Saturday, December 31, 2011


The thing that boosts my creativity is laying in bed at night with a drawing pad and crayons (yes, as in crayola!) and just letting things roll out.

I mostly use crayons because it reflects my art...basic, simple.

Kindergarden level in my mind.
Because of the crayons I can convince myself that I’m going back to a mental state where I didn't care what it looked like in the end.  It all looked like great art to me. No room for criticism. 
And the delicious smell of crayons; like the smell of lumber, or fresh cut grass (After the gases of the lawn mower blow away!).
And journaling about start writing notes on one idea as you go along and then a bunch more ideas start bubbling up.

Tis' bliss!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Yes, quilling.  Not quilting.
I want to try a little bit of it so for Christmas I put some of the tools and a few kits on my Wish List.
This is my first attempt using the instructions that came with the tools.
They are tiny.
I also got a kit of beautiful flowers but mostly I want to do the snow flake kit.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All about Isaac

My favorite nephew Isaac has gotten into some bad habits lately. 
He can't seem to get up before 3 pm.
It's apparent that he likes to sleep on his knuckles.
But when he did get up, he made Christmas Dinner! 
Can you believe it? 
He said he wanted to do it! 
Well then, let's take out double the ingredients so he can make 2 meals for us! 
So here he is, hard at work mixing Grandma's meatballs.
He also put together and baked the Scalloped Corn, and peeled and mashed the potatoes! 
Below is my plate, a normal persons plate...except the meatballs and gravy were passed before the mashed potatoes, so my mashed potatoes are actually on top of the gravy.

But Isaac preferred his mashed potatoes, gravy, meatballs and scalloped corn to be mashed up in one big heap. 
The green beans on the side were added to Isaac's plate by Eric AS he asked Isaac "Do you want green beans?"
Isaac custom made this beautiful train display box for his Grandpa. 
It is so freakin' gorgeous!
Did I tell you I love my nephew? 
He is such a fantastic kid and growing into a generous, thoughtful young man.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas in the Cave

Last night Cave Woman had their Christmas Potluck.  It was such a lovely evening.  Good food and lots of laughter.  I need Sarah to give me the recipe for the India Rice she made...or whatever it was called, is was perfection.
I thought of showing the postcards I've received in my recent trades from Postmark'dArt but I forgot to bring them.  And I remembered to throw my camera in my purse but forgot to take pictures! 

Sharon had her cave perfectly decorated for Christmas, with the little tree in the corner and all her fantastic works of art hanging on the wall like it's a Cave Art Gallery. 
Hey, that's kinda funny, her 'cave art', only not quite prehistoric.     Yet.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pet Pillow Projects Performance Progresses Prolifically

Pet beds.  Center black pillow is a kitten pillow with my machine quilting pattern Sunrise.
It drives me nuts when I turn a mole hill into a mountain.
When Edith Dalleska said she wanted pet pillows to raise money for animals she proposed that we ('we' being all those with in ear shot) sew two hunks of any fabric together, leaving one end open like a pillowcase, and as we're doing all our quilting, we're just throwing all our threads and little fabric scraps into them and when it's full, sew it shut and we have a pet pillow!
How easy is that?
Sharon Englund is making hers out of scraps of polar fleece and actually has a small (clean!) trash can that she puts the pillow 'case' in as if it was a trash liner.  Then all her threads and scraps go in there and when it's full she sews hers shut and puts in a new 'liner' for the next pillow.
I already had lots of chunks of fabric that I used to practice machine quilting on.  It wasn't a big deal to sew them together and do the same thing.
Then I started looking for scrap fabric to sew together so I could sandwich it to practice machine quilting on just so I could make it into a pet bed.
Then I started looking for old panels, cheaters, and left over blocks and kept going.
Where did my regular projects go?
I don't know.
Now I'm all of empty pet beds.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Green Egg and Ham

We're getting eggs from a neighbor.  All different colors.
Dr. Suess, eat your heart out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Binding Quilts

A woman generously donated a huge amount of quilting fabric,kits, notions and some UFO's that belonged to her deceased Mother.
Some little UFO's only had a little left to do so Doris and I took them home to finish up and then they can be sold at the MQ Small Quilt Auction next summer.
I added the binding to the little appliqued heart and the Christmas table runner.
 All the items belonged to her Mother, Eleanor Eggan.

Christmas table runner, 44" long

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Potential Postcard Problem Predicts Potentially Poor Postal Performance

I tried taking a few more pictures to get the image without the shine of the flash.  This lamp I used is fluorescent, producing the white background of the postcard as yellow-ish.

I experimented with not wrapping the binding around the edge of one card. The left one is folded over the edge.  In the right postcard I cut the bells canvas slightly smaller than the written side, and used the "binding" to cover > 1/8" of the canvas piece and also be flat on > 1/8" the back of the written side (which is cardstock this time).  You can almost see the ridge from the edge of the bells canvas. 
I was going to test this card in the USPS by mailing it with an actual postcard stamp of .29 cents, but even in the picture you can see that to the right of the corner the postcard gets a little thick where there are several layers of fused fabric and a few layers of tulle.  That little area is more than 1/16" thick and following postal regulations it wouldn't fly.  IF I can find a hammer this morning, and IF I can pound it down to 1/16" I'll test putting a postcard stamp on it, drop it in the mailbox and see what happens.  It's going to Maureen Egan in Massachusettes.  If she ends up paying more I'm going to spend .44 cents mailing her an envelope with another .44 cent stamp in it to pay her back!  A potential .88 cents loss to test saving .15 cents.  The hardships of an artists life!

First-Class Mail® Postcards
Maximum size: 6 inches long by 4-1/4 inches high by .016 inch thick
First-Class Mail® Large Postcards
Maximum size: 11-1/2 inches long by 6-1/8 inches high by 1/4 inch thick

All the other cards are just a smidge less than 1/8" thick so I'll put .44 cents on them, but the reason they're not as thick as all my other cards is because of the cardstock I used for the written side.  Normally it would be Timetex or Peltex inbetween and fabric on both sides, but the cardstock doesn't require more stiffener.

Two of the cards I used a vellum for the paper.  This did not work as well.  I used a thin line of glue around the edge of the postcard to hold the vellum in place while adding the fused binding.  Then ironed the binding on.  This ever so slightly shrank!  The postcard is slightly bowed.  It's going in the mail anyhow.
Off to the postoffice for stamps!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jingle Bell Postcards

I finished my cards for the Postmark'dArt trade.  I'm not really happy with how they turned out because I had something totally different in mind when I started them.  They have a layer of tulle over them, so the camera flash makes that shine in the picture.
They all have paper or cardstock on the written side.  Except for one they all have fused fabric for binding.
If you want to trade fiber postcards you can inquire about it at

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inside corners

I'm doing another binding for someone.  It has inside corners, how's it look?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ho Ho Ho?

My projects are coming along, slowly but surely. 

I'm in another trade with Postmark'd Art...the deadline was last Monday!  I don't totally feel terrible about being late since I haven't received all my cards from the others. 
I may be tardy all the time but all my traders get a postcard no matter what. 
One time life wasn't all peaches and cream.  I don't know why I use that to refer to life not being good, because I don't like peaches or cream.  I should say "One time life WAS all peaches and cream".   
I was in a stressed out mood and all my postcards were mailed, but they were ugly. 
Art always reflects what going on inside you.
These are 3 pieces of the puzzle.  I have to make many more for my postcards.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hell froze over

The quilt sits like this in my sewing machine so that when I have time, I pick up right where I left off.

IF in the future I comment that my job can get monotonous I do not want you to remind me of what I am about to say:  I can hardly stand waiting until everything at work is settled and working smoothly!  I thought all would feel a bit more like getting into a routine after we FINALLY got internet and phone working Friday the 21st.  (I guess it's been a while since I've said "Comcast Sucks!", so Comcast had to remind me). 

Doris ran out of ink on her printer.  And not that I monitor that, but I do need to pay attention to how many extras she has and at least order some when she's on the last one.  But it's my fault that our shared printer is out of toner...that darn "you're almost out of toner" warning starts so early that I kind of get used to seeing it and therefore ignore it.  Kind of like when a bill comes so early that you want to wait to pay it and after a while it just becomes a piece of furniture and you don't notice it anymore. 
And I never take the cartridge out before it's actually empty...I'm using it until every last drop, or in this case, every last granual of powder is out.  Of course, if intelligence reigned, I'd have ordered the new cartridge when the warning came on.  But no such luck. 
This is where I spill the beans on a well kept secret... "I went to Open School".

But the real crux of the matter, the nitty-gritty, the meat and potatoes of the situation is that there is no heat in the building that the office is in!  The person who runs it doesn't want to turn it on and gives a different excuse for doing so any day you ask him.  This said building is a religious institution, run by religious people, so in my heart there is a little extra twist of the knife associated with the casual deceit in excuses.

It's 60 degrees in the office and with the body heat of Doris and I and a space heater, after about 4 hours it's 63 degrees.  Yahoo.
We both wear our coats the entire day.  And at 60 degrees, if I'm typing or using the mouse I wear gloves!
Both Doris and I percolate a little hotter than most people and we both prefer a cool room.  I would say that I'm getting a little education in how the cold people feel, but you know when it gets hot in there again I'll go right back to complaining and be void of sympathy. 
There are laws in the State of Minnesota for a workplace that would reverse this situation, but they don't apply to religious institutions.
And that probably explains why there is no smoke detector or sprinkler system in my office.

If I get fired for this verbal observation made public to the 3 people that read my blog I'll have lots of time to finish that binding.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bought fabric for the binding on the quilt without bringing the quilt...
now I have to go buy more fabric for the binding.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cave Women Quilting Group

Ok, let's just drop the 'Cave' part and call us what we obviously are: WILD Women.
Tonight's meeting of "____Women" was absolutely hilarious!
Yesterday Wanda turned 60, today Teresa turned 59, and Saturday Edith turns 70.
It was time to celebrate.  Or maybe this little morsel of life should be called "Par-Taaay"
Hey Teresa, this is the last year of your 50's for the rest of your life!  You'll never be in your 50's again!  Unless you start adding fractions...59 and 13/12ths.

Over half of them were gypsy's.  Skirts, scarves, bead necklaces every where! 
Scarves around their heads or scarves around their necks or scarves around their waists or scarves around their hips.  Edith was wearing a Dolly Parton wig!  And most of them ended up getting tattooed.  (This is an inner city quilt group, it can get rough)
When Sharon (who was swishing her skirt and showing off her socks) was asked if she had her tie-dye underwear on and she wouldn't tell us, Wanda said that just proves that Sharon wasn't wearing any underwear because Sharon always shows off her underwear.  I didn't bring up the "Betty" thing, but I'm sure Sharon dyed hers rainbow colored.

Now wait just one cotton-pickin' minute, just what kind of 'quilting group' is this?

We were told to bring 'fortunes' written on little pieces of paper.
First Peg passed around a box of fortune cookies and after those started getting opened and read all the fortunes had to have "in bed." added to the ends.
Then our individual fortunes were read and when they were written I don't think anybody had the ending "in bed" in mind.  Some were written specifically for the birthday girls.

Teresa went to a fortune teller and asked what her future would be.
The fortune teller said she had bad news.  Teresa would become a widow because her husband would soon die a horrible death.
Teresa looked shocked, thought for a moment and then asked the fortune teller:
"Will I be acquitted?"

Ok, so it's not actually a 'fortune', it's just a joke.  Hopefully that won't actually happen or the person who brought the joke would feel horrible.  Who ever they are.
And Show n Tell...if you could get a word in edge-wise you could have shown what you're working on.
Hard to believe there wasn't even wine served tonight.  But they sure drank tea like there was no tomorrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Christmas Quilts

This is a Christmas quilt for my cousins, Tom Ouradnik and his wife Ann.
Feels like eons ago that I asked my family to wrap their Christmas gifts in fabric and then I collected the fabrics and drew a name from those who participated and the winner was to get something I made from the fabric.
Even when we were doing it I was years behind on these gifts.  We don't exchange gifts any more, but I still have more quilts to finish!
I'll probably be done with the machine quilting today and then start on the binding.
After I finished one, I would add all the leftover fabric to the fabric from the following year.  I've made a few quilts, a pillow I think, some wall-hangings and a 25' Yo-Yo Garland which only goes around my Aunt Joans tree 2 and a half times!
Two of the quilts I hand quilted, but if Tom and Ann wanted a hand-quilted quilt, they would have to wait another 25 years for it!  I machine quilted it on the Bernina in the picture.  Nothing like spending most of your quilting time punching the quilt through the opening of the machine!  I did that for 3 days at the MCQ quilt retreat at Camp Wapo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My "Twin Cities on the Bias" piece is on the Textile Center Gallery Page!

What a fun little thing!  The MCQ "Twin Cities on the Bias" Challenge is still touring and is currently at the Textile Center hanging in the Library Gallery.
My piece is on the webpage where it announces the Library Gallery Exhibits.
Textile Center Gallery Page

Monday, October 10, 2011

As always a creative, relaxing beautiful time on the Quilt Retreat

At a dead stop a mile from the Stillwater Lift Bridge

Perusing a magazine

Managing slippery conditions

Creativity flowing from the mind through the pen

Holding on for dear life

Busy Hands...

The light is on, but nobody is home.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Camp Wapo, here I come!

Tomorrow after work I'm leaving for Camp Wapo for a fantastic weekend with my fellow Contemporary Quilters.  Hopefully when I come back I'll have new pictures of quilters hands.

Tonight was the first Minnesota Quilters meeting at the new location.  Everyone's first reaction is how great the parking is, but hopefully they go home with more than that! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finished another quilt binding for hire.

This one is a huge quilt and took me quite a while.
And I'm very happy that I got my camera fixed, so now I can go back to being bezerk with picture taking.
The cool weather is here and has improved my mood.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another binding done!

I was hired to do another binding on a wallhanging.
And it's done!  Hurray!
I would have gotten it done 2 days ago, but 2 days this week I came home from work and I didn't have enough mental energy to pet the cat!
I usually hand stitch that corner miter fold closed on both sides.  I've noticed that you can really tell when I sew it down because the thread alters that nice fold line.  So this one I didn't stitch the front, only the back.
Maybe I need to start collecting silk thread for stitching the miters.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teach yourself Facebook in 10 minutes.

Sams Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 Minutes (2nd Edition) (Sams Teach Yourself -- Minutes)
I've been working on the Facebook Group and Page for Minnesota Quilters.
But what I want to know is how does a 200 page book teach you facebook in 10 minutes?
Guess I'll have to read really fast because it's not a picture book.

Tried Nancy Birgers binding technique

 I don't think this is exactly how it should look if I followed her instructions precisely...which I didn't.
First I prepped the binding with the colors the wrong way.  It would have been an orange binding with a teal-ish piping.
So then I had to do alot of messing around, which included starting to sew it on and the piping part was too big.  So I ripped that out.
I think in the end it's okay.
But I'm going to have to talk to Nancy Birger again.
And you know Nancy Birger hates to talk to anybody.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I taught Jenna her first driving lesson up at the farm.

Jenna is so happy to drive in circles!

Everyone watching us drive around in circles