Monday, February 26, 2007

A Teeny Tiny Block!

While blog-hopping tonight, I came across Dawn's blog, with the most artful, exquisite minitures I've seen. You have to go look. It inspired me to try it - Holy Moly, it was tough! I spent awhile with the calculator figuring the cuts, and did a bit of re-cutting and re-sewing to come up with this:

And it only took me an hour and a half! Good Grief but it was fun and a challenge and very very satisfying. That center 9-patch finishes at 3/4"! I can see in the picture what I didn't notice on the real thing - I need to take that right side off and try again. Isn't this too much fun for a Monday night?
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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Best Laid Plans ---

Well - I'll just say I'm a free spirit! Then I have to protest that outside forces were at work, making sure I didn't get any of my plans done. Heh heh heh. So the big plans didn't happen because Saturday I ended up gone most of the day and going out to dinner that night, then our friends came over. So much for that day! Sunday was more of the same - all fun stuff and fun people, but all time away from the sewing room. Then there was Mary Hickeys' book of baby quilts that got me all fired up to start making quilts for the first grandson coming in June - Jaden. I hope he likes cowboys! Just as I was sewing on the last border, Jaden's Daddy came in, scared the soup out of me. He lives 75 miles away! He came up behind me and did a "boogie-boogie" - whew! So I got to show him Jaden's quilt, and he wants me to do fleece for backing. I don't have any right now, so quilting will happen later - but the top was all done in one day!

Here's a close up of the blocks, fussy-cut from some cute fabric, that I think my darlin' Rosy gave me when she was my Secret Pal a couple of years ago. I can't remember buying it but I have a hazy memory of opening a gift and finding it.

Every bit of it came from stash, too! So it was free! LOL - how's that for reasoning? If I shop in my closet, it dosn't cost a thing. Makes sense to me! And I know anyone reading this will agree that it's too easy to get sidetracked into new projects - that's the fun of it all! what?
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Free Fabric!

My mini-group, the 'Sew Whats', meets once a month or so to sit and stitch and and gab. This past Tuesday, one of our ladies brought a big pile of upholstery sample books! We had a blast tearing the books apart, making a mess of Leslie's house - (sorry, Les!) Everyone has a favorite, and the fabric was flyng; literally! "Hey Judy - here's one for you" followed by frog fabric flying thru the air towards Judy. In the end, everyone went home with a high pile. It took 3 pictures to get all of mine, and I was standing on a chair with my head brushing the ceiling!
As you can see, I tend to the bright side, clear colors mostly.
The majority of pieces were 6x8 inches or so, but there were a couple of books with very large pieces - 22x23!
All of them had paper glued to the back, either
a single strip across the top or down all 4 sides. Let me tell you, that paper does not want to come off. In the end, I just cut it off. The common denominator turned out to be 5 inches, so now I have a large stack of 5 inch squares.

My very most favorite bag is made from this type of fabric, and I've about loved it to bits. Time for a new one! Or 4, or 5.........
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Always with the big plans!

Maybe if I put it in writing, I'll be shamed into getting it done. Heh, heh, heh - ummmmm, maybe? I want to get this bordered, quilted, bound and out of my way. It's not too old, but I really really really don't want UFO's to breed when my back is turned, and they seem to be doing that.

It's all folded up, but when it's all done it will generously cover a queen. I also want to get the rest of the diamonds pieced this weekend - I'm doing it in chunks instead of rows, hoping to cut down on the stretching. This one
grew and grew, and it will end up on my king size bed when it's done. I have to get it off my wall!

Finally, I have this wall hanging that's been hanging around. I love the pattern, didn't love the way it came out because there's not enough contrast for me. However, it needs to go away from my shelves.

There's more, of course, but right now those are the burrs under my saddle. And there's all those nifty new things I HAVE to start!! LOL! I should have the whole weekend to play, knock on wood, and it looks like it's going to be a rainy freezing weekend to stay inside without guilt. Oh yea - I have a huge stack of cotton upholstery fabrics to play with too -- more on that later. I need to retire........

Saturday, February 17, 2007

HOME and other Good Things

As they say, nice to travel, nicer to get home! A week in "The World" is about enough for me - little country mouse as I am now. But a week with Mom wasn't enough! Here she is, hiding under the quilt i brought her:

The high point of the trip was the trip to UC San Diego Cancer Center - Good News!! Her cancer is all 100% estrogen sensitive, in other words, it is breast cancer, metastizied. The good part is, the doctors stopped her hormone replacements in January, and since that time her liver has shrunk 8 centimeters - nearly 4 inches. The cancer marker in her blood tests is down from 3300 to 600; incredible decrease. She feels 100% better, has gained 4 pounds, has no pain whatsoever and all in all everyone is a bit stunned, including her doctors. I'm willing to give credit to the withdrawal of the 'cancer-feeding' hormones since I have always believed that it plays a role in cancers, but equal time has to go to all the good people praying for her. We figured out that she had no fewer than 6 demoninations totalling probably 9 church congregations holding her up in prayer! Add family and friends and that's a pretty formidable force to be reckoned with. She is not cleared and they won't quite call it a remission, but considering that 2 months ago they were sure she would not live to new Years - it is a HUGE step in the right direction.

This is Mom with her little brother John all smiles the night we got the good news. (I don't know where this underline came from, and there's no tab to turn it off -- THANKS B'ger!
We all stayed with my Uncle John and Aunt Alice in Escondido in the middle of 20 acres of avacados! We had fresh avacados every meal - what riches! The entire property is on a hillside, and Mom felt so well that we went on several hikes around the orchards, gathering dropped avacados. She set the pace, and a mighty brisk one it was, too! Up and down hills like a kid - it was wonderful!

The morning I was to leave, Uncle John went to the orchard and picked a bunch of Large Greenies for me to take back - we made a lot of jokes about taking grenades on the plane. Guess what? You can't even make those jokes in your own home - I was called back to the luggage check-in to unlock my suitcase for inspection! All those avacados wrapped so carefully in my clothing..........But they were very green, and made it home just fine. Oh, and the limousine? THAT was a blast!! As it turned out, my connecting flight out of LA was delayed nearly 5 hours and by that time my uncle or step-father could have come to get me, but we didn't know that when the arrangements were made. I waited with the other passangers for that flight for many many hours, and we all talked a bit, etc. When we finally landed and poured into the terminal in Carlsbad, there was the uniformed driver, holding a sign with my name on it! Everyone looked around to see who had the driver waiting and that was funny and a bit embarressing, but it was sooo nice! The driver got my bag and opened the back door for me, and I had that whole huge backseat to myself, and there was water and sodas in the back bar of the was quite an expirence. I could get used to that! Talk about getting spoiled! LOL -- limos are wasted on high-school kids. There will be more rides like that in my future I promise.
Now back to the real world, back to my chores and back to my quilting - today I'm going to cut more diamonds and start sewing them together. I managed to get on of the dolly quilts completely hand quilted, heavier than planned because I spent SO much time waiting, but it's fun - and wrinkly! OH well -- I also want to catch up on blog reading - I've got a lot to do!
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Leaving on a Jet plane

Finally, finally, finally going to see my Mom! We found out almost 2 months ago about her terminal diagnosis, and I've been just crazy to get my eyes and hands on her. At last!
Because there won't be anyone who can meet my plane, I was going to rent a car and drive myself 45 miles, thru a metropolis that plain did not exsist the last time I was there 35 years ago. In the dark. And find my uncles' house somewhere in the middle of an avacado orchard! Well, after some thinking and web surfing, I discovered that I can get a limo to take me, for less than half the price, AND someone else will sweat the driving! Oh goody! I received my confirmation along with a note that my driver will be waiting at the gate for me, holding a sign with my name on it - !!! Outrageous! LMBO - it just strikes me as hilarious! But hey, I'm going to enjoy it.
I posted my siggie blocks off to Cynthia today, yay! Unfortunately did not take any pics, but the ones who did take pics, and put them on blogs are beautiful! I can't wait to see them all! I have some little handwork to take along, quilting some dolly quilts for the DGDs. Whew - I better get busy! We leave bright and early for the airport -- see you all in a week!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby!

35 years ago, on a dark and stormy night, God sent me an angel to have for my very own for awhile. Steven Michael weighed in at 9lbs, 6 oz and was a long 24 inches. The hospital made me take him home even tho I didn't have the faintest idea what to do with a baby! Today he is a strapping 6ft 6 inches, has a lovely wife named Kelly, a baby of his own on the way, and his own succesful geology business. Everything I could ever have wished for this child has come true and I am so grateful. Who would have ever thunk it? Me so proud.
Now, for the dark side of my son: I called him to sing my customary off-key rendition of Happy Birthday, and he responded with "Thank you Mom, that's very nice. Say hi to everyone - you're on speaker phone" YOU RAT FINK!!!
(I wasn't, but I guess he gets his jollies from harrassing old ladies!)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Weekend

What a great weekend! OK, nothing earth-shattering - (lol, just what I need!) but a good feeling of accomplishment. Friday started off very badly at work, and when I had to run out on an errand, I took myself to the fabric store too! They had just placed a bunch of bolts on the markdown table, $2.97. I've been being a lot more picky about what I buy these days, since I'm not really stash-building anymore, but there was some nice stuff!

A little indulgence is good for the blood pressure, I think -- Besides, it looks like we have at least one baby boy coming, and I don't have a lot of blues. The FQs are for the Diana's Diamonds, which I decided has to be bigger. Saturday was Guild meeting, and that's always good for inspiration and a little boot in the fanny. I always come home fired up and wanting to quilt the world! LOL! We had a wonderful speaker and trunk show, and when I remember her name I'll post it. She had a lot of artsy landscapes and abstracts usually not my style, but as she explained her creative process I was more drawn into the quilts. Very interesting, and a nice person AND a good speaker! So all inspired, I came home to finish the sailboats for my DIL. We found out by accident that the baby is due in a week - she didn't tell me that part! Talk about in the nick of time!

I quilted alternating rows of waves across the body, and watery ripples in the borders. I found a batt in my closet that gave me exactly the amount of poofiness I wanted, not all puffed up but not as flat as I usually like them. Perfect. Chalk off another finish for the year!

Finally today was church, chores, catch-up, a granddaughters' 6th birthday party, getting the curtain rod hardware changed out and the new curtains hung, and oh yea - some football! Our friends from Chicago didn't enjoy the game quite as much maybe as we did - there was a lot of crow-eating going on! It was a fun afternoon of some heavy duty teasing and harrasment, and in the end my DH let them keep the $$$ they had so confidentaly wagered - LOL!! And we got to have chili nachos and beer for dinner - what's better? Ahhh -- a good weekend!