Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Quilt and A Cat

Not much happening around here. I'm looking forward to another weekend of sewing. Hurry up Saturday!!! The three quilts I took to my long arm quilter are ready to pick up so I know I'll be sewing some miles and miles of binding.
Here's a quilt I made a number of years ago and it's one of my favorites. I love the cheery 1940s colors.
Here's Edgar Poe looking so sweet and innocent (look fast he doesn't stay that way for long--he usually is either getting into trouble or thinking about getting into trouble....)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Keeping up with Karin

My good friend Karin is cruising through the quilts this year. Her goal is to finish 20 in 2008 and she is already up to 17!!! I am afraid she is going to run out of fabric if she keeps up this pace.

I got to spend a lot of time doing quilty things this weekend. Friday, I took my truck (her name is Xena) in for maintenance. Xena is very happy and is running great (and she better 'cause it was ex--pen--sive). I took at little (ahem) detour on the way home (20 miles) to go to Sweet Home Quilt Co. for a little look-see. I was good and only bought about a yard of fabric, my stitchery BOM, and the new "Quilters' Travel Companion" (not that anyone can afford gas to go shop hopping but it's fun to look through).

Yesterday, I finished up the top for "Peace in the Valley" except for the borders.

(yes it is straight and not wavy, my quilt holder-uper person is new to holding quilts). The quilt is kinda growing on me; it's really not my colors but it's for a gift and I hope it's OK. I need to consult with the "sisters" at my next sewing group meeting for advice on borders. I have 2 options and am undecided.
The cats were a tremendous help yesterday. Here is Stella showing you why I always lock the blade on rotary cutters.
Here is Morpheus helping to lay out and rearrange blocks.
Here is the finished quilt (didn't Morph do a good job arranging blocks?)
This log cabin is a kit from 2005 (!!! wow aged reproduction fabric) that I ordered from Homestead Hearth. Don't remember why I ordered it... I love Homestead's website!! This would be one dangerous shop if I ever went there in person. I am anxiously waiting for this stitchery BOM to come in the mail (not that I need another project but it was Halloween and I couldn't resist).
So I'm off to do some chores (quickly) and find another project.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It started with having to buy water...

Unbeknown to most residents of my county (including me), the water treatment plant failed yesterday at 7PM. I found out at work (from a co-worker who got an email from a friend who got an email from a friend that worked for the CDC) after cooking, bathing, drinking, making coffee, giving the cats fresh water, etc. etc. that people in 19 zip codes (!!!!) were supposed to be boiling their water (and not using it for bathing, drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, etc). Thanks County for letting us know!!! Why is it that every marketer, surveyor, and person running for office can contact me by phone but the county can't get the word out that our water is possibly contaminated!!! Let me tell you, I have NO faith in our "homeland security" system at any governmental level.

Anyway, so I had to buy water on the way home. I don't like buying water because hey, I pay a water bill to get water from the tap. And I didn't want to stop by the store because I was starving and you should never go shopping when you are hungry let alone starving.

So I bought water
And I bought fruit including one of my favorites Rainier cherries from WA and my other favorite GA peaches and a pineapple on sale (is is just me or do pineapples make you think of Carmen Miranda?)
Things rapidly went downhill (or my grocery bill went uphill however you want to look at it) when I got to the wine section and they were having tastings. A very cute guy, who looked too young to be selling wine, was giving tastings and talking about being a 5th generation vintner and his family's winery and yada yada so I bought a bottle of a really great Sauvignon Blanc (on sale) and he asked if I wanted him to sign the bottle so I said sure
. so now I have a souvenir of having to buy water. And because I was starving and already bought a gazillion things, I picked up a lasagna to have for dinner. I was going to have fruit salad for dessert but then I realized I can't wash off the fruit!!!! So I'll just have to have these
for dessert instead of healthy fruit because you don't have to wash off brownies. And the only reason why I bought brownies is I had to stop to buy water.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Second Guessing Fabric Choice and A Little Purchase

Gomez went to the vet this morning for a check up and he is doing fine. He needs to eat special food still, which means lots of cat herding to their respective dishes (can't you just hear them "But mom I want what he's having").

I ordered a wee little bit of fabric from Fat Quarter Quilters that came in the mail today. They have fabulous service and are based in Metro ATL so stuff comes within a day or two for me WOO HOO!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Halloween and simply cannot resist Halloween fabric so I think I showed much restraint in only ordering 2 charm packs and enough yardage for border, backing, and binding to make a table topper. Goal is to get this done by THIS Halloween.

At my sewing group on Sat. I started working on my friend Pat's design called "Peace in the Valley" For the longest time, I couldn't decide on what colors to do this quilt in. I already have a lot of green quilts, I have a blue and yellow quilt, I have lots of purple quilts. What to do, what to do???
Then Pat made another sample in scrappy Civil War fabrics, and I got the idea to do it in a variety of colors. I had a FQ bundle that I bought at Quilt Market last fall and decided to use that. I have the blocks done. Here is one:
I hope it turns out OK. I am kind of second-guessing my fabric choice of using the bundle since the colors may not contrast enough. I don't know...I guess I'll find out when I put the blocks & sashing together.

Anyway, the pattern is really fun and easy since the blocks are paper-pieced. A non-quilter friend of mine saw me paper-piecing and said (and I quote) "Isn't that cheating?" No it's not cheating. There's no cheating in quilting just like there is no crying in baseball. End of story.

Since this has been a rather rambley post, if you made it this far, you are rewarded with a couple of way cute photos of Edgar Poe.

This is how I feel after piecing backings too.

What a sweetie!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Belated Spring Cleaning

No sewing for me today. I broke down and did some big housecleaning tasks. After working at SBux this AM, I came home (and did not sit down or else I wouldn't get back up) and did some projects that hopefully will help with allergies. I moved all the furniture and vacuumed and then steam cleaned the carpets. The cats are going to have to take an extra nap or two since they missed their late afternoon nap with all the noise of the Big Scary Vacuum Cleaner and even scarier machine that made noise AND made the carpets wet. So after all the wide-eyed looks and much tiptoeing around the cats were happy to have this task over. Now to get to that Mt. Everest-sized pile of quilts, cat blankets, and linens to wash. After all this housework, I'm going to let my self have extra, extra sewing time this week.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sewing with the bloggers

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted. I had the summer doldrums all week--horrible allergies, hot humid weather, and bad air quality make me a miserable person (I want to go back to Seattle!!!!). Anyway, today was a fun day sewing with my sewing group, most of whom are fellow bloggers--Karin, Becky, Pat, Kristie, and Cindi were there. Kristie was working on a quilt from the "Jelly Roll Quilts" book and she is hooked on this book too. I bet we both end up making all 17 quilts from this book. Cindi was working on "Honeyberries" Becky and Karin were working on a great charm square pattern called "Firecrackers". Pat was making cute bags for her daughter's bridesmaids and trying to steal Kristie's cool handle turning tool (if Pat succeeds in stealing it--I'll have her post a photo).

If you really want to know the meaning of quilt insanity, check out Pat's post about our Stitch-In week (12 hours of sewing for 7 days straight). Unfortunately, I have to work so I can't participate this time but it is so much fun that it really should be illegal. You can get a lot of UFOs done in a couple of days of nonstop sewing.

I dropped off three quilts to the longarm quilter today. So I better get busy making miles of binding.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prairie Paisley Peer Pressure

After seeing the great quilts being made with Moda's Prairie Paisley line (on Michelle's blog not one but two projects, on Vicky's blog her nearly completed quilt with some gorgeous applique, and Kristie's Chippewa Nine Patch quilt [she doesn't have a photo on her blog but here is the pattern])
I decided that I *had* to start my project with this fab fabric. I finished the top this afternoon and pieced the back.
Here's a detail

The pattern is "Garden Trellis" from my new favorite quilt book "Jelly Roll Quilts" (if I ever get to England I'm definitely going by their shop and telling them thanks (????) for making me want to make 17 more quilts). Yea! Another quilt top finished. My new goal is to finish the projects stacked up on my sewing table so I can actually find the bottom of it. Wish me luck!

. Here's a photo of Gomez Mega-bux hard at work overseeing the quilt making this afternoon. Stella on the other hand....

well you can see for yourself what she was busy doing.

Where have I been????

Working....I'm feeling guilty about not posting this week but I am on my third 76-hour work week and am just a wee bit tired. From now on, I'll be working a more respectable 60-65-hour work week and back to more blogging. I am off to sew for the rest of the day and hopefully will have a completed quilt top to show you.

In the meantime, check out Jodi's blog here. She is making a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt and doing a giveaway if you send her strips of fabric to make a flower. How cool is that? Little flowers from quilters all over the world. I found Jodi's blog after she emailed and asked if she could quote something I posted. I was so honored! (here is her post).

OK my sewing machine is calling....more later

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Signs and Silliness

Still not much going on here. I did sew most of the afternoon yesterday and hope to get another quilt top done by the end of next weekend. I started to watch the movie "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" but I guess I worked too much this past week and even Brad Pitt couldn't keep me awake and I fell asleep during the first 10 minutes. Has anyone seen this movie? Should I attempt to watch it again?

It was nice and rainy and cloudy earlier today which reminded me of...

can you guess...


I keep forgetting to post these funny signs for my friend & fellow Starbucks partner David. Every time I talk about moving to Seattle, David cautions me about the Big Tsunami that is supposed to hit Washington State sometime in the next billion years. I think David has watched Mega-Disasters about 20 too many times. Anyway I took this picture for David to show him that Washington State has the tsunami danger under control. If a tsunami comes, you do this:
I can't tell if you should run or climb...but the directions are clear.
There was this helpful sign on the ferry boat. In case you fall overboard or are swept out to sea by a tsunami, this is how you are rescued. By being grasped and pulled up by your neck and apparently only a small, short boat can help you. The boat on the sign looks nothing like the huge car ferry so I'm not sure what you do in that case....

Also, on the Pacific coastal beaches I saw this sign:
Wow! Beach logs kill! I had no idea there were vicious beach logs there. I used extra caution and stayed away from the logs and thankfully no beach logs sneaked up on me from behind. Click on the photo for a close up of the crazy-scary drawing on this sign. Love it!! Looks like 50s drive-in movie poster Killer Beach Logs!!!!! When Beach Logs Attack!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Chillin' on the Fourth

Until I have to go to SBux tonight (no fireworks for me), I am spending the 4th chillin' at home. I slept in, read the NY Times and drank coffee in bed, and have just been all around lazy. The cats are fully taking advantage of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by alternately lounging around in their favorite spots and asking for attention and belly rubs.
Happy 4th everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Quoth the Raven

What I'm reading: I am finishing up a fascinating book called The Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich.

I am a nature-lovin' girl at heart and I have been fascinated by studies of animal behavior since I was a kid reading Born Free and Never Cry Wolf and every other possible living-out-in-the-wilderness-studying-animals book I could find. Ravens and crows have always fascinated me and I happened to come across this book at Borders and picked it up to read on my trip. If you are interested in these kind of science/nature books, run out and get a copy of The Mind of the Raven. Bernd Heinrich is a great scientist and a wonderful writer and I found myself getting as excited about his behavioral experiments and observations with ravens as he was. Ravens are really amazing birds--very intelligent, playful, and great at solving complex puzzles. For general info about ravens or other birds, check out the really cool website by Cornell University here.

During my recent trip to Washington State, I was able to see and photograph some ravens. This one was looking fluffy and sassy in a tree on Whidbey Island.
And this one was walking around and hanging out at the ferry from Victoria back to the U.S.

I'm thinking there's a raven quilt somewhere in my future. Maybe a looooong time in the future, but it's something to ponder and doodle.