Morning walk along the coast…

I really should check the map before I leave home. As it turns out, the San Francisco quilt guild meets in San Francisco! As Carol drove me past Golden Gate park I realized that I was in the city, not out in the suburbs – if the cities around San Francisco are even called suburbs. I am teaching for two different guilds on this trip so right now am in San Mateo, but this morning I walked on the Coastal Walk and saw the Golden Gate bridge.

CoastalWalk-SF-03 copy

I stayed at the Seal Rock Inn and I think this is the 'seal rock' of the same name…

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I walked up and down stairs…

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I took pictures of some cool plants. Many I recognized, but can't grow at home. This looked like a dandelion on serious steroids and I don't think I'd want to see it in my yard – but it was eye-catching.

SanFrancisco-Shoes-01 copy

I hope to post again tomorrow. Now it's off to dinner and then to the Penninsula Quilters guild meeting.

The AAQI Sampler, continued…

I'm leaving (on a jet plane) tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to teach in San Francisco for a few days. When you read this I may already be in California. But before leaving home have I managed to get some fabric cut (finally!) for the quilt I'm making for the AAQI auction. 


There are a lot more pieces to cut and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow on the wall. That said, I have to have something to sew while I'm gone and I'm sure enough that these fabrics will work for the grasses that I'm going to sew them down.

I'm going to cut fabric for the sidewalk and the pickets for the fence this evening. Surely this will keep me busy between classes and lectures while I'm gone.

I'll try to post from the road but if I don't, know that I'll at least wish I was posting! I keep telling myself that it's good to be busy but I don't always love being quite this busy. I have, however, compared notes with other women my age and it's the same for most of us so I am not going to complain. I may eat a little Fannie May chocolate while I'm in California in lieu of smelling roses :-).


Another one bites the dust…

I am death on irons. I treat them well… I didn't even drop the Reliable! Sad to say, it was not reliable for me. It wimpered and died a few days ago.


I borrowed Mom's old Sunbeam and so far it's working well. I bought her a new iron and I am going to use her old one until it, too, goes to iron heaven. Heat and steam, that's all I ask for.

In other news, Mom's arm is better-ish. The swelling is down and she's moving around about like normal but the wound itself is infected and she's going to have to have wound care for it. Thank goodness we have a good facility for that here in Sherman!

Taz (the dog that bit her) is coming home on Thursday. Mom misses him. I would happily find a new home for him (or try to) but she wants him back so there you go.

The little snert likes to hide under the bed and that's a real problem for Mom, so we came up with a solution. Steve built a sort of box out of 1×6 pine boards that now sits under her bed. It's a bit recessed so that Mom doesn't whack her toes on it but it will prevent Taz from being able to get out of reach.


He built a taller one for Christy's old bed too!


Simple, inexpensive and it should work. If only I could find an iron that I could say the same thing about.

Where does a day go!?

I have spent the last 2 days doing everything except what I wanted/needed to do. I did, however, get something work-related done. I've just put Everyday Best on the site as an ePattern. I'll send a newsletter to spread the news in a few days but for now, you're the first to know. Click here.

Mom is feeling a bit better – as long as she is loaded with pain meds. You know, I'm still amazed at how much damage an 8 lb dog can do. If he comes home to her (and that is a very big if) he's going to have to be carefully watched around Jack and Elanor. 

Now for something quilt-related! I've got my next AAQI auction quilt drawn. I'm doing another house-related quilt. This one is loosely based on a more traditional needlework sampler.

These sorts of samplers need at least one person and I decided to add my grandmother, Mabel Eckroat. I used this photo, one of my favorites of her, as the basis for the drawing…


I drew over the image in Adobe Illustrator, but you could do the same thing with tracing paper and a pencil…


Here's a section of my pattern with my grandmother in it…


I love the way the simple line drawing captures the feeling of my grandmother! 

I'm not going to try to make the appliqued figure be photorealistic. In fact, my plan is to sort of fade the figure into the background. Or not. I won't know for sure until I start working in fabric… which was my plan for today. But, like Scarlet said, tomorrow is another day!


It’s all good and then…

I hope you all had a lovely Easter and/or Passover holiday. Ours was great! We got to attend the Tooleys annual Easter Egg Hunt. More than 500 eggs, races, prizes, food, beverages (some adult beverages) – great fun! I appointed myself as the event photographer and got lots and lots of great photos. A good camera and digital technology make that pretty easy to do.


Easter Sunday started with baskets and mass followed by another egg hunt. Then the kids all went home and Steve and I had a laid back afternoon. Until Mom called, in a panic, at 5:30. The dog bit her.

Taz was Christy's dog and Mom promised to take care of, and love, him. Taz is a mean-tempered 8 lb pure blood Yorkie. He's a bit overweight because Mom gives him table scraps. He ought to be nicer to her!

She was playing with a ball with him. The ball got stuck. Mom reached out to un-stick the ball. The excited, sharp-toothed dog got her in the right forearm. 3" gash, deep enough to nick an artery. You know those CSI crime scenes? There you go. Except that Mom had the presence of mind to only drip on the laminate floor. Way to go, Mom!

So picture Steve and me running down the alley. Steve took Mom immediately to the emergency room. I cleaned up and then took his place at the hospital. After 2.5 hours (not bad for an ER visit), several stitches and steristrips, we headed home for dinner. 

It hurts when the pain meds wear off which happened this morning. After seeing her regular doctor, Mom is dosed up and feeling not much pain. She's not moving much either which is good. It will get better.

But wait. There's more! 

This afternoon, we lost Elanor. She was at my house with her mom. I ran errands, came back, said "Hi" and "Where's Elanor?" Lorna said "she's here." She wasn't. No Elanor. Not in the pool, not in hollering range. Lorna ran to Mom's – not there. She was GONE. I called 911, which is becoming a depressingly familiar number to dial.

Chris was home and not answering his phone. Lorna waited for police as I zoomed over to check with Chris who was nonplussed when I hammered on the window asking if he knew where Elanor was. (I think that is the first time I've used the word nonplussed.)

She was with him. HIs phone was charging in a far room in their house and he didn't hear it. Elanor said she told her mom she was leaving, Lorna says that no, she did not. I'm guessing that there will be better communication from now on.

The police came and went. I took deep breaths. I don't know what I used to hope for but these days I would really love lots of days in a row where nothing happened. I feel like this:


NOTE: That's Jack in front in the 4 and under foot race. He's really big for 4 so had an unfair advantage in this race. But he was happy to come in first! The little girl in the pink shirt is Lucy, one of his very good friends at Montessori school. They're Irises.

Choosing the borders…

Our next book, Applique With Attitude, should be available in mid-May. There are some very cute quilts in this book if I do say so myself. Soon I am teaching one of the blocks from the Chirps! pattern shown on the cover of the book. Linda made Chirps! so I've been working on my own version of the quilt to travel with. I thought I'd share the process I went through as I was deciding how to set the blocks together.

I made these four blocks:

ChirpSet-01 copy

That red background is by Liesl Gibson from the City Weekend collection from Moda. It's a very nice choice for this block. Linda used the same fabric in 3 different colors for her mini-quilts.

Normally I would have chosen the sashing and border fabrics before I started the applique but this time I just couldn't get that done before I had to start the sewing. I knew I'd be able to find something, the question was what.

I really liked black and white prints with these blocks so I sashed them in b/w. Idon't know why, but this big dot really called to me for the borders.

ChirpSet-02 copy

It's way over top, more so in person. So I wondered about using a colorful print…

ChirpSet-03 copy

Interesting, but not wonderful. I had the big dot in red…

ChirpSet-04 copy

…but it was the wrong red. The little print on the right was sort of good…

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…but I realized when I saw more of it that it was too busy. So I went back to black and white.

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I liked this, but decided to try other prints before finalizing my choices.

ChirpSet-07 copy

ChirpSet-08 copy

What these photos illustrate very well is that there is never one 'right' way to make a quilt. Many of the fabrics I tried could have worked well and there are so many more that I didn't even consider. But what's true for you is true for me – I had to decide which of my choices I liked the best. I couldn't help it – I still liked the big black dot. This is where the quilt ended up:

ChirpSet-10 copy

I think it needs a dark binding – either black or red, probably a print, not a solid. I hope I can get it quilted before I leave for California.