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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Twister Quilt

Not much to show today.
I pieced up the center of the Twister for Murray.
I used batik RW&Bs from the stasheroo.
I have a flag print for the border that Murray liked from Patchwork Plus.
I'm thinking of adding a small blue inner border...
The store sample had a red one, but I think I'll go with blue. 
I just don't have the right red...
Hard to believe, isn't it?
The Twister ruler is a 2 step process. 
First, you sew 5" squares together in a pattern that suits you.
Here's mine.
Then, you cut it up on a wonky angle along the seam intersections and sew them back together like this.
The ruler is marked where the seams are...it has feet to steady it...and you just whack it out.
Here's the ruler.
It's easy to line up and the blocks come out perfectly wonky.
But, you could easily get confused if you didn't keep them lined up and sew after every row is cut.
Frankly, it's inexplicable that I got this sewn together correctly on the first try.
Not one seam was ripped in the making of this flimsy...I'm sure if I were to make another, I'd be frogging away merrily.
AND...there's a LOT of fabric waste. 
That's a lot of unusable scraps.
At over $10./yard, I'm not comfortable with this much waste. 
I've heard you can get the tiny size Twister Ruler and reuse the scraps.
I won't do that...I don't have the time or desire to sift thru and separate good scraps from bad.
My OCD is not that bad.
Even I am not that cheap or pathetic.
There is a lady at SWFQG who collects batik scraps...I'll give these to her. 
I doubt I'll make another of these Twister quilts. 
It's cute enough, but, I hate waste. 

I'm contemplating the circumstance that it was Murray who bought this ruler, on a whim, no less.
I'm always after him about waste.  
How was he to know?  
Could it be coincidence that it was he who chose this particular tool?
A tool I find to be most impractical....
Could this tool have found him?
Is he drawn, subconsciously, to extravagance?
I wonder, is this trait intrinsic?
And therefore, he can't help it?
Could it be the universe spins this way for my Murray?
He may never recycle or reuse...
Thriftiness may be beyond his comprehension.
If this is the case, retirement will be very long and arduous for me.
Things to look forward to....

I got a message last night asking me to RSVP for a bridal shower I never got an invite to.
I'm in town, so I'm going. 
It's family.
I've been trying to throw together a quickie flimsy to take along for the bride to be. 
We shall see if that happens.
Less than 2 weeks is a tough turn around time for me. 
There is always the gift card option should I fail to finish in time. 

Is tomorrow really October already?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Barb-gello, Bixby & Bloody Mary's

I started the Lola-fication of Barb-gello on Saturday & finished it up on Sunday morning. 
Barb's Bargello was a tongue twister for me...hence...Barb-gello....I crack myself up!
Barb chose the designs..I think they're just right!
I did the pebbles in non-regulated stitch mode.
I encourage you to try it...the machine moves more freely.
Less fatigue and rounder circles...WIN WIN!
When Mr Bixby got back from golf, he suggested an OTL.
I requested a trip to Patchwork Plus to see the Honor Quilt show. 
They are the last stop of this moving show...
Plus, they have fabric..I love fabric.
Here is my favorite from the show. 
Rob Appell is so talented...this beauty is spectacular in person.
It's huge, too.
This is Mr Bixby's fave.
Can't remember the quilter, but he liked the significance of it.
It represented all the trials, triumphs & scars of a soldier.
Clive's work with Honor Flight has made him very sympathetic to this issue. 
He also liked this...
But it was a kit for sale in the shop.
He wanted to buy the kit, but I'm not fond of using kits.
So, he bought the pattern & the ruler, & asked me to make one for his office.
Of course he did.
Then we headed to Blue Water Grill on Skaneatles Lake...
ErMahGah!  Every Sunday, from 12-3, they have a BLOODY MARY BAR.
Who knew?
I enjoyed a party in my mouth whilst waiting for a table.
Absolut Citron, 2 parts mild Bloody Mary mix, 1 part Clamato, heaping tsp horseradish, dash Tabasco,marinated asparagus, celery stalk, 2 shrimp, garlic stuffed olive and fresh mozzerella.
For lunch, I had a Mahi Mahi poboy..no bread..sweet potato fries.
I'm becoming addicted to sweet potato fries...not good...fatty fat!
Then we walked along the lake and out on the jetty.
It's beautiful there and yesterdays weather was perfection.
Mr Bixby had 2 killer funny moments...
1. 'What lake is this?' 
     While I realize there are no stupid questions...really?  Skaneatles Lake, come on, Clive. 
2.  'Oh look, they tiled the bottom of the lake.'
     Uh, no, I'm pretty sure they didn't. 
God help us...this man is a champion of industry.
And he was not trying to be funny.

They have a war memorial on the lakeshore.  
I encouraged Clive to take a look while I sunned myself on a bench. 
I've seen it before..lots of times.
He snapped this upon his return to get even with me for laughing at his questions. 
It's only fair I show it, to prove I'm a good sport.
He threatened to post it to IG, titled 'Too much time at the  Bloody Mary Bar.'
I swear I was just enjoying the sun...
We don't see here that often.

Today, I'm loading another flimsy and working on the twister for Clive. 
After I hit Sams club, that is!

Be kind...make it a good one...

*****Photo cred to Mr Clive Bixby & Roxanne******

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last Antique

This is the last of the antique quilts that Colleen gave me.
I still can't believe she gave them to me.
All she asked was I donate to an animal cause. 
Today, I'm heading to Sams where I will buy a few bags of dog food for Helping Hounds. 
This is the rescue where John got Ozzie. 
I love Ozzie. 
Any hoo...back to the quilt.
This one was in the best condition of the three and is the smallest. 
It's got some wear spots, but I think it's in remarkable condition.  
Especially after a 48 hour RetroClean soak.
I promise...no more a RetroClean posts. 
But, this stuff really does work!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mish Mash Mush

It's been a crazy few days. 
Thursday morning, I got a text from Barb saying she was driving up.
She even brought Lexi to play with Frannie. 
I love Barb...we get together and it's a whirlwind Quilty Love Fest. 
She brought 2 flimsies, we petted fabric & talked long arms.
She's in the market, and took Lola for a spin...non regulated. 
Lola misbehaved just a bit, she's like a spoiled child who only wants her mama. 
We dined at DHT, burgers.
Friday morning, a long Erie Canal walk and a trip to Mission Rose. 
(I may or may not have found a bit of fabric there...I left no paper trail so it's my secret)
Frannie was once again a gracious hostess. 
Best.  Dog.  Ever.
Sadly, I got not one pic of Barb or Lexi...
But her flimsies are still here.
Here's her pre-Lolafied Texas Two Step.
And look at this...Quilters Delight Table Wine.
Hilarious!  Only Barb...
I've got the last of the antiques soaking in the last of my RetroClean.
I can tell the results are going to be spectacular!
Stay tuned.

Last night...dinner & a movie with The Millers. 
Veggie Burrito at the Mission...Guacamole...Delish!
Then, we saw This Is Where I Leave You.
What a funny movie...and sweet in some spots, too.
It was off color...no doubt...but off color is fine with me. 
And Jason Bateman...I mean...please. 
The alarm in our FL house has been malfunctioning...
Last night, it went off EVERY HOUR ALL NIGHT LONG.
Screaming alarms for 30 minutes every hour in my quiet little neighborhood.
What a fabulous impression we've made since purchasing the place. 
And, it's the panic feature that's gone bonkers, so we can't shut it off for 30 minutes. 
Phil was up all night dealing with it. 
He's golfing now.
It's still happening, I'm on shut off duty. 
I've arranged for ADT to meet Pat at the house to fix it today. 
What would I do without my good Florida neighbors?
This is above and beyond the neighborly call.  
The bloody thing never alerted us of the broken AC, and now is alerting us every hour...
Tell me again why we have an alarm?

I'm hitting the studio to practice some designs for Barb's flimsies. 
Make it a good one. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Today was Annie's funeral.
I wish I could have gone.
To honor this awesome woman.
And hug Nancy.
But, it was not to be.
I'm so happy I had this last happy day with her.
Rest in Peace

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Claudia Pfiel

Today was a long day...
First a busy Francis House morning followed by an afternoon filled with anticipation.
Guess what....
In October, I will be taking 2 classes and a lecture with the one & only Claudia Pfiel!
I just can't stand it!
Who doesn't admire her gorgeous art quilts?
I was so worked up waiting to hear, I posted 3 IG pics cause I couldn't think of anything else. 
When I got confirmation I was in...I literally JUMPED UP & DOWN.
#quiltnerd alert
I bet I can't sleep tonight.
This certainly makes up for missing Houston with Barb.

In other news...
Alvin is still fat...
Frannie is still adorable. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Please forgive the boring title..
I'm worn out today.

Here's what I did today

An old flimsy...
 An easy all over design...
  Another one for the binding pile.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Design Ratio

After my company left this morning, I got fussy with the design ratio experiment. 
I moved the blocks around trying all different ratios...
After deciding on the ratio...
I fussed over color placement. 
After over an hour of struggle, I decided to let the color happen organically.
This was the right decision. 
As far as the ratio issue, Joen was right.
As always.
She said the most pleasing ratio is 8:13.
I agree.
It took most of the afternoon to sew together.
This was no small feat.
I pieced the HSTs a long time ago.
My piecing has improved dramatically since.
Thank goodness...
If quilting were still this laborious, I may have become a knitter. 
Here's the flimsy.
I'm considering dense quilting with variegated thread. 
If it turns out ok...I may hang it...Or not.
It's not big enough for use at 36x52, but I'll figure something out. 
I always do.

I also finished this iPod nest. 
It's for my sister...she loves dogs. 

It was a nice weekend.
Two sisters & their hubz came into town to honor J&J.
The party was held at the home of the mother of the bride. 
We met most of her family & friends.
They were very welcoming & warm people.
Many told us how much they love my son...
That makes me happy cause I think he's pretty great, too.
Here's a shot of us with the happy couple.
The sisters played lotsa Liver & had some good laughs. 
And there were old 3 dogs here...Buster, Belle & Frannie, of course.
I was proud of Frannie for being a such gracious hostess. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TLAP...Design Ratio, the Orphanage & Upcycling

It's talk like a pirate day today. (TLAP)
As a reward for housecleaning, I stitched together 9 patches from a quickie gift I made recently.  I have no plan for these 16 batik concoctions. I just wanted to file them under 'done for now.'
You know what that means?
Yup, a visit to the Orphanage. 
Orphan blocks, homeless little beauties, with no place to go.
Blimey! Me found some booty.....glistening from the bottom of the hoard. TLAP
I bought this fabric in Tecumseh, MI. with Gaily, my machine Quilty mentor, 10-15 years ago.
Back then, I was very frugal with fabric & tried to use every scrap from the techniques I was learning.
These little gems, and I do mean gems, are leftover from a beginning quilting class. 
After fondling them, I decided it was time to free them from servitude. 
I could almost hear them cheering...(I really need to get a life)
While I still have many left to sew together, these bloaks made it to the design wall.
Thar She Blows! TLAP
I'm using them to experiment with design ratio.
The small block size makes it perfect for this trial.
Upcycling fabric scraps is my favorite!
Serious Quilt Nerd

In other news, the betrothed will be celebrated tomorrow.
I'm hoping it's doesn't become a Meet the Fockers event...
If it is, I suspect we'll be the Fockers. 
Why do I suddenly have the urge to belt out "Beautiful' by Xtina?
See what I mean?
What if some of these thoughts sneak out of my mouth at the party?
Argh!!!! TLAP
I'm telling ya...me's a weirdo!  TLAP
Prayers for my composure & mental stability are encouraged & appreciated. 
Thank you.


Just a fun, over quilted FQ that I will use to produce an iPod nest. 
No stress...just me & Lola 'gettin jiggy wit it'.
The living area of my home is usually orderly.
I don't like a lot of 'stuff' all over the place. 
Unfortunately, this does not apply to my 'happy place.'
I'm a hot mess in my creativity.
Yesterday, I spent a few hours tidying up & rearranging. 
This is the best I can do.
Which, considering how it was before my efforts, is awesome.
There are a select few who know what this normally looks like. 
You know who you are.
My 'waiting for binding' pile is once again out of control.
This is good & bad...
It's a lot of binding...bad.
As of today, there are only 6 flimsies in queue for Lolafication....good.
All, except one, are mine.
There's an orphan on the design wall that I'd like to get together in the next 2 weeks.
I know of 2 more that are definitely coming in...
And, there might be one more.
I should have enough to keep me at a nice, steady pace for a while.

In June, I had 18 or so....and that was mostly just my work!
I added a few more of my stuff...& got 3 'jobs'.
I did get a lot of longarming in this summer. 
That's very good, as I'm usually not very productive in the warm months. 
No doubt, a result of being away most of the winter.

All this cleaning & sorting had me up all night.
Thinking about all I want to make....
And then ulcerating about the fact that I can NEVER use all this up.
There is a strong possibility that I will need to be medicated. 

I'm off to clean the rest of the house. 
Company this weekend!

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

RetroClean #2 ... The Red One

was on edge all day yesterday worrying about this baby.
It's so cool...and SO VERY threadbare. 
It was in the worst condition....
Many areas completely worn through.
Of course, it was my favorite.
What if I ruin it?
It's so unique, from the 1800s, curved piecing, machine quilted..probably on a treadle, repaired many times, embroidered instructions on bed placement.
And, I just love the Campbell's Tomato Soup color.
needed to launder it...it had such potential...I had to try.
I knew RetroClean would be my best bet.
It had worked well on the blue one.

I soaked it for about 24 hours...
This time indoors as rain was forecasted and I worried about exposing it to sunlight.
I stirred it gently every hour or so...daylight only.
You wouldn't have believed the color the water was...
100+ years of dust and other assorted residue in my guest bathtub....
should've snapped a picture of it.
Blogging Fail.

Here are the before and after shots....
& the back...
While a few light stains remain, I'm thrilled with the results. 
I could soak it again, and probably get a bit more discoloration out.
IMHO, it looks great and it's not worth taking the chance it might fall apart.
I'm proud of myself, too.
I feel like I restored these 2 beauties...
If they could talk, they'd definitely thank me.
It was totally worth the fuss!
I will keep RetroClean in my laundry room forever.

I have one more antique...the darker of the blue & whites. 
It's in the best condition of the three. 
I think I'm going to wait a few days to deal with it. 
Let myself regroup from the anxiety so I can enjoy the process this time!

Monday, September 15, 2014


It was finally sunny yesterday.
A perfect day to soak one of the antique quilts to see if RetroClean could improve the look.
There were quite a few brown spots on this quilt.
Here's the quilt before.

I soaked it for almost 24 hours.
Almost all the brown is gone...and there were many dark spots. 
Here's a before & after shot.
It doesn't show the improvement accurately.. 
It's much better in real like. 
And, the musty smell is also gone. 
I'm not sure how I feel about that...the smell made them seem old. 
Oh well.

I'm soaking the red & white one in the bathtub right now.
It has the worst of the discoloring.
It makes me nervous soaking them...they are so threadbare. 
Hopefully, they'll only need it this one time. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A New Angel

Our loss is heavens gain.
And I'm sure there were quite a few waiting to welcome her.
My mom, for one.
My young childhood was full of fun because of this woman...
How she made me laugh...
And feel accepted...
And loved.
The Lucy & Ethel antics with my mom.
Driving thru the car wash with the windows open...
Buying manure....
What a pair they were...
A great example of friendship...
My prayers go out to all her kids...
Especially Nancy...who was my first friend.
I wish them comfort knowing what great care they have always shown to her.
This is a beautiful family.

Personally, I am so grateful to have had this one last visit with her..
I reconnected with Nancy...
And saw for myself that she had lived a full life.
I will cherish this memory, and so many others, forever.
I love you, Annie.
Thank you for being you.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Finish

Finished this up this morning...
Love the Flirt line...I got 3 baby girl flimsies out of 1 FQ pack.

I did line dancing Es&Ls and Terry Twists. 
I freehanded squiggly lines over the panel.
The backing is an Amy Butler print.
It's very feminine and sweet.

While I was loading the next up...I looked over and saw this.
Ever helpful.
I had laid these batt scraps out so I could sew them together for an ISpy quilt.
I am getting 2 quilts on one big scrap of wide backing...
This will be number 2.
It seems Frannie ventured out from under the pool table to make sure I measured right. 
I guess all that math made her sleepy.
Crazy pooch!

I may or may not have had a weak moment and given into a bit of online SEX.
(Stash Enhancement eXercise)
A question....why are online fabric purchases always delivered on Saturday?
The only day the hubz gets the mail.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Finish

More of the same...
I am on a roll, people.
(the crappy weather is helping)
This is a flimsy that I will use in the guest room in FL.
Disappearing 9 patch. 
It's companion is already down there.
I'm happy to have it done so the room will appear more 'put together'.
Just a loose meander, cause it will be frequently laundered.
It's a combo of leftover fabric lines.
Mirabelle...Butterscotch....& some others that I don't remember right now. 
You know what I mean?
All those lines that Moda reintroduces under different names that are the same.
I'll bind it in FL.

This went so quick that I also loaded a baby quilt.
I've got that about halfway done. 
I'll share upon completion. 
It's girly.
I'm itching to make a bright, warm colored batik flimsy. 
I keep looking at the warm batik shelf in my studio.
I'm tempted to pull them out and make a big batik mess. 
Find the right combo for a star block pattern.
Or log cabin.
Or geese.
Reds, oranges, yellow...maybe a touch of purple. 
Gotta have a smidge of purple...always.
Well, almost always.
I am trying to stay on task with longarming all I have before I begin again.
I'm not the best a self control.
But, I'm trying.

I talked to baby today. 
Actually, I've talked to him every day this week.
I love when he's a school cause he calls me while he's walking to class.
Just a quick hello, but thats all I need to make me happy.

Jenn text me last night to tell me she said yes to the dress. 
It really made me feel good that she thought to text me. 
I think she'll make a lovely bride. 
I mean, sheesh, she's a knockout. 
And, I think she really loves my son.
Really, isn't that all we can ask?
For our kids to find a partner and they share mutual love & respect for each other?

Sweet that I could use the Friday Finish title. 
It's what all the cool kids use for their Friday title.
Too bad I'm not cool.
Or a kid. 
I am weird. 
That's something, right?

It's always so scary when I reread before publishing my posts.
I'm all over the place today & I appear to be CrayCray.
What the hell...it's who I am.
I'm posting it.
Happy Friday!