Oct 30, 2008

Oh Look!

Monica! This one's for you. Love this sewing table!! Way to go Kangaroo folks...now all the sewing machine has to do is say "Hello Kitty" and I know M would just be in seventh heaven!!

Oct 18, 2008

Kim Diehl

Kim Diehl,author and quilter extraordinaire (my humble opinion of course!) came to guild this month with her great sense of humor and a wonderful trunk show of quilts mostly from her first book Simple Blessings.

I have admired her quilts since the day I first saw this book, and to say that the beautiful photography doesn't do them justice is saying a lot. Getting to see them up close and to be able to examine the amazing quilting on them was the highlight of the evening. Kim love lots of quilting on her tops and highly quilted they are. They positively dance...I loved them all, and she had LOTS to show!!
The following day, Kim offered a workshop in her invisible machine applique method, and because I am a Kim groupie, I took a "continuing education" day off from work and spent the day eating crow! I will never make light of nylon thread again (granted, it has to be used correctly, but I'll definitely be kinder!). Kim uses the nylon in the top needle and cotton in the bobbin, and a very small zig zag stitch. Amazing results. There are adjustments to be made to tension and the pressure foot but once you get the "magic formula" for your machine there is just no going back. This said by a dyed-in-the-wool hand appliquer! I had a huge bias against nylon thread and was quick to voice it- so yes- I'll eat crow thank you very much. I am thrilled with my block and am in the process of preparing the pieces for the other 3 I need to complete the main part of our project- Country Whig Rose. I see more finished applique in my future. Now this doesn't mean that I'll abandon my handwork, but my To Do list is long, and I see a way to get many of these done now!! Yay...
photo(s) of my block(s) will be posted soon- I have to get my camera dock re-hooked to this laptop. I was also lucky enough to get the last fat quarter pack Kim brought for sale. Her fabric line for Henry Glass is called Country Haven and is just delicious!! I will incorporate bits of it in this project, but am saving most of it-I have to stretch it as far as it can go so it can end up in lots of projects in the future. My quilting mojo has definitely returned. Sure was a long time coming....

Sep 27, 2008

Where I've Been

Seems as if another month has past since my last post. This is getting to be a habit!
But bear with me...I was away for some of the time:

but NO! I wasn't in Paris....but hear it is lovely...

and No that isn't hubby and me in the gondola floating the canals of Venice- although someday I will get to Venice.

and NO...unfortunately no real Pyramids for me- this time around...

but you can see it all in Vegas!

We actually stayed in the Egyptian themed Luxor- not the Pyramid, but the towers. Vegas was incredibly fun. I didn't think I'd have as much fun as I did, but each day was a new experience- and we had plenty of those. The kids all descended upon Vegas with us. It became a big family party and I know that I had a nice time being with them all---melt downs were few and we did a lot! I will have to admit up front that the casino's weren't my thing, so there was no sitting in front of a one -armed (video slots now) bandit, or nonchalantly looking at cards at a poker table, rolling dice,or any other addicting games of chance. Call me a stick in the mud, but I did enjoy the shows, the weather, the spa, the pool, a quilt shop hop and the day trip of a life time...Hoover Dam, Good Ole Route 66 and the Grand Canyon! Walking the south rim and taking in the views of the canyon sure made me feel quite insignificant. Mother nature has a way of carving out such beauty. It was truly amazing.

Now I am home and settled- summer clothes are all put away, fall has made an appearance in the NY weather, and the Yankees have played their last game in the House that Ruth Built. I shed my tear or two and smiled happily as Bernie was there to take his place on the field to chants and thunderous applause..he'd come home for just awhile and the fans loved it! I loved it.

Time to settle in and let work take over. Fall market will be around the corner, quilt shows are everywhere, my guilds are getting into full swing and I feel the need to start nesting. I love the fall....

I have also begun a second blog- I didn't want mix my quilting (and musing) with my new art obsession...altered arts. That will make child #1 happy! She can read my blog here and not be subjected to that "other stuff" (unless of course, I specifically direct her to take a peek!). You can get there from my profile page...I'll be updating it as I get more into some of the swapping and mingling over at Paper Imagery Designs' (http://www.paperimagerydesigns.com/) yahoo group. I'm having a ball. I've also begun card making and will share some of those over there too.

Aug 23, 2008

Long Time No Post....

where has it gone...I woke up and spring had turned into summer and now summer is turning into my favorite time of year..Fall. Well, OK, not just yet. It is still "just" August 23rd, but before one can batt an eye, it will officially be fall.
I love fall..it is my favorite time of year. I hope it brings new mojo with it. I seem to be devoid of mojo lately. No quilting, very little stamping/card making.
Lots of sighing about lost mojo however. Maybe I should put my energies into trying to get creative instead of all this creative sighing?? Hummm...wonder if that will work!
It is a beautiful Saturday here in upstate NY. I've been to the farmer's market at Troy's Riverfront. Oh so yummy...big heads of red leaf lettuce, the cukes, tomatoes and red peppers at one of my favorite stands were just totally outstanding this am.
Got my grain fed beef, a lovely peach tart, 3 loaves of home made bread- the hubby eats them lickety split..even the whole wheat!
Then I treated myself to some early apples and a bouquet of wildflowers. I love these Saturday mornings. Now to enjoy the rest of the quiet...it is a good news/bad news kind of thing...the post teen-aged daughters from across the street have moved into their own apartments, the youngest of the next door family drove off in the packed mini-van with said parents to start her freshman year at college- and the neighborhood is abnormally quiet. NOT for long, I'm sure. The "Rosebuds" are moving in today, and SUNY can't be far behind...so much for the quiet neighborhood moments. We'll be bustling around here in very short order. Oh yes, let me remind myself, I truly do love the fall.

Jul 4, 2008

Taking Advantage of a Quiet Morning

Amazing..here we are half way through the year already. I must have blinked one too many times! But here it is -July 4th in all its glory. As I made a short grocery list, the husband hung out the flag and put up the bunting as I arranged our tall Uncle Sam (carved from wood), his folksy "Let Freedom Ring" plaque at his feet, and hug the tin star on the front siding. I was then ready to go and get the fixin's for the super simple,but simply delicious baked beans so I could put them together before heading off to celebrate with family and friends at the first real picnic of the year.

After all was accomplished, I decided to get creative until departure and worked on my 52 card technique book. Below is what came from my assigned tasks...2 down 7 more to finish. A week away sure sets a girl's schedule back some!

This first card is a "time saving technique". The journaling work was already done by whom ever wrote about (or on) a photo. I chose this one because I just think my dad was a handsome young lad and I love the family photograph with my grandparents. Since there is no evidence of his younger siblings- my twin Aunts, I would imagine he was about 4 years old so that would date the photo to 1929. Photo portraits like this were made to send to relatives in the "old country", and apparently this one was no different. On the back post card side was a note written in Bulgarian. I don't know who wrote it (my grandmother?) nor why it was never sent. The ink identification is in my mother's handwriting.

The back of the card is the technique "recipe" and I decided to embellish it to make it mimic the front. I really enjoyed this technique and will undoubtedly use it more should I find other photos like it with notations on the back.

Our second assignment was an "artful technique". We were to emboss and use acrylic paint resist.

I just loved this stamp set. Very old fashioned. My card is very, very subtle, and I could use some more practice, but all in all I do like the results. Next time, I will use more contrast in the artist card. The inked "giggle" is too close in color to the background card( and really should face the opposite way).I also need to get better at inking the stamp with the clear embossing ink so it doens't smear in in some spots. Can you tell I love to embellish! I just had to add the button and sheer ribbons. girlie--definitely girlie!

Now I should spend some time cleaning off the sewing table, get the machine out of its suitcase and get some quilting done. Maybe by Monday ?? *smile*

I need to retire and become a complete lady of leisure...there are just too many creative ideas floating around my head these days. But alas...not yet!

Off to relax with a movie...Hollywoodland. Hope it is good.

We'll hear the fireworks from downtown in about an hour...maybe the movie should wait. I can do the Boston Pops on TV...after all it is the 4th!!

Jun 30, 2008

Back from Vermont

Well, another year at the Quilt Festival has come and gone, and I did very little quilt related "stuff" at VQF!! Honestly, I did about "this much"...which is on par with just about none....and I had the most fabulous time!
Today I'll share just a little tease- no quilts- but a very wonderful time at the Vermont Wildflower Farm. Nature has a way of calming the soul. The slight winds, the few drops of rain,even the big old bull frogs that I swear were right under my feet at the pond,but wouldn't make any kind of appearance (they just sang their sweet songs to one another).
Here is a peek of early summer in the Meadows. Imagine what late summer (or earlier in the spring) had to offer! I did have photos tagged earlier, but the tags didn't upload. I will have to go through at a later date and add comments. I don't, however, really think Mother Nature needs much in the way of comments!

Vermont Wildflower Farm, June 2008

Jun 24, 2008

Vermont Quilt Festival

Well, it is finally here! Time to pack up and head for Burlington, Vermont and the Vermont Quilt Festival . I can hardly wait for the day to end so I can finish the packing (clothes, that is...the sewing machine and fabric were packed yesterday!) and go over the mental list to make sure I have what I need for my last quilting vacation for this year. St. Michael's college -my beautiful home away from home awaits...

...the quad is always so pretty! Even on a foggy morning. This year I am only taking one class- Piping Hot Piping with Susan Cleveland. Class is all day Thursday, so there will be lots of time to relax and head in and around Burlington. I think I may even search out one of Jo Morton's classes and stick my head in for a look see. I know several people who are taking her class, so I can say Hi, but not be too disruptive, or at least I hope not!

I need to track down Bonnie Blue Quilts and then go say hi to the boys from Woodstock, and I'll be happy. After Paducah, there truly isn't much I need...but Bonnie Blue has such wonderful stuff. I should remember to pull a pattern I want to collect for and then get some backgrounds etc. I just love their reproductions! Must own most, if not all of their patterns..don't want to buy a second (or third ) copy as I've been known to do!

So it is off and away tomorrow...fun, laughter, wine, a b'ay dinner for my favorite traveling companion and roommate, and who knows what else! Oh yes, QUILTS! 5 days of immersing myself into the glorious world of quilting...that should jump start my creativity once again.

Jun 23, 2008

Crafting and A Trip Through the Past

I've gone and done it now! I have given in to the allure of scrap booking. I've always wanted to do it, and have been doing some digital work,but now I'm taking my first technique class called 52 Card Pick Up at Big Picture Scrap booking(www.bigpicturescrapbooking.com).
Our pre-class assignment was to construct a book/deck of cards to highlight the 52 techniques we will learn over the course of the summer. Here is my first attempt at "art":

I'm very happy with how it turned out. This photo shows the cards fanned out so that you can see the insides a bit more AND my use of eyelets to keep the tabs in place. Oh how I loved using those eyelets!! I even now own a crop-a-dile !

Today is our first real assignment- the first technique card to go into our book. It uses paint, embossing ink and clear embossing powder to create a resist. Since I am trying to organize not only for the last beginner quilting classes I'm teaching tomorrow, but for my trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival from Wednesday am - Sunday pm, this week's assignments will have to be put on hold til I get home. I'm itching to get creating, but it will keep. Once I get home, I also need to finish the re-organization of my room to accommodate this newest hobby of mine. Maybe I'll find a few extra hours to put in my days?? Nah, didn't think so!

As to the Trip Through the Past part of this post...
Last night I finally got to see Across the Universe, the Julie Taymour film set against the late 60's. I had gotten mixed reviews from my two daughters: first born was a bit bored, last born loved it.."how could you not?" she asked..."it has Beatles music!".
Well, I was far from bored, and Beatles music was good- a perfect soundtrack for a film that absolutely blew me away. OK..sure... it was the typical teenage love story-boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy loses girl, boy and girl come back together and they live happily ever after. BUT what was amazing was that I lived that movie. Maybe that is why I was so into every frame? Every weird, wonderful moment?? It was absolutely amazing...
I WAS them...I knew too many Maxes..
I had several friends who had Daniel as their brother
There was a Jude...

I lived the war (Vietnam), the protests...Columbia University's demonstration of 68, The "May 4th Massacre" at Kent State. I watched Vietnam unfold in my living room. I cried as Jimmy's (Hendrix) guitar weeped. I experienced Janis(Joplin) from the 4th row of a very young SPAC.

SDS,the Days of Rage,The Weatherman, Chicago 7 , dog tags, leather bracelets with the name of a soldier- we wore them until our soldier (hopefully) came home....

Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary---we "turned on-tuned in-dropped out". Yes,we were either "on the bus of off the bus"...

Does today's generation truly know what it is to have traveled Across the Universe??Then again-this generation may not be as naive as we were way back when.

More sadly-- history repeats itself. This generation has Iraq. They sport rubber braclets for a cause...."Live Strong"...their music tells a different story and in a very different way...

And life moves on....the more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Jun 20, 2008

Back To My Regularly Scheduled Crafting

Time to get back to crafting and let the political climate here rest!
Actually, there hasn't been much time to do any sewing/quilting/crafting. I have managed to work through the ridiculously huge stash and thin it out quite a bit, but I still feel as if I could do more. The biggest change to my sewing room is a slight rearrangement of furniture and"stuff" so I could put a small desktop for my laptop and other hardware in my space. This necessitated buying storage units for the new crafting...all of a sudden there is an explosion of scrap booking and stamping items!I've decided to extend the scrap booking ideas into card making. I have time for all this, right?? Ha! Who am I kidding...but hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do! Right now I am planning out a "Book about Me" and an altered address book. I found the chipboard book project on a sale rack and have had fun thinking up ways to put it together. It is like quilting, just with paper!
Pictures to come soon...Have to get the camera dock hooked up again!
For now, I've best get moving and get some "real work" done!

Jun 8, 2008

We Cannot Let This Moment Slip Away

This is why I've been proud to back Hillary Clinton:

with this speech she made me proud to be a woman, she made me proud to have supported her, and she made me proud of the fact that I tried to raise my children (especially my girls) to know they CAN be what ever they want to be...all it takes is hard work and perseverance. Sometimes we don't meet with success, but it shouldn't stop us from trying again....
so now, I'll work (to quote Hillary) to make Barrack Obama our President.
I know that declaration will make my girls happy *smile*

Jun 5, 2008

A Moment of Seriousness

I hate to throw my politics around..but I'm saddened (as well as worried as to what could happen come November)by the turn of events that will most likely occur over the next two days...question is will Hillary "suspend" her campaign or "concede"?? It makes a difference. I have been and will continue to read the thoughts of others as the DNC draws closer, and found I had to agree with this writer (only a short portion of his comments below):

1. Hillary Clinton has now officially won more votes than any person to seek the presidential nomination of EITHER political party in history, and her candidacy accurately represents the will of the people who voted in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

2. Hillary Clinton won ALL of the major states except Illinois.

3. Hillary Clinton finished the primary season with momentum, out-performing expectations in several races such as, most recently, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota (see Obama’s predictions spreadsheet); Obama, in contrast, is wheezing across the finish line with a downward trajectory that bodes poorly for the general election.

4. Hillary Clinton assembled a coalition of loyal voters that can guarantee victory against McCain, including white women, hispanics, catholics, jews, and lunch-bucket workers.

5. Barack Obama is still a relative unknown, remains unvetted by the media, and is teetering on the brink of being clobbered by the GOP, RNC, 527 Oppo Teams due to his treasure chest of bizarre skeletons.
In light of these cold, hard facts, Hillary Clinton bloggers and supporters will continue doing what we’ve been doing: Passionately making the case that Hillary Clinton will be the best President, that she has a superior chance of beating John McCain.>>

Can she take this to Denver with out causing more harm to an already compromised Democratic party?? Should she?? I don't have a crystal ball...but I think no.
Will we be able to sit a democratic president come November?? Lord, I can only hope so.

I will now go back to the regularly scheduled musings of a middle-aged quilting blog lady who shows pictures of her quilts, gardens and house...at least for now.....

May 18, 2008

Playing At Being A City Farmer


I took this URL from child #1's blog. I just found the photos and commentary so delightfully charming! One has to love spring in New York! (I did try to get it to link so you could click thru, but for some reason I couldn't get it right! Hopefully cutting and pasting works for those of you who might enjoy a virtual trip to the Farmer's Market)
I might find myself enjoying the Lilacs,Wisteria,Lavender, Lilly of the Valley, Irises and other flowering goodies around the outside of the house more IF my allergies weren't so bad this spring, and IF I had a Gardner to weed, trim and just keep up with it all. Ah well...I guess playing city farmer has its merits as well.Some days there is nothing better than the smell of this good earth! Other days it is a study on how well Alieve really works. I guess even on those days, it is so worth the aching muscles when everything is blooming and showing off nature's full glory.

May 17, 2008

Sittin' Around Waitin' for the Paint to Dry

Well, this is it...the moment of truth! One coat of paint has been applied to a small portion of the living room wall so I could contemplate how it will work with : 1. the dark woodwork, 2. the couches (see pillow- and why I didn't want to go "beige" and boring), 3. the few framed pieces that will go back on the wall and 4. the carpet.
The room is perfectly nondescript: light toppers on the windows, light couches, semi-light carpet. The big pieces of wooden furniture have warm maple coloring and I want to get rid of the brass and glass hand-me-down coffee table... maybe even that huge, heavy walnut side table on the far side of the couch. The room feels like it is a clean slate, and can handle some color. "Golden Bear"...name is nice. I do like the color so far. Not quite what I expected, and I've dropped the window shades a bit to see what happens when the room gets dark. I think I still like the effect. Kind of dramatic for our house! The fireplace wall will get deeper more dramatic colorway for that little bit of wow factor. Let's hope. The dog isn't saying much, and he is the only other living creature to share this experience with me today (at least until the male inhabitant returns from the Yankee/Met game in NYC). See a sneak peek below- not that it is anywhere near standing in the room itself:

Oh well, I can keep eyeing it and thinking until Monday when the painters return.
Our bedroom is shaping up. The wainscoting got its primer today. The whole room is starting to scream "cottage" to me and I am very happy. In the meantime, I have banished myself to the sewing room as I have projects to finish by the end of next week. Here is a photo of a holiday candle mat made from Holly Taylor's new fabric line.

Notice the "lovely" silver background! I have the beginning of my 4' by 8'design wall sitting against the wall. I need to cover it with flannel (or batting) and then get it up on the wall permanently. The other blocks on the wall are my Orange Crush blocks from the Quiltville mystery by Bonnie Hunter. I think mine should be called "Make Mine Guacamole":

when you work in reproductions most of the time that is what your scrap bin is filled with. Actually, the gold will look nice with the new "Golden Bear" wall color-- hummmmmm.

Once the chaos is over, things will work out fine I'm sure. I just can't get over how much stuff there was in those two rooms! Much of it will not be going back. Clean slate remember! Only the very special items will return and then I can add to the home dec. as it needs it! Hunting out the perfect accessories can be fun.

Until then, I guess I will just concentrate on getting the stuff for the shop done and clean up that slate too! The older I get, the less chaos and mess I can stand *smile*.

May 14, 2008

I Have To Admit It

I'm addicted! Sometimes you find a book that you just can't put down. First, the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer did that to me. Read it into the wee hours of the night. Had to have the next two installments immediately (New Moon and Eclipse). Meyer's Twilight series was written for young adults. Don't know about that- I was hooked from the get-go. I also can't wait to see if the movie that is to be released in December will live up to the love story of Bella and Edward. For those who have never heard of Twilight, Bella is a high school student who moves to the northwest to live with the father she barely knows. There, she meets and falls in love with Edward, a fellow student. Only- Edward isn't just any high school student. Edward is a vampire. Move over Ann Rice, there is another writer who can spin a tale that begs for more! I've already pre-ordered the fourth segment of the saga of Bella and Edward. Some have likened these to the Harry Potter books for their wide appeal. Never having read any of the Potter books (yes, I know, I'm probably in a very small minority here) I can't vouch for that. I do know I love the way Meyer spins a tale. Next, I had to have Meyer's new "adult" book, The Host. Finally got to Borders Books first thing this morning to get the copy they were holding for me. It has been out a week now! Ho boy-- am I in trouble. I have lots I have to do, but I can see me having to read this one well into the night(and then some) until I've reached the last page. I am taking a bit of a breather right now. I did have to do some necessary laundry, and a bit of "home work" before tomorrow. I hated to stop, and will settle back onto the couch after dinner to return to its pages. Yes, indeed, I'm hooked...she got me right at the Prologue: "Inserted". The Host is a perfect blend of science fiction, thriller and love story. I love a good book!!

May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I think it is kind of nice how Mother's Day fits nicely between our anniversary and my birthday. Being the sweet hubby he can be, mine got me the anniversary/mom day/b'day gift all rolled into one...I seem to be photo challenged lately, but below is my lovely new iPod in it's deep purple case...yes, purple! Not green, not red (my favorite colors) but purple. It is so cute, and I've even downloaded from iTunes. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

In the mist of all this merriment, we have our house all torn to pieces--literally! The old, past its prime living room wallpaper is gone, but more exciting-- the 30++ year old cabbage roses no longer live in our bedroom! It is worth sleeping in the guest room on that too soft mattress to see those things going into trash bags! Work will continue to bring us a clean, cottage feeling. I am having bead board installed in the bedroom and will have that and the woodwork painted a crisp white. Think I've settled on a yellow for the upper walls. Now to think about what to paint the living room walls. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so it is a good way to spend my morning off--I'll make myself at home in the paint department of Home Depot and grab color chips!
Such little things make me sooo happy!

May 8, 2008

Addicted to Wool

Just a quick entry this am before work- since I am on a roll! Wanted to show off the just about finished wool applique piece that I worked on the other evening. It will be a shop sample before it comes home. Having become addicted to wool I am on a mission to get the world behind me on this one and have proposed a class. Let's see if I can be convincing and bring others over to the wool side! The little bird pattern was actually a block from a stitchery pattern called Summer's Reign. I just loved the pattern, but didn't want to do it in stitchery. Once the bird gets his legs I will mount the piece and set it into the green and cream stripe frame. The red fabric around the block itself is the gorgeous new silk Andover Fabrics has added to its fabric collections. I am so happy with this little piece that I've decided to do the entire pattern as a wool wall hanging. I want to get rid of the silly too-small mirror over the fireplace mantle, and I think that could be the perfect place for a lovely small quilt.
I'm addicted,definitely addicted!!

May 7, 2008

Orange Crush

My trip, work and life in general has put me in the "lagger club" over at the newest mystery from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. I've had part 1- the four patches- done for quite some time so I shouldn't be lagging behind!! Here is a photo of step #1 . Since I work primarily in repros, is it any wonder my scraps are of the same?? I like how they turned out and hope that the fabrics I pulled from my stash for the yardage requirements will work with what Bonnie has come up with. We'll all just have to wait and see, no?

I have started step #2, and this is where I have stalled. I'm hoping to get back to work on the mystery in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed- I don't want to fall too far behind!

I'm liking these too...and have a pretty good feeling about this all so far! Bonnie's quilts are always great, so I don't think I have much to worry about! Like the little engine that could, I keep telling myself: "I will catch up...I will catch up...I will....."

Wish me luck!


the photos (all 198 of them!) were picked up last night, the camera was cleared and today I took a few shots of my favorite purchases from this year's Paducah show vendors. The photos are not up to par, but I am sure those of you who are interested in reproductions and folk art will know exactly why I was drawn to these! First is my Hancock's purchase of a Fat Quarter bundle of gorgeous pinks and browns. I thought I was ready to move on to brown and blue until I saw this lonely bundle! It was one of 3 left in a big box...and I just "had to have it"! They are beauties from the Charleston collection by Marcus Brothers. The red FQ you see poking its head up in the back came from my stash of reds. I needed just one for the pattern that these will go into...you'll see it in the photo as well- it is from Bonnie Blue Quilts- Appomattox Courthouse. I just have to look for a good brown in my stash for the sashing strips and then hunt out the perfect toile for the borders. I might have to consider home decorator fabric. It is the look I want and I'll wait til the "perfect" toile fabric appears.

Next is the newest book from Liberty Homestead. All the quilts were on display in their booth, and I fell in love with the brown and cream log cabin on the cover. I bought the brown and red (for the little star log cabin centers) hand dyed cottons from Liberty and the dyed muslin comes from Hancock's. The red behind the nicely tied grouping is a dull red from my stash of wools. It will be for the appliqued flowers in the border. I KNOW I have other Liberty Homestead books somewhere...just where is a mystery! I hope I can find them....

This is the little kit I bought from Lisa Bongean's Primitive Gatherings booth. Most of my group bought the kit- it was just so sweet. I love to decorate for the 4th of July so I hope to get to it very soon. I also bought a fabulous black wrought iron hanger with a single center star to hang the finished wall hanging from. Aren't the colors luscious...they are all wools except for the background and the pinwheel fabric. I am finding I am doing more and more wool applique and I truly love it.

But I think this is my all time favorite! Old St. Nick will fit right in with my collection of old world santas- many of which wear coats made of old quilts. The quilt is done all in flannels. Very folk arty...this is one book (Primitive Christmas) to make sure is on your list! It is full of wonderful projects, and I would like to make each and every one of them. Oh! Take a peek at the bottom of the page with the photo of the project...Nick Bongean is a huge Yankee fan and I had to get him to sign a "go Yankees" for me...seemed appropriate since I am a Yankee fan from w-a-y back, and then there is the whole south of the Mason Dixon line thing of course *smiles*!

And that is the end of show and tell for today!

May 5, 2008

Taking A Break!

I told myself that today would be the day that I would start re-organizing the sewing room. It is past chaotic and I can not work in it. Since I have to get 3 samples finished and should do it in the next week and a half, I have been moving the mess from one room to another. But the "piles" are neat and each is labeled as to what the intent is. I have a large laundry basket filled with fabrics to discard. Each year our shop has a staff stash sale. Our customers are happy and we are left with clean sewing rooms (or something in between!). I never remember when the sale is, but figure I'll be ahead of the game this year. I missed the sale last year, and heard from several disappointed customers who were looking for good folksy "stuff". I've already weeded through my books and patterns. Fabric is the last to go. Then I should have room for the new goodies-- so as you can see there was a method to my madness!
I will be picking up the huge order of show photos tomorrow. Once they are in hand, I can clear them from my camera. But since I know everyone likes photos I'll leave you with just a few! The first two I was given permission to take at the Reproduction Quilts booth. I bought the patterns for the Civil War quilt last year and rounded out my collected fabrics this year with the addition of borders and a few more half yards and Fat Quarters- you'll see those as soon as I get photographing once again. The third photo is one the gals at Bonnie Blue Quilts let me take. I caved in and bought the kit for My Old Kentucky Home. This is their sample hanging beautifully at the front of their booth in the vendor mall downtown. I've wanted to make this quilt for over a year now, and since I am not a very "blue" person, I don't have much in my stash. I just love, love, love this one and can't wait to be able to start it! It will be awhile...too much to accomplish in front of it!
Ahhhhh...well......guess it is back to the job at hand. Wish me luck...I'm going back in!

May 3, 2008

Still Playing Catch Up

I'm not sure I'll ever get there, but at least I'm trying! Thought I'd share some more of my week in Paducah and its surrounding area. Hard to believe that I was still in Kentucky just one week ago,even if I was getting ready to pack up and drive home to reality!

Kentucky Lake (where we rented a beautiful house) was so tranquil. The below photo shows the scene from the floor to ceiling doors that graced my bedroom. Since offspring #3 was coming to join me and the gang for two days, I was given the master suite. I think there was a fear we'd be talking etc. well into the night- and we of course did!

Here is a shot of the back of the house and it's upper deck:

Most of the house had those large doors overlooking one part of the lake or another. We shared our space with a lovely pair of geese who swam by very early each morning honking at each other like the best of married couples. They had nothing on the fishermen who sat patiently waiting for the trout to bite. We could see the ripples all over the lake - left behind by jumping fish. Best yet we were visited daily by a great Heron who loved to sit and survey the water from the boat launch at the end of our pathway to the lake.

This next photo was taken on Friday night (or was it Saturday?) in Downtown Paducah. It was prom night and this was just one of the carriages taking its turn around the area. I snapped his picture as we all sat outside the Wharf waiting for our table for dinner. Our meal was scrumptious to say the least!

Makes me kind of wish I was still enjoying my mini-vacation! but like Cinderella, the ball has to come to an end. Luckily, this wasn't too bad a week! But things will be getting hectic the next two weeks as we prepare for shop hop.

I've managed to download all 206 photos to my external hard drive. A walk down memory lane will be enjoyable. Then once they are burned to CD I can clear out the digital camera and take some photos of the purchases I made! Oh I was a bad girl...but it was sooo good!

Stay tuned.......

Apr 29, 2008

Stop the World I Want To Get Off

and stop the world I did! One week ago yesterday I packed up the car, met a group of like minded friends and headed off for Kentucky- Paducah to be exact. What a wonderful week. We rented a house in the Kentucky Lake area and it was our own patch of heaven on earth. The quilt show was amazing and I spent way too much at the vendors, but when they put Reproduction Quilts, Bonnie Blue Quilts and Primitive Gatherings in front of my wallet- it was hard "not to"!
I went with a plan for the most part...I had a Civil War pattern from Reproduction Quilts I wanted to add fabrics to. Bonnie Blue had a kit of My Old Kentucky Home--I've wanted to make that quilt since the day I first saw the pattern. Those that know me well, know I don't really "do blues", so a kit was just the perfect way to go. I also bought a pattern to use the pink and brown fat quarters I got at Hancock's. Lisa B. of Primitive Gatherings designs just too splendidly, and I walked away happy but very broke! Her new book, Primitive Christmas is to die for; she and Carol both signed it for me (and every one else in our little group), and Nick, Lisa's husband added his "go Yankees" to the Old St. Nick page...not a reference to our state of origin, but to the fact that he too is a BIG Yankee fan (yes of the baseball kind).
It was a wonderful week, and coming back to reality will be hard. The suitcase is unpacked, the laundry is done, and I am finding places to put the new acquisitions. I still need to download the camera!
I got the world to stop, I got off in my own personal Oz, and boy oh boy---I am a happy girl right now!

Apr 14, 2008

How Does Life Get Away From Us So Fast??

Seems I went to bed one night in February and woke up in mid-April. I almost feel like Rip Van Winkle! Now in my defense I did come down with the horrid "crud" that seems to have afflicted half the country- or so it seemed. Fever, chills, cough, you name it I suffered from it. Thank goodness that is all behind me now. I seemed to have lost an entire month of my life (something I can ill afford to do) and have spent the past few weeks playing catch up.

So my catch up is slowing being done and I feel as if I've actually accomplished some things that needed to be done. One was to (almost) finish some long over due blocks I've been swapping with 3 other girls who have the same love of reproduction fabrics as I do. I was so way behind it wasn't even funny. But I'm slowly finishing and would show some photos, however since I don't want to give away the element of surprised I think I'll just have to wait a bit! I know Dawn (http://dquilts.blogspot.com/) sometimes checks in ,and I wouldn't want her to see what I'm working on *smile*.

I have a few irons in the fire at work as well. In one short month we will begin a local shop hop. Four days of hysteria and merriment ! I have two small quilts for kitting just about done, and will kit up more of the Little Dresses I showed in an earlier posting. It has been a big hit at the shop and I'm on my third kitting already...not that I let it go to my head or anything!

Then there is the Paducah trip. Next Monday I'll be on the road to Kentucky! This will be my second year attending the AQS show, and this time around I'm traveling with friends from our Quilter's Circle. I'm also very excited that child #3 is getting to join us for a couple of days. She will leave Lexington after work Tuesday and drive to the house we have rented in the Kentucky Lakes area . I'm looking forward to that since we haven't seen each other since Christmas. The two days will go all too quickly.

So there you have it.... a very quick catch-up from here. Today is my day off (love those long weekends!) and I have some sewing to do. Personal sewing that is....I made myself a promise a long time ago that shop sewing is only done on the evenings of work days. May not be lengthy sewing time, but the samples do eventually get done. On my days off (and that includes the weekends) I sew for pleasure. Right now I'm eagerly waiting on the second clue to Bonnie Hunter's Orange Crush Mystery. My 150 4-patches are done and waiting, and I'm steadily catching up on Mystery#1 (Carolina Crossroads) as well. Lots of catch up to do when you lose an entire month!! Oh well, could have been worse!

Next time....photos....I promise!

Feb 27, 2008

Is It Spring Yet??

I know, I know, it is still February- be it the end of February - but I am so tired of cold, ice and snow. Yesterday we got the latest round of snowy weather. Bad news was the roads were horrid. Good news was I got to close the shop just after 3pm. The ride home was white knuckle- with very poor visibility, but I got there and am more than happy that today is a day off for me.
The back yard doesn't look too bad from this angle, and if I was a younger, more adventurous person I'd be out there making snow-people. It is perfect white stuff for that. That wet, heavy, gloppy snow-person making snow. I'll pass and spend the day sewing and getting ahead on some shop sample ideas.
This is the little ditty I finished Monday night. All quilted and bound and happily taking up residence in the shop with the other springy fabrics. I will be holding a class to make this cutie come March. It is all done in raw-edge applique. Simple, primitive- child-like. I do love it.

Please excuse the less than stellar photos! I do think you get the idea, however! The pattern is called Playing Dress Up and is by one of my favorite designers: Renee Plains. Below are dresses one and three:

these are two and four:

and again, another less than stellar photo, but Hoffman has caught the charm square fever. But look at how they are packaged:

each plastic tube has 40 7" by 7" squares of Bali watercolor batiks! I couldn't resist and intend to make a version of a circle quilt I just love. Don't hold your breath waiting for photos, but I hope to get to it soon (like sometime in 2008!). I still have some reproduction blocks to finish first- they are long overdue! And then there is the group that is currently making blocks from The Civil War Diary Quilt and Civil War Love Letters. I am trying very hard to resist....but I've had the books for some time and have been itching to make some. Focus! I need to focus!!

I guess snowy, blustery days are good for something! Now back to playing with fabrics for a baby quilt. We don't have anything currently at the shop and Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs has a sweet free pattern on her site. I'm trying to adapt it! We did get one color of the adorable lamb fabric into the shop. We'll see where I end up with it. Maybe another photo to look forward to.

Feb 20, 2008

Too Old to Blog??

this bit of musing ( from another blogger) appeared on first Born's tumbler :

"Am I the only person who finds it really awkward when older people have personal blogs?I feel as if anyone over the age of 40 should have better, more real-world things to do. Like, throw dinner parties. Or, have kids. And … um … even … garden?I don’t know. I’m sure I’m being far too judgmental here, but the truth is, it makes me feel really odd to read their musings, especially if they’re particularly casual and/or ungrammatical and/or confused.It’s like, you’re 50. Shouldn’t you have shit figured out by now? I would NOT be amused if my Dad or Mom were online being like “I had to wonder, why ____ fill in blank with random perplexed thought here ____”Apparently, I am too old to blog. She’s probably right. Guess I stopped being interesting two years ago, when I turned 50. Y’all can stop following me now. [bows gray head and hobbles off towards bingo hall]"

To this, first born muses in reply...

" I think my “avid quilter,” “middle-aged blogger” mum will find this commentary quite amusing! "

Bravo, first born, bravo. Your middle-aged, blogging mum, who is well over the age of 50 and who has actually figured life out- or so it seems- concurs- amusing, totally amusing indeed!

I'm glad you seem to think so as well, since I have no intention of giving up all my mindless chatter in the foreseeable future. So be ready for more casual, ungrammatical (and badly spelled), confused blogging! There is, after all, a writer of sorts hidden inside that keeps trying to get out. So why not!

Now to return to our regularly scheduled programing:

I've been playing in the sewing room. Decided that since I didn't get around to cataloging and printing out more family recipes to add to new DIL's book, I'd do the next best thing and make an apron for her (last week was her birthday and middle child, the hubby, threw a surprise gathering of family and friends that turned out to be a real surprise to the body girl! ). I found some perfectly perfect fabric that I thought would be fun, and whipped up a little goody Saturday am to bring with the other goodies that night. It was a big hit!

Other than that- I have no photos of the latest projects. If I get the blocks up on the design wall, I will do just that. I was on a roll and sewed my fingers to the bone over the weekend. It was my gift to myself. If only my brain was working properly! After completing the 24" center block and one of four 12" blocks, I realized I totally misinterpreted the gray scale copy of the layout. I should not have made all the pieces that make up the star completely scrappy! Now this wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had used yardage, but since it is a fat quarter quilt, I had pre-cut all I had - there "just ain't no more"! Drats! So out came the trusty seam ripper and away we went to remedy the situation. I fear I'll lose some of my perfect points (but then I have often been accused of being "pointless" so what the heck!), but the top will be scrappy enough to hide some of these flaws! I'm loving what is coming off the sewing machine, so I'll live with it.
I've also decided to work on the Circuit Rider's Quilt - this year's offering in the Kansas City Star. It is simple applique- one of those hour or two blocks that will fill in some down time each month- that is IF there is downtime. I'll try hard to create some. Perhaps while watching some guilty pleasure TV- Top Chef begins again in a couple of weeks, and of course there is the height of guilty pleasure-- American Idol. There goes the phone bill. Youngest and I have lots to laugh about- oops,I mean comment on- usually during a commercial, and burn up the phone lines between New York and Kentucky.
So there we have it. Today's middle-aged random-ness. Now on to read some of my favorite blogs to see what other "middle-aged" ,"avid- quilting" Internet buddies are up to.

Feb 10, 2008


There hasn't been much sewing going on at 'ole homestead (as hinted at in my last post)these past few nights, but there has been movie watching. Thanks to Netflix I got to see Ratatouille Thursday evening.

First born had highly recommended it, and after the "use your brain to think", somewhat somber films of last month I thought (and rightly so) I needed some lighter fare. I am so in love with this little film!! Why, who couldn't fall in love with Remy, the little (rat) chef extraordinaire?? Delightful, simply delightful. If you haven't already seen it (and even if you have) it is a must. Pop up some popping corn, curl up and simply enjoy.

That experience was followed up last night by the latest film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.

I hate to admit it, but I've had a thing for Johnny Depp in these odd roles since Edward Scissorhands.
Youngest Child found that movie disturbing, but i happened to have loved it. Still do. Is it the nurturing mother in me that wants to save and protect such a sad creature?? I'm not sure. But I can admit that I found Willy Wonka a bit more distrubing to me that Edward would ever be. Now what is with that?? But I did like this version- not the lighthearted romp of the original in its bubble gum colors and sappy tunes. Last night's umpa lumpa's were almost nightmare invoking, and there was something behind Willy Wonka's eyes that hinted of total madness, but the movie worked and worked well. I loved Charley, and those grandparents! Strange old weathered folks tucked neatly into bed- all four of them- like bookends- that was a bit weird, but I really enjoyed this (to me) darker version of the film. Actually, I feel a need to own it. I could pull it out when I am in one of those moods...get a fix of strange Willy or poor, sad Edward....oh! or how about The Nightmare Before Christmas! That is another one that I feel compelled to watch now and again. Is it the Psych major in me, or is it just something just "this side" of normal?? Not for me to contemplate now...reality beckons. On the plan for tonight is Notes From a Scandal. Popcorn anyone??

Blogger Love??

I'm a blogger...well to be more exact, I'm a middle aged blogger. I blog about my quilts, I blog about a book or a movie . I blog about my family (probably much to my childern's chargrin). So when I picked up the Page Six magazine - a weekly supplement to one of the NY papers my husband buys daily- my interest was peeked by the front page come on. DANGER MOUSE-
The perils of falling in love with a blogger. Hummmm....Yes, there it was on page 28 -the City Life article- The Dangers of Blogger Love. Hummmmm....again my interest was peeked!
Needless to say, the article brought about an entire range of middle aged emotions...first the twenty five year old naivite was charming...such a sweet thing. Boy and girl work for same media blog. They flirt- not publically, but via IM . You can hide behind your computer and let things play out, even when you work desks away from the object of your desire! Flirting becomes dating- secretely of course, they work for the same employer after all. This is where the twenty five year old naivite turns into twenty five year old angst. Girl blogger starts telling others about their relationship- the boss, co-workers (shocking!). Now angst turns into horror...she is blogging about the game they call dating! Poor boy blogger now decides there were omens he wasn't "safe". He is furious that his Object of Desire isn't as private as h3 about all this youthful desire and game playing. Come now! What did you expect!! Boy gets cold feet and tells Object of Desire he isn't ready for a serious relationship.
But it gets better- poor boy goes on to lament (and I'll quote):
"the fact that we had made a career of throwing stones at glass houses and then constructed a love shack for ourselves was unsettling." Seems Object started a (not so) secret blog about their relationship and aired her heart and soul (whatever it was feeling at the moment) in true blogger fashion. Oh the horrors! By the time I read that they "broke up" via IM I was no longer stiffling my laughter. Love in the new millinium...still full of high points and even lower points. I remember angst...it just wasn't aired so delightfully for all the world to see! I have to admit I loved the ending sentence. Having to confront the now former Object of Desire with his disappointment with said Object's "zeal in airing her antipathy" towards him via her blog, poor young boy blogger is told quite simply...:You should have known better. After all, I'm a blogger!"

To all this I answer, thank god I'm now a middle aged blogger who just feels the need to (only)share thoughts about my fabric, family and very boring life! Wonder if I should actually go read the big debate (page 14- the week's really serious issues) about whether or not babies should be banned from bars! Yes!! You read that right...seems "hipster"parents in a section of Brooklyn were thrown into a tizzy last week when a bar/music venue decided to ban toddlers and strollers.
Gotta love this generation! My thought?? Let's just bring back Love Peace and Rock and Roll.....I am,after all, a child of the 60's! Maybe I'll skip this week's big issue and just go read the article on the granddaughter (a beautiful one at that) of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Now there is one beautiful young girl! She has her grandmother's beauty- that is for sure.
Then it is on to the usual boring existance for this middle-aged blogger- laundry, what to have for dinner, and will I get to play in the sewing room at all today??
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