Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hundreds of books, thousands of books ...

It is overwhelming. I’ve been sorting through my books for days now. Here is a pile of quilting books – only about one-quarter of them.
I plan to give away many of these to a local quilt guild next week. But there is one I definitely plan to keep. My first quilt book: The Sleepy Quilt, by Charlotte Steiner, Doubleday Doran & Co., 1945. Perhaps this planted the seed when I was four years old.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Flashback -- Fix the Toys

I unearthed a treasure while cleaning out the bookshelves in the sewing room. It is my all-time favorite book. Fix the Toys by Dorothy N. King, William Morrow and Co., 1944. It has survived my childhood, my children’s, and my grandchildren’s with only few little rips.

Mr. Tippet owned a big toy store. One day Mr. Tippet said, “I think I need more toys.” He made a long list of toys and mailed the list to the factory. After a long wait, the toys arrived. The first box contained all kinds of games, balls and toy boats. When he took the cover off the next box, he was surprised to find each toy had no head. He said, “Oh, I am afraid all these toys are broken. I do not know what to do!”
The next crate contained many different heads. (The cardboard heads in the book are in a paper crate pasted on a page.)
Mr. Tippet picked up the first toy. He said, “I do not know which head to put on it.” The book said, “You find the right head and fix the toy.”
The sailor head slipped right into the slot.
This game goes on with a teddy bear, a Chinese doll, a clown, a bunny, a wooden soldier, a fancy doll, and at last an Indian doll. Mr. Tippet was not puzzled by the last doll because there was only one head left.
Mr. Tippet put all the toys in a new showcase.

Finding the book really brightened my day.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

New ideas hatching

It is springtime. Get a paper pieced chick pattern here.

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Friday, March 21, 2008


The Kiwi field tiles were easy to put down, now we have to trim the corners. I hope it goes well. It is sort of like making setting triangles for a quilt. I made a paper template.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hurry up and wait

I suppose it is typical of all home improvement projects – you schedule things and rush around. Hurry, hurry, hurry, then a glitch.

March 7 – Order Flexi-Tiles (see March 7 post “Inspiration from the Past and Present”)
March 11 – Our friend Tony and his cousin John cleared everything out of the triangle room
March 12 – Dave painted the triangle room lemon yellow (see March 13 post “Good Morning Sunshine”)
March 17 – Called Flexi-Tiles to check on our order. Learned that the tiles were not in stock and they might have a new shipment from Ireland by the end of the month. Panic!
March 17 – Found Kiwi Tile online and ordered 90 blue squares. Kiwi Tiles are manufactured in New Zealand. The American distributor is in Sonoma, California. They had plenty in stock. You can click on the blue links or the tile picture to learn more.
March 19 – Kiwi Tiles arrived. That was good service.

We tried out a row of tiles last night. They are easy to assemble.
Today, Robert is setting up our table saw on top of an old Singer 101 sewing machine cabinet. We have many angle cuts to do to fit the tiles in the triangle room.
I do hope these tiles go in fast. The passages to our rooms are getting narrower as they fill up with extra stuff. It’s a good thing we are skinny and can wind around obstacles. It will be wonderful to move furniture into the finished room.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

World Traveler

I am a stay-at-home person, but I have a quilt that’s a world traveler. The quilt, We the People, is heading to the Museum TwentseWelle in the Netherlands (Holland) for an exhibit in April. It is traveling in very good company. Here is a list of the quilts and their makers:

A Stairway to Heaven by Lisa Chipetine
AFTER: 9/14 by Judy Smith
Marty’s Quilt by Iris Frank
From Bombs, Flowers by Fulvia Luciano
Fall from Grace by Jeri Riggs
Remember me by Carol Mesimer
Remembering by Liz Berg
The Nation by Marti Plager
Kentucky Graveyard by Kathleen Loomis
We the People by Christine Thresh
A Nation in Mourning by Mary Zadrozny
Healing Hands by Sonia Callahan
Shattered Synapses by Sandra Betts
We Remember You All by Gloria Hansen
Hawks and Doves by Eileen Doughty
Shibori Reflections 9/11 by Barb McKie

Lisa Chipetine posted a notice on the QuiltArt list several months ago asking for quilts pertinent to 9-11 for an exhibition in Holland. Many quilters sent her images which she forwarded to the museum’s director. Sixteen quilts were chosen. Lisa has been handling all the rights and permissions, international shipping requirements, and thousands more details. I’ll tell you more when I know more.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sorry, but I had to do it

Some idiots have been leaving comments with links to dangerous sites recently. I am sorry that I have to add this bothersome word verification thing to the comments place. I hope this will weed some of the troublemakers out.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine

Wow, this is nice and bright!
Dave of D.A.D.S. Professional Painting (Oakley, CA) painted the triangle room yesterday. The paint color I picked out was an exact match to a real lemon I brought along to the paint store. Dave looked at the sample before I had it mixed. He said the color would be too glaring. He found a much lighter swatch and told me to get that instead of my original choice. I followed his advice but had my doubts as he applied it. It looked like that pale “kitchen yellow” color as it went on.
But, he was right. He said it would dry darker, and it did. It is exactly the color I wanted.
I can’t wait to see it with the blue floor. I hope the Flexi-Tiles arrive very soon so we can put the floor down. In the meantime we are squeezing by furniture that’s stacked in the hallway and in our bedroom for the duration.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Inspiration from the Past and Present

Years ago I bought the book The House Book by Terence Conran. It cost $35 in 1976 and that was a lot of money back then, but nowadays you can buy it used for under $1. I’ve found good ideas from the book for my house over the years.

One room caught my fancy way back then. It showed a black rubber studded floor. The floor had little raised “coins.”
The picture caption said, “… Tough studded rubber flooring looks attractive and makes sense in a room that has access to the garden.” I tucked that image away in the back of my mind.

Just the other day, I came across Cathy Vigor’s blog. She took her readers on a tour of her studio in the Pendleton Art Center in Ashland, Kentucky. (Click on her name and visit her blog and studio, you’ll enjoy the visit.) She included a photo of the hallway outside her studio. I really liked the bight yellow walls and the cobalt blue door trim.
Yesterday, we went looking for flooring at Lowe's. I didn’t see anything that made my heart go pitty pat. Installation costs were high, even for moderate priced flooring, because of the unusual triangle shape of my small office/designing area. We were just on the way out of the flooring department when I saw a display of coin-studded PVC garage flooring.
Cobalt blue! It will look good with lemon yellow walls.

It’s called Flexi-Tile. It is rather pricey, but we won’t have to pay for installation because it snaps together with a rubber mallet. Cutting all the angles may be a bit tedious but I am sure we can do it. It is not glued to the floor so if we make an error we can pull it up and try again.

I found two websites with more information than Lowe's had available. The manufacturer is in Kansas City, Missouri, and in Ireland. I ordered it today from a Texas dealer. Next, I have to find the perfect paint. I should have the room painted by the time the tile arrives.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Never argue facts

We have a family aphorism: “Never argue facts.” My father used to say this when discussions at our dinner table would get heated. He would jump up from the table and grab the World Almanac, a volume of the encyclopedia, the bible, or some other handy reference source.

We could discuss anything or argue about anything, but not “facts.”

If he were alive today I know he would love computers and search engines. I hope he is looking down at us somehow and laughing when we say, “Never argue facts” and turn to the laptop, click on Google to settle an argument or find some interesting tidbit of information.

This weekend, my son Davis (my father’s namesake) and our two grandsons came by to help us with some important measurements around here. During lunch Davis told us about a book he’s reading about misquoting Jesus. He couldn’t remember the author’s name so we turned to the laptop by the table and quickly found the title and author: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman.

That, of course, stimulated a further lively discussion.

Here are my grand guys – Victor, Spencer with me. Before you say anything about the boys’ hairdos, look at my unruly locks. It looks as if I didn’t comb my hair that day either.
The boys had “cute” hairdos several years ago.
Hair today, gone tomorrow. Note the black and white photos below – my father, Davis, in the style of his childhood, and then in the 1950s when he didn’t have enough hair to style at all.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

World's tallest snowwoman

Photo by Chris Dagdigian

In Bethel, Maine they have built the world’s tallest snowwoman. You can see lots of pictures and read the details at:

While here in Bethel Island, California I posted pictures of our willow tree bursting into spring this week (see below). What a difference.

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