Friday, February 24, 2012

Relations With England

Last week when I chatted with Martin, I mentioned I'd like to hear from Michael's children more often. "Do you contact then?" he asked. No, I've been very remiss about that. I sent a lengthy e-mail to Leah, Michael's oldest daughter that night.

Got a lovely response yesterday. Leah has re-married and is expecting a baby on July 3. She and her husband sleep every night under the quilt I made for her several years ago and they adore it. Each of Michael's children, she reported, think of me often and lovingly refer to me as their step-mum. When they get together as a family, they ask who has heard from me and they share their news.

All of this made me happy. I was beginning to think the four siblings had basically "written me out"of their lives. Not true. If I'm to hear from them more often, they have to hear from me.

I asked Leah if there was anything I could do for her or the other three. She replied she really would like some of my pumpkin muffins.

Sounds like a baked care package is in the cards. And another baby quilt.

Love ya,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tag Team Quilting

We had our church quilt club meeting last night - project was to create rail blocks and nine patch blocks for a king-sized quilt for our pastor and his wife who are retiring after years of service to our congregation. We're not certain when they will retire; it depends on how the search goes for a new senior minister. Best to get the quilt ready for when the time comes.

Everybody in our club was instructed to bring either a tan fat quarter or a dark brown fat quarter. Half of the attendees brought their sewing machines. The other half brought their rotary cutters, mats and irons. The gals cutting the fabric ran the strips to the sewers, picked up the finished squares and pressed them. Us sewers were told how each block was to be constructed and to stick to a firm 1/4 inch seam.

Granted it was mayhem at times and some strips were unusable either because they were cut incorrectly or the seams were off, but within the hour all the blocks were done. And it was fun!

Next month, we're going to put all the blocks together and decide on quilting and binding.

In April, we're each to bring one jelly roll to class for a secret project. However, I KNOW it's a 1600 quilt, shhhhhhhhh, don't tell anybody. We're going to have a race with prizes. Sounds like more fun to me!

Love ya,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mid February Report

We're a bit beyond the mid-point of the month and it's looking real good to reach my goal of five projects finished by February 29. The Betty Boop quilt has been delivered. Pampered Pooches and the 10-Minute Blocks quilts are in the binding stage. The 1600 quilt is ready to be loaded onto the frame. I'm hoping to get the baby girl quilt at least pieced this weekend.

I really need to get my camera back from my daughter so I can take photos of all these items and post them here.

Bought myself some flowers to brighten up the kitchen on Valentine's Day. It never dawned on me that Andrea would purchase some as well as a present. We have two lovely bouquets in the kitchen at the moment. Andrea was far too generous to me for Valentine's Day - a gift bag of body lotion, candy, a necklace, a card and the flowers. Don't doubt for a minute how much my darling girl loves me.

My counseling appointment for tonight was cancelled. Not too bothered about it since I really don't have much to discuss tonight. I usually get more out of it if I have something specific to talk about and plan ahead of time. Things have been going pretty well for me emotionally this week. It's odd how some days/weeks are better than others. I still find it difficult to get out of bed every morning when the alarm goes off. This does create some problems since I am late for work at times. Is it any wonder I crave my sleep-in Saturdays?

I've been following the posts from Judy L's sewing retreat. It seems like decades since I've attended a retreat and that's not right since I enjoy getting away for a weekend of constant sewing, gabbing, eating, etc. Can anyone suggest a good retreat? My guild offers them, but I think the next one is booked solid. I went to the retreat Jill's sorority sponsored - not sure they even host that anymore. That retreat was such fun since a lot of "peeps" attended.

I'll leave you all with a big ol' TGIF!

Love ya,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Easy Weekend

This past weekend was one of the more enjoyable ones for me. I stayed home all day Saturday. Got up when I felt like I was rested at 9 am, fixed a nice breakfast, did my daily computer stuff and stayed in my jammies until 11.

Sewing was fun - finished the borders for the ten minute block quilt and the 1600 quilt. They're both draped on the frame, waiting for me to figure out how I want to quilt both of them.

Other than church,a trip to Joann's and Kroger's, I stayed home on Sunday.

Andrea returned home safe and sound from her trip to Florida. Her first comment? "The house is so clean!". Wow! How nice to hear that from her. She's happy to be home and doesn't return to work until tomorrow.

Danny phoned me on Sunday afternoon and had a rather strange request. He wants me to make kilts for him and two buddies for their St. Patrick's day festivities. Anybody out there know how to do that? We're talking real easy here folks, I don't want to put a lot of time or effort into this.

Saturday also marked ten months since Michael's death. Amazingly, I was really at peace that day. I was in the sewing room (former train room ) a lot. Maybe it's because Michael spent so much time in that room, but I feel so happy when I'm there. At one point, I looked out the window and felt so happy. No particular reason why. Suppose I shouldn't try to analyze why and just go with the feeling. At this stage, I'll settle for being peaceful.

I'll work on the joyful bit.

Love ya,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dodging the Snow

We're supposed to get the biggest snowfall of the winter between tonight and tomorrow. If it's timed the way the weather guessers claim, the roads will still be just wet during evening rush hour. But, being the big snow chicken that I am, I'm headed to the grocery store at lunch time to get a few essentials - one of which is cat chow. Once I've had my counseling session tonight, that's it for my travels until Sunday morning.

Ah, a whole day in the house with loads of sewing to finish. Won't be spending my entire day in the sewing room - there's still laundry to do, cleaning, dogs to walk, and perhaps a decent movie or two to watch on television. I quilted the Pampered Pooches kit last night and got the binding attached - great to work on binding whilst watching a decent film.

Andrea returns home on Sunday afternoon. She phoned last night and sounded a lot more chipper, but she's still anxious to return home.

One of the tasks which Andrea instructed me to do whilst she's gone: make sure her snake has water. Danny, fortunately, took care of that for me on Sunday and Monday. Last night I had trouble latching the lid on top of the snake's enclosure. I had visions of that ball python escaping and crawling all over the house. EW! Finally figured out the latch. Done! In reality, Andrea said, that snake would probably never, ever leave the enclosure. He's a baby, she reported, and hides under his rock all the time. Well, he's not a very pretty baby.

Love ya,

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coping Alone

For the first time since Michael died, I've been alone in the house much of the time. (Andrea's spending the week with her paternal grandparents in Florida.) I've relished being the mistress of my hours, but also dreaded the nights a bit.

Example: I love scrambled eggs, something Andrea's not overly fond of as a dinner item. Last night I made scrambled eggs with a toasted English muffin, a slice of fat free cheese and a glass of milk for dinner. Yum! My "dinner partners" - the dogs - just stared at me and got no leftovers. After a hectic day at the office with phone calls, e-mails and co-workers who gripe about a lot of things, a quiet evening is ever so nice.

The solitude, however, has its drawbacks, especially at bedtime. Years ago, right after college, a man broke into my apartment, jumped on me in bed, and stuck a knife in my side. Fortunately, I escaped further harm, but ever since that incident, I hear every noise in the house and think the worst. Daisy, my lovely little dachshund, has barked her foolish head off every night so far this week just as my head hits the pillow. I don't know what is setting her off. Her barking prompts me to get out of bed, check all the doors, search the house and tell poor Daisy to be quiet. It was so much easier in years past to kick the husband out of the bed to check on things.

Can't blame Daisy. She's just doing her job.

All-in-all it's not too bad though. When Andrea does decide to strike out on her own, I'll be OK. I certainly don't need to sit around every night and watch television - that's acceptable some nights. And I look forward to it. Other nights, I have sewing to get done, quilt guild meetings, church quilt club meetings, friends to meet for dinner, etc. The important thing to remember is I have a choice. And I'm the one calling the shots.

Love ya,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Weekend

First, I finished the Betty Boop quilt and it's now on its way to Atlanta. It's intended recipient is scheduled for lung surgery tomorrow. Package supposed to arrive today.

Andrea travelled to Florida on Saturday evening. She phoned me Sunday morning and let me listen to the ocean over the phone. What cheek! I sure hope she has a great time with her grandparents this week.

Once Andrea was on her way, I worked on the 1600 quilt with two half-used scrap jelly rolls. I'm still in shock at completing something like that in less than 40 minutes. The leader of our quilting group at church also told me that the 1600 quilt is the "surprise" quilt we're working on in April. The group was told to just bring a jelly roll. I'll keep it "secret". LOL I sure won't mind making another one. They're quick, easy and it would make a great comfort quilt for somebody.

Yesterday after church, my friend Diane and I had lunch at Bob Evans, shopped at Charming Charlie's and went to the theatre to see "The Iron Lady". Well-done movie, but a bit odd how it hopped around from past events to today. Meryl Streep did an outstanding job with the acting.

Then, I drove to Clifton, picked up Danny, came home, finished preparing a taco dip and the two of us went to a friend's house for a Super Bowl party. Loads of good food, drink and fun to watch the game and commercials with a group. I didn't give a hoot as to who won the game, but it was a good one.

One thing I discovered on Saturday: The backing fabric for the Pampered Pooches quilt was already in my kit box. I ordered three and a half yards of the same fabric on Friday, not remembering that I already had it! Duh, moment. I'm sure to find another use for it though.

I read an article in one of the quilt magazines about clearing out the sewing room. My stash bins are ripe for a ruthless clear out....perhaps a good idea to get that accomplished before the International Quilt Show in April.

Love ya,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Partial Receipt

Please don't faint!

I received three of the four ordered Groovy Boards last night. And yes, I've already contacted the shop owner about the 4th one.

Good grief, what an ordeal!

Love ya,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Just out of curiosity, I made a list of the quilts I have in my sewing room which are actively being worked on. TEN!!!! Well, they are at various stages of development - one, for instance, is just the pattern with its fabric sitting in a shopping bag. Another, was quilted last night and just needs the binding attached.

It made me realize that I like every stage of creating a quilt. When I first started quilting I detested doing the binding because I wasn't taught the correct way. I learned by watching other quilters and reading quilt magazines.

So, here's what's "cooking" in the sewing room:

- Betty Boop comfort quilt - binding
- baby quilt for co-worker - ordered the fabric this morning from Connecting Threads
- graduation quilts for twin nephews - have seven blocks done for one, the pattern picked out for the other, fabric in bag from Joann's
- wedding quilt for late June wedding in England - fabric and pattern in shopping bag
- 1600 quilt - jelly rolls at the ready
- pampered pooches - ordered the back this morning from Connecting Threads
- Civil War reproduction fabrics layer cake quilt - pieced and ready for frame
- snowball quilt - waiting, rather impatiently, for the Groovy Boards to get here before putting it on the frame
- Sunshine and Shadows - need to select border fabric
- 10 minute blocks - needs sashings and borders

That's just the current projects,folks, doesn't count the flimsies in the tote by the frame. I'd like to think I have a "handle" on all this. LOL Well, today is the first of February. Let's see if I can get 50 percent of these completed by the end of the month.

Doable? Yes. Just keep me out of the fabric shops.

Love ya,