Friday, October 31, 2008

Visiting Baltimore...

I will be teaching and giving a lecture Monday and Tuesday for the guild in Annapolis. Luckily for me Annapolis and Baltimore are very, very close to each other so I've come in early to visit my son, Jeff, and his fiance, Celia. Today (October 31 aka: Halloween) is Celia's birthday!

We went to Fells Point (near Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) for lunch. We walked and window shopped and had some wonderful gelato at Pitango. I'm telling myself that the walking burned LOTS of calories. I took the photo of the kids on the bench outside of Pitango. Can you believe my son's yellow shoes! I love them.

I liked the look of the tree trunk and took this photo. In fact, I took so many photos of so many things that Jeff threatened to quit waiting for me. I snapped quickly.

There's water at Fells Point - and sail boats and water taxis and big ships and tug boats. It's a working harbor and a nice place to walk.

We went back to Hopkins and I got to see where Jeff spends a lot of his time. He's working on a PhD in biostatistics. He shares an office with 3 other grad students. Notice how tidy his shelf is! I'm sure if it was me I'd have that bottom shelf covered with colorful do-dads.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bamboo batts...

It’s getting close to Halloween and that’s a good time to talk about batts! Not the black, flying kind, but the white fluffy kind ☺.

I have used cotton batts exclusively for many years. I prefer an organic cotton batt. I do my part where possible to cut down on pesticides in the environment. When Hobbs discontinued their organic cotton batt I was unhappy.

I tend to prefer unbleached batting. I’m not crazy about the bleaching agents used on the cotton being added to the environment. I also wonder what the bleaching process does to the fibers in the long term. For these reasons, and since I don’t usually need a snow-white batt, I buy unbleached batting.

Luckily, Fairfield came out with Bamboo Batting. This batting is 50% bamboo and 50% cotton. Bamboo is a more ecologically friendly fiber. It is my understanding that bamboo requires less water and fewer pesticides. This batting is naturally clean and white – and unbleached! That’s also good. 

I have used the bamboo batt in 3 quilts to date and I’m happy with the way it feels and behaves. This detail from Tree O’ Life gives you an idea of what it looks like in a quilt. Honestly, it looks a lot like cotton. (FYI – Tree O’ Life hung at Paducah earlier this year and will be out in a book next year.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Coffee Cup Quilt...

I thought you might be interested in the finished quilt that Steve was sewing the sleeve and binding on in my last post. Some of you may remember seeing this quilt when it was in progress. I made it last spring in a Ruth McDowell workshop at an Empty Spools seminar. I call it Coffee Cup.

I tried it all over the house, but it ended up on this wall in our breakfast room. The kitchen (with the blue above the cupboards) is to the left, the table and chairs are to the right (you can just see the edge of the area rug). The mosaic with the broken plates is on the wall to the right of where I'm standing taking this photo.
It's really nice to finish - and hang - a new quilt!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My husband sews!

My husband, Steve, is a biologist. He's a behavioral ecologist who studies long-horned beetles to be exact. He is on the faculty at Austin College and is currently dean of the sciences. He cooks (almost every meal since we've been married) and now he sews! Specifically he hand sews my bindings and sleeves. 

Steve has no interest in quilting or any other sorts of sewing. But he sews bindings and sleeves better, and with more care, than I do. I honestly don't think it can get any better than this!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Update from OKC...

I want to say thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts for my sister. They must be working because she's much better! I was able to come home today and she should be released from the hospital tomorrow!

It is important to remember that every day is a gift. Often it's bad days that remind us of just how great an average day is. When I left my sister she was smiling, thankful for today, and looking forward to tomorrow. Life is good.

So - are you wondering about the truck? It is near my in-laws house (where Steve and I spent last night). This truck has been there for weeks and each time we've been in OKC I'd think "I should really get a picture of that..." So today I drove by it on my way out of town and this time I made myself stop, turn around, go back and take the photo. It's my version of taking time to smell the roses. 

May you each find the time to enjoy your days as well.


Friday, October 24, 2008

In OKC...

That's Oklahoma City for those of you who aren't familiar with the abbreviation. 

I grew up in OKC and my mom and sister still live here. One of mom's neighbors put these pumpkin stacks on the fountains by her front door. 

The water is flowing over the vase under the
 pumpkins - not over the pumpkins themselves. It looks cool from the road as you drive by!

The reason I'm here is not so great. My sister, Christy, who is 2 years younger than me, has polycystic kidney disease. That's us in about 1978.

Christy's kidneys were removed in August and she's now on dialysis. Sometimes she's OK, and then other times she not so OK. She's currently not as OK as she could be. The doctors seem to think that they will get this current problem straightened out, but until they do it's hard on her - and on my mom. 

I almost didn't blog about this because Linda and I like to keep our posts upbeat. But my sister is an inspiration to me... she is dealing with a very difficult disease with grace and a will of steel. It's important to me to acknowledge that. If you think of it, please say a little prayer for her. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I recently did a block for the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer quilt. The quilt will be used to raise money for the fund. It is a good feeling to participate in a worth while event. I have attached a picture of the block.
I will be in Houston next week to serve on the IQA Board. I am excited to have been asked to serve. This is the organization that puts on the Quilt Show for Festival each Fall in Houston. Wow!! it is great to see the quilts. Somewhere around 54,000 people attend this event
While there I have some free time to shop Festival. Always a good opportunity to spend money. There will be somewhere around 1000 vendors there. This makes a good road trip with a group of quilter's. I love a road trip with friends. On Thursday I have volunteered to help Ami Sims raise money for the Alzheimers Art Quilt intiative. All the quilts are donated. I will be working on Thursday 2:30-3:30. Stop by and see me and the wonderful quilts for sale and take a quilt home with you.
Off tomorrow to do a lecture in Montrose Colorado. I will take pictures.
Blessings Linda

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This and that...

I had Jack and Elanor over this morning and managed to get a picture of Jack, not moving. A lot of the pictures I take of him are blurry because he's always moving! I was sitting on the front porch and Jack was on the sidewalk in front of me. Those are berries that dropped off of the weeping yaupon tree on the concrete around him. Almost immediately after I took this photo I had to leap into action and dig 2 berries out of his mouth. He was not happy. They probably wouldn't have hurt him, but I wasn't sure.

These purple bachelor buttons were blooming to so I got this pretty image before we went inside. They remind of a blueberry quilt that Wendy Richardson made several years ago.

And... I'm still blurfing. I spotted this colorful home library on fffound. The rainbow of books on these shelves reminds me of the post I did about Valerie Madill back in July. 

I don't have a real strategy on fffound. I just click on photos that I like. Every click takes you to different images. I like to see where all that clicking takes me. 

The link from the library photo took me to yet another great blog - de(coeur)açao. What amazing color! I love that quilt in the second photo and I wish I had the nerve to paint my refrigerator pink (or turquoise!) I can't read the words on this blog which is not a bad thing. I can focus on the photos! 

I don't know about you, but I find inspiration for my quilts from a variety of sources. These lovely blogs are great for sparking ideas.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More on the interconnectivity of the web...

I was doing a bit of blog-surfing today (in preparation for getting down to real work) and I came across a lecture on YouTube by Michael Wesch. He's an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. If you go here you can watch the 1-hour lecture that he gave at the Library of Congress in June. It is surprisingly good. I know because I sat here and watched/listened to the whole thing. He tells a good story!

Dr. Wesch is studying digital ethnography which, as I understand it, is the study of how digital interaction is shaping our culture. Who knew that by doing all this blogging-commenting-YouTubing we are actually adding to our culture! 

You might be wondering what the photos of this coleus plant from my front yard have to do with any of this... in a word, nothing. They are just here to be pretty! And possibly inspirational. I think we quilters like pretty, inspirational pictures!

Now I really do have to get to work!


Sunday, October 19, 2008


I never thought I would find the time for it, but I've become a blog reader. You can see the blogs I read regularly at the bottom of the right-hand column of this very blog. The easiest way for me to know when any of these blogs has a new post is to subscribe to them. Did you know that you could do that?

If you don't know how to subscribe to a blog don't feel bad. I'm going to tell you how you can. Look at the top of your browser window and find the URL for this page. (The URL is the line that starts with http://www.... ) To the right of the URL do you see RSS or a symbol? Click on RSS or the symbol (you might want to read the rest of this before you really click). 

A new window will open. I'm on a mac, using Safari. On the right side of my newly opened window I see a column. At the bottom of this column is an area that says Actions. I tried this in Firefox and there wasn't a column, but there was a button that said "subscribe now". If you are on a pc your window will probably be different from both of the ones I found, but I'll bet you can find an obvious subscription area. Click what's there.

I like to catch up on new blog posts in my email program, so I choose "subscribe in mail". FYI - Mail is the mac email program. If you use some other email program it will probably give you an option to subscribe in that program. You may have to choose between RSS and Atom. I have used both and they both work.

Once I click "subscribe in mail" a new folder is automatically created in my email program. Every new post it shows up there. Treat them as emails - delete them when you want to. Forward them if you want to. You can see what my mail window looks like in the photo at left. The blog feeds are at the bottom of the left column in the RSS folder. Sometimes the emailed version of a blog is not a complete blog post but that's OK because there is a link to the full post inside the email. 

A new blog that I'm watching is hyperthesis. It came to my attention in an enewsletter that I got last week from Chuck Green at Ideabook. This is not a blog that quilters might normally come across. I think the photographs on this blog are quirky and wonderful! The designers are Chinese (I think), living in New Zealand. The slightly fractured English in the text is charming. A more "quilterly" blog is HELLOmynameisheather. The photos in Heather Bailey's blog make me swoon - and lust for a new camera! 

Isn't technology amazing! That we can share these amazing stories and images, that we may never meet face to face - but that we are nonetheless connected... this is both amazing AND wonderful! I'm happy that you read our blog. Thank you and happy stitching,


Friday, October 17, 2008

Key lime cheesecake...

Thanks to a Feather Princess guild member, I came home from Tampa last week with 10 freshly picked key limes! The feather princesses told me that 10 is the magic number of limes when planning key lime goodies, something I didn't know. These key limes look a lot different from the tiny, hard, green key limes that I always find at the grocery store. They were yellower, bigger, thinner-skinned, and very juicy. You can see four of them in the photo. They look more like little lemons.

I decided to make a key lime cheesecake with my key limes on Monday. The kids were coming for dinner on Thursday and it would have time to chill by then. I found this recipe at It is gluten-free which is important at my house. My daughter-in-law and grandchildren can't have gluten. I substituted gluten-free gingersnaps for the graham cracker crumbs in the crust and I think they added a lot of flavor to the cheesecake.

This cheesecake raises a lot during baking. The top of mine got browner than I prefer. When I make it again I'll lower the rack in the oven and I'll check it more often. If it gets this brown again I'll be ready to put some foil over the top of it to protect it better.

My plan was to make this cheesecake and not eat any of it. That's always my plan with cheesecake. I know what's in a cheesecake which keeps me from eating it. But Steve came home for lunch on Tuesday, the cheesecake had chilled overnight, and we decided to each try a little bit. Big mistake! This was possibly the best cheesecake I've ever made! By dinner last night (Thursday) the cheesecake was almost half gone - as you can see in the photo above. (I should have taken a photo before I cut it, but I wasn't thinking about that at the time.)

I have to tell you that as I ate my (multiple) slivers of cheesecake, I was smiling! All leftovers went home with Christopher and Lorna so today at lunch I'll just dream of cheesecake...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrity Interview

Pat Sloan has interviewed me for her blog. Click here to read it: She calls these "Celerity Interviews". Becky's interview will be on Pat's blog in early November. Pat's blog is an interesting read.  There are more interviews on her site. To read them scroll down the right side of column and you will find Celebrity Interviews link.  Visit Pat's web site for wonderful ongoing projects. She even does a radio program.

Being referred to as a celebrity was nice. I may get the big head. 

I have been busy making pillows for my sister's birthday. This is a big birthday. The applique pillow above with the bird on it gives you a sneak preview of the next BOM. 

I had not done pillows in years. The ruffle one I did the hard way by sewing two rows of basting stitches and then gathering the stitches by hand. The gathering foot I had was for my old Bernina. I advise you to use a gathering or ruffle attachment for your machine. It took way too long to do it the old way. 

The gathered cording was tedious.  I found out after I did the cording that there was also a foot to make gathering on cording easier. You all probably all ready knew this. All I can say is I make quilts and seldom have the time to make anything else. I think I need to take a refresher class on the attachments for my Bernina. No telling what else is out there. 

Blessings Linda

A block for breast cancer research...

Linda and I are both making a block for a new quilt to benefit breast cancer research. I don't know how many blocks there will be in the quilt but I would bet it's going to be a big quilt. The Susan G. Komen Foundation will handle the auction/sale and the funds raised with the quilt. The quilt will be shown at the IQA show in Houston next year and at other venues.

I used a block from Applique Delights, enlarging it to 9" x 9" finished size. The block colors were set by the people coordinating this project. I think it's going to be a lovely quilt and I hope they raise a lot of money!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Halloween card...

Lynda at the Great American Quilt Factory/Possibilities shared Smilebox with me a while ago. Smilebox is a site where you can create web cards using their templates and your own photos. It's pretty cool. 

I finally got around to making a halloween card for Elanor. But you can send the card to as many people as you want to. And you can post it on a blog which is why you can see it below. 

Turn the sound up, there's music. There is one photo of Chris and Jeff when they were kids, and one of Steve with Jack. This will be Jack's first halloween, so I don't have a picture yet of him in costume.

Happy halloween!

Click to play Spider Webs
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox postcard

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hiking the Grand Canyon...

I was working on one of my lectures last week. I usually tweak my lectures before I give them. This time I was working on "How did I get to here from there?!" which is a story of my life with quilts. In the process of tweaking the lecture I came across this photo. 

That's me with 3 friends. We were all turning 40 that year except for Helen (on the left), who is younger than the rest of us. She's still younger, as I remind her at her birthday every year. Karen, on the right, had the great idea that we should hike the Grand Canyon in our 40th year. Laurie, 2nd from left, had just had a baby. She and I walked five mornings a week to prepare, often with Margaret in a stroller. We carried backpacks as we got closer to the hike. We were ready! 

Well, I wasn't as ready as I had hoped. We walked downhill 13 miles from the north rim to Phantom Ranch at the bottom. (FYI - down is really hard on your knees!) I could barely move at the end of the day. We hiked 8 miles uphill the next day which is harder on your lungs but easier on your knees. I made it out alive and am still proud of myself.

This hike showed me that I needed to work my body if I wanted to keep it running. Laurie and I still walk 5 days a week (unless I'm on the road). We walk 3 miles and include the big hill in Sherman in each 1-mile circuit. 

I joined a gym 2 years ago and I strongly recommend that you do the same. No matter what shape you are in, being in better shape will make you feel better. And it will help your quilting! The stronger you are the better your posture will be which is good when you sit and applique. The stronger your upper body is, the better your machine quilting will be.

I'm 52 now and in the best shape of my life. I look back at this photo and I don't wish myself back there. I was younger and less wrinkled but I was also 10 lbs. heavier a lot softer. Getting older is not all bad!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Show and Tell

Show and Tell is my favorite part of guild. SSQ guild here in Grand Junction if a prolific group of quilters. There show and tell is always worth seeing. The guild has a lot of classes and it shows with their quilts.
I took a few for you to see. 

The first was Joan Walker's Snowmen quilt. She is one of the prolific quilters. 

Next is of Jo Conforth and Dancing Logs. This was a class many members took. I could not get them all in my camera.
Sonja's Star Quilt brought Oohs and Aahs

I do not know the name of the designers of these quilts. If you do let us know and we will put them up. It is important when possible to credit the designers. 

Second post in one day this will really surprise Becky.

Until next time blessings Linda

Sally Schneider Guest Speaker

It has been a long time since I was able to attend Quilt Guild on a regular basis. It was such a treat to go yesterday. Wonderful memories came back yesterday when I attended. I loved my guild in Tulsa. So many friends and that is where I met Becky. 

Sally Schneider was the guest speaker. She did a program on built in borders from her book Designing with Built In Borders. Built in Borders is a method for making complex pieced borders as simply pieced blocks. Make the blocks using your own designs for the center and select a built in border for the sides. It was so simple. You can contact her at 

She had a sheet hung from a quilt rack with the center of a pieced star quilt hung from it. There was velcro on the sides of the sheet. As she showed a quilt with the built in borders she would attach that to the sides. We saw a lot of different border treatments. Check out the pictures of her demonstrating how it works. I think you can see what I am talking about. 

My Aunt Millie has been a member of this guild for a long time. Several members commented to her they were surprised how much I enjoyed it.  You never know when you will learn something new. It may be built in borders. or a quilt that inspires you with the use of color. There are so many things to learn. More than anything I just love quilts. Seeing what others are doing and the proud look on their faces when they show a completed quilt is so much fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The plate mosaic...

"Fitzy" emailed, asking about the broken plates on the wall behind Elanor's painted pumpkins (my post from October 4). I promised that I would tell you all about them.

We have a built-in set of cabinets in the breakfast room area of our kitchen. When we bought this house that area was covered with white formica. OK, but boring. After seeing mosaics by Kaffe Fassett in his book, Welcome Home, I was inspired.

I have laid tile before. If you have not ever tiled anything, read up on it. This is not rocket science but there are tools (the toothed mastic spreaders, tile cutters, floats for spreading grout, etc.), different mastics (the "glue" that hold the tile pieces to the wall), and grout (the stuff between the tiles) that you need to know about. So do some homework.

I used a pre-mixed wall mastic, not a concrete-type mastic that you use for floors. I bought cheap white tiles and broke them (very carefully, wear eye protection) with a hammer. I put newspaper above and below the tiles before I whammered them to keep the stuff flying through the air to a minimum.

I bought chipped blue and white plates at garage sales. I broke them between newspaper with a hammer. I think I put a piece of wood between my hammer and the plate so that the plate broke, but didn't shatter. This takes some practice. Once you break it, the real trick is keeping the plate pieces in order. You think it will be easy. It was not for me. I broke them as I went and that worked for me that day.

I mostly planned where I wanted the plates to be. I spread the mastic in small areas and stuck a broken plate on the wall. I then stuck the broken tiles around the plate. I moved quickly, broke the next plate, etc. It was a bit stressful getting the pieces on the wall before the mastic got too stiff for anything to stick to.

FYI - you can do this better than I did. You can buy a tile mesh, cut it to the correct size, and glue your broken pieces to it. Cut the glued mesh/tile sheet into manageable chunks and stick them to the wall in units. If you have shopped for tile you have seen 1' x 1' squares of small tiles stuck to mesh... you can make your own. I should have taken the time to do that. I didn't. If I do this again, that's what I'll do.

I have a grinder that my Mom gave me that she used when she made stained glass. It's for grinding off really sharp edges. I should have used it on the sharp broken edges of both the tiles and the plates. I didn't and there are some of the broken edges that are dangerous. If this was in an area that I touched a lot that would be a problem. Next time, I'll grind the sharp edges. If you don't have a grinder you should be able to sand off the sharp edges.

I used a gray, sanded mastic which is meant for floors. I knew that I was going to have wide spaces between the tiles and this sort is less likely to crack in wide channels. Grout comes in a lot of colors so you should take that into account when planning the overall design.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Visiting with Friends

Can you believe I am writing on the blog.  I have lots of ideas and good intentions. Somehow I manage to procrastinate too much. I told Becky I was going to begin writing on the blog on a regular basis. She said she would have to see it. 

It is always so much fun to have a friend come to visit. Especially if they are a quilter. My long time quilting friend Glenna Hailey and her husband Bill were recently here.  We share so many interests that it is a none stop gabfest. Bill and Paul love to play golf.

Glenna's company is Holly Hock Check out her new book Sugar Sack Quilts. She specializes in quilts made from feed sacks and reproductions of feed sacks. You should see her room with all the feed sacks. She has the largest collection of them I have ever saw. I always wanted to spend a night in that room. 

Glenna also sells antiques and collectables including feedsacks. She is so much fun to go antiquing with. I have learned a lot from her. She found a spread while we were out that was nursery rhymes characters. I would have walked by it but she saw the possibilities for it. It is fun to shop looking at things from another person's view.

We decided to go to the Palisade Peach festival which is about 15 minutes from my home. What a treat. They gave us peaches to eat when we paid to get in. There was everything imaginable made from peaches there. Wine, ice cream, fudge, salsa, etc. It was a taste feast. I advise you not to try the peach peanut butter. Yuk!

While entering Palisade we saw the greatest sculpture, which gave us all a good laugh. It was a statue of a fire hydrants with a dog at the base trying to jump up to it. 

Have a great creative day. I am making pillows this afternoon for my sister's birthday.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Applique a "wheel" off-the-block...

I'm learning new things! I found flickr and pictobrowser. Flickr is a photo sharing website. Pictobrowser works with flickr to make cool slide shows like the one below.

What I'm showing below are the steps that go into making a "wheel" off-the-block. This particular wheel is going into a smaller version of the Lorna's Vine quilt that is in our book Amish-Inspired Quilts. This is a big wheel -  the block it goes on has a finished size of 6" x 6".

You will find smaller wheels in the center of the Aunt Millie's Garden blocks. The construction technique is the same for the smaller wheels.

I wrote notes to go with each image, explaining what I'm doing in each step. Run your cursor over "Notes" on the bottom right side of the slideshow and they should show up. The window cuts off a little bit of each image, but you can grab the image with your cursor and move it around. Next time I'll make the slideshow narrower which should eliminate this cropping problem.

I have posted this slideshow on our website with each of the books mentioned above.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's a beautiful day...

I worked in the yard this morning. There were weeds to pull and plants to move. Steve got out the chainsaw and pruned the ash tree in the backyard. It's going to have to come out in a few years - it's too close to the foundation. We're going to plant a replacement tree as soon as it's cool enough.

There are days of yard work ahead but that's for later. I'll be going to Tampa to teach for the Feather Princesses on Tuesday so my gardening is over for now. (BTW - Isn't "feather princess" a great name for a guild?!)

I have a huge sage out front. It's easily chest-high and is usually buzzing with bees. Lately there have been monarch butterflies on it as well. They flit around a lot but I did get one non-blurry image. The orange habanero pepper was not moving and was easy to take a photo of.

I plant peppers in the front yard, next to the big sage. I'm going to add even more vegetables out front next year. They blend in with the rest of the plants and the neighbors don't seem to care. Steve makes a great habanero sauce with these peppers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Painting pumpkins...

I helped Elanor paint pumpkins a few days ago. This was after we worked on a birthday cake for her mom and dad - they both had birthdays this week. And after we fixed the hole she cut in her shirt with scissors that morning. (We fused a star over it.)

Elanor had me draw outlines for the eyes, nose, and mouth on each pumpkin and then she did all the painting. We used acrylic tube paints (which is what I had on hand). There was some color mixing. She was after scary pumpkins and I think she nailed it!

Did you notice that I forgot to spread newspapers underneath the paint? Elanor did fine, but I managed to get paint on the table. It mostly came up!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good ideas from dorm rooms...

When I was catching up on some blog reading I read a post on designsponge that led me to a NY Times article. It's an article about interior design on the cheap - done by college students. Click on the multimedia slideshow on the left side of the page to see the images. 

There are some really good ideas! I especially like the big polka dots on the wall in slide #7 (at left). I've been wanting to add some dots in my kitchen and this might actually get me moving.

You may need to register yourself with the NY Times to see this slide show. It doesn't cost anything and it's a very good site. I find a lot of interesting information on their site.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Drying clothes outside...

I don't know about you, but I hang a lot of my clothes to dry. The fabric looks better longer if it's not in the dryer too often. I hang wet clothes on hangers on a rod in the utility room. When that's full, I end up hanging clothes in the bathroom(s) on the shower curtain rod(s). I don't have an outdoor clothesline. Why is that?

If you read about my studio re-model this summer, you may already know that I have a pretty small backyard. There is not a particularly good place for a clothesline. On special occasions I have been known to tie a rope up on the supports for the roof over the patio. I had a "special occasion" on Tuesday when I washed our pillows.

FYI — I washed the pillows because I realized they needed it. (Surely I am not the only person who doesn't think to wash the bed pillows regularly.) Two of the pillows were filled with polyester and two with down. I washed them all, two at a time. I didn't have tennis balls to put in the dryer with them, so I used 2 small wooden blocks. Boy, did that make a racket! They got mostly dry in the dryer, but needed more - forcing a "special occasion" clothesline outside.

Then I realized that I should really have a permanent clothesline. It's the green thing to do. And clothes hung outside smell great! But where would I put it? Duh! I hang my clothes on hangers, on rods, to dry. I didn't need a clothes line so much as I needed a clothes pole! 

I figured I could put up conduit (a pipe that electrical wires are put through) on the same patio roof supports from which I suspend my "special occasion" clotheslines. I bought two pieces of 3/4" conduit and some U-shaped hardware to hold them onto the posts. I cut the pipes to the correct length and hung the pipes myself. Honestly it wasn't hard at all. I spent less than $15 and it only took 1 1/2 hours.

You can see the clothes hanging on the pole on the far side of the patio. I put up two clothespoles, on opposite sides of the patio. 

I moved the clothes to the other side to take this photo. I figure I'll want to keep our clothes out of the sun and I'll use whichever side is in the shade.

As I sat back and admired my handiwork I got to wondering why it took me so long to come up with this solution. I wish I knew! We've been in this house for 14 years!!! Dang! Then I thought, OK, blog about it. So here you go - I hope this is helpful to some of you.

Karen, we need your address...

This is to Karen O'Neil, the winner of the blog hop door prize. We need your actual address so that we can send the book, Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way, to you. It's possible that you have a spam blocker on your email that is keeping our emails to you from getting through. If you would email your addres to us at we'll send the book.

To those of you who are not Karen: If we don't hear from her in a reasonable amount of time, we'll draw another name. So check back... the doorprize drawing may not be over!

On a related note: Linda and I did talk about the blocks I found when I cleaned up my spaces. Yes, we will be using them as future door prizes. We'll spread out the fun, and give them away one at a time. We don't know exactly when that will be - my guess is that we'll start it up in the next 3-5 weeks. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tidying up...

I had a little trouble focusing on work yesterday so I turned my attention to tidying up some spaces in the house that were starting to bother me.

It probably doesn't look too bad here, but this armoire had become a catch-all for the stuff I didn't want to put away. There are quilts folded on the top shelf that I hadn't rolled and put up yet. There is the Elanor's Picnic fabric that I've been using, and a variety of other "stuff". The bottom drawer has yarn and knitting needles and the top drawer has toys and stuffed animals for the Elanor and Jack.

Here is 1/2 of the closet on the other side of the room. This is where I put fabric that is not off-the-bolt like silks, hand-dyes, 1930s scraps, and more. There's a 3-drawer bin with quilting thread, and another bin with more yarn. You can see some quilt tops hanging above my suitcases.

The top shelf has clothes that I had hoped to fit into again some day. I decided to quit imagining that that day would ever come - I decided to pass them on to a friend of my daughter-in-law.  

Here is the armoire after tidying. This is better! The folded quilts are now rolled and put up on the top shelf of the closet. All the yarn is in bins, and the quilting thread is here now too. The stack on the right side of the middle shelf is where I keep some of my class "stuff" between trips. The bottom drawer is now Jack's and the top drawer is Elanor's. I'll have to reorganize if/when I have more grandkids. 

The bottom shelf of the armoire has some baskets on it, but it's uncommitted space. I like having room to grow.

The closet doesn't look that much different, but it is. I cleaned out 2 bags of fabric for my daughter-in-law's garage sale. The fabric on the shelves is not all mixed up together anymore - the silks are on one shelf, the hand-dyes on another, etc. You can see the quilts on the top shelf. The quilt tops and the suitcases are staying put where they are. 

In the photo below you can see the fabric on the other side of the closet. It's still tidy from the last time I cleaned it out not that long ago.  

During all this closet tidying, I found some blocks that I have appliqued for different classes over the years. I've got to talk to Linda about it, but I think we might do some more blog door prizes with some of these blocks as prizes. What do you all think about that?