Wednesday, November 7, 2012

fabric love

Just wanted to share a few fabrics that were recently added to my hoard....I mean collection LOL

Actually, I think I have a plan for these. I just love the serene colors and the somewhat subtle designs.
Alas,  before I can play with these,  I have Christmas projects to make, and some client quilts to work on. 

Beach house - by Robin Pandolph

Martinique by Three Sisters for Moda

Fleur Nouvenu for Clothworks

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simply Thankful Thursdays

It's so easy to let our joy and happiness get hung up and sidetracked by our everyday stresses, troubles, and challenges.
Surely you know what I mean. I know you do.

Unfortunately, there are times that truly horrible things and real disasters do show up on our doorstep, we've all been there, but for this discussion, I'm referring to the mundane, everyday annoyances that can sap our peace of mind - if we let it.

The day the refrigerator dies, your car gets a flat tire, you lose your phone, the electric bill is higher than usual, someone close to you is being snarky, you have 3 places to be at once, your printer is out of ink, you need a root canal..... all  stressful, all very upsetting, and a downright drain to our peace of mind.

To ward off the dread, chase away the gloom, and to put an end to the pity party, I try to remind myself that as bad, as a bad day may have seemed, there are millions of people that had a day much, much worse than mine. 
I admit, this Pollyanna attitude isn't always easy, it can take a lot of practice to perfect.

Without a doubt, I am ever thankful for the really important, life encompassing things, like family, friends, faith, health, food, shelter, freedom, etc.
I also choose to find something small and simple everyday to be thankful for and that can put a whole different perspective on my day. That's what "Simply Thankful Thursday's" is all about. 

Today's Simply Thankful is ......
Time, today I got to spend some quality time in my studio - without any laundry waiting for me.... of course there was some dust trying to get my attention,  but I chose to ignore it.  

How was your day?????  no really???

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

tick - tock - tick - tock

Just you feel you are being robbed of your fun, creative time?

Are you finding yourself spending more, or, spending less time doing the things you enjoy?

Strange, it seems like I used to have more time, and, unless I missed the headline, there are still 24 hours in each and every day.

Yes, I know we need to sleep for 6-8 hours,  so that leaves 17 hours, assuming 7 hours of sleep.
That got me to thinking....maybe I need more sleep ...lets bump that sleep portion up to 8 hours.

Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z zzzzz  Z Z Z Z Z Z zzzzz Z Z

That's better......
okay, so 17 hours of our day remains. Well, we need to eat, right?
Unless you're very fortunate and have a personal chef, or a husband that cooks, we need to allot time for meals......

Breakfast... A bowl of cereal, yogurt, fruit or toast may do the trick most mornings, so lets say 20-30 minutes.  Not very impressive for the most important meal of the day is it? Don't forget the coffee!

Lunch..... well, if your at work it's going to be lumped in with work time (more on that later)

Dinner, or Supper - depending on where you're from. If you cook from scratch and make a full meal let's allow 1-1/2 hours for prep, eating, and cleaning up.

So far that's 2 hours for meals at home.

What are we down to now?  15 hours...    tick-tock-tick-tock.........

So we've covered sleep and food, two things we must do every day.

Then there's putting ourselves together. Unless you never leave the house, don't look in the mirror, or have anyone else in the house, yes, pets count,  this is also a must.

I don't know about you, but I surely don't look like the women in the movies, or on TV, that wake up with pretty hair, long eyelashes, and no wrinkles in their nighties. HA - HA- HA,  far from it.

How long does it take to put yourself together?

While you ponder that I'm going to get that 8 hours of sleep time. We'll get back to this when I find the next free time slot.......until then, do something you love.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They've landed.......

"Take me to your leader"

Maybe it's just me, (probably) but doesn't this remind you of something off the SyFy channel?
Maybe if you squint - LOL

It was standing outside the backdoor of the retreat center on the way to the ladies room. It was even stranger at night - hmmmm, maybe we did stay up too late.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quilt til you wilt?

Here at last, are some pics from this months quilt retreat. I am thinking we should maybe call it a quilt marathon rather than a quilt retreat. Many of us end up staying up way past a reasonable bedtime or getting up with the sun to quilt. I admit to belonging in the night owl camp. There were about 25 of us at this retreat and I know I should have taken more pix but I was too busy stitching, visiting and giggling. are some of the fabulous quilts that were being created at "retreat"... enjoy!

Peggy was diligently working away at this stunning quilt. I love the colors in this

Karen was adding piping and binding to her lovely quilt - turned out perfect!

Oh-oh - this was a twin needle I was using to top-stitch a knit top I was making - something went wrong. Oddly, it didn't break, but It should be pointing down not sideways LOL

Debbie put together this pretty blue, white and yellow quilt - Love that color combo

Here's Fran modeling the cool scarf she made - now we just need some weather below 70 degrees!

Here's Fran's amazing quilt she made for someone's wedding  - lucky people.

Truly a labor of love.

Linda B - (on right)  made this stunning quilt top after changing the design numerous times - also a gift for someone lucky.

Karen's fabric collage project "Ray in progress and looking fabulous!

Dear Marcia - she traveled all the way  back from her home in the northeast just to be here with us and quilt. She taught many in our group how to hand applique. She is a joy and a treasure - can't wait to see her next year again!

Gosh, love this quilt but now I can't remember who made it. Trying to tell who is hiding behind it, anybody else know?

This is a McKenna Ryan quilt that Jo and her sister Connie were working on together all weekend. They are doing a splendid job- it's gorgeous!

Here's one of our quilter's that resorted to making a sleep mask because her room-mate kept the lights on to read and the light was keeping her up - I snapped the picture when she asked me if it was centered as she was adding the strap - naughty Linda.

Carol was working on her wedding quilt blocks. All her guests signed blocks at their wedding and now she is putting them together in a quilt - she had a lot of signature blocks - it was a big wedding.

Alice finished up this stunning contemporary log cabin quilt top

A few were having word fun with the whiteboard in the room.

Linda F. was working on this awesome quilt - I saw it last week finished and it's really beautiful!

btw, we had 4 Linda's at retreat - we considered going by our middle names to stop the confusion every time someone said Linda.

Aloyse rescued this traditional pieced quilt top from a rummage sale and is hand quilting it. 




We all had such a good time,  it's great to see quilting friends that we don't always get to see much of throughout the year, and it's also very inspiring.  I hope you have a chance to take in a quilt retreat  where you live. Belly laughs are priceless, as are all my dear, silly, quilty friends.


And alas - on our way out the door.... bye, bye  retreat center - until next time......



Thursday, September 13, 2012

on the road....with quilters

Ah yes,  another quilt retreat has come and gone, but what a retreat it was. Of course all good retreats begin with the road trip to get there. WOO - HOO!
This year my friend Karen was the driver and I, the navigator. This usually works out quite well, I said usually. Last year there we took a small unintended detour. Oops.

This year things went very well. We started out in the morning and met up in Sarasota with our friend Fran (aka Frannie). We had decided to go to Yoder's Amish restaurant for lunch before hitting the quilt shop. Hard to shop on an empty tummy.
If you are going to be in Sarasota, love good homemade food, and are hungry, then Yoder's is a must. They were featured on an episode of Man vs Food. You can see the video clip on their website. Warning will make you hungry.

Anyway, we all sat down and then started placing our orders. When it came to choosing our side dishes we decided to all get something different, and then share. Sounds like a plan..... well, when the waitress came to our table and set our "sides" down in front of us, we all burst into peals of laughter. OMG and OMG again! See for yourself..... we could have shared with the entire restaurant.

would you call these "side" dishes?

We knew there was NO way we could, or would want to, finish these tasty, but decadent plates of food. I do confess however, that the still warm, homemade chips were very good, as were the very tender onion rings. Needless to say, we left with the plates still mostly full and with very full tummies too.
Just one more thing.... Yoder's happens to have the BEST homemade pies and I LOVE apple pie. I have had their apple pie before, and just couldn't leave without some, and so we left, full and giggling with an apple pie in tow.
Luckily, we were headed to retreat where the salad bar rules with lots of healthy choices.

This is all that was left of a large apple pie on the last day of retreat... I did share it....

sharing the apple pie with "Olivia"
Our next stop was Alma Sue's Quilt shop where Fran wanted to see about having her gorgeous quilt hand quilted by the Amish women there. It's a very nice shop and sure enough there were two older Amish women sitting at the quilt frames, quilting away by hand. I found a couple of things while there....more on that next time. Until then......

a true labor of Fran

Sunday, September 9, 2012

the coincidental avocado...


Fran, a sweet friend of mine was kind enough to share a couple of beautiful home grown avocados with me. They were perfectly ripe, and large, and ready to eat.
Naturally, I decided to make a batch of Guacamole (yum!) and to also make croissant sandwiches with turkey, bacon, tomato and avocado.  (If you add bacon.... the husband will eat avocado)
So, after a long day, we sat down to dinner and popped in a movie. We decided to watch the movie Big Miracle.  Just as we dipped our corn chips into the Guacamole, there, in the opening scene, was a reporter talking all about avocados and Guacamole - we looked at each other and started laughing - guess you had to be there LOL but we found it to be a humorous coincidence.
Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie it's about the 3 whales stranded in the ice up in Barrow Alaska, back in the '80's, and based on a true story.  My review- a thumbs up - we thought it was a nice family movie and I really enjoyed it.
We also have an avocado tree, but apparently our naughty squirrels have eaten all the buds before they can form into fruit. Oh well, lucky for us we have nice friends.

While I was away at quilt retreat (more on that soon) my friend Karen & I stopped at one of our favorite stops. The Earthbox store, to get planting supplies and starts.
I came home with a grape tomato and bell pepper start and a new mini Earthbox to add to my collection. Come October, I'm going to try green onions and radishes in the mini box.  After speaking to the farmer, it turns out I was planting my onion seeds too early.
This morning I finally got my planting started. In one Earthbox I have snowpeas, green beans and beets.  Haven't tried beets before, so I am curious as to how they will do.

 In the other box, I have my grape tomato and bell pepper. I need to go get more soil, so my third box will have to wait a day or two. The third one will have red romaine lettuce and spinach.

Now I can't wait for harvest time, and the cooler weather ahead. Hopefully this will be a green thumb year!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

feed your stitching soul....

Wednesday, I had the pleasure of teaching a beginners sewing class to a group of tweens. Only one of them new how to thread her machine and we had 2 projects planned for the 3 hour class.
Yes - a bit optimistic perhaps.
After walking them through the basics of their machines, like turning them on :) we got started....

They ranged in age from 9 to 13 and were very excited to learn. Although their seams would not have passed muster, (some of mine still don't)  they dove in will great zeal and fearlessness. Our first undertaking was a pillowcase - you know the one.... it has the accent between the hem,  you roll it up like a burrito and then finish it off with French seams.

Their fabric choices were delightful, and they all couldn't wait to dress their pillows with them.  I ended up marking the seam allowance on their machines with masking tape to make it easier for them to stay true to the seam and it really helped. The youngest student had to put her foot pedal on a phone book to reach it - she was adorable and did very well.

Several thread jams later ( from not lowering the presser foot) and we had our pillowcase finished and pressed! Just enough time to tackle the little bag pattern. We used the Runaround bag pattern by Lazy Girl Designs, a cute and fun pattern, and to save time I did the cutting out for them as they finished up the pillowcases.

Again, their choices of fabric were cute and they were thrilled that they would be putting in a zipper! It went quite well and needless to say their mothers were more than impressed when they came to collect their daughters - now, real sewers!

It's so fantastic to see another generation of sewers emerge and to watch them discover all the creative things they can do with their new found skills. 

Seeing their enthusiasm energized me and brought back memories of some of my first sewing projects - remember when double knits were de rigeuer? OMG

Please, if you haven't already, pass along your skills whenever you get the chance.  It's not only great for the next gen of stitchers,  it's wonderful food for your stitching soul. Not chocolate chip cookie food, but deep down, healthy, hearty, soul food.

                                           It's Stitchtastic!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Made another jaunt up to Wisconsin in July, my Dad had to have a pacemaker put in and I surely wanted to be there to support him and my mom. It was amazing though, how quickly they put pacemakers in. He was out of surgery in about 1-1/2 hours and is doing just great. He had to stay in the hospital just one night. Here he is in the waiting room beforehand with my sister-in-laws husband. Looking pretty relaxed huh. All went well and he is recuperating very well too.

While I was there we had the rest of the family over a few days later to celebrate my moms birthday.  We also worked on the puzzle from *H E (double hockey sticks) that I started while there.
*If you don't know what H E double hockey sticks means ask someone older.
Anyway this was a puzzle of a Gee's Bend quilt, mostly black and white with a touch of red. I would tell you the name of it but it is still on the table at my parent's house! Of course we assembled all the areas with red in them and now all that's left is black and white.

 My niece and nephew (seen here) told me I was evil for bringing it. Even though there were about 7 or 8 of us working on it - it never got finished before I had to leave the next day. I keep asking my dad if he finished it and all I get in response is a chuckle.

My mom and I went to the grocery store and picked out her birthday cake. Heve you ever heard of a Fürst Pückler cake  ???? Well...neither had we until then. We saw it in the bakery case and it looked really good. It had a chocolate glaze instead of frosting. We asked the lady at the bakery counter and she said it was mutitple layers of vanilla and chocolate with strawberry filling and marzipan under the chocolate glaze.  When we googled it there seem to be several versions. It is a German recipe and named after Prince Pückler, Hermann Ludwig Heinrich Fürst von Pückler in fact. If you are bored or curious someday, google him.

Fürst Pückler cake - no really

Turns out it was a REALLY good cake and my mom (and everyone else) was happy she choose it.

mom's birthday ( she's at the piano)
Oh, and I just have to share this pic of dad (great Grandpa) with our newest family member, Miles.. my great nephew - he is so adorable!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Do you like cheddar?

How about cheddar quilts?
On my recent visit to Wisconsin I was fortunate to have been there while the Wisconsin Museum of Fiber Arts in Cedarburg  had an exhibit of antique cheddar quilts.
What a perfect match.....Wisconsin and cheese. 

I loved this exhibit, and snapped off a few images to share with you.

Sunburst  or Wheel of Fortune variation - maker unknown circa 1855

sunburst - maker unknown - circa 1855

Oak leaf and reel - maker unknown - circa 1880's

Lady of the Lake - maker unknown circa 1890's

Lady of the Lake closeup

Great quilts aren't they? Orange you glad you took a look?  hahahaha...couldn't help myself.

me and my lovely mom

my great dad

 I will share more soon, along with some cool shots of the restored barn the museum is housed in, right now I need to go finish packing.
 I am heading back to Wisconsin again... my dad is having some surgery.
Keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

sharing Quilt Market finds.....

I finally uploaded the pix from Spring Quilt Market and I realized I should have taken so many more to share with you!
Of course when you're flying up and down aisles and aisles looking at booth after booth I don't think we would have had enough time had I stopped to take more pictures. Needless to say there were so many lovely things to see. It was also very different to be on the other side of the booth. Normally,  I would be at Quilt Market as a vendor,  but this time around I was an assistant buyer. so it was a different perspective and I'm glad I was able to experience it in that light.
So let's go take a look.........
This is the view of downtown Kansas City from the convention center entrance. I love to see different downtown cityscapes. Each one is unique and interesting to me. Not that I've seen a whole bunch of them, but I always enjoy seeing new ones.

Funny, when we arrived I wasn't sure if we were in KC Missouri or KC Kansas. turns out we were in Missouri and the other KC is about 3 miles away. The person at the Marriott was emphatic that it was 2 separate cities in separate states...It was either extreme pride or rivalry I was picking up in his comment, not sure which.
Anyway....... the growing trend of modern, minimalist quilts was very evident and the Kona® display at the Robert Kaufman  booth was just one example...

We thought this accent pillow was a unique way to use pinked edge charm squares

We also saw quite a few of these little floor poufs ( ala bean bag). don't you love the shag rug????

One booth we stopped at topped that by having real - I mean dirt and all, - sod, as the floor in their booth. How fun is that - they had a picnic quilt spread out on the grass. Yes, I took off my shoes to wiggle my toes in the grass.  Now, if only I could remember which booth it was....hmmmm. If anyone knows please let me know so I can give them credit for their creativity.

Enough for now....I've got stuff I need to get done yet tonight.