Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mark's Got It Right!

I am a huge fan of Mark Lipinski. A few days ago I received the latest issue of Quilters Home. I read his Letter from the Editor and started cracking up and smiling and couldn't stop. He writes about getting rid of the fabrics and blocks and things that you don't want that are cluttering up your life and possibly stifling your creativity so you can start the new year right.

That's what I've been doing for almost a year now, but especially the last few months! Back in February (I can't believe it was that long ago) I posted here and here about my vast collection of block sets, mostly from MSN group swaps I was in. I just counted and there were over 70 of them. 70! What was I thinking?

Well, between actually making some tops, and giving/trading a LOT away, I am now down to a workable list of 30. That's 40 sets gone bye-bye. I feel good! I feel refreshed! And thanks to his other idea in the issue of creating a quilting journal, I now have some ideas drawn up for some of them. I will share those in the coming weeks as I get started on making these into tops.

In case you're interested, here's the list of what is left, in no particular order...

Pink/Black/White, Christmas Sampler, Scrappy Tennessee, Scrappy Mini-Bowties, 30's mini bow-ties, Mapleleafs, Fall Sampler, Black & Bright Windmills, Blue & Yellow, Orange & White, Pink & White, Blue & White, Spinning Flowers, Scrappy Cats, Scrappy 9 patches, Butterfly Focus, Wild Focus, Patriotic Sampler, Spring Fling, Batik & Cream, Boxy Stars, Indian Stars, Scrappy Sisters Choice, Daisy Focus, Pink/Brown/Cream, Halloween Sampler, B&W &Bright, Kids Hole in the Barn Door, Kids Buzzards, 30's sampler.

And these are just the blocks. In the last few months, I've also traded away over 15 flat rate boxes of fabrics, and given away several patterns I wasn't going to use.

I think I am ready to start 2009! Thanks Mark!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things I've done...

Well, just for fun, here's a good list - I saw it on Kates Blog and couldn't resist.

1. Started my own blog

2. Slept under the stars (did a lot of camping as a teenager)

3. Played in a band (flute several years, then french horn)

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than I can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyworld/Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sung a Solo (lots of times!)

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched lightning at sea

14. Taught myself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (no, but I've been there, and walked as far as the top of the base)

18. Grown my own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught myself a new language (I know a little sign language, does that count?)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had my portrait painted (my Dad drew me, does that count?)

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class (I tried karate as a kid)

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (does Camp Fire Girl candy count?)

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar (Ick!)

72. Pieced a quilt (just one or two!)

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone ( several, unfortunately)

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had my picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House (well, I was there but we didn't tour it)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I'm counting fish here)

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Ridden an elephant

Friday, December 19, 2008

And Now...Introducing...

My Nephew

Brady Cason Guinn
born 12/17/2008
8 lbs 21 inches long

The nurses have already determined he's going to be a Soccer player. He has a mighty strong kick. They went to give him a shot and she said he nearly kicked the syringe out of her hand.

Raegan has been a very good big sister so far.
Hopefully that lasts a while.

The Money Pit

Sorry I haven't posted. Life has been CRAZY....

Non-quilty stuff first-

I had the "tilt table" test and they ruled out Vertigo. My blood pressure is still fluctuating a little and I have to have even MORE salt. I'm now drinking 2 quarts of Low cal Gatorade a day, on top of lots of water, and practically eating salt. The EP literally told me to put pinches of salt on my tongue and gulp some water with it. I'm also eating more nuts than I used to. But I am feeling better and not as dizzy.

A couple of weeks ago we noticed a large stain had formed in our Master Bedroom. We had the plumbers out and figured out that our shower pan must have cracked. We had some mold issues too and they told us we needed a whole new shower. They started demolition on it and called me at work to say that the insulation in the wall was soaking wet (we'd just had rain the night before) and that we needed our roof checked and fixed before they could finish the job....Had 1 roofer come out who said we needed a whole bunch of work done to the sum of about $2500. Then another came out who said that both areas of the roof above our bathrooms were leaking and just those parts needed to be fixed and it would be about $800.

The plumbers can't fix the wall and shower till the roof is done, and we have had several days of cold/snow/freezing mist and they haven't started yet. Today is sunny and I got a call they'd start today and no one has shown up....So with the holidays and all we're looking at January before the plumbers can probably come back and do their part, and then we still have to have the tile guy come out to do that work.

Have you ever seen "The Money Pit?" That's what our house feels like right now...Oh, and it turns out when they demolished our shower, we didn't even HAVE a shower pan! The couple that owned the house before us had done a lot of work themselves on the house and we figure they just never put one in. And the roofer said there are areas where there are 2 layers of shingles and some areas where there are 3 and it wasn't a very good job and who did that job you think?

But on the Quilty front-

I had 57 blocks for my "Stitched Scraps" quilt. I made 24 more so that I could set these 9x9. They are 10 1/2 inch blocks unfinished. I start squaring them up and realize that about 1/2 of the 57 are short and more like 10 1/4. They were from a couple of rounds of a swap in an MSN group. I wanted to have all the blocks squared up for Sewing Bee tomorrow, but instead I'm taking a box of scraps and will be ripping seams and replacing parts. It's an easy enough block to fix at least. I think I can still get this top finished by the end of the year.

I also got a great deal on a bunch of FQ's towards the Bird quilt. I'd gone to check out the end-of-the-year inventory sale at my favorite LQS and everything was 30% off. I went thinking I'd get some batiks, but none of them really screamed at me to buy them. However, all the colors in the birds were, so I got some FQ's to make the scrappy flying geese and the other borders. I was going to put this quilt off till later next year, but I guess it's calling my name and will be worked on after the scrappy one's finished.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Straight, No Chaser

If you haven't heard Straight, No Chaser you must check them out! I want their CD!!! I love Men's A Capella music and Men's choruses. They are amazing. Just a bunch of college guys that got together back in the late 90's and they recently reunited and recorded an album and are doing a small tour.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Also sold

  • Purple and white sampler
  • Pastel Baby Buds
  • both Texas A&M crib quilts
  • another boy "I Spy"

So I feel really good about everything that sold this season. I am still going to see if church will let me set up a table for after the service on Sunday. This Sunday is the children's Christmas Pageant and I am the musician yet again. I always end up playing on their Sunday. I'm going to show off some new Christmas music I've been practicing, so we'll see how it goes. The kids always end up doing a great job, even if their rehearsal yesterday was a bit chaotic.

Tonight I'll go home and keep working on the clean up. I feel like sorting scraps.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Kids

There are going to be some very happy kids come Christmas morning. As of noon today I'd sold 5 of the kids quilts, 1 tablerunner (the kitschy 40's one) and 7 sets of coasters at work. WOO HOO! I have this afternoon off but some of the Moms still wanted to look so one of my co-workers is hawking my wares for me.

Of course I had to mark everything down a little. No one was even looking at them at the price I really wanted. I overheard 3 of the Moms talking. One said "All she did was sew squares together"....I was rolling my eyes till I heard one of the other Moms respond "but look at the wonderful quilting". (Kuddos to tirane!)

From now on I want to incorporate some more designs and such into any "I Spy"s that I make. But what I really think I'm going to do is concentrate on some quilts for kids that are more design oriented. I have lots of "Quilts for Kids" books. My "I Spy" days aren't over, but may be on the back burner for a while. I have too many Novelty fabrics still to give them up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Goals

1. Finish pillowcases for Lindsay.
2. Finish the other pillowcases I've got cut.
3. Make the potholders.
4. Make enough blocks to finish "Stitched Scraps" quilt.
5. Put the borders on the Spiderweb quilt.

Not really a goal, but I'm taking my stuff to sell at work tomorrow afternoon! I made a flyer and hung it up yesterday and had several people ask me about it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Progress Report

Last week I bought a total of 8 large tubs and worked on re-organizing the fabrics in the closet. I am sending Michelle 4 boxes of fabric and unwanted blocks/UFO's in exchange for her quilting services, and a box of fabric and scraps to Eileen in exchange for some backing fabric. I have 2 boxes of Novelty fabric, and a box of denim squares and plaid flannels & homespuns waiting to see if anyone wants those in trade.

I have gone from 4 tubs of blocks & UFO's to a large tub and a medium tub. Some of these were due to finishes from last year, but a lot were given away. I'll post an updated list later.

I did take pictures of the "before" but need to get them downloaded. I'll post those and an updated picture tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday shopping

After paying a few medical bills I decided to treat myself to some fabric acquistion with some of the craft fair $.

I forgot to take pictures and have already put everything bought away. Sorry.

6:30 am. Arrive at JoAnn's. It was packed. I walk over to get the 2 fabrics I wanted and get my number for the cutting table. I was number 54 and at that point they were serving number 31. I went to the quilting notions aisle and picked up 3 sets of rotary blades. I prefer to use a 28mm cutter and they are always out of blades for that size. Besides, they were 50% off. I also picked up several Black & White FQ's as they were .99 cents. I sat down at the pattern book table and waited. and waited..and waited...after 30 minutes of waiting, they had only moved from 31 to 38. What was going on you ask? they had fleece for 50% off and flannel for $1. 49 a yard. Ladies were grabbing anywhere from 10-30 bolts each. I'm not kidding. 1 lady stuffed 3 shopping carts.

I gave up and handed my number 54 to someone who had just gotten there and was number 83...I went to check out and glanced at the book rack. There in front was a book I'd been wanting. "Facts and Fabrications, Unraveling the History of Quilts & Slavery" by Barbara Brackman. I used my 50% coupon on it. For all the people in line at the cutting table, there was no one in line at the register.

I left and went to Target, expecting it to be packed. There was hardly anyone. I picked up a few more tubs for organizing stuff and did not have to wait in line there either. They had every register open, but hardly any customers. As I was leaving I heard a manager telling a group of teenage cashiers to go home. Sign of the times I guess.

Came home, relaxed for a few minutes, glanced through my new book, and then went to our favorite fabric warehouse Golden D'or. Almost everything there was 25% off their normal $2.99 price. Met up with tirane and Beth. Bought some brights, pastels, and B&W's for my stash. Ask tirane how much she bought.. we were joking that she had said "I'm just gonna browse". LOL.

Left there and headed for home. I still had a little $ left. Decided to stop at my favorite LQS Quilters Connection as they were also having a 25% off sale. Picked up 2 really great neutrals for my stash. They will get used in the scrappy quilts next year.

All in all I came home with about 20 yards of fabric, the blades, the book, and tubs. Still had $ in my pocket too. Spent the rest of the day continuing the purge/clean-up/organizing of my sewing room. But that report will have to wait till tomorrow....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fair Results

Well, it was weird. Even with all the kids running around, I didn't sell a single " I Spy" quilt. As many people looked at them, the Texas A&M quilts didn't sell. I DID sell "Got Cats?", and 2 University of Texas quilts, the Christmas Dissapearing 9-patch, the salsa peppers tablerunner, and 3 sets of coasters. I'm not doing this fair again next year. I need to stick to fairs that are just that, craft fairs. Not locations where people are also working and have limited time for shopping.

I am going to take most of the stuff up to work next week and try to sell it there. I have confidence that with 100 children in a child care center I should be able to sell at least the "I Spy"s and probably the other kids quilts as well. If there is anything left after that I will be able to take it to church and set up a table during coffee hour.

For the next week or so I am going to clean up my sewing room. It looks like a tornado blew through it after all the craziness lately. Michelle has agreed to take some more unwanted blocks off my hands. I am just tired of looking at them and don't even feel like working with them. I want them out of my house. I have other friends that some unwanted fabrics will go to also. I am purging and cleaning and trying to organize scraps and projects as I go. I need to get some order in my life and this is where it's starting.

I'm scared to post a "before" picture, but promise an "after" when it's all done.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Black and White Quilt Challenge Project

Jackie has a new challenge and it's just up my alley. You've got a whole year to make something with black, white, and 1 other color. Since I have a growing collection of B&W fabrics I already know what I'm making and what my 3rd color is gonna be. It's gonna be WILD! But with me, wild is par for the course you know LOL.


Just saw "the list". My booth is the first one in the hallway! I'd thought so but they wouldn't give me a definite confirmation of that.

I will be right smack next to the "Mountain Man" booth in the lobby. Mountain Man sells all kinds of nuts and party mix, etc. I will try to behave and not spend some $ there. I won't have much opportunity to get out and see the other booths, but I'm the only Quilt booth. There are 120 vendors.

I can get people coming and going! Keep your fingers crossed! I'm taking the camera and will get pics of the booth and the festivities if I get a chance.

lot of dough

I sat last night and put price tags on almost everything. Just missing a few things that are still at Tirane's house and will get picked up last minute on Sunday.

If I were to sell everything at the price I want, I would make almost $25oo. Wow!

Not going to get too much more made before Monday. I need to sew up the cuff on a pink &brown pillowcase, and I have some fabrics cut for more coasters, it takes no time at all to sew them so I might get a few more sets done.

Tirane quilted a bunch of fabric I was going to make into potholders so if I'm not too tired Sunday night I might whip out a few of those. We'll see.

On a personal note, my Father passed away 11/15. The visitation is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. Big huge reason I'm not sewing much more. We knew it was coming but it's still been hard. I've had to help Mom make a lot of decisions and my brain is a bit fried.

Throw into the mix that today is the Thanksgiving Luncheon and program that I'm directing with my class.

Can you say FRAZZLED?

But I just keep taking deep breaths and try to keep a smile on my face. This too shall pass...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First Pillowcase

Here is the first of several pillowcases I'm gonna try to get put together before Monday. I wasn't thinking and cut the black strip 2 1/2 inches instead of 1 1/2, but I kinda like it. It took me a bit longer to make than I thought, but it was the guinea pig. The others won't take as long.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's that?

This is the pond behind our home. The water is not that clear, but this pond has been home to ducks, herons, nutria, and a beaver that decided to eat our peach tree one Thanksgiving several years ago.

Right smack in the middle of the picture back towards the trees is a log sticking out from the water.

Here is the family of Turtles that loves to sunbathe on that log. I did not see the turtle on the rear log until after I downloaded the picture.

Have a good weekend! Hope you can do something quilty!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2009 Stashbusting

Thanks to Judy L. I am joining the throng of quilters who are busting their stash. My goals for 2009 are:

  1. To make at least 24 tops. This will be accomplished by making 1 top a month completely from scraps and stash, and 1 UFO top a month- most of which are already blocks that just need sashing and borders.
  2. To use up 100 yards of stash.
  3. To ONLY buy fabrics that are needed for backings, backgrounds, or sashing, unless by some miracle I use up the majority of stash and therefore need new fabric to play with.
There. That's my goals in KISS terms. I can do this!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Due to a family crisis I haven't felt like sewing in about a week, although I have cut lots of 5 inch squares to make some folded coasters. Saturday is my monthly bee with my friends and I hope to get motivated and do some more work on the paper pieced coasters while there.

But I wanted to show off what my quilter boss/friend brought me from the Houston Quilt Festival.

These will go into my "I Spy" stash...
And these will go into my growing stash of Geometric Black & Whites. I especially like the one in the upper right corner. It is Lily pads. I may do some paper pieced frogs to go with it somehow. I think it's really cute. I like all of them. I can tell she really thought about what to get me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Crazy Christmas

I made this top in 2002. I don't remember which magazine the pattern was in,
but it's the 2nd top I ever made. I pulled it out recently and added the borders
and tirane did a wonderful job in quilting it.

Typically I let her do whatever she wants as far as designs, but to me this screamed for some Holly leaves and vines in the border. I'm glad she designed this....it's perfect!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Got Cats? Update

Over the years of collecting novelty fabrics for "I Spy" quilts, I realized I had a growing stack of Cat charms. So I made "Got Cats?". I want to show off what my wonderful quilter tirane did

I love these sleeping cat faces. They are perfect!

And what she "wrote" across each print!

Monday, October 27, 2008

WOW, that's a LOT...

Here is a master list of all the "big" things that will be ready for the fair. Most of these are things I have finished just this year! I don't think I left anything out.

Purple and White Sampler
Pastel Baby Buds
Red/White/Black Sampler
Muted colors Sampler
Bright Double 4 patch
3 "I Spy" boy quilts
3 "I Spy" girl quilts
6 "I Spy" quilts that can be girl or boy
2 bright rail fences
3 Texas A&M quilts
2 University of Texas quilts
2 disappearing 9 patch Amish
1 disappearing 9 patch Christmas
1 "crazy" Christmas
1 Cat "I Spy"
1 baby panel
and 7 runners

Now I am concentrating on "small" stuff- coasters, pillowcases, potholders, and maybe some Aprons and some small bags. Stuff that does not necessarily need quilting.

Weekend Finishes

I pieced another runner this weekend. I think this will be the last of them for this fair.

I saw this as a quilt in a magazine recently and thought I'd do it on a smaller scale.

I started on the paper pieced coasters I'm doing. I got a whole set of these done.

I am not a fan of florals but was given some large scraps and each of them is enough to do a set. The pattern is from Carol Doak's 300 book. They actually go together pretty fast once you get going. I did the whole set in less than an hour. I wonder how many sets I can crank out? I'm doing teacups, coffee mugs, and possibly some log cabins and other scrappy ones.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another table runner

I stayed up late last night. This fabric
is now this
Here is a closeup
Sorry the picture's fuzzy, it was late. This runner is almost finished. It just needs a wide white border that tirane can scallop for me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Table Runners

I've been under the weather this week but have managed to get several easy tablerunners made. A huge thanks to tirane for giving me the idea when I couldn't figure out what to do with the Sunflowers fabric.

Here is the Bright Sunflowers Tablerunner

And here is one made with this fabric.

I realized the pictures cut off the ends, but there really are 2 strips on each end. Promise!

I have several more yards of the chili peppers and found an apron pattern that I'm going to try making with it and some other salsa and food fabrics.

I have 4 runners made in this style so far with some other focus fabrics picked out. Just having a hard time matching up the border colors.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Think before you sew

I had all the Texas Tech fabrics cut. I went to Hancock's and got the red and the black and made the 4 patches. I started to sew them together and realized the reds clash. BADLY! So there will not be a TT quilt in time for the fair and I will find something else to do with 42 red/black 4 patches.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We interupt this sewing for an update...

Updating my health---I am still having dizzy spells even after the cardiologist upped my medication to take it every day. She called me the other day to see if I was still having problems. I said yes, but not as bad, and she's referred me to an Electrophysiologist. I've never heard of such a doctor. Right now I'm hooked up to a monitor that is recording my heart rate and such. I will be undergoing another series of tests sometime next week. I just hope they finally figure out what's going on. In doing some research it sounds like I may end up with a pacemaker. We'll see.

Work is going pretty well. Today marks 11 years I've worked at The Village School. Just noticed the website needs updating. I've been through several positions there, but it has been neat watching children who were infants when I started grow up to be the rambunctious pre-teens they are now.

The diet and exercise plan have been at a stalemate with all this medical stuff going on. I had gained back a few pounds and have now lost them and am trying to maintain and at least not gain any back again. When we figure out what's going on, I will get my butt back in gear.

And this afternoon I am going to the salon for a long needed new look! This stringy flat mop will be gone!

And now back to the sewing...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gig 'Em Aggies!

Here is the Texas A&M Double 4-patch. It's hard to tell what is on the fabrics,
so here is a closeup

Now on to the Texas quilt. Oh, BTW, we beat OU today!!!! Sorry Swooze!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

REVISED October Goals

OK, the craft Fair is in 7 weeks. I've got at least 10 "I Spy", 2 small Texas A&M, 1 University of Texas twin size or so, a Purple & White twin size sampler, a queen size sampler, and a couple of other assorted kids quilts. I want to finish this Texas A&M top, another Texas, and a Texas Tech.

tirane has the 2 Amish, and the 2 Christmas. I'm probably leaving other stuff out.

I think I can have these college tops done within the next week. I was going to keep making tops through the end of the month and then have 3 weeks to make the smaller stuff, but after talking to several non-quilty friends, they think I need to go ahead and start concentrating on the smaller stuff that might be more likely to sell.

There are 4 tablerunners already done or at Tirane's. So after I get these college tops done, I'm going to spend a week making as many Tablerunners as I can. I think I'm going to incorporate some blocks already made into some of them so that should help with time. It shouldn't take long to add borders around 3 or 4 blocks.

Then I have the coffee cup, teacup, and other paper pieced coasters I want to make. And some pillowcases, and I really want to branch out and try to get a couple of purses/bags made. And the stockings. At the last minute I can throw together some of the fold & flip coasters.

The latest "Easy Quilts" by Fons & Porter has a really easy pattern for a Gift Card/money holder. Those would be easy to make and might be something people would buy on impulse. small ornaments.

Then there's the dilemna on what to price everything! I'll think about that later.

Wow, so much to do!

Over the next few weeks I'll try to post pictures of these quilts that I haven't posted before.

So what are YOU working on?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Gotta Wear Shades

I finished this Sunday afternoon. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is very bright and very scrappy. Most fabrics used had either polka dots or stars. I am sending this one to my friend Michelle for quilting, and then it will go in the stack of quilts for sale. It is 60x72

Last night I got most of the fabrics cut for another Texas A&M quilt. Hope to get some of it sewn tonight.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall is in the Air

The playground at the school has these huge old oak trees. The leaves are just starting to turn colors and fall off. There is a crispness in the air early in the morning before the temp goes to the 80's. And I just put the finishing touches on this:

I like this so much that I may keep it for myself and not sell it. Fall is my favorite season even though it reeks havoc on my allergies.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One more September Finish!!!

I stayed up a little later than usual last night and finished this. Here is "Got Cats?" My friend tirane will put something really cat cutesy in the white squares I'm sure. It is 66x66.

I also missed 1 quilt on the October Goals list. I forgot about these 2 1/2 inch bright strips I've been cutting for a rail fence. So I'm adding it to the list.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Goals

There are many things I'd like to get done this month. I'm hoping to average at least 2 tops a week. Granted most of these are either ready to go blocks that just need sashing and bordering, but the ones I need to start from scratch will be easy patterns- most likely either rail fence or double 4 patch or yellow brick road. All will be for sale at the craft fair. What doesn't get sold at that will go to sell at church and 3rd try will be work.

The list- in order of sewing:

  • Finish Cat Lovers. I have 8 of 11 rows done and then will sew them together.
  • Put borders on Fall Sampler #1
  • Border on Spiderwebs
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Stitched Scraps
  • 30's Churn Dashes
  • Cutesy Kitty
  • Little Blessings
  • Pinwheels around a baby panel
  • Retro Slug Bugs
Tablerunners I'd like to do:
  • Bright Sunflowers
  • Candy Cane Christmas
  • Fancy Christmas
  • Americana
Essentially if I'm not at work or sleeping, I am at my sewing desk. We got new batteries for the camera, so I will take pics as I progress.

Do you think I'm crazy?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I am on a Roll!

I realized this morning that I have gotten quite a lot done in the last few weeks. Since August 1 I have gotten the following tops ready for tirane to quilt...

6 "I Spy", "Little Amish", and "Papa Amish". Today I will put the finishing touches on the borders of the Christmas Slice and Dice and the Sunflowers Tablerunners. We have our sewing circle at her house on Saturday and I am gonna try to finish up the border for the Christmas Disappearing 9-patch before then or while I'm there.

There are still a few days left in the month after that and I'm going to try to get borders onto "Fall Sampler #1".

Thanks to your ideas and some thoughts from her I have a plan now to finish "For the Birds". That will be the first project for October.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For the Birds

This is what I did with the Bird Fabric and scraps from Patty.

Here is a close up
I need your opinions please. Currently it is 32x48.

Considering that I am out of the bird fabric and have limited pieces of the scraps, what would you do? I was thinking of adding some blocks to either side width ways but am not sure what blocks to use. I thought about trees or flying geese or stars of some sort.

This is something I will sell. My boss is a quilter and she suggested I use 4 blocks as a tablerunner and 2 as pillows. I'm not sure I like that idea.

What would you do?

Friday, September 12, 2008

1 down, several to go

I've got to figure out a space to take better pictures. This is "Little Amish". I am horrible at math and ended up having to add red cornerstones. But I think it will look marvelous once tirane gets a hold of it.

Now on to it's partner, "Papa Amish"

Thursday, September 11, 2008


OK, I have one more day off tomorrow from this medical leave. Tops are ready, fabrics are washed and ready to be cut into strips. I am going to do nothing tomorrow but make borders!

These are in my stack for borders. We'll see how many I get done.
  • 2 Sunflower Table Runners
  • both "Not So Amish" tops
  • Christmas Disappearing 9-patch
  • Christmas Slice-n-dice
  • Spiderwebs
Last night and this morning I got the Christmas 9 patches pressed, quartered, put back together and into a top.

This afternoon I have been making more blocks needed for my "Stitched Scraps" quilt. I had 60 blocks from the swaps, but if I make 20 more, this will be a nice queen size.

I promise pictures tomorrow!


well, today is the anniversary of 9/11. It is also my 9th wedding anniversary.

The morning of 9/11 I was at work. I work at a child care center. At that time, I was the Assistant Director of the school. One of our parents called and asked if I had heard the news, and to turn on a TV that wasn't around any of the kids. We took a small TV into the kitchen and the cook and I stood there in shock and watched the repeat of the first tower falling. Then all of a sudden the 2nd one was hit.

Parents started calling. Many came and got their kids and took them home. We tried really hard not to alarm the kids that anything was happening. It was business as close to normal as we could.

That afternoon when the older kids came in from school, several of them were talking about it. Their teachers had let them watch the news all day. I don't agree that kids that young should watch that sort of news. We took aside the kids that had watched it and had a long conversation about it. They didn't understand what had happened. It was hard to talk about it, because I didn't understand it either. Still don't to some extent.

My husband and I had planned to go out to dinner that night, but instead we stayed home, ordered pizza and watched the news. I don't mean to make light of it, but he now knows he has no excuse to forget our Anniversary date.

Never forget.

Happy Anniversary David.

Now back to regularly scheduled quilting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at one of my next projects. Patty gave me these birds.
And also these scraps.

I'm adding these scraps.

What pattern do you think I'm doing with them? If someone guesses right, I'll send you a prize!


OK, here are some pics!

This is the pile of JoAnn's fabrics I had to work with. I also had a small bit of the large focus print in a tan background. I pulled out one of my favorite creams, a bright yellow, and a nice leafy green to accent with.

So far I've started 2 Tablerunners with these fabrics. This simple one uses the bit of brown focus fabric that I had. I thought the green looked like leaves. The background is a cream, not white.

Here is that top so far. I need border ideas but I was thinking of a small skinny trim of a brown and then the pale yellow. and backing it in tan?

Then here is a block from the other runner.

And here's what it looks like so far. I think I'm going to add a small border of green and then the darker blue for the outer border and backing. The background is more yellow that what the picture shows.

With the rest of the fabric I may do some placemats and flip-flopped coasters.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Well last weekend I started chain piecing squares and ended up with 4 "I Spy" quilts that are very boy-ish.

Then I started having serious medical issues. I won't go into all the details, but if you read this, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I am undergoing lots of tests and going to several different doctors. I've been having serious dizzy spells and so far have found out I have low blood pressure, low pulse rate, and a low sodium level. They also found a small spot on my brain. So next week I have to have an Open MRI and a complete Cardiac checkup including a stress test. I'm not looking forward to any of it.

In the meanwhile, I sew when I can see straight. Today I'm working on a Tablerunner made of Sunflowers fabric. Nice and cheery which is just what I need. I think this weekend I want to play with my brights. No dark, dreary fabrics for me right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pieces from my scrapbag..: Finn's New Years Eve Challenge....

I'm gonna join in on this No Stress Challenge...giving myself a realistic goal. I have a long list of UFO's, but I think I can finish at least 6 by the New Year. I'm not counting the things I'm working on this weekend. They are a personal challenge. For me, this new challenge will start Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Pieces from my scrapbag..: Finn's New Years Eve Challenge....

3 Day Weekend

YEA!!! What are your plans for the holiday weekend? I am having a sewing marathon to see how much I can get done. Last night I sorted all my "I Spy" fabrics and pre-cut squares and want to see how many tops I can get put together. I also pulled out a bunch of fabrics that will work as backings (I hope). I would love to get at least 2 boyish ones done. The ones I have ready to be sold are all girly! I also pulled out kid fabrics that I have enough yardage of to use as focus fabrics. I want to work on some stuff I can finish fast. I'm going to make these pretty simple designs, although I'm tired of just plain old squares sewn together or Square-in-square. I think I will whip together some bright pinwheels or 4 patches to use too.

I promise to post pictures!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In 1969

I was only 2 1/2. Mom reminded me at the concert that 1969 wasn't a very good year for our family. Grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January and was in and out of the hospital 6 times during the year. This was before all the wonderful things they can do now. She passed away August of '74. I can't imagine living 5 1/2 years with the cancer. Dad was working 2 jobs and Mom was raising 3 kids at the time. She said we were constantly farmed out to babysitters. My youngest brother wasn't born yet.

Anyway, here are 2 pictures from the concert. Someone videotaped the entire thing and is supposedly putting parts of it on YouTube, I will see if that happens and let you know.

Here is a picture of "First Friday Folksingers". I am the gal smack dab in the middle. The set is a "magic bus" and the numbers 1969. I tie dyed all the t-shirts except the one on the far left.

And here I am performing my solo "Both Sides Now" with Charlie accompanying me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recent Finishes

Well, almost finished anyway. I don't know why I have a hangup with doing borders. I have 3 other tops that just need borders to be finished.

Here is a Fall Sampler I did with a MSN group. I actually have 2 sets of these blocks and hope to get the other set done before the 1st too AND the borders put on.
I'm going to do a skinny border of brown and then a nice colorful fall leaves print. I haven't decided on backings yet.

And here is the smaller of the "Not so Amish" Disappearing 9-patch quilts. This is 36 inches square currently and the other is 60. With borders they will be 48 and 72.

For the borders on this one I will use a skinny black strip, then a Red strip and then another slightly wider black strip. That's my plan so far anyway. I'll back both of them with solid black.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not-So-Amish Progress

I had 44 blocks. I have now cut all the quarters and squared them up. I've had to toss some of them as they were so wonky they are unusable. But I have enough for this to be a good queen size. There are about 15 different colors with the solid black.

I have a lot going on this week with getting ready for our Annual Summer Pops Concert at church. This year's theme is "1969 and the music of Woodstock". I will post some pictures afterwards because this is a real trip. Everyone is wearing tie dye and hippie clothes. What's funny is that several people had saved their clothes and can still fit into them. I'm singing "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, and the Folksingers group I'm in is singing "Let's Get Together" by The Youngbloods, "The Boxer" by Paul Simon, and "Joy to the World (Jeremiah was a Bullfrog" by Three Dog Night. I wish I was still singing in the Rock Band, as one of the songs they are doing is 'White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. Courtney is singing the lead and she definitely sounds a lot more like Grace than I would. LOL.

Also trying to get the last week of the Summer Program with the kids finished and get things started for the new school year and the new Private Kindergarten class I'll be teaching. Been a while since I had to do lesson plans and work on curriculum. I'm glad that it's going to be a very small class. We're starting with 6 kids enrolled and she won't give me more than 10. Several of the kids need a lot of 1 on 1 attention because of behavior issues. I think I have a plan in place for helping them. We can hope...

Friday, August 8, 2008

One of the groups I'm in does a swap where we exchange a set of blocks and our swap mate makes the top. This is what I'm getting back from my swap mate

I LOVE IT! I would have never thought about setting them this way. I think I'm going to call it "Stars over Wyoming" as it reminds me of the trip DH and I took through Yellowstone.

I can't wait to get it back and see it in person! Thanks JaDee!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have just go to do this!

I was reading Bonnie Hunter's latest blog and saw this quilt she just made. Fungly.
I will have to make one of these as soon as I get a few other things done. I've got tons of fabrics just perfect for these blocks. Nice and bright and wild and Scrappy. Just the way I like them.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Adding the list to the sidebar of things that I would like to get done before the end of the year. I have lots of other projects, but I know there won't be time. Most of these are things I'd like to get finished in time for the Craft Fair at Southwest Airlines (where DH works) that is November 24th. I've rented 1 booth space and asked for 1st or 2nd floor. We won't discuss what happened last year... let's just say we were on the 3rd floor and people were out of $ before they got to us. At least that's what we hoped. That's our story and we're sticking to it!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Get Ready, Get Set.......

One of the groups I'm in is having a challenge for August to "Finish it up". We're supposed to keep track of how many sewing projects we finish for the month....I have a huge pile ready. My goal is to get at least 6 tops done. Some of those might be small but at least they'll be done.

I will be adding a sidebar to keep track of progress....

Going, going, gone part 2

Here are some more blocks I'm giving to Michelle....I was on a roll again last night. I sat and looked at blocks and if I couldn't picture a top in my mind, they went in her box...

A Christmas Row Robin that didn't turn out like I'd wanted...
Amish Baskets
Cotton Reels
Flower of Friendship
and a bunch more orphan blocks.

She is also sending me some Preschool curriculum books and had asked for some "noodles" in exchange so I've got a large baggie of strips ready for her. I went through my box of them and picked out all the bright ones and the ones I'm saving for the dark log cabin and gave her the rest.
(Noodle= 2 1/2 inch strip x width of fabric)

In exchange for all these blocks, she has graciously offered to quilt a couple of tops for me this fall if I need her to. Tirane has been getting lots of business! Yea!

Didn't get any sewing done yesterday, but you can now see more of the floor . I'm not tripping over boxes just to get to my desk. LOL.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

End of an Era

Tonight I am sorting through my clothes again and getting rid of all the stuff that is too big. My clothes are fitting looser, I just wish the scale would reflect that. I've got several shirts that just a month ago were too tight in the upper arms that now fit perfectly. I haven't really been doing anything different except drinking even more water than I was. It is too hot to walk outside for very long. I can't afford the gym membership, so I have been trying to do aerobics and such around the house.

So goodbye dragon t-shirt, quilt show t-shirts, irish festival shirts, etc. You are getting packed away for a t-shirt quilt I'll make one of these days. The other clothes will get "freecycled" as I did with the last bunch.

I'm bouncing back and forth between 65 and 70 pounds gone. I soooo want to hit the 75 mark! Then it will be on to 100.....would like to hit that before my birthday in November. It can and will be done!


I don't know why I was thinking about this today.

Many years ago, I don't remember exactly how old I was but somewhere between 18 and 25, I was living at home and I remember being really depressed about a lot of things. One day my Mom came home from the store with a small cactus plant for me. I had tried having plants in the windowsill and I always killed them. A cactus I could take care of. I sat it up in the windowsill and gave it just a little bit of water.

Every Saturday for several weeks, or maybe even months, I watered that cactus. I remember one Saturday my Mom walking by the doorway and she asked me what I was doing. The conversation went something like this....

Mom: What are you doing Barbara?
Me: watering the cactus Mom.
Mom: Why?
Me: So I don't kill it.
Mom: Look at the cactus...
Me: What? ( I look)
Mom: Pick up the cactus Barbara.
Me: No, it's a cactus, it's gonna prick me.
Mom: Pick up the cactus.
I remember giving her a weird look and picking up the cactus.

Mom had given me a PLASTIC cactus. All I was doing was watering dirt and peat moss. Somewhere in there I'm sure Mom was trying to teach me a valuable lesson or at least give me a small boost to my self esteem at the time. I don't know.

We have this cactus garden in our backyard. Until recently it was being invaded by weeds and a crepe myrtle tree that kept growing up in the middle of it. We finally had our lawn guys dig it all out and they now keep it free from weeds and the tree. It is thriving and growing.

Sometimes you have to water a plastic cactus and sometimes you have to dig out the weeds. Life can be very prickly, but if you get to the fruit, (although I've never eaten any) I hear it is really good. I love to look at that cactus every May when the flowers bloom. Bright orange and yellow buds that peek out from the sea of green. Sounds like a colorful quilt.

I don't know what ever happened to that plastic cactus, but it is a reminder today that sometimes life needs "watering".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going, Going, GONE!

Well, a while back I posted a long list of all the block sets I have.

I am happy to report the following:

now completely finished and ready to be sold

Bright Double 4 patch ( a small section of which is shown in my header)
Purple Lovers

weren't on that block list but also ready to be sold...

several "girly" I-Spy quilts (am currently making "boyish" ones)
an animal I-Spy
2 Texas A&M kid size quilts
1 University of Texas quilt
1 pastel Baby Buds quilt
Sampler quilt done in Greens/golds/browns/Blues. Queen size-ish.

in progress...

2 I-Spy quilts- at tirane's being quilted
Christmas Stack-n-whack- blocks are together, needs border/backing/quilting
Kids Square in Square- 2 tops are together, 1 needs a border I think, backing/quilting
Kids Rail Fence- top is at tirane's house being quilted
Fall Rail Fence- not enough blocks for a quilt so these are being sewn together for a nice large tablerunner. Have partly done.
Spiderwebs- are all sewn together. Still needs border/backing/quilting.
Scrappy Swappers Stars- a friend has these- making the top for me
Stitched Scraps- blocks are in rows, rows need to be sewn together
Scrappy Cats- blocks are squared up, some are in rows. Still haven't decided on border.

I have traded away these blocks in exchange for fabric...

Basket of Chips
Bright/White Challenge blocks
extra set of Baby Buds

And these I am giving to a great friend because I'm tired of looking at them...

Scrappy Jacob's Ladders
Scrappy Depression

Scrappy Buckeye Beauty
Red/Beige Split 9-patch

All orphan blocks

In the last month I've also sold a total of about 60 yards of unwanted fabrics and made over $100. Have started another pile of fabrics to get rid of. Selling these through the QuiltersFleaMarket yahoo group.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gorgeous Guilt Giveaway!

Dana over at OldRedBarnCompany is having a drawing for a BEAUTIFUL quilt! I don't have stuff to do the video, but I'll get the other extra entries!

Check it out!

BTW, can anyone tell me how to edit that picture in the sidebar so it shows the whole thing? I can't figure it out.

Playing Around

Playing with the look of my blog, it might change from day to day, so come back and check and tell me what you think... I just want something different.

The new headline picture is one of my latest- shown on the frame at tirane's I got to pick it up on Saturday. The quilting is superb! She truly has a knack for design and filling in the space.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9

Awoke at 5:20, it's now 9am.

  • Breakfast- cottage cheese, applesauce, protein shake
  • Took a 30 minute walk along the pond. No animals this morning.
  • 3 loads of laundry
  • Sorted through a huge pile of junk deciding what to keep for a yard sale and what to give the Charity truck coming Saturday
  • Worked on cleaning junk off the bar area and Dining Room table
  • Sewed 30 minutes
  • Checked some job ads on the internet.
  • Sorted out some fabrics for another "I Spy" quilt
Back to my boring life....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weekend Progress

Over the weekend I:

finished 12 blocks for various projects. Made a charity quilt top. Sewed a total of 20 hours. Some gals and I from a group are keeping track of just how much we sew.

Since I was on a roll with the sewing, I stayed home and flipped channels and caught the fireworks from Washington DC, New York, Boston, and Houston.

David has been sick with a really bad summer cold, but we did work a little on the CD's. Maybe we can get some more done this week.

I have today off and am gonna do some housework and see what progress I can make on the "Stitched Scraps" quilt. All the blocks are made, but I need to square them up and start sewing them together.

Going for a walk now before it gets hotter out there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

well, almost!

OK, so I am still 1/2 asleep. But 3 days this week is pretty good!

3 days in a row!

Good Morning! Don't faint, yes I've posted 3 days in a row. Don't expect it to keep going, I don't have much computer access on the weekend.

What do you have planned for the weekend? Other than going to a church cookout/sing along/fireworks watching party, I plan on having one heck of a long sewing marathon. That and David and I are going to get a start on re-organizing our hundreds of CD's. They have been in piles all over the place. We've been very lax in putting them back on the shelf. We typically keep them alphabetically organized. Right now we have stacks of the CD's for the letters A-K. Will sort those by Artist and get them onto the shelf. I have lost track in just how many CD's we have, but I bet it's close to 1000 now. Most of my collection falls into 3 categories...70's/80's music, Classical, and Broadway. I do own about 10 country & western CD's and a few comedy albums. I have some compilations of 80's music. My favorite is a "One Hit Wonders" CD.

For my sewing marathon, I have some swap blocks to finish for a few friends, and then a couple of stacks of blocks that I would love to get sewn into some tops. I have a goal of giving tirane about 10 tops next weekend. Some of those will be small, crib size but they count too! Going shopping today with her to get some backings and more bright tone-on-tone's for my stash...somehow I seem to have greatly depleted all colors but pink, red, and lime green...

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Double 4 patch

Here is a quilt I recently finished. I had made the blocks a LONG, long time ago. I discovered them on my spring fling clean up. The last time our sewing bee got together, I squared them up and sewed them together and left the top at tirane's house. She's my best friend and my quilter. She got her machine earlier this year and I have given her a lot of work. I trust her so much that I let her explore with designs on my quilts. I think most of her designs are originals. She added the borders for me and this is the quilt still on the frame at her house.

I will post some more quilts later this week. I have a few more I'll be picking up when I see her on the 12th! and several tops I'll be dropping off too...

I do have some quilts ready for sale, but am still exploring the best way to showcase them. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting back on track

I know, I know. I've been extremely lax in posting here. That's my goal for July. I need to post pictures of all the quilts I've been working on and update everything else too. Look for a nice long post later in the week...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WOW, I was beginning to think that no one was reading my posts...I know I haven't written much lately.

Then I get a comment from someone I don't know! How cool is that! Thanks Wendy!

My weight loss has plateaued again. 58 pounds gone. It's a constant struggle. I have found that there are a few things I can't eat anymore. For those of you that don't know me, I am an Office Assistant and Teacher at a Child Care center. Last Friday was Grilled Cheese Day. I LOVE Grilled Cheese. Well, I ate a small bite and had a "stuck" episode. Those are not fun. So no more Grilled Cheese for me. I had given up sodas, popcorn, hot dogs, swallowing pills, and now grilled cheese.

DH and I are getting ready for our much needed vacation. We leave in 10 days for our Boston/NYC trip. I would love to drop another 5 pounds or so before then. I'm up-ing my water intake, protein intake (that seems to help too) and trying to move more and walk more. I know we are going to be doing a LOT of walking on this trip and I'm trying to get my body, especially my legs, ready for it. We have a lot we want to see/do, and it will be a challenge to cram it all into the few days we'll be in each city. 2 days in Boston and 4 in NYC.

Quilting wise, I continue to plug away at those Spiderwebs.

Since I want to make a rather large throw I figured out it takes 196 parts. I have about 130 of them done and have still barely made a dent in the scrappy strip tub. After I get this done, I think I want to do a scrappy Rocky Road to Kansas.

Am I crazy? These are easy enough to do since they're paper pieced, but it takes so many parts.

Then there are still all those block sets calling my name. I have made a little bit of progress with some of those though. Thanks to my buddies, I have the block layouts for several of them and I started squaring some of them up. I think I have enough of a red in my stash to get started on the Christmas King size sampler. Maybe I'll get started with that project after the trip.

Well, my new buddy Wendy tagged me, but I really don't know anyone else to tag as I'd already done this before... see here

Off to take a walk...

Love ya!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Singing (and Crying) in the Rain

Typical morning routine:

  • Wake sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. Usually before DH leaves for work.
  • Get into my "grubbies".
  • Check e-mails/job ads/quilting groups/blogs, etc.
  • Have Breakfast.
  • Decide what project I'm going to work on till time to get ready for work in the afternoon.
  • Sew or do housework or both
Well, this morning I was sitting here at the Laptop at 7:25 and all of a sudden decided I wanted to go take a walk. Had my sweats on, threw on my sneakers, grabbed the timer, and headed out the door without hesitating. WHAT, Wait a minute....where's the "old" extremely self conscious Barbara who wouldn't go for a walk till after 9am because by then people have mostly left for work and there aren't any kids around to make rude remarks....I hadn't been taking many walks lately because I was nursing a sprained ankle either...

But I headed out the door....Not knowing that it was RAINING...well, not really raining, but that fine, foggy, dew like mist... anyway, I did NOT turn around...I trodded on...

Now 4 months ago, I couldn't make it 2 or 3 houses away without hurting and stopping and turning around to go back home. That's what weighing 350 and having a BMI over 60 will do to you.

Today, I'm down 50 pounds, a lower BMI, NO more lower back pain, very little knee pain, and I just did a 30 minute walk IN THE MISTY RAIN! I was crying very happy tears as I kept going one house further, one street further... I felt like I could have walked a lot longer, but I couldn't see as my glasses were all wet.

As I walked, I thought about all the things I'm grateful for...This is getting to be a long entry but I don't freaking care.... I am on a roll and want to express myself....
  • Thank you Liza, Mimi, SueAnn, and Suzette for being my sounding boards, my comrades, and teaching me lessons about things other than just quilting. For giving me a gentle "Poke" when I need one, for encouraging me to go for it, From you I've learned what having a real set of Girlfriends is all about. I look forward to every time we meet. It really is the highlight of my month.
  • I'm grateful that 1 year ago today my beautiful little niece came into my life. On this her first birthday, I vow to spend more time with her over the next year. To be a better Aunt. To keep getting healthier so I can go chase her in the park and live to watch her grow up.
  • I'm grateful for all my online quilting friends. DH doesn't understand why I call them friends since we've never met. They've been there for me when I've undergone major surgeries. They were there for me when my Cousin died tragically. They've seen me through good days and bad, and we share the things going on in our lives. I call that being a friend.
  • I'm grateful for my Mom. What can I say? I love you with everything that I am. You've loved me even when there were times I didn't love myself.
  • And Yes, I'm grateful for my husband who has loved me and put up with me when many times he shouldn't have. Who has loved me no matter what my weight. He doesn't agree with the way I "cheated" to start my weight loss, but loves me anyway. We have our serious problems, but I love him too.
  • There are a myriad of other things...Deb, Helle, Jennifer, my friends at church, belonging to a church that lets me be myself, my talents, etc...but I will save them for another time...
Love you!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Snowy Pond

Here is our house after the last little snowfall.

The house backs up to a city Greenbelt with a pond. I wish you could see the snow and ice that were on this tree. In the pond this day were 2 beautiful Snowy White Egrets. The digital camera wasn't working so I couldn't take a picture of them. We're hoping that they are a mating pair, it would be nice to see more of them around.

This pond is one of the reasons David never wants to move. He looked at the picture above and mentioned that it doesn't even look like a picture that was taken in the middle of a big city. The pond has been home to a turtle family, ducks, egrets, and a beaver that decided he wanted our small peach tree. We've also seen nutria, and had a crawdad crawl up from there, which David found when he was using the weed whacker one day. I love to go out and see what's going on in the pond. I try to ignore the litter that ends up along the sides. Once or twice a year the neighborhood has a "Clean the Pond" day, and since I'm losing weight, I hope to participate in the next one.

One day I may design a "Landscape" quilt based on this pond.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Yesterday I finished making all the cats. Need to press them and square them all up and decide on layout. I found the mouse pattern, but now I'm not so sure I like the way they'll look with the cats. Plus the tails all have to be embroidered and that would take me forever. So now I'm deciding what to do for the borders.

I'm gonna be a Quilting Fairy for a friend that can't finish some blocks for a swap. These Buzzard Roost blocks are really cute. So far I've gotten some great blocks. This gal sent me the fabrics to make hers, and a yard of this adorable butterfly fabric for doing this for her. I have to have some more of this fabric...I usually don't like glittery fabrics, but this fabric is too CUTE! I can't seem to find it in any of the online stores, and the camera's still busted or I'd take a pic. It sucks that I have to use a disposable and then wait for CD's to be developed. I've e-mailed her to ask where I can get it.

Well off to work on the Buzzards......

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Scrappy Cats and UFO's

Here are some of the "Scrappy Cats" I'm currently working on...

I had 54 of them and need 80. I have all the pieces cut and made the "ear" sections last night. I hope to get all the cats finished today. Still need to find the pattern for the paper pieced mice I want to do for the border. I tore the pattern out of a magazine but can't remember where I put it. So I'll be looking for that today too.

This is gonna be a really cute quilt for a kid or a cat lover when I get it done!

In the MSN group "Quilting Forever" we have a "Block Block Swap" we send our partner a set of blocks and they set them for us.

I sent my partner the Black and White blocks and here's the top I got back! I Love it! I've never set blocks on point, always been scared to, but this has me thinking...

And here's the top I made for my partner using her blue and yellow blocks. I have these same blocks and intend to set them the same way for mine. Except that I think it needs another border of some sort around the whole thing....any ideas? Blue or Yellow?

Friday, February 29, 2008

My blocks runneth over

The 3 boxes I posted about yesterday are kept on the guest bed in my sewing room. Guess what I found this morning...another box of blocks I had put in the closet...

add to the list...

cotton reels, scrappy swappers stars, scrappy Jacobs Ladder, bright & black sampler, cowboy boot focus fabric, wild & bright focus fabric, crumb blocks, paper pieced tulips, Christmas 9-patch, even more blue & yellow's, batik & cream, black & white rail fence, and my "girly girl" RR blocks.

I figure I have enough blue/yellow/white blocks for 2 or 3 large quilts.

I have my work cut out for me....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Swappers Anonymous

Hello. My name is Barbara and I'm addicted to swaps. Actually, I've drastically cut out most swaps. I have a "birthday block" swap I'm doing, and a few I'm organizing to get more blocks of certain kinds to go with blocks I've already got. I'm not signing up for any more 2 & 3 color- sampler blocks. I've had my fill of those and have all the colors I would ever want.

I've been going through and organizing all my sets of blocks into boxes and made a list. All the blocks and rows are now into 3 Avon boxes. Where do I start? I really want to get some more tops made. Need to give "tirane" something to do LOL. She's my good friend who quilts these for me. Of course I have some things she's already done for me that now need binding. But that's another story for another time.

How do you decide what to work on next? I have all these block sets, plus all the other quilts in my head that I want to do. All these scraps that are calling my name...I don't know where to start!

Hang on to your hats...here's a list of all the Block sets....

Canning Jars on black, Bug jars on black, 30's Churn Dashes, Christmas Friendship Stars, Amish 9-patch, Amish Baskets, Scrappy Split 9-patches, Red & Beige split 9-patches, Orange & White Sampler, Bright & White Sampler, Scrappy Tennessee Blocks, Scrappy Basket of Chips, Scrappy Bowties, 30's bowties, Kids Buzzards, Kids Hole in the Barn Door, Bright Double 4-patches, Pink/Green/Burgundy/Brown Double 4-patches, Purple Lovers Sampler, Batik Fish, Pink & White Sampler, Pink/White/Black Sampler, Pink/Brown/Cream Sampler, Fall 9-Patch, Mini Spinning Flowers, Tan/Burgundy/Hunter Green Sampler, Red/White/Gray/Black Sampler, Scrappy 9-Patches, Green & White Sampler, Black & Bright Indian Stars, Black & Bright Windmills, Christmas/Winter Sampler, Patriotic Sampler, Mocha Lovers Sampler, several sets of 6 inch 9-patches in various colors, Scrappy Starflowers, Bright Starflowers, Butterfly focus Fabric Blocks, Stitched Scraps, Halloween Sampler, Blue & White Sampler, Pink Lemonade Blocks, Pink Lemonade RR, Christmas RR, Stack and Whack Christmas, Camping fabric RR, Depression Blocks, Blue & Yellow Sampler, Blue/Yellow/White Sampler, Scrappy Spiderwebs, Kids Square in a Square, Heart focus fabric blocks, Mapleleaf blocks, Scrappy Cats, Fall Sampler, Black & Bright Bear Paws, Flower of Friendship, Mini Watermelons

Whew! Some of these blocks I really don't even care about anymore. Maybe I should pull those aside and put them in "Swappers Mall" in Quilting Forever. Some of them, I only have a few blocks and not enough to really make a top. Some of them I really like but need to make more blocks.

This list also doesn't include the stack of blocks I have from swaps where people didn't follow directions. Those will eventually get made into Charity quilts.

I'm not a huge fan of just plain 9-patch quilts, but will cut those up into dissapearing 9-patch quilts. I think I'm going to combine some of the samplers like the Pink & White with the Pink/White Black, and do the same with the Blue & Yellow and Blue/Yellow/White. The 6 inch 9-patches are blues with muslin, Yellows with Muslin, Purple with Muslin. Pink with Muslin. I think those would all look good in a quilt together.

Then theres all the sets of fabrics I have that I've picked patterns for....but that will be another entry for another day...

So now you understand why my moniker is "quiltswapqueen"....

"God, grant me the serenity to accept I cannot finish everything, Courage to not sign up for anymore swaps, and the wisdom to know what to do next. Amen".

Friday, February 22, 2008


We need to get our digital camera fixed. I'm working on several things I'd love to post pics of. I do have a disposable camera, and I'm gonna take some pics with it, but then i have to get a CD developed and download that, so it will be next week before you see the pics.

In "Quilting Forever" we have been doing this swap where we exchange blocks from previous swaps and our partner makes us a top with them. I was given a stack of Blue and Yellow blocks to work with. I really like the sashing idea I came up with and how this is turning out. I will get this finished today and mailed. Yea. I beat the deadline (Monday the 25th). LOL.

I've also been making HST's like crazy. I have a stack of "Tennessee" blocks, but need some more, -and am also adding to my "Depression" stack and my white and scrappy and my beige and red "Split 9-patch" blocks. So I am making huge dents in my scrap bags. I think I need to make a bunch of crumb blocks though, as I still have about 3 bags of very small scraps.

Then there's the pattern for the fabric covered notebooks that is screaming at me too. I think these would be good to sell at the craft fairs.

So many ideas, so little time...

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've been Tagged!

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

1. When I was 6, I broke my leg the day before Easter. Within 2 weeks of getting the cast off, I broke the other leg the day of my Grandma's funeral.
2. I know probably every "camp" song ever written.
3. I played Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" because I was the only kid who could memorize all those lines.
4. I would rather receive Tulips than Roses.
5. I can't remember to take my vitamins everyday, but I can still recite the beginning of the Prologue to "Canterbury Tales". Thanks a lot Mrs. Albright...
6. I love horror movies.
7. I collect vintage sheet music.

I don't even know 7 other people who blog...and some I know have already been tagged....need to get out more I guess.....so I'll tag 1 person I know hasn't been yet....

Country Mouse in the City

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why did I start quilting?

When kids are 15, they dream of getting a car. My dream car was a purple VW "slugbug". I thought they were the coolest little cars. Still do.

When I turned 16, instead of getting a car for my birthday, I got sewing lessons. Think back (if you're old enough to remember)...to 1982. One of the fashion crazes of the time were the "Little House on the Prairie" style dresses inspired by the designer Laura Ashley. I loved those dresses. Being a chunky kid, they would hide my little bit of bulge, and I could still be fashionable. So that's what we decided to make during my sewing lessons. It was a cute white with Purple (of course) print. Mrs. Rousseau, one of my Mom's best friends, patiently walked me through cutting the fabrics and piecing them together. She thought I was a bit premature trying to make something that had so many gathers in it, but I was really proud of how it turned out. I wore that dress till it was threadbare. It got me through a lot of Sunday mornings and special events at school. I wish I still had the dress, just for memories sake.

After making that dress with her, I tried to make another one on my own. That was a disaster, I remember sewing pieces together all wrong. I gave up and didn't touch a sewing machine for 19 years.

Flash forward to Fall 2001. 9/11 had just happened. How to deal with stress and anxiety. My boss is a quilter. She would show me these beautiful quilts she was working on. One day I thought, you know, My Mom was a quilter, both my grandmothers were quilters, maybe I can be a quilter too. I asked my boss to give me a few lessons. She was thrilled to share some of her stash and a few tools with me. I went to her house and had a lesson on picking fabric, and a lesson on using a rotary cutter and templates, and a refresher course on using a sewing machine. That was it. I was hooked. I've been quilting 6 years now. Quilting has seen me through many rough times. I've made several quilts and lasting memories with quilting friends from around the world.

But I still want that slugbug.