Thursday, November 29, 2007

It is confirmed, I am sick

I am truly a sick person. I live breath and eat quilting. I like to read blogs, but I can't read many because all I do is get more ideas for quilts I want to make. After a week of blog reading I have anywhere from 5 to 25 more quilts I want to make, which wouldn't be a problem but this happens EACH WEEK! LOL I have so many UFOs I actually have a landing strip in my sewing area. I need to buy stock in Sterilite!

Several weeks ago my SIL jumped into blog land. This would normally be great as she is a wonderful writer and quilter, but that is the problem! She is a wonderful write and quilter! She sucks me in and inspires me so I feel the need to make "just a block" of whatever she shows she has been working on. Well, that is a problem, since my SIL is a home caregiver she has alot of stay at home time and is able to crank out lots of tops. Plus she is fast! She can make three blocks to my one any day of the week, so I am always behind and getting behinder. Oh well, I guess I could look at it as I will always have something to do.

Then there is Bonnie, (don't you love it when someone is known by a single name?) who has been generous for years with her patterns and pictures. I love to look at her website and reread all the hints and tips. I would love to have a thimble full of her creativity.

I have been upstairs sewing this week as I stated before getting ready for a retreat that starts in 26 hours. Last year when I attended this retreat I signed up for a Christmas block swap. Twelve of us signed up and we will all make 12 blocks of one design and swap them with the other participants. I first was going to make something out of my hand dyed fabrics, but then decided I didn't think it looked good with the unbleached muslin everyone agreed to use for the background. So now I am making a star from Nancy Johnson-Sebro's book Stars by Magic and I really like it.
I have so many UFOs to take to the retreat I think I will be culling the pile so I don't need a U-Haul to take all. To carry my UFOs in I found some nifty boxes at Target. They snap together and are big enough to lay my 12" sq ruler in, which is really cool. I like being a tad bit organized so this seems to help me in that area.

EEK! It is already after 8am and I have so much to do (fade in the white rabbit scampering and saying "I'm late, I'm late...)

Hopefully I will have tons to post later but I want to get some more blocks make before lunch.



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm home preparing to leave

I know, I am the slowest when it comes to blogging. We had a great Thanksgiving and visit with family.

I have been getting stuff ready for the a retreat I am going to attend this coming weekend. I have been busy cutting Civil War reproduction fabrics that I have been collecting and hoarding for years. Maybe hoarding is not the correct word since I do use them, I just use them only for the absolutely perfect project. I will do a test block out of any other fabric I have except CW.

I LOVE CW fabrics! I guess we all have our preferences.

My SIL and I have the same taste in fabrics and quilts. It is funny. Neither one of us ever has to question if the other will like a fabric or pattern, we always do. Sometimes we buy fabric to share, you know buy a half yard, split it, etc. Both of us are always so pleased with the choices of the other.

I am preparing more fabric for log cabin type hexagonal blocks. I also have a 4 patch and half square triangle star top I am working on. Then there is the wonky log cabin I want to get from blocks into a top. The one project I am taking that is not CW is a Sister's Choice top that I wanted to make a few more blocks so it is big enough for a queen sized bed. It is made completely of scraps from my stash. Come to think of it all of my projects for the retreat will be complete stash and scrap quilts. COOL!

I will have to let Judy L know this. She put on her blog the other day she was trying to work through her stash so she could get all her fabric on 2 fabric shelf units. I SO understand that! I would like to get some fabric sewn up before the move. I hate all the questions from the packers about if I really want to take all the fabric. LOL, OF COURSE I want the fabric!!! My thoughts are they will ask less questions if they are in quilt top form.
I feel like my thoughts are so fragmented...I hope you can follow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I finished! Now I can have a Thankgiving!

I got the bag finished, well almost. I have to put a stiff bottom in it and whip stitch the turning hole closed and it is done. If my SIL was into cute I would like to see it with some beads and fancy threads on it, but as she isn't and I want her to actually use the thing I will leave it naked. I will post a picture later after I finish whipping it. :^)

I am so excited, I get to go to Houston! I know, I know I just got back from there, but this is for fun. I was born in Houston and all of my family is still there. I get to leave on Tuesday evening after my oldest son gets off work and we get to stay until Sunday! I am so excited! We are staying at the SIL's house that is having the baby. This will be the first time to stay with them. Usually we stay at my MIL's house but now that her house has become a 2 family home, if we tried to stay there we would have to be hung on hooks in the garage, excuse me I was told that was now the pantry/storage room. LOL

Our Thanksgiving is a real fun time. We all get together on Wednesday and and start preparing veggies and stuff. All the time we are singing and laughing and playing games and watching videos and EATING! I promise these are some of the best cooks in the world! Believe me, you don't get to be the size we are with bad cooking! Late Wednesday night we all go to bed and Grandma (my MIL) is up and down all night checking on the turkey. Then she is up before dawn making pies, glorious pies! You have never seen the likes! She makes everything from scratch. We have coconut pie with and without the coconut ( I like the pudding but not the coconut so I get a special one) chocolate, pecan, cherry, lemon icebox, key lime and many more. My MIL is so great, she always has made something special for each person in the family. Even if no one else in the family loves it if you do she will make it. My favorite is what she calls fried corn. I don't know much of what she does to it, but I do know she buys fresh corn and cuts it off the cob and cooks in a big black iron skillet. YUM!
My SIL, Paula is a wonderful cook also. She can make dirt taste good, not that she has ever cooked dirt, but you know what I mean. She makes this wonderful eggplant dish that I crave all year long. My other SIL is the onion cutter in the family. I am sure she can cook very well, but I am not sure if I have ever eaten her cooking as we always eat Grandma's cooking at Grandma's house. Anyway Judy comes over early Wednesday morning and cuts all the onions and celery. That may not sound like a big job, but let me tell you it is. She probably cuts 10 cups of each one.

The men of course all sit around a talk and laugh and catch up since the last visit, which in some cases has been since last year. It is hard when you live 3 states away.

Can you tell I am excited??

Off to the movies...I want to see Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Making a diaper bag is nothing like a quilt!

I am trying to sew my SIL a diaper bag. I don't usually make bags or clothing because I am not an instruction reader. For the most part I can look at a quilt and I know how to make it without having to look at the instructions. I usually only use the pattern for yardage and the number of blocks to make. Making this bag is totally out of my comfort zone! I was going along pretty well and just about to say I might have been wrong about making this bag then I made the discovery. I had been so careful to make all of my stitches perfect and straight. I back tacked at the pockets and handles. When I turned the last page off of preparation and on to sewing I turned TWO pages! I missed a whole section! Now to anyone else they would have said , huh, this doesn't look right and went back to find the problem, but not me, I just started sewing. UGH!
Now that I have ripped all the wrong seams, I am back to where I was 4 hours ago. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

Have you ever used Misty Fuse? It is a fusible web that doesn't have the paper backing. I have been using this on the diaper bag and I think I like it. It is is nice and soft after fusing, not stiff like all the other fusible webs I have tried in the past. I can't wait to try it on applique.

I really want to get this bag finished so I can start on some gifts for my nieces and nephews. I decided this year I was going to make each one a pillowcase. I will shop my stash and see how many I can get made from there. Believe me I should be able to make more than enough. I love my stash!

Ok, so I have rambled long enough, I guess it is time to get back to work.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Making my way back

I am back and I am ready to smile.
I went to a small quilty gathering at a friends house yesterday. There was about 8 or so of us and we chatted and laughed and tried to sew. Some got more done than others. Me, I brought my machine in and never took it out of the carrier. I was having too much fun playing with the baby.

I did start a baby/diaper bag for my expecting SIL. Judy doesn't do "cute" usually so I am making it with Moda's Shangri-La dark brown large floral for the main part and then found a green dot for accent and lining and a great coral for the handles. I will try my best to get a picture up before I take it to her next week. I decided that I would have a very hard time getting to a baby shower living as far away as I do so I want to take it to her now.
I have all the pieces cut out and now all I have to do is read the instructions and sew, but there in is the dilemma. I don't really read instructions very well. I hope I at least end up with something that resembles the bag.

Well, I better get busy!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Absent from the body, present with the Lord

A friend of my youth has died. I am terribly sad and just want to lay in bed and cry.
James was a friend when I felt so alone. He defended me when I was being abused. He showed me how someone should be treated. He proved "guys" could be trusted. James was the one who introduced me to my future husband. He married just a few months before I did and his wife and I were even expecting our first children at the same time. He mourned with me through my losses and helped me get my mind straight when I felt I was losing it.

Now all I have is memories, but I am happy I have them. I do remember his smile and infectious laugh. He had a wonderful singing voice, and led the worship music in his church for years. He loved to play softball. My husband and James were on teams together when we all were younger. As a matter of fact, I was almost stood up at the alter due to a championship ballgame on my wedding day. Everyone was playing ball and I was sitting at the church waiting for the groom, the groomsmen, even the pastor to show up as they all were playing that day. They all arrived with minutes to spare and everyone has had great laughs ever since remembering James still hot and sweaty at the wedding as he had just enough time to rush home shower and run back, but no time to cool off. Ray my husband was wearing a white tux and oh so handsome, but in a couple of pictures you could see his "lucky" socks (one gold band sock and one green band sock) showing through his pants. The Pastor (James' father) was still wiping sweat and all smiles as they had won!

I am not able to attend James' funeral and that makes me very sad, but honestly I am ok with it. I have to be here remembering him and reflecting. I love his parents so much and would love to see his wife and brother and sister, but will have to send them all a letter instead.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm home

Market was fun and I saw alot of quilt friends that I only get to see once a year.

Tricia Cribbs of FriendFolks was super busy this past year and introduced 4 count them FOUR books this year. Of course I had to decide what books I wanted to carry and that was hard. I decided on Turning Twenty #4 Feeling Groovy and Turning Twenty just got Better. My sister-in-law and Mother-in-law made a sample of Feeling Groovy from the #4 book by the same name and it is so cute!

I visited my friends at Superior Threads and nearly went broke! I have had such a good response since starting to carry the thread on my website, so I bought more...LOTS more. LOL

I made some new friends at Becolourful. Jaqueline de Jonge is the designer and what a designer she is! all I can say is WOW! Her brother seems to be her biggest cheerleader and fan. They both are some of the nicest people you could want to meet. I don't have all of her patterns, but I have many of them.

At Festival I don't know how it happened but I was blessed with a corner booth this year. I was so excited! I took a picture incase you wanted to see it.

Now to get everything unpacked and counted and put up on the website.

I also have this deep burning need to get into my stash of civil war reproductions and cut out a quilt. I usually feel that way after spending a long time getting ready for a show as I am immersed in all of the bright colors that I dye and I really need to be soothed with the calm colors of old.

More news later,