Saturday, May 31, 2008

Done in a Day

I received two charm square patterns in the mail and I just had to make them.

Like right now this minute had to make them. I have a basket full of charm packs and these patterns are just too cool.

Here's what I did today after getting home from doing some major damage at Sweet Home. Take one Fig Tree Allspice Tapestry charm pack, add tone-on-tone fabric and border fabric bought at Sweet Home today, plus one helper kitty....

(That's Edgar helping measure for borders just like Pat taught us)

And voila,

(the blue painters tape really makes this quilt doesn't it?)

Love this quilt!!! I think I'll make another one sometime soon.


I decided to go to Sweet Home Quilt Co. today since Melisa was having a sale on her sale fabrics. (I don't know about you, but when I read sale twice in one sentence, I'm there!). I pulled in the parking lot and who did I park next to? Becky. She asked a bunch of us to go with her to Melisa's on Memorial Day and I said I couldn't go because I am saving $$ for my vacation, too much fabric, yada yada. Well I walk in the door and Becky and Kristie yell "Busted!!!!!" Don't you just love your quilt buddies!!!

Yes I was busted. Might as well make the best of it. So I bought a few things...
just a few...(I know my eagle-eyed friend Debbie can tell how full this bag is). If you think I'm showing the contents of this bag, you're crazy. I did pick up backing for my OC quilt from the sale room.

Just for the record, Becky finished not one but TWO bolts of fabrics.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wrens of Distinction

A pair of house wrens built a nest in my Craftsman-style lantern hanging on the porch. If you look close, you can see that the birds filled the lantern with sticks for a nest.
Here is a photo of a house wren from Cornell's ornithology website:
I don't have a candle in the lantern; I just use it for decoration. It's fun watching the parent birds busy flying back and forth bringing food for the two babies. For tiny birds, they are really loud too but have a pretty song.

Do you think growing up in a Craftsman-style lantern will later influence the birds and they will have an appreciation for Frank Lloyd Wright, William Morris, and Gustav Stickley furniture?

I'm not sure how the baby birds are going to get out of the nest since the only way in is through a small hole at the top. Hope the parents thought this through.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Holiday Weekend

I have not been as productive as I thought I would be this holiday weekend. Saturday, I did make this pursestart to finish for my new summer bag. I bought the kit last year (?) from one of my favorite quilt shops in Michigan, Mabelena's (unfortunately they don't have a website). It's from the pattern "Everyday Bag" by My Favorite Things. Another UFO done!

The weather has been beautiful here in GA this weekend and I did spend some time in the yard checking out the drought-survivors. This oak leaf hydrangea is my favorite plant in the yard(don't tell the others!).
I just love the deep green leaves, the creamy white flowers, and in the winter it has a wonderful twisty shape and shows off its peeling bark.

Yesterday, I worked all day at SBux and did my weekly shopping at Whole Foods. Instead of grilling this weekend, I bought a mess of wild-caught, fresh shrimp (on sale!) and some veggies and lots of fruit.

This shrimp is the best! Boiled quickly in Old Bay seasoning YUM!

Morpheus and I chilled out for a couple of hours reading the Sunday NY Times
Throw in a couple of naps and that's about the extent of things around here. Things I did not get done: get caught up on the OC Mystery Quilt, make it to any of the LQS's Memorial Day sales, and housework chores.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Staff?

This is a week that I am just overwhelmed with stuff to do in work, home, life, etc. I wish I had a personal assistant or five to help me get everything done.

Edgar Poe is always ready to help out, but unfortunately he doesn't know how to drive to run errands or how to do dishes or laundry. (He does know how to be cute though doesn't he?)

Faced with overwhelming things to do, I did what my cats would do, took a long nap after work and now I better get busy. Apparently my staff didn't materialize while I was sleeping.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

Ugh! This has been a long week already. Not that Friday means much when you work during the weekend too but I still look forward to it, especially with Monday off from the day job. Tuesday was a crazy day since I had to drive 3 1/2 hours to east central nowhere to give a presentation at 7 PM, barely in front of a huge rainstorm, which turned into tornado warning weather (picture lightning every 2 seconds and blinding rain and no radio station to tell me if I was about to be carried away in the dark a la the movie "Twister")
by the time I had to drive 3 1/2 hours back to the ATL. (I did not take this picture. I had both hands on the wheel trust me!). Survived the drive and got home at 11:30 PM. Whew! Time to turn around and work again and work at Starbucks and here I am.

I was tagged earlier by Mary and Becky so here's my answers.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.Okay, seems easy. Here goes:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Not paying $3.79 for a gallon of gasoline!!!!! I was married at the time (divorced in 2002), living in a small apartment in suburban hell, waiting to hear if I got the job I currently have now. I was positive I was not going to get the job since I was competing against 3 of my fellow grad students. But I did get the job and am still there 9 years and 11 1/2 months later.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
Do laundry, do dishes, start and hopefully finish sewing a bag, finish reading a library book, work on some wool applique while catching up on TiVo'ed Martha Stewart shows.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
popcorn (not microwaved because I don't own a microwave), anything chocolate, Annie's organic cheddar bunnies, dried fruit & nuts trail mix from Whole Foods

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Quit both jobs so I could travel (here are so many places I want to see) and have time to do volunteer work to keep me busy, move to the West Coast, donate money to my favorite environmental and humane society charities, pay off my student loans, live modestly but well, and buy a Tesla

5. Peeps I want to know more about: as usual, everyone's been tagged already. If you haven't answered these questions then consider yourself tagged :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sometimes a phone call is all it takes... get out of the doldrums. Thanks to my friend Becky who called me this morning just to chat and although she didn't know it (until now), she really brightened my mood. As I posted earlier this week, I've had a case of the blahs. I couldn't sleep last night at all and was up until 3-something AM dwelling on all those bothersome things one dwells on in the middle of the night and reading (and finishing) this book

I shouldn't have been dwelling on anything because in the light of day, I am OK but who is rational at 3 in the morning?
So thank you Becky for calling and chatting about quilting and vacations and whatnot. I needed that call.
PS: I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful and thoughtful book. I read it in two days. You find it at your local Starbucks as well as the usual places.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Perfect Rainy Day

It's been raining all day today, which is great since GA is still recovering from last year's drought. I don't mind a nice, steady rain all day especially if it is warm and not too humid. It's a perfect rainy day today. I've had the "blahs" all week. I think it's because I have been over-tired for too long (since sometime in November I think). But with gas nearing $4 a gallon, I don't think my work schedule will let up anytime soon. So I will suck it up and keep on keeping on.
The big news of the week is that my friend, mentor, teacher, and all around fantabulous person Pat has her new blog up. Check it out here. I know you will want to add it to your favorite blogs (and I'm not just saying that because she is my friend) because she is a wonderfully talented quilt designer and is really a lot of fun. I had the great honor of going to Quilt Market last fall with her to work in her booth and I have never laughed so much in my life.
The fabric I bought at Sweet Home last week was to make one of Pat's patterns called "Peace in the Valley".

I bought the FQ bundle at Fall Market and didn't know what I was going to use it for until Pat started her Civil War version of the quilt and I had one of those "Eureka" quilt moments and thought the design would look great in these cheery, saturated colors. The yardage is from Sweet Home for backing or borders or who knows.

Now for some retail therapy: is a dangerous website and should come with a warning every time I click on it (a warning that says "You have too many books already!!!! Put down the CC and step away from the laptop!!!!!" preferably in George Clooney's voice but I digress). I heart the comic strip "Mutts"; it is my absolute favorite. I have all the books and this is the latest with real life stories along with the "Shelter Stories" comic series.

The Jelly Roll book is a MUST for any quilters who are as addicted to jelly rolls as I am. There are 17 (!) projects in the book and all of them take one jelly roll plus some additional yardage for borders. I like these patterns much better than the ones that take multiple jelly rolls. The directions are clear and well written and illustrated. Well I guess that's 17 more projects to add to the "to do" list LOL!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Back from Retreat

I have returned from fun and sewing for four days. The Wi-Fi out in the boondocks didn't work well with my laptop so I couldn't post. It was a great retreat! As Pat says we just "sewed our brains out." Very quiet and relaxing and we all just worked on UFOs. I got three, count them 3, quilt tops done. Woo Hoo! And I worked on Steps 2 & 3 of the OC mystery quilt (not quite done with that and Step 4 is ready already...)

On Thursday, I *had* to stop by Sweet Home Quilt Co. to visit Melisa and see what was new. I ended up buying (gasp) 8 yards of fabric. But in my (weak) defense, I used 15.75 yards of fabric in my 3 quilt tops so I think that's pretty good.

I know, I know, y'all just want photos so here are two of the tops finished:

This is from the book 40 Fabulous Quick Cut Quilts. I love love love this quilt. All the fabric came from my stash, no new fabric was purchased for this quilt. I can't believe how much 19th-century reproduction fabric I have.

This quilt was a kit from Sweet Home, except for the borders. I was hesitant about the addition of blue dots but I think it adds a little pizazz to the quilt. This quilt is kind of out of the box for me but I loved the lime green. Makes me think of margaritas.

I don't have a photo of the third quilt as I finished the last seams at the very end of the retreat today. Now it's back to working working working. I am so glad I got to spend some time with friends quilting. This is exactly what I needed after the past few months. More photos later...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ready for retreat

OK my bags are ready and packed for the retreat. Think I have enough projects???

[while my friend Debbie finishes laughing, I will say that I don't have *quite* this much stuff].

Hopefully the wi-fi will be working and I'll post from retreat so y'all can see the piles of completed UFOs stacking up.

photo credit: The (London) Daily Mail

Monday, May 5, 2008

Countdown to retreat

Only 2 more days of work and then it's retreat time! I already have an overly ambitious two tote bags of projects packed. I'm so afraid I'll run out of projects to work on, I keep adding one more. I probably have enough to last a month of non-stop quilting LOL! I need to add the OC mystery quilt too because I am still behind. I got bogged down with cutting all those triangles.

Saturday was my sewing group day and I started working on one of my favorite quilts from one of my favorite quilts books 40 Fabulous Quick Cut Quilts. The quilt is called "Black & Beyond" and it is black, grey, and turkey red reproduction fabrics. I used fabric I already had in my stash so this is a "no new fabric quilt". I am about halfway done and I'll post a photo when I finish the quilt at retreat.

I also picked up the spring Quilt Sampler magazine. The quilt on the cover from Lake St. Mercantile is beautiful. This is a great quilt shop in Michigan in a wonderful historic bank building. The photos in the magazine don't do the shop justice. Trust me, you could spend hours and oodles of money there.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Quilting on the Brain

It's been a long week this week, which always makes me really want to be quilting rather than doing anything else. The good news is that next week I'll have nothing but sewing, sewing, sewing for four days at a quilt retreat!! Yes woo hoo a retreat set up by my good friend Pat of Silver Thimble Quilt Co. So I've been thinking of all the projects I'm going to take with me and all those UFOs I'll get done.

Of course since my fav quilt shop is on the way (Sweet Home), I'll have to stop and see what's new. Let's see, if I buy fabric, then go to retreat and use it, and it never really gets to my house until after it's made into something, does it still count as buying new fabric? Hmmmm I may be on to something here.

Along those same lines of "Quilter's Logic", I have a question for quilters out there. Do you think of your works in progress/fabric/UFOs in boxes/bags as stash or is stash the fabric you have that's not set aside for something? I think of my stash as all the fabric that's not already in a bag as a project or project-to-be. In which case, I am not doing too well with stashbusting, except for the OC mystery quilt, which is not using up nearly enough fabric.

I picked up this magazine the other day:
which has some really great patterns for using up stash so sometime in the future, I will be digging into the armoire to use up some fabric. Just as soon as I get caught up on everything else I've started.......