Saturday, January 30, 2010

Patches Is Going to Lancaster!

Woot, woot!!!  Just got a letter today saying "Patches" has been juried into the AQS Lancaster Show!  I am excited!

I've been away a few days:  our wireless router has been down and I'm too lazy to go sit on the floor in the exercise room to plug in.  But hubby hooked up a new one today, and I can now connect from my recliner.  I know - the epitome of laziness!

I sewed this morning, but not on a quilt.  I made a curtain which will hang in our laundry room to cover some unsightly (but necessary) ductwork and wires.  The is a strange size:  only 15 inches long, but approximately 20 feet long.  Pictures soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First Finish of 2010!

Yay!  I finished a UFO!  I can't believe I've had this top sitting around for more that two years and it took so little time and effort to finish it.   The colors don't show up as bright here as they really are.  It's the perfect lap size and looks wonderful in our den.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quilting Like Crazy

Here's what's under my HQ 16 at the moment.  I made this top about two years ago, so it's about time I finished it.  Our main den quilts (the ones we snuggle under every night while watching TV with dogs in our laps) are absolutely threadbare, with holes.  Holes big enough for a dachshund to stick his entire head through.  Not a good thing.  So this quilt will be a nice lap sized replacement.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but I'm quilting large loopy flowers to fit in each diamond.  The pattern:  my own.  I do love this top and can't wait to finish it.  The plan is to finish the quilting today and maybe even do the machine part of the binding later tonight.

My REALLY big project for the last week has been painting.  It seemed like a small project at the time, but it's grown exponentially.  We stripped wallpaper from the stairwell going down to our finished basement.  Once that was done we had to paint this area (above a chair rail).  Then the paint below looked dingy, so it had to be painted, too (after sanding and priming some spots.  After that was done the ceiling looked dingy, so...   you get the picture.  It's not a big area, but it is along stairs and rather closed in.  I just have a tiny bit of touching up to do and this project will be (thankfully!) done.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Masses Have Spoken!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I heard you all very loudly!  I got so many comments on my last post - whether or not to leave the quilt alone or to use it as a background.  EVERY SINGLE ONE said to leave it as is!  WOW!  And yes, I'm listening.  I'm going to take your advice and stop.  But now I have to decide how to quilt it... that will take some thought, for sure.

I think next week will be a quilting week for me.  I've amassed a pile of quilt tops that are begging to be finished.  It's about time to crank up my HQ Sixteen again.  I've really missed her.

The fabric pack above is one I ordered in December.  I love the colors!  Part of this pack will go into a very special quilt for a very special couple.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Colorful Background

This is the project I've been working on for the last week.  This is really out of the box for me.  I like things even and symmetrical.  Heck, even our house is symmetrical, both inside and out! So this was a stretch for me.  And I must say, it's really fun to stretch and do something different for a change.

I took hubby up to my studio yesterday to show it to him.  He says it's one of his favorites and he thinks I should not add anything else.  In other words, he doesn't want it to be background.  As far as he's concerned, it's a finished quilt top.  What to do????

I need help here!  What do you think?  Is it finished?  Or can I add some select motifs?  A few tall flowers maybe? 
Now I need to put the Cherrywood box back in order.  You can't see here, but it's overflowing onto the floor.  Quite a mess I make when I strive to create!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tunisian Crochet

Today is the first time I've ever heard of Tunisian Crochet.  Apparently, you use a double-ended crochet hook that is a bit longer than the traditional hooks.  It sounds like it is a combination of crochet and knitting.  Read more about it here.  Of course, now I'm intrigued....but maybe I should finish the hexie project first?

I never picked up a paint brush or roller today.  I had good intentions, but I ended up spending the entire day in my studio.  I couldn't tear myself away.  I'm very excited about it!  Pictures to come!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I missed Mickey Monday yesterday for two reasons.  The first (and a very good one!) being that I've not worked on the quilt since the previous Monday.  The second reason is that I spent yesterday stripping wallpaper and painting.  More painting is waiting for me today.

I started a new quilty project last week.  I have a box of Cherrywood scraps.  I do love Cherrywood fabric.  Did you know that they sell scrap bags?  I ordered a couple of them years ago.  I began by strip piecing wonky pieces.  This piece grew quickly as the week went on.  It's almost big enough for my intended purpose.  This is planned to be a background for something fun.  If my idea works....

Today I must go to the paint store to get another gallon.  Plus I need some painter's tape - I hear there is a new product called Frog Tape that works better than that blue tape.  Plus I need some caulk.  But I will try to block out some quilting time, too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crochet Wednesday

Ten hexie blocks complete!  It's big enough to cover a dachshund now, though I won't let one near it.  

The heating pad is not working for the little dogs - they are still waking up VERY early every morning.  I'm now thinking that they got so used to having the girls around over the holidays that they are not adjusted yet to having just hubby and me.  Hubby got up when they started barking this morning and bammed on the floor above the garage.  They got the message and hushed; we went back to sleep.

Lots to do today:  mail package to Daughter 2, change sheets on both daughters' beds, house cleaning, and some quilting thrown in here and there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My art group met last week.  It was wonderful to connect with these dear friends again.  For the first time since our group started meeting, we had a "required" challenge.  We each made two 13 inch tree blocks, depicting two different seasons.  We assigned seasons so that there would be an equal number of each.  There are six of us, so we ended up with 12 blocks, 3 of each season.  We could use any techniques at all.

The due date was last week, and EVERYONE made the deadline!
This winter tree was one of my favorites.  See the white drawn lines?  Does that tell you what we did next?
You guessed it!   We cut them all into four equal pieces, then rearranged them so that each block has all four seasons in it.  We each took home two of these blocks to sew together, quilt, and embellish.  Then we're planning to put them together into one quilt.  We'd originally planned to each keep the two blocks, but we realized that they are better as a large group than individually.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MIckey Monday

I made a bit of progress last week.  Slowly but surely, I'll get there.  I may start working on an ear next - he just looks too strange without ears!

VERY cold here.  It's been this way for a couple of weeks.  We're just not used to this here in the South.  It's supposed to warm up a bit in a few days, though, so we'll keep bundling up until then.  Mickey really hates the cold.  He burrows under a quilt in the hottest part of the summer.  He and Prince sleep in the garage at night - for the last week or so Mickey has been letting us know he's too cold by barking in the middle of the night until we let him inside.  We tried a different approach last night, hoping we could get a full night's sleep without interruption.  Hubby put a heating pad under a towel in their crate and turned it on low. Eureka!  It worked!  They must have stayed warm, because we were able to sleep all night.

Today is our Quilt Guild meeting - can't wait.  The speaker will be my good friend, Judy R., talking about machine quilting.  Her machine quilting ability is amazing!  Maybe I'll learn something.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pizza Friday

As promised, I'm going to start posting the occasional recipe - a girl's gotta eat, right?

Over the holiday's we've been watching a bit of the Food Network.  Yum!  One night we happened onto a pizza challenge show.  I'd never seen anything like it.  The contestants competed in a few different areas of pizza making.  In one part, they had to throw and stretch their dough to see who could make the biggest crust.  I'm talking big!  These pizzas would not come close to fitting in my oven.

In one part of the show they had to showcase a pizza recipe.  We were all drooling by the time the credits rolled.  The winning recipe was the Cali-Italia Pizza.  We knew we had to try it.  I highly recommend it!  It's absolutely the best pizza I've ever put in my mouth, bar none.  Better than take-out, by far!

I found fresh pizza dough at our local Publix, in the bakery department.  The only change I made in the recipe was that we added the prosciutto and the fig preserves before baking instead of after.  I wanted all the toppings to be hot.  


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crochet Wednesday

Ta-dahhhh!  Here's the start of my crochet project.  It will be an afghan, eventually..............
I do love these hexagons!  Hmmm....maybe I'll make a hexagon quilt this year, too.  We'll see.  I haven't crocheted in years, but it didn't take long to brush up my skills.  And now I've got the pattern down pat so I don't have to look at the instructions every step of the way.  One thing nice about this pattern is that you crochet the hexies together as  you make them - no sewing them together later.  I got the pattern from the sidebar of my new favorite blog, Attic24.

Daughter 2 was interested in this, so I taught her to crochet over the weekend.  She's already made a scarf and is ready to start something bigger.  Yes, she's officially hooked!  I couldn't resist the lame pun - sorry!

This project is proving to be a nice break for my eyes from the Mickey applique quilt.  It's nice to have two very different hand projects going at the same time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An Owlie Pillow

Here's the cute little pillow I promised.  Daughter 2 made this to give to a friend at college.  The Greek letters are embroidered.  The button eyes are vintage, found in my button jar.

We found this pattern in an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting - it was designed by Jennifer.  Check out her blog to see the original, which is a bit different than this version.

Today is my art bee meeting - can't wait!  We're working on a very cool project today.  But the best part will be the fellowship of friends.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Mickey Monday

I actually made a bit of progress on Mickey last week!  Still a long way to go, but I'm getting there.

I'm thinking about a plan to keep me on track with my blog.  Along with Mickey Mondays, I think I'll post Crochet Wednesdays, and I'll post a recipe on Fridays.  Of course, I'll try to post in between with other quilty pleasures.  I've already loaded lots of photos that I can't wait to share.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a very special little applique pillow project.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year

Yay!!!  2010 is finally here!!  I, for one, am VERY glad 2009 is over.  It wasn't the best year for me. There were some high points.  Hubby and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a virgin trip to Europe - what a blast!  While in Germany I met a woman whom I've been corresponding with ever since - my e-mail pen pal, Eva.  Daughter 1 got engaged to a wonderful young man.  My quilt, Spring Break, was accepted into the IQA Celebrate Spring exhibit and traveled around the country. Yes, there were some good times.  But I'm hoping 2010 will be a happier, less stressful year.

Last year at this time I had a long list of goals for the year.  No, I didn't accomplish every one of them.  But I did get a ton of them done.  As a result, my stash of fabric is more organized and I made several monthly stash quilts.  Okay, so they're only quilt tops now, but hopefully this year they'll get quilted.

And the BIG accomplishment:  on August 26 I finished my year-long quest to abstain from buying fabric.  It was a life-changing process - I'm still hesitant to buy fabric even now!  I really stop and think before I make a purchase.  I don't buy fabrics now unless I have a project in mind for them.  Our bank account is really happy about this change.

This year I've decided not to make a list of specific goals.  I'm not going to pressure myself.  But I do have some general goals in mind.

1.  Make the most of each day.
2.  Quilt those tops I made last year!
3.  Buy some pretty yarn and start crocheting again - a long lost love.  I've been inspired by Attic 24.
4.  Finish the Mickey quilt - yes, I'll continue with my Mickey Mondays.  (Sorry I missed one last Monday!)
5.  Stop feeling guilty for taking naps.

Will I publish another book?  I hope so, but I'm trying to take some pressure off myself.  So if it happens, great.  If it doesn't, that's okay.  Can you see a theme here?  No pressure, hopefully less stress!

I am looking forward to another year of blogging.  This year though, I'm not going to tie myself down to only talking quilting.  I'll show my crochet projects.  And I also plan to share some recipes here and there.  I've discovered some yummy dishes over the last few months, so I'll pass them along to you here.

And the wedding!  It will be in December, so I'm sure I won't be able to keep my mouth shut about this subject!  I want to enjoy every minute of the planning.  We bought the wedding dress a couple of weeks ago.  It's truly beautiful!  I ordered fabric last week to make a quilt for the happy couple.  Actually, I'm making them two quilts - one for the wall and one for snuggling.  These will be fun projects, stitched with lots of love.

So I'm ready for the new year.  MORE than ready!!!