Monday, April 30, 2012

Scottie Dog Quilts Spring Mystery Quilting Retreat

 Retreat time! We recently held a Scottie Dog Quilts Mystery Quilting Retreat at the Historic Eureka Inn.  This hotel has been hosting dignitaries, movie stars, politicians and royalty since it opened in 1923 as the premiere Inn in Redwood Country.

As usual, we had lots of fun....we ate too much food (a chocolate buffet on Saturday night!), laughed, chatted, sewed and sewed and sewed.  One of the reasons I love retreats is meeting new people (some I have had the pleasure of knowing through the internet) and seeing the "regulars" who seem to come to all of our retreats.  We've been holding retreats here on California's Northern Coast for at least 12 years.  It's fun to see how far people travel to quilt with us.  We've had quilters from all over the US.
 Here's Jackie working on her purples.

Lani has time for a smile.

 Christine is embellishing a cute panel of doll clothes.

And Linda is all set with her Singer Featherweight. 

The Inn provided a large, well lit sewing area abounding with the chatter of happy well a quiet spot in the lobby...more than one quilter was seen taking a quiet moment on the great leather sofas in the lobby.  I know Sydney and I settled down on one great sofa and read a story together.

The rooms are nice, my bed was so comfortable, imagine my surprise to later find out it was a Murphy Bed as the room I had is often used by business people and if you put the bed up, it becomes a desk!  

Here's to hoping that perhaps you can join us in the Fall for our next Mystery Quilting Retreat!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


 As you must know I turned 60 in January.  What a shock to change the decade with the changing of the year!  In any event, I celebrated over a 6 week period and  it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  I like the discounts I am now afforded and I don't really look any differently than I did in my 50's (just a few months ago!).

My daughters threw me a marvelous surprise party and for the first time in many years I had many gifts to open. I want to tell you about one of them today.  I have always loved poetry.  I don't know a lot about poetry, but I love the cadence, the metaphoric language, the imagery of poetry.  I especially love to read poetry out loud.  My friend Jen gave me this lovely book by Judith Viorst, Suddenly Sixty and Other Shocks of Later Life.

I'm going to copy here one of my favorite poems from the book and I am hoping you will read it out speaks to my soul and makes me cry every single time I read it.

The Blissful Couple

They laugh together.
Read Together.
Dance together.
Paint together.
Listen to music together.
Walk, holding hands, 

They love exchanging

He rushes to greet her, 
His arms outstretched,
Joyfully calling her name, 
When he sees her arrive.

Who, you are wondering,
Is this blissful couple?
She is his grandma.
He is almost five.

Thankyou Judith Viorst for such a lovely poem.  It speaks to my soul.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A little bit of sewing

Lots of sewing has been going on at Redwood Sewing Center.  I've taught a few classes and of course every Tuesday morning I host a Sit & Sew from 10-2 pm.  We have lots of fun and everyone works on different projects.  

For the past two months I've been teaching three classes of The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  Each month we get together and make 10 or 11 of the blocks in the book.  All blocks are 6" square and there are 111 blocks in the book.  I'm so proud of my gals.  Here are many of the first month's blocks from one class.

 I love the variety of fabrics everyone is using!

 One night when our small quilt group of ladies was getting together to sew Sydney came along.  She wanted to sew too so her mom set her up on the Singer Featherweight and had her sew.

Sydney's first 9-Patch! Perfect 1/4" seams!

  What do you think of Sydney's block.  Grandma thought it was perfect!


Monday, April 16, 2012


Yesterday I received an email from a woman I've never met in person. We have been on various on-line lists and groups for many years. She used to own a quilt shop, she teaches quilting and of course, is interested in quilting. I am a quilting teacher, own a quilt shop and of course am passionate about quilting. Over the years we both have posted opinions, advice and general conversation. The gist of her email was that she had garnered a perception of what I looked like. I was in my mid 30's with long, dark, softly wavy hair. I was tall and thin and wore longish, dark and flowing dresses and glided or waltzed when I walked. Actually her perception of me is how I see myself:(Photo from the Internet. This is NOT and has never been me!) You can see a photo of the REAL me on the right side of my blog.

Or sometimes I see myself as a Little House on the Prairie mom:

As you can see by the above photo (also from the Internet), I carry around baskets of flowers. I don't do hard, manual labor like making candles, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, etc. I also don't use a nasty outhouse or take a bath in a bucket.

Maybe I could be a Gibson Girl:

I love the hair, the big boosoms, tiny waist and of course, that is a bottle of Diet Coke!

How I "see" myself is somehow a combination of all of the above. How I "am" is a short, somewhat dumpy, overweight 60 year old with some gray in her short, straight hair. I love to quilt, read and breathe deeply of fresh air. I love daffodils, roses and carnations. My husband thinks I am beautiful (he's a keeper...40 years in July) although I bet he still dreams I had hair down to my tukis. I am a Child of God, a lover of Jesus. Satisfied and content with my lot in life (although I do wish all my grandchildren were a stone's throw away).

How do you see yourself?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Egg Hunt

After Church on Easter, Mr. Scottie Dog and I put chocolate into plastic eggs. 120 of them. We also had 19 eggs that Sydney had dyed. The weatherman cooperated and we hid the eggs in the yard. We had 4 cute peeps coming to THE HUNT. The older kids got a stern lecture about leaving the obvious eggs for Hudson who is only one.

Sydney and Kaia (with new lamb in's hard to carry your lamb and pick up eggs at the same time. She wouldn't let me put it somewhere safe during the hunt.) check out the front garden.
Emma around the house.
Hudson was certainly dressed for the occasion!

The daffodils didn't keep Huddy from his quest of eggs!
Here's our dessert table. Ramone's raspberry poppy seed cake, Ramone's chocolate cheesecake, my coconut cake & chocolate nests and Liz's Peepcicles. We certainly didn't go without dessert!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What's cooking?

I love to cook. That said, I don't actually cook much of anything anymore. When the girls were young I cooked and canned and even made my yogurt from scratch. I backed bread & bagels & rolls. I had a great sour dough starter and we ate sourdough pancakes, waffles & biscuits. Nowadays, though it's just me and Mr. Scottie Dog and we tend to eat entirely differently. I like it spicy, he does not. We like different vegetables. So usually we grill a piece of chicken or fish and we each cook our own veggies, he has a baked potato and I have quinola or a salad.

When holidays come around it's fun to take the time to make something special. Sydney is now 7 and she spent the night with us. In the morning, Gamma slept in and Gampa (alias Mr. Scottie Dog) fixed his famous blueberry pancakes. When they were finished Gamma was just waking up. "When are we going to color eggs, Gamma?" I bet she asked that question 50 times. First I had to get up and dressed. Then I cleaned up the kitchen and we walked to our friend Judy's new house just around the corner. I am so blessed to have her only a block away. She and her dog Charlie walked us home. " When are we going to eggs, Gamma?" Sydney asked again and again. ......But first we had to make the chocolate nests to ring the cake. Recipe here. As you can see, Sydney is beaming. She and Mr. Scottie Dog ate the extra jelly beans.

Finally, finally it was time to dye the eggs. We had six color mugs. Our eggs are and assortment of white, brown and green eggs. I get eggs from friends who keep chickens so we take the color we get. Always fresh, always tasty. You dip the eggs just so.

It's OK if they come out with a strange pink streak! We like variety.

Aren't they beautiful! Soft and fun colors.

This year Sydney tried to make several two colored. She did well.

Now I've got to make my coconut cake. Just like last year.

Easter isn't all about eggs and bunnies and peeps and chocolate. Easter is about Jesus and how He rose from the dead. Dying for my sins and yours. Rising and conquering death so that we can live forever in Heaven with Him. We only have to ask. Easter Blessings to you and yours.

Hallelujah! He is Risen!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

National Quilting Day

I know, I know, National Quilting Day was a few weeks back. I'm just slow in posting my photos. Every day I plan to blog and every day I don't. So here I am!

For National Quilting Day our local quilt guild sponsored a 3 day sewing extravaganza! I think there were 60 of us who set up our stations with our sewing machines, projects we wanted to work on, and such. I brought my sewing rolly chair, some diet coke and some home-made hummus and veggies to share. Dinner was provide the first night and somehow food magically appeared the rest of the weekend. I missed out on breakfast at home on Sat. March 17 only to arrive at the hall to find home-made bagels and cream cheese! It was fun to see what everyone brought to work on.Here's my station. I'm working on a border of 3/4" squares for a quilt designed by Edyta Sitar.

One of the fun things we did was to have "Jelly Roll Races" to make quilts for our Community Quilts Project. You need forty 2 1/2" strips sewed end to end. Then at the count of three everyone sews as fast as you can to create this stripy quilt. Ann was our winner at about 34 minutes.
Doesn't she look happy? I never realized she was so competitive!

Some people brought UFO's to finish up. Kathleen won these blocks in the guild lotto over 15 years ago! I was the Block of the Month chairman and remember drawing out the templates for this one back then.

Robot Quilt! So much fun!

These gals were showing off the quilts they had made a week earlier in Pat Sloan's wonderful class. Love them all.

I love the younger new members and their enthusiasm. "Corde" and "Roy" showed up in different shirts (and different personas) each day. I love the shirt: "Quilters do it in the Ditch!"

And as they say, A good time was had by all!