Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Finishes This Week!

Finally! I'm getting some projects completed. I've been working consistently, but there are lots of steps in the quilts I need to have done by May. T-shirt Quilt number one for my friend Nancy's daughter is COMPLETELY done. The last stitch on the binding was done yesterday afternoon. 

The rag quilt that I've worked on between projects is DONE, Too. For years, I've wanted to do a Just For You Quilt, the donation quilt project of the Gwinnett Quiter's Guild. This is the year. I pulled blue and brown flannel fabric from my stash. I was thinking of a quilt for an older child. I think my son, Michael wanted it. He was asking who it was made for. That's a good sign that another teenage boy might like it too. 

I'm working on sewing the binding on Michael's T-shirt quilt. After that is done, I can work on any project that I want!!!! Yes! Now, what project......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

.... And they continue to grow-up

Last night was my son's high school senior prom. He didn't want to attend last year as a junior. We were pleased that he wanted to attend this year. He went with "a friend". It was really a group date :)  He even had to drive the Atlanta freeways to get to the mid-town restaurant for dinner and the hotel where the Prom was held. His Dad went with him on Friday afternoon for a practice drive. It was fun taking picture of the kids all dressed up. Today, we are hearing "snippets" of the event.

150th Post Give-away

Celebrate good times! This is one of the songs that we sing at our Silver Thimble Sewing Club sewing sessions. My one year anniversary was in January. I missed that. My 100th post was near that time. I missed that too. I really think that I should just hibernate in the Winter. I definitely go into "half-hibernation" mode. This is my 150th blog post. Yahoo!  For someone who just never even wanted to post a comment on the blogs that I read religiously, blogging has been a positive thing in my life. With that in mind, I purchsed Moda's Hello Betty charm pack for a give-away. The pattern is the pattern that I've used for my T-shirt quits. I found  an extra copy. Please leave a comment on this post explaining what you like about quilting blogs. You don't have to have a blog, just enjoy reading them. I'll do a random drawing next Sunday, May 3rd. Please join in the fun. I love reading your comments!

Our Author Quilt Makes the Local Newspaper

It was a wonderful week. I shared the quilt with our fifth graders who did the project as fourth graders. Hoping to get the quilt hung this week.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman
Sydney Watkins, a fifth-grade student at Mulberry Elementary, helps fold a quilt that was made with autographs of famous authors.
Mulberry Author Quilt
Last year, fourth-grade students wrote to 42 children's authors asking them to sign fabric squares that would be sewn into a quilt. Below are the authors whose autographs appear on the decorative blanket.

• Judy Blume ("Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing")

• Betsy Byars ("The Summer of the Swans")

• Dale Christopher, on behalf of his late father Matt Christopher ("The Kid Who Only Hit Homers")

• Beverly Cleary ("Beezus and Ramona")

• Christopher Paul Curtis ("Bud, Not Buddy")

• Kate DiCamillo ("Because of Winn-Dixie")

• Tony DiTerlizzi ("The Spiderwick Chronicles")

• Russell Freedman ("Lincoln: A Photobiography")

• Dan Gutman ("Jackie & Me")

• Nancy Krulik ("Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo")

• Lois Lowry ("Number the Stars")

• Ann M. Martin ("The Baby-sitters Club")

• Christopher Paolini ("Eragon")

• Barbara Park ("Junie B. Jones")

• Dav Pilkey ("The Adventures of Captain Underpants")

• Patricia Polacco ("Thank You, Mr. Falker")

• Barbara Robinson ("The Best Christmas Pageant Ever")

• Louis Sachar ("Holes")

• Roland Smith ("Peak")

• Jerry Spinelli ("Maniac Magee")

• R.L. Stine ("Goosebumps")

• Mo Willems ("Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale")

• Henry Winkler ("Hank Zipzer")

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. I've been about Earth Day. Gretchen at Stella Bella Quilts blogged about doing things in her yard to attract songbirds. Months ago, I cut out an article from the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper) about household cleaning products that could be made with homemade ingredients that are friendly to the environment. I made a shopping list for the items that I didn't have and purchased the needed items. I've used the Household Cleaner in our Master Bathroom with great success. Because it's so cheap and easy to make, I seem to spray it around and clean more. The drain cleaner is a good one. It didn't solve my slow drainage problem. I had to use the hair removal "thingy", but it did clean  the drain. I haven't tried the furniture polish, yet. I need to buy more containers or save an empty bottle instead of recycling it. Remember to use a Sharpie to label and container that you recycle.

Eco-friendly Household Cleaner

½ cup baking soda
½ cup borax
½ cup vinegar
1 gallon water

Mix ingredients together in large container --- baking soda and vinegar will foam up. Test product on small surface to make sure it doesn’t blemish

Eco-friendly Drain Cleaner
¼ cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar
2 quarts boiling water
Pour baking soda down the drain, followed by vinegar. Cover drain for 15 minutes. Pour boiling water.

Eco-Friendly Furniture Polish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
Mix ingredients and apply to furniture. Let it sit for a few minutes and then buff with soft cloth. Always test in small spot in the back side.

One of our teachers sent this list from our County Clean and Beautiful Committee. The ideas can be adapted any place on Earth.
At home:
1. Change out your traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
2. Get out and garden. Plant a tree, some perennials, or start a vegetable garden.
3. Say farewell to your plastic grocery bags - go cloth!
4. Recommit to and expand your recycling efforts. 

5. Take a walk and pick up litter along your path. 
6. Build a new habitat for the birds, frogs, or butterflies in your yard.
7. Stencil the storm drains in your neighborhood to remind others that they lead to streams.

8. Report and paint over any graffiti in your neighborhood. 
9. Adopt one new practice to help conserve water in your home.

Please share some of your conservation or recycling ideas in your blog or in the comments section of this post!  Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quilting Podcast

What is a podcast you might ask? A podcast is rather like a radio talk show. It is broadcasted through the internet. You listen to the programs  using an Ipod/MP3 player or a computer. I've been downloading podcasts for a couple of years. I listen to them while sewing, driving, or walking. My favorite podcast is Annie Smith's Quilting Stash. Annie began the first podcast for quilters in April of 2005. She has continued to podcast a wonderful program that is entertaining as well as informative.

 Annie's latest podcast is with author Marie Bostwick. Marie is the author of the new quilting series that began with the book A Single Thread. The podcast is a wonderful interview with Marie about her writing career and her quilting. Yes, Marie is a quilter not just an author writing about quilting. I was thrilled to hear that the second book in the Cobbled Court series will be released on May26th. The books's title is  A Thread of Truth.

If you don't have an Ipod or MP3 player, you still can listen to the podcast. Go to Annie's website , look for Program 166, click on the pink button with the headphones and the word Podcast. You can listen to it on your computer. This interview is about 40 minutes. I think I'll re-read A Single Thread while waiting for the new book to hit the bookstore. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bloggers Virtual Quilt Show

While reading blogs this morning, I discovered the First Bloggers Online Virtual Quilt Show hosted by Amy at the blog Park City Girl. There is still time to enter your favorite quilt and then blog about it. 

Chosing a favorite quilt is like chosing your favorite child, friend, book, food - it's hard to choose just one. I debated choosing the Neutral Stars Quilt. 

The neutral fabric just came together on that one. I thought about the band quilt I made using the Friendship Crossing Pattern by Pat Wys. The colors that I had to use blue, gold, and cream are not my normal color choices. (I can't find the photo at this minute. Will look later today) There was also the T-shirt quilt for my previous school. The colors just came together. I guess you can tell that I'm all about the color choices of the fabrics in my quilts.

 I decided to feature the quilt that I just completed. It's called the Mulberry Author Quilt. Our fourth grade students wrote to their favorite authors. They included a 6 inch quilt square in the letter requesting the author to autograph it and mail it back to us. We had 23 squares to include in the quilt. That's a hard number to design with. I brought the squares to my art teacher. In our discussion it occured to me to add more color to the quilt and to use Sharon Henderson's T-Shirt Quilt Pattern. I had found some library book fabric from an online shop. I visited Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Shop to purchase additional fabric for the background and quilt sashings. Peggy Barkle quilted it for me. She did a fabulous job enhancing the blocks, but not interfering with the autographs. The quilt will be shown to the students this week. I've taken photos of each block. These photos in addition to pictures of the authors and their books will be used in a Powerpoint Presentation. We have autographs from some wonderful children's authors, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Barbara Park, Christopher Paolini, R.L. Stine - just to name a few. Thanks for viewing my quilt! Click on my side-bar to visit the other quilts in the Bloggers Virtual Quilt Show.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Other Side of the Quit

  When I first became "seriously obsessed" with quilting, I signed up for a group at a local quilt shop. The group was called Pinheads and led by Pat Wys of Silver Thimble Quilt Company. (Our group is now called the Silver Thimble Club, but that's another story) Each month Pat taught a new quilt. Kits were sold with luscious fabrics that Pat chose. In addition to the quilt, special fabric was chosen for the backing of the quilt. I learned from Pat's modeling to coordinate the back to the quilt top. 

It is taking forever to warm up this Spring. Atlanta had snow flakes last week. I still have two quilts on our Master bed that we sleep on each night. I don't have many quilts big enough for this bed. It dawned on me to "flip" my quilts over.  Both quilts have lovely creamy floral backings. It's like getting two quilts in one. Thanks, Pat for the inspiration!

(I know these pictures could be better, but hope you get idea.)

The Borne Quilter

My hometown -  Lafayette, Louisiana - has a new quilt shop. The Borne Quilter opened in June, only ten months ago. The shop is small, but there were wonderful fabric lines and shop samples. (Drat! I could have used my camera) There was even some flannel fabric. Flannel has not been popular in tropical Louisiana like in other parts of the US. The shop has great potential. I know I'll visit it again next time I visit Dad. It's about a mile from his apartment :)  

Don't you love the way they package their fat quarters? I purchased several more shirting fabrics for my future Sixteen Patch and Pinwheels project. The charm pack of Kathy Schmitz Red Bird in the Bowers is for a purse/tote bag.

The Borne Quilter has a website. Visit them at

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Candy - Louisiana Style

Growing up in Louisiana, the "Easter bunny" always brought Elmer Gold Brick Eggs. I've only found them in the Atlanta area one time in the twenty years that we've lived here. Gold Brick Eggs, Heavenly Hash (marshmallow and chocolate treats) and Pecan Eggs are all made by Elmer Candy Company. This past week while in Lafayette, I stocked up for "Michael's Easter bunny." Of course, Dad needed his Easter fix earlier. Each day as I would come in from getting us supper (dinner for other folks) I'd bring us each a Gold Brick Egg. Each bite brought back wonderful memories of being at child at Easter-time in Southwest Louisiana.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back From Louisiana

Hi Friends! I'm home and trying to recover from my many miles of driving to Louisiana and back. I had a fabulous visit with my Dad. It was probably the best visit that we've had in several years. It looks like he has accepted the move to his assisted-living facility. He is eating better meals and getting his medications on a regular basis. He still has the dementia and other health issues, but things are better there.

 I had some wonderful visits with family members. We just always get better visits at Spring Break and Summer vacation than at the holidays. My cousin Connie brought my Aunt Tee (Uncle Cleveland's wife) to visit me at Dad's place. It was super visiting with them. I "rented" the guest room at my cousin Glen's house. Had lots of great visiting with Glen and his wife, Mary, in the evenings. My last evening in Lafayette, Glen made an out-of-this world crawfish pie :) I was quite content with half my serving, but had to eat the whole thing. Just couldn't put it down the garbage disposal. 

April is a great time to eat crawfish in Louisiana. The evening I arrived at Dad's apartment, the assisted-living facility had a crawfish boil for the residents at noon. Dad had a platter in his refrigerator for me. I warmed them up in the microwave (never did it that way before) and ate every last one:) Only in Louisiana, would the home for the elderly have an actual crawfish boil.

I had lunch one day with my cousin Bobby's wife, Nikki. When Glen discovered that I was a quilter, he called Nikki. She is an art quilter. She brought a "chuppah" she designed for her son's wedding. What a work of art! I so wish I had a photo to share with you. Next trip, I hope to visit her at her studio where she dyes her own fabric.

I had lunch on the return trip with my MIL. She is at another assisted-living about an hour an a half from my Dad (in Marksville, Louisiana)  Although she is older than Dad, her mind is sharp and her mobility is somewhat better. I was able to drive her around  to do some shopping. My lunch was fried crawfish with seafood chowder. I'm on tuna, chicken and salad this week :)

I'm pretty much without pictures for this trip. I did bring my camera. I'm learning the hard way that I should at least locate and read parts of the manual. I didn't realize that my camera battery had a special charger. I will now include the charger in my travel bags or put the battery on to charge before I leave home.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

If Rusty Only Knew....

I have a new friend. Her name is Casey. She is my cousin's grand-dog. While visiting my Dad this week, I am staying with my cousin and his wife. They have a fabulous "extra" bedroom suite. Casey belongs to their son, Stephen. Casey is still a puppy with great energy. She has the most fabulous eyes. She took me for a walk today. If Rusty only knew..... I'd be in big trouble :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Bit Too "Techie" .... Or Not

As I was driving the interstate roads on Saturday, I began to feel that perhaps "technology" was taking over my life. On the passenger seat, I had my GPS, my Ipod, my cell phone and my digital camera. Between the wires and "things" the other seat was full. It took five minutes to put everything away when I made a stop. Of course it would have made so much sense, to use that cell phone to call to see if the quilt shop in Mobile, Alabama was open on Saturdays. Or better yet, if they were still in business at the address on their website. This side trip was a total bust.

But don't feel to sorry for me. I've discovered a brand new to me shop in my hometown of Lafayette. It's just around the corner from my Dad's assisted-living facility. I scouted it out yesterday. They were closed until Tuesday, which is tomorrow. I can't wait to check it out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quilting Magazines

I love magazines. I've always loved books and magazines. I remember my cousin Peg telling me when we were in elementary school that not everyone was into books and magazines like I was. It was a real relevation. A shock really! It was just what I did. I didn't realize that other people didn't escape into the printed pages like I did. 

I love getting magazines in the mail. I have at least three quilting magazine subscriptions. Today, I received two different magazines in the mail. I quickly skimmed them, but will take them with me to Louisiana to savor.

I love this quilt on the cover of American Patchwork & Quilting. It's a Miss Rosie Quilt Pattern. There's also a story on Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. Can't wait to read that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Alabama and Mississippi Quilt Shops

This weekend, I'm driving to Lafayette, Louisiana (my hometown) to spend a couple of days with my Dad. This is the first time in a very long time that I'll not have "my boys" with me. I'm thinking it would be fun to visit a shop or two on my long drive from Atlanta. I usually drive I85 to Montgomery, then Mobile, through Mississippi to Slidell, Baton Rouge then Lafayette, but will probably return the other way going through Meridian and Birmingham. Can anyone suggest a quilt shop that you have visited or know of that would make for a good break during my drive? I do plan on visiting Ginger's Needleworks in Lafayette while I'm there. It also looks like another quilt shop has opened in the last couple of years, too.