Monday, October 31, 2011

San Antonio!!!

Wondering where I've been since last week? Hubby had a business trip in San Antonio and I stowed away! I'd never been there before, but I'd go back in a heartbeat. What a fun, vibrant city! We toured the Alamo, of course.
We went to the top of the Hemisfair - yes, I sewed right up there at the top while Hubby took some pictures of the view.
I walked miles along the River Walk, and ate lots of Mexican food.
We saw some amazing plants and lots of birds.
It was a great trip! I even met some lovely quilters from Bermuda, stopping for a few days on their way to the Houston show- picture coming soon! I even gave them a mini lesson during their breakfast.

We got home Sunday afternoon. Today I'm catching up on laundry. I actually got a good bit of hand sewing done on the trip. I kept it in my purse, and sewed my way through San Antonio. I used my handy dental floss pack as my thread cutter. I'm may have to name this particular quilt (it'll be in the book) something with a bit of Tex-Mex flavor since part of it was made there.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Cool Ride!

No, hubby is not having a mid-life crisis! But he does look good in this car, doesn't he?

Hubby works for an electric utility, which owns this electric vehicle. He had the extreme pleasure of driving it from Montgomery back to Birmingham yesterday. After taking me for a quick spin, alas, he had to turn it back in to the company.

If you're interested in the details, it's a Tesla. The trunk is designed to hold one set of golf clubs. I thought that was so funny! They expect the car buyer to be a golfer! (Hubby IS a golfer, so he thought that part was pretty cool.) The car is priced at $109,000. No, not in our price range!.

I've been sewing away here. It's so frustrating not to be able to show my projects here! But I do have a project I'll be able to share next week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fabulous Fall (and a Good Deal on Chicken)

We are experiencing the most beautiful Fall weekend here in Birmingham. The weather is sunny and the perfect temperature. My Christmas cacti on the deck are beginning to get some cool nights to instigate their future blooms.
Despite the gorgeous weather, our spoiled rotten dogs would prefer to be inside. Mickey relaxed on the love seat in my studio this week while I worked. What a dog!

I made a big trip to the grocery store today - glad to get that done! I bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts (among many other things) and was aghast at the price - well over $4.00 per pound. The package I bought was more than $22.00! I need it, so I bought it. BUT, then I came home, got on my computer and ordered 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon Foods at only: drumroll please......$1.49 per pound!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe that price? Extreme coupon users will buy chicken when it gets down to $1.99 per pound, but $1.49 per pound - a GREAT DEAL. The chicken is delivered fresh, ready to cook or to divide in packages to freeze. You can order it if you live in the Birmingham, AL, area through Oct. 28, then pick it up locally the next week. And you can order as many cases of 40 pounds each as you want. I've heard from another blogger that the quality is excellent.

Check it out for yourself HERE. They have sales events all over the United States, so check to see if they'll be in an area near you. (They have other foods besides chicken, too.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Stunning Quilt!

Is this not gorgeous!!!? My good friend, Brenda B., made this beauty, based on a design by Judy Mathieson. Brenda is so talented. She does her own quilting on her domestic machine. And her piecing is perfection.

Brenda used to be my neighbor, but she and her husband retired to South Carolina to a lovely home on a lake a few years ago. Oh, I miss her! We used to bounce ideas off each other all the time. Now we have to do it via e-mail. At least we have that!

We had a cold front come through last night so there's a chill in the air today. Mickey DOES NOT like it; he's been shivering all morning. Maybe I should find him a sweater?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Day in Auburn

I spent a lovely day in Auburn yesterday, accompanying Daughter 2 while she interviewed for the Harrison School of Pharmacy. She got her official acceptance today! So proud of you, Elizabeth!
We spotted this as we walked on campus Sunday afternoon. Click on the photo a couple of times to enlarge. There are three students in three hammocks - can you see the higher one? He had to work to relax!
Here are some workers removing toilet paper from the Toomer's Corner tree. You probably heard how the tree was poisoned last year. They are trying to save it, but I thought it looked pretty sad. Can you see how those branches on the left look so barren?

Today I'm catching up on sewing and laundry. I'm getting really excited about one of my current quilts - it's turning out wonderfully! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday...

dear Mickey, Happy Birthday to you! Can't believe this sweet puppy is now 4 years old!

Just got back from an overnight to Auburn - haven't been there in quite some time. Good to be back in the Loveliest Village. Good to be back home again, too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Ship(ment) Has Come In!

Excuse my messy kitchen table in the background, but look what came in the mail! A freakin' tall stack of fabric! I can't show you the quilts I'm working on for the book, but there's no reason I can't share some of the fabric.

This pile includes 10 yards of Kaffe Fassett all on sale from Hancock's of Paducah - I cannot pass up a Kaffe sale! And there are also lots and lots of Kona Cotton Solids thrown in for good measure. These were not on sale, but they're a MUST have as far as I'm concerned.

Do you see that coral and that green near the bottom of the stack? One of them has a good shot of being the background fabric for one of the quilts. Now which to pick? What do you think? I'm trying to step outside my color box - why are backgrounds always white or cream?

Daughter 2 is home with us for a couple of days - she's got in interview Monday for Pharmacy School - good luck, Sweetie!!!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Catching My Breath...

Here's one of the projects Karen Kay Buckley taught while here in Birmingham - it's machine appliqué, but it's hard to tell that it hasn't been done by hand. The pattern is her own design, called Kansas Rose.

It was certainly a whirlwind while she was here, but everything went great. She was very nice and very professional. She is also a great teacher, very organized, and extremely talented.

I learned so much from her - not only her techniques, but also some techniques on teaching. I love her classroom setup - she had a movie camera mounted on a tabletop tripod. The camera was hooked to a digital projector. So as Karen demonstrated each technique, her hands were projected onto the wall for all to see. Everyone could stay in their seats and see close up what she was doing. It a very good system and I need to copy it - I already have a digital projector, so I'll need the camera and the small tripod.I made a batch of these for the workshops - pretzels, Hugs, and candy corn. Easy peasy and Halloweeny! The leftovers went to work with hubby yesterday for his co-workers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hubby's Surprise: 10K!

I've been having a fun week hosting Karen Kay Buckley during her stay in Birmingham. She gave a lecture at our guild meeting Monday, and then taught three classes. I promise I will share more details about her visit in another blog post - she is truly a well-oiled machine, and probably THE best quilting teacher I've ever seen and heard!

But first I want to share my lovely dinner with hubby last night. He'd been out of town on business the entire time Karen was here. He flew back to town yesterday, hours before Karen flew back home to Pennsylvania. He'd suggested we go out to dinner since he knew I'd be too tired to cook. So we went to a new restaurant in our area: The Ridge. It's a sister restaurant to Mud House, a popular restaurant in another area of town.

The Ridge is a casual place, relaxed and fun. We had a coupon for a free appetizer - we had sweet potato chips with a blue cheese dip. While we waited for our appetizer to arrive, hubby placed this card in front of me and asked me to guess what it meant. He had a big smile!

My guess was that he'd gotten a raise - 10K! I was spending it my head! But no, he assured me that wasn't the case. Hmm.... I was baffled! When I gave up, he told me that yesterday was our 10,000 day anniversary. Whoa! How in the world did he figure that out!? I was floored!

He'd been planning this for months, it turned out. How romantic!!!

The 10K card came with a few phases of gifts. The first: I had 10 seconds to think of anything I wanted from him that begins with the letter "K." He looked at his watch and started the countdown. I immediately blurted out, "Kaffe Fassett fabric!" He died laughing. We both laughed through the remainder of the 10 seconds! He was impressed I thought of something - the only things he'd come up with were kilt, kite, and kangaroo!

The second phase: he gave me a budget and said he wanted me to decide what to do with it. Maybe a trip for the two of us, maybe something special I've been wanting. Hmmm. I'll have to think on this before deciding.

The third phase: 10 kisses.

Was this not a special idea? We had wonderful dinner and a fun evening.

Friday, October 7, 2011

In My Rear View Mirror

I took this shot on my way home from a bee meeting yesterday. Look what was staring at me! Click on the picture a couple of times. Now do you see it? A bit freaky. He was behind me most of the way home on the interstate and even took the same exit. Then he went another direction, thank goodness. It was actually a tow truck.
Here's another picture you'll have to click on to see better. Lisa is working on this adorable doggy diamond quilt with Aunt Donna scraps. Pretty much everyone in our Guild knows all about Aunt Donna scraps, but that story will have to be for another day.

I had really good intentions for sewing this week, but life got in the way a good bit. I took my parents to the doctor for their flu shots and check-ups. I ran some errands another day for my mother - she needed makeup, Reeboks, and Christmas garland. Yes, she plans ahead. And then of course, another day devoted to a fun Bee meeting. Whew!

I did take the time today to order piles of fabric from Hancock's of Paducah for quilts for the new book. And I have big sewing plans for tomorrow while I watch football with hubby. Sunday I'll be picking up Karen Kay Buckley at the airport, as she arrives for a few days of workshops for our Guild. I'm her hostess and I'll be with her every day. I'm sure I'll have lots of fun photos from the workshops - it will be a fun week for sure. She'll be speaking at our Guild meeting Monday morning, so if you're in the Birmingham area, come visit our meeting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The BEST Biscuit Recipe EVER!

I haven't shared a recipe here in quite a long time - so here's a good one! I originally found this one on Pinterest (of course!) at this site. So go there for the recipe for 7Up Biscuits.

However, I need to tell you the substitutions I make to lighten it up:
1. Instead of regular Bisquick, I use the lower fat version
2. Instead of regular sour cream, I use the low fat version
3. Instead of regular 7Up, I use Diet Sprite, since I usually have that in the refrigerator.

I do not substitute for the melted butter - a girl's gotta have a bit of butter!

The bubbly soft drink seems to make the biscuits light and fluffy - no more hockey pucks around here!

We're having breakfast for supper tonight: these biscuits, scrambled eggs, grits, and bacon. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flimsy Finishing

Hubby and I took the dogs for a nice walk over the weekend. We usually don't take Oliver along, but we took pity on him this time. He loved it, but we discovered that his hip issues are getting worse. He dragged one of his rear feet the entire time. Poor thing! He probably won't be going on any more walks. He's also been battling a rash - he's on his second round of medications for that. It's not easy getting old.
Here's another outstanding quilt from the Georgia show.
And here are the details. WOW!

Today I will be finishing the quilt top I've been working on diligently. Yay! Don't you love how the Aussies call a quilt top a "flimsy?" I think I'll start using that name.

Anyway, yes, this a quilt for the upcoming book. I'll be so glad to finish the top. Still have to quilt it. Still have to write the instructions. Peggy and I have LOTS to do before our May deadline. We had completed two of the projects for the book before we sent in our book proposal, but based on comments from the publisher, we now want to remake them in different colors so they will pop off the pages of the book better.

I'm taking my parents to the doctor today for flu shots and check ups. They wanted to go in October, and my month is already looking very busy indeed, so I figured I'd better go ahead and get their shots out of the way.