Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rambling thoughts

I'm warning you, I am on sinus meds and I'm not thinking straight.

Do you have a stash? If you do, do you know how much is in it? I don't mean "lots" or "too much" I mean really know how much is there. Having just moved and touched every single piece of fabric you would think I would know but I only have an estimate. When I folded all of my fabric getting ready for the move I did take estimated amounts and added them up. I took the size of the ruler I used to fold it on and multiplied it by how many wraps it took that is a pretty good idea of the length. I do know, if my husband knew how much money was represented in there he would pass smooth out!

To be honest I have not purchased much fabric in the past year. I have known for over a year I would be moving and I had great friends who would remind me if I bought it I would have to pack and move it, so I tried to be good. I also know for the past 2 years I have volunteered at a quilt shop. At first I wouldn't take money or fabric as payment as I really did it all for selfish reasons; I wanted the shop to succeed so I could have a local quilt shop. After a while the owner kind of relied on me being there and it became more work than pleasure so then I started getting paid in fabric. I have LOTS of fabric from that. I can tell you exactly which fabric I got from the shop because it is not my style. LOL I am such a civil war repro gal that Amy Butler and Kaffe just made me uncomfortable, but they kind of grew on me.

So after 18 years of quilting and 14 years of dyeing fabric and 2 years of working in a quilt store I have what I consider a very large stash. Some would consider it a HUGE stash. I have not added to it much in the past year, and I plan on doing the same this year. How many shops have gone under because I haven't shopped much and how many more will close if I continue in this direction? LOL

I remember when I first started quilting in the early 90's, reading about "quilt artist" and their "studios" and that they had to have a stash and a large one at that so they would always have what they needed without having to run to the quilt shop, besides quilt shops aren't open at 2am.
(whew what a sentence)

I bought into that thinking for a while and bought fabric, any fabric. I bought for in case I might need it at 2am. I bought because I lived 2 hours from the nearest quilt shop and it was not feasible to go to the quilt shop at the drop of a hat.

I was not alone in that kind of shopping. LOTS of quilters had this same idea. I think for several years quilters were in a buying frenzy. Shop owners fed this frenzy by always reminding us "If you see it you better buy it because it won't be here when you come back next time." We had to buy it then, we didn't want to miss out! I think that explains some of the "what was I thinking" fabrics.

I think I need a nap...I'll finish these thoughts later



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

I can't quite make up my mind on what to take to work on at the retreat next weekend.
Moving and having to sort my whole sewing room caused me to see all of the projects I have started but never quite finished. I have said before I am A.D.D. and I wasn't just being silly, I really am. I get distracted EASILY, and if I put something away it is as if it never exsisted. So pulled out a few things that I really would like to finish.

At last years retreat I worked on this and LOVED it, but put it away and promptly forgot about it. This is going to be what I call Wonky Log Cabins. One of the reasons I put this away was as I was at the retreat I was dealing with many stressful issues and it showed in my sewing. I am ADD with perfectionistic tendencies. If it is suppose to lay flat and be square that is what I want. If the points are suppose to be pointy I want that too. This was not coming out how I wanted so it was not hard to put it away.

I started this for my daughter. As a child we called her "Sister" and since this is Sister's Choice I thought this would be perfect. But I started this when I was trying to come to grips with her leaving home on some not so good terms. She made bad choices and is having to live with the consiquenses of these choices. Honestly I thought I was doing a good thing until a friend explained to me I could not give her this quilt. I could make it and keep it myself, but I couldn't give it to my daughter. It would just be salt in a raw wound. So I put it away to be forgotten. I agree with the friend but would like to make it now and maybe one day, if she sees it and wants it she can have it but without the drama of the name and my reason for making it. It did help me through some of the hard times, and isn't that one of the reasons we make quilts. I know is is one of my main reasons.

I have no idea where this came from but it could possibly be something I brought home from a Linus group meeting, intending to put borders on and quilt it. As you can see I must have set it aside, because I haven't touched it and can't even remember bringing it home. BTW, I like the green on the bottom better than on the left so I will put a border of that on it and then see what else I can do. Any suggestions?

I found this on Keryn's blog from November 11th. I fell in love with it! I have HUGE strip tubs and so I thought this would be perfect. This one I KNOW I am taking to work on.

This is strip/scrap/trash/treasure type project. You take all of your leftovers and sew them together until you have the size you need. Any and everything goes. This is mindless sewing so this is another one that is going. I can work on this when I don't want to concentrate just chatter and sew.

This is the Maverick stars from Bonnie's website. I have been wondering about it for a while so I threw some stuff together incase. I wonder if I would actually get anything accomplished on this.

This has been in this box since Paducah LAST YEAR! I am so bad! I worked on this in the evenings while trying to recouperate from a long day of shopping. Then I got home and set it aside and you know the rest of the story.

This is the unfinished mystery from Bonnie's first mystery. I was all gung ho, then got to the last step where it was revealed and couldn't make myself finish. It was too much for me. It was too busy to show all the work put into each block. So it has been setting in a box stewing. Once I took it and some friends helped me figure out some settings, but I didn't put the stuff up correctly and lost the paper I wrote it on. Maybe Linda G. will help me again??

Here are my houses... they need lots of work.

And what if I want to do some handwork? This has been setting aside so long it had been (unknowingly) in the scrap bin. I unfolded it and was so excited! I knew I had started this, but forgot where I put it.

If I want to do handwork, will I want to quilt this? This is a small quilt, something like 16"x22" or there about. So it wouldn't take long...maybe...I am slow.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Day after/Week before

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?
I did.
We had a very quiet day. I had no meal planned so when I got hungry I went to the pantry to see what I could see. I rustled up some Baked Potato Soup that was delicious. Then I made some Pumpkin Gingerbread; I got the recipe from Judy's blog. This was the second time I made it and it is great.

Last night after the kitchen was cleaned I went into my sewing room and started gathering my thoughts for the retreat I am going to next weekend.
I am really looking forward to this retreat. I will drive back to Alabama Thursday and see my kids then have fun with my quilt guild over the weekend. Then I hope to get to see my kids again before I leave Monday or Tuesday. Of course I am sure they think I am silly wanting to see them twice in 4 days after I have only been gone a month. But I sure do miss them.

I got a call from my nephew yesterday evening as he was driving over to In-Law's to be house for for his first of a lifetime's shared Thanksgiving days. He is such a sweet hearted, kind caring boy (man). He said he called just to say he loved me and wanted to wish me a happy Thanksgiving. Needless to say I was proud he thought of calling when I know how he could easily have been too busy.

I'll show what i am planning for my retreat in a bit...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it because I am older?

My husband has always (when possible) taken the week of Thanksgiving as vacation. Normally we are preparing for our trip to Houston to spend with family, but this year we are not. The move to Florida and the 17 hour drive to Houston makes it just not feasible this year. Needless to say I am sad.

Yesterday my guys decided we needed to go to Walt Disney World. It is about a 90 mile drive from my driveway to Mickey's so off we go. I love the Magic Kingdom, I always have. It is one of my favorite places of all the places we have ever been. Yesterday we went to the Animal Kingdom for the first time. I was so disappointed. Don't misunderstand me, it is a good place and has lots of animals and it has beautiful stuff to see, but... I feel that the people who are in charge of the "vision" part of designing the Disney parks don't have the vision that Walt had. Walt Disney always wanted grand, great, fun, exciting, special place for us to visit.

Except for the ride in "Asia" which was really fun, there just was no magic. It felt like I was in a zoo. I am not saying it was a bad place, just I was expecting more I think. We left there after about 2 hours and drove over to Epcot. It was the last place Walt had a hand in designing. We loved it. Then we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and I once again felt like a child. All the flowers, decorations for Christmas, Christmas music, the lit up castle, made me giggle. There was Chip and Dale, and Pluto playing with everyone and taking pictures with visitors. We rode the train around the park which we have not done since our children were babies. I saw things I had not seen in so long I had forgotten about them, so I was excited all over again.

I think that may be the problem with the new Animal Kingdom. Everywhere I look in MK there is something to see, around every corner is something. At the AK there was just more bushes and bamboo.

Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy, you know I am 45!

Off to have lunch with my man!



Friday, November 21, 2008

Honest opinion needed...

I made this for my friend Linda's daughter years ago, but decided I didn't like it and put it in a bag and promptly forgot about it. Today as I was cleaning and organizing in my sewing room I came across it again. I asked my son who was the only one home, and he said "it's ok". Not exactly what I wanted. I need a clear answer. Does this deserve to be quilted for a loved one or do I donate it?
I wonder if the reason I don't care for it is because I really don't care for purple. I mean purple is a nice color, and it is pretty and all, but this has so much of it.
I don't know, I am at a loss.

Any thoughts?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Serious A.D.D. around here!

I want to do some sewing but just can't seem to stay focused! I have looked through books, folders, patterns and magazines. If I find one I like I look over at my fabric that is still not exactly accessible I whine a bit and look at a different pattern, like that is magically going to make my fabric easier to get to.

I found the houses I started working on way back when I first started house hunting. But looking at them brought back all the memories of the anxiety I had at the time I quickly put those down.

I saw my hand piecing project that I have been working on FOREVER and thought I might just zip some through the machine. Then I thought better of it and decided I would be happier if I finished the way I started it. I remember my SIL Paula having the same discussion with herself (and us) a while back...I think I told her to sew it on the machine, but I can't make myself do it. I am so weak!
About six months ago I was given this panel (bad picture huh?) to make a bit larger for the Linus group. As you can plainly see I still have the panel in the original condition, but I have picked some fabric and even cut some strips. Now to remember what I was going to do with these strips! LOL I think I was going to make churn dash blocks, but I didn't have the brain cells to figure it out so I set that aside too.

Now just so you don't think today was a total loss I did get some piecing done. I got some of the "feathers" on one side of a block. The only problem was, on a day like today, with my brain as wacky as it is, I have no business working on anything that has to fit, so I stopped after one since I felt very lucky this one came out as good as it did with only having to rip three seams.

By the way, I went over to the outlet mall and found some cute shoes. I thought about what I would wear to the dinner and decided, I have some new black pants, I will look for a nice shirt and see if the shoes will work and I will have a new outfit with less stress. YES!
Oh and I alsmot forgot, Ray got home before me and when I got home he had started dinner. Sure it was reheating leftovers, but hey this is SO not normal. Oh and he also made a pan of cornbread. I think I am still in shock!

Not excitement, just plugging along

There is definitely not much excitement going on around here, but that is a good thing. I can handle only so much excitement and then I go into hermit mode. Honestly I have had enough to last me several months. I am ready for some calm, cool and collected days.
Ray is taking all of next week off as vacation, which is great, he has about 3 weeks he has to try and get used up before the end of the year. I love it when he is home, but I am here to tell you as much as we enjoy each others company after about 3 days I am ready to knock myself in the head if we don't have a plan. Ray's idea of relaxing is sitting in his recliner, remote in his hand, television on some sci-fi channel and me or Joseph bringing him everything. He only gets up for "necessary" things (if you know what I mean).
Now I am the first one to say Ray works hard and long hours and deserves to rest and relax. I don't mind waiting on him, as a matter of fact I love it; to a point. Then like fish after three days it starts to stink! So my plan is to have a plan. But those of you who know me know me and plans are not too good of friends, so this always makes it difficult. We will see how I do.

Ray came home last night and told me we have a company Christmas party to attend in about two weeks. I am at a total loss. I have needed a new dress and shoes for a while. Well need is a bit of a stretch, I have several dresses that are nice, I wear them to church, but you know what I mean. Anyway after the last dinner with the bosses and wives I would like to not look like the country bumpkin come to town.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

I'm back home in Florida. We had to make a fast trip to Alabama to take a tree off of the fence we had just installed. UGH! The fence wasn't too badly damaged so Ray and Joseph was able to get things back right again pretty quickly. They also did some minor fix ups to the house that at first they thought they wouldn't do, but after thinking about it they changed a fan motor in the master bathroom exhaust fan and a couple other things.

It was so nice that Joseph was there to help because that meant I got to go play at the LQS that is closing it's doors at the end of the month. The owner and I have worked together for more than two years and she is ready for the store to close so she can move on and I am so sad. Funny how that is. I got some of my samples off the walls and brought them home, so you will be seeing pictures of them soon I hope as I work to get them quilted. I also bought my first piece of Minkie. I made a quilt top years ago as a sample for a class I taught. Joseph loves that top and claimed it as his own so I bought a chocolate brown Minkie to back it. He thinks it is wonderful and I can't wait to get it finished now.

Uh Oh, Ray just called and is on his way home for lunch so I need to go fix him something. I will be back later with pictures...


Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting cozy...and busy

In my new sewing room I have set myself up a pretty comfy cutting area. It is right next to a window so I get great light most of the day. I set my old step up stool for when I am cutting for extended length of time, and it works great. I have my radio setting behind me so I can listen to my music or books and don't have to be scared of cutting my iPod earphone cord.
Can you see I have been busy cutting? That is 1.5" and 2" strips of all my Civil War reproductions. I haven't even made a dent in them since at the last count I had over 300 different fat quarters and I have added to that since then. I did finally convince myself to finish using the last bit of my oldest CW fabrics. I remember about 13 years ago my husband bought be a stack of FQs from Benartex for my birthday. I have used those FQs very lovingly and selfishly. I am now down to the last inch or two of most of them and a bit sad to see them done, but surprised at how much use you can get out of a small cut of fabric.

Last year at International Quilt Festival in Houston I had my booth on one row and on the row behind me was John Flynn and his family. For four days I could hear them over there showing their quilt frame and patterns and kits. For days I would take the long way to the restroom so I could look at their booth and all their beautiful quilts. Finally I could stand it no more! On Saturday evening, when I was suppose to be running to the ladies room I ran over to their booth, handed Brooke my credit card and told her to bag me up a kit and a template set, and when I came back I would sign the cc slip and pick it up.
This is the project I started this afternoon. I LOVE it! Besides it being CW fabrics and a Feathered Star pattern which I have wanted to make for a long time, it is also LASER CUT! It is so easy to put together. Just what I need, easy. Thanks Flynn family!

Aren't these going to be so cute?

Friday, November 7, 2008

I am official

Today I went and changed my address on my bank account. How nice to go to the bank and there be more than two tellers and hardly a line.
Then I found the Tax office and got my Florida drivers license. I am officially a Floridian. I would show you the new picture, but you know how license pictures turn out, always gross. This was no different. The best part of the whole thing was I don't have to wait for the "real" license to come in the mail while driving around with a paper copy. I walked out with the real deal! Cool huh?

I wanted to let Linda G. know I have been working in my sewing room! WOO HOO! I have cut strips for the courthouse steps blocks we learned how to make. I added to my civil war strips since I know I won't get much out of that almost empty bin. Never fear, I refilled it. :^)
I think should work on the blocks I started in class, it would be nice to have it for Nancy when I see her next.

Speaking of when I will see Nancy next, I am returning to Mobile much sooner than I thought. Ray has meetings next week and I am going to go with him. The reason for my return is the same day we left last time and thought it would be a very long time before we came back a tree fell over our back fence.
We got a phone call from our realtor the Monday after we left on Sunday, he asks "did you know you had a tree fall in your back yard"?
Ray replies "What"?
Realtor "yes, a tree is down in your back yard."
Ray "can you send me a picture"?
We get the picture and sure enough he was right.

My life, always an adventure, and never dull!


Monday, November 3, 2008

It's starting to take shape

I am tired of putting the house together and decided to devote my energy on my sewing room this week.
I should have taken a picture of before because looking at this you might think this is the before, but believe me this is after A LOT of work.
This is my sewing and pressing area. The idea is I can piece and then turn around and press, since I really like to press each seam as I go. The blue drawer unit is full of Civil War reproduction fabrics. I have more that won't fit so I see a top made from these coming soon.

This is a shot of my closet. I really need help here.

This is my favorite wall. It also happens to be the only wall that seems to have a smidgen of organization. The quilt on the left is my going away quilt from my Jubilee Jabber friends. I just love it!
This evening we have to change the pump on my washing machine. My husband says he is going change it and I am going to assist him, but sometimes that doesn't work out too well, and since I have been in a grumpy mood lately he may opt for doing it alone or with Joseph.
I'm not sure why I have been so moody lately except it could be that my Daddy had a stroke the night before we left for Florida and I have only been getting once a day updates on his condition. I think I will be better now though since I actually got to speak with him today and he sounded great. His voice was strong and he said he was actually feeling better. That was a relief!
Maybe I will sleep better tonight.