Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I haven't done much sewing the last few days, but I did finally manage to finish the second sock in this pair:They are all-knit Monkey socks; the pattern is on Ravelry. They're made from a Brown Sheep yarn called Wildfoote -- a bit boring to work with but a pretty color called "forget me not". I'm ready to cast on another pair of socks (have to have a pair going at all times, right?) but I can't decide what to make next!

There's a new photo in the header -- I opened the living room curtains the other morning that cover the French door onto the patio, and this is what I found. The kenilworth ivy isn't just growing in under the door... it's growing in under the door-sill!

More sewing coming up...

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Well, I'm just a postin' fool this weekend!

First off, I received a few requests for the Pink House pattern, so I had Bucky pull a name out of a bowl (catnip helps!) and he picked Cory -- but Cory has her blogger profile set up without an email address... so if you're out there, Cory, please send me your email/snail mail addresses ASAP.

I'm working on ATCs again, for the birthday swap. This was my favorite from last night. It's a bit hard to see, but the silver outline is a peel & stick thing from a very cool shop in London, and then I added beads in the dragonfly's wings.I made a little progress with the first quilt top for Debra's project that I mentioned yesterday. This is the wrong way to put it together (which I managed to do twice, even though I had a little mantra going in my head : look
And this is the right way:
There will be nine of the big framed blocks, and then the pieced sashing in between everything, to make a twin-sized quilt. Here's a close-up of the fabrics:
The dark frame is something I had a ton of in my stash. It has a bit of a linen-y texture and I can't for the life of me remember what I intended when I bought it! Someone in blogland has written about using linen for sashing and I'm sorry I can't remember who it is...

And I have to say that despite the cutting instructions that I didn't really like, the piecing is going together very nicely. This is the "Through the Window" pattern by From Me to You.

Friday, March 20, 2009

what does THIS mean?

This was the fortune cookie in my bag of take-out Chinese food last night. If you look closely, you'll see that it's only half a cookie, and there is no fortune. Is this a symptom of the new economy? Should I take it back and demand the other half? And, does this have anything to do with the fact that I locked myself out of the house when I left to walk down to pick up my order? (thank goodness for the neighbor who has my key, and happened to be at home!)

In other news, the Amish House top is done... no clue how to quilt this... must put my handiquilter back together...

Random Thoughts

Just a mishmash of things that have popped into my brain lately...

- actually, something that popped onto my computer screen just now: those of you who read blogs on Google Reader and use the "next" button -- do you have occasional advertising blogs pop up as you're moving from one subscription to another? Are they getting more frequent and/or more obnoxious? The one just now was for some weight loss plan, and when I clicked "next" I got ANOTHER popup asking me if I was sure I wanted to leave, and then the model in the ad started talking loudly. I fully understand that Google might want to sneak some ads in somewhere to support Reader, but could they please be silent and respectful? and Google is really not user-friendly when it comes to complaining about anything...

- when did they start making dark chocolate Snickers? and why did I have to notice? (actually, I haven't had one yet)

- did anyone watch the first episode of "Better Off Ted" the other night? I think it might be a keeper...

- remember a few months ago when I was making the Pink House quilt from a Laura Nownes / Diana McClun pattern and bitching about all the mistakes in the pattern and the fact that the designers didn't seem to care? Well now I've started working with another of their patterns for a project that Debra is spear-heading, and even before cutting the fabric I tell I don't like the way they've done it! I suspect their method is going to be very wasteful, and if your patterns calls for enough yardage to cut the borders on lengthwise grain, then why tell people to cut them crosswise?

- why do I have another of their patterns? because I think it was a buy 3 for the price of 2 deal and I think the designs are fun. No one took me up on my offer to give away the house pattern, but the offer still stands!

Maybe I should just go and find myself a glass of wine and chill out?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

my rainbow

just some silly stuff... but fun nonetheless!

Your rainbow is strongly shaded green and violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

a new stimulus package

Just a quick note to let you know about Joanne's Stimulus Package -- she is a recently-turned-professional longarmer who will quilt a bunch of quilts for insanely reasonable prices for a limited time, if you sign up on her blog. I'm already thinking about my stack of flimsies to decide what to send her...

Friday, March 13, 2009

more choices...

Thanks for all the suggestions for the Amish houses. I wish I didn't feel so completely lazy about piecing the borders for them... I do like the idea of more black & white, so I found a couple of things in the stash that might work, and then I bought this blue/black diamond fabric today at the local "quilters' secret source" (Long's Drugstore) because my nephew told me his favorite color was black, and then blue was second. Here's a better picture:
I also have this "tack" fabric which might make an interesting inner border, in an ironic sort of way...
And then my friend Catherine mentioned that she has some fabric with little houses that might work -- or might be a backing; and maybe I'll spend our Sunday quilting get-together piecing another road to use instead of being so lazy!

I tried and tried to take close-up pictures of my road for Peggy, but the camera will not cooperate and no matter what I try the white blurs out. So -- the straight parts were strip pieced (black/white/black/white) and then cut up and had black borders put on them; the curved pieces were machine applique'd with a narrow zigzag stitch.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

falling behind and catching up

I've decided that my least favorite part of quilting, other than pin/basting, is assembling blocks into a top. There should be some measure of satisfaction in this, but I just find it soooo tedious. Therefore, I should a) stop participating in block swaps and b) become strictly an art quilter using few, if any, blocks that will need to be sewn into rows... However, it's unlikely that either of those things will happen, so I decided to suck it up and put the Amish houses together!

I think I'm going to do a narrow inner border of the blue cobblestone stuff, but then I need to find something to do for an outer border. I don't have anything in my stash that will work as a single fabric, and it really needs about 12" more all around -- maybe some strip-pieced blocks? Anyone out there with ideas for me? I don't want to do any "fancy" piecing for the border.
What else can I show you... here's my Friday Block Party block for last week. I am having a lot of fun scrounging in the depths of the stash and finding things I had long forgotten about.
And this was last weekend's big project, which is really pretty embarrassing! We have a room that we share as a home office, although neither of us really works from home much at this point. Al's side is always pretty messy, because he never files anything. And my side was getting even worse! So here is "before" on my side of the room. There are two bins of paper relating to the Friends of the Library (it feels like I've been President-for Life, but I found someone to take over in November!) and there's a small bin of stuff for my business, and, and, and...
and here's the "after" shot. I can actually walk around my desk now! I have to confess that the desk itself is still a bit cluttered, but it's definitely better than it was. Please shoot me if I let it get this bad again...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My Day With the Queen

The Queen of Blogland, that is! I had a couple of days to play in London after my trip to Barcelona, and Helen graciously gave up a day of work to come down to the city and wander with me. We started out at a wonderful market on the south bank -- if I lived in the area I'd be there at least 3 times a week! Look at the colors in these artichokes...
and how beautiful the garlic is...
Here's a sight you won't find in any American markets I know of...
We topped off the day by meeting up with Kate and her mom, Kathy for a Turkish dinner. Kathy took a photo on each of our cameras -- here (left to right) are Helen, me, and Kate. It was terrific to meet up with these quilt/blog legends in person! As you may have noticed, I try to do this whenever I have a chance.I spent the next day dawdling around a bit. Outside the Victoria & Albert Museum I ran across this truck -- can anyone tell me what these giant ear-trumpets are for?My favorite parts of the V&A collection are the fashions, the musical instruments (unfortunately the room is only open occasionally and I didn't hit the right day) and the stitchery. It's difficult to take photos because almost everything is behind glass -- but I did like the graphics in these iron gates that were propped against the wall in one of the rooms. There is a ton of ironwork to look at. There was also an exhibit of hats that had just opened -- no cameras allowed -- it was pretty interesting but so crowded that I couldn't really enjoy it.

Now for a little quilty stuff: Here is the little table-runner I sent off to distant shores for the 4 Seasons Quilt Swap -- you'll recognize this as the squares I was playing with on the blog a few weeks ago.
And here is the fab quilt I received from April for the same swap. I had specified a fall quilt with either red or gold, and I love the result. Don't you see swirly fall leaves in the quilting? Thanks again, April!
Now I'm off to unpack my suitcase, pick fabrics for the last two Friday block party blocks and a couple of birthday blocks, and (ugh) finish gathering up stuff for the accountant to do our taxes.