Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So much to look forward to!

I started my day with a quick stop at the local coffee shop for a cup of Irish Nut coffee - after all, my name is Erin, so I should at least be an honorary Irishman (well, woman). We also had lots of green food at work today - I contributed green grapes, but there was a veritable green food smorgasborg! Yum! I enjoy celebrating every holiday!

As I mentioned in my last post, my twin sister and I are going on our third annual "Moms Only" retreat in a couple of weeks. We are heading up to Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, hoping to learn more about Amish culture and, of course, quilting! Here's where we'll be staying, The Churchtown Inn.
And check out the fun room we picked out for ourselves - I can't wait to explore all the different fabrics in those whimsical (and not terribly Amish) quilts!

I wanted to be sure to have something small to take along to hand quilt, so I put a quick top together this weekend. My brother-in-law is going to become a father this summer, so I figured that a baby quilt was in order. I pulled out 49 of my brightest 4" squares and sewed them together, then added an off-white border. I've been wanting to try some freehand baptist fan quilting, and I'm thinking this might be the project to start with. I wanted lots of blank space to show off the quilting. I worry that perhaps it is too much white space, though - what do you think? Should I throw some applique on there?

My current "leader and ender" project is my Ribbon Quilt. I now have about 4 rows sewn together, and you can tell which ones they are - right where the pattern seems fractured. I am enjoying this quilt, but I'm ready to have something else on the design wall, so I may need to move this up to my number one priority quilt.

I'm anxiously awaiting some new quilt fiction releases - The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini in April, A Thread So Thin by Marie Bostwick in April, and State Fair by Earlene Fowler in May. In the meantime, I went online to see if I could find some other quilt fiction that I don't have yet. It turns out that I missed the release of Arlene Sachitano's Quilt As You Go, so I'll need to order that.

Plus, there are two quilt mysteries out there by Barbara Graham that I've never heard of - Murder by Serpents and Murder by Artifact. I need to order those, too.

I love finding "new-to-me" quilt fiction. Have any of you read these Barbara Graham books?

Well, laundry and dishes and dirty bathrooms and dirty floors are calling to me. I need to go find some earplugs. Then I'll be back to catch up on blogs!

My bad math = giveaway

So much has happened this past week that I'm going to skim through it with bullet points just to get it all down without bogging you down in the details. Keep reading, though, because there is a giveaway in there somewhere.

  • I coordinated, along with my office, a 3-day on-campus scholarship competition for 182 high school seniors. A lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. Now that that is over, my work life should shrink down to a more manageable level.

  • One of my kids' fish died this weekend. It was their first pet to die, and I was dreading telling them, but it worked out OK. Donald perked up once I told him he could use my gardening tools to dig the grave, and Jason, my super-sensitive son, made sure there was a proper ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem (!?!) and Amazing Grace.

  • I fired up my sewing machine this weekend for the first time in what seems like forever. I needed a quick project to get me back into the groove. I started with another house block for BumbleBeans' Gather project - and I put me in the window again.

  • I also decided that this rocking chair needed a chair pad.
    I measured the seat. I sketched a design. I pulled out my plaid and homespun scraps. I got to sewing. And somehow, my math is ALL WRONG! So, while I love the chair pad, it is WAAAY too small for my rocker (even though the ties are in exactly the right location - go figure!). Back to the drawing board for me.

    It fits my kitchen chairs better, but with two of the messiest boys on the planet, there is no way I am putting cushions on my kitchen chairs. So, here's the giveaway: Do you have a chair that is crying out for this chair pad? (It measures about 13" square.) If so, leave a comment, and I'll draw a winner on Friday at 4 PM - something for me to look forward to this week.
  • I also managed to get some more of my scraps cut down to size and out of a baggie and into the tins where they belong. I popped some John Lee Hooker into the CD player, and by the time the disk was done, so was I.

  • I woke up feeling lousy this morning - sore throat, watering eyes, congestion, you name it. I went to work anyway, and ended up having to give an hour long group information session to about 50 visiting students and their parents. I really had to draw on my reserves to stand straight without weaving, clear the cobwebs from my head, and not come across as absolutely miserable. After all, while this may be my 348th group information session, it is probably the first one for them (at my school anyway), so I owed it to them to make it great. Which made it even that much more satisfying when my boss came up to me later to say that a trustee of the University had been in my audience this morning and was raving about how well I did. It was a great reminder to always do your best and treat everyone well. You never know - there could be angels (or trustees) among us!

      • Finally, I am working on another quick and scrappy project which I want to take with me to hand quilt when my twin sister and I do our mini moms-only retreat at the beginning of April. Photos to follow once I get it together.

      • I sure have missed you all - I can't wait to catch up on your blogs and see what you've been up to!