Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quiet Again

My Mom and Ben left earlier today so the house is very quiet again. It was nice having them here for the holiday.

My Mom and I shop at only the fanciest stores. Black Friday we went to the Goodwill, yesterday we went to the Dollar Store.

Don't you love these angels? My Mom and I each bought a set, the four in the back are playing instruments, and the one in the center is holding a heart. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep them, or give them as a gift...they look really nice on my buffet.

If you need large gift bags, the Dollar Store is the place to go, I bought one that was 28x20x8 - huge! Perfect for a quilt, a large toy, or to fool someone, hide a gift card in.

I'm still working on making Christmas gifts, got one done yesterday and should finish another tomorrow. Making progress, but still have a ways to go. Boy, am I going to have a lot of pictures to share after Christmas is over.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank Full?

I'm still so full from yesterday, course it doesn't help that I've been eating left overs all day today.

Did you go Black Friday shopping? We did, but not at 5:00 a.m. this morning. About noon my Mom, Aunt and I went to a furniture consignment store, a patio discount outlet and the Goodwill...the Goodwill was having a Black Friday sale of 50% off everything except pink tagged items, of course the only thing I wanted had a pink tag. Not the normal stores to shop on Black Friday but we did find a few bargains.

We got home just before it started thundering and raining. We even got hail! I didn't think it was cold enough for it, but it sure came down hard. You should have seen Siddi, she thought the hail was great when it was coming down lightly. I could read her little mind..."oh must be some kind of bug, can I catch it?". Then it started coming down really hard and blowing against the window. She was gone faster than the hail was.

Here's a pic of Siddi enjoying the sunshine yesterday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishing you...

A Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Major Finish

Well, Johnny and Orlando almost did it, Brad definitely didn't do it, but I did it. I finished it. I thought about torching it a few times, but I finished it. And I really really like it. But I can't show it to you. I soooooo want to show it off but I'll have to wait until next month.

I don't know if it is the sense of accomplishment, artistic pride or the relief that it's over and done with but I think my favorite quilt is always the one I just finished.

My Mom and Ben will be coming in tomorrow for the holiday. I went grocery shopping today for Thanksgiving dinner. I was in shock! Not how high the grocery bill was but how low! What a difference when there is only four people to cook for - I'm not making mash potatoes and gravy, I'm not making a fancy stuffing, I don't have 3 different types of pie, I didn't have to get a veggie tray, I didn't buy a 22 lb turkey. I am fixing a small 10 lb turkey (gotta have left overs), stuffed sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, a cranberry jello salad my Mom loves, spinach salad (maybe) and pumpkin pie. If everyone else really needs stuffing (I can't eat it), I've got a box of Stovetop cornbread stuffing that can be made.

I'm also going to make a hot artichoke dip that my family LOVES!

1 can (13-15 oz) artichoke hearts (not marinated)
4-6 oz cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 sm can chopped gree chilies

Drain artichokes, cut up in pieces and set aside. Place cream cheese in mixing bowl and bring to room temperature. Blend in mayo and mix well. Add artichokes, parmesan and chilies, and stir until well distributed. Transfer to a baking dish, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, broil for 2 - 5 minutes until top is browned. Serve with chips or crackers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What could be better...

...than spending the day with Johnny Depp

and Orlando Bloom.

And making major progress on my quilting.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Thank you for all your comments about Fred...he is a big boy. He weights 22 lbs. I've tried to put him on a diet, but it is very difficult with two other cats around.

Fred just showed up in my back yard one summer. I was feeding my neighbor's cat and he started coming by to mooch. He was about 9 month old, not fixed and it looked like he had been in a number of cat fights - pretty beat up. I was gone three weekends in a row and each Monday he would be lounging in my back yard. I checked around the neighborhood and he didn't belong to anyone so I decided to take him in...but not before he got checked by the vet and was fixed. Turned out he wasn't getting in fights, he had a severe case of ear mites, he was scratching at his ears so hard that he had torn them up with his claws.

When he started putting on weight I had him checked by the vet again. I guess it is common for a cat that didn't know where or when his next meal was going to be to over eat.

He is the first one to kittie approve every quilt.

Fred doesn't really meow. If anything comes out at all it is more of a squeak.

He may be big, but I think he is a handsome boy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's see

...I did start quilting that quilt the same night I made my last post, so some progress.

...I won another giveaway, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks given away by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs. She has a wonderful blog and is currently having a Cross Country Quilt Designers Blog Hop.

...It should be a law that I am not allowed to trim any plants. I filled my green bin today and my neighbor's. My poor plants never saw the electric hedge clippers coming.

...I'm having Thanksgiving dinner this year. So far it looks like there will only be four people for dinner (I've never had less than 11 in the past). So how come my grocery list is 2+ pages long?

...I'm not too sure about the quilt I'm quilting, the design is working out okay on the front but the back has issues. I don't know if I pulled the flannel too taut when I was pinning it or not taut enough. I have puckers in the straight stitching and paunches in other areas.

...I'm not going to the midnight premier of New Moon on Thursday, however I did spend all day yesterday reading Midnight Sun from Stephenie Meyer's web site.

...I'm not going to bore your with my theory on how aliens must perceive Earthling and their pets.

...I am going to rub this belly.

I told you he equaled 1 1/2 cats.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm Good

No really, I'm really really good...the best even. See what Obba is sleeping on...

I'm suppose to be working on that.

This picture was taken 8 hours later...Obba has moved but nothing else has. I have mowed the lawn, done two loads of laundry, re-arranged almost every cabinet in my kitchen, packed up three boxes of dishes and such for my niece but I have not touched that.

Told you I was good...nobody can procrastinate better than I can.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quilt Journal

Do you keep a journal of your quilts? I've taken a picture of every quilt I've made, recently I've been working on a quilt journal. It consists of:

  • Quilt name
  • Pattern source
  • Size
  • Date made
  • Fabric info
  • Quilted by
  • Comments
  • Picture
In the comments I write about the quilt, why I did it, what problems I had, if there is a story behind it (like losing a finished quilt top for over a month then finding it in my closet where it belonged - with all the other unquilted tops), and who owns the quilt now.

I have included table runners/toppers, miniatures, even some of my UFOs are listed if they are partially sewn or waiting to be quilted. I haven't included my stitcheries that I made into wall hangings, not sure why.

According to my journal I've made 87 quilted items over the last 15 years. Wow! That seems like a lot, averages to 5+ a year. Except 14 of them were made and finished this year...21 if you count unquilted tops. Yikes!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Has lived up to it's name...I got hit by a nasty virus last night and finally got it cleared up late this morning. Luckily no real damage was done but it did give me a bit of a scare. Thank goodness for phones with headsets, it took over an hour for my turn with the tech support of my security software company. While waiting on hold my hands were free to work on a project.

This is the second or third large quilt I made, when I first started quilting I made 4 or 5 wall hangings before I got brave enough to make a lap size quilt. This quilt lives with my Mom.

Not my best choice of color contrast in the blocks.

My background fabric blends a little bit too much with the focal fabric.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home again

First off, I need to send a big thank you to Cindy at Sew Cindy. She had a quick one day giveaway and I won!

There are a couple of projects in this book calling my name, but I think they will have to wait until next Christmas, my list is full already for this year.

I had a great time in Oregon celebrating my Mom's birthday (Happy Birthday again Mom!), and visiting with my niece Emmalisa and her daughter Brooklyn, Jayme and other friends. Plus I did a little shopping. Some quilt shopping but mostly tire shopping...I know, boring, but they were on sale and Oregon has no sales tax - what more could an unemployed girl ask for.

Since my Mom's birthday is over I can now show one of the "no peeking" items I made. Remember this:

It is the corner on the pocket of this:

A tuck away shopping bag.

Very easy to make. I made it with batiks so it is also very sturdy. (Wow! Look at all those birthday cards!).

I also have to send a BIG THANK YOU to Ben for setting up/configuring my new(used) laptop with wireless. I got to check out all my favorite blogs while I was gone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hello from southern Oregon

I am posting this using my new laptop...I sure like the keyboard on this thing, I think I like it better than my home computer keyboard.

The drive up was uneventful - that is a good thing. No rain, no snow, no fog. I did stop at one quilt shop on the way up - Sew What in Redding. It is a nice shop that carries a lot of contemporary fabrics, not totally my style but I always manage to find something to buy. I can't show you what I bought as it will be turned into a no peeking gift.

Below is a quilt I made my Mom a few years go. You can't see the colors very well in the pictures but the colors are purple and teal. This is the second purple quilt I've ever made, I'm not a big fan of the color.

I loved the interlocking frames in this pattern.

The pattern is Orient Express and was published in the The Quilter March 2007 issue. It was actually very easy to make...except there was a mistake in the pattern, luckily they had you cut an item too big, unfortunately I didn't find it until after a large number of the sub pieces were done. I had to take the pieces apart, cut them down then re-piece. I don't think I had two inches left over from the two focal fabrics (the center fabric is a coordinating fabric with the border fabric). Normally I buy too much fabric, this is one where I barely had enough to make this 118 x 92 inch quilt.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giveaways and Get Aways

Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Company has been cleaning out the closets of her quilt shop. She has been finding some wonderful fabrics that she is giving away. Go check it out.

I am leaving sunny California tomorrow to go to rainy Oregon for a few days to visit my Mom. Cross your fingers I don't hit any snow. I'll also be picking up my new (used - new to me) laptop that Ben has set up for wireless - hopefully I'll be able to post while I'm gone.

Audio books are also great for long road trips.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unwilling post

I'm suppose to "spread the word willingly" about Mary's giveaway at Quilt Hollow. But I want I am spreading the word unwilling. LOL, hope this counts and Mary doesn't take my name out of the hat.

I have been the rotary cutting fiend, now I can barely move my hand and I think I have quilting elbow. I don't know who said it first, but it is a universal truth...getting old is not for wimps.

Now I need to start some marathon sewing.

Do you watch TV while you sew? Watch old movies or listen to music? Lately I've been listening to audio books while I sew. Best part is it fits my schedule...I can listen/sew for 15 minutes or three hours. I've also found that books I've tried to read and just couldn't get into can be easier to listen to... an example is Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. I never could get beyond the first chapter of the book, but I listened to the audio version recently and really enjoyed the story. Luckily for me, my local library has a large selection of audio books.

Reading a book at night does not help me go to sleep but it is fairly easy to put down a book at the end of the chapter if it is getting late. Unfortunately the audio books don't have nice easy stops at the end of a chapter, I will stay up later at night sewing because I'm at the good part of the story or to get to the end of the disk.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hot Flashes

....the ironing board kind of hot flashes. Really, it's the ironing. I got all those fat quarters pressed, and all the fabrics ironed for my next no peeking projects. Tomorrow I'm going to be a rotary cutting fiend.

Life can get very stressful around around my house. Windows need inspected...
Pillows need fluffed...
And sewing chairs need protected...

In my next life I want to be a cat.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Color Value

I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween! I haven't been home for Halloween the last few years (okay, so maybe I'm the Halloween Grinch and was home and just turned out all the lights and hid in my room with a book), so it was fun seeing all the kids and giving out candy. The news always makes a big deal about the older kids going out trick or treating - what's too old for trick or treating? I don't think there should be an age limit. I remember going out when I was in my teens and I always had a blast. All the teenagers that came to my door last night were polite, funny, and very inventive with their costumes. I heard "thank you" from them all.

Now lets just skip right by Thanksgiving...

I have been making lots of progress on making my Christmas gifts specifically in choosing the fabrics for each gift. My niece, who has a four year old daughter, is dating a very nice guy who has two little girls, ages two and three. For Christmas I was thinking of making each girl one of the scrappy puppies (remember my Patriotic Puppy).

I can talk about this project, my niece doesn't read my blog. The fabric is Moda's Sorbet. I bought a large fat quarter bundle, which is more than enough for the puppies, so I was thinking of making each girl a tiered ruffled skirt too. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun sewing both projects.

Nancy came over yesterday to sew. We both did a LOT of sewing but no finishes. The project I'm working on requires light, medium and dark fabrics, I put together this chart to help.

But it was still difficult. I think I need one of those red filter thingies that removes the color and just lets you see the value (tone?) of the fabric. Nancy helped me with block placement, it took quite a while for us to agree on the final placement - some of the blocks are a little "muddy", so trying to get strong value separation was very difficult. I wish I could show you a picture instead of being so cryptic, but alas the no peeking rule applies to this project.