Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A new favorite...YUM!!!

See the van parked in front of the middle store? Yep, that's mine. And I'm in there often enough that the manager recognizes me. The last 5 packages I sent out have tasty goodies included! Enlarge the picture and you'll find that Fannie May candy is situated between a vitamin shop and a denture dental clinic...too funny!

I received an e-mail from Marsha saying that she had received her package yesterday, so I figured I'd better get online today to share the second half of the packages I received in June. Bad me, I know... Theri has reminded me several times that I have not blogged since the end of June. I do apologize to all of you who weren't previously mentioned and it is time to "catch up". I have kept track--you've been very busy. I thank you all and now I'll show the rest of my goodies:

Marsha's blocks came with her ornament and a pattern. She and Katie may be hinting that I need to work on something smaller so that a project gets done? I'm in agreement and thinking the same thing!

By the way, I have taken this shot into Paint Shop and rotated 3 times...it still comes up this way, so I will have to accept that I need practice. I even used SnagIt and came up with this same rotation. I give!!!

What a contrast when Karen's blocks came....don't you love the polka dot border? Hmmm...that picture came out right?!

And Kathleen's blocks with fabric to add to the stash. One of the major things I learned with this swap is to "think outside the box". These fabrics are wild & great! I think I became a little less conservative as time went on...

It took me a few minutes to even open Ann's package because I was SO amazed at the number of stamps on the package! A lovely magazine and yummy chocolates for a good cause. Aren't the borders beautiful?

First, Christine sent blocks...and then another package. Another lovely magazine (one I've never checked out before) and a "deckle cut" rotary cutter.
It took me awhile to figure this one out....

Remember her cute note included with a baby gift with instructions for washing? This was the paper cutter she used for the edge!

And Liri sent 2 packages too. Lovely blocks, fabric, buttons, and her gorgeous embroidery. And little chicken salt & pepper shakers.

Later, she sent a box of great finds from her "searches".

Many of these crafts are hard to find these days.

And alas, another picture on its side! Maybe "blogger" is trying to tell me that I have run on enough?

Once again, I thank you all for your wonderful packages.

And since I already know what the next blog will be...I will not be away so long! Mary

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Deer's Mill Bridge

Just for fun photos that I thought you might like to see!

My husband is part of an online panorama group and he went to Montgomery County yesterday to take photographs for their current project. The above photo shows the original bridge built in 1878 and the newer bridge currently used for traffic. It takes a series of pictures that are then "stitched" together in software to make these panoramas.

I'm including additional photos for those of you who have never been able to visit one of these old bridges and see the workmanship involved. And a few more just for fun!

This is a ceiling shot...

All this water is usually not much more than a stream, but with all the rain we've had (you can tell how green it is), the water level is really high.

Sure wish some of this rain we've had could be moved just a little south to help our Texas friends and family...

Enjoy your weekend! Mary

Clicking on a link...

Or how your blogging friends can get you into trouble! First Joanne sent us to the Blogger's Quilt Festival--and I spent two evenings and viewed 200+ quilts. And a couple of days later, Katie showed us her quilt and recommended that we view the quilts... Having already looked, I thought "well, maybe a few more have been added". Yeah, many more! And THAT sent me back to the quilt that had been lingering in my mind... This had special meaning for me and caused a shift in thinking--even about ordinary every day events.

This quilt design is from Piece N Quilt and I immediately sent an e-mail requesting the pdf file. I also noted that she did not have the Moda Half Moon charm pack. (In the meantime, I thought of another color combination when I found the Cherish Nature charm pack... You can tell I'm getting into trouble, right?)

I stopped counting how many hours I had spent searching on the internet for these charm packs on the second day. One pack came from Utah and the other from Michigan. Maybe I should have called Katie to help track it down? And the pdf file still hadn't come... So I went online and ordered the backing fabric from Piece N Quilt and mentioned I hadn't received the file. Then it quickly arrived, but I am sure she had her hands full with the Quilter's Festival.

I decided to use red with the black/white version and happily went off to the local quilt shop for the white for borders and sashings. Then I remembered the fabric from Mary Jo's Cloth Store! Perfect! The half yard I got from the Robert Kaufman Fusion line was great. Shades of blended reds that make you take a second look. But I only had half of what I needed--no problem. Just go online and order! I was delighted when I located the color and quickly placed the order... NOW I was on my way and started cutting and working on what I had on hand. Are you shaking your head and doubting my wisdom yet?

And I worked some more while waiting for my extra fabric....

And the package arrived!

And I opened it!

And never trust your monitor for color...or at least pay attention to the name of the color!
Maybe I thought it said "flamenco" and not "flamingo"? I obviously was not using my brain at all! This fabric is a beautiful raspberry color, but....

So back on the phone with one of the delightful ladies in customer service at MJ's. And since there are four shades of red in the fusion line, I sent off a sample. And a few days later they called to tell me that "my" color is back ordered.

(And yes, I have to eliminate one row on the black/white/red version--I can't count either!)

I have moved on to the Cherish Nature charm pack. What do you think? Hopefully, I'll get them done this year!

And no, Theri, I am NOT going to publish my UFO list...


Sunday, June 20, 2010

A BIG box and a smaller package

First, the smaller package. Remember when Theri showed a bunch of blocks and asked which ones she should send to Mom? Hmm... Guess I should have answered because all of these showed up!

Five of them are complete with the info we are supposed to add. The sixth block says "from your darling daughter" and then "to my marvelous Mom". Which one is definitely going in the quilt? Oh, who can choose? Maybe all of them!

I think I told you awhile back that I had promised Theri that we would come to Texas in November for the Houston Quilt Show. My side of the family is notorious for being procrastinators and I have put her off for a long time with "maybe next year". One of the first things I did when I found out that we were losing my brother to cancer was to call Theri and start making plans.

One of my concerns was that this show is SO huge. I have COPD and I wondered about rest areas and how to drag packages around. Yep! Putting $$$ away for this adventure. When Theri and I were at Mary Jo's Cloth Store, I told her of seeing a shopper with a walker with a built-in seat the first day I had been there. No, I don't need a walker, but the seat looked pretty handy!

A couple of weeks ago, Theri called and said that a box was coming--but she wouldn't say what!
Look what showed up:

Yeah, no make-up, laundry on a chair (halfway to the linen closet), but the UPS truck was outside! (And yes, the framed Santa cross stitch w/beading is still on the wall because it cost so much to have it framed this last December that I am going to enjoy it for awhile yet!)

Is this a perfect fit? Did you
see the size of the bag? Wow,
we can fill it and push it around
with ease....

She found it at Amazon and it
is called StylishALL. It can also double as
a luggage rack...

Don't I have a wonderful daughter?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello-o-o-o.... Anybody home?

I'm still here and have been trying to blog for the last 5 days. I usually post in the evening and each time I sat down to start, thunderstorms and/or tornado warnings were in effect. That's a definite puter shutdown!

Then I got bright (hmmm) and tried in the afternoon. Just one little blob out there to the west--no problem. Well, that turned bright red (on the radar) just before it got to us. Always remember that bright red in nature means danger! Another whopper, but what a lightening show...

Then, last night, just before the ritual began AGAIN, I found a message from Katie on my g-mail (which I admit I am really bad about checking) and absolutely promised I would blog today. And Theri reminds me every night! Maybe that's all it took? No clouds, no warnings, and even the humidity (yucky stuff) is relenting.

This is certainly my month for packages! Plenty of stuff I've ordered, but that comes on another blog that I can blame Joanne & Katie for... A BIG box from Theri--and that's another blog. So now it's time to show my swap blocks (took long enough for me to get here, right?):

First package opened: the beautiful blue blocks from Canuck Quilter. Aren't they lovely?
Even better if I could line them up squarely! I thought of her the other day when another lady in the quilt shop was having a stack of blue batiks cut; I'm guessing she's starting "Outside the Box" from the August issue of APQ. Have you seen that one Joanne? You said you were thinking of blues again since you've used your stash on all of us!

Second package: a wonderful assortment from Katie. Obviously, the blocks are great! I am absolutely sure that I never mentioned the 2 years I had a frog in my fish pond, but that's what is on my scissor fob. And the fabric inside the flower petal pin holder is a baby chick...a perfect reminder of my chicken wall hanging. AND, as a special thanks for the dollie quilt fabric, she sent a Soul Mates charm pack pattern for a wall hanging or table topper. There are 2 blue birds in the center! Is she good, or what? Oops, forgot to add the wrapper for the Ghirardelli chocolate bar!

Next came Ruth's blocks. Don't you love the variety and contrast in these blocks?! The tissue holder is great for my purse and the bookmark is already in use (so it's not in the picture). Loved the postcard from Arches National Park--wow! Certainly different from my memories of taking the children skiing in Alta when they were little. Just goes to show how diverse and magnificent our states can be! I was late mailing Ruth's package---she almost beat me. But hopefully she will have surprises when she gets home!

Beth's blocks came the same day as Ruth's package. The little heart opens to make a full circle for needles. What a cute idea! And how did she know that I am forever sticking my current needle thru the edge of my cross stitch and hoping that I don't drop it somewhere?

Thanks to all of you! All of the packages are like a birthday or Christmas in June...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

A bright spot on a dreary day...

We have lived outside of Indianapolis for about fifteen years and have rarely (maybe 3 times) had bluebirds come to check our birdhouses for living quarters.

We were jealous when we were in North Carolina because they are all over my brother's neighborhood.

But luck was with us when we got home! They didn't stay, but my hubby was fast enough to get some wonderful shots before they flew away...

There are two houses that would have been much more appropriate, but no...
they picked the old
dilapidated "chalet" that we had planned on replacing. But a wren
had moved
in and we love listening to him!

Well, I obviously need to practice with adding pictures since I got back!

Now I'll add just a couple more. I've been going thru my books for two days and cannot find this little fellow in the lower pictures...he's new to our yard, but maybe you know who he is?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The REAL Stash Heaven

I have been a member of the Viking Designer1 yahoo group for years. And whenever someone asks for locations of fabric or quilting shops in the south, some member (or members) jump in and advise that if you are driving thru North Carolina, you've got to stop at Mary Jo's Cloth Co. in Gastonia. Huh? I'd been to my brother's house in Hickory multiple times, but where the heck is Gastonia?

Well, we needed to pick up Theri and Dave from the airport in Charlotte (an hour further east than Hickory) and guess what road sign I saw 2o minutes before we got to the airport? That's right, you can tell by the picture! It was Gastonia! Of course I didn't have the address and was starting to panic--we were early by over 2 hours--but hubby pulled out his handy i-phone (most of the time I just roll my eyes with this gadget), pulled up the map and gave directions right to the parking lot.
Looks like unorganized chaos, doesn't it? Not at all. Upholstery fabric, linings, threads, etc. are in different sections--and the bolts you see in the background are for US! Quilter's heaven...

But first, I just stood and listened to customers and workers chatting...ah! how I miss that southern drawl.

The quilting section is clearly and wonderfully labeled: farm & zoo animals, fish & lighthouses, black & white, etc.

My husband was anxious to get moving, so I only bought four half yards that day and I'm sure you'll see them in a later post...

Most of you have probably read Theri's post of the quilt for my brother and I truly appreciate all your kind comments. She did a wonderful thing for him and he talked of playing with his cars on a quilt when he was about 7 years old--I would have been about 2 at the time. It's a memory to cherish.

We left a little early to get them back to the airport and let Theri enjoy a trip thru Mary Jo's too.

These are her fabrics on the right. Yep! You've undoubtedly picked out which fabrics are intended for her birds, right?

Fabrics from Marcus Fabrics, Robert Kaufman, Andover and so many others. Prices from $5.49 to $6.99 a yard...big sigh. We talked about how badly we could blow our budgets if we had more time!

Theri stopped next to one woman in the store who was examining a particulary pretty bolt and she said "I don't even know what I'm doing here. People in So. Carolina told me I had to stop, but I'm on my way to Massachusetts!"

And here are my choices. Aren't they lovely?

So the next time you see a fabric that you really like and you can wait for it, write all the info and check with Mary Jo's online or by phone...you might save a bundle. Some fabrics are shown online, but there's so much more!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You MUST see this quilt!

I am a follower of Diane Gaudynski's blog and read her latest post following the American Quilter's Association show in Paducah. She has a link to the winners, BUT she had a picture of an absolutely incredible quilt with a link to Sandra Leichner's blog.

Diane said that this quilt was "her treat of the show" and admitted that her mouth must have been hanging open when she saw it. Apparently word of mouth between quilters had her anticipating before she got to the show. Do you need to ask if I hit the link for more info after seeing the picture?

I don't want to break any rules by copying, but I must tell you that I pre-ordered the book due out in October. That's the picture above. Can hardly wait for it to arrive!

First, she quilts herself (no long arm machine), the applique work is incredible, and the hand embroidery is to die for. Links below are for 2 posts and you will be amazed!




The detail of her work is incredible. Be prepared to spend some time and enjoy!

I'll bet that there are a lot of the professional experienced quilters who are as astonished as I am that she didn't win a prize.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I found it!

I have been looking for pictures of this quilt I finished in 2006 forever. Darn! I sometimes hate this "age" thing creeping in. Found the disc today while looking for something else...

It is based on an Atkinson design called Country Lanes. On one of our visits to see Theri in Dallas, we walked into a quilt shop and there it was. She loves to take me to new (or favorite) shops whenever we go down. Always costs me money!And it is the first quilt that I bought ALL the fabric on the spot. Not for just one, but two!

A neighbor always took care of the fish pond for me--even on the summer trips when cleaning the filter was no pleasant task. Pretty yucky, actually. When I said who it was for, Theri told me that I could certainly bring her a "thank you" gift that didn't cost quite this much! But I went ahead (and the extra set was for hubby because I knew he would love it). The neighbor had said how much she and her daughter loved sitting in our swing and enjoyed the time together and the garden...I thought this might provide a pleasant memory for the favor!

Don't you just love the flowered panels?

And I pushed myself to sit and practice digitizing a quilting design for the embroidery machine. I used a transparent thread on the flowered blocks so that it would not distract from the design. Don't know if you'll see much from this back view.

A friend watched it's progress and kept saying "if she doesn't want it, I do!" Think that was a heavy hint?

So now that I've found the pictures AND the pattern, do you think it's time I got around to the one for us?

Let's see...near the top or the bottom of the list?


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's not just fabric

When I mailed the floss organizers to Christine, I did forewarn her that I might be creating a monster. This is why...

This is the whole collection, minus the threads separated for the current project. Each of those rings represents threads in numerical series: 100-199, 200-299, etc.

It's probably an illness, but I don't know who I should make the appointment with...

This is the thread separated to use on the current project.

And notice the DMC thread color card? This is probably 20 years old by now. Go ahead....pat me on the back and offer congratulations! I never updated and bought a new one. I do NOT want to know how many newer colors are available.

I LOVE the "Q Snap" frames. This is the 8" size and I can work for hours without my hands aching.

And THIS is my evening project. Isn't he magnificent? Loving birds runs in the family, don't you think?

He is on Aida 18 (that's
eighteen squares to the inch for non-cross stitch followers). Puts me right up there in the idiot group for working on this in the evening, I guess. My eyesight might need to be checked when this is complete!

We have a fabulous shop in Indianapolis called Needle Fever. I stopped in one day and this fellow was staring at me from the corner. Can you understand why I bought the directions?

An here's one of the hawks that sometimes visits the garden. I was quite upset the first time he caught one of my bird friends and thought maybe I should stop filling the feeders...sort of like setting them up, you know?

And then one of my sons (Dave) talked to me about "everyone" on the food chain needing to eat. Nice to know that when they grow up they can teach us things too! But I do insist that they fly off and eat their dinner elsewhere...