Apr 30, 2007

Party Hardy (Paducah post #2)

As I mentioned earlier our sidekicks Laverne, Waldo and Bruce partied hardy the entire time. They were shameful! You'd think they would feel like fish out of water, but on the contrary they took the opportunity to just have themselves a whale of a time!
Laverne loved being the only gal in the bunch (although with all his sparkles, Bruce surely wasn't a shrinking violet (or is that Carp??) . Waldo in his splendid black and white would sit back and just watch the bubbles rise!

When she was by herself, Laverne had lots to keep her happy...The last day she was left to watch the house and I do believe she played happily in my bags of goodies, jumping back on the bed just in time! I did manage to catch her with her mouth open, however, and she was quite apologetic! Frankly, I wonder if she was sipping wine most of the day- she did seem a bit dazed! I'll have to think long and hard about taking her to the Vermont Quilt Festival in June. If she can't behave herself, she may just have to stay home. Waldo thinks she was jealous that Bruce got his photo taken several times at the show on Tuesday- once by the official show photographers. Nothing like a fish scorned, I say!!

Trip To Paducah

After a long road trip from New York, and what seemed like an endless road trip through Indiana (don't ask..I might just tell!), my quilt buddy and I drove up to our home away from home at Kentucky Dam. This is the cabin just down the drive from ours, but echos our abode. Pretty, no?

I was more than happy to haul my stuff up the front steps and enter our beautiful cabin. We had two bedrooms and two baths and were to meet two of our fellow quilting sisters from the west coast (Steph is from Washington state, Joyce from Oregon). They had arrived just before us since they didn't feel the need to visit Indiana!!

Kathie was more than happy to stretch her legs and scope out our home away from home. We were certainly looking forward to a fun filled few days meeting friends, uncorking our wine, and seeing fabulous quilts. There were no disappointments!

By Thursday evening, the sun was setting a bit brighter .....

and our beds were looking a bit better....

(yes- this a shot upon our arrival- the room certainly did NOT look like this come Thursday!! *smile*)

I was amazed by the quilts, took tons of photos of my favorites, and walked the vendors time and time again. Dawn- I got my thread! I also was happy to see the girls from Patchwork Quiltmania there as I run to the local bookstore when it is supposed to arrive and more times than not it is sold out! I treated myself to the Peas and Carrots kit I've eyed in the Hancock catalog and totally indulged my want to learn needle punch. Other than that I shopped the Reproduction booth(s) and picked up a few patterns and some "Distress It".

All the while our side kicks- Laverne, Waldo and Bruce partied hardy and drank like fish...hehehe. I managed to snap a photo and will show you in my next post!
It was an exhausting experience, but I'm more than ready to head back next year!

Apr 21, 2007

And Now I Can Pack!

The last small load of laundry is in the dryer, the suitcase is down, a few necessaries are ready, and while all that was going on I finished a shop sample I said wouldn't be done for next week's shop hop. Part of me wanted to see it finished, part of me knew I should be packing for my trip! Now it is a win -win solution!! I'll drop the sample and directions for my version of Jo Morton's Rachel's Reels at the shop on my way out of town tomorrow. With all the fussy cutting of a gorgeous stripe fabric I fell in love with, I omitted the triangles that framed the reels and setting strips and squares. I didn't think they were needed. I like this more "elegant" version.

Here is a close up of some of the reels. I actually started these years ago, and when Jo released Rachel's Reels as a booklet of it's own, I remembered I had 8 of them done and in a basket with the 9th one half appliqued. I decided to dig them out and be able to say I did something with a set of orphan blocks. As I was chosing fabric for the border, one of my loyal customers came in and got very excited about my reels and the fabric I had chosen for setting them together. In fact ,she stated ,if you're going to teach this as a class, sign me up now! So I will do just that this summer. I hope Jeanette will be happy.

and now...I can think about packing- or as Scarlett once said--I'll think about that tomorrow.
I think tonight I'm just going to lay my head on my pillow and catch some zzzzzzzzzz's!
Good night

Dawn, this one's for you!

I said I'd show you my first horrendous quilting project, and Dawn said she couldn't wait to see it, so as the entry title goes: Dawn, this one's for you, and don't say I didn't warn you!
Back in '79 when I had the quilting bug hit I took my first class. It was a sampler class, all done by hand- cereal box cardboard templates, pencil, scissors, hand needles, poly thread. What did I know, except I loved to work with my hands. I do remember loving this class and being proud of the accomplishment at the time. It became my sister's Christmas gift that year, after lovingly hand quilting and binding . Today I laugh at how hideous this quilt is, but yet there are several blocks I like...

such as this dresden plate. Might be my favorite block in the entire piece.

This drunkard's path just hits home how far fabrics have come since the late 70's!! Can you imagine some of our favorite designers putting out these??

And as for the appliqued basket...no comment. Again, I just shake my head and am glad I've taken the journey so far down the quilting path. Not that I don't still have new territories to explore, of course.
This is a bit dark, but I was semi-impressed with my first time hand quilting stitches. Not bad for a rank beginner!

Makes my want to run to the sewing room and pick up a "today" project and sew a bit. I've come a long way from the cardboard, scissors and pencil days! And all I can say is Thank Goodness!!

Apr 18, 2007

It's a Dog's Life

I have nothing new to report in the way of quilting- but found this so cute I had to share! It was a crazy, stressful day and in running through the house noticed it was very quiet. Hubby told me to look at Goober sound asleep on his bed. Apparently he played so hard this morning he tuckered himself out, went to his comfy living room bed, covered his face with BOTH his ears and then used his "arm " and paw to assure complete sleep mode. It worked- for an entire hour! As his exhausted human, I sure would like to replicate this pose!

On a different note, I was reading some blogs with my after dinner coffee and was amused by one (whose author escapes me right now- told you all I was tired!). She was bemoaning the first quilt she made- and how "ugly" it was. I found it to be quite nice, myself, and decided tomorrow when I go feed the kitties, I'll have to borrow back the first (sampler) "quilt" I made. It is on a top shelf in the guest room closet of my sister's house- exactly where it belongs ! She had it hanging over the balcony railing in the entry foyer of the big house, and there is no such exhibit space in her new smaller cottage home- thank god!
I will snap a photo tomorrow and share it- it is horrendous, but the fact that I made it back in 1979 explains the horrid fabric choices. I am, however, proud of the fact that it is all hand pieced- that is how I was taught. AND if it is turned over (yes, i will snap a photo of the back too) I was semi -impressed with my hand quilting. All I can say is "You've come a long way baby"!
So until tomorrow- I'll just leave you with the sleeping pup. I know it brought a smile to my face.

Apr 12, 2007

Spending the day sewing

What I love most about a day off all to myself, is the lack of guilt I feel spending the entire day in the sewing room. I had promised myself I would get the April and May (reproduction fabric) swap blocks done and had such fun choosing which to do to fit the theme of the month.
For April I chose Wagon Tracks. We had the theme of 4-patch. The photo below isn't great but I think you'll see the general idea. This used black, a tan background and one of my favorite blue prints. Since I have so few blues, it is easy to peg this as a favorite!

For May the theme was flying geese. I had 6 to 8 ideas and had a hard time choosing. When I finally did and made up the blocks I was struck by the fact that I must have had a major brain blip!! Excuse me, where are the flying geese units, m'am?? What did I chose? A block named Goose and Goslings and not a flying geese unit to be had! Oh well. I love them anyway and hope the other swappers will too! Must have tried too hard to be perfect!! Gets me every time! I am so NOT perfect boo hoo....*smile*

The storm that dumped snow on the mid-west made it's way East today. I am still waiting for spring, and now I hear the dreaded words: Nor'easter!! Looks like we could be in for it come Sunday night. Hummmm.....isn't it April?? I should know better, lived in the northeast all my life. We've had snow in May. So why should I be surprised?? We shall see what Mother nature has in store for us come Sunday. Think I'll plan more sewing time. Yessss..................

Apr 9, 2007

Where is spring???

Right about now the little groups of crocus should be popping out all over! Who hijacked spring?? Instead of sun and bunnies, we had clouds, snow, and temperatures more like January. Some way to spend Easter! Of course, I did my very Martha best to make the dining room a lovely spring experience, right down to the place cards. You would have thought there were dozens of people rather than the eight of us! How funny that we all fit on one table for a change, and equally funny that for the first time in 27 years there were no "children" at the table. Granted my children are "of age" now, but still. A first holiday dinner without them seemed a bit strange.

It was a delightful afternoon, complete with stories to tell, good food and an after-the-shift "Happy Easter" phone call from the youngest child. She was munching chocolate- received two goodie boxes from home during the week, each bearing the must have chocolate bunnies! Mine included the "I know it's your favorite" Dove chocolate Rabbit, and the Auntie sent the handmade Rabbit from THE chocolatier!! Naturally when she got wind that I had the handmade peeps dipped in dark chocolate (oh yes, the joys of such a FANTASTIC chocolate shop fairly close by), I was told I needed to freeze several asap for when she got home in a few weeks. It was a slow day at the equine hospital - a new intern was in the colic barn so my offspring was sent to work with her for the day, meaning she had to leave her beloved ICU for a shift.
Not much sewing was done over the weekend. Saturday was last minute groceries, cleaning, and prep work for the lesser make aheads for Sunday. Judging from the work I did at the machine this am, it was a good thing I took the "weekend" off. I don't ever remember frog stitching as much as I did today!! No photos for blogland today! Yuck!! I need to get my brain jump-started!
I've decided that the machine is off limits, and that later this evening I'll prep a few blocks for hand applique. I think I might be able to use a pencil with out too much of a problem! Perhaps it is the incessant cold that has numbed my brain cells?? I repeat- loudly and with foot stamping to underscore my pouting....Where is Spring???

Apr 3, 2007

Should I really be playing??

I spent the weekend in my sewing room- a lot! I had almost forgotten how happy that makes me. Naturally I didn't work on anything I should have worked on (like the two samples I should finish for the shop!) but I keep telling myself that weekends are my days off and I am allowed to play on my days off. Sounded good. First off, I wanted to play with the new ruler and pattern by Deb Tucker (Dat Quilt Lady). She came by the shop Wednesday and left them with my cohort Mardi. Mardi had taken them home Wednesday night and read the pattern and decided she wan't going to try it. She showed me on Friday when she came in and I said I'd take them home and look at them over the weekend. The ruler intrigued me:

I had always wanted to do a Hunter Star, but it just looked like a lot of work, so I never did. Rapid Fire, huh?? Well we'd see. Can you tell I can be quite skeptical? Getting a hunter star out of strips- interesting concept. Once I figured out "rightie" and "leftie" meant handedness of the sewer and not the way the little pre-cut trapezoids were sewn to the long strips of fabric for the star points I was all set! Only one brain dead moment in an entire weekend is a real bonus!! So off I went sewing like a madwoman and here is the first full block- made of 4 subunits. I intend to make 3 more blocks (they finish to 12" and I am going to use them as a medallion center for a self -challenge going on at my reproduction fabric group). I really like how this is looking with minimal effort:

Other than playing with the Hunter Star, I finished up the April blocks for a block swap. You may have seen Dawn's blocks at her blog. Her album block (Feb.) is the top left The other two beautiful blocks (top right and bottom left) are from our group mate Jenny in Belgium. Mine is at the bottom right. I'm not going to show you April's theme block just yet-I wouldn't want anyone to get wind of their latest blocks before I pop them in the mail *smiles*. As it is, Dawn may not have received her album block yet and I just know she is going to peek!

All in all it was a good weekend. The dust bunnies were allowed to live yet again, I did manage to wash the kitchen and foyer floors, cook a huge dinner Sunday and do laundry- thus not feeling too guilty about spending most of the weekend draped over my sewing machine! That dinner by the way was like Thanksgiving in April. I was in the mood for turkey, and mentioned I was going to get in some groceries and pick up a small turkey breast for Sunday. Do not ever tell a husband your intentions ahead of time. My dear one commented that there was a small turkey in the downstairs freezer and why not just cook that? OK by me, I said not thinking...he takes it out to defrost, and hours later I realize there is a 22 pound turkey sitting in water in my kitchen sink! 22 pounds! Dinner for two! Lots of cooked turkey back in the downstairs freezer for future use. Enough said....

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