Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm at home today in my Studio. Doing the typical day-off dance in my pajamas; quilt a little, surf a lot and REPEAT..
Todays news about a Wal-Mart employee being trampled to death by shoppers after crashing down the doors really disgusted me.Firstly, I have been a Wal-Mart employee more than once in previous lives. I currently have a love-hate relationship with the retailer,which I admit I'm not exactly proud of. I have been employed in more retail postions throughout my adult life than I care to admit.For this reason I refuse to participate in the Black Friday
consumer freak show and the yearly Holiday consumerism.To this day I personally avoid Holiday decorating and music.
Last season I worked at a Gap Outlet in a popular local outlet mall that lures people from many different countries. Everyone was scheduled to work a shift on the DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING STARTING AT 12 MIDNIGHT. My schedule started at@ 4-6 am ( I can't remember specifics due to my preferred coping method of blocking out unpleasant memories). All empoyees were encouraged to sign up a friend as a "work buddy" and that person would be entitled to the employee discount for a limited amount of time. My sister, a devout consumer, was up to the task(not surprisingly.)
The Mall management had asked employees to park a couple miles away from the mall so shoppers could have access to all of the parking. They would be shuttle bus-ing us to the mall.
I didn't feel this was a safe option due to the surrounding neighborhoods and found a spot in a nearby county office lot.
I had never participated in a super early Black Friday as a consumer, but had of course worked on that day in a typical time frame.When we arrived in the VERY EARLY AM at the mall I was blown away at the amount of people EVERYWHERE, not to mention the crowds in the store.
It looked like a bomb had gone off inside the store! There was literally merchandise strewn allover the floor and hanging off fixtures and in haphazard heaps on tables.
Again the anger and disgust of the situation came over me like so many other times when I had to force myself to walk into the store of my employment, fighting the sick feeling in my stomach after merely pulling into the parking lot.
What I'm trying to get at is this:
I'm shocked, saddened and disgusted by this event. How could anyTHING on sale be of such importance that it could cause a person to participate in a MOB MENTALITY??

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ladies...GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!!!!!


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago....

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote

(Lucy Burns)

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

Dora Lewis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have car pool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The
right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history , social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco and Bingo night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

Wilson was a Democrat

Read more:


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Snow ~ Baad Foto

Sorry no pics of frozen precipitation but believe me when I tell you my front yard is the premier magnet for snow in NW Indiana. I had to bust out the snow boots to get to my truck to find the snow brush so I could clean off my car. Heavy wet stuff and it aint even Halloween yet.
I suffered a bit of ridicule at work because apparantly I came in looking like Nanook Of the North. No snow on the way to work or anywhere near the building.?!
I will be prepared though...last winter the old truck blew a tire at 04;30 am and I had to walk back home on the coldest day we had yet.
so don't even start with me.
We had an ISO compliance meeting today. Nothing exciting but since I was shipped off to a different department today , I went to it before the rest of my usual coworkers.
You would have thought I had come back from some secret SPY mission...some people need to get a life.
Speaking of just that... highlight of my day? : homemade pizza at lunch and ice cream!
Lowpoint? Tack welding brackets for braces for 9 hours.C-O-M-A !
Several weeks ago the entire workplace had their pics taken for new ID badges and security system. There was an expensive looking camera on a tripod and a backdrop and everything. It looked like a real photo shoot. Today we get our new badges which look like they were printed on a home printer set to the rough draft setting. My head looks like a pumpkin. A better shot could have been made by my freakin cell phone.
Speaking of Halloween........
So.Very. Bad. Everybody was complaining about it and tomorrow should be very entertaining checking out the casualties.
I threatened to paste a pic of one of my chickens over my head shot.
(Scroll up and down quickly. See! We all look a LOT alike!)

Seriously! Who could tell the difference ??I'm so sure.
We're all a lovely golden orangey ...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Silk Scarves Commission

Earlier this summer I was approached by my Aunt who asked if I would be interested in creating a piece for her.
She had been wearing and collecting silk scarves for most of her professional life, purchasing from artists and when she had an important event or occasion to commemorate.
Unfortunately her home sustained a water leak into the basket which contained almost every single scarf she had amassed. The scarves were ruined by the dyes rubbing off on one another ,but were saved in hopes of salvaging to another purpose.
As a quilter I am, of course, familiar with this concept of converging disparate parts of textiles into a newly useable form.
This will be the first time I have constructed a piece from mostly silk and also the first time I blog about the project process from start to finish.
I have a simple design idea to start out with, but am open to the prospect of the inevitable evolution of the finished product.

Laura Armeta Barnes 1923-2008

Christmas 1964 and 2006
Last Wenesday evening my Grandma passed away. She had been in the Alzheimer's unit at a local nursing home for the past 16 months.Our family had hoped and prayed for a peaceful passing ; she had diminished to a confused whisper of herself both mentally and physically. My Mom ,myself and Grampa were there when she left. She was probably waiting for all family members to come say goodbye, somehow. I couldn't visit on a regular basis, fearful that this newer memory of her would be unbearable and somehow override all the fond childhood memories. I was the first Grandchild ,born on their 22nd wedding anniversary.
after the initial shock of seing her so close to the end of her life,I felt a stange sense of calmness and accepting. Appropriately enough, my Mom and I were with her at the end ,pulling threads through on a quilt that needed to be done by that Friday for our Quilt Guild show that weekend.I don't think she would have thought it was a pretty quilt, but she would have been helping us finish it just the same.
My Grandma was the pure definition of the word. My Mom's Mother, full of kindness,generosity,grace and warmth.She was an accomplished seamstress, tailoring and sewing countless garments for her children and grandchildren. Always there to hem or alter a garment when we were growing up. Her love of "material" was passed on though my mom and myself. I have many fond memories of going to the fabric store with her and spending time in her sewing room which smelled like emeraude perfume and spray sizing.My sister and I laughed at our too long dress pants for the funeral. She was trying to hem hers, I gave up and had brought the painters tape.Our Grandma had spoiled us with her willingness to sew for us.
The funeral service infortunately , in my eyes, was an unfortunate dis-service. I had not been to many funerals but I thought the whole idea was to give a happy snapshot of that person's life. The pastor told stories that were for sure out of context for they were given to him by family members. Somehow they were reduced to the dogmatic delarations of the consequences of Sin ....etc....blah blah.
I was so very offended by this man's proclamations that had I known , I would have gotten up and (as my Aunt Kathy so perfectly stated "Sit down buddy, I'm telling the stories,I'll let you know when I'm done!") given a more accurate portrayal of the love ,kindness and grace that was my Grandma.
My Grandma was 40 years old when I was born on their wedding anniversary.She would have been 85 this December 11,2008.
Myself at 44, I hope to continue to remember how my Grandma lived her life, and to hopefully somehow follow her example.If I live to be the same age I have 40 years more to strive to live my life to the fullest .
As she would say "I'd better get busy!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shroomage!! and Vintage Quilt Tops

Whoops!! these are so fab I had to post twice..! Enjoy

hey I finally cleaned off my desk so I can find my computer!! how YOU DOIN?
No it's NOT a giant golfball....D found this when he was mowing the lawn last time .....and we have had some rain since then ( yeah SOME!!!!!) and I pesuaded him to leave it till I could get a pic of it and or cook it!! I looks like the over grown nuclear( nuke-U-lar) version of the ones you buy from the Kroger......Now I don't exactly have a "Field guide to Mushrooms in North America" and I wont eat it but damn I sure is curious about what it will look like when I slice it UP!!! has been a stressful summer what with the job market being a tough nut to crack but I have landed another job(finally!) this time it's a real one with the potential for the whole -range- of- benefits- package AND they feed us lunch...for FREE CAUSE ITS A 4 DAY WORK WEEK...10 hrsM-Th Fridays off...this is week 3 and thankfully they are teaching me other things besides what was originally intended..which is GOOD cuse I tend to get bored......and they've got me up and around and moving which is good to cause I tend to slip into a coma if i have to sit at a desk(which is what I was doing the first week and a half.
Here are 2 vintage quilt tops I snagged at the Shipshewana Antique fair last month. We go to my family's lake cottage for the yearly SUMMER quilting retreat when it's happening and always find some lovelies. (ssshhhhh the trick is to ditch your friends and go off by yourself if you are going to snag the good stuff cause they are looking for same!!)


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


SAFARI BABY QUILT 42.5x51 INCHES Drapery Weight Brushed Flannel Twill (both sides)
Outline Quilted Neutral Colors perfect for any baby!! $75.00

GRUNGE PLAID PATCH QUILT ( custom matching pillow covers are available for an extra charge)83x73 INCHES Drapery Weight Plaid patches on front, garment weight flannel on back. Utility quilted in large X design. Perfect for the "outdoorsy alternative dude getting the band back together while eating pizza with the family dog in the basement " types.$ 150.00
SPRING PATCH ( custom pillow covers available for extra charge) 74.5X77 inches
Fresh, different and one of a kind!!! Would be lovely in a young girls room , yet cool enough for a teenager. Top Fabric imported from Germany, muslin backing and binding.$175.00

I've been partially unemployed since Mid-June and it's starting to get pretty scary around here. I've been looking and applying for jobs since then but as any of you job seekers's slim pickens out there.
All new materials (batting and fabrics) 100% cotton ( fabric batting and thread)
Please feel free to e-mail me if you are interested in purchasing or have more questions ( "quilts for sale" subject heading please...... or if you would like to see more photos....(Click on photos for close up viewing..)
Thanks to CRAZYAUNTPURL and PIONEER WOMAN for all the awesome blogging love and
Thank you for supporting HANDMADE IN THE USA!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 APQS Demo Millenniums on Sale!!!!!


These are gently used Demo models ,come with a 1 year warranty and are available for immediate delivery!!Price is $16,400!!!!!!!

E-mail me
  • Susan at
  • with any questions and or your deposit information!!!
    These machines will go fast!!!
    Happy Quilting!!!
  • Wednesday, July 09, 2008


    APQS 72 Hour Price Explosion!!!


    Price Explosion!

    $1,000 of any New or Used APQS Millenium Quilting Sytem.

    Offer Valid July 9th, 10th & 11th only.

    This offer is in addition to the July special of Free Freight.

    Contact APQS at 800-426-7233 or your nearest representative today( THAT WOULD BE ME!!)
  • Susan at

  • to take advantage of this first time ever event!

    Customers must pay for and take delivery of the machine before July 31st to qualify for this special offer.
  • Sunday, June 22, 2008

    Double Rainbow

    Crazy weather this afternoon lead to this awesome double rainbow right outside my door.I've never seen one so vibrant let alone double and one that went the full half circle!

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    APQS Used Millennium Sale!!! also Save $1000 in June

    APQS is offering a nice selection of Pre-0wned Millies for Sale!!
    These machines go fast so
  • for current availability!!!
  • Susan at

  • Used Machine Sale! Serial # 1855 Millennium (2000) $12,800
    Serial # 1927 Millennium (2000) $12,800 Serial #2441 Millennium (2002) $12,800 Serial #2449 MIllennium (2002) $12,800
    Serial # 2742 Millennium (2003) $13,800
    Serial # 3045 Millennium (2003) $13,800
    Serial #3223 Millennium (2004) $14,500 Serial #3548 Millennium (2005) $14,500 Serial #4078 Millennium (2005) $14,500 Serial $4401 Millennium (2006) $14,500 Serial #4512 Millennium (2007) $15,400
    Serial #4553 Millennium (2007) $15,400
    Serial #4624 Millennium (2007) $15,400 Serial #4723 Millennium (2007) $15,400 Serial #G570 Green Millennium $14,000 Serial #G1628 Green Liberty $12,000 Serial #B0114 Liberty (2205) $12,800 For more informaiton on these machines call 800-426-7233 or contact your local representative.
    ALSO APQS is offering a
  • SAVINGS of $1000
  • with the purchase of a new machine.$600 in Cash and $435 in Hartly Products with a NEW MACHINE purchased in the Month Of June!(Me!!Me! Pick Me!!!)See
  • APQS website
  • for complete details!!
  • Susan at

  • | | 1-800-426-7233
  • Monday, May 12, 2008

    S!#T Job (for this I went to college?????)

    Several weeks ago the Boss announced he had a "Shit Job" for us.
    We were assigned 2 walls of the greenhouse and were instructed to scrub the greenstuff off the floor, pull any weeds and wipe down the plastic wall with soapy water.
    You guessed it :Hands and Knees Style!
    (as you can tell there was only one way to get under those benches anyway )
    Naturally we had to heft out the 50 ft hoses first in order to get to where we needed to clean!( and then try to neatly coil them back up!)
    Of course I was indignant. Didn't he have a crew of "laborers" to do this?????
    We are the "Customer Service" crew!!! The "Annual Experts!" "Plant Professionals!"
    (Ok ,so we weren't "Officially" open yet)....but people were still coming in and poking around, asking questions and buying stuff@!!@
    Can you tell I've got a bad attitude towards this kind of task? I'ts bad enough doing your own down and dirty cleaning (from what I can remember) but cleaning someone elses place, business, etc always makes me feel like some sort of subservient lackey. I know !I know! Some people own cleaning services and are paid
    quite well by loyal clients for a job done with, enthusiasm, speed and finesse( Hi Lauri!)
    It ain't me kids. (Not to mention I wasn't getting paid a "housecleaning wage")
    Anyway we plowed through the rest of the day nearly getting the entire area done, knees raw, cold wet and lunch could be served from any spot on the floor of your choosing.

    Tools of the Trade

    Phyllis and Edna sucking it up and working with a smile.

    Note the "Good Housekeeping" T-shirt !I didn't get that memo!!. Edna shows us her "best side!"

    This is what we were scrubbing and weeding under.

    Good times.

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    International Quilt Show, Chicago 2008

    Hello again!
    I have to apologize to the 3 people that actually read my blog. I was told just this weekend that I had to update cause the winter pics were BRINGIN HER DOWN!!
    Well word to your Mother, Mrs. Robinson!!(and I hope she is doing well) I am here for YOU and to say Check This OUT!
    For those of you who don't know, IQS was in Chicago this weekend and my friend and longarm lady co-hort Sandy and I made a promise to take some classes this year. We weren't fortunate enough to get into the AQS program in Paducah this year so we took advantage of the "proximity" of the Chicago IQS and signed up for both of the Classes Bobbie Aug was teaching.(Intro to Quilt Appraisal: insurance and fair market value and Dating Vintage Fabrics)It was an awesome experience
    Here are some shots of a vintage quilt top, another quilt held by the
    FABULOUS Bobbie Aug and a shot of some actual vintage fabric we were allowed to fondle and take pics of throughout the entire duration of the class.
    We headed up EARLY Thursday am and arrived an hour late due to Traffic and weather. I was scheduled to help set up both APQS booths( 4 Lennis No Waiting! and the other Booth featuring George, the Millennium, etc)Thankfully the timing was just right because Jim and Bob ( 2 of the 3 Major Dudes......awesome!) were just getting there too. I learned a ton and can now say with confidence that I could assemble a machine by myself.
    After taking the better part of the day to get the 2 booths set up, we took a break to find the hotel (as if!!!)check in and change into something more Adult -like for the Preview( open to the public for the first time). Now I would like at this time to point out that I am NORMALLY NOT DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED and I consider Sandy to be THE MACGUYVER OF LONGARMERS but kids, we must have SET THE RECORD FOR U TURNS on this trip!!Let's just say we experienced every possible route to and from our Hotel with in a 3 day span.
    When we got to the Hotel Thursday night @ 10:30 P.M ( after exhausting our eating options at MacDonalds!)we discovered there wasn't a single place to park. Seriously, people were parking on the grass, in front of the dumpsters, at the entrance......We were SO EXHAUSTED and desperate times call for desperate measures.
    I insisted we bust out the Handicapped tag( legitimate!) and park in the only spot left. ( Sandy is sure we are going to burn in hell for this one!)We were up and out of that space by 8 the next morning and did not have to use it again.( much to Sandy's relief)
    I'm sure she will be COMPLETELY MORTIFIED when she reads this.
    Hey Sandy!! Remember....... Tragedy + Time = COMEDY!!!!
    Stay tuned for more of the 2008 IQS Saga....and Quilt Pics!!!!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    (yet another ...) SNOW DAY!

    This is what we woke up to today.
    Forecasts are calling for a possible accumulation of up to 20 inches by the end of today.
    I think we've hit that already

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    27 car and Semi Pileup!!!!!!!!

    Here in the "Hoosier Snowbelt" I've had just about enough of this seemingly neverending winter weather!! Sure enough just when you think your situation couldn't possible get any worse ...something like this smacks you across your pathetic little whiny forehead! This happened this morning about 7 miles from where we are directly within eyesight on one of the ways we take to get to Michigan City ,In. Unbelievably only 4 people were injured and no fatalaties...These poor people!! I think I'll shut up about my pathetic situation!
    I-94 27 Plus Car/Semi Pile up
    Be sure to also click on the link to the video to see what I tried to post as a video clip ( with no success!!)

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    yet another Farmy Quilt......

    These blocks were family made(her husbands mother?) and the quilt top was pieced by my customer. She is Putting them away for her grandchildren. This one is going to a male grandchild.

    Once in a while I run across some really fabulous vintage fabrics while I'm quilting old tops. I'd like 9 yards of the brown and rust print , thanks!

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Finally!!! Ryann McKenna Farm Quilt Finished!!

    Hi !!It's me blogging from the NW Indiana frozen Farmland Tundra
    I know it's been quite a while.....
    This is a Ryann McKenna quilt I finished a while ago for a client.
    Of course I love anything "Farmy" and this one was most certainly qualifying for sure.
    Almost every single piece of fabric that was fused on to create the scenes and animals was outlined quilted by me on the longarm.
    I think I used more than 26 different colors of thread!!
    The fabrics were all batiks
    and as some of you (quilters for sure!) know batiks have a higher thread count per inch ( almost like a percale bed sheet) and will leave tiny holes where they are sewn. Another previous unexperienced situation was the compounding of the tight weave of the fabric along with the fusible web times 3 or 4 layers in some areas!!
    In my opinion this would have been almost impossible to hand quilt.I would seriously doubt that the pattern would even suggest such a thing!! As I was quilting it on my
    industrial strength sounded like I was quilting a DRUM!!
    That was a fairly strange sensation....
    All in all, it was a fun one to quilt and most of all the owner was very pleased with the finished result. Of course that is the most important concern!!

    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Chicken Mudbog and Dirt Dusting

    Ladies and Gentlemen!!! Laporte County, Indiana is pleased to announce the first event of it's kind in 2008. Welcome to the first annual CHICKEN MUDBOG and DIRT DUSTING !!!!!The DIRT DUSTING event is starting off at a nice , steady pace....

    Looks like the MUDBOG is off to a slow start.....
    but wait !!!.. Here are two contestants now, testing the conditions!!

    Looks like a fun way to spend some family time on an unseasonably balmy Monday afternoon in January!!!!!