Saturday, February 26, 2011

Everything but Sewing

You all know how that goes. We've got our good intentions, but then things like grocery shopping, playing 'Scrabble' with the hubs/daughter on the iPad/iPhone, laundry, housecleaning.....

I did pick up some supplies for next weekend's workshop with Elly Sienkiewicz...looking forward to that.

The orchid in the studio has started to flower and I'm sure it would appreciate some company tomorrow, so as soon as the house is cleaned I'll be back at work. Only a couple more days left to pull an OPAM finish off, so I've got the motivation.

Speaking of couple of days left....only a couple days left this month to comment to win the feedsack needle book. Leave me a comment and tell me what you're working on tomorrow.

And if you went to the mid-Atlantic quilt show down in Hampton this weekend, I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Where's my gun, ma? I'm goin' huntin' for groundhog!

Damn you, Punxatawny Phil! What cruel twist of fate you orchestrated last week when the temps rose to 70, allowing me to don flip flops and break a sweat washing the Santa Fe in the driveway Friday afternoon....the ugly piles of black, dirty snow finally melted from sight. turning ugly this evening as the sleet and snow begins. The horror!!!!!  First the sleet, coating the roads with a sheet of ice, quickly hidden by a coat of snow...enough to wreak havoc on the roads tonight. And overnight you will dump 4-6 inches more of sleet and snow on top of that, just in time for the morning commute. Oh joy!  And while I normally would be teleworking tomorrow, I traded my Tuesday for last Friday, so I'll be hyperventilating my way out of our hilly neighborhood and into the office.'s supposed to be 50 again on Thursday. Here's hoping that tonight and tomorrow are winter's last hurrah!

On Saturday I took my second class in heirloom machine quilting...Sharon Schamber-style. It's an all-day class and it's amazing how little you actually get done even though you've been stitching for hours.

Those little grids that are filled in with circles are half inch squares.

On Sunday, rather than continue to work on Saturday's class project, I pulled out the project from last month (same type of class), and finished quilting it. 

Technically, I guess what I've completed is a whole cloth quilt...granted, it's going to bind up 18" square...
There's a center medallion, which is a basket of flowers and I've divided what's left around the basket into 8 wedges, each with a different free-motion design. That wavy grid is my favorite of all the designs I did.

If you've got any 18" quilts you need quilted..I am your woman. And no, this does not mean I'm going to start making miniature quilts.

One more class--Dancing With Your Machine--and I'm done with the series. (and will need to have my eyes examined...note to self...add 2.5 'readers' to Costco shopping list this week....the 2.0's just don't cut it with the beige on beige stippling).

Friday, February 18, 2011

TGIF (and a little show and tell)

I sincerely hope you have all been enjoying your week, as well as some of the unseasonable weather we've all been having (Thank you very much, Susan, for bringing that back from FL....way better than Mickey Mouse ears, or refrigerator magnets made from shells. You're very welcome, now who's just back from Santa Ana??)

Since I'm back in the old familiar Windows environment, here's some photos of what I picked up last week on the Space Coast shop hop.

Not exactly what one would expect to find in Florida, but I was very excited to find a spinning rack full of various sized cuts of wool. The kind you'd make penny rugs with. I picked up a dozen different cuts that will be perfect for pumpkins and pine trees. All I need now is some solid black wool to use as the base. Should be easy enough to find. Let's hope I can find my washing instructions for felting. No worries, I've probably got about 6 months to turn them up.

At the Space Coast Quilt Show I was able to indulge my fascination with vintage feedsacks. While I was tempted to buy some of the 'real deal' to maybe use on the back of the quilt I one day make with my 1930s repro fabrics, I settled instead for these cute needle books made from actual feedsack fabric. I think they'd make perfect Follower Appreciation Giveaway prizes, don't you?

In the fabric shop with 10,000 bolts of fabric (my bad, I earlier referred to it as having only 8,000 bolts), I discovered 'In the Beginning' fabrics. These are bits from the line called 'Adelaide'. I really liked those muted blues, sage green and pale yellows, especially with a pop of black. Check out their site for some great free patterns and to see their excellent fabrics. I'm looking forward to Polka Dot Garden, Julen, and September Light. I think I've found a new favorite fabric manufacturer.

Another line of theirs...Oceanica. This has been out for a bit, so it's really hard to come by in the shops. I was lucky to find four designs which I'll use to make a summer bag.

This is a little something wild and most definitely a quilt outside the box project. The hubs saw the two Michael Miller moth prints displayed on top of the shelves of bolts in a tiny little shop we found in a strip mall. I found the other two prints to go with them. I'm thinking light lime green for the borders and back, or maybe toss in a pale fuchsia.

Or maybe we can add these two recent Material Girls Studios cast-offs I found lurking in the studio closet to the mix. The light one? The dark one? Both of them? What do you think?

My MIL won a door prize at the Space Coast quilt's a paper piecing Christmas kit that includes the fabrics to make the holiday top. Of course she just handed it over to moi. I liked their door prize idea...they printed an open heart (or maybe it was a star) on the center page of their programs, and then they wrote a number in some of them that corresponded to a number on a door prize. When you came in they told you to check your program and if you had a number inside the heart, claim your prize at a table that was just inside the door. Very nice idea to keep in mind if any of you are on your Guild's quilt show committees. I'm thinking that this is going to make a sweet Christmas in July giveaway.

Tomorrow I'm taking another freemotion Sharon Schamber-style workshop. This one a little more advanced over last month's class. Same instructor. I'm looking forward to this. I love being reminded that I don't need my BSR to quilt. Quilting without the BSR is like riding a're a little wobbly for a couple of seconds, but after that, it's second nature. I hope to finish the project tomorrow so I've got something to show you. I skipped Bunko tonight so I'd be all bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow morning, so I'd best stay on track and head on up to bed.

Enjoy your Saturday. Don't forget about his month's giveaway, every comment is a chance in the drawing. Let's play for one of the vintage feedsack needle books this month. While I'm at the shop tomorrow for class I'll pick up some nice applique needles to go inside it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello From Sunny F-L-A

Still here. So far I've been able to handle sewing withdrawal--though not without consequence. There was a trip to a quilt show in Titusville, and shopping at 4 quilt shops, a Christmas shop and one of my favorite boutique shops. I've baked a German chocolate cake from scratch, had my hair straightened, nails gelled and frown lines filled.

However, I have yet to figure out how to do anything with photos on my SIL's Mac, so   if I were to upload any, they'd be wonky upside down photos of some fabric I bought to make something for my daughter...

Or sideways photos of the beach I really need to get out and walk on this morning, as I marvel at how absolutely, precisely straight the horizon line always appears.  What is it Cap'n Jack Sparrow says?

Enjoy your Sunday. I'll definitely be enjoying mine. If you're sewing today, take a stitch or two for me. I'll pick up a shell or two for you.

Oh yeah.....

"Now bring me that horizon."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Does It Ever Really Get Cold in Florida?

I'm convinced that cold is a state of mind. I'm listening to the local weather tell me it's in the 40s this morning, yet here I am, on the deck watching the sunrise over the ocean at 7 a.m. feeling no, in summer jammies. (I am SO glad I left the cords at home).

No photos tonight because I am incredibly lazy, and I'm on vacation, so it's justifiable laziness. Sorry, maybe tomorrow.

We headed out this morning on a mission to Cocoa Beach...Cocoa Village to be precise. First we stopped at the quilt store that had 8000 bolts of fabric (I kid you not...though I did not personally count them). Oceanica fabric for a bag and another set of fabrics for a future quilt were my scores here.

I decided to head back to the beach and hit the third shop of this trip, a local Melbourne shop, where I bought the perfect fabrics to make something for my daughter. I was killing time here, having an enjoyable conversation with the shopkeep until  I received a call advising me that I had a 3 p.m. keratin hair smoothing/straightening.

3 hours later I left the salon with stick straight, smooth hair that cannot be washed for 3 days. Thank goodness the hubs is leaving tomororw, so he only has to sleep with me reeking of keratin for one night.  In the meantime, my hair looks like it hasn't been washed for a couple of week, and it's most definitely not going to get any better between now and Sunday, when I can finally wash it. I've been advised that this is well worth it, so we shall see.

Tomorrow is mani/pedi day, a few needles to the face, ending with some charity event at the local museum. (Too bad about the unwashed, stick straight hair...oh's not like I have to live here and will see anyone again. :) )

In the meantime, my stick straight hair is in my can't tuck it behind your ears or use any clips/barettes/rubber bands. This is only day one, so I had better get used to it. I had my wrists slapped tonight for tucking it behind my ears, so from here on out, it's play totally by the rules.

I had better get to bed. That is, in itself, an event not to be missed.  I think this house is probably referred to in real estate jargon as 'king size'. The bathroom vanities are quite possibly higher than kitchen counters, requiring one to have excellent  aim when brushing one's teeth (and a kitchen chair pulled up to the vanity if you have a kid shorter than the vanity.

The bed?....well, I wish someone had a movie camera. The hubs has left me with the side that is 8" out from the wall. A bit of a squeeze for my ample ass. But this also offers me absolutely no leverage for swinging a let up and over the bed (which seems to also be counter height), where I can then throw myself up into said bed, hoping to have a good foothold so I don't fall back  into the 8" space between the bed and the wall, where I would remain until someone found me in the morning.

In a pefect world (which will begin tomorrow, when the hubs heads to Winter Haven for softball), I'd have a running start and be able to gracefully swing one leg up and onto the bed, whereby my body would folllow. But for one more night, we're going to have to do with the ungracious 'heave ho' and hope I can get enough body mass upon the mattress in the single shot I have--otherwise, I'm sleeping on the floor tonight!

Check my Facebook posts to see if I'm awake for sunrise tomorrow. At this point, I wouldn't bet the farm, but who knows.

Stay warm, and feel free to daydream yourself to somewhere warm.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Unbelievable.....Believe It!

Finished Checkerboard Hearts and it's still Saturday!  Woo hoo!!!!!

Not sure you can see it, but there's more than 5 hours quilting on this. Half walking foot, half freemotion. And there's another 3 hours on the binding (which isn't all that great, but it is my first scallop edge...note to self...get a book or find a video for further training.

So wrapped up was I in finishing this (and scoring an OPAM finish for February early in the month), we never did make it to Fire in Ice. The sacrifices we make for our art.

Well, tomorrow the plan is to catch up with quilt labels, which shouldn't take too long, and then I must pack for Florida. Unfortunately it's gonna be cool, but I can beats the heck out of this:

There is nothing worse than filthy snow. If it would just fall, look pretty for a day and then melt while it still looked good, I could deal with it. It's when it hangs around for weeks and just keeps getting blacker and blacker, and harder and harder so it looks like piles of dirt in the Nevada desert that I become antsy for a house on the beach...which is where I'll be Tuesday....with my iPhone {mischevious grin]. I'll post photos.

Sat-ur-day, Sat-ur-day, Sat-ur-day, Sat-ur-day.....

Do I have you belting out Elton John yet?

Today the plan is to FINISH, yes, I said FINISH, Checkerboard Hearts. We shall see how that goes.

Bernie threaded up? 

Walking foot on? 

Diet Coke (3rd caffeine fix of day so far) close at hand? 

Peppermint dish stocked? (prevents excessive teeth gritting while free-motioning)

Japanese Lucky Kitty set to wave mode? (we need all the help we can muster to finish this today..especially it's scallop edge...and if that works out, heck, we'll go out and pick up some Powerball tickets, right Kitty Kat?) 

Tart burner fired up with Zen-like aroma of relaxing forest? (remember to breathe when quilting) 

Mindless TV on for white noise? (Oh look, it's Heads Up Poker Tournament....totally mindless) 


Overall clean, conducive atmosphere? Somewhere you want to spend the afternoon, or however long it takes to knock this finish out?

If I can finish this baby in the next few hours, and the weather clears up, we may just be able to work in an impromptu trip to Frederick tonight for dinner -- it's Fire in Ice First Saturday -- 34 ice sculptures line the streets downtown, along with marshmallow roasting stations. Fingers crossed.

I hope you have the chance to do something creatively fulfilling today as well. Enjoy whatever project you choose.

Let's roll!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

She said baby, it's 3 a.m., I must be.....

Counting the minutes (currently 19) until I join the mad rush on the Verizon site to try to score myself an iPhone. Will I succeed?  (Am I crazy?) Stay tuned......

3:15 a.m.
Done! And relatively painless. Either I am the only crazy person awake ordering phones or Verizon has the best IT department on the planet. Ever try to order tickets on Ticketmaster the minute they go on sale? (Yeah...good luck to 'ya in that endeavor). Well, they might want to borrow the geeks from Verizon to amp up their online ordering system.

Okay, while I'm now officially too cool for school, I really should get to bed. Fortunately tomorrow's commute to the office is a simple stumble out of bed and down the stairs.

Tomorrow we sew!!!

(Don't forget, every comment is an entry into the February Follower Appreciation Giveaway.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Looking Like Spring Is Gonna Be Sprungin' Soon

Because Phil is clearly not going to see his shadow today (and if he does, it's going to be caused by the lights accompanying all those TV Reporter cams, cuz the last I heard, Punxatawny will be having a bit of 'precipitation' tomorrow.).

So, who won the  Monet's Countryside fabric in the January Follower Appreciation Giveaway?

There were 92 comments on posts in January, and good old Random No. Generator coughed up No. 69.
The 69th comment was made by Barb back on my Epiphany post:

Maybe with your eyes shut you will come to one? "(and by the way, I'm still waiting on that Indigo epiphany to slap me upside the head)

Congrats Barb! Send me your email off list and I'll pop it in an envelope and you'll have it the next day.

We'll have another giveaway in Febraury (who knows, it might be something from exotic, warm Florida). I love your comments, and appreciate that you take the time to make them, so keep 'em coming.

Nothing quilty to show for today. I directed my idle time in the direction of the Christmas tree that was still up in the bedroom (first tree up, last tree down),  and of course, there had to be cleaning accompanying it's removal, and a girl only has so much free time these days.

Gotta get to bed...tomorrow's my late night....the Verizon iPhone is up for grabs at 3:00 if you're trying to phone and my line is busy, you'll know who I'm talking to.

Wherever you are, stay safe, stay warm (or cool). And if you've got the time, inspire me and tell me what you're working on this month. I need a nudge (okay, a shove) to get me back on track with my unfinished projects from January.