Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I declare this war to be of six months duration, at which time I will reassess the situation and create new battle plans.
(1) I will NOT pull fabric from my shelves for a new project (Joseph Logan's baby quilt being the exception). Any new quilt I start in the next 6 months will be from either my scrap boxes, bins, drawers, etc. or my HSY's list. No more pulling 60 to 80 or more fabrics off my shelf, carefully cutting two or three squares or triangles or strips from them, then refolding them and putting them back on the shelf.
(2) For every new scrap or HSY quilt that I start I must either quilt, bind and label two flimsies or take two UFO's from their current status to completion.
(3) I have unsubscribed to all quilt shop email lists. I have tossed my Keepsake Quilting and Connecting Threads catalog in the recycle bin without opening them.
(4) I will NOT go to the Superbowl Sale at my favorite quilt shops!
As you can see my focus is still on my UFT's, flimsies, and HSY's, with the addition of using up scraps. I love to use the fabric from my stash, and never have trouble cutting into a piece so I'm not worrying about that. I'm not prepared to forbid myself to start new projects, so I'm counting on this compromise working. I can start new projects - they just must be HSY's or something from my scrap bins.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I know a lot of people have had trouble with Rowenta irons, but I've had nothing but good luck with them. My last one lasted well over 10 years and only succumbed because of our hard water. So I decided to try this iron. It's listed on the website at $139.00 but was only $104 in the store. With the 30% off everything in the store the iron and my three new rulers came to about $89. I know I could have bought a much cheaper iron elsewhere, but I never can find the features I want in a cheap iron. This iron is NOT auto shut-off, it has an extra large water tank and features extra long bursts of steam, and a handle that won't give me blisters. If it lasts even half as long as my last Rowenta I'll be happy. I can hardly wait to get home to try it.
Well, I loved the fact that it was cordless. I disliked the auto shutoff intensely. I loved the titanium soleplate but hated that the steam holes seemed to catch on my piecing and pulled the edge up into an accordion pleated mess. I loved the fact that I could put it away hot. I loved that it steamed a lot, but hated the fact that the water tank was small. I hated the handle as it caused a blister in the palm of my hand after an entire day of ironing.
As you can see, it's been a real love-hate relationship from day one. I was frustrated that such an expensive appliance lasted such a short time, but deep down inside I was glad that I can get something now that I'll like better. This one replaced my trusty Rowenta which still heats very well after at least 10 years, but is literally coming apart at the seams from corrosion due to our hard water.
So I checked the Fabric Depot website. I'm sure many of you are familiar with fabric depot from shopping there online. Well, it's only 20 minutes away from me across the bridge into Oregon. They are currently having a 30% off everything in the store sale that goes through today. Great for buying an iron, but not at all good for my no buy resolve.
So today will be the first real test. Can I stay out of the fabric end of the store? Can I stay away from the quilting books and magazines? I know I can't stay away from the notions because I need to replace a couple small rulers. The ones I have now have chipped corners from too much use. The store opens at 9:00, so I'm going to take an early lunch and head over there. I have a little over an hour to strengthen my resolve.
I'll let you know how I do.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
That's the way I felt about that scrap fabric on my table that was still waiting to be cut. I just couldn't go upstairs to quilt knowing I'd not finished that task. I kept thinking it would take only a little longer. I said that at 10:00, I said it again at noon, and finally just before 3:00 I finished. It took a little longer to put all the different shapes and strips into their various containers and then straighten up the room. What a great feeling to have that done! However, it wouldn't be a good idea for me to spend all my weekends this way. So I filled a small plastic tote with scraps from the big tub and then put the big tub away. The small tote can sit on the corner of my ironing board and I can press and cut a few each day. The big tub really looked emptier when I'd shifted this to the tote. I like this idea - as long as I don't get so involved I forget to do anything else.
The second picture shows the four postage stamp blocks I finished last October, plus the two more I made on Friday night. I have a rich royal purple that I'm going to sash the blocks with - it's a fabric I bought for Sophie's quilt but then didn't use. I need to make 6 more blocks in order to have a quilt of the proper size. This has been my leader ender project for a long time, but now I have enough sewn together to finish it I think. I'm going to shoot for this being one of my UFO finishes in February.
The stuff I found in that bin was pretty amazing. It's been stuffed full for well over 10 years, so none of these pieces had seen the light of day for at least that long. These were from before I had a scrap cutting and saving system, so there was something of everything. Large pieces - almost a fat quarter - to pieces so tiny that I decided I must have missed the waste basket and tossed them in the bin instead. Triangle squares and triangles. Strings. Cut strips of various sizes. Strata ends from who knows what projects. It was a bit like digging through a treasure chest. I refuse to think about how long it's going to take to get these in order, so instead I decided to fill a plastic shoebox with a few handsfull and then close up the rest. If I keep the shoebox on my table and do 10 minutes of cutting each time I go in the room before I start to sew then maybe I can make some good progress relatively painlessly.
The other thing I discovered is that all my boxes, bins and drawers of my scrap savers system are pretty much full already! Before I do much more cutting I'm going to have to piece some scrappy tops - otherwise there won't be any place to put the things I cut. Oh my - I don't know if I can handle that idea - having to piece some scrappy tops! (Hee, hee, hee.) Thank goodness the guild has committed to making these quilts for Hotel Hope. They have 16 beds, and the quilt size is 63" x 87". They want any resident who becomes attached to their quilt to be able to take it with them when they leave, so this will be an ongoing project for the guild. I'm sure I have enough scraps to cover those beds two or three times over all by myself - I just have to find the time somewhere.
1. Bins, boxes, and drawers full of scraps all ready to sew into quilts
2. A nice day spent with a friend
3. A lazy Sunday just meant for sewing
4. The cozy warmth of my bathrobe and slippers
5. My little featherweight, which just keeps humming along
Friday, January 26, 2007
Last night was our last class for the early 19th century medallion series. Those of you who've been reading my blog for awhile will remember me talking about this class when we first started. Our instructor is Eileen Trestain, a certified quilt historian and appraiser and expert in fabric history. She's written two books on fabric dating, and we are so lucky she lives here in town. I've posted a picture of my medallion, which hasn't progressed any farther as I had to stop to make Sophie's quilt. It still needs three borders. At the last class instead of receiving the brown paper wrapped kit we got to choose 3 yards of a selection of chintz and large reproduction florals. In the picture above you see Eileen on the left cutting my selection and one of the other students on the right. The next picture is my friend Liz looking at her choice for her border.
Tomorrow is scrap cutting day with my blogger friend Cher. This is the second time we will have gotten together to cut scraps. Hope it's as productive as the first time. Here you see the task I have ahead of me. I weighed these two boxes and found I have about 36 pounds of fabric here. If I remember correctly 4 yards of cotton fabric weigh a pound. Please correct me if I'm wrong - at the moment I can't find any of the places I think I read that! If that is true then these two boxes contain about 136 yards of scraps - that's after I took off a couple pounds for the boxes. It's almost as much as Jeanne has in her two garbage bags! Jeanne says she is scaring herself - I'm right there along with you Jeanne! There should be at least 10-15 scrap quilts lurking in these two boxes! I seriously doubt that I have enough room in all my plastic drawers and boxes of strips, squares, triangles and bricks for everything here. I need to get sewing - quickly!
1. A sewing weekend has begun
2. Crisp blue skies after the fog cleared
3. Quality sewing time with friends
4. Oodles of scraps for quilty play
5. Chocolate covered pretzels
The good news is that all you folks out there who haven't been able to switch because your blog plus comments was too big - try it again and I bet you'll find it works this time!
What I wanted to check was the number of posts. A total of 264 on the old blog and 26 on this one. If I eliminate the duplicates then that's over 270 posts. And tomorrow is my blog-anniversary. I never thought I'd have so much to say in a year's time! Or that I'd make so many wonderful new friends though sharing my quilting. This has truly been a marvelous experience, and I hope it is still just beginning.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
5. Dinner out with all four of our kids
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I've just spent almost all of my weekend washing, ironing, etc. the fabric I bought on my holiday buying spree at the end of December. I kept thinking of all the sewing I could be accomplishing if I'd not bought this fabric. I'm glad I have it - I love every piece - but this is definitely the end of it. I'm taking myself off quilt shop email lists. I've stopped visiting online quilt shops. I've not stepped foot into a quilt shop this year.
The real test will come in March when I spend a four day retreat in the basement of my most favorite of all quilt shops. I have two months to build my resolve between now and then. In the meantime I need to come back daily to read this post, so I don't forget.
1. Good action movies to help the ironing time pass quickly
2. New found resolve - at least where shopping is concerned
3. Warmer temperatures
4. No fat fresh hot blueberry muffins
5. Reaching the last piece of fabric needing ironing
Friday, January 19, 2007
By the time I got to work it had stopped raining and was above freezing - in fact the temperature had risen just above freezing when I left the house. I had to park on the far side of the employee lot in the last space available because I was the last here. The lot was still slushy and ugly looking, so I walked carefully. I'd gone about 4 steps past the cars when - can you believe this? - I slipped on ice again! This time I went down on my left "cheek", soaking my hip and pants leg all the way to my foot, plus my coat. I couldn't believe I'd done it again! At least this time I didn't fall as hard and didn't hit my head. I tried to stand up but it was so slick I couldn't, and I finally crawled on my hands and knees back to the cars so I had something to hold on to when I stood up. This time a member coming through drive-up saw me - they have to go through the employee lot to get to our drive-up window. She got out of her truck and came over to make sure I was OK, and was able to walk me across the ice on the lot to the employee entrance because she had good heavy outdoor boots with traction on her feet.
I still love snow, and love to see it fall, but I've certainly had enough dealing with ice to last a lifetime. Thank goodness I am seeing the chiropractor at 5:00 today. I sent an email to our facilities manager suggesting that it's past time to come up with a better way of dealing with parking lots in wintry weather like this. I've also had enough of sitting at work in pain, which is why I'm SO glad it's Friday.
Enough of my griping - I don't usually do this sort of thing. I just HATE being negative!
I finished quilting Sophie's Stars last night. Tonight I hope to get the binding machine stitched on. I'm heading north to Longview tomorrow with Fred to attend a retirement seminar, so I can take my hand stitching with me. Now that I've finished all my obligations other than making one small appliqué block, I'm really excited about choosing my next UFO project to work on. So many choices - how can one ever decide!
I laughed when I read the comment left by Karen on my last post - I guess I really do have food on my brain LOL! Yes Karen, I meant to type "Hand and Foot". This is a new card game Rick and Rebecca learned a few weeks ago that they taught us. I guess it's a variety of Canasta that uses 6 decks of cards. It's lots of fun, and we've played nothing else since they taught us. I googled "hand and foot" and "card game" and found several sites that list the rules - none of which are just like we play it. We stopped at Costco last night and one of the things we got was a box of 12 decks of playing cards so we can be all set to play it at our house also. It's a great two-person game also, so I figure Fred and I can play it - if I ever stop quilting and he stops watching TV long enough for us to do so LOL!
1.Surviving my second fall in three days with just bruises and soreness
3. Warming temperatures
4. Gandalf, my longarm machine
5. Lots of boxes of scraps to play with this weekend
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Yesterday I started to feel the effects of my fall. I hurt all over - buns, shoulders, head and particularly all around my neck. Today I seem to be a little better but I'll reserve judgement for after I've been up at at work for awhile. If need be I'll call the chiropractor for an app't tomorrow morning - she's already told me she has an opening.
We didn't get below freezing last night and the roads are clearing, but many places must still be really bad because all the county schools are still closed. My husband is ticked - he hates to have to make up snow days in June!
1. Hot coffee with flavored coffee creamer
2. Peanut butter and chocolate chip breakfast bars
3. A rousing game of Hand and Foot with the kids - and the girls won!
4. A tasty dinner at Applebee's last night
5. Coffee with Kahlua and whipped cream
Oh dear - lots of gratitudes about food - I need to get back to my Weight Watchers!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Today I certainly got my wish for more snow. This storm was somewhat unexpected, and certainly a lot bigger than anyone expected. I didn't even look outside when I got up at 5:00 a.m because I didn't realize there was a possibility of snow. My husband said something about it having snowed a little during the night. I ran to the window but it wasn't doing anything at the moment.
Within 5-10 minutes it started again. Just as Fred was heading out the door at 5:55 the phone rang - the phone tree telling him - school was cancelled. At least this time they called before he left - unlike last week when they cancelled it just as he got there. He was NOT a happy camper as he hates having to make up days in June. I had a class to teach at 8:00 so I left home at 6:30. I slid just a little going out of the neighborhood, but the snow was so dry that it was blowing off the freeway and my 10 mile commute wasn't a problem at all.
Move forward to about 8:00. Snow has been falling hard now since before 6:00 a.m. I've heard from two of my students, who are having a lot of trouble driving. The others apparently don't know who to call because I don't hear from them. One of them actually gets there about 30 minutes late, so I tell her to head home or to her branch. In the meantime I'm the only person in the building besides the drive-up teller who got there about 5 minutes after she was to open.
We get an email asking about branch coverage. All over town our branches are short because most staff can't make it out of their neighborhoods. So I stay in the branch to help as well as I can - I've tellered only 1 day in the last 12 years! I told them not to give me a cash drawer except as a last resort, so I'm doing transfers, taking check deposits, and anything else that doesn't involve cash. Another suppport department person showed up about 10:00 - she couldn't get to our Operations Center but lived fairly close to us. Only two people who actually work in the branch got in. It was a very interesting day!
Management decided to close at 4:00 - I don't know what took them so long! Though we'd been busy most of the day we'd slowed way down, so I felt OK about leaving about 2:30. I went outside, walking very carefully, and did fine until I stepped onto the parking lot to get into the CRV. I was about 2 steps from the door when my feet went totally out from under me on the ice beneath the snow. I fell flat on my back and knocked the back of my head on the pavement. Lucky for me I guess I've got a hard head. I didn't black out and was able to drive home just fine - at a top speed of 20 mph. At least everyone on the roads seemed to be driving with good sense.
So tonight I'm home with a bad headache from the fall. Tangled Threads is cancelled because with temperatures dropping now no one should be on the road. I just hope my headache doesn't keep me from quilting tonight and is gone when I get up tomorrow. I don't think I'm setting my alarm. This time I'm prepared - I cancelled the class I'm supposed to be teaching tomorrow - just in case.
1. A safe commute home for my kids and myself
2. A beautiful white winter wonderland outside
3. Not hurting myself badly when I fell
4. Leftover pizza so I didn't have to cook dinner
5. A snug, warm house
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I mentioned earlier in the week that I got a couple nice surprises in the mail. Since the surprises were part of what I needed to straighten up I figured this is the perfect time to blog about them.
The first surprise was a large Priority Mail box from Amy at The Calico Cat. Amy mentioned a couple weeks ago on her blog that one of the things she wanted to "stash bust" was the rest of the scraps from the masculine plaid quilt she'd made as a gift. Plaid just isn't Amy - after all, have you ever seen a plaid cat? Anyway, I jokingly commented on her blog that I'd be happy to take them off her hands. In no time at all she was asking for my address, and Thursday they arrived in the mail. Here I was picturing a manila envelope full of scraps - not a box full of yardage! Many of these are full fat quarters, plus she set a big piece of a navy homespun she decided not to use in a project. It was like Christmas all over again opening this package! Amy has given me a list of things she'd like, so I will happily deplete a small part of my stash by mailing it on to Amy!
The second surprise was another large priority box from my friend Kathie. Kathie and I are both working hard sticking to the "no buy" plan of action. We both have goals that are very important to us, and we can reach them faster if we stop buying fabric. We still seem to fall off the wagon at times, as we are both so in love with 19th century reproduction fabrics, especially those from the Civil War era. We've decided that in addition to encouraging and supporting each other, we are also going to share when we fall off the wagon. Kathie sent me this beautiful collection - a 6 1/2" x 21" cut of every piece in the new Civil War IV collection by Baum fabrics. In return I'm going to be sending her the same size cut from all the new Jo Morton fabrics I bought in December, as well as some of the pre-1830's reproduction fabric I bought then. I just need to get it washed and ironed and then it'll be on the way to her.
Quilty friends are just the very best!
|You Are An INFJ|
Before I forget I need to give credit to the original designer of this quilt. Jan Rader of Kent Ohio designed it, and it was a winner in the Quiltmaker magazine quilt contest. It was printed in the Early Spring 1991 issue. The original quilt is done with a sand color for the stars, orchid where I put the green and a navy for the dark. It is 95" square. So how did this come to be the baby quilt? I can't remember if I told this story or not, so if you've read this before please forgive me.
I tore baby quilt patterns out of all my magazines for years, and also bought baby quilt books, in anticipation of eventually having grandchildren. When we learned they were expecting I asked them to choose a quilt. First they wanted to wait until they knew whether it was a boy or a girl. Then they took awhile choosing. They decided around last Thanksgiving. When they showed me which one they choose I was dumbfounded. This one wasn't supposed to be one of the choices! The picture of the quilt was on the back side of one of the pages of a baby pattern I'd saved. All I had was the picture, block and quilt size, plus yardage and cutting requirements for a 95" square quilt. No directions at all! They knew that, but figured I wouldn't have included it if it wasn't supposed to be one of the choices. I told them no problem - as long as I had a picture I'd be OK. (Thank goodness this was a based on a traditional block I've made many times!) So I decided to shrink it down to 60%, making 6" blocks instead of 10" blocks. I had to guess at the yardage when I bought the borders and white, as I didn't want to run out. I have leftovers, which I'll use to piece the back so I can put as little as possible into my stash.
For those of you who think my sewing room is always neat, I snapped this picture. The cutting table is now a disaster - at least by my standards. Somewhere buried under there are the appliqué pieces for the two blocks of Heirloom Stitches that are cut out. I have lots and lots of purple triangles - I cut way too many - so I'll need to get those into a scrap box. They are an oddball size, so I think I'll sew them into half square triangle squares and trim them to an appropriate size for the scrap boxes. I have a few extra flying geese units too - those can go in the crumb box to be stitched into crumb blocks. Other various scraps are there also, which need to be cut and sorted. I refuse to add anything to my two huge boxes crammed with uncut and sorted scraps!
I've added a picture I took of Chelsea at the shower yesterday just for fun. Now I need to get into the shower - I'm still in my pajamas! I was a woman on a mission today, and I wasn't going to stop until I completed it.
1. A finished top
2. Leftover teriyaki chicken for lunch
3. Another Monday off work!
4. Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner
5. A refreshing warm shower with good smelly shower gel
Saturday, January 13, 2007
For anyone interested - I figured out how to move everything in my sidebar very easily without having to retype anything. If anyone wants to know how I did it just ask me.
Kim at A Peach in Stitches has posted a great "No Buy" button for January. Kim is always so generous at sharing her creativity! I've tried to post the button on my sidebar but somewhere I've messed up the HTML code. I'll keep working at it - in the meantime you'll know that's what that funny thing is below my goals for the year.
Badge from A Peach in Stitches
Friday, January 12, 2007
The last four blocks of Sophie's Stars are completed. I bet you weren't expecting this green! My daughter-in-law wanted me to fit green in somewhere, so I replaced the orchid in the pattern with the green. This fabric matched the paint chip she gave me as closely as possible I think - it's almost a perfect match. The green will also be used in the first border as well as the binding for the quilt. I really like how it looks - like a patch of spring violets.
This is the first chance I've had to use these Quilt Block Layout Tags that I found at our PINS retreat at Anna Lena's in Long Beach WA in fall of '05. The minute I saw them I figure they were a great aid for those of us with Quilter's Dyslexia. I made sure I put the label in the upper left hand corner of each block. These SHOULD prevent me from making any mistakes when I sew the blocks and rows together - time will tell!
1. A nice evening with our kids tonight
2. Met my today's goal for Sophie's quilt
3. A three day weekend ahead of me
4. An "all better" back which will be able to handle quilting a quilt or two this weekend
5. A warm house and quilts on the bed as it's now 17.8 degrees outside and sure to go much colder
I am just this close (can you see me holding my thumb and forefinger about 1/8" apart?) to giving up and just creating a new blog. In fact, I have created a new blog - it's called "Quilting is Still My Passion". I've written one post but that's it. I thought I could just cut and paste everything on my sidebar onto the new one, but apparently it doesn't work quite that easily. At least I couldn't figure out where to paste my HTML. There are tools for making lists that look great - but that means I'll have to type everything all over again. I'm just not sure I want to spend my time doing that right now. So for now I'll still do my main posting here while I work on building the other one. My user name there is "hardenbrook girl", so if you see that on a comment on your blog you'll know it's still me. I'll be sure to let everyone know if and when I do switch to the new one for good. Even then I won't delete this one in case anyone has any desire to see what I've written in the past.
Many of you left comments in the last day or two that need replies, so here they are:
Helen, a UFT is an "unfinished top" and a "flimsie" is a finished top ready for quilting.
Judy, the blocks aren't sewn together yet - thankfully - so I don't have to do any frogging. I've already fixed the bottom right corner - wanted to make sure I didn't "sew in the mistake".
Swooze, the pattern I'm using is from the "Early Spring, 1991" issue of Quiltmaker. And I don't actually have the pattern. All I have is the picture, the yardage amounts, and the cutting directions (though they call for using templates that I don't have). I'd saved the pattern for a baby quilt with bunnies, and this quilt was pictured on the back side of the last page of that pattern. My son and daughter-in-law chose this quilt above all the cute baby quilt patterns I'd saved over the years. Luckily this isn't a complicated pattern - it's made from half square triangle squares and flying geese units - so I just sketched a block out on graph paper and took it from there.
Judy, we can see lots of mountains from here, but the temperatures you mention must be for areas on the other side of the mountains. I don't ever remember it going below 8 degrees in the 59 years of my life. Winters are usually very mild. When it gets very cold it's almost always clear, and the daytime highs are in the high 20's and low 30's. Not a bone chilling cold at all.
Quilt Pixie, I used to have a Polaroid camera before I got the digital. It was for nothing but taking pictures of quilts under construction. The cost of the film was just TOO high. But it really did help (1) find layout mistakes and (2) helped me remember various layouts while I tried to decide how to set blocks together.
I'm not going to delete the old blog - it's like a good friend! I have saved all my posts in a Word document, but it doesn't include all the comments my wonderful readers have left for me. So I've put a link to that old blog on my sidebar, and anyone who'd like to go back to review old posts is welcome to do so.
Until I whip this one into shape I think I'll post in both places, but at some point I'll just stop posting at the old location. In the meantime it's a bit exciting - I feel like I'm embarking on a new adventure.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Pictures are worth more than a thousand words - they are also worth the time it takes to do a whole bunch of frogging!
I took the first two pictures about 7:00 this morning. The first is of our house. I had to take four before I held my breath enough that there wasn't cloudy breath obscuring half the picture! The second is our crabapple tree at the edge of the driveway. You can see some remaining pink from the sunrise to the east. I took the third about a half hour later when I got to work. It's from our second floor facing east. Beautiful Mt. Hood is rising in the distance just to the right of the larger tree in the middle of the picture. I hope you can see it if you enlarge the shot. Right now it's covered with snow so it's about the same color as the sky. The cloud is floating just above the mountain.
As expected, by the time I headed home from work just before 4:00 p.m. the snow was pretty much gone except in the shade and on the north side of the building. High for the day was 37 so the roads were almost all bare, but where trees shaded the road a lot there were still a few treacherous patches of ice. Tonight it's crystal clear and very cold; that's the weather we are expecting for the next few days. Looks like not much golf for my hubby this weekend either!
Cher stayed home in Portland tonight - I don't blame her - so I decided not to attend the big guild meeting. They were having a national speaker who makes beautiful quilts, but not anything I'd ever be interested in making. So I decided I'd rather stay home to see how much more progress I could make on Sophie's Stars. In spite of a few relapses into Quilters Dyslexia I still finished all of the blocks but the four in the center. Here you see them on the design wall. The center four blocks are like the other half-and-half blocks except there will be a soft green where the white is in the other blocks. I'm really liking how this is turning out! Tomorrow I should have no trouble finishing those last four blocks, and then I can start sewing them all together. My goal is to have this quilted by the end of the three day weekend, and hopefully have at least the machine stitching done on the binding also. Time will tell I guess. Saturday afternoon my daughter and I head into Beaverton - a suburb southwest of Portland, Oregon - for a baby shower for Chelsea. I may not get that much sewing done that day. I still have Sunday and Monday, but I also need to get the third Army quilt quilted. Lots to do - and I'll love every minute of it!
Now I really must head for bed - it's not the weekend yet and I must get up for work tomorrow a.m.
1. Recovery from Quilters Dyslexia
2. Finding some Peppermint Mocha Coffeemate at Fred Meyer - and on sale!
3. Old TV shows on DVD - more about this later
4. Feeling like a kid again running around in the snow
5. Special packages in the mail - more about these later too
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Did you all hear me whooping and hollering about 5:00 this afternoon? And see me happy dancing all over the sidewalk outside my office? The snow finally came! It started snowing about 4:00 while I was teaching my class - tiny round balls of snow that looked more like hail but were softer like snow is soft. By the time I let my class out just before 5:00 it was really snow. I got home and called my hubby on his cell, and learned he'd left Seattle an hour earlier than planned and was about a mile and a half away filling his tank at Costco. Once I new he'd gotten home safely I really started the happy dancing!
Wednesday's we always have dinner and play games with Rick and Rebecca so we headed over there. Three of us went out for dinner; Rick stayed home because the cold weather was making his legs unstable and wobbly and he'd had to stay home from work. We decided to go to Subway to pick up sandwiches, and by the time we got back to their house with the sandwiches we'd decided we'd drop Rebecca off and head home. Roads were covered and getting slippery, the temperature was dropping dangerously close to freezing, and we figured it was better if we weren't out on the road about 9:00 p.m. when it will have turned to ice for sure.
So we are home. Fred is upstairs watching hockey. After begging bits of sandwich from me Shadow went upstairs to beg from him. And I got the camera out and ran around like a mad woman outside just in case it's all gone by the time it gets light tomorrow. Fred is sure school will be cancelled, and I'm hoping the credit union decides to open at 10:00 a.m. with no early drive-up. The disappointing part is that it wasn't light enough to see it falling beautifully, but the good part is that it didn't start sticking and getting slick until the night time rush hour commute was past. I was really surprised at how well the pictures turned out. I guess the light of the flash reflects off the snow better than it would normally in the darkness. Now I have an unexpected hour and a half to work on Sophie's Stars. I miss not being able to spend the evening with our kids, but we will make it up later. In the meantime I could hardly wait to post my pictures. This won't seem like much to most of you, but to us it's huge. We get this much snow - an inch or more - only once every few years.
So that noise you heard about 5:00 Pacific Standard Time? That was me, happy dancing in the falling snow on the sidewalk outside my office.
1. A safe trip home from Seattle for Fred
2. Snowfall that is sticking
3. Watching the neighboorhood kids build a snowman in the dark on the lawn across the street
4. Watching our 16 year old dog act like a puppy, running around outside in the snow
5. Catching falling snowflakes on my tongue like I did when I was a child
So far this morning we have no white stuff. The weather forecasters have once again "cried woof" - at least as far as this area is concerned. It's 34 degrees with partially cloudy skies. Thirty miles north I guess it's a mess of snow and ice from Longview-Kelso up I-5 to Centralia-Chehalis, as well as the north suburbs of Seattle and on up toward Bellingham. But nothing here. How disappointing!!!!!
It's good to see blogger and bloglines more or less behaving themselves again today. I do need to get some actual work done - of course I'd rather be at home quilting - so I guess this had better be it for now.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I can only hope that the lack of comments is due to (1) Blogger being down so long this morning, (2) you are all very busy quilting and living your own lives, (3) Bloglines doesn't recognize my new post because I wrote it just before everything went down this morning, and (4) people are still having trouble with the commenting screen being blank for a long time when trying to access it. I've never gone this long without a comment since I started blogging, and the site meter shows people have visited today.
If you did take offense at my post I sincerely apologize. Please let me know in a private email, as I will be very happy to delete whatever is offensive to people. You have all become my dear friends, and it hurts me deeply to think that what I wrote has brought grief - however temporarily - to anyone.
On an entirely different note - we are supposed to get snow tomorrow! Not much here on the valley floor - maybe an inch or two. But enough to watch it come down - so pretty! I've mixed feelings about it this time. My hubby went to a math conference in Seattle after school today and will be driving home late tomorrow afternoon. Three hours on I-5. I hope the snow is off the roads and no more is falling by the time he is heading home.
I am thoroughly enjoying the Ipod we gave each other for Christmas. I've not felt like having the TV on while doing this quilt - I need to concentrate on the piecing - so I've been listening to many of my old favorites. I'm a child of the 60's - went through high school and college from 1962 to 1969. One never hears the folk music from that era any more - I guess radio stations that play "oldies" won't play it because it reminds us of a time when the both the political climate and the national conscience was different than it is today. At least that's the rumor I heard somewhere. Songs about peace, freedom and love, and war, hatred, and discrimination. A time when awful things were happening, but also some very good things. We watched pictures from the first war to be televised in our prime time nightly news broadcasts. For the first time we knew what war REALLY looked like, and many of us hated it. We also saw pictures of black children attending school where they were previously forbidden to go, and hundreds of thousands of people cheering Martin Luther King as he made his dream come alive in our minds and hearts. Supposedly we study history so we won't make the mistakes of the past in the future. One can't help but wonder when that will actually start to happen. I can remember my mother saying that war will never end until men lay down their weapons and refuse to fight. I would love to talk to her about what is happening in the world today. I wonder what she would be thinking and what she would say. It's times like these that I miss her most of all.
So many generations of women weren't allowed to express their thoughts in print, in public, or in the voting booth, but opinions they had, and they expressed them in cloth. I love quilt history and vintage quilts because of what they tell us about the fabrics and the lives of people from each era, but also because of the way women used their needle to tell the world what they thought. We seldom see today's quilters expressing their politics in cloth. Many new quilters aren't exposed to anything other than "decorator quilts" in magazines, and haven't learned to create with the joyful abandon our foremothers did with the scraps and fabrics they had available. Right now I'm thinking of a woman in our guild who is now in her 80's who still makes quilts that express her thoughts. During the first middle east war she created a small wall quilt that pictured Hussein in front of a map of Iraq. The words "Sadaam Insane" ran across the quilt. I still remember the very strong statement it made. The same lady made a quilt showing nothing but tree stumps beside a flowing stream. A beaver sat next to the stream with tears rolling down his cheeks. I wonder whether anyone else makes quilts like this any more. I'm sure someone is making them somewhere, but we don't see them any more. Not in quilt shows and not in magazines. Maybe now that we can vote, run for political office and freely express our thoughts women don't feel the same need to express their opinions artistically. In a way this is sad, and the quilts of this era will be missing a vital element contained in the quilts of the past.
Enough of my musings and ramblings - I must get ready to go to work. Have a wonderful quilty day everyone!
1. The right to express our opinion publicly
2. The right to read what we want to read and write what we want to write
3. Our quilting foremothers who figured out a way to tell us what they thought
4. Freedom to create as I choose
5. The gifts of reading and writing passed on by three incredible teachers - Mrs. Balcolm, Mrs. Bothwell, and Miss Eccles.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Thank goodness I didn't sew all these blocks together because if you look closely you'll see they are up on the design wall differently than they were in my last post about this quilt. In examining the picture I discovered the two middle blocks in the second row and seventh row are different than the others, as are vertical blocks four and five in vertical rows two and seven. What's the difference you ask? Well, one of the half square triangles - or maybe more than one (I have to look closely again) is replaced by a solid square. This makes part of the center medallion. I'm guessing they are supposed to be green. It's really hard to tell in the little picture because my green is their orchid, which looks very much like their scrappy purples in the picture.
Lesson learned - just make the gift quilt you want to make - don't let people choose their pattern. Much easier! Or hide from sight any pattern you don't want them to choose - even if you don't realize you are showing it to them because it's on the back of something else that you saved that you thought they might want to look at!
Nancy asked about Kim's website - I meant to put it in the post but I see I totally forgot to do so. Here it is - it's called Water Pail Designs.
Well back to the machine and the ironing board - at least I should be able to make the last four blocks for the bottom right corner without too much trouble. After those are completed I be back to examining the drawing - this time, I think, with a magnifying glass!
Thursday night was the meeting of my little guild - North Star Quilters. It's a very laid back group of women - much like a big quilting circle. We have a constitution and bylaws and run the meetings "loosely" based on Robert's Rules, but it's the most casual organized group I've ever seen. It's lots of fun and I've made some great new friends. This was my first meeting as president, and all went well. They didn't listen to me any better than they listened to the presidents before me LOL!
We have many talented quilters in the group - today I'm going to mention Kim. Kim has her own design company, and sells her patterns, hand dyed wools and more on her website. I guess you could say I'm affiliated - I know her through guild - but I want to post her website for any readers who love primitive. Kim has done several programs since I joined - including the one Thursday night. We had a speaker all arranged who pulled out Wednesday afternoon due to a family crisis, and Kim put together the program on short notice. We made these wonderful pincushions. Kim had the kits with the charm, wool heart, beads and pincushion fabric all cut to size. I love the valentine fabric and the cotton lace, both of which she aged with coffee. It's so much fun making up a kit of Kim's because her designs are easy and quick. My only problem is that my collection of pin cushions keeps growing! I need a place I can store them all.
1. The rest of the day to sew - first Sophie's Stars then upstairs to load a quilt onto the longarm
2. Diet pepsi
3. The energy to pick up the house today before starting to sew
4. A Seahawks win last night
5. Talented, creative fiber artists who willingly share with everyone
Saturday, January 6, 2007
Loyal readers of my blog know that we are expecting two grandchildren this next year, so I thought I'd give you an update on that. Rick and Rebecca are still number ten - they didn't place a single boy last month. They are hoping to place 2-5 boys in January, so keep your fingers crossed for them. Hopefully they'll be making a trip to Guatemala in February or March. As far as Jeremy and Chelsea and little miss Sophie go - the doctor ordered an ultrasound because he felt Chelsea measured smaller than he'd expect for 34 weeks. This was the second week the measurement was on the small size. He said this is usually caused by the baby being in a funny position. So they had the ultrasound yesterday and the technician indicated that the actual measurement of the uterus and fetus was actually larger than expected. Apparently the measurements indicate she's at about 36 weeks rather than 34. It's up to her regular doctor to give the final interpretation, but I'm thinking maybe I need to work even harder on Sophie's Stars than I originally thought!
I finished my first UFO of 2007! What a good feeling. This should never have been a UFO at all - I was sure it would be done in October the weekend I put it on Gandalf to quilt. I think I posted about my bad luck in ripping a small hole in the quilt during the quilting process. I guess every longarmer does this sooner than later - I'm just really glad it wasn't on a customer quilt!
Anyway, I figured I'd appliqué hearts on it to disguise the hole. I cut out a bunch of hearts, pinned them on, and was immediately bogged down with other projects with deadlines. I kept thinking I had until March to finish this so I procrastinated. Big surprise and joke on Patti when I received an email on Monday that the chair wanted our finished quilts turned in at Thursday's meeting. I begged for a reprieve and was granted this weekend. She wants to mail them to American Patchwork and Quilting by the 15th because I guess the auction starts the first of February! Thank goodness I felt well enough today to sit in the recliner and appliqué the rest of those hearts! Doing appliqué on a quilt that's already quilted and bound isn't fun - let me tell you! - because one can't gather the quilt up in one had like one is used to! But it's done - hooray! - and I hope it brings a fair price at the auction.
Today I have to find the energy to finish appliquéing the hearts on the Quilt Pink quilt as I need to turn it in on Monday so it can get mailed to American Patchwork and Quilting. I don't think any longarm quilting will be done, however - not unless I feel lots better tomorrow.
Here's hoping this bug doesn't find the rest of you - it's a particularly nasty one!
1. Feeling better today
2. Toast with butter
3. Herbal tea - especially peppermint