Sunday, February 28, 2010


It has been SO hard to get anything done in the sewing room. Our little baby, Ms. Puff, is very persistent when she wants to be held or walk across the keyboard. It won't last so I am enjoying her. But today I locked her out for a little while to finish these blocks. These house blocks are for Victoria's BASICS home gather. She's collecting blocks to make quilts for the homeless. Check it out, they are quick and easy to make, and fun too! I like the 'Quilts for Sale' sign I put in the window! As soon as I figure out how, I will put the link on my sidebar.
Last weekend I finished putting the binding on my Storm at Sea. It's washed and soft and wrinkly. I believe it is one of my all time favorites.
I did a little tidying up in here today and, seriously, there is just TOO MUCH STUFF!! I am so lucky to have a decent space for sewing and somehow I have made it look like a disaster zone. I have a hardwood floor in here and I am occasionally tempted to paint it a nice bright color or maybe checkerboard or stenciled. That would require emptying the room. Maybe if I did that, I would be able to do an entire overhaul . Hmmm. What do you think? Is it sacrilege to paint a wood floor? (you should know that it isn't in very good shape, and it's dark). And while I'm asking questions, how do you store your fabric? do you keep it out where you can see it? or in boxes, or closets, or cabinets to protect it from sunlight? Do you separate it into colors? or designers? or categories? What do you do with 'outdated' fabrics? Do you save them for charity quilts, or backings, or give them away?
Lot of questions I know. But cmon, I could really use some ideas, and so could my friend, Natalie, who is a new quilter. She got me started thinking about this by asking for ideas for her beginning stash. I am anxiously awaiting your tips and hints and pearls!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not much sewing going on.

I got this put together over a week ago. It's all pinned and awaiting some quilting inspiration. these are shot cottons and they are really gorgeous in person. They are woven with two different thread colors so they have depth and seem to change their hue at times. I want to try to mix machine and hand quilting like Victoria did. I just need to decide how I want to do it. Any ideas? I was thinking straight lines, maybe squares around the black squares or something. This little gal, Mrs. Puff, is the reason for no sewing. I am afraid to let her into the sewing room (too many perils like pins) and she cries if you leave her alone. So I end up staying in other parts of the house. She needs LOTS and LOTS of attention and exercise.
She has a crazy spotted tummy.
She's always on the move.... fast!
She constantly walks across the computer keyboard. I have pictures that aren't blurry but I want to show how active she is.
She's my son's kitten. He's living at home commuting to college. He spends as much time with her as he can but when he's not here, I 'babysit'. We are introducing her to our other cats slowly but only one seems to be acting friendly. This may take a while. I miss my sewing room.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fun with Birthday Money!

What do you get a quilter for her birthday? The means to feed her addiction! My husband and I have our birthdays 2 weeks apart, this year I said, "How about if we get our own presents?" Hubby said "Yes! Great idea." So he gets to buy music stuff and I get to buy fabric, woot woot! sent me a 20% off coupon so I started clicking the mouse and filling my virtual shopping cart. First I got some basics (and they were on sale, yay!) Kona black and some white on white. Then I tossed in a taste of whimsy. I'm going to be keeping an eye on Wendy Slotboom's collections. These are so cute and it appeals to the part of me that adores Heather Ross fabrics.
This is a map for the squirrel to find the nuts he hid. The notes on the map are hilarious.

This one has lots of cute details and I love the soft greens.

And I finally got some shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett for my stash. This photo doesn't do them justice at all. If you read Victoria's blog, The Silly BooDilly, you will see why I had to get these fabrics. She has been working on a series of 'work' quilts. They are gorgeous and I want to try something similiar. I may take my first foray into hand quilting. Please! Don't hold me to this, allow me to chicken out if I need to.

Here's some other fun I had. I'm not sure when I'll try this but I've seen cool ideas with this Texture Magic.

Terrible picture I know. I got some of Kelly Wulfsohn's patterns. OMG! I love her style. I'm going on retreat next month, maybe I'll start one of her patterns.

Here's the other one, if you look close, you will see that it's just lovely and can be modified for Christmas or not.

And...... I had some fun at JoAnn's. Here are some Heidi Grace fabrics. I think I'm having a thing for trees and little birdies too.

I love these cute little buildings, but look at the trees with the tire swings! Love them!

Trees and birdies!

Birdies and trees! Cute cute details here. Ladybugs, trees with hearts!!
I have lots to show you this week.
We got a new kitten!
I've started a few new projects.
A friend has asked me to show how I store my stash. Not because I'm a genius, because she lives out of state and is a new quilter with a beginning stash and needs ideas. That sounds like a great reason to clean up this 'disaster zone' and take some pictures.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Looky Looky!!

What did Chet find to sit on? Could it be a UFO? Could it be finished? Yes! It is a UFO and it is almost done. I finally finished the quilting on the quilt. Remember, I was derailed last fall by the 'tension debacle'? I just have to turn and hand sew the binding. I started this quilt at a Kim Jalette workshop in May of 2006!! I always wanted to make a Storm at Sea, I love the illusion of curves. I really got excited when I put these fabrics together. The colors are much brighter than the photo shows. (I really need to get some tips from my daughter the photography major.) It was hard to cut into my Kaffe Fassett fabric at first then it got easier as I saw this quilt coming together. I stalled for quite a while when it was time for the borders, I needed to get more of the main fabric. Then a year ago on retreat I got motivated again. The completed top had to marinate for a while in the UFO basket. I am so so glad it's almost done. I really love this quilt. I can't wait to run it through the washer, get it all soft, and then snuggle up with it.
Last weekend I also got a back together for the chicken quilt and it's all pin basted and awaiting some quilting inspiration. I also started something new that I've wanted to try for a while (besides the zigzag). I show you soon! Nighty night. ps Our driveway is finally getting plowed tomorrow. Yay! I can put away the snowshoes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Get to know me, Part 3 !

Still want to know me? Ok.....
#21. I was a huge X-Files fan. I know the names of every single episode!! Cmon, who didn't think 'Small Potatos' was hilarious? Babies with tails? Nerdy guy shape-shifting to look like Mulder and showing up at Scully's apartment with a bottle of wine? And the alien conspiracy and the devious Smoking Man? sigh!
#22. When I was a kid, I had a great Welsh pony named Rabbit. He always did well in the driving classes (pulling a pony cart) at the state fair. I fed him banana peels as a treat once in a while, and I have no recollection of why I offered him the first one. I also had Shetland ponies named, Pillow, Dear Nora, and Seabiscuit. And there was also my pony Party Doll and a larger pony, Ghost.
#23. I love to read. A real pleasure is a lazy afternoon at Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks coffee and, if I'm lucky, one of the cushy chairs. Same thing at the library, but there I get to take a tote bag and bring a big pile of books home!! Whee!
#24. I love having a tablecloth on the kitchen table. Maybe it's because it's made of fabric?
#25. For most of my life, I had perfect, even exceptional, vision and I desperately wanted glasses. I thought they were such a cool accessory. Now that I need glasses even to see the food on my plate..... I LOVE them! If they weren't so expensive, I would have more glasses than Imelda had shoes. They come in colors and shapes and they hide the fact that I rarely wear eye makeup.
#26. I really hope I don't regret putting this here. If you google 'hyote' you can find references to me and some pictures I took in my front yard, even youtube clips. I saw a pathetic mangy red fox drinking out of our water tub for the ponies. It was so goofy looking that I took pictures of it to show my husband and kids. A year later, my husband saw a news report of a similiar animal in the next county, so he emailed them my pictures. He called me at work and said, "Don't be mad but the news station is coming to interview us." Oh My Gosh!!! Slow news day, they edited out every intelligent word we said. I should have just stuck some hay in my mouth and scratched my butt.
#27. Related to the above, we are also in the book, "Wierd Maryland". Just look in the index for 'mystery animal'.
#28. I have a true phobia, of vomiting. I have to joke about it because it's so stupid. I get teased about it A LOT and my family couldn't believe I became a nurse, especially an oncology nurse. I haven't puked since 1975, that's 35 years!!! Pure willpower I tell ya. When my kids were little and got a stomach bug, I walked around with my turtleneck up over my face and frantically wiping everything they touched. I tried to forbid my husband to ever get sick, it didn't work.
#29. When I want to pamper myself, I put fresh linens on the bed (I use lavender dryer sheets to make them smell good) and shave my legs. Smooth legs on crisp clean sheets, and the essence of lavender, aaahhhhh! And in the cold weather, I have a fabric bag of beans that I pop in the microwave then toss under the covers when I go to bed. So warm and toasty!
#30. I have an idea for the car manufacturers that my family thinks is hilarious. But I'm serious. I think all cars should have 2 horns. One is a polite little 'toot toot', as if to say 'heads up, the light is green'. The other is a 'HONK HONK' for saying "Watch out!!" Haven't you ever been at a light and the guy ahead of you doesn't know he can go, you want to let him know but don't want to seem all pissy about it or rude?

There you have it, 10 more facinating tidbits. One more week and my birthday month will be ending. One more installment of 'Get to Know Me' and we'll practically be family. Maybe you should run, not walk, away as fast as you can! Have a good day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Requesting opinions please!

I have been interested in making a zig-zag quilt from this tutorial. I have TONS of 2 1/2 inch strips from some online swapping I did for a while. I wanted to use some of them up so I got out my Kaffe Fassett strips and my neutral strips. (I wanted to use reds and neutrals but I couldn't find my red strips, then I remembered that I used them for my red/white/black xmas tree quilt.)
This is what I ended up with at first. The width is limited by my strips. And I am distracted by the darker neutrals. They don't show up as much in the photo.
Sooo, I went random and scrappy. Ugh! Don't like this at all!
Another arrangement, showing promise. I have small groupings of the fabrics in zigs and zags. I also took out the ones with the darker neutrals and made a few more strip sets.

Lastly, I put the fabrics in rows of the same, but added a few on each end to make it wider. Does that make sense? I tried to keep the rows in a certain color for continuity. Again, does that make sense?
So my question for you is.... which way do you like it best? Please don't say the random, scrappy way cause I think it's yucky. But I am torn between the first (it is a little narrow) and the last two. And I'm wondering if I should put back the two strips sets with the darker neutrals?
If you have an opinion, drop me a line please. Thanks.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I am Feeling the Love!!

Happy Valentine's Day!Meet Valentine Tweetie.
This is the finished mini quilt for the Wild Threads' Secret Valentine Swap. I made it for my friend, Pat, and she got it last night. I am also going to link to this for the 'So you think you can quilt' action going on over here. Maybe I will win a little something! I AM a winner! If I think about it, I really have won plenty of things. Just because it's not the HGTV Dream House or a Kitchenaid mixer from Pioneer Woman, doesn't lessen my apparent luck.
--A few months ago I won 2 patterns from Kelly at Don't Look Now. I LOVE her designs!
--And last week I won some gorgeous colored twine from PomPomRouge. It's on its way to me from Australia, I'm so excited! I have big plans for it.
--Today I won an adorable Valentine mini quilt from Kathy!! Yay!
--I also never go home empty handed from my quilt guild's Quilt Bingo.
--And the last time I went on retreat, I won two of the Jim Shore raffle items and my name was picked first for the door prizes, wow!!

--TQS had a contest once to write a caption for a picture of 3 women in their audience. I submitted something witty and won a big Bernina tote bag FULL of cool stuff.
--I won a HUGE flower arrangement from the coffee place at work once. On Fridays, you can put your name on your receipt and put it in their cup to win the flowers they've had there all week. It beats throwin them out right?

--When I was in 6th grade I won a dance contest. I think I still have whiplash from some of my moves on that dance floor, I was workin it!
--And my biggest win of all? I am a winner in Love! My awesome husband. I am thankful every day that he persisted and 'waited for me'. We had one date, then I turned him down for a second (I was hung up on a bad boy). A year later, he asked again (I had dumped the bad boy). Three weeks after what we call 'our second first date' we were engaged, 6 months later we were married. And almost 25 years later, he is my absolute Best Friend and soulmate. I am grateful that he was smarter than me all those years ago.

Check out our Sweetheart Trashcans. This was after the first storm. The second go round, thery disappeared completely. But don't worry, they've been rescued. I am going to go now and enter the HGTV Dream Home. This is the last week. Hope I haven't exhausted my luck just yet. I know I can't afford to keep the house if I win but I have a plan. It involves a big rental truck. I'm going to pick out what I want to keep before I sell the house. Notice how I'm writing 'I am going to' instead of 'I would'. In my little world, I will win that house one day!!!
And my friends can come with me to pick out stuff they want too.
Have a lovely day everybody, bye bye!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prayers for Eva.

Back in November, I posted about a brave and beautiful girl with cystic fibrosis who is in need of a second double lung transplant. You can read my post here. Her recent video post on her blog, 65 Red Roses, could be the bravest and most touching glimpse into someone's life that I have ever witnessed. And I have witnessed incredible moments in thirty years of nursing. Please consider visiting Eva's blog, pray for her, and if you aren't already, consider being an organ donor. Thank you.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Sorry to keep you all waiting so long. I spent a ridiculous amount of time today putting together a back for my chicken quilt. No pictures today of that wicked cold white stuff. Just a thank you for all of your visits and kind comments.
We had our game tournament today (silly me, the game is 5 Crowns, not 5 Kings!). I didn't win, my son did. Most surprising is that he beat my mother, who rarely loses any game.

The first prize goes to......... Debbie!

I really didn't get any comments from anyone saying that they had been referred to my blog so I just randomly chose a second winner and it is........Stephanie!

Congratulations ladies. I will get your packages to you first thing monday!!
Now everyone is ordered to have a Great Weekend. Bye!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It continues!

Who isn't sick of this? A friend sent me the most hysterical email today about shoveling and and then redoing it after the plow comes by etc etc. It got funnier and funnier and I laughed until I cried and couldn't see to read. If you are not from the mid-atlantic region, you may not know that after our 2 foot pile of snow, we just got hit with 20 more inches and blizzard winds. Check out the icicles on my house. Crazy! And I haven't been doing any sewing. I'm too distracted by this. And worrying. I am a worrier. I worry about the weight of the snow on the upper deck, and the porch roof, and the back roof. I worry about the heating oil holding out until the truck can get up this hill. And the propane too for our hot water and fireplace. The snowdrifts are so bad on the hill that it will probably be at least a couple weeks before we can clear the hill. The kids aren't allowed to turn on the fireplace because we might need to use it a lot if the heating oil runs out. We're keeping the thermostat down too, sometimes we turn it up to 63, hee hee.

C'mon baby! You can make it! That's Big Daddy, he just shoveled out my car, again! The snow is so deep here from drifts that it is 100% impossible to walk through it without snowshoes. We only have 2 pairs, and there are 4 of us in the house. Last night, I discovered that it is easier to crawl on all fours than to walk without snowshoes. my kids were ahead of me with the snowshoes making a path. Even then, when I walked I sank past knee level. But when I crawled, my weight was distributed enough to keep from sinking. The kids were startled when they looked back and saw me, lol. I hollered, "Go! Go! Save yourselves! Don't let me slow you down!" Ha ha, hee hee, lmao!

Snow is so pretty isn't it? I hope I still think so tonight at midnight when I get home from work and have to strap on the snowshoes and commence the hike up this hill.

It's OK though because after tonight, I have the next four days off!! Wheee! It's my birthday weekend. And everybody is home and I am the Queen. I decided that I want eggs and pancakes and a '5 Kings' tournament tomorrow. 5 Kings is a fun card game that my mom has. We like to play it over the xmas holidays but I think this weekend is perfect for it. Wonder if they'll let me win? Probably not. But I'm gonna win anyway, I think. And don't forget, tomorrow I am going to randomly pick a winner for my giveaway. Maybe I'll let the 5 Kings champion pick the winner. Sounds like a plan. And I will be sewing this weekend so I promise pictures of pretty, colorful quilty things instead of that white stuff. Leave a comment, last chance for the fat quarters! See y'all later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get to know me! Part 2

#1. I don't like to be late. In fact, I am rarely late. My daughter left this note on my pillow one night. It spent time on the refrigerator and was actually put in the trash briefly before my husband had it framed for me for my birthday.

#2. When I was a kid, I had a sheep named 'Crackers.'

#3. I love school supplies. I can't resist checking out the stationary aisle at the grocery store. For years, I dreamed of being a secretary when I grew up. I think it was just so I could play with school supplies.

#4. I REALLY love coffee. It soothes me. An afternoon cup of joe is my idea of pampering.

#5. I have a corner of my bedroom with two windows that I really wish had a window seat. Sometimes I almost talk myself into trying to build one, then I chicken out, or get wise. Not sure which.

#6. I hope (plan) to retire in 9 years.
#7. I have 3 cats. Chet is the oldest, he's a big fat dude. I like to call him 'Chubbsy Ubbsy'. He talks to us and he also like to sleep right ON TOP of me, all 15 pounds of him. Daisy is the middle child, she's a little wierd, but SO soft. Rosie is the baby, she's a Manx. The Manx breed has no tail. She's like a sweet little bobcat. Sometimes she sleeps on me too.
#8. This will sound crazy but I would really like to have a facelift. I don't care about looking older but my face sagging makes me look grouchy. I just don't like how my mouth turns down.
#9. Sometimes I think the best treat you can get at the grocery store is a new magazine.
#10. When I was in high school, my girlfriends and I went streaking down my street. We first went skinny dipping in the pool then we crept down to the end of the driveway, dropped our towel, dashed out into Stockton Road and back again. No one saw us. Whew!

Monday, February 8, 2010

It did stop snowing!

Are you sick of snow yet? These poor pines are. They were our Christmas trees when I was a kid. They are taking a beating with this heavy snow. Lots of sad, droopy branches. Time to strap on the snowshoes for the trek down the driveway. We parked our cars at the end of the drive on Friday evening as the snow began to accumulate
Mr Mathis doesn't like using the snowshoes (I think he fell over).

This is what greeted us at the bottom of the hill. My poor poor little car.

Top priority! The 4 wheel drive.
I got tired so I lay down for a while, right on the snow. It was pretty comfortable so I stayed there for a while.
This was the view from flat on my back in the snow. I had to look busy since I wasn't helping to shovel, so I started snapping pics of myself. Darn!! I just remembered that one of my personal resolutions was to start wearing color on my lips. I am such a paleface.
This is what happened when I found out that it's going to snow again. Waaah! Where are the Daffodils, the Crocus, the Snowdrops?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Giveaway update!

Remember these?! They could be yours in 6 days. I don't want to wait until the end of the month. For my birthday I am going to pick a winner. That's right, this Friday the 12th, I will announce my first ever giveaway winner. You can increase your chances, just leave a comment with any or all posts in February. Each comment is a chance to win. And don't forget, if you can get someone to mention that you sent them, you could win the secondary prize of 6 similar fat quarters. Such excitement!!
Time to hit the sack, big day coming tomorrow, gotta shovel out my car, whee! Nighty-nite!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm in Peril!!

Check out our side yard! The wires in the snow are cable, internet, and phone, so far cable and internet are still working. The wire in the left of the picture weighed down with snow is our power.
All of these pine branches are weighted down with snow and resting on the wire. I feel like it's only a matter of time before we go dark, :( I sent my hubby out (in his bathrobe) to swing a stick around and knock the snow off the branches. He said, 'Don't take a picture of me!' I'm so obedient. We couldn't reach the upper branches which I'm afraid will break and come down on the wires, so we got the long pole for brushing the pool. I got a lot of frustrations out by whacking branches with that thing. The wire is safe for now but our lights occasionally flicker so who knows what's happening further down.
This is out front. BIG branches have broken off this pine and landed on the fence and across the drive.

I went out and freed up some of the branches that haven't broken. I hate to admit it was kinda fun. I said "I'll save ya!" and shook and shook and got practically buried in snow. It's so deep you can just sit and feel like you're in a chair. I have awesome polar fleece snow pants that I put on over my jeans and stay warm and dry. I do think it's time to get the snowshoes out of the basement though. We put our cars at the end of the driveway last night and it will be a major journey getting down there tomorrow to start shoveling. I wish I didn't have to work on Monday morning. I sneezed earlier! Maybe I'm coming down with something, lol!
If we lose our power, we also lose water. That is the MAJOR inconvenience and we are filling buckets with water for toilet flushing. I ran the dishwasher and we all got our showers in (I even shaved my legs!) Wish us luck. If I'm still in business later I will post a 'giveaway update'. I'm going to go get some citrus blocks ready so I will at least have handwork. Adios!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Yup, we got more snow. And more (lots and lots more) is coming this weekend.

I got off work at 11:30 last night, drove through the snow, got all the way up the driveway (barely) and then had a birdbrained idea.

I decided that if I backed into the circle in front of the house, then I would have a straight shot out today. I don't back up very straight on a good day and visibility was poor because of the snow coming down and the fact that we don't have streetlights out here in the sticks. I backed right onto the side yard and got stuck.

My sweet son came out and pushed and shoved to no avail. All we did is run down the hybrid battery on my car. So we left it. I figured that there would be no school today and my husband (the teacher) and son could help me get the car out today.

Surprise, when I got up Old Man Teacher had already left. Bummer, and I had to go to work early for a meeting. Sonny Boy got out the shovel and then gave me a push and...... success!! I got to work early as planned, and the meeting was cancelled. Bleh.
By the way, check the statistics for the Baltimore area. We get almost all of our giant blizzards during my birthday week. That's right, 1st and 2nd weeks of February!! It's a good thing I am a homebody at heart. Now, where are my mittens?