Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Fourths of July

Loretta’s Very Special List Friday topic is to list the places I’ve spent 4th of July. It’s a fitting start to the long holiday weekend to think of Independence Days past and how we celebrated them.

As a small child in San Mateo, California (a suburb just south of San Francisco), we spent the Fourth of July eating barbecued hamburgers for dinner and wriggling with excitement about the box of fireworks we’d watch our dad light in the street out in front of our house. Come nighttime, every family on the street would be outside on their driveways, watching as the dads set off those home-sized rockets and smokey whistlers and things. I found it all quiet scary, having been obsessed with a Tab paperback book about boy who had gone blind when a firecracker he was holding exploded. The book was mostly about how he got a guide dog (and I desperately wanted a dog), but that first chapter set up of how he became blind made a huge impression on me. My brother and sister would be twirling and waving their sparklers with wild abandon, while I cautiously made little squiggles and made sure to keep it as far away from my eyes as I possibly could.

In my high school years, we moved to Los Altos Hills, California, further down the peninsula from SF. There was a hillside a few miles away from our house where, when parked on the road, we could look out over the southern end of the San Francisco Bay and watch the fireworks displays in the distance from 5 or 6 different communities right along the bay. I liked that–it was quiet and peaceful and, of course, there was little risk of injury to my eyes.

In college, I spent a summer or two working at Marriott’s Great America in Santa Clara (right across the street from where PIQF is held every year). I was on the ride operations crew for the double decker carousel at the very front of the park, which was a fun ride to work, actually. Everyone, young and old alike, rode that ride on their way into the park and on their way out. Great America had fireworks set to music every night. But on the 4th of July, the fireworks show was quite the extravaganza, shown to Stars and Stripes Forever and other such patriotic songs. Very festive, and it was hard not to get teary-eyed even if it was sort of hokey. I loved seeing the faces of the exhausted but awestruck kids as they watched.

I spent two summers in Ithaca, New York during law school, and saw the fireworks sitting in the football stadium at Cornell both summers. There was quite a tradition around Ithaca fireworks. You had to get your stadium seat in the earling evening, well before dark, because you wouldn’t want to miss the exciting entertainment of the local firefighters covering the football turf with some flame retardant stuff and then hosing everything down so falling sparks wouldn’t ignite. This always degenerated into the teams of firefighters spraying each other with hoses, to the loud cheers of spectators. One particularly hot and humid year, I remember the loud announcements through the evening urging people to make use of the Red Cross bus parked at the end of the stadium, in case of heat stroke or other illness...And then during the fireworks display, one rocket went awry and shot straight into the side of the Red Cross bus with a huge BANG. No one was hurt, but for those of us with wicked senses of humor, it was hilarious.

In New Hampshire, I usually trekked with friends to the high school field in Concord or some spot nearby to watch the town fireworks. It was usually a pleasant show, if you didn’t mind the swarming mosquitoes.

One year – maybe my second or third in New Hampshire – I decided that I was going to experience seeing the fireworks over the river in Boston and hearing the Boston Pops play on the esplanade. I’d joined this activity group (in the hope of meeting some nice, eligible, non-lawyer men) and so agreed to go with some folks who were planning an excursion. We set off in the morning, stopping along the way to pick up more people I’d never met before (all of whom turned out to be women older than me, by the way), until we made our way to the northern-most transit station to take the "T" into Boston. We picnicked on the esplanade, far far away from where the Pops were’d have had to have gotten there DAYS head to stake out turf in sight of them. But there were speakers throughout the area broadcasting their music in a loud, tinny fashion. The people watching was among the most fascinating I’ve ever seen, but the whole area was MOBBED. I spent much of the time wondering who WERE those people I was with and WHAT THE HECK was I doing there. Once darkness fell, everyone crowded to the chain-link fence at the edge of the river to watch the fireworks, which were truly spectacular. Then, as soon as they ended, there was a mass surge across the bridge toward the T station. It was frightening, to find myself in that massive crush of people. I have never been so relieved to get home as I was after that long day. To tell you the truth, I was pleased to have had the experience, but I enjoy having done it more than I enjoyed doing it, if you know what I mean. Since then, I have watched the Boston Pops’ Fourth of July concert on television with great appreciation that I am NOT there.

Among my most memorable Fourths of July, perhaps, are the ones I spent on Nantucket. I vacationed there for several summers with a boyfriend from the before-Roger era. Nantucket has a charming Independence Day parade down Main Street, complete with little kids on bicycles bedecked with red, white and blue crepe paper and old fashioned firetrucks with Dalmation mascots. The day itself was spent lounging on the beach, sunning, reading, swimming. We’d eventually make our way to Jetties Beach toward evening to eat gourmet sandwiches and drink champagne on the beach, then watch fireworks over the water. Those were lovely holidays, even if the accompanying relationship fizzled thereafter.

In Healdsburg, we usually get together with our friends the O’Connors for a casual barbecue, then head up to the golf course hill to watch the town fireworks. Margaritas and much laughter are usually involved. One memorable year, the golf course folks forgot to turn off the sprinklers and every one spent the evening hastily picking up blankets and chairs and sprinting to safety as yet another series of sprinklers would start spraying. This year, I may stay home to stay with Gemma in case she freaks at all the loud noise. We’ll see. If so, I’ll be happy watching the Boston Pops from the peace of my own home.

Whether you like noisy fireworks overhead, subtle flashes of color in the distance, a hot sparkler in your hand, or the Boston Pops on tv, may this Fourth of July find you happy and having fun with friends and family!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The workshop came to me...

Oh, there were so many things I should have been doing this afternoon. Instead, when Roger took Caroline off to the local pool for a bit late this afternoon, I decided to settle down and watch this Ricky Tims DVD. I've had it on my self for ages, but as I've been on a machine-quilting kick, it seemed timely.

And, I must say, it was quite terrific. I learned a lot... some interesting tips for marking quilt designs (which I'm not eager to do, but at least his techniques made things look pretty easy, or at least effective once you decide you want to do a design that requires marking), some good tips for dealing with ending and beginning threads, and a very nice binding technique that is all by machine and adds a tiny thin piping. It was well worth the time and money, and I believe I'll watch this again to try some specific things.

This would be especially good for anyone who is somewhat uncertain about machine quilting...Good ideas for exercises and practice on getting stitch length consistent. We all know that IS just a matter of practice and attention, but he had some good ways to experiment with different stitch patterns.

So, now I'm eager to get back to my spring fields quilt top. Not sure if that'll happen tomorrow-- I'm on "active/on call" for jury duty and am supposed to call in at 11:15 and be able to be there by 1pm if necessary tomorrow! I'd love to be on a jury, actually, so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Circles and dots

This happy assortment of polka dotted tins arrived in my mail the other day, a lovely surprise from Deborah who knows how much I adore all things polka dotted. Thanks, Deborah! They make me smile each time I see them, sitting here on my desk while I decide what they will store.

Oh, look what I did yesterday. Remember this quilt top?

It has been sitting, already sandwiched and pinned, waiting patiently while I figured out what to do quilting-wise. I just wasn't sure what to do. So, I let it sit and went off to other things. I think it was while quilting an all-over leaf pattern on my fruits and veggies quilts that I decided that I liked the idea of overlapping concentric circles.

I remembered that last October, I stood in the Quilters Rule booth at PIQF for a while gazing at a set of templates consisting of nested circles. And, although I couldn't think of anything right then to use them for (which was why I hesitated), I figured I'd use them eventually. They're very cool.... they come in 1/8 or 1/4 inch plastic, and are essentially a large plastic disc cut into 1/2 inch rings so they nest together.

Well, amazingly enough, I FOUND them, and experimented laying them out on the Spring Fields top. And as if finding them in my messy closet weren't miracle enough, the 12" circle was EXACTLY right.

I rarely mark quilting on my quilts... I generally don't have the patience to mark and then follow lines...I'd much rather do free-motion quilting. But I gave this a try, and it was fine. Totally fine.

So, look at this---the 12-inch outer ring (this is two half-inch rings taped together so I would stitch at 1 inch intervals) fits perfectly.

I found that a blue chalk pencil worked well on these fabrics, so I kept nesting the rings and marking...

I sewed them with my walking foot, working carefully around the marked rings. The tight inner circles were harder (in fact, I decided to free-motion that small innermost circle) but really, it wasn't bad rotating the quilt around under the needle.

The marking showed well and I buzzed along, accompanied by James Taylor on my Ipod.

Now I have all the rings sewn, and have to figure out what to do outside the green blocks and into the borders.

But I'm sure glad I bought these templates!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pictures, pictures...

I've been cruising the ring a bit this evening, and have not been surprised at how many ring members have mentioned pouring over the new, wonderful book of Nancy Crow's work. What an amazing retrospective! It's so instructive and inspirational. I love seeing how her work evolves...the shots of her work in progress are fascinating to me.

Jenny G mentioned how she has suggested to her husband that she could use 60 acres and 3 barns. I'm sure that's one aspect of Nancy Crow's life we'd all love to share.

And speaking of gorgeous pictures, I have recently gotten hooked on Google Earth. Google provides this free software (for which you can buy an upgrade for more detailed/extensive use) which allows you to search the whole globe. It's utterly amazing. For example, here's California:

And if you keep zooming, you get to Healdsburg, where I live:

And then you can zoom in on your's mine:

And you keep zooming, which makes you feel like your hot air balloon is floating downward....

And look, there we are over my house!

It's SO fun to explore.

Go, download it and start traveling. It makes me feel like the world isn't that big a place, and it's right here in my hands.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's the LAW.

So, here's what was on my computer screen for about 5 hours today:

Yep, video images of lawyers talking about federal and state court procedure, discovery, and evidence.

Gripping. Fascinating. You have no idea how fun it is to sit in a hotel conference room full of lawyers and listen to this sort of talk all day long.

So, while Jack (pictured above) and others yakked on and on with interesting legal updates on these various litigation topics (which were, actually, pretty interesting and in fact relevant to my work), here is what I really saw:

This is the view of my computer screen from my sewing machine. I listened and sewed and ironed and hopped up now and again to hit the "continue" button.

And look what I accomplished:

My fruit quilt top is assembled! I have 1.5 hours more of CLE to finish to complete my annual requirements, which I have ready to listen to on my Ipod. I think I'll listen while assembling the quilt sandwich and pin basting.

I don't know why I adore these fruit and veggie fabrics so much, but I seem to be obsessed. I have much more left over and will move on to the next one soon. I know, it 's not exactly ART or anything, but it is making me very happy to work on this.

And that's what counts, in my book.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Getting organized

Last night, I lay awake feeling restless and hot and cranky and worried. I go through this from time to time, and it's usually due to feeling out of control about work and household matters. In fact, now that I think about it, this usually hits at about this time every summer.
Roger and Caroline are both home from school, which means that I'm spending time doing different things, my usual routine of getting my work done is thrown out of whack, and I feel like I fall behind in everything.

It's not that I have a particularly effective routine for housework and legal work. But somehow, each weekday I manage to get some of both done. So, I may not have an immaculate house (hah. like never.) but at least I keep the clutter to a manageable mess.

And you know those catch-all places in the house where stuff just gathers, resting on its way to being put away or thrown out or given to Salvation Army or otherwise sorted? We have a big counter/shelf area in the upstairs hallway, just outside of my office and across from the laundry room. When that area is clear (displaying an assortment of family photos) I feel calm and in relative control. When it's a mess -- heaped with laundry to be foldeded and put away, papers from Caroline's backpack that she refuses to toss yet will never look at again, unmatched socks, and the like -- it wears on me. Well, that's not true. I can ignore it to the point of not even SEEING it for weeks. And then suddenly it BUGS me.

So, I've decided I'm doing a bit of tidying/sorting/throwing out every day. Like that Fly Lady thing where you go around for 15 minutes. This morning's chore (which was an hour, really) was clearing off that shelf.

And I DO feel better, actually. So this afternoon I will work, and maybe that means that tonight after dinner I can watch a movie with Roger, or sew, even.

Tomorrow I'm tackling Caroline's room. This can only happen when she is out of the house, as she resists all efforts to weed out out-grown toys, books and clothes.

Clearly, I'll need to rest up for that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who is the culprit?

This is Jasmine:

And this is Willow:

Don't they look innocent?

DON'T BE FOOLED. One of them is causing big problems in my sewing room.

Last night -- wide awake after too much afternoon iced tea -- I decided to spend an hour sewing before I went to bed. And what did I find?

The thin wire connecting the foot pedal/thread cutter to my Juki was chewed apart.

Yes, you read that right. CHEWED APART.

See that thin cable, there, to the right?

Here's what it looks like after my expert (ahem) repair job.

And the REALLY annoying thing is that this is the SECOND time this has happened.

I discovered the cable -- in two pieces -- last week. I couldn't figure HOW it could have happened. It was such a nice, clean split. Could I have cut it with scissors accidentally, I wondered? But it was hanging under the table, sort of behind the waste basket...and although I do have unorthodox cutting methods, I wasn't cutting UNDER the table.

Roger spliced it back together for me and I figured that all would be well.

So to find it chewed apart AGAIN? Just below the former splice, by the way. I was livid.

Personally, I suspect Jasmine, as she has been known to lurk on my sewing chair. Perhaps she was mad that I took Caroline away from her for a few days?

I am going to try to get the whole cable replaced (sigh) and and may resort to wrapping it in something thicker AND applying that cat-repellant stuff.

I swear, this seems PERSONAL. One of these cats knows how to hit me where it hurts.

But we had fun visiting my parents. Caroline was in the pool pretty much the whole time.

And in case you're wondering, of the 5 books I took with me (!) I got 2 read, along with a backlog of Martha Stewart and Cooking Light magazines.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lost Things

Loretta's "List Friday" topic is lost things... those things that you've lost that have haunted you and you still from time to time wonder about them...

1. TIME. Where does it all go? How can I spend a week feeling constantly busy, but then not know what I did? Or maybe that's lost TIME and lost MEMORY? Sigh.

2. My gorgeous blue faux-sapphire earring. I had these earrings, one of those pair that aren't real gems but are expensive faux-gems and really look like real gems, you know? They were the prettiest sapphire-like things, studs in just the size to look small enough to be real but not so small that the were miniscule. They were the perfect earrings to wear in all sorts of situations. I always took them off and put them in one spot in my jewelry box, and then, inexplicably, one was gone. I still hope that I'll stumble onto it, tangled up in something.

3. My small corningwear teapot. In college, I shared an apartment with my good friend Cheri. And we had this tiny, white corningwear teapot, the perfect thing for boiling water to make a few cups of tea. Well, at some point I left it sitting on the counter filled with white vinegar to try to remove the minerals that had calcified on the inside...and we never saw it again! Cheri swore she hadn't thrown it out, and I hadn't thrown it was just one of those things that sat there soaking on the counter for enough time that we stopped noticing it...and then it was gone. There had been friends staying there during that time, but no one admitted to doing anything with it. Maybe the vinegar disintegrated it totally? Or maybe it's a cosmic message that things you stop noticing will eventually wander out of your life and vanish? Quite the mystery.

4. Last month -- on Mother's day, to be exact -- my mom showed me a diary that her mother, my grandmother, had kept during the years 1953 and 1954. I'd never known that my grandmother kept a diary, but according to my mom, Grandma had written a few factual lines every day for as long as my mom could remember. In the years between my grandmother's death and the death of her husband (my mom's stepdad), he had thrown away (!!) all of them except that one volume. My mom and aunt were sick with misery over his disposing of the diaries and not giving them the chance to claim them. He had apparently kept this one volume to pass it to my mom, because it covered the year she married my dad and the year my sister was born. So, I only discovered the fact of the diaries' existence at all a month ago, and now I can't stop thinking about them and wondering about them. I was very charmed to read that one volume... I knew my grandmother well, from a kid's perspective...she lived about a mile away and we saw her all the time, often staying overnight at her house. She died when I was in high school, so I don't really have a grown-up perspective on her. But reading her brief diary entries -- just of the daily things she did, what she made for dinner, when she played cards with her sister and brother in law -- brought her voice rushing back and made me feel very happy. Oh, for those lost volumes...

5. My green and peach needlepoint pillow. I learned to needlepoint in college. My roommate freshman year, Andrea, was from Beverly Hills (a whole education in and of itself for me, living with someone who'd grown up in that "Bev Hills" life) and over one weekend visit to her home, I got turned on to needlepoint. And that led to my taking a few classes (at a great tiny store in Newport Beach called "Nantucket West") and eventually to my designing a pillow that looked like lacy ribbons woven together, all in peaches and forest green and cream. It was a lot of work and was pretty elegant, considering the era and the color combination and my relative novice status.) Anyway, my learning needlepoint led to my sister learning needlepoint -- and now she makes her living designing needlework and her favorite thing to do is intricate lacy stitches like I used in that peach and green pillow. But where did the dang thing go?

6. Here's the sort of loss that makes me nuts: a quilting item I bought, stashed away, and then can't find when I finally want to use it. You know, that particular piece of green tulle. That pack of double pointed pins to try for matching seams. That bottle of a new brand of glue. I HATE when I KNOW I have something and can't find it...Of course, it appears as soon as I go out and buy the replacement.

7. Friends who've drifted away. It is so hard to have a friendship end if you're not ready to end it. I have one former friend who inexplicably stopped returning my calls. It took me YEARS, literally, to find out why...after I dreamed about her, wrote to her, talked to mutual friends to find out what was wrong. In the end, the answer was so bizarrely anti-climactic that it still puzzles and bewilders me, and makes me think either that I never really knew my friend to begin with, or it simply can't be the reason. I've just had to try to let it go. But in any event, those friendships which end without closure are so ... painful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Call me... on vacation

Oh, look! It's my new cell phone!

But wait, it's not just a's a little teeny computer device which will give me a calendar, notepad, and even email access.

Is this the cutting edge of technology, or what?

Of course, it will take me DAYS to figure out how to use it...Which is why we bought this today. Caroline and I are headed down to my parents' house for 3 days for rest, relaxation, visiting, swimming, and general laziness to start our summer off RIGHT. Poor Roger will stay here proof reading the last two chapters on his text book, for the final final FINAL time. So he will enjoy the time alone and I suspect will do a fair amount of napping in between vigorous bouts of proof-reading.

But with 3 days ahead sitting and watching Caroline splashing around in the pool, I figured it was a great time to fiddle with a new phone. And besides, the battery on my old one was pretty much completely dead.

I HAVE already managed to download a ringtone that makes me grin: The theme from "Bewitched." I was briefly tempted to download all sorts of funny choices..."If I Only had a Brain" from the Wizard of Oz, for example... but it's nice to know I have options. I can hardly wait for a Christmas ringtone at Christmas time. (As my mother would say, "Small things amuse small minds.")

In preparation for our trip, I have been putting leisure material in a basket to take along...magazines I've not had time to read, some new library books, some reading material for Caroline, my Ipod and headphones (more CLE podcasts ahead)... At this point the basket weighs a TON and it looks like I am planning to camp out for 2 weeks to do nothing but read. Oh well, it's my mini-vacation and I can dream, can't I?

Among the materials in my basket is the new book from Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston! I got my signed copy (Adorer of All Things Freddy that I am) from Thimble Creek. I notice that Amazon doesn't even have it yet! But this book is GORGEOUS. Thick, with quilts and history from Gwen and Freddy separately, and wonderful stuff about how they worked together.

I'm going to enjoy pouring over every picture again. And I'm especially excited because the book describes their process of making "parts" (blocks from the same palette of colors) while apart, then getting together to make quilts with the combined parts. I'm thinking this will be perfect for me and my friend Silvia, who is too far away in Guatemala City.

So, you will know where I am when I'm not here. (Gee, I wonder if I can blog from the phone?!)

Oh! Just one VERY cool thing that happened today! I found an old friend on the internet and we had a quick but lovely instant message chat to greet each other! Celine (known really to me as Sleen) and I met back in the days when CompuServe's dos-based forums were the height of online sophistication. We were in a small group of avid rubber stampers and a bunch of about 6 of us became fast friends through online chatting and the occasional face-to-face meeting at rubber stamp conventions. Sleen had her daughter Holly the same year that we adopted Caroline. I had a fun time preparing a "baby shower in a box" for her, and she and other friends did the same for us. So imagine my shock to learn that Holly is going into 6th grade and Sleen and her husband have 2 more kids, both rather tall and non-infant like at ages 7 and 4! What a wonderful re-connection and I am looking forward to catching up with her further. to pack a few more things (oh, yeah, I might actually need clothes)...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fruits, veggies, and nuts

Thanks for all of your nice comments about my fruits-and-veggies-in-progress quilt. I'm in a mode where I want the color and pattern of the fabric to be the focus, with really simple shapes in the quilt structure. So I'm liking this.

After working all morning, while Caroline played on the computer and chattered away to me, I amused myself by rearranging the fruit and veggie diamonds to try different color combinations. I did it over and over. Hence the nuts. Not in the quilt, I mean ME. Good thing I'd posted a picture of my first layout, as I decided I like that best and then redid it. I think I have enough diamonds cut to make two of these. At least.

But you can't have too much fruit and vegetables, right?

Friday, June 09, 2006

You can't have too many fruits and vegetables

At the quilt show last weekend, I stumbled onto the Kyle's Marketplace collection of fruit and vegetable fabrics at a booth, and I just could resist getting a bunch. Color! Texture! Pattern!

So, yesterday, while I listened to my CLE program (and dutifully pressed the "continue" button every 20 minutes or so, which they make you do to ensure you are actually there and paying attention), I cut pieces and ended up with this on the design wall:

It is totally simple but I am loving the blend of colors and patterns. My working title, commemorating the fun of working on it while getting CLE credits, is "Eat your fruit and vegetables: it's the law!"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A little light reading...

So, you want to know what I've been doing lately? See above.

I kid you not. This is actually a pile of documents from one case that just settled, so I was able to take them out of my file drawer... To replace them with a similar stack of paper on a new case.

My job on this one is to read everything, sift through to identify the "important facts" and then research to see what types of legal claims would be supported by these facts. It's sort of like a really long exam question, now that I think of it. And really, it's pretty interesting. I feel like a detective, putting bits and pieces together.

It feels endless, though. So today I am taking a break but still finishing an important legal task.

As in most professions, lawyers are required to do a certain amount of legal education annually. The reporting year for my bar association ends on June 30, which means I have to finish up my continuing legal education credits. Through the wonder of modern technology, I can view programs online AND download "podcast" seminars! So, this morning is dedicated to listening to an online seminar on evidence. Luckily, my sewing machine is about 5 feet from my computer. So I can sew and listen to the seminar at the same time.

Legal education has never been so enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Color me desperate for color

Maybe it's the weather. Or maybe it's that I've been sitting at my desk staring at black and white text on paper for too long. But I am craving COLOR and PATTERN and TEXTURE in abundance.

Luckily for me, "Collaborative Quilting" by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston is about to hit the shelves. I wasn't able to get to Freddy's book signing this past Saturday at my favorite shop, Thimble Creek, but my signed copy from them should be arriving in the mail any day now. I adore Freddy.

Aren't those baskets charming?

So, until that comes, I've what any color/texture/pattern starved person without actual time to sew would do: I pulled out my entire pile of Kaffe Fassett books (and I have them all) and I've been looking through them each chance I've gotten.

I love the splashy use of color and pattern in these books -- in the quilts, of course, but in the photographs too. I can look at the stuff around and behind the quilts for ages.

But the quilts...oh, the quilts. I could just work my way through these books, making one quilt after another, and be very happy.

I'm very drawn to this right now. I guess all this pink just makes me smile.

A few years ago, I made several of these quilts, basically big nine-patch blocks alternating with big solid blocks...I used all big floral and leafy patterns the quilt came out looking like a big garden.

They were fast and easy and fun, and so gorgeous. One I made for my sister at a time when she was moving away from a home where she had a big garden, into a little place with no garden. Laura often drapes the quilt over a table when she's at shows selling her needlework designs, and I'm always gratified when people come over to look at it.

Okay, back to my black and white pages.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekend notes

Look who came to stay at our house this weekend.

No, silly, Caroline LIVES here. Look at what she's holding in her hands.

Baby chicks hatched in her classroom last week, and a few kids were selected to bring them home, in pairs, over the weekend. Our two lived in the laundry room and happily peeped in their little warm box.

Jasmine, Caroline's cat, sat outside the laundry room door most of the weekend. I'm sure she was guarding them so they wouldn't come to harm.

Caroline is relieved to take them back to school, still alive and peeping.

On another note, on Sunday my friend Pat and I attended the Moonlighter's Quilt guild show. Santa Rosa has two quilt guilds, a day guild (to which Pat and I belong) and a night guild, the Moonlighters. It is surprising how different they are in group personality. In any event, the Moonlighters put on an annual show, so off we went.

Our group is permitted to sit in a back room and sell tickets for our opportunity quilts. This year, for the first time our guild made TWO opportunity quilts: a traditional quilt and an art quilt. This was a big break from tradition (gasp), but another local guild does it with good success, and given that the idea is to sell as many tickets as possible, our guild's governing board was persuaded that giving customers different choices could only be a good idea. You buy your tickets and can choose which quilt you're buying them for.

Here is the traditional offering, a beautiful log cabin variation:

The art quilt was made by our art quilt group, The Pointless Sisters. It's called "Greetings from Sonoma County." (Size-wise, I think it's about 45 x 60").

Recognize my oak tree silhouette postcard?

And it was nice to hear that the tickets are selling 5 to 1 in favor of the art quilt!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bargains galore!

This morning, Roger took Caroline off for her riding lesson while I stayed at home to Get Things Done: laundry folded, house tidied and groceries bought for my sister's birthday dinner tonight (grilled swordfish!), maybe even a bit of legal work.

But my friend Lissa called, to tell me about a yard sale in her neighborhood she thought I might want to check out. "There's a ton of craft and quilt stuff," she said, "Even fabric dye."

Well, it was 3 minutes I grabbed my wallet and was out the door.

And what a great find!

Look, it's Ruth McDowell's book on Symmetry! I've been wanting to own this book for a while but it's out of print, and even the used ones are a minimum of $35.

I scooped up a "Visions" book I hadn't seen, which will be great for inspirational browsing.

And this Design Essentials book by Lorraine Torrence (excuse the blur)...I've checked this out of the guild library a time or two but don't own it...and how could I resist at bargain yard sale prices?

And, because I want to get back to watercolor painting one of these days (ahem), I couldn't resist this book:

I snapped up two Dharma kits: the fabric dyeing one with Adrienne Buffington's out-of-print book. I have the book but I'll send it to my friend Silvia, who I know would want it...

And the Dharma kit on dye painting, with a book by Ann Johnston I don't have. Can't have too many dye supplies, right?

Oh, and there were unopened packs of Versatex fabric paint that Caroline and I can play with this summer.

I found a June Tailor ironing board in good condition, far better than my messy one that I've been meaning to throw away and replace... Plus one of these cutting line grid things which my friend Rita tells me is a "must have" if you like to use strips for things (which I do).

I couldn't resist the unopened packs of Fimo clay and pipe cleaners, both of which Caroline loves to use and we can't have enough of around the house.

Oh, and for my friend Janet? These:

She just LOVES Sunbonnet Sue. NOT. (But if she doesn't get the joke, I'll donate them to our guild library.)

Gee, I'd love to sit and look at these books and stuff. But back to cleaning.