Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christms Joy Quilt

 I don't know how this happened, but the first picture should have been the quilt that is now the last picture.
I have spoken of the skirmishes over the Christmas Joy quilt--the fabric that I wanted and had to pay for a class in order to get the two yards I needed.  The bottom picture is the inside of the quilt--the pinwheels.  The picture above is what I did to change it just a little.  In the corners that have no embroidery, I did a broken dishes square to create interest.  Not sure if that was successful, but we shall see when the entire quilt is put together.  Now that I have this part done, I must find the two yards of pink fabric that my darling husband put away for me and has no idea where he put it.  Most likely is the fabric closet.  I am starting there on Friday--the hunt for fabric.

 Don't you just love the color of these potatoes????  My husband was putting up a screen door for our friend Lisa's mom. Judy.  Judyhas an amazing garden and she sent home with the husband, cucumbers and two bags of these potatoes.  It is a medley of potatoes--gold, red and blue potatoes.  It is a little disconcerting to eat them at first, but blue potatoes taste like--potatoes.  I am the only on who will eat them, so breakfast food they have become.  The sausages did get more browned and there was an egg and a piece of toast with coffee eaten in my backyard!

This is a secret.  Okay not so much, but no one who can't know reads this blog.  Names are changed to protect the innocent-me!  Jenny is married to George.  George is a sweet guy who weighs more than Jenny is comfortable with,  Her daughter and son-in-law are on the Atkins diet and doing great losing weight.  So, Jenny puts George on it. Now my husband was at Jenny's two mornings.  Each morning George had him drive over to Subway to get a sandwich with everything on it (including the vegetables).  While the cat is away, the mouse eats Subway.

 This is my son who refuses to eat blue potatoes.  He took this picture so he could show his online friends what he looks like as he is playing some online game.  He also plays with his cousin and best friend and they know what he looks like.  Hecame out and tells me tonight that there are two changes since the darling daughter left home.  He can cook anytime he wants without having to work around her and he hasn't had fast food since she left.  She would stop o her way home from work every Friday and get Chipotle burritos.  I was just thinking that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sounded good.....

Speaking of birthdays.....My friend Kim is a year older.   My sister is a year older and three years away from her trip to France to celebrate her 50th birthday.  My brother is 50 this year and we did a photo album--this is your life--and someone (I like to blame my sister here) put the wrong date.  You would think we would know when he was born.  He told me he didn't know who was responsible since the album showed up sans note.  That is a quote.  My second brother will be 49 on Friday.  It always amazes people to know that before I was four years old, I had two brothers and a sister.  In fact, when Mary was born I was only three years and 10 months old.   One more birthday--my father-in-law will be 75 this year.  We were going to have a party fro him, but he declined.  Maybe just a family dinner.  One day I was over visiting and he was whining about not having a big scoop for soup and stuff.  I bought him one at Ikea to put on top of whatever gift card we get him this year.  He likes to go out to eat.  I wonder in Felipes has gift cards.  If you live in the Sacramento area--Felipes is a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that is fabulous.  Always clean, great food and real Mexican family who owns it.

Here it is!  The middle without borders is five squares by six squares.  Each square is 8.5 inches unfinished or 8 inches finished.  Wish me luck on the fabric hunt!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

River City Quilt Guild

A long time ago (21 years ago) I was a member of the River City Quilt Guild.  I loved going to the meetings and there was a lovely quilt show to help with and every other year we had classes with nationally known teachers.  I was made corresponding secretary right away (sending cards and notes to people--reminds me of a line from a song).  I stopped going--not because there was any problem or I was unhappy with someone--but my son graduated from Webelos to Boy Scouts.  He had been in the Boy Scouts since he was 6 years old.  Out of the twelve that began the group as Tigers, only my son and one other boy made it to Eagle Scout.  I was committed to seeing my son go all the way to Eagle Scout and his meetings were on Tuesdays--the same time as the quilt guild meetings.  I had to give one of them up--so goodbye quilt guild.  I haven't been to a meeting since my son turned 10 years old in 1999--until Tuesday, July 17, 2012.  It was amazing to see Sandy Ross standing up there speaking.  She hasn't changed in the least.  Her mom was Kit.  Kit had had polio when  she was a kid and was the only person I knew who had polio.  It was a big scare in the 30's I think.  Kit was always nice to me.

Anelie Beldon was the speaker.  She is the author of  Thoroughly Modern Dresden.  She gave a talk about the tools she loves to use.  I took notes!  She began with her choice of sewing machine for quilting--the Brother 1500.  I don't know if it is all that, but Anelie says it is.  I know my friend, Kim, uses a Juki (not sure of spelling).  She does beautiful work, soooo....  She makes her own starch.  I will stick with my big blue bottle and dilute it.  Cost is pennies, so making it from scratch seems like work to me.  Cornstarch and water makes starch.  No amounts were mentioned.  And you have to keep it in the refrigerator.  Hmmmm.  Still not going for the cornstarch here.  Anelie also mentioned a specific brand of quilting gloves--Machingers.  She did say you need to keep track of your gloves or you will miss one and not find it until you turn over your newly quilted quilt and find that glove quilted to the back!  She even showed the glove quilted to the back of a quilt.  Anelie uses Sewer's Aid (a lubricant to put on your needle--Amazon sells a 12 oz. bottle for $7.03).  Another fun tool is the quick clip.  Not really sure about that one because Anelie mentioned using it to safely close safety pins, but I couldn't find anything but the little scissors.  The coolest tool tip was about the nail holders you can buy at Lowe's.  If they fall, nothing comes out.  Great for pins and rumor has it that they cost $2.25 each!  Believe me when I say that I will be making a trip soon to Lowe's to check this one out.  For marking, Anelie uses a white water soluble pencil.  She mentioned the brand --Stabilo--which is a German company and the web site needs translating.  You can buy the Clover brand at JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts.  Notions are 50% off this week through Saturday.  If it isn't labeled as a quilting notion, then it might be worth trying.  This one is a cool trick--using a clear shower curtain to draw out patterns.  Using an erasable marker, you can use that shower curtain over and over.  Anelie cuts it up into small pieces to make it usable.  Thinking Target?  Walmart?  Kmart?  Here is something I can't use because I don't have an I-Phone, but you may be able--there is an app for Quilt reference.  Appliquer's take note--aqua brush/pen.  You can buy one at Aaron Brothers or for about the same price go over to Quilter's Corner and get their version--that is the one I use and love.  We were cautioned that there is a 3-pack for not so much money or you can buy one for $10.50 (the Aaron Brothers route).  In this case, you get what you pay for.  Pay the money  and be happier.  For organization Anelie uses the Omnigrid organizer with the yellow handle.  These can be pretty pricey.  Try Tuesday Morning (friend paid $23.00 instead of $49.00) or wait for a good sale at Shared Stitches in Cameron Park--off HWY 50 towards Placerville.  There was mention of the cordless Maytag iron.  I wrote this note:  iron for model airplanes.  I have no idea what I meant and will email Anelie and ask.  She uses readers when she wants to see up close and she uses an eyeglass case to hold her rotary cutter.  Anelie also uses Retain and something else that I am not sure of.  I wrote it completely wrong, but it is used with retain.  Another question for Anelie.  The best tip of the evening was this stuff called Restoration.  It is a washing machine product that will get out stains--even rust!

So there it is in a nutshell!  Let me know if anyone out there tries one of these tips.  Did it work?  Not work?
Inquiring minds want to know.........

Monday, July 23, 2012

My feelings were dented a little

On Wednesday, July 19th, I received an invitation in the mail to attend a BBQ at Rusch Park as a thank you for my loyal service to Surewest, our telephone company.  I tried to RSVP to no avail, after I invited the darling daughter to come home and go with me.  Turns out the contact number is a mailbox which was full before the 19th--probably because it was the contact number for two events.  The invitation directed me to go to the web site, but that won't come up.  It is a Surewest site and I have Surewest Internet.  Shouldn't I be able to get on?????

Anyway, it is all about being loyal to Surewest.  Since I moved into this house April 19, 1985, we have had Surewest--which began as Roseville Telephone.  They had a monopoly.  We were stuck with Roseville Telephone because of where we lived.  No digital television, always the last to get anything because we are on the edge of the service area.  Now they are Surewest and we have a choice.  I could get rid of my landline and just go with ATT.  We finally got digital cable while all the rest of the world had been enjoying it for years.  Not us.

Now the BBQ is full.  I have to call and change plans.  It is annoying and really hurt my feelings--just enough to make me unhappy.  I am not feeling so loyal now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Daughter Moved Out

My darling daughter has moved out of her parents house into a small apartment.  I miss her for many reasons.  She was my clean-up girl.  She did the laundry.  She kept the refrigerator stocked with beer and soda for her father.  I fall down on all these jobs.  Hard to miss her though.  She calls me at least twice a day.  One day she wanted to know what she should wear to the state fair (80* weather).  Another she wanted to let me know she couldn't find her corkscrew she bought and was it in my car?  Do I want to take advantage of her discount????  Of course!

I am trying to clean up the mess that surrounds me.  I am not having success.  One problem is that my husband wants to take the cottage cheese ceiling off and put in wood flooring down.  I haven't put anything in that room except this computer because of that.  I am rapidly changing my mind.  I don't see any of this starting before the middle of August.  So, I am going to stack stuff and occasionally decide what to throw away and have it all done by August 12th.

I did get the 120 flying geese for my Thimbleberries group done.  I have until September to turn them in, but I wanted to get this out of the way.  Next will be the Christmas Joy quilt to be completed.  I had a question and emailed Tracy Souza, the designer, and have gotten no response back.  I am disappointed.  Sigh!!!

Off to make dinner.  Now that the daughter has left the nest, I am the cook again.  That I can still do well....

Monday, July 16, 2012

I had the best time!

I am still happy from the retreat I went on.  There were 12 of us.  Before we even went up to Auburn, there were a flurry of emails about who would bring what, who needed rulers for a specific project, etc.  One of the topics was snacks.  I bet each of us brought at least three snacks.  The "snack" table measured 120"x32" and was absolutely covered with cookies, pretzels, chips, tail mix, candies, etc.  I brought breakfast cookies.  These are truly delicious and they are full of things you eat for breakfast.

Breakfast Cookies
   From The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham

1 stick of butter at room temperature (softened)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats or unsweetened granola
1 cup broken walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease two baking sheets.
Cream sugars and butter together until smooth.  Add vanilla and egg.  Beat well.
Stir in flour, salt and baking soda.  Add cereal and walnuts, blending well.
Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto it.  Roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness.
Cut the cookies out with a 3-" cookie cutter.  Place the cookies slightly apart.  They don't spread.
Bake 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack or waxed paper,

Just to give you a quick idea of how things NEVER go as planned:

Friday, June 29th
      The retreat starts at 2pm.  We got special permission to be there two hours early.  I leave at 10:40am.  I should say here that I live approximately 25-30 minutes from the far side of Auburn.  I drop the darling daughter off at work and then go in and shop at JoAnn's.  I stop at the bank (just across the parking lot from JoAnn's).  I am supposed to be at Paul's house by noon.  Paul is a family friend who moved to Auburn in June of 2011 and I had never seen his house.  I knew I would have all this extra time and seeing the house seemed like a good time killer.  By 12:10pm I was lost.  I get lost all the time.  I must say that this time it was Paul's not so good directions.  When I finally found it, I got the grand tour-- three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen with dining area and a livingroom.  We discussed the plans Paul had for remodeling and at 1:15pm went over to Chevy's to have lunch.  After a very yummy lunch with an extremely good margarita, it was 2:45pm and I was definitely late for the retreat (although I did have until 4pm to get there).  Because I left the directions to the Mercy Center at home and was coming from a completely opposite direction, I had to call and ask for more directions.  I was the only one not there and my friends seemed concerned since I was expected an hour ago!!!  I got there in one piece and Jill took my stuff to the room and then showed my how to get  to the quilting room.  I was ready and in place by dinner!

Despite this being a time away from distractions to quilt, we were required to work for our keep.  And it was such arduous work!!  We had to make our beds up the first night--Friday, and take them apart when we left on Sunday.  We had to set our table for each meal.  The dinners, lunches and breakfasts were wonderful.  The first meal was salmon (after all this is a catholic convent and it was Friday.  Jill, Valerie and I were the first three people in line and not one of us took the fish.  I had had a big lunch and only ate the vegetables, but I don't like salmon.  All three of us don't like salmon.  Every meal was fantastic.  My favorite was the giant breakfast burrito.  We shared our meals with two other groups.  One was an intensive healing group, but we didn't find out what kind of intensive healing was going on.  The other group, Abundant Life--about 20 black women dressed up like they were going to church with hats and gloves--had a message for their group.  It was MISSION POSSIBLE.  Isn't that just so uplifting???

We quilted whenever we liked.  Some until the wee hours of the night (I went to bed at midnight) and some beginning in the wee hours of the morning--Cordelia.....Vonnie told me someone snored loudly and kept her up at times.  I know I snore and her room was next to mine, but Jill was on the other side and said she didn't hear me.  Sorry Vonnie.  The first night I sat down to read before I went to sleep and found I had left my book in the quilting room.  I was already in my pajamas and didn't want to walk the few feet, so I read the Bible in my room.  It is a convent--nuns live there--there was a Bible in every room.  We had music in the quilting room supplied by Kimberly.  We finished enough squares to make two donation quilts for the Mercy Center.  Quilts were finished.  I made a purse, started a quilt for my friend, Sandy, and studied the blocks I had for my Linda Ballard project--Now You See It, Now You Don't.  Valerie brought her daughter's lap top and she and Jayma watched the Harry Potter movies.  It made me want to watch them all over again.  I will when I find the first movie that I have hear somewhere!!!!

The center was wonderful.  There was plenty of room to walk and see the beautiful grounds.  Jill and I walked the Stations of the cross.  I was winded at one point.  I must start walking again at home. I am so out of shape......

I am sure I left so much out, but I am at the end.  I am all set to go again next year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Free at Starbucks

On Friday, July 13th, from 12-3pm Starbucks is giving out free tall refreshers.  There is a berry flavor and a lime flavor.  Yummmm.  My favorite is the lime flavor.  Go get one every one!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We all need a quilting retreat!

I was all prepared to write a post about my quilting retreat and I can't find my notebook.  What a blonde I am today.  So, instead you will have to wait until I clean off my table and the indispensable notebook appears.

I have been busy with my community service quilts.  I have a pile of them to quilt.  Our community service people have put their foot down and won't accept just quilt tops anymore.  I confess that I am very guilty of that.  I like putting the tops together more than the quilting of these baby/small child quilts. 

Christmas Joy Quilt:  Tracy Souza has a Christmas quilt called the Christmas Twist.  A couple of my friends and I are taking the class.  It is more how to color and embroider the borders than how to make pinwheels.  The instructions for the class ask for the quilt to be ready with borders attached (in an ideal world).  I helped my friend put her quilt together.   The border fabric (of which I wrote about April 23, 2012) is a bit flimsy and it has waves.  I am really concerned about doing the embroidery without a stabilizer underneath.  I am willing to put stabilizer on all of the borders (thinking it will give it more stability to this flimsy fabric).  This is just one more lesson in how you make a fuss about something and it turns out not to be the best thing after all. I saw Tracy's quilt on the wall and it laid perfectly, so I am not upset and/or obsessing, justhave a small concern.  Soooo, I will email Tracy for more information.

I'm off to look for my notebook with all my carefully recorded notes.  Wish me luck.

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's July

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."
                        -Katharine Hepburn