Monday, June 27, 2022

Catching Up With You

 Hello Everyone,

I was able to get to my sewing room for a few hours this week between sorting, tossing, and boxing.  I've always wanted to make a pink and brown quilt, and now I have the perfect fabric to make one.

Marcus Fabrics sent me Madison Square Fabric by Paula Barnes, and I've been anxious to use it. I cut the pieces out and put them on the block layout sheet.  I also incorporated two other fabrics; Meridian Stars by Karen Styles and the pink is from Return to Elegance by Judie Rothermel.

This is the Madison Square line of fabric.  I absolutely LOVE IT!

The block is the same block which I used in my Crossing the Pond quilt.

The block looks so different when it's framed with the sashing components.  The new blocks will have a different, yet beautiful sashings.

I'm my happiest when I'm with the grandkids, in my sewing room, or in the pool.  Water aerobics started last Monday, and I am one happy camper.  This is the one indulgence I give myself for one hour a day, Monday through Friday.  The water feels so good, and it feels so good to stretch and move effortlessly through the water. Then when I get out of the water, I feel like I weigh 400 pounds just walking up the pool steps!  Water aerobics sets up a nice way to start my day with a positive outlook and gives me more energy to tackle my to-do list.  I not only have a daily to-do list, but I also have a long-range to-do list.

Yesterday, while I was carrying boxes to put under the cabin, I was joined by three very curious deer.  I just sat right down on some steps out back, and they came right to me within 10 feet.  I was ready to bolt up the stairs just in case they decided to get a little squirrely.  Mr. Joe is calling me the deer whisperer.  They were so sweet and calm, and I seemed to have a real connection with one of the does.  She listened to everything I was telling her.  I found myself talking to her the way I talk to Mazey in a universal animal-understanding language.

The packing and sorting is going.....I don't know if I would say it's going well.  My mother was a saver, and I guess I am too.  I found a box of correspondence from the 1960's.  My mom saved every letter I received from my pen pal I had in junior high school.  Through my excellent detective skills and the power of the Internet, I actually tracked my penpal down.  I'm going to send her a letter to see if she would like to rekindle our pen pal relationship.  If she's not the right person, then the recipient of the letter is going to think I'm crazy.  Mr. Joe would concur.


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

More Midnight Lace

Hello Everyone,

I was able to spend time in my sewing room yesterday and made some more blocks using the Midnight Lace fabric by Paula Barnes for Marcus Fabrics. 

It has been fun working with this fabric line.  It lives up to the name of Midnight Lace as it has a very lacey look to it. The pattern is my Christmas Ribbons pattern.

I haven't decided if I'm going to do a grouping of four to make a table topper.

Or I may make a table runner.  Actually, I want to make another block and just keep going on this one with the limited amount of fabric that I have.

The sorting and purging have been going well in our house in the Bay Area.  We've been spending 2-3 days a week at the task.  I have decided the best way to get organized is to give everything away!  Actually, we pack up boxes and then I try to figure out how to incorporate the items at the cabin.  I'm reaching overload in more ways than one.  That's why it was nice yesterday to switch gears and do something fun for a change.

I have an update on my fabric line that I've been working on with the graphic artists at Marcus Fabrics.  The line and my new Block of the Month are going to be released earlier than expected.  This means I put my design hat on and designed a quilt which I absolute LOVE!  I can't wait to get the fabric and dig into the creative process.  I have several quilters waiting in the wings to help me make the quilt once I receive the fabric.

The decision has been made on the final designs of SKU's for the line.  Now sampler yardage needs to be printed overseas before it receives the final FINAL okay from Marcus Fabrics and from me.  To tell you I'm SEW EXCITED is an understatement!  

I was on a ZOOM call the other day with the designers at Marcus Fabrics and management.  To be included in a call with so many designers that I've admired for so many years was over the top exciting for me.  I am so honored to now be part of the Marcus team.  

I'm going to start writing the pattern in between packing and sorting.  This pattern and the writing are different than anything I've done in the past.  There is going to be a story to the quilt included in the pattern...and that's all I'm going to say about it.  I think you are going to like it.

My real life story about how I became a fabric designer shows that you are never too old to reinvent yourself and become what you've always wanted to be when you grow up.  Now I need to put on my big girl panties and live up to my own expectations.



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Living in a Zoo

 Hello Everyone,

There are days when we feel as though we are living in a zoo.  Here's proof of that statement.  Mr. Joe and I just sat down at the dining room table when two cubs and their mom ran up a tree right by our deck.  I love the grumpy face on the bottom cub.

Mazey was outside on the deck and was nose to nose with mama bear with only the thin bars of the railing separating them.  I ran out and called Mazey and quickly got her into the cabin, but not before mama took a swipe at her and growled.  Mazey heard the urgency in my voice and ran back inside the cabin unscathed.  I was sure that I'd scared the bears away......but that was not to be the case.

Mama proceeded to curl up and take a nap in a bed that was "just right" in the drainage pipe.  

The branches of the tree were just perfect for the cubs to take their naps.  This is the only time I ventured outside to get a picture.  The rest of the pictures were taken inside the safety of the cabin.

We were expecting friends to drop by after lunch, and they enjoyed the show.  I'd texted them ahead of time and alerted them to what was going on.  I should have charged admission to the zoo!

The cubs ventured down from the tree after napping for over an hour and a half.  They went over to mama and started nursing.

This little one had very interesting markings on his chest.  It looked so cute when it stood up.

Mama checked us out one more time. Take a good look at her claws.....scarey. 

Then she gathered up her kids, and headed over to the neighbor's cabin.

She was very interested in their garage door.  Bears have been known to rip off garage doors to gain entry.

The surprising thing about this encounter was that we couldn't scare the bears away.  Normally if you make enough loud noise they leave.  We have to be on extra sharp alert when we are out in the yard from now on, more so now than ever before.  

Just another day in our mountain life.



Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Wooly Wednesday

 Hello Everyone,

It is so nice to have handwork that I can pick up at night and do a bit of stitching and take a break from packing and sorting.

This wool project is called Pieceful Spring by Karen Yaffe.  The kit is available HERE at Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop.  I met Karen when I was teaching at Pieceful Gatherings retreat in March.  Karen is a real sweetheart and so talented.

I removed the chain stitch down the leaf that I showed you last week.  I will do a simple stem stitch instead.

It's so much fun to add in all of the little details.

The packing and sorting have been going very well.  We did get caught up and stalled yesterday afternoon when we found a box of old letters which belonged to my in-laws.  We found a birth certificate for an Irish relative from 1887.  I'm sure this should be scanned and posted in Oh, the treasures we hang on to.

The kids have been coming over and helping out.  But this is really something that we need to do ourselves while sorting through years of memorabilia.  The only piece of furniture that all of them want is my old Hoosier.  I have the paperwork that came with it from 1914.  This is going up to the cabin and I will make room for it one way or the other.  I have a good spot for it, but it will include moving a lot of furniture around.  

Does anyone want a piano?  I have my aunt and uncle's piano from the 1940's.  I'll throw in all of the sheet music as an added incentive.  I still have nightmares of my piano lessons with Mrs. VanAsperin when I was 7 years old.  I wish I had continued with the lessons which my parents paid dearly for.  I took more lessons when I was in my 50's. My level of expertise on the piano is playing a jaunty rendition of Chopsticks and Heart and Soul with the granddaughters.

We've had this ox yoke on display for years in the entry hall.  This is going back to the cabin and Mr. Joe is going to turn it into a chandelier over the "meals on wheels" table.  We will have to wait for our boys to arrive to get this mounted from the ceiling as it weighs an absolute ton.  This will be the ultimate in repurposing and it will be a real conversation piece.