March 31, 2009

Orter Make a Four Patch

Or I Orter clean my working wall with a lint roller more often...But these 4 sticky tapes of Orts were so pretty I had to sew them into a block. After all, who thought we'd all be making items out of selvege edges? Stay tuned, I have a neat one of those coming up soon.

The curiosity is how all the greyish background pet hair gets up there. Do they pin themselves up at night while I'm dreaming sweet dreams of finished quilts?

In truth I roll the wall every time a project comes off of it. Quilters are certainly stringy people~

Tuesday Thankies
Yoga Tonight!
White kitties with blue eyes

March 28, 2009

Monetize and Earth Hour

I'm underwhelmed by the newest link button in our Blogger dashboard, Monetize. On the other hand today's Earth Day observations can give one reason to hope that there is hope for the human race. Not much, but still...

Regarding Google's push for bloggers to Monetize I will admit that when I first thought about doing a blog my whole focus was on another stream of income. As a self-employed Jill of all trades, I'm always looking for new ideas. The first six months I worked on my first blog I could never come up with posts I was happy with, that I could also link to Amazon or wherever. In the end I nixed the whole idea, deleted all those posts and started afresh. I discovered I loved blogging and decided to dedicate that particular small part of my life to life and living, not commerce. I've never regretted it and with over 1000 blog posts between my blogs I've found it a very elegant way to clear my mind and open my heart.

I also love reading my favorites and seeking out new ones. But I never go back to the ones who have dozens of Monetize links in their posts or whose sidebar is full of ads. This is one area of my life I deliberately choose to keep commerce free. One small plug, great, more power to us all, but I'm not a shopper and I hate being marketed to.

Regarding the second annual Earth Hour. I am so touched and encouraged that cities and countries are participating, not just individuals like thee and me. Please feel free to click on the links in this paragraph and be uplifted, rather than regarded a shopping sheeple.

And to answer a few questions about my last post: Lynn asked how I line up top and bottom for basting. I always make sure the bottom layer is larger than the top by at least three inches. After checking to be sure they are squared up I fold each top in half and tack in a bright piece of yarn or heavy Perle before I lay them out they have a bright marker on all 4 center sides.
Then when I get the batting on the backing I fold the top in half according to those markers, line it up with the backing markers and then adjust the side markers as needed. Takes longer to say it than do it! I pin baste no further than 3-4 inches apart and so far it has worked beautifully.

Our resident numismatic (I have The Point winging it's way to me as we speak) asked if I've had my quilts appraised. Short answer, no. If they were lost I can always make another, better, and who can really put value on modern quilts? I have a whole-cloth quilt I kept track of my hand quilting time on and came in at just over 600 hours. Could I get 6-7,000 dollar for my quilts? Not hardly. I maintain a low profile and I think you have to have a name to command those dollars. I don't do for money what I do for fun. Life is too short to 'monetize' everything :)

And Linda has the best blog topper phrase I've seen, stop on over and meet the alpaca lady. I always appreciate comments, it is the best way to find new and interesting bloggers.

And my good friend Pam, clear across the world, but here in my heart, who charts her needlework progress from Australia. See, we can put all kinds of interesting links in our posts without marketing to our dear readers. Thank you all for stopping by, it is always a surprise!

edited to add on 4/4/09: I just realized I have links on my Quirkeries assured those links are for courtesy and appreciation of fair use copyright and credit to the artist and publisher. I receive zero anything in return.

Saturday Thankies
5 cows gone tomorrow
spring is upon us in the Pacific NW
Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine

March 26, 2009

Reverse Reverse!

Each time I hear the word reverse my mind immediately goes to a clip from the BBC comedy Father Ted. Anyway, back to quilting, Like 'to prewash or not to prewash' there is another group, those of us who piece our backs vs. those of us who think a single color/piece of backing is sacrosanct. Both sides are right because there aren't any rules, only what works for each of us. Today I'll share some of the reverse sides (I hesitate to call them 'backs' as once they are quilted both sides do full duty on the bed.) It is fairly obvious which side of the fence I quilt on. The quilt above is the reverse side the John Deere quilt I made for Rob. This is a great way to use up what is left of theme quilt fabrics.
This is my red/white/black back titled Ode To Joan, my good friend who loves these colors in her quilts. It is the reverse side of one of my chicken quilts, Chanticleer.
I think this is one of my least attractive backs, the reverse side of one of my favorites, titled Sisters. Both sides of this quilt were my first efforts to work strictly from stash. There are only four fabrics in this back and the stripes were a real PITA to work with. This is the first time I had my working wall in place and it was invaluable, I can't imagine how I made quilts before I had one!
This is every single last piece of the fabrics my friend Elle and I purchased for a joint project titled Spirit of the Mesa. Being restricted by what you have adds a great deal of creativity to your work.
I love this reverse side because I love purple/green/yellow-orange together. It was my first effort at doing a layout in Electric Quilt software. My only one in fact, I just don't have time to work with it long enough to remember what I learn. The other side is a Delectable Mountains.
This is the reverse side of my Dear Jane/Jane Stickle quilt titled Two Sides of Jane. It was just a exercise to teach myself to appliqué, and working with mixed neutrals. I think it is my all time favorite top.
Thursday Thankies
Sewing Machines

March 24, 2009

Soul Collage

Last Sunday afternoon was a fun break for me, a five hour class which included a short yoga practice and a guided class in Soul Collage with ten lovely women at Vision Yoga/Wild Trout Gallery.

Enormous boxes of magazines, calendars, and catalogs were set out and we each just pulled a armful of sources at random, then sat at the table or curled up on the floor and each time we saw an image that sparked something in us we'd pull it out and add to our pile. I've been working on a Discovery Journal for years so was familiar with this part of the task. (If you click on the photos on my blog they open up larger in a new page)

We were then given 5" X 8" mat boards, glue stick, and scissors and encouraged to make a collage of our bits. The results were outstanding and so different. I've worked with tarot and oracle cards for years so what I see in mine and what the object of the experience was supposed to be diverged, but I understand the concept, and will make more of these little art pieces as time and inclination permit. These are easier to sit out and think about than a Discovery Journal is!
I titled my piece Botox Party, based on a snippet of conversation I heard earlier. The foundation is 3 pieces, a forest in full color and glory, a withered and frosted winter weed, and the sun behind teasel pods.

For the statement I see a beautiful woman on the left railing against the body she has been given, then Aphrodite turning her back on her own beauty. Below center a false oddly shaped face is presented to the world. Which soon fades to bone and dust and what was the point?

In our teens we wish to appear older so on goes the make-up and tight clothes and we drink and smoke and behave like we think older women must do. At 30 we start dieting and tinting our first grey hairs and wish we were young again. At 50 we are going for belly bands and tummy tucks and breasts that look like wooden apples, our face skin is pulled up until our hair line is now two inches above our ears, we botox and have wands inserted all over our bodies to suck out yellow fat and bleach our teeth until they look like a packet of Chicklets. At 70 we marvel at how beautiful we were at 49 before we started taking things into our hands and skewing into a unnatural state of affairs.

I have considered all these things. If I were rolling in money I might even be tempted to try them. Obviously once you start you never know when to stop. Fortunately I have chosen to pay the mortgage and buy groceries instead. And work on my inner-mini-me. This week I'm taking a page from one of Rumi's books and polishing my heart, a forever project if there ever was one. I hope it reminds me to look at my Botox Party and appreciate what I have while I have it.

Tuesday Thankies
The blogs I enjoy visiting
Lunch out with my Rob

March 21, 2009


In our moderate climate baby lambs and calves are already scattered over the landscape. I would hesitate to call myself a farmwife...the sheer non-political correctness of it for one reason. But I was born and raised on a farm and coming full circle I now do much of the day to day work on my in-laws farm. So what do our thoughts turn to? Seeds, of course!

I've already ordered the giant tomato tree seeds for my father-in-law. He'd seen the annual ads on television and asked me to get them...I noticed last week he has already placed his five gallon buckets in the spots where he intends to grow them. He will be 91 next month and anything that gets him up and excited is OK by me.

I ran across this photograph recently when I was doing some research about women's employment options. This is a 1890 shot of the Burpee Seed Company order fulfillment area. Looks like a pretty nice place to work to me, Way healthier than the cotton mills for sure. I have a collection of Botanical catalog covers in one of my Webshots albums and sure enough...there was Burpee's 1890 issue. Synchronicity...Happy Spring, and here is to a cool wet fall for our friends Down Under.

Saturday Thankies
Spring always returns
My Rob will be home soon
Mourning Doves

March 18, 2009

Question of the day

What to do when you run out of thread?
  • Paint toenails
  • make lists
  • bother other people
  • play with dogs

Wednesday Thankies
More Thread
There is more thread where that came from

March 14, 2009

Lent, Long Seams, and Violence

Odd group of blog title subjects, eh what? This week as I've had time I've been working on the long seams of the Hydrangea One Block Wonder. As noted before long seams are about my least favorite sewing task, who knows why. Should be pure pleasure as it means the end is getting close and getting to move on to another project new or old... But I will say this, it gives me time to think.

Today I was thinking about the 40 days of Lent. I've only observed Lent once but that one time changed how I view the world and daily life. It is one of the reasons we don't bother with TV reception here; no cable, no satellite, no picture, also no newspaper. I don't know where the idea came from, probably listening to the inane things people give up...but I got a bee in my bonnet about eliminating violence from my world for 40 days.

Sound easy? Don't kid yourself, we immerse ourselves in the idea of violence. How about:

I hate Brussels Sprouts
Stop, you're twisting/breaking my arm
I'll kill you if you tell my age
I'd like to break that drivers phone/head/neck
I'd kill for a ....
That coat is to die for
Squash that spider
Smack that fly
Eat that hamburger
and that is just off the top of my head.

Off the front page news today on Google:
N. Ireland riots after police arrest 3 over killings
Women in Congo speak out about rape despite taboo
Austrian incest suspect Fritzl faces justice
Girl decapitated 700 years ago gets church burial
German town holds first burial in school shooting
Pastor's slaying suspect appointed public defender
Baby hippo won't be fed to tigers zoo says

Movies and TV? From Loony Tunes to M*A*S*H to Clockwork Orange there is no limit to far to cross. Of course I could go on all day long...and tomorrow and the next day, because it never stops. And without thinking about what it is doing to us we go on bathing in it.

Not me. No more. I am So much more careful about how I phrase things, about where I let my mind dwell, what I read. I'm not preaching, to each their own, just throwing the thought out there for rumination.

Saturday Thankies:
Dunker donuts
Rain on the roof

March 12, 2009

The Quilt Show Part II, Being Bernie Madoffed

I mentioned below that The Quilt Show just isn't a good fit for me and I was going to request a refund of the balance of my subscription. That was March 3rd. I did indeed use the embedded form on the website and made an official request which included all my contact info.

Zero response, not even a form letter.

So I called the contact phone number for 'payment concerns' on Monday, March 9. No answer, after about 14 rings I got a voice mail for Lisa Bowman saying she was away from her desk and would return my call as soon as possible.

Zero response.

I called again three days later, same no answer after many rings, same voice mail.
And the same zero response.

This afternoon I sent a note to the contact address on Alex Anderson's own website:
I'm not holding my breath. I am wondering if one chick knows what the other chick is doing.

Thursday Thankies:


computers don't go up in a puff of smoke when I hit the wrong button...again.

Sunshine! Crocus!

March 10, 2009

Left Brain Right Heart and Slinky

As the terrible windswept fires have rolled across Victoria Australia, I like many quilters thinking with their Right Hearts lept to my machine to 'make it all better'. My original plan was to make two tops and send them to my long time friend Pam in Victoria to finish and give to two of their friends, of which many have been wiped out.

As my machine hummed I began to think with my Left Brain, the analytical side. And something wasn't right with this picture.
#1, I was asking my friend Pam...without asking her first, to assume the cost of batt and backing, plus the time and energy to finish two quilts.
#2, when I checked on shipping, the cost to send approximately 12 yards of fabric to Australia was over the moon.
#3, Was this really the way to help those in need?

So I reigned in my ideas and with Pam's blessing and suggestion, I donated the price of 12 yards of fabric to Australian Red Cross. Having watched how ill-served the victims of Katrina were by all the well meant personal items contributed, this doesn't quite warm the cockles of my heart like thinking of a stranger wrapped in my time and love...but I'm sure it is a far better thing I've done.

On a lighter note and apropos of nothing at all, what child of the 50's and 60's doesn't remember using a Slinky? You probably have one sitting on your desk right now and haven't even played with it...Come on you slackers.

Tuesday Thankies
The people who put their lives on the line daily all over the world to keep us safe in so many different ways
The wealthy at the top who walk the walk and make the huge donations that make a difference

March 7, 2009

Hank of Hair, A Piece of Bone

It has just been one of those times when there is work going on like mad and no progress to be shown...except the Ort Jar is filling with bits left from the candlewick summer spread I've been working on, I've glommed onto a little more selvage to hoard, and there are a Ton of strips and strings in my trash can, there are now 6 empty spools on the corner of my cutting table to turn into Christmas RAKs...and take note of the 8 ounce water glass and the carrot.

So maybe soon those strips will become the three tops I'm working on (well to be honest, two will be backs), the Ort Jar will be full and the summer top will be on the bed, and I'll dream up some really exciting selvage project that will bring a smile. And maybe the carrots and water will add a little push to the pound a month I've been losing for two plus years. Stay tuned...

Saturday Thankies
There are always fellow travelers
Freckles my Nubian goat is much improved

March 3, 2009

The Quilt Show

I'm curious what percentage of paid members resubscribe to this on-line quilt show after their first year expires. There is no way that information will be available to the general public, but having paid for a one year subscription in a weak moment I do think I'm entitled to my opinion.

And my opinion here is the same opinion I hold with any on-line membership. Only if the subscriber is very active within the member forum and built a sense of community for themselves is there any holdover value into the second year. I have a whole lot of things I don't like about this particular site and I'm thinking about requesting a refund on the balance of my subscription.

I'll think it over while I'm at work today. And maybe some of you will leave your thoughts either way. I can see some value...just not for me.

Secondary Gratitudes, because I had trouble being grateful in the first place today.
I'm extremely grateful for my health, I'll be at the cancer clinic for a couple of hours today which is always a wake up call.

I'm extremely grateful for a nice car in excellent condition. In the Pacific Northwest boondocks, if you don't have wheels you are stuck.

I'm extremely grateful for the companies I deal with that do have a listening ear, and care about their customers. I think there are more that do than don't...we're just overwhelmed by the media about the biggies who only take and take and take and 'screw the little people' is their philosophy of business and taking bail out money.


I've been too busy to show progress on the quilts on the working wall, so I'll share one of my dream projects. We have a 10 acre farm where the 5th wheel is, I've featured a number of 'small space' quilting posts on that.

This was the view from my kitchen window east on February 28; we had a skiff of snow and low lying fog. The bovine ladies thought I was up Way too early for common sense.

My dream space is on the rear-most back northwest corner of the property. We can't build in that area because it lies within the 500 year flood plain. It is also the only really private area on the property. My goal is to make this my personal sanctuary. A place where I can read, dream, stitch, do my yoga practices, and simply commune with nature.

This pond will be rebuilding it's creature life this year, in December we had a flood which put the river water above the 39" fence behind the pond. I suppose what was washed out was probably replaced somewhat with whatever creatures were washed into it...The low spot in the center back is where my little space will be. I'll cut out a shallow 8'X8' space and lay in concrete building blocks even with the ground surface.

This little pond is also sanctuary to many types of migratory geese and ducks which are lovely to watch, and I often see blue dragonflies in the summer.
Anyway, perhaps sometime this coming summer I will have an After post to share.

Tuesday Thankies