Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mediterranean Quilt Cruise

I just noticed that the website doesn't have information on the 2011 Cruise yet. 

They sent me some single page handouts which give the dates, ports of call and instructors (no prices).  If you want a copy, send me an email with your mailing address - I'm sure there will be lots of information on the "Group Seminars at Sea" website soon but I'd be glad to send one of these handouts to you in the meantime, in case you want to plan ahead.


Winter Culinary Efforts

Well, we made it happily through Christmas.  No travel problems and the gifts arrived on time.  We played some games and even fired up the Wii for a lesson in tennis and in bowling.  John finished the wedding gift quilt.  I tried and tried to embroider a label for the quilt and finally called the Bernina 200 a bad name.  So that project is still to be done.

John barbecued outside even though it was 10 degrees; the barbecue wasn't heating up so he wrapped it in an old demo top quilt.  That worked good and the roast was ready on time!  I wouldn't let him bring the quilt back inside until we were sure it wasn't on fire.

I have been thinking about food a lot lately; the holiday season for one thing and then I just read "Julie and Julia" followed by Julia Child's autobiography "My Life in France".  I enjoyed every word of Julia Child's book and some of "Julie and Julia".  I don't think the cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" is for me but might look at some of Julia Child's later books.  Do read Julia Child's autobiography if you have time; what a remarkable woman!  I know I won't ever buy another of Julie Powell's books, there is nothing like making your readers feel like fools for buying your book to turn them off.

Well, I'm off to debone a brace of ducks and make sauce out of a pound or so of butter; Not!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Summer 2011 and Project Updates

We just got the publicity handouts for a Quilting Cruise John will be teaching in 2011.  That's a long time off but it's always good to plan way ahead.  Quilt Cruise  Other instructors will be Karen Combs, Christine Porter, Cindy Walter and Elly Sienkiewicz.  Oh, and it is a Mediterranean Cruise from Venice to Turkey and Greece ports.  Where is my Frommer's Guidebook??

I have my felt applique tree skirt finished and around the tree - Kate is still going to cut a few more appliques for me but I can put those on before next Christmas!  John is working really hard on a quilt which is a wedding present for some young friends of ours.  No pictures - well, I'm pretty sure they don't read our blog, but we do want it to be a surprise.  We'll have pictures of it soon; wow, it's pretty!

What I'm wondering is if 2500' difference in altitude is going to affect my cookie baking.  What if the cookies "fail" and John and I have to eat them all instead of saving them for company?  A tasty dilemma.  Have a wonderful holiday however you celebrate; stay warm out there.  Oh, here comes UPS!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A New Miniature

Are you busy with Christmas projects?  Maybe you are getting ready for one of the other special holidays that come this time of year.  Kate just finished designing and piecing this little project.  It is in the catalog now  Catalog, in the Miniature section.  John is working on a quilt for a young couple who got married a month or so ago and I am embroidering on a tree skirt.  Kate used the laser to cut the felt birds for me and they are appliqued  down with fusible thread.  I am enjoying the embroidery and  it is a very, very good time to be working on projects inside. 

It is nippy here, below zero in the day and -15 or so at night.  I know there are parts of the country with tons of snow so I won't complain; you have my sympathy and drive safe!  I have already decided I'm not going to the grocery store today; it is too cold and I am not in the mood to excavate my car from the snow. 

Doesn't hot chocolate sound good about now?  Stay warm wherever you are.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

From John's "Studio"

We really enjoyed a few days off around Thanksgiving.  John's sisters cooked the turkey and fixings at our house.  We didn't come back to work until Monday, although we did a little planning and scheduling on Sunday. 

Our friend Faye Labanaris gave John these Double Wedding Ring arcs a few years ago.  She found them in a garage sale.  John redid them using his technique and added the nice natural color Kona for the background and the melons.  Now he is hand quilting it and it looks so nice and crisp!  This is an 18" ring. No, Faye, you cannot have it back!

If you are signed up for our newsletter, you know about the $5 discount on orders $25 or over.  You just use Discount code 5In addition to the discount, we are contributing $5 per order to Heifer International.   It is a wonderful organization and I must admit it is fun to pick out a cow or a llama or a goat or a herd of geese as a donation.  Maybe we'll end up with enough to buy a water buffalo!

The holiday season is upon us - I have a project ready to start as soon as Kate lends me her embroidery floss collection.  Take care out there!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Class in St. George, Utah and A Discount

John's last teaching engagements for 2009 were in warm St. George, Utah.  Heather at Superior Threads took great pictures and here is the link to her blog Mother Superior's Blog  Check out the pictures.  It looks like there were some happy students.

I will have some pictures of John's current projects in the next day or two - we are BUSY today because of the special that just started- $5 off an order of $25 or more plus two spools of So Fine Thread with a Frame, Frame Kit or Frame Stand.  And I also am making a $5 donation for every order to Heifer, International, one of our favorite organizations.  Heifer International  There is something so appealing about giving someone a way to feed their family and make a living.  Oh, the Discount code is 5 and our web address is Flynn Catalog  The discount started today and lasts through 12/31/09.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving; we had a houseful and enjoyed ourselves very much!

Flynn Quilt Frame Company

Monday, November 9, 2009


I'm not particularly stressed, right now, anyway, but this silly sign appealed to me. Actually, I don't drink coffee, don't drink vodka and no valium unless surgery is involved BUT it is nice to know that such a mixture is available.

Chill dudes


Friday, November 6, 2009

More Fall Planting

Wow, treasure these unseasonably warm days! We are looking at the mid sixties today and just a little colder tomorrow. There are still more bulbs to plant. John adapted some kind of motorized drill to plant daffodils last weekend and now I spy a big long piece of metal pipe going in the van for the crocus planting this weekend. Gotta love an engineer!

John leaves Tuesday to teach at Superior Threads School of Threadology in beautiful St. George, Utah followed by two classes and a lecture at the local guild. We have all his kits cut and most everything ready to pack in to the van. We are using Superior Threads' new handquilting thread, which is called "Treasure", and really enjoying it. It has gotten hard to find quilting thread in colors anymore, and "Treasure" comes in quite a few.

Keep an eye on the Quilt Smackdown - you don't want one of the little quilts to get away too cheaply, and there are T Shirts and sweatshirts in addition to voting for the Viewers' Choice. Lots of opportunities to help defeat Alzheimer's disease, that thief.

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Winning Quilts from PIQF

I wandered in awe through the quilts at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara. Here are pictures of the three top winners, all were machine quilted. Marilyn Badger won Best of Show - I missed the name of her quilt, it is the orange and green wonder on the left. Jean Jorgenson did "Hong Kong Taxi" in the bottom row here and Terri Doyle won a prize for "Enchanted", the medallion quilt on the right. WOW! I love the taxi quilt.

Well, I'm headed home for a quiet evening because I think I'm getting sick. Don't know if it the flu or just adjusting to the cooler weather but I'm whining anyway.

Don't forget to visit AAQI to watch the progress on the World Quilt Federation Smackdown; Hollis is way ahead but it's not over until it's over, right?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Tiny Quilts

The marathon vending sessions in Houston and in Santa Clara are now behind us. I still have a ton of email to answer and John and Kate are keeping the lasers busy catching up with custom cut projects. Oh, and we still need to finish unpacking both vans - the quilts are inside but there are bits and pieces of booth accessories still out there. Kate and John had fun in Houston with the crew at the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative booth AAQI showing off the four quilts involved in the "Smackdown" fundraiser.

My booth helper and I had dinner in Santa Clara with Jackie Robinson and Sue Nickels. Sue explained to Jackie about the "Smackdown" quilts and added that she thought John should be disqualified because his quilt arrived after the deadline; nice try! Hope the quilts raise a ton of money for Alzheimer's research.

John and I took advantage of the cool, breezy but snow-free weather in Red Lodge to plant about 200 bulbs. It is notoriously rocky in our area but we had pretty good luck. In the afternoon, we sat visiting in the living room, enjoying the sunlight glinting off the native grasses in our "yard". The grasses absolutely sparkled as the wind moved through them.

Then John pieced these two little quilts, an Arabic Lattice Variation and another miniature Storm at Sea. They both measure 15" x 18". The little Storm at Sea will be in the catalog soon.

And here's my opinionated book review of a fairly recent book, "The Kite Runner". I am glad I read it. It is a first novel and there are some places where a reader can tell that. But I was fascinated about the look at Afghanistan and Kabul before the Russians invaded and the sad aftermath which includes the Taliban's rise to power. Again, I'm glad I read it; even a little insight into another culture is important these days.

Back to work


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt Smackdown!

Here is a news release and the whole scoop on the Quilters' Challenge we have been telling you about. The event starts at International Quilt Festival on Wednesday. And, even if you can't make it to Houston this year, you can vote for your favorite online. John shamelessly solicits your vote!

Please visit the AAQI Website to see images of the quilts - I can't figure out how to get them copied from Ami's email and they are Beautiful! And so is the Championship Belt!


World Quilt Federation Smackdown

Four Quilting Heavyweights Face Off to Fight Alzheimer's

(Burton, MI)--October 12, 2009 In honor of National Alzheimer's Awareness Month four small quilts by world renowned quilters Hollis Chatelain, John Flynn, Becky Goldsmith, and Sue Nickels will be auctioned to benefit the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). The no-holds-barred, knock-down, drag-out, head-to-head, quilt-to-the-death (not really), grudge match will be held November 1-10 in the AAQI "Smackdown Auction Arena."

The 10-day online silent auction is all about bragging rights—and raising awareness and money to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Chatelain, Flynn, Goldsmith, and Nickels created miniature masterpieces representative of their quilting style specifically for this head-to-head challenge. The quilts range in size from 16" x 16" to 18" x 18".

The World Quilt Federation Smackdown quilts will be shown prior to the auction, for the first time anywhere, at the International Quilt Festival (IQF), Booth #4660, in Houston, October 14-18. In a gutsy move Smackdown promoter Ami Simms (a.k.a. Founder and Executive Director of the AAQI) will allow the Smackdown quilts to be purchased at the IQF. Each quilt carries a price tag of $10,000.

"I'm fully expecting all four quilts to be available for the November 1st auction," said Simms, "but I'm pretty sure the George R. Brown has a defibrillator on site just in case."

A Viewers' Choice component to the “Smackdown” will also be offered. Anyone wishing to support the work of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative can make online donations to the nonprofit in amounts as little as $5 beginning immediately, assigning their donation to one of the four quilts. One dollar equals one vote. The quilt amassing the most votes will win the Viewer's Choice Award. The Viewer's Choice Award donations have no bearing on the sale/auction outcome whatsoever.

About the AAQI

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative ( is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. It auctions and sells donated quilts sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's. The AAQI has raised more than $316,000 since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

The World Quilt Federation is totally fictitious. Any similarity to professional wrestling is obviously intentional and all in good fun, although the winning quilter will receive this cute belt.

WQF Smackdown Champion Belt made by John Flynn.

Contact:Ami SimmsFounder and Executive DirectorAlzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative1200 Creekwood Trail Burton, MI 48509(810) 637-5586
Read more:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Insect Visitor

We were working peacefully (piecefully?) when this huge dragonfly came in the open door of the office. I know he was just as distressed as we were and he finally went away after we turned out the lights and sort of left the room. We don't have dragonflies too often here in arid Montana so to see such a huge one, wow. Incredible laciness on his wings.

It is important that you know that September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. We have been celebrating this for some years; we also have had Talk Like Someone from Gone With the Wind Day, Talk Like a Valley Girl Day, etc. Here is the official website if you need inspiration TLAP Arrrrrrr, maties!

There are still threatening emails going back and forth about the Smackdown to raise funds for Alzheimer's research. Who knew quilters could be so feisty!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Official News Re: WQF Smackdown

Here’s what happened. The four of us, Hollis, Sue, Becky and I, were teaching at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium. We had been staying in the dorm eating dorm food and teaching for three days. Hollis invited us to her home for dinner and a tour of her studio. The barbeque was excellent and I even had a beer or two; since beer isn’t available on campus.

We were discussing Hollis’s new venture “Imagine Hope” and various ways to raise funds for her charity. Of course Ami’s Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative came up. We had all contributed pieces to the cause and became a little curious about how much the pieces had raised. Somehow in the conversation it came to light that my IQA Silent Auction miniature had creamed Sue’s piece in a head-to-head competition at the 2008 Houston International Quilt Festival. Suddenly, it became imperative that we find out whose piece had raised the most for Alzheimer’s. We found Ami’s cell phone number and started calling her. She did not answer any of our calls, later handing us some lame excuse about attending an insignificant ice hockey contest between the Red Wings and Penguins for the Stanley Cup.

We were unable to determine a winner, and someone challenged that their next Alzheimer’s Art Quilt would bring in more money than anyone else in the room. The World Quilt Federation Smack Down, a no-rules, quilt-to-the-death, or at least until a winner is declared, cage match, was born. Our four miniature quilts will be seen in public for the first time at the Houston International Quilt Festival and will be auctioned off on the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative website in November of this year. All proceeds will go to Alzheimer’s research and braggin’ rights to the quilter who raises the most cash. AAQI Website

There has been much trash talking from my worthy opponents. I am sure I will be able to speak objectively about their feeble, but noble, efforts when they are brave enough to show me what they have done. I don’t know if we will all show up at the Alzheimer’s booth in Houston at the same time but I would watch out for flying folding chairs if we do. This is down-and-dirty quilting, the likes of which has never been seen. The eventual winner and World Quilt Federation Champion will be determined by public cash vote and I am sure there will be an impressive championship belt to go along with the braggin’ rights.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Preview

I guess all the little quilts for the World Federation Quilt Smackdown (a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative) are done and in Ami Simm's possession. Here is just a peak at what John has been working on.

John, Kate and I are all busy finishing up our little quilts for the IQA Silent Auction. John's and Kate's are wonderful and mine is going to be cute. Pictures to follow.

We have harvested some of our onions and they were tasty. I have started kohlrabi to plant where the onions come out, but I don't think John is going to have time to make me a deer screen this fall. When I come up with Plan B, I will do that instead.

Our next show is in Longmont, Colorado near the beautiful Colorado Rockies and the fall aspens. We have a lot of packing to do!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fish Tales

Our family (John's cousins) reunion is history. We think there were 33 people there on Saturday, coming and going, eating, visiting and all that. This is a fascinating group of people; you could find someone interesting to visit with at every turn.

Kate and Kevin brought up gemstone gravel and we searched for gems; out on the deck in the sunshine - that was good, and the metal detector found bits from the railroad that used to go to the gold mine up the canyon. We had a campfire and smores Saturday night and John's cousins sang. Why does the smoke follow you no matter where you move? There was an after dark horseshoe tournament, somewhat disrupted by a bat.

Well, fishing is always a big part of a get together in Red Lodge. Here are John and our nephew, Jason, with the grand nieces' "Barbie" fishing poles. The girls had gotten distracted by a frog, I believe, so John and Jason kept casting. I don't know if the poles make a happy sound when you cast, but for some reason, there is a flashy light in the handles. They did catch some fish, but not the frog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hand Work

The Battle of the Appliance Installation is over. Everyone survived - except the old 1970s gold dishwasher. It is in bits and waiting for the recycler. It leaked, that's bad. The new dishwasher is very, very quiet, shhh.
John had time to work on his World Quilt Federation Smackdown quilt - all the machine piecing is done and there was a little hand piecing in the center. We'll get a picture up soon.
The reunion is fast approaching. Yesterday, we planned menus. Food, a high priority, right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Texan Visits

We got cleaned up enough to have company and who would be more fun that Libby Lehman! Libby was teaching at the Bernina store in Billings Friday and Saturday and came up for dinner and stayed Saturday night. We had time for a quick drive up the Beartooth Highway to "Vista Point" which is about 10,000' and shows off a pretty extreme drop down into the Rock Creek Valley. It was a little chilly up there - one tourist, who was in shorts, asked me if she should just wait around until the snow fell and ski down.

Countdown is now in progress for John's family reunion, weekend after next. Things are pretty clean and fluffed etc. But the new dishwasher, which I am pretty sure we are going to need, is too tall for it's hole. John will fix it, one way or the other.

Stay tuned for an update from John on the World Federation Quilt Smackdown, or whatever it is called.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Okay, That's Done...

Oh my gosh, the tile project is done! John laid the partial tiles around the edges on Friday and Saturday. Our son, Bridger, cut all the partial tiles on our new and trusty, noisy tile saw. John's sisters, Joan and Peggy, came up and helped us grout on Sunday and then I sealed the grout on Monday.

There was a slight interlude while we waited for the plumber to come fix the pipe John broke when he tried to reset the toilet by himself. A big flood of water hit the new tile when that happened!

So, the refrigerator is out of the living room, the washer and dryer are out of my bedroom, the toilet is out of the bathtub. The dining room table is still on the front porch, waiting to be reassembled with padded feet to protect the new tile.

We are sort of done with home improvement for a while. Quilting is better; you don't have to crawl around with kneepads or carry dozens of buckets of water in and out when you quilt!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Smackdown Continued

Here is the start of what John calls the Best ever, Best money making, Best World Quilt Federation Smackdown quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative fundraiser. That is a long tongue tier! The little quilt is 17" across right now.

Details on how you can bid on the quilts Hollis, John, Becky and Sue are working on will come from Ami Simms from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.

Hope you are staying cool, wherever you are!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Progress Report

We had help with the tiling project his weekend. Our son spent the day cutting tile for the narrow places along the edges. John finished taking up the old vinyl tile and linoleum and has all but about 6 of the full size tile laid. We are hopping here and there to miss the freshly laid tiles, quite amusing.

The refrigerator is in the living room. The dining room table is on the front porch. The washer and dryer are in my bedroom. The toilet is in the bathtub. I will be glad to have everything done and all the appliances back in their traditional locations.

The camera memory card seems to have given out on me so no photos this time, maybe later this week.

John took some time out from marathon tiling to work on his project for "the World Federation Quilt Smackdown", a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. So, if you think you have seen a little Feathered Sun, wait until you see this. I'm not kidding, it is little. I will try to get a picture with the other camera this week.

John says "It is fabulous, Everybody ought to just give up. Surrender!" Do Hollis, Becky or Sue have anything to say to that??


Friday, July 24, 2009

The Great American Quilters' Smackdown

At least that's what I think John is calling it. John, Hollis Chatelain, Becky Goldsmith and Sue Nickels have a challenge going. The purpose is to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and the challenge is to see whose small quilt will be auctioned for the highest dollar amount.

Becky Goldsmith is almost done! You can see her project on her blog; scroll down to 7/20 and 7/21. John is working on his design and I don't know what Hollis and Sue are doing but know it will be spectacular.

Who will win?

Alzheimer's disease is a thief. I shudder when I hear the ad that says "Alzheimer's isn't waiting". I know that is true from my mother's experience.

Stay tuned for more from John about his design. He keeps saying "they are going down". I think that is pro wrestling talk.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Growth

Here is an update on the square foot garden. The onions are doing great; I am not sure how long until the tops die down and we can harvest, but 3 weeks or so seems likely. We have been watering them with the hose, and leaving the nifty terra cotta/wine bottle watering system for the days when we can't get there to water. (I don't think the wine bottle is doing much.) If John has time to make a protective screen cover, we will try to replant with spinach after the onions are gone.

John is in California teaching at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. He says the Convention Center is beautiful but he has not had a chance to look at the quilt exhibits. Two more classes and then off (from teaching, anyway) for all of August.

The "Tile Project" still awaits him. and the family reunion will be at our house the end of August. So there will be lots to do.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


We love living at Red Lodge and seeing the wildlife. But.

Here is what happened. I had been outside in the front and heard a screechy racket - I thought it might have been the folks across the creek clearing or sawing or some such. After a few minutes I went out on to the back porch and it became apparent the noise was an animal calling. As I looked, a baby bear came thrashing through the high grass and I thought, Oh, how cute and then Oh, where is the mother and by that time I was back inside the house and closing the glass door.

She was up on the porch, with her twins faster than I can tell you, examining the roll of old carpet we took up for our tiling project, rejecting that and still looking for something to eat. Last I saw her she was on a lope through our neighbors' fence and headed for town.

I heard the babies screeching again this morning but did not hang around for a second visit.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Guild Program Chairs - Note :)

First things first - here are pictures of the very cute projects John put together for the Ohio students who missed their classes because he got so sick. We will have the little Arabic Lattice in the catalog one of these days, but the fabric for the Braided Flag is all gone! I think they both turned out great; we just mailed the last of them out today.

So here is a way to save your Guild some money - John has an idea to help quilt guilds cut down on their travel costs. Since he spends so much time driving to shows already, he can leave a couple of days early and teach for guilds that are along the route. That will completely eliminate those expensive airline tickets. So, if you are Program Chair for your guild and interested for 2010, call me at 800 745 3596 or email so we can see what might work. Or let your Guild Chairman know. There is a link to the 2010 Schedule on our website. Go to Teaching Information and you can print it out.

John called me today from Quilt Camp in the Pines. The bagpipers are there and tonight is Pub Night. Loud music and cold beer will be involved.


Friday, July 10, 2009


Here are pictures from the Fourth of July Rodeo in Red Lodge. We had good seats. The photographer wasn't the best but, darn it, those horses move fast! I ran out of memory in my camera during the barrel racing; that is one of my favorite events. Big, big horses and intent young women; go, go, go!

Hope you had a great Fourth wherever you are.

We are just about finished packing John up for the drive to Flagstaff, AZ and Quilt Camp in the Pines. If you are nearby, and haven't attended, this is a great quilt retreat in a relaxed atmosphere and with great teachers. The next teaching engagement is in Long Beach and then, home for all of August!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kate's Choice

Kate loves the miniatures and here is a pinwheel block she cut and pieced last week. Each little section is 1 1/2" so it is small and cute. She will be working up a pre-cut kit soon; it looks like fun!

Well, it wasn't rabbits or a raccoon that ate our onion sets, it was two baby skunks. And, like all babies, they are very, very cute. I'm not too happy about baby skunks camping out under the table next to our house; no sign of Mother.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July. We're going to try to get to the Rodeo, Red Lodge's famous Home of Champions Rodeo, July 2, 3 and 4 in it's 80th year!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Things

John was contemplating cutting down this old honeysuckle bush - it has seen better days. Then we saw this big beautiful Tiger Swallowtail having lunch at the bush. The butterfly has seen better days too; his wings were pretty beat up. But the bush and the butterfly were beautiful together and we are going to do some thoughtful pruning to see if we can't preserve the bush for more butterflies to enjoy.

Then there is the square foot garden, put together out of leftovers and recycled etc. The soil is a mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. This late in the year, we just planted onion sets. Here is the link for the square foot gardening website; it is an interesting approach to gardening and probably the best for me and John.

I think the deer will leave onions alone. Sunday morning, however, we discovered that the raccoons or rabbits some such creature thought onion sets were fine eating. There are plenty left.

Stay cool, wherever you are!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the Bottom Up

You have to start somewhere. We replaced the old stove last summer and now want to replace the 30 year old linoleum in the kitchen, hall, laundry, bathroom. I'm sure it won't be much of a job (!!). These are the ceramic tiles we chose. John is going to do it himself with help from our son.

I am kind of stunned by the size of the project, now that the 21 boxes of tile, the 15 underlaying boards, the two bags of grout etc. are all in the garage. I hope it doesn't end up being a project that causes John a lot of stress.

In a way, it's kind of like patchwork...


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reality Check

Well, it finally happened after 20+ years of teaching - John got very sick in Columbus and couldn't teach two of his classes.

He is better now and drove himself home but we are both sad that 40 students didn't get the class they planned to take. John is making up some kits for them and I hope it helps make up for some of the inconvenience.

These viruses, no respect for a working fella and his plans.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Indigo Storm at Sea

Kate and I just had an update from John who is driving to the NQA show in Columbus, Ohio. Yesterday he was lost in Iowa; today is a better day.

This little Storm at Sea wall hanging is John's latest project. It is made with our 9" Storm at Sea templates and is made from beautiful genuine indigo from our friends at Cotton in the Cabin Loring and Sandy are part of our vending "family" and John made this for Sandy's booth. He is hoping they will be in Columbus so he can leave the quilt at it's new home.

Our two antique ribbon cases came from Loring and Sandy also - right now our ribbon cases are full to overflowing with machine embroidery thread, beautiful! Sometimes I imagine a little girl in an old country store, pressing her nose up against the cases, admiring the ribbons and hoping her mother will buy her some ribbon for her hair. Oh, and a peppermint stick, too.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Signs of Spring

We had a hectic Friday, followed by a very peaceful weekend. John leaves Monday for the NQA show in Columbus, Ohio. After his last unpleasant airplane flights, I know he is glad to be driving. He is teaching Braided Borders, Arabic Lattice and, his old standby, Double Wedding Ring. Kate made pre-cut kits for all the classes; it makes the class a lot easier for both John and the students.

Rock Creek has come down a little and we had fish for breakfast again. John dug up an old and nasty gooseberry bush and some wild roses that were taking over by the foundation. I washed an indigo wall hanging John made for a vendor friend of ours. It still needs to have the binding finished but I will take a picture of it for the blog tomorrow before he leaves.

These are some of the flowers that are blooming right now. The deer have been eating the lilies of the valley we transplanted about 3 weeks ago. Silly deer, don't you know they are poisonous?


Sunday, June 7, 2009

June in Montana

We had our sew-in and barbecue in Red Lodge this weekend. Here is a summary; we ate, did Crosswords and Sudoku and read, we sewed, we slept, we ate waffles, we sewed, we fished, we barbecued and played games, we ate, we sewed and played games, it snowed, we ate and played games, we slept, we ate fresh caught fish, we sewed, we played games, it kept snowing, we ate, we sewed and played games and it is still snowing. I might have left out some of the times we ate.

Sorry, Peggy and Joan, that this isn't a better picture; we really enjoyed the weekend. John came within micro meters of hitting a deer on the way back to Billings. Did I mention it snowed?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Red Truck

Kate, Kevin and I had a little adventure this weekend - Kevin drove us down to Casper, Wyoming to take a look at a used pickup. Well, it was just what they wanted so he and Kate bought it and now there is a perfect spot for the dogs to sit and back seat drive.

Casper is 4 - 5 hours from Billings and a little farther from Red Lodge via the interstate. I decided to come back on the secondary roads west of the interstate. I'm glad I did - I hadn't seen that part of Wyoming for so long. Some things have changed but not the mountain views. The Wind River Canyon outside of Thermopolis (world's largest hot springs) is a beautiful sight and I was thrilled when Heart Mountain came in to view since I grew up in a town east of that landmark.

I also took a photo of Red Lodge from the Bearcreek Hill which is east of town. You can still see the snow on some of the ski runs across the valley. You can't see Rock Creek but I could hear it from the hill; it is very high right now and roaring away. Well, it was a nice road trip and, wow, what a spiffy truck!

John got in late Sunday from teaching in North Carolina. What a total pain it is to fly anymore. I felt sorry for him since not one of the 4 legs of his trip went as scheduled. I know he worries about getting to the engagement on time and with his quilts; would be nice if the airlines were a little more predictable.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Game Time

Not a lot of sewing went on this weekend; mostly eating, bike riding and, in John's case, a marathon session of tree clearing and grubbing. He managed to rescue the horse shoe pits from about 6 years neglect. Rock Creek is right over the bank to the left in this picture. It is a steep drop and the creek is very high right now, so, if a shoe accidentally goes into the creek, it's there until the stream level drops. Just adds a little excitement to the game.

John got his 30 year old Schwinn bike repaired and aired up and rode with me all three days this holiday. Well, he rode with me until I had to stop and then went on way up the road. He was really going fast on the way back down the hill. It was just beautiful weather this weekend and we even got a little barbecuing in.

Tomorrow I put John on the plane for the North Carolina Quilt Symposium - his classes are full and the quilters seem to be excited for him to come. We still need to pack his quilts - which ones get to go and which ones have to stay?


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Small Accomplishments

Since strawberries are in season, we experimented with berries, Devonshire Cream and angel food cake. We liked the cake better than the meringues I made - they were very sweet and took away from the berries. We also tried rhubarb; now that's tart!

John put a little 3" Wheel of Mystery pre-cut kit together and got it quilted and bound! It is 12" x 15". We have noticed that quilters really like the miniature pre-cut kits - they sell out first at shows. They are very cute - they take a long time for us to get boxed up but we love them too.

I have been riding my new bike. I am getting better but feel really intimidated when the packs of serious bikers with their yellow windbreakers all cruise by me with no effort, uphill. Well, someday I may get there.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.