I Survived..!

I survived the Long Beach quilt show.  It was a really nice show –  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I bought a new sewing machine my first 10 minutes into the show….  While we were standing in line, a man came by with small flyers advertising a machine that was hugely discounted – the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire – with a 10 inch throat.   That is what sold me before even seeing the machine.   I had expected to be looking at the big quilting machine systems, at the show – instead – with the longer throat, and my John Flynn quilting frame, which I am just starting to set up, I think it will be fine for me and for machine quilting my own quilts.    My friends did buy a tin lizzie system, however….lol.    But the way I figure it – I have saved myself thousands of dollars….!

There were some beautiful quilts in the show – according to the show rules, any photos I post have to indicate the quilter’s name – that leaves out many of the pics I took, but there are some I took that were also in the brochure, with names, so we are in luck!  I have a new camera, so as soon as I figure out how to get the pics from camera to computer, I will show them.   And I may just post the rest with my personal Facebook page pics – which would not be a public posting.   I will let you know when pics are ready.

Otherwise – I bought some great patterns – one booth that was very busy was the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company – http://www.bigforkbaycottonco.com/

Wonderful patterns!

I bought the woman with bicycle (am thinking of getting a bike) and the tulips patterns.   And I have a list of more of their patterns that I want, lol.

Healthwise, I was happiest that I brought my water, wore my comfortable shoes, and dressed in layers, because some places were cold, some were hot…and that I carried a Big bag!

Oh – P.S. – I bought a Yo Yo maker…. thanks to all of you who told me you Loved them, lol…!  There were a couple unusual yo yo quilts that I took pics of and will share, later.



Long Beach International…and Me

Pic of opening day, today (Friday).  (Click on the pic to enlarge it and get the full effect!)

I am off on a bus trip to Long Beach International Quilt Show tomorrow (Saturday) morning, early.   I am excited!  Here is a link to some pics of the show, opening day.


Quilt show essentials in Southern California:   

Comfortable shoes (tennies?) with cushioned inserts?   Large carry bag with money, checkbook/credit cards instead of heavy purse; water bottle and healthy snack in bag.   Dress in layers – light top with light/summer sweater or blouse;  3/4 pants.   Note card with list, as reminder of what you are looking for, while you are there.  Camera.  Cell phone to call friends you rode with, so you can meet for lunch.   Any fabric samples you are trying to color-match.  Sense of humor!

Oh – and those address labels I always get sent for a donation to a cause – easy to stick on mailing lists, raffle tickets, etc. instead of spending time writing out my name, and address, etc.

I will share my pics, on my return!

Suffolk Puffs and Soap

As quilters, we seem to Love gadgets!  Some are wonderful time-savers, like the rotary cutter.   But – now I ask you – what did we ever do before they invented yo yo makers?

I have made yo yo’s for years without a yo yo maker, and they came out just fine.  In fact, they come out better than with the yo yo maker I bought, which I found way too cumbersome for easy use.  I bought one a few years ago, just to see and try it for myself.  At this point, I have no idea where it is – probably stuffed in the unwanted bin, somewhere.  I have found, for me, that it is easier and faster to make yo yo’s the old fashioned way.   If you are new to the quilting scene, and think you need a yo yo maker, that is what the makers of the yo yo makers Want you to think!  Here are some pics of the ‘good old-fashioned way’ of making yo yo’s.

First you need a template.  This little cardboard circle came attached to something I just bought.  You can also use anything that is a circle – a cup, glass,  a plate – for a yo yo template – whatever size you want.  Just place it on a piece of template plastic, cardboard or even heavy paper,  draw around the edge, and cut it out.  Instant template.   Place the template on your fabric.  If you would like to draw around it first, go ahead.  Then cut it out about 1/4 inch larger than the template, all around.

This one was so small, I just held it while I cut around it.

When you have it cut out, then fold the outside edge in, that 1/4 inch (if you have drawn a line, you can crease around the circle on that line, folding it in on the wrong side of the fabric.

I have just folded it in, inserted my threaded needle, and started to do a running stitch around the edge.

As I go around the circle with the running stitch, you can see that it starts to curve in naturally, without my even pulling on the thread.

When I get all around the circle, I pull on the thread to close it up.   I am using a double threaded needle, but a single (strong) thread will do – whatever works for you – I am always afraid a single thread will break on me because I tend to ‘strong-arm’ things…. When it is pulled in tight, you can knot the thread, and then insert needle into the center and pull it through to one of the sides and cut it off, and it should be hidden inside your yo yo.

This is what the other side looks like.  I took my needle and gently pulled out the sides to make them more even looking.  You can lightly press it with an iron, if you would like, to flatten it out, some.

Here are yo yo’s made by my daughter at age 6, using this method.   I have arranged them into a little tree, with mine at the top.




But the tree made by Karin Hellaby of the UK is much cuter!  See below.  In the UK, yo yo’s are called “Suffolk Puffs”.  She has added buttons to the centers.  How cute is that!

For free directions on how to make this darling yo yo Christmas tree, go to   http://www.modabakeshop.com/2011/05/jovial-christmas-tree-wall-hanging.html

Karin’s website is http://www.karinhellaby.com

Karin also creates international holidays for quilters, and they look absolutely Wonderful!  That site is:  http://www.arenatravel.com/holidays/quilting-holidays/

A note about  antibacterial washes and sanitizers:  Please do not use them all the time, or all over your body (check your body wash).   Our skin has natural oils that contain antibacterial properties – by using artificial sanitizers, we are stripping our body of what we produce naturally.  This is not a good thing.   It leaves us more exposed to infectious agents than we would be otherwise.  For example, a student of mine worked at a preschool.  She followed a normal cleanliness regimen with her students.  The teacher next door was obsessed with cleanliness, and routinely washed down her classroom with sanitizers, bleach, etc., and had her students use antibacterial agents.  The students in her class were sick about twice as often as those in my student’s class.  Our bodies are made to ‘deal with’ what we come in contact with in our normal everyday routines – it helps to built up our resistance.  Use the hand sanitizers after really ‘icky germy’ exposures.   But – most of the time – nothing beats good old soap and water!

Fractured House and Tomaquet

If you are looking for a group quilting project, here is one you might really enjoy.

A number of years ago, my quilt teacher, Sue Handley, along with one of her students, Evelyn Hatch, came up with this idea for a class project.  Evelyn wanted to make a quilt of her daughter’s house.  They started with a pic of the house, enlarged it to the size they wanted, using an overhead projector, and copied it at a local print shop.   Then the fun began.  They cut the pattern into 11 vertical sections, and gave one section to each woman in the group, who would then make that part of the quilt. (There were no suggestions given as to what fabrics or colors to use, what tree method to use, etc.)  When the sections were finished, they sewed them together, and Voila!  A quilted pic of Evelyn’s daughter’s house!

Here it is.  Can you count 11 sections?  Or are there 10?  lol.  I want to do this, sometime!

I love bruschetta.  Here is an easy tasty homemade alternative:



1 or 2 ripe (organic) tomatoes
Pinch of salt (seasalt)
Really good olive oil (extra extra virgin)
Crusty bread like ciabatta
Raw garlic (optional)


1. Wash the tomato, cut off a bit of the end, and grate over a bowl using a cheese grater.
2. Add salt to taste.
3. Toast the bread (not required).
4. If you are going to use the garlic, rub a cut clove over the bread.
5. Spread tomato pulp onto bread.
6. You can use the olive oil (REQUIRED) in two different ways: Either drizzle it over the bread after you spoon the tomaquet on to it, or add the olive oil to the tomato mixture before spreading it onto the bread.

It goes in this order: crusty bread, optional raw garlic, tomato pulp with salt, olive oil.

Easy.  Tasty.  Yum!

I am so in Trouble….!


Quick post before my grandson’s soccer game – Flock Shop – a great deal is featured on their page and is there until it is gone – I just bought a book on a method of screen printing fabric – 20 copies – now there are 19 – when there are 0 copies, a new ‘deal’ will come up and you can be notified by email of each new deal.   This could prove to be Very Expensive, lol….!



Quick tip:  Try to eat Raw veggies and fruits when the heat is high – more cooling for the body – and don’t forget your water!


Designing and Staying Cool

If you have ever had a ‘yen’ to create your own fabric, you can do that at Spoonflower!   It is pretty easy to do.  You can design it for yourself, and also make it available to others.  What a deal!  I spent just a little time on the site, and created this little bit of a design.

I don’t think I would use this for a fabric design, but I was just playing around with their tools, to see how it was done,  and this is what I came up with.  Now I am going to think seriously about creating some fabric.   You can see some of the incredible designs people have made (and are available for sale) by going to their website, at http://www.spoonflower.com .

The hot weather is still with us!  These two ‘cooling’ drinks may help:

Honeydew and Cucumber Smoothie – will cool and refresh you!

  • 1 medium-sized honeydew melon, sliced and cubed
  • 1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Sprigs mint, optional garnish
Time estimates
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes

  1. Peel and chop honeydew into bite-sized chunks and freeze for about 2 hours.
  2. Combine all ingredients in blender. Process on pulse for 20 to 25 seconds. Change setting to mix or smoothie for about 10 more seconds, or until smooth.

Serves 3

Sometimes, a hotter, spicier drink can make us cooler:

I’m not sure if you can do this next one in a blender…and I’m skipping the jalapeno!

This is a juice that is similar to V8 juice that you can make in your own kitchen,  without any ‘extra’ additives!


3 large Red Beets
2 medium Carrots
2 stalks Celery
4 Plum Tomatoes
4 cups Parsley, leaves and stems, roughly chopped and packed into the measuring cup
1 Jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
12 Red Radishes

Quilt Connections and Water Infusions

Several weeks ago a quilting friend, Char Stevens, on a road trip with her husband, came across a small quilt for sale in an antique store.   On reading the quilt label, she discovered that the quilt had been made by Barbara Dieges, from her very own quilt guild in Tehachapi, CA.   The owner of the antique shop explained that she had won the quilt in an auction at a quilt show.  Char bought the quilt, of course, and showed it at her guild meeting during ‘Show and Share’.  I happened to be there, to photograph this ‘event’.  The expression on Barbara’s face was priceless.


Here is Char showing the quilt.



Here are Barbara and Char, holding the quilt.  Barbara Dieges is an accomplished quilt designer and teacher.





Her quilt, Snow Crystals, was on the cover of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, January, 1999.  This is a partial pic of her quilt.





The first time I saw any of Barbara’s patterns was around 1986 when I saw a quilt made from her pattern, Christmas Celebration, at a quilt show.  I thought it was the most beautiful quilt I had ever seen, and immediately bought the pattern.


This is Christmas Celebration.

Barbara has created some other wonderful quilt patterns, which you can see and purchase on her website http://www.bdieges.com .




In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned how drinking water with some lemon in it throughout the day has wonderful hydrating and health benefits.
Courtesy of Kirstin Hudson, here are a couple flavored (infused) water recipes that are easy to make and sooo refreshing, if you need refreshing, in the heat of the summer day.

Cucumber Lemon Basil Water
Classic cucumber-infused water gets a little kick with the added compliment of basil.

8 cups chilled water
1 cucumber
2 lemons
4 sprigs fresh basil

Cut the cucumber and lemons into paper-thin slices. Combine ingredients. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Serve over ice.

Lemon Lime Water
Keep it simple with the timeless pairing of these favorite citrus fruits.

8 cups chilled water
3 lemons
3 limes

Cut the fruit into paper-thin slices. Combine ingredients. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Serve over ice.

Lavender Orange Water
Calming lavender and bright, citrusy orange come together to make one exciting water.

8 cups chilled water
2 large oranges
4 sprigs fresh lavender

Cut the oranges into paper-thin slices. Combine ingredients. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Serve over ice.

Strawberry Mint Water
Kind of like a daiquiri, but way better on the waistline.

8 cups chilled water
2 cups strawberries
4 large fresh mint leaves

Cut the strawberries into thin slices. Combine ingredients. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Serve over ice.