Monday, November 29, 2010


Remember those 30 Fat quarters I got? Here's a peak at them. It seems I was feeling the pastel candy colors! I am looking forward to cutting into these. I only have a few minutes, it's getting late and I have to get to bed. Tomorrow is a big night. Baltimore now has a Modern Quilt Guild!! Oh yeah! First meeting is tomorrow and I can't wait. I love Mod. Gettin Jiggy and Groovy in Baltimore!! Tonight I had to whip up a handmade xmas ornament to take for a swap. I played with wool. I'll snag a picture before I bag it up so I can show you.
Remember this quilt? It's a Christmas gift for one of my brothers and his wife. I gave up trying to figure out their decor and colors. I'm just gonna hope they like it. I am almost finished quilting and I can't tell you how excited I am. I was so nervous about quilting on the solid blocks. There's no forgiveness on solids is there? Well, guess what? I found my groove and had a blast. I actually did some feathers. I'll be sure to post some pictures. I matched the thread colors to the blocks (insecurity, ha ha) so it's hard to get it to show in photos but I'll work on it. Tomorrow after work, I plan to work hard on it so I can take it to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting and work on the binding.
Good night everybody! Peace out!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Well folks, I had a fun and happy and thankful Thanksgiving! Although I worked late the night before and had to get up to cook and tidy up, dinner was lots of fun. My daughter and I decided to do a little 'pregaming' while cooking. So we had some tasty sangria and got my sister-in-law in on it when she came. It's darn good sangria I tell you! The food was awesome and we were stuffed. Here is my daughter showing off her guns. She seems to think her right arm is more muscular from carrying her camera bag and/or purse. This is her normal type of outfit, she is never cold. Madness I tell you. I sure have a thing or two to say when I catch her turning on the gas fireplace while wearing a tank top. She's cute though, dontcha think?

After dinner we played a couple hands of a nutty word game called Bananagrams. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble the other day. It was lots of fun but there sure was a lot of loud 'discussion' about what words are acceptable. I tell you, Google can find a definition for ANYTHING. That's pure Madness! My family loves us some Sweet Potato Praline casserole. This year I didn't measure anything. I bought a lot of sweet potatos and cooked and mashed all of them. Then I put them in a giant bowl and started tossing in brown sugar, milk, and eggs. I made the topping with pecans, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter. When I went to put the potatos in two casserole dishes, I discovered how much I had made. LOTS! I had to mix up more topping and ended up with 3 casseroles, one was quite large. I like to make sure we have leftovers for the next day but, oh dear, I think we'll be eating this for weeks.
Sweet potato madness!! My son and I just talked his friend into having some. Poor guy, we talked it up so much he had no choice.

So last week I finished this top using tumbler blocks cut with my Accuquilt Go. It went together quick and easy. I probably won't do anything else with it until after the holidays but I think it will make a great baby gift. I think I'll make more with this block, try different things, maybe piece together scraps and cut blocks from them. Want a confession? I am telling you this because I feel guilty and have to show you something.
Wanna know what the biggest madness was? Wellllllll, Thursday afternoon my friend, Kathy, aka Ms. Neat and Tidy, sent me a text that
my favorite quilt shop was having a midnight madness sale. Cool, right? I didn't say LQS did I? Nope, this shop isn't local, it's over 90 minutes away in La Plata MD. Material Girls Quilt Boutique was having a midnight madness sale. If you got through the door by 12:15am you would get 30% off your entire purchase. Oh good golly, heaven help me I said 'Sure!'. So I left the house at 9:30pm, met Kathy and another friend at an Ikea parking lot, we drove to another friend's house to meet up with two others and got to the shop with 10 minutes to spare.

We were fueled with energy from tasty Swedish Fish to counteract the turkey dinner earlier. Gosh I love these fish! I like to say 'shveedish fish'. It's just fun. Or mad. Who knows, I just do it. Shveedish fish!

Okay okay, back to the quilt shop. There were lots of people there and the staff were lots and lots of fun. They had plenty of door prizes too if you could produce various odd objects they asked for. I travel light so I didn't win anything but there were quite a few winners in our car. Maybe if I had Crocs shoes, or an ankle tattoo, or a military ID, or a recipe, passport, flashlight, Qtip, liquor store receipt, Nook, Kindle or speeding ticket in my purse, I would have won some goodies and wouldn't have bought A LOT of fabric. But I didn't, and I came home with a lot of loot. Such madness. (By the way, one lady actually had her passport with her! Do I even have to say it? That's madnes.)
Well here goes. Let's see the goods!
First of all, admit it, red with white polka dots is a staple. A chef wouldn't be caught without extra virgin olive oil, right? Well, just two days ago I was tearing apart my stash looking for a red with white polka dots and found none. So now I have 2.5 yards. A sensible purchase I say. And I snagged some cute holiday fabric with lots of lettering that looks cute with the dots. Awwww.

And bolts of all these goodies ended up in my cart. These are half or one yard cuts. I love those birdies! And how cute are the zippers at the bottom? Very fun.

Every year I say I don't need any holiday fabric but look at this layer cake. And keep in mind the 30% discount.
Look at these fabrics, three colorways! Two to three squares each. Love those reindeer and trees and cute, cute dots. I love that pink has found it's way into xmas colors, it's so cheery.

But wait, there's more. hee hee Not a ginsu knife, just more fabric. Do you think this looks bland? I had this charm pack and jelly roll in and out of my cart. I pondered and thought and hemmed and hawed.......... and then bought it.

I think this does look bland, not really a color combo I'm drawn to. So why did I buy it?

BECAUSE I LOOKED INSIDE!!!! Pink, orange, red, black, lime. Pez, sparkles, starbursts, dots, and mod designs. Cmon, admit it. Don't you just want to roll around in these strips? Oops! I just drooled on my keyboard.
Aren't all these purchases fabulous? Aren't I the luckiest gal around?
Well, guess what? There's more.
Listen people, it was late, I was tired, and I wasn't thinking straight.
I also got 30 fat quarters.
What? You couldn't read that? Fine!
Thirty, okay. I also got 30 fat quarters.
They were really pretty. They looked like candy. I was suffering from sweet potato toxicity.
I don't know why I got them, I just couldn't help it.
Two were just silly. Bright cheery fruit.

Sneakers. Seriously, why not.

And then I just couldn't stop picking up these soothing, pretty, pastel delights. Now these really are drool worthy.

I took other photos of these but blogger is being naughty tonight. I can only upload one picture at a time. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
Now, th th th that's all folks! I got home at 5:10 am. Madness!!
Hey Lisa, what shopping did you do on Black Friday? Ummm uh well....... I bought myself some quilt fabric. Please don't ask about my holiday shopping. I am gonna do some real soon.
I have done some gift sewing. I'll show you some stuff with the next post.
Tomorrow, I am going to finish quilting my brother's quilt. That's my goal.
Goodnight everybody!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Random Thanks!

First thing this morning I gave the first thanks of the day for my steadfast friend, Mr. Ibuprofen. That's right, I had a pain in my head. Why? Because last night I did a little taste testing from this jar. At 12:30 am, after a long shift and many hours after a dinner of yoghurt, a cheese stick, and a granola bar, I made a nice batch of sangria. I think I'll blame Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.
ps - it's a big jar so I put it outside to stay chilled. It's nice to know the raccoons didn't get it. They have been known to pull lids off our trash cans and carry off a turkey carcass. Goodness knows what they would do after a sangria party!! If you don't have this cookbook, you should put it on your xmas list. If you don't cook, then just get it for entertainment value. She's a hoot!

So I was poking through the Pioneer cookbook this week and realized she has this recipe for sangria. I've been having a love affair with sangria after having some at a Baltimore tapas restaurant, Tapas Teatro. Mmmmm, so tasty and with a nibble of fruit too. So when I saw this recipe, I saw the perfect opportunity to try it out. Thanksgiving!
It packs a punch on an empty stomach (although I did eat some almonds while I sipped away), but I'm sure a big dinner can take this villain on.

I will also give a shout of thanks for my old standby recipes. Some from this book and some scattered on all the papers shoved in the book. I make a killer sweet potato dish with a praline topping. I make it a little different every time because I combine several recipes and can never remember which way I do it. What I do remember though, is that it's VITAL to make lots of it. SO good for breakfast the next day, and lunch, and afternoon snack......................etc etc.

My favorite part of trying to figure out how to make it each time is my little notes. My sister, Hannah, emailed me one of the recipes I use. I added some touches from another source. How big is a splash? Anybody?

And I might as well thank my ugly old tree. He lives in the back, just off our deck. When I have old fruit, like the dried up lemons I found in the fridge today, I like to give my pitching arm a workout and see if I can hit the tree. If I can, I find someone around the house to compete with. Since it's a national holiday, I guess I'll tell the truth. I don't manage to hit the tree very often. It's harder than it looks, OKAY? But I have fun trying and maybe the squirrels and birds like a nibble. And, in my little happy place, I imagine a little orchard springing up around that ol tree some spring.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it and everyone else can have a Happy Thursday!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yoo hoo!! I'm here!

Where have I been!? Shame on me, ignoring my blog is not acceptable. I have actually been having lots of busy fun. Last weekend my hubby and I went out with friends and had a great time and good food (we are such homebodies that this is a big deal). I also got together with friends from the Wild Threads for a fun day of sewing. BUT, check it out! Most exciting of all is that Bonnie Hunter came to speak at my guild meeting. She is lots of fun, very inspiring, and most of all.....FULL of energy. On Tuesday, I took Bonnie's 'Crumbs' workshop. We were supposed to bring our scraps. Look at the pile that I brought.

This is probably less than half of my total scrap stash. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I lost my rotary cutter or ruler in this pile. If you look past my mess, you will see my friend, Kathy's work space. Good grief! Does she always have to be tidy and organized. It is just baffling. Kathy is a wild, nutty, free spirit with a glut of unleashed creativity. I just never expect her to have such a tidy workspace.
This is one of Bonnie's quilts. Very scrappy. She taught us to make some letters. It was much harder than I expected. I really need to visualize what I am working on. Tricky.

This is my friend, Chris, at our little sewing marathon. Hi Chris! She is a wonderful, genuine person who is loads of fun to hang with. And check out her little sewing box on the floor. She's had it since she was a kid. I covet that box.
This is Kathy. Yup, the famous Kathy who has a tidy workspace. She came and pin-basted about 4 quilts in no time at all. I love this wonky churn dash. I really need to make one.
This is a closer view. Don't you want to make one? Mmmmmm, I keep telling myself I need to build my stash of solids. There is just something about quilts from solids. I am charging my camera battery right now. Tomorrow, I will post some pictures of what I've been working on.
Have a great night. Night night!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Amen for Math, baby!! Oh yeah!

Happy happy joy joy!! I am doing the happy dance (in my pj's if you need a visual). If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might know that I am not crazy about borders. Oh, I LOVE them, let's be clear. I just don't enjoy putting them on. It usually involves careful measuring, precision, and MATH. Eeeks! Who hasn't put on borders and ended up with crazy wavy fabric and miserable puckers? Fess up people, I know I'm not the only one. It's a sure fire way to end up with a new UFO.

I don't really follow too many patterns these days. I get ideas from patterns and use parts from them. The star part of this quilt is from a pattern but I modified it, it was supposed to be a Texas star. When I was on retreat I worked on the center blocks. And that brings me to a confession............I messed up my math. Shhhhh, please don't tell Mrs. Bennett, my 5th grade math teacher. I don't know what happened but I have decided to blame the 32 Heath bars I ate (they were MINIs ok!). After I put the appliques on, I decided to add the black frames. Since the outer star blocks were already done, I needed to make sure the inner square measured up. So I scribbled and cyphered and used my cell phone calculator. I came up with some measurements and cut down those applique blocks while keeping the designs centered. Added the skinny black frames aaaannnnnd....dadgummit!! It was too small. Seriously? I do know about seam allowances. What the hee haw happened? So, I had to trim down all of the other blocks. Phooey.

Well, you can imagine my lack of confidence when I decided to make a pieced border. I pulled out lots of my favorite quilt books and checked out the borders. I knew I wanted to use the Cherrywood fabrics. I decided to keep it fairly simple but I wanted the blocks on point.

Once again, I measured, scribbled, calculated, measured, figured, sketched, calculated, pondered, doodled, surfed, calculated, took a break, and....... did it! Phew, I used up the last of my black on white. If I had messed up again, I would have been very sad.

The punch line is that I feel smarter today. This quilt measures about 68 inches square and I'm gonna call it done. I need to get some backing fabric. I would usually use my stash but this is a special gift so I would like to use all one fabric. My Wild Thread buddies and I are having a marathon this Saturday. My plan is to get this sandwiched and quilted. At least i hope so. I haven't decided on how to quilt it yet. Suggestions will be welcomed with open arms. Check out this dude. I won him on retreat.
We always have Jim Shore figures for raffle on retreat. I confess I'm not as crazy for Jim Shore as a lot of other people are. That's probably why I win every time. Go figure. I buy the tickets to help the group recoup the cost. Last year I won 2 out of the 4 items. No fooling. One was an angel that I traded with my friend who won a dog, and I gave the dog to my SIL who quilts and LOVES dogs. (I'm a cat person, hee hee) The other was a fleece throw which is still packaged and in a closet I think. I plan to donate it back at the next retreat. But this little sheep makes me laugh. Maybe because I thought he could be a mascot for these guys.

I think his (?her) face is a little creepy though. I don't know if it's the blue or because he/she is staring at me. And not smiling either.
At any rate, onto the shelf in front of the red kitchen wall it goes.
Have a super day! Time for me to get out of these PJs and clean up this place before work. (btw I put the sewing room back in order)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I still haven't unpacked from retreat.
I just keep stepping over the mess.
Do you have trouble putting the ol' sewing room back together? I think it's always a good idea to return from retreat with some handwork, like binding, to do. It gives me something to do while I wait for the motivation to get the workroom back in order. I used my weekender bag and it was PERFECT for a weekend's worth of stuff. I love it.
I snagged some photos of the quilting on my Halloween quilt today. I did something different for each row. I have been wanting to try pebbles and boy were they fun. I used them for the candy corn row.

How do you like the spiderwebs? I haven't washed the quilt yet so you can still see the white markings. I drew the spiderwebs on first. I tried one without marking and had to pick the whole thing out. Lesson learned.
For the star row, I did straight line quilting but changed the direction of the lines with each block. I just thought it would give it a little interest.

I just love the spider row!! I had to put another picture in.

It's hard to see but I did some echo quilting around the bats. To give the idea of the wings moving.

I just meandered in the background behind the pumpkins. I used black thread so it wouldn't show up too much.

Did you notice the little mistake that I made on the star row? I decided to leave it in. If you really can't find it, leave a comment and I'll tell you.
Tick, tick, tick......Christmas is coming. Do you give a lot of handmade gifts? If so, are they done yet? What are you making? I have a few ideas I'll share soon. Nothing original, just tidbits from around blogland.
Have a great weekend, I will!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quilt retreat is FUN FUN FUN!!!!!!

I went on retreat last weekend. I didn't sign up originally because none of my usual 'buds' could go. I began to regret it more and more and when I heard there was an opening, I jumped right in! So much fun and I had such a blast with everyone. Very little sleep though and, oh my gosh, did we eat a lot of Halloween candy. I am 90% Heath bar right now, lol. And I am so exhausted, my priority this week is to get to bed early every night. This is a Christmas mini quilt that I made. The Wild Threads are having a secret xmas swap and this is the mini I made for my partner. Shhhh, I can't say who it is for. I fussy cut from lots of my Christmas fabrics and made a 'postage stamp/ ticker tape/tile' quilt. Does anyone know the difference between these 3 types of quilt or are they the same? The binding is the stripe, the mini is laying on a white surface. I also added some buttons and snowflake sequins. This only took me an afternoon and most of the time was the fussy cutting as well as playing with the arrangement. I actually made this red star before I went on retreat. I took it along and never worked on it at all. I used to take SO much stuff on retreat. I am working on being more realistic with my projects. Believe me when I say I did much better this time, ha ha.Remember this? For my brother and his wife in Nashville. I decided to put applique in the center. Gosh I love these Cherrywood fabrics! Such rich color. I used applique designs from Kim Schaefer's Flower Festival book and I surrounded them with skinny black strips. That's my friend Lois at her machine. We laughed all weekend. My design wall is a $3 flannel backed vinyl tablecloth and I use Command strip hooks to put it up.

Wanna closer look? This is only 46 inches square right now. I haven't seen their house since just after they moved in. Since then, they have decorated and I have no idea what it looks like. I don't want to assume they have a place for a larger wallhanging, so I really think I should make a lap/sofa size. Suggestions? Please, pretty please! I need input.

And here is an even closer look. Notice the black and white chicken fabric on the right? Makes me laugh.

Check this out. You never know where the laughs are coming from on retreat. Kathy has a duck who apparently goes everywhere with her. He has lots of outfits I think. Duckie is a Steeler fan. Egads that's a travesty! Last year I made him a Ravens shirt on retreat. Kathy chased me around as I put the shirt on him. Everyone is still laughing about how I ended up under a table with Duckie. I happened to be sitting on Gail's sewing machine foot control. Her machine was revving wildly and I was oblivious to it.

This year, Kathy modeled the 'Duck bra' she made for a charity challenge. Awesome isn't it?

I don't have a photo yet, but I got my Halloween quilt quilted on retreat. I did each row differently. My favorite is the row with the spiders. I quilted spiderwebs. I hafta tell ya, I am VERY proud of the spider webs. Give me a couple days and I will post a picture. Too bad Halloween is over. I really want to hang it up for a while.