Thursday, October 29, 2009

She's ok.....

She's ok (in a loud sing-song voice). That's a line from a comedienne's skit that I listened to one night probably about 4 months ago on my way home from work. I have a fairly long and very busy commute - the comedy channel once in a while is a great way to just drive --- and not feel the need to just drive over everyone in my way!! Anyway, this lady was talking about not having a clue about home improvement projects but going to Home Depot, coming home and trying to help with the project and somehow gluing the cat's tail to her back, the cat squalled and she hollered she's okaa-aa-aayyy to the other room. For some reason, that just struck me funny and I use that line a lot. I wish I could remember her name!

I've been blog-silent over here in the desert for the last couple of months. The shop has been busy, but I think it's mainly just one of those times when I can't get out of my own way! Overwhelmed with all of it and would rather just read a book and escape into someone else's world for a while! ;) I have been quilting a little but I'm at a stopping point on my blue-green batik while I figure out what's going to make the borders work. In the meantime, it's "looking at me" from the dining room table. FMQ is really new to me and while I'm improving, it's certainly not show quality. I'm not even sure it's living room couch quality! Nahh, it'll be all right, I just need to do it and stop worrying about it I'm sure!

The two Priority quilts I sent to went to Houston and one sold. How exciting, that was pretty cool! I'm gonna do a couple more I think.

Probably what I really need is to make time for sewing -- I've been letting other things take precedence and haven't been sewing much at all. It makes a difference for me and I need to "just do it". I'll get started on that and the next post will have "finish" pictures!

Have a great night!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Present for a girlfriend

My husband's girlfriend that is ..... and don't get concerned; she's 82, a real sweetie, and in the hospital with something serious and needs a little pick-me-up. As a carpenter, he's always in some other woman's kitchen making it nice for her. Every once in a while he finds a keeper to go on the "girlfriend" list and they become part of our family. He even picked out the pattern for this table topper while sitting patiently (or not so patiently) in the LQS last Saturday afternoon.

For something fairly simple, the pattern instructions were unclear and required a lot of thought to figure out what the instructions really "meant". I checked, it was written in 1998. You would think that sometime in the past 11 years someone with no prior knowledge would have tried the pattern and discovered the problem. Ah well, it was good for a puzzle and I like the way it turned out.

I'll send this out with him tomorrow morning to deliver - hope she likes it!

Take care all,


Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm melting here ...

It's h-o-t, and I'm whiny! At 6pm tonight it's still 112 outside and mornings the temp at 6am is usually 90-93. And yes, I know I live in the desert and should be used to it, but man it's really hot here July-September (and some years into October). If you're visiting AZ in the summer, know that you need to sip water all day every day to avoid dehydration (which can really make you sick). We had a couple of extra weeks this year of 90-99 so I'm thinking I might have gotten a little spoiled. Oddly enough, 90-99 is really fairly comfortable! And I'd like a little rain please. Only here does rain cause everyone to run outside and stand in it with their faces up and arms out drinking it in. I wanna stand in the rain!

'nuff of the weather report ............

The good news is that since I can't do much outside without burning up, indoor projects are making progress. Well, except that HUGE "file pile" that's balanced precariously on top of the file cabinet in the laundry room. I'll have to be in exactly the right mood to tackle that one!

On a quilty note, I've sent the Priority quilts to their destination, and I'm nearly done with the quilting on the green batik. Sorry no photos this time, my camera is at the shop. I don't have a new project picked out either, but I'll choose one in the next few days. I'd really like to do the Pick & Choose that Nancy and Erin and others are doing, but I can't seem to find that issue!! I know I took it with me to Mom's several weeks ago ... maybe I left it up there? It's all good .... just another opportunity to look through my quilting magazines and pattern books. Hurray!

Here's hoping your worlds are a little cooler than mine and it will rain here soon (I've never actually wished for rain in my life!)

Take care all,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm still here ...

Hi all,

Whew! It's been a couple of weeks since my last post 'cuz I've been so busy. Work is busy, we had family for the long holiday weekend, and we got to hang out with our 2 year old grandson for the last 5 days. I'd almost forgotten how much you don't accomplish with a 2 year old around. However, it is fun! How can you not play when this face wakes you up every morning?

But I did get a few things in my quilting world accomplished too. I've got the blue/green batik layered and have started the quilting. It's currently on the dining room table mid-stitch. And I finished up a couple of small Priority quilts for Alzheimer's Quilts. These were quick and fun, plus I got to try a couple of new things and get relatively quick results.

To honor my uncle, the carpenter, and who has had Alzheimer's for nearly 10 years now, the first one is 2 Carpenter's Square blocks that I found on This traditional pattern calls for 1-1/2" strips and a finished 11" block. Priority quilts can be no larger than 9x12, so I changed the strip size to 1/2" thinking that I'd only be reducing the block size by a third. Well, no, not really. 1-1/2" unfinished produces a finished 1" strip and a 1" unfinished becomes a finished 1/2" strip, which is really cutting the block size in half. I ended up with 5-1/2" blocks. No biggie, I'll just make 2. It's a little wonky in the borders because the strips required such exact seam allowances to make them work properly and I was tired of unsewing so I just let it go. I figured Alzheimer's can make life a little wonky, why not this?

The 2nd is to honor my aunt, his caregiver. There was no pattern for this one, but I used (sort of) Ricky Tim's convergence technique and Circle Dance templates and made a sun in the sky. Not sure what to title this one yet, but I'll have to figure that out before I email Ami 'cuz its on the form you have to fill out. ;)

Hope all is well in your worlds ...


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whaddya think?

I've been trying to decide whether or not to incorporate some silhouette images appliqued onto this top, so I brought it outside this morning with the back to hang off my trusty porch railing to photograph. Sometimes a picture helps you "see".

Since there is no looming deadline and actually no intended recipient for this one, I thought I might try another new-to-me technique. That tiny blue pin-stripe between the top & the border was fun (and easy!) and I really like how it separates the two. I've seen some really pretty silhouettes incorporated in other's work and thought this might be the project for it.

But after looking at these photos, I think I'm going to leave it as is. Silhouettes would just add a whole level of busy-ness that isn't needed. This will probably end up being a throw for someone's couch - I think it needs to be comforting.

What do you think?


Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad

Dad was a fun father - he taught us how to play while getting the work done (singing r-a-g-g m-o-p-p while mopping the floor) and play while spending almost nothing, and instilled in us a love of love of music and nature and craftmanship. Dad's been gone since December 2007 and I miss him. He did a long 3-year battle with prostate cancer that was diagnosed too late. Men!! Get regular prostate checkups - it's not too big of a deal caught early. Save your family some heart-ache. Ok, there's my commercial.

Anyway, I have been lucky and have 2 dads in my life, so yesterday my husband, kids & I journeyed nearly 200 miles one-way to see my step-dad with the car loaded with a repaired dishwasher for him and a cooler full of food for brunch. We only had 2 kids in the car with us but they provided excellent entertainment. We spent much of the drive time reminiscing about the "old days" when we would travel with all 5. Those were the days....there wasn't quite as much laughing when they were younger and we were a brand new family struggling to mesh. In fact, those rides could be quite grouchy!

No sewing yesterday, but I did work on planning my next project during the drive. I want to do a couple of Priority quilts to honor my uncle (dad's brother) who is battling Alzheimer's. Recently, I bought 2 copies of Forgetting Piece by Piece and sent one to my aunt and kept the other for myself. The art is beautiful and the story accompanying each piece incredibly moving. The quilts I send will be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to research to find a cure for this disease.

No pix today --- brought the camera yesterday and never took it out of the bag!

Have a great day all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Intro

Hello all - I'm moving to blogger from my old quilt blogging site - and looking forward to it. I spend way more time than I should online reading other's blogs and have decided to take the blogger plunge myself.

Quilting for me is rapidly becoming both passion and relaxation. It's an excellent outlet for my creative side and totally different than my daily life. A quick bio .... I'm married to an awesome man, we have 5 kids and the 2 oldest daughters have given us a grandchild each (both boys - 2-1/2 years old and 1 year old), we live in Arizona and I own an offroad performance & repair shop with my brother and most days I wonder how the heck I got from the dressed-for-success corporate Information Technology world to performance parts that are never in stock when you need them, grease & oil under my nails always, race fuel perfume and metal chips & dirt everywhere but whatevah! it's fun most of the time and it's certainly different every day. No boredom for me!

My mom taught me to sew early, and then I learned more as a girl in 4H - and I remember I learned the Importance of Ironing (must have caps and bold) while struggling to set the orange cotton cap sleeves on a brown knit top (could it have been the 70's?) for a back to school outfit. Mom was busy with someone's hair so she sent me up the street to Mrs. Page with my thread and my pattern pieces and my one straggly raggedy looking cap sleeve already set. After taking a look, the FIRST THING Mrs. Page did was plug in her iron and iron everything. In my 11-year-old mind, that was NOT the first step, but I did not tell her so - it wouldn't have been polite and I really needed her help badly. Her sleeve set perfectly - and it was so obviously the ironing that made the difference. She taught me a lot without saying a word. I think of that once in a while when I drag the iron and board out .... so thank you Mrs. Page.

I've been quilting for a few years - mainly because Mom spoke longingly of getting back into quilting so many times I kind of railroaded her into taking a class (signed her up, called her up and said THIS is what you're doing Thursday - life is short - take care of you too) and she had so much fun she talked me into going to the next one with her. We usually try to go to a couple of classes together a year, and we have so much fun when we go. Giggling is good for your soul. As is chocolate. And cheesecake. Oooh, and danish pastry. 'kay, 'nuff of that!

The photo at the top is part of the 1st king-size quilt I ever made, and 2 years after I finished the top, it went on our bed for the first time yesterday morning. Long story and not all that interesting. ;)

I'm currently working on this Turning Twenty in a range of blue & green batiks. This is an old photo - the top is now finished, and I'm working on designing/piecing the back.

Quick intro? Not very. Must have needed to "chat". Thanks for listening.