QC Blog: August 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I love shows about fixing up houses, and one of my favorite home improvement shows is Holmes on Holmes. He's a guy who comes in, when a contractor has messed up the job, and fixes everything that was wrong with that contractor's work. As the show progresses, he tells you why it was wrong and how to fix it. This show is less about the "ta-da" moment than it is about the work in progress. I love it. The only problem is, while I'm watching I keep worrying about the things my contractors did when they fixed up my house. To be honest, I only worry about the one who finished my basement because the other guys who put an addition onto our house were angels. So, I watch these shows and constantly worry if there is mold growing in my walls, and if there is, what can I do about it? I'm thankful we had an electrician come in and fix the job our contractor did since he put everything in the basement on one 15 amp breaker, and in the next breath worry that the plumbing is insufficient and someday all the pipes under the cement will just explode. I worry because I don't have an egress window downstairs and how will we get out in a fire? Then the show ends and I kind of wrap up my worries in my old kit bag and smile, smile, smile...till the next time the show airs.

Last night, as I watched them tear a house completely apart and build it from scratch, I could relate it to quilting. We take a whole piece of fabric and tear it apart and then put it all back together to make something beautiful. I listened to my Alan Alda book yesterday while making a rail fence baby quilt (Alda narrates the book himself). He's got a great sense of irony and I really enjoyed listening to him. The book was a lot of the speeches given over the years and what he's discovered about himself by going back and reading them again. I definitely sewed longer than I might have without the CD - it was nice to have something to concentrate on while I sewed. The only trouble I had was trying to read directions and listen at the same time. I couldn't tune him out like I do to TV or I would miss something.

Along the same construction lines, I was watching a cake show - Wedding Cake Masters. It takes so many hours to make a beautiful cake, I know, I used to make them when my boys were young. Of course, I gave it up when they were old enough to not be so excited by it. It lost some of its' charm for me then. Mind you, none of my cakes looked like these, but I started thinking about the value of my time in making quilts and how I tend be squeamish about charging a lot because people always want a bargain. People just don't realize the number of hours that go into making a quilt. So I made a decision that I am going to value my time. Whether that will work for me or not, who knows?

Oh, and our raffle quilt got it's picture in the paper today. They published all the info about who made it and who the raffle is for, etc., etc., and my photo looks great. My boys wanted to know if their fingers made the paper too, since they were the ones holding up the quilt...(no boys, sorry, I'm better at the photography than to let your hands show....)

I'm excited about the website - I 'm almost finished. Maybe within a week or so, I'll be able to post it.

p.s. Technically, I started this post Sunday afternoon. I don't know why the posting time is wrong on these posts.
12:05 am Sept. 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

I haven't heard anything from the Creative Director yet at Quiltmaker. I'd be surprised if she could explain that cathedral window quilt block to me with the different colors that I mentioned before. (p. 28 of Spring 2008 issue of Quiltmaker's all time favorites).

I sent our local newspaper a photo of the Patriotic Patchwork quilt, and apparently they are going to print it this week, so maybe our raffle will get a little movement. I presented the idea of this quilt to our group to help me get rid of the red, white and blue fabric I had on hand, because I'm not really into those colors too much for a quilt. Ironically, I've ended up with a ton of r,w, and b leftover. Also, in case you got the mistaken impression I did that quilt myself, I didn't. I did quilt it on my Hinterberg machine, but had much help from 5 or 6 other women to put it together. I like the multicolor binding - I think it sets it off nicely.

I've been spending a lot of time watching the election coverage this week and not quilting. I was truly inspired by Barak Obama's speech on Friday night. I was impressed with the emotion in people's eyes as they watched him talk. The same tears were in my own. Hope is a powerful thing.

Today, the talk has changed to the Alaska VP candidate. Please pardon me if I say that I think it absurd to be talking about any one's 1982 basketball career and nickname as a resume to be Vice-President.

I'm going to combine my reading and quilting today. A friend of mine listens to audio books when she quilts so I thought I'd try that today. I did get one Alan Alda book that looked interesting in addition to a few romances.

My husband and I are going on a trip next week to Stone Harbor, NJ. I'm looking forward to trying out the new camera while we're there on some scenic spots. My current camera is 6mp and the new one is 12mp. My computer screen doesn't have the resolution to effectively view the photos. I wish someone had mentioned that before I bought it. (sigh).

It's a beautiful day, so I'm going to take advantage of the sunlight (my sewing room has skylights) and go sew!!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I gotta say, I'm extremely proud to be a woman today. I watched Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic convention last night and was totally inspired. (Don't let my political leanings turn you away from my quilting. I promise I'll be brief). I wish she had won the nomination, but she did such a wonderful job at endorsing Barak Obama. And she inspired such hope for the future of women. I visited my library today, where they're having an exhibit on Lincoln. Reading the entire history of slavery and abolition and his presidency was interesting. It's amazing how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go to be truly "equal" in this county.

So, how does this tie into quilting...hmmm. Well, our quilt circle (The Cranberry Township Quilt Circle) made a quilt that we donated to the Friends of the Cranberry Library so they could raffle it off to benefit the library. We were inspired by Eleanor Burns' Stars Across America book where each star represents a great woman in American history, so it ties in with the Lincoln exhibit. The raffle will continue until the Election. I went over there today, and it looks great. By the way, tickets are only $2.00 each and 3 for $5.00. I guess I'm pretty proud of this quilt too. It's the first large quilt I've machine quilted.

I did get a half reply from Quiltmaker about my query yesterday. They said the fabric is called Chambray and couldn't find it on the Benartex site. So I did some more searching on their site with the word Chambray and found the checked fabric in a line called Pipsqueaks on the website. Their Creative director is supposed to contact me to tell me how they made that block with 3 different colors. We'll see.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quilting queries

Have you ever read directions over and over again and they just don't make sense to you? That's what happened to me when I first started to learn quilting. I would read the Georgia Bonesteel book called Lap Quilting over and over and try to decipher what the heck she was talking about. It never started to make any sense until I took my first class in "learning how to quilt," which is also why I love to teach it. I love that feeling of having the light bulb go on in some one's head, when they finally figure out that they can make something lovely if they keep working at it each day.

Anyway, I'm in a quandary right now, and maybe someone who reads this can help out. In the Spring 2008 issue of Quiltmaker's All time favorites, page 28, there's a picture of a cathedral window with baby colors. Gorgeous of course. But for the life of me, I can't figure out how they made that square with different colors of baby fabric. I've made these cathedral windows before and that's not my problem. For now, I've sent an email to Quiltmaker to ask, but have not received a reply. I'd like to find that Benartex baby fabric also, and as computer savvy as I think I am, I'm not really "search savvy," and can't find it anywhere.

So if you're out there and can enlighten me as to either of these two questions, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What do I do with a blog?

Well, I'm new at this, so bear with me while I find my bearings.

So this is my blog. Hmmm. My mother always told me never to write anything I didn’t want anyone else to read, but I love to have other people read things I write. It may not always be quilting related, even though my website points to quilting. I have quite a few interests and want the blog to be a general life rant if I want to also.

Speaking of quilting, I found a great new site the other day called Spoonflower.com, which led me to a host of other new sites and so on and so on. They are a new company who will print your design onto fabric. Hopefully the prices will come down a little when they get past the beta stage and into big production mode or maybe they’ll have a wholesale price for a large quantity of fabric. That led me to another site called wordle.net and another called etsy.com. Hopefully reading others blogs will lead me to more fun and interesting sites like these.

So on to photography, I also was pointed to a site called Kelbytraining.com where you can pay a fee (by month or by year) to take online classes. Well, in the last few days, I’ve taken almost 4 full classes, on Camera Raw and my new D300, studio lighting and business ideas. I’m getting my money’s worth that’s for sure, but it’s fun too. And I have actually learned some things I didn’t know before. I feel energized in my photography and my quilting.

Sometimes I just have too many ideas floating around in my head to connect the two and then I get frustrated and go read a book!! Of course I always wanted to write a romance novel too. I devour romance novels. I’m going to keep track for a normal month and see how many I’ve read. There should be a frequent reader program.

Do what you love. Love what you do.

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