Friday, April 15, 2011

A day in the life of the backyard

Compliments of guest blogger Rick:

I mowed the back yard today, so it got done before the rain this afternoon.  Surprisingly Mr. Goose wasn’t around, but Mrs. Goose was still on her nest. 

Then as I was mowing, I noticed Mr. Robin paying close attention to me, but when I looked in the nest I saw this guy…

…Mr. Sparrow!  Mr. and Mrs. Robin were nearby causing a ruckus, trying to get Mr. Sparrow to leave.

I then saw movement across the pond…
In addition to Mr. Duck, and Mr. Mallard, there was Mrs. Duck and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck, and Baby Duck!

The Duck family swam across the pond, then climbed out, walking home….

Also seen were Mr. Kingfisher, Mr. Heron, and Mr. Muskrat, and Mr. Wentworth.

Mr. Cooper stayed inside.         

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ebay and groupon and AccuQuilt! Die

I'm not a big ebay user, but it is certainly somewhere I check when making a purchase.  The other day, I found that I could purchase a $15 ebay groupon for $7.  Well, I was planning on purchasing the AccuQuilt Go! Hearts Die so decided to give it a try. 

The die retails for $29.99.  Which means that I can get it for roughly $20 - $25 without looking too hard.  However, the issues of sales tax and shipping come into play.  Ebay buy it now is about $26 - $27, including shipping.  Still a couple of dollars more than what I could get it locally.  However, with that $8 net savings with the Groupon, I'm $6 ahead.  So I bid on one, hoping to get it for less than the buy it now price.  I was outbid.  So I bid on another.  Then forgot about it.  Today, I had an email saying I won.  So I looked up the Groupon.  Here's how it panned out.  Winning bid - $16.49.  Shipping $5.49.  Total cost $21.98.  That's a good deal.  However, I applied the $15 Groupon to it, which meant that the price came down to $6.98.  Keep in mind though that the Groupon cost me $7. 

In the end, I will have a new AccuQuilt Hearts Die for a total cost of $13.98.  If I could only get such a deal on the multiple 2 1/2" squares or the 3" triangle in a square die. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011


My string bin is overflowing! 

For the past eight years, one of the quilt guilds that I belong to sponsors a retreat.  I teach classes Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.  It's a whole lot of fun!  The theme for my classes this year was SCRAPS.  I've been doing a lot of scrap quilting lately.  It amazes me what I can make out of bits of leftover fabric.  My Friday class was on organizing your scraps.  Sunday's class was on putting them to use.  Saturday's class was on Selvage quilts. 

As the ladies were cutting their scraps, several of them left me their strings.  Others made their way into my room.  I brought my AccuQuilt Go! Cutter and let everyone try it.  More strings!  My string bin was overflowing when I left home.  It still is!  I took a little down time today and pieced these three blocks.  I only had three foundations marked or I probably would have made more.  I had 20 blocks or so already made, so these will be added to those.  And I marked the rest of the foundations, so I'm ready for more string blocks when the mood strikes me.  I found that I have a lot of short strings.  And narrow ones.  I think I will have to look up a pattern that puts those short strings to good use.  The Phonebook Quilt I taught last year was great.  I'm thinking maybe a Spiderweb block.  I'm not sure when this will get into the quilting agenda though.  Perhaps I'll just start a new string bin for now.

Here are a few photos from the retreat.  I showed several scrap quilts. Here they are layed out on the table for a "bed turning".  The top quilt is one of my selvage quilts.  You can see my pink selvage quilt in process in the center of the picture.  This is probably the layout that I will use.

This is the table set up in the auditorium.  We tried some different things and I think it worked much better.  Most importantly, I have some ideas for next year that I think will work out very nicely.

My pink selvage quilt in the works.  One of the ladies rearranged it to this layout.

Here are a few of the ladies.  We had about 42 people there.  Several didn't get in the picture.  Some had already left.  I'm in the first row, second from the left.  I'm wearing a tee shirt that says "Got Scraps?"