Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beautiful Day in Crown Point, IN!

The weather has been SO lovely, it reached over 70 degrees today in Crown Point!

Before I go into any description, please, don't anyone ever tell me to "Knock 'em dead" before giving a lecture, okay? Half way through my lecture, we had someone pass out, konk their head when they hit the floor! 911 was called, the ambulance came, the lady's hubby came....they were whisked off to the hospital....

We took a short intermission, and then we started back up where we left off! But it was really more excitement than I bargained for.

This morning we were told that the passer-outer is doing better, but was kept for observation. I hope the tests will give them the info they need to get her well on the road to recovery!

That said...if you are GOING to pass out....let it be at a quilt guild meeting, where my quilts are there to roll up and place under your head, under your knees, and to cover your body and keep you warm from the effects of shock! Can you imagine if she fell at home alone? There are benefits to coming to guild meetings and being surrounded by those we can count on to take care of us!

After the guild meeting, we had a short lunch, and a half day String Spiderweb workshop! It went too fast.....felt like we were barely getting going when it was time to pack up and go. But never fear...these women are gluttons for punishment, and quite a few of them were also in TODAY's class.....those who can bravely begin two UFOs in one week are troopers!

These are a few pics I took around down town Crown Point yesterday. The stain glass windows are from the inside of the old house turned restaurant that we had dinner at. It was AMAZING! I had some pasta thing with portobello mushrooms, smoked chicken, sundried tomatoes, sauteed in olive oil and garlic and other yumminess. MMMM!

This building used to be the courthouse, but it is now shops inside. There are several antique malls and shops downtown and we had fun wandering through and enjoying walks down memory lane. All of us agreeing that something is only antique if it is OLDER than we are. If this fad occurred during our life span, then it could not be old enough by any means!

The only thing I am leaving with from the antiquing run is a crocheted hat pincushion from the 1930s or so..it was just too cute, and has a loop for hanging. No quilts are coming home with me this time.....

But Crown Point has a wonderful Quilt Shop called Bits & Pieces....and I did find a fabric bundle to come home with me!! This whole bundle was only $10!! All different sizes of odds and ends, but all in various shades of brown. There are some GREAT pieces in here....yep, leave it to me...to buy more scraps!! *LOL*

It's been a wonderful trip here, and I'd love to come back some day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delinquent Author...

It took an email from Subee to remind me that my "paper piecing tutorial" (for those who didn't know how to paper piece the tree bases to the CRABAPPLES block from Adventures With Leaders & Enders"( STILL SAID UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

Sheesh. 3 months after release and I forgot to finish it?!

So guess what I just did?

If you have wanted to paper piece your tree bases, but didn't know how to go about doing it, you can check for the tutorial HERE.

It's nothing fancy, but I hope you get the jist of it. There are many books available on the subject as well as magazines and websites that probably can get better photos than I can. Still, I hope this gives you an idea of how I work!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Off She Flies....

I took this photo with my iphone! Amazing, no? Well, not really..I took a bunch more all of which were blurry or couldn't catch the butterflies in a position where they looked pretty. So odds are, when you take that many, at least ONE is going to turn out, right?

I thought this was an appropriate pic to leave as I fly off again. Look at the color on this butterfly. Isn't he/she just beautiful!?

This was taken at the Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Center in Grand Rapids last week. Dianne picked me up from the airport and took me straight there for a bit of indoor site seeing!

It was 90 and humid in the butterfly garden area....lovely! If you ever get a chance to go, don't miss it. There is lots to see indoors, and the grounds are wonderful...AMAZING sculptures. Do not miss the American Horse sculptures!

This pic was also taken by iphone through the plane window as my flight was nearing Chicago from Grand Rapids. I wish it was more clear, but I loved this view! It was a different direction than my flights to Chicago usually take me. Fun to see the lake, the city in the distance, the interstate that leads right to it.

I fly back on April Fools Day. Hmmmm..something to think about there. At any rate, I'll talk to you soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Extreme Border.....

I've got one long side done. It takes about 100 1/2 square tris for each long border. I've had to make adjustments and take notes along the way about how to make this work....The borders have to attach to the quilt as kind of a trapezoid...with the two short sides slanting in opposite directions, so the edge that attaches to the quilt is longer than the outside edge of the border....then 4 pieced "corner triangles" will be added to finish it off. At least this is how it is in my mind so far. This means I won't have to do a mitered seam when attaching everything to the quilt (avoiding those at all costs...especially when I think of having to write up a tutorial how to do it for an upcoming book!) I like the whole "KEEP IT SIMPLE STITCHER" approach!

So last night, while watching some mind numbing Life Time Movie Network movies...I trimmed and trimmed and trimmed...on my little tv tray with the small mat on top of it. During commercials, I pressed and pressed and pressed, and cut some more cheddar setting triangles for the ends of the rows of 3...

Today? I hope to SEW! I'd like to get the second long border done. My reasoning for starting with the long borders first? Because then just the SHORT ones are left!

I also spent time last night doing MENDING. Quilters should NOT be required to mend, but on the way home from the airport Wednesday night, Jeff was helping me unload the trunk show from the back of the car, and one of the loops that held the D-ring in place on the extra huge military duffle bags that contain the trunk show became unstitched. I had to sew it back on. I would rather do ANYTHING else:::including having a root canal:::than have to MEND anything.

Quilter's don't mend do they? Isn't that like asking Picasso to paint your garage? Well. It only took 5 minutes. It shouldn't have been that big of a deal but it was. I know I spent more time putting it off than it took to do it. Sheesh. Queen of Procrastination!

Tomorrow? Indiana Bound! I'm getting to know Chicago O'hare airport FAR too well. I can hear Auntie Anne's pretzels calling my name with their delicious cinnamon-y aroma spreading down the B terminal already!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'd Like To Thank.......


SewCalGal sent me notification that I had won the "Golden Quilter Award" For Best Teacher/Instructor! WOW! I didn't even know I was nominated! Isn't this fun?

I love teaching so much. I feel like I get so much more out of it than I ever put in. The people I meet enrich my life in unbelievable indescribable unmeasurable ways.

I do believe (and I've said before) that quilting is not just a hobby, it is a LIFE STYLE...it is something we do every day to enrich not only our own lives, but our relationships with others. It's a giving thing.

What a great way to live, isn't it?

Thanks Sew Cal Gal!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Address, Please!!

Since this is the second time in 5 minutes I'm writing down the address, I decided I better put it front and center for y'all!

Sweet Briar Country Market
28 W 2nd Ave
Lexington NC

336 224 5500

Now before you start thinking there are a bunch of little Amish old ladies and buggies outside, think again. The MERCHANDISE is Amish..shipped from Ohio and Pennsylvania...everything is baggied up by the pound or ounce...and there is all kinds of neat stuff. But the folks running the place are neither Amish nor Mennonite....just hard working shop owners trying to find a niche, and I think they have!

The bakery is in the back, I'm not sure how much they do there, it's not huge...there was not that much bread left on the shelf at 1pm.

If I weren't already a couple blocks away it might not be worth my time to drive there, but since it is 2 blocks from the Chiropractor, it's a great stop (And I want a 6 pack of that diet cream soda next time!)

There are a couple antique shops on main street that I saw that would be fun to peruse...And then one could always go over to the Lexington BBQ place off I-85 that is supposed to be Scrummy...I've never stopped, I was always on my way on a deadline to Charlotte or something.

There is a really neat looking diner across the street from Sweet Briar Market that I'd like to try too....For those traveling down I-85 toward Charlotte, Lexington might be a great stop to spend a little time, but the market isn't huge like what you'd find in PA or OH. Just don't want anyone to shoot me that they wasted a trip driving hours to get there :c)

New to me...Bulk food store!

I had an appt with my chiropractor today. I've been doing fine, but the sitting and travel and sleeping in strange beds can bring some tightness on, so I'm doing a once a month "keep it in line" visit....

My Chiropractor is in Lexington, a good 20 minutes drive from me, but it's an easy drive, and I love going through the NC countryside to get there.

When I pulled in and went inside, the gal at the counter was busy moving what looked like bags of groceries around. I'm an inquisitive sort, and asked what kind of goodies she had!

She said that she and the doc had just visited the "Amish Bulk Foods" store around the corner, and came back with a HAUL.

Ohhhh...my excitement rose! The last time I was in bulk foods store was last Summer in Shipshewana! Not only that, I didn't THINK we had Amish here...I know there is some up in Yadkin County, but this was Lexington.

It didn't matter...after my appt was over, I made a beeline to go see what there was! I love buying things in bulk. Popcorn, Oats, Chocolate Chips, Spices, Noodles....all that good stuff, and lots more that you can't find at a regular store.

I wasn't disappointed! I left with a bag of buckwheat pancake mix, some tea I want to try, some HABANERO pimento cheese (Oh man..this was so hot I had to cut it by mixing it together with the "plain" pimento cheese spread I had at home already!) and two loaves of bread, one cinnamon raisin, and one triple berry. YUM!

I also picked up some wholewheat garlic/basil noodles. Those just might be dinner tonight.

And another thing I had never had before, they had some diet vanilla cream soda....being as I was into trying new things after the Vernors in Michigan, I bought one can. I should have bought a 6 pack! The brand is "Waist Watcher" and is sweetened with splenda (Yes, with all the other baked goodies, I NEEDED sugar free!)

I even admit to tearing off a hunk of that triple berry bread and snacking on it in the car on the drive home. Yummy.

The pic is one I swiped from the online newspaper...I wasn't smart enough to take my camera in with me. You can bet I'll be stopping here again after my appointment next month!

It's raining out. A gentle spring rain that really smells good. Just on the cool side of chilly, its a great day for catching up on things inside the house, while still enjoying the emerging green of leaves opening up from this side of the window.

Book orders are done and the trip to the post office has been made...I think tonight is a SEW night. Need to trim up more of those bonus triangles for the Extreme Border project! (Sounds like a reality show, doesn't it?!)

Here comes the weekend...I hope you all have a great one!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a Michigan Thang!

This girl is HOME, and I am dragging my butt! LOL It shouldn't be so hard on a body to sit on planes....but I tell you what, it just sucks the life out of me.

Michigan was great! I had a wonderful time staying with Sara H and her hubby Charlie. I've known Sara for years and years, but this was the first time we met in person, and I tell you, that is always such a treat. She gave me her whole basement, a cozy bedroom, a BEAUTIFUL view of the lake out the window.

Upon my arrival I was asked if I wanted a beverage. I'm always up for trying "local" things, and when Vernors was on the menu, I said yes!

In the south, we have Cheerwine. In Michigan, it's Vernors! Think of it as a cross between Gingerale and Cream Soda. At least that is how close I can come to describing it. Very fizzy. VERY. Try to be a good house guest and not burp mid-sentence when just getting to know your new hosts. They might just think you are some kind of red neck. :cP

So today’s line up went something like this…

7:15am….wake up to a text msg on my phone.....to the feeling of "Where Am I??" Oh yeah, HOME!

8:30am…..left for the gym, proceeded to do killer workout, cardio, plus floor routine

9:30am….bank run

Home, shower…off to AT&T store for the micro cell tower that has now increased cell reception in my house to 5 bars. Woot! Goodbye Vonage! Going cell only….saves me $$$ (This thing will pay for itself after about 5 months.)

1:00pm: Hair Salon! I got a good trim (1” off the length) and some new highlights. Love it! It feels so much better and brighter. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do, right?

After that, I came home and crashed for a nap. I’m just exhausted. I’m heading to Indiana on Monday, so I need to use the next few days to get caught up on some stuff.

Kitchen is clean and the floor is mopped. Hardwood hallway is also swept and swiffered…how did I get to be so domestic?

As for the suitcase? I think I'm living in the land of "unpack, wash, repack". Which is okay by me!

Cheerios for dinner? Why not. I’m going to snuggle in and read a book…..maybe drop off early. A friend who travels for a living told me the best thing to do is SLEEP when you are tired. Chances are your body needs it. Eat right, sleep well...and I'm trying to live with those words and not feel guilty about a 2.5 hr nap in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. As long as it doesn't keep me from sleeping my regular night hours as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Scenes AroundTown....

There are lots of benefits to living in a "one stop light town". The post office is one of them!

I've commented before on how nice it is...if my postmaster Cheryl is busy, I just hand over my stuff along with a blank check and she will do my order when she has a minute to spare, and either mails me the receipt or I pick it up the next time I come in.

In some ways I guess it *IS* like living in Mayberry! It *IS* North Carolina after all!

When I first moved here, I was excited that the post office was only a mile from my house, because I am out in the country. I was afraid I'd have to drive a long way to get to a post office, and the one I had in South Carolina was so busy that the line was usually half way out the door at all hours of the day. It was a daunting trip to want to go to the Post office.

Well, this is bliss....with a tickle! I know you can't read it from this pic, but the first time I came I read the sign on the wall by the door and smiled when it said "Wallburg MAIN post office". HA! It's the ONLY post office! Cheryl says....yes, but we have big plans!

This pic was taken a few weeks back after one of our big snows was melting away. Just look at that gorgeous blue sky! Another reason I love NC...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oohhh! An Oldie!

Trying to find the right "red" for the inner border of a project I'm working on....look at this goodie! You know it's old when it's only 36" wide! I don't suppose anyone can pin-point the date on this? 60s? Anyone? When did fabric go to 44" wide?

I love how this blends in with so many of the reproduction fabrics that are floating around out there. Some old calicoes are just timeless, aren't they?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Basted and Ready to Fly!!!

Obsessive Quilters can NOT be found without a project to grab at a moment's notice! That includes having a piecing project ready for on the go machine piecing....and a hand quilting project that is small enough to travel easily in my laptop bag!

I find that I always book myself into a seat where there is no one to the right of me. I don't want to poke anyone as I draw the needle and thread through! The right hand window seat is my favorite :c)

I'm ready to go! I'm going to quilt this with red thread...it's already in my "on the go" bag!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Airplane Reading....

This is the book that is flying with me on this trip. Yes, these are MY knees sitting in my seat on the plane!

It's about a 10 year old girl from Gees Bend (Yes, THAT Gees Bend!) Alabama somewhere in the early 1900s....haven't pinpointed the date on it yet, but I'm guessing 1920, 1930?

It's a delightful insightful read. Not very long...and yes, there is quilting involved!

The Author is Irene Latham. Give it a read yourself, you won't be disappointed in its tenderness, honesty, and poignancy!

I'm 1/2 way done already...maybe I'll be done by the time I reach Grand Rapids? :cD

And yes, I'm writing this from the food court at O'Hare on my layover!

How Far Would You Go?

I met a lovely lady in Baton Rouge, the very first day of classes!

Her name is Liz...and I was floored when I caught her delightful accent, and she told me she came all the way from Australia to take the My Blue Heaven class!

Then she confessed, she really was "ALREADY" in New Orleans with her hubby while he was on some convention thing.....

But she really shouldn't minimize her efforts! The scariest part isn't the plane ride...it is the fact that she got on a Grey Hound bus, took the bus from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, called a cab, took the cab do the Marriott where the Gulf States Quilting Association thing is....and brought fabric with her!

I am amazed at the lengths that quilters will go to...okay, maybe not amazed, but it constantly reaffirms to me how great quilters are....one of the other GSQA members was ready to loan her a machine to sew with, and two other ladies in our class made SURE that she got to go quilt shop hopping during our lunch hour!

How far would you go?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How long is too long?

I was just pulling fabrics for a back, looking through my blues and reds for anything "BIG ENOUGH".....

I had NO IDEA I had had this fabric this long...look at that selvage! 1995?!? What am I waiting for, the Rapture or something? Sheesh! If the date is right, I've had this since IDAHO. It has moved with me to two places in Texas, to South Carolina, to North Carolina. It should get it's own air miles by now!

There must have been 7 to 8 yards of this one fabric. (In other words, it must have been on SALE!! *LOL*) I think I wanted to keep it in one big piece for sashings, or setting triangles, or borders, or ALL OF THE ABOVE..but it's a really weirdo shade of blue/grey and I think it is time it finds a home.

Which brings me to another pet peeve of mine. There needs to be a term for selvages that are an inch or wider. Something like "Selvage Spam" We are paying for the whole width of the fabric, but we sure can't USE the whole width of the fabric. This piece had wide selvage on BOTH SIDES...hummpphhh. So it took about 2" of the total width all together. What's up with this? Am I the only one this bugs?

Vermont or Bust...2012!!

Quickie post...in the middle of taxes...but am too excited to stand it!

I just got my invitation to teach at the Vermont Quilt Festival in 2012!!! Whahhoo!

This just has me floored and tickled and oh so excited. Vermont Quilt Festival!

It's that same wonderful feeling of realizing I can ride a two-wheeler! Look Mom, no hands! :cD I can do it!

It's not too early to start planning for Vermont in June of 2012....if you've always wanted to come, start saving now. We are going to have a BALL!

Friday, March 19, 2010

What Has Possessed Me?!?

Bonus Triangles. That's what!

I have a huge box of bonus triangles to trim up...and I've put it off and put it off, but you know how it goes...eventually they niggle at me enough that I have to put them into something.

I spent yesterday afternoon with the Lifetime Movie Network on "True Story Thursday" and squared, de-dog-earred, pressed, and started piecing this border together. It's what I call an "EXTREME" border, but I am loving how it is going to turn out.

The hard part? I'm not sure how it's going to turn the corners....I'm just going on it and I figure I'll deal with it when I get there. Maybe not the smartest move, but there you have it. I'll piece it longer that the quilt center, and then figure what I need to do as far as spacer border to build up the quilt center to make my pieced border fit. Sound insane? probably.

The issue is...it's an on point quilt center (Can't show it to you yet! It's for next book! Nanananana!) SO to get the math right, I figured out that the border needs to be an on-point setting too, as this is. So...we will see how it works out!

I'm wishing I had been leader/endering this all along! AND...I am hoping it really helps deplete all these bonus squares that have added up over various projects (not to mention being gifted to me by students who didn't want to be bothered with them LOL!)

It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside. This afternoon I'd really like to take one of the dogs down to Salem Lake and walk/jog/hike the trails around the lake. I'm thinking it will be even busier down there tomorrow with everyone wanting to catch some rays and air, and I leave early Sunday morning for Michigan, so it's today or bust....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunch, Mashers, & Molesters??

Yes, I know this is a picture of "Aunt Bee" and I put her here for a reason!

You know how they have told us all our lives not to judge a book by its cover? The same goes for quilters...no matter what age we are...you just can't judge it, it may surprise you in delightful ways!

I met so many people in Baton Rouge, but I want to share with you the most HILARIOUS out of the blue moment that happened to have the whole room roaring!

I wish I could introduce you to Mary Kate. A delightful southern lady, quite proper, warm, easy with a smile, fun to talk to, and really, it would be easy to judge her as someone reserved and proper. Her age was timeless to me, but I'm thinking she could be anywhere from late 70's to early 80s if a day.

I asked her how long her hair was when it was unpinned, as she wore it in a very "Aunt Bee" style bun. As I age, I have imagined myself quite the same way.....letting my hair go its own natural grey, and just winding it up at the back of my head and pinning it, rather than going fashionably short and/or permed in an "old lady" style. I smiled with delight when she said she could sit on the ends of it when it is unwound, and I imagined her brushing it in the evenings before bed. Just lovely.

Now..imagine me....with my little speech as we were getting ready to go to lunch "Ladies, it's lunch time, and you are welcome to stay or go. Our lunch break will go from 11:30 until 1pm. If you stay, there needs to be at least 2 people left in the room for your safety, so if you are the only one left, you need to go too..." (These were there symposium rules, not mine.)

Mary Kate got this look on her face and said...."What if I don't want to go? Doesn't anyone trust me to stay here? They think I'm going to steal something?"

We explained that it was for her own safety, that what if some man came in to MOLEST her??

And....here it comes....She got this DELIGHTED look on her face.....spread a big wide grin with eyes twinking....waggled her eyebrows and said "OOOOOOOOOHHHH....REEEEAAALLLLY??????" Like it was the best idea she had heard of in a long time....LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!

All at once she had turned from Aunt Bee into Blanche Devereaux of The Golden Girls! LOL!

We just all cracked up laughing...it was a real depends moment. And I knew right then and there that there was no age difference between Mary Kate and myself. No matter the age of the packaging, we are the same silly girls inside that we have been at EVERY age.

This will have me laughing for a LONG LONG TIME!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lunch Bunch

If you are on our Quiltville facebook fan page, you've already seen this pic...but I'm posting it here anyway!

Lisa and Karen and I had the most FUN lunch at Mooney's Mediterranean Grill!

I showed up first...sat at an outside table waiting for the others to arrive. It was a bit chilly, but a good place to wait. And a few minutes later, here came Lisa...I saw her a block away...she was wearing the exact same shade of green as me! How funny!

Lisa ran off inside the restaurant and I stayed to wait for Karen...and...who is that walking up the block....in the EXACT SAME SHADE OF GREEN as Lisa and me? LOL!

We couldn't have planned it better, and we laughed even more when we walked inside only to see that the walls inside the restaurant were painted the same shade of pea green! You know that commercial where the lady with depression is disapearing into her sofa? This was the happy version...I imagined a picture of us against that wall, and nothing but our faces and hands really visible. So Karen pulled out her camera and we got an employee to snap a picture of us...don't we just look so Decorator Enhanced? :cD

Lunch was amazing...I fell in love with Falafel sandwiches in Paris, and who would guess that there are really good ones here in Winston Salem too?

And look at this COOKIE!! We broke it into 3 pieces..and Karen even shared some of her part with the lady at the next table, who was laughing and enjoying our antics too.

I tell ya...silly girlfriends are the best medicine! I love these girls...I can't wait until we can do this again!

Wool or Cotton, Wool or Cotton?!

I've loaded a little crumbs sampler in the quilting machine to quickly machine baste it so I can start hand quilting on it Sunday on my trip to Michigan!

The back is on...pinned to the backing roller and the take up leader. The top is pinned to it's roller....

And I'm sitting here paralyzed by my inability to hurry up and make a decision!

I love hand quilting with hobbs organic, or the quilter's dream cotton in the lightest loft. I also love quilting with the hobbs wool....I just ordered a brand new roll and it isn't even out of its plastic yet.

I don't have any small enough pieces of anything that will fit this quilt..I have to cut a piece from a roll..but the question remains...do I want cotton? OR WOOL!??

I might just have to flip a coin....I love the look of that cotton, and the quilt is big enough that the wool will give it a nice vintage looking loft and the quilting detail shows really well....I JUST CAN'T DECIDE!!

PS.....I decided on the cotton! I love quilting with wool, but I got to thinking that I'm going to be quilting this through the hot months. Have you ever sat in the SOUTH with wool in your lap in August? It ain't pretty... :cD Cotton it is!