Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happiness Is...

Running miles on the beach in Jacksonville, FL!!

I tell you, time on the beach this evening was worth the 7+ hours of driving it took to get here!

If things go right, I might be able to hit the sand again Sunday morning before returning back up to Columbia to spend the night with Jason and Kim.

Now for a good night's sleep before a workshop in the morning....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's a Top!

Look what I did today?! And that's about ALL I did today....believe me! It wasn't for lack of wanting to do more, it was just all I was able to do.

I have a confession to make. I started sewing the rows together on the Janome, and just was not liking how things were NOT lining up. I got back out my Bernina 1080 and things went FINE. There *IS* a difference in machines, and for me, that Bernina just can't be beat when it comes to joining blocks with thick intersections, matching seams without having to pin every 2" etc. I'm a Bernina girl through and through.

So what about the Janome? Well..it will have to be a backup machine. I've got it set into it's own table..if someone wants to come sew with me, I'm set up with two machines ready to go. I'll still use it for various things that the Bernina can't do. I'm not writing it off. The Janome can't be beat for that thread cutter when paper piecing...and I have it facing the TV so I can see myself mindlessly piecing pineapple blocks and getting my money's worth right there. I guess for me not one machine can do everything the way I want it...I don't feel like it was a waste of money, it just wasn't the end all beat all that I thought it would be.

Speaking of pineapple blocks....I've had so many people email me already saying they couldn't find the pineapple block pattern on my website after seeing my post with pics of them here on my blog. Well duh! *LOL* The quilt isn't done yet! I've barely done a pile of blocks. It's a work in progress.

There are lots of paper pieced patterns for pineapples out there. You just need to find one. Here is one in a 6" size. Go bigger if you want....you can get 7.5" on a single sheet of printer paper without having to tape anything (and that is where I draw the line..I'm not taping anything!)

I just want to keep this one thing to myself for a while :c) The ones I am doing are 5" finished. When the quilt is done (and it may be a LONG time from now)I may post it as a printable pattern on my website, but not until then, okay?

Burgers are on the grill....and I'm off to Jacksonville FL in the morning! Cathedral Stars workshop and Crumbs workshop coming up!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Too Funny.....

After reading my statue of liberty post, Debbie sent me a link where I can put my face into the statue of liberty. How funny!!!

I really did enjoy wandering around NYC by myself. If I had had more than just a few hours, I would have contacted some of you to meet me for lunch, but it was such a spur of the moment impromptu day, that I just didn't think of doing it.

Walking up Broadway gave me all sorts of opportunities to watch people and admire the flowers everywhere..just look at these!

I had to take a pic through the iron fence at the church yard of Trinity Church near Ground Zero. Look at that color!

These trees were blooming on Liberty Island. it was such a beautiful day to take a ferry ride. I'm glad I chose to do this instead of stay inside in a museum all day. If the weather had been bad, or hot and muggy, I may have chosen the museum route! But after this long winter, I've really been longing to just BE OUTSIDE.

These tulips around this fountain were even more orange and vibrant than you see in the photo. SO happy to the eyes. Yes. I am drawn to orange, even in my quilts. I know a little goes a long way, and I sometimes think I add too much, but I just love orange!!

This floor is INSIDE the building at Ellis Island. Wouldn't it make a great border? It's amazing to me that even though the place was dilapidated and fell into disrepair for many years before it was restored, that they were able to keep details like this in tact for us to see. I wonder how many children who stood in line traced these designs with feet or fingers while they tried to occupy themselves.

This is the ceiling in the "great hall" where immigrants had to wait for hours to present themselves for entry in to the USA. I love the herringbone pattern of it. A lot of beautiful workmanship went into this building, and I'm sure it made a statement to those who waited so long to enter.

This is the front of the building at Ellis Island...quite a foreboding structure isn't it? And yet full of so much hope for so many at the same time.

I've spent 2 days now trying to get my ducks in a row. I had a killer workout with my trainer this morning. Mostly arms and legs...arms are my weak spot...I never really cared about having buff arms! *LOL* By the time we were done I felt so wobbly, it was like they had surgically removed all my bones. Needless to say that today's activities (after bank and post office duties)involved a long NAP! I need it!

I keep beating myself up for time I'm NOT spending at the machine. I want to be in the mood to piece..I really do...I've got the rows all ready to join together into a center..maybe tonight? If I don't fall asleep first...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where To Start?!

Well, today almost got by me! By the time I got done with the gym, the bank, running errands, lunch, book orders......and a bee meeting I forgot I had tonight, my time was almost out! But I wanted to post SOMETHING about my trip.

This was the first time I have driven so far north, and worked my way back down. I started out on Thursday and drove to Paramus,NJ. It was really exciting for me!! But I have to tell you what...if you live anywhere near there, you have no idea how amazed I was at ALL the toll booths everywhere. And me without an EZ pass. It's a good thing I had cash on me, because I would have gotten stuck somewhere! Now I know why people generally stay in their own area..it can cost you $30 in tolls easily to get from one place to another.

On Friday I had 2 lectures and trunkshows, one to the morning group, and one to the evening group...and I was amazed how far people drove to get there. We filled up every minute with fun and laughter and pedal to the metal sewing. I now know why NJ is "the garden state" because it was JUST BEAUTIFUL...all the trees there were blooming, where down here in NC....they had finished. So I guess there is about a 3 week time delay with spring spreading more slowly up the eastern sea board.

I really enjoyed driving from place to place...it's nice to have my own car and be able to go where I want to go.

4 of us enjoyed dinner at a Thai place in Hackensack! Hackensack is just one of those words you have to love to say :c) There is a song that kept playing through my head by Fountains of Wayne.. "And I will wait for you, as long as I need to, and if you ever get back to Hackensack, I'll be here for you..." It's just a cute little ditty and I kept humming it because it stuck in my head the whole time.

Sunday was my one day free that week...I left Paramus on Sunday morning, and didn't have to be in Newtown PA until dinner time that evening...a trip of only 90 miles or so, so I toodled myself right into Manhattan! It wasn't as bad as I thought....it was a beautiful sunday morning. Tomtom did a good job of taking me where I needed to go.

Originally I had thought I'd spend the day visiting museums, but with a day this beautiful, WHO wants to spend it INSIDE!? Not this chickie. I found a garage....it needed to be secure because the car was full of quilts and cases of books and my luggage and laptop, etc...(This gave me fits of giggles because it was like walking into the garage scene from Ferris Beuhler's Day Off) but it was worth it to pay for safe secure parking for me.

The MS walk was on, and there were throngs of people happy to be out walking for a good cause on a beautiful spring morning. I walked along with them a bit, until I got to the Battery area. I saw signs for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tours and decided that would be a great way to spend the day, so I did.

The last time I had visited the Statue of Liberty, I think it was about 1988. Of course the Twin Towers were still there then too..and I was with a huge group of college kids. We had travelled out from Idaho/Oregon to join some other college choirs from around the states, all joining together to perform Brahm's Requiem in Carnegie Hall. We sang it in German and were accompanied by the Manhattan Philharmonic. That was a huge memory in my life, and it was fun to remember that trip as I re walked the streets.

I had never been to Ellis Island before, so that was really interesting too. I know it is something my family wouldn't enjoy....they don't DO museums or tours, so I was happy to do it by myself and take the time I wanted to do it right :c)

Back at the docks...I found where Broadway begins and I walked up Broadway, past Wall street. Found a great deli to have lunch...a RUEBEN of course! and then I walked over to Ground Zero. It was a beautiful day for walking and window shopping. I made my way back to the parking garage by 4pm and was out of the city with no traffic problems at all, and on my way to Newtown PA...

And that's all I have time for tonight! It's almost 11pm and I've got an early morning date with my physical trainer for more personal torture. Gotta love her!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And she's home again!

Would you believe it if I told you that everything was STILL in the car, and it can dang well wait there until tomorrow because I am too pooped to unload it right now?

I had the most wonderful time on this trip..hard to believe it was 11 days, but it was!

I met so many wonderful people and made some new friends that I know will stay in my life for years to come!

I also came home to emails asking if I was okay, and where are you???? So here I am with just a quicky.

First off...I'll get the camera out of the car tomorrow and do an update with pics. I had a wonderful time working on the "Jared Takes ANOTHER wife" (or the hussy quilt as the case may be! *LOL*) and it is now in rows ready to be sewn together to complete the top and add borders. I hope to do that this week before leaving for Florida on Thursday. I have pics of it in progress, so that will intrigue you to come back!

I also was shown an issue of Quilter's World, and found out that we are an Editor's Pick! Wahhooooo! Here is a scan of the page and a copy of the issue. I don't have a pattern or article in this issue, it's just a blurb, but hey, we'll take what we can get, right?

I hope you are all well and enjoying beautiful spring weather. I also took pics today of some look outs and valleys on my way through West Virginia...what a beautiful place. I think I could live there and just stare out at the mountains all day. It really IS Almost Heaven!

I'm off to soak my weary body in the hottub and off to bed early tonight (My own bed! YES!) And tomorrow....I'll type up more about my journey....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Missing Family...

Living this side of the country, with all my family on the other side,all spread out, it is very difficult for us to get together.

I haven't seen my mom in about 3 years. She's in Idaho. I haven't seen some of my sisters or brothers for at least that long, maybe longer. There are 8 siblings all together, and we are scattered.

Well, yesterday, I was informed by my sister's post on her Face Book, that there is a family reunion scheduled over Mother's Day weekend. Lo and behold...since it IS Mother's Day Weekend....I am not scheduled to be anywhere else. I was planning on being home.

I thought surely, at this short notice that tickets had to be pretty pricey, and I could simply check the prices, verify that they were outrageous, and justify that I really couldn't afford to go and that would get me off the hook, right?

Well..for $385 round trip...I am going from Greensboro to Boise on May 7th and returning on the 11th. I'm going. Family is worth it. Mending some fences and strengthening some ties is worth it. Seeing my mom and appreciating her for the wonderful woman she is is worth it. Seeing my brothers and sisters and spending time with them and their families is worth it.

It's going to be nuts. I come home from Florida on the 3rd, and leave a few days later...I get home on the 11th, and leave a few days later to go back to Georgia..this was supposed to be my week "off"..but I'm filling it with more travel, but some how....it's worth it.

This picture is a view I pass every day on my way too and from the gym. It has greened up SO MUCH..it's just beautiful driving past here. I took some pics of flowering trees and bushes in the area, and I will post them next.

As far as quilting goes...I'm working on the Jared Takes a Wife replacement...*LOL* FUNNY! Maybe that should be renamed "Jared takes ANOTHER wife!!" and I'm going to be bringing the pieces/parts of that with me on my travels....tomorrow night through saturday night I'm at the Crowne Plaza in Paramus, NJ! Whhaoooo!! Featherweight machine a piecing away...eating Chinese take out in the middle of a giant king sized bed and watching lifetime movie network.. :cD

And grrrr...I want this quilt done and off the guilt list, so I can get back to piecing more pineapples!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Calling Northwest Pennsylvania Quilters!

Hi Gang!

I leave on Thurs for Paramus NJ, Newtown, PA, and Elkins, WV.....and....we have just added some impromptu dates!

My friend Mary Koval (you might know her name, she designs fabric and has published books on reproduction quilts as well) was visiting Meadville, PA where she saw one of the ladies had a copy of my book. Well, knowing Mary, she said....I know her!! They got to talking, and Mary texted me right in the middle of this meeting with them to ask if I could swing by Meadville on my way to WV because I had a couple days "free". Well, sure..I'm a glutton for quilt fun, so why not!

This is the info from the flyer the group has sent out trying to put this together so quickly....


QUILTVILLE COMES TO MEADVILLE: Bonnie Hunter quilt designer, author and queen of the scrap quilt, will be in our area for a lecture and possible workshop on April 22 and 23. Thanks to the kind intervention of antique quilt dealer, Mary Koval, Bonnie Hunter (www.quiltville.com) had a few free days available and has offered to drive from the other side of our state to be with us. Bonnie will be giving the lecture, Scraps and Shirttails, which highlights the main points from her best selling book by the same name. She comes loaded with quilts, inventive ideas, like her Scrap User’s System, and tons of inspiration. The lecture will be 7:00 on Wednesday, April 22 at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church at 233 Church Street (a.k.a. Route 408) in Cambridge Springs. Cost will be $10.00 with free refreshments. Bonnie will have copies of her book available for sale.

A potential four hour workshop will be held Thursday, April 23rd, at the New Beginnings Church in Meadville (former First Church of God at 13226 Leslie Road) if we have 25 committed quilters. The workshop will be from 5:30 to 9:30. Bonnie will conduct the workshop on her quilt pattern, Sister's Choice.

The cost of the workshop will be $25.00. To reserve your spot, please call or email today one of the following members:

Jill Meszaros at 398-8719 or jcmeszaros@verizon.net,

Judith Stoll at 398-4365 or judithlee@coaxpa.com

Laurie Wellington at 573-6599 or lwellie@zoominternet.net

We realize this is very short notice but Bonnie is such an inspiration we just couldn’t let this opportunity slip by. If you wish to attend either event, please make that call today so we can plan accordingly.

Out of town quilters who are attending the lecture can stay overnight at the Country Stitchin retreat facilities for only $25.00. Sorry no meals. Accommodations will be on a first come, first served basis.

This is a rare opportunity as Bonnie is booked through 2011. Bonnie’s sense of design, her unique organizational skills and her commitment to recycling, reusing and repurposing will bring an added dimension to everyone’s quilting while revisiting the origin of our quilting roots.

Come and get scrappy with Bonnie!

I would love to see any of you in the Cambridge Springs/Meadville PA area come on out!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Angel Pattern is FOUND!!!

Hey everyone! No wonder I couldn't locate Gale, her email came as JERRY (I guess she shares her email with her hubby, and that's why when I searched Gale in my address book, it didn't come up!)

Anyway..she saw her angel in the post and sent me the info for it.

She writes:
She was designed by Terry Morberg. Check out www.applepatchdesigns.com for many more great patterns.

My friend who owns Piecemakers Quilt shop sells her patterns and she can be found on the net at www.piecemakers.ca

The pattern is called "Quilter's Angel"

This pic is linked from the site. Just click Quilter's Angel above!

I am sure there are many other shops who sell her patterns. I have made her several times, once for a pink ribbon challenge and yours. I am now working on making her for myself, her dress is going to be made from my mom's pj's, she lost her battle to lung cancer two years this coming august. I love your blog and all the free quilt patterns on Quiltville, and since I started making your patterns (scrappy) I find making quilts using only several colors boring. I have told all my quilting friends about your site and everyone agrees this is one awesome place to visit. Happily Stitching,

So there you go!! Rev up that charge card and help this designer sell more of her adorable Quilt Angel patterns! I can see her done in Christmas colors too, or 30's or 1800's repros..she'd be darling in any form! Her wings would be sweet made from piece salvaged from a cutter quilt, wouldn't they?

I had big plans for today,not sure where they went...but I was awakened at about 7:45 am by an over-zealous neighbor out mowing his lawn. Mind you, it thunderstormed and rained buckets last night. You would think it would be too wet to mow, but NO....spring must be here! And it has been a beautiful day.

I went to the gym this morning. I've reached one goal...I'm down 20 lbs. :c) I haven't posted much about it, because I was afraid I'd fail, but I feel like I can celebrate with this milestone. So to those of you who also made New Year's resolutions, and commitments to your health, I'm cheering you on too. Do NOT give up. It's a hard road. Sometimes you lose one, gain two. But don't give up! Make those choices that can improve the quality of your life and keep you quilting without being winded! :cD

I tackled on my online calendar this morning, adding a few more dates to it that came in while I was in Canada. I think the trip to Canada brought other cold places out of the woodwork! You know how they say things come in threes? Well...I just added Cordova, Alaska for Sept 2011, and confirmed the Windy City Quilt Fest in Casper Wyoming for Jan (YES JAN!!)2010.

That's okay..I balanced it out with 2 Florida dates!

I took these pictures the week before I left for Canada, and it's a good thing I did. I came home, and the blossoms are all gone and the leaves are out now. How quickly things change week to week! So for those of you who haven't seen spring blooms yet, they are coming!

I love the little rural country scenes around here where I live. I need to keep my camera with me so that I can stop and click, and show you what things are like in Wallburg, NC :c)

I've also seen lots of fields turned and ready for planting...that's a sight that I love to see too, celebrating the wakening of the earth after it's long hard sleep.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Quilting!

Friday, April 10, 2009

To Gale Lavers, With Thanks!

Dear Gale,

I have been remiss in being able to contact you! Your parcel arrived with this ADORABLE Quilt Angel, and tho I have your town as Port Saunders, Newfoundland I don't have a return address or an email address to find you and thank you properly!

I love this little angel so much! The bright colors and the scrappy patches make me smile. She is on the wall of my studio, keeping watch over everyone that enters here. I've named her Gale after you!

Thanks so much for thinking of me and brightening my life in the way you have!

My best to you!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

How Many Pineapples??

I'm piecing.

Yes. I know there is laundry to do and bathrooms to clean and bookwork to catch up on.

But I'm piecing.

I have to. Or I promise I will go stark raving mad from withdrawal!!

Wherever I teach, I give the students the option...to double sew their bonus units into 1/2 square triangle squares to be used in a future project, or to cut them off and donate them to me if they wish. These little corners trimmed from 2.5" squares sewn on the diagonal are the PERFECT size for all these little 5" pineapple blocks I've been working on and off with for the past couple of months.

It is so fun to sew with the scraps that have been gifted to me by students! Most of these are fabrics I don't have in my own stash, so that makes it extra fun.

I've also got this drawer where I throw little snippets of stuff that are too precious to toss out. Paper piecing projects are perfect for these because you don't have to iron them and rotary cut them to some specific size before you can sew them into something. As long as the pieces are big enough to cover where they need to go on the paper, they are PERFECT!

You know, some projects are just not a race? Some projects just don't need a deadline,but are there for the pure pleasure of piecing them! This is one of those projects.

I don't know how many I'll make...I don't know how big the quilt will be or whether it will have borders or not. I'm just making them in between everything else until that little voice inside my head says STOP!

Chloe, as you can see, is supervising...in her own little stand offish way. She loves the back of this chair, which happens to be strewn with batting and backing for a little mini top just waiting to be machine basted so I can hand quilt it while on the road. I guess she wants me to take a part of her with me everywhere I go,which is pretty unavoidable anyway considering her furry purry bulk :c)

I even had a nap today....so I might be pineapple-ing to the wee small hours, and that's just fine with me.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

From Frozen North to Frozen South!

I don't think I have ever seen a place so flat and vast...as the area around Winnipeg, MB!! And there out in the middle of nowhere, is this city. Amazing!

I flew into Winnipeg last Friday....and the worst of worst nightmares happened. My 2 duffel bags of quilts did NOT make my last connection and were still sitting in Chicago. :c( Linda, the gal who picked me up and hosted me at her house, gave the person at the counter her address and phone and we drove 3 hours east to Kenora, Ontario, Lake of the Woods country and hoped for the best!

Linda's house was so charming....she is a girl after my own heart, with 3 treadle machines between her dining/living room, and even the base of her dining room table is a treadle base! What's not to like? Her house is an adorable 100 year old house with all the quirks and quandries that old homes bring. I have loved the old houses I have owned in my past, and it was fun to imagine what this house was like when it was built, what the lady of the house wore as she descended the staircase, her hand on the carved banister. Many of the original light fixtures are still in use, and it was just a wonderful house for displaying quilts.

I had an upstairs bedroom, decorated with quilts, and 2 quilts also on the bed. I was cozy! The main bath also sported a claw foot tub, and I miss my old one! They are the best for lounging and soaking.

Luckily, we got a call that my bags would reach the little Kenora airport by 8am the next morning. Linda's hubby was great to offer to drive out there and pick them up...my big heavy winter jacket was IN one of the quilt duffels, and as cold as it was, I needed it!

The two workshops were Scrappy Mountain Majesties, and Smokey Mountain Stars. I guess we had a mountain theme going on! I was so happy to meet these ladies, some I have known through email for quite a while! We had people drive from as far away as Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta!!! I was Canadian Topography Challeneged...so it floored me when I was told that Edmonton is about a 24 hour drive. I guess this proves that quilters are hearty stock! If we want to get together, not even mileage and snowy icy cold is going to stop us!

The workshops were held at the Lakeside Inn in Kenora. Linda gave me a quick giggle of a story when I commented on the "roundness" of the Inn....she said it is the world's largest replica of the STANLEY CUP! *LOL*

We ate in the dining room at the top floor a couple of times...and this is the view you get in the winter. I was told the ice can easily be 3 feet thick.

The snowy white winter cold against a radiant blue sky is a beauty to behold. The snow just sparkles when the sun shines.

So now I'm home, and trying to put life back together after a very fast and furious 4 days gone. My next class is with my OWN GUILD here in Winston Salem, and it will be fun to finally get the time to spend with the ladies and get to know them better.

Tonight? I'm tackling the hand sewing on the binding of the Cathedral Stars...feet up in the recliner...enjoying being HOME!