Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What is this block???

Please, can someone help me find out what is the name of this block????? DH bought me this beautiful top for Christmas, and we don't know the name of it. The quilt is in good shape, and I'm going to finish it for our bed sometime after I unwrap it on Christmas morning. I can't find it listed in any of my books. Hmmm...I think I need to tell DH to buy me Barbara Brackman's encylopedia.

Update: It looks like Jackie and Diane are right, the pattern is "Friendship Knot" Here is a picture and an article on this website

Monday, December 17, 2007

A surprise in the mailbox!

Oh my goodness, I was very surprised to find a fat, heavy envelope from Australia in my mail today!! Gail in Australia sent me a Thank-you package! Inside I found two of her wonderful patterns, a bag of gummy worms, a fabric postcard with a nice note on it, and several chocolates! I'm sorry that my picture is not very good, but it was all I could do to keep the children away from the chocolates and gummy worms while I quickly took a picture!!! Thank you so much, Gail!!!

I spent yesterday working on organizing my stash. I'm folding the pieces larger than 1/2 yard around my 6" ruler, then sorting them by color. At this point, I'm tossing smaller, non fat quarter pieces in a pile. Eventually I will cut them up in strips, squares and bricks accoring to Bonnie's system. In the meantime, I cut myself a kit to make a Pineapple Blossom Quilt and a Bricks and Stepping Stones Quilt. Hopefully I'll be able to work on them during the Christmas vacation week.

I'm nowhere near finishing the organizing, but I'm pleased with how it is coming along so far.

I'm still debating my options about what to do about the sick sewing machine. I'm leaning toward buying another of the same model on Ebay. It will cost me about $700 to do that, but then I'm not losing anything for all the extra feet, bobbins, etc. and besides that, my drop in table is specially fitted for my current machine...that would be another expense to take into account if I buy something else. But like I said, still thinking...

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Winter continues here in CT.
The governor is one phone with the TV News guy begging people to please GET OFF THE ROADS. Go home and relax. Apparently, this afternoon everyone left work at the height of the storm and got onto the highways which were in bad shape. There were numerous accidents blocking the road, heavy traffic and lots of snow and thus the snowplows have not been able to clear the roads. What a mess. I do not remember these sorts of traffic messes during snowstorms in years past. Have we all forgotten how to drive? Is it that so many of us have 4 wheel drive that we go out when we shouldn't?
Here in my area we had about 5 or 6 inches of snow. Not as much as predicted, but it did come down fast and heavy, then it got sleety, which of course makes a mess and causes problems on roads and with the power lines. Luckily, our power seems to be fine here. We are pretty lucky in my town, we have a municipal electric company that helps keep our rates relatively low. The best part of it is that all the guys who work for the power company live here in town and they do a fabulous job...compared to anywhere else we have ever lived, we very rarely lose power.
The plow truck did not get stuck on our little road this storm...that's always a plus. Our cul-de-sac only has a few houses, and we are on a steep hill, so sometimes our street is a huge challenge for the plow drivers. They worked for a long time here today, and all seems to be well. The UPS truck came thru right after the plow, and I have received almost all of the gifts I ordered. I'm still waiting for one package coming from Canada and another that I just ordered this morning.
Once the snow completely stops in a little while, I am going to go out and finish shoveling the steps and the path to the front door. Then I'm going to rest up, because apparently we are going to do this all over again on Saturday night. Except that the storm coming Saturday night is supposed to be much BIGGER than this one.
At the moment, they are predicting 12" of snow for Saturday/Sunday. I guess that means Breakfast with Santa, an annual tradition for our family will be cancelled.

Watch for my next post....I'm going to be doing a giveaway for my 100th post!!!

My poor baby

Uh Oh. As I mentioned recently, (oh, okay, I've WHINED), my machine has been acting up. The light is out, the needle down is not working properly and the top thread keeps breaking. I've cleaned, I've oiled, I've changed everything I could change. And it still seems sick. Yesterday, I took it to the Tony, the Sewing Machine Repair Dude.

This morning, Tony called me and said "I have bad news, very bad news". Apparently, My machine has an electrical problem in the board. This is beyond the ability of the fabulous Tony. There is also some mechanical problem in the feed dogs.

Tony has suggested that my options are to trade the machine in and buy something new, or send Bernie on a European Vacation to visit his ancestors at the Bernina Factory in Switzerland for diagnosis and repair. Why don't *I* get offered a trip to the Swiss Alps? Tony suggests that replacing the board will probably cost $500 and up. Yikes. And even then, they'll only guarantee for 90 days after.

My machine is 12 years old. I LOVE this machine and have always said that I am not even tempted by the new TOL machines, none of them seem to be as good as this machine. I've only ever done minor repairs, oh, and I wore out 2 foot pedals along the way. Now I have to decide if it is worth spending a hunk of money to repair it, with no guarantees or if I am better to trade it in and start with something new. I'm also thinking that maybe I should try to buy a used 1630 from someone else. Hmmm.

Any suggestions? Has anyone sent their machine to Switzerland to have it fixed, and was it worth it? If I buy a new machine, what the heck do I get? I have a backup machine that I can use for a good long time if I need to (its a Bernina 135) but I really don't like the 135 all that much. What to do, what to do???

A Snowy Evening with Mark Lipinski

Last Friday night, a local guild hosted a lecture (followed by a Saturday class) with Mark Lipinski. I had been planning for months to go to this lecture. Arranged my schedule, made sure hubby would be home to deal with the children etc. The lecture was about 25 miles from home. For the 7:00 lecture, I planned to leave early, around 5:30, grab some coffee along the way and get there early for social hour.

At 3:00, it started snowing. Hard. I turned on the weather and the meteorologist kept proclaiming "FLURRIES". The snow was coming down quickly, and it was accumulating on the roads. This was our first snow of the year...we'd had about
1/4" of ice few days before, but of course everyone forgets how to drive during the first snowfall of the year. DH said, GO NOW at 4:50. I was in the car and on my way by 5:00. Two hours to the lecture, 25 miles to go. No sweat. Or so I thought.

Luckily, I was in the Subaru, so I had no driving issues besides all the idiots on the road. HOWEVER, these 'flurries' turned into only 1 1/2" of snow, but the roads were slushy and icy, there were lots of spinouts and such. All in all, it took my until 7:10 to arrive at the lecture. Sure, I probably should have turned around and gone home, but by 6:15 the snow had stopped, so I figured the roads could only get better, I might as well soldier on. I made a phone call and found out that lecture was NOT cancelled.

When I arrived at 7:10, Mark was still not there. Apparently he had left New Jersey at 1:00 for the 2 1/2 hour drive, so that he would arrive early. HA! He was still on the way and would do the lecture or reschedule if the guild ladies would prefer that. Since a fair number of people were there already, it was decided that they woudl wait fo him to arrive. Mark finally arrived about 8:00 or 8:15. He hadn't shaved, showered or eaten, but hey, we quilters must perservere, so he gave the lecture.

More than two hours later, we had seen dozens and dozens of quilts. This was THE BEST lecture I have ever been to (until this point, I would have said John Flynn's was the best I had ever attended, but Mark is WAY funnier than John). I laughed so hard I thought I might pee my pants. Mark showed us his fabulous quilts, shared a lot of stories about his magazine and we all hd a great time. He brought so many quilts, I can't imagine how he stuffed them into his car! I took a ton of pictures, but I'm not going to post them on my blog because he asked us not to, and I am going to respet that. I do think that I can show the picture that shows just how many quilts there were: 10 of these huge bags (from the dollar store, I have some of these bags and they are fabulous, btw!).

For Mark's post about his visit, read his blog on his website.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

November Goals Review

Oh boy. I didn't do very well with my November goals. Here is what I had hoped to do in November:
* tops for my 40th birthday challenge
* goodies for Christmas Swap
* bind square dance quilt
* finish denim quilt
* starburst quilt - finish top

I did the goodies for the Christmas Swap, and I did finish the Denim Quilt. I also made my name block for Tonya.

After that, things went way downhill. The 40th bir5thday challenge quilts just didn't happen, though I did play with the blocks and make a few extras. I never touched the binding on the square dance quilt, and I didn't finish the top of the starburst quilt, but all the blocks (minus the replacement one) are finished and on the design wall.

I did get sidetracked and make myself a purse and totebag. I quilted my Tossed Salad quilt, and I also quilted a one of the blue crumb quilts (though I haven't shared that photo yet).

For December, I'm not even going to try to set any goals. I'm just going to maintain the status quo until I get past Christmas. I'll probably go wild playing during the week after Christmas when I'll be feeling much less stress. During that week, I'll probably try to finish up the binding on the several quilts that need it and then see what happens beyond that.

Christmas Shopping is Finished!

Hurray! The last of the Christmas shopping is finished! I sat here at my computer and ordered the last few things from the fabulous today. Next week, the final gifts will arrive conveniently at my front door and I won't have to go and battle the crowds to get them!!

I do have to finish wrapping. I'm about 1/3 finished with that task. The biggest issue is to decide which gifts are from Mom and Dad and which are from Santa. That has to be determined before I wrap because of course, Santa wraps in his own wrapping paper that is different from Mom and Dad's wrapping paper.

Fortunately, DH and I do not have any Christmas Eve toy assembling projects to do this year. Two years ago we had to assemble a Thomas Train Table. After we arrived home from my Mom's house at midnight. It made for a very long night. I decided to be sensible this year and only buy small stuff. Video games and Ipods take up a lot less space than Little Tykes Kitchens and Train Tables!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

MY SSSC Gift is here!

Today when I went out to my mailbox, I found a big fat envelope from CJ in Calagry, Alberta, Canada! My SSSC gift is here! Hurray! I gave the envelope to my DH, so that he would hide it from me until Christmas.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tossed Salad Quilt

Here is a preview of my Tossed Salad Quilt. It still needs the binding, but I'll show part of it anyway. This quilt is for ME. It started as a Block Lotto for one of my quilting groups about a year and a half ago or so. We were to make the wonky log cabin type blocks in colors that made of think of a tossed salad, mostly greens with touches of other colors. I had so much fun making these blocks that I got way carried away. In the end, I was not able to go to the meeting where the blocks would be raffled off. Instead of sending them with someone else, decided to keep them for myself! This quilt is the result. I love the colors in it. Perhaps I got a little carried away with too much purple in it, but since purple/green is my favorite combination, thats okay!!

Busy Weekend

I spent a lot of time working on projects this weekend, and I did manage to make my deadlines! Yay!

The secret Santa Swap gift was mailed to a location far, far away. I can't share pictures until after Christmas. I can tell you that I was happy with the results of what I made, and will be making that item again for myself.

The other secret project was my name block for Tonya as a thank you for her blog-class. I was very pleased with how it came out, and surprised that my letters actually came out sized consistently this time!

I also worked on my project for Tonya's Winter Class. I made little wonky churn dash blocks that will be in the project.

I did two other projects, but you'll have to come back tomorrow to see them because I haven't taken pictures of them yet.

After all that, I worked on wrapping Christmas presents. I need to spend the rest of tonight digging around in the basement for the Christmas decorations. I'm only doing minimal decorating this year, but do need to find the most important things or I might get run out of town by Thing One and Thing Two.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another losing Battle: Bernina vs. Tracey

I'm 0 for 2 now. After the iron defeated me last night, today the Sewing machine decided to beat on me as well.

I did manage to finish sewing one of the surprise projects, and I'm very pleased with it. Then I went back to the project that I have made multiple mistakes on over the last two weeks. I figured out the problem I was having, and started to fix it, then my machine decided to start vomiting thread loops all over the place. Great. I can switch to another color thread and the machine will work fine. But I need to use that particular color thread.

My machine needs to be serviced, obviously. But why does it only ever act up when I'm up against a deadline?? Sigh.

Later tonight, I'll muster the strength to go back into the sewing room and hunt down another spool that color thread, keep my fingers crossed and try to finish my project, because it has to be mailed by Saturday.

But, barring that, I've got a backup plan (start a new project, fabrics and design are already picked out) which I'll implement tomorrow.

DH says its my own fault for procrastinating for so long. What is he talking about? The deadline is still 2 1/2 days away?? :-)

Idiot vs. the Iron

I think the iron is winning this battle tonight.

What is it with irons? I seem to kill an iron every couple of months. Either the soleplate gets all gunked up (yes, I guess I use too much spray starch) or I knock it off the ironing board and it dies.

Once upon a time I had a nice, pricey Rowenta, perhaps the only Rowenta on earth that did not leak. That iron was like mana from heaven. It was heavy, it made lots of steam and it lived for more than one whole year! But alas, one day I turned it on and it decided that it would heat no more. I miss that iron. I haven't had a good one since then.

Did I mention that I HATE the whole auto-off thing? For someone like myself who tends to piece a few dozen sections at a time, I need an iron that stays on and ready to flatten those pesky seam allowance when I want it to, not a few minutes after I shake it to wake it up again. That darn auto-off thing means that the iron is never hot when I am ready to use it. Nowadays, its nearly impossible to find an iron that doesn't have the auto-off feature (is a bad thing really still called a feature?). Until a few months ago, Black and Decker made a nice heavy silver iron called the Black and Decker Classic. It was reasonably priced at about $30 and sensibly stayed turned on until I turned it off. A few weeks ago, when I was in my local Wal-Mart attempting to purchase a new one, I noticed that the Black and Decker Classic now hails an auto-off feature. Time to find a different iron to purchase. No such luck, every single iron has auto-off now. I suppose that I need to get with the program and modernize my way of thinking and adjust to the auto-off. Sigh. I did buy a new iron, but I'm not thrilled.

AHA! In the Black Friday circular, I saw Home Depot advertising an iron, for only $7!! I had to go there anyway to buy some goodies for my DH, so I figured I'd check out the iron. Seven bucks sounds like a reasonable price for an appliance that I know I'll need to replace in 4 or 5 months.
Because honestly, seven bucks or 107 bucks, that sucker is going to be dead or gunky soon no matter what. I examined the box carefully. NO mention of auto-off. I even opened the box and read the hilariously translated instruction booklet. No mention of it there, either. Could it be? Iron Nirvana? Regardless, I bought three. A years supply of irons for the price of one.

Tonight I decided to try out my new iron. I whipped it out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on and sat down to sew on one of my secret projects (last minute, as usual). Swung my chair around toward the ironing board to press, and when I started to push the iron, it didn't move. No glide, just rubbing, as if it was sticky and gunky from Wonder Under. Hmmm... How is it that I didn't notice the PLASTIC COVER protecting the sole plate? Ah yes, thats why I smell melting plastic.

I give up. I know when I've lost the battle. I'm going to go to bed and try quilting again tomorrow. After I peel the melted plastic off of my brand new iron. At least if it doesn't come off, I have a coule backup irons on hand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

So the extra loooong weekend is over. That's right, I stretched the Thanksgiving weekend from last Wednesday morning until this afternoon (Tuesday). LOL. Gotta milk it for all its worth, I guess!

A Summary of Thanksgiving. Ugh. LOL. We had turkey, stuffing (with giblets, sausage and apples), mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, jellied cranberry sauce, whole cranberry/orange sauce, rolls, pickles and olives. For desert, we had swedish apple pie and pumpkin pie. But one thing...

I am NEVER cooking a whole turkey again. NEVER. EVER. NEVER.

I mentioned last week that I don't even like the whole turkey dinner thing, and I cooked the whole turkey (which BTW took 5 hours at 350 degrees rather than 4 hours at 325 as promised on the label, and I didn't even put stuffing in it). Well, sure, I cooked the whole turkey, and all anyone ate was the breast. Not a single other piece was touched by anyone. So next year, I am only doing a couple of breasts. I have already written on my 2008 across the top of November....BREAST ONLY NO WHOLE TURKEY so that I won't forget.

Then on Friday morning, Thing Two and I left the house in the dark (and SNOW) at 5AM to go shopping. We trekked the 20 miles to Wal-Mart in search of my digital camera, which I got. I got home and turned it on, took a few pictures and turned it off. When I turned it back on, the screen was all fractured/pixelized looking. Ugh. I turned it off and back on and it seems fine, but now I don't trust it. DH said I shouldn't have bought a Polaroid, so it is going back tomorrow. I'll have to find a new one (and I've been instructed to get only a Cannon or Kodak).

The rest of the weekend, we just sat around and relaxed. I watched most of Season 2 and 3 of Project Runway, a few movies with the kids, and some episodes of Iron Chef America.

On the quilting front, I worked on my gift for ChookyBlues Secret Santa Christmas Swap. The thing I am making is pretty straighforward, something I've done before, but for some reason, I kept screwing up at nearly every step of the way. So the 'simple' project is turning into a mess. I need to keep plugging along to finish by Friday. Unfortunately, I can't share any pictues yet because I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I did manage to quilt two UFOs. One is a Crumb Quilt to donate, the other is my Tossed Salad Quilt, which I will be keeping. No pictures yet, they still need bindings (this weekend, I hope, once the surprise projects are finished).

Oh, and I am still waiting for three people to sign up for the pay it forward challenge. I posted last Tuesday about it, and so far I don't have any takers. If noone wants to play, I'm just going to have to make three gifts and randomly send them to some unsuspecting people! Does anyone want to play, or am I just so late in the game that everyone is tired of it??

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

So I'm going to be away from the computer for a few days...I need to start cooking, cleaning and shopping!

I'm having 7 people all together for Thanksgiving. I am the grudging hostess...I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving or the whole Turkey Dinner. I've also got 4 very picky eaters among the 7 guests, so I feel like I'm just wasting my time with all the preparations and cooking. For example, I know that Thing One will eat rolls, pie, cranberry sauce and olives. Thing Two will eat the rolls and the pumpkin pie.
It's a lot of work and a lot of coordination for a dinner that seems like a waste of effort.

Oh, and Thing One is sick. Which means that by Thursday, Thing Two will probably also be sick.

At least I get to go shopping on Friday! Unlike most people, I LOVE going out shopping early in the morning on Black Friday. I really don't have any shopping that needs to be done, maybe I'll buy myself a new digital camera. Other than that, I just go out and enjoy the crowds, seeing the frenzy and maybe picking up a few unexpected bargains for myself.

Sigh. No quilting happened at all this week. I need to work on my Christmas Swap and something else that I am working on to send out next week. I'll post pictures of those things when I can. Mums the word on those for the time being.

Pay It Forward

For a long time, the Pay It Forward swap idea has been going around Blogland, and I've wanted to play almost since I first saw the idea. However, I've never been able to get myself signed up within the first three. Today, was my day! Nadine posted about her participation, and I am among the lucky recipients of whatever she is going to make! Hurray!!!

Here is how it works (quoted from Nadine, so I don't mess something up!)

This is how it goes : it's the Pay It Forward exchange, based on the concept of the movie "Pay It Forward", where acts of kindness are done without expecting anything in return, just passing it on, hoping that the recipients will do the same and pay it forward, like a never ending chain of kindness...

How to proceed ?

I will make and send a handmade gift for the first 3 friends who post a comment to this post, requesting to join this exchange, and promising to pay it forward to 3 other persons, etc....

I don't know what my 3 gifts will be, and I can't make them in the next few weeks, but I can promise I will send them within the next 6 months .

What YOU have to do in return then, is pay it forward by making the same announcement and promise on YOUR blog.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dear Santa swapper....

Please don't post the pictures of my gift! I'm going to try very very hard not to open my present until Christmas. It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to do my very best not to peek so that I have a surprise under the tree on Christmas morning!
And hopefully, my gift from you won't be next to a vacuum cleaner, a set of pans or some other ridiculousness from my DH.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

BLOGLINES frustration


I'm so frustrated with Bloglines right now. Is it just me, or does this tool that is supposed to make my life easier drive everyone else nuts, too???

Sure, I subscribe to way too many blogs. But really, right now Bloglines is telling me that I have 6632 unread posts. Like an hour ago, I didn't have ANY unread posts.
Its showing that a huge percentage of the blogs I'm subscribed to have over 200 unread posts! Come on...

And why does it keep spitting the same posts back at me day after day??? There are a couple of posts in particular that keep popping up as new even though they are weeks old.

Is there another, perhaps better feed catcher out there????

What's on my design wall

Here is the project on my design wall at the moment.

About two weeks ago, I decided that I needed mindless sewing, so I grabbed something out of one of my (many) UFO bins. There were 5 blocks, along with triangle squares for 4 more blocks. So that afternoon, I put the 4 blocks together. Since then, I've made another 3 blocks for a total of 12. They've been on the wall for a while now, waiting.

When Thing One came into the room and looked at, she mentioned the thing that was obvious to me: the yellow block doesn't work with the rest of them. So now I'm going to make a replacement for it (another red one, I think). Interestingly enough, she noticed something that I hadn't. She said that she liked the way the warm and cool colors alternated. does she know these things? She does seem to have an inborn sense of the color/design thing on her side.

Once I get that block done, I guess I'll have her choose a border fabric for me! LOL.

I have also pulled my Knifty Knitter out of the closet and started making hats again. About a dozen over the last two weekends. Such fun!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

African-American Quilt Exhibit

Last weekend, Thing One and I went to a quilt exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont to see an exhibit of African-American Quilts called "Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Four Generations of African-American Quilters".

This exhibit showcased the works of four quilters from one family: Laverne Brakens, Gladys Henry, Sherry Byrd and Bara Byrd. There were only about a dozen quilts in the exhibit, but they were very nice. Well worth the trip. The exhibit will be there until Thanksgiving weekend if anyone is interested in going to see it.

Thing One was very intrigued by these quilts. She has been itching to have me teach her to quilt, and I haven't done too much with her yet because, well, I'm impatient with her and she is easily frustrated. However...she loved these quilts and told me that she likes the fact that these quilters didn't worry about matching seams, making even blocks, etc. And she said "THATS WHAT I NEED TO DO". So I think that I'll just teach her improvisational quilting from the get go (while I work on it myself!). Since Tanya is opening a new "class blog", I think that I'll have Thing One learn how to quilt Tanya's way. Should be fun, and hopefully not too frustrating for her.

Here are some pictures of the quilts we saw:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Busy Busy

Sorry that I've not blogged for so long! It is not for a lack of things to blog about, just that I've not had any time! I've actually been quilting quite a bit! I'll share some in this post, but I'll save the rest for another day!

Oh, before I forget....the challenge quilt from my previous post that was voted as Viewers choice was #2.

Today, Thing One began her adventures in Orthodontics! We've been beeing monitored by the orthodontist for two years now, and he decided that NOW is the time to have a space maintainer mounted into her mouth! We are holding some space open for permanent teeth to hopefull have room to grow in, and then in two years or so when the permanent teeth have all appeared, then he will put braces. But for now, just the space maintainer, which was put in today. Needless to say, she is unhappy and in some pain today. She's had lots of soup, ice cream, pudding, and yogurt because her mouth is sore.

Here is a picture of the things on Halloween. A normal night here: we had two trick or treaters at our house. There are several children on our street, but most of them trick or treat outside of the neighborhood. Children from other streets don't come here because there are not many houses and there is a BIG hill. They go elsewhere where the walking is less work!

The weekend before last, I made a donation quilt for one of my guild's projects. A member of my guild has been coordinating a project where the ladies who excercise at Curves donate their old 'fat' jeans. The members my guild use the denim to make rag quilts which are donated to a children's home in the area for kids 11-18 years old.
I've made about 8 of them over the last 3 or so years. While I'm making these quilts I'm always swearing about how much I dislike them (clipping all those edges drive me nuts and makes a huge mess!) but by the time the quilt is all finished and washed, I'm in love with the quilt and eager to make another one! This time I finally bought those special scissors, and it was MUCH easier. This is the one I finished most recently, and I am working on another one now. Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend. The first picture is the front of the quilt, the second is the back. You'll notice that I ran out of fabric for the backing, and had to make a subsitution for 4 of the squares. Try not to notice all the acorns and unswept leaves on the deck!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Actual Quilt Content!

Okay, so the quilt content is not of MY doing, but it is quilt related, and the quilts you are about to see are WAY beyone what you'll ever see me do.

When I went to the annual gathering last weekend, there was a display of some challenge quilts that some of the chapters had participated in this past year. We did a vote of viewers choice. Can you guess which one was the winner?

The participating groups were given a quilt panel to use in a quilt. The quilt had to be (I think) a maximum of 160" total of all the sides, and at leat 6 people had to work on the quilt.

Vermont Foliage

The two things and I spent a few days in Vermont earlier this week. I was happy to see lots of nice foliage still hanging on for us to see. It seemed like the foliage in our little town was already past peak, but on the ride from CT to Vermont, the ride up I-91 thru Western Mass. was fabulous. Once we got into Vermont, we went down the mountain, closer to the river and the foliage down that was was more beautiful and brightr. Even as we traveled north up to the Norwich, VT/Hanover NH area, the foliage was beautiful. I'll share a bunch of pictures with you all, since I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a place with this annual color.

Note: I know that one of the pictures is in there two times, but there is SO much html because of the pictures, I don't dare attmept to delete the duplicate, because I'm sure I'll mess something up.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

GHQG Annual Gathering

So today was the Annual Gathering of the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild. I mentioned yesterday all about how this works, so I won't again today. I did however, want to share some pictures and stuff. There was a very nice turnout today for the meeting, there had to be about 200 members in attendance, there were 10 vendors and two good speakers.

The speakers were
Mary Mashuta and her twin sister, Roberta Horton. Yesterday (Friday) they each taught an all day class, and tomorrow they will each teach a class as well. Today, they gave lectures. The morning lecture was Mary, talking about using Stripes in Quilts, with lots of slides to see. No quilts though. The afternoon lecture was by both Robert and Mary, and was called something like "Shared Experiences, differing perspectives". They talked about how they each work (slides of their house even!). Mary has an assistant who helps her to cut things out, do the grocery shopping and the cooking. Roberta sends all her tops out to be hand quilted. Each of them works in a separate studio, even though they live in the same house. I did get the impression that stash raiding does take place! LOL. They talked about places they visited and experiences they had, and then they shared the different quilts that each made based on that particular experience. It was very interesting to see how different the quilts are. Then they showed about 6 or 7 quilts each. It was interesting to see how much sibling rivalry seems to go on between them....I can just imagine that it might be very intersting to be a fly on the wall in their home!

One of the things at Annual Gathering is that there are always lots of door prizes. When you arrive you get a program, and if your program is marked with a numbered sticker, you win the corresponding door prize. I won! My prize was a batik panel donated by Batik Tambal. I looked at it for a long time, and I think I'm still not sure what it is! I asked a lot of people, and most people see some sort of an insect. Responses were: a butterfly, a dragonfly, 'some kind of bug', two bugs, a hummingbird drinking nectar and of course one not-to be named quilter who said it looked like someone drank too much last night. The only thing I could think of was a guy whose head is exploding! I wonder what that says about MY state of mind that I saw that???? What do YOU think it is???

Friday, October 19, 2007

A fabric shopping trip!

Well not really, but I seem to manage to turn everything into quilting .

Yesterday I went to Ikea for the first time in about six months. Probably better that I don't go so often! I had noticed new FABRIC in the most recent catalog, so I had to check it out. I managed to have a few hours with no children, so I went and treated myself to a Swedish Meatball lunch and a bit of browsing...and I did find the fabrics that I wanted! One of the ones that looked nice in the catalog, was a much heavier weight than what would be suitable for quilting, so I didn't get that, but look at the yummy ones I DID get:

The red one is 47" wide and 118" long,and cost $7.99, it was prepackaged in the area with kids curtains and comforter covers. Thing One tells me it is hippos. I'm not so sure, but it is cute anyway.

The bright ones were $3.99 a yard, and they are 60" wide. These are definitely destined to become backings, because so many of my quilts are just a hair too wide for 40" fabrics, and I hate to piece the backing (I'm too lazy), so wider fabrics are perfect!! The one with the little designs is 5 yards long, and the big fans is an 8 1/2 yard piece...I grabbed all they had of the big fan one because I've wanted to try machine quilting from the back using the fabric pattern as a guide for my quilting lines. This would be great for that, I think.

Its pouring here, and I have a wicked sinus headache, so I am off to bed! have a great weekend!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Thing One

Wow, how time flies. Thing One is 11 years old today. Happy Birthday, sweetheart. Now go clean your room.

Today I played with this little thing online, and made a family portrait!

No quilting today. I spent the day laying around the house, getting nothing productive accomplished. Ah well, maybe tomorrow!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

40 Years Old

Happy Birthday To ME!
On Wednesday, I turned 40 years old. Does that mean that I have to act like a grown up?
I went out for my birthday to Joann Fabrics, and I bought myself a bit of fabric for the background of my Lets Go Fly A Kite quilt. I was also looking for some fabric with kites on it, but I was unsuccessful. I did buy my Quilters Home Magazine, along with two other books.

Then my DH went out for a while, and came home with two books for me. He always gets nervous buying me quilting books because I already have so many, but this time he bought two that I had never even seen before! Good Job, honey!

I also received a few other gifts: My grandmother gave me this fat little book filled with cookie recipes...lots of very different ones I've never seen before. I see some baking in my future!

Mom gave me a handy bag for luggng quilting stuff around. It has a place for a rotary mat, ruler, rotary cutter, a binder thing built into it, a number of pockets and a big zippered compartment for quilts or fabric. Very handy to have!

And my Aunt Mia (more like a sister to me than an aunt, she's the youngest of 7 and only 4 years older than me) gave me a wallhanging for my living room. When we were at our weekend reatreat back in May, she made the quilt and now it's mine! I kept hassling her that it should have been for me because it was just my colors, and it was meant for me all along! LOL.

We are having a birthday party this weekend for me, my DD and my Grandmother...mine was Wed, Grama's is today and DD's is on Monday. We'll see if there are more presents then! Probably not, but you never know! :-) The only present I want is more hours in the day for quilting!!!