Monday, June 30, 2008

Safely Watching From A Distance....

....the Quilting Smackdown between Jill, Jen and Moneik. This competition should be interesting. Last sewing machine still upright and smoking wins! LOL!

We had the nicest weekend. First off on Friday - we went to the Cincinnati Pops concert on my company's front lawn. The weather was great too - not too warm and humid. Saturday was spent sewing, laundry, grocery shopping -typical Saturday stuff. I was in Yarns and Fabrications picking up some thread when a nasty thunderstorm went through and knocked out the power to the store. Now, let me tell you being in a LNS with no power isn't all it's cracked up to be - can't see a thing! Made my purchase the old fashioned way - wrote a check. Sunday, we took a ride on an old fashioned steam train in Lebanon and drove up to Waynesville - home of the world famous Fabric Shack. First, we had peanut butter pie though - priorities, right, Jill? Jen, I think you were at that restaurant too in April. Since Michael and Andrea were with me, my shopping time in Fabric Shack was somewhat limited. I shall return!

I have all the little rectangles sewn and ready to put into blocks for my Stash Pot Pie assignment. Putting together Flying Geese with the Quilt-In-A-Day ruler is a snap! Once Michael put some gripper pads on the ruler, it worked even better!

Got a notice from Best Friends about their firecracker sale on Saturday - up to 70 percent off their fabric (selected bolts). So, this little quilter isn't buying any more fabric until Saturday. The withdrawal pains will be fierce, but I'll get by. LOL. Was in Best Friends at lunchtime and my will power was fantastic - just bought pins and fusible batting-just like I planned. My momma would be proud!!!

Back to work, chickees. It's month end - everybody can work as much overtime as they want, ugh!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NQA memories

Got around to it finally; had to foward some of the photos to my pc at work because for some reason I'm unable to log into blogger from home. So, here are a few shots of my day in Columbus at NQA.

Jill spotted Eleanor Burns whilst we were grabbing a bite to eat for lunch. We waved and were going to invite her to join us, but she sat with somebody else by the time our sandwiches were ready. RATS! But, we were fortunate enough to meet up with her again at the Quilt In A Day booth. Jill and I bought books, had Eleanor autograph them and she was kind enough to let us snap a few shots. Ah, there is nothing like hob nobbing with quilting royalty! LOL

I liked the use of pink and green in this quilt and the quilting is very nice too. Don't think it won anything.

A Dear Jane quilt - way too much work for this lazy quilter, but very inspiring. There were at least three Dear Jane quilts - all used different colours and patterns.

Award winner! Very imaginative and original. Not something you'd toss on a bed, but really, really cute.

Check Jill's blog if you want to see other photos. We had such a great time and are already making plans for next year's show.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I couldn't post the NQA photos last night. For some reason I couldn't sign on to blogger from my home PC. Will try again tonight.

More yard work again last night - planted six fire bushes and I'm feeling the after affects this morning. Hoping to take the night "off" from yard work. For one thing I need to start working on the Stash Pot Pie assignment for June.

Finished the binding on Split Decision - Dogs last night and will deliver it at work today. Very pleased with how it turned out. I think the more I work with the frame and machine, the better I'm getting at it. That Pajama Quilter program too, has definitely inspired me to try new things. I took a free-motion class some time ago at a local shop and the teacher said never, ever cross lines. Well, lemme tell you, that rule has been tossed out with some things I'm trying. Several of the "pros" at our guild have also emphasized not to be afraid to cross lines. I feel so liberated! LOL!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Whirlwind Weekend

I didn't think it was possible for three days to go by any faster, but they certainly did! And I have the aching legs to prove it! LOL

Friday was girly day - took Andrea shopping for a new swimsuit, used bookstore to stock up on summer reading and had lunch together. Then, we hit the thrift stores. I was specifically looking for a small backpack to take with me on the bus trip to the NQA show on Saturday, which I found. What was unexpectedly discovered really, really pleased me - quilting books a whole stack of them! I went bonkers and purchased eight of them. I'm now regretting that I didn't purchase the ones still at the shop, so I may go back this coming weekend to see if they're still there. Andrea then showed me how to work her digital camera so I could borrow it on Saturday.

OMG, the NQA show was amazing. Jill and Patrice accused me of being tight when I didn't buy anything at first, but in reality I was just in a state of shock by all the quilt stuff in one locale. It was overwhelming. It didn't take too long, however, for me to get into the swing of things. I purchased a lot of half-yard cuts, five new patterns, two pairs of silver charm earrings, an NQA pin, an NQA tote bag, a Quilt-In-A-Day mug, a "cheater" Christmas lap quilt top, a very cute snack-oriented quilt kit and of course a Quilt-In-A-Day book which Eleanor Burns autographed for me. Patrice was kind enough to take my photo with Eleanor which I'll post later tonight when I get home and can sort through the 60 or more photos that I snapped on Saturday. I gotta tell you, Eleanor is just like she seems on the PBS programs - funny and very personable.

The show quilts were inspiring - I took loads of photos - some just for inspiration on colour selection and quilting methods. More than once I thought to myself "Hey, I can do that too!" But, seriously, I don't think I'll ever attain the level of perfection that many of the quilts clearly displayed.

All in all, it was a great day and I'm pleased to have spent it with Jill and Patrice. The bus trip was well worth the money and I'm already looking forward to next year's show.

After all that walking on Saturday, it was great to sleep in on Sunday until 8:30. Michael and I spent the best part of Sunday afternoon digging up weeds and tap roots. UGH! I'm still sore from all that yard work. Almost made me grateful to return to work on Monday. Notice, I said "almost". LOL

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's Left.....

Well, the tree monkeys finally showed up around 3 pm - only seven hours late. But, they finished their work by 8 pm. Now all that's left is the clean up, weeding, stacking, etc.
Here's the biggest tree that met its demise and what was left:

The spot where the two smaller trees were needs the most work thanks to the weeds and smaller trees that are there. I need to be very careful cleaning up this stuff. There was a big patch of poison oak under the large tree. Did use my Round Up gun last night on that. (no, after the tree monkeys left!)
So, if I don't get any quilty stuff done the next few days, y'all know why.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where can you get good service?

I have absolutely HAD IT with the tree service firm (aka Tree monkeys) we hired. They were three hours late yesterday, finished half the job, said they're be back at 8 this morning. It's 1:30 and they have not shown. I phoned at 11:45 and they said they were on their way. Yeah, right! We paid half their fee yesterday and said once they finished they could have the other half. From what I hear, a lot of contractors operate in this fashion. How does one stay in business with that kind of work ethic? The head tree monkey tried to tell us the quote didn't cover all four trees, when it was clearly written down on the estimate. We won that battle, but may have lost the war since they haven't arrived to take care of the last two trees.

So, I'm already stressed about leaving my daughter at home with the tree monkeys. I reach the office and find my desk buried and my boss upset about a phone call he received from one of my brokers. I wanted to run away - this has not been a good day. I imagine if I had taken more time off work, I would have been livid by this point.

Thank goodness for Diane, who whisked me away from the office for lunch! Feeling much better now.

The weather is gorgeous here this week. How do I justify working on my quilts when it's so lovely outside and there's so much work that needs to be done outside? Perhaps I should take out my anger on the weeds. And if the tree monkeys happen to get a squirt or two of RoundUp by mistake, so be it. LOL

Monday, June 16, 2008

Productive Weekend

Couldn't get my butt out of bed on time Saturday morning, so I was a tad late for Stash Pot Pie. Warmly greeted by my classmates and shop owner and promptly had my "show and tell". I always learn something from this class and get a new pattern. This month, we're learning how to make Flying Geese using a special ruler from Quilt In A Day. I have no idea what to use in my stash for this one. It may be a REALLY scrappy looking thing. Found a few more black fat quarters for Andrea's Tiramisu quilt at the shop too.

I finished piecing the Split Decision-Dog edition quilt on Sunday and finished the top for a Thimbleberries sunflower table runner. So, it was a real productive day in the sewing room. Andrea was at Kings Island with her buddies and Michael worked most of the day. Gotta love those days with few interruptions!

Was interrupted in spurts though since I was "given" seven loads of laundry by Tattoo Boy. Don't mind doing that for him, especially when he told me it normally costs him $16 at the laundromat just for his things!!?? He's not real experienced at keeping things white and stainfree obviously either. Poor kid. I used to take such pride in his white Tae Kwon Do uniforms which have turned a pale shade of grey.

It's going to be a short work week - yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!! Tree monkeys (losing four pine trees and a bunch of tree branches) on Wednesday (no work for me!) and off on Friday. THEN - Saturday is the guild bus trip to the National Quilt show in Columbus. I have looked forward to this for so long. I took Friday off so I can catch up on all the weekend work on that day since I won't be home all day Saturday. I think Michael's concerned that I'm going to spend a small fortune - he should know better than that! It will be a large fortune! LOL. Seriously, it depends on what I find that I can't normally purchase at any of the local shops. Plus, I want to get loads of ideas, hence the plan to take the digital camera.

The big news for the family is we found a Wii game system on Friday. It's a factory re-built model, but it saved us about $40 as opposed to waiting for who-know-how-long for a brand new one. Now, I'll have to find the Wii Fit game, which is what I had in mind for myself. The games are fun with it and at least gets you up and moving.

Sad news from up north - Mom's husband's cancer has probably returned. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Ken's a good man.

Later, gators......

Friday, June 13, 2008

Father's Day and Catching Up With the Family

This morning the DJ on my favorite radio station mentioned his father passed away in 1990. Same year as my Daddy. Then I got to thinking about how much I miss my Daddy, even seventeen years after losing him. He was a good and kind man who knew how to have fun and install a good work ethic, set of values with his children.

Several weeks before the accident, Daddy told me that he was proud of my brother and me. We were good kids, never got into drugs, alcohol (well, at least he didn't know of that!) or crime and never gave him and Mom much to worry about. He wanted to make sure we knew that. I didn't say much at the time, but the memories of that conversation mean so much to me now. So when I have a crappy day or feel like the worries of life are weighing me down, I remember Daddy was proud of me - and that's all that matters. I only hope I'm half the role model to my children that he was to me.

Tattoo Boy had a bit of rough week. Day before yesterday the police were at our door with TB's driver's license. "He's not in any trouble, is he?" I asked. Oh, no - we just found his Tae Kwon Do bag and his wallet tossed on somebody's lawn, the officer replied. Phew! I told him where TB lived and worked and the officer would get those items to him. Andrea and I went to Tae Kwon Do class last night since we knew TB would be there. Apparently, somebody broke into his car and took that stuff, tossed the stuff they didn't want somewhere else. The only thing missing was a pair of boots. And do you know what he was worried about? Losing his second-degree black belt and having to explain it to Master Kim! And his knee is getting better - our doctor said it was just a contusion.

The reason Andrea and I were out last evening was on the great Wii hunt. I promised her a Wii system if her grades were good this past semester. She did it! Now I can't find the dang thing and the stores we stopped at last night said to phone them everyday since they don't know when their Nintendo shipments are supposed to arrive.

Next week, we're having six very ugly, very dead, and very big pine trees cut down on our property. So, I get to take another day off work. (Fake tears, here folks!)

Did manage to sew six blocks for the Split Decision- Dog Edition quilt last night. I love that pattern; it's so easy.

Weekend? Hey, it is Friday the 13th!!!!!! Stash Pot Pie class tomorrow, shopping for Father's Day and very little else. I'm going to purchase a birdfeeder with a squirrel proof ring on it for Michael as Andrea and TB's gift to him. Should be fun to watch that!

Have a good one!

Thursday, June 12, 2008



I've been TAGGED!

OK, Jill tagged me, so I guess I have to respond to the questions:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was living and working in Columbus, Ohio with my ten year old son and five year old daughter. We lived in a two-story house in Hilliard with a cocker spaniel named Cody. We were getting ready to move to Maryland for a job transfer with the insurance company I worked for at the time. (Good Lord, has it been ten years?)

2. What are 5 things on my list to do today?
1. Pay the mortgage - done. 2. Drive to Hancock Fabrics at lunch for their novelty fabric sale. 3. Keep my sanity at work. 4. Survive the drive home on 275. 5. QUILT.

3.What snacks do I enjoy?
Cheeze-Its, Chex Mix, Trail Mix - all of which are off limits.

4. What would I do if I was a billionaire?
Quit the insurance gig, find a good attorney, set my kids up financially, find property which would include a whole separate building for my sewing studio and quilt to my heart's content.

5.Where have I lived?
Born in Connellsville, PA. Grew up in Northeastern Ohio between Akron and Canton. Moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend Ohio State. Lived in Columbus for ten years after graduation. Transferred to Phoenix, AZ for a promotion and survived the desert for 18 months. Relocated back to Columbus before being shipped off to the Baltimore, Maryland region (another promotion). Downsized out of a job three years later and accepted a job in Cincinnati 7 and 1/2 years ago. AND - here I am!

Now, I gotta figure out who to tag!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Fabric, fabric and more fabric

OK - so my original plan was to ONLY sign up for the next series of Stash Pot Pie classes. Then I spied some cute fabric. There is no hope for me. Then since I couldn't find a horse/kid fabric, I had to go on line for that. Found it and some Christmas Street fabric - all on sale of course.

Seriously, my weekend was fun - spent Saturday morning at Best Friends shopping and signing up for the next Stash Pot Pie classes. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, cooking and getting ready for our friends, Martin and Bev. We had a fun evening with them. Just too bad the weather was far too hot to enjoy sitting on the patio with beer and dinner. Yesterday - I got to sew. Worked on Thimbleberries Lakeside wall hanging. Got the top pieced except for the borders which hoping to get done tonight. My intention was to make that for the kitchen or dining room. The colours suit my sewing room though, so it may end up in there.

Tattoo Boy was injured during Tae Kwon Do class on Saturday. He was hobbling around on crutches on Saturday night. I wish there was some way I could phone him, but he's without a phone at the moment. I told him if he needed further medical attention or help to let me know. But, he's so stinking proud, it would have to be VERY bad before he'd ask.

My brother phoned on Saturday to apologize for the email his wife sent to the entire world last weekend. He really didn't need to apologize, but it was appreciated. The important thing is that he is feeling loads better. Dopey SIL should have been the one to apologize!

In less than two weeks, I'm going to the national quilt show in Columbus. I've been to several local shows, but nothing on a scale like the national. Do you all have any helpful hints or suggestions that will help? ( bring loads of money, LOL) I want Michael to show me how to work the digital camera to use for the trip.

Well, it's out to lunch I go into the heat and humidity. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hot off the needle.....

Not the world's best photograph, but it's almost 9:30 and the light in the house isn't great, but here's my latest project - Split Decision - done and ready to give to my friend first thing tomorrow morning.

Here's some of my quilting work

OK, now that I have the hang of it, here are some of the quilts I've worked on recently.

This first one was a local quilt shop pattern - I called it SewEzy Cats. I made this for my step-daughter, Jenny, for Christmas.

This quilt is from Thimbleberries Big Block book - I call it a calendar quilt since each block represents a different month of the year. Remember the quilt that got held up in English customs? This is it. I delivered the quilt in person to my eldest daughter-in-law Leah in March.

This was my first attempt at a photo quilt. Another Christmas pressie - this one for my dear, dear mother-in-law. She sent the photos of her grandchildren/children and Michael selected the ones he wanted to see on the quilt. She loves it.

And last, but not least - this quilt top is made from the fat quarters I won from Gina in Wales. It's next in line for the frame. Thank you, Gina. It's the prettiest thing I've made so far in Stash Busters class.

England trip

Well, I'm trying to figure out this photo posting bit on Blogger, so here goes with some photos I had on file here at the office from our trip to England in March.The one at the top is from the stag night. Michael is front row, far left - the one with the nearly empty glass. Tattoo Boy is my son.

Here's a shot of my daughter Andrea and I at the wedding reception/party

This is my Tattoo Boy and Andrea. Nicest photo I've had of them in years without them snarling at each other. (LOL)

And this is the happy couple; my husband's youngest daughter, Lizzy and her groom, Chris

Now, I know how to do this, will get photos posted of the REAL IMPORTANT STUFF - QUILTS.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Storm, storm and more storms

Since yesterday afternoon, we've had storm after storm roll through southwestern Ohio - not your garden variety showers either - big booming thunder, lightening flashes, dark clouds and tornadoes. Michael and I got little sleep last night between the storms and the tornado sirens going off. Then to top it all off, I forgot to set the alarm last night, so I was late to work this morning. Just as well since another storm hit right about the time I normally commute to the office. Looks to be done though, finally and the sun is coming out.

No updates from SIL or brother so I expect brother dear is on the mend. I'll phone later tonight.

Looking forward to sewing the binding on the Split Decision quilt this evening. I could use a few quiet hours of hand sewing. Besides, I'm anxious to hear my friend's reaction when I give her the quilt.

Hope you've all been reading Jen's posts about her quilts from years past. Got me to thinking about my quilting past. I've been quilter for almost three years. My first effort was a wall hanging that's in our family room. Man, what a slop job that was! Really have come a long way since then. And spent a lot of money getting there, but I sure enjoy myself!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Help with unusual situation

A friend of mine has an unusual sewing dilemma. Her mother died several years ago and most of the belongings were divided, except the six mink coats. My friend's sister is being a real b_tch about the whole thing. They've discussed dividing the coats equally, but some of the coats are worth more than the others. Gail the b_tch (that's what my friend calls her "dear" sister) would insist on having the more expensive items. This sister has already taken advantage of my friend with the jewelry and other items from the mom. The best alternative my friend could come up with is to take all the coats apart and distribute the pieces equally amongst the sisters. Do you have any experience (or know of anybody who does) with taking apart fur coats? Any suggestions? From what I know, the coats are all beautifully lined and well constructed.

Aren't families wonderful to each other?


Monday, June 2, 2008

Family Matters - Goofy Sister-In-Law

I'm trying my very best not to be upset or too critical about something my sister-in-law (SIL) did this weekend. Here's in a nutshell what happened. My brother (DB) passed out in their bathroom on Saturday night and continued to black out several times before she phoned 911. (Now, remember, folks, both she and my brother are health care professionals) Once at the hospital, DB was put on fluids and was told basically he was overdoing it with the weight loss and running - something everybody in our family (except SIL) has been thinking for the past few months. He was discharged and is feeling better, still exhausted though.

Now, here comes the interesting part, SIL informed us what happened via e-mail and attached photos of DB laying in a hospital bed looking very grey and tired. There were about 50 people on that mailing, including my mother. My husband read the e-mail and told me to immediately phone Mom -that kind of news should be told over the phone and we didn't think she should read about it and see those photos. Too late, she'd already opened her e-mail and was crying. You see, my DB is the spitting image of my father, who had several heart attacks and passed on 17 years ago. Those photos brought back a lot of bad memories for Mom and me. DB is two years younger than my daddy was when he had his first heart attack.

Now, seriously, what do you all think about this? I don't know what to think. I know SIL didn't intend to be mean or slight anybody, but my immediate family thinks she's fruit loops, that she should have phoned us. On the other hand, SIL probably wanted to tell as many folks as she could about the episode and used the e-mail route.

I could tell y'all loads more about SIL, but I'll save that for another post. She is decidedly different than most people and given her occupation - nurse- thinks she knows everything about medicine to the point where she ignores advice given by doctors to herself and her family. For instance, one of her sons was having psych issues - pulling his hair out (there's a medical term for that, but it escapes me at the moment) The psychiatrist they took him to said under no circumstances should they shave that boy's head. So, what does she do? Poor kid got his head shaved and then he proceeded to pluck out his eyebrows. He was a strange looking little dude for a few months.

Back to something loads more fun - quilting. I quilted Split Decision - Cats this weekend and will start the binding process tonight after the guild meeting. It was my first attempt at dwirling and I have to admit that I was hesitant at first. But, I'm very, very pleased with the finished product.

Michael and I got the flower bed by the mailbox replanted - the one destroyed by the wreckless driver six weeks ago. It looks even better than before the accident. My arms are a tad sore today from toting landscape bricks. The joys of homeownership!