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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Challenges; mail call

Three things to be happy about:
(1) cute business cards
(2) Maryland Live! Casino  (nuff said)
(3) mint-flavored dental floss

Yesterday I took a few minutes to shop my stash for the Wee Bee challenge project; the challenge fabric is the one on the left.

I'm almost sure these are the fabrics and/or colors I want to use for the project.  In any case, I won't post any progress pictures, so you won't see anything else about the challenge til June!

Don't hold me to these fabrics, I might change my mind - but I can't wait to see what the finished quilt will look like, can you?

On another subject, as you know my birthday was on Sunday the 25th, but I hadn't received a birthday card from my sister Michelle.  When I asked if she mailed it late this time, she said she'd mailed it from the post office on January 20th.  I should have received it by the 22nd, but definitely no later than the 24th - omg, we both got upset!!  But the good news is - it came in yesterday's mail, thank the Lord!!  Why did it take so long?  I don't know, I don't care!

Now, you're probably wondering why we were upset about one little birthday card... well, that card contained something very special that means a lot to both of us - THE BIRTHDAY DOLLAR!

I shared the history of THE DOLLAR in this post a couple years ago; the oldest date on it is 1996.  My sisters Ruby and Faye have both passed away, so this dollar is very very precious to Michelle and me, worth more than gold!


This is what my car looked like around 2:30 yesterday afternoon; at that point we'd had rain mixed with snow, then a little sleet, then a little snow... then nothing.

When I took this picture it wasn't doing anything at all, but it was definitely on the way.

Everybody please be safe and stay off the roads if you can, I care about you!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wee Bee meeting

Three things to be happy about:
(1) peppermints
(2) tazo tea
(3) birthday wishes

Thanks everyone for the heartfelt birthday wishes!  I look forward to my next birthday because that's when my real estate taxes get cut in half, yaaaay!!  Something to look forward to  :o)

Saturday's Wee Bee meeting was mostly about business for the year, but we did have two great show n tells:

Carolyn shared her winter wonderland quilt!  This will be displayed at her school throughout the winter season.

Val shared a lovely setting for the Negro National Anthem.

We were also given the half-yard of fabric for this year's challenge quilt:
I think the camera captured the true color for this batik ... I'm almost sure I already have this fabric in my stash, LOL.

Our challenge: make a modern quilt between 18 and 60 inches, with at least 75% of the challenge fabric and as much of our own as we want to.  My mission:  figure out what colors will set this off and get it finished by the third Saturday in June...
I can go light, or dark, or both, or ...

Sew forth and sew on...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy birthday to me

Three things to be happy about:
(1) good health
(2) good friends
(3) another birthday!

does your 64th birthday make you a "seasoned senior?"

Have yourself a great day on my birthday!  Sew forth and sew on...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Another challenge

Three things to be happy about:
(1) winter sunshine
(2) listening to a good book
(3) a real challenge!

This morning first thing I put together this sample block of a wonky Jacob's ladder.  Well, here we go...

Is that a "modern" interpretation, but wonky?   I dunno, but I think the block is really really ugly!

Tomorrow my bee has its first meeting of the year, weather permitting - snow starting today and continuing into tomorrow, yuck!  Our challenge this year will be to do a "modern" quilt using stash plus a half yard of fabric that will be distributed.  As usual, the finished quilts will be unveiled at the June community meeting at the center.  

Another view of the block - still ugly!

Have a great day today - the sun is shining!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

First challenge of the year

Three things to be happy about:
(1) fuzzy slippers
(2) looking thru old magazines
(3) Aveeno lotion

I discovered about 2 weeks ago that Mary Fons (of Fons & Porter fame) is a new Washington, DC resident!  She's had an ongoing challenge getting settled but (all things considered) she seems to like our city.  And if you are a Quilty magazine fan, here's a heads up - the May/June 2015 issue of that magazine will be the final one.  Check her blog for info...

I missed our January guild meeting (yikes, the first one of the year!), but there's a mini-challenge that's due at the February meeting... we have to make something with a heart - wall hanging, post card, mug rug, garment, mini quilt - anything we want to.

Someone gave me this book, Threaded Together, a few years ago.  The book features photographs of quilts and blocks from the Pink Ribbon Quilt Project that was organized by Mimi Dietrich in 1999.  

I've browsed through it several times, and when I found out about the challenge I knew right off what I wanted to make!

Since I had pulled my Christmas fabrics out and hadn't put them away yet...

... might as well use em!

Here's the finished block - 3-1/2" squares, 3-1/2" half square triangles, 2" border strips...

I just need to quilt it and bingo - a little heart quilt!  Not perfect, but it meets the challenge.

We had a bit of snow yesterday, the flakes were pretty big but they didn't last too long.  No accumulation to speak of, at least not in DC.

Have a great day today, sew forth and sew on til later!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

The perfect block, inspection

Three things to be happy about:
(1) peanut butter n jelly sandwiches
(2) getting it done
(3) a pretty view

So, I've settled on "the" perfect block to make for my bee's Christmas block swap!

This angel is simple to draw, it's only one piece, and besides - it's pretty!

I'll vary the color of the angel and the background so they won't all look the same, but I think the other swappers will like this block.

No matter what I did, that Ho Ho Ho block just wasn't going to do it for me so I dropped it!  Even at 275 points, there was just too much background space lurking there, in my opinion.

Yesterday I had the once-every-two-year pleasure of taking my car through its safety inspection.

This was actually the first inspection for my car, purchased in December 2010; evidently they give new cars a 4-year pass.

It was a painless process and the lines moved quickly!

Cars, trucks, taxis, police cars, school buses, transit buses, limousines  - they all get inspected at this Southwest Washington, DC inspection station!

I went to hand the agent my driver's license and registration but they didn't need it.  And here's a puzzler - some people were required to open their trunk and gas cap but I didn't have to ... hmmmm...

The only results they were interested in for my car were the on-board diagnostics and catalyst test.  I guess all the other stuff (safety result, brake test, idle, gas cap test) is covered under the OBD result, who knows.  In any case, by the time I found the ladies' room they had finished; I hopped back in, the agent applied my new sticker, and off I went.  I'm good to go until January 15, 2017!

So that's what I was up to yesterday, among other things.  I hope you have a great Friday, we're at the mid-point of the month!  Sew forth and sew on til later...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lazy is as lazy does...

Three things to be happy about:
(1) glitter pens
(2) a new Keepsake Quilting catalog
(3) Geek Squad online support

Hello everybody!  Last time you saw me I was about to eat a big ole bowl of oatmeal ... well, I ate it and it was delish!  Gonna have another one soon as I finish this post!  Meanwhile I've been a lazy blogger and a lazy quilter  :o)

I had an issue with my PC recently when I couldn't open the virus scan program and then I realized I didn't even know when the last scan happened!  Yikes, how long was I swinging without a net, so to speak.  Thank goodness I got the Geek Squad support contract when I bought the new PC; they took care of it for me in short order and did a complete scan.  He assured me I didn't have any trojans or malware on my PC, so I feel better - whew!

Here's one of the blocks I made for the Christmas block swap with my bee.  I intended to use just one tree per block but it looked so lonely sitting there in all the white space, I put two on... now instead of having 6 items to stitch down per block - I have 12!

I wish the blocks were size 10, but it's not my swap - oh well...

This HO HO HO block is suffering from the same thing - too much white space!

One option is to make the letters half again as large; I don't want to get into putting doo-dads on the block just to fill in the space...

... or I could put each word onto it's own little rectangle and stitch that down, as shown in the sample from my last post.

Keep it simple, Linda!

That's it for now, it snowed a bit sometime before I woke up; they're offering Federal government employees unscheduled leave/telework options - that's my gauge of how awful they expect the snow to get.  Oh well, sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Preparing to swap

Three things to be happy about:
(1) starting a new address book
(2) the smell of fresh brewed coffee
(3) getting a refund

Thanks everybody for your encouraging words, sometimes it's needed and much appreciated!

But right now, b-b-b-baby it's c-c-cold outside, and there's no better way to start off a chilly winter morning than with a hot bowl of oatmeal!

I cook 1/3 cup of oatmeal with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, then when it's done I add chopped apple, crushed almonds (I just bang em with a hammer!), and a few Ocean Spray Craisins.  Good start to a cold morning!

I joined a Christmas block swap at my bee, the blocks are due in April so everybody will have plenty of time to get their quilt done by Christmas.

Because I have to make 12 blocks, I want to keep it as simple as I can.  For some reason I didn't want to make the gingerbread couple that I showed in this post.  Not 9 more times!

One choice is to make a silhouette of this angel, or maybe the nativity scene:
If I do a silhouette, the fabric would be a solid or reads-as-solid so as not to lose the integrity of the shape.

Another choice would be a different nativity scene or a word block:
For this nativity scene I would use batiks or a solid - or a very small print against a blue background.

One advantage of doing words is that I can use Christmas fabrics...
I pulled these out just to look at.  If I decide on words, I'll try to use a chunky font that won't be overpowered by the fabric.

So that's what I'll be doing today, thank goodness I don't have to go out anywhere, brrrrr!

Have a great Wednesday, stay warm, sew forth and sew on til later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A post about nuthin'

Three things to be happy about
(1) a new calendar at 75% off
(2) pretty business cards
(3) finding something to be happy about!

Hi everybody!  Yep, it's snowing today, that's my car all snow covered, sheesh!

I think they're calling for 2 or more inches, but I think it will be the "more" from the looks of it.  Federal government is open "with unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework," so you know what that means.

At least, I know what it means - a big ole mess today.

I started off the year right, but the last couple of days I haven't felt like sewing, isn't that awful?

I would pick up my Texas Tumbleweeds pieces and put them back down.

Pulled out the GO cutter to cut more 1-1/2 strips from some ugly fabric... then I put that down. Couldn't decide which pieces were ugly enough, I guess!

These few leader-ender stringy log cabin blocks are all I've completely made and squared up.

I have more than half a dozen that are in different stages of completion; even that's getting boring.

My furnace is making a loud groaning noise, I had the serviceman out here and he replaced the air exchange valve that he assured me was the problem, at a not-cheap price I can assure you!  I've had him back twice but the furnace is quiet as a mouse while he's here.  He's due back today - again.

My blood pressure reading was way higher than it should be and that bothered me, which means it probably went up some more.

On top of all that, it's snowing - in big clumps!  Need to start clearing the snow before it gets tramped down from people walking on it.  What can I say but sew forth and sew on...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Starting off right!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) unexpected blessings
(2) baked cornbread with cranberries
(3) resisting temptation

Well, I got my ham bone from the Honeybaked ham store on New Years eve, one of the last two they had in the store!

For some reason I assumed that, because they'd be making a LOT of platters, they'd have a LOT of ham bones in the store...

BUT they only had two and I got one of em, and that's all I wanted!  This one had quite a bit of meat left on it, I cut some of it off for another time.

I started my black eyed peas in the crock pot early on New Year's day and let em cook a few hours ...

Just the ham bone and peas in the pot, no other seasoning needed (for me) and they came out delicious!

Yummy and so good for you too!

They say what you do on New Years day, you'll be doing the rest of the year.

I was sewing when the ball dropped, and got a lot done before going to bed at 2 a.m. on the first day of this New Year!

So...  (or sew.....)

I guess I'll be sewing the rest of the year!

Good planning, eh?

Have a great day, sew forth and sew on til later!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Three things to be happy about:
(1) out with the old!
(2) in with the new!
(3) a brand new year to do it in!

Wishing everyone health, happiness, love, success and prosperity.

May there be new beginnings and new goals.

May your days be creative, as colorful as a rainbow and as bright as a shining star. 

Happy New Year and many blessings in 2015!