Crossing My Geese

Sunday, June 28, 2009 Posted In , , , 4 Comments »
June 29, 2009
My Bernina is at the sewing machine spa getting her annual spiffing up. Last week she sent me a message via her computer screen telling me that she had been used enough and needed some TLC. I've learned that it's really worth my while to get her tuned regularly, so now she's on vacation for a few weeks and "Baby" is substituting.

Baby is a fine little featherweigh. My DH surprised me with her for our anniversary last year. He dabbles in antiques and collectibles. When I started quilting, he began to take an interest in older machines. After some research and some prowling around flea markets and auctions, he happened upon this little gem. She's a 1951 centennial model, with all of her attachments and her original carrying case. He had her tuned, set her atop a little sewing stand he also found, put a big blue bow on her head and waited for me to come downstairs. Wow. To say that he knocked my socks off is an understatement! I am so blessed to have a husband who understands my quilting addiction!

When I went to the Lancaster Quilter's Heritage Celebration this Spring, I took her with me to most of the classes & couldn't have been more pleased. That was quite a leap of faith for someone so attached to a computerized Bernina! Kind of made me feel good, though, when I walked into John Flynn's class and saw him sewing on an old black Singer as well.

While I was at the show, I found a gentleman who made the table you see in the picture. He calls it a "retreat table"; it's light weight, with legs that fold up to make it portable. Now I can even bring my Baby down to the family room in the winter, set her up in front of the fire and sew away. For now, however, she's in my sewing room filling in for her big sister Bernie.

I decided it was time to pick up one of my UFOs, a project that I started at Lancaster. It's a pattern from one of Kimberly Einmo's classes, called Flying Geese Crossing. Her flying geese ruler (mentioned in an earlier post) makes those geese a breeze to cut and sew.

Once the quilt is finished, it will go on Annabelle's big-girl bed. She requested Pinks and purples, even helping her GG (gorgeous grandmom) pick out some of the fabrics.

Can you tell that pinks and purples are her favorite colors?

I hope that all of those cute pinks going one way, and purples going the other, will allow visions of sugar plums to dance in her head! Miss Annabellarina, as you can see, is quite a dancer herself!

I'll be sure to post pictures of the progress. I have a feeling that this will be my summer "thang".

Piece and love, Pat

No More Jelly Roll Blues

Monday, June 15, 2009 Posted In , , , , 1 Comment »
June 28, 2009
My friend Kimberly has come up with a new ruler. It's called the Simpli-EZ Jelly Roll Ruler. No, it's not going to change your life, or even make your quilts assemble themselves. What it is going to do, is make cutting/sub-cutting those pre-cuts like jelly rolls and charm squares so much easier. I just got mine in the mail on Saturday and have been playing around with it every since. For those of you who think you don't need another darned ruler, think again.

Here is Kimberly's own description of what the ruler does:

· It works perfectly with Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Charm Squares, Layer Cakes and Turnovers.
· It allows you to make cuts fast and accurately. It's designs so you can cut basic units such as squares, rectangles and triangles from 1½” and 2½” strips, and 5” and 10” squares!
· The ruler has two-colors which makes the markings easy-to-see and easy-to-use. The mint green “highlight” lines denote the most commonly used sizes from pre-cut fabric strips and squares.
· There are no 1/8” lines on the ruler; only ¼”, ½” and whole inch markings make viewing clear and uncluttered.
· It’s just plain fun to use!
If you want to read more about it, check out Kimberly's blog entry, A New Ruler. Unfortunately, the giveaway described in the blog has expired.
You should also check out the Easy Stars & Geese Ruler on her web site, This ruler makes doing stars and geese so very easy, eliminating virtually all fabric waste when cutting the triangles from strips.

As a matter of fact, I used it to make "Pinwheels for Ian" for my 2 year old grandson.

The pattern is based on Kimberly's Pinwheels and Flying Geese, and was started during one of her classes at the 2008 Quilters' Heritage Celebration in Lancaster PA. How easy is the ruler to use? Don't tell anyone, but that was only my 4th quilt - ever!
This one's from Kimberly's pattern called Bermuda Triangles. It was started during one of her 2008 QHC classes as well, but the pattern also comes packaged with the Easy Stars & Geese ruler. This version is done with batiks; it looks beautiful in a more traditional colorway too. I called it "All Decked Out" because it was for my son and daughter-in-law's wedding anniversary.

Don't you just love a good mystery?
Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Kimberly's web site. In addition to her blog, she has started a nifty little thing called "Do U Do KMQ's?". A KMQ is a Kimberly Mystery Quilt. So far she has done two free MQ's on her web site. I've done both -- one of them twice, in different fabrics! The first "clue" contains the fabric requirements, along with the first set of cuts. Each Friday for the next successive weeks, you'll be able to access another clue to push you further along towards completing the mystery project. You will be among numerous international quilters who have tried her MQ's. So far she has done one in Japan, and currently has another being published in segments in Irish Quilting Magazine. Why not give it a try?!

Piece and Love, Pat

Ain't no trash in MY stash!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Posted In , 1 Comment »
June 11, 2009
Here’s the conversation between my daughter, Kate, and me:

Kate: “Hey Mom, Do you think you could help me make curtains for the pool house?”
Me: “And what pool house would that be?”
Kate: “You know, the one in my back yard.”
Me: “That’s a pool house? I thought it was a potting shed.”
Kate: “Whatever. The curtains in there are the ones Omi put up in 1962. The orange velvet is disgusting, and I’m not really into lace fruit.”

Say what?

Orange velvet? Lace fruit? 1962?

Kate and her husband Paul bought Paul’s grandparents’ house when Omi and Opa downsized into a retirement community. It’s a lot more house and yard than they would have been able to afford as newlyweds, but the Omsters (as they are affectionately called) helped them arrange financing. It was certainly a big financial undertaking for K & P, and their budget is very tight; this will, however, be their forever home. Big yard, complete with an in-ground pool (and pool house/potting shed), and a 1950’s split-level house. Well maintained. Last decorated in the early 60’s by a well-meaning woman who was into fruity kitsch. Are you beginning to get the picture?

Back to the conversation:
Kate: “What can we use to make curtains? Maybe I can pay you for them next month?”
Me: “How about if we take a look at my stash?”
Kate: “Why would I want to look in your trash?”
Me: “Follow me, girlie-girl, and your momma will teach you the value of a good stash.”

I hauled out a trunk where I keep fabric that isn’t part of my regular quilting stash. There were cotton knits for the tee shirts I was going to make for my grand kids (but never did); seersucker for some summer pants I've since lost the pattern for; yards and yards of blue net stuff with embroidered butterflies that I got from eBay to make a princess costume for Annabelle sometime before she turns 30; and there, in the very bottom of the trunk: PAYDIRT!
The fabric angels were with me!
Oodles of tastefully coordinated home deco fabrics that I bought 3 years ago when I thought I was going to take a class to make a garment bag for my sister. Sure looked like pool house/potting shed curtains to me. Take THAT, Martha Stewart!

Kate gets free curtains worthy of Pool and Potting Shed Magazine, I get to make room for more fabric earmarked for wishful thinking projects, and my quarter inch foot gets to take a well-deserved vacation. Gotta love it.

So what did we learn? A good stash will save the day; there are fabric angels who guide us to purchase certain fabrics for a reason, not always apparent to us at the time; once fabric has been in your stash for more than a year, it’s free; and your daughter is never too old to need her momma (or her momma's stash).

Piece and Love, Pat

Baby steps and a giant leap....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Posted In , 3 Comments »
June 8, 2009
Welcome to my blog! I'm been lurking in the blogisphere for a while now, waiting to get up enough courage to take the leap. Well, I'm leaping, and I hope you'll take that leap with me!

No, the canine chef in the profile picture is not my dog, but I surely wish it were. He/she looks very much like one of my old goldens, whipping up a treat in my kitchen. I found that picture somewhere on the internet and adopted it because I love to cook, I love golden retrievers, and that dog is in a lot better shape than I am.

The two cutie pies in the Hallmark Card picture to the right are my grand kids, Annabelle and Ian. You can be sure that I'll be posting more about them in the future.

What else will I be posting about? My passion for quilting and crafts, my family, my friends, Philadelphia sports teams, life in general, and anything else that pops into my mind. Please check back again to see what's On Deck. In the mean time, check out some of the blogs where I tend to lurk.

Piece and love,