I’m Here but Leaving Tomorrow . . .

Hellwooo Pickles!

inflated_patient.png  I’m screwed.  After 4 years of absolute and almost flawless denial (what? you were expecting something less?), I was forced to endure the wrath of my MD today.   I’ve gained 60 pounds in 4 years and he wants it off!   Yesterday. 

Yes, sweet taters, I am a fat pig and I need to lose the girth. fat-pig.jpg

 I’m not ready to go under the knife for a lap band or bypass so I have no other choice but to eat carrots.   carrottop_601.jpg NO!  NOT THAT KIND OF CARROT!

   THIS kind of carrot.  carrotst_valery.jpg

 vinci-80.jpg   It’s so easy to let yourself go (and fun not to worry about it).  Well now I have to worry about it, take control of it, and I have to pay the piper (just not feed him).    Shit, I can’t even get a quilt finished.  How am I going to lose that kind of weight?   Blech!  

quiltfest-003.jpg  On a lighter note — spring is on the way.  I bought a packet of basil seeds and a couple of seed starter containers.  Looks like I’ll have pesto again this spring.   I love Pesto — with heavy garlic. 

I found this little bejeweled box at a shop in Morristown, NJ.  I have a ton of these little boxes because I can’t resist buying them.  I’m going to fill this one with Guatemalan worry dolls (when I find them).  It’s ironic that when I’m not looking for them I find them in every junk shop across America. When I want to buy them, I can’t find them anywhere! quiltfest-006.jpg

evans-birthday-001.jpg  When I got back from Rhode Island a couple of days ago, I came home to the sweetest gift from reader, Sandi Andersen who says that she loves to “gift” people with things that she knows they will enjoy!   Sandi sent me a literal “half” cup mug along with a large feedsack piece of pickles!   Thanks, Sandi!  You’re right!  I love that fabric!  

old-book.jpg  coloring-book.jpg

Here are a couple of vintage books that I picked up.   I found the Patchwork Quilts book from an on-line auction in England.   While it’s written in English it was made and printed in Denmark in 1965.     Here’s the cost”  25s net.  Anyone know what that means?   Most of the quilt photos are in black and white but there are a couple of color photos.  It really is a history book and not a pattern book. 

 Now the Quilter’s Coloring Book is really just a bunch of  plain grids that quilters could color to create quilts.   It’s the Flintstone version of EQ6!   Someone wrote to me about writing a book of quilt patterns that quilters could color themselves….I knew there was  on already out there so I was on a mission to find it and I found it.  It’s from 1979 and cost $7.95 for 223 pages. 

Rhode Island

I spent last weekend in Rhode Island with The Quilter’s by the Sea.   I love the New England quilters.  No matter where I end up in New England, I find the women to have a very sharp and quick wit (make me laugh and I’m yours forever, give me attitude and I can’t be bothered).  I loved this group, loved the classes, and thought that Newport was fabulous and am only sad that I didnt’ have enough time to spend there.  I just had about an hour to look around.    021.jpg

018.jpg  The very best part of the meeting were the pink iced vanilla cupcakes that a member baked.   They were FABULOUS!   I had TWO.   The table was packed full of chocolate goodies but I’m a vanilla eater, hands down.    The fact that they were pink, my favorite color, made them even tastier!  I loved them and have thought of them often since my visit. 

004.jpg  This is a view of Mystic Connecticut from the highway on my way into Newport.    Everywhere you looked was water.  Very beautiful and very romantic.   That said….

I totally loved the area but, baby, you could fricking overdose on seashell motifs, crab and clam nicknacks, fishing nets, and carved sailors.  Of course it all put me in the mood for a Gorton’s fish stick.  


Well, maybe just a quickie with the Gorton’s Fisherman!  


It’s never hard for me to remember when Newport was founded – – 1639 — the same number as my current weight.  


Here are some Newport street scenes. . .    It was overcast.  I’ll bet it is spectacular in bright weather! 

036.jpg 037.jpg



I found this pillow in a shop window.   The story of my life . . .


041.jpg  047.jpg

Here is my room at the bed and breakfast.


This wallpaper was on the living room walls of the bed and breakfast.  I fell in love with it and dreamed that I was making a quilt with it that night!  It reminds me of Jason Yenter’s In the Beginning fabric line. I love Jason Yenter.  013.jpg

028.jpg  This woman was in my Friday class and I was so moved by her current project that I just had to take photos of it for you.   She took a pattern from a Fons & Porter book — Quilts from the Henry Ford (I think).   But here’s the story.   

Her son is in Iraq and in order to keep sane (I’m not sure how she does it — I’d be a wreck), she would applique a blue leaf everytime she got an email from him and a red leaf everytime she speaks with him.    What a wonderful idea and inspiration.   I hope I got the story right — it could be the other way around…but it’s still fab-U-lous!  


026.jpg 029.jpg  I love the little army man leaf.  Genius!

Evan’s Birthday

evans-birthday-005.jpg  My baby dumpling turned 16 on Sunday and he wanted to spend the day in Manhattan so off we went.   Here’ s Evan in front of his new favorite restaurant, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill on 5th Avenue. 

evans-birthday-003.jpg  evans-birthday-002.jpg

As we walked the streets, I looked up to find the Lion Brand Yarn headquarters.  I had to snap a pic for you as I know many of you are yarn whores — me too — misery loves company. 

We bought several things to showcase in Quilter’s Home from street vendors (who have web sites, by the way).   Evan bought his first piece of art, a photograph from an Argentinian photographer, street vendor.    Jeff framed it for him today and it’s hanging in Evan’s room. 


Loved these signs that were pasted to some wooden gates near St. Mark’s Place (where we were headed for some Boho experience).

evans-birthday-011.jpg evans-birthday-012.jpg evans-birthday-013.jpg

I spotted this tile floor in a closed restaurant while we were walking towards Tompkins Square Park.   I love tile floors and am often inspired to craft quilts from the designs.  Of course, I’m totally full of bullshit and know that I’ll never do a tile floor quilt.  I’ll leave that to the real artistes! 


evans-birthday-014.jpg evans-birthday-016.jpg

I had totally forgotten about the Odessa Cafe.  Back in the 80’s I had dinner there with Antoinette Giancana (yes, the REAL mafia princess).  She was a very funny, creative lady looking for her niche.   I wonder what she’s doing these days?


This sculpture twrills around when you push it.  Evan was amazed when I pushed it in a circle.  After we left I saw other people spin it.  


evans-birthday-023.jpg   This place is now a Starbucks (what the hell isn’t?).   During an early visit to Manhattan, I had lunch there with author (Men in Love, The Normal Heart, Faggots) Larry Kramer.  I wrote him a fan letter after reading his novel Faggots and we ended up keeping in touch.   While we were eating a woman approached me.   He introduced us.  When she left he explained that she did the costuming for his movie Men in Love.  I was speechless.   I was also very young. 

evans-birthday-032.jpg  Evan loved dinner at The Mesa Grill.   Jeff and I were less than thrilled.  High priced, lukewarm food, not great cuts of meat and fish, not great service.  But the evening was about Evan (Bobby Flay is his hero — but wasn’t there for an autographed copy of one of his cook books) and he couldn’t have been happier. 

When you’re in New York — skip it.  It ain’t what it used to be.  Jeff and I had both been there several times before — in the days when you either had to be someone to get in and/or wait months for a reservation.  That was in 1991 — now I’d stay away from Bobby Flay!  





 New Books!

I got a few new books and patterns in from Martingale the other day.  Look for them at your local quilt shops. 

scan03122008_100241.jpg  Love it.  Full size patterns for your quilting.   It’s a great deal at $24.95.  All you have to do is trace, transfer, and stitch!  Go for it. 

scan03122008_100138.jpg  Doesn’t do it for me.  It’s a $12.95 pattern that I couldn’t be the least bit interested in.  It’s not that I don’t like fish (see the Gorton’s fisherman above) but it’s not pretty, interesting or even artistic.   I don’t get it.  I’m kinda surprised because I have usually LOVED the That Patchwork Place patterns. 

scan03122008_100057.jpg    A quilt themed story book.  I don’t have a little girl or a granddaughter so I’m not the target audience for this book.  I do think that reading to your kids is VERY IMPORTANT so while you’re reading, why not something quilt related?  Kill two birds with one stone.  I’ll tell you this:  this book inspires me and I smell a QH article here.  Keep watching. 

scan03122008_100209.jpg  Now you know I like cats.  But  32 pages for $19.95?  That’s a little over  62-cents per page.  YIKES!  There are only a few patterns in the book (1 quilt, 1 crib quilt, 1 wall hanging, 2 pillows and 1 cat doll) and they all kind of look alike.  Cat lovers may like it (even I like the larger quit) but a whole book?  Too much for too little, dawg.    😦  


I leave for Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow afternoon.  I get back on Sunday!  See you then!

fort-lauderdale-beach_small.jpg   Ah, fun in the sun — and a quilt shop — Once Upon a Quilt.  Can’t wait!  xoxom


 A friend sent me this link to Heather Thomas’ blog where she talks all about Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home.   It’s pretty good.   Take a look by clicking here.

Check out Creative Quilt Girl’s March 3rd entry and review of Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home.  She puts me in very good company.  Click here to read it.

Click hereto read the Muddling Through Life blog.  She talks about the Pickle Posse Discussions.

The  Knitting is Kneat-0 blog show what I have in common with her!  Take a look by clicking here.

Creative Stitches by Lynn talks about her friend’s quilt in Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home.  Click here to find out who her friend is.

This chick on Gayle’s Gallery blog felt the need to review Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home for the masses.  Take a look by clicking here.

Caityquilter.com’s blog refers to a Mark-ism that we already know – the dream. What I love about what Caity wrote was to take our quilting dreams and apply it to what we wear — a very, very good point.   To read her blog click right here, sister!

Click here to read a blog review of a book recommended in Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home.


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9 Comments on “I’m Here but Leaving Tomorrow . . .”

  1. Sue
    March 12, 2008 at 10:02 PM #


    Sorry to hear about Mesa Grill…that was also one of my favorite restaurants, but I haven’t been there in years.

    Looks like you guys had fun in my old neighborhood (the east village). When I lived there, it was still kinda gritty…no Starbucks or Gap then! Are all the great vintage clothing stores still there? I used to buy stuff just for the fabric (of course).

    Sue in NJ

    Yup, the East Village was gritty when I lived there, too! Sadly, Jeff and I were saying that there weren’t a lot of people on the streets (like there used to be) and that they had all probably died of boredom. Few vintage clothing shops. St. Mark’s Place was downright tidy and uninteresting. Manhattan is just so sanitized that it’s like a giant open suburban mall. The same kind of shit on every corner. As if the boho heart has been taken out. Heart breaking! xoxom


  2. March 12, 2008 at 10:11 PM #

    25s = 25 shillings


  3. Sandi
    March 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM #

    Deeeelighted that you like the pickle jars fabric and that you enjoyed being “gifted.” I love doing it, kind of like being a “fabric fairy.” Oooh, I can see a sketch of her in my head, gotta go draw it. Smiles and enjoy your time by the sea!


  4. Carleen
    March 13, 2008 at 12:43 AM #

    You have my sympathies about having to lose weight – I am in the same “sinking” boat. I sometimes think I live to eat rather than the other way around. Knowing about the possibility of diabetes, high blood pressure, knee problems etc. is my motivation. But it still sucks. Carleen


  5. March 13, 2008 at 7:34 AM #

    Thanks for the linkylove, Mark!
    I am battling weight too – about to start a medically supervised program where I see a dietician and a psychologist and an exercise physiologist once a week each… and it starts with a strict 800 calories a day diet for 4 – 7 weeks – YIKES! Gotta do it though, gotta do it….


  6. karin
    March 17, 2008 at 2:34 AM #

    dear dumplin” daddy, i empathize about the weight thing, but i know you can do it!!
    maybe the single biggest thing that positively affected my metabolism AND mood was regular exercise. walking is free, relatively safe(unless you’re stephen king)and doesn’t require any investment in equipment or clothing.
    WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN while you’re out walking(don’t want to see you at m.d.anderson for melanoma–houston is for quiltfest!!)
    love & stitches,
    karin with an “i”


  7. carlafibers
    March 18, 2008 at 2:56 PM #

    Head Pickle, I feel your pain as to the weight loss. Good news though… my husband had the same “oh sh*t” moment at the doctor that you did. He joined weightwatchers at work program and lost the 40 lbs in no time. 5 years later, he is still sleek and thin… but here is the good news: men lose easier than women. Something about metabolism.

    Ditto what Karin wrote about walking. If walking isn’t your thang, then try something else. Good luck!! Carla


  8. Barbara Van Rozeboom
    March 26, 2010 at 4:23 AM #

    Crap! I blink and you’re gone! But, seriously take care of yourself, Big Guy!
    I’m a Grandma (Far Mor in Swedish, means Father’s Mother) who has just won her first Quilt Show Ribbon and I’m walking a 1/2 Marathon in June. My year to do things that frighten me! I was hoping to lose a ton of weight, but so far it’s just my spirits that are lighter, not my weight! Oh well, I have this theory that if we live long enough we can sample a lot of life, but nobody gets to have it all, at the same time! So hang in there and take care of yourself, nobody will do it for you. One stitch at a time, one pound at a time!
    Bless your heart, Barbara


  9. Nancy
    April 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM #

    I got my most recent Quilter’s Home and there was no you! What happened? I know I’m late to the party, but this is the state of my life, so welcome to it.


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