May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ready for Christmas

The Holiday Open House was a success. Everyone had a great time and DH enjoyed being the host for his co-workers. In the end the weather co-operated and almost everyone came. A few had to opt out due to illnesses. We had more than enough food and the next day I took left-overs to a local shelter.

Amazingly, I managed to finish a table topper before the Open House. I made it entirely using scraps. Of course, on Tuesday of this week, I was at a quilt store in Annapolis - Cottonseed Glory- and I bought four fat quarters that just seem to speak to me. So basically the stash hasn't gone down much.

Now it is time to settle down and enjoy the upcoming Christmas celebrations and events. We were supposed to go to a Holiday Jazz concert on Wednesday but DH came home sick with a bad cold. Guess that party was too much for him. Since the evening's event was cancelled, I sewed instead. The recently purchased fabrics inspired me to try a Ricky Tims Convergence Quilt. Not really a difficult technique but matching the seams turned out to be tricky. I soldiered on anyway. A little well-placed applique is good for covering imperfections. Now I'm working on machine quilting it. It's just the right size for more practice using my BSR.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

AAAHHHH! The Smell of Clean

Getting ready for company keeps one busy. I've been baking cookies and buying food and other stuff for weeks now. But the EASY part has been having Merry Maids come in and do a top to bottom cleaning in our four-level townhouse. I am sure that my house has never been this clean. They were here all day, dusting, vacuuming, polishing, scrubbing, etc. It was worth every penny to have someone else do it. A splurge certainly. Not something I can afford to do on a regular basis. It's a simple thing that has made me very,very happy. There will be no dinner cooked at my house tonight. I want the kitchen to stay this way for at least tonight.Last night was one of those great girl-friend get-togethers. My small quilting group, the Loose Ends (affectionately known as "the Loosies") got together at one of our members houses for a holiday pot-luck. We decided it was actually the first time all twelve of us had actually been together in one place. That was only possible because one of our members lives in California but she was here visiting. The food was delicious, the conversations uplifting and there was laughter throughout the house. We didn't quilt one stitch but we did have fun.
And to celebrate the season and get ready for Sunday's party, I got my hair cut. I finally got enough length on it to allow my hairdresser to layer and add some style. The big question is whether or not I'll be able to style it this way myself.Now I've just got to double the prayer efforts for good weather. It's supposed to be rainy/sleety/snowy on Saturday night into Sunday. Good thing I bought two 40-lb bags of Ice Melt. Otherwise, no-one will be getting up my front steps. They have to come. I don't want to eat hors d'oeurves and cookies for the next two weeks.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Most Wonderful (and busiest) Time of The Year

The Christmas Season is upon us. This year we are staying home and celebrating by ourselves just like at Thanksgiving. I'll miss being with family but I'll not miss the hectic airports and stress of traveling. Just having to wrap, pack and mail gifts is stress enough.

The house is "getting there" for decorating. We're having an Open House on December 16th for my husband's co-workers so I've been trying to keep ahead of the game. There are lights on the front of our house and festive decorations in the living areas. There is just a little tweaking to do.

I'm almost getting sick of cookies. So far, I've baked at least 10 dozen cookies for this Open House. I'm so glad we're buying all the rest. Isn't Cosco wonderful? You can buy everything prepared including a delicious Artichoke Dip. My husband's fear is we'll run out of food. My fear is we'll be eating left-over hors d'oeurves forever.

Sewing and quilting have been on hold for the last few days. I did manage to make a Christmas Stocking for the youngest DGD. I even found that I had left-over material from making her sister's stocking two years ago. They've been sent off to California to be filled by Santa.

Time to get back to the endless list of holiday to-do's.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year.....all by ourselves. Many times, when family hasn't come (or we haven't gone to them), we've taken the opportunity to travel. One time we went to Pennsylvannia, one time to West Virginia and one time to Virginia. This year we stayed home.

I fixed a Brined Turkey Breast that was moist and tender. I also prepared a Pumpkin Chiffon Pie from a Martha Stewart recipe. It was yummy. I decided to go with a theme and since USC was playing on Thanksgiving, that set the colors....cardinal and gold.

After dinner, we took a walk and enjoyed the last of the fall colors. The weather was just right. It was even a little on the warm side for a Maryland November.
USC won their game against Arizona and the day was perfect.
How blessed we are to live in the USA and to have wonderful friends and family who love us. It was the last Thanksgiving on the east coast. Next year.......(if all goes well).......California!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth and Me

Our trip to Walt Disney World was SO much fun. And yes. The surprise was awesome. Poor DH was so incredibly tired after a busy work week that he was falling asleep in his soup while we were having dinner at Marrakesh in Epcot. It was incredibly noisy with patrons and background live music and belly dancing. I kept fiddling with my cell phone in my lap so I wouldn't miss the call from my DIL. It finally came through as a missed call so I excused myself to "use the facilities" and went out to call her. They had arrived. Now all I had to do was get DH out of Epcot, on a bus back to the resort and up to the room. By the time we arrived at the door, I think that all DH could think of was going to sleep. Instead, he opened the door to our oldest DGD standing in front of him with Minnie Mouse Ears saying "Happy Birthday PopPop!". I think he was having an out of body experience that he was barely able to process. Then our DS and DIL popped into view with the baby DGD and the surprise was complete.

Isn't this the cutest little mouse you have ever seen?

We lucked out on the most gorgeous perfect weather ever. It never rained. There was no humidity and the daytime temps were always in the 70's. We swam, visited the parks, ate, shopped and generally had a great time just being together. We missed our youngest DS who couldn't come due to work commitments and finances. We had a special dinner on the acutal birthday......November 5th. I had pre-arranged for youngest DS and DH's sister and father to call in to say Happy Birthday. And of course, we had a cake served for dessert. I also presented DH with about 20 B-day cards from other friends and family around the country. I had secretly had them sent to me ahead of time. Enjoying the birthday dinner at the Flying Fish Cafe at the Boardwalk Resort near Epcot.

I think I managed to create quite a few memories for DH and the family. We all agree we'd like to do something similar again in about 4 years when the girls are a little older. Next time it will be at Disneyland and California Disney because we'll be living out there. It will also be easier for youngest DS to join in the fun since he lives in Southern CA.

You only live once and it's only money........Go have fun with the ones you love!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Continuation of the Visit To The Mouse

DH came in last night just as I was finishing up my blog about his B-day surprise. I quickly ended my sentence and submitted the blog. I didn't want him reading over my shoulder.

Tomorrow is the big day as we travel to WDW in FL. We'll check in to our lodgings and then head out for the afternoon and evening at Epcot. We'll get back to the Old Key West Resort around 9:00 p.m. and by then DS, DIL, and the DGDs will have arrived and they will be there to greet us. I sent a set of Minnie Mouse ears for the DGDs to wear when PopPop arrives.

Holding in this surprise is driving me crazy. I so much want to share all the excitement and planning with DH. I'll be so much more relaxed when the surprise is out in the open. I'm not taking my computer with me so pictures and stories of the "grand surprise" will come later on my blog.

Aren't surprises fun!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Planning a Visit to the Mouse

I have a mental list of all the things I want to see and do before we retire to CA and leave the east coast. Right up near the top has been a trip to Walt Disney World. I've only been once. That was in 1984 when we traveled with our boys from CA for a trip through the southeast. I've wanted to go back ever since.

My chance is coming this Friday. DH will be celebrating his 60th birthday on November 5th. I suggested we go to WDW to celebrate. He agreed. What he doesn't know is that our oldest DS, DIL, and DGDs are going to join us. They will be flying in from CA. Unfortunately, youngest DS can't get away due to finances and job committments. I've kept DH totally out of the loop for planning this trip. He doesn't know anything except when we are leaving and how long we are staying. There have been a zillion phone calls and e-mails between my DIL and me as we put all the pieces together. We've even ordered a birthday cake to be brought to the restaurant for DHs big day.

I think I've become something of a WDW expert through this experience. My personal reccommendation for anyone planning a trip to WDW is to invest in a great book called, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger. He also has a website called Another great site with lots of tips is

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Travels and Projects

What interesting weather we are having. Here it is the middle of October in the Mid-Atlantic region and we're having daytime high temps in the low 80's.......not at all the usual. I'm personally quite ready for Fall and cooler temps.

The beginning of October, we were fortunate to take a trip to San Antonio, TX for a conference for my DH. I kept myself busy while he attended meetings. I enjoyed the Alamo, the Mercado and the Museo Alameda. The Riverwalk was a wonderful many choices for places to eat. The weather was warm and humid but bearable. Later in the trip, we visited my siblings in Jefferson, TX (NE corner of the state) where it was a lot warmer and a lot more humid.

Once home, we were back to painting. This time, the painters arrived to fix and paint the Master Bedroom ceiling. Nothing like moving out all your furniture and taking down window treatments to energize your day. Great chance to get rid of dust bunnies.....but I really wanted to quilt not clean.

But I finally got to quilting. I finished a baby quilt for a baby due in November. It's all set to have it's binding sewn down this evening when I meet with my small quilt group. I also played around with an art quilt that I'd ignored since April. I finally got up the courage to add some embellishments.

I made this quilt in a class at our guild show in April. It was taught by Amy Stewart Winsor. She called it Wonky Log Cabins. It was fun and very out of the box for me. I just couldn't figure out what to do about embellishments. Basically what I did was to couch yarns on the surface. I've thought about adding a few beads but I'm leaning towards leaving it as is. I don't want to overdo it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Sometimes I'm all enthused to sew. Sometimes I'm not. But lately, my enthusiasm has come back. I think it is a form of procrastination. At the back of my mind among the myriad of things to do, I know I should be packing up stuff to move out of the master bedroom so the painters can come and repair/paint the ceiling. Since they haven't officially called me with a start date yet, I keep putting off the inevitable job before me. What better way to spend time than to sew, sew, sew.

So what have I been working on lately. Well it began with a small quilt for my DIL's aunt who is about to undergo a lumpectomy and radiation for breast cancer:

This quilt began when I was cleaning out some fabric bins and discovered quite alot of left-over fabric and orphan blocks from a quilt that I had made for my sister. Her quilt was much larger and I wrote in several positive sayings and lots of family names to wrap her in warmth while whe was undergoing chemo. Nina's quilt is smaller but I hope it will also warm her and let her know she is loved.

But wait! There was more left-over fabric in that bin. Among the scraps were some squares that I had begun to hand-piece together. Since there were several squares already cut but not stitched yet, I just sat down at the machine and added them to my already begun piece:

All of these fabrics were from various Quilt For A Cure lines of fabrics. I have to say they are really not colors that I normally lean towards. I'm more a warm color palette kind of person. Fortunately, I still have MORE of all this fabric so I should be able to come up with some borders for this "middle.

Then there are all the baby quilts waiting to be made. The daughter of a dear friend is having a baby girl in November. She and her husband are decorating the nursery with an aquatic theme. Even though I am trying desperately to use up stash, I couldn't resist the cute little fish flannel for this quilt:

This quilt along with the others needs to be sandwiched, quilted, bound and labeled. I've got lots of projects still ahead of me. Basically, I need to stop making new quilt tops and get busy finishing UFOs.

And finally, there's the quilt that got started (and is almost finished) for no rhyme or reason. I just felt the urge to "play" with scraps and before I knew it a quilt top had emerged. About half-way through, I decided it was the perfect gift for my youngest brother who is turning 50 on Sunday. Now that is an incentive to finish. No.....I won't get it there by Sunday but I will get it finished in time for the trip we're taking next week to Texas that will include a side trip to visit my sibs. So Happy Birthday Little Brother:

In general, I am not a very creative person. I tend to work better from following patterns and directions. But for this quilt, I truly worked outside my box and just invented it as I went along. I really like it. What you don't see if stars on the cornerstones that have now been added. I especially like the mini-piping. It really helped set off the middle.
So that's it. My busy, busy, quilty week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quilts, Costumes and Life in General

It's been a month since I last visited my blog. In the meantime, I started a blog at which I seem to access more often. I've got to watch the time factor here. On-line diary/blogging can be a bit time-consuming and addictive. Then there are all those blogs that are fun to read.

At the end of August, we went out to CA to visit DHs father and sister in Southern CA and then went up to Northern CA for a visit with the DGDs.....oh...their parents, too LOL. We're still exploring Alameda as a place to live in retirement. DH loves the nearness of the SF Bay. Wonderful opportunities for walking enjoyment.

Since I've been back, I've been working on Halloween costumes for the DGDs. I don't think I ever sewed any costumes for my boys when they were young. The extent of my garment sewing for them was PJs and T-Shirts.....those were the days of knit fabrics. For this project I had to get my brain back to a 5/8" seam and not the quarter-inch seam that quilters use. Working off and on, I managed to actually finish two costumes before Halloween. Here they are:

The 10 month old will be a darling little lamb and the 2 1/2 year old will be a cute little ladybug. I think this may be my only foray into costume making. I forgot how I hate sewing curvy garments. But you never know. If the DGDs ask, I'll probably give in. I think that's what grandmas are supposed to do LOL.

In between working on the costumes, I pulled out some scraps for a quilt that I had made for my sister when she was undergoing chemo for breast cancer. I found that I had enough orphan blocks and fabric that I could make another quilt. Since another friend is about to have a mastectomy, I decided to play around with what I had and make a quilt for her. Here's the results of that effort:

It's not a very big quilt but it might be enough for her to put across her lap and know that she is loved.

We are having lovely Fall type weather this week. It's the season I like most in the Mid-Atlantic region. It will be one of the things I miss when we move back to California.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rip-It, Rip-It, Rip-It

......or check twice, sew once or you'll be doomed to rip and sew again.

I was so thrilled to be so close to finishing the top of my Mr. B Scrappy quilt. My computer had been giving me fits and starts all day and it was happily humming away as I ran a full scan. So that left me free to get back to sewing. Carefully, I sewed rows. Carefully (I thought) I sewed sections. Voila! Open it up to see that the design was "upside down backwards" or something. Out came the seam ripper...*sigh* . So now its back in pieces and this is how it is supposed to look when I sew it together correctly. Remember check twice, sew once.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Home Again and Time to Catch Up

We got home from our 2 week trip last Sunday. Sure didn't leave the heat behind. This last week has set recording breaking high temps and humidity here in Maryland. The humidity is supposed to be a lot less this weekend.

I've managed to finish two baby quilts over the last month. One just got finished this afternoon. Both are awaiting their labels. The colorful one was free-motion quilted with the BSR on my Bernina 440QE. It didn't seem to move very freely but I think that may be because the backing was flannel. I still need more practice with my BSR before I can say I'm really comfortable with it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Wonderful Shelburne Museum

Twenty years or so ago, we took a trip with the boys to Quebec, Canada and through the Northeast. One of the highlights I remember from that trip was a visit to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. Jim remembers that he tried to keep the boys entertained while I tried to see as much of their vast collections as I could. I also remember that I did not see it all but I thought it was a wonderful place. I've wanted to go back ever since.

Today we got there and despite fighting a summer cold, I finally got to leisurely walk around and see all the incredible collections. Along with their permanent collections, every year they have several special exhibits. First and foremost on my list were 3 special quilt exhibits. They were all unique and interesting. One was a collection of contemporary Vermont quilts. I recognized at least two quilts in that exhibit that I had seen in Quilt Shows. The second exhibit was a collection of quilts by an African-American artist named Rosie Lee Tompkins. It reminded me alot of the Gee's Bend Quilts. The third was an exhibit of Amish Quilts called "Stars and Bars". It was from a gift to the museum.

Another interesting and beautiful exhibit was "Out of This World: Shaker Design Past, Present, and Future". It contained five different groupings....historical furniture, commercial items sold by the Shakers, Religious drawings and calligraphy, contemporary Shaker furniture, and a fancy work--which were items that the Shakers were shunning in their own designs. I also enjoyed the Chandelier exhibit and the folk art collection.

Electra Havemeyer Webb was the founder of the museum. In her lifetime, she amassed an incredible amount of art and other collections. Along the way, others have contributed to the collections. At Shelburne, I was able to stand up close and personal to art works by Mary Cassatt (a personal friend of Electra), Monet, Manet and others. It was just amazing. Mrs Webb donated most of her art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY but quite a few nice pieces are here in VT.

For a visit to the Shelburne, check out this web-site Shelburne Museum. In the meantime, here a few pictures from the outside. Unfortunately you can't take pictures with flash inside so I don't have pictures of the collections.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Travels in the Northeast

We've been off on a vacation. Since the plan is to retire to CA next year, DH and I figure we'd better see everything we want to see on the east coast while we can. This summer's plan has been a trip up through Maine, into Canada to Prince Edward Island and back through Maine, VT, and NY to the Adirondacks. We're currently in Augusta, ME on the way to VT. DH wanted a stop at the Maine State Archives and Library to do genealogy research. Thus.....I am able to access my computer with their free WiFi.

The trip has been truly wonderful. We had a great two nights on the island of Vinalhaven in Maine, where our dear friends own a house. Here's a picture of a typical scene when boating through the islands of Maine.

We traveled up to Bar Harbor and spent a glorious day at Acadia National Park. We stayed at the greatest B&B called the Birches. It was in Southwest Harbor. Our hosts Dick and Rocky Homer were delightful. The view from our bedroom window was the bay. Here is a scene from Bar Harbor.

And then it was off to Canada. We took the CAT ferry to Yarmouth, NS, Canada. Unfortunately, I found out I was not a seasoned boater. I had to stay put and look at the horizon in order to avoid being sick. We drove up the eastern shore of NS to Truro where we spent the night. In the morning, we boarded the ferry for PEI.

PEI is a beautiful place, full of lighthouses, bays, farms, and gentle rolling hills. We stayed at Anglo Rustico at another B&B on the water. Our hosts were a lovely Acadian couple who reccommended a side trip to Greenwich Dunes. It was well worth the drive despite the horrendous heat and humidity......PEI was having an unusual heat spell. On Saturday, we attended the "Anne of Green Gables" musical in Charlottetown. PEI is the setting for the classic L.M. Montgomery stories. Here are some pictures from PEI.

Now we are back in the U.S. having stayed one night in New Brunswick where we saw the Reversing Falls and the Hopewell Rocks. Here is a picture of the interesting rock formations at Hopewell Rocks. When the tide goes out, you can walk out to them. You can really see the effects of the wind and see on the red sandstone.

So now we are in Maine (one of my very favorite states) and my story ends for now. It's been a great trip. I feel so truly blessed to be able to travel and see so many lovely places.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back to Normalacy - Whatever That Is

Just finished substitute teaching in second grade. The pregnant teacher delivered early, so what was supposed to be 4 weeks became 5 weeks. Life as I had generally known it in retirement came to a halt. Waking up early and lesson plans came back in to focus. All in all, it wasn't hard at all. How can I complain about a class that only had 11 students? The teacher even did her own report cards. The way I figure it, I now have a little extra money for those trips to California to visit the darling grand-daughters. And here they are:

Now it's time to get back to quilting and other sewing projects. The current top of the priority list is curtains for Makayla's room. Today I finished the tabs for the top. Tomorrow, I'm going to work full day and see if I can't finish them. So here is the basic idea:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Scraps Progressing

The Mr. B Scrappy quilt is coming along. The main section is now half finished. I'm having such a good time just picking up squares and sewing them together without worrying about color. It's truly turning out to be scrappy.....just the look I wanted.
Our local quilt guild show is this weekend. I think I will be basically living at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Thursday through Sunday. I'm helping with set-up on Thursday. Then I have two classes on Friday and Saturday. Sunday I'll be doing my white glove stint after church. Even my husband will be helping out. He got talked into doing a security stint. Friendship Star quilters put on a great show. They've got lots of talented quilters who turn out gorgeous quilts both traditional and art.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To Finish is Divine

Wahoo! I just finished sewing down my binding for my quilt show quilt. I took a pattern called "Bugs in Jars" and made them into flower jars instead. Then I tried out some free motion quilting and made bugs in the flowers. Nothing fancy but it was fun. Turn in for our quilt show is Saturday. All I need is a label and a sleeve. I'm thinking of also adding a bit more quilting. One thing I learned when doing this quilt is that I don't like doing hand sewing on black. It really tired my eyes.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good Friends, Good Times

How fortunate we have been to have good friends in our lives. We've had visitors over the last few days. They came all the way from Idaho via a side trip to CO to see their grand-daughter. What a joy to visit, reminisce, and catch up with each other's lives. We've known each other since our boys were pre-schoolers. We've been through many of life's adventures together when we lived in CA.........including the Northridge Earthquake in January 1994. We've watched our children struggle to grow-up, finish college, get married, and just recently become parents. Surely God has blessed us with the friends in our lives.

While they were here we visited
Hillwood House, a little known gem in Washington, D.C. It was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post and it houses her collection of Russian art. The gardens were lovely though we are not quite at the height of springtime in the Mid-Atlantic. We also went out to Harper's Ferry, WVA and had coffee and lunch at a great little cafe in Brunswick, MD called Beans in the Belfry.

Today it is windy and blustery following two days of rain. Our friends are traveling south to visit other friends in Asheville, NC. But they'll be back here for one night before heading home to Idaho.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Quilt Out of The Bag

Sometimes I like to ponder "What if......." when considering ideas for quilts. Problem is that I seldom get brave enough to try anything very new. I'm hesitant on color choices and I question my design capabilities. So.........I decided to try something safe but fun. I had been getting 4" squares from Mr. B's Fabric Club (Benatrex) for awhile. They always send along ideas for a small quilt but nothing ever hit me. So the squares kept piling up. Until one day.........I decided to throw them in a bag and start pulling them out randomly and put them together. I did this off and on for awhile. But what was I going to do for a setting? Plain old 9 patch seemed too boring. Along comes a friend who is doing a scrappy 30's quilt and she shows me her setting from a magazine idea. Perfect! That's what I will use for my scrappy quilt. This project has been going on for awhile as I just work on it off and on. I did come up with a plan using my EQ6. The picture that follows is where I am so far. So..........What if I randomly select fabric squares and sew them together?:

I'm kind of liking this. It's been fun to work on and it will be a great quilt for practicing my machine quilting on.

But it's got to go on hold for now. Tomorrow I fly out to CA to visit the darling grand-daughters.

Just a note......It's going to be in the 80's today. Spring really is here. Yeah!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sewing Machine Woes

I have two lovely Bernina Sewing Machines and both of them have been visiting the Bernina Techs lately. In fact, the newest one, the 440QE is still there. I went to my first "get-acquainted class" for the 440QE and discovered that the tension was all funky. The instructor told the Bernina sales folks that they had better take my machine and get it in working order before I take the class that teaches me about the BSR. That's not too fun since they are telling me the turn-around is possibly two weeks! I can't even sign up for my next class until the machine is back and in good running order.

Then there is the 150QE which I need to sell. But the alphabet progran was all out of whack and it needed a regular tune-up so in to a different tech it went. To the tune of $300.00, it was ready by the afternoon. I took an applique class while it was being fixed over in VA at the Quilt Patch. I sure hope I can sell it for a decent price to make up for the cost of fixing it.

The applique class was alot of fun. We practiced several techniques for doing applique. I've never been one for much hand-work. I'd like to get in to it so I have something to work on that can go along with me.

I've also been taking a color class for quilters. Haven't worked that hard in ages. We had to use zillions of little 2 inch fabric samples to make a color wheel with tints, shades, etc. Then we had to make charts of analogous, complimentary, etc. colors. Lastly, we hit the fabric department and had to pick a fabric palette that matched a picture we brought in. It was intense.

Last Friday, we had snow again. Jim and I went out that evening to see the Irish Tenors at the Music Center at Strathmore. What a lovely event that was! The acoustics in that auditorium are fantastic. We had great seats and we enjoyed the program of Irish tunes and melodies.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Project Finished!

It's been a marathon sewing day. The duvet for DGD #1 is finished! The new sewing machine was wonderful and definitely made the project easier with automatic buttonhole and putting on the buttons. Projects like this always seem to take longer than you think they will. Luckily I caught the fact that her bed was smaller than twin size before I got too far along. But of course, there was no duvet available in the right size. Solution -- make my own duvet/comforter insert. Fortunately the weather has been cold because I would not have wanted to sew with that much polyester batting in the summer. But it's done. I made it reversible so DGD can have options. Now it will be on to making the curtains to match and some pillows and pillowcases.
Tomorrow I'm off to take a class on using EQ6. I never really used my EQ5 to it's full potential. I'm hoping that with a class to inspire me, I'll really use it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A New Bernina Resides At My House

Oh the joys of a sale at the local quilt/fabric store! I've been eyeing the Bernina 440QE for awhile now but have been put off by the price. Because Berninas are fair traded through authorized dealers, you could never find more than a 25% discount......until last Thursday. One of my LQSs was offering a "very gently" used 440QE for 27% off and it would come with warranty and classes. Husband said do it so I did. I am so NOT an impulse person when it comes to big money expenditures. Buying it within one day of finding out about it was something new for me.

The machine is home and it sat in its box for two days because I was busy. But now it's upstairs in the sewing area and I've even tried it out. BUT I haven't gotten quite brave enough to try the BSR (Basic Stitch Regulator) foot yet. I may wait for the classes for that. In the meantime, I've researched and read many reviews and sewers of all kinds seem to like this machine. I'm sure my husband is wondering how many sewing machines I will end up owning in my lifetime.

I'm having "sew" much fun trying out the decorative stitches with variegated thread and memory. I see lots of possibilities for sewing for the grand-daughters. Don't think I'm interested in the embroidery module at this point but if a sale comes up, who knows what will happen.

Time to get back to sewing.......................

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Day For Catching Up

Mondays seem to be my day for catching up. Of course, I forgot it was the Presidents' Day holiday so my run to the Post Office didn't happen. But I did get to Curves. I'm desperately trying to keep that in my routine.

Thought I should add a picture of our weather conditions. Here's what it looks like from our front door. The ice is treacherous everywhere you go. As it warms up in the daytime, it melts but then it re-freezes into slippery glass overnight.

After spending way too much time on the computer today, I'm wondering if computers really add to the quality of my life. Some tasks can certainly be time-consuming. Today's task was to set up on-line bill paying through our credit union. Yikes! Type the account number. Re-type the account number. Add the address, phone number, etc. Took forever. But it's done and supposedly bill paying will be easier. Well see.

So here's one more picture of the icy conditions at my house.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another Aspect of Who I Am

Besides being a quilter, a mother, a teacher, a wife, etc., etc., I am a child of God. I'm realizing more and more that my faith is an important part of who I am. Lately I've been thinking about what that means. I have a desire to explore my faith and spirituality. Where will this wandering take me? I don't know but I do know God has a plan for me if I will just listen.

I've found a new church to attend. It's a community church and not a denomination. From my past experiences with other churches, I think this kind of church is the best fit for me. It's casual, contemporary and the people there seem caring and friendly. I find myself anxious to get there on Sunday mornings to the point of actually sort of popping out of bed. Coming home, I feel as if I've been fed by the Word. God is good in leading me to this place. The question before me now is how involved do I become with this church. Hmmmmm....something to pray about.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Still cold but sunny here in Rockville. Today we went out to get our passport pictures taken. Should have listened to my neighbor and taken them ourselves. Two pictures cost $12.00. But they are "professional quality", not that they need to be. It wasn't fun comparing our pictures from 11 years ago. Guess you could say that we have "changed" a bit. So off they will be sent to update our passports in hopes of taking a vacation this summer that will include Canada. We have a goal of seeing as much of the east coast as possible before we make our retirement move back to California.

I spent the afternoon getting back up and running with Amazon and eBay. Little by little, I'm whittling away at the shelves and shelves of books we have. My goals are more to rid myself of stuff rather than make money. It does take time to do all this. I need to get back into the groove and get myself organized like I was last fall.

Haven't done any quilting today but I did take time to check out some of the Quilt Gallery on There is some pretty amazing stuff out there. I even wrote a compliment to someone who did a Ricky Tims convergence quilt. She had added lots of sparkly embellishments that made her choice of fabrics really stand out. I've got the Ricky Tims book but I haven't yet attempted the quilt.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Off and running in the world of blogs

According to some feedback I got on the quilt forum, blogging is easy and fun. So here I am typing my first entry. Thanks QuilterLynn for getting me started. I'm seeing this as a way of journaling and sharing. So with that in mind I'll begin with a picture of me with one of my darling grand-daughters.

Today in Rockville, MD we've had sunny skies and cold, cold weather. There's about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground but it's not soft and fluffy. It's icy cold and hard as rock. We're expecting a few more days of this record cold. Being a native Californian, I can't imagine the kind of snow that the upstate NY folks are experiencing.

This is the kind of weather that's good for staying in and quilting. I've managed to finish a baby quilt. It's only one of about 4 baby gifts that I need to finish. So I don't have a picture of the baby quilt but here's one of another quilt I made. This one for the darling baby pictured above. Her name is Violet...hence the color scheme of the quilt is quite appropriate. Being a grandmother is such fun. I'm looking forward to many more sewing projects for "the girls".
TGIF A Friday tradition around here is to watch Monk. So I'm out of here for now.