Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cats and Scraps

Didn't want to leave on vacation with the "scary window" as my last blog LOL! The folk art cat quilt was made from a panel that was out years ago. I have always liked the funky look and it used to hang in a stairwell. It would never fail to bring a smile to my lips!!! The second photo is a book I bought yesterday at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon. Yes, I should be saving my money for the trip, right? But this book is wonderful. It has so many ideas for using up scraps and using up scraps is what I am all about these days.
Today and tomorrow will be for those last minute things that we've been working on for months! I am an obsessive list-maker so I am checking off a million things that needed to be done before we get on the big bird and head to Italy. And, still, I know we will get there without some major thing we need! We are traveling with two other couples we've been friends with for over 40 years and that is very comforting. We've had a flurry of emails back and forth--well, the wives have--and are reminding each other and asking each other and encouraging each other!!! I hope the trip goes off without a hitch (well, I can dream, can't I??) and that the gazillion photos I will most likely snap all turn out well. I will miss all my new friends in Blogland and will be anxious to check out new projects when I get back. "See" you in a couple of weeks. Arrivederci! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Window and Marigolds, Oh My!

The window in the first pictureis the one that lost its vapor lock. Doesn't it look like an xray of ribs or a skeleton??? The new one--in the second photo--was installed this morning. Quite an improvement, eh? The last photo is just my little homage to the beauty of marigolds in the fall. I just love them. They are so cheery and so perky and just seem to keep going long after the other blooms in the yard have hung it up. On the sewing front, yesterday I got the inner and outer borders on Scrapbag Explosion and will post a pix after the quilting and binding are done--whenever that happens!!! I was so glad that I was able to do the entire quilt out of scraps and stash. I may have to break down and purchase some yardage for the backing though. I was so tickled to read all the encouraging comments about our trip to Italy. Just three more days.... And the reunion was fun. Talking over old times is just the best!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Inch By Inch, Row By Row

Worked a lot Friday and today on the Scrapbag Explosion. Whew! Lots of seams. But I was so anxious to see that design emerge where the 16-patch has the little triangles coming off each side. I know, I know--I am easily amused!!! I would love to have the top sewn together before next Saturday. We are leaving next Saturday for my dream vacation. We are going to ITALY!!! It has been planned for months and months but I never thought the time would get here. So excited. I have never been to Europe and love to visit historical places with lots of beautiful art and scenery--and oh, the food and the wine!! Hope to get lots of good photos. I have really enjoyed seeing all the neat pincushions that several bloggers have posted so I took a little shot of some of mine! The boiled wool ones on the right side are the ones that are used every day. The two magnetic ones on the left get pressed into service a lot too. The ones in the middle are some that I make every year for the Quilt Show Boutique--just fun. We are off tonight to attend our 45th high school reunion. I love the line I heard from a comedian on TV once after attending her reunion, "Who ARE these old people??"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I WILL sew today. I WILL sew today. I WILL sew today. After a few days of dawdling and excuse-making and just generally not-wanting-to, I decided this morning that I would sew! Not, of course, those items that are glaring at me: the ninth block of Birds of a Feather, the three Jo's Scrappy
Stars blocks, the Scrapbag Explosion, and on and on. But just something I was in the mood to sew--so there, Sewing Room! I wanted to contribute a couple of blocks to the Leukemia quilts so I used the Double Windmills directions in one of Billie Lauder's wonderful booklets. And I wanted to bind the Boo quilt to hang on the porch. I used the Boo quilt to practice free-motion quilting and I really hope you can't see it all that well!!! I haven't practiced for several weeks and it showed. I have decided that FMQ is something I need to do every single day (for the rest of my life, probably!!!) Today was another one of those
sit-around-and-wait-on-repairpersons-days so I needed projects that I could do easily. This time it was the window-replacement guy. Couldn't have been nicer! One of our tall windows lost its vapor lock. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently it is fairly common. It will have to be replaced. I want to get it done soon before chillier weather sets in. Right now in KC it is 69 degrees, sunny with a light breeze--just a perfect day. But as fellow Missourians know, just wait 15 minutes!!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Can't Resist

Okay, can't stand it any longer. I HAD to post a photo of my two beloved babies, Featherweight babies, that is! After ogling Dawn's, Judy's, and Tazzie's FWs, I had to show off my two. The one on the left I purchased from an eBay dealer and I have no history about it. The one on the right used to belong to my MIL. I do have a bit of history on it. She purchased it in the mid-thirties. I think it may have been one of the first year's models. It was the middle of the Depression and she bought it on time-payments. Due to financial circumstances, she had to miss a payment. It was repossessed!!! She was able to scrape the money together and get it "out of hock" and sewed on it for many, many years. She was a marvelous seamstress and would still be sewing if it weren't for drastic loss of eyesight in recent years. She is 94 and finally slowing down. My husband bought it from her at the going eBay rate for one in great condition. Better to buy it than face the wrath of siblings, if you know what I mean!!! I just love FWs. I think they were an engineering marvel--so reliable, so functional, so darn cute. The case MIL's was in is a wreck. Duct tape and prayers are holding it together--no photo of that one! The case I use is the one that came with the eBay purchase. It is in remarkable condition--in tact and not smelly. It is so fun to bounce from my uber-modern Bernina to my "antique" Featherweight. Both wonders of their time.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Keepin' It Quilty

I must admit, I did NOT accomplish much quilty this weekend. Ran errands with DH all day Saturday, watched football a lot on Sunday, and actually cooked LOL. The Chiefs did not fare so well, losing in OT, but looked more promising than I thought they would against arch-rivals, Denver Broncos. Our star quarterback was injured with a head injury last week and the stand-in had not started in 2,121 days. At least we have some hope. On the cooking front I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and an apple pie. Is it fall yet??? This morning I drug out a cinnamon toast Yankee candle---mmmmm, yep, fall is in the air. Put out a few autumn decorations. Fall is my mostest favorite season of all. The top picture is a maple leaf vintage quilt I put on my dining room table. Although not really fall colors, I have always loved this two -color quilt. The hand quilting is exquisite. The next photos are some mid-80s books by Joan Vibert & Linda Brannock. Some bloggers had recently mentioned Linda Brannock. I have always admired her patterns and treasure these early works. The back cover that shows all the little folk dolls is precious to me. I must have made a gazillion of these little folk dolls in the 80s. They were so fun, so full of personality, and made great little "thinking of you" gifts. I had them all around my home, made pins out of them, used them as package ties---just adored them. Wished I had saved some.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Here's MY Luck!

Well, here's the good news: I did get my name drawn as a BOM winner at guild this morning---YAY! Here's the not-so-good news: the new BOM chairperson decided each winner would only get 4 blocks!!! Oh, well, four is better than zero, right? Besides, they are so quick and easy to make and I certainly have plenty of greens, creams, and browns in my stash to make plenty more. I do want to make more for a border or for setting blocks, whatever. Our speaker was wonderful this morning. She brought a gazillion antique quilts from her personal collection. They dated from 1853 to the present. Many had been loved but were still wonderful. It is so fun to see all the fabrics represented throughout the past century and a half.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The generosity of Patti is beyond belief. Look what I got in this morning's mail from her. Can you imagine??? I had mentioned in my blog a while back that I was searching for some teals for DS#1's Storm At Sea quilt. Patti emailed that she was clearing some out of her stash and would I like it? Hello. But I was thinking maybe 3 or 4 pieces--nothing like this dazzling array you see pictured!!! When I opened that package and the fabric just kept coming and coming, I was floored. I am so grateful and thrilled with all the different shades. Doesn't it just scream waves and roiling water and the sea?!? I am cooking up something for her (shhhh...) but nothing can compare to how tickled she made me today.

Nine Eleven

My thoughts are on Sept. 11, 2001, this morning. I have been thinking back to how utterly frightening it was when the news started to drift into the building I was then teaching in. My classroom did not have a TVor radio so I was dependent on people who came into the school for one reason or another to learn what was going on, as were the other staff members. All we knew was that a plane flew into one of the Twin Towers in NYC. Of course, we thought it was just some horrible accident, a miscommunication, something just went wrong. Soon we learned that, no, it was not an accident. America was under attack. It still sends chills up my spine to remember how awful that knowledge was and the questions it presented. Was the whole country going to be attacked? How should we care for the kids in our charge? Where in the building should we take them? As we tried very hard to keep calm and carry on as normal, I'm sure the students picked up on our fears. Our principal sent word around that we were not to take the children outside for recess. Parents began to arrive to pick up their children. We all wanted--and needed--information. And, of course, as we got that information, it was just too much to bear really. How could anyone drive a plane into a skyscraper. It was then that I fully began to understand radical extremism. Honestly, I haven't felt really safe again. It was comforting, however, to drive along block after block and see the American flag waving from almost every porch. Comforting in that it meant we were sticking together on this one. Today I am counting my blessings that I did not lose a loved one in the attack, but also feeling heartache for those who did. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I love to collect quotes. When I retired four years ago, a friend gave me a little Mary Engelbreit journal titled, "Nothing Is Worth More Than This Day." I have used it ever since to write down quotes that affect me. This is one I came across some time ago on the internet, "Imagination needs moodling--long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering." I had never heard the word "moodling" before. It's not in the dictionary! So I guess the author (Brenda Ueland) coined it. I think it really describes what I have been doing in my sewing room lately!! Lots of inefficient idling and puttering. But what fun. I am proud to report that yesterday I got both the inner and outer borders sewn onto Lee's Surrender--and the backing sewn together!!! It is ready to hand off to my longarmer. As a reward to myself, I "moodled" in the sewing room this morning. I pulled out the wonky house and just started adding pieces with abandon. Don't know what will happen next with it. Nothing really needs to happen next, for that matter! But it was a relaxing way to spend some time. Tomorrow the borders for the Birds and Roses are on the agenda. Hopefully this weekend I'll get out to some quilt shops to continue the search for shades of teal for DS#1's Storm At Sea. The second photo is from the new Quilt It for Christmas magazine that I found at the grocery store yesterday. I just love the sweetness and simplicity of it and it is now "on the list"!! I have gotten pretty blase about a lot of the quilt magazines lately, but this one really grabbed me. The cover quilt is wonderful, too. It is a Primitive Pieces by Lynda design called Cranbrook Christmas--just stunning. There were several others I just loved. Too many quilts, not enough time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Zen of Chain Piecing

Oh, how I love to chain piece! I can sit at the machine and do that for hours!!! Doesn't take much to entertain me, huh? I am really loving having the scraps cut into usable shapes and could not wait to start using some of my 2" squares. Don't know how Blogger will land these photos but here's what they are: little drawers of 2" squares (hasn't made a dent in the basement bags of odd sized fabric scraps LOL), the actual block of Arkansas Crossroads (sure wouldn't have guessed that this block turns into this quilt!) and four-patches and cross-parts up on the wall. Such fun. I could just pull randomly little squares and chain piece the four-patches. Then I used 3 1/2" squares with little 2" squares stitched diagonally at opposite corners. Press, square up--tada! Okay, this has been more avoidance behavior. I REALLY need to be adding borders to two quilts. I think my least favorite quilting activity is adding borders. Such LONG pieces, for Pete's sake. However, today I really MUST make myself do that. Then I can get back to playing with my scraps. By the way, working title for this quilt is Scrapbag Explosion. I really like random and scrappy!

Monday, September 04, 2006

BOAF Block 8

Well, the company is all gone, six loads of laundry are almost done, the house is picked up, and the cats are happy again! Love company, but love when things are back to normal LOL! Woke up way too early this morning so I decided to get the machine blanket-stitching done on this block. The wreath probably looks a bit wonky--that's because it is. Dealing with fusible on such a narrow open shape kinda makes the fabric do its own thing!!! Not gonna obsess over it though. As they say, "Done is better than perfect."