Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Catch Up and OPAM Finishes....And The Wedding Looms Closer

The countdown is T minus 9 (9 days to the wedding....9 days to World peace....10 days to a triumphant return to the studio (there's a brunch to host the day after). Of course then the countdown begins anew for a week in Florida, and once back from that I'm sure I'll be counting down to's always something. I'd just like to win the lottery this week and throw a ton of money at all my problems and obstacles and let it all solve itself while I sit back and play in my studio. But sadly, my chances of being hit by an errant satellite returning to earth are far better than my chances of winning Powerball (1 in 3250 compared to 1 in 195,249,053). Hmmm....if you get hit by an errant satellite returning to earth, can you sue NASA for a $49 million jackpot?   I might be on to something here.

Okay, so here's what I've been up to in the 3 weeks I've been missing.... I finished a homework block for the Baltimore Album quilt...another papercut block.

And then I went to class the second week of September and came back and finished a leaf block which is the homework for next month (because I won't be able to attend the October class).

I even learned myself how to make a ruched rose....

And in class we learned how to make folded buds.

And I even attempted my first bird.

Feeling worthless for having not been in the studio for 2 weeks (for which my poor Christmas cactus paid dearly....not quite as 'cactusy' as one would think....did not like not having any water for an extended period of time...not sure if I did lasting damage, time will tell), this past weekend I decided to grab the smallest quilt project and sandwich and quilt it. Look closely....see those little red nubs? I tried out Pinmoors. I think I like them, but it took 50 to pin this tiny little table top quilt, so clearly you need about a hundred more to pin a 'real' quilt. (They're on my Amazon wishlist for the hubs to pick up for my Christmas stocking).  He came in curious as to what they were. Then he says....:"you know, you could just buy those little licorice nibs and use those, and then when you take the pins out, you can just EAT THEM!"  You know, he might be on to something there, and if I didn't think I'd have to wash my pins when I was done, I might give that a try.

Still on the Glory Road to instant gratification, I decided to knock out yet another Baltimore Album block, especially since the wait in the Retina Specialist's office is always over an hour in the waiting room and almost another half hour in his chair. (I think there should be a law that if a doctor makes you wait more than 15 minutes for an APPOINTMENT they should pay you for your time. I mean, really, if I don't come to my appointment, they are going to charge me for inconveniencing why is it not a two-way street?

I was also able to take a break the Saturday before last and go to Creative Saturday at Needles and Pins, where we made little redwork-type Christmas ornaments as our 'make and take'. I really liked that whole backstitch thing, so I came home with the above pattern and everything I needed to execute it (though I'm not making little bags..I'm going to frame them). It's a ragged linen kind of fabric you stitch on, then it's stitched to wool felt. The pattern is from Crabapple Hill and it's #312 Trick or Treat Bags if you're interested in a sitch-along with me.

Sunday night I used my sewing machine to make placecards for the wedding. Which reminds me...gotta remember to change the needle. I did find that I had missed one, of course I put everything away, so I can't move on until I pull it all out and make the one missing card.

I bought this cute pattern at the September Creative Saturday and had hoped to make a cute little supply caddy to take to my class with.....get ready.....SHARON SCHAMBER!!!....Sunday. It's only Tuesday, so I'm not ruling it out yet (and I'm also not ruling out Happy Hour this Friday, so that could be a problem).

Finally, I'm still on the quest for wedding shoes. I sucked it up and bought a dress last week...took a day off work and went shopping with my neighbor. It cost way too much money and it needs to be hemmed. (But if I'm ever invited to an awards show, or go on a cruise, I'm set....I've got a long dress). Which is why I'm needing to have the shoes thing crossed off the list this week. Found a pair at Marshall's last night, in black, bought them, and decided to drive up to Frederick to see if I could find them in gray. And bonus that there's a quilt shop across from the Marshalls and they have Presencia thread on sale for $2.50 a spool.  Okay, so I'm a  Thread Whore...der. Sue me.

Just wanted to post some OPAM finishes, check in with you all, and let you know that the giveaways will be caught up and resume AW (after wedding). I'll definitely be blogging on my Sharon Shamber class Sunday night, so if I don't see you before then, have a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

If It's Friday, I Must Be Stressed

Oh look! The quilts needing sandwiching, and the bags needing stitching have walked out of the studio and positioned themselves in the upstairs hall, hoping they will be noticed and actually finished rather than banished to a shelf in the closet until next fall.

I should be in bed, but instead I'm sitting here in the studio wondering how the heck I'm going to get my Mimi Dietrich homework done for class on Sunday. Aaarrgghh!!!!!

I'm a project manager, I've been professionally trained, I should be able to handle this. Okay, let's see, first we need to define exactly what it is we need to do this weekend. Don't worry, I won't bore you with the 42 bullet item list, suffice it to say, it's more than can be completed by a mere mortal in 2 days.

Next we look at the list and decide just what we can get by without doing. Okay....I can go another week without looking for a wedding outfit. I can probably go to Mimi's class without doing my homework. Do I really have to go to Frederick to buy Blue Bunny Red Velvet Cake ice cream?

And then there's what absolutely can't be blown off....Happy Hour with the ladies tomorrow night, attending Mimi's class Sunday afternoon,

That was called 'prioritizing'. I"m good at actually performing the act of prioritizing, but I suck at carrying out the tasks I've prioritized. :)

I'm also a good multitasker. (Who isn't these days?) . What if I take my class homework to Happy Hour tomorrow night? (Hmmmm...hand sewing in low light,  while drinking, at a kitchen island laden with foods from the 'top ten toughest stains to remove from quilt blocks'  list.) Probably not a good idea.

And let's not forget 'delegating'.  Can I trust the hubs to go out and get stink bug traps?

Wouldn't it be great to just phone in sick to work tomorrow and add another day to the weekend? While that would solve all my problems, it can't happen, so I suppose I should just suck it up, and go to bed so I can get up early enough to knock out one of my tasks before work. If I do that now, I can still squeeze in 4.5 hours of sleep.

It's going to be a very busy Saturday. Hope yours winds up being way more relaxing than mine. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Weekend Wasn't a Total Loss

Life has a way of turning things upside down, and the much anticipated 3-day weekend I had been looking forward to crashed and burned.

While it was most definitely a loss, it wasn't a total loss, and I was able to finish the scrappy pumpkins quilt top:

And once again, I veered off the beaten path and tired my hand at redwork:

The year before last I had a Mary Engelbreit Carolers jelly roll and charm pack. I used some quickand easy  Eleanor Burns pattern I had picked up at the show in Houston and whipped out a Christmas quilt for my MIL  I took the leftover fabric, added a little high quality muslin and turned out another lap-size quilt, with the intent of using my new machine embroidery to fill in the 18 blocks. (ha ha....what a dreamer I was/am).

Instead, it was folded  into the closet, waiting for me to discover Redwork. Looked easy, just needed to find some patterns, which I did today when I made a pity party trip to JoAnn and Hancock (I started too late, otherwise it would have been a much better pity party that also included G Street and Needles and Pins). So, one block down, 17 to go.

I picked up a couple of great magazines at JoAnn. Sew Beautiful has a pretty wild tape measure tote on the cover that I picked up 8 tape measures to attempt making....but then I realized that I could purchase a kit, which is the new plan, so I'll need to make a return trip to JoAnn (such a shame) .

The other mag is called 'magicpatch' and it's a UK publication. While it's only 50 pages, it had a great table runner and some pretty interesting mini quilt patterns. Watch this space and you'll see at least one of them in the near future. (Yep, another U-turn on the path to finishing something.)

Right now my pile has 4 quilts to be sandwiched. The only big one is the Halloween quilt, so I really need to get off my butt and get that done. I'll put that on the list, right after figuring out what the homework is that's due Sunday for the Baltimore Album class. .

Maybe I'll get a chance to take the field trip I was tempting you with next Saturday.  Sadly, family got in the way of fun this weekend. Won't happen next weekend.

I'm going to try to get at least one of those quilts finished this week...even though it's already a third over. What are your goals?