Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bodyguard? Snails trails and exciting news!

Kirt went on a business trip to Mexico last week. The Ohio Commission set up appts. for him to sell his product in trying to help out Ohio businesses. AND they hired a body guard to go with him. Is that scary or what? The good thing...his name (well, one of his names out of 7) was Jesus--so we figured if Jesus is with him in Spirit and in the flesh, he should be okay! It's just really a bad time for Americans to go to Mexico with the kidnappings, etc. I wasn't thrilled with him going. But he is home safe and said he had some great appointments. I just hope he doesn't have to go back. At one of the hotels, he wasn't allowed to go anywhere except the hotel lobby and the Starbucks within the hotel. 4 businessmen (on separate occasions) were kidnapped the week before in front of that same hotel! When the bodyguard picked him up he had to sprint to the car as he was told. They are targeting businessmen and are demanding such a relatively modest ransom that can be wired within a few hours, so they are getting what they want without resistance. Over 1000 were kidnapped in Mexico City last month alone! Too many for their police to handle. He said he didn't think there were many killed. I guess they don't need to when they are only asking for $1000's of dollars instead of millions or some outrageous sum. Scary anyway.

My friend's sister, who is a new quilter is flew up from Florida last week and along with a few other friends, had our own private little retreat! 3 days and 3 nights of nothing but sewing! It was great to have some concentrated time to sew--on something for me! I'm working on my SITP (Shakespeare in the Park),and got all my Snail's Trails blocks done. See the little spark of red now and then? Well, it's a little more on the burgundy side.

I finished my last dress of embroidered 50's dresses. By the way, it is now available as a pattern at the Bobby Sox Company. I just need to decide on sashing and borders. It's funny, the minute I got the last dress done, my mind has gone on to the next quilt! I wonder if that's why I have so many UFO's? I'm always jumping ahead to the next neat project. But I am going to miss doing the embroidery. There is still nothing to quiet your soul than a little handwork. It forces you to slow down.
Miss Alia--what a little sweetie you are! And so SMART! She'll be two in a few more weeks and is just so sharp and is such a cutie with her sweet little voice. But don't let her angelic looks deceive you, she is into everything! And eats and drinks everything she sees, so we are constantly putting things up. She crawled up the side of her other G'ma's car into the open window and got into her purse today. Fortunately she decided to clean her hands with the whole bottle of hand sanitizer instead of drinking it! Man, do they have their hands full. And guess what? She is going to be a big sister!! Yep, T & M are expecting baby #4! A little surprise for them as they thought things were taken care of, but they fell into that 1% failure rate. I guess God had other plans for them. We are all thrilled and when they got over the initial shock, they are excited as well. Or so they say..heehee

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grandkid fix and New quilts started

This little guy, Mr. Liam, is now in preschool and wants to go everyday.

And Miss Alia, NEEDS to go every day--or so her stay at home Dad would like! She is the most inquisitive, daring one they have. And the other two were quite the adventurers. And who couldn't resist a puddle?

I've been busy making a rag quilt for a friend's wedding, purging closets and I started two NEW quilts! What on earth possess' me sometimes?

The rag quilt is one of fall colors and I forgot to take a photo of it when it was finished, but here it is, without the borders (I put a folded edge border to avoid having 'raggy' edges) and before it was clipped. I love these quilts, they are always the warmest ones in the house. I've made so many of them and I vow that I won't make any more, but then when you need a gift, it just seems so perfect.

Shakespeare in the Park is a quilt by Judy Martin and a year or so ago, a group on Stashbuster's talked about doing it. So we broke off and formed a group and then went nowhere. I missed all the initial talk about getting it going again, but suddenly everyone is talking about doing it again. It's been on my list for quite some time, and decided it's now or never! So, I chose 40 fabrics (20 in creams/tans and 20 in blacks and ONE lone burgundy for a bit of spark) from my stash. I JUST got done cutting all the pieces for the Snail's Trails, and now to start on the star blocks. Sure takes a lot longer to cut from a variety of fabrics, rather than one or two. But it looks SO much better with a bigger variety of fabric. It gives depth and movement that just a few fabrics just can't give. I made a test block before I started cutting the massive stack of fabric. I was going to only cut a little, sew a little. But I tend to like it better to get most of my cutting done first, then I can concentrate on just sewing. My friend is just the opposite, she can't stand 'production' type sewing. To each his own.

The second quilt I started came out of nowhere. I was searching for something (and that thought is LONG gone! hahaha) and stumbled upon Lynne's blog and her quilt. It's a Celtic Knot quilt with 3 strands and she referenced a verse in Ecclesiates about God being the 3rd strand interwoven into our lives. It was neat. She didn't design the quilt, but she posted it online (with permission) as a mystery. It took me ALL night long to write down the block 'formulas'. I originally thought I'd make it similar to hers, but my greens and pinks were calling out to me, begging me to be in a quilt again. But geez, pulling out bits of fabric, pressing them so you can cut a 2" square, is a bear. This is block #1. There are 25 blocks with most of them having 81 squares per block. Only the last row is 9 across and 7 down, so only 63 squares per block. I have some cuttin' to do!! I love the look of scrap quilts, but the only problem is cutting. Nothing can be cut quickly or efficiently. I often thought I'd take my box of scraps and cut them up into a usable size, like Bonnie does. But then so often I need a piece that's bigger, longer or whatever. And if I've cut everything up, it wouldn't work. But I need to do something, My scrap bins are overflowing! Especially the bright colors one. I wonder how long I could just sew out of that bin alone? Kind of scary.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ball tournaments and grabbing some quilting time

My big quilt show was 2 weekends ago and then my husbands big SB tournaments were last weekend. There is just NO rest for the weary! hahaha I had to make 24 dozen brownies and load all the things needed to prepare food for coaches, etc. 400 miles away. A couple of things while I was gone....my car turned 50,000 miles. Is that exciting to anyone else? Having your car turn a milestone number? I don't know why it fascinates me--I remember growing up and our car was about to turn 100,000 miles, but it didn't go to 6 digits, so it was like starting over. And we kids watched for miles in anticipation for it turning over. Silly, silly things like that stick in my memory bank. Wonder why?

I also find time one morning to run to Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC (we were at nearby Winthrop University). And all I came out with was enough pretty flannels to make a rag quilt for a wedding gift. I saw lots of pretty fabric, but knowing full well that I have a closet of pretties kept me from buying. Plus, you have to be prepared in a place like that..how much backing do I need for this quilt? Or how much would I need for this one..or that one. It's just as well, I didn't need to add to the guilt of having too much as it is!

After the weekend, we headed to our place in Pawley's Island for a little R&R, slept til 9 AM the first morning! We haven't done that in ages! Felt pretty good actually. Then I hand sewed the binding on a quilt that I was trying to get done for my quilt show and just didn't get done. I could have done it by machine, but I never like it as much as I do by hand. And it seems a shame sometimes to hurry that last step, just to get it done. Plus, I like how relaxing it is to do a little handwork at the end. It's just not as fun under a time crunch!

And I finished dress #11 of my 50's embroidered dress series and am working on #12, the last one. Then I'll finally be able to make a nice sized wallhanging. But I'll miss the pick up and go handwork. Guess I'll have to find something else to pick up and go project.