Thursday, July 22, 2021

Retreat Preparations

 Hello Everyone,

I don't want you think that I've been just sitting around and not quilting.  But I have been sitting a lot working on applique and tutorials for the first of my three Sew'n Wild Oaks retreats at Snowflake Lodge.

One of the projects that I'm going to teach is Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins table 42" table runner.  I'll be teaching the applique part and the ribbon border.

I have all of the parts and pieces ready to teach the border.  

All of the parts and pieces are stored in baggies in a binder.  I really like to be prepared for class and have everything in order.  There's nothing worse than not being prepared, and looking like an idiot in front of a classroom full of quilters.  That happened to me one time.....the day I fell out of my chair in front of class.  Now there's a story for another day!  As soon as I'm finished writing the pattern, I'll put it out in my Etsy shop.

Another bear was on the deck yesterday morning.  This bear had better not mess with my Blackstone Flat Top!  I almost always get up at 5am, and I'm at my computer filling Esty orders, answering emails, or working on accounting for the company. I always open up the doors and windows to let in the cool morning air.  Yesterday morning was a different story.  I didn't sleep well the night before, so I was snoozing in my recliner in the great room.  I hadn't opened up the house yet, and it's a good thing I didn't.  In my half asleep stupor, I heard a thud on the deck.  I knew exactly what it was and grabbed my phone so I could snap a picture.   Normally the sliding door would have been wide open with only the screen door between me and this rather motely-looking bear.  It was a good thing I wasn't on my normal window and door opening schedule!

I spent another day this week packing quilts and adding to our "bugger out" box.  The gold star in the lower right-hand corner of the map is my little community of Arnold.  The dry thunderstorms earlier this month and week started several fires northeast of us.  I swear it seems like the entire state of California is in flames.  This time of the year always puts me on edge.  We get dry thunderstorms with thunder and lightning but very little rain.  The cars are both filled with gas, and a list of things to take with us is always at the ready.  Mazey is at the top of the list.  The quilts, computers, and external hard drives are second on the list. 

The large Tamarack fire just south of Lake Tahoe is about 60 miles away, and seems to be burning in a northerly direction.  The smaller fires are much closer.  I'm just praying they don't blossom into a full-grown beast of a fire.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  The weekends are rolling around faster and faster.



Thursday, July 15, 2021

Now That's Using Your Noodle

 Hello Everyone,

Fat Quarter Shop has my quilt now, and they posted pictures from their wonderful photoshoot on their website.

You can check out all of the images HERE on their website.  I was so pleased when I saw this.  It is my understanding they are going to make a video about the quilt next, and I can't wait to see it.  I think I will contact them to see if I can use this photo on my pattern cover.

On another note, I had a very interesting encounter with a bear yesterday.  I drove my car down to water aerobics around 8:15am.  As I was walking from the parking lot to the pool, a bear came running down a driveway from across the street, and ran in front of me.  It ended up at the back side of the area by the restaurant.  It was basically blocking my path to the pool, because I didn't know which way he was going to run.  I shook my blue pool noodle at him while hollering at the same time.  He took off in the opposite direction.  Boy, I guess I showed him not to mess with a scantily clad woman on her way to exercise class! I say that I was using my noodle, and I'm sticking to it.

After lunch, Mr. Joe headed out for a trip to the post office.  While driving down our street, just about ten cabins away, there was a bear strolling down our street. I think he was looking for the lady shaking the blue pool noodle at him! 

The day before all of this happened, we had a mama and two cubs in our backyard.  I don't have any pictures to document this as it was too dark at 5:30am.

Use your noodles today.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

True Grit

 Hello Everyone,

Soft and waisty......thick in the loin area....skeletal thickness and mass.....a little thicker in the lower 1/3rd of the body.....viewing from behind, not enough muscle shape.....attractiveness in the front end.....not fresh and firm....big ended, big footed.....fresh and mellow to the touch.....stout and powerful.....past 12 o'clock in the terms of maturity.

Right about now you are thinking where I'm going with this, right?  Well, Mr. Joe and I spent two days at the Junior Livestock Auction watching our granddaughters show their goats and steers they raised in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) program.  The above paragraph contains just a few of the comments we heard from the judges.  I thought they were talking about me!  Especially the, past 12 o'clock in the term of maturity.  How about the attractiveness in the front end?  Now I like that one.

This is our granddaughter, Kinsey with her goat. 

This is our granddaughter, Emily with her steer, Arnold.

She got him 10 months ago when he was just a baby.

This is Kinsey with her steer, Waylon.

Here's baby Waylon.

Grooming time for the boys.

Both girls raised goats, too.

Emily also raised turkeys.  When the pen was opened, the kids had to use a stick to prod their turkey out of the shoot.  Emily's turkey took five baby steps, and sat right down, then fell over.  You aren't supposed to touch the turkeys at all with your hand.  Emily went to her turkey and lifted its head, only to have it drop back down like a wet noodle.  She thought it was dead, we thought it was dead.

I guess turkeys can play possum because It went from dead to, "folks we have a runner".  Needless to say Emily didn't win turkey showmanship.

We are so proud of our "farmgirls".  They gave their animals the best life possible, filled with constant grooming, training, feeding, and a lot of love.

FFA teaches life lessons.  You learn how to care for something other than yourself.  You learn good values.  You develop friends that will last a lifetime.

We had a fun two days even though the heat was excruciating.  I felt so sorry for the animals, and for the all of the FFA kids in their heavy corduroy jackets.

So, I'm going to put this "past 12 o'clock in the term of maturity" body to work this morning and go to water aerobics.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Two for One

 Hello Everyone,

What is going to make my A Ribbon Runs Through It block of the month special for Marcus Fabrics?  These cutie patootie little blocks, that's what!

Each month you will have fabric scraps leftover.  So why not make some hexie blocks.  I'm still working my way through the scraps. As of right now, I don't know just how many I will be able to squeeze out of the scraps.  I'm hoping to make about 60 blocks.

These blocks are stinkin' cute!  I've been trying to carve enough time out of each day to sequester myself away in my sewing room and knock out a block or four. 

I will be posting directions for this block when the BOM starts up in January of 2022.  It seems like a long way off, but it really isn't.  Look how fast the first half of this year has already flown by!

Our little community probably tripled in size over the July 4th holiday.  We hunkered down in the cabin and let the out-of-towners fill the community coffers.  It was unreal how many people were in town.  I had to go to the post office to mail Etsy orders Saturday morning.  The normal 15 minute trip there and back was closer to 45 minutes.  Main street was wall to wall people, cars, kids, and dogs.  I don't mind the dogs! 😂

To make matters worse, our little grocery store had a car DRIVE right through the front door of the store.  Luckily no one was hurt.  I guess I didn't get the memo that our market was now a drive thru.

I'm still doing water aerobics every morning at 8:30 with my friend.  I think I'm addicted, and I don't know what I'm going to do when the frost gets on the pumpkins, and the classes end.  I actually bought another swim suit.....a girl has to have variety.  The last suit I bought is so old, the elastic turned to crinkly dust.  This morning I left my sunglasses at home and the glare was quite something.  I knew my crows feet were as crinkly as the elastic on my old suit.  But you know, I like to think of them as starbursts instead of crows feet.  So show off your starbursts every chance you get!


Saturday, July 3, 2021

A Ribbon Runs Through It Reveal

Hello Everyone,

This is the day I've been waiting for over the past few months.  I'm revealing my finished, A Ribbon Runs Through It for Marcus Fabrics.

I took this picture right before it went on the longarm.  I thought it looked so pretty under the Dogwood tree.

The fabric line is called Return to Elegance by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.  My designing journey started last Fall when I was contacted by Marcus Fabrics, and asked if I would design a quilt with Judie Rothermel's new fabric line.  I said yes before I ever saw the fabric.  I knew if the fabric was designed by Judie that I would love it......and I did.

I incorporated every SKU from the line into the quilt.

The company sent me 86 yards of fabric, and then the fun began in earnest.

Each of the 16 center star blocks are unique.  It was like herding cats trying to keep track of which fabrics I had already used.

The ribbon sashing looks complicated.....but it really isn't.

The quilt measures 99" x 99", and fits beautifully on our queen-sized bed with a generous over hang.

The 10-month block of the month program will begin in January 2022.  If you are interested in the BOM, contact your local quilt shop and ask about it.  As of yesterday, I know of two shops that are committing to the program, Cloth and Quilts, and In Between Stitches.  You can contact them to get on the BOM list.  As the Marcus sales reps work their way around the country, a list of participating shops will be posted on the Marcus website.

I will do another post about what makes my BOM unique.  I try to take an intricate design and simplify the construction of each of the blocks.

It has been and honor and a privilege working with the good people at Marcus Fabrics.  I appreciate their trust in me, and look forward to our continued working relationship.  More about that later!


Friday, July 2, 2021

Peekers Again

Hello Everyone,

The anticipation is building in me to show you the entire A Ribbon Runs Through It block of the month quilt for Marcus Fabrics.  Here's a refresher picture of the fabrics that are incorporated into the quilt.  This beautiful line, Return to Elegance by Judie Rothermel, is going to sell itself.


I just found out yesterday that this quilt is going to get on a plane again and make another trip for a video photoshoot.  This quilt will be quite the seasoned traveler as she will also be going to Houston Quilt Market.

Here's a picture of the backing.  

Now that we have been vaccinated, we are getting together more and more with friends.  We've enjoyed so many meals out on the deck under the stars, and the pine trees.  The other night I made Langostino Alfredo.  I could also call this Cardiac on a Plate.....but I won't.  It isn't something you would whip up on a regular basis, but just once in awhile a good pasta dish just hits the spot.  It was so good, the recipe made the cut, and is now in the Wilder Family Cookbook.  Enjoy!  


P.S. I purchased a 2 pound bag of Langostino at Costco.

Langostino Alfredo

8 ounces pasta, cooked according to box (save 1 cup pasta water)

12 ounces langostino tails, thawed and drained

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1½ cups half and half, room temperature

½ cup whole milk, room temperature

3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (from a block is best), divided

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


©      -In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 3-4 minutes.

©      -Add garlic and whisk to combine.  Season with half of the salt and pepper.

©      -Slowly whisk in milk and half & half. (Start slowly to allow milk/half & half to blend in as you are whisking.  Do not dump it in all at once)

©     - Whisk frequently over medium/medium low heat until sauce has thickened.

©     - When sauce has reached desired consistency, remove from heat and whisk in 2 cups of grated Parmesan.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

©      -If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta water to thin it.  Add a label or two of sauce to cooked pasta and toss to coat noodles with sauce.

©     - Gently fold thawed and drained langostino tails into the remaining sauce and ladle sauce over pasta.

©      -Top with fresh parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese.