Friday, August 28, 2009

A Special Day

Seven years ago this morning, they handed me the scrawniest, hairiest, but cutest 5 lb, 5 oz baby I have ever seen. I knew my life had changed forever, but I didn't realize how much I would change. I am stronger, braver, goofier, smarter, more humble, more patient, more compassionate, more resourceful, more resilient, and more hopeful than I ever thought possible. Thank you, Jason, for making me so much more.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night, I caught up with a couple of blogs, but no sewing got done. I've been so exhausted lately, I was asleep by 9:30. That's OK, I guess, since I am going to need stamina today with both karate and cub scouts after work.

So, no new quilting photos, but I can share with you some of the squishy mail I received during the summer that I didn't get a chance to blog about. First was the prize I won from Lisa (Old Batt) on my old blog before it crashed. Since we were such a small, close community of quilting bloggers, she had this neat giveaway that was almost a quilting blog scavenger hunt. I came in second - yay! (What you don't know, and what I probably shouldn't tell you, is that only two of us completed the scavenger hunt! Oh well, a prize for me!!!) She sent me this beautiful kit.

It looks complicated, and I'm not sure I can do it, but even if I can't, I can certainly use the gorgeous fabrics! Thanks, Lisa!

Then, a couple of people sent me squishy mail as a thank you for sending them the Pick and Choose pattern - not necessary, but SO thoughtful and definitely appreciated. Look for these fabrics to show up in my current scrappy projects. First, from Marlene, (why can't I remember her blog address to link to her? Marlene, if you are reading this, please comment so I can give credit where credit is due!)

(beautiful fabric, awful photo - sorry!)

and then from Janet. Isn't that tiny postcard just the cutest thing!

This camp-out/sleepover/birthday party I am hosting for Jason tomorrow night (he turns 7 tomorrow) got me thinking, hey, my birthday is less than a month away! I'm sure my family is going to start asking what I want, so I guess I should start figuring out how I'm going to respond.

Books are always good. I am forever looking to expand my quilt fiction library, and somehow, I keep uncovering new-to-me titles. Have you read any of these, all quilt fiction?

The Name of the Quilt, by Carolyn McPherson

The Fortune Quilt, by Lani Diane Rich

Happenstance, by Carol Shields

The Healing Quilt, by Lauraine Snelling

A Purple Thread for Sky, by Carol Bruneau

I KNOW that I want this one - Hearts and Gizzards: Motherhood in Motion by Clara Alcyon - although I don't think it is fiction...

And then, of course, FABRIC is always a good idea.
And if I had more pretty little teacups, I could enjoy tea with a friend. After all, I can't drink an entire pot of tea by myself in my lone little tea cup!

Is anyone in my family reading this? Is this helpful? Probably not, but what a fun little diversion from work!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A stolen moment

I should be working. After all, I'm at work. But this summer has been so fun and busy and there was always a new trip to look forward to, that now that all the excitement is over, my humdrum daily existence is nearly numbing to me. No more weeks off until Christmas. Barely any days off until then. After Labor Day, I am working or traveling for work every Saturday until mid November. Ugh!!!

I should stop complaining. My life isn't really that humdrum. After all, I'm hosting a 7th birthday party/campout/sleepover for Jason this Friday night. On Saturday night, I am volunteering at the drive-in, one of my favorite places to go on the weekend with the kids. Bathing suits are in the car, and I'm taking my kids to the pool to cool off after work/school today. Besides, this is travel season for work - I'll be in Atlanta and Baltimore and West Virginia and Ecuador and Costa Rica all in the next 6 weeks. I guess I just rebel against the lack of work/life balance in the country as a whole, and in my job in particular. My job gets so much of me, my family gets so little. I wish it weren't that way.

After putting the kids to bed last night I cut and prepped all the fabric for my last 3 Pick and Choose blocks. It is all just sitting there now waiting to be sent through the machine - hopefully tonight after the pool. I've decided that tonight is leftover night, so I'm not going to be spending time making a big meal. Except for fresh veggies. One of the many things that I love about summer is the fresh veggies! I can't get enough!

So hopefully I'll have some quilt pictures of my own to post sometime soon. For today, the only graphic I have for you is the one in the top right of my blog for The Breast Cancer Site. Most of you probably already know this site, but please click there once a day, EVERY DAY, to help fund free mammograms. It is a simple something that you can do that can make a big difference in someone else's life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm still alive

Thank you, Kim, for wondering what happened to me. Vacation, 20th high school reunion, and preparing the kids for a new school year happened to me. But I'm back. With photos!

Shortly after my last post, I went to Maine for 4 days, partly for my 20th high school reunion, and partly as a trip down memory lane. I haven't been back for 10 years, and I haven't lived there in 20. I visited old friends, drove by old houses I used to live in, and generally just soaked in nostalgia. It was great fun! We rented a house near a lake with my sister and her family and my best girlfriend from high school and her daughter. Here's a goofy photo of most of us after an afternoon of boating and swimming. (Did you know that I'm an identical twin?)

The house we rented belongs to another friend of mine from high school. There were some quilting gems in there, and can you believe, I forgot to photograph them!?! One was an ancient, well-worn but super-soft Grandmother's Flower Garden. Another was a scrap quilt. I did remember to photograph this crazy quilted piece, probably once a pillow cover.

After the long weekend in Maine, I worked half days last week while my oldest started 2nd grade and my youngest had the week off (teacher training week) before starting Pre-K today. He was so excited, he RAN into the school this morning. I look forward to next year, though, when they can ride the bus together to the same school. Not once in 4 years have I been able to drop them off or pick them up at the same place. It's hard!

During those half days, I got quite a bit done around the house, and also worked some more on the (puffy!) flannel juvenile quilt I am working on while watching the end of Season 5 of The Gilmore Girls (I love that show! I want to live in Stars Hollow. In the Gilmore house. And date Dean! And eat at Luke's. And go to town meetings at Ms. Patti's.). I was hoping to donate this quilt to Green Fairy Quilts when they go to the orphanage in Romania, but I don't think I'll have it done in time.

I finally did realize, however, that with such a high batt, I need a larger needle. Once I changed needles, it started going much more quickly.

Then, this weekend, my husband took the kid
s up to Pennsylvania for a quick trip to see how his mom is doing (chemo has begun - she is doing as well as can be expected). While they were gone, I got SO MUCH done around the house. I am not the world's greatest housekeeper, but it stresses me out when the house is dirty and cluttered. Clutter I deal with right away, but the dirt sometimes lingers. And lingers. And lingers. Not now! It is so much more relaxing to relax in a house that is clean. Yesterday I ate all three of my meals out on the porch with a book - aaahhhh! I also managed to sew two more Pick and Choose blocks together (yes, I have been working on this forever but I am only 3 blocks away from being done - well, and some sashing strips - oh, and some border blocks - you get the idea, I'm making progress).

Finally, I took advantage of being alone yesterday to wander around one of the Antique Malls in town. It kinda bugs me that not everything there is antique. It is more an indoor flea market/antique mall. Whatever. I've been wanting a proper tea cup to drink my tea in after serving it from my teapot (remember this auction find from this spring?).

I found this cup that was just $4, right in my price range. It reads "March" on the inside, but I see no reason why I can't use it year-round, can you?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quilt envy

We got back from vacation on Saturday. A week at the beach, with a private pool and hot tub - it doesn't get much better than that. I am relaxed and refreshed and TAN! More on that later.

Look what I picked up today!

My mom saw this quilt at our quilt show this year and wanted it. I told her to name her price and ask the quilter if she would sell it. Turns out, she would! Isn't it adorable? It measures about 17.5" x 22.5". She's going to hang it in her guest room which she is preparing to paint a very pale lavender. Look at the detail on this - I really need to learn to embroider.
Anyway, I met the quilter today to pick it up, and I was going to mail it, but I didn't want to let go of it just yet - I'll mail it tomorrow!

I didn't get much quilting done on vacation. I worked a bit on my Grandmother's Flower Garden. I also worked on a puzzle with a quilt in it - does that count?

Other than that, it was walking to and playing on the beach,

Reading on the deck in the ocean breeze, playing with the kids in the pool

and losing to my mother at Cribbage.

I love vacation! Only 1 more mini vacation left this summer - this weekend we are headed to Maine for my 20th high school reunion. Fun, fun, fun!

At home yesterday, I tackled the weeds that tried to reclaim my property while I was gone, then caught up on a couple of blogs, including Green Fairy Quilts. They are looking for some quilts to take to an orphanage in Romania, and I thought, hey, what about all those flannel tops I have to quilt. So, yesterday I sandwiched this one and started quilting it.
(hmmm, where's the photo, you ask? I can't find it! I'll take another and post it later. That way you can let me know if the quilting is working or not.)
I have a really high loft batting in there (because that is what I had in the house and I refused to get back into the car yesterday). It is challenging to hand quilt something so high, but I like the look. I am doing a bigger, more primitive stitch around the center squares for now, not sure what else I will do. I'm not even sure I'll have it done to send to them before they go to the orphanage, but reading about her trip was enough to motivate me to get started quilting something.

This is another flannel top that I pieced using a crumb piecing technique.
I sent the top to a woman in my guild to practice FMQ on and the plan is to donate it to the Guild as a comfort quilt. It was waiting for me when I arrived home from vacation, so yesterday I also stitched the binding on and just have to sew the back down. However, I mangled the corners somehow. It is no longer anywhere close to square. If I were conscientious like Lane, I would take the binding off and re-do it, but I just can't bring myself to do that. I hate sewing on binding so much that I would probably just not put it back on. Oh well, it is to provide comfort, not win a prize.

By the way, it came back with blood on it. Is it my blood? I can't remember. If so, I would have blogged about it way back when, but my other blog crashed so I can't check. How do I get blood out? Any tips?

And how could I forget, Jason and I are now Orange Belts in American Freestyle Karate. Ki-ya!