Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012


It started out gray but turned sunny by the time I got to Brooklyn, so we had to wear our sunglasses as we headed out for the afternoon.

First stop was Ample Hills Creamery - the best ice cream I have ever had; probably better than Jeni's in Columbus, OH - and I didn't think it was possible.  They are giving ice cream making classes in the Fall and I am sorely tempted (even though I already make ice cream). If you are in NY, it is worth taking the Q train to 7th Ave. (5 stops from 42nd St) and walking a few blocks for this ice cream.

Later, after working off the ice cream at the playground, we went out for dinner.  Best meal I have had in recent memory at a new organic restaurant that opened 2 weeks ago on Jessica's corner.  The restaurant is Carlton Park. Farm-to-table, local organic and an interesting, outstanding menu.  Even the gin was organic - LOL.

So - busy and happy day, leading into what I expect to be an equally busy and happy holiday weekend.
Wishing you all the same.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Everybody's complaining about the rain we have had all week, but it is warm, mostly drizzly rain like the kind I imagine they have in the Northwest.  And everything is so GREEN!!  

Early this evening I had to go out on the deck to talk to my herb garden (or herb pots, as the case may be) because I am so thrilled to have them growing.  I worry a bit about what I will do when I go away for a week, but for now, they give me great joy. It has been a long time since I have grown anything. Basil, dill, and cilantro and in other pots, thyme and rosemary.

When I looked up I saw a lush estate, and in the distance, a misty Shangri-La.
  And at my feet, reflections in a silvery surface turned ordinary objects into art.
Who knows what color tomorrow will be?


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


One of the things I like to add into my Cinderella workshop is a little bit of crit brainstorming for anyone who asks.  Carol E. had been working on a piece and brought it to class because she was not entirely happy with it and wanted some feedback.

We put all our heads together and did a few "what if?" experiments till we all agreed this was much better.  Carol was happy and so was the piece:-). 

The big, heavy black borders were too traditional for these free-form blocks and the center black strip interrupted the flow of the piece.  We tried inserting the blue elsewhere in the piece but it just didn't work. Somehow, the blue worked better at the top than it had at the bottom.  Everybody loved the what-if process in action and hopefully, it will help them while they are working on their own pieces.

Finally, last night I got an email from Michelle, who had transformed her blocks from static to dynamic.  She was so excited with what she had done, that when she got back to the hotel she laid all the blocks out on the bed to see what they would look like as a quilt.  Here's the photo she sent me. 
 Reminds me of the game of Pickup Sticks we used to play as kids. What fun!!  Thanks, Michelle.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I'm home, and after sorting through my photos and the ones that Carol so generously shared with me, I can post about the second day of class.  Everybody agreed that this has to be a two-day class and that chopping and reinventing is addictive.

The class and meeting were held at the Mason's hall and Carol gave me the title of "Worshipful Master of Free-Form Quilting."   You can already tell that this is going to be another laughter-filled day.

Barbara came in with a whole quilt's worth of similarly boring blocks.  By the time she left, yesterday, she had added color and energy to all of them.

  She even transformed the sashing. I hope she sends me pictures when she has put this quilt back together.

I think it was Catherine who started with a pile of these
and turned them into this.

Linda's blue and brown nine-patches were actually nice.
                  but then she turned them into a dynamite vertical.  We auditioned them a couple of different ways, and this was the winner. 
Earlier in the weekend, she was busy with another challenge.

Judith began with this, which actually looks better in the photo than in real life.

Now it is becoming something else.
Here is Carol, putting the finishing touches on a piece she made. She's getting ready to sit down and quilt it.
 One happy camper -- and one dynamite small quilt!

Elena is contemplating how she will put together the new units she has created from the pieces she brought. 

Michelle's brown blocks eventually became more colorful and the diagonals she added will make a livelier quilt.


 Marie, who drove down from New York State to take my class, was beside herself with joy
at having the time to create and then the luxury of stitching to her heart's content.  I can relate to that, can't you??
 Below, Ann is contemplating what she will do with all those leftovers.
  Here's Betty with her original block, shown on my previous post. 

Sunday night's meeting was a lot of fun.  After my lecture on "What IF?" the class did show and tell and everybody loved seeing the results.  

More, tomorrow.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

before and after

Day 1 of class and I'll get right to the point.  Here are four blocks before they were cut into smithereens and after they were transformed.

                                                       Tip of the iceberg: more, tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I am here

The small sign says R U LOST? Answer: Nope. I'm here with Carol Esch, who lives in Pittstown, NJ (I think there is one in NY, too - are they related??) I arrived in this bucolic area of the state and we took off for the fabric store in the charming town of Clinton. I did not buy any fabric, but Carol found some she just had to have.
They were digging up the streets in Clinton so I didn't take any pictures there, but as we walked across the bridge, this was the scene. YES,people, this is New Jersey.
After that, we headed to Frenchtown, NJ where we dined al fresco at the famous Frenchtown Inn. Here is Carol (the drink is mine) wearing what looks like two pairs of glasses. Hmmm...
And here is the requisite foodie picture. Jumbo crab cake: I wasn't sure whether they were referring to the crab or the cake, but I realized that it was probably both. It was delectable.
That's all for now. I promise to take pictures in class tomorrow and will hope to get some good before-during-after versions. 'Nite.

nothing to blog about

Time was, I 'd find any old thing to blog about -- even nothing. But this week, I got sidetracked with finding my possible relatives after I had my DNA done. So interesting! I have realized that going back 5+ generations, I am related to half the world. In any case, I have heard from a number of people on whose list of matches I came up and vice-versa...and I have been doing research, trying to find the common link on my mother's side of the family. Very complicated, very confusing, and fascinating.
If you've thought about it, go to FamilyTreeDNA and check it out.
I highly recommend it. I see a number of people who have been adopted and are looking for biological relatives (even distant ones, like 5th cousins) through DNA matches. I hope they find some connections.

The other thing I've been doing at night instead of blogging is finishing up some small Cinderella (UFO) blocks as class samples for what you can do in a day in one of my workshops. Of course, nobody's results will look like these, but they are just examples. I will bring them to class this weekend, which is why I have been so preoccupied.

This next one, I just finished putting together and haven't done anything with it yet.  The components were made while I was working on the book and have been sitting around forever.  Yesterday, I decided to do something with them.  Here is the remaining Ohio Star, followed by what I finally did with it.

 The pix are slightly fuzzy because I took them in a urry, but you get the idea.  Just a whimsical, off-kilter piece that will eventually end up as a finished one. 

And now, back to packing up supplies for my weekend class at Courthouse Quilters in Frenchtown, NJ.
This is one of my favorites to teach, so I can't wait!  Will try to find time to blog over the weekend.

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...