Sunday, June 29, 2008

Longarm Quilters Meeting and UFO update

Ahhh, my UFO UPDATE:
The grocery bags are finished. What's up with that? It has taken me almost a year to decide to spend the half hour (half hour!) it took to finish these.

Kristyn McCoy and Jane Sandercock were the feature of our longarm meeting on Saturday.
We had 19 attend the meeting. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the story of Kristyn & Jane's trip to Africa to instruct at the new quilting centre. This is a Rotary project, so quilts made by the Africans are for sale (from Jane or Kristyn) for $200.00. This money goes back to the quilt maker and will feed their family for three to four months. The centre takes back 10% of the sale price to cover the costs of operation.

The three quilts in the photos are some of the quilts for sale. If you would like further information see Melon Patch Quilts.

We had generous door prize donations for our meeting from Northcott Silk (a nice thin batting for clothing or table items), Quiltsource (beautiful YLI thread), CMQA (a quilt design book) and Creative Sisters (a pantograph pattern). Many thanks to all the donors.

A pricing poll provided the following AVERAGEs of our pricing to customers
  • pantographs : $2.99 per sq. ft. (lowest $2.50, highest $3.33)
  • additional setup fee: only two responses... lowest $10.00, highest $35.00
  • minimum charge regardless of size: $45.45 (lowest $30, highest $60)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Customer quilt, UFO update & weather prediction

Here is a very pretty vintage looking quilt I finished earlier this week.

I was honestly shocked the other day when I did the UFO count. I spent Tuesday evening restarting the Old Dresden Plate quilt. I bought the plates from a customer whose m.i.l. had made 40 blocks, in various states of completion. I made a twin sized quilt from that for her m.i.l.'s 90th birthday, and sent home the leftovers for someone in her family to finish. Well, no one wanted them so she let me purchase the leftovers from her. That was a few years ago, and I have all the plates appliqued to background fabric - they just need the centers done. So, on Tuesday I found fabric and cut the circles and have 5 blocks DONE. I will take a few more to Mom's with me today. My UFO committment for this weekend is to FINISH THE GROCERY BAGS. They are all done, I think, except for serging the inside seams. I started them a year ago, for heaven's sake!

As for the weather prediction: hubby is starting two weeks vacation today. Go ahead and plant those shrubs - we're in for two weeks of rain! I could actually rent him out during drought - just send him 'wherever' on vacation and you're guaranteed SEVERAL days of rain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Binbrook Guild Meeting & A Trip to Japan

At the Binbrook guild meeting last night we had our season ending pot luck supper. I think we had more desserts than real food! I was very glad that I did NOT win the block of the month blocks, based on the number of UFOs I already need to clean up. One of the gals told me she wants to come on my big trip to Japan and Singapore in January. Yippee!!! A travelling companion. My darling niece lives in Singapore and will put us up for a week or so. The huge quilt show in Japan has been on my to-do list for a few years now, so I will kill two birds with one stone. And make a side trip to Bali for batik fabrics (ooo - bad girl - need extra luggage).

These photos were taken at International Quilt Festival in Chicago and will give you an idea of the calibre of quilts from Japan - incredible.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coconut Milk Smoothie

Thursday night I made Thai Red Curry Chicken (with sweet peppers) served over brown rice. I had half a can of coconut milk left. Today I made smoothies with the leftover coconut milk.
  • find blender
  • blender hasn't been used in so long it has dead bugs in it
  • wash blender
  • tea towel to dry blender has been used by someone (!) (it appears) to scrub the kitchen floor
  • get clean tea towel and dry the blender
  • try to figure out how to put blender parts back together so the final product does not leak out the bottom
  • get 'ripe' bananas and figure out which ones are fuzzy (probably inedible, I'm thinking) and only use non-poisonous bananas
  • don't have plain yogurt - use vanilla yogurt
  • vanilla yogurt has been open for at least 3 weeks and is a week past it's due date (risky, poisonous?)
  • pitch first vanilla yogurt container (ok, really I mean RECYCLE container), open a fresh one
  • look in freezer for frozen blueberries - HURRAH - FINALLY AN INSTRUCTION I DON'T HAVE AN ISSUE WITH
  • make with Swarm o Bees honey from our wonderful neighbours
  • yum, yum, yum - very good product in the end and well worth the half hour it took
Coconut Milk Smoothie
(ok, Real Simple is the name of the company - not a descriptive of my method of making smoothies, as you can tell)
1 10-ounce bag frozen blueberries or other fruit
3 ripe bananas
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey

In a blender, puree the blueberries, bananas, yogurt, coconut milk, and honey. Serve.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 300(41% from fat); FAT 15g (sat 12g); CHOLESTEROL 10mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43g; SODIUM 40mg; PROTEIN 5g; FIBER 3g; SUGAR 28g

Thursday, June 19, 2008

UFO list

Geez Louise! I started a list of ufo's this morning. The list started out with 9 items. Every 10 minutes I remember two more started quilts. I think the list is up to 18 items now. When will it end????

Nope, just checked, I'm at 21 UFOs.

OK, an hour later and I've remembered another one. Up to 22 now. sigh...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sorting & Filing Fabrics

I was having a 'flylady' moment and decided to CLEAN UP the fabrics I bought a year ago (a year ago???!) in Pennsylvania. I washed and dried them when I had co-ordinating loads of laundry.

Step 2 is folding fabric around a 6" x 24" ruler.

Step 3 - slide the ruler out and fold fabric in half - now your fabric is 6" x 11".

Step 4 - sort it into your pretty stacks. This is when you realize you really like red, purple and blue. But you have almost NO GREEN FABRIC. OMG - MUST GO SHOPPING.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shoes & Climbing Hydrangea

We had a huge thunderstorm last night and my garden is VERY HAPPY with the rain. I just love the climbing hydrangea.

I wait until after it has bloomed and then I whack it back away from the windows.
Well, and look at little miss Sadie with her cute pink tongue!

I'm telling you... it is cruel and unusual punishment for customers to make me work with SHOE fabric all day. I am such a shoe-holic, my favorite place to shop anymore is the Walden Galleria Mall. I spend three hours in Designer Shoe Warehouse, then an hour or two in Christopher & Banks, then another hour in Bath & Bodyworks. In DSW I limit myself to three pair of shoes at any one time. When I get up to four pair I make myself put one pair back. So far, so good.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finished quilts & Caledonia Guild meeting

Janet (behind) and Charlotte with her finished baby quilt.

Candace, our newest guild member. She's working on a very interesting method of paper piecing.

Hanna (left) working on a quilt for her daughter and Anne working on her mystery quilt.

Susan is working on log cabin blocks and her mom Colleen is doing... I dunno???

Here is a mostly full view of the nephew's jelly roll quilt top, before quilting.

Here is a nice shot of the quilting. I'm part way through the binding, so the edge may look a little funny.

And next is the quilt from hell. Only so named because the strips are cut 1 1/4" and finish 3/4". Much too skinny (to my liking) for a queen size quilt. I like my projects to be FAST. The pattern is by Mary Anne Charlton who is a longarm-ing buddy of mine. I know that she has made several of these quilts - much more patience than I have. Now to find a few days to quilt this puppy! And find a new NICER name for it, of course. I want the really thin cotton batt by Quilter's Dream for this one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mom's Embroidered Quilt

As promised, here is a photo of Mom's quilt. It was a bed sheet she embroidered as a young girl, back in the 30's. She put it away in her cedar chest and showed it to me for the first time in 2000. I snitched it, washed it, and had it hand quilted by the Binbrook guild. As a guild member, I even put a few stitches in it myself (normally I run far, far away from hand quilting). Mom is almost 88 now and getting dotty with alzheimers. I spent yesterday with her at the hospital going through the pre-op interviews & blood tests - she needs to have 11 teeth extracted. Just the thought makes me cringe!!! Because of her advanced age and long term heart troubles the oral surgeon wants her in the hospital and NOT in his office for the procedure.

Today is the Caledonia Quilt Guild day. We start in the morning and everyone gets to choose their own version of morning (mine is usually 11-ish). Whoever comes for the day brings their sewing stuff and we sew all day, then normally have a catered supper. With this being June we will have our end-of-season pot luck supper at 6:30. Our meetings normally start at 7:30 in the evening. Tonight will be all about food, then show & share and our usual draws and exchanges. I am bringing the nephew's jelly roll quilt (which is finished - YIPPEE!!!) for binding, and the quilt-with-the-bad-name for the inner borders. My pot luck is buttermilk brownies. mmmm......

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dirty Dogs and Dinner Out With the Girls

Jane, Teresa, (me), and Jean have been getting together for dinner several times a year, for many years now. We met during our various employments at 'the bank'. We celebrate birthdays with very elaborate gifts such as pasta spice mix (which was really good, Jane!), kleenex, fridge magnets, and lottery tickets. One year we seemed to get on a kick where we were always getting each other personal cleaning products like soap or hand sanitizer stuff. That kinda made me wonder if we all had some odour problem?? I hope we remain friends until we're ready for our dirt sandwich. OK, enough emoting. (But really, I love you gals!)

We went to the Pearl Street Cafe in Burlington for dinner. The proprietor there is such a card (!) he adds greatly to our evening. And the Oat Nut Cake with Carmel Sauce is sooo gooood. It comes with a spoon so you don't waste any of the sauce.
Here's my dirty dog with matted ears and eyes that are under-there-somewhere. $65.00 later, she's clean & trimmed up like a plush carpet. She's gonna have to get a job if her beauty parlour gets any more expensive. Ooo, I know... she could work for a landscaper, digging up shrubs and then eating the evidence! She's very good at that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Red Hats & Quilters

My Red Hat group went to a Murder Mystery dinner hosted by the Stoney Creek Quilters' Guild last night. OMG, talk about silliness and fun!

Alberto is pretty much a snake oil salesman. We (the audience) are there to film an infomercial about his company.
Here is Sue, giving Alberto feedback on his nutritious meal plan.

Alberto was waxing eloquent about Christine's need for a MAN who knew how to touch a woman. That's Irene on the left, in her alter-ego disguise as Liza. Alberto and crew belong to It's a Mystery to Me Mystery Dinner Theatre.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Longarm Quilters Meeting

A quilting friend and I will be hosting a meeting of longarm quilters on Saturday June 28th in Caledonia. If you know of any longarm quilters who would like to attend please contact me at

On the weekend we helped our nephew and his bride (the jelly roll quilt) move. OMG, they moved out of a third floor walkup. I was very grateful that when I woke up this morning I didn't fall down. I ain't as young as I used to be! We got home at 5:30, threw a frozen pizza in the oven, and I was in my jammies reading a book by 6:30. I may have been snoring by 7:00?

My little extra job for today will be washing Mom's embroidered quilt. Mom is 87, so you never know (and probably don't want to know) what's on the quilt. It could be cheese, it could be silver polish. The photo is the spare quilt I made to go on her bed when I swipe the embroidered one. This is an easy 9-patch quilt I made after reading Mary Ellen Hopkins' Baker's Dozen Doubled book. I'll give you a peek at the embroidered quilt later this week, when it's nice and clean.