Sunday, December 24, 2006

One Christmas Gift Done!

Here is the quilt that I finished for my Mother-In-Law for Christmas this year. The background print has small roses, so the quilting design is in a rose pattern (detail below). It was beautifully quilted by Julie Murphy at The Laurel Leaf. She's been doing all of my quilts lately and always does a fantastic job.


One more day until Christmas!!!!! Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Heather Bailey

Heather Bailey of the blog "Hello my name is Heather" has some really great ideas for holiday decorating using fabric. She has lots of ideas for yo-yos. Yes, yo-yos. Here are a couple:

Yo-yo garland. Awesome.
The rest of her blog is great, too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Leslie Harpold

Earlier today I had made a post about the on line Advent Calendar created by Leslie Harpold. I just found out that she passed away very suddenly a few days ago. It didn't even occur to me that the content on the calendar stopped suddenly on the 7th. I had been reading about the history of the Advent Calendar on Wikipedia, and the entry mentioned her noteworthy on line version of the calendar and remarked on her death. It was shocking to read this and I really didn't believe it, as it apparently is somewhat easy to post content on Wikipedia. I did some reasearch and found that it was indeed true. Such a shame. You will be missed, Leslie.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hometown Holidays

Over the weekend Lance and I took my sister and nephews to our Hometown Holidays event in downtown Redwood City. We had a great time. There were all kinds of activities going on. There were craft booths, ice sculpting, music, food, Santa, and best of all -- real snow! It was trucked in and dropped into neatly cordoned off squares on Middlefield Road. The boys had a great time:



Lance and I went back later in the afternoon to watch the parade (nice and warm with a glass of wine at Savvy Cellar), the tree lighting and the fireworks.
I just love Redwood City!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sew Dorky

I found a website called Sew Dorky where they sell hand made felt donuts! This is awesome. Check out their site for a better view.

They also have felt teeth at their "School of Dentistry".

Sunday, November 26, 2006

One down!

Here is little Shane wrapped up in the quilt I finally finished for him. (He's 11 months old now -- at least I got it done before he turned one...) Behind him is the quilt I made for his older brother Trevor when he was born (I actually got that one done in time for the shower!)

Below you can see the quilt layed out. It has a wonderfully soft Minkee backing. So incredibly soft I almost didn't want to give it up!! It is a Terry Atkinson pattern called Pinwheels and Pearls. DH Lance even helped me tie it because I was stressing so much about getting done in time for Thanksgiving. We don't see our friends Bryan and Molly very often (Shane's parents) as they live in Clovis, CA. Since we were going that way for Thanksgiving, it was the perfect opportunity to give it then. I wasn't thrilled with the colors after I started piecing it, but as usual, by the time it was finished, I was very pleased.

Now onto the 3 other baby quilts I need to get done!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I DID IT!!!!

Well, as many of you know, I have been planning a surprise 40th birthday party for my dear husband, Lance. In addition, I have been planning an elaborate "treasure hunt" all around Redwood City to get him to the party. Now, it isn't easy to surprise Lance -- he's pretty astute and since we're almost always together, it was quite tough. But I was able to flush out the details during work and class and it helped that he had been working late due to his union negotiations. I'm still excited that it all worked out. Here are the details (I had to run around Saturday morning and "plant" the clues, so here's how it went when I got home):

After a light lunch, I handed him this clue, which was titled "It begins..."

He ain't heavy... but he's got your next clue.

This took him to his brother's apartment, which is also located in Redwood City. (from the song "He ain't heavy, he's my brother") His brother handed him this clue (which I had previously e-mailed to him):

Go to your favorite coffee joint and buy yourself a small mocha. Then you will find your next clue.

This took him to Perx, which is a coffee shop near our house. They have punch cards (they punch for every coffee you buy and when you fill it up you get a free one) that you can keep there in a file box. I had attached the clue to the card, so when he paid for his coffee, he pulled the card and found the clue. It read:

Find the place in RWC where you are free to read up on any subject. Your path will be clearer than The Rosicrucian Mysteries when you find your next clue.

This took him to the library, where he had to look up and find the book entitled "The Rosicrucian Mysteries". I had planted a clue inside the book in an envelope. That clue read:


Hee hee!!! This one was the hardest! He was stumped on this one for a bit. He even called me on my cell phone (which I told him to do if he was stuck). He asked my where on earth he was going to find a "peanut pizza"! I told him to look at the whole clue and that I was confident he would figure it out. Here's what it means: the first letter of every word spells out GALEOTTI'S, which is one of our favorite pizza places. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that they don't open until 4:00 pm on Saturdays. I had to tape the clue to the window and hope nobody took it before he got there. Here's what that clue said:

If you are savvy enough, you will find your love carrying your next clue.

This one was easy. We've been spending a lot of time at Savvy Cellar, which is a wine bar/shop in downtown Redwood City. I could go on about how great this place is, but that's fodder for another blog post. Lance's brother, Steve, had picked me up and we were waiting for him at Savvy Cellar. Lance strolled in about 20 minutes later with a big smile on his face. We stayed there for a bit and partook of a little wine (champagne for Lance), as we excitedly told our tale to Savvy's owner, Jennifer Ayre. After strategically holding him there for the appropriate amount of time, I gave him his last clue which read as follows:

It would have been a series of small miracles if you reach your final destination.

The party, which he still didn't know about, was at our old fav, Milagros -- a short distance from Savvy. Milagros are actually Mexican folk art religious charms, but the literal translation of the word is "miracles". It took him a bit to figure this one out, but I think he worked it backwards by knowing we were going to a restaurant and thinking of the names of the nearby ones.

Oh well. It was close enough for us to walk, so we slowly ambled over there. On the way, my sister surreptitiously called me to let me know they were (mostly) all there. We arrived right on time and Lance was quite surprised to see everyone there. The lunch/dinner started at 3:00 pm, so after all was said and done, it was still an early evening.

Which was good because you know those old guys can't party all night long like they used to!

Friday, November 17, 2006


Countdown to the big day. Can't give specifics until afterwards.

Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Monkey Sewing Machine

A monkey sewing machine.

I have no words.

I'm getting teary...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Autumn Festival

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to advertise my quilting class at the Autumn Festival held at the Veterens Memorial Senior Center where I teach. It was an Open House event held on Saturday. They had about 25 boutique vendor booths, food, and various types of entertainment. The Center asked its instructors if they wanted to have a booth to advertise their classes. Barbara Hall, who teaches the quilting class on Monday afternoons, and I decided to split our time at the event with a "booth" showcasing some of our class projects. We handed about quite a few flyers and it looks like we will be getting some new students in January. I was a little surprised at how interested some people were in taking the classes. I snapped a picture of Barbara in the booth before I took over my shift. It was a pleasant day and I got to talk to a lot of very nice people.

On another note, our table was across from the Watercolor instructor, Guy Magallanes. What an amazing talent he is! He has a sparkling personality and huge talent. I hear that his class is very popular and is always very full. Check out his website if you have time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Art of Art

Lance and I had quite a discussion recently about what "is" and what "isn't" art. Or rather, what is one person's art versus another person's art. I won't get into the issue right here and now, but I wanted to share something with everyone. Now THIS, I consider art. Click on some of the pictures for a closer look.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The first rule of quilt club...

I can't imagine that there are many people out there who are quilters AND have seen the movie "Fight Club". The two things would seem mutually exclusive, but there are a few of us out there... The movie is a bit brutal, but it has one of those great twists at the end that make you think back through the whole movie and evaluate it in a completely different way. Anyhow, for those three or four quilters in the world who HAVE seen the movie, here is a link to an article from "The Onion" that you MUST read. Very nicely done.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PIQF 2006

We went to the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) over the weekend. Awesome. I look forward to it every year. People travel a long way to attend and I am very fortunate to have it right in my backyard. I took lots of pictures and Lance put them into a photo show for me. Let's see if the link works: PIQF2006

I tend to take mostly pictures of the more "arty" quilts. I tried to take some of the stunning traditional quilts as well this time. Unfortunately, a lot of the detail work (quilt stitches, small applique, etc.) just doesn't come out in the pictures.

Now I'm inspired all over again!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Love them boys!

I went to see my sister and nephews this weekend. They are getting so big! (the boys, not my sister) Jackson will be 5 in January and Maxwell will be 2 in December. Time really flies.

There was lots of playing in mud and picking up worms. A great time was had by all!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Awesome Weekend

Lance and I took a tour of some of the Santa Cruz Mountains wineries over the weekend as a getaway for our anniversary. The entire weekend was absolutely fabulous. Good wine, good food, good weather, and of course, good company. It was a great mini vacation without having to leave the bay area. I got to visit Natural Expressions, a beading and fabric store in downtown Los Gatos, too. They have TONS of fabric, but I think they could use some of their open space more effectively to display the fabric they have. Definitely a place to go if you are in the area.

We also visited our newest favorite winery, Burrell School. Every wine there is a winner, and not overly expensive. If you happen to see this wine for sale anywhere, I would strongly suggest you pick up a bottle.

Now I'm enjoying a day of relaxation off work and then to class tonight. What a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Why didn't someone remind me??

I missed annual Talk Like A Pirate Day! It was yesterday. Think of all the fun. The the eye patches, the rum swilling, the bad "Arrgh" puns. I'm marking next year's calendar right now.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Oh Bear

I talked to Bear and told him that his adoring fans were requesting more pictures of him.

This is the response that I got.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Other Words...

I have recently been hearing new terminology for our usual quilty lingo. I might have to start using some of these:

The Fabric Stash
* Fabric Inventory
* Fabric Pallette
* Enviable Collection

as in, "I must rummage through my Enviable Collection to find just the right print", or "I'm sure that I have Biker Frogs somewhere in my Fabric Inventory".

Ripping Seams
* Un-Sewing
* Reverse Sewing
* Deconstruction
* Frog Stitching (or Doing The Frog Stitch)

I have been hearing about Frog stitching for a while now (knowledge of which even won me a prize recently!!). When you need to take out a line of stitching, you need to "Rippit, rippit, rippit". Corny, but cute.

Any others I missed?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ami Simms

Those who know me are aware that I am a big fan of Ami Simms. She is a quilt teacher, fabric designer, book author, and is the founder of the World's Worst Quilt in the World contest (yes, I said WORST). She was named 2005 Teacher of the Year. By the way, as she says on her website "Ami rhymes with salami, but I'll answer to any lunchmeat". This is exactly why I like her so much -- she has the greatest sense of humor! What's more, she has been able to maintain her humorous and bright outlook on things despite some of life's hardships. As she has written in her newsletters, she has had to put her mother in an Alzheimer's care facility when she could no longer care for her at home. She has turned this experience into a positive thing by creating the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative to raise awareness as well as money for Alzheimer's research (see link to the right of this page). By creating a travelling show of Art Quilts interpreting Alzheimer's and also having monthly small quilt auctions, she has raised over $10,000 since January. I read in her current newsletter that 407 small quilts have been made so far for the auctions. I am abosultely amazed and pleased because I donated a quilt to this cause earlier this year (auctioned for $65!!!) and it was number 29!

I encourage everyone to visit her website and also to sign up for her newsletter. She talks a lot about the Alheimer's project, but she has lots of other interesting and funny things there as well. On her website she has a page for pictures of funny signs and another of pictures of tiled floors that would make great quilt patterns. This month in her newsletter there is even a message from her dog, Madison.

Anyway, enough praising one of my favorite people. Now I'm off to a quilt show!!! Yay!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Marin Quilt Show

Anyone going to the quilt show in Marin this weekend? We weren't going to go because we heard it had changed. It is no longer put on by the quilt and needlework guilds, now it is that company that puts on the big sewing expos. However, I heard that they will still be showing quilts along with all of the vendors, so we are giving it a try. It's a long way to go, so I hope we are not disappointed. If anyone is going, you can print out a coupon from their website.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sneak Peek

I have finished one of the projects for class and you are getting a sneak peek of it here! (Why do bindings have to be so tedious?) The design is not difficult at all. Just a simple paper pieced tulip block made many times and turned this way and that. Easy to make and have done for the holidays this year! I was able to machine quilt in the ditch all of the way around the inside and outside of the wreath, as well as along the inner border. It's hard to see here, but there is a very narrow flange of dark green fabric between the center and the border. I wanted to hand quilt a simple cross-hatch in the background, but ran out of time. It turned out flat enought that I can still do that later.

I can't wait for class to start. I've been very uninspired of late. I need the creative energy of the others to get me going again! Besides, who wants to sew in the heat???

Remember, preview night is Monday, September 11, 2006 at 6:00!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Real Women Quilt

I just read this tip from one of my favorite web sites (and an on-line shop), Real Women Quilt. A woman wrote in to say that she belongs to a block-of-the-month club where she only gets just enough fabric to complete the block (with no errors). Hmmm. Sounds familiar. Anyway, she first makes a sample of the block using her own Christmas fabrics. When she is sure that she knows how it goes together properly, she makes it using the given fabrics. Good idea! Then when the series is completed, she has enough blocks for a Christmas quilt too.

RWQ is a great website with all kinds of articles and features. You can get a monthly (and now also a weekly) newsletter full of new things and lots of humor. Check it out if you have time!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Applique Cats Block 2

And here is the second block!

Applique Cats Block 1

Look at me, I can applique! I've always admired fine needle-turn applique. I've seen some absolutely beautiful quilts done this way. Unfortunately, I can't do it. I have tried several times over my quilting life, but I just can't get the hang of it. Now I finally found a technique that works for me. It is the process of painting a line of liquid starch along the edge of the seam allowance and ironing it over the freezer-paper template. Then with all of the edges turned under (and staying that way), it is a matter of stitching the pieces to the background. It works perfectly for me.

I fell in love with this applique block-of-the-month program on line at called Temple Guardians. So far it's coming out great. The really neat part about their program is that each month along with the pattern and fabric, you also receive a chapter of a story about the cats. When the quilt is complete, you will also have the complete story! Above is the first block that I finished a couple of months ago.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Well it looks like we are not going on one of our famed road trip vacations this year. Which got me reminiscing about last year's trip to Oregon. It was a very leisurely trip up Northern California, into and across Southern Oregon and back down California home. One of the highlights for me was seeing Twelfth Night at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Later we stayed in a sort of cabin in Klamath, and as we were leaving the area, I spotted this sign on the road. I insisted we take a picture. Quilters are the greatest!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

You Go Girl!

I've been holding on to this article for about a month now. In it is an unexpected appearance by a well known quilter. If you are not interested in reading the entire article, jump down to the last three paragraphs for the most interesting part.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One a day, that's all we ask

Judy, over at one of my favorite blogs, Sunshine Quilts, has put together a little informal program to encourage everyone to sew for an hour a day. She made a churn dash quilt and broke up the directions into easy one hour segments. Today she's on Hour 2. What an awesome idea!! I would be right in there making the project with her, except that I'm already sewing every day to finish up the samples for class along with three baby quilts. Ladies, please, stop with the babies already!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

No Worries

Okay, after a brief scare over the weekend, I have worked out all of the details for the Fall Quilting Class at the Veterens Memorial Senior Center. I was taken by surprise when I got the Redwood City class catalogue on Saturday, and the class was not listed! I got in touch with the new coordinator first thing this morning and got it all straightened out. The preview will be on Monday, September 11, 2006 at 6:00. The class will begin the following week on Monday, September 18, and will run for 9 weeks. Those people who have taken the class before will be getting a notice in the mail (snail mail!) with these dates as well. I've got lots of fun things planned, so be sure to stop by!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bear Sandypaws

Here is the other man in my life. We have been together for about 11 years now, and he is very dear to me. I thought I'd introduce him because he will undoubtedly be making many appearances here. He likes quilting, feet, and the cat next door. His favorite part of quilting is rearranging my blocks before they are sewn together (much to my dismay). His foot fetish is a little strange. Let's just say that he'd much rather be pet with your foot than your hand. And the cute orange cat next door is the only one that he doesn't hiss at, so it must be love...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

And now entering the stage....

Hey look, it's my first actual blog post. This is exciting. It's difficult to type what with all of the streamers and champagne corks popping. Okay so it's dust bunnies and Diet Coke. What can I say?

I've been inspired by all of the other Quilt blogs that I read everyday to go out and start one of my own. Now this may not seem like a big thing to some, but this is a big step forward for me. I just started teaching a quilting class less than a year ago and I've come a long way in that time. And I'm loving every minute of it.

Pop in when you can and join the rest of us monkies. We might just come up with Othello one of these days...

Thanks for visiting! Blog at you soon!