QC Blog: March 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring is here, or is it?

My sisters and I spent the day yesterday in Meyersdale at their 62nd Meyersdale Maple Festival. It was a short bus ride (about 1.5 hrs) but we got a chance to catch up on what has been going on in our lives. When we arrived, we had a pancake and sausage breakfast (I skipped the sausage) and found that pancakes with real maple syrup taste delicious. We watched a play called "The Legend of the Magic Water" which was about the Monongahela people who first discovered the maple syrup in this area. They told us that Kate Smith, the singer, first put them on the map 62 years ago, by declaring Meyersdale Maple Syrup the best in a contest she had on the radio. We watched a real old fashioned parade that featured the original fife and drum corp, established in 1782, and had the First Navy Seal in America as a guest of honor on the dais. One of the fireman in the parade stopped his truck and got out to ask his girl to marry him along the parade route (she said yes). We stopped for dinner on the way home and in general, had a fun day.

I hate this in-between weather. I mean the in-between winter and spring weather, when you can't figure out what coat to wear when you go out in the morning because it's cold and then the afternoon is really warm, or vice-versa. You leave the house in the morning dressed in heavier clothes and a winter coat. By afternoon, it's 70 degrees and you feel like a fashion faux pas in your dark colors and winter wear. I'm also torn between the winter and summer color regime we all followed when we were kids. You know what I mean. You didn't wear white - ever - until Easter. Then, no matter how cold it was, you'd break out the white shoes, white purse, white hat, white dress and brave it all on Easter morning to look like springtime. Luckily my children don't have this color hangup about their clothes. They used to wear shorts to school the first day they knew it might be over 60 degrees outside. They opt for no coat most of the time - I had to insist that if the temperature was 30 outside they had to take a winter coat. It's such a conundrum for me.

I hope you are enjoying looking at my photos on Imagekind. I have many more photos to post, but I'm testing the waters with one gallery to start with.

Have a great day! Hope for spring today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good News!

I've finally uploaded some of my photos to a web site called Imagekind, so you can see them and purchase them. At Imagekind you can also purchase mats and frames to compliment your photo. My url is: http://sal_16066.imagekind.com/ or you can just click on the icon to the left. On the Photos page, there will be a similar gallery of photos that you can click to view my work.

I'm very excited to show off some of my favorite photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Answers to the Quiz

Here they are, as promised, from the website of the National Women's History Project - the answers to yesterday's quiz. I'm sorry to say I didn't get very many of them right myself. I wonder how many of these women knew how to quilt.


1. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875–1955)
2. Toni Morrison (b. 1931)
3. Rosa Parks (b. 1920)
4. Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927)
5. Jane Addams (1860-1935)
6. Nancy Lopez (b. 1957)
7. Rita Dove (b. 1952)
8. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
9. Alice Paul (1885-1977)
10. Shirley Chisholm (b. 1924)
11. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)
12. March Fong Eu (b. 1929)
13. Nellie Bly (1867-1922), real name Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman
14. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)
15. Sojourner Truth (C. 1797-1883)
16. 1923
17. Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917)
18. Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643)
19. Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891)
20. Charlie Parkhurst
21. Romana BaƱuelos (b. 1925)
22. Sacajawea (c. 1786-1812)
23. Katherine Graham (b. 1917-2001)
24. 1909, New York City
25. 1974
26. Dolores Huerta (b. 1930)
27. 1976
28. Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997)
29. Harriet Tubman (c. 1820-1913)
30. Donaldina Cameron (1869-1968)
31. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy National Quilting Day!

Did you know it was National Quilting Day? Well, quilt away. I just found the coolest thing. You can find the photo at the HappyCottageQuilter blog under the heading "Dreamin.." Can you believe it - it's a quilted car cover!!

March is also Women's History Month. I am presently reading the book "Not for Ourselves Alone," which was also a TV special by Ken Burns. It's about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and their pioneering fight for women to achieve equal rights and the right to vote. Ken Burns mentions in the book that he was surprised how many people he asked didn't know anything about these women except to say Susan B. Anthony was on some coin, and they didn't even know why.

I grew up in the 70's when the fight was on for the Equal Rights Amendment, and when I did book reports in high school, they were always on a leader in women's rights. I feel like I've always known who these women are. So, I experimented and asked each of my sons, separately, if they knew either of these women. I'm sad to admit they had the same answer. They knew Susan B. was on a coin, but didn't know why, and didn't know who Elizabeth Cady Stanton was. When I say sad, I mean because I haven't done my job as a believer in women's rights if I haven't taught my sons about these women.

So I decided that as I read the book, I'm going to insert little tidbits here and there about women. In the meantime, You can read President Obama's Presidential Proclamation on "Women taking the lead in Saving Our Planet" at the National Women's History Project website.

I'm posting this quiz from their website also. I'll post the answers tomorrow. Their slogan is "Our History is Our Strength." I love that.

Test Your Knowledge of Women's History

1. Who founded Bethune-Cookman College, established the National Council of Negro Women, and served as an advisor on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

2. What woman was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. ?

3. What Black woman refused to give up her seat to a White man, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, thus sparking the civil rights movement of the following decade?

4. Who was the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872)?

5. Who opened up social work as a profession for women, and also won the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize for her anti-war organizing work?

6. Which Mexican-American woman has repeatedly been the leading money winner in the Ladies Professional Golf Association?

7. Who was the first woman Poet Laureate of the United States?

8. Who was the first “First Lady” to have developed her own political and media identity?

9. Who wrote the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment, in 1923?

10. Who was the first Black woman elected to Congress?

11. What leading suffragist was arrested and convicted of attempting to vote in the 1872 election?

12. Who was the first Chinese-American woman ever elected to hold a statewide office in the United States?

13. What journalist traveled around the world in 72 days in 1890?

14. What woman was turned down by 29 medical schools before being accepted as a student, graduated at the head of her class, and became the first licensed woman doctor in the U.S.?

15. What former slave was a powerful speaker for the rights of women and Black people?

16. When was the Equal Rights Amendment first introduced into Congress?

17. Who was the last queen of the Hawaiian Islands, deposed because American business interests wanted to annex Hawaii to the U.S.?

18. Which woman was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for holding religious discussion meetings in her home?

19. Who spoke out for the advancement of American Indians’ rights from speaker’s platforms nationwide and before Congressional committees in the 1880s?

20. Who drove a stagecoach across the roughest part of the West without anyone knowing until she died that she was a woman?

21. Who was the first Hispanic woman to serve as U.S. Treasurer?

22. Who was the Shoshone Indian woman who served as guide and interpreter on the Lewis and Clark expedition?

23. Who was Chair of the Board and publisher of The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine, and also oversaw six broadcasting stations?

24. About 20,000 women shirtwaist workers staged a strike for better working conditions. Their action was called the “Uprising of the 20,000.” When and where did his strike occur?

25. When did officials of Little League Baseball announce that they would “defer to the changing social climate” and let girls play on their teams?

26. As vice president of the United Farm Workers, what woman has been vital in speaking for civil and economic rights for farm workers throughout the U.S.?

27. When did Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 go into effect, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded school programs and activities?

28. What woman was invited to teach nuclear physics at Princeton University, even though no female students were allowed to study there?

29. What woman served as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, freeing hundreds of southern slaves and leading them to safety in the North? A $40,000 reward was offered for her capture.

30. What woman is credited with helping free more than 2,000 Chinese women and children smuggled into San Francisco to be sold as slaves?

31. Who was the first African-American woman poet to have her works published?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Savor Each Moment

I can't help but be somewhat subdued tonight after hearing the news about actress Natasha Richardson, who died after a fall while taking a beginner skiing lesson. I hope they know that tons of people give them their love and thoughts of hope. This is the kind of story that just makes your heart break for the entire family. I admit that death, in its many forms, seems to make me cry easily these days, whether I see it in a program I'm watching, or just hear about someone who died. Being with my mother when she passed away gives me a picture of each person keeping their bedside vigil, hoping their loved one will survive, or waiting for them to be out of their pain. I supposed the numbness of my mom's death in June is wearing away, replaced by a sadness that pops up when I least expect it. Life is so short, and you really do have to savor every moment.

I am still working on gathering photos for my website page titled "Photos."It's not an easy process and I guess that's a good thing - it means I have lots of photos I think are good. I think I might go out this weekend and take some new city pictures if the weather is nice. Blue skies are coming to Pittsburgh - today was a gorgeous day.

I was on the Quilting Friends site today and they asked about our favorite tools. Mine is my Martelli Ergo 2000 Rotary Cutter and the Martelli Quilter's Edition Mat, called a Round-a-bout. The round-a-bout is so cool. It has a spinning base so when you need to trim, you just turn the mat, not your block. The ergonomic cutter is wonderful for your hand. I never use my old one anymore.

Carpe Diem.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top o' the Mornin' to You!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you! I'm sitting here working on the computer, listening to my various Irish CD's and tapes today - from the Chieftains and Bagpipe music to a tape called "Kiss Me I'm Irish," that has one of my favorite songs, The Murphy Bed. Some of these Irish songs are hilarious. It's got all the classics - It's a Great Day for the Irish, When Irish Eyes are Smiling, and McNamara's Band. It also has Maureen O'Hara, the actress, singing several songs. I used to drive the boys crazy in the car making them listen to this tape about a week before St. Patrick's Day. It was great fun! I have to admit though, her rendition of Danny Boy is the best.

So, this week I've been reactivating my account at Facebook. There's also a Quilting Site similar to Facebook called Quilting Friends. I'm pretty new to both, so I'm having some growing pains. I didn't know it was possible to be socially awkward online - like when you look yourself up and it says "Mary Jane has no friends." How depressing. And then there's that point where you find someone you know and you reach that moment of decision. Should I "friend" them or not? Do I really want them to know I was here? Do I want them as a friend? Or do I want them to know what I am doing? Hmmm, it's all quite a dilemma.

I signed up last week on several quilting blog sites and this week found a new one. You can find it at QuiltQua.com. It's got blogs, show and tell, links, articles, and lots of other great stuff. There are loads of wonderful pictures too. You have to take the link just to find out what Qua means.

I'm also busy trying to link my photos to a new website I've found so folks can see them and order them. Please check back in the next week or so, I hope to have the link up by then. I have so many beautiful photos and am anxious to share them.

Until we meet again....(the bagpiping is getting to me)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Duel?

I think it's odd that so many people are writing about Michelle Obama's arms (here I am writing about it, too) and how she should cover them up. Any woman that has arms that are as beautifully defined as hers are, should show them off as often as possible. Please, all you critics, don't try to tell her how to dress - she knows what she looks good in and doesn't need your help. There's no reason to cover her arms unless she's cold. Personally, I admire her style and think she looks great!

In reading other people's answers to the SewMamaSew stash questions, I was surprised by how many people don't iron their fabric, even when they're into their project. Personally, I think it's so essential to iron your fabric - having everything crisp makes the seams match so much better, but that's just me.

I've been registering my blog on a variety of blog sites in the past few days. I am totally amazed at how many names are out there for websites, in addition to how many bloggers are out there. My own name, The Quilting Crusader, was one that my kids came up with when they were little. The idea was that I was a Super Hero Quilter. We came up with names for all my trusty sidekicks and my adversaries. As I was searching I came across a site called The Quilting Pirate. It's a very nice site and well done. But I gotta tell you, I laughed when I read the name. I could just picture her Pirate and my Crusader in a duel. "En Garde!!" We could cross needles with one another, but who would win?? Of course, I have the shield of my thimble, so I think I have the edge. To my fellow quilter out there -- "Arghhh!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What do I sew?

I found a site today called SewMamaSew.com and they asked folks to share information about their fabric stashes. After reading the blogs (all very interesting, I might add) I thought I'd take the plunge and answer the questions. I will admit up front, that I feel I have an embarrassment of riches, as far as my sewing space and stash are concerned.

What do you usually sew? Quilts. I did take a sewing class a long time ago when I was learning how to use my sewing machine. I made 2 skirts, a couple tops, and a jacket. And I made my youngest son a cute Dalmatian Halloween outfit when he was a baby. Other than that, I make quilts, usually for other people.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?) Well, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I subscribe to the "One yard if you like it, two yards if you love it, and three yards if you can't live without it." The problem is, when I'm buying fabric, I love it all and usually buy three yards when I'm buying fabric. Believe it or not, these fabrics were from three different stores in Lancaster (left of photo, upper right, lower right). I didn't even realize how well they coordinated till I got home.
Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need? Typically, I make a big trip to a great store about once or twice a year and go a little crazy buying fabric (like in Lancaster). When I'm there it's all impulse.

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it? I used to always wash it when I got home. These days, I have a table filled with fabric to be washed before I use it.

Do you iron it? After I take the fabric out of the dryer, it goes in my cupboard. I always iron my fabric before I cut it for a project.

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.) I tend to love the way fabric stores put colors together, so it's in my cupboard according to the way I bought it (not very efficient, mind you), or in the kit it came with.

Do you have any special folding techniques? I didn't know there were special folding techniques. Now that I've read about some of them, I may just go and have a folding party.

How do you store your fabric? Some of it is on wire shelves, some in wire baskets, some in plastic containers, and some in the bag I still brought it home in from the store. I also use closet organizers that have drawers and keep fabric in there too.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash? I don't think I know the answer to that. Whenever I try to make something I always need to buy more fabric.

When do you say enough is enough? I think I'm there. Unless I'm somewhere special where I can't resist the fabric buys, I think I need to start producing more quilts in order to be able to buy more.

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects? I don't think it's possible to bust your stash. Recently I tried to get rid of all my patriotic fabric by getting our Quilt Circle to make a Patriotic Patchwork quilt. The fabric multiplied. I now have more red, white and blue fabric than I started with.

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it! I love fuchsia. I love this line of fabrics. I think it's called Razzle Dazzle.

What’s your definition of the perfect stash? (Consider sharing a picture or two of your stash & storage, or direct us to a pic on Flickr!) I love my stash. Being organized would make it perfect!!

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