Friday, December 21, 2012

RIP Audrey Thompson

My Sister-In-Law, Audrey Thompson, passed away in California on Tuesday.  My husband happened to be visiting, and was in the hospital with her when her spirit left this earth.  Although Audrey and I were not close, we always enjoyed one another’s company. She is survived by her daughter, Nicole, and grandson, Nicolas. 
While Al has been in California, thankfully, the Christmas holidays have kept me busy. My book club shared gifts at our meeting. I embroidered these guest towels as my gift:
"Dear Santa: Define "Naughty."  You can't see the white dove in the second towel.
For O.V.'s Christmas party, I made a Christmas ornament:
Brown Sugar Stitchers held our Christmas luncheon last Saturday. The highlight for everyone was the male in our group, who goes by  the nickname Sugar Bear. Bessie says he was sharp as a rat turd, which is not a disparaging comment, but a compliment! Apparently, rat turds are sharp at both ends. Gotta love that tie and gotta love that pocket scarf! And the top hat!

 I still suck at Y seams.
I have to figure it out, though, because this quilt is nothing but Y seams!
Y didn't I notice that before now????
Dear Santa: I've been good. (Mostly)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Eye Exam

You know how you get your eye exam and the doctor is testing the prescription and says, "Which one of these is better? One or two?" And you say, "One." "OK, one or three?" "Three." "Three or four?" And you really can't tell a difference between three and four? For weeks, I have been auditioning fabrics for the background and border of the feathered star. I was gravitating towards a rust color, and I had even pieced out the left and right sides of the border. When I put it up against the quilt, I hated it. I think the rust colors detract too much from the feathers and all you see is the border. I tried again with green, and it's I went back and looked at the rust again and then I couldn't decide between the green or the rust. Here they both are. BTW, quilters, did you know if you are having trouble with colors or layout, in addition to value finders and squinting your eyes, taking a picture is very helpful? Looking at this picture, if you can't decide, it probably doesn't matter, right? The green is more restful, so I'm going! My other thought is that there's so much of the brown/rust in the quilt, that the green would bring out that one green in the quilt. Every time I'm agonizing over the colors of a quilt, I think of ancestor quilters who had to work with what they had on hand.

And I forgot to post the quilt that I finished for a family devastated by hurricane Sandy. This was a quilt I started years ago and didn't like the way the greens came together, so I put it in the closet. I actually am happy with the way it looks completed, and I know the family who is rebuilding their lives will enjoy it. How 'bout my artsy fartsy arrangement? LOL!
If you would like to donate a quilt, the effort is being coordinated by eQuilter...a favorite online quilt store. If I can't find it locally, they are my go-to online shop, mostly because of the work the owners do. For example, 2% of all sales go to charity, and you can choose the charity where your portion goes. For more information on the quilt collection effort, go to

Timeless Treasures Fabrics
161 East 11th Avenue
Roselle, NJ 07203

This quilt collection will go on for several months, with a goal of 5,000 quilts.

I've spent the last two days at a class put on by Atlanta Sewing Center on the Embroidery Software that I have owned for two years! I have used it, but not to the full extent of its capability. Can't wait to play with it!

Dear Karma: I have a list of people you missed.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More Quilt Appreciation

Everyone says that Blogspot is so over and that Wordpress is so much easier to use. The post immediately prior to this one is a good example of the hassles with Blogspot. I could not add anything after the picture of me on the longarm.

Anyway - more quilt appreciation: for 3 days I demonstrated using Paintstiks at KiwiQuilts during their minishop hop with two other local shops. It was fun, and I almost reached my sales goals. I think we either had three or five of the Paintstiks left over, which is pretty good, given that I had to practically arm wrestle people to even pick the dang things up.

Prior to that, I went to the annual Houston Quilt Festival. The quilt that won Best of Show is "America, Let Her Shine,"  by Sherry Reynolds. Her goal was to create a quilt that was "a tribute to America, our foundations and values, with the hope that they will guide us to a brighter future."  Mission accomplished, wouldn't you say?  The thirteen original colonies are represented in the border's blue rays and red triangles. The 4,886 Swarovski crystals represent the sum of the 4,543 words of the Constituion, 312 words of the Star Spangled Banner, and 31 words of the Pledge of Allegiance. She embroidered words from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. I can't remember how long she said it took, but it is definitely a masterpiece and has won all kinds of awards from coast to coast. OH - she quilted it on her home Bernina!For more about the quilt, here's a video on YouTube. 

My favorite was this quilt: Can't you just feel the heat of that sun? It's a hand dyed gradation. Everything else is pieced. She was inspired by a photograph she took in Africa on vacation.

The Brown Sugar Stitchers are participating in an exhibition at the Lucy Laney Craft Museum in Augusta. The show will be up until January 1. Here's a photo of Edith Chadwell and me in front of my go to quilt show quilt:

"Freaking Rock Star From Mars" found a good home at Pam's 16th annual “Making a Difference in the Lives of Children” gala at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles. The purpose of this celebration is to acknowledge grandparent caregivers who selflessly raise their grandchildren in the absence of their parents. Pam was visiting and liked the quilt, so I was thrilled to give it to her for the silent auction. It took a lot of pressure off to not to have to complete another quilt!
Finally, at the end of September, Scient had their annual reunion at the home of Bob and Meg Beck in Pebble Beach. It's good to know 1%ers.
Finally, on the quilting front - I am going to finish the binding on a quilt to send to New York. The devastation from Hurricane Sandy is still being felt, and some people have lost everything. But for today - Happy Thanksgiving!
The funny thing about Thanksgiving, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up.
-- Ted Allen

Thanksgiving, when the Indians said, 'Well, this has been fun, but we know you have a long voyage back to England.' --Jay Leno

Quilt Appreciation

Wow - it's been a long time. Miss me? I was at dinner with a friend last week and she asked if I had been doing any actual quilting, and I told her I had not, and she said, "Ah, you have been doing 'Quilt Appreciation.'"  Like Art Appreciation.

In reverse chronological order, here's what's been going on:

Today I did actual quilting! I finished two quilts for the Carrie Steele Pitts Home for Children. This is the signature charitable project for Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild.

And guess what? I actually quilted the one on the right! Tracy @ KiwiQuilts let me use her longarm to quilt this. I used a pantogram, and it was fun! I may actually quilt something else in the future.

Here's me looking like I actually know what I'm doing on the longarm. Psych!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Back from my quilting retreat at Quiltworx in Montana - had a great trip, learned a lot, saw bears more up close and personal than I would like, and the people were as nice as they could be...even nicer!

Country Music and Fox news - check.
Sean Hannity - check.
Anti-President Obama ads with scary voice doing the commentary on Obamacare - check.
Double rainbow on the first day of arrival - check!

The photo is from Judy's retreat center, over Flathead lake on the north side. Not much better in life than a double rainbow! Joy, Joy!

On Tuesday, Judy was doing a demo, when one of the women looked out the window and saw two bear cubs coming up the driveway. She had her camera, but by the time the rest of us grabbed our cameras, the bears had gone on up the driveway, where our cars were parked! Never did see the Mama Bear, which is especially scary. Judy immediately locked the doors and ran upstairs...I thought she was going to get her shotgun! LOL - I don't even know if she has one, but that's what I thought! On Saturday, the bear cubs came back, again up the driveway.

Here's my project on the last day. I'm going to do this again, with different colors, especially since there are now papers for a queen size extension.

On Friday morning, I went for a walk with one of the other attendees, and this is the sunrise. Nice way to wrap up the retreat! Double rainbow welcome, gorgeous sunrise to depart! Montana is beautiful country. As I was driving up to Flathead, I was thinking that I could see why they call it "Big Sky Montana." And I am waitlisted to go back next year. Militia be damned!

I don't know about you, but I have thought about running away from home way more often now as an adult than I did when I was a kid.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Happy happy, joy joy!

I finished Grazin' in the Grass!  But I can't post a picture! My iPhone camera just has a black screen...everything else is working, but no camera. Great. I have just about gotten to the point where I never even use my real camera anymore...just the iPhone.  I don't even know where my camera is...I think the last time I used it was Houston last year. I'll take the iPhone to PeachMac tomorrow maybe and see if they can fix it.

In other quilting related news, I've worked on the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt of Valor quilt. The Executive Board met and sewed the blocks together. That was an experience. Last week I went to the Anita Goodesign event sponsored by A Scarlet Thread in McDonough...the facilitator said that all their digitizers are men, and you just give them the design and tell them what colors you want and they do it, so they are able to turn designs around really quickly. If they were women digitizers, there would have to be a "discussion" about the design and the colors. LOL! That was our experience with putting the blocks together for the QOV...some people wanted sashing (but didn't have any) and some people wanted to have alternating blank blocks (but didn't have any) and it was a warm day. So it was an experience. 

The Anita Goodesign event was so much fun! I told Al when I left that he needed to take my credit cards so that I couldn't spend any money!  He did not do that, so to make a long story short, I joined the Diamond Club where you get a design every month...that you've paid for in advance by joining the club, of course. Since I've had experience with embroidery and the ladies at my table had not, I "let" them sew while I chatted with my neighbor. Karin came around to take pictures and I told her I would hold the completed block up, but I had nothing to do with the actual sewing of the block. So who ends up getting her picture on their blog? Pretty funny...

But the real happy, happy, joy, joy today is that I received my Feathered Star Pattern! Yippee! I was hoping it would be here in time for the retreat and it made it. I don't know if I will have time to cut out everything before I leave on the 10th, but I'll give it a shot! Cannot wait to sew on this one!

I posted this on my Facebook page the other day, because I think it is hilarious:

"My husband thinks I'm crazy. But I'm not the one who married me."

And because I haven't posted in so long, here's another one to brighten your day:

You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Math Word Problems

I knew it would come to this...the pattern called for 5.5 yards of background fabric and I only had 5. I decided to press on anyway, because I really wanted to use the design on that fabric...and I ran out of fabric for the border. I've scrounged together little leftover pieces to make my 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch squares...and then I needed 16 more triangles! I found a fat quarter in my stash...and now needed to figure out how to get 16 triangles out of it. Ever since fourth grade when I was called to the front of the class to show long division on the blackboard and couldn't do it, I have hated math. Thing is, I'm actually good at it, as demonstrated by my MBA and doing well in the math classes in the program. But let's not talk hypotenuse legs and right angles. But good news! I figured it out. I couldn't even begin to demonstrate how I cut the triangles out so that I squeezed every last inch out of a fat quarter, but I did it! Einstein would be so proud! We do share the same birthday, you know. 

Then I started laying out the fabric for the border and decided how to arrange them. I sewed one together and thought I had sewed it together incorrectly, took it out, rearranged, only to find I had done it right the first time. Took it out, now to sew it again.
Because it's paper piecing and you are sewing the back, everything is reversed. So the way it is laid out is the correct way. So you don't reverse it.

It's complicated.

Every time I see a word math probem, it looks like this to me: If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples, how many pancakes will fit on the roof? Answer: Purple, because aliens don't wear hats.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Y, oh Y?

Intellectually, I understand Y seams. In Theory, I totally get Y seams. You sew down the left side, pivot, sew up the other side. This is what a well executed Y seam looks like (except for that threads nest at the intersection). Judy Niemeyer did this demo for us with paper when I  took a class with her in February. Apparently I thought just looking at the picture would remind me of some important concept, but for some reason, that ain't happening.

That is the way it works in Theory. Here in Reality where I live and sew, I can't execute a Y seam to save my life. You know I'm not one for "quilt it out," but I hate Y seams so much, these are as good as it's going to get. It's just a little pucker...

Put your Mr. Rogers sweater on, because it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Loving it!

Finished all the all I have left before I start on the dreaded Y-seams (putting it together) is to put on the little baskets that the cattails are in and glue down the cattails. Then the border, which is harder than it looks.

Don't you think this is definitely, "Grazing In the Grass"?

If I ever go missing, I want my face on a wine bottle instead of a milk carton. That way my friends will know to look for me.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

It worked! Oh, and so will I...

For ages, I have been trying to dye fabric the color I want for the border of the shoe quilt. I have been painting by hand with Lumiere sparkle paint, with Vanilla Spritz, and I couldn't get the consistency that I wanted. Then it occurred to me that maybe I should try to spray paint the fabric. I got an airbrush, but it kept jamming. I decided to try a different model of the airbrush, and it worked! Perfectly! Sparkle!

I was a saving fool on Friday. I went to Joann's where I used my 50% coupon for some storage containers (my UFO's are out of control again!) and they gave me an additional 20% military discount for the 4th! (Thank you, Dear Hubby, for your service to our country). I decided to let my fingers do the walking, and found the airbrush online at Michael's, found a store in Acworth, downloaded their app where there was a 50% off coupon, but surely they wouldn't let me take 50% off an airbrush sprayer? Oh yeah, they did!

And then I worked on the four Cattails...those stems are a pain!  Although it did go faster this time!

Loved having Friday off! :) The reason we are even discussing "Friday off" is that I am working part-time until September 30th. So my schedule will be part-time, four days a week, Fridays off. Restart the countdown clock!

In case of emergency, please exit the building before tweeting about it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One of eight

There are 8 pieces in this section, and I thought I would bang this out in no time. Ha! I don't really enjoy applique, and so it's not in my wheelhouse. That little stem took me at least two hours. I made it harder on myself than it needed to be. I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how to turn the stem inside out (you don't). Finally looking at the bias bar I figured out that it doesn't get turned inside out. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Seven more to go, but not today.

I prefer not to think before speaking. I like being as surprised as everyone else by what comes out of my mouth.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Center Star - Done!

I like it! And now, I have to work on the cattails. They're big pieces, but I think it's going to take a while.

Alcohol doesn't solve problems. But then again, neither does milk.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lone Star Points - Done

Back from a weekend in California. Harriet had a surprise 60th birthday party for Abner...he doesn't read my blog, but you can't just be putting stuff out there on the internets. After work today, Al and I walked for two miles over at Lost Mountain, and I worked on completing the Lone Star part of Cattails.  Here is one of the 8 star points.

My doctor told me to start killing people. Well...not in those exact words. She said I had to reduce the stress in my life. Same thing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Loving that countdown clock! Love that the remaining numbers have a 1 in front of them! Woot! Woot!

Yesterday was the first day that I have done any serious sewing, and I went back to Cattails.  I completed the Lone Star part. When you make a mistake, rip it out, and make the same mistake again, that is The Universe telling you it's time to stop sewing. So I did. Unfortunately, it's going to be over a week before I can come back to this again. I'm having dinner with my replacement on Tuesday night, and Wednesday and Thursday I will be in Arlington.
I've had just about enough for one week...and yes, I know it's Monday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Artist

Had a great meeting at the Brown Sugar Stitchers yesterday! Regina Carter taught a class using Shiva Paintstiks. I am no artist, but these paints are so versatile, we all achieved excellent results with little effort. Sad how long I've had Painstiks on hand and didn't do anything with them!

This is currently drying...then next weekend I'll embellish with Swarovski crystals.

Pain makes you stronger. Tears make you braver. Heartache makes you wiser. And Vodka makes you not remember any of that crap.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

President's Block

Today was errand run day - eye check, hair cut, visit Tracy at KiwiQuilts, cleaners, Post Office. The African American Quilt Guild of Oakland gives the outgoing President a signature quilt as a thank you...I was able to squeeze in a little sewing and completed my block for Marilyn. If it wasn't overdue, I would take the time to trace the signature outline in embroidery thread so that 100 years from now when the ink fades, the signature will still be was due the 28th, will just have to last for me and Marilyn!

If all good things come to those who wait, does that make procrastination a good thing?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Which Way North?

I've been back from Empty Spools at Asilomar since April 20th but I haven't been sewing. I enjoyed the class - it was freezer paper piecing...a lot of work for not a lot of results.  On the third day, I was still working on putting the Mariner's Compass together. I'll stick with regular paper piecing, thank you very much. I choose this pattern because I thought I would learn a new technique but wouldn't end up with another UFO.
Here's the piece...this is a whole week of work, and I seriously worked...even stayed late one night until about 10PM. It rained a couple of days, so I wasn't taking walks on the beach and I only got one massage.  You can see the Mariner's Compass underneath the freezer paper (a little bit.) 

I must have had a brain fart when I filled out the form for the class, because they ask if you would be interested in being a hostess for your workshop, and that is just not something I would normally do in my right mind. Maybe I was thinking that since I'm retiring, I would start branching out and doing new things and being a class hostess would be something I could check off my bucket list. I don't know. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the letter saying "Congratulations, Hostess!"  Quite the surprise! It's easy enough - all you have to do is take attendance the first day, on the night of Show 'n Tell help the instructor sell books, and collect evaluations at the end. For this they give you a $30 gift certificate, which of course I spent the first day. Being a hostess was fun, and when I signed up for 2013, I intentionally checked Yes!

I stayed with Regina before traveling down to Pacific Grove and we walked Lake Merritt with Rafiki. This is the full moon over the lake on Saturday morning, April 7th. If the moon hasn't set yet, aren't you up Way Too Early?

Received this information from a friend - this is a very frightening statistic and probably one of the most troubling in recent years: 25% of women in this country are on medication for mental illness! That is truly scary! It means 75% are running around with no medication at all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mini Shop Hop

Atlanta Quilt Stores held their annual Shop Hop this weekend, and once again I said the only way I would go is if they let me sell some of this fabric overtaking my sewing room. However, in my official role as an Enabler, one of our new members wanted to go to all the shops on the hop. I did this the first year we moved here, so I understand. As a public service (just call me The Giver), I told her I would go with her to the Cobb County shops. We met at Red Hen, and then she mentioned she was looking for a particular fabric which I knew Tracy at KiwiQuilts had, so we made an unscheduled stop there. Tracy really has fantastabulous fabrics, and I have already scolded her for not getting in the shop hop (and I know she reads my blog, so will be scolded yet again!  Hi Tracy!)  :) Then we went to Little Quilts, then to Tiny Stitches, where I won their end of the day giveaway!  It's a magnetic notepad, with a little magnet on the back that you can attach to something and don't have to search for a notepad through the piles of paper on your desk. Except nothing is made of metal any more - LOL - so I don't know what I will attach it to! Al would have said I should have chosen the most expensive thing in the bin, but I went for something I would actually use. Cute little notepad, and THANK YOU Tiny Stitches!  I did actually buy some fabric yesterday...some fabric for the Brown Sugar Stitchers Guild's Quilts of Valor quilt project. And some fabric for the shoe quilt border.

And I finished the flying geese for Cattails in the Savanna:
Love them!

OH! Grazin' in the Grass just came on -- that is an even better name for Cattails in the Savanna. Shoot - now I have to choose!

And finally, Jewels in the Castle Wall won second place in the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild Show. I now have a red, a white, and a blue ribbon for this quilt! Here it is hanging next to the gorgeous, hand appliqued first place winner.
I think it's important to protect the lives of innocent civilians in Libya and Syria, but let's start with Florida. ~ Andy Borowitz

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Well, now we know why I didn't finish cutting out pieces for this quilt before class...I spent three nights this past week cutting out the rest of the fabric. Lot of cutting. Judy Neimeyer is all about organization, so after I cut, and cut, and cut, and cut, I put all the pieces together with their little paper clips, and I am now working on the flying geese.
Here is one of the completed geese it!

When I'm bored, I send a text to a random number saying, "I hid the what?"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spinning Points

I had a very productive day today! Mailed off Jewels in the Castle Wall to Leona to show in the Smokey Mountain Guild Quilt Show. Boxed and sent off through UPS.

Then I went to the Frame Shop to drop off some beaded art work that I got in Ghana to be framed in a shadow box.

Then I made a really good decision that will help me focus and finish...Henredon gave me a four figure quote to do pillows for the sofa in the living room...seriously. So I had been looking for fabric online, and I happened on Bob's Upholstery here in Marietta and found the perfect fabric. Bob's will charge $100 to do two big pillows...that's $50 each! Yes, I could do it, but for $100...pfft! No brainer. So I dropped off the pillows and then went to the Sewing Expo.  Lots of new vendors, so I had a lot of fun shopping. Bought stencils and paints and a really neat ruler! I'll show you how the ruler works later.

Came home and finished the February free Block of the Month from Quilting on the Square.

Looking good! We lose an hour tonight, so it's really midnight! I'm going to bed!

Saw a cute bumper sticker today: Fasten your seat belt. It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Focus and Finish

Just came back from New York (business) where I got to go to the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate my nephew's 19th birthday. Kids do just grow up way too fast, and when they are your friend on Facebook, you are really reminded how old you are.
Then I spent Sunday, the 26th, cutting fabric for Cattails in the Meadow, for my class with Judy Neimeyer in Panama City, Florida at Quilting by the Bay. I didn't even come close to finishing cutting, and there wasn't even that much to cut! So I was kinda behind in the class, but it was OK.  I did finish piecing the center compass.

I'm doing this in animal prints and will probably call it something awesomely clever like Cattails in the Jungle or Cattails on the Savanna...hmmmm....Cattails on the Savanna...kinda like it.
And I couldn't help but remember that it has been a year since I attended a class with Judy Neimeyer where I worked on Japanese Fans, and I haven't sewn another stitch on it since. I was talking to Tracey at KiwiQuilts today and we decided that I need to "Focus and Finish." 

So that's the new plan...finish Cattails before I do anything else. Watch this space to see if that really happens!

Never miss a chance to shut up ~ Will Rogers

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I hope life treats you kind...
And I hope you have all you dreamed of...
And I wish you joy! And happiness...
But above all this, I wish you love...

If the shoe fits... it in every color! Finally finishing up the shoe quilt, ready to start embellishing and quilting, but I don't have enough fabric for the border. I think I'm going to do a pieced border, because I don't have enough of anything. The fabric is from Barb's Elegant Designs. I subscribe to her Yard of the Month club, so I have exactly one yard of each fabric.

This purple shoe is one of my favorite blocks.

But this boot is my favorite!

I submitted Jewels in the Castle Wall to Leona's guild in Tennessee. The show is at the end of March - not sure if I'm going to go or not.

"Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge." — Hester Browne

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Freedom Day!

I forgot! While I was in Ghana, I decided to retire! I've always said when it wasn't fun any more, I would get out. My 401k has returned to pre-2008 levels, I don't love my job any more, so - "It's Time." My last day is June 29th! So that's what's up with the countdown clock over there on the right...

And I did restring the necklace...again...I can't believe I found all the beads!

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas.