Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring IS busting out all over!

Retreat time!

Tomorrow morning I leave for the Spring Retreat. I hate to admit it but this is my favorite retreat of all, mostly because it is so relaxing for me. I don’t have a class to worry about, and I don’t have to worry about much of anything at all really, so I get to sew along with everyone else and have a good time while doing it.

I have several new projects I want to work on this spring. Several new patterns which I will present first at mysteries to the Mysteries For Relay group. Hard part about working on them at the Spring Retreat is that this year there will be four Mystery members there, and I can hardly work on any new projects with them watching me… however I think I have a solution to that, and it worked last year, so I might try it again.

This year will be slightly different than years before, my roommate isn’t going to be there. This will be the first retreat she hasn’t attended since we started retreating in 1997. She missed a few days a year or so ago due to the flu, and things just didn’t go so smoothly without her… I’m hoping we can manage better this time…

Of course my biggest concern will be those ladies who are early risers, which I am not… I need to find someone to open up the conference room and make coffee…. Or I will just have to get myself out of bed earlier. But that means I’ll have to go to bed sooner, and darn, I might miss something!

Friday, March 27, 2009

She did it!

My sister-in-law asked me to help her set up a blog, so she could show off her art work. While she was here we did that, and I showed her how it works. A few days later I got an email that she didn’t know how it worked and could I do it for her.

Well… I was mean, I told her no. I said “Nope, you have to do it yourself. I don't know and don't want to know your password, and I really think you are not trying hard enough.... This isn't that complicated. If I do it for you, you will never learn.”

She asked me if she could come by and I could show her again, and I said no to that too. She needed to do it herself, on her own computer. I told her to sit down at her computer and call me when she had time for a lesson. And that she did. She uploaded her Green Turtle and put in the words and all, and then repeated the process again the next day and then again today too! She did it, she proved herself wrong and learned how to do it!

Why am I telling you this… because I’m proud of her, and because it shows that you can do something if you put you mind to it.

And … because I want to put in a plug for a paintings which she has generously donated to Relay to be auctioned off. If you want to see her painting, and a few other items which we have up for Auction, take a peek at Auctions For Relay

PS, you can see Geri's Blog at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost retreat time

I just sent out an email to the Spring Retreaters, asking them if they were ready… and as soon as I hit send I realized I was no where near ready myself, LOL! First, when I left the November Retreat last year I was sick, and I didn’t even pack up the stuff myself. When we got home, John put it away in the garage, and I haven’t looked at it since. Who knows what is where, and I think I’d better go sort things out before I pack them in the car.

What do I take to a retreat with me… it’s almost easier to say what I don’t take. OK, so I leave home the kitchen sink, but almost everything else comes. Electrical cords, enough that every table has four plugs, with a surge protector on each table. Kitchen utensils, not a lot, but enough for us to function, and paper plates because we have to eat. A cutting table, although I may leave that home this time… and an ironing board and irons… the irons I’m going to have to find, not sure where they are packed. Sewing machines, although this trip I only need to bring one for myself. I’ll bring cutting mats and rulers, and of course spare rotary blades, the retreaters always seem to need them.

My Relay Store… I take along things that quilters may want to purchase, with the proceeds going to my Relay For Life fund drive. I think I have some interesting items this year, if I can get organized enough to get them packed!

Of course I take along stuff to sew too, this time I am taking two or three new designs I want to work on, brand new to Delaware Quilts patterns. I will also take along a UFO or two, incase those new projects get finished quickly.

Guess I’d better get packing!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What to do... what to do

OK, so yesterday I finished someone’s quilt. And I am very pleased with how it turned out and I can’t wait to give it to her. But now which project to work on…. I have so many I just can’t decide, LOL!

I have a whole list of UFOs, but I just don’t feel like working on any of them. Two of them are just blocks. The school house quilt just doesn’t appeal to me any more, even though the blocks are done and I have the fabrics for assembly, I just can’t get into it anymore. And I’ve already made one 3D Log Cabin and gave it to my son… these are the left over blocks from that which I’ve saved to make myself one for my collection, but again, just can’t get into it.

My 2007 Retreat project is almost finished being put together. I worked on it at the Spring Retreat last year, and haven’t touched it since… Same with the Tea Garden Bullseye, I worked on that at the last Spring Retreat and haven’t touched it since. Maybe I will take that with me to work on at this retreat. That one I would like to see finished, I think.

My Purple Kitties and Friends Quilt is partially machine quilted, and I was finishing the kitty features by hand myself, but the hand work hurts, and I don’t like what I’ve done, and can’t even begin to think about ripping it out and starting over and … it’s going to stay a UFO a little longer I think.

I have 19 small quilts and/or wall hangings that I plan to quilt myself, if the mood ever strikes me. And right now I have two quilts ready to go to a long armer, but money is tight so they have to wait.

And that leaves 19 other quilts on the list, all in different stages, and I just don’t want to work on any of them….

I’ve cut strips for three new projects to take to this years Spring Retreat, and if I can find where I’ve stashed them, I will take the Tea Garden Bullseye and 2007 Retreat project

Just finding them will keep me occupied for a little while…

Here are two of my UFOs, #4 and #6

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A happy finish!

At 8:54 this evening I took the last stitch in my special not so secret project… boy does it feel good to have it finished, and I can’t wait to give it to its owner. I just know it is going to be loved. I can’t show you a photo, just incase that special friend of mine decides to stop by here to see what I’ve been up to. But I promise some photos later of both the quilt and its delightful owner.

Love ya Pinocchio

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cute and serious too

You may have seen this circulating around by email. I just think it’s so darn cute I decided to add it here today.

Cute yes, but oh so serious. Wouldn’t it be nice if our children’s daughters didn’t have to worry about getting those horrible monograms? Wouldn’t it be nice if they found a vaccine that prevented all kinds of cancer?

That’s why I relay..

Help me fight back against cancer!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is coming!

I know it is, I can feel it in the air…

and my daffs are showing their sunny heads. This is just one clump of Daffodil Days daffs, from the American Cancer Society. I've gotten them for years and thinned them out and spread them around just two summers ago…. Looks like it is time to spread them out some more.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A good Cause. Please help by clicking!

Favor to ask, it only takes a minute... Thanks.
Please tell ten friends to tell ten friends today! (I told all of you)
The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' -- for free (pink window in the middle). This does not cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Please pass it along to people you know.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saving money on your power bills!

A friend sent me this, because I’d bragged about unplugging everything in the house that I could before we went on our cross country trip last summer. I can tell you that it sure saved us a bunch of money. The only things we left plugged in were the refrigerator and stove, and the stove only because it is too big to move to unplug, LOL! Our power consumption went down considerably, enough so that our annual budget was paid in full for December, January and part of February too!
I’d like to tell you where this came from, but I don’t know, but based on personal experience I think it is pretty accurate.

It's well-known that most electronic devices in our homes are sucking up energy even while they are turned off. But for all the information out there, many questions remain. I got hundreds of reader questions after writing the post What's wasting energy in your home right now.

Which electronic devices waste the most energy when they are turned off but still plugged in?

Set-top cable boxes and digital video recorders are some of the biggest energy hogs. Unfortunately, there's little consumers can do since television shows can't be taped if boxes are unplugged. It also typically takes a long time to reboot boxes.

However, some of the other major consumers of standby power are more easily dealt with: computers, multifunction printers, flat-screen TVs, DVDs, VCRs, CD players, power tools, and hand-held vacuums. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) measured standby power for a long list of products.

While it's true each individual product draws relatively little standby power, the LBNL says that when added together, standby power can amount to 10% of residential energy use.

Why do electronic devices use energy when they are switched off?

Electronics consume standby power for one of two reasons, says Chris Kielich of the Department of Energy. They either have an adapter that will continue to draw electricity, or they have devices (such as clocks and touchpads) that draw power. Anything with a remote control will also draw standby power, she says, since the device needs to be able to detect the remote when it's pushed.

Does everything suck energy when it's plugged in and turned off?

No. If your coffeemaker or toaster doesn't have a clock, then it's probably not using standby power, says Kielich. Chances are your hair dryer and lamps (although they may have a power adapter for the dimmer) are not drawing standby power either, she says. Devices with a switch that physically breaks the circuit don't consume standby power.

UFO Finish

Always a proud moment, finishing a quilt. This one hasn’t been a UFO (UnFinished Object) as long as some of them, but it’s still a finish.

This is one of my own patterns. A friend asked me to help her figure out a pattern, and I found it too confusing myself, plus it had a lot of bias edges in the cut pieces, so rewrote the directions for her. Then to “test” my directions, I made a block, then another, and then decided I liked it a lot.

I offered the pattern as a mystery project on a few Groups, and everyone enjoyed it. There are photos of some of the mystery quilts at I myself have made six different Simply Squares quilts, but will admit this one is my favorite so far.
This pattern is for sale too, and as always, the money from all of my pattern sales goes to the American Cancer Society.

Friday, March 06, 2009

You Found $5

You Found $5… This is just something I did last year for West Sussex Relay, I hid a tiny message in different places on the event web site and gave the $5 donation to the person who found it first. It got people to look at Relay pages they wouldn’t normally look at. Even committee members admitted they had never looked so closely at the great site ACS provides for us. This year I am “hiding” $5 at East Sussex, but I’m not sure anyone is looking for it. The first three I put on were found quickly, but there is a fiver on there now that hasn’t been found. I’ll give everyone till the next Team Captains meeting to find it and then move it someplace else. People just need to look at other peoples’ pages too!

And NO, this is NOT the hidden one... you have to find it on the web site someplace. I think we should get the Boy Scouts to look for it for us!

Note: That $5 never was found, and it was "hidden" in plain view on Scouting for a Cure Team page.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I received quite a compliment today, one that caused me to think about how lucky I am right now. I was communicating with a web advertiser about advertising my retreats. They were offering a very nice web page for getting the word out, but I really don’t need to advertise. I explained that my retreats are usually booked a year in advance, with the quilters coming back year after year, and advertising would be redundant really.

The advertiser said “take a look at how many businesses are "challenged" right now, and you are booked so far in advance. Many are doing what you are, but it seems like you really know how to do it, since people keeping coming back for more.”

I am very lucky to have such a successful group of quilters who come back year after year to catch up on their quilting and each other. The Spring Retreat will be starting our 13th year of retreating, and a few quilters have been around for all 13 of those fun years. They are much more than just quilters to me, they are friends I hope I can keep around for years to come, retreats or not. And I look forward to making more friends for years to come.

Here are a few interesting stats about the retreats…
.. There have now been 29 retreats, with the upcoming Spring Retreat being #30.
.. There are 12 ladies who have attended more than ten retreats total, and 90 ladies have attended more than one retreat. The total number of retreaters is 190
.. Ladies have attended from 24 different states and 3 foreign countries.
.. There have been four brave men attend retreats, but only one of them was a quilter. He left a quite an impression on the ladies at that retreat, believe me!

Retreat photo album, our history, click here.

To all 190 of you, thanks for the memories and so very much more. And to the 11 new retreaters signed up for 2009 retreats, I am looking forward to meeting you.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow, and then some

These were taken during the blizzard of March 2009. One of my friends commented to me that the way I titled this first photo makes it sound like the road is right there in that empty space where the words are. Hardly! That lovely snowy space is all lawn, well when there isn’t any snow it’s lawn, LOL!

The road runs along that tall row of pine trees and is barely visible from the house. And thusly our house is barely visible from the road too. Which is exactly why we planted all the other trees, the tall pines came with the property, and were the ONLY trees on this lot when we bought it. Every tree you see, front yard and back, we planted ourselves.

I'm home

I am home for a little bit, to catch up on reality and life. Not sure when I’ll be going back to my friend, but I know I will eventually, I love her so I just can’t abandon her.

It was a hard time, harder than I ever imagined. Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” where the star relives every day, day after day… that is what it was like, only there were no changes, and I couldn’t influence how the day would go. I heard the same thing almost every day, and watched as she forgot the simple things in life, like where she put a box of tissues.

I came home because it was apparent to me that I was helping her, helping her to forget she had a problem, and making life easier for her by being there. Yes, that was good, but she needs more, and my being there was not convincing her of that. She forgot she had memory problems, and forgot about the delusions she’d had before I arrived. She decided she was just fine living alone, although she wasn’t alone and no matter what I said or did, she decided she didn’t need to change things.

So as hard as it was, I left her alone for a few days, maybe a week, until she realizes she does have a problem, and she does need someone to keep an eye on her, and that isn’t going to happen where she is living now. She needs a better home, someplace where people can help her.

I have a favor to ask of my friends … please don’t ask me for any details, it’s just too painful to rehash this, and there isn’t a conclusion yet… I’ll tell you about it when I am ready so please don’t ask. Thanks