Monday, October 27, 2008


Thanks to Helene for sending me this, since mine are still stuck in my camera.
This is the October Gang... aren't we a happy bunch of ladies!

Retreat time and no photos

Sorry, I forgot about the HD card and this silly old lap top not cooperating with each other, and can’t download any photos to share of the October Retreat. So everyone will just have to wait until I get home to see all the beautiful projects which were worked on and shown off.

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

I’m retreating

Got an email message from a lady in Georgia, (Hi Barb) wanting to know why I haven’t posted on my blog…. I’m retreating in Bird-in-Hand this week and next too. Internet here is slow and I am being kept busy, so not a lot of time to write, sorry. All is fine here, and I will post something on Sunday or Monday, I promise.
Photos later!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Fairchild Boys

Here is another photo of the newest family member, Devin Chase Fairchild… isn’t he cute! I “borrowed” this from their family web site, since I couldn’t be there in person this time.

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!

And Jared was a precious little bundle… only I never got to hold him. He was rushed off to the NICU and when he was free from his “cage” I let Mom and Dad do all the holding and I snapped photos. I didn’t get to stay for the homecoming since I had a business trip scheduled that I could not change, and it broke my heart to leave, I will admit I cried as I left the hospital…

Now he's a big brother, and I hope he is a big helper to his Mom, and treats his little brother with the love and kindness I know he has in him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quilting day

I sewed with friends all over the US today, and it was fun. Some of the ladies were in MT, three were in MO and then others from other states in the west. These ladies are internet friends, and they wanted to do a class together on line… so I shared with them one of my mysteries… in exchange for a donation of course.

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

A new nephew!

Announcing Devin Chase Fairchild
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

The stone is gone

The kidney stone, removed surgically this morning, and all is well. A little pain, but modern medicine is a wonderful thing, and John is doing just great. I’m hanging in there and making a so so nurse, nagging him to drink.

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.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why is it?

Why is it on a day when you really want peace and quiet you get all heck….

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 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

$300 Retreat Raffle Winner Announcement

Here is the original announcement, copied from my Retreat web page

How would you like to win a
$300 Retreat Gift Certificate?
Or mail me a check made payable to the
American Cancer Society
at my address below.
For each dollar donated you will get one
chance to win a $300 gift certificate which
you may apply to any
Quilters Retreat in 2009.
The winner will be drawn on
October 12, 2008 and announced here.
Only non-purchase donations.
Only Mystery donation amounts above $30 apply.
(If you donate $50, $20 applies to this drawing.)
(Gift certificate may be applied to any 2009
Quilters Retreat held in Bird-in-Hand PA where rooms are
available. It will cover the cost of a full retreat package
depending on which retreat you apply it to. If the cost of
the retreat is greater than the gift certificate, you are
responsible for paying the difference. If the cost of the
retreat is less than the gift certificate, you may apply the
balance to a 2010 retreat or to your roommate's bill.
Gift certificate is transferable to another person. There will
not be any money refunded if the gift certificate is not fully
used and it must be used by November 1, 2009.)

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

Mystery Day

Today is mystery day on my Mysteries For Relay group. This is a very easy one, and I am pretty sure the ladies will all enjoy it. I think this was one of the first quilts that I wrote up as a mystery. It was also one of the first mysteries I taught at my local guild, and everyone there loved it. I also did this quilt as a mystery at a guild in Maryland, I forget where now, but I remember it was a fall mystery, the leaves were beautiful as I drove…. I can’t remember where.

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

A DMV funny….

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

About labeling

Yesterday was guild and our speaker was Carol Blevins, someone I met years ago at the Lancaster quilt show, and someone whose work I really enjoy seeing and listening to her theories. Her thoughts on quilting and mine are quite similar really, and yet sometimes so far apart it’s comical. A few years back I had her come to one of the retreats just so I could take a class from her on Quilt as You Go. I loved the techniques she taught us, and I will admit I’ve used some of them already. But I find that you have to plan ahead to use some of them, and I’m always in too big a hurry to plan ahead. (Plus a lot of them require handwork, and my fingers don’t like a lot of handwork.)

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

Lighthouse work trip

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 need everyone’s help in drawing a raffle winner

I have a $300 Retreat gift certificate up for raffle on my web site, details below. The drawing will be held on October 12th, and I would like to ask you all to make that drawing for me. The donors names have been put in an excel spread sheet, and numbered. I will scramble the names according to which column you tell me to scramble, and will add up the total numbers you send me, and divide them by the number sent to get the average number, and the person whose name is on that line will be the winner.

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!

Thank you.

How would you like to win a$300 Retreat Gift Certificate?
For each dollar donated you will get one chance to win a $300 gift certificate which you may apply to any Quilters Retreat in 2009.
The winner will be drawn on October 12, 2008 and announced here.
Only non-purchase donations.
Only Mystery donation amounts above $30 apply. (If you donate $50, $20 applies to this drawing.)
(Gift certificate may be applied to any 2009 Quilters Retreat held in Bird-in-Hand PA where rooms are available. It will cover the cost of a full retreat package depending on which retreat you apply it to. If the cost ofthe retreat is greater than the gift certificate, you are responsible for paying the difference. If the cost of the retreat is less than the gift certificate, you may apply the balance to a 2010 retreat or to your roommate's bill. Gift certificate is transferable to another person. There will not be any money refunded if the gift certificate is not fully used and it must be used by November 1, 2009.)

Friday, October 03, 2008


Friday already, this week has flown by. Heck this year has flown by, I can’t believe its October 3rd already. (Happy Birthday Arden!!!)

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

First of the month duties

Same thing every month, pay the bills, update the web pages, check hardly ever used email addresses for emails…. Usually it doesn’t take me all day to do this, thanks to high speed internet and on line banking. But today was another matter. John was working from home today since he’s fighting another kidney stone, so the modem had to be downstairs. And I think I’ve told you that the wireless network is a little unreliable from that corner of the house to this one… and today it was worse than unreliable, it just wasn’t at all.

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!

Today's Photo... not mine, but a friend sent me a email full of funny kitty photos. I'm sharing this one because my son and his girl have a new kitten that loves boxes, and this reminded me of him.
There is a whole web site of these!