Friday, July 31, 2009

Free to Good Home


Come on ladies! You KNOW you want him! I know there are at least a couple of you. The first one to send me her snail mail address wins, and I'll get him posted just as soon as I can figure out how much postage will cost.

When I was looking for something to illustrate this post, I came across this YouTube video--I thought the rest of you may enjoy it.

By the way, do you have any tips for getting dye out of a red, white, and blue quilt that was washed with red bedding and is now red, pink, and blue? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old Wives' Tales

And who better to talk about old wives' tales than an old wife?! I actually had a particular one in mind: the health benefits of copper jewelry. What do you think?

I'd heard about stuff like magnets and copper, as well as other metals, in jewelry for some time. You know what I mean--the claims that wearing particular metals help ailments such as arthritis. I was always a skeptic. Here's the basic theory behind the health claims:

"Copper, when in contact with the skin, forms chelates with human sweat (sometimes seen as a green deposit under the bracelet) and is thus absorbed into the skin," writes Dr. Ray Walker, of the University of Newcastle, Australia. And what does that copper do for a person? Well, according to Dr. Helmar Dollwet, copper is an essential element of an enzyme necessary for the production and regeneration of the cartilage lining the bone surfaces. Copper (and zinc) he explains, are also essential to Super-oxide Dismutase (SOD) which cleans up superoxide radicals that can be destructive to human body tissues.

Yeah, whatever. Sounds like a bunch of bull to me.

Several years ago, Hubby and I were on a driving vacation in Oregon when I had a flare-up of what I thought was probably arthritis in one of the joints of a finger in my right hand. I had brought an applique project with me to work on in the car, but my finger hurt too much to sew. Some days were a little better than others, but the pain was always there to some extent.

One day, we stopped in a little touristy town and walked along the main street's shops. In a gift shop, I saw some pretty bracelets--turned out they were made with copper and other metals. The one I liked best was rather delicate appearing and looked like this:

I decided to buy it. I thought that if nothing else, at $15 it would be a fairly inexpensive reminder of a fun vacation, and if there was anything to the copper/arthritis "myth," maybe it would help.

As I mentioned, I'm really a skeptic when it comes to health claims. Imagine how surprised I was when the pain in my finger joint subsided a day or two after I started wearing the bracelet. Really weird and unexpected. But I didn't think it would last.

I'd had the same pain on and off for a couple years before--usually not as bad as this time, but definitely noticeable. So, when it went away after I started wearing the bracelet, I fully expected it would return at some point. Nope. Not really, and it's been several years now. I'll say that at most, I've felt that joint get a little achy a couple times.

I don't really wear jewelry, but I ALWAYS wear that bracelet. And I'm thinking about getting another. (Click HERE if you're interested in seeing some of the other styles this company makes.) Seriously, I don't know how, but the bracelet seems to work--and I don't think it's a mind over matter thing because I didn't expect it to be successful.

Have you ever tried copper jewelry or "proved" another old wives' tale to be unexpectedly true for you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leisure time is that five or six hours when you sleep at night. ~George Allen

Sleep. I kinda like it sometimes. I haven't been getting it nearly enough lately. I don't know why.

I think it could be the nicotine thing. Or the menopause thing. Or the pea under the mattress thing.

And just in case it's the pea under the mattress thing, Hubby and I went out tonight and bought a new one--a mattress, not a pea. A pea would have been cheaper. A lot.

Well, it's been a long time since we bought a mattress, and there are all kinds of new things out now. Golly gee wiz, did you know they don't stuff mattresses with corn husks anymore? Okay, maybe it hasn't been QUITE that long, but long enough.

I sent Hubby out last week to narrow down the field. With his physical limitations, it was most important to find a mattress that was right for him. We quickly eliminated the memory foam types--he'd never be able to claw his way out in the morning; I'd come home from work each day to find him still stuck. Then I was somewhat interested in the Sleep Number beds until I realized they are basically air mattresses at the core, and I read a couple reviews where customers had some air leak problems. They DO sound good, but I know how our luck goes--we'd probably have a leak on MY side of the bed and Hubby wouldn't believe it--he'd likely think it was ME doing something wrong. And then I'd have to kill him. So, no, the Sleep Number bed was eliminated.

Hubby really liked the latex beds best--no springs, no flipping, soft but yet supportive, and he can turn over and get up. So tonight we headed down to one of the stores he'd shopped at so I could try out a couple mattresses.

We were a salesman's dream, I'm sure. I think we were probably in the store about 15 minutes since we already knew what we wanted. That photo up there? I think that's the one we decided to get. They seem to call the different mattress models by different names in different parts of the country, so it's hard to say for sure. I DO know we bought a Simmons Natural Care Latex with a Euro top and a 20-year warranty. They're eco friendly, apparently. They're made of stuff like latex and soy--no peas though--the sales guy said.

We also bought two of the most expensive pillows I've ever bought. Also latex. Guaranteed for seven years not to end up looking like some squished up amoeba thing in the morning. Normally I have to replace our pillows a couple times a year. If these new pillows work out, I figure I'll be coming out ahead after four or five years, depending on the cost of inflation.

Of course, with my luck, I'll probably develop a latex allergy right after the 60-day mattress trial period expires.

How about you? Do you like your mattress? What do you have?

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Class News and "Stuff"

I thought I'd write about a couple quilt class related things, mostly for those of you who are in the Sacramento area, and I also wanted to tell you about our last Hey Ghoul Friend class--AND I want to do a little giveaway related to that, so don't click away from me just yet!

I mentioned to some of my local friends that I planned to design a "Fall!" quilt that I was going to teach in September. I haven't done that--the design part--so I'm not going be teaching that class in September. I know a couple of you even penciled it into your planners, so get out your erasers and plan something else fun that day. (Invite me! I'm available!) I decided that my nicotine-addiction withdrawl symptoms lack of motivation should be indulged for the time being, and I didn't want to pressure myself into designing, sewing, and quilting something when I just wasn't feeling the excitement. Sorry.

On the other hand, the Buggy Barn Halloween class on August 15th is full to overflowing with a waiting list, so Bearpaws & Hollyhocks is adding a second class--I think it will be on September 12th and will either be taught by me or Lindy. If you're interested, check with the shop. The newsletter should be out soon, so the shop will have all the pertinent info in the next couple weeks.

One of Lindy's blocks from the Buggy Barn pattern If The Hat Fits

If you don't want to do a Buggy Barn class but DO want to take a class from me, I will be teaching a class on Saturday, November 7th called Kim's Kristmas Klass. I plan to have various free patterns and project ideas to offer the students and we'll work on whatever strikes our fancy and/or fills a holiday decorating or gift need. Details will be in the newsletter, so watch for it.

We finally finished up the Hey Ghoul Friend class earlier this month, and one of my students, Victoria, got two gold stars for completing not one but TWO quilt tops. Here's a photo of one of them:

Darn cute, isn't it?! And as a special treat for my ladies, I made some small quilts to celebrate completion of the class and to thank them for hanging in with me until the end.

And, of course, I packaged up the little quilts with a little bag of trick or treat goodies.

And this brings me to my giveaway. Send me a photo of your completed Hey Ghoul Friend quilt top, and I'll put you in the drawing. OKAY, I'M JUST KIDDING! I suspect that would leave almost no one in the drawing. So here's the deal: Just leave me a comment that you want in, and I'll put you in the drawing to win a little Halloween quilt and goodie bag. I'll close entries at 5 p.m. Pacific daylight time on Friday and post the winner's name on my Saturday post. Good luck!


Monday, July 27, 2009

She Said Yes!

Do you remember me showing this photo before? I'm pretty sure this was Father's Day. Soccer Son called us right after he got home that night to tell us he was planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him. In about a month. And we couldn't tell anyone. "Especially, mom, don't put it on your blog because she reads it sometimes."

Oh, I hate secrets! And right about the same time? I was told a couple others--and I STILL can't tell those. But now I can tell this one!

Soccer Son took his girlfriend (I really MUST come up with a Blogland name for her!) to a favorite family camping spot on the northern coast of California where he proposed--on my birthday in fact. Cool, huh? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A few days before he told us he was going to propose, he went to visit her parents to get their blessing. Good kid, huh? Yes, as a matter of fact I DO take credit, although I suspect my parenting skills have nothing to do with it. It's just the person he is. He also told his grandparents ahead of time. And his sister. And I don't know who else--probably no one with a blog though.

And for a few weeks ahead of the proposal, he debated whether to buy a ring or wait until after the proposal so she could pick one out. That's always a big question, isn't it? Unless there's a family heirloom or the prospective bride has already nonchalantly wandered into a jewelry store with boyfriend in tow and expressed her specific tastes, it's hard to know what to do.

So, here's what he did. They arrived at the camp site and headed to Agate Beach where they hunted for agates. At the end of the day, Soccer Son asked her loveliness (that'll work for now) which agate she liked best. Unknown to her at the time, he had brought some copper wire with him, and he managed to somehow fashion the agate and wire into a temporary engagement ring. Cute, huh?

An agate in the rough--not "THE" agate though.

The other funny thing? He'd suggested to her loveliness a week or two before the trip that she look online and see if there was anything in particular she wanted to do in the park on their camping trip. She noticed there was a spot called Wedding Rock, and in her mind, she envisioned her own little fantasy scenario involving the setting, but when she mentioned that hike to Soccer Son, he said, "Oh, we don't need to go there." So much for the little fantasy scenarios we females have, huh?!

Wedding Rock--Where they DIDN'T get engaged.

So where DID he propose? Well, they climbed up Lookout Rock and they were the only ones there. Soccer Son started talking to her loveliness about their future and then he hopped down onto a ledge--I suppose he was trying to get into an appropriate proposal position. His graceful stance was somewhat marred, however, when he nearly missed the ledge and fell off the cliff instead. He then asked her to marry him, and she said yes--probably fearing he'd jump off the ledge if she said no.

And now we wait. I don't know how long. She's going to school to get her masters degree and wants to finish school before the wedding. Of course, I told Soccer Son I was going to have to know when the wedding's going to be because I'll have to do stuff like diet and make a quilt, so presumably they'll let us know in plenty of time.

But they're happy and we're happy--in fact, we like Soccer Son's choice quite a lot! And now I don't have to keep THAT particular secret! Woo-hooo!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Aren't they great? There was a time in my life, when I was much, much younger, when I didn't really think I needed friends--or at least not more than one or two. It's funny how our ideas about life and relationships change along the path.

Liz--a friend I've known since I first started quilting--is moving to Colorado Springs for her job, and I attended a surprise going away lunch for her today. Most years, we've been in at least one class or club together if not more. Liz is a sweetheart with a great sense of humor, and I'll miss her quite a lot. Luckily, her new condo has a couple of extra bedrooms so her friends can visit her--and I DO hope I'll be one of them!

At the lunch today, I saw several of my friends from the Thimbleberries Club I used to belong to. I decided not to participate this year, but I sure miss seeing them! It was wonderful to get together with the ladies today, although as you may imagine, it was a rather tearfully soggy event, particularly as things started to wind to a close.

This evening, Hubby and I met our friends, Terry and Lisa, and Hubby's sister, Kathy, for dinner, Starbucks, and a movie. Lisa and Kathy have been my closest friends for a long, long time--about 30 years. We've been together through happy and sad times; we've watched each other's kids grow into adults; and we've shared a lot in that time, as close friends do. Kathy and Lisa are the sisters I never had--until they came into my life.

Today, I overheard Hubby talking on the telephone with his mom, and they were talking about my birthday. I heard Hubby say something like, "You know, mom, she got cards and things from women all over the country--and some are people she's never even met!" And you know what? He doesn't even know how many of you left comments, wishing me a happy birthday. I wonder how surprised he'd be to know?

Some months ago--and I can't remember when it was exactly, but it was at least last fall if not before--I mentioned on my blog that I wished I had a group of quilting friends to get together and do things with. And isn't it funny? Now I do! Teaching at Bearpaws and Hollyhocks has brought me closer to some of the other quilters, like Gran and Pam and a few other ladies who don't have blogs. Through teaching, I've also gotten to know the ladies who are now my quilting "students" better AND I've gotten to meet new friends who I wouldn't have met if I hadn't taught a class.

For me, today has been a day to reflect on the friends in my life and how special each and every one is, whether they are my "sisters" I've known for 30 years, my Blogland buddies who I've never met in person, or all the other friends in between. You all enrich my life and make it so much better!

"I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends."
- William Shakespeare

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Having My Cake and Eating it Too!

There were a couple cake queries amid the general drooling, longing, and congratulations to Hubby for selecting a winning birthday cake, so I thought I'd satisfy the curious among you out there in Blogland.

No, it is not a peanut butter cake. As much as I love peanut butter (particularly when combined with chocolate), that sounds a little too heavy to me. Not that this cake is much lighter though--it's MOCHA. Yum! Four layers of white cake goodness with a mocha filling alternating with a chocolate filling and a mocha frosting on the outside with a fudgy topping over that. Nope, not light at all. But really, really good!

But these are light--sort of!

Boy Boss is a very excellent baker--in fact, if for some reason the whole attorney thing doesn't work out for him, I think he could make a pretty good living as a baker. About a week before my birthday, he questioned me quite extensively about my favorite cake, which happens to be a white cake with white chocolate frosting and strawberries made by a local bakery. Boy Boss came up with an extremely credible version of that cake in these cupcakes--unfortunately, my photo isn't very good AND shows them a little the worse for wear after sitting out all day and then being driven home in a somewhat warm car. But take my word for it--they were really, really good! And there was a whole tray of them on my desk when I got to work that morning. Of course, I shared them with the office staff, but I still managed to get four home. Boy Boss also greeted me in the parking lot with a Starbucks iced latte. Pretty spoiled, huh?!

And Girl Boss II? On my desk was a card and three gifts all labeled. A floral arrangement (sorry, no photo!) was labeled "pretty gift." A wrapped package was labeled "practical gift"--that turned out to be the book about insomnia, something that's been troubling me lately. And a gift bag was labeled the "fun gift."

See the pink girl and blue boy there in the upper left? That was the fun gift--these guys wind up and dance. Cool, huh?! For her birthday a couple weeks ago, I got Girl Boss II a foam dart gun and told her I thought everyone needed a toy for their birthday--apparently she agreed! And the card in the photo was from her too--too funny!

I think I'm ALMOST done with my birthday week--except for Saturday night when we're going out to dinner with friends and maybe to a movie. Any recommendations for a good movie for men and women? I'm not even sure what's playing right now, so any input would be helpful!

Oh, and there's still cake left! Stop by and have some!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Feel Special!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! It's been a pretty darn good birthday week so far, thanks to all my friends!

On Monday, my friend Pam brought an iced latte to embroidery class for me. The next night, Gran gave me fat quarters of every polka dot fabric Bearpaws & Hollyhocks had as well as the cutest Halloween pins. On Wednesday night, I gathered up the packages that had arrived for me in the mail, and carried them into my bedroom and opened them. Soon my bed was covered with gifts, boxes, cards, and tissue paper! Spike had a wonderful time too!

And what was in those boxes? Well, Eileen sent me two baskets, a trilogy of Nora Roberts' books, a handmade book cover, a lotion bar, and a bunch of bugs--she always sends me something to make me laugh!

Carol sent me the cutest apron (you can see a photo on her blog), a quilt pattern (one I've been looking at off and on for some time--how did she know?), and a handmade card--darling! (Both Eileen and Carol, besides being blogging friends, are members of a small, online Yahoo Thimbleberries group I belong to.)

Then, today I received a card from the always entertaining and somewhat zany Dianne WITH a Starbucks card enclosed. I think it would be so much fun to meet her in person some day! If you ever hear about the arrest of two crazy middle aged quilters wearing bunny slippers and pink flamingo slippers, you'll know we met up somewhere. (And, by the way, check out her recent posts, Boys go to Jupiter and Girls go to Mars--Boys go to Jupiter is just perfect!)

Yes, I've been treated awfully special so far, and you don't even know the HALF of it! I'll have to tell you more later. Right now, it's time to have a piece of the birthday cake Hubby picked out--YUM!

In the News . . .


Taco Bell ad star Gidget the Chihuahua dies at 15
By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Writer Robert Jablon, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 22, 9:27 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Gidget the Chihuahua, the bug-eyed, big-eared star of 1990s Taco Bell commercials who was a diva on and off the screen, has died. She was 15. Gidget suffered a massive stroke late Tuesday night at her trainer's home in Santa Clarita and had to be euthanized, said Karin McElhatton, owner of Studio Animal Services in Castaic, which owned the dog.

Although she was hard of hearing, Gidget was otherwise in good health up to the day of her death, eating well and playing with her favorite squeaky toys at the home of trainer Sue Chipperton, McElhatton said.

"She was retired. She lived like a queen, very pampered," McElhatton said.

Gidget was found at a kennel and wasn't show quality, McElhatton said; she had an undershot jaw and huge ears.

But Gidget knew she was a star, McElhatton said.

"She was a prima donna, basically. She absolutely knew when she was on camera," McElhatton said.

In a 1997 Taco Bell television commercial, Gidget was seen as a male dog who, through the magic of special effects and a voice actor, proclaims in a richly accented voice: "Yo quiero Taco Bell" — Spanish for "I want Taco Bell."

Viewers were charmed. What was supposed to be a single ad became a campaign that ran from 1997 to 2000.

The ads made the Taco Bell mascot wildly popular, although they provoked criticism from activists who accused them of promoting Hispanic stereotypes.

While other Chihuahuas had bit parts, McElhatton said it was Gidget who got the closeups and the quips (Carlos Alazraqui was the voice).

Gidget traveled first-class, opened up the New York Stock Exchange and made an appearance at Madison Square Garden, McElhatton said.

In later years, she did other acting work, appearing in a 2002 commercial for the insurance company GEICO and in the 2003 movie "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde."

She remained the object of affection after her retirement, going on hikes and beach visits with her trainer. She aged gracefully, and liked nothing more than to snooze in the sun.

"She was like a little old lady. She'd kind of gotten smaller," McElhatton said.

Gidget will be cremated, McElhatton said. Her owners had not decided on a final disposition of her remains. Taco Bell Corp. said in a statement Gidget would be missed by many. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her owners and fans," the company said.

* * * * *

And in what somehow feels like a related story, July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day. So go on out and eat a dog today! Just make sure it's not called a Gidget Dog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Checking In

My friend Eileen said she's tired of seeing the Wienermobile, and I've gotten emails from a couple people wondering if I'm okay, so I thought I should post something.

Yes, I'm okay, more or less. I'm kind of depressed--not depressed as in I feel like doing myself an injury or huddling in the dark in a fetal position, but just that I don't feel particularly enthusiastic about anything. I understand from people who have some experience with or knowledge of addiction therapy that it's common for our brain receptors to shut down and stop feeling good things for a little while after we break a habit like drugs, alcohol, or nicotine. So I'm guessing that's what's bothering me now. And that lack of enthusiasm? Well, it means that I'm not very enthusiastic about writing either--not to mention the fact that my enjoyment in the everyday occurrences and my sense of humor seem to have flown right out the window too.

Then add to that bit of depression some kind of stomach flu. I think I've had it to a mild degree at least since last Friday, but it really hit me hard around 6 o'clock this morning. I kind of think Hubby's starting to get it too--he wasn't feeling well this afternoon, but more like I was feeling over the weekend: just tired and a little lightheaded.

Anyway, the point is that I'm here, I'm doing okay, and I'll write when I have something to talk about, but I might not write every day for a little while. Sorry about that--I know that crazy as it may seem, some of you like to check in on me every morning and miss me if I'm not here. On a positive note, though, I have a little giveaway planned soon, so DO please stop by occasionally--I'd hate you to miss it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Oscar Mayer, Revisited

NEWS FLASH! July 17, 9:01 p.m. ET


MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. – One southern Wisconsin homeowner is probably not in love with the Oscar Mayer wiener. The famed hot dog's Wienermobile crashed Friday into the deck and garage of a home in Mount Pleasant, about 35 miles south of Milwaukee.

Police said the driver was trying to turn the Wienermobile around in the driveway and thought she was moving in reverse. But she instead went forward and hit the home. It sat in the driveway as if it were stuck in the garage Friday afternoon.

No one was home and no one was injured. No citations were immediately issued.

Both the home and vehicle suffered moderate damage, which Oscar Mayer spokeswoman Sydney Lindner says insurance will cover.

Police hadn't been able to speak to the homeowner as of early Friday evening.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


I first started smoking when I was 14 years old, and I quit about 20 years later. Cold turkey. Of course, back then, there weren't many other options for quitting.

My motivation at that time? My kids were young and I had the opportunity to take a few years off work to stay home with them and be a "mom," but we wouldn't have been able to afford it if I smoked and had to buy cigarettes. So I quit. It seemed a fairly easy decision to make, although quitting itself is never easy. As DebiJeanM commented on yesterday's post, there are studies that suggest tobacco is more addictive than heroin, so quitting isn't easy at all. But for motivation, being able to stay at home with my kids if I could quit was the best!

I always enjoyed smoking. Even after I quit, I wanted to smoke, although I thought about it less and less as time went by. Eventually, my time at home with the kids came to an end, and I went back to work full time. In my "free" time (ha!), I returned to school, taking a college course or two each semester. Life went on.

One spring Secretary's Day, my office organized a lunch for all of us at a restaurant on the river, and a bit of drinking ensued. The attorney I worked for was a smoker as was another attorney, and I thought it would be excellent fun to smoke with them--and it was! A week or two later, several of us went for drinks after work, and again we smoked. On each occasion, I drank, I smoked, I went home, and I didn't smoke again--until the next time. But there weren't any cravings in between.

A few weeks after that, I got word my dad was going into the hospital for a quadruple heart bypass procedure. He--and the hospital--were about an hour and a half drive away. On the day of the surgery, I got in my car to drive to the hospital. I was worried and I was alone. I stopped and bought a pack of cigarettes--I thought smoking would help with the worry, and it did calm me down. That day and the several days after, when I made the same drive back and forth, I would stop along the way and have a cigarette. (And yes, I did recognize the contradiction between my dad's heart problems and my smoking.) Very quickly I found I was dependent on cigarettes again. I had been a non-smoker for eight years until that point, but my years as a non-smoker were over.

For some time, smoking was my secret. I didn't want to admit to my friends and family that I had failed. I was spending a lot of time away from home, working full time and going to school, so smoking in secret was easy. I often spent part of my weekends at a local coffee shop, studying and doing homework where it was quieter than it was at home--and, of course, I could smoke there. And, aside from all that, there was a certain allure to doing something secret and forbidden--I understand why married people can get caught up in affairs just for the thrill of doing something they aren't supposed to do!

Eventually, though, my secret was found out, and I was smoking openly again. And, of course, smoking's not a popular thing these days. On the scale of degenerate things to do, it often seems like smoking ranks right up there with picking one's nose in public. So that was one reason to quit. And another reason? No one I know smokes any more! Maybe the most compelling reason for me, though, was the fact that each year my allergies seem to get worse, and I thought that if I quit smoking, it would help with the whole allergy/congestion/icky stuff.

So, I thought it through and set a date. July 3rd. July 3rd was an office holiday, then I'd have the weekend, and I also arranged to take Monday and Tuesday, July 6th and 7th, off work as vacation days. Five days of Hell; five days with few outside demands and pressures; five days to get through the worst of it. Cold turkey. My office manager and my two bosses knew; Hubby knew; and one or two friends I talk to daily knew. I didn't want to have to explain to anyone else if I failed.

Why cold turkey when there are smoking cessation aids available now? I worked with a woman whose doctor told her she'd develop emphysema if she didn't quit, so she quit with the help of patches and gum. A year and a half later, she was still using patches and gum. I was afraid that would be me--or worse. I thought if I did patches and/or gum, I might be lured more easily back into smoking. I'd quit cold turkey before, and I knew I could do it again; and, maybe more importantly, I knew what to expect.

As the date approached, Hubby was prepared to leave town if need be. Hubby told me he was thinking of taking Spike with him, because he didn't want to come home and find her nailed to the wall. Wise man. But it didn't turn out to be that bad for those around me, and other than several hours on the 4th of July when he went to visit his brother, Hubby--and Spike--hung around the house.

I slept a lot during those five days. I drank a lot of water and iced tea. I read a little, I quilted a little, I embroidered a little--mostly I didn't feel like doing anything for very long at all. On the sixth day, I went back to work and had two of the most stressful days I've had in a long time--and that's completely and totally aside from the whole quitting smoking thing. I should have taken the entire week off, but who knew?

If I hadn't quit before and knew what to expect, I probably would have given up this time around the third day into it. Someone asked how I did it, and all I can say is that I just kept going, knowing that eventually--and before TOO long--it would get better. And it did. And it will get even better, I know.

I can't say I'll never smoke again. I'm sure I said it several times during the eight years I was last a non-smoker, and I'm sure I meant it wholeheartedly. But now I know better than to be so cocky and self-assured. Things happen; willpower falters. All I can do is try, day by day, to not smoke. Eventually it will get a little better. But eventually I may let my guard down.

What do I hate most right now? I'm still kind of grumpy and depressed. I don't feel like settling down to anything for long. I'm not sleeping very well, and that means I'm tired much of the time. My appetite is weird--I'm hungry, but after I take the first few bites, I don't want any more; then I'm hungry again in a couple hours.

I don't remember this happening when I quit before, but if it's not related to quitting, then it's a remarkable coincidence! I think it would help if I could get out and take walks or something, but it's been 110 degrees out, and if I had a death wish, I would have just kept smoking, so walks aren't the solution for now. I plan to relax this weekend, take some good multivitamins, drink plenty of fluids, and get some sleep, with the help of Tylenol PM. I have things I need to get done, but I don't want to stress myself out where I don't have to, so I may not post to my blog if I don't feel inspired--and inspiration isn't thick on the ground right now. So if you stop by and I'm not here, you'll know why.

Thank you all for the encouraging comments. It's funny how many of us are former smokers! And for any of you reading this who have been thinking about quitting but haven't so far, I bet you can do it! Feel free to email me privately if you have questions I can help you with. "See" you again soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Blog Post That Will Not Die

Gosh, I've been kind of surprised at all the reaction to my earlier post this week about "gifts" from Hubby and my occasional less-than-nice thoughts. Or, to be more accurate, it didn't quite surprise me at FIRST, but I've tried distracting all of you with cross-stitch pillows and berry cobbler recipes the last couple of days, but you still want to comment on that post! So I guess we're not quite done yet.

Of course, there's always more to a story, and there's more story behind each of those gifts I mentioned in that first post, but that wasn't really the point of the post--my grumpiness was the point. And it seems from the comments left that many of you have had similar experiences and thoughts along life's rocky road. Although this particular post focused on experiences with a spouse, I'm sure we'd all have just as many stories to tell if the subject was our relationships with our parents, our children, or anyone else we've lived with for some time. It's not always sunshine and laughter in any relationship, although I think there's a certain blessing to be found in our ability to laugh at some of the "relationship stuff" instead of cry!

From the comments, I see that some of us have been unfortunate in our relationships. I know what that's like. My first marriage didn't work out, and truthfully, the first five to ten years of my marriage with Hubby--well, let's just say that I was the romantic one and he--not so much. Somewhere along the way, that changed. Relationships--long term ones--are like that; up and down, ebb and flow, but obviously there's something there that makes us keep going.

There were a couple comments that seemed to question a bit whether I do nice things for Hubby--or maybe it was just my reading of the comments and they weren't intended that way at all. But of course I do. Marriage is a partnership and each of us is thoughtful of the other. But I don't feel the need to talk about the wonderfulness of myself--that wasn't what it was about. Hubby can tell you what bliss it is to be married to me--or not, as the case may be. But he's still here, so I guess I'm not too bad.

And I wasn't trying to make Hubby look bad in that post. There are plenty of stories from the 29 years of our marriage that would have done the job better if that was my intent. (And I'm sure that door swings both ways!) I can tell you, too, that if you had the impression I don't appreciate Hubby, that's not the case. Hubby does plenty of things that are completely wonderful, like when I find he's cut a single rose from the garden and put it in a bud vase somewhere for me to find, or when I come home from work and he asks whether I'd like an iced latte. Those simple little thoughtful gestures are the ones I appreciate most, without any of those grumpy thoughts I mentioned in that prior post.

And my grumpy self? Well, two weeks ago, on July 3rd, I quit smoking, cold turkey, so I have a free pass that allows me to be grumpy, cranky, depressed, and out-of-sorts for a little while still. But that's another blog post for another day. Thanks for stopping in to visit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Cobbler Time!

When I went grocery shopping last week, I found blackberries were on sale, so I brought home a large container and baked up some cobbler over the weekend. (Isn't that potholder cute? My friend Eileen made it for me a couple years ago!) Want the recipe? It will work with any type of berries--probably diced up fresh peaches too! Here you go:


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 to 1-1/2 cups of sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
1/2 cup milk
1 heaping cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 to 3 cups of berries (or other soft fruit)
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, cream butter with half the sugar. Set aside remaining sugar, berries, and water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and fold in well. Drop batter by spoonfuls into ungreased 8" square pan (I used a rectangular glass pan and it worked fine).

Spread berries/fruit over dough. Sprinkle with reserved sugar, and pour water over the top.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Dough should be brown and slightly crisp. Eat. Enjoy! (It's really, really yummy topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On the Lighter Side . . .

Okay, I think it's time to step back from exposing my deeper feelings to you and instead expose to you one of the things I've done recently. It's still about marriage though, so be warned!

A couple weeks ago, on one of my Goodwill hunting trips, I came across a framed cross-stitch. Here's what was written on the back:

Sadly, I would guess that maybe Dan and Michelle's marriage didn't last. (I actually know a Michelle who was married to a Dan whose marriage didn't survive past the birth of their third little boy in five years--wouldn't it be funny if the cross-stitch had been theirs?!)

Here's the front of the "picture." Apparently by the time I took this photo, I'd cleaned off the glass, so you can't see that it cost something like $2.99, I think.

I found the cross-stitch during my lunch hour on a day when I went to a class at the quilt shop after work. There I ran into Gran, our embroidery instructor, and Julia, another friend who enjoys embroidery, so I brought the cross-stitch in to show them and they were both fascinated. I also passed it around during class and the group of us talked a little about the message written on the back of the frame and wondered how it had ended up in a thrift store. Sometimes that's the fun of thrifting--imagining where something's been!

The cross-stitch was mounted onto an adhesive cardboard for framing and that had to be removed. There were also a couple little discolored spots on the cross-stitch, and after talking with Gran about possible cleaning methods, I washed and dried it using a soap she recommended. In order to stabilize the threads on the back, because I was worried that removing it from the sticky cardboard may have pulled a few loose, I used an light/medium weight iron-on interfacing on the back.

Finally, I made it into a pillow by adding a backing, stuffing, and a ruffle. I think it will look sweet on the bed in the guest bedroom, don't you?

P.S.: TODAY IS EILEEN'S BIRTHDAY! If you follow her blog, click on over there and wish her a happy day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Warts And All

Well, yesterday's post struck a nerve among those of you stopping in to visit, and your comments were all over the place. You know, I struggled to write the post last night because what I wanted to convey was that I was very grateful for the things Hubby does for me and the thoughts behind his actions. What I don't like is what I see in myself--that certain something that seems to find fault in even the good things in life. I don't know if that came across to some of you.

I think many of us have men in our lives who don't always do exactly the right thing, but we appreciate the fact that they try. Some of us have men in our lives who get it right all the time. And some of us have men in our lives who don't try at all and don't care. But it really doesn't matter so much what we find in those around us but rather what we find in ourselves.

What I wrote, I wrote because I was being honest about myself and the fact that I'd like to somehow change that little voice inside my head that says something like "the roses are beautiful, and it was wonderful that he bought them, but after 29 years of marriage, why doesn't he know what color I like?" But I don't know how--no matter how much I tell myself it's unreasonable to expect perfection and that I should be happy with what I DO have, there's still that niggling little voice of doubt sometimes. And you know what? I think it might be insecurity and/or self-pity--the thought that maybe I'm just not good enough to inspire someone to remember or care about what I like or don't like. So, I don't know how to change that, but I'll need to think about it. Life is so much easier when you can just be happy all the time, isn't it?

One little insight I had in reading and thinking about all your comments was that many of us give other people what we want them to have, not what they truly would like. I guess an obvious example of that is the husband who buys his wife lacy lingerie as a gift. I do the same type of thing with Hubby--on gift occasions, I buy him clothes that I'd like to see him wear. Invariably he reverts to some goofy-looking, raggedy brew pub T-shirt and shorts that are too short, because that's what he's comfortable in. So, yeah, that's me imposing my idea of what Hubby should be--or should look like--on him; not me considering what Hubby would REALLY like. Just like Hubby giving me roses in a color HE liked, right?

I suppose my impending birthday started me thinking about gifts and such. I'm kind of odd about that--I don't like like getting gifts. I always feel awkward. If I could sit alone in a dark closet and open my birthday gifts, I'd be happy. Why is that? Another question about myself to ponder. I have gotten a little better with age though--at least there's that!

The comment from yesterday's post that I thought was kind of funny was one of the last ones that said something like--and I'm most definitely paraphrasing here--I should be grateful for the roses and not be publicly critical on my blog for all to read. Well jeez Louise! I have a BLOG. I tell people things. I'm not a very private, secretive person--as I think you've probably figured out. Most of you don't know me or Hubby personally, so what I tell you about my life has no more real impact on you--or us--than if you were reading a fictional story about someone. And for those of you who DO know us personally--well, you already know what we're like, what our relationship is like and how we interact, so you know I'm not trying to be mean here.

My life isn't perfect and neither am I. Most of the time, I try to keep my blog upbeat, but LIFE isn't always upbeat, and so sometimes there are other things to talk about. It's pretty unlikely that I'd write about anything Hubby, our kids, our family, or our friends and co-workers did just for the sake of complaining or whining about my life. That's not my style. But sometimes there are things going on in my life or thoughts that I may have that I want to explore and get your input about--for one thing, self-exploration and analysis and seeking input from others helps me grow as a person, I think.

So, thanks for commenting and letting me know what you thought and what your experiences have been. Obviously, we all have our own issues to deal with and we see things from different perspectives--and that's given me more to think about. What Amy R said in her comment really seemed to sum it all up:

"We are as we are, and they are as they are. . . . You aren't feeling this way out of malice, yet you feel it nonetheless. At the end of the day, we resolve to accept ourselves as we are and continue to strive to improve ourselves as best we can."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stuff I Can't Say

My husband is a truly wonderful man and I'm very grateful that he thinks about doing nice things for me. That having been said, though--well, have you ever been given a gift you aren't too excited about or had someone do something "nice" for you and would have preferred they hadn't?

Yes, I know it's the thought that counts. But do you know what I really hate? I hate feeling critical of a gift or a thoughtful act--it makes me feel like I'm a mean person, and then I don't like myself very well. ARGH! Do you know what I'm talking about?

For instance, these lovely roses Hubby bought me for our anniversary.

Beautiful, aren't they? But I have to wonder why he picked this peachy/pink color. They don't go with anything in our house. And I know he didn't pick them for the meaning of the colors. He just picked them because they're a beautiful color. And they are! But I can't help wishing they were red or white or yellow--it seems like these are the one rose color that doesn't look so great in our home. And I feel guilty for thinking that.

The other day, Hubby was sweet enough to make cookies for me--one of my favorite kinds: peanut butter.

Except he burned them. He always burns cookies. He's a wonderful bread baker, but cookies? Nope. So now I have a bunch of my favorite burned cookies. And I feel like I should eat them because he made them for me--but they don't taste very good and they still have calories. And I feel guilty for not getting a big glass of milk and choking them down.

Remember I mentioned Hubby cooked dinner for our anniversary? Yes, I think it was very thoughtful and sweet of him. But you know what? For some reason he doesn't actually SEE messes. He thought he'd cleaned up the kitchen this morning, but take a look at the stove:

See the grease all over the front panel? There was other stuff like that too all over the kitchen. When he left the house today, I got out the cleaning stuff--I did it when he wasn't around, because I felt guilty for feeling I needed to clean up after he'd already cleaned.

I wouldn't actually SAY any of this stuff to him because I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings and, like I said, it's the thought that counts--I'm tickled he thinks of doing things to make me happy. But I hate how I make myself feel sometimes!

Does your spouse ever buy you the "wrong" gift or do the wrong thing for you? How do you handle it when that happens?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Writer's Block

It's nearly 3 a.m. and I've been sitting here for the past half hour trying to think of something to write about. I've got nothing. Or very little, anyway.

Writer's block? An uneventful day?

Well, I worked on this quilt--

But it doesn't look much different, does it? I made a few more strips and triangles and sewed together several more columns, but I still have a few to go.

Then I worked on these for awhile--

Disappearing nine-patch blocks using Halloween charms. But the oddest thing happened. I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY KNOW I have yardage from this line, and I'd like to use it for borders, but I've looked high and low in the Sweat Shop and I cannot find it anywhere! So, have I lost it? Used it in something else and can't recall? (I think I used fabric from this line to back the Hey Ghoul Friend quilt, but I'm reasonably sure that was BEFORE I bought more of the fabric on sale.)

So, yeah, that's about the most exciting thing I have for you. I really just spent most of the day in the Sweat Shop, doing "stuff" but nothing that's all that exciting to see at this point. Oh! And here's more: I also pieced a back for a quilt that I want to pin in the morning. See? Exciting doings, right? Not!

And today's highlight? Well, it was Hubby and my anniversary--29 years. Hubby bought me some lovely roses and we exchanged cards. I didn't feel like going out to dinner, so he cooked BBQ'd chicken, rice, and fried onion rings, which was all very nice. After dinner he felt quite ill with this thing he gets occasionally, and so he napped in the recliner while I went back to the Sweat Shop--not exactly the height of romance, was it?!

I'll have to try to do something interesting tomorrow. Or at least think up a really good story. Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Girl Friends Are the Best!

There's nothing like the company and support of other women to help get a person out of a funk! First there were your supportive comments to help cheer me up. Judy H. in particular made me laugh with her "favorite PMS joke"--

"Why do they call it PMS?
Because Mad Cow Disease was taken!"

And today was Girl Boss II's birthday, so there was some fun to be had there. She's CRAZY about cookies, so I brought her a dozen homemade chocolate chips--

(I baked some cookies for myself too--eating a couple made me happy!)

And, because I think it's important to get toys on your birthday, no matter how old you are, I also gave her a dart gun--she was the envy of several of the other attorneys.

And, of course, a stop at a favorite quilt shop after work on a Friday night can't hurt, right? I found Lindy had gotten the Frightfully Crazy Buggy Barn books in for my class and had already sold all of them but one! (And I was just THERE on Tuesday!) I snagged the last book, because I think it's reasonable for students to expect a teacher to be familiar with the pattern(s) she's teaching. I understand Lindy will be getting more in soon. She's also kitting up fat quarters for the If The Hat Fits pattern from the book. (And yes, I thought a teacher really SHOULD support the shop and buy the little fat quarter bundle, so I have that too!) I wish I'd taken a photo of Lindy's If the Hat Fits quilt top, but I didn't think of it at the time--extremely cute! I'll try to get a photo soon. THEN Gran and Lindy megged me into buying a couple little stitchery patterns. AND Lindy tried to meg me further by telling me about the wonders of the "soot" color of Gentle Arts embroidery floss, but I put my fingers in my ears and hummed loudly to myself until she went away. Not that I've forgotten though about the miraculous "soot" floss, and I suspect I'll be sucked right back to the floss display next time I go in the shop. Sheesh!

And speaking of humming and such, while at the shop, Lindy, Darlene (another quilt friend), and I sang the Oscar Mayer song to Gran while the ladies from the Department of Justice were meeting in the classroom--I wonder what they thought of us singing about wieners? No matter, I suppose--they've probably heard worse!

Oh, and by the way--I was extraordinarily heartened to learn I have 11 students signed up for the August 15th class with a maximum of 12--that's not bad considering the class is a late summer addition without a shop sample or any mention in the shop newsletter! Woo-hoo! I was so worried I'd have a class and no one would come!

We were having such a marvelous time together at the shop that Gran, Darlene, and I decided to continue the fun at dinner at the Green Jade Restaurant (Lindy had other plans for a Friday night date with her husband). Here's a photo of the guy who was running the place and waited on us--I don't know his name, but he was quite a comedian!

The restaurant closes at 9 p.m., but we three were there until 9:30--needless to say, we were the only customers left, but it was hard to leave when we were having so much fun!

Yes, I'm much happier tonight than I was last night thanks to all my gal pals! I heart you all!

Friday, July 10, 2009


KIM IS UNABLE TO POST TO HER BLOG TONIGHT BECAUSE (pick any one or more of the following selections):

  1. She has an extreme case of PMS

  2. She has an extreme case of menopause

  3. PMS and menopause are conflicting and she wants to kill someone

  4. She's had a sudden onset of Tourette's (one of the symptoms is uncontrollable swearing)

  5. She's too busy laying booby traps for Hubby to fall prey to and has no time to write

  6. She can't get the glow-in-the-dark stars off

  7. She's curled up on the floor of the closet with a bag of chocolate

  8. The moon is full and she's out in the back yard howling at it

  9. She's too busy plucking chin hairs which seem to have grown 3 inches overnight

  10. She's still on the floor in the closet, the chocolate is gone, but she's started on a bottle of tequila

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Whatchamacallit Quilt

I thought I'd get back to talking about my progress on this quilt I'm playing around with and I realized I don't have a name for it. Any suggestions?

When we last talked about it, I said I'd show you how simply it goes together in rows--I think those of you who haven't seen the pattern in the magazine or anywhere else will be amazed that there are no Y seams!

I've sewn together the four rows (or columns--whatever you want to call them) on the right and I've separated the rows (columns) in the center so that some of the design wall shows through and you can see how the pieces go together. You DO have to do some piecing on the bias and you have to be careful to line up the seams and keep your pieces in the right order, but there isn't any set-in piecing. (One of the Kims asked in a comment whether I've pressed the seams open or pressed them to the side--I've pressed them to the side so far, but I'm debating--the only bulky part is the "bulls eyes," and so far they're laying flat enough that I think the eventual quilting will take care of any little bit of puckering.)

Here's a close up:

I've had to stop sewing things together and start piecing more triangles because I had this idea that I wanted to have what look kind of like rows of "fans" at the top and bottom of the quilt (which will actually be the SIDES, if that makes any sense!) and I didn't have enough already made--

And then I have another idea for the sides (which will be the top and bottom), but I'll have to show that to you later when I get to that point.

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to answer them. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Death of an Icon, Part 2

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but are any of you getting as saturated by and tired of Michael Jackson "news" as I am? Yes, Michael was a wonderful little kid who grew into a wonderful young man who could sing and dance really well. Then he got really weird and stopped singing and dancing except in court. And then, for the most part, I suspect none of us really wanted to hear about how much odder he'd gotten over the last few years or his financial problems or his upcoming comeback/farewell concerts in England. And then he died as he'd lived--in some weird, mysterious, and odd manner. Yes, I'd like to hear what they find out about THAT once all the tests come back, but the rest? Nope. I was kind of getting tired of it about 10 or 11 days ago.

The other thing? The death of Michael Jackson has really overshadowed the deaths of several other notable cultural icons. I mentioned Billy Mays a couple times already. And poor Farrah had the misfortune to die earlier on the same day as Michael, so her passing got our attention for what? About ten minutes? And now? With all the funeral/memorial hoopla, did you even hear?

"Oscar G. Mayer, retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, has died at the age of 95." This, by the way, was the third Oscar Mayer, and since there wasn't any mention in the article of a fourth Oscar Mayer carrying on the name, I think this may be the end of the wiener dynasty! So sad!

Who among us will ever forget the Wienermobile?

And how many children experienced the utter joy and excitement of seeing a hotdog driving down the street? And if you didn't, didn't you always wish you could?

I remember when I was in fourth grade, there was a period of time that lasted, oh, maybe three or four months, when I ate nothing for lunch but Oscar Mayer hot dogs. With catsup.

Do you remember the Oscar Mayer Wiener jingle?

"Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener
That is what I'd truly like to be-e-e
'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener
Everyone would be in love with me"

And what about THIS little ditty?

"My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R
My bologna has a second name, it's M-A-Y-E-R
Oh, I love to eat it everyday,
And if you ask me why I'll say. . .
'Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way. . .
With B-O-L-O-G-N-A."

How many of us learned to spell bologna, thanks to Oscar Mayer? Oscar fed our brains as well as our bodies!

Now, if you were to ask me to sing two Michael Jackson songs, could I do it? Nope! (And I can't moon walk either!) But go ahead and ask me to sing two Oscar Mayer songs, and I'll deliver! So who do you think has had a deeper impact on my life, Michael Jackson or Oscar Mayer? Goodbye Mr. Mayer. Thank you for everything--we'll miss you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ALL Work and NO Play!

I guess it had to happen sometime. Yes, today was a day for work, and I'm sorry to say, I have no quilting play time results to show you. Maybe tomorrow. I have one more day off work, and I'm determined to have a fun day, especially now that I've gotten my housework done!

I was up around 9 a.m. and started cleaning about an hour or so later. Here it is, a little after midnight, and I'm finally done--except I have one more quilt to hang, but that will have to wait for now.

Spring and Easter--all lingering remnants and vestiges were packed away today. I found two bunnies lurking at the back of the china hutch, attempting to escape notice, but they were soon captured and sent to the bunny cave until next spring. Summertime has arrived at my house--not quite in time for the 4th of July, but I like a patriotic theme for summer anyway.

I don't really know what got into me, but I thought I'd better do some major cleaning while I had the chance, so I took blinds and shutters outdoors to be washed, stripped table coverings and linens and tossed them in the washing machine, and dusted and vacuumed places that I often skip over.

Some of you have mentioned that you enjoy seeing photos of the places in my kitchen I like to decorate, and since the story of my day is a bit of a yawner, I took a few photos to share. See those white teapots with the copper covers in the photo above? THREE of them? Yeah, I gotta stop buying those at the thrift store. Three is definitely a COLLECTION; four would be a cry for help.

This is that little shelf thing from the thrift store that hangs over my stove. I like polka dots--and yellow and blue! I need to put something in the little blue pot, but I don't know what yet. I also have summer silk flowers and foliage that hasn't been unpacked yet--maybe I'll find something there--a big yellow sunflower, perhaps?

Time for me to go to bed, but first--time to take some Tylenol PM. After cleaning all day, there are bound to be a few aches and pains. Maybe more than a few. Maybe I'm just one big ball of aches and pains. But at least the house is clean!

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Play

Ah ha! I've figured out for you--those of you who asked--which magazine the American Jane pattern appeared in! It was in the September/October 2008 issue of McCall's Quilting. Here's a photo:

I remember seeing the article and being amazed at how easy the blocks went together--in strips rather than set-in piecing, which I had expected with a hexagon shaped pattern. And once I saw that, I ran right over to my computer and started e-shopping for a 60 degree ruler, which I finally found--it seems they aren't as plentiful as one would imagine! But eventually I found this one:

Then, at some point, I saw a photo of a hexagon-type quilt that was done with string-type piecing, and that made me think I'd like to make these blocks using random width fabric strips. Here's how mine looks so far up on the design wall--I think I have all the triangles cut for the main hexagon blocks and other random fill-in bits and pieces; not everything fits on the wall though:

From the comments left on yesterday's post, I think there may be a few of you who would like to make this quilt--or something similar, so I thought I'd explain my steps so far.

First, I started by cutting strips from scraps in various widths from 1" to 2" and everything in between! You'll need the strip sets to be the length of the width of the fabric, around 40". Because I'm making mine scrappy, it didn't bother me one bit to piece two strips together to get the 40" length, and that allowed me to use smaller pieces from my scraps and stash.

Once I had a good pile of strips, I started piecing the strip sets. I decided to cut my triangles with a height of 5-1/2", so I made my strip sets at least 5-1/2" wide, although sometimes they might end up as much as 6" or so wide.

To cut my triangles, I'd line up the 5-1/2" line at the base of the strip set and cut along either edge of the triangle.

I'd then flip the triangle ruler and use the other edge of the strips as the base and cut the next triangle--in the piece above, I'd have a second set of triangles with the green as the bottom strip. Each block requires 6 triangles, and a 40" strip set would give me enough triangles to make two different blocks.

Tomorrow I'll show you how the blocks are pieced in rows--or at least I WILL if I get more play time! I have a couple days off work, but I've neglected my chores around the house to an alarming extent, so I'll need to take care of those first! See you later!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Play Time

I have several "quilty things" I ought to be working on, but because this is a holiday weekend, I decided to not do anything I was "supposed" to do; I thought I'd play a little bit instead.

I've had this project in mind for awhile--ever since I saw a similar American Jane pattern in a magazine and I bought a 60 degree ruler. I started with a Mary Engelbreit border print. Next, I dug down deep in my scrap drawer and pulled out all the scraps I thought would coordinate with it that were of a decent size. Then I supplemented my scraps with a couple other pieces of fabric from my stash. And before long, I was cutting strips, sewing strip sets, and cutting 60 degree triangles. Here's what the pieces look like so far:

I was having so much fun with these, I didn't even realize how late it was getting until the only thing on TV seemed to be infomercials. Now it's time to go to bed, but I'm sure I'll get back to it tomorrow and I'll keep you posted on my progress!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend too--Remember to take time to play! Thanks for stopping in.