Monday, March 31, 2008

It's April 1st in Australia!

Because I have uploaded the first step of Orange Crush
a day early...HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!


I'll be unavailable for a while...this is what is
going on with me this week:
(from my editor)
Okay, here’s what’s going on and what we need to be
working on this week. I need to get all your people
scheduled. Here’s your team. I’m assured they are all
talented people. I haven’t worked with Brian before,
so I’m excited to see what he comes up with for us.

Illustrations: Eric

Designer: Brian

Photographer: Aaron

Tech Edit: Deb

First, we should get all the illustrations you’ll need
for the book to Eric so he can get them drawn out for
us. Sketches will do, just make them clearly labeled.

Then I need to get the photo shoot scheduled. We’ll
have to plan ahead, because you’ll have to mail the
quilts to me and I’ll handle the shoot. (I’m a quilter
too, so I’ll take good care of your quilts while
they’re in my possession!) We’ll have each quilt shot
straight on (remember to have sleeves on the one’s
over 90-inches long). Then, we need to come up with
some pretty poses with your quilts. These will be
photos of the quilts in a setting with perhaps other
objects in the photo. I’m not sure how we want to
handle this. We can brainstorm ideas to see what we
come up with.

The other big thing to be thinking about is the
marketing materials. We need a name for the book with
a couple of paragraphs describing the book. This will
go on the website, in advertisements and on the back
of the book. I saw somewhere a couple of names you had
suggested, but I can’t find that email right now. Can
you send me what you were thinking. Keep in mind the
“green” theme for a tag line.

Here’s the list of quilts I have going in the book.
Has this list changed? About how many pages do you
think you’ll need for each one? I’m thinking of a page
count for the book. It can be no bigger than 128
pages. We will have a mixture of color and black/white

(list of quilts here)

I think that’s it for now. Have you read the Author
Guidelines? That should have most of the information
you need in it. Ask me questions if you can’t find the
answers in the guidelines.

AUUUGHH! So this is what I'm working on, plus customer quilts, plus a trip to Asheboro NC for a lecture and workshop on Thurs/Fri...and off to MD to teach for a week next week.

If you don't hear from me for a while...don't worry..I've just got my nose to the grindstone!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wonderful Sunday!

I had the MOST wonderful Sunday afternoon today! Being new to Winston Salem (and to NC in general..the only tourist attraction for me as far as NC went was Mary Jos!) means there are lots of things to discover!

Well, I was told last week "Oh, you know Reynolda House is open to the public next Sunday and I think they have quilts there."

Imagine MY surprise when I find out the "quilts" they have there is an exhibit of African American quilts from the SMITHSONIAN!!!! OMGoodness! I couldn't believe my good luck. The exhibit was free today...but the best part...I came ALONE! *LOL* I can just see that my family of men would NOT understand the attraction in Ghees Bend style quilts. So...I got to bask in their glory all myself. And I am not embarassed to say that they moved me to tears. Literally. I had a docent bring me a tissue. Not only that, she said I wasn't the only quilter who had cried when seeing them, that was why she was CARRYING tissues to begin with.

I've seen these quilts for years in books and magazines and tv, and drooled over them. But seeing them up close and personal (as close as they would allow my eyes to get without touching them) was a moving experience. I could see the weave of the double knit polyester they were made from. I could see the stitches. I could see the quilting knots that lay on top of the quilt. I could see where diamonds were pieced because there was not enough fabric to cut the shape from a single piece.

I thought of these marvelous women who had so little to begin with, but created so much. I read the placards of their lives and words that were posted next to each quilt, and I blubbered some more. I feel like these women are MY sisters.

I couldn't photograph, of course..but I did get a couple shots from the up above mezzanine, without flash. Blurry maybe, but you get the idea!

Here is a printable brochure that contains items in this exhibit, so you can see what I saw up close and personal :c)

The rest of Reynolda House and Museum paled in comparison to what I had experienced in the quilt exhibit. But it really has a fabulous story as well....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bunny Love...

I bought this bunny pillow on one of my teaching jaunts through Georgia. When I go places, everyone assumes I'd love to hit each and every quilt shop in the area, when what I am really aching to do is hit the thrift shops and antique malls!

This bunny was found in the upstairs part of a very disorganized antique mall in Augusta GA! In it's former life it was an ocean waves quilt. I love that pattern, and having made one myself, and knowing I would never make another (talk about death by triangulation!)I snatched up the bunny and brought her home with me.

I've got a big basket with an assortment of patchwork bears, and even a pig that was bought in Kentucky. His eyes are put on crooked, he looks more like a bear than a pig (like someone used a bear pattern and stuck on a snout to MAKE him a pig) and he was so pitiful I had to bring him home too!*LOL*

This morning I took the bunny pillow and put it on the quilt top that I was thinking I didn't like. It doesn't look half bad. They DO look like they go together. Maybe the album quilt looks murky to me because it doesn't have enough "LIGHT" as far as colors go? But all in all....as they say....sleep on it, it will look better in the morning!

Thanks for all the pats on the back assuring me it wasn't as bad as I was thinking it was!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I tried and tried and tried to do something cool with these borders,but NOTHING looked good on this quilt.

This is the first time in a LONG time that I've not been satisfied with a project, and I really think what I don't like about it is that it is so much in those old "blue and mauve" colors from the late 80's...Even if a lot of the fabrics are reproductions, it still has that 1980's feel! *LOL*

I tried to salvage it by putting in a brown sashing, and adding that to the border and the center of the border corner stars to tie it all in and tone it down, but it just looks muddy to me. Maybe it will be better once it is quilted and bound, and WASHED to look older? It's just very restful, low contrast and subdued. It lacks the RED punch of the bargain basement quilt. Or it lacks the mustard gold sashings of the original Kentucky Album that inspired it. Maybe I should have used ALL browns instead of blues...but it's too late now!

At any rate, here's a couple shots of the borders and the corner squares I put in. I've pieced a back out of blue yardage I wanted to clear out, and even pieced a batting out of batting remnants that were in a box. It's definately a frugal quilt,so that is something to be happy about too!

Bargain Basement & Kentucky Album...

I finished the binding and the hanging sleeve on Bargain Basement! I also found a great place to photo the quilts. I used to hang them off my fence in SC, but this place HAS no fence,so I was wondering where I could photo quilts away from the wind and direct sun, etc.

The back of the house has a latice wall! It's the perfect height, and clothes pins work great to hang a quilt out of the wind and sun. So that's my new spot.

The only problem (and it isn't really a problem per se) is that the cross hatching of the latice almost looks like the quilt doesn't stop with the binding in the photos! Oh well...if *I* can get used to it, maybe it won't bug you so much either!

So here are the photos of Bargain Basement!I did tall dogteeth borders, and following the lead of our quilters past, I just let the borders end where the borders end...so all the corners are slightly different. Talk about fun and no stress!

The big red plaid in the border was from a lady's jumper that I took apart. There was a ton of red plaid in that jumper! (It was a 3XXX!) The black homespun plaid binding was actually a bathrobe...yes...made out of homespun, just like we'd buy off the bolt. Lots of yardage in that too.

The back....I used up fabric from a skirt...the blue gingham with the fruit on it, and some other older yardage that had a "plaidy-stripe-y" feel to it. Seems like I've been trying to get rid of that bolt of blue noah's ark fabric for ever. I've still got a lot of that in tan too! I used the left over dog tooth border in the back as well.

My report on the gym front....I've been 4 days in a row! And I'm having fun. The ladies there are really nice, the music isn't so booming loud that we can actually carry on conversations as we move around from station to station. I'm a bit sore,but not too much, so I know I'm not over doing it. The last two days I've walked the mile there (extremely up hill on the way there, but down hill on the way home) and did my work out, and then walked home to cool down. It's perfect!

Last night I worked on those crossed album blocks. I'm calling it "Kentucky Album" Because the quilt Lucy and I fell in love with was found in Kentucky...or on our trip TO Kentucky anyway! I've chosen a brown print with blue and coral in it for the sashings.

I wanted something that didn't make it so "blue and mauve" like the 1990s...even tho some of the fabrics I used up must at least be that old too! *LOL* Some of this stuff....my brain was telling me DON'T USE THAT!! and then that little voice in my ear would say "women with a mere scrap bag to choose from WOULD GLADLY use that and be grateful for it.." (Pffft!) so I used it. I figured, better to be in a quilt, than to still be in that strip bin making me grumble every time I dug past it. So...it's IN THE QUILT. Little heart prints, little calicoes...but it isn't half bad...from FAR away! :cD

It needs borders. I looked through books for border inspirations, and nothing is catching me. Maybe I'll just let it stew a while?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Blursday!!

Days are flying by so fast and so full they are making my head spin!

The past few days I've been dealing with lots of "red tape" as far as getting NC driver's licenses, registering cars, etc.

Did you know that everywhere else in the world a passport is a valid form of ID..complete with pic, social security #, etc...EXCEPT for North Carlina?!

Did you know that your social security card says on the back (or is it the front) of it that it is not to be used as a form of ID?

March into a NC DMV...as a new resident, and you have to present your birth certificate, your out of state license, your social security card, and proof of residency. NO PASSPORTS ACCEPTED. I find this so bogus because passports SHOULD be harder to get than drivers licenses.

Needless to say, DH and son have become fully licensed NC drivers, but not so for me. For somewhere in this move...MY file of vital records is missing! (Except for the passport.)

I spent 2 hours today in line at the social security office to order a new card. They gave me the receipt for it and told me the new one would be here in 2 weeks. EEEEK. I don't know if the receipt for it will be valid enough to get a drivers license with , but it wouldn't surprise me in the least of it wasn't.

Then the other stupid thing...DH says to just let him register my car under his name. Both our names are on the lien...so I said..okay....Only to find that when I traded the PT in on this car...and registered it...they never changed me from PT Cruiser to Saturn VUE in SC!!! They still have me listed as driving that PT? At least on my current registration it is...SO..no license plates for me yet. (And mine just expired, go figure)

I have to phone the lien holder, and have them send a copy of the title so I can take THAT back to the license plate place and get my NC plates. But I can't get the plates UNTIL I am a licensed NC driver...and I couldn't do that until I had proof of insurance in NC...

Do you see how this goes round in circles?

So between yesterday and today...all I've accomplished is to order a new copy of my birth certificate (which had to be notarized at the bank) and ordered a replacement SS card (which may be here in 2 weeks.)

And if I get pulled over for driving on expired out of state plates, supposedly registered to another vehicle...what do I tell them? Will they believe this story? It's just INSANE here!

So...I blew off some steam looking at funky old quilts. What do you think of this one? I love how the spiderwebs are more "squarish!" Aren't they funky!? It all depends on how you draw that angle on your foundation, whether it comes out more round, or blocky. I think this one is fun...I never get tired of string piecing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Source Of My Inspiration....

When Lucy and I went to Paducah last year, we stopped at EVERY antique shop we could find! I'm not even sure which shop this quilt was in,but we both fell in love with it. It is heavily quilted with very wonky baptist fans....it has CHEDDAR...it has "normal" blocks and then blocks that really are colored strange...all the things that make a great quilt in my book! (Click the pic to see the large version, and enjoy the variety of blocks and fabrics!)

As I've been cutting for this, I started out thinking I wanted the 3 fabrics in each block...one blue, one coral/pink, and one neutral. As I pulled strips, I'd measure to slice the 2" strips into the pieces I'd need, and sometimes I'd come up short...so just like this quilt, I started substituting...I tried to put my mind in the place of the maker with a limited scrap bag.

I didn't put red where the blues are supposed to go..I stayed pretty much in the same color family, but some of the blocks, instead of having 4 pink rectangles that match, are only going to have 3 that match, and one odd one that is similar, and maybe use 2 lights for the background, etc..or 2 blues in the cross parts. I'm not sure how it will look, but this is what I'm aiming for!

Oh my...there are 1980 something heart prints that I'm using...(Hey, if it's over 20 yrs old, it's vintage, right?)I wasn't going to use them, was going to pass them by...but putting myself in the mind of the maker of this antique quilt, if that piece was in HER bag.....would she have used it? I have no doubt she would have. So I did too!

I just mailed off my Patches & Pinwheels quilt to Quiltmaker for the Sept/Oct 08' issue. Seems funny to be thinking of fall already, when it hasn't warmed up enough to be SPRING yet! Lucky for me they wanted a quilt that was already done. Got some other articles in the works for the future too...never a dull moment around here!

Quote For The Day!

The quote for today comes from our own quiltvillechat list member, Sherry Denton! She put my own feelings into words so well!

She wrote:
I can see that I need to be more open to color choices. Especially if it's fabric that I already have. I just straightened up my sewing room and I have so much fabric that it is almost embarrassing. I really need to be creative with what I have. It's funny that I have the orange fabric, but didn't really want to use it in this quilt. I don't know what am I saving if for? After all, what better place to use orange fabric than in a quilt called Orange Crush?


I was playing with some blocks last night....I've always wanted to do a "crossed album" block, and finally sat down to it while watching some DVDs last night. My thought was that I could cut into the new FQ bundles that I bought for my birthday.

My thought was to pair up "something old" (from the scraps) with "something new" (from the bundles) so I was getting the satisfaction of playing with "new" fabrics while still using what pre-cut stuff I had on hand that has been maybe floating around here for a while.

I am going with a blue and salmon/coral/dirty pink color way. The FQ bundles look so pretty, and the fabrics are folded inside of each other in a special way, and tied up with a big fabric bow...I just couldn't take them apart! *LOL* But I told myself....I COULD take them apart if there was something I really needed/wanted in there....AFTER I pulled everything from my 2" strip bins that would work first.

I haven't cut into the new fabrics yet! I know I will...I don't have that many dirty pinky coral salmon colors in my pre-cut strips, but it is amazing what we can do when we start sewing with what we have instead of automatically running to the store. (Or starting with your scraps, before cutting into new yardage)

It's really easy to run out and buy a "kit" or a "jelly roll" and not ever have to learn yourself about what plays well together, what doesn't...and how to substitute one thing for another. I love the challenge of going through what I have and finding something to make it work. I've learned a lot about color and value and impact this way.

I joined the workout express lady's circuit gym yesterday! It's fun! And I can't believe it's only a mile up the road. My goal is to make it there 4 times a week. Weeks that I'm out of town, of course, I won't be able to,but it's a goal, and I need to get in the routine of going. No excuses! The hours are 8am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm. I am sure with those hours I can find 30 minutes to do something for me. And I'm going right now!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Better Than Chocolate!

Oh, MY GOODNESS!! It's Quilter's CANDY!!

My son called from the top of the stairs: "Mom, you've got another quilt box!"

I thought it was a quilt from a customer coming....I opened the box and there was all this popcorn styrofoam stuff....and then...I saw a basket handle!

Not only that, but there were delicious smells coming from the basket, and I couldn't fathom what it was!

I impatiently partially up-ended the box so that I could grasp the handle and pull the basket out. Styrofoam popcorn going EVERYWHERE! Imagine my surprise when I found three yummy candles and quilters candy: 1/2 square triangles already squared up and trimmed! And scraps...and FQ's!

Thanks SEW much Kathy! You made my day! I am going to love burning these candles in my studio, enjoying the yummy fragrance, and I'll think of you every time I sew some of your fun fabric bits into my projects!

A Use For "Iffy" Fabrics!

I have found a place where I will dare to use a poly/cotton blend fabric!

And before you gasp......

It's the HANGING SLEEVE! I had a sweet sweet lady donate some "shirt" type fabrics to me when she found I was working with recycled fabrics. She sent me YARDS of this great grey/white stripe oxford cloth. I love the look of oxford cloth, but it is rare to find it in 100% cotton, and when I ironed this...yep...poly in it. You can just SMELL poly when you iron it, can't you?

*LOL* It reminds me of the "Child Catcher" in Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang! Instead of "Children! I smell Children!" It's "POLY!! I SMELL POLY!!" and I kind of make that face too when I iron it :c)

But what's worse? Poly blends ending up in a landfill? Or poly blends being used in appropriate places and having a purpose? Think green...use the poly blends for foundations in string piecing, or use them as I did...as the hanging sleeve on the back of a quilt! It will suit the purpose just fine. And I have the memory of this sweet little lady who gave so much so generously.

I'll send a pic when I finish stitching it down!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Its a Collage!

First off, Happy Easter to everyone....and Happy Passover too....and okay...happy EVERYTHING! Let's get it all out there!

Oh,funny joke I heard today, you've probably heard it.

A teacher was asking her 2nd graders all about the holidays and what they were for...they covered Christmas, 4th of July, Thanksgiving (this is the short version, you get the idea) and then she asked one shy boy what Easter was. He replied most seriously...

"Oh Easter! That's when Jesus comes out of the tomb....and if he sees his shadow we have winter for 6 more weeks!!!!"

I thought this was SO FUNNY. But then I have been going on lack of sleep!

I got the coolest thing in my email! The guild photographer from Durham Orange Quilters Guild (where I was last Monday night...was it only LAST Monday night?)sent me a pdf file of a collage she made of my presentation! It is SO cool! Because it is a pdf, I can't just upload it open, but you can click HERE to view it.

The only thing I'm not happy to see is my belly...*LOL* The more I travel, the more I eat out, the more I don't have time to WORK OUT...the bigger I get..pffffttt! Oh well....guess I better get working on that!

Actually, ONE MILE up the road is a little women's circuit training thing similar to "Curves" and I'm thinking of joining. The prospect being..I can WALK there....do my 30 minute circuit training....and WALK home. I think I'll check it out tomorrow. I stopped in the other day and they are waiving the $99 start up fee this month...and it is only $30 a month to join. It's just my kind of thing. I'm not big on huge aerobics classes, and I don't want to work out with big guys pumping iron, or little 20-somethings in skimpy tight shorts strutting around in their perfect bodies while I huff and puff.

Yep. I gotta do this. I think it will help me with my pent up lack of energy too....

I rented "Atonement" at Blockbuster.....that's on tap for tonight while I bind my Bargain Basement quilt :cD


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Next Mystery Quilt - - -Orange Crush!

Can you guess what I've been working on today?!

I'll give you a hint...it isn't laundry, or painting my unwallpapered ugly walls or working in my yard!

I'm working on our next mystery quilt!

We have a name...and we have yardage amounts!

The name of the quilt is ORANGE CRUSH. And for those of you who don't like orange, never fear, you can swap your orange out for something else.

You can read all about it here!

At the top of that page is also a link to a printer-friendly .pdf file! So many have requested pdfs that I decided it was time to splurge on some software. In time I hope to be changing all my printer friendly pages to pdf files, but this is a start anyway.

Gather your fabrics, get ready to sew! The Orange Crush Mystery begins April 1st!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Sewed!!

I had the most WONDERFUL morning!

I met with Mrs Goodneedle and her church's quilt ministry and SEWED for two hours! Two hours might not sound like a lot, and in fact it goes by way too quickly for my liking, but it was just the medicine I needed to get me out of the slump I've been feeling since Saturday night.

I have been feeling SO DRAGGY. I asked Yankee Quilter if she felt this way after her big move too, and she told me her mother called it "Acquired Tiredness Syndrome" Because I couldn't pinpoint what would make me feel so blah and lethargic, I figure she must be right. I had A.T.S!

Since the charity quilt thing was only 2 hours this morning, it didn't wear me out! Two weeks ago, the last time I went, I picked up a little pre-cut kit of 5" squares to make into a top. Today I finished putting it together, and got the borders on. It turned out really cute, but I neglected to get a pic of it. :c(

I felt energized when I left, like I had the whole day in front of me, and I ran errands all the way home. I stopped and got a haircut. (Ran out of time to do that the other day)and then....

I stopped and got some drawer pulls for my kitchen drawers. This house was built in 1978 and has a serious case of "golden oak overload!" (G.O.O.??)Even the handles for the golden oak drawers and cupboards in the kitchen are brass with little golden oak inserts on them. Blech.

I can't afford to totally re-do the kitchen at this point, so I am scrubbing everything down, re-oiling the wood, and putting on more "rustic" looking hardware.

I'm looking for cabinet handles, but I found the drawer pulls I want at Target! One problemo, tho...the screws are too short. So on my little jaunt, I stopped at Lowes and got bigger screws. Uno Mas Problemo!! Now the screw heads are too small and pull right through the screw holes! Ayie Carumba! So tonight..on the way back from Maundy Thursday stuff, (choir singing) I'm going to stop for WASHERS. Do you think I'll eventually get these things IN the drawers?

And sheesh..for such a little kitchen...I need ....10 drawer pulls and 29 (29!!!!!!!!!) cabinet handles! So you can see what I mean about G.O.O.! (Golden Oak Overload). It's also the same in the master bath, where the cabinets have the same brass/oak handles, and the previous owners went so far as to have
Two oak towel racks
one oak circle hanging hand towel rack
oak hooks for robes, etc
2 oak medicine cabinets
and an OAK TP holder!

Oh the joys of setting up a new household in an older house. I sometimes feel like this place could be on one of those makeover shows on HGTV (Maybe they could call it OAK BUSTERS?!)

Buddy got a checkup for his broken leg, and a new cast yesterday. Bad Doggie has been pulling on his cast, and licking at it, so to stop that I put an old knee hi sock over it, and then sprayed it with that bitter apple stuff. He isn't licking NOW!(And I know why, because I didn't wash my hands after spraying, and when I wiped my mouth, blehh!)