Monday, October 29, 2007

trees all around

I did it -- or most of it, anyway! Kim issued a challenge to make a table-topper over the weekend from Marcie's free pattern, and here it is. I only need to sew the last border pieces together now. It's so cute -- about 24" square, and all from stash!

I also finished up the Oriental Bookcase wall-hanging that I was making for the retiring treasurer of my local Friends of the Library board -- however, now he says he's not going to retire for another year! A friend suggested that I show him the quilt but tell him he can't have it until next year....

Maybe not a big deal for those of you who livein other places, but we seem to have a distinct shortage of really interesting clouds here... although we do have great sunsets. This was an early (for me) morning view up behind our house at what someone called "sheep clouds". I guess I need to be up at 6 more often!

Friday, October 26, 2007

win a pink Dyson!

check out The Domestic Diva for a chance to win a pink Dyson vacuum cleaner -- there's a link on my sidebar...

photo help -- thanks!

Thanks for the quick responses to my plea for help! It's amazing that there's always someone out there who knows how to do whatever it is that's causing grief.

Wow, I'd never thought about using powerpoint to play with photos! it's a little bit cumbersome, but not too much... here's my NYB set in the order that the designer has designated; once I have a few more done, I'll start playing around with different arrangements!
I wanted to be able to "stand back" and see how the colors are flowing as I go through the months...

photo help needed!

basically -- what software do you use to create a grid of photos? I tried Picasa (hate that program!) but it won't let you put the photos in a grid in the order you want... no "drag and drop" function -- you just have to accept the random arrangement they give you!

I'm trying to set up my own virtual design wall of the NYB blocks I'm making for a BOM project on one of the lists. So, I want to put the blocks in my own particular order. This is how it looks so far, but nothing's in the right place:

I get so mad at myself for letting myself get totally frustrating by the #@!&&%! computer... where's the chocolate, anyway?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

sad sparrows

It's fall and the gold-crowned sparrows are back. They show up in a flock and sing a very sad-but-piercing two or three note song for hours at a time -- it sounds like "oh dear" or "oh dear me". They're big for sparrows, and they'll eat anything, including a 3 year old bag of birdseed that my brother left when he moved out of town! My cat sits under a bush and meows softly at them -- so far he hasn't managed to bring one inside.

On the quilt front, let's see -- I finished and mailed off the QOV quilt I was bitching about recently. I realized after I mailed it that I hadn't taken a photo; must have been a message from my subconscious, since I loved it so much... not!

I bought a DVD called "I Have a Longarm and I'm Not Afraid to Use It" from Angel Threads recently, hoping it would help me figure how to stop doing all the stuff I was doing wrong. It seemed to spend an awfully long time on pinning (I mean, couldn't she have started the pinning and then finished it "off-camera" instead of filming the whole boring process?) but I did learn a lot. I loaded up a practice quilt yesterday, did most of the stuff she said to do -- and it worked SO much better! I even tried some feathers. Should have tried them in thread that didn't contrast so well with the border fabric, but what the heck...

More pictures soon, I promise -- I have a couple of things close to being done!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I spent most of the day at Pacific International Quilt Festival today -- it's about 30 miles south of San Francisco. I loaded up a bunch of photos in an album on flickr, at

I did get to see Sally Bramald's award winning quilt in person...
And here's a little bit of a rant -- sort of related to what Bonnie's been talking about recently. I ran across this quilt at the show:This is clearly from the Be Colourful pattern called "Circle of Life", and the quilter has pretty much used exactly the colors and type of fabric that were used in the original... however, nowhere in the description of the quilt does she mention the original pattern or the designer!I think this sucks. There were plenty of other quilters who referenced the designers who influenced their quilts (or who out & out wrote the whole pattern!) but this writeup makes it sound like the whole thing was her own idea! I was going to leave the quilter's name in the photo but decided to crop it out...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

more bookishness

here's another one of those book list memes -- feel free to steal it!:

Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once
Underline those on your TBR list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre*
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad*
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World*
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse (I saw a theatrical production of it, though...)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (I read the motorcycle
parts and skipped the Zen!)
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

In more book news, I'm trying to decide whether to join the 12-prizewinning-books challenge that I keep reading about. Ms. Jan talks about it here. I have at least three "eligible" books on my shelf at the moment, including one that I've gotten stalled halfway through... Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. I got side-tracked reading Karin Slaughter murder mysteries while on vacation, and then Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen, and now Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston. I'm almost done, though, and I promise to go back!

(side note -- Wayne Johnston is a wonderful writer; if you haven't read The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, it's worth looking for!)

I spent a few days in Portland this week, mostly for work... did a little damage at Fabric Depot, which was having one of its "30% off everything" sales. (and no sales tax, 'cause it's Oregon!) Then I wandered around and found a cool yarn shop called "Twisted" and bought yarn for my "toe-up on two circular needles" socks class that starts in a couple of weeks.

Portland was a riot of fall colors, although locals said it was starting later than usual this year. I wish I'd brought my camera along to capture some of it; the blends of green, brown, orange, yellow, red, purple were truly stunning in some places!

Friday, October 05, 2007

round robin, anyone?

Nancy has posted about a wonderful round robin project that she's organizing, which requires 15 committed quilters... although each individual's contribution is pretty small on a monthly basis. Check out her blog for the details, and think about signing up for the project! This is a little bit different from the usual round robin setup and looks like a lot of fun.

Also... PIQF is coming up! Are any of you in blogland planning to attend? (Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA -- just a bit south of San Francisco). Send me a comment or an email and let's try to meet up for a few minutes or a coffee.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Pandemania -- isn't that a great word? One of the companies I work with moved some employees across the street to a new (old) bulding recently, and I was talking with the receptionist about it. She commented on the different atmosphere in the new place... "it's so peaceful and spacious over there; when I used to go downstairs, it was just pandemania!"

This quilt is from a wonderful little swap I played in this year. It started out as a Christmas exchange including one block, and then we sent 8 more blocks on the same theme over the next 8 months. The theme I chose was "wind and water", and the blocks made by my "partner", Kendra, are truly wonderful. I think each is a little work of art, so I use a setting that really shows them off. Kendra is a designer of quilts and little quilt cards -- you can see her stuff and subscribe to her monthly fabric greeting card kit at

This fish became one of the monthly cards! And the block below, called "Star at Sea" is my absolute favorite. I was totally blown away by it.

I'm plugging away at a QOV quilt from a kit -- it's fabric and a color combination that I don't like; it's strip-pieced, which I don't like; and it's just not going together very well. I'm trying to decide how much I care whether the corners of the blocks line up (they don't) and whether I should pull apart the two rows I've sewn and trim the blocks like I should have done to begin with! I don't like to do shoddy work even for "charity" quilts... but on the other hand, what are the chances that the recipient is going to notice and/or care about the details that I see as imperfections? Where do you stand on this issue?