“Pendleton Inspired” Block #5 Instructions Posted

In case you missed my earlier message on Facebook, the “Pendleton Inspired” Block #5 instructions  have been posted at BOMquilts.com!

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Here are the first four blocks as well, in case you have not been following along with this BOMquilts.com’s originally designed block of the month quilt:

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Block 4

Block 3

Block 2

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Block 1

The FREE original block of the month quilt pattern, “Pendleton Inspired”, can be found at BOMquilts.com,   This beautiful quilt is sponsored by AbbiMays.com and Aurifil threads.  Enjoy!

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    A T-Shirt Quilt in the Making for a Spencer

    I was hired by a lawyer to be his legal assistant/secretary/gopher in 1993, before my husband and I had children.  The gal who called me about the attorney’s selection of me had the last name that was my maiden name, Spencer.

    On my first week of work in what was literally a broom closet converted into an office that we shared, I just *had* to ask her about her last name.  Once I found out that it was her married name, then we talked about her husband’s family.  And this information gave me goosebumps!  Her husband’s parent’s names were the EXACT first and last names of the oldest uncle and his wife on my paternal side of the family.  NO WAY!  I knew that my aunt and uncle had already passed away, so I knew it wasn’t my immediate kin.  But, then I was shocked to find out that her husband’s name was also one of my first cousin’s names.  (queue the Twilight Zone music).  We were both thunder-struck.  Though, her now ex-husband was probably kin to us somewhere down the proverbial genealogical tree – it was fun to share Spencer stories.

    Then, she got pregnant and she and her husband moved to the north of Austin and she went on about her business of being a working woman, wife and expectant mother many miles away from our broom closet.  I attended a baby shower for her, just before her daughter was born in December 1994.  Unbeknownst to me, when I went to her baby shower, I was pregnant, also, and had no idea!  I had been told I had a tipped girl-part and could probably not ever get pregnant – boy did the ‘practicing’ physicians get THAT one wrong!  About a month or so before my due date, she and her baby girl came to my wedding shower.  It seemed we found ourselves together, even when we were miles and miles apart.

    And our daughters just graduated from high school in May.  Our parallel journeys will continue as I believe her son is in the same grade as our second daughter, in different schools miles apart, of course.

    (Another aside, without even knowing it, we both have yellow labs, too!)

    Because I try to gift close family and friends with quilts when they are babies, graduates (high school or college) or weddings – I reached out to this gal and asked her if I could make her daughter a quilt for a graduation gift.  She readily accepted my offer and told me her daughter wanted a t-shirt quilt.  I was a bit leery, given that the first one I had made was not of the quality that I desired, I was willing to try again.  I did a day’s worth of research because the first one I made had stabilizer that was way too stiff for my preference.  I found a much more pliable stabilizer and had her purchase all of the necessary fabric, stabilizer and to send me the t-shirts she wanted to use in the quilt.

    Yesterday, I went home from my office much earlier than usual because I just didn’t have the gumption to waste time work on the computer.  I read a couple more tutorials (because my memory is not to be trusted anymore) online about making a t-shirt quilt and then got busy cutting up the t-shirts they wanted me to use.  Once I had everything cut out, my youngest daughter helped me lay all of the shirts on our bed and I took a picture of them and sent it to my friend – just to make sure I got all of the shirts (front or back) that they had asked me to use.

    While waiting for their confirmation, I began pressing the stabilizer to the t-shirt blocks and was VERY happy to note that the stabilizer was, in fact, *much* better than the previous one I’d used.  I got down to the end of the stabilizer she had purchased and still had three shirts left to press.  DRATS.  She is purchasing more and sending it to me and then I can square up the blocks and begin putting the quilt together!

    I’m excited about this quilt – both from a quilter’s standpoint as well as it being gifted to a young lady I made a baby quilt for 18+ years ago.  The only problem?  The college she is going to is that one in Texas whose colors are maroon and white….and that is what the quilt fabric has all over it.  🙂

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      DISHONEST BUSINESS PRACTICES: Barnes & Noble

      If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you may remember that I won a Nook (first edition) in December of 2010 from our local library’s essay contest.  I also spoke about my Nook and how much of a blessing it was with my newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) – here and here.

      I have spent HUNDREDS of dollars, if not more, to buy eBooks through Barnes & Noble.  I bought my husband a Nook.  A secret Santa bought ALL FOUR of my children Nooks this past Christmas.  I was happily convinced that we were going to be a Nook family.

      I was so very happy with my first generation Nook, but I (selfishly and greedily) wanted more.  I earned a bit extra money this past year and my husband agreed that I could get a Nook Color, since I was not only an avid reader but also because it truly was something that helped me cope with the symptoms caused by my MS.  I loved it, especially when I traveled, I didn’t need to take my computer along as I could check my eMail via my Nook Color.  I rarely went anywhere without it and it continued to help me be able to deal with my MS symptoms.

      About two weeks ago, my Nook Color went wacky.  That’s about the best term I can use for what happened.  It would not charge fully or even partially charge.  It would switch between screens when unplugged – making itself and me crazy enough that it would just shut down completely.  The only time it worked as it should was when it was plugged in – which truly was not a viable solution for me because I wasn’t always near a plugin.

      I had my husband find the receipt for when I purchased it and we took it to the big box office store that we bought it from.  They refused to help me with it, since I did not purchase their extended warranty.

      And let me interject here a thought I had just after this happened – if the extended warranty is at least half of the purchase price of a new product, there were OBVIOUSLY more people having trouble with the product.  I didn’t take that as a warning sign until my psycho Nook Color went on a bender.  You can bet I will ask about the price of an extended warranty before we purchase ANY future electronics in the future!

      I tried the chat help on the BN.com website, but except for some simple manipulations, they could not help me and referred me to the second tier help with a toll-free number for me to call.

      I took the time to call Nook and ask for help on 6/11/2013.  “Roxie” did not speak English very well, which was my first clue that this issue would not be solved to my satisfaction – if I cannot understand a customer service rep, why would I expect her to understand me???  The minute I mentioned the power cord and the inability for my Nook to charge completely, she refused to listen to the rest of my complaints.  I *knew* it was not the power cord, but she insisted on sending me out a new one and asked me to give it three days after receipt to make sure it worked.  I VERY SPECIFICALLY asked if my warranty would be extended because of this issue and she assured me it would.  I asked again, at least once if not twice about my warranty (the original warranty was good until 6/17/2013) and she continued to assure me that she extended the warranty until the issues was resolved.

      After three days with the new power cord, the problem was NOT solved and I called the second tier help line again.  This time, I got someone named “Karina” – date was 6/18/2013.  She told me the warranty was NOT extended by “Roxie” so my Nook Color was no longer covered under the original one-year warranty.  This made no sense based on my communications with “Roxie” (who either lied to me or did not understand me) – but she assured me that it had expired.  I nearly blew a gasket – told her EXACTLY what my conversation with “Roxie” entailed and … wait, I DID blow a gasket.  I was so very upset over the whole ordeal (and for those of you who follow my MS life, stress is one of the biggest factors in exacerbating MS symptoms).  “Karina” put me on hold to talk to a supervisor about extending my warranty to cover the issue that had never been resolved.  When she came back on the phone, she informed me she was authorized to send me a NEW (emphasis added) Nook Color and that I should be receiving it within the week.  I had to agree to send the wacky one back on their dime, which I agreed to.  The kicker was that my NEW Nook Color only had a three-month warranty.  Of course, if you think about it, that let them off the hook much sooner.  I had researched problems with this electronic device and could not keep up with all of the issues it was having.  I now knew the product sucked and I was pretty much screwed UNLESS I had purchased the extended warranty from our local office store.

      Today, I received my NEW Nook Color in the mail.  When we got home, I opened it – only to find this sticker on the end of it (I did open the box so the torn sticker is by my hand, it did not arrive that way):

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      I am sure you can imagine the colorful language I used when I saw that sticker. My NEW Nook Color was, in fact, new to me – but NOT new from Barnes and Noble!  Why in the heck would I want a pre-owned, refurbished machine that probably went wacko like my original one???  And it probably wouldn’t go wacko until long after that lovely three-month warranty ran out.  This is like purchasing a used automobile and finding out after you took it home that it had been in an accident and that information was never disclosed to you.  This NEW Nook Color will promptly be sent back to B & N along with the wacky one.

      Is this really how to run a business as big a B&N is?  Is it really necessary to LIE to customers?  I am quite a Pollyanna and had the expectation that the B&N folks would follow through with what they promised me.  Land sakes alive, I am extremely unhappy.  I will read the books I already own and save up my money for a Kindle from Amazon or some other tablet that allows for me to read books.  I adamantly REFUSE to be treated the way Barnes & Noble has treated me.  It is not right.  It is a swift kick in my hind end for my blind trust in all things good and I have purchased the last book from Barnes & Noble unless they right the wrongs with me.  I will just re-read the books I’ve purchased and wait for whatever comes next.

      Barnes & Noble, at the very least, you are DISHONEST to at least THIS consumer.  My money will NOT line your coffers anymore – unless you make this right.

      To my friends, please feel free to share this blog post and re-tweet it with as many folks as you can.  My bottom line is that my MS symptoms are in jeopardy and my children deserve to have as much of a mother as I can be – and I need an eReader to be that mom because I’m not only allergic to the print in a book, flipping pages in a book or magazine makes my MS act up and I get extremely dizzy.  It’s not just for entertainment anymore.  Not only has Barnes & Noble lied to me, I believe they are just as liable for my deteriorating health these past few stressful weeks.  Unhappy is as nice of a word I can use to show my disdain for being screwed by a big corporation who has forgotten that customer service and customer satisfaction is what continues to grow a business.

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        Taking a Quilting Break

        Have you ever had just no ambition to quilt?  It does not hit me very often, but when it does – my sewing room remains behind closed doors to the point that I don’t even want to look at it or anything that’s on the other side of the door.  I feel like the coach who asks for a timeout when a player’s head isn’t in the game.

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        This week has been one of those weeks.  I am home without adult supervision as my husband, son and daughter are off camping in two different locations.  I only have the two older girls at home and they are pretty self-sufficient.  They are even old enough to tell me if they are bored or that they want to do something with me.  For instance, after my nap yesterday, the girls both came into my bedroom and plopped onto my bed and just visited with me.  No place to go, no place to be – just a nice quiet discussion without drama.  Those moments in our days always leave my heart soaring.

        Normally, I can’t wait to get into my sewing room and get creative.  I have plans!  I have ideas!  I have way more to say through quilting!

        NOT this week, though.

        I have original designs and patterns printed out, just waiting for me.  And waiting.  Waiting.

        Sometimes, I find it’s good to step back and take stock of myself, my family, my husband, my children, even my quilting – and above all else, my relationship with God.

        This week has been that week for me.  I cannot predict when this lack of quilted love will strike me, but when it does, it hits me in full force – I don’t even pick up a pin that may have dropped on the floor.  I want nothing to do with any type of quilting or sewing.  NOTHING!

        Of course, this week would have been PERFECT for me to have quilted.  Without two of our four kids at home, I had all the time in the late afternoons and evenings to quilt to my heart’s content – if only my heart were into it.

        I will force myself to at least put together the next “Pendleton Inspired” block of the month block this evening – but, will leave my other options for quilting on the table, just to see if I have the gumption to do anything further.  I’m hoping the mood for quilting comes back soon as I feel like a special part of me is missing.

        Do you ever feel like taking a break from quilting?  If so, what do you do?

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          THIS is What it’s All About

          Yesterday, we were blessed to go see a local girlfriend, who gave birth to their second child on June 9th.  Their older daughter (all of seven-years-old) was in my Girl Scout troop two years ago.  And that little “S” was the highlight of my Girl Scout weeks – always a bit hyper but always 100% sweet.  She then took a liking to our family and wouldn’t you know it – her favorite people in our family are our son-man and my husband.  Such babe magnets.  But she likes us girls a bit, too.  🙂

          Little “S” rarely greets us without a smile and a hug.  And they’re good hugs, too!

          We missed little “S’s” birthday so we had a gift for her first:

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          Her very own diaper bag!  Or a purse, whichever she chooses she wants to use it for.

          After my daughters had had their fill of that precious baby boy, we got down to business of the baby’s gift.  Of course, those of you who do what I do should have already figured out what the baby’s gift was:

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          A baby quilt!  We agreed he probably wouldn’t need it much since we’re in hot Texas, but it could be a great blanket to lay him on the sofa or floor with.  His mommy thought it was beautiful and the colors were perfect for them (it even matched the sofa!).

          For this quilter, there is no better gift than a quilt that should last for a very long time and become a treasured gift long after the baby grows older.  My heart swells with pride each time I give the gift of a quilt to someone special.  It’s my own treasured memory then, and it feels so good to share my passion with others.

          This quilt was designed by me but my (third) foster mother, who wintered with us earlier this year, pieced and both hand- and machine-quilted it.  From the designer’s standpoint, she done my design proud.

          BONUS:  Baby Pigs <squeal>!

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