Easy threading needles and machine quilting…

I'm machine quilting this week and probably next week. I like to bury the tails of thread at all my starts and stops. I usually bury them as I go rather than waiting until the whole quilt is finished. Judy Mathieson told me about easy threading needles that she uses for this task. They are an amazing time saver! Thank you Judy! Watch the movie to see how they work.

Here's a close-up of the needle. The brand I found was Mary Arden in sizes 4/8. If I can talk Linda into it, we can put these or something like them on our site.

EasyThreadNeedle

The POC crew…

If you have ordered anything from our website recently, you have been working with our very fine Piece O' Cake staff. Linda is the fearless leader of web sales. Go Linda! Paul is her right-hand man (although he is, in fact, left handed).

DSC01232 

That's Paul and Lori making kits in the doorway of Linda and Paul's dining room. Truth be told, Linda said she was going to be happy to get her dining room back after the kits are all packed.

DSC01233_2 

And this is Michelle, busily processing your orders. Linda has re-arranged this room since the last time I was there. It looks good! At some point I can show you my work space (if there are requests).

Ami wrote a BIG check!

Uofm12

Many of you will probably remember the World Quilt Federation Smackdown that John Flynn, Sue Nickels, Hollis Chatelaine and I took part in. We each made a small quilt that was auctioned off in a head-to-head auction and all the money raised went to benefit the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). Ami Simms is the driving force behind AAQI and she just wrote a $30,000 check to fund research led by Dr. Mi Hee Lim at the University of Michigan. You can read about the check-writing day on Ami's blog, Through The Eyes Of A Quilter.

AAQI-atUM

Ami sent me this photo that was taken that day by Jennifer Farina, University of Michigan. Ami took a handful of quilts to share. One of them happened to be my quilt from the current exhibit.
 
Ami (far right) is showing the research team my quilt, helping them to learn about Alzheimer's from a different perspective. The woman on the left in the white shirt is Dr Mi Hee Lim, the scientist in charge of the study AAQI is funding. Debbie (AAQI treasurer) is next to Ami. The other folks gathered around are the researchers. I feel honored that my quilt was one of the ones they got to look at closely.
 
Read even more about the grant here. There are always quilts up for auction and quilts for sale on the AAQI site. All funds raised go to benefit Alzheimer's research so it's a win win situation when you buy a quilt. Happy hunting!

Happy times at Disney World!

The trip to Disney World was wonderful! The weather was cool with some clouds and one downpour. Lorna and I found out that we are good traveling companions. Elanor and her BFF, Lola, were as good as any two 7-year-old girls could be. We all had a fun and I have the pictures to prove it!

IMG_2318 copy 

Elanor, on the left, and Lola posed and smiled on command. After years of trying to make my own boys sit still and look remotely happy in a photo, I found this to be very refreshing. Here they are are dressed for dinner, standing in front some artwork in our hotel, the Bay Lake Tower.

We spent Thursday at the Magic Kingdom – an easy walk from our hotel. Both girls are tall enough for roller coasters and we rode them all. And more… if it was supposed to be a fun ride, we did it.

On Friday it was back to the Magic Kingdom where the girls visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and had their hair, nails, and makeup done. It was worth the time, money, and effort spent. They didn't get the princess dresses but opted instead to go dressed in cute clothes that would be good to ride rides in.

IMG_2431 copy

Lola got rock 'n roll hair and Elanor got a princess bun. You would not believe how much hair glue it took to make that bun! Both girls were liberally sprinkled with fairy dust. (Disney is covered with fairy dust/glitter.) We had lunch later in Cinderella's Castle and all the princesses made the rounds. I had forgotten how exciting princesses are for little girls. I was so happy to be there to see it.

IMG_2418 copy

I took several photos of them from behind and they are some of my favorite shots.

IMG_2460 

Saturday we went first to Disney Hollywood Studios where we rode the Tower of Terror (my favorite ride), the Rock 'n Roller Coaster, and Toy Story. The girls took part in a 'street scene' with 3 toy soldiers (real people dressed as toy soldiers). I took a movie of it and we have all enjoyed watching it. If you go, remember to take some movies! We were only at Hollywood Studios for a couple of hours then we moved on to Epcot.

IMG_2481 

We didn't stay long at Epcot. Not long after this photo was taken the girls melted down and we all decided that the pool was the place to be. But the flowers were out and it was a beautiful day we did manage to ride the Test Track Cars before we left. We went back to Epcot later for dinner at the Coral Reef (where you can see into the huge aquarium as you eat) and to ride Soarin'.

IMG_2520

Sunday, our last day, we went back to the Magic Kingdom in the morning to ride our favorite rides. Mostly roller coasters. That's Elanor reading the map outside of Thunder Mountain, with her ears on. Seriously cute! It rained in the afternoon but Lorna took the girls to the pool between showers. We went back for a couple of hours in the evening to keep us awake for our late dinner at the California Grill.

Lorna read about this lovely restaurant that is on top of the Contemporary Hotel where, if you eat late enough, you can see the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. The food was great and the view was spectacular. 

You know, there were crowds and it wasn't exactly inexpensive but I have to say that this was one of the most fun things I've ever done with kids. No wonder you see so many grandparents with their grandkids at Disney World. I'm already looking forward to taking Jack!

The man in the quilt…

He's not really in a quilt, he just looks like he is. I found this, and the next photo, on Weird Friends. I often wonder who takes these photos. Why do they hold onto them? And why do they post them?  Maybe this fellow is famous. Maybe he painted these things. It looks like it could be an art installation.

What I like about this photo is the very organic man inserted into the graphic, quilt-like scene. 

Tumblr_kzavg4oRfp1qze9l7o1_500 

And then there is this. I think it's a weaving. The people blend into, and seem to be part of, what surrounds them.

Tumblr_kz8l1y9q151qze9l7o1_500 

The two images, seen together, suggest interesting ways to put people into your quilts.