Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My New Look!!

Madame Samm has done it again, and this time she did it for ME!!   I feel so special to have a genuine Madame Samm banner, and it's a winner!  How did she capture me so well, when we'd never spoken, I never told her my favorite colors, I never told her how I used to wear my hair...  It's simply AMAZING! 

Thank You Madame Samm for your generosity, you have such a caring, generous spirit! (Can you tell I love my new banner??)

When we spoke, Samm said my old background looked like skin cancer, omg she was right!!  ROFL  The new one is definitely on target!

And now, lest someone think I'm ungrateful, I have some 'splainin to do - I hardly ever check an old posting for comments, so I missed it when Samm asked me to take a peek!  I came on, hit a coupla blogs, cued up three days' worth of posts and got back to sewing... had my nose to the needle for a good part of 2 days.  Oh man, I didn't know what I almost missed! 

Also, I'm guilty of not checking my Yahoo email for over a week... if I had, I'd have seen her emails!   I'll definitely have to do better   :O*(

Thanks again, Madame - celebrate with me, everybody!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's in a name? or the name of a bag?

Three things to be happy about:
(1) remembering that this too shall pass
(2) drive-thru doughnut shops
(3) upscale supermarkets

I don't know about where you live, but if you go shopping here in the District, there's a 5-cent surcharge on bags if they have to give you one ... whether it's the supermarket, Target, CVS... wherever.  On the other hand, they (the Giant supermarket, at least) give you a 5-cent credit if you have your own bag.  How much sense does that make??

Sometimes my naughty streak just has to come out... I went to the Giant the other day and at the checkout counter I whipped out a Wegman's bag - the clerk was google-eyed! Now tell me ... if you had a choice of bags, which would you choose??

Exactly what I thought!  Here's one I got when I had my last mammogram...
I've only had the "nerve" to use it once, though.

And here's what happens when you take lots of meaningless pictures for your blog:
You run out of batteries and have to buy another super-big pack from Costco!  Enjoy your Sunday...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

a-b-c and 1-2-3

I shopped my stash for fabrics to make a kiddie quilt, this is just at the in-my-head stage right now.  The background will be combos of light fabrics, mostly in the beige-light brown family. 

Since I wanted to make something that would use up a lot of my scraps, I thought I'd applique the alphabet and some numbers onto separate background blocks.  I pulled a handful of blues and greens for the letters and numbers; obviously I'll need to add a lot more to this pile - maybe I'll throw in some purples too!  I might also add some crumb piecing, we'll see.

Where do ideas come from?  The layout I plan to use was inspired by the cover of a magazine I saw last month, I think I can make it work.  As I said before it's just in my head right now; I won't start this one until I finish some deadline stuff.

Have you noticed the new "related posts" buttons at the bottom?  Sometimes they have exactly nothing to do with the current posting, I don't know how the program picks which ones to link to.  I'll give it a little more time, then I might remove it.  Maybe I configured it wrong... who knows what, anyway?

Friday, January 28, 2011

One of my favorite things

Tuesday was my birthday but, unlike Oprah, I can't give everybody a truckload of goodies.  But I can share one thing that is very precious to me... the Birthday Dollar!  My sisters and I started a tradition a  few  years ago of passing along a dollar on each person's birthday.  The recipient signs it when she gets it, then keeps it til the next birthday.

This is a long story, so hang in with me if you can...

It all started when Ruby sent me a dollar in my birthday card...you'd have to know Ruby to understand how funny it was!  Then I started thinking... hmmm... maybe I'll send this dollar to Michelle on her birthday! So I signed it and told Shell what I was doing, and suggested she send it to Ruby on her birthday.  Shell signed it and sent it to Ruby -- and Ruby lost it!  ouch!
So... Ruby signed another dollar and sent it to me in January on my birthday; I signed it, sent to Shell in February, she signed it, sent it to Ruby in April -- and Ruby lost it!  goodness! 

SO... Ruby signed another dollar and sent it to me in January, I signed it and passed it to Michelle in February, who signed it and sent it to Ruby in April, who signed it and sent it to me in January... now we're rolling! 
Then I said, hey!  We're leaving Faye out of the loop!  So in September Ruby sent it to Faye on her birthday but forgot to tell her what we were doing -- and Faye gave it to her youngest for milk money!  NO SHE DIDN'T!!

Okay, let's try it again, we can do this...

Faye started a new dollar in 1996 by writing our birthdays on it, and sent it to me in January 1997, I passed it along to Shell, she passed it along to Ruby, who passed it to Faye, who passed it to me. We finally got it right, yes!!! 

So our official Birthday Dollar has been travelling between DC, New Jersey, Virginia and California since 1996.  Shell just sent it to me this week and I'll send it back to her in February.

This dollar is really precious to me because Faye passed away in April 2005, her last signature was in September 2004.  Ruby's last signature was in April 2008, she passed away in July of that year.

That's the story of our Birthday Dollar!  What traditions do you have?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow on top of us, get ready to dig out... or in

Four inches?  Six? Ten??  Well, it's anybody's guess because the weatherman sure doesn't know.  We got SNOW and at this posting it's still coming down, a far cry from our 40 degree weather Tuesday.

We had snow on the ground when I got up, that they said would turn into rain (but they forgot to put the word freezing in front of it)!  Because of the 4-10 inches expected to start by evening rush hour, around 11:30 OPM notified government agencies we were excused 2 hours before our normal time. Yeah, right. I left at noon.

At this posting, a lot of people are still trying to get home, some of them left work at around 3:30 in the afternoon.  Multiple accidents, running out of gas, buses and 18-wheelers stuck, sliding backwards on hills, the Beltway a parking lot...   It's a nightmare out there, I feel bad for those people!

I took these pictures from my carport at the back of my house around 8:30 pm.  The lighting in the alley makes it look like daytime.

The one below is at the front of my house, looking at the snow-covered cars. 

This all accumulated in the last 5 hours, I have no idea how many inches we got. They're saying it will all start to come to an end in the next hour, but that doesn't help the people still stranded out there, I hope they get home safely. 

Well, that's my rant; I told my team leader not to expect to see my face on Thursday, I'll be working from home.

Update 6:15 am:
Most people made it home last night but a lot were stranded on the roads for 12-15 hours.  The snow DID stop but because of the abandoned vehicles and accidents, it's hard for the snow plows to clear some areas.  Thousands are without power, mainly because of trees falling on power lines.  DC government is closed, lots of schools closed today, Federal government on a 2-hour delay with an unscheduled teleworking option. 

It's not that we can't handle snow, it's just that this one hit so hard and fast.  Right now the temp is in the 30's with highs going up to near 40.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My fun-filled Bee meeting

Last Saturday at my bee, we had a blast!  I mentioned before that we have some very talented ladies in my guild (Uhuru Quilters Guild) ... well, the same thing can be said about my bee, Wee Bee Quilters.  It was a fun-filled meeting with lots of show and tell:

Look at this - Yetunde finished her Prince!

Jackie made a lovely bag and exchange block - she will show us how to make the bag!

Carolyn made three quilts for the Beautiful African Ladies challenge!

Why stop at one when you can make 2 more!

Some of the blocks from the crazy patch swap - 13 people swapped, and the blocks were all unique and gorgeous!

We had a great time as usual; I'm looking forward to next month's meeting.  After I got home I sewed on retreat projects for about an hour, every little bit counts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...

You GO, Tina - I should look half as good at 70!

Monday, January 24, 2011

How's This For Nostalgia?

My friend Pat sent me this nostalgia list and I thought I'd share it with you.  See how many you can remember:

Do you remember when all the girls had ugly gym uniforms?
It took three minutes for the TV to warm up?
When a quarter was a decent allowance; you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny? 

You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time? And you didn't pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot?
Laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home?
Summers filled with bike rides, Hula Hoops, and visits to the pool?

You were told to be home by the time the street lights came on, and when they did all your friends made a mad dash for home?

Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, 'Yeah, I remember that'?  Now, how many of these do you remember?

candy cigarettes
 Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside. 
 Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.
 Coffee shops with table side Jukeboxes.
 Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum. 
Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers. 
 Newsreels or cartoons before the movie.
Telephone numbers with a word prefix...( Yukon 2-601). Party lines. 

If you can remember most or all of these, Then You Have Lived!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

A fun-filled afternoon!

This is a very short blog.  I was all set to tell you about the great time we had at my bee yesterday but alas ... according to comments I'm reading, blogger is temperamental.  I'd hate to lose anything, so I'll lay low and hope the problem gets resolved soon. 

Stay tuned for photos from the meeting, it's always great getting together with fellow Wee Bee Quilters. 

Until later,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Saturday, yes!... again

Four things to be happy about:
(1) dreaming up a new dish
(2) a surprise when you need one
(3) the shapes of keys
(4) perfecting a quilt stitch

Has this been a short week, or is it just me??  I've noticed the days are getting a minute longer (as they should be), even though sometimes it's so overcast.  They're calling for light snow at some point -- who knows what, anyway?

Yesterday I ran some errands and went to Costco in the morning, then came home and had lunch. I was so sleepy for some reason, so I decided to take a nap before getting back into my retreat projects. I went to sleep and when I woke up --- the street lights were on!  I must have needed some serious sleep; I guess your body knows what's best.

Well, today's agenda includes my bee meeting and cleaning, then I'll definitely get some badly needed sewing in!  Enjoy your Saturday, everybody!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quilting rulers, it's not nice to hide ...

So, how many rulers does the average quilter have?  Quick, pick a number!  Now, if I have more than that, does that make me "above" average??  ;o)

I was so sure I'd lost one of my favorite rulers, so I bought another one... then sometime later I found it in a bin of T-shirts I'd started cutting apart.  That made me think about organizing my rulers in one place ... and THAT led me on a safari to find all of em.

So I put on my deer-stalker hat, grabbed my spy glass and here's what I found:

Two 4 x 14's;  two 9-1/2" square;   a 4 x 8;  an 8-1/2 x 24;   a 4 x 4;   a 3 x 18;   a 6 x 24;   a 12-1/2" square;  a 14 x 14; and a corner tool, all by Omnigrid.

a 6-1/2" Easy Square Jr.,  a 6-1/2" Easy angle;  an Easy 6

a Fons & Porter diagonal set ruler (not used yet!); a Creative Grids 20-1/2 square and  60-degree triangle ruler (8" finished)

a Clear View 60-degree - 120-degree cutting tool; a Jodi Barrows square in a square ruler; a Scrap Master ruler; a Dear Jane triangle ruler (not used yet!); and a Wonder Cut ruler.  (That Scrap Master is nice, you can cut different sized squares, half- and quarter-square triangles from little odd-sized scraps.)

I also have a 6x24" O'Lippa at the office, and possibly another square one.

I had this one on my cutting table, something heavy fell on an edge that was sticking slightly off the table and broke it off.  Lesson learned.

I use the 8-1/2 x 24" a lot, it has a non-slip back and I like being able to add that extra 1/2 inch to my strip.  Great for cutting borders!

I'm sure I have a little skinny 1x6??

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do you have enough fabric?

Maybe a little too much??  We did a survey in my guild to see what your first clue is when you just aren't sure whether or not you have too much fabric. Some of the hilarious results are below:

You KNOW you have too much fabric when...

  • you can't get into your guest room and your guest has to sleep in YOUR room.
  • you have to buy more storage bins to store it -- and you can't find the right bin when you need it.
  • all you do is organize it -- fold and refold.
  • JoAnn's refers customers to YOUR house.
  • you have it stacked by the bed and you pray it doesn't fall over on you as you sleep.
  • you have to sneak in fabric so your family won't see it.
  • you realize that your fabric stash is larger than your underwear drawer.
  • church folks visit on Thursday, then on Sunday the pastor praises you for running a fabric distribution center, and not seeking credit.

  • you run out of places to hide it from yourself in your house.
  • you like the fabric so much, you spend all your time washing and pressing it instead of sewing it.
  • you keep buying the same fabric over and over.
  • you have a fabric stash in your car.
  • you have every piece of fabric shown in "show n tell".
  • you have a JoAnn's credit card that's in collection.
  • you get home from fabric shopping, loosen your belt and give a lady-like burp.
Is that you?  Oh my goodness, send help!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Slippery Tuesday!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a coffee jump start
(2) hot cinnamon coffee cake
(3) teleworking from home

Today is a slippery-slidey day for sure! 

We had sleet and freezing rain starting around 9 pm last night, so this morning's commute is impossible except for all but the lion-hearted. 

I have icy steps and a slippery sidewalk, not to mention the street!  They're saying the main roads are "just wet" but getting there is 90% of the problem because I have to negotiate the side streets... so I'll be teleworking today thank you very much.

This is NOT me in the video, but you see my point about icy roads.  This isn't intended to be "funny" though.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Who? When? Why? Where?

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a clever plan
(2) the willingness to wait
(3) a sudden insight

I have two Jennifer Chiaverini books on my iPod that I've listened to more than once - The Winding Ways Quilt and The Lost Quilter

In The Winding Ways Quilt, a much younger Gwen tries to determine the creator of an old quilt found in a church basement. She never is 100% successful (I hope I didn't spoil it for anyone!), but her search takes her to libraries in different cities, town hall records, as well as the home where she suspects the quilt originated. 

I think it's one of Chiaverini's best novels (I like them all!), and it points out the need for identification on quilts.  Labels are popular, and I notice that some quilters are starting to put information directly onto the quilt itself.  It's interesting that I said "are starting to" because in times past, quiltmakers wrote their name, date and location directly onto the front of their quilt.  Forgive me if I scrambled that info up a bit, I'm no quilt historian!

I found this quilt on Antique Row in Kensington, Maryland.  The sales lady said it was made in 1929 but you can't prove it by me, it doesn't have a label. 

Doesn't matter though - I saw the quilt, liked it, the price was right... yadda yadda yadda I now own it!   It's hand-pieced and hand-quilted.  I don't recognize the pattern... anybody?

The quilter chose not to use batting. and it's in really great shape - the only damage I see is around the binding area.  It looks like she (he?) either whip-stitched a piece of almost-matching fabric onto the old piece, or this is how it was originally made and it's coming loose.

Here's a close-up of one of the center blocks and a corner block.  I tried to get a shot of the quilting but my camera wasn't cooperating, then the batteries quit.  It's so hard to get good help these days!

Anyway, this is just a reminder of  the importance of labeling your quilts.  Just think to yourself "It's not finished til the label's done!"  It can be plain or fancy, hand-written, computer-generated, or smack-dab on the quilt itself - as long as it's there.  Just saying...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's Saturday, yes!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) guild meetings
(2) ugly fabric auctions
(3) a lazy weekend

All three of those things are happening today, yes!  My guild meets today, and I get a chance to see people I haven't seen since the last meeting and to see what they've been up to, quilt-wise.  I always look forward to show-and-tell because we have some very talented ladies in our guild.  Sometimes I see a quilt with a great layout or design, and I think "oh man! why didn't I think of that???"  It's also a chance to "share" my stash by way of our quarterly Ugly Fabric Auction...
Here are four beauties for the auction:

And three more:

Aren't they to die for??!

 Can't forget my badge!

There's so much "flair" on there you can barely see the design!

Until later...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happiness is where you find it...

Three things to be happy about:
(1) good humor
(2) the brilliant white of snow
(3) stars in the winter sky

I'm glad people like my daily happy things, there are so many out there!  I thought I'd share random quotes from this calendar I found at the Dollar store in Hampton (December 2005) when my sister Ruby and I were doing some "power" shopping.  Who'd think there'd be so much happy goodness in a dollar store purchase!?

Actually you can get good "junk" at the dollar store... like this Mrs. Santa tissue box cover that I use at Christmas time...
 and this iPod ...


Isn't that fabric a funny color?  In reality the fabric is white, with red polka-dots, not orange-y gold with red dots.  My Nikon camera has been doing that a lot lately ... is it time to get a new flash card?

In my ramblings, I've discovered that all dollar stores are not created equal; my personal favorite is Dollar Tree - now they really have the good stuff!  I've seen names like "Dollar Ocean" and "Dollar and More" that are not what I think of as a "dollar" store, and they're full of stuff they should refund you 98 cents from.  In one store I saw some kind of fabric "luggage" for $14.99 ... come on now!!  And they had the nerve to have it chained down?  Puleeese!

Today I think they're calling for more snow but as I type this the sun is coming up and it looks nice outside... we'll see.  I just have to get loc maintenance today then maybe a quick trip to Bath and Body Works to see if they've reduced their soaps again.  After that, if I'm smart, I'll come back home and get some sewing (and housework!) done.  I do not need to pass Macy's, I do not need to spend $200 (a very loose quote from the Monopoly game). Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One decision made

Three things to be happy about:
(1) cheddar-pepper muffins
(2) your favorite old quilt
(3) drifting off to sleep

A few days ago I showed you my first quilt, this trip around the world.  I was debating how to finish it off but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it's not worth the effort of picking out the quilting and redoing it "properly".  Besides, I quilted it with invisible thread!

Since the backing was wide enough, I decided to trim away the excess batting, fold the backing to the front and top stitch it with a decorative stitch.  I believe that's all the loving care this little quilt needs.

I ended up with a handful of trimmings...

Since my UFO #3 was AWOL, I'll consider this one a substitute.  It won't take long at all to finish this off!

The snow we got was just enough to make the roadway slippery on some side streets.  Unfortunately I live on the shady side of my street, so the sun didn't have a chance to melt much of it in front of my house.  It would have been nice not to have to shovel!  I poked my head outside about a hour ago - windy and cold!  I pulled it back in, quickly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stashhopping?? Stash hopping??

Okay, okay, it's really "stash shopping"... someone else's, not mine...

I admit, with my head hanging down, that yes I went shopping in someone else's stash ... then, with a bright and cheery grin I lift my head and ask "How can you blame someone with such an innocent face!?"

There's a local quilter who has had to rent a public $torage $pace for her stash because she has no more room at her home, and she's having to sell it off.  Last Friday my friend Pat and I hopped in the car and went joyfully to Kensington, Maryland and had our way in said stash.  I took a shopping bag but I had no intention of filling it up - and I didn't!  There was still a little bit of room left at the top when I came home.  :o)

I got some nice Free Spirit pieces...
these are assorted labels - Timeless Treasures, makower uk England, etc.  I got two nice purples and a "cobblestones" pattern in a kind of caramel-ly/brown-y color.

Two Northcotts, a Kaffe.  I like the pale green with the little cups, I took all she had left on the bolt.

Two Kaye Englands and a nice pink polka-dot - what's not to love about those dots!??  I got all she had left on the bolt... Pat talked me into it!

She had quite a few plastic-wrapped, unopened bolts of fabric... she said she now has about 1/4 of what she started out with.  I got a total of 30 yards for $60 - not bad for a morning's raid!  AND, I do intend to use this fabric!  Honest!  I already have a project in mind for that cream piece, above.

As I'm writing this, it is 1/11/11 and the snow is drifting quietly down outside.  We've been "downgraded" from 1-4 inches to just 1".  However, I'm prepared to work from home if need be.  Until later!