Monday, April 28, 2008

Hot Dog!

I don't go to work until about 4 pm on Mondays because I do computer work at home and then teach a class until about 9:30 pm. Mondays I do various errands. "Want to go to CostCo with me?" I asked my daughter Liz. So we made plans. A trip to CostCo is usually made with lunch in mind. Where else can you get a meal for $1.50? A Hebrew National Polish Dog with all the trimmings AND a large soda! Um, um good! Once a month or so, I go off my South Beach Diet and have a hot dog and BUN. A white flour bun! I tell myself it's just once a month. Of course, I added sauerkraut to mine. Sydney is a purist...just ketchup, Grandma! Liz likes mustard, ketchup and relish. The dogs are so big we have to cut them lengthwise for her....choking hazard, you know. In California you learn pretty quickly at preschool what a toddler can and cannot eat....even baby carrots must be sliced twice lengthwise (even the tiny, tiny ones) or the preschool teacher must take them away. No popcorn, no baby cherry tomatoes (unless sliced) and so on.

At Costco we sat next to a lady who asked about quilting. She hand quilted something many years ago and was amazed not only is it alright to use a machine now-a-days, but you can pay someone else to machine quilt it without any guilt! I think we'll see her again at the shop soon. Then I saw my friend Laura (remember Laura with the beautiful blue sewing machine?) and hubby. They are back from India for a spell. I turn and see Gary, a friend from Church. His boys went to school with my girls. Just before we finished lunch, Darlene came over and sat with us. I like Darlene. We never get to chat enough. We talked about quilting, about friends (in a nice way, to be sure----no gossip here!), health, yard work and of course about Sydney. Liz saw Mindy, a friend from elementary school with her new baby girl.

Hot Dog! CostCo is the place to meet your friends....the entire county shows up at one time or another.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I love a Parade!

Every small town has it's own personal parade. It may be the Fall Festival Parade, the Santa Claus Parade, the 4th of July Parade or maybe in a coastal town, a Boat Parade. In our small town of Eureka, CA we have the Rhododendron Festival Parade. Rhododendrons and azaleas grow wild in the Redwood Forest and Eureka celebrates this noble bush the end of April every year.

Bill and I invited 3 year old Sydney to the parade a few days ago. Even though she's shy, she proudly has announced to one and all, "I'm going to the parade with Grandma and Grandpa!" I'm not sure she remembers the parade last year, or was really sure what she'd signed on for, but if Grandpa and Grandma were in and she got to ride in her wagon, it must be something great.

The weather was perfect! Sunny and warmish (it"s never hot here in Eureka, warmish is all you can ever hope for and the good Lord delivered!), we found the perfect corner, set up the dual "couch" chair for the old folks and Sydney set up in her wagon. We sang songs, watched a jet bound for Europe zip by, saw a tow truck and a helicopter (two things that thoroughly excite this 3 year-old) and after about 1/2 hour we heard the siren of the lead vehicle. A Police Car! Soon followed by the color guard and the American Flag. We stood and clapped for the flag and the Korean War Vets, thanking them for their service. A very nice lady from the Covenant Church came by and gave Sydney an orange balloon.

Small town parades are pretty predictable....there were fire engines, the kids on bicycles with rhododendron blossoms taped to their spokes, the Shriners and their band and guys in fez hats driving tiny cars, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the political candidates in convertibles, marching bands, clowns, horses, the swim team and many local businesses. Some threw candy, some passed out toys, a local Indian Casino passed out used decks of cards! By the end Sydney had a plastic cup (from the Coast Guard) filled with candy, whistles, toys and such. Truth be told, I watched Syd more than I watched the parade. The delight and wonder on her face was far more interesting to me than another flatbed trailer with bales of straw and wilting flowers.... Another day in the life of this grandma!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Get-Away

Mr. Scottie Dog and I had a weekend get-away to Sacramento. Our plan was to leave around 10 am.....we left the house at 12:30 and left town about 1:45 pm. Pretty good for us. We never seem to leave for a trip on time. My guess-ta-mate had been 3 pm so we were making good time.
Sacramento is a 5-5 1/2 hour drive away.

We got to Sacramento in time to go to the cinema and see Ben Stein's "Expelled." Wow! Pretty heavy stuff. I highly recommend it. Sure gets you to thinking....if the top scientists in the world say, "well, I don't know HOW..." why do they believe what they believe.

Come Saturday morning and we go out for a great breakfast and a preview our friend Marie's new storefront. Marie is opening Running with Scissors Quilt Shop in Citrus Heights (Sylvan Corners to be exact). Marie's shop is going to be wonderful. She has great taste, loves people, is very talented and lots and lots of enthusiasm. Liz and I are going to help her open her store June 25 so mark your calendars. We'll remind you when the time gets closer.
Then we went to Old Town Sacramento. I couldn't begin to count how many times we've gone here. It's always different with new things to see and do. I don't remember the school house but I posed for a picture in the front porch. We took a carriage ride for the first time.
Saturday night we went to a dear friend's 50th birthday party. It was a fabulous party--so fun to be with friends you've known for almost 30 years!
We're back now and it's back to work tomorrow. See you at the shop!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alaskan Cruise, Anyone?

Have you always wanted to take an Alaskan Cruise? Wouldn't it be wonderful to go with quilting friends? Well, I have news for you! Not all the details are finalized, but start saving for August 2009! Scottie Dog Quilts will be sponsoring a Quilting Cruise with Holland American Lines on their fabulous ship, the Westerdaam. Only 3 years old, this ship is absolutely elegant. With a 7 day cruise, we'll quilt during our times out at sea but you'll have our days in port to do as you wish. The scenery is spectacular.
You can bring a friend, or your husband or your entire family! There will be so much to do on board, no one will feel left out. Let us know if you are interested. We hope to have all the details worked out by mid-May.

Cutting Up!

Are you a Cut-UP? We'll be doing a demonstration of our new AccuCut machine at the store this Saturday beginning at 2 pm. We demonstrated it at the April meeting of the Redwood Empire Quilter's Guild and everyone was abuzz with the possibilities. You can cut 8-10 layers of fabric at once. Since the 5" charm square die cuts 4 squares in each layer, that means you can cut 30-40 charms in one pass! We have dies for double wedding ring, tumblers, 2 1/2" jelly roll strips, 2 1/2", 3 1/2", 4 1/2" 6 1/2" squares, triangles, apple core and so very much more. Come see it all!

I'm a cut-up, are you?????

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And the winner is......

JULIA BLOOMQUIST thought surely someone else had claimed the prize in our Extreme Shop Make-over contest.....but she came in to Scottie Dog Quilts today and said, "I read BrendaLou's Blog." She won a bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press and chose the Caribbean Beach scent. If you haven't tried it yet you are in for a pleasant surprise. It gives your fabrics a nice crispness, smells wonderful and wrinkles, like that pesky fold down the middle of yardage, just disappear! Maureen told me today she uses it on her husband's dockers...he doesn't notice the nice lavender scent, but she does!

Tonight I worked on a project I started last week. It's very Shabby Chic and soft and textured. I am nearly finished and I'll post a pic tomorrow. Now it's off to bed for me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who is going to win?

Who is going to win the bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press? Still waiting. The first person to come into the store and say, "I heard about the store makeover on BrendaLou's Blog," will win.

April Cornell's brilliant new fabric line from Moda arrived today. It is ever so SPRING! It's flowers, soft blenders, poka dots (I LOVE poka dots, don't you?) and more. We've got a few more bolts that will arrive next week, but what's here will go quickly.

Here's view number two of our Extreme Shop Make-over. Didn't Mr. Scottie Dog do a great job? Liz and Laura set up all the fabric and the new notions wall.
A bottle of Best Press is waiting.....
News Flash! My Grandchildren, Jakob & Mercedes, are coming for a vist the first part of May! Oh yes, they're bringing their parents, Beka & Jason along for the ride.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Extreme Shop Make-over

Does this look like your favorite Quilt Shop? If you've been to Scottie Dog Quilts in Eureka, CA you've never seen this sight before! We've had an Extreme Shop Make-over! Big thanks go to Mr. Scottie Dog, Liz & Laura for their hard work and devotion to details. This is only one new section of the store. We've got three new sections. Come on in to see the "after" version.

Now for the FUN. There is a bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press waiting for the first person to go to the store and say, "I saw the make-over on BrendaLou's Blog." The store opens at 10 am on Monday. Be the first reader to come in and claim your prize.

We took a break about half-way through the make-over and Laura decided to try out Sydney's new car. Laura had to put the top down in order to get in---of course she's a convertible kind of girl anyhow. Sydney decided Laura needed a ticket for reckless driving and disregard of size restrictions. I bet Laura could pay off that ticket with M&M's if she tried!

Don't forget to come in and see the "new" store. I bet you'll find new fabric, notions, books & patterns too!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Ok--it's 10 pm Friday night and I was caught by two people at the store this afternoon...."I thought it was your DAY OFF! At least I know someone is reading!

I did get my shopping done and I even bought asparagus! It looked so yummy....seeing it look so good and the deep blue skies today really made my Spring. The daffodils outside are beginning to wind down. I think we've had 4 weeks of them now. Hundreds are planted in the front yard around a big redwood stump that has "sprouts" at least 50 feet tall.

Finally got my comments only took 6 tries.

A Day Off

It's Friday. My Day Off! I slept in until 9:30 am. It's my one luxury. I don't think I was able to take the last two Fridays off so this morning I lazed in bed. If you know anything about the Quilt Shop Biz, you'll know that we don't often have a real Day Off. At some point, after the laundry, the dishes and after the grocery shopping (we have absolutely no fresh vegetables in the house except potatoes and carrots both of which I am not supposed to eat!) I will probably stop at the store....then I'll probably spend and hour or two there.

I've already spent two hours at the computer reading and answering business emails, writing and sending the Scottie Dog Quilts Gazette, our shop newsletter (if you'd like to receive it, be sure to let me know). Then I ordered some patterns and fabric on-line.

First off this morning, I spent some time on Skype---with a web cam(era) I can talk and see my Minnesota kids. I chatted with my daughter, Beka, who complained they got a bunch of snow again this week and my 2 year old grandson, Jakob. Jakob finished up with, "Lub you, Grandma, Lub you bubub(Jakob)." His 2 1/2 month old sister, Mercedes was asleep. She does that well! She's a cutie and rumor has it that the Hache Family may be out to CA for a visit in a few weeks. Stay tuned. Grandma is waiting....

I'll finish my Day Off with dinner with Mr. Scottie Dog, aka husband Bill. We've been celebrating Friday Night Date Night for at least 30 years. In a few months we'll be married 37 years. Now let's see....I was 6 when I got married, right?

My Day I got one.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The party's over......

Scottie Dog Quilts Mystery Quilting Retreat Spring 2008 is's always a let-down when everyone is gone, the tables taken down, the floors vacuumed, the boxes unpacked (well, mostly unpacked!) and the party's over for another 6 months. We had so much fun!

The picture here is our Mystery Quilt: Jakob's Sister's Star. (here's the commercial: you can buy the pattern or a kit to make a quilt just like ours at our store. Just call for details: (707) 444-9662. It will be on our website in a couple of days. Standing in front of the quilt are some of the ladies who came to our retreat from the Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild. L to R: BrendaLou, BevH, Sally M, Susy Mc, Tammy S, RitaMarie, Ann D, Carol E, and Suzanne R. They came from Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Oregon and California.

Three year old Sydney didn't bring her featherweight sewing machine to the retreat. Here she is with her airplane. She helped pass out the goodies to all the ladies.

Next Mystery Retreat is October 17-19, 2008. Call us to sign up.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Laura's Beautiful Blue Machine

My good friend Laura and her husband are missionaries with YWAM (pronounced "Y-WAM") and live part time in India and part time here in Humboldt County. I don't get to see her often enough even when she is here. But we have the kind of friendship that picks right up where we left off even if we haven't spoken for 6 months or a year. I like that. Laura is a comfortable friend. We are kindred spirits.

Laura just sent me an email and picture of her lovely new sewing machine she got in India. I'm quite jealous of it's beautiful blue color. The gold trim is exquisite! It only sews a straight stitch, but that's really all you need, isn't it? When I met Laura years ago (I don't want to even think how many years ago!) she said, "Would you like to see my Grandma's quilts?" Oh--could Laura's Grandma quilt! Laura made quilts just like Grandma. All by hand! She churned out Grandma's Flower Gardens and never even marked the seams for hand sewing. Beautiful quilts.
Then Laura and her mom took beginning quilting lessons from me. Now she churns out lovely quilts by machine. Thanks Laura, for being my friend.
P.S. You can learn more about YWAM at

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hello Sunshine!

On Friday, when our Scottie Dog Quilts Mystery Quilting Retreat begins, I'll be meeting some friends I've only know up till then on-line. The Sunshine On-Line Quilt guild has been around for about 10 years. I've been a member since Day Two. We make quilts for children in other countries. You can read more about what we do at
Hats off to you, Sunshine!

Busy Binding

Tonight I was busy binding the quilt for our upcoming Mystery Retreat for Scottie Dog Quilts. I expected it to take me 2 nights, but I was a busy, busy binder and got it all done in one sitting.

Well, I sat down about 6:15 pm with a NetFlix DVD (The Wind at My Back---a TV series that is just charming about a Canadian Family during the depression) and dinner. I ate a few bites of my salad, then sewed a few inches, salad, sewed, etc. I stopped at 10 pm to watch Top Chef---this is another one of my vices--I love to watch cooking shows....not that I cook much any more, but I guess I'm a chef-wantabee.

I had a Low-Carb ice cream bar (now THAT is an oxymoron if I ever heard one!) about 10:15 pm and finished up the binding just before midnight. I bet my hands hurt tomorrow.

Stay tuned for a picture of the Mystery Quilt, but of course, not before we reveal it at the retreat!