Friday, September 26, 2008

Shared Fabric

When I gave my daughter a quilt, I was showing her some fabric I had used in other quilts. She said she wouldn't remember, and really, she didn't care. I do, so I thought I would document the fabric I used in the stars. There was even some scrap fabric that I don't remember where I used originally, so I figure I'd better do it while I still remember the rest. You probably don't care either, but at least you get to see a mini quilt show of my quilts.

You are going to have to trust me about the shared fabric with this quilt, since this photograph doesn't show the shared fabric. The story maze quilt also has shared fabric with many of my other quilts.

I called the fabric green in this summer swap quilt, but I am calling it blue in the SITP.

I don't think I used the blue fabric in the SITP, but at least one of the background whites is shared. And no, I'm not going to take the time to see which one.

The crossed kayaks quilt also shares a white with Lilebeth's Garden, and probably with the SITP as well. It also shares a couple of the blues. I didn't have a lot of extra fabric in this quilt, and I used some in the denim circles quilt, and want to save the rest for the border.

This denim circle quilt also has a lot of fabric from many of my other quilts. This photograph shows some great matches. The white with blue flowers in the top left is from my Storm at Sea, and I have that fabric in the SITP as well. The second one, the flower bud, is from a dress my daughter and I were going to make, and I have that fabric in the SITP. The brighter blue underneath that one is in the Arkansas Snowflake, and either it, or another fabric from that quilt is also in the SITP. To the right of that - the solid blue, and the plaid one on top of it, are both from a simple quilt I made for my niece. Fabric from that quilt is in the SITP as well.

Here's the storm at sea. The white background fabric with tiny blue leaves is shared.

This is the Arkansas Snowflake. The snowflake print is shared.

Another blue quilt I made at about the same time. I gave this one away. I'm just showing it to you since I am showing the blue quilts, but maybe it is the source of the mystery fabric.

The dark blue fabric in the Evening Stars quilt is in the SITP.

I didn't think I had a lot of leftovers from this Kanji Wishes quilt, but I was excited to find a strip of blue batik and mottled fabric to add to the SITP.

Here's another one of my blue quilts. Most of the blocks are swapped blocks but I did add a few. Maybe the mystery fabric is from this quilt.

Here's another quilt that isn't blue but shares the white background fabric with the SITP.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've been watching TV while I have been ripping seams, and am trying to keep up with news and happenings. It constantly amazes me. You know the news - financial crisis, Hurricane Ike destroys things in Texas, election campaigning, etc. You know what our headlines are?

It is about electricity coming back to the city. Every station, every headline. All week. Yes, it is important stuff, but the electric company has been working all week getting power back. Right now 99% of the city has power, so they interview the 1% of people who don't have it. They have long extension cords from their neighbors across the street. I'm not saying it isn't inconvenient or important and shouldn't be in the news. They do need to keep the electric company accountable. I'm saying it doesn't have to be the leading story, every day. They spend five minutes on that. Then another five minutes to tell you the rest of the news. Then the rest of the time they talk about sports and weather. Yesterday, they finally talked about people returning to Texas to see their entire houses devastated.

Meggie was talking about watching John McCain on The View. Meggie is way over in Australia. The only reason I know Australia exists is because I saw it on a map, and some fellow bloggers say they live there. Oh and I watched a couple of Nature shows about parrots and crocodiles in Australia this week. I have no idea about their politics. I'm not saying I want to, but I just think that if we keep talking about the same thing every week, it keeps us from finding out about the other people who live in the world with us.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumn and Quiltathon Results

My calendar says Autumn begins today. Happy Autumn. Since I haven't finished everything I wanted to do for spring and summer, I have my work cut out for me. I've made a list, and hopefully today I can get more productive. If I can get off the computer, that is.

I have been quilting this weekend, because Judy said we had to. It's Quiltathon time. What did I do? I cut up lots of fabric and sewed them together, of course. Isn't that what quilters do? I went through my scrap basket and cut up some squares from quilts I have made before. I found all sorts of lovely blue fabric - from the kaleidoscope quilt, my niece's quilt, the Evening Stars, the story maze quilt, the Japanese quilt, the denim circles quilt.

I've made a lot of cutting mistakes on this quilt, so I trimmed one eighth inch off of all my squares. Fun times. I have enough fabric to cut all new squares (for several quilts), but then I would have to figure out what to do with this size square, and I would rather try to reduce scraps. And to think, there was a time when I was envious of scraps and wanted to make some.

I am glad I didn't tell you last week that I had finished with the outside star points. I was almost done with all of my little flying geese when I realized that I had added dark squares to the sides of the big flying geese when I needed light squares. It wasn't that much of a problem to rip them out, since it was something I could do while I was watching tv, and I need that size square for another part of the quilt, so it isn't wasting much.

Two steps forward, one step back. I'm not sure why I am making so many mistakes in this quilt. I think it all leads to not paying attention to the directions as much as I usually do. I've been spoiled by step by step directions. Even though I understand the directions in this quilt, everything leads to the picture and I think I know what it looks like, and don't bother to look at it as often as I should.

Eventually this quilt will get finished, and hopefully I will have discovered all the errors I want to correct before it is all finished.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lost and Found

I thought I'd cover up my last dreary post with some good news.

Remember that quote from Pirates of the Caribbean?
lt's an island
that cannot be found ,
except by those
who already know where it is.

Well, I have one of those places in my house, where I put Important Papers. This is a separate place from ordinary newspapers, offers, papers, bills. These would be bills that need paying right away, big coupons that need to be used right away. It is a very special place so that those Important Papers get acted upon right away. I know where it is - I can locate it right away when I am putting these Important Papers aside temporarily. The problem is, I don't know where it is when I need those Important Papers.

Recently, I have been looking for an absentee ballot. And the $40 coupons for the DTV converter boxes. Very Important Papers that were nowhere to be found. The sad thing is that both of these things are distinctive - the ballot is in a blue envelope and the DTV coupons are like credit cards and are bright red. They should be easy to find, if I hadn't put them in that Important Papers place.

I finally gave up on the absentee ballot, and found the form online, so that part is done. After frantically searching for two months for those DTV coupons, (you have to use them within 90 days of requesting them), I finally thought to ask my sister. Apparently I had taken them with me one day when I went out shopping with her and I left them in her car. Phew!

I went to Walmart because I am a cheapskate and proud of it. You'll be happy to know that I am now ready for the digital age. Of course, I wound up buying extra stuff I didn't need, but really wanted as well.

Financial News

When I wrote about the effects we saw from Hurricane Ike, I figure that all of my readers know that what we had was nothing compared to the real hurricane effects people felt in Texas. We didn't have to board up anything or evacuate, etc.

I was thinking, though, that someday, I might want to print out this blog, maybe even print it out in book form, and if my future family sees it, they might remember the context, or may not understand that Hurricane Ike didn't really come here.

I figure I would throw in a quick post about the current news situation. I should probably put something in here from time to time, instead of one big post.

The historic presidential campaign is going on. John McCain and Sarah Palin are running on the Republican ticket, while Barack Obama and Joe Biden are running on the Democratic ticket.

American soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whenever another country is mentioned on the news - Russia, Pakistan, etc., it makes me worry that soldiers will be sent there as well.

Many companies are downsizing or going bankrupt. Even big ones.

Many homes are in foreclosure, mostly due to variable rate mortgages and lax due diligence on the part of banks and mortgage companies. Many homeowners decided that when the price of their home dropped and they couldn't refinance their loan, that it was better to walk away instead of carry the debt, leaving their credit rating in ruins. This left many banks and the entire mortgage industry in crisis.

Insurance companies are having problems on two fronts - first they have had losses due to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike. They are also having trouble with the investments they bought.

The US government decided to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (quasi-government agencies that buy mortgages). This week they decided to help AIG (insurance company), and will print more money in order to do so.

There are many middle class people who have stayed away from the bad mortgage loans, and have been trying to save money for their childrens' college education and their own retirements. Stock brokers and financial "experts" have been touting a 10% historical return in stocks, and have encouraged people to buy and stay in the stock market. The stock market is tumbling. And as more and more people get more and more worried, they will sell more of their stock and the tumble will continue. This is about the time when the baby boomers are coming into retirement age and will need to withdraw the money they have been saving up. A stock market downturn was expected, but not this much, and this early.

The US government is working on a bigger plan to help even more. This quote from today's news feeds straight into my fears.
The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Chris Dodd, D-Conn., warned on Friday that the United States could be "days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system" and said Congress would work quickly to prevent that.

I have worked in the financial services industry. I wish I could think through all these things and figure out what will be next, but it is too complicated for me. I get asked what people should do with their stocks, and I don't know what to tell them. I know that the stocks will continue to go down, and eventually they will go back up again. But when and by how much, I don't know. I also don't know how much of what I know is the sales pitch I have bought into, and I don't know whether the middle class will trust the stock market after this. And I don't know how the government intervention will factor into all this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Since G'Owens On Round Here took the time to show you storm pictures, I thought I would do the same for my city. The storm damage has been pretty much cleaned up around here, and the city has been busy picking up all the tree debris. I did manage to get a couple of minor pictures for you today. There were whole uprooted trees, some fell on power lines, etc. These are tiny branches in comparison. We are asked to bundle things up. There were a lot of places still without electricity, and many school districts (not just particular schools) have cancelled classes even for today. Many of them announced very early - yesterday afternoon - that they were closed today, so apparently it has to do with more than just whether the electricity is back on. The only thing I can think of is the planning of the lunches. Maybe they wait to make sure the school can open before ordering lunches. I remember last year they took "snow days" for something other than snow, and they are doing it again so early in the year. It is such a beautiful day out today.

I am out of milk and I am afraid to go to the store to get some. I've been to a local grocery store when the power went out and I know for a fact that they do not have generators to keep their food cold. I would think that all grocery stores in areas where there are lots of trees would have generators as a rule, but apparently they do not. Many grocery stores were closed during the storm. Now I'm sure I will be able to buy milk and other perishables, but I wonder how long it had been sitting in an uncold environment.

I was passing time at the library yesterday before class started (because my classes aren't cancelled), and was browsing the new book section in the childrens' room. A lady was standing beside me looking at the section as well. She turned and started talking to me. It was my sister! When I am at the library, I am looking at books, not at people. I certainly hope that people who know me don't think I am deliberately ignoring them. I tend to do this a lot - not really looking at people - which in a way is a good thing, because people don't want to be stared at or looked at as they too are looking for books and videos, but on the other hand, if I do know them, they are going to feel slighted.

Monday, September 15, 2008


One of the things I read besides the stuff mentioned in the last post is the cover of an Oprah magazine - the one that talked about a mother driving two hours to do her son's laundry. I only read the cover, you understand, because I'm pretty sure it was something that was not recommended. Parents need to give their kids a chance to grow up, yada yada.

Oprah, you don't understand. It isn't about doing laundry. It is about reconnecting with the kid, bonding, etc. Yep I brought my daughter home this weekend. But she did her own laundry, and mine too! and filled the sugar shaker. It was nice knowing she was in the house as I went about my day. It was really windy when I dropped her back off at the school, and it got much windier as the day went on.

This has been a strange year, because I don't remember getting wind storms before. Trees topple, and the electricity goes out, but there is no thunder and lightening. I watched the storm for a while. The birds were staying low, and the robins were actually eating the pyracantha berries. I showed you a picture of them in a previous post. Have you seen the thorns on those bushes? Those are killer thorns. They did deep. Then I had dinner (I have a gas stove), read by candle light and flashlight a little bit and then went to bed. This year we have had several of those storms. Lots of people still don't have electricity and lots of places are closed today.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I had the day off Friday, so I made big plans. I thought I could buy some paint and paint the garage door. Or I could clean - I hear people do that. Since the house had been cleaned for the party, it wouldn't take very long to bring it back into shape. Apparently, not only am I allergic to dust and therefore cleaning, I am also allergic to thinking about cleaning. I had a serious allergy attack on Friday. My eyes were watering so I couldn't see much, and I sneezed a million times. When I went to bed that night, my jaw and my stomach hurt so much from all that sneezing that I couldn't sleep.

The next day I felt hung over from the medication, but the allergies were gone. No more thinking about cleaning. So in the meantime, I read a library book by Parnell Hall. It is a very quick read about a little old lady who solves mysteries and has crossword puzzles written in her name. She is a chain smoker who has been married many times. It isn't high brow reading, but fit the bill exactly for someone who couldn't concentrate very well. The book is all mostly dialogue, so you don't have to read a lot of descriptions. He repeat the clues from time to time, and help you remember who all the characters are, without being condescending.

I recommend it. This is apparently the ninth book in the series. I have reserved the other books in the series to see how they are, read one, and it is similar in style - just a different murder. The rest of them are about crossword puzzles and not sudoku, but since I enjoy sudoku, and not crossword puzzles, it was more likely to reel me in.

Also I read a Good Housekeeping article (September) which reminded me of the mindful eating that Carol has been talking about. I agree - you have to enjoy and savor your food. Otherwise, I think I wind up saying, hey that was good, and get a second serving just to savor it!

On the quilting front, I did finish the light stars. Yeah! Now I have to start on the dark ones.

Friday, September 12, 2008


The no waste method of making flying geese is working wonderfully, and I am enjoying quilting again. Hopefully this means you won't have to hear any more whining for a while, at least until it gets to be time to quilt this baby. I'll probably be tacking it by hand, because there is no way I am going to try to stuff a queen size quilt into my sewing machine.

Now that things are going smoothly and I am enjoying the process, my thoughts have been wandering. I am not planning a new quilt anytime soon, at least until this one and another one is finished. I promised Finn, after all. And that's my rule - two finishes for every start.

Then I started thinking about people who haven't received quilts from me. My brother in law is the only one in the family who hasn't received anything from me, and maybe he is feeling left out. And there is that baby that was born this summer. I was going to buy her a gift but my daughter said, why don't you make her a quilt? My excuse was that it was too hot in the summer for a quilt, but now that it is getting cooler ... Hopefully I can finish up one of my UFOs and give that to her as a gift.

And then there are all these lovely quilts I keep seeing when I read my bloglines. Some of them are so tempting, especially the little projects.

I am going to try very hard to keep focused on finishing this quilt before I start anything else, but I'm not making any promises!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It seemed like this quilt might be telling me I am not allowed to make it, but I have decided it is telling me to go off the pattern. I have decided to make the flying geese a different way. I tried one set, that makes four flying geese, wrote down the measurements so I wouldn't forget, and it is working, so I'll make the rest that way. I'm not saying that there is a problem with the pattern - so many people have managed to make this quilt - but apparently it just isn't for me.

Quality Work

Remember the book I told you about, Replay? The one where the guy goes back to when he was younger and lives his life all over again? It feels like the stars I am now making were started by me in a previous lifetime. I had put everything away for the birthday party, and when I brought them back out, I had a bunch of pieces I had to figure out. Some of these pieces may have needed trimming or some other kind of work, but without any notes, I had to figure it all out. So I had problems. Some of these were simply badly cut.

But this is a new lifetime, right, so the next batch of stars will be made correctly. I brought out some previously cut pieces (I tried to only cut for one type of block at a time, but if there was extra fabric, I thought I would save time and cut whatever other pieces I could out of it). Well, some of the squares were not square. You would think someone with this much quilting experience would know how to cut a square. I am going to blame the ruler, which has solid lines for the 1/2 inch on two of the sides and solid lines for the 1 inch for the other two sides, even though they are clearly marked and I do know better.

And this time quality inspection was on high alert, so I discarded the "squares" and started all over. I had to remind myself that I could save the time of yelling at myself, since either way I would have to correct the errors. This time, I measured, twice, and then cut. I then measured again, all sides, just to be sure. This time, with properly cut triangles, sewing would be a breeze, and I would get these finished in no time. I counted all the pieces to make sure that I had the right amount. This is harder than it seems since it is a scrappy quilt, it involves cutting a couple of triangles out of each piece of fabric. Yep 32 of the G triangles and 64 of the F triangles. I laid them out and made a couple of flying geese, being careful to use the correct seam allowance. I took them out of the sewing machine to measure the finished part.

Yep, it's official. The new me isn't any smarter than the old me. I need C and I pieces, not F and G.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Seeing Stars

Yesterday, as I was coming downstairs, I took a peek into the guest room, which doubles as the place where extra blankets and pillows are kept, and (tripled?) as the staging area for the daughter's moving. The star on the Macy's bag fits right in with the star pillows and quilt. The pillows makes the stars with diamonds, and the quilt uses Jan Mullens starz technique.

Then I came down the stars. The swap quilt is at the landing. This star is made with log cabins. It is curled because I had temporarily placed it there using pins, and just haven't gotten around to properly mount it.

Then I turn and walk into the living room. I like to have cool quilts to offset the heat of the summer and bright warm quilts to offset the dreariness of winter. If I remember correctly, I was sick of flying geese stars when I made this quilt.

Finally, this is on my sewing table. I am finished with the 28 white stars needed for my queen size quilt. I think I am mostly sick of these because I am having trouble with them. I am not sure whether the cutting directions are wrong, or if I am piecing them wrong, or if I haven't read the directions properly, or if it is a matter of switching rulers and using so many different fabrics, but I had to trim a lot of the flying geese. I figured that out after I had already sewed on the sides, and tried to make them fit into the center square. That's all done now, thank goodness. I have to take 8 of these and add a star around them.

Then I have to make 28 blue stars. By the time I get to them though I will be an expert at making stars, and they will go much more smoothly. Right? Right?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fabulous Saturday

I just had the best day yesterday!

I slept in and woke up fully refreshed and rested. Had a leisurely breakfast while I waited for my cell phone to be charged. It was a beautiful day with the best color blue skies. I had a wonderful scenic drive to my daughter's school, where I gave her additional things she had decided she needed. I took her and her friends to the local grocery store so they could stock up on supplies. They were very appreciative that they didn't have to walk cases of water that far, and I enjoyed seeing more of the college town and get to know her friends. Took the scenic drive back.

I stopped at a library I don't frequent to return Replay - a very good book about a man who gets a chance to re-live part of his life. I picked up a bunch of books as well. I came home and took a short nap.

Then I got ready and went out to dinner with some friends who I used to work with. It was great to catch up on their lives and find out about others we worked with. It had probably been 10 years since I saw most of them, so it was really strange to find out about colleges and grownup activities of their children.

I came home and browsed through of the books I had gotten from the library. A bunch of quilting books, including one that has the pattern of a quilt I have already collected fabrics for. The trick now is to maintain self control and finish my stars before I start cutting out another quilt already!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Star Maker

There have been UFO challenges galore, and I've mainly stayed out of them because even though I've been planning on finishing my UFOs for quite a while, I never quite do.

This year, however, I have a better plan. I have joined Finn's challenge. We choose how many quilts we will finish by New Year's Eve. That's a while away, so I can do it, right? I decided to choose a small manageable number to start, and hope to move that number up to 100%. I told her I would do two.

The first one will be the blue and white stars I am making with Dot. I've been making stars. It seems like a never-ending bunch of stars. I'm a star maker. I have been working on them a little bit each day and don't have a lot of progress to report on it, and someday I will even finish up those stars.

I'm not sure what the second quilt will be. It will be something that is closer to completion. Either a top that simply needs quilted, or a top that needs a border before it gets quilted. I have several to choose from in both those categories, and my hope is that after I am finished with the stars, I can do several of those finishes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have many blogs that I read on Bloglines, and then I click on a post when I want to make a comment. It seems lately that several bloggers have changed their settings so that you can only read the first few lines of each post. You have to actually visit the page to read more. If you have done that, you'd better make sure that those first few lines are really interesting. It's my new pet peeve.

It's not all not dreary here on The High Road, however. I went shopping at Walgreens, and this being the beginning of a new month, I managed to obtain quite a few items using their free after rebate offers. I also bought some other things which wasn't free, but I was able to combine with some coupons to get a really good deal.

This means now I am furiously clipping and sorting coupons again. I've gotten really lazy in doing that, but with the economy being what it is, I'd rather pay less instead of more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fresh Start

My sister, nephew and I took my daughter to college this weekend. I had started missing her before she even left, even though she didn't really start packing until Friday. She packed as if she was going to be gone forever. She took four cases of water, two tubes of toothpaste, the most of things we had around the house, etc. She didn't pack any unnecessary things, but had a van full.

She lives on the top floor of her building, which doesn't have an elevator. Lugging those four cases of water up to the top floor in 82 degree heat is not fun, especially if you're out of shape. Her roommate is her friend, and the room that they chose is a beautiful, large room that is located in a very social position. Last year, she was at the end of the hall where nobody would see her unless they came looking for her. This year, everybody has to pass by her room to get to anywhere else, depending on which door they use. Since they coordinated schedules so both of them would get there at approximately the same time, we were able to help her unpack and get things situated. (Last year DD didn't know which bed and which closet to take, so she waited for the roommate to get there, not knowing what time that would be, so I had to leave all the unpacking for her.) The cafeteria was closed, so we went to a leisurely lunch / dinner / ice cream with the roommate and her parents at a restaurant.

This means a fresh start for her, but it also means I have yet another fresh start in my life. I had been putting off making decisions about what to do until after she left. The goal was to wake up earlier and be productive and action-oriented. I guess I needed to rest first, but I think I am ready for the action now, building up the momentum instead of rushing into it.