Monday, August 31, 2009

Block Swap

Don't you just love this quilt. The name of the block is Cracker Barrel (or Cracker in some books). Liz made up this little quilt with 48 six inch blocks.

Years ago I participated in several block swaps through the Internet. A group would decide to do a swap, choose a block, choose a color palate and each person would make as many "sets" of blocks as they wanted in return.

Set of Blocks: a set of blocks is 8 identical blocks, made of the same fabrics. (it is easier with strip piecing to make 8 identical blocks than it is to make 8 different ones).

The sets of blocks (I would usually do as many sets as allowed so I could get the maximum number of different fabrics in my quilt) are then sent to one person who "swaps" all the blocks out. This person is known as the Hostess. I always thought it was nice to send an extra block for the hostess or a Fat Quarter or a little gift for her trouble swapping the blocks.

When sending your blocks to the Hostess you would package each set in one zip lock bag with your name on it and "Set 1 of 8" or whatever. You would also include an envelope (the Priority Tyvek ones from the post office work the best) with RETURN POSTAGE on it. I would take in everything to the Post Office, ask the clerk to weigh it and I'd put the postage on the 2nd envelope right then. Also, you always put YOUR OWN ADDRESS in the return address space so if there were any snafus it made it's way back to you.

I thoroughly enjoyed the blocks I received in return. Some were made into one quilt, some blocks were incorporated into several quilts and a few are still waiting UFO's. It is fun to know that I have blocks made by quilters in Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, and every state of the Union. They have fabrics I've never seen in any of the quilt shops I shop in. And the variety of fabrics is amazing.

Would you like to participate in Scottie Dog Quilts 1930's Cracker Barrel Block Swap? Liz is hosting one and the blocks are due October 22. She'll swap them out and put them back in the mail Oct. 26. If you are local you can just bring them to the store by Oct. 22 and pick them up Oct. 26. You can make up to 10 sets of 8 blocks. If you want to participate you can email her for all the directions, patterns, etc. Or just come by the store, sign up and ask for your Swap Packet.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of fabrics can I use?
A: Quilt Shop Quality 1930's reproduction fabrics with white-on-white background

Q: What if I don't like 1930's fabrics?
A: Then you can choose not to participate, you can join the swap and give the quilt away, you can wait until our next swap.

Q: How perfect do my blocks need to be?
A: The swap block pattern is for a 6" block. Unfinished this measures 6 1/2" square. Your block should be no more than 1/8th off. Any blocks not following the rules (1930's reproductions, white-on-white, size, etc) will be returned to sender.

Q: Where do I send the blocks?
A: When you sign up you'll get all the info on where, when, rules, etc.

Any more questions? Just email Liz.

Sounds like fun...I'm in!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scottie Dog Quilts Quilting Cruise---Victoria, BC

Funny thing happened on the way to Canada......

August 13, 2009 shortly after 8 am the phone rang in our stateroom. Mr. Scottie Dog and I were just about to leave for breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe. I was looking forward to a nice bowl of oatmeal with chopped dates, dried apricots & walnuts.....
The purser was on the phone asking for "Mrs. BrendaLou Scott."

I indicated that it was me and he went on to say that Customs wanted to see me and that I was to "report to the pursers desk at 8:30. Bring your passport. If you wish your husband may accompany you." I asked what this was regarding and he said he had not been informed. Bill and I were flabbergasted and it crossed my mind that perhaps it was a joke. I told Liz and she called the purser's desk and was informed that it was Canadian Customs that wanted to see me.

We reported to the Purser's Desk and waited with another gal who was as much in the dark as we were. The purser escorted us to the gangway and as they checked us off the ship we realized that the ship had not yet to be cleared by Canadian Officials.
We walk down....down....the long, long dock to Canadian Customs. First off I notice that the three men and one woman in uniform have on Kevlar vests....Do they expect me to pull a gun? This is beginning to freak me out. The Rhapsody of the Seas carries 1500 passengers and 900 crew...out of 2400 people the Canadian Officials choose to interrogate TWO and one of them is me.

My name is called and Mr. Scottie Dog and I go into the office with one of the guys. First off he asks me if I have ever been involved in criminal activity. I say, "Not to my knowledge." He has 5 sheets of single spaced rap sheet. He keeps looking at the pages and asks where we are from. In unison we answer, "Eureka, CA." After a couple of minutes he says "That's near Weed and Redding, right?" (no, that is Yreka) It isn't until later that we realize that was a trick question designed to know if we were actually from Eureka.
"Ever been to Atlanta, Georgia?" he asks. "When I was 15 years old," I answer. Tick, tock, tick tock.....he keeps looking through the pages.
"Well, it seems that someone who uses several alias' has been using your name and birthday." He continues to look through the pages and finally says, "I guess you can go."
Whew! But really, why me? Why BrendaLou who never skipped a class in school...for darn sakes, I never even had a tardy! Never shoplifted, I drive the speed limit. On a ship with 2400 people they detain me, ME! It doesn't seem funny for several days!

Funny, I don't really feel like eating breakfast any more..... But I gather up some friends and we grab a cab into the city. He deposits us at the Chinatown Gates and Satin Moon Quilts. The owner, Brenda is all prepared for our group. I buy some Canadian Fabrics for my daughter Beka (her hubby Jason is from Ontario Canada), meet with a pattern designer and buy some more goodies.
We walk down Government Street to the Empress Hotel (corner of Government and Humboldt!) to the Empress Hotel where High Tea awaits us. Twenty one of our group have made 12:30 reservations for tea. Oh, my! The "tea lobby" was beautifully appointed with sofas, overstuffed chairs and side chairs. It was as if we had come to tea in a lovely home.
At each place was a small goblet filled with perfectly ripe blueberries with whipped cream. YUM!

There were tea sandwiches, mushroom pate on toast rounds, truffles, cookies, cakes, scones, oh...we couldn't eat it all, that is for sure. Our waiter poured for each of us. I am a tea drinker and Black tea, English Breakfast Tea or Constant Comment are about as exotic as I get. We had the special Empress blend and it was smooth and delish. Even Sydney liked it....or was it the 10 sugar cubes she put in hers?
Tea was a lovely way to slow down and have some great food and conversation with friends. So relaxing and pampering. Perhaps the English understand that better than we.
When tea was over some of us jumped into another cab and went to Craigdarroch Castle. This was built in the late 1880's as a vacation home for a wealthy business owner. Alas, he passed away before it was finished but his family lived there for almost 20 years. Then it was used as a hospital after WWI. After that the local school district offices were there, a college, a musical conservatory and finally it has been restored by the local historical society. I've never seen so much Tiffany stained glass windows in one place before. The woodwork was incredible. If you ever have the chance be sure to visit.
I met up with Mr. Scottie Dog and we toured the Parliament Building. Then back to the ship. I was glad Canada allowed me this incredible day!
Just call me Jailbird!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

Just taking a break today from our Alaskan Cruise.

I've come late to this project, but today is August 20....the bundles HAVE to be post marked by September 5. Get hopping!

What are Iraqi Bundles of Love? A soldier is getting ready to leave Iraq in September. He's been there long enough to have built up contacts who want to aid the creative women of this war-torn country. He's the son of a quilter and brother to several quilters. Do you have some blocks you don't want, 400 hexagons you cut out 6 years ago for a quilt and only sewed 3 together before you realized you hate sewing hexagons together. How about that 2 1/2 yards of dark green you bought for borders and realized it was too dark for your quilt....for any quilt. How about rickrack, ribbon, thread wound on 22 bobbins that won't fit into your current machine? Zippers, squares of fabric, home dec fabric, double knit fabrics.

These women would love to use any of it. If you email me I'll send you the APO address to send your boxes to.....they go to NY so if you fill a Flat Rate box it will only cost you $11.95.

On the Iraqi Bundles of Love website there are instructions on how to pack your box that is really cool. First, close and seal on end of the box. You take two pieces of ribbon and lay them with an X on the inside bottom of the box and then lay a large piece of fabric on top of that....with the fabric covering the inside of the whole box and draping over the sides. You then simply fill the box up with fabric & sewing goodies....even scissors, seam rippers, buttons, spools of thread, etc.....and then you fold over the top of the lining fabric and tie the ribbons into a bow. Thus a Bundle of Love.

I'm going to send a few. How about you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What do you see aboard a cruise ship?

Scottie Dog Quilts Alaskan Quilting Cruise--Part IV

What do you see on a cruise ship? First night we found an elephant made out of towels on our bed. We had a "large, outside cabin." This meant we had a window...with curtains the steward closed every evening and we opened....night and day. After all...who could see us? In Skagway I awoke to seeing men's knees right at eye level 12 feet from our window! The dock was right on our level! By the time we disembarked after breakfast the tide had come in enough that we went off two floors above us! Our cabin was quite roomy for two people and we had an adjoining door (my back is to it) to Liz, Steve & Sydney's room.

What do you see on a cruise ship when you don't understand how to order from the room service menu (very confusing!). If you ask for 7 pieces of bacon from the "Country Breakfast" section, and 2 pieces of fruit and 3 assorted pastries and 2 cereals and milk, a cup of tea (Sydney was going to have breakfast in my room the first morning) this is what you get:
7 Country Breakfasts: Bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, hash browns & grilled tomato half
2 Large plates of assorted fruits
3 Large plates each with croissants, hard roll, apple turnover & cheese danish
2 bowls of cereal
2 cartons of milk
1 pot of tea

What do you see on a cruise ship on the way to dinner? Whales!

On a Cruise Ship you'll see pretty ladies in their beautiful clothes in the dining room. Here are Bev Harrison (one of our teachers) and Judy.

On OUR cruise ship we saw the glaciers of Tracy Arm Fjord. You can't believe how beautiful they are until you see them in person. The blue is incredible.

On a cruise ship you may see a rock climbing wall. On OUR cruise ship you can see Crystal coming down and Paula racing up to ring the bell. You did NOT see BrendaLou even attempting!

On a cruise ship you might see fantastic carved fruits.....display is everything. Here is but one of the CHOCOLATE sculptures for the midnight buffet. Mr. Scottie Dog and I stayed up long enough to get pictures but chose to go to bed rather than sample any of the chocolates...I hear they were scrumptious.

On a cruise ship you might just meet a princess posing with a pig made out of towels. Sort of sounds like a Fairy Tale, doesn't it......well it was!

And on a cruise ship you might see a couple relaxing on deck. Look quick, you won't find BrendaLou and Mr. Scottie Dog like this very often!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alaskan Quilting Cruise---Sewing Room & Juneau

Naturally on a Quilting Cruise we all spent time in the sewing our case aboard Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas, we had the entire Moonlight Bay Conference Center for the duration of the cruise. It was great to see the signs up, "Private Gathering for Scottie Dog Quilts."

Each quilter had her own table to herself. Cutting and ironing stations were set up in the middle of the room. Carol is chain piecing her blocks.

Liz taught "Keyholes" from Anka's Treasures' book, On a Roll Again. Here she is showing Paula some fine point of construction. Crystal on the left is concentrating on her "Hello Betty" pieces.

Look at Alayne's face. Is she happy with her batik quilt? Well, if she complained most all of us would be quite happy to take this beauty off her hands!

Here Karen has the borders on hers and is done! She used a constant in the center of the blocks. All the quilts turned out wonderfully!

Here Karen is showing off one of the projects I taught on our cruise....Winding Ways table runner. All the kits were cut with our AccuCut machine---this means the pieces were precisely cut with registration notches which make sewing the curves a piece of cake. Really!
I love the modern Folk Art look of this runner.

In Juneau most of us visited Martina's Quilt Shop. Martha, the owner had so many special touches for our group. First off, right inside the door she hung a little Scottie Dog Quilt with a sign "Welcome Scottie Dog Quilters!" She had pattern designers there (and we all got a free autographed pattern!), there was a big washtub full of ice and a bowl of watermelon (Yum!) and bottled water. She had a wonderful selection of patterns, fabrics and our quilters bought and bought! Then to top it off she not only gave all our quilters a discount, but she had goodie bags for everyone. We posed for a picture with Martha (in the white sweater) and her wonderful staff. Many thanks, Martha. If you are in Juneau be sure to stop at Martina's Fabrics.

While some of us were shopping in town others were exploring Alaska's natural wonders on a Zip Line. Here Lewis takes off.
More tomorrow!

Green Featherweight, Anyone?

Are you green with envy because all your friends have a Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine? Do you wish you could have one too?

Every once in awhile we have someone inquire if we know of someone who wants to buy one of these beauties. They have one to sell.

Well, if you are in the market, I know of a sweetheart of a deal for you. One of my good friends is looking for a good home for her Green (and I do mean GREEN) featherweight. She just had it painted and it has all the gold trim....sews like a dream. Made in March 1939 and completely refurbished it has a clean case and some extras. At $500 I think this is a great deal. If you are interested you can contact the owner directly at:

I don't have it at the shop, it still resides with it's owner so be sure to email her.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 7: Leaving Seattle

Friday, August 7: Leaving Seattle

We (Mr. Scottie Dog, Liz & Steve & Sydney and myself) spent Thursday night in Seattle at a Park 'n Ride hotel. Up early and breakfast in the room, we convinced the Hotel Shuttle driver to take us to the pier early. We'd been told we could board between 1 pm and 3 pm, but we thought if we got there early...... We had our personal luggage AND 10 pieces of luggage from the store.....3 foot lockers, 4 cardboard boxes, 2 duffel bags and one very large, flat cardboard covered piece with cutting mats and rulers in it. (on the way home this multiplied to 16 items!).

Crystal and Rob were at the pier with us and we were allowed to check in about 10 am. We were shown to a waiting area and although they said we couldn't board until 11 am, I think we were on the ship by 10:45.
We had our carry-ons (including sewing machines!) so we went to the pursers' desk to meet Maria, the best Group Liaison you could ever want. (every part of the shop was beautiful!)
Maria got us into the Conference was totally reserved for our group for the entire voyage! We dropped our luggage and made our way to Deck 9.....home of the Windjammer Cafe where we ate most of our meals buffet style(Dinner's we ate in the Dining Room). Then out to the open deck so we could say goodbye to Seattle and Hello to the first ever Scottie Dog Quilts Alaskan Quilting Cruise.
With Sydney as we leave port.

Sydney doing a little jig as we leave. Kaia is another of the 3 little girls we had with our group.

I couldn't resist putting one last picture. Here are Liz and Larissa (with the Space Needle in background)...they look so beautiful and so very excited to be going on a cruise together. Friends since 3rd grade, roommates right after high school, their children are friends....heartwarming.
Next time: out to sea, sewing & Juneau!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Alaskan Quilting Cruise First Report

I'm sitting in a hotel in Portland, OR tonight after disembarking the Rhapsody of the Seas....our home for the past week. Scottie Dog Quilts' Alaskan Cruise is sadly over....we had sooooo much fun! Here is just a small part of our group before dinner one night. Don't we look nice!There's so much to tell.....exploring Juneau and the wonderful welcome we received from Martha at Martina's Quilt Shop....she had a welcoming sign for us, fresh fruit and ice cold bottles of water waiting. Lovely gift bags for each of us and a local designer was there to give us each one of her patterns and graciously autographed each one.

We sewed, we laughed, we chatted, we ate, and ate and ate (and took the stairs too!). Lots of beautiful new jewlery was purchased, we sewed some more, we ate lots more....well, you get the picture. We went on excursions (one of us was detained by Canada Customs and nearly ended up in the hoosegow........hmmmm who, I wonder).......even to the Fancy-smancy Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC for High Tea.....we had three tea tables. Yummy, yummy!

More quilt shops.....boxes of fabrics sent home! A great time was had by all!

Since I am not home yet, just two pictures and I promise I'll give all the details in a couple of days. I'm tired, but oh, we had so much fun! Start saving your pennies and dimes for our Mexico Quilting Cruise in 2011.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And the winner is.....................

Ok, I said I was going to randomly pick a winner for my 200th blogpost from those who left comments. I did count the comments that registered on FaceBook too since my blog gets posted there. Drum Roll pleeeease................................................and the winner IS.............................. Hannah. OK, Hannah, please send me your address via email and tell me which little bag you want. Hope you like it. I'm off to Alaska tomorrow.

The Next Generation of Quilters

Last week we had a lively bunch of quilters in the classroom. For three days they giggled, sang, questioned...oh, and they sewed! Five young ladies, the next generation of quilters. Kid's Camp was in full swing. Here they are on day three with their cell phone totes. Styling!

Busy sewing their rag quilts...everyone a winner, everyone beautiful....each of them finished. One of the girls came with her own sewing machine, purchased with her own money just a month or so ago. This is her 4th Kids Camp and she says she has a lifetime of sewing ahead of her.
Emma at the ironing board.
Some of these ladies had been to classes before, one not, but they all did well. Miss Sydney was at pre-school these days, but arrived in time each day to say hello, offer a hug and ooh and ahh.
Next Kid's Camp will probably be Thanksgiving Week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Toy Drop in Arcata

A couple of weeks ago I made a couple of new toys. This one is Eunice. She has a striped ribbon for a mouth and I raw-edge appliqued his eyes...part of a Moda fabric...I love the googlily look of Eunice. Doesn't she look like she enjoys a good joke?

As a member of The Toy Society I wrapped her up with a hand made card and a tag that says, "Take me home! I'm yours." I like to take some colorful fabrics and add them to the tags.

I put the bag in my car and waited for a good opportunity to leave my toy for a child to find. On Sunday, July 26 I was on the Arcata Plaza in Arcata, CA for a Crafts Faire so about 9:30 I walked about 15 feet from our booth and left "Eunice" on a bench. I took a picture, went back to the booth and a few minutes later I looked back and she was gone! I hope Eunice's new owner likes her as much as I did.