Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I LOVE that word… DONE (or FINISHED, or FINALLY DONE!)!  I have several “dones” to share with you today.  First of all, I went to retreat with my friends and I got the G9P DONE!! 


YYAAAAHHHHHHH!  That project has been in the works for about 1 1/2 years now, and had become the elephant in the middle of the room.  It weighed heavily on my mind that it was incomplete.  I must say that I LOVE the way it looks.  I also must say that I will NOT do anything that contains that many curved seams coming together at intersections for a L-O-N-G time!  I’m over my need to do curved piecing for a while (unless it is something simple like a drunkard’s path… never say “never”!).


And my next DONE…  I have been working for a couple of weeks on a show quilt for a customer.  Now please realize that I can’t really show you the quilt because it is her original design, and it is hers to reveal, so I am just going to show you a little peek at the quilting.  This is the first time I have done show quilting for someone else.  I found it hard to do, because 1)  I tend to be a perfectionist, 2) I tend to be a people pleaser so I called her about umpteen times because I did not want to do anything to her quilt without her knowing what was going on, 3) working on someone else’s quilt of this caliber adds a whole other layer of stress on top.  That said, here is a peek at her quilt.

Terry's quilt peek

And lest I should get a big ego over this, quilting continues to humble me as I go. I have just spent 8 hours using my new best friend…


Yep, I had 2 rows of bad tension on a pantograph design.  You would think I would have it all figured out by now!!  But in the middle of trying to fix Gussie Fay I was adjusting tension to try and get the loops to go away.  I obviously went the WRONG WAY with the tension knob and had 8 hours of “fun” frogging.  But, in keeping with the theme of today’s post, it too is DONE!

Now to let you know what a bad friend I am… I went to retreat, with my camera, and did I take even 1 picture of my friends I have not seen in 2 years?  NOOOO!  I’m so embarrassed!  My excuse is that I  was so busy working and visiting I didn’t take the time.  I did snap 1 picture of a friendly fox that came right up to the cabin we were staying in.  We were some concerned because she seemed “too friendly”.  Even in a state park you don’t expect the wild animals to come within 10 feet of a porch holding  8 gawking ladies.  But it sure was a beautiful creature!


That’s all for now… I’m off to re-stitch the 2 rows I just ripped out, and then another project will be DONE!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Little Sing-Along…

(to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell”)

Retreating we will go, retreating we will go

Hi Ho to Chemin a Haut, Retreating we will go

(I’m sorry!  Now you probably have that silly song stuck in your head for the rest of the day!  Think of me every time you sing it.)

I know you are probably thinking I do a lot of retreating…. YOU ARE RIGHT!!  This time I will be heading to Bastrop, LA to join the Cotton Country Quilters.  This is a group of quilting friends from before I moved to NW LA.  This will be the first time I have seen them in 2 years!!  Needless to say I am really excited about getting to visit for 2 1/2 days with them at Chemin A Haut State Park.

So, what will I work on??  I bet you already know… the G9P.  I did not get ONE STITCH sewn on it while we were on vacation a few weeks ago (too busy reading road maps and viewing beautiful scenery and leaves).  SOOO….. I AM going to make myself finish this one before I do anything else at retreat!!! 

My secondary project involves a jelly roll.  I’ve picked out a pattern and tomorrow I will stop by my favorite quilt shop, Quilt ‘N Stitch in West Monroe, to buy a background fabric to go with it.  I can’t tell you much about it because it is a Christmas present.  SSSHHHHHH!

I’ll be back this way late Wednesday, and then work will resume.  I’m a bit behind schedule, but I’ve sure been having fun lately!!

AND, in just a week and a half, I’ll be attending the fall SIL retreat at the camp on the lake.  After that I am going to have to quit playing and get my nose to the grindstone until Christmas!

I am also happy to report that “Gussie Fay” is fixed!!  I have been wrestling with loops on the back of quilts for AGES.  I was ready to throw the gal in the car and take her to Vicksburg, MS to the Gammill dealer when I headed East to go to quilt retreat.  But today I discovered a small burr on the sewing hook.  DH hunted up some fine sandpaper, and now she is no longer looping thread!!  YYYAAAAHHHHH!  She’s quilting like a new machine tonight, and that’s good because I was about ready to chunk the gal.  Now she’s my best friend again.

So I’m off to pack bags, projects, sewing machine, etc.  I’ll post pictures and a full report when I return… no internet access at this park so I’m not even taking the computer.

See you later in the week!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Give-Away Winners

A big THANK YOU to all my blog followers and readers!  I really appreciate all of you.  And thanks for entering!!  It’s so much fun when you have lots of entries to draw from.  So getting on with the business at hand…

I had 53 entries and the random number generator picked numbers 15 and 31.  And the lucky winners are:

BARBARA  F, who said,  “Count me in for your drawing. Looks like Katie had a great time on the quilting machine. Hope you have a safe and relaxing trip. Looking forward to some pictures when you return.”  Barbara gets first choice of the jelly roll or layer cake.

BARBARA F., please email me with your mailing address!  I can’t locate any contact info for you on your Blogger profile.  (And let me know whether you want the JR or LC.)

and SHIRLEY WHALEN, who said, “Interesting to see a young girl able to use the gammil machine. I wasn't coordinated enough the one time I tried it. I was born and raised in Norfolk, Va. and our yearly trips when we had enough gas ration stamps saved up were thru the Smokeys, up to the Luray Caverns and stayed in a motel right overtop the RR tracks with steam coming up thru the floorboards.”  (Don’t you just LOVE that story?!  I spent the night next to a RRX before in the RV,  UGH!  I can’t imagine what this must have sounded like!)  Shirley, I have emailed you about your winnings!

Thanks again for reading, and another give-away will be heading your way around Christmas (which really is NOT very far away!)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009




Calling all bloggers!  Last chance to sign up for the jelly roll and layer cake give-away! Entries will close Wednesday (tomorrow) afternoon at 5pm central time, and winners will be drawn sometime shortly thereafter.

Hurry down to THIS POST to sign up!


Friday, October 16, 2009



Last report from our trip…  Padukah, KY


AWESOME quilts on display.  A must-see stop if you are in the area!

Next stop was Hancock’s of Padukah.  I was so excited about being there I forgot to take a picture of the outside.  SORRY!  Did I find anything?  See the picture below…. ‘Nuff said!  The clearance table called my name… I LOVE good prices on great fabric!!


Next major stop… West Plains, MO.  Gussy Fay will soon be getting an upgrade to computerization. I stopped in at the Gammill showroom for a demo on the Statler Stitcher.


We will sleep in our house bed tonight and that sounds really good.  This has been one of the best trips we have taken.  We’ve covered about 2700 miles in 11 days and have seen some really awesome scenery and fall colors.

Now back to the “real” world… a huge pile of laundry, cooking, cleaning, quilting like crazy.  I know 1 dog and 3 cats that will be very glad to see us this evening, and we missed them, too.  I think David has mentioned PJ about 10 times a day since we left home.

TAFN… I’ll post again in a day or 2.  And don’t forget my blog give-away.  You can sign up on the post from a couple of weeks ago entitled “Fall Give-Away”. 

See you again soon,


PS:  We are now home.  Our critters were very excited to see us and a sweet friend brought us supper so I did not have to cook… YAH!!, and YUM YUM!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Next Leg of the Journey

Sorry for the lack of posting… we have camped primitive for 3 nights in a row now, so there was no internet available. That’s not a bad thing… camping primitive gives you access to some wonderful scenery that you would not otherwise get to enjoy. However, our last night of primitive was spent in a Wal Mart parking lot in Hazard, KY… a BIG change in noise and activity levels.

So you may say, “Where have you been?” Here’s the short version, or at least as short as I can make it… I tend to get long-penned when posting, for some reason. (I’m that way in person, too… just ask my hubby!) Sorry, but there is no short version of this story. You will just have to suffer through all the details!

At last check-in with the blog we were in Asheville, NC. We hopped the Blue Ridge Parkway again and headed on north, covering all of NC and on into Virginia. BEAUTIFUL!!! If you ever have an opportunity to travel the parkway during the fall leaf-change, DO IT!

(Click on pictures to enlarge them.)


We also made a stop at Mabry Mill on the parkway. This was a nostalgic part of the trip. I was here about 40 years ago when my family made a trip to VA to visit some friends.100_1991

At this point we decided to hop off the parkway and just head out across Virginia. Realize that on trips in the RV hubby drives and I am the navigator. I can get us into some real messes sometimes, and since we have a tow vehicle it can be difficult to get out of them because you really can’t back up very far when the jeep is in tow.

I bet you saw this coming, but I got us into a “situation”. We were using a regular VA road map for navigation, but we normally use the DeLorme map books that show you every pig trail, so you REALLY know EXACTLY where to turn. We didn’t have one for VA. Well, in Marion, VA we missed our turn. HONEST… it was NOT my fault because I really don’t think they had a sign marking the road. Once I discovered we had missed the road I quickly looked at the map and found another road (106) that would circle back to get us to HWY 16, found one, and directed DH that way.

OK… picture this… wide RV, jeep in tow, going down a very narrow road with no center line. This usually causes me to sit on the edge of my seat. So we traveled on, and on, and on, we finally intersected the road I thought was HWY 16, but the road sign gave the road a name, but no number. We turned, followed it just a very short distance, and then 106 turned back to the right, so we took it. The road continues to get narrower as we go, and is now essentially 1 lane. (Can you say, “Hairpin turns, no shoulders, no guard rails, no stripe?) We continued until 106 turned again and it was GRAVEL. Nope, we decided not to go there. (Remember, we can’t turn this rig around without unhooking the jeep, turning them both around, and then re-hooking.)100_2006

So we took a different turn, and then another, and NONE of these road are on our map so we are just guessing. Plus, HWY 16 goes north, but these roads we are taking are mostly heading east. This went on for over an HOUR, and I am beginning to get frantic. I really thought we would NEVER see a road with a center stripe again! We passed a farm house with a wide driveway and a bit of a road shoulder so I told DH this was a good spot to turn around. He had seen a couple of men at a farm building across the road so he walked back to see if they could help us.

OK… you’ve go to understand something about him… he NEVER meets a stranger, and loves to visit. I’m sitting in the truck, motor running, waiting, and waiting… and waiting… and waiting. About 20 minutes later here he comes. (WHEW!… I thought maybe he had met some terrible fate!)


(I took this picture of an old church while waiting for him.) He had a good visit about farming, gardening, dogs, and who-knows-what-else along with getting directions.

They told him, “No problem, stay on the road you are on, go over the next 2 mountains, turn left, go over 2 more mountains, turn at FROG LEVEL (Yes, that really was the name of that tiny place) and you will run into HWY 16.” Now that I know we WILL eventually get back to civilization, I can relax and enjoy the trip. This whole misadventure took about an additional 2 hours of traveling time and BOY, were we glad!! We saw some of the most WONDERFUL scenery that we otherwise would not have gotten to enjoy.

YAH!!! Now we were finally on HWY 16 but about 20 miles north of where we had planned on getting on. If you EVER make it to the western side of VA you MUST drive HWY 16 in the fall!!! It was a most-beautiful drive, and almost no one else was on the road.100_2022

(Note the CENTER STRIPE in the photo below… I LOVE center stripes now. And just look at those GUARD RAILS! Thank You, Lord!)


The next leg of our journey was to head on into KY. We went to Mammoth Cave National Park and took a short tour of a portion of the cave. Today we have traveled almost across KY and have stopped in Dawson Springs for the night.

Now if YOU were a quilter and YOU were in KY, WHERE would YOU want to go? Yep, tomorrow we are heading to Paducah, KY to go to the quilt museum and of course, Hancock’s of Paducah.

So that is the not-so-short version of the last 3 days of travel, along with some of the beautiful scenery pictures. Hope you enjoy them!


Friday, October 9, 2009


(Photo disclaimer.... there were lots of clouds, so photography was very difficult.)

We whizzed through the Great Smokey Mountains this morning. There was not a lot of leaf color except in higher elevations. Regardless, it was a wonderful drive. Shortly after entering the park we spotted a large black bear right next to the road. Of course, by the time we stopped, I got the camera out and turned on, then tried to focus while still strapped into the seat, Mr. Bear decided to head back into the woods. That explains the fuzzy, rear-end shot of him. It really IS a bear…. I promise!


There is no explanation for the other rear-end shot that will be included at the bottom of this post. How’s that for a hook to make you REALLY want to read all of this today?

We entered the Blue Ridge Parkway about 10AM and have had a wonderful day viewing leaves. They have been spectacular! I am always amazed by the mountains… Why can’t we have some of these views in north LA???


The campground host (We are in a private campground just out from Asheville, NC) informed us that the leaves are at their peak from here on North, so we should be in store for some wonderful leaf viewing, provided the weather cooperates. The forecast is for rain tonight and likely tomorrow also. We may be spending lots of time at the visitor’s center! We will probably be camping primitive tomorrow evening, so I won’t be able to give you an update.

Now here is a “Parting Shot”, so to speak. I must begin by explaining that when I was giving the Lord my “wish-list” for a hubby I made a fateful request… I wanted a man with a sense of humor! Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it…. I did. There can be no other explanation for this pose. I would say you could send sympathy cards for what foolishness I have to put up with, but honestly, it keeps life interesting on the farm (and in our travels, too)!


You can just check out that grin and KNOW he is up to something!


DON’T LOOK, ETHYL!! Too late, you’ve already viewed a REALLY ROUGH BUTT!

And that’s the END of this post, pun intended!


PS: DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE GIVE-AWAY ON MY PREVIOUS POST…. 2 someones will win a Moda jelly roll or layer cake.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Give-Away; Future Longarm Quilter

100_1848 I promised to have a give-away in honor of FALL, my 100th post, over 5000 visitors, and just because I want to. SO…

Two lucky people will win their choice of either a jelly roll or layer cake of Moda’s “Wonderland” fabric by MoMo. BEAUTIFUL stuff! Technically, the first person drawn will have their choice, the second person gets the one left.

RULES: 1. You get one entry by leaving a comment on this post. If you do not have a Google id please be sure to leave your email address so I will know how to get in touch with you should you win.

2. You get a second entry by posting a link to this give-away on your blog… please leave a new comment to let me know you have done this with a link so I can check you out!

3. You may get a 3rd entry by becoming a follower of this blog. Leave an additional comment and let me know you have joined my followers. Already a follower? Just leave an additional comment and let me know that, and you will also get another entry.

(Please realize that if you post a comment that says…” Please enter me, and I am posting to my blog, and I have signed up to follow…” in the same comment, that is only going to give you ONE entry because I am going by the number of comments for the drawing. Make a SEPARATE comment for each of the allowed entries, please.)

4. Drawing entries will close on Oct. 21st at 5PM Central time. A random number generator will be used to pick the 2 lucky winners. GOOD LUCK TO ALL! And please spread the word… the more, the merrier!


100_1842She thought this was a blast! The first thing my 9 1/2-year-old granddaughter did was write her name. She seems to be mesmerized with name writing… she did a lot of that. And of course, we had to use red fabric (her favorite color).


Note the intense concentration on that little face! These were just doodles, but a great learning time for her. I was amazed at the improvement shown from the beginning of the practice piece to the end. WAY TO GO, KATIE BUG!


Yes, my Gammill is as big as she is, but she managed it very well. She spent many hours on the machine during the 3 days she was here. A little more practice, and then after Christmas we will work on a quilt to be entered in the Kids Quilt category at MQS, and maybe MQX also.


100_1804I’m loading the camper today and we are leaving early tomorrow for 10 days of fall fun. We’ll stop by Crossett, AR and visit friends from there, then head NE. Our destination is Asheville, NC and the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is the first time I have been in any “real” mountains (I’m sorry but I just can not classify the Ozarks as “real” mountains after seeing the Rocky Mnts.!) during the peak of leaf viewing so I am really looking forward to it. We will also visit Great Smokey National Park (again) while we are there. We are just going to meander around (Hmmm… quilting terms creep in all of my conversation for some reason!) and see sights, look for fall festivals, enjoy nature and the beautiful leaves.

That is all said to let you now that I won’t be posting much… I’m not sure about the availability of internet because we will mostly be staying in older park campgrounds. So… SEE YOU WHEN WE RETURN!


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