Rapid Response

After all the griping I did yesterday, it seems my top priority should be to report the satisfactory response I received from Amy at Dritz Quilting. Her email is reprinted below:

Hi Barbara,
I apologize for not getting to your email sooner but I was out of the office yesterday. I have forwarded your email to the product management team for more information. I am not aware of the change of this product but they will be able to give me more information. I have also ordered some warehouse stock to check to see if we have any of the “welded” type to send to you. If not, then I will be happy to refund your purchase price.
Can you tell me where and when you purchased the poor quality ones, how many packages you have and confirm your full name and address? In the meantime, I will see what I can find out and get back to you ASAP!
Thanks for letting me know about this. Our consumers are very important to us and we value your opinion. This is exactly the type of information we need!

This morning, I responded to Amy and clarified that it was the riveted clips I wanted, not the welded ones, and I included the order confirmation for the ones I'd already purchased. Certainly this response falls under the "good customer service" category; so, thank you, Dritz. I really just want the binding clips, not the money. Hopefully, they'll have some.

As for yesterday's sewing, since I was already in a bad mood, I decided to run with it and make another of the mini 36-patch blocks. These actually aren't so bad when done one at a time like this, and I cut the fabrics while simultaneously catching up on the final clue for the Welcome Home Mystery Quilt. So, here's the 2nd of five blocks.

As I mentioned yesterday, these aren't the right size. I'm going to continue to make them, as is, and then just trim them once I've seen the final layout. The squares for that block were cut as I selected fabrics to make the final square-in-a-square blocks for the Welcome Home Mystery Quilt.

Now all the blocks are made, and I laid them out in their final form. Actually, I'll be moving things around a bit before I sew them together.

Just the blocks around the outer border need to be sewn together and then sewn on to the center quilt to get this to a flimsy stage, and I expect I'll get that done today. The quilt will finish up at 30 x 30. It's kind of meh...which is why I generally don't participate in mystery quilts. I'm never happy with them in the end. Nevertheless, this will end up a kitty quilt, and the kitties are a very appurreciative audience. They like all quilts, and they aren't fussy about patterns or colors.

Also, it's time to declare my August goal for

This month, I'm hoping to quilt and bind the Bee Loving quilt. I have some ideas about how to quilt this, and so that's always half the battle.

It's a large quilt, although the dimensions escape me at this moment. My commitment comes equipped with a big "But" this month. It's going to be busy, because we're in the midst of getting ready for our big trip. Also, I'm expecting 40 lbs. of tomatoes from our farmers that will need to be canned, and I'm also hopeful that I'll be getting some apples from the kids' tree for applesauce and other delectable delights. Add that to the peaches I want to purchase as soon as they're ripe, and you can see that my work is cut out for me in August. With that in mind, I'm thinking my OMG probably doesn't have a SCIH (Snowball's Chance in Hell) of being finished. One can only hope, and so I'm putting on my optimist's hat. Yes, I could choose a less ambitious goal, but where's the fun in that?

Since I griped throughout yesterday's post, I decided to get my mind right by taking a walk around the garden this morning. Here's what's growing on right now.

There's nothing planted in my annual pots this year. We didn't get home from our last trip until mid-June, and since we were leaving before fall begins, I decided it was a waste of time, money, effort, and water to plant anything this year. Nevertheless, the squirrels have kindly planted some kind of pumpkin or squash in one of the pots. I suspect they swiped a seed or two from the compost pile. They are so polite this way. We'll just let it grow and see where their little surprise takes us.

Also, our lazy tomato plants have finally decided to put on some tomatoes. There is no effing way these will ripen before we leave. When we're gone for the winter, we always turn off the water and drain the pipes (to prevent freezing), and so these won't even get any water after we leave. Ordinarily, the neighbor gets to claim all the tomatoes that ripen while we're gone, but this year, they'll be allowed to wither and die.

I'm not actually sure why we're still watering them. The Resident Engineer makes all the watering decisions, and so I'm making suggestions here and there, but he'll have to decide when to call it quits on the tomatoes. Possibly, just possibly, I'll make some green tomato salsa before we go, but they aren't even fit for that at this point.

The echinacea are thrilling me this year. The bees like them too. This is the PowWow Wild Berry variety.

Now we've heard from this Cheyenne Spirit variety as well.

The sunflowers are putting on a show now too, although the sunflowers did not do well this year. Too much trampling by deer, and leaving them for a month didn't help. This is the Teddy Bear variety.

This one is called Infrared. It's a tall one, and the flowers are way over my head.

This is one that the deer nearly trampled to death, but it's making a comeback, and getting ready to bloom. Not sure what it will look like, but you can be sure I'll keep you posted.

We didn't get a single cherry from either of our trees this year, which is what we expected. The birds and raccoons always get there first. They are nice shade trees, however. The plum tree is coming on strong. I'm ever hopeful these will ripen and give us some plums before we leave. I'd love to make the plum tart I made last year, diet or no diet. Our neighbor will take advantage of these. She makes plum jelly from them, and she always gives us some. It's a good trade, don't you think? She does all the work, we benefit from her jelly.

Speaking of the diet...allow me to take this opportunity while speaking of plum tarts to say that as of today, I've lost 15 lbs. Mike has lost 23. We're still liking the diet, but it's hard to stay focused when there's so much fresh fruit around and so much baking I'd love to be doing. We are commited though, and so we keep on keeping on. Recently I went through a 10-day plateau, and it was pretty discouraging. Now I'm a loser again, and so I'm happier sticking with it for a while longer. 

As for the rest of the garden, let me show you the hydrangeas. The light wasn't very good for photography this morning, but this one the kids gave me is so beautiful. This is the first year it's had any size to it, and it is really putting on a show. I would think the soil was responsible for its deep indigo blue color.

But it's neighbor, planted just a few feet away, isn't nearly as dark. It is a dark blue. Until we planted the one above, it was the darkest blue I'd ever seen.

So that's all I have for you today.  It's going to be a hot one...the hottest day so far this year.

Not as hot as tomorrow, however. Yikes. Fortunately, we have air-conditioning. I have nowhere to go today, and just one housekeeping chore. It seems like a good day to hang out in my deep freeze of a basement for a day of sewing. And it's high time I got going on those hanging sleeves for my Oregon State Fair entries. The time is slipping away.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

Wow....response! Very good and glad to see they did pay attention to you. More of us need to follow your lead to get what we want or need! It is getting worse and worse on the retail end of it....you have to order on line and have shipped to store or home for so much.
Love the flowers in all their summer glory. And congrats on the diet and loss...very very good!

Julierose said...

Gorgeous sunflowers--just love those reddish ones!! I like your little house quilt with the borders a lot--very nice--and scrappy hugs, Julierose

Sandra W said...

Isn't annoying how much easier it seems for men to lose weight? But your 15 pounds is excellent. I must check out that diet--it didn't seem too painful and you have had the odd treat.
I have never done a mystery quilt. I have paid for the booklet, but never liked the idea of choosing fabric when I don't know what the design is. I'm havifng a summer of finishes--hopefully. And there are a lot of them.

Colleen said...

The blue hydrangeas are gorgeous! Mine always go pink around here... even if they start out blue! Love your Bee Loving quilt!

Brown Family said...

Hopefully Dritz will get back to you again! I ordered the book for the Mini quilts but never got into them or the mystery quilt. I have never been fond of mystery, either.

We have not had a day that how here this summer. We just reached 100 two or three times. Today it is 77 with 88% humidity and should reach 84. The highest in the forecast is 92. This is a rare summer cold snap!

claudia said...

I have a newly planted white hydrangea. I thought I have killed it, because that's just the way I do things, but lo and behold, it has started growing! I also planted a azalea that my daughter sent. Thought I killed it too, but I see it is growing as well! YAY! my brown thumb is turning green...knock wood!
I love your flowers! They give me hope!
When you were talking tomatoes, I was thinking fried green tomatoes! Love them/! But then they are not diet friendly.
As for this weather. I'm reluctant to complain, because winter will say, "Hey! Didn't like the heat? Here, have some cold!" I'm going to complain about the smoke. The fires in BC are sending smoke down here. I can't even see the mountains to the south of me because it is so thick. I can smell it too. I'm having to stay inside, my lungs are not happy with this. Of course, who wants to be outside in this heat anyway???
You are amazing with all the things you have planned for August. I'm just hoping to get through this week!

Quilting Babcia said...

That was a great response from Dritz. I'm thinking I should write to them about the last couple batches of quilters safety pins I bought, the points are so rough they are difficult to use without fear of ripping the fabric threads, even after I ran an emery cloth over them. Quality is an eroding in a lot of these little quilting staples, but I guess if nobody complains they won't know how dissatisfied we are. Your flowers are gorgeous, we never had any luck with echinacea on our hillside and haven't tried to grow them here - yet.

CathieJ said...

It is nice to know that there is still good customer service around. I am looking forward to seeing how you quilt the Bee Loving top. Your flowers are so pretty.

gpc said...

I love good customer service. It gives me hope for humanity. What beautiful blues! I am jealous of your bloomers, and of your weight loss. As with your plums, I want someone else to do all the work and let me reap all the benefits. It isn't working for me all that well so far but I am nothing if not optimistic.

Kate said...

That was a very fast reply! Hope you get some of the riveted ones, the welded ones just don't look as sturdy. Good luck on your August goal. Some months it's hard to get it all in. Beautiful blooming things in your yard. Hope the heat doesn't kill anything.

Ioleen said...

The garden pictures are beautiful. 107F I would hide in the basement as well.

liniecat said...

Brilliant customer service indeed.
My Dad used to make a delightful green tomatoe chutney with his late developers.
I'd guess you could maybe freeze them and make it later.

Dana Gaffney said...

Wow, Dritz has a better customer service than most places, it's kind of amazing for such a big company.
Those temps are ridiculous, is that normal for you in the summer? We're under a heat warning here for the heat index which feels like your temp. Did you move back to Arizona and not tell us?

piecefulwendy said...

I'm happy that you received a response from Dritz. I hope they can find the ones you are looking for. I planted a hydrangea last year and it had the lovely blue blossoms, but it didn't survive our winter, despite doing what we were told to do to winterize it. Yours are just lovely, as are the rest of your flowers! 107!? Yikes. Definitely a good day to hunker down where it's cool. We have a wet, muggy day here, so I'm heading to my cave soon too. Enjoy your sewing day!

Janet said...

Isn't it great that Dritz responded so quickly. Now if only they have the right clips - or are willing to go back to making them with the grommets! I agree that the hardest part of quilting a quilt is figuring out how to quilt it.

quiltzyx said...

Nice customer service reply from Dritz. Gives one hope for the future.

Yikes, you had some of our heat up there, while we got heat/monsoon weather here. The air outside was so thick it almost felt like swimming. Hooray for a/c!

The flowers are gorgeous, as usual. Sorry about the Poisonous Wolf Peaches in the green house. Good luck with all your planned canning too.