Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

Goodbye to 2011.  I am happy relieved to see this year end.

Best wishes to all for 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Not a Creature was Stirring...

...not even a Remy (at least for a few minutes).  Happy Christmas! and Happy Hanukkah!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baking and happy Festivus!

Finally a day off! I did get some sewing time in and made two kinds of cookies.
These are molasses gingerbread cookies rolled in sugar and orange zest. Wonderfully old fashioned and not too sweet. I'm off to have a couple with some English breakfast tea.
Tomorrow starts 7 days in a row at SBux.
And of course a happy Festivus to all.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2012 UFO Challenge List

also known as 2011 UFO list recycled.

Well since 2011 was a year that kept me occupied with everything but sewing, my 2012 UFO challenge list is going to look mostly the same as last year (hey, I'll keep it in the same order too).  In 2011, I only finished 2 of my listed UFO projects, in #4 April and #2 July, so I'll add new projects for those spaces.

So here's the list for 2012

1.  Scrappy Nines
2.  Sherbet Pips
3.  Tablerunners
4.  Bonnie Hunter Double Delight
5.  Stars of Provence
6.  Clara Barton
7.  Firecracker
8.  Kaffe quilt
9.  2007 BOM
10.  Wild Rice
11.  Whittier Crossing
12.  2 Forgotten UFOs

Since 2012 is going to be the most boring and non-eventful year for me ever (and I will love every boring minute of it), I hope to make grand progress on these.


Currently, there has been very little going on besides working working working and watching Remy antics.  Although today I discovered that you can work but you cannot hide from your quilting buddies when unexpectedly, Karin and Sarah No-Blog appeared at my Starbucks this morning.  Yes, they hunted me down and among the four Starbucks within a 5-mile radius, they found me.  I LOVE them for appearing with Christmas cheer at my store.  It was good to catch up with the latest from Thimbles since I haven't been able to attend in a while.  I will get geared up for the next quarter in January though (I'll probably have one of the above UFOs to work on...)

OK time for take-out pizza dinner.  Hope to have a few most blog posts before the end of the year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's December??!!?? Is There Something I Should Be Doing?

It's week two of December already?!?!?? Oh my.  Let's just day I've been working a lot and kinda lost track of things I'm supposed to be doing for December.

Instead of frantically making gifts (most of which I have started and didn't finish last year *cough cough*) and instead of resorting to making dear Max work like crazy =================>

I flexed my online shopping fingers

and BOOM!

shopping done and had everything sent to my elves in Michigan for wrapping.   I love my elves in Michigan:)

Tonight I am determined to get cards addressed for mailing later this week when I have a chance to zoom by the post office.

Wish I had elves to do laundry and dishes because I gotta fit those in tonight too.

It's the most non-sleeping time of the year....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Morris & Company & Remy & Company

I just love Barbara Brackman's William Morris lines and received the latest one in layer cake form. Gorgeous winter colors. Now I need to find a project to match the fabric. Remy is napping with the little lamb toy. So precious!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remy, Royal Mail, A Gift, and a Block

A very awwwww photo of Remy with some of his favorite toys just because he is so darn cute and don't you just love those little toes???!!?? 
I was so very lucky to win a fun blog giveaway from Katy at I am a Ginger Monkey and this wonderful little bundle of mod fab goodness was sent all the way from England via Royal Mail.  I LOVE getting mail, especially fun mail, and Royal Mail with a gold sticker well that is even more better. Katy has a really cool, fun blog and she also is one of the designers/writers for the Fat Quarterly e-zine.  I signed up for a subscription and have a quilt all planned for these fat quarters--an out-of-my-box bright and solids mod quilt for when winter doldrums hit. 

I was so touched when I received a package from a sweet blog reader in south Georgia who sent me the most lovely note of encouragement and these gorgeous Civil War fabrics.  Quilters are the most generous thoughtful people ever. A proper thank you is coming and here's a public thank you too!
And to answer the big question, did I get to sew today?  Yes I did! After sleeping in for eternity and then I had to hem four pairs of pants (hemming is not sewing! I hate hemming pants!!!) And then I got to sew this one block LOL!

Don't look to close because it's rather wonky with 50-11 set-in seams but here is another Civil War block of the week block. This was a difficult block but it's staying the way it is because I'm not revisiting it.

Well it's back to work for everyone in the U.S tomorrow. Lots of rain and colder weather is headed towards Atlanta, which means it is going to be really hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Briefly Stopping By

Hello!  I am briefly visiting blogland before heading back to Starbucks this evening.  Seventh day in a row for me.  Making lots and lots of holiday drinks. Have you seen the fun Starbucks holiday website?  It reminds me of the Google doodles for different holidays.  And those of you with smartphones can download an app and enjoy some techy holiday fun while waiting for your favorite drink.

Not much is going on here.  Thanksgiving day was the usual insanity with people stopping in on the way to dinner, people stopping in on the way home from dinner, people escaping their relatives, and people hanging out until we had to please ask them to leave so we could clean up and go home.

Through the magic of the Internets and Skype, I got to visit with my family for awhile.  Mackenzie was very excited to see her Aunt Gretchen and the new kitty Remy.

Yesterday, I avoided all the Black Friday madness and lounged at home with a book and black and tabby cats.   Then more Starbucks. Today is more of the same.

Tomorrow--finally a day off--and I'm hoping to dust off the Bernina and get some sewing time in.  Can't remember how long it has been; it's been THAT long.  I need to get some CW blocks of the week done and sashed and maybe start on the new Bonnie Hunter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends.

I have so much to be thankful for this year--mainly just getting through this rough year.

I am so thankful for my family, my cats, my friends, and all my readers in blogland that have been so supportive and wonderful.

I am thankful for having a house and two jobs when many in America have none.

I am thankful that every night in the dark, quiet minutes driving home from Starbucks that I am am sad and shed tears for the loss of my beloved Morpheus cat because we were both so lucky to find each other and have 17 years of unconditional love.

I am thankful that I cried all night last night and am crying now because I miss my grandfather because he was such a great person and loved his family so much.

I am also thankful that my serious health scare biopsy & bloodwork this past week turned out negative and my new (fourth) doctor seems committed to helping resolve my health problems.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paging Dr. Gregory House

Well not much sewing going on here.  I hope to get back to it this weekend.  

Please feel free to stop reading now because I really just want to vent.

Really, I'll understand.

Have a great day/evening & I'll get back to sewing or cute cats in the next post. Promise.

Oh and Remy is wonderful, made himself right at home, and loves life here.   We love him right back. Thank you for asking. You can stop reading now.  Thanks.

OK you were warned......

I hesitated to mention this ongoing, annoying, mysterious health issue I've had but thought what-the-hey, all you long-time readers have followed me through the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events this year (yes, for all you Lemony Snicket fans I am considering changing my last name to Baudelaire).  Also, I didn't want anyone to think that my six (6!!!!!!!!!) months of bad luck had suddenly gone away.

Let me start out by saying, I have had bad luck with medical professionals in the past so I have a wary, distrust of the medical profession since childhood (except for Dr. House because he is brutally honest, makes no bones about not caring about the patient--only the puzzle of the disease, and usually figures out what is wrong with the patient in a hour. I like that.)

Since late July, I have had a weird allergic reaction to something. I have been to a dermatologist, my G.P. (twice), and a specialist in allergy & immunology.  I have been given various strengths of corticosteroids both orally, lotions, creams, and the last time a shot and each time the reaction comes back worse.  I have stopped using all my usual makeup, face stuff, shampoo, conditioner, soap, cleaning products, etc. and have rewashed everything in my house with dye/fragrance-free laundry soap (which I use anyway).

It has been extremely frustrating  because I look like an  EXTRA FROM THE WALKING DEAD!!!!! (that's a zombie apocalypse show that takes place in Atlanta for those of you who aren't up on your zombie pop culture)

Or a CHIPMUNK WITH MANGE (by-the-way Chipmunks with Mange would be a great name for a band please give me 20% of proceeds if you use this name thx.).   With a horrible non-itchy red rash everywhere and peeling dry flaky skin.

For the first few months, I got by in public OK but since the beginning of this month with not being able to use makeup (hello) and it getting worse, I have been a recluse and missed days of day-job and days at Starbucks, which is not good. I have also been very depressed and frequently despaired about this whole situation (and everything else that has happened this year...)

Skip next paragraph if you want  I digress into dangerous territory....

WARNING:  rant within a rant digression here:  [Because I now have really crappy health insurance from the state because not only do we not get performance or cost-of-living raises anymore (going on 10 years now), we also get really crappy health insurance--thank you past and now present governors.  And this has cost more money than I care to add up and yes I have to work two jobs to help pay for my crappy health care--which is going up in cost next year, and down in benefits]


Today, I went the allergy/immunology specialist person who was dismayed that this hasn't gone away and said he didn't have any other ideas except for mega-doses of prednisone (again) and referred me back to the same dermatologist.  Sigh.

I am BESIDE myself with this.  A friend gave me a referral to another dermatologist that is supposed to be very good.  So I hope to get an appointment and get a &^%$#@%$^&** MIRACLE.

I really want Dr. House to be real-life doctor, although I think Hugh Laurie is pretty hot and wouldn't really want him to see me looking like a bloody zombie or chipmunk with mange so that is a quandary.  Oh he probably wouldn't be an in-network doctor anyway. Foo!

That is all. And now back to our regularly schedule cute cats & quilting.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please welcome

The newest member of my family--Remy, a 2 month old little male kitty. He was adopted from the Atlanta Humane Society on Saturday and is having lots of fun playing with all the cat toys. Gomez, Edgar, & Stella are getting used to him OK.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

Remembering and thanking all the men and women, past and present, who served our country.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Civil War Block of the Week: Catching Up

 I was surprised to find out I was six (6!!) weeks behind on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Block of the Week.  Last weekend, I (mostly) caught up.
Port and Starboard


Right Hand of Friendship

H is for Hospital
Order Number Eleven 

I also finished another Hocuspocusville block when I was in Michigan last month.  This is block #7. I only have 2 1/2 blocks left to stitch. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Fall 2011

It's time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival again.  I am so happy that Amy started this fun and inspiring tradition.   

 I decided to pick my Eventide quilt  that I finished in April for the festival for a number of reasons:
1.  I haven't finished many quilts or quilt tops this year (it's been a rough year on too many fronts to revisit)
2.  I absolutely ADORE this quilt pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company
3.  I absolutely ADORE the fabric by Fig Tree Quilts and am so happy to have found a super wonderful project for it.  This is an older line called Fig & Plum and I was hoarding it for just the right project.
4.  This was an online quilt along hosted by Thelma of Cupcakes 'n Daisies.  Thelma is an extremely talented quilter, wonderful blogger, and just all around fabulous person.  If you haven't visited her blog, go take a look and be prepared to be in awe.  Make sure you are sitting down when you see her Red and White Tribute Quilt because you will be blown away.  I'm hoping Thelma will host another quilt along at some point because it really was a ton of fun.
5.  Did I mention that this has been a rough year?  April and the Eventide Quilt Along was the last time before the rest of this year spiraled into chaos.  Let's just hope for a boring rest of the year and a better 2012.
6.  I really just love this quilt and need to get it to the long-arm quilter before the weather gets much colder. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! 

Monday, October 31, 2011


Hope everyone has a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Boo-thday Party

Michigan Trip (continued)

My sister-in-law planned the most awesome BOOOOOthday party for me and decorated the house to full effect.

She made the place mats and napkins rings and covered bottles with new labels

And made these really cool pumpkinsAdding balloons, spiderwebs, and creepy crawlies everywhere.

My mom finished her Hocuspocusville quilt and had it on display.  

 Don't forget the eyeball punch!
Sweet and Savory Bakeshop in Oxford MI makes THE BEST CAKES!!!

It was a great booo-thday party.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Saturday Back in Atlanta

Did you think I would never come back?  I really wanted to stay in Michigan because I was having such a super fantastic fun Fall time but I did come back Tuesday night.

And was very sad Wednesday to not have this little sweetie around.  

She looks like she is in a Smart Car.

If you look close, she has a Starbucks hoodie on.  You can only get this kinda cool if you have an aunt who works at Starbucks!

The rest of this week zoomed by and today I finally got around to unpacking my suitcase and downloading my photos.

Packed in my suitcase were the quilty goodies I picked up in Michigan at some of my favorite shops.  Mabelena's in Ortonville is a really great shop.  Brenda, the owner, is just the sweetest person, and the shop always has wonderful new stuff and shop displays for just about anything you are looking for.  As you can see, I found a few things to bring home.  Check out the awesome floursack tea towels I found.  Aren't the colors just great?  I'm planning some funky Halloween stitchery for these for next year.  I also picked up the book-azine "Sew Scrappy", some fat quarters, and a couple of half-yards.

We also went to Guildcrafters in Berkeley.  I love this shop too and they always have lots and lots of great samples and kits. The best thing about their kits is they have kits in a wide variety of price ranges and a wide variety of projects.  I picked up a cute owl pincushion pattern that I hope to make sometime soon. Another cool thing about the shop is their little pincushion kits (I have three from previous trips...).   I also picked up a few fat quarters in Halloween & Civil War fabrics.

More tomorrow....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

My sister-in-law & mom had a great Halloween costume/birthday party for me. Today I turned the big 4-0 yikes!!! I dressed as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter books. More photos when I get back home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Spy in Michigan

My good friend Pat Wys' brand new book at Guildcrafters Quilt Shop in Berkeley. Say hi to Pat at Quiltmarket next week and see these great quilts in person. Not going market? Check your LQS or order from Pat at her website:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch

Mackenzie Oct. 2011 age 19 mo. (borrowed from my sister-in-law's facebook page)
I haven't posted in awhile and I seem to have lost my quilting and blogging mojo for a brief time. Hope this will change soon.

Guess who I get to see this week?

Stylin' in her purple glasses.  

For a planned  trip this time.

More from Michigan soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another Hocuspocusville Block

Not much happening on the quilting front here.  Today is the first day I have felt significantly better so I am hoping to return back to normal soon.  I did manage to complete another Hocuspocusville block while watching endless TV.  Nearing the home stretch on these blocks.

The cats have enjoyed me be couch-bound all week.  I thought this was a funny sleeping pose by Gomez, who was unaware that he was sliding down between the couch and the cushion.  He was snoring peacefully so I guess he was comfy. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tales from the Couch

Got back from Michigan Tuesday night.  It was a very sad, emotionally draining, and exhausting trip.   I was so glad that S. came too and everyone appreciated his love and support. I did get to see all my cousins (10 of us!) and their kids and spouses plus all my aunts and uncles and other relatives.  I spoke at the funeral, which was very difficult but I thought it was important and I made it through with a choked up voice.

And of course, I got to see my niece Mackenzie.  She is 19 months old and as cute and brilliant as ever (being the non-bias opinion of an aunt you know).  She is speaking in complete sentences (!!!!) and said "I want to go outside."    And I taught her how to make monster sounds (very important). She also learned how to say my name which is really hard to say when you are young. Did  I mention that she is brilliant?

On Wednesday, I came down with the most horrible, dreadful, awful cold virus ever (code name MHDACVE) and was stuck on the couch sick for three days straight.  Thank goodness for BBC America, which has saved my sanity from certain boredom.  I highly recommend watching the shows "Luther" and "The Hour."     I did very little else but complain about how sick I was to the cats.  They sympathized but were unable to make tea or soup so I had to do it myself (S. was out of town for work). 

Today I found out from the pharmacist (where I had to stock up on more cold medicine) that the MHDACVE is going around and it lasts for about a week and a half and is just as horrible, dreadful, and awful for anyone who gets it.  I called my mom and she has it too.  My advice:  stay away from people and wear a haz-mat suit!   

Friday, September 30, 2011

More Sad News

Poor Readers, this blog has become nothing but quilt blocks and bad news lately.  I'm feeling that way too. 

My beloved paternal grandfather passed away in his sleep the early hours on September 29th. I found out yesterday at 8:15AM and am still trying to process the fact that he is gone.

He was the most wonderful and loving and fun grandfather ever.  I think there was nothing he enjoyed more than his 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  This photo is of him and Mackenzie last year.

His obituary said he was a Master Electrician but he was so much more so I wanted to write down, mostly for myself, the rest of his profession.  So please forgive the personal recollections.
My grandfather could fix anything--cars, houses, engines, you name it, including mashed potatoes and breakfast. He loved chocolate ice cream and telling funny stories and jokes. He didn't like pineapple so our family always tried to sneak pineapple in stuff just for fun and to have the grandkids sing-song say "you ate pineapple!"  He taught me about the great outdoors, how to fish, how to read animal tracks in the dirt, how to shoot arrows and ride motorcycles.   From him, I learned about gardening and composting and the joy of eating carrots straight out of the ground.  He loved carpentry and woodworking and made furniture, cradles, dollhouses for all the granddaughters, wooden trains and tractors for the grandsons, dulcimers and beautiful stringed instruments, shelves for tea cups and knick-knacks, and picture frames. I spent most of my childhood Sundays and summer days at my grandparents with my cousins--running and playing outside all day and having root beer floats while watching TV in evening.  I am the oldest grandchild and my whole life he always asked me if I would take care of him in his old age and I always assured him that I would.  I think I was still waiting for him to get old because in my eyes he was always so full of life and there was so much more I wanted to ask him and talk to him about.   Eighty-two years was not long enough and I was so looking forward to seeing him next month.   

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recent Blocks for this Week

 Hovering Hawks was the block for Barbara Brackman's Civil War block of the week. I tried to use fabrics that had the coloring of a red-tailed hawk against a blue sky with clouds.

It's kind of busy but that was the thought.
 A couple of Farmer's Wife Quilt Along blocks. This is Checkerboard. I just used little scraps of whatever was on top of the scrap bag.
 and Whirlpool.  I thought this dark blue with dots reminded me of dark blue water with bubbles.  The background just had lots of movement.
And this is block 10 of Hocuspocusville.  This is the sixth block I've finished so I'm over halfway done. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Winning (not Charlie Sheen related) and Hermiting

I was so extremely lucky to win two more great giveaway prizes recently.  Look at this fantabulous win from Miss Rosie & Carrie as a prize from the Le Petite August finishes.

I am soooo excited to have a Schibble project bag and more Schnibble patterns (these are Carrie's brand-new ones)and generous chunks (is that a new precut size?) of Carrie's new fabric line.


Carrie wrote a sweet note too.  She is just the sweetest and I know she is always super busy so I'm even more touched that she took the time to write a cute note.

I can't wait to dive into this fabric and more Schnibble-y fun.

Big THANK YOU to Carrie and Miss Rosie and Sinta and Sherri!!!

From the wonderful folks at Cloud 9 fabrics, I won some big chunks and scraps of their Forest Friends Flannel.  

Cloud 9 makes wonderful organic cotton fabrics and we are all about organic here at Stella Bella Quilts. I am very excited to be able to make a little organic project from this fabric. 

Not to mention the OWLS!  Very owl-some retro owls. 

And bunnies!!  And polka-dots.

Doesn't this make you want to run out and get some?

I've been a bit of a hermit lately and even missed my Silver Thimbles sewing group last weekend.  I knew I wouldn't be very good company and just wanted to hermit at home.  Does anyone else ever do this?
I was still trying to adapt to the loss of Morpheus and feeling really sad. 

I also was finally relieved to be over and done with all the house repairs from the May 13th fire (FOUR months and TWO days after the fire). The last tiny itty bitty bit of repairs was a never-ending, drawn-out, annoying saga of bad subcontractors, which I spared y'all from.  I finally just told the general contractor that I was done with it all and I would finish it up myself. Poof begone with that!  The lesson I learned was to be my own general contractor (as I did for 95% of the repair work the beginning of the summer) and not rely on anyone my insurance company recommended (go figure).

I was also dealing with getting used to working two jobs again.  I already miss my Friday night through Sunday night weekends...

Well I feel bad not seeing my friends and I feel bad for not replying to all the emails and comments the past month but I really needed some alone-time.  I think I am back now and will be more social. Love to y'all.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Civil War Blocks

I'm all caught up on blocks for Barbara Brackman's Civil War Block of the Week. 

Ohio Star

 Confederate Rose
 Kentucky Crossroads

 Star of the West

Have you seen Barbara Brackman's new blog about the War of 1812 called Quilt 1812: War and Piecing?  Next year will be the bicentennial of that war and she is posting about the very few early quilts that date from the first decades of the 19th century as well as design and fabric traditions from the time period.  Barbara Brackman is my Quilt Idol--serious scholarship, wonderful writer, and beautiful fabric & pattern designer.  Who is your Quilt Idol?