Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Gathering

Robert's brother Butch and his wife Virginia invited us all for a family gathering over the weekend. Butch has been holding these annual barbecues since 1988.

Butch barbecued chicken and tri tip. Everyone brought side dishes and treats to go with the meat. Delicious, as usual.

A few years ago all of us gathered photos and fabric so we could make Butch a quilt. The quilt name is Family Gathering Tree (click on the quilt name to see how the quilt was put together).

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


The Contra Costa Times reported yesterday:

"An unoccupied house that had just changed owners Friday was heavily damaged by a two-alarm fire after the new residents turned on the electricity, fire and sheriff's officials said.

"The fire broke out less than two hours after PG&E started service, East Contra Costa Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Burris said.

"According to the fire department and Contra Costa sheriff's office, the new residents took possession of the house and went to lunch around 11 a.m. They returned to find the house ablaze.

"The fire department kept the fire to the upstairs of the house, and had it contained within an hour. Burris said the blaze caused about $100,000 in damages. The exact cause had not been determined."

The house was on the levee about two miles from us.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Such a clever video, Don't Let It All Unravel. It is a knitted video (NOT a knitting video).

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Casting porosity is bad

Back in the day when we drove the Nimitz freeway regularly we laughed when we saw this sign:
My father always said, "I don't want any of you guys to cast any porosity around me."

DelQuilts did a blog essay on July 18 telling about a strange sign she saw along the freeway. The sign said, “Distilled yet not reduced.” Huh?

I found out there were some archive references to the “Stop Casting Porosity” sign at: by Ken Arneson, and a picture of the sign at:

Nowadays there is still concern about casting porosity. See: Western Sealant.

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Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm working on my Candy Cane Lights quilt pattern. I'll post more as I make progress.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Busting dust

I found great way to get rid of dust without spreading it around.

A Q-tip gave me the idea.

I made a giant Q-tip with quilt batting rubber banded to the end of a stick.
It works really well.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Flashback Friday – Behind the scenes

The summer of 1957 was special in my life. I was a volunteer at KQED TV in San Francisco. The station was at 4th and Bryant streets in an old warehouse
I took a Greyhound bus from Orinda to San Francisco in the early afternoons and walked from 7th Street down to the station. My duties were varied. I helped with setting up for shows, painted black and white posters telling about programs, and pulled the cables behind the huge cameras during the live programs. I was a general gofer.

One evening, I didn’t move fast enough and was trapped behind the Japanese Brush Painting set when the program went on the air. I couldn’t move or cough or sneeze when the camera started shooting. I stood very still for the whole half hour.
1957: Artist Takahiko Mikami’s series “Japanese Brush Painting” was one of KQED’s first successful series. The program achieved national distribution.

KQED Archive photos used with one time limited permission granted by Jay Yamada (unofficial KQED historian).

To see more archive photos go to:

You never knew what was going to happen when you went on the air live. The station had egg cartons affixed on all the walls for sound baffles. There were signs in the bathrooms which said “Do Not Flush During Broadcast.”

The station tried out for a Ford Foundation grant that summer. The local program “Dramatic Reading” directed by Robert Hagopian was kinescoped so a copy could be sent to the foundation. I tried out and was chosen.

The readings were from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Despite the fact that I was very young, I was given the part of Elsa Wertman, an older woman. I did not photograph well on TV so I determined right then that I could not be a TV actress.

Me in 1957.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Found a book by Virginia Hedrick

Thanks to the comments on my post yesterday I learned that Virginia Hedrick, the inventor of my quilt frame, is still active at quilt shows in southern California. She wrote a book called Quilt Savvy about hand quilting.
I found it on and ordered it. Click on the picture of the book cover for more information.

A review of the book said, “If you didn't have the chance to learn quiltmaking at your grandmother's knee, Quilt Savvy: Hand Quilting is the perfect place to start. Rusty Hedrick is also known as Virginia Hedrick. …Active in the quilting community and demonstrating quilting at quilt shows, Rusty is always willing to share her knowledge of the art."

I’ll let you know what I think of the book when it arrives.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

“…within reach of the average housewife.”

Our neighbor, Mary Mac, bought me a present at a yard sale for $2. It was a patented device so I did a patent search online.

Here are some of the patent drawings I found. See if you can figure out what the device is before you look at the picture of my present.

Here is how it is described in the patent: “…frame including inner and outer co-planar closely, uniformly, adjustably fitting rectangular wooden frames, the inner frame being of a rigidly integrally unyielding character, the co-planar adjustability between the inner and outer frames being provided by mitering and rigidly uniting side and end pieces of said outer frame at both ends of one of the diagonals of said outer frame, and mitering and spreadably adjustably uniting the other ends of said side and end pieces of said outer frame located at the opposite ends of the other diagonal of said outer frame, thereby facilitating the joint use of two hands to simultaneously uniformly adjust the radial peripheral spacing of the two rectangular frames, as well as the telescopic spaced correlation of said frames.”

It was invented by Virginia L. Hedrick, of Corona, CA in 1979. The patent number is: 4422251 granted in 1983.

The invention summary said, “In the first place the cost had to be low enough to be within reach of the average housewife.”
I’m going to try this thing out the next time I hand-quilt. I’ve never used a frame before. I’ve just used my lap.

Thank you Mary Mac.

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