Monday, March 30, 2009

Hold Please

OK I've been busier than I had thought I was going to be. Hold tight and I'll post my goodies from shop hop. In the meantime, click on over to Becky's blog. She has great photos from the shop hop (I forgot my camera).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Flurry of Activity

There's been a flurry of activity here at Stella Bella Quilts the past two days.
Well some of us have been busy...
Yesterday I took the day off of work and got up early to get the house cleaned and straightened before my parents arrived for a week long visit. Edgar Poe was a big help supervising and making sure the Swifter was attacked at appropriate intervals. Mom and dad arrived safely from Michigan before rush hour in Atlanta traffic (which starts around 2 PM and goes til 7 PM).
This is also Atlanta Shop Hop weekend and Becky invited me and my mom to go with her. We had tons of fun and did our part to stimulate the economy. (I'll post photos and a report tomorrow.) After we got home it was back in the car to go to our favorite Chinese restaurant (Mahjong) to celebrate E's birthday. Then it was off to Bruster's for ice cream. Whew! I'm exhausted. I better get to sleep soon since I have to work at SBux tomorrow.
BIG Thanks to Becky for the invite and for driving in the horrible rainy ATL traffic.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still Life: Quilt Block and Cat

Well not quite a still life because the camera caught Gomez in mid-"hey what are you doing? Are you taking a picture of me? How about a treat? "

Here is the Little Quilts BOM block #2 (sans Gomez). I love the fabrics--very March-y.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekend Report

As I wrote in my last post, I spent the weekend at Snowbird Mountain Lodge in North Carolina. It was so nice to get away, especially because there are no TVs or cell phone service at the lodge and the laptop was left at home. That means getting away from all the bad news and economic mess and all. Wonderful. It also was nice and quiet and peaceful. Lots of time was spent in the lobby/library in front of the fire, reading a book, and looking at the great view of the mountains. In the afternoon, there was an unless carafe of Starbucks coffee and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. A little piece of heaven that is! Meals are included with the room price and just to make everyone hungry, here is what I had for dinner one night:
Carrot and thyme soup
Hazelnut and blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon served on baby lettuce with blood orange vinaigrette
Beef rib eye served with a sour cherry reduction sauce, savory blue cheese and kale bread pudding and sauteed asparagus
Mixed berry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream
And a sample breakfast:
Blueberry scones
Seasonal fruit salad
Homemade sausage
Lemon & ricotta pancakes with whipped blood orange cream cheese

Are you hungry yet? I am--let's go back!
After all that food, some hiking was required. We went to the Joyce Kilmer Forest, which is a mature hardwood forest that remarkably was never timbered.
Here is the dedication plaque

Here is a view of the trail

Here is how big the trees are!

It was so quiet in the forest, I actually heard a bird's wings as it was flying by (I think it was a cedar waxwing). The views in the forest were wonderful because the leaves aren't out yet and you can see for long distances.

Don't forget to look up.

The next hike was to the top of Huckleberry Knob. This was a hike from about 5,000 feet in elevation to over 5,500 feet, which is really high for the Great Smokey Mountains. The top of this mountain is "bald" and was used historically for grazing cattle. The U.S. Forest Service keeps it mowed to show its past use.

The Smokey Mountains always have a blue haze over them, hence the name, however in more recent years, a lot of the haze is smog. Not good.
Well now I am back to harsh reality but a little more rested and a little more relaxed and really grateful that there are National Parks and National Forests to escape to. Oh yeah and for lodges that serve coffee and cookies in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back from the NC Mountains

I know most of you didn't even know I was gone! A weekend at Snowbird Mountain Lodge was my Christmas gift from S. and this trip was planned way back last year. We had a fabulous time! I'll post photos and info tomorrow. I hope everyone enjoyed National Quilting Day. I didn't get any sewing time in nor did I get to visit any quilt shops but I did have a wonderful time enjoying peace and quiet and nature and good food so I'll make up the sewing time later. I also missed my Silver Thimble Club meeting and seeing all the Thimbles. I'm catching up on emails and blogs tonight and will post more tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy National Quilting Day!

Happy National Quilting Day to all by quilty friends! I hope you got some sewing done or went to find future UFOs at your local quilt shop or just played in your sewing room.

I love this year's block in honor of National Quilting Day
Click on the link in the first sentence above to find out about the block.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Friday is the first day of Spring (in the northern hemisphere)!! Otherwise known as the vernal equinox. Enjoy your equal day- and night-time. Does anyone have plans for the weekend? We are supposed to have fabulous weather here in the ATL and I plan on enjoying some of it before the KILLER POLLEN hits and I am forced to stay inside with a giant box of kleenex.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Isn't St. Patrick's Day fun--everyone gets to pretend they are Irish for a day. Did you wear green? I wore a lime green shirt. Almost every year, I make a big pot of corned beef and cabbage for dinner. This year, I made it on Sunday (because it takes so long to cook) and have been eating leftovers since then.
(I left out the corned beef 'cause who wants to see raw meat on a blog). I also bought some Irish soda bread from Whole Foods. It is super yummy!! I think I could live on really good bread (and dessert!) Hope everyone is having a fun St. Patrick's day and you find a pot o' fabric at the end of a rainbow (today is the first day since Friday that it hasn't rained so no rainbows for us in the ATL).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quilt-onomic Stimulus

Yesterday (on a Saturday!!), I had to work for my day job. I had to get up before the sun and travel to Kennesaw to speak at a workshop. Working most of the day on a Saturday was not my idea of fun but it went OK and about 100 people showed up so at least there was a good crowd. Since I had to drive by Marietta on the way home anyway, I drove to the Big Chicken, took at right, and went to Little Quilts. (Aside: the Big Chicken is a great landmark and is used to give directions in the Marietta area as in "turn right at the Big Chicken." The beak and eyes move too!)

It's been a long time since I visited Little Quilts and even though just last weekend I said "I don't need to buy anymore fabric!!!!!!!"

Here's my goodies (wait.... is that fabric??????) The cream and purple fabric on the bottom has a purpose and I've been looking for something to use for a specific project. The other yardage.....I have no idea how that ended up in the bag--let's call it a Quilt-onomic Stimulus.
The rest of the day was pretty much a wash since I was tired from working late Friday then getting up at driving to and from Cobb County in the rain and speaking. I took a nap and watched TV and that's about it.
From last week: here are the photos of the wool BOMs I'm working on. Both are from Primitive Gatherings and both are from 2007 (!)
This was a Block of the Week
This one is called "A Primitive Garden" and my friend Kristie is working on this also.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When plans go awry

Well my best laid plans to get sewing done have gone awry. I've been in bed sick the past two days. I have no idea what I have; it started with a headache, then a 24-hour low-grade fever & some congestion and I just felt horrible. Some sort of virus I guess. Anyway it is day two and I just need to be better so am willing myself not to be sick. Two days is the maximum days I can be sick and then everything starts piling up--laundry piles up, dishes pile up, cat boxes need cleaned, etc. S. was so sweet and brought me dinner and a cupcake last night. Cupcakes or M&Ms cure anything. Anyway, I'm working the rest of the week at SBux so it will be this weekend before I get any sewing time in.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Savings Time...

is for the birds. Or owls or whatever is up at dark-thirty (as my friend Karin says) when I had to get up to go to Starbucks. That would be 4:15 AM the old time, the time my body thought it was, the time it still feels like, I can't just magically switch times can you? Anyway, since I "lost" an hour of sleep, I had to come home and take a 2 hour nap to make up for it. Nothing much else is going on here. After I woke up, I watched the movie "Body of Lies" (a Ridley Scott movie with Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio), which was really good. I am working on a wool BOM, which has become a block every 6 months I think, so I'm getting back on track with that project. Also, I need to prep blocks for the Bunny Hill "A Tisket A Tasket" BOM. I'm three months behind on that one--oh wait make that three months and an hour hahahaha! Photos tomorrow.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It was a lovely spring day here in the ATL and I spent it inside cleaning. I am slowly going through closets, cabinets, rooms, etc. getting rid of stuff, rearranging, organizing, cleaning, etc. My house definitely needs it. Since I've been working two jobs (for nearly 8 years now), housework beyond the basics has not been a priority. It's time to get rid of the clutter and get organized, although I think it's going to take me until next spring to finish up. Hope everyone else had a fun day today :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Jelly Roll Project

Yesterday was one of those days when all I wanted to do was quilt. That would be fine, great even, except for the whole work thing. So I worked with half a brain and thought about quilting with the other (women are the best multi-taskers right?). I do a lot of writing at my day job so I'm still hoping I wrote complete sentences without adding words like "jelly rolls" or "too much stash" or "wonder what new patterns Pat is working on" or "wonder what's new at Sweet Home Quilt Co." Anyway, I made it through the day and drove home, did not pass go, did not spend $200, did not get a speeding ticket and went straight to the sewing machine. (I did make a small detour to feed the cats, priorities you know). So I sewed, sewed, sewed until it was time to throw some laundry in and go to bed.
So here's a couple of the blocks I finished. The pattern is "Pandora's Box" from Jelly Roll Quilts (the best jelly roll book!). The fabric is Moda (of course) and the line is called "Twiggy". This is going to be a super quick quilt to finish up, hopefully this weekend.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day Foiled!

All that snow and ice (by Georgia standards) and no snow day for me. This morning, I watched the local news scroll through the list of closings twice, then got up to check online. All the local schools--closed, all the local universities and colleges--closed. State government--open. What!!???!!! I had to de-ice two inches of frozen snow and ice from Xena the truck (good thing I had my Michigan ice scraper), I slipped on the ice in my driveway, and got stuck in some dreadful parking lot--I mean traffic--on the way to work. Grrrrrrrr..... and yet another reason to be mad at the governor! I hope Becky, Kristie, and Brenda enjoyed their snow day and got lots of sewing done.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some Progress and Still Hoping for a Snow Day

Well I finally finished sewing the rows together for my Mardi Gras quilt (aka Orange Crush mystery quilt). This is a quick photo; my quilter-holder-upper was impatient. I really like it! I need to go to Melisa's and get some advise for borders. I'm thinking of a thin inner border (something that "pops" maybe a light, bright green?) and an outer border.
I also finished the February block for the Little Quilts BOM. I can't wait for the next one to show up in the mail! I am really hoping that it gets icy out and they cancel work and the area schools--all the quilters want a snow day!!!!!!

March Comes in Like...

A SNOW LEOPARD!!!! Yes, it is snowing here in the ATL!!!! Woo hoo!!!! At Starbucks this morning, we watched it turn from sleet to big chunky snow. I carefully drove home in slushy roads (ps: yes the snow is sticking...)
It's still snowing like crazy here and I am looking forward to a sewing day. Here's one of my daffodils and the forsythia. I'll take more photos as the snow gets deeper.
Morph is not as excited about the snow as I am. Oh I hope it stays cold and work gets called off tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!