Monday, August 18, 2008


Oh my goodness! Being on the road more weeks than being home makes being home like being on vacation! I loved everywhere I went but it sure is good to be home even it is for only a couple more days before I have to leave again. So, where have I been?

Our second annual Statler retreat in Sisters. We started with a day touring the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show for inspiration checking out the quilting on lots and lots of quilts. We had some great sessions working with the Creative Studio software, fun with our clam digger challenge to practice our Auto Sketch skills, and some fast and furious badminton games in the evenings.
Then I was home for just a short week repacking for a quick weekend trip to San Diego to see the grand babies and hear Toby in a summer concert with the San Diego Symphony.

Back home ... just enough time to do a quick load of wash, repack, and then it was off to Long Beach for the first West Coast International Quilt Festival. As with any project, getting started with the "first" is always a little rough. There are some bugs to be worked out but I'm sure the festival will be even bigger and better next year with even more vendors, another awesome quilt show, great classes to be taken by super teachers, and lots and lots of eager and happy shoppers.
August: Back home ... do another quick load of wash ... and then off to Alabama to help my daughter learn how to can and have a little bit of vacation. We did go to one quilt store while I was there. I got to meet Becky of Sew What! in Oxford. Becky was so nice to invite us to visit her guild meeting the next day. Eryn and I thought we might make it but the call of vacationing activities was just too strong. Thanks for thinking of us, Becky.

Eryn and I did have a good time canning beans and tomatoes. I'd never heard of Rattlesnake Beans before but they canned up just like regular beans and the stripes disappeared when the beans were cooked just like the man said. We ended up with 35 quarts of tomatoes and 14 quarts of beans. Eryn makes a mean pot of bean soup to get her through the week once the school year starts up for her at JSU again. All of that canning helped me remember some of the more simple things I enjoyed before quilting took over my life!

Eryn and Frankie: "Oh Dear! What are we going to do with all of these tomatoes?"

After getting home from Alabama, we had our annual Scrappy Sister Retreat here at my house. We've been retreating every summer now since 2000. We have an organized strip exchange and then work on the challenge project ... piecing a quilt top using the 2 1/2" and 4 1/2" strips we've exchanged. We've had some pretty amazing quilts come from our exchanges over the years.
We had the additional challenge this year of working all weekend in a record setting heat wave for our usually mild Pacific Northwest. But not to worry, on Monday we were back to our usual rain and mid-60's weather. Sometimes, I think we're going to go crazy with this wild 40 degree swings on the thermometer!
I do need some help from all of you deciding just what to do for borders on my Retreat Challenge quilt. Post your vote in the poll at the top of the page as to your preference for Design 1 with the square in a square border or Design 2 with the half crystal block border. This is a new pattern I'm developing for release at Fall Market in Houston this year. It also needs a name - any and all suggestions are welcomed!

And, now where am I off to next? In just a couple of days we leave for San Diego ... another concert, and then we're driving our son's/daughter-in-law's car to Boston for them. They're flying and getting settled with babies, meeting movers, and getting set for rehearsals and various recording sessions to start with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Toby.

It's been a busy busy summer ... and I've loved every minute of it! Good times with family and friends are just the best and never to be taken for granted.
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