Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"AIDS Quilt Visits the Triangle"

Many years ago I made a quilt for the NAMES Project with a friend, in memory of her brother. The local quilt guild brought this News & Observer article to my attention yesterday. I haven't seen the block since it was dedicated. I don't know where it's touring right now but I'm thrilled to see the blocks are available for viewing online. His quilt is the one on the bottom-right of this block. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.
She went to see the last display of the whole AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1996 when it covered the entire National Mall in Washington DC. What an experience that must have been! I'm sorry I missed it.
It'll be wonderful when we don't have to make these anymore....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Dinner

We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday because that's when the Sailor Son, DIL and Baby J could visit. I was in grandmother heaven!

He met his great-grandparents for the first time. My mom came to this country as a nanny, after working in the day-nurseries in London during the war. She had lots of advice for the new parents. :) At one point when he was crying, she took him and demonstrated the "nanny bounce". He was immediately quiet!

OMG. Don't look at me. That furry vest is awful! *shudder* What was I thinking???? Anyway... I haven't had the opportunity to feed a baby for such a long time. It was so great to flex my grandma muscles. Hee hee.

I get such a bang out of this photo. It's been twenty years since I've seen him with a pacifier in his mouth!!! RFLOL
And right before they left we got a Sleeping With A Finger Up The Nose photo. What's not to love?

When they left The Tramp remarked it looked like I'd had the best weekend I've had in a very long time. You bet!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think this is the first time in my life I haven't had a "Thanksgiving dinner" on Thanksgiving Day. Even counting the time I had a lousy turkey dinner in Denny's in Ottawa a few years back (in my personal experience, Denny's is always lousy!). I was visiting The Tramp over the US Thanksgiving holiday and I just couldn't resist having a turkey dinner! Lots of times when my kids were little I roasted chicken because they wouldn't eat turkey but it was still Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

Today Mom and Dad came over and we had brunch. Lots of bacon and eggs and coffee cake and croissants. Yum! The weather was warm and breezy so we went for a walk too. It was really nice.

The Sailor Son, DIL and Baby J will be here on Saturday. *happy dance* So we'll have our turkey then. This is the latest photo they sent. Couldn't you just eat him up!!!

Yesterday was pretty exciting. We ordered new appliances from Sears last week and they arrived yesterday morning. Just in time! I had laundry climbing the walls and new fabric waiting to be washed. Washer, dryer, stove and microwave/vent fan. I desperately needed a new washer and we found the one I wanted for half price. Wow! It's last year's model but no big deal. The wonderful set I left back in New Jersey were the same and I loved them. We never would have left them behind except the dryer was gas. :( I'd planned on keeping them forever...sigh. The new dryer is this year's model so they don't quite match, but who cares??? If they wash and dry I'm happy. :) The top is back-ordered so I'm making do with a pink towel for now.
This is a 70s house and these are new millenium appliances, so of course they don't fit in the utility closet. We had to take off the closet doors and I got a white shower curtain from Target that'll do for the time being. Eventually we're going to make the dark room into a laundry.
So we got the washer for half price, the rest on clearance or 30% off, free delivery and since the top of the microwave turned out to have a dent a $100 was refunded to us. I'm not complaining!!!!
The microwave will go up over the stove in place of the broken hood. We have to figure out how to carve up the cabinet to fit it in. The dent turns out to be just up in the right top corner of the microwave. I'm sure we can bang it out and it'll never show.

The dryer makes the cutest little beeps when you press buttons. It almost plays tunes! I wonder how many years before all this stuff is connected to our computer network and I can load ring tones in my appliances. RFLOL When we first got our Uniden cordless phones The Tramp programmed each handset to a different ring tone/tune. It was like living in a carnival each time the phones "rang". After about a month I couldn't stand it anymore and reprogrammed them all. Then of course we bought a new doorbell for him to play with that has 64 tunes in it! Do you sense a tendency here???

We spent Thanksgiving afternoon cleaning the gutters. It really needed to be done before we put up Christmas lights. So The Tramp tested out our new ladder.

Then I went up and crawled along the roof scooping the gunk and throwing it down into the garden cart. Ewwww. And oh how my butt hurts after hitching along all over the shingles! Our little house has miles of gutters!!!
And of course The Tramp couldn't resist a shot of my tush on the way down. At least I didn't fall off the ladder giggling. LOL Boy was I dirty!

On the sewing front, Tami passed along some advice for de-mildewing my Featherweight. Thanks Tami! For the last few days I've had it sitting in the sun inside the workshop door and the case sitting outside in the sun. I should have done this during the summer! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I finished another UFO yesterday. This is a quilted bag made from a Butterick pattern. I just LOVE the fabrics. The lining fabric is my favorite but of course you can't see it. :)

I decided to count...or try counting my UFOs/WIPs. Yikes! Why am I fooling around here??? I should be BUSY at my sewing machine!!! I kind of lost track at 47. There are at least 50 all together. *shudder* Who suggested counting them? And I just counted things I have fabric for, not all the patterns waiting to be used! Or any beading project.

On a lighter note.... (can you tell I'm traumatized??? LOL) I just snapped this photo of Tiny Dog curled up on her pink puff under my cutting table. This evening I reunited her with the toy we call the Pink Thing. For some unknown reason it was packed with sewing stuff and I found it during the UFO listing. Well....that's not quite true...I know why it was in with sewing stuff, it must have been packed in the last week or so before the move, when whatever came to hand was being thrown into the closest box!

She's laying on the Pink Thing, guarding it from Ngaire and will defend it fiercely, turning into a snarling wildcat if Ngaire moves too close! Mind you, this is 4lbs vs 60lbs but Ngaire knows when to keep her nose out of the way! So Belle is hard asleep, so much so that the flash didn't wake her up, and obviously confident she won't be disturbed.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Today we took a bit of a drive to enjoy the fall colors. This week is most likely the peak and I wanted to snap a few photos before it's all over. It's hard to snap photos while moving in the car but I got a few. It would have been nice to stop but on most of these roads there is no where to go but in the ditch! I should have planned a walk on one of the greenways.

And this sight never fails to amuse me. (There were more signs than I could fit in the photo.) Do you think they want to sell a house??? :)
Then in our own yard I found this.
Mistletoe! In this tree. You can just see the dark spot.
I didn't even know what it was at first, my neighbor had to tell me. I know it's a pest in some places, but I am delighted. I've never seen anything but the wilted bits you can buy in the store at Christmas. Judging from my Jersey girl experience I've never even been sure that mistletoe is real. Now I know! LOL

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Busy, busy, busy! Among other things.....

I finished and handed in a "Quilts for Kids" quilt to the Guild. I was given a packet of 20 (!) assorted Christmas flannels so I also have a second top done in boy colors which I need to finish before the December meeting!
It's not great...but not bad. Some child will enjoy snuggling in it. :)
I also made myself a name tag to wear to meetings.
On Saturday I attended a Guild workshop. The instructor was Jane Hall of foundation piecing fame. She was also speaker at the Guild meeting this month. Lucky us...she lives in Raleigh and is a member of our Guild! The class was Pineapples Plus and I really enjoyed it. :) Here are the blocks we created. In the morning we learned technique and in the afternoon designed and started on pineapple projects.
Jane was lovely and was very happy to let me take photos of her quilts. It was great to be able to handle and examine the quilts that are pictured in her books and have won various awards and ribbons.
Dawn Stars
Chroma VIIndigo LightsThis one, Vinas Viejas, just came back from Houston where it won Third Place in Traditional Pieced. Hollis Chatelain is also local to here and we had an interesting discussion about the controversy and about the craft as something that is growing and changing, as it should.

A couple of years ago, old friends gifted me with a Singer Featherweight. I don't believe it had been used for many years, though it looks like it was well loved and used in it's heyday. Like many unused Featherweights it smelled hugely musty and there was mold in the case. GAG. I cleaned out the case as best I could and took the machine for servicing, to a little old place run by several lovely old gentlemen. When I got it home I cleaned all the surfaces and dug in the crevices with cotton swabs....and put it back in the case. This was probably a mistake! I'm very allergic to cats and get some of the same symptoms when around molds, not often, but it happens. So about an hour into the class I started to sneeze and itch and stuff up. By the time I got home I was wheezing and coughing. The workshop was located in the youth room at a church so I really don't think there were any cats involved. The Tramp bought another case for the machine on eBay and I hope it arrives soon! In the meantime I've got to figure out how to de-must this thing! Any suggestions??? Wheeeeeze.....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I can deal with that....

You Are 6: The Loyalist

You have strong relationships and are intensely loyal.
People find you easy to love and care for.

You like your world to be stable and secure, no surprises.
You're cautious. You prefer your inner circle to the outside world.

At Your Best: You are courageous, a positive thinker, and expressive. You can take on the world.

At Your Worst: You are secretly insecure - which makes you sarcastic, cold, and argumentative.

Your Fixation: Doubt

Your Primary Fear: Abandonment

Your Primary Desire: Security and support

Other Number 6's: Mel Gibson, Woody Allen, Jay Leno, Marilyn Monroe, and Julia Roberts.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What's on My Bed?

I've enjoyed so much seeing what's on people's beds! What's on my bed is a very bright red and pink Ikea duvet cover. What should be on my bed, but isn't unpacked yet, is this quilt my mom made. It looked great on this bed but we left the bed behind when we moved (2 houses ago) because our new bedroom couldn't handle the posts. I miss that bed....sigh. I've painted our latest bedroom in a pink that I hope compliments the quilt.

The design is "Martha's Vinyard". It's just gorgeous. Mom also stitched the "Sweet Dreams"...also still packed in a box. :( This weekend we are going to try and finish unpacking boxes and sorting out the "living room" and The Tramp's workshop. The "living room" is still unpainted and lacking windows but it will be a great relief to at least make it look less like storage barn! And.... to find my quilts!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mary Jo's Cloth Store

My! Is it chilly this morning! 30 something degrees! I must say though, it's really nice to have sunrise at 6:30 back from 7:30. Of course I couldn't sleep in this morning, the biological clock got me up...sigh. And the dogs of course have no respect for this weird human practice of sleeping in anyway.

Yesterday we drove to meet some New Jersey friends who were at a conference in Charlotte. It's a 3 to 4 hour drive but we figured it would be nice to visit Charlotte if for no other reason than to say we've been there! It was very funny when our friends realized how far away Raleigh is from Charlotte. Then we remembered, it's only 3 to 4 hours from one end of New Jersey to the other....lengthwise! LOL

So....in order to take advantage of a perfectly good long drive, we drove another 1/2 hour past Charlotte to Gastonia, to visit Mary Jo's Cloth Store.

Not particularly prepossessing from the outside....

But OH MY on the inside! I had heard it was the place to go but I was completely blown away! 300,000 square feet of fabric. I was close to hyperventilating! I wasn't bold enough to take photos of the stacks, too many people shopping, but I got out the camera while waiting at the register. These photos do not do the place justice. To the left, under the hanging sports-team fabric panels were the cottons. Rows and rows and rows and rows of luscious cottons. Batiks, solids, tone on tone, landscapes, animals, dogs, cats, kiddie, 30's, retro, fruits and vegetables, Asian, paisley...and on and on and on. Not WalMart quality either...this is the real thing! It was a jaw-dropping display...and I think the most expensive cottons were $6 per yard! And as I listened in while browsing, it seemed like the clientele came from all over.
There was a loooong wall of notions, a huge bridal section, huge decorator fabric section, walls of trims, tons of Lycras for skating costumes etc, dressmaking fabric and patterns too. Even embroidery and cross stitch over in an alcove.Rolls and rolls and rolls of decorator fabric ahead and trims on the back wall. The big bridal section was to the right out of the picture and another big wall of trims, ribbons and laces.
I admit to being thoroughly unprepared!!!! And I have too many UFOs as it is! LOL But I managed to spend some money at least! Hee hee. New Omnigrip rulers, threads, bobbins, a new Grabbit, plastic pellets, thimble, awl....stuff. :)
A pre-printed wholecloth wall hanging, template plastic, fat quarters, and a Clover yo-yo maker. I really wanted one of those and the store had all the shapes and sizes. It was hard to buy just one! I also found gripper fabric for Tazzie's Sewing Machine Mat.I bought a yard of this yummy Christmas fabric for my Mom...after all, they did dog-sit for us. Ok...I confess....I have a yard of it for myself too!And this Asian fabric is hopefully will work for Julie McCullough's Cherry Blossom. It's a bit wild but I couldn't leave without it!We enjoyed the drive in The Tramp's Lexus . Comfortable and safe...and gets pretty good darned gas mileage for what it is. And we haven't had it serviced yet either. It's nice when things work out for the best!

And the real reason for the trip....we had a wonderful long dinner with our friends...and actually managed to get home before midnight!

So before this Sunday gets any older I need to tear myself away from this computer and get to work! LOL

Friday, November 2, 2007

Well how about that!

I'm at 103 posts! I missed the 100th one. Ah well....life goes on. LOL

Thursday, November 1, 2007

There he is!

Of course he's the cutest grandson in the world. LOL

Winnie the Pooh himself! He came home from the hospital on Halloween.