Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rushing around

I hit the house running last night after work. First off, made a chocolate cake for my mother's birthday today. Then, baked two dozen pumpkin muffins and made dinner. Once all the clean-up was accomplished, we drove to Biggs for a "few" more items - ONLY $65 of stuff. Dashed back home in time to watch "Biggest Loser", made frosting for above-mentioned cake during the commercial breaks, cleaned the kitchen (again), did two loads of laundry AND got the trash out to the curb for pick-up. PHEW! So, no sewing, no quilting for this bad girl last night. Michael said he would sweep the floors after he gets home from work and Danny promised to clean their bathroom, so that's how Mom is going to have to take our house.

So far, it's been a rather quiet day at the office. A lot of folks have the day off and are already starting their Thanksgiving holiday. It's production cut off day for the month so naturally my company will insist that we remain at our desks until every last piece of eligible business is accounted for. Not meant as a gripe, mind you. I'm truly grateful for the job that I have since it provides for me and my family in so many ways.

Whilst we're on the subject of gratitude, I'd like to make a list of some of my blessings:

-My spouse still with us. I try to enjoy each holiday with him as much as possible and not dwell on the fact that sometime soon he will not be here.
- Mom is visiting
-Children - Tattoo Boy has started college successfully. Andrea does well in school.
-Home - far from a designer show place, but it's comfortable and is my refuge
-Quilting friends from blog land, classes and guild. Richly blessed here, folks.
-A return to my faith, church

And there are many more, but these are the biggies.

So, as I rush around like mad with all the holiday activities, I fully intend to think of the above and thank God for everything in my life. Despite the rushing around, I'm REALLY at peace this Thanksgiving.

I wish the same for you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A finish.....

This quilt is for my dear friend, Mary, who lives in Atlanta. For the last five years, Mary and her husband have worked with me and in the process we have become close friends. We have much in common, including a love of quilts, but unfortunately Mary's many talents do not include sewing.

I can't wait to hear her shouting when she gets this in the mail! She knows it's hers since I showed her the top several months ago when she was in town for a conference. She just doesn't know WHEN it's coming......

Don't you just LOVE surprises?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Upon initial thoughts - I didn't think that I had done a great deal over the weekend. Then I got to thinking........

Friday night was spent in class at Best Friends where I ironed and cut fabric from 6:30 to 9. Loads of pieces in Not Your Grandmother's Log Cabin and I'm still not completely done cutting. I bought some ZipLock bags to store all the pieces until they're sewn into the blocks. Friday was a long day since I didn't return home until 9:45. It was fun though and I got to enjoy a nice bowl of soup at Panera's with Jill and Linda.

Got my hair cut on Saturday morning, made the Thanksgiving grocery list up, sorted through coupons and wrestled my family into the car for lunch at Bob Evans before heading to Biggs for the shopping expedition of the year. It's my theory that one should NEVER grocery shop on an empty stomach! Especially with Michael! Once the shopping was done, we headed home since Andrea was to meet a friend and see "Twilight". After everything was put away, I went back out into the fray and got some Christmas shopping done at Penney's. Michael is now officially bought for! As for the kids - I have some ideas for Andrea. Danny, I may end up just giving him a check. I was on my way home when the cell phone rang, it was Michael. Even with all the groceries we bought, we were out of onions! So I ran into Biggs again! I'm certain I'll be there again tomorrow!

I tried a new service time at church on Sunday. Definitely like it - it's a blend of traditional and contemporary worship. May choose 9:30 as service time from now on. The congregation started its annual drive to help needy families at Christmas and I chose a gift for a 10-year-old girl. Andrea promised to help me select a "cool" Barbie and some clothing for the doll. When I told Michael about it, he got all choked up. He obviously was touched that we're helping this little girl have a brighter Christmas. Good thing I didn't tell him about taking a gift idea from the Wish Tree at work too or else the man would have been sobbing! LOL.

Got a couple of the oven pads done for Mom before I ran out of InsulBright. Joann's in Loveland didn't have any nor did Hancock. I'll try the Joann's close to my office at lunchtime today. If that fails, I'll head to Hobby Lobby tonight, which is where I bought the first batch. I also finished the Big Block Quilt for my Atlanta friend. That will be mailed soon.

Michael accompanied me to Fabric Shack in the afternoon on Sunday. Purchased the backing, borders for three of the quilts I pieced during the retreat. Also found some marvelous red, green and white variegated thread.

So, that's the story of my weekend. I'm really looking forward to seeing my Mom and her husband in several days. Just wish we had a nicer bedroom for them, but Andrea is making a tremendous effort to tidy her room. She doesn't mind sleeping in the family room for a couple of days. Mom wants to shop at Hobby Lobby whilst she's here. I'm surprised she wants to shop at all since she really doesn't like shopping in crowded stores. My brother and his family will stop by as well for dessert on Thursday. Thanksgiving is certainly one of my favorite holidays - it's all about celebrating and being thankful for all that is good and beautiful in our lives. No matter what, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkeys beware!

Here's the first thing I worked on at the retreat last weekend. It's now hanging in my breakfast nook.

Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday!!!!!

You obviously CANNOT tell that I'm happy the weekend is here. Phew! Tough week at work, especially since I was suffering from quilting withdrawals most of other time.

I finished the turkey wall hanging and it's now proudly displayed in my breakfast nook. During the football game last night I got about 1/2 of the binding done on the Thimbleberries Big Blocks that I'm giving to my friend in Atlanta for Christmas. This weekend I HAVE TO finish some quilted hot pads for my mom to give to her friends for Christmas. I've been putting that project off for some time and mom will be here next week. They should be easy though.

Purchased the backing for my brother's gift, so that should go on the frame soon. Debating on how to quilt it - to stipple or not to stipple - that is the question. (Groan!)

Tattoo Boy has moved back into the house. It's truly amazing - he lets me know when to expect him, says thank you for stuff, picks up around the house...... Doesn't seem like this is the angry young man who stormed out of the house two years ago protesting that he didn't want to follow guidelines of common courtesy.

On the teen girlie front: She's mad at me. I wouldn't let her go to the theatre at midnight last night to see "Twilight". I am probably the ONLY mother in the country who refused. What is it with kids and these movies that they HAVE to see it the minute it's released?

I forced Michael to see the doctor yesterday since he's tired all the time and coughs a lot. They want to put him through a sleep study and did blood work on him to rule out anemia. He's still grumpy that I made him go. And he's irritated that I made an appointment to have our carpets cleaned. They'll just get messed up again, is his statement and it's waste of money. I think he'd rather point out the dirty spots to my mother and make me look like the world's worst housekeeper. He said houses in England go 20+ years without getting the carpets cleaned. Perhaps those are the homes on "How Clean Is Your House?".......?

Going to meet Jill and Linda tonight for dinner and then we have a class at Best Friends. I'll get home around 9:30ish. Long day, but I'll certainly enjoy the latter bit.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to the Real World....

From Thursday to Sunday, I immersed myself into sewing at the guild's retreat in Blue Licks, KY. Admittedly, I'm pleased that I completed as much as I did. But, the thing I'm most pumped up about is that I met other quilters, formed new friendships and cemented ones that were already started. Roomie Jill and I "fought off" the advances of the local wildlife. (Not really - just kept them from getting into our sodas and food in the coolers!) I met several other quilters from my area - one in particular is keen to set up a local group to meet every other week. With each completed project, I cheered and admired the craftsmanship. There's still so much to learn and so much to quilt!

I'll get Michael to take some photos of the tops I worked on and post later. Mentally, I'm finding it difficult to get back into the rhythm of things. Mondays are bad enough, but when you've been out for four days, it's even nastier.

How many days until the next retreat?


Monday, November 10, 2008

A Very Quilty Weekend

Saturday morning I met Jill and Linda at IHOP for breakfast before our Stash Pot Pie Class at Best Friends. A near tragedy was avoided when the waitress informed us they did indeed have pumpkin pancakes. We did not see them on the special menu and were considering a near riot before the waitress calmed us down! Once I had my fill of pumpkin, it was on to Best Friends.

There weren't too many people who completed the assignment for October, but as always, I was amazed by others' choice of colours, fabrics and how the patterns are "adjusted". Mine was not completed - still needs the borders sewn on. I did bring a show and tell though and Linda asked me to post a photo:

The assignment for December is a big block quilt - it looks perfect to use for all the railroad material I have. So, that is one project that is coming with me to the retreat on Thursday.

Speaking of that, I began to pack up some projects for my four day retreat. I way overpacked for the St. Jude's retreat in April, not knowing how much I was going to complete. Suppose it's better to over pack, over-estimate what you can get done vs. doing the opposite. I'm going to Joann's on my lunch hour since all their thread is 50 percent off - I'm almost out of neutral thread for piecing.

The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful except for our dishwasher deciding to die. Michael's repaired the thing twice and we think the electronics are shot, so we went to Home Depot armed with a coupon and found a discounted floor model. I hope Mr. Michael can get the new dishwasher installed this afternoon. I didn't get much sewing done on Sunday since I struggled with a migraine most of the day. It didn't disappear until after dinner and then I got some work done on the quilt on my frame. If I would have had one more hour of weekend, I could have finished it!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Comfort Quilt

One of my co-workers is scheduled to have major spine surgery this Thursday. The surgery is going to take at least six hours and she'll be out of work for possibly four months recuperating. The poor girl is frightened to say the least, but very tired of the constant pain. I had this quilt top done and in my closet for almost two years. I was searching for a quick pattern for her get well gift and re-discovered the top. It seemed appropriate, so I quilted and bound this over the weekend for her. I think she's pleased with the gift. Keep Kathy in your prayers for the next several weeks. She is going to need them.

My reward? One less pending project.

Went to the guild meeting last night, but Jill and I bolted half-way into the event since we both had more pressing issues than to listen to a lecture about applique. I returned home after a pit stop at the grocery store for milk, finished the above-mentioned quilt, and was able to get a few things done at the house before bedtime.

Tonight's going to be just as hectic. Vote, fix dinner, run Andrea to the store. Who has time for sewing? I WILL NEXT WEEK!

In the meantime, I need to figure out what projects are going with me to Kentucky. I may as well take my entire stash. LOL Right, like it would fit in my car. Who are we trying to kid here? I have a couple of Christmas jelly rolls that I know are coming with. Beyond that - nothing is set in stone. One additional task - call AAA and get a Trip Tik.