Monday, November 30, 2009

No-Sew-Day !!

Sometimes, it's just NOT in the cards.

Today was the first day that I was back "home alone" as DH took the whole week off last week, so.....today was filled with things like catching up on paperwork, filling all the book orders that couldn't go out over the weekend because of the holiday, paying bills, running to pick up a prescription at Jeff's Doctor's office, going to the post office....

Before I even left the house, I had to hang around for the guy from the counter top place to come measure my kitchen for the new counter tops we are putting in (That's Christmas for both of us....no "stuff" just new counter tops. :c) Tomorrow I should be able to go pick out the slabs of granite I want.

I also made a run to Whole Foods....(looking for some of that great french cheese, didn't find any..whhaaa) and went browsing through a great used book/game/cd/dvd store in Winston Salem that I'd heard about but had never been to.

I Bought...get this.....a lovely gorgeous very heavy thick hard bound book of artwork from The Louvre!! There was a book like this AT the Louvre, and they wanted some ridiculous price like 65 EUROS or something for it, and it would have been too heavy for my luggage anyway. So....I find it....in the 2nd hand store....for $10!! It looks brand new! I am SO a happy shopper. Does it matter that I didn't transport it back from Paris in my luggage? Nope. Not to me it doesn't. So...I'll be browsing through it at my leisure.

After that I met up with 9 of my quilting buddies for dinner and socializing at Down Town Thai in Winston Salem. I dont make many of our "bee" meetings during the year as they tend to fall when I am out of town, but when I do find that I'm around and can meet with them, I have the best time. These ladies are fabulous and I just love being with them. And of course, the food was to die for...I love thai food!

So now I'm home..it's past 9pm. My eyes are bleary, I'm tired.....so this is a day that not a stitch got done. I think I'll go curl up with Diana Gabaldon's "Echo in the Bone" and read a couple pages before closing my eyes for the night.

If I get the other paperwork that is pressing finished, I'll finish the work on Step 3 of the mystery and get it uploaded for you, hopefully by tomorrow night.....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Its Here!

Well sorta....I haven't got my copy yet, but I started getting comments about the Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker magazine from readers, so hey...it's out there!

This is the first issue of my regular column on Scrap Reduction! The column title? Addicted To Scraps! Some of you might remember when I was making Old Kentucky Album, wondering if I should throw in those old dusty blue and mauve fabrics left over from sewing in the early 1990s....and you know what? I'm glad I did! I found a home for them, and they blended really well with today's "civil war" reproductions...and I got this TOP out of them.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...It's still a TOP, but dang, Quiltmaker made it look better in the picture than I remember it being close up! *hehehe* Look! No wrinkles...and no stray threads! (or cat hair??)

You can read the preview HERE!

I have some other happenings going on here....After much deliberation (and waiting about a year) I'm having my APQS Millenium upgraded with the addition of Compu-Quilter. My hopes is that I can digitize some of my own designs and then, in true Quiltville Bonnie Fashion, be quilting on one thing at the same time as I am piecing on another! *LOL*

At one time I thought there was no way I was going to become a computer-driven long arm quilter. But the way my life is going, something has to happen because I just can't keep up! So...I plan on still doing a lot of freehanding on quilts, but the addition of the ability to size and rotate my block designs and save them is only going to add to my toolbox. I've been long arm quilting since 1995, hopefully this will put new life in it for me. This is going to happen the week between Christmas and New Years, so you can see why I needed to run the Mystery a bit early!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carolina Christmas, Part Deux :cD

This could get to be a habit....of wanting to sleep in in the morning, rather than get up at the crack of dawn to deal with FTP programs and hoping that I get everything uploaded right before the crowds start emailing saying WHERE IS IT?!!

So...tada! You can find part 2 here!

It's also linked at the bottom of part 1.....

Remember it's not a race! So you don't have to feel bad if you aren't ready to move on yet. The mystery will be left up until June 1st, so there is time.

Today was a lovely easy day. I went into the gym about 10:30...did my thang...came home, showered, worked on website stuff, finished making the turkey soup that is my MUST HAVE post Thanksgiving. (or any holiday involving turkey!) I love the smell of it simmering in the crockpot. It's just comfort food for me! Warms me right through.

Here is my basic recipe.....tho I think I've posted it before:

Turkey Soup

* carcass from cooked 15-18 lb turkey
* 3-4 quarts water
* 2 tsp celery salt
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 2 chicken boullion cubes (optional)
* minced garlic to taste (1 to 2 cloves)
* 1 tsp poultry seasoning
* 1 dried bay leaf
* 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
* 2 cups carrots, peeled, sliced (about 3 medium carrots)
* 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (about 1 medium onion)
* 2 cups celery. chopped, (about 3 medium stalks celery)
* 4 cups cut-up cooked turkey
* 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped if desired


1. Break up turkey carcass (wings and all) to fit large crock pot. (I remove as much skin as possible before putting it into the pot.)
2. Add water, salt,pepper, garlic, poultry seasoning and bay leaf. Simmer on high for a few hours, until meat falls off the bones and carcass falls apart. Skim off any residue that rises to the surface.
3. Pour contents into a large colander placed over a large bowl or pot so the broth flows through, separating the meat/bones from the broth.
4. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut or tear into bite-size pieces; set aside. Discard bones and bay leaf. (Watch for itty bitty bones...they like to hide!)
5. Keep the broth over night in the refrigerator. The following day, skim fat from broth; Return to crock pot, beginning to heat on low. Add de-boned turkey meat to broth; stir in barley. Heat to simmer.
6. Stir in carrots, onion, celery. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and barley are tender. I've also added things like zucchini, potatoes, turnips, whatever other veggies or dried beans (small white beans are good..or lentils?) you want to add to it. For extra color you can also add mixed frozen veggies..you know the ones with diced carrots, peas, corn, limas, etc?
7. You can make it more fiesta style by adding a can of rotel tomatoes....
8. Oh yeah....if you have left over gravy from thanksgiving dinner, stir that in too...it thickens things nicely. :c)
9. Stir in parsley in desired

YUMMY! Make some corn bread to serve on the side....honey butter is sticky good. :c)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wild Array of Reds!

I've got a border in the works! And once that light goes on, once I've tried and tested a few units, and once I get the centers and corners worked out.....there is no stopping me! I love it when the inspiration kicks in to high gear!

I can't give all the details on the border....but I want you to know that the fabric is flying here! Yes yes yes yes yes!

Another reason I love having my scraps, new and old, sorted by SIZE and ready to pull and sew. Look at these reds! There is quite a bit from traditional plaids and stripes from shirts, but the other prints I've pulled are just as fun and round out the eclectic mix. Can I really put in a cutesy 1980's red with white hearts (definitely VIP!) next to a red with green Japanese symbols that says ETERNITY? Absolutely! It's red! I'm going for variety and color here.

What about the red with the alphabet letters? Sure, why not. But the letters are blue....SO? Throw it in! Red with neon green stars? Definitely not a traditional type fabric, but it will sparkle in some fun...weehhhaaaa...

Let's face it. This life is going to pass quickly enough. I want to leave them wondering just WHAT I was under the influence of 100 years from now..*hehehe*

While digging through these, I saw so many more strips of various colors and genres that I would love to work into a quilt. The drawers are FULL. I have been doing cutting (yeah, thanks to the silly people who will fill up a box of scraps, mail it UPS with NO RETURN ADDRESS !! You know who you are... :c))and because these have been cut from other people's scraps....they are NEW to me. Oh, the possibilities!

But first...back to border construction.

I'm thinking that Step 2 of Carolina Christmas Mystery will be ready to go up on Sunday, sound like a plan?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carolina Christmas, Part 1!

This is a kin to making school lunches for the next day, before you go to bed the night before! I know we have lots of international quilters playing along, so I'm uploading the directions before I go to bed.

You can get to step one of Carolina Christmas HERE!

I do hope you plan to play along. I am so happy with how this quilt is turning out! I can't wait to get it on my bed....a Christmas Quilt for my own bed! That is IF I get it quilted and bound before Christmas Eve. Can I make it? I hope so!

Happy Thanksgiving! (LONG!)

It definitely IS the day before the Mystery here....Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's great for reflection. For slowing down...other than cooking, it is basically stress free. Feed the guys, let them watch football, I get the turkey soup going in the crockpot from the leftovers of dinner, and voila! I get to sew.

For those with questions, let me see if I can answer them off the top of my head. I'm getting dozens and dozens of emails a day, so pardon me if some of this stuff is a repeat, I just want to make sure that people have the info.

Wonder Cut Ruler....I have it, I've used it, it was designed by friends of mine from when I lived in Idaho. I like it for many things, but it leaves bias edges on the outside of my units. I have to cut very strange measurements to work with this ruler (My strips are cut on the inch and half inch, and they don't work with the wonder cut ruler) But if you don't mind, and your units come out the right size, you are free to use it. Yes, you can cut your yardage into BIAS STRIPS so that your units turn out on the straight of grain, but who wants to? Just my opinion.

You can use whatever method you want to use to give you the units that measure the right size. I will post the size they need to be.

In talking with my friend Carol yesterday in a gmail chat, I realized that I "DO" do some things differently. (Go figure!) And she said if we looked back a couple of years she would be in the same boat of having to have everything matchy matchy, all the same fabric, planned out from start to finish including borders, backing and binding before she even started the project. Does this sound like some of you? :c) (This is what I call "control oriented" by the way, and it is neither right nor wrong....it's like being right handed or left handed, right brained or left brained....but we can work with that!)

After letting go, releasing the control and letting things happen, she has now turned into a whirlwind scrap quilter and is having so much more fun than she ever imagined! (Right Carol?!)

I also had an email from another friend yesterday asking how I know "what to do" with bunches of left over 4 patches or bonus triangles that have been squared down.....that she is afraid to start putting them together in case they are muddy or don't work. Does this sound like you?

In fact, her words are so perfect that I'm going to quote her here. I hope she forgives me, I won't mention names! She writes:
"I know this may sound like a silly question, but - here goes:

How does one go from mindlessly sewing four patches/half-square triangles together to actually putting them into a quilt? I spent three hours today sewing together those little cut-off triangles. Now they are all pressed and ready to be sized. Then, as I have ALWAYS done, I put them into ziploc bags by size. Then I browse magazines, get books from the library, search quilting blogs, but NEVER put anything together because I can't seem to BEGIN. What if the colors won't work, the blocks be muddled, or worst of all " I might need this in Bonnie's next mystery".

How ever do you BEGIN? I am sure that I could just begin, but where?

I have bags and bags of squares and triangles, boxes of cut strips, but I can't BEGIN. I got a yard of lime green to do alternate squares of four-patches, but my minds says what if: it isn't enough, I don't like it, etc. I buy more fabric as a "focus" and then don't ever use it because it might not work out."

And this is my reply:

Usually I just start playing with blocks that will use the sizes of triangles I have. I generally work scrappy, so it isn't a problem for me. Instead of thinking of a whole quilt, I'll make a hand full of blocks and just start playing....I never plan things out all the way to the end, I kind of play with options as I go and decide on settings or alternate blocks and sashings as I work... borders come last.

I think you have to allow yourself the time to play and not worry about muddled blocks or colors...because how are you going to find out what works if you don't allow yourself the opportunity to MAKE mistakes? It's the only way to learn...live dangerously..you might be surprised at the results!

So how does this fit in with this mystery? I'm very relaxed as I piece. I've separated my fabrics into color families. Reds, greens, neutrals...with that one gold piece that is going to be the constant. I don't worry about how MANY reds or how MANY greens. Just a bunch. I started by going to my 2.5" pre cut bins and pulling what I had there for starters. From there I went to the containers of cut up shirt parts, and FQs to pull more to round out what I needed. While cutting things like 1/2 square triangles...I'd just cut as many from a strip as I could until the strip was gone, then move on to the next strip. If the strip comes out of the bin...I use it up! I don't want to put anything back INTO the bin....It might not give me an equal number of each kind of green triangle...but they are all green. I don't over think things.

In my fabric choices....I've got plaids, stripes, prints from recycled clothing in reds and greens and neutrals....but I needed some more variety as it was looking very plaid-sy so I went to the 2.5" scrap bin and started pulling some other reds and greens....in the reds i even chose some very dated (or out dated!) Christmas fabrics to throw in for good measure. Some of you who have been quilting a long time will remember a red background fabric with ducks on it? scattered holly? OH yes, and cattails? That fabric has been around since the late 80s I think....well, it was already cut into 2.5" strips....it was a vibrant red that I needed, and what other quilt would I want to put it in? So I put it in.

As I was cutting the pieces I needed....when I get down to the end of the strip set, I cut any remainders into 2.5", 2" or 1.5" squares. Anything less than that either became a crumb for the pineapple blocks I'm making or tossed (yes! tossed! If it's less than 3/4" I don't save it....you have to stop somewhere!)so that entire strip was annihilated. Gone. I'm not putting 1/2 a strip back into that drawer!

So where does this leave us? The more variety in a scrap quilt the better. If you run out of something it is not a crucial point. If you get to the point where nothing in your stash works for borders, you get to go shopping!

Because it was already November when I decided that this brewing project would make a good mystery, and because I am only working a few steps ahead of you (I'm hoping to get the center sewn today!) I haven't gotten as far as planning borders yet. I'm going to let it happen. This way it is a mystery for me too! Many people might find this quilt large enough and intensive enough as it is without having to go on piecing borders for it and a plain border will suffice. It really will.

The best part of this quilt for me....is that I have always wanted a Christmas quilt for MY BED. So there you go. That was the beginning of everything. Of the color choices, the fabric choices, the size, everything. It's time I had a Christmas quilt for my bed!

I plan on clearing out a lot of old Christmas fabrics from my stash in a scrappy back for this quilt. Will I piece a pattern for the back? maybe...we'll see!

Most of all, I'm just enjoying playing with the fabrics, the blocks, the colors.....and I am REALLY REALLY loving how this is coming together, and I hope you will too.

As far as WHEN the first clue will go live? I've got to get the pages complete, so look for them tomorrow morning. I'm a morning person, so chances are, it should be ready when most of the US is waking up if not earlier :c)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feeling Somewhat "Normal"!

It's Saturday morning and I am HOME! I woke up this morning not able to think what day it was....as I look back at my calendar, I haven't spent a Saturday home in months!

Last night I sat and watched a movie, cutting up the last of the shirt parts (mostly collars, cuffs, yokes, with a few sleeves thrown in for good measure) That Bingo-Bonnie sent me months ago! (yes, Bingo-Bonnie, the box is empty now and I've got a whole pile of usable pieces and strings!) I'm cutting 2"X5" strips from them to do a braided border on a class sample that has to be done by March. I figure that will be my "leader/ender" project for the next little while. Braids are one of those things that are hard to do continuously, unless you are working on many of them at the same time...it's all little short seams. Building it as a leader/ender will be a no-brainer!

I'm going to need a lot more rectangles than this, and yes, I'm using more solid red 2" cornerstones on them....I'm using up leftover small yardages of various reds just to clear them out. I only cut a hand full, just enough to get me started!

I'm needing to get on the pic editing bandwagon as far as the Paris pictures go. But I thought I'd tease you with the pic below, it's the two pieces of toile that I brought home with me.

They are both museum reproduction prints. I"m not sure what I'm going to do with them yet...but I just HAD to bring them home. There are 2 metres each, and they are double wide, so about 110" wide. Enough to do for SOMETHING I think. They are a bit heavier than normal cotton, because they are decorator prints. I'm going to wash them to get any "scotchguard" type of finish off of them, and hoping it will soften them up a bit.

Other "normal" things going on here? I have a load of firewood being delivered today so I'm ready to stoke up the wood stove in the basement studio. I love a wood fire! And I can get it as toasty as I want down here. The rest of the house seems to be setting the scene for "thermostat wars". I like it 69 or 70, and DH keeps bumping it down to 66. Urgh. My body is fine, but if my hands or feet get cold, I'm miserable. But after today, my winter supply of fire wood will be stacked and ready just outside my basement back door....

We are thinking of catching a movie this afternoon. I love a matinee! It just makes me feel like I'm playing hookie from other things I should be doing. Up for suggestion is the new one with Sandra Bullock. It has football, that will make hubby happy, it has Sandra (going blond!) which should keep me happy. It's a win win!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oscar Update

Here's Oscar on a pile of newly aquired, not yet washed shirts! I forgot I had this pic in my files, and it's a good one for this post, even with the red-eye going on.

I got the call from the vet. He does NOT have leukemia. It still doesn't explain the mass in his lung (it showed up in 2 views....)and so, we continue on antibiotics to see if it is indeed just a pneumonia thing and not a cancerous mass thing. A week should tell.

He is under the weather, but I can say I didn't hear him cough today, and he's only been on antibiotic 24 hours, so.....cross fingers and we shall see!!

Today....I sew. I just couldn't yesterday.

Veggie Burgers are THIS Bad??

I came upon this chart....GOODNESS, I don't think I'll ever order another burger anywhere ever again! You may have to click the pic to get it full screen size and to be able to read it....

The one that amazed me most was the Veggie Burger at the top left. a "healthy" alternative?? I don't think so!

Back to ordering Salads....dressing on the side....unsweet tea.....and back to the gym I go!

You know the foot is still bothering me a bit. It's tight in the mornings, stairs are difficult until it gets warmed up and stretched out. No running,jumping, jarring, and still going to take a lot of time to get it back to normal, if there is such a thing. I'm limiting myself to walking, stretching, yoga, pilates....but it puts my cardio all to heck. Whhhaaaa!

Still waiting to hear back from the vet on Oscar's test results. In the mean time, he is pretty feisty when it comes to giving him meds! He hooked me a good one last night and I came up with a bloody finger :c| Hoping it's just pneumonia!

PS..to the person who said they'd stick with the Wendy's Baconator? you may be surprised to find that your baconator has 970 calories all by itself!!! Check here!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simple Things....

Simple Quilts with lots of color make me happy!!! For those of you wondering what to do with those leader/ender 4 patches that have been stock piling up....look at this antique! It has fabrics dating through the 1950s..but look at that solid red for punch! I also love how the darks in the 4 patches do NOT go all the same direction but look like they are moving around....I love how the binding changes color half way down the left side. Maybe that's two different pieces of backing fabric folded around to the front? Come to think of it, with a closer look, the binding is different on ALL sides!

SUPER quilt...easy, and an effective use of scraps...this one gets lots of bells and whistles from me!

(Trying to think of happier things here, than focusing on cat test results)

Kitty Troubles....

I need good thoughts for Oscar, my kitty.

He was coughing a bit when I left for Littleton, Rocky Mount, and Elizabeth City. I got home from Elizabeth City yesterday afternoon. Today was the first chance I could get him to the vet.

The vet heard wheezing while listening to his breathing, thinking it might be asthma, she suggested xrays.

The xrays show a mass, which might either be pneumonia, or cancer.

We did a leukemia test...I'm waiting for the results on that. In the mean time he has been started on an antibiotic in case it IS pneumonia....which is the best case scenario.

If leukemia is ruled out, we wait a week and see if the antibiotic is helping. If the mass doesn't go away....we have decisions to make. If the leukemia test comes back positive, we have decisions to make.

Today is my first day home for the holiday season. I'm done traveling and teaching until January! However, I'm going to Arizona for a few days in December to spend time with my two brothers and my Dad. I'm really looking forward to spending time with them, even if the last thing I want to do right now is think about going back on the road! Let the next 3 weeks be spent at home NOT thinking of anything but being home....and I'll deal with family when I get there! *LOL*

Many questions have come in regarding the upcoming mystery. Though most of the pieces can be cut from 2.5" strips, if you are NOT using the easy angle for construction, please don't cut your strips ahead of time. You'll have to do it a bit differently to get 2" finished triangle units. Plan accordingly. Some of the units need an even larger piece, so even though some have said they have cut all their fabric ahead of time into 2.5" strips, unauthorized by me, they may be in for a surprise! Sorry.....but it's best to wait until I say "GO" before you jump ahead, okay?

You don't HAVE to have the Easy Angle ruler to do this, but I don't understand why anyone would not want to at least try it. You can find it at Joanne's if one is near you, you can use a coupon for it. It will cost you $3 or $4 bucks with a coupon. Some Walmarts have them. You can order them on amazon or ebay. I think the other fabric chains like Hancocks and Hobby Lobby (which also have regular sales and coupons) have them. The pattern for the mystery is free, so isn't it a fair deal to at least TRY to find one for a few dollars and see if this helps your quilt making? I LOVE this ruler. I would not be caught without it. I plan to keep using it in the future. It's in your best interest to have the tools to follow along.

Someone asked if I were uploading ALL the steps in one day. Nope. There is no way you can make this quilt all in one day, and I'm working just a couple steps ahead of everyone else. I'm planning on perhaps 2 steps a week...but if I don't get to it with all that is going on, you may have to wait...I'm not doing this on a set schedule, it has to fit in with my life. It takes a lot of time, not only to design the quilt, but to complete the quilt before you, to take the photos, to write the directions, to upload them to the website and have them linked to everything else in the proper sequence. Hours and Hours. I love doing it! I just need your patience and understanding.

If there is a link at the bottom of whatever page you are working on, then you can click to get to the next step. If not....wait until there is a link! I'll also be posting an announcement here on my blog, and on my website, as well as the two email lists when each step goes public.

If you want a smaller quilt? I suggest you wait until all the clues are revealed before starting so you can decide how many of what unit to make. Same with larger. Just wait and see. Because of time limitations I'm not able to do the math for everyone who wants a different size....or if they want to use a different method to make the units.

I'm hoping to get my car unpacked and things put away this afternoon...I need to set my machine back up, get something for dinner cooking in the crockpot, and then hopefully spend some time SEWING today! :cD

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To All The Veterans....

Thank you for your courage, your time, and your sacrifice!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Carolina Christmas!

~A Quiltville Mystery!~

Bring in the Holiday Spirit by sewing through the season!! The quilt center measures an ample 82" X 82" before borders!

This is a "limited edition" mystery, as the quilt I am making will be appearing in a future book. If you start this project, you will need to follow along and print out the instructions as they are revealed. The project will be available on the Quiltville.com website until June 1, 2010 when it will be retired.

Though I am making this quilt using fabrics from recycled clothing, you can use anything you would like! Not in the mood for a quilt in Christmas colors? Choose any 3 complimentary colors and add a background fabric to it!

I will be posting the first challenge the day after Thanksgiving. (You know you really didn't want to spend that day shopping with the crowds, right?) So on Friday, November 27th, be watching the Quiltville.com website, or my blog for the link to the first clue! You can also join my "announcement only" email list, Quiltville@yahoogroups.com and receive an email in your inbox when each step is posted. If you like to participate on a list with lots of chatter from other quilters also participating in this mystery from around the globe, our other list, Quiltvillechat@yahoogroups.com might be the list for you! I do hope you plan to play along! Turn on some holiday music (Only AFTER Thanksgiving in my house!) make a cup of tea or cocoa, and quilt in the Holidays with us!

Click here for Fabric Requirements and other info!~

One Thing At A Time!

I got home from WV yesterday afternoon, and BOY was it a beautiful drive! This pic is a view from my balcony at Hawks Nest State Park where the retreat was held. WV "IS" Almost Heaven!

The whole afternoon yesterday was so lovely that after unpacking the car, I went on a 3 mile walk around my area. It's quite hilly here, so that was a good workout for the ankle that is still giving me a bit of stiffness/soreness. Range of motion is slow to gain back, and I'm afraid of pushing it too hard, so I'm just walking, figuring that is the best way to rehab it back into shape. One thing that is hard is to point my toes...If I do both feet side by side, you can tell the left one points fine, the right one? Not so well...so I'm working on stretching that out a bit each day too.

Still have more Paris pictures to share! I'm thinking I'll edit a bunch of them down and do them slide show fashion, so bear with me. I want to do an album with just the "Eiffel Tower" stuff...

Today my eldest son is 26!! How did that happen? When I still feel 26 myself, is it possible that I could have a 26 year old son? I have to post here a funny conversation he had going on his facebook that has just cracked me up. The Quiltmaker Magazine staff found it so funny, that they posted it on their blog, Quilty Pleasures too!

Speaking of Quiltmaker Magazine, be sure to watch for the 2010 issues. I've got a new column helping us use common sizes of scraps from our Scrap User's Systems! It's not a full quilt pattern, but a block design....for you to play with and see what you come up creating! Since we have been cutting our scraps into useable sizes, it's nice to have an idea that will use what we've already got cut on hand, right?

There is a new Flickr Pool for your photos of Christmas Lights, and a giveaway, so be sure to go and upload your pics there....

June writes:
Share your Christmas Lights Mystery quilts (or tops)HERE (Christmas Lights is a 3-part mystery series from Bonnie Hunter in Quiltmaker’s July/August ‘09, September/October ‘09 and November/December ‘09 issues.)

I don’t know what yet, but I’ll give a prize to someone (randomly selected) who posts a Christmas Lights photo by 2 pm MST on Friday, November 13 (it could be your lucky Friday the 13th)!

Last night I was able to attend my OWN guild meeting and had a wonderful time catching up with everyone. I want to send out a special WELCOME to Kristin who came as a visitor last night! Kristin, it was great to meet you and I hope you come again! Drop me an email if you want to get together and sew, I'm always game (if I'm home, that is!!) :cD

Thursday, November 05, 2009

All Things Yummy!

I picked my desktop computer back up at Best Buy this week, and I've been reinstalling programs, including my photo editing stuff, so I had waited until it was back before importing the photos off my memory card....you know what a hassle that is?

So here are a few photos to whet your appetite.

A couple more from the Arc de Triomphe...my very first WOW moment! The bus stop where I got off the airport bus was right near here. And while I waited for Randy to come get me, all I could do is stare in wonder! It is one of my favorite Paris monuments.

And then of course.....food....glorious food!! These photos need no explaination. Did you know that more oysters are consumed in Paris per capita than anywhere else!?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Starting Slow....

There is SO much to post that it is almost intimidating to think of it! I took HUNDREDS of pictures..all of which have to be edited down from huge sizes to web compatible, easy loading...and it's daunting! So I'm just going to do a bit at a time!

By far the best part of this trip was the people I spent it with! I spent wonderful time with my friend Randy and her hubby Mark. They were the perfect tour guides! I just was happy to follow them around like a lost puppy....my eyes taking in everything in wonder!

Taking the bus from the airport was easy. Getting euros from a ATM was easy. Getting a hold of Randy when I arrived at the bus stop near the Arc De Triomphe was NOT! My cell phone didn't work. Duh. I was lucky enough to have a guy standing mear me as I explained my situation to another woman, and he loaned me his phone so I could call Randy at the apartment to come at meet me!

The picture above was taken when Randy and I met Valerie and Will at Montmarte for a lovely lunch, a visit to Will's house to see her beautiful quilts, and some fabric shopping in the garment district...in search of French toiles! And we hit what would be considered a european bargain. Mind you, 15 euros a metre is not cheap by USA standards, but these bolts were DOUBLE WIDE...about 110" in width, so yes...very doable as far as fabric purchasing goes! I'll get a pic of my aquisitions later. I bought two metres each of a blue on white, and a taupe toile. LOVELY! Not sure what I'll do with it yet, but.....

One of Will's friends was kind enough to take this shot of us after our delightful lunch! (You can tell by the empty plates..we didn't leave a crumb!!)

One of the highlights was taking the RER train to meet Valerie and Caroline (who came to visit from Brussels!) at Versailles! I have never seen such opulence in my life...it really was undescribable, and I can't wait to get into these photos....I'm thinking slide shows might be the best way to share them with you, in due time!

You can see I'm not fully able to relax just yet. Still a bit jet laggy, I leave friday for teaching at a retreat in West Virginia! I've really been looking forward to this trip too, the best part? Besides teaching, and being with quilters in general, which I love..when I'm NOT teaching..I get to sew too!! And I am so ready to spend some machine time!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's a Mystery!

Hi you guys!

I'm back from Paris as of last night...had a great time! I know I
will need a nap at some point today, I feel one coming on. I've got pics to upload..many many..and they all need editing down, etc. Give me a day or so to recuperate!

I'm writing quick because I wanted to let you know that I've been hard at work designing our next mystery quilt!

I'm in a bit of a conundrum, because the one I REALLY want to
do.....is in recycled fabrics in Christmas colors! Is this going to
bum you guys out if I drag Christmas out into the new year? If it
helps any....what if we move this mystery back a month and let you
play with your fabrics DURING the holiday season? I'm done teaching
as of Nov 17th. Would you like to work on this project DURING the
holidays? And if you finish it after the new year, well....you are
just that much farther ahead for next year!

And of course, you can choose to do this in a different color plan if you want.

This is going to be a limited availability mystery, much like Carolina
Crossroads was. It's going to go into the 2011 book, so it will only
be available online for a while, and then I'll pull it when it's

I'm planning on using reds, greens, and golds and neutrals, in plaids,
stripes and prints from recycled clothing. And I may throw in some old
fashioned shirting prints as some of my lights to spice them up a bit.
The quilt is a square one, about 84" without borders. The units can
be played with in many ways, so seeing lots of different layouts is
going to be fun!

Other colors? How about blues/browns/golds/neutrals?
red/blue/gold/neutral? green/blue/gold/neutral?
purple/green/gold/neutral....I'm sure you can come up with 3 colors
you like, and maybe even use BLACK as your neutral....you'll like this
one, I promise!

Are you guys game? Looks like it will be about a 6 step mystery.....


ps. Yes, I know my website is unavailable. They are doing maintenance. There is nothing I can do about it but wait it out along with you! :c) I've received phone calls and emails from many people asking me what the deal is. I've called to find out. They say give it time. :c)