Monday, August 31, 2009

No more bad news for now

A very quick post as I just got home from Starbucks and need to get to bed soon. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for all your support, kind words, and commiseration!!! I am so grateful to you all!

The meeting today went OK and there are no planned cuts to personnel coming from the department. Troops are rallying in the office and we are moving onward.

Quilty and cat-related posts coming up :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

When all else fails...make cookies

That's a great motto to live by, don't you think? Feel free to adopt it too.
A rainy afternoon calls for some sewing and baking. These are black and white blondies from the More from Magnolia Bakery cookbook (dark & white chocolate chunks, I left out the walnuts).

I think a glass of milk has my name all over it.

For bar cookies and brownies, do you like middle pieces or edge pieces? I am a middle piece person. In fact, if you ask my brother, he will tell you a story about a certain pan of brownies that only had about an inch of edges all the way around the outside and no middle pieces.

He's prone to exaggeration though and maybe his memory is fuzzy. I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rough End to the Week

(photo credit:
If a tree falls in state government, does anyone notice? Thursday we had a terrible blow to our office with 1/6 of our staff eliminated. Out of the blue. No warning. No rumbles of more budget cuts (we are only in the second month of the state fiscal year!!!). The furloughs were supposed to take care of the shortfalls.

I was not eliminated but we lost two positions in my work unit of seven. We are now five. One position was vacant; the other was a intelligent, witty, loyal public servant of GA who has worked for our office for 22 years. Fired and his program eliminated. Just like that. He was part of our work family and then given a cruel corporate firing when his boss was out of town and he was told at the end of Thursday, your fired, hand over your ID and key, and you can arrange to get your personal things later but now you are escorted out of the building. Just like that.

We had always been assured that our department didn't get rid of people. That in exchange for working for state government for low salaries, you had stability and some security. Apparently not.

The photo above is how I have felt for the past two days. Friday, the office was abuzz with speculation, with sadness, with gallows humor. Monday we have a staff meeting and the deputy commissioner is coming over from the department on high to speak to us. We were not told why.

So with this uncertainty and worry and fretting and sadness and anger, I decided to stay home last night and not go to Bad Melisa's Midnight Madness sale. I hope my dear friends understand.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Morpheus Makes a Quilt Part Two

Morpheus and I are continuing to work on his quilt from this post. We finished all the blocks and are ready to lay out the quilt and start sewing the rows together. Morph is checking out the directions again.

Here he is after laying out some blocks and sewing rows together.
The black fabric matches so nicely with his coat.

Wait a minute. This is not how you lay out rows to sew together....

Perhaps he got into some of Gomez's catnip.

I don't think twirling around on the floor is part of quiltmaking.
Obviously, this sewing session is over..... Someone is just too excited to sew....

A True Public Servant

(image source: Doug Mills/NY Times)

Thank you Senator Kennedy for always raising your powerful voice for those who had the least.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Spend a Summer Afternoon by Edgar Poe

First take a long nap. Preferably on a quilt.

Then stretch and yawn. But not too much. You don't want to overexert yourself.
Take a little bath.

Repeat until it's time for dinner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good Times

Well Friday and Saturday turned out to be lots of fun and made up for a rather blah week. Friday night, S. and I went to see John Oliver (from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and "The Bugle" podcast) perform at Georgia Tech.
We had second row seats.
Guess who was the geek who called the second tickets went on sale?
Um, yes, that would be me...

Seth Meyers, who does the Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, was the opening act. I think I was laughing to hard and forgot to take a photo.

Both comedians were great! I am so glad we went because sometimes you just actually need to get out of the house and have some big fun. This show was big fun.

Did I mention that John Oliver was great?

Saturday was my sewing group meeting. There was some great show n' tell that should be up on Pat's blog soon. It was fun sewing with Karin, Cindi, Becky, and Sarah. We are all planning on meeting at Sweet Home Quilt Co. on Friday for Bad Melisa's midnight madness sale.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Giveaway Links

Some great giveaways going on in Blogland:

Faithful Quilter is having a Civil War reproduction fabric giveaway. (Let's just ignore the fact that I have oodles of CW fabric and hope I win anyway :)

Pattern and fabric designer extraordinaire (I LOVE her stuff!!!!) Heather Mulder Peterson is having an unbelievable giveaway on her blog Trends and Traditions. (I hope I win this one too, aren't I the greedy one today!)

And there's some layer cake goodness over at Green Fairy Quilts. This would be a wonderful prize too. So many great giveaways!!!

Keeping fingers and toes crossed over here....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Furlough Friday #2

Here I am on furlough again (thanks Governor--not!) I have been rather blah this whole week. I think it is the dregs of summer, not the dog days of summer because dogs make me smile and I seemed to have lost my smile this week.

Hopefully that will change as I am going to see John Oliver (from the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and my favorite podcast "The Bugle") perform. I've never been to a live comedy act before so I'm looking forward to it.

Well Morph and I need to get busy sewing on his quilt. More later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sundays go by too fast

Why is it that Sundays go by so fast???? I had today off from Starbucks (usually I work every Sunday in the morning) so I slept in, read the entire NY Times, drank a pot of coffee, made an omelet for breakfast, and sewed some more. I also had some house chores to do so it was not as fun as yesterday.

I had set up my Featherweight in the living room so I could catch up on some Tivo'ed stuff. Morpheus likes to hang out and help sew when I do this. Here he is picking out the next block to sew.
Morph is also good at keeping track of directions, apparently he can read upside down even... Or maybe he is critiquing fabric choices....
After squaring up 96 half-square triangles and sewing together half of the split nine-patch blocks, Morph needs a nap
...on the blocks....
Morph and I hope to finish this quilt this week. The pattern is "American Beauty" out of one of my favorite quilt books 40 Fabulous Quick Cut Quilts. The fabrics are all from my stash (mostly Moda) and match Morph's coat and collar quite well, so this will be his quilt.
Stella already has her own quilt but she just had to get in on this photo of some blocks.

PS: *karendianne this post is just for you :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not getting out of my pj's or the house today!

Hooray for a sewing day!! Let's sing a little song...
I am not getting out of my pj's and I'm not leaving the house today. Tra la la la la!
I am sewing sewing sewing and doing some laundry but that's about it. Ha ha ha!
OK maybe I've had a bit too much coffee.....

I worked on my two BOMs
Here's the Little Quilts Saturday Sampler block #7
I love this fabric!!! Such a yummy purple with a fab black/purple shirting. Oooo I want oodles of these fabrics but need to settle for this block because going to Little Quilts is tooooo dangerous....

and here's the Fat Quarter Shop mystery quilt block #3
Both of these blocks were challenging and I think I could have made half a jelly roll quilt in the time it took to cut and sew these blocks.

I also finally finished cutting a huge pile of Fig Tree fabric for a quilt pattern that has been hanging around since 2005. The line is called "Cornucopia" and must be at least that old...
All the fabric is cut and in a project bag ready to be sewn at some point. Hopefully it won't age too much longer.

I also sewed some quilt backs together and have three quilts all ready to go to my long-arm quilter. I am calling Peggy when she gets back tomorrow and hopefully that will be three quilts done and out of here soon to their recipients.
OK off to do more sewing!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Hot is it in Atlanta?

If I had a big pile of ice, this is what I would feel like...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tempting Fall

Look at this wonderful fall quilt on the cover of American Patchwork & Quilting this month!!!! Not only do I have to make this quilt sometime, I also really want it to be Fall. Starting now until about December 1st. Wonderful crispy fall with no humidity, no smog, not too hot, not too cold--just perfect fall weather.

I think there is a better chance of me making and finishing this quilt sometime this century than having a perfect Fall here in the ATL....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mystery Quilt: Christmas Lights Part 2

The weather was hot hot hot and humid this weekend. Yuck! Cathi from Ontario would LOVE it. I keep trying to send this weather her way but I think it gets tied up in customs. Cathi--please take this sunny and 94F weather!! Nothing to do but stay inside and sew.

I worked on Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery called "Christmas Lights." Mine is not going to be for Xmas and I changed up the colors/fabrics somewhat. Instead of doing scrappy darks in the four-patches, I did scrappy blues,
(I also ran out of green so added another one for these blocks)
and instead of one red for the other blocks, I scrapped those up too.

I didn't want to buy any fabrics for the quilt hence the scrappiness. The next clue isn't until the October issue of Quiltmaker magazine so I'm all caught up until then.

This weekend sure went by fast! I am dreading the ATL traffic-hell tomorrow with all the kids going back to school. It's so nice in the summer when there is only about half-a-hell worth of traffic out there.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Movie Review: Julie & Julia

S. surprised me yesterday by whisking me off (pun intended) to see Julie & Julia after work.
We both LOVED the movie. It was a funny, entertaining, all around great movie. A timeless kind of of movie that reminded me how fun movies can be (think of 1930s and 1940s movies).

Meryl Streep is amazing, beyond amazing. Just go ahead and give her the Oscar now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Healthy Food from the Garden

Well it is organic. Fried green tomatoes and fried okra with homemade remoulade sauce. A nice salad accompanied this in case you were worried.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends...

...overindulge in catnip.

Too late! The organic catnip is growing great in the recession garden and Gomez loves to eat it fresh. This is after eating a bunch, running around and attacking the other cats, and crashing (yet still guarding the remaining leaves). I think a session of Catnip Anonymous is called for.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Moda Bake Shop project

Take one Figgy Pudding charm pack and two Figgy Pudding fat quarters plus one "Vintage Brick Doll Quilts" recipe from Moda Bake Shop and what do you have

Two cute little quilt tops. These are winter quilts for the cats (I think I can get around to quilting them by then). I'm going to put them near a couple of the cats' favorite places to sleep (sofa back and near the heater vent). I whipped these up this afternoon and they are so cute, I may have to make two for each season. I bet Karin's boys would love these too (and I also bet she has some charm packs laying around needing a project...)

Morph already tested his out to make sure it was OK.
He takes his job very seriously.

Bunny Hill Giveaway!

Mama Spark along with Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs are having a fabulous giveaway. Go visit Mama Spark here for your chance to win.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Glad it's August....

because July went out in an avalanche of annoyances. I was tired and worn out from working too many days in a row at SBux last week (4 days in a row is torture when you also work Mon-Fri at the day job). Day job was nothing but problem projects and complicated phone calls. It was also sad because one of my co-workers in my work unit left and with the budget cuts, all open positions are frozen and who knows when it will be unfrozen. This of course means more work for the remaining employees. And he was a really great person and will be missed a lot.

So I am glad it is a new month. Of course August means back to school around here which means more traffic but let's not think of that right now....

It's rained a lot here in Atlanta and it was humid, a little too warm, and very mosquito-y outside today. This required staying inside and sewing rather than doing yard work (oh darn ;). I completed step one of Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery. It's called "Christmas Lights" but I'm changing it up a bit to not be Christmas-y colors. I think Becky, Brenda, Karin, Cindi, and Karin are all making this quilt too. The pattern is in Quiltmaker magazine. The next issue is coming out so I knew I better get step one done.

Here's my HSTs, four-patches (which I did in assorted lights and blues instead of completely scrappy as the pattern said), and my Mary's triangles (also called combination triangle squares). I'm not a gotta-have-every-new-notion kind of quilter but I LOVE these two new notions that Mary Ellen from Little Quilts demoed at our last Thimbles class. The "Quilter's Magic Wand" for drawing lines for making HSTs and "Tucker's Trimmer" for making HST, Mary's triangles, and hourglass blocks. Awesome tools and your triangles turn out PERFECT!!! You can check out the items here and see if your LQS carries them. I don't usually recommend quilting stuff but these are some gotta-haves.

I neglected to post my Sweet Home Quilt Co. purchases from last weekend (shame on me). Melisa is having great sales all month to celebrate her big 5-0 b-day and last week was Christmas fabric. I bought some of Moda's "Figgy Pudding" fabric (on sale), a random gray fabric, and backing for my blue & white quilt.
The Figgy Pudding fabric plus my previously purchased FP charm pack is going to be made into a project from Moda Bake Shop, which I hope to start soon.