Archive for October, 2007

Have a Heart Quilt Auction


Readers who have been with me since last January might recall a quilt I made as an entry into a competition sponsored by Unlimited Possibilities Magazine — you can see more about the quilt HERE (this was actually my second attempt, my first quilt can be seen HERE — I decided to keep it for myself and it is hanging on my studio wall…)

The quilts that were entered into this contest have been touring quilt shows around the country, and it is almost time for the second part of the project — an auction that will benefit the American Heart Association.

Mark your calendars for November 3, 2007! Here are the details of the auction:

“Have a Heart” Quilt Auction to benefit the American Heart Association
Presented by Unlimited Possibilities Magazine
Sponsored by
Meander Publishing, LLC
Machine Quilter’s Exposition (MQX)
Gammill Quilting Systems
Angel Threads Quilting

Quilts will be auctioned online at www.upquiltmag.com on NOVEMBER 3, 2007. Click Gallery to view all of the quilts!

The fact is, one in THREE women who die each year in the United States, die from some form of heart disease. More research, funds and
attention must be placed on this very serious health issue. We at Meander Publishing know that Quilters are the most generous people out
there. We offer you a chance to help.

The Rules:
*The auction will run from Saturday, November 3, 2007 10am EDT until Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 12am EST.
*To bid on a quilt, put your name, email, phone number and bid amount in the box under the quilt you are interested in and click submit.
*Quilt prices will be updated DAILY at 10:00 am EST.
*If you are the winning bidder, we will contact your for credit card or payment information.
*If the winning bidder cannot be verified within 24 HOURS, the second highest bidder will be contacted.
*Please allow 14 days after winner verification for delivery of the quilts.
*100% of the proceeds will go to the American Heart Association.

Please help us fight this staggering statistic. And pick up a wonderful quilt in the process!


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Update on pumpkin carving

Well, my husband claims that he has no recollection of carving pumpkins last year either, so apparently there was no sinister motive on his part.

So he claims.

The pumpkin seeds:  meh.  I’m not sure it was worth the effort.

The bread:  as I suspected, the ingredients were old and it didn’t rise very well.  Luckily my husband is like Mikey, and will eat it no matter how dense it is.

Last night was our first rehearsal of Grease with our pit orchestra.  That sounds impressive doesn’t it?  Our pit consists of me on piano, the high school band director on bass guitar, and a high school kid on the drum set.  The addition of the two of them actually does add a LOT to the experience, so it was actually pretty exciting.

I have to say, though, that I can tell I’m getting more and more nervous about the experience:  I had two (two!) separate BAD dreams last night, both of which revolved around me misplacing my music and being late for rehearsals.  There was a lot of wandering around involved in both dreams — I don’t remember all of the specifics, but I just hate (a) experiencing the bad dream — it feels SO REAL and (b) the lingering feeling of ICK that results after a bad dream like that.  Added to the bad dreams was the fact that I kept waking up with a super dry mouth — which heralded the beginning of a cold.

I sure hope it stays just a cold — we’ve had some yucky gunk going around town (strep! bronchitis!) and I really do NOT need to come down with something that wipes me out….

I may actually attempt to do something relating to either art or quilting today, so perhaps there will be fiber content in my blog again soon.

That’s all I’ve got for now, though, so…have a great day and I’ll babble at you later!


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My husband claims that I carved pumpkins with the boys last year.  I have no recollection of this occuring, nor do I have photographic evidence.  He’s the one that remembers things, and I’m not, so I believed him and agreed to carve with the boys again this year.

That rat fink lied to me.  *HE* was the one that carved pumpkins with the boys last year.  Wanna know how I know?  Because those super-honest young men TOLD ME SO.

The way I figure it, he had such a horrible time doing it, and didn’t want to have to do it again, that he tried to make me think that *I* did it, so that he could convince me that *I* needed to do it again.  Since I knew what I was doing and all that.

Dirty, rotten scoundrel.


I HATE carving pumpkins.  But!  I made the boys happy, and that’s what matters, right?  Never mind that I pretty much had to do all of the nasty work myself, and you KNOW I wasn’t letting the two of them anywhere near the sharp knives.

So know I have a gob of pumpkin seeds that I am roasting (some are salted, some cinnamon sugared…) and we’ll just see how that goes.  Getting them clean was…not fun….LOL….I even saved a few to dry so that we can try planting them next year.

I did have assistance from some advice from this site:


Susan sent me this link a week or so agao when I mentioned needing to find pumpkin seed roasting instructions.   The main pointer that helped me was to pull the seeds out while the innards were all still attached, rather than trying to separate them all afterwards.  The site claims this is “faster, easier, and cleaner” — I’ll buy the faster, easier part, but cleaner?  Ha!

I can see from my photographs, that there is still some stringy innards that need to be cleaned up, but I had reached my limit.  The young man that is doing our siding is here today and I said something about how he could have come over and helped — he said that he actually likes doing it.  No different than cleaning the insides out of deer and other creatures, he said.

Eeeeuw.  That’s just gross.

Along with pumpkin carving and seed roasting, I did another good mommy thing today — I baked cookies!  Sugar cookie cutouts and Butterscotch Chocoloate Chip cookies.  Yum.  Nobody wanted to help me make the sugar cookies, but when I was done they came over and complained that I hadn’t used this or that cookie cutter that they thought I ought to use.

Well, if you had HELPED you could have chosen, now, couldn’t you????

Oh!  And I have a loaf of bread in the bread machine!  I’m a little dubious about how it’ll turn out, as my ingredients were a little on the old side.  I figure that if it turns out, great, if not, I was going to have to throw away the ingredients anyway….

After all of that effort, I need a nap!



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What kind of Candy?

Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Very popular, one of you is not enough.

What Kind of Candy Are You?


Oh yum — peanut butter and chocolate, can’t get much better than that.

I thought maybe I should share something silly after yesterday’s deep thoughts….


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Honor vs. Reputation

I may have mentioned before the Lois McMaster Bujold is my favorite author. I would read anything she wrote. Well, maybe not her grocery list, but… I love her work so much that I will probably be rereading her books until I am old and decrepit. I hope she keeps writing and writing so that I have plenty to read and reread.

I consider her books to be “comfort food” — when I can’t find anything else I want to read, I pick one up. Even though I know exactly what is going to happen, I’m still gripped by her writing and her characters. And every time I reread, I find some new gem that I had noticed before — or I’m reminded of an old gem that continues to ring true. Last night’s gem was particularly apropos because of a recent e-mail exchange with a friend.

In this particular passage, the main character’s father has been asked to give his “honor versus reputation lecture.”

From page 386 of my Baen paperback copy of A Civil Campaign, Aral Vorkosigan says to his son Miles:

“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”

And then on page 387, from later in the conversation:

“There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honor shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards.” That’s soul-destroying. The other way around is merely irritating.”


In my recent e-mail exchange, I told my friend that my reputation is one of my most important assets, and that I do everything I can to protect it. Really, though, I had it wrong. It’s my HONOR that is most important. And if I do what I know to be true and honorable, then nothing else really matters.

Now don’t be worried, my reputation hasn’t been called into question, this was just part of a conversation with a friend that got me to thinking about why I am doing some of the things I’m doing, and the choices I am making.

I have never met (and will likely never meet) most of the people that visit my blog or the website that I run for machine quilters. I ask the members of that website to trust me based primarily on my reputation. That’s a lot to ask, and every day I am conscious of making decisions that might impact my reputation.  If I can just remember that if I make those decisions with my HONOR intact, I know that the decisions I make will be the right ones.

On that note, it is time for me to wrap up this ramble and head to rehearsal.  We are under 2 weeks to go until show time and wow, there is a LOT left to be done.



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I’ve been working my way through the first season of Supernatural on DVD.  I can’t remember where I heard about it, but it has some actors that I like (Jensen Ackles, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) so I thought I’d try it — I’m enjoying it, but I think if I were actually sitting down and WATCHING it, I might be more creeped out by it than I am.  I mostly putter around in my sewing room while I’m “watching” things, so I know I miss a lot.  When I do really pay attention, I can tell that they do an excellent job of making the show scary.  Speaking of scary, here’s something that’ll scare those of you that are homeowners:


That would be the rotten wood that was exposed when the walk-in door to my garage was removed today.  The doorframe and door are equally as scary looking.  Horrors!

I’ve also been watching Stargate: Atlantis — I like that one, too.  It’s the same universe as SG-1, but it has a different “vibe” which I’m enjoying.

Speaking of vibe, does this make your eyes vibrate too?


That’s a sneak peek of something I’m working on.  It could also be considered scary, as it is potential proof of my insanity.  Those are 1 inch finished squares.  At first I was going to piece a 25 by 25 square, but after realizing that was 625 individual squares, I decided it was quicker to do the math to figure out how to do it this way.

And the really scary part?  After I took this photo, I cut that checkerboard apart, because it is the background of some smaller pieces.  Some of my readers will quickly guess what it is.  I’ll leave you with that tease and will promise an update sometime soon.

While working on the checkerboard, I watched the movie Catch and Release starring Jennifer Garner.  I liked it — my husband would have hated it.   He will not watch chick flicks with me.  Luckily, I pretty much like everything he likes to watch, so it’s not a great loss.  One of the most interesting thigns on the DVD was the preview for the movie Across the Universe — which I see came out in October.  Has anyone seen it?  It appears that reviews are mixed.  The preview made it look like something I’d enjoy, but it sounds like people are either loving it or hating it….

Speaking of loving or hating something:  I’ve so appreciated the comments about the quilt that I posted a couple of days ago.  I think many of you are in the same boat as I am regarding the color orange — it’s a love it or hate it kind of color.  After working with it in this quilt, I’m starting to love it more than I used to.

I mentioned making pillowcases to go with the quilt:


I used instructions for pillowcases that I found on Vicki’s blog.  The only difference is that my hem is pieced, while hers is a single fabric.  When I first saw her instructions I went “HUNH?” but once I actually had fabric in had and set about making my own, all became clear, and the instructions really do make sense.  And make a very nice pillowcase, I might add.

I’m officially out of clever  segues, so I apologize for the abrupt return to the original topic of movies:

Tomorrow night we are going to see the movie The Final Season —  it’s a baseball movie — based on the true story of the Norway, Iowa baseball team.  I’ve just discovered that Sean Astin is the main character — another actor I like (Samwise!), and the small town of Norway is only about an hour southeast of where we live.  Not that I have ever been to Norway, or know anything about it…..

OK, so maybe my segues were more along the lines of corny than they were clever, but I worked really really hard on them.

My house is quiet — the boys are at a birthday party, Mark is in the field, and the young man working on my house is done for the day, so I ought to be taking advantage of the quiet.  A nap sounds pretty good, but I may just head back to the sewing room and some more of Supernatural.



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Catalogs are out now for two great Machine Quilting Events —

Machine Quilters Exposition — April 14-19, 2008 — Manchester, NH

Machine Quilters Showcase — May 14-17, 2008 — Overland Park, KS

I call this to your attention to make sure you know that yours truly will be teaching at BOTH events this year!

I would also encourage machine quilting readers to consider entering quilts into one or both of these events.   It’s not about WINNING — I like to go and look at all of the quilts, not just the fancy-shmancy ones.  The nice things about these shows that are focused on machine quilting is that the have categories for and encourage people to enter quilts that are NOT super-fancy — we want to see the everyday quilts that are actually quilted the way you quilt for your customers (or for yourself if you aren’t in business.)

Speaking of which, I need to get my act together and get my entries in progress NOW, instead of later — MQX is a juried show this year, so the deadline is even earlier (and they have to be finished!)



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