Monday, January 30, 2012


 I met my goal of finishing a half dozen quilts in order to take them to Albuquerque since I have an appointment there today.  Unfortunately the need for these quilts hasn't slowed any, and Dr. Kaufman is still getting 2-3 newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic patients a week.

I got the another BQ3 finished up with Cars themed fabric.  I quilted it with a truck pantograph by Dave Hudson.  I also used a pinwale corduroy for the backing which washed up soft and cuddly. 
 I was able to make another pillowcase to go with this one from the leftover fabrics.

A glorious sunrise this morning, but pictures didn't do it justice, so I just enjoyed the quickly changing colors. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another BQ3

This pattern is becoming my "go to" pattern lately.  Pat sent me this awesome fabric as a challenge for a BQ3.  I don't know that I love my combination, but hey, it's done. 
I had just enough of the focus fabric to make a coordinating pillow case.  I used the clouds and lightning bolts pantograph.  It went well with the fabric.  Also, thanks to Pat, I had the perfect backing (shot cotton) and binding she had previously made.  There is plenty left of the binding to use on her quilt with the same focus fabric.
My 250th post came and went.  I wanted to do a giveaway of some sort.  Maybe I'll come up with something worthwhile and wait until my 300th!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tent kitty

(Princess) Sophia is the only survivor of whatever decimated our outdoor, wild cat population last year.  She's a tough cookie, and has survived despite losing her two (grown) kittens and K.D. (a cat we think was the kitty daddy).  She's plumped out with quite a thick coat and takes her duties as quilt inspector seriously.  She's lately gotten into trouble for once again liking to make her bed on a quilt loaded on the longarm, and making it sag.  It's a cat hammock, isn't it?

Yesterday I went back to the sewing room, and I knew I hadn't left a quilt loaded--since I had just taken one off.  I used the excess backing and batting to quilt some place mats, which I left draped on the top roller.  I guess it looked like the perfect tent for a kitty.  You can see that I barely disturbed her slumber.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Begin anywhere...

So much good stuff out there.  Doing my daily early morning blog hopping, and came across this, Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, via Kathleen's blog.  What a lot of things to ponder!

Growth. Change.  Open Mind.  Trying to stay young, curious, open, despite the external aging forces.  In my head, I'm still young...only wish my body wouldn't belie my youthful thinking.  

Trying to get familiar with Pinterest.  Seems like a good way to save cool pictures, sites, etc. without having to bookmark the whole world online.   There's so much good stuff out there--all free (well for the price of internet connectivity) for the taking...

Back to the sewing room.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good things come to those who wait, and wait, and...

Back around Thanksgiving, I was the proud winner of a Go Baby on Victoria's blog.  My forum friends congratulated me...I bragged that I had won it at the longarm meeting.  Then nothing!  I waited a couple of weeks and contacted Victoria.  

She was surprised, and contacted Accuquilt for whom she had done the promotional giveaway.  I found out I got to pick three dies, selected my dies, and waited a while longer.  Nothing!  Then it was the holidays, and somehow my prize got lost in the holiday shuffle of emails.  

Finally my Go Baby was on its way...but wait, they sent it to Victoria instead of me, and she had to ship it to me herself.  Yesterday while we were walking to the post office FedEx delivered my prize.  I had left a note asking them to leave the package at the back door with a signature, and hoped that I'd be back before they delivered.  Usually deliveries from UPS and FedEx come late in the day in Willard.  We saw the FedEx truck going to our place and then on the highway as we were walking home.

Finally!  It looks like a wonderful tool.  I cut some tumbler blocks.  I'll have to play around more with it to figure out how to minimize the waste on the sides.  Looks like a great tool which should save on cutting of repetitive pieces. 

The weather has turned to winter again with a bit of snow, and gray clouds.  Good for cooking and quilting. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another litter of kitties

Well, I got the second kitty quilt finished.  Now I'm out of blocks unless I participate in the upcoming swap for more kitty blocks on

I also got a BQ3 all cut and partially pieced.  Pat sent me some great fabric for a BQ challenge.  My quilt is not very inspired, but will be finished in short order.  Have enough fabric leftover for a coordinating pillow case.   
 We'll be going to "town" on the 30th for an appointment and I should be able to have another half dozen quilts to deliver to Dr. Kaufman.  Her need, unfortunately, hasn't diminished.  

Still pondering a weekly creative exercise, but nothing has clicked yet. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inspiration, work, etc.

I've been reading a lot of great stuff on blogs...leading me here there, and trying to come up with a commitment for doing some sort of art daily, weekly, or monthly.  I was awed again this morning with an awesome sunrise.

This was the spectacle as I stepped out the back door.  Thankfully the snow is finally gone and at sunrise everything is nicely frozen and firm for walking.

 So back to inspiring blogs, I followed Lynne's post from The Patcherie Menagerie to this paragraph.  I do think that art is much more dependent on work than inspiration.  I think just starting is more than half the battle.  

I want to commit to at least a weekly exercise in creativity.  I read this post this morning and followed through her journey of creating bundles.  I could go in my sewing room and easily create half a dozen bundles.  I'm always bringing home bits of stuff from my daily walks to the post office, bits of "treasures", interesting sticks, bits of glass, rocks, debris.  My excuse is a collecting materials for a mosaic wall of some sort.  Creating bundles would be an interesting exercise.  

I'll mull it over some more and come up with something to do...probably on a weekly basis...     

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kitty quilt

It's so nice to have blocks ready-made to work with.  I participated in a swap for cat blocks some time ago on quilting site.  They are having another swap, and I'm debating if I want to join again.  It's nice to pull out blocks and put together a quilt.
I had the perfect backing--fish in a flannel.  I also used an inexpensive fleece throw that Pat got a while back for batting.  We thought we could use them as backing without batting, but that didn't have wonderful results.  I have another kitty quilt top put together and ready to quilt.

They are a little more time consuming as I like to do my own design on the kitties, and then the frames, etc.  But the second one should go faster!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bright finish

At last year's retreat in Phoenix I got a bunch in fabric, blocks, etc.  These unfinished blocks came together for this bright quilt.  Hope it won't keep some child up at night!

 I put it together with some bright frog fabric I had, and a really bright flannel stripe for the back. 
 Used a frog panto for the quilting.  It's nice to build quilts from other's UFOs.
I need all this brightness because today it is cloudy and raining a bit.  We still have a patch of snow at the back of the house, on the north side.  It's melting and turning into mini lakes which thaw and freeze, but the ground won't absorb's too cold and saturated.  I scored a pair of lined jeans from LL Bean at Savers yesterday--so bring on the cold!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Well, I had another opportunity to photograph the moon this morning.  It was a little later going down, and so more light.  I did some reading on the camera manual and tried different settings.  

It was a little cooler out there this morning at 19 degrees!It was too light to use the "fireworks" setting.  But at least I got some pictures that were keepers with just minor brightness and contrast correction.

I did finish the binding on the crumb blocks quilt, and it's a nice size for a teenager.  I used my new Kokopelli panto, and it's a good one--flows nicely.   If you look closely you can pick out the Meandering Kokopelli.


Monday, January 09, 2012

So close...

I was so close to finishing...  I put a top together from crumb blocks I found when looking through some stuff.  I just needed two more more blocks to make a nice sized quilt set on point.  Got it loaded, quilted, and was pretty close to finishing the top stitching on the binding, when the power went off!

No warning, no thunder and lightning, no flickering.  One minute everything was on and then everything was off.  It stayed off for a little over an hour, enough time to light a bunch of candles, and light the stove to warm up leftovers.  I'm always grateful that we have a gas stove, heater, and water heater when our power goes off.  It was too late to go back out to the sewing room by the time the power came back on, but I'll finish it up this morning.

I already went out to turn the heat on in my sewing room and to try to capture pictures of the setting moon.  It was gorgeous, but not one of the 10 or so pictures I took was a keeper.  I fail miserably (with rare exceptiongs) at capturing the moon, and really should work on learning how to take decent pictures of it. 


Saturday, January 07, 2012

Half dozen and a rant

After having the previous quilt loaded on my machine for what seemed like forever, I finished up this quilt in a day.  It brought the total number of quilts to deliver up to an even half dozen, and we delivered them to Dr. Kaufman on Thursday.  Unfortunately, she's still getting 2-3 new patients a week, so I need to ramp up my finishes.  

Pat couldn't remember who had these blocks, but she put them together to make this wonderful sampler top, and I added borders to make it a little bigger.  

And now for my rant...(Please feel free to ignore.) I don't normally bash my homeland, and frequently try to keep my dad and friends of his generation from going on about how things in Brazil are terrible, and it "sucks" there.  I've heard this same song for most of my life, being fortunate to have grown up in the U.S.A.  I continue to hang on to my Brazilian citizenship, but this latest saga in trying to get a passport has me wondering if it's time to give it up.  I've had my passport in my married name since shortly after I became Mrs. in 1975.  I have all my previous, expired passports with this name.  When I saw the itinerant Brazilian Consulate in Albuquerque in December with what I assumed was all my required paperwork for a new passport...I was missing my marriage certificate.  It wasn't listed on the necessary items since I already had an expired passport issued by same consulate in my married name.  She asked me to send her a copy of my marriage certificate, which since I wanted to get it right, didn't need to be notarized.

I get a phone call this week, and I believe the same person who assisted me in Albuquerque asks about my Brazilian marriage certificate.  HUH?  I didn't get married in Brazil, and don't have one of those.  Then she asks how did I get a passport in my married name.  I told her I've had it in my married name since 1976, and I got that passport from the Los Angeles consulate.  She now informs me that without a Brazilian certificate (registering my American certificate with the consulate) I can't have the passport in my married name.  She said she would call the consulate in Los Angeles to see if they had my Brazilian certificate.  I told her as far as I know, that had never been done.  She called them, and called me back.  Apparently back then, they didn't require that you register your foreign certificate in order to change your name.  So now, the requirement is to register your marriage certificate and they can't issue my passport in my married name without it.  The catch...another $20 fee, email them a filled out form, and then appear in person with the consulate in Houston or an itinerant consulate--they will be in Albuquerque in December--or Denver in May, or El Paso in August.  Let's hope I don't need to go anywhere anytime soon.  Why can't they grandfather it in like most changes in requirements.  And then the passport is only good for five years!  Arrrggghh!  If I could get my fee back, I'd be considering getting my American citizenship instead.  Bureaucracy at its finest!    

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A new year...

I almost finished this little quilt before the year's end, but didn't rush to complete it.  It had been loaded on the longarm for quite a while, and I didn't think I needed to rush the finish.  I got the top last year from the sell off of a departed friend's stash.  I decided to make it a sampler of fills.  Owing to my insecurity about my freehand quilting, I used a thread that blends into the plain print squares.  There is a lot of texture in the whole quilt.  I'll be taking it to the Phoenix retreat for show & tell.  

I've been watching Pan Am, and while the show is less than stellar, it's brought back a lot of memories and made me wax nostalgic.  My mother was a "stewardess" for a small Brazilian airline and told me stories of dirt runways with dangerous termite mounds when aviation was still in its infancy.  Later she worked for Pan Am in Sao Paulo as a PBX operator and I have a few items from her time there.  

 The key chain is the most prized in my large collection of advertising key chains.  The lighter was well used for many both my mother and I.  My, how times change...ushering in 2012!