I'm never in the right place at the right time...

To cheer you on this cloudy, gray winter day-
For some reason, I'm never quite manage to witness stuff like this:

(After the commercial that is :) )

I love the expressions some of the unsuspecting onlookers have...and all of their phone cameras/camcorders.
I wonder where I was when all this was going on...talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!!

Hopefully this made all you Sound of Music junkies like me smile:)


Feb 2011 Retreat Part 3: If pictures could talk

If pictures could talk, they would say:
 (Names have been changed to protect the innocent) 

"I'm not even kidding you Eunice, there really is an alligator in the hotel pool. If you don't believe me, go look at the pool boys legs...or should I say leg!?...and just think of all those little kids down there with the birthday party....You did say you were the Crocodile Hunter, correct?"

"Seriously, they told you that ...when I bought my sewing machine it didn't come with the adaptors for making it into a rocket booster, weed whacker or foot message...."

"OK, now look closely cause I'm only gonna show you once....when you put the toilet paper on the roll, the end comes over the top like so...NEVER under...always over the top! If everyone put the end under the roll it would seriously mess with the whole gravitational pull of our universe and eventually we would all need space suits!"

 *gasps* "Hilda, you should never have put your little packet of plutonium in the glove box with the non-dairy creamer packets...you know Frank is a distracted driver and was too busy texting in his vote to Dancing with the Stars and driving when he was trying to doctor his coffee..."

"All you need is a piece of industrial strength dental floss, some tacky glue, roll of duct tape (pick on the matches the fabric though), a rubber band, 30 ml distilled spring water from Norway (not Sweeden, Denmark or California) and some cream soup. Bake at 350 deg for 40 min and bazinga, you have a casserole."

"Say Bertha, how come you never listen to me...I told you the neo-tropical song birds were migrating South today and you have me in here just holding this piece of cloth you're gonna add to that blanket....you better believe you're buyin the calamari and chocolate souffle for supper tonight...and I'm ordering a cosmopolitan too...so there!"

"and that my Friends is how I became the fastest draw in the west"

"So...there are enough blood vessels in the human body to go around the world how many times?"


My little piggy...not retreat related


Every once in a while, I find pictures like this and wonder how I ever turned out kind of, sort of, in a way, maybe relatively normal....

This is me...
with my piggy-oinker....
with piggy tails....
she was mine,
as were my piggy tails.
Her name was Lucy,
she drank from the spout on my watering can,
she would NOT let me ride her
she said: 
 "hey kiddo- that's why you have a pony"...
she was a little on the porky side,
she LOVED my jelly shoes :)
I loved her...

...she was tasty!


Feb 2011 Retreat Part 2: Fatjack

(Fat-jack) a term created by Katie Zenk to be used in describing the game played by sewers at the Calico Hutch quilting retreats. Derived from the common game blackjack, fatjack is played wagering fat quarters in lieu of monetary betting as to not actually be considered a form of gambling....or deemed declarable on federal or state income taxes.

The dealers were hilarious and the odds were very, very, VERY much in the favor of the quilter...after all, what in the world would 3 young men do with a bunch of fat quarters???

I'm not done with retreat pictures yet! The best is yet to come :)


Feb 2011 Retreat Part 1: Show and Tell

Disclaimer: I apologise for the lack of humorous content housed within this post....I pinkie swear, cross my heart, promise that I will make it up to you in the near future....
I've got it all planned out....sorry I can't say more:)

OK, so I spent a chunk of time at the retreat this afternoon / evening in hopes of catching some shots of the show and tell....There were LOTS of beautiful things!!!

Here's some of what I saw:

Also, stay tuned for more from the retreat. I still have pictures of fat quarter blackjack, people sewing up a storm and even some surprises too :)

Thanks for a good afternoon / evening retreators!
Oh yeah, I was digging out my keys to go home, and then they made me do this...

How come I feel like I just black mailed myself??


Retreat Weekend / somebody cut me off!!

Mom and I retreated this past weekend. It was a wonderful time and we came home feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated. We made lots of new friends and did our share of giggling / laughing hysterically at / with our fellow retreators. We were very fortunate to be surrounded by cheerful people filled with giddiness and the sillies. We were quite productive and finished a fair amount of projects. I'll take some pictures and share soon.

( Mom and Me at the big kitchen table at the Primitive Gatherings retreat house)
And lastly, a shot of our group. We were sad to see them go....we really just wanted to stay a few more days. I'm sure you all know how that goes! Mom is in the front row wearing brown. I'm in the back...the tall one on the right side holding my project upside down as only I could manage to accomplish. My laughter buddy and fellow jokester was Mary...she's sitting down on the far right wearing a white shirt.
Speaking of retreating, did you know there is a Calico Hutch retreat at the Holiday Inn in Austin, MN this weekend? I'm pretty excited to make an appearance at some point to see some quilty friends and snap some pics of projects and show & tell. I was there last night helping with a little set up.

Somehow this huge pile of quilt shop goodness and the fabric organizational sense of Mary R. and Myrle....
And the lungs of Carolyn's oldest grandchild combined with the decorative styling of Laurie and Susan from the shop.
All comes together in the end to create a mobile Calico Hutch....
you know, it's like the bookmobile (does that still exist??)
I did the pattern table and notion table...I'm pretty proud of myself :)
Oh yeah, my mom also quilted my June Bug quilt....I super duper love what she comes up with. You'll have to excuse the lighting....I tend to have nocturnal tendencies and only get around to taking pictures late and night when there is zero natural lighting....maybe I should move to Alaska, land of the midnight sun. Then I would (for at least a little while) have unending natural lighting. Ctrl + Alt + Delete (undo for those who don't read computer lingo) that thought, Come to think of it, that would only really solve the problem for a few days and at the end of the all daylight period of time, I would have to move to a cave and enter into a time of solitude and hibernation because I wouldn't have gotten enough sleep and besides, that's where bears hibernate. Maybe this isn't that bad of a plan after all..I love sleep. Uh Uh!!! wait, no power in caves = no sewing machine. However, no sewing machine = wool projects....I LOVE WOOL PROJECTS, but caves are dark and thus there wouldn't be enough natural lighting so I would have to use my Ott light and as stated before, no power...I better stay in MN and consider making some lifestyle changes....or just taking pictures before it gets too dark!

I apologise for the above incessant ramblings...when I get started I just can't stop!
I took this close up so you can see how her quilting really accented the applique and made the blocks POP! Bing, bang, BOOM! Thanks mom :)

Hang on, something just popped into my brain...In Northern Exposure (yes, the AWESOME TV show from the 90's) Marilyn Whirlwind managed to knit pretty much everywhere....see...here she is in Dr. Fleischman office, it was pretty dark and dingy in there:

maybe I would be OK working on wool projects, or I could knit...maybe she would teach me how to make socks?? If she can do it, so can I. However, it would be interesting learning from her because A) she speaks in one or two word sentences, and B) she is a fictional character as is Sicely Alaska.

I'm in the dark on this lighting thing..
any ideas?



Schnibble Parade #1

Here's a good dose of Schnibble for ya-
Between my mom and I, here are some Schnibbles worked on / finished in January.

The January Featured Schnibble Was
"Nice Day"
This version has kits available
Fabric: Park Avenue by 3 Sisters

This one I made for my Grandma for her Birthday....Shhhh...it's not till March ;)
Still needs to be quilted
Fabric: "Simpler Time" by Holly Taylor

Kim Zenk (my mom) finished this one...
Pattern: Bennington
Fabric: Gypsy Rose by Fig Tree

And she finished this one too.
Pattern: Picnic
Fabric: Scrappy 30's prints

This is another one I finished
Pattern: Tag Along
Fabric: Simple Abundance by Bonnie & Camille
Yep...it's only 1/4 bound...I should probably finish that!

This is the February Schnibble all quilted
Kits available

Isn't it fun to see how different patterns look when different fabrics are used?
Remember to send me picture of the Schnibbles you're working on so they can make the parade next month!

Happy Schnibbling!


Doing the Fandango Tango!

Two of the projects I've been working on lately are out of the fabric line
Fandango by Kate Spain for Moda (of course)
You can visit her blog here.

The first project is the My Favorite Bag by Kati Cupcake
I'm also teaching the class on this one March 2, 6-8:30
It has TONS of pockets and style and would be a great traveling bag OR
a fabulous diaper bag (it even comes with a bonus pattern for a diaper clutch!)
I love the use of grommets and the sash...
they also have you sew timtex into the bottom for stability
This is one well thought out bag / pattern!

The second project is the FREE Moda Bake Shop pattern
Geese in the Park....yep, the one is was so excited about :)
This one used a layer cake...I just happened to have this one sitting on the shelf...
I got it with my 2010 Moda U dollars so it only cost me around $10!
This one is going to look fabulous hanging up in my house for the summer.
Now I need to find some border fabric...hmmm...

(In case you're wondering, it's hanging on top of another quilt...that's why there's some red around the edge :) )
You would never guess, but it's made using flying geese.
Here's a close up...
I think this would make a great graduation quilt...
It's pretty simple and goes together quickly...
It uses just a layer cake and some background...
With different colors it could look quite "manly"...
FREE Pattern...that looks a little more "modern"...

Have a FANTABULOUS day and if you're in the S. MN area,
enjoy the weather while it's here


{ My Valentine to you! }

{ Happy Valentines Day! }
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I like to sew
and I know you do too!



Wow, this is neat....Be sure to check this out.

Civil War stories told through quilt blocks

Barbara Brackman - a quilt historian - is writing a blog to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War taking place in 2011. Each week you'll find a true story about people who lived during this time period from their diaries, momoires and letters, as well as a pattern for an 8" quilt block. The stories and patterns are drawn from Barbara's publications.
On this blog, Barbara Brackman also talks about different fabric patterns used during the time period (strips, paisley, prints, plaids) and the historical accuracy of colors. Even if you don't make the 8" blocks, it is still a really neat way to learn about this era in our quilt making history! I plan to work on the blocks, so I'll keep you posted on how I'm coming.

Here's the blog. http://www.civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/
Also, I added a button in the right column of this blog for easy access throughout the year. Just click it and you're there.

This is a remarkable work that is absolutely FREE!

I hope you'll enjoy reading stories about our history as much as I will-


February Featured Schnibble - SCRATCH

The February featured Schnibble is
{ Scratch }

This one is probably the simplest one I've made yet!

It's out of the Schnibbles Times Two book
and also available as a single pattern

Use charms or scraps from your stash or get a kit.
The kits available at the shop are out of the Fig Tree Quilts line
{ Breakfast at Tiffany's }
I'll post a pic VERY soon

(here's what the fabric looks like!)

I have that one done and it turned out really well and is nice size for a baby quilt-
I pulled out some kiddish looking charms from my stash and almost have a second one finished.
I may also have plans for a third!

This one goes together pretty quickly...LOVE it!

I plan to work on the January Schnibble parade tomorrow evening
so....if you have worked on any Schnibble projects in January, send me a picture so I can share it!
I know some of you have....but I haven't seen them :)



{ Emma Jean }

Remember this quilt I made for a "Precious Baby Girl"?

She was born Thurs 2/3 and her parents call her
~Emma Jean~

Her mama told me she loves her quilt :)
{and that made my day}



Giggle, Giggle, Quilt, Giggle, Giggle

This year for her birthday, I gave my little cousin K some 3" strips and a little "my first sewing machine". The gift also came with a sewing day with me....so....Saturday was the big day and here's what we came up with.

(Note: She's 7 and her birthday is 2 days before mine 20 years apart.....she tells me "we're like twins, Kate"....and our kindergarten pictures look "just the same".)
We had to use my sewing machine because
A) It had speed control
B) hers has one stitch length.....1/4" long!

We made the simple quilt where you sew all the short ends together to make a looooong snake.
Then giggle for a while.
Then fold in half RST and sew the length...repeat and giggle till you have a quilt.
When it came time for the back I told her we had 2 options:
A) One big piece of pink or
B) 2 pieces of "soft stuff"
She jumped up and down saying "soft stuff, soft stuff, soft stuff."
and then giggled for about 10 min.
She loves it and is taking it to school for show and tell...
and she thought it would be a good idea if she took me for show and tell too :)
I told her that just the quilt was probably enough!
And then she giggled some more-



Look Who's Coming to the Calico Hutch!

Cathy Wierzbicki is coming back to the Calico Hutch
 and will be teaching
Pineapple Nine Patch from her book Geometric Gems.
Last night I took a break from the sewing machine and folded the kits.
46 Fats and a binding
Such a pretty bundle of red, brown and tan civil war fabrics!

Bring your machines and friends and join our shop as we
learn from Cathy.

March 26 - 9am-4pm

click here  and scroll down a ways for all the details.
(Did you see that all your food is included in the class fee? ~awesome~)

Pretty quilt, huh!?


I've gotta make this...ASAP!!!

Do you ever see a pattern/kit and say to yourself
"I GOTTA make that"

That's how I feel about the Geese in Central Park FREE pattern at the Moda Bake Shop. It was love at first sight....we all know I have a unique fascination with flying geese!

I even have a Fandango layer cake just sitting on the shelf waiting for a project.
It was meant to be :)
This pattern would also look nice out of darker colors too!

Check it out...you'll love it

Bet ya can't guess what I'm going to sew on tonight?!
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