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Friday, December 19, 2014

Grand Illusion, Part 4!

Grand Hotel Murano chandelier
Are you ready for some more fun?

This is the Murano Chandelier that hangs in the Cupola Bar at the very tip top of the Grand Hotel, offering a panoramic view of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge.

Isn’t it gorgeous??.

Can you see the ceiling?  It’s striped like a circus tent, aqua and white!

The carpet is a vibrant blue and the while walls, windows and railings add a clean modern touch you wouldn’t expect to find in such a historic place.

This was our meeting place after our workshop day was over.  A great place to sit and relax with students, other instructors, and get to know each other a bit better over some snacks and beverages before dinner.

Things turn formal after 5pm at the Grand hotel, but the lounges like this accept more casual attire.

It was May when we were here, but winter was still holding strong in May of 2014:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Writing, writing, writing….QUILTING!

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This is Sally, my Singer 328K.  She was made in 1963 in Kilbowie, Scotland – the same factory that made the 221K, or Featherweight.

She is a tank.

She feels nearly industrial and she has a mean, zig-zag, one of the few zig-zag machines that I own.

She fits in the same cabinet that the 400 and 500 series machines do….and I haven’t played with her much.  She does take decorative cams, but I haven’t had time to really play with them and find out what the stitches can do on this old girl.

But let me tell you, she is a battle axe, and you would fall in love with her from the moment that frog’s eye light bulb goes shining down onto your project!

I saved this project until this evening….I spent ALL DAY up until 7pm  writing writing writing.

We want to spend all next week up until the 27th at the cabin, and all the writing of the mystery parts for the next 3 clues needed to be ready to go before I head back up to the mountain. 

I also had to write out all the mystery steps to a quilt I’m teaching in Plano over New Year’s at Fabric Fanatics!.  A different mystery!

The Life and Times of Fabric…




This is the fabric I chose for the border of the baby quilt.

1995?!?  I wouldn’t think this was that old, but that is going on 20 years!

It’s the perfect blue.  It carries on the “plaid theme” with just a bit more punch and whimsy.

I had yards and yards of this at some point, and I’m down just to a bit of it.

I bet you didn’t even notice it in the Ring Around the Hexies quilt I did in collaboration with Mickey Depre:

Back cover of pattern booklet:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Good Intentions of Border Stuff!

And then there are those days...

Where you thought you were going to get a lot of sewing in, but everything else that has been left undone for 2weeks suddenly takes precedence and sewing time is once again pushed toward the back burner.

It's not all bad!

Sometimes, it's really really good!

Like a late afternoon massage appointment, very much needed, and a light dinner after with a friend that you have missed repeatedly due to crazy schedules and cars with dead batteries.

Of course, there must be a run by the ATM on the way home, and text messages reminding you to stop and pick up milk and a few other things at the grocery store since you are driving right past it on your way.

Once the car is unloaded, you finally look at the clock on the stove to find it is after 8 p.m. And the day is gone, long gone!

And….I SEWED!!

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I sewed last night!

I was talking to my mom, and this baby is due in something like 3 weeks…holy cow, were does the time go?

It’s time to get this little quilt together, get it quilted, bound, labeled and on its way to my Sis in Law in Idaho!

I had been using this as my Quilt-Cam project, but we all know that not much sewing goes on for me during Quilt-Cam, and with the crash of last week’s attempt, no sewing has happened on it at all for at least a couple of weeks now.

I’m not sure if I will be able to fit another Quilt-Cam in before Christmas, but I will let you know if something opens up.

Right now I just really NEED some production and solo-sewing time to make some headway on some deadlines.

But look!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ding, Dong the Mail’s All Done!!

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DO YOU SEE THIS?!?

This is what it looks like from my side of the monitor when I am printing invoices and labels for book orders…

NO. ORDERS!!  Oh happy dance!

2 weeks + 1 day from Cyber Monday and I am all caught up!

That is…until more copies of 200 Blocks arrive from Martingale (on their way) and more copies of Scraps & Shirttails II arrive from Kansas City Star after going to reprint on the 18th.

I tell you…it has been a day to bust my butt.

Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals Serpentines and More! ((Give-Away!))

catherine8
This is my friend Catherine Redford!

We met this past November on our Caribbean Cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, and she is SUCH a talented and fun lady!

She kept us captivated with her projects and thread embellishing, and when I learned that she was putting out a video about machine quilting with a walking foot, I knew that my readers would want to know more about this so of course I said YES when she asked me to be part of her blog hop.

My first machine quilting was with a walking foot. Simple straight lines, both in and out of the ditch...only I wish I knew the kinds of things that walking foot would have allowed me to do if I could have had Catherine's course first!

Catherine’s video will take you all the way from starting with the right needle ((Did you know you should be using a SHARP, not a universal or a ball point for the best seam ever when piecing and quilting?)) and go through all the varieties of threads that are out there.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite segments of the video:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shake, Rattle and Roll Baby! ((And 5 Minute Power Purge!))



Growing up the the bay area, San Jose, California, I have felt earthquakes in my time…

It was something expected on the west coast, but it has been many many years since one has happened near me.

And so the rude awakening at 2pm with the cabin swaying and Sadie going bonkers was quite a shock!  With no after-shocks, thank goodness!

2am is a groggy time to be awakened by anything – and it took some time getting back to sleep after that.

The quake happened just north of Lenoir, which is directly SOUTH of the cabin about 25 miles.  3.0 is SMALL on the Richter schale, but still.

Earthquakes in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

We left for home about 7:30 am after making the decision to stay the night since everything we had hoped would be done by dark just wasn’t.  If we had come home last night, we probably wouldn’t even have felt this tremor, rumble and boom.

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 3!



Happy Monday, everyone!

Welcome to our 3rd Mystery Monday Link-Up for Grand Illusion.

I hope this part was an easier breezier one for you –and that you enjoyed whipping up 120 of our Two By Four units.

I just love the bright greens mixed with the neutrals and the scrappy blacks…it’s going to play such a fun part in our final quilt reveal!

I’ve had questions about the pressing….