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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

My last post was pretty obvious. I was showing Sherry her quilt before I put it into the mail. I started to put the photos into my web shots.... oops! The web shots software wasn't there. I haven't taken the time to reinstall it yet. I gotta do that really soon. I'm running out of room on my camera.

Well anyway I quickly loaded some of the photos onto the blog so she could take a quick peek before she had to leave for her guild meeting.

Today I'm putting a few more pictures here to show the finished quilt.

This is the left side....

This is the right side....

This top "had" to have black thread for the quilting. A guild rule, not mine. My challenge was to use the black thread without overwhelming the colors and design of the top.

The theme of the top was friends quilting together. So what do friends do when together? All the things from the words Sherry sent me to put into the quilting.

Quilting usually means lots of thread and needles all over the place. In this case meandering seemed appropriate to represent thread.

and there is coffee mugs, pin cushions, scissors,

and of course even more needles and thread....

I've got another top on the machine. I was going along really nicely quilting it yesterday. I got the quilt stabilized almost to the end without any problems. Then I started getting skipped stitches. I was able to backtrack a couple of stitches to fix where it skipped. As I kept quilting the problem got worse. So I had no choice but to stop quilting to track down the problem.

I dusted and I oiled.... still skipping. I tweaked tensions and tweaked the bobbin case..... still skipping. I shut off the air conditioner in case it was drawing current from the machine..... still skipping... thank goodness cause it was hot in the studio. I checked stitch regulator wheels.... still skipping.

The only thing left to check is the thread. The thread I use will be fine until I get about half way through the cone then it starts to act up. I think its a terrible waste to only be able to use half a cone before opening another.

Anyway, I pulled thread with one hand while watching it move through all the guides.... it seemed to pull unevenly to me. Yes, it must be the thread. So I go to find a new cone of that color.... you guessed it..... don't have anymore. I decided to call the store to ask if they have another cone in that color. Oops! The store is out of business. They closed last week.... I remember that... it was on the news.

I have no other choice. I must finish this top with the thread I have. It means I will be spending lots of extra time fixing spots where there are skipped stitches. One or two... now and then... would be fine with this customer.... but the skips happen much too often. It looks half quilted.

OK, enough blogging and procrastinating.... time to face the problem.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Money Dummy

Recently I came across a blog or maybe its a website that has lots of advice about saving money. It's called the Money Dummy. Strange name for someone so smart about finances.

I saw she is suffering from a kind of burn out too. That seems to be going around a lot lately with all types of professions.... not just in the quilting world. It's just my personal opinion; but, I believe the price of gas (or the economy) is the culpret! Well heck, everything else is blamed on the price of gas.... why not blame our stress too? Hmmm.... you think I could get away with adding a gas related stress charge to my quilting prices? Naw.... the customers have enough to worry about right now.

Sooooo many people have become really stressed and worried. Now their body is starting to react to all that stress and saying..... hey, I need to slow down. It's telling them.... I'm burned out. I need fuel for the soul.

Very similar to the stress professional quilters feel when we near the end of the Christmas rush season. From July through December we are in high gear rushing to make sure all the customer quilts get finished on time until our bodies say... enough already!

Somehow I think my body never got over the Christmas rush of 2007. Or maybe it was all the stress of the birth of the new grandbaby and the illness I suffered in early spring. I don't seem to have been bothered very much about the cost of gas. I got plenty of food. I don't own a car so no problem there. I do worry about the cost of my utility bills this winter if I don't get my window quilts finished in time.

Heck, I worry more about my kids making it through this energy crisis than for myself. I've been through all this before... back in my younger years.... time after time..... so I just continue my habits as before.

With sooooo much internet information these days you can find just about anything you want to know. So if you are worried about your finances go check out the Money Dummy or do a google search with the words frugal living. It could keep you busy for days just reading all the helpful hints to live cheaper.

As for me..... I'm gonna go watch the season final of Deadliest Catch to see how Captain Phil is doing. Anyone got any free tickets to Alaska they don't want? I could visit Captain Phil and his sons when I visit my grandkids.

Just kidding. I really want to see that pretty blue boat and maybe get my picture taken in front of it. My grandkids live in Juneau where that boat is supposed to be docked.


For Sherry

For Sherry.... I know you have to leave soon so I put only a couple of picture on here. They load slow. I'll put more on after you get a chance to see.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mom is smarter than she thought!

Just in case you are not convinced yet that coupons are worth using; I thought I would show you how my daughter did on our Saturday shopping trip. I bought a few items; but, mostly I was showing her how a coupon system works. I've done coupons and rebates for so many years it's second nature to me.

These are only 3 of her 4 receipts. I hope you can see these well enough. You should be able to click on the photos to get a larger view. I'm hoping you can at least see the final totals. My batteries were low and she needed to hurry. She took the receipts home with her so she can show her friends at work.

Please note: about the manufacturers rebates... these must be sent for and are received in about 6 to 8 weeks. But hey..... its money coming back on purchases. You have to follow the directions very carefully or you'll get a rejection letter.

This first receipt:
Total of items is $50.71
minus coupons of $8.62
equals $42.09
minus store instant rebates $23.96
equals $18.13
plus tax of $1.46
equals $19.59
Minus a manufacturer's rebate of $5.98 on two of the items
equals $13.61
Minus another manufacturer's rebate of $4.59 on two other items
equals a total of $9.02 for the $50 dollars worth of items.

Next receipt:
Total of items $4.77
minus coupons of $4.50
equals $.27
plus tax $.14
equals $.41 cents for these

Next receipt:
Total of items $7.96
minus coupons $7.96
plus tax $.06
equals a total of .06 for these items
Plus there is a manufacturer's rebate of $5.98 which means she will gain for buying her items. In about 6 or 8 weeks her rebate checks should arrive giving her extra money to put into her grocery budget.

Our Saturday trip got my daughter about $229 worth of groceries at 4 stores for a total of $43 before the rebates. Plus she got a $10 coupon off her next shopping trip at one store making her final total of all the items a mere $33. She will gain about $30 in rebates which she can use for future shopping trips. So if you do the math you will see she is actually out of pocket only about $3 for all of her Saturday purchases after her rebates.
Every item she bought was a national brand item.... not generic. She only shopped as normal and I searched my coupon stash and rebate forms as she picked things up to put in her cart. Only occasionally did I ask her to switch to a different national brand because there was a rebate for it. She bought things just like she would have before she decided "Mom is smarter than she thought". You should have seen the big smile she had when it all clicked just how much it actually cost for doing her normal shopping.
You can find coupons on just about anything you want to spend your money on.... if you take the time to look for the coupon. Now do you see how I manage to spend only an average of $10 per week?
I had planned to work an a quilt over the weekend but got sidetracked by a trip to Meijer to take advantage of their 10 for $10 sale. Then on to the farmers market. I spent most of Saturday evening and Sunday preparing and putting the produce in the freezer. Then cleaning out the cabinet under my kitchen sink so I could have more storage space for the stuff I bought.

I know.... I know.... I don't usually go to the grocery but every 3 or 4 months but this sale I couldn't pass up. I got a year's supply of dish soap for free using coupons plus some other items for my grocery stash. I also helped my daughter pick out items on her grocery list and showing her how to find the best deal with coupons. By the time she had gotten everything on her list; she had bought $229 worth of groceries for only $43. She also got a $10 cash coupon on her grocery receipt to be used for her next shopping trip. Needless to say she was all excited about our trip.

While my daughter took her grocery stash home to put away, I kept baby Jewell. Keep in mind she just turned 5 months old. I put her in her crib for a little play time.... I turn around and just look what she'd done. I'm so glad the camera was handy.

She was trying to get to the furkids. Now keep in mind none of my kids ---or grandkids that I know of--- were this advanced at this age. At 5 months my kids were still trying to master sitting up and crawling. My kids didn't pull themself up until they were 7 or 8 months old.

The daycare said she's been doing this for about a week. They had to get her a different crib. She also has a vocabulary. Na Na, Ma Ma, Da Da, Ba Ba, and is trying to whistle. Trust me, whistling without teeth is not easy, but she's giving it a try anyway.

The trouble with me babysitting her now is that she bores easily. I got out a plastic jar and put some pennies in it for a rattle. I showed her how to shake the jar to make it rattle. You should have seen her learning this. It was so funny to watch. Within a few minutes she had it mastered and became bored again. So I had to find other things to keep her mind busy. Out came some pots and spoons for making noise. This along with the rattle kept her busy for awhile.

So how is a grandmother with average knowledge supposed to keep an easily bored child entertained for long periods of time? I'm not sure.... but I can hardly wait for when she is old enough to push the pedal on a sewing machine! Hmm.... maybe I should start thinking about a booster seat for the quilting machine chair too.

Today I'm going to stay at the quilting machine and get as far on the quilt as I possibly can. I still have some mushrooms to prepare and put into the freezer. I believe they can wait until the end of the day.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

No finished quilt pictures today. The one on the machine is a surprise for someone who might be reading my blog. It's going to take me at least 3 more days to finish. I'll probably work on it all weekend. I'll post pictures of it after it's owner sees it.

I finished the pillow covers and got those into the mail. All the finished quilts were picked up. I'm hoping that by the end of July I've gotten caught up on everything and back on schedule.

I spent a few minutes this morning going around the blog ring. Gee, everyone is so busy. They are getting lots and lots of things done. I don't see how they accomplish so much in such a short time. Some have even started putting little videos on the blogs. Gosh, just think how helpful my other blog would be if I could learn to put some videos on it!

Oh well, it might happen..... someday..... when I've got the time to learn. For now I'm still trying to find time to learn about photoshop. Technology moves too fast for me. Just when I figure out how to do what everyone else is doing; there is a new something out that has become the rage. I just can't keep up..... it moves much too fast for an old lady to learn.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hot pockets anyone?

I've had several requests for me to explain a little more about how I get by with spending only $10 a week for groceries. I'm trying to find ways to cut this back down again to only $5 per week in spite of the rising costs.

My grocery budget is small because my income is needed elsewhere. I have other major bills that must get paid each month. After paying the bills there is very little left for groceries. I remember one time, a few years ago, I told a friend that I had gotten paid up on all the necessities. Mortgage, gas and electric, taxes, insurance, water, and car gas money are all taken care of for the month.... and look, I still have $20 to spend on luxuries! My friend commented: "But you haven't gotten groceries." I told her: "Groceries are my luxuries."

There are those who might be skeptical that I can do this.

Yes, it can be done! You can do it too!

Maybe you can't get your own grocery bill down to only $5 or $10 a week.... but I believe you could get very close.

First, let me explain that I do eat healthy and regularly. My meals are not full of fillers nor am I living on tv dinners. I am not a nutritionist nor am I a home economist. Most of all I am not a financial genius. I'm sure there are lots of people who have found ways to cut back on expenses just like me.

Anybody who is concerned with keeping a tight budget... and who knows simple arithmatic.... can do what I do. What I do is "think" a lot. I did keep very keep careful records of where my money was going. If I saw too much was being spent for something.... I thought and thought.... until I came up with a way to cut back.

Here is one example of my "thinking" of a way to save. When my daughter was still living at home she ate hot pockets. She liked being able to zap some in the microwave instead of cooking. Have you ever taken a close look at hot pockets or pizza pockets or anything similar that's zapped in a microwave to resemble a meal? A tiny bit of something with a glob of sauce wrapped inside some bread. Far too expensive for what you get. Not very nutritional either.

Well.... being the tightwad that I am I found a solution at a thrift store. Remember these? For awhile these were advertized all the time on tv. Many people bought this gadget..... then donated it to the thrift stores because they didn't use it.

I paid about 50 cents for it back then. I began to make my own hot pockets to put into the freezer. I still use it today. Each time I have a tiny bit of something left over after dinner.... instead of throwing it out.... I make hot pockets. Here's the left overs from last night's pulled pork bar-b-que. Only 4 teaspoons left. I didn't feel like eating the pork for another meal.

Five minutes of cooking..... using 4 slices of bread from the freezer.....

and voila! 4 hot pockets ready for me to eat when I'm too rushed to fix a lunch... or I just want a snack. I could have dressed it up a little by adding a piece of cheese or onion or green pepper but these are ok as they are. I sometimes get really creative with leftovers that become hot pockets.

A written label on the bag tells me what I have inside the bread.

You see? I thought about it and found a way to cut the cost of my grocery bill. I figure its saved me a bundle over the years just from not buying anymore hot pocket type meals.... not to mention keeping leftover food out of the trash can. Maybe you could use your own home made hot pockets for taking to work. Or as an afternoon snack for the kids. It's a great way to get someone to eat the last of the left overs.

I must admit I've gotten my spending habits mostly in my head from years of practice doing the same things over and over. My daughter has asked me to teach her how I got us by all those years when we had so little money. In order to show her - and you - how my system works; I've decided to start it all over as if I was new at it. This is the only way I can take pictures of the process.... by actually doing it and taking the pictures along the way.

If you are interested in saving money at the grocery you can follow along with me as I teach my daughter. For now you should save every receipt.... for everything.... for at least a month. It doesn't matter if you just bought a soda at the convenient store or a dinner out with family or the week's grocery shopping. Keep every receipt! If you aren't given a receipt then create your own. Write the amount and what it was for on a piece of paper.

These receipts are not for working with your budget... well sort of... actually they are going to be the key to what you should stock up on, how cheaply you can buy it, how many you will want to stash, and for thinking of ways to cut back on the costs. These receipts are for doing your mathmatics later. You will use the receipts for putting together a price tracking and stocking up book. With the book you will know when a sale price is really a bargain and how many you will want to buy to stock up.

Ok, I've got to get back to work.

These are today's finished quilting projects. 5 pillows are being made from blocks found in a trunk filled with WWII things. The lady wanted pillows instead of a quilt so that several family members can have a piece of their history. I decided to let these relax for awhile before finishing.

Next I finished the binding on this one. I had completed the quilting back earlier this year before I got behind on my work. It's also a found treasure. Found when cleaning out the things of the customer's mother who had passed away.

Then I started finishing up this one. It's also a treasure found by a family member when cleaning out her mother's things.

I always feel happy to be a part of completing the work started by someone and never finished. The saying is.... one person's UFO is another's treasure. When I complete quilts for someone who has passed away; I think that maybe the person is looking over my shoulder and applauding my efforts. Maybe they are happy to know their family can enjoy it as a memory of them.

Sometimes I'm lucky and all the pieces and instructions are still there. Other times I have to guess at what the original person had in mind. Then there are the times when I have to search through old patterns and books to get an idea of how a quilt would have been finished. Looking through quilt books is fun but sure can eat away at the hours.

What's my point of today's post? Well I often hear of quilters who believe the family will toss or donate all their quilting stuff after they are gone. Many quilters are making out a quilter's will. Certainly, if the person who passes has tons of gadgets and thousands of yards of fabric it will get tossed or donated. But among all those things there is usually one or two ufo projects someone will treasure. I'm one of the lucky people who often get to see what the treasure is and help finish it.

If you are a quilter who starts several projects at one time. Think about storing all the pieces, all the fabrics, and all the instructions in the same bag or box. It will help your family get it finished.... if for some reason you can't.

Time for me to go to work....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another finished quilt. It finished fairly flat.

This is the pieced borders. The batting the customer brought was too small so I had to piece in at the end. Couldn't fix the sides though.

A view of the first inside border.

A view of the fan quilting in the center and the other inside borders. This quilt had friendly borders and quite a bit of fullness in the center which is why you see the little wrinkles of fabric. Those should relax once the quilt is washed.

I'm not posting much this morning because I have the next quilt work on the machine. I hope to have it quilted by the end of today. As long as I'm moving along so well..... I'll keep on quilting and off the computer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quilt issues - new feature

I've decided to add a feature to my helpful hint blog now that I'm getting back into a somewhat normal routine. It will be about dealing with quilt top issues. Let me explain what it's about before I start.

In all the 30 years I've been a professional machine quilter; I can count the number of absolutely perfect tops I've received on one hand. The most recent perfect top was one sent to me by an internet friend that lives in Texas. It was so perfect it didn't need any trimming at all to make it square after the quilting was done.

Also; through the years I've seen people buy a machine to start doing machine quilting for a living..... before they see the real picture. It's really not just about having fun stitching designs then collecting the money. There are problems with customer tops called issues that must be delt with on almost every top brought to the professional quilter.

Professional quilters are expected to be the "fix all fairy" and make every issue disappear with our magic wands. We are expected to magically fix every seam that wasn't sewn.... to grow a backing to fit the top.... to press out all the wrinkles.... to correct the flip flopped seams..... to make a too short border longer.... to make a too long border shrink..... to make a backing that's pieced with stretch on one side and not the other get quilted without tucks..... and numerous other issues. We are expected to do these things.... without charge.... while doing our lowest priced quilting.

What I tell my customers is...... "my magic wand is broken and your top will be quilted in the condition it arrives"

Don't get me wrong.... I love what I do.... even dealing with the quilt issues. I love the challenge of dealing with all the issues.... so long as it's understood I can't fix every issue as if it didn't exist in the first place.

My intention is to show the things that go wrong with a quilt top and how a machine quilter can possibly deal with the issues. Every machine quilter will have different ways to deal with the same issues. This blog will contain ways that I deal with the issues.

I believe my helpful hints about quilt issues will be beneficial to toppers and also helpful to those who just quilt their own tops. By visiting my blog to see the issue I deal with frequently; they can check their own tops for the same issues. If a topper sees an issue and how it affects the outcome of the quilting; maybe they will choose to fix it before taking it to their quilter. Those doing their own quilting will probably pick up a few hints for working with their machine.

These issues should be a part of the "be professional" blog labels. I thought if I give them a separate blog label it will be easier to navigate if you just want to read about quilt issues.

So here's to hoping I can help you even without my magic wand......

This is today's finished quilt. The owner chose to have a panto done on it to save money. It's a utility quilt.

It has flannel on the back.

A close up view of the front.

I'm having computer troubles again. Instead of telling you all about my computer woes..... again.... I'm going to put somethin on my other blog instead.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I had a pretty good weekend even with company distracting me. I finished the quilt on the machine. I measured to square it up for the binding and was surprised to see it didn't need any squaring at all. I'll save the binding to do later.

Here is a close up of the quilting.

Saturday I helped my sister in law cut out the pieces for her next quilt. She drew out a small design on paper and I did the math so she would know what to cut. While she was cutting her fabrics I went looking for inspiration for a leader and ender project.

I looked through my printed internet patterns...

and through my books.....

before deciding I wouldn't choose a pattern right now. I don't really need to create another UFO or PIG right now. All I really need are some leaders and enders. I can decide what to do with them later.
Sunday before my grandaughter arrived I finished piecing this top together. It was supposed to be a step by step Backward pieced design to put onto my helpful hints blog. When my computer was crashed I lost the direction pictures. So I guess I have to start another one.... smile.

I started it several weeks ago. I thought if I finished it up I could use it as a window quilt in the archway between my studio and kitchen. It would replace these curtains.

That top is scheduled for machine time during my next in house retreat.... maybe.... whenever that might be. It has to be sometime before the cold weather arrives though.

Next I began to cut some fabric into 2 inch strips. I was planning to cut them again into 2 inch squares for leaders and enders when I started thinking about what leaders and enders are supposed to be. No rules exist to say leaders and enders must be tiny pieces of fabric. Nothing anywhere says they can't be long strips.

My leaders and enders are going to be long strips for awhile. See... all cut and ready to start using. I'll decide what to do with them when the time comes. The strips can become just about any kind of design. They don't have to be four patches or nine patches.

I never did get around to the other projects I wanted to complete over the weekend. Maybe I should think about scheduling another in house retreat pretty soon.

Last night I finally had some tomatoes from my vines. These are cherry and yellow pear. Something is killing the plants so I'm not sure I will get anymore.

Ok, time for me to get my day started..... a quilt on the machine is calling me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I hope blogger acts right today. I'm still working on this quilt. I thought I would show you what I'm doing in the alternate blocks. I was wrong yesterday when I said these were 8 inch blocks. They are actually 9 inch blocks. I didn't realize it until I looked at these.

This is all freehand. I got about half way through the quilt before calling it a day. If I can finish this one today; I can put an easy quilt on for a change of pace before moving on to the next intricate one.
I'm hoping to use my weekend for doing some work away from the machine. I have the binding to do on a couple of quilts. Repairs to do on a vintage top. A drawing to do for guild challenge. Some fabrics to fold and put away. That sort of thing. I need to finish these up and call the owners so I can make room in my studio.
It dawned on me a few days ago that I don't have any leader and ender pieces near my domestic machine. I can't have that!! Leader and ender pieces are how I create charity quilts. Yes, I've got to get organized and cut some leader and ender pieces. Hmmm... it also occurs to me that I haven't had a weekend for ME in quite a while. I guess it's time I had myself an "in home retreat" to do a litte planning and cutting of fabrics. I'll have my sister in law to come over to keep me company. She hasn't been here in several months. She needs to do a little planning too.
Ok, it's settled, a weekend in home retreat it is.
Time for me to get to work... it's not the weekend yet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I thought I would show you what I'm doing with the quilt on the machine. I finished the feathers in the solid blocks. To give a little perspective I put a dime in the center. These are 8 inch blocks with freehand feathers.

I marked the circles with a plastic template and wash out marker before doing the feathers. I really don't like marking a top with anything. It always worries me that the marks won't come out. I tested this quilt before marking the whole top. The marks came out nicely with a little water.
I still have the lines in the rings to do on the other blocks. Then I'll start working on the pieced blocks. That's what I'll be working on today. I didn't mark the lines in this ring, just freehanded them. I'll try marking one ring to see if I get the lines a little more evenely spaced. If it doesn't help to mark those then I'll just keep freehanding.
I've got several of these 40 to 60 hour quilts waiting for time on the machine. Is it any wonder I get stressed out about being behind on my work? A friend tried to convince me to get one of the Statler Stitchers for my machine. She said I could finish a quilt like this in one afternoon. It's very tempting but I can't see myself going into debt several thousand dollars the way the economy is going.
Yesterday, I got to thinking about the automated machines that are being bought today. There was a time.... only a few years ago.... sometime in the late 80's or early 90's..... when no respectible machine quilter would even consider using an automated machine. We were waging a campaign just to get machine quilting accepted among toppers.
The most common phrase we heard was..... "I don't want my quilt to have mattress pad quilting and looking like it came from a factory." What they were referring to was the large open pantographs much like those used on mattresses. That was all the designs we had back then.
So, the machine quiters started making the designs more freehand and imitating the hand quilting designs. The ones who came up with new techniques taught other machine quilters. The pantograph designs improved and a very nice look could be achieved. Finally we were holding our own in the quilt world. Toppers everywhere started flooding the machine quilters with work.
Now days it seems that more and more toppers are buying automated machines to do their own quilts at home. The toppers are using the very thing they were against only a few years ago. More and more machine quilters are upgrading their machines to automated. New machine owners are opting for the automated.
Am I worried about the newer automated machines? Not at all. I'm sure the hand quilters may have contemplated the quilting machines taking work from them..... back in the day..... yet there is still plenty of work around for hand quilters today. My work is a bit old fashioned and not quite as accurate..... but my customers know that. The people who bring me tops to quilt know it will take more time to complete and won't be as accurate.... but they are still loyal.
I swear.... I did put spaces between my paragraphs! Blogger keeps taking them out when I publish the post. If it's hard to read I appologize. I did my best and blogger says no way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today's finished quilt. The pictures got loaded into blogger backwards but I'm not going to take the time for reloading..... which might give the same results. This is the quilt that took me about a week to finish.

So here are some photos from the back.

And now from the front. It's a sampler quilt.

Two blocks were horses.

Sampler quilts get sampler type of quilting. No two blocks are the same.

A look at the borders and sashing.

I will try putting the webshots software back onto my computer this weekend. It will give me the opportunity to make some changes to the way I post pictures there. If I get that done then I can put more photos of this quilt into my webshots albums.

The reason I missed making a post yesterday was because just when I was ready to start posting my brother brought me this.... a flat screen 19 inch monitor. Aren't brothers great! It took him a little while to change the card inside my computer to run it. By the time he had finished I was already working on another quilt and didn't want to stop.

So now I'm left with these two monitors. These will sit here until junk day in August before I can get rid of them. We're not allowed to set things out early and I don't have a garage or shed to put them in until then. Is it any wonder that junk piles up in my house?

I thought I would show you this picture. The Happy Heart Group's quilts were accepted into the Nashville Show again this year. This one is mine from the challenge.

I'll be on the bus for the Wednesday trip to Nashville. I'm soooo anxious to see if we win this year. It would be fantastic if we could win a blue ribbon!

Well I could sit here and keep type-talking but there is another week long quilt on the machine telling me it's time to get to work.