Archive for Field Trips

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Pat Sloan’s Tour of Ireland Blog Hop

Are you wearing green? If not, I’ll send my minions over to pinch you. I’ve already been pinched today. When I pointed out that there is green in one of my tattoos, the pinch was not retracted. Not even an apology. But I also got a St. Patrick’s Day kiss from the same person. Forgive and forget, I say.

Got plans for the day? Please add a blog hop to your calendar for the day and visit the other blogs celebrating the book, Tour Ireland with Pat Sloan!

Oh, indeed, I would love to tour Ireland some day. When Pat’s book arrived, I sat down and pored over it and honestly felt like it was the next best thing to being there! Beautiful photos, lovely narrative about the cities and towns the group visited, interesting facts and great travel tips provided by Jim West, the tour’s organizer!  Pat’s book is really like sitting down with an old friend and going through the scrapbook of her trip to Ireland. Very well done!

And then there are the quilt projects — 12 projects inspired by the trip. It is, of course, wonderful to read the inspiration behind each quilt.  My favorite is Pat’s Irish chain quilt in all its traditional goodness!

There are 12 projects in the book — some are pieced, some are appliqued in Pat’s trademark unfussy and FUN style.

Among the envious stops on the trip, the group stopped at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. When I saw that, I thought of Guinness cake. Mmmm…. So, I’ve included a link to Nigella Lawson’s chocolate Guinness cake recipe. Mmmmmmmm…. doesn’t that sound mighty tasty?

All in all, Pat’s book is wonderful and makes the trip so vivid. I love that it also puts the quilts in a context and makes it more than just a pattern book.

Pat has two wonderful videos talking about the book. Take a look:

part 1

part 2

Would you like a chance to win a copy of Pat’s book?? Each stop along the blog tour will be giving away TWO copies of the book generously offered by Pat’s publisher, Leisure Arts. So, leave me a comment for a chance to win. Comments will be open until the end of the day on Saturday, March 19.

Be sure to visit the other stops on the Tour of Ireland blog hop:

Leisure Arts Blog
Pat Sloan
A la Mode Fabric
Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts –– you are here
Canton Village Quiltworks
The Happy Zombie
Crazy Mom Quilts
Pam Kitty Morning

If, sadly, you don’t win a copy, you can purchase a copy at Leisure Arts’ web site — the book will be 25% off through the end of March. So, if you want a little vacation without leaving your chair, grab yourself a copy!

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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The loot

OK, OK. This isn’t all the loot from Houston. But I didn’t go absolutely crazy. I tried to make good choices, really I did.

One of my favorite things is this rusty bed spring:

This falls into the “who knew?” department. Who knew we should all save old bed springs so they can live out their days as the bases of pincushions? Envision a wool sunflower dangling over the edges. Do not let me lose this rusty bed spring! I will want to make that wool sunflower some day!

I can now rest easy and glue baste to my heart’s content because I have this:

A Glue-Baste-It refill! What more could a girl want? I should have grabbed one of those accordian squeeze bottles too while I was at it. Didn’t.

Picked up some new Valdani threads:

Pretty! I don’t think I’ve purchased the size 12 Valdani pearl cotton before.

Oh, there was a lovely trim frenzy going on at Quakertown Quilts. I tried to restrain myself by getting just one of the colors:

Got a couple of cute bag notions:

That leafy green thing has a snap attached to one end.

I did have a little trouble getting out of the vintage fabric booth — Texas Silver Mercantile. It was in the back corner near the Sandy Schor booth. That back corner was a peaceful oasis of old treasures. I went in for six inch squares of vintage fabrics. Ahem.

Yeah, yeah, I’m not even showing you the six inch squares….

Love this one!

Love this one!

Grey plaid wool!

This one reminded me of my mom’s wedding china for some reason or a picture we had or some strong connection with growing up so I had to have it:

Love this one!

I could have moved into that booth.

I’ve also added a couple of Important Useful Tools since I came home. Borders sells these Paperchase pencil cases — different designs at different times. But they are great for toting along sewing necessities. I’m going to put a magnetic strip in mine.

I may be embarking on a new project that has a lot of stitching. We learned about the Cosmo Multi Work floss at market, so I ordered some to try out. It’s two strands of floss on a spool. Gasp! No splitting up six strands of floss! Sign me up.

Just to show I haven’t been sorting and petting the new stuff since I got back, I did up a quilt top last week using some Kathy Davis Journeys fabric and The Big EZ pattern from Vicki Bellino’s new Bloom Creek Quilts book. It is big and EZ.

And pretty much sideways in this picture but the design bed makes things hard to photograph. I’m inspired by the quilting I saw at market and may put some feathers on this one. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve done some feathers. They’re not hard. I’ve just been lazy. I’ll be dusting off my Patsy Thompson DVD as a refresher.

Gotta keep moving! Have a stitch-y Monday!

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I took how many photos?!?!?

I went to quilt market and all I got was 50 photos? Hmmm, something doesn’t seem right about that. In the past, I’ve taken at least 300 pics, usually more. I’m not sure why I wasn’t whipping my camera out at every turn. Dare I say that it seemed a little bit quiet at the market proper?

Not that there weren’t outstanding new things and outstanding people. And lots to blow the quilty mind!

One most exciting thing was seeing Sarah and Damian. I’ve stalked met Sarah there before but it was a treat to get to hang out with her and so many other wonderful people. I’m afraid to make a list because I will forget someone (or, ahem, not realize I met someone……..blamed on bad form and/or the Four Seasons…..). But I know I saw Katy, Brioni, John, Kathy, Heather, Elizabeth, Pam, Elizabeth, Monica (FINALLY!), Cherri, Lizzy, Pat (it was always a great pick me up to pass the front of the hall — 1100 — and get a hug from Pat), Barbara and Sue. I hate to ask who I left off the list. I do know I did NOT see Jackie or Glenna.

Attending is kind of like getting sucked into a textile vacuum tube and spit out the other end a few days later. I had no concept of what was going on in the outside world. It was all quilts, all the time. Which is great for inspiration and motivation. The creative juices flow like a waterfall. And you have visions. Visions of what you’ll do AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME. Plans are made for what you’ll do AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME.

I must not actually be home because I haven’t started any of those things yet. Oh, but we did fly through the most amazing storm! Who knew that that’s what lightning looked like from a plane? It was beautiful (or so I told myself as a distraction from being otherwise terrified)!

But, really, the brain goes into overload processing the possibilities and making plans.

Well, you probably didn’t come here for the blathering, so here are a few snaps (because apparently I didn’t take pictures…). Worst news? I didn’t get to see the quilts. GASP. I was less devastated when I heard that there was a giant “NO PHOTOS” sign on Kim McLean’s Roseville Album quilt. But I did at least get to see it “in the flesh” as we scurried by as it was right at the front of the show in pride of place!

Without further ado….

Sarah’s quilt using her From Little Things fabric for Lecien. Fabrics coming soon to a quilt shop near you, no doubt, because the fabric sold very well! Yea!

Darn those bright lights at the tops of so many quilts! You can run over and download a free pattern for Sarah’s happy quilt at the Lecien site.

Oh, what’s this little quilt on the table at the Lecien booth?

Hee hee! A treat to see my little Candy Apples quilt in an “official” place.

As opposed to an unofficial place like my living room:

By now you all probably know that Aneela Hoey has a fabric line coming out from Moda called Sherbet Pips! What a CUTE fabric collection!

One of the cutest fabric collections in that huge building!

Here is John’s Parisville (Tula Pink’s new fabric collection for Free Spirit) quilt — quite a striking quilt! Love it! John’s quilt was quilted by Bethany — lovely!

I don’t have pics of other Parisville quilts in the Tula Pink booth, but you can see those over at Jaybird Quilts Angela Walters’ quilting on the Parisville quilts in the booth is AMAZING! Gasp-out-loud breathtaking. Want-to-weep-they-are-that-great!

Marcia Derse was also there showing her wonderful fabrics for Troy. I cried when I had to hand back the black with acid green circles fabric.

I miss that little piece of fabric. ::sniffle:: Oh well, soon enough I’ll be able to purchase my very own piece. It was really fun to talk to her about her design process!

So, um, that’s kind of it for now. The rest of my photos are pretty project specific. I also took quite a few photos of antique quilts in the Quilts from Mulberry Lane booth. Carolyn and Donald Springer are the owners and were so gracious talking old quilts and letting folks take pics of their many antique treasures. Their booth was the best entertainment — they were on a corner so you were sure to walk past one way or the other at least a few times a day. They regularly changed their display quilts so you got to see different things every time you passed by.

Here’s one fave from their booth:

A fellow-traveler/friend/co-worker even uncovered a quilt mystery in their booth. We can’t wait to hear more about the mystery!

OK, I think I’m almost recovered. And most of the laundry is done. So, it’s back to the sewing machine!

It was great to see everyone!!

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Packing it in

I hate packing. Do you hate packing? I hate packing. I don’t even have that much to pack. And keeping it to the essentials is essential because a quilter never knows when she might need extra room in her suitcase for, I don’t know, let’s just say FABRIC on the trip home. So I’m trying to be judicious in my packing. And I’m only taking along ONE handwork item. ONE, do you hear me? Not seven that are never touched.

I am packing a little something to be delivered to one Miss Sarah:

Oh, I was worried about this little quilt. Worried I’d botched it. Anxiety dreams and all. Then I settled down, did the black hand stitching and now I have a little crush on this little quilt. I’ll show you the full pic when I get back. Very excited to see its From Little Things fabric friends in the Lecien booth.

Hoping to run into some friendly quilty people and tell you all about quilt market when I get back!

Anyhoo, I’d better get off the phone, do some more packing and — wait for it — I still have to gut the Halloween pumpkin before I fly out of here on my broom.

I’ll miss most weekend appearances of Alice in Wonderland though:

Have a fun Halloween!


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Day trippin’

I am not currently drunk. If I happened to run into you at the church quilt show this morning, I apologize for perhaps actually running into you. Ah, vertigo. It arrived this morning while I sat sewing around circles at the sewing machine. I really wasn’t sewing fast enough, I thought, to make myself dizzy. The last time I had vertigo, it lasted about six weeks. Maybe I need to go find one of those doctors to do the thing with the head to get the rocks back into place. Preferably before I get on a plane next week. Or I’ll be running into people at Houston. I apologize in advance.

Often propped by a pew, I focused on the antique/vintage quilts. Here are some faves. The fabrics in this one were fabulous:

And oldie but a goody!

Running theme with the double wedding rings. Some day, I tell ya, some day!

Loved the poof of these fans. I can almost feel the cozy!

The mailbox (being manned — dogged? — by only one dog today, such a lot of work to do all the required barking on one’s own) then purveyed some loveliness that must soon be investigated….Now we can have Kim McLean’s Stars & Sprigs fun like Janet has been having!

I have no comment about this:

Must have been delivered to the wrong address, ahem.

OK, back to the sewing machine I go!

So, for now, if you need someone to lean on, you’ll have to look elsewhere or we’ll both fall down.

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Far and away

Transport provided.

When a new-to-you blog takes you away to an enchanted place.


This week, I traveled to visit a Faerie Finder at Owl in the Dark.



And along to the antique markets with Ticking Stripes.



And then to visit Cecile’s beautiful world. Facile, indeed!



Sometimes it makes me want to change my way of life all together and look at everything more creatively.



Where have you been lately?



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Sneaking off

We snuck off for the weekend.

While grown-ups talked about boring things, someone kept sneaking off.

Surveillance camera:

Yes, I know you’ve got a pocket full of quarters and you’re placing your bets.

I probably used to do the same thing. But I’m sure I didn’t have as many quarters in my pocket as she did.

Good thing the rides didn’t shake any quarters out of her.

Up, up and away!

Down here on earth, I’ve been adding feathers to Mr. Owl and prepping a pile of these:

Just a few more to add to the pile.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my stop on Pat Sloan’s “The Edge” blog hop. I think it will be an extensive post…

In the meantime, be sure to check out the other blog hop stops where you’ll hear about first quilts, get some yummy recipes and much more!

Pat Sloan’s The Cutting Edge Blog Hop!

Monday, Sept 27

The inimitable “how does she do it all?” Pat Sloan
Kelly of “IHAN” Fame… she is the funniest writer out there!

Tuesday, Sept 28

Amy “NEW quilt book author.. oh yeah!”
Jackie “fabrics so awesome”
Wednesday, Sept 29

Julie “the tutorial queen”
Amanda “who pumps out projects!”

Thursday, Sept 30

Monica “lover of red and aqua”
Amy “you are here”
Pam “the Kitty” herself

Friday, Oct 1

Carrie Nelson “standing in for Miss Rosie”
Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson “the DY-Na-MO Sistas!”
Cheryl Arkison “A most Modern Girl”

Saturday, Oct 2

Michele Foster “master of blogger heaven”
Pat Sloan- Pat’s wrap up

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When’s the next train?

You may know of my love for the Australians — genius quilters in that exciting place! So, I saw this sign last night and I got all excited!

Yes, please! Where do I buy tickets?

And then I saw this “guy”:

And then I remembered I was at the zoo and nowhere near the train station to Australia. ::sigh::

But, the animals were ever-so-active in the evening last night.

This guy cracked us up and was a little miffed that we were interrupting his evening schedule:

Same here:

I’m very sorry if we interrupted their evening, but I must say it was worth to see the aardvarks digging, digging, digging:

A girl can get thirsty from all that digging! They now have my vote for Favorite Animal!

I feel like I’ve been digging, digging, digging this week. There were kid’s bedroom reno activities. I may have had a tiny little snooze in the new loft bed — just to be sure it was safe up there. Safety first, I say.

There has been sewing, sewing, sewing.

I got to play with these cute witches:

Decided to put a little wonky four patch around her for border. I think witches get mad if you cut into them too much.

The wonky four patch idea comes from the most recent Fons & Porter magazine in a clever little pattern called Tipsy.

Fun and fast!

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get to a pattern from Pat Sloan’s new book Fast-Forward Quilts. There are SEVERAL quilts in this book that I’d like to make — pretty, pretty, pretty!

Anyhoo, the “fast forward” part of the patterns is the use of pre-cuts so you’re one step ahead of the cutting game when you begin.

I made my own pre-cuts for Pat’s “I Remember” quilt (shown on the book’s cover):

Decidedly a little spring-y in fabric choices but a definite cheerer-upper:

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

That pretty much hits the high points of the week — along with some nom-licious homemade hot sauce (which I don’t think we will ever run out of…). How was your week?

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Happy camper

It’s the fun-filled nearing-the-end-of-the-school-year. It keeps a person hopping. One person hopped off to a couple of days of camp. Oh my, those are small kid-filled cabins. Did I mention it’s been really warm here? I’m expecting the camp laundry to be extra smelly. Can’t wait. Should hit full ripeness about this time tomorrow.

Guess what sits on the very same road as the camp? Just guess. A lovely quilt shop. Yep. Goodies at every turn. I’ll schedule my volunteer time next year so that it doesn’t overlap with hubby’s volunteer time. Ahem. I worked quickly:

Now, I ask you, who needs lunch when there is delectable fabric to look at? Pshaw!

Look, something to eat!

As Arnold would say: I’ll be back.

When the camp laundry arrives, I may have to go out to the back yard for regular sniffs of these:

Ahhhhh, peony time!

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Do I smell cake?

You’re invited for cake and coffee. Come on over! I’m a plain birthday cake kind of a girl. No fondant, no filling, no chocolate, no nuts. Old school birthday cake. I’m pretty picky about frosting though. None of that flavorless whippy stuff that tastes more like Crisco than anything. Yummy.  I made the household aware that I was ordering my birthday cake. So that we wouldn’t have two birthday cakes. That has happened. Not that two cakes would be a bad thing. Just a little unnecessary and perhaps indulgent.

It’s been kind of an if-fy week. But things are vastly improved today. And not just because there’s cake. Let’s see, I’ve had lots of coffee in lots of forms. My favorite was the soup bowl of caff-uccino at a neighborhood restaurant. Then I went to a garage sale. I had high hopes for that sale — one of the participants is a known vintage fabric person. Alas. I did find a new book:

The story of a patchwork quilt with magical powers. We all know about that. There are some funny bits:

“It is pretty,” my father admitted, “but what are you going to do with it?”


I like the color scheme of the illustrations too.

Nice aquas, greens, grey and gold.

After the lack of stash enhancement at the garage sale, I wandered off to a local fabric shop.

I finally picked up some of the Westminster Liberty “Aft” Fabric. Crack me up — the selvage all says “Aft” instead of “Art.” I also picked up some M&S Textiles aboriginal prints. I kind of like these fabrics all together. Hmm…

Had to get a little of the great Alexander Henry owls on canvas:

I have some on light grey background, but you can’t have too many cute owl fabrics.

That’s the day so far. I also got a new camera. It’s similar to my old camera but with just enough changes to drive a person a little bonkers. So far I don’t think it’s made my photos magically better. I guess I should really read the manual and maybe even Photography for Dummies. Speaking of which, it takes GREAT video of the dogs.

Don’t forget, come on over for cake!

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