Archive for October, 2010

Little Crazy Quilt

Cathy Miller is a treasure.  She writes songs about quilters and, together with her husband John Bunge, performs all over North America.  If they come anywhere near your town, go out and see them.

I’ve learned about special quilts in history from Cathy’s songs, and I’ve laughed out loud as I see myself  and my fellow quilters in her lyrics.

And there’s one song that makes me cry every single time I hear it.

“I Remember You” is on her latest CD, Little Crazy Quilt. I asked her to write it. And she did!  How cool is that?! You’ll see a picture of my mother and me on the last page of the liner notes.

Get your copy of Little Crazy quilt and Cathy’s other CDs  here.

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October 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm 7 comments

I’m Going To Be On The Radio!

Listen to me on Pat's show!We had cats when I was growing up and one of their favorite paces to roost was on top of the television set. Every time one would jump up there my dad would say, “Hey look! The cat’s on TV!”  Like the cat was being interviewed on Nightly News or something. The clever omission of the “the” made it our family joke.  The cat’s on TV. Ha, ha! (I guess you had to be there.)

Well I’m going to be on the radio, and I don’t mean sitting on it. You’ll be able to hear my voice and everything! And it’s radio on the Internet which probably isn’t even called radio, but I’m old, so give me a break.

I’m going to be interviewed by Pat Sloan on her Creative Talk Network. You can listen to me live “on air” starting at 4pm EST on Monday, October 25th. If you can’t listen live then you can listen to the recording afterwards. You can even download it to your iPod. Isn’t life grand? Hey, remember the television set? It was black and white!

What ever shall we talk about? If there’s something you want me to try and work in, put it in the comment section below. Tell your friends.

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And, don’t forget to read my blogs about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative here.

October 25, 2010 at 4:25 am 6 comments

I Bought Another Sewing Machine

I think this brings the total to TEN: 5 Berninas, 1 Pfaff, a Featherweight, another antique Singer in a cute wooden box, and now TWO treadles. 

Yup, I bought another TREADLE. This treadle might work but even if it did, my legs are too long to sew on it anyway.  With my extra long legs, by time I position my feet on the treadle, my rear is in the other room.

Alas, it needed a good home and I’m an idiot. My other non-working treadle lives in the bathroom. Long story. Crowded bathroom.

This machine is gorgeous! After a little TLC, which it won’t get sitting out in the garage, I can almost hear it humming along.

The machine lifts itself out of the cabinet when you open the lid. Smart machine.

 Understand that if I already have a sewing machines in the bathroom, I am pretty much out of extra space already. I’m caught between a rock and an 85-pound, cob-webbed, just beginning-to-rust sewing machine.

It wasn’t my fault. The dog made me do it.

Yes, the dog. Not my dog. The previous owner’s dog. The dog’s name is Poochini and he sings. Well his “mother” sings and he barks in time to the music. If the treats are good. I was so impressed with the dog, I had to buy the sewing machine. I’m sure you understand the logic. Enjoy little Poochini while I move some furniture around and make room for my new treasure.

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October 24, 2010 at 11:56 am 44 comments

More Art For Your Lobes

Maryann, Nan, and Samantha

Peg Howard, master manipulator of images for your ears, has added several more “girls” to her collection of art for your ear lobes. This brings her collection to 31 different designs! Order three or more and save 20%

These  make wonderful gifts for friends and for yourself. We now offer a “cheap ship” option starting at $2.29, depending on where you live and how many earrings you order. Just write “CHEAP SHIP” in the comment section and we’ll adjust your invoice at this end. US residents only.

There are more designs coming shortly, but for now I’m having trouble deciding. Can you help?

Please help me decide! Number 1, 2, and 3 are from my Amish Baskets quilt. Peg has manipulated the baskets and come up with three terrific designs.

Numbers 4, 5, and 6, and from my Whig Rose quilt. I can’t make up my mind these either. I like them all.

What are YOUR favorites? I’d appreciate it if you’d write your favorites in the comment section below. (You can pick more than one.) Just write the numbers of the ones you like the best. Other comments are also welcome.

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And, don’t forget to read my blogs about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative here.

October 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm 117 comments

Waiting for the Repair Guy with an iPhone

I’m a busy woman. Lot’s to do. Last week our garage door broke, the lawn tractor died, and the cable went out. Everybody but Sears was willing to believe me when I said I’d be home at the appointed time. Sears had to call and speak to a real person before they would drive over.

The weather was warm and the sun was out. Not too many days like that left before the snows blow, so I made sure Sears had my cell phone number and headed out to the yard to dye underpants and clothesline. 

I may be busy, but I’m not boring.

The plan was to whip off both rubber gloves as soon as the phone rang, iPhones being so blasted innovative that you need TWO hands to answer the dang things: one to hold the phone and the other to swipe your finger across the screen. I could answer my old phone with one hand. That’s progress for you.

I had the phone on top of the deck railing so I could hear it, but I missed the first call that came in because I couldn’t get my gloves off fast enough.  (It wasn’t Sears.) I moved the phone closer to where I was working. When Sears finally called there had been enough false alarms that I figured out a new way to turn on my iPhone: instead of swiping with my finger I kept my hands off the phone, bent over, and swiped it “on” with my nose.

The “Nose Swipe” is re-enacted here.

The Nose Swipe also keeps other people from borrowing your phone.

Underpants are on their way to members of the Yo-Yo-Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties who ordered them. And, fresh hand-dyed clothesline is ready to be purchased.

Look at all the beautiful Ami-dyed clothesline for making bowls! Directions, too!

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October 8, 2010 at 5:37 am 13 comments


I have the best job in the world.  I love what I do and I get to meet great people along the way. occasionally, I get to visit really cool places, too. 

My last trip was to Valdez, Alaska to teach at the  Valdez Quilt Festival. I came a day early to Valdez and stayed an extra day in Anchorage to see at least a little bit of Alaska.  The photo above was taken at the harbor in Valdez (pronounced val-DEEEZ) shortly before we headed out on the Columbia Glacier Cruise.

The cruise was fantastic!

The captain and crew were wonderful, giving us a running commentary of what we were seeing which included the geography, history, and wildlife of the area. They went out of their way to show us the most coolest stuff. And I was such a tourist. I spent most of my time running from one end of the boat to the other taking pictures. Most of them didn’t come out, but a fellow passenger (from Taiwan) named Charles shared his pictures with me (and you)!

It was a gray day and the clouds covered most of the mountains, but it was still spectacular.

We saw an EAGLE!

Or, if you were looking at my pictures, a small blurry object at the top of a tree. Actually, zoomed in so far I had to look through the eye hole thing and got two shots of  the wrong tree!

I just got rocks with blurry things. And my sea lions on the buoy looked pretty fuzzy. Good thing Charles brought his camera!

Yup, he got way better pictures of the icebergs too, but I got to HOLD one!

The crew fished this baby iceberg out of the drink for a photo op. That’s fellow teacher Marsha McCloskey. I’m the idiot without a hat on. And may I mention I’m not wearing any gloves either? Yeah, it was kind of cold.

The best fun was when we saw the WHALE!

We followed it around and cut the engines and waited for it to come up for air. It surfaced a couple dozen times, first on one side of the boat and then the other. Then he popped up in front, and then behind. I got a fair amount of exercise

By time I could get the whale in the camera viewfinder, he was under that water again!

Even without trying to photograph him, he just looked like a big log in the water that occasionally burped a small cloud.

 I need to get my eyes checked again.

The Columbia Glacier was most impressive. So was going through the baby icebergs in the boat! And for that, we have video!  Check out what sounds like rain drops. It’s not raining. The icebergs are making that sound!

Here’s Part 2 of the video. We’re pretty close to the ice!

And finally, Part 3. Listen to the clunking of the icebergs against the boat.

Marsha spotted this little guy in the hotel parking lot as we were having breakfast one morning. I ran out there with my camera, possibly a little too fast. We both backed-up when we realized how close we got to each other. I kept my distance after that, but isn’t he “cuddly?” Love the waddle. He may have left a present in the parking lot, but I’m not sure.

You’ll have to watch the video. The shrieking in the background might have been a seagull. I really wasn’t paying attention.

Later in the week, the clouds began to lift. See the mountains at the top?

Valdez is surrounded by MOUNTAINS! Who knew! (It was dark when I flew in.)

I took this photograph just before sunset. The light was really beautiful.

My Alaska trip was wonderful! I got to visit with old friends and make new ones too. My students were terrific, and the women who put on the conference could not have been nicer.  It was a trip of a lifetime! I hope you enjoyed the little travelblog.


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October 1, 2010 at 1:07 am 22 comments

Ami Simms

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