Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve and a Last Finish for 2013

I finally finished sewing the rows of "Long Road Home" together today while watching The Walking Dead marathon.

I love this quilt (a swap with my quilting buddies) and I can't wait to get the backing sorted out and get it quilted.  I think I'll quilt it myself with diagonal lines so I can use it in the new year. I have more packing to do before that luxury though.  My plan is still to get to Santa Fe by the end of January/beginning of February so I best get a move on the remaining things (mostly the dreaded cleaning out the attic).

No plans for tonight--well except for the zombie watching and Skype-ing with the family in Michigan and Mr. SBQ and the cats in Santa Fe.

For all those Remy fans out there (especially Nancy), here's a Remy photo to take you into the new year.

Happy New Year to all and Happy Quilting in 2014!
"I'm not supposed to be on the table....but I'm too cute to move."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!  Happy Christmas Eve to those who celebrate.
I have been busy working, making cookies for my fellow coffee slingers, and sewing.  The house sale is progressing s--l--o--w--l--y and I may have more of an idea of a time frame after the holidays (keeping fingers & paws crossed that it will be done by end of January). It's a complicated and aggravating story so I won't go into all the details. Let's just concentrate on getting done with it all soon.

Oh how I wish I was in Santa Fe with Mr. SBQ and the cats.  I had Mr. SBQ send me a photo of the Plaza with the lights and snow.

I will have to wait until next year to to experience the wonderful tradition of the Farolito Walk on Canyon Road.  Thousands of farolitos (also called luminaries) line Canyon Road on Christmas Eve and there are carolers, cider and hot chocolate, bonfires, and festivities.  It sounds simply wonderful (if a bit crowded).  This article has more about holiday traditions in the area.

This year, I'll be working tonight and all day tomorrow at Starbucks for all those last minute shoppers and coffee fanatics.

I also have been requesting more cat photos from Mr. SBQ.  I explained to him that there are hundreds if not thousands of cat photos NOT being taken because I'm not there to capture every cutemous moment.  

I don't think he quite understood. 

This cutemous photo of Remy and Edgar Poe arrived via text one day.  Awww.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Design Floor

Taking advantage of my four sewing helpers being in Santa Fe, I've had this quilt-in-progress spread out on the living room floor for a few days.  (It also helps that nearly all the furniture is in Santa Fe too).  There is no way the cats' would've left this alone for two seconds without rearranging the blocks.

[sorry for the dark photo--I'll get a better one when it's finished & not night & not overcast]

This was a fun fabric swap that my quilt friends and I did a couple of years back. The pattern is "Long Road Home" by Red Crinoline Quilts.  My friends and I swapped the neutral alternating blocks and strips of shirtings and dark/mediums for the pieced blocks.  I think this was the fourth fabric swap we did and I also think I'm the last one to finish up this quilt.  Instead of a red solid for the setting triangles, I'm using a yummy purple tone-on-tone floral.  This is a warm and cozy looking quilt--perfect for cold winter nights.

Have you done a fabric swap with friends?  It's a great way to make quilts that call for lots of different fabrics.  It's also a great way to use fabrics that are a bit outside of your box. It's also helpful to have a math wizard in your swap.  We had Kristie, who figured out the math and created charts with participants, how many strips of fabric to cut, etc.

More tomorrow. I need to get busy on my Christmas cards before Christmas is over LOL.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still Life: A Quiet December

Quilt Blocks:  pieced blocks from the pattern "A Long Road Home" by Red Crinoline Quilts
Tea:  Allegro's Organic Breakfast Blend with a smidgen of honey
Cookies: one of my absolute favorites -- Chewy Sugar Cookies #2 from Food 52

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Finish for a Long-Aging Project


One of the zillions many UFOs I found while packing up the sewing room was a table runner that was layered with top, batting and backing but not quilted.  Why it has been languishing at the bottom of a pile of tops I can't recall but it was long past the time to get this done. I thought I had put it aside during a busy December.  A quick word search of my blog resulted in no such good excuse--I made the top way back in August 2008 LOL.   It was quilted and bound in a jiffy.  I still love this fabric line; it's "Winter" by Minick & Simpson for Moda.
Here it is on my sideboard all ready for the holiday season.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Remy Photo Sunday

Mr. SBQ was unpacking boxes over the long holiday weekend and he sent me some photos of his "assistant."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates!

I love the classic Charlie Brown holiday cartoons, don't you?

Today was a working day for me. People still need their Starbucks on their way to family & friends :)

I have so much to be thankful for this year---my family and friends, all you wonderful bloggers out there in blogland, my job, my faithful truck, and my lovely, clean, soon-to-be-someone-else's-house, but I'm especially thankful for my wonderful husband and four furry cats out in Santa Fe.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rainy Day Progress

The storm that blew through Santa Fe found it's way to Georgia yesterday and we had a dreary, cold, rainy day.  It was my day off so I stayed in, sewed, and watched Doctor Who.

I decided to work on a quilt I started back in March.  The blocks were done but it needed to be sewn into rows.  The pattern is "Lincoln" from Miss Rosie's book Another Bite of Schnibbles and I'm using Fig Tree's Avalon line.  I need to dig around and find the inner border and rest of the border strips.

I also cut out an entire quilt and started working on another UFO.  Yes, I really enjoyed my day off. It was like a little mini quilt retreat.

In house selling news, I have a contract on the house.  I am optimistic but it's not done until it's done and the keys are turned over so I won't be celebrating until I'm on my way west.  Let's hope it all works out and the closing is set for the beginning of January.

I need to have Mr. SBQ (I'm sure he loooooooves his new name ;) take more photos of the cats for their fans out there in blogland.

Here is a great one of Gomez, Edgar and Stella trying to adjust to the cold sleeping.  This photo shows how looooooong Edgar's whiskers are.

And here is Remy in his box.  Yes, this box traveled all the way from Georgia when we moved because it was his favorite.  You can tell from all the bite marks that this is a multi-purpose sleeping-biting-playing box. He has a little blue blanket and a bunch of toys in there too.  The box is near to the wall heater in the bedroom and according to Mr. SBQ, this is Remy's favorite spot.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Snowed in Santa Fe without Me

I think we're going to need a snow shovel.
Yesterday, Mr. Stella Bella Quilts texted me this photo of the overnight snowfall in Santa Fe!  They received 6-8" of snow. WOW!

I was so envious because that looks like so much fun....
....for about a day.

Mr. SBQ and the cats were snug as Southwestern bugs in the house. I think Remy stayed curled up in bed all day and just ventured out to the kitchen for food.

Not only do I not have clothes for this kind of weather anymore, my friend Pat reminded me that I'm going to need some BOOTS!

On this side of the south, I finished "Second Hand Clothes."  This was a quick, easy, and big quilt to finish up.  I am enjoying all the floor space in my cleaned-out, minimal-furniture living room.  I did lay out all the blocks and rows so the colors and patterns were evenly distributed throughout the quilt.  There are some less-than-lovely fabrics in this kit in my opinion but I think it all plays well together.  I sewed up the solid red binding and will get the backed pieced this week.

On to the next UFO!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Second Hand Clothes Quilt Half Way Done

Today was an overcast, dreary day (and my day off) so I decided the weather called for an all day marathon movie watching and sewing day.  

I am zipping right along on "Second Hand Clothes." I have half of the quilt sewn together already.

It's odd to lay out blocks on the floor without having them rearranged by a cat or four ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Which I Remember How to Sew

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a respite from painting-cleaning-packing-and-moving.  It seems like a zillion years since August when all the big changes started here at Stella Bella Quilts.

I did keep a few projects here in Georgia to work on while the house is for sale, and it was way far past the time to get back into the sewing groove.  Spending an evening cutting fabric has got to be one of the best ways to un-stress and focus on the present moment.  A nice cup of tea with honey adds a extra dose of calmness.

Because of the crazy-busy holiday season at Starbucks and knowing that I would have to pack up and stash away my sewing stuff every night,  I decided to start on a new project that didn't require a lot of complicated piecing.  This great kit from my Silver Thimble Quilt Club fit the bill perfectly.  The pattern is "Second Hand Clothes" by Red Crinoline Quilts. I think I got this kit last year or maybe the year before.

Best thing about this kit is there are 110 different fabrics already cut into 6 1/2" squares and strips and after a short evening of cutting the solids and strip pieces I was ready to go.

[To address the obvious: yes, I'm sure I had more than enough fabrics to make up this quilt out of my stash but sometimes a girl just needs a kit, ya know?  Cue: everyone reading this nodding in agreement.]

 This is my little temporary sewing set-up in my bedroom.  Because the house is "staged" for selling and the only TV is in the bedroom, I carry this table and chair into the bedroom for sewing then carry everything back out again at night or before I leave the house.

I also was deathly afraid of dropping the iron or anything on the new carpet in the living room so this keeps everything manageable.

[P.S. careful observers will notice I'm watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I love watching movies that I've already seen while sewing.]

It's really weird sewing with no cats around to "help" and "supervise."  I'm pretty sure that I'm doing it all wrong....

Here's some blocks.  Better email this over to the cats to make sure I've got it right.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tip Toeing Around My House that Doesn't Really Seem Like My House

Well the house has officially been on the market since last Friday.  In case I haven't mentioned, this is the first house I've bought and therefore the first I've sold.  Needless to say, the whole staging-a-house-and-pretending-that-you-don't-live-there-while-you-are-really-living-there is a new experience for me. It's more enjoyable than going to the dentist---but just barely.  I'm sure some of you can relate to the following:

I spend a lot of time Swiftering.

I spend a lot of time straightening the nice new towels (that I don't use) and hiding the old everyday towels that I actually use in the washing machine or empty drawers in the vanity.

I spend a lot of time stashing everyday things like mail, a wall calendar, books, magazines, coffee grinder, coffee canister, bananas, bread, dish scrubby, stapler, salt & pepper shakers, and remote controls in various places--some of which I may or may not remember by the time I get home from work.

I tend to hermit myself away in one room (my bedroom) because the rest of the house is big and empty and doesn't look like my house and I'm afraid to get fingerprints on the windows, a smudge on anything, or get dirt on the the brand-new carpet. Not to mention mussing the pillows or moving the artfully arranged magazines on the coffee table.

I do not spend time thinking about strangers rambling around my house when I'm not there because this would make me neurotic more neurotic.

There is not a speck of fabric anywhere to be seen.

I spend the vast majority of my time missing S. and the cats.

With the power of modern technology, at least I get daily updates and photos.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday.  Since this year has been so upside-down and sideways with moving and getting the house ready to sell (plus my Halloween kitties are all in Santa Fe), I am posting some classic photos of the cats to celebrate this year.

Stella as Vampira Bella.
Edgar Poe as Jack Nicholson in "The Shining"  Heeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrreeeeee's Edgar

Remy as CATZILLA, Destroyer of Boxes

Gomez as a Gargoyle

And me....well I've been watching "The Walking Dead" too much lately............

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Fall 2013

I'll just jump back into blogging again with my entry for the super funtabulous Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I am so happy that I have a quilt that I actually finished during this busier-than-usual year and even happier that it was a gift for my cutemous new baby nephew Cameron, who was born on February 2nd.

The pattern is "Alphablocks" by American Jane and the fabrics are Moda Bella solids and a mix of older American Jane lines. I machine appliqu├ęd and machine quilted it myself.  Here is the original post from February.

I am entering this in the baby quilt section of the contest.  You can check it out there along with lots of other great quilts.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dusting Off the Ol' Blog.....

Hello!!!!  How is everyone in blogland?  I've been incommunicado for 2 months.  Can you believe it?  I missed all of you and I miss reading all the blog posts and everything else that is going on. It has been a whirlwind of busy and too-much-to-do along with work and trips to Santa Fe and 50-11 billion other things.  Let's do a really quick catch up and then I'll try to get back into blogging again.  I also hope to get back to commenting and (fingers crossed) sewing again soon. I also need to respond to 700 emails at least so if you haven't heard from me--I'll be getting to that too.

Warning: there has been no sewing for me these past few months, although I did *enjoy* packing up my sewing room (not) and 50-11 million UFOs (double not).

Another warning:  LOOOOOONG POST follows.

OK. Ready. Set. Go. Two months in a flash-----------

Week of Sept. 6th 

S. and I drove to Santa Fe to find a rental house in his car packed to the roof with stuff.  I fell in love with Santa Fe.  I will dwell more on Santa Fe in another post.
Palace of the Governors
Downtown buildings

Our historic Route 66 hotel and homebase while searching for a place to live

After an exhausting (and at times discouraging) search for a place that would accept four cats (apparently this is an unacceptable number of cats even though they are the four cutest, most well-behaved, sweetest cats on the face of the Earth), we finally found a little adobe house and it was perfect! Wonderful neighborhood, S. can walk to work, we can walk everywhere, and it is just the cutest little house ever.

After finding a house and getting S. settled, we had some free time so we got married at the magistrate courthouse on Thursday, September 12.  Yes, we did.  We had a wonderful little civil ceremony, S. made dinner, and I bought a cake.  It was exactly what we wanted and we were so happy to get married and start our new life in our new hometown.

I came back to Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 14, leaving S. to start work in Santa Fe.

Rest of September
Packing, packing, packing, and more packing.  Also repainting all the rooms in my house and getting house ready to sell.

Gomez was in charge of packing quilts.  

More work on house. My parents came down from Michigan (Dad for 2 1/2 weeks and Mom for a week) to help.  I owe them forever for the amount of work they did and can't thank them enough.  Also, the cats loved having more people to spoil them. I know Stella misses my mom already.

We needed to get most of our furniture and stuff (including all the sewing stuff) moved to Santa Fe and leave some items to "stage" the house for sale so S. flew back from NM on October 12th to load up and drive the moving truck.  We also needed to get the cats moved so I rented a car to chauffeur them for the 20 hour drive.

Monday, October 14: Moving day.

I was prepared as one could be faced with driving 1,400 miles over 2 days with 4 cats who don't like car rides and have never lived anywhere else but our house in GA. And an overnight hotel stop.

2013 Dodge Dart fits 4 cat carriers in the backseat
Here are the cats all lined up in the back seat in their cat carriers ( from front: Gomez, Remy, Edgar, and Stella)

Gomez meowed in quiet protest from our house to past Birmingham, Alabama.  This is what he said:



The others meowed periodically just to remind me that they were in the back seat.

Otherwise they were wonderful during the drive through Alabama, Mississippi, corner of Tennessee, and Arkansas.  We stopped for the night near Fort Smith on Arkansas' western border.  5 states done!

After their first elevator ride (!), we set the cats loose in the hotel room and they all hid under the furniture.  After awhile they found their food, water, litter boxes (I bought disposable ones), and began to explore.

Gomez kicked back in the comfy bed
Gomez living it up at the Holiday Inn Express

Remy and Stella exploring the hotel room

After a take-out dinner of fabulous chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes (yes, I treated good kitties to a taste of mashed potatoes--Gomez loved them), we settled in for some sleep.

At 3:30AM, the cats decided to run off all the reserved energy for the day and woke me up by running around like maniacs, knocking things around, and diving into suitcases ( a Twitter friend of mine compared it to British rock bands of the 1970s trashing hotels LOL). It was the funniest thing ever.  S. slept through it all. I just laughed and laughed.

Day two:  720 more miles to go.
The cats were well-behaved again although I could tell they were tired of being in the car.   We drove across the whole length of Oklahoma.  The cats slept through the Texas panhandle and finally after a 10 hour day, we arrived at our house in Santa Fe.

The cats were happy to be out of the car and happy to have their cat toys and cat tree and food dishes and a new place to explore.  It wasn't long before they were settled in and made themselves at home.
After a very quick week of unpacking (except for the sewing room), I was flying back to Atlanta to get the house in order.

And that's where I am now--getting the house ready to list and working. S. and the cats are in Santa Fe.  I miss them.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

All Packing and No Play....

makes me a very dull person and this a very dull blog.  Also, moving and selling a house is the opposite of fun.

Yes, every moment is being spent packing, sorting, cleaning, and more packing.  The second bedroom in my house has become the box room.  

Some days, I wish I didn't collect things (antiques, vintage dishes and glassware, miscellaneous stuff), had all my books on a tablet, and didn't have quilting as a hobby.... 

but that's not me so I just keep getting more boxes.

Here is another view a couple days later. My fabric is being buried in the back so I'm not tempted to sew...
Yes, those are my vintage snowshoes.  Can't wait to hang them up in New Mexico where they will have a more appropriate context LOL!

Needless to say, I am way behind on visiting and commenting on blogs, have an overflowing email inbox, and have no idea what else is going on in the world.  

This is my first house and at times I'm happy to be starting on a new adventure and a few times, I have shed tears for having to leave my little sanctuary.  S. wisely told me that my memories travel with me and are not left here when I leave.  I have been through a lot in this house.  But then again, this house is 101 years old and my 14 years here is a relatively short period of time. 

 Remy, on the other hand paw, is having the time of his life.

He thinks all the boxes are for him.
"ROOOOOARRR" ----Remy, First of His Name, King of Boxes, Lord of Cat Toys

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!!

Photo from Yahoo News
Big huge news at Stella Bella Quilts!

News so big that I needed a town crier.

Good thing Will & Kate had their baby and I was able to borrow this guy ----------------------------->
all the way from London.

Who knew that town criers still had jobs in this economy.

Who knew that town criers apparently belong to every house at Hogwarts (check out all those badges).

Who knew that town criers got to wear such fabulous hats.

I may have missed my calling 'cause I way dig that hat.  But I digress....


During our recent trip to OBX, S. proposed to me and I said yes!  Yes, it is true, S. is going to be Mr. Stella Bella Quilts.  Our families and friends are overjoyed as they have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this to happen.  After a decade of togetherness, S. and I are making it legal.  We are going to pass on the pageantry of a royal wedding, however, and are just going to have a civil ceremony at some point. Oh yeah and a town crier with an even bigger hat.

S. is overjoyed with his dowry of fifty-eleventeen UFOs, let me tell you.

The cats already consider him one of their staff and they see no change in the situation.


Also during the OBX trip, S. had a phone job interview for his dream job in his dream location and after anxious waiting of approximately eternity, which really ended up being a couple weeks, he was offered and accepted the job....

....in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Poor dear S. had the most stressful vacation ever but it all turned out wonderful and exciting and exhilarating and fabulous.

And this means we are moving from the Southeast to the Southwest....with four cats.

The cats have not been told about the cross-country car trip nor have they been told about changes to their routine let alone moving to a new house that they have never been to.  Let's keep them oblivious for awhile, shall we.

S. will be moving out there in mid-September and I will be following (with the four cats) after I pack up everything and sell my house.  All fingers and toes and cat paws crossed that I can sell my house easily and successfully in this market. 

I have never been to New Mexico or the Southwest so I checked out every book in our county library system and instead of quilting, I've been reading. And researching online. And thinking of the zillions of details and questions and logistics and everything else possible. I am not thinking about goodbyes or leaving my house that I love so much yet.  Just thinking practical for now.

Does Remy know how adorable he is???
I also started the arduous task of sorting, cleaning, packing, etc. of 14 years worth of stuff in my house.  A Herculean task that I have spent 14 years hoping I would never have to do.

Remy, however, is thrilled to have lots of boxes and paper to play with and has proclaimed himself Box Packing Supervisor in Chief.

I am also lamenting the fact that I inherited my mother's love of collecting antiques and dishes.

All the paper is mine and don't even think about trying to get it away from me.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Schnibble for July's Parade

I was overjoyed that "Lincoln" was chosen as this month's project for Another Year of Schnibbles project because....

I already made mine way back in spring 2010.  I used Moda's "Verna" fabric line by Kate Spain and this started my Kate Spain I-love-all-her-fabric-and-her-cute-kitties fan-girl-ness.

Here is optimistic original post that said I would have it all quilted and bound by the weekend following April 3rd 2010....
April 3, 2010

and here it is today....

Ummmm... not quilted and bound and a rather bad photo since it is overcast & dark in my house today.

I think I remember seeing the backing fabric for this so I need to dig that out and hopefully it won't be another year (let alone three!) that this Schnibble will be done.

You can see all the great Lincoln projects on Sherri and Sinta's blogs.

I can't wait to see what the new project is for August.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Remy Stayed Home

Even though he was all packed up and ready to go (see previous post), Remy and the other three cats stayed home while S. and I went on vacation for a week.

Don't feel bad for the cats.  They had a great cat sitter, who spoils them rotten.  And face it, cats seem like they are on vacation all the time.

An obligatory beach-at-sunset photo.  My iPhone photo doesn't do justice to the amazing colors of the sky.

S.'s extended family rents a beach house every year in Corolla on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The Outer Banks (often abbreviated as OBX) are small barrier islands off the coast of NC and is a popular tourist destination for this part of the country.  

Siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, nieces, & nephews drive from north and south to play on the beach, swim in the pool, and eat lots and lots of great food.
Beach houses 

We had a great time getting away for some relaxation and a break from work.  We walked the beach in the mornings and after dinner and stayed out of the mid-day sun and the heat. Took quite a few naps. Read books and magazines. Enjoyed porches and hammocks and lazy days.  I missed the cats and got text updates on their latest antics.

My favorite place to while away the afternoon is Island Bookstore in historic Corolla village.  There is nothing better than an indie bookstore, especially when there are no quilt shops anywhere nearby.  

Now it's back to the real world and the cats are the only ones taking naps.

TIme for some sewing too.