Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Monday….

Not only is it Monday, it’s the end of the month and the beginning of another one comes tomorrow.  So I’m happy to say I’m right on schedule and have updated the BOM page with a few new blocks and updated some others.

When I started the latest BOM series last month I thought I’d share smaller block sizes. But somewhere along the way I changed my mind and decided to give a variety of block sizes, smaller AND larger.

So for the next few months I’ll be updating block pages adding a variety of sizes you can make each block in. I’ll try to add a new block every month, and/or post a few quilt patterns too.   (I really like the quilt at the bottom of the Ribbon Quilt page)

And since I’m in a block mood, I think I’ll work on future months while I’m at it.  August will be pinwheel month and I’m not sure what September will bring, still deciding.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chuckie’s family

If you follow me, or even occasionally read what I write, you know that we’ve had a resident groundhog in our back yard for a couple of years now.  Last fall was the first time I saw more than one, and our Chuckie seemed quite happy to have a friend. 

Then this spring I noticed more..  a lot more..  and sure enough Chuckie was a Dad.  Then the babies and Mom disappeared…   and then they were back again. 

I like to say that Chuckie and the Mrs are separated and he gets custody on the weekends, because that’s when I see the babies more.  However after reading a lot of articles and opinions on groundhogs I find that they don’t stay together as a couple, and eventually the babies will go away.  9-things-you-didnt-know-about-groundhogs/

Taken through a foggy window and screen,
he/she was less than five feet from me. 
One has already adventured out, we found him/her nibbling on the clover in the fenced in part of the yard last night. 

This morning I happened to see these characters trying to climb the pear tree again… and he made it too.  Until Chuckie spotted me standing in the window and sent out the alarm.  The other three kiddos and Chuckie speed home, but this fellow continued up the tree, until he noticed everyone else was gone anyway.  

(And yes, they climb trees, check #6 in this article )  And I have photographic proof.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Repairs done…

Not.  I knew this would happen.  
I sat around all day long waiting for the repair man to show up.   He came at 2:51.  I showed him the dryer, he asked me to turn off the breaker.   I did.  He fiddled with it a minute and said OK turn it back on, and I did.  He said that the start switch is bad and he’d have to order a new one.   He left at 2:57.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What day is it?

I am totally lost, I truly can’t figure out what day of the week it is.  That always happens when John takes a few days off then goes back to work.  So that means it’s Monday, right?  (Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday, I have to keep telling myself it’s Wednesday.) 

We had a nice staycation, even if he did work a lot, and even if the dryer died, and even if I spent a whole day in a drugged stupor because of spasms in my back.  What was important is that we spent time together.  I enjoyed having him home, but he seriously needs a hobby before he retires!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


John and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary on Friday.  We had planned a trip out of town, but with an out of town wedding to go to in August, decided to save some money for then.  But he’d asked for the time off, and took it to stay home and relax. 

Friday we did lunch at one of my favorite places to eat locally, Big Fish.  I absolutely love love love their house salad minus the tomatoes, (wild greens, gorgonzola, walnuts and maple walnut vinaigrette) with a side of crab cake.  Their crab cake is pretty much my favorite locally.  John had a seafood platter and sadly we didn’t have any room left at all for dessert, which is also great there. 

After lunch I was relaxing on the back deck and I noticed some activity on the woodpile… was I seeing more than one groundhog back there?  It had been 15 days since I last saw any of the babies… but sure enough, they are back again.  Now will someone tell me where they went?  Did they go visit Grandma?  Did they go to the beach?  How can four little groundhogs and mom stay hidden for 15 days? 

Saturday we relaxed at home, had some company stop in to use our showers… Mike and Kelly are at FireFlyMusic Festival up in Dover and came here to clean up..  after two days in heat and dust, they sure needed it.  After they left we had dinner and then chilled.. isn’t that what you are supposed to do on vacation.

Sadly, since I couldn’t get him out of town, John is back on his normal routine, taking care of everyone and everything that needs doing. I think this will be our last staycation, since he can’t stop working unless he is out of town, and sometimes even then he’s not off duty.
Tomorrow we’re going to the beach, and then maybe on a shopping adventure… my dryer died yesterday.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Almost caught up

Candi wanted to know if I’d recovered from my Friday the 13th disaster.  Thanks for asking and I can happily report that I have made great progress, but am not fully recovered yet.  I had over 150 blocks in that project file when I “accidently” deleted most of them.  They were in order by type (4 patch, 9 patch, 16 ect) and all color coordinated so I could use them as BOMs.  It was a file I created when I started the BOMs back in 1997 and have updated time and time again.  The original file was from EQ3 and then it was updated to EQ5 which is the oldest working copy I still have of it.  It was not just a month’s worth of work, but YEARS of work.

As of this morning I have 146 blocks in the EQ7 project file.  The new block I had created is gone, until it hopefully pops in my brain again someday. 

And yes, I save it OFTEN and I save it with a dated name each time so I will always have a backup copy.  (Block Book Updated, Block Book Updated 6/14, Block Book Updated 6/15, Block Book Updated 6/16 and Block Book Updated 6/17)  And I have saved them on my lap top and on my backup hard drive. 

And now I am taking a break from them, and working on the web page itself.  I decided it needed some cleaning up and sharpening.  Yes, I have backups! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th….

I am not normally a superstitious person however this Friday the 13th has started out horribly…  I’ve been working for a month now on updating BOMs on my web site.  I use Electric Quilt for my diagrams, and have a project file I use time and time again for diagrams.  In that project file were over 150 quilt blocks which have appeared or were scheduled to appear as BOMs. 

Today as I have for the last month I opened the file and started work…  I saved a block, brand new block, one that I can’t find in any books, on any web sites and not even in Block Base.  EQ took a while to save, and I realized that maybe I had too many fabrics in the projects. 

So..  I went to Compress Project File Size and clicked on Delete unused fabrics only.  I thought… as I clicked OK I saw my finger had slipped…  NO! Too late      back to work


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Trouble in the neighborhood…

If you read my blog often (or when I post anyway) you know that back in May we discovered our resident groundhog Chuckie had a family.  At first I thought 5 babies, but I later lowered that to 4.  (I will not think anything happened to one, I refuse, I just miscounted that’s all.) 

I’ve quite enjoyed watching their antics, wresting with each other, climbing trees 

 (or trying anyway) and just everyday doings in the groundhog household.
 They entertained Mike and Kelly when they were here the beginning of the month too, even coming outside of their house while we were sitting on the deck (about 75 feet away).
 Then one day we saw Chuckie was closer to the house than he’d ever been before, he seemed to be looking for something, and I was afraid one of the babies had come closer to the house.  Then I realized I hadn’t seen the family that day.  And I didn’t see them the next day either.
I went back over my pictures (over 500 of them) and realized that the last time I’d seen the babies was June 5th.  And I hadn’t seen Mom since then either… just Chuckie, who seemed to be looking for something, and now I know what. 

I will not think bad things… I’m just going to say that things didn’t work out between them and Mom and kids moved on.  And please don’t tell me otherwise. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Simone asked me if I could do directions for 54-40 and Fight, and I started to tell her to look at Grandma’s Star on my web page, it was the same block.  I went to the BOM page to get the URL and… well it isn’t there.  It should have been there, I did it as a BOM in 2010.  I looked up and down the list, and nope, it isn’t there. Not under any of its given names 54-40, 54-40 and Fight, The Railroad Quilt, Nine Patch Star, Old-Fashioned Pin Wheel, or Grandma’s Star.

I went to the file manager, and sure enough, it was on line but for some odd reason it wasn’t listed in the index.  So I added it to the index, both as 54-40 and Grandma’s Star. 

While I was checking that, I decided that I really should do some updating and that’s what I’ve been doing.  Some of the Smaller Blocks I’ll be adding are already on line as 12 1/2 inch blocks, so I’ll be updating those pages to include many different sizes.  (Anywhere from 3 inch blocks to 18 inch blocks in some cases) 

And if there is a pattern included in the BOM, or somewhere else on the web site, I’ll be linking them. 

And all that should keep me busy for a while! 

Monday, June 09, 2014

8 Years....

I got an email from a gal the other day about a block from the web site she was trying to make.  She explained what she had done, and asked me to check the block and see if could figure out why she was having problems.  So I checked the block… I will admit I checked it rather quickly as we were heading out the door.  I thought I saw her mistake and told her, and made a wee correction on the web site to make it clearer. 

A day later she sends me a more detailed email, and I see that I have indeed made a mistake on the cutting directions.  It isn’t the first time and I doubt if it will be the last either.  Let’s just say that I do mistakes very well.

What I found so frustrating about this mistake is the length of time it has taken for anyone to tell me about it.  From the very beginning of making this block I had someone checking my work.  This block was done as a BOM for my local guild and I had a very reliable proofreader and tester.  And the block was distributed to at least 100 ladies at guild way back in June of 2006.  At the same time it was given to the ladies at guild it was put on the internet for anyone who happened to see it.  

In 2008 a shop in Minnesota asked to use my directions for their shop block and I gave them permission and sent them a printable copy of the pattern.  A guild in Indiana used it as their BOM in 2011. 

And no one has ever said to me that there was a mistake.  

Not always do I want people to point out my mistakes, I had enough of that growing up, which is probably why I try so hard to do things right the first time.   But in this case I wish that someone, anyone in the last 8 years who noticed the mistake would have told me.  There is nothing more frustrating to a beginning quilter than mistakes from the designer.

I apologize to anyone who finds a mistake in my work, but please tell me about it (nicely) so that I can fix it for the next person.  

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Where the hedoublehockeysticks are you?

Gee, I said I was going to be spending less time “socializing” on the internet and more time getting work done.  I guess some people just didn’t believe me.  Life is too short to spend hours a day on facebook. 

I’ve been working on new BOMs, a couple of new mysteries, and preparing for a special event which is coming up fast. 

To my friends who do spend hours on facebook… if you want to ask me a question or send me a message, the best way to do that is by email.  I am checking email several times a day.  I am only checking  fb once a day, some days.  I may not reply to a fb message for several days, email I answer quickly.  (Sorry but life is more important than facebook!)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Smaller BLocks

Sometimes we don't need a huge quilt. Maybe it's a baby quilt, or a wall hanging, or even a place mat or mug mat, but a big 12 1/2 inch block just won't work. So for our next BOM series we're going smaller. Each month I'll give you one or more blocks in small scale that you can use for your smaller needs.  Some months I will include a quilt pattern, and later in the series I share directions for making a smaller sampler quilt and a row by row. 

You can link to the main page here, and be sure to bookmark it and check in to see what’s been added each month. 

Have fun!