Sunday, August 29, 2010

Party on the Porch: Post Game Show

Well I forgot my camera for Party on the Porch. I do have a photo on my camera phone, which is at the moment not talking to my laptop. Technology failing me, I took this one from Karin's blog.
We had lots of fun playing games from 7Pm until Melisa finally let us in. If you see Melisa, be sure to ask her about making up rules to games in the middle of playing them...she is very good at this LOL!!! We also received little goodie bags and won prizes including some little patterns and chances to win a big bundle of fabric. Then the shopping began. I did pick up a couple of items.
. The new Quilt Sampler magazine, a jelly roll of Barbara Brackman's new line called "Arnold's Attic" and a couple of charm packs for more Schnibbling. There's my little goodie bag in the back.

Afterward, Sarah (no blog but needs one!), Cindi, Karin, and I went to Bruster's Ice Cream. Cindi, Karin, and I went all out on hot fudge sundaes with chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream (my favorite flavor!) . Sarah had a black cherry waffle cone (Sarah also has the incriminating photographs maybe it's a good thing she doesn't have a blog.....). Us party animals were out past 10PM on a Friday! Hope everyone has recovered... Friends, quilt shop shopping, and ice cream--what a great way to spend a Friday evening!

The rest of the weekend has gone by too quickly. I've worked on Double Delight in between doing some chores and having to go buy a new refrigerator today...More about that later...

I'll leave you with Morpheus doing some paw modeling.

And showing the last vintage collar wear.
He's so handsome!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Party on the Porch Pre-Game Show

Can I get a HOORAY it's Friday? Another rough week this week and I am SO happy it is Friday.

This isn't just any ol' Friday though.

This is Party on the Porch Friday!

"Bad" Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Co. is celebrating the 5th b-day of the shop this weekend.

This is the porch that is going to be filled with quilters waiting to get into the shop for some late night shopping. Porch party starts at 7PM with fun, food, games, and general quilty rowdiness (yes, Melisa notifies Conyers Finest (police dept.) well beforehand...). She won't let us in the store until 8PM no matter how much we beg and carry on.

Why am I here writing this blog when I should be on my way? Well because ATL traffic is so bad either I got there at 4:30PM (and took a nap on the porch) or I get there at a fashionable time. I decided to come home and feed the kitties and get some chores done before I head back out.

Of course I don't need one little bit of fabric or a book or anything else but I could really use some fun-with-friends time so I'll be taking my camera and reporting back.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giveaway Shout Out

Please go visit Pat at Silver Thimble Talk. She is having a giveaway in honor of some exciting news.

I am so excited for her! Three cheers and a Twizzler for Pat!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thimbles, Loitering Quilts, and Little Quilts To Go

Yesterday was an overdose of fun at Silver Thimbles Quilt Club. If you could bottle up the energy, creativity, friendship, and fun in that room, we could power America for at least a week. The usual Saturday gang was there and also some Friday people who I don't get to see much of outside of blogland including Karmen. (PS: I forgot my camera so you'll have to visit Pat at for photos)

I finally figured out who to give my Bonnie Hunter Double Delight quilt to so I brought that to work on. This is one of my Loitering Quilts. You know the kind. One of those projects you always carrying around and work on for awhile, then put aside, then pick up again, then wonder why you started it in the first place, then work on again, then get annoyed with because it's always in the way and taking up space on your work table...a loitering quilt. Now that this quilt has a purpose, maybe it will finally get done.

I was somewhat dismayed to find out the Squaring Up Elf had not visited the project bag and finished squaring up all these square in a squares.
She is so fired. These are all oversized, which is a good thing since apparently I sewed some of them on Planet Crooked. So I had lots of trimming to do. Trimming is good at Thimbles because you can chat and trim better than chat and measure.
These are the two types of blocks for the quilt
Did you notice that there are nine-patches in here? One of the reasons for this Loitering Quilt is there are 500 million 3 1/2" nine-patches in this quilt. I have just finished making 900 million for Pat's Scrappy Nines (although if you ask her, she says there's 168 or some such number). I have 70 (!!!!) more nine-patches to make for Double Delight. So I worked on that too. yea.....

The project for Thimbles this month is a quilt I have already made (see Karin's in progress here). Since I am on a one-job budget now, I am trying to resist buying stuff at Thimbles. It was really difficult this month because Mary Ellen of Little Quilts brought the whole dang store to Thimbles and showed us all the new kits, fabrics, rulers, projects, etc. (Little Quilts To Go!) I remarked to Karin that it was like none of us had ever seen fabric before! I bought a little bundle of shirtings on sale. Whew! It was close!! Mary Ellen showed me a great ruler for trimming square in a squares and I resisted for now. If I ever make another quilt with a zillion a sq., it will be nice to have but I really try not to buy lots of specialty rulers because inevitability a newer, better, easier one comes along in a few months.

I also received the directions from math genius Kristie for our next swap. Not only is she a wonderful person but she figures out all the fabric math figuring the rest of us avoid. This is the third swap for our little group and I haven't started the last two. Yet, it still seems like I am busting stash if not really. We are swapping 5" square for this quilt from the book Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth. Kristie figured out we needed to each give 28.8 5" squares to each person but she rounded to 30. Although I first (jokingly) insisted that I was going to do 28.8 squares, I then realized this caused more math ( 0.8 of 5" YIKES!) and capitulated.

So today is more sewing and making nine-patches.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Zooming Through the Week

This week was really busy for me at the day job, which means not much was going on here in the evenings. Here's what I accomplished during the week.
Two pillowcases (with owls so you know I am keeping these)
The blue one is mine and the green one is for S.

The continued 90+++F weather and no rain has just about killed my Recession Garden: Year Two. (Is the Recession over? No. Not here. This garden was supposed to last through the first frost in October) The last of the tomatoes, as pitiful as they are, and some scraggly basil are the only things harvested recently.

I made a huge lasagna from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook for lunches and dinners this week.
It was great! I'll definitely make this again.
I also made a blueberry pie with Michigan blueberries on sale at Whole Foods. (blueberries have so many antioxidants I bet the antioxidant factor outweighs the dessert factor don't you?)

Tomorrow is Silver Thimble Club (yea!). I better figure out what project I'm going to work on and get the stuff together before I crash. Happy weekend everyone!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

DIY for Quilters: Plumbing

This weekend it was time to tackle a pesky leaky bathtub faucet. I have been putting this off because (1) I didn't want to spend the money to hire a plumber and (2) although I've done two minor plumbing jobs, this seemed more complicated.

Step one in any DIY project when you are a quilter is:

Go to your favorite LQS. Yes that is step one. You need to visit your favorite place and hang out with some friends and soak up some good vibes.

I went to Sweet Home Quilt Co. to see what was new and sign up for Melisa's new Groovy Girls club that starts in September. Karin was there and she *made* me buy this cute-as-can-be little kit to make little Halloween treat bags from the new Quilts and More magazine

well actually I think it's Bad Melisa's fault because how can you resist this cute little bundle???
A bitty piece of Halloween fabric "just because", two charm packs for a future Schnibble, and some matching on-sale Moda marble and I was ready to tackle home repair. Trust me it works. Girl Power!!!

Step two: go home and drink some more coffee. While you fuel up on caffeine, check emails and blogs.

Step three: Call your dad and find out if he remembers where the main water shut off valve is. This serves two purposes (1) my dad has a good memory and can describe things over the phone well and (2) puts him on notice to keep his cell phone handy in case problem arise. After describing the water meter and lines under the house, sure enough, dad knew where it was. Turn off the water all the way. Remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. These things really need labels. Nice decorative hang tags or a small sign. As soon as I finish this plumbing job, I'm labeling everything in the crawl space.
With Martha Stewart gift tags.

Step four: Get your tool box and most importantly your laptop. Having a wireless router is so worth it just to be able to take my laptop all around the house.
Luckily the bathroom has a handy laptop holder. Use the power of Google to find several websites showing step-by-step instructions on how to take apart your faucet. Verify that the water is off completely, cover the drain with a old towel so you don't drop important pieces down the drain, and take apart the faucet. Use your favorite tools and cuss words here. Take all pieces and parts and put them in a quilt project bag (aka ziploc baggie).

Step five: Get thee to Home Depot. Wait do not go directly to the store go to.....

Step four and a half: Add more power steering fluid to Xena because along with everything else, Xena the truck is leaking power steering fluid. Geez... Realize you can't wash your hands because you turned off the water....

Step five: go to Home Depot with your quilt project bag and match old pieces to new pieces in the plumbing aisle. This takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Spend a few minutes wondering why the silicone caulk and teflon tape are not with the plumbing supplies. Wander around and get these items from their most unlikely places.

Step six: go home and start replacing pieces which requires three hands. I only have two. Use whatever tools seem helpful. Bash your knuckle and drop crucial piece down inside the wall. Use more favorite cuss words here.

Step seven: go to Lowe's. It's closer and you are now sweaty and grumpy and still can't wash your hands. Wonder why they don't sell big bags of M&Ms and wine at Lowe's because you could really use some of both right about now. Buy replacement piece.

Step eight: Get back home. Say in a loud voice "let's do this!" Cats think you are crazy and wonder why you are playing in the bathtub. Finish putting faucet back together. Be amazed with yourself.

Step nine: turn the water back on, remove camera, laptop, cell phone from bathroom--just in case... Be even more amazed with yourself when nothing leaks and faucet is working correctly. Finish tightening all fittings and get silicone caulk all over everything. Realize you are even more sweaty, gross, and now sticky and you can't take a shower for three hours until the caulk is set. The bathtub is dirty with footprints and ooky stuff from the old pieces. Be happy no one is around except the cats.

Step ten call your dad so he can be proud of you. Be proud of yourself. Wonder if you can join the plumbers union.

Step eleven: Call for take out and quilt the rest of the weekend. You did good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Celebrity Sightings

I feel like Kevin Bacon by being one degree of separation from so many celebrity sightings this month (and yes, this is a shameless plug for some of my favorite people out there in quilty blogland).

First among the celebs is Her Most High Exalted Thimble Herself, Pat Wys
Pat has a super fantastic basket pattern in the new issue of McCall's Quilting magazine.
This is the issue and here is the article
Yes, I know the photo is you have to go find your copy to see it better. After you add Pat's project to your To Do list like I did...

Cruise on back a few pages and check out our second celebrity Ms. Marcie Patch of Patchalot More.
I love Marcie's designs (and her blog) and added this way cool Dream Catcher quilt to my To Do list to go along with her other magazine appearances.

I spotted another favorite blogger in this month's Quiltmaker magazine. I already had this issue on my to-buy list because Judy Laquidara had a nifty pattern in it. But look who else has magically appeared with a super cute Halloween pattern
Ms. Moonbeams in a Jar Mary Anne Drury! I heart and adore her blog. She always cracks me up.

Just today there were two more celebrity sightings. Who did we find spreading laughter all over the Stash Manicure blog? Pat Wys!!!! Now I'm afraid everyone will know how funny she is and she'll get all Hollywood and leave our little Silver Thimble club behind to take on Conan, David, Jon, and Stephen. Sigh, I knew her when....

Lastly but not leastly two extremely local celebs are featured on the Bunny Hill Designs blog. Anne is featuring an "I Love My Pet" series of posts and if you click on this post and scroll to the 5th photo, you will see my very own Edgar and Stella being sweet and cuddly. So far the paparazzi has not caught them being siblings and fighting since this post.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Pets on Quilts" Quilt Show

When I saw Becky's (The Quilting Booklady) post about SewCalGirl's Pet on Quilts show, I thought I would enter also. Out of the zillions of photos of the cats all over my quilts and trying to decide which of the four cats to show, I chose this photo.
Here is Stella (or Stella Bella or Bella; she answers to any variation), the inspiration for my blog's name. The quilt is Stella's quilt because looks so nice under her and brings out the orange and golds in her coat. It is a big quilt for a petite cat but the quilt is often kept folded up on the end of the bed. A perfect perch for a sweet kitty. Check out the rest of the great pets and quilts at the link below.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sewing Frenzy

This week was pretty rough so I sewed A LOT as a stress-buster.
I finished a Schnibble. This is Rooibois made from the Moda line called Eva. Purple and lime green--what can be better than that??!!??

I sewed BOM blocks too.

Here's the last 2 blocks from Moose on the Porch
block 11 and block 12 now I just need to find some sashing and put it together.
I love this block 6 from the Quilt Room jelly roll sampler. This free BOM is halfway through and I am loving this quilt.

I also made myself a new pillowcase. I adore owls and when I saw this owly fabric at Intown Quilters I knew I *needed* some but didn't know what to do with it. Then I thought of making a pillowcase. Doesn't match anything in my bedroom but c'est la vie. It's owls!
Wonder what else I'll finish this weekend?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nearly Mid-Week Randomness

Oh I wish it was Friday!! Not much happening around here. Morpheus is doing much better and I haven't told him that he gets to go back to the vet on Friday (another car ride!). The vet wants to make sure Morph's tooth extraction site is healing OK. Morph is much too clever for his own good and it has been series of tricks to get him to take his antibiotic (liquid and yucky tasting I'm sure).

Gomez is waiting for the next quilt project. I need to work on my jelly roll BOMs and Scrappy Nines so look for more Gomez helping fun soon.

We have been eating vats of homemade salsa.
Another great use for Vidalia onions and tomatoes! Just chop up tomatoes (these are Romas and yellow-ones-I-don't-know-the-name-of and I leave the seeds out), onions, jalapeno peppers (de-seed these too), fresh cilantro, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and just a smidge of a smidge of sugar. Mix well and let sit for a bit for the flavors to meld. Eat tons with tortilla chips because it's veggies and good for you! Still no rain here so I don't know how much longer the tomatoes will continue.

I keep forgetting to post a photo of my make-do bird bath for Becky (Quilting Booklady). If you look close (and ignore the fact that I took this from inside the house), there is a robin splashing around in there. S. created this bird bath by stacking some large clay pots and 2 clay saucers. Easy to clean and fill. No cost because we already had the pots. We have seen lots of bluebirds, robins, blue jays, and even squirrels splashing around.
My cats are inside-only cats so they enjoy watching from the windows.

Randomness over and out!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sewing with Gomez

It must have been Gomez's turn to be kitty quilt helper today.
Here he is helping me figure out borders for a quilt. What length should they be? I have no idea since someone is covering the display and sitting on the pattern.

The sewing project for this weekend was finishing up my Little Quilts Second Saturday Sampler 2009-2010. I have had the 12 blocks done and the finishing kit since February. Time to get it done. The setting needed 13 blocks and LQ sent a pattern for the optional 13th block. Here is the fabric I chose out of my stash.
I finished sewing all the sashing and rows yesterday. Today was finishing sewing the top together and adding borders.
Measure fast!!

This quilt is set on the diagonal with setting triangles and bias on the outside. Pat taught us at Silver Thimble Quilt Club to #1 respect the bias and don't mess with it too much and #2 measure your quilt in three places then take the average to determine the length of your borders. (See Pat, we do listen sometimes!)
When Gomez is helping, you also need to take the square root of the hypotenuse plus or minus the circumference of Gomez divided by the inverse proportion (it's that "new math" they are always talking about).
And here is the finished top!!!! S. is being a wonderful quilt holder (and yes this is another square quilt which is not his favorite shape for quilts).

I always LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Quilts' Saturday Samplers. They always pick the best fabrics and have well written foolproof directions. I ordered this one through the mail because it was cheaper than driving across metro ATL (plus that extra buying in the shop...). I am reluctantly passing up this year's Sat. Sampler because I have a lot of BOMs going on this year. I have the binding made and I bet there's a perfect backing for this quilt somewhere in the depths of my sewing room. I may actually quilt this myself.

Well this was a good start to August!

Of BLOTs and Blueberries

Well it's another scorcher of a weekend (week, month, summer) here in the ATL. I am staying inside where it is much too hot to clean house but tolerable to sew all day. After getting the electric bill last month, I bumped the A/C up (?) down(?) whatever it is to 80F.

Along with lots more sewing now during this one-job time, I do a lot more cooking and baking (still to hot to clean house though...). The Stella Bella Organics Recession Garden: Year Two is looking rather heat-blasted except for the tomatoes which are coming in pretty steady. The catnip is even too dry to eat so no catnip for Gomez.

One of my absolute favorite meals in the summer is BLOTs. Now you may be familiar with plain old BLTs (bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches). Here in Georgia, one of our state specialties is Vidalia onions. The best onion on the planet! It's a sweet onion only grown in south Georgia and its name is trademarked. Hence BLOTs--bacon, lettuce, onion, and tomato sandwiches. Here's my version
Cook bacon until done but not too crispy. Slice up a Vidalia onion into thin slices. Slice a tomato into rounds. I used a yellow tomato fresh from the garden. Make sure you use good bread and toast it. Layer bread, bacon, lettuce, onion, and tomato. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. And voila! Dinner or lunch or breakfast. I like to eat it while the bread is still warm. I don't use mayo or butter but I guess you can if you must...

I love this little bright lime green cutting board! It's made from recycled plastics (mostly toothbrushes! Check out the link for a cool company that recycles toothbrushes. No affiliation, I just like the company. And yes, they make good toothbrushes too) I like this little size for cutting up one or two things. Found it at Target if you need one.

Another summer kitchen activity is putting up fruits and veggies for later. I found some wonderful Michigan blueberries at Whole Foods on sale so bought a bunch for freezing (blueberries don't grow very well in Georgia). Wash the berries, dry for awhile, spread them out in a single layer in a baking pan or sheet (with sides!!! Don't think that berries that don't roll when fresh will stay un-rolly...), and stick in the freezer. Wait until frozen. I like to measure out in 1 cup portion and put in little baggies, then put all the little baggies in a big freezer bag, label and date.
Little frozen bursts of Michigan ready to be made into pies later. I feel so much like Judy at Patchwork Times right now! Do you read her blog? Love it--she always makes me laugh.

OK off to more sewing. I should have a finish later today woo hoo! In the meantime, check out Karin's killer scrappy Scrappy Nines quilt. It's gorgeous!