Monday, January 31, 2011

One Million!

I was doing the monthly updates on my web site this morning and realized something, something very special… at some time in the month of January I had my one millionth visitor. One million! WOW.. I wish I knew who that individual was, but I wasn’t keeping track and there isn’t any way for me to know now.
When I set up the web site it was my way of telling the first group of retreaters what was going to happen and after that first fateful retreat, showing all the photos. That web site was on GeoCities, remember them? Sadly I lost all of those first retreat photo somewhere along the way, but still have the memories.

The first year the web site was mostly visited by ladies who were either going to the retreats, or who wanted to see what they had missed. In 1999 someone suggested I do a block of the month and I didn’t think I could manage that… so I did an Block of every other month..

And now one million people have visited Delaware Quilts… thanks to each and every one of you!

PS. I was thinking one million in 15 years, but John pointed out to me that was one million since I moved to the current server, which is just a little over eight years .... so now I have a bigger wow than before and a bigger thank you to everyone who made it happen!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I have finished my second sample for the upcoming March mystery. Well.... the center is finished and two borders, two more borders to go and then it till be done. I like this one almost as much as I like the first one, and they couldn’t be so far apart! Can’t wait to show it off, but like #1, it will have to wait until March 18th!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

He's At It Again!!!

I'm in, how about you?

Another project

Well another project just came along that I have to take care of. This one has a time limit too. Kelly, my future daughter-in-law brought her wedding dress over for me to shorten. It’s made for a bride of about 5 foot 9 and Kelly isn’t much taller than I am, which is 5 foot 3.

I will admit… I cried. The dress is beautiful and is so Kelly. She looked elegant. I cried, and really had to get a grip on myself so I didn’t get too sobby… I didn’t want tear drops on the dress.

This will be a challenge… there is a satin lining, four crinolines and then another lining and then the dress, which is duchess silk. And it has a chapel train.

I may not get much quilting done once I start it, but the end results will be wonderful, my first daughter-in-law and a very happy son.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Fantasy Flowers is officially finished now, binding all secured and even a label. I’m very happy with it. I am quite proud that I did a paper piecing project start to finish totally by myself, even if it did take six years. A first and believe me, a last too… I truly do not like paper piecing and I’m not in love with machine quilting either.

Now if I could just teach John to hold quilts nicer!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting somewhere

Yes, I am getting somewhere, slowly but surely. This morning I went upstairs to sew and saw the fabric I'd picked out for the new mystery and still loved it. Then I saw a baby print and coordinates that were set aside for some project and decided maybe they would work for this mystery too... so I started cutting.

I think this one is going to be darling!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dreary day

Wind has been howling all day,but fortunately we've only had rain, so far. Weather man says the rain should turn snow any minute now. (I hear thunder as I write this, which means I think temperatures are dropping!)

And I did no sewing again today. I can't decide what I want to do. I went through a few baskets looking for inspiration, but all I found were UFOs and some swap blocks. I wrapped up the UFOs to send off to the quilter, and the swap blocks... well some of them went in the circular file. Honestly, they weren't anywhere near good enough to use, not even for pet quilts. The fabrics were so thin that a kitty or puppy claw would shortly destroy whatever those thin fabrics were put in to.

I think those blocks may have been the end of my swapping days. I understand that some people can't afford good quality fabrics or don't know better... but I sent nice blocks and I just don't care to use flimsy fabrics in any quilt I make. If I can read the computer monitor through it, it's too thin.

However there were quite a few great swap blocks which I plan to include in the sampler that I hope to make at the retreat. I have all different size blocks and I am truly tempted to start working on that project now... but it can wait till the retreat when I have more room to spread out the blocks!

And there was one set of blocks which I really REALLY like, which will go in a quilt all by themselves, I think it was a BOM which I was lucky enough to win at guild. They are star blocks in greens and yellows and I think they will make a great quilt.

But I have decided what I'm doing next, starting tomorrow morning. I am going to make another mystery quilt, the one that is scheduled for March. I really LOVE the design and when I was sorting through fabrics I found some that I think will look great in that pattern... so tomorrow I'm cutting the squares and will start sewing. Who knows, I might even have this one finished before the retreat!

Almost finished

Yesterday after ripping out the border quilting and removing the folds, pressing the backing neatly and then quilting the borders over again, I put on the binding, trimmed off the excess backing and batting. Then I started hand sewing the binding while relaxing last night. It feels great to almost have this UFO finished.

However now I am back to that same old dilemma, what to do now? My problem is I have too many choices. I’ve been through my UFOs and the ones that I can quilt can’t be quilted because I don’t have any batting large enough. Yes I know I can piece it, but the pieces I have won’t work. So no more quilting for me until I get up to Lancaster to get some batting.

And I have LOTS of fabrics, and I have LOTS of new designs to be tested, but I can’t decide which one I want to do… decisions decisions decisions, again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


When I came up this morning I found someone had quilted a few folds in the backing fabric on one border… now who would do such a thing? I was pretty careful as I sewed that final line so I don’t think it was me. Surely some gremlin came in last night and undid my sewing and created that mess. Sadly the gremlin isn’t here to take it out so Jack and I are spending some quality time ripping.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Laurie IN NYC

THANK YOU from all of the Delaware Quilts team for your generous contributions!

C. Lynn G in Abingdon, MD

I can't believe a total stranger... no change that... I CAN believe a total stranger sent me money in the mail for a chance to win a Featherwieght and even more than that to contribute in the fight against cancer. THANK YOU and GOOD LUCK.
And prayers for your sister.

That didn’t go the way I wanted it to

I wanted today to be my final appointment with the specialist, I had it all pictured in my mind… She’d tell me that my blood work was all perfectly normal and I could go off the prednisone and resume normalcy. Nope, didn’t happen this time. One of my “rates” or “levels” was elevated above what it was my last visit. So I’m on the prednisone another three months and have to get the blood work done and see her again every month. Dang it all….

It’s bitter cold outside, my car said it was 20 degrees and the bank’s flashing sign said it was 19. Either is cold. I’m so ready for spring, but it looks like another blast of winter might be headed our way.

I’m staying in and sewing the rest of the day, hope to finish the quilting and tying on the Fantasy Flowers and get the binding on it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No sewing Sunday too..

This isn't good, two days in a row with no sewing, well barely any. I did pull the basting threads that were in the borders of the Flowers,but that was all the sewing, or un-sewing I did. What did I do?

I worked on a few patterns, and I did some web pages, and worked on the budget which is depressing. I need to win a lottery for sure.

Tomorrow I have what I hope will be my last appointment with the specialist, I hope. Tomorrow will tell.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No sewing Saturday

No sewing done today at all. We ran “downstate” to pick up some Relay gear and a little for the Retreats also. While down there we had brunch, it was good despite the waitress. On the way home we stopped at the outlets, one of my least favorite places.. I don't enjoy shopping. I needed socks. I have a problem wearing socks with too much nylon in them, and trying to find soft socks is hard. And trying to find socks that have mostly cotton in them in colors is nearly impossible. So I settled for 80/20 socks in white, with two pairs of black thrown in for excitement... I never wear black socks.

As soon as we got home I threw all the socks into the washer with two packages of purple Rit dye, so now I have purple socks... I hope they are comfortable and don't make my feet itch.

While the socks were dying I sorted out all the Relay gear, I love the new design and sure hope the Relayers do too, and buy it all up. I also like what I got for the retreaters, I hope they like them too. All the gear is another fundraiser for me and has done well in the past.

I may not have done any sewing, but I did a little designing. I saw a house on our trip that had an interesting roof pattern which looked a lot like a quilt pattern to me, so I came home and played with it on Electric Quilt!

Dear Waitress,

You were so pleasant to my husband this morning, refilling his coffee, making sure he was enjoying his breakfast. And you were so very cheerful when you served the table of three men next to us. Bringing them extra napkins, making sure their glasses were full, refilling them after every sip. I really enjoyed how you flirted with them and with my husband too. By the way, my tea was cold, and I do not appreciate that you conveniently forgot to bring me the hot water I asked for. You probably didn't hear me because I spoke with a female voice. And that my child is why you only got a $2 tip. Here's another tip for you, sometimes the women pay the bill, you better pay attention to them too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

All done

The Fan Quilt is now officially finished, binding on and already keeping me warm. Truthfully, it was keeping me warm while I was putting on the binding and I might just put it on back of my recliner to continue that job.

I really like this quilt, am very proud of my quilting in the borders, and just wish I knew when I started it, where it came from and who else made blocks. I KNOW for sure I didn’t make them all. I THINK I may have made one, but I can’t even guarantee that. I do know that I really like it and it was worth all the effort I put into it to finish it.

Officially, quilt #400… wow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Win A Featherweight!

Time is almost up to get in on this raffle. On Valentine's Day after the mail has come I will draw a winner for this little gem.

You may make your Featherweight donations either by check or payment on my ACS web site. If you make a donation on the ACS site for the Featherweight raffle, please be sure to let me know by email that is what it was for. Checks should be be made payable to ACS and sent to me at my address below and must arrive here on or before February 14th.

I have more Featherweights than I have needed for any retreat for at least five years now, so I am giving one away to raise money for Relay For Life.

I have decided the machine which will be given away is Featherweight # AJ639485 which was manufactured on or about June 1, 1950 in Elizabeth NJ. While she isn't the most perfect looking Featherweight, she is nonetheless in tip top sewing condition. She almost purrs as she stitches along. She comes with her own Featherweight case which is also in good condition, although it does have a sticky button latch (right side) but does fasten.

A $1 donation gets you one chance to win, a $5 donation gets you six chances to win and a $10 donation gets you fifteen chances to win! Good luck and thank you for donating!

The new owner will be chosen on Valentine's Day 2011. I will split the shipping costs with that person, and the machine will be shipped using UPS.
(Checks can be mailed to Marge Gordon, 31357 Kendale Road, Lewes, DE 19958)
Thanks and good luck!

So what did I do today?

Came upstairs bright and early and started off the day by fixing an issue I’ve been having with this lap top, it wouldn’t connect to the internet with the air card. Something I read on line fixed the problem for me and now if needed I can connect again. Fortunately the air card is my travel and emergency connection, we’re wireless here at home and I don’t need the air card here.

Second, check retreat standings… I need to send a few bills out which I hate doing and I needed to make sure that my rooming list was almost ready to go to the hotel, Spring Retreat is coming up pretty fast.

While I was in the retreat mode I checked my 2012 Spring Retreat contract to make sure I had dates and costs ready for this year’s ladies, and sure enough I didn’t. Dates yes, costs no… I hate doing that math. Of course next year’s fees will be higher, what isn’t going up anymore? But I always hate having to tell everyone next year will cost more. I guess they all expect it and I’m the only one it really bothers though, at least that’s what they tell me.

Then I realized I was missing a contract for 2012, so fired off an email to my connection and she’s going to send me the missing contract. Sometime soon I will need to start working on the web sites for 2012… and 2011 has just started.

Just started yes but flying away… Spring is right around the corner and before we know it fall will be here followed shortly by Christmas again!

PS.. and I am doing some sewing or sorts, tying knots in the back of my Fantasy Flowers which isn't fun since I used a lot of invisible thread.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ends tied

Finally, all the quilting ends are tied, knotted and buried.

All that is left now is the binding, which I will sew on right now by machine and finish the hand work tonight.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sorry no Fans photo yet

I’m still tying strings on the fan quilt, so no photo of it yet. Today didn’t start off well, blood day. I waited 25 minutes to get registered, then another 15 to go in to the vampires and then they couldn’t find any blood. OK, they found blood, but not enough to put in the little tubes and after too long poking me I called truce and took a break. Then I told them they had one stab in each arm and I would leave. I am normally a hard stick, and there are people in that lab who can always find my veins, but even the pro couldn’t find any today… until the second time around when he got it right away thank goodness.

Then the bank and of course there was a line. After the bank I dropped off five quits at my favorite quilter’s and had a nice visit with her. She’s a busy lady and I’m glad she has time for my quilts.

So now I am home and working on yet another UFO.. Fantasy Flowers which was a guild BOM project from 2004-2005. I started quilting it in May 2005 and this is as far as I got. My plan is to finish quilting and then bind this, finishing another UFO from the list, and then maybe moving on to another project, or another UFO, or… well who knows?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I did it!

I quilted the remaining fans and then quilted the borders, in a fan kind of design and it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

The first circle was a CD tracing and then I realized I had to go bigger. I freehanded it and decided that wasn’t going to work. So I went looking for circles to trace, and soon gave up, I didn’t want it to look perfect, but I wanted it to look better than the freehand line did.

Then I remembered this tool I had from way back when, when I worked for Singer and demonstrated tools and gadgets and got to play with them…. But did I still have the one I was looking for. I remembered having it when I was in the first sewing room in this house, and faintly remember something happening to it…

I found the box, Singer Circular Stitcher, Part No. 161847, slightly oily from a mishap, my oil can leaked. The box was empty. Looked some more and found it. But would it work? I soon realized that the pin cover wasn’t working right, ouch, and it was bad enough that this quilt was pin basted, ouch now I had this pin to deal with also. And I had to make sure that it didn’t come off while I was sewing and make the circle off.

Well it did, ouch, and it made a few crooked or lopsided circles, but it didn’t look too bad. The borders are all quilted now and I just need to tie all the knots and do the binding and this non-UFO quilt #400 will be finished. Photos tomorrow!

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr

Reverend King influenced my life in many ways and he still does. Here are some of my favorite quotes...

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I took a day off

Saturday was my do nothing day for a few reasons, and that’s exactly what I did, nothing. I watched TV, took a nap, and watched TV some more. Those of you who know me know I don’t like TV so before you second guess me, yes I was a bit under the weather. I should say I listened to TV because I didn’t do much watching with my eyes closed. I woke up with a migraine and the glare of the sun especially off the snow made me close the blinds, and the TV and computer screen were just too bright to handle. So I closed my eyes and listened, and napped just like John does and like my father used to do … watching TV with my eyes closed.

I half watched an interesting program on how state lines were decided, very interesting and I wish I’d seen more of that series. I will be looking for it again and hope to learn more.

I enjoyed this because one of the questions people ask a lot is why is Delaware round at the top… very interesting and if you want to know, go here to find out.

When I travel to Lancaster for the Retreats I have to pass through Maryland before I get to Pennsylvania right at the wedge. It’s a short drive through that corner of Maryland but one that I thoroughly enjoy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What did I decide to work on...

Well… after much thought, the fan quilt that I found in my UFO basket needed to be done. First, it isn’t on my UFO list, so adding it would erase one of my finishes and I didn’t want that to happen. So by finishing it I am accomplishing two things, not having another UFO and finishing my approximately 400th quilt. But don’t hold your breath…

When I opened it up I found that six of the nine fans were already quilted. All that was left were three fans and the borders. Three fans are done and what you see in the photo is all that is done of the borders…

Why did I decide to quilt them that way, I dunno… but now that I have started I can’t stop. Too much to rip out and how else would I quilt them?

I still don’t have a clue where these fans came from, although as I said before I know it is mine. And I think… not positive but maybe I made one of the fans, the blue fan has a lot of very familiar fabric in it.

I made the mistake of looking through my “Swap Blocks” box just to see if there were any other fan blocks in there and maybe a paper telling me when they were made and by who. No more fan blocks, but if we had to count Swap Blocks that we’ve never done anything with I’d have another dozen UFOs… in that box alone. I actually have two “Swap Blocks” boxes.

There is also a “Rejec Blox” box, blocks that just weren’t right or didn’t match or who knows. Not all of them are mine, a lot have been given to me over the years. That box is my Spring Retreat project, some kind of sampler quilt. Hmmm… maybe I will bring one or both of the “Swap Blocks” boxes with me too… maybe.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Uh oh…

I was going through my UFO basket trying to decide what to finish next. I have quite a few to choose from. The problem is, I don’t have interest in some of them anymore. And I thought I had gotten rid of donated those I didn’t like want.

But an even bigger problem, I can’t find a few that are listed on my UFO list and worse, I have found a few that are not on the list. Truthfully, there are two that I do not remember ever making. I don’t have a clue where they came from but I am pretty sure they are mine…

One is a fan quilt, perhaps the fans are from a swap I did way way back? There are nine large fans and four smaller ones in the corners. I know I started it because the borders and backing are a light blue Documentary fabric that I loved so much I bought the whole bolt.

The second one can't be mine, I don't like the fabric it is made with, cheap thin stuff, and I don't like the way it was made. Someone must have given this to me for some reason. It's not even good enough to give to charity, except maybe for a pet quilt. And that's what I'll do with it, I know a few kitties that like quilts.

Another one I remember doing and know why I haven’t listed it… I hate it. Now why I still have it I have no idea. Maybe the memory of making it is forcing me to keep it? It would make a great charity quilt and I think I will force myself to finish and donate it.

There is a convergence wall hanging which isn’t listed on any lists, another one I don’t really like. It is too small to make a charity quilt. Since it isn’t listed, I’m not rushing into finishing it… sooner or later I will maybe.. maybe not.

I found spool blocks from a class that some so called professional taught at guild a long time ago. The lady handed out instructions and then sat in a corner ignoring the class mostly. When people had questions they came to me and for that reason I never finished mine. It’s not on the UFO list, but should be… I need to figure out when that class was.

There are Christmas string blocks, leftovers from Jamee’s Christmas strings, and a whole bunch more strings. I think next time I want some mindless work, I’ll make some more Christmas string blocks and then sooner or later another Christmas String quilt. Oh Oh… I have some lovely Christmas metallics I can add to those strings to liven it up some. Wonder where they are? And no that is not on my UFO list, because they are leftover blocks and not a project yet.

There is a baggie of nine patch rows which I think someone sent me or dumped on me. Not on my UFO list because they are not mine but they are in my possession so if and when I start working on them I will add them to the UFO list. There has to be two or more charity quilts in there.

I also found two finished pillow cases in the UFO basket, why they are in there I don’t know, but I am thinking I made them to go with a quilt that is or was a UFO… now to find that. Looking through my quilt photo album, they could go with just about any of my purple quilts if I ever put one on my bed.

In that same basket is a collection of Christmas fabrics from Ameritex called Country Classic Christmas Village dated… 1987. Why it is in the UFO basket, another I don’t know, but I will keep it all together and put it on the fabric shelf, it will make a cute Christmas something someday.

This has been an interesting exercise and I have accomplished cleaning up my sewing room floor and organizing my UFOs a little, and I’ve found some more projects to work on. But I still haven’t decided what to do next, although I certainly have plenty of choices.

Another top done

This is my Tea Garden Bulls Eye quilt which was started in January 2008. I worked on it at the Spring Retreat that year, and it's sat in a unopened box until yesterday. All I had to do was put together the vertical sashing and finish.

I love it and can't wait to get it quilted. I think, no I KNOW, I'll be delivering it to my favorite quilter shortly.

UFO progress

Having just finished my 399th quilt, give or take a few, I have decided to work on some UFOs before starting the next new one. I finished the snow people quilt and now am putting backings together for a few other quilts to be sent to the quilter. I am rewashing the red backing, just to make 100% sure all the red is out of it. I also had to rewash a white backing, I found a stain on it. I have two little quilts I am going to attempt to quilt myself, as soon as I find the batting I’m sure I have around here somewhere.

I’ve moved onto my Tea Garden Bull’s-eye quilt. I have four rows finished and need to make the sashing to offset those rows, then put it together. I think, I hope, I have backing set aside, so that as soon as I get it finished I can get it quilted. I’d love to see this one done ASAP… it’s pretty!

I’m also proposing a new category to the UFO dictionary, AWQ. Awaiting Quilting or Awaiting Quilter in my case. I have 23 quilts which fall into that category. Right now I have eight which are ready to go off to different quilters as soon as I can get out, and I hope to have Tea Garden ready by the end of the day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Confessions of a confused quilter

Sounds like a good title for a book instead of the admittance of a distracted morning. When I came into the sewing room this morning I had two seams to sew to finish a little sample top. I sewed those, and moved on to a border, it really needed one. Picked out a perfect green from my stash and cut the first two three inch border strips…

Phone.. ten minutes later I went back to the cutting board.. now where was I. Oh yes, cutting binding strips. So I cut a 2 3/4 inch strip and laid it on top of the other two… hold on, this one is smaller, what did I do. Dummy me, I cut the first two too big. Just before I started to slice off the extra 1/4 inch on the first strip it hit me, I am making borders not binding. So I added that 2 3/4 strip to the green binding baggie and went back to the cutting board and correctly cut the remaining THREE inch BORDER strips.

Messenger beeps, it’s my friend I have coffee with every morning. We chat for a few minutes and then she goes off to do her thing and I get back to mine. I neatly join the binding strips on the diagonal the proper way and…. hold on.. they are BORDERS not binding. I unsew them, thank goodness I hadn’t cut them yet.

Phone again.. another Relay call. This was a good one, talking to a possible sponsor for our team, which would mean another $1000 donation in the fight against cancer. We discussed the sponsorship and how it would benefit this business, and then went on to other things, the messy roads, how sick we both were of winter, etc.

Back to the binding. I picked up the strip, folded it in half wrong sides together and started to line it up with the quilt top… hold on again.. this is just a quilt top and I am putting on borders.

Phone again and the whole time I am talking to that individual in my head I am saying borders not binding, borders not binding, borders not binding, borders not binding.

I can happily report the borders are successfully on and I have another quilt top finished.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am awe struck…

I have an excel spreadsheet that I did last year to list all of my quilts. I found from photographs, class listings, retreat records, etc that I had a fairly accurate count of quilts that I had made since I started quilting in 1974. I just opened up that spreadsheet to enter the two newest quilts, Green Green and the “secret green” project I’m almost finished. Green Green was #398, secret green is #399 which means that my next quilt, whatever it might be, will be quilt #400.

No, that is not all of my quilts. I have not listed any of my miniatures and I have photos of over 40 in my photo file. And there have been quite a few quilts go out of here for different charities that I never listed or photographed either.

Regardless 400 is a totally awesome number and I am very proud… now to decide what #400 will be.

Another thing to do before a storm…

Another thing to do before a storm…
fill the coffee pot reservoir with water. Why, because when you live in the country you are on a well and when you don’t have power you don’t have water. So filling the coffee pot reservoir with water assures a fresh pot of coffee in the morning.
“Wait” you are saying “How can you make coffee when the power is out?” Hey we aren’t totally primitive. We have a generator. Sure the well isn’t on it, nor is the heater, but we can hook up important things like the refrigerator so we don’t lose any food and the microwave if we want to cook anything and of course that coffee pot. Heck... we also run electric heaters on the generator and the TV if cable isn’t out. And if my lap top needs a charge, I plug it in the generator and charge it up. Last year during the blizzard we watched movies on my lap top.

Latest on the storm, looks like that north south line has moved upwards and we might not get a lot of snow after all. Regardless the roads will be an icy mess and I’ll be safely happily at home, sewing I hope.