Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wed. in rainy Minnesota

Greetings from soggy Mn. Everyone is anxious to get yard work done and flowers planted but we are getting some much needed rain today. Seems like I run out of time to get everything done - especially when it gets into the spring of the year - but I have actually gotten some sewing done the last few weeks. Last week I went to a retreat about an hour north of here with my mom, Theresa (who is a lurker) eight other hard core quilters and two scrap bookers. The retreat center is a 3 bd prefab type home that originally had a three car garage attached. The guy who owns it now turned the garage into a retreat center. Everyone has their own table, electric cords come out of the ceiling on a pulley, 3 bathrooms, gorgeous view of the lake with a walk down to the dock and enough beds and fold out couches to comfortably sleep 14. This was the second year we have gone and we already have it booked for next year. Monday night six of us sewed until 1:30 in the morning, Tuesday until midnight. Two people were assigned to each meal and did the clean up and the rest of us just sewed until it was our turn. It is a really nice group of people which makes it really fun. This year for Monday, Tuesday and Wed it was less than $50 each. Total. I actually finished the blocks to two different tops and hope to get at least one of them put together today. I am also taking a Dear Jane class that meets once a month. I had not been particularly fond of civil war prints until I started this class. I have 35 blocks done and many, many to go, but it has been fun so far and quite a bit out of my comfort zone. My mom has been here since Easter and is "making" me sew - she thinks I have too many projects going. Can you imagine? So, better get to work - Mom says I have to finished putting together my broken lone star quilt before she goes home on Sunday. Joleen

Monday, April 27, 2009


I returned yesterday from a quick trip to Charlottesville, VA where I had two, too short days with DD and one DGS. Pete was on a college shopping trip and they'd been to Georgetown in DC, William&Mary (DD's alma mater) in Williamsburg, VA and finally, U VA in Charlottesville. He seemed turned off by the giant campuses in DC and Charlottesville but is very high on W&M. Good choice. DD found when she went to grad school at Cal. Berkley that her preparation was every bit as sound as the Ivy League and Stanford types she ran into there. Pete and I were both close to tears when we said good bye. I love those grands more and more as they grow up. Maybe it's because I'm much more conscious of my own mortality.

Quilt progress is slow but nonetheless expensive. I stopped in Wytheville, VA at Sew What Fabrics, Batiks ETC once going each way. The building is on the Historic Register and has killer stairs but is an incredible shop with and incredible staff. The owner, Carol Britt is seldom there as she is a very busy and wonderful teacher. Check out the web site at . It'll take your breath away.

I suppose my fantasy about a retreat really ought to wait a year so I can clear the decks a bit. I am still inclined to hold it here. There are LOTS of things to see and do not the least of which is the national park, the Blue Ridge Parkway etc. On the other hand in Asheville there is a folk art museum on the Parkway on the east side of town in which the Southern Highlands Craft Guild exhibit and have a shop. Folks like the Churchill Weavers and Berea College of KY are part of it as are the best of the quilters, potters, leather workers etc. in the southeast. The drive to my neighborhood is no worse than the one from Ottowa to Grace's with some spectacular scenery. Retreat or no, any one of you who are ever in the area will always find my door open if you can pick your way through the collection of tennis balls in the yard.

Have an appointment with foot surgeon today necissitating another trip to Asheville. Tonight my guild is sponsoring a trunk show by Pat Knoechel, who is Eleanor Burns' sister and business partner. Guess I'll have to trek over to Franklin for that. I missed her the last time she was here.

Jane in Greening Up NC

Sunday, April 26, 2009

catching up on board stuff

Hi everyone:
I've been out of town 2 times in 2 weeks and now have my 91 yr. old Mom here with me for about a week. I haven't checked into what's going on lately.
Jane-if you are planing a retreat in the Ashville area next spring (April? May?)count me in. I've been to that area many times, but always in Oct. The only time I've seen the dogwoods and such in the spring was on a bus to Padu. KY. 10 years ago. My DH would want to come along and bike, kayak, etc, so that would be a perfect area to do so.
DH and I went to P. B. County last Tuesday for the funeral of one of his ex-co workers. He was a typical cop-drank too much, smoked too much, a fun person, but never took care of himself. I think he had been married 4 or 5 times. Seeing old co-workers gray hair, etc. made me feel blessed to be here in Jax. and healthy. I think the stress of police work does that. Two others had died a few years ago that we didn't know about. One woman and her husband had both had heart attacks, several were on heart meds. Ouch! I may be slightly overweight, but compaired with the old buddies both DH and I are doing very well, thank you.
OK, got to go--DH is banging about in the kitchen. We never had an anniv. dinner, as the funeral got in the way, he is going to "cook"-- I think we are having take out. We have been married 31 years now, so a "take out" dinner is good to me if I don't have to cook it.
Sara in Fla.

Just a quick note to let you know that I am still reading each day. Not much to report here.

Life is just busy... I had to dig out the serger the other day, to serge the seams on 8 pillowcases that I made for the local guild. They are to be donated to a local nursing home. I have not used the serger in so long THINGS got piled on top of it. When I waded thru them, I found the bag I was looking for, from Christmas. It was some things one of the guild gals gave me for Christmas. It contained bits of satins and laces and rice shaped pearl beads.I am making a crazy quilt type wall hanging with lace and beads, ribbon embroidery and charms or buttons. There is a photo in the center that I had transfered to fabric over 15 years ago. It used fabric glue and a photo copy of a picture. We covered the papeer with glue and plaed it on fabric. Smooth it outand let it dry. So we left it and used the teacher's already made photos, to take a sponge and wet it and rub the paper off the fabric and it left the photo behind on the fabric. The photo was of me and DH along with by brother, best man and a girlfriend of mine from school, that was my maid of honor and also my sister who was only 3 at the time. She is 41 now. I found it when I was going thru some books on crazy quilting and thought that I should do something with it. It certainly aged properly by now. I will post a photo when it is done or when I can get a chance to do it.

I made 12 blocks from the book by Bonnie Hunter, Scraps and Shirt-tails. She recycles old shirts from the thrift store and make scrap quilts. I love her methods. I started cutting up small scraps into zip-locks by size. 2 inch squares, 2 x 3 1/2 rectangles, 3 1/2 x 5, 2 x 6 1/2, and 3 1/2 x 9 1/2. These make a 9 1/2 inch block. I put them together and didn't rotate them. I don't care for the way the sides with the 3 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch are all together. I may just leave it and next time rotate them to make it more random.I have added zip-locks in difference sizes. There are 3 1/2 inch squares that are left over blocks, well, in my case I made them. Nine patches, strips or pinwheels... It is very interesting how she uses them to make full size quilts. So as I complete projects that have a small bit left over I will cut the larger sizes first and work my way to the small 2 inch or 1 1/2 inch squares. Then I will put them together to make scrappy quilts.

Well, back to the machine. I am working on the quilt top that my boss sent up from Florida, that was found in a thrift store. All hand pieced of apple green and bubble gum pink and only $2.00. I bought some fabric from Connecting Threads and I am putting some boarders on it and then piece the backing and quilting it.

Keep on quilting gals,

Donna, LEH, NJ