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....