Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another use for selvages

The yarn sorting party was successful - and if there is anyone out there who would like scraps of polyester rug yarn - it's yours for the asking! But ask soon, it is going out with the trash on Sunday!
The guest bed is now up on risers, and about 90% of the yarn is now under the bed, stored in covered bins, with a selvage retrieval system that I conjured up out of available materials - namely, empty gift wrap tubes and strips of selvages. See pic...

No, I'm not going to show you the yarn itself. Although I do wish I had taken pics of what was in each box - might pull the bins out just for that purpose - it would be easier than writing it all down!

and here's the stash UNDER the bed!  Notice the selvages wrapped around the boxes - that's my retrieval system - the strip of selvage goes through a tube at the back of the pile, so I can pull out the whole stack at once without crawling under the bed!  nifty, I think...

This the is resulting floor space where those boxes had been:
Still a long ways to go before anyone comes to call... but a major improvement from my perspective - I haven't seen that floor in months!

the bed/quilt storage facility - almost uncluttered!  wooot-wooot!!

Here's Traci working on the new floor plan for the sewing studio.

On a sad note, today I'm closing the "Quilters Closet, Etc." shop at Craftique downtown - it was just not going to make it through the bleak winter months. That merchandise will still be available, however, in my new "GrannyGoodStuff" boutique on ETSY. It's not quite open yet, but watch for it next week.
Although it's hard to believe this is the last day of 2009, I'm looking forward to 2010 with high hopes and positive expectations.
I hope your New Year celebration is safe, healthy and joyous.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

yarn sorting

Hello again,
We had a wonderful Christmas with a little trip thrown in and ended up driving through some nasty blowing snow on the way home, but things are getting back to normal, so I'll be posting more often again.
Today is sort the yarn day - Traci (DD) is helping me find, sort, and repack my yarn stash - it was just taking up a bit too much of the guest room, so I'm taking a short break.
Now, I know lots of quilters are also knitters/crocheters and have yarn stashes - mine goes back several decades - so we are sorting into what will and will not felt when washed, with a sub-category for 'embellishment' fibers.
So as we have the room nearly covered in boxes of yarn, Traci says to me: "Mom - your are one of the few people in the UNIVERSE who could to fill a TARDIS to the point where it WOULD NOT MOVE."
I'm not sure, but I get the impression she thinks I have a lot of yarn...
She likes it when I knit for her, tho - she found several skeins that she showed an interest in... which I will do in exchange for her able-bodied skillful assistance.
She says my knitted gifts are tangible proof of my motherly love and devotion...  and could I knit another pair of wrist warmers?

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Cute Christmas Story...

It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of a church was looking over the creche when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures. He hurried outside and saw a little boy with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant Jesus. So he walked up to the boy and said, "Well, where did you get your passenger, my fine friend?"
The little boy replied, "I got Him at church."
"And why did you take Him?"
The boy explained, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and I told Him if He would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give Him a ride around the block in it."

graph paper solution

I want to share a link for all kinds of graph paper -
there is a ton of other stuff on this website, but I was looking for hexagon graph paper and this website has a graph paper generator that will produce a pdf file in any size grid you need for whatever you need any kind of graph paper for in metric or inches.  There's also circle, perspective, tiles, tumbling blocks, etc.  What a find!
There is a mesmerizing assortment of goodies on this site, so don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quilter's Night Before Christmas

My friend Cheryl sent me this little ditty:
Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be fat quarters or a pattern or lace?
Or a quilt kit, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that's when I heard him,
"Hi Santa," I said
"You know....good little girls should be in their beds ".
"I know I should Santa, and now I've got caught.
But I was just so excited to see what you brought."
"Well, let's take a look in this room where you work."
He shook his head quickly, And left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear.
"You've got enough stuff, I'll see you next year!"

~Author Unknown

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas projects

I have a little quilt as you go wall hanging up, a dozen fabric candy canes, and a new flannel pillow done this past week - today I'll be baking cookies!  Yum - the best part of the holidays!

Here's a picture of my projects:

The directions for all of these projects were included in the recent Cross Country Designers Blog Hop sponsored by 12 quilt designers, including Gudrun (the quilt) Pat Sloan (the pillow) and the Candy Canes were offered by Miss Rosie's on day 10. All of the projects included in the Blog Hop were quick easy holiday patterns and one participant even managed to get all 12 projects done by the end of the Hop - impressive work from bro3ther! 

The designers even gave away prizes for those who commented on their blogs on 'their' days and there was a Grand Prize (which yours truly received, amazing!) which I just HAD to spread out and photograph for posterity:

An amazing and very generous assortment of goodies, patterns, books, tools, fabrics, and kits - I'm still stunned that I won all this just for making comments!  and the blog hop itself was so inspirational with all the holiday traditions, memories, old pics, etc., and even a blast from the past - it was so much fun, it was worth getting up extra early every morning just to read them all!

If you would like to see more Christmas quilts, check out my friend's blog:

I'm off to the kitchen to bake cookies now - merry merry time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

best of plans

I made a trip around town yesterday - tried to combine as many errands as possible to conserve energy, fuel, etc.  The errands were accomplished, but included standing in line far more than anticipated, so I didn't get back in time to sew up the candy canes, pillow, etc. that I had hoped to get to yesterday.
So TODAY I will attempt those fabric candy canes again!  and if I get those done, I'll go on to the pillow triangles.
I also want to share a blog with you today - Geta does the most amazing trapunto - scroll down the page to see her blog link - it is very impressive - AND would you believe, she GIVES HER WORK AWAY!!!!  Sign up for this month's giveaway on her blog today - and good luck!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

quilting small for the holidays

This is the first time I've tried making the 'INCHIE' quilts - which, if you haven't heard of them before, are exactly one inch square quilts - admittedly stiff, but quilts for sure - they are made with a satin stitch edge and then embellished with beads, ribbons, or what-have-you.
The first attempt took several tries, and I almost gave up as it was getting soooo time consuming, but then I just cut out a couple dozen pieces and kept trying until I found the stitch length/width x thread x needle combination x machine speed that worked, and suddenly it got a lot easier... now I'm thinking I might just do a lot more of these.  For info on INCHIES, see which shows you a different inchie idea every day.
Other small projects I have finished so far include a pair of donut ornaments, a small Christmas tree wall hanging (from the blog hop pattern by Gudrun of GE Designs)
and I hope to work on the fabric candy canes and Pat Sloan's pillow today.
No major projects in the works until after the new year.  This is enough sewing fun for now, it's time to take inventory of my UFO's and see how many I can finish before New Year's Eve!
Hugs to all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

photo meme.

My friend, Pam posted this challenge/invitation on her blog, so I'm responding...
Tag. you're it! Let me know and I'll come check out your photos too!

here are the rules:
*open your first photo folder
*scroll down to the 10th picture
(if you don't have 10 in that one, then go to the next folder that does)
*post that photo and the story behind that photo on your blog
*tag 5 friends to do the same 
Last summer, we went to Jonesborough, TN to visit my SIL, and do a little antique shopping and then we all went on to the Knoxville quilt show.... but when we arrived in Jonesborough, there was an event that stopped us in our tracks - a long line of Model T's (and a few similar, but not technically T's) lined the main street of Jonesborough - they were having a rally - all of these cars were in good working order, mind you - and it took us the best part of the morning to inspect them all before they drove away!   Seriously - there were at least 100 or more.

We love to visit historic Jonesborough, (check their website at) 
and always try to take in a tall tale or two at the International Storytelling Center - seen just behind that handsome devil conducting the 'auto inspection' in this photo.
It was a beautiful morning, and a lovely memory!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Avoiding the Sorting Detour

They say sorting is easy - four boxes labeled KEEP HERE, TOSS, RECYCLE, KEEP ELSEWHERE - but if you are an easily distracted, creative person - then everything you touch becomes a detour.  That detour can often take the rest of the day to get back on track - so today, I'm trying to stay on track - conquer just one little mess with a short deadline, and then give myself a little 'quilting time' reward.
So, here I go - straight for the finish line - no distractions.  I have ONE HOUR to accomplish this.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finding lost quilty stuff...

One of the issues I have to deal with as I proceed with this re-org is what to do with all the stuff - some of it hasn't been seen in so long I forgot long ago why I had it - but some turns out to be things I have been looking for - those "I know I already have a spool of blue thread here SOMEWHERE!!!" kinds of things. 
Today I found the fabric I bought for the seats of the dining room chairs - I didn't have enough to do all four chairs - my math isn't my strongest talent, and I had bought half what I needed the first time - so I went back and bought the second half - but that second half disappeared as it came in the front door, so those seat cushions have been waiting patiently on the work table for that home dec fabric to turn up and (drum roll, please) I can now finish those seat cushions!
I'll have to figure out how to post pics when I get them done - because that will call for a major photo event in the dining room!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Studio Re-Organization

I've decided to concentrate on a major studio re-do. The current set up is just not efficient anymore - even if it were tidy (which it certainly is NOT) it would still need improvement - and I think I FINALLY have an idea of how I'd like to improve it... so I may not get quite as much sewing done between now and the holidays, but the goal is to have this reorganized (and TIDY) by the first of the year. Yeah, I don't expect this to happen overnight - it took years for it to get this bad, and it won't get better overnight, even with the help of Tinkerbell AND my Fairy Godmother!
I realized yesterday that there is a STACK of six boxes in the corner that I have NO IDEA of the contents! It's been so long since I saw the top of my ironing board that I'd forgotten it was there until I found myself picking up the results of the avalanche that fell off when I bumped it.
So here's a 'before' pic - this was taken a couple of years ago - before it got as bad as it is now!
I'm not sure I want to post a pic of it in its current state - the evidence might be used against me in a 'court of quilt law'!
I know that I get a lot more accomplished in a tidy space - so that's the goal - get re-organized and STAY TIDY! That's me, the future tidy person....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guild Meeting

Last night was the monthly meeting of Quilt Company East. The guest speaker was Eleanor Levie (Ellie) of Skinny Quilts and Tablerunners fame - she showed us samples of totes, table runners, and small quilts from several outstanding designers in addition to her own. She also presented a slide show of museum quilts by earlier quilters who were more adventurous than their peers and took a stab at doing something 'outside the box'. Ellie gave a wonderful, inspiring presentation and I'm so glad to have been there.
QCE is a quild that does a LOT of 'outside the box' quilts - an amazing bunch of talent for such a small room - there is always something at 'show & tell' that makes the late night worth the long drive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving prep

It's time to finalize the plans for Thanksgiving - the menu, the schedule, the headcount, the seating arrangements, or maybe the restaurant reservations!

My very favorite Thanksgiving restaurant has been closed for several years, so we went shopping for a new alternative - last year, we went to an 'all you can eat buffet' for Thanksgiving - it was great - everyone had their favorites, there were no leftovers, and no cleanup - I highly recommend it. Admittedly, it was not as much fun as the time we spent Thanksgiving with my brother and his family in San Diego....

I had just started to have hot flashes that year.... and had not yet realized that wine increased the 'power surges' so my beloved S-I-L and I were having a glass (or two) while we prepped the turkey, peeled potatoes, etc. and along with having the most fun I've ever had in a kitchen - I had ice pops stuffed in my clothes to help counter the 'power surges'.... it's possible we had a little more fun due to the fact that the turkey wasn't done until 8PM, so we had plenty of time for wine and finished the bottle off well before the food was ready to serve.
Good times, good family, good wine! Great combination.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

AUTUMN has Arrived with a Howl

The upstairs studio has a window a/c unit that howls and whistles when the winter winds blow - so this week's major goal will be to get that a/c OUT of the window and into storage for the winter.
We are having gusty winds up to 40+ mph today, and it sounds as though the upstairs is being haunted by banshees!

I've been working on the exchange blocks for Pat Sloan's Turkey Tracks exchange - these aren't due yet, but it feels so good to have them done!

The fabrics for the NEXT Pat Sloan challenge - the Gobble Gobble fabrics - have arrived in today's mail, and I can hardly wait to dig into this glorious bundle! These fabrics are by Sandy Gervais, who does yummy fall colors with a folk art attitude. First, a pumpkin, then some X blocks, then maybe a couple of trees. a crow?...... where will this take me?
check my FaceBook album pages and see!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

not working isn't what it used to be...

now that my unemployment claim is proceeding into the "Extended Benefit" phase, I will be required to search for work at least twice per week and be able to provide proof of those searches, and I can no longer file an online claim, it will have to be written, paper forms, requiring stamps, and a trip to the UC Claim office.
All this will have to wait until Tuesday, as this is the Labor Day weekend.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Race for the Cure quilt progress

The 'Race for the Cure' quilt is on the frame - about 3/4ths quilted - coming along nicely.

Hope to finish the quilting this weekend - since it's raining anyway....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sam, the little dog with a big heart

Some days are harder than others, it's all part of the grieving process, I know.. but today I really miss Sam - he died over a year ago, so it is getting easier, but some days are still tough being without him. He was a one-in-a-million kind of dog - always alert, always there, totally unafraid, completely committed. I wish I could be more like him.