Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanks everyone for the great stories! We read them as we cooked our Thanksgiving meal and we laughed a lot. I think the overwhelming theme was cooked innards and de-constructed pies. Our meal this year was great and without trauma. That is always good. We hope yours was the same.

Here are a few more lone photos of the weekend in Dallas. It seems about 10% of my pictures are in focus and many great things just didn't get photographed, but here they are:

These are a couple more photos of Moda. You know, a little explanation may be needed. The Moda Warehouse is not open to the public. Heavy sigh : (
It is open to Quilt Shop owners and other retailers. Polly and I have an account to purchase materials for our workshops and to get supplies to make quilts for our published patterns. And yes, we pinch ourselves every day.This is the Notions area of the warehouse - acres of needles and thread and such. This next pic is a picture of the Lab Store that is upstairs. The Lab Store is where Moda U Retreats were held and where other Retailer workshops are held. In essence, a superbly merchandised area to demonstrate to Shop owners in how to display. We kind of like this Red, White, and Blue corner of the store.The next day we went to Grapevine Texas and went to the Gaylord Texan Resort. Wow. You know, everything in Texas is big. There was an ice show (no pictures), Santa and water skiing reindeer (no pictures), The Grinch (no pictures), and much, much, more. I did get a toy soldier - Texas sized.There was a hockey game later that evening, complete with Texas Hockey Cheerleaders and there is no photographic evidence anywhere.

Refreshed, we ventured out on Friday to McKinney Texas where there was a "Dickens Of A Christmas" going on. Fun. Music, caroling, lots of Arts and Crafts and good food. All of the antique shops kept us very busy. I saw this old, fabulous quilt in one. This old applique design might be a good starting point some day for a large 4 block applique quilt. I have made several 4-block applique quilts, but never tire of the style.Another great shop in McKinney was "Happiness Is Quilting". The shop is adorable and will be expanding soon. Make sure to stop by when you are in the area. I picked up a few fat quarters myself. I have a large applique quilt on my schedule in the next couple of months and I am sorely in need of greens and golds. And now on to the important stuff - the winner of the Thanksgiving Story. The random generator picked: Junglewife (Yes, the random generator picked entry #1!)

Congratulations! Oh, and I posted the wrong Christmas Past fabric picture in the previous post. Here is what the winner gets - (it's a lot more fabric!). Email me here, Junglewife and I will get this out to you shortly.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Big D

Greetings from Dallas. The flight was the best kind - uneventful. Lorelei met us at DFW airport and soon we were on our way to United Notions - Moda Fabrics. What can I say? Miles and miles of fabric and the nicest people ever.These bicycles are used in the warehouse by workers who navigate the aisles and pull ordered bolts of fabrics for quilt shops. I am trying to convince Bill that this might be a nice part time occupation once he retires. Who wouldn't love this job? Exercise. Nice people. Lots and lots of fabric. He is thinking about it. All he has to do is move to Dallas and get a good recommendation. That was just about as much excitement as people can have in one day. This was the first time Bill and Lorelei have been there. Now when I go on and on about how wondrous Moda is and how nice the people are, they know exactly what I mean.

Look what I found? They had a bundle of Christmas Past fabric in the sale aisle. This stuff is long gone, people. This must be left over from an old kit or it is bolt ends. I scooped it up. And it could be yours! Just comment and tell us your funniest or most embarrassing Thanksgiving story and post it before midnight Saturday the 28th. Remember, this is a family blog.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Update

Hey, I actually have been working on a couple of things. These are some applique blocks that will become a quilt at some point. Yes, they are much like the Uncle Sam's Hat block in the recent Quiltmaker publication, but I ad-libbed a bit. This quilt will be finished around the holidays and look for it here in the Spring.
Bill and I are heading to Dallas early Tuesday to have Thanksgiving dinner with Lorelei. Bill does not like to fly. I actually like to fly. It's hanging out in airports for long periods of time that I hate. I plan on taking some applique with me.

Once in Dallas I will head to the Moda warehouse to pick up a few odds and ends. Bill and Lorelei have never been to Moda. Maybe they won't react like I did when I was there for the first time, but it will still prove to be impressive. I will have camera on hand. They probably won't be hyperventilating like Polly and I did when we went for the first time. (or any other time for that matter). You never know, though.

Polly is traveling at the moment, visiting her kids and grand kids for the holidays. She has promised to put some pictures of her rugs up on the blog when she is back home; so, we have that to look forward to. There is another thing to look forward to. Bill and I are thinking about getting a dog. It has been 6 months since Tucker left us and it feels about the right time. I will certainly keep you updated about that. If it comes to pass, I'm sure you will get your fill of puppy pics.

In closing, here is a video of a friend of Polly and I. Margaret Shaw - Folk Artist extraordinaire. If you are interested in these socks - you can find them at Found - a shop here in Ann Arbor. Have a good Turkey Day, everyone.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Of Those Days

It has not been going well. Suffice to say - if you are reading this I might have finally suceeded. After a few hours of attempts - I can post this - possibly with a video. Why a video. Because I got nothing else, that's why. Life has been getting in the way of making quilts and blogging. Nothing exciting, just stuff. Bill even mentioned that I hadn't posted anything on the blog lately. I told him to do or say something interesting and I would post it. He didn't.

Yesterday I was emailing Sandy Gervais about something and we were talking about the dishes she recently blogged about. She was involved in a Christmas Blog Hop with several other quilting celebrities. She mentioned how hard it was to post something on the blog for 10 days in a row. Yep. Very hard. I told her that when I started posting pictures of my groceries - things were very bleak indeed. There is only so much excitement that I can live up to every day. So, with that in mind (and if indeed I cracked the blogger/youtube enigma) I will post this video. For no other reasons than it will make you smile - and it will buy me some more time until I have to come up with something interesting.


Friday, November 13, 2009

100 Blocks - Day 2

Thanks everyone for saying such kind things about our Uncle Sam's Hat block. It was fun to make and really uses up your scraps (if you happen to have a lot of red, white, and blue scraps like some people). The winner of "Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks" magazine is:

Carol in E TN

Carol, email me here and your magazine will go out to you shortly.

How is your week going? I heard today is Friday the 13th. No worries. It can't be any different than the preceding week. For every step forward I took - I took 2 steps backward. On Monday I had about 1 full day of applique work to do on a quilt - and it would be finished. Ask me how much more work I have to do on it. Yes, that's correct - 1 full day. I have run so many errands and logged so much time in my car that I started and finished an audio book in the car this week. Yes I looked. The audio book is 13 1/2 hours long. I hope to settle down on the couch later today with a good movie in the dvd player and finish that thing. After I run a few errands, of course.

Because this is Friday the 13th, I am going to pay it forward, so to speak and try to change my luck. I let the random number generator pick a couple more winners and...

Christy &

- you can also email me here for a copy of the magazine.

Don't walk underneath any ladders today, folks.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100 Blocks!

"Follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily Nov. 9-13 at for inspiration, ideas and giveaways galore! Look for 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at”

Are you ready to Blog Hop? Have you been following along all week? Today is the day when we were asked to join in. Comment below and you could be a winner of this....
Good Luck!

Monday, November 9, 2009

September, October, Nowonder

It seems that school just started. How is it possible that it is almost Thanksgiving?
For those of you that asked, the Autumn Potato Salad from the previous post was delish. It certainly will become a fall staple here at Chateau Simpson. I found small blue potatoes and some rosy flesh fingerling's at the market. I hadn't used those before and they were great. Speaking of blue, and Fall, maybe the early sunsets have meant that I seem to have more time in the evenings lately. I picked up some hand piecing recently and have been really enjoying it. It certainly seems like a long time since I have been able to hand piece. Here is what I have been working on.

Here are the blocks in construction. They are on my lap desk that is full of sewing tools and such. The top is covered in very fine sandpaper. If you hand piece (or would like to) and haven't used a sandpaper board - I heartily endorse one. It makes marking much easier, finer, and is a great tool to have. Just lay the fabric to be marked on top of the sandpaper board and trace around your template with a suitable marking pencil. The fabric won't distort and much less force is needed to leave a legible mark. You won't believe how easy this will make your life.
My blocks are almost ready to piece into my quilt top. As a good friend once told me - keep watching this space - "More will be revealed."

And.... we do have a winner - or winners for the coated fabric. Sherri and Izzy - please email me here and I will get your prizes off to you.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fabulous Fall

We are getting quite a treat today. A perfect Fall day. Crisp, clear, and bright. I went to my usual haunt this morning - the farmer's market. You have seen enough pictures of that place. I thought I would show you what is across the street - Zingerman's. I went this morning for a cappuccino and a pastry to treat myself. This was the view when I sat down to dine.I sat on the porch and took it all in. After a few errands I found myself in a place where I should know better than to be. The intersection of Main and Stadium. On a Saturday. In the Fall. I was here for awhile people watching.
Seems there is some sporting event today. I am back home and later today I will make this. I will let you know how it turns out.

Make sure to stop by next week as there will be a "blog hop" relating to this:
There will be give-aways and other stuff. My cramped house is your gain, people. Oh heck. Lets do it now. I have a piece of this coated fabric - over 3 1/2 yards - that needs a loving home. It is from our Bar Harbor collection. Make a comment about why you need to have this lovely piece of Moda fabulousness. Comment before midnight on Monday the 9th and it could be yours.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Breast Cancer

I live in Naples, Florida and I do like living here. I have a spot in Naples that I really do adore, the area is special and so are all the establishments - it is Olde Naples. While downtown the other day to get a hair cut, I was taken with the tree in Olde Naples that is highlighted during the Christmas season. As I drove by - there was a hub of activity and when I parked my car and spoke to those around the tree - I found the tree was being decorated with pink lights to honor our fight for Breast Cancer. So tonight Tom and I went uptown for dinner just so I could photograph the tree at night. It is a special tree that is decorated for different occasions = but probably none as important as this one - our fight for Breast Cancer.
I have a friend in Vancouver, Washington who is currently about half way through her treatments to fight this disease and she is doing fine and will be just fine. But seeing the tree and knowing that Laurie and I have had friends for years involved in this fight - we decided to show the tree that is lit here in Naples and to encourage you to write in your friend or family member who is fighting this or who has battled this disease.
Eventually we will win this battle!My friend is Norma Searle from Vancouver, WA
We would like you to write in your friends or family members who you would like to be remembered during this time and to join in for a "group hug".


****p.s. Polly will be in Greensboro, North Carolina November 6th and 7th for a Breast Cancer Benefit. It will be held at The Saltbox - a folk art gallery that is celebrating 35 years in business and the benefit will be an show featuring 10 Folk Art artists and their works.


Halloween Winner!

That was fun to read about everyone's favorite costume. Thanks for playing along. I went to and typed in our numbers and the winner is:


Please email me here and I will get your prize out to you shortly
Bill wanted me to post his favorite Halloween costume. It is of my step-daughter Lorelei when she was around 4 years old. Here she is as Wonder Woman. The costume proved to be prophetic as she grew up to be a Wonder Woman herself.


Blog Archive