Friday, May 29, 2015

                                      My love affair with the F Word

  (DISCLAIMER- if you are offended by this word DO NOT read this post)
    Well, we might as well talk about my love of that word. It is terrible, I know, but I have had a fondness for it for a long time. I did rein it in when I had the kids, but now that they are in their 20’s it has come back. With a vengeance.
   It all started in high school. I was making plans with my friends (yes I had friends back then) and we were going to this wonderful event called Little League Night. It was kind of like a carnival- rides, fireworks, nasty food, etc. There were hundreds of phone calls involved in plotting who was going with who, times of arrivals, etc. Then, it started to rain! WTH(F)? So, another 100 phone calls later every plan was cancelled and I was settled in for the night, pissed off, but settled in. And what happens? It quits raining! Really? In Pennsylvania sometimes it rains for days. Oh no- not this time. So, my brother and I are hanging out in the living room. My dad pops his head in and says to me “I thought you were going to Little League Night? So I replied- “Well, I was but it started to rain. And now look at it – there is not a fucking cloud in the sky”. He just looks at me, said ok and leaves. Brooke looks at me and says (yells actually) “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST SAID?” No- what? Then he proceeds to tell me that I said fuck in front of dad. REALLY? OMG- life is over as I know it. It was good life, short at 16 but it was good one. Nice to know all of you- my dad is going to freaking (fucking) kill me now.
  I decide I better head to my bedroom- when he kills me it will be easier to hide the blood upstairs on my floor than in the middle of the living room floor. A few hours go by and there is a knock at my door. Holy shit- this is it. I say “Come in”.  My dad opens the door….. and asked me if I was ok. WHAT?? “Yeah, I am fine. Just hanging out.” He replies- “Ok- I was just worried because you have been up here a while”. And he closes the door. I just got my second life! No yelling, no punishment, nada. Is he cool, or what? I eventually asked my brother how my dad has never slipped a cuss word in front of us and he told me because he has had many more years of practice. Whew- I made it out alive! To this day this is one of Brookes’ favorite stories. And he still cannot believe I said that in front of my dad.
  A few years later I was at the shore, and found an awesome shirt. It had the F word all over it.  I bought it, but never wore it. EVER. I think I just thought it was so cool I could even buy it. If I ever make a T-shirt quilt for me one day it is going in it- I will just have to hide it when the grandkids come over. (If I ever have any)
  Fast forward 30 years (please don’t do the math) to a few weeks ago. One Saturday, Bob and I went and grabbed a quick lunch. We were sitting near a little girl that was quite chatty. She did not stop talking- and I thought I was bad- and it was all in Spanish. The chattiness of course did not bother us at all- she was very cute and it was a very busy fast food place. It was very noisy. I proceed to dump my lidded (thank God) cup on the table, and what do I blurt out? FUCK. Yes, the F- word. Now, I did not think I said it very loudly, but that shut the little girl right up. Even though she was speaking only Spanish it amused me that she knew that bad word. Of course I must admit the only Spanish words I know are naughty- but I am OLD. (Thank you Sean, for teaching those words to me- I should have known Bruja was a bad word as he called me that often. I thought it meant PRETTY.)  I proceeded to say oh darn, etc. but the little girl kept staring at me. (Or so I am told. I could not look at her or her mother). They finally left, thank goodness, and we did as well with my head hung low.
  Now, after that incident, I am going to try to behave when out in public. I thought I was pretty good with my language when out of the house and in a public area.  (Bars and quilt retreats do not count). But evidently that is not the case.
  It may be a lost cause, however as I just took one of those nutty quizzes on Facebook. This one was “Which cuss word are you”? And guess what I got- yep. The F word.
  So, I am going to take my potty mouth, give it a quick rinse with a bottle of wine, and we shall see how I do.
Thanks for reading, my friends!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

                                             I have not been up to much-
    Hello all! Sorry I have been absent lately. I have been sewing just a little, and getting ready for our big trip to Pennsylvania to see the family. It will be the first time all 4 of us siblings have been together in 30 years- and it won’t be for a funeral- not yet, anyway. LOL.  It will be a hoot! Last time we were all together I was just a baby of 19. Now I can drink booze with them! Hello Yuengling Beer! Come to me my precious---
  I had a class this last weekend to show me how to use more features on my new sewing machine. The one little issue was that the woman who was giving me the class was a Viking user, not a Pfaff user so my class was only about 10 minutes. I am a decent reader so anything I need to know I will read about on my own I guess.  A few of my friends have been asking how I was liking the new machine. I compared it to a new relationship- at first it was all great- loved it all. Then, things started to piss me off. After  a week or so (ok, month) of that,  I got more used to it and I am once again happy with my purchase. I am glad the class was 2 months after purchasing the machine ,though at first that bothered me as well. Also, by selling my other back up machines I had nowhere to turn when the new one was ticking me off. I had to get out the damn manual and figure it out on my own, and I did. I think a  glass of wine was involved in that attitude adjustment, or it may have been a piece of very special chocolate.
  I did get a few things sewn. I made this Bethlehem Star for a class I am teaching in the fall. Not thrilled with the way the pattern was written, but oh well. It is the 3rd quilt I have quilted on my new machine and I think it came out just fine!

    I also made this pillowcase and it is for a shop sample as well. The fabric for this was in my stash- I am trying very hard to use fabric from my stash. I must have really liked this flower print- after making 3 pillowcases I still have 2 yards left!

   I have made a few little wallets- this one is mine-


   I bought some wonderful Kaffe fabric to make a shop sample of an Atkinson Design bag, then ended up going back and buying yardage of the same fabric for a Flowering Snowball quilt. I bought a white solid for the smaller parts of the block (the orange part in the snowball template picture), and am using the Kaffe for the larger part of the block (the white part on the snowball template package). I should have enough fabric for a queen size top. I bought the fabrics (except for the lime green for the centers of my snowballs) at Quilting Hands in Lyons, Colorado which is one of my favorite shops. They carry Aurifil thread, along with a fantastic assortment of fabric and notions. They are a wonderful shop- and are moving to a larger location. I can’t wait for that!  ROAD TRIP!


    This weekend I am hoping to get a bit of sewing done. I have my final 3 blocks to sew for a Block of the Month program that I am participating in. We can pick up the finishing kit in June so I would like to have all of the blocks done and ready to go when I pick that up.
  I also have to give our place a good cleaning to get ready for my house/dog/cat sitter to come over while we are gone.  The weather may be crappy this weekend so what better way to spend it than cleaning! My sweet friend Terry wants to get together this weekend as well, so that will be a nice break from cleaning. And if it ends up like it did last time, lunch may turn into an all-day quilt shop adventure- with pie! Whoo hoo!
  Hope this post finds you all well- enjoy your week!

Friday, May 8, 2015

                              My mother-

  I guess it is time for a Mother’s Day blog.  My mother passed away when I was only 16. She had lung cancer, and by the time they figured out what it was it was too late. It was my junior year in high school- and I really hid my head in the sand and did not want to think about what was going on. I would occasionally hear my dad cry- which was not easy to hear as he was a big guy that did not let on he even knew how to cry. I would escape to my best friends’ house- thank you Pen, Deb and all, or escape with my band friends- thank you Michelle, Carolyn and all of the rest of you, and I made my share of male companionship mistakes – well only one real big one-while looking for comfort. (There is a seedy blog story there but I will tell that another time).
Mom, Dad, my two sisters and older brother.

 So, Mother’s Day to me has pretty much sucked my whole life. Now that my kids are older they have their own lives and who gives a crap about the woman who put up with all of their dirty underwear and smelly socks over the years??  Oh well- I know they love me in their own way. Or until they need something. HAHA
  I do have good memories of my mother- baking me the chocolate cake for my birthday that she called the pain in the ass cake because of how big of a pain it was to make, being my assistant Brownie leader, being our girl scout troop’s Cookie Mom, hosting sleep overs for all of my friends, feeding me, keeping the house clean and making sure my clothes were spic and span. (Although she constantly bitched at me in high school because all I wore was jeans and t shirts- I showed her. My job at the moment has jeans and t shirts as their dress code- HA HA.) The companionship mistakes in high school did not seem to mind the jean and t shirt thing, either. So there- who needs dresses and high heels? Not this chick!
Mom is on the left in the back row. I am front and center!!
  I did not get my quilting gene from my mother. I have no clue where it came from.  Adopted maybe?? She did enjoy hand embroidery and needlework, which I do also love. I guess quilting is just an extension of that. I do have a few of her things that she stitched- and I cherish those.
   I am so very grateful for the years, though not many, I had with my mother. I moved 2,000 miles away the year my dad died, which was 3 years after my mom died. Moving to Denver at 19 with no family and knowing only 1 person was insane, and I am glad I did it then because I would be way too chicken to do it now. I guess my parents gave me the chance to do this crazy thing by not being around.  I got shoved out of the nest before I was ready, but I landed on both feet here in Colorado and never looked back. I am grateful to my parents for making me the stubborn, independent, bull-headed almost 50 year old I have become. My husband may not be so grateful for some of these traits- right honey??
On a lighter note, I did get this card last year on Mother's Day.  I must have done something right during their formative years!
  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend- whether you are a mom or not, have one or not-you are all special and should be treated as such every day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


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Friday, April 17, 2015


 My wonderful hubby made some very delicious homemade bean soup for dinner last week. It was amazing! However, it did take me back to a warm, hot summer night in June in 1982.

The Beans
  My mother’s bean soup had never been a favorite of mine. My mother’s recipe was a tad on the creamy side- not clam chowder creamy but definitely more to it than just broth. So, I used to add ketchup to it. Now, as an adult that sounds totally gross, but as a kid you did what you had to do to stuff down dinner. If you didn’t like what was on the table, tough shit- there were no options. You ate what was on the table or you didn’t eat at all.
  That hot, muggy summer night was a night of partying- imagine that. One of my dear friends was graduating from high school. She grew up across the street from me, so my dad sent along with me a giant pot of his home made bean soup to the party. Now this one pot could have fed all of Philly. Well, what a party it was. Swimming, drinking, food and boys! After the party was over, somehow I talked a certain jock I had a crush on to let me give him a ride home. I am sure he was a bit tipsy for this to happen. Well, I sat the pot of leftover soup on the back seat and took him home. He lived in the neighboring town- it was about a 2 mile drive on winding, curvy roads. When I got back home, I got in the back seat to grab the pot of soup and guess what- the damn pot spilled all over the back seat of the car! From how much soup I tried to scoop up, the guests at the party must have had the same taste in soup that I did. I have no idea what I used to get the soup up off of the seat- I am sure I was trying to be quiet as it was wayyyy late and I didn’t want to wake my father- or the neighbors. We all slept with our windows open- only the rich people had air conditioners.  I wiped it up best I could and took the mostly empty pot into the house. 
No use crying over spilt beans!
   The next morning, I was up at the crack of dawn- or before- to leave on a trip with my sister to visit my brother in Missouri. I was so hungover I could have cried, but off we went. ( I know- no pity for the under-age drinker with the hangover) My dad dropped me off at my sister’s house and that adventure began. Another blog story – I promise!
   Several days later I got a call from my father- he was not amused. Now remember- I grew up in Pennsylvania which has nice, sticky, humid, hot summer days and nights. Evidently, I did not clean up all of the bean soup. He had been taking some guys back and forth to work with him that week and the car had started to smell. He said it got so bad they had to stick their heads out of the windows and wear gas masks. I can just picture 4 burly construction guys driving down Interstate 81 with their heads stuck out the windows like dogs!
Dad and his co-workers heading to work

 Finally, my dad got in the back seat and lifted the seat up and found- maggots. Tons of maggots! It probably looked the Body Farm in there! The little critters loved the bean soup, evidently. Good for them, I thought- they can have it. He said I was damn lucky I was 1,000 miles away or he would have wrung my neck. And I bet he would have! I was sure glad I was in Missouri- and had another week before I went home and he had time to cool off.

   I never took bean soup to another party- and frankly kind of lost the taste for it at all.  It is a good thing my hubby’s doesn’t even look like my dad’s version!         
    Have a good week everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2015

                                                  Spring Retreat
  Well it appears I have survived another quilt retreat with my girls. What a wonderful weekend we all had! I find it interesting that this time I was wayyyyy less productive than I usually am, but I had the best time ever! I made myself not be glued to my machine, and visited, ate, drank and laughed myself silly.  And not necessarily in that order.
And thank you Brooke, for staying out of the hospital this time! Now I won’t have to kick your ass when I see you in June.
  Terry was kind enough to chauffer me up the hill to our retreat. The first plan was to stop at the casino that I discovered that had Coney Dogs! Now, those of you who have never had a Coney Island coney dog in Pottsville, PA have no idea what you are missing. I knew this dog would not be the same, but I had to try it anyway. It was not bad! There was not enough grease in it, but it worked!

   Of course we had to play a bit on the machines before we left and headed to the house. I, of course, won nothing. Terry did ok, however, and off we went.
   We arrived at the house and got all unloaded, then we all headed back down the hill to dinner. We decided this year we would all eat at a buffet for the first night so we all would have a chance to visit. Well, due to some crack ass law we could not take our 4 month old guest retreater to dinner at the one casino, so we walked across the street to another. I know he looked pretty shifty in that stroller and all, but good lord. Screw you Monarch- there are plenty of buffets that will have us! Bastards.
   Now- it is time to party!


   Sometimes we bring little treats for each other- here is what I brought. I saw these little mug mats on Pinterest and thought they were cute. I was able to use parts of a lone star I screwed up. Glad I saved the pieces!

   The next day we started to sew. And some finished their projects that day as well.  Showoffs! I confess- I had some of my blocks pre-cut before we got there. Here is the start of the quilt show-

My Triple Barn Store
Terry's Triple Barn Star
   A few of us ordered these shirts a few weeks before retreat. Unfortunately Judy’s came in the wrong size and they did not get the new one shipped in time. Of course she got it the day after we got home!

  That night was wine and movie night for some of us. Serial Mom cracks me up every time! The prank phone calls are the best. If you have not seen it I highly recommend it. It does have some foul language in it, but if you are reading this blog that should not surprise you.


    We were lucky enough to have 4 generations joining us for this retreat- Kayden was a lovely special guest. He had a great time! And we all did not enjoy holding him at all - Just kidding!

Me and Kayden
Terry and Kayden
    Saturday the machines were humming- and in between the snacking of the homemade hummus- thank you BOB- We did get some work done.

Randi finished up this charming little quilt-

Roxanne was finishing up this sweet chevron top-

  Susie, one of our resident fabric designers completed this bag using her fabric. We love it!

Val and Randi worked on their bargello tops and got them all done. Boy- it was amazing watching these come together! We were all amazed!
This is Vals-

Here is Randi’s-

     I did manage to get a jean quilt top done for a certain someone. He probably does not read my blog so I will post this picture but I will leave his name out on the off chance he sees this. Holy crap is it heavy! It came out to be 72” x 96”. What in the hell was I thinking? I hope it will keep him warm on those cold Pennsylvania nights.

   Rae got this beautiful butterfly top done- such lovely colors!

  Jan made this wonderful little Betty Boop top for her mom- so fun!

   Michele was a busy beaver as well when she wasn’t working on that big bottle of wine. Is that a pussy willow, Dottie?? She made this sweet little dress for her daughter and this awesome top from Missouri Star.

  A few of the gals stayed up late a/k/a after 10 pm haha and Rae taught those night owls how to make these great zipper bags- so fun!

 Laurie brought this wonderful quilt that just came back from the quilter. She did hand applique on it as well. It was lovely!

    She was also working on a top from Hell. She got a kit and all the fabric was not there. We hate when that happens! I think sometimes fabric companies design these patterns but never make the quilts to test the actual pattern. Dumbasses. She did call the company where she bought the kit and they are working with her to get her the fabric she needs.
  Terry made this lovely blue and brown top from a kit she purchased. This fabric is so much fun! Love the dots!

  LUCY made this great bag- we all wanted it when she was done! She is our other resident fabric designer and has such an eye for color. I have learned so much from her and Susie- and they are so willing to share their knowledge. Thank you guys! (Ignore the bitch in the polka dot pj's- looks like the beergaritas ran out!)

   Susie was also working on this applique top- her machine applique is amazing!

  Terry showed off her mystery quilt that she organized on our Quilters and Sewers Only Facebook Page - isn’t it lovely?

Randi also was putting binding on this lovely- I adore cardinals. She is lucky she made it home with this quilt!

 LUCY brought this beauty to bind. It is a special gift for a wonderful event coming up. Eileen quilted it for her- isn’t it something?


   There were several other projects going on- I promised to be better this year at getting pictures but I am still lacking a bunch. I know Judy was busy all weekend and I only have one picture of a quilt she finished. It is a Quilt of Valor. Judy is prolific making these quilts. We are truly humbled by her dedication and support of this organization. Please go here to learn about this wonderful organization.

    Here is pic of Judy in her apocalypse shirt after she got home- isn’t she adorable?

  We had beautiful weather and we did manage to get some walking in although it was quite breezy. I had to do something to work off that wine and cookies and cream chocolate! We had a most wonderful time with each other as usual. Thank you for the laughs my dear friends. Can’t wait til September! Love you all!



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

                                                    Selling a machine- again!

  As you know by now I splurged and bought a new machine. Yes, I was probably on crack. I am trying to get over that habit but it is not going well. To help finance this little venture I figured I needed to sell my other machines.
  I (actually Bob did all the work) put my old 7530 Pfaff up for sale on  a few Facebook pages and on Craig’s List and got ready for the onslaught of scammers. He received a notice from a sweet woman from up north (still here in Colorado- just a bit north from where I live) after it was up for only 6 hours! We went back and forth a bit with info and I met her 2 days later. She loved the machine and bought it right then! No problem at all!  I am sure she will take good care of that machine and use it well. It was a perfect match and totally meant to be. I will miss the old gal but I am loving her replacement!
  My friend LUCY had Bob put her machine up for sale since my sale was so successful. And poor Lucy- all she has had is one scammer after another. Hopefully that will stop soon and she can sell hers as well. (Lucy keeps bitching at me because I often mention her on here so I changed her name. LOL). That is part of the price for being my friend-haha.
  Then I put my Bernina 630 up for sale. It has been a great machine as well, and though I will not have a sturdy back up if something happens to the new one it is more important to pay the new one off. I have to keep telling myself if the new one goes out, or when I take it in for service I have plenty of other hand projects to keep me amused. And it is not life-ending being without a sewing machine- it only feels like it. Bob is a tad nervous about this machine leaving and me not having a  back-up- evidently I get a tad bitchy if I don’t get in my sewing room for a while every day. I decided to sell the machine with the embroidery unit and their cases, a bunch of embroidery stabilizers, 2 boxes of Isacord embroidery thread, embroidery hoops, several USB sticks of software , the BSR Stitch Regulator, a walking foot, a ¼” foot, extra bobbins, a ruffler attachment and of course the accessory box- which we call the Barbie Case- total copyright infringement. I was getting ready to go on a quilt retreat with my homies and mentioned I was selling it to them. And, lo and behold, one of them bought it! No Craig's List, no listing on the internet, nothing! I was over the moon, and I know she will be as well. Goodbye to you as well, my dear friend, You have served me well!


  I have been making dog collar covers like mad- 490 to be exact I also started this quilt by Hickory Stitchery Dock while spending the day with my sweet friend, Terry. See Lucy- she doesn’t make me change her name LOL. (not yet anyway). She made the most awesome beef and barley soup for lunch. YUM! She even sent some home with me for Bob, as she knows I am a big slacker in the cooking category. Of course I screwed up part of the directions- my own fault, not the pattern, so I had to finish piecing the blocks at home. I almost threw the pieces I had left from pre-cutting in my bag to take with me, but I was cocky and thought- “Oh- I won’t need those”. I should have freakin known better.  DUMBASS. Here it is in all of it's glory. I really love that fabric line.

    I also made some little quilted treats but I cannot share any pictures of those yet. I will share those pictures in a few weeks.
  On another note- I pulled another dumbass move. Shocking, I know. On the way to Terry’s, I thought I should finally wash my car. I do love to go through the automated car wash bay, but I am paranoid I won’t get the tire in the groove thing that it is supposed to guide you in. So, this time I pull up into the thingy-there has to be name for the stupid thing but darned if I know what it is- and the light comes on to reverse a bit. I pulled up too far. FUCK! So, I put the car in gear and tried to go back bit- the car would not move. Oh shit- now what do I do? I actually got stuck! Do I gun it and try to pull ahead? What if someone is behind me? I just lost my $5. CRAP! So, after what seemed like 20 minutes (but probably only 10 seconds) I look down- I had the damn car in neutral!!!! Good lord- some days I should not even leave the house!

  I will get my act together and post retreat pics soon- I promise! I just need to get the rest of the collar covers turned and ironed.
Have a good week my friends!