Saturday, September 23, 2006

progress!

I'm feeling better, intermittently, and have actually gotten some sewing done. For instance, I finished up two of this month's round robin chores. One person really didn't want to see photos of her project, though... so if you're reading this, Michelle -- stop now!
I'll put the photo at the bottom of my post...


And, I finished the borders on my Batik Jewels quilt. I spread it out on the bed while my husband was still in it this morning -- he likes it! (good thing... since it's going on the bed!) I said "stay there, I need a photo of it" but he jumped out before I could get the camera. So you get a picture of Bucky instead, with Al's head trying not to be caught on "film".

Our bed has big posts at the bottom corners, so I have to do cut-out corners in my bed quilts. Al made the bed sometime in his crazy past, from cedar fence posts he scavenged somewhere. It's a lovely bed, even though I practically need a stepstool to get into it. And, I complain about the end posts be a hassle with respect to quilting, but they're so handy for tossing clothes on when I'm too lazy to put them away... (the dirty secrets come out!)

Here's the photo of the round robin, as promised. I think I showed the center block a while back; I added the print border and then the diamonds. The orange-y fabric is actually the same batik that she used in the center.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

wasted days

What a week! Monday I had a jury notice and for the first time I actually had to go in. Usually I just call up the night before and the message says I'm not needed and I'm off the hook for a year.
I set off the security alarm going into the courthouse -- it must have been my underwire bra because I didn't have any other metal on me...

Then I sat from 8:30-11:30; they gave us 2 hours for lunch and then I sat for another 3+ hours. I wasn't in the first group they interviewed and they told everyone to come back on Tuesday morning. It was going to be a short misdemeanor trial.

Tuesday morning I woke up with sinuses so bad the room was spinning before I even got out of bed. I've had a little vertigo before but never this persistant. After calling the HMO advice nurse to make sure I wasn't dying, I called the court and left a message that I wasn't going to show up because I couldn't see straight, let alone drive! So then I spent the day watching bad daytime television and popping Sudafed and Advil and drinking water. I felt a lot betting today but decided to stay home anyway!

It was wasted time, though, because I really didn't feel like doing any sewing until this evening. I finished the piano key borders on my jewel box quilt, and once I get the final (plain) borders on, I'll post a photo. I have to decide if I'm going to quilt this puppy myself or not -- I'm envious of all of you who can just pop their tops on the longarm! I do have a Brother 1500 with an extended throat, but it's still going to be an operation to maneuver a queensize quilt in there.

The one cool thing that came from jury duty was this:There were guys outside the courthouse handing these out -- when I got the second one, after lunch, I told him "I'm really hoping I don't this information!" He replied "that's what they all say..."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

who do they think they're fooling?

I have a love-hate relationship with many of the quilt magazines on the market today. I know everyone else has strong opinions about them, too.

What prompted this post was a renewal solicitation I got in the mail yesterday. "One Time Only Offer; offer will not be repeated!", it says. "Lock in the lowest renewal prices you'll ever see!" It's 1 year for $21.98; 2 years for just $38.98.

So, I went and pulled out my most recent issue of the magazine and found the subscription card: 1 year for $21.98 and two years for $36.98. That's less than the special one-time-only offer for current subscribers! Don't you think someone would raise their hand in one of those marketing meetings and point this out?

Just to confuse matters even more, if you renew online, it's $19.98 for 1 year and $36.98 for 2 years... this one's Quiltmaker, by the way.

I have problems with a sister publication, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, too. I just don't understand why so many of the cover quilts and the "gallery" articles show these fab, modern, arty pieces and yet so many of the patterns they publish are traditional, even old-fashioned quilts with drab colors. It's not that I dislike all their patterns -- I just don't understand the split personality!

I used to read Miniature Quilts before it folded, and made a number of quilts from their patterns. With that one, I always got annoyed by one designer who had a "wow-- look at this -- it's a nine-patch" kind of pattern in almost every issue. I think she made the same two quilts over and over in different 30's reproductions and every one of them was published in the magazine! Am I too harsh?

I'm opening up my comments section to your own personal pet peeve about the quilt magazine world -- or a pitch for your favorite!

Friday, September 15, 2006

thanks are in order

A big thank you to Linda J, who gave me a little tutorial on html -- I think I've now figured out how to get the side-bar lists where I want them and how to cross out things I've finished (not much, actually!)

Now if I can just remember to get the symbols in the right places... putting the slash after the "s" instead of in front of the "s" makes a big difference! (when I put the actual code into this post it crossed everything out -- good thing I previewed before publishing!)

Not much quilty to report, though. I'm working on several little things simultaneously so none of them are getting done. Hope to have progress and photos this weekend.

On the side, my city has a library bond measure on the ballot in November and I've been spending a lot of time at meetings (I'm president of the Friends of the Library at the moment) and there's going to be a lot of knocking on doors and phone-banks for the next couple of months. Phone banks -- don't you just hate those calls? So it's cutting into my quilting time, big time.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

winding ways

It always amazes me where I end up when I start following links in other people's blogs -- and how much time I can spend doing it! Today I was reading Nancy's confession about coming out as a Democrat, which led me to Ms. Jan, who had a link to this cool map of the states you've visited:


(create your own visited states map )

I'm not sure exactly how to define "visit", but in my case it's states where I've actually been on the ground for a couple of days, as opposed to just sitting in an airport. This map will come in handy when I eventually find that old airstream trailer and embark on my road trip!

I've finished my "Chain Event" top -- this was Dorothy Young's most recent mystery from her Yahoo group "A Pocket Full of Mysteries". Now I need to figure out what to quilt in the empty blocks... I really like the icy quality of these batiks.








And, I've been finishing a bunch of little tiny quilts for Ami Simms' Priority Alzheimers project; she has online auctions to raise money for research, and will also have quilts for sale at Houston and elsewhere. All the quilts have to be small enough to fit in a Priority Mail envelope without being folded. So, it's fun to take random blocks or try out some wild & crazy techniques. These are called "The Big Apple" and "Rhino Dreams".

Friday, September 08, 2006

a couple more pictures



Blogger is happy this morning, and so I was able to load two more photos from my mini-group round robin project that used the "required" fabric. The first one is Enelda's -- it had some beagles in the center and the corners, I think.








This second one is my sister's -- she had just moved to Tasmania and we mailed these things back and forth 8000 miles! You can tell we all had a lot of fun with this one... I did the border with the red eucalyptus fabric and the largest of the New York Beauty blocks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Robin-hood

Hurrah! Blogger is letting me add photos tonight!

A few people have commented on my willingness and even enthusiasm to do "Robins". It's true there are a lot of horror stories floating around, and I've witnessed some ugliness myself! In one group, one participant just buried two or three sets of round-robin projects in a drawer and it took a mail-fraud charge against her to get her to dig them out and return them. Luckily, I was one of the ones whose project she worked on before other events overtook her.

Another row robin I was in was billed as "all batiks" -- but the swap hostess had a little freakout along the way and her rows all got done in cheapo marble stuff instead of batiks. You know, it would have been perfectly okay if she had just communicated with us -- a mix up, just can't afford it right now, whatever -- instead of pretending that we wouldn't notice the difference. But, I ended up re-doing her row in my own batiks and it's pretty much one of my favorite quilts! These blocks are all 6".




This is the first row robin that my local mini-group did. I picked out one fabric (it's a small brown & blue geometric print) and gave everyone a FQ -- the rule was that some of it had to be used in their center block. They all came out SO different. I was going to add a couple more photos of others from this group, but now Blogger isn't cooperating.

As a side note, BlogLines was looking for users in the San Francisco area to come to a focus-group thing next week and talk about service. Of course I signed up to go (and collect $75) but I haven't heard back.


Here's one more round robin to entice you...
another of my favorites. I made the center star using a packet of hand-dyes that I bought in Australia (in the middle of nowhere!) several years ago. I just love how bright it is and how the colors flow.

So, are you convinced yet? I've decided to sponsor a round robin for "virgins" one of these days -- watch this space, and if you've never done one it just might be time for you to take the plunge.