Saturday, May 31, 2014

Retreat Between Friends

Hello Everyone,
I spent all day Friday at the Retreat Between Friends hosted by In Between Stitches at the Purple Orchid Resort and Spa in Livermore, CA.  What a wonderful, and creative group of ladies!


Laughter was erupting around the wonderful room all day long.  It must have been the chocolate!

Love the display of color for the piano key border.

Embroidery machines were humming away.

We left the classroom long enough to go into the gorgeous dining room to enjoy our meals and fellowship.

It wouldn't be a quilt retreat without fantastic food!

We also enjoyed some wonderful local wine.

It was so much fun for me to meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy the company of some of the girls that I've been fortunate to meet in the shop.  I know all of you will have another two great days at the retreat.  Wish I could be there with you, but I'll be seeing you at the shop today, and in the weeks and months to come.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Machine Quilting Zinnie's Choice

Hello Everyone,
I put Zinnie's Choice on the long arm yesterday.  I marked the crosshatching and quilted for a couple of hours.

I have a long list of things to do, so I didn't spend hours and hours in the quilting room.  The Dream Wool batting gives my quilting the extra loft that I love.

I'll work on this a little bit at a time and soon it will be finished......just in time for the 4th of July.

I'll be attending In Between Stitches quilting retreat at The Purple Orchid tomorrow.  I'll be making a short presentation about machine quilting.  We've requested that the attendees bring quilt tops, and we'll discuss different ideas for quilting.

Thank you again for the outpouring of sympathy for our sweet dog Zinnie.  We are still receiving cards, gifts, and many emails.  It is heartwarming to hear from so many of you.  Give all of your furry kids an extra hug today.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
Well it's time to try to get back to normal and resume life without our little Zinnie following us around.  Yesterday was my Sew'n Wild Oaks day at In Between Stitches and I was greeted with a potted rose bush, and sympathy cards that were greatly appreciated.
The girls all worked hard yesterday.  Remember, they are my finishers! Vivian is making the star blocks for her Toyland Tree quilt. Vivian was on a mission to have perfect alignment and perfect points.

Diane got out her block layout sheet for Country Charmer and she dug right in to work.

Blocks started decorating the classroom walls in beautiful shades of red and green.  Just look at Diane's perfect points!

Susan stitched the bottom half of her 3-D Noughts and Crosses together and her points matched beautifully. 

Gail signed up for the UFO program at In Between Stitches and she is determined to have her Nostalgic Christmas quilt finished by the end of June.  I love her plaids and the fabrics she selected for her flanges.  As a group, we helped her select the inner and outer border fabrics that you will get to see next month. 

Patty is working on a kit and pattern designed by Lisa Norton.  Lisa is my cohort in quilting crime when we work together at the shop, and we get into all kids of mischief. Patty is a finisher and you will be seeing this one together very soon.

Barbara is working on her sweet, little basket blocks.  You will be seeing them in her version of For the Love of Baskets.

Isabelle's grapes look so life-like in her Harvest of Hope quilt.  She used an assortment of batiks and they looked real!

Karen is starting her Nostalgic Christmas quilt.  You know I love her plaid!  It is perfect.

I'll be posting the details soon for my free, online block of the month called Country Corners. The BOM will begin on June 10th.  The date coincides with the regular meeting of my Sew'n Wild Oaks group. This way, everyone can become a Sew'n Wild Oaks member and we'll all meet together on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Zinnie's Choice

Hello Everyone,
I told you I would post the winner of the naming of the quilt I am.  Robin said:
I think you have your quilt name: Zinnie's Choice
Mr. Joe had also thought of this name Wednesday evening after we lost her.  We both agreed, Zinnie's Choice was the perfect name.  Robin, please send me your email so I can get in touch with you and mail you a copy of my Patchwork Math book.

Zinnie's Choice
Here is Zinnie's Choice named in honor of our dear little furry kid.  (The puppy, not our grandson Jess!)  This picture was taken the weekend we brought Zinnie home to live with us five years ago.  She spent her first weekend in the lake and never left it.  Zinnie and Jess grew up together and they were devoted to each other.

Zinnie would have wanted to have two winners, so our little, non-furry grandson Jess offered to select another winner.

Right now Jess is saying, "Grammy, I'm bored and I want to get back to playing." 

Jess selected Kellie from Indiana!  Kellie named the quilt, "Old Glory Patchwork".  This name will also be on the quilt pattern.

Congratulations to you Kellie.  I'll put a copy of Patchwork Math in the mail to you in Indiana.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that sent me such touching emails and all the comforting comments.  I've read each and every one multiple times.....always with a tissue in hand.  You have brought us great comfort just knowing there are so many caring people in the world.  We are getting through each day.......slowly.  It is so helpful having family with us over the holiday weekend. Each day I've been trying to send out thank you emails.  I will get to everyone in time.  To those who are "no-reply", I'm sorry that I can't email you directly.

Thank you too for all of the wonderful names submitted.  I appreciated all of your suggestions and interest in the contest.  Zinnie would have had so much fun picking the winner.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Zinnie

Hello Everyone,
How can our hearts still keep on beating when they are so badly broken?  Zinnie's heart stopped Wednesday afternoon while catching a ball.  My heart will never be the same.

My only solace is that she was playing when she died.  We always play catch in one of her favorite spots across the street from the cabin.  She ran up the court, jumped high in the air, caught her ball, collapsed, and died, apparently from a massive heart attack.  It was so quick.  By the time I ran to her I knew she was leaving me. She didn't suffer.  My regret is that I was the one who threw the ball.

She was our constant, and faithful companion wherever we went for the past 5 years.  She loved to go for walks in the woods, long swims in the high mountain lakes.  When I was quilting for too long, she would bring her ball and drop it at my feet to remind me I needed a break.  She enhanced our lives.  She kept us healthy.  She was our little girl.  She was our Zinnie. 

Every morning she went out with Mr. Joe to get the morning paper.  She selected his socks from the sock drawer each day.  She had a huge vocabulary and she knew and understood every conversation we had with her. Most of all, she knew she was loved, and she loved us the way only a dog can love, unconditionally.  She was as devoted to us as we were to her.

Zinnie, we will meet you at the end of our trail, and walk over the rainbow bridge together.

Zinnie was going to select the winner for the contest on Saturday. That is just going to have to wait. 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No Quilting.....Only Working

Hello Everyone,
I didn't want you to think I've dropped off the face of the earth, so I thought I should explain what I've been doing over the past few days.  The producer from The Quilt requested I send pictures to her.  I have compiled a list of the pictures she wants, and I'm slowly making my way through the list.  I'm swapping out all of the quilts at the cabin, and hanging only my designs.

This meant that we had to dust off all of the logs first. I can't believe the amount of dust that collects in every nook and cranny along with spider webs!  Our spiders are so big, I wouldn't want to be matched up with them in an arm wrestling contest!  I would surely lose.

The producer also wanted pictures of my sewing room, studio sounds to pretentious to me for my space.  My sewing room is the largest of the smaller bedrooms in the house.  I took everything out of the pie safe and refolded and reorganized with the help of my oldest granddaughter.  My granddaughter thinks I'm one yard of fabric away from being a hoarder! (If you saw the closet, you would understand.)  I'm feeling much more organized now....I just won't open the closet door.

During all of this cleaning and reorganization, my old laptop bit the dust big time.  It has been limping along for the past for months and finally gave up the ghost......just when I needed it the most.  I was tired of giving money to The Geek Squad to keep it running, so I broke down and bought a new computer.  It took me hours to restore all my files and get up and running.  I'm happy now, poorer, but happier.

Now we are getting ready for company over the Memorial Day weekend.  I'm going to go fishing with my son and grandson, and put quilting, preparation for The Quilt Show and everything else on hold until Monday.  This is going to be "my time".....unless I can't help myself and make a few blocks for something!

Thank you to everyone that entered the quilt naming contest.  I have lots of great entries.  It is going to be hard for Zinnie to decide on the best name.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pride of Country

Hello Everyone,
Just in time for Memorial Day, the quilt without a name.  You could hang it this way.....
....or this way.

It's not very large but it makes a big statement.  It measures 55" x 36".  Just a nice size for a patriotic quilt.

All of my quilts get their picture taken by posing on the old toboggan. This one is ready to go on a picnic.

This is the first time I started a quilt without the end design in mind.  I started making red, white and blue components from my Patchwork Math book. The components were going to be my "step-outs" for The Quilt, until I saw a pattern develop in my mind, and started sewing the components together.  I guess now I have to make more step-outs for the show!
So here's the rules for the  "Naming of the Quilt Contest." Send me a name for this quilt by Thursday, May 22th.  The cut-off time will be noon, Pacific Standard Time.  The winner will be announced Saturday, May 24th.  Mr. Joe and I will select our favorites, and our dog Zinnie, will be make her final selection.  The decision of the judge is final.  Remember Zinnie can be bribed with Kibble, doggie toys, walks in the woods, you name it, all bribes gladly accepted with a wag of the tail.  The winner will receive a copy of Patchwork Math, or if you already have a copy of the book, you may select any one of my Sew'n Wild Oaks patterns.  If you would like to send me your entry in an email, please send it to: and your submission will be entered in the contest.  Also this contest is not limited to only the United States.  Submissions will be accepted from anywhere in the world.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, make sure I have a way to reach you and include your email address in your comment if you are a "no-reply" status.
Zinnie does tricks too!  Good luck in the contest.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Senior Moment

Hello Everyone,
I'm back to making components and blocks for the next quilt.   So here is this beautiful block and I made four of them all the same......NOT.

Was I brain dead when I put this one together?  I actually sewed this one in the row before I saw the mistake(s).  I must have had real senior moment on this block.

I have six of these little cuties.

Then I started making components for the next four blocks.  Each block contains the following components.

When sewn together, it looks like this.

Once I get this quilt together, I think I will let you, name this quilt.  That means there will be a contest for the Patchwork Math book very soon.  This quilt is going to be featured on The Quilt during one of my segments, so the name has to be a good one!  Put your thinking caps on and think Americana.  It will be much easier for you once I get it finished.

I'm sad to say that baseball is winding down for our grandson, Jess.  We love watching him play, and we love watching our son coach the team.  Nothing is more fun than watching little 6-year-olds make a great play, and then grin from ear to ear. The little guys and girl are actually catching fly balls, and hitting a pitched ball out of the park.  No more T-Ball, these little kids are amazing. Heartwarming. Truly small town USA.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend making memories.