Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another finished quilt

Here's the quilt top I finished yesterday. The pattern is "Vintage Charm" from "Quilts and More" (Summer 2007) magazine. I love this fabric line (Roman Holiday by Moda), especially the "spa" blue color that was so "in" last year along with chocolate brown.
This is one of the UFOs I forgot I had.

Here's Stella inspecting the quilt. She is always the first cat to jump on a quilt, quilt blocks, or a piece of fabric. She rarely holds still so the photo is kind of blurry.

This quilt is what I call a "Melisa Special" (which I'm sure Karin has 2 to 20 of....). A Melisa Special is when a quilter goes to Sweet Home Quilt Co. not intending to buy anything and then sees all the fabulous new Moda fabric there and just *has* to figure out a project for the fabric. Be especially careful of the charm squares, jelly rolls, and layer cakes there, they will get you everytime....Ask me how I know--I have a basket full of them. Better be safe and stock up on charm square patterns...lots and lots of charm square patterns.

I was reading all my favorite blogs today and loved the photos on Michelle's blog . Check it out for a great photo of Mt. Rainier, a weather report from a heat wave in Washington State (I think I'd still rather be there in 90 degree weather than here....), and a really great quilt (made with charm squares).

I have another super-busy week this week but will try to fit in a post every other day or so.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A whole lot of the usual

I’m rather behind on blogging this week. I am trying to get back into the daily grind (pun intended) after my vacation and am wondering how I ever managed this schedule. It’s also been a yucky week weatherwise in the ATL resulting in this equation: 90s, high humidity, plus Code Orange or Code Red smog alerts = runny eyes, bad allergies, and grumpy me. And yes, I’ve been whining about moving to the Pacific NW where everything was much nicer.

Anyway—moving on. As I noted in my previous blog post, last Friday I received a “Bat Signal” from my sewing buddies to come sew with them. Well Kristie showed us the cutest tote bag and of course we all wanted one, so on Saturday I went to Sweet Home Quilt Co. to get the pattern and a few other things. I have some Moda jelly rolls (Hemming House and Prairie Paisley) and needed to get some project ideas before the fabric was gone for borders, etc. I know for a fact that some of my friends put a serious dent in the bolts of Prairie Paisley at Sweet Home (on quilter’s honor the guilty parties shall remain nameless). I found two patterns in the fabulous book “Jelly Roll Quilts” and made a list of exactly what I needed. I was relatively “good” and didn’t deviate too much from the list. I told Melisa that I was going to go straight home and whip up these two quilts but having second thoughts at the piles of projects on my sewing table, I was “good” again and worked on a UFO from last year before starting new projects. I hope to finish the top this coming weekend and I’ll post a photo. I am really hoping to get a lot of projects done the rest of this summer so I don’t have all these UFOs all over the place.

In cat news: Gomez is doing fine and back to his old self again. Morpheus has been a “velco kitty” since I got back from vacation. Edgar Poe and Stella are being their ever-cute and adorable selves and can be found either sprawled out on the floor or following me around.

A whole lot of the usual going on here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

We interrupt this post....

I am continuing my vacation from the day job today because well, I kinda need to ease into the real world from being on vacation and working tonight at SBux will be enough. Ten days was the longest vacation I have had since being an adult I think. Plus I get to spend some quality time with the cats, who have graced me with no ill will for leaving them for so long. Of course my dear friend KJ did a wonderful job catsitting and spoiled them in my absence.

I am also spending a lot of time catching up on blogs. Amanda left a great comment and said that I'll have to live on bread and jam due to Gomez Mega-Bux. You are so right, Amanda!!! I'm thinking some whole wheat bread and blackberry jam from Whole Foods.

LATER>>>> Well I was working on this post when my friend Becky called and said a bunch of my sewing buddies were up at the LQS sewing and they wanted me to come up and sew with them. It was like the Bat Signal (in the shape of a featherweight???), I dropped everything and grabbed my stuff and off I went. Aren't friends the best at getting you sidetracked? I was planning on cleaning house today but that can always wait until tomorrow. It was so great to see everyone and I worked on my Orange Crush quilt for a few hours. Well it's off to SBux. More later.

PS: THANKS BECKY for the Bat Signal!!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back in the ATL and Canada photos

Well I am back in Hot-lanta and trying to do the 50-11 things that you have to do when you get back from vacation (give the cats lots of attention, unpack, laundry, catch up on about a zillion emails, laundry, laundry, laundry, go through mail, oh yeah and do some laundry). It is nice to be home (although I do want to pick up my whole house and move to Seattle). I also am determined to organize and label all my digital photos from my trip before I forget where they were taken.

Big news: GOMEZ IS HOME!!! Picked up Gomez from the vet this morning. His new name is Gomez Mega-bux because of how expensive his vet bills were, but he is home and everyone is happy and healthy again (knock on wood!)
I promise I will get back to quilty posts soon as soon as I get settled from vacation. In the meantime here are more photos from my trip.
Arrived early in the AM in Victoria, British Columbia, and drove to Butchart Gardens. Wow! Everything that my quilt buddies Sue and Carla told me about the gardens is true--unbelievable! I took A LOT of photos for later quilt inspiration.

The Sunken Garden and here

Love the colors in this view with the purple and orange.

After the gardens, drove back to Victoria. Victoria is a beautiful city and perfect for pedestrians. Lots of fabulous shops, restaurants, harbor view, civic buildings, museums, and on and on. Walked everywhere all over town numerous times. This is the Parliament Building

This is the Empress Hotel. When planning for this trip last year, I was incredibly lucky and found an insanely great deal on rooms at the Empress since they are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the hotel--for one day only, you could get a basic room for $100 a night (they called it the "deal of the century"--no kidding). So yes, this is where I stayed for 3 nights in Victoria. It is a fabulous hotel and I hope to live for another 100 years so I can stay there again!
And while walking to Chinatown in Victoria I found this My own little piece of Quilter's Heaven--a Starbucks right next to a quilt shop!!!!!!! Satin Moon Quilt Shop was one of the 10 Best Quilt Shops in "Quilt Sampler" a while back and is a great shop! I didn't buy anything though because the US dollar is worth less than the Canadian dollar and the fabric was in meters and it was all too much math!!! It was also late in the day and I hadn't gone next door for a quad grande nonfat latte yet. Check out their website at the link above 'cause there are some great recipes as well as patterns by local designers.
Finally, check out my friend Becky's blog because she has a give-away for her B-day and check out my friend Pat's blog for info on a great upcoming retreat in FL where she will be teaching.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lake Crescent and the NW corner of the U.S.

Hey everyone! Finally have time to post and catch up on my trip (yes I was out and about too much to post and much of the time away from WiFi). I am back in Seattle and have to go home soon :( I am going to miss the Pacific NW--I have had a great time and love it out here. Here's some more photos for my ATL friends (PS: Sue--I am glad you are reliving your trip!!!).
After Lake Quinault, drove back north to the Hoh Rainforest for hiking in the forest (click on the link for info on temperate rainforests). Had lunch in the town of Forks on the way (famous for being the site of some of my favorite books: the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Did not see anyone resembling vampires but perhaps a possible werewolf or two and the very retro diner in town)
After lots of hiking in the forest, decided that while I was here, might as well drive to Cape Flattery, which is the uppermost northwest corner of the continental U.S. Lots of driving but it was worth it for the view!!!! It was a beautiful day for being at the end of the country. Wow! More driving back south to Lake Crescent Lodge in the national park. Had a great dinner overlooking the lake
and spent the night at the lodge. Up early, early, early, to catch the ferry to Victoria, British Columbia. Stay tuned for views of Canada tomorrow :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Am staying at the Lake Quinault Lodge for a couple of days. The lodge was built in 1926 and Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed here.

Look blue skies and warmer weather. First, an awesome breakfast of sweet potato pancakes and coffee and then a 5-mile hike in the Quinault area. Is is possible to have this many shades of green?
I wish I could express how amazing it is out here. Everything is so green and the air is so crisp and clear and I have no allergies--I can breathe for a change --hooray! Trees that are so tall and are hundreds of years old, make you feel very small.

For all my friends in the ATL who are sweltering, here are some cooling photos for you

So this is the forest, minus the banana slugs (I saw two! They are huge!!!!) and the skunk cabbage (yes it smells like a skunk).
This is the view from my blogging spot. I don't think I want to leave!!!!

To the Pacific

Left Whidbey Island to catch the ferry boat to Port Townsend. Ferry boats = lots of waiting so worked on some stitchery while waiting & ferrying. Port Townsend is an absolutely fabulous historic town filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants.
This is the most amazing building!
Most stuff was closed so grabbed coffee, hit a couple of antique shops and headed to Port Angeles. Port Angeles was not so charming but had a quilt shop called The Quilted Strait. Loved the quilt shop! Bought some fat quarters and a pattern and saw some beautiful quilts on loan from a local designer. Back in car and headed west to the Pacific Ocean.
The weather stayed like this all day and it was chilly. And I loved it! It is just so beautiful out here.
Actually it reminded me of when my dad used to take us to Sault Ste. Marie (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) in May (to beat all the tourists) and everything would be closed and it would be freezing and we would sit and watch boats go through the Soo Locks. (Mom, the temperature was exactly like that).
No swimming or even toe dipping in this water. The black sand and smooth rocks on the beach were incredible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

North by Northwest

Hello from chilly Washington State! Everyone I've talked to has said this is the worst spring/worst weather they have had in a long time. I don't mind it though because I am out of hot, humid Atlanta!! After having coffee and the best doughnuts in the world, traveled north from Seattle to Whidbey Island.
Look at all the shades of gray in the landscape. The mountains in the background are the Cascade Mountains, which got snow the past couple of days (good thing I'm not headed that way as I didn't bring snow gear!!)

I love lighthouses so went to see this lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park

Also saw native Pacific Northwest wildlife:
All together now: awwwwwwwww
lots and lots of birds on the island. I have no idea what kind of bird this is but it has great colors

All is not just fun and bunnies though, I have been getting daily updates from my vet about Gomez. Gomez was really doing badly yesterday and the vet was really worried about him which made me worry about Gomez even more. But today the vet called and said he thought Gomez has turned the corner and is on 3 different medicines and no catheter and seems to be doing better. I am so relieved. It was so hard to leave to go on this trip with Gomez sick and the price of gas and the instability of everything. But I had planned this for a long time and had all the tickets/reservations/money saved, etc. so here I am having fun, getting rest, enjoying the rain, and drinking lots of coffee in spite of everything. More from the next WiFi place.

Wet Paws and Flopping Ears....

Was the local pet weather report in SEATTLE! Yes along with all the Gomez medical drama, I was busy getting ready for my vacation. I was prepared for rain (courtesy of my new fancy-dancy rain coat from REI), but the wind--apparently it was windier here than it has been in decades (hence the flopping ears). It was windy!!! And cold--in the low 50s. But I am lovin' Seattle and walked all over town.

First stop: The Mother Urn--Starbucks at Pike Place Market. The store is much smaller than I thought it would be. I lost track not only of how many Starbucks I passed but also how many cups of coffee I drank.

Pike Place Market was the best. Look at those veggies!!! I think all I would need is a fork and a saute pan and I would be set to live here at the market. I wanted to buy..oh one of everything but settled for a pint of raspberries to have as a mid-day snack.
Yes, I saw the famous fish-throwing vendors. Actually the person I saw dropped the Dungeness crab he was thrown.

Did I mention that I love Seattle???? Even with the weather. I walked all over town and took a zillion photos. Seattle has really great historic buildings and is wonderful walkable city.

Another place I could live in easily, Elliott Bay Book Co. They have over 150,000 titles here and the store is a fabulous historic building with wood floors and shelves and shelves of great books. With the baggage restrictions, I couldn't get that many books so settled for one on Seattle architecture.

More soon....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Frazzled and Fried

What is up with the weather? It was in the mid- to upper 90s today in the ATL. Excuse me but this is June and it is not supposed to be this hot yet. Al Gore was right--this is inconvenient.

I had my sewing group (Stitch n' sisters) today. On the way there this AM, I stopped by the vet to visit Gomez again. He is grumpy today--sick of being at the vet and sick of wearing a lampshade on his head and sick of being poked and prodded. You could tell just by the look in his eyes. Poor little guy. The vet is supposed to take the catheter out today and hopefully Gomez will be doing better tomorrow. I stayed about a hour again and fought back bursting into tears all the way to the quilt shop. It was so great seeing my quilting buddies and they all cheered me up, commiserated with me and generally made me feel a lot better. THANKS Y'ALL!! LOVE YA! I needed you today!!!! I worked a little on the OC Mystery quilt and left early 'cause I had somewhere between one and 20 million things to do this afternoon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Good Read

Insomnia has been my unwelcome friend all week so I am really glad that quilt magazines are arriving in the mail. I heart "Quilter's Home"! I wish it was a monthly magazine (hint to Mark!) I usually read it cover-to-cover more than once. It is informative, fun, and thought-provoking all wrapped up in a fabulously designed package.

My friend Becky always talks about things that "speak" to her-usually fabric. This magazine speaks to me, especially Mark's editorial letter "Mark My Word" in this issue.
He discusses exactly what quilting is for me--an escape from life's day-to-day stresses and the opportunity to focus on one tangible thing that I have control over. I can't halt global warming, save all the homeless pets, solve global hunger and poverty, stop the Bush administration from screwing up literally everything in the world, or figure out what I want to do in life, but I can cut, press, and sew fabric into something that is both beautiful and useful. Quilting is my therapy. I am focused, focused, focused when I am working on a project and I find solace in stepping out of my multi-tasking, hectic, running between two jobs, worrying, no-sleep life and finding peace in some piecing.

Visiting Hours for the Crazy Cat Lady

Left day job early to go to the vet to visit Gomez. Bless his heart! He looks so pitiful. He hasn't been eating and the vet took his catheter out but had to put it back in. So he will be at the vet the rest of the week. I think he is pretty stressed out; there is a loud Jack Russell terrier in the cage next to his barking barking barking.

I spent about an hour just petting him and he loved it. PURRRRRRRRR Also got him to eat some can food. I brought him a couple of his favorite toys and told him to hurry up and get well so he can come home. Well on the way to Crazy Cat Lady-hood here.

On another note: I am glad my Weather Pixie is back. I had no idea what to wear!!

On yet another note: "lovely" weather here in ATL. In the mid-90s and Code Orange smog day.

I'm off to take a quick nap before SBux. Haven't slept all week and this is day 5 in a row...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer's Here Right on Time

Well it's the start of the long smoggy, humid, hot summertime here in the ATL. I try not to turn on the AC until June 1st just on principle. This year, sure enough, June 1st was too hot and muggy for open windows so I cringed as I turned on the AC (set at 78 degrees when I'm home mind you--not exactly chilly). I am absolutely dreading electric bills this summer. With gas prices at a mind-boggling $3.99/gal., I am cutting back wherever I can. No new summer clothes or sandals, checking out books from the library instead of buying books, absolutely postively no extraneous driving.

One of my favorite bloggers is going on a 7 month no-buying-excess-stuff resolution (check out Laurie's post on May 28th for an insightful look at "stuff"). Is everyone else cutting back on stuff? Is everyone else as worried about tomorrow or next week or next month as I am?

Of course some things or someones are worth whatever it takes.
Here's Gomez the day before he ended up at ER vet. He's making sure no one touches that jelly roll. Vet bill: LOTS of extra shifts at SBux. Fabric guard cat: priceless.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gomez Update

Picked up Gomez from the emergency vet and paid BIG bill (good thing I'm working Mon-Fri at SBux!!!!). Everyone with pets knows that you'll do everything for them. A small price to pay for unconditional love and sheer joy they bring.

He is stable but had to go directly to regular vet since he still has a catheter. It's lovely juggling purse, cat in cat carrier, miles of tubes and a bag of cat pee let me tell ya (I bet Karin is laughing at this one).

Gomez has to stay at the regular vet at least until Wednesday. More tests and more medicine. Bless his heart, he looks pitiful today with his Elizabethan collar. But I think he will be OK.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Trip to the Emergency Vet

Well it's nearing 1 AM and I just got back from the emergency vet. Had to take Gomez there around 10:30 PM. He has a urinary tract blockage but is going to be OK. Luckily, I caught it quickly and it's not as bad as it could be. He has to stay overnight and I have to pick him up in the AM and take him to my regular vet. It is always something here. I need a couple of normal boring days please! More later today.