Saturday, March 15, 2014

Report from the whirlwind March!

And I was worried that April will be too busy!!  Got lots of practice this week being too busy!

We went over to Medford for a dentist appointment and got to see the boys.  Mr D will be 3 next month and Mr K will be ONE!  Good grief ... how does that happen?  It was great to be able to spend time with them and get to know them again.  It had been since Christmas - way too long!  But with icky weather, busy schedules and the dreaded flu popping up here and there - well, it sure went fast!

Mr K sat in his carseat and looked very seriously at me.  Finally there was a great big grin - oh, yeah, I remember you!  It's Beach Nana!!!  So fun to see him scoot around in very fast fashion.  I put him down in the livingroom and went to the bathroom.  Before I'd gotten the toothpaste on my brush, Mr Curious had scooted thru two rooms and pushed open the door to see what was going on!!

The FuNnIeSt ThInG happened as we were leaving.  A&J are raising the boys using "Physics of Love" philosophy.  It involves a great deal of "this is what is going to happen" forecasting.  So here's what happened:

"D, Daddy has to study and put Baby K down for nap.  After Nana and Papa leave, you can watch a tv show" [big treat for D!]  Immediately D told us to "Leave NOW!"  It was expected, part of the process.

Then when we finally got out the door, it was pouring rain.  We stood on the little porch pulling up hoods and finding the keys ... when BAM!!  the door slammed behind us!!  Well, we lost it - I was crying from laughing so hard!  A opened the door and whispered "Sorry!"  I guess we know where the expression "don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out!!"  No one lets you know what they are thinking like an almost 3 yr old!!

Home for a day, then up to Portland to see the other Grands.  Miss P had an Anthropology shower curtain that she wanted made into a comforter.  I had L wash it; and find a backing while I gathered up batting and all the tools I was going to need.  We got there Saturday afternoon and ended up going to JoAnns for the backing.  Let me say that everyone had a very strong opinion of what was appropriate for the back!!  We finally settled on a beautiful green.

Back home, after washing the back, and dinner we framed it in the living room.  The only space big enough and vacant enough to work in.  My daughter was a huge help!  She remembered helping me with this process earlier in life.  My kids often had to help me stretch quilts on the frame!  Then she helped me tie it and even tied the knots with me.  Next step, turning the front to the back for the binding.  I just hope it wears well enough.  I did tell my daughter when it started falling apart, we'd have to put a real binding on it. Sunday morning, Miss P asked me why Mommy and I built a fort in the livingroom last night!

Is there a cuter 7 year old around??

Answer to the question "Do you like the quilt???"  Wheeee!

The quilt looked wonderful on the bed and we were D*O*N*E in time to go to movies Sunday afternoon! Miss P and I went to Frozen ... really laugh out loud good!  Papa and Mr M went to Lego Movie, not as good but a good time was had by all.

Returned home on Monday.  By Thursday I was headed up to Newport for the guild meeting, to pick up some ordered thread and two boxes of quilting goodies from a friend that just closed up a house and her sewing room.  I also picked up a new laptop because both our very old desktop and our ancient laptop are biting the dust at the same time!!  YIKES!  Not looking forward to that learning curve!

Okay - let's talk about ongoing projects.  We all have them.  We're excited about them, but sometimes we just have to stop working on them to make way for something else.  It might be a deadline thing, or just a rest from it.  How do we keep it all together; neatly and remember where we are in the process??

One of my projects like that is a mini-log cabin.  3/4" finished logs and made from all my absolute favorite scraps - you know the ones.  The ones you have to keep no matter how small, you just can't bear to part with them.  Mine got moved from NE in a box marked "too small to use, too big to throw away!"  So glad I did keep them.  My face is smiling all the time I work on them.

There's these handy storage cubes found in the closet organizer section of stores.  They go on sale quite often too!  This holds 200 blocks, 400 other partial blocks and trays of lights, darks and reds!  Easy to put away and even easier to get back out and start immediately!  Voila!

The finished blocks are arranged 'artistically' in the bottom of the crate - for your benefit only!  The wooden trays were from a sale.  Originally to store microscope slides!  Very sturdy and hold quite a lot of fabric strips.  Wish I'd bought more now!


All tucked in for the duration!  Blocks needing trimming on top - within easy reach!

Last week was 'gotta finish baby quilts' week!!  I had finished these tops at retreat.  My hairdresser was having a baby by appointment on Monday!  So I also whipped up a doll quilt for the big sister.  The theme of the nursery was Owls and I just happened to have the owl fabric.  It was going to be for pj pants for Miss P.  It was just the right amount for the quilts!!  Wrapped and delivered before baby was a week old!!  That might be a new record!

Doll quilt

Baby Quilt

This quilt was the leftovers from making 2 community baby quilts last fall.  It was a needed UFO to finish, my name was headed for Queen of UFOs like a rocket.  I added 2 rows to make it a little bigger - and now it's waiting patiently for the next baby boy to be born!  Love the orange binding!

When you take pictures of your quilts, do you fold it to show the back too?  I'm thinking that would be a good idea for future reference.  Now to remember to do that before I give it away!!

Happy National Quilting day!  Hope you got some quilting in today!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's the rainy season ... we knew it was coming!!!

Hello-o-o-o from the wet and wild west coast!  Rain and grey today - yesterday was 'eat on the deck in the sun' day ... but hard to even remember that today!!  The weather - it's always "what have you done for me lately!!"  And the weather everywhere this year has been ... well, let's not go there!

Last weekend was the Finishing School 2014.  I organize this retreat and it's a blast!!  There's a retreat center above the Bandon Quilt Store: Forget Me Knots - you're already liking it, aren't you!!  The retreat center holds 8.  There are 3 bedrooms with twin beds - with quilts on each!!  An awesome workroom with  ceiling to floor windows and great lighting.  A full kitchen with another table to eat at.  AND it's AwEsOmE!!  We had such fun this year.  We stayed up late, got up early, made excellent meals for ourselves, shopped the store in our slippers and laughed as much as we possibly could.

Each year I SWEAR I will make the official pin cushion early ... I failed big time this year!  The night before the retreat I'm stuffing those little gems and slipstitching them closed.  And I'm pretty grumpy about it!!  But seeing their shining faces when they receive them ... well, next year again for sure!

The first year (this was our second annual Finishing School) the schoolhouses were red.  So this year they are a 'beachy' green.  Last year I ate a whole lot of Trader Joe's Frozen Birds Nests (not a problem, try them, they are delicious!!) and saved the trays they are frozen in.  Why??? Because the trays are perfect to set beside your sewing machine and put all those little tools you need into. The ripper, the empty bobbins, etc. It keeps them all together and keeps you from brushing them off the table with your elbow too!

I offered a prize to anyone who brought the last year's trays back this year ... would you believe 5 of the 7 from last year did!  Didn't expect that!  Headed down to the store and picked up sale FQs for the prizes.  Everyone else got a new tray for this year.  I put the pincushion; an emory board, a scissor fob with their name on it and set it on top of a hand-stamped stationary pad I made!!  Three people brought back their red schoolhouse pin cushion!!  You realize that they had to keep track of those items for a whole year!! No way that happens unless they are using them!  I'm so excited they found them useful!

This is A - she's a garage sale and thrift store queen!  She was designing a fall quilt with bits and pieces that she's picked up everywhere!  It was so fascinating watching this develop ... the retreat center has this entire design wall that we all used alot!!  

Okay - I have to admit - that's my sewing space front and center.  I am not a neat, organized quilter - hard to believe, I'm sure - [okay, I heard that snickering from friends!!  Stop it!]  I have the bow on my machine because my light that attaches, well the brackets that hold the cord up and out of the way keep peeling off.  I tie it in the bow and it seems to take the pressure off the remaining brackets.  That baggie full of stuff was a garage sale purchase that was being passed and oohed over.  We did decide that a good song for the Finishing School was the Theme from Jaws!  Overflowing stash and supplies sneaking up on you, ready to pounce on your sewing space!! Da da, da da da da!!!

The was one of the Quilts of Valor I worked on.  It's a disappearing 9patch but the setting is a variation.  It's a pattern card available at quilt shops.  Bandon gave us it in our welcome packet.  I, of course, have put it somewhere safe ... I don't have to say anything else, do I??  When I come across it - I'll let you know the name - it starts with T???

We also rented the AccuCut machine from the shop during our time there.  Oh my goodness!  Did we have fun with that!  We cut Jelly Rolls; Hawaiian Applique blocks; and lots and lots of wool applique goodies!!  Those machines are pretty slick and I can see renting it again!!

Here's our intrepid class!  Thanks ladies - it was so-o much fun!  We're already booked for next year. We added an additional day and we're full!!  That must be a sign of a good time had by all!

Monday, back to reality.  We were all EXHAUSTED!  Sore from all the hauling up and down the stairs and nobody went to the guild's Fun Day!  7 of us went to the evening guild meeting, many of us didn't stay for the activity!!  I know I napped ALOT this week.  Didn't even sew for 5 days, but I'm back on track now!!

Stay tuned for the report from the "DH is away; Doni's sweat shoppe report!!  Wa-aahh-aahh!