Friday, September 29, 2006

My friend and I went to one of the local groups quilt shows today. Most of the quilts were quilted by machine but this one really caught my eye. I'm not sure how it was quilted as it wasn't in the handquilting we all see but more of an embroidery stitch. The displays were so close together I really couldn't get a full veiw of this beautifully done work. Being a handquilter, I can just imagine the many hours this took to complete.

I was disapointed seeing so many quilts done on the machine, not that machine quilting is a bad thing as I send many of mine out not having the time to handquilt each and every one of them. I miss the beauty of seeing all those tiny stitches so lovingly made. I miss the softness, the cuddly look of them.

SBS is all sandwiched ready to quilt and yes, I'm going to machine quilt her. She's a utility quilt, meant to be loved, used, abused and washed to death if necessary. Not a quilt to hang on the wall or save for the next generation down the line. I want the ones I make for my family to be used not stuffed in a acid free paper and put on a shelf, taken out for show. SewCatherine...yes there are Halloween blocks here.

When I first started quilting, I protected the quilts I made for my family like they were my children. I intiminated my kids to death with all the directions on how to care for and treat the quilts I had given them. I was appalled at my GS's when they made tents, wrapped themself up as they watched TV. Those quilts belonged on their beds, not abused. As I've gotten older in my quilting life, I've realized when I give a quilt, it's no longer mine and what that person does with it is OK. If they want to wash it every week, that's fine, if they want to sit on all those little stitches I put in by hand that's fine too and if they make my little grandkids happy in their tents, that's a good feeling. It's theirs, it no longer belongs to me. Our quilts are like our children, we give them birth, we watch them grow then send them out into the world and hope for the best. When they are tattered and torn we know they have been loved, not abused so we get out our stash and another quilt is born.

I wonder what the women of years past would think of us now. How we make quilts not to keep warm, not because we need bedding, not of pieces we've cut from worn out clothing but from rooms full of fabric we hoard. What would they think of quilts that grace the walls or decorate our tables, not a serviceable, utility quilt to lay under keeping warm.

We still make wedding, graduation, birth, memory, signature and many other quilts. We lovingly place them in protective custody, take them out for display and save them for generations to come. Years from now, they will be found in a closet, carefully wrapped up and saved and for what reason? Quilts are made with love and should be used with love.


John home for the weekend

Another good movie "Ladies in Lavender" with my GF

A fun day at the quilt show

Indian Summer days

Not finding a present from the Kitties on the floor

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's been a fruitful day here at my house. I dug out all the SBS blocks I recieved way back in '99 when I belonged to a guild and we swapped blocks for birthdays. The ladies put forth great effort, way beyond their comfort zone to make these for me. Few of them appliqued at that time and you can see it in their stitches. Not that I pretend to be the quilt police, I love the effort they all went to for me. Little did I know a GGD was in the future and here it is 5 1/2 years later, her crib quilts no where near big enough for her twin bed. It was time for gramma to get busy. I dug through the stash auditioning fabric, nothing big enough to do all the blocks when I opened a container and before my eyes appeared lots of FQ's just waiting to sash these blocks. It's a hodge-podge of everything from dragon flys, ladybugs, to footprints, kitties, birdhouses and flowers all colors. She'll love it and I won't have to buy thing except the batt.

I started the hour a day a wee bit early. I wanted to get a head start as I will be gone almost a week for GD's wedding.

I made my deadline, the Compass went on the quilting frame today. I chose a couple different varigated threads, gave her an idea of what I wanted and told her I trusted her judgement. Nikki does a beautiful job, I know it will be sensational when she's finished with it. No pictures till it's done, I forgot to take any before I rushed it off to town. I didn't add anything more to it other than squaring off and a couple borders. After ruining fabric, a knick to my finger, another to my thumb, that Quilt looked me in the eye and said "Less is More, enough now already". VBG


A movie with my good friend

A day sewing

Continued sunny, warm fall days

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I got to spend the day with my friend running around to all the LQS in our area. We managed to hit 4 of the 5 that are within 30 miles of home. What fun we had even tho' I was frantically searching for just a wee bit of green I needed to finish off my flying geese. Sucess, while not quite the same the geese are small enough the difference won't be noticeable.

We visited a new shop to us which has been here for about 3 years or so and what a shop "Tangled Threads" in Lynden, WA is. WOW was all I could say as I stood and gawked. This is no ordinary shop with one big room and a table off in a corner for classes. Fabric here is loved. A room full of flannels, a different one for holidays, another for Batiks. You get the picture here. A separate room with a huge table for classes, a staff lounge with big comphy wing chairs to relax in. Antique sewing machines in every room. Clean, tidy and shelves filled with scrumptious fabrics. You can see a lot of thought was gone into the planning. It's not just a shop, it's a quilters heaven.

Last stop for the day, we found the perfect Batik to finish off the rest of the compass. A good days hunting for us.

Yesterday everything went wrong. More time was spent ripping out than I've done in a very long time. PPing gets me all confused. If I put it down for a day, I can't remember how I did it the last time, seniour moments to often lately. Then knicked my finger, another knick to my thumb, more ripping, ran out of fabric, dug through the trash can hoping for scraps big enough and finally called it a night. Somedays nothing goes right and the best thing is to put it down and start over the next day.


Chinese at our favorite place
The very helpful ladies at the LQS
A call from John tonight
Talking to my cousin on IM
Sunshine after a rainey morning

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Flag of our Fathers

Friday I picked up a book with an interesting title and jacket. Little did I know it would keep me cativated all weekend. Every minute I had was spent with this book in my hand. I couldn't put it down. What I thought would be a novel turned into the account of the battle for Iwo Jima and the 6 men who raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Over the years this photo has signified courage and valour, but to the men who raised it, it was a few moments out of their life and of no importance. They all felt the real hero's were those who died on that island not themselves. We've all seen the famous photo, the memorial in Washington DC with it's inscription "Uncommon Valor, was a Common Virture" but yet we heard nothing of the lives of the 6 young men, 5 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman who are in this photograph.

We've probably all heard "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" or seen the movies portraying the battle for Iwo Jima or studied WWII in our history classes but we've never read about these 6 young men and how being labeled as hero's affected their lives. We've never looked through their eyes and saw the horrors of war or saw how insignificant they thought that few minutes were.

Little did the son of one of the flag raisers know until after his father had died that he had been awarded the Navy Cross for valor above and beyond until he found in his office several boxes of papers relating to that time in his life when he went to war. His father was a very private man, never spoke of his time on Iwo Jima, never felt he was a hero and only lent a hand during the raising of the flag so captured in the famous photograph. After his death, the author spent years interviewing fellow Marines and family of those 5 other men. I feel this book is a tribute not only to those flag raisers but all the Marines who never came back.

I'm not ashamed to say I shed tears as well as chuckled as I was reading this book. So many lives lost to give us our freedom we have today. So much hoopla over a photograph snaped in 1/400th of a sec, a second raising of the flag over Mt Seribachi, a moment that was insignificant in the lives of 6 young men which labeled them hero's not for what they had experienced on Iwo Jima but because they happened to be there at that moment when the photograph was taken.

Iwo Jima was hard fought, hard won, many Marines lost their lives there. In the words of John Bradley, they are the hero's.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thank You

for all the good wishes for Roscoe. I'm happy to report he's home from the hospital, not needing surgery but on a stool softner and has pooooo'd. Whew, glad that's occured. He's almost back to normal, just have to watch him and make sure that he continues to get rid of that full colon. Ever tried giving 17#'s of squirming, clawing cat liquid medicine? I've got battle scars but I'm wining.

You're all probably getting awfully tired of this compass showing up like every bad penny you wished you never had to see again. vbg Opinions are needed here. I kinda know what I'm doing, not that I do very often but.....does this need a stopper border between the geese and rising compass's and which the mix and match points or the all the same points????? Am I getting to busy here???? In order to keep this from growing and growing, I need to square off from this point. Laid out on my queen bed the corners reach from side to side, top to bottom and GD has a regular dble bed.

Minuture's, teeny scraps and 1.25" HST's are frustration of the highest level. My Hr a Day project got scooped right off the table into a baggie. Life is to short to save teeny scraps, spend the better part of a day and having three 2" blocks accomplished. Realization set in, I don't like working with something that small. I want to be able to see what I'm working on without a magnifying glass or having it right in front of my face. I tried I gone try it again? I don't think so, not in this lifetime anyway. Anybody want them, I'll gladly mail them off to you, most are trimmed, some need it.

Fall has arrived in my corner of the PNW. The trees are turning color, the leaves falling. Time to put the garden to bed, bring in the BBQ and swing cushions. Soon the rains will start bringing dark, gloomy days perfect for curling up in front of a fire with a good book. I hate to see summer come to an end. I love the warm sunny days and dread the cold, gloomy winters.


Having time to sew everyday.
Having time to read all the Maverick blogs.
John coming home tonight for the weekend.
Good friends on the net

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good and Bad Day

The good part of my day was spent in the sewing room laying out and stitching together the first of the borders. Still have the corners to do later this evening. I'm liking the lighter background for the floating geese more and more. Sets the center compass off rather well. After a sandwich, coffee and break will finish the corners and attach them. A good days progress.

The bad part of my day. Roscoe my loving manx hasn't been doing very well. He had been leaving little deposits on the carpet telling me something was wrong. A trip to the vet a couple weeks ago with treatment for fleas and tape worm didn't help his condition at all. I wish I had requested an Xray instead of just mentioning it then. I noticed a few days ago he hadn't been eating. Called the vet (emergency hospital) early this am and off we went. I knew something was wrong, he just wasn't himself, didn't come for his morning bath, wanted to sit in my lap and he's definetely not a lap cat at all, was becoming lethargic. Blood test taken, Xrays showed an impacted colon full of stool. The treatment so far has been a couple enemas with no results. Surgery to remove the stool may be necessary. I'm worried sick for my furry baby. I think thread or fabric ingested is the culpret.

To all those who wrote about their memories of 9/11 and feelings 5 years after. Thank you for sharing with us all.

My goal for tomorrow
Roscoe proof my sewing room.
Complete another compass.
Finish the HST's on the Hr a Day.


A day sewing to keep my mind busy.
The Staff at Critical Care who are taking care of Roscoe
John's call from Portland this afternoon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Back to Work

Vacation time for John is over as I waved goodbye and saw him off to the ship this morning. No more days spent sitting in front of the puter downloading music for me to put on CD's.

I look forward to my time alone, getting up early, sewing all day in my jammies. Not cooking breakfast at noon and dinner at 8pm. Vacation is difficult with everything being put on hold for the 2 months John is home. Nothing gets done but the basics, cleaning goes on holiday, the vac stays in the closet till I can't stand it anymore, and sewing is non existant. Somedays I wish for a 40 hr week with 2 weeks off for good behaviour. VBG.

Today I planned on getting the yard and lot mowed, a shower and evening spent sewing. Not going to happen, after 4 hours pushing the mower around, I want to put my feet up and do nothing.

Tomorrow is another day.....the start of my Vacation Time.

On my Vacation List.....

Deep clean a room a day.
Finish the compass quilt by Sept 25.
Finish Judy's Hr a Day quilt.
Finish Handquilting the embroidered quilt.
Hand quilt the Windmill for next years picnic.
Go through all my clothes and get rid of what I don't wear.
Organize my sewing room yet again.
Catch up on everyone's blogs.

Not a very impressive list of things to do on vacation but time fly's faster than a speeding bullet.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A View from the Deck

Yesterday was a perfect day to spend at the beach with my sister, BIL and friends celebrating her 51st birthday. A day for adults, no children or grandchildren.

She came along late in my parents life. I was 16 the day they brought her home and it became my job to take care of her. When I married and left home she was a year old. My son's arrived and the 3 of them grew up more like sister/brothers than aunt/nephews. The three of them still maintain that closeness to this day. She's my favorite of all 5 of my sisters and more like me than any of them.

Marcie grew up got married and settled right here while I traipsied around the country. Whenever I came "home" for a visit the first place I headed was to her house. Fishing/crabbing with my BIL developed a closeness I don't have with the other BIL's.

When we moved home, they were right there lending a helping hand. I couldn't ask for a better sister and BIL.

Happy Birthday, Marcie, may you have many, many more.