Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quilting time - post cards vs quilts

Like many quilters I got hooked on quilted post cards this year. They are so much fun because unlike quilts; you can make 5 in an afternoon. It's a small size - 4" x 6" so you can try different techniques. Being a newbie - I usually make a copy for myself too. They're small and easy to collect. Your whole collection fits in a drawer! Getting them in the mail is fun!!! It's a finished project being delivered so there's no "guilt" with that package. No "when will I ever do something with these blocks or fabrics?!?"

Now - let's get serious - what's bad about post cards: there's only limited time to work in the quilting room. Working on post cards takes up some of that time. Is it easier to work on post cards than to fix a stalling out point in a quilt? Sometimes.

That all being said ... I'm off to finish two post card challenges!!! We'll settle what else needs to be done later!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hanging out with friends at Quilt Retreat

I love fall - I really shouldn't - I'm allergic to it!! But it always makes me smile! The first tree on our street is showing it's colors. We've been able to open up the house - I know - allergies - but it just feels so good to cuddle under the quilts with the cool night air.

Of course, I love the first days of each season - the first cool fall day, the first sprigs of green in the spring; that first really HOT day at the lake and of course, the first snow ... it's one of my favorite parts of living in Nebraska - we have all four seasons. We won't discuss how I feel by the end of each season!! LOL!

Another exciting part of fall is "Quilt Retreat!!" Our guild has a fall retreat at the 4H center by Gretna NE! One year someone in my office was going to San Francisco for a 3 day weekend - I was more excited about going to Gretna than he was about his trip! 80 crazy quilters lazing around, meals made by a chef!!!, no family members wanting you to do something - I will admit it was calmer before cell phones ... but I just turn mine off!!! We sleep in cabins, it's pretty rustic but then again it's pretty cheap! We sew and laugh all hours in the lodge. Usually the last quilters at night meet the first quilters in the morning. It's magical and it's happening in 16 days! I have to start making lists and packing the projects I'll take.

And of course, it's by GRETNA - where one of my favorite shops is. The Quilted Moose was in the Top 10 shops this fall! Well deserved honor. We somehow always manage to stop by before checking in; and sometimes during the day Saturday for supplies and sometimes on the way home!!! LOL! Quilted Moose loves retreat!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A little piece of heaven!

Okay - maybe most people wouldn't call it that! LOL! My DH among them! And I'll have to admit that it MAY HAVE gotten a LITTLE out of control! Not at it's cleanest or most organized - but it looks like this more often than not.

That's my main stash in the closet - but backings and the kid's "I spy" prints are in the cedar closet. The table is the main cutting station - and the bins underneath it are ufos, pigs and supplies. Two of the bins are denim - ready for jeans quilts; my usual HS graduation present. One bin is reproductions ready for the Lori Smith project I'm working on (and off) - Remininsce. Another bin is 4 1/2" 9 patches from an internet exchange that kept going - I hosted it for years and then started up one with our guild's evening workshop. Seriously, these little cuties mate in the dark - there's more of them now than I started with!! And that's a good thing!

One stack of bins is strips. I cut 1 1/2" thru 6" and keep them in their own bins. There's also plastic shoe boxes full of squares the same size. That's a good project for nights in front of the tv. New season starts next week - you know! A box of scraps, a tv tray with cutting mat on it, a ruler and rotary cutter.

The book shelves is pretty much ALL my books and magazines. There is one stack of old Quilter's Newsletters in the guest room - something for my overnight friends to read! I do make it a point not to let that overflow. Small comfort!

So, my assignment, should I chose to accept it ... [dating myself here! :>] is to fit all this stuff back into a working sewing room. To work on ufos and pigs and stay away from dangerous environments - local quilt stores!!! And enjoy this rather than feel guilty. Any suggestions are welcome!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The whirlwind tour!

What a fun week - Miss P started walking in honor of the occasion - sometimes like a drunkard sailor! She gives us all heart failure with all the "close calls" for bumps on the head.

What a sweetheart - I hope her mom and dad don't mind if I keep her here! It's going to be hard to say good-bye tomorrow. So-o I thought I'd better write today!

Pictured is highlights of the visit.

The happy family - daughter, her husband and Miss P

Miss P and her personal birthday cake! The cake and cupcakes were made by a good friend of my daughter.

Bottom picture is Miss P, her mom and grandpa. Grandpa's bday is the next day - so from now on - party for two every fall!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Miss P is on her way!

A quick post before the 1 year old whirling dervish gets here! LOL! And yes, I'm counting the minutes.

Nickel quilts: I'm the nickel exchange chair at our quilt guild. I love scrap quilts so what could be better than nickel quilts? We've been exchanging for 2 years (starting 3rd year) since Pat Speth came and spoke at our group. That's a long time! I'm trying to drum up some more excitement / participants so this year I'm handing out patterns and projects that use nickels - but aren't in Pat's books.

September I gave out the disappearing 9patch block. There's an excellent tutorial online by Helen Bailey I'd be interested in hearing from other quilters that had used this block. I need to make college graduation quilts next spring - so what's the difference in looks if you make "regular" 9patches - 2 fabrics and then mix up the quarter blocks rather than make "scrap" 9patches and mix up the quarter blocks??? Inquiring minds want to know!

See you after Miss P's visit! Warning - there WILL be pictures!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Ready for Company!

Now that was a better weekend! I managed to make the birthday girl's cape, the teddy bear cape, her "comfty" and one soft book. A friend came over to lend moral support LOL! and she made my "Disappearing 9 patch" samples for the guild Nickel Exchange tomorrow night. It was a great Saturday.

Today after running errands with my mom (89 years young!) I cleaned out the spare rooms and baby-proofed those rooms and the main rooms. It involved lots of relocating! I vow not to put anything back into those rooms after everyone has gone back home.

This winter our 'project' is clearing out all this 'stuff'! Hope it feels as good as I hear it will. So far, when clearing stuff out of the sewing room and stash, - 2 weeks later I've found a use for what I'd cleared out!!!

Thursday night was a blast! J and I went to Gretna to pick up our kits. Deb, the shop owner, was so excited to make the cover of "Quilt Sampler". It's a giant party this week as everyone comes in to say 'Congratulations!' Way to go, Quilted Moose! PS - the kit is awesome!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Can you tell I didn't get much done last weekend!

You are my conscience - I avoid you when I fail to mark anything off my "to do" list.

The game was so-o hot on Saturday. Can you say "par-broiled Huskers"?? I wore a wide brimmed hat and sunscreen. Fat lot of good it did me!!! Sunburn is not my friend! It saps my energy and disturbs my sleep. My neck was red and sore until today! It's still swollen. I get really cranky!! You think I would learn, but the first game always surprises me!

I worked with the B family photos this weekend - almost done! Hooray! Cleared my cutting table - so no excuses not to jump right in and get Miss P's birthday stuff done. Only 8 days until they get here! Gulp! I have GOT to get my act together!!

Tomorrow night a friend and I are going to one of my favorite quilt shops: The Quilted Moose in Gretna NE. They have been picked for one of the American Patchwork & Quilting Top 10 shops!! A well-deserved honor. Now that the magazine is out - our kits are ready! Just what I need! But I can't resist, the Moose creates the best kits and BOMs! The kit I'm picking up tomorrow night is on the cover of the magazine pictured!

I love "Quilt Sampler" even when one of our local shops isn't in it! I buy every issue. Then I cuddle up on the couch and highlight the top 10 shops in my Quilter's Travel Companion book. When that book is updated - every 2 years - it takes me weeks to transfer the top 10 shops into the new edition!! Can you tell that once I made a bad choice as to which shop in Minneapolis to go to??? Yep, went to a crappy shop instead of a top 10 shop! Never again!!!

I'm not even going to list what I need to do ... I'll let you know how the weekend goes - you'll be able to tell if I get anything done!! LOL!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Let the race begin!

Sorry I didn't write this week. It was one of those weeks that ended up entirely too busy. Background story: When my daughter L was just in kindergarten she had been taking "gymnastics" for a couple of years as a preschooler. The teacher asked her to be on a special traveling team! At 5!! But, we sat down and talked about it. I told her it was really special to be on this team BUT she would have to go to class everyday (!) after school. So she would only be able to play with her friends on the weekend. We thought about it and talked several times that week. At her next class she went up to her teacher and said, "Teacher, I can't be on the team. I'm sorry, but if I have too much to do 'I'm miz-ther-ball' (miserable)!!!" That has been our rallying cry ever since!!! AND that was this week!

Today is the first Nebraska football game. I'm a fan - living in Lincoln and then add working for the U - you pretty much HAVE to be. But I'm not a rabid fan! LOL! It's pretty much the "only game in town" and they are alot of fun. I enjoy going and being part of the crowd. The stadium IS the 3rd largest city in Nebraska on football Saturdays. I just wrote the games on the calendar - YIKES! We usually have 6-7 home games, but usually there will be "bye weeks" and away games in a row. This year 4 out of 5 Saturdays in Sept are HOME games! What's a quilter to do?? Thank goodness the first game is on the three day weekend - I can come home and regroup!

My almost 1 year old granddaughter, Miss P, arrives in 12 days!!! I've really got to get on the ball here. I started clearing the guest rooms last weekend. Funny how I didn't get as far as I'd hoped!

I moved all the "B family" photos into the sewing room. Hoping that laying them out in there would inspire me to finish them in a hurry. Okay - what was plan B??? After all "M family" photos are waiting in the wings for the same treatment.

I've got to get the photos out of there! I've got to sew 2 things for Miss P's birthday. So here's my list for the weekend:[And I feel it's really realistic! NOT!]

1. Sort "B family" photos ready for D to put into software program and basically ready to mail the actual photos to various family members.
2. Sew "Birthday Cape" for Miss P
3. Sew "comfty" for Miss P - buy ribbon embellishments
4. Finish all UFOs and totally revamp the sewing room - oh wait a minute - that's lifetime goal!

I'll let you know Monday how far I got! Have a great weekend everyone!