Monday, December 21, 2009

Time is Passing Way Too Quickly

When did Christmas start coming every six months?
Does that happen at your house? I know it happens here!

I could almost swear that just a few months ago, I was putting up a Christmas tree.
The old strings of lights were blown. I remember like it was yesterday.
And I remember putting everything away a few days later.
I hate shopping at the mall. I only go if I have to at Christmas time.
I try to find other places to shop (like the internet).
So, how come I find myself shopping again, so soon after 2008 Christmas.
I am probably still paying for last year's shopping.

I ordered Netflix for my sister's family this morning.
I know I just ordered it a little while ago for last Christmas.
We planted a new tree out front last year. It still looks the same size.
Even Tessy looks the same as last year.

So how come Christmas comes again, so fast after the last one???
Time is passing way too quickly, or else someone is playing a trick on me!
This may be the reason I am dragging my feet.
Still no tree, no lights up and no presents wrapped.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

I don't think I am supposed to be doing this, not now, not less than 10 days before Christmas.

What, you ask am I doing?

I started painting my downstairs bathroom a few days ago.

So I must not have a brain in my head?
Why this little room is taking so long, I don't know.

It started with the doors. The contractor white had faded long ago to a mellow off white. That's not so bad, but after 17 years the woodwork was really showing a bit of neglect. Time to paint the doors!
But, you know how that goes. The white doors made the old drab white walls look even drabber and more neglected. So, why not just run the roller and brush on to the walls.

Then white walls started looking really WHITE. Too white. So, I decided I needed an accent wall. I have now laid down one coat of a medium green that I think might be too dark. I am going to finish this, even if the color is wrong. I can change it later since it is just one small wall.

Anyway, long story short. I should be getting ready for Christmas instead of painting.

No tree is up, no lights are up, no presents are wrapped, no cookies are baked,
What was I thinking?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baby Umbrella Quilt

Here are pictures of the baby quilt that got shorter. As you can see, it was really an easy fix to remove a couple of rows. I wish all problems were so easily taken care of.
Someone told me Christmas is almost here. That means I should probably do some shopping.
I need to put the sewing and quilting on hold.
But, oh, it is just so much more fun!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It Got Shorter

I quilted my little baby quilt the other day. It got shorter! Not the time it took to quilt, but the actual quilt.
And I'm not talking an inch or so. Say, how about 11 inches!

I made this cute little quilt, all baby blues, yellows and umbrellas.
I found the perfect backing. I didn't have to piece it. That's always a bonus.

I loaded the backing on the frame, or should I say I started to load the backing.
I pricked my finger with a pin, got blood on the fabric and had to take it off and put it through the washer and dryer.

OK. Do it tomorrow.

Tomorrow came. I started all over again.
Success! The simple meandering quilting that I do on the frame was looking halfway decent.

Until I saw what I did.
Did I say " Oops, I did it again"

I quilted down to the last couple of passes that I would need to make with my Juki and what did I see behind my quilt?

Not cute little polka dot backing fabric, but canvas. The stuff that I pinned my backing to. The stuff that stays on the roller.

I caught myself just in time. I didn't quilt over the canvas.

I had put the quilt top on in the wrong direction. No wonder I had so much extra backing on the sides.

"So what to do" I asked myself. I could take this thing off the frame, go buy more backing, wash and dry it, sew more backing to the back, or something else.

I did the something else.

The quilt is made up of rows. So I unsewed two rows.
It got shorter.

The baby will never know.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still Here

I'm still here. I've just been taking a break. Today I finally pinned on a small baby quilt on my Juki /Grace set up. I quilted a few passes and my back was hurting, so I will finish that tomorrow. Then I will post a photo.

I've been busy making potholders. I have put them up on Etsy to sell. They are made with flannel and are chenille on one side with Insulbright in the middle.

I started another quilt. It's a new one and will be my next pattern.
To finish it, I need some black Kona.
Sounds like a trip to the fabric store.

I put up a new item on my website.
Well.... it's only half new. I am gift wrapping Stitching Lines for you to send to quilting buddies. If you have tried Stitching Lines, I am sure you know it would make a great little
Secret Santa gift or stocking stuffer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Meandering Pines

I hope I haven't shown this Meandering Pines quilt before. I can't find it in my archives. but if I have, I apologize. Anyway, I finally finished it up with the binding. That task can really slow me down. Absolutely, it's not one of my favorite aspects of quilting!

The quilt is made up of lots of different greens. My scrap box got dumped over and over again, looking for just the right "pine trees".

The light/medium blue dotted batik was perfect for the sky.
And I just happened to have a woody batik that I have kept around forever.
It was calling out to me " I am a trunk".

Nobody would know, but I messed up on the block placement for this particular quilt.
And I'm not telling you what I did wrong! It works either way.

That's one more project finished!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moving Day

Today is moving day for my daughter Carol and her husband Doug. This has been a very long process for them.
They started looking for a house to buy way back in April. They wanted in on the government rebate and the houses were priced right. What they found, though, was that low prices can be deceiving. With all the foreclosures and short sales on the market, they thought that surely they would find a house quickly. What they didn't realize was how much of a hand the greedy banks had in all these sales. Yea, the houses would be priced low, but that was only a teaser. As soon as the bank would get a few offers, they would put out a request for a "best and final" offer. Carol was outbid close to 30 times. The final prices were sometimes well over 30-40 thousand above asking price and this was for some pretty yucky houses!

The banks got this economy into the shape it is now and they are prolonging it by screwing around with the buyers. The worst was a short sale with a bank that eventually pulled out of the deal without even notifying Carol, Doug, the sellers realtor or Carol's realtor.

Happy Moving Day Carol and Doug. You deserve it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A New Old One

Last year, at a quilt show, another vendor told me that if I was going to continue doing quilt shows, I would have to constantly make new samples. And she was so right.
I have had customers remind me, that they have seen my quilts somewhere else
where I was a vendor. Ouch!
They may like what they see, but they also want to see something new.
That means, not only do I need to work on new designs, each with new quilts, but keep going back and remaking the old.

So, in the interest of presenting something new and exciting, I made a new Scattered Leaves quilt this week. It came out very pretty.

The inner border is always a little tricky for me.
This time the quilt was getting a little too serious. Too matchy, matchy.
I found this beautiful stripe in my fabric cupboard that was a little woodsy looking and
I think it lightened up the whole quilt.

My daughter Carol is going to see this and want this quilt.
She loves these colors.

I wish I had made this for the last few shows. The time of year was just right.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Found A Really Neat Blog

As a child of the fifties, (oops, I just gave my age away) I always love finding photos from that era. And I found the neatest blog today. It really brings backs lots of memories. Check it out: 1950 Atomic Ranch House blog. It is lots of fun.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Magazine Ad

I thought I would show you the add I placed in Fons & Porter Easy Quilts. It's in the issue that is on the newstand right now, the winter issue.

Adds are so expensive. This was actually the least expensive of all the quilting magazines.
The March issue of Fons & Porter Love of Quilting will show Stitching Lines on their
new product page.
Can't wait to see that. That's free advertising!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Little Quilt

I made this little quilt last week. Sometimes when I demonstrate my Stitching Lines at shows, I will show the quilters how easy it is to make flying geese rectangles. So, I planned ahead and used fabrics that would look good with this border print.

I call this quilt Mixed Up Geese, because the flying geese are flying in two directions. But it also looks a little like rick rack.

I quilted this with the built-in serpentine stitch on my sit down machine.
I have already washed it, so it is nice and crinkly.

I found a cute little kitty cat print for the backside. It had all the right colors.
And that's about as childish as I get when I choose fabrics for children's quilts!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One Sick Puppy

Before I tell you about my dog, I want to thank Mary, over at Quilt Hollow for posting a mention about my Stitching Lines. Mary, your photos look like still-lifes. I am a new Follower and can't wait to read more!

If you have followed my blog for very long, you will know that I am the proud owner of Tess, the one and only Perfect Puppy. That's not to deny any of you the same claim to ownership. But, I don't know your dogs.
Tess is 4 1/2 years old now, hardly a puppy, but still one at heart. She has been a perfectly healthy and lively lab retriever mix. She lives to play fetch. And this PP actually will drop the ball or stuffed animal at my feet. She has enough smarts to figure out that, that is the only way I will throw it again and again and again.
Well, two nights ago, she really threw us for a loop. I was upstairs at my computer. Tess was at the top of the stairs. She usually lays there when I am at my desk, kind of like a watchdog. I turned off the lights and headed downstairs with Tess. She acted a little strange, but even more so, when we got to the landing. She wouldn't come any further. It was like her legs just weren't going to take her all the way down.
Finally, she came down, with quite a bit of urging from me. We went out to the front yard, where a neighbor was walking her itsy bitsy little dog. Tess would only sit and watch the other doggy. This was very unusual. Tess loves to chase other doggys if they come to visit.
Anyway, as the evening went on, Tess sat more and more and would not get up and walk.
Dave gave her some Tylenol, to see if that would help her. She was obviously in some kind of pain, although, we couldn't figure where.
By 10:30, Dave and I were getting worried, so we took her to a 24 hour vet.
Of course, just like kids, by the time we got there, Tess was feeling better( probably due to Tylenol) and just walked in.
This was just another adventure to her, with more of her favorites..............people who liked her!
The doctor could find nothing wrong with her. Everything checked out OK. We left.
Andy slept downstairs on the couch, with Tess beside him on the floor. Tess wasn't going upstairs, that was for sure. And he was very worried about her.
The next morning, she was in bad shape again. So Andy and I took her to her own vet. Once again, all systems were up and running. Nothing could be found that was wrong with Tess.
The doctor gave me some pain medication for her and sent us home. One pill knocked her out for most of the day. When she awoke she was fine. And this morning she was out chasing toys again.
We have no idea what caused her the pain and probably never will. I'm just so glad she is feeling better.

Quilts From Demo Half-Square Triangles

I have been having a lot of fun these last couple of weeks making small size quilts.
As many of you know, at the quilt shows I go to, I sit and demonstrate my Stitching Lines ALL DAY LONG. So, now I come home, divide up the colors and have started sewing them into quilts. I just can't stand the thought of tossing all those half-square triangles away.
Below is what I finished up this morning.
I started out with a very different fabric for the stripe, but it was boring.
I found this beautiful leaf print on my shelf and it was perfect.
I had been saving it for just the right project.
Don't you just love it when your stash gets used up?

A couple rows of half-square triangles doesn't even start to use up my
ever growing pile of squares!

I quilted it with a simple built-in serpentine stitch on my domestic machine.
I still can't get to my quilting frame.
(A very messy offspring is occupying that room at the moment)!

I did have to buy some new fabric for the backing. I think this fabric is perfect.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It Can Only Get Better- I Hope

This is becoming a recording. "Quilt show is a bust...Low Attendance...Where Are All the Quilters".
Vendors are starting to become very discouraged at the quilt shows I have attended lately. I am surprised we even go to the trouble of packing up everything, unpacking, setting up a booth, and then packing up again a few days later. I hope it is just a reflection of the economy and that everyone's sales will get better. But....IT REALLY IS DISCOURAGING! Some vendors don't even make enough sales to cover their expense of the booth, travel fees and the cost of inventory sold. Luckily for me, I have been able to cover all my expenses.
I'm not ready to give this up yet. I am still new to this whole business and consider everywhere I go, as mere advertising. I still enjoy meeting new quilters and the camaraderie of the vendors. I like the networking and I love seeing all the beautiful quilts.
I just hope it gets better sooner than later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Day, Another Show

I am off to another quilt show. I am hoping the attendance is better than the last two shows. This guild did advertising on two radio stations, so my hopes are high. They were shattered a bit yesterday when I found that my booth was not in the large room, but in a smaller one that only has room for two booths. Well, at least the lighting was fantastic, something I can't say for the larger room. Since, I have the ideal job at a show, (I get to sew on my machine all day), I better find some more fabric to take with me. Wish me luck!
Oh, the show is put on by El Camino Quilter's Guild and is at CSUSM. It is on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Use It All Up

You may think this is trash, but don't throw these out just yet.

They work great for sewing together binding strips using a bias seam.

Place the binding strips right sides together at a right angle.

Cut your leftover Stitching Lines to the length of the diagonal.
Stitch on the solid line.

Tear away.

Trim seam and press open.
Fold strip in half and press.

Duh! I was using a new strip when I sewed my binding strips together. Even the inventor can learn something new!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Am Lovin' Triangles

As if I hadn't made enough Half-Square Triangles at the quilt shows lately, I came home from the last one and made more. They are just way too much fun. Of course, I am using my Stitching Lines. There is no way in the world I would be making this many without using them.

I wanted to try making a little baby or tot size quilt and I didn't have enough HSTs that were the right color. So I made them all in one day and sewed them all together the next. I think the quilt came out very cute. I even quilted it right at my sit down machine. It's been washed already, so that's why it already looks all crinkled up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quilt Show and Half-Square Triangles

The quilt show was a bust! It was like throwing a party and nobody came. The vendors were disappointed. The guild was disappointed. And the quilter's missed out. Too bad. There were lots of beautiful quilts to see and lots of fun stuff to buy. With such poor attendance, I was lucky to eek out a small profit. Always better than a loss! Oh well, three weeks to my next show and it's in town. No long distances to travel. Even better!
Remember how I told you that I demonstrated my Stitching Lines at the quilt show. I have made enough half-square triangles to last me a lifetime. And I finally got some of them sewed into a lap quilt. The quilt has 54o half-square triangles, and I haven't even started to scrape the bottom of the barrel. It is 20 HSTs x 27 HSTs.

Time to start sewing some more together!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Show

Just a quick note here...........Andy and I set up my booth this morning at CSUF. This is the Orange County Quilter's Guild Quilt Show. We have become pretty effecient at booth set up. Just under two hours and we were done. And Carol and I pride ourselves on how fast we can tear it apart. We have been known to be on the road in 45 minutes from the minute the show closes. As much as I like doing a quilt show..........I love the drive home after the last day!!! If anyone out there in Bloggerland is in Fullerton, CA this weekend, come on by and say hello.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slow Start

The first three hours of the San Diego Quilt Show were pretty slow. All the vendors around me decided I was the only one to make a sale, actually 4 sales. Last night was only a preview night and was extremely sloooooooooow. My daughter Jill brought along her leather purses and made one sale. Hope it gets better the next three days.
Oh, and talk about a litter awkward. My previous boss (Quilt in a Day) set up their booth right across from me. Oh, well.........someone to talk to.
You can see Jill's leather purses at her Etsy shop.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


That really is a picture of James Taylor. I apologize for the absolutely terrible quality. Like I said before, I am no photographer.
After setting up my booth at the San Diego Quilt show, I met my husband at Carl's Jr for a delectable gourmet meal and then headed out to Valley Center for a James Taylor concert.
The music was great...lots of oldies, but goodies. Lots of standing and dancing..........not me, but others. I just do some toe dancing! The crowd was quite a bit older. I would like to say older than me, but most were probably close to the same age.
James Taylor is my husband, Dave's favorite singer.....always has been, so he was very happy to finally get to see him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Car Is Packed

My trusty Mazda 5 is all packed up for the San Diego Quilt show. My car is not a mini van, even though my kids all call it that. It is what Mazda calls a Sport Wagon. Doesn't that sound less like a "soccer mom car"? But the kids say if it has sliding doors, it's a van. I guess you could call it a mini, mini van!

Actually, I once was a soccer mom, to three soccer players and only one time did I have a van. We called it our was a yellow Volkswagon camper van. We actually tried camping in that a few times with the five of us. I remember everything had to be put outside at night just to make room for all the beds. After that, I always drove a sedan. I never did need the big mini van. Everything fit in the trunk.
But, once the kids were grown and on there own, I needed something that I could go to quilt shows as a vendor. So that's what I have now........a sport wagon.
Even so, the small size of this car pretty much determines what I can take to a show.
At the San Diego show, there are very nice men(union workers) who will unload my car and load it back up). Isn't that wonderful!

Today, my friend Candace, of Squash House Quilts, posted some beautiful purses that she tested for Stephanie over at Loft Creations. The purses are gorgeous and certainly give Candace a head start on her fall accessories. I think I want to make a few of those.

Well, I am off. Hope it is a good show.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I rescued my quilt and changed the design!
I foolishly used some brand new fabric that I had bought in Maine while on my vacation. It's a beautiful batik with a bluish green background and green leaves. I thought it would work as a border and then I would pull it in to the interior part of the quilt. I was wrong. It is fine as a border, but looses it's impact when cut into smaller pieces.
And yes, I can save the quilt. I will probably give it to my daughter, Carol. She loves anything with blue and green.
By just changing color placement, I think this design will different fabric. Do I see a shopping trip in my future?
I wish I could show you more. Just a peak, since it is a new design in progress!

See how the upper triangle fades into the background and the lower one contrasts with the background. It's the same fabric. The top should have the same look as the bottom. It really makes a difference in the design.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Do you know what I did yesterday? The ultimate screw-up in quilting!!
I cut wrong and wasted fabric and now I don't have enough. I really need the same fabric. A substitute won't do. I had to just put it away last night. I was so mad. That means a trip to a shop 45 minutes away. And I bought it so long ago, that I am doubtful that the shop will still have it in stock. Does the word BUMMER come to mind???

I am going to my first guild meeting today!
I have always thought about visiting a guild, but for some reason never did. But my neighbor and friend, Jane, has talked me into going. Actually, I don't think she has ever gone before either. We both needed moral support!
It should be fun as there will be a speaker talking about machine quilting. And boy, do I need all the help I can get in that department. In fact, I just dropped off another quilt, yesterday, with my quilter buddy, Amie. She does wonders. I pretty much let her do her thing.
I do have a little quilting setup, a Juki and a Grace frame. But, beside the fact that I can't get to it right now (due to Andy's temporary move back home), it is something that I have never really gotten the hang of. I don't have the paitence for practicing. I only put on good quilts. And since I don't want to ruin them, I just quilt what I know how......stipling and meandering. That can get pretty boring!
Maybe I will learn some new tricks today. I love a good demo.

Just a pretty picture to end my blog.
Have a good day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Flying Geese Blocks and Stitching Lines

I thought you would like to see how to make Flying Geese blocks using
Marin & Colusa Stitching Lines. I love this method. There is no waste and blocks come out perfect, as long as you have cut and placed the squares accurately. I made (4) unfinished 3" x 5-1/2" Flying Geese blocks. Stitching Lines will work with any size Flying Geese block up to 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".
To make (4)unfinished 3" x 5-1/2" Flying Geese blocks you will need (1) 6-1/4" square for the goose and (4) 3-3/8" squares for the sky.
Measure the diagonal of the large square. You can use the Stitching Lines as your ruler. Cut the Stitching Lines strip 1/4" shorter than the diagonal.
Stack a smaller square and the large square, right sides together,matching one corner and two sides. Pin in place if desired, keeping the pins away from the diagonal.
Stack a second square and the large square, right sides together, matching opposite corner and two sides. Pin in place if desired, keeping the pins away from the diagonal.
Place the pre-cut Stitching Lines strip over the diagonal.
Line up the center line of Stitching Lines strip with the upper and lower corners of smaller square. The two corners of the square should be sticking out above and below the
Stitching Lines strip.
Stitch on one dotted line.
Stitch on the second dotted line.
Tear off one side of Stitching Lines.
Tear off second side of Stitching Lines.
Lift off center section.
Cut apart between the stitching lines.
Press smaller triangles away from larger triangle on both units.
Place another small square on top of large triangle, right sides together, matching corner and two sides. Cut a Stitching Lines strip 1/4" shorter than diagonal of small square.
Stitch on both dotted lines.
Tear away the Stitching Lines.
Cut apart between stitching lines.

Press small triangles away from large triangle. Trim all "dog ears".

To make any size Flying Geese block, use this formula:
Cut the goose or (1) large square 1-1/4" larger than the finished length of the block.
Cut the sky or (4) smaller squares 7/8" larger than the height of the finished block.
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