Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm showing in Houston!

That got your attnetion, didn't it? It's true, actually -- I have four little quilts in Ami Simm's Priority: Alzheimers sale. If you check out the link, mine are #453, 454, 466, and 467. I think I had posted a photo of one or two of them here before.

Elsewhere on her site are pictures of all the quilts sold so far -- and she's already collected quite a bit for the cause of research for a cure for this horrible disease. It was fun to have a reason to use some blocks that were lounging around here, and I'm proud to be part of her campaign!

Monday, October 23, 2006

time for my close-up

I think I've figured out that Blogger is more likely to upload my photos if I do that first, instead of trying after I've already written whatever I want to say. Maybe I'm just deluding myself...

Anyway, I'm adding a closeup of the Japanese Puzzle, so that you can see what the "puzzle" is. If you just look at the red& white pieces, it's hard to figure out how the thing was assembled -- that's the puzzle! Actually, you cut a diamond shape of each fabric, cut each into 4 (uneven) pieces, and then reassemble in a different order. There's a very good pattern in the April 2001 issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, and you can buy templates from Come Quilt With Me or -- although I had my template made from the magazine article at Tap Plastics.

And, I finished up the first of my holday gift purses. This one is for a 15-year-old niece -- it has a pocket on the back and another inside; the inside is lime-green swirls

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I keep meaning to mention a couple of non-quilty blogs that I read regularly. The first is called I can't remember where I found out about this, and I have no idea who "runs" it -- but it's a treasure-trove of links to interesting, amusing, and/or thought-provoking short videos, art exhibits, games, and so on. Today, among other things, there's a little video narrated by David Attenborough, about some crows in Japan that have developed a new way to get their walnuts cracked for them.

The second blog is Three Beautiful Things. This is written by a British woman who wants to record three things that give her pleasure each day. I found this because it was listed as a "blog of note" one day on BlogSpot recently. It's such a simple premise and most days' postings are short -- but I find it such a treat to read. It could be treacle-sweet, but it's not!

On a quilty note, I'm pushing through my list of things to accomplish this month and you'll note a few items crossed out already. I took a break from the list last night to start a Sassy Bag for one of my nieces -- I think all the female relatives are going to get purses for the holidays this year. I'm having fun picking out fabric to suit each of them -- generally I've been buying one focus fabric (a FQ or half-yard) and the rest is coming from stash. I'll follow up with some photos as soon as I get a couple of them done.

Today I'm off to quilt with a couple of friends for the afternoon. I have a "block party" block from a local store to do, and then I'll continue with the first purse, after I stop by Joann's for some new elastic and a couple of other notions.

I'm leaving you with a photo of my just-finished Japanese Puzzle top -- this is a project I started several years ago, and it's been clinging tenuously to a flannel board all that time, with occasional lapses where half the pieces fell on the floor. Since it's one of those patterns where every piece needs to be marked with numbered masking tape, and masking tape loses its "stick" after a while -- I don't recommend letting this one sit as long as I did. It ended up being something of an IQ test to get everything back in the right place! It also requires a certain amount of sewing accuracy that I didn't always achieve... but oh well. I'm thinking that I can attach a triangle of fabric on the back at each of the corners, and have two thin slats of wood to hold it into a diamond shape. Has anyone tried this technique?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

enough about you, let's talk about me!

Copied and pasted from Force Majeure Farm -- I don't know why I'm fascinated by these silly lists!

All you have to do is to copy and paste and highlight in bold the things you have done.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (not in a million years)
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (no, but I've walked up the Eiffel Tower!)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow (tried, anyway!)
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice -- no but I have been in Venice and I've ridden in a Venetian gondola on Lake Merritt in Oakland!
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Ridden a bike
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday morning

note: edited later the same day to include the photos that blogger wouldn't let me add earlier!

I spent the weekend at Pacific International Quilt Festival. There were some lovely quilts, and for better or worse I wasn't as tempted by the vendors this year -- although I did manage to spend a little here and there...

I might set up an album of PIQF 2006 photos on my Yahoo site (link on the sidebar) but in the meantime here are pictures of just a couple of my favorites:

Well, actually, blogger doesn't seem to be interested in uploading photos this morning. Didn't they just say they had improved their service? Does anyone use a different blog service that actually works consistently? (I know I can use Picassa to do photos, but I found that system to be really un-intuitive and didn't want to spend the time figuring out how to coordinate it with how I usually store my pictures)

I also finished up the Crazy Cats quilt, and I'll post a picture as soon as blogger finds its server again, or whatever the problem is.
Now I need to get to work on my round robin stuff, and this month's UFO commitments for a couple of challenges I signed up for when I was young and optimistic -- a few months ago!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

a tiny update

Well, you'll be happy to know that I've chosen my new divider for the sidebar... ta dah! And, I've added some little updates about my progress on this month's to-do list.

I'm going to sew the binding on my Crazy Cats quilt tonight and then take it with me to PIQF to do the hand-sewing and add the button eyes and a label. I talked to Susan Gray from "Blankies for Grownups" last weekend, and she suggested a price of $175-225 -- I'll try to get some input from the Humane Society, too.

Are any of you going to PIQF this weekend? (Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA) I actually have two friends with quilts in the show -- I'm so jealous!

Well, back to work... I'll write more when I get something done!

Friday, October 06, 2006

still learning new tricks

I'm tweaking the blog again... decided to have some fun with the (purple) lines in the sidebar, so I'm auditioning some different ones here:

That last one is supposed to look like rust, but yecch!

various & sundry

First of all, I've realized that the crazy cat quilt is not for an auction after all -- it's a "cat-themed art show and sale" for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. What this means is that I have to set a price for it! Yikes! I need help from all of you -- what should I price it at? (it measures about 37"x43" -- photo posted a couple of days ago)

What else... I did finish round 1 of the Ostrich Round Robin. I tried to get my husband to design a "boxed in" border for me, but he really only likes to get involved with arranging blocks once they're all made. So I took the minimalist approach and did a simple log-cabin border. I promise to spice this up a bit on the next round. The instructions are supposed to come out on the 15th, and I think we have three whole months for that round.

We had a few days of fall weather here -- a whole inch of rain in one day. Every year my cat has to re-learn about rain, and he always acts a) like it's some personal affront to him and b) like I should be able to do something about it! It's pretty pathetic listening to him sit by the cat-door and whine; and after a while it stops being pathetic and just gets annoying... then he starts the crazy-cat routine and runs around the house chasing invisible moths. I don't know which is worse! Might be time for kitty Prozac.

Monday, October 02, 2006

crazy, man!

Here it is -- my crazy cats top for the Humane Society auction. Now all I have to do is baste, quilt, bind, and add buttons for the eyes. I'm loving this one -- and I think I'm going to have to make at least a few more cats for myself! I was worried about doing the applique, because I've hardly ever done any -- but my Pfaff worked the buttonhole stitch like a charm. I used a wool-blend felt for the leaves, stems, and swirly flower centers.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bad Blogger

Here it is October 1 and I've been so bad about writing! I think i've been spending all my free time reading other people's Blogs -- and I need to find a better balance.

I did get some of my projects completed for September -- the three round robin things for other people, the borders on my jewel box quilt, and the blocks for my "press for success" class. However, I didn't touch Al's shirt, didn't finish the Crazy Cat quilt, and didn't do the "boxed in" border for my ostrich round robin. So, here are my new goals for October:

  • finish Crazy Cats quilt
  • border for Janet's row robin
  • blocks for Enelda's round robin
  • first border for ostrich Round Robin
  • two birthday blocks
  • finish Press for Success class top
  • fix the miters on Batik table-topper border and finish it

This is way too much stuff, I know! The Crazy Cats have to get done, though, since they're for a charity auction at the beginning of November. I am machine-appliqueing some leaves and stems on the 5 big flowers, and then it will be all set to assemble the top and quilt it. It seemed like I had so much time when I started this project but it's really drifted away!

Just to prove I haven't been a total slug, here's a picture of my row (top) added to Lynn's row robin. It will go in the mail tomorrow morning along with 350 letters for the Library Bond Campaign that I stuffed and sealed this weekend -- no wonder my tongue is tired!