Tuesday, December 27, 2011


    My Mom bought a new Singer model 15- in 1957. She made lots of clothes for my sisters and I as we grew up.  Eventually we all learned how to sew on this machine.  It's a great workhorse, it just sews a straight line, forward and back.  No fuss, no muss.  Somewhere along the line, I ended up with this machine.  It's been sitting around for years with no one using it.
   I even had it for sale at our moving sale for $30!  Only one woman looked at it, and when she sewed with it the belt broke, and I wouldn't drop on the price so she didn't buy it (good thing).
  When our granddaughter, Victoria, age 11, expressed an interest in sewing I took the machine in to be cleaned and serviced (and to replace the belt).  I was saying to them that the machine probably isn't worth what it was going to cost to tune it up, but they said, oh no, this machine is probably worth about $175 today, with the cabinet and all.  It's a great machine.  
    I figured this would be perfect for Victoria to learn on because it is so basic.  Nothing too tough to figure out.  And a simple one on which to learn how a sewing machine works.
    She picked some fabrics from my stash.  I cut the 4-1/2" squares (I didn't want her using a rotary cutter.  She wanted a big red square in the middle.  She arranged the squares on my work wall.  She was fascinated that the fabric would just stick there by itself!

    We talked about seam allowance, I put a piece of blue tape on the machine and told her to line the fabrics up with that.  I even started her off without pinning the fabrics together.
    I can remember making my first quilt.  Every piece was pinned together, then one at a time, into the machine, back-stitching at the beginning and end.  Pulling the piece out and snipping the threads and starting all over with the next piece.  
    Victoria didn't have to go through all of that.  I showed her how to chain-piece and she was off and running.

    She was very excited about it, and wanted to get it finished as soon as possible.  She worked for hours at a time, getting the top finished within a few days.
    She quickly pieced together the back.  We pinned it and she quilted it on my Bernina with the walking foot.  I thought the binding would be beyond her skill level, so I did it myself, just folding it over the top and top-stitching it down.  It is about 48" by 72", perfect for a little lap quilt.

This is one great first quilt.  We are very proud of you, Victoria!  Good job.

Victoria's First Quilt Completed

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My parents came over to pick up some wood scraps and then we all went out to lunch at Endolyne Joe's down the road from us.  We had an extra granddaughter staying with us this week, too, while school is out.

Here is a quick sketch I did before our lunch arrived of the two granddaughters, Victoria and Kimberly and my husband, Darrell.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Here I am back on the Connecticut Winter Quilt, keeping track of the hours as I go.

December 10 - .75 hours piecing
December 11 - 1 hours piecing

Total hours - 43.50 hours

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I finally finished my block for the City of the World Project by Maria Arango of Reno, Nevada.  She organizes these Monumental Puzzle Print Projects (and blogs about them).  This is the first one I've been involved in.  

She's a dynamo.

Basically, she plans a large puzzle print, cuts out the pieces of the puzzle, mails them out to participants, who carve an image into them and mail them back to her.  She then puts the pieces back together, inks it up and prints up enough prints for everyone, then mails each participant a print.  Sounds easy, huh?  Pah!

You never know what you'll get in the end, and you have to put your trust in a lot of people to follow through, but boy, what a payoff in the end.

I'm secretly hoping I can make myself available to go down and help her with the printing this year. I don't know how much help I'd be, but I'd sure learn a lot.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Darrell is on the Board of Directors for The Friends of the Thorsen House and travels several times a year to Berkeley California for board meetings.  This time was truly special because we were invited to spend the night at the house.  They do this very rarely, so we were quite excited.

Goodbye Seattle

Good morning, Bay Area
We flew out early Friday morning, grabbed a rental car and headed into San Francisco for some sightseeing before heading to the Thorsen House.

First stop was the DeYoung Museum.  This was our first time there.  What a fantastic place.  But, I have to say the first thing I noticed was the smell...eucalyptus trees...the museum being located in Golden Gate Park.  Wonderful.

We came primarily to see a Greene & Greene chair that Darrell needed pictures of, but we enjoyed the rest of our whirlwind tour of the highlights.  In the picture above, notice the tower.  At the top, on the ninth floor, is an observation room, glass from floor to ceiling, with a 360* view of the city.  

The Blacker House dining room side chair

Very interesting sculpture made from gun parts and artillery shells

Darrell with a FL Wright barrel chair

An Arthur Mathews

Song of the Sea by Arthur Mathews

Stairs next to Fern garden

Fern garden 

Ruth Asawa wire sculptures

Ruth Asawa near tower elevator

Ruth Asawa, sculpture and shadow

Andy Goldsworthy installation - Tectonics

We had lunch at the DeYoung Museum Cafe, sitting outside under this amazing architecture.  Did I mention it was about 70* and an absolutely beautiful day.  Quite a pleasure having just come from Seattle, where the high was 41* and going down to freezing at night.

Then, we made our way to the Legion of Honor Museum, where we have visited several times, the first time on our honeymoon.

Entrance to the Legion of Honor Museum

Rodin's Thinker

Entrance to Legion of Honor, looking back.

Artists sketching in the museum - I love seeing this!





We saw this great exhibit, Pissarros's People, featuring Pissarro's gathered from all over the world.  We really enjoyed it.

Bernini's Medusa

Next stop, the Palace of Fine Arts, where we were married, one of our favorite places.

I'll spare you the million pictures we took.

Next, it was back to Berkeley.  Being at the mercy of the GPS machine, we ended up going right through downtown San Francisco at commute time.  It was very interesting, if somewhat slow.

We depended on the GPS machine and my smart phone to find a good restaurant for dinner, also.  The first place we went we rejected from the outside, it didn't look too good.  But we ended up in Berkeley at a great  restaurant, La Mediterranee.  Excellent food.

Then, on to our ultimate destination, The Thorsen House!  We joined up with our friends, who were also spending the night.  They had planned cooking their own dinner in the kitchen there, and we joined them for wine and nibbles.

After a virtually sleepless night (what were we thinking, staying on Frat Row on a Friday night) Saturday morning, the students who live here at the fraternity, made breakfast for us all .

Then, they cleared off the breakfast and got down the real reason for us being there - the board meeting.

Our whirlwind trip was almost over as we made our way back to the airport and flew away from the Bay area in the dark.

Thank you Sigma Phi for allowing us to stay in this treasure of a house.