Sunday, March 30, 2008

Out O'Here

From Santa Rosa on something like this:

To this, Lancaster County Pennsylvania where some folks look like this:

I'm hopping on Chicken Hawk Airlines (Alaska/Horizon) tonight and connecting in Los Angeles for a red-eye flight to Pittsburgh, PA.

In LA, I'll meet up with my Sistah Becky and in Pittsburgh we will be picked up by our Sistah Kat from Ohio who will already have picked up our Sistah Kathy whose flight arrived a bit earlier from Sacramento. We will then motor to Strasburg (Almost Near Philadelphia), for a four night stay at the White Oak Bed and Breakfast. During our stay, we plan to visit The Old Country Store, The Lancaster Quilt & Textile Museum, Sauders, Miller's, and who knows where else.

I can't wait to see my pals again and as a special bonus, Nancy, Near Philadelphia is going to come out and join us on Tuesday! Other than missing my Sweetie, which always happens after the first 48 hours or so, this is gonna be one fun trip!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Arrrgh, Pirate's Booty

Toni, aka The Quilting Pirate, organized a new swap for those of us who missed out on getting into the Doll Quilt Swap III.

Designing, quilting and swapping these mini-quilts has become addicting it seems as I'm now involved in the Mini Round Robin, The Spring Fling Round Robin and now this.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Milk of Human Kindness

Go check out Mrs. Goodneedle's Blog and read her post from NPR's Morning Edition. It amazes me that this man could swallow his fear and turn a dangerous situation into a learning opportunity.

Why can't we all just get along?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Fling Round 2 Done!

Several weeks ago, I received a center block for the Spring Fling Round Robin from Kate in the UK. I loved it instantly and set to work designing a border in EQ6, but dismissed it as too fussy. Back to the old computer drawing board, and this was the result.

Well, not exactly. I envisioned the brown strips continuing on from her basket bottoms as if they had passed under her small black outer border, and they'd have been the same thickness as the basket bottoms. It would have been a whole different look and I didn't realize it until I was done, but as we all know......done is done!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Old Dog Learns New Trick

I just finished an addition to Carolle's Sew-A-Row and I even used a new technique I'd only read about.

I've been a Wonder Under user for over 20 years when I made decorated sweat shirts and T shirts for my kids. Heck, I even blew out the transmission in my beloved Husquvarna sewing machine trying to stitch over Heat-n-Bond heavy (note to self: read the instructions). That said, I often don't like the stiffness that using a fusible web gives the finished product.

Several weeks ago, I saw a post somewhere out there on the internet about using a fusible thread to prepare for machine applique so that a web was not needed. I was all over that!

The product is "Charlotte's Fusible Web" developed by Charlotte Warr Anderson for Superior Threads, and when used in the bobbin with Superior's "Monopoly" (not to be confused with the board game) permits the user to fuse shapes temporarily to a background for machine applique.

The tutorial for using the thread was very helpful and using this technique, I was able to machine applique my pieces easily.

Color me happy because I LOVE learning something new!!

PS: My row is the "Love" with vintage valentines.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

What is a Nice Italian Girl...

doing wishing you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day?

Well, we're all Irish on St. Paddy's Day, aren't we?

In loving memory of my parents, my father the first generation Italian who always wore red on St. Paddy's Day to annoy my mother and her half ounce of Irish blood.

Wearing red and eating corned beef and cabbage tonight...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tagged by Su

Su tagged me last week while I was visiting in Fresno to show what I'm ironing with, so here it is.

Let me start by saying that until recently I was an advocate of buying cheap irons and replacing as necessary. Being a klutz by nature and having teens at home abusing the iron, I always went cheap. In fact, I used to buy them at Montgomery Wards and get the extended warranty. If the iron croaked during the first 3 years, I simply took it into the store and traded it for a new one. Is it any wonder they went out of business?

Fast forward a few years and I figured that I was ready for a quality iron since it would be set up in a location where it wouldn't be bumped into on a daily basis. Naturally, I bought a Rownenta and use the big boy when I'm ironing yardage or, heaven forbid, clothes on the ironing board. When I bought the big iron, I opted for a model from Macy's that was not the bottom-of-the-line model sold by JoAnn's. I'd heard horror stories about the JoAnn's models spitting and such, so I thought I had that problem licked. I have to say that while it doesn't spit, I'm less than happy with the performance of this beast because the auto shut-off clicks off at the drop of a hat and it doesn't' seem to get all that hot.

The little Rowenta travel iron is from JoAnn's because I was made aware of how much juice a full-sized iron takes when left on. I keep the little guy on my cutting table and have it plugged into a timer just in case I forget to turn it off when I head downstairs. It works well enough. I guess I'm just never satisfied, but cheap irons really do a fine job all in all.

Finally, the Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative. I love this stuff! The Caribbean Beach reminds me of a sachet or something from the neighbor's cedar closet when I was a kid and I just love it. It reminds me of playing dress-up with the neighbor girls way back when.

On the stitching front, I've been a busy girl. I started late, but am working on Bea's Quilter's Blessings BOM and finished the Owl and the Pussycat block for my Halloween BOM.

UPDATE: Mystery of the undersized Pampered Pooch charm pack is solved. Kathy and I were at Quilted Vine on Sunday and Lynda, the owner gave us each a couple of charm packs for free because they were "off" and she contacted Moda to no avail and didn't feel she could sell them. I laughed myself silly and told her about my blocks that didn't match. She wondered why I didn't bring it back, but I had 3 different packs, all purchased in different locations, so who knew? With the 2 charm packs she gave me, I have plenty to cut out the rest of my four patch quilt. Alls well that ends well~

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Asked For It

I've been working away on the last block from my Verna Mosquera BOM, Happy Hauntings--the Owl and the Pussycat and wondering what they would send me this month. The applique has been so pleasurable and I was hoping for something to keep me busy.

Well, I got it. The skeleton and cauldron blocks came yesterday and the skeleton alone has over 100 pieces to applique, some the size of a pencil eraser! I love this block and when I'm done, the quilt will be 2/3 complete! I'm thinking this block will keep me busy for a few days. I've traced off all the skeleton pieces, and I put the pattern up on the design wall. The skeleton has got to be as big as my grandson Benjamin!

Not much quilting will take place this weekend, but stay tuned.

Winter Quilt Swap

Boy, was this worth the wait!

My winter quilt arrived from Susan at the Chickenfoot blog and it is just lovely. A log cabin done in white-on-white and cream tone-on-tones and hand quilted to boot.

I was going to start a grouping of my small quilts in the extra bedroom that I jokingly call Kathy's because she sleeps there when she comes over for some Sistah time, but this quilt will go perfectly in the downstairs guest room that we call "The Honeymoon Suite." This bedroom has a private bath and a small sitting room and we have wedding pictures of everyone in the family including our parents, granparents and my nieces and nephew and daughter Kate. Most importantly, the bed is my antique brass headboard with my grandmother's "Buon Riposo" whitework pillow shams and the matching sheet as a window covering. The quilt in that room is a sampler made from blocks that my online group made for my 50th birthday, also in cream and white. It will be a perfect fit!

Susan also sent me this darling pincushion/thread holder that she made--can you believe it? I will really enjoy using this to display some more of my little vintage wooden spools of thread. The stack of Thimbleberries charms and bag of buttons was another great bonus!

Thanks Susan!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Few Days in Fresno

I just visited my little boys for a couple of days and poor Alex had a case of the upchucks the night I got there. The rest of us seemed to escape until I heard from Kate today that she and Benjamin had it last night after I got home. I'm holding my breath that I don't get it.

He loves his baths with Benj and not feeling 100% didn't stop him from taking a very long bath every night. Don't you love that pouty little lip? I can tell you exactly where it came from....

We did a little shopping and saw this shirt at Target and it seemed like the most appropriate thing for Benj.....Mr. Messy! He and I spent several hours outside digging in the dirt, planting roses and watering plants. The only thing he likes better than his bath is being outside and in the dirt. All boy, this one.

My Winter Four Seasons Swap quilt arrived today and it was worth the wait. The picture I took this evening was crummy, so stay tuned until tomorrow for a good shot of it. It is just lovely.