Thursday, June 28, 2007


It's just plain harder to be productive during these days. Youngest son Jeff is in summer school which means a daily drive to the opposite side of town. I've tried at least 4 different ways to get there and I hit every red light every single time, regardless of my route. Hard to not take that personally!

I also managed to run over a piece of metal the other day and discovered an impressively large chunk stuck in my tire. Oh, why not. It's that kind of a week. We all have them now and then.

But a bit of sewing did get done! Regarding that pile of fabric I showed you a few posts back, uh, took a bit longer than an hour to start cutting into it. I also ended up putting much of the pile away. I wanted to make something really simple that could use some of the beautiful big prints that are available now and it seemed better to just stick with a few fabrics. It's gonna be one BIG simple quilt, I'll tell you that--and it's really happy fabric to work with.

I will share one more minor irritation I've been dealing with this week...this little guy. He's decided that vent thingie is the PERFECT place to grind down his teeth. And does he ever make a racket. That vent is on the roof directly above my sewing area. He's up there every single day. Morning and evening.

I guess he's gotten word that we're a rodent lovin' family.

Hope everyone out there is having a good week!

Friday, June 22, 2007

We have a Winner!!!

First of all, I have to say I'm overwhelmed by your response to my little give-away! WOW!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your sweet comments and really wish I could send each of you a book.

It was very important to me that this drawing be held with complete impartiality. Who is my go-to guy when I need someone with impeccable standards of fairness? Why Compton, of course!!

So after mixing up all the papers, I set him loose on the table.

Compton really doesn't enjoy moving around on slick surfaces, but the prospect of all that paper to chew on was motivation enough for the little guy.

And who did he pick? Well, he had a hard time letting go...

So congratulations are in order...but wait!

Apparently Compton is not finished yet. So I guess we have a second winner!

So...if Cottage Magpie and Kathie in NJ would email me at with their addresses, the books will be on their way. And I promise Compton has not had access to any of the pages.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A little light summer reading...

I know lots of you have already seen the cover of my book (thanks, Pam!!) so here's the back.
I happen to have a couple of extra copies lying around is anyone interested? If so, you know the drill. Leave a comment with your name and someone (possibly even a guinea pig) will draw a name Friday evening!

Hot Summer Quilting

If you've been following along for awhile, it may appear that every day consists of having Pam pick me up and drive me to cool places where we can shop. That's
not quite true.

Even when it gets blistering hot here (which believe me, it DOES) I've always got to be thinking quilts. Sometimes even actually making them.

It's not always easy on those triple-digit days...that's when I'm super grateful to the talented designers out there who create dreamy fabric that looks like cool, icy, sherberty goodness.

Jennifer Paganelli of SisBoom fame is one of my very favorites. Look at that gorgeous big old floral! I ordered a few other pieces to go with it as well. How could anyone resist that toile? When I saw the urn with the roses in it I was hooked. I still have plenty of her fabric from last year that is still folded neatly in the closet 'cause I just couldn't bear to cut into it, but I'm determined that this time will be different.

Now check out THIS amazing piece--it's by a designer called Tula Pink and it's from a line called Full Moon Forest that Moda will have available in September. Look at those bunnies!!!!

Next thing you know, I'm hurling random polka dots at the pile...big ones, medium sized ones and those nifty LakeHouse little frosted dots.

I have allowed myself ONE HOUR to stare at my pile and stew about it...then it's time to start cutting!!
Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How a non-quilter sees this...

Late Bloomer Quilts is really a rather low-tech operation. My applique patterns are hand-drawn with a Sharpie pen. That's it.
It has concerned me for awhile that it's a bit risky, especially in this house, to be relying on one original drawing per pattern. So I decided to take all my big drawings to Kinko's to have them scanned and put onto a CD.

Coincidentally, I went to go pick up the CD on the very day my box of books from C&T arrived. What a great day! And by the way--thanks SO MUCH to everyone for your kind words--it means A LOT.

So I figure it would be a good idea to make sure the scans turned out I pop the CD in...and GUESS what the guy at Kinko's named my quilt patterns! Go ahead, GUESS.

Give up?
"Kindergarten Crafts".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Girly Mornings!

Needless to say, in this house with 4 men, Willard the guy-dog, Presley the guy-cat, and 4 piggy-dudes, Rosie and I are sadly outnumbered.

Rosie copes--she's got her pretty pink velvet Shabby Chic collar (gotta love Target) plus Willard pretty much does her bidding...

But for me, anything girly is a big deal.

The other day, Graduate Nick decided to invite Kari over for a "home cooked breakfast". Right. Nick has many great qualities, but pancake chef is not among them. So Kari took over. And made me a pancake. An "E" sweet was that. In all my years I've never had a personalized pancake.

Then yesterday, Pam's AMAZING daughter Frankie comes over with a gift she made for me.

She's decided to get into paper crafting (possibly because it requires lots of cool containers of glitter?). But look at what she made me!!! This is the first time she's ever done something like this! And it's PINK and glittery and ruffly and even has my favorite font.

Girls are the BEST.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Please indulge me...

Yesterday was a big day around here! Middle son Nick graduated from high school. We've logged many hours sitting on old wooden bleachers on his behalf, but yesterday marked the last time. No more cheering him on during football games...or track more crossing fingers when opening report cards, either.

There were ELEVEN valedictorians...which was a darn scary thought since those bleachers are mighty uncomfortable, but the kids were blissfully quick with their remarks. And there were no boring speeches by district officials either, which was a nice change from the last time we did the graduation thing.

The graduates themselves kept us all entertained by continuing to produce beach balls throughout the ceremony. The officials had made one big mistake--by announcing to the kids that such items were STRICTLY FORBIDDEN, they ensured there would be a never-ending supply of toys sailing thru the air. All were eventually confiscated, but it was fun to watch.

Here they are with the one thing they're allowed to throw!

Here's Nick with his big brother, Eric (LHS Class of '04). Never could grab youngest brother for a photo--he was too busy running around making plans for the evening.

Here's Nick with his girlfriend, Kari (LHS Class of '06). He's been crazy about her since 7th grade.

Finally, here he is with mom and dad. I snagged his letterman's jacket since he's DONE WITH IT. Congratulations, Nick, we're so proud of you!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

She's a speedy one!

Remember Carol? Sure you do! Well, she has surpassed even my expectations...she was back in the shop on MONDAY with her "Cottage Christmas" runner top completed and she even had two ornaments to show off! Lovely work as usual, Carol!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Things to Hyperventilate Over (Part 2)

What a super fun Sunday!!
First thing in the morning, I was lucky enough to be able to hop into the backseat of Pam's car and take off for the Antiques by the Bay show in Alameda.

We'd only been rummaging around for a little bit when we ran into Joanna...she seemed thrilled that I was willing to take her picture (tee hee!!) for my blog... she offered to take my picture, but that's not the way it works, is it? That's Amazing Quilter Diana on her left, by the way...
I don't know if they purchased anything in that area...there were many interesting treasures...I left with 3 tiny vintage watch faces. Will I use them? Darn right I will!

Sooo many things to fall in love with...but Pam's real good at keeping me focused. "No, you don't need that." "No, we can do that ourselves." And so forth. But I still found some goodies that were absolute necessities.

Of course we had to stop at Wendy Addison's booth...while Pam was picking out just the right vintage pink crepe paper, I snagged this cool silver paper and the glitter--such a wonderful shade of green! Now as a quilter, do I actually DO anything with glitter? That would be a "no". But if it's good enough for Wendy Addison, it's certainly good enough for me. Plus I'm gonna decorate the lid of the jar all pretty.
"And someday it can go in my studio. When I have a studio." (Any idea how many times a week those words are spoken?)

Next we went to a different Addison. Where I picked up this darling bag of vintage Christmas trimmings for a mere 2 bucks--will I use them? Maybe...and this vintage ribbon. Twenty yards of it, people! Will I ever open the bag? Doubtful--it's so pretty sitting there nestled on the bird and flower bedecked Addison Paper!!

On our way back to the car, I had to stop at a booth I went nuts over the first time through. That's an overall shot of the place in my first photo. Look at my goodies! I got that little painted wood cubbie ("And someday it can go..."), a little paper mache nest with tiny glitter egg, a paper cone with another tiny glitter egg, two wonderful lace trimmed tags, a test tube filled with glittery goodness and a "dreams" tag, an old-rusted-key-and-other-metal-stuff thingie and finally, an old bottle filled with "Pearls of Wisdom". See? Everybody NEEDS those!
Then to top it off, I grabbed the vendor's flier and realized who she is!!! Ohmygosh! If you are a magazine nut like me, for sure you've run across stories about Linda Marcov! If the name doesn't ring a bell, go to her website, click on "publicity" and you'll recognize the pictures.
Her booth was so lovely I could have moved right in. Except for the small detail that the only wall she has is the side of her van...
But still.

Then just before we left for good, Pam wanted to stop at a vintage print place. Pages and pages from antique books--sorted by every category you can imagine. Pam left with nothing--I left with these 3 roses from the December 12, 1896 issue of Amateur Gardening. Again, repeat after me..."And someday..."

So anyway, that was Sunday...and yes, Pam tagged me to share my to-do list. Well, I'll add posting about my to do list to my, well, nevermind.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Double Delight!

It should come as no surprise that it would be impossible for me to manage Late Bloomer Quilts all by myself. There just aren't enough hours in the day, for one thing. And for another, there's stuff I'm just plain not good at.

You all know that Pam helps me out A LOT. Not only does she sew for me and drive me places but she also gets bossy and demanding when that's what I need. And somehow coming from her it's actually appreciated! Because she's (almost) always RIGHT.

But there are others in the background who make it possible for me to keep making quilts.

I used to stuff every pattern bag myself. That became impossible. Lucky for me, my dad lives nearby and doesn't mind doing that job for me. Often with one of my dogs shoving a toy and/or cold snout onto his lap.

Also I am severely technologically challenged. I never met a computer I understood. Lucky for me I was able to appoint a Chief Technology Officer--Pam's husband, Bret. He handles all the computer stuff that is totally beyond me. Here's just one example--I'd never even HEARD of a thumbdrive before Bret advised me to get one...and this little baby has saved my neck more than once. Plus it's cute and red and I can hang Hello Kitty charms from it!

Bret has helped me with many other computer issues as well. And all he requires is a Diet Dr. Pepper. How great is that?

I'm very grateful for the help I get from both of these guys!

I'm also grateful that you keep coming back to read my ramblings. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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