I am unexpectedly out of town. I will write when I can.

5.27.14--Tea Time Tuesday

No, I probably would not use it so I will add it to my Pinterest. Fun to look at.

How about some Cath Kidston for tea? I like her country cottage designs. She reminds me of Lori Holt, another designer that really makes me cheery.
Daughter has some, too.

I actually have mugs in this design. Cherries have a special meaning to me. I have someone in my life who is like a daughter to me. Well, what I imagine a daughter might be like if she was already grown up and I didn't have to pay for college or anything. 

Cherries have ALWAYS been my favorite fruit so when Daughter and I message each other on Facebook, it was natural for me to chose this little "sticker" to indicate our connection.

I wonder if she would think I was a little over the edge if I added a couple more CHERRY things to my collection. After all, when I go, she is going to have to sort through most of it!!!
HAH! It is advertised for CHILDREN. They do not know me.


To cute. I could not keep up with that.

Except I don't picnic because I dislike bugs and squirrels who think it is okay to SHARE.

5.26.14--Monday Mantra

I am a process oriented person, as you know if you read the ABOUT ME over on the right side bar. I agree with Charles M. Schulz. The journey IS the destination! That makes WHO YOU TRAVEL WITH so very important. Also...do we really need that much baggage?
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   EDITED TO ADD:
It is Memorial Monday. Take a few moments and remember those who made our journeys possible. I will be spending the day working on Quilts of Valor. To be a part of this endeavor, go HERE. To nominate someone who saw active duty military service, go HERE.

5.25.14--Making Plans for Retreat 2014

Pieceful Mountain Quilt Guild has June Retreats. This year, I am taking two classes: Double Wedding Ring, and Strata Star. I expect both will be come small wall or table quilts.

I am afraid of the Double Wedding Ring class. Not because the piecing is going to be a challenge but because it uses fusible for some of the steps. I am not good with glue or fusible. I wrote the teacher and asked her if I could just sit out the fusible part and she said, "Of course!" 

I was relieved for about two days and then I thought maybe I was denying myself a learning opportunity. I am thinking about following the plan to use fusible. I think it is a small investment of fabric and a great chance to learn from someone with experience.
I do not have a photo of the fabrics I am using for Wedding Ring but I DO have the fabrics for Strata Star by designed by Ruthann Eckersley for Ruth's Machine Quilting .  


Here is a picture from A Stitch In Time where you can order a kit. I looked at kits but decided to build my own kit. I had some ideas that require a different fabric collection. I spent an entire afternoon trying different combos of colors using my PAINT program on the computer. Nothing felt right and then I found orange, coral, and pink. Imagine that. I ordered what I wanted and then after I hit SUBMIT, I realized, once again, ORANGE.
She adores analogous colorways. 
I think I am starting to notice it even more since the shop hop. At the last store, I brought in some fabric to match I had bought at a previous store and saw my Tallahassee Quilty Friend, She noted that OF COURSE, I had bought fabric on the hop and OF COURSE, it is ORANGE. I am quite often predictable. 

5.24.14--Thank you, Aby!

Thank you Aby Dolinger! I won a drawing on her blog celebrating Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, volume 9. Have you seen this latest edition?

She designed the March to Spring block. I don't think she would mind if I showed you her published entry.  Go HERE to meet her and see what else she is up to. 

Hers is a very positive energy block. It is block #862, on page 56. 
March to Spring block by Aby Dolinger from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, vol 9
I have enjoyed all 9 volumes of the 100 blocks series. One of my goals is to design a block that is accepted for entry to this or a similar publication. I have self-published patterns, but I would like to be in a magazine sometime!

5.23.14--Compulsion part 6

From idea to prep for applique' this little project has taken more time to write about than actually do!

Here you see the EPPed pieces basted to the newly chosen background. You can see the outline of Frixion pen for placement. I will re-outline when the quilting is done because I expect the fabric will "draw-up" some.

I am planning to hand quilt in red perle cotton size 12 or maybe size 8 if I use a thin enough batting.

5.22.14--Cherry Tree

I have a cherry tree! We got it a couple days ago and I think I see new leaves already. It is a flowering cherry and I hope next spring we will have our own cherry festival, right here. It should not bear fruit, but I rejoice in the blossoms.

Speaking of blossoms, here is our Mountain Laurel. My Man transplanted two of these wild things to grow in front of our propane tank. So far only one looks very happy and both are very scraggly at the base, not disguising the tank at all. We will have to fill in with some kind of low growing something or other.

5.21.14--Compulsion, part 5

Accepted, then rejected, this Windham gray is finding its way to the back of the Martha topper. I liked how it looked with the Denyse Schmidt scrappy Dresdens. 
Then, as I was falling asleep, I thought it might do better with a solid gray. Now this floral is slated for the back and possibly the binding.
Some of the petals are basted and they look pretty good.

5.20.14--Tea Time Tuesday

Apparently, Pottery Barn has things I would like to see up close and personal.
I don't have any reason to purchase either of these sets. I just like them. I am not really a pink person, but I find these little toy sets enchanting. I would LOVE to play tea party with these.

5.19.14--Monday Mantra

C'mon, everyone! Let's all make a decision about ONE little thing we can accomplish this week and GET GOING!!!!

5.18.14--Compulsion, part 4

Martha and I are getting busy with this project. She let me use painter's tape and freezer paper to map her top surface.
I will use a piece of fabric that is about 3 inches larger all the way around, do my applique, and then quilt. Then I will use the surface template again to cut the shape. I will have to use bias binding because of the perimeter angles.

5.17.14--Compulsion, part 3

My mother-in-law gave me her Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet, not long ago. She treasured everything she got from her grandmother, but this more than most. I feel honored to have it. 

She and I feel the same way about a lot of our vintage furniture. If it does not need to be refinished to be enjoyed, it is better to leave it with the marks of character it has earned. 

This lovely cabinet could be improved if I made a little quilted topper for it. Don't you think DRESDEN PLATE would look great? I am planning to do half-plates on the "wings" and a full circle in the center. I will let you know how I get on.

You can see we have a lot of very light wood: floors, walls, stairwell. Martha looks a little out of place being so dark so I thought I would break out those lovely modern scraps I won
a few weeks back from Sewn With Grace, when she was cleaning out her stash. (Blogged HERE at the Wordpress blog)
These pretty pieces are telling me I should choose MODERN for this first Dresden project.

5.16.14--Compulsion, part 2

I decided to make my own templates. I wanted mine to be WITHOUT seam allowance because I wanted to try out a Dresden Plate in the English Paper Piecing method, like some people do with hexagons to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden.

I found a variety of methods, shapes, templates for sale, for free download, and directions on using a vector graphics program to design my own. In the end, I decided to go to my favorite free graph paper generator, incomptech.com/graphpaper/. I chose the third section down (Polar and Circular), then I navigated to the Polar graphs.
I chose standard printer paper size, went with the defaults on everything except secondary spokes where I chose 24. Then I downloaded, printed and messed around with making the ends of the petals rounded.

Soon after that, I came up with the idea for the actual project. I don't always choose method and technique for a project and THEN decide what to make but it seems to be working out that way this time!



Have you ever felt COMPELLED to immerse yourself in an idea or pursuit? I have been STALKING Dresden Plate quilts and templates. 

The first quilt I EVER worked on a group quilt was with the Winter Park First Congregational Church.  Someone had donated a Dresden Plate quilt kit and the church announced that anyone who wanted to work on it could meet one afternoon and so I did. I think I might have been on maternity leave.  Anyway, the kit hearkened back to the days of tiny print calico and the colors were primary bright, saturated tones, not unlike the pillow above, which is a kit from the 70s.  You can it buy for your very own right HERE.

Actually, if you like this style, you could buy a WHOLE KIT in this double retro style right HERE. I say double retro, because it is a 1970s reissue of a 1930s pattern, available now, in the 20teens.

My Tallahassee Quilty Friend made a Mini-Dresden Plate quilt using an Eleanor Burns pattern. I had that percolating in my mind while I was on the hunt for inspiration. I love Pinterest for that, as well as Google Images. I think her quilt is what set me on this road.

5.14.14--STOP IT!

Go For Soap

I love handmade. Handmade most everything. I love that it gives a connection from maker to object that is a BRAIN-*-HAND-*-OBJECT -----an unending loop.

Except soap that looks like food.

I like food. 

I like to eat it.

I like to savor it.
What the hell, Audrey?
I still have nightmares in which I wake up tasting DIAL SOAP. (Not really, Mom and Dad, but it makes a good blog post and the topic is a popular one at parties wherein anyone my age is in attendance)

Can you believe this? Buy yours HERE at Aubrey Apothecary


5.13.14--Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time is even better with puppies because puppies make everything better.
Painting by Arthur John Elsley (1861-1952)
oil on canvas
Private Collection

5.12.14--Monday Mantra

True, Carlos. How do we lead others to make the decision to let go of the misery? It is familiar and somewhat knowable.

Supplemental to 5.8.14

Quilty Cousin's packet. After resting in California, it sped to Springfield, Mass. USPS STILL thinks it will arrive last Wednesday. I congratulate them if they have learned how to bend space and time and hope they will share the secret with me.

5.10.14--Ever Heard of the 3-2-1 Cakes?

Ever Heard of them? 3 TBS of half Angel Cake Mix and half flavored Cake Mix; 2 TBS water; 1 minute in the microwave.

They ARE easy. (Yes, you remembered, I don't like cake. But I DO like to make an easy dessert for others)

They DO come out, well, LACKING SOMETHING DELICIOUS even to cake-lovers. I tried Nutella when I made chocolate 3-2-1 for my dad last June.

I was pretty excited to find this on PINTEREST because everyone I know likes pineapple and coconut.
You should go visit The Monday Box to see how she got hers to work.

Here is ours.
To be fair, it DID taste coconutty delicious. I PINNED it on Pinterest and came up with a little catch phrase for The Monday Box. She has the KNACK FOR SNACK.

5.9.14--Quilts and More

Pieceful Mountain Quilt Guild has a few community quilt projects going. Here is a top finished last week. Any distortion in the quilt is due to my photography (photographed from atop a chair, not exactly in the middle) and my editing skills.
Quite pretty, isn't it? You may have a chance to BUY it. It will be in an upcoming show and will have a price on it. I will have more information about size and some close-up pictures of the lovely quilting it will have and where you can purchase it. The money we realize from the sale of this quilt will be used to purchase supplies needed to continue providing quilts to our community as the need arises.

Speaking of quilts for the community, I am working on one, myself. I got going on one idea and didn't like the direction it was taking. I had medium and very dark fabrics. I had a plan for a Maple Leaf or possibly a Bear Paw.

I am still making novice mistakes every now and then and one I made was thinking a large scale print with a dark background would read dark. Well, it CAN but it needs to be paired with a lighter medium. See what I mean?

5.8.14 Why Do You Think This Costs LESS, USPS?

I have a Quilty Cousin in Falmouth, Maine.
I could drive there for a visit and it would take about 17-18 hours if I used a portable urine collection device, and packed hand-sanitizer as well as snacks. That's about 1136 miles, or for anyone in the universe who does not have a concept of miles, 1828.2 km

So, if I wanted to mail QC a
birthday package, I would expect to pay a little more to get it there a little sooner. What I sent is considered MEDIA, so I paid a little less with the expectation that it would travel a little longer, perhaps resting here and there along the Eastern Seaboard, maybe taking a train instead of flying.
Oh, General Sherman! How could you?

Imagine my surprise when I tracked that sucker to Memphis, Tennessee. First of all, I am only about 3 hours north of Atlanta--a logical staging area for all sorts of mail and packages. We have a ginormous airport, and for slower packages, we HAVE had rail service since Reconstruction.
Understandably, Atlanta is not for everyone. Chattanooga, Knoxville and Charlotte are all about the same distance from my post office. What I did NOT know is that QC's package would go on a grander journey. 

At the time of this writing, it is in Richmond, California. 
NOT Richmond, Virginia, but CALI BLEEPING FORNIA.

I can't wait to see where it goes next.

5.7.14 Edited to add:
Apparently it went to Bell Gardens, California.

Can you believe this? It stayed there until 2:02 a.m. on the day it was supposed to be delivered to QC. Which, if you did not know, is 93 hours away by car.
I don't care if tracking costs extra. I am getting so much entertainment value from this I will track my packages from now on.

5.7.14 Thank You, a Little Wine would be GREAT!

I like red wine. I used to prefer white. After all, it just doesn't STAIN the way red does. Then I read an article that said how much benefit a glass of red wine can be to health. 

I switched.

Although I will indulge myself with expensive fabric, the best thread, and I like my name brand laundry detergent, I am not a label snob when it comes to wine. I discovered the LAND DOWN UNDER's offerings a few years back and made them my favorites. Hearty flavor, inexpensive, and when our county finally gave up on Prohibition the year before last, available in my grocery store.

Imagine my surprise when the rest of the world woke up to MY PERSONAL wine choice. 

The price went up THREE dollars a bottle. Not much, you may think, but it became a luxury to me overnight. So I did one of the things I do best. I shopped around. I found some other wines to try. At the risk of making them discoverable (really, there ARE only two or three of you who have read this far, anyway!) I will reveal my new favorite wine company. Frontera.

The first one I tried was from Argentina, their Shiraz. I liked the friendly accompaniment and warm tone. True, the Frontera wines I selected do NOT have dates. True, only 40% of their wine is aged in American oak casks, the other 60% being aged in STAINLESS STEEL. The likelihood that my modest expenditure yielded an oak cask aged wine is very low. I am sure their better wines have higher priority. 


They used real cork.


Australia seems to find the man-made cork suitable and I did not disagree. After all, save the trees and whatnot.

But pulling a REAL cork somehow elevates the whole wine experience and makes one feel quite civilized.

After I finished the Shiraz, I was ready to try the mystery from Chile, the Carmenere. First I had to find out what carmenere was. It refers to the grapes formerly grown in the Bordeau region of France. It is worthwhile to note that 
Chile now grows most of the world's carmenere grapes. 

I think they must do it quite well because Frontera's Chilean Carmenere is my new favorite.

But don't tell anyone. It is still reasonably priced.