Quilts for Sale

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Late Post About Thanksgiving

Matthew and Suzie share a sweet moment before dinner.

We had a glorious day with the kids Thursday. Our best times are always with family. Matthew and Suzie came down from Greensboro laden with a delicious butterscotch pie, green bean casserole, corn casserole, home made applesauce and wine. Bill roasted a beautiful bird and grilled a lovely piece of salmon for Suzie. To that were added dressing, gravy, two kinds of potatoes (mashed and sweet), cranberries, lime salad, rolls, relishes and pumpkin pie. Delish!

When I was a kid, there were special foods reserved just for holidays. Real butter, green and ripe olives were served only at those times. Ours was a very frugal farm family and these treats were expensive. I've continued the tradition somewhat. Sweet Midgies (why don't they change this politically incorrect name?), Matthew's favorite pickle, and ripe olives are not on our weekly grocery list.

For our turkeys, we always use the vintage 'Savory Roaster' which once belonged to my Aunt Esther. Dressing is baked in a pan and not in the bird.

We'd planned to take a family photo (sans dogs who will be PhotoShopped in later) while the kids were here. The afternoon sunshine enticed us to head to Freedom Park where we walked off a few calories, watched the Canadian geese, enjoyed visiting with others out for a stroll and took lots of pictures.

Goosey Gander

The water was a beautiful color in the late afternoon.

Suzie and Matthew were the official photographers for the day.

Suzie gets a close-up of Matthew.
Check Suzie's new wedding photography website: http://philipsuzanne.com/

Matthew shoots a father/son self-portrait.

Suzie and Bill check a possible photo site for our family portrait.

They were fascinated by the cloudy/misty grass found there.

It had such an ephemeral quality.
Click on photo for a closer view.

Pictures taken, we headed home for pie and lounging. The kids and Numa, their dog we're keeping for a while, snuggled on the sofa. As you can see from the picture, Numa misses them and they her.

The eyes have it!

The day was over much too soon and the kids headed home. We are so thankful to all be here for another Thanksgiving and for the many, many blessings we've received this year. Hope your holiday was lovely too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nearly There

I had never liked my previous cutting table as it was way too long and took up way too much space. I wanted something which would be really efficient and economical and serve more than one purpose in the new studio. Starting with three ClosetMaid basket systems (two found at the thrift store, one newly purchased at Lowe's) we went in search of a top. Several options were considered before we decided on a Luan hollow-core door. The doors are 80" long and come in varying widths. I close 30" as it fit well with my large cutting mat. The doors are light and easy to transport and fairly inexpensive ($21 - $28 or so).

My wonderful brother-in-law Tom came over this morning to shorten the door - removing 14" from one end. That left a 6 1/8" overhang on either side. Strips of wood were screwed to the underside to keep the door stable and voila - I have a custom table! I'm really pleased with this, especially the size. Thank you, Tom!

Here I am 'assisting' my brother-in-law.

Strips of wood were screwed into the table on both ends. The door
was then flipped upside down.


A view from below. These strips hold the door firmly in place.

This table is the perfect length, giving me just enough room
for my cutting mat, pressing surface and templates.

I bought unfinished knobs for my newly painted little dresser. Sprayed with a clear finish, they look like the ones on my Horn cabinet. My DH hooked up the stereo our son and DIL had given me. DH thinks I'd get better sound if the speakers were on top of the shelves.

Some of my vintage sewing things are finally on display above my fabric shelves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making Progress

The hollow-core 30" x 80" Luan door will be shortened by a foot or so. A horizontal bulletin board is planned for the wall.

I began the day with a bone density scan and was told "You have good bones." I'm blessed to have strong Irish and German genes.

When I got home I got to work on sprucing up some furniture. Using a small foam roller and fresh white paint, I was able to knock out the little chest of drawers in no time. It looked so nice I decided to paint the old cupboard and book shelves in the hall. The day turned warm allowing me to get outside and spray a second coat of red paint on my Windsor chair.

My brother-in-law will come over tomorrow to cut a foot or so off the luan door I bought at Lowe's. It will be placed on top of the three ClosetMaid basket units and serve as a cutting table. I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Once I'd finished my painting, I had some fun placing a few sewing baskets and collectibles on top of the book shelves. They've been tucked away for far too long.

Baskets and sewing collectibles are finally on display. The printer's type tray previously used for thread will hold vintage thimbles and threads. The Little Mother sewing machine was a yard sale find.

I love the button family on this very old button bag.
I've had it for a long time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Freeeeeeeze Warning!

The last of the crop.

Last veggies from our garden.

It is cold here and will drop to 23 by morning. My DH recently gathered the last of the peppers and green tomatoes from our garden. We're rationing them out hoping to make them last longer. Nothing tastes like fresh tomatoes!

I've been gathering and preserving fall leaves to use in my art. These were submerged in a 2:1 mixture of water and glycerin for five days. The color is not as vivid as I'd hoped, but better than it would have been had I'd pressed them.

Leaves are drained and dried following a five-day glycerin soak.

Brilliant color from Matthew's tree.
He planted it himself when he was about 10.

Leaves are being preserved as they fall.

I'd pressed a bunch of Japanese maple leaves last year from the tree our son planted when he was little. Several were used in fiber art postcards exchanged through the art2mail group. This year the leaves will be preserved in glycerin so that they'll be more pliable.

Above are two fiber art postcards made last year.
Note the darker color of the pressed maple leaves.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quilter's Dream

Bill and Barry placed the cabinet between the two north windows.

I turned the unit to face the design wall. This will allow plenty of room for table extension and give me a chance to gaze out the window while sewing.


My beautiful new Horn sewing system arrived today! I am so excited about finally having a really good set-up. I'm glad I decided to get the storage drawers which fit perfectly under the cabinet. And I'm already wondering what took me so long!

Barry and Bill, from Creative Sewing and Vac in Charlotte not only brought the unit upstairs, but assembled and set it up for me. They even delivered my repaired Bernina 1530! BTW - I was told the bobbin case I was using was defective. The spring which is supposed to be on the inside was instead on the outside! What??? I'd noticed that the case was completely different from the original and tended to cut the thread, but thought it was a 'new and improved' version. Not. And of course the shop where I'd purchased it is no longer in business. There was also a burr on the needle hook. No wonder the stitch was of such poor quality.

My afternoon was spent at my allergist's and running errands for Thanksgiving. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to play in my 'new' room!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Studio Update Two

Horn 60" Quilter's Dream

It seems the studio revamp began weeks ago. I made great progress emptying the room and getting it painted, but things came to a complete halt as we awaited delivery of my new sewing cabinet. After years of procrastination I bit the bullet and ordered a 60" Horn Quilter's Dream as well as the storage chest which rolls underneath. The furniture was ready to go but the insert did not arrive until Friday. Delivery has been scheduled for early tomorrow. I cannot wait!

Since this purchase required major coin, I took advantage of a recent sale. The dealer also gave me a bigger discount as well as free delivery. And since I have a tax #, there was no sales tax. I used my Shrubby tax incentive from last summer and added money I'd saved.

The dealer will also deliver my Bernina 1530 which has been completely serviced. And since I was on a roll, I had all my sewing shears sharpened. Also on my list? A good magnifying light. I've looked but balked at the very high price - even with a 50% off coupon from Michael's. An on-line search may yield something.

As for the old furnishings - a Windsor chair was spray-painted red while an old three-drawer chest is getting a new coat of paint as well as new knobs before being placed between the fabric shelves. I'll stitch a colorful slipcover for the threadbare club chair. The old French Provincial desk went to the curb where it remained for about 15 minutes before being picked up. I'm always thrilled when a discarded piece of furniture can be used by someone else.

I can't wait for this to be completely finished. I am so ready to sew!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sleep Study AKA Nightmare on Vail Avenue

What follows is probably more than you'll ever want to know about sleep studies. Read at your own peril.


I'm home from the sleep study having failed miserably. I arrived at the hospital early for my 7:30 appointment. Elizabeth, there for her 5-year follow-up, and I were taken to our perspective rooms where we were told to 'relax.' After about an hour I was hooked up to 27 separate electrodes to track brain waves, eye movement (REM), jaw movement (teeth grinding) leg movement (restless leg) and more. These were placed on my scalp, face, torso and legs. Bands were placed snugly around my upper chest and waist.

Sam, the young sleep technologist told me lights out would be 10:30. What? I haven't gone to bed at that hour for years. But I was quite tired so thought I would be fine. Then the big news. After I'd been asleep for a while, if I was found to have sleep apnea, Sam would come back and hook me up to a CPAP - a lovely little face mask about which I'd already developed a phobia. We tried on three devices which were surprisingly not bad at all.

And so it was sleep time. After what seemed like hours of tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position for my left knee (torn meniscus) and constantly dealing with allergies, I buzzed Sam to see if I could get to the johnny while hooked up. No. So he had to go through unhooking and reconnecting everything - not once but three times during the night. It was 1 a.m. the first time - and I had slept exactly five minutes in the preceeding 2 1/2 hours.

At one point there was a terrible loud rumbling from one of the machines. If I was asleep when that began, I was no longer so. And every time the door opened I just knew it would be Sam coming in to connect me to the dreaded mask.

The last 'bathroom break' was at 4:45. I learned I had actually fallen asleep about 2 and had slept well for 2 1/2 hours. Sam told me I could leave in about a half hour. I lay awake thinking, "Oh good. I don't have sleep apnea because I was never hooked to the CPAP." Not exactly. I do have sleep apnea but was not asleep long enough to allow a full study!

I left there feeling defeated and discouraged, knowing I'll have to repeat the test. Because I am not able to sleep well, I don't know when this will be done. Additionally, the test was probably expensive. Will insurance even pay for another?

I did have one brief respite from this lifelong sleep problem when I was taking prempro. That was stopped cold turkey following my heart attack. And the sleep doctor took me off xanax - even though I was only taking 1 mg - saying it would interfere with the study. Well so does not being able to sleep!

Sleep apnea is very serious and can be life threatening. It also is a cause of obesity (check), diabetes (check) and heart attack (check). My plan is to have the sleep doctor, my cardiologist and my psychiatrist work together to find something which will allow me to safely sleep. Only then will I give the test another go.

A room of my own. I was glad I'd brought my two pillows from home (coffee cup design) as those furnished were terribly thin. The bed was extremely soft, making it difficult to change position. And it seemed to be higher at the foot which made me think I was falling head-first into a ravine all night.

I watched the shuttle launch while 'relaxing.' Note the camera
which would record my sleep habits.


Wired for sleep. To this hook-up were added an oxygen canula plus another little wire contraption inserted in my nostrils.
Photo credit: Sam

My bed partner. I kept thinking these colorful wires would be so good in my art! Click on photo for a closer view.

The cupboard next to my bed held tons of these air hoses as well as oxygen tanks and other things I did not want to know about.

Friday, November 14, 2008

ZZZzzzzzzzz.......................................

I'm going to undergo a sleep study tonight. Oh my. My cardiologist told me in September he thinks I have sleep apnea. Why? I had complained of swollen ankles. I do not yet understand the connection.

Difficulty sleeping has been a lifelong problem for me. I have a hard time falling asleep and almost never wake up feeling rested. I'm not looking foward to this evening but want to get it over with. I was scheduled for next week but a cancellation allowed me to reschedule. I'm hoping for a good result, as I've been up since 6:15 and am worn out from a week-long allergy attack.

I'll take my camera and have a complete report tomorrow. I know you're excited.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Treasures Unearthed

Years ago I bought an old kitchen cupboard at a yard sale. It now sits in the upstairs hall just outside the studio - turned upside down as that shelf configuration suited me better. Because I'm not putting much furniture back in the newly painted studio, I need storage elsewhere. The last two days I've been culling the cupboard contents, purging actually. In the process, I found these treasures hidden away.

These cigar boxes were hidden in the back of the cupboard.

I'd been looking for the stencil and calico buttons (right side of photo) I knew I had.

I have a huge collection of vintage buttons and sewing paraphenalia.

All of my other buttons are stored together in the studio closet. I can't remember why I decided to keep these in cigar boxes as they've been there so long!

I have a very small collection of old stamps. The set on the bottom was once owned by someone named D D White, as the name is stamped inside the box lid.

I love the circa 1950 graphic on this box.

If you look closely, you'll see the comic book characters on these stamps purchased at an estate sale. I recognize Little Orphan Annie, Popeye and Olive Oyl. Does anyone know the other two? Please let me know if you do.

Veterans' Day

Bill Guerrant
Chu Lai Vietnam 1967-1968
Our son Matthew now has his combat boots.

On this Veterans' Day let us honor all of our service men and women. My husband served as a journalist and combat photographer with the Americal Division in Vietnam in 1967 - 1968. He remains forever changed.

The armband Bill wore in Vietnam along with his Vietnam service ribbon.

Happy Anniversary, Matthew and Suzie!

Matthew and Suzie

Today is the anniversary of our son Matthew and his wife Suzie. Surrounded by family and good friends, they were married three years ago today on the beach at beautiful Emerald Isle NC. We wish them many, many more years of happiness together. Happy Anniversary!!!

Photo credit: Claire Corbin

Studio Update

The studio is completely painted - walls, ceiling and trim! Yeah! Chip did a beautiful job, even returning to push bookcases back in place and reinstall hardware. It's so wonderful to have at least one room fresh and clean.

My sister was upset and tried very hard to convince me to paint the room a color instead of white. But I was adamant about having a totally neutral background against which to judge color. This will be an art quilt studio with color coming from my textiles.

I'm currently at a standstill as my Horn cabinet has not been delivered. It's in town, but the dealer is waiting for the acrylic insert to arrive. I want the largest piece of furniture to be in place before making final decisions on placement of anything else.

In the meantime, I'm sorting through boxes and boxes and boxes of things - deciding what I absolutely will need. I do not want the room to be crowded and/or cluttered. I'm finding that I don't want to mess up the newly painted walls either. But I must eventually have a bulletin board and a large design wall.

Ours is an old house built in 1926 with hardwood floors throughout. Before doing anything else (after a thorough vacuuming by Chip) I washed those in the studio and then applied two coats of wax. I love the shine! It makes my happy.

This is the wax I used. It does a nice job on old wood floors in need of refinishing. And it's the closest thing I've found to Glo-Coat, my favorite wax from the 1970s. Both it and the product above are Johnson products.

Unloading the bookcase gave me an excuse to cull the contents.
Selected works are being placed slowly.

I also emptied one area of my fabric shelves.

I purchased one more ClosetMaid drawer system at Lowe's.
We'll use a hollow core door for the top once final placement is determined.

I straightened the contents of each drawer, removing what was no longer needed. My hand-dyes are stored together.

I have a growing vintage fabric collection.
These are just a few of them.