Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Book Reviews

In case you think I'm not really a quilter because I haven't produced anything in months, here's a FF - (finally finished!) doll quilt, made with leftovers from Judys Hour a Day. Half of which is still on my design wall, the other half lying on the floor where the wind blew it.

Instead of whining about how pathetic I am, what with a raging ear infection and all, I thought I'd share some of my best August reading material. (BTW - having never had an ear infection before, I have a whole new HUGE respect for these poor kids who get them repeatedly. It's awful!!)
OK - hopefully I've re-established my credentials, so I can show you these:

HILARIOUS!!! I loved every word of this one, but I have to tell you - DH kept asking me what was so funny. He agreed with every word, but his opinion was that the world shouldn't laugh at this poor, afflicted man. Which only made me laugh harder. And it has a great o henry ending that I'm not going to tell you about - it's a must read!

Elaine showed this one a couple of weeks ago, and I immediately clicked over to Amazon and got my hands on it. I told you she inspires me, right? It's plain old fabulous. It's small, it is a Readers Digest publication, and they only have one size printer I guess, but packs a a jillion patterns. No wait, it's 1000. 1000 good ones too, not just re-hashing old ones, plus they really teach how to adjust for shaped blocks, how to make a square peg fit into a diamond shaped patch. Terrific, well worth the bucks.
Finally, Mark Lipinski's Ode to himself; Quilter's Home. The first couple of issues I was a bit annoyed that it's all about him, but hey - it's his magazine, and he's witty and informative so why not?

Great article in this one about black fabrics/threads and batts, and a very interesting one about quilt show judges.

Last year at this time I was scrambling to get my quilts together for our guilds annual show, and here I am again. When am I going to get it? Maybe I'm not supposed to show quilts; it makes me crazy anyway. Maybe I'll sit this one out. Of course, a very petite, 70-something ball of fire named Jane will hunt me down and kick my lazy butt if I try that, so I better get inspired here pretty quick. I have lakadaisical syndrome, LS for short. I spend all evening reading blogs and surfing my favorite websites and watching Alex and Ricky, but the light is still off in my poor sewing machine. Packages come in the mail with fantastic fabrics found in fairyland, but they're languishing in their wrappers. What the heck???? What gives?? I tried a new sharp rotary blade, and it's still sharp and new 2 weeks later. Am I the only one rolling around in the doldrums? What gets you out, any suggestions?

Hunny just brought me in some great BBQ ribs for my pitiful dinner party - LOL! I'd wash them down with champagne but I'm on 2 antibiotics so what's the point? Geeesh ..... I need a cure, fast!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Michelle, over at With Heart and Hands, a Quilting Journey, has deemed me worthy of this honor, and I hafta tell you - If I had seen it first I would have tagged her! Despite a bit of an overdose of all the junk Life can throw at you, Michelle remains serene and composed, and never fails to turn herself outwards - always reaching out. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you don't know what you're missing. Once a teacher always a teacher, and she has so much to teach us all -- especially how to keep a glad heart and inquisitive mind. Sista, I am truly honored; thank you.
A lot of us don't overtly try to inspire others, but everyone who sets out to keep a blog and is fairly consistent about it can't help but inspire. Whether to dig out a particular piece of fabric and "try that" or reading that we're not alone out here dealing with Life - there's comfort and wisdom to be found with all of our invisible friends. We all pretty much have the same issues, so reading how So&So a continent away handled that problem, or seeing the way Ms. Who has kept a sense of humor thru it all helps every one of us keep the chins up. We're electronically sharing the weight just as we would have shared it over a communal quilt frame 100 years ago, and I really like that. Blogging touches a need we all have to connect, to reach out and to be reached by others.
And so to pass the torch -
As much as Michelle inspires me psychically, Elaine Adair Pieces is my quilty inspiration. I love her quilt style, I love her creativity and I love her outstanding workmanship. Elaines' work is what I aspire to; that's the quilter I would be if I could. Elaine has unwittingly helped me out of a quilting slump, and if that isn't the definati0n of an Inspiring Blogger then I'll eat my cutting mat. (Not really, but the conviction is there - LOL!)
Elaine - Hat's off to you! I'm so glad you share all that talent with us, that makes you the next recipient of the Inspirational Blogger Award!
(hands off the crown) VBG!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Another Grandson!

I'm so blessed - it's almost an embarrassment of riches. Our newest boy, Nicholas Randall was born early this morning to my DS and DDIL - after a long tough ordeal, and a 7 year wait.
About 15 minutes old, meeting his grandmas for the first time, Nicholas is calm and so alert he seemed to be studying our faces. After nearly 3 hours of pushing in every conceivable position, the doctor finally said - "OK, we need to talk Cesarean" and suddenly all hell broke loose, and Kelly was whisked away. Steve was a Trojan right up until he wheeled his little boy back upstairs from the O.R. when he grabbed me and sobbed - my hulking 6'6" son dissolved back into my baby boy. Do I hafta tell you there wasn't a dry eye in the house?
Our little man weighed in at 7lb, 12 oz and 21 inches long, almost exactly the same as his (slightly) older cousin 6 weeks ago.
Now Grandma really really needs a nap - driving 100 miles back home after that was an endurance test for me!
(PS - my co-Grandma in this adventure is also a quilter, and we did sneak away early in the game to plunder the LQS, which is one neither of us get to more than every 2 years or so - LOL!)

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Grand Day

I love kid days - just love em! My wonderful grands travelled up to spend the day today - Young Master Jayden was just hangin' out --
---on his Daddys' arm! He's completely relaxed - he reminds me of a cat laying across the top of the couch. Later on, he was enjoying a little rest on the couch when his big sister and cousin came flying in and jumped on the couch together - and you can just hear him thinking - "Holy Cow!"
And just when he thought he was saved, Grandma (that'd be ME! --VBG!) tossed him like a salad, but actually he loved that. Yes, we were in the sewing room. I'm not sure why or how, but we always end up hanging out there! The girls are really hot to learn to sew, so I found a tiny sewing machine that goes very slowly and that's where they'll start.
It was the bestest day I can ever have without sewing. I even played kickball with the girls outside, remembering my promise to be just like my G'ma. They were thrilled and we had a ball. Ahhhh -- now I need a nap!! LOL! Monday DDS1 and DDIL are having their labor induced so I'll be with them - what riches I have.
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Five

I like reading these as they go around Blogland - and learn stuff too! You can answer as a comment or copy & paste to yours --

Pirated from The Quilting Pirate

This week's theme: Batting & Backings

1. What batting do you prefer to use? Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom, I like a heavy but flat quilt that I can quilt the bejabbers out of. For baby quilts and donation quilts, I like the cheapie cotton batt from Walmart - as it ages it's so soft and drapes beautifully. Easy to wrap up in.

2. Do you purchase batting by the yard (off a bolt) or in a bag? I buy The whole roll.

3. Do you purchase batting for more than one project at a time? Yep - the whole roll, LOL!

4. When do you purchase your backing (after a project is completed or while you are picking out all the fabric in the beginning of a project)? I buy up sale fabric as I find it, in amounts large enough for king backings, and I can usually find a piece in there that will work. I would never pay full price for a matching back -

5. What do you do with all the leftover strips of batting? Stitch 'em together for small quilts, potholders, practice sandwiches and here's a new one - wrapping ornaments or packing little breakable doo-dads.

How about you?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Homage to Grandmas

Red Gernaium Cottage posted a really nice story about her Grandma, and made me think again of mine. Grandma went to heaven 10 years ago, but Altzheimers took her away from us long before that. When I was growing up, we were special friends; "Linked in Life" as she said. She firmly believed in past lives and often would tell me that she and I have been together in all of our lives, all thru time. A great reader of Edgar Caycee, she loved to think out loud and conjecture - and I lapped it up. She introduced me to Kahil Gilbran and dozens of alternative type ideas of LIFE and beyond. Not in a strange, creepy way, just matter of fact and with a wide open mind. One of my best memories is going with her to rent horses for an afternoon. The expense for her must have very serious, and she saved for months to be able to take me riding. She was 58, I was 12 that summer of 1966, and we rode like cowboys. I was worried about her "advanced old age" and riding a horse, she was worried I'd fall off. We always had a galloping race along one stretch on dirt road under a canopy of trees. I can picture it so clearly. About that same time we played badmitton in the driveway and she dove for a birdie and fell, fracturing her wrist. She couldn't drive, I wasn't old enough, but there was no one else around and certainly one did not summon an ambulance for anything less than shotgun wounds. I drove downtown, scared witless, with Grandma calmly and quietly talking me thru every move. Another summer as we lay in the WWII surplus hammocks strung all over her yard, she suddenly sat up and said - "SUZY! Let's go for a ride!" I happily piled into the car with her. "Where are we going, Grandma?" "We're going to Bishop, and have lunch" Oh goody goody, I loved Bishop, this was going to be Adventure! Only thing was, Bishop was about 750 miles away. I didn't realise it, but when we stopped for a potty break and she told me to call my Mama, I blabbed and we were asked to turn around and go home. Phooey - Mamas are no fun!

Grandma and I spoke on the phone every Saturday morning at 7 am, for probably 25 or 30 years, until she forgot me. To this day I am unconsciously near a phone at 7 am on Saturdays. When in later years I was packing her 8,427 books prepatory for a move, she scared the crap out of me when she came up behind me with a loaded revolver - "Suzy, I just don't know how to turn this off" When I got done being scared, and having safely secured the gun away from her, I went looking for Mama and bawled my eyes out. In the late years, although she was a lifelong teetotaller, she inexplicably took a fondness to Irish Creame Whiskey, and sent me off to buy it. Buying whiskey in Utah is no easy feat, mind you. The little pink state liquor store in that teeny town was open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe. Sometimes it might be Mondays and Saturdays, you never knew. Eventually I got the stuff, and nothing would do but I had to gag down a drink with her every evening. She slammed it straight, I cut it with as much water as I thought I could get away with, and had it on the rocks to boot. I could nurse that one little glass of buzzard barf for hours, while Grandma shot back 4 or 5. Amazing, and she never seemed the least bit lit.

Grandma taught me "You CAN, but you MAY not" "Stand straight and tall and be proud" "You shan't raise your voice" " You never stop learning" "You dasn't dare refute your Mama" and "I love you, Sugar"

I love you too, Grandma.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hour a Day

I have to admit - I did not do Judys 'Hour a Day' project in July. Well, a little bit. I pulled out the fabric and cut it on Sunday the 29th, and finished all the blocks on Aug 1st. Does that count?

I still need to play around with the color placement anad design. The reason this quilt grabbed me is because in Sept '06, I played around in my EQ and came up with something very similar. I wanted to use my hand-dyes in a project with black and white, and I liked Judy's better than mine. I can't seem to find the picture file, but it's in my Sept 06 blog entry - funny!

The black fabric is not solid black, it has teeny multi-colored dots all over, in colors that match the hand dyes, and I only had a little over a yard of it. What I have left wouldn't cover a modest kitten! Talk about cutting it close. If I had to make 2 more blocks I'd be piecing those little 1 3/4" squares! Sure feels good to be able to sit and sew again --

Still haven't got the bobcat. We rigged a way to lock up the chickens at night so we all sleep better, but they hate it and it's an ordeal for me to try to round them up. To Be Continued.......