Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This and That again

I am hard at work on quilting the panels that will make up my Weekender jacket. Since the fabric is woven, I want to make sure it is really secure so I am quilting on a diagonal through the checkerboard. This is taking A LOT OF TIME AND THREAD!

Meanwhile, I recently picked up a copy of Quilter's Home magazine. I have been getting quilting magazines for years and really don't need another one that has more projects in it that I will NEVER make. But I heard this magazine was different and a fun read. Well, it is ! Mark Lipinski and his staff are hilarious! This is like Cosmo for quilters. It's fluff , no commitment just really fun to read with a glass of wine and a little bit of chocolate. And there are a couple of quilt patterns which are put neatly at the end of the magazine so you can remove them easily. Mark is a "Joisy" boy and his sense of humor is wonderful! I was laughing so much my DH wanted to know what I was reading! When I told him it was a quilting mag, he looked at me like I had lost my mind. If you haven't taken a peek at this magazine, pick one up.

I have also been walking with my Ipod. I like to listen to audio books or podcasts. The only good quilting podcast I have found is Alex Anderson's. Now I love her, but I need a little more. So if any of you have any suggestions on podcasts (and they don't have to be quilty) let me know.

Right now, I'm in the middle of "O Pioneers" by Willa Cather. This was something that Jeanne was reading over the summer and I found it on Librivox for my ipod. It's really great! I can't imaging living on the plains of Nebraska in the 1800's.

I received an email the other day from Sue who was the winner of one of my Hump Day giveaways a while back. Hmmm, I should do another one of those! Anyway,Sue has had a tough summer but is on the mend and sent me a picture of the quilt she made with the pattern and leftover blocks that I sent to her. Isn't it awesome?? I was sooo thrilled that she shared this picture with me and graciously let me show it to all of you. I can tell you that her points are far sharper than mine! I'm not really known for my accurate piecing! LOL

Finally, in non quilty news, I found out over the weekend that MY BOOBS HAVE SHRUNK! Yep, I've been complaining to myself (i'm the only one that really listens) that my bras were in need of replacement. So I hit the mall and happened upon the bra fitting expert in the store. First, let me tell you, she was about 30 and she was quite perky (if you know what i mean!) Anyway, I let her do a fitting and come to find out I'm no longer a C, I'm a B. If I were a schoolgirl and those were my grades, I would have been happy. I made her check me twice but finally agreed that the SMALLER bras did fit better and took them home. I told my DH the sad news and his response was, "Really, I hadn't noticed"! I didn't know whether to kiss him or kick him. Now if I can only find a way to get my hips to shrink like that, I'll be in heaven!

I'm not sure why but my links are INVISIBLE and I can't figure out how to fix it! Sooo, You need to move your mouse over the "empty space" for the link! What's up with that???

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This and That

Last week, I set up some goals for September never thinking that I would get two out of the three completed in a week! Here is the little bag I finished for my friend Robbin's birthday later in September. I vaguely recalled having one partially started last summer so I dug deep into the UFO treasure chest ( one of two huge Rubbermaid tubs) and found one all pieced and ready for construction! #1 GOAL COMPLETED!!

Now I HATE making curtains but because they are pretty easy to do and nice curtains are sooo expensive, I make them. We repainted our living room in the spring and although my old curtains were fine, I was tired of them. So when Joanne's had their big home dec sale, I bought the fabric for three valances and a window seat cushion. I've been putting off making the valances all summer. But since we are having a going away party for Alex the beginning of October, I figured now was the time. So here is a picture of one of the two smaller valances. I also made a ginormous one for the big picture window but it was too sunny to get a picture of that one. The fabric was a loose weave and was a real pain to work with so I am happy to have GOAL #2 COMPLETED (well 1/2 completed-I still have to recover the window seat). But September is only 10 days old so I have time left !! My final goal was to start the 3rd part of my Round Robin. But since this isn't due until the end of October, I decided to put that on the back burner and work on yet another UFO which I had completely forgotten until I was digging in the UFO treasure chest. About a year ago, I did a fabric weaving class for my guild which was fun. Some gals made placemats, another used her piece for the background on an art quilt, some made pillows. My pieces were intended to be used in a jacket. So today I pulled all the pieces out of its grocery bag, spent a half hour figuring out where I left off and what I needed to do, and made some real progress on getting the jacket made. I want to have it completed so I can wear it to Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October. These are the pieces for the front of the jacket ready to be quilted. The pattern I am using is called " The Weekender Jacket". I'm not sure if you are supposed to be able to complete it in a weekend or just wear it on the weekend. LOL!! The fabric is batiks cut into strips, woven and then fused to a lightweight interfacing. The jacket will be lined with flannel so it will be nice and cozy for fall.

And lastly, a gratuitous Kitty picture, here is Miss Holly in her usual position soaking up the afternoon sun. Boy, cats have it made.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Playing Catch Up - The Sequel

As promised, here are some pictures of what I have been working on this month. Here is the Round Robin. This round had to include squares so I added the four patch blocks on point.

And here are my snowmen blocks. I have four more blocks to complete. This is a HUGE quilt if I complete all of the pieced blocks that go around it. I haven't decided if I will do that yet. I may just use one of the pieced blocks as a border all around the snowmen blocks.

This last picture is not something I made but one that I received. It is my ALQS quilt which I received a couple of weeks ago from Dawn who is in Turkey. I really should have posted this sooner so please forgive me Dawn for being sooo lazy. Dawn sent some samples of Turkish fabric used by the women there as well as some awesome beads to ward off bad spirits. I really like it. The quilting is fabulous and it looks summery!

And lastly, I am finally caught up with PROJECT RUNWAY. I was a couple of weeks behind with vacation and all. I sat and watched them last night. After the drag queen costumes, I couldn't decide who I wanted to go more - Daniel or Keith. Happily, I did not have to wait long. Daniel, the whiner, was the first to go. And Keith was eliminated in the next episode, though I thought that Saturn car part challenge was stupid. I think that both deserved to go and my boy, Suede, is still in the running which I am very happy about.

To start September, I have three projects that need attention:
1. finish a little purse for my friend, Robbin's birthday in late September;
2. start on the phase 3 of the Round Robin (yep, it has already been delivered to me);and
3. make my living room curtains which I bought the fabric for in MAY.

Oh, and of course, it wouldn't be autumn if I didn't FALL into another challenge! Finn has posted a challenge on her blog which ends on New Year's Day. I stopped by to say hello and jumped in with the promise to finish two UFOs before the New Year. Well, at least I kept it realistic! I could have said I'd finish all of them!!

Playing Catch Up

I know I have said this before but I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted!! My last post was about my trip to NYC to meet Libby. In my mind, that was like.... two weeks ago! Where does the time go??

With that said, it's time to let all of YOU catch up with ME! I have been out there in blogland reading about your summer projects, vacations, and other activities and I have been emailing with many of you but here is a quick summary of my summer activities.

Bob and I have been working in the garden quite a bit. We both love summer and being outdoors. Here are a couple of pictures of my garden.

We also spent a week in New Jersey visiting our friends who live near Ocean Grove. We both love the ocean so spent several days on the beach! Here is my usual position on the beach!

and Bob boogie boarding!!

These are our good friends, Vinnie & Robbin, with me on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

Now I have done some quilt related activities. I went to the Lowell Quilt Show with a couple of friends. This is a great show with lots of vendors and incredible quilts. There was a special exhibit of the Journal Pages from the IQF Houston show from 2007 on display. I took lots of pictures but will share one with you. This quilt is a riot!! We have all heard the expression and maybe used it on occasion, "The dog ate my homework". This one is called THE DOG ATE MY QUILT! Isn't it great??! Of course, I can't find the program from the show to give the maker's name but what a fantastic use of imagination!

I have also been working on the 2nd round of a Round Robin I am doing with 4 gals from my guild. This is just about done and I'll be showing you pictures of that tomorrow.

Since we are deep into the baseball season, I have been doing alot of handwork at night while watching the Red Sox continue to do their magic. The Bluework snowmen blocks are coming along and I have been knitting a shawl to keep at work this winter. It can get COLD in my little office.

I have also been doing lots of walking (I have been inspired by Debra) and listening to Alex Anderson's podcasts as I walk, which I've downloaded for FREE from Itunes onto my Ipod. If you get a chance to listen, check out the podcast interviews with Jinny Beyer (episode 28), the interview with the Purcells who own and run Superior Threads (episode 24) and the interview with Karey Bresnahan of Quilts, Inc. which sponsors the Houston show (episode 23). She has some really interesting insight into the direction that quilting is taking. Here's the link to Alex's website to review and download the episodes or you can go on Itunes and search for her podcast and Itunes will pull up all of them so you can download everything.

We are also helping Alex plan his itinerary for his cross country trip out to Utah and California. He is leaving in late September for Salt Lake City to interview for a couple of positions and then will head out to Lake Tahoe for a couple more interviews. His 22nd birthday was this weekend and we bought him a GPS unit for his car. I try not to think too much about his "big adventure" since as all you moms know, once the MOM wheels start spinning, you can end up in a real panic!

Well, until tomorrow,( and I PROMISE that there will be quilt pictures) QUILT TIL YOU WILT!

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