Monday, April 30, 2012

My Sunday Afternoon

We had FIVE showings for our house this weekend!  A very good thing, though I keep having to pack up my work on the new book and get the heck out of Dodge.  Saturday, with the dogs in the car, I spent four hours in the car parked in the deck at the Galleria Mall.  It was very hot so I needed a shady spot.  I sewed/wrote while the pups snoozed.

Sunday afternoon I found a shady spot at a nearby park.  I had my sewing at the ready and actually accomplished quite a bit.

So what am I sewing now?  Yes, all the book quilts are done.  But now Peggy and I are working on samples for each quilt to be photographed by the publisher to be included in the instructions for the quilts. Little bits and pieces to send in with the manuscript and quilts.

There is a pattern in the book for a purse/bag.  Today's agenda includes making 2-3 of these purses in various stages of completeness for the publisher to photograph.

Tomorrow's agenda includes meeting Peggy at a photography studio to have our pictures made for the book cover.  Hmmm.....what will I where?  Need to think about that!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Almost Time to Head South

Another quick trip for me.  Hubby and I were in Auburn for a meeting at our house.  Actually for some photographs.  I haven't mentioned until now, but the house we are buying is going to be open to the public during the month of June to raise money for charity.  It makes us feel even better about the house!  All this was set up before we bought it - it's always been been planned before we came into the picture.  As part of the publicity, a regional magazine wanted the owners (us!) to be in some photos at the house with the builder and his wife (the designer).

But the best part of the trip was seeing the house again.  I haven't been inside it for about 6 weeks, and of course, SO MUCH has been done in that amount of time.  The floors are finished, carpet is in, lighting fixtures in, cabinetry and countertops in, appliances in, paint done.  Not much is left - just some tweaks here and there.

You know those HGTV shows where a couple comes into their newly made over home or room - the ones where they are brought to tears?  That's exactly how I felt!  Seems so corny, but it's true.  Hubby and I are so blessed to have found the perfect home for us.  We are giddy with excitement!  Just a couple of months and we will be living there.

Back to the real world now.  Back in Birmingham, putting finishing touches on the book.  We have LOTS of showings for our current house over the weekend, which is a very good thing.  So I need to get to work to gather some "work in the car" stuff so that my book progress won't stop.

There's still time to enter for the Modern Quilts Illustrated - just leave a comment.

By the way, the weather vane is on our new house - love that detail!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Modern Quilts Illustrated

Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr graciously sent me a copy of their new publication, Modern Quilts Illustrated, to review.  We all know that modern quilts are here to stay!  While traditional quilts will always play a huge part in the quilting world, modern interpretations are showing up everywhere, and are continuing to grow in popularity by leaps and bounds.

When Peggy and I had our new book proposal accepted by the publisher, we were told to focus on modern design for the book.  I, myself, have been moving over the years in this modern direction - it's fun journey!

Modern Quilts Illustrated is a fabulous example of this new wave in the quilting world.  Of course, we all knew that Weeks and Bill were uber talented!  But their periodical is truly genius!

It's not big, but big enough.  Three quilt patterns are presented, each with optional color variations.  In case you want to recreate their sample exactly, they provide all fabric details (manufacturers and style numbers).  In fact, they have available for sale kits for these quilts.  It doesn't get easier than that!

One thing I love about Modern Quilts Illustrated is the CLEAR instructions.  Each pattern includes detailed drawings so you will never have a doubt about how to proceed.  Take from someone who is now immersed in writing quilt patterns, this is not as easy as it might seem.  I could take a lesson from them.

Each issue also contains a feature called Palette Chasing, where a photo is shown (this issue's photo is from the Library of Congress in D.C.).  Weeks and Bill have pulled colors from the photo to illustrate an inspiring palette you might want to use in a quilt.  They even feature specific fabrics in the palette.

I know you'll love this publication as much as I do.  That's why I'm giving one of you a chance to win a copy of your own.  Leave a comment on my blog before May 10 if you want a chance to win!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rolling in the Deep

I'm still putting in long days working on the book.  It's amazing how many little details need to be taken care of when you think you're almost done.  I'm so lucky that I LOVE the entire process!  Though it seems that every time I mark something off my "To Do" list, I add two or three more things.

The dogs provide me with breaks - I stop my work, put them on leashes, and walk them around the front yard.  We all get a bit of sunshine and a chance to stretch our legs.  And they take care of business.  A favorite part of our yard strolls (for Mickey, not me!) is the requisite roll in the grass.  It must feel so good to him!

Tomorrow I'll be doing a magazine review here, so check back.  I think you'll love this publication!  It's Modern Quilts Illustrated.  (There's a giveaway involved, too!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

The doxies found a sunny spot beside the kitchen table this morning. It's hard to tell where one starts and the other one ends.
That's my robe they're using as a bed. Ahh, Sunday morning nappy!
In honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing a couple of my older quilt made with recycled items. Above is the Ugly Tie Quilt. The old neckties were ugly -hopefully you don't think the quilt is ugly!
And here's one of my Funky Little Art Quilts which incorporates a bottle cap, some pop tabs, and leaves made from a Sprite can.

Go forth and RECYCLE!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I know this doesn't look like much. But there are hundreds of hours of work here. This is the backside of the most intricate quilt I've made for the new book. I quilted this one myself. I know - a bit simple, but this piece called for simple quilting.

I put the last stitch in minutes ago, finishing the sleeve. Okay, I still have to sew on a label, but whatever - I'm calling it DONE!

Now to focus on more WRITING! And making DIAGRAMS! Yay!

Not much else to report around here. My mother has finally spent a night in her new apartment. The kitchen didn't appear clean when she moved last week, so the apartment management painted the inside and outside of all the kitchen cabinetry. Now she can get settled and unpack. My Dad's transition has not been easy. Two falls so far. Tons of confusion. But I hear he was a bit better today than yesterday. Another whew!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Quick Trip to Greenville, SC

I left early Tuesday am for Greenville and Furman. Daughter 2 was selected to perform in the Spring Honors Recital and I was excited to attend. Wow, again. Another stellar performance! And her last one, since she'll be graduating soon and moving on to Pharmacy School. Music has played a huge part in her life since she was very young.
She was one of six performers last night; there was a singer, a classical guitar player, an oboe player, two pianists, and a violinist, in addition to Elizabeth and her clarinet. I felt very cultured for having been there!
Today was the long and yukky driving home. Lots of rain. Lots of traffic through Atlanta, even though I hit it mid-morning. The drive today took 6 hours instead of the usual 5, so I was glad to get back to B'ham, pick up the dogs from the vet, and take a nice long nap.

Tomorrow my plan is to be up early and put in a long day working on the book - yay!

House update: Two more couples both seem interested. We're trying not to get our hopes up though. Another showing tomorrow afternoon.

Father update: Dad is not doing well. He doesn't seem to always recognize my brother and Mom when they visit. He's fallen again, but no real injuries. It looks like we're moving toward a level of care for him called "Comfort Care." They will keep him comfortable, but he will not receive medical interventions. My brother is doing a great job handling his needs along with those of my Mom.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My New Secret Weapons....

I added more flowers to make our house appealing to buyers. Love this colorful hanging basket - it's now on the back deck.
Impatiens planted in the deck's window box.
And .... something cascading in the pots on the back wall. (I'm not very good at plant names.)
But whatever this is, I like it!
Tonight I'm binding one of the book quilts - here's a peep at the backing and the bright red polka dot binding. My assistant is so helpful, as you can see.

My father is now in Augusta. The nursing home was supposed to have him ready for me to pick up at 7 this morning. He was not ready. I had to dress him myself, every stitch of clothing. I managed to get him in a wheelchair where he sat until I packed his clothes, toiletries, and television. Loaded everything in the car. Found someone to help me get him in my car. I had a McDonald's biscuit waiting for him since I figured (correctly) that he wouldn't have eaten yet.

I drove him to Anniston where my brother was waiting to make the transfer. After they arrived in Augusta, I got a quick call - my brother was absolutely floored by how much Dad has gone down in the last few weeks. He hadn't seen him since Thanksgiving. Dad's gone downhill even since my mother last saw him on Thursday. I don't even know if Dad knew what was going on today.

As soon as Dad and I drove away from Birmingham this morning, he asked if I had enough gas. That was really a last glimpse of him. He would alway ask (in better days) if I had enough gas in the tank. Yes, Dad. I have plenty of gas.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Long day....

It started out early as I headed to the airport to pick up my brother. Then on to my mother's apartment. We watched as the movers loaded her furniture and boxes on a truck. Then a quick good-bye (I almost succeeded in not crying), and brother and mother drove away to Augusta to her new home.

Such strange feelings I have. I'm a bit melancholy tonight. I hope she is quick to meet new friends. She left some good ones here.

After they left, someone wanted to see our house. So I drove home, gathered the pooches, and left again. I visited my dad in the nursing home. He fell again last night. He wasn't hurt, but he was left very confused. Again. Early Sunday morning I will go pack up his clothes and TV, load them in my car, and get the nursing home staff to put Dad in my car. I'm driving him to Aniston where my brother will be waiting to make the transfer. He'll take Dad to his new nursing home in Augusta.

It is a real blessing that we can get them both moved during the same weekend.

Next I bought some petunias and finally came home. Petunias are planted around the mailbox. Dogs are asleep in my lap. Whew.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Morning!!!

What a gorgeous morning we're having here in Birmingham! It's clear and cool and lovely...

Yesterday at Guild someone asked me how Mickey is doing, now a few months after his major back surgery. As you can see his hair has almost grown back; there is still a bare spot up near his neck. If you look closely just to the right of his spine you may be able to see his scar.

He is doing really well. I wouldn't say he's 100%, but probably 95% back to normal. He's a bit weak in his rear left leg and often holds it up, walking on three legs. This usually happens when he's trotting or running. When just walking, he looks totally normal. Problem is, he rarely just walks - he's always in a hurry! But we are VERY pleased with the results. He's no longer in pain and is very happy.

We walk him out the front door on a leash to take care of his business - no more steps for him. Our new house in Auburn has a level yard and will be much easier as for as the dogs go.

More prettiness from the yard! Love these colors!

I was very productive yesterday. First I went to the fun "garage sale" Guild meeting where members rented tables and sold lots of stuff. Yes, I bought a few things - I'll show you tomorrow. My wonderful bee friends gave me a fabulous going away giftie: a bag of black and white prints and a gift certificate to Hancock's of Paducah. Then home again to baste the most recently finished quilt top for the book.

I'm taking Mom to the nursing home this morning. Hope it goes well!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Blossom

I discovered this beauty in the back yard today. Ahh, the loveliness of Spring!

We had a great Easter Day, including a yummy meal that only needed heating. I look forward to cooking again, though it will probably have to wait until July when we are finally settled in our new home in Auburn. I hear said house got kitchen counter tops last week - I've seen a picture and I love them!

I completely finished (binding and sleeves) TWO quilts today! Woohoo!!!! Knocking out the finishing touches. This week I will focus on writing patterns and drawing instructional diagrams. I hoping that once I get into the swing, it will also go quickly.

Tomorrow morning I'm attending my last quilt guild meeting here in Birmingham for several months. I know I'll come back occasionally, but I really don't know how often.

I took Mom to see Dad at the nursing home this afternoon. He's not doing well as far as his mind goes. He really didn't know where he was. But he did seem to know who we were, so that is good. And so it goes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why Am I So Tired?

I am one pooped pup. I haven't gotten nearly as much sewing or writing done today as I had planned. We had another showing this afternoon, so I spent part of the morning freshening the house. Then I took my mom along with me (and the dogs) to run some errands while my house was otherwise occupied. We picked up some food for a simple Easter lunch - still no cooking going on around here.

My body must be telling me that it's tired of sewing and writing and trying to sell a house, all while dealing with my father going downhill and my mother moving away in less than a week. I think it will be early to bed for me.

Happy Easter to you all!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sewing and Writing

I begin today with my newest acquisition. Gotta love a hexie metal basket! I bought this at Target a few weeks ago (on clearance for only $6.98!) I think I'll spray paint it a fun color after we move. By the way, the apples are fake - staged for potential home buyers so they can picture themselves munching an apple at the kitchen table.

We thought we were getting an offer this week, but we haven't. The showings continue though and I know someone will come along and buy it eventually. Meanwhile, I bind quilts. I did finish the intricate quilt I've been working on for almost 8 months! Yay and whew! So now to do the finishing on all of them. I also spent time today on the computer actually writing - it's about time I got to that part!

My father is not doing well. He's very subdued, confused, and even delusional. I took my mother to see him this morning and it's sad. He had trouble even staying awake while we were there, so we just sat for a bit while he slept. I know some have mentioned to me that we might want to repeat his CAT scan from his recent fall. But he was already more confused before the fall, and even if we did find something.... would we do anything at this point? It's a tough call. He's 88 and his quality of life has been nonexistent for some time. He made his wishes clear long ago that he wouldn't want us to do anything drastic to help him if he were in the situation he's now in. It's all in black and white on the legal documents my parents had prepared years ago. We just hope he will go in peace when that time does come. That is my prayer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stitches and Stitches

Sorry, no pictures today. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything going on! You know that I'm still stitching away. My goal was to finish the book quilts by the end of March (except for binding). Did I make it? Not quite, but I do believe that tomorrow I will! 4 days late is not bad. That give me more than a month to do my part of the writing.

My father fell at the nursing home Sunday afternoon. I picked up my mom and we met the ambulance at the hospital. He said he fell forward onto the floor. I'm not sure how he did it, but he managed to get a 4-inch gash on the very tip-top of his head. He said he didn't hit anything but the floor, but I can't figure out how his injury ended up where it did. Anyway, he had to have several stitches and a CAT scan, which turned up no problems. So another ambulance to him back to the nursing home.

Then Monday morning, he fell again. This time he cut his elbow, but didn't need to go to the hospital. Today he has not fallen - yay! I do think he seems more confused since the first fall, but he was already confused, so it's hard to tell.

My mother will be moving to Augusta in less than two weeks. As soon as my brother can make arrangements for a nursing home there, we'll move my dad.

We took a quick trip back to Furman for an awards ceremony to see Daughter 2 receive a very nice award. Back again today. Hippety hop. The doggies are glad we are back. Yes, I stitched all the way to South Carolina and back.

And the house. Our current house. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Someone seems to be interested in it. Hopefully some news on that subject soon!