Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How boring......

First off, Uncle John and his home and avacados are OK - the fire looks to be contained around them, although it is only a few miles away. Too too scary.

Second, not much sewing this weekend: a friend came over and helped me plant about 500 flower bulbs for spring color. Two of us spent 3 hours, going at a rapid clip! Then, of course, we needed an hour of lounging in the shade with a nice bottle 'o vino......... OK maybe it was 2 hours.
FINE - not a minute over 4 hours and 2 bottles, and that's my story and I'm stickin to it!

This very bad pic is my granddaughter Meghan, who was Baby Queen at this years Portugese Festa. Her Grandpa is President of the local chapter, and it's usually the daughters and grands of the council who get to be queens and princesses. Meg got to walk in a parade with her 2 attending princesses holding her royal train. She's always wanted to be a Princess and now she is! Guess what her Halloween costume is tonight? Minus the big train, of course.

The reason you get a picture of my DGD is 'cos I can't show you my quilt related picture. It's a surprise for a swap partner and has to stay that way. BUT IT'S REALLY COOL!!! I also don't want to bore you with a picture of the 18 Mary's Triangles I made for the Paintbox quilt, them trimmmed WAAAY too small. If we had audio blogging I might could let you listen in at what I said when I discovered that, but then your sewing room would have blue air too -- just like mine! Think I'll go make some quickie pillowcase baby quilts to donate and see if I can do that without messing it up.....

Happy November!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires

If you've seen any newscast in the past 2 days you know Southern California is on fire. You can't imagine the scope and enormity of these (currently) 17 seperate fires is you've never been there. It's a huge huge area. Much of what is burning is rugged chapparal covered hills, and the infamous Santa Ana winds roar straight thru them at hurricane force. The "Santanas" as we called them are really hot dry winds, strange to feel. Coupled with the dryness of that area - averaging 6 - 10 inches of rain a year - there's really nothing to stop fire until it reaches the Pacific Ocean, so nearly half a million people are being evacuated - imagine, half a million!
My brother and his family were evacuated yesterday, as were my uncle and aunt in northern San Diego county. My brother has been allowed back in, but the smoke is so thick inside their house that the windows are sooty and the smoke alarms had to be disconnected. He is packing and taking his family somewhere else, he's not even sure where that might be. My uncle and aunt live in a somewhat remote canyon in an avacado orchard. Avacado trees are very oily and go up like torches. They live near the San Diego Wild Animal Park, (not the main Zoo) and this morning are making their horse trailer available to evacuate animals that are in immediate danger. They can't get back up to their home, so they don't know what's happening there. Neither of these are unusual stories, there are thousands of families going thru the same hell right now. Please send up extra special prayers for the safety of everyone in Southern California. Prayer might be their only hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An ironing Question

(this post edited to remove the reference to burning)
At retreat there are typically 2 or three irons going all day for 25 or so quilters. There's varying degrees of
in these irons, but none are what you'd consider "top end" because their life expectancy isn't great. When I first picked up one of the irons at retreat this time, I was shocked at how much hotter and what a better job it did than mine. I mentioned to someone that this little light "cheapie" iron worked far better than my big heavy expensive iron, and was met with a chorus of complaints about the BMW of irons. I hadn't realized that A.) mine isn't performing like I would expect, and B.) that so many others had had the same experience with them, and then C.) how dumb I feel that I believed the hype.

Here's my question - what has your history with irons been? These are really important tools for us, right up there with the Sewing Machine, and we need to know the facts before we spend great gooey gobs of fabric bucks on non-fabric items. (next question is how does this stupid underline pop up and why, and how to make it go away?)
So - what do you iron with and why?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What a Swell Time!

Ahhhh.....there's not too many things closer to a quilters heart than a few straight days of sewing with friends and not having to cook/clean/step&fetch. Call it immersion quilting - sewing saturation - quality time with a warm machine. LOL - whatever, it's my far and away my favorite escape. I took a large box of pre-cut pieces and made 11 more 16 inch blocks for what I'm now calling Paintbox. That green sure did something to it, just not quite sure what:
Sorta hurts the eyes, doesn't it? This is scrap wranglin' at it's finest; I don't pay attention to what goes with what. My darling friend Mavis who is utterly coordinated to the MAX kept trying to re-arrange pieces, saying "you have 2 greens here" or "Do you really want that many blues?" I love her to bits. By the last morning she was taking pictures and swearing she wanted to make one just like it.
I also took this opportunity to try my hand at teeny minis - paper pieced of course, and 3 inch finished.

The angel who arranges these trips and does all the work is Kerrie Hershey, owner of Kerries Quilting in Lakeport, CA. She gave me the best best best paper piecing tip I've ever learned. That thread cutting feature on my machine (that I thought was worthless) is the BOMB for paper piecing!! No 1000 miles of threads all over the place. She also pulled my name to win the neatest new cutter:
How cool is that? The picture doesn't show it as cool as it really is. Olfa is testing the water with these, and have only made 2 colors so far apparently, purple and orange. Ironically, the morning before the drawing I had relieved the LQS of 5 or 6 yards of assorted oranges. Spooky, huh? Like I have POWERS? (snicker snicker)
The scraps I trimmed off the Paintbox blocks made a little Broken Dishes quiltlet, NOT pp.

Those HSTs finished at an inch and a quarter. WAY small for me. I seem to be getting sucked into a leeetle bitty vortex - is there treatment for this???
For the 5th time I won the award for Most $$ dropped at the LQS. Sigh. Where's the competition???? Somebody put up a struggle! I'll show you the loot later, right now I have to go catch up on what's happening in blogland. Toodles!
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Sunday, October 14, 2007


Ahhh, at last the time has come to pack up my car and head to the beach for 4 days of sewing, yakking, chocolate, laughing, games, catered food, walks on the beach, and singing oldies.
LOL -- I wish you could come too! I'll be a new woman when I get back, and hopefully I'll have a couple of new tops to quilt. Pretty sure I'll have some more fabric and more projects; you know how it is.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Post Quilt Show

The show was excellent - every year it gets better! I think there were over 300 quilts this year, and for a small guild in a small county, that's fantastic. No detail is left undone either; our quilt show committee is nothing short of amazing. There will be a month or 2 break, then the planning for next year begins!
The only problem was, I forgot my camera. I was already 20 miles from home when I realized that, and there's no going back at that point. I had to be at my post at 10 am, and I was just barely going to make it as it was. So I kept driving & cussing a blue streak at my stupidity. I hate that! I used to have a really good memory, now I'm lucky if I remember what's-his-names' name.
Anyhow - whenever you get home from a show you're all juiced up, right? Well, I am anyway - so instead of working on one of the 6 UFO's stacked up next to the sewing table, I started a whole new one last night!

The newest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting was on my nightstand, and I flipped thru while resting my back - saw this, and had to do it. Wouldn't it be fun to do a study on just what the heck makes our little pea brains do this stuff? All those tops with no borders, or waiting to be layered up, and this one is all set to quilt already!! Granted it's fusible applique, but still -- I just don't understand me sometimes. While I was working on this, 2 of the grands from next door came in to check what's on the wall, and they both gave it the thumbs up. Colton suggests that it would make a good present for a 12 year old boy. Hmmmmm -- wonder who he has in mind??? ROFL! Jake the Younger, 7 y/o, wanted the long strips of selvedges from the trash and he was happy. Fun to have boys in the sewing room!
Sunday night chores are calling. I sure have a nice weekend to think about while I do all the scutwork. I hope your weekend was just as nice!
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Friday, October 05, 2007

I wanna be a ROCK star!

OK, not a rock star. I just want to design and build my own quilts. Apparently this is a progression that many quilters go thru - happy to make someone else's designs and eventually wanting to do their own. I've had EQ5 for a few years now and played a lot on it, but now I'm wanting to really come up with something striking that I have a snowballs chance of making. Hence:
FQFreakout and FQF2. I have more fat quarters than common sense, and theoretically I collected them to use, so these would be the quilts to do it.
I like them both and will make at least one of them, but can't decide which. Or maybe I'll come up with something else, who knows? OK, I admit to having Quilters ADD, so it's likely that I'll come up with something else, but still: I want to make at least one. Here's the rub: I would have to spend days cutting, and that might be my least favorite part. No, it absolutely IS my least favorite part. So my plan is to cut and cut and cut, and have a box full of parts so when I just want no-thinkum sewing I have it at hand. I need to have friends over for a cutting day, huh?
Tomorrow is our guilds big show and I can hardly wait! I'm working the first shift 10 - 12, then play for awhile and see where else I can help out. I love roaming the halls of quilts and feeling completely absorbed and inspired. When I get home my sewing room might burst into flames!
Pictures on Sunday. (not of flames, silly! the show!)

Monday, October 01, 2007


How do you put those nifty signatures in a post? I've diddled around for hours and can't find word one about them - but they're so cool!