Friday, April 30, 2010


That's a sigh of relief -- all the charity quilts are finished.  In the past two months, I have made 5 quilts for the Saddle Up and 2 quilts for Project Linus as part of Disney's volunteerism  promotion.  I had originally planned only 4 quilts for the SaddleUp, but I cut 6" fleece strips to use for the back of the Linus quilts, and got a little carried away.  Then it was just a matter of cutting 6" fabric strips, sewing them in the 6 hour quilt pattern, and voila - another quilt was born.  I feel really good about finishing these charity quilts, but now it's time to do something for me.

I think I want to play with my AccuQuilt GO cutter next week.  I have to cut 2" strips for my quilt class with Bonnie Hunter in July, and this morning I ordered two new die sets for my cutter.  I ordered the 2" strip cutter, which I think I will use a lot, and I ordered a special offer baby set.  The baby set contains 3 separate baby sets at a discounted price, and with a new grandbaby on the way in November, I just couldn't pass it up.  And with free shipping, well, who can pass up free shipping?

But first, I have to make it through this weekend.  Tomorrow is the SaddleUp and it's a long but rewarding day.  Use the link and check out some of the photos from previous years.  Our day starts at about 9 AM and finishes sometime around 5 PM.  The Texas Roadhouse provides a barbecue for the riders, and they generally cook breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The entire family gets into the event, which is sponsored by daughter Kristin's FIL.  (He's the guy on the horse on the SaddleUp homepage.) We generally have about 100 riders (more or less).  Daughters Pam and Pat ride every year, Kristin isn't riding this year since she's pregnant, and this will be granddaughter Krissy's first year to ride in the SaddleUp.  Krissy has already raised over $100 in pledges, and is pretty excited about her first long ride.   Mary always works registration, along with daughter Kristin and step granddaughters Kristin and Jessica.  I work the quilt raffle table.  SIL George heads up traffic control and has Rod, Jimmy and my step-grandson Andrew on his committee. And our neighbors also volunteer, one family procures most of the door prizes as well as working registration.  We have a DJ who donates his services for the day, and the karaoke at the end of the day is a hoot.  SIL Jimmy always treats us to his version of Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy and always gets a huge applause, especially if he does an encore of I Like Big Butts. It's a good cause and I'm glad we got involved.

See you next week.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Train Show

The train show was fun.  It was the first time we went without a long wish list.  This is the Eastern Division of the Train Collector's Assn. meet, and it happens twice a year --in April and October.  We've gotten some really great deals.  There are definitely some vendors that we visit each time, and make purchases from them.  One of our favorite vendors is Charles Ro.  He is from Massachusetts, and always has good deals.  In the past we have purchased my Christmas train set, Rod's Harry Potter set, and one of the kid's Thomas sets.  But this year, Rod had his eye on the Lone Ranger Set.  It retails for $399 and we weren't sure we wanted to spend that much.  When we got to the Charles Ro booth, he was selling it for $275.  It was tempting, but Rod passed it by.  We went and bought a couple of houses, including county jail, a country store, and a sea food shop.  We visited another favorite vendor, Scenic Xpress, and bought some landscaping items. From another vendor, we bought some trees - walnut, maple, and sycamore. And of course, we bought people.  Krissy always wants more people.  This time we picked up a set of kids with bicycles, and a soda machine. We were pretty much done shopping, and I told Rod that there was still enough money for the Lone Ranger set.  He hemmed and hawed around, and we went back to Charles Ro.  He looked the set over, and finally said we would take it.  As the salesman wrote it up, he told us it was the last one he had with him.  Seemed to me that it was meant to be.  We left the show at about 4:15, stopped at Wendy's for a sandwich, and headed for home.  Hopefully, we will make it to the October show.  It's just a fun day for us, some of our biggest dreams have been discussed while riding in the car.  The weather was beautiful, and I was sorry to see it end,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quilt Show - no admission

Rod and I have returned from the train show, and today I got one of the Disney quilts nearly done.  And now, it's time for a quilt show with no admission fee.

This is the horse quilt that I had shown before it was finished.  I don't feel real confident in my free motion quilting abilities - usually I just do stipple quilting.  But I've decided that I just need to brave the waters and practice.  So on this quilt, I quilted stipples around the horses, swirls on some of the horses, stars in the borders, and vines with leaves in some of the sashings.  Not perfect, that's for sure, but it's a start.

This is the quilt made from the Queen of the Ranch panels.  I wanted something simple and fast, so I just put borders around the individual blocks and then put them together.  I stipple quilted around the cowgirls, and did diagonals in the bandana blocks.  The people who have seen the quilt seem to think it's OK.


This is the Chunky Churn Dash pattern which I made with scraps from dog bandanas that I made in the past.  The hourglass blocks, however, are made with new fabric from Pat Sloan's Sweet Liberty line.  For a quick quilting, I just quilted diagonals  in the blocks.  I think it's my favorite this year, and Rod says he'll buy chances on this quilt.

And last, is the quilt made from the Back in the Saddle panels.  I really cheated with this one, and only added fabric where needed to make the quilt the size I wanted.  Unless you look closely, you can't really see where I put the needed fabric.  In the sashings, I took the advice I was given and quilted to make it look like ropes.  Then in the blocks, I just did an allover stipple. But they're done, and I'm feeling good about the way they look. Now if they just raise some good dollars for the kids at St. Jude.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hoop Ti Do

If I could jump into the air and click my heels, I would.  I had set a goal for having the Saddle Up quilts finished before we left for the train show on Friday morning.  And, I finished the last one yesterday at about 3 o'clock.  Photos will be coming - daughter Mary will probably take them today.  Now I just have two quilts to do for Project Linus.  It's my commitment to the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day volunteer program.  I have picked out my fabrics and have to begin cutting the 6" strips today.  I have decided to do the  6 hour quilt by Kaye Woods.  I purchased this pattern online for download several years ago, and have used it several times.  If you're looking for a quick and easy (and appealing) project, this is it.    We're coming back from the train show on Friday evening -- just  quick trip to York, PA and back.  So, hopefully I can finish these up over the weekend.  And then, it's time to do something fun for me!

What will I do first?  Hmmm.  I have some sweatshirts and patterns to make some jackets - one with sewing items on it, and the other with my beloved bumblebees.  And a third that I thought I would do some of my Disney applique designs on.  I haven't played with my GO cutter yet, and that may be a fun thing to start with.  And then I have to start on quilts for the grandkids for their birthdays this year.  Sew much to do -- sew little time.

I haven't tried to sew much with Izzy here since she's so curious.  But, with the time demands, I set up my table here in the living room and brought out the Euro-Pro - my workhorse machine.  My free motion quilting went quite fast and Izzy was more fascinated with the wheel on the machine going around than with what was going on with the needle.  I've been such a chicken about the free motion quilting and usually stick to stipple quilting.  But on the last quilt, I decided to experiment and did vines and leaves, flowers, stars, and some swirls that kind of resemble ropes.  And it doesn't look half bad.  So, I'm thinking that when I play with my GO cutter and make some hot pads, I may use those to practice my quilting designs.  Have a good day.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Just had to get that out of my system.  It is my scream of frustration.  I have those 4 quilts to finish in two weeks. I'm trying my best, but karma is out to get me.  A few years ago, I bought an entire thread collection from a very well respected quilting catalog. I've made many purchases from them, and always been satisfied.  However, this thread was the pits!  It unwraps, tangles, and breaks.  A few fellow quilters advised me to contact the company, which I did.  They were so apologetic, and sent me a new batch to replace the old thread, saying they had several complaints and had remedied the situation.  They may think so, but I can't say that they have.  This new batch of thread is not much better than the first.  And although I worked nearly two hours this morning, I quilted only 1 block.  Not much progress.  Finally, after a few choice words like $%&**, and @($))@!, I gave up and turned off the machine.  I will start fresh tomorrow morning.  But before then, I'm going to clean the bobbin raceway, and replace the needle in the machine with a universal needle.  The hole in the needle on the machine is so tiny that the built-in threader won't go through it.  So, maybe that's the problem.  But, (to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara), as God is my witness, I'll never be beaten again.  If I get the quilts finished by the end of the weekend, you'll see photos next week.  If not . . . we'll let's not even think about that.

On a lighter note, I'm writing this on my old-new laptop.  We ordered the new screen for the one that met with the tires of the car, the one I loved, and it arrived yesterday.  Daughter Mary, who seems to not be very mechanically inclined, but has put together several different electrical components at her old job, came over and had the new screen installed in about an hour. And so now I'm cheesin'  :-), Rod has a faster, newer laptop, and we're eliminating the old desktop computer from our computer lineup.  I just can't thank Mary for all she's done.  She found the new screen for only $99; googled how to replace it, and made her Mommy very happy.  Hope your weekend is a good one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Almost Time to Play

I have six quilts to finish in the next two weeks.  Four for the Saddle Up, and two for Project Linus.  I am progressing quite well, and think I just may finish on time.  The quilts tops for the Saddle Up are all finished, those 4 quilts are all pinned on the fleece and ready for quilting.  One of the quilts has been quilted and is ready for the binding.  A second one (which is made of panels) is halfway quilted.  The sashing has been quilted with swirls to resemble lassos, and soon I will start on a stipple quilt inside the panels.  I have another panel quilt with I will probably quilt in the same way.  And last, is the applique horse quilt which will probably be quilted in a similar fashion.  I don't usually do bindings by machine (I much prefer to hand sew them); but in this instance, machine sewing is almost necessary.  And then there are the two quilts for Project Linus.  These are part of the Disney project for volunteerism. I have decided to do quilts using Kaye Woods "Six Hour Quilt" pattern.  With this you cut 6" strips and sew them together in a Log Cabin fashion.  I have boxes of fleece scraps, which I will cut to use for the backings, and hopefully can do both in a weekend.  The Saddle Up is the first Saturday in May, and after that I can take a very deep breath.  And then . . . .

IT'S TIME TO PLAY.  I am so anxious to start playing with my AccuQuilt GO cutter.  I'm thinking that I will use the different dies to make blocks and see how they go together.  Then I can make these blocks into hot pads.  One can never have too many hot pads, can one?

Since we've planned a Disney trip for September, I want to make some more blocks for the Disney quilt (which I've done nothing with).  We're going for the Halloween Party, and there will be some new characters, and some of the villians who might be available for autographs.  We're going to be staying at Pop Century which is a value resort.  Last trip we spent a lot of money to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and didn't spend much time there.  So we've decided to spend less on accommodations.  The theme is so impressive.  There are huge Potatoe Head characters, a greatly oversized big wheel, super large Rubik cubes and more.  I'm so looking forward to this experience.

But for now, it's working to get these quilts done.  Bye.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A New Week

Spring is finally here, and not soon enough for me.  However, I could do without the 80 degree temps right now.

It has been brought to my attention that I never reported on the Lancaster quilt show.  It was a nice large place in downtown Lancaster.  However, there was little parking close by, and you were expected to park at a local hotel and take a shuttle bus.  Not possible for me with my little blue scooter.  I did tell someone when we got there that there was no access for my scooter on their buses and they said they would try to do better next year.

And this was my major purchase this year.  I did it -- I bought the AccuQuilt GO.  For those who don't recognize it, it is a die-cutting machine for fabric.  And it's manually powered.  I got a really good deal, as they promised, and walked away with the machine and quite a number of dies for $500.00  Haven't used it yet, I have too many projects that need to be completed in the next month.  And then I will play.  One of the dies I purchased was for 2-1/2" strips.  It will be so nice for bindings, and for strip quilts.

And speaking of strip quilts (nice transition, huh?), I got to meet Eleanor Burns.  I have watched her on TV for several years, and was so happy when Linda from the AccuQuilt booth offered to take me over and introduce me.  Eleanor was so nice and friendly, and I bought her new book and got an autograph.  I was so in awe, however, that I didn't think to get a picture with her.  

But since the GO had used up my quilt show budget, there weren't many other purchases. I got some thread from Superior Thread and a bundle of hand-dyed FQ's from Cherrywood Fabrics that resemble suede.

But the worst part of the weekend, was Friday morning.  Rod set my laptop down on the ground while he put my cart into the trunk and then backed over it.  The laptop still works, but the screen cracked.  He was so upset that Saturday morning he went and bought me a new one.  We're getting a new screen for the other one, and Rod will take this new one (I liked the first one better).  So, that's the report.  And my marriage is still strong.  He looked so devastated that I couldn't yell, scream or jump up and down.  I just told him I didn't want to talk about the laptop because it wasn't going to ruin the weekend that we had looked forward to for so long.  And that's the truth!!  Have a good day.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Belated Easter

The weekend was so busy that I didn't take the time to update my blog.  So, a happy belated Easter to all.  Hope it was a great day for you.

Our weekend  began on Friday.  Rod's company (God Bless them) still recognizes Good Friday as a holiday, so Rod didn't work.  Our favorite thing to do on Good Friday is to dye eggs with the grandkids.  Until they were old enough to help, we made pierogis on Friday.  But now that the kids can help, we do our eggs.  Here you see Izzy and Kris with their egg cups.  Kris is a pro at this now, and even did two-color eggs this year.

Here Bubby is trying to drop his egg Gently into the dye cup.  He didn't do so well at first, but by the time we were done, he was doing pretty well.  We ended up with some beautiful eggs, and had a good time doing it,

We ordered cheesesticks from Papa John's for lunch, which made everyone pretty happy - especially Pappy, since he had never had them.  After that it was referee-ing arguments over what movie to watch, who could play with whose toys, and the like.  It was after 7:00 when everyone left, and Grammy was pretty exhausted.  So, Pappy ran to Wendy's for fish sandwiches.  They were pretty good, and then we started planning for the Easter egg hunt, which was scheduled for 4 on Saturday.

We really enjoy the egg hunt.  We have Rod's sister's family and our family -- 11 kids total.  We bought plastic sand buckets for the kids to use for collecting, and set it up as a scavenger hunt where the kids had to find eggs with certain colors of stickers on them.  That way the little ones get the same number of eggs as the older ones.  We had chicken and cupcakes from Walmart for dinner, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad, hot dogs, and picnic beans.  We had a really nice day and hadn't spent much time with Kathy and family since fall, so it was a good day to visit .  It was after 8 o'clock by the time everyone left.

Then Sunday we had brunch with our family.  The grandkids got to look through their baskets from everyone, my mom came and had brunch with us, and all were gone by 2:00.  Pappy and I came in and took a power nap.  About 5 the twins came back, and we had ham and leftovers from the egg hunt and the brunch.  It was such a busy weekend, but today I had a hard time getting started.  Today should be an easy day, and I'm hoping to do some sewing.  Have a great week.