Sunday, December 26, 2010

First of Many

First quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative - $1,000 challenge.

This quilt is from a design by Pat Sloan who has graciously allowed her free quilt patterns to be used for AAQI donation quilts.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Some very good news from AAQI. Money they have awarded to a team of researchers has yielded some very encouraging results. Read all about it HERE!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yes I know I'm Supposed to be Quilting

Yeah, I don't know what's been wrong with me lately. I can't seem to sequester myself in my tiny sewing nook, away from everybody for long period of time. But I found some great free patterns at Pat Sloan's Website, and she has agreed to allow these to be sold at one of the Priority: Alzheimer Art Quilt Iniative auctions. So I'm excited and I feel the creative juices flowing. I think I might just be able to focus on something this weekend.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

From Russia With Love?

Trying to figure out why I have had so many visits - WELCOME VISITS, mind you -- from Russia just today.

Welcome! Please leave a comment!

Librarians On Parade

Yesterday the library's book truck drill team was part of the annual Atlanta Wellstar Children's Christmas Parade.. We had a great time in spite of the cold. Chick-Fila provided free coffee and biscuits. The library marched right behind the llamas, which was quite interesting and required a lot of focus and manurevering maneuvering The second most exciting thing was watching the Miss Piggy float go under the telephone wire strung across the street leading up to Peachtree. This was a gigantic float (Well, it WAS Miss Piggy). Miss Piggy was seated on a cushion, so they floated her feet first, then let go of the ropes holding the feet part, and pulled on the ropes attached to her head, pulling her down backwards. Her feet went up, her head went down and she scooted under the wire effortlessly. It was pretty amazing.

I understand that WSB-TV cut to a commercial just as our group approached the TV cameras. Bad form, WSB!

Nonetheless, we got great response from the audience and showed that librarians are dedicated troopers, have a great sense of humor about themselves, and just want you to get off the computer and read a book now and then.

Sounds like a plan.

An Old Debbie Reynolds movie

I developed a serious crush on Cliff Robertson when I first saw this movie in 1963. I'm ashamed to say I was 13 years old at the time. Thirteen year olds are much more sophisticated these days, when most have given birth by 13. I was still having crushes on movie stars at that age.

We would have called a "square" movie back then; today, kids would groan "it's lame" -- in the unlikely event they watched it. Not that anyone would dream of making a movie like this today. Although Raising Helen with Kate Hudson and John Corbet kinda sorta comes a little close.

Memorable lines: Cliff Robertson (who plays a minister): "Don't let this collar fool you. I stopped thinking of you as a movie star a long time ago."

Debbie Reynolds: I ran out on you, too. Will you forgive me?
Cliff Robertson: Forgiveness is part of my job.
Debbie Reynolds: I stopped thinking of you as a minister a long time ago.

It's contrived and predictable, but the whole idea is to manipulate you into a feel-good mood. And there's nothing wrong with that.

My blood glucose levels have risen significantly in spite of enjoying this frothy little nugget so I think it's time for a few episodes of Dexter to even things out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Truck Drill Team

In a reprise of our July 4th triumph, the Cobb County Library's Precision Book Truck Drill Team will march in this Saturday's Children's Healthcare Christmas Parade.

If you are in the Atlanta area, don't forget to watch. You won't regret it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter's Bone

Not quilting related but here's a wonderful movie you need to see.

Winter's Bone, based on the book by Daniel Woodrell, is a remarkable independent film. Ree tries to find her father who has put the family home up for his bail, then disappears. Ree is an incredible, strong young woman who has assumed tremendous responsibilities. Apparently she has dropped out of school in order to take care of the younger siblings due to the absence of her father and her mother's mental illness. She is determined and relentless, in spite of encountering dangerous and frightening characters who would not hesitate to kill a young girl such as she.

This is not a feel good movie, but the character of Ree is worth knowing and worth sitting through the the very grimm reality you will find in this film. And the young actor who plays Ree,Jennifer Lawrence, is so true, geniune, and honest, she is a wonder to watch.

Ree will go down in cinematic history as a darker Mattie Rosscharacter - and Ree does not have the benefit of a Rooster Cogburn on her journey.

See this movie.

(And by the way, I can't WAIT for the new Coen Brothers version of True Grit. I read the book as a teenager, saw the John Wayne/Glen Campbell film. Also I recently listened to the audiobook read by Donna Tartt. I will be first in line on December 22.)

Free Stuff

Have you visited Freebies for Crafters? There's great stuff over there, likethis terrific little bag and this wonderful Panda amigurumi (boy that word gets me every time!)

What a generous web site, sharing fantastic free projects! Go give them some love!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Last week we took a brief road trip to Ellijay. The leaves were just peaking, and I took these photos which don't really to them justice.

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The yellows and golds and reds were so vivid -- just gorgeous.

We drove through a tiny town called Talking Rock, and saw this little fellow. He was one of a litter of kittens born to a stray cat. If I didn't already have four kitties at home....

A Farewell

Well it's a rainy, cold, windy day here and I'm about ready to go do some retail theapy since I'm pretty sure all the Black Friday crowd is back at home, snug in front of the fire with a hot cup of something to soothe their shattered nerves. I did not go near the stores today - had no intention of doing so, but on top of that, I had to attend the funeral of a dear lady who died this week. Yes she was elderly but she was such a very vital, intelligent force of nature that it's hard to believe she's no longer on this earth.

There's a reason we have funerals and today reminded me why. We get to review the person's life and remember all the good things we knew about them; we learn many things we did not know (I, for example did not know that in the course of her long, full life, Ruth had been a dance instructor. I knew she had supported her family in a number of jobs after the death of her first husband but - dance instructor!)

She married Ed about 20 years ago. It must have been about 5 years ago that we were invited to Ed's 80th birthday party cum vows renewal celebration. It was quite a to-do. The rabbi asked Ed the usual question "Do you Ed, take this woman..." and at the end said, "Now think about this, Ed. Now's your chance!"

Ed replied, "Oh, okay. I will if she will!"

They found each other at a JCC Singles event. They were so well suited to each other, and as the rabbi said, Ed gave Ruth opportunities in life that she could only dream of: trips to London, Paris and eventually, an African Safari.

I remarked at how fortunate they were to have found each other, both after having lost their first spouse to illness.

Now Ed is alone again but with a large extended family - many step children and grand children, and such good memories of the last 20 or so years with his true soul mate, Ruth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Whither Noah?

I found a wonderful embroidered Noah's Ark quilt - very quirky & cute - somewhere on the Internet but now can't remember where. I am about half finished with it...

Also I have four days off but unfortunately have to attend the funeral of a good friend tomorrow. Her health had been failing for some time.

After that I hope to attack some UFOs in my stash. I would post pictures - and will - but it is such a hassle since the desktop died. I have to hook up DD's laptop to the printer, upload, download, etc. etc.

But will get it done....

I need your input!

Happy thanksgiving

Not Thanksgiving Related Post

Enjoy. Happy Turkey Day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Write It, They Will Come

If I start posting again, will you come back?

Facebook took over my life for awhile. I realized that I had not blogged anything for months, nor could I find the time or inclination to do so. That's how powerful the Facebook thing is.

So I deactivated - and wish I could DELETE Facebook entirely.

While it's a good way to keep up with friends, it really became a time-sucker. Not only did it kill my blogging habits but it intruded on other areas of life. That is just not good.

I made a number of good friends I suppose you'd say over the years of posting my quilting and sewing ups and downs and I've lost touch with folks out there I never would have come in contact with, except for this remarkable and infuriating thing - the Internet.

I've had some great ideas I wanted to put into words and just never got around to it because there's only so many hours in a day and many of them are used up with my day job, sleeping, and connectin with real, live people.

I'm sure nobody has suffered because of my absence from the ethers, and ya'll would get along just fine without me but here I am, indulging in this vanity again.

Stay tuned, it just might get interesting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SAFF 2010

I was thrilled to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival this past weekend. What an experience! Please view my album - lots of pictures which I haven't edited yet. I think I've found a new obsession.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wonderful Embroidery

Annie Beez Folk Art is a great site. She's currently featuring a free Halloween BOM embroidery block which I should be able to finish by October. I love to combine embroidery with quilting. I'm thinking I'll do the embroidery in black and use Halloween and Fall themed fabrics. She also has fabulous patterns you can buy, embroidery, quilting, and dolls: all good things!

Needle Case Swap

You can see my finished appliqued needle case here, along with others. I'll be mailing my finished case to my partner tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Posy Needle Case Swap

I received this lovely needle case from my partner, Kim in Minnesota. Isn't it lovely?

Finished mine: pictures later~!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I love indie movies. I also love Ciarian Hinds (who incidentally is 3 years younger than me!). I've loved Hinds since I saw him in Persuasion as Captain Wentworth, and as a tormented soul in The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Recently I watched The Eclipse (2009), an odd but likeable mish-mash of paranormal, love story, and even comedy. Hinds plays a widower who believes there are supernatural forces at work in his house. That's what drew me to the movie initially. He feels an attraction toward a woman novelist, Lena, played by Iben Hjejle, who writes about the supernatural. The actress playing this part was very natural and believable and funny - she is spooked by the dark, and doesn't want to talk about ghosts - very cute, given her line of work. Hinds seems to be in that lost place after the untimely death of a loved one where you can't quite go forward. The grief is still there, still raw, like a low grade fever, but you are trying mightily to get on with life.

Lena has an ex-lover, Nicholas, played by Aiden Quinn (who I've liked in the past but whose character was totally obnoxious in this movie). I'm sure there was a reason this character was in the film, tension I guess, conflict maybe. To me he seemed pointless and irritating.

Ciarin Hinds hears and sees things in his house that can't be explained. He tries to talk to Lena about it but she doesn't like talking about ghosts (just writing about them), and says they're too "spooky". I found that an appealingly quirky twist to her character. You would expect her to want to discuss Hinds's situation very seriously but she just won't talk about it. Especially after dark.

The early scenes in the film where Hinds experiences odd occurrences are truly creepy. I like ghost stories very much but I don't like the slasher ones they keep making, with a lot of CGI creatures. There wasn't too much of this in the film, and the first time he sees a ghost - or whatever it was - is the way I would expect such a phenomenon to happen.

(Let's digress here and while I tell you about my one and only ghostly encounter. If that's what it was.)

My cousin was living in his ex-wife's home (there is a story there but not now. It was a beautiful home in a very wealthy part of town - old money. I was told that the house was built from an old house transported over here somehow from Europe. While this house had not been built for that long, the materials - most of them - came from an much older structure in Germany, I think.)

To fully understand this, you have to have a visual of the layout of the house. Imagine that as one enters the back door, you were standing in an entry and could either go left or right. If you go right, you go into a guest bedroom, up a few stairs into a sitting room, continue into another bedroom, then down a few stairs and you would be in the living room/dining room - a big open room. If you go left, you go through the kitchen where I think there was another outside door. The entry way was hardwood, so if someone walked across the floor, you could definitely hear them.

Well - my cousin and I and a couple of others were standing in the dining room. The back door opened and closed. We all stopped talking and listened to someone walk across the floor (wearing sneakers, it seemed because there was that squeaky sound the rubber soles make) and definitely go into the guest room - still hardwood. We heard the sound of someone going up the few steps into the sitting room, then no sound.

Someone called out my cousin's mother in law's name but no answer. No one came through into the living room. We looked at one another then a few went through to the entry way and on into the bedroom, others went around the other way through the living room, up the stairs into the second bedroom/sitting room. We met each other there - but no one else.

There was no doubt among us as to the direction the steps took, and there was no other way out of the house on that side.

I guess they could have gone into the kitchen but we definitely heard those footsteps going upstairs - the sound is unmistakable.

It was a strange experience. My one and only such experience.

But to get back to the movie, I recommend Eclipse if only because Ciaran Hinds is in it, and the female lead, Iben Hjejle is quite charming, and her apprehension about discussing ghosts is endearing and funny. In the end, the film ends on a hopeful note although all the pieces seem to not quite fit together. Still, see it if you can. It's not a great movie but a pleasant one.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Needle Case Swap on Quilting Gallery

Go ahead and sign up for the Needle Case Swap on Quilting Gallery. You know you want to. All sorts of possiblities for this one. Make several. Make them into a quilt!

The Wedding

My niece recently was married to a dead ringer for Matt Damon (only cuter, smarter, and in better physical shape. And younger.) Nope. Not him. My new nephew is definitely better looking.
Uh-uh. Not this guy either. Yuk on the goatee by the way, Chipper.

The flowers at the club were gorgeous.

Here are my daughters as bridesmaids. GAWgeous! (You'd never guess how much pain they're in, would you?)

Oh what the heck. She probably won't mind - they are all over Facebook.

I had some dress drama but I will need to post pictures which I don't have just yet. I haven't been able to bring myself to put the garment back on for anyone to take a shot of me in it. In fact I never want to see it again. Still, it all turned out okay because (1) it wasn't about me to begin with and (2) my sister-in-law has a great sense of humor and (3) I wore something else. Usually I find these situations hilarious. But I have been in situations where I was dressed inappropriately for the occasion and it has scarred me for life. I have White Trash Syndrome. Country Come to Town. You Can Dress Her Up But You Can't Take Her Out.

Speaking of dresses, those they are wearing were engineering marvels. I was truly in awe of their construction: boning, multiple zippers, bustling. Incredible. Truly, they were the Eiffel Tower of garment construction.

More on That Dress (The Epic Failure) later. Aren't these young ladies just lovely?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

This might be the best blog ever:

Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Run your mouse over the orange band.

Emmylou Harris on June 25th! Oh, I hope I can get there!

Heritage Park

My DD and I took the beast for a walk at Heritage Park on Sunday.

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It's a popular walk but not much color. The bridge goes over some wetlands which are more interesting in the fall. There weren't even any birds today.

Just for fun, here's an hilarious clip of Carrie Fisher roasting George Lucas:

I remember when Star Wars was released. We thought the special effects were awesome.

I also loved Fisher's recent autobiography, Wishful Drinking which is based on her one-woman show.

I'm currently reading Endurance by Alfred Lansing, about Shackleton's Antarctic expedition.

Also reading Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. This is a classic, post-apocalyptic novel written about 1960 about the survivors of a nuclear attack. Depressing but ultimately hopeful.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

This is so beautiful; had to share.

Goodbye Facebook, Hello Blogger

Let's catch up, shall we?

It's either the blog or Facebook and i choose the blog.

I'm beginning to hate Facebook because it is the biggest timesucker in the univere. I have sworn to look at it once a day to see what my friends are up to and that's it.

Blogs however can be educational so no more hiatuses and let the blogging begin again.

I can't believe the year is half over and I have so little to show for it. I think it's been about two months since we tore the downstairs completely up to put down new flooring and paint. This is in anticipation of getting the house on the market next year. My husband will not rest until he has about forty acres somewhere. If that is the case then I insist on having chickens andsheep. I especially like this guy and not just because he has the best name for a chicken I've ever heard: Appenzeller Spitzhauben. I love the black and white coloring and that little touch of red. He also seems to have a good temperament.

Can you feel the love?

Look at these little guys:

So let's see: lots of land to keep up, cats, dogs, horses, chickens, sheep, cows, all which need to be fed and looked after. Yes, I think that's exactly what two people need when they retire. A farm with lots of animals and crops to look after.

That certanly fits my definition of retirement.

Meanwhile, I'm finishing up my quilt for the
Embroidery Mini Quilt Swap. Here's an in progress picture:

I love the cheery colors; I hope my swap partner does.

Okay one last thing. My niece is getting married in a couple of weeks (more dress drama next time). Here's a shot of her, my daughters and their grandmother which I think is just great. What beauties, all of them:

Good food!

My daughter & grandmother:

Monday, April 12, 2010

DTRH Challenge - Clue Four

Here they are, six pieces reassembled and embellished.

I asked my husband what he thought and he said, "I don't know what it is." LOL. Neither do I! It's an exercise, that's what it is!

Wonder where Clue Five will take us?

Thanks to all for your nice comments!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Absolutely Beautiful Day

Clues Three and Four

Clue Three: quilt.

I used some variegated thread and a monofilament which I don't think really shows up in this photo. But it turned out very nice.

Here's a close up:

Clue # 4: cut into at least six pieces and rearrange in a non rectangular shape. Okay.

I wanted to keep the ragged ends of the strips and incorporate into the finished quilt somehow but that didn't work out for this project. I decided to just zig zag the edges.

Oh and I used a piece of a fleece blanket from Ikea for batting. I've been doing that a lot lately. I like the feel of the blanket and it quilts very easily even by hand. They cost a whopping $3.00 (about) and come in red, white, and black. AT least they did the last time I was there. It's perfect for this type of project where I don't want to waste batting.

Stay tuned for the big finale.
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Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm Late! I'm Late!

For the Down the RAbbit Hole Blind challenge at Dog In The Hole Studio!
But I'm jumping down the hole anyway. Here's my first clue:

I took a plain piece of muslin and ironed some light weight interfacing to it.

Then I took some torn strips of a Laurell Birch fabric scrap and stitched to the muslin diagonally.

The next step is to quilt this piece using a variety of threads. So we'll meet back here tomorrow for my Clue Two results.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Looking for Inspiration

My quilting mojo is suffering. I'm looking for inspiration anywhere and everywhere. I joined the Libquilters and Image Transfer groups on Yahoo. I tried my hand at image transfers yesterday with mixed resutls (will post when I get the nerve).

Started working on a memory quilt.

Saved a ton of scraps and miscellaneous other strings and bits of fabric to incorporate into ... something quilted.

Maybe I have spring fever. Maybe I can post some pictures and you can either trash them or offer encouragement.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Operation Pillowcase

Thirty five more headed to Afghanistan! Fabric courtesy of Debra and Deb; five of those pillowcases are by Jules.

Thanks to all!
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Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Quarter Past Two, Why Am I Awake?

We are leaving for Savannah at 9 am. Why am I awake?

I've been busy: I made pimento cheese for lunch on the way down; I have dishes washing. Of course, I have been internet surfing. I would upload some photos but my camera is all packed up. And since I've been awake for about an hour so naturally, I'M HUNGRY.

Last night (a few short hours ago) my daughter brought me a pair of jeans and asked me to cut them off and make her some capris. Which I did. I took out the fabric Deb sent me for pillowcases and got it ready to sew when I get back from vacation.

I am not even packed; in fact, I have clothes in the washer that I will need to dry before leaving in about 6 hours.

And I am driving all the way down. It's not a long drive (about 4 hours) but my husband and I usually take a couple of hours each. However, last week, he took a fall at work and as a result, has a hairline fracture in one arm and a chipped bone in the other. He's also very sore and "stove up". So, he cannot drive for any length of time. I am hoping he will be recovered enough to enjoy our vacation which always involves a lot of walking.

We have been looking forward to this trip for awhile. We try to see one new thing every time we go to Savannah, our favorite place. This year we hope to see the
Mercer Williams House which might - unfortunately- be best known for the notorious murder which took place there and was the subject of John Berendt's book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But it has a much richer history than that. For my birthday (on Wednesday) my daughter wants to take me on one of the many ghost tours.

Last night my older daughter said that a member of a friend's family is missing. He was visiting family in New Orleans and hasn't been heard from in several days. He was last seen at a bar, I believe she said, and when he left, was observed going int he opposite direction from his hotel. I don't know him at all but know the family so it's pretty disturbing. I hope he is okay.

I feel the sleep monster creeping upon me and I am getting flakey so I will try and doze until it's really time to get up.

Have a productive week while I'm away. :-) Meanwhile, look at these adorable Quilts for Little Girls at the Quilting Gallery.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

60th Birthday Bash

Mom and Daughters:

These are people I've worked with at one time or another, and a few of their spouses:
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1930's Quilt


A gentleman wanted to show me this quilt. A woman in Virginia found it and sent to to a small church in the Vinings area. It was made by her mother and her quilting friends around 1933 - the date is stitched into the quilt top, thank goodness. The name of each quilter is stitched onto the block she made, so it's almost a roll call of who attended the church at that time.

The quilt was sent to the church and lay unnoticed for some years until a member found it and had it framed. It now hangs in a prominent position and will be dedicated soon.

I was pleased that the gentleman wanted to show me the quilt. I recognized a name or two because they, or their daughter, was one of my elementary school teachers.

The church has quite a history, too, and an unusually high number of prominent members from the local community. It was a pleasant hour I spent listening to the history of this small church. I have driven by there for years and always wondered about it's history. I was pleased to learn I had a very slight connection to it.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Wedding Outfit Possibilities (and I'm only half kidding)

It's all because I watched The Talented Mr. Ripley last night. Those fifties fashions! So fab.

Here are some possibilities I'm considering... not exactly 50's style but still vintage:

All in silk charmeause. Beautiful!

By the way, that is a fabulous movie. It is so well done and well written, you will be routing for the bad guy. And when you figure out exactly who the bad guy is, let me know, will you? None of the three main male characters is exactly a good guy and frankly, I didn't much care what happened to them. But the two women, especially Cate Blanchette, are so true and real in this film. You just feel their hurt and confusion. I don't like Paltrow but have to admit she is superb in this film. It's one of my favorites, creepy as it is.

More Pillowcases and Winter Mini Quilt Swap

My Winter Mini Quilt is ready for quilting. This is from a free snowman pattern here. So cute. I added some scraps from the pillowcase fabric Debra sent me for the border.

Here's the latest stack of pillowcases which will be on their way to Afghanistan soon. There are 34 cases in this stack, and I was able to cram them all into one box this morning. Of course afterwards I realized I needed to line it with plastic first so we'll see if I can repeat that amazing accomplishment. There are seventeen cases from Jackie in Alabama - and I'm sorry, I don't know her blog or I would link to her.

These are just three of the great pillowcases Jackie made. I love the dog/cat print! Someone will be cheered by these.

I've had a lot of fun with the pillowcases. I think it's the thrill of accomplishment and that they are going to a such a deserving group of men and women.