Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiny Tree Quilt

I've been making lots of flying geese for part of the Stars for a New Day quilt.  It requires flying geese all around the border before I can add the small stars for the final border.

And here's the Tiny Tree quilt that was sewed by moi and quilted with glittery thread by my daughter.  It's in the mail ready to be hung on a wall for the season.
I paper-pieced the trees and used the same fabric for all the borders cutting it first lengthwise, then crosswise so I would have the stripes going two different ways.  Bordered it with a greenish-blue tweedy looking cotton.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I left for Yosemite on November 22nd and returned the following Saturday.  Had fun with my son, Dean, his friend (who shall be nameless (for now)), my daughter and my two grandkids.  I hadn't been there before regardless that I lived in CA for 43 years before moving to the PNW.  I loved it... very scenic. 

 But crowded even in winter.  Tourists walking right up to the deer and having their picture taken with large horned animals.  Not my idea of the right thing to do; I like my wild animals wild.  Anyway, I'm back.

I managed to complete some borders on my BOM quilt before I left so I can actually post a picture or two.  Yay!  And I'm going to sew like crazy today.... although I do have to run to the store, which is about 14 miles away but I'll be back in plenty of time to sew.

The star blocks before I sewed the setting triangles onto the sides.

Then I made long strips by sewing the star blocks and the setting triangles together to form four long strips for all sides.

The Stars for a New Day quilt top now looks like this with the star borders sewn onto the sides.

The smaller star blocks will be sewn into strips with setting triangles for the outer border next.

But first I have to add three thin borders before I can do that.

I have a couple of small adjustments to make before I can sew on the next three border strips though.

Notice that the side border doesn't match up with the bottom border.  I think it will adjust if I make the border between the pinwheels and the stars less wide.  That's next... then three thin borders.

This quilt looks VERY scrappy to me.  Usually I like scrappy but this one isn't 'grabbing' me yet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quick Thoughts

I haven't worked on a quilt for a week now.  I wake up and mean to but it just isn't happening.  I've been caught up in teeny-tiny events that use up my day although I did see a man refer to his pick-up and drop-off driving as Driving With Love so maybe I'll think of it like that.  I seldom feel put upon when asked to accompany someone or drive someone somewhere so I'm not complaining except for the fact that my quilting isn't getting done.  But I'm not on a schedule and I'm not selling these things... I'm just making them for the fun of it so I must tell myself not to stress about not working on one or the other of them.  Right?  Right!

I ordered the book by Jennifer Chiaverini (sp) to make her Sylvia's Bridal Quilt so I'll soon be piecing blocks for that.  I enjoyed making my Dear Jane quilt and I think I'll enjoy this one... as long as it has NO stars in it.  I'm tired of making half-square triangles although people seem to admire the look of my current project.  Maybe I'll learn to love it.

I also want to comment on how prolific some bloggers are.  I read many, many sewing blogs each week and I'm just amazed at how much they get done and they find the time to blog also along with (usually) looking after a family and keeping house.  Yikes!  I don't even find the time to blog every day although as you can read, I always have lots to say... just no time to say it.  I guess I wonder where these thoughts were kept, to say what they wanted to say, before there were blogs on the internet.  And all those beautiful quilts were unseen

I bought tickets to go to San Francisco yesterday for one of my dd's and myself.  My son has rented a tent-cabin in Yosemite so we'll spend a couple of days down south of there too over Thanksgiving.  It was sort of a sudden decision and I didn't check with my dd although I knew she wanted to go see her brother also.  He's going through a divorce and it gets sticky at times.  I can tell it wears on him that he can't travel when and where he wants to until the court weighs in on who gets to do what with the two kids involved.  We'll have some fun that will take our minds off all the drama of real life.

I drove my DIL to the ferry early yesterday morning.  She was flying to SF for a birthday party.  Then later that night, I drove my granddaughter home and picked up some yummy chocolate chip cookies that her mother had made.

Do I have a picture to post?  My sewing area hasn't changed a bit from the last so... no, probably not.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Working on the BOM quilt

This Stars for a New Day BOM quilt from The Quilt Show that I'm working on is driving me kuh-ray-zeee.  I'm so tired of making stars... big ones, little ones and finally I'm at the point where I can put the triangles on them to that they'll make a border but I had a difficult time finding the right color fabric.  The instructions call for an off-white floral on the inside tri's and a light green floral for the outside tri.  For whatever reason, I just couldn't find the right color fabric... and I dislike florals a lot so maybe that's what was annoying me.

I have star blocks everywhere... they're piled on my sewing table and laid out on my table so I will have to overcome my dislike for all things floral and get those triangle pieces on so I can attach these stars to the quilt.  But first I have to know how long the star borders are so I can determine how long and wide the inside sashing should be.

Liza has done a wonderful job hand-quilting the 'tree' quilt I made for a Christmas gift.  She's using gold and silver threads and is almost through with it.  I'll be able to post a picture in a few days.  Now if only I could talk her into hand quilting my Dear Jane quilt.  ;-))  I've got to start on that one soon.  It's been sitting waiting for a few months.  It was too hot to quilt in the summer so that was my excuse but no longer is it too hot here... been in the 50's daytime lately with rain 3 days of the week.  We even had a thunder and lightning storm a few nights ago.  Scared the kitties and they ran to hide under the bed.

My sewing area is a mess so tomorrow morning I'm going to straighten it up and start cutting fabric.  Look at this.  I can't even see the table.  I've been tossing things on it and haven't taken the time to put any of it away.  Room is needed so I can cut 11 inch squares and quarter them for the triangles.  That takes up a lot of room.

I was at my LQS yesterday and finally remembered to pick up an art quilt from a contest they held in July - yes, you read that right... July!  I'm going to take some of the beading off it, finish the quilting and possibly use it as a donation quilt.  It was fun to make but I don't know what to do with it... so off it goes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Trouble, trouble...brew and bubble!

Five more days to Hallowe'en. I haven't had much of a chance to catch up here; I seem to always be rushing here or there. Maybe it's because Liza and Madeleine now live here... maybe it's because I just have too much on my mind but it's taking me a long time to get my BOM quilt finished. I think the last time I worked on it was in August so I have to do September still - 12 blocks - to be ready to start on October's.

In my defense, I have completed two Christmas wallhanging quilts... one for myself and one for my dd, Cheryl. Liza offered to quilt Cheryl's so at least only the binding will have to be done when I get it back... and it's going to be a foldover binding, from the back to the front and hand-stitched down. Easy-peasy! The quilt I made for Cheryl is in the McCall's Quilting magazine for November/December.  This picture does not show the sashing on the sides and top of the quilt but I'll post another picture when I get the quilt back.  It was fun to paper-piece the trees in different colors.

Of course, Jaik himself had to help out on the quilts... it wouldn't be a quilt from me if it didn't have some black cat hair on it.  Jaik is a master at determining the exact right time to plunk himself down on what I'm working on... in this case, the sashing.

The other quilt I worked on and have almost finished is 'this one' - a Two-Kitty quilt wallhanging.  Yes, I have two black tuxedo cats, Jaik and Jules, so when I saw the pattern (in what book I don't know), I knew I had to make it.  When I find the book the pattern was in, I'll edit this post; it's a very cute quilt.  I used silver thread to machine-quilt stars and circles in the 'sky' and in curvy lines for the 'snow on the ground'.  It's very subtle.  Then I used a red sparkle thread to stitch 3 straight lines around the border.

I think it turned out quite well considering that I'm not a connoisseur of cute Christmas quilts.  Before I hang it, I will add the kitties button eyes and some embroidered whiskers.  That should do it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Now Pheno is Gone

I asked Richard about Pheno before he left. He seemed philosophical about his chances to survive long without Richard to look after him. Yesterday, Pheno died... or was killed. I don't know which, but I had a feeling...


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Richard is Gone to CA

Richard left on the 10:25am ferry this morning. Abigail gave him a ride. Knowing how difficult it is for Richard to say goodbye, I did not go to the ferry and hug him. I wanted to.

He'll be fine with Dean... but I miss him already.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Sheez, I wish Mother's Day would go away and just not happen at all. I can't stand being feted.... hypocrite that I am... as a good mama. I'm going to go away by myself next year. I think I said that last year, too. Last year was okay though because my mother had died in March and so I didn't have to think about her except to feel like a bad kid. At least I didn't have to act hypocritically and send cards and gifts. She didn't want them from me anyway so it was just a silly game.

My DIL made a special effort yesterday to make me feel wonderful on Mother's Day and my dd's gave me home-made cards extolling their reasons for caring. I can't tell you how each remark felt... like daggers in my brain. I couldn't wait to leave and be alone... it was all I could think of.

I'm a woman who was raised by socially and mentally inept persons. Some very bad things happened to me while I was a young girl... rape, pregnancy, relinquishment, marriage to a drug addict. I wasn't raised to have any strength so couldn't cope with any of that. I stumbled through life... raising children because it was expected of me. I loved them and I would never do anything to put their lives in danger; I worked every day and spent my entire paycheck on feeding and housing them. But is that enough to be considered a good mother? I don't think so. I did what I had to do.

Thank goodness all of my children have done well in life and I'm proud of them.... not always of everything they do, but proud that they are contributing members of society and good parents to their own children. I like spending time with them and I suppose that's a compliment to how great they are.... each of them in their own way. But I don't attribute any of their skills or personalities to anything I taught them.

So, though I appreciate that there are good mamas out there who deserve all the praise heaped upon them on their own special day... I also know that I am not one of them... and I don't want to celebrate another god damned Mother's Day ever again.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So, let me recount what's gone down over the past week or so. Laura moved out of her little house in with Liza and Madeleine. Unfortunately, a door was left open and Laura's big male orange cat, Budo, made a run for it. He hasn't been seen since Wednesday afternoon.... 3 days ago. We've searched and called him but he's gone. So that's very sad.

Their house looks nice but they have hookup for only one computer and one tv so everything is not perfect yet. But they get to sit outside in the sun to drink tea and have their lunch. Ryka gets to play in the yard, and even Mimi sits and peeks out the door; I predict that she'll come out and play soon.

Richard's birthday is on Tuesday. I found a couple of gifts that I think he'll like and I'll ask him if he would like to go out for lunch. Liza said he was going in to Seattle to see a play (?) and that she and Laura were watching the boys. I'm going to call him tomorrow and get the news from the horse's mouth. Both of the boys are sick with coughs and sore throats; I hope they're feeling better now. I had a very bad pain in my lower left back area.... same place I had the chest pain four years ago when I had pneumonia. It went away after a couple of days and I'm feeling fine now. also, I went to Dr. Koval to ask about a changing mole on my arm; she used nitrogen to burn it off. Well, it's not burnt off but she said it would fall off in a week or so. Otherwise I have to go back. I really hope it falls off.

Chubacca went to the vet on Friday morning. He has something like athlete's foot; his paws need to be dried off so they don't stay wet. Liza started a quilt yesterday - with kitties on it. I continue to work away on my pinwheels and they're all done.... just have to sew a "floater strip" on, then the sewn-together pinwheels. I still have a lot of sawtooth stars to make for the borders though. I'll have to do a few every darn day or I'll be doing loads of them at the end.

Not very exciting, but that's my crazy life so far... busy and a little hectic with different things going on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Good Advice

If you click on the title of this post, it will take you to some "good advice".

In the spirit of making sure that everyone begins saving money in these times of trouble, I'm posting the link to a site I found for Dave Ramsey, Financial Advisor. It talks about how much money a person can save by not replacing their old car every four years or so. My theory has always been to drive them until they fall apart. That was advice my father gave me and I can honestly say that I have never lost the 25% I would have by buying a new car and driving it off a car dealer's parking lot.

So watch this and take his investing advice with a grain of salt.... as in watch where you invest your savings because a lot of mutual funds aren't doing so well at the moment. I doubt very much that you'll earn 12% on your savings anywhere right now but I'm not a financial advisor so let me know if you find a good deal somewhere.

Dave has a link to his website if you click on the button at the end of that video.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Doin' some quilting...

It took me more than a few days to turn the center block on point and add the borders but I finally got it done yesterday and started on the little star blocks that will go around the edge of the quilt at the end. I need a lot of them so I have to make 16 a month for the next little while.

I couldn't make up my mind to use the same blue for the borders that I had used for the sawtooths on the center block. I auditioned a darker blue and liked it much better.

Then, 4-square blocks had to be made to go around the first border, then triangles had to be added to make them turn on point so they could be sewed into a border. Very time-consuming but I think the final result will be worth the effort.

Finally, the second blue border was added, which completed the second month's BOM challenge except that 16 of those little stars have to be made and put aside for the final border. They're cute but also time consuming to make since they're made up of 8 half-square triangles sewn together with a 2 inch center square of a different color... very cute.

On to March's challenge after I finish the little stars - all 32 of them - 4 down, 28 to go. If I can finish by the end of March, I'll be caught up with the projects on this quilt.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stop it!

Can I just say that large companies - Disney - should not use the networks they own - ABC - to showcase (commercialize) their new movies and characters. Just saying.

The View, which is rapidly becoming one huge Disney commercial, is unwatchable lately. I know that Disney owns ABC but c'mon folks, you're making me not want to ever see another one of your products. Yes, you're good but you're overdoing it, Disneyites.

I have influence, you know.... I have grandchildren who I take to movies, buy gifts for and generally speak to on a great many occasions.... and I will negatively influence them if you keep this pressure up, Mr. Disney. And yes, I do believe that you have some influence over the way your company advertises it's products... even though you're dead! You're either doing all of this from beyond the grave eg: sending thoughts to CEOs or, and I know this sounds like I'm refuting my previous comment... but, Mr. Disney, could it be that you're turning in your grave trying to get out and tell BabaWa to cut it out and stop selling out her show?

Just saying.

I will be quilting today so may have some pictures to post in my next blurb. Did I hear cheering from the pnut gallery?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Quilting onward!

Beautiful sunny day here, but below freezing at night so cold ... and oh yeah, I finished the center block in the green colors that I want for the quilt for January BOM yesterday and have started on the February BOM.

Looks much better in greens than it did in purple. I know that some people really like purple a lot but I'm not one of them that can take a lot of it, especially in a large item like a quilt.

Isn't this a great quote?
"I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate to my looks and my abilities." -- Tina Fey

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Back to quilting

I've managed to do a little work on the Stars for a New Day center block. I made it initially in purple fabric with blue and dark pink sawtooths but wanted it more in the same color of the original quilt which was green. So I hunted and hunted and now I have enough green fabric to make as many middle stars as I want.... or need. I'll post some pictures so you can see that I'm actually getting something done on this quilt after not being able to for more than a month.

Tomorrow, if I have no interruptions, I will complete the January block and be able to start on the February block.... leaving me up to speed with only the March BOM to do. That will be perfect. Now if the stars will align so I can get it all done.

Liza's birthday party was wonderful. She got to watch The Bachelor finale, which turned out to be quite exciting because he initially proposed to Melissa, the cheerleader, then six weeks later he decided that he preferred Molly, the runner-up. Quite distracting but I suppose ABC was pleased with all the drama that was initiated by Jason's turn-around in affections. Richard made salmon with rhubarb sauce over rapini and it was delicious. We ate chocolate cupcakes for dessert and Richard conjured up some lovely, delicious Lemon Drops and Cosmos for Liza. Lovely evening.

Still no cable service at the cottage and Liza is getting impatient. It's been a month of silence over there with no internet service either. Comcast is to come out and set them up on the 10th... but who knows, they were supposed to have set them up today and cancelled at the last minute. So Wednesday it will be!

The phone Liza has been using ran out of minutes today and no one realized it so Madeleine was floating around all afternoon with no way of getting in touch with her mother. Liza couldn't figure out why she didn't call... the phone would ring but wouldn't allow an answer. I added 1000 minutes so that should keep them set for a while. I think Madeleine should have her own cell phone and will be looking into buying her one. She also needs a camera.... soup from her lunch messed up her's, through no fault of her own.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Birthday Girl

It's Liza's birthday today and we're going to have a little celebration later in the day. Laura has two doctor appointments today and Liza will go over to Seattle to be with her. Poor Laura... so sad that her ears are so messed up.... she broke an eardrum a few weeks ago when she had a bad cold. Now she needs to get it repaired. This isn't the first time she's had surgery on one ear or the other. I'm glad Liza is going with her because discussing surgery on your head isn't ever good news.

But they will be back on the 5:30pm ferry and we'll all have salmon dinner at Richard and Abigail's house tonight, then (at Liza's request) watch the finale of The Bachelor to find out who the Seattle bachelor chose to be his wife. Borrrring I know, but we will be plied with lemon vodka drinks during the show. It actually sounds like a lot of fun.

I have done no quilting for weeks and am seriously behind - by 3 months - on my BOM quilt from The Quilt Show, but I'll catch up. Some day. Part of the problem was that I couldn't make my mind up about the color scheme although I was leaning towards greens in various shades and patterns... floral, paisley and then some pink thrown in for contrast. When I finally find the time to work on it, it's going to look really good. I have all the fabric I need now.

Dean called and he has found himself a very good job as a Broker for a great bank. The previous guy retired and left all of his clients for Dean. I'm so happy for him although I was certain that Dean would be working again quickly because of his knowledge and great personality.

I just thought of a good birthday gift for Liza... a bedroom makeover! She hasn't bought a bed yet and I can pick one up (with Richard's help) and set it up with new linens in a couple of hours. It'll be a nice surprise for her, I think. Hope it works out... I can't do it by myself because I need someone to tie the bed on the minivan... they won't do it at The Mattress Store. Liability, I suppose. Or lazy! Who knows... the thing is they won't do it.

And so the day begins....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Whine... not much quilting

Okay, when I sounded upbeat in my last post, that was before driving all the way to Canal Flats and back for the fifth time in 5 months. I am exhausted... too exhausted to move. I'm even too tired to make myself some breakfast which I desperately need because I haven't been eating much for the past four days and certainly not eating well at all in that time.

Whoops... off to the Kitsap Quilt Show in Bremerton. (Back again) Quilt Show was the previous day so we missed it and instead went shopping. ;-))

We left the island on Wednesday the 18th and missed the 10:25am ferry because we had to go to UHaul and pick up a trailer. Seemed easier than trying to find a trailer in Canada that would have allowed us to take it over the border. Missing the ferry should have been a sign that all was not going well although we had a great breakfast at a close by restaurant... we had to wait over an hour for the next ferry... which we did. This was setting us up to arrive in CF around 8 - 9pm... late. Uneventful trip until we got just south of Bonner's Ferry in ID where the Jeep suddenly wasn't behaving properly. Steering was difficult and it was overheating... ready to explode so we pulled over and called AAA. Someone decided to shoot off their automatic machine gun... maybe to scare off visitors... but then a cop came by to check us out in the pitch dark and cold and he said many people had guns in the area and it wasn't unusual to hear gunfire, even automatic. The tow truck came... shout out to Jacob's Auto Repair... and towed the Jeep to an auto repair shop and us to the Log Inn motel where we stayed for the night. Jeep was ready... belt replaced... by 9:30am and we were on the road again. Arrived in CF about 1pm which didn't give Liza much time to pack up what she wanted to take with her. She left lots behind but at least she's gone from that place and won't ever have to return. Shawn would be proud of her for taking that gigantic step, I'm sure.

So, the time has been spent buying furniture because we didn't bring any of the old stuff and making the new place feel like home. Liza is doing a good job of doing that and Laura is going to move in in a week or so.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Here now, but back again!

My dd has moved into the cottage with her big doggies. My gdd is still staying at her uncle's house so she'll have internet access. Typical teen, huh? So my dd and I will be driving back to their home in CF to get some things they left behind. Leaving Wednesday and returning Friday. Oh well.... this is my life.... back and forth, back and forth. I don't really mind... what else do I have to do?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life throws a fastball...

Got a phone call on February 5th from my dd, who was having serious problems trying to maintain her lifestyle in the small town she lives in - Canal Flats BC. She has two dogs who have been of immense comfort to her since she lost her husband last September. The dogcatcher knocked on her door and said that he was going to take one of her dogs in to have him euthanized because he had scared someone in the neighborhood. Didn't bite anyone or even attack anyone.... just barked at them from his own porch. I flew there on the 6th and drove her, her teenage dd, the two dogs and one cat out to my area. It was a 12-hour day to get there, changing planes in Vancouver, then a 10-hour drive back home.

In the past week, I have had the company of my dd and the two big dogs; my kitties are coping well even though their food is gobbled up fast if they don't finish it all... no more leaving a little for later around those big guys. The new kitty is over at my other dd's house and the teenager is set up at her uncles' house. The whole family broken apart... for now. We have found a nice cottage pretty far up the island but it has a water view, a large yard and three lovely bedrooms with a large workshop in the back. It's perfect... but I haven't heard if they can move in because they're still showing the house. Waiting is now my middle name.

My dental work is almost complete but I'm still seeing the dentist because for some reason, I have ulcers in my mouth ... and swollen glands in my neck. I take methotrexate which depresses my immune system.

Monday, February 02, 2009

John Lennon was right

An article in the NYTimes opinion section today told me that "change is coming but maybe not for poor women". Read it and weep for poor women:

.... it was distressing to see President Obama strip Medicaid coverage of family planning services out of the House economic package at the last minute in what turned out to be a futile effort to secure Republican support for the huge recovery bill.

Under current law, states wanting to use Medicaid money for family planning services, including cancer screenings, must obtain a waiver from Washington, as some 27 states have done. The modest provision that was cut would have done away with the cumbersome process. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the measure would provide coverage to 2.3 million women by 2014 and save $200 million over five years.

The Medicaid family planning provision would reduce the number of abortions by helping an estimated half-million women avoid unplanned pregnancy, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute. The knee-jerk opposition of House Republicans was but the latest sign of G.O.P. insensitivity to women’s rights and health. President Obama should no longer placate it.

I do hope that women will not be left out of the change that is supposed to come. Back to quilting......

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Women's Names

My paternal grandmother's name was Lucinda Young Burrows. My maternal grandmother's name was Caroline Jane York Cory.

As a quilter, we are a breed that makes history with our work. At least that's what we intend when we make something with our hands. Yet, few women can evidently name their grandmother and just imagine how many could not name their g-grandmothers.

I thought this quilter's blog at White Lotus Quilting said it quite well. We need to stop making women invisible. Do you know your grandmother's name?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Got a new book...

I'm a sucker for buying books online. I found the most recent one on a quilting website; it's called Enduring Grace and it's about the Shelburne Museum Collection founded by Electra Webb in Vermont. She was a collector of Early American quilts but enlarged the collection into all things early American including 9 houses which she had taken apart and reconstructed on her 8 acre parcel. Each house contains a part of her collection. The website indicates that the museum has been enlarged even more since the book was written. To me, that sounds like a trip I would like to take... to see a museum that large... and full of memorabilia going back to the start of the country.

At the same time, I could visit the Bennington Museum in Vermont that holds the beautiful Dear Jane quilt of which I made a replica. It has the largest collection of Grandma Moses paintings. I would be in heaven - quilts and paintings!

I saw Milk today with Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. What an era the '70s were... and what a fight gay people had to ensure they had the same rights as all other Americans. Penn was excellent as Milk and I will now be rooting for him to win the Academy Award. I lived in the San Francisco area in the late '60s and there was a hippy movement happening at that time. When the gay movement started there, I was back in Los Angeles but I remember all that happened very well. Who could forget the Twinkie Defense that Dan White, the murderer, put up. I wasn't unhappy when he committed suicide years later. Enough of the movie reviews but I heard about two more good movies that I would like to see... The Namesake and The Visitor and I'll be seeing those in the next few days. Don't know that I will review them here, though. I have yet to see Frost/Nixon which I really want to see because I like Frank Langella... who knows, maybe I'll change my Oscar favorite pick after seeing it.

My new quilt is not coming along. I'm so bad at choosing fabrics and though my local quilt shop helped me, I still am not crazy about putting yellow in that quilt. In the first two pictures, I am trying to see if a bright green or the purple paisley might look good with the blue and red of the feathers that go around the stars... but I'm not crazy about either one of them.

I want green, but a light lime green! So I ordered fabric online and I'm waiting for it to get here before I complete that part of the block that I'm supposed to have finished for January.

Oh well, I've got some of it paper-pieced.... boring! I had to stop cutting out all the little pieces and just start sewing.... I like to just hack off a piece of fabric and sew it on, then cut off what I don't need... it's faster. I really dislike precutting but I'll probably do some precutting and some hacking. I hope this quilt turns out looking all right. I'm a little worried about it. Here's one reason.....

At least the top of the Depression quilt is now ready for sandwiching. I'll get around to that in the next few days while I'm waiting for that new fabric to show up.

Oh, and I started my new Anita Brookner novel... Hotel du Lac. The last one - The Bay of Angels - was exquisite in its' simplicity; she writes as if she knows you will understand the character without over explaining. I wish I could write like that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Double Wedding Ring 'Tute'

I found this great tutorial on Webshots that was done by CJ Spensley. She was kind enough to post the slideshow of how to assemble a Double Wedding Ring quilt. I have many, many parts done to make this particular quilt; it was to be a gift for my daughter and her new husband... obviously I haven't completed it. I'm not sure that she will want it after the events of last Fall. One day, I'll ask her... but not until she elects to move from the house they shared.

As you can see, it's a rather complicated piecing for the DWR.... lots of curves to be sewn. But I fully intend to finish the quilt one day ... maybe this year. Right now, I'm hand-quilting the Dear Jane, piecing the new quilt and have yet to sandwich and machine-quilt the Depression quilt. I've decided to put a soft flannel on the back of that one and I have to choose a color or pattern that will look good... and feel good.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Sewing this Depression quilt that I've been working on, since completing the top of my Dear Jane, is making me depressed. I find I just don't like doing 'cookie-cutter' quilts. It looks okay but it's boring me to tears finishing it. One thing I can say is that it will be quilted REALLY quickly so I don't have to look at it any more. Then again, maybe I'll enjoy it once it's done.

This is the quilt I SHOULD be working on.... but I like to finish what I'm working on at the moment before starting something new, so that I don't end up with a closet full of UFO's (unfinished objects). It looked complex enough to make that I won't get bored while putting it together... and it looks nice enough that someone might want it after I'm gone - or even before! Because it's easy to get tired of a quilt when it takes a year or more to complete it. Although I've gotten tired of looking at them after only a month in some cases... see above. ;-)

Our new president has done a marvelous job since taking office. Today, it was announced that the WH computers are six years old... that's older than this computer that I use for frivolous matters, and quite honestly I've been considering updating it. So what the heck were those people in GWB's administration working on if they had clunky computers? And they are MS computers, not Macs.... I know that will be a top priority to get changed... as well it should be.

George Mitchell named Middle East Envoy this morning. Hillary Clinton took over the State Dept this morning and changes are happening quickly. Lots of Clinton appointees are being named... Richard Holbrooke is Special Envoy to pakistan and Afghanistan! He called it a 'daunting' assignment... and it is.

I gotta go shopping for cat food with Laura.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush out; the One is in!

I am in total despair at the state of our country right now. I only hope that our new administration will do something that will benefit the people and help us to overcome the damage done over the past eight years of the Bush administration.... but right now, I'm not sure I trust anyone to better things. So watching the inauguration with it's costly bill gives me little comfort and seeing GWB's final address to the nation and realizing that he has little understanding of what he's allowed to happen makes me angry. Hard to believe that so much has changed in a period of 8 years.

On the "close to home" front: A lady is missing - car left on ferry - from the Seattle/BI ferry run... where did she go? Did she possibly walk off and start a new life elsewhere? Or was the economy too much for her? Could she not wait for the O.... or didn't she trust either?

On the quilting front, I have my Dear Jane quilt on a lap hoop and ready to hand quilt. That will go quite slowly, I think, given that I have no experience at all with that.

I began work on what's called a Depression quilt - an easy 'half-square triangle' one - and I intend to use it as an extra blanket on the sofa for those cold drafts and cool mornings when I feel chilly. I've also signed up for a Block of the Month quilt posted on The Quilt Show. I wasn't even able to choose the right colors for it so who knows how that's going to turn out, but it is something new and adventure is not only a part of life but a great way to learn something new. So, onward ho! I'll post pictures as I go along.

The picture here is one of the record amount of snowfall we experienced on the island this December. It was extremely bad timing for the Christmas season because it kept people home just before Christmas. I shopped online as much as possible but I really wanted to shop locally so on Christmas Eve, I went out and bought as much as I could find in the stores I could slosh to. Then I lost the bag of gifts and had to slosh back to the store I found all the right stuff in and re-buy the same things. At least the things that they had left; it was a small shop with one-of-a-kind gifts so a little frustrating. The day after Christmas, the shop called and said that my bag had been turned in by the book store where I had also tried to find gifts. So I had to return those for credit. Christmas 2009 - bah, humbug! Actually I had a very nice Christmas with Richard, Abigail and the boys playing their Wii gift and meeting their friend, Kirsten and SO who were visiting. Laura made a very good dinner and we opened gifts here. Cozy!

One of the most eventful weather things (in my eyes) that happened this winter happened in January. On the 4th, I decided to take my Christmas tree to the recycling yard for recycling and Richard brought his bottles along with some garbage from the holidays. It was approximately 4:30pm and Richard asked me to stay for dinner - salmon. I wasn't going to but Walt was so persuasive that I capitulated and said yes. It was a wonderful delicious dinner and there were no regrets .... until I went to leave and found about 3 inches of snow on the ground. I decided that it wasn't enough to stop me from driving home but I found myself sliding a little as I backed down their hill. As I turned onto the road to go down the hill I realized that I had made a mistake... I was skidding badly and the brakes wouldn't hold... I couldn't steer either. It was either leave the minivan in the middle of the road and hike the 15 feet back to Richard and Abigail's to spend the night or slide down the hill into the other vehicles I could now see off the side of the road. I called R and he came and jumped into the van in time to experience it slide right into the side of an Audi. Luckily we stopped there. We left the van and hiked back home. At 4:30am, Richard and Abigail shoveled snow from the front of the van and slowly advanced the van down the hill to a parking spot, which unfortunately was in a soft spot of a park lawn. I had to call AAA to come and winch it out... and someone had hit the L tail light during the night which will need to be fixed, but not bad considering. It was extremely annoying at the time though. I still have a broken tail light. grrrr.....

New Year's Eve was quiet. Had drinks with Laura and her date Mark, over at a bar nearby then headed home to enjoy the evening. Laura and Mark continued on to a party in Seattle. Laura was concerned that she might not see the fireworks from the Space Needle but evidently she was able to, so that worked out fine for her. Laura and I saw the Northwest Ballet's version - by Maurice Sendak - of The Nutcracker in mid-December which was a great event that we both enjoyed. The evening was beautiful and we got some great pictures of the Space Needle which was close by... and of Christmas lights in 'the hall'.

My dental work is progressing slowly but surely. My final appointment is February 4th which is kind of scary but I'm looking forward to it too. For my entire life, I've had to deal with a terrible cross-bite and over-bite along with bad enamel. All my teeth have been capped, filled or pulled and I am looking forward to having a normal bite after all this. Of course, every dentist I've ever been too has promised that I will be very happy with their results also... and I was for a while. Let's hope I'm happy with these results for years and years.

Liza seems still undecided about when to leave CF but she wants to sell the house... not just walk away.... so hopefully it will sell quickly in the Spring so she and Madeleine can leave for other parts soon. She mentioned Victoria which is close by so I like that idea. Vancouver is too sleazy to live in.... besides the Olympics is coming there in 2010 so rents will be astronomical. Smart move for her. Shawn is still in all of our thoughts but it's only been 4 months so of course we won't forget him in such a short time. This was Shawn:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He, secure within, can say
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

He was a great guy and lived life to its fullest. Tomorrow came but he was secure because every minute of the day was his. Cheers, Shawn! You were (and are) loved.