Monday, March 28, 2011

Bon Yoyage

Polly is wrapping up her workshop and I am packing for our trip tomorrow, bright and early, to New York City. Whee! There are Red and White quilts to see, museums to walk through, friends to laugh with, and good meals to eat. I will try to post while in New York. That means I will be using Polly's ipad to blog. I hear they are very user friendly. That is our only hope.

When I get back, I have heard that our new fabric group will be here waiting for me. So, come back at the end of the week for sneak peeks and give-aways.

I had a spare hour or three yesterday and decided to tidy up the fabric shelves in anticipation of new yardage. I had made two quilts since I tidied up last. This is how my sewing room looked yesterday.
This is how it looks today, all ready for American Banner Rose to fill it up.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quilters at Airports

This is the cover of Judy Condon's new book - The Spirit of Country. The rug above the hearth is one of Polly's. It was photographed in the home of Nancy King of New Hampshire. Polly is busy at a workshop currently and she asked me to help get the word out....the pattern for this rug will be published in a Minick and Simpson book next year. If you want a kit for this rug - email us here and Polly can give you the info on that. No patterns only until the book is published. Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks everyone for the dog training tips. God knows we need them. Wearing Gibby out is absolutely the key. Since his daily playmate moved away we have struggled to keep him busy. He was a bit better yesterday - so progress, not perfection is our goal.

Have you seen all the blog posts about the Red and White Quilt Exhibit in NYC?? Glenn took these marvelous pictures yesterday and Carrie has all the scoop and some more pictures. Don't forget Lissa! Polly and I are going next week. We can't wait and the above Glenn, Carrie, and Lissa will be our partners in adventure.

Which brings me to this..... there certainly has been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about this once in a lifetime quilt show. If half of the people who are blogging about it are going, then I expect to spot quilters all over Metro Airport, JFK, and hustling around Manhattan. Quilters are easy to spot in airports - they are the ones in sensible shoes, extra tote bags, and threads hanging from their clothes.

There is another little thing happening in NYC at the same time. I have been uncharacteristically apathetic these past cold and snowy months. It's doubtful that this will continue much longer. I predict another promising spring and summer that will lure me in and then cruelly break my heart in September. I can hardly wait!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Morning Walk Takes A New Turn

Walking the dog in the morning used to be a nice break. An exercise, quite literally, in nature and meditation. Not any more. Gibby has a new hobby. He dances.(photo taken this morning of foolish dog by p.o.ed owner)
Not once, not twice, but literally dozens of times during the walk, he grabs the leash in his mouth (the above time so strongly that he took it out of my hands) and dances with unabashed joy. It was funny the first time, even the second time, but now.......we are consulting with smarter people to break him of this habit. I'm sure the neighbors enjoy it. There is probably even a telephone chain to warn people of his approach. "Yes, they are rounding the corner. He's dancing and she is not looking very happy." Sigh.

Maybe he watches too much television and saw this.

Or maybe this....


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Make That Scrap Basket Work For You

Have you made some Just One Star blocks?

You still have time. Remember to send them to:

Attn: Just One Star Project
13800 Hutton
Dallas, TX 75234

Have you seen THIS ! Make a couple of simple blocks to be made into quilts for Japan earthquake/tsunami survivors. Beth will make our blocks into quilts. Thanks Beth. I dug through my scrap box this morning and made 3.
Gibby really thinks this is a good idea. I know it's hard to fit in making a quilt for all the needy causes that ask us to, but we all can make a couple of blocks. Our scrap baskets will be happy too.

After I made these and some more Just One Star blocks, I fiddled around with some skinny strips. I made this.
I will cut some more skinny strips, so some free time at the sewing machine will produce another block. I have a dream that someday my scrap bin/tub/mammoth pile of scraps will be depleted. Making blocks for good causes will certainly help.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

May You Live In Interesting Times

The source of the saying "May you live in interesting times" has been attributed to both Confucius (and interpreted as a curse), or an Irish toast. Let's go with the Irish toast since St. Patrick's Day is nigh, and I don't feel like perpetuating a curse.

Interesting indeed. This is what the inside of my head is doing right now.....
Except there are lots more balls. And they're slippery. And I'm wearing mittens.

All day long I am making lists....... about things to make lists about. Geesh. Polly and I are wrapping up a book, making travel plans, designing rugs and quilts, scheduling workshops, and oh yes, a new fabric collection needs to be designed asap. Yes, we are busy, but as my eyes wander over news stories of shortages, disasters, and hopelessness, I am thankful I have a full life to be grumpy about. Very thankful.

Okay, enough of that...... among all the things on my list are these upcoming workshops. You know about Mackinac Island, well here is another one coming up soon.

HollyHill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn Oregon! There is still some room. Keep watching this blog and HollyHill's website for more info and pictures of this event. We are really looking forward to it. The shop gets rave reviews from Joanna and Barb and Mary. Hope to see you there!!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Just One Star Tutorial

Before we my defense..... the shabby looking cutting board in the following pictures is only about a year old. It obviously needs replacing. Stat.We are heartened by your enthusiasm for this project and here is the promised, albeit somewhat sad, (with a ding-ed up cutting mat) tutorial.

After I dug around in my scrap bin and pressed some scraps I cut out my pieces. I then drew a diagonal line on the star 2" squares.It wasn't long before I had the flying geese segments done. I am making 2 blocks here, one for me and one for Polly.
Once the star was pieced it was time to add the OVERSIZED triangles to the sides.

After I have 2 sides sewn on, I do trim the large dog-ears at this point.Now I add the last two sides and press. No more trimming!!!! Leave oversized and the dear folks at Moda will trim to size.As you see, what you have essentially made is a star block within a square. There is a lot of leeway here to trim to size. My block finishes just a bit over 10" square, but will be much smaller once trimmed. Have a great weekend, and try to fit in a block or two. This is where they need to be sent.

Attn: Just One Star Project
13800 Hutton
Dallas, TX 75234

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is It Spring Yet?

Is it spring where you live? It isn't here. We got another little snowfall yesterday and temperatures are still frigid. Polly is in 80 degree weather, but isn't she always??!!

I do love winter, but boy, this has been a long one. It you want to rush spring a little and you can get strawberries, nectarines, and green tomatoes at your market - Polly gives this salad rave reviews. It can from Southern Living Magazine. I think it will be a few weeks or months here until I can get those ingredients.

Strawberry Fields Salad


  • 4 large nectarines, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 3/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 1 (10-oz.) package gourmet mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large green tomato, diced*
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (3.5-oz.) package roasted glazed pecan pieces


1. Toss nectarines with 1/4 cup Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.

2. Layer gourmet mixed salad greens, nectarines, strawberries, and next 4 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours. Toss salad with remaining 1/2 cup dressing just before serving.

*1 1/2 cups halved miniature heirloom green tomatoes may be substituted.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing


  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Process vegetable oil, sugar, fresh lemon juice, poppy seeds, finely chopped onion, Dijon mustard, and salt in a blender until smooth. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week; serve at room temperature.

That's all we got today. Our hectic social lives and commitments have us plum tuckered out. If you believe that.........


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Fame is fleeting; and so is an out of town movie crew. They came, set up, and now are gone.

It started at 5:30 this morning when a huge snowplow cleaned off the bike paths and driveways along our part of Miller Avenue. Do you know what curb snow is? It's what I call all the snow that is left from the storm last week. It's half melted, re-frozen, dirty and totally immovable - Curb Snow. Well, a snowplow attacking big hunks of curb snow at 5:30 this morning woke up all of the Simpson homestead. That wasn't glamorous. After that, we didn't see any activity until around 1pm today. Lots, and lots of trucks lined up all along our street and driveways. There seemed to be some activity of moving lots of wires and cables and a whole lot of consulting on the movement of these wires and cables. And that was just about all of it. Oh, and they also moved snow. They filled up wheelbarrows and moved snow from one end of our neighbors yard, to the other end. That wasn't particularly glamorous either.

I was so ready for a bit of movie glamour. I contemplated walking past the movie making, looking and feeling glamorous. You know, like this.But sanity prevailed. I know what the movie crew would see would be more like this.That's all there is ........ back to quilting.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just One Star

Make sure to stop on over on Moda's blog for Lissa's post about Just One Star. This was a brainstorm between Lissa and Susan at Moda to compliment the Quilts Of Valor Under Our Wings program and a wonderful assist of Polly's and my favorite charity - Semper Fi Fund.

Moda has simplified and fine tuned this great cause to make it easier for all of us to participate. If we all make Just One Star, we will easily achieve our goal. Yep, just piece one star block from this tutorial and send it in to Moda at:

United Notions/Moda Fabrics
Attn: Just One Star Project
13800 Hutton
Dallas, TX 75234

Submit your block before May 1st and the busy bees at Moda will trim your block and include it in one of the 100 quilts to be presented to wounded soldiers and their families.

Ask your friends in your guilds and sewing groups to make Just One Star. We'll have those 100 quilts in no time!

All of our Thanks,

Polly and Laurie

Blog Archive