Friday, February 27, 2009

New Project Time!

Is there anything more exciting in the quilting world than starting a brand new project? I find it very exciting to take a pattern and somehow make it my own whether it's a massive colour change or positioning the pieces a bit differently than the author intended. And no matter how careful I am in selecting fabric, I'm always, always anxious to see how my choices turn out. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good - that's one reason why I usually make a sample block before chain piecing the entire quilt. I worked on a block last Sunday that looked so awful that when I was halfway through the sewing, I tossed it into the trash! Better to waste 20 minutes than hours, don't you think?

This topic surfaced in my brain last night when I was choosing fabric for a quilt I'm making as a co-worker's wedding gift. I agonized over the colour selection, even though I knew in my mind what I wanted to achieve. And I won't rest easy about my choices until I see a block put together.

I must have taken too long at the shop since my DH and daughter, who were at the Half Price Bookstore, began to text "how much longer" and "it's JUST cloth!" Then when we drove home, darling daughter said, "I can't believe you bought MORE fabric. Didn't you have enough fabric at home already?" Heathens! Don't they know that fondling fabric is close to a religious experience? LOL

So it appears that events have propelled me out of my doldrums or quilter's overload syndrome. I've done a couple of blocks this week for a charity quilt, due on Monday and now I have a deadline of March 28 for the wedding quilt. Deadlines! That's the cure!!!!! And not some arbitrary I "want" to get it done, but honest to God deadlines that events require.

Earlier this week, I did a major clean-up in the sewing room, moved things around and (don't faint) got all my fabric folded and stored. It's as clean and tidy as it's been in a long time and just begging for me to use it this weekend. And mess it up again. It's supposed to be cold and cloudy this weekend and baseball's on the radio again (well, exhibition games ) - sounds like a perfect quilting day to me!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Monday, February 23, 2009

We're Back!

Michael, Andrea and I had a marvelous time in Florida visiting my mother and her husband. It was great to get some sunshine for five days, swim, learn shuffleboard tactics from the shuffleboard Nazis at the retirement complex, hunt for alligators, and shop a bit.

I purposely planned the trip so I'd have a few days at home before returning to the office. But, I did want to sleep in. Smudge, my cat, had something else in mind when he cried at my bedroom door at 4:30 AM on Friday. Grudgingly, I got out of bed and Smudge was happy. Poor cat is keeping close tabs on me - I guess he missed us.

Once I got Smudge calmed down and Andrea back to school (now, which do you think was the most difficult?) I drove to Sharonville and picked up my sewing machine from its servicing appointment, bought groceries and headed to the new Joann's for their grand opening sale. I got a floor Ott lamp for 50 percent off and a few other bits and bobs. I returned to Joann's on Saturday since I still had a 50 percent off coupon burning a hole in my purse. That was an error - I have never seen such crowds at a fabric store! The check-out line snaked through half the store. Goes to show that the store was badly needed in our area.

Jill and I got together for a few hours on Sunday to chat and sew. I finished a pair of pillowcases and started a block. I tossed the block in the trash - didn't like the colour combination - will start that again tonight. Had a lovely time at Jill's though. It's fun to spoil other people's dogs! Michael fussed at me when I returned home - said something about being a quilting widower! Honestly, this is the first time since November that I've left the house to sew. I wonder how much of a stink he's going to raise when I attend the retreat in April?


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Getting Ready For Sunshine

We leave on Saturday for our brief vacation in Florida. With the weather we've had the past month, it will be a pleasure not to have to worry about the forecast and driving for a few days. My nerves are frayed from "fighting" to get home some nights - like last night when I had to keep both hands firmly on the wheel when the wind gusts hit the car.

I pieced a wall hanging on Sunday from the Debbie Mumm fabric I picked up at Joann's. Michael even liked it! Probably won't get around to quilting it until we get home, but that can be my first post-Florida project.

One task that I have to get done is to take my Pfaff to SewEzy for a maintenance check. The feed dogs are not working as well as I'd like and it is time for a check. I figured if I got the machine turned in during lunch hour on Friday, the technician evaluates it on Saturday, the machine will then be OK for me to pick up when I get home. At least that's the plan.

As for my Quilters' Overload Syndrome, I've discovered the symptoms can be masked by cutting and piecing. Sitting and pondering just adds to the disease. As does buying new patterns and magazines. And who knows - the QOS could be completely burned out of my system by the Florida sunshine next week? NAH!!!!!!!!! Not a chance.


Hairy Ending

Tattoo Boy got a hair cut! Not just any old trim-off-the-ends cut, but shave- it-all- off and donate it to Locks of Love cut! He got a Mohawk style - still weird - and I'm thrilled.

A bit of history here - Tattoo Boy (aka Danny) decided whilst he was in high school that he wanted to be a rock star drummer. It was part of the whole rebellion thing he was into and has since mostly grown out of. At one point his hair - a beautiful strawberry blond colour, I might add - was down to his waist. His trademark when playing the drums was to twirl his head around and this mass of hair would fly into the air - sort of looked like Cousin It from the old monster television series. I mentioned once or twice that he needed a trim or at least a style to his hair, but that fell on deaf ears. He wouldn't dream of cutting his hair if that's what I thought. After all, what does a mum know and the rest of the world needs to conform to his standards. (LOL) I knew eventually he'd tire of keeping it clean and tangle-free. And that day finally arrived yesterday.

His girlfriend is thrilled, he loves it and I feel a bit of redemption.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Thawing Out!

The sun is shining and things are finally beginning to melt in southwestern Ohio. Mind you, it's going to take an extended period of above-average temperatures and loads of sun to melt some of the mega-piles of snow and ice we have around here, but there are spots of earth showing here and there. Perhaps that ground hog fellow was wrong? One can always dare to hope.

Haven't spent a ton of time in my sewing room as of late. To begin with, I'm still suffering from Quilters Overload Syndrome - I keep reinfecting myself by reading Thimbleberries books and shuffling through fabric. Here is what I have in mind for the mess I have on my hands with the fabric. I want to go through all the totes of fabric and if any fabric is less than a yard, I'm slicing it up into strips of 5", 2 and 1/2" and 1 and 1/2" I have a separate tote for each of those sizes and have accumulated a rather respectable representation of my stash thus far. The fabric cuts of larger than a yard are all getting re-folded in a consistent manner and stored in the larger, longer totes. This task will take a long, long time to complete, but when I'm done I'll be in a great shape to start any of the scrappy Nickel quilts I'm constantly drooling over. Won't it be fantastic to go to retreat in April armed with totes of nickel squares?

My intention is to get a decent amount of sewing accomplished this weekend. In other words - get my fix in. I missed sewing this week - the weather wore me to a frazzle or I should say my fellow Cincinnati drivers worked on my nerves so I just couldn't face the Pfaff without messing up whatever I worked on.

Looking forward to getting out of the office, take the family to Skyline for dinner and then depositing them somewhere whilst I go to the new Joann's that opened in Mason today. Not sure if there are any grand opening specials - have been unable to find any adverts or flyers for it. But, just the thought that Joann's is going to be soooooooooooo close is a miracle for me. You don't know how many times I've moaned about having to drive close to 40 minutes to get to a fabric store. Now, just ten minutes.

I'm feeling a bit down today since Michael's youngest daughter and her husband are getting close to splitting up for good. We flew to England last year for their wedding and one would have never dreamed that young couple would be so far apart now. What happened? From the accounts we have, the husband found a job - his first real job - and has discovered the joys of having co-workers, friends and some disposable income. One of the new friends has become real close to him and is - doubly unfortunate - a female. He goes out with this gal, texts her constantly and they exchange loads of e-mails. Now, what bride wouldn't be upset? Poor Lizzie want that friendship over with and her life with her husband to return to what it was. It doesn't help when Lizzie's mum (Michael's ex-wife) and one of her older sisters are trying to convince her to leave him for good. The oldest sister has a level head and has been trying to get the couple to at least talk. At the moment, they're together for a week's trial. This has to be disturbing Michael too since he's so far away and Lizzie is his favorite child. He can't phone her since she doesn't have a phone and he can't e-mail because the estranged husband is on the computer constantly and would intercept any communication. We've been told that would make things worse. Families are rarely easy work and when they're as dysfunctional as Michael's - look out!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spoiled for Choice

During my snow day last week I sorted through my quilting and cross stitch books. About 20 of the cross stitch books are now in the back of my car awaiting my next stop at the thrift store donation site. Freed up some space for organization. But, I've come to the conclusion that if I need ANY quilt pattern, I already have it. Good grief! No wonder I can't decide on what project to start next.

I have Quilter's Overload Syndrome. (QOS). It only strikes me when I don't have a deadline or a gift assignment to deal with. It's rare, but never deadly. The symptoms include sitting in a sewing room surrounded by books, fabric with a dazed look on one's face. Side effects include a messed up counter top, fabric scattered everywhere and little to show for one's efforts.

Managed to finish the Cat wall hanging that's been hiding in my closet for over a year. I pulled out four placemats that just needed binding and started work on them. AND, got a few pieces sewn together for a Nickel quilt top. I think on top of my "to do" list in the sewing room is to get it straightened up and organized. I can work much more effectively in there when things are not laying around that have nothing to do with the current work.

So, that was the extent of my sewing progress this weekend. I was more interested in football, groceries, and laundry this weekend.

And suffering from a black and gold hangover this morning.(See previous post)


Vindication for a Misplaced Steeler Fan

You think you have it tough? Try living in the greater Cincinnati area during football season when you're a dyed-in-the-wool, genetically engineered Pittsburgh Steeler fan. All season long I watched the black and gold from afar, hid my Terrible Towel at the office and listened to the Bengals GARBAGE on every major media outlet in town. Not today, folks......

The Steelers are at the top of the NFL heap once again.

It's amazing how many folks at my office are congratulating me!!? As if I had anything to do about it. I just watched the game, tossed my towel at the television when things looked bad and celebrated after THE Ohio State University grad (Santonio Holmes) snatched that pigskin in the end zone.

I'd love to be in Pittsburgh with my cousins today and tomorrow. I expect the whole town is going bonkers.

And somewhere in heaven, my dad is smiling.