Monday, September 30, 2013

Putting My House In Order

I haven't gotten as much sewing done on Sunday as I'd like.  In fact, as I'm writing this around dinnertime, I have to confess the only "sewing" I've done it to switch out my Bernina for my Juki in preparation for quilting the Schnibbles quilt, and cleaning and oiling the Juki.  What have I been doing instead?

Well, sometimes you just need to take care of the details of life, right?  That's what I was doing.  Finishing the fall decorating, paying bills, tinkering with this and that, doing a little house cleaning, and sorting clothes--bagging stuff for donation, packing a few summer things away (although it's a little early to pack everything up just yet), and getting some of the winter things out.  I was super surprised to find a box of winter clothes that included three pairs of slacks that were apparently too small for me when I put them away, but they fit now.  Same with a couple sweaters and tops.  Oh, and doing laundry, because all of the winter things I took out needed to be freshened a bit.

So I don't have any quilting to share just yet, but I mentioned before that I'd show you some of my fall decorations, so I'll do that today.

I haven't been able to locate a few of my Halloween boxes--I think they're up in the garage rafters, and Soccer Son hasn't been available to climb up there.  And, despite the CrossFit, I don't feel I'm quite fit enough to climb around the rafters; I'm not sure I EVER was!  So this year I just made do with all of my fall decorations along with the Halloween things I was able to locate.

One of the things I'm missing is Cacklin' Rosie, the witch.  Remember her?  Also missing is her wig and shoes, but her hat and broom turned up as did the sign that says, "The witch will see you now."   Her spot is ready for her if she shows up.

When I pulled out my framed fabric Halloween panel this year, the glass in the frame was broken, but no matter--it looks just about the same without the glass.

Here's a close up of the Halloween arrangement my friends and I worked on at Pismo Beach a year ago August.  We found the pattern and directions in the Spooky Threads book by Need'l Love/Renee Nanneman (on sale now for only $10; click HERE).

I thought I'd show you another floral arrangement.  I love those orange lantern "pod" things, especially when mixed with a little blue and purple.

Come on in and have a seat--we can have some coffee.  Did you know that Sunday was National Coffee Day?  Yep, I had mine!  By the way, my exercise bike is parked just to the left of where I'm standing with my camera.  Hubby says when I ride it, I need to play the music from the Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch is riding the bike.  I think he may be having newts and toads for dinner tonight!

Martha Stewart's glittery paper crow cut outs found a home near the bird cage on the shelf.  And a Halloween stitchery is on top although you can't see it very well, can you?

I'd like to show you the rest of the house, but it's time for me to go quilt something now . . . unless I find something else that needs to be done around the house.  I'll show you more this week.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

There Are Plans, and There are Plans

Some work out and some don't--not exactly.  As I planned, I DID get some sewing done on Saturday, but what I did wasn't anything I planned to work on.  Isn't it funny how it sometimes goes that way?  I was just about to leave for the office when I remembered this was the last Saturday of the month, and a couple of my friends get together on the last Saturday of the month to sew--this takes place at the house of one of them, just about a mile from my office.  I thought how nice it would be to go by and visit with them for a little while after I finished work, so I grabbed the Bunny Hill Postcards for Cuties project and worked on that a bit while we visited.  I have more to do before I'll show it, but I continued to work on it after I got home.  As soon as I have the top row done, I'll post a photo.

Tonight, though, I thought I'd better get busy on my scrappy strips for the Pie in the Sky quilt, and while watching the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, I stitched together another 26 sashing strips.

Tomorrow I plan to quilt last month's Schnibbles quilt.  I wonder if that's what I'll end up doing?

How about you?  Did you work on a scrappy project this weekend?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Meant To Write . . .

I know I said I wouldn't be writing as much because of the fitness routine and lack of quilting time, but I didn't mean that I'd go all week without a peep.  But then again, I didn't think I'd go all week without setting foot in the Sweat Shop or doing anything else I usually do either.  But this week has been crazy with working overtime.

You know I'm NOT a morning person, right?  Well, this week's been so crazy I've been up at 6 a.m. most of the week and out the door to work between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m.  Yes, I've still been going to CrossFit, but then I've gone back to the office right afterward and worked until around 9 p.m. just about every night.  Then I've gone back home for a bite to eat, spend 40 minutes on the exercise bike, pack a bag for the next day's CrossFit, pack another bag with my make-up and hair "stuff" (because the whole traffic thing works better if I finish getting ready AT the office), take a bath, and go to bed.  But I think I'm done now--except I need to go into the office for a couple hours tomorrow--actually, by the time you read this, it will be "today," Saturday.

Why has it been crazy?  Well, I was asked to work for another attorney and we hired a new secretary to work for the young guy I'd been working for.  And most of us secretaries usually have a backlog of a few days worth of less urgent tasks to be done.  So I've been trying this week to get everything done, including keeping up with my normal daily tasks and rushes, so I can turn the desk over without dumping a lot of stuff on the new gal.  It's hard enough to learn all of the new computer programs and routines without facing a pile of "old" work someone's left.

So, when I go into the office tomorrow, it will mostly be to move everything from one desk to another and get everything set up so I can hit the ground running again on Monday--because there's always a lot to do and deadlines to meet.  But I hope I won't be getting to the office on Monday while it's still dark, and hopefully I can head home after CrossFit.

AND yes, I plan to spend Sunday sewing--and probably some of the day Saturday too.  Which brings me to Scrap Basket Sunday.  Here's Mister Linky for those of you who have posted something about your scrappy projects on your blog and want to link up--just add your name and copy your blog address from your computer address bar.  "See" you tomorrow, and I hope to have something scrappy to show.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday Sewing

After a busy several days, I was looking forward to a day to relax and sew, and Sunday was the perfect day.  Our high temperatures had comfortably lowered after the storm that came through on Saturday, so all of the doors and windows were open, letting in what felt like the start of the fall weather.  Wonderful!

First up--or I should say UNDER--my sewing machine foot were several pairs of pants that needed to be taken in.  Yes, the CrossFit, exercise bicycle, and diet are doing what they're supposed to do, and taking in pants is fairly motivating, but taking time away from the fun sewing is not!  Still, it had to be done because despite the exercise and diet, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that NO ONE wants to see my pants fall off me just yet.

Remember last month's Schnibbles quilt?  I plan to put it up for a silent auction at the office to raise money for the local breast cancer walk about a month from now, so I sandwiched and pinned the quilt top this morning--working on the quilting will be my project in the evenings this week.

And since it was Scrap Basket Sunday, I pulled out a couple more piles of 2-1/2" squares to sew more sashing pieces for the Pie in the Sky quilt (Kim Diehl's design).

Twenty-three more sashing strips were added to the pile.  Then, because I hate glass/ceramic coasters that stick to the bottoms of glasses, and my Christmas-themed fabric coasters just weren't blending into the autumn decor . . .

I made a stack of coasters from a few Halloween fat quarters--eight for my house and one to take to work for my desk.  And I finished the day in the spirit of Scrap Basket Sunday by making a small tabletopper/wallhanging from the scraps leftover from the coasters, a few more miscellaneous scraps, and some border fabric pulled from my Halloween stash.

It's been awhile since I made a small quilt to add to my horde of small Christmas-gift quilts, so this might join the others once it's quilted.  Or it might stay right here.  Hard to tell.

It's back to work in the morning for me; the weekend is over and I'm off to bed.  Happy quilting!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fixated on Pie!

I haven't worked on my scrappy Pie in the Sky quilt yet, so I have nothing to show you tonight--I plan to spend a little time sewing blocks for sashing on Sunday, so I'll show you what I get done then.

In the meantime, on another "pie" front, my two friends and I got together Friday night to work on the third pumpkin blocks for the Pumpkin Pie quilt by Bunny Hill.  Today, between my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony and my friend's daughter's wedding, I finished adding the embroidered vines.  Here's a look--

One of the pumpkins doesn't have a leaf and a vine--that's intentional and is part of the pattern.

I hope you'll join me on Sunday in working on a scrappy project.  If you do, post your photos to your blog, link up, and leave me a comment telling me you'd like a chance to win the next box of scraps--if you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at yesterday's post.

Finally, I'll leave you tonight with Launa's stunning scrappy project, Confetti batik runner from the book Set the Table:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Scrappy Giveaway!

Well, you know I promised to announce a winner of my BIG BOX of scraps tonight, right?  Right!  But first, let me share with you a photo sent to me this week by Darla.  Darla saw the pattern in an American Patchwork and Quilting magazine published in 2008.

She said it isn't scrappy, but it could be, couldn't it?  Those flying geese lend themselves to the use of scraps, don't they?  Doesn't this put you in the mood for autumn?

Our weather is changing this weekend; it's supposed to cool down quite a bit and we'll get rain tomorrow--just in time for my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony and the wedding of my best friend's daughter!  Isn't that always the way?!  Still, the cool down is welcome.

Anyway, I randomly drew a winner to receive the box of scraps, and it's Colette, who linked up the first weekend and commented:  "I sewed until late, and had enough time to create a post and link up! Yippee!" Colette, please email me your mailing address and I'll get the scraps in the mail next week.  And for those of you who didn't win this time, don't despair!  I'll be doing this again soon, because my scrap bin is still overflowing with the leftovers of recent quilt projects!

Finally, Mister Linky is just below--please join us this week and post your scrappy project on your blog.  Once it's posted, enter your name and blog address in Mister Linky.  After that, please leave me a comment letting me know if you're interested in winning the next scrap box--I'll start "collecting" entries now but it will probably be a few weeks before I'm ready to draw another winner.  Please only ask to be entered in the next drawing if you have a US mailing address AND you've linked up with a scrappy project (or send me a photo I can post on my blog if you don't have one of your own).

Happy weekend and happy autumn!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Another Scrappy Quilt

Thank you all for the suggestions for filling my Halloween/Fall jars.  When I was in the dollar store, I also found a bag of those big, orange cheese puffs.  Perfect for something at least vaguely "Halloween-y."  Of course, those are something I WOULD eat, except I wouldn't eat them when I first got them into a jar, and by the time I'd be tempted, they'd be pretty stale, so it seemed like something I could take a chance on.  I was also at Trader Joe's and found a couple bags of inexpensive sunflower seeds that were darker than average--another good option.  Of course, I also purchased a few of the things you all suggested, and my friend Missy suggested black beans, so I have those too.  Now I just need to find time to fill those jars!

In the meantime, Susan sent me a photo of her scrappy project to share:

Nice, Susan!  Thanks for sharing.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eye Candy

I wanted to show you Ronda's postage stamp quilt project--she made it out of scraps using Bonnie's leaders and enders idea.  All of those small squares are made from scraps cut to 1-1/2".  Yikes!  Nice job, Ronda!

Ah, speaking of candy, maybe some of you can help me come up with an idea.  Normally at Halloween, I fill jars, big and small, with candy.  It's really just for show in the kitchen, but some of the better candy eventually gets eaten; even some of the not-so-great candy gets eaten if the cravings are strong enough!  This year as I was pushing my grocery cart around loaded with a big bag of candy corn it occurred to me I probably shouldn't be putting that kind of temptation in my way--I'm not sure I'm strong enough to stay on the diet and resist day after day!  Can you think of any ideas for filling my jars?  I need ideas that aren't too expensive and would look well with the Halloween/Fall decor.  I was thinking maybe some nuts in their shells might be good.  Popped popcorn might be fun too--can you think of a way to make it colored?  What else?  Any other ideas?  Thanks for your help!

Monday, September 16, 2013

That's a Start . . .

I finally, FINALLY started getting the fall decorations out today!  In fact, I made some good progress on the house, but nothing to show you yet--it's just what I consider the first layer.  First, of course, I had to get the summer "stuff" down, boxed up, and put away and all the quilts folded and, if necessary, washed.  Then I did some of the housecleaning--mostly dusting and waxing and cleaning all the surfaces off that needed to be cleaned.  (To finish my housework, though, I still need to clean the bathrooms and about half the kitchen--those surfaces haven't been addressed yet.)  Then, it was time for the first layer of decorating:  the quilts!  Or at least the soft coverings, including all of the bedding, table toppers, and wallhangings.  I still have a small stack of fall quilts I haven't placed yet, but most are in position.  So, it's started . . . .

I started something else too.  For my birthday, a good friend gave me much of what I need to make Bunny Hill's Postcard Cuties for Winter using the Primitive Gatherings fabric line, Snowman Gatherings.  I just needed to add a jelly roll, and it arrived in the mail on Friday.

Two of my friends are planning to make it too, and there's been some talk of getting together this week to work on it, so I started on the prep work--I still need to finish prepping the cotton applique pieces (the wool pieces are cut and ready, "as is").

Cindy, who doesn't have a blog, wrote to me today and wanted to share her scrappy project.  She said her scrap quilts are starting to all look the same because she's been using all the same old scraps; she's hoping to win the giveaway so she can add some new scraps to her stash.

Pretty, isn't it?  The colors are so soft and remind me of spring.  I love seeing how four half-square triangles can be put together to create patterns--funny how the eye is tricked into seeing pinwheels even though they are made using all different colors.  Nice, Cindy!  Thanks for sharing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

She's So Cute!

I love Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company, don't you?  Lately I've been ordering the PDF versions of her Schnibbles patterns, but this month I decided to order "the real thing" via snail mail--I knew I wouldn't start making the quilt right away anyway.  And when it arrived?  Here's the front of the envelope:

I think it's beyond nice of her to remember who I am, don't you?  As I've said before, I think she's the nicest designer I "know."  And here's the back--a nice big sticker commanding me to "QUILT"--just in case I ever need permission, right?

Hubby:  "Why aren't you cooking my dinner?"

Me:  "Because Carrie Nelson and Miss Rosie say I have to QUILT instead.  See?"

So that's probably not going to happen, but it COULD and now I'm ready, right?

On Saturday I got together with my stitchery friends and we went to a quilt show, had lunch out, and then we spent a couple hours shopping at cute little vintage/antique/reproduction shops--I'll have to show you my "haul" later.  In the late afternoon, I left them and drove straight to a barbecue/birthday party for an in-law/friend where I joined Hubby for a lovely evening.  In other words, it was a long, but very fun day!  When I got home Saturday night, after I did the exercise thing for awhile, I pulled out my scrappy squares and started making the sashing for the Pie in the Sky quilt.

Twenty-two made.  I really wanted to write this post last night, but by the time I had these sewn together, I was so tired I couldn't even keep my eyes open long enough to press them!  So I did that this morning and here they are.  Will you join me in some scrappy sewing today?  If you post your scrap project to your blog, please link up below so we can visit and see what you're up to.

Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Who Am I?

Hello everyone!  I'm glad to "see" you again!  I have to say, though, that it's been a nice few days off blogging.  You all know I've been doing this CrossFit thing, and that's three evenings a week after work.  Besides that, I've been on the exercise bicycle Soccer Son loaned me, usually 40 minutes a night.  Then there's the overtime at work.  And trying to diet means doing a little more planning and food preparation than normal.  Well, all of that stuff, aside from the overtime, is totally alien to my normal schedule.  And when I say "alien," that's kind of what I feel like--like the "real" me has been replaced by an alien.  Since I'm not doing all the things I normally do, I keep wondering, "who IS this person?"

I guess it's time, though, for me to be kind to myself and do things for my own well-being--not necessarily the things I enjoy doing "in the moment," but the things that will make me happier and healthier in the long run.  So, for now, this is my life and my routine.

Part of taking care of myself also involves trying to get a little more sleep every night.  So with all that going on, there's very little time for sewing or blogging--a couple of the things I normally enjoy doing "in the moment."  I think what I may end up doing is blogging on weekends when I have more time, and maybe occasionally blogging on a weeknight if my schedule allows it, or if I have something specific to show you or tell you about.  And I suspect that before too long, once I've reached some level where I'm maintaining my weight rather than actively trying to lose, perhaps I won't need to spend as much time in the gym or on the bicycle, but I'm not sure what the future will look like as far as those things go.  I certainly don't want to slide back into my old bad habits.

I haven't done much in the Sweat Shop this week either--just little bits of time here and there that haven't really resulted in much to show, but maybe I'll get a little more done this weekend.  Again, I'm a little bothered that I haven't started bringing the fall decorations out, and maybe I'll work on that a little bit too, but I'm not sure; we have a few social gatherings to attend this weekend and other things to do--and time always goes by much quicker than expected, and not as much gets accomplished as anticipated, right?  Doesn't that happen to you too?

So, are any of you ready to play with some scraps this weekend?  Remember the giveaway I mentioned last weekend?  I have a big box of my scraps all packed up and ready to send off anywhere in the U.S.--to have a chance to win them, you must do ALL of these things:

1.  Post your current scrap project progress on your blog;
2.  Come back here and link your blog post by entering your name (doesn't have to be your full name) and your blog address to Mister Linky below; and
3.  Leave me a comment telling me you've added your blog to Mister Linky and want to be entered in the drawing.

What if you don't have a blog?  If you'd like to send me a photo of your current scrap project, I'll post it on my blog and enter you for the scrap giveaway.  That's what Louise did--here's her scrappy quilt:

Pretty great, eh?  The red border makes the rest of the quilt pop.

I hope to get a little work done on the Pie in the Sky quilt this weekend--my own scrappy project.  I'm not sure if I'll have anything done to show you by tomorrow night, but maybe I'll sew on Sunday and post what progress I make on Monday's blog post.

As far as the drawing for scraps is concerned, I think I'll draw a winner next Friday night and post the results on my Saturday post--that should give everyone time to get out their scraps, post photos, and enter if they want.  And if you entered last week, you can still enter again, just as long as you post something new.  But you can only enter twice at most, so don't get carried away and post scrap projects every day until the drawing, okay?  (Well, of course you CAN do that, but not for the purpose of entering the drawing more than once a week!)

Enough babbling--you'd think I was trying to make up for the lack of posts this week all at once, wouldn't you?  Here's Mister Linky--

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Remember the Bunny Hill Pumpkin Pie applique quilt I started a few weeks ago?  Here's a reminder of what the finished quilt will look like:

Two of my friends are making this quilt too, and we decided to gather at the home of one of them about every two weeks; Sunday night we started working on "pumpkin 2" which appears three times in the quilt.  I finished the last of mine today:

While I was at my friend's house, her husband wasn't feeling well, and we ended up stopping early so she could take him to urgent care.  I thought it could be appendicitis, but it turned out to be something else that's serious enough to keep him in the hospital for a couple days but it won't involve surgery and he should be fine again soon.  Needless to say, she was able to finish her pumpkins while sitting in the urgent care and hospital waiting rooms.  I bet she'll always remember that experience whenever she brings out her finished quilt each year!

Oh, speaking of seasonal decorating, I KNEW I was a little late getting out the fall decorations this year--for me, at least--but in case there was any doubt about my tardiness, it was confirmed for me when I stopped at the grocery store today and saw they have small pumpkins for sale and some of their other decorative seasonal "produce" is out too.  I guess I'll have to decorate before too long, but it's really hard to get in the mood when the temperatures outside are around 100 degrees!

My couple days of vacation are over, Hubby is doing fine following his carpal tunnel surgery, and I feel like I haven't gotten very much done during the time I was off.  In fact, it seems like I've gotten a lot less done since I started dieting and exercising and putting in overtime at work too.  And after mulling it over for the last week or so, I've decided to pull back on blogging a little--when I don't have time to sew and I don't have anything quilt-wise to share, it's a chore to come up with something to talk about, and then I have even LESS time to sew.  Catch-22, right?  So don't look for me to post here every day--at least not for awhile.  That number in the title of this blog post?  That's how many blog posts I've written and I think it's been something like six years of writing almost every day.  Yikes!  That's a lot of talking!

So I'll write when I have something to say and/or something to show here, and that will probably happen a couple times a week.  And I'll keep doing Scrap Basket Sunday for now--I want to finish my Pie in the Sky quilt, at least, and maybe either a string quilt or a pineapple quilt, or both, so as long as I'm working with scraps, I'm happy to share those posts with you and encourage you to join in and link up with me.  So thanks for stopping by and I hope I'll "see" you again soon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

More Scrappy Stuff

Like some of you, I played around in my scraps again today.

I cut another 200 squares for the sashing of the Pie in the Sky quilt--plus I had a few leftover.  I don't know exactly how many I need, but I originally estimated somewhere around 1,000--with the ones I cut today, I have 1,100; I guess this week I'll need to try to calculate more exactly how many are needed for the quilt top.  I'd hate to stop cutting too soon and then have to try to mix in enough other fabrics to keep it looking scrappy.

Mister Stitch wasn't amused by the counting--he wanted me to feed him his dinner.

Ronda doesn't have a blog but loves scrappy quilts and wanted to enter the giveaway, so I told her I'd post her photos here on my blog to share with you and then enter her in the giveaway--if anyone else would like to do the same, please email me.  This first one is a scrappy blue quilt top she's been working on.

She also wanted to show us a pineapple quilt she'd finished.  This is always an excellent choice for scraps--the repetitive use of the white unifies all the scrappy colors.  Yep, a pineapple quilt is definitely on my scrap bucket list.

Thanks for sharing, Ronda!  And remember--if you want to be included in the giveaway, add your name and blog link to Mister Linky AND leave me a comment asking to be entered in the giveaway.  If you don't ask to be entered, I'll figure you have more than enough scraps already and don't want to adopt mine!  Good luck and happy scrapping.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Different Kind of Scrappy Day

I don't have anything to show you from my Pie in the Sky project, although I AM planning to spend a little time cutting squares on Sunday.  However, I DO have a scrappy little tale.

You'll remember my Scrap Basket Sunday basket, right?  Well, when I finished the Merry, Merry Snowmen quilt top and then the Schnibbles Canasta quilt top, I added more leftover scraps to the basket, so now it's overflowing once again.

Then, in gathering oranges and blacks for the Twister Jack project, I pulled open my large scrap drawer . . . and found it too was stuffed pretty full.

And just to GET TO the scrap drawer, I had to move the bag of fabric that was leftover from the Bunny Hill Autumn House quilt project.  And I figured it was about time I redistributed those fabrics amongst my other stash fabrics, and of course there were more scraps mixed in with the larger pieces.

So all in all, I ended up messing around with scraps for a couple hours, and I thought with all these scraps that don't seem to lessen despite the scrappy projects I make, maybe it's time to stuff a Priority Mail box full of scraps and send if off somewhere.

Ah, but where should I send it?  Not everyone likes scraps, of course.

So what I thought I'd do is for anyone who signs up on Mister Linky (yesterday's post) to show a scrappy project they're working on this week or signs up next week AND leaves me a comment saying they'd like to be entered to receive MORE SCRAPS, I'll enter them in a drawing.  I've stuffed the box with a mix of stuff, including some Christmas and Halloween fabrics, and there are several large chunks of fabric in there--probably not quite fat quarter size but close--or maybe more than a fat quarter, but cut longer and narrower.  I'm really not sure.  All I know for sure is that there's a pretty good selection in the box.

I DO have to limit the giveaway to those of you in the U.S., however, since it's a U.S. Mail Priority Box--and sending something this heavy outside the U.S. would cost a lot.  Sorry.

What if you link up and post a scrappy project both weeks?  Then you can enter twice and have a better chance.  So remember to link up AND leave me a comment asking to be entered.  I'll announce next weekend when I'll close the entries and draw a winner.  In the meantime, happy scrapping and I'll look forward to seeing what you make!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's That Scrappy Time Again!

I'm posting the sign-ups for Scrap Basket Sunday.  I hope you'll be able to play in your scrap basket or bin this weekend and show us what you've been working on by the end of the weekend.  Once you have something posted on your blog to share, please link up below.

My Friday was spent with Hubby, and it revolved around his carpal tunnel surgery for the most part.  He did fine.  We got back home around 5 p.m. and he was starving--as you might imagine--so I fixed dinner right away.  Afterward, once I got him settled in the recliner with a pain pill and some iced tea, I headed out to do a little shopping at Trader Joe's.  Now I think we're set for the weekend, at least.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a bit of sewing done, but I hope to fit some in this weekend.  How about you?  Will you get to spend a little quality time with fabric and thread?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Witch "Wilma"--the Buttermilk Basin Cat Pattern

As promised, I selected a winner for the pattern tonight.  And the winner is Frankie!  Frankie said, "I'd love a chance to win that darling Halloween kitty! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and I love making things for it. Your post inspired me to find that owl pattern as well and I'm definitely making it so thanks!"

My rather unscientific method of picking a winner this time was to close my eyes and move my mouse around and around the screen, eventually clicking on something and opening my eyes to see what happened--the email that opened was the winner.  That was kind of fun, but I think my mouse is dizzy now.

Hubby's having carpal tunnel surgery tomorrow (by the time you read this, it will be "today"), so I'll be off with him for a couple days, making sure he can get up and down--with his muscular dystrophy, it's going to be particularly difficult.  Hopefully I'll be able to find some time to spend in the Sweat Shop while I'm home.  I'm also getting a bit itchy to break out the Halloween decorations and get busy in the house.  Maybe it's all that back-to-school rush hour traffic we've had the last week or two that's put me in the mood for fall.  It's always hard, though, to get super excited for Halloween when the temps outside are in the 90s!  So maybe I'll start on that, or maybe I'll put it off for another week or two.

Frankie, please email me your mailing address and I'll get this pattern in the mail to you.  Thanks, everyone, for playing!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Halloween, Cont'd.

Boy, you guys are as torn about what my next Halloween project should be as I am!  You know what, though?  Kigwit mentioned that she's working on another Buttermilk Basin project.  This one:

Yes, I even have that one too--as a KIT even!  I just bought it when I was in Seattle.  ARGH!  (And these projects don't even include the Sew Spooky BOM that I want to continue on.)  So who knows what I'll do?  But whatever it is, I guess sitting in the Sweat Shop shuffling patterns isn't going to get me very far.

I'm finding that exercise is a bit of a road block to productivity too.  Not because I'm too tired to sew after exercise but just that it takes up a lot of time and then I don't feel like there's enough time left to get started on anything--in addition to the fact that I've been putting in a little overtime at work.  So I'm feeling kind of stuck.

My daughter-in-law, the Lovely Wife, came to her first Crossfit class with me tonight and she did well--she has more stamina than I do, that's for sure!  But she whispered to me about 15 minutes into the class, "I don't know if you wanted me to come because you like me or because you hate me!"  Ah, I really DO like her, and I thought it would be something fun for her to try in a very non-threatening, non-competitive environment.  So we'll see how it goes for her.  I was thinking about it and I think one of the reasons I enjoy Crossfit as a form of exercise is because the work out changes each day, so I can't anticipate with dread what I'll have to do later that day.  Odd thinking, I know, but I think it's true!

So back to quilting stuff.  I wanted to ask those of you who have done the Twister Jack pattern about the fabrics you used.  Did you use the same fabrics they used in the pattern, or did you put together your own combinations?  Did you use as much of a variety as the pattern shows?  I've been looking at it and pulling out a few scraps but I'm just not sure.  I have a small FQ bundle of black fabrics from Renee Nanneman/Need'l Love and I probably have a bunch of oranges from her lines but I wonder if I need that variety.  I hate to cut into that many FQs just to get a couple squares from each.  And I think I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of trying to put together a ton of colors and shades when I'm not sure how it will look in the end.  Input, ladies? What did you do?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Do you think "double, double" means four?  Because that's the number that's causing me toil and trouble.

Remember I said I had a Halloween project in mind?  At the time, I was thinking about the Twister Jack pattern by Need'l Love.  But when I went looking for it in my patterns, I found three more Halloween patterns I had sort of forgotten about, but they're among my favorites.  (Admittedly, I'm sure I have a couple more "favorite" Halloween patterns that I just didn't come across before I stopped looking--yes, I'm hopeless.)  So now I have four possible projects and I can't decide which I want to work on.  Or I should say, "which I want to work on first."  Because of course I want to make them all, but who knows if I'll even find time this year to get to making a second project.  So I have to pick carefully.  And I'm kind of leaning toward the Buttermilk Basin pattern.  Do you want to know why?

Last year I made this other Buttermilk Basin pattern, and I just LOVE it!  So the owl would go pretty well with the black cat, and really, the cat was fairly quick to make.

I was kind of surprised I still had the pattern for the cat.  What do you think?  Do you like it?  Do YOU want to make it?  Because you know me--I usually give away my patterns when I'm done.  So, if you'd like a chance to win this vintage-looking black cat pattern (PATTERN only--the framed wool piece is staying right here!), please leave me a comment asking to be entered in the drawing.  I'll pick a winner Thursday night and announce the winner on Friday's blog post.

So maybe I'll make the Buttermilk Basin owl.  But darn it!  I really love the All Through the Night pattern--wouldn't "Boo Kitty" look cute with the Buttermilk Basin black cat?  After all, I am kind of partial to black cats.  Then again, maybe I need to see the wool tablerunner by Nutmeg Hare on my autumn table.  How cute is that?  And it's not just Halloween either so I'd be able to leave it out until it's time to decorate for Christmas!  Yeah, but the Twister Jack . . . that's what really started all this in the first place.  How will I feel if I don't make that one?  See what I mean?  Double, double, toil and trouble!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have to Work . . .

I was right--Monday turned into a day of chores too, just like the rest of the weekend.  After cleaning the kitchen really, really well and pulling about a pound of dust and a few cat toys from under the kitchen hutch, I headed into the Sweat Shop to undertake a few chores that I'd been putting off.  How to you store things like rick rack, zippers, Velcro, elastic, lace, snaps, buttons, and other sewing odds and ends?  I keep my buttons in glass canisters and jars on a shelf, and the rest of the sewing "stuff" is stored in small boxes (shoe box size) on a shelf in the Sweat Shop.  My boxes of "stuff" had gotten out of hand and needed some sorting and rearranging.  Once that was done, everything fit where it was supposed to fit again--yay!  That was probably the biggest, most time-consuming job of the day, if you don't count the kitchen.  There was a little more organizing in the Sweat Shop, but after I was done, I just couldn't settle down to sewing.  Do you want to know why?  Well, just look at this!

I'd been putting off making a new cover, but I just couldn't put it off any longer.  When I was working on the Canasta Schnibbles quilt, the iron spit out a little water and I picked up a nasty stain from this ugly cover--I had to replace that piece in the quilt.  Yes, it was definitely WAAAAAY PAST TIME to replace the cover.  So that was the next task on my list.

Ah!  Much better!  They never seem to make covers to replace the ones that come with these small tabletop ironing boards, so I always make mine by cutting out a cover a couple inches larger all around and sewing a casing along the edges so I can run a heavy-duty string through and gather the cover around--after replacing the "padding" with several layers of batting.  It works pretty well and lasts a year or two but eventually they need to be replaced again.  Oh, and I use a heavy weight, home dec type cotton fabric for the covers.

I mentioned yesterday that I'd organized my larger chunks of wool by rolling them and putting the rolls in a basket.  I took a photo to show you what I mean.

And more rolls of wool.  The white basket to the right holds a ton of wool scraps that are just too small to be organized very well--at least I haven't come up with an idea yet.  How about you?  How do you keep your wool scraps?

So all work and not a whole lot of play for me this long Labor Day weekend, but I accomplished a lot and I'm happy and comfortable in my home again, now that it's clean and better organized.  At least SOMEBODY was able to relax while I toiled . . .

It's almost 9 p.m. and I COULD go play in the Sweat Shop, but I think I'd rather just take a bath and head to bed with a book.  Back to work again tomorrow.  I'm glad you could stop by for a visit!

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Need a Holiday!

Whew!  I planned to clean house on Sunday, but I didn't expect I'd spend the whole day doing it!  But it had been awhile since I did a REALLY thorough job, and on top of that, I was sick and tired of my wool stash being all willy-nilly, helter-skelter, so I reorganized most of it.  I'll have to take a photo to show you, but basically I ended up rolling any pieces that were larger than scraps, so now I can better see what colors of wool I have too--NOT that I was able to organize it by color.  THAT's something I'd like to do one of these days, but what I did today was time-consuming enough; I really needed to move on with the rest of my "chores" so the color sorting will have to wait.

And I cooked.  I roasted a chicken and made chicken soup for the coming week.  I cooked apples in the crockpot, so I have something a bit like applesauce that makes a reasonably healthy dessert.  Unfortunately the one thing I didn't get done today was to clean the kitchen; I'll have to do that on Monday.

I didn't mention it yesterday, but I spent much of Saturday at the office--too many things to do there and not enough time to do them meant the only reasonable solution was to work on Saturday.

So . . . I need a day off.  Since it's Labor Day weekend, I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday.  Once I get the kitchen cleaned, I hope to spend my day in the Sweat Shop.  Although I have to confess, that's another room I didn't clean today and I KNOW it needs a lot of organizing, so who knows?  I have a feeling that once I get in there, I may just spend a lot of time getting things tidied away and put in order.  But maybe not.  There's a Halloween project that's calling to me.

How have you spent your weekend?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Different Scrappy Project

I thought I'd have time to work on cutting scrappy squares for the sashing of my Pie in the Sky quilt today, but my time was more limited than I expected, and I opted to finish the Schnibbles Canasta quilt instead.  I figured because it's also scrappy (since I used leftover fabric from the Merry, Merry Snowmen quilt), it would count for Scrap Basket Sunday.  Here's what the finished quilt top looks like--

Our office has been doing a few things over the past couple weeks to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides for Breast Cancer--we always have employees who participate in the annual walk, and this year the Sacramento event will be held on October 20th.  I thought I'd quilt this Schnibbles quilt and offer it to the people at the office in a silent auction to raise money for breast cancer.  I'm hoping a couple of the attorneys who have a little more spendable income will get interested--and competitive!  I'll let you know how it does and of course I'll show you the quilt when I get it quilted.

So, have you hugged your scraps lately?