December 26, 2006

Blog neglect!

I'm surprised anyone is still stopping by, it's been so long since I've posted an update. Sad to say that almost no sewing is being accomplished at my house. I did sew two rows together of my orange quilt, but that's not really blog-worthy.

Had a wonderful Christmas - all the kids were happy with their presents. Mom and Santa both did a good job this year. Had some nice meals with family, and now back to a healthier way of eating and a commitment to my exercise program. I don't do new year's resolutions, but I'm just going to resolve now to get back on track. :)

December 14, 2006

My sweet boy

The 6th grade kids at our elementary school host a Marketplace every December where they sell goods to the other grades. I usually give my kids each $5 and they can buy a few items. One of my 9 year-old twins proudly presented 2 wrapped packages - one for me and one for his 6 year-old sister. Inside were polar fleece scarves that he bought at the Marketplace. I am so touched that he selflessly spent most of his money on me and his sister. What a sweet boy!!!!!!!!!!

December 12, 2006

I have a quilt to plan...

Returned yesterday from my grandfather's funeral. It was an amazing service, and a nice chance to see family and reconnect. I just wish it wasn't such a sad occasion. My mother and grandmother are both holding up well - they are amazing and strong women. I'm glad I got to spend a few days over there and remember Grandpa. He will be missed.

I got my mother to agree to let me take my stepfather's flannel shirts and make her a memorial quilt with them. At first she thought it was an awful waste and that she should donate the shirts, but I convinced her that the quilt would bring her comfort and that the shirts would mean more to her in the long run than someone else at a thrift store.

She agreed and really liked this pattern that I want to use. I am hoping there are enough flannel pieces that I can make a small comfort quilt for my stepsister as well. She has been so supportive of my mom through her dad's illness and my mom's grief after his death, and I can't thank her enough for all that she has done for my mom. She even drove across the state by herself to attend my grandfather's funeral and support my mom. It really surprised my mom, but it didn't surprise me because that's the kind of person Dena is.

December 7, 2006

No sewing in this house!

But I thought I would share pictures of the holiday decorating, since there are a few quilty touches.


First is the buffet table that I decorate with my Santa teddies and feather tree. The top is covered by one of my first tablerunner projects. Don't look too closely, as most of the star points are cut off, but it's got a lot of memories, and I love the prairie points on the border.


Next are the kids' stockings. I made the 2 for the boys, then lost the pattern. When my surprise baby girl came along, I bought the pattern on ebay, and then of course found my original pattern and now I have two... somewhere, if I could ever find them....


Now for the trees - we went the artificial route 4 years ago, and although I miss the lovely smell of the greenery, I don't miss the mess and expense. Plus, I love my lighted trees, especially the white fiber optic one - way cool! Oh and the tree skirt under the white tree? My very first quilt project. I made a SATIN fan patchwork tree skirt with ribbons and all the fun decorative stitches on my new Viking sewing machine. This was such a nightmare to work on, I'm surprised I ever quilted again! This was in 1981, my first married Chriistmas, and I did actually finish it and have it under the tree for our first Christmas. No one is allowed to look too closely at this tree skirt, especially the back - it is a nightmare! Satin on the backing too - what did I know about quilting??? Ah, the bravado of youth...



And finally, though not holiday related, when I was decorating, I wanted a little face lift and changed the quilt in my dining room to this blended floral quilt, one of my very favorite projects.

December 4, 2006

It can only get better, right?

My grandfather died on Saturday.  He was 92 and in failing health, but he was a tough old coot and I thought he'd never give up.  He started to really fail the day before Thanksgiving and told my mom last week that he knew it was 'his time'...  he died peacefully at home, not in any pain and just went to sleep.  My mom and grandmother were both with him when he passed.

My poor mother - to lose her husband and less than 3 months later to lose her father.  I can't even imagine her pain.  I'm so sad for both losses, I can't even grasp how sad she must be.

November 29, 2006

No high speed Internet for you!!

At least not anytime soon. :( My desires to connect and download at higher than snail speeds have been thwarted by Comcast's inability to find a live cable connection running under my house. They will have to send a maintenance technician out in about 2 weeks. We live in a new development with all the modern connnections supposedly right at the disposal of utility companies, but have had trouble with the satellite, the phone and now the cable. So much for modern conveniences... sigh.

After 7 days home either celebrating, in my sickbed or stuck inside by the snow and impassable icy roads, I'm climbing the walls to get back to work and some adult human contact. If I hear one more Xbox argument, I'll be certifiiable.....

November 27, 2006

I actually used to ENJOY this!

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, found me:

1. Waking at 2 a.m. to nab a gift for my DD from

2. Getting back online at 3:30 a.m. because was down at 2 a.m.

3. Getting quite a bit of online shopping done prior to 5 a.m. (although the pivotal gift I've now learned may not be available after they already took and confirmed my order - damn you!)

4. Getting my kids and myself to the mall at 10:30 a.m. (traffic and crowds were NUTS - usually if I brave the mall I do it alone. I must have been insane to take 3 kids)

5. Home by 3:30 p.m. and in bed for a nap due to shopping exhaustion!

Saturday night found me coming down with a cold - my second already this season. Sunday it snowed a couple of inches here - the kids went out and played, made a snowman, then came in to eat lunch and it all melted away with the rain. I went out with my DD and ran a few errands, came home, napped because I was feeling so tired and achy, and woke up to another 4 inches of snow!

Today I called in sick - schools were closed because of the snow. The snow is mostly gone as of this afternoon and hopefully I can make it in to work tomorrow. NOT an ideal way to extend your long holiday weekend, for sure.

No quilting was accomplished either - so sad. :(

November 19, 2006

Step right up!

Ladder Here's my latest treasure - I've been on the lookout for something like this for years after seeing one displaying quilts in a magazine.  I just happened upon it in a home dec store on Saturday.  The gal in the store wasn't even sure it was for sale, and had to call the owner, who assured her it was.  So it came home with me.  This just charmed the pants off me and I love it even more in my home.   :)

I spent the weekend rearranging my sewing room to make space for my new sewing machine cabinet.  I cleaned out drawers and moved shelves around.  The furniture had not been moved in almost 4 years and there were many mutant dust bunnies lurking behind shelves.  But now everything is nicely opened up and looks really great!

I bought the inner border fabric for my orange quilt, but my fear of doing the mitered borders kept me from attempting that this weekend - oh, that and the mess from the rearranging furniture and all!

I did spend quite a bit of time cutting - cutting out 2 new pink and black quilts that I'm planning, and cutting up 2 collections of half yard pieces that I am sharing with my sis-in-law.  We are going there for Thanksgiving dinner, so I wanted to have them ready to give her on Thursday.  It certainly takes a huge amount of time to cut and refold 80 fat quarters!

November 14, 2006

You might want to get your sunglasses

Zuzu Before looking at my latest WIP!  This is my ORANGE YA GLAD IT'S NOT RED quilt, made using the Zuzu's Petals pattern designed by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  The individual pattern for this seems to be out of print, but I believe it is still available in one of her quilt books.  Wow, it certainly is bright, but I love all the fun oranges I was able to find and use.

I also found the PERFECT fun border fabric, and pinned it up next to the quilt blocks on my design wall.  I'll save that picture for a future blog post once I get the blocks together and I need to shop this weekend for an inner border fabric to help separate the two elements.

I'd really like to attempt mitered corners for my borders - does anyone have a good source for instruction - book, video, website?  I've tried them before and have not been satisifed with the result, but I'd really like to give it a go again for this quilt, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd really appreciate hearing them!

November 13, 2006

Going Supernova!

Nova2 OK, the absolute BEST part of retreat - 2 years ago at another fall retreat, this woman Pam told us about a retro sewing machine she bought at a garage sale. She said it was green and looked like a rocket ship. Well let me tell you, I've been coveting that machine - sight unseen - for 2 years!  She talked about selling it, but she was also quite attached to it, although her husband wanted it out of the house. Well, the first day of retreat, she was again talking to my SIL about it.

They are in the middle of remodeling and the machine was now in the garage and her DH was really pushing to get it out of the house. So after I heard that, I went to Pam and asked her if she would consider selling it, and to think about how much she would want for it (I was thinking $300-$400). She said "Well I paid $50 for it" and I said "Well, I'd give you $100 and give it a very good home" so we made the deal.

I talked to her about it all weekend, and we decided to follow her home and pick it up on the way.  This machine was better than I could have expected - it's in its own cabinet, beautiful condition - pristine with all the original instruction manuals, cams for embroidery, all the original tools and it's just wonderful and cute as can be.  It's a Necchi Supernova from the 1950s - isn't she great?!

Nova1 Pam said "I can't take your money - I know you will give it a good home" but in all good conscience, I couldn't let her do that (I don't know her THAT well" so I gave her the $50 that she paid. I'm sure I
got the better end of that deal!!!

I threaded it up last night and the top thread sews really well, but the bobbin thread is loopy, so it will need to be serviced, but I'm sure she will be purring like a kitten in no time.  Plus, I was able to get a lead on a great sewing machine repair person and was told if you call and make an appointment, he can do it in 24 hours!  I'm so excited to get this baby running and put her to work.  I need to try and figure out how to rearrange my sewing room to make room for her, though!

A little slice of heaven

I'm back from retreat and had a complete blast.  It was really great to go the extra day for the first time this year.  We were able to arrive on Wednesday instead of Thursday, which about half of the 90+ retreaters do.  It really allows you to get settled and productive before the chaos of everyone else arriving on Thursday.

My SIL and I ended up at a great work table - there are 6 to a table and two at
ours were published quilt authors and designers - what fun is that?  We had been to retreats with them before, but you really get a chance bond when you
work so closely together, and they were both so inspiring!

It was quite cold and rainy up the mountains, but there was only one day that we didn't get out for a long walk around the camp. Even our last day, we walked after breakfast. I felt like I was at least doing a little less damage with all the eating. Oh and the one day that it did rain too hard to walk, they had a free yoga class, so we took that and really enjoyed the stretching.

I got 2 massages, got my scissors sharpened, bought fabric for borders of one of the quilts I worked on), and sold some fabric from my sewing room that I knew I would never use.  I also found a source there to donate much more fabric too, so my sewing room is a lot more bare now that I'm home!

But the BEST part, is the cute little vintage sewing machine I bought from a fellow retreater.  I will save that for a separate post, though.

I didn't plan my projects very well this year.  Although I took 5 projects cut out and ready to sew, there wasn't one that I was truly inspired to start, so that was a real mistake.  Although when I got there, one of our guild members who owns a shop had a cute yellow, orange & pink surfboard fabric that I thought might look good for borders of my orange quilt, it inspired me to put together all those orange blocks just so I could see if I needed to buy that border fabric.  The blocks are all together, but need to be trimmed up and assembled, so I did come close to completing a quilt.

The rest of my time was spent sewing 720 half square triangles together.  Yes, I got a lot done, but nothing really to show for it except my stack of HSTs.  I will post a pic when I get the orange quilt together - soon!

November 7, 2006

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

We're leaving tomorrow!

It's only a day away......

November 5, 2006

Alert Mr. Ripley!

Bed1 Because, Believe It or Not, I've FINISHED the binding on the Red Monster!  I finished it in a week - yay me!  I never thought that was possible.  I guess the proper motivation makes all the difference!

Here's a shot of it temporarily lounging on my king size bed (excuse the mess) - this sucker is huge and heavy.  I can't remember the last time I made a quilt this big.  Whew - so glad it's done in plenty of time.  I can even take it to retreat with me and display it on my bed before it goes to its new owner!

Bed2 We're leaving for retreat in 2 days - can't wait!!!!

November 3, 2006

Getting there!

Not a very exciting blog post, but I'm just over 1/2 way finished with the binding on my Red Monster quilt!  This is very exciting to me, since the baby quilt I just finished took me about 2 months to force myself to finish.  I'll try not to hurt my shoulder patting myself on the back!  lol

November 1, 2006

Two boys and a ghoul

Kidsboo Sorry, nothing quilty to post today, but I wanted to show pictures of my cuties before I took them out for trick or treating on Tuesday.  We had the Green Goblin, a zombie cheerleader and the Grim Reaper - scary!

Eboo Lboo    Oboo

October 30, 2006

A Quilting "Have You Ever"?

I loved this idea from Shelina's blog and want to play along...   The things in bold are what I've done.  Play along if you dare!

Have You Ever?
1. Taken a quilting class
2. Paper pieced
3. Hand quilted

4. Hand pieced
5. Created your own pattern
6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book
7. Gone on a quilting retreat
8. Gone to a quilting convention
9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book
10 combined your quilting with some other craft
11. Done any three dimensional quilting - like fabric origami
12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric
13. Made something using batiks
14. Dyed your own fabric
15. Made a landscape hanging
16 Made a New York Beauty quilt
17 Made a baby quilt
18 Made a wall hanging
19 Made a journal quilt
20 Submitted your journal quilt for viewing
21 Made a fabric postcard
22 Made a artistic trading card (ATC)
23 Exchanged artistic trading cards
24. Mailed your own postcard
25. Made a lap quilt
26 Made a twin size quilt
27 Made a full size quilt
28 Made a queen size quilt
29 Made a king size quilt
30 Donated a quilt to charity
31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter
32 Thrown away a UFO
33 Given away a UFO

34 Cut up a UFO and made something else with it
35 Ripped fabric instead of cutting it
36 Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever
37 Done any Sashiko
38 Quilted your own quilt
39 Did free motion quilting
40 Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt
41 Given away your quilt to a stranger
42 Swapped fabric
43 swapped blocks
44 participated in a round robin
45 participated in an ostritch round robin
46 kept a journal about your quilting
47 written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt
49 kept a blog about your quilting
50 participated in a gift exchange
51 sent a quilting random act of kindness
52 joined a newsgroup about quilting
53 made a quilt using a pattern from quilterscache
54 joined an online block of the month
55 made a block of the month quilt
56 subscribed to a fabric of the month club
57 bought fabric at an online store

58 bought fabric from ebay
59 own more than one sewing machine

60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing
61 hide a fabric purchase

62 finished making a holiday gift before July
63 spent more than $200 in one quilt shopping trip
64 made a quilt using a book from the library
65 worked with someone else to make a quilt
66. joined a quilt guild
67 become president of a quilt guild
68 taught a quilting class
69 helped someone else get the quilting bug
70 taught a child to sew
71 made a Dear Jane block
72 Made a miniature quilt
73 watch QNN - quilters news network
73 subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country
74 subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country
75 buy fabric from another country
76 swapped completed quilts with someone else
77 asked for quilting help online
78 gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help
79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop
80 traveled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop
81 used nontraditional fabric for a quilt - something other than cotton or flannel

82 made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog
83 make comments on someone's quilting blog
84 meet a quilter in person after only having talked online
85 had a quilting retreat in your home
86 own quilting software
87 made a quilt you designed on your quilting software
88 done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc.
89 had any quilt related subject published anywhere
90 donated a quilt to a museum
91 bought a quilt from a thrift store
92 made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store
93 made a quilt using photos
94 made a pastel quilt
95 made a quilt using brights
96 made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country - African, Asian, etc.
97 made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts
98 had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc.
99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show
100. won any ribbons with your quilts
101 had more finished quilts than UFOs
102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics
103 took a break from quilting that was longer than a year
104 made money with your quilting
105 had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

Over 1/4!!!

I'm making real progress on my Red Monster binding - I've finished one entire long edge of the quilt, more than 1/4 done!  Woo hoo!  I think I can, I think I can!  My hands and fingers ache from the hand stitching, though.  I will get a little break tonight as I need to take my little ghouls out trick-or-treating and probably won't get a chance to work on the binding.  I'm pretty confident, though, that I will finish the binding in time to take the quilt with me to retreat on November 8.  Stay tuned!

Oh and I've discovered I really DON'T need to baste down the binding, that it stitches down just perfectly without that extra added step.  What a time-saver!  Who knew???

October 29, 2006

Checking the calendar...

NO, NO, NO, it's way too early to be scraping ice off my windshield, but scrape I did this morning.  Ugh.  At least I finally found a nice warm winter coat this weekend, but I'm still not ready for this weather!

Closeup I picked up the Red Monster quilt from the longarm lady this weekend.  OMG, the quilt is gorgeous!  I tried taking a photo, but it really did not do the quilting justice.  This close-up kind of shows what she did - an all over clamshell pattern.  The quilting is dense and just lovely.  I machine sewed the binding on and began the arduous task of handstitching last night.  I hope I can stay motivated to finish this - I only have 2 weeks!

October 23, 2006

A productive weekend!

Annstars I got the blocks finished for my Anniversary Stars quilt.  They are not sewn together in rows, mind you, but they are finished!  As my daughter remarked "That's a big quilt!" but I am happy to report that all of it fits on my design wall - yay!

I also seem to have revived my quilting enthusiasm!  I had 4 packages of Moda Sonnet charm squares, and was pondering what to do with them.  I ended up paging through my favorite quilt books - the Around the Block series by Judy Hopkins - and found a block that will work well with the charm squares.  I made 2 blocks and like the way they look so far.

Sonnet I will need to order some more background fabric, as my local shop was sold out when I went to get more yardage yesterday, but this one is well on the way and will be one of the projects I take on my retreat in early November.

October 17, 2006

We're IN!!!!!!

I got the email yesterday confirming our work and room assignments for the quilt retreat in November.  It's always 'hold your breath' time because there are always more applicants than spots available, but we're in!  YAY!

Now to figure out which projects I'm going to bring!

October 16, 2006

Design wall expansion

Which leads to quilting productivity!  Yesterday I did something I'd been meaning to do for a while now.  I expanded the flannel on my design wall to reach the ceiling so I would have more room to lay out blocks.  All the quilts I've made in recent months have been too big for the current space I had, so I had to make each quilt in at least 2 sections - not fun.  The current expanded wall will now fit the size of most of the quilts I seem to make, though it is a little hard for my 5'3" self to get the blocks way up there close to the ceiling!

It did, however, lead me to feel more inspired about my Anniversary Stars quilt.  I finished the star blocks for two more rows, and also laid out 2 additional rows of stars.  So now I only have one final row of stars to lay out, then to sew those 3 rows of blocks, and then I will be able to start sewing finished blocks together!  Woo hoo!  I think this one may be finished SOON!

October 11, 2006

I'm trying!!!

Last night I sewed two Anniversary Stars blocks, and one incredibly ugly-looking purple plum pincushion, but I didn't enjoy a moment of it.  What's wrong with me?

Need to stop by the store and get something to stuff the pincushion - maybe it will look better when it's filled.  Stay tuned!

October 10, 2006

Not a stitch

My quilting malaise hasn't lifted at all, in fact, I think it has gotten worse!  I did get my mess of fabrics that I am hoping to take to retreat all measured and put away, so the mess has cleared.  I still can't get back in the rhythm of sewing blocks, though.

I cut out 3 fruit-shaped pincushions out of some pretty hand-dyed wool that I purchased.  I am kind of stuck on how to sew them together, though, as the instructions are not at all clear.  <sigh>

I did get an email that my retreat registration has been received and they are working on room and work table assignments, so I'm thinking that means I am in?  I certainly hope so - that would do a lot to get me out of my funk, I'm sure!

October 2, 2006

Mystery package and a big mess!

Free In Saturday's mail I received a package from Z&S Fabrics.  I had recently placed an order for some Moda Spencer Museum prints, but my order was sent complete, so I was quite curious what this package contained.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it to find this package of 10 Michael Miller fat quarters, plus a $25 gift certificate!

I spent a couple of hours trying to ponder who might have sent me this lovely gift, or wondering if it was just a mistake and they had mailed me someone else's order... well, the fat quarters, maybe, but not a gift certificate with MY NAME on it!

When my husband finally got off the computer, I went to their website and discovered that they were sending this lovely prize to one customer every week in September just for placing an order.  So I guess I won!  Lucky, lucky me!

Mess As for the big mess - my creativity and quilt progress has been stymied by this huge mess in my sewing room.  I'm trying to get stuff ready to take to my retreat in November (there is a sewing room sales area where you can 'recycle' stuff you no longer want).  So I've pulled fabrics and need to sort and measure.  Yes, this is only PART of what I will be taking.  Shameful, I know, but my tastes change or it's something I ordered off the Internet that did not meet my expectations in person.  One gal's trash is another's treasure, after all!  There certainly is a lot of treasure here!

September 27, 2006

Pincushion of the month

Yesterday I got the email newsletter from the Buggy Barn and found out they are offering a new monthly program of pincushion kits designed by some pretty well-known quilt designers.  What a great idea for those that collect pincushions!  I'm definitely in!!

I finally FINISHED the binding of my nephew's baby quilt, at last!  Boy do I hate the handwork!  But I finished it and attached the label, so the quilt is ready to mail today.  I am so happy to be done, and hope that they will like the quilt.

When I took this quilt to the local shop to show off the longarm quilting, everyone remarked how I basted down my binding.  I asked "Doesn't everyone?" and they all voiced a resounding NO!  One gal remarked that no wonder I hated bindings, because I was basically sewing it twice!  So next time I will try my luck without the basting and see if I can manage to finish it any faster!

September 25, 2006

Pincushions and Progress

Pins I've enjoyed seeing the pincushion collections that everyone has been posting, and decided to show you mine.  The pig is made from an old quilt and I picked it up at a quilt show many years back.  My SIL and mom were with me and each bought one too, but mine gets used, and so has lost his eyes along the way, but I still get many compliments on him.  Lately, though, I've been using these wool pincushions that my SIL gave me for Christmas last year.

Stars Slow progress is being made on Anniversary Stars.  I'm still not convinced that the red stars show up enough for my taste, but I do like the design of the quilt and I love the Rhubarb & Ginger fabrics.

I spent some time this weekend going through fabrics that I want to sell at retreat this year.  Each year I seem to clean out my sewing room and then I think the stuff just multiplies until the next retreat.  I always seem to have way more "duds" than I remember!  But I usually have good luck selling and my duds always seem to find a new home!

September 20, 2006

It truly is a Red Monster

My recently finished red, black and cream quilt has taken on the nickname of Red Monster.  Last night as I was getting the 3 layers together to take to my longarm quilter, I realized it really was a monster!  I commute by bus and my longarm quilter does too.  We both work in downtown Seattle and make the exchange in her office.  However, this thing is so huge, I called her last night to arrange to meet her at her home to do the drop-off.  Unfortunately, it will have to wait until Monday.  This is for a mid-November birthday, so time is of the essence - especially since it takes me forever to hand-stitch the binding.

September 19, 2006

Sorry to disappear!

My stepfather passed away on 9/11 (and now another sad reason to remember that date), and I have spent the time since then in eastern Washington, helping my mom with all her arrangements.  It's been a very sad time and the worst part is seeing my mom so heartbroken.  They were married 21 years and he was the love of her life.   We all miss you Papa John!  :(

September 11, 2006

Not completely sold

Rhubarb I didn't get a great deal done this weekend - I reinjured my shoulder and the pain was pretty distracting.  I finished piecing the back for my Red Monster quilt, and got a few blocks put together for Anniversary Stars, shown here.  I'm not sure the Rhubarb & Ginger fabrics work for this pattern.  The red star points don't really stand out against the other fabrics.  But since the quilt is all cut out, I'm pretty much committed at this point.  Maybe it will look better when I can get more of it up on the design wall.  Stay tuned!

September 8, 2006

I'm sewing!!

I'm not completely out of my funk, but I've started a new project and am plugging away at it.  Darlene has been attempting to draw me out of my funk, and has suggested some ways I might get excited about quilting again.  And actually, she is the inspiration for my newest project.  I'm making the Anniversary Stars quilt like the one she posted on August 17, and also using Moda's Rhubarb & Ginger fabrics that she is also using right now to make her Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks.  I'm such a copy-cat!  Well you know what they say - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all....

I will post a photo of my progress after the weekend.  Thanks Darlene for helping to get me back in front of the sewing machine again!

September 5, 2006

Quilt blahs continue

I spent my quilting time this weekend trying to get inspired about a project, any project.  I'm cutting for one and piecing for one, neither of which is holding my interest at all!

I made binding for the 2 quilts I have ready to take to my long-arm quilter.  I bought the backing flannel for my Red Monster quilt (on sale!) yesterday.  Got the washed and ironed and went to piece it so I could have the back ready to go to the quilter.  Then discovered it won't be wide enough!  :(    I didn't think about that when I made the quilt border wider than the pattern directed.

Now I will have to piece a strip of a different red flannel between the pieces of this cute reindeer fabric I got for the back and I don't think it will look good, but I seriously do not want to spend $9.99 a yard for another 3+ yards of fabric for the back.  Ugh.  So now I'm in a serious stall, even worse than before.

September 1, 2006

Thar she blows!?!

I think only another quilter can relate to the prospect of losing an iron that you absolutely LOVE, but my T-Fal Ultraglide Diffusion is about to bite the dust, I'm afraid.  It's been sputtering, making weird clicking noises, smelling overheated and just not steaming the way it has in the past.

Now one would think I wouldn't be concerned because when I discovered that I loved this one so much shortly after I bought it about 3 years ago, I went to the store and bought a back-up.  Plus, this iron is still available at the store and is currently on sale.  So why am I worried?  I won't be without an iron - heck, I can even pick up a back-up back-up.  But yes, I am silly AND I am a hoarder.....

This iron is always a HUGE hit at quilt retreat.  People gravitate from across the room to use MY IRON, much to my dismay at times.  But it is that good.  Go on, run out and buy yourself one!  lol

September, already?

I took the kids to meet their teachers yesterday.  School starts for them on Tuesday.  My DD has the teacher that my boys had for first grade and I just love her - she is the quintessential first grade teacher.  I'm sure my daughter will be very happy.

The boys have a 4th grade teacher that is new to the school.  She seems very nice and I hope they will like her and do well together.  Last year they were in separate classes and it was really quite difficult to manage and they got such different teaching styles.  This year they asked if they could be together and the school honored our request.

It's funny to see people's reactions to my twins because they are so different.  They are both blonde with blue eyes, but built differently and one is much, much taller than his brother.  We met and talked to a couple of other parents and more than one said "and what grades are you in?" not realizing they were in the same grade.

The kids are all very excited for school to start - I wonder how long that excitement will last?

August 30, 2006


Figs_1 I got the borders on my Buttercream & Figs quilt yesterday, and I just love the effect.   My sis-in-law didn't pick the specific fabrics, but she suggested the Moda Winter Rose line and she was right on in her prediction that they would work.

Close I have to chuckle about my SIL - bless her heart.  We started quilting together in 1996.  When we would go shopping, she had very strong opinions about the kinds of fabric that she liked and would buy.  No dots, no stripes, no paisleys!  She bought a lot of small matchy-matchy calicos, while I have always liked a lot of texture and pattern in my fabrics.

But in the prevailing years, she has worked part time in 2 different quilt stores and now has an excellent sense of colors, fabrics, patterns and putting things together.  I trust her opinion now very much and see - she proved me right once again!  I'm completely in love with this quilt and its new borders!

August 28, 2006

Quilting funk

I'm still in kind of a funk after completing the "red monster" quilt.  I just can't seem to get enthused about the project I thought I wanted to complete next.  It's on my design wall, but it's not 'popping' for me.

I took another quilt top to the shop where my sis-in-law works to get opinions about the border fabric I had.  I wasn't really thrilled with the fabric, but I didn't especially want to buy any more fabric for this quilt top.  Well, the consensus of the 5 quilters who hovered around my quilt top was that the fabric I had did nothing to enhance the quilt, which is what I suspected all along.  My sis-in-law suggested a new line of Moda's they'd just gotten in, and I found 2 fabrics that I liked really well with my top.  Again, the consensus was that they were it!

So more fabric came home with me - what the heck, I've already blown my "Great Fabric Depression" resolution for the month.  But I am excited about getting this quilt top finished and to the quilter.

Now borders are one of the other chores that is not a pleasant task for me, so no guarantees on how long it will take me to get them on the quilt!  I did get 2 sides of the first border done, so some small progress is being made.

August 25, 2006

Great news!

I had my shoulder treatment yesterday.  The massage therapist said my shoulder was "like iron" and "super strong."  After today's treatment, he said that we're pretty much finished, and that he has brought me back to where he thinks I need to be to do the things I want to do.  He told me to continue to push myself, and I'll see him again in 2-1/2 weeks.  I can always go to him immediately if my shoulder pain returns, but for now, I think I'm cured!  This is so incredibly awesome!!!  I never thought I'd be pain-free again.  It's been 4 months of agony, but now I have hope again!

This weekend I'm planning a 1-1/2 hour kickboxing class on Saturday, followed by a long bike ride on Sunday.  My girlfriend thinks I should try swimming again as a real test, but to be honest, that terrifies me.  We'll see!

It's been a busy week and I haven't been in the sewing room for a couple of days.  I'm hoping to get some time in there this weekend and pet the fabric.

August 23, 2006

Triumphant return!

I returned for my first kickboxing class last night and I felt like a celebrity!  Everyone was so happy to see me and gave me hugs and it made me so happy to see my friends again.  Even my favorite goofy instructor came running from across the room and gave me a huge hug - and I've never seen him hug ANYONE before!  It made me feel so good to be back.

And boy did we sweat last night!  The shoulder is a little sore, not unbearable.  The thighs are screaming from all the lunges we did last night.  But it's a good kind of sore!  Yay!  I am so happy to be back to doing something I love!  Next class will be Saturday, as I'm sure I will be too sore after my treatment tomorrow to attempt to go to class.

August 22, 2006

Can't get in the groove

I typically only work on one quilt project at a time, at least I'm only piecing one project at a time, although sometimes I will cut out another to prep for later.  Like the current project on my design wall - Allemande - which I cut out back in January when I had bronchitis and only had the energy to sit and cut, cut, cut.

I am actually not "feeling" this quilt - it's lovely, but I just can't seem to hit my stride in piecing it.  Plus, it is too large to put up on my design wall, so that is always a creative hindrance as well.

So this weekend, I was doing some cutting - trimming up some half-square triangles for my orange & cream quilt, and cutting out Anniversary Stars from my Moda Rhubarb & Ginger FQs.  So much cutting, that my left forearm is quite sore from all the ruler-holding!

Last night it was blissfully quiet at home, since my DD was spending the night at her cousin's house.  But could I sew worth a darn?  No!  I wasn't able to cut because of the pain my arm, and try as I might, I kept sewing the squares of Allemande together wrong!  Don't ask me how, but when I took one piece apart for the THIRD TIME, I decided I just wasn't meant to sew right now.  Does that ever happen to you?  Maybe tonight....

August 21, 2006

Yeah, well, um....

Florakit My commitment to the Great Fabric Depression didn't last long.  And although technically neither purchase should 'count' because one was a ONCE IN A LIFETIME (snicker) quilt show purchase and the other was a kit I preordered back in May, I've still fallen hard off the wagon.

Chocolatkit Well the least I can do is share my fabric porn with you.  I know DARLENE is anxious to see what brought me to the dark side....

August 16, 2006

Huge news!

My shoulder hurt slightly from my bike ride on Saturday. I rode again Tuesday morning. Still, very minimal pain, like a 1-2 on a scale of 10.  I even made it up 2 hills that I normally have had to stop and walk my bike up - yay me!

The ART therapist was very pleased that I responded so well to his first treatment with me.  I have 4 problem muscles and they all held the treatment very well.  His tests of my muscle function hurt my shoulder slightly.  Then he applied his treatment, which was so incredibly painful, but afterwards, I could move those 2 problem areas with no more shoulder pain.

He told me to continue to test/stress my shoulder so we can pinpoint what work needs to be done.  I asked him if kickboxing would be too taxing to try, since it is pretty jarring.  First he said "Well, I don't know" and my heart sank.  But he went on to say for me to give my muscles a few days to recover from the treatment, and then ideally to see him 2 days after my class so we can see how I'm holding up.  So I have his blessing to go to kickboxing class next Tuesday and then he will see me for a treatment on Thursday. I am so excited, I can't stand it!!!

August 14, 2006


I got my email this morning with final instructions for the Danskin Triathlon - materials pick-up and bike racking.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that I won't be doing the race.  :(

I took a 40 minute bike ride on Saturday and although I did really well for not having ridden in over a month (and I made it all the way up the hill coming home for the first time ever!), my shoulder is hurting.  So I feel like all my progress went down the tubes.  I have another ART treatment tomorrow, so hopefully he can fix me back up again and get me kickboxing!!!

Altogether now, 1-2-3

Lorindone I got all the borders finished on my red, black & cream quilt, so the monster top is now complete!  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.  Now I just need to take the vacuum to my sewing room floor tonight because it is loaded with tiny bits of black, red and white threads.  I've never had a quilt shed so much, but I'm guessing because there are so many tiny pieces to this one.  I have threads on all of my clothing too, it seems, since my ironing pile is next to my ironing board.  My lint brush will get a workout as well!

Allemande Next up in the rotation is this quilt using Moda's Faded Memories line of fabrics.  The pattern is Allemande by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  I have all the smaller pieces assembled, I just need to arrange and sew the rows together.

I truly love the luxury of a having a whole design wall in my sewing room.  I love being able to lay out the pieces, and then when I ride my stationary bike in the morning before I go to work, I can look at the design and see where I need to move pieces.  Many pieces got moved after this morning's ride!

August 10, 2006

Your cheatin' heart...

Today is day 10 of the August Fabric Depression.  Ten days is the longest I've been able to honor a "no buy" commitment so far this year (and I think I've made one every month except one) - yay me!  HOWEVER, I got an email from the Fat Quarter Shop that the kit I reserved on May 31 is now in stock and shipping.  Yes, technically it was a preorder and not an August purchase, but it's still fabric coming into the house.  Oh the guilt!!!!!!!

Perhaps this bloggy confession will keep my checkbook closed when I go the APNQ quilt show in Seattle tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

August 9, 2006

Another shoulder update

I went to my new massage therapist yesterday - I really liked the lady doctor that I've been seeing, and was really hesitant to change but I did it because of the insurance - heck, I'd rather pay $20 than $55!  It turns out I REALLY liked this new guy. Here's an article about him and the tecnique he is using on me.

First let me say that my shoulder hasn't really been hurting me as much since I've had my first 4 treatments. I've been doing things in the last few days that I subconsciously haven't done in MONTHS, like opening doors with my left arm, picking up my purse - simple things but things I had been avoiding because I knew it would hurt me.  Now I'm doing them again without thinking because the constant pain is no longer there.

Anyway, he tested my arm to identify the areas of muscle weakness and limited mobility.  Then he proceeded with the deep tissue massage, concentrating on a HUGE lump of scar tissue in my armpit.  OUCHIES.... Pain oh - the pain!  But afterwards, he retested the strength moves and found much improvement. With this treatment, the results are immediate.

Then, while still in his office, he asked me what I could do to recreate the shoulder pain.  The only thing I could think to do was to try and lift a weight.  Remember, I hurt myself significantly the 4th of July weekend lifting a 1 pound weight over my head during a water aerobics class. So we went out to another room and he handed me a 5-pound weight. I lifted it over my head. NO PAIN! OMG, incredible.

So my assignment from him is to try and do something that will recreate the pain, so he can see how my shoulder and supporting muscles are affected.  I talked to him about kickboxing and also about riding my bike, and he thought the bike riding would be a good test. And since I'm seeing him again on Tuesday, he can fix me if I get hurt again.

I feel like such a burden has been lifted. I finally feel like I'm going to be okay again, and he assures me that I will. It may not take the full 6 treatments either, but either way, I'm just thrilled to have found something that seems like it will work for me. I don't want just to be pain free, I want to be active and get back to my exercise classes again.  I'M SO PUMPED!!!

August 8, 2006

Run for the borders!

I decided I would cut and assemble all 3 borders before I start attaching them to the red quilt.  I think it will speed things up that way.  I have the first border of half-square triangles all assembled.  I have the 2 long sides of the second border assembled and the short sides won't take much time at all.  And I have all the pieces for the final border cut, grouped and ready to assemble - all the fabric choices are made, so it shouldn't take me long at all to get these puppies on my quilt!  Maybe I will finish this weekend?  Stay tuned!

I really want to put flannel backing on this quilt, but since I am making it larger than planned, the piece I have will no longer fit.  I did find a really great flannel that is red flames and I think would be very cute with this quilt.  In light of my August "no buy" commitment, and also because the store where I saw the fabric always has 25% off all fabric on holidays, I will wait until Labor Day - September 4 - to make the purchase, then I can't wait to get this one to my quilter to see what she can do with it!

August 7, 2006

Stage 1

Lorin I completed the center portion of this quilt over the weekend.  This is the largest quilt I've worked on in quite some time - it takes up ALL of my design wall!  Stage 2 is a row of black and cream 1/2 square triangles, and I've completed sewing all of them together into rows, now I just have to attach them to the quilt.  Stage 3 is a row of 2-1/2 inch by 6-1/2 inch red, followed by Stage 4 which for me will be a row of 6-1/2 inch squares, making it 4 inches larger on each side than the pattern directs.  This is going to be one BIG quilt!!!  I think I'll definitely be over my 'red' phase by the time this one is complete!

August 4, 2006

Haven't cracked!

Made it through the first 3 days of the Great Fabric Depression without the urge to buy anything.  I did receive the FQ pack I ordered on July 31 in yesterday's mail.  Why did it make me feel guilty?  I didn't break my resolve, but I guess I feel like nothing new should be coming into the house....

I have only ONE row left of my black, red, cream quilt, so finishing the center of the top will definitely happen this weekend!  So cool.  It's getting heavy and I haven't even started putting borders on!

I also want to take some time this weekend to lay out my Buttercream and Figs quilt and decide if I want to add a final border to it.  I have three 3-yard pieces of some of the fabrics in the line and hope that one of them will speak to me and say "I'm the one - pick me!"

August 1, 2006

My new challenge!

Nofabric_3 Does anyone else think it's grossly unfair that these 12 shops should start a Patchwork Party on August 1 when so many of us have vowed not to buy?  Sigh.....

Button courtesty of a Peach Quilting.  Click here to go and get your own!

July 31, 2006

I caved!!!

All it took was knowing this is the last day of July (and my promise of a no-stash August), coupled with the email from the Fat Quarter Shop saying this bundle would be sold out by the weeks's end, and my clickie finger couldn't resist.  I've had my eye on these for months, and well, the temptation was just too great.  I love the combination of pink and brown.  Yummy.

Feeling giddy!

About the progress made on my red, black & cream quilt!  I have more than half of the center sewn together, and now that I've got an assembly line system going, it is happening really fast!  I only have 4 more rows to complete!

There are 3 borders around the center - first a row of black & cream half square triangles.  Next, a border of 2-1/2 x 5 inch strips of red, then a second border of the red strips, offset so they don't line up.  I am thinking I will cut more of my red stash and make the final border wider than the 2-1/2 inches.  I always like to have extra border so I can square the quilt up after the longarm quilter does her thing.

I didn't add extra fabric to the border of the baby quilt I just finished because I just did not want to buy any more fabric, and I regret that I didn't do it.  So I'll go back to my comfort zone and make this one bigger.  That means more cutting to do - good thing I like cutting!

I should have the center finished by the weekend, so look for a photo update soon!

July 28, 2006

Black & blue & purple

No, it's not the color scheme for my next quilt, it's the color of my left arm after my second Active Release treatment yesterday.  I bruise like a peach anyway, but the deep tissue massage to release the scar tissue from my muscles has left me black and blue like you wouldn't believe.  Ouch.

It's difficult to tell if it's helping after 2 treatments because the bruising pain is so intense.  My range of motion after just the one treatment was very much improved.  Before the first treatment I could only reach behind my back to about my beltline, but after one treatment, I can reach up past my bra strap.  A great improvement!

I also got good news from my HMO - they have approved me for treatment through the guy that's covered under my insurance, though only 6 treatments.  So between that and me paying Dr. Annie for any additional treatments, I think I can swing it financially.  Especially if I truly honor my commitment to The Great Fabric Depression for the month of August.  Heaven knows I need more fabric like I need another hole in my head!

Baby's here!

My new nephew - Logan Daniel - was born on Monday afternoon in Atlanta.  I guess that's the poke in the arm I need (oh but please, the right arm, not the left!) to get the binding stitched down onto his quilt this weekend so I can pop it into the mail next week.  I normally machine stitch the binding down using a decorative feather stitch on my machine when I think the quilt will get a lot of wear, but this is a special gift, so I'm thinking hand stitching is in order, even though it's one of my least favorite things to do.

Work is really progressing on my scrappy red, black & white quilt.  But to save from showing what looks like the same photo over and over and over, I will spare you that and post again when the center is all together.  It shouldn't be long, now that I've got a good piecing system in place!

My mind is whirring with trying to decide which project I want to start next, though, and that is the carrot dangling in front of me, prompting me to plug along and finish this boring, boring quilt!

July 26, 2006

This might rival labor pain...

I had my first treatment with the new doctor yesterday.  Ouch, ouch, ouch!  She thinks she can help me, but OMG, so much pain!  The active release technique uses a deep tissue massage to work the scar tissue out of your muscles, and my muscles are pretty badly scarred. :(

I actually cried during the treatment and I truly have a high pain threshold.  And today I have some really deep bruises... well at least it takes my mind off the shoulder pain!  I dread tomorrow's
treatment, which will be the massage on top of the bruises.  Ay-yi-yi....

And I'm paying out of my own pocket for this? Yes, I'm clearly insane....

Cross your fingers that it works!  I do have hope, and so does the doctor.

July 24, 2006

Bound for baby

Quiltpic1 Quiltpic2 I picked up the baby quilt on Friday and again, just LOVE what my longarm quilter did with it.  She did an pattern called 'popcorn' and it very nicely mimics the horseshoe fabric.  I just love it!

I got the binding basted on this weekend.  I just need to sew it down and then wait for my nephew to be born so I can personalize the label and get it in the mail.  I love this one - so cute!   And, my quilter gave me a card for 10% off my next quilting job.  Sweet!!!!

July 21, 2006

So excited!

I threw my checkbook in my purse this morning for some unexplained reason (I don't usually carry it with me)... well, my long arm quilter called and the Johnny & Buck baby quilt is ready, so I am going to pick it up in an hour - wahoo!  I was wondering if I might hear from her soon (the baby is due next

I am so excited to see what she's done with it!  I guess I will be sewing a binding on this weekend, and I got some of these to make the label with a cute cowboy cartoon graphic.  Fun stuff!  Will post a picture when I'm finished.

July 20, 2006

A glimmer of hope

I went to a lecture at REI yesterday on the topic of rotator cuff injuries (was this made for me, or what?)...  The speaker was a chiropractor who is also certified in a soft tissue treatment called Active Release Technique.  Now I have a chiropractor that I love and that is covered by my HMO, but he has told me that he can adjust my spine, but can't do anything for my shoulder (soft tissue) injury.

The doctor I met last night gave me great hope, although she is not in my HMO's network of doctors, either.  I am contemplating going to her for treatment anyway and just paying out of pocket.  If it helps, it would be totally worth it.

I did some investigating of other ART practioners and found one that is a licensed massage therapist and is covered under my HMO.  I need a referral for massage therapy, so my doctor agreed to put in the request for me.  Our last attempt to get approval for massage therapy when I was having migraines (years ago) was denied, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one will be approved.

At any rate, I have a little bit of hope now, and I'm excited!

July 17, 2006

Move along, nothing to see....

But I did make a ton of progress on my red, black & cream quilt.  I have the first 4 rows sewn together and have all but the last 2 rows laid out on my design wall.  I've finally gotten into a rhythm of the sewing so that it proceeds pretty smoothly and not as boring as my getting up to stitch and press after every single seam I sew.

I noticed I made a mistake in the end piece of one of the first rows - I turned the patch the wrong way to sew it on.  But, I'm leaving it - it will be my humility block.  ;-)

I made a list this weekend of all my planned projects and collections of fabrics that don't have a particular project in mind yet.  Wow.  That was kind of a shocker.  I think I need a buying hiatus, but I say that every month and my resolve never lasts!  I do love fabric though, it is quite an addiction!

July 14, 2006

Lame Blogger!

Yes, I'm lame - in more ways than one....  I haven't posted in forever because I haven't made much progress on my red, cream & black quilt (the most boring piecing EVER) AND because I re-injured my shoulder!  The pain is excruciating - worse than ever.  I was feeling so much better, was even able to take several long rides on the bike trail without pain over the 4th of July weekend, so I tried a river fitness class (water aerobics working against a river current - fun, fun class!!!) and had the audacity to lift a ONE POUND weight over my head!  One pound, people!  The doctor scolded me and said no lifting, no raising arm over head, no exercise classes.

I am so sad.  Back to square one.  Actually, back 3 steps BEHIND square one.  :(   The pain is incredible.

I have already decided I am not going to attempt the triathlon in August, as much as it saddens me to drop out, my health is more important than achieving that particular goal right now.  And I'm struggling with a new job at work and it's made even harder by the constant pain.  I just need to take care of me for right now.

July 5, 2006

Orange ya glad it's not red?

Orange I had a wonderful, relaxing 4-day weekend.  <sigh>   It's a shame to have to be back at work today!

I had to take a break from my red, black and white quilt, so I worked up a block of my orange and cream/white quilt.   What do you think?  I like it, but I had hoped the cream/white would soothe it a little bit more than it actually does.  I hope it's not going to be too bright!  I sure love all the beautiful orange fabrics that I had in my stash (and supplemented with a few new ones).  They are so pretty in all the different shades of orange!

June 23, 2006

Lost my identity!

I finally had to give up the email address I have had for over 9 years.  I'm sad - it's one I really liked and identified with (twinzrock - I have twins).  But I don't know if it's because I used it for ebay or what, but I was getting spammed to death - more than 200 messages a day.  It became exhausting to try and delete all of them on a daily basis, so I asked my ISP to delete the account and give me a new address.  I was able to get quilter, which really surprised me.  I like my new name, but it's just not the same.... <heavy sigh>

June 22, 2006

I am a sap *and* a klutz!

Well, I knew I was a klutz (my childhood nickname was "Grace") - but this morning I missed the last 3 steps going down the stairs, landed on my shoulder and ribs and twisted my left ankle in the process.  I must have laid on the cold tiled floor for 5 minutes yelling for someone to help me.  And then I got laughed at.  Nice, huh?  <grumble, grumble>

I've twisted my ankle worse in the past, but it still hurts like hell, and the ribs are very tender too.  If I didn't have so many deadlines at work today, I'd be home, but I am a trooper.  lol

On my morning bus ride, I usually take the opportunity to nap and catch a few zzzzs.  This morning I was so amazed and excited by being able to SEE, that I could not sleep!  I had Lasik surgery on Tuesday and even though I had some reservations, I am so happy with the results.  I could read, I could see the amazingly beautiful eyelashes of the little girl in the seat in front of me.  It truly was overwhelming - I was actually crying, I was so happy.  I've worn glasses since the 3rd grade - it almost feels surreal to not have to wear them now!

June 19, 2006


Red This is 2/3 of my red, black and white quilt laid out on my flannel wall.  Try not to look too closely at how the blocks do not match up - I haven't started sewing them together yet!  But this takes up my whole wall, so I will have to sew these blocks and rows together before I can lay out the other 1/3 of the quilt.  What do you think?

June 16, 2006

It's quilt day!

Douglas My daughter is going to give her teacher the thank you quilt we made for her today.  Here is a picture of my cutie with the quilt.  I made a print of this photo and we used it to make a card, too.  I hope she likes it!

Work is progressing on the black, white & red quilt.  It's a real struggle for me to work with such a limited color pallette.  One minute I love it, next minute I hate it!  And I'm already having problems making the blocks random.  I didn't think it would be an issue, seeing as how I'm using over 100 red fabrics!  I guess it's due to so many pieces in each block.  Will have a photo of that on Monday.  I took one, but didn't save it as a .jpg, so I am unable to post it today.

June 15, 2006

Shoulder update

I finally got my MRI results back and while I'm relieved there is nothing torn or requiring surgery, there really is nothing that is treatable.  It's messed up tendons and rest and rehab is really the only course of treatment.  Though the pain has been increasing the more I have been riding my bike, unfortunately.  I did go in for a cortisone injection yesterday in hope that it might help alleviate the pain.  The pain is exponentially increased with that additional irritation, but hopefully things will settle down in the next few days or weeks.

The doc I saw yesterday said his niece had a similar injury and had to give up swimming.  I am beginning to doubt whether I will be able to compete in the triathlon in August.  It is something I want to do, to be able to say I did, but I also cannot live with this miserable pain with no end in sight.  I guess I have a tough decision to make, or my body will make it for me.

More than anything, I miss kickboxing.  I wish I could just go back to doing that 2-3 times a week - I never had any shoulder problems for the 18+ months I've been working out in this class.  And now it has been 2-1/2 months since I have been able to take a class.  :(

June 12, 2006

Busy week!

But not much quilty got done.  Had a lot of evening stuff related to the kids' school, so my quilting suffered.  I did finish getting my orange and white quilt squares cut out and got all the orange fabric put away, to my daughter's delight.  She hates seeing my sewing room messy, especially since she 'helped' me clean it up!

I will take my stepsister's baby quilt to the long arm quilter this week.  Can't wait to see what she does with it.  I'm a little leary because I decided not to put a border on it.  I hope it turns out okay and did not stretch too much with my piecing.

Now I can turn my entire focus back to my red, black and white quilt.  All the inidividual units are ready to go, now to start assembly-line piecing all the blocks!  I'll post pictures as soon as there is something worthwhile to show!

June 9, 2006


I rode my bike for the first time in the rain this morning.  I figured, living in the Seattle area, I'd better get used to the rain since it's a fact of life!  It wasn't bad, though a little cold.  It was quite annoying to have to keep stopping and wiping my glasses off every now and then - what a hassle.  But it won't be for long...  I have Lasik surgery scheduled for June 20 - omg!!  Nervous but so excited.  I've worn glasses since the third grade, so this should be quite a change for me!

June 6, 2006

Measure twice, cut once...

I was cutting out my orange fabrics for my Zuzu's Petals quilt.  Not that I'm flitting from project to project, mind you, but only because I wanted to get the stack of oranges I had pulled cut and put back away in my nice, neat sewing room!

I have 50 different orange fabrics, and I have cut half of them.  I was reviewing the pattern again this morning and realized I'd made a big boo-boo.  I was cutting squares a little larger than I needed for the center 1/4 square triangles, so I was cutting 8" squares.  I realized I needed 8-1/2" squares for the setting triangles!  Ooops!  Well, at least I still have half the orange fabrics that I can use to cut the larger setting triangles with.  I'm so glad I took the time to look at the pattern again this morning before any more cutting commenced!

June 5, 2006

I'm a biker chick

After watching the triathlon Saturday, I decided I needed to spend a whole lot more time out on my bike.  I went out on the Interurban trail when I got home and had a nice ride.  It is off-road and has a challenging incline at the end.  I also wanted to be able to explore it without the kids to see if it is somewhere I might like to take them.

This morning after 60 minutes on my stationary bike, I went out trail riding for 30 minutes before work.  Boy, there is just no comparison between road biking and stationary biking!  My legs felt like jello afterwards, but what an exhilarating ride.  I just loved it!  My sit-down parts are quite sore, even though I have a nice seat and I got a gel seat cover.  I think I will break down and get myself some padded cycling shorts, even though I vowed I'd never be seen in public with them.

I love my new bike and it feels really good to get out and ride.  I feel like a kid again!

Saturday Insanity!

My buddy and I wanted to go to Issaquah to watch the triathlon that our tri-swimming classmate was competing in on Saturday. I got up at 5 a.m. and left the house at 5:30 in order to meet her and carpool to the event. As I was leaving at the crack of dawn, I was seriously questioning my sanity!

We actually got a chance to see and talk to our friend Carla before she started, even though she didn't know we were coming, so that was pretty cool. We also had a great conversation with a woman that was competing in this triathlon - she gave us a really warm and fuzzy feeling about the Danskin tri that we are registered for. It took a lot of the mystery out of the event to come and actually witness the transitions and such.

It was very interesting to watch - especially the jocks that finished in under 50 minutes!  I'm still worried about the swim. My physical therapist says absolutely no swimming until after my last therapy appointment on June 23. I really feel the need to get back in the water, but I know it won't do me any good to push myself while I'm still nursing this injury.....

June 2, 2006

I'm back in business!!!

I got my sewing machine back yesterday and she's purring like a kitten again.  I only got to do a little bit of chain sewing on my red/black quilt pieces.  I was busy last night baking a cake for the cake walk at the kids' school carnival tonight.

This weekend I will be putting the binding on my daughter's teacher's quilt so I can get that finished - the school year is just screaming by!  Soon they will be out for summer vacation - unbelieveable.

I'd also like to piece the backing for my stepsister's baby quilt so I can get that to the quilter in the next week or so.  Her baby is due at the end of July, so I do have a little time.

Sorting through my stash this weekend and being only able to dream about quilting, I came up with another project that I would like to make.  I saw a beautiful white and orange quilt on someone's blog and would like to make something along those lines.  I wanted to do kind of a buzz saw looking block, and going through my pattern stash, found one I really liked - Zuzu's Petals by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company (who else?).  This will be another 'make from the stash' quilt, made from white, cream and orange and very scrappy.

June 2006 will be my month of BUY NOTHING.  I already made it through one day, and even that was tough!  lol

May 30, 2006


I spent the better part of the last 2 days organizing every scrap of fabric in my sewing room.  Everying is sorted either by project or color, placed in a Rubbermaid container, labeled and stacked neatly in the closet.  There is NOTHING piled on the floor, tables or any other surface of my room.  The transformation is truly amazing.  I'd show before and after pictures, but then I would have to publicly admit what a true slob I had become!  The room is so pleasant now, I can hardly believe it.  So one good thing came of me being without my sewing machine this weekend!  Though I can hardly wait to begin sewing again!

May 25, 2006


Hearts1_1 I completely LOVE the new long-arm quilter I found.  I picked up the quilt yesterday and was very pleased with the job she did - my other quilter NEVER quilted right to the edge, even when we asked her to (my SIL still uses this other person, though I refuse to use her ever again!).  Anyhoo - I know these pictures aren't very clear, but she did a dense overall pattern of small hearts and vines.  And it's gorgeous, I love it!

Hearts2_1 I have the Johnny & Buck baby quilt to give her next, after I get a chance to piece a backing for it.  My stepsister's baby is due at the end of July, but even if I don't get the quilt to her before the birth, I'm sure she won't mind!


May 23, 2006

9 Days????

I won't get my sewing machine back for 9 long days, and it will cost a minimum of $99.95.... <heavy sigh>

I will miss my Pfaff over the holiday weekend.  I guess I willl either work on cutting out some future quilt projects or cleaning my sewing room in preparation for my dad's visit in June.  Hmmm - which do you think is more likely to happen?

My long-arm quilter is finished with my DD's teacher's quilt!  I will meet her to pick it up tomorrow - yay!  Of course, I won't be able to put the binding on right away - dang it.  But I'm excited to see what she's done with it!  Pictures tomorrow!

May 22, 2006

Mass Production!

Piles I have all the cutting done for my red, white and black quilt.  I also have all the black and cream/white half-square triangles sewn and most of them trimmed up (I like to make my HSTs about a half-inch larger than needed, then trim down to size for perfect points!).

Last night my machine started making awful noises and the needle started hitting the bobbin cage when it went down, so I will have to take it into the shop after work today.  I hope they can get it back to me quickly - with a 3-day weekend ahead, I was hoping to get a lot of sewing done.  It couldn't have happened at a worse time.  No, I take that back - it HAS happened to me at a worse time!  Once when I was at a quilt retreat, it broke down on the very first day!  Thankfully my SIL let me use her machine while she was basting quilt tops together, otherwise I would have been very bored.

Fingers crossed that it's nothing too expensive to fix and that I get my machine back quickly!  Otherwise, I see a lot of cutting in my plans for the 3-day weekend!

May 15, 2006

Black & white & red all over!

I'm still cutting strips and squares for my next quilt project.  The stacks of stash fabrics to cut don't seem to be getting any smaller, either!  I am using over 40 blacks, over 20 cream/white and close to 100 reds, almost all from stash and some using up the very last scrap of a piece of fabric!  It's been a lot of fun to revisit some of the reds that have been in more than one past quilt and some that there is only one or two 2-1/2" squares left.

Bwr I was so anxious to see the pattern, though, I had to put together four blocks to inspire me to continue with all of the cutting!  Here is the first corner, and I'm loving it!

I had to laugh because my DD made me a card at school for Mother's Day and it listed my favorite things.  She listed my favorite color as red, which it is not, but I assume she probably thinks so after seeing me working with this giant pile of red fabrics for the last few weeks!

May 12, 2006

Come on, Monday!

Not that I'm trying to hurry away the weekend or anything, but I have my first physical therapy appointment Monday morning.  I'm still in a great deal of pain and also feeling like a slug from not doing anything other than my stationary bike all week.  I'm anxious to get back to training for my triathlon.

Since my evenings have been free, though, I have done quite a bit of sewing and cutting for my next quilt, making hundreds of half-square triangles and cutting a gazillion red patches.  This is for the quilt I showed in my March 31 post.  I can't really start even a test block until I have most of the fabrics cut out since this is planned scrappy.  I'm making really great progress, even though I don't have any I can show!

I am scheming how I can get to Spokane for the Buggy Barn's quilt show in August.  Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Company is teaching 2 all-day classes there, and I'd love to take the Friday class.  Hmm, wish I could see the class project, but it won't be available to see until July.  I'm not sure I want to pay $145 for the class (includes all day class, lunch and the kit) sight unseen, but I am such a huge fan of that designer....  Stay tuned!

May 10, 2006


I'm in serious pain from a shoulder injury - my chiropractor said it was my rotator cuff, although I saw my general practitioner on Monday and she said she doesn't think there is a tear.  She recommended resting it - no swimming or kickboxing!  :(   And referred me to physical therapy.  Meanwhile, I am icing it and have some good drugs.  It feels slightly better after 5 days off from swimming, but still is incredibly painful at rest and excruciating whenever I move it.  I'm totally bummed.  :(

May 4, 2006

I found someone!

I found a long-arm quilter, and delivered my first quilt to her today - my daughter's teacher's quilt - and she should have it back to me by the end of May.  I got a really good feeling talking to her, and I have high hopes that this will work out well.  If so, I have a mountain of quilt tops that I need to get quilted as funds allow.  I'm excited!

May 3, 2006

All in the name of research

I volunteered to participate in a flu vaccine study last fall and was accepted as a participant.  It involved getting a shot which may or may not have been the flu vaccine, 3 blood draws, weekly phone calls and reporting every trip to the doctor or illness.  It was a little intrusive, but I'm glad I did it and hope I will find out whether I got the real vacinne or the placebo.  I did not get sick - so who knows.  I'm glad it's over, though!

May 1, 2006

Mondays Suck!

There are FIVE Mondays in May - that hardly seems fair!  But the last one is a holiday and today is my birthday, so I guess they are not all bad.

I only did 10 laps at the pool this morning.  I haven't been swimming since Wednesday because my rotator cuff is causing me agony.  But I got a good chiropractic adjustment Friday and I was pain free all weekend.  But after this morning's swim, it's a little achy.  I will have another adjustment this afternoon, but I can't keep getting adjusted every time I swim, if I plan to do it at least 3 times a week.  $$$

I didn't get much done in the quilting arena, but I did finish the pinwheel border on my stepsister's quilt.  I'm debating whether to add another border of the brown horseshoe fabric, but on the other hand, I'm ready to call this one "done."

I've located a longarm quilter in Seattle and plan to meet with her later this week to deliver my DD's teacher's quilt for her to work on.  It will be a good test for me to see if I like her, something I need to get done by mid-June, but something I'm not so very attached to.  Fingers crossed!

April 24, 2006

Finally, some pictures

Babyquilt I finished sewing the blocks together for the first of my Johnny & Buck quilts.  I have to make one border to finish off the pinwheels in the corners and where each 4 blocks come together, but that requires math and my brain wasn't working for that yesterday.  But here it is at this stage.

Odessa And I figured I should post some knitting progress, lest I get kicked out of the knitblog ring!  Here is my second Odessa hat.  The first has gotten so much wear by my daughter, it's not really that attractive.  I used a too-large needle and it's quite stretched out.  But I like this one better, anyway.  I finally got the hang of the beading, and all of these beads made it to the right side, whereas some on my first ended up on the back side.

Rickrack Also, I'm working on the handles of a rick rack bag using brown Malabrigo wool and an orange for the trim, and hopefully I'll be able to find some orange rick-rack to finish it off.