Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year is Passing

Its time once again to say good bye to another year. I'm not sure how your year was, but for me 2010 was a wonderful year. Not perfect by any stretch, but positive all the same.

We lost some people dear to us, but made many new friends. I believe that life is a cycle and if we are willing to be open to possibilities, new things come to replace those that we have lost. True, nothing ever replaces a lost loved one, but our hearts are resilient and always waiting and willing to embrace someone new.

My business is growing, pattern sales are slowly increasing and I have all the long arm work that I can handle. I've discovered card making and I am trying to learn how to draw. Don't even ask how it is going, I'm hopeless. Still, I plug along and keep trying. I don't want to be able to do anything fancy, just simple sketches to turn into appliques for my quilts.

My family is happy and healthy. My daughters both have fine men who love them and care for them. Hubby has found a couple of new hobbies to keep him busy. (He is semi-retired.)

All in all, life is good.

Remember to tune in starting in January. I am giving away some fabulous prizes. The first one is an Invisifil Thread collection from Wonderfil Threads. There are several color ways available and the prize may not be the colors shown. Watch this blog for rules on how to enter.


100wt soft polyester
Strong & color fast - lint free - matte finish
Tone on tone - virtually disappears into fabric
when thread does not want to be seen
Can be ironed
5 assorted packs available
Each pack includes 6 assorted colors
400m spools

Stitch in the ditch
Top & bottom thread
Bottom thread for delicate machine embroidery
Use as top and bottom thread for couching
Sew fine fabrics
Digitized lace designs

They say that New Year's is a time for resolutions. I'm not sure I believe in resolutions, but I've decided that this year is Fit, Fabulous Forty-Fine. I turn 49 late in 2011, and have decided to give me best effort at turning my life around before that day comes. I vow here and now, in front of each and every one of you that I will eat better, exercise more and swear less.

Question of the Day: Do you make resolutions? What do you resolve this year?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Very few words coming your way today. Just a few pictures with some commentary.

I'm busy quilting like a fool to get ready for Christmas. Finishing up some older projects for my girls. Working on some new ones for their men. Making pillow cases for friends and family .... the list goes on and you know how it is.
My entry for the Piecemaker's Challenge.
We had to use the pink/purple.
Apparently I can't hang a quilt straight, or aim a camera straight.

Cousin Anne's wall hanging.
Bought enough fabric for a queen size quilt.
She asked for a wall hanging.
Oh well, more fabric for the stash.

Its hard to see in the picture, but the brown border on the right is "flappy".
This was a mistake against the flying geese blocks as they are now lopsided.
Not really noticeable, but something to take note of for later.

Very thick polyester batting. Hard to work with.
The thick poly gave an interesting dimensional effect.

A beautiful wall hanging by one
of my clients.

I love the way this dragons pop out of the background.

Tsk, tsk. Watch your 1/4" seam allowances ladies.
Stay tuned in the new year for some great give aways! We'll giving away Wonderfil Thread, some books, fabric and patterns.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Have a fabulous celebration with your loved ones.


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Christmas Rush

Wow! Time flies when you are having fun. That is sooo true. Its the Christmas rush here in the Pine Freckle Forest/Black Bear Quilting studio. It seems that everyone wants a quilt done for Christmas. What is it ladies? Does Christmas come as a surprise or what? How about that lady who called to ask I had time this week to quilt a baby quilt she needs for a Christmas gift? This week? Surely you jest! Not even this year! Babies take nine months my friends. That allows you plenty of time to prepare and get your project to the long arm quilter before the wee bundle of joy arrives. Christmas is even less of a surprise than a new baby. It arrives at the same time every year, and its one of my favorite times of year.

I love the hustle and bustle. I love the shopping and wrapping. I even enjoy the baking. (I love the cookies more!) I decorate the house within an inch of insanity. It drives my husband crazy, but he puts up with it with little more than a few snippy comments. Tina took me shopping yesterday and we got almost all my shopping finished in one trip. Wendy took Dave (hubby) today and they finished all his as well. (Tina and Wendy being our twin daughters.) Everything is wrapped and ready to go.  Now to get started on the baking. I'll do that in the evenings, and save the daytime for quilting.

Rush jobs are part of being a long arm quilter. It interests and confuses me is that people often call up wanting a quilt finished in a week, or worse yet in just days. It's been said to me "Can't you fit me in, it's not like you have a real job. You just stay at home and sew." Why is it that a home business is less valid than a retail or office job?

I've got news for you, I put in eight hour days most days and often work evenings and weekends just to get everything completed. That does NOT include my design time while working on new patterns. And lets not forget writing instructions, testing patterns, billing, pattern printing, answering the phone, teaching and worst of all accounting. Oh yeah, blogging. I apologize, I've been sadly remiss in getting things posted.

Product DetailsWith all that going on all year, it seems like late November and December as especially hectic. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the extra work the holidays bring, but its easy to over commit ones self. So, I've made a decision. Each and everyday between now and Christmas I'm going to take some time for myself. I'm going to relax and regroup and do what ever moves me. It might be making cookies, or maybe making a Christmas card for a special friend. Maybe I'll work on my Zentangles. (A new obsession sparked by the latest book. Zentangle: Fabric Arts Quilting Embroidery, by Suzanne McNeil.) I'm going to make time for me, and make time to have coffee with the special people in my life.

Question of the Day: How do you relax during this busy time? What's your favorite part of Christmas?