Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bottoms Up!

Oh, dear, it's just past midnight, so it's officially Halloween, and I've just realized that my husband never did carve that huge pumpkin he forced me to buy for him. Where did the time go?

Well, he spent part of the evening out shopping for khaki slacks because they have a new dress code at his work that goes into effect on Thursday. I should tell you that he drove right past the mall and Mervyn's (a department store) on Saturday when he went to visit his aunt. Why didn't he shop then? Well, he wanted to check the Sunday advertisements in the newspaper. Ah, yes, that makes perfect sense--not!

We really aren't planning to be home on Halloween night for the trick or treaters anyway. My husband used to love to hand out candy and see all the costumes, but getting up and down has gotten to be too hard for him. Me? I'd just as soon turn out all the lights except those in the Sweat Shop and keep on quiltin'. Instead we'll go out to dinner and maybe stop at Borders bookstore. And I'm pretty sure a visit to Starbucks will be on the agenda--that's my version of a Halloween treat!

Since I can't show you the pumpkin my husband carved, I thought I'd show you what I think he WOULD have carved if he had the time and thought of the idea:

He's such a huge soccer fan!

But here, my friends, is the pumpkin I'd carve and share with you.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hometown Christmas, Section 4

Is everyone who's working on this project done with their fourth section? No?! Ah, I see one or two of you are, or are almost done--good quilters! Give yourselves a pat on the back, but be careful not to give yourselves a rotator cuff injury, 'cause that's not too good for sewing. Of course, it just might get you out of doing dishes, doing laundry, and cleaning house, but is it really worth it if you can't quilt?

I love Lynette Jensen's patterns. I know she gets some criticism for wasting fabric, but the way she has us do things is fairly quick and easy. Tonight I got the fence/stars section cut and sewn in just about two hours--not too bad! That's it up there at the top. I mentioned that I was going to substitute something for those pinwheel and hourglass filler blocks and thought I might applique some mittens. Today I spent part of my lunch hour drawing up an idea, so I took a photo to show you--sorry it's kind of dark, but the camera never seems to get a good photo of anything white when it uses the flash:

This is, of course, part of this fourth section, so I can't really claim to be done yet, but I still have a day or two before the deadline.

Thank you all for the compliments on my Trees on the Table toppers! I just love the bright and cheerful look of this fabric--it's a little different from what I normally work with, but not outside my comfort zone. I'm excited that several of you have taken up the challenge too! Don't forget to let Marcie know you've completed it so she can post your photo in her gallery and add a link to your blog. If you want to see some of the other toppers, click HERE to get to Marcie's gallery. It's fun seeing how these turn out using different fabrics to get a different look. And if you haven't started one of these yet, there's still time. I think once I finish this Hometown Christmas section, I'll switch machines again and get these two quilted along with the Thimbleberries Christmas topper that I abandoned on Saturday morning. It's either that or stay with the piecing and work on my Jo's Little Women Club project next, which consists of teeny tiny 9-patch blocks. I think they end up being 1-1/2" finished. Yeah, maybe the quilting would be easier!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween's Coming!

Do you like to play games? Hangman maybe? Have you seen this one?

If you have your Halloween costume ready, candy bought, and decorations up, and if you have a little free time on your hands, check out this game HERE. I believe you need a Flash Player to run it.

Quilting Tip

Don't try to watch a Bourne movie while quilting.

I had one on my TV last night, and all I got out of it was the sound of a bunch of car chases, intense music, and numerous conversations in a language I don't understand!


Riddle: How can a 2-1/2" by 6" piece of fabric cost $58.71?

Answer: Lack of self-control!

Yes, I went to the quilt shop today to get that piece of background fabric I needed and, of course, I ended up with more than just that piece. I didn't take photos, but I can tell you I came home up with about 5 fat quarters, 2-1/2 yards of Sanctuary border fabric (to go with the bundle I won), some green rick rack (to add to my tree tabletopper, maybe?), two quilting stencils (for the Christmas tabletopper I was quilting and set aside this weekend), a yard of the Christmas Past white dots on white fabric, and the Christmas Past yellow I went in to buy in the first place.

Riddle: How can a quick trip to the grocery store for cat food and milk turn into a most-of-the-day cooking project?

Answer: Bargains and no self-control!

So at the grocery store, I was passing by the meat department and glanced toward the small "clearance" section, where I saw a chuck roast that had been on sale and then reduced further by 50%. I brought my $3 roast home and made chili. I'm not sure it was a bargain in the long run after I bought all the beans and diced tomatoes and such, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. They also had chicken wings on sale, and I just read something in a healthy cooking magazine about buying chicken wings to make chicken stock. So, several hours later and my kitchen could use a better cleaning than I wanted give it at 10:30 at night, but at least I have some food made. Sort of. Actually the chili's in the crock pot and the stock's in the refrigerator waiting for me to turn it into soup. Guess it will have to wait for another night though.

And what did I do today besides shop and cook? Well, I did finish the second Trees on the Table top. This one will be turned into a tree skirt--that's why the center is fairly plain. I've also straightened up the Sweat Shop a little bit and pulled out the next book for the Hometown Christmas project.

Are those of you who are working on this project keeping up? (Sharon?!!) Our fourth section is "due" on Wednesday, so I thought it was time to get started. The next section is a fence with some stars above in the night sky and more of those filler blocks on either side. I'm thinking about substituting a small section with appliqued mittens in place of those filler blocks. I'm also thinking about that rick rack I bought and some other rick rack I have in a basket in the Sweat Shop--I suspect it would look awfully cute on the mittens, don't you think?

The weekend's over yet again, and another work week looms. Are you ready for Halloween?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I got a little distracted after I last wrote early this afternoon. I decided it was high time to take a bath and get myself dressed. In the process, I found myself standing naked, staring into my closet, wondering what I might have to wear. (I figured I'd show you some strips sewn together, 'cause trust me on this, you really wouldn't want to see ME stripped, staring into the closet!)

My husband and I have been on this diet for a couple months now, and have lost a bit of weight. My clothes are getting pretty baggy and I just KNEW I had stuff in my closet that I haven't worn for several years--but I wasn't really sure what. So I pulled all my folded tops out of the closet and sorted through them. One thing led to another, and a few hours later, I had a HUGE box of stuff to donate to charity, a garbage can partly filled with old shoes, and two loads of clothes that were so dust-coated that I wanted to wash them before I even thought about whether to keep them or get rid of them.

After washing clothes, I had to try stuff on and sort it all into (1) donate, (2) put in the closet to wear, or (3) put in my daughter's closet for now until I lose a little more weight.

Besides the whole clothes thing (and you'll be happy to know, I'm sure, that I DID find something to wear and didn't spend the rest of the day naked), I had to fix dinner for my husband--he's such a demanding task master!

Then I found that besides these things that distracted me away from my sewing, I was equally distracted WHILE sewing and kept doing stupid stuff. So, finally, here it is 12:30 at night and I finally finished the first little topper.

I'm pretty pleased with it. I used as much of the Christmas Past line as I could and threw in some of my other stash for contrast. Marcie sure did a nice job designing this pattern, didn't she?!

I still have piles of pieces for the second one, but I need a little more of one fabric, so I think I'll probably make a quick run to the quilt shop tomorrow. Hopefully the second one will go together quickly and I'll be a little more focused.

Goodness knows, it would be nearly impossible to be any LESS focused!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trees on the Table Challenge

Woo-hoo! I've started! I have all my fabrics picked out, I've made the template for cutting the tree pieces, and I've started cutting strips. I'll post photos to my blog as I go, so check back frequently if you're interested. I did find an error on the directions, I believe. Marcie says to use 5 different green prints for the trees and the larger picture of the quilt looks like the trees have 5 strips, but you'll really need 6--look at the pictures of the blocks themselves. So if you haven't started yet, please make this change. If I find other errors, I'll post them.

I'm cutting enough to make two toppers--one for me and one for a Christmas gift. I think it's probably just as easy to make two as it is to make one.

I'm also strip piecing the tree trunk section rather than making the trunks individually--since I need 8 trunks for the two quilts, that makes sense to me. I also think that the gold background on either side of the trunk needs to be cut at 2-1/2" by 3" (rather than 3-1/2") but I haven't gotten that far yet--just wanted to alert you if your section turns out too wide; you can just trim an equal amount from each side. I'll confirm that, though, once I get to that part. I'm trying to do most of my cutting first before I get to the sewing.

Thanks for joining in!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Quilter's Challenge!

In doing a little surfing around Blogland, I've been surprised--although I don't know why I SHOULD be--to see Marcie's patterns popping up on blogs all across the land! Do you know Marcie? If you don't, you should!

Sometime about a week ago, Marcie posted a picture of a new little Christmas pattern she had designed for a small tabletopper. She was a little undecided on what to do for a final border, came up with three different versions, and then designed one that combined the elements of two of those three versions (that's the picture above). So, altogether, there are four versions of her Christmas tree pattern. Best of all, the pattern is free!

So, okay, here's the challenge--pick one of Marcie's versions and make it this weekend. No, you don't have to get it all quilted, but see if you can get the cutting and piecing done. That's what I'm planning to do, and I think it would be fun if some of you "played" along--almost like all of us getting together for a little quilting retreat. I don't think it will take more than a few hours. So, do you want to "play"?

Here's all you have to do--visit Marcie HERE. This will take you to her directions for all four versions. The topper ends up at 24" square--wouldn't it also be cute to make it into a little tree skirt for a tabletop sized tree?

If you DO join me in this project, please send Marcie a photo of your pieced topper as she's requested if we use her pattern. You can also post a comment on my blog on Sunday or Monday to let me know if you made one and whether you have a photo on your blog too (assuming you have a blog).

I have several more of Marcie's patterns, and they're all great--take a look at her patterns while you're over there if you aren't already familiar with them. This weekend I should be working on quilting the Thimbleberries Christmas tabletopper I made a couple weeks ago, but I just can't stand waiting any longer to make this little project, so I'm just going to set the quilting aside and have some FUN! I DO hope you'll join me!

P.S.: If you do accept my challenge, feel free to duplicate this post on your blog or direct your readers to this or tell them what you're doing with a link to Marcie's pattern--wouldn't it be fun if we could get a bunch of people making the same little quilt this weekend? Marcie would be so proud!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

I didn't want to let the month go by without mentioning that October is breast cancer awareness month. Yes, I know I DID mention the fundraising cookbook that The Calico Horse was selling to raise money, but I wanted to say a little more.

When I first started quilting, a gal I worked with, Linda, was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were actually three of us in the office at that time who were fairly new quilters. We had been quilting long enough, though, to know that quilts are a wonderful source of comfort, so we decided to make Linda a quilt. Two of us were pretty decent at applique, so we appliqued a tree of life as the central panel of the quilt. The third gal was less intimidated by the actual quilting process, so she quilted it. All three of us worked on the piecing, and we incorporated blocks signed by everyone in the office. Needless to say, Linda was very moved when we presented her with the finished quilt.

Linda had known she had a lump in her breast for some time. It wasn't the first time she found a lump. The first time, the lump turned out to be a fibrous, benign tumor, but during surgery to remove it, her heart stopped on the operating table. Of course, the surgeons restarted her heart and she was fine, but the experience of nearly losing her life for a benign tumor made her hesitate too long to see her doctor about the new lump she found.

Linda battled cancer for two or three years before losing the fight. That year, the year she passed away, I made another quilt connected to breast cancer--that one went to raise money for the cause. Here in the Sacramento area, every three years Sutter Medical Foundation auctions quilts made and donated by quilters all over Northern California and beyond. The money raised goes to breast cancer research and patient treatment at Sutter. Sutter recently announced plans for the next auction to be held in October 2008. They will start collecting quilts in January with a September 1, 2008, deadline. If you would like to read more about the auction and/or are interested in making and donating a quilt during the next year, click HERE. And don't forget to get your mammogram.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quilt Stuff

My daugher called yesterday--another good reason to have been home! She had just gone to pick up her mail from the post office and found her cell phone bill, a notice about a speeding ticket she received a week before, and a notice from the IRS. Poor baby! But among all this less-than-happy mail was a package from me containing her Halloween quilt, and that seemed to make everything else a little easier to bear. Isn't that what quilts are for?!

I got an email this morning from Kris McBride. Do you know Kris? Not long after I started quilting and got into Thimbleberries, I "met" my friend Patty (whose blog link is in my sidebar). At that time, Patty had an online Thimbleberries shop and I loved shopping with her because her prices were so low and she was quite personable. Sadly, she gave up her shop, but we're still good friends. Around the same time, I found Kris, who also has an online shop. Kris sells mostly Thimbleberries and Moda fabrics and has a very good stock of quilt books, etc. Best of all, her prices are reasonable ($5.60 to $6/yard). Kris sends out emails to her customers, letting them know when she's getting new books, patterns, and fabrics, and many of these sell quickly as soon as the emails go out. If this interests you, visit Kris and get on her "mailing" list. You can also check out her books, fabrics, and other quilty things. She still lists pieces from various older lines, so if you need something to complete a UFO or want fabric for a quilt back, Kris might just have what you're looking for. Visit Handmade by Kris.

And speaking of quilt backs and since I'm sharing some of my online sources with you, here are a couple more. Have you shopped at $5 Bucks a Yard? Or Thousands of Bolts, Only One Nut? Both carry older fabrics at low prices. Sometimes I find things to go with an older line I'm working with or the perfect quilt backing.

So now you know my "secret" sources--when I'm not shopping at the Fat Quarter Shop or at one of the shops listed with Do you have any "secret sources" to share?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Goodies for Me!

I stayed home from work today, sick with some stomach bug. I'm feeling much better now. After sleeping all morning long and fighting off chills, I finally got myself up and dressed around 1 p.m. or so and have been sitting around, reading a book since. Until there was a knock at the front door.

I don't know about you, but when I'm home alone, I don't much like answering the door. We have a security peep hole, but it really just gives you a blurry image of the person at the door. No way of telling if that's a clipboard and pen in their hands or a butcher knife dripping blood. Of course, in either event, I probably don't really want to be bothered, so most of the time, I don't answer.

But today I had second thoughts. What if it's the UPS guy with a package? Hummm. Yeah, even a UPS guy with a butcher knife might be okay as long as he has a package for me, so I decided to risk it. And there she was! No, not the UPS guy but my favorite mail lady! She knows I quilt (she recognizes a paper wrapped bolt of fabric when she sees one) and knows I buy from eBay occasionally (sometimes, in spurts that cause her to strap on her hernia belt daily for a week or two at a time), so she was quite excited to see my car in the driveway, knowing she had packages for me, particularly since one was too big to fit in my mailbox. One of these days, I need to do something nice for her, like make her a tabletopper or something. She really is a sweetie!

And what did the mail lady bring me, you ask?

First of all, the package that was too large to fit in my mailbox contained a new, smallish cutting mat. I love this size for taking to class or when I'm working on something scrappy where I'm only cutting one block at a time. Unfortunately, my last one warped on a road trip to Utah last year. On a recent cyberspace visit to Connecting Threads, I noticed they had notions on sale, so I bought a new cutting mat and a larger needle punch/embroidery hoop (I have the smaller size but needed the large one too). I also picked up a package of rusty red buttons (which will make nice berries on a Christmas wreath wallhanging, I think!), and a couple of books.

Next, I received the new Star Garden book from Amazon. I'm kind of perturbed with Amazon right now and actually tried to cancel this book, but wouldn't you know it? They shipped it just before I was able to cancel! I DID want the book though, and I'm glad it arrived. I'll have to tell you my Amazon story in another post.

Patty over at Just One Quilt Megged me the other day when she showed a new kit she had ordered from Primitive Gatherings--it's a Christmas wool candle mat. Check out the pumpkin wool candle mat Patty just finished from another of their patterns. Extremely cute! Then I Megged myself and ordered another pattern for a Christmas project--there's actually two patterns in that one. I love their stuff, don't you?! And, by the way, did I just Meg you?! No? I'll keep trying!

Finally, last but definitely not least, I received the beautiful Moda Sanctuary bundle that I won from The Calico Horse. Thanks so MUCH Donna! I just love it! I know Donna and Cheryl (Polka Dots and Rick Rack) are leaving for Quilt Market in Houston--they must be sooooo excited to go see all the new stuff! Particularly since it means getting out of the LA area for a few days, I suspect. The cool thing I wanted to tell you all about is that Donna included a cookbook called Serving Up Hope that contains a collection of recipes from the employees and customers of The Calico Horse. I love these kinds of cookbooks--the ones that contain real people-tested recipes and recipes passed down in families. The price on the cookbook is $15, and of that amount, $12 goes to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. If you love these kinds of cookbooks too, I bet you could order one from The Calico Horse--email Donna through the shop blog to find out if it's possible and the cost, but remember she'll be gone for the next several days. Oh, and just to tempt you a little, guess what it has in it? Cheryl's recipe for the famous ball of cheese! You can get that free from her website right now, but that should give you an idea of the yummy stuff contained in this great little book.

I think it's time to get a cup of coffee and see if I'm feeling up to quilting now--I can't just be a slug all day, and now that I have some new quilty stuff to play with, I'm feeling a little more motivated to get up off my dying rear end and do something. I'm heading into the Sweat Shop. Thanks for stopping in to visit!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do You Believe . . .

. . . in ghosts? With Halloween approaching, my thoughts somewhat naturally turn to the supernatural. Okay, I'll confess that my thoughts turn that way occasionally no matter what the time of year. Since I like to have the TV on while I'm quilting, weekends are often spent hunting down reasonably entertaining cable TV shows, and some of my favorites deal with ghostly subjects.

Every now and then, I'll catch a marathon of Ghost Hunters. I also like watching Dead Famous, although my husband thinks the show is pretty dumb. I'll agree, more or less, but I still like to watch. John Edward's Crossing Over and Cross Country are also on my viewing agenda when there's not much else on. Then there are several shows that purport to tell the stories, in dramatized fashion, of real people who have had ghostly experiences, like A Haunting and a few other similar shows that have popped up recently. Oh, yeah, and then there's Ghost Whisperer--another fun one to watch on Friday nights, although it doesn't claim to depict true stories.

Seriously, though, I can't say I fully believe in ghosts, although I don't disbelieve either. I did wonder whether I'd "hear" anything from my dad when he passed away several months ago, but nothing so far. Heck, he didn't really come to visit when he was alive, so I guess there's no reason to think he might visit now that he's passed "over."

When we first moved into our house in 1986, we had--or I should say my husband had--an unexplained experience. We have a hallway with two overhead lights and a light switch on either end of the hall--the kind of switches you have to toggle up or down. At least twice he woke in the middle of the night to find the hallway lights on, and no one was up to turn them on. Yeah, those things can be explained in other ways and so we didn't pay too much attention to it, although I did wonder--it was kind of eerie.

There's a guy whose blog I read every now and then. It's called Somewhere on the Masthead. In "real life," he writes for a magazine, although he remains fairly anonymous on his blog. No, he doesn't write stories of the supernatural--just every day life with his wife and three kids, but he writes well and his blog is usually enjoyable to read and sometimes thought provoking. I don't remember how I found him, but you know how that happens--hopping from one blog to the next one listed on someone's side bar. Eventually I found this guy and thought enough of his blog to overlook the fact that he has absolutely NO QUILTING posts and add him to my list of favorites.

When I first began reading his blog back in the spring, he and his wife had just had their third child. His parents, who were both retired I believe, had made plans to drive out and stay for a few weeks and see their new grandchild for the first time. On the drive, they were involved in a horrific multiple car/truck accident and were both killed instantly. Not only did this guy have a new baby at home, but he and his brother had to deal with taking care of things in the aftermath of the accident and settle their parents' estate. One of his posts that moved me perhaps the most was when he and his brother traveled to the wrecking yard and had to go through their parents' care and what was left of their belongings.

Anyway, I digress. Recently he's written a few posts entitled "October Moments." The posts deal with odd and/or unusual and/or unexplained happenings he and his family have recently experienced. Personally, I find this stuff fascinating. I don't think he's a sensationalist--at least not in that way. If stories of this sort capture your attention, check him out.

So what do you think? Ghosts? No ghosts? Reserving judgment? Born in Missouri, the "show me" state?! Have YOU ever had an experience you can't explain? (No, I'm not talking about looking for your scissors while holding them in your mouth or any other "unexplainable" events of that nature! You know what I mean!) I'd like to hear about them!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quilt Show Wind Up

First, I want to thank all of you for the kind comments left on my blog yesterday about my quilts and my husband. As Darlene said, so many of our quilts have stories and memories behind them, and these were two of mine.

I was reading blogs last night and saw that PamKittyMorning had posted a photo from Pacific International Quilt Festival of the same basket quilt I posted from our quilt show the other day. I believe the quiltmaker is Jan Soule, and I think I forgot to mention her name in my post. She had three quilts in our show, and here's another quilt of hers that I took a photo of:

My nomination for goofiest category in a quilt show has to go to the "wearable art" category. While many of the things I see entered in this category are just exquisitely made, one wonders WHERE anyone would actually wear these things! Here's a photo I snapped of a couple pieces of our show's not-so-wearable-art. Can you imagine wearing that jacket? The shoulders are something else!

And what did I buy? I looked at those red and white FQs and ended up passing them up. I found another smallish tabletopper kit using that Ellery fabric. In fact, I think my "mission" on Saturday revolved around collecting Ellery, both at the quilt show and the shops I stopped at. At the top of this blog is my ever-growing pile of Ellery fabric and below is the small kit and another couple pieces of yardage I picked up. I love that border stripe--that's the one I've been petting in the quilt shop for the last month.

The second kit I bought included a packet of the Ellery "Spoonfuls"--they're like a charm pack, but the squares are 8-1/2". Kind of cool, huh?

I also picked up these Swarovski crystals--they can be heat set. I bought a small Halloween quilt kit a couple weeks ago where the quiltmaker had used these to decorate a spider's web. I bought the clear, jet, and red--I can envision using the red for berries on a wreath in a tablerunner. Have you tried these?

Finally, I got my son's Halloween quilt done. Blogger's being a little temperamental with photos this a.m., so I won't upload more, but the front and back look much like they did the last time I uploaded photos, so you're not missing anything. I talked to my daughter on Friday and hers hadn't arrived yet despite being mailed over a week earlier, Priority mail. Tahoe is about an hour and a half drive from here, but mail service is horrible. I hope she'll get hers today.

Have a good Monday, and thanks for stopping by to visit!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quilt Show, Yet Again!

At your urging, I did decide to go to the two quilt shops and quilt show yesterday--wouldn't have done it otherwise, but I like to keep my friends happy, so I made the sacrifice. I have a couple more photos for you of the show and my purchases, but I think I'll save those until tomorrow's post.

I said yesterday that I'd tell you a story about an earlier quilt show. Remember this quilt? This is the one that won Members' Choice and Viewers' Choice one year--I think it must have been in October 2003.

This quilt has many memories tied up in it. In March 2003, I was working on the pinwheel border when the U.S. invaded Iraq. I remember being glued to CNN and other news programs while trying to find different color combinations in my Kansas Troubles stash and eeking out enough fabric to construct the pinwheels.

The quilt show began that year on Friday, October 17th. I finished sewing the binding on this quilt late Monday night, October 13th. All quilts had to be turned into the show on Wednesday, October 15th, between 9 and 11 a.m. That year, I think I had three quilts I was entering.

After work that Tuesday, I was busy trying to finish something in the house before I cooked dinner, and my husband was in the garage, getting some Halloween decorations out of the rafters. It was probably around 7:30 p.m. when I heard a crash. I hurried out to the garage to find my husband stretched out on the floor, half on top of the aluminum ladder, groaning in pain and unable to move. I called 9-1-1, and soon the paramedics arrived, immobilized his neck, and placed him on a stretcher for transport to the hospital. I called both of our kids and got in my car to follow.

As it turned out, my husband had broken a rib and shattered his elbow in the fall. He also pulled and bruised several ligaments and muscles. We spent all night in the emergency room, and they finally admitted him to the hospital at 6 a.m. After getting him settled, I went home, got cleaned up, and gathered up my quilts for the show. I had them checked in and I was home again by 10 a.m. to try to get some much-needed sleep.

At 11 a.m., the roofers showed up and began removing our shingles. I knew they were coming sometime that week, but they weren't certain when they'd begin. Of course, they were ready to start our job the day I desperately needed sleep! Isn't that always the way things work out?

My guild holds a preview party on the Thursday evening before the show, and my husband and I had planned to attend. Of course, we didn't make it. My husband, after much delay, finally had surgery on his elbow to pin the bones back in place. When I wasn't at work, I was visiting him in the hospital, and then going home to take care of things there. On Sunday afternoon, I finally made it to the quilt show for a couple hours before everything was taken down, and I found I had won Viewers' Choice and Members' Choice.

Receiving the awards was somewhat bittersweet given my husband's accident, but knowing I had made a quilt that was liked by so many people was a great comfort and honor.

My husband stayed in the hospital for about a week. After that, he had to go into a nursing/rehab home for another week, so he could regain the strength he needed to get up and down. He came home on the afternoon of Halloween, and we went directly from the nursing home to Sacramento State University to watch our son play soccer in the pouring rain--that was what my husband most wanted to do, and he had pushed himself and his doctors to be released in time to see that game--I think it was the last game of the season, and he didn't want to miss it. He was in a wheelchair then and remained in a wheelchair and off work for the next couple months.

By the time he came home, I had finished piecing and nearly finished quilting this quilt for him, which I named "Pat's Ladder."

My husband has muscular dystrophy which was diagnosed when he was in his mid-20s. Saying someone has muscular dystrophy is a little like saying someone has cancer--very non-specific. Muscular dystrophy is the broader category of a disease that has many variations. My husband's form has never been specifically identified. What it means, though, is that over time, the muscles die off or atrophy. Pat has always done whatever he is able to do, and if doing something the conventional way is difficult for him, he finds another way to get the job done. His balance is not very good, and he probably should not have been up on that ladder that night, but he's never been one to accept limitations. This fall, though, and the amount of time it took him to recuperate from it, convinced him to listen to his body a little more and try to accept what it tells him it cannot do. His Pat's Ladder quilt is a reminder that there are just some things he needs to ask for help with and that it's perfectly alright to not be able to do everything himself. It is a constant and frustrating struggle with new lessons to learn all the time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More Quilt Show Report

Legal Disclaimer: I am not a photographer nor do I pretend to be. In fact, I'm pretty lame when it comes to the camera arts.

Okay, so that being said, I'll also warn you that I completely forgot to take photos at the show until we were ready to leave. I knew I couldn't let all of you down, so I scurried back to a couple quilts I liked and snapped a couple quick photos.

This first one is a string quilt. Since I've been blogging, I've been looking at the lovely string quilts so many of you have made. Tracey made one that particularly appealed to me because the strings were all in the same color family. I also liked the one above for the same reasons--all the strings are in reds with a bit of orange and yellow thrown in for excitement. The other thing I liked about this one is that at several places in the black sashing, there are a series of red circles. Click to expand this one if you can't see them--hopefully that will work. It's a bit unexpected and I think it really lifts the quilt above the average string quilt.

This second one--well, I thought the use of a colorful striped fabric as a background and then the more solid appearing fabrics for the design was kind of neat--something I wanted to remember. The bright colors don't appeal to me too much, but I like the design idea behind it. It's really a striking quilt.

Finally, for overall design, I really liked this third one. All those tiny baskets are paper pieced. I voted for this one to receive Viewer's Choice.

The funny thing was that Jacquie was trying to see where the quilt maker had quilted those basket blocks and had reached out to touch the quilt. Well, we know you aren't allowed to touch quilts, but being a new quilter, Jacquie had forgotten. Just as I was telling her not to touch, the quilt maker came up. I think she was a little bugged, but she was reasonably gracious about it and explained her quilting to Jacquie.

I'm having quilt show withdrawals today. I'd like to go back. There was a vendor with a whole basket full of red and white FQs of many different prints but all in the same shades of red and white. I'd love to make a red and white quilt. Should I go back and look again? Maybe!

I'm also thinking that there are two local quilt shops I'd like to stop at. One has some fabric on their 50% off table that I've been eyeing from afar. I think it might possibly be from the Sanctuary line and since I won that FQ bundle from the Calico Horse (and did you see Donna's post today, saying she's put it in the mail?!), I think I could use a little more of the fabric for borders, don't you? Of course, with my luck it won't be from that line at all, but it sure is pretty and who can beat 50% off?

The other shop has the line of fabric from that kit I bought yesterday. The line is called Ellery by Marcus Brothers. I've been eyeing that fabric too. Okay, I've actually even petted it a few time--it's a beautiful line of fabric! You know, chances of me making up that kit exactly as the pattern shows are pretty slim, so I just might need a bit more of the fabric. I'm not too crazy about the sections with all the simple patches, although I love the appliqued center and corner blocks.

Today my plan was to clean house and try to finish the meandering quilting on my son's Halloween quilt. Do you think I'll stick to my plan, or will I toss aside my hermit ways, put on make-up, do my hair, and head out for a little more retail therapy? I'll let you know the answer tomorrow. I also have a quilt show story to tell you about from a few years back. See you then!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quilt Show Report

My friend Jacquie and I went to the local guild's quilt show today during our lunch hour. I work with Jacquie and she just got interested in quilting a little over a year ago. She's a single mom with a younger son still living at home and she doesn't have much time (or money) for quilt classes and such, so she hasn't had very many opportunities to see quilts made by others or learn different techniques. She has taken a couple of beginning quilting classes at JoAnn's and avidly pours through quilt magazines, planning what she wants to make next. And like most of us, her ideas far outstrip her time. Also like most of us when we began quilting, a great deal of her stash consists of fabrics from JoAnn's, but she's discovered the wonders of quilt shop quality fabric, so I wonder how long she'll be content with JoAnn's?

Last weekend, Jacquie joined a bus load of women bound for the Pacific International Quilt Festival, a Mancuso show, held in the Bay Area. Of course she enjoyed it immensely and just wished she could have spent more time. She's already making plans in her head to go back next year and possibly stay overnight. And today, of course, I introduced her to the local guild's annual quilt show. We only had an hour to spend there, and when we got back to the office, she told me she thinks she'll go back again this weekend and spend more time looking at the quilts and the vendors' wares. Isn't it fun to see new quilters fall in love with quilting?

Our local show usually displays a couple hundred quilts and we have about 30 vendors, so it's a reasonably large show. Yes, I did find my hand dyed fabric lady--she's such a nice woman! If you're anywhere on the west coast, perhaps you know Linda of Linda M. Designs? I rarely buy very much from her but I always buy at least a couple pieces to add to my collection, and we chat about the show and what's going on with the other vendors. This time, Linda's booth was across from another woman who had bolts of fabric priced at $4 to $5 a yard. I wondered whether Linda was benefitting from the huge draw of quilters to that corner of the vendor area, but it didn't seem to work that way since Linda and the other vendor tend to attract different types of quilters. Linda got MY money today though! Here are the three pieces I purchased:

I just LOVE this yummy shade of purple, although I'm not much of a fan of purple. I also liked the green, which will make some nicely shaded leaves. And the blue/green combo reminded me of trees reflected on the surface of a lake. I'm always on the lookout for some hand dyed brown/black fabric that looks like the texture of tree trunks and branches, but I haven't had much luck. I DID find some once a few years ago, but I've used most of what I had. But I'll keep looking--that's at least half the fun!

At another vendor booth, I saw this quilt made up and hanging against the back wall and they had just one kit left. The pattern is by Quilt Soup. Now these pastel colors aren't what I'm normally drawn to, but for some reason, in the last couple months they seem to be calling to me. I don't even want to THINK about redecorating my house to accommodate my changing tastes, but it may just come to that some day! When the vendor commented that I was getting the last kit, I told her I was on my lunch hour and had to shop FAST--kits are good for that!!!

I was kind of hoping to find a couple needle punch embroidery kits, but if they were there, I missed them. That's okay, though--I have plenty of other things to keep me busy. We also have a serious lack of stencil vendors at our guild show. Stencils are one of those things that are best shopped for when there's a wide variety, and quilt shops don't usually carry that many. At least we're lucky enough these days to have online access to companies that carry things like needle punch kits and stencils.

Am I boring you yet? I think this post is getting awfully long, so I'll just say good night for now and save the last couple photos--photos of a few quilts from the show--until tomorrow's post.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I don't seem to have a lot to say tonight. Or at least no specific topic comes to mind. My friend Eileen says I often write about nothing, like the cramp in my toe. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not.

So I thought that I'd just meander a bit tonight from one thing to the next. Stuff I thought I'd follow up on. The 10-can-soup, for instance. Monday night when I went to get the soup out to heat for dinner, I noticed a smaller plastic container of the soup was gone. This was odd because my husband had told me what he was taking for his lunch that day, and it wasn't soup. "Honey," I called into the living room, "what happened to that other container of soup? Did you decide to have it for lunch?" Well, no, not exactly. He decided to take it to work because he wanted Gene and Oscar, two of the guys at work, to taste it so they could be envious. Men are kind of funny, aren't they? But the point is, if you're thinking about what to cook this weekend, you might consider a crockpot full of that soup. It's been approved by at least three men that I know of.

My toe. My toe feels okay. And that cold never materialized. I either fought it off or it was just a nasty allergy thing. Historically, I'd say 8 out of 10 years, I catch a cold just about this time of the year. Some might blame it on the change of weather, but usually in October, our weather is still pretty nice, so that doesn't really explain it. But I DO have allergies, so I think that's probably what was wrong with me the other night. Nothing that winning a bundle of Moda fabric couldn't cure! And thanks for all the cold suggestions--I'll keep them handy because you never know when you just might need a medicinal reason for champagne and OJ.

I've been in a bit of a funk this week. Not just a quilting funk, although that's been affected too. I just haven't seemed to have a lot of energy to play around in the Sweat Shop--or the enthusiasm. I think part of it is because the next little task I'd set for myself was to piece a back for the Christmas quilt I pieced last weekend, and I couldn't seem to muster up a lot of excitement over piecing the back of a quilt. I FINALLY got that done tonight, though, and hope to pin the quilt this weekend, weather permitting. Since the only place I have that's large enough to set up two tables is the patio, rain will definitely put a damper on my pinning plans! My online group was talking about what part of making a quilt we liked least, and I couldn't really think of anything at the time. Now I have--piecing a back! What's your least favorite part? (Do I sound like Darlene?!)

This weekend my local quilt guild is having their annual show, and I plan to go over there tomorrow during my lunch hour. I'll try to remember to take my camera and get a couple photos to share. I don't have anything in the show this year, so I can just enjoy all the other quilts and visit the vendors. I was the guild's vendor coordinator a couple years back, so some of these vendors will be like long lost friends! That should be fun. Too bad they're not like long lost friends who give huge discounts though! There's one vendor I look forward to visiting every year--she carries hand dyeds, and they're hard to get around here otherwise. I hope she's there again!

Oh, remember that dead grass in the front yard that I showed you a few weeks back? After all that hard work of trying to kill it off all summer, all it took was a couple rain showers to turn the darn thing green again. Sort of. Sort of green in patches and brown in others. Of course, I was somewhat skeptical that my husband and my son would get around to digging it out and putting in a new sprinkler system and lawn this month anyway, so it's probably just as well. I'm sure the neighbors are delighted.

Not much else happening at Casa Kim tonight (except for slightly mounting excitement at the thought that the weekend's almost here), so I'll say good night and try to get my beauty sleep. I hope it's better than last night. Last night I half woke up to the sound of one of our cats trying to gag up a hairball somewhere relatively close by. Twice. Of course, I didn't wake up enough to get up and investigate. And can I just say that getting up when the alarm goes off in the morning and it's still fairly dark sucks, especially when you know you might possibly step on a hairball in the dim light of dawn? Yet another reason why I'm not much of a morning person. As if I needed another reason!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Would Like to Thank the Academy . . .

Okay, not exactly--EXACTLY would be I would like to thank Donna over at The Calico Horse. As some of you already saw, I was the lucky winner of a FQ bundle of Moda/3 Sisters Sanctuary line. Some of you may have clicked on Donna's name and found that there was no mention of the FQ bundle giveaway on the blog it led you to, so I wanted to set the record straight--if you click on Donna above, you'll get to her shop blog.

Donna also has a personal blog called The Quilted Star. Then her daughter, Michelle, has a blog called Star Hollow Quilters which links to her shop where she sells jelly rolls and charm packs--check out Michelle's blog and enter for a chance to win a charm pack and jelly roll!

What a blogging family! It's a wonder there's any room LEFT on Blogger for the rest of us!

And in case you weren't already aware, Donna is kind enough to employ Cheryl (who just had a birthday, by the way). So Donna does quite a lot to keep Cheryl out of trouble. (But then again, Donna makes Cheryl dress up like a reindeer!)

And you know Sharon (Red Geranium Cottage)? Well, when she's not running around all over the world, taking photos of her husband, Sharon sometimes teaches at Donna's shop. And I'm not saying anything about keeping Sharon out of trouble because I suspect that's not even possible!

So here I am, stuck up here in Northern California while all the fun seems to be going on in SoCal. Not only are those gals I mentioned down there, but Vicky and the infamous (albeit invisible to Blogland) Jane are also down there. And you know what? Now that I think about it, maybe the high concentration of crazy quilters in SoCal goes pretty far to explain why they have all those earthquakes! You think?

So, anyway, there's a photo of the Sanctuary FQ bundle up at the top. I sure am looking forward to getting to fondle and touch it. And, gee, I'm really sorry Upstate Lisa that you didn't claim your prize, but you know the old saying--you snooze, you lose! And now that your time's up and Donna picked me instead, I guess it's okay if I untie you and let you out of the closet, but you have to promise not to tell, alright?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now What Day Is It?

Blogger was being difficult about uploading photos, but that's okay because I don't really have any anyway. Unless you wanted to see my toe? It kind of hurts, but there's really nothing to see--it feels more like a cramp. Which kind of reminds me of my first husband's uncle, the chiropractor. Whenever we'd come down with a cold, we'd go over to the uncle's house for an adjustment. I was a little skeptical about the powers of chiropractic to heal a virus, but then a nice massage and adjustment were kind of soothing.

I guess this is my round about way of saying I think I might be coming down with a cold. Probably due to my toe. From what I remember, the explanation on why chiropractic helped the common cold was that viruses settle where the bones are not correctly aligned, so an adjustment would realign the bones and wipe out the virus. The only hitch was that after an adjustment, it would take a week or two for the virus to work its way out of the body. I'm kind of thinking maybe chocolate would be just as effective.

So I figure my toe is out of alignment and that's causing the cold. Unfortunately, I got rid of that husband and didn't get custody of the chiropractor in the divorce.

My current husband, on the other hand, had a different cold remedy. When we first met, he swore by hot lemonade and Wild Turkey (whiskey). (Do you think he might have just been trying to get me drunk so he could have his wicked way with me?!) Hot lemonade and Wild Turkey don't taste all that great, but if you drink enough every time you wake up, you'll sleep right through the worst of the cold. I kind of think I'd rather stay awake and eat chocolate.

Oh, yeah! I was going to tell you what today is. It's actually a couple different things. I noticed on Yahoo late yesterday afternoon that today is National Boss's Day here in the U.S. Well, you know I have two bosses now--the Kids. So on my way home from work, I picked up a couple cards and Starbucks gift cards. (I figured they could use them to buy me iced lattes as bribes.) I also gave them some of my homemade apple butter. They were both surprised and appreciative when I presented them with their gifts this morning. My "boy" said he didn't really feel like my boss. I told him I understood and asked him what he'd gotten ME for Boss's Day.

Today is also my son's girlfriend's birthday. I found out last night. She and my son have been together for awhile now (nearly two years, I think), so I definitely want to get her something for her birthday, but I'm not sure what. I would have given her chocolates, but I'm keeping them for myself. Did you know that chocolates cure the common cold? Yep! Don't fall for that hot lemonade and Wild Turkey stuff. Or chiropractic. Chocolate is the cure. Administer chocolate several times a day, and your cold will be gone within a week or so. Guaranteed!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What Day is This?

Can anyone guess? Well, if today's October 15th, and I'm pretty sure it IS, then today must be the deadline for the next Hometown Christmas section! Is everyone staying current? If you're not making this quilt, visit those who ARE through the links on the right side bar and give them all a little encouragement. Or harassment if they've fallen behind!

So today is the deadline for the third section, and as I mentioned last time I blogged about the quilt, those participating could either make the third section in the first row or make the third section in the book, which is actually the fourth section, I believe--the first part of the second row. (If this is confusing, just know that the books don't follow the order of the quilt, row by row.)

Here's mine--I followed the book and made the first part of the second row.

And how did I change mine from the book? Because you know I did! Instead of the filler pinwheel/hourglass blocks that were placed to the left of the bird section, I decided to make a couple birdhouses, and they seemed to balance better placed on the right side of the bird section.

Last week at my Thimbleberries Club meeting, someone brought in a completed Hometown Christmas quilt for show and tell, and boy was it beautiful! I know I'm going to love this quilt when it's done and I bet I'll wish Christmas was a year-round event!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ta-Da! and Ta-Da!

Two accomplishments today! Not bad, but I was shooting for three. First of all, that 9 Can Soup I promised--that was the easiest accomplishment! We haven't eaten our dinner yet, but at least it's close enough for photos.

The Ingredients:

2 cans of Tamales
2 cans of no bean chili
2 cans of beans--any kind
1 can of corn
1 can of hominy
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can of diced chiles

I know that actually adds up to 10 cans--I added an extra can of beans because I couldn't decide between kidney beans and black beans, so I went with both. Just dump everything in the crockpot, liquid and all. Except the tamales. Those will be wrapped in paper, so remove the paper, slice the tamales around 1/4 inch, and then add the sliced tamales and liquid to the pot.

I cooked mine on high for about 5 hours and it seems ready although it could cook longer.

Then, my other accomplishment today was to get a back pieced for the Halloween quilt I'm making for my son and to get the quilt pinned. Front:


Yeah, I think it can be reversible. I didn't have enough of any one fabric or anything in my stash I liked for a back, so I ended up pretty much making another front. I'm just going to do a fairly quick all-over meander and call it done. I think my son will like it. I sent the other Halloween quilt off to my daughter in the mail, so I had to make sure I made one for my son too!

And what didn't I get done? I wanted to get my quilt from Friday night's class pinned but I didn't get a back made for that one, since the Halloween quilt took so much time. Well, there's always next weekend!

Now I'm off to make a salad to go with that soup. Yum!

What's a Meg?!

Marcie asked what a "Meg" was, so I thought I'd give you all a link to Vicky's explanation--I'm sure you've all EXPERIENCED it before as either the Megger or the recipient (victim!), but click HERE to read about it.

I've dumped the "9 Can Soup" in the crockpot and will post about it when I can get some photos of the soup when it's done. So come on back and visit later!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Where Have I Been?

I had an email from Yvonne saying she missed my Saturday beauty tip today. Okay, here it is, Yvonne: Sleep in later on Saturday. And if you're Sharon, sleep until your lips return to your face at noon. So, besides sleeping in, I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time today trying to find a little chin whisker that was bugging me, but all's well now and I accomplished my beauty mission for the week!

Last night, of course, I spent several hours at Quilters' Corner "working" on a project. What a nice way to end a work week! I think I did a little more chatting and browsing than sewing, but I DID get some sewing done! At least our group last night worked harder at their projects than did the group today--most of whom were still shopping two hours after the class started! More about that later, though.

So here's a photo of the wall with the snowman projects hanging on it--these are what we were supposed to make:

And here's mine:

Yeah, not many similarities are there? Sorry about the photo that only shows part of it, but I hope to get a better one later when I have some room to spread it out on a larger bed. Maybe when it's quilted. But more about that later. At the class last night, I didn't get the last two borders on, but I finished that up this morning. After my beauty sleep.

Oh, and here's a photo of the food table last night--this wasn't even all the food. We had a great "9 can soup" that I'm going to make tomorrow and share with you--I think--and a pumpkin dessert that was very excellent for this time of the year. No photo of that--sorry! They didn't put it out until a little later and by then, I forgot. But here's the recipe--you really NEED to make this stuff. You'll love it, your husband will love it, and your children will erect a monument to your cooking abilities!


29 oz can pumpkin
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
12-oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs, well beaten
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the cake mix, nuts, and melted butter. Mix well and pour into 9x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top. Sprinkle nuts on top. Drizzle the melted butter over the entire cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. If the cake is not done, turn the oven off and let stand in oven 15 minutes. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

They tell me this stuff shouldn't be served warm and that it's better if you let it stand for at least a few hours before serving.

So, anyway, today I finished those borders and realized I needed some batting because I'd like to pin a couple quilts tomorrow. You all know I don't really like to get dressed and do the make-up and hair thing on weekends, but my camera batteries also went dead and we had no more batteries! Yikes! So with all of you in mind and knowing you like blog photos, I forced myself to get dressed, etc., and head out of my hermit home. At the first quilt shop which is closest to my home, they were out of the type of batting I wanted. This is, I think, the fifth time I've gone there for batting, and on four of those occasions, they were out. So, I hopped back in my car and headed across town to the very same quilt shop I was at last night.

Why didn't I buy batting last night? Well, all I can say in my defense is that batting isn't as sexy as fabric and looking at rolls of batting doesn't get my creative juices flowing, so I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the stuff and what I might do with it. In other words, batting was the last thing on my mind last night. But--the quilt shop had a second session of the Thimbleberries class today, and that's how I know that quite a few of those gals were spending a heck of a lot of time today still shopping TWO HOURS into the class! I was afraid I wasn't going to make it to that quilt shop before they closed at 4 p.m., but I knew they'd let me in if I knocked and begged. Luckily, I made it there with two minutes to spare. They even offered me some more of their wonderful soup that I'm going to tell you about tomorrow, but I didn't want to spoil my dinner.

So, that's what I've been doing. Oh! That and opening mail! Vicky posted to her blog the other day about fabric--surprise, surprise!--and so I'll admit that she gets a partial Meg for my purchases. Yes, I had to hop on over to the Fat Quarter shop and buy some Roman Holiday and Madeira Jolly Patches (along with some sale charm packs). It was actually a cumulative Meg since she talked about the Jolly Patches awhile back and then talked about the Madeira not long ago. Of course, I didn't fall for her attempted BOM Meg, so half a Meg to you, Vicky!

And look at this excellent pattern designed by Marcie! I just LOVE this one! Do you know Marcie? Someday I'll be able to say "I knew her when . . . ." Check out her blog. From there, you can click on her store where you can look at her great patterns and buy one or two or five. Oh, and when you go over to her blog, just ignore that clown post. No idea what she's talking about. I think she's probably losing her marbles. But she's a really good pattern designer!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Quilt Shop Purchases and "Class"

I thought I'd share photos of a couple things I bought at the quilt shop the other night. The first photo is of the Pumpkin Boy panel from Thimbleberries. They've come out with several reproductions of the original Cover Story quilt panels and they're kind of cute. I've "collected" a couple of the original, "vintage" panels but since I didn't have this one--and since I love Halloween!--I decided it needed to come home with me, along with two coordinating fabrics for borders.

I also picked up a cute little Halloween kit--I love that black cat! It reminds me of my older cat. Then I had to bring home a few odds and ends--sale yardage and a couple fat quarters as well as one of those small patterns that work well with charms.

With these purchases, I now have "kits" for three more Halloween projects. No, I don't think I'll make them for this holiday. In fact, I went to the grocery store today and picked up a couple Christmas magazines. I guess I have a short holiday attention span!

The "class" I signed up for tonight is more of a group of women getting together to sew than an actual class where there's any teaching and learning going on. The quilt shop picked out three projects from the newest Thimbleberries Christmas book for everyone to work on, and all three projects feature snowmen. There's a stocking, a table runner, and a table topper or lap quilt. The shop isn't making kits up, though--everyone just brings their own fabric or buys it there. And which project will I work on? Well . . . . You guys know I'm kind of a rebel, right? So after signing up for the "class," I came home and got the book down off my shelf and found a completely different project I wanted to work on. Here's a photo from the book:

It's not that I don't like snowmen--I do! But I decorate with snowmen in my bathroom and I just couldn't see putting a table runner, table topper, or stocking in there!

Tonight I pulled fabric from my stash. See all those appliqued mittens in the pattern above? Of course I love to applique, but I'm not fond of fusible machine applique and I don't have time to hand applique all of those darn mittens, so I decided to pick a "feature" fabric to use in place of the mitten blocks. I went ahead and pieced the 9-patch blocks and cut the alternate squares and put them up on my design wall. Here's what mine looks like so far:

Of course, I still have to sew the blocks together and then add all those borders, but I just might be able to get the top done during class. The feature fabric shows cabins in the snow, and there's a bit of blue in there which will go nicely in my kitchen, so I've decided to make a table topper and try to keep the colors happy and bright. I'll let you know how far I get in my next post. Of course, I may end up just chatting and eating (they're feeding us dinner) and not getting a whole lot done, but at least I have a head start! And I'm sure it will be a fun way to spend a Friday night!

Have a happy Friday!