Sunday, January 31, 2010


Tx's for sticking with me as I accompanied 'the husband' on his annual trek to the Rolex 24 Hour Race at Daytona Beach. (Wet and freezing I might add....with no personal sighting of Dr. McDreamy this year).'s an interesting and sad sight.......a banged up, burnt up Porsche......painful to see. Thankfully, no one was hurt but it illustrates the intensity of this type of auto racing.

The windshield was cracked and taped in.....obviously it was an attempt to keep the car on the track before it's motor blew up and the car caught on fire..... It was wet and wild out there at the start of the race on Saturday afternoon......lot's of action for viewers but lots of damage to the vehicles.

And speaking of consequences to actions.....hummmm this bad boy (white Honda) was parked in the Porsche Paddock this morning when we the FIRST row. Not sure how it slipped by security but it's a definite no, no. We had just arrived.....the front end of our grey car is just visible here...... when the Porsche Club's security guy came by on his motor scooter. We watched as he slowed....recognized the offender....thinking....yikes...this isn't a Porsche.....and almost with a downward set of his he speed. 'The husband' said....I'll bet there will be a tow truck here in 5 mins. to remove the car.

Sure took like 3 minutes.....and another 2 to haul it away. They are very protective of this private parking area which is reserved for Porsche Club of America Members. We benefited by this whole event because we quickly drove into the empty spot and again had a 1st row parking place. (The car owner will certainly be very unhappy and probably totally shocked when he returns and finds that his car was towed away.)

It was really, really cold and windy today......despite having a hospitality tent with a large screen TV to sit in......we finally succumbed to the conditions and departed around 1:30 PM, two hours short of the end of the race. Heck, that's what DVR's are for.....times like this.

So......this is the end of the car talk for awhile......soon I'll be home with needle in hand and time to post photos of two projects I've been working on.....hang in there......sewing chatter to begin soon.


Sally commented on yesterday's blog......that she wasn't a bit interested in racing, but wouldn't mind being in Daytona Beach to avoid NC's weather. Well Sally, I'm actually in agreement....the car aspect is the reason for this whole circus but not my reason for coming....actually, I have no choice, I'm dragged along each year! 'The husband' knows and understands the racing thing/cars/standings/driver's reputation etc. I, on the other hand, try to find other ways to amuse myself.

For instance, a well attended chili contest was held on Saturday......we walked through the area as preparations were underway. Got a kick out of how elaborate some of the contestants made their booths, while others had only simple tarps.

Clearly, with the trophies on display, their fancy booth isn't the only good 'taste' these entrants have.

Then there's the high end, huge, and expensive motor homes that dot the various parking spaces throughout this huge facility. The outside, built-in, mammoth TV would be the envy of most home theaters.

Now here's where those with more modest means reside.....due to the rain, as we strolled some of the 'tent cities', I cringed.....many of the tents were sitting in deep puddles of water....yuck.

Of course, when one has enough 'adult beverages' running through their blood, perhaps they don't notice the rain. I give them points for creativity.

This was good for an out loud laugh.....these party goers had many 'props'.....who thinks of bringing a crash cart, decorated with Xmas lights? They told us they strap down anyone who gets out of control until they sleep it off. I wonder if that was a goal or precaution.....

What?? Upholstered couches, recliners, festive plastic palm tree, a game table, and don't ask me how they got this in....but a full size refrigerator...totally stocked we were told.

Oh my........

Well, the sun is up.......we must scurry over to the track.....8 hours of racing to go. The leads have changed overnight numerous time. It's now being reported that Patrick Dempsey is driving his #40 car and is in 7th place in their category. This is the longest their team has ever made it in the 24 hr race. The last two years he's been out by 11:00 PM.

Well.....that's my report for today.....we will be heading partway home after the race ends today.....waiting to hear from my Asheville pals about the weather/road conditions before we attempt to drive our Porsche on the mountain roads on Monday. Thankfully, our house sitter says there's been no loss of electricity so that's a big positive.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Despite getting to the race track a tad later than we planned, we were able to park in the 2nd row of the Porsche Paddock with a great view of the track. Later the car in the first row, directly in front of us left......I practically laid on the spot to save it as we got our car moved up for an even better view. Ya....this is more than you needed to know.....

Porsche Club Members were invited into one of the garages to watch their race the drivers were practicing entering and exiting the cars. Even though it's a 24 hr. race, every second counts. Each team has from 3 to 4 drivers and it's important to make the driver's switch quickly.

Standing by, is Ramon Dumas....notice how tiny these drivers are? As I write this, it's now 5 hours into the race and the team he's driving for is in 1st place in the GT category. In fact, the first 3 places are held by Porsches. Thankfully, 'the husband' no longer even believes he can talk me into staying there all night.....10 hrs. is enough.....and 3+ today was in the pouring rain.

Because I know many of you may be interested in any Patrick Dempsey sightings, I'm providing the best I found today......his car.

And the back view of his car......we talked to another Porsche Club member who is friends with one of the 4 drivers.......sadly, Dr. McDreamy is known as the least competent driver on the team. But hey, with a pretty face like his.....who cares......he has other skills! And frankly, his worst driving is 10 times better than any of us could do....flying down the track at over 150 mph!

Patchwork paint it!

This is a partial view of the special parking and hospitality area Porsche Club of America members can park their cars. At noon, when it was officially filled and the entrance closed....there were over 300 Porsches. The Ferris wheel is such a festive sight all lite up against the night sky.....frankly, by then I was so cold I didn't want to get my camera back out to show you....sorry! We lasted till about 7:00 PM and are now in our comfy hotel watching the race on the Speed Channel, though we can still hear the cars since we are just across the street from the track.

This goes under the category of, what were you thinking? Some fool (we think it was a corner worker..... a volunteer that mans locations around the track with fire extinguishers, caution flags, etc.) drove his car between the chain link fence and the track's guard rail in an effort to park closer to his assignment. Well....hummm, the car was wider than the space at one of the light posts...they had quite a time getting it out before the race could begin.

More hilarious observations tomorrow.....


We are back at the annual Rolex 24 hour race in Daytona Beach, FL. Not quite as warm or sunny as we'd hoped, but considering what's going on in NC with the HUGE snow and ice storm....I'd say we dodged another bullet. (We were away during the last big storm too.) I feel sorry for our house sitter....stranded but hopefully still with power.

This is pretty much a rich man's sport.....can't even describe what goes into having a car in this race......and I'm in a hurry....we slept later than we wanted to this morning, so I'm quickly trying to get this posted. Hotel internet was not working properly last night....probably too many people trying to use it.

Vintage, priceless cars are on display everywhere....

Not the kind of comfort we expect in our cars!!

The new Porsche Panamera.......price tag over $1000,000. First sedan they've ever made.

I guess this is supposed to make you part with your money....the famous race car driver Hurly Haywood personally test drove this car.

I like to look for interesting designs as we wander around......most of what I see in the open garages where teams work on their cars is uncomprehensible to me.....but my eye was caught by this tire.

One gargage has a sewing service to repair the drivers (tight on their small tight bodies) suits.....

See, even at a race track I can find familiar things - a sewing machine and an ott light. This gal stitched some patches on Patrick Dempsy's suit (yes, I'm talking about Dr. McDreamy)...he gave her the hat she's wearing....he drives a Mazda. Tried to get a photo of his car driving the 1st race yesterday but my camera isn't fast enough. 'The husband' took a super good photo of him last year....if I can't get another one today I'll dig that out of the archives for all of us to drool over.

Gotta run......ignore any typos or spelling errors.....'the husband' is literally pulling me out of the room....we are late....

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Well......I thought I was pretty much up on food trends...... I guess not! Today I was in the middle of nowhere (sorry if it's the nowhere that you live)......and I saw this sign on a restaurant window.

What? Quail.....?? Who eats Quail? Perhaps everyone will want to since it's low fat!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The legendary Georgia Bonesteel shared this piecing tip with me during our recent fiber group's retreat. No wonder she's been honored in the Quilter's Hall of Fame and received International Quilt Festival's Silver Star Award!

This trick helps to reduce bulk when sewing rows of blocks together.

Sew the blocks into rows......and rather than pressing the vertical seams toward the dark or all in one directions as I was taught to do, Georgia recommends staggering the the first one for instance one way and the next block's seam in the opposite direction....continue to the end of the row.

In the lower block (with the gray center) pictured above you can see how the vertical seam allowance is pressed in in opposite directions.

When the blocks of the next row is pieced, press these seams in the same manner, but in opposite directions as the row above. Then when the horizontal seam is stitched (as seen above just below my thumb) go back and pick out those two or three vertical stitches that fall within the seam allowance.

Open the seams of the will form a small patchwork and allow the bulk of these 4 seam allowances to lay flatter since it spreads out the bulk.

Cool!!! Thank you Georgia!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I've introduced Carol Sloan in previous blogs...remember her name, she's a real up and comer. Each time the Fiber Junkies meet, Carol dazzles us with her creativity.

She flattered me by sharing that she used my DVD to delve into the world of beading. Great job Carol!

Her drawing doodles are so charming......and even more so when translated like this. Carol machine stitched her drawing onto canvas....then used fabric paints to color it. The detail is incredible!

Reverse side clever is this! Instead of guessing what the color really looks like on fabric, Carol made her own sampler for quick, fool proof ready reference.

This is a small piece....guessing the main section was about 12-15" wide x 18". It was made with treasures Carol's gathered after cleaning out a family member's home as a way of honoring her loved ones. We've all seen memorabilia quilts but what's so charming about this one is the delicate size......the smallest mementos can tell a story too.

For instance, Carol made this tiny pouch to store an Alzheimer's pin that has special meaning for her family member....also in the pouch is a hand written note describing her relative's definition of what it meant to be a nurse. This piece is really a story....told with embellishments!

Monday, January 25, 2010


The Fiber Junkies had their 2010 organizational meeting today. We are awed by the work of our members and eager to explore the techniques they've developed. So, we decided to use this year to share our skills with each other and have formally made a list of our goals!

The subject of our first 'lesson' will be beading....hummm.....I wonder who will lead that one? Also on the list is screen printing, resist screen printing, stamp carving, machine quilted feathers, doodling, cutting edge felting techniques, fabric paints etc.

My long time friend Judy Simmons is in the midst of making her daughter's wedding gown. She's a very organized and skilled artist whose work you can see at her blog Windy Hill Happenings. She ordered a variety of sizes and colors of pearls and will bead some lace samples before choosing the exact pearls to embellish the gown.

Val taught art for many years and is a skillful silk screen artist. This is only a partial view of a long panel that is layered with paint and various screens. The larger design elements have been screened twice using two colors of paint which adds an incredible amount of depth.

Patsy surprised us with these pin cushions made from hand dyed bamboo/rayon felt and hand dyed synthetics which have been machine quilted and textured by burning with a heat gun. I'm sorry my photo doesn't do them justice.

Patsy Thompson unveiled another one of her colorful and exquisitely quilted pieces. She's been concentrating on Amish designs to show off her elaborate feather quilting.

Patsy's machine quilting DVD's are extremely well done....if you are ready to learn from one of the best, check them out here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Grab a cup of coffee this on this link....sit back and prepare yourself for a really jaw dropping 8 minutes of entertainment. Really, no photos or adjectives can describe this artist's work/presentation properly so I won't even try.

It looks like the source of this utube video was perhaps Russia?? Our satellite internet service is so awful.....yup, I'm complaining about it again....that the only way I can watch it is with starts and stops so I'm probably missing some content.

Unless it's your only source of internet....never, ever deal with Hughesnet. Their service is extremely expensive, and that's AFTER you purchase the equipment. We currently receive about 23% of the speed we are paying for....and frankly, they don't care. They know us mountain folks have no other choice. Sorry to rant....but I feel better now.

Trot to your coffee maker and pour a cup......and enjoy....

Friday, January 22, 2010


Here's a way to support our quilting community while challenging our creativity and sharpening our skills.

AAQ (Alliance for American Quilts), a non-profit organization has announced their annual fund raiser challenge contest, 'New from Old'. This year they have increased both the prizes and exposure for quiltmakers who enter. Because the contest is a fund raiser, all quilts become a donation and will be auctioned on ebay Nov. 8 - Dec. 6, 2010 to benefit AAQ and its mission to document, preserve and share the history of quilts and quiltmakers.

The rules are simple....quilts must be 16" x 16" (you have time to make one this small don't you?) The piece needs a 4" sleeve, a label and consist of three layers. Deadline to receive the quilts at AAQ is May 31, GET GOING NOW! Follow this link to obtain detailed information and download an entry form.

Really....keep in mind that this organization benefits us.....Quilters..... Among a multitude of worthy endeavors, AAQ just celebrated the 10th anniversary of Q.S.O.S. (Quilter's SOS - Save Our Stories, archived in the United States Library of Congress). Where you can even find my interview!

I unveiled this piece "Penny Rug Revisited" a short time ago on this blog, but hoped by sharing it again it will jog you into action too. It will be my donation to this very worthy cause. Quiltmaking, and the quilting industry as a whole has transformed my life, providing opportunities I'd never dreamed of.

It feels good to find a way to give back and keep our quilting community strong. (So that IF I ever have grand kids....they too may learn the love of quilting....that's a hint to our Perfect Child and his Perfect Bride!!!) Sorry......I know I'm not supposed to pester on this subject!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I know I said that I've shared the last of the PTA retreat doings.....yet there is one more profound thing I thought I'd share.

Do you believe in Fortune Cookies? Mystics? Nah....neither do I. Mary B. had us each pick a card from a stack she brought......I was thunderstruck when I read mine. One of my doctors gives me an annual lecture about 'stopping to smell the roses'........ Well, really I do....but I do it fast!

I should have just written my name on this card....... I am definitely going to post it in a very visible spot in my home........AND........

.......follow the advice! Hope any of you other 'A" type personalities will do the same!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Our retreat ended with our cravings for 'creative' and 'bonding' time filled for the moment. Here's a final look at what our members created.

You may have noted, my project hasn't been shared's coming....but first I'm trying to overcome an eminent red hand-dyed fabric bleeding problem.....stay tuned. Oh...are my blocks pieced? YUP....that's why it's a problem!

Previously I shared Georgia Bonesteel's partly pieced it is in it's finished glory. We were all reminded of how single large patches can be transformed with the use of clever setting options and color placement.

Leigh Anne had us all seeing stars with this beauty.

Kate and Lynne undertook a very ambitious project that consists of only two blocks made with reproduction shirting type fabrics which they have pooled from their stashes. The staggering number of pieces/units required is in the thousands. String piecing doesn't provide immediate gratification in regard to completed blocks, but these gals had their foot to the pedal the entire time. Can't wait to see the finished quilts.

Janice and Leigh Anne were working on the same design which again reminded us of how very different quilts become given our own fabric choices. The blocks are made using equilateral triangles....fussy cut. The patches within a block can be arranged to provide completely different designs. Fascinating.....this one belongs to Janice.

Here's Leigh Anne's.