Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween everyone!

Seems like life is rushing by faster and faster every day. I have no real excuse for not posting sooner - I'm just having a challenge getting back into routines after having so much time off work - first for my shoulder and then at retreat.

The shoulder is getting better each day. Feels great a lot of the time but then hurts when I do the exercises the physical therapist gave me to do. I sewed quite a bit this weekend and by evening it hurt also, but was OK the next day. I've not tried longarming yet - I'm waiting to see what my doctor says this afternoon and the physical therapist says on Friday.

We received marvelous news yesterday - the best possible. Our daughter and son-in-law received word that their paperwork has passed out of the Guatemalan PGN, which means Joseph is now legally their son. It will take 6-8 more weeks for the last paperwork to be done at the US embassy - his passport, his US birth certificate - etc. - and then they can go get him. They will have only a few days warning, so hopefully it will be more like 6 weeks than 8, because 8 weeks goes to Christmas Day. Would probably be hard to get plane reservations that close to Christmas. One way or another we will all be receiving the best Christmas gift we could possibly get. I'm pretty sure I still can't post his picture - I'll do that as soon as I know it's OK.

In the meantime I'm still back to sewing strings. I've doubled the size of the top that I started at retreat. I'm almost finished with another 6 rows - hopefully those will be done by this weekend.

I'm also continuing with my hand quilting. At guild Sew Frenzy last Friday I marked all the borders. I'm now finished with one short border and half finished with the first long border. That one should be a finished project by the end of November. About time - it's been a UFO since the early 1990's!!!

1. A new grandson from Guatemala will arrive before the end of the year
2. Red, yellow, green and orange leaves against a brilliant blue sky
3. An exciting box in Fred's closet for my Christmas gift - I'm sure it contains a design wall!
4. A Tangled Thread friend's son is now out of Iraq
5. Another Tangled Thread friend has a beautiful new grandson

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Busy, busy

Busy, busy day today - hopefull I'll have some time tonight to read and post more.

I guess Eleanor Burns must have sold out of the design walls as my link is now returning an error. Doesn't surprise me - it was a great price. Here is the original website:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Retreat Projects

Note the portable design wall in the first picture. We all fell in love with it. It's supported by lightweight folding metal poles - the same kinds of folding poles that now come with tents. They slip into pockets on each edge of the flannel design wall, then clips hold the corners together. Super easy to put up and take down. By the time all of us had used it during the retreat we all knew we wanted one also. This is the 6'x6' model - it comes in small sizes also. Pam found it online at the designer's website - but Ardis found it on sale here on Eleanor Burns website. I told Fred about it and he's ordered me one for my Christmas present! I can set it up temporarily in the computer room as needed - no more reaching over the ironing board when I need a large design space!

Show and Tell at Retreat

Back from Retreat

I had a marvelous time at the PINS retreat - I always do. It was great to see so many of my PINS friends again. Especially those who've not made it to a retreat in the past year or two.

Jo was a great hostess, and everyone got a lot done. I worked on several projects and am pretty happy with my progress. Jo had tables and cutting and pressing stations spread through the house, so everyone took breaks from sewing to wander around and look at what everyone else was working on. Two new additions to our group were there - Cher from Marathon Quilter and Julie, a sister of Pam and Marcia from the wheat fields of Pomeroy Washington.

I finished the Happy Jack top, finished quilting the sashings on the Fireworks quilt, and sewed 35 string blocks for my next string top. I originally intended for this to be a Chinese Coins quilt, but decided I liked the looks of the strips sewn right next to each other. Gets rid of more strings that way! Unfortunately this didn't seem to make a dent in the box - I can't imagine how many more quilts are there in that box waiting to be born. I'm getting tired of working with strings, however, so after this top is finished I think I'll put them away for awhile.

We had a nice time on Saturday - visiting a couple quilt shops and having lunch out. Both were very lovely shops, and many of the gals found lots of buy. I couldn't believe it - I just wasn't in the mood to buy fabric! I bought a couple yards of a brown, gold and orange homespun to use for a quilt border, a couple quilting stencils, a couple packages of needles, a larger embroidery hoop than the one I have, and that was it. Less than $25! I was so proud of myself!

We ate well - Italian one night, Mexican the next, then lunch out on Saturday then a champagne brunch on Sunday morning. Homemade soup and sandwiches for dinner that night, then Applebee's the last evening. Lots of munchies at Jo's house, plus some marvelous huckleberry wine brought by the Pomeroy girls. Nobody even thought the word "diet" most of the time we were there LOL!

It was hard to come home and head back to work. My shoulder felt pretty good most of the time I was gone, but starting on Thursday it started hurting much worse. I'd increased the number of times I was doing my exercises and I think I might have overdone it. I intended to write this post on Thursday evening but went to bed before 8:00 p.m. instead. I couldn't believe it when I woke up Friday morning - I'd slept almost 12 hours. I did the same thing on
Friday night - lights out before 10:00 p.m. and then discovered it was almost 10:00 a.m. when I got up. Not sure what was going on there - obviously I needed to sleep. I'm not one to stay up sewing a lot at retreats - I got my 8 hours of sleep every night - so it wasn't that. I guess it was just my body's way of dealing with the increased pain. So very frustrating! I'd hoped to try my longarm this weekend but decided that probably wasn't a good idea. So I've been mostly sitting and reading and resting my shoulder.

Enough about that - no one wants to read about my ills. I've put pictures of my projects as well as some of the "quilting times"pictures in this post, and will do another with general retreat pictures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Crumb Chaos blocks

Apparently while I was away at retreat there was a bit of a stir about a photo tutorial I posted in July. This tutorial showed how I made blocks by combining crumbs and strings into an oddball variation on a log cabin block.

I incorrectly attributed this method to a woman who wrote an article published in The American Quilter magazine several years ago. This woman also publishes a pattern under the same name as the title of her article. I have learned that the tutorial I posted doesn't resemble her method. There are differences. Not surprising, considering it has been years since I read the article and I've never seen the pattern. I read the article again approximately one month after my post, and realized that my blocks were made quite differently from hers. She herself has pointed out to me that what I have done is NOT her pattern.

I have removed both her name and the name of her pattern from every post and every comment where it appeared. Since my blocks are done differently I've given them a name. "Crumb Chaos Blocks" fits them perfectly in my opinion. The tutorial on my sidebar is for my "Crumb Chaos Blocks". Please feel free to share this tutorial with whomever you like by sending them a link to my blog. If you have linked to this tutorial anywhere on your blog or a web page, please make sure you refer to it by the name "Crumb Chaos Blocks" instead of it's former name.

I apologize to this woman for the grief I have inadvertently caused her in trying to give her credit for something that is not hers. I also apologize to all the readers who commented on my post who received a communication about my tutorial. I sincerely hope that all problems concerning this have now been resolved.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

All packed!

I am all packed for my fall PINS - Phenomenial Internet Northwest Stitchers - retreat. (Follow this link - PINS - for my first post about this group). This fall our retreat is in Grants Pass, Oregon. I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning - by 7:00 a.m. at the latest. And just like a child on Christmas Eve I'm too excited to go to sleep.

Cher from Marathon Quilter has joined our group and is going to retreat for the first time. This is a good thing for me because I'm still unable to drive very far. I'm picking up Cher in the morning and then she'll drive my CRV as we head south for 4 days of marvelous sewing. Cher is eager to meet this great bunch of gals and I'm eager for them to meet her.

I had an MRI on my shoulder yesterday afternoon but do not have any results yet. I am gaining more range of motion every day and the pain is getting less severe. I do believe I'm starting to heal!

I mailed all the patterns out to the winners yesterday morning so it shouldn't be too long until they arrive. And postage wasn't at all bad either - much less than I thought it might be.

I'll take lots of pictures at the retreat to share when I return. In the meantime have a great quilty weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Congratulations to the winners

This will be short - I need to get ready to head to work.

Mountain Landscape - Kieny
Myomi - Jodie
May Baskets - Judy H.
Four Seasons - Swooze
Sewing paper cuts - Sew Baby
Cat paper cuts - Floss
Double Wedding Ring - Brigette
Bunny Love - Karol Ann
Heart to Heart - Karol Ann
Pumpkin - Clare
Santa - Robin
Amish miniatures - Leslie
1930's miniatures - Mary in Vancouver
1880's miniatures - Kathie
School House miniature and doll - Chook
Stenciled Sampler - May

Looks like I'll be paying a lot of overseas postage LOL!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Drawing postponed

I meant to do the drawing today - I really, really did. However, I got tied up getting ready to head out for my retreat on Friday and time just got away from me. I will do it as soon as I can - hopefully tomorrow afternoon - in the meantime this gives people time to post more comments.

Remember, I won't put your name in the drawing if I don't have your email address. If you don't want to leave it in the comment then email it to me separately. I want to get all the patterns mailed before I leave so I don't have time to wait until folks read my blog in order to learn they have won.

I have an MRI on my shoulder scheduled for late Wednesday afternoon. I'm eager to find out just how much I managed to damage myself.

Asking a favor - non-quilty post

If you've been reading my blog for some time you know that our daughter and son-in-law are in the process of adopting a baby from Guatemala. There is a recent development in Guatemala that could stop all adoptions currently in progress as well as adoptions in the future. This may or may not affect our kids and our grandson-to-be. It depends on whether or not their paperwork is processed quickly enough for them to pick up Joseph before the end of the year.

Even if it doesn't affect them, it affects over 5000 other babies and the families they have been placed with.

Please read the following facts. Then, if you would like to help changed this situation please read "Call to action" that follows.

The President of Guatemala (Berger) is scheduled to sign Guatemala’s accession into the Hague Treaty on December 31, 2007. According to the U.S. Department of State, during a meeting of the international community sponsored by the Hague Permanent Bureau, the Berger administration announced the following:

Announcement by Berger Administration:

As of January 1, 2008, (the date the Hague Convention goes into force in Guatemala), all adoption cases must meet Hague standards. This includes all pending (in-process) adoptions including those filed prior to January 1, 2008. As of January 1, 2008, Guatemala will not process adoptions for non-Hague countries, including the U.S.

(The US is scheduled to sign the Hauge Convention treaty in April.)

Today, Joint Council, one of the oldest and largest child welfare organizations and the lead voice on inter-country children’s services, provided a recommendation (attached) on the situation in Guatemala. Within this statement, the Joint Council strongly urged all adoption agencies to stop Guatemalan referrals effective October 1, 2007 due to the recent announcement by the Berger Administration.

Joint Council Call to Action Plan:

Dear Friends,

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to suspend all intercountry adoption with American families on January 1 2008. Joint Council strongly opposes such a suspension and asks for your support in our efforts to ensure that all children retain the right to permanency through Intercountry Adoption.

President Berger’s plans also call for the suspension of adoptions currently in-process. Such a suspension would be extremely detrimental to the children referred to adoptive parents. If President Berger’s plan is actually implemented, up to 5,000 will unnecessarily remain in foster care or orphanages indefinitely.

This situation represents a pending crisis for the adoptive families who have lovingly chosen to provide permanency, safety and love to a child in need and most importantly a crisis for 5,000 children of Guatemala.

What can you do? Make six simple phone calls and one email.

1. Call your U.S. Senator.
You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

2. Call your second U.S. Senator.

3. Call your representative to the U.S. House of Representative.
You can find your representative at
Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff

4. Call or fax the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues
Their number is 202-736-9130
Their fax number is 202-736-9080

5. Call or fax UNICEF Headquarter
Ask to speak with Ann Veneman, Executive Director
Their number is 212-326-7000
Their fax number is 212-326-7758

6. Call or fax UNICEF Guatemala
Ask to speak with Manuel Manrique
Their number is 011-502-2327-6373
Their fax number is 011-502-2327.6366

7. Send and email supporting Intercountry Adoption to
Write briefly or at length
Joint Council will use the cumulative email petition in our advocacy for Intercountry Adoption

When should you call? Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday (October 8th, 9th 10th)

For maximum affect, we are asking you to make these calls within a 72 hour window!

What should you say? Speak from your heart and give them the following information.

·The Guatemalan government has announced that all adoptions with the U.S. will be suspended on January 1 2008.
· Their announcement also indicated that there will be no ‘grandfathering’ of adoptions already in process.
· If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
· Your office must get involved and sign the CCAI sponsored letters to the President of Guatemala and UNICEF. These letters ask that all adoptions in-process as of January 1 2008 be allowed to processed to completion under the existing notorial laws.
· Your office should contact the Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State. Their number is 202-736-9130.

Can you explain the problem behind the pending crisis? Here is some additional information . . .
· Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents
· Over 5,000 children have been referred
· The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family
·The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children
· The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen


Thank you so much for your willingness to help. We appreciate whatever you feel you are able to do. If you know of others who would be willing to help please pass along this information.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How did this happen?

A few of you have left comments letting me know that my blog is featured in the October issue of British Patchwork and Quilting. I am so honored and surprised, and also very curious as to how this happened. Which one of you readers put a bug in someones ear at the magazine? I'd love to know who to thank.

A huge thank you to Sarah Jayne for sending me a copy of the write up and some other fun goodies as well. What wonderful friends I've made through blogging!

The saying goes that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame sometime in their lives - this must be mine!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ending with four odds and ends

Miniature quilt and bunnies

Asian kimono girl quilt

Paper fold style patterns - one is perfect for cat lovers

More little quilts

Two miniature quilts and a doll pattern.

Stenciled sampler quilt - enclosed designs could also be used for appliqué.

Halloween, Christmas and weddings

I've included my plastic templates with this one. This is a wedding hanging, with space in the hearts for the couples names, wedding date, etc.
I've included my plastic templates with this one also.

Miniatures to give away

Seasonal Wall Hangings

I will be giving these four patterns away as a set - I don't want to break them up. Leave me a comment if you are interested in winning this set. Be sure to leave your email address to get in on the drawing if I can't get your email from your blog profile.