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Came Home to Chaos

I got home from my travels to my father being released from the hospital and having to stay with them overnight for 4 days.  I was worried and exhausted.  Things seem to be settling in with them and my life is slowly getting back to normal.  I did have one afternoon where I just sat at the machine and made 2 more blocks to complete the scrappy squares quilt.  I do need to come up with a better name for it.  I also have to decide if I want to add borders.

I’ve also started knitting again because it’s easier to do in poor lighting.  I’m making myself some fingerless gloves.  I have one done and working on the second.  I’m really liking the result as well as the process.  I’m going to REALLY like the result as the weather gets colder!

Today I have to do some laundry, ironing and hopefully finish putting to scrappy square top together.  Joe has a meeting in Chicago tomorrow and asked me to go with him.  I just feel like I have to get things back under control here and keep an eye on my parents. I have to go over to my parents’ and get their dinner together then, hopefully, pin the selvage edge quilt so I can get quilting it this coming week.  I do have some other tops that need to be quilted and I think I’m going to give up control of them and have someone else quilt them for me.

I can’t believe a year ago I was in India on a trip with Jinny Beyer.  I made some great friends and wish I lived closer to the Washington DC area so I could see them more

often.  I learned so much about color and being freed from my usual perception of what should go together.  I am intrigued by Islamic designs and want to do a quilt based on some of the designs I saw.  I just need to finish up some other things in the pipeline before I can pursue it. 



Off to get what needs to get done accomplished so I can have some time to do what I want to do!  I will post some of the pictures of the quilts from Houston when I have more time!





Day 3 (So I Skipped Day 2)

Busy time at Festival!!!  It was a fun and exciting second day!  Got up and over to the Convention Center at 10 with about 30,000 of my closest quilting friends!  From what I heard, last year there were 60,000 people at Festival!  I believe it after seeing the crowds on Friday!  I met people from all over the world-Australia, Brazil, Japan, France, India, Germany, the Netherlands and some that hardly spoke any English so I couldn’t tell where they were from!  And there were more motorized scooters than there should be allowed in any enclosed structure!  They should at least have turn signals and brake lights and have to pass a drivers’ test before they are allowed to drive those things!  You could barely move down some of the aisles of the vender market but not nearly as many people in the actual quilt show.  I was really surprised!  I couldn’t wait to see the stunning quilts but I did spend some time checking out the retail booths!  I always thought that most people came to see the quilts but it was abundantly obvious most people were there to shop!  I also noticed most of the booths were geared to the more traditional styles of quilting and more primitive style quilting products than I thought.  Not a whole lot of contemporary (Kaffe and Amy Butler style)  But then again the crowd was definitely older.  Speaking of Kaffe I did see he and Brandon walking past the Craftsy booth as well as Paula Nadelstern, Ricky Timms & Alex Anderson.  I know I saw more quilting celebrities but I’m currently brain dead!

The people here from Craftsy were amazing!  They have done such a nice job and I hope their first appearance at Houston will bring in lots of members.  They really have a lot of new and interesting classes in the pipeline.  I think it has a lot of potential and I have enjoyed taking their classes more than I thought I would!  I did try my best to help spread the good word!

This morning I got up to find a text on my phone asking if I would be interesting in taking a class!  Of course, I said “yes!  And by the way, what is it?”  It was a thread painting class with Nancy Prince.  I had never heard of her but have always wanted to try thread painting.  It was a good class.  I learned a lot and developed enough confidence to try it when I get home.  I have a piece I started a few years ago in a class with Patricia McClouglin that I’d like to complete with some thread painting.

Tonight Tamera, Rick, Hailey, Jenn and I went out to dinner at a good Mexican restaurant that was recommended by someone sitting with Tamera at lunch.  It was a great

recommendation and the margarita was especially appreciated at the end of the day.  Okay-sorry it’s sideways.  Someday I may become computer literate!

I’m back in the room now and packed for the flight home tomorrow.  I haven’t even gotten into what’s going on with my parents while I’ve been gone.  I’ve got to finish packing and get ready for facing reality tomorrow.  I’ll try to post tomorrow night, depending on what goes on with my parents.  I’ll also try to post some more of the pictures from the quilt show.

Houston Day 1

The big day had arrived!  I got up at 4:45-YAWN!!!  Joe had an 8:00 meeting so needed to get me to the airport early so he could get back in time.  My flight was from the new terminal at the Detroit airport and

there were so few people there compared to the other terminal.  My flight wasn’t even half full so I could spread out a little bit.  Got in a bit early and got a cab right away.


Checked into the hotel at about 11:15 and my room was ready!  Unpacked and settled then caught the shuttle over to the convention center.  The place is HUGE!  I found the Craftsy booth (the website whose Facebook page I “liked” to win the trip) to check in with the staff. They are incredible!  I got a tee shirt and pin and went off to check out the place!  OH MY GOSH!!!  Quilting overload! I went over to check out the quilt show portion.  Let’s just say, I’m breaking it up over 2 days!  So much to take in!  Incredible workmanship.  The Texas Quilt Show part was outstanding!  There were no pictures allowed in that section because they have a book so I bought it (only $25 for a BIG HEAVY BOOK)  I’m glad I had a place to store it (under the skirts at the Craftsy booth)          I went through a bit more than half of the show then had to break for a bite to eat.  I was able to get a turkey wrap-about the only healthy choice available.  Speaking of unhealthy-I have never seen more people on those little scooters!  I don’t know if quilters are more unhealthy than the general public or if the unhealthy ones all come to Houston.  Either way, these scooter driving madwomen would run you over rather than let you by or come to a dead stop right in front of you with no warning!  They need brake lights and turn signals.  There was one woman who had so many bags loaded on her scooter she looked like a human shopping cart! I’m posting some of the pictures that have inspired me.  I know you can look up the winners online.  They are incredible but I want to show you some of the other ones.  I was fascinated at the different settings for the One Block Wonder/Stack-N-Whack.

Okay, I’m having a hard time putting the pictures in the post and I’m due to head back over to the show.  I will try to upload  more pictures later and pictures of what I bought yesterday!  I have to figure out how to upload more than one picture at a time and in the order that I want.  Please bear with me on this learning curve.  I may also check out other blog sites.








I’m Back-For A Day

This is a busy time for me, but pleasantly so!  I just returned from Sonoma, California where Joe and I celebrated our 30th anniversary.  The actual anniversary was in August but the timing for getting away was not great as we had just returned from our family vacation on Cape Cod with the girls and Joe was busy at work.  It was the perfect time to get away to Wine Country as the weather was turning here in Michigan and warm and sunny in California.  I didn’t take enough pictures, though!  We rented a Mustang convertible and drove around with the wind in our hair for 4 days in Wine Country!  It was a blast to drive and I just may consider getting one for my next car!  I don’t think I’m going through a mid-life crisis as I’m really happy where I’m at right now, but after years of driving minivans and SUV’s a little sports car is a lot of fun!

We stayed at The Fairmont in Sonoma.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I felt very pampered.














We hit about 4 wineries a day.  The one of the lessons we learned was to split the tasting.  The first few we each got a tasting, which is just a few sips of each of the wines offered.  Multiply a few sips times 5 to 7 samples and it’s not long before you are feeling the effects.  The wineries we visited were:

In the Healdsburg area:

Alexander Valley Vineyards-Josh’s friend’s parents own this winery and Ally and Josh were there for a family wedding.  It was a beautiful setting and the wine was really great!  (We shipped a few cases back).

White Oak

Starlite-a new winery

We then drove back down the valley to the Sonoma area and went to BR Cohn.

Sunday we stayed closer to Sonoma and went to:

Nicholson Ranch-we were the first people there and talked at length with the people working there.  The thing that stuck out in my mind from that visit was the difference between hand picked grapes and machine picked grapes.  Let’s just say I prefer hand-picked.  The machine shakes the vines to remove the grapes-and anything else in the vines including  spiders, snakes and lizards!  I don’t want extra protein in my wine!  He did say it only takes 8-10 workers 20 minutes to pick a half acre of grapes!  That’s pretty amazing!

Gundlach Bundschu-I liked this one!

Buena Vista-not so much

St. Francis-I liked this one A LOT!

Then back to the hotel for a work out!  We had a wonderful dinner that night at LaSallete-a Portuguese restaurant in downtown Sonoma.  It was incredible!  We split some mussels and I had a seafood stew and Joe had steak.  We even split a dessert!

Monday we just drove around.  We went over to check out the town of Napa.  Didn’t like it as much as Sonoma as it’s much bigger.  We drove up Highway 29 to Calistoga to check that area out.  Lots of vineyards along the way but not really in the mood for more tastings.  Save that for the next trip!  We walked around Calistoga and met a local who recommended taking Highway 128 up over the pass and back into the Sonoma Valley and stop in downtown Healdsburg.  What a pretty drive!  When we finally found Healdsburg we walked around a bit but left before we had a chance to see too much because it was Halloween and all the kids come into town to trick or treat in the business area.  I really liked the area and would like to stay in that area next time we go.  We then drove back to San Francisco to spend the night and flew out Tuesday morning.

The trip was wonderful and Joe was so relaxed.  I hope we get to go back again.

Today is a busy day with a workout this morning, nail appointment and doing Mom’s medicines for the next week.  I then have to complete packing and I’m off to the Houston Quilt Festival in the morning.  I will try to take more picture.  That is my new goal.  Take more pictures to post so I have a record of what I did!


Been busy with work people in the house and trying to keep somewhat tidy.  It’s also that time of year when I put away all the summer clothes and get out all the sweaters and turtlenecks.  I also weed through what I didn’t wear all summer to get rid of it and donate all the winter clothes I don’t think I’ll wear in the coming year.  I lost 40 pounds the past year and a half and I did notice that some of my coats were big on me last year.  I had to replace all my clothes last winter but I held onto my coats.  This year I’ll have to replace the coats.  Thank goodness for T.J. Maxx! Here is the family room before the painting.  I’m really pleased!  The painting was finished on Friday and I’ll post a picture tomorrow after the electrician gets done installing the TV and speakers!  I’m still holding off putting books in the bookcases as I want to be extra sure the paint’s dry.  I don’t want to ruin the paint job or have books stuck to the bookcase!

Our quilt guild had a tour of sewing studios this weekend and I got lots of cool ideas for future updating of my space.  Some of the rooms were unbelievable!  One was a huge room in the basement with windows halfway up the wall-not a true walk-out but the windows ran the whole width of the room  You could do ballroom dancing down there!  I could barely wait to get home and start sewing!

I did get the borders on the selvage edge quilt.  I’m really pleased with how the black pops the colors!  I plan to lay it out on my island to baste it as soon as the electrician leave and I

can tidy up the kitchen.  Until then, I plan to work on the other strippy scrap quilt I’m making.  It’s also foundation pieced but this time on a square piece of shirting and I’m leaving the center 1″ exposed with the strips going out from the center.

I’ll post more pictures tomorrow.



Oh, Life is So Busy!

I really do have to get better about posting!  I have been busy with dealing with my mother, construction in the family room and trying to straighten up my sewing room.

My mom’s health issues are ongoing and will be from now on.  We took her in Tuesday for what we believed to be a 4-6 hour infusion to help with the symptoms of dermatomyositis.  When we got there they admitted her and told us they were going to keep her overnight to watch for any adverse reactions since this is the first time she is receiving this treatment.  Four days later we are picking her up.  First she had low blood pressure and they wanted to bring it back up before they released her so they kept her an extra night.  Thursday she started complaining of chest pain after the doctor signed the release papers so they rescinded the order and did a complete cardiac work-up.  The funny thing about this is we have been to her internist 3 times concerning her chest pain and it is from her sternum and rib fractures from 2 previous falls.  She keeps forgetting.  Oh well, better safe than sorry.  They kept her yesterday because the doctor didn’t see her until after 4 and they thought it was too late in the day and would tire her out too much to send her home at that time.  So I’m waiting for a call from my dad saying the stars are in alignment for her release!

We are also doing some construction in our family room to put the flat screen above the fireplace.  We had to lower the mantle and we added bookshelves on each side.  This is mid-project as we have yet to add the doors on the bottom cabinets, replace the crown moulding, paint and hang the TV.  What you don’t see is all the furniture covered with drop cloths.  This is all open to our kitchen so, even though the carpenters are really tidy, the room is a mess!

So, I don’t have enough going on in my life I decide to tidy up my sewing room.  I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed as of late with PHD’s (Projects Half Done).  I like PHD better than UFO as I can tell people I’m working on my PHD and when they ask me what my PHD is in, I can tell them “Textiles”!  Anyway, I “stumbled upon” (have you heard of StumbleUpon.com?-more later) a site that talks about how to spark your creativity and one of the suggestions is to work in a clutter-free area (or something like that).  My sewing room was a MESS!  I was going to take a before picture but was too embarrassed!  I’ve got the majority of it done but have a bit more to go.  This is the design wall with the Selvage

 Edge quilt I’ve been working on.  The Pineapple Star on the left is waiting for inspiration as to what to do next.  The Mariner’s Compass I’m hand piecing.  To the right is the Kaleidoscope block I made in a Paula Nadelstern class I took years ago.  I’m taking another class with her next spring so I’ll probably save this one to put with the new one (or 2) I make.  Below that is a feathered star block I’ll probably make into a pillow.  This is a view of the sewing area and the storage rack where I keep all my less that 1 yard pieces.  I used to work at a quilt store that paid us with “product” so I have more fabric than needed-but that’s a whole ‘nuther story!

To the right on the floor are a bunch of quilts that need to be quilted.  I think I’ve been so overwhelmed because I’m so over these quilts and want to move on but know they need to be quilted.  I have given myself permission to send them out to be quilted.  I know a fantastic quilter for some of the really good ones but want to find someone else to do the not so special ones.  Some of the plastic containers on the bottom shelves and under the sewing table are projects either started or fabrics collected with specific quilts in mind.  In most cases the pattern or a picture of the project is with them.

Here’s the area along the wall where I store my 1-3 yard cuts, wool, punch needle supplies and some of my notions.  Under the counter in the cupboards is batting and other stuff I want hidden.  On the right is yardage I have wound on bolt cardboard.


The last two pictures are of the cutting area and the desk area that have yet to be hit.  Maybe later today after I get my mom delivered home.









The other big news in my life is I won a trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston the beginning of November through Craftsy!  I had the initial contact on Thursday night and they said they would be in contact with me to line up the flights, hotel and my show pass.  I almost don’t want to get too excited about it until I get more details.  They did say they wanted me to spend some time at their booth to talk about my Craftsy experiences so I’ve started watching one of their quilting classes and have found it very good.  I’ll have to check out some more as time permits!  Maybe I’ll watch some knitting ones as well!

I mentioned the site, StumbleUpon earlier.  It’s a great way to explore the internet for fun sites you might be interested in.  Sign up-no cost-and check off what your interests are then start Stumbling!  What to do with your Stumbles?  Sign up for Pinterest!  Again, it’s free and you make up bulletin boards where you can “pin” your ideas for further reference.  You can browse other bulletin boards for ideas and view your friends bulletin boards.  Great-I just realized all the time I waste not quilting!  But on the other hand, I’ve gotten some great ideas from these sites!  Check my Pinterest boards under Villagequilter!