Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You call this snow . . .

Once again everyone around us got snow - enough that it really counted. North of us Kelso- Longview schools are closed. Pictures south of Portland show roads in a mess and snow falling. East and west of us too. Those of you who watched the Seahawks-Green Bay game know how hard it was snowing in Seattle.

Here is what we have. I took the pictures now because I leave before it gets light, and if I wait until this afternoon it will be all gone. The cars are across the street at our neighbors, and the third picture is of our lawn. And since this fell while we were sleeping we didn't even get to see it falling. It was just enough to make most of the schools two hours late - including my husband's - but only because the back country roads are probably worse. This is good for those who must commute, but what a disappointment for those of us who always wish for snow - including yours truly.

Since I don't have snow to show I'll post pictures of my treeskirt. We've not yet started decorating - this weekend we will get to it. I made this as a class sample when I taught at Daisy Kingdom, and I've always loved how it turned out.


1. Safe commutes for my family.
2. Hot real oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast
3. An easy day at work today
4. Cozy warm sweaters
5. Hot tea with milk


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Clarification from the last post plus auction info

I need to clarify something from my last post. The pictures are NOT my customer quilt. The customer quilt I did is an oriental fabric bento box quilt in greens, red-oranges, golds and blacks. I've not even taken a picture of it yet - I need to do that. The quilt in the pictures is one of mine from a long time ago.

Cheryl, I have a Proto with the Stitch Wizard, hence the name "Gandalf". Here is the post where I talk about "him". I really love this machine, and recommend it highly. For one thing, it's priced several thousand dollars less than either the APQS or Gammill machines. My rep is fantastic, which is really, really important.

I keep forgetting to report on the Northwest Medical Teams auction. In the end I decided not to go - I was on a roll so I stayed home and sewed. I've not heard final numbers, but the live auction netted about $30,000. The silent auction and other donations usually at least double the figure. The last quilt went for the most - $2200. It was an all-wool quilt made by a group of firemen. They made a video showing how the quilt came to be, which was shown before the bidding for the quilt began. Our quilt, the first one in this post, brought $1000. That's the amount we decided we'd be happy if we got, so we were satisfied, even though we'd hoped for more.

Back to work tomorrow - I need to head to bed!

Done is a good thing!

I still found excuses to delay starting the customer quilt until this afternoon. I discovered that once again Bloglines wasn't informing me of updates, so I made my way around the three rings - Scrap Quilts, Quilt Mavericks, and Quilting 4 Pleasure. Found lots of new posts. I guess I'm going to have to resubscribe to all the blogs that aren't updating. Maybe tomorrow. It was nice to catch up with everyone.

I went upstairs and loaded the quilt about 1:00 or so. I'm happy to report that it is done and looks good. Had a couple minor setbacks in the process - after two years I still have much to learn - but nothing I wasn't able to remedy. I finished about 6:30 so we had a bit of a late dinner but that's OK - Fred wasn't hungry anyway. The sweetie is now finishing cleaning the kitchen, and I'm heading upstairs to clean up the longarm room. I might as well load the next customer quilt while I'm up there - should help me procrastinate less with that one.

Back to work tomorrow - what a wonderful vacation! Eye candy today is a quilt called "Fireworks" from an old Quiltmaker Magazine. I made it for a class sample at Daisy Kingdom in 1992. I've been handquilting it for years. Not that much left - one or two blocks and the sashing and borders - but since I quilt every quilt to death it's taking a long time. I've not touched it for at least 2-3 years - not since the arthritis in my hands made it painful to quilt for more than a couple hours at a stretch. I really need to get back with it and get it finished. You may wonder why I'm quilting the sashing the way I am - well, the rope wasn't wide enough and I hate to quilt in the ditch, so this is what I started to do. It looks a bit silly to me now, but it is what it is and that's OK.


1. Thanksgiving leftovers
2. Soothing, restful, emotion-filled music by Kitaro
3. King Tut thread
4. Squizzers
5. Good health for both of us


Saturday, November 25, 2006

I have no self discipline

When it comes to my quilting. It's a good thing I don't depend on an income from quilting to pay our bills. On the other hand if I did I might be able to find the self discipline. Instead of going upstairs and quilting a customer quilt I decided to clean the sewing room first. It wasn't very messy at all so I figured it would take little time. All was done, and the few triangles I'd cut for the border for Somebody's Home were sitting there waiting, as were a few pieces of fabric I'd left out for the border. I was in the middle of watching an old Masterpiece Theatre presentation that is 15 episodes long - Jewel in the Crown. So I put my best intentions aside and started the border. After all, I still have all day tomorrow to do the quilting. It took me the rest of the day today, but I finished the border about the same time I finished the last episode. It's a grand feeling - finishing another top and crossing another UFT (unfinished top) of my list. I really do like how this turned out - I think the border adds a great deal.

No more excuses tomorrow - I'll be up early and upstairs quilting. As soon as I finish cleaning the sewing room. Shouldn't take too long to put the fabrics away that currently clutter the cutting table. I really mean it this time - there isn't another project out to distract me. Besides, I need the paycheck from that quilt because my trip to Schenck's depleted my business account. Nothing like money to motivate one!

What a lovely vacation

I'm having such a wonderful break from work!

First thing on Wednesday I headed to Portland to E.E.Schenck's, a fabric and sewing essentials wholesale warehouse where I get my batting, much of my longarm thread and other stuff. They open at 7:30 so I left early - totally forgetting I'd hit rush hour on the freeway. I think I could have slept in another hour and gotten there at the same time I did! I needed to pick up a 30 yard roll of batting for the military quilts my Tangled Threads group is working on. The son of one of our members is currently in Iraq as part of a tank company, so we are making quilts for the men in his platoon. I needed to buy more than that to meet my minimum so I HAD to browse a bit - of course! I found three new quilt books, four new patterns, several cones of longarm thread plus some new threads to try for piecing. I don't know why I worry about meeting the minimum - I was easily $75 over!

Wednesday was pouring rain and Fred couldn't golf, so we went shopping after I returned from Schenck's. We decided to spend the money that was piling up in our entertainment savings - we hardly ever go out anymore it seems - on an Ipod. We'd both been thinking about getting one - and neither of us realized the other had been thinking about it until Fred said he might ask for one for Christmas. This is better - this way it belongs to both of us. So we started at Best Buy and came home with an 80 GB Ipod. He's been totally occupied transferring our music CD's ever since - he's completed the classical and now is working on Christmas music. From there we went to Barnes and Noble so he could spend the gift card I got him for his birthday, then on to Costco for food and more. It was nice spending the morning with him like that - we've not done that for a long time!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. A relaxing morning with Fred on the computer and me piecing. We headed to my friend Kim's house for dinner about 2:30 or so. (Kim is the Tangled Thread whose son is in Iraq.) There were eight of us - three Threads and our husbands, the sister of one Thread and her friend that we'd not met before. Kim is an incredible cook and worked for two days on the gourmet dinner she served us. Good company, good conversation, wonderful food - what more could one ask for!

Yesterday was our Thanksgiving with our kids - they all spent Thursday with their spouses' families. I did an easy meal - lasagna, green salad and garlic French bread so I was able to do most of the prep before they arrived. They all got here about 1:00 or so, and we had a marvelous time playing with the dogs, chatting and playing lots of games. I've learned that the date of a holiday isn't all that important - if I can't have them all here on the holiday itself it's not a problem as long as we pick another day to celebrate. The important thing is doing it - the date really isn't important.

I've also been getting in some quilting - of course! I finished piecing the blocks for the current installment of my Jan Patek mystery quilt, so I'm all caught up with that. I also pieced blocks from the current installment of Heirloom Stitches and started prepping the appliqué. Ran into a bit of a snag with that. One block is a basket with a pieced bottom anand appliquéd handle and flowers - and the piece of fabric included for the handle was WAY too small. I can do some of the stitching, but since the handle must go on before two of the flowers I'll be stalled part way through. The kit for the other block, which is all appliqué, is missing all the green fabrics for the leaves and stems - which must be done before anything else on that block. So I'm at a standstill with that one too until the online shop sends me the missing fabrics and a replacement for the handle fabric.

While I was pinning the Heirloom Stitches blocks back up onto the design wall I discovered a mistake in a block I pieced several months ago. I can't believe I've not noticed it until now! It's definitely staying the way it is - if it took me this long to notice it then I don't think it matters. I wondered how many of you spotted it when I posted the block the first time, and were just too polite to say anything? How many of you can spot the mistake now? It's the blue, red, gold and green block.

I'm heading out for a haircut soon, then need to spend the rest of the day upstairs with Gandalf. I have a customer quilt to deliver on Tuesday, and another one needing special custom quilting that is due by the second week of December. So my own quilting will be taking a backseat the rest of this weekend. At least I did make a little progress on my November goals - though it's evident now that many of them will move on to being December goals. That's OK - I finished other things I didn't plan on working on, and that is a good thing!


1. Family holiday gatherings
2. Chelsea's pregnancy progressing nicely
3. Tangled Threads friends
4. A relaxing vacation
5. A break in the rain so my hubby can play the golf he so loves


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Joining the hair-pulling crowd

And here we all thought bloglines was such a great thing. It saved us so much blog reading time because we knew whose blogs to read when. That's just fine and dandy - when it works. I think it was sometime on Sunday that it finally occurred to me that bloglines must have stopped working. Finally the "plumber" arrived to confirm our suspicions. And I still think it's not fixed. I spend yesterday and today clicking on every one of my registered blogs - 158 of them! - and found lots and lots of posts that I didn't know about. Hopefully I've caught up with all of you. I tried to leave comments for many of you, but I'm sure I missed some. I guess the silver lining in all this is that I was able to delete a few - blogs that hadn't been updated for at least two months, and blogs I "tried on for size" and learned they weren't "my cup of tea". (How's that for overdoing the use of trite expressions?) I sure hope the "plumber" gets the bloglines fixed before long!

In the meantime, I'm counting the minutes I can leave work and be free for 5+ days. About 55 now - and counting.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Center completed

I've completed the center of the Country Threads pattern "Somebody's Home". I love how this turned out! I chose the fabrics quickly, just pulling here and there from my stash, and I think they worked out well. I especially love the section of four patches with appliquéd stars - all made from plaids. Of course I'm partial to plaids! I love the folk art tree - certainly not like any tree you could name but effective nevertheless. To me it looks like the wind is blowing through the branches, tossing them hither and yon. The pineapple if pretty plain, but quilting it in a diamond grid crisscrossing the fruit should bring it to life nicely.

I'd love to keep going on the border, but it's time I put away the sewing for awhile and accomplished some other things. I know I have baskets of laundry needing done and eventually a dinner needing to be fixed. I need to mix up some tuna and some chicken salad so we have something to make sandwiches from this week. I have some clutter here and there to clean up. Sheets need to go in the dryer so I can make the bed.

That's OK - I know I've got plenty of time coming up this next week for stitching. And I'll feel much better with all the other jobs out of the way.

Gratitudes for today:

1. Hot apple cider with cloves and cinnamon sticks.
2. Low fat bacon from the butcher for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for dinner.
3. Our rain is back, but it's falling in the mountains as snow
4. TV series on DVD that we can borrow from our kids - currently watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Season 1
5. Beautiful, fresh red leaf lettuce


Saturday, November 18, 2006

2006 Goals

I don't imagine anyone has noticed - unless you are paying more attention that I figure you probably are - but as this year has progressed I've deleted one 2006 quilting goal after another. I started out with four, then three, then two and now just one. I don't even remember what #4 was I crossed it off so long ago - knowing within the first couple months of the year that it wasn't going to happen. Goal #3 - use up more fabric that I bought - stayed up a little longer but not much. Just wasn't going to happen - especially with me concentrating on UFO's. Goal #2 involved making at least 4 completed tops from sets of friendship blocks. I did complete one, but I know that's going to be it for this year. I'm not going to work on any of the others until next year. So I figured one was certainly better than none, so I deleted that goal a few minutes ago. That leaves only one goal - the goal that was the most important of all - and one that I've achieved. One out of four is better than I've done in the past, so I'm happy. I've decided I like monthly goals better than yearly goals anyway - I plan better for shorter time spans. Of course I've not come close to accomplishing any of my November goals, but I still have a little bit of hope. After all, I'm going to have 5 days off in a row. And it's not a race and it's not REALLY about goals - instead it's about creating something beautiful with my hands, something for us all to enjoy, something I really enjoy doing. It's one of the things that makes my life worthwhile. And that is saying a lot, I think.

Somebody's Home

I have the center of Somebody's Home all ready to finish. I appliquéd the star onto the house block, and stitched the three star blocks together and onto the house block. I made the row of four patches for the other appliquéd stars, and prepped all the other appliqué. I "cheated" on the dog and used my pigma pen to ink in his eye, nose and mouth. If I feel really ambitious later I can still do them with black embroidery thread as the pattern suggests. I wanted to make a dalmation as one of our "granddogs" is a dalmation named "Leia" - after Princess Leia in Star Wars, of course. But I couldn't find anything in my stash that looked like dalmations. I have black dots on white backgrounds, but they are all totally regular in size and pattern and it just didn't look right. So this dog will have to do. All the appliqué pieces are "glued up" and ready for hand work. I finally found a shop with the tiny bottles of Roxanne's glue - the shop in Coos Bay when we were on retreat last month - so I don't have to deal with the long needle-like spout on the big bottle getting clogged up. This is the first time I've used the little bottle and it's great! I'm going to appliqué today while watching Star Trek - Deep Space 9 - Season 1 - borrowed from my kids. Then the Apple Cup this afternoon until I leave for the quilt auction. Right now I'm having a hard time deciding whether to go or not. I'd have to get out of sweats and actually dress, put on makeup, comb my hair, and worst of all - lose the sewing time I'd have this evening. I really want to go, but I really want to stay home too.

I got quite a few questions about the invisible appliqué - I'll write a post about that sometime in the next few days.

Saturday morning

Hmmm . . . I must have another post with this same title, because when I was almost done typing it popped up in the way things do saying "is this what you are wanting to say?" I guess my creative mind is still asleep this morning.

I'm so far behind with blog reading - I apologize to everyone. I've no excuse other than the fact that lately I've just felt driven to be in the sewing room working on UFT's, so I didn't want to waste that urge. I'm going to try to catch up this weekend. Many of you have written several posts that I've not read yet. I decided if I always started with the top of my bloglines list then I'd never catch up to those in the last part of the alphabet, so lately I've been starting on the bottom of the list. Worked all the way up to the "L's" last night, so started at the top of the list again.

Cynthia has been making some marvelous things with orphan blocks lately, including bags. May Britt has shown us a bag she's made with orphan blocks. Orphan blocks are so much fun to play with. Makes me want to make a bunch of blocks, some I've never made before, so I have blocks to play with also. Oh dear - we'd all make much better progress with our UFO's if we could turn off our brain and prevent it from coming up with new ideas while we are working!

When I first started working on UFO's I had many small sets of blocks left over from teaching. I decided I didn't want to make more of any of them so I'd have enough for a quilt top. Some I packaged up and sold at the guild bazaar during the quilt show. Some were combined to make a red, white and blue quilt I use in the summer on the couch. When I had only a few left I decided to try some bags. These were very simple, flat bags with a draw cord at the top. Very easy and quick to make and great little gifts. I had a lot of fun with them, and used up every single spare block I had. It was a great way to deal with UFO's, because I crossed a bunch of them off my list very quickly making these.

Gratitudes for today:

1. Two finished quilt tops this week
2. The fun I'm having working on an old project I've not touched in several years
3. Chocolate pumpkin cake for breakfast (you are a BAD girl Patti!)
4. Our sweet gum lost only three giant limbs in the windstorm
5. The rains have passed for now and it's a beautiful day


Thursday, November 16, 2006

On a roll now . . .

I'm so happy to report that I finished yet another top! This one was easy to finish - I completed the appliqué some time ago. I can't remember just when, and I'm too lazy to look up the post - sometime last summer I think. This is a little quilt - about 16" x 22" - designed by René Plains. It's from an old American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I took a half day class from René in 2001 at the same festival where I took the Jo Morton class. René is known for her traditional little quilt patterns, most of which include a cloth doll that "goes" with the quilt. I have quite a few of her patterns, and this is the second I've done. "Little Wren" is also a René Plains pattern - that's what I call the next to last quilt in this post.

The only part of this quilt that I had left to complete was the bottom border of squares and four patches.occurredcured to me as I looked at the piece that I didn't need to pull a bunch of fabrics from my stash to cut what I needed. I have a large plastic shoebox full of 2 1/2" pieces, and lots and lots of 1 1/2" strips that could easily have 1 1/2" squares cut from them. So I did some digging, chose quickly, and had it all finished before I had to start dinner. I probably would have chdifferenternet fabrics I if I'd pulled from the stash and put a lot more thought into it - but I think it's good in a way that I didn't. This makes the bottom border much more spontaneous, and it still fits well with the rest of the piece.

I love the design of this little quilt because it is such a great example of folk art. Where else would you see such a huge bouquet arranged in such a tiny little pot? That's a trademark of folk art - sizes that don't relate to each other - like a crow almost as big as a house perched on the roof. I was just learning about folk art when I took the class and, as in the Jo Morton project, I would have chosen much different fabrics today. I now prefer a much greater variety of fabrics for the appliqué. I like this design well enough that I just might do it again one of these days.

I took a look at the goals for November that I listed on my sidebar, and discovered I've hardly worked on a single one of them and the month is half over. I decided that's OK because I've still been working - it's just that other projects have been calling to me.

I've taken out another UFT to work on - an old Country Threads pattern called "Somebody's Home". I started this in a class at Country Dry Goods in Canby Oregon - another of my favorite quilt shops. I did the house using invisible machine appliqué - the freezer paper and glue stick method. I used DMC machine embroidery thread on the top and the narrowest blanket stitch my machine will do. I tricked the machine by using the double needle setting with a single needle - which makes a stitch only half as wide as the narrowest stitch. The stitches are virtually invisible - one must look really closely and know what one is looking for in order to see them. I'll finish it with hand appliqué just because I need a good carry along project rather than a "sit at the machine" project. I still need to appliqué a star in the night sky, then below the house are blocks with more stars, a pineapple (for hospitality) a spotted dog and a tree. Scrappy borders go all around the finished piece - flying geese on the left, squares and four patches on the bottom, half square triangle squares on the right and a mix of all three on the top. I think this will be lots of fun to finish, and it shouldn't take all that long. I'm hoping I can have the top done by Sunday night.

I'm really looking forward to next week. I working only Monday and Tuesday, then I have 5 days off in a row. We're having Thanksgiving dinner at the home of one of my Tangled Threads friends, then the kids are all coming here for dinner and games on Friday. I should make great progress on my November goals during that time, as well as quilting the two customer quilts waiting for my attention.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A finish!

I'm very happy to say that I got the final borders stitched onto "Emma's Quilt" tonight. I used a very old microdot - anyone remember those from the 80's? - that matched perfectly. And there is just enough left for the backing. Moving stash - no matter that it's only one piece - is a good thing! Actually I finished up another piece making the pinwheels. This is a Jo Morton pattern - you can see her version of the quilt in this post from last February. I showed many of her quilts and talked about the classes I took from her in three of my early blog postings.

I also made very good progress on the other little quilt that I'd hoped to finish last weekend. I have one pieced border left, plus three little wool stars to appliqué onto the border. That top should be finished by bedtime on Thursday evening. When it's done I'll have crossed twelve unfinished tops off my list - two more than my goal for his year. What a great feeling that is!


1. Dryer weather and snow instead of rain in the mountains.
2. A completed quilt top
3. Cortisone shots and medicine for our dog Shadow
4. Spices for mulled cider with a shot of rum
5. 50% off complete framing orders at Michael's



Norma commented that she loved the comment "Abandoned" on my side bar. The name just seems to fit some of my UFO's. When I take a class I am usually focused on learning the "process". The fabrics I choose to take to class seem to always be the wrong fabrics when I get started - I'm sure many of you know that feeling! I want to leave a class having learned a new technique, a new way of looking at texture and color, or some other new "thing" to contribute to my quilting knowledge. The class project is simply a means to this end - at least for me.

Years ago I went to a wonderful retreat called "Quilting by the Sound" held in Port Townsend, Washington. It was a huge retreat with many nationally recognized teachers to choose from, and was held every year. All of us from my little Tangled Threads group went and had a marvelous time. My friend Kathi and I took a four day appliqué class from Mary Sorenson. We were to learn appliqué on dark backgrounds and something else I can't remember. We had a great time - which was the most important thing.

This appliqué project from that class has matured in my sewing room for over 10 years. I've now decided to abandon it. I've used very few fabrics here, and can recycle the black background into my scrap box. Little is lost this way. This isn't the type of appliqué I do any more, and I don't know what I'd do with it if I finished it. Make a pillow? Not the right colors for anyone I know. Use it for a round robin center? Nope - I don't want to work in these colors. So I've come to this decision.

How many UFO's do you have that really need to be abandoned and recycled? Each time I make a decision to do this I get a very freeing feeling. My quilting time is limited - I want to work only on things I enjoy and love. Something hardly started like this I abandon - something farther along gets donated to charity. What is lurking in your sewing room that needs to be abandoned, passed along, or given to charity? Try it - you'll love the feeling of freedom it gives you.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nearly finished UFT

I so much wanted to finish a UFT today. It's been a LONG time since I could cross another UFT off my list. The last one I crossed off was Broken Dishes, which didn't count as much in my mind since I'd started that quilt this year. As usual, however, things took longer than I thought they would - things called pinwheels and flying geese. So in spite of the fact that I read no blogs today and spent almost no time on the computer, I'm one border shy of finishing. That's OK, I can be satisfied with that. The last border is a Plain Jane border - to steal the term from my pre-1830's medallion instructor. It's supposed to be the same fabric as the pinwheels but I don't have nearly enough left. Tomorrow I'll dig through my stash and find something else suitable - I know there's something there I can use. So tomorrow night I should be able to cross this one off the list.

I got in another customer quilt - a small one that is to have an all-over pattern. I thought I'd get it done today but when I got up I knew I needed today for myself. We had a marvelous time with all our kids yesterday - it was so great to see them together - and it left no time for sewing. The German chocolate cake was marvelous as was the dinner - if I do say so myself. Next weekend will be a completely quilty weekend, including the Northwest Medical Teams Quilt Auction starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. I'll looking forward to that. It's always great fun, even though the bidding always goes higher than our budget will allow.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You all know how it can go . . .

I didn't get nearly as much done yesterday as I'd hoped. Funny how there can be so many errands needing to be run when one has an unexpected day off work. I was over in Portland at the butchers by 9:02 - they open at 9:00 - and my number was 16. They are a family owned business that's been in Portland for years and years, and they have the best meat around. Luckily they are staffed well and the wait is never all that long. I wanted a really nice roast for dinner tonight - I decided to do Fred's belated birthday dinner here instead of going out. We've not had a dinner here with all our kids together for months and months. I stopped at the bakery on the way back to pick up his cake - he requested German Chocolate. Got home about 10:00, which gave me time to put all the meat I bought away in the freezer and round up the dog to get him to Battle Ground for his "beauty" appointment at 10:00. While he was getting all spiffed up I visited the Primitive Thimble quilt shop. This is only the third time I've been there - last time I spent almost $300! I was SO proud of myself this time. I hardly looked at fabrics at all. It would have been much harder to be good if she'd gotten in the new things from market but she hadn't. So I bought the fat quarter of gold hand dyed felted wool I needed for one project, and a fat quarter of dark navy plaid I needed for another project, a new apron pattern for making gifts and that was it! I drove back to the groomers and sat in the parking lot reading until Shadow was finished.

In the afternoon I managed to make out a shopping list for the grocery store before I succumbed to tiredness. Fred did the shopping and I took a nap. I NEVER nap but just couldn't keep my eyes open. (Thank you, Shadow, for letting us know it was time to get up - at 4:20 a.m., even though I'd read until 11:00 p.m.!) He awakened me when he got home so I didn't have the horrible groggy feeling I usually get because I tend to sleep too long. Finally had a chance to get to the sewing room about 3:00 or so.

I finished the appliqué on another UFO at quilt camp last weekend, so I thought I could get the top finished. I guess way back when I started this I didn't know I needed to cut the background at least an extra inch bigger for "appliqué shrinkage". When I measured it to trim it to size it was too small!!!! I would have just readjusted the borders but they were already partially cut out and pieced! I started this piece in an all-day class with Jo Morton about 4 years ago. The morning was spent learning the starch and template method of invisible appliqué (I hated it! - I took it out and did it all needleturn) and the afternoon learning piecing tricks while starting the borders. So I had to stitch an extra 1 1/4" strip all around the outside, then trim it to size, trimming all the seam allowances to 1/8" so they wouldn't overlap. Considering everything it doesn't look too bad. I need to piece the rest of the pinwheels and then piece lots more flying geese. The outside border is supposed to be the same fabric as the pinwheels but I don't have enough, so I'll have to find something else.

I can sure tell how much I've learned about choosing and mixing fabrics for folk art and primitive. This quilt has a very limited number of fabrics, and it just looks funny to me. If I were to make it today I'd probably use at least four times as many fabrics as I did. This looks OK, but additional variety would make it look so much richer. I'm not going to have time to sew today, but hopefully tomorrow I can get this finished.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

More fun quilty questions . . . and answers

Shelina is tossing more of these fun MEME questions our way - thanks Shelina!

106 thrown away a quilt
107 made a quilt using 30s fabric - it's still a top, but is all ready to quilt
108 made a quilt using reproduction fabric - it's still a top, but is all ready to quilt
109 given an unfinished quilt to someone as a gift - my son-in-law's sister received her baby quilt at her shower - in block form. By the time the baby was born it was finished.
110 finished a quilt more than two years after the due date - anniversary, birth day, etc.
111 purchased all fabric in a particular fabric line - first I blame the Moda fat quarter bundles, then the Moda tin boxes with charm squares and a pattern on a disk, then their bundled charm square sets. I can hardly wait to buy Moda's new Jelly Rolls - 2 1/2" strips of every fabric in a line. What a great way to satisfy the need to own without breaking the bank! :-)

112 gotten an autograph from a quilter - including my prized copy of Spoken Without A Word, Elly Sienkievicz's first Baltimore quilt book, which now goes on Ebay for over $350. I've been lucky enough to take several classes with Elly - our guild is large enough that it brings in several nationally known teachers every year
113 sold a quilt on ebay
114 purchased an antique quilt - I only wish I could afford to
115 purchased a quilt on eBay
116 joined a UFO challenge group - on the Stashbuster Yahoo Group list
117 won a door prize at a quilt show - I think it was a t-shirt
118 had one of your quilts auctioned - I've donated finished quilts to the Northwest Medical Teams auction for the last four years
119 gone to a quilt shop and not purchased a single thing - last summer when my family gave me 10 minutes tops to look in a shop while we were on vacation. I made up for it when I was there on retreat last month

Questions and answers:

120 how old is your oldest UFO - according to my UFO chart I have a set of friendship blocks to set together that I received in 1988 - so that's 18 years.
121 how long did you let your oldest UFO sit before you completed it - in 2005 I quilted a top I finished in 1992 - that looks like the longest time span, at least since I started keeping track
122 what is your biggest fabric purchase - over $700 at the end of a 4-day retreat in the basement of my favorite fabric shop - Momma Made It in Longview WA
123 what is the farthest distance you traveled to go to a quilt store/ retreat/ convention? I went from Vancouver Washington to Houston Texas for the Quilt Festival in 1992 - I've no idea how far that is other than saying it was a 6 hour plane trip with a stopover in Dallas
124 how much total time did you spend on quilting activities in the last 12 months? Way too much to count - every minute I possibly could.
125 what does the quilting world need that it doesn't have? A self sharpening rotary cutter blade that never dulls.
126 what is your favorite part about quilting? Playing with all the wonderful fabrics.
127 what is your least liked part about quilting? Basting for hand quilting.
128 if the quilting fairies come to visit your house, what would you want them to do for you? Turn all my UFT's into finished tops.

129 what is the longest time you have worked on quilting activities in one stretch? Dawn to dark on a single day - 5 days in a row at a retreat without sleeping all that much.
130 have you ever made a quilt in one day? How big was it? A miniature about 6" x 9" - the flying geese miniature shown
here .
131 In terms of the stereotypical quilter, how are you the same? I have a big stash.
132 In terms of the stereotypical quilter, how are you different? I prefer much more intricate piecing and my quilts are much scrappier than most quilters of today.
133 If you had more time, what quilting thing would you do that you aren't doing already? Finish all my UFO's, PIGS, and HSY's.
134 If you won the lottery, and had to spend it all one quilting thing, what would you get? A new studio.
135 If you lost the lottery, and had to give up everything but one thing, what would you keep? My family - they are more important than any thing.

Just checking in . . .

for a few minutes before I get back to work. I'm sitting at the computer munching on a red delicious apple - from Washington, of course - and looking at pictures of the flood devastation. Rainfall records were broken all over the Northwest in the last few days, with as much as 30" of rain falling on parts of the Cascade mountains in 24 hours. I watched a video showing one couple's dream home that was almost finished - they were due to move in three weeks from now. Three days the river was over 70 feet away. This morning part of the ground floor was flooded, their vehicles were trapped in the garage, the foundation was washing away, and the house and vehicles are expected to be gone in the next 24-48 hours. In three days the river changed course and completely demolished the new retaining wall before reaching the house.

We have been safe and relatively comfortable here in Vancouver, receiving ONLY 2"-3" of rain in a 24 hour period from Monday to Tuesday. The road I drove back and forth to the retreat last weekend closed Tuesday. At 7:30 this morning there was an incredible rainbow arching over the Safeway across the street from our Operations Center - I was headed to the Starbucks there for coffee. There is sunshine coming through the west window of my office and blue sky is everywhere. Unfortunately this is only a short break - even worse rains are expected to arrive tonight and tomorrow. Roads to Mt. Hood are washed out, and Mt. Rainier National Park is completely closed due to road damage. Coastal highways are closed from mudslides. I pray the people in the worst areas remain safe, and follow evacuation orders without question.

Since the credit union is normally open on Saturday our "official" holiday is Saturday. Those of us who work Monday through Friday receive a "floating holiday". I'm taking mine tomorrow, and will spend the day quilting. I can hardly wait! Hopefully I'll have a lot of good progress on various projects to share with you tomorrow night.


1. Peppermint Mochas are back!
2. Sunshine coming through my window
3. My 20 1/2" square Creative Grids ruler - makes cutting appliqué backgrounds a snap
4. A hardworking, valuable partner in my department at work
5. People, for once, are driving safely and wisely in the torrential downpours we've been having


Monday, November 6, 2006

Retreat show and tell

The landing was the perfect spot for displaying the large show and tell quilts. Unfortunately show and tell was Saturday night, and the flash wasn't really adequate for the pictures. I tried using a longer exposure but just couldn't hold my hands steady long enough to prevent blurring.

You may recognize the first picture - the quilt for the auction to benefit Northwest Medical Teams - all done except for gold cording on all the fans. I sure hope it brings a good price - we certainly worked hard enough on it!

More pictures from retreat

We were a very busy bunch!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Quilt Camp 2006

We all had a wonderful time at Quilt Camp. This was sponsored by our little guild, North Star Quilters. The camp was held in Minthorn Lodge at Lewis River Campground, a church camp about 30 minutes away. There were 19 of us attending. The committee did an incredible job as usual. Every time we turned around there was another something special for each of us. Even if one doesn't win any of the great door prizes one still goes away with lots and lots of goodies.

The theme this year was Winter Wonderland. We were greeted with felted wool mitten name tags to hang around our neck. Inside was a great little pair of scissors, and the tag read "Cold Hands Warm Heart". There was also a red ticket tucked inside the mitten. We were told we'd learn at dinner what the tickets were for.

The building is a pretty typical lodge. The "great room" has a very high sloping ceiling with stairs going up to the bedrooms. A landing that looks over the "great room". Tables were set up in much of this room for sewing machines, with three couches and a big chair around the edge of the room for hand stitchers. This year - just as last year - I spent much of my time in the big chair in the corner, with my pendant lamp around my neck, happily appliquéing away. Thoughtful Donna, one of the camp organizers, brought a sheet to drape all over my chair so I wouldn't keep losing my scissors and thimble down the side of the chair as I had last year. At each place was a flannel wrapped bottle of water with another ticket - how thoughtful of them! My favorite color is red, and the bottle by my chair was wrapped in red, white and blackplaid flannel - perfect!

The dining room tables were wonderfully decorated - sure wish the centerpieces had been door prizes! The piano was pushed to the side and held the six "red ticket" door prizes. All weekend red tickets were passed out for various reasons - a particularly clever comment, good progress on a project, a great "friendly insult", etc. There were also quilty quiz questions before each meal. A bell on each table was wrung by those wanting to answer the question. The first person who rang the bell got a chance to answer. If she was right she won tickets for everyone sitting at her table. You get the idea - the hostesses were passing tickets out to people for any excuse they could think of. We wrote our name on each ticket, then tossed it in the basket beside the door prize we wanted to win. We could put them all in one basket or spread them out between two or more baskets. The drawing was after breakfast Sunday morning. I put all my tickets in the top three baskets but didn't win anything. They also drew one of our names out of the little snowman box before each meal, with a quilty book being the prize.

Lots and lots of sewing was done. Some ladies were focused and quiet, but many spent as much time checking out others' work as they did working on their own projects. I took pictures from on the landing to give you an idea of how the workspace looked. You can see my chair in the back left corner. Joann, our oldest member at 71, was in the chair to the right of my chair. She was big stitching a baby quilt. In front of the chairs you can see the cutting table. Pressing tables were at the other end next to the staircase and in the dining room. The couch on the left served as the work area for those of us doing the final appliqué on the Northwest Medical Team auction quilt. I've included a picture someone took with my camera - at least they could have told me to get dressed first! My friend Liz and I worked on the quilt all Friday evening and most of the day Saturday. In the picture I'm adding lily of the valley flowers to the bottom border and Liz is stitching plum flower buds onto the top border.

Camp was catered by a singing chef named Joe and his mother Dottie. Their family - aunts, uncles, parents, and Joe's four brothers are all in the restaurant and catering business. We had very fancy meals! Joe also was quite a character - flirting and joking with all the ladies, giving impromptu back rubs and serenading us while we ate. He said he had to be good because his mother would report back to his wife - I wondered how he'd behave if his mother hadn't been there! Here is Cleo, a past president and chair of Quilt Pink, who was serenaded at Saturday breakfast.

We sat wherever we wanted to for Friday dinner, but after that we had to draw from a basket to see where we were to sit. We matched things like candy bars, packs of gum, playing cards, coasters and refrigerator magnets. This was a great way to mix us up and help us get to know other people better - especially since three of the attendees are were friends of guild members and strangers to some of us. Each time we came downstairs in the morning or returned to the workroom after a meal we found something fun at our work station. Saturday morning was a cute heart shaped needle keeper of wool felt. After Saturday dinner we found cute little wool socks stuffed with mixed nuts. Sunday morning we had snowman ornaments at our breakfast places. Scissors fobs were waiting for us after Saturday lunch. The entire committee spoiled us rotten. They got very little sleep because they got up really early to play "santa". They couldn't do it after everyone went to bed, because each night - or should I say morning? - someone stayed up until after 4:00 a.m.! Most of the committee ladies got about 3 hours of sleep each night - I don't know how they managed!

We had one planned activity and one unplanned activity. We were all told to bring 5-10 $1 bills and a fat quarter of homespun or Thimbleberries fabric. Saturday night's after dinner activity was making a layered Chocolate Pumpkin Cake mix in a jar, and decorating the lid with the fabric. I can't wait to try the recipe! These would make great gifts. The unplanned activity involved the money - which was for tips for Joe. Normally tips would have been covered in our registration fee, but the planned caterer dropped out just a month before camp, and Joe was somewhat more expensive.All weekend we were to put our tips in a huge brandy snifter that sat next to the door prizes. One of the organizers brought 3 books on folding money, so we had fun folding all the dollar bills for Joe' tips. He really had to work for this money, as every single bill was folded into something. There were trees, frogs, flowers, bow ties, other animals and other objects. One lady folded a whole bunch of bills into a chain the way we'd chained gum wrappers years ago when we were in school. I folded four of mine into what my mom called "cat stairs". That was the most interesting container of tips I'd ever seen!

Everyone accomplished a lot and had a wonderful time. I'll save show and tell pictures for another post.


1. Quilt camp friends
2. Northwest Medical Teams quilt is finished and out of my house!
3. Coming home to my waiting husband
4. Pumpkin Spice coffeemate
5. Bongo bars for Friday dessert