Just my musings about life, quilting, my family and my dog.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Design Wall Monday

OK. So this is actually my floor.  This beast got too big for my wall.  I think it will be done when I fix the point at the bottom.  Do you think it nerds a border?  More multicolored ones as a border?  No border?  


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Well, Google is discontinuing another thing I really love.  First they declared they are doing away with iGoogle. That was my home page.  I LOVED iGoogle.  Those Google turds!

Now, they are planning to stop Google Reader on 7/1/13.  Double turds.

A few suggestions have been floating around various blogs and I decided to try BlogLovin.  So far so good.

Apparently, I have to claim my blog.  Here goes:
<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5237143/?claim=5fr3pbve4d8">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Are you bugged by this?  If so, what are you planning to do?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

My New Best Friend

I will finish Bonnie Hunter's 1911 Mystery Quilt, Orca Bay.  I will.  I really will. That is, if I can ever stop turning parts the wrong way.  If you look closely at the two blocks on the left, you can see that the brown string triangles are facing the wrong direction.  I've done this with at least 8 blocks.  ACK!  As a result, I've become very close with my new friend, Mr. Ripper.  And I don't mean Jack.

What are you doing on your Saturday??


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What I'm listening to

Judy, over at Patchwork Times, has started a new weekly thing asking us to write about what we're reading.  Well, while I rarely read a physical book, I am almost never without a novel on my iPod.  I get so much "reading" done this way and I don't have to choose between quilting and reading - I can do BOTH at the same time!!  That's very much of a win-win in my book (Pun intended!).

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

That was a long intro into what I'm listening to.  I just finished reading David Finch's "The Journal of Best Practices."  A true memoir of his struggle with becoming a better husband.  I found this book to be both enlightening and disheartening.  The book begins on the day that Finch's wife diagnoses him with Asperger's syndrome.  He then sets about to become a better husband because his disorder means he has very little - if any- empathy for others.  He described the things he would do and not do, he would listen to his wife give him feedback and then he determined to do what she asked of him.

The heartening part is that he actually made huge strides in becoming a better husband.  The disheartening part is that he described a lot of behaviors that my husband does and I think most men do and it has nothing to do with their being on the Asperger's spectrum.  SIGH.

What are you reading?


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Design Wall Monday 2.25.13

This is what happens when your string drawers (that's right, 2 of them!) won't close any more. 

I wasn't sure about the multicolored strings around the outside but I think I like them. As an added bonus I'll be reducing a lot of those pesky medium-toned strings. 

Check out what others have on their design walls. Judy has all the links on her website.


Saturday, February 23, 2013


Strings make such a mess that I can hardly wait to finish this project. I dash into my sewing room when I have even 5 minutes just to whip out another couple of string blocks.
The quilt, as I originally designed it, will take 304 5-inch string blocks. That design includes the heart surrounded by black and then surrounded by several rows of multi-colored string blocks to bring it up to a decent size. So far I've completed 107 blocks and I feel like I've been sewing forever.
I'm beginning to think a little square heart surrounded by black blocks is going to be just fine.

What are you working on?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


My string drawers were so full that I couldn't fit in another string. Really. I mean it. So, instead of making a backing for Easy Street I decided to sort and organize strings. What I discovered was an overabundance of red black and white strings.  After fiddling around with graph paper I decided I'd make a red white black heart quilt.  These little string blocks finish at five inches and so far I've made about 100 of them.  The drawer closes now and I'm pretty happy so far with what I've got. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Liebster Award!

Life is really so strange!  I was reading a blog yesterday that had been nominated for several awards.  A case of "Award Envy" struck as I whined silently to myself, "I wish I would get nominated by someone :(. (Don't you think we need both a sarcasm and a whining font??)   I digress... imagine my surprise and pleasure when I got an email this morning announcing that Kathy from Carpe Lanam  had nominated me for the Liebster Award!!   Thank you, Kathy!  I’m really honored and excited, and hope the bloggers I nominate will feel the same way.
The Liebster award is given from bloggers to bloggers. To qualify, the blog must have fewer than 200 followers or be less than 6 months old. Once the award has been bestowed upon you, you may accept it and pass it along by writing a post with the following things:
  1. List 11 random things about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions posed by the nominator.
  3. Choose 11 blogs to pass the award on to and link to them in your post. You’ll need to notify them too, probably by a comment on their blog.
  4. Create 11 questions for those 11 bloggers to answer.

My 11 random things:
  1. I have been on three TV game shows: What's My Line (I am showing my age), High Rollers, and Family Feud. All True.
  2. I have had 6 Great Danes.  Serially.  I mean, really, one at a time has been plenty for us.
  3. I grew up in a family of six kids.  My parents remained married to the end and I consider my childhood to have been pretty healthy and normal.  That alone makes me weird.
  4. I put myself through college working as a cook on sport fishing boats.  I worked way too hard and had way WAY too much fun.
  5. I love to read but you will almost never see me with an actual book in my hand.  Since I discovered audio books I have been hooked.  I am almost never without an iPod hanging around my neck.
  6. My husband and I have raised two terrific young men.  One is a lawyer and the other just got accepted to Yale for a Master's program.
  7. I consider popcorn a completely acceptable meal if I am dining at home alone.
  8. Apparently I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  At least that is what my family thinks because I cannot stop quilting.  It has taken over at least one room in our home and most of my life.  
  9. I have been to China and loved it.  I would go back in a heartbeat.
  10. Once upon a time I wanted to have FIVE children.  Son#2 convinced me I was not cut out for that thankyouverymuch!!
  11. I have an unnatural affection for my smartphone - and pretty much anything technological.  My name is Chris and I'm a geek.  "Hi, Chris."
My 11 questions from my nominator:
  1. What do you like to blog about?  I tend to blog mostly about my quilting.  Although my dog, Izzy, seems to have more than her fair share of posts. 
  2. How did you get started blogging?  I had been reading blogs for a long time and just decided to get in on the action.  It looked like fun and a good way to document my quilting.  It turns out to be rewarding but also more work than I thought.
  3. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?  (You may assume for the sake of the question that no unfortunate paradoxes will be created by time travel if that makes you more comfortable!)  Great Question!!  I think I would go back to Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs. I would love to see all that magnificence in it's pristine splendor.
  4. What is the next color that you would choose to paint a room or the exterior of your house?  I am actually very happy with my house colors.  However, I think I might repaint my quilting room in a nice sophisticated neutral.  Maybe something in a pale taupe.
  5. Name a favorite fiction book.  Or two or three if you can’t pick. How in the world do I pick one or THREE!  I love the Outlander series.  I also love the George RR Martin Game of Thrones series.  But then how can you Beat Stephanie Plum as a hapless heroine?
  6. Name a favorite nonfiction book.  Again, hard to pick one.  I really enjoyed Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray Anderson.  I also think Night by Elie Wiesel and Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl are Must Reads,  They are about the Holocaust and human survival.  If you only read one, pick Frankl's
  7. What is your favorite genre of music or your favorite musician?  I am a Beatles fan through and through.  I also enjoy Joni Mitchel despite the razzing I take from my friends who don't consider her work "real music."  So, for a genre, I guess I would have to say Oldies.  LOL
  8. How many states/countries have you lived in?  I have lived exclusively in the  USA and only in two states: Arizona till age 6, then California till age 26, Arizona for a few months then back to California at age 27 (didn't like the heat!).
  9. A favorite teacher?  I'm afraid no one stands out.  There are several who had a profound effect on me that I used to my advantage but I can't go so far as to say I liked them.  What can I say - I went to Catholic school and not a nice one.
  10. Favorite color?  RED!  Go ahead, analyze me.
  11. Where would you like to go on vacation, if you could go anywhere?  Since I can't go there in its original state, I want to go to Egypt in its current state (when politics settle down).  I would spend about a week in the Cairo Museum and a day or two in the markets and then tromp out to see the pyramids.
My 11 questions for my nominees to answer:

1.  Why did you start a blog?
2. What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done that was witnessed by someone else?
3.  Favorite TV show?
4. Do you like to cook?  How did you learn?
5. Dustbunnies?
6. If you could talk to a famous person who would it be?
7.  Have you met anyone famous?
8. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
9. Which main character from a book or movie do you think is most like you?
10. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
11. What is your greatest fear?

My nominees are:

I hope you have fun with this. I don't mean this to be a high-pressure obligation, so no worries if you're unable to pass along the award.  Or if you take a couple of weeks to write the post.  I did it right away because if I don't do something right away, chances are very good that it will never get done.  


Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday 2/11/13

This is my version of Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street.  It's much further along than in this picture but I have it all laid out getting borders measured and there is no good picture-taking light over that table.  Anyone else have this problem??

I elected to go with a straight set instead of the on-point setting because I like the strong diagonal lines that the pinks give.  Whew - that's a lot of pink for me.  I'm the only girl in the house, we don't count Izzy, and there is often debate if we should count me!  I am way more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt than in pink girly things.  But I am liking it and I am sure that if I don't keep it someone somewhere will swoon over all the pink.

Hop over to Judy's blog to see what other talented designers are up to.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

DWM 2/4/2013

I was busy busy busy this weekend.
I finished the center of my Easy Street top and picked out the borders.  I'll show it later when I get the borders on.
I put together almost all the spare parts to make the 12 blocks above.  They will likely become a charity quilt.
I also finished an OLD UFO top and cleaned up a big part of my sewing table.  Whew! 
Hop over to Judy's blog to see some quilt candy. 
Hope your Superbowl Weekend was equally productive.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Easy Street DWM January 14,2013

These are my first two completed blocks from Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery Quilt .  She runs a mystery during December every year.  I've made several of the quilts and, while I curse all the fiddly little units, I fall in love with each quilt.  My color choice gave me some pause but after I got all the seams sewn on these blocks I'm starting to really like it.  Each block is a 5-patch, most of those patches have multiple parts so putting together each block feels a little like accomplishing an entire tiny quilt.

I arranged all the parts on my design wall because there are so many opportunities for mistakes and then I debated how to get it transported to my machine without scrambling everything.  DUH!  I do this all the time when I sew an entire quilt together.  So, I stacked all the units just as I would stack all the blocks for webbing a quilt together.  I have a little tutorial planned for tomorrow.

Hop over to Judy's blog and see what everyone else is up to.  Then, go have a productive day.


Monday, January 7, 2013

DWM 1/7/13

I was gifted a bunch of red/white/black half-square triangles.  They sat and sat, not enough for a quilt but they didn't really go with anything in my stash.  I was out on an innocent trip to the LQS with a friend and several red and white fat quarters jumped into my hand and whispered that they'd play well with the HSTs.  I still may do some rearranging but I'm pretty happy and plan to make this a Linus Quilt.

Go see what others are up to at Judy's blog.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

What is it?

I was going through photos on my phone and I found this one that I don't recall taking.  What does she have in her mouth?  Sadly, I suspect it is one of my very old felt elves. 
She might not make it to next Christmas.


Finished it!

At 8:15 last night I put the final piece in this misbegotten excuse of a puzzle. The copyright date on it is 1979. I think it's been languishing in my game closet since then. It had to have been a gift from someone who hated me. 
If you look closely you will see that the entire puzzle is comprised of thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of line-drawn naked people.  My son helped me put together the edges and a few clumps of pieces that had words. Then he declared the thing to be Satan and impossible and no way was he having any more to do with it.  "There's no way anyone can finish this puzzle!" Well, that just sounded like a challenge to me. I'm stupid that way.  Well that and my younger son bet me $20.00 I couldn't finish it by Sunday!
Turns out the saving grace to this puzzle is that all of the naked people are standing with their heads to the top, lined up in rows.
To solve the danged thing I had to line up all the pieces in rows and columns oriented in the same head-to-the-top position.  Then I would choose an area on the puzzle, find the corresponding person on the box top and begin the hunt.  Eventually I reorganized the pieces so those with "bumps" top and bottom were to the left side of the puzzle and those with "bumps" left and right were to the right.  My hunting chant went something like this,"big round boobs facing left". You get the idea. I could only work on it for 29 minutes or so before I got sick of looking at naked "parts."  

I'll be surprised if this hasn't injured some part of my "intimate" psyche! 

Have a great day!