Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and warm while enjoying this holiday season. Dan and I are spending our first Christmas in Key West. We are dry camping right now which means absolutely no hook-ups for water, electricity, or sewage. This is pretty new for us. So far, it has not been that bad. We use our generator when we need to recharge batteries and for extra juice for heat or TV. Washing dishes is a problem so we are using paper plates some of the time.  Showers are taken in a public shower house that is kept very clean. One less thing for me to clean this holiday season – the shower! More time to quilt – right? But - the days have been warm so we have been spending quite a bit of time outside taking the cats for walks.
We also visited the Key West Botanical Garden. I thought I would share this most unusual flower. The trumpet flower is larger than my hand.  Isn't it beautiful?  St. Francis had his own visitors.

Today, we will join the other winter residents on base for a potluck dinner. I am taking our favorite holiday dish – Herbed Brown Rice stuffing with roasted almonds. YUM!

Despite all the distractions of dry camping and great weather, I did finish another block and I am half way through the next one already. I still have a lot to do. I got to looking at the quilt and I realized I have some very big borders that will need quilting as well. I won’t mention the binding I have not started yet. All I can do is to keep on quilting until it is done.

“In your heart, In your soul, Did you find peace there?” ~ Full Circle by Loreena McKennitt

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One More Block Done and Another Quilting Murder Solved!

Well, this block took a lot longer to finish considering I did not do much stitching on this block.  Can I blame it on the holidays?  Oh, and my brother came down for a visit and the weather was just perfect for being outdoors.  The cats wanted to go for walks and kayaking to do.  So, yea, lots of excuses for me not to be working on the quilt.  I guess I better stop with the excuses now the weather has turned a little colder and windier.  Time to do some serious quilting!


Quilt As You Go by Arlene SachitanoI just finish reading another Quilt-Murder-Mystery book called “Quilt As You Go” by Arlene Sachitano.  Yea, call me obsessive.  

Anyway, Arlene gave the best tip that I have ever heard.  I have often heard and read about threading a bunch of needles before you start your project to save you time. I have never tried it because I always thought I would cut a strand of thread, thread the needle, tie a knot and then……..well, where do I put the threaded needles? I would need to hide them so my cats would not tangle the thread or run off with the thread or worse – getting the needle with the thread. They have taken straight pins and needles in the past, but I have learned to hide all sharp objects while I am quilting. So I thought I would have to put the pre-threaded needles back into the pack and hide the pack. That sounds like more trouble than threading a needle as I needed it.

Here’s Arlene Sachitano: Load a whole package of needles onto the spool. Tie a knot in the end of the thread and then each time you want a new needle, you grab it and pull some thread out, then clip the thread and needle from the spool. Retie the end of the spool piece. Perfect! I can keep my needles and thread in a baggie and none of my smarty cats will be able to get to either one! HA!

Needles ready to go!

Oh, and how’s the book?  I would recommend it to anyone interested in murder mysteries and quilting.  The main character is a long-arm quilter so I have learned about the other side of the quilting business.  I’m more of a traditional quilter so I don’t know very much about the long-arm or the quilting business.  The story can be a little slow at times, but I like the characters.  I also like the story’s location which is near Sequim and Port Townsend, WA.  I spent a lot of my childhood growing up in the Puget Sound area on Whidbey Island.  This is the third one in a series of Harriet Truman/Loose Threads Mystery and I have read all three.  I hope she writes more Harriet Truman books.

Happy Holidays to All!

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