Friday, January 27, 2012

Birthday Present...Done!

I confessed on Wednesday that I haven't been in much of a quilting mood lately.  Not sure if it's the crazy weather or the fact that I was in the process of coming down with a nasty cold.  All of which is to say I haven't gotten a whole lot done.  Last night, after it became apparent that my cold was now full-blown, Co-Def #2 decided she was going to take care of me: she propped me up on the sofa with a quilt, pillow and her favorite stuffed animal and proceeded to make me dinner.  Mind you, she's seven, so the make-mommy-feel-better-meal consisted of a diet soda (which she solemnly informed me killed her nails to open), dry ham sandwich and cheetos.  I couldn't taste a thing, but she sat beside me and rubbed my back and patted me and somehow I felt just a bit better.

So, this evening she has a birthday party to attend and I wasn't in any mood to buy yet another Barbie or My Pretty Pony.  And I just hate that I wind up spending almost as much on the gift wrap as I do the gift aggravating!  Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts had blogged about a pillow she'd made for a birthday party her daughter was attending.  What a cool idea...I have fabric, I can sew, looks pretty easy, and I won't have to leave the house to get it done. 

CONFESSION TIME:  Amanda Jean, I apologize profusely for stealing your awesomely awesome gift idea.  I should probably feel a little guilty, but it turned out so cute and my daughter's gushed over how much her friend will love it so I hope you're going to be supremely flattered rather than exceptionally put out that I copied you!

I found the tutorial on YouTube (where else?) from The Crafty Gemini.  The lady gave really good, clear instructions through the eight minute long video.  I embroidered the little girl's name by hand since my Featherweight doesn't do anything beyond a good old straight stitch.  It went together very quickly and I think it turned out really cute!  Crossing my fingers in hopes that she likes it.

I'm linking up to finish it up Friday with Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Progress (?)

Geez Louise, it's Wednesday again already?

I've made a little (very little, actually) progress on my set of placemats.  I managed to get all the paper backing pulled off the paper-pieced portions while trying not to nod off during the Barrett Jackson car auction my husband is so fond of watching.  Gaack!  I don't know which is worse, the tedium of removing all. that. paper or the auction itself.

In the end, I wound up with a nice mound of shredded paper and four placemat tops.  And everything lines up just so.  Sigh.  I do so love paper piecing!

I've only managed to get two of them quilted.  My excuse is that our household is in the midst of basketball season and I can't seem to get my schmidt together to get anything done around here lately between practices and games, not to mention appointments.  Okay, I'm done feeling sorry for myself.  Does anyone else feel like they should make like a bear and hibernate until spring or is just me?  Please, make me feel better and say it isn't just me!!! 

I did get one non-quilty project finished but can't post a picture yet because it's a gift.  I confess I totally stole the idea from Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts!!

Hope your progress is far better than mine..perhaps after basketball season is through I'll get my mojo back!

Happy quilting, y'all and I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at freshlypieced

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Doing the Quilt Crawl

Mom and I took off this morning to enjoy a workshop and quilt exhibits as part of The Great Bell County Quilt Crawl

I don't know about you, but I hear the word 'workshop' and my eyes tend to glaze over and it's tune-out time because the very word brings to mind a dry, interminably long lecture while perched on an impossibly hard chair.  At this workshop, we all learned how to make know, the little circles made of gathered fabric, not the bozos we date until we find Mr. Right.  Dr. Barnes also showed us how to make a folded variety which was kind of neat, too.  Each lady was given a kit with precut fabric circles, a threaded/knotted needle, small spool of thread and several completed examples of yo-yos...all for free!  What fun!!  Dr. B. suggested this would be a perfect project for sitting in front of the TV while hubby is watching a boring program.  Does she know my husband or what?!  This weekend happens to be Barrett-Jackson weekend and we're all bored to tears (except him, of course).   

The ladies showed off what you can actually do with these things...after all, I'm not making an entire quilt out of them.  Sorry for the blurry picture...there's a pinecone on the left, a pumpkin front and center and a turkey in the back.

Again, it's blurry, but I'm holding the turkey in my hand.  They made a clown, Christmas tree, brooches, many different items.  They also covered Valentine candy boxes in white yo-yos which my Mom thought would make a cute ringbearer's pillow for a wedding.

We saw so many beautiful quilts...

Lone Star of Texas or Bethlehem Star

The colors of the applique pieces come from dye made from nutshells and lily blooms


Pickle Dish...looks like a Double Wedding Ring only it has 'spikes' in the rings rather than squares

Then there were the quilts that showed the quilter's good 'ol sense of resoursefulness.  Run out of a certain shade of fabric?  No problem...just improvise.

The Crazy Quilts were spectacular...and someone out there had a quirky sense of humor!

This block says 'Wet or Dry...A Friend Am I'

They even had one from 1845.  Naturally, being a blonde, I neglected to get a picture of the entire thing.  Nope, I just honed in on the quilting.  We learned that the darker colors were generally cooked up in iron pots which, after so many years, begins to weaken the threads themselves.  The colors are still vibrant and the quilting!  This one featured three different quilting motifs...feathers(?), pineapple and wreath.

Like pictorial type quilts?  Then these are for you...

My Mom, who's never met a stranger, made the acquaintance of a quilt-restorer/historian who offered to do appraisals and an 'in-home' demonstration of restoration techniques for her and our quilting bee group.  Cool!  Ever heard the expression 'talked my ear off'?  Yep, that was the two of 'em!

We both had a blast and I hope you've enjoyed the pictures.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas in January!

My Louisiana neighbor and quilting pal, Betty P, recently let me know she had some leftover Christmas fabric in need of a home...was I interested? 

Was I interested?  Is a hog's butt ham?  Heck yeah!  So imagine my delight at finding this in my mailbox this afternoon.  I've always thought it was rather amazing that something good arrives in the mail when you need it most and today was no exception.

My daughter squealed Clothes!! while my son, noting that the package was squishy, pronounced straight-faced It's a squid.  Frankly, I don't get excited over either one.  Fabric on the other hand, now that's another matter altogether.

I restrained myself and didn't rip the package apart trying to get it open...mainly because I opened it in my front yard (for the photo op, of course) and it wouldn't look good for the neighbors to find out what a nut job I am.  I'll leave it to my children to warn the world.

Is this an awesome group of fabric or what?

There was also this bag of precut shapes...not sure what Miss Betty was up to with these but there's a significant amount of curved pieces in there.  They, too, have found a happy home...or at least a quilter wacky enough to give 'em a go!  Now, what to do with them?  Hmmm...

Yay me and many thanks to Miss Betty for her generosity!  And lest anyone asks What about your fabric diet? may I just say gifts and freebies don't count!  Nyahnyahnyah!!!

Thanks, really brightened my day.


Monday, January 16, 2012


It happens every evening, regular as clockwork or so the expression goes.  You'd think, by now, I would've learned to adapt and overcome, but I am by nature a slow learner.  Every day the thought will pop into my head in so many hours, we'll all be home together, tucked into our little house, just the four of us and the dog.  Peace at last will reign in my little corner of the universe and all will be well.

So, my shift ends and I commence ticking off chores on my to-do list until time to pick the Co-Defendants up from school.  Right now, Mondays and Wednesdays mean basketball practice after school; Tuesdays mean games.  And so our afternoons consist of some variation of homework-chores-eat-bathe-bed with some fun thrown in to appease the rampaging natives.  But somewhere in happens.  More specifically it happens when Dad walks through the door after a busy day at work.  And so begins, once again, the Co-Defs campaign to drive me out of my friggin' mind.  The louder, faster, grosser, more obnoxious the behavior, the better.  For them, bodily expulsions noises should rate as Olympic sport.  I have not raised them to be this is their father's fault.  I'm just stating this for future reference when they somehow, someway, someday find some poor schmuck to marry them, when aforementioned schmuck stands in front of me wanting to know who's responsible for this ghastly behavior, I can point to my spouse and say 'blame him!' I did my best.  It's almost like they've decided it's three ring circus time and DH is the ring master.  I suppose that makes me a clown, only I don't feel fact, I feel rather like a Stephen King version of clown. 

Does anyone else want to hide away like I do from all the fuss and furor that is evening time?  Some days, my thoughts will turn to the lowly turtle and I so envy him and his shell where he can tuck his head in and shut the world out!  Of course, should he wind up on his back, he's trapped...dinner for a scavenger or a hockey puck for a passing car.

I'm here now, earplugs firmly in place, enjoying the quiet, or at least trying to because I feel exceptionally guilty for eschewing the raucous sounds of my offspring in favor of that ever-fleeting smidgen of peace I so jealously guard.  No, I'm not having a toilet moment (eeeww!), but I am in the bathroom. 

Do other mothers feel this way or is it just me?

Occasionally, I'll catch a glimpse of our dog, Lulu in what I can only call a contemplative moment on her part.  Her dark soulful eyes gaze into mine and I swear I can hear her say 'You poor bastard, you need a shell'.


Get. A. Shell. Already!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Co-Defendants

My Fridays off are usually reserved for some serious one-on-one time with my Featherweight.  Today however has been spent huddled under a blanket...let's just say I feel icky and skip the details.  So, I spent my day channel flipping between episodes of 'Lockdown' and 'Gangland'...who knew the U.S. was filled with so many nefarious folks and thugs.

Anyway, I took this photo of the Co-Defendants a few days ago and wanted to share with anyone who stumbles onto my blog to know for now and all time that yes, my kids do occasionally get along and despite appearances to the contrary actually love one another.  Peace between these two tends to come under the heading of 'little to none', so if I can capture it for posterity, you better bet I'll be all over it.

Number 2 seems to be thinking quite a bit about her brother heading off to make his way in the world and leaving her here with The Parents...oh, the horror of it all!  Why this is even occurring to her at this point is kind of curious because Number 1 is only twelve!  At any rate, she's a tad territorial shall we say when it comes to her big brother.  I feel really sorry for his first girlfriend...or any of his girlfriends for that matter.  Geez, I'm betting having her for a sister-in-law will be worse than the dreaded mother-in-law...'cause after all, I'm a peach!!

On a side note, please pray for the quick recovery of Susan's husband as he recovers from a nasty automobile accident. 

Happy quilting, y'all!   

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Placemats WIP

I recently posed this question to a group of FB quilting friends:

Do people really use placemats anymore?

My only reply was from a friend and fellow blogger directing me to Google to look up various sizes of placemats to make (that was the second part of my burning question).  Other than her reply, nothing.  I don't know if people use them anymore or not, but I like them.  Plus, I had an abundance of mini-blocks crying out for a project.

I love the retina-scarring shade of pink polka dot fabric and the screaming green.  I'm fairly certain they don't whisper 'slow down and enjoy your veggies' so much as they screech 'eat more hot dog...faster, faster'.  Oh well, I have the best of intentions.

I chose some funky food related fat quarters for backing...

I like 'em!  Sure, as I gaze upon them now, it's a little jarring but let's face facts: my family practically inhales dinner so they won't be sticking around too long to be totally blinded.  And I have plenty of sunglasses.

I did manage to finish something since last week...yeah, me!  My Halloween table topper is finally finished and safely tucked away for me to forget about its existence use next year.

I'm linking to WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced.

Happy quilting, y'all!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tortoise or Hare?

Ask me how long it's been since I started working on this piece and I won't be able to tell you because I haven't got the foggiest notion.  Funny how now that the holidays are through, I want to work on gifts and goodies where before it just didn't have much appeal.  So depending on your perspective, I'm either really far behind or shockingly far ahead.  What do you think?

The pattern, Crazy Jack, is from pieces from my heart and used one Pumpkins Gone Wild charm pack from Moda and came with the extra wide rick rack for the mouth.  I'm going to use it as a table topper, mainly because who knows how long it'd take me to make a hanging sleeve.  Speed is not my forte. 

Oh, I see the pattern copyright date now...2008.  Gulp.  Golly, it doesn't seem like it took quite that long to make.  Sigh.  Does anyone else quilt like they're a tortoise or are the rest of y'all like the hare?

I'm linking to FIUF from Crazy Mom Quilts.

Happy quilting, y'all!

P.S.  Don't forget to leave your comment on the Birthday Giveaway post if you'd like a chance at the tablerunner pattern and fabrics.  I'll pick a name on Monday the 9th.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Small Blog Meet

I'm linking to Lily's Quilts and her Small Blog Meet for blogs with a smaller following.  Come join me and other bloggers as we get to know one another through the blogosphere!

Happy quilting, y'all!

2011 A Quilting Review

I'm beginning to understand that a year is a lot like a growing child.  One minute, it's newborn..all pink and fresh and sweet smelling and the next it's kind of a stinky, moody pre-teen boy.  Yep, now you get the picture of what we're dealing with in our house!!

I completed a total of 20 quilts for charity this year, ranging in size from child to lap...

And there's still plenty left over to keep me busy well into hand quilting this antique beauty

I'm slowing it down a bit this year and going for larger quilts rather than quantity.  What's on your quilting 'plate' for this year?  Have you already got a new project in mind?

I'm linking to Lily's Quilts.

Happy quilting, y'all!