Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog-iversary and High School Band Reunion

Friday was the three year anniversary of my blog - can't believe I've been doing this so long! I try to keep the blog quilty, but alas, today there is nothing quilty I can show. Now that my computer issues seem to be settled, I'm back at work on the book proposal. I have a co-writer - more about that eventually.

Friday was also the start of my high school band reunion. I played flute at Decatur High School, and I was also a majorette. Those were good times! Our band director, Jerry Countryman, taught at the school for 25 years. The reunion brought together all his students for those years. Since the Countryman family moved to Texas, I haven't seen them since, well maybe 1980.

The photo shows Mr. Countryman, Debbie (one of my BESTEST high school friends), and me - excuse my flattened hair - it was SO hot and my hair melted. We met in our old band room (lots of memories there!), and then stood out on the football field Friday night before the game. Mr. C directed both team bands in the Star Bangled Banner and we band alumni released red and white balloons into the air.

There were more festivities Saturday, but hubby and I came back to Birmingham Friday night to be home while we had a contractor here. No - no remodeling this time - we've been having cable TV issues, so we had Direct TV installed. The guy was here from 2:30 in the afternoon until 9:30 last night. I think we'll like it, but I have to relearn all the channel numbers.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back in Business

What a week! After buying a new computer on Sunday afternoon and leaving it (along with my crashed computer) for the kind Apple folks to transfer my data, I have been on pins and needles. The computer was not ready until Tuesday. I spent about an hour and a half at the store when I picked it up while they helped me update a few things.

Tuesday night after my quilting class, I realized some things on the computer weren't as they should be. So yesterday morning I went back to the store, spending another couple of hours with my computer and an Apple employee as he corrected the issues.

Back at home, yes, another problem. Back to the store for another couple of hours. The problems were all associated with the fact that my old computer was totally crashed, making the data transfer very difficult.

The good news:
-All issues are now solved, and my new computer is working beautifully, though I still need to learn a few things
-All my pictures were saved!
-The book proposal was saved!

The bad news:
-All applications were lost, i.e., Microsoft Office, Photoshop - I'm in the process of reloading these. If I can't find my Photoshop disc, I'll have to buy that one.

All in all, it's good, though. I couldn't be happier!

In other Apple news, congrats to Tim Cook, newly named CEO for Apple. Hubby and I were classmates of Tim at Auburn where we all studied Industrial Engineering together. (He probably doesn't remember me, though!)
My beginning quilting class continues to go well. I remembered my camera this week and took some shots of the students' WIPs. Cute teapots!
Pretty colors - this one will have a gorgeous paisley border.
I love the look of this one - one fabric reminds me of shirting.
And isn't this going to be a happy quilt?

Three classes down - two to go. For homework, the students are to finish sewing their rows together and then sew on their borders. Next class we will learn to baste the top, batting, and backing together, and begin to machine quilt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dead Computer

I haven't blogged in a few days because my beloved laptop died on Saturday night. It had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks, but I was really hoping it would last until September. I was working on an important project (quilting book proposal) and I was OH SO close to being done.

BUT, it wasn't to be. BUMMER.

I took it to the hospital (Apple store) Sunday. They agreed that my prognosis was correct. The computer is done. So I bought a new one and paid extra to have them try to save the data on my old, dead one and move it to the new one. I was supposed to go pick them both up tonight. But just before my appointment they called to cancel. The data transfer was taking longer than they expected, and was more difficult than they expected. Oh. Dear. They will call me tomorrow.

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed that they are able to save my files, especially my pictures and the book proposal. Pretty please.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bowling, Anyone?

I have to admit, I don't like to bowl. I've only done it once in my life when our girls were little. I ended up throwing out my hip and being in pain for days. I guess I'm a fuddy duddy.

But the bowling pins themselves are pretty cool. I like the shape and their heaviness. So when I took a little trip down highway 31 earlier this week to visit a thrift store, I couldn't pass these up. I guess I bought them in the spirit of the American Pickers on the History channel. Love me some Mike and Frank. Just heard they're opening a new Antique Archeology store in Nashville.

Now what to do with them? Later in the week I saw a photo on Pinterest of a lovely table in a lovely home. The table was beautifully styled with a cool lamp and some other decorative items. And there sat an old bowling pin that looks identical to mine. Maybe I'm on to something? I only paid $2.48 each.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How I Follow 177 Blogs (And How You Can, Too!)

I told a quilting friend how many blogs I like to keep up with - yes, that number is currently 177! And always growing! She wanted to know if I live on my computer all day long. No, I don't!

When I first discovered quilting blogs, I bookmarked them on my computer. Then every day, I'd have to go to my bookmarks and click on each blog individually to see if there was a new post. Often there wasn't a new post. I spent so much time daily clicking and checking, sometimes only to find a couple of new posts. I was explaining this to my Software Engineer daughter a couple of years ago and she had a solution which has changed my life.

Now I can read so many blogs in so little time! And I don't have to search to find recent posts. I know many of you may already know how to do this, but in case you don't..... Emily has helped me with these instructions.

1. Go to and sign in with your Google account. If you do not have a Google account, click "Create an account" to make an account. (This is free.) This account will give you access to ALL of Google's apps (GMail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, etc.).

2. At the top left corner, click the "Add a subscription" button. This is where you'll start adding the blogs that you read.

3. Type either the blog address (e.g. or a search term (e.g. Green Quilts).

4. Repeat this for all your blogs, and you're done! You can click "All items" on the left to see all of your new blog posts from all of your subscribed blogs. If you'd rather view only a specific blog, click on the blog under the "Subscriptions" section on the left.

It takes a bit of time to enter your favorite blogs in initially, but it's really not too bad. And whenever you discover a new blog you like, it's so easy to add it to your list.

I hope this changes your life as much as it has changed mine. Now I just have to go to, click on "All items," and any new posts from my blog list appear for me to read. As I scroll through each entry, it is automatically marked as read so it will not appear again. One site. Lots of blog entries. Time saved. It's a very good thing!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I got a special delivery today. Actually it was just an ordinary delivery by Mr. FedEx. But to me it was special. You see, I've been looking for the perfect fabric for a project for months. Yes, months! I really try to support the one local quilt shop in our city, but their stock doesn't turn over very often. So frequently they don't have what I'm looking for. Especially when I didn't even know what I was looking for. I just knew that when I saw it, I would know. Have you ever felt like that about a fabric?

So to make my long story even longer, I FINALLY found the perfect fabric on-line. At Hancock's of Paducah. Yay! So I placed my order for multiple yards. Yay!

Then the dreaded e-mail.....the fabric I ordered was on back order. Grrr.

But I've been a very patient girl. And today was the magic day that the doorbell rang and I found that beautiful yellow package on my doormat. And it was worth the long wait! Isn't it lovely?
Here's the low-down on the selvage in case you want to get some of this yummy-ness for yourself.

I'm teaching my beginning quilting class tonight. It will be fun because everyone will be bringing their sewing machines. They'll learn about strip piecing, pressing seams, nesting seams, and chain piecing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Here's a little bitty peak at my latest project, completed today. It needs lots of tweaking, which means I'll be making another one of these in different fabrics soon. Designing is hard work. It never comes out perfect the first time.
After seeing the last Harry Potter movie recently, I got the urge to read the entire series. Years ago, as each book came out, I read the first 4. Then life got in the way. So I'm starting over again with the encouragement of Daughter 2 who declares them "the BEST books ever written." I'm halfway through this first one.
I was in the bathroom a couple of days ago, looked down, and discovered the outline of Dumbledore in a floor tile. This is a terrible picture because of that darn shadow, but maybe you can see it. See his pointy hat? He is holding up one arm and the other is by his side. You can see the outline of his robes coming down to the bottom of the tile. I'll try to get a better picture later. Now I can't go to the bathroom without thinking he is staring at me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Stash (Most of it, anyway.)

When I taught my beginning quilting class Tuesday, I told my students about my stash. How Real Quilters don't buy fabric for each individual quilt. How Real Quilters buy fabric here, there, and everywhere, whenever they see fabric they like. How Real Quilters always have a stash of fabric, ready to cut up and play with at a moments notice. (Students, do you now see why I don't pre-wash my fabric?)

Mine is primarily sorted by color, though I do have a category for dots and one for doggy fabric. I also have a Christmas fabric category.

I'm having a bit of a problem though. The fabrics I've bought in the last year or so are more contemporary in nature. Bold patterns, modern colors, etc. I don't want to sort them by color into these drawers. (IF I even had room in said drawers!) For now, my studio coffee table has become their home, where I can ogle and drool over them constantly. But I know they need a better home. I'll have to think on it.
My usual summer tomato sandwich has morphed into this. Whole wheat tortilla. Hummus. String cheese. One chopped tomato.
With Publix cheddar rice cakes. Note to self: go to Publix tomorrow to buy more hummus and rice cakes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Catching Up

My Beginning Quilting class went great Tuesday night. I had so much fun, and hopefully the students did, too. I've taught so many quilting classes over the years, but never a beginning class - it's so much fun to get people started on the wonderful journey.

I took a pile of show and tell so the women could see some of my previous work, including the quilt above - my all time favorite, "Patches." Love the quilt. Loved that dog, too.

I look forward to next week's class.

Parent Update: Not good. My father is going downhill rapidly again. My mother is using the N-word: nursing home. I'm not sure I'm prepared to go through this again. I will get my brother involved this time.

What I'm enjoying this month:
1. Watching Project Runway and HGTV Design Star.
2. Watching the Braves with hubby.
3. Scattered showers.
4. Fresh vegetables.
5. Quiet time spent sewing.
6. My wonderful husband.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All Packed Up!

But I'm not going far, thank goodness. Tonight is the start of the beginning quilting class I'll be teaching. I'm so excited and can't wait to meet the students. I have prepared a hand-out for them, and I have figured out my "lesson plan" for tonight.

The hardest thing for me at this point is figuring out how long it will take to cover each item. Next week they will all bring sewing machines, so sewing will take up a large part of each class. Tonight will be more about the basics, such as supplies needed, fabric selection, and a lesson in rotary cutting. I can't wait!

Funny - I just realized Mickey made his way into that picture above! He's always got to be in the middle of everything. Love that baby!

So what else is new around here? I'm still catching up on housework and laundry, after taking a week off from all that. The girls are settling in to their new digs. And I actually made it upstairs to my studio today - yay me! Can't wait to show you what I'm making - but it will have to be secret for a bit.

My bug man came yesterday to spray around the house. He'd had a substitute for the last couple of appointments, so he hadn't been here in about 9 months. He came downstairs from spraying my studio and said, "Your sewing room is so neat and organized!" He had not seen it since The Great Studio Makeover. He made my day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Wonderful Week

Prince with his "rescued" rock - tail wagging goodness!
Daughter 2 brought a late birthday gift for me - gratefulness!
Here's the second fat quarter in a green color way. It's "masai swirl" by Alexander Henry - loveliness!
She also gave me a set of 6 place mats she crocheted for me - prettiness!
The girls made a cupcake run yesterday - yumminess!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


We're having a fun family week, so blogging is sparse and sewing is even more sparse. Daughter 2 is here for a week before returning to school this weekend - loving every minute of it! Daughter 1's hubby has gotten a wonderful job in Georgia - yay! They're moving this weekend. We'll miss having them in town, but they won't be too far away. Daughter 1 had her last day of work last Friday, so she's able to hang out with us this week.

I'm savoring the moments - I know in the future it will be rare to have us all together for this many days at a time!

The girls made homemade Butterbeer over the weekend - we enjoyed it while we watched the next to last Harry Potter movie, gearing up to the see the last one the following day. Oh, it was good! Daughter 2 created the recipe from a few different ones she'd seen on the internet. She even made it low fat and low sugar for me, since she's knows I'm watching my diet.

Daughter 2 has her latest crochet WIP progress to show. A lovely hexagon afghan - yes, we are hexie mad around this place!

We are staying busy running errands for her - getting her ready for her senior year. New computer. Some school supplies. Some clothes. New white gloves for marching band. Ya Da Ya Da.

So I will be away for a few more days as I enjoy family time. Both girls are leaving the weekend - hubby and I are loving every minute until that happens.