Archive for August, 2006

Am I the only quilter with one machine?

August 31, 2006

I have to take my machine in to get serviced. My zig zag is more like a sig sag. Which means…no machine for the next couple of weeks. I know… a long time. The sewing machine store here doesn’t have an in house repairman. They have to send it out. grrrrr….

I’ve talked to some other quilting friends about this and it doesn’t bother them because they have multiple machines! Which leaves me wondering if I’m the only quilter in the country with one machine. How many do you have? If I’m really good to the sewing machine fairy will he bring me another one?

So… no sewing for awhile. I know from experience this is the time I’ll get my best ideas and that burning urge to run fabric through a sewing machine. I need to make a plan.

My plan is to Write and Knit. Maybe organize the sewing room. The fabric wall is a mess. fabricwall.gif When I moved to Joplin last year I gave away more than half of my fabric! I miss it so much 😦 I thought I kept the pieces I like the most, but I keep looking for pieces I don’t have anymore.

That bottom row? It’s double. There is a whole other row behind it!

When I look at pictures of other quilters sewing rooms, it’s always SO clean! The fabric is folded perfectly and there are no threads on the floor. I have some pictures like that too, but honestly here… does anyone else have a fabric wall that looks like this? I’ll clean it up and post a picture of that too, but, again honestly, this is what it looks like most of the time.

Starting my ‘vacation’ from sewing,


Magazine is at the Printers

August 29, 2006

It’s kind of like seeing your baby go off to kindergarten. All kinds of worries flit through your mind. Did I remember all the pages? Did I fix that page number? Is the new picture on page 12? Oh I’m sure I forgot this or that… !

But, the fact is, the magazine is at the printers and for better or for worse… the next edition will be out very soon. I know we’re not quite up to getting you your magazine on the first of the month, but it’s getting better! I know I say this a lot, but I appreciate your patience more than you can know.

The September Web Magazine will be up in a few days. I just have to finish the Abby chapter!

Then… it’s on to the December issue. It’s very planned out in our heads, now it’s time to put it on paper, er, computer screen. Winter and Christmas is about my favorite time of year. I can’t wait to start on this issue 🙂


Knitting Saturday

August 26, 2006

Besides quilting and writing, I love to knit. A few years ago, I went on a yarn buying spree and have stored it ever since. I knit a few scarves, and some mittens for my grandsons that I never sent them.

So, last week I decided it was time to start using that yarn. I’ve also been collecting knitting books. I look at the pictures and then put them in my bookshelf. One book is called “The Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns” by Ann Budd. I have to say it’s the coolest book!

It has all the basic designs and then gives you directions based on your measurements, how you want it to fit, and the gauge. Basically you can use any yarn you want, any size needles you want to make any sweater you want!!!! All you have to do is determine your gauge and go from there. It tells you how many yards of yarn you’ll need to complete your project. How easy is that?

I decided to start easy and make a drop shouldered long sleeve sweater, V-neck with some light blue 100% cotton yarn from my stash. It’s completely simple, stockinette stitch…no thinking involved! I’ve made sweaters with more complex stitch patterns before and I enjoy that, but for this one… I wanted something I could knit while watching the game. I can’t count stitches and outs at the same time.

Today is one of those days I can’t seem to focus on any one thing. So, I’m taking the day off and knitting. I watched Must Love Dogs, which is a completely wonderful movie. I might watch Phantom of the Opera again, I love that movie!

Back to Knitting Saturday!


The Sunday morning surprise…..

August 22, 2006

Our Sunday morning routine was interupted by this surprise, sitting in front of our house. Some lovely, very thoughtful person had thrown something at our car, hard enough to shatter it and leave a nice size hole. No note of course, no visitor in the meantime with an offer to pay for the damage.

A quick search online told us the windshield would cost about $1000, not including labor to install it. Quickly getting out our insurance cards told us our deductible was $500. gulp.

Aren’t friends great? Monday morning Mike called his friend in the car window business who referred him to a salvage yard where he found a great back window for $75!!!! The installation price included a ‘friend’ discount, which made it all very affordable.

Tomorrow, our car will look good as new.



It’s Sewing Room cleaning day…

August 19, 2006

Oh my gosh… how does the room get SO messy? I mean, I try, really TRY to keep things clean and organized. To put things away after I use them, to keep the threads picked up. But holy cow… the room looks like a tornado hit it.

The problem may be that it’s not only a sewing room, it’s also my office. I have tables set up in a U shape. From the left it goes, ironing surface, sewing machine, small cutting area, tv, computer, extra desk.

My personal peculiarity – if there is an empty space, I pile things on it. Books, fabric, papers, whatever. I am constantly battling the piles.

So, today, is the process of going through piles of things. Throwing away templates marked with a letter and nothing else. Hmmmm? An empty glue pen. Old catalogs. A sample of batting. Junk mail. I put Pirates of the Caribbean in the DVD player and proceed with a shovel. (not really) 🙂
I recently made our own personal cookbook. We do a lot of cooking, and make many recipes from the Food Network. We had a huge pile of pages that we thumbed through every night, looking for a recipe. Some recipes were printed out twice.

So, I bought a binder and a box of page protectors and dividers. We divided up the recipes, put them in protectors and put them in the binder. Very handy, and neat, and oh so organized!!!!!

While going through the piles in the sewing room, I found 4 recipe cards, from my recipe box days. Fished two pages out of the trash, put them facing each other and glued the recipes on the paper, both sides. Stuck them in a protector. Now, isn’t that frugal AND organized? Should we bet on how long it takes me to move that page from the sewing room to the kitchen and inside the cookbook binder? Let’s not. I’ll surely lose.

That’s my project for the day (i hope it only takes a day) what’s your project?


Cotton Spice Bulletin Board

August 15, 2006

If you have an opinion on this I’d sure be interested in hearing it. We are having spammer problems with our bulletin board in the Members Area. Some days I go in there and eliminate 3 or 4 spammers. Delete their posts, eliminate them from the memberlist. It gets old.

There is another software we can use, that seems better. And I’m certainly will to change. But I would like to know what you think. All of you have been so understanding as we try things and then change them when they don’t work. Are you willing to go thru it all again?



August 10, 2006

Yesterday it probably got up to 103, and yes, I baked an apple pie. My mind is ready for fall, and in the fall you bake apple pies. So, I did. It’s delicious!

Issibella asked about the quilt….I made that for Liam. I’ve made a quilt for each of my grandsons, except Jack. You all know Jack from “Fun with Jack and Grandpa”. I made him a blankie from a panel, but everytime I’ve tried to order fabric or plan a quilt something else has interfered. I have another grandson due in Sept, and my plan is to make a quilt for Jack first, and then for new grandson. I better get busy!

Today is hot again, 103 is the forecast. I have no idea what the heat index is, and does it really matter? Once you’re over 100, it’s just plain HOT.

We are smack dab in the middle of getting Sept issue ready and polished and to the printers. This issue is easier than the last one, that tells me I learned from the last issue. Sept issue is stuffed FULL of good things. You won’t want to miss it.

And here is a picture of Jack, just in case you missed Fun with Jack and Grandpa! Till next time,



Welcome to my blog!

August 8, 2006

I’ve wanted to start a blog on Cotton Spice for some time now, and it seems the time is finally right, because it’s ready to go!

See the coffee cup and the pencils? This is SO much neater than my own desk! Which is why I like it. I can pretend I’m neat and organized.

Embarking on this whole Cotton Spice Magazine journey has been amazing. I love to talk about it all and this way I can, without putting the people in my life to sleep.

I recently took a short trip to Alaska. (You can read about the nightmarish trip home in August’s Newsletter) My son and his family live in Barrow, inaccessible except by plane. When it was close to the time for their third son to be born, Mom and the two big brothers flew to Anchorage to be close to the hospital. It seemed the perfect time to visit.

Little Liam Noah was born July 8, 2006 and is so beautiful and perfect. I’ll tell you right now you’re bound to see a lot of pictures of grandsons!

Well, we’ll see how these pictures worked out. I’ll see you soon!