Thursday, December 31, 2009

List - the interesting part! Quilting

Okay, both the kids are in bed and L&J are home so ... time to list!

This year I finished 16 quilt projects. Two were bed sized, 2 crib size and the rest were little wall quilts and pillow size. Six were UFOs - woohoo! Mom got FOUR wall quilts from Thimbleberry panels. Two for her birthday and two for Christmas. There were several non-quilty sewing projects too. Three flannel receiving blankets; satin bindings on three kid quilts; and 2 pair of pajama pants for Miss P and Mr M.

I made 40 postcards. I did 6-8 for each season: Valentines, Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. But it felt like I didn't do as many as usual. I didn't make any 'special' cards, I guess.

Okay - next year's goals.

I've already joined Stashbusters No Buy and the UFO Challenge again. I'm going to keep track of stash used and hope to use 100 yards in a year. You subtract what you use but you add any fabrics that you buy. Ooops!

AND I'm in charge of the "Use your own books" challenge. 'Books' include books, patterns and magazines. It involves making a project inspired by a book you own that you haven't made anything out of. The challenge is to make at least 4 projects ... one for each quarter. And if you have an UFO as a first project from a book ... if you finish it it counts as both an UFO and the use your own book challenge!

Here's hoping that 2010 brings lots of happiness and time for quilting!

Happy New Year!

Year end tallies!!! Book Recommendations

Good morning! We head for Portland today to babysit tonight for the kids and then tomorrow L and I go for some quality spa time! After facials, I'm introducing her to pedicures!!! Poor deprived gal has never had one!

I've been working on my lists - and surprisingly enough I don't 'do lists' as much as when I was working. Probably because I'm home and can get up and do what I'm thinking of - don't have to wait 8 hours to get home!

On to the lists: I read 79 books this year. That's up 25 from last year. Of course, I didn't move this year so had a little more time to lounge and read! For the first time in my life I actually don't finish all the books I start! Blasphemy! Now that I have time to read ... I quit when I don't like it! I guess I figured out there is no 'library police' to give me demerits for not finishing! AND I'm not losing sleep over this habit either!

A new resource I heard about this year is BookMarks Magazine. This is an excellent resource. Yes, you can subscribe, but really the best use of it is to make sure your library gets it; then check out the old issues. Crazy like a fox!!! You can see what sounded good from last year or earlier, and usually they are off reserve and free for you to read! Check it out! Especially you book club gals!

I keep track of my books in an old ledger book by hand before I take them back to the library. I rate them from zero stars to 4 stars. Every once in a while I give a 5* rating! I then enter the list into an Access database. I have over 2200 books rated. I've been using this method since 1980! I know it seems like 'over kill' but the reason I love it is - I can sort by star rating. So I can pull up favorite books from years ago and see if the author has written anything recently!

These books rated 4*s last year. My absolute favorite book was "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society " by Shaffer & Barrows. It's great - a quick read. Mainly because I don't think I ever put it down!

Other favorites in the running were:

Winter Study by Nevada Barr. Her 'Anna Pidgeon' series is awesome. If you haven't read her - start at the beginning and read thru them. She's one of my favorite "adult Nancy Drew" writers. Everything we loved as girls - a strong woman character you'd like to be or be friends with and a mystery to solve!

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon. Beth is a quilter, she was married to Geoffrey Gutcheon and owner of the quilt store in NYC. She also wrote (among others) Still Missing. Also a favorite

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg. Elizabeth is prolific. Her books are quick reads, I enjoy them all but every once in a while she really hits home with me and this one did!

Alex Cross's Trial by Patterson & Dilallo. I know, I know - Patterson must be going for some kind of publishing record. Those 1 or 2 page chapters are hilarious. But it can read 'like eating popcorn!' This one was historic - not my favorite venue - but it still rated 4* with me.

Floodgates by Mary Anna Evans. Mystery set in New Orleans post Katrina. Very interesting learning more about the problems in New Orleans.

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I actually rated this 5*! Don't let the size deter you! Yes, it's 1074 pages but I think it's his best writing since his accident. It gets alittle foofy at the end, all those strings to tie back together but all in all 'Well done!' The cover was designed by advertising artists and there's not one word about the author or the book on it!

I found Richard Morgan, a Sci-fi writer, this year. His first book was "Altered Carbon" about 're-sleeving' a person's essence in a new body when killed. Of course, the method is used mostly for soldiers and very rich people. I recommended it to my son. He liked it but couldn't get over the fact that I recommended a book with that much sex in it! Okay - I'd forgotten the sex(!) I usually just retain the essence of the book in my very old, decrepit mind!!! I'm now waiting for the last book in his series from Inter-library loan.

Well, that was fun - I'll do my sewing/quilting lists later!!

Happy New Year!

My Review of Quick Ship: Small Plastic Folding Table with Adjustable Legs

I saw a table like this at our retreat and thought "Wait a minute! That might be just what I need to lower my portable sewing machine with it's 'table' to my diningroom table height when I'm working on large projects."

Then N - our local 'go-to, git-r-dun' gal found this table on the web for me! Okay, I may have been whining about not finding what I saw ... LOL! DH let me get it for myself for Christmas!

The only 'drawback' is that it adjusts height at 1/2 inches and of course my diningroom table height is at 1/4 inch increment. But I like to tip my machine toward me so putting itty-bitty blocks under the back legs of the table fixes that 1/4 inch difference.

I did a review for the company and at the end they said "we can blog this for you!" Well, cool!!!

Originally submitted at CSN Supply

Correll Quick Ship-Standard Blow-Molded Plastic Folding Tables with Adjustable Legs are perfect for any occasion. Lightweight and extremely easy to handle, these durable folding tables are great for indoor or outdoor use. Terrific option for schools or companies alike.

This table great for machine quilting!

By Nebraska Quilter in Oregon from Newport Oregon on 12/31/2009

4out of 5

Pros: Nice Finish, Good Surface Area, Adaptable, Sturdy, Attractive Design, Good Height

Best Uses: Quilting

Describe Yourself: Midrange Shopper
It works really well. I love being able to adjust the height of this table - I line it up with my sewing machine at the height of my dining room table creating a large surface to support quilts as I machine quilt them. It's great! It folds and stores easily. It's light enough that I can set up and tear down without back strain.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas

We sure had a great time. Everyone was together. Portland was not raining and nice enough that we could bundle up and go for walks. Always a plus!

There were lots of wonderful presents. It's always fun to see others open presents that you picked for them ... it's great when they're excited too! I scored on what I gave DH - he's an insomniac and loves to watch stars in the middle of the night. Can't afford a telescope this year ... but I found some astrology books that were pretty exciting! AND I managed to keep secrets this year - he runs the budget so that's not exactly easy!!

We bought Robeez - little moccasins for Mr M. He's one and just started walking last month. Doesn't care for shoes ... takes them right off. Well, these are great because toddlers can't get their own shoes off! I put them on him - and he walked around like he was wearing swim fins!!! "What am I stepping on??" LOL! It was a riot to watch!

And Miss P loved all her presents and Mr M's too! She got two tea sets ... so lots of tea was served. There was a talking Buzz Lightyear that I bumped when putting presents under the tree - 'hush you stupid toy!!!' The other nana bought her the prettiest "PINK-A-LICIOUS" dress - what fun!!! And you always like to dress up for tea!

This is one of the last presents I sewed this year. Remember Mr M was a bat for Halloween because he loves to hang upside down? When I saw this embroidery pattern here - I just had to make it. I must admit I was more excited about it than my daughter. But it will grow on her - it's a Halloween decoration to remember his first Halloween.

My relatives in Nebraska were snowed in separately-at their own houses. Cell phones were ringing each other every minute or so - "what are you doing now? Is it still snowing there????" LOL! But they got together today, so all is good.

Question of the season: Why is it the person you finally decide to give up sending Christmas cards to ALWAYS sends YOU one - usually arriving on Christmas Eve???

It's that time of year for me. I have to get out the books and the lists and see what my totals are for this year. I'll let you know later this week. How many projects done? How many books read? I think we can pretty much skip how much weight lost AGAIN! Stay tuned ... the analysis is on it's way!

Today - Dec 28 is our wedding anniversary. 37 years this year. time sure flies when you're having fun! Isn't it amazing when you've been together far longer than you were without each other. And I'm the first to admit that I'm a spoiled brat! My DH takes great care of me. He even gave me a gift certificate for a favorite quilt shop in Portland for Christmas! What an enabler!!! Oh, I'm sure he'll be a curmudgeon many times this year - but I'll just have to coax him out of it as usual!

A Miss P story - you know you love them. As I was saying goodbye yesterday. I said, "When Nana and Papa come back next week we're going to have a New Year's Eve party when mommy and daddy go out. Won't that be fun???" She looked me straight in the eye and asked her mommy if she could go with them!!! Oh well, she had mommy call me tonight so she could tell me something, "I love you and I miss you!" A sign of a guilty conscience don't you think!!!

Lucky day today! I won FQs on a blog!!! Corky is a hoot - and you should check out her blog too! Thanks, Corky - it's a great prize!

Happy New Year Everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to all ... and to all a good night!

Santa's workshop is now officially closed - well, mostly! I have one more present to do on the computer! No sewing involved.

Here's the pumphouse our garden club "The Bloomers" decorated for the holidays. As we were on the ladders putting up wreaths, S wondered why we didn't have men in the club - to help with the heavy work. I said, "It might be the name!" I thought she was going to chuckle right off the ladder! Since it's right by the gate you can see that 'arm' in the pictures. Cute as a button! The day we put up all the stuff was C*O*L*D! But it was worth it!

The last project I just finished is a present ... and although I doubt 'daughter-dear' will be checking out my blog ... I took a picture and will post it next weekend.

I did get carried away with this new pattern for a snowman ornament. I gave up wool last year when we moved here! Thanks, C for sending supplies!!! But isn't he adorable?? There's also a Christmas penny rug that I had to have - it will be an UFO for next year.

Here's my fabric Christmas cards - they turned out alittle 'too too!' If you know what I mean! I was making 16 fabric bookmarks for the ladies that helped with the recovery quilt - so I had a bright idea to use the same background for the pcs too. Not my favorite design BUT I did get both projects done! By the way, they look better by ones - not the whole group!!!

This year for the "Pushpin" show at the Visual Arts Center here in Newport I hung 6 fabric postcards in 'bell-pull' fashion. Winter, Valentine, spring, summer, fall and Christmas. Named it "A year on the coast". There were only 2 fabric entries - have to get the guild to work on that!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Here's to more love, laughter and of course, quilting in 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Needless to say, of course, I'm still up to my eyebrows in sewing Christmas projects. But I wanted to share our Christmas letter with you. My letters and cards went out last week. My decorations went up too! But you can hardly see the tree for the piles of sewing on the dining room table! I miss my sewing room - and this time of year - so does R!!

R went to the grocery store yesterday and came home with 2 new tvs! And he complains about me not sticking to the list! LOL! He's on his way to A's house today to deliver one. So I have 24 hours to get this mess done and straightened up! [And here I am, playing on the computer!]

Yesterday was fun watching the ocean. It was fairly clear and there must be a booty call for the sea lions! They were swimming south. We watched 2-5 of them at a time swim by for over two hours. They are so big! Weight can be 600 lbs for the ladies and over 1,000 for the guys! So-yes, you can easily spot them swimming!

Miss P was a little scattered at gymnastics last week. Interrupting and wanting to try everything else in the room ... what can I say - she's THREE! On the way home, mommy had to have 'the talk' with her. "You know, Miss P, Santa can see you. He knows if you're paying attention to your teacher and following directions." After a moment of shocked silence in the backseat, she heard a little voice saying, "Oh oh!"

Happy Holidays from the Boyds

December continues to sneak up, even when retired. I’m still quilting – enjoying the guild here, which is very active. This summer I started taking free art classes. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw. R plays golf as much as he can. He joined a ‘traveling league’ this year and enjoys playing throughout central Oregon. Trust me - the traveling trophy is no prize to display!

Miss P is now 3 and Mr M is 1! We love seeing what they will come up with next! Mr M started walking and Miss P started gymnastic classes – let the adventures begin!

A & J2’s wedding is set for next July. We’re all looking forward to the celebration. And Miss P gets to be a flower girl!

Wishing you the best in 2010

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas season is upon us - thud!

We've been really busy this week. Getting ready to mail presents to family in Nebraska.

Stashbusters has a wonderful reminder program. Every month on the 25th it encourages everyone to make something for Christmas AHEAD of the season. Some year I'm actually going to it!!!

Our garden club - Bloomers - took on the task of decorating the pump house at our entrance for the holidays. I helped letter this sign - very fitting for me this time of year - every year!

My mom likes to decorate her "porch". She lives in an independent living community and her porch is a little shelf outside her door - there's room for a small wall quilt there too. Last year, I lost my mind and made her a Thimbleberries panel quilt - but it was too big for her porch so she enjoyed giving it to someone else in the family. This year I reduced the same panel. The cutest border didn't cut down gracefully - darn it. But it will fit the space this year! Mom likes to display snowman stuff in January. So she can open this on Christmas.

And because I'm on a roll! :> I also cut down a Santa panel. It won't be wrapped in her package - a bonus that she can use this month. There's the full panel laying on our table. It's a cute panel, but I'm really happy with my reduced version. Fun, don't you think!?!

We had a babysitting gig up in Portland the monday before Thanksgiving. J was getting over strep throat - ICK - so we didn't want to get there early for a change. We ended up at the mall just in time for L's break from work. We enjoyed a 1/2 sandwich and cookie with her, did a little Christmas shopping - and returning! Then we went to Blind Side. What a great movie - I loved it. See it if you get a chance.

Since we were coming back in 3 days for Thanksgiving, we brought Miss P home with us for the interim. She's 3 now and a little whiny. We think it's because mom just got a new job that is more hours than she had before. We asked Miss P where mommy was working now - at "Don't touch ANYTHING!" store! Better known as Anthropologie. And Mom's loving it despite the longer hours. Nana and Papa had fun with Miss P - we ate cake for dessert every night, we read books, we walked and played on the beach - it was even sunny while she was here - we went to the Aquarium where the octopus was awake and swimming around for once!!!

I also tried to repair Miss P's blanky - it's really in bad shape. We were hoping binding it with satin binding might help it last longer ... but what a mess! And of course, I had a 3 year old practically holding on to what she could reach while I was trying to sew on it!!! I also ran out of the pink binding. The store is 30 miles away ... naptime was coming up quickly ... so it has one blue binding corner. I told Miss P that it is to remind her than Nana loves her!!! Then we headed for home on Thanksgiving.

We had a blast up at L&Js house where Mr M kept us jumping with his 'drunken sailor' walk. Yep, like his big sister, he started walking the week of his first birthday. He's getting pretty good at it - still sits down to crawl after his sister when he wants to be fast! But that won't be the case for long. We'd better bring our running shoes at Christmas!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rain rain rain!!! Okay - I'm whining!

Here is the one sunset we were able to enjoy this week - I know, isn't it beautiful. But, seriously, would it hurt to have a day without rain??

Today's weather was really interesting. I woke up at 3:30ish - pretty unusual for me!! and the wind was already howling from the South. When it rained, it was truly raining sideways! Then it got calm for, I'm not sure, 30 minutes maybe? Long enough that we noticed and remarked that maybe it was going to clear up today. Then, BAM, the wind was howling from the North! Was that an eye of a hurricane??

I finished two things this week. Hip hip hooray! But I can't show them to you - Boo Hiss! I finished Mr M's name banner and since it doesn't say "Mr M" on it ... you'll just have to trust me!

The second finish was my favorite baby quilt panel machine quilted and with a satin binding. I'm not crazy about satin bindings - it kept sticking to my hands. Now you know my little secret ... manicures are not top on my list!!! Is everyone else's hands really dry from all the hand washing during flu season???

It was my first time using 505 spray basting - yes, M - I finally tried it and I liked it! And my first time for the satin binding, I'm sure I'll get better with that. Maybe I'll wear my machine quilting gloves next time! I'll try to get a picture of Mr M with the baby quilt this weekend.

I was a couch potato this week because of a problem with my foot - all better now! AND I was able to read Stephen King's newest - Under the Dome. 1074 pages!!! It came out on Monday, I was first on the request list at the library and I was done Wednesday evening! I was a 'power-couch-potato!'

I liked it! It got kind of strange at the end - bringing all those story lines back together - but you expect that with him. I think it's the best thing he's written since the accident. Not as edgy as some of them have been. I'm smiling thinking there can't be too many grey haired Nanas who finished it that quickly!!! If you're a fan - don't let the size scare you away. It reads really fast! And let me know what you think!

I'm happy to report that the Back to School ABC block exchange I was running at the guild was a success. ALL the blocks came in on time!!!! Hip hip hooray, indeed. Of course, not everyone followed the instructions, but close enough for government work, I guess! When I woke up this am - when it was obvious I wasn't going back to sleep ... I drew out settings for the ABC blocks. It's really going to be fun!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Storm Surge

Well, we are here at the coast for our first storm. And it's been really interesting to watch. The ocean has swells 15 inches higher than usual - add high tide to that and it was quite the show! Waves were breaking against our dune and splashing 20 feet high! These photos were taken by my neighbor [and friend] J.

I watched all weekend - while sewing at the diningroom table! I'm almost done with Mr M's name wallquilt. I made Miss P one 3 years ago, and their mom hasn't really used it so I'm hoping with one for Mr M too - they will make their 'debut'!

This week is guild and the Back to School Applique alphabet blocks are due. I have the majority of them here, but no complete alphabets. So Thursday is the day - will all the letters show up?? I really hope so. Since I was sorting the bags into ABC1 and ABC2 I got to see them up close and personal - some are so cute. People have really thought it out. For example - I is for iguana and the background is jungle leaves! They are going to be so much fun to work with. Can't wait to see what everyone is going to come up with! We exchange the blocks - but you finish them and you can set them any way you want to. So square in a square, YBR, churn dash ... the possibilities are endless. We hope to have quite a few done for the show next August.

I washed my signature fan quilt this weekend. A stain had developed from white wine - I don't want to talk about it! Oxy-clean didn't get it out so now I'm stumped. When I wet the quilt, even though I've had it for twenty-some years, the smoke smell simply rolled off of it. My grandmother smoked like a chimney - but I'd never smelled it on the quilt. Anyone with an idea for the stain - let me know! Thanks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Is it too late for a New Year's Resolution????

First, I'll start out with some halloween pictures of the GKs. Miss P was a unicorn this year! Gotta love that cute little 3 yr old face! She was going to be a princess - but we HAVE been watching a unicorn cartoon movie alot lately and the babysitter had a unicorn costume - the rest is history!

Believe it or not - Mr M, the 'bat boy' is only one year old this month! Okay, maybe the binky gave it away! He didn't like his costume, so a binky kept him in it long enough for the pictures. His haircut makes him look like he's three! He just went thru another growth spurt but I can definitely see 'shades of things to come'!!!

Yesterday, M over at Stashbusters, lamented that she has so many books that if she just made one from each it would keep her busy for years. The light bulb went on!!!

Using the books we already own to make something!

What a concept! LOL! I made that resolution a few years back - I think I made ONE! However, that was one more than I had made before!

I'm in - let's finish a project every quarter, from a book, pattern, magazine or kit we own! Now referred to as "resources"!

That would be 4 or 5 projects - [see below], I know it's only a start - but hey! We have UFOs to finish too. And we know life is going to intervene! We COULD combine different resources and redesign something. I even have a quilt I charted out on graph paper oh-so-many-years-ago that I named "Red Wagon-ish"! I think I combined designs and layouts out of 3-4 of their books.

Linda Brannock was at our retreat once and she said something profound that I never forgot. She said, "Just because we design it that size, doesn't mean you have to make it that size!!!" WOW! Freedom! I immediately took her very large 'donkey cart' fall quilt and made it a 20 x 36 wall quilt. It's one of my favorites! In fact, I think we made 3 of them!

If you combine patterns in different resources - well, you are using them - so it counts for each resource. You might tell us which resources in your post or comment here. There was a pumpkin quilt I finally finished last July that used pumpkins out of 3 different books. AND following the edict above - I reduced them to 'play nicely' with each other!!!

Okay - there are two months left this year - anyone game to try to finish ONE by the end of the year? It might make a great holiday decoration or a present!!! If we don't get it done by December 31st - hey, we have a great start on the first one for next year!

So the challenge is: make 1 project this year and 4 projects in 2010 that are from books, patterns, magazines or kits you already own. It doesn't have to be exactly what is pictured: You can make a pillow, you can make a notebook cover, you can make a charity quilt, a miniature or adapt the idea to your own design. Just make a note of which resource you used/were inspired by. I'm going to write it in my book - inside the front cover! A post-it added to the pattern or magazine would work too!

Definitely document it in the journal you document your quilts in - you DO do that - don't you!! Okay - another resolution for you!!! LOL!

So, who's in????

PS - don't be discouraged if you're inspired to make two things from the resource! I know you don't get to mark off another resource that you used ... but you just confirmed it was a great buy!!! LOL!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Busy busy busy!

Back from vacation and I'm afraid I hit the ground running! I finished the anniversary quilt for L&J - 5 years last week. It was a kit I bought for L to work on because it WAS NOT MY COLORS! The picture is kind of dull - believe you me, that quilt is bright! She picked out the kit at The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was just 10 inch squares. After she sewed the 'twosies' under supervision she never had time or the inclination to do more. So I spirited the blocks out of the house and finished them. Had M long-arm it. and ta-da! A surprise anniversary present! I decided I'm giving my kids a quilt for all anniversaries divisible by 5! Of course, since A&J2 are getting married within 8 months of L&J's 5th ... I'll be scrambling every 4 years!!! Typical me!

Today we finished binding the recovery quilt for Suzanne. I led an intrepid group of mainly non-quilters to make this cheerful checkerboard quilt. They were troopers! And my goal was to have it done in a month and we did! Didn't they do a good job!

Winter has set in here - there's been snow up in the ski areas. Mainly grey, grey rainy days these last two weeks. We'll have to adjust our attitudes - and turn on the lights!!!

I'll leave you with a Miss P statement. Papa is no longer 'Papa'. He's now "Gamp-pa" because "he's all grown up now!" LOL! I'm still 'nana' and I don't know what that means!!! I walked into the family room where Miss P and R were playing with a farm set. R had the fence on his head as a hat! I remarked that I didn't think he was very grown up! But Miss P insisted he was!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just a walk in the park

Hi from the road! We've had a wonderful time despite a few days of rain. Bend was rainy and COLD! The first morning we woke up to 29 degrees. It was at that moment R canceled his tee-time! Discovered the Old Mill Shopping district in Bend and loved it! Saw two movies, window shopped to my heart's content and ate at a very fast pasta restaurant.

Wednesday was rain and semis most of the day traveling. Those two do not go together! We didn't go up to Crater Lake. Only in the 40s and rain down on the highway - didn't want to chance 20s and snow up there! But fell in love with Route 66 - Oregon style - coming over the mountains to Ashland. No semis on that stretch - in fact, very little traffic of any kind.

Today was the perfect fall day - exactly what we were envisioning when we planned our "Fall Grand Tour". R went golfing with his friend and I roamed the park for hours. Here are some pictures for you to live vicariously!

Lithia Park starts out very civilized - you often find musicians and hackey-sak groups lolling about on the grass. You can sit and watch them, people sell their wares from towels - just a great gathering spot.

The playground is surrounded by colorful trees today. Children come to play on bikes, behind parents on bikes, in strollers, in slings ... a beautiful day like today brings them out in droves! No pictures, please - it makes the adults nervous!

There are a dozen bridges back and forth across the creek. Which side should I walk on? It's beautiful on both sides! Just pick and keep going!

And if you're lucky ... you'll see some shy Ashland residents. Look closely in the middle and you'll see the pair of deer that startled me as I started them! The park office estimates there are 100 deer living in the 42 acres that make up the park! And I'm sure they're telling all their country relatives to come on in - where it's safe during hunting season.

Don't worry - I also managed to get some shopping done! Probably too much according to DH! The forecast is rain on the coast when we're in Brookings ... so we'll be sitting in the alcove, reading or stitching this weekend. Maybe, just maybe it will be clear during low tide? Please???

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a quilt-y week!

We left on a very PACKED 30 seat bus last Sunday. And we thought we were traveling light! A good day for traveling and the bus had huge windows for us to enjoy the view. We stopped at Greenbaum's in Salem on the way. A favorite store to stop at. And still arrived at Menucha an hour early!

This is the view from the pool area - Vista House. One of my favorite places in Oregon - there is a plaque there that says something like, "We must find the most scenic places and get the people to them." Gotta love the Corps of Engineers - they had their work cut out for them in Oregon!

If you ever get a chance to attend something at Menucha - do it! The staff was friendly, the food was good and the views were spectacular! And we got to sit and quilt, quilt, quilt with a room full of other quilters! Heaven, indeed!

In 2 and 1/2 days I got 48 of 100 log cabin blocks done for A&J2's wedding quilt; sewed smaller checkerboard blocks into bigger checkerboard blocks for the 'cancer recovery quilt' and pieced a Christmas wreath wall quilt that had been languishing in it's box since Nebraska. Thanks P! It's awaiting quilting but is DEFINITELY going to be done by December. It's just the right size for the one place I hang quilts! A very productive retreat.

Got home to an iery-ly quiet house - R was on a golf trip. The silence was just what I needed after sensory overload on retreat! Thursday I got up, went to water aerobics and then stitchery. Thanks to a group of women that I pushed around (:>) we got the 'cancer recovery quilt' top completed. After my "Fall Grand Tour" we'll tie it with prayers, bind it, take it's picture and present it to S. By the way - it looks wonderful!

Thursday night was guild meeting and Friday was an all-day workshop! That's right - counting packing last Saturday - that's seven FULL days of quilting. Just the right amount! LOL! AND I quilted Mr M's new quilt today by machine! Nope, not tired of quilting yet!!!

Tomorrow we leave for 8 days of exploring our favorite places in Oregon. More from the road later!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall resolutions!

Time has gotten away from me lately - don't know that I'm any busier - maybe just lazier! I'm going to get back on schedule and post at least weekly - I promise.

That being said ... I'm headed for a quilt retreat tomorrow and after next weekend R and I are going on our Fall Grand Tour. So when I do post - it will either be a quick one on stolen time OR it will be in a couple of weeks with lots of news and pictures.

This weekend the guild here is having a retreat and I'm really excited - of course, I just hope it lives up to Gretna standards! 48 of the coast quilters go to the Gorge area - on the Columbia River outside of Portland. 3 hours away And the Portland shop retreats come to the coast!! To a town 20 miles away from us!!! I'm making a note of where they stay- just in case the retreat center we're going to isn't great. Half of us are going up in a bus so we're going to be taking alot less than I'm used to! I'm already starting to panic! After all, I'm used to a choice of 'too many projects' to choose from. We don't have to take bedding and towels, etc - but that never did take up more than one bed roll!

So I narrowed projects down to my son's wedding quilt - still piecing, machine quilting a baby panel for Mr M who will be ONE in November! AND a checkerboard red/white lap quilt my small group of non-quilters is making for a gal with cancer - I think I can pin the blocks together and get the center of the top done and ready for the group to piece the border blocks together next week. The retreat starts Sunday afternoon at dinner and ends Wednesday noon! I'm used to long weekend retreats but I guess most members here are retired and when you live at the coast you have alot of weekend company! But it seems so strange!

It's hard to tell when the fall leaves are going to be good. Last fall we hit the road at just the right time. This year the weather has been crazy - it was actually 88 degrees HERE at Newport just two weeks ago. I talked to G that evening and said we had Nebraska weather today - 88 and humid. She said, "No you didn't, it was beautiful and 70s here today!" Thanks, G for rubbing that in! But that weather has gone and the East Cascades are getting snow!! Who knows what the trees will do!

Our grand tour starts out going down the coast an hour to turn up the McKenzie River Road and follow it all the way to the Sisters and Bend area. After a couple of nights there we'll swing down thru the Crater Lake Park and down the Rogue River Valley. That's a great road with scenic stops in the forest where the river is especially gorgeous! On to Ashland where we will see one of R's golfing buds who moved there this summer. Oh, and of course, A & J2. THEN since we're so close ... on to Brookings thru the Redwoods (one of my favorite parts). We're staying at the condo we used to rent on vacation. By the time we get back (seven days on the road) we'll be longing to see Miss P and Mr M. And since L&J's 5th anniversary will be upon us, we'll have an excuse to head up to Portland! It'll be fun, fun, fun!

Whales were around alot in September - I saw spouts everyday from the beach or from our dining room table or even as a reward for doing dishes. It was so much fun - I love seeing them. Then we heard that they were feeding off of Rocky Creek Viewpoint so we went on a day trip. Yep, they were there! 5 of them and close enough to hear them spout. (That sound always gives me goosebumps!) We haven't gotten the trick of catching the spouts on camera but you can see the ghost of the spout in the middle of this picture. The rock-looking hump there is the whale back as he heads back down for more food. It was a gorgeous day. The waves were huge and the "splooshes" were awesome against the rocks. I could stand or sit forever and watch them but we were getting hungry so back to the car and we drove on to eat pizza and then hike on Cascade Head. We did stop on the way back home and communed some more with the whales.

Then Miss P was here for 3 days. We're potty trained now but we expect M&Ms afterwards. She talked to mommy and daddy on the phone and mentioned that she had gone potty but there were no M&Ms. Daddy assured her she'd get them when she got back home. We do cake when she's here so there was no lack of sugar - in case you were worried. When we took her back home, Mr M was all smiles - he knew something was missing and was glad to find her again!

I cheated this fall with my fall post cards. I used preprinted panels that I'd had forever and hadn't used. They turned out great. G sent me Halloween buttons last year and I put them to good use.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Missing Fabric

I just posted an ad on - but then I thought - hey, alot of you have the same taste in fabrics as I do ... maybe you've seen this somewhere - maybe even in your stash!!!

I'm looking for 1 yard of Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros shirting. She put out a collection a few(?) years back and the one I'm craving is the 'house key' fabric.

If you've seen this fabric lately - let me know! ASAP!!! Thanks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall at the coast!

Well, the weather has been almost perfect since Labor Day! September and October are the best months here. We actually had our 'high temp' of the year last week - it was 75!!! Amazing. So-o there's been alot of walking on the beach and toodling around in the car with the windows down.

I completed the second row of A&J2's wedding quilt and decided the first row was simply not enough contrast - so I'm ripping that row out. It's not too bad - I take it to stitchery group and they entertain me while I do it. AND then I'll have the darks for 2 rows cut and ready to resew. Just have to add the lights. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

TIP: If your frog-stitching [rip-it, rip-it] and hate to get the snips of thread all over you and everyone around you ... take a small piece of batting with you to put the threads on. They 'wipe off' your fingers and seam ripper really easy and they STAY IN PLACE! When you're done, you can either scrape/pick-off the threads into the garbage or throw the whole piece of batting away and use a new piece next time.

Last weekend the ocean was BIG! We're still trying to figure out why sometimes the ocean is like a lake with little rippling waves and then next it's booming waves and it seems to take up the whole window! It seems to be a 1/2 moon during 'bigger' ocean days - but still working on that theory.

After big waves there can be alot of rocks and agates on the beach or none - if the ocean was 'scrubbing' it clean. Saturday, I was taking a break when the sun was actually out for an hour. I was walking the beach -scanning for rocks- but the beach is pretty clean, talking to G in Nebraska. I'd forgotten my litter bag so I was holding the phone with one hand and 2 plastic bottles and a paper label litter in the other hand. Happened to look and down and saw an agate the size of a 1/2 peach!!! Needless to say, in my excitement I dropped everyting - including the phone! Sorry, G! After washing off the agate, holding it up to the sun to admire it, and stowing it in my pocket. I picked everything back up and called G back and continued on my way!! There were also seals swimming in the surf - they are all congregating in the harbor these days. If the wind is right, we can hear them barking out by our garage - it's about 5 miles to the harbor!

Yesterday afternoon I sat at the dining room table doing paperwork and the whales were out in front of my windows in force. So much fun to watch the spouts and anticipate where they are coming up next! To me it's like God saying, "Hi! I'm here!" We've been here 16 months and I'm still amazed every week by the beauty that surrounds us.

The back to school alphabet exchange was a big hit. I filled two alphabets within 3 days of presenting it at the meeting.

Last night I got the first call. "Hello, I'm done with my alphabet blocks but I didn't notice that we were window-paning the fusible."

Really, you didn't notice 20 'x's hollowed out and fused to 1/2 yard of fabric as the example on the table? You didn't notice the letters I showed you, pointing out the method to do the letter you chose? You didn't hear me [seriously, I'm a megaphone] telling how to do it at least 50 times during the meeting. You didn't hear me mention it when I told about the project in front of the group? You didn't notice paragraph 4, 5 and 6 on the first page of the 7 page handout. Or the illustrations on page 1 and page 2 showing you the method? You didn't notice ALL my contact information and telling you to call me if you had any questions??? In your case, you didn't even notice when I presented the idea to the board???

Well! I was stunned!!! LOL! And I'm sure she won't be the only one!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Miss P!

Today was the big party - Miss P is THREE - I know I can't believe it either! The party was busy and loud - just perfect for a three year old!!

And little brother came out of his shell and smiled at the camera. Birthday parties are cool! Lots going on!

Other news later!!! Nana's pooped and on bedtime story patrol. We got alot of new books today!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

What IS it about fabric that's so fascinating???

FINALLY got in gear today and spent the entire day making mountains - okay molehills of 2" strips. Prep work for my son's wedding quilt. He and J2 are getting married next July! Hip hip hooray!! I've been mulling over patterns and picked a log cabin. Both my kids are really hard on quilts ... use them to death and come begging for me to fix them! This one will be sturdy! [I hope!] Log cabin is on my 'Life List' so might as well start one this year.

I saw a cool rainbow log cabin on Maryquilts web site. The woman is seriously talented. She has instructions for many wonderful quilts there - but of course, not this one! How like me! But it's fairly simple I just had to figure out where the colors went. So looked up the rippling waters diagram in "Log Cabin Quilts Unlimited" by Cox & Gordon. Drew it out on graph paper and colored it in with my colored pencils!!

You can get so lost in going thru stash. I started with the 'width of fabric' strips I cut off fabric that didn't 'make the move' here to Oregon. I left tons of fabric. G cut me 5 inch strips off of it for presents after we moved, but when I was back last April, G brought the rest of it over to J's and we stripped it up for whoever wanted it - I mailed a paper box back to Oregon with my portion!

Yes, moving is hard [but I'm almost over it - 15 months later, can you tell???] LOL! - I sold or donated 1/3 of my stash and then I ended up leaving at least 1/3 of what was still there and thank goodness I did! We barely fit everything into the truck AND this condo! After going thru those stacks I had to pull reds, yellows and oranges from my stash and strip them up too. Then went thru a LARGE box of scraps because I can use them for the start of the log cabin blocks. It's going to be very scrappy - kind of like me!!

We have a small condo and DH was worried we'd never get use of our diningroom table back - ever! What a mess! SIX HOURS later - I have six small stacks of colored 2 inch strips. But I thought of quilting friends back in Nebraska all day! Since it was rainy, very windy and grey outside I enjoyed my rainbow inside.

It's so much fun to go thru your stash ... all your favorites are in there - you know!!! AND lots of fabrics you never would have guessed you had! I was cutting strips with the selvedge too - my oldest marked selvedge was 1986(!) but I know some are older - like that VIP Moss Rose that I still have a 'bit' in 3 colors! I have been known to buy my old favorite fabrics at garage sales ... but there's no guarantee that it wasn't the original fabric I bought in 1986!! And today it got picked for a quilt!!!

Tomorrow - I'll make at least one of the 64 log cabin blocks to try it out!!! Don't you love 3 day weekends?

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Busy FUN week!

This was one of those weeks that is almost too busy! Wednesday started with drawing class and an afternoon of dominos! I'm telling you, retirement isn't for sissies! :>

Thursday was "Projects Anonymous" which is an all day 'work on an UFO' day. P and K run it and we have such fun. They actually make a wonderful pin cushion every month for a door prize! Everyone's happy to give you praise or an opinion as needed!! I worked on more and more plaid bear paws. Even I am getting tired of half-square triangles. This UFO started at a fall retreat back in Nebraska. The pattern was in a "Quilt it for Christmas" magazine. So cute - 9 blocks but I wanted it bigger [of course] ... 16 might be good, but then decided to make it bed size - yep, 25 blocks. Well, if only I had finished it before - because when we moved here we got a new bed - one of those really high king-size sets so now the count is 36!!! If I don't finish it soon it will be big enough to cover the house!!

Friday was quilting day at Bayshore. Again a full day of quilting and conversation.

But Saturday ... what a beautiful day! Corvallis had a "Quilts in the Garden" house tour. They have it every other year and they couldn't have ordered a more perfect day. Seven gardens, each different with gorgeous quilts hanging about everywhere! S, J and I took off from the coast - visited, took alot of pictures and thoroughly enjoyed the day. When we got back to the coast it was foggy, windy and cold - so there wasn't even any guilt over missing the day at home!

We saw beautiful flowers, figs, all sorts of veggies, plums, apples, pears and these peaches. We had to remind ourselves that it wasn't 'u pick'. We were nervous that we wouldn't get to all the houses - after we spent an hour at the first one! So we didn't eat lunch until 4:30 when we were done with the tour.

Sunday - off to Portland to babysit today and tomorrow. I did sneak out to a quilt store this afternoon during nap and bought Jo Morton's latest book "Vintage Journey" and I bought a few fabrics to go with it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What a great book!!!

Has everyone else read this wonderful book? I've read reviews and thought, okay, I'll get that one someday. Well, today was the day. The library got it from another library for me. I picked it up at 1 pm. I opened it at 3:45 pm and I finished it at 8!!! I was spellbound - I never put it down. Do you know how long it's been since a book gripped me like that??? Forever!!!

So - tell me what you think/thought of it. It's okay - you don't have to love it - we can still be friends!!! Just let me know!

And J? I certainly highly recommend it for the book club!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oops - time flies!!!

It took me longer to get my energy back after that bout with the flu than I expected. We also went up to babysit for FIVE days for the kids - and that took alot out of us! But mainly - I have no excuse! Just bumming around and not blogging about it! Sad, but true.

I'm running a 'Back to School Block Exchange' at our guild - here's my newsletter writeup to attract participants:

Celebrate the return to school with an “I SPY” alphabet block exchange. Each letter is ‘fusible appliqu├ęd’ in fabric that has pictures of something that starts with that letter – think ‘A is for apple.’ Make 26 of one letter, fuse each to a 7” beige background square – no sewing involved! Everyone can finish their complete alphabet how they choose. Hand or machine stitched. And then the fun is just beginning – because you can use them anyway you want to! Any design with a 6 inch square in it will work. Churn Dash; Ohio Star; Square in a Square; Snowball … or just add sashing … the choice is yours.

Hope it encourages people to join up! The board thought I'd have enough participants for TWO alphabets ... we'll see.

It was funny - I knew I had to present the idea to the board ... so I wrote up the 7 handouts, supplies needed, suggested motifs for each letter; and a complete alphabet scaled to the correct size. I made an entire alphabet of fused fabrics; brought stacks of fabrics that were good examples of both the beige backgrounds and the featured fabrics ... made a block and cut out the square of fabric ... I was so nervous about doing the presentation! I was a wreck!

But that's what I thought I needed to have done ... in the same meeting 3 ideas for a challenge project were brought up. They just discussed how it would run - no samples or anything! By the time I got everything set up - I'd made my alphabet - so if they didn't accept it - well, I was well on my way to my own quilt!!! But they accepted it and it starts in 3 weeks!!! Good thing I was totally ready - mostly!

If anyone has any tips for running exchanges ... all suggestions will be welcome.

On a sad note: My birth sister MV died this week. She was the kindest, most down to earth woman I have ever known. Although she'd been sick for many years she was still connected to life. Always interested in what you and your kids and your grandchildren were up to. Loved stories about the everyday stuff, delighted in pictures, never one to complain about her lot in life. She will be missed. Rest in Peace, Dear Heart.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Glad that's over!!!

Not a wonderful birthday this year ... I was recovering from stomache flu / food poisoning(?) Don't know which one - just glad it's over! We've been here for over a year isn't it time for 'kindergarten syndrome' to be over?? Poor DD got it too - hard to be sick with 2 kids under 3! At least here DH and I could moan in relative peace!! Enuf said!

I did get to breeze thru the quilt show Saturday afternoon - it looked marvelous! One gal takes pictures of all the entries, puts them on a disk and then sells it to us - I'm relying on her this year - didn't even take my camera! I entered two of my favorite quilts: 'All around the town - Boydville that is!' and 'That kaliedoscope thing you've been working on for years'

'All around the town ...' was a BOM that 3 friends and I worked on. M was making it for a shop sample. At first I was jealous that she was getting 'paid' for making it, but as I personalized mine with 'not in the pattern' details I was glad I was just doing it for myself. Details include our dear dog Pepper on a corner with her red collar on and Thunder, the horse I owned during high school. I love the whale weather vane looming over everything like the cloudy days do out here on the coast! A forewarning that we didn't heed!

'That kaliedoscope thing ...' was a project for a decade! Yep, you heard me right! Scrappy wasn't as accepted back then, but I persevered! Yes, we saw scrappy in antique quilts - but those weren't highly regarded then either. At least not by us ordinary folk. Thank you Gerald Roy!!!

Jinny Beyer was hot and everything was overmatched and perfect. [Kind of like the complete fabric collection quilts now. Is it just me or do they look a little 'inbred'!?!]

I machine pieced halves of the blocks and then hand pieced that center seam - determined to make the pattern spin after all this work. So I would have a blue block, a red block and a brown block [for example] in my bag and I would lovingly pat them and explain they were all going into the same quilt and friends would pat me on the shoulder and say, basically, "okay, I'm sure??? it will be fine." Eye-rolling behind my back.

But I love it and they did all blend. Ahem ... I told you so!!!! Oh, my - that felt good! LOL!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where does the time go??

Here it is the very end of July ... of 2009 even!!! I turn 57 years old next week - how is that possible? There's some dreams I still need to accomplish! Being thin is one of them! Okay, I'm not really willing to work hard at it - just not willing to give up the dream! My son has set his wedding date for next July. [Hip, hip, hooray!!] How's that for a goal to aim for? I'd like to be at a normal weight by his and J2's wedding. Let the life-plan begin!

Those of you that know me KNOW that I cannot draw a straight line even with a ruler! I have several 'artsy' friends and have always - not so secretly - wanted to be able to draw. Even doodle!!!

Last month I read in "Oregon Coast Today" - ironically, a weekly paper! I know - why not "Oregon Coast Weekly????" We'll never know! Anyway, they announced that there were free art lessons at the Visual Art Center. Lots of different mediums offered, but you know I have a busy schedule here [smile] One class that fit for me was "Colored Pencils". Hey, that's cool! I even have some of those and a drawing pad I got free at Nebraska Book! ... and I DON'T need another expensive hobby!

It didn't start out so well. I didn't have enough pencils and Teacher would prefer a different drawing pad. There was an apple that certainly didn't look like an apple in my drawing! I was encouraged to take it home and keep drawing. Then there was a mishap! One morning R grabbed it as he left to go golfing. It wasn't until after he'd eaten it that it dawned on him 'this apple wasn't in the fridge! In fact, it may have been sitting with doni's art supplies! Oh, oh!' I took the core back to class but it wasn't as funny to them as it was to us!

4 weeks into class this project started with taking a graphite pencil and darkening the entire sheet of paper! Then drawing life-size a stack of things on the table. I got the ball and the middle tube done fairly well. I hate ribbons!!! But ran out of time before working out the kinks in the bottom cubes! It's only a 2 1/2 hour class, after all! LOL! But I was so proud of my progress! I even ran home with it to show R!! And he was just as impressed!

A little known fact: colored pencils are $1.60+ EACH! But I'm sticking with it - although I'm not the most dedicated student. I tend not to do my homework - remember we do babysit every other week ... no one can accomplish anything after taking care of those dynamos! Last week I was feeling guilty; told 'Teacher' that I almost didn't come to class because I wasn't doing the homework. She said, "I used to teach Special Ed, I can deal with no homework ..." Not as reassuring as she could be!!! LOL!

After just 6 weeks I have advanced enough that a pear looks like a pear! It's getting exciting! I'm still not too fond of ribbons but I'm not tempted to rip them to shreds any more! And I even did some homework this week!

The reason that led me to study drawing was free-motion quilting! They say to get good at FM quilting you need to draw your design on white board/large paper/whatever! Well, I couldn't! Seeing it all pitiful on paper was bad enough - but when I imagined all the ripping-out that was going to happen ... I wanted to go to bed with a novel!!

So my growth opportunities this year are: lose weight - once and for all! [again!?] and drawing. Both are quite the stretch. My expanded list includes making one of my all-time favorite quilts too - log cabin!

So-o when friends talk about their quilting 'stretching' goals this year I quietly think to myself ... learn to draw. I'm sure it will improve my quilting too! Doesn't everything??

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New look?

Well, I ended up loading a different template ... better luck next time.

Two weeks to the Newport Quilt Show! I helped proof-read the show catalog and I'm pumped to see the quilts I've been reading about. If your show or a show you're visiting has a catalog - be sure to read the quilt entries before you leave or the end of the show. There are always descriptions so interesting that you want to find that quilt and study it.

Dennis McGregor, of Sisters Quilt Show posters, designed our new show logo - isn't it gorgeous??!?! He'll be at our show to autograph any of his designs.

The excitement is building!!!

Under construction!

Pardon the dust! I made the main area bigger - now just have to figure out how to get the sidebar back up there!!! It's at the bottom right now!

More later! doni

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back from Sisters

With helpers like these - of course we had a great time with family as well as looking at the quilts. Miss P and Mr M, of course!

What fun! We had perfect weather; okay it was 90 but it felt REALLY good coming up from the coast. Friday we pulled into Sisters about 1 minute behind L&J and the kids! [They were coming from Portland] We turned the corner and saw them at the next corner! We ate lunch at our favorite cafe - seriously, the best fish and chips we've ever eaten and remember we live at the coast!!! The guys headed off to golf and we headed the kids to the park playground. After some time in our favorite stores while Nana or Mommy sat with the kids it was naptime at the Bend hotel. Sisters is a pretty little town at any time - but they really want it to shine during the summer festivals.

Saturday morning was bright and no wind. That's a good thing for photographing quilts hanging outside. 1,300 quilts and hundreds of pictures, alittle too much sun and a few blisters later ...

Stashbusters online gals met up at the library. Michele, Cher, [Michele and Cher pictured] Susan from Maryland and me. We wandered about town chatting all the way. Found Nancy at the booth she was volunteering at - went different ways, rejoined at the park for picnic lunch.

There we got to meet Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame. Bonnie is 'southern charm' personified. Just as nice in person as on the blog and in her book. Great fun to meet her.