Thursday, May 31, 2007

At the Shop

While I no longer officially work at In Between Stitches, it's still my very favorite quilt shop and a great place to hang out. And buy stuff.

So yesterday I get a message from Pam that she'd like a bit of assistance picking out some fabric. Yeah, right. Like she needs any help in that area. But if Pam needs me, I drop everything! As Pam mentioned on her blog, she has decided to make Late Bloomer Quilts new "R is for Rose" quilt. In gorgeous reds and creams. It's always so great to see a design in a totally different style of fabric. Here's the original quilt:

In case Pam hasn't introduced you yet, meet Carol! She was there since it was Wednesday, and that's the day Carol checks up on Pam. Carol is a terrific customer and a terrific quilter. And she's fun, too!

She and Pam were figuring out fabrics for a table runner that I'm sure Carol is working on while I type this. She chose Late Bloomer Quilts new design "Cottage Christmas" and had already begun to make candy cane ornaments from the pattern. How SMART Carol is to get a head start on Christmas!

Well, poor Carol. Next thing you know, she's being browbeaten to start ANOTHER Late Bloomer Quilts project!

As if she doesn't have enough of them already!
So Carol began selecting the fabrics for the new wall hanging "Follow Your Heart".

Pam did take pity on her and found a way to incorporate blue (Carol's favorite color) into the quilt.
I'm pretty sure Carol left the shop happy...we told her she needed to get cracking on all projects right away so we'd have photos to share...and since she doesn't have a computer, we know she doesn't spend all her time blogging.

Now you've seen 3 of my new patterns...they really are available, they just aren't on my website yet. Shops can order them thru United Notions, or they can be ordered directly from me. Any questions? My email is

And finally...

Here's to you, Carol, you're the best!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Things to Hyperventilate Over (Part 1)

This post sort of goes with Pam's post of awhile back...where she discussed our trip to Buttons and Bows. She took her camera, I didn't bring mine...but I bought more stuff, so figured I'd report on the trip as well.
One of the great things about Pam is that she drives me places. One of the great things about magazines, such as the May issue of Country Living, is that we get ideas for places to go. Pam also knows her way around pretty much anywhere and well, I don't get out much. Which is just ONE of the reasons she's my driver.

Needless to say, Buttons and Bows is a LOVELY place. They were having a special event the day we were there so not only did we get buttons and ribbons but we got COOKIES--which make every shopping trip better, don't you agree?

Their packaging is lovely--rayon seam tape is one of my favorite things. Makes it hard to open the bag, but if I must...

This may look like a random piece of pretty ribbon, but it's a random piece of pretty Czechoslovakian ribbon. I've got some random Czechoslovakian blood running thru my veins, courtesy of a great grandmother, so that makes this ribbon extra neat.

As for the buttons, of course I could not pass any of these up. I enjoy using buttons on my quilts--they make fun little flowers. So these purchases were useful. You know, for my WORK.
While they had no guinea pig buttons, they DID have awesome terrier buttons and I do have an awesome terrier...
Couldn't resist the Victorian-themed buttons...
I'm a sucker for scallopy things, and I found quite a few of those. Lots of pretty potential quilt-blossoms. Many of them are vintage.
Finally, those super cool ones with the pink and aqua stripes? Vintage French. HAD to have those, they're gorgeous.

After leaving, we wandered around a bit...I think Pam was pretty much done shopping, but I had a giant cookie to finish (Holly's right--it IS all about the food). So we ended up checking out the rest of the street and an amazing toy and other stuff shop. Where I found these old postcards--from when mailing a postcard would set you back ONE CENT. Or two, if you were sending it internationally.
These were necessary purchases as well. Not as likely to appear in a quilt, but you never know.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


First of all, thanks so much to those of you who commented on my weird things. Now I don't feel so odd--I guess it IS ok to love my grandpigs. Maybe they need their own quilts...hmmm...

When I've been obsessed with quilting, other things tend to take a backseat. Years ago, when my kids were small, we had a really lovely yard. I spent countless hours planting annuals, feeding and fussing over my roses and perennials...and it was easy to do since I needed to be doing SOMETHING while my boys played outside. I've never been good at sitting still...

The yard has suffered over the last few years. I'd love to pull everything out and go low-maintenance. But even doing that involves more work than I've got time to do. So we deal with a side yard a person can barely walk thru.

A week or so ago, the same kind of look was going on inside the house as well. For some reason, OCD perhaps, when I'm done with something (like Quilt Market) I have to get organized. Nothing wrong there. But I'm compelled to pull out every piece of fabric I own. This isn't even all of it. How bad is that.

Pam came over while this was going on and it was mighty embarrassing. She actually looked me in the eye and demanded that I explain myself!

Of course there's no explaining it. Just has to be done. And it is better now, see? Well, again, can't see all of it...

At the present time, most of my fabric lives in the laundry room. I have a goal to someday have an actual "studio" that I can take lovely pictures of. But in the meantime, this is reality.

So today Pam had to come over again. I'm pretty lame with Photoshop and she's become quite skilled so I needed a mini-lesson. And what a treat! Look who came with her--the always darling Peep!

I just LOVE Peep. She'd never met my dogs before--Old Willard had to go upstairs since he was a bit much for her. We'll leave it at that. But wow. He sure didn't seem so elderly today! Peep and Rosie got along great. Rosie's a bit jealous, but Peep won her over. Oh, yeah. Pam was fun, too. It's always special to have FEMALES in the house. I'm always so unfairly outnumbered.

With any luck, next week should bring some stories of new projects. It's always a combination of relief and dread when the new ideas start churning around. Until then, have a great long weekend, everyone!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I know it's a shock...

But yes, I'm weird. And I've been tagged by Mary Anne. And I really like the way Pam arranged her list so I'm pretty much gonna copy her. So here goes...

1. I'm a Sudoku junkie. I cannot go to sleep without working on a puzzle. It's as if the world will just END if I don't get in at least a few minutes. And I tend to grab the Sudoku book first thing upon waking up--which is why it's kept right next to the bed. My family sees puzzle-solving as a huge waste of time. So to thwart me, they've gotten me Super Incredibly Difficult Mind-numbingly IMPOSSIBLE Sudoku books. Do they not know who they're dealing with??? Oh, and say "hi" to Louie--that's him up there. Isn't he CUTE?

2. I hate hot beverages. It does not matter how cold it may be outside--the tea had better be iced and if it's coffee it better have plenty of icy, chocolatey goodness. And whipped cream. Here's Turbo. He belongs to Eldest Son Eric--the car guy. He's a very good pig and loves to be cuddled--he's kind of bossy with the other pigs, tho.

3. I have freakishly long, skinny, boney toes. That match the freakishly long feet. And yes, that's Turbo again. If you've been with me awhile, you've seen this pic before. Because yes, my grandpigs all have custom sleeping bags.

4. I was born on the anniversary of my parents' first date. Wasn't that sweet of me? And speaking of sweet, check out Jack! I think he looks adorable with a pink bow. His dad disagreed.

5. I love salads but hate salad dressing. Like with a PASSION I hate it. My kids love to glop ranch dressing on everything and I can't stand to clean the remains off their dishes. I get chills just thinking about it. Thank goodness Jeff's pig Compton can take my mind off that nastiness. He's the newest member of the family. Louie and Jack have been with us the longest. There they are with their dad, Nick.

6. Back in the 1970's, the soap opera "All My Children" named a character after ME. Yes, ME. It was a HUGE DEAL in junior high, let me tell you!!! Long story, but yeah. I was told that a certain character who was pregnant at the time would have a baby and it would be named after me!! No one at school believed me, of course. And then it happened...Anne had baby Elizabeth...for a solid week I ruled that school!! It was heaven. And then...on a Friday...we got the news. Something was HORRIBLY wrong with Baby Elizabeth. She turned out to be catastrophically damaged. Physically, mentally, you name it. Poor thing had an IQ of about four. Of course. And she died. Which caused her mother to die from grief. So those brushes with "fame"? Overrated, let me tell you.
And then fast forward to the 1980's...happened to mention the story to my new husband. Apparently lots of people at work watched the show and so we started taping it. To my delight, there was a teenage girl whose middle name was Elizabeth! To honor her poor little relative. I LIVED ON!!!
Well, not for long. Poor kid was taken out by a drunk driver.

7. Are you still with me? Have I put you to sleep yet? Maybe you've guessed the final Weird Thing? Yes. I'm irrationally attached to my Grandpigs. When the first one came home I didn't even want to touch it. Now I snuggle and cuddle with all four of them every day. And they LOVE their Grammie, let me tell you! They call to me when they hear my voice...
Sorry, I'll stop now. I'm starting to sound weird even to myself.

Oh and thanks to Monica's blog...I learned about Where anyone can make guinea pig themed messages! (Come know you want to!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


OK, we've all enjoyed Pam's reports on Quilt Market. Who is better at being a cheerleader for her fellow quilters? NO ONE, that's who! So imagine my delight when I pulled the Fall 2007 C&T Publishing catalog from my mailbox today...

Yes, Alex has another wonderful book in the works for all of us--her Neutrals book. But I want you all to check out that log cabin quilt. Isn't it stunning? Well, sure it is! It's PAM'S!!

Wahoo! Congratulations, Pam!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's time to head home...

Market was GREAT. Exhausting in many ways, but still a terrific experience. And it seems odd to realize that preparations for the next one will be starting before we know it.
It was tough to leave Salt Lake City. I suppose I could put in another snarky comment about their "street grid" but why bother. The motel did have easy access to our freeway, so off we went.
It's so much easier to take off on a long expanse of open road far from civilization when you have truckers like this guy who let you know how much he appreciates women...can't you just feel the love?

OK, now here's a question...just what the heck IS this thing? It's in the middle of freaking NOWHERE (well, I guess you can't call the salt flats "nowhere") and is painted up so pretty. Is it some kind of microwave tower? Is it some sort of space creature hatchery (note the opened egg-pods on the ground)? Is it painted all fancy merely to give drivers something to ponder as they pass? Because wow. It sure fascinated US.
So yeah. Utah was pretty awesome.

And then came Nevada. A necessary evil when California is your home. Which begs the question--all you folks who think California should drop off into the ocean? HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN TO NEVADA? I mean really! I'm sure Nevada has some wonderful qualities, but Pam and I seemed to have missed them.

But Nevada doesn't last forever...and then come all the signs that we're nearing HOME. "Home" represents not only Starbucks (but YUM!), but a husband, 3 sons, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 4 guinea pigs and an unbelievable mound of laundry. But great to be back!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

And a Bit More...

This travelogue is jumping around a bit...which gives you a taste of how my brain works. Or doesn't, as the case may be.

I have to start with a pic that actually has Pam in it. Sadly, there aren't too many of those. She was the one wielding the camera most of the time. Or dashing off to photograph her many peeps in their booths. And yes, with amazing regularity ladies came up to her with the following question: "Are you PamKittyMorning?!" And she didn't always have her tote bag with her, either. It's a wonder I saw her at all.

So after getting the booth set up, we took off. To find food. Then food with parking. At that time, the only solution was the Macaroni Grill. I know, why eat at a place that's everywhere when you should be sampling the local specialties...hey, we tried. Couldn't FIND anything else. And our pasta was really good. Next we wanted to go to Piper's--the super famous quilt shop. Well, we figured we'd ask our waiter. So just how DOES one get to a street called "South 1100 East" (my guess would be by travelling north)...anyway, our waiter responds with the following: "Which South is that?"
OK, we're doomed.
Not so! As you may recall, "Pam" is "Map" spelled backwards so she managed to get us there just fine! And it was well worth the trip. Darling shop with wonderful fabrics and it just so happened they had a cool sample I had to photograph.
The quilt really isn't sideways--and I actually DID flip it correctly, but Blogger has decided it likes it this way the best. And who am I to argue with Blogger.

Anyway, so back to the convention center we go. To sneak into Sample Spree. Yes. That's another one of the wonders that is Pam. I am a total rule follower. Sneaking in is WRONG. But Pam makes it seem so easy. And so RIGHT. And it was the right thing to do, otherwise I would not have been able to see with my own eyes ladies running full speed to the Moda area. Like a stampede. Those quilt shop ladies are crazy, I tell you!

I'm pleased to report that I got the bundle I desperately needed (Allspice Tapestry is gorgeous!) and I scored that super cool Utah totebag. So all was good!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I'd better hurry up--Pam's already covered so much of Market and I'm still back in Nevada. And how sad is that!
OK, so fast-forward to Salt Lake City. Land of gorgeous snow covered mountains and very confusing streets. Pam and I got very used to having people look at us indulgently and explain that the "streets are laid out on a grid". As if that's all there is to it. I live in a city that has a grid. It's a NICE grid. Where lettered streets go in one direction and numbered streets in the other. In MY world, you simply can't go "Eastbound on South Temple" because South Temple wouldn't GO that way. Hmmmph. Anyhoo, you can't beat the view from the Olive Garden...I'll give them that much.

So here's one of our homes away from home, and here's the other.

One of the things that's SO COOL about Market is all the people who drop by. It's super exciting to have FAMOUS people you've admired Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill. I wanted to just go home after seeing her booth. Because Meg specializes in Pretty and has it ALL COVERED. And I'm pleased to report that she's just as nice as it's possible to be.

And here's Robin of Paris Bebe!!
Don't you just LOVE her fabrics? I sure do--and there will be more amazing pieces coming later. I can't wait. Robin has a CRAZY amount of talent.

And here's my neighbor from Fall Market--Brenda! She's so sweet and calm--you just can't feel stressed when Bren's around. And again, her booth was adorable. So many lovely new projects to want to make...and her book? Amazing. I understand she sold out at Market...but I'm a fairly patient person so am willing to wait for my SIGNED copy.
And to the right? That's Cyndi! She's a fellow blogger and this was her first Market. Her stuff is wonderful and I'm betting she got about a thousand orders for her patterns.

So many talented people--it's EXHAUSTING.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Think I'm Home...

Not entirely sure just what day it is...but the surroundings look familiar so I think we made it back.
I've got tons to report about our trip to Market and have tons of pics to share but I'm thinking most of them are on Pam's camera...
Well. Have to start with the story that impresses the HECK out of Pam and me...but sadly no one else.
We did a really thorough job of checking weather reports, etc, but were not prepared for the "Chains Required" sign we saw outside of Auburn. NO ONE had reported the possibility of snow. And we don't DO snow.
And oddly enough, no one seems to sell chains at 6:30 in the morning in a small town in May.

This big orange CalTrans snowplow probably should have been a clue, but I don't think I'd ever seen one before...
So my sidekick Pam got on HER sidekick (you know, those complicated phone/computer gadgets that gals like Paris Hilton and PamKittyMorning carry) and her husband Bret assured us that if we got going RIGHT AWAY we could "probably" make it to the summit. So that's what we did.

Pam of course did the driving while I ever so helpfully kept leaning over her shoulder to report that the outside temp was continuing to drop at an alarming rate just in case she couldn't read the display on her dashboard. That seemed to annoy her after a bit so I settled myself into a fetal position while clutching my purse. I firmly believe that my purse-clutching, combined with holding my breath, really helped to get us through. It was a Team Effort.

So anyway, needless to say, we did make it. And were SO RELIEVED to see that we'd made it into Nevada. Which is pretty funny considering how mind-numbingly dull that drive turned out to be...but at the time we were thrilled to be heading into Reno on a quest for something delicious to eat. Because we deserved a fine meal after the traumatic start to our journey.

More later!!

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