Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quilts, Embroidery, and Meg

The power of the internet is an amazing thing for quilting and crafts. Back in the B.I. age (before internet), a quilter might go into a shop and find a great pattern, buy it, and show it to a friend, who would then have to get the pattern as well. They'd show other friends and before long, many of the quilters in a community would have the same pattern. But it wasn't global like it is now that we've entered the internet age--unless a manufacturer advertised a product in a national publication. Now we can just post a great find on our blogs and other like-minded quilters see it and go out and buy it--or, better yet, order it off an internet website. That's GOTTA be good for the economy, doesn't it? Maybe someone should do a study.

Speaking of studies, I saw a headline the other day that said, "study reveals women don't like to look at deformed babies." Or something like that. I knew I should bookmark it but I forgot. Anyway, a couple questions came to mind. As usual one of my first thoughts was "Gee, they needed a study for that? How much did they spend on the study?" And the second question was "So MEN like looking at deformed babies? Or is this a really sexist study?" Anyway, like I said, I forgot to bookmark the site and never did read the article, so maybe I'm waaaay off base--maybe the article would have justified the study. But I'm rambling. Back to the subject.

The other day, Dianne Flamingo Feet posted the first block she'd completed of a 12-block stitchery by Crabapple Hill called Hocuspocusville. Really cute. It's a Halloween pattern, and each block is a different "store" in town--for instance, Dianne showed her finished quilt shop block. And, having recently discovered the wonders of embroidery--yet another craft to spend money on--and being a complete sucker for any type of "house" pattern, I had to buy it. She megged me.

(Do you know about megging? If not, check out this old post of Vicky's. I love the term! Up until I saw Vicky's explanation, "megging" to me--me being the typical soccer mom--meant tricking someone in soccer by kicking the ball through their legs. Which is kind of similar when you think about it!)

So, anyway, here's a photo of my brand spanking new pattern:

Have I megged anyone yet?

If not, well it's kind of hard to see the pattern and then there's that glare on the packaging. If you'd like you can go HERE and see it at the Crabapple Hill website. Click on the image to enlarge it. (By the way, if you're feeling a bit megged, let me help you out here: I found mine on sale at Over the Rainbow.)

I like the way some designers have used stitcheries in quilts, but sometimes I feel the pieced portions of a quilt overwhelm the stitchery parts--and since the stitcheries take the most time, that doesn't seem fair. If/when I make this, I think I'll at least want to change the colors used in the pieced portion of the quilt. Maybe I'd use something like that Michael Miller spider web fabric in place of the black squares to lighten it up some.

I think, though, that Helen got it right in designing this Christmas quilt:

To my eye, it looks much better balanced, and the stitcheries hold their own. Have you gotten hooked on embroidery yet? What do you think about using it in a quilt? Inquiring minds . . . .

The other question in my mind involves quilting a quilt that has a lot of embroidery. How do you quilt it? That's a bridge I haven't come to yet, but I'm sure I will some day. Are there any "rules"? In the photo for this Crabapple Hill pattern I just bought, the quilting on the stitchery blocks is just a kind of meandering in the background that looks a bit like clouds. I think it works pretty well. But what about where the embroidered block is words, like the block above that says "Merry Christmas to all . . ."?

Maybe someone should do a study. Let me know if you come across one, okay?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Death of an Icon

It was another extremely HOT, HOT day here in Sac Town--in fact, the TV news reported tonight that our little part of town got up to 112 degrees. I think there are parts of me that will stay damp now until October, and then I'll probably discover I'm growing fungus or mold or something. I'm very grateful for the air conditioning, but even the air conditioning couldn't keep up with the heat, and this will be the second night in a row that we'll sleep with the windows closed and the air conditioning on--I really hate it when it gets like this!

I DID, in fact, make it to the grocery store and home again this morning before the temperatures got past 90 degrees, so that's one chore that's done for now. The rest of the day, I stayed indoors and, for the most part, "played" in the Sweat Shop.

Remember I mentioned that I was making a 4th of July crafty thing? Here it is:

A little patriotic fabric star "floral" bouquet.

Then I spent the rest of the day working on this month's Jo's Little Women Club project--I added an extra strip of stars to make it a little wider than the pattern.

It's quilted, but it still needs a binding.

Hubby was deeply saddened today when the USA men's soccer team lost to Brazil in the final game of the Confederations Cup, although USA did pretty well, losing by only one goal with a score of 3 to 2.

In other news, Pabst, a boxer mix owned by a local man, won the World's Ugliest Dog contest.

A face, I think, that only a mother could love.

Finally, there's the subject of my post title. Did you think I was going to talk about Michael? Farrah? Ed? Nope! If you haven't already heard, TV pitchman Billy Mays died.

This seems to have been the week for odd deaths, and Billy's is no exception. This morning, his wife found him unresponsive and a fire rescue crew pronounced him dead. It's unknown right now what caused his death, but he had been on a plane on Saturday that had a rough landing when a tire or tires blew out, and he was struck on the head. He claimed he was alright, but then he wasn't feeling well later in the evening.

You know what this means? Vince, the Sham WOW guy, will probably be getting a lot more work. And those hot temperatures we're having? Maybe this IS aitch-E-double L!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home Repairs, Day 4

Finally! Finally our little area of dry rot is repaired. Not so, though, the board Hubby and Soccer Son damaged at the beginning of their repairs. I don't think they've figured out how to fix that yet. Well, something for them to do another day, but at least we have sound siding on the house again.

It's been miserably hot here in Sacramento, up into the triple digits with no relief in sight for at least the next several days. Sunday will be even hotter. I'd like to do some grocery shopping, but I don't think that's going to happen unless I get up and out early--and that's not something I like to do on weekends! Yes, this is the time of the year when I start dreaming about fall and cooler temperatures.

While the "boys" were outside, working up a sweat on the home repairs, I stayed indoors, in the air conditioned Sweat Shop. I finished the last block of the Back Home Again BOM pattern and re-made one I'd made a few months back--I wasn't satisfied with the lack of good contrast between the star and the background. I've put the blocks up on the design wall, although I'll probably want to move them around a bit still--

Next month, we'll add setting triangles and vertical sashing between the columns. Maybe the outside borders too--I'm not sure. But I really like it so far--the colors are yummy!

The Wild Child came through Sacramento today, on her way to Los Angeles. She arrived just in time to take a shower and join us for dinner. It was really nice to see her--I think it's been a couple months. She's been working two jobs: her bartending job at the restaurant she's worked at the last couple of years, and a waitressing job at a local resort. Her goal is to work her way out of debt by the end of summer. I admire her determination! Her band has had some problems and is in search of a new bass player, but she's still enjoying her music. She participated in an open mike night at a local bar and grill a week or so ago, singing a cappella, and it sounds like she did pretty well. Gosh, and I have a hard time even speaking in public!

This evening I started working on a little 4th of July sewing/crafting project--photos tomorrow if all goes well.

I'm glad you stopped by for a visit! I hope your weekend is fun and restful!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Home Repairs, Day 3

It's Friday night--a night to celebrate the beginning of the weekend--and I'm yawning so widely I may dislocate my jaw. I don't know why, but I've been particularly unmotivated, lazy, and somewhat tired all week; I've barely made it into the Sweat Shop at all!

Day three of our home repairs ended with no additional progress having been made. Soccer Son was without transportation this morning, and so a plan was made for him to come over in the late afternoon (after our sleeping neighbor woke from his slumbers) to work on the house. As an extra bonus, he would bring the lovely Ms. S (photo below), and the two of them would join me and Hubby for barbecued chicken and corn on the cobb.

It was a very nice plan--a happy way to begin the weekend--until the lovely Ms. S went to the doctor this afternoon for an ear complaint. The doctor administered some type of test that left her in a great deal of pain, and he diagnosed a torn eardrum. Quite understandably, Soccer Son took Ms. S home, and all construction and dining plans were cancelled for the evening.

We'll try again tomorrow morning.

Since dinner was a no-go, I took the opportunity to stop by the thrift store on the way home and found a couple treasures.

Well, to be honest, I'd stopped by a different thrift store on the way home last night too. The framed blackboard was from last night's excursion. Tonight I found the wooden Shaker-style box and two older quilt books: Fairmeadow by Jeana Kimball (an applique quilt) and Scrap Quilts by Judy Martin. I'm QUITE pleased with both of them. Of course, I found a few other things as well: an olive-ish green plaid wool blazer for deconstruction and felting, another white teapot with a copper insulated cover (this makes THREE for my collection--I really SHOULD stop!), a crock with a lid that matches a larger one I already have, and a secret something for Hubby whose birthday is on Monday. Plus a few other odds and ends that will either be fancied up someday or used in fancing up something else--stuff like a couple of small, unfinished wooden boxes and a few books with illustrations that can be used for decoupage, a nice quality scrapbook-type of book with a cover that's ripe for some type of artistic embellishment, etc.

I guess it's time for me to head to bed. That area of the house that's being repaired tomorrow morning? Right underneath my bedroom window. And since Soccer Son is doing the repairs for OUR benefit, I guess I can't be all cranky and snippy at him if I can't sleep through the noise--not like SOME people we know!

I hope you've had a happy start to your weekend!

* * * * *

BONUS POST: Okay, so here I am still, about an hour later, still yawning and still blog surfing, and that boy of mine is going to be pounding on my house in not-enough-hours harder than the Big Bad Wolf pounded on the houses of the Three Little Pigs! But--I just had to share this:

You can find it on Helen's blog, Hugs From Helen.

It's a seven-month BOM and Helen has a link so you can click right over from her blog and buy the pattern. I'm also supposed to mention that Helen is having a giveaway of the pattern too, but I'd really prefer that you just BUY THE DARN THING and don't enter the giveaway because I don't want you to dilute MY chances of winning. Okay? Thanks! I knew I could count on you!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Repairs, Day 2

If you read yesterday's post, then you already know that the first day of repairs to fix an area of presumed dry rot on the outside of our home didn't really go so well. Well, not that it went BADLY--it just didn't go at all, because the "workers" were distracted by the USA/Spain soccer match and never made it outside! But that was okay--I didn't mind too much.

So today was the second day--the day when hopefully more would be done.

Soccer Son came over early--for him--around 9 a.m., set up all his power tools, and got down to business. As it turned out, there wasn't too much damage at all. Once the siding was off of the suspicious section, all the studs were found to be in good shape and only some minor repairs and replacement of the small section of siding was found to be necessary. Unfortunately, in the process, another random, uninvolved board was damaged.

To complicate matters, a couple hours into the job, our neighbor stuck his head out the window and asked that Hubby and Soccer Son stop making noise because he was trying to sleep. You see, he works nights driving truck. Now seriously, how can a person get anything done in the way of repairs when there's a day-sleeper next door? I feel for the guy and all, but what are we supposed to do?

So tomorrow morning, Soccer Son will return and will try to complete all of the noisy bits early in the day so as not to interrupt our neighbor's beauty sleep. Hubby and Soccer Son couldn't find a board to replace the one they damaged, and as Hubby pointed out, pulling the damaged board off would likely damage MORE boards. So I don't know what they'll do. I just hope it doesn't end up looking goofy. And Soccer Son will put a new piece of siding over what is now bare studs and insulation. And hopefully, everyone will live happily ever after.

Until Saturday. When our neighbors head out to work in their back garden at 8 a.m., turn on their moldy-oldies radio station--LOUD--and start up the lawn mower and weed wacker. And then their two tiny, yippy-yappy dogs start barking. And I wake up much, much too early for a weekend. And then I kill them all. And if that happens? At least now I won't feel too bad for having committed murder. I'm thinking that "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander" in this instance translates into justifiable homicide.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Giddiness Abounds Here

Sometimes BIG achievements bring about giddiness. Like the USA men's soccer team beating Spain 2 to 0 in the Confederations Cup semi-final today. How BIG is that? Here's a little excerpt from the news story:

"Goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey ended Spain's world record run of 15 successive victories and their 35-match unbeaten sequence, a world record streak they share with Brazil, and caused one of the biggest soccer upsets in years."

Soccer Son came over today--he and Hubby were going to pull a section of siding off the house and start repairs on a small area of dry rot. Instead they watched the soccer game. Can I blame them? Nope! For these two devoted soccer fans, seeing USA win against Spain was like going to Disneyland without having to travel. Yep, they were GIDDY! And I bet I know what we'll be doing on Sunday when USA plays either Brazil or South Africa in the final match!

And as for me? Well, I was working while they were watching the game, but I had my share of giddiness today too. I went to the office supply store during my lunch hour to pick up a couple ink cartridges for our printer.

Yes, as a matter of fact, office supply stores DO make me a bit giddy--I LOVE, love, luv paper and other office stuff. Weird, huh? But here's the BEST part. I got my ink right away and decided to wander through the store and take in the whole "new office supply" atmosphere when what did I see?

A 64-crayon box of Crayolas waiting JUST FOR ME! Yep, my heart started to race and with trembling hand, I reached out and SNATCHED those Crayolas off the shelf before anyone else could beat me to them!

And if I hadn't thought people might think me odd, I would have opened the box and inhaled that new, waxy paper smell right then and there! But, being mindful of appearances, I restrained myself until I got back to my office--ahhhhhh! That's a smell I remember from childhood. The rest of the afternoon, that box of 64 marvelous, wonderous colors sat right next to me on my desk. And every now and then? I'd pick it up, turn it around, and admire the "built-in perfect-tip sharpener" on the back. I've always felt a brand new box of Crayolas represented endless possibilities. Heaven!

Ah! Did I hear someone ask what I planned to DO with this divine 64-crayon box of Crayolas? Well, my friend Gran knows! Click over HERE and see!

I had yet another quilt class tonight, and when I arrived at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks, clutching my bag of Crayolas (because it was much too hot to leave them in the car), I ran into Gran. When I showed her my brand spankin' new box of 64 Crayolas, the first thing she did was open the box and inhale the waxy paper smell. We really and truly ARE kindred spirits!

When I got home after work and class, Hubby and our friend Terry came home from dinner out. Of course, Terry admired my Crayolas and said his wife--my BFF Lisa--would be extremely envious. When Lisa was a kid, she could always tell when her family either had money or was pinching pennies, because when they were doing well, she got the 64-crayon box of Crayolas, and when things were tighter, she got a box of 12 off-brand crayons. It's funny how so many of us have stories to tell about our childhood and Crayola crayons! What's your story?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogging Day Off

I don't know if I'm coming down with something or whether I just need a night "off," but I'm feeling kind of queasy and tired tonight, so I'm heading to bed with a book and a cup of tea and calling it an early night. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you later!

ADDENDUM: I set this to post last night and it didn't for some reason. I got a good night's sleep and I'm feeling much better this morning. I should be back with you tonight!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Some Stuff

Today's my anniversary, sort of. I was at work today, typing something, and the date seemed familiar. Hummmmm. June 22nd. Then it occurred to me--35 years ago today, I married my first husband. Really weird. The whole marriage was. I wrote about it on my blog some time back--in May 2007--but just to recap for those of you who weren't reading my blog back then or don't know me in "real life," I discovered about a year into the marriage that the man was a transvestite. The marriage lasted less than two years. Now the man is a woman. No, I haven't seen her since the change, but my brother-in-law ran into her some years back at a high school reunion. Weird, huh?! It seems like a whole other life--and, of course, I was awfully young at the time. Thank goodness the second husband has worked out a WHOLE lot better!

Tonight was embroidery night at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks, with Gran leading the show. I was so inspired that when I got home, I whipped these out:

No, you're right: I'm lying! I actually bought these on Etsy and they arrived today. You can find some really neat things on Etsy! Just click that link in my sidebar, and it will take you to my shop. After you buy a couple of my patterns, you can search for all sorts of things there. These two table runners probably cost about what I'd have paid at the thrift store. (Okay, I'm lying again--you don't HAVE to buy my patterns before you can search for other stuff.)

But, speaking of thrift stores, I found this at Goodwill a couple weeks ago for $3.99:

I'm not a big Hummel fan, and they had a couple other framed Hummel cross-stitcheries (is that what they're called?), but those didn't appeal to me as much as the one I bought. I just couldn't resist the little boy with cherries and a dog! And all the work someone put into it--well, it had to come home with me.

We were supposed to start embroidering a dish towel tonight, but I didn't realize until I got an email from Gran this morning that we were supposed to pre-wash the towel and I hadn't. That was okay, though, because I had another little project I was working on in class. I'll make the dish towel later. I think I'd like to do some bluework with a tea theme anyway--the other gals are doing a fruit bowl. (Yes, I always have to be different!) Now that I think about it, a bowl of cherries wouldn't be bad either! I'm sure I'll have a little time to decide. After all, I still have to wash that towel, and who knows when I'll remember to do that!

Gran made us do exercises--yoga for stitchers or something like that. Breathing and stuff. I kind of wanted to do it fast and get it over with so I could embroider some more, but I realized I'd probably hyperventilate and pass out. Then she made us stretch up our arms and hold it, and I think mine popped out of the shoulder sockets. I don't remember reading about this in the class description.

My friend Julia was in class tonight--it took me awhile to realize she WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE IN THAT CLASS since she's in most of the other classes I take! One of her friends IS in the class, though, and Julia's been doing more of the homework than I have, so she was just sitting in tonight to see if she might like to sign up for the class. I hope she'll join, but I don't know--with all that breathing and yoga stuff, she might get scared off. Oh, and I finished my "M is for May's Flowers" stitchery last week--something Julia finished about a week after the first class (even though she wasn't THERE):

Somehow we all got to talking about how hard it is to get the oils from things like jalapeno peppers off your skin, and that reminded me of a story Soccer Son told last night. He LOVES spicy stuff, the hotter the better, and he's a pretty good cook--if you like your food REALLY spicy. So the other day, he was making something using chili oil. After eating and washing up, he went to the bathroom. Well, let's just say he realized that not all the chili oil had washed off his hands. I'm sure you can imagine the rest! His girlfriend said she was in the bedroom when she heard him in the bathroom say something like, "Uh oh!" At least he didn't scream.

I was looking back through my blog a bit and came across this photo of a quilt top I'd made:

You know, I really, REALLY love this quilt top, and I TOTALLY forgot I'd made it! No, it hasn't been quilted yet--it's rolled up in my "waiting to be quilted" basket. I seriously have to devote some time in the next couple months to getting quilts QUILTED. I'll need my arms and shoulders for that kind of work though, and after yoga tonight, I'm not sure they'll ever be the same again. I guess embroidery's not for wimps!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Lovely Father's Day

Another lovely weekend has come to an end. Our weather has been fabulous with very little need for air conditioning, although I'll admit I've turned it on for a couple hours each day, during the hottest hours, especially on Saturday when I was doing some house cleaning. Mornings and evenings, though, are nice and cool.

For Father's Day, Soccer Son came over and cooked dinner--yeah, I know it's not Mother's Day, but I got a pretty sweet deal out of it anyway! For an appetizer, he seared some Ahi tuna and I made a spicy hot and slightly sweet soy dipping sauce. Yum!

For the main course, Soccer Son served barbecued chicken, corn on the cobb, and small red potatoes--all out on the patio. And, of course, we had cherry pie for dessert--my contribution to the meal!

Here's a photo of Soccer Son and his girlfriend, Ms. S. ("Ms. S" will have to do until I think up a better name for her! Soccer Son actually has blue eyes, but when I "fixed" the red eye in the photo, his eyes ended up brown.)

I haven't talked much about quilting lately, but I have been doing a bit--miscellaneous things, for the most part, and a little bit of embroidery work. I finally DID feel like making those hourglass blocks that weren't exciting me too much the other night, and I thought I'd show you a photo of the quilt in progress--this is a BOM-type, mystery-type quilt from Barbara Brackman's Clues in the Calico program.

Each month, we get instructions for another border to add on as this is supposed to be a medallion style quilt. The next border is a dog tooth border using applique to make the "teeth." I think I'll use a light blue again for the background of that border and use the red stripe (from the wide inner border) as the teeth.

I hope that you, too, had a lovely day, however you chose to spend it! Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just an Old Fashioned Girl

For some reason, summertime reminds me of the generations of women who came before us. The women for whom homemaking was not an art or a pasttime but a way of life that was necessary to make ends meet and put food on the table for the family.

For them, there was no fast food. For them, there was no convenience foods from the grocery store freezer section. No instant mashed potatoes. No frozen pie shells. Nope, they did things the old fashioned way, from scratch.

Today, I thought I'd follow in their footsteps.

Today, I got up early (10 a.m.) and got dressed (put on a nightgown). I completed my morning chores (read my emails and surfed a few blogs) and headed into the kitchen to do some baking--from scratch!

First, I ground my flour (no I didn't--I just opened the package), mixed it with lard rendered from the last time we killed a pig (actually, it was Crisco vegetable shortening from a can--I've never killed a pig in my life), and mixed in a little salt brought across the prairies by covered wagon (bought at the grocery store in a cardboard canister). I added a few tablespoons of water, fresh from the well (kitchen faucet), and in the twinkling of an eye (about an hour), I had dough for pie crusts!

Next I cleaned and pitted fresh cherries (yes, I really did!) just picked from the tree (last Saturday from my neighbor's tree). I mixed them with some magic cherry pie filling ingredients (flour and sugar), poured the mixture into the pie crust, and dotted it with fresh churned butter (at least I think that's how they make it).

Then, I went to a secret grove of blueberry bushes (refrigerator) where I picked just enough fresh blueberries to bake a pie (two packages of blueberries from the grocery store). I cleaned and mixed the blueberries with magic blueberry pie filling ingredients (flour, sugar, and lemon juice), poured the mixture into the pie crust, and dotted it with fresh churned butter (whatever).

Next, I stoked up the wood burning stove (gas oven) and once the oven compartment reached what experience tells me is the right temperature for baking pies (425 degrees according to the knob on the oven), I put the pies in the oven to bake. While they were baking, I did the rest of my morning chores (took a bath).

Yum! Fresh cherry and blueberry pies!

Can she make a cherry pie,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she make a cherry pie,
Charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie,
Quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Yes, I realize this post is dated Saturday, but it's ABOUT Friday, so the title sentiment is correct. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say TGFO--Thank God Friday's OVER!

Work was crazy today. It isn't Friday the 13th with a full moon, is it? It was one of those days when everything that can go wrong DOES. Not so much for me, really, but insanity reigned all around, and by about 9:30 a.m., you could walk through the office and see people just standing there, shaking their heads. Mistakes, you know? Situations where there are double checks in place and both failed. AND I was busy, busy, busy, all day long! I kept putting off taking my lunch break until I got this rush done or that rush out the door, my boss on his way to his next appointment, and answered just one more phone call. Before I knew it, it was 4:30, and I still hadn't taken my lunch break. Yep, THAT kind of day!

When the front door hit me in the rear as I was leaving the office (figuratively speaking), all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap. But no, there would be no napping for me--not when we were expected at my sister-in-law's house for dinner! So, with the mental promise of a Starbuck's iced latte flitting around the periphery of my consciousness, I got right down to whipping up a macaroni salad. That done, I pulled a cantaloupe from the fridge and loaded it all into a bag. I took a few moments to change into more comfortable clothes (I KNEW my sister-in-law wouldn't mind if I showed up in my slippers--it was a very casual get together), and Hubby and I hopped into the car--off we went. (You know what? I TOTALLY forgot all about stopping at Starbucks, darn it! I think I must have been hurrying so fast, I out ran that mental image!)

Finally, though, the pressure was off. The weekend had arrived. Dinner was just the three of us, three dogs, and a barbecue. Delicious burgers, ripe cantaloupe, macaroni salad, and freshly brewed iced tea. The sun had set, and the temperature dropped into the low-70s, with a nice, refreshing breeze.

Once our tummies were happily full and the dishes cleared away, the dominoes were brought out. We decided to play to 100 points, and Hubby and I reached the goal on the same round. Through the next couple tie-breaking rounds, we remained neck-and-neck with my sister-in-law steadily gaining ground. Finally Hubby went ahead in points and won the game. (I let him win. Yep, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!)

Now we're home, and it's time for bed. It was a nice evening, but I'm glad the day is over and I have a couple days to recover before it starts all over again. Happy weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Missing My Mojo

I've been sitting in the Sweat Shop for the last hour or two, trying to decide what I want to work on, and I've finally given up.

Yes, I have several projects "in progress"--which is, I suppose, a nice way of putting it! There's the Clues in the Calico BOM project. The next step (which I'm late doing) is hour glass blocks. I don't really feel like making hour glass blocks tonight, and besides, I'm not sure where I've put the fabric I've collected for the project. Too much trouble.

Then there are stitchery projects. There are a couple I want to do, and I had a simple project in mind if only I could find a pattern. An internet search turned up nothing of interest. Blah!

The next Jo's Club project? It's a cute little thing with a patriotic flare. Fun. Simple. But do I want to start something new tonight? Nah!

The Hey Ghoul Friend class sample? Not feeling it.

It's quite frustrating! Earlier in the week, I didn't feel well for a couple days and didn't really want to "play." Then there were two nights of quilt classes and not much time afterward to sew. I kept wishing I had time to work on SOMETHING--and now I do! Except now I have a sudden attack of the doldrums.


I think I'll go to bed and read.

* * * *

FROM THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster: Milo speaking with the Lethargarians

"Well, if you can't laugh or think, what can you do?" asked Milo.

"Anything as long as it's nothing, and everything as long as it isn't anything," explained another. "There's lots to do; we have a very busy schedule-

"At 8 o'clock we get up, and then we spend from 8 to 9 daydreaming.

"From 9 to 9:30 we take our early midmorning nap.

"From 9:30 to 10:30 we dawdle and delay.

"From 10:30 to 11:30 we take our late early morning nap.

"From ll:00 to 12:00 we bide our time and then eat lunch.

"From l:00 to 2:00 we linger and loiter.

"From 2:00 to 2:30 we take our early afternoon nap.

"From 2:30 to 3:30 we put off for tomorrow what we could have done today.

"From 3:30 to 4:00 we take our early late afternoon nap.

"From 4:00 to 5:00 we loaf and lounge until dinner.

"From 6:00 to 7:00 we dillydally.

"From 7:00 to 8:00 we take our early evening nap, and then for an hour before we go to bed at 9:00 we waste time.

"As you can see, that leaves almost no time for brooding, lagging, plodding, or procrastinating, and if we stopped to think or laugh, we'd never get nothing done."

"You mean you'd never get anything done," corrected Milo.

"We don't want to get anything done," snapped another angrily; "we want to get nothing done, and we can do that without your help."

"You see," continued another in a more conciliatory tone, "it's really quite strenuous doing nothing all day, so once a week we take a holiday and go nowhere, which was just where we were going when you came along. Would you care to join us?"

"I might as well," thought Milo; "that's where I seem to be going anyway."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Giddy Day!

Thank you for leaving comments on yesterday's post--many of them made me laugh! If you haven't already done so, it's worth going back and reading some of the comments. Amanda over at Busy Little Quilter commented with a funny story too--you'll love it! AND her second comment about the word "idea" reminded me--my dad used to say "idear." Where it came from, we didn't really know since he was born and raised in California and we--us Californians--don't pronounce it that way. My dad was Italian though, and my mom thought that sometimes he sounded like a member of an east coast Italian mob--kind of New Yorkish. Maybe it was genetic?!

I have some exciting stuff to tell about--exciting to me, anyway, although I don't know how excited YOU'LL be! Still, I'm sure you can join in and understand my general state of giddiness when I tell you that I've made relatively firm arrangements to go away to one of Lindy's Bearpaws & Hollyhocks Lake Tahoe quilt camps! Woo-hoo, ladies, I'm going on a quilting retreat in September! Camp starts the afternoon of Labor Day and goes through late morning/noon that Friday.

I can't tell you how relaxing and peaceful it is to spend the better part of a week on the shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe, with almost no responsibilities and all meals prepared for you. The views are wonderful, the company of other quilters is inspiring, and, well, you know--the whole experience is priceless! It's been five years since I last attended quilt camp, so I decided it was PAST time to go again. And maybe one of the best things of all? My camp fees will be paid with earnings from teaching quilt classes, so there's no drain on the family budget and it ALMOST feels like it's free!

Oh, and some more news that's loosely related, with a kind of funny story attached. Remember I mentioned stopping at the quilt shop last Saturday? While I was there, I asked Lindy if she was going to get more of the Buggy Barn's Frightfully Crazy books in--I've really had fun with the Buggy Barn/Pieces From My Heart stack and slice quilt method, and I'd like to make a Halloween quilt. Lindy said something like, "Sure! Do you want to teach the class?!" Well, I seriously had no thought about teaching another class--I had already thought about two classes I'd like to teach on the fall schedule and I figured that was enough. But the idea percolated in my brain for a couple days and I decided I'd do it! But I told Lindy I wasn't going to ask her about getting books in anymore; I'd just buy off the internet where it's "safe"! (Of course, she CLAIMS she wasn't trying to push me into teaching another class, and I wouldn't want anyone to think she tied me to a chair and administered torture or anything until I agreed, BUT I think she just knows how to push all the right buttons!)

So, anyway, I'll be teaching another class--this one will be on August 15th, and for those of you who are in the area and may be interested, I've put some information in my sidebar. You can email me for more information or call the shop to sign up. (If you click on the picture of the Frightfully Crazy book in the sidebar, it will take you to the Bearpaws & Hollyhocks website with contact info; if you click HERE, it will take you to the Buggy Barn site where you can see some of the patterns in the book.)

I'll leave you with another sort of funny story and probably a somewhat disturbing mental image--click away from here now if you're bothered by disturbing mental images.

As I was sitting here, writing this post to you, I felt something fall down the back of the neck of the somewhat loose T-shirt I'm wearing. I reached back and pulled the fabric away from my skin, and I felt something fall further, down under the waistband of my pants. As may be expected of any normal person like me, I jumped up and yanked all my clothes off, searching for what I imagined was probably a HUGE spider. Nothing. Then sanity returned, and I thought maybe it was one of the pins falling out of my hair, so I checked--nope, all there! Then I thought I felt something in my slippers (the only thing I was still wearing), so I took them off and shook them out. Nothing. I still feel all creeped out though. I hope my neighbors didn't pass by their window and see me hopping around naked--THAT sight could scar a person for life! And thank goodness Hubby was in the shower and has no idea. Shhhh! Don't TELL him! He'd tease me for YEARS!

Awhile back, I mentioned that if you did a Google search for "Kim quilts nude," you'd get my blog. Now you know Kim blogs nude too. And you know what? Now I'm thinking I'm probably not the only one of us all creeped out.

Now I gotta go take a bath and perform a cavity search. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fractured Words and Phrases

I like words. You probably already know that about me. Over the years, I've "collected" some that fascinate and tickle me.

I like words that aren't used often--older words, I suppose. I worked for an attorney for several years who had absolutely the best sense of humor--he and I would have each other laughing about something just about every day. And here's something you may not know: Attorneys tell the best stories! Of course, attorneys tend to be pretty good with words, so I figure it comes naturally. Anyway, every now and then, this attorney would say that something made him feel quite "giddy." Of course, it was said for effect--the thought of a grown man becoming "giddy" over something is humorous in itself. But I like "giddy." I really need to use it more often.

Then there are words and phrases that aren't quite right, or that may be a little questionable. I like them too.

I remember when I was young--like teenager or young adult young--I always thought the correct phrase was "not by a long shot" until I read in a book, "not by a long chalk." Well, who knows how each of us interprets what we hear? "Shot" and "chalk" sound very similar, don't they? We often hear things a bit wrong, especially phrases. So which was correct? I've occasionally heard the phrase and wondered: Is it "shot" or "chalk"? Which is it?

Turns out they're both right. Now that we have the internet, it's simple to find answers, and here's what I came across:

"Whether it was suggested by a difficult long shot attempted in archery or shooting isn't known, but the expression 'a long shot' first arose in British racing circles some 128 years ago as a bet laid at large odds, a bold wager. NOT BY A LONG SHOT therefore means hopelessly out of reckoning. Attempts have been made to derive the saying from the slightly earlier NOT BY A LONG CHALK, which comes from the use of chalk for reckoning points in tavern games. But 'not by a long chalk' means 'not by much,' so it seems that the phrase (long shot) derives from either archery or shooting." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997). So there you go: You learn something new every day!

In high school, we had to take a foreign language, and I took French. The only other options were Spanish and German. Not that I remember much French--come to think of it, I probably didn't even really LEARN enough to REMEMBER. I seriously don't do well with anything other than good old English. (I even failed at shorthand!) One word I do remember, though, is "Voila!" And I don't know how or when it happened, but in recent years, I often see "Walla!" written instead--it seems to have become quite common. Maybe it became popular during that time when everyone in America hated France and started calling French fries "freedom fries." Remember that? Or maybe it's like the difference between "long shot" and "long chalk." The first couple times I saw "walla!," I was puzzled, but now I know it's an American variation on "voila." I just hope that if I use "Voila!," people will understand what I mean.

The funniest "wrong word" incident--and maybe this was rather mean spirited of me--was when an attorney I worked for made handwritten revisions to a document to be filed with the court. Where she wanted to say "for all intents and purposes," she wrote "for all intensive purposes." Now you'd think that after seven years of post-high school education--in a field where WORDS are so important--an attorney would have some grasp of common phrases, wouldn't you? The funny thing is that this particular attorney was a pain in the you-know-what, and that day, she'd truly tested my patience. Perhaps, then, you'll understand when I tell you that I still get a little giddy when I remember that I didn't correct her mistake.

Here's your word for today:


Definition: 1. a. Having a reeling, lightheaded sensation; dizzy. b. Causing or capable of causing dizziness: a giddy climb to the topmast. 2. Frivolous and lighthearted; flighty.

Use it in a sentence. And hey! Have a giddy day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hey Ghoul Friend

I wasn't feeling well today, so I stayed home from work. I puttered around in the Sweat Shop a little, napped a little, and read a little. I've been reading this book, which was loaned to me by a friend:

Nice, light, entertaining reading so far.

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) is the second to the last meeting of my Hey Ghoul Friend class--our last meeting will be in July, which should give us all time to get our quilts QUILTED before Halloween. Progress so far? Well, here's mine:

Well, yes, it probably doesn't LOOK like a lot's been done since we've already had five classes, but really, the borders are the most time consuming part of this quilt. We made all the border blocks in the first four classes and then I showed everyone how to set the blocks "tilted" during last month's class. Because we're making our quilts a little different from the pattern, I got my borders out today so I could write up directions on how to calculate the size of the center panel and inner borders.

Okay, okay, I'm sure it SOUNDS like we're doing things differently, to say the least! Who ever heard of starting with the outside and working in? Seems backward, doesn't it? Well, in my defense, I hope that showing everyone my crazy method will help them think outside the box in future quilt projects.

But just in case they're not amused, I always make sure to bring special treats. And really, I rarely show you what I bring them because I don't want to ruin the surprise for any of the gals who read my blog, but tonight I'll make an exception. Each month, I bring little trinkets (candy, little pumpkins, Halloween tattoos, fat quarters, etc.) and often I'll include trim for their finished project, because this quilt is nicely embellished after quilting. Here's the packet I'll give them tomorrow (there's even a little "jewel" near the bottom of the bag to use as an earring or ring for the witch):

And while I'm thinking about it, can I just mention how much I love my Photoshop program? Sometime back, I purchased Photoshop Elements 5.0, and it really cleans up my photos nicely so they actually look like I take decent pictures. Maybe you wondered why my photography skills have improved over the last six months? Here's what that photo above looked like before I Photoshopped it:

Can you see how much darker it was? If you don't already have a Photoshop program--or other program to clean up your photos--Elements is a great option for doing what you need to do without spending a small fortune!

Well, I still have one more thing to do for class--I always bring some kind of snack or treat for us to eat, and I need to make that before I go to bed. Thanks for stopping in to visit!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Have You Read This Book Yet?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

A week or two ago, I wandered into Borders bookstore on my lunch hour, looking for a specific quilting magazine. I didn't find it, but I noticed they had a sale on paperback books--buy two, get the third free. Well, you don't have to tell me twice! As a confirmed bookaholic, my resistance is very low.

A few days before, I'd been at a quilt class and several of us started talking about books. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a "must read" on a couple of the ladies' lists, so after I'd found two paperbacks at Borders by familiar authors, I decided to see if they had this one as well--and they did.

The book takes place in England not long after WWII. Did you know the Channel Islands were occupied by the German army during the war? I didn't! In fact, although I'd heard of the Channel Islands, I really didn't even know where they were located--turns out they're between the south of England and France--in the English Channel, which of course makes complete sense!

The story unfolds through a series of letters between several of the characters. It's an easy book to read, and a light enough story that will keep you engaged while reading, and will keep you thinking about the characters long after you've finished reading the book. A really good book!

I've updated my reading list in my sidebar, and I can easily recommend any of the four books listed there now. Two are by Arlene Sachitano and are quilt mysteries set in the Pacific Northwest; Quilt as Desired is the first of the series, and her third book should be out in the fall. They are also reasonably light and easy reads--just perfect for those of us who like to read a few pages each night before closing our eyes. The other book, A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick is a little emotionally heavier and is filled with memorable characters, each of whom face a major change in her life. The second book in the series, A Thread of Truth, is on my bookshelf, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

Happy reading!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not Much Quilting Going On Here . . .

Usually weekends are the time I really get a lot accomplished, quilting-wise. But not this weekend!

Friday night? I cleaned house.

Saturday morning? I finished cleaning house. (It takes a long time when you haven't done it for a couple weeks--which you've totally been able to justify by telling yourself the first week (1) you have a class you're teaching that you have to get ready for and then the second week (2) that you just taught a class and are too tired to clean and deserve to play instead.) Then after the house was clean, I stopped in at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks to drop something off for Pam and chat with Lindy. No time to shop though--bummer!

Saturday afternoon? Nope! I attended a lovely memorial service for a former coworker--the service took place in the park-like backyard of a residence on the river. The memorial included margaritas and Mexican food, because those were a couple of her favorite things. A nice time all around. Then there was Soccer Son's indoor soccer game. (Yay Scorpions, even if you guys didn't win!) Then there was Michael's. (I have a 4th of July crafty project floating around in my head.) Then the grocery store.

Saturday night? Ha! Finally! I actually DID do a little quilting! After I made THESE yummy corn fritters and BBQ'd chicken. But I didn't have NEARLY enough time to really get very much quilting done.

I'm currently working on the borders for the Halloween version of the Fireworks! quilt. I'd really, REALLY like to get those done before the weekend's over. But . . . Sunday morning? We're going to the monthly antique fair. And then there's still that 4th of July crafty project floating around in my head. And embroidery class on Tuesday, and I haven't gotten very much done to show there either. Why do weekends go by so fast and work weeks go by so slow?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Out and About

Driving home from work on the freeway tonight, I was rather startled to see both the driver of a van and his passenger carrying on what appeared to be a very animated conversation using sign language. Visualize it.

70 miles an hour in heavy freeway traffic, "talking," with no hands on the steering wheel.

And we worry about drivers talking on cell phones!

Friday, June 12, 2009

For the Love of Oz

I'm madly in love with Australian designs and designers! I think the first time I truly felt my quilter's heart stirring with Oz love was when I saw Lynette Anderson's Friends for Christmas quilt.

I've had the book for years now--I think it's from 1992--and I still haven't made the quilt but it's right up there on my list of quilts I REALLY want to make!

Then there's this one on the cover--quilting and stitchery. Be still my heart.

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself a little. Somewhere along my quilting path, I started picking up the occasional Australian quilt magazine. The designs were just different enough from what we were doing here in the U.S. to make them very interesting to me. And somewhere else along the way--and not too long ago--I discovered Australian Homespun was my VERY FAVORITE Australian quilt magazine--because it has so much more than quilts, and we don't have anything here in the U.S. to compare. So, sometime around last summer, Granny Loz and I did a magazine swap--she sent me the three magazines containing the blocks for the Christmas quilt on the cover of that magazine above, and I sent her Fons and Porter magazines--I think I got the better end of the bargain!

I don't recall when I discovered Bronwyn Hayes and Red Brolly, but I think it might have been through blog reading awhile back. Maybe Darlene. She always has good stuff. So I've tracked down a couple Bronwyn Hayes books. This is one that I had out recently to drool and dream over.

And I came upon another new block-of-the-month type project in this magazine not long ago:

This is another stitchery quilt with blocks designed by many of the well-known Australian designers--it's called The Breast of Friends and was designed as a breast cancer benefit quilt. If you click on the photo, you may be able to see some of the designers.

Gran and I are sharing in the expense for the magazines for this project, because here in the U.S., these magazines can cost a pretty penny, particularly after you take into account shipping costs. I bought the first two and she's buying the next two. Then it will be my turn again. Several of us have asked Lindy at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks to see about getting the magazines in the shop, and I think that's in the works. Since we have a rather large group of embroiderers now, thanks to Gran's embroidery class, as well as quilters, I don't think Gran and I will be the only customers looking to purchase the magazines!

And my latest "find"? I was browsing around Etsy the other day, looking at shops other than my own, and I came across AussieSewingSavvy. Linda, the Etsy shop owner, had a brick-and-mortar shop and is relocating, so she's selling much of her stock. Her prices are really reasonable--a bargain, really!--and shipping's pretty inexpensive and quick. I ordered these three patterns about a week ago, and they arrived today.

Aren't they cute? I SERIOUSLY want a quilt with black cats wearing bathing suits--really! I think I'll need to start that one soon. Of course, I think I need to start ALL of these projects soon! I guess I'd better get off the computer and go do something quilty! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quilt Design Tools

When I design and construct quilts, one of my favorite "tools" is my design wall. Several years ago when I was on a shop hop, I came across and purchased this somewhat expensive WonderWall--and it's been worth every penny!

I can play around with blocks and settings, moving blocks all over until I'm happy with the look. I can audition different fabrics. I can stick "focus" blocks up on the wall and then figure out what I want to use to fill in the blanks. Although I've tried using graph paper to design, I find I do best and am most creative with fabric in hand.

Of course, as is often the case, about a month or two after I invested in my pricey WonderWall, my friend Eileen mentioned to our online group that for her design wall, she just purchases inexpensive flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths from stores such as WalMart.

I could probably buy about seven of these for what the WonderWall cost.

Some quilters like to use cork board, acoustical ceiling tiles, or other backings behind their design wall so they can use pins to secure their blocks. My design wall just hangs on the wall with no backing materials, and I find that if a quilt gets to the point where it's too heavy to "stick," a few pins placed near the top to hold the fabric to the flannel is all I need.

The nice thing about using these flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths is that they can be temporarily thumbtacked on a wall and then moved or folded away when not in use--an excellent option for those of us who don't have space for a permanent design wall.

In quilt class the other day, one of my students mentioned how helpful it was to have something to use as a design wall when she was putting the Spring! quilt together. This is what I had some of the quilters use as a temporary classroom tool--

Yep, batting, plain and simple. I have several rolled up bats on hand to take with me to class for anyone who wants to lay their blocks out to see how they'll look and ensure the blocks are placed correctly. If you don't have a design wall or a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth, simply purchase your quilt batting along with your fabric in the size you'll need and use the batting as a design wall. Once the quilt is done, there's nothing extra to store!

So those are my favorite design tools. I've always been resistant to designing quilts on the computer. It just doesn't seem like it would be the same as having fabric in hand. That having been said, though, when I came across EQ4 (actually 4.1) at the thrift store today, along with some extra manuals for $20, I thought maybe I'd give it a try.

Yes, I know this is an older program and EQ6 is out now--and has been for a couple years, I think. But I just can't justify spending a lot of money on a computer program I'm not sure I'll use. So this will give me a chance to get my feet wet without getting hosed. And if I don't like it? Well, I still have my WonderWall--which cost about twice as much as this thrift store find, but not nearly as much as an EQ6 program!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's That Time Again, Folks!

The other day, I was visiting a few blogs, doing a little catch-up reading, and one of the blogs I checked in on was Tall House Quilts. There I found the cutest collection of thrifted watermelon "stuff." (Click HERE if you'd like to see for yourself.) Well, yes, you probably know where this is going. The yearning hit me, and hit me hard.

Work was insanely crazy today. We had a huge pile of legal documents to prepare and get into the overnight mail. By the time I got out of the office, I needed a little time to decompress, so yep, I stopped at the thrift store on the way home. I figure it's reasonably cheap therapy!

One of the differences between me and the Tall House Quilts gal is that she took her Easter bunnies down in mid-April; mine are still up. Sad, isn't it? I SERIOUSLY need to do something about that because summer's here! So, with that in mind, I thought this print would make a nice summery background in my hutch or somewhere else in the kitchen.

Nothing TOO exciting about the print, but I kind of like it. I also came home with a few odds and ends. A book of recipes from The Stinking Rose restaurant in San Francisco--I've always wanted to eat there, but since we don't really GO to San Francisco much, it just hasn't happened yet.

A butter bell because--well, apparently you just can't have too many! I have one that's a deep yellow, and I sent Red Geranium Sharon one of these blue and white ones about a year ago, but I have some other blue and white kitchen things, so I thought I'd hold onto this one. And, unfortunately, my photography skills are such that you can't really SEE the rusty star candle holder to the right very well, but trust me--it's there! Rusty star candleholders are always good for those patriotic occasions AND Christmas. How versatile!

Here's my really good bargain of the day, though:

Even Hubby knows this is a Jim Shore/Heartwood Creek angel, and while I'm not THAT into angel "stuff," I do like Jim Shore, and this angel's harvest basket will fit in nicely with my fall/Thanksgiving decor. No chips or blemishes to be seen, which makes this find a steal at something like $4!

(Note to Gran: See the embroidery floss at the base of the angel?
This STUFF is everywhere!
And I'm blaming YOU!)

And last of all? Well, Hubby rolled his eyes at this--quite openly too! How can a person roll their eyes at a snowman tree garland, I ask?!

But really, if I don't get rid of these bunnies soon, I just might go straight to decorating for Christmas!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Blog Post About Blogs!

In quilt class the other day, some of us started talking about some of the blogs we enjoy, and Gran mentioned that I don't have a list of blogs I read on MY blog. Nope, she's right! I read a lot of blogs; some more often than others depending on how often the blogger posts and the anticipated blog content. Then, too, I'm always adding new blogs and (OH NO!) deleting old blogs that for one reason or another, I don't visit much anymore. So keeping a blog list in my sidebar would just give me yet another thing to fall behind in. I'm not very good at keeping up. Kind of like my reading list, which is a hit and miss endeavor and is usually at least a couple books behind!

As we got to talking in class, though, we all agreed we enjoy reading Nancy's blog, Blogging, Near Philadelphia. Nancy often gives us something to think about, like her recent post about a commentor taking her to task about what she'd written in a prior post. Nancy handled the criticism with her usual style and grace and turned it into a thoughtful discussion about the economy, spending money, and blogging about spending money, among other things. A very interesting post that made us evaluate our own views.

I mentioned to Gran that I enjoyed reading two blogs in particular because the bloggers have wonderful senses of humor and a fine ability to write about things that happen in their lives in entertaining ways. A Month of Sundays, written by Dianne-of-the-Pink-Flamingo-Slippers is one of those blogs. When you get a chance, click over there and read her post on Cake Decorating 101, among others. She often cracks me up!

The other entertaining blog I wanted to mention is G'Owens On Around Here, written by Dawn (previously titled Our Adventures in Korea). Only Dawn could write about a family funeral and make me laugh--even if I did feel a little guilty about laughing at a funeral post. (Read Ahhhh it was the Irish in Me.)

I think it would just be a TON of fun to spend a day with Dawn and Dianne!

What are YOUR favorite blogs--the ones that might be less well known? I've been thinking lately that there are a lot of new bloggers in Blogland well worth reading, so I thought we might share. Please leave a comment if you have any to recommend to the rest of us!

And, while I blush to refer you to a blog post largely about ME, I thought if you weren't too tired of hearing about Saturday's class and wanted to see a photo of me, you might click on over and visit Gran, who has posted a nice photo collage of the class and the quilt shop, Bearpaws & Hollyhocks.

Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Loose Threads

In the aftermath of yesterday's class fun, I slept like a log and woke up to the smell of baking bread. Yum! Hubby had gotten up early and got the bread machine going. What an enticing aroma on a lazy Sunday morning!

Hubby's been sorting out some of the things we've been storing in the garage for years and years, and he brought this in this morning to see what I wanted to do with it. Isn't it funny?!

You can probably tell from the colors that this was something I made in the late 70s! And you know what? I never even finished it! Something for the Goodwill bag, I suppose, destined to end up in the Crafts-Gone-Bad aisle!

Mare left a comment on yesterday's post asking whether "M" stood for Mare! No, sorry, Mare! I DID tell her that she came to class with me though--my embroidery project was in a bag she made for me--

If you click over to her blog, you'll see she's been awfully busy making more bags while she's recovering from rotator cuff surgery.

And do you know what "M" really stands for--at least in the case of my embroidery project?

Today I spent a little time finishing the embroidered words. Next I'll be working on the rest of the "garden"--this is something I'll take to the office with me to work on during lunch hours.

There were a couple questions about the "tablecloth" I used in class. Yes, it is in fact a Thimbleberries project I made several years ago. It was a Club pattern at the time. I think the pattern has since been included in a Thimbleberries book, but I'm not certain. I varied the pattern a bit by turning all the blossoms outward and I think I changed the sawtooth part in the center as well, but it's hard to remember exactly what I did differently.

Ruby was kind enough to send me a photo of her completed Fireworks! center and allowed me to post it on my blog.

Isn't it great! And, by the way, for those of you who were in my class (or, for that matter, those who have purchased the pattern), I wanted to mention that using triangle paper for the half square triangles in the border is a really good option! It's impractical for the center, but the blocks in the border are small enough to make it a quicker way to get them done.

When I wasn't embroidering, reading, or napping today, I pieced the large block for the Back Home Again BOM class I'm taking--I still need to make the small block though. I'm really happy with the way these are coming out using the older Ellery line of fabric.

And, finally, I wanted to post a photo of the class packet that will be going out in tomorrow's mail to Melissa--

And the inside--

The weekend is nearly over, but if I hurry, I have a little time left to head back into the Sweat Shop and cut the pieces for the smaller Back Home Again block. Happy quilting!