Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back To The Salt Mines

That's my Mom's favorite expression, meaning 'Time to go back to work'.  She's says this now with a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her face.  Darn retiree, rub it in, why don't you?!

So, by now I'm at that stage where if I ever see another platter of turkey, it'll be too soon.  Turkey sandwiches, turkey casserole, turkey soup.  Pretty soon I'm gonna start to gobble-gobble!  At least Christmas will be enchiladas and homemade tamales.  Ole! 

These past two days, the wind has been howling, making it somewhat miserable to be outside.  The weatherman says it's supposed to get up to the mid-50s, but I swear he lies just to get our hopes up.  I'm never satisfied with the weather.  When it's hot, I pine for cooler temperatures.  When it's cool, I pine for less rain and wind.  Do you think the Creator ever rolls his eyes in exasperation?

Today I made a big pot of loaded baked potato soup and took some down to my parents.  MPMOE and the Co-Defendants wouldn't touch it.  Are they weird or what?

 Yummy!  And made all the yummier with the addition of that wonderful cured meat, bacon!

I'd baked some chocolate cookies, which mysteriously decreased dramatically overnight and picked up peanut butter and oatmeal ones from my Mom.  They went great with my afternoon cup of coffee.

I got quite a bit of piecing done as well.  I think I can sew curves in my sleep now.

I still have a fairly impressive stack of blocks to pin and sew, but at least all the cutting out part is complete.

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and, if you ventured out for Black Friday, I hope you didn't get pepper-sprayed!

Happy quilting y'all!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday For Quilters

While hundreds camp out to be first in line on Black Friday for whatever the season's 'must have' item is, I'm not cranking my happy self outta bed for anything but fabric. 

JoAnn's had flannel for $1.49/yd...and I had a 25% coupon off my total.  Yep, that'll get me outta bed! 

So, Co Def #2 and my Mom accompanied me, with my assurances that 'It won't be bad at all.  It was DEAD the last time I went'.  Yeah, that 'last time' was seven years ago.  There was a freakin' 6 a.m.!  No telling what time these women started lining up.  Didn't they have to be at The Gap or Academy?  Wasn't the American Girl Store calling their names?  Whaddya doing here for Pete's sake?  Apparently, those less crafty folks were after the $99 Christmas trees.  The rest of us were there for the flannel.  Do you know people get cranky over cheap flannel, y'all? 

Here's what I got..after I arm-wrestled a little old lady for it.  Just kidding ((wink))!

All that flannel for quilt backing.  And yes, I bought an entire bolt of the stripe.  It was $1.49/yd!! 

I did pick up these two patterns and a couple of spools of thread.  I know, all that fabric and just TWO spools of thread?  Someone scarfed most of the neutral threads, so I had to make do ((shrugs)).

Personally, I had a good time.  With the exception of one woman who must've flown in on her broom, most ladies were really civilized...chatty, personable, a little exhilirated from all the good deals they'd scored.  Me, I was just happy to get cheap flannel.  And not shed any blood.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

My daughter once asked me if we were rich, but quickly added 'I guess we aren't, 'cause you don't even drive a minivan'.  Funny how they think, isn't it?  It got me to thinking, though...what is rich?

Rich to me means....

Hubby and I have a job

We're all healthy...maternal insanity notwithstanding

We have free time to be together or to enjoy our hobbies

We have each other

And God has each of us in the palm of His matter what I may think, He's got it covered

Are you rich?  I am.

Happy Thanksgiving from Texas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Everything Must Go!

No, it's not a Black Friday sale.  I've only gone out in the predawn hours one time on Black Friday and that was for a huge sale at JoAnn's Fabrics.  Hey, a girl's gotta have priorities!  I may be off work this Friday, but I'm definitely not setting foot anywhere near a retail outlet.  There's not a deal around that would make me camp out overnight in the cold, nor deal with the crowds.  No way, no how!

No, I'm already thinking about New Year's resolutions.  I know, I know, we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, but I'm a planner, a ponderer, a list making kind of gal.  Bear with me, okay?

So, 2011's resolution was to make one quilt, any size, per month for charity.  I completed seventeen and divided them between three charities, so I'm happy.  It's tempting to up the quilt quota for next year, but the idea just doesn't hold much appeal.

Now, most quilters maintain a 'stash', a bounty of gorgeous fabrics acquired from a LQS, the internet or swaps with friends.  A stash can range in size from modest to the 'I better start sewing this up or open a quilt shop'.  My aunt Patsy, you know the crazy one who's first quilt was all curves, she only buys fabric by the project.  She finds a pattern, she buys the fabric.  Let us pause for a moment and say a word of prayer for this obviously ill woman.  There's absolutely no stash in her home.  I can't believe we're actually related.

A quilting co-worker and I were discussing our conspicuous fabric consumption.  We buy just because it's pretty and we simply must have some.  We concluded that we. can. never. die.  At least not until we sew up all our fabric and kits.

Behold, my stash...

Those bottom canvas boxes are kits, the whole kits and nothing but kits, so help me Dear Lord.  Fat quarters, Bali Pops, charm squares, Jelly Rolls.  I didn't even show you the boxes of scraps!  Frankly, when I look at all I've acquired, I feel a bit sheepish.  Well, okay, a lot sheepish!  Seeing it all in this light has helped me set 2012's resolution. 

I'm going on a quilting diet.  No fabric purchases, no magazines or books, no patterns.  Just thread and needles...for the entire twelve months of 2012.  Just the thought makes me queasy and holds as much appeal as delivering a 10 lb infant through my left nostril.  But somewhere, my quilting sisters, I have lost that 'make do' attitude upon which quilting got its start.  There's fabric calling to me from the depths of shelves and the inside of cabinets...not to mention some fairly good looking fellows.

Hubby wonders why I smile every time I open up the cabinet.  Hello, Hugh...Colin...motorcycle gang of really hot, ripped babes.  Sigh.  Maybe this won't be so difficult, after all.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where're Santa's Elves When I Need One?

Well, here I am again with the Christmas season looming and the quilty gifts I said I'd have done for that most special of days are still unfinished.  Intentions, intentions, how they vex me so.  I have a little purse (for the tomboy, of course...she'll probably use it to carry rocks and Nerf gun bullets...sigh) and Seth's airplane quilt...will they get done?  I'm having serious doubts.

My version of 'Finish it up Friday' went something like this...

Clean the house...check!

Do mountains of laundry...check!

Do some mending...check!  Hey, isn't that my handquilting project under there? 

Finish up the Christmas cards...check!  Yes, I made them this year because my list is patheticly short.

Let the dog in and out...and in and out...check!  Do you think that burns any calories? 

A little home improvement project in Co Def #2's room...check!

Stare longingly at my Featherweight...check!

Oh, well, at least we all have clean undies.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Curves Part Two

If you caught my post from yesterday, you know I finally jumped into curved piecing with both feet.  Not bad for a first effort, if I do say so myself.

The larger one on the left is my aunt's
Anyway, I'd been talking to a co-worker about curved piecing.  She'd just finished a wedding quilt for her son and new, white, red and curved.  I wish I had a picture of it because it was gorgeous.  Lucy showed up to work this morning with a few spare block pieces of her own, did a quick demo and sent me home to try my hand at them.  This is what I came up with...

I must say, I like these curves much better.  I didn't have to scrunch up my face, swear like a sailor or clip the curves.  They're big, bodacious, generous J. Lo's butt, only better.  I just might try my hand at doing an entire quilt...maybe ;)

Happy quilting, y'all!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

WARNING Curves Ahead

My aunt Patsy, in an attempt to convince me that sewing curves really wasn't THAT hard, came up with a hands-on tutorial for me several months back.  Mind you, we're talking about a woman who chose curved piecing for her very first quilt.  If we weren't related, I just might hate her.  Anyway, she'd sewn up an example block and left me the pre-cut pieces for a second block with instructions to 'just go with's easy'.  Says you! 

I sat down several times with every intention of ending with a finished block, but it was a no-go.  Apparently, today was my day.  Perhaps this is my reward for making it through the Co Defs' weekend friends extravaganza.

Patsy's block is the larger one on the left.

Now, I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Her's was more like an anemic 1/8 inch, so of course, her's turned out larger.  Next time, I too, shall make a go of the Kate Moss seam allowance.  But take a look at my curves, y'all!  They are so smooth and fine...wish I could say the same of my thighs.  Sigh.

Here's a close-up...of my block, not my thighs...

Smooth, huh?  What Patsy neglected to tell me is that curved piecing involves narrowing your eyes to pencil-line thin slits, scrunching your face into all sorts of wrinkle-inducing expressions and generally cussing like a sailor.  I haven't cussed that much since the last time I changed the oil in my car.  All in my head, of course, since my sewing room's in a corner of the living room and there were youngsters present.  And I think I used an entire bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press to press those seams into submission.  All in all, not bad for a first effort.

Will I do it again?  Well, if you'd asked me earlier I would've said 'oh, hell to the no!' but since I've had that glass of wine, I could be convinced to go for round two.  We shall see.

Happy quilting y'all!


I've gotten alot of quilty stuff done this weekend...NOT!

Friday evening, Co Def #1 had a friend over for a few hours (I hate and despise the term 'playdate'), then it was out to dinner for us.  I managed to sneak in a little quiet time at the bookstore Friday evening, knowing what was in store for me come Saturday afternoon.

The Boys went to a Houston car-show Saturday morning, leaving myself and Co Def #2 all by our lonesomes...somehow we managed just fine in spite of not being pestered by the Testosterone Twins all day.  I picked up a pair of flannel pajamas for know, it gets SO cold here in Texas during the artic winter months (cue the eyeball roll)

I thought the sewing motif was pretty cute...the dolls themselves, yes, Lalaloopsy dolls, are tacky as all get-out.  But that's just me.  I guess I should be happy they're not American Girl dolls, huh?

Co Def #2's friend came over Saturday afternoon and it was non-stop inside/outside/movie time/where's the popcorn/coloring/crafting/dressing the dog up...bless her patient heart and generally driving me up the freakin' wall time until about four o'clock.  Give me a houseful of boys any day!  At least they can entertain themselves.  Not girls, though.  Nuh-uh, one must have all manner of things to do so as to avoid catfights and assorted sulking.

So, this is what I managed to eek out in the sewing department...

The Popsicle top is completed and I finally got all that paper peeled off the back.  You know, that's the ONLY bad thing about paper-piecing.  Sure, all your points match and everything goes together wonderfully well, but you still have to pull off all that stinkin' paper!  Anyway, this one's ready for quilting.  I also got half of the plethora of HST sewn into's amazing how fast they go together when you put the pedal to the metal.  I missed my calling...I should've been a racecar driver.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Am A Quilter

Jennifer at gave a shout-out to all quilters to challenge the stereotypes many non-quilters have about us.  So, here's my two cents worth...

I'm 37 years old and I,too, am a quilter.  I found quilting when I was pregnant with Co-Defendant #2 and had a stash of fat quarters and absolutely no clue what to do with them.  I was planning to use them to cover mini-photo albums...what a waste of fabric that would've been!  For the record, I can also embroider and cross-stitch if the occasion calls for it, which thankfully hasn't happened in a loooongg time.

I'm puzzled by the shocked expressions most people give me when they find out I quilt.  It's not like I bite the head off a kitten or something, geez!  And, no, I don't have silvery hair (my hairdresser says they're highlights) and, yes, my teeth are my own.  Where's it written you have to reach a certain age to be creative?  I gave birth for the first time at 25...I'd say that's pretty darn creative!

Why do non-quilters assume only, ahem, older women quilt?  And why assume only women quilt?  I've been to retreats where there's at least one fellow.  People certainly come up with some interesting assumptions, don't they?  Oh, well, their loss.  Stick around long enough and I'll even show you my tattoos.  Heehee!  I got my first tattoo while on a quilt retreat.  Who says quilters are fuddy-duddies?

Me and Co-Defendant #2

Here's my Top Seven Reasons Why I Quilt:

* It's a happy talent the Lord gifted to me and I try not to waste it.

* Busy hands mean I can't strangle you if you tick me off...not to mention that homicide's illegal.

* I have physical evidence that I can follow directions.

* I get to slash things with sharp blades...and it's LEGAL!

* If I mess around long enough, Hubby will make dinner, or at least, go pick it up.

* The Sewing Area is a Child-Free Zone.

* I had free time and apparently, disposable was either quilt or join the PTA.

Here's the link to Jennifer at Sewhooked:

Happy quilting, y'all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Glad That's Over

Well, the last few days have certainly been interesting ones for us.  It all started with one of 'those' phone calls from the school.  In my usual snarky fashion I asked 'What's he done now?' only to be told Co-Def #1 was sick and to please come pick him up.  When you nominate me for Mother of the Year, please be sure you spell my name correctly on the ballot, okay?

Anyway, one doctor visit and a prescription of antibiotic later, we make it home where the real fun can finally commence.  Here's the Cliff's Notes version:  he ran fever for 48 hours, his tongue swelled to three times its normal size, he lost the ability to speak and the back of his throat swelled to roughly the diameter of a pencil eraser.  Who says we aren't exciting people?!  Yippeee!

I haven't prayed this hard or this much (sorry, Lord) since he was born.  I am happy to say, he's now on the mend.  I think it's more from all the praying than the medicine, but that's just me.  I hate it when my kids are sick, although to be honest, the not speaking part was kind of nice. (cringe)

The sewing I managed to accomplish I attribute entirely to stress.  I was trying my hardest not to freak out and just keep him calm so he could breathe.  I sewed two hundred and seventeen half-square triangles in two in Christmas fabrics, the other in wild, funky colors and patterns.  Sorry the pictures didn't turn out so hot, but here they are...

I just threw stuff together and tried not to overthink the whole process.

Wild and funky

Christmas fabrics
Hope your weekend is going a tad more smoothly.  Happy quilting!