Thursday, December 31, 2009


Hard to believe, but I did try to post last night. My computer had a tantrum and logged off the internet and refused to reconnect. Even tonight I had a problem, but I deleted and reloaded the software and finally am able to post. Always happens when I have something to say!

First, the promised quilt pictures. The center was shown in a previous blog and is from the July/August 2009 Quiltmaker magazine. From there, I took a bit of artistic license. The narrow border was to have cornerstones. I chose not to do so. Then the pieced border was arranged a bit differently and used many lights. Instead, I used one multicolored batik for the "backgrounds" and then chose the darks from batiks that had been used in the applique and some others. I ran out of the "background" fabric before I got to the corners, so I substituted the narrow border fabric and used the pink dot (not previously used in the border) for the corners. At first, I thought the pieced border might overwhelm the center, but I don't think it does. I chose not to add another solid border--this is enough.
A detail of the center and part of the border.

A close-up of the hand blanket-stitched applique.

If you get a chance, please visit the Yarn Harlot's blog post for today. It says a lot to all of us.

I've spent a bit of time today thinking of 2009 and all the changes that happened, as well as things that have stayed the same, for both good and bad.

On the good side, in no particular order: Working with the horses, Lynnie's kidney disease being arrested, Callie's purring presence, the love of my family and friends, a career that I love, students who are the best ever, my Jeep, a home I love, being healthy, being happy.

What do I wish for you in 2010? Someone to love and who loves you, family that loves and supports you, friends who bring you joy, a job that is fulfilling, enough money to not want for the basics in life, a sense of happiness for who you are now and plans for who you want to become. Change is hard--so let's change for the good. Let's spread happiness and light, lift someone's spirits while lifting our own. We each have a unique gift--we may not think it is as good as someone else's, but God has a plan for each of us. If we all had the same gift, how could we appreciate our uniqueness. I want to make a positive difference in the world around me--will you join me? Let's make 2010 the best year yet!!!

Remember how special you are--I know I keep saying that, but some of you are hard to convince!

Happy New Year!!!

P.S. Bobbi, if you are reading this, you can have a laugh--the last horse thing I learned in 2009 was how to clean sheaths! For those of you who don't know what a sheath is, I'm not explaining it! I just love horsin' around!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Only Two More Days

With only two days left until New Year's Eve, I just have to say how much I miss Guy Lombardo (I know, I know, that really dates me) and Dick Clark. I rarely watch any New Year's Eve show now, usually just tuning in for the ball drop. But I am definitely up at midnight! During the summer and early fall I had turned into a morning person--sort of good--but have recently reverted back to night owl. That will become a problem next week when I start teaching again!

I hope to have quilt pictures for you tomorrow. I put a pieced border on a small hand blanket-stitched piece today and am working on a mystery quilt as a possible class project. I probably would have been farther along, but the block pressing is not something I agree with (twisting the seam in the middle--gasp, chocolate, chocolate to revive me!) so I am testing how best to press to get as many opposing seams as I can. I think the last seam in each block may have to be pressed open--but I am still working.

I have spoken with the physical plant guys about turning the air conditioning down outdoors. I mean, really! The wind chill here was sub-zero most of the day, but the wind has finally gone down tonight. Last night I thought we might be blown away.

While not "winter" pictures, these are of Lake Champlain in August. As you may have noticed, I love taking pictures of the ever-changing sky.

Til tomorrow, my friends!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Came, I Saw, I Posted

Can you believe this is my 100th blog this year!!! Took me by surprise too! So that averages out to a blog about every 3 or 4 days--not counting all the extremely lengthy lapses and then the bursts of blogging activity. What can I say?

Sheila, I'll email you the details on the horse fabric. It was a joy to work with.

Joey, I'll do a post soon about the index card system of keeping track of my quilts.

Diane, stay warm--I heard you had it really bad in Watkins Glen today. We are still having blowing and snowing and they are predicting temps in the negative double digits for tonight.

Jay, you crack me up.

Janet, I always know you are out there waiting and watching--thanks!

And for those of you who lurk, thanks for tuning in.

As for what I did today, I finished the handwork on the sleeve and the binding and sleeve on the little quilt I am working on. I also did a bit more quilting on the star quilt. And I got a chance to horse around a bit today. Got to hold the foal (okay, I was ballast) as he got two shots and worm medicine. The farrier came yesterday and trimmed and shod the mare with the sore foot. She is much better today. Buckets were less icy than usual, but I imagine tomorrow they will be solid ice.

I just finished listening to Under Cover of Darkness by James Grippando. Excellent! And finished reading There Goes the Bride by M.C. Beaton (an Agatha Raisin book). Also excellent. Now I am rereading (for the fifth or sixth time) Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard.

That's it for tonight. It's shiver-me-timbers weather here! Stay warm!



P.S. I believe the statue at the top of the post is in Lowell, Mass.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Productive Day

I don't know about you, but sometimes (often) I need to be in the mood to really do something creative. That's why, when the urge strikes, I do little else. (Probably my all-time favorite excuse for not cleaning--but now I love my cleaner, so I will have to think up something else.)

For Christmas I received the cutest snowman wall hanging that I think can be displayed until, oh say, April ;-) so I made a sleeve for it and have it basted in place. How lucky is it that I just bought scads of the same line of fabric and had some to match!

A quilt close-up that I showed a while ago is now on its way to being done--I added the sleeve and binding by machine today so only have the hand stitching to finish. I took a look at the index card for that project and realized I started it in 2006. Well, it's a gift and good things come to those who wait. A gifting tip for you: NEVER say you are making something for a specific holiday--wait until it is finished and then give it for whatever holiday is coming up! No pressure, no guilt about not being done when you thought. Works great! Remember it for 2010 when you are rushing (yet again) to finish something for a deadline!

I also wanted to do a thank you gift for someone and decided to do potholders and coasters. Obviously these are for people who love horses! (Or I really don't like them and am playing an awful trick on them--but, no, that's way too much work for a stunt!)

As luck would have it, the perfect color for topstitching these was running low--I wasn't sure I would have enough. So I wound a partial bobbin and hoped for the best. Well, the spool ran out while I still had two coasters to go. So I wound part of the bobbin onto another bobbin, hoping again that I had judged correctly. Well...the partial bobbin on top ran out again! With less than half a coaster to go. So I ran a bit more onto it and was able to finish--just! And I added that color to my shopping list!

While I had out the fabric for the sleeve, I was inspired to try a couple small blocks for a potential class project. These beauties will finish at 4 inches and are called Baby Bunting. Not many pieces, but the squares finish at 1 inch, so precision is the key. I'm going to set them on point, possibly with a green print for the setting triangles. (Yes, Virginia, I will be making more--two blocks are not enough to do much with!)

The fabric line is Frosted Memories by Holly Taylor for Moda. As you may have noticed, I tend to work with brighter fabrics, but this line caught my eye. And it's not so Christmas-y that its display time cannot be extended.

Oh, and I did quilt more on the piece from the last post. And I made a poor attempt at organizing some fabric in a vain attempt to find the backing fabric (or what was left of it) for the sleeve on the piece I put binding on. In vain was correct--I never did find it. Alas and alack, I punted and used the binding fabric--a good compromise.

Can you believe it is the last week of 2009? Only four more days.

Hugs to all,

Quilting From the Back

Greetings, fellow quilters! Today I was going through my (rather substantial) pile of basted quilts and wallhangings. I was looking for a small project that I could mark and carry with me to family gatherings. At almost the top of the pile was this piece:

It's about 12 inches square, was hand pieced and hand appliqued, and seemed ideal. When I looked at the top, I realized that I would have to use at least two different markers to transfer the design from the stencil to the quilt. That is always tedious at best. Having basted this many years ago, I looked to see what I had used on the back and I was in luck. The backing is a navy ground with American flags--perfect to mark my design with just one marker.

The design I chose is an overall meander that forms stars--perfect for this patriotic piece. I used the Clover White Marking Pen (fine) to mark the design. This pen irons away, leaving no residue or reappearing marks. I've been using it for a number of years and have found no change in my fabrics.

When I baste, the final row in each quadrant is within the 1/4 inch seam allowance. So I could easily mark the design within those parameters.

Next was thread selection. While red/white/blue sounds perfect, I had used that variegated thread on another piece and found that the white portion was too bright. Being a hand quilter, I have options--like removing the sections of thread that are the wrong color for this project! This YLI 40 wt variegated thread was perfect in the blues and reds--but again, the white was too bright. Luckily, the sections of white are few and far between. I roll off my length of thread, cutting away the white, and quilt happily with the blue and red sections. Presto! Customized quilting thread! Try it! It's very freeing. (For those of you who machine quilt--what can I say--not such a happy fix--perhaps I can interest you in a hand quilting class? LOL)

And here is the result. I have almost one entire section done and am very pleased with the results.

Since I made and basted this 5-pointed star, I have learned the value of grading seams--something I didn't do on this one, and the bulkiness of the intersections makes some of the quilting a bit hard to do.

Guess I'll go quilt a bit more before bed. I hope your holiday celebrations have been excellent and that the countdown to 2010 will find you in good spirits. More tomorrow.


P.S. I have been keeping an eye to my blog roll and I've noticed that I tend to post when others are not--strange coincidence or planned mischief? Ha Ha--I'll never tell (although Lynnie and Callie say they can both be bribed!).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Did everyone have a great Christmas day? I spent lots of time with family and some time finishing gifts and actually wrapping them! (Okay, you caught me--I should have stock in gift bags and tissue paper!)

Remember when I told you about the raw-edge ornaments I do each year at the Groton Public Library? Well, here are two pics for you. This year was a holly leaf, embellished with a red button "berry". I used Sulky 12 wt. variegated thread and Legacy soy/cotton batting. They are quick and easy gifts or work great as gift tags. Think outside the Christmas holidays--Easter, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day--the list is endless. How about baby bottle or rattle ornaments/tags? Be sure to sign the back so everyone knows who made these little gems!

A close-up. I actually make the hanger as I sew on the button. Who said quilter's don't do buttons? Well, okay--only when we want to!

I also finished a knitted hat. A Penny Straker design--each pattern has great tips and usually two or three items or variations. I couldn't figure out how to change to a different size circular in the middle of the hat for Magic Loop, so I knit these on straights. It was like a blast from the past! And I did a modified mattress stitch to sew the seam. Lays flat, no bulk, looks pretty good! I especially like the double fabric over the ears.

For those of you celebrating other holidays, I hope your day was equally special. For tonight, cozy up in a quilt with a warm cup of cocoa and enjoy the holiday lights. The lights are the one thing from Christmas that I wish we could see all year round--okay, I guess I'd better modify that wish--the tiny white or bluish tint lights--not the inflatables, and probably not the icicle lights in the summer. Hey--it's MY wish, so I can be as picky as I want. YOU can make your own wish for or against lighting year round. Maybe I can add this to my presidential platform! I only have three years to campaign--I'd better start early!
Merry Christmas, everyone! And to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the Night Before the Night Before

And deer were definitely stirring. I have a family of four that eats and sleeps on my lawn. In the morning, or when I come home after dark, you can see them near the spruce trees. They are so used to my vehicle that they don't even get up and run off. With the bitter winds and cold temps we've had the last few days, I hope their coats got really thick.

Today I have knitted, hand quilted, went shopping with my mom, and visiting and.... Well, you know the drill. I imagine most of you are doing about the same. Tomorrow I will show you a bit of what I am working on. For now, I will bid you all a good night--I need to get back to work!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Christmas Quilt

Many moons ago, I started this Piney Woods pattern. I did change things a bit--did not piece the background, hand appliqued all the pieces and hand quilted it quite heavily. (Okay, it's almost the exact opposite of how the pattern was done!) I just love the piece and finally finished it earlier this year. So this is its Christmas debut. I have a narrow display space between the front door and the octagonal window--perfect for a long, narrow quilt.

Marion asked about the 3 women above my light display--it's an original oil painting in a handmade (not by me) frame. The artist is my mom's first cousin, Kay Stash. She tried to teach me to paint, but I am much better at quilting! I've had the painting for almost twenty years and it has always been over my roll top desk. (Okay, I can paint--but walls and trim only!)

Did a bit of horsing around today--helped trim hooves (my job was to hold the feet up and steady!). Also had each horse out to clean all its hooves and to give them a bit of TLC. Cracked ice out of water buckets and then refilled them, swept up the little barn--a good day. Especially since I managed to escape Nate's teeth for the entire time! He's the colt born on July 4--and he has a tendency to sneak up on you and give you a little nip. I think his record is five times in a couple hours--all on me! (In my defense, I've never been around young horses and figured he was playing--now I know differently--it's their way of vying for dominance--and I keep a sharp eye on where he is and what he's doing--I may be a slow learner--but at least I do learn!)

I hope you are smiling after reading about my escapades! And that you are ready for the holidays.

Til tomorrow!


P.S. I added a new blog to my list--Blackbird Designs. Their blog is wonderful and their designs are simply fabulous. Take a look!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Festivities Begin!

Tonight I thought I would share a bit of my decorating with you. Last night I washed all of the crystal candle holders and dishes that occupy the top of my roll top desk. And I even polished the tiny lights! I love this display so much that I leave it up all year long. The play of the white lights on the crystal with some glitter highlights never fails to lift my spirits.
Here is a bit closer picture of the display.

For those of you wondering if I have lost the thrill of my Dyson cleaner, the answer is no. I still love it! The rugs feel so much different--it's a joy to walk barefoot on them. I even did the stairs again today--all with the cleaner on the landing and I was able to reach the top with just the hose--no moving the cleaner half-way through to go from the top down.

Callie wanted to say she is keeping an eye on all this activity. And to let you know that she has submitted her wish list to Santa Meow--catnip, more catnip, did I mention catnip--CATNIP!!! (She looks so mild mannered, doesn't she?)

Jay, you are released from your promise to comment, although I do enjoy them immensely. Sheila, I'll be glad to see you whenever you can get to class--I miss you! Pam K., if you are reading this--I LOVE my snowman wallhanging! Thanks so much! What a wonderful surprise in the mail today!

Okay, I am back on the map--the countdown begins. And the best news of all today? Today was the winter solstice--and tomorrow we start adding minutes of daylight. This is always my favorite day--because it marks the shortest day and I can't wait to see the plus signs as we add minutes from now on. It's been cold and blustery here, but we have escaped the worst of the storms. And my four-wheel drive is fixed--yahoooooooo!

Hugs to all,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Weather Outside

We've actually been inundated with rain--and then ice when the temperature drops. Not a fun drive. And the driveway isn't much fun either! The other day I needed my 4-wheel drive to get up my brother's drive and, when I tried to activate it, nothing happened. So I parked at the end of the drive and walked in. Then I tried several more times under other circumstances and still no luck. I finally figured out that it was not hooked up! Apparently when I had the engine replaced in April, the mechanics never reattached it...and I didn't need it until now, so never discovered it...until I needed it. So verrrrrry early tomorrow morning I will be at the shop to have it fixed. I feel absolutely naked without my 4-wheel drive!

These are actually pictures from last year...or maybe the year before. Anyway, I thought it would be a good reminder of what we could be having!

I'm still in favor of calling a moratorium on gift-giving. A couple more friends have boarded my bandwagon and you can feel the stress level lessening each time we agree. There's still time for you to do this with your family and friends--or make the suggestion for next year!

Green Thumb for Everyone applique block of the month classes tomorrow at Calico Gals. Only four more teaching days for 2009--the year sure has flown. And, for those of you keeping track, I've almost doubled my blogging in 2009!

Night, night!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finished Is Good

Quilted and bound, no less! Ginny D. of Candor, New York, started this quilt in a block of the month class with me in February 2009. This picture was taken on December 5--the quilt is finished! Ginny did an awesome job of the piecing and claims that I am in her head as she adds borders! (Please remember the poor photography is all mine!)
The colors are not very true--the background is a wonderful lime green, with a blue/white marble, tone-on-tone navy, a sky blue--rich, vibrant colors. The fabric Ginny chose for her setting and corner triangles was directional--she bought lots and used only the pieces that were correctly directional in the finished rows. She ended up with lots of leftovers, but the finished quilt reflects that coveted attention to detail. Great job, Ginny! (I'm sending good thoughts your way.)

Today, thirteen people came to my free make-and-take ornament class at the Groton Public Library. A mix of long-time students, some new faces and even three members of the library staff attended. We made raw edge ornaments suitable for families with young children or children of the four-legged variety. A bit of muslin, some cotton batting, quilting threads in various colors, and buttons--it was fascinating to see the combinations of threads and buttons. I think I figured out that I've been doing these ornament classes for 10 or 11 years--a different ornament each year. I love our library and use it lots; this is my way of giving back to the staff and community. I'm not sure who has a better time--them or me!

Will close for now. Tomorrow--pictures of ????? Stay tuned!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Say What?

I am saying this with wonder--there are only how many days left to get things finished for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)? Every year I think I will be better prepared, but.... Could it be more of that head in the sand thing? (I can almost see you, Janet--I'm tunneling your way!)

Let's see what's going on in your world. Are you making more gifts because of the economy? Or fewer because you have less time? Are you being more selective about giving handmade gifts? Most of my friends and I have agreed that we will do at least dinner and maybe add in a movie instead of doing gifts. We are all adults (or at least we say we are--hee hee) and either buy or have anything we really want. We have a great, no stress time for less than we probably would have spent on a gift.

This afternoon I put up about 25 of my holiday quilts at the Groton Public Library. If you are in the area, please stop in for a look. The poor librarian has been under siege--usually the quilts go up in November and I change part of them in December. But the library had some water damage and needed to be repainted. So the quilts went up today. I guess there were quite a few patrons who wanted to know where the quilts were!

As the holidays rapidly approach and people are short-tempered (okay, MORE short-tempered), remember to smile. In the grand scheme of things, the slightly longer wait, the snarly clerk, the elbow in the ribs from someone also after that last perfect gift will mean nothing. But your smile and graciousness will long be remembered, probably by someone you least expect. Spread the good cheer and help stamp out the "bah humbugs".

Hugs to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The End of November

Eleven months of 2009 have come and gone. Now it's the big countdown to Christmas and then New Year's and then it will be 2010. I remember as a kid thinking that I would be 45 in 2000 (that seemed old then!) and now it is almost ten years later. It must have been a group blink that moved us along that far that fast.

Nothing exciting going on here--a bit of wet snow today and cold. I did get my tulips and mini daffodils planted yesterday while the sun was out. Also dragged out the dreaded snow shovel and sled. Hoping that I won't need either!

On an eerie note, the angel has not reappeared. The pile of stuff and the lighting are all the same, but nothing on the computer screen. I'm so glad that I didn't miss her!

That's it for tonight. I am going to do something fun for a few minutes and then it's on to the next thing.

I came, I saw, I posted!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do You See What I See???

Earlier tonight I came into my sewing room and discovered this on my computer monitor. I think it looks like an angel! So I took a picture of it for the blog and also one of what I think caused it.
It's a combination of the canned air canister and the paper that is winged up to the left of it. I guess...after I turned out the lights and left for a bit, I was unable to see the image again. Dee dee dee dee. And yes, Virginia, that is my desk. Luckily for me, I rarely use that computer because my laptop is on a different table. So, in the way of many of us, any flat surface becomes a dumping ground. I do occasionally clean it off--but had I done that prior to tonight, the angel would not have visited.
I've spent most of the day appliqueing a new cutwork design. And I finished half a pair of Christmas socks (that means that one is done and the other one is cast on and five rows up (or down) the cuff.
Books that I've enjoyed on CD: Vision in White by Nora Roberts, Dashing Through the Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, and Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark.
Hugs til tomorrow!

It Never Fails

Last night when I tried to post, my computer absolutely refused to display any graphics when I was on-line. Do you know how hard it is to post with no graphics? Needless to say, I gave up and vacuumed instead!

I stayed home yesterday--no Black Friday sales for me. Did some knitting, some cutting, laundry...all the good stuff ;-) I do need to be out and about today to go to the post office and to have a turn signal fixed (bulb is blown, but in a weird place to replace it) and to see about a feather tree for the holidays. (Okay, okay, it will probably be up all year--I like to see my stuff!)

If my computer allows, perhaps I'll post again tonight with some project pics. Wish me luck!

Happy Saturday!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Never in a Million Years

As many of you may have gleaned from previous posts, housecleaning is not my favorite activity. But when I do it, I want to get the most benefit with the least amount of effort--unlike my quilting, where I will work tirelessly and like a stevedore to get things "just right".

So when my old canister cleaner continued to run up the red flag (danger, danger, Will Robinson) even after I put in a new bag, I had had enough. It's bad enough to go over an area once, but to have to go over the same area seven or eight or even nine times and still have to pick up the bigger pieces of debris...well.

So I did some research and asked lots of people what they had for a vacuum and then I did more research and looked and...TA DA My new Dyson DC25 Animal! The commercials just do not do this cleaner justice. I went over a section of rug that I had vacuumed just two days before with the old vacuum and...the rug was at least three shades lighter! And it felt better under bare feet. And it is entertaining! You can see the stuff being sucked up by the cyclonic action and whirled around the clear canister! Makes you want to keep vacuuming--I know, can you believe I said that? On-board attachments, an upholstery attachment, separate motor for the beater brushes in the front, a telescoping wand conversion that happens in about 2 minutes. WOW! And did I mention the ball? A flick of the wrist and you are into corners, turning in circles, whatever your heart desires! I know this probably sounds like a commercial for Dyson--but for ME to be this happy about cleaning, I simply must share the news. The price is not cheap--that's why I did so much research before buying. And I found a sale, which helped some. And with a five year warranty (most vacuums have 90 days maximum), I took the plunge. And I'm so glad I did. So, if you are in the market for a vacuum, look at the Dyson DC25 Animal.

Sheila, I'm sure you are disappointed...after all, you did have some absolutely wonderful guesses! I really must look into that Pole Dancing!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I spent the day with family and we had a great time. I am very blessed with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Students Part 3

Good things come to those who wait. Irene, from northern New York (think above Watertown), figures she took the Mariner's Compass class at least 2-1/2 years ago. She remembers because her grandson was born while she was working on the first one and he is that old now! Time sure passes quickly. Irene hand pieced this stunning compass--and was happy with my suggestion to use this particular background fabric.

When she made the second one, she decided to use all tone-on-tone prints for a pastel version.

Then she went all the way with a 32 point compass! I do believe she is addicted to hand piecing Mariner's Compasses! Look at those points! Way to go, Irene!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States. Let's all be extra thankful for our many blessings. And one of our greatest is our friends. Near or far, they sustain us in good times and bad. Let's also pray for an abundance of good times in the years to come.
I'll share a bit of my abundance with you tomorrow! No, it's not the horses. It's something you'll never in a million years guess! But you are welcome to try--no prizes will be awarded--even for the wildest guess! (Let's face it, there were some really wild guesses about what I was doing over the summer--such imaginations!)
Til tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Students Part 2

Okay...first the disclaimer. Virtually no one wants their picture included with the quilt, which results in various attempts to hide behind the quilt. Thus, pictures of strangely shaped quilt tops. Rest assured they really all were straight and true--blame it on the photographer!

Pam, from the Candor area, was in the same class as Jen and Julie (see below). Pam did a queen sized top featuring a hollyhock border. She artfully pieced the back with fabrics she had left over as someone was so bold as to buy almost the entire bolt of backing fabric that coordinated with the top! Talk about a tense moment! She will really have a reversible quilt because the back and front are both beautiful. Great job, Pam!
A close-up of the border and one of the rows.

Julie, who happens to be Jen's daughter (and the mother of Samantha) completed her 12 block top in just class time. No time to work at home with a little one on the move! The blocks are pieced from tone-on-tone fabrics--the setting and border fabrics moved this to WOW! I am so proud of you, Julie! You did it!

The sunsets have been so spectacular lately. I am especially enamored of the pinky hue.

Everyone is struggling with something. So be extra kind to everyone you encounter. The holiday season is upon us, so smile lots, let someone with fewer items go ahead of you at the checkout, and do something especially nice for yourself. You deserve it--I have so decreed it--make it sew! Hee hee!
Hugs to all and to all a good night!
P.S. Where have you gone, Dick? Over two months with no post? I know you have great pics from your great adventure!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Students Part 1

Two or three years ago I went to Florida to teach for the Feather Princesses, a chapter of The Applique Society. When I entered the classroom, I saw a familiar face, but definitely not one I associated with Florida. It was Francie, from Painted Post, New York! She was house sitting in Florida, saw that I would be there and contacted the Feather Princesses and made arrangement to take the classes!

This year Francie is taking my In Baltimore Style Block of the Month and brought in her finished (yes, hand quilted and bound!) piece based on my hand appliqued Dancing Flowers design. She did an excellent job and is justifiably proud.

We used Anita Shackelford's circle ruching guide for the dimensional blooms. Great job, Francie! Thanks for sharing!

To the other end of the spectrum: Jen of Candor, New York, just finished her Let's Get Vertical Block of the Month quilt top. The color is better in the two detail shots--think overhead lights and not much flash. Twelve women worked diligently for 10 months. One lady decided to make a king size quilt and she needed 48 eight-inch blocks. Done in a fabulous array of Asian prints, it is to die for!

Okay, back to Jen's quilt. Twelve blocks set on point, with sashing and borders.

Sharp points all around.

On the reading front, I loved Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas--I hated to see it end. Also now reading the new Jennifer Chiaverini--excellent. Did you know that Nevada Barr has just published a new novel not in the Anna Pigeon series that is billed as "a major novel of psychological suspense". I am doing the audio version of that, as I did for Prayers for Sale.
Til tomorrow!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mind Boggling

First, let me address Janet's comment: Halloween?!?! I was hoping for Valentine's Day or, at the very latest, St. Patrick's Day! If you are going to wish or keep your head in the sand, wish big or bury your head deeper!!!! LOL! Thanks for commenting!

I was making name tags late last night and, in the usual stupor of putting pins into muslin, was surprised when this pin did not work as I thought it should. Upon closer reflection, you can see why I had a problem.

Here's a closer look. Especially loved the head! Let's just say this woke me out of my reverie and made me think it would make a great blog entry!

A while ago I was enjoying a box of Snowcaps. You know, just mindlessly popping the little bits of chocolaty goodness into my mouth. When my fingers felt an unusually large gobbet, I took a look. Don't you think it looks remarkably like a seahorse? So I saved it until I could properly photograph it and share it with you all. (Please remember that many of you miss me when I don't post--do you still feel that way?)

The featherweight class was wonderful and ten machines went home cleaned, oiled and polished. One lady even said she loved her featherweight more than her bigger, newer, fancier machine! I just smiled and nodded!

This really is a two-fer day since both of these posts will be on Sunday. But tomorrow I have pictures of student quilts to share--probably for several posts as they have accumulated over the past few weeks. I just love to see stuff finished (and by finished I mean even just the top done).

And a brief rant: What happened to people using turning signals? When did they become optional? Are people afraid that the turning signals are only good for so many clicks and then they are gone? Are they trying to conserve? Are they always wondering why other drivers are so upset with them? I must admit to having to drag out the "Thank you, thank you very much" defense more frequently. And it's wearing mighty thin. Just sayin'.

That's all, folks. Until tomorrow--yes, that's both a threat and a promise!