Saturday, October 28, 2006

Camping and Fishing

I mentioned that Bruce went camping and fishing last weekend on Lanai. So, for those camping and fish buffs, here's a couple of great shots from the weekend:

The beach at Hulopo`e bay where they camped:

View of Maui from the top of the 4x4 trail:

The fabulous boat "Kila Kila" that they fished on:

And the 200 lb Marlin they caught:

A good time was had by all!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mini Retreat Weekend

Bruce went camping and fishing on Lanai with the guys - left Sunday morning and comes back Tuesday. Since I worked on Saturday, I took Monday off in exchange and ended up with a nice two-day mini retreat weekend.

My big plan was to get a huge chunk of my agapanthus quilt done, which I've had set aside for a couple of months while I worked on quilts with closer deadlines. And I have to report that it was a success! this is a picture of the background I've completed so far.

As I worked on this quilt I fell in love with it all over again. And it's a good thing, too, since it requires very painstaking work. I'm piecing the entire background using Ruth McDowell's technique. Once it's done I'll move on to the hand applique of the flower blossoms. Here's a closeup of the lower left: I'm especially happy with the "dirt".

One "find" I have to report. I recently purchased the Clover glass head pins and they are wonderful! Super fine, long and SHARP! They are my new favorite. Pricey, but I found that I didn't really need more than one box, even for the longest seams.

Look how nice and flat the piece lays when pinned. Watch out for your finger tips, though, because these babies are super sharp (but isn't that what you want in a pin?).

Friday, October 20, 2006

Super Zig-Zag Redeemed

My Honu quilt arrived safe and sound at home yesterday along with the judge’s comments from PIQF:

  • Lovely fabric choices and beautiful colors
  • Satin stitch well executed and enhances design
  • Asymmetric frame adds interest

The one comment that I especially like is the one about the satin stitch. You might recall my chagrin regarding a comment awhile back (see my Judge’s Comments post). The intent of this stitch, which Sonji refers to as “super zig-zag,” is not to be the smooth, closed satin stitch, but something a bit more open and organic (Joan’s word – perfect!). This time they understood my intent and I’m glad.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Amusing Myself with Words

On one of the email forums I belong to someone posted a very offensive, definitely not-quilt-related (NQR) piece of spam to the list. The list is supposed to be used for quilt-related discussions only and stays pretty true with the occasional drift “down the tangent highway” as my friend Keri would say. Politics and religion are strictly forbidden.

Periodically we forget ourselves and post inappropriate things, which usually starts a literal firestorm of finger-shaking, heavy sighing, and even some nasty scolding. Although I usually restrain myself from commenting and delete those items I find irritating or offensive, today I got up the nerve to post a mildly scolding comment – which brings me to my amusement.

Those who know me well know that I am a word freak. I am an avid reader, newspaper devourer, and merciless Scrabble player. I am the person who finds the typo in every TV commercial (like the ROSS Christmas commercial that spelled “stationery” with an “ary”), restaurant menu (it’s “Caesar” salad, not Ceasar!), and billboard sign. I’ve also learned over the years that it’s not particularly good manners (or very nice) to point these things out when I find them. But I digress.

In thinking up a suitable word to describe spam (the email, not the food), the word “dreck” instantly came to mind. Now, being the word freak I am, I looked up the spelling at to make sure I got it right – and had a really good laugh at the definition:

dreck – noun, Slang:

1. excrement, dung.

2. worthless trash; junk

WOW! Now if that isn’t the perfect synonym for spam, I don’t know what is. I was especially amused at “worthless trash; junk.”

Another word that popped into my head was “drivel.” You don’t hear that word much these days unless, perhaps, you run with a very literary crowd, or someone who is British. Drivel’s definitions were also appropriate:

drivel – noun, verb (esp. British):

1. saliva flowing from the mouth or mucus from the nose; slaver (eeewwww!)

2. childish, silly or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle

Twaddle?! Bet you don’t hear that word everyday, or any day for that matter:

twaddle – noun

1. trivial, feeble, silly, or tedious talk or writing.

So the next time you are looking for an appropriate word to describe some spam, try dreck, drivel, or twaddle.

I’d better wrap this up before it slides down the twaddly slope. Is that a word? You bet it is!

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Shaken" Update

Bruce and I grew up in Southern California so we are no strangers to earthquakes. We've even had a couple mild ones here over the years - the most recent one centered off the island of Lana'i - that gave us a jiggle. Yesterday's shake, however, was much different.

It started off as a small rumble and I thought, "Oh, we're having an earthquake," as I stood at the counter ready to make breakfast. I even gripped the edge of the counter, because it was a little startling. But it continued, and the whole house began to sway and shake. Cody began to bark and I ran over to the doorway, and it still continued. It was actually over 20 seconds long at 6.6. Long enough and strong enough for you to work up a good fear that maybe the house wasn't going to stay standing. But it did. Thank God. Within the hour we felt what we thought was a good aftershock, yet turned out to be earthquake #2 at 5.8. We didn't feel #3, the 4-pointer, because we were on the road.

Our next concern was for Tsunami danger, even though we were safe Upcountry (at about 1,500 ft elevation), but we still waited for the siren warning which never came. It knocked out our electricity so we brought out the transistor radio, but many of our local radio stations were off the air due to the power outage. We kept flipping channels and listening and finally caught the news that no tsunami had been generated. Another sigh of relief.

Maui sustained minimal damage, some rockslides, etc. Our house is fine, but my nerves were frazzled for most of the day and my adrenalin didn't subside until about 3:00 p.m. I had a nice cocktail before dinner and that finally smoothed the rough edges. (I should have had the vodka in my orange juice at breakfast like Bruce suggested!)

The Big Island was hit hard and there is a lot of damage, but I don't know the specifics except what I see on the news. We made Good Morning America this morning, and of course it's all over our local news and newspapers. For more details, try:

KITV-4 News (our best station) at
Honolulu Advertiser at

They have the best websites for news and information.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and family on the Big Island. Stay Safe!


We are OK - a very intense shake for us on Maui, but very little damage and none for us personally. Thank you all for asking and for your warm wishes, thoughts and prayers. I will post more details soon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Judge's Choice!

My "Honu" quilt won a Judge's Choice ribbon at the Pacific International Quilt Festival this weekend! My friend, Keri, is at the show with her booth, Keri Designs, and called me to report on the award.

She says it's a beautiful show and, so far, very well attended. You can see a complete list of winners HERE. And congratulations to my next door QA blog ring neighbor, Judy Coates Perez, for her First Place win in the Innovative Division.

It's a weekend to celebrate!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Reducing and Reorganizing the Stash

I finally found a store on Maui that carries the IRIS wide chests in black!

I have my fabric stored in these drawers (have for years) and I really like them. My stash was starting to outgrow the two drawer sets I had, so I wanted another set of 5. See how crammed it was? Every drawer was full to the brim.

Well, I think I've waited about 3 years, but now I have them. I spent the weekend sorting, purging and rearranging my fabric.

As I was doing this, Bruce said, "Now don't look at every single piece of fabric...just get it put away?" He smiled as he said this, of course, because he knew that was exactly what I intended to do!

I merged all of my batiks back into the regular population because I find myself using a mixture of all fabrics when I do my work and it's nice to know what colors I have or don't have. I have tons of green, but very little hot pink/fuschia. Purple and magenta share a drawer. Lots of brown, but less blue. Each drawer has its own color, and in the case of green three drawers. Here's a glance of how they look now, still full but not crammed and nice and NEAT!

And in this last picture you can see the bags of fabric I have sorted for my friends sitting on the top. The only thing I have to do now is sort the three green drawers by value and I'll be done.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Show Deadlines

I'm standing at the ironing board this morning ironing a shirt to wear to work. My mind is wandering. I look up at my bulletin board and see the PIQF entry information and think, "Hmm, sure would be nice to go to PIQF since it's on my birthday. Oh well, maybe next year." Then, I think, "Wow, I can't believe my birthday is next week already."


I look at the entry form and it says, "quilts should arrive between Thursday, October 5, and no later than Monday, October 9."

Good thing the quilt is ready to go. I rush to get my pillowcase, plastic bag and, wait, I don't have a box! Get dressed, leave for work and stop at Mailboxes Etc. to get a box. Said box costs $5.35 - hand Christine my credit card and she says, "Sorry, no charges under $10." YIKES! I show her I don't have any checks in my wallet and only $2 decrepit ones. She very nicely allows me to charge. Zip over to FedEx. Three choices: tomorrow am, tomorrow pm or Monday. Monday is $23.00 - half as much as tomorrow. I choose Monday even though I internally balk at having it get there on the last possible day.

Phew, just made it. I must have had my head in the clouds this week. What was I thinking? I obviously wasn't.

Better make sure the coffee quilt gets in the mail tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Poli Poli Afternoon

I had to drive up to Kula Lodge to pick up a donation from Curtis Wilson Cost for our upcoming Boys & Girls Club golf tournament. What a nice task!

I stopped at home and picked up Bruce and Cody, and after the task was done we decided to drive to Poli Poli State Park to let Cody have a little run.

The clouds were moving in and it was misty and cool - just like I imagine fall to be in certain places right now. Quite a difference from the 88 degree heat and humidty that keeps hanging on.

Of course, I was dressed for work and had totally inappropriate shoes on for hiking (Dansko slippers with 2 inch heels - see left), but happily trudged through the tall grass to get some pictures of our happy dog.

Cody flushed a ringneck pheasant (wish I had gotten that shot, but alas no), then ran around like the crazy happy dog he is.

Round Robin Unveiling

We had our round robin and "stash busters" unveiling last night at our guild meeting. We used the 3M sticky hooks and large binder clips to hang the quilts up. It brought us back to the early days when we had quilts displayed all over the room. After numerous contraptions this was relatively easy. All we have to do is remove the hook part at the end of the meeting. If the room manager ever gets tired of the brackets on the wall, they can be removed easily too. Hopefully, he won't though.

In the first view (top picture - from left) you can see Elyn's red and white stash quilt, then my round robin, then Joan's, then Melissa's.

From left, Penny's RR, then Shel's, then one of Shel's stash quilts.

It was a well-received presentation and Shel did a wonderful job pulling it all together. Now we're on to our next challenge to make a quilt using the fabrics we purchased at the party to end our stash diet. Those are due in February. Mine, a Turning 20 quilt using Kaffe Fasset fabrics, is ready to be quilted so I am ahead of the game for once.

The other fabulous news: Lura Schwarz-Smith is coming to Maui for a 3-day workshop at the end of May. Whoo-hoo! The guild also voted on approving contracts for Bonnie McCaffrey in April and another quilter in July. Looks like a fun year coming up!

Sunday, October 01, 2006