Thursday, December 31, 2009

Angels Amongst Us

I learned today that Lorna lost her valiant battle against breast cancer this morning. When I was in Arlington earlier this month, I visited her in the rehabilitation center. She was so happy to have been able to stand for 4.5 minutes in physical therapy that morning. She spoke of getting stronger and when she would be able to leave the hospital and come back to work. As a result of her hope, I had hope, and fully expected her to get better.

Lorna kept a positive mental attitude throughout her ordeal, and often said that if her suffering motivated just one person to get a mammogram, it would be worthwhile. I am happy that I shared time with her on this earth, and she truly left footprints on my heart. Rest in peace, Lorna.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die...
Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Folded Fabric Ornaments

I've been busily working on the wedding ring quilt, but also took time out to make some fabric Christmas ornaments for presents. How cute are these?The red one will have a white ribbon and is for a Delta soror, Barbara, and the green and gold one is for my neighbor Sandra. They will get them when we get together for our Christmas luncheon Thursday. These little puppies are addictive, and may become my new airplane project. Here is a video tutorial on how to make these if you are so inclined. They are time consuming...both of these took about 6 hours each.
Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live...Dennis Miller.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Secret

Wait, you mean this works? You mean if I just put it out to The Universe, it will happen? Last week I said that I was going to win the giveaway over at 44th Street Fabric, and guess what? I won! Seriously!

So...the health care bill is going to pass, Obama's popularity will rise in the polls, my flight will leave on time tomorrow, I will lose 20 pounds by the end of January, aw peace! And just in case you think I'm not serious, I am quite sincere about all of the above. Notice I did not say I would win a million dollars! Although if The Universe is in a generous mood, toss the benjamins in!

Anyway - thanks, Bev!

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, DC. This wasn't for religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin. --Jay Leno

Monday, December 07, 2009

Find Jaso!

This is fun! 44th Street Fabric has a giveaway every have to find the fabric with a photo of the CEO, Jason to be entered into the drawing. If you mention it on your blog, you get double the fabric if you win! Since I'm going to win, thought it would be great to have double the fabric! Check it out at their blog, then go look for Jason.

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. - Cicero

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Focus, Jeanette....

But first, let me get over my shock that it is December already! What happened to 2009? Where did it go? I am so not ready for this year to be over!

But the title for this post comes from the fact that I have four hard-core, major, intensive projects going on...Misty Blue Latte, Not Fast Food, the hand applique journey quilt (I haven't posted any blocks of that one!) and this past week I started another project, Judy Niemeyer's Bali Wedding Star. Here's a photo of the instructor's quilt.

Very pretty! Not to mention that I have a few quick projects on deck, like I have to finish a wedding quilt for next June. So now is when I have to have a little chat with myself and come up with a plan to get this all done.

The best part of procrastination is that you are never bored, because you always have all kinds of things that you should be doing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Daylight Saving Time

Oh, I like to think I am just so up on all the latest in technology. I know I can't keep up with my 16-year old nephew, but I like to think I can hold my own beyond just knowing how to turn the computer on and off. I can load and use most of my software, I'm very good at Excel and Powerpoint, and I can help others with basic problems. So how is it I lost an entire post the Sunday that we went off DST? It was a good post, too! (Of course it was!)

No really - I had a link to my Houston Quilt Show photos. And I commented on finishing up UFO's...I completed the binding and showed "When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall" at our September Guild meeting. This is a not very good photo of a quilt that really grows on you. It was a UFO for about 5 years. When I took the class, it was billed as Intermediate, but the block looks (and is!) so easy. Come to find out, the Intermediate part was matching up all those seams and corners because fabric shifts and moves as you sew it. Fast forward a few years, improved skills, and I finished it. It really is a lovely quilt, not at all what I am usually drawn to. There was more but I can't remember it now!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Words of Encouragement

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and coincidentally, I finished a quilt for my colleague, Lorna Ridley, who is valiantly fighting breast cancer. Lorna had finished her treatment and was getting ready for reconstructive surgery when she discovered the cancer had metastasized to her bone. She is currently struggling with physical therapy so that she can walk. I visited her in the hospital on Wednesday in Arlington; her spirits were high and she is determined to fight and get back to her life. The quilt looked beautiful on her bed, and she loved it!

This quilt is titled, "Words of Encouragement," because of the positive affirmations and words printed on one of the fabrics. The back of the quilt is the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on brown, with a panel of words of encouragement. The quilting is ribbons, a repeat of the awareness ribbon, and is quilted with pink thread by Ladye Buckner, herself a survivor.

Please keep Lorna in your thoughts and prayers.
Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
Christopher Reeve

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Bite of the Elephant

I have been quilting and busy with quilt related stuff, but haven't had time to write! So here is the next completed block. And yes, another 10+ hour block.

I have already decided the name for this quilt! I was a white glove hostess for the East Cobb Quilt Show, and as one of the observors walked by, he said to me how happy he was that the art of quilting has survived and thrived and has not gone the way of fast food. I assured him that we have our fast food equivalents! But based on how long this is taking, I decided to call it "Not Fast Food." More like the Tasting Menu at a 5-star restaurant.

Speaking of the Cobb Show, I received "Excellent" feedback from the judges! Visual Impact, Piecing Techniques, and Quilting Design were all rated "Excellent"! Comments were that "Pairing of batiks with black fabrics and variegated quilting thread is a very effective combination. Binding is well applied. Corners should be 90 degrees."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Delivering the eulogy for Robert Kennedy in 1968, Ted Kennedy said, "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world."

"The work goes on...the cause endures...the hope still lives...and the dream shall never die."
Senator Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time!

This is what 1/8 of a block looks like. It took an hour and a half. I am now going to go clean up the kitchen before going to bed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just alike but different

Another 10 hour block! I just realized that the last block I said was 8 hours was actually 10. And so was this one. At this rate, I'll finish this quilt when I'm eligible for Social Security, since there are 24 blocks! Oy vey! Only 22 more to go, 220 hours at the rate I'm going. Hmmm....I may have to downsize this quilt, and one thing for darn sure...this quilt will not be given's staying with me!
Guess what? It's the same block as before! Just the ends are turned differently. So the center blue in the first block is the outer purple in the second. The gold in the first one is the green in the second. Just alike but different! Check it out:

"Born to quilt...forced to work."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Customer Care

So I wrote a very nice letter to Delta Customer Service when I got back, complimenting Michael F. It was the least I could do, don't you think? I should have given him a tip, but I didn't think about it until I was rushing through security. And this is hysterical! I got an email response from Customer Care that was the nicest letter I have ever received from a business. I was expecting the usual cut and paste response, but no...this person got an A in her Creative Writing class. Here's the closing:

"You are a special person to take the time to write about a good experience with us and as my day comes to a close, I will smile knowing there are people like you flying with us. As a Gold Medallion member, you are an integral part of our customer base and we deeply value your business."

I can just see her smiling now, thinking of the wonderful customers who are flying Delta. What a wonderful way to wrap up the week. (Anybody got an air sickness bag?)

On my last few Delta flights, the flight attendants have been trying to lighten up their spiel a little bit. "As you exit the plane, please check the seat pocket in front of you, but if you leave anything behind, don't worry. Tomorrow you will be able to find it on eBay."
"If you are seated next to a child, or someone just acting like a child, please assist with their breathing apparatus."
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
But my favorite is from Southwest:
"Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I really don't like to spend a lot of time sitting in airports. Yes, the Crown Club is nice, but so is my living room. If I can walk up to the gate as they are starting to board, that is perfect timing as far as I'm concerned. This occasionally results in drama, as happened last Friday, when I arrived at the ATL at 11:10 for my 11:55 flight.

New Rule: Baggage must be checked in and present at the check-in counters at least 45 minutes before your scheduled departure time.

It used to be 30 minutes, but somewhere in there it changed. So I arrived at the airport already too late to check my bag. My bag for the weekend quilt retreat at San Damiano, which had all my quilt supplies and fabric, not to mention my clothes, my bag which weighed 52 pounds, my bag which was too big to carry on the plane. Michael F. at the counter said that it was too late to check my bag and he would see if he could get me on the next flight. Me: (airily) "Oh, I can make this one. I don't mind if my bag gets there later." Michael F: "No, you have to travel with your bag." Me: "Oh. What time's the next flight?" Michael F: "3PM...but it's oversold. You would have to go standby." Me: "What about the flight after that?" Michael F: "6PM, but it's oversold also. Everything is oversold." Me: (Texting Al to come back to the airport.) "What about tomorrow?" Michael F: "It would be too expensive, but the first flight is sold out anyway." "What if I just cancel? What would the penalty be?" "I'll have to go check...I don't know off the top of my head." "OK, thanks so much." I don't know if it was the polite thank you, I don't know if it was time for Michael's break and he didn't feel like dealing with my problem any more or what, but Michael suddenly turned around and said, "Let me see if I can get you on this flight." And he did! I was within the 30 minute timeframe, so, you know, come on. I fully expected no suitcase when I arrived in SF, but guess what? Luggage made it, too! Go, Michael F!

I will spare you the details of the rental car that was in Sue Walton's name, so Hertz wouldn't let me have it, and the traffic at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the Bay Bridge. All that vanished when I got out to San Damiano and saw all my Quilting Divas. The setup there is we have a big square conference room where we set up 16 tables, then behind that is a kitchen, then behind that are our rooms. It's not luxury, but for $200 for 3 days, 2 nights, who's complaining? It is very clean. I sewed until midnight, and set the alarm to get up at 5:20 am to go meet Regina, Rafiki, and Brent at Lake Merritt for a 6 am walk. When the alarm went off, I lifted my head up and thought, "I can't do it." Cannot do it. Good thing I told Regina that if I didn't make it for 6, I would see them at Peet's at 7 for coffee. So I lay back down for a bit, then drag myself out of bed at 6, quietly walk down the hallway, carefully lock the conference room door as I go out to my car, get in the car and put the key in the ignition and look at the clock and think, "Huh. I didn't notice that clock was so off yesterday." Then it hit me...the clock wasn't off - I was! I had not changed the time on my alarm, which was still on Atlanta time, so it was really 2:20 when the alarm went off. Since I had so carefully locked the doors when I left, I couldn't get back in, sure couldn't call anybody at that time of the morning, so I curled up in a fetal position on the back seat of the car and listened to KGO until 5:30. Once I get up (that's the hard part), I'm up, and usually can't take a nap during the day. I think I stayed up until about midnight Saturday. I know I busted Marilyn when she wrote a Facebook message at 11 that she was planning on a marathon night sewing at the retreat. Marilyn had been packed up and ready for bed for hours!

The quilt retreat was so much fun! We had wine (I still can't drink and sew!) and the food at San Damiano is excellent; we had 3 iPods, and games, and a good time was had by all. Some of the Divas think they have privacy on the internet, so no pictures.

And I came back to more good news! Both of the quilts that I submitted to the East Cobb Quilt Show were accepted! I submitted RA, aka the Sunshine Quilt, and Batik Sun Dance. East Cobb is a juried and judged show. I have to work on RA a bit more...under the gun for time, I wasn't as careful with sewing the binding on. I can't wait to get feedback on my work! Let's make a note of that when I'm backing here crying about something the judges said! I've never submitted work to be judged before, so this should be...interesting!

I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara I could save the world.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Why there are UFO's...

Seriously! This is an 8-hour block! One block! People complete entire quilts in less time! So admittedly my paper piecing skills are a little rusty, and hopefully as I go along this will be faster, or it really will end up as a UFO! BTW - This is the pattern and fabric that got me in trouble in Chicago at the end of the show.

Knowing me, this one will probably get is soooooo challenging, and I do love a challenge. I admit to having ADD. I do get bored easily. Which I guess is why that "just can't cut it," a pattern with a bunch of large squares and rectangles, still isn't completed.

So, Marva called me with good news today - RA, aka The Sunshine Quilt, won second place at the quilt show. Actually third place, but who am I to argue? There was a tie for first place! How bout that? I've never won a ribbon in my life, never even crossed my mind that this could be in the running for a ribbon, so that was pretty cool.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When it hands you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's!"

Monday, August 03, 2009

Thank goodness for Epsom Salts!

Whew! Friday we hung the quilts for the Brown Sugar Stitchers show, The Many Facets of African-American Quilting, at the South Fulton Arts Center, 4645 Butner Rd, Atlanta, GA. I think we finally left about 9:30 PM - I think we started about 1:30 in the afternoon. We had intended to start earlier, but a tree fell down and our start time was delayed. I got off a plane from Philadelphia and went right to the Arts Center, even though Marva had sent me an email not to come. Some folks are just hard headed! I was so sore, all I could do was fall in bed. Back up Saturday morning to get to the center for 8:30. I was there all by myself! We were worried about some quilts falling down and there were about 5 quilts that had not been hung. Only about 5 or so quilts fell and we were able to get everything up in time. I was worried early in the morning because we did not have a lot of traffic, but by the afternoon, there were hundreds of people there. Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi was wonderful! I got my books signed and then we went to dinner with her. She is very entertaining, well spoken, and we saw some quilts that will be in her Obama book/show. We were not allowed to take pictures (darn!), but the book will be amazing!
ATL folks - the show is fantastic, and worth the drive from wherever you are!

In Philly, Jennifer and I did the Rocky Steps (Philadelphia Museum of Art)...I didn't see Rocky, but the steps weren't that bad. We were both going, "That wasn't so bad!"

So...what else? I sent Miz Rosie a card to celebrate completion of her second masters a couple of weeks ago...

I am dog tired! I think I can finish piecing the "Can't Cut It" pattern tonight, though. It's easy peasy.

" When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt and call me!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Many Facets of African-American Quilting

The Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild Proudly Presents "The Many Facets of African-American Quilting." The show runs August 1st through August 7th, 2009 (closed Sunday, August 2nd) at the South Fulton Arts Center, from 10AM to 5PM daily. The show is open to the public (of course!) and is FREE! We are pleased to announce that we will be honored to have Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, renowned quilter, author, lecturer and curator lecture on Saturday, August 1st, at 2PM at the South Fulton Arts Center, and again on Sunday, August 2nd at 2PM at the Hammonds House Museum. There will be a book signing and reception at both locations. Here are the quilts I will have in the show!

This one is Liberated Shaded Nine-Patch. The pattern is Shaded Nine-Patch and is a swap from the online African American Yahoo Group. Some of us missed the deadline (whoosh!) and decided that we would swap amongst ourselves. Jo said she had been "liberated" from the deadline, so that's why I called it my "Liberated" Shaded Nine Patch. I set it this way to have Adinkra symbols quilted in the negative space:

This is my Carrie Steele Pitts quilt. Carrie Steele is our guild's signature project, where we complete quilts and donate them to the children in the home to have as gifts for the rest of their lives. This quilt is sooooo sweet. You can't see the hearts in the quilting, but it turned out so well, I know the little princess who receives it will have sweet dreams.

This one is Maui Flower Power - the orchids remind me of Hawaii. This is from a class I took in 2004! I should call it Finally Finished!!!

This is my challenge piece, New York Beauty Goes to Africa. The challenge is issued to all guild members to create a piece interpreting The Many Facets of African American Quilting and what that means. To me, European quilting is characterized by repitition, sharp points, and matching patches. Our African heritage is more free-form (like jazz) and colorful. This block features the New York Beauty block, lots of sharp points and matching edges in African Print fabrics. I LOVE this, and am going to start working on blocks to finish this quilt.

And you've seen "Ra," the Egyptian God of the Sun. I thought I would lose my mind completing it. If I ever do that one again, I will put the circle on before quilting, and include that in the quilting.
We have over 140 quilts to display, and from what I saw being turned in on Saturday, it's going to be a great show! I spent all day yesterday cleaning up my sewing room. It looked like a fabric tornado had hit there! I took two big bags of garbage out, but the room doesn't look any different!
"Think of it as a power tool with thread."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

La Bella Vita

Ah yes, the beautiful life...

How do you know when you are living the beautiful life?

When you are living the beautiful life, this is your backyard...
Your neighbors are movie producers who develop...mannequins... to dangle over the side of the house...for the entertainment of passersby...
And this is your gym...back and forth on this three times a week should take care of your cardio needs...

As you can imagine, I've enjoyed my visit to Marina Del Rey in California, and my taste of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Walking on the beach every day has been great. Pam and I haven't spent this much time together since college, and we've done really well! We go back home on Sunday, to the Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Hardworking! I've only finished one of the five quilts I'm entering into the Brown Sugar Stitchers show, so...time to get going! (Is it the deadline yet?)

"I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better." Beatrice Kaufman

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shopportunity and Inspiration

I don't ever want to forget that quilting is my hobby. Sometimes we get so lost in output, and getting everything perfect, that it's easy to lose the fun in the process! I try to free myself to enjoy my hobby...deadlines are a reality, even though I do sometimes treat them as guidelines, something to be aspired to. :)

But the point (and I do have one) isn't about deadlines - it's about taking the time to tap into creativity and inspiration, about letting go and enjoying the hobby. Sometimes that's hard to do with deadlines to swaps, and shows, and birthdays, and illnesses, and donation quilts, and trying to have a life in there somewhere.

Yesterday I took a break and went to a quilt shop down in McDonough. I really should have been working on one of the gazillion projects I have going on, or the guild newsletter, or clearing a path in my sewing room. But, I went shopping instead! The shop is A Scarlet Thread, and it's one of the nicest quilt stores I've been in. Over 7000 bolts of fabric! It occupies the entire building, and I think they have tried to address every little annoyance we have about quilt stores. They have a wide variety of batiks and Asian prints, both of which are favorites. The store is about 50 miles from my house, and so it's not likely that I will just pop in on a whim, but it was so inspiring to see different fabrics and different quilts. When you go to different parts of the country and to quilt shows, you see what others are working on and you can get inspiration from seeing new things or seeing new things in a different way.

Remember this?

I found this pattern when I visited Denver last year. I haven't seen it here in Atlanta, so getting out exposed me to something different that I may not have seen otherwise. As I was quilting it, I decided that I really was not enjoying the process...I was just doing a straight line that followed the curve of the design. I was so not feeling inspired, and so I sent it to long arm quilter Melinda Fulkerson. In this lifetime, I could not have come up with this! This is a great example of "Quilting makes the Quilt!" Thanks for the wonderful quilting, Melinda!

"I love deadlines...I especially like that whoosing sound they make as they fly by."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let's Stay Together

Went to see Al Green and Etta James at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre last night. Wonderful evening and a great show! Etta James opened at 7:30PM EXACTLY! Apparently there was a question as to whether or not she would actually show up, as she has cancelled a number of shows in Atlanta over the years.

Folks kinda strolled in and got there when they got there. Hard to believe this is a sold out show. The weather was absolutely perfect, after a thunderstorm earlier in the day.

Etta James sang all her old blues songs. I thought her best song was a cover of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." What a difference maturity makes! Her song, "I'd Rather Go Blind" than see her man with someone else made me laugh and say, "I'd rather put his eyes out." She closed with "At Last," and yes, continued her tacky reference to Beyonce. “Where’s what’s her name? Where’s Beyonce?... I just want to whoop her a.." Tacky. But at 71, I guess she's earned the right...she sounded great and put on a good show.

After Etta James cleared the stage, Rev. Al Green held church! When Al took the stage, he did not stop moving for the next hour and a half! He handed out about 30 roses throughout the show. He started out with songs from his latest CD, "Lay It Down," but even he acknowledged that we had not come to here that. Who else but Al Green can go from “Amazing Grace” to “Let’s Stay Together” without missing a beat?

Photo Credit: AccessAtlanta.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


So much to update! Starting with most recent first...just came back from a surprise visit to Oakland. We had the best time ever! The gang got together for the first time in months...I was talking to Regina one day and she told me about it and we cooked up this plan to surprise everyone! We did not tell anyone we were coming (besides Regina, of course, and we stayed with her)...we went to the party with Regina, then she went inside and said to everyone that we wanted them to call us so we could say hi. They said, "Oh, it's so late in Atlanta, they'll be in bed." (I don't know what they think has happened to us since we moved to Atlanta - 10 o'clock on a Saturday night in bed????) So she called my cell phone and held it up and everyone said, "Hi, Al and Jeanette!" We talked for a bit as we walked up to the front door, and, in a moment that Hollywood could not have scripted, Abner said to me on the phone, "Let me know next time you are going to be in town...I'll pick you up at the airport!" We rang the doorbell, Judy's friend Michael (who was the only one there who does not know us!) opened the door, and I said to Abner, "Which airport?" I'll never forget the looks on everyone's faces, and it was a wonderful evening. We enjoyed catching up with everyone. Everything Harriet cooked was delicious, of course. Back home on Sunday and still on a high about the wonderful weekend! I forgot to charge the battery in my camera, so no photos.

OK - so what else? I finished my block for our BSS President O.V.'s quilt. The quilt will be red and white (Delta colors) and I borrowed some elephant fabric (Delta symbol) from Lynette. The block is called "Arkansas Crossroads," to honor her Arkansas heritage.

And...I finished my Carrie Steele Pitts quilt. Look at me, way ahead of time! At Shannon's to be quilted on the long arm. Here's the finished top...

I am not proud...this is a kit, purchased at Tiny Stitches in March. It is The Princess and the Pea. I hope the little princess who receives this will enjoy this quilt for the rest of her life!

I also finished my postcards for the Black Music Month swap for the online African American Quilt group. Only two weeks late...

"Good friends are like bras, supportive, never leave you hanging, make you look good and are always close to your heart."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thought for the day is...

I have nothing quilt related to post. But I came across this saying today, and wanted to capture it someplace where I won't lose it.

Life is short - Break the rules...Forgive quickly...Kiss slowly...Love truly...Laugh uncontrollably... And never regret anything that made you smile.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Going to Chicago...

Rosemont actually, but the plane landed in Chicago. (Remember that old blues song, "I'm going to Chicago, Sorry But I Can't Take You"? Lou Rawls used to sing it.) This past weekend was the annual quilt show in Rosemont, right outside of Chicago. My seat mate on the flight up asked why I was going to Chicago and I told him I was going to a quilt show. He said, "Excuse Me?" (Leaning in to hear better.) "A quilt show." "I'm sorry, are you saying 'quilts?'" I think he is still trying to process that someone would travel to go look at a convention center, no less! Reminds me of several years ago when the Houston Astros made it to the World Series and the out of town team couldn't get hotel rooms because they were all booked by quilters. The annual show in Houston is like going to Mecca for quilters, and at least 50,000 quilters descend on Houston every year to see the fabulous quilts and to purchase all the latest fabrics and gadgets from the vendors at the show.

The Chicago show is much smaller, but still...

These are the cars lined up to get into the parking lot! What recession?

I didn't find a lot of inspiration at the show, but I did find fabric! (Shocked, I tell you, shocked!) Actually, I was well-behaved until the end of the show, when I did go a little bit over budget (OK, a LOT over budget). I had lunch with a wonderful group of women from the online African-American Quilting Group, and came home with a jam-packed suitcase and carry-on!

"Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they're always there." Anonymous

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ramblin' Rose...Ramblin' Rose...

Each of the Latte blocks has a name...this one is called Rambling Rose. I love this block - turned out just beautiful, don't you think? All the while I was sewing yesterday, I kept hearing Nat King Cole in my mind..."Ramblin' Rose...Ramblin Rose...why I want you, Heaven knows. Though I love you, with a love true, who can cling to, a Ramblin' Rose?"
"--There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."
- Richard Feynman

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night...

shall stay these quilters from their appointed rounds! LOL! This weekend is shop hop for the nine quilt shops here in Metro Atlanta. Last year there were 13, and I made it to all of them! I think the total trip was 300+ miles, with Patrick's in Covington being the most distance away. This year, my quilting friends and I planned to go to lunch (we must eat to meet!), go to the three here in Cobb County, and go to a couple of bead stores, but Mother Nature majorly interfered with our plans. On Friday night, the Weather Service was predicting severe weather for our area, with thunderstorms, tornadoes, flooding...everything but fire and reluctantly Friday night we called off our plans. Yesterday morning, it was raining hard, a few claps of thunder, but nothing that would prevent a few hardy souls from getting out on the road. By two in the afternoon, it wasn't even raining, so we conferred, decided we would not melt if a few drops of rain hit us, and off we went! We managed to make it to Red Hen, Tiny Stitches, and Little Quilts. While we were in Red Hen, there was a brief cloudburst, but it was barely drizzling the rest of the day. We did our part for the quilting economy, and then had dinner and margaritas! End to a perfect day! I got home a little bit before 11PM. Al was just starting to send out the search party for me.

"Life is a glorious banquet, a limitless and delicious buffet."
--Maya Angelou

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

I haven't had time to write because I have been so busy learning my new machine! It is a very steep learning curve. I have to just say how much I love At one point, I was ready to throw it out the window...or jump out myself! I have to admit that most of my problems have been when I have been trying to prove that I am smarter than she is. She is way smarter than me, and the sooner I admit that, the better off I'll be! Resistance is Fu-tile. She's stubborn, too! She has a name...Big Momma, because she is quite big, and in honor of all the Big Mommas and Madeas (and Aunt Dot's) who taught us to sew.

There are so many features, I can't begin to list them all, most of them designed for convenience. I decided to take the plunge and do the Latte Quilt on the new's a great way to learn the machine and all the features. I love, love, love the jumbo hoop, which allowed me to stitch out the first block out all in one hooping. Which means that I didn't have to deal with placement issues, trying to line templates up, I was able to just put it in the embroidery hoop once and go - one and done! Check these blocks out:

This will go to my Sister-in-Law Audrey, who loves the color blue. I'm trying to think of a name...Blue Latte, Cloudy Latte, Out of the Blue.... what do you think?

I've also had another birthday since my last post. Inspired by Regina's birthday party, I decided to have a non-birthday party birthday party for myself. That's where you don't tell people it's your birthday...although some knew it was, and brought gifts. I had a blast! We had chocolate martinis, we played bid whist, we listened to good music. Bessie has improved on the martini recipe, with both light and dark creme de cacao...she had one at a restaurant and the bartender shared his recipe with her and made her promise not to tell - that the recipe was "just between us girls." So she promptly told us (he said, "just between us girls." We're girls!), and I must admit, it is mmm-mmm-good. Our last guests left at 1 AM! I know my mother was spinning in her grave, but I did not finish cleaning up - just went to bed, and got up Sunday morning and finished the dishes. As much fun as we had, it made me miss Regina and Harriett. Harriett's birthday is in December, then Regina's, then mine, and for several years we have gone to Calistoga to celebrate. We rented a wonderful guest house at a B&B...massages, champagne, good food and good friends. I miss them!

The next day, Sunday the 28th, it snowed! And a big snow, not a little piddling sprinkle! Flights were cancelled, and our neighbors' kids had enough snow to build a snow man! I was a California Sissy and did not even go outside to take pictures...these were taken from inside the house! LOL!

"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."
--Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ooooooh, Baby!

Busy, busy, busy! Al and I went to Belize the second week of January to celebrate Regina's 60th birthday. Forty of Regina's friends and family all congregated in Belize! We were there for a week, and it was a great way to start off the year. We discovered Belize in 2003 when six of us celebrated Harriet's 50th birthday there. We rented a house in Placencia for a week. Regina fell in love with Belize, went back, found property in Hopkins, built a home, and here we were, five years later! This photo is us arriving in Belize - you take a puddle jumper from Belize City, or you can drive for three hours from Belize City to your destination, over unpaved, bumpy, pot-holed roads. Al said, "take the puddle jumper." Believe it or not, I don't like flying, but I really don't like flying in teeny, tiny little airplanes. Anyway, on arrival, Al asked the pilot if he could sit in the front seat, and off we went for the 20 minute flight to Hopkins. I know this was the highlight of the trip for Al. Actually, I was OK with the puddle jumper when Al got in the front seat, next to the 24 year-old pilot. Since he flew C-5's when he was in the Air Force, he should be able to handle a little puddle jumper, right?

Regina, Me, Harriet at the party

One day we took the Hokey Pokey from Independence to Placencia and walked around. We walked from downtown to the house we rented previously. It was a good stroll down memory lane.

Regina is Oprah's # 1 fan, so the highlight of her birthday party is when her daughter, Lency, and BFF Pat, dressed as Oprah and Gail, and we all roasted Regina. It was a beautiful full moon night, and we danced the night away to music from the 60's to today. The next day Regina had us all over to her house for a house warming party.
The next week I went to California to get training on my new Bernina! I bought the machine from Sew Images, the Bernina dealership in Oakland, from Cecilia Franklin. The Bernina dealership here in Atlanta is huge, but the people there are not always as warm and friendly as I would like. I know they won't miss my little money, but it will make a difference for Cecilia.

My new machine...Ooooooh, Baby! Three words for this machine: A-MA-ZING! It will take me a long time to discover all the features, and they are plentiful! So far, my favorite features are the way the pressure foot hovers over the fabric so that you can position the fabric to sew, that you don't need a foot pedal to sew, and the bobbin that holds a huge amount of thread. I forget how much, but it's a lot. Oh, and the arm! Look at all that room, compared to the 200/730 model. The photo on the bottom is Cecilia Franklin, Owner, Sew Images. Cecilia knows more about sewing machines than anyone in the world!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change HAS come!

Aretha's hat, Michelle's dress (without the green bow and shoes - didn't love that look, but loved the lemongrass dress), President Barack Hussein Obama's speech...these are a few of my favorite things from today. When I voted back in November, I thought of my mother from Dixons Mills, AL, who did not have the right to vote until 1964 and who was not alive to see this day. I thought of MLK, who prayed for the day when we would be judged by the content of our character, not the color of our skin. I thought of myself, and how fortunate and grateful I was to be able to cast my vote for a black man who is articulate and intelligent.

And Sarah Palin...remember when you mocked Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer? "Well, I guess a small time mayor is kind of like being a community organizer, except you have actual responsibilities." And Rudy Guliani, remember when you sneered about Obama's "work" as a community organizer. Guess what? That's what a community organizer does. They get out the vote and get their candidates elected. Now ya know.

Really, there are no words to express my joy over the election of our new President. Sasha Obama sums up the day for me--thumbs up!

And at 12:01, the White House website was switched over: