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!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

fait accompli - twice!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) high tea at a London hotel
(2) waiting patiently
(3) hors d'oeuvres (we used to call them "horse dervers")

Hi everybody - I know if you saw THE WEDDING, you enjoyed it as much as I did... in fact I feel pretty sure some people in the UK are still celebrating! 

My Singer Touch n Sew (my "baby") started making funny whining noises on Monday and I didn't want to use it without knowing why, so yesterday morning I took it to the Hancock Fabrics in Takoma Park so Jeff could take a look at it.  Jeff has been doing maintenance on my Singer for ... oh, I'd say at least 30 years, probably longer!  Anyway, I picked it up a couple hours later and he said all it needed was cleaning and oiling.  Who knew?

The important part is, (1) my machine is up and running, and (2) now I can finish this super simple applique block I started on Monday ...

and hand it off to be put into a quilt.  The quilt is being made for the manager of the rec center where our Bee meets, as a gesture of appreciation for all he does above and beyond. 

Did you notice the words at the bottom?  They name the adinkra(sp?) symbol and it's meaning.  Here's a closeup:

When I want to put words on something as small as this, I write the words directly on the fabric rather than running it though the printer as I usually do.  Sometimes the printer can scrunch the fabric up or wrinkle it, no matter how careful you are!  Is that my hand writing?  Nope, I typed it out in Word and tried different fonts and sizes.  When I found one I liked I printed it out and traced the words onto the applique block with a permanent marker:
My decision on which font to pick is based on things like the width of the letters, how the words end, and how well the font looks with whatever I'm placing it on.  I did the same thing for Petunia's name in Thursday's post - see it here.

Well that's all for now.  It's a bit overcast right now but I plan on going to the Milltown Quilters quilt show in Columbia, you gotta love quilt shows!  But first, brekky and laundry... enjoy your day.

Sew forth and sew on

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poking my head up

Hi everybody, thanks for your comments -- oh my, so many!  I recognize some people from their comments on my previous postings, thanks for the encouragement  ;o)

I had a Murphy's law experience Wednesday and Thursday, it can wear you out if you let it.  When I had no access to my internet Wednesday night, I thought for sure it was because of the tornados in our area.  But then I realized I could use my phone and they're both bundled together.  SO that led to a call to Verizon which lasted about 45 minutes (35 of that was responding to that syrupy voice that walks you through I don't know how many menus as if she can hear what you say, and ON HOLD listening to that stupid music they play).  To drag out a long story, the tech tested my internet connection and said it was working okay, so the problem was probably between the box and my PC.  His recommendation?  Get a new ethernet cable.  Now I ask you... if you haven't moved your PC or the box, haven't hooked up or unhooked anything... how can your ethernet cable just suddenly go bad?

Nevertheless, yesterday I bought a new cable and attached it... still no internet.  Now, if I may back up about three days... I got a new version of McAfee Monday evening.  Tuesday evening I was having problems with the settings, it kept telling me the real-time scan security wasn't working and my PC wasn't secure.  So I contacted McAfee and allowed a tech to remote into my PC to fix the problem - that lasted about 45 minutes to an hour.  So yesterday when my internet problem wasn't solved with the new cable, my other thought was the McAfee tech might have changed something, so I called them back yesterday and he walked me though reconfiguring my browser settings.  Long story short, it's working now, although he did recommend I get more RAM.

I'm quite annoyed because the Verizon tech could have done the same thing - they're my ISP, not McAfee!

Now, what does this have to do with anything?  nothing, I'm just poking my head up out of the mess of the last couple days.  Thanks for listening and have a good one.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crummy backgrounds ... and a giveaway!

Hi everybody, if you're looking for me I'm over at Sew We Quilt / Stash Manicure today!  See?

So go over there and read the post, then come back here for a giveaway (ends Sunday May 1 at 11:30 pm EST).

Welcome back, here's what you do for a chance to win:  (1) leave a message here telling me why you like small quilts; (2) mention my giveaway on your blog if you have one; (3) state your preference - Petunia or the Water Bearer; and (4) become a follower - it's free and we're always glad to scoot over and make room for one more!

So here's Petunia ...

And here's the water bearer.  I still need to attach the binding but it'll be finished by the time a winner is announced  ;o)

The winner will be announced on Monday, May 2 by 10 a.m. EST

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The care and feeding of a blog

Hi everybody, welcome to Wednesday!  In college we used to call it "international date night"; after I started working we would call it "hump night," as in "we made it over the hump."  Anyway.

Every now and then you'll probably see me making tweaks to my blog, even after 5 months.  I took off the comment word verification a few weeks ago because I thought  it probably wasn't necessary.  Then I noticed I was getting a lot of spamming messages. 

The odd thing is, they were always, always connected with the posting I did regarding the number of  rulers I have; I had named it something like "Rulers rule... unless they hide or abdicate."  I started getting vague comments like "I like what you say, here's my link." or "Some very interesting points, I share your view, see what others are saying."  There was always a link, which I never clicked on; I just deleted the whole thing.  Not to mention the viagara ads.  

I went in and renamed the posting, thinking the words "ruler" and "abdicate" used together might have alerted some kind of radical group.  No dice, I was still getting spammed.  So ... I've decided to reactivate word verification, I hope it doesn't inconvenience anyone!

On a happier note, I got my new chair set up, it took about an hour to put the thing together; it might have taken less time if I'd read the instructions better.  Anyway, now I can sit at my desk without having to raise the seat every 15 minutes, oh man that was a pain! 

And, because I think sometimes a blog without pictures is a "blaahg", here's the little wall quilt that hung in our room at the retreat a couple weeks ago:

I think it's just too cute!  They stuck the flag right in his pocket, it's not stitched down or anything.  That's it for now... sew forth and sew on til later.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday's bee

Hi everybody!  Is it Monday yet?

Let's see... I'm sitting at the PC in my house, in the kitchen my coffee pot is gurgling, I hear someone beeping his horn outside (at 6:00 a.m. yet!), I have News 4 on the tv, I can hear a siren in the distance... yep, it's Monday.

Saturday the Wee Bee Quilters met, and it was busy as a ... BEE.  Here are some great pictures of show n tell:
Gwen (left) made a quilt with her strips from the 2009 Scrapbag retreat...

isn't that a great bug quilt?  They're too cute!

here's a close-up.  Gwen added beading, I'm not sure if you can see them...

Emma made this great yellow and black bow-tie quilt.  She added texture by using the same fabric for the background as the bow-tie, what a unique idea!

Yetunde shows her zentangle quilt

I'm busy as a bee, but I didn't finish my bag though - poop!  I'll have to hook up with Jackie and finish it later.  I'm not sure anybody finished, so I don't feel so bad.

Sew forth and sew on til later

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, everybody!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

pretty swap blocks

When I'm in a block exchange I always look forward to seeing what the other people did for me.  In this case (for the retreat) we were each given a half yard of focus fabric, and our choice from a group of blocks.  In February I showed you the blocks I made (take a look!), which were paper pieced.  Here are the ones I received in the exchange:

My block is the one at the top.  The bottom block
in the photo shows the blue challenge fabric
being used in the lower left side.

Surprisingly, only one other person
used paper piecing for her blocks, it's
the deep blue one at the top right hand side. 

In this set the you can't see the challenge fabric
in the bottom right-hand block but it's at the edge...

Last four.  Don't ask me the names of the blocks, no way
can I tell you!  I only
know they came from Quilters Cache.

Isn't it interesting which fabrics each person chose as a go-along with their piece of challenge fabric?  As long as we included a little piece in our block, we met the challenge.  Some people hadn't finished their blocks, so theirs weren't included in the exchange; it happens.

The day before I left for the retreat I was getting up from the 'puter when I heard this loud POP! and my chair broke.  I was left squattng, peering beneath my desk with the chair seat caught between the backs of my legs and my thighs, yeowww!  It didn't make a pretty picture, I tell you.  Thank God I wasn't tipped backwards with my feet on the stool, I might have gotten seriously hurt. 
I don't know if you can tell, but the metal bracket part between the seat and the bottom part snapped clean in two!  I went and got another one yesterday, but it's not put together yet; soon as I got home it started raining and I didn't want to wrestle the box out of my trunk. 

Well, today is my bee meeting (Wee Bee Quilters), we're having a bag workshop.  I'm not sure what this particular bag looks like, there have been lots of bags but it'll be the first workshop I've done.  These are the fabrics I'm using:
the ugly piece of Northcott on the right will be the lining... what will the finished bag look like?  Stay tuned!

Sew forth and sew on...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

leaving the mountain

Hi everybody, thanks for your comments!  I should have mentioned that our ironing board was really an ironing station that we used while working on our projects.  If you could have seen the balcony area we were sewing in ... we had to swing around a big ole pool table to make room!  I've never been in one of those houses that didn't have a big pool table; in fact the one for our 2009 retreat had TWO - one in the upper balcony and another in the lower level.  But we're quilters - we can handle it, yeah!

Back in December I showed you some ribbons (take a look at them!) we exchanged at our last Scrapbagger's retreat, which I'd done absolutely nothing with... I just wasn't inspired.   However, at this retreat Shirley showed us her finished quilt and it was beautiful!

Now I know I can  put mine together too!  We all have the same number of blocks to work with, but some are slightly different from the others.

When I arrived I took a picture of the ski slope we could see from our windows (Wisp?), which still had a bit of patchy snow left...

I wanted to compare it as we were leaving Sunday...

Doesn't look like much, but it's going down.  I just noticed a big difference between the two pictures, do you see it??  Sure you do!

When I photographed the ski slope on Sunday I noticed our deck had ice, brrrrrr!

it must have snowed a bit Saturday night-early Sunday morning, ecckk!

But before we left, Renea strutted in her quirky pajamas...

She bought plain ones and embellished them herself...

 isn't she clever?

And we had the drawing for this gorgeous quilt! 

 We were all given a FQ of a blue batik we had to incorporate into a block. Take a look at the block I made here.

And the lucky winner was....


Congratulations again, Phyllis!

After hugs all around and trying to repack our cars and vans (theory... if all our stuff fit in there coming, surely it will all fit going home again!) we were ready to drive back down the mountain.  It was a gorgeous day for driving, traffic was light, and the sun was shining all the way home!
All in all, it was a retreat to remember!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

more sweet treats

I saw this on Mary Lou Weidman's blog, I thought it was toooo funny:

INSTALLING SPRING...  44% DONE.
Installation delayed....please wait.
Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Season not found.
Season "Spring" cannot be located. The season you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Please try again.


Thanks everybody for your comments - Yetunde, we missed you at the retreat!!

We had workshops in the morning, then the afternoon and evening we could either work on the workshop projects or something else. 

View from the ironing board
Here's the catch though: if the day was yucky outside it was easier to sit at the sewing machine than if it was gorgeous! 

View of the lake - kinda chilly outside on Thursday!

Nadine and Shirley work on individual projects
Rosa works on her first mug rug!

Lookit all the ladybugs!  Secret word contest won by yours truly on Thursday.
 Thursday's secret "forbidden" word was sew or so... it was a lot of fun trying not to say either word in normal conversation!  I think I nabbed 14 lady bugs that day.

Friday the weather cleared up gloriously, we had lots of sunshine and just couldn't stay inside!  I coaxed a few of the ladies to hang some quilts from the balcony for photo ops...
L-R: Cornelia, Renea, Felicia, Jackie, Rona, Gwen, and Nadine
Afterwards Nadine, Jackie, Phyllis and I went for a semi-brisk walk.  We are always cautioned (interpretation: warned) to place all trash in proper containers because of the bears, and we saw some genuine bear scratches on our walk...

bear scratches
but this is the only bear we actually saw:

he's a cutie-pie - no worries!
I informed the ladies it's a well-known fact that a bear will not attack four quilters walking in a group towards the east if the sun is shining.  Word!

Here's another view of the lake I took while we were walking:
see the difference a day makes?

Jackie, Nadine and Phyllis contemplate karaoke...

So does this mean yes..., or no??

Now we've seen it all ... let's head back to the lodge!

Sew forth and sew on...