Saturday, December 30, 2006

Step on over to Karen's Blog for the New Year

Well I've finally convinced my friend Karen to start a blog! So feel free to step on over and have a fun visit - Of Quilts and Other Musings.

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years! I"m looking forward to more quiet time watching movies, playing games and SEWING!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Odds and Ends

Just some odds and end pictures to share. The above quilt is for my nephew and Godson James. This is that infamous Oriental Fabric quilt I"ve told you about (and shown) before. It is finished!!!! Totally Finished! I'm mailing it tomorrow to him! He is so excited. My sister says he loves the pillow cases I sent earlier with the oriental fabric to go with it.

It is quilted with a Ginko Leaf pattern which is really fun since my dad used to have a Ginko tree in the yard and some of the fabric in the quilt has Ginko Leaves on it. So for me and my sister it is kind of a cool memory. Maybe she will tell James about Grandpa and his trees? Her kids and my last 3 don't remember Grandpa, unfortunately he died at the young age of 52 from a brain tumor. But he loved trees. We had so many unusual trees in our yard that all the high school kids would come to our house to collect leaves for that section of Biology.

The pillow sham was made by my very best internet friend in Australia! We have been emailing for over 6 years now! And we still hope to meet someday. We've talked on the phone and send gifts for our birthdays and Christmas. The first few years we sent gifts for the kids too, but as they got older it got harder! So now we just spoil each other! I got some awesome teal and lime green fabrics for my Leavz wall hanging. She got me some fabrics and the pattern last year for my bday, so I"ve been collecting the fabrics I need since it is a random controlled scrappy type of thing. And kind of stack and slash type thing.

Last but not least is my Christmas present from Mark. Of course on the 23rd he hands me the money and says "I couldn't figure out what you want, go to the jewelry store and buy a bracelet since you wanted one". I've only been asking for 3 years now and picked a ton and gave him the pics and stores, but on the 23rd like I'm going to find what I want right now! I did go but couldn't find anything I liked. So when I went shopping with the girls yesterday I found exactly what I was looking for and got it! I wanted a bit more than just a chain, but wanted something I could wear everyday and with any kind of outfit. This seemed to fit the bill and it is very shiny in the light. Hard to get a good picture of shiny metal, but you get the idea!

Oh and just for those game people out there... Emily got this farmer game for xmas. She wants to grow up to be a farmer and she loves the game of Monopoly. So I found this farmer game which is kind of similar to Monopoly - but a bit more involved. Well we've played twice, the second time for 2 days to the end and I'll tell you - I am NOT cut out to be a farmer! Not even in a board game! The girls creamed me!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Days after Christmas

The days after Christmas are some of my favorites. The decorations are still up but things are calmer and more cozy. I love spending the quiet days at home with the kids playing their new games and watching the new movies they got on dvd. Just being lazy with no where to go and nothing to do. I spent all day yesterday sewing (which has been forever since I've done it) and watching movies with Mark and the kids. I loved it!

The wall hanging above is one that I should have finished long ago for a shop sample, but with being sick and then the holidays it just didn't happen. So the top is done now and I just have to quilt it - probably this weekend.
Probably one of the most fun things this Christmas was having Chloe around. I think she got more gifts from Santa and the kids than anyone! Her FAVORITE toy came from Santa (Emily was Santa for her and spent her own money on the toys) and is 3 chipmonks in a tree trunk that squeek. She loves sqeeky toys, but chews her toys up to death. She goes nuts outside over squirrels, chipmonks and mice. So this was perfect. It was so much fun to hear her sqeeky around, and watching her dig the chipmonks out when we would put them in the tree! So far she has been good to the poor little chipmonks. Only 1/2 an ear on one is gone! Yup, she was one happy dog the last 2 days!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Since my life has been so hectic lately, I thought I would wish everyone Merry Christmas now in case I don't even touch a computer this weekend! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends (and pets)!

Above was my first christmas with the moo's (as I hear I called them)! Oh how I loved playing in the manager with the cows while my "Grandma and Grandpa Baker" did the chores. My mom and dad rented a farm house from them (they weren't really any relation to us, but I called them Grandma and Grandpa) and when my mom had to substitute teach they would watch me. To keep track of me I was placed in the manager with the cows! What wonderful memories for me!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kawanza, Fiesty Festivus - or just a plain old Wonderful Weekend!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

That Darn Block

Well as promised (a bit ago) here is the block that was hiding from me! As you can see I finally found it and got it on the quilt and off to the quilter!!!! Someday I'll be able to show you the finsihed product!

Off for a holiday lunch at work! Fancy Smancy... mmmmm

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thank you for being a Friend

Yup, this is going to be one of my least favorite Christmas' I think. I"m in a funk. I've been sick since Thanksgiving which of course I've now missed all the pre-xmas decorating, shopping and "stuff". Of course I've gotten better, but I'm just so tired and still not on my feet - say nothing of this rash now that is driving me crazy!

And santa isn't having any fun either. Our 4 kids all had one item that they each really wanted. Something expensive - so since they are older and are beyond toys, and the girls like to shop for clothes and stuff on their own now, we told them they could each get their 1 thing, but then that was all for xmas. And they were all things they needed earlier so they have them already! So now there is no santa fun! I think mom is having a harder time than they are about it!

Then my teenage son who "knows everything" and in general hates us all, refused to come home from college for Christmas. He wanted to stay at school and sit around and play video games and didn't want to deal with us. So I"m having my first "no child Christmas" blues, especially since it isn't that he can't come home - he just doesn't want to come home. It breaks my heart and I kept hoping he would, but Holly (my oldest he lives with at school in an apartment) couldn't get him to come. So I'm just a bit blue there.
Yes this is all leading somewhere! So anyway last night was my small sewing group. I was just kind of tired and bummed, but thought maybe a night of laughs would do me good. And I just knew they all had presents for each other - but I just didn't have time or the energy to do anything yet, so I kind of didn't want to go! Well I went and what would we all do without friends! I came home feeling a bit relaxed and having some good laughs, good food and lovely presents. I guess presents can always brighten a day! So eventually I'll get my presents for them made, and I'll survive the holiday - but for now...

Thank you for being a Friend!

The top picture is a bag my friend Nan made for each of us. It is made with strips of fabric and sewn this really fun funky way to make it twist. Of course we had to spend some time using scrap fabrics and having her show us how to do it! :) And then below that is what she had inside for each us! Talk about fun! Oh and there was some coffee in there also, but that is already out!

Then my good friend and "kid supporter" (she has grown sons so she is always there for a hug - been there, done that type of thing) gave us each a piece of this awesome hand dyed fabric from Alaska and these AWESOME jars! Her husband loves doing woodworking so she had him make these for us! He found and used an old branch in their backyard and took the bark off and finished it and then hand turned the jar and knob and made this little "jar" out of it - now is that now cool or what! I teased her what was even better was she got her husband to make her gifts! Like Mark would ever do that!

Barb gave us each these cute little VERY LITTLE pieced stars from Thailand. They are courtship baubles. On New Years the single girls twirl these around their finger and let them fly into the crowd of young men. The lucky young man who catches it may ask permission from her parents to "court" her. I think I have that right - I was so tired last night when I read it!

And last by not LEAST by any means was my small quilt from Julie! I've been drooling over this quilt since she made it! Unfortunately I was tired and couldn't get good light or a still hand to get a good picture for you. So it is stuck down here at the bottom. I promise I will take a better picture for you. Anyway, Julie has been practicing all kinds of fancy and small quilting on her machine. She has been making all these little quilts for practice. You should see them! And she has played with fabric types and different threads. Well this one is a dark true black with these cool curving lines on the outside and then a feather in the middle with the little pebble like circles around it and then micro-stippling around that in black. And the quilting is done in this gorgeous jewel toned varigated thread! I usually do not like varigated thread at all - but on here oh my gosh it is gorgeous! And then the bobbin thread is this gorgeous, gorgeous green - and you know how I like green! I teased Julie that I like the back as much as the front! So I promise I will get a better picture of this to share.

And tomorrow I will share picture of that dreaded hiding block!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Yup, I knew it! I've looked for 3 days for this stupid block! So I knew if I posted my frustration it would turn up (and I cleaned up a ton of stuff in my sewing area too)!

I just found it! In the same cubby I looked 4 other times. Only it was with my needlepunch stuff! Nice place for it!

Maybe now I"ll get it sewn, the back ready and then will take a picture to share with you later!

Don't even ask

Don't even ask where I've been! This December is not going so well for me! I finally was getting better and all of a sudden took a down turn! And then to top it off I broke out in this prickly heat like rash all over - and it drives me nuts!

So I went to the Dr and seems my "stuff" is getting worse again and the rash is most likely from the antibiotics (he isn't posititve but that seems like the most likely candidate).

So I'm on a new antibiotic and still trudging along.

Needless to say my xmas shopping and wrapping is non-existent and I'm like a BIG CRAB because I've sewn NOTHING in weeks! :)

And I'm trying to get some quilts out I had scheduled for quilting between about 6-9 months ago - and I can't even tell you what a mess that is! One I'm still waiting for my black batting to come in (yes I want a special kind so I"m being picky) and the other don't even laugh. I had it put together for a shop sample but had one more block to go. So I just put a fused (and not sewn) block in its spot while I finished the hand applique. About 9 months ago I finished the block and do you think I can find it now! I know I saw it a few months ago - so why didn't I just put it in the stupid quilt then! Arghhhhh.

So no fun pics today! And yes I'm still here but not keeping up with things very well.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I"m finally feeling better!

Just a bit of eye candy. Boy was I sick! I am so happy to be feeling semi-human again! The above doll quilt I made this fall and started hand quilting it in October. I finally got it finished! And below is a closer shot and the back. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

I also made a couple purses for xmas gifts. I"m glad to get those done!

And last but not least is a picture of my little mug rug I got for a gift from my friend. Isn't it adorable!

Thats about all as being sick and now catching up hasn't left me with a lot of time to do too much! Just know I"m popping in quickly now and then to your blogs, but haven't taken the time to leave any comments.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More snow day fun

Still not feeling very well, so I"ll leave it at this..... my 3 babies still at home and more snow day fun......

Friday, December 01, 2006

What do you do on a snowy Day?

Yes we got the snow today. The girls were home from school and I worked from home, still sick - but doing just a bit better. Above is looking out out front door after Mark plowed out out driveway this afternoon. I wanted to get a prettier picture of the snow and house, but I wasn't feeling well enough to walk out and do that. At least this gives you an idea. I hear more snow is to come.

Last night I felt a tad better and found the perfect project to work on. I got my next installment of my house BOM, and so I sewed that together. Since this kit comes with all the pieces cut out to size all I have to do is sew! Now that was perfect since I really didn't want to cut and fuss! Here is months 1-5 together and a larger pic of month 5 I did last night.

So what do you do on a snowy day. Well this mini quilt was a long time in the thought process. First my friend Kathie made this small strippy repro quilt. I loved it, and thought - someday I need to make one like that.

Well then a few weeks ago when I went to Green Bay I found this awesome orange fabric in the repro section - my second thought - That is perfect for my small strippy! Bought it of course. Well today I just decided go for it. But instead of messing with a small one I decided to make a mini one for Lucy since she sent me her beautiful green one she made. Now mine did not take anywhere near the perfection of Lucy's, but it is darn cute! Now I have to make one for me!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So where am I?

Just wanted to check in with you and let you know I'm around and reading your blogs but not leaving messages. I got bronchitis BAD last Saturday (actually started feeling bad on Friday) and by Monday I was miserable. I've been to the Dr and have medicine, but I'm just kind of out of it and don't have too much energy. Needless to say I have done almost no sewing of any kind. Can you believe that - 3 full days I could have sewn and I didn't touch a thing! That should be unlawful!

But I did manage things to share with you. The above quilt was made by my friend who lives in Australia 2 years ago for me for Christmas as a surprise. Isn't it lovely! I have it hanging up, even though it is a bit longer than my quilt rod, I still have to have it up. It is so whimsical! But of course when it is really hanging it hangs behind the couch!

And I finally finished my Gwen Marston wall hanging. It is bound and washed to get all the white thread out from the trapunto. It is rainy here today so I couldn't not get a good picture of the trapunto. I may try again in Holly's room under her big light. But isn't it awesome. If only you could see the trapunto and micro stippling. This one is my masterpiece!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I got the Oriental Quilt Done!

Look! I got the top done! And it doesn't look bad! I think James will love it! (At least I hope so)!

And below are a few blocks so you can see what a block looks like. This was so easy to sew. It was kind of fun just doing mindless sewing and accomplishing something!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just a few things

Just a few things I thought I would share before being busy for the weekend. My sister called yesterday and said that she had to tell me something cute my nephew (and godson) said. I had sent her some pictures of his oriental fabric all cut up to tell him I had started on his quilt. Darci showed it to him and he said "I don't get it mom". She said "I don't get it either sweetie, but it will be beautiful when it is done". A bit later he comes up to her and says "Mom, I'm so lucky to have an aunt who can make that quilt for me". Ohhh now doesn't that just make it all worth it!!!!
I got sections B and C done on it. As you can see I ran short on a few fabrics so used my own creative "fixes". Notice in that one 4 patch I had to make a 4 patch to make one patch in the bigger 4 patch. And in the big 8-1/2" square I had to put in a slice of another fabric to make it big enough. I think it should work.

And I"ve been playing with some little drunkard path blocks. I found the only way I can get these sewn easily is to just pin. I tried less pins but it was just to futsy at the machine. So I cut them out and pin while watching TV. Then sew some up to free up pins and do the whole thing again!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe to share

HAPPY THANKSGIVING..........Here is a recipe I thought you would like for the holidays!

1 whole chicken or turkey
1 large lemon, cut into halves
sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
butter or olive oil, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Rub butter or oil over the skin of the chicken/turkey until it is completely coated.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.
Take a knife and gently separate the skin from the breast meat;

Slide lemon halves under the skin with the peel side up, one on
each side. This way the juice from the lemon will release into the breasts.
Place sprig of rosemary into the chicken/turkey.
Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes. Remove cover and continue
to roast until juices run clear, basting every 15-20 minutes.

If you've followed these steps correctly, your chicken/turkey should
look like the one in the picture.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just a tad.....

I got just a tad done this weekend on my nephew's oriental quilt he wanted so badly! Like everyone, I'm just busy getting ready for the holidays and having kids home again. Well and being lazy..... ...

But I did get his fabric washed and cut out, and Section A done! Yup, section A was a tough one! I did more work on the "secret project" but of course can't show it .... shhh it is a secret!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Horse Feathers

Well didn't do too much sewing today, but I did get some Christmas presents bought! The stores already were a zoo, so I"m glad I got done what I did!

I did get a chance to finish Horse Feathers, so I thought I would share a quick pic of it.

I've been working really hard this week on something that I can't share right now. So the hardest part is all this work and not being able to share it! Tomorrow I"ll probably do more of that project. Hope your all having a great weekend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Lazy Friday - tying up loose ends

Well it is just one of those days to tie up loose ends. I don't feel like doing much of anything. I think mostly because I've been so busy at work the last few weeks and I'm finally seeing only normal workloads finally that I"m just taking today to be lazy! In fact I'm treating myself to working from home. So I"m sitting here looking out at the grey cold November day in my shorts, drinking my diet coke!

I got a really fun email today from Andrea in Wales. She is having a wet windy day over there too and just didn't feel like doing housework (well that one I never feel like doing) and nothing in her quilt room struck her to work on. So she dug out the instructions for the fabric canisters and made a cat one! The picture is above - isn't is adorable! I love those faces on the cats and the lining fabric is wonderful! She said now she wants to make more for gifts and is thinking of making one for her daughter with handles to put makeup in for a small xmas gift! She doesn't have a blog yet, but enjoys all of ours and may start one after Christmas. I hope so! I told her to make sure to send me pics of any others that she makes. They are so cute.

A lot of you are really wondering what in the world that blue tape on my quilt is doing there! Patti thought maybe it was holding pieces together! Well you see I have this sweet little stinker dog. The only thing she chews on and likes in our house is my quilt stuff! Good taste huh! So I couldn't leave the pieces laying out, so I numbered them with the tape so I could pick them up! Above is a picture of Chloe with her favorite glow-in-dark ball and the bean bag chair she stole from my husband!

So here are 2 more pics of the Horse Featherers quilt. I got the corner blocks on and the ceneter sewn. Last night I took the time to put the thin light border around it! I already have the pieces borders sewn (did that on retreat) so tonight I"ll get those on and this one will be done! Well ok, the top will be done!

Off to do some work, someone just tracked me down at home!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

OK, so don't laugh at this quilt....

I want to start off this post with - "OK, so don't laugh at this quilt"! When I saw what Lucy had done at her retreat this weekend I had to share my quilt I made with the same blocks - a long, long, long time ago. This quilt got made from a challenge where we were given a bag of these ugly - very ugly - fabrics. And a lot of them were not high quality (they weren't low quality though either). We had to make something with them. About that same time I saw this quilt in an Australian P&Q magazine and decided that is what I could make with my strips. So I used scraps and uglies from my stash for the bigger triangle piece. Well at that time I couldn't picture all those ugly fabrics making anything nice looking - and I didn't want to kill myself over this quilt then - so I just pieced it fast. Well my pinwheels didn't match up too well, part of the problem was the bias and stretch on these ugly fabrics! Well once I got it done I fell in love with the purple pinwheels and the light border fabric. And heck - even the ugly fabrics worked well together. So its grown on me and is my TV quilt in the family room. Of course now I wish I would have spent more time matching up the pinwheels! (Oh and guess what - Lucy thinks the pattern they used is the same one I used those many years ago from the Australian P&Q!)

I also worked just a tad on my Horse Feathers quilt from my retreat where I forgot the fabric for the V in the feathers. Here is a picture from this weekend where I got the V fabric cut and the arms all made for the star. Don't you just love the blue tape! Adds something special to it doesn't it! I actually got the star all put together this weekend but I have to take a picture yet, so I thought I would show you the taped up (in more ways than one) version.