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Friday, January 21, 2011

I Sure Hope It Is Worth It

Here are some photos that I took while on my trip that I have not yet posted.  This is what I typically see as I drive through north central PA where our family and friends live.  Nothing but trees, mountains, farms, homes, some smaller businesses and on occasion you might see some wild turkeys, bears, deer and even a fox or two.

This is what I've been seeing for the past 10 years that I've been regularly traveling through PA.

Until recently....the big companies are drilling for natural gas all throughout the area.  Mostly what people talk about are the gas royalties they are getting from the mineral rights on their land.  Many folks have become what the rest of us might consider rich from the natural gas drilling.

As I crested the top of this hill .....this is what I saw:
Hmmmm, that does not look like anything I've seen before.....almost surreal....
So, from an absolutely amazing view of the farm, corn, barns silos.....comes this giant tower/rig.

Now this is what the farmers back field looks like.....almost like a small city complete with trailors....dumpsters.....a parking tanks......

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All I can say is I sure hope it is worth all of this when all is said and done.  I don't know because I have not done any research but one thing I know for sure....where there were once quiet farms there are now Semi's running 24 hours a day 7 days a week hauling water and no one in the area that I spoke to really knows if their water will be affected or even if it is safe to drink....where it is being released etc.  Everywhere you look there are Semi's, Pick-Up Trucks and Dullays.
I hope when they are finished it still looks like this.....without any ill affects on the environment and those that I love.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

PA Retreat and Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Meeting

Edited 1/21/11 due to photo errors

I know it has been a few days since I posted but I've been up to my ears in alligators!!!  The credit card processor is finally up and running on my website again.  I'm so relieved that is now fixed.  The co-workers were home from school yesterday due to all the ice on the roads.  So today, I'm right back to my blogging :)

Remember when I said I love the batiks at Needles Quilt Shop in Wellsboro, PA?  Well, as promised here is a photo of my loot.  I needed some brights and I loved the funky trees so I just bought those for my stash.  I'm not crazy enough to log in the fabric I purchase and what I use.  That would like listing all the junk food I eat on my blog.....NO WAY would I cop to that in public.  Not happening!

Back to the retreat at the Lake House.  This is a photo of Lois holding one of the blocks she made for her block exchange.  Her theme is "Sun Bonnet Sue Travels Around the World" (outside the continental US).  There were more blocks than I'm showing here.
Sun Bonnet Sue went to South Africa
Sun Bonnet Sue went to Hawaii 
Sun Bonnet Sue went to Italy

I think this one is when Sun Bonnet Sue went to Antarctica
Sun Bonnet Sue went to Scotland

Sun Bonnet Sue lost her innocence in Scotland apparently!
Sun Bonnet Sue went to Japan. 
Sun Bonnet Sue is not one of my favorite patterns but I love Lois' interpretation.

On Monday night I was invited to speak, can you believe that?  People actually wanted to hear me speak.....I used to get paid to listen and now I got paid to speak....I'm liking this :)

I was invited to speak at the Guild Meeting on Monday night.  In my last job I was paid to listen, now I'm getting paid to speak....hmmmm I think I like this.

This is the Wellsboro Library next to the Cultural Center.  There are many beautiful homes like this one in Wellsboro, PA.
That is Anya in the window waiting for me to arrive.  She said she did not know it was me until she saw the camera....then she was sure.
Anya made this beautiful quilt using only fabric she had in her stash and her scraps.  Her goal is to refrain from purchasing new fabrics until she uses what she already has.  I'm thinking she may need some serious support to achieve that goal....what do you think?
This is none other than the IHAN CEO demonstrating a Velocity 50 Iron by Reliable.  I love the look on peoples faces when I plug the Velocity 50 in and it starts to steam, and steam, and continue steaming without one drip of water leaking out.

I'm not quite sure what is happening here.  I think the gals were laughing as they passed the Gypsy Sit Upon around the audience.  I probably said something like, "what are you laughing about?  I haven't even had a chance to show you how well I can iron in a contortionist position."

I love the response I get when I show people how to cut 117 2 1/2 inch accurately cut squares in less than one minute.  I put this die through the Sizzix Vagabond and out the other side came 117 perfect squares...and the crowd smiles!

I had a wonderful time while in PA.  This is the East Coast Operations Facility and that was the last thing I saw as I drove away.  You can't see MJ in the doorway waving goodbye....but I remember her standing there as I drove away.

And this is a photo of the barn with light snow falling in the early morning.  The little prints in the snow are from the cat that lives across the road.  I can't wait to return....and it won't be too long either.  Mr. McSteamy's Grandmother turns 100 in February and we are going home for the celebration.  She is a quilter too!!!  I wonder how many quilts she has made in her 100 years?  I'll have to ask her.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mix & Match Quilts With the AccuQuilt GO! Blog Tour

Day 2 Blog Tour

Review of  "Bursting Into Bloom"
Designed and Quilted by Connie Kauffman (pg.21)

When I saw the quilt I was to review I was thrilled.  I think this pattern is fun and cheerful.

 Many of the dies necessary to make the projects in Mix & Match Quilts are included in the AccuQuilt GO! 12" Finished Block Set.   The GO! Rectangle (3 1/2" x 6 1/2") , GO! Funky Flower Die and the GO! 2 1/2" Strip Cutter Die were the dies used to make "Bursting Into Bloom."  

I think it is wonderful that all the dimensions for each die is given in the book as well as the Funky Flower template.  So for those who do not have a AccuQuilt GO! or Sizzix Westminster Fabric Cutter you can still make these quilts using your choice of rulers that will cut the necessary shapes and the templates supplied in this book. 

I did not make the "Bursting Into Bloom" quilt however I did read the instructions several times.  The instructions were not as clear and I think they could be and I'm not sure a beginning quilter would have understood some of the terminology and directions. 

Here are a few examples:

"Die Cutting Instructions"
"1.  Cut one 7 1/2" by fabric width strip from each of five coordinating bright prints and fan-fold 4 1/2" wide.  Die-cut eight H rectangles from each strip."

I'm not sure a beginning quilter would know what a fan-fold is and a diagram or photo would be much clearer.  Perhaps adding that you would have a total of 40 rectangles when finished would be helpful too.  The other thing that I found confusing was referring to the rectangle die as H.  While on page three of the book all the dies are described in depth, a beginning quilter may not have noticed they were also labeled with an alphabet letter.  When I first saw the instructions I wondered what H was referring to so I looked back through the beginning of the book.  The dies are even labeled that way on my website but it was not readily clear to me. 

The book shows photos of the shapes that the dies cut and I think it would have been clearer if a beginning quilter actually saw a photo of the die too.

Later in the instructions the letters X and Y appear along with other letters.  At first I thought I was missing something and I began searching page three for X and Y.  Then I thought that the X and Y might refer to X and Y axis.  So I looked at the quilt and thought to myself, "there is no way they could be referring to the X and Y axis...that makes no sense."  So I looked to the end of the instructions and noticed on some of the diagrams there were small alphabet letters that referred to rows.  I think it may be helpful to tell people in the beginning that the letters would be referencing rows on diagrams that would be shown on the next page.

That was my experience with reading through the pattern.  Stop over to Vickie's blog at Spun Sugar Quilts and read her review of  the "Bed of Roses" pattern also being reviewed today.
You can  visit Tonya at Tonya's Sewing Room Blog  and Jacki at Canton Village Quilt Works Blog tomorrow and read their reviews as well as find out who else is reviewing the patterns in this book on Thursday. 

Everyone is different and I look forward to reading about their experiences with the patterns.  The quilts and projects are beautiful and I think the concept is definitely great for a beginning quilter. 


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lake House Retreat Photos :)

Here is the Lake House where we had our retreat this past weekend.  The front of the house has lots of windows so all you can see....well....I'll just show you....

Isn't this a beautiful view?  The lake beyond the trees is at Hills Creek State Park in Wellsboro, PA.  The trees and the snow just brush my soul.

After arriving at the Lake House and unpacking my things I ran into town to see Mary and Katie at Needles Quilt Shop.  Mary was gone but I had a great visit with Katie and Kathy.  They have the most beautiful collection of batik fabrics that I've ever seen.  I buy all my batik fabrics when I visit Needles.  I need to take a pix of what I bought there....soon :)
 Then I ran over to The Native Bagel because they had WiFi.  I know my website is having problems with the credit card check out so I thought I should check to see if it was fixed yet.
When I approach the counter to order a cup of coffee, what do I see but this sign:

 Thankfully I was not charged 21.50 for my coffee!!!
Back at the Lake House now.  Here is Leona and her beautiful quilt.
I really liked the fabrics Leona chose for this quilt. 
Here is another of Leona's quilts.  My eyes go buggy ever time I see this bargello pattern.
Marge was working on an needle turn applique block.  I really like her marking method.  She marks the pattern on some cheap interfacing as shown below and bastes it to the top of her block.

She can then just flip up the interfacing to check for placement without marking on her block. 
 This is Phyllis or as I affectionately call her, Philly.  I didn't get a pix of Ruby....but Ruby is Philly's faithful companion who loves to snuggle up with her.  Ruby is a lap dog and she sleeps curled up with darn sweet.
This is my dear friend Kay.  She was working on some English Paper Piecing.  This will be her dresser scarf when she is done.  I thought that was a great idea. 
Bev is also working on some needle turn applique.  Oh, did I mention, this is an Applique Group?  Oh....well it is :)  These gals are part of our Tuesday group who meet once a week to stitch together. (Even though I now live in OH I still feel like I am a part of the group....I call almost every Tuesday to find out what the gals are doing.)

This is Joyce's beautiful quilt that she has made for her son.  Some water leaked on it and the dye from the blue batik came through onto the backing.  Does anyone have any sure fire ways to clean it before she uses some Color Catcher? 

I can't believe the weekend flew by.  If finished my quilt top and I'll blog about that soon.  I also have more pictures to post but I want to join Mary Jane in the living room for the Golden Globes :)


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Update

Shhhh.....can you hear that?  Yes that....I think those are Angels singing and I'm in heaven!!!  I'm having a ball and I thought I would share that with everyone :)  I'm taking pictures but I'm using a borrowed computer so I'll post some tomorrow night when I get into town. Oh....can you believe they invited a masseuse to come out to the lake house and we all got a massage. Heaven....I'm in da do da day :)

Kay and Sheila are here and they are holding up.  They were both very moved by all the kind notes and cards they have received.  They wanted me to tell everyone THANK YOU!   We all think they are being very courageous by coming to the retreat with us girls.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fab Five by Abey Lane Quilts Giveaway Winner

Fab Five by Abbey Lane Quilts is about to have a new home!!!  The good news is, I remembered to do the drawing without Gene reminding me.  How is that for progress?  The bad news is I forgot to leave a comment so I could not be entered into the giveaway...dang. 

Can you believe there were 97 comments?  We are schmokin' with the comments folks.  If I had 97 copies I'd give everyone a copy.....however I only have one.  I visited the Random Number Generator dot org and the magic genie over there came up with #82 who is:


So, H2Ogirl, please e-mail me with your full name and address and I'll get your book in the mail to you.  I've decided to give folks 3 days to reply.  If after 3 days I don't get an e-mail from H2Ogirl, I'll draw another name. 

I think with all the energy everyone seems to have for giveaways these days I'll just go ahead and post another one soon.  I will be leaving in the morning for PA to visit with my dear friends there.  I have printed all the kind comments people left for my friend Kay who lost her last surviving child tragically.  I've received several cards here at the house and I will take them along with me to pass along.   All of you who took the time to leave a comment for her or mail a card, just know it will absolutely touch Kay's heart.  May we all find comfort for our darkest hours.

Friday through Sunday I will be having the extra pleasurable opportunity to sew with my girlfriends at the Lake House (that is where IHAN started).  A retreat....oh yes....I'm feeling da do da do da day!!!  I'm excited can you tell?


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