Saturday, October 18, 2008

Back County Quilt Show (Day 2)

Back at 9:00 A.M. to setup for another day at our quilt show. It looks like it will be another hot day, near 90 degress. We had a very busy day yesterday and it looks to be the same today.

Tracy is setting up her antique
quilts in her booth. She is
planning to run a special
$10.00 off her antique
quilt tops. I might have
to check that out.

Maria was demonstrating yoyo making in the Sewing Circle. She was working on a Yoyo Sisterhood project. Now that looks like fun.

Somehow we found out that it was Ida's birthday. She was having a great birthday.

LeeMary, one of the quilt show co-chairs was helping out with the door prize drawing. We had so many wonderful donations for local merchants for our hourly door prize drawings.

Dianne was busy with wool
work. The colors are
so vibrant.

My quilt, Kansas City Shop Hop, came to pass when I found this quilt top during shop hop with some friends in Kansas City. They bought yardage and fat quarters. I bought a finished quilt top and quilted it with Circle Lord 7 Temples pattern board.

My friend Christi had a quilt named American Dream in the show. It took her most of a year to finish and ended up calling it American Nightmare. Christi hung the quilt in her 5th grade classroom.

Jean was the chairperson for the 2008 Opportunity Quilt. Here she is demonstrating some needle work in the Sewing Circle.
The Opportunity Quilt was named Snails in the Pond. The blocks and applique were done by many quilters in our group. I was fortunate to be able to quilt this beauty. I quilted ghost koi, lily pads, pampas grass, and dragonflies. I added svaroski crystals (ala Claudia Pfeil) rising up like bubbles from the koi. I used a variety of thread colors. Since the quilt had many small (1") pieces, it was important to make sure that the seams were all stitched down. The classes I took at MQS 2008 were a real inspiration for some of my quilting. I used Quilter's Dream cotton deluxe weight.

Well, I finally succumbed to the lure of antique quilts and bought this beauty from Tracy. Ellie and Tracy are examining the quilt. It was pieced in 1920 and still has the quilting lines on it. Of course, those lines will not come out. It is my hope to quilt over the stamped pattern. This is my first antique quilt.

I had a 2-color batik quilt hanging in my booth that was pieced by Lorna. She has an HQ-16 machie but asked me to quilt it because it needed lots of ruler work. She had attended an Eleanor Burns class at Quilt in a Day. When she took the finished quilt back to the last class, Eleanor told her that she would put her quilt in the book coming out in Spring 2009. The quilt is called Night and Day. I think the quilt is beautiful, two colors are always eye-catching. At 4:00 PM, just as the quilt show was drawing to an end, Eleanor arrived at the show. She came right to my booth, probably recognized her pattern from across the hall. I asked if I could get a photo of her standing by the quilt. She had a better idea and had a friend snap the photo of me with Eleanor. Yeah, it was great. She really is a wonderful person.

The Opportunity Quilt was won by a bachelor who bought $20 worth of tickets. I know, because I sold those tickets to Lyle. We also had a drawing for a Singer Featherwieght won by a nice lady in Julian named Orva.
The 4-Co-chairs of the Quilt show, ( Debbie, Linda, Brenda and LeeMary) were presented a bouquet of roses. It was a great show. Ok, now let's get busy breaking down the show and see you next year.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Back Country Quilt Show in Ramona

After much excitement, haul, prep, and setup the night before, the doors opened at Mountain View Community Church at 10 A.M. sharp for Ramona's 9th annual quilt show. We had over 130 quilts on display this year. We had quilts that had been hand-quilted, home machine quilted, longarm quilted and computer-guided longarm quilted.

One of my friends, Brenda, is
one of this years Quilt Show
Chairmen. She was having
too much fun driving my

Get back to work, Brenda.
Give away some door prizes.

We had so many wonderful
door prizes donated for
the hourly drawings. Each
vendor donated an item
and Tracy, the first President of the Back Country Quilters, rounded up some very cool prizes including ColdStone Ice Cream gift certificates.

We also had some vendors and the Women's Fellowship from the Mountain View served a tasty variety of treats from brownies, to hot dogs, and Myrl's famous Taco Soup (yummy).

The CraZy 9 Patch had a big booth loaded up with kits and quilts. The C9P is Ramona's Premier Quilt Shop. See them on the web at Martha (on the left) is the owner and Heidi is an indentured servant at the shop.

Susie, a Statler Stitcher quilter,
also had her latest invention. It
is a wide folding ironing board
topper that fits right over your
standard ironing board.
Susie's husband, a carpenter
by trade, built the frames and
Susie constructed the cover
using Thinsulate from Warm Co.
and Teflon coated fabric top.
You can see that at

I think we had more folks this year than I have seen in years past. I had a booth again this year. This time instead of promoting myself, I wanted to include all longarm quilters. We have 8 longarmers in Ramona, 2 computer guided and 6 hand-guided, all with Gammill. We had a special section marked "got Quilt?" where we set up business cards, brochures and samples. I also extended an invitiation to Robin, an APQS machine quilter from nearby Vista. Her web-site is

I also let some of my friends take
a spin on my machine. Whatever
you do, don't tell my husband.

I put together a PowerPoint slide show of quilts that I have done this year and had that running all day. It was a hit. People love to see their own as well as other folks quilts.

Susan Baker a National Quilt
Teacher came down from San
Bernandino for the show.
Her classes at the
Crazy 9 Patch are wonderful;
so many tips and tricks.
Look for her new pattern
and class at Road to
California 2009.

We had a Sewing Circle, debuted
last by Eanne, at the front of the
show. Mema and Sally were

Penny was doing bobbin lace. Eanne had already done some
tatting lace but I missed getting her photo.

My friend, Christi, brought
her spinning wheel to demo
the yarn-making process.
It was a hit, she was
surrounded by people
all day.

All in all, it was a good first day. My feet hurt. Duh. I was doing freemotion demo's all day.

It was wonderful of the Quilted Rose to loan me the demo table again this year. My machine head fit on just nicely. I had a glitch. My stitch regulator did not work. PANIC. I have not done freehand feathers that looked anything close to good. But today I did. My stitch length was a bit off but I think it looked great. Robin was there and she did some wonderful freehand without the stitch regulator. I got Barbara away from the class she was teaching at the Quilted Rose and she talked me through some things and Voila! I was regulated in no time. I think that I need to get back to doing non-regulated stitching more frequently, it was so fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Homecoming Friday in Ramona

Ramona is a small town northeast of San Diego. Like so many small towns, we have only one high school and Homecoming is a big deal. The Ramona Bulldogs Varsity is undefeated (6 games). They close off Main St so folks can bring their lawn chairs and set up on the curb and cheer for the float of their choice. And of course, there is the high school marching band, cheer and flag marchers, Rodeo queen and Little Miss, a fire truck lights flashing and horns blasting for the kids and the Homecoming queen and princesses with their escorts all in convertible cars. Since Main Street is also 4-lane Highway 78, the floats go down one side of the street 8 blocks, circle back and come back up the other side.

I remember a long ago Homecoming at Bel Air High School in El Paso, Texas. Most of the girls wore those big white mums with long blue ribbon streamers on their coats at the football game. I was in the Marching band and we were not allowed such frivolities. But I remember the fun of Homecoming weekend, the fall snap in the air and the promise of another year. So the marching band going up the street playing Louie, Louie took me back 40 years. It was a nice flashback. Would I go back if I could. No way, I jsut barely made it out of high school without going crazy.

Don't Look At Your 401k

We get up pretty early, well, early to me, anyway, about 4:15 AM to get ready for our 47-mile drive to work. CNN on in the background, I am pretty much bleary-eyed during the morning ablutions. It's a good day when I arrive at work with matching socks. I heard CNN Business anchor, Jennifer Westhoven, say something about this not being a good time to look at your 401k. So of course, what did I do?

Yeah, I can see why people get scared about the economy. I am pretty well set for retirement with a military pension so when I turned 59 and a half I started to tap into my 401k. It's almost empty now. Yeah, the taxes are nasty but I don't figure to live long enough to feel the bite and resort to eating catfood.

So I had wood floors installed in the house, bought my big new Gammill quilting machine and assorted other goodies. Then when we started seeing so many foreclosures, I pulled out $25k from my 401k to sit in my savings account in case my son found a "perfect" foreclosure that he wanted. So the money has been sitting in savings vice multiplying in my 401k. I continued to add money to the 401k thru my work but it was only $5k the last time I looked on 30 September.

So I logged on and looked at my 401k and it has lost $976 in about 2 weeks. I'm not going to panic and pull that money out, the stock will go back up so I will sit it out. The $976 does not sound like much until you realize that if I had left that $25,000 in my 401k, I would have lost about $6,000 in that 2 week span. Gosh, I would have had more fun taking that money to Las Vegas.

I know that the economy will get better. As soon as we have a new guy in the oval office, everybody will settle down, get back to work and we will start to rebuild. I don't think it matters who will be sitting in the chair in the oval office. We just need to make the change and move forward.

So my advice to you is.....don't look at your 401k, it is too depressing.

Leanne's Heirloom Sue's

I met Leeanne in the local quilt shop, The Crazy 9 Patch. She had some cross-stitch blocks of Sun Bonnet Sue that her Aunt made many years ago. The aunt has since passed away. The old Sue's still had remnants of the blue ink, faded but still visible, where her aunt had not stitched over that part of the pattern.

Leanne decided to assemple the blocks, along with some new sashing and border fabric into a quilt. She plans to give the quilt to her niece since the Sue's were stitched by her mother. Leanne had originally planned to quilt it herself but decided to let me do some simple stipple on it. I also outlined the Sues and stitched in some flowers and other accents. I bet the niece will treasure it like the family heirloom that it is.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later meets Irony

Ramona has a quilt show this coming week-end. Barbara Vanice, the local Gammill dealer at The Quilted Rose, will be loaning me one of her demo tables for my longarm quilting promotion booth at the quilt show. We did the same thing last year but my friend, Cheryl, and her husband (a truck-owner) were responsible for getting the table from San Diego to Ramona. No small feat, it is about 37 miles away and weighs a metric butt-ton.

Get in the time machine and go back in time to 2002: I decided to buy a comfortable SUV or truck when I moved to the country. My thinking was that since I have to cummute 100 miles a day, I'm not going to squeeze myself into some lawnmover propelled phonebooth. This was going to be my car so I got to choose. I took my husband and son (21 at the time) along for all that mechanical questioning stuff that I did not want to get involved in. As I stepped out of my car, I saw a shiny green Chevy Silverado club cab across the lot. It was love at first sight. I told my husband, "You can talk to the salesman and ask all those car-type questions but I am driving this truck home tonight." It was two years old. I'm too cheap to buy a new car. I loved that truck for 3 and a half years and loved it even more when I paid it off early.

Ok, back in the time machine and set it for February 2007: My son, a journeyman plumber doing construction plumbing, gets a new job. Carrying his tools of the trade around in his mustang was getting a bit tough, especially when their 2nd son was born. Car seats take up lots of room. I decided to give him my truck and buy myself a Chevy Trailblazer. He loves that truck.

Back in the time machine and go to a week ago: I called the rent-a-truck places and was astounded to learn that it was going to cost me $29 a day and 69 cents a mile to rent a truck to move that quilt demo table. Are you kidding me?
Here is the math: $29 X 4 = $120 and .69 X 100 = $69.00 So about $190 to rent a silly truck for the weekend. Hmmm, maybe I could borrow my son's (my) truck for the weekend.

Two days ago: We did the trade, my 2006 Trail Blazer for his (was mine) Silverado. We did this trade in the dark at his job-site at 5:45 a.m. As soon as I sat in it, I noticed that it felt lower than I remembered. After a block of driving it, I was car sick from bouncing around in a vehicle that needs shocks so badly. 3 kids (yes, he has a daughter now, too) are more important than shocks for his truck. Well, I agree with that. They are, afterall, my grandchildren. But back to my truck. I knew without looking that it would need gas so stopped to get gas. Some things never change no matter how much they grow up. Working construction frequently requires driving on unpaved job sites. Under the harsh lights at the gas station, I could see that my green beauty was dusty and dirty. So sad. The more I looked at the truck, the more reality set in. $190 to rent a truck was cheap compared to what it was going to cost me to replace those shocks ($770).

Here I was trying to save some money and ended up spending more. Pay me now or pay me later. The only good thing about it is that now they will be riding around in a more comfortable truck. And I also learned that I clearly still have issues about gift-giving.

Quilting Designs with Helen Squire

OK, I have to admit that I did not expect to get anything from this class going in. My guild, Friendship Quilters of San Diego usually schedules monthly workshops with our guest speakers on weekdays....when the rest of the planet, myself included, are working. So when I heard that the guild had booked a speaker workshop for a Sunday, I figured that since I am one of the biggest whiners about weekday workshops, I had better get to that workshop.

What a pleasant surprise. Helen Squire (of Ask Helen! fame) was a total hit with me. She has seen it all. For over 2 decades she responded to quilting questions as a columnist and went on to work for AQS and the American Quilter magazine. Besides being knowledgeable, she has some wonderful stories about quilting accidents that had me laughing out loud. Her CDs and books have hundreds of patterns and she showed us how to fold them to make new patterns. Great stuff.

We were encouraged to bring quilt tops to class so we could assess them. It was great to hear her experiences and view the quilts with a new set of eyes. "Look at the quilt and tell me what is most important?". It wasn't always the obvious answer.

An altogether educating and enjoyable class. Her newest book comes out during Houston Quilt Market next week and you can be sure that I will be buying Quilting UFOs with Helen.

Surf's Up Laguna Beach 15 feet !

When I was 17, I spent two exciting weeks one summer visiting my cousins who lived in Orange County, California. It was my first time seeing the ocean and it was amazing for this girl raised in west Texas to behold the Pacific. Wow. I still have fond memories of that trip. Besides the requisite trip to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, we drove to the beach. There was an old bearded hippie standing on Pacific Coast Highway waving at everybody. My cousin called him the Laguna Beach Greeter. You can get more history on the Greeter from this web-site.

In addition to getting the sunburn of my life on the cloudy beach, I fell in love with the California beach community. The laid back lifestyle, all those palm trees and all those baggy-shorted long-haired surfer boys were just the coolest thing in the world in my innocnet eyes. I couldn't wait to get back to dusty old Texas and regale them with stories of what I saw and my new motto "Surf's Up Laguna Beach - 15 feet". Well, decades later, I moved to California and renewed my love affair with California Beaches. I love all things "beachy".

So when this surfboards quilt landed in the local quilt shop, it was my prize to quilt. Desiree, a San Diego peace officer (yes, cop) made it for her husband, a surfer dude. There were 5 surfboards appliqued on with 4 different colors of water. The back was batik blues and greens with some yellow.

I quilted tranquil water, wavy water and it here and there frothy water. 6 differnent colors of thread for the water and the surfboards. I used Laguna panto (by Jodi Beamish) for the border, appropriate, don't you think? And for the corner pieces, I used a piece of a tropical leaf from the Rotorua panto by one of my favorite designers, Hermione Agee. I SID'd the border. All in all, way too much work for what I was going to get paid but I was happy with it. I hope Desiree and more importantly, her surfer-boy husband, likes it.

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks