Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIPd Into Shape

Leftover blocks are always a challenge to me.  I typically wind up with one orphan block from every project, but several blocks means it's another quilt just waiting to be made.

What, you expected something sedate?  Pshaw!!  Don't y'all know me by now?  Not sure if it's this dreary Texas day or the fabric really is that garish, but this makes my corneas scream me smile.

I'm still working on Co-Defendant #1's airplane quilt (oh, the humanity!) and have yet to touch my handquilting project in 2012 (how sad is that?), but for now I'll focus on the stuff that's kinda-sorta done and call it good.  I even managed to make a little money by quilting a top for my Mom.  Hooray for those that'll pay me to do what I love! 

I'm linking up to WiP Wednesday at freshly pieced...happy quilting, y'all!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Report Cards: Quilting and Otherwise

I had to take a break from that dang airplane quilt that seems to have taken over my sewing corner, quilting time and life in general.  I don't ever want to see another plane after it's done!

Mom and I attended our quilting bee The Happy Stitchers last night.  I haven't been in forever...'Who are you again?' was a question I heard quite frequently and it was nice to catch up with the ladies.  I got this quilt top that's been languishing as a WIP for an eternity finished up...

You may recognize the pinwheels as being from my Thangles stage.  You know, the one where I lost my mind and sewed strip after strip of the little buggers.  I still have two baby quilts to make out of the remainder.  The fabric is Love U by Deb's all nature and owls and makes me want to go out and hug a tree.

Yesterday was also Report Card Day (cue the dramatic music and nail-biting suspense).  I am happy to report that they will both live.  Co-Defendant #1 has come a loooong way in the academics department and is doing great.  Take that, you snarky naysayers..he can make farting noises and good grades at the same time!  He had an awesome down-the-court dribble and couple of free-throw shots at last night's basketball game as well.  Co-Def #2, although academically gifted is, in the words of my beloved Nana, developing her personality.  In English, this means she's a ringtailed tooter and believes rules are for others.  I see a future in politics or the law for her.

It's cold outside and I really should be cleaning my house....nah, I'm gonna link up to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Finish It Up Friday!

Happy quilting, y'all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Of Progress and Razzberries

It's not been a very productive week quilting-wise, but for whatever it's 'tis.

Now, before you go and say 'Stephanie, you showed us that picture last week!' I'd like to point out that last week all the rows weren't sewn together and the remainder of red border hadn't been sewn on.  Perhaps I'm splitting hairs here but cut a girl some slack!  The other twenty plane blocks are finished and now it's on to the borders.  Al-most there...

On the home front, the dog's gotten her spring bath (it's 81 degrees today-yippeee!) and the school has let it be known that Co-Defendant #1 makes some fairly awesome awful, horrid, disgusting fart noises with his mouth that will not be tolerated in this establishment!  I'm just glad he hasn't taken up biting the head off kittens or something, you know, REALLY offensive.  Mind you, his class is made up entirely of boys.  Hey, maybe they could form a barbershop quartet...throw in a few armpit farts and I bet they could bring the house down with their enthusiastic rendition of My Country 'Tis of Thee

To channel my inner Charlie Brown...oh, good grief!

I'm doing the link-up thing with freshly pieced's WIP Wednesday...happy quilting, y'all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stash Management...A Quilting Gallery Linky Party

I confess to being absolutely, shamelessly anal when it comes to organization...a place for everything and everything in it's place?  Oh, yeah, you betcha!  So when I saw the post on the Quilting Gallery site about fabric storage and stash organization, it was like a siren calling to a sailor.  Just remember: one person's 'obsessive' is another's 'serene' ;)

My sewing 'room' is a dinky corner of the dining room...not much space at all and everyone and their dog (well, at least OUR dog) thinks they have to be there with me so I won't get lonely.  Lonely?  How's this possible with all that fabric to keep me company?

My entire storage system consists of two main sections: 2 bookshelves divided by a Hoosier cabinet that's been in our family for ages and a storage cubbie.

I got the idea for fabric folding from American Patchwork and Quilting (I think...heck, I can't remember the names of my two kids half the time) just fold the yardage over a 6 inch wide ruler, then fold in half again making all the cuts uniform.  The truly massive cuts I just left on the bolt.  I organized the solids/patterns by color; the rest is by theme (floral, kid, western, etc).  And yes, I unfolded and refolded countless fat quarters so they're all the same dimensions and fit neatly on a couple of stackable kitchen shelves I got at the local big box store.  The bottom canvas totes house all my kits (I. can. never. die!).

The Hoosier cabinet is perfect for all my precuts and panels which I store up top while the lower pull-down bins have cuts of batting and I can keep extra notions in the drawer which has tons of built-in dividers.

And to keep things from getting boring (as if that were possible, but still, just to be safe)...

...a little eye candy!

The cubbie holds all my books and plastic lock-top totes for scraps and projects I'm about to start.  I divided my scraps the same as with the bookshelves, by color or theme.  And I do so love me a label maker!

If I've inspired you to get organized, great!  If I've scared the bejeebers out of you and made you think thank you, Lord, I'm not her, that's okay too!!

I'm linking up to Mishka at the Quilting Gallery.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Take A Deep Cleansing Breath

At least that's what I'm telling myself, but it doesn't seem to be working as well as I'd like.  They can push the buttons, can't they?  Oh sorry, I'm referring to children here not anything even remotely quilting.  If it were a quilt, I could take out my angst by ripping out seams like the Incredible Hulk ripping his way out of his shirt.  Maybe that Tommy Jordan guy of YouTube fame had the right idea when he plugged his ungrateful daughter's laptop full of 45 caliber slugs.  Grrrrr!!

Co-Def #1 is on the cusp of teenage-dom and there're days when I'm fairly certain I should've eaten him at birth.  Today he informed his father and I that he's 'tired of being a slave'...we asked him (brace yourselves) to please put out the place settings for dinner.  Quick, someone alert CPS!  Wrong thing to say especially since I'm PMSing all over the place and packing enough hormones to level a third-world dictatorship.  But, I digress.

This post is actually about action, not words.  Every parent gets a tad, ahem, aggravated with the offspring and we wind up griping to our friends (or perfect strangers....thanks blog readers!) and nothing really gets done.  Not so this time.  Last week I finished up a mountain of laundry and doled out the parcels to the various family members with instructions to put 'em up where they belong.  To an adult (and my daughter) this is a fairly clear and simple task. 

Three days later, I found the neatly folded clothes in the bottom of #1's hamper, covered by dirty socks and boxers.  Picture steam coming out the ears of a cartoon character and you've got an idea of what I looked like.  Did I yell?  I think not.  Did I plot?  You bet your heinie!  I very calmly approached him, drummed up my cheeriest tone (side note here: if a Texas girl is talking to you with a cheery tone of voice and you know good and well she's mad, you should run like heck 'cause she is plotting her revenge) and said Guess what...Mom's gonna teach you something fuuuuuunnnnn!  His eyes twinkled as he contemplated what delights might be in store, silly silly boy, when I singsonged I'm gonna teach you how to do your own laundry!  



He folds...

He grouses...

He collapses in a heap...

If this makes me one of those Mean Moms, may I revel in it because dammit I'm tired of fishing dirty boxer shorts out from under the bed and wadded up sweatsocks that made their way through both the washing machine and dryer only to come out a smelly sodden mess because he's too 'busy' to be of a little help.  I'm not your friend, your maid or your banker.  I'm your Mama and as Ms. Aretha says R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Workshop #1

With Dear Hubby working today and Co-Defendant #1 spending the day with Papa building their model train layout, Mom and I decided it'd be a swell idea to get together at my house for a day of sewing.  The weather cooperated by being dreary, cold and wet..perfect quilting weather and Co-Def #2 cooperated by keeping herself occupied. 

Mom's decided to put together bags for expectant mothers that includes a small quilt and bib, so she spent the day figuring out a pattern that would work well for a diaper bag.  This is the prototype...

Sorry for the picture quality.  For some reason, my camera doesn't like yellow.  Anyway, the bag turned out really cute, but she decided it was too small (about 14x10) so #2 wound up with it to use as a bookbag.  The second bag she made was roughly double in size with a square bottom (of which she was particularly proud).  I didn't get a picture of it or the third bag she started on, but three bags in one day isn't too shabby at all if you ask me.

As for me, Lennie the Featherweight and I managed to knock out the rest of the airplane blocks for Seth's quilt.  I finally had to throw in the towel because my hands are killing me, but I still feel like I got a lot accomplished.  We decided that a weekend workshop was an idea worth repeating and look forward to doing it again soon.

Happy quilting, y'all! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here I Go...Again

Just when I thought I had plenty of those pesky airplanes for Co-Defendant #1's quilt, I came up with a brilliant idea to incorporate some of them into a border.  Sigh.  Sometimes my flashes of genius really wind up being one ginormous brain fart.

What you see above will be the center of the quilt.  It'll have red all the way 'round followed by a skinny border of navy.  The fart flash of genius will be the next step where I intend to alternate airplane blocks with solid blocks of cloud fabric...all circling their way around the entire quilt.  It'll need at least one more border but I'm waffling on thick or thin, solid or subtle pattern.  He should be out of college by the time it's done.

So what's left is for me to paper-piece another twenty airplane blocks. 

To keep myself from getting utterly bored (trust me, with this many blocks it doesn't take long) I have a couple of quilts that need the threads tied and clipped.  And binding.  And that hand-quilting thing I keep putting off.  And the new comforter my daughter wants me to make. 

*Bangs head on desk and commences weeping*  

Please pause for a moment of silence as I mourn the passing of my remaining sanity...

I'm linking up to WiP Wednesday at freshly pieced.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shoo, Cupid!

Several weeks ago Dear Hubby and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me:  You know, Valentine's Day is coming up in a couple of weeks...

DH: (silence, crickets chirping in the background)

Me:  I just want you to know, I don't want anything.  

DH:  Is this a trap?

Me:  No, just a card...only don't get me one with naked backsides on it like you did at Christmas.

DH:  Okaaay.  This will come back to haunt me, you know.

You'd think he'd be happy not to be schlepping to the grocery for a last minute pickup of wilted roses and picked-over cards...the Valentine equivalent of being the last kid chosen for a game of dodgeball.  This is the same man who will walk in the door in the evening, take one look at my face and say 'What did I do?'

DH is convinced that women live longer simply because we wear our men out by constantly keeping them  in fear of doing or saying the thing that will set. us. off.  Silly man!  I get my kicks by rearranging the kitchen cabinets then sitting back to watch him try to find stuff...big fun! 

So, what did we do for Valentine's Day?  DH and Co-Def #1 are at a basketball game while #2 and I are  at home enjoying the testosterone-free environment while it lasts.  I got a swell card from the kids and a naked-backsides-free card from DH, bless his heart.  My Mom brought the kids a yummy heart-shaped cake...

I keep telling them she wasn't this nice when I was a kid, but they don't believe me.  Who knew Grandmas could be so...conniving?

I did get myself something for the big, not chocolates, although the thought occurred.

This one, like the one I married, is a keeper. 

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

And Then There Were Four

In between all the hustle and bustle that is running a household, working, and yelling at my kids (and if you believe their story, this is what I do all. day. long), I managed to finish up my set of four extremely loud placemats.....yipppeeeeee!

The tops are all the same, but the that's a different story (hee-hee).

I'm so thrilled to get these done and be able to move on to the next project, which given their attitudes this morning, seems to be refereeing the children.  Have a great Friday!

I'm linking up to Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? from Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish It Up Friday from crazymomquilts

Happy quilting, y'all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday: February 8, 2012

Yep, it's one lonely placemat...the sum total of what I've accomplished since last Wednesday.  But one gal's lonely placemat is another's 'holy crap, look at all that quilty bounty!'  I confess, I really like handstitching my quilt binding.  Call it cathartic, my little slice of quilty Zen, my zero-calorie scrumptious fabric treat, call it weird.  Whatever!  It's progress and it's all good!  I even managed to work on it while cheering on my son's basketball team...stitch-cheer-scream at opposing team's coach to get off the court already-repeat.  How's that for multi-tasking?

The heart pattern is from Carol Doak's book Show Me How to Paper Piece.  Have I mentioned before how much I love paper-piecing?  Yeah, I thought so.  Some folks are really intimidated by it which gives me a chuckle because I can paper piece, people, how hard can it be?!? 

Here's a shot of the back...

Lollipops, anyone?  I also tried something a little different when I went to quilt these babies.  Instead of marking my lines with a pencil or disappearing marking pen, I used (drumroll, please) masking tape.  I learned two things by doing this:

1) You get nice, straight quilting lines without the worry of 'will the pencil/pen marks wash out'

2) Masking tape, even when you DON'T sew into it, gums up your needle and makes your stitches skip

So, will I be using it again...probably not.  Actually, no.  But it was worth a try, right?

On the home front, my son's school basketball team finally won a game...WHOOP!!!!

This is the only shot I'm allowed to show you, 'cause geez Mom it's like totally embarrassing since you're gonna put this on eBay and all.  I didn't have the heart to tell him it was my blog and not eBay...would anyone on planet Earth pay to put up with all his drama and sarcasm?  I think not.  I wonder where he gets it from? 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday? GACK!!

Let me be blunt...

I. HATE. FOOTBALL.  With a passion usually reserved for spiders and snakes.  Ya'll know I'm a huge hockey holds zero appeal.  I am grateful, however, that my home will not be Party Central for any sort of football revelry.  Dear Hubby's only request was for sandwiches and 7 layer dip and I happily accomodated him.  I thought it would be nice to make a pan of brownies to serve with ice cream for the kids.  THIS is what happened...

Do you know HOW this happens?

Need I say more?  Co-Def #2 swears she didn't do it, but when asked if they tasted good she squeaked out a pitiful yes.  DH was out mowing the grass and I was running errands.  It was either her or the dog (whom she kept trying to blame, I might add).  I imagine this is what the surface of the moon looks like, don't you, with all its craters.  Gee-ma-nee!

Brownie thievery aside, I've been busy at my sewing machine this weekend and am almost finished sewing the binding onto my placemats.  I can tack down the backside while waiting in the pickup line at school or during #1's basketball game on Tuesday.  Yay!  It feels so good to finally get something quilty accomplished!

Happy quilting, y'all!
P.S. It's now 7:54 pm Super Bowl Sunday and I'd just like to say OMG DAVID BECKHAM IN HIS TIGHTIE-WHITIES!   I loooooove Super Bowl commercials.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Success Depends On Your Perspective

I was starting to feel a tad down on myself because the urge to stitch seems to have abandoned me for a bit and this is FIUF, after all.  But, I said to myself, what else (if anything) have I managed to accomplish this fine Friday?  On that note, I give you my Non-Quilty version of Finish It Up Friday...

*I changed out the toilet seat in the front bath (hey, it's the little things, okay?)

*I walked 2 miles before picking up the Co-Defendants

*The dishwasher's emptied, the house is clean and the laundry's done...look quick 'cause it won't last

Which means I'll now have time to sew this weekend, guilt-free...and there's a ton of sewing to be done.  I keep a running list in my head of all the WIPs I want to complete hopefully before I die by year's end.

*Co-Def 1's airplane quilt

*Handquilting Mary Ellen's Sunflowers

*My obnoxiously colored placemats

Not to mention the Civil War quilt I haven't even started for my Dad.  I'm trying not to sweat it because it's a self-imposed deadline which in and of itself is just ridiculous.  Hopefully by this time next Friday, I'll have something fiber-related actually finished but for now, I'll be happy with what I've accomplished and call it good!  I'm linking up to Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts

Happy quilting, y'all!