Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wild Water!

We took a drive to the coast yesterday to check out the high surf at Jenner and Bodega Bay. Jenner is about 30 miles from Santa Rosa, but the road through the Russian River Valley via Guerneville, Rio Nido and Monte Rio is tortuous and has at least 3 stoplights to allow for one-way traffic due to road damage from the floods of December, 2005.

We went to the Sonoma Coast State Beach, more precisely Goat Rock Beach. We'd never been down the long, winding road to Goat Rock and the jetty that leads to the rock and serves as a parking lot. We have been having 50 to 60 mph winds over the last few days and we wanted to see the "surf advisory," the newspeople were yakking about.

There is almost always a surf advisory on the Sonoma Coast. The area is loaded with seals and their natural predators Great White sharks like to hang out and occasionally harass the surfers. Not only the Great Whites are a problem; the area is rife with rip currents that pull unwary waders out to sea and sleeper waves that can do the same.

I've been a visitor to the California coast since childhood and my parents retired to the Central Coast town of Cayucos, CA. I've seen some wild tides on my visits to my parents, but nothing like these waves.

It was scary and amazing.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Outta Here in the Morning

We are leaving in the morning for Carmel, CA to see my mother and father-in-law. The kids are all with their in-laws or other parents.

Here are my children Kate, 2 years/8 months and Daniel at 2 months in 1980.

From my house to your house:

Merry Christmas
Peace on Earth

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who Needs No-Knead Bread?

You do, I do, we all do!

Sometime back, whilst doing a perusal of the blogs that I normally visit once or twice a day, I came upon this post at Hedgehog's Life's A Quilt blog showing a lovely loaf of bread and linking to a recipe in the New York Times for making a loaf of no-knead artisan style bread.

When I saw this recipe, I was completely intrigued, because as an artisanal bread baker, I am used to long, slow rises for my doughs and sometimes taking two days to complete the entire process. So, Tuesday evening in the middle of dinner prep, I decided to start a batch. Since we keep our home as cold as a meat locker (just ask the kids), I put the dough bowl in the oven that I'd warmed up for a few minutes.

I have been baking artisan Italian breads for years using Carol Field's The Italian Baker, in fact, when hubby and I honeymooned in the Napa Valley, he bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer and I was off to the races. Our favorite recipe is Pane Pugliese and I divide the dough into eight pieces instead of two. Each mini-loaf is just right for two people and two bread-loving miniature Schnauzers. =)

Following the instructions last night, I shaped the dough and gave it a second rise, also in the oven and then preheated my Le Cruset dutch oven at the required temperature. Upending the dough into the hot pan was tricky, and it stuck to the tea towel, obviously not enough flour for the wet, wet dough.

In spite of that, the bread came out beautifully with a thick crunchy crust and nice interior. The flavor that bread develops when the wheat is allowed to rise slowly and develop fully is out of this world! Last night we enjoyed it with some lovely linguine in a minimalist sauce consisting of garlic, leek, homemade sausage with pine nuts and basil, green beans, mushrooms and broccoli with a dash of red pepper. (My typical "clean out the 'fridge" kind of recipe.) We did restrain ourselves and saved half of the loaf for our Solstice Supper tonight.

Even people who don't fancy themselves bread bakers can enjoy this recipe, it really is easy, easy, easy.

All you need is patience.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Last one for this year--1956

This is the last one I'll post for this year and it is our card for 1956.

I love this picture and you may notice that it is the same one I chose for my blog. Hubby says that this picture sums me up more than any other out there.

I call it my "What, me worry?" pose. As always, I'm off to the side of the other two, doing my own thing, a trend that continues to this day.

Maybe I'll sew tomorrow......

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Here is 1955.

I'm on the left side with my beat up dolly. The bed was my grandmother's and this picture was taken upstairs in the room that became my bedroom when I was 12 until I got married at 19.

Today was the joint board meeting for our guild, held here. At this meeting, the past years' officers get together for lunch with the upcoming slate of officers to plan the next year and pass the baton.

Since many of the jobs just shuffle from person to person, most of the attendees are the same with a few new faces. We had a great time and got to wish each other a Happy Holiday season in a smaller, more intimate venue.

Now, back to quilting!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

One More Time

Here is 1954 with my baby sister included. My older sister is now eight and I'm two and a half. My younger sister is 10 months old.

Spotty got out of it this year.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Ghost of Christmas Past, Part Two

Possibly boring, but here's another blast from the past, me and the family, circa 1953.

In this picture my Mom was almost 33, Dad was 39 and my sister was almost eight. I was eighteen months old and who knows how old Spotty was....the poor dear was born old, but she was the sweetest thing ever.

In six weeks time, my parents would move into the only house I remember living in and eight weeks after Christmas Day, my baby sister was born. Lots happening back in the day!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Ghost of Christmas Past, Part One

My Dad was a newspaper reporter, then editor, managing editor and finally publisher of our local paper, the Visalia Times-Delta between 1949 and 1975 when he retired. Every year, he would use his camera and the darkroom at the office to make a Christmas card for family friends and relatives. This was not his first, but it was the first in which I appeared, 1952 when I was six months old.

Don't we look so '50s? Mom, me, Spotty Annabel, Dad and my older sister who will be sixty next week.

Happy Holidays!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Quilt is in the Mail.....Really

Back to the quilting front!

I made this quilt for my long-time friend Maureen. We met as single moms in 1983 taking Chemistry as a pre-requisite for continuing our educations. She became a nurse, I opted for dental hygiene.

We were lifesavers for each other as neither of us had anyone we could trust who was willing to watch our preschool children other than their daycare providers. As a result, our kids frequently spent the night at each others' homes, went trick-or-treating, etc.

Maureen turned 50 eighteen months ago and I had already planned to make her a quilt. She asked me if I knew anyone who she could commission to make her a Christmas quilt, so my design was set. She had already collected some fabrics she liked and I added more and used Terry Atkinson's "Lucky Star" pattern, but mixed up my fabrics instead of making each star out of one fabric only. It is pretty eye-popping, but Maureen does love bright colors. I hope she likes this, it was my biggest attempt at free motion quilting on my Bernina.

Happy Birthday, Mo. I told you I'd have it done before Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas, Observed

We spent the weekend collecting our blended-global-thermo-nuclear family for our celebration of Christmas, observed (thanks Nancy, NP for the name). Some of us shopped, some went wine-tasting, we played Apples to Apples and charades, ate a fine prime-rib dinner, laughed, chatted and just had a wonderful time with our kids. Does life get any better than this?

The Cates family, Steve, Benjamin and Kate. The one in utero has been confirmed as a boy and they are going to name him Alexander. He's due April 17th and we can't wait to meet him!

Scott and Erin, recently escaped Seattle and now settled in Sacramento. Welcome back to the Golden State and we are so happy that it will no longer be a major undertaking to see you!!

Sarah, on the right with her girlfriend Kristin. Hostesses of our fabulous Thanksgiving last week, they are enjoying life and having a great time!!

Mike's step-daughter Michelle, her boyfriend Kala and three month old son Arjuna. We were so excited for Michelle to join us and re-connect with the other kids after almost 10 years!!

Benjamin takes after Mike's mom Daisy, (even without a blood relationship) and will scrape the guacamole bowl clean!

Finally, King and Queen for a day in our tissue paper crowns from the party poppers Sarah brought. We are still recovering from the party!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

June 14 on November 28

Thanks to Nancy, NP for continuing this meme.

The Rules:

1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)
. . . .
Okay, here goes:

Events (perhaps not the most important, but notable nonetheless)
  • 1648 Margaret Jones is the first woman hanged in Boston for witchcraft. (Did I mention that my mother's family, the Joneses were in Massachusetts at that time??)
  • 1777 Stars and Stripes adopted as Congress as the flag of the United States (Thank you Betsy Ross for your sewing skills!)
  • 1846 Bear Flag Revolt Anglo settlers in Sonoma, CA start a revolt against Mexico and declare the California Republic (Right here in Sonoma County! Sorry guys, we really should be better at sharing the state with it's rightful owners)
  • 1864 Alois Alzheimer, German Physician (What? Who?)
  • 1928 Che Guevara, Argentine born revolutionary
  • 1939 Steny Hoyer, Democratic Congressman, Nancy Pelosi's new right hand man in the House of Representatives.
  • 1801 Benedict Arnold (American Revolutionary hero then turncoat)
  • 1825 Pierre Charles L'Enfant, French Architect (Thanks for the great job designing Washington, DC. Well Done!)
  • 1986 Alan J. Lerner, American Composer (With Frederick Loewe composed the music for Camelot, My Fair Lady and many, many other wonderful musicals.)
There it is, the good, the bad and the ugly facts about my birthday, June 14th.

Other Notables
  • World Blood Donor Day
  • Flag Day in the US
  • Mother's Day in Afghanistan
  • Birthday of the US Army

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all from my house to yours.

Thanksgiving in our family always involved the re-telling of the famous story of my parents' first date on Thanksgiving in 1937, my mother's freshman year in college. Mom was in a sorority and was required to do numerous extra-curricular activities outside her given specialty (drama). She thought the editor of the school paper was cute so she opted for journalism. Well, it didn't take long for frosh journalism to turn into first date--like what, two months??

Dad came by the house on B Street in Sparks, Nevada to pick Mom up and was met by the family elders who had just finished their turkey repast. My grandparents Emma and Everett Jones and Emma's older sister and her husband, Etta and Fred Lippman--I can just picture them lined up on the sofa and armchairs. The stern faced Samuel sisters gave Dad the "fish-eye" as he later told the story, and though he was 23 at the time, he was pretty nervous. Of course, she was only 17, so her parents were probably a bit justified. According to Mom, her mother took her aside and hissed "He has a mouth just like Tom Fuller." (Tom Fuller being a short, ill-fated first marriage of my grandmothers.) It didn't help, though. My parents were pretty much "an item" after that day. =)

Here are a few of us at Thanksgiving 1971. Back row is Dad, my sister Jo and me. Front row is my cousin Ellen, cousin Barry, Mom and aunt Madaline.

Our turkey dinners were always the same and we liked it that way. I gained a reputation for "helping" with the turkey, which in my early years translated to patting the bird while Mom stuffed her (always a hen). As I got older, I got the "help" with the stuffing which translated into stirring it during the saute of the veggies and then actually stuffing the bird. And eating the leftover stuffing. (Or did I reverse the order of those?)

To the right, me working the bird in 1972 with Dad pretending to supervise.

And finally, Mom is watching me pat the bird in 1975. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the blue granite roasting pan that belonged to my grandmother. Mom brought it to me the first year I did a turkey at my house. It is still being used to stuffing preparation whenever I do a bird.

This year, we are starting an new tradition. We are going to one of the kid's homes for the holiday instead of playing host. Sarah and her girlfriend Kristin are hosting at Kristin's house and we are bringing potato rolls, pine nut and asiago cheese rolls, green beans with bacon (not that gawd-awful casserole) and hubby's famous cheesecake.

On Friday, the girls are coming back with us and we are going to Lambert Bridge Winery to hear the Russian Orthodox Choir sing in the barrell/tasting room. This should be awesome, as the room is very large with a huge fireplace.

Finally, I can't even express how lucky I feel in this life and how much I have to be thankful for. Our kids are grown and doing well, we have our health and each other and we live in the most beautiful place in the world. Who could ask for more?

I could. World peace. An end to poverty and illness in this country and all over the world.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Native Daughter of California

Thanks to my pal Nancy, Near Philadelphia, who is a Philly girl for sure!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland


North Central

The Inland North


The South

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why we quilters do what we do....

Baby Joel at three months with his Noah's Ark quilt.
'nuff said.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Widdy Biddy Blocks

For two years, my pal Nancy, near philadelphia (aka nana, near philadelphia) and I have been swapping blocks monthly. We nicknamed it the widdle biddy block swap because our blocks are 4 1/2 inches square. Were we nuts? Probably.

Last week, I finally got caught up for the remainder of 2006 and we have declared the swap finished. Pictured at right are my blocks for July to December 2006. The ones I did for Nancy, that is. Mine are still yet to be sewn, but are cut and the foundations printed. This is going to be a darling quilt whenever I finally get it done.

And....I finished the last row for the final sew-a-row of 2006, the Halloween special! This was such a wonderful project when it came to me, that I had a hard time figuring out what to add. It seemed perfect to me as is, with bat, cats, pumpkins and witches.

At first I tried three dimensional spiders from Liz Aneloski's book Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween, and though they were cute, they just didn't "cut" it. Then I tried paper pieced skeletons from Shirley Liby's More Holiday Paper Piecing Patterns, but they were tooooooo labor intensive and too small.

Finally, I went to a good, but often overlooked book on my shelf, Better Homes and Gardens' 501 Quilt Blocks. The pumpkin row came from that book and possibly the cats, so the ghosts seemed like the perfect thing. And they were.

Now, all I have to do is win this thing!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sew Busy!

Thanks to my friends at the NFL and the college leagues I have been getting a lot of sewing done!
First, I finished the baby quilt for hubby's former stepdaughter Michelle and her new son, Arjuna. Michelle's mom was married to hubby from the time she was 3 1/2 until she was 14. She's now almost 26 and a new mom. When she was a senior in H.S., she had to do a project and she opted to learn to make quilts, with me as her teacher. Here she is with one of the preemie quilt tops she made back in 1999. Since then, she has earned an AA and is one class short of her BS. She works as a paramedic and plans to enter the RN program and then get a BSN. I have no doubt she'll do it all. An only child until she was almost 20, she plans to have a passel of kids and loves being a mom.

During the time they were a family, Miniature Schnauzers were the dog of choice, first Julie and then Cindi (who I inherited), so when I found out that Michelle was pregnant, I decided to finish this quilt top I made in a workshop with Billie Lauder in July, 2004. The workshop was "There's a Dog on My Quilt," and I modified the pattern to make it a mini with slightly less psychotic looking eyes than Billie's original pattern. The dog on the quilt features 3-D eyebrows (like all good minis) and a large 3-D tongue, the better to lick your teeth when you first wake up in the morning!

I hand quilted the quilt with dog bones in the lattice and border. Now to pop it in the mail in time for the cool weather.

Finally, here is a picture of Michelle and her son Arjuna with my hubby when we got to meet him at 7 weeks on October 20th.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just Peachy!

Thanks to Kim at Peach Quilting for adding me to the Quilting For Pleasure blog ring. I'm among some great quilters here and also some of my long-time online pals like Desertsky and Nancy, NP.

On the quilting front, I just finished a panel quilt for my daughter Kate's good friend Christina, who recently home-birthed her third child, a 10 1/2 pound boy. (ouch) I made quilts for her two older children, but since Kate made me a quilt last year I thought she might want to do this one herself, so I bought her a "Good Ship Noah" panel by J. Wecker-Frisch and the go-withs. As time went by, Kate got pregnant herself and was not feeling too swift (still isn't at 16 weeks!). I took the materials and made the quilt, finishing just in time to leave it with her on my recent visit.

It was fun, and I got to practice my free-motion quilting skills, which definitely need some practice!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Its Benjamin NOT Batamin

Oh the joys of the almost-two-year old--this, via email from Mr. B's mommy this morning. She said he was hating his costume for some reason, even though he loves Batman.

She finally got him into the costume, but not happily as you can see. Hopefully, tonight when he sees Dad dressed up as Robin and Mom as Catwoman, he'll chill out, but maybe not.

Me, I'm considering calling Child Protective Services on my daughter for abusing this sweet child.

Been There, Done That

Now here's a meme I can get into!
Thanks to Nancy, NP for sharing this one.
I've been quilting for 32 years and now I have a "to do" list before I'm done.

Have You Ever?

1. Taken a quilting class
2. Paper pieced
3. Hand quilted
4. Hand pieced
5. Created your own pattern
6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book
7. Gone on a quilting retreat
8. Gone to a quilting convention
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book
10. Combined your quilting with some other craft
11. Done any three dimensional quilting - like fabric origami?
12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric
13. Made something using batiks
14. Dyed your own fabric
15. Made a landscape hanging
16. Made a New York Beauty quilt
17. Made a baby quilt
18. Made a wall hanging
19. Made a journal quilt
20. Submitted your journal quilt for viewing
21. Made a fabric postcard
22. Made a artistic trading card (ATC)
23. Exchanged artistic trading cards
24. Mailed our your postcard?
25. Made a lap quilt
26. Made a twin size quilt
27. Made a full size quilt
28. Made a queen size quilt
29. Made a king size quilt
30. Donated a quilt to charity
31. Sent a quilt out to a quilter
32. Thrown away a UFO
33. Given away a UFO
34. Cut up a UFO and made something else with it
35. Ripped fabric instead of cutting it
36. Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever
37. Done any Sashiko
38. Quilted your own quilt
39. Did free motion quilting
40. Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt
41. Given away your quilt to a stranger
42. Swapped fabric
43. swapped blocks
44. participated in a round robin
45. participated in an ostritch round robin (a WHAT?)
46. kept a journal about your quilting
47. written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt
(Hey, Shelina, where's #48?)
49. kept a blog about your quilting
50. participated in a gift exchange
51. sent a quilting random act of kindness
52. joined a newsgroup about quilting
53. made a quilt using a pattern from [ ]quilterscache
54. joined an online block of the month
55. made a block of the month quilt
56. subscribed to a fabric of the month club
57. bought fabric at an online store
58. bought fabric from ebay
59. own more than one sewing machine (what a silly question!)
60. have a room dedicated solely to sewing
61. hide a fabric purchase
62. finished making a holiday gift before July
63. made a landscape quilt
64. made a quilt using a book from the library
65. worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild
67. become president of a quilt guild
68. taught a quilting class
69. helped someone else get the quilting bug
70. taught a child to sew
71. made a Dear Jane block
72. Made a miniature quilt
73. watch QNN - quilters news network
73. subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country (aha! It's #48 dressed up to look like #73!)
74. subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country
75. buy fabric from another country
76. swapped completed quilts with someone else
77. asked for quilting help online
78. gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help
79. bought fabric at a local quilt shop
80. travelled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop
81. used nontraditional fabric for a quilt - something other than cotton or flannel 82. made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog
83. make comments on someone's quilting blog
84. meet a quilter in person after only having talked online
85. had a quilting retreat in your home
86. own quilting software
87. made a quilt you designed on your quilting software
88. done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc.
89. had any quilt related subject published anywhere
90. donated a quilt to a museum
91. bought a quilt from a thrift store
92. made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store
93. made a quilt using photos
94. made a pastel quilt
95. made a quilt using brights
96. made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country - African, Asian, etc.
97. made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts
98. had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc.
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show?
100. won any ribbons with your quilts?
101. had more finished quilts than UFOs
102. made a quilt using reproduction fabrics
103. took a break from quilting that was longer than a year
104. made money with your quilting
105. had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Desertsky Quilting: American Hero tops needed

Desertsky Quilting: American Hero tops needed

Go check out Desertsky's blog and get with it! Why not designate Veterans Day Weekend as a sew Red White and Blue day and donate your finished top to this worthy cause.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Adios Neighbors

My hubby Greyhair says it so well, better than I ever could because I'd cry if I tried. Karen was a new member of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild when I joined in 2003, but didn't rejoin after 2004. I figured it just wasn't her gig. So sad.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Visit With Mr. B.

I just got home from a visit with my favorite 20 month old, my grandson Mr. B (aka Benjamin). I took Amtrak to Fresno on Amtrak last Tuesday. Our plan was to make his Halloween costume as we did last year, but his Mommy, who is 14 weeks pregnant with his sibling, decided that she'd rather have Nana helping with the B-Boy than tied to a sewing machine, so that is what we did.

Mr. B, at right, is one very busy guy, and like the picture on the right, is seldom seen with a clean face.

On Wednesday, the weather was gorgeous so he and I spent a couple of hours out in the backyard while Mommy napped. As you can see, he worked on many important things like digging in the flowerbeds, chasing the kitty, Dinah, also known as "D," stripping flowers from the lantana, and just hanging out. Of course, all that activity made him very, veryhungry so Mommy fixed a noodle cup for him and I laughed myself silly watching them see who could eat them faster. (I think he won! ) His Mom wanted to make sure that he didn't wake up at 03:30 a.m. asking for cereal again that night!

On Thursday, we did pumpkin carving, or at least tried to do it. Mr. B. wasn't quite sure what to do with the pumpkin innards, but he was also pretty sure he didn't want to be the one to touch the ooey gooey punkin guts, so he decided to

do it!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pacific International Quilt Festival

P.I.Q.F. is always like old home week.

When we got our first PC, back in 1994, I searched out online quilting groups because I worked full time and the local guild was a day group (Visalia-Tulare, CA). I found a group called InterQuilt, based out of New York and promptly joined. Through this group, I discovered a number of Californians and a year or so later, we had a get together called a SNIQGT for Sierra Nevada InterQuilt Get Together. I met a bunch of great gals, some who have become friends for life.

The first picture is my pal Becky, the only one you'll see today that I met in real life first. Becky and I joined the Santa Rosa guild at the same time and became instant pals. She's pictured above in green. I'm next to her. In front is my Sistah (as opposed to Sister) Kathy B. from Woodland who I met at that first get together and Molly from Sacto, also at the first GT. We didn't expect to see Molly at PIQF, it was just a lucky accident that she happened to be having coffee and we walked by. Lucky day!

Once inside the show, we were taking our first break and who should we see but Marilyn K. from Novato and her hubby Ralph! We last saw Marilyn five years ago in a rather uncomfortable situation caused by a former mutual friend, one of those kind of people who leaves dead bodies behind in their relationships. Kathy and I made amends to Marilyn, something that had been on our minds for a very long time and Marilyn graciously accepted our apologies. We look forward to more get togethers with she and her sister Christine in the future!

For lunch that day, we hooked up with Susan (aka Desert Sky), our favorite former long arm quilter who now travels the U.S. with her hubby Paul in their 5th wheel trailer. Susan is on the left and pictured with Fran from Chatsworth, her very bestest friend. Kathy and I have been having mini-GT's with them since our first trip to Sisters in 2000. It is always good to see them!

Finally, that evening (was this a busy day, or what?), we met Ray and Donna for dinner. At left, from left to right, Donna, Becky, Kathy, Ray and Jan. We've known Ray for years through IQ and then Fat Quarters and Donna is Ray's buddy and now ours.

I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful women through a hobby that is my (almost) lifelong passion. Does it get any better than this? I almost forgot, PIQF had tons of great vendors and beautiful quilts. Lots of artsy quilts, and while I am more of a traditionalist myself, I always love eye candy!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Autumn is here!

I just got back and was checking out the blogs and Nancy, Near Philadelphia had this post up and it made me laugh because while I'm a "winter" on the Color Me Beautiful plan (advice I also follow 20 plus years later), I am definitely a Fall person and Wine Country autumns are wonderful!

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yet Another Sew A Row

I just finished adding a row to this one courtesy of Phyllis. She brought it to a fifth Thursday sewing retreat (whenver there is a 5th Thursday in a month, we get together and make items to sell in the boutique as a fund-raiser), homeless and needing a fifth row.

She implored someone to take it, looking straight at me, knowing I'm a sucker. So, I took it and thanks to the previous seamstresses, all I had to do was put together the precut rows of squares and add them on.

If only they were all that easy!

None of the applique has been stitched down, so this one will only work as a wallhanging and is not my style. A virtual guarantee that I'll win when the drawing comes along in December.

Meanwhile, tommorw is P.I.Q.F. day!!!

I'll meet up with Sistah Kathy B. at 3-ish and toddle down to Sunnyvale where we will hook up with our Sistah Becky from Lompoc. For 2 days and nights we will sew, dish, shop, nosh and ogle the beautiful quilts to our hearts' content. We are hoping to hook up with some of our online friends from Fat Quarters (to non quilters: not a body part) like Susan, Fran, Ray, Donna, Karrin, Molly and whoever else is around. Can't wait!!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thanks Susan

My old pal Susan aka DesertSky, formerly a long-arm quilter living in Arizona, now a full time traveller tagged me to list 5 wierd things about myself. My first reaction was "only five?", but after thinking about it, I seem, well, just so darned normal....maybe that should be #1.

1. I have 5 piercings in my left ear. There is no particular reason why; I just felt like it. My daughter Kate treated me to one of them as a Mother's Day gift. My long time friend Chris and I did 2 when she came to visit one time because we had to buy the earrings in pairs, so why waste one?

2. I like Halloween better than Christmas. Some would say it is because I'm a witch,--with a B.

3. I sleep with the windows open and a fan running almost all year. Hubby breaks the wind, OOPS, I mean *is my wind break* and the dogs snuggle up too, so its all good. Minimizes hot flashes, too.

4. I'm not fond of large groups of people and even small groups wear me out after a while. I've always been a bit of a loner and need a break from the constant stimulation of being around other people (other than Hubby).

5. I've never watched any of the Star Wars movies, or Desperate Housewives or American Idol and I don't care. I'm a geek. Give me PBS or something decent on the History Channel or better yet a good book.

See, that isn't so wierd.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Little Reminder

Never hurts.
Thanks to Lynne at Bending the Third Rail for sharing this.

Not sure whether to feel more grateful or guilty.

Friday, September 29, 2006

La Familia

Yesterday we went down to San Anselmo for a mini-reunion at my cousin Ellen's home. Present were Dad's baby sisters Madaline and Blanche who will be 82 and 87 respectively in November. Also present were two of Blanche's granddaughters and some of their kids and two of my cousin Ellen's grown daughters. Pictured at right are Madaline and Blanche, the last two siblings of Dad's family left.

Below is a picture of Madaline with my cousin Ellen, an adoptions counselor in Marin County.

It was great to meet my Aunt Blanche's granddaughters Lori and Tammy, daughters of my cousin Barbara who couldn't be there. Laurie and Tammy both brought some of the kids, Tammy's boys are pictured below. The picture below has two of the kids, Ellen's daughter Camilla (in hat), Laurie, Tammy, Melissa and the boys.

Finally, there is a picture of most of "the girls", Ellen, Madaline, Blanche, Jan and Laurie. We had a lovely time and I really enjoyed talking about my Dad with his little sisters and seeing a few of the Brackett family members.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Finally done, the top to the comfort quilt for Norma and Dennis Viglienzone in memory of their son Caesar, who was killed in Iraq on February 1, 2006.

Everyone in guild wanted to "do something," but no one wanted to take the bull by the horns, so I did. Ironic, in that I am probably one of the members of guild most opposed to the darn war, but there you have it.

Norma's buddy Vandy procured the photos and transferred them to fabric and Phyllis trimmed them into two consistent sizes. Thank heaven for that, I might have stumbled on that step, but it allowed me to design from there. I used my Electric Quilt software and the Judy Martin's Stars and Sets program for the basic layout. Several months ago, we had a work party at Teddy Bear Quilts and members of the guild showed up to make blocks for the quilt and I assembled them and added the borders this week.

Vandy will quilt it and Betty will bind it. All I have left to do is make a label for it.

Also, ironically, I displayed it at guild yesterday after Norma left. Yesterday was International Day of Peace.

'Nuff said.