Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Been a While

I haven't raved about a bottle of wine in a long, long time.  Tonight I opened a bottle of Volver that I spotted at Costco and had to have based on the rating.  92 points from Robert Parker !!

It's a fabulous 100% Tempranillo from La Mancha Spain.  Even coming in at 15% alcohol, it's smooth as can be.  Run, don't walk, to your nearest Costco before it's gone.  Locally, I'll be scooping up all I can get, unless I bought the last bottle, which I'm sorry to say may be the case. Sniff, sniff.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Have you heard of PicMonkey??  I found out about this free photo editing software courtesy of  a blog I follow over on the left panel,

You can do all sorts of crazy things to your photos.  Here's a shot of my sister Renee and my Mom that I took at yesterday's baby shower:
I didn't do a lot to the picture -- cropped it a bit, whitened Mom's eyes, and used the Museum frame setting.  Looks pretty good right?  I'd like to find a tweak to get rid of the flash on eyeglasses.  I'll have to keep investigating.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baby Shower

Today was the baby shower for my niece Carla.  It was cold as could be outside but warm inside the restaurant where we all met to bring all sorts of wonderful goodies for Carla's baby.  Since we revealed our gifts to her today, I can finally show you what I made her.  I'd already sent down the high chair, etc. to Georgia back in March but here are the items I made for the baby and presented her with today:

I used a Mighty Jungle flannel panel by Henry Glass and the coordinating flannel fabric for the back.  I tried a new-to-me product, Fusi-Boo, a fusible Cotton/Poly/Bamboo batting - I absolutely love it.  It was easy to fuse, super easy to machine quilt on the Featherweight (!) and washed up nicely.  I bound it with the satin blanket binding from Wright's but I have to say, I don't remember the edges of the binding being rough before.  Maybe now that it's made in Ch*na (argh!!) the manufacturing process has cheapened (surprise!) but I didn't care for how rough it was, even after washing.  So back to the sewing machine it went and I zigzagged around the edges, making sure I went over the edge on the back -- much better now!

A quilt was not enough so I knit up these matching headbands in luxurious cashmere, because every girl needs cashmere!  Can I say what a pleasure it is to knit with cashmere??!!  No wonder it's so beloved.

Now we just have to sit back, wait, and pray until June 20th when Carla will deliver her little girl.  I'm sure I'll find more things to make like a sweater or two that are floating around my mind.

Holly reminded me again today that Carla's baby got a quilt from me first.  Guess I better get going on Denver's quilt, eh?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making Progress

I finished sewing the blocks for my niece's wedding quilt yesterday. I took them to my stitch group meeting last night and my Chicken friends helped me sort out the block placement. I took a picture of the preferred layout using my phone's camera for prosperity and will get them sewn together in the next few days. No pictures of the finished quilt coming anytime soon -- it IS a gift afterall.

I have to admit that my hands are definitely sore and need some rest before I tackle another project. For now, I'll keep taking my Aleve and wearing my splints at night.  Ugh!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Done, Done, Diddley Done

I finished the baby quilt today by sewing on the satin binding.  I switched back to my Bernina since I had to use a zigzag stitch and I don't have a zigzag foot for my Featherweight.  I used this video to guide me in getting the binding on right.  Since it's a gift and I have to wait until next Saturday to give it away, you'll have to wait until then to see it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I may not be able to knit much right now but I CAN sew!!  I've found my sewing mojo again with the help of the Featherweight my Mom relinquished to me about 10 years ago.  The poor thing sat in its box under a table, against the wall, gathering dust until I rescued it last Sunday.  New life has been breathed into both it and me and I find myself WANTING to sew.  Who knew?

My new 1/4" foot, purchased in Cinci:

Those jelly rolls are convenient but the pinked edges make it tough to maintain a true 1/4" seam.

These strips are for my niece's wedding quilt.  Shhhhh -- don't tell her!

And here's my first attempt at machine quilting on the Featherweight using another foot purchased in Cinci:

Far from perfect but I have to say, I'm pretty darned pleased with myself and the machine.  I never knew you could machine quilt on a Featherweight.  I always thought it was only good for straight stitching.  It does do a great job at straight stitching but now I'm finding it does sew so much more!

Minimum swearing and less than 2 hours later, it was all quilted -- phew!  Now I need to sew the satin blanket binding on it.  Guess I know what I'll be doing on Sunday.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Where is everyone??  All these gorgeous quilts posted over the last week and not a single comment?  Maybe no one else likes quilts besides me????

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More from Cinci

Last Saturday I went to the quilt show in Cincinnati expressly to meet two of the teachers I've contracted to speak and teach at our guild next year.  Both Anita Grossman Solomon and Gyleen Fitzgerald were wonderful, engaging, and oh-so talented.  We're going to have a lot of fun!

I attended a round-robin event with 14 teachers, some of whom I skipped (sorry!) and others I stopped to see what they had to demonstrate but didn't take photos.  Here are a few photos of those I liked:
 Cindy Blackberg demonstrated her wonderful hand-stitching techniques.  Click on the photo below to enlarge and see how she used two different colors of thread, side-by-side, to make this pretty block.

Anita Grossman Solomon was so friendly, joking with the four gals who had come all the way from Brazil!

Sorry for the fuzzy shot of Gyleen Fitzgerald -- that's what I get for trying to hurry!

This one might be one of our workshops in October:

Nancy Frost demo'd how to do mitered borders but it was her hanging 'sleeve' that cracked me up!

I'm definitely going back to the show next year and I WILL spend more time, hence more money -- better start saving up!

Try These

I found two completely different websites that were both interesting and useful.

If you're looking for opportunities to volunteer and give back to your community try  You type in your zip code and it gives you a list of potential things for you to do.  Go ahead -- it will make you feel better while you're helping others!

Second, will help you get your home itemized in case disaster or creepy thieves strike!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cinci Show

I asked my Chicken friends to go but in the end, I went alone.  The International Quilt Festival was paying its annual visit to Cincinnati and I decided I needed to go so off I went Saturday morning.  My main goal was to touch base with two of my speakers for next guild year, who were teaching at the show.

It rained cats and dogs most of the way down so my travel time was a bit long.  I made the mistake of stopping for lunch at a Chick Fil A somewhere near Dayton.  Not that the restaurant was a mistake -- it was the busload of college softball players who cluttered the counter area and seemed to be in their own little world, oblivious to the fact the I was in a hurry to get to the show!  Imagine that!!

Once I arrived at the show I was immediately consumed by the joy that only comes from being in the midst of beautiful quilts and fabulous vendors.  Ahhhhhh!  Many of the quilts had 'no photographs' signs beside them, alas, so here are some I could take pictures of.  The first few are from an Australian exhibit:

I love this one with all the mini-baskets:

Isn't this capelet exquisite??!!:

I'm fascinated by photo quilts.  The details that the artist captured are simply amazing:

This is what the show looks like once everyone has cleared the floor:

It's a darn good thing I got there as late as I did.  Oh, the damage I could have done......

Monday, April 16, 2012


Last Friday I took the day off of work and went to the Oakland County Quilt Guild Show in Lake Orion.  After dropping Maggie off at the veterinarian's for her dental cleaning, and running over to pick up more Accuquilt Go dies, I headed out to the show.  It was fabulous as always, plus I won a door prize of fusible batting.  I know exactly which project to use that for, so many thanks to them!  Here are just a few of the wonderful quilts on display: