Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcoming Judy Home!

This is Judy! Judy is a funky green Singer 185J, and I would consider her a Baby Boomer just like many of us because she was born in 1954!

Why is her name Judy? Simple! She belonged to the lady who was working at the antique mall where I discovered her. Since her owner's name was Judy, I decided the machine's name is Judy too. She'd had the machine for a while, never used it, didn't know much of it's history, but she wanted a zig zag, and Judy just doesn't DO zig zag. I didn't WANT a zig-zag, so Judy came home with me.

I'm trying to decide if this vintage machine passion is getting a bit out of control or not! I love them...each and every one of them! I feel like they are orphans that deserve and need to be loved and cared for in a home that appreciates them. Okay, yes...this is a bit extreme, I know they can't love me back, but some how it doesn't matter. I like taking turns with them! Besides, I rationalize that I am preserving history for future generations and with any luck, they'll at least HOLD their value, unlike a new pair of expensive shoes.

Judy is going to be in very good company right next to Lloyd!

What? You mean I didn't tell you about Lloyd before? His full & proper name is Lloyd Bell! And he was also a Baby Boomer from the 50s. Much like Studebakers of the same era, Bell machines didn't last long. I wonder why? But the history on them is interesting,and you can read about it on Needlebar.Org! And here is a link on sewnuts with one just like Lloyd, but in a different case, as well as a bigger model. According to the ad, he retailed at about $79.95 in his day. Of course, Lloyd got his name from the gentleman I adopted him from. The REAL Lloyd laughed when I told him I was naming the machine after him :c)

Lloyd comes in a briefcase style carrying case. It comes apart to give him an extended work area, complete with accessory compartment. He even has his original needle packet that says "Bell portable needles" And just to compare, I put HIS bobbins next to Judy's bobbin. Lloyd has VERY SMALL BOBBINS! But don't tease him too badly about it, you know how size matters to guys when it comes to their "parts" :cD

Judy's bobbin is the big silver one. Which reminds me of a cross stitched phrase I almost brought home...it said
"I thought I worked my butt off, but it followed me home!"
*LOL* :cÞ I bet Judy, being a SHE, wishes her parts were as small as Lloyd's!

I'm spending this evening working on part 4 of Old Tobacco Road. I know there are some road weary quilters out there who would really like to move beyond 4 patches and half square triangles. Hang in there gals, it's worth it!

It's Ride-for-MS Time! Your Pledges Are Needed!

NCC 2008 Bike MS: Tour to Tanglewood Ride: Sept 6-7. 2008!

For years you have helped support my hubby Dave as he rides to help raise funds for the MS Society. This year he has joined Team Corning in the Tour to Tanglewood ride.

Each mile he will ride, each dollar we will raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure Multiple Sclerosis and to improve the lives of all people affected by MS.

No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of millions who suffer from MS, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!

For nearly 12 years I have provided quilt patterns for your use on the Quiltville.com website free of charge to you. If you find this site to be beneficial to you as a Quiltmaker, I ask that you please consider making a pledge to help fight Multiple Sclerosis as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

If you can spare even $10 to $20, 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.


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. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. 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.

The National MS Society is the largest private sponsor of MS research in the world and proudly provides local programs designed to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by MS. By choosing sponsor the MS Bike Tour, you are joining thousands of people across the country united in the mission: to end the devastating effects of MS.

Click here to Sponsor Dave!

Thank you so much for all your support over the years! It's great to have you on Team Quiltville! :c)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Three's a Charm!

Do you feel like you are making progress? Are you excited about the possibilities? So far the "guess ahead-ers" Aren't guessing out loud too much about what they think this is going to be! Maybe they are too busy still sewing their 388 half square triangles into 96 pinwheels *evil laugh* :cD


I love this picture up between the rows of tobacco! Again, look at the colors! the blue blue sky, the dark loamy earth, the yellow and green of the stalks reaching upward towards the sun. I am just so in love with color and how it plays everywhere around us. Earth doesn't tell us what colors are "in style" or "gone out" It shows us that all color goes together, and creation rejoices in the beauty of it!

And speaking of creation rejoicing, LOOK! I am enjoying the fruits of my non-labor. My PEARS! They are the bumpiest weirdest looking pears, but the meat is sweet and crisp and juicy, DELICIOUS! Is there anything better than a freshly sliced still crisp pear (don't like them mealy) sprinkled with cinnamon? I have a full tree of lumpy bumpy tough on the outside pears, and I'll do my best to eat each one!

I think there is a lesson in that. How many of us feel like lumpy-bumpy pears on the outside ourselves? However, look at the fruit on the INSIDE! GLORIOUS! Yes, Mrs Goodneedle, Life IS Good....yummy too. We all might be lumpy-bumpy pears on the outside, but what is important is the treasure within.

There are treasures in this quilt too. I want to share this one with you! See that pink/purple light square in the upper left of the 4 patch? That is a piece of the fabric from the dress I made for my 2nd date with DH. I bought it at a Ben Franklin in Meridian, Idaho in May,1981. We were engaged on July 4, 1981, and married on Aug 28, 1981. We celebrated our 27th anniversary this past Thursday.

I think all that is left of that fabric has been cut into 2" squares. Every once in a while I will unearth one as I am digging through that bin while grabbing things for leaders & enders. It's not a "pretty" fabric. It certainly wasn't top of the line, or quilt shop quality then, but it has a story. And 27 years later, here it is in my Old Tobacco Road quilt.

Maybe you have a piece of fabric that has a special memory for you. Maybe this is the time to dig it out, and piece even just ONE SQUARE into your quilt...to remind you of where you were when, and just how far you've come.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Old Tobacco Road, Part Deux!

So it's not a tobacco field, it's a Windmill! What does a windmill have to do with this you ask? Step 2 will give you a clue!

This is "one" of my bins of "bonus triangles"! I used these little numbers for making the units for Part Two. Do you have bunches of these you've saved? Now is the time to use them. Square them to 2" so they finish at 1.5" And while you are working away, keep the following song (Windmills of Your Mind) in your head:

I personally like this version done by Dusty Springfield in 1968 better than the re-make by Sting. I remember my parents playing this album over and over. What a voice she had!

Irena Sendlerowa

May 12 marked the death of a 98-year-old lady named Irena.

During WWII, Irena received permission from the Nazis to work in the Warsaw ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive...

Being Polish, she knew the Nazis' plans for the Jews and smuggled infants out in the bottom of the large tool box she carried. Larger children were placed in a burlap sack in the back of her truck. Also in the back was a dog that she had trained to bark each time the Nazi guards allowed her out of the ghetto and back in.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and its barking covered any noise made by the infants and small children. Irena managed to smuggle out approximately 2,500 children before she was finally caught. When she was captured, the Nazis beat her severely, breaking both her arms and her legs.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the children she smuggled out of that Warsaw ghetto and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her back yard ..

After the war, she tried to locate any parents who may have survived so she might reunite the child with its family. Most, of course, did not survive the Holocaust, and the vast majority of the surviving children were placed in foster homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but she lost to Al Gore, who won the award for presenting a slide show on Global Warming.

Please know that this is absolutely true, and you can read about it on snopes.com

In the midst of the chaos of my day, this true story of a REAL LIFE remarkable woman, gave me pause to think beyond myself. Hmmmm....saving children and babies from the Holocaust, or.....Global Warming? Which do you think deserves the Nobel Peace Price more? And would you have had the courage to make a difference if the need arose during your life time? Doesn't something like this just make all the little petty things that irritate us SO LESS RELEVANT!?

God Bless You, Irena!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Part One Has Begun!

As the saying goes, It's Friday in Australia! (That is akin to saying that "It's 5:00 somewhere!" *LOL*)

I've uploaded Part 1 of Old Tobacco Road! I'll probably post Part 2 either tomorrow night,or Saturday morning.

I've got a cool thing I want to share with you. How many of you have files and files of inspirational quilt pics you've saved on your hard drive, but never take the time to flip through them? A few months ago,DH attended a business thing, and one of the door prizes was a Kodak Easy Share digital picture frame. I've taken a memory stick, and uploaded all the inspiration pics I've taken over the years, and plugged in the digital picture frame to the left of my sewing machine! Now as I'm sewing I get this little inspirational slide show.....constantly refreshing my memory as to why I loved this quilt, or that border, or those colors. I love it! It's like flipping through my favorite quilt books or magazines without having to turn the pages!

And...those pics are safe off the computer. It's been acting weird lately and I was afraid I was going to lose all this stuff anyway. I still may be due for a reformatting of the hard drive soon, so I'm in the process of backing up everything else I need as well. Maybe I just need more RAM? Whatever. It's not a happy computer and is running in slow-mo.

But no matter what...my "dream quilts" are safe on the memory stick, doing their dance near my machine while I sew!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Old Tobacco Road!

It's time for our Labor Day Quiltville Mystery! It starts this Friday, and I'll post the link to the first step here, and on my website.

This is a sample shot of the fabrics I've used, and some hints as well! You have a couple options with this quilt. If you choose to do the "couch" size, just omit the optional borders. The quilt center measures approximately 56-inches X 78-inches. It's bigger than a lap size because all of the men in my life are over 6 feet tall, and require quilts to be long enough to cover their shoulders and wrap around their feet :c)

If you want the quilt bigger, follow along with the optional borders segment, and you'll end up with a full size quilt that measures approximately 81-inches X 104-inches!

Are you ready to come Quilt down Old Tobacco Road with me? Click here to get started with fabric requirements! The Mystery begins Labor Day Weekend.....Friday August 29!

So how is this Labor Day Weekend Mystery going to work? Simple! I'm going to post everything as fast as I can get it up, starting Friday August 29th! That's right! You can start sewing on Friday,and sew straight through Monday if you want, and with any luck at all, I'll get everything uploaded before you actually get to the next step! :cD

This will be a "self paced" mystery with no 2 week break in between steps,but you can sure do it that way if you want. Take your time if you need to, or sew like a quilt-fiend with the pedal to the metal if you sew-desire! When you get to the end of one step, there will be a link to click to the next, and the next and Sew-Forth! Most of all, enjoy yourself while you welcome in a beautiful scrappy Fall, while enjoying the last warmth of Summer 2008!

Rainy Days!

We are getting some MUCH needed rain here in Wallburg, NC! We need it SO bad, so even though it has been raining since monday, which turned to POURING (Can we say 'hosing down rain?) since yesterday...ALL DAY...and ALL NIGHT last night...and it doesn't seem to be wanting to give it up yet. That's FINE by me. I love this weather!

I couldn't deal with it every day. But this is not a cold and dreary rain, it's a drenching summer rain which has cooled off everything and washed everything clean and green. This kind of rain I love. I have windows open, and even though the papers on my desk are starting to curl from humidity, I still love how it feels. Rain on! I hope it keeps it up all day.

I'm not going ANYWHERE today. I really haven't stayed home much since I got back from Virginia, other than that bout with the flu-ish stuff. But now I think I'm done for a bit. I don't have any guild gigs until Sept 4th, and that is in Salisbury, only about 40 miles from me. I'm spending time getting caught up on projects and back to working on decorating my house here and there. I still need PAINTERS. Time to schedule that. And yes..that one hall way wall of icky wallpaper beneath the chair rail is still there. Getting painters in is one thing HIGH on my priority list....well, at some point :c)

Sometimes the list is overwhelming! I'm thinking with this house stuff that I ought to do what the Peninsula Piecemakers guild of Hampton VA has been doing. They make a list of 8 (or is it 10?) UFOs, and then each month a number is drawn,and for the month you have to work on the UFO that goes with that number. I wonder if my house stuff would be easier to tackle if I did it this way, because I can't seem to choose ONE thing to focus on, and I end up putting it ALL off.

But then again, when I'm on the road, it's not on my mind to do it, only when I am back home!(Out of sight, out of mind?)

Yesterday I drove to Gastonia to meet my friend Sally so she could hand off her daughter's wedding quilt to me for quilting. It's gorgeous! I can't wait to start it. Of course, a little drive to Gastonia means we meet at MARY JOs! Why is it we do so much more damage to our credit card balance when shopping with a friend? Usually when I go there I hit the remnant bins, the FQ's...the notions, and then if I need anything specific for a quilt such as backing or borders, I'll do that. Well, I did that and MORE! But it sure was fun.

After lunch at Olive Garden (Soup & Salad for me, and Flatbread for Sally) I found where the Goodwill Clearance center is. Oh boy, I must have been going through withdrawals, but I came home with 2 big bags of shirts, mostly lights. I love the way the light plaids and stripes mix in with my civil war shirtings and really give an aged look to my project that is more authentic than just using pretty things off a bolt. I think with scrap quilts you have to have some "masculine" mixed with "feminine" as if we were REALLY using the scraps from sewing family clothing in our quilts. I love the pretty pretty floral prints in the lines that are out,but I love throwing in the more masculine "utility" style fabrics.

Here in Charlotte the price per pound is $1.39 which is a 40% increase over Columbia,SC..but still a bargain!

I usually don't check the bedding table,but I saw the corner of THIS QUILT peeking out! It's HAND QUILTED! 1970'S double knit polyester, a poly batting (what is left of it, poly battings wear down to nothing after years of use) and what looks like a sheet for backing. The backing is turned to the front as binding. This is a true SOUTHERN FUNGLY!!

(I love how we've coined this Fun+Ugly=FUNGLY phrase with our Fungly challenge....we've invented a new word that is spreading through the quilt world like wildfire! I can't wait until FUNGLY has it's own entry in Wikipedia!!) *LOL*

The blocks were made in a liberated fashion and joined in rows, if a row was too short, it was added to. If it was too long, it was chopped off. This is my kind of quilt! There was a time when I would turn my nose up at polyester. Not anymore. These women did what they could with what they had. I rejoice with this quilt I saved (for about $6 at the good will clearance place) and I think it is perfect for over my porch swing.

I also found an antique Mall....what a great place! It's called Sleepy Poet. Funny name, GREAT PLACE!! I found two Fungly 50's patchwork tops. Small one was $10 and the large one $15. Look at this ornate FOOTBATH! It was gorgeous,but for the $265.00 price tag, I could get a LOT more shirts at goodwill clearance center. A girl must have her priorities....hmmm...pretty foot bath...fabric....NO CONTEST!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Sneaky Retreat!

Did you even KNOW I was gone? I left friday morning for Blackstone VA for a retreat with the gals from Williamsburg VA! It's a Quicky Retreat, just perfect. You know how some retreats don't start until late afternoon and it feels like a complete waste of the first day?

Well, this one starts at 8am!!! So this had me leaving the house at 5am to get there in time.

The retreat was held at The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone, VA...somewhere close to 3 hours from where I live. I think it's about an hour's drive outside of Richmond. Beautiful drive, and wonderful accomodations! Click the link and look at the flash picture show in the page header...the buildings are SO historic, and you know how I feel about old buildings!

I had never been to this part of VA before, off on country roads in some obscure direction, but Blackstone is a wonderful little town...neat rows of victorian homes and old buildings in a downtown area! And a must have for those sewing into the middle of the night, a walmart only 5 miles away!*LOL*

I knew I was in the right place when I pulled up into the parking lot. Could you guess just by the tags what was going on here?

It was so fun seeing the quilting license plates in the parking lot. You know, we Quilters take our passion seriously! One day Jeff and I were driving down the road and we were behind a minivan, and he spotted it right off...Mom...Look,...she's a quilter! It said qltnmom or something on her license plates. I would have beeped and waved,but she turned into dunkin donuts. Then Jeff said..Yup...She's a Quilter!

The room we had as our workroom was big, spacious, carpeted, and had LOTS of light. We even had meals provided: Lunch and dinner on friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Even thought it was a "one nighter" retreat, it really was a TWO FULL DAY retreat. I didn't leave until 4pm or so on Saturday....that's two full days of sewing for me. The pic of the chandelier shows some of the history of the place. Beyond the chandelier is our workroom. There were also lots of couches and rockers and places to sit and stitch and relax if you wanted.

I finished one top,getting the pieced borders on. The rest of my time was spent working on the mystery! Yep, I had to make everyone take an oath not to reveal the mystery before it's time. But I'm also glad that I had people's input. I KNOW you are going to love this mystery!!

Blackstone Retreat, Aug 08
One of the ladies had a great camera and she was our appointed photographer! I love seeing candid shots instead of "posed" shots, so it was great seeing her sneaking around and taking pics of everyone and what they were working on. At the end of retreat, she did a great thing...took her camera down to walmart and had photo CDs made for anyone who wanted one. What a GREAT keepsake!

The slide show is long, and includes stuff from our show and tell on friday night. Get ready for some good eye candy!

In fact, the slide show only holds about 60 pics, and so some didn't make it IN to the slide show....click the Blackstone Retreat link that is right under the slide show to view them ALL!