Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feeling good!!

Wow--3 weeks later and I feel like I'm back to normal--whatever that is! LOL And I worked overtime catching up with mail/emails/sewing/cleaning. It feels so good feeling good that I have been working extra hard, and that's a good thing. Follow all that?

I have been trying to tackle old UFO's to finish and here is one that I started in 2001. "Going to the Beach"

I got most of the blocks fused and partly satin stitched, then for some reason went on to something else. Why do we do that to ourselves? I got it out again, found my basket of rayon threads and matching bobbins and went to town stitching the rest of the blocks. Geez--only 3 hours later and they were done. I was so excited that I put them together with the rest of my red fabric and somehow ended up 20" short! Dang. I didn't have more and as would luck would have it, I had just had an Open Sew day at my Studio that day and as I emptied the trash, I found one of my students THREW these away! She claims to have no stash OR scraps at home and now I know why! Why there is perfectly good fabric there and enough to do something with it! I dug it out of the trash, frogged stitched the pieces apart and what do you know? The color is so close it's uncanny and when I pieced them together, I had an extra 1/4" !!! Yes, I said that right--I had enough with 1/4" to spare!! Now, look close, can you see the difference? Yep, life is good again. A few close ups of the blocks in the wallhanging. I am going to put this in my SC house in the laundry room, of all places. :) It really matches the border in there and I'm running out of room to hang quilts. I'm still working on the final border. I had more of that cool water fabric, but not enough to do a whole border, but I have an idea. I'll show you when it's done.

This is post 199 for me, and I mentioned a few posts ago that I am going to do a 200th Blog-avirsary give away so stay tuned........ I'm looking for something good to give away! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finish,cough cough, finish

Finishes in between the coughing. I'm ready to be done coughing--the medicine I am taking is really good about stopping the coughing, but then I find myself on the couch sleeping/snoozing/napping. LOL My choice: no meds, cough my head off--take the meds and sleep half the time! And then I somehow got the OTHER type of flu with it coming out both ends this past weekend. But here is what I got done BEFORE the flu hit last week:
Coral Brick least 2 years old and all I had to do was add the borders! I quickly finished this one up so I could have it for a practice quilt for my "Zoe" students (I'm teaching others how to use my HQ16 so they can rent my machine). They just did an allover meander and didn't do too bad, considering there were three people doing it. I finished up the binding last week, so it's another 'done' quilt!

This is finally done! I've been working on hand stitching the 'Bubbles' with a utility stitch using different variegated Perle Cotton threads. I'm going to keep it here for my newest granddaughter. All the grand kids have their own quilt when they come to Nana's. Here's a close up of the stitching. It was hard to determine where to stop! :)This is a quilt that a student request I teach. She really wanted to learn how to do the lettering. So I taught the class and showed them how to make their own lettering and personalize their quilts. This was a free pattern here. "Nana's Sweet Shoppe"And a close up of the machine quilting. I used Superior's MonoPoly Thread and did a 'wood grain' design in the bookcase. And my last Stashbusting report: (geez--I'm getting later and later doing my report!)

Stash busted last week: 11 1/2 yards (mostly for backings and bindings)

Stash purchased last week: 0

Total Stash busted YTD: 218.5

Total Stash purchased YTD: 9

Net total busted: 209.5 yards!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Vacation on the couch

Some vacation--I spent most of it on the couch! I went to SC last week and met my hubby down there with his motorcycle for Bike Week. I spent the first day with my parents and then took them to the airport early the next day and on my way home, I didn't feel well. And it all went downhill from there. :( Fever, chills, terrible coughing. I did manage to piece a quilt that I started YEARS ago though. Every time I felt a little better, I'd get up and sew for 1/2 hour. Over the course of the week, I finally got it done. At least it was nice weather I could see out the window! LOL

This is called "Morning Glory Moda Stars"..a free pattern from Moda using Robyn Pandolph's Morning Glory line. It was a really easy one to do, just lots of little connector squares (over 500 of them!). It would look really neat using christmas fabrics too.

By the way--this is post # 197--I'm thinking that I should do something special for my 200th Blogiversary (sp?), some type of giveaway...I better think of something soon! Stay tuned!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some stash busting and finishes!

I finished putting the label on this quilt this morning for my secret pal in a group I'm in. Our final meeting for the year is this week and I'm leaving in about 20 minutes for a week in sunny SC! I'll be glad to get out of the rain here. Although it's making everything pretty, it's getting a bit soggy.
I also got another top quilted, or rather my "Zoe" students did. :) I had another class teaching others to quilt on my HQ16 and they used it for practice. I hoped to get the binding on this past weekend, but didn't get it done. I also finished another baby quilt..but will have to post that next week when I return.
Stash Busting:
Stash busted this week: 4 1/4 yards (for backings/bindings/borders)
Stash in this week: 0
Stash busting for the year: 207 1/4
Stash in for year: 9
Total net busted for year: 198 1/4

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Remodeled kitchen--done!

yeah! Kitchen is done and I'm finally getting some pictures up for you to see. I moaned and groaned about it often enough, at least I should share the finished product.
This picture seems a bit dark for some reason. You can barely see my great new refrigerator, a French door top and freezer on the bottom. And my 'induction' cooktop. It uses magnetic energy to cook. You need to use stainless steel pans as the magnetic energy reacts with pan somehow to heat up the food. Not quite sure how it works, but it boils water in less than a minute! You don't need to cook on high anymore (especially with my new pans) and saves a lot of energy.
This is the 'buffet' side. The tall left cupboard houses my 'coffee' station. You open the door and pull out a drawer with the Senseo coffee maker and it has the mugs, coffee, sweeteners, etc. already there. The coffee pot is plugged in, so nothing to move. And no mess on the counter! The glass cupboards now feature my glasses.
This side of the kitchen used to have my Hoosier cupboard, but there was space on both sides of it that was so darn convenient to have full baskets, totes, junk, etc! LOL Now there is no place to put stuff to deal with later, so now I deal with it right away. See all the drawers? I have 40--yes 40 drawers in this kitchen! And there are still quite a few empty ones. My friends make fun of me because I have one drawer dedicated to jello! :)
View from the great room. See the apple green? I finally settled on this color after trying 2 different yellows. I like this color with the black.
I'm hosting a Mystery Day today at my Studio. I have given fabric requirements, cutting directions and some pre-sewing directions over the past month. And today is the day they put all the components together. I made them lunch--Chicken Pasta Salad--yummy recipe, Flat Earth Mixed Berry chips, Blueberry Struesel Muffins, crudites and dip, and individual Key Lime Pies for dessert.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Stash Busting at it's best!

Wow--nothing like having a cousin who likes to organize! My cuz, M, from Colorado flew out for our reception for Ted and stayed the rest of the week. And being the organizer that she is, she offered to help me organize my fabric stash closet. I think it made her a little edgy to see such a chaotic mess! Folding, using the ruler method like the Happy Zombie, made all the stacks of fabric nice and neat. I ended up folding my FQ's and putting them in plastic shoe boxes. The stacks were little, but tall and kept falling over. So this way I can pull a shoe box of FQ's out according to color and still keep them nice and neat. 33 of them to be exact! And I could fit 10 yards worth of FQ's in each box!
Looking good, huh? 3 days of folding EVERY piece of fabric and sorting and it's now done! Wonder how long it will stay like this? LOL I'm hoping that since it's done now, it will be easier to keep like that. many margaritas DOES it take to make a closet look good? LOL Good job Mona! Thanks for all your help and perserverance in getting this done. I figured it was going to be an all summer project for me. And there was even a bonus attached--I was able to purge 116 yards of fabric!! Add that to the .11 3/4 yards that I have used the week of 4/7 for purses/borders and baby quilts and 9 3/4 yards for the week of 4/14 for backings and a new quilt, that makes 203 YARDS of fabric busted from my stash year to date!! I do have to admit to buying 9 yards of fabric at the Paducah show--but that is SO much better than the past for me. AND, I thought about it for a day before I went back and bought it. I have been really good at using self restraint when it comes to fabric buying. A whole 'nother story!! LOL

Fabric busted: YTD 203
Fabric bought: YTD 9
Net busted: YTD 194 yards and there STILL are no empty spots on the shelves!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Fun in Paducah!!

congratulations TED!! The 2008 AQS winner--Best of Show! Here she is getting interviewed in front of her quilt at the AQS show. She was completely shocked--all of her friends were not, but she was delighted to say the least and got very emotional when so many liked her quilt. It was inspired by her great-great-great-great grandmother's hankie that has been passed down over the years until it is almost brittle. So she recreated it in a quilt to be passed down further. Which is why she turned down the $20,000 prize money in order to keep it.
Since we didn't decide to attend the show until earlier this year, we were forced to stay outside Paducah, on Kentucky Lake. The cabin was a fisherman's cabin, and the view was fantastic! It was nice to be able to relax in the evenings and had room to spread out the 'purchases' of the day! The owner's of the cabin took a liking to the fact that 5 women were staying there and ended up having a fish fry for us one night, complete with all the trimmings. We had croppie, catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw, sweet 'taters', and finished off with a yummy blackberry cobbler! Worth the stay, let me tell ya!

In order to avoid the long lines and pricey food fare, we packed our pb & j for lunch and ate in the car. What we quilter's will do to preserve our fabric money :)
Ted had a compete entourage with her--from Road Manager to bodyguard (courtesy of AQS)

Left to right: Marilyn, the Road Manager (who arranged the accomodations and fish fry!), TED, Candy (hair stylist), Steve (Ted's quilt guard for the week), Maureen (Driver) and me, (Business Manager).

We had a ball this past week and it was fun to share in Ted's excitement over her win. This show is really different from the Houston show, where the quilts tend to be more art oriented. This show is definitely more traditional and you saw more handquilted quilts. I would love to share some of the awesome quilts I saw, but anymore I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to share, so will refrain. It's sad and I can understand to a point, but it's not worth getting in trouble over. I did see our Judy's quilt--great job Judy!

The excitement continued when we got home....more later on that!