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?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

East Cobb Quilt Show

 On Friday, S. and I went to the East Cobb Quilt Show in Marietta, Georgia.  The East Cobb Quilt Guild puts on this wonderful juried show every other year and I usually take a day of leave to spend the day shopping the vendors and seeing the quilts followed by a trip to Williamson Bros. BBQ for lunch and then a visit to Little Quilts across the street. 

I need to say that S. accompanied me willingly :)  He likes looking at the quilts but not the vendors, enjoys me buying him BBQ lunch, and waits patiently (more or less) in the car listening to his iPod while I shop in Little Quilts. 

This quilt on the left, called "All Aboard" designed and made by Anne Anderberg, won best in show.  She does amazing, very detailed work and this quilt is a collage of some of her travels. Definitely a knock-your-socks-off quilt.

 I have a few photos taken on my iPhone of the 350 quilts that were shown. You can see more photos on Karen's blog at sewprimitive quilter and Melinda's blog at Melinda Quilts.

I loved this creative, unique version of a Baltimore Album quilt for the use of colors in the flying geese border and clever blocks including the Baltimore blue crab cake block in the top left, the Baltimore kudzu (far right second row), the Lady Baltimore cake block (first block, fourth row) and Marietta's own Big Chicken (fourth row, fourth block). A very fun take on a Baltimore Album quilt. I don't know why it didn't win any ribbons.  

 This quilt was impressive for the sheer number of little itty bitty blocks and about a zillion different fabrics.

I liked this quilt for the great use of color, solid fabrics, and modern design.  The quilting was gorgeous too. 

 Here is one of Karen at sewprimitive quilter's quilts.  She has a great eye for fabric combinations and use of reproduction fabrics. A very talented designer too, this is one of her designs. Love it! I can't wait for her write up the pattern.
This really small quilt was all threadwork and is based on a vintage photo.  Wow!  Incredibly detailed and shaded. I thought this was inspired.

That's all the photos I took. It was a great show and if you are taking a trip south in two years, plan it around the East Cobb show :)  I didn't do much shopping.  I bought a roll of fat-eighths and a stitchery pattern at the show.  I spent a lot of time in Little Quilts but only bought a few fat quarters. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some Farmer's Wife Blocks and a Win

 Three more Farmer's Wife blocks done.  I think I have around 20 made now.

This is Bowtie
 and Broken Sugar Bowl
 and Hovering Birds.
I won a great prize from Bari J at We Love French Knots for completing the stitchery sampler. Cosmo spools of two-strand embroidery thread, a sweet little hoop, and some lovely fabric from the Whitewash line by Lecien called "Vintage Linen".  If you haven't checked out Bari J's great website lately, check it out. There are lots of fabulous free stitchery projects by guest stitchers. I've been working away on another Hocuspocusville block. Maybe I'll have this quilt done by next Halloween:)  

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A most sincere thank you to each and every one who sent cyber hugs and condolences last week for the loss of my dear beloved Morpheus.  I am slowly responding to all my emails and getting back into a routine.  Two- and four-legged residents of chez crazy cat lady are learning to adapt. He had a huge personality and all of us are affected.   Gomez has been very sad.

I miss him sleeping on my head and sitting next to me as I work on the laptop. I miss him waking me up at 4 in the morning because he was tired of being in the bedroom and wanted me to sleep on the couch (and yes as a well-trained cat-owned person does, I moved to the couch with my pillow and quilt).  I expect him to jump in the warm laundry after I pull it out of the dryer.  I have no idea what time it is because he is not meowing at the top of his lungs to tell me it's breakfast time, or dinner time, or bedtime snack time.  I miss him stretching up on his back legs with his front paws on my legs to pick him up.  I miss our silly games.  I miss him following me from room to room or always watching me with his big yellow-green eyes. 

I especially am having a hard time adapting to the quiet.  Morpheus was a talker--he had a meow and a chirp and a mmmerrrfff  for everything all the time.  I had a running conversation with him for 17 years and now the soundtrack of my life is quiet.   

September 11th: 10 years later

Remembering those we lost and the first responders that searched and rescued the missing. Let us not forget the rescue dogs and their handlers who worked so tirelessly and faithfully.

Wonderful portraits of the dedicated working dogs are in today's New York Times. Many of the dogs went on to search and rescue missions after Katrina and Rita.

10 years later and it seems like yesterday.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Goodnight Sweet Prince

My dearest Morpheus, for 17 years you were my most faithful and loving companion.  You were my most loyal friend and were always there for me in good times and bad.  Your unconditional love for me was the most precious thing in my life.  I feel very lost without you.  I named you after the Greek god of dreams on that rainy night in October when we rescued each other and since then you have always slept by my side or on my pillow watching over me. I will forever hold you in my heart.  You were and are the most wonderful, handsome, meowy-est, special cat ever.  My soul hurts.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Morpheus Update

We are waiting on blood work results to come back and right now it is inconclusive why he is not eating.  It could be several things, none of which are good (chronic pancreatitis or lymphoma).  Morph is on medication for the long weekend to hopefully get him feeling better so he will eat.  He is scheduled to see a specialist on Wednesday for an ultrasound and aspiration for the possible lymphoma.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments. It really means a lot to me.  I have had a rather difficult summer and feel rather exhausted and overwhelmed.  To top everything off (or really because of all this and more), I am starting back at Starbucks as a second job next week, back at the store I worked at for 8 1/2 years.  I am so thankful to be able to go back.

Hope everyone in the U.S. has a good long holiday weekend.