Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fiction Vs Non-Fiction in the Quilting World

I've been reading the Elm Creek Quilters books this summer, thoroughly immersing myself in the fictional world of the Bergstrom family and the quilt campers. On more than one occasion, I found myself wishing that such a group existed and how I'd relish the chance to be a part of it despite my sub-par quilting abilities. Then, I started to think. My reality? Thanks to getting acquainted with Jill after a Google search last year, I've joined the local guild, met Jill and a number of her quilting buddies (now my buddies too!), attended a wonderful retreat in April and am now prepping for a Shop Hop with my new-found pals next week. Like the Elm Creek Quilters, my quilting pals are a great group - kind, supportive and fun. Can't ask for any more than that and comes darn close to that fictional world in Elm Creek.

Now, if I could only persuade my spouse that quilting is not so horrible an addiction!

Keep stitchin'!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Productive Weekend

Seems like I got a lot done this weekend. I finished the binding on two quilts and pieced 32 blocks for the strip happy quilt. Also got the sewing room tidied up a bit. Between all that, we went to the Heritage Festival (sweat a lot there!), dinner at Martin and Bev's, a trip to the new model train layout in West Chester, and school supplies shopping.

Whale of a thunderstorm went through last night dumping some much-needed rain on our poor parched lawn.

Whilst finishing the binding on Turquoise Geese last night, we watched a film from Netflix - "I Am Legend". That movie must have really bothered me since I had the strangest dream last night about a virus killing half of my family. In my dream, people were dumping all their possessions on the curb and I remember seeing piles of sewing machines everywhere. Weird, eh?

I'm hoping this will be a quiet week both at home and work. Michael needs to visit the dentist again as his crown fell out again. I need to keep reminding myself that it's a three-day weekend coming up!

Keep on stitchin'!

Friday, August 22, 2008


This has been a challenging week in many ways for my family and I. First off, Michael pulled a muscle in his back which hurts like a knife whenever he coughs. Squelching a cough isn't easy for someone who has a lung disease like his. Fortunately, our doctor gave him some high powered cough medication which is giving the pulled muscle a chance to heal. On the drive home from the doctor's, the crown fell off one of his top front teeth. Got him a dentist's appointment that afternoon since we were planning on meeting friends from Atlanta for dinner that night.

All this happened on the first day of school to boot! It wasn't stressful for me, mind you, but Andrea was unable to eat or sleep well the night before. She's OK now, but doesn't talk much about school other than she likes her English teacher.

Last night, I went to a small quilters' group meeting in Fairfield thanks to Jill. I enjoyed my time with the other quilters and got a lot done on my Turquoise Geese binding. Most of the gals worked on quilts for charity, so I felt a bit odd working on something for myself. Next meeting, I'll have something to work on and donate.

The end of the binding job for Turquoise Geese is in sight! I made a list of things I want to get done this weekend: put another top on the frame, finish the binding on Linda's Horsies, put a serious dent into the sewing for the Strip Happy quilt and cut the fabric out for the Stash Pot Pie assignment. Since it's going to be VERY, VERY hot outside, it will be a great time to stay in the comforts of my air conditioned house and sew. The Mason Heritage Festival is tomorrow so Andrea and I may go to that. Never know what we'll find at that event, other than picking up a few new fridge magnets. We're supposed to go to Martin and Bev's for dinner tomorrow evening too, but we haven't heard any details about that yet.

Tattoo Boy got his acceptance letter from the university. The paperwork for his enrollment was hung up because his father neglected to complete a necessary form. For the first time, EVER, I phoned my ex at work, got his schedule and told TB to take the form to him and fax it from there. A week's delay taken care of in 10 minutes - POOF!!! Real typical of the ex; don't get me started. We're waiting on a time slot for orientation. Classes start Sept. 24.

Girly Day on Monday was a hit. Andrea and I got our hair and nails done, picked up recycling bins at city hall, bought neutering vouchers for the kittens at the Humane Society, visited the homeless kitties, had lunch at Subway, went to the movies and had dinner with Michael at Skyline Chili. I LOVED sleeping in until 8 am too! At least taking Monday off made the week go a bit quicker. It is TGIF!

Keep stitchin'

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Must Have Checklist

Here is the list we were given in class on Saturday:

The Top Four Notions ("Givens")

-Rotary cutter
-Cutting mat - 18" x 24"
-Scissors - 5" or 6" blade shears
-Rulers - 6" x 24"

Must Have Notions:

-Seam ripper
-120" tape measure
-Ott light - Day light
-Thread snips
-Shape Rulers
-Flower head pins
-IBC pins (glass head silk pins)
-Add-a-quarter ruler
-Magnetic pincushion
-Little scissors
-Wound bobbins
-Needle threader
-Creative Grids 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 ruler
-Micro Scissors
-Omnigrid glow line tape
-Baste-It glue
-Silk pins
-Nifty notions - glass headed pins
-Small iron
-Organizing bins
-Ruler rack
-Triangle paper
-Thread rack
-Bobbin saver
-Cut and Press
-Fork pins
-Big board

I checked off the items I DID NOT have. Several of those sounded like a great addition to my sewing area, including the desk needle threader from Clover. The shop was sold out of them on Saturday, but I found them on line at Connecting Threads for half-off. (LOVE a bargain!) I'm on the hunt for a ruler rack at the moment, since my ruler collection has been expanding and stacking them on the worktop is getting to be a challenge.

Keep on stitchin'!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Essentials for Quilting/Sewing Studios

Absolutely adore the Stash Pot Pie class I'm taking one Saturday each month. We discuss stash organization, techniques and have an assigned quilt top to complete. Every class, I learn some thing - sometimes small, other times big. Saturday's class was no exception. I learned I was using the seam ripper incorrectly. I was picking out stitches one stitch at a time. Talk about an a ha moment and did I EVER feel stupid. We talked about the tools/essentials one needed for a basic quilting studio. Jan, the shop owner, had a list from one of her magazines and she had samples of each item on a table in the classroom. There were very few I didn't already own, but could easily see the sense in having. (Hence the needle threader purchase after class.) One gadget I have that was NOT on the list was my sidewinder - bobbin winder. I'd lose my mind if I didn't have that thing. The question for you all is this: Other than the machine, fabric, thread, cutting mat and rotary cutter, what item(s) do you think are essential for a well-supplied home quilting studio?

I'll post the article's list tomorrow. (I left it at home, like a complete doofus.)


Not in time for class, mind you. I started far too late and made way, way too many mistakes on this month's assignment. But, I was determined to finish the Star Cats quilt top with the ribbon border and by God, I did!!!!!! Very happy that I chose to complete it as the pattern dictated. The ribbon border really adds to it. If I think of it, I'll have DH take a photo of it tonight and a photo of the quilt top I finished for our company's United Way campaign.

Pinch me, I'm dreaming.....

Our weather is absolutely fantastic at the moment; sunny and warm with low humidity and cool at night. Last night I sat on our back patio with my hand sewing for nearly an hour. That's my dream evening; hand sewing and a nice glass of iced tea. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes had their own idea of a dream evening and it involved my arms and face.

School daze

Took Tattoo Boy and Andrea school clothes shopping yesterday. With all the sales and my mother's discount card, I saved $358 over the original prices on our purchases. I spent $313, so I basically got the items at less than half of the original price. Well pleased. I knew Mom's 30+ years at Penney's had to count for something! Thanks, Mom!

Positive thinking needed

or prayer, if you former mother-in-law is in bad shape. She was hospitalized last week with kidney failure. Bad news since she only has one kidney after a bout with cancer twenty years ago.

Keep stitchin'!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chickened Out

I'll wait for another day to do the Thangles thing. I found a companion angle ruler at Hobby Lobby last night on the 50 percent off sale rack. So, I started to cut out the pieces I needed for the ribbon border for the Stash Pot Pie assignment. Rats! I didn't have enough fabric for one of the main pieces! GRRRRR! Not wanting to start all over with the pieced border, I phoned the store where I bought it - they were out. I phoned another store on the other side of town - they have it, so I'm off to Joann's after dinner tonight. This class assignment has been filled with detours - perhaps I'm not meant to finish it after all. I've ripped out more blocks sewn together wrong than any of my other projects. I'm determined, however, to finish it and soon. Otherwise, who knows when I'll get done.

A Kitty Story

Our kittens are still with us. Andrea and I are getting very attached to the little dears, but Michael's less than enamoured with them since one of his prized cacti was destroyed earlier this week. Last night, I gave them a special treat of canned cat food. Yummy! Stuff smells like rotten garbage. About 9 last night, Andrea was locking up the back door when she told me to look out the window. There, on our patio table where we feed the kittens was a big butt of a raccoon chowing down on our kitties' kibble! So, what did I do? What any respecting kitten mum would do - I let the dog out! The raccoon left, Daisy got some exercise and the neighbors got to hear Daisy bark. Everybody won!

Gotta love it

The AC's off and the windows are open. I doubt we've seen the last of the heat and humidity though for the season.

Upheaval at the office

Our COO is leaving our company for greener pastures. The announcement this morning has left everybody in a state of shock - the man's well liked and respected. It will be interesting to see who's next for that office. Office politics make for interesting discussion and livened up an otherwise dull morning.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and keep stitchin'

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


"You've never worked with Thangles?" the shop owner said in disbelief. "No," said I hanging my head in shame. "Well, you're in for a real treat and you'll never do half-square triangles any other way," she boasted. Well, quilt bloggers, we shall see. All this came about since I didn't have the companion angle the pattern called for and the store didn't have one in stock. Anybody have some advice to share with these Thangles?

I'm off to the fabric store at lunchtime today to see if they have any more of the pawprint fabric I've used with some of the split decision quilts I made earlier this year. I used it in the Stash Pot Pie top I'm working on right now, but I don't think I'll have enough for the ribbon-style border.

Oh, and I did the UNMENTIONABLE again. Ordered a book and more fabric from Quilt in A Day. One of the gals in the Stash Pot Pie class made a Halloween quilt and got me to thinking I'd like one as well, so I ordered the 10 yards special of Halloween fabric, some chicken fabric to make potholders for my Mum, and a book (half off). Got brave and ordered a pair of Crocs as well on line. I tried on a pair last Friday, but the store didn't have the colour I wanted.

SCHOOL STARTS TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! happy dance, happy dance.......

Bad news runs in threes?

I'm waiting for the third shoe to drop, then. My dear friend at work learned her beautiful young daughter is heavily into drug use - they found cocaine and a big bag of marijuana in this girl's room. Put that together with the signs they've seen lately - my friend and her husband are devastated. They're waiting a day to confront their daughter, but the drugs were taken out of her room, so surely the girl knows her parents are aware. Please keep them in your thoughts. It's a tough thing to go through. Another friend, here at the office, was happily expecting her first grandchild in early January. Her daughter miscarried last night. My heart aches for that little family - I was so happy that my friend asked me to create a quilt for the new baby. I had the top done, so it'll just stay in the closet until there are happier times for them.

An answer to my prayer?
Tattoo Boy is going back to college - he's determined to take the ACT exam in October and hopefully enroll in the University of Cincinnati by winter term. I chatted on the phone with him for 30 minutes about his education plans and a lot of other things. I guess children do emerge from their teen years and are normal human beings again, after all.

The weather report this morning made me jump for joy! Fall-like temperatures by the weekend! As much as I depend on air conditioning, I still hate the fact that we have to use it. There's nothing better than opening up all the windows and getting fresh, cool air in the house.

Keep Stitchin'!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Andrea In the Spotlight!

This was certainly a weekend to remember for my daughter, Andrea. Friday night was the big book unveiling at Border's. There were hundreds of teenage girls at this event. Suppose I was kind of shocked at the extent of the "Twilight" books' popularity. Andrea's short story won the store's contest and as her prize Andrea got the first copy of the book at no cost and a $75 gift card for the store. She was so stunned when they announced her name, she just froze. "Is Andrea here? " the store manager yelled. Andrea's buddies and I quickly yelled back and pointed her out, pushing her to the front of the line. What an accomplishment for her first competitive writing entry!

Then, yesterday Andrea got to meet an on-line friend from the Buckeye Lake area. She's been chatting with this girl for nearly five years - one of her first on-line acquaintances. The friend's mom drove over two hours to get the girls together. The mom and I talked a lot and we discovered that not only do Andrea and Alli share a birthday, April 9, but they were born in the same hospital. All four of us were in the same ward that Easter weekend 15 years ago! What are the odds of that happening?

Sweet little Daisy is recovering from her trip to the vet's. Four teeth (not just two) needed to be extracted. The rest were cleaned and polished leaving Daisy with a set of choppers that are just as bright and shiny as the chick's teeth in the gum commercials on television. My check book, however, is recovering slower than our dog. Michael will remain clueless about the cost of the surgery. What he doesn't know won't hurt him

QUILTING? What quilting?
OK, not as much time as I wanted, but I did get some sewing time in this weekend. I finished the main part of the quilt top that I'm donating to our company's United Way silent auction. Then, I proceeded to start on the blocks for the Stash Pot Pie project that is due this Saturday morning. I have eight more blocks to finish before they all get sewn together. I've never missed having a top done for this class in eight months so I'm intent on getting this one done. Not sure about going to the guild meeting tonight - they're having an ugly fabric exchange and I haven't gone through my stash with that in mind. This may be one of those nights that I don't want to leave the house after I get home from work - I'd rather sew. But, there is no guild meeting next month, so we'll see....

Other diversions:
-I've read four of the Elm Creek quilt series now and will start the fifth book soon.
-The Reds totally stink and are preparing themselves as a sacrifice to the Brewers starting tonight.
-It's hot, humid and hazy in southwestern Ohio. No wonder August is my least favorite month.
-On a bright note - SCHOOL STARTS IN TWO WEEKS!!!!!
-The scarlet and grey thread search has ended, not successfully. The owner of the quilt shop nearest the Ohio State campus said she doesn't know of any thread manufacturer who has that variegated thread available. A lot of her Ohio State quilters used white/black/grey variegated thread for their Buckeye creations. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to get somebody to produce the scarlet/grey combo, she stated.

y'all have a great week!
Keep Stitchin'!