Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mid-Week Quilting Update

The class last Saturday with Julie Lambert was truly inspiring. She is a wonderful quilt artist and a fantastic teacher. The six hours at Seams Sew Easy flew by - filled with great ideas, tips and techniques which I'm looking forward to using in my sewing room real soon!

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Monday night session at church. We learned a technique for a quilt-as-you-go quilt. Amazed at how easy it is. It's a fantastic way to use up the batting scraps I've been saving. Just another tool in my arsenal of using instead of buying.

Last night whilst we watched a movie, I finished the binding on a table topper. To my horror, I discovered a mistake I made in the piecing. Too late - I am not tearing it out. My family is just going to have to learn to live with it as is on the kitchen table. (LOL) Honestly, nobody's going to notice.

Other than that, no real time in the sewing room. Hope to change all that this evening. There are more than a few projects which are vying for my attention: a comfort quilt for a friend at the office, laying out the pieces for the layer cake/Civil Way repro blocks, purses for my daughter's two best friends, etc.......My plan is to determine by Saturday what borders to use for the layer cake pattern as I'm making a drive to Fabric Shack.

Here's to a great Wednesday for all of us!

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Important Proclamation From The Pets

Ahem, since we can't pick up pieces of paper we're unable to do a Pay It Forward drawing. (Mom Bean forgot Smudge has no front claws and I, Daisy dog, am simply too important around the Howe household to pick up anything!)

That being said, EVERYBODY who entered our drawing will get a quilted Pay It Forward gift from our Mom Bean. She'll work on them soon - whenever she can sneak into the Forbidden Room for a few hours.

Mom Bean didn't have much time in the Forbidden Room - she was busy washing my bedding, taking me for walks, giving me a bath - oh, the embarrassment! I need to rest today.

Happy wagging tails!

Jack Comes Home

My dear friends, the Mitchells, have a new grandson - Jack. He came home on Friday with the quilt I made for him.

(Isn't it nice to see your quilty gifts being used and loved?)

Welcome to the world, Jack! We love you!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Sun Is Shining!!!!!!!!!

And if you live in southwestern Ohio, you KNOW how long it's been since we've had a truly sunny day.

I've done a few things in the sewing room this week. First, I finished piecing the layer cake blocks using the Civil War reproduction fabric I picked up at Valley Quilts last month. Hope to get the "design wall" (aka the dining room table) cleared off to position the blocks. (Why is it everybody in my family dumps their stuff on that table - subject for another blog....) Two nights ago I re-discovered the blocks I made during Bonnie Hunter's workshop last August. I put two inch strips around the letters and sewed them together to make a long, thin wall hanging. Hoping to get that quilted and up this weekend. And lastly, washed, ironed and marked the one yard fabric piece for the machine quilting class tomorrow with Julie Lambert.

My friend, Kathy, was supposed to take that class with me. Doubtful she'll be there as she's been fighting a nasty case of bronchitis all this week.

The quilt class at church is re-scheduled for this Monday night. Hoping it won't be postponed again since the weather guessers are predicting some form of precipitation Sunday/Monday.

Things are looking up: No more appliance wars at home. Michael's doing as well as one can expect for a cranky git who refuses to see the doctor. Andrea's report card is looking great. The monster icicles on our house will get a good zapping today. And after all, it is Friday!

I'll get the fur babies in gear this weekend to pick the Pay It Forward winners. They're not in any hurry right now - both are asleep in the sun spot in the middle of the kitchen floor.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How Many Days Until Spring?

Greetings from the frozen tundra along the Ohio River! Yet another eight inches of snow fell yesterday-third snowstorm in ten days. The snowplows and salt trucks are certainly getting a workout this month - 22 inches of snow thus far in February with more to come.

Andrea and I were scheduled to have another of our "girlie" days yesterday, but that was postponed due to weather. Our nails and luncheon out will wait for another warmer day.

Tattoo Boy totalled his car on Friday driving to work. It wasn't weather related, just chalk it up to not paying attention and he ran into the back end of the car in front of him. Thank God TB and his friend Josh were not hurt, although Josh's face got cut up by the airbag. On Saturday morning, TB phoned me and asked me to take $50 and the car title to the towing company by 1 pm so they wouldn't charge him $200 impoundment fees. (TB had to work until 4 that afternoon.) I agreed, but secretly prayed I wouldn't see the car. I wasn't so lucky. Tons of unpleasant memories came flooding back to me as TB's car looked eerily like my Daddy's wrecked car so many years ago. Got back into my car and sobbed - Michael thought I was a bit of a loon. "It's only a car, sweetie," he said. He understood though. My prayer to not see the car didn't hold up, but the bigger prayer of having my son safe and unharmed was answered in a big way. We very easily could have been visiting him in a hospital or worse. Thank you, Lord.

For much of the day Saturday, I concentrated a bit more on my driving. Did a lot of that between the feed store, WalMart, Joann Fabrics, Krogers and the auto parts place to get the bulb for my burned out headlight.

Once Andrea headed out to the mall with some friends, I worked on her fat quarter bag. She loves it and her two best friends want a bag now too!

Girlie day postponed, I got the squares to one quilt all pieced and nearly finished all the layer cake Civil War fabric squares done as well. Starting tonight I must get the top laundered and marked for my machine quilting class on Saturday.

It may snow again on Saturday..........but I'd better be prepared........


Reminder: Pay It Forward

One more day and Daisy and Smudge get to pick the winners in the Pay It Forward. You're making it too easy for my fur babies, guys. We need more names!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Paying It Forward

Smudge and I would like to invite all our Blogging buddies to a Pay It Forward drawing. Comment on this blog post and become a follower (if you're not already) and your name will get placed in a drawing. Heck, we'll even draw THREE names in a rational and scientific manner. In other words, Smudge will draw the names with help from Daisy. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, February 17th at noon.

The prizes? Well, it'll be quilted. We're keeping the rest a secret until after they're mailed out.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Where I'd Rather Be

Days like today are made for sewing. And I'd love to be in my sewing room right now working on my latest creation. Unfortunately, it's a work day and my employer doesn't think too kindly of its associates who report off work for a measly eight inches of snow.

It took me twice as long to drive to the office this morning, but I made it and only five minutes late. Half the processing staff has phoned off, but all us underwriters are here. That speaks volumes. At least it will give me a chance to catch up on the paperwork. We're taking bets - will corporate let us leave early. The odds are not in our favor.

Last night before all this lovely weather began, I drove to Valley Quilts in Trenton to pick up a pattern and a tool for a class I'm taking at church next Monday night. A bit out of the way, but I wasn't guaranteed to receive the items in time if I ordered them on-line. The project is a quilt-as-you-go item and should be an interesting challenge. If anything it'll allow me to use all the odd bits and pieces of batting I have as long as they're at least nine inches. Pleased that Valley Quilts helped me and even had the items under the counter saved for me. The first shop I phoned, which is closer to home, was less than helpful. The gal wouldn't even see if they had what I needed - told me I had to drive there and look for myself! It may be a while before I shop there again.

Once dinner was cleared last night, I settled into my favorite La-Z Boy and Smudge and I worked on the binding for the Thimbleberries wall hanging. We're about half-way done on it. (Smudge's favorite part of creating a quilt is the hand sewing since he can sit on my lap under the quilt.) Smudge kept me company in the sewing room over the weekend whilst I cut, pieced, quilted and bound a lap-sized Shoo Fly quilt. The quilt is now winging its way to the lucky recipient in Atlanta.

Michael's portable oxygen system was damaged over the weekend by Daisy! Dear, sweet little Daisy couldn't resist chewing on the cannula and tubing when it was left on the sofa. Chewed? She demolished it - bit and pieces everywhere. Fortunately, Michael wasn't upset and even laughed about it. The new materials are on their way. Just means Michael has to use the at home concentrator until they arrive. He's certainly not going anywhere in this weather!

Stay warm and dry!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sewing and Haiti

Real productive evening last night - got four squares pieced of what will be a lap-size Shoo Fly quilt and finished the binding on Coffee Cats wallhanging for the breakfast nook. I even got a headstart on eight more squares for the Shoo Fly before I drove to work this morning. It'll be nice to work on that tomorrow whilst attacking the laundry. Do I know how to live on my days off or what? LOL

SIL returned from Haiti and posted on her blog. Her experiences were both thrilling and heartbreaking. Here's the link if you want to check it out:

She wants to return to Haiti in May and October. What a blessing to be able to use your talents to really help people!

Andrea and I are going to the College Fair at her high school tonight. It just does not seem possible that she's already into that time! She's not sure what career/major to select. The important thing is that she has real choices. She's so artistically talented, loves tutoring younger students and has a wonderful caring nature about her. There's a lot of areas she could investigate. Tattoo Boy's in the DAAP program at UC and is loving it - so that may influence her a bit toward an art major. At any rate, it'll be interesting to hear what the college reps tell her.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mid-Week Musings

Headline from the local paper:

Mountains of Laundry Swallow House
The repairman is scheduled to fix our washing machine tomorrow and not a moment too soon. I sure didn't think my teen-aged daughter had that many clothes in her wardrobe. But, soon we won't be able to see her bed for all the dirty jeans and shirts laying around. I did some laundry at my brother's house night before last - so, yes we have clean underwear.
Michael had a rough morning - it was tough for him to even speak on the telephone without gasping for breath. He refuses to see our doctor - claims it won't do any good since they can't cure his lung disease. No, but there are medications they can give him if it's an infection or congestion, I told him. He still won't go. Stubborn? You bet.
I've come to the conclusion that sock knitting is a slow, laborious process and socks from WalMart are just fine. LOL. Dang it, this took away some precious sewing time the last few days and all I have to show for it is three inches of a sock. Should confine knitting time to television viewing hours - which will dramatically limit knitting practice. There's nothing on telly that really interests me most nights. I got snowballs to make! Several wall quilts are calling my name too! One of my friends has a young grandson who is crazy about trains - a ha moment! Use the last of the nickel train fabric squares for a comfort quilt. I haven't done a thing about my Log Cabin quilt other than look at the fabric. The weather guessers in SW Ohio predict a lot of snow Friday/Saturday so I may get the opportunity for a good stretch of stitching - nothing else to do - other than laundry. Sheer heaven!
My sister-in-law returned from Haiti last night. We're all anxious to hear about her experiences in the Port Au Prince Hospital. Expect that she's sleeping today - when my brother spoke to her on Sunday night she said she was only getting two hours of rest/sleep each night.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Warm and Toasty

I cannot begin to tell you all how truly lovely it is to wake up and have the house at a reasonable temperature. Although, I was getting very adept at dashing to the bathroom, grabbing my robe and sprinting to the utility room to hit the override switch on the furnace.

Now, we're working on the dirty, stinky part of our lives - a k a the washing machine. The Sears repairman was at the house this morning - yes it's a major repair job (the transmission). It'll take two repair guys 90 minutes to get the job done. We're trying to get that scheduled asap since the mounds of laundry are overtaking our bedrooms.

So, the black cloud of broken appliances is slowly disappearing from our home.

Didn't get much accomplished over the weekend. I quilted the Thimbleberries Lakeside wall quilt and attached the binding. Pieced a few more blocks of the Civil War Layer Cake. Spent more time knitting - finished the scarf to match my mittens and started a sock. I've read so much about my blogging friends knitting socks, I had to give it a go. I've never worked with four needles at once, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

This week I intend on piecing a few more snowballs and post a photo so I can be included in Regina's snowball round-up report.

I tried a new Sunday School class yesterday and have to report that I am thrilled with my choice. It's one just for gals - they were so friendly and nice. They're active in helping with events at the church. In fact, they're hosting a luncheon on Saturday. I signed up to bring a potato dish even though it was my first day there. Seemed like the right thing to do and a great way of getting acquainted. I have been attending this church for a couple of years, but always zipped in and out of 9:30 service, never meeting folks and just staying anonymous. I think I need more than that from the Christian community now, but it's up to me to find it. They surely won't come looking for me!

Have a fantastic Monday!