I love being home!

I had a lovely time with the ladies in both Brandon and Punta Gorda, FL, even considering that I had a cold and sinus infection. That said, it's nice to be home. Believe it or not, my ears did un-stuff on the plane ride home!

I have come home to a pile of work and a happy husband. I'm feeling better – life is good. 

I wanted to share this blog post written by Alethea Ballard. She wrote a really nice post about how she used our book to applique outside the lines. Her quilt, below, is in her post. 


I love seeing how people use our patterns and ideas to make their own quilts. That's why we do what we do. Happy stitching!

More from Florida…

I left Punta Gorda on Friday after my lecture and arrived in Brandon, a suburb of Tampa. The Brandon Quilt Guild meets at a very nice church. Outside the classroom I was amazed to see a pair of sandhill cranes…


One of my stdents said that these birds mate for life and that this pair is often on church grounds. Not something I see out my window in Sherman.

I put a pillow on my class supply list. It's very handy to rest you arms on when you sew. Claudia, a woman in class, brought this pillow:


It's like a polar fleece throw, but small and with a pillow inside. No sewing!


You cut two pieces of fleece that are 8" wider and taller than the pillow you want to cover. Make cuts 4" deep, and 3/4"-1 apart into each side. Tie the two pieces of fleece together with the pillow in between. She said that kids love them and I don't doubt it. 

I had nothing scheduled for Sunday and was really looking forward to getting some work done so I was seriously unhappy to wake up to find that my sinus infection (and headache) had bounded back. I am lucky that my physician was reachable and called in a new prescription. I was thankful that I wasn't supposed to teach because I mostly just layed around feeling pitiful. I do so hate wasting a day but there you go.

Today is another full day of teaching and a lecture. I'm flying home Tuesday at the crack of before dawn. Who knows – maybe the next plane ride will un-stuff my ears!

From Florida…

I arrived in Punta Gorda, FL, last Tuesday with a cold, sinus infection, and stopped up ears. Luckily I had a prescription for the sinus infection and colds do get better. The ladies at the Peace River Quilt Guild took good care of me and I was careful to keep my germs to myself as I taught. Lots and lots of hand washing!

I didn't go out and about much in Punta Gorda because of my cold but I have to say that the hotel room was really very nice. I was at a Four Points by Sheraton that has a nautical theme. How often do you get decorating ideas from a hotel room! I decided to share them with you:


All along the window wall was an open shelf with a window seat cushion on either side of the window and baskets for stuff below. There was an opening for the air from the AC unit, but the unit itself was pretty well hidden. This simple and functional design would work well in a lot of homes.

The curtains had huge grommets at the top that the stainless steel curtain rod went through. Functional and clean-looking. The pillows on the window seats were eye-catching:


These are stenciled but they would be very easy to piece. Simple lines, simple mix of colors… I wouldn't mind having them at home.

And then there was the bathroom door…


If I ever get to build a house (not likely) I want to have sliding doors. I love the way they work and look. Don't know that I'd need the porthole window in the door, but it worked with the nautical theme.

Meet the newest Dr. Goldsmith…

Our youngest son, Jeff, is now officially Dr. Jeffrey Goldsmith, newly-minted with a PhD in Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins! Sreve was there for his thesis defense; I stayed home to work. I hated to miss the event but I was extra-special happy that Steve was there.

This is Jeff prepariing for the public presentation of his thesis. That was followed by a private session with his committee.



I can’t even begin to explain what Jeff does. I try – which makes his head hurt. But I am his very proud mother so I feel compelled to brag. I think it is sort of in the ballpark to say that he writes formulas that are used to interpret the data gathered by fMRIs. Much of his energy is spent with researchers working to find a cure for MS. He is insanely good at what he does. He sometimes reads my blog. Jeff, if I’m way wrong please let me know. 

He has worked incredibly hard to get where he now is. (I could go on and on, but won’t.) Now he is working on what comes next. But what comes next couldn’t happen without him passing his defense which he did with flying colors. Oh happy day!



Fabric mash-ups…

I like to use big, happy prints on the back of my quilts. When I see a fabric that looks like a good back, I buy 1-2 yards of it which is never enough for a whole quilt back. I do this to myself on purpose because it forces me to sew different fabrics together rather than resorting to using the same quilt over the whole back. It makes me crazy on the day I have to choose the fabric but the results always make me happy.

These are the fabrics I chose to mash together today. This is from the Floral Folio collection by Cary Phillips from Clothworks:


And this is Frog Prince from the Prince Charming collection by Tula Pink. Look close for the hidden images…


Look at them sewn together…


These are not fabrics that I ever thought about using together but darned if they don't look really good together. I love a good mash-up!

Recovering chairs…

Or I should say, re-covering chairs. I put new upholstery on my dining room chairs not that long ago. I used Scotch Guard on the chairs but it was no match for the abuse that we apparently dish out. There were stains all over the chair seats and backs and I couldn't take it any more.

I ordered a roll of laminated fabric from the Good Fortune collection from Moda. This print is perfect in the room and the vinyl coating on the fabric wipes clean. Steve removed the staples for me (which is a hard job) at a rate of one a day. I re-covered the chairs at the same pace.


Laminated fabric does not stretch so the chair backs are not as smooth as they were before but I can handle that better than the stains. The fabric doesn't feel or look too plastic-y.

I had enough left over to cover the seats of the chairs in the breakfast room as well. I hadn't realized how dirty the previous fabric was until I took it off. Ick.