Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quilting Instructions Done

Strange picture, huh? I finished writing the instructions for using the Longarm machine at Thimbles. I included photos throughout, because I sure would have liked some photos when I was trying to figure out the machine! This one shows how you need a fingertip width between the take-up rail and the machine bed. I know we'll need to tweak the instructions here and there - I'm going to train the store owner soon and then I'll know better how well I've done. This project really brought me back to my Engineering days, when I wrote procedures for nuclear power plants.

Today I made an entire quilt top - another t-shirt quilt. I've got it down to a science now - I could probably turn one of these around in a week if I had to. I'm going to try to have another t-shirt quilt top done in the next couple of days, along with a Roman blind and a shower curtain. Tomorrow, I'll be sharing the house with an electrician, a countertop guy, and a few tilers, so I'm planning on staying in my studio most of the day.

In other news....
I'M GOING TO HOUSTON NEXT WEEK!!! I think that deserved all caps, don't you? Yes, I'm excited. No, I've never been to the Houston show before. I booked the flight back in June when Southwest was running a sale. Hotel's been booked since then, too. But with all the wedding busy-ness, and the bathroom remodel, I haven't had time to give it much thought. But now, I'm giving it LOTS of thought. Hubby's staying home to hold down the fort and feed the dogs.

Before I go, I need to stock up on camera batteries (they're currently dead), find a big tote bag to tote my purchases, and maybe even buy a second pair of athetic shoes. (I hear comfy shoes are a must.) And what will my purchases be, you ask? You'll have to stay tuned. I plan to blog from the road.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To start with, we finally found out that Daughter 2 made it safely out of Paris! Today she should be arriving back at her homebase in Italy. I'm counting down the weeks until she's back her with us!

Do you remember this quilt? I made it over a year ago when I was stash busting. I want to write instructions for the longarm machine for quilting individual designs, as opposed to an all over continuous line pattern. I think this quilt will be perfect to use for this. I loaded it on Thursday, planning to quilt it on Friday, but I woke up that day feeling a bit sick. I think I caught the cold that hubby battled earlier in the week. So the quilt is still on the frame, patiently waiting for me. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get back at it.
As our remodel progresses, I've been doing some sorting and purging. I threw out TONS of old spices. It's so nice to get rid of old stuff! You can get a peak of my new countertops here.
Yesterday, hubby, Daughter 1 and I spent the day watching college football (and Daughter 2 embossed programs for the wedding). The dogs were relaxing, peering out the front door. All of a sudden they started barking. When I checked on them, I saw what they were barking at - two baby deer in our front yard!

I yelled to hubby and Daugher 1 that we had deer in the yard. Hubby said later he thought I was going crazy. But they saw I was not (okay, sometimes I'm a bit crazy, but not then).

We do NOT live in a rural area. This was absolutely an amazing site. And if babies are around, Mom and Dad must be close by, too....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Stunning Quilt

I wish I had a better full-on shot of this quilt, but take my word for it - it's a stunner! It was a show-and-tell at the last quilt guild meeting I attended - the September meeting.
It's a Kaffe Fasset pattern and it's full of Kaffe fabric, my favorite!!! It's one of those quilts that you could look at hours and still see new things. Love it! Made by Jan H.
Why is this picture of a truck in the middle of my blog, you ask? I took this photo on our trip to the lake a while back. Don't you just love an old truck? So much character!!

We still haven't heard from Daughter 2 in Europe. Getting worried. Hoping for a call. Hope she made it out of Paris. Elizabeth, thinking about you...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Excuse for Not Cooking...

Actually, I have two excuses. Above is Number 1. We installed the new cable on the longarm machine Saturday, and TA DAH - it worked! YAY! TRIPLE YAY! So yesterday, I went to the shop bright and early, with my Flutterby quilt top in hand. I put the zipper leaders on the quilt top and backing Sunday afternoon, so it was easy peasy to load the quilt onto the frame.

Then I went to work quilting. As I performed each step, I took careful notes and photographs, preparing myself to write instructions so that beginners will be able to use the machine easily.

Just as was getting into my groove, a beginner's sewing class convened only feet away from the longarm. The machine is not super noisy, but I know it had to be distracting to them. So I gave up the ship and called it a day. This morning I'm heading back there to finish the quilt (no classes there today).
And here's my other excuse for not cooking....

Yesterday, the wonderful workmen tore out my backsplash, my kitchen sink, and disconnected my cooktop. Of course, then the contractor found out my new countertops were not ready yet! They will be here Wednesday, so we'll be eating out for a couple of days. I wasn't in the mood to cook this week anyway!

I have been assured that the master bath will be finished by the end of the week. We can't wait. Our clothes are scattered everywhere. I'm not sure what I've been wearing for the last month, because this morning I could only find a couple of shirt options. Where are my clothes disappearing?!

In other news, Daugher 2 called yesterday morning from Paris, where she and her friends were stuck. She's on fall break from her Italian study abroad program and a small group is traveling to Paris, then Berlin, and then on to Vienna before returning to Italy. Of course this coincides with the terrorist threats over there and now the transportation strikes in France. There are riots and demonstrations and burning cars all over Paris. Their flight out yesterday was cancelled. Here's hoping and praying they get out today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dancing Owlies

I've been eyeing this cute fabric for a few weeks now. It's been at Thimbles, where I've been working on the longarm machine. I saw it in the back of the store, soon after it was delivered. It sat on the table back there for a few days. Then it was put out for sale in the front of the store. I've been visiting the bolt every time I go in. Then, finally, last week I did it - I bought a half yard. Couldn't resist any longer!
Here's the selvage in case you want to find some of your own.
And here's what I did with it! Ring around the owlie! Plus there's plenty left over!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Extreme Makeover Chair

We're still working away through our home remodel. The bathrooms are getting the MAJOR overhaul, but I couldn't resist adding some other minor updates throughout the house. You may remember that we painted the dining room. Plus I refinished the dining room table (glad that's done!) I shopped around for new dining chairs next. The ones I fell in love with were way too expensive! I couldn't bring myself to spend $2500 on 6 chairs!

So what's a crafty girl to do?

Paint and fabric saved the day! I bought several cans of glossy ivory spray paint and a couple of yards of upholstery fabric (with a 40% off coupon at Joann's!). And voila!

I like that they're more light and airy and bit more comtemporary. And they look great with the newly refinished table! Two chairs done, four more to go!

We needed a new cable on the longarm machine - can't wait for it to come in so I can quilt this:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yummy Apple Dumplings!

Welcome to all new readers who came along via the Selvage Blog! If you are new, let me explain a few things you might have wondered about from Karen Griska's post on the Selvage Blog yesterday. She mentioned my year-long journey without buying fabric - time spent using my stash and recycled items.

If you visited my blog yesterday, you saw a lovely piece of fabric I recently purchased at my LQS. So the explanation: my year-long "no buy" policy is now over. I did succeed - went an entire year using my stash! But now I allow myself to occasionally buy fabric, though I must say that year really changed me! I no long buy just to buy. I tend now to buy only with a specific project in mind.

And because I'm writing a new quilting book (my second), I do have lots of projects in mind!!!

Another thing you should know about me: I love to cook! And occasionally I share a recipe here. Which brings us to the topic of this post. Daughter 1 came to dinner last night. I made crock pot potato soup - good, but nothing special. But dear daughter brought dessert, and, OH MY, it was definitely something special. And it has a very unexpected ingredient....


2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar (white)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Mountain Dew

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

2. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.

3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.

4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I took an on-line quiz to find out my color personality. (Sorry, Blogger is not letting me add a link to the quiz.) Anyhoo, I'm YELLOW. Go figure. I would have guessed I'd have been orange, or maybe GREEN (duh!).

Update: Here's the link to the color quiz:

I still can't get blogger to imbed the link, so you have to copy and paste it into your browser.

Then I started thinking about it. My studio is painted...yellow. Every other room in our house is neutral (except the newly teal dining room). Then I look down. Today I was wearing (before I took the quiz) a yellow t-shirt. Hmmm.... Maybe yellow IS my color. I'm not renaming the blog, though.

I made a trip to my local quilt shop a couple of days ago. I don't go that often because it's a bit far. I was looking for a focus fabric for a quilt I'm designing. I wanted a large, fun print. I was please to discover that the LQS is now carrying some lucious Westminter fabrics. I came home with 6.5 yards of this Philip Jacobs print.

Back I home, I held it beside my yummy Kona Cotton Solids color chart, looking for a few solids to bring in to the mix. Maybe a pink?

Maybe a greeny blue? Maybe a few different solids?

The woman who waited on me asked my name. I told her. She said, "You look like her." I guess I'm glad I look like myself.

A Finished Quilt!

I finished the t-shirt quilt - it's been in progress for a few months - a gift for a family friend. Hope he likes it! If you remember, the blue fabric is a cotton I bought because it reminds me of a men's tie. The sashing fabric is from actual men's shirts.
Yes, I quilted it on the longarm machine I've been learning to use. It was a bit of a challenge to quilt - I don't think I had the correct needle in the machine for the t-shirt fabric. The machine complained constantly. But we finally came to some sort of compromise and got through it!
Daughter 2 has many of these same shirts, so it really brought back memories! Speaking of Daughter 2, she is still in Italy, studying abroad. Later this month she'll embark on a 10 day trip to Rome, Venice, Paris, and I think somewhere else, all amidst these terror alerts we keep hearing about on the news. I try not to worry about it, as I know she'll be as careful as she can.

The dust around here continues, and continues, and continues! The countertop guy is here now making templates for the kitchen and the two main bathrooms. The painters are painting the master bath - a sure sign that room is almost done, though it still needs a bit more tile (they ran out), grout, and a countertop with sinks. Oh, and a toilet would be nice, too. We currently have two toilets sitting in our master bedroom. We're still sleeping in another room, with our clothes scattered in mulitple places. This morning I put my undies on in one room, moved to another room for my jeans, and in yet another room I found a t-shirt.

And if all that weren't enough, dear little Prince (the doxie) has an injury. The vet thinks he's torn his ACL on his back left knee. He's resting comfortably amongst the dust and clutter while we keep an eye on him.

I don't mean to be all complaints! Life is good! And....I'm being featured on the Selvage blog in a couple of days - YAY!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Selvage Project Revealed!

Do you remember that selvage project I did last February? The one I couldn't reveal yet since it was to be a gift? Well, the gift has been given!
In addition to the selvages, I added some clothing labels. This is truly a GREEN QUILT! Everything is recycled...
Ta Dah!!!! This will be Daughter 1's new initial when they get married - her new last name will begin with a "T". A labor of LOVE!