Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nothing to See Here. No, Really, I'm Serious.

I've got so many projects, in so many different stages and only one mini-quilt completed.  I can never die.

I'm working on binding for two quilts...almost finished tacking that down.

I made this little paper-pieced block for a friend's 41st birthday and embellished it with some hand-drawn doodles and awesome backing fabric which my co-workers really enjoyed!!  If you ask me where the pattern came from, I'll lie and say Carol Doak 'cause I just can't remember.

The next two pictures are possibilities for all those stinkin' Thangles I finally finished--have I mentioned the package makes 450 half-square triangles.  (Note: That last little bit was uttered in a high-pitched shriek bordering on hysteria.  No I haven't had my days...and days...and days.)

I'm thinking two borders for each:  one skinny and one with a little more heft.  Ugh, that sounds like me and my daughter standing side by side!  Anyway, you get the picture.  And can you believe it, I have enough of those damn darling HSTs left to make about 20 pinwheel blocks for another quilt.  One Thangles package down, eleven more to go.  Where's the Xanax?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seven Is Heaven!

If the name Selena Gomez doesn't ring a bell, don't feel bad.  No one at Paige's birthday party today knew either...of course, all attendees save one, were adults and everyone under the drinking age knows 'adult' is synonymous with 'you wouldn't know cool if you shoved your face into a snowdrift'.  For the record, she's a singer/actress and Paige absolutely adores her show The Wizards of Waverly Place.  Pardon me while I gag, but at least it's better than Justin Bieber and that awful purple dinosaur, Barney.  But not by much.

I couldn't find a bakery in town to make a cake to match her theme and, being utterly un-hip and totally clueless, I had no idea on how to make one.  When it comes to magic and food, my only trick is to make the dish in question disappear into my mouth.  Thank goodness for helpful suggestions on the back of the cake mix box.  I don't think they turned out too bad and no one's complaining of stomach cramps...yet.

And, as you can see, I didn't leave the dog out of the celebrating, either!  Nothing tops a cupcake quite like a dog biscuit.

Big brother, that would be Seth, not the government, was thrilled that she got her very own Nintendo DS so she'd quit pestering him to play his.  Thanks to Gramma and Papa for the Plants vs Zombies game.  I love it!  She loves it!  And Gramma, being the sweetheart she is, let her have the Minnie Mouse DS case and stylus.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

For 'P'

A therapist once told me I shouldn't label my children because they'll live up or down to the expectations that go along with it, but to me, she's still my 'baby'.  She is, today, a seven year old.  She wanted to know all the details about that day, but to be frank, I'm lucky I remember her birthweight and name.  And to confess that I was ever so grateful to get her the heck outta there just doesn't seem very...maternal.  You may be June Cleaver, but I lean more toward Roseanne.  Just sayin'!

She'll probably never let me live down the fact that I did that Alfalfa from The Little Rascals thing to her hair, but it was either that or the Donald Trump comb-over.  Personally, I thought it was rather clever (and my Granmommie was delighted that she had red hair).  Alas, this is one of the few pictures I have of her wearing pink.  Lord, save me from this tomboy!

I don't recall the terrible twos or threes, so all this Little Miss Attitude I'm getting now must be payback.  Wherever does this child get her sarcastic streak?  Dear Hubby says he'll be forced to offer one of his hot rods as her dowry 'cause she's so stinkin' onery no sane man will marry her.  I often remind him that she and I are alot alike and that I myself got a great catch in him just by being my sweet self...he does his smirk thing and keeps his mouth shut.  Bless his heart.

The hair's more blonde now than red, but the temper and hard-headedness that supposedly go along with it, remain (she gets that from her Daddy), but to be fair and a tad more positive, she's the most determined human I've ever met and utterly fearless.  Just when I think I'm all set to pinch her head off, she throws her arms around me and says 'You're the best Mom EV-ER!  I love you, Mama' which makes me ever so grateful I didn't eat her at birth (sniff).

And so, to my sweet 'P' I say remember this:  Mama will always love you no matter what (just tell that little schmidt 'R' to keep his lips to himself) and that no matter what anyone else may say, Mama thinks you're the bomb!  I love you 'P'.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Curse You, Thangles!

I cannot begin to convey how much I detest the act of pressing anything.  That is why I wear clothes that go from the dryer to being neatly folded in my dresser.  And, yes, if you pull stuff outta the dryer fast enough, you don't have to press it me on this one.  (Hint: if an item's a tad too wrinkly, hang it up while  taking a steamy shower...the wrinkles will magically disappear.  And as added bonus, if you stay in there too long, your husband might join you--yes, I am rolling my eyeballs here).  I don't mind my crow's feet, why should slightly rumpled pants be any different?

I spent two hours today doing nothing but pressing open two hundred and sixteen of my Thangles squares.  Is it any wonder I could bite the head off a sixteen-penny nail?!?!  My daughter, enamored as she is of my bottles of spray starch, helped me by spritzing each one and I still can't get the darn things to lay flat.  This may be due to the fact that I have to rip the paper off the back of each of the little suckers-oh, joy!

I must say, they are rather cute even as they lay there mocking me, as if to say 'Why, yes ma'am, we do reproduce while you're sleeping'.  It's like the quilt-world equivalent of getting the middle finger.  A single package of Thangles makes a grand total of 450 of these babies.  And here I thought it was the kids that'd send me over the edge.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Giveaway winner...Name My Quilt!

I do so loathe trying to come up with names for my quilts...somehow, 'Thank you, Lord, I'm done' just doesn't seem to cut it, so they usually wind up nameless!  I had two suggestions on the blog for naming the junk food/veggie combo quilt in honor of my Nana, Cleo.  I came up with 'Sweet Memories'.

Here's P drawing the winner's name....

It's Shifra AND Etty from Quilting Corner!  Come on you think with TWO comments for the post I'm gonna make the kid CHOOSE?!?  

So, now you ladies have to decide: 'mild' or 'wild' fabric?

E-mail me at to let me know your preference.  And many thanks for your input...Nana would be tickled pink! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mary Ellen's Sunflowers

My Dad's mother, Ruth, was quite the storyteller when it came to family history.  I can't recall yesterday, but Granmommie could recollect back to when Noah loaded up the ark with the kids and livestock, what everyone was wearing, how the cows invaded the lions' space and that so-and-so's lumbago started acting up 15 minutes into the trip.  I'm telling you, the woman could remember everything.  She'd frequently begin a reminiscence with 'Now, I'm sure you've heard this story leventy-seven (or a hunnerd) times...'.  For those who cannot speak Texan (or maybe that's just hick), 'hunnerd' is 100 and 'leventy-seven' is a whole helluva lot.  But, I digress.  

My grandparents, Edward and Ruth, at our wedding

In all my time with her, I never heard her mention quilts.  There was cross-stitch, embroidery, tatting and crochet..but no quilting.  So, it came as a surprise after she and Grandad passed away, that my Mom and Aunt unearthed a number of quilts and quilt tops.  Probably not a surprise to them, but to one who can't remember her kids' names (I only have two kids), it was a surprise.  After dividing them up, Mom gave me several from her stack.  The prevailing opinion is that my great-grandmother, Mary Ellen, made these quilts although, no one's absolutely certain because none of the quilts have a label.

My great-grandparents, Jesse and Mary

This is where it (finally) gets interesting.  Mom also brought forth a gorgeous hand-pieced and appliqued top of what I'll gingerly describe as orange sherbet and mint green.  The appliqued sunflowers are dimensional, although it's kind of hard to tell from the pictures.  It was stored with the backing fabric...all it needs is to be quilted.

Can you hear the JAWS theme music yet?  Da-dum, Da-dum, DUMDUMDUMDUM!  Yep, this is the point at which my Dear Mother says 'It just wouldn't be right to machine quilt this and since you've already hand-quilted one before....'  You know, if you put a 'B' on the end of 'da-dum' you get 'da-dumb', as in 'da-dumb girl couldn't say no'. 

While I must agree that only hand-quilting will do, my poor hands haven't recovered from my last foray into that arthritis-inducing, back-killing art known as hand-quilting.  Plus, I've no idea what quilt motif/style to use here.  So, it's sat all this time, waiting for someone to get the lead out and finish it.  I admit, I am scared to death to quilt this thing.  What if I choose the wrong style, what if my stitches look like crap, how long is it gonna take?  Nope, no pressure here!  Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thangled Up in a Jelly Roll

For some reason I've acquired multiple packages of Thangles, those little paper strips that come in 15 different widths (from 1/2" to 6") that supposedly make the process of creating half-square triangles so much easier.  They were taunting me this weekend along with my obscenely large collection of Jelly Rolls (the fabric strips, not the fat..thanks for asking). 

The directions are fairly straightforward: layer two strips of fabric, one light and one dark, cut 1/2" wider than your desired finish size with right-sides together.  Jelly Roll strips are 2 1/2" inches wide.  I used 2" wide finished-size Thangles.  How's that for using the old noodle, eh? 

The directions show you where to pin the whole strip together, but speaking from experience, I can tell you to pin the thing into submission until it squeals like a schoolgirl, otherwise the fabric will shift, resulting in much cursing and gnashing of teeth.  Not from me, mind you, 'cause ya'll know I don't do that sh*t, I mean schmidt, I mean crap.

Commence with the chain-piecing...I do so love to zip through strip after strip..on the dotted lines.  An alcoholic beverage made this go lots it illegal to SWD (sew while drinking)? 

Cut the strips apart on the solid lines...

And press those babies open.

This is what I've got so far...looks impressive, doesn't it?  (Insert eye-roll here)

And THIS is what's left (sigh).  The package makes 450 HST (cringe and a gulp), but I've endeavored to persevere.  I rather like working with the heck out of tracing pencil lines on the wrong side, etc, etc.  I wonder if I could teach a kid to pin them for me....hmmm.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Number Eight....?

I'm well over halfway to my 2011 Quilting Goal....12 quilts in 12 months.  This is number 8.

It's lap-sized, perfect for keeping cozy while sitting in a recliner with cup of coffee.

The backing fabric I got from Mom during one of her sewing room sweep-out sessions.  I've got two quilts ready for me to tack down the binding (I sew it down by machine and finish the other side by hand) and binding cut and ready for two more.

Happy quilting!

P.S.  After pulling my head out and going back and actually counting  I discovered this is actually number nine.  Pardon me, but I never said math was my strong suit.

Name My Quilt

Contrary to what I was beginning to believe, I can still quilt.  It seems like ages since I've let myself sit down and actually work on something rather than casting a critical eye on my sewing corner and wanting to hurl at all the mess.  I'd probably be a much nicer Mommy if I sewed at least a few minutes a day.

This quilt I'd had on my Mom's machine for months, trying to get it quilted.  I tried, I really did, to go with something different than 'meandering'.  I got about halfway through the quilting and just lost my mojo.  And so, it sat...and sat...and sat. 

The Saturday after my Nana passed away, I stood again at the machine trying to force my way through when I realized it just wasn't gonna happen.  Apparently, quilting and grief do not go well together for me.  Quilting is supposed to be uplifting and relaxing, or so I'm told, and this simply wasn't fun.  So I said screw it...and went 'meandering'.

I'm trying to come up with a name for this's got a bit of everything: junk food, fruit, veggies and a mixed medley of quilting motifs.  I'm drawing a blank, so if anyone has a suggestion...I'll pay you in fabric.  If you're so inclined, leave me a comment with your suggestion...I'll pick a winner on the first day of summer, June 21st.

Happy quilting!! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Alone in the Studio Goodies

Yesterday, my lowly mailbox yielded a wonderful package of goodies from Ali of Alone in the Studio. 

Thirty-eight gloriously colored, wacky patterned 10" squares, all packaged with a nice note from Ali thanking me for visiting the blog...which is AWESOME, by the way.  I have no idea what these babies will become, but I'm hot on the trail of a suitable pattern or idea.  Anybody have a suggestion?