Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sew SimplePineapple

The Sew Simple Pineapple, demo-ed by Carol at Busy Bees yesterday, sure looks a whole lot easier/faster than paper piecing them.  
 This new (and possibly idiot-proof?) method for an old block made us all want to run home and start making some!  Even I felt like I could now whip them up on my own, but in any event we are going to do them as a group the beginning of August.  Yesterday morning, while Carol was waiting for her ride to quilting, she whipped up this tiny little one for her miniature quilt class.

 Queen Bee Pati Cook attended yesterday's meeting in a comfy-looking Sandibad, and after I asked her demonstrate how it works the ladies decided we 'needed' a class in that.  So next Wednesday I'll be trying to make one of my own.  (After my bog jacket fiasco, though, I'm not expecting it to be quite the breeze that Pati describes.) 

In the afternoons it's been too hot to do much (we've been trying to set heat records, although we just keep missing that 'honor') so I've been watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy with Patti. We finished the 3rd one yesterday, and the movies were entertaining - but we found it beyond strange that they never addressed the significance of the tattoo, why/where/when she got it, etc.  In fact (in the movie at least) it really had nothing to do with her or the story.  I know that movies are poor substitutes for books, which is why I virtually never see the movie of a book I've enjoyed (and my favorite bookmark reads Never Judge a Book by its Movie) but wouldn't you think that it would at least deserve some mention in a movie with that title???  Just another one of those Mysteries of Life, I guess.

Obviously it's time to just go curl up with a good book!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing Day

The Foothills group has decided to experiment during the summer months and hold our monthly Sew Day in members' homes on Tuesdays (so we can have an all-day affair yet not conflict with Busy Bees.)  Today Ruth was our gracious hostess.  Her house is lovely, and her artwork - not just quilts, but stained glass, tole paintings, exquisite detailed hand-painted eggs - is displayed throughout. 

Our first order of business was to swap penguin fabrics (Ruth, Laura and I are all penguin collectors) which went swimmingly.  We got some sewing done, and then broke for a delicious mid-morning snack.  More sewing, and then Ruth treated us to taco salad for lunch  - how nice for us that Ruth likes to cook! Afterward we took a tour of her beautiful home.  Then more sewing (I got lots done on my hand-quilting project today) before Laura and I headed back to my house so we could look through my stash for turtle/tortoise fabric she needs. (I was able to find 4, but there should be at least 2 more fabrics that I used in Alex's quilt.)

Although a smaller group than expected (with Louise we were only 4) it was all in all a very enjoyable, productive day (even with all the talking we did!) and I look forward to next month's meeting.  Many of the ladies we knew couldn't make it today should be in attendance in July, when we're scheduled to meet at Linda H's house.
I loved a sign Ruth had up in her (WONDERFUL!) sewing room, and once home made up my own version:

 And here's a sign I picked up Saturday (just in case Tom needs a reminder?)
 All of those tins/boxes on the shelf are filled with leftover fabric, neatly cut into squares and rectangles for my Quilter's Lumberyard, and ready to go!  Of course I still have lots more stuffed into bags and nooks and crannies waiting to be cut and added to the lumberyard stash - and empty tins just waiting to be filled - but that will have to wait for cooler weather since it requires a lot of ironing, and with temps trying to set records this week the thought of adding heat to the house is not very appealing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Take a hike

This morning I got up early and headed over to Thunderbird Recreation Area with Patti for an easy hike up the mountain.  Of course that's always a relative term, and (because of my back issues) I haven't done any hiking in recent years, although she does - regularly.   The loop up to the top and back down took us an hour, but I obviously slowed her down since her usual time is only 40 minutes.  We had a fair amount of company since it's a popular trail; some were there with dogs, and we even encountered a few mountain bikers.  I was back home before 7:00 a.m., although it was already a little warm out and I was glad I'd brought lots of water with me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NY Times crossword puzzle

 Every Sunday the AZ Republic prints last Sunday's (hard) NY Times crossword puzzle.   I enjoy working them, and am always especially happy when I finish a puzzle without any help.   (Finishing can sometimes take days, even looking up the occasional answer!)  But today I finished the puzzle all on my own, and fairly easily, since I only had to set it down and go back to it once.  Can you tell that I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself? 

Prescott Bluegrass Festival

Spent yesterday 'up north' in Prescott at their annual bluegrass festival on the courthouse square.  Didn't realize beforehand that it was their 30th year - and happy to report that I've made it to most of them. (Carol & Betty, Tami, and Cindy - you missed a GREAT DAY!)  

The crowd was bigger than ever, with lots of kids (I remember taking Lisa and Alex when they were younger), dogs, and smiling faces, and of course the music was absolutely wonderful.  I especially enjoyed the Triple L Band (great musicians with amazing voices... their a cappella song was outstanding!), the weather was perfect (ie - lots cooler than Phoenix!), and it was free... how can you beat that for a great summer day?!

On the drive up, my intrepid navigator (Patti) was trying to help me figure out the Voice commands on my new navigation system.  We did run into a few snags (the 'Navigation Lady's' hearing is worse than mine, and she often misunderstands - sometimes it was pretty funny) but we did discover that I have access to the heating/cooling system by voice control.  There's a seemingly endless list of commands - but I actually got 'her' to do things like adjust the A/C fan setting up and down.  Will wonders never cease?!
I felt like I was on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Maybe I do have a food replicator, and my requests will appear in the glove box?!)
The emcee of the festival, Clyde Score, is a fine musician in his own right. He teaches music at Yavapai College, and in the past, while on tour, "shared the stage with The Platters, James Brown, The Coasters, Joe Williams, Wayne Cochran, O.C. Smith, and B.B. King."  But when I read that he "currently performs on the Grand Canyon Railway" I was reminded of a story... and here we go   :-)

In February of '96 Mom and Dad were visiting, and we took the kids on the train trip from Williams to The Canyon.  The kids were young (5 and 3), and we thought it would be a great way for them to experience the canyon for the first time.  
 At the depot, before the train pulls out, there's a 'shootout'.  (One of the passengers pulled a banana out of his lunch bag to 'shoot' back, so it was pretty low key, but Lisa was so distressed by the whole affair that we had to walk away from it with her - probably why she's not in this picture with Grandpa.)
The ride there was uneventful
and we had a great day at the canyon taking in the views.  
On the ride back, I knew that 'train robbers' would 'attack' the train as we approached Williams, but it never occurred to me to warn the kids.  Alex was pretty distressed as they came through our car, whooping and hollering, and as they left I was able to tell him, "See, they're leaving."  Then they came back through.  He was upset again, and I promised him, "See, they're gone now, and they won't be back."  Wrong!  On their 3rd pass through I was trying to calm him down, telling him that they were "just Daddies playing pretend", like when he and Tom played Monster, but he was having no part of it.  When one of the robbers heard me saying it was 'just pretend' he turned around to disabuse me of that idea.  But as soon as he saw Alex's face he immediately dropped the bad guy attitude and tried to show Alex he was just a regular guy.  Alex, of course, was having none of it, and was obviously relieved when the bad man left.

And that's it for today, folks!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fabric Sale!

I am SO not a shopper - except at a craft fair or fabric store.  The big fabric store here, 35th Ave., sent out an e-mail notice yesterday that they are moving (sending everyone into a panic until it was discovered that they are merely moving into a larger facility in the same strip mall) and that today, tomorrow and Saturday everything in the store will be on sale.  So of course I had to head on over first thing this morning, right?  They were certainly organized, with an assembly-line type of set-up, so things moved right along despite the huge (but very happy) crowd in the same frame of mind.
Remember the BOM drawing that I mentioned winning at Foothills?  When Carol saw them she said she had the perfect blocks to go with them, and gave me some wonderful redwork blocks she'd done. I put them together like this, although never quite finished with the black sashing.
 Still deciding what to do for the borders, but think I found the perfect fabrics this morning.
Should be fun to work on during the heat of the summer and remind myself of cooler climes!

In addition to a half dozen other fabric purchases, I also got the Double Diamond ruler (the result is very striking, and Linda's demo at Foothills made it look easy enough to do - we shall see!

Thought for the day:
A bus station is where a bus stops. 
A train station is where a train stops. 
On my desk, I have a work station.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on my blog 
It's always nice to hear that the ladies are enjoying my ramblings and sense of humor, and I appreciate the feedback. So I'll give back a few smiles -


 Wonder if she got any points for creativity?

The folks who built this bird condo may be drinking too much coffee....

And my parting 'words of wisdom' for today:

flip flop BOM, etc.

Every month Louise presents a timely block-of-the-month at Foothills Quilters.  Those of us who want to participate make up the block, and all entrants have a chance at winning all the blocks.  I've only won once, but

  This fun block for the July drawing comes with an "I don't usually applique" disclaimer; there are some very accomplished appliquers in both my quilting groups (Busy Bees and Foothills), and this block doesn't come anywhere close to approximating their skills.  But hopefully once it's in the winner's quilt, surrounded by the other happy blocks, it will more or less blend in.

Here's a counted cross-stitch birth announcement pillow I made for Gracie 

and the two sides of a happy pillow I made as a baby present for Morgan

And while I'm showcasing pillows, here's a flint-knapping one I made for Tom

Today was Charity Day at Busy Bees, and we were getting tops 'sandwiched' with batting and backing in  preparation for quilting.  This scrappy Crazy 8 top I made a while back floated to the top of the pile.  (It may appear back here again once it's been quilted.)

While I'm showing scrappy, here's a WIP that I love because the pieces are mostly fabrics from quilts I've made, so it brings back great memories.

And before I head off to dinner I'll end this entry with 'food for thought'