Thursday, November 29, 2007

A finish, finally!

This was the first project for the Stashbuster's Quilted Table group. I just finished binding it this afternoon. It's not a very good picture, but I really enjoyed making this quilt and I liked working with these fabrics from a few years ago. I only have scraps left -- so that's a good thing! I put this on the longarm, but only did ditch quilting -- couldn't think of what to do in the sashing and borders, so didn't do anything! I think it'll be fine and it'll definitely lay flat. I'm sending it on it's way early next week.

Today I went to my favorite LQS -- specifically to buy a couple of Jim Shore Christmas ornaments -- one for a friend and one for myself. I almost got out of there with just the ornaments, but then some more Christmas fabric called my name. It's in the dryer right now, so I can't say whose pattern it is, but it's a Moda fabric, which I love. Three colors, green, red and a tan with red berries (looks like raspberries on it). And because I really shouldn't have bought fabric, I came down and designed a quilt on EQ6 to use all three fabrics and a background I hope to find in my stash. As soon as I get the other tablerunner and one candlemat finished, I'm going to start cutting. I'll show the fabric then. And, I think this one will be mine!

Being able to visit my favorite quilt shop - I love the ambiance of this shop and chatting with the ladies there.
Buying new fabric (even though I don't need it -- it's still fun to buy once in a while!).
Baby Will weighs 13 lbs 12 oz and is becoming a real porker!

Friday, November 23, 2007

I've been busy

I am not a Black Friday shopper. I used my time much more efficiently today. I quilted.
I put the basketweave top together as a leader/ender project while making some tablerunners/candle mats today. The first border has been cut, but I'll need to finish the rest of the items before I work on this again.
I made one tablerunner yesterday and a candle mat and while I was working on them I remembered that I used this fabric to make practice blocks for a bom I did a couple of years ago. I thought I only had about 3 blocks, but when I went looking, I found I had 8 blocks finished. So, I put 5 together on point and made another tablerunner. Then, put two on point and made a small candle mat (that will probably give me fits when I try to bind it!), and then bordered the last block and made a candle mat out of it! I made enough binding to bind all of them, but only made one backing so far. I probably have enough background fabric to back the two smaller mats, and then I'll have to rummage through stash. I still have some fq size pieces of some of the fabrics left over. I don't remember how much I bought of the fabrics to begin with -- I know I loved the fabric and didn't have any project in mind. I'm feeling quite virtuous in busting stash today though!
This tablerunner is the first project from Stashbusters' Quilted Table group. I want to finish it soon so I can get it in the mail.
This tablerunner was made with practice blocks from a bom of a few years ago -- it was a Thangles design bom. I designed the runner and made the top today.
The runner on the left was made with practice blocks, as was the one on the bottom of the second picture. The top one I made yesterday with leftover fabric.

Now "all" I need to do is finish them all!
I am in the process of marking one of the big tablerunners and will probably pin it on the longarm so I can do it fairly quickly. I may do the other long one on the longarm, too, we'll see. The smaller ones of course I'll do on the dsm.

The new portable design wall -- works well for these small projects.
Plain ole hamburgers for dinner tonight!
Solitary piecing/quilting time -- so nice to spend time with my own thoughts.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.. to all my American friends

We celebrated our family Thanksgiving last Sunday, so today has just been Bill and me relaxing at home. He's been reading a book all day and I've been quilting - what else?! We'll be doing the last of the leftovers (except turkey- we still have plenty) for dinner tonight.
I have a tablerunner and a candle mat ready for quilting and the basketweave scrap top partially together. The tablerunner is a project from the new Stashbusters group, "Quilted Table", whose goal is simply to make a tablerunner/wallhanging, small project each month of the year. I used to make a lot of tablerunners, but since I've gotten the longarm, I make larger quilts instead. I decided to join the group and make smaller projects for gifts as needed. So today, I busted some stash and made a couple of gifts. I hope to get them quilted by next week because one I want to send to my niece for Christmas.

I'm grateful for family and friends; good health and happiness; the luxury of having a home and plenty of food on the table; and the real luxury of being able to shop my stash and spend days at a time piecing and quilting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something different

I was going to write my usual mundane quilting/everyday life blog piece tonight, but I've been inspired to write something totally different.

About 8 or 9 years ago, the local NBC station (Rockford, IL), promoted a young woman to evening news co-anchor. Her name was Heather Pick and she was like a breath of fresh air -- the first anchor in this area that was so totally at ease in front of the camera, it was like having her at your dinner table talking about the news. We watched her as she got engaged and married. And then, when she was 29, she discovered a lump in her breast and we watched her announce the cancer results on the news also. We watched her go through the chemo and losing her hair and wearing a wig, and growing her hair back and she even did a story on her own reconstructive surgery. And, then she had a baby girl. It was wonderful watching her go through these life changes because she was a natural in front of the camera. And then, Columbus, Ohio snatched her up and there has been no one that can even hold a candle to her in Rockford.
Three years ago there was a short blurb in the Rockford paper saying that Heather had had another child, a boy, and right after found out the cancer was back, and had spread to her bones. I remember the article quoted her as saying she'd lived a good life (and she was only 34).
Haven't heard anything about her since til today. The Rockford paper had another article on her -- she's now 37, her cancer "remains inoperable and incurable but now isn't life threatening" - whatever that means. Her daughter is 6, her son is 3. The article goes on to say "Today, Pick is continuing to push boundaries, stretching her zest for life while helping others". She has recently recorded several vocal tracks on a 13-track CD, "Circle of Support". "All proceeds from the CD go to "A Christmas to Cure Cancer", a group that raises money to support cancer programs through donations in exchange for CDs and through benefit concerts throughout the year".
I just ordered a couple of the CD's at
For those of you in the Columbus, Ohio area, Heather is on Channel WBSN-10 -- she's the morning and noon anchor. She's terrific and very inspiring.

I'm grateful that Heather is still hanging in there and praying she'll be around to raise her kids.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If it isn't one thing, it's another....

I'm in "getting ready for Thanksgiving" mode here. This means lots of cleaning, lots of food buying and prepping (later this week). So, Monday I'm doing laundry and my regular house cleaning and the central vac decides to die. Admittedly, I am spoiled rotten and the central vac is one of those things that has spoiled me. We had it installed when we built the house back in '93/'94. It is only 13 years old, but it has gotten plenty used in those 13 years. Anyway, it sounds like a bearing in the motor, so I'm sure it'll cost a fortune to get fixed and they will probably recommend we replace it -- and you know they no longer make that model, so the whole system will have to be replaced. Not happening any time soon around here. So, yesterday I went out and bought the Consumer Reports "Best Buy" upright vacuum at Sears on sale for $50 less than usual. I have an upright vacuum here that does only carpet, but I needed a good vac for hardwood and tile floors and this one was the most highly rated. Today I spent most of the day vacuuming all three floors of this house and washing the tile floors. After the holidays I need to spend a lot more time on my floors, but this will get me through the holidays anyway. And on being spoiled by the central vac -- I only have to drag around a 30 foot hose and the floor or carpet attachment. With the upright, I have to drag the whole thing around and find outlets for the plug and try to keep the cord out from under the machine -- talk about being all thumbs today. Hopefully I'll get used to it after a few more cleaning sessions!

My sanity saver today:
I spent a bit more than 15 minutes sewing the first two strips of scrappy basketweave blocks onto the papers I had already cut. I hope to work at least 15 minutes a day on these after I finish my "have to get done" stuff!

Being able to buy the exact model of vac I wanted without settling for something else (and having it on sale!).
Lists and plans
Scratching the "itch to stitch"!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Back from the Cruise

We got home from the cruise late Sunday night. We had a nice time, in spite of playing tag with Tropical Storm Noel. Noel won on Monday night -- seas were very rough and Bill and I spent the evening in our room trying to ride it out. We did have a window in our stateroom, which helped a lot. Noel also won on Saturday -- we were supposed to stop at Princess Cays island for the day, but the storm got there first and did some damage that they did not have time to clean up, so we spent the day at sea instead. This picture is of Bill and me at Bluebeard's Castle on the island of St. Thomas. St. Thomas is a beautiful island, if you ever get the chance to visit. Picture's not very good -- but that's okay because I didn't lose the weight I wanted to anyway! LOL

I've spent the week trying to catch up. I've been fighting a cold which had me down for the count last night, but today I feel I lot better. I've managed to get the laundry and ironing done, the house cleaned and even spent 2½ hours yesterday cleaning out my pantry. Next week I'll be getting ready for Thanksgiving, which we will be celebrating on the 18th -- I'll be cooking, so busy time right now. However, Stashbusters list is having a virtual retreat this weekend and I'm going to join in! I ordered this portable design wall before we left (Patti at Quilting is my Passion found it on sale at Eleanor Burns' site) and I checked it out and ordered it and it arrived while we were gone. (I just tried to find it on Eleanor Burn's site and it is no where to be found so I assume she sold out of them -- but I did find it in Nancy's Notions catalog awhile back). Anyway, I put it up Monday afternoon, but took it back down on Wednesday so I could clean. I'll put it back up after Thanksgiving. I have the first 15 scrap blocks on it that I'm doing for the basketweave quilt from Bonnie's site . Yesterday I made 30 more blocks -- I had to dig out another container of scraps and strips to give myself more variety. Today I used a lot of them for another 15 blocks, so I have a total of 60 blocks made. I'm going to make 90 and then see if I want it any bigger. I think I'll need to dig out more strips, which is a good thing -- to get even more variety. I hadn't planned on working on just one of the scrap quilts at a time til I finished, but I was on such a roll chain piecing these blocks, that I think I'll keep at it til this one is finished anyway. Then I'll move on to one of the others I have bagged and waiting.
I like the portable design wall -- I don't have to pin batting to the quilt I have hanging on the wall, and it's fairly easy to put up and take down -- it will be great to take to workshops too.

Flannel sheets -- fall has definitely arrived. We had a killing frost while we were gone.
Long phone conversation with Stephanie.
Steph and AJ have bronchitis, but she got into the doctor right away today and hopefully will be on the mend soon -- and AJ feels better than she does to start with.
Phone conversations with both our boys on Monday -- they called us to see how the cruise was. Kevin's call was short because he was at school (he's a teacher). Steve's call was relatively long although he was heading to the airport for a business trip. It's nice staying in touch with the kids.