Thursday, November 29, 2012

Butterfly Tutorial

Some of you may have noticed I removed the free pieced butterfly tutorial from my blog.  I'm reworking it, and it will be available as a PDF file soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fifteen Rows

I've got fifteen rows done on the Blue Exquisite Quilt. I need 23.  As you can see, I've sprinkled colors throughout the blue.
I've also placed a few rainbow stars around the quilt. I am making this quilt for my friend, R, who was visiting over the Thanksgiving Holiday, and helped me trim the blocks.  She is delighted with the quilt so far. I am too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eleven Eleven


"Quiltilicious" tagged me. I don't know who this is, and I find it rather annoying. Why the secrecy?

I'm supposed to tell you 11 things about myself, and then answer 11 questions, and then tag 11 people.

I'll answer your questions, Quiliticious, but I don't do the tagging bit.

Eleven things about me.

1. I'm a loner.
2. I love to read.
3. I do not go wild about shoes.
4. I don't wear makeup.
5. I don't color my hair, either.
6. I love puzzles.
7. I like the way the air smells when it's below freezing out.
8. I love maps.
9. I'll read anything that's well-written.
10. The idea of "going shopping" without a purpose bores me to tears.
11. I love lemon. Real lemon, not the fake junk.

Marlene's questions about me.
1. What time of day do I do most of my crafting?
I prefer to get started right away first thing in the morning, before breakfast, before getting dressed.  But I work for a living, so most of the time it's after dinner.

2. If money was no concern, which machine or "toy" would you buy for your craft?
Here I will show that I am a bit of a snob. I make Art. I do not view my equipment as "toys."  Therefore I believe it's important to have good quality tools that get the job done regardless of their cost.  I don't need any more tools. If money were no object I wouldn't have a day job, so I could make art all day long.

3. I could live anywhere, where would I live?
I have a very close friend with four young children who lives in southern Maryland. They consider me their favorite "Auntie."  I'd like to live on their block for a few years. Or I'd like to try living in the desert. Or I'd live up in the Columbia River Valley between Oregon and Washington State. But I'd settle back to New Hampshire, because I like being close to the mountains, the ocean and the city, and I like the four seasons.

4. Do I enjoy traveling and what is the favorite place I've been?
Yes, and so far I loved Paris best, but I'm pretty sure I'd love Italy too. Yosemite was seriously awesome.

5. What is my favorite animal and why?
Duh. I love cats. They are beautiful to watch, independent and mysterious.  Plus they keep themselves clean and don't need me 24 hours a day. In other words, they aren't dogs.

6. Do I consider myself more a traditional quilter or an art quilter?
Is the sky blue? Is the pope Catholic?  I'm an Art Quilter.

7. What is my favorite place to vacation?
Any place that has good art museums, good food, family nearby and public transportation. Symphony and Opera Houses are added bonuses.

8. Do I prefer to dine in or go out to eat?
Well, since I'm a good cook, I like to dine in. But I also like really good food at a really good restaurant.

9. What is my favorite food?
Depends.  Lemon. Chocolate. Fresh bread. Steamers at the beach, ice cream at Mike's, spaghetti and meatballs with my family, a nice steak with my son...

10. What is my favorite quilting or crafting tool ("toy") that I have ever purchased?
(My disdain for the term "toy" is growing) My rotary cutters. When I first saw them in 1983 I knew right away I'd never make a quilt the traditional way ever again, and I never have.
Actually, this question is more fun if you ask me for my favorite kitchen tool: A rasp grater, also known as a microplane zester.

11. What is my computer of choice, desktop, laptop or tablet?
Since I work as a Geek, I like to have everything in one place and I want it all: a laptop.

Dear Quiltalicious, now it's your turn. Come out of the closet and let us see who you really are.

Monday, November 19, 2012


My Mom came over the other day and took a photo of me with the Black Box quilt top.  It's a good way for you to see just how big this quilt really is.  I'm five feet tall (60 inches; 152.4 cm).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

You Got Questions.. I Have Answers

Several readers had questions about my glasses. I have answers.

1.Do I have one pair of each correction that I switch between?

I'm not sure what exactly you mean, Sandra. I just have those three (plus my equally stylish sunglasses, which have only my distance prescription, since I only wear them when driving.)

I only wear the green ones at work, when I am parked in front of the computer.  I can walk around in them, and don't get dizzy or whatever because my vision isn't really that bad to start with.  I can see where I'm going, but I can't see the expression of people's faces when they're fifty feet away.  Usually that's because I forget I'm wearing them and somebody has called me to say, "Hey Lynne can you come look at my computer, something is funky," and I just get up and go. If I remember, I'll switch to my "normal" glasses for the trip, even though it means I have to bob my head up and down when I get there (because I can only see through the bottom - my "close" vision.  So is it a PITA - well, sorta, but not really.

2. How do I keep the costs down?
I never buy more than one pair a year, and I plan ahead.  If I believe I'm going to need new glasses, I add an extra $10/week to my flex spending account at the beginning of the year.  All of my glasses are in good shape, so I won't need any in 2013, though I might change my sunglasses from single vision to progressive (kinda hard to read the dials on the radio or the heater if I can't see them. Yes, it was a 'duh' moment, but hey, we all make mistakes.)

3. How many glasses do I carry around all the time?
I have the ones I am wearing, and then in my purse I have my sunglasses and my computer glasses. If I'm going to teach a class, I'll add the quilting glasses and leave the computer glasses at home.  They all have different cases, so it's easy to tell which is which.
When I travel, I leave the fussy glasses at home an only take my "normal" glasses (the ones I wear every day,) and my sunglasses.  However I always bring an older pair of glasses (like the ones I just replaced)

because accidents do happen.  (Ask me how I know this.)

Is this vanity?   Hell yeah!  But I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't spend lots of money on clothes or shoes, or purses. And I don't replace my glasses if I don't have to.  This year, my prescription changed, and my everyday glasses (the ones I am holding in my hands, above) were four years old.

Is this vanity? No way.  Having a pair of "computer glasses" makes work SO MUCH EASIER, relieves the strain on my neck and erases frustration.  Same thing with the computer glasses. I can work easily all day long, I can see what I'm sewing, what I'm cutting and what I'm doing.  When I cook or bake, I use the "normal" bifocals.

One last thing. Every year my optician has a special day when all his reps come in with their complete lines of frames. (The selection is staggering.) On that day he gives $100 off every pair of glasses he sells.  Guess which day I get new glasses?

Would you like to see some of the glasses I have had in the past?
These blue and red Armanis were my everyday glasses for a few years.
 These nifty black and white glasses were my computer glasses for years until my prescription changed.

I love glasses.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Glasses Junkie, Part 3

Regular readers know I am an eyeglass junkie. Some ladies love shoes, some love jewelry, but for me it's eyeglasses. If I won the lottery, I'd have dozens of pairs.  These are my new everyday glasses (they are no line bifocals).  They are a bit larger than my older ones, and I like them a lot.

These are my "computer" glasses - my "near" prescription so I don't have to keep tipping my head up and down when I work on a computer (like all day at work):
 And THESE beauties are my "quilting glasses." They are bifocals that have middle distance and close distance. They aren't good for watching TV or driving, but are awesome for making quilts - everything out to the ends of my arms.

I love unique, unusual glasses. I think of them as jewelry you wear all the time. (Actually, I think a good haircut is as important.)

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Change of Pace

A few weeks ago I wrote about retiring my sampler quilt, "Letters From Home." What I meant was I wanted to give it a rest from hanging and being exposed to light and dirt.  So I did just that. (The quilt on the bed is "Magic Happens", made by my pal Julie from all my leftover bits, and quilted by our friend Chris.)
I rolled it up around a cardboard tube, and tied it gently with fabric scraps.
It's now resting comfortably in the closet in my "spare" room.
I've hung the Four Seasons quilt in its place to enjoy. I was working on this quilt last Thanksgiving, and this year my Holiday guests will be able to enjoy it with me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome

This was the conference room the way I left it this past Saturday. The projector has been replaced, the carpet has been installed. New security measures are in place and yes, we have an idea of the identity of the culprit.

All that's left is the new furniture, and that won't come until the new year.

As for me, I've got a new project, and it hasn't got anything to do with fabric. It has to do with paper and words, and only remotely quilt related. It's got my attention the same way my word quilts do, and for that I'm very happy.  I'll tell you all about it in due time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Broken Trust

You all know about this big project at work - the renovation of our company's primary conference room, right?

So imagine my reaction when I walked into the room yesterday morning and did NOT see the ceiling mounted projector or the computer that controls it.

They had been stolen.

We are a manufacturing company with two shifts.  The room had been cleared for carpet installation, which was postponed for a few days because the carpet arrived damaged. With the furniture out of the room we couldn't use it, so nobody went into it until yesterday, when new equipment was to be installed.

Working backward, we think it happened after the end of the "normal" business day on Friday. On Monday morning, one of my colleagues looked into the room to see the new carpet.  He noticed the projector was missing, but thought it was moved as part of the preparation for the carpet install.

Entrance to the building is by key-card, and only employees have them.  We surmise this was done with at least one employee's help, as no alarms were triggered. Whoever did it needed a ladder and tools, and an assistant. The projector could not be removed by one person.

I've worked for this company twenty-four years and have never heard of anything like this happening before. As one of my co-workers told me yesterday, "I could leave my wallet on my desk overnight, and it would still be here, intact, in the morning. Nobody would touch it."

No longer.

We had to call the police. We will prosecute if the perpetrator is found. Some person or persons may lose their jobs.  We have already started looking into who was in the building at that time and are making inquiries.  We have instituted some security measures and more will be forthcoming.

 We were all so proud of the improvements to our conference room, the "jewelry," the "branding" (which I did not show you to keep the company name private), and excited about the new technologies we were implementing.

Obviously, "we" were wrong.  Someone amongst us did not feel that pride.  It hurts to think I work with this person. Someone broke that trust "we" all had. It was a rough day yesterday.

I don't need your advice or suggestions about how this could have been prevented or what we should do to prevent this from happening again. I just wanted to explain my silence.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Alto

Young British designer Sarah Dickins has designed a sewing machine to encourage "making." This machine is just a prototype, it isn't in production, but it's quite the most elegant sewing machine I have ever seen. This machine has been shortlisted for this year's Dyson Award.   You can read more about this machine here, on Fast Company.