Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Finishes!

This week's finishes are of the actual quilting (no piecing!) variety.

I finished up the quilting on the pinwheel quilt I'd started awhile know, the one where I ran out of backing.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I didn't quilt over the pinwheels themselves and I really like how it turned out.

My second finish is a panel to which I added a wide border.  I used it mainly as a practice piece for my quilting which turned out to be a little squirrelly, but it's cute.

Check out what other quilters are working on at Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and AmyLouWhoSews.

Happy quilting, y'all!


Time to brag just a little bit...

Co-Defendant #1 placed 2nd in Listening Skills in the private schools UIL competition today!

Yes, you read that right, a male of the species won a ribbon for his listening skills.  I will save the ribbon forever and eternity if only to show it to his future bride!  He is waaay proud of himself and actually asked that I show his smiling face.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Woo WIP Wednesday

You know the line from Raspberry Beret by Prince where he sings I was busy doin' somethin' close to nothin', but different than the day before...?

That's a fairly accurate description of my sewing week.  I've managed to start strip piecing a Jelly Roll (hold your applause, please) but, I've spent plenty of time gazing and, okay, fondling the fabric stash so it's not a total waste.

Here's my secret WIP...sorry, no details yet.

I believe this is the Spring Memories line, but if you're gonna quote me you might be disappointed as my memory is something of a steel sieve rather than a trap.

Other than that, my biggest accomplishment has been to abandon my Facebook page.  I love technology as much as the next gal, but I don't think folks will miss me too much.  Besides, I'll have more time to play on my blog now...heehee!

Having a quilting slowdown in your neck of the woods or are you puttin' the pedal to the metal?

Link up to WiP Wednesday at freshly pieced and let others know what's up with you!

Happy quilting, y'all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Color Me Aggravated

I so enjoy sharing with others the crazy crap my children pull, usually at school...and then I go and do something stupid all on my own.  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  Sigh.

So, I was basking in the glow after cutting out ten quilt backs over Spring Break and finally managed to get one on the machine Saturday...yay me!

Just a portion of the 7 million HST I made from Thangles

I was really feeling the quilting mojo here

So, tell me what's wrong with THIS picture...

Yes, the backing is a full inch and a half too short.  Why, you may ask.  If only I had an answer.  I employed the measure twice, cut once philosophy but apparently for those of us in the Gifted and Talented category of quilters, it should be measure thrice cut once and then go get an adult to check your measurements.

So, I'm now in the process of piecing a strip to the backing and then it's back to the machine.  I'm hoping this is the only one of the bunch.  Then again, karma is not kind.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grow Up And Hold Your Horses

Today's installment of Friday finishes is a tad bit of quilting with a heavy dollop of kid.

First, the dollop.  By now, you probably know I refer to my kids mostly by the shared moniker of 'The Co-Defendants'.  They have names that I occasionally use on this blog and I few I use only under my breath...schmitty mommy that I am.  Anyhoo, Seth, that would be Co-Defendant #1, had a checkup the other day in which he sauntered back to the waiting room and informed me, rather smugly, that he was now 5 foot 2 inches tall.  Do what?!  I'm 5 ft 5 1/2. 

He's twelve and wears skis for tennis shoes. 

Now, you might be thinking Criminy woman, would you get to the quilting point already but let me stop you here and say...patience, Grasshopper, patience.

He was my 4 lb 1 ounce, 17 1/2 inches long little bundle of joy that brought me gifts even before he arrived...yes, I am referring to morning sickness and stretch marks, but gifts nonetheless.  Go to the grocery and pick up one of those 4 lb packages of sugar and that's how much he weighed.  He was a newborn yesterday and now he's almost thirteen.  Pass the Xanax!

Gone now are thoughts of Would you grow up already! to be replaced by Hold your horses!  I am entirely too young and fabulous for him to be that old, not to mention that tall.  He's my baby, he's not supposed to be able to look me in the eye.  I snark at him to eat healthy so he'll grow taller and catch up to his Dear Sweet Mother...he's still probably wondering who she is.  Geez, Mom it's only three more inches he says.  It's three AND A HALF came my reply.  The little darling.

This picture isn't quite accurate since the little toot's slouching, but he's almost got me.  Handsome devil isn't he?  He gets it from his mother.  Okay, and Dad, too.  He'd never be one to stir up trouble, not with that angelic face.  Did I mention I'm now a pioneer at his school (hangs head in hands).  Don't ask, just pray.  Really, really, really hard.

Okay, now for the quilting.  I have the most miniscule finish in the History of Ever.

I got this paper-piecing kit (admit it, you're shocked that it's yet another paper-pieced project) in a goody bag from a quilt retreat way back and thought how cute it was and what fun it would be to make.  Apparently, the giver knew something I didn't since it was passed along complete with fabric.  I won't tell you what I think this looks like because what I think is just plain tacky (smirk) and it was the biggest waste of time.  Whoever came up with the pattern needs to be taken out back and given a good old-fashioned whoopin'!  It finished at roughly the size of a mug rug and my Mom thought the addition of the dragonfly button really 'made it'.  Not sure if this is her polite way of saying That's really ugly and I'm just trying to be nice or what.  At this stage, I'm not sure I'll make its companion or not.  We shall see.

So what've you been working on this week?  Check out these fun links at Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Amy Lou Who.

Happy quilting, y'all! 

And remember, it's three AND A HALF inches...just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WiP Wednesday

It's been slow going, but there's progress on Co-Defendant #1's airplane quilt.  Picture me doing Snoopy's happy dance.  The main bulk of it (all those damn darling paper-pieced planes) has been completed along with the red sashing and the first of four, yes I said four, borders.  I've been working on picking off the paper backing, which is almost as fun as watching car bumpers rust, and even got a little help from #2.

This is her 'Don't take my picture' face

The next border will be made up of leftover plane blocks (more paper picking...yay!) alternating with cloud fabric.  I'll be orienting the blocks so they look to be circling the quilt.

Want to check out what others are working on this week?  Check out WiP Wednesday at freshly pieced.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tap-Dancing Tuesday

I love finding items that make me smile, especially when they're made specifically for kids.  Somehow being  an adult in possession of what is usually considered kid stuff just brings out my sneaky inner child.  Who can resist something you know wasn't intended for boring old adults?

I was rounding up items for the kids' Easter baskets this afternoon, when lo and behold...sewing inspired erasers.  How fortuitous, squeals Sneaky Me!

Good grief, I need to vacuum

A couple of spools of thread, a dress form and a tiny sewing machine.  Do you think I'm turning these babies over to a kid so they can be ground into oblivion...perish the thought!

And to top off my day, what did I find waiting in my mailbox?  SQUEAL!!

It's the new book out by Amanda Jean from crazy mom quilts!  If you've never checked out her blog (whatdya livin' under a rock?), go here

Happy quilting, y'all!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Random Musings of My Daughter

I thought I'd share pictures of our little corner of the world along with a few interesting tidbits gleaned from a week with my daughter. 

* Leprechauns are one foot tall and weigh about two pounds which is good to know if you're gonna wrestle one for that pot 'o gold at the end of the rainbow.

* One mustn't snicker at imaginary friends because it hurts their feelings.  Millie the Mermaid is peeved at me...I hope she isn't dating a leprechaun.

* Potential lunchbox candidates must be closely scrutinized for 'features'...her word, not mine.

* You can't appreciate the wildlife and beautiful flowers from a car...take a walk.

*Running is good for you.

* Take time to talk to the flowers...they appreciate the attention.

* Smile, laugh, repeat.

* Take time to stoop to pick up pennies because they really add up.  She's donating her's to a charity through the school.

Happy St. Paddy's Day from Texas!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break Finish

Whew, I made it!  Another Spring Break successfully completed without parental meltdown or trip to the local emergency room...I am The Mominator!  (For some reason this doesn't bring to mind Arnold as the Terminator, but rather Dom DeLuise in Gumball Rally...can you tell what DH likes to watch?)  In betwixt train ride, zoo, movie and endless in-and-out-the-backdoor-trips (I'm considering in all seriousness a revolving door to the backyard), I still managed to get a lot of sewing and crafty stuff accomplished this week.

And yes, I kept a tally...did you doubt it?

* Ten quilt backs cut/pieced

* Two New York Beauty blocks made

* One quilt top completed

* Two kids doors decorated...what, you thought their names really were Co-Defendant #1 and #2?

* Two sojourns to quilt shops...screw that New Year's resolution!

And all without benefit of Xanax or alcohol...but a heckuva lot of chocolate and caffeine.  Damn I'm good!

I'm linking to crazymomquiltsWhoop Whoop Friday, and amylouwhosews.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fort Worth Zoo And A Quilt Shop, Too

DH drove the family to the Fort Worth Zoo yesterday as part of our Spring Break adventures.  How do people drive, day in and day out, in traffic like that?  Makes me grateful we live in a smaller community and don't have to deal with all that, although DH says five o'clock is a nightmare...eek!

Anyway, I'll spare you pictures of the animals (I mean, how many different shots of lions, tigers, and zebras can one person possibly stand?).  And let's just say amor was in the air for the inhabitants.  I haven't covered the kids' eyes that much since the last scary movie we watched!  But I will show you pics of my sweet family...yes, contrary to what I may occasionally lead you to believe, they are relatively sweet individuals.

Co-Def #2 riding the carousel

#2 and I on the Yellow Rose

DH and Co-Def #1 enjoying the train ride back to the entrance

I love the last picture...the chick in the background has that deer-in-the-headlights expression..bless her heart!

DH topped off the day by braving the metallic honking masses to get me, his sweet darling bride, to a quilt shop.  I assured him he could take the Co-Defendants elsewhere to avoid the dreaded I'm bored, but he assured me with traffic like that, he wasn't budging!  It was the worst 45 minutes of his life ;)  Thank goodness I didn't take any longer or medical intervention may have been necessary!

Happy Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Week in Quilting

I'm so excited it's Wednesday and I actually have a fair amount of quilty stuff marked off my to-do list to show for it!

I started the week by cutting and/or piecing backing fabric for a total of nine quilt tops and tried my hand at a couple of New York Beauty blocks.

I'm currently working on finishing up a Christmas top I started, oh....about five years ago!  It still needs the top and bottom borders and then voila! it'll be ready for quilting, too.  Here's Co-Def #2 doing her best Vanna White imitation.

We spent the day in Fort Worth visiting the zoo and DH battled his way through traffic, bad drivers and horrid mapquest directions to get me to a quilt shop.  Did I marry myself a winner or what?

I'm linking up with freshly pieced for WiP Wednesday.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beauty or Beast?

I took the plunge last night and tried out a New York Beauty block with mixed results.  Since I am somewhat acquainted with curved piecing, I figured this block would be a cinch.  Ah, stupid, stupid girl.

The paper pieced spikes were no big deal, but the directional fabric came back to bite me (and even my grandmother's adage 'they'll never notice it on a galloping horse' would not apply here no matter how much I'd like for it to) and there's not enough contrast in my selections.  Lessons learned.

So today, between piecing more backing fabric (will it ever end?) and with the kids riding the rails with Gramma and Papa, I decided I'd try again.  I like it, I like it alot. 

I can envision it in blues, greens, purples.  Would I make an entire quilt out of this block?  Probably not, but with the right combination of Xanax and wine there'd be a distinct possibility.  But never say never, right? it Beauty or is it Beast?  From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it's a Beauty.  From an assembly standpoint, let's just say Beast is the nicer term I could use.  Smile.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Mom's Mini-Retreat

Yesterday, after being abandoned by Co-Def #1 and with Co-Def #2 otherwise occupied, I managed to get backing fabric cut and/or pieced for a whole stack of quilt tops.  I tacked each one with a sticky-note that says 'I'm waiting!' so maybe it'll inspire me to hurry up and get 'em quilted.

There's still two left needing backing, one that needs borders sewn on and two needing threads tied off and clipped.  Any volunteers?  (Crickets chirping...)  Well, okay, be that way! 

Now, you might think that all that productivity was fueled by copious quantities of caffeine...not so, my quilting friends.

Hoo-rah for the Belgians!

About 10:30 last night I got a wild hair to try my hand at a New York Beauty block...fueled by all that Godiva sugar, no doubt.  I'm not sure how much is Beauty and how much is Evil Stepsister, but I did alright if I do say so myself.

I learned a very important something about this pattern also...directional fabrics aren't a good choice.

Well, it's back to the salt mines for me.  Oh, all this free time for quilting is such a burden!!

Happy quilting, y'all! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break Here We Come!

My grandmother had a poem on her refrigerator that went like this...

Spring has sprung,
The grass has 'ris.
I wonder where
The flowers is?

Guess you have to be a redneck to appreciate the grammer, but I always liked it. 

Spring is definitely making itself felt here and while the rain has cleared out, it's left our backyard nice and swampy...which means no Spring Break camping for Mom and the Co-Defendants...double YAY BOO!  But the good Lord has blessed us with wonderful sunshine and warmer temperatures so we aren't complaining.  Well, Mom's not.

Dear Hubby will be off work a few days to be with us this week and we have exciting things planned, but nothing like last year...what was I thinking!  My folks are taking the Co-Defs on a train ride and I'll have a few hours to myself.  I'll try to cope.  Really, I will.  Heehee!!  I'm NOT jumping up and down and doing my happy dance.

#1 has already abandoned his sister and I to spend the day model-railroading with know, we girls just aren't cool.  #2 helped me measure all the quilt tops I've completed so far this year.  EGAD!!  Do I ever need to get a move-on and get those babies quilted!

She's modeling the 36-patch quilt-along top I completed waaaay back.  Check out Amanda Jean's site Crazy Mom Quilts for all the details.

Happy Spring quilting, y'all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Box Is My Friend

I confess: I HATE CHANGE.  There, I said it.  Whenever I hear someone roll out that tired line Think outside the box I have an overwhelming urge to give 'em a good smack and yell Snap out of it!

Maybe it's not change, so much as innovation that I have a problem with.  I like thinking inside the box where there's structure and order.  Outside the box is chaotic and there's gnashing of teeth.  No thanks.  I like following someone else's pattern and yes, I like quilt kits with their tidy all-togetherness so neatly packaged and sometimes tied with a bow.  Sue me.  Is it laziness...lack of creative sensibilities...or just simply expedient?  I don't know and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

However...(you knew that was coming, didn't you?)

I forced myself the other night to sit down and just sew.  I opened up a scrap box and slapped stuff together willy-nilly just to see what I'd come up with.  Behold...

I came up with two oddly sized crazy blocks and a case of Quilter's Hives.  I'm not a fan of either one.  Maybe if I make several hundred more I'll start to see the appeal of just winging it.  Then again, maybe I should bang my head repeatedly against a hard surface. 

I'm linking up to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!?  and Finish It Up Friday.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stickin' It To The QP

I've heard of the Quilt Police but haven't ever actually met one of their rank...or maybe I just wasn't paying attention.  This might also explain why I'm not currently wearing neon and living behind bars.

Charming lass, isn't she?  Looks like she could bite the head off a 16-penny nail. 

She's intended to be a hanging of some sort, but I thought she looked better like this...

I debated between rice and crushed walnut shells...if she starts sprouting we'll know I didn't choose wisely.  As she is now suits my mood just fine and it's been very cathartic stabbing her with my butterfly-head pins.  Scary, ain't it?

Even though she's a whipped WIP, I do believe I'll link up to WiP Wednesday at freshly pieced

Happy quilting, y'all and if you run into me, beware...I still got a lotta pins left ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Week Thus Far

I know, I know it's only Monday but if this is what the rest of the week's gonna be like I'll have to break out the Xanax...again.

Paige and I dropped in on a new church yesterday.  I am a terrible mother.  We read Bible stories, we have long discussions about what Jesus would want us to do, but we don't go to church and I often ask myself if God's everywhere why go to church.  Well, duh you heathen (I'm saying this to myself, mind you) it's about community...everyone's slogging through the same slime and in a church family you've got someone to lean on that's been there, done that.  It was a lovely sermon, the people welcoming and the music very nice.  And I got to have Communion which I haven't in ages.  I guess I should be grateful the place didn't cave in on me.  In addition to the scripture lesson, I learned something it a life-lesson if you will.  Hugs from church ladies are like contractions: they gather in frequency, are inevitable and you best just roll with 'em.  I got my fair share yesterday, from total strangers...and it was nice :)

I'm guessing that yesterday was the slow build-up to the absolutely craptastic day I had today.  I'm sorry folks, but it sucked monkey nuts!  I'm standing there in my little corner of hell when the phone rings and the voice intones Mrs. Bowen.  This is it, the-just-lay-it-on-me-and-finish-me-off to what had been nothing but a series of sucky events.

I started crying.  Yes, I am a sissy.  A smart-aleck, but a sissy nonetheless.

As it turns out, it was (brace yourselves) GOOD NEWS!  An anonymous donor had paid half the kids school tuition for the next month.  O. M. Golly-gee!  Didn't I get the note he wanted to know.  Why, no, I didn't because it's probably in the bottom of #1's backpack but I'll take it anyway...WHOHOO!!

So, after we hung up I proceeded to really bawl like a baby.  Sissy.

In my mailbox this afternoon was a lovely bundle of fabric happiness from my blogging buddy Miss Betty in Louisiana.

The bulk of it is already cut into strips and I'm plotting a Christmas-y jelly roll type quilt already...heehee!  Thank you, Betty!

I firmly believe there is a God (that's a capital G, by the way) and that He speaks to me.  For some reason, I've always waited for a big, booming voice and a Gibbs from NCIS-style head smack when all the while, He's whispering and tapping me on the shoulder.  The events of the week so far prove that He's all about the little big fireworks display for Him and that I need to pay closer attention.  So, I'll start my week by saying thanks to Him for sending blessings our way everyday even when I'm too thick-headed to notice and to our family's anonymous benefactor and to Miss Betty for her well-timed care package.

Please remember in prayer my Quilting Corner friends who've lost a special friend, Renee B and remember too that it really is the little things that make a big difference whether you think so at the time or not. 

Your friendship means the world to me, you guys.  Thanks.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Day Another Finish

It's a fine March morning here in Central Texas...the sun is shining with enough chill in the air to make Lulu our Boxer frisky.  My husband's trying to roast us in here...he's freezing, I'm sweltering. know I am getting to that age.  I see lots of layered clothing in his future.

I managed to finish this quilt top last night, but fell asleep before I could get it posted.  I call it Play Money because it reminds me of the Stacked Coins pattern with a fun and funky kid-type print that makes me think of Monopoly money.  The print is leftover from a quilt kit I purchased way back..and there's still loads left over for something else.

Which reminds me of my New Year's know, the one about no buying of fabric or patterns for 2012.  Yep, that one's endured the test of time....NOT!!  I'm throwing in the fat quarter and amending it to spend less on my hobby in 2012.  The ladies at the quilt shop have been kind enough not to say anything about it to me...thanks, girls!

A big welcome to my new followers...thanks for finding something fun and interesting here!  My son will soon be a teenager and there are plenty of quilting projects left to tackle so I'm sure there'll be plenty of fodder for future posts.  Stay tuned.

I'm linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Co-Defendant Style

I rushed through the front door this afternoon to hear the teacher's voice leaving a message on our answering machine.  Oh, the unbridled joy!  I quickly snatched up the phone, sat down and said with resignation 'I'm here...what's going on'.  Yes, I have a PhD in Scholastic Interpersonal Relationships.  Does this make me a crappy mother that I expect the worst, or what? 

The voice on the other end cheerfully (dare I say she chirped) explained that it was good news...didn't all parents like to get good news? she asked.  Well, heck yes, but it's just never been in regard to one of my kids.

She used words like conscientious, good listener, role model, mature.  You know, words that have heretofore never applied to my son.  I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the 'however...' but it never came.  I replayed what was on the answering machine to him when he got home.  It rated a smirk and a grunt.  (Insert twirled finger and 'big whoo' uttered in a thoroughly bored tone here)

Apparently, he's growing up (fist pump and sniffle) and she just wanted to let me know how well he was doing.