Monday, December 30, 2013

The End of the Year

I took a little bloggy break over the Christmas holiday. We had a great holiday and I hope you did too. Here's a little bit of what you missed around here.

Cooper has been a bit of a bad boy. Here he is after splashing and digging in a mud patch.

He needed a quick hose bath before he could come in. Plus he chewed up both my computer charge cord and my phone/IPad charge cord. He'd been good today though, thank goodness!

My mother came and stayed with us for a week. Here she is dusting with Mickey in her arms and Cooper is standing by. We took her to see a gingerbread replica of Auburn's campus one day and a tour of Christmas lights one evening. We do try to pamper her when she's here.

One day we made gingerbread houses with our daughters. Lots of fun and laughter!

 Daughter 2 spent one day at our house making French macarons: very labor intensive, but very delicious!

And I am trucking along on my Celtic Solstice project. I'm still on Clue 2 though Bonnie Hunter has posted 5 clues now. I guess I'm slow at piecing. I need to make 240 of these chevron units. I've made 150. Hopefully I'll finish this clue by the end of the week.

My new sewing machine hasn't come int yet, but I'm hoping it won't be much longer!

Are you looking for a new project for the new year? I'm hosting a free hexie block of the month at The Hexie Blog - go check it out!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Still Sitting Around

Still nursing the torn ligaments in my foot. I'm getting around without crutches now, but I still can't drive. It's good to see a bit of improvement. A few more weeks should do it.

Meanwhile, hubby brought my sewing machine down from the studio a few days ago. My dining table is now my mini-studio. For my holiday project I'm working my way through Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt. SO. MANY. LITTLE. PIECES. A real challenge for me.

I'm using this little iron while I work. I bought it for travel and retreats. Love the size!

See how itty-bitty it is? (I think I need a new pressing surface - eek!) The iron gets really hot for such a little baby.

I'm still working on Bonnie's first clue, though I have already cut clues 2 and 3. Piles of orange and navy here.

Someone insists on sitting in my lap when I'm sewing down here.

I have caught my annual Christmas cold which is making its way through our family this year. I hope all the sneezing, sniffing, and coughing is gone by Christmas.

By the way, I'm getting a new sewing machine for Christmas - sew excited! I'm going to be a Bernina girl very soon! It's been ordered and will hopefully be in soon for hubby to pick up.

Happy sewing, everyone!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting Around...Slowly

My sewing group came over yesterday - look at my dining room table: full of fun, fabric, and food! We had a great time making hexie pincushions and chatting the afternoon away. My friends were so sweet to bring food since I can't stand on my feet long to cook.

I went to the ortho doc Monday. The good news: no surgery needed! The bad news: multiple torn ligaments that will take several weeks to heal. The ligaments don't grow back together, but strong scar tissue will form. And there are enough ligaments in the foot to maintain stability even if some are torn. I'm so thrilled with the news, though it doesn't make my foot feel better now. However, I'm getting pretty good at the crutches. Hubby and our daughters have been a huge help to me!

When I'm not icing my foot or heating it with a heating pad, I can sit at my dining table and cut fabric. I'm almost done cutting the almost 1500 pieces needed for Step 2 of the Bonnie Hunter mystery. I had to order Tri-Rec rulers for Step 1. They arrived Monday, so later today I'll start cutting these pieces. Hubby is going to bring my sewing machine downstairs tonight, so maybe tomorrow I'll do some piecing.

I still can't drive because I wouldn't be able to jam on my brakes if needed. I really hope I'll be driving again before Christmas, but we'll see. Meanwhile, I'll continue to do what I'm doing.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Foot Verdict

So yesterday's x-ray still showed no bone break. But I still can't walk on it - so I'm being sent to an orthopedic specialist next week. I'm really hoping I'm a LOT better by Monday and can skip the ortho doctor. I'm so afraid he's use the S word (surgery) - don't want that!

Meanwhile, I had hubby bring in my bag of crushed walnut shells from the garage this morning so I could finally stuff my pincushion. Worked like a charm - big funnel, huh? Stitched it close and now I have:

the cutest pincushion!

And here's the other side.

I really love it. I'll be making more of these little hexie gems.

And what is that in the background? Daughter 1 came over yesterday during her lunch hour and brought down some stuff from my studio: my cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, and some fabric I'd already pulled for a quilt. Yes, I'd already decided to work on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, Celtic Solstice over the holidays.

I'm already a week behind because of my injury. But I'll do what I can. This morning at sat at the dining room table and cut 488 yellow 2" squares. It's a start!

That's all for now - excuse my while I watch some college football!

Friday, December 6, 2013

My View

 Here's my view, elevating my foot while on the sofa. Ahh, could be worse.

Over my shoulder I can see the Christmas trees flanking the front door.

And I have a sweet Mickey on top of me! He's great company.

And there's Cooper chewing up something he stole from hubby's den, but still sticking close to me.

My toes have turned a lovely color; I'd say it's a shade of the new Pantone color for 2014 - Radiant Orchid! Gotta look on the bright side here! Hubby is taking me back to the doctor this afternoon to get another x-ray. I'm actually hoping he finds a hairline fracture; that would heal faster than tendon and ligament damage.

For now I will rest and elevate. And watch Christmas movies. And appliqué. And rest and elevate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm Supposed to be Sewing...

But this is getting in the way:

Oopsy! Big oopsy!

I woke up yesterday feeling great and ready to sew! Before I even drank my coffee, I went up to the studio to bring down some fabric circles - it was hexie pincushion time!

Coming back down the stairs, I missed the last step and landed (still in my nightgown) in the floor. Hubby took me to the Urgent Care Center; it was a real adventure just getting me in the car. 

X-rays say it isn't broken - just very badly sprained. I cannot put any weight on it without excruciating pain. So I'm in an Ace bandage, resting, elevating, icing, and compressing. I have crutches to use to get to the bathroom. The doctor said it should be 50% better after 3 days, but I haven't seen or felt any improvement yet. If it's not significantly better by the end of the week I'm supposed to go back and get x-rayed again.

Hubby stayed home from work yesterday and today to be my legs, but I'm sending him back tomorrow. The daughters can both come help me at lunch time and I'm thinking I'll let them. 

Since it's my right foot I can't drive until it get a LOT better. I'm wondering if I could get upstairs to my studio by scooting on my bottom? Until then I do have some fabric circles to make hexies and I have all my Sue Sprargo projects. So I will survive. I shouldn't complain because so many people have problems so much worse than mine. I'm lucky that I like hand sewing. I can sit in my recliner and sew and watch TV, so it could be so much worse!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

May I Sew Now?

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving - hope you and your family did as well! Friday I was pooped and rested. Saturday we spent the day at a football game - LOTS of fun and excitement!

Today I'm pooped again. So now I can sew! This week I'll have a needle and thread in hand for sure.

I asked the daughters to take some pics of Cooper in a Santa hat Thursday. He was not very cooperative which shouldn't surprise me since he's only 8 months old.

They spent most of the time chasing him, hat in mouth!

I'm hosting my sewing group in about 19 days - I think I'll let anyone who wants make pincushions from hexies. Tomorrow I'll make a sample to make sure it works. Can't wait to get back in the studio!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm all set for Thanksgiving tomorrow! The turkey is brining. I made our family's favorite sweet potato recipe - recipe above - click on the image to see it bigger. This is from my absolute favorite cookbook:

from the city where I grew up. I think it's one of the best selling Service League cookbooks of all time. It's still in print decades later. My copy is well worn and stained from frequent use!

I've made the cornbread dressing, and a broccoli salad. There's pumpkin pie and rolls and cranberry sauce. More sides and pies arriving tomorrow with my in-laws. Hubby helped with housework today and everything is polished and ready. We'll have a total of 8 for our late lunch, though none of them will be spending the night. I wish my Mom were coming, but my brother is taking good care of her. Actually, I think she's done a bunch of the cooking for their meal.

Friday we have out-of-towners coming to stay for the big game weekend here.

I'm usually a real stickler for waiting until AFTER Thanksgiving to put out Christmas decorations. But this year I made an exception because our next two weekends will be very busy. So the halls are decked.

It's really a bit of a relief to have all this done already. I've even finished my Christmas shopping! Oh my! Can't believe I'm so on top of things this year. I see a lot of sewing taking place during the month of December.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook (right sidebar) for more frequent updates.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mystery Quilt Top is Done!

I worked on this all morning and got the border on - yippee! I'm very pleased with the results, though it needs a very good pressing. Click this picture to see it closer.

When I got near the end of this project I realized I was missing some instruction, but I just kept plugging away.

Now that the top is done I have one clue leftover. Hmmm. Not sure where this was supposed to go. Oh well, it looks good to me. This will go into the scrap bin.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ME Time

I've been treating myself to some "ME" time this week. I've been working on projects just for fun, just for me. I put together the background for the Sue Spargo Swag Bag this morning. Now it's ready to stitch down the wool and do the embellishments.  Instead of circles, I cut teal hexies from some of the wool. Gotta' put my own touch on it!

And here's a peak at one of my leaves in the Leaf Play sampler. Yes, I put a hexie on it! I think my new mantra is "Put a hexie on it!" Hexies make everything better, I think.

I'm also working away on my guild mystery quilt. The top is supposed to be done by Thursday evening. And I think I'll actually make the deadline.

Loving the weather we're having: sunny and mild. The doggies like it too.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Applique for Today

I spent the morning with a needle and thread. A bit of applique here.

And a finished wool/velvet leaf there.

The rest of the day we were at the football game. I'm glad to be settled in for the evening. Maybe I'll pick up the needle and thread again.

On a totally different subject, we bought new pillows for our bed yesterday. We'd been needing to replace ours for years and finally got around to it. OH. MY. GOODNESS! What a difference! We slept so much better and so much longer this morning! The ones we bought are by Beautyrest: Latex Bed Pillows. Love them! I never knew a pillow could make such a difference. Sorry for that brief bedtime interlude....

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Week in Review

This is my 1000th post - wow! Can you believe I still have something to write about?

Last weekend we traveled to Knoxville to go to a football game with friends - nothing like good friends and football!

Look who we met at our hotel:  Richard Simmons (with blue hair)! Here I am with RS and my friend, Donna. This was at breakfast and his hair was a bit flat on top.

And here he is later getting into his rental car - hair is now looking more like the RS we're used to seeing. He was an absolute delight. One of his travel companions was the woman who has been making his bedazzled tank tops for 30 years.

Hubby and I took the scenic route back to Alabama through the Smokey Mountains. Fall beauty!

The mountains really do look "smokey."

I then spent 3 days Birmingham taking a class from Sue Spargo. Her work is absolutely amazing! Oh, the things she does with wool, a bit of velvet, and a needle and thread!

I've done a few leaves on my sampler and I'll share the completed ones soon, but for now just drool over Sue's class samples....

I got home Wednesday afternoon. Thursday I went to Walmart and bought a tackle box to organize all my bits and bobbles of embellishments and threads. I adore this box of color and texture!

And now I'm settled in for the holidays - no more travel until after the first of the year. I will try to finish my guild mystery quilt (due next week!), do a bit of appliqué (Lollypop Trees), embellish a few leaves (Sue Spargo class project), prepare for a big Thanksgiving at our house, and of course, make some HEXIES!

Check out The Hexie Blog to see Sue Spargo with the hexie Peggy and I taught her to make!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Back at the Sewing Machine

I was itching to sew yesterday so I got out my mystery quilt pieces. I thought I was more behind on this that I actually was. I only had to make four blocks! Then I put the blocks on the design wall and the mystery was revealed...  Love it!!! I still have to sew all these blocks together and then there is a pieced border to sew. These colors will work perfectly in our great room.

Last night hubby took me out for a celebratory Mexican dinner - he knows how much work went into getting this book finished!

And here's a Cooper update. He's really becoming a wonderful dog. He's calming down a bit. We took him to the lake Saturday. We forgot to take a leash, but no worries. He ran, and played, and swam, and never ran away. The lake is his favorite place to be.

I'm still getting used to NOT having a book to work on. Today I may even begin the task of organizing my closet. Hard to believe, I know! It's nice to have time to do all these things I've been putting off for so long...

Have a great day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Back from Houston!

Houston Quilt Market was FABULOUS! Peggy and I had a blast! She was a trooper, having just had knee replacement surgery 2 1/2 months prior. I know she was in pain sometimes, but she stayed on her feet the entire time, managing quite well. Here was the view out our hotel room - the massive convention center.

And here's a shot of part of the convention floor from above. So much color! So many gorgeous quilts! So many new products and fabrics!

I filled my lapel with the hexie pins I'd ordered. I kept more in my bag and handed them out all around the market. Our Schoolhouse event was crowded- standing room only! Everyone got a little kit and learned then and there how to make a hexie from a circle. What fun!

I met so many wonderful quilters. Here I am in Valorie Wells' booth - she is so sweet!

I'll be sharing more photos of Houston, but I have to share this with you now. This is a book's worth of quilts, all bagged up and ready to ship to Paducah with my FINISHED manuscript. I'll be shipping it TOMORROW! YAY! I'm really proud of these quilts and can't wait to share them with you. This represents a year of work for me. I hand quilted many of them and dearly love them all.

The only problem...what will I work on tonight? I'm sure I can find something!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Syrup Soppin'

We experience something new this past weekend: syrup sopping! Yes, there was a Syrup Sopping Day not far from here and we joined in. How is the syrup made?

Horse power! They walk around in a circle while someone stick sugar cane into the center mechanism. The sugar cane is compressed and a receptacle collects the liquid, which is boiled to make the syrup.

And here's the end product served with a biscuit for sopping. Yum! We had a ball despite the rain.

Tomorrow I leave for Houston - it's Quilt Market time! Peggy and I will be doing a Schoolhouse Presentation - can't wait. Plus we're doing a book signing at the AQS booth. Hope to see you there!