Monday, December 29, 2008
Yes, we, John and I, are still their family, but not the main family any more. And the ladies they fall in love with have family too, but they also are not the main family. The family unit is the husband and wife and children, and that unit needed to decide what they wanted to do on different holidays.
When I told them that, I knew in my heart that it would be hard for me to accept, but I knew it was important for them to understand. And that finally happened this year, neither boy was here for Christmas. Jonathon spent Christmas with Steph’s family in PA, and Mike with Kelly’s in MD, and as lonely and empty as my house felt, it was the right thing to do. Both boys called home, which I REALLY… and I can’t stress that enough… really really really appreciated. But they were where they belonged, with their ladies.
However, I asked them all to please set aside one day for us, so we could have our family Christmas. Yesterday was the day, and it was a great Christmas! John made his sticky buns and we all enjoyed them, as we have for many Christmases. Then we sat around and caught up, just talked. Well that was a little different than years past where we usually ripped into gifts and then talked… but this year we hadn’t all been together in one place since graduation in May, so we had some catching up to do. Eventually someone decided it was time to open presents, and we did, and had fun with it. We kept gifts to a minimum this year, because of the economy, but everything was special.
Then it was dinner time, not a traditional Christmas dinner, since I was sure everyone would be turkeyed out. We had a family favorite, lasagna, and more great conversation. Way too soon it was time for everyone to head home, since everyone except Mike had work today. It wasn’t until then that I realized we hadn’t taken a single photo, even though we’d spent a lot of time looking at old ones, LOL!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
And sewing I have been. My friend Joan had a heart shower this summer while she was fighting cancer again. Those hearts really helped her through a rough time, and I am glad I came up with the idea. I volunteered to put together the quilt, and at the retreat in October Joan gave me all of the hearts. They have been talking to me since we came home, and yesterday I finally started listening to them.
At first I tossed them on my bed just to get an idea how many there were and how the quilt might want to go together. I actually liked the way they looked just scattered around, and with a little bit of rearranging decided to make the quilt that way.
This morning I started putting the blocks together. Very carefully so that there were no bias edges, or so I thought. However, when I started putting the rows together I discovered much more bias than I was happy with, so I did some reverse sewing, ripping out everything I had done, and started over again. More of a traditional layout, with sashing between the blocks.. not easy since there are no two blocks the same size... close but not exact. I matched up as closely as possible blocks similar sizes. A few I could easily trim a quarter inch from to make it match another block, so I did that. One had to be trimmed, it was not laying flat, the mitered edge was not a true miter, so no way it was going to lay flat. Then I put sashing between them, and then started to join the rows... soon realizing that it was too boring, so I made a few tiny heart blocks to set as cornerstones.
Well the center blocks are done, center part, and as soon as I get this posted, I'm going to put the side sashing on. Then I can set it aside to work on again tomorrow, and who knows, I might even finish it! Well the center anyway. I'm waiting for more blocks for the borders, and have to make a few myself, so that will wait until after the holidays!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The best part of the cards to me is hearing about people’s lives. Many of the cards we get are from old military friends, and it is fun knowing what their lives are like since we saw them last, some of them more than 30 years ago now.
Anyone who really knows us knows that they can keep up with us on the family pages on my web site. http://delawarequilts.com/Family/ I update that as often as needed, or when ever anything special happens in my little family. Lately that isn’t too often, now that the boys are graduated and on their own… and except for the trip this summer, John and I lead pretty boring lives. And anyone who doesn’t have internet, and I know those people still exist, well….ok, so maybe I should send cards some time.
And the photos… I love getting pictures. It’s nice to see kids all grown up with their own kids, and adults looking old, just like us. But photos can be frustrating too… like getting a picture from someone you know and wondering if you know anyone in the photo at all since you don’t recognize anyone but why would we have gotten it if we didn’t know anyone in there so who is it that we don’t recognize any more?
Oh well… at least I know this gang, Tara, Scott, Jared and baby Devin. I borrowed this from their web site, thanks Scott! (And yes, we got your card, thanks!)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
All of the decorations are in bins in the upstairs hallway, and I was digging into the first box when the power went off… and stayed off for three hours. (After an hour the house started getting cold, and I crawled back into bed to keep warm and read a magazine, but guess who fell asleep, LOL!) When I woke up at 11 the power was still off, so I decided to go visit a friend.
As I opened the door to the garage I realized I had to open the heavy garage door manually, not easy, so I turned around to come back in, and the power came back on. Since I was ready to go out, and since I needed to deliver a box to her, I went anyway. Had a nice visit and then back to work decorating the tree.
The first box I grabbed had in it ornaments that I had made myself. Most of them were cross stitch, some embroidery, all from back in the days when I could see better and had fingers that didn’t mind hand work. I decided to put a few up and see what they looked like, and before you knew it the tree was full, every ornament on it home made or home made looking.
Then I needed to decide on a garland, I was thinking my beaded garlands, but wasn't sure where they were, or if they would go with the homemade look. I had some ribbons so decided to use them… There's the finished tree.
And below are some of, yes some of, my Santa collection!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I did make a purchase, four yards of darling baby prints, for future baby quilts. I’ve decided to make many of my samples in baby prints, since baby quilts are always needed and sell well. These fabrics are all baby neutrals and prefect for my needs.
After the shop we went to lunch, which was as enjoyable too. The food was good, no great, and we had a nice two hour plus sit to catch up with each other’s lives. And of course we had our present exchange, I got some really nice goodies, and some yummy goodies too.
Here is one of my presents, the photo doesn’t do it justice… it is on a spring and bounces up and down with the slightest little motion, or wildly if you knock it hard. Really cute, thanks Marilyn!
And Charlotte, thanks for the pumpkin roll, we’ve already tested it. I put it in the freezer to save for Christmas, because it would disappear if it wasn’t frozen.
(And thanks to Joan for the pumpkin pie, which is over half gone already. And Alex, your package arrived yesterday, thank you so much. AND to my Secret Santa, who ever you are, your box is here too… we opened it because there was something moving around inside, and well I had to make sure everything was ok… and I found candy and bright beads and all sorts of goodies floating around, as well as some wrapped presents, which are still wrapped!)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
NOT that I need any excuses, what I need is time. There just isn’t enough time in the day for all the quilting I want to do…. I have many more ideas than there are hours in the day. If only we didn’t have to sleep, think of all the quilting we’d get done.
Friday, December 12, 2008
And thanks to those who remembered with cards, emails and the goodies. I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch date with the lunch bunch, and your friendships are the best present yet, the other goodies just made it fun. Thanks to those who sent cards and emails, you know who you are. And thanks to those who called me, it was great hearing your voices and knowing you cared enough to call me.
For those who forgot, you are forgiven. I know I said that I was ignoring the date, and I did, as much as possible. If you forgot, I’m just thinking you honored my request to ignore the date, and won’t know otherwise unless you tell me.
And for that one nosey person who wants to know how 60 feels, I can’t say. As I have said for quite a while now, I’m not going there. I am not 60, I am 59 once removed!
Monday, December 08, 2008
So now when you see this tag, you will know it is me.
A bit about our plate history…
When John and I got married we lived in NH, and had bought from his Dad a 1960 VW Bug… I don’t know if we kept that plate or not. In 1972 we bought a practically new car, a 1970 Chevy Nova, whose NH tags we still have. When we moved to Virginia in 1974 we got our first vanity tags, JHNMRG or was it JOHNMARG? The rear one was smashed when the Nova was, although I think we have the front one somewhere still. (In a box who knows where, LOL)
We didn’t get vanity tags again until we moved back to VA in 1993, and we got GORDNS. When we moved here we got BETSY for the van, which was her name. (Yes the van’s name) For years I tried to get QUILTS, but it was taken. Every few months I would check with DMV and it was never available. Then one time when I happened to be at DMV, I asked and it was available, so I snapped it up. It wasn’t until the plate arrived I realized it said QUILTS DELAWARE, so I quickly ordered a tag that had the Delaware on top, which is how I ended up with the lighthouse plate. In the garage, and in boxes we have never unpacked, are a lot of our old plates. I wanted to put them on the garage wall, but there isn’t a free wall to put them on. It’s fun to look at them and remember the cars and travels that went with them!
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The stocking is done. I pressed my final work, mistake… I had grabbed a polyester batting and we all know what happens when you press poly. It doesn’t look bad, but I’m not 100% happy with it. I am mailing it off for this Christmas, and then will make both boys new stockings later. I don’t have the fabric now, but fortunately Jena in Florida does, at her home in NY which she won’t get back to until March. But what counts is that Devin has a stocking this year, and he will. And both boys will get special matching stockings sometime next year, LONG before needed!
Now I have some draperies to hem. Not mine, favor to Mike and Kelly…. they better not be polyester, I’ve had quite enough of that today!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Still fighting that nasty head cold, although getting close enough to say I am winning the battle. Just hurts sometimes now, and my nose is even back to a normal color again.
Got an email reminder from Scott today, I have to make a Christmas stocking for Devin. Jared, Mom and Dad got matching stockings for Jared’s first Christmas and now they want one for Devin too. However I don’t have enough of the same fabric, so it won’t be exactly the same, which is really my biggest problem in getting it finished. But I promised it would be there before Christmas, and it will.
Scott may have nagged but he made it well worth it, including this photo in his email. Aren’t they darling!
You KNOW that stocking will be there in time for Santa!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Friday Mike and Kelly brought Mufasa over here for the weekend while they went to visit Kelly’s family. We already knew he would be ok here, but we had no idea what he would get into. First thing I did was close off this sewing room, since it isn’t safe for anyone but me, especially not a kitty. And since it was closed, it got chilly, make that cold, up here and it also made it impossible for me to get on line up here.
So while I was away from my desk computer, I did have my aging lap top, which refused to stay on line most of the weekend. I ended up using John’s computer to stay in touch with the ladies doing the mystery, which worked out pretty good.
The mystery lasted longer than any other mystery I have ever hosted, almost four days. I’m sure that was because of the holiday and family happenings, but still those who sewed were at it for a long time. We started at 9AM on Friday, and it wasn’t until around noon today (Monday) I posted the final clue. Everyone who has done it, or peeked, likes it a lot.
(The pattern is for sale on my web site http://delawarequilts.com/Relay/Patterns4Relay.html)
And while everyone was working on the mystery, I was busy keeping track of Mufasa. He is a climber, more so than any cat I ever owned, and he tried to get everywhere. The biggest issue we had was that he wanted to lie on the kitchen table, where he could keep an eye on us…. I am sure we removed him from there at least 100 times, if not more. He loved our windows and their wide sills, perfect spot for bird watching. His favorite toy was my camera case, which he attacked when I took my camera out to snap his picture. He had a blast throwing it up in the air and attacking it. All and all he did pretty well, and he will be welcomed back… except maybe over Christmas… I’m not sure I’m up to keeping him out of the tree!
Friday, November 28, 2008
The other unexpected guests were my brother-in-law’s GF Deidra and her son Xion. I knew Sean was coming with Pop and Arden, but didn’t have a clue he was bringing guests until they walked in the door. So we scrambled to make room for them at the table, putting in another leaf, finding two more placemats, and digging out two more place settings of my good china. I really enjoyed their visit, and hope we see more of them.
There was just enough food, which is nice, and there were little leftovers, which was nicer. Don’t get me wrong, I love leftovers, but sometimes there is just too much and it gets boring after a few days. We have enough for a few sandwiches, and maybe one hot meal, which to me is perfect.
For some reason after dinner Mike decided to go digging in his old room, which is now storage, and he found some valuable (?) treasures. He came downstairs wearing his Michigan starter jacket, and even took it home. He also found a box containing an old Nintendo and lots of games… he brought down the old gaming TV and hooked the Nintendo up in the office, and they played games off and on all night long.
It was a very pleasant day, although we really missed Jonathon and Steph. This is the first Thanksgiving Jonathon has not been home, and it was strange not having him here. There are left over croissant rolls for the first time ever!
And now it is Black Friday, I imagine both of my guys are shopping… not me, I hate shopping, and the Black Friday crowds are way out of my comfort zone. I have a new Mystery project starting today on the mystery group,
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MysteriesForRelay/ so that is how I plan to spend my day.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Annie in Texas asked me what I’ve been up to, since my blog has been quite lately. Truthfully, I’m fighting a serious head cold, and haven’t been up to very much at all. When I feel up to doing anything, it’s getting this house put back in order. The sewing room is a total mess, since I’ve been working everywhere but here since I got back from the retreats, and none of the retreat stuff has found a home yet. But at least now all the bedroom stuff is out of here, so there is a little more room, very little.
The master bedroom is put back together in it’s new location downstairs, and it looks pretty good. John repainted it with a color as close to the original color as possible, so the walls look like new again. And he shampooed the carpet, so it looks pretty good too. We need new blinds, since the old ones are sagging a little, but they aren’t in the budget right now so the old ones will have to do. I might hide them behind some lace panels, LOL!.
And the office is pretty much back together again, just “stuff” to get put away as soon as I get the energy.
Kim in PA wanted to know what I do with all the quilts I make… Many are still here at home, have never seen a bed or been used, but are well traveled. They are the lucky quilts that get to be shown when I do a trunk show or class. There are a few of those who pull double duty and are used, including my scrappy stars, broken dishes, crooked squares and the sofa log cabin. The scrappy stars is on my bed right now, and in the summer the broken dishes is on the bed. The crooked squares is used on the sofa bed on the back porch, and the log cabin is on the living room sofa if anyone ever needs it.
Some of my samples I give away. As a matter of fact I just gave several to Project Linus and sent a few to a friend to quilt for Children’s Hospital in Phila.
And of course I sell some, or at least try. There are a few up for sale now at
http://delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/QuiltsForSale.html These all benefit the American Cancer Society. When I get back from my road trip this spring, I will be trying to sell a few more, to reduce my personal collection some… I’m running out of room in the closet to store them.
And from Carla in CA who asked if there will be a new block in December… I don’t have one planned, but I might put something up, check the web site. http://delawarequilts.com/BOMs
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Since I like samplers so much, I made a lot of the BOMs into samplers,
http://www.delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/Samplers.html Looking at that page I realized I’ve made two more samplers which I don’t even have photos of, and of course those were all BOMs, I checked my EQ files to confirm that. I even have two samplers with blocks in them which have not been BOMs, yet!
My earliest BOMs I know I made, because I needed to test the pattern. Although when people started finding booboos in the BOMs, I realized I wasn’t really testing the pattern, since I knew what I was making I was just making them without even looking at the pattern.
A few of the BOMs I have used in other quilts, and some of them I still have laying around waiting to be used in something. I have a box with quite a few blocks in it, most of them BOMs, some on line, some not yet on line. There is also a box labeled Rejec Blocks with blocks that didn’t turn out right… I have a project in mind for them someday.
Yes, I make mistakes too. Some blocks don’t come out the right size, either too large or two small, which is why I test them to start with. And some I just didn’t like the fabrics I picked up to make the sample with, usually scraps from my scrap bin. (Those end up in that Rejec box since they are rejects)
There is one block on my BOMs list that I don’t remember making, and can’t find a photo of, and that is Next Door Neighbor….
Although it’s been on line for over 11 years, so I probably did, and who knows what happened to it, LOL!
Thanks for that question Dawn, it was a fun one to answer!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Today the hospital had a horrible accident, one of the medical helicopters crashed on the roof of the hospital. There was fuel everywhere, and they had to evacuate. The blades from the copter flew in to adjacent buildings, including the one John works in. The people in the front of the building were more seriously injured than John, who fortunately works in the back of the building. He was slightly confused, and dazed.
How did I know about this last night if it happened today? It was test of the emergency system at the hospital. All a test… nothing really happened, just a lot of simulations.
They were also testing their emergency telephone system. I got a phone call asking me, well really John, if he was available to help evacuate the hospital. I answered no, since he was there and in the state of confusion.
John practiced for his role in this last night by locking his keys in his vehicle, while it was still running…. I’m sure that helped him do well in his confused simulation today.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The BOM pages have been updated, finishing our 2008 Samplers. The final block for 2008 is Jack’s Delight http://delawarequilts.com/BOMs/JacksDelight/index.html
I posted a photo of my finished sampler at http://delawarequilts.com/BOMs/08Sampler/
I posted photos of the October Retreat at http://delawarequilts.com/Retreat/October08/index.html
November Retreat photos will be posted ASAP, I promise.
Since I dislike shopping so much, especially on days like Black Friday, I will be hosting a Mystery For Relay that day, if anyone is interested. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MysteriesForRelay/
And it’s Relay time again, check out my team page http://main.acsevents.org/goto/DelawareQuilts09
Now I can concentrate on getting my house caught up. Today a new bed was delivered and tonight we will sleep in the old master bedroom then sewing room and now master bedroom again. Then as soon as we can get the office put back together, the rest of the house will follow, and this moving will be done. YIPPEE!
And then I will get back to quilting. I have five new quilts in the works, and am anxious to get working on everyone of them!
Happy Veterans Day to all, and Armistice Day and/or Remembrance Day in other countries.
Thank you for serving your country.
Here's Old Glory flying from the top of one of John's lighthouses. FYI, John served in the USAF for 22 years, and I am proud of him for that, among so many other things.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I had been away in Lancaster PA retreating with two different groups. The first retreat I already reported on, and the second one I am still recovering from... not the retreat but the bug that I came down with while there. Sadly it hit several of us right in the middle of our Saturday night activities, spoiling one of the funnest parts of the retreat. Up until then it had been a lot of fun, and people were getting a lot of quilting and even more shopping done.
I was so sick that I had to call in a rescue team to come and get me home. Thanks to Jonathon and Steph, my friend Anne made it to the airport on time, and thanks to John for driving me home... I do not remember any of the ride between Lancaster and Newark, and barely any of the trip down home either.... as a matter of fact I don't remember much of Monday and most of Tuesday was a blurr also. (I do know we have a new president elect, 8^D !)
Today I thought I was going to resume normalcy, but fell asleep in my recliner somewhere around nine AM and woke up on my bed a little after four... can anyone tell me how I got from one to the other? I'm clueless! At least I can report that I ate something today, scrambled eggs and toast, and for the first time in a long time my system didn't reject it. Maybe tomorrow things will be better.
Maybe tomorrow I can read and reply to some of the over 350 emails which have piled up in my email box?
Maybe tomorrow I can update my BOM pages?
Maybe tomorrow I can post some photos from the two retreats?
Maybe tomorrow I can send out the patterns to those patient ladies who have paid for them? (No, I WILL do that tomorrow, I promise!)
Maybe tomorrow I can send out the email my staff partner asked me to send two weeks ago? (Sorry Laura, tomorrow I promise!).
And maybe tomorrow I can start feeling human again....
And then maybe we can finish the room moving.... remember that's still undone!
Monday, October 27, 2008
I can tell you that we had a wonderful time, and got a lot of shopping and sewing done. Some ladies went out shopping almost every day; actually most everyone BUT me went shopping every day now that I think of it. You know how it is, one person finds a sale and comes back and reports in, and then everyone has to go out and see what they can find. I know my retreaters were kind to the Pennsylvania economy.
There were two newcomers this retreat, and for some reason even before I met them face to face I knew they would fit in just fine…. Something in their emails made me think they were a perfect fit for this group, most who have been retreating together for four or five years now. And the newcomers did fit right in, and will be coming back again, which pretty much fills up this retreat for as long as everyone wants to come.
The rest of the ladies have been coming a while… and all this retreating makes us like family. We love catching up on each other’s doings, hearing about family and family adventures. We all know to expect beautiful show and tell from each other. We know to expect lots of laughs and giggles, and some very special moments every year.
Someone asked me if I ever got tired of doing these retreats. I replied that when I get tired of it, and when they aren’t any fun any more, there won’t be any more retreats. However, I have a feeling that as long as this group wants to retreat together we will, it was not a lot of work, and it was a whole bunch of fun!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
When Jared was on his way to join the family Scott and Tara asked me to come help out. I was honored and thrilled and cleared my schedule for the arrival…. Then complications set in and I got a call saying come now… almost a month early. I drove (all by my lonesome I will proudly say) to Michigan in one 12 hour stretch, and didn’t get lost until I arrived in Ann Arbor… hey, I only missed the exit to their house, and it just happened to be rush hour, but Scott talked me to their house on the side roads and I made it there safely. (Thank goodness for cell phones!)
The next morning early a friend from home called to check up on me (thanks Diane) when she saw on the morning news cars and trucks stranded on the Ohio Turnpike from all the ice and snow… good thing I did make it in one trip, or I may not have gotten there! Scott was out snow blowing the accumulation which he claimed was just a dusting… but he was used to it, and prepared. By time I went out to go to the hospital I had to use my hands to shovel off my car, LOL! (On the way home from the hospital I stopped at Home Depot for some “snow removal tools” of my own, LOL!)
It snowed every day I was there, including the day Jared finally made his appearance. I will never forget Tara’s Doctor running down the hall in his big heavy overcoat and boots when the nurses called him in from home when it was time for the arrival… I think he may have delivered Jared in those boots too!
Jared’s arrival was something I will never forget. Tara was such a wonderful mother-to-be… she looked like those TV births where the actress pants a few times and the baby arrives. I know I wasn’t anything like that when Jonathon came along… Tara was so cool and calm I was so happy for her and so proud of her!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I think I really had them fooled on this one, they had no idea what they were making until the end. And I am pretty sure they enjoyed themselves, since they have asked me to do it again.
I invited them to join my Mysteries For Relay Yahoo Group, but they declined. The invite is still open if they change their minds, and it really is a fun group. There are probably six or seven of us who do all the talking, everyone else just lurks. But that’s ok with me. I do the mysteries as my way of saying thanks for their donations. They can lurk all they want since they’ve so generously donated to ACS.
I’m almost finished the project I started today, although again I can’t show you… it will be a mystery on the Mysteries For Relay Group at the beginning of the year!
John is fine for those who asked…. He drove upstate today to help Jonathon and Steph move into their new digs… he said it’s a very nice place, and I’m happy for them to be out of that tiny little apartment! I can’t wait to see it myself!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Second son to Tara and Scott and little brother to Jared
Born October 16, 2008 2:27 PM
Weighing in at 8 pounds even and 22 inches long
Mother and Devin doing fine, Dad on cloud nine!
(John is doing fine, bored to death with day time TV!)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I have a photo of it, the Doctor gave it to me… don’t worry, I’m not showing it here, I’m not showing it to anyone, I still can’t believe he gave it to me, LOL!
So now maybe we can get back to normal, and maybe when I get home from the retreat in November we can finally finish moving rooms…. We are still sleeping in the office, and the old sewing room soon to be master bedroom still needs painting etc. And then maybe I can get all the bedroom stuff out of my sewing room and be able to say that job is done too.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Today started off ok… but has gone down hill fast. Between the phone ringing and the spam emails I’m not getting any thing done… nothing!
No, I don’t need to know how to satisfy my partner with a large you know what. (email)
And no, I am not worried about my credit rating, it’s just fine thank you. (phone)
And no, I do not need insurance for my business (phone)
I do not need a better way to advertise (phone)
I do not need to contact people I went to high school with (email)
I do not want to see the world for $40 a day (email)
I do not have a timeshare to sell (email)
I do not need a new car, I just bought one (email AND phone)
I do not want to save money on my car insurance, I have the best insurance company in the world. (email)
I think it’s too late to me to prepare for the future with a college degree. (email)
I do not need to Restore my Account Access RXI110 (email)
And Wm@viagra.com I got your 500 emails and am not interested in what you have to offer me, so leave me the heck alone! (email, and yes, I have a spam blocker!)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
How would you like to win a
How the winner was selected….
I took all of the donations which had come in since May when I put that on my web site and put them in an excel spreadsheet. I then sorted them three different ways, and put each one on a different sheet, A, B and C.
I asked my internet friends to pick a number between 1 and 500, and a letter, either A B or C. I put those all in a spread sheet also. This morning I added them up, and divided the number by the number of picks, to get the average. Then I added up how many picked A B and C, and C was the winner. The average number was 155, so the winner was the lucky person who was #155 on sheet C, and that person was Marge Hicks. This has been verified by three different ladies who I asked to help me with this drawing.
Thanks to everyone who made donations , together we will find the cure.
Thanks to everyone who responded with numbers and letters, and to the ladies who confirmed the winner for me.
And here is the winner's reply to the announcement...
ME??????????? The Winner?
Oh I so wish I could use it. But since it is transferable, I would like to share it equally with Candy and Joan Kehoe, if that's ok with them. I love the Lancaster area. This is total shock as I usually never win things. Thank you so much!
Big hugs from Arkansas
Saturday, October 11, 2008
More later, after the group has finished the mystery….. I don’t want to talk about it too much, I might give away the mystery, LOL!
So while they are all working on Mystery #5 I’m going to answer some questions that came in about me and quilting and Relay. This question actually came from a lady who was thinking about joining the Mysteries For Relay group, but wasn’t exactly sure what the point of the group was.
That was easy for me to explain, I thought… The purpose of the group is to raise money for the American Cancer Society with donations, and then for me thank those donors with mysteries and projects. You make a donation, $5 per mystery or $30 a year, and then I say thank you the best way I know, sharing my quilt patterns in the form of a mystery. Of course if you are one of those people who don’t like mysteries, and there are people like that out there, then you don’t have to do it as a mystery. You can wait until the mystery has been solved, and download the full pattern when I post it.
She was very inquisitive, and asked me exactly how many mysteries a year I was going to do, and I had to tell her that I wasn’t exactly sure. My goal was at least six a year. We started the group in March, and this is Mystery #5. I also gave the ladies a “free” block pattern in July, a Friendship Flag. I have six more mysteries in the works, all brand new to me patterns, and all of them have been very successful with the testers. A few will probably be future BOMs, and the other ones will certainly be patterns for sale, to raise more money for ACS.
Then she asked me why I did this? That was an easy one to answer. … I Relay to help find the cure for cancer. Selfish reason, I don’t want to lose any more friends to cancer. Selfish reason again, I hate seeing people suffer with cancer. God didn’t make me smart enough to be a scientist, so I can’t find the cure. And for some reason I didn’t grow up rich, or marry a rich man, and I never won the lottery, so I can’t donate millions to fund the cure. So I do what I can the way I can, a pattern at a time, a mystery at a time, a quilt at a time… I raise money how ever I can. Every dollar helps.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The other day I called DMV to find out what it would cost to transfer my vanity tag to my new car. I expected to have to have both car registrations and insurance, and my driver’s license as ID, but wondered the cost. What I did not expect was that I had to have the bank’s permission to put the vanity tag on the car.
When the kind person on the phone told me that, I said something like “What? Say that again.” I honestly wasn’t sure I heard her correctly. But she assured me that since the bank owned my car, they had the right to say yes or no to my vanity plates.
So I called the bank and asked them to send me written permission to put vanity tags on my new car. The lady on the other end of the phone said something like “What? Say that again.” And I said it again, and she laughed… and then put me on hold. A few minutes later she was back and said “Say that again” and I did, and she said she had never heard of such a thing, but she would check with collateral and I was back on hold. She came back, laughing again, and said no one had ever heard of such a thing, and really didn’t think it was necessary, but of course everyone wanted to know what my tag would say…. I think they were are very disappointed when I said “QUILTS” She laughed and put me back on hold again… finally she was back and said they would mail me the letter ASAP, and thanked me for cheering up what was otherwise a dreary day.
I had hoped to get my tags back before the retreat at the end of the month, but I guess that isn’t going to happen…I have to wait for that letter, then go to DMV and wait in line with all the necessary paperwork, and then wait for them to mail me tags that I already own anyway…
And I never did find out how much it would cost me.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Yesterday’s talk was on finishing, or endings, and boy did she give me a lot of great ideas I want to try. The simple task of turning a quilt and backing inside out was explained in a way I had never imagined, and I can assure you I will be doing that a lot with smaller quilts for now on.
But one thing she said really was against my grain, labeling. She said the final step to any quilt should be the label, getting the documentation on the quilt. I don’t label my quilts. Yes, I know you should document quilts, and get your name on them. But I don’t make quilts to be documented for history, I make quilts to be used. I’ve found that if there is a label on a quilt I give away the person getting it thinks it is too special to be used. They feel because I put a label on it, it has to be preserved somehow, and it ends up in a closet somewhere and is never used. So technically it isn’t my fault I don’t label, it’s the fault of all those friends who think my quilts are too special to be used. And for that reason you will hardly ever find a label on one of my quilts.
Having said that, don’t worry about me signing my quilts… that I always do. Somewhere on the back my signature or my initials are on that quilt. If the backing is light, I may just sign a tiny little monogram and date on it somewhere, most likely a corner. Occasionally I sign on a quilting line, or on a line in the backing fabric pattern. And I always, ALWAYS, sign my quilts under the binding. That way when anyone asks me if I signed my quilt, I can honestly reply yes.
But please, if I ever give you one of my quilts, please use it. That’s why I make them! And if I ever make a quilt that I want to be saved for quilt history, I will put a label on it. But I don’t think that will ever happen!
And since I talked about quilting today, how about a quilt photo for Today’s Photo… This is one of my favorite fall wall hangings, my colorful three dimensional leaves. I've taught this class many times, and have made several samples of the pattern, yet this one which was my very first is still my favorite. You can tell I pulled fabrics that matched the border for the leaves. Anyone who knows me well will understand why I love it so much… it has purple leaves of course!
(if you click on the photo you can see a larger version of it.)
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Yesterday John and Mike went on a lighthouse work trip, Mike’s first and John hopes not the last. Here are some photos from their trip.
This first photo shows the Kalmar Nickel and one of the Ferries docked at the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal, where these lighthouse trips originate from.
Here’s Mike at the tip of the breaker which is home to the Harbor of Refuge light. The only way to this point is up the rocks or down the ladder from the light, which you can see waiting for them to get back up again.
Yep, Dad had his photo taken too, for which I am glad. He is usually the photographer, and I don’t have a lot of him on these trips.
But enough play, this was a work trip after all, and yes, they worked their bottoms off. Here is Mike helping Mark shore up a cracked beam on the dock.
Mike and Mark at work.
And more of the work crew, Red, Charlie and Ed. Notice Mike under the dock.
Here is a shot looking down at where they were working. You can see the huge gaps in the dock, Mother Nature took a grate and some of the dock away in the last few storms, which was one of the reasons for this trip, to survey the damage, and come up with a plan for next year. (You can’t play with Mother Nature, no matter what you do, she will undo it, and they’ve learned that lesson!)
Finally the launch was back to pick them up, and they headed off to their next stop,
which was the Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse or as we call it, the Inner Light.
Here are my worker men at the top of the Inner Light, over looking the point of Cape Henlopen.
And here is Mike at the Fresnel lens
Notice how everything through the lens is upside-down?
Here is the whole work crew, minus the photographer.
And then it was back to shore on the launch….
I can’t wait to hear Mike’s version of the trip!
I didn’t go, I don’t do boats, and these lights you can only get to by boat! I stayed home and worked on web pages and quilts yesterday. One web page was for me, a new page of quilts I would like to sell this year to benefit Relay For Life. Take a peek if you would like, and if you know anyone looking for a quilt, please share this address with them.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I would like everyone to pick a number from one to 500 (1 to 500) and pick either A, B or C for the column to scramble.
And it’s not too late to get in on this, I will accept donations right up to the drawing.
I will post the winners name here on October 12th!
Friday, October 03, 2008
The hummers are still here, at least a few of them are. I saw two on the back feeder this morning, and one in the front. I know they are cold, I could see this one shivering on the feeder last night. I wonder why they are hanging around so long this year, usually my hummers fly south around the middle of September. Although my friend Sue says she’s had them much later than that, mine usually fly away sooner.
Today's Photo is one of my fall hummers. The photo isn't one of my best, but it was almost dark out and she was shivering... I'm amazed it came out as well as it did.
I’ve been sewing, finished a sample for Mystery #5 which starts next weekend. Learned a new lesson while working on this one… I need more light over the sewing machine on cloudy days… I have two or more white-on-whites wrong side up on my baby quilt. Oh well, this one was going to Linus anyway, and I don’t think it matters that much. (Besides, it wasn’t until I looked at it in the full sun I even noticed it!)
I have an on-line class tomorrow, I hope all of you ladies are ready… Janie said we can all check in at 9AM, so that is when I will send you all the first step.
And next weekend is Mystery #5, why I was working on a new sample. I’ve made this pattern before, several times, but not recently. Now it’s fresh in my brain.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
However, all of those first of the month duties are finished now, and all the little used email addresses checked, and all the web sites updated. Today that included the East Sussex Relay sites since we got confirmation of our event location today, The American Legion just off Route 24. I think that will be a nice location, and being on the highway like that might draw in some curious people, and hopefully some more donations.
Between times the net was on and not on, I worked on a new quilt design, not far enough along to know if I will like it or not, but I think it might be a fun one. And while I was working on that one, one of my testers made a complete top from another new design, she got hers done even before I started mine! I love it, and she loved it, and I think this one will be popular for a while, hopefully selling lots of patterns and raising lots of money for ACS!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
But the one tool that has always been in a different room is one of the most important quilting tools to me, this computer. Now the computer and sewing machine sit side by side; I can put my left hand on the sewing machine and the right hand on the keyboard. That is helpful because I can read the pattern, sew, correct the pattern, sew some more, add more directions, sew, take photos, add them to the pattern, etc. I should have done this YEARS ago!
Don’t worry, I am getting my bottom off the chair occasionally too, LOL! First thing Sunday morning when I finished a step in the block I was making I had to press…. The ironing board had never been brought up, LOL! That meant a trip down the stairs and another one up, and then again. First I had to clean the stuff off the top of the ironing board, things that had been placed there carefully to keep safe until I needed them up here, kits, special fabrics, gifts, etc. That actually took two trips up and down. Finally I brought up the ironing board itself.
I had to find a place to put it… I’m used to pressing a certain way, standing on one side of the board with the iron on my right…. There isn’t anywhere in this room I can do that, at least not yet. When we get the bedroom painted and all set up in the old sewing room, then I can get more stuff out of here, and I can move the ironing board to another location where it will feel right.
What did I sew? I can’t tell you because everything I worked on is top secret. I worked on making samples for three upcoming Mysteries For Relay. One I loved and one I am still working on so it’s too early to say. Another one I didn’t like the fabrics, too thin, so they will be cut up and used for strings foundations, I have no idea how that fabric got in my stash. Three yards of the same three fabrics in three different colors, I most likely bought it years ago before I knew better, LOL!
Today’s photo is another corner of the sewing room, including the ironing board in its temporary home. The white fabric on there was tossed on to hide a mystery project! The bright green on the shelf under it is a backing for another mystery.
Now that fabric is calling to me, so off I go to sew some more!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The closet was accomplishment #1 (read my prior post) and that got the ball rolling. I just kept attacking piles and baskets and bins until there weren’t any more, or at least until they were properly sorted and neatly put away. I got the cutting table almost all cleared off, what is left on there belongs on there, or in the bedroom downstairs (lamps up here for safe keeping) I got the sewing machine cleared off so I have a place to sew, and my desk, although it might not look like it, is very neatly organized.
Going around the room, starting on the left hand side, the white bin on the floor are some UFOs I want to finish, so they are out there where I can easily find them. The basket has a package of fabric in it for a upcoming mystery project. The bin with the pink lid which you see has in it some Christmas String blocks I found, and set aside to make a lap quilt with…. I can’t believe I still have Christmas strings, LOL!
That white trunk right smack in the middle of the photo with the quilts piled on it will go downstairs, I think. The quilts are UFOs, waiting for bindings. All except the top one, which is a finished quilt, another upcoming mystery. (I had to retake the photo too, since it was folded right side out.) You can see a corner of my cleared cutting table, isn’t that lovely? And the last thing which may or may not go down to the new bedroom is the quilt rack, with the little hearts in it. I might just keep that up here to hang stuff on.
I might, someday after we get settled down in the new bedroom and I get my fish tank back, take a photo of the opposite side of the room. Right now that is just a little messy. Tomorrow I will sew, so you probably won’t see another photo of this side of the room again… you know what happens when you start to sew… things sort of get messy.
However, the point of this is that the closet is now finished, and most of my quilts are in their new home. I even had room left over since all the retreat stuff is going to be stored in the garage…. leaving room in the closet for all of my batting.
And while I was transferring the quilts from the garage to the upstairs closet I took time to organize the cabinet John and Mike built for me a few years ago. That houses all of my retreat gear; lots and lots of electrical cords, prizes and goodies, the kitchen “stuff” and of course some of my Featherweights. (Mine is up here on a shelf in a place of honor)
I’ve decided, since fewer ladies are flying into the retreats in the last few years, that it’s time to get rid of a Featherweight or two. The most I have needed in the last three years is two, and I have nine. One I won’t sell, my birth year model. Another one I will keep because it sews like a dream, and I like her Scottish accent. Another one will always be a retreat machine, I sold her to a friend and then bought her back again when she needed the money… just keeping her incase my friend should ever decide to buy her again, so she will stay a retreat machine. That’s three I want to keep….
Then there is the centennial model which I think has hardly ever seen heavy use, and looks and sews like it’s brand new. I’m sure it would sell just because of her condition, but I also sort of want to keep her for that same reason. She just purrs when I take her out to run to keep her in good shape.
The others have been dependable and sew great, and I almost hate to part with them… but why keep them just sitting in the garage waiting for someone to decide to fly in for a retreat? I don’t think it’s fair to them. I could and should sell one or more to raise money for Relay….
Friday, September 26, 2008
Then to Lowes to pick up what I need to finish building my closet. Guess what, they are discontinuing the brand of closet organizer I have and everything is discounted. Guess what else, they are out of what I need… so I improvised some. One white bracket, one black which no one will see anyway because there will be quilts hiding it. Got everything, and then some which I will take back because I don’t need them, just to make sure I could get this job done. I also got a neat gadget so no one can sneak in on me while I’m up here, a motion sensor with door bell I can plug in upstairs. No more scaring the begeebers out of me!
Home and started working on the closet. I was smart this time, use John’s laser level so the new shelf will look straighter. Also added an extra bracket to the second shelf, which I promptly moved to be the bottom shelf since it is longer than what I was going to use there. Managed to find the studs right on, and got everything up looking like a pro did it… not me. Loaded up the shelves and here you go… all of my quilts, except the four bins which are in the garage…I’ll bring them up later, like tomorrow when I have help! They will fit under the bottom shelf, I made sure of it!