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As many of you know from an earlier blog, Sunday night was Mom and Dad’s mystery date celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss. Originally John had come up with what seemed to be a really neat plan. Apparently there is an island in the SF bay that has a light house and a restaurant. It is billed as “A hidden jewel.” Perfect! Dad loves boats - Mom loves lighthouses. After a bit of investigation, we realized the island was a barge and the accessibility was not swell. So we decided that this would be something to try some other time. Now where? With the aid of my girlfriend Cheryl (you can catch our pod cast on my site) we came up with the perfect solution, The Cliff House. It is a wonderful restaurant right on the Pacific Coast that has recently been remodeled. In its hay day it was a giant bath house. We got the very best table in the house and the weather was incredible providing an excellent sunset. Along with John and myself, our daughter came and a couple that we have known forever. In fact, I worked in their sporting goods store in high school. The food was great, the restaurant more than accommodating and the company the very best. Let’s go for 60 more Mom and Dad!
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We just received news that the grand prize winner of the $100,000 Quilt Challenge will be announced Tuesday Morning, January 9, 2007 on NBC TV’s Today Show. We have been told the winner will be there to receive “her” check and show her quilt.

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We’ll we are starting week number two of the Quilt Show website. We’re almost to 3000 members! YEAH! We are thrilled with your support. In case you haven’t noticed we have official Quilt Show colors. They are the colors used on the icon heads and buttons throught out the site - purple, yellow, red(slightly pink), limeish green, and a medium blue. We’re having so much fun with the colors that we’re even getting fabric to match so we can make Quilt Show Quilts! There is another fabric surprise coming this spring. I’d like to tell you all about it… but, we’ll… I’d like to, but I can’t!

How many of you have a guild meeting this week? Please make an announcement and give them our address. It’s always good to say THE quilt show and emphasize that the website is www.thequiltshow.com. More good news tomorrow - I can’t wait to tell you… but I have to!
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Our colors! Would anyone like the pattern for this log cabin variation? Paper pieced.

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Hi, it’s John, Alex’s DH. I’m pinch hitting for Alex today. It’s her parent’s 60th anniversary party this weekend. (Details will follow later).

Well it’s a new year. I think I am the only one left on the planet who still makes resolutions, but I refuse to stop. Alex never makes resolutions. In the time it would take a normal person to write down what they want to do, Alex usually has it done. Ricky would have done it, stored it on a memory stick and filed it alphabetically. But for me it’s a time of renewal- new ideas, new hope, new commitments and new directions. I always need to set up some resolutions. My first resolution each year is to do things with the family.
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Sometimes when you do things together, everyone is happy.

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Sometimes not everyone is happy.

My personal improvement resolution this year is to finish what I start. I have a habit of being a good starter and not a good finisher. Well this year is going to be different. Here’s how I’m going to do it. I’m going to…what?… The Dallas/Seattle game is on!?…

 

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Story Submitted by: RickyTims

The voice on the phone was friendly and enthusiastic and drew me into the project quickly. Karen Risberg, who lived in my hometown of Pembroke Pines, Florida, needed help completing a scrappy log cabin quilt begun by her mother, Jacqueline Tracy Palmer of Long Island, New York, prior to her passing a few years earlier. She had come upon the project, which was being made for Karen, while going through her mother's things. Could I help her? I could make the time, I had the skill, how could I refuse. I was expecting Karen to bring over a quilt well under way. What I got was bags of cut strips, boxes of yardage and scrap fabric, and written pattern directions. Each block required 64 pieces of cut fabric, and not one block was made. I had to ensure Karen understood that this was not going to be a quick or inexpensive project. A lot of time was involved in its completion. "Whatever you charge to finish this quilt will be a small fraction of what I'd have to pay for the psychotherapy if I threw all this out," Karen said. It proved an interesting adventure, working with fabrics selected by someone else, fabrics that I would not likely have selected. I tend to work in a relatively planned manner, but this quilt was totally scrappy. I tend to use current fabrics, Jacqueline's were calicos and 30s repro fabrics. I prefer lush colors and bold patterns, and hers tended toward the primary colors and small designs. It took several weeks to complete. As I cut and assembled the fabrics for the blocks, I gained a sense of the person who had envisioned the quilt. A free and caring spirit. A woman who loved to play, to have fun, who gave of herself and was loved in return. As I watched the quilt come together, I came to appreciate Jacqueline's scrappy approach and intuition. My own quilting style and sense of color grew as the quilt grew. The quilting was splendidly done by local long-arm quilter Barbara Lacy, with whom I shared the story. She became a willing collaborator in its completion. Bound and labeled, I took the quilt to Karen. She set it on her sofa in the living room, where she felt certain her mom would have wanted it to be, and we admired it, and her mom's vision. Planned before her passing, completed with the help of others after, now part of her life forever, that quilt was a final bond between Karen and her mother. Beverley Hilton, APR, CPRC Pembroke Pines, Florida

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Suddenly out of the bushes, about a football field down the path, out jumps LIZZIE! I stopped and said, “do you see that?” John, wished he had said no, but we were stunned! A BLACK AND WHITE JUMPIE STINKIE DOG GHOST!

Seconds after the incredible vision, the owners followed out from behind from the bushes. When we finally met up them I was crying all over again. I explained the story, and the wife looked at her husband and exclaimed with glee, “hey, you can get rid of that dog today!” HA HA was his response.

Finally, as we were driving home, the song Bad Day by Daniel Powter came on the radio. See, Lizzie really was my ever faithful companion taking care of us even after the end!

In the mean time, I have a new assistant. She secured the job the day after we lost Lizzie. She found us! She is of a different persuasion, and has settled quite nicely into our life style. I named her Sparrow (for Captain Jack Sparrow) and after 30 years of no animals in bed policy John lets her sleep with us every night. The three of us spoon under the covers keeping snuggly warm.
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Dad made Sparrow new digs for Christmas. Check out the eye makeup - just like Captain Jack!

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on the way to the quilt show. In 1993 my dad was visiting me in St. Louis and we decided to take a day bus tour to the AQS show in Paducah, KY - three hours away. We were to meet the bus and leave at 6am. I set an alarm, but, well. ahm…. I got the am and pm mixed up. I woke up at 5:45, bolted out of bed, ran to dad’s room - woke him up - said - WE GOTTA LEAVE NOW! - With no shower, no shave, we pulled clothes on, and drove like a bat out of hell to meet the bus - 15 minutes away. We were going to be late - 10 minutes as least.

About a half mile from the meeting spot a bus was coming towards us. I’m thinking , “It must be OUR bus.” So we flagged it down and sure enough - it was. They had waited about 5 minutes and then took off. I think they were still looking for us when we came upon them because they pulled into a parking lot and picked us up. Finally we were able to relax - we were on the bus. As things began to calm down I looked at dad - he looked at me. I shook my head in disbelief. He looked at me and said, “I forgot my teeth!”
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At dad’s 80th birthday party.

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…with the sound of music and more snow (seven more inches). Tonight there was a ‘house concert’ at our neighbors. They invited Accoustic Eidolon -a husband/wife duo - he plays double neck guitar (with 14 strings!) and she is a cellist. They have been selling out 3000 seat auditoriums and we had the pleasure of hearing them in an intimate setting not more than a 100 yard walk in the fresh snow. It takes a lot to impress me, but I was blown away - so much so that I just HAD to tell you. Outsanding, beautiful, fun, and skillful. There is nothing like them. I just went to their site (http://www.acousticeidolon.com) they have music clips. Just refresh their main page to get another music/video clip. I bough all six CDs!

That’s La Veta - my slice of heaven. Who would think a tiny town of 900 would have so much to offer. We’re just a remote little mountain town, but I think the reason why I love it so much is that I feel like I am a part of something wonderful. We’re a REAL community and people get to know each other. Maybe that’s why I love quilters so much. They are the best group of people on the planet and you can get to know them so easily. I hope our World Quilt Community will feel the same way.
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Accoustic Eidolon - just wow!

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As you can imagine, the past week has been super duper fun, busy and exciting. The part that has been really overwhelming is the intricate computer stuff (understanding the ins and outs of what it takes to run a site like this - words I have never heard before)! As you can imagine, Ricky is a genius regarding these things and I am trying really hard to get in line. I will never be a Ricky Tims when it comes to these matters, but at least I don’t want to embarrass myself. So, that said, in the midst of Ricky’s involvement with getting the site ready for us, I would call him and say, “now how do you do this on Power Point?” With little or no sleep, he would gently guide me through the process, ALWAYS the total gentleman. It has been crazy, but in the very best way!

Speaking of having help, every once and a while I get an email with a query usually ends with, “Could you have someone on your STAFF look into it, pretty please?” My staff? Hmm, okay! So I would glance at my feet and ask my trusty, faithful companion, Lizzie, if SHE could handle it for me. Yes, Lizzie was our black and white, jumpy stinky dog. I rescued her from a really, really bad home -basically it was a drug dealer’s haven with dozens of dogs to spare. The local vet (who lived down the stree from the ‘action’) told me about the puppies. Thirteen years ago, in the back seat of my white ford Taurus, Lizzie came to Livermore and joined our family. Never having a dog before, little did I know what we were in for - she stole our hearts!

Sadly the day came when we had to say good-bye to her. I don’t do things like this gracefully. I cried so hard my head got stuffed up tight like trying on jeans that are two sizes too small. Getting past the horror of that day, we decided to head for the hills that afternoon. On a back country road I almost threw up in John’s new car (but I didn’t). It was really, really BAD.

The next day John wanted to go for a walk, to the secret place we always took her. As we wandered into Lizzie’s favorite wilderness, John said he wanted to go to Lizzie’s favorite water hole. “No way, No way!”, I said, and we started bickering like an old married couple. Suddenly, from out of the bushes (and I mean Nowhereland), about a football field’s distance down the path - out jumps Lizzie! (to be continued)
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Picture of Lizzie

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In developing this site, we knew that some of you would feel left out because you only have a dial up connection. Please don’t let that cause you one moment of grief. You can still join our community and participate in the chats, forum and blog. When the first season comes to an end, the episodes will be available on DVD. We want EVERY quilter in the WORLD to be a part of our community! Please tell your quiltling freinds and help us get the word out, it’s power to the people (now that ages us, doesn’t it)!

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