Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Remember these placemats? I quilted and bound them and sent them to Mom and Dad for their anniversary.

Hopefully the obviously scrappy-ness of them will make her less afraid to use them. The slogan could be "Slop all you want; I'll make you more."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's a Good News / Bad News sort of day

Good News:  I am home for a few days!  I have done some laundry, cooked some meals, quilted some quilts, and am aggressively cleaning my office.  Today I had to run to the Quilt Basket to drop off one quilt and pick up another, but...

Bad News: I couldn't find my car keys.  This is unusual for me.  My keys go on my key hook.  They always have, but apparently they did not this time.  I looked and looked and looked.  I knew they were here because I drove here and the car was still in the garage.  I thought back to the last time I had my keys in my hand.  Hmmm, I went back to my car to get a CD out of the player and the car has to be on to do that, so...  Oh, yeah!  When I took out the CD, I also took out my old broken GPS so I could throw it away.  I threw it away in my husband's office after I asked him if there was any use in saving it.  Did I throw my keys away?  Oh no!  What if my husband already emptied the trash?

Good News:  My husband hadn't emptied that trash can yet.  Yay!!!  Let me just check in the bottom of the trash...

Bad News:  Apparently a picture frame broke while I was away and the glass broke too.  So there were large sheets of broken glass in the trash can.  As you may have guessed, I cut myself.  Rather, the glass cut the side of a finger open.  I believe if you are going to do something you should do it well, so I did a pretty good job of cutting myself.   Once I wrapped a towel around my finger, I discovered...

Good News:  The keys WERE in the trash can!  Yay!  Now I can go to the Quilt Basket.  But...

Bad News:  My finger is still bleeding and should be tended.  Let me check and see what first aid supplies I have on hand.

Good News:  I have Hello Kitty Band-Aids!

I love a story with a happy ending, don't you?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last night in Virginia

I finished teaching my last day of classes at Patchwork Plus in Dayton, VA today.  After work, I visited a turkey farm and saw about 6,000 of these:

I know a lot more about turkeys than I did this morning.

Once in my hotel room, I pulled out some Block of the Month quilt blocks from the Quilt Basket.

I am still two months behind, but I like progress.

Remember when I started a red and white quilt with fabric from each quilt store I visit this year?  I'm behind three shops, but I did make blocks from this week's visit to Patchwork Plus:

And so ends my week of hotel sewing.  I really enjoyed it, especially since I don't know when I'll touch my sewing machine again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Early, and Late

Tonight's hotel room sewing produced two tablerunners.  

I think I will give them to my mother and mother-in-law for Mother's Day next year.  Do I sound overly prepared and organized and ahead of the game?

Allow me to shatter that perception:  Today I discovered that Sunday is Father's Day.  Oops!  I thought it was next week.

Sorry Dad!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hanging with my Peeps

More hotel sewing tonight.  I made an Easter tablerunner:

If it doesn't look Easter-ish, check out the fabric:


I got the fabric and pattern from the Quilt Basket.

I think I just figured out what Mom is getting for her birthday -- tablerunner #29!  or is it #30?

I can post this since Mom doesn't ever look at a computer.  If you see her, keep my secret, OK?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Turning my frown upside down

Earlier this evening, I dined at a local Italian restaurant with some students from my quilt class.  The calzone was quite nice.  I asked them to box up a piece of chocolate cake for me to eat in my hotel room tonight because, as you might know, I am somewhat partial to chocolate cake.

Sadly, the cake was disappointing.  OK, it was a little beyond disappointing:  it was gross.  I was sad.

I decided to dive into my quilt project stack here in my hotel room and pull out something that would make me happy again.

This quilt did the trick:

How cute is this?  The light is not great in my hotel room, so the bright orange polka dot border looks reddish in the photo.

I bought this kit from my good friend at Sturbridge Quilting and Sewing when I taught there last week.

Another quilt to add to my to-be-quilted pile.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quilt Top #2 -- DONE!

Remember this quilt? It is huge (102-inches square). I finished piecing it tonight in my hotel room.

What project shall I work on next?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hotel Sewing, day 1

I am moved into my home away from home for the week and have my sewing area all set up:

Things I wish I had packed:

extra bobbins
EZ Angle ruler

Fortunately, I am teaching at a quilt store this week.  I think maybe they can help. I am looking forward to teaching five days of classes!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

32 Hours

I just spent a fantastic two days teaching in Massachusetts and got home after 10 pm Saturday.

Monday morning, early, I will leave to teach for five days in Virginia.

The 32 hours I have at home are busy ones.  I got some sleep, unpacked my suitcase, did some laundry, repacked my suitcase, unpacked my quilting samples/supplies, and repacked my quilting samples/supplies.  I also spent some time in the kitchen.

I cleaned out the crisper drawer and made veggie stir-fry for Jeff's lunch.  I made enough for him to eat it again later this week.

I made ham and spinach couscous for Jeff to eat later this week.  Erin hates spinach like I hate snakes.

I made some spicy fried tofu for Erin to eat later this week.  It is Erin's favorite, so Jeff probably will not get to each much of this.

I made congee for my lunch today.  I made enough for Jeff and Erin to have some later this week.

I cooked up an eggplant and made a tray of eggplant parmesan.  I left Jeff and Erin baking instructions for later this week.

I made some quinoa and veggie pilaf and stuffed some peppers for Jeff to cook up later this week.

I made pizza for Jeff (pepperoni) and me (olive) for tonight's dinner with leftovers for snacking.

I made cheese pizza for Erin's dinner tonight with leftovers for snacking.

Hopefully they will have enough food to survive while I am gone.

Nest watch -- the final chapter

And then there were none:

The snake had the last two eggs for an early breakfast yesterday before Jeff was awake and embracing his "keeper of the eggs" responsibilities.

I really hate snakes.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Nest Watch, the new math

Jeff is on nest watch while I am working out of town.

   2 eggs from yesterday
+ 1 new egg today
+ 1 snake this evening
   2 eggs left in the nest after Jeff removed the snake

I doubt there will be any eggs left by the time I get home.

Math makes me sad.

Nest watch, take 2

After the excitement of watching the robins fledge, I thought my nest watching was done for the season.

Yesterday morning, I noticed new eggs in the old nest!


Yesterday afternoon, I noticed another visitor in the nest:


This is either a copperhead or a milk snake.  I don't know and I don't care!  I am terrified of snakes, but these are my babies!  I leaned out the window with a broomstick and carefully wrestled that nasty thing out of the nest, making sure not to ruin the nest or damage the other egg.

The snake had one egg in its mouth when it left the nest, leaving one egg in the nest:


I donned boots and gloves and armed myself with a shovel and went out to retrieve the other egg.  The snake charged me, but I defended myself with the shovel.  The snake slithered away from me and I picked up the egg.  It had no visible damage so I put it back in the nest.


I am worried about the fallen egg.  I am worried that the snake will come back.

 But for now, Momma is back in her nest.


Thursday, June 07, 2012

How I handle frustration

 Remember this magazine cover?:

It came in handy when I was recovering from post-vacation trauma.  Unfortunately, my challenges did not abate.  My head was getting rather sore from banging it against the magazine on my tabletop.  I thought a softer landing place might help:

The words were quilted with two threads through the needle at once:  30-weight rayon and 50-weight cotton.  The circle was stitched with an 8-weight thread in the bobbin (I quilted it upside down).  The background threads were both 100-weight polyesters.  I, of course, used my sweet Sweet Sixteen!

I found the perfect place to hang my little quilt:

The particular challenges I was dealing with have been resolved (I hope!) and I have sent this quilt on its way to someone who needs it more than I do.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Quilt Wars

Long, long ago in a state not so far away, a lovely young couple got married.  As usual, I planned to make a quilt and, as usual, I didn't finish it in time for the wedding.  Or later that month.  Or later that year.

NINETEEN MONTHS LATER, I bring you "wedding quilt for Alexis and Vinny":

The fabric is S'mores from Moda. I made a quilt for myself from this fabric several years ago and Alexis tried to steal it from me.  I scrounged around the internet to find fabric to make her wedding quilt, and this was even before she was engaged.

A close-up of the pieced block:

A close-up of the plain block:

A close-up of the inner border (ribbon candy variation -- yay!):

A close-up of the outer border (more ribbon candy!):

The happy couple is still happy and they are now happy with their quilt.

I Won (on Jeopardy?)

My category: American Literature from the 1600s

"To My Dear and Loving Husband"
by Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

All this to say "Happy Birthday!" to my dear husband.

(I guess it also lets you know that I have been doing the homework for all those classes I have been taking.)