not quite sure how it all happened, I've been on that trainer 100 times! It just moved like greased lightning before I was ready for it to.....so much for working out!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Servers, and the Wonder of the Internet...

Yesterday was a testimony builder for me on the GOODNESS of quilters. I had moved servers over the weekend...small hiccups here and there, but nothing too bad. Or so I thought!

I had already cancelled my other account after I assumed that EVERYTHING had transferred from one server to the other, only to receive an email from a lady stating that she could get to my Bricks & Stepping Stones page but there were no pictures, only text!

I quickly checked my FTP to see if all the files were there, and that whole folder of pics was MISSING! ACKKK! So, I sent out an email to the world...asking if anyone had saved the whole HTML file so they could access it offline, and could they please help me recover the pics, and the response was OVERWHELMING! I was able to recover ALL the pics and get the page back working. I tell you, after the trouble I have had with the lady stealing the pattern and selling it on her website, and then losing all MY pics for the pattern page..I thought this was a cursed quilt! But all is back again and my faith in the GOODNESS of most quilters is restored.

I am posting some pics too....I finished the binding/hanging sleeve on the crazy amish strippy. I took pics outside so I could get the quilting detail to show on the black sashings, so the colors aren't so true...but here it is.

I love how hand quiting looks on amish solids so much that I have started hand quilting another one...a top I finished a while ago, inspired by Gwen Marston's Liberated String Quilts. I've started quilting fans in the border....the sashings and inner border will have cables, and I think I'm going to just echo quilt inside the string diamond blocks. It feels good to have a "couch" project in my family room again.

And here is a preview of the next scrappy pattern I've been working on. I tell you, I got this part way and then it stopped FOREVER because I kept thinking I'd have this big amount of time to spend on it. I realized that might never happen, so I've been sewing 4 block quarters in the morning before the rest of my day gets going. I'm hoping to finish the blocks by the end of the week and start putting it together. I've decided to call this one WEED WHACKER! It uses 3.5" light squares and 2"X9.5" scrap strips. I started this one to use up all the shorter lengths of strips that are in my 2" scrap bin. What's fun too, is you can lay the blocks straight, and it makes a strippy zig zag quilt too....put long sashings in between the rows or not. I'll get some pics of different layouts as soon as I have enough blocks done.

And now I have to put the quilting aside and attend to the rest of my regularily scheduled day!


Friday, August 25, 2006

Web Server Change Over..

8-25-06 NOTICE!
I am in the process of changing web servers. During the switch over Quiltville.com and my email may be unavailable for 12 to 24 hours!

This will also affect Tonya's pages that are hosted on my server as well. I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

If you need to email me, you can also reach me at quiltville@yahoo.com


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gatlinburg Quilty Finds!

Friday evening I got a call from Lucy...she and her famiy were up in Gatlinburg, TN staying in a wonderful cabin in the mountains for a week. She invited me up! How could I say no? I had one client on monday, I moved her to another date and time and took off for a 3 day weekend to spend more time with the Kramers :c)

The cabin was SO gorgeous. Beautiful deck around 2 sides, hottub (which the kids especially loved!) Glorious views...and a bear who made an appearance on or around the deck every night! I didn't have my cam with me...I thought it was in my car when I left, but DH went to a triathlon saturday and HE had taken it out of my car to take it to his race...AUUUGHH!

And of course the whole UPS fiasco with Lucy's left behind camera was still going on. It went from here to Knoxville...then went to Florida because the printed UPS label had the zipcode typo'd! They assured us it was corrected and would make it to the rental office in Gatlinburg by the time they left...of course it did NOT. So now the camera is back here with me. If I had known I was going to go up there for the weekend, I would have held on to it and hand delivered it personally! At least I know all is safe.

Sunday, Lucy and I got some time to shop by ourselves in and around Gatlinburg. We found a couple wonderful shops that recycle cutter quilts (the ones that are falling apart too bad to be used for anything else) into wonderful things!

The first thing I fell in love wtih was this bunny rabbit! )Next to him is the kitty I found in an antique mall outside of Spartanburg SC on the way home from Gatlinburg.) The lady at Apple Annie's was so nice to talk to, she had a little shop, her sewing machine was set up,(a very old kenmore!) she let us look at the pieces of the cutter quilts and told us a bit about where she got them, and how much time she spends working the cutter quilts into all the critters, dolls, etc that she makes.

I also found this darling apple pincushion made from a cutter piece dating to the 1800's. You guys know that is "my" favorite era. I'm just not drawn to 30's fabrics as I am the 1800's ones. I also had to have this lady bug pincushion! I hung her right by my machine!

The next shop down the road had these wonderful pumpkins made from old cutter quilts overdyed orange. It makes me cringe a bit knowing all this quilt had to go through for this transformation from quilt to pumpkin, but it was a cutter....I'd rather see it crafted with than end up in the trash, right? I came right home, figure it is close enough to "after labor day" and whipped out my autumn table topper and plunked the pumpkins down on it.

I'll remember the fun times that Lucy and I had together every time I see these wonderful recycled quilt treasures!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's in my entry!

It depends if you look left or right....if you look left..you get a shot of the dining room, and there are several quilts in there. One on the table, one over the keyboard, some hanging on the doors of the china hutch. However..my camera batteries are dead, and not only that, the software to add the camera to the new computer has ERRORS! Ugh. So...here is a shot looking the other direction...right as you enter! This is the EX living room, minus the furniture, all that is left besides the pool table is the 2 quilts on the walls, one of which is my dear jane.

Here you see Jeff playing pool with Lucy's kids! Jeff is standing on the left holding the pool cue. Pim, Lucy's son is poised over the table, and Lucy's daughters, Natasja and Purdy are looking on! I'm not sure where Isis is....she wasn't in the room!

Every room of my house holds quilts and more quilts. Some quilts get changed with the seasons, the kitchen table quilt is that way for sure!


End of Pity Party!

Okay. I had my rant. But to get myself out of my rant...I'm setting myself at my machine and I'm PIECING!! I want to finish this new scrap quilt soon so I can post the directions and share them. I think that will make me feel better...working on something positive instead of dwelling on the negative. I need to keep quilting because of my love of quilts...because of how I feel when I play with fabric, thread, pattern, texture, needles, pins, scissors, rotory cutter, rulers..the works!


Friday, August 18, 2006

Breakaway To The Beach for MS!

I feel bad that I have waited too long to post this message. Poor DH is
getting ready for his 150 mile ride for M.S. in just a couple weeks. He will be biking with thousands of other riders from Columbia SC, to Myrtle Beach SC, September 16th and 17th, 2006. He needs your pledges.


Almost every hour in the United States , an adult receives a medical diagnosis that will change their life forever. The diagnosis is multiple sclerosis. Every day, one-third of a million Americans face the incredible challenge of learning to live with an unpredictable and often devastating disease that may eventually rob them of significant physical and mental abilities, their livelihoods and their independence.

The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs or severe--paralysis or loss of vision. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 but the unpredictable effects can be life-long. A person with MS does not know when it will strike, what symptoms they will have, when it will get worse or better, or if they will become permanently disabled. But there is one thing people with MS can count on . . . the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

To sponsor: Click here
For more information about this event: Click here
For more information about the National MS Society: Click here

For nearly 10 years I have provided quilt patterns on my website free of charge. If you find Quiltville to be beneficial to you as a quiltmaker, I ask that you please consider making a pledge to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society fight MS as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

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.

Thank you for your donation! Together we can make a difference!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

That Danged Spam!!

You know that spam that had random words put together in no order? I
hate them hate them, but one line in this one caught my fancy:

> > Spam for Bonnie Hunter
> >
> > Subject: View photos
> > From: jxfrevf@rima-tde.net
> > To: bonnie@quiltville.com
> >
> > v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }
> >
> > II Men more.See how high Fray climbs
> >
> > Prix Beach of Zuma CRACK.MS The Sims Family Fun Stuff SERIAL for crack
> >
> > Hips Dont Lie Pussycat

HIPS DON'T LIE PUSSYCAT! *LOLOL* No they don't! And ahem...I know I need
to get back to my gym routine, but these subliminal spam messages are
most unwarranted ;c)


The Kramers Meet The Hunters!

We had fun while Lucy and her family were here...it was a short visit, they arrived on sunday afternoon, and stayed until tuesday morning. They are now in Gatlinburg TN and are staying there a week, and then off to NYC for a few days before heading back to the Netherlands. I've never had to travel with more than 2 kids, so my hat goes off to her, keeping it all together!

Sunday afternoon we went out to the lake where our friend Zack lives. He has a little lake cottage (tiny, 2 bedrooms, but perfect for a single guy!) and we swam, kayaked, and the guys all took their turns at wake boarding with Zach's ski boat.

We grilled burgers and had a picnic outside complete with ants..auugh! Then we came back to the house, and celebrated Lucy's son Pim's 16th birthday with a good old American chocolate cake!

The kids were so tired that they slept in the next morning until nearly 11am! We wanted to go back to the lake in the evening, so we decided to stay around Columbia during the day. Lucy's husband Rene plays guitar, and wanted to check out some local music shops, so while they did that (Jeff and Pim went too, so it was all the boys in one car, and all the girls in the other!) Lucy and the girls and I went to Joann's for fabric and quilting supplies. Then we all went to that great american institution called TACO BELL! :cD Jeff wanted Pim and the girls to try his favorite. It was a big hit, and fun to see them try everything.

After that...the mall! The kids loved it, the parents tolerated it...but for them, the clothes are so inexpensive here, it was fun for them to shop for some things the kids needed and wanted before school starts for them in September. Natasja found a pair of levi's for $29.99 that would have been about $120.00 equivalent in Holland. Bargain :c)

After the shopping, back to the lake we went for more boating and swimming and wake boarding. We grilled salmon this time and had a wonderful evening of visiting and talking.

In the middle of everything I had a BAD computer crash :c( I knew it had been coming...I'd reformatted, recovered, defragged, condensed files, purged...and still for no reason the computer would just blip off in the middle of whatever you were doing, and beep this terrible repetitive beep!

It's more than a simple job....and so last night I went to Best Buy and bought a new puter with a really nice flat screen monitor because I deserve it! It was a package deal, computer, monitor, and a photo printer that I didn't need..but who knows...maybe now that I have it I will use it? It was cheaper together as a package than it would have been separately without the photo printer.

Jason wants a computer to mess with. So I might send him the broken one and he can figure out if it needs a new motherboard or whatever. He loves to tinker...and I love this new monitor so much! Now I just have to HOPE that I can set the old computer back up and get some more stuff off it. The pictures that Lucy took while here are on the OTHER computer :c( So I have no pics to send with this. My camera never made it out of it's case because I was busy cooking and leaving the picture taking up to Lucy! I'll get some from her when she is able to upload them onto her computer.

Oh...after Lucy left....I came back up here and saw she had left HER camera! There was no way to contact her while on her drive, I didn't have a number for their cell phone (and it is a netherlands one?) so I called the cabin rental place they had used my phone to call earlier in the day to make sure everything was ready. Thank heavens for vonage and being able to get online and see the outgoing calls! I called the number back, explained the situation, and they gave me the address to send their camera to, and I ran it right off to UPS. It should be there tomorrow....another bad situation solved! She called me last night while I was at the computer store, to tell me they had already had an adventure with a BEAR at the cabin..I'll let her tell you the rest!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lucy Comes Tomorrow!!

I am running around trying to get everything ready for Lucy and her family who arrive tomorrow! I am SO excited, and this has been a really crazy work week with no time to get down to thinking what I want to do for meals, how to get things ready for where the kids are going to sleep, are the linens clean, bathrooms clean, etc! I am SO excited to see her.

I finished a quilt! (AMAZING, huh? Remember when I used to quilt all day?? *sigh*) I finished the hand quilting of the amish crazy strippy yesterday in between clients at work. At least that part is working out well...I can hand quilt in between clients without making too much of a mess, and people so far have liked seeing what I am working on.

I just have the sleeve and the binding left to do. I'll attach those, and also save that handwork for work...

I am also including a pic of a quilt that I am inspired to try! The antique pics came from a quilt that was listed on Ebay. I looked in blockbase, and it is called TWIN SISTERS! I thought it looked like windmill blades, but I like both names. I wanted to do it scrappy, with quick cutting techniques, and I got a good start on it, but need tons more blocks. I just haven't been able to make myself sit at the machine to piece because I am under the gun to get customer's quilts done and out the door. It's the "busy season" as far as quilting for others goes. County Fairs, Weddings, Kids off to college, Christmas gifts...push push push! (And yes, I got a bit behind because I took a week to go to MN.....but family comes first!)

Jeff starts school on the 17th. That means my mornings will get going a bit earlier here, and I am hoping to get some piecing time in the morning before the rest of my day starts. I'll make it work..it's just been a lot to juggle lately.

I hope all is well with you out there in quilty blog land!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nothing Better Than Family!

I am back from MN!~

It was hotter than hell's kitchen....but thanks to my aunt who has a pool at her house (and lives on the water front with a dock and a boat) we were able to cool off in between errands and jaunts and other fun stuff.

On the way home from the airport, we stopped at the assisted living place to visit my grandfather who is turning 90. We had 4 generations in that room! That was really pretty neat, and he remembered things from when I was younger. It was fun to have Jeff hear about when his mama was little.

We were also very near Minnetonka, where I lived as a child, so we had to give Jeff the scenic tour of the house I lived in, some of the memories there, my mom pointing out which trees she planted and look how big they are now, etc....we drove past my elementary school, and I had to point out the graveyard that was next door. I remember looking out the window and seeing those headstones (I was about 6 or 7) and they did use to freak me a bit. The name of my school was GROVELAND, but I always thought it was GRAVELAND because of the headstones...I guess from a 6 yr old point of view, it made sense :c)

We had a lot of fun hitting some yardsales (they go thurs, fri, sat there) and finding stuff for Jason and Shanon's apt. I found them a brand new microwave for $20.00! Assorted kitchen/bathroom items and some other stuff to make their house a home on a very shoe-string budget.

My aunt (who is only 5 years older than me..my mom's youngest sister) just recently moved into this new house, and we pitched in with some gardening for her since she has lupus AND fibromyalgia. Many hands make light work? It was still hard work! But we were able to dip in the pool and worked where the shade was. My mom is a master gardener, she has green thumbs and green knees! I guess I didn't inherit that ability from her, she amazes me with what she can do. But she says the same thing about my quilting...she doesn't know where I got that from, and can't imagine ever doing it either.

The family reunion was on Saturday. It was held at the home of my 2nd cousin Cindy. Cindy's dad is my mom's 1st cousin, so I think that is how it works. Anyway..her home is large, lovely, built to look like an old farm house! They are out on several acres of land and have a beautiful inground pool. We needed it because it was so hot! The boys also had fun riding 4-wheelers around the farm...and yes, the corn was as high as an elephant's eye, as the song goes.

I met Shanon's parents, and we had a lovely time. I stayed at their house one night, the night before we moved Shanon and Jason in. We played the most fun dice game! I don't know what it is called, it is a made up game according to them, and they wrote me down the rules, but I don't know if I can remember exactly how it goes. It was sure fun and had us laughing for quite a while. Jeff was the first one at 10,000 points exactly and we were glad he won because it went on for hours :c)

I walked every morning except the morning we were coming home. I did about 5 miles each day.....near my aunt Joy's house is this green belt arboretum area with paved hiking/biking/rollerblading trails. It was great! I got out as early as I could, but it was still hot and sweaty.

The morning I was at Shanon's parents I went walking the farm roads. Imagine fields of corn and beans as far as your eye can see...dirt roads, no cars, no sounds other than birds and the farm houses spread so far apart....wide open! It had been a long time since I'd been in a farming community like that and I really enjoyed the peace. I was the first one up (the clock said 7:15..I thought it was 7:15....but turns out the clock had no battery in it, and it was permanantly 7:15....when it was only about 5:45am!!!) and enjoyed the world awakening....even sat on a garden swing and read a book while the morning was still cool while waiting for everyone else to wake up.

Monday was the "going home" day....only we never got there. :c( It started out fine. We dropped Shanon's little sister back to the farm, and headed in to Minneapolis. We had some lunch, and then proceeded to Maul of America (oh man...I so do NOT do malls!) to kill some time before our flight had to leave. That place is too huge, but Jeff as a teenager, really wanted to see it. So we did. Fast forward a few hours and we were at the airport to catch our flight. We waited. We waited. We waited....we panicked. Our flight from Mpls to Washington DC was late, and we were only supposed to have an hour layover which was going to be tight anyway.

Needless to say, we were late getting to DC, our flight had left us. We stood in line for hours and finally were given food and hotel vouchers. The time was 11pm. We were told to go to the curb to wait for the Hyatt shuttle.....and we waited 1/2 hour. Nothing came. One of the gals in our group (yes, we bonded, you know how misery loves company!) called the hyatt and we were informed that the shuttle stops operation at 10pm. (*&@#&(*! WHHHAA! So back into the airport we went....we had to traipse all over to find someone who could issue us a taxi voucher as well so we could get to the hotel.

12pm.....finally checking into the hyatt, which was GORGEOUS....but we didn't get to enjoy it much because we had a 6am wake up call, to catch the 6:45am shuttle back to Dulles to catch our 8:20am flight.

8:20 comes....and we are still waiting at Gate A-2. Over the loudspeaker comes this message: Our flight has had a gate change and we now need to run helter skelter to D-14!! This involves taking a shuttle from terminal to terminal....

We get there and there are NO counter people, no flight crew, no ticket agent, no NOTHING. Finally they show up and we are told the plane is having maintenance issues. I swear..we are all so tired with all this by this time..but what can you do? about 2 1/2 hours later we finally get to board the plane after the plane gets new tires and new brakes and who knows what else. We get into Columbia at 12:00noon. After getting baggage it is about 12:45pm.

I have a 3pm client!! So I rush home with Jeff, drop him off, grab a shower, and run out the door to work, getting there about 10 minutes ahead of my client. I am so beat, and not even a chance to catch a breath before I'm thrown right back into life.

I really did have a great time. It was wonderful seeing Jeff and Jason getting along so well as brothers. I can really see some growth there. I'm happy I went, but I'm even happier to be home!