Cheri Chatter

Cheri Chatter

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful to the generous people in my life who have donated fabric and other quilting supplies to the sewing circle at Little Earth. (I wrote about the sewing circle last month.) We were thrilled to receive these gifts.

My friend, Nathan, donated yards and yards of beautiful fabric. His gift will be used to create many star quilts that will in turn become gifts to others. Give-away quilts are an important tradition in the Native American community. We're saving these special fabrics for our first star quilt class. (Thank you, Nathan.)

Roy, who lost his wife two years ago, was finally able to part with Betty's stash this summer, a portion of which also went to Little Earth. One little girl is using pieces of Betty's fabric in her first "blanket". We had run out of pretty pastels with little flowers. (I wish you could have seen the joy on her face, Roy.)

When Roy mentioned that Betty liked to buy fabric on their travels but hadn't made all the quilts she wanted, I decided it was time to give back. So with a small collection of batiks that I pulled from her stash, I made a small rail fence quilt. I added fabric from my stash for the borders and binding. I hope this quilt always reminds Roy of his beloved Betty and of his own kindness.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Other Lake Gang

A year ago I wrote about joining a cult . . . of quilters, that is. The cult is becoming my Other Lake Gang. These gals are neighbors and friends of my buddy, Lynne. Most of them live on the shores of Lake Lida outside of Pelican Rapids. I'm getting attached to them.

Last year we got together to learn about color and value in fabric selection. This year the topic was needle turn applique, the kind you do by hand with needle and thread. It's a bit painstaking at first, but with some practice, it gradually gets easier. (So she says.)

We started out by appliqueing hearts to a muslin background. The heart shape gives you the opportunity to stitch an inner point and an outer point. Both are tricky and take extra practice.

After a couple of hours stitching a heart to another piece of fabric, we had lunch.

And then we went to our respective homes (some with headaches, I suspect).

Rome wasn't built in a day, right? Hang in there, girls. Next year we're going to take up hand quilting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Soon To Be Famous

My sisters aren't the only celebs in the family. The Lake Gang - the group I walk with around Lake Harriet every morning - is going cable!!

I've written about the gang before. (See my entry of December 19, 2008.) We're an accidental bunch of semi-retirees*, but we sure have a good time getting a little exercise together every day.

(*Jim, previously an aeronautics engineer now working funerals; Pat, former teacher turned nanny; me, a has-been government bureaucrat now pushing fabric and quilting notions; and Bob, an ex-cop who now is a Twin Cities tour guide and museum ticket-taker.)

We're not the only regulars at the lake. Another is Jon Balch who (among other things) creates and produces a television show for local cable access (Channel 6) called, Local Flavor. The show features restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that offer great American (comfort) food. No chains allowed.

This is where the Lake Gang comes in. Jon recruited us to star in his latest feature for Curran's Family Restaurant. The video shows us dragging Jon off to our favorite restaurant and then sticking him with the bill. We had more fun filming this video than anyone should be allowed to have. And to top it all off, we got a free meal.

Here is the film crew (okay, the cameraman and the producer/ director) with Bob and his Smart Car.

We love this car. You can pick it up and carry it home if it ever runs out of gas. It doubles as a skate board and a toaster oven. The car is an attention-getter. We could have sold a half dozen of them in the time it took to film one scene.

Filming is hard work, let me tell you. All that standing around waiting for your next line and then take after take until you finally get it right. Then more standing around waiting for someone else to get their line right. Whew. A lot of it ended up on the cutting room floor. I know just how Angelina feels.

Don't have access to cable? Don't worry. We're also on (key words: jon balch, curran's). Once there, you ought to see some of his other videos. My favorites are: 50 the movie and Curried Chicken LoMein.

Hey, do you think we'll get discovered?

Monday, November 16, 2009

My SisterS Rock!

A year ago (10/6/08) I wrote about my sister, Linda, the rocker. Now my youngest sister, Nancy, has joined the ranks of Foggy Notion.

I'm so proud of them. Being sisters, their voices blend beautifully. Check out their web site (, pull up their play list and listen to them rock out.

Yes, I can sing, too, but I won't be joining them any time soon. They practice long hours every single week, and I'm not about to sacrifice my quilting time! I'd rather sit back and enjoy their music while I sew little pieces of fabric together.

Foggy Notion's next gig is this coming Saturday at Detour 19 in Loretto, Minnesota. You can find directions on their web site: I'm getting there early to find a good seat and to eat a fabulous grilled burger with the best fries you've ever had.

Hope to see you there, too!