Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Kindle, Kindle, Kindle.....I've been hearing, seeing, and thinking about getting one for ages....seriously at least 2 years it's been on my wish list.

So...what's stopped me? Technology......though I can't imagine life w/o a computer or heaven forbid, teaching w/o my live video projection system.....generally technology totally intimidates me.

It's more common than not when tackling a new electronic gadget.....I proclaim....it's broken. Naturally it's operator error and in the long run, I'm happy for my decision.

So...I've had a Kindle on order for about 2 months.....once I finally ordered, they were out of stock. Then I learned a new Kindle model was coming out......for the same price. So, I cancelled the original order and then waited some more. Additionally, there were new Kindle covers to choose from....don't ya just love this red one?

Having a cover is supposed to help make it feel more like a book.....I'm a pretty avid reader so one of my many concerns was would I miss holding/touching/the feel of a book? The cover is flannel lined and will protect the screen from getting scratched.

The new covers come with a built in light. (Which is stored and can be pulled out of the top corner of the cover.) The spot of light you see in the photo came from my overhead light...I couldn't get a good shot of the Kindle with the cover light on. I have to say, I do like this option because the Kindle is not back lit......meaning one couldn't read in the dark....like say on airplanes at night when your seat's overhead bulb isn't working?

I bought this mainly for travel....thinking it'd be easier to transport in the VERY limited space left in my computer bag with all my other equipment. It certainly is less bulky than a hardcover, though surprisingly heavier than I expected.....as heavy if not more than a paperback.

Our local library services such a huge area and is so overused that obtaining current books is nearly impossible....another reason to try this new technology. Of course, where we live....there's no 3-G network to download from......but the Kindle found 'Edge' a slower one to download my first book, 'The Help', in less than 2 minutes.

I'm heading to teaching for Quilt Expo put on by Wisconsin Public TV and Nancy Zieman (of Sewing With Nancy) in Madison, WI next week. Believe it or not, I have 3 flights outbound and 2 returning, and of course with layover time, I should be able to give the Kindle a good trial run....I'll report back.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Despite spending almost the entire afternoon in my studio.....I don't have much to show for my efforts. Most of the time was taken up pressing the batik quilt top. I pressed the blocks as I went along, but due to the (too) many seams to match.....I waited to press the rest until after the blocks and rows were accurately sewn together.

These hours of pressing were not wasted.....oh heck no.......I am admittedly a Bravo TV junkie......okay so now you know one of my vices. Perhaps the pressing took twice the time because I stopped....... with iron in midair, mouth gaping......about every other minute..... as I marveled at the amusing nonsense from shows such as: Flipping Out, Housewives of DC, Design Star, Project Runway......

Happily, I still managed to uncover several hunks of fabric to piece together for the backing that will complement the flavor of the quilt top. The "perfect child" travels frequently for business and pleasure to many exotic and interesting places. He thoughtfully seeks out local fabric for me. These gifts will be perfect for the back to continue the scrappy theme of the quilt top. I guess that means now I need to wash, press, then cut them before I can beging piecing the backing......okay, okay.....I reminding myself to enjoy the process!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This might seem like such a small victory for all you accomplished piecers.....but every time I piece a quilt I gain new respect for that art. Basically, I don't enjoy sitting at the machine doing repetitive sewing. And....I'm getting too dang old to do anything I don't like!

I pieced these blocks from antique batik fabrics that had been in my wonderful MIL's stash. It was to be only large enough to become a couch quilt in the man cave.....but then 'the husband' suggested I enlarge it to hang on our stairway wall.

Okay....so now the darn thing is sewn together....yikes it's big 73" x 90". Of course I'm now going to have to piece a backing.....a lot of piecing since I have no biggish yardage in these colors. Then, the dreaded basting....but the major hurtle will be the quilting.

I still love to hand quilt and do so on my big pieces mainly because I haven't yet conquered free motion quilting and am too much of a perfectionist to learn on anything I like. Which in itself is the problem! Because so many of these batiks are dense.....hand quilting isn't an option. I might just take the easy way out and quilt in the ditch following the black sashing.....KNOWING full well.....quilting in the ditch ain't easy on a home sewing machine while cramming all this fabric in such a small space. Or the really easy way out and find someone to machine quilt it for me....now there's a thought!*!

The final part I actually like.....putting on the binding.......oh dear....maybe I'll just fold this up and 'think' about for awhile longer. My fingers are truly twitching at the thought of all the bead designs I want to play with. I've been traveling so much with my teaching duties this summer that I haven't been creating. I'm determined to get stitching again....know many of you feel the same.....there's never enough time.....

So with this said....I'm now going to open my fabric closet and start digging for backing choices....hoping the tall stacks of material don't suffocate me as they tumble down.

Friday, August 27, 2010


On a recent visit to Seoul, S. Korea our son and wife spotted this shop in a nice historic area near the "Blue House", which is equivalent to America's "White House".

It carried 'cute' (according to our DIL) handbags and shoes...of which she is a collector and is quite an expert! Our son showed the clerks his business card.....obviously with the name Stori.....too funny....they got excited and thought HE was the owner! With some difficulty, due to the language barrier, he was able to clear that up.

A personal observation.....ya know I'm a stickler about litter....it drives me nuts..... Seoul is a very clean city so I was so surprised to see this empty water bottle on the street...... But am still marveling at the name!

Thanks to faithful reader Wendy......here's a link to the stori store......

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


For those of you who are familiar with the "Spritzer Sisters"......the world's smallest quilt guild, (a two person guild) of which I'm a founding member along with SS (Spritzer Sister) Francie Ginnochio....you may be aware of my interest in yard art.

Our guild issued a challenge way back in 1993 to create a 'yard art' theme quilt. I continue to marvel at the often funny, always enduring 'stuff' I see displayed.

I purchased this wonderful piece on our recent trip to Wisconsin....it's made from some sort of machinery gears, pipe, and what look like pieces of a shovel for the leaves.

Of course it's already 'planted' in our yard........in fact has been moved twice so far.

This is "Yard Art Memorial Park" 49" x 40". I wondered what happens to yard art when their owners get tired of it......so I created a cemetery...... The quilt is hand appliqued, hand quilted, features my trademark - 3-D applique, and is very heavily embellished.


It was featured in my book, "The Stori Book of Embellishing", has been published in many magazines and exhibited at numerous shows. Since I am determined to find good homes, especially for my show pieces, this quilt is for sale at a very reasonable price.....email me for details.....or maybe I should auction it off??

Monday, August 23, 2010


Well......my time in Wisconsin has come to an end......but not before helping to cheer the Packers to a pre-season win. Well, okay I was just whooping to the TV. We rarely get Packer games in NC so this was a treat.

Now that I'm on the move again and traveling along, it's amazing what you can find by getting off the interstate.......

Yes......along a two lane road in Corbin, KY......you'll find the birthplace of KFC.

Colonel Sanders is ready to greet his guests.....

This is the home of the first KFC.......which is a living museum and restaurant.....

I didn't realize the old boy owned a gas station where he first began frying his chicken......

.....and a Motor Court.....which hopefully this signage will be readable once it's up on the blog.

Here's a replica of a motel room. Oh....before you can ask......yes, I had KFC for dinner. I selected their pot pie which was delicious. (I had NO idea KFC had anything other than fried chicken!) Seriously, I can barely waddle to and from my car I've been such a bad girl on this trip. Tomorrow I'll get back to reality.....and probably eat only carrot sticks for the next week.

And, in case you are wondering....... I haven't forgotten that this blog's intent was to share my love of quilting......I'll be back on track soon with fabric related posts. Tx's for traveling with me......

Saturday, August 21, 2010


......is even better than it used to be....

I'm guessing it's not often that one's childhood memories are exceeded by the current physical presence of locations/places etc. If it weren't for the cold winters and hot and muggy summers with an over abundance of mosquitoes.....I could live here again.

But first......and this is a first......how cute is this little rubber ducky? (Which I admit looks a bit menacing in this photo but it's really adorable.) One advantage of belonging to both airline and hotel frequent traveler programs is the upgrades awarded from time to time......especially appreciated when you aren't expecting it. An upgrade to a suite on Wed. night brought this surprise sitting on the lip of the jetted tub. Really.....isn't it the little unexpected pleasures that can provide the biggest smiles?

Wisconsin (and the Midwest in general) are such clean & tidy states..... I hate to slam the SE, my new chosen location .....but the amount of trash along road sides, parking lots, and just general sloppiness/junk/unkempt properties is very disturbing to me coming from a state where you don't even see cigarette butts or gum deposited on sidewalks.

It was a joy to walk around and notice how well my hometown has been maintained. When movie theaters are crumbling in many small towns in America....this one, where I spent many happy hours, has been turned into a performing arts center.

The 'modern face lifts' that covered up the facades of many old buildings have been removed and their original glory revealed.

It's a place where beaches are clean and residents can enjoy the water without paying a fee.

Children fill parks......I decided to take this photo from across the street because sadly, in this day and age an adult taking photos of kids in a park might be cause for alarm. Yet, that didn't stop me from recognizing this remarkable scene......

My journey continues........hope some of my muttering brings some good memories for you too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Seriously, these photos say it all......

Do you know what these are?

Camouflage dusters!! Toooo funny......

A restaurant's display.......a nod to fishing and water sports on the many lakes in Wisconsin.

Yup.....a good ole fishing trophy.

And another....ya gotta love it......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I wait all year to get back to Wisconsin and one of the first things I do is head for Culver's to indulge myself.

I barely hit the state line before pulling into their parking lot...... This fast food chain is known for their 'butter burgers' and custard. I've never even tasted their burgers......instead I spend my calories on a Chocolate Concrete Malt......all 1,177 of them.

But hey, after looking up the calorie count, I feel somewhat redeemed......because I've also covered 58% of my calcium needs today as well as 46% of Vitamin A......so really, I needed this!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So, okay it's official.....I've been flirting with retirement for several years.....actually 'the husband' has been dreaming of MY retirement since he did in 2000!

I've made a decision.....when Brett Farve retires....then I will too.....

PS....I've gotten several panicky emails from some of the blog followers.....just to reassure you, cause I guess not EVERYONE is following the Brett saga....he's waving hello......not goodbye. So, I won't be waving goodbye for awhile either!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm heading off for a sentimental journey this week back to my hometown.......blogging will probably be infrequent.

Recently I learned of a website that has our high school's yearbooks online. Since mine were all lost in our wet basement years ago, I had fun browsing.

I got to the page where my 1964 senior photo (left), next to my twin sister, was listed. Frankly, I gasped. After living all our lives thinking we were fraternal twins, in 2001 with DNA testing, we learned we were in fact identical. Neither of us thought we looked alike......but in these photos, despite looking in different directions (kind of like how we lived our lives which is interesting) I see so many resemblances.

So.....this post is dedicated to my twin, Nancy Theobald Willmas (1946-2002). Her spirit will always shine like a thousand points of light!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The locals told us all winter that they hadn't remembered such a cold and snowy time for 30 years. Now they are saying the heat and humidity we've had most of the summer hasn't been experienced for at least 10 years.....okay....I sure hope so.....

One very pleasant surprise though is how well our landscaping is doing.......

I haven't been able to grow decent basil plants ever since we moved here in 2006...... This year I'm cutting as fast as it grows so we can have homemade pesto all winter.

Hope your summer has been enjoyable wherever you are. Fall must be right around the corner because NFL pre-games have started and the first email regarding the 2010 NFL Suicide Pool that my nephew organizes has been received.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My Great Smoky Mountain Quilting Tour is now a happy memory......

BUT.....Yeah.......it's wonderful to have another trip to look forward to...... Mark your calendars: Canada/New England Quilting Cruise - Sept. 1-11, 2011. Download the brochure here. (click on Quilting.)

I'm thrilled to be welcoming a very talented artist, Judy Simmons who will join me as we each teach fall inspired cruise projects. Included in the price of the cruise is a total of 3 full days of classes with both of us in dedicated classroom space and complimentary supply kits.

Here's some temptation for you....... Judy will guide you in creating your own 'A Walk In The Woods' wall hanging. You'll learn the exciting and easy technique of transferring real leaves from paper to fabric.

We will be reminding you from time to time about all the fabulous fun activities we'll be enjoying......as we travel together!

Friday, August 13, 2010

DAY 7 - GSMAT - continued

Our tour is coming to an end.......sometimes when I plan these trips...I worry that my anticipation may be greater than the event......definitely not so!

Just off the main lobby at the Inn on Biltmore Estates one can relax in their library for a snack or beverage.

Of course the big attraction is the view......walking paths lead to Antler Village.....and chairs are sprinkled around to enjoy the scenery as well.


Double Yum!!

We've come from far and wide to spend time in the Smoky Mountains......(left to right) Gail (PA), Myrna from Australia, and Carol (TX)

Dodi from Wisconsin had us all in hysterics at dinner.

Part of our big happy group....I'll miss you ladies!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Wednesday morning everyone was up and ready to get on the first shuttle to travel to the 'house' for our last full day at the Biltmore Estate.

It's been unusually warm here in the mountains so Sara, Carol, Helen and I decided to head to the formal floral gardens and conservatory while it was still fairly cool.

You'll see beautifully arranged plantings, staircases, stone walls, and arches everywhere you look.

Many trees, including fruit trees are trained to grow along stone walls...... What an easy way to harvest the flowers and fruit!

The color combinations are breathtaking......

A view from a grape arbor tunnel.

I loved this water feature.......especially the small glass balls.

The formal rose garden was lovely. The maintenance must be constant.....we saw almost no flower heads past their prime.
The conservatory is filled with artfully arranged plant displays.

I hadn't been familiar with this tree.....a Flowering Maple from Brazil.

This is a Silk Floss Tree.....

I was happy to see Horsetails on display........this plant has been the subject of my last two woolfelt quilts. One piece is still for sale here.

Here's an example of the attention to detail you'll find everywhere at the Biltmore. What clever door handles to the garden shop!

Our farewell dinner will conclude our day......stay tuned......