Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm baaaack ...

But just barely - I feel sorta hung over right now!

I arrived home this morning around 3:15 - my connecting flight out of Las Vegas was delayed a half hour AND it was overbooked.  The "gate-keeper" asked if two people would give up their seats in exchange for a rescheduled flight next day (today), a $300 voucher, and the cost of your ticket to be used at any time...hmmmmm.  Almost kinda tempting, but not doable for me!

When I left on my cruise, my brother in law had been in hospital with multiple symptoms for about 2 weeks; my sister didn't want to say the "C" word but it was understood he would more than likely have to go through chemo.

I was planning to finish this quilt for him, with fleece on the back to use during the chemo treatments because fleece feels really good.   Well, I called my sister soon as we docked in Seattle to check on his condition; sadly, he passed away on Friday.

Soooo.... I have to get myself rested up and prepare for a trip to New Jersey, probably leaving on Tuesday.  So you probably won't hear from me for awhile, see you when I get back again.  Have a great Sunday everyone, sew forth and sew on til later.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gone cruising!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a quilters' cruise
(2) a quilters' cruise with Bonnie Hunter
(3) a quilters' cruise working a new specially-designed Bonnie Hunter quilt!

See you the week of August 26 - sew forth and sew on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A new obsession

Three things to be happy about:
(1) lazily swinging on a swing set
(2) a new pavement
(3) buying school supplies

I had seen several people blog about Downton Abbey, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about - I love it!  I started watching at the very beginning, and by now I've completed the first two seasons.
I love Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess!  My favorite line was at dinner when the poor relation/new heir Matthew mentioned working but having the weekend free and she said "What's a weekend???"

On the other hand, I can't stand this ole bat:
Mrs. O'Brien, milady's private maid.  What an underhanded backstabber!

On another subject, at long the final finishing touch has been put on the playground and rec center at the end of my street.  
The actual center has been open since March, but they had the opening ceremony on Saturday for the new playground.  It's really nice, with a small pavilion with tables, a separately fenced area with play equipment for the younger kids, a ball field, plus "heart" equipment outside.

They started working on the center the first week of March 2012, I remember sitting in on neighborhood meetings with the planners and architects around 15 years ago.  Even at that time I was concerned that by the time they got it finished it would be too small - it almost is!  I wish they could have added at least one more floor, but they shoved as much stuff in there as they could.  This is the basketball court, inside:

Oh well, it beats what we had!

I won't be doing any sewing or anything else until after my cruise, so no posts either  :o)  Can you believe it's here, just four days away!!  Gotta get packing!

Sew forth and sew on til later

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A biggie

Three things to be happy about:
(1) handwritten recipes
(2) the rocking chairs at Cracker Barrel
(3) the tooth fairy's visit

I finished pressing and GO-cutting my 2" strips for the Alaska cruise, now I can check that off my list!

Somehow I had many, many more neutrals than I thought, mainly because I was cutting strips from scraps and half-widths of fabric (HWOF??).  Some pieces were no more than about 8" long but that's okay, it just gives me more variety!

I had to eliminate some of the fabrics because the print was too large, I can use those pieces in another project.

Got a couple hours of sewing done this morning on my scrappy 2x8 strips when my eyes popped open at 2:30 am and I was wide awake... why fight it?  I've already got my second nap in, now I'm ready to face the day!

Have a great Saturday everybody, sew forth and sew on!  PS - if you look at Bonnie's blog, Collaboration Celebration day 1, second from last picture, you'll see a member of my guild - Carol, caught in the act of having a ball!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Temptation, thy name is fabric!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a whiff of fragrant flowers
(2) a perfectly positioned AC vent
(3) the Outlander  series

The latest Outlander book by Diana Gabaldon is due out next month, I can't wait!  I decided to start re-reading (via Audible) the last two or three books while I'm waiting.

While I was pressing the fabrics I pulled for the cruise, I ran across a piece of water fabric and a piece with colorful fish on it.  I was like "wait, I can't cut these up!  I might need em for a landscape!"   Then I had to say "wait a minute, you've had these since the last century and you haven't used them yet..."  Into the pile they went!  I also found a gorgeous sky fabric, same deal.

However, I went to JoAnn's to get some fleece for the back of a quilt and I saw a bolt that I absolutely HAD to have a piece of for my neutrals:
Isn't that pretty?  It says "Simplicity Pattern Co." by Fabric Traditions.

Meanwhile I got my greens and blues cut and rolled up, but it was hard choosing just a limited number of strips - they were all so pretty!  Finally I sorted them into light, medium and dark, and just took some from each category...
looking good!  I just have to do the neutrals now and I can check this area off my list.

Well that's all for now,  have a great day, sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lots of quilty love

... right here in blogland!!!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) relaxing completely
(2) the end of a tunnel
(3) kind words

Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all for your prayers, and your kind words of encouragement!  This is what I'm sending you:
really BIG HUGS!!!

These miniature kimonos were made last year by Nadine, a member of my guild, and they express how I feel right now  :o)

The MRI went okay but it's not anything I'd like to do again, you betcha!  I was told by several people the secret is to close your eyes and KEEP em closed, so I did.  The room was full of magnets that are always on, so I couldn't use my iPod; however he did have lots of music to choose from, and I chose a really good gospel mix that helped me relax.  AND... he let me bring home some of those disposable slippers that I can wear while sluffing through the TSA checkpoint at the airport!

While reading the comments I had to chuckle at this one from Regina:
I don't think I have ever told you that I love, love, love, your list of 'things to be happy about'. What makes you happy usually makes me happy too. I am curious sometimes about some of the items, novelty lunchboxes?
I have to let you in on a little secret - while spending Christmas with my sister in Hampton, VA we went rambling the day after Christmas as we always did, and we ended up in a Dollar Tree that was having a 1/2 price sale on their Christmas leftovers.  Half price at the DOLLAR store - come on now!  My quotes are from a 2006 page-a-day calendar that I bought for 50 cents called "The Best of 14,000 Things to be Happy About Calendar."  It's a great calendar that has 5 happy things for each day - clever eh?  I've been using the quotes a loooong time and haven't gone through all of them yet... I usually choose three random ones around the date that I post the blog.  So now you know my secret!   ;o)

Yesterday I got all my greens pressed, I used a vinegar-water combination (one part white vinegar, 7 parts water) on the pieces that had hard wrinkles and it worked like a charm!  Today I don't have any errands outside the house, so I'll get everything else pressed and start cutting, get them and ready to roll.

Where did I put my Easy Angle ruler???

That's it for now, have a great Thursday, sew forth and sew on!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Digging in

Three things to be happy about:
(1) getting it done
(2) The Andy Griffith show re-runs
(3) novelty lunch boxes

A lady can change her mind, right?  Yep!

I kept looking at the fabrics I pulled for the quilt we'll make on the Alaska cruise, and the more I looked at them the less I liked the "look."  They're all pretty fabrics, but somehow they didn't have enough texture or whatever it takes to make a really scrappy quilt.  It would have been all very calm pinks and greens... I want to make sure I can shake it up a little!

So yesterday I was up to my elbows in my fabric stash and I went back to the original colors Bonnie made the sample quilt from - greens and blues and neutrals.  I think I'm going to like it because there's a lot more going on in these prints than there was in the batiks...

See how much different these are from the batiks?  I'm using scraps and it's so great when you can shop your stash for a quilt - I didn't have to buy a single piece!  I pulled a lot more fabrics than I need, so for maximum variety I'll limit each fabric to just one strip; if a piece is only 8" or 10" long, that's fine with me!

So the next few days will be spent pressing and cutting the fabric; I'm limiting the amount to just enough for one or two blocks of the quilt, I can finish it at home!

I've been having tiny shooting pains in my head so today I go for an MRI, a totally new experience for me that I'm not looking forward to....  I'm looking forward to getting it over and done with!   I already know I need to keep my eyes closed, I think I might be a bit claustrophobic and I don't want to freak out on the nice people.  While visiting Mexico in '82 we toured a pyramid in the Mayan desert... I was looking forward to seeing the inside of a pyramid, but as we were going in, through this little opening that was about maybe 24-30" wide, there was a lady coming out, sweating bullets and very red in the face - it was very hot inside there!  There was a line of us going in and we had to all back up to let this poor lady out.  After that, you couldn't get me inside there!  I didn't want to be inside something that I couldn't simply turn around and walk past someone to get out of, no way!  From that experience I suspect I may be a bit claustrophobic.  

So, for the MRI I know I need to close my eyes before I go in that thing and hopefully keep them closed for the 45 minutes or so that it takes.  I'll have my iPod and if I'm lucky I'll fall asleep.  Nuff said.  

So everybody have a great Wednesday, think happy thoughts for me, sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blocks and a survey

Three things to be happy about:
(1) blowing bubbles
(2) sea-glass jewelry
(3) kind words

Has anyone else had problems lately with posting?  Last week everything was okay, then sometime around the middle of last week I couldn't type at all in the "Compose" mode, only in HTML.   Every now and then I'd get messages from different sites that my version of IE was outdated, but when I checked the Microsoft site it showed I have the latest version for my operating system (Windows XP).  I checked the Blogger FAQ site then I switched to Google Chrome and it works okay, but I prefer IE, I'm used to it!  You'll notice this is not one of my happy things today!

I'm still working on the little 2-1/2 x 8-1/2 inch string/scrap blocks, they just move right along!  So far I've finished around 2 dozen and at the rate they're coming together it won't be long before I have enough for a quilt.

One more thing I like about using OPS (other people's scraps) is that when I look at the blocks I see scraps that I won't find in my own stash, maybe I'll have only one or two pieces of that particular scrap in the entire project!

I'm thinking about layout possibilities now.  I could sash the blocks and set them 7 across and 8 down with borders, which would give me a decent sized quilt...  Or I could set them on point with or without sashing and borders.... Or I could alternate them with a less-busy block...  lots of possibilities are out there!

I have a feeling I can't go wrong with these blocks.

The DC government is participating in EPA's RiverSmart Homes program, that offers up to $1200 to help homeowners reduce storm water runoff from their property.  Yesterday the auditor came by to survey my yard but unfortunately I didn't meet the size and layout requirements.  I am eligible for a rain barrel and pervious paving, but since I'm mainly interested in landscaping plants I won't be able to participate.  phooey!  I would have been a good deal, though; two of my neighbors had it done, the contractors do all the digging up and replanting.

Well that's it for today, enjoy your Tuesday, sew forth and sew on til later...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Getting ready to get ready

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a bag of hot doughnuts
(2) favorite magnets on the fridge
(3) a peach smoothie

I've been experimenting with smoothies lately (bought a Magic Bullet thingie) and I really like how the peach ones turn out!  I use a cup of almond milk (frozen), a container of vanilla yogurt, a ripe peach, a handful of granola and a couple dashes of cinnamon.  Yummy-licious!

See these project boxes?  I got them yesterday at the new Costco in DC.

I think I'm going to like using these containers, they're 14x14 square and almost 3-1/2" high, so I can easily put 12-1/2" blocks inside without folding.  They're flat and will stack easily, and the colors are pretty kewl.  Can't see through em though, but at $20 I'm satisfied with the deal - it's like paying $4 each.

Can't beat that at Joann's!

A few months ago I mentioned that I'm going on Bonnie Hunter's Alaska quilting cruise (Quilting Under the Midnight Sun).  Bonnie is one busy lady - as I type this, she's in Alaska doing a workshop sponsored by the Kenai Peninsulsa Quilt Guild of Soldotna!

But time really flies, I can't believe we have two more weeks!  Renea and I are taking a 7:30 am flight out of Baltimore, changing in Chicago, then running like H-E-Double-Hocky-Sticks for the port!  It's all good though, we won't be the only ones.  :O)

Bonnie designed a quilt specially for the cruise, a scrappy two-color-family quilt with neutrals.  She gave us the option of choosing different colors from hers... with some input from Wanda (thanks, Wanda!) I've chosen these fabrics from my stash:

The greens and pinks will more than likely be batik fabrics and my neutrals probably will be also, I haven't definitely decided on that part yet.  I'm not looking to get the entire quilt pieced on the cruise, I'm only taking enough fabric for two or three blocks - fabric is heavy, and heavy-on-a-plane is extra $$!  You know the drill... classes will be held on the at-sea days, with the room made available all week if you want to do extra sewing.  Hmmm... extra sewing, or seeing the glaciers??  Extra sewing, or seeing a stage show??  Decisions, decisions!

Anyway, the quilt is all made from 2" strips, so I'll pull out my trusty GO cutter and it'll be done in no time flat - thank goodness for the GO!

Take care and do something relaxing and fun - it's the weekend!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Orchard outing

 Three things to be happy about:
(1) a day slowly brightening
(2) a field of sunflowers
(3) picking primroses

Yesterday I went on a peach-picking mission at Larriland Orchards with Charlene, Debbra, Pat, and Sandy, but we were a few days late for peaches!  They had a large crowd over the weekend so the only peaches we got were from the farm stand, but we did get some blackberries, and the beets were plentiful for Charlene.  The berries were slooow picking, this is what we saw a lot of - green, red and half-ripe berries!

I had to really lean in there to get at the berries, Debbra showed me the official way to stoop and get the ones from the bottom!

Debbra and Pat were happy with their berries!

Group photo - Charlene, me, Sandy, Pat and Debbra!

At the farm stand we got peaches, melons, beans, corn, jelly, apple butter, freshly baked bread (yum!) and cucumbers.

After our hard work in the orchard we had to refuel, and Joe's Crab Shack in Greenbelt was a good refueling place!

So another pleasant day with friends goes down in history, sew forth and sew on...