Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grocery rant

Guess what Costco has?
64 count PK. of toilet paper

56 oz. Plain or peanut m & m's
36 ct. Dr. Peppers

Breakfast croissants
Awesome ice cream bars in the deli
Beautiful flowers
Jumbo vitamins and razor blade refills

Self check out lanes!!!!

Yes self check out lanes.
I have a Costco 4 miles from my house and a Sam's 4.5 miles the opposite direction from me. So it is not about location, but rather brand preferences. Prices and selections are pretty similar. I prefer Costco because you wheel your cart to the check out lane, a staffer loads your jumbo bulk items on the belt, and with the ease of a single swipe of a plastic and your items are boxed and bagged ready to take home.
Now they have self check out lanes just like all the grocery stores. I must confess I am a bit critical of the grocery store experience. At 15, I was a cashier at a major grocery store chain. We actually had to push buttons on a register and even multiply in our heads sometimes! We did everything but deliver the groceries to our customers home and unload them! All through school I worked the graveyard shift. There was no self check out. Back then, I wish there was a self check out, so I did not have to strategically plan my nightly trip to the restroom when the store was empty. I still today remember all the produce codes and can scan an item better than the next guy.
A friend of mine is on a gluten free diet. She told me she orders all her special diet foods through She has a standing order delivered to her front door weekly.
I love technology and probably couldn't do without it. However I do miss the days of the good ole' fashioned milkman.

Have a good week. I have to go unload all my groceries.

- Posted using IPAD

Sunday, July 24, 2011


A month long interactive art project! Really? That is pretty incredible that writing a letter has
 become a piece of art.
Here is the excerpt from their post.

A good old fashioned letter will always have a special charm that cannot be duplicated. Unfortunately, it’s so much easier to open your inbox and compose a message the modern way. Ivan Cash started a project that keeps the art of letter writing alive…at least for a few weeks. Save yourself the trouble of finding attractive stationery, the right pen and a stamp because Snail Mail My Email is a month long, interactive art project transforming people’s emails to handwritten letters that are physically mailed, completely free of charge. Your personal ghost writer will even add a little piece of artwork to your correspondence. $FREE

Yes it is Free! and mailed Free all in the name of art.
I can see Santa needing a ghost writer to answer all of his letters or does he have the elves just send an
e-mail form letter now? 
I have all my mom and dad's letters from when they were first married. My dad was on the road traveling and he would write home to "Ruthie". In our world of instant communication, these letters talk about the weather, where he stopped along the road to eat, people he met and of course how much he missed his favorite child (ME). This was also the time of no cell phones! Tonight I am going to read through the letters and write some of my own artistic letters and send them through snail mail.

Have a good one.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt along has begun!

3 different lunch times, people coming and going, great fun, laughter
and a few racy real housewives pictures thrown in for fun.

There is so much FWQAL out on the web that it seems silly to post it here, but here I go. Today we started making design boards inspired by Lori Holt. Lori posted a picture of her designs boards a while back. I thought they were brilliant but didn't wait for her to post her how-to's. I had a class of 20 people coming up and I had to do some creative engineering. I salvaged as many layer cake card boards as I could possibly find. This is a 10" piece of cardboard that works wonderful for Lori's design boards. My board was not near as cute as Lori's but I will make many more.

We did the design boards because the crew here will be taking the pieces back and forth from work to home. This will keep the pieces all in place. I think everyone will be making more of these handy boards. I know I will. Sarah posted pictures of design boards on her blog.
She was busy taking pictures so I feel bad she didn't get her blocks cut,
but she has a
design board.

 Here is one of our HOT quilters striking a pose. Meet Jamie....
She is dating a Dallas Maverick and a Dallas Cowboy at the same time. She is developing her own line of  cotton fabrics that when used, eliminate wrinkles on the fabric and on your face!!
Just kidding, but I had to add some hype so we could get our own reality show.

 meet Eladia!
She is a fairly new quilter, relatively speaking. She has been quilting for 4 or 5 years and makes the most elaborate quilts!

Meet Katie!
Katie is visiting for a couple of weeks and the daughter of Deb Strain. We are sad that Katie will be leaving us soon but she is going to do the project long distance when she returns home to Ohio.

This is not Katie's first quilt, but I think she has caught the FEVER.
Our homework was make your design boards.
Make blocks # 2 and # 4.
Next week we will see Marti Michell's templates. Marti has cross referenced her template sets to correspond with the FW templates. Sign up for Marti's newsletter by August 31st to get weekly e-mails about the blocks and templates. Here is more info.
 Hop on over to Sarah's blog to see more pictures!

Gotta go milk the cows!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Real Housewives

Okay I know what you are thinking, not those "real housewives"
I mean the real Farmers Wives of United Notions. You may not have heard of United Notions. United Notions is a multi line distributor that  you may have only heard of it you were a store ordering notions, fabrics and supplies for your business.
The Gals at United Notions/Moda Fabrics have jumped out of the barn and into those crazy exciting Farmers Wife phenomenon.
In case you have been out milking the cows and not heard about this yet, let me catch you up.
It all started with The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird published in 2009. Then two very clever gals decided they were going to do a quilt along.
Angela and Amanda. put their heads together, both wanted to make the blocks, and the rest is history. Google the words Farmers Wife Quilt Along and you will see many
 sewers that choose to be a farmer's wife.
Remember the show Green Acres
where Zsa Zsa Gabor left Manhattan to live on the farm with Eddie Albert.
Move forward 20 something years and we have shows like the real housewives.
Combine both of those shows and that would best describe the class that is starting here on Thursday!
If you read my blog, you know I could go one for days making silly comparisons but  I will save some for after I have had my skinny margarita.
Every Thursday during lunch about 20 of us will be getting together to have a HEN PARTY. ( oops another play on words)
We have all different ages, styles, new quilters, hand piecers, etc. Along with making 2 blocks a week we are going to play with different notions. Do you know how many different rotary cutters are out there? Find out what are our must have tools as we show you our blocks from traditional to modern.
Monica even made a blog badge for you to use if you want to join in on the fun.

Camille is even doing it! Imagine a farmers wife in Las Vegas!
photo courtesy of Camille Roskelley

And my main counterpart in making this all happen is our very own
Little Miss Sew it All, Sarah Stephenson. Follow her as she will surely be posting  her progress on the project as well. I will be watching to make sure no pictures or incriminating stories are posted about me.How can she be a real housewife with all those quilting supplies in  her bed?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


World Water Park , Edmonton , Alberta , Canada . 5 Acres

Chicago Merchandise Mart , Illinois , USA

South China Mall, Dongguan , China . 892,000 square meters

Sydney harbour bridge, Australia . 16 lanes of car traffic

Donghai Bridge , China . 32.5 km.

ROYAL CARIBEAN MS Freedom of the Seas.
4300 passenger capacity Inside
Airbus A380. 555 Passengers

Neoplan Jumbo - cruiser. 2 in 1 bus....double deck 170 passenger capacity


90,000 capacity. Cost...$1.6 billion

Built by KRUPP of Germany . 45,500 tons. 95 meters high. 215 meters long

MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas , Nevada . USA . 6,276 rooms
Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai . Only 7 Star Hotel in the World
Cheapest room...$1,000 per night. Royal Suite...$28,000 per night
Winners Chapel, Canaanland, Otta , Nigeria
Inside Sitting Capacity 50,000 Outside Overflow Capacity 250,000

somewhere in America. Cannot  release the exact location due to it may incriminate me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I looked up Kismet in Wikipedia.
Fate or Destiny in Turkish and Urdu, a predetermined course of events.
It really is kismet to do this blog post.

In the OLD days before the Internet, yes I was quilting back then!, there were friendship groups and block swaps.The only difference is that your "friends" had to live in your area because you actually met with them to exchange blocks, ideas, techniques and inspiration. Recently I unearthed some blocks from a friendship exchange in the mid 1980's. These blocks brought back memories of the people that made them and the fun we had meeting once a month in each others homes. Where did I find these blocks? Of course I had stashed these in a super secret spot knowing I would want to finish them someday. Well I had them stashed away in the box of videos of the kids special events. So super secret that I didn't even know they were there. Have you ever done that? Hidden things so well that you were surprised when you came across them again. I had been petting these blocks and going through my stash of fabrics when a new ruler hit the market.

I had been hooked on Monique's geese rulers while making Miss Rosie's charm flying geese., so I knew that I had to try her newest ruler, Fit to be Quarter. (check out Monique's blog- she has a blog hop going on now)

Imagine my delight when I saw on the instruction page the information to make my "found blocks" from my exchange 20 years before. KISMET!
20 years ago I thought I was pretty smart to figure out how to strip piece this block. My dad was so proud thinking I had his engineer brain. I think it was more the fact that I had a bunch of kids and not much time to sew.
Here are a few pieces that I unearthed that showed my process.


So i jumped right in and started making more blocks

 using red, white, blue or black layer cakes so I could mix a big variety of fabrics.

You make a simple unit similar to a four patch. Add a rectangle right sides together.

Using the ruler, mark your sewing lines. 20 years ago I did not have this ruler and it is not as simple as marking down the middle and sewing 1/4" on both sides. Trust me!

Cut 1/4" away from sewn line on each side and you will get 2 units as shown above. (finishing up some of my old pieces-can't you tell from all the extra fringe along the edges)

This is the layout I choose for my block swap. I lay out the squares and then chain piece them into sections vertically without clipping the threads. Then I add block 3 to the block 1 & 2 section. This helps me chain piece and keep everything in the correct order. Here is an illustration. I also wait to press until the block is pieced so I can make sure the seams are pressed in the direction I have sewn them.

You have sewn the sections together working vertically. Now add the 3 row without clipping the threads. The threads will act as pins.

Once this block is sewn it can be pieced in several different layout options. It has almost as many options as a log cabin block does. Play with the options.

Here are just a few of the layout options I am playing with. Off to make a few more blocks.

sorry for the blurry phone pics

Check out Monique's website for measurements, videos and more on how to use her rulers.


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