Monday, May 28, 2007

No more sewing for this gal . . .

Oh well, I had great visions of getting at least one more customer quilt finished this weekend, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. At least I have it loaded on the machine and all ready to go.

Saturday morning I worked outside about 4-5 hours. I pruned the crab apple tree, which looks MUCH better. I deadheaded all the spring blooming perennials and the iris. I dug the holes for the rest of the petunias, marigolds and phlox, but it was getting too hot, so I didn't do the actually planing until after dinner. Fred spent the morning taking all the tall, overgrown perennials - Siberian iris and some kind of daisy - out of the bed on the east side of the driveway.

Yesterday morning I planted last of the flowers and cut up all the crab apple limbs for the yard recycle. Then I put Preen, a weed inhibitor - on all the beds. About the time I was going to call it quits Fred came outside to see how I was doing. (He'd been inside doing school work all morning.) As soon as he saw that the beds were finished he hopped in the truck and went for bark dust. So we spent the next 5 hours spreading two yards of bark dust. We still need one more yard for the east of the driveway and the west side of the house, but that will wait until next weekend. We were just too tired and I was too sore to do any more - besides, City Bark was closed by 4:30. I hopped in the shower and Fred went to the athletic club to shower, and then picked up Subway for dinner

I'm very happy with how things are looking. I just wish we had a front porch - even a tiny one - so I could sit outside to stitch and enjoy looking at all our hard work. Right now the annuals look a bit puny, but with regular doses of fish fertilizer and regular deadheading they will spread marvelously over the summer. For the first time in several years we'll have a front yard to be proud of.

I planned to quilt this morning but I'm hurting too much. Sure shows I need the exercise! So I'm reading blogs and drinking coffee instead. We head to our son's at 11:30 for an early birthday celebration - and of course a visit with Sophie! I can't believe my baby will be 31 tomorrow!

1. Seeing the results of our weekend labor
2. Fred's help with the yard
3. Kids who let us put two containers of stuff in their yard recycle bin
4. New quilting magazines to read
5. Four day weekends


Friday, May 25, 2007

Sophie at three months

I've not posted pictures of Miss Sophie for a little while, so I thought I'd show a few of the newest ones. What can I say - I'm a Nana who's completely nutty about my granddaughter! We're celebrating her Daddy's birthday on Monday so we'll all be together at their house. I can hardly wait!

One down, two to go

I finished a customer quilt tonight that's a graduation gift so it had a deadline. My Tangled Thread friend Kathi made this as a gift for her next door neighbor who is graduating with honors next weekend. This was a fun easy one to do. As soon as I saw it I knew what would be perfect - swirls to go along with the block fabric. Each quilt I do freehand gets easier. I'm still far from perfect on the border but it is acceptable. I think I try to rush too much - I need to keep telling myself to "slow down!" I used a variegated thread that was absolutely perfect - I think every color in the quilt was also in the thread. I have no idea what that funny pale spot in the right border is - something the camera created when I took the picture as it's certainly not on the quilt.

I have two customer quilts left with deadlines - but these two don't have to be done until mid-month. There for a friend in my little guild, however, so I'd love to have them done by the meeting on June 7th to save her an extra trip. Then I sure hope I don't get any more for awhile. I know that's a funny thing for a "business woman" to say, but I'm selfish - I want to get back to quilting my own quilts - both for charity and for family. Especially Joseph's quilt - I'd love to have that finished by the end of June. That way I can be 100% sure it will be done by the time he arrives.

1. A paid vacation day and paid holiday
2. Pretty quilting thread
3. Lunch with my daughter
4. Grilled shrimp kabobs
5. Beautiful weather for gardening

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My favorite quilt

Update: I've just found out that this pattern was designed by Suellen Wassem from Ohio.

The Stashbuster topic of the week is our favorite quilt - one we've made and/or own. This is an easy question for me - I know right away which one it is. I've shown it to you before but not for a LONG time. The hard question is why it's my favorite. I'm not really sure - I just know that it is.

In 1992 I started teaching quilting for Daisy Kingdom in Portland, Oregon. I also started working there in the Home Dec department. Very dangerous, as it was right next to the quilting department. When this pattern came in from Kindred Spirits I immediately fell in love. I asked them if I could make it up as a sample for the shop. They agreed - which meant that I picked the fabrics and they paid for them. I sure liked that! I thought I was picking fabrics similar to those in the picture on the pattern. The following year I got to see the original in the Kindred Spirits booth in Houston and theirs was nothing like mine!

I fussy cut some of the fabrics for the stars - you can see that if you enlarge the pictures. Elly Sienkiewicz had just come out with the first reproduction of the "fondue" fabric you see in Baltimore album quilts - fabric that shades from dark to light and/or from one color to another across the fabric. I used that in two of the stars - you can see it in the close-up of the blue star. On other stars I tried swirling the design or having it expand out from the center of the star. The colors of the quilt are very different from what most everyone was using in those days. I think that's one thing that appealed to me - I always liked to be a bit different from the crowd. This is a challenging block to piece, which I've always relished. It was pieced entirely by machine using my featherweight.

I love the quilting on this quilt also. I quilted it "to death" - probably about 1/2" apart all over the quilt. This was before the arthritis in my hands made hand quilting painful and difficult. The quilt talked to me as I went, telling me how it wanted to be quilted. I tried something new to me on the border, inspired by Gwen Marsden's book about hand quilting, and I liked it so well I've done it on several quilts since then.

I entered this in the only judged show I've ever entered and it won two ribbons! Two of the very few big ribbons I've ever won. It was judged first place in the small pieced category (though I don't think it's all that small!) and best pieced quilt in the show. You can't imagine how very excited I was when I turned the corner and saw those ribbons on my quilt!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh boy - I've done it now

Who knows whether I'll ever catch up with my blog reading. Tonight I got home from work, settled down at the computer and pulled up bloglines. All I can figure out is that I must have clicked on "Mark all blogs read" because suddenly all the posts waiting for me to read disappeared!!!! I don't want to miss anything that folks have been up to! All I can do now is start at the top of the alphabet and go down. Hopefully I'll be able to recognize the last post I read on each blog LOL! I will still try to comment, because I know how important that is to everyone.

My husband is taking a personal day on Friday - it's use it or lose it and it's almost the end of the year. So I'm taking a personal day also. He's playing golf - I'm going to be doing something quilty. Don't know what yet, but that gives me a 4-day weekend. Hooray!

I've been plugging away on Joseph's quilt when I've not been upstairs quilting. I think this quilt must be jinxed. I'm not sewing things together wrong like I did with Sophie's quilt - I'm not reading directions correctly to start with! Every mistake concerns the same part of the quilt - the red strips with blue hearts. First I cut blue strips and red hearts. Whoops! Too much blue. Next I cut red strips but cut them all too narrow. So I recut the red strips and used every remaining scrap of the red fabric. I cut blue hearts and fused them on and figured I was finally in good shape. That was way last month. Since then I've done the blanket stitching on all four animals and the sun block. I started blanket stitching the hearts on Friday night during the Mariners game and finished two of the four strips. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my progress on Saturday morning. One of the red strips was the wrong length. And I'd fused all the hearts going the same direction. Oh dear - two red strips are sewn vertically on each side of the duck block - my hearts are laying on their sides! So now I have to choose a different red from my stash, cut new strips and new blue hearts and fuse them again. And of course Murphy's law was in effect - one of the pieces I'd already blanket stitched was wrong. At least it wasn't both of them! I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that this is the last mistake I make on this quilt. I'm not crazy about the bunny's nose - that's the way it's done on the pattern - but after all the rest of my troubles I'm not changing it!
1. Bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner
2. A late birthday lunch with my assistant
3. 405 calendar days until I retire
4. Birdsong outside
5. A short work week


Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by the Chicken Lady at The Chicken Coup. I'm to tell you seven random things about me that you don't already know. That may be a bit of a challenge, as this will be my 346th post. That's a lot of chattering, so I'm not at all sure I can come up with seven things that I've never mentioned before.

1. I didn't figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up until I was 47 years old! I've tried lots of different things and had lots of different careers. Whenever I got a new job or tried something new I always loved it, and said I'd finally found what I wanted to do. Then after awhile I'd get bored and start looking for "greener pastures". I was sure something must be wrong with me. The longest I'd worked at a job was 3 years, and the last 2 1/2 years I knew it wasn't the right thing for me. I taught school - for three different periods in my life. I taught piano. I taught sewing. I worked retail. I even worked as first a secretary and then a data analyst for a plastics company! I ran my own crafts business. I did child care. It wasn't until 1994 when I started working for the credit union that I figured out what I wanted to do until I retired. It's still a challenge and I don't get bored - even after 13 years - but nevertheless I'm more than ready to retire.

2. I think I'm an introvert who was supposed to be an extrovert. I remember as a small child loving everyone and having lots of playmates and friends. I had a grand time in kindergarten. Then in the second month of my first grade year I became very ill and wasn't allowed to go back to school until the next fall. I had my sister for a playmate but no one else. I hated staying home and missed school dreadfully, but my parents followed the doctor's advice to the letter. I forgot how to socialize, I forgot how to make friends, and I learned to be very happy entertaining myself. When I finally went back to school I didn't know how to join in the play with other children, and felt very left out. It took different stints of working with a psychologist as an adult to come to terms with who I am. I'm very happy with my life, and love being home by myself reading or quilting, but sometimes I still look longingly at extroverted women and feel like I really should be like them.

3. I love to bake. I've taken prizes for both my cakes and my pies. My speciality is home made cinnamon rolls. Since I started working full time I rarely have time to bake, and I miss it.

4. I can figure out the square root of any number with just a pencil and paper - a useless skill that I'm sure hasn't been taught in schools for a LONG time.

5. I can't stand having nothing to do with my hands. If I must sit quietly for any length of time I start picking at and chewing on my fingers. Not my nails - my fingers! Hang nails, dry skin, you name it. Consequently I try to always have something in my hands. At work it's a pen and paper, elsewhere it's needlework if I'm not reading. If I'm forced to sit for an hour or two with nothing in my hands I end up with at least three or four fingers bleeding - ugh! A terrible habit!

6. I've never been tempted to try a cigarette - not ever - not even once. My dad smoked off and on, and I hated the way it smelled. And I never had friends who smoked until I was in my 30's.

7. I didn't drink - had no desire to - in college. I spent my 21st birthday at an ice cream parlor where I got a free birthday sundae - not at a bar. I hated the taste of alcohol until gradually I found a few things I liked in my 30's. My sister introduced us to wine in our late 30's, and for the past few years we've enjoyed wine with our dinner a couple times a week. Now we find ourselves having Long Island ice teas with our dinner at the bar at Applebee's at least once a week. We're friends with the bartender and several of the other "regulars" in that we enjoy chatting with them around the bar. Ten years ago if you'd told us we'd do that we wouldn't have believed you.

Not all that interesting now that I read these things, but at least they are things you didn't know. I'm so far behind on reading blogs that I've no idea who has already done this, so consider yourself tagged if you'd like.

I'd forgotten how much my body can hurt!

I love having a beautiful yard with beautiful gardens all around. When the children were very small I a created decorative beds all round the back yard and filled them with vegetables and fruits. The front yard I filled with flowers and evergreen shrubs. I stayed home for 6 1/2 years and spent much time keeping the entire yard looking beautiful. My father always had beautiful flowers all over our yard when I was growing up, and I inherited both the gardener genes and the love of flowers from him.

It's been almost 20 years since I've been a stay at home wife and mom, and the yard really showed it. Fred mows the yard and sometimes trims the edges of the beds, but he really doesn't like yard work at all. For a long time I tried to keep things nice but just didn't have enough time. I'd go crazy with yard work for a weekend or two - working from dawn until dark - and then spent several days recovering because I could barely walk due to the muscle pain all over my body. Then when the heat of summer hit I didn't want to be out there at all. The backyard went to pot first, and now grass has grown over almost all of my gardens. For some time we did better at keeping the front yard presentable, but it too began to rapidly deteriorate when I started spending more and more of my free time quilting. First I discovered the Internet and joined several Yahoo quilting groups, and I started spending much more of my "free time" quilting. Then I discovered folk art and primitive quilting, learned to machine quilt, and then got a longarm. From completing only one or two small tops every year or two, I once again started sewing like a mad woman. I spent no time on the yard at all, and refused to listen to the little voice of guilt telling me things needed attention.

The front yard got to the point where I couldn't bear to look at it. All the perennials I'd planted were in desperate need of dividing. Grass had crawled into all the beds. The edges of the beds had totally disappeared. I could fool you with close-up shots of pretty shrubs but I never took shots that showed the true mess things had gotten into. My artist's eye was crying in pain whenever I looked out the front window. A week ago Friday I decided enough was enough. I called a local landscape and nursery business and asked them to come give me an estimate on the cost to clean all the weeds and grass out of the beds and re-edge everything. I knew I'd never be able to do it all even if I had the time - my body is MUCH older now that when I gardened every day. Their estimate was very reasonable, so last Monday I had them do it. They'd almost finished by the time I came home from work, and the results were remarkable. Money very well spent! Most of what was left to do was the fun stuff - shopping for plants and getting them in the ground. Our weather has been beautiful, and I could hardly wait.

Friday I bought large trays of petunias and marigolds at Costco. Then after coffee yesterday morning my daughter and I went to Home Depot and went crazy. I bought two beautiful hanging baskets - they'd given me one for Mothers Day - as well as a huge cart full of plants. Spirea and azaleas to replace several that had died in the ice storm winter before last. Several kinds of perennials to fill in bare spots in the beds. Geraniums and sun-loving impatiens. Lots of other little annuals that caught my eye. Plus a new wheelbarrow, as the handles on ours had rotted away after 30 years. It was a good thing she'd driven her truck as we totally filled it.

When we got home I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then started to plant. In no time at all my body started to protest. I've been incredibly lax at exercising - very bad, I know! - and in no time at all I was breathing hard and my heart was pounding from spading. We have heavy clay and hardpan, so gardening has always been a challenge. I started by dividing and transplanting perennials that I'd planted originally in an inappropriate place for their height. Then I did a severe pruning on our pink dogwood, getting rid of lower branches that crowded out the plants growing below the tree. Next I started planting the larger plants. Every 20-30 minutes I had to stop to sit, rest, and drink a bunch of water. It was slow going. I was starting to feel every year in this 60 year old body. At least I got smart and stopped about 4:30 even though I wasn't done - something I'd never have done even 2-3 years ago. I filled a tub with hot water and climbed in - by then my legs could hardly hold me. Fred went to Subway and got us sandwiches for dinner. I was so tired, but in spite of taking Advil I slept poorly due to muscle pain.

It rained overnight and was obviously going to rain more today, so I was back out this morning about 7:30 planting the rest of the larger plants and all the small annuals I bought to go along the side fence. I would have kept going but it started raining in earnest by 8:30 - good thing for my body I think. Now everything's in but the petunias, marigolds, and some pretty little purple and white flowers that weren't labeled but look sort of like a dwarf phlox. I wasn't going to take pictures until I was totally done, but I don't like to post without pictures so I went outside to take a few. The rest will have to wait until this next weekend. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I bought some stuff to sprinkle all around the plants which should keep weeds down for 3 months, and then we'll get a load of bark dust to finish it all off. I still have to deadhead the early spring perennials and trim a bunch of shrubs, but then I think I'll be done for the time being. I may have to buy a few more plants to fill in holes but I won't know for sure until everything else is planted. My goal is to have it all finished by Memorial Day.

In the meantime my body is crying from the abuse I've given it yesterday and today. I did finish quilting the quilt on the machine after I came inside this morning - I don't suppose that helped much. None of our chairs seem comfortable enough to sit in right now - and I know it's just me. But I keep looking outside and seeing how much better things look, and the pain is worth it. I just hope it's gone by next weekend so I can bend over again to sit on the ground and get back to work!

1. Wonderful rain today - the yard needed it!
2. Three charity quilts quilted
3. Flowers!
4. A hot soaking bath and a glass of wine
5. A new Quilt Sampler magazine


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Special quilts - Gifts from the Heart

I've been a member of a small quilt for almost 20 years now. We call ourselves the Tangled Threads. We meet once a week a each other's homes. I've mentioned the group in past posts, so some of you may remember them. This past year we've been involved in making some special quilts, and now that they've all been received I can post pictures.
One of our members has a son who is in the army. He's part of a tank platoon stationed in Iraq. Last fall Kim found some army fabric so she made her son a quilt and sent it to him. He asked her if she could make quilts for the rest of his platoon so she enlisted the help of the Tangled Threads. The quilts were pieced by several of the members and quilted by both me and a couple other people. Kim's son finally had a chance to send her a picture of the platoon with their quilts - I didn't want to write about it until I had that picture along with their permission to post it. They all really liked them - especially in the winter. I guess it gets cold in Iraq in the winter.

We also spent the last several months working on a special quilt for one of our members. I've mentioned her before when I've talked about her battle with ovarian cancer and the program through Blank Fabrics to raise money to fight ovarian cancer. We received some fabrics from Blank Fabrics as a thank you for all the blocks we sent them, so we decided to make a comfort quilt for Peggy from the fabrics. We added some of our own, and each of us made a self portrait by adapting an appliqué pattern from the book Friends Forever Quilting Together by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan of Possibilities. One of our members made a block to represent Peggy, and another made a block with two people - Peggy in her kerchief and an unnamed "Thread". (I've posted a picture of that block as well as my "self portrait" in which I'm wearing a jumper - still my favorite work outfit even though they are out of fashion.)Another member sewed the blocks together, I quilted it, and still another member bound it. It truly was a group love project. Peggy was delighted with it, and took it to wrap around her during her next chemo treatment.

One of the true joys of quilting is making love gifts for others - whether they are people one knows or for charity to be given to whoever needs them. The more involved I've become making love quilts the more I want to make. Quilts are truly gifts from the heart.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another charity top quilted

I'm very happy to report that I finished quilting another charity top tonight. This one was made by another guild member too. I love 30's fabrics so I volunteered to quilt this one and another one just like it. The pantograph I chose is called Angel Wings but I thought it looked like butterflies. I really like how it turned out. Someone asked about the piano key border so I took a close-up of the top corner. The border is on the top and bottom only, and ties in very nicely with the Chinese Coin piecing.

Completing this means I'm half done quilting the charity quilts for now. Besides the twin to this one I have my own string top to quilt. I'm saving that one for last as I'll have to bind it also. It will count as another UFO finish for both the guild challenge and the Stashbusters challenge. Finishing UFO's is a very good thing!

I'm still way behind on my blog reading due to having so many quilts to quilt this month. I don't want to rush through it and miss important things, and I think it's important to comment at least once on most all of the blogs I read. If you've not seen a comment from me that probably means that I still need to get to yours. First I started at the beginning of the alphabet, then at the end, then in the middle. The next time I get a chance to read I think I'll be starting in the middle again - maybe about the L's. Hopefully by the end of next weekend I can get caught up with everyone.

1. A beautifully weeded, trimmed and edged front yard.
2. All the different spring greens in the flower beds
3. The ease of crock pot cooking
4. Breezes through the moon roof on the CRV
5. Working from home stretched out on the couch using the laptop


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Finally some progress . . .

This morning I actually loaded a charity quilt for Hotel Hope on the longarm and got it quilted. This bargello quilt top was made from a UFO that one of the guild members donated to the cause. She made the top years ago when she lived in Alaska and had little access to fabric. Years later she decided she hated it and would never finish it as the colors weren't her colors at all. Another guild member added the borders around the bargello area and then the blocks across the top and bottom to make it long enough for the bed. I love the way this turned out - the blocks she added compliment the center nicely. I quilted it in a simple meander so it didn't take all that long.

When I finished this one I loaded a second top - this one is a Chinese coin variation done all in 30's reproduction fabrics with a piano key border. The back is also pieced from large squares of 30's fabrics. I really like this one because it is so light and spring-like. I'm doing a butterfly pantograph which also makes me think of spring. I'll post a picture of that one when it is finished - hopefully by tomorrow night!

I got a nice call from my son just before noon with Mother's Day wishes from all three of them. Then Rick and Rebecca came over about 4:00. We went to a speciality pizza place downtown - they have the best pizza around! - and then played Hand and Foot. The ladies won, which was nice for Mother's Day - but only because Fred missed playing a crucial card which would have ended the second round and prevented us from collecting an additional 1500-2000 points. Since the spread at the end of the game was a close 510 points we would have lost if he'd not made this crucial mistake.

I hope all you mothers in blogland had a wonderful day - whether you are mothers of two legged creatures or dogs and cats or have a DH who needs a lot of mothering. It was a very lovely day here. Tomorrow it's supposed to get up to above 80 - a sure sign that we are approaching the middle of May.


1. Wireless connection for the laptop
2. A special Starbucks breakfast
3. A nice Mariners victory over the hated Yankees
4. The yummy smell of a roast in the crockpot
5. A new hanging flower basket from my kids


Saturday, May 12, 2007

A question of patience

Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? If so, are you always patient or does the particular situation make a difference?

So often when I mention that I quilt the person I'm talking to says something like this, "I could never make a quilt. I'm not nearly patient enough." My response is always the same. "It takes impatience to make a quilt. You must have a desire to see what it will look like when it's all finished. Otherwise you'll never stick to it long enough to finish it." The last person I said that to was one of our new employees at the credit union who'd just finished taking my class. I got to thinking about her statement and my response, and for the first time I asked myself whether or not that was really true.

Most people consider me a very patient person, because anyone who teaches other people how to do anything must be patient. And when it comes to my students I am always patient - even when I have to think of a third or fourth way to explain something because they didn't "get" the first two or three explanations. But outside of work and outside of teaching I'm the most impatient person you can imagine. I have trouble waiting for things I've ordered to arrive in the mail or by UPS. If we are expecting guests and they don't arrive right when I expect them to I begin to worry that something might have happened to detain them. And when I get involved in a project - especially one I'm excited about - I find myself dropping everything else in order to get that project done. It's like I'm driven - I block out everything else.

You'd think that would mean that I have no UFO's right? Because I'm driven to work on one until it's finished. You know by my sidebar that it isn't true. If only it would really work that way. Instead I find myself driven to accomplish a set goal, but the goal is often something other than finishing a quilt.

Take today for example. I was supposed to be upstairs quilting. I even got up early - about 6:30 am - so I could get a good start. I told myself I'd just trim a few more triangles so I could clear off the cutting table. Then I decided to trim until my daughter came to take us to coffee. Then it was just until the DVD I was watching was over. Can you see the tendency here? What I REALLY wanted to do wasn't quilt - it was to get those triangles finished. So I did - about 3:30 this afternoon. Something like this always takes way longer than I think it will. I've posted a picture of results of my efforts. Who was I kidding when I happily (and proudly) said I'd emptied an entire plastic shoebox by sewing together these triangles? Now that same shoebox contains half-square triangle squares, all trimmed nicely and waiting for the next step towards becoming whatever they are going to be. They range in size from 1" to a bit over 2". And the shoebox is right back on the shelf where it was originally when it was full of triangles.

I'm telling myself I did accomplish something - after all, they are just that much closer to becoming part of a finished quilt. But there they sit, because I don't dare start stitching them together. If I do I'll become driven to complete another goal - sewing them all together into a finished flimsy - and I still won't get any quilting done. So I'm calling it quits for now - especially since the second Yankee-Mariner game is about to begin. I'll take the laptop upstairs, sit in the recliner, and read blogs while I watch baseball. Notice that still doesn't have anything to do with quilting a flimsy. Tomorrow morning I'll go upstairs to load a quilt on the machine - at least that's what I'm thinking tonight.

Obviously I have way too much patience when it comes to quilting all these flimsies. So I guess what I said is true - I have to be impatient to see them finished or I'll never stick to the job required to get them done. So tell me - what do I need to do in order to be impatient when it comes to quilting these tops?

1. Azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom
2. A tasty new rub and barbecue sauce - a gift from a casual friend
3. A glass of white wine
4. A box full of triangle squares
5. A new pedicure


Friday, May 11, 2007

Not much of interest here . . . .

First of all I want to thank everyone for sending me birthday wishes. I appreciate each and every one of you for taking a few minutes of your valuable time to comment. It was a wonderful birthday in every way.

As for my "forgotten project" - it was so much fun reading all the suggestions. I'm not sure which idea was the most popular - I know there were quite a few of you who suggested a table runner. I was leaning toward that idea because I could leave the blocks sewn together rather than taking them apart - but then I got an offer I couldn't refuse. My friend Kathie's idea was very simple - "send them to me and I'll make a doll quilt for Sophie". That was by far my favorite idea - you can see why, I'm sure! - so they will be tucked in the next package I send her.

In the meantime I'm plugging along with my triangles - not the most interesting thing to blog about by any means, but the only thing I'm working on right now. Every day I press a bunch of them as I have time and then trim them to size. I've even been listening to baseball on the radio instead of watching so I can keep trimming. The box of triangle squares is getting fuller but the pile on the ironing board doesn't seem to shrink LOL! Common sense tells me it is, but I'll be much happier when I can see it with my own two eyes. At least half of these are trimming to 1 1/4" square, so I'm thinking a little doll quilt for Sophie is definitely in order. And when I say little I mean little blocks that will finish at 1 1/2" square! I've worked that small before and find it a lot of fun. As long as one keeps working with 1/4" seams they aren't too hard to hang onto to feed through the machine. I trim the seams to 1/8" after sewing to keep down the bulk. I many try a block or two this weekend - though I'm almost afraid to do that. I know myself - one leads to another and to another - just like eating your way through a bag of potato chips when you meant to have only two or three! I don't like to post without pictures, even when the pictures don't show much of anything interesting!

I have to be good and stick to my plans for the weekend, as I want to get the four Hotel Hope quilts quilted and mine bound. Then I can concentrate on the customer quilts I have, which now number 5. I keep telling myself that's a good thing - another payment for my machine and another step towards it being paid off.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and a very happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers. My DH will take me to breakfast and then Rebecca and Rick will come over in the afternoon. I hope all of you have as nice a day as I know I'm going to have.
1. Quilty friends everywhere
2. A new quilt magazine in my mailbox
3. Dinner out tonight
4. Fred's cold is finally starting to leave
5. A nice visit with two friends at guild

Monday, May 7, 2007

Time sure goes by quickly!

I can't believe it's been an entire week since I posted! I've been incredibly busy and hardly home at all, but I didn't think it had been that long! Between guild meeting, quilting a Tangled Threads quilt for a special gift, Tangled Threads meeting and family birthday time it's been a full week. I've also been playing with our new laptop that we ordered through our daughter. She brought it to us on Saturday as she'd taken it home as soon as it was delivered to "clean off all the stuff we didn't need". I guess computer companies load a lot of software for "free trials" - we were glad to have her take all of it off. She also loaded all my EQ software including the new EQ6 that I couldn't use because this machine has Windows 2000. It's sure fun to read blog posts in bed. I can also keep this in my sewing room now - really nice if I'm working on an online pattern.

Today is a big day for me - I passed another decade in my life and turned the happy young age of 60. I don't feel 60, and I don't think I look 60. The kids were all here Saturday for our family celebration as it's too hard for Jeremy, Chelsea and Sophie to come up on a weekday. We had a great time other than the fact that Fred's been down with a bad cold so he didn't join in most of our fun. Today Rick and Rebecca will join the two of us for dinner out - wherever I want to go. It's always so hard to decide - I still don't know where we will be going.

I took a vacation day today. I've always wanted to do that on my birthday but something always seems to come up at work that prevents it. Not this year - I refused to allow that to happen. So I spent the day finishing the quilting on Bunny Garden, then bound and labeled it. It felt so good to cross another flimsy off the list on my sidebar and add another completion to my goals! If you'd like to read the story about this round robin you can find it here.

1. Chocolate fudge birthday cake
2. Black and white mocha and chocolate chip banana mini loaf - breakfast at Starbucks
3. Fred is starting to get his voice and energy back
4. Blogging in bed!
5. A day just for sewing