Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Haunting!

Trick or treaters are ringing the doorbell! But I haven't had time to blog this week. My mom is in the hospital - 89 years young and just well enough to be cranky. It made this week very, very hectic.

The picture is of my granddaughter, Miss P - last year. Can't wait to see this year's halloween picture - maybe by the weekend? Please L?????

On to the next big holiday ...

This weekend I'm teaching a class on how to finish Christmas stockings. Has anyone else found themselves making stocking after stocking every year? It started with the first Christmas away from home for my son. Poor darling - he needs a stocking for Christmas - and for the roommates too. Well, obviously there was a new roommate or "good friend" the next year ... and you would think I would have learned - but when my daughter left home - I started again!!!

Then there was the blended family of my niece ... then whenever anyone got married ... a matched set was required. The problem was to make them so they all hung at the same angle. So I started experimenting. Instructions next week. I thought I'd have them done today, but ran out of time. I HAVE to have them done by saturday for class ... tick, tick, tick!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stash Management - ha - it's managing me!!!

Okay - I read the digests from Stashbusters. I'm attracted to all the magazine articles about arranging your space. I even have the book ... so why am I wallowing in stash!!!

Last week I admitted that my sewing space looked like a tornado went thru it - twice. It's not better! I'm working with my nickel squares - making disappearing 9patch college graduation quilts for next May. [FIVE family members need quilts!]My nickels take up most of 2 office paper boxes. Well, they've exploded as I thumb thru them finding pinks and greens. The stash is falling out of the closet ... so I started sorting thru my least favorite color groups. Using the "I don't like you anymore" method of sorting - I've gone thru 3 milk crates. [ 1/4 paper box gleaned] I think I'll keep a 5" strip from each one before I pass it on.

I start "no buy" next month and I need it bad! Meanwhile - what a mess and Christmas is looming ... my sewing space hardly ever gets "better" this time of year.

Send help!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm back!

Boy, it's hard to come home from retreat. Nothing quilty to look forward to ... and my sewing room looks like a tornado went thru - twice! We had a great time. It was a rainy weekend so most of our "walks" were to the snack table! I had a sugar hangover on Monday!

I didn't get as many disappearing 9patch tops done as I'd hoped! Okay - so my expectations may have been too high! I did get 1/2 the blocks done for 2 pink quilts and 3/4 of the 1st blocks done for a green one.

I also quilted the inside of "Starry Starry Nights". Have a small border and then figure out what I'll do on the large border. But I'm getting there.

Did some "retail therapy" Friday on the way up. I'm about to go "No buy" November 1st in Stashbusters - this may have been like "Last call at the bar!" Bought a great kit with "Holly Jolly" fabrics. It's pictured above - Miss Rosie's Toulouse - don't you love it? It's an awesome quilt. Three other friends ended up buying it too! We'll have to get together to sew!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm off to retreat!

Quilt Retreats! What a wonderful invention. I’m leaving tomorrow for the Lincoln Quilt Guild retreat. This is probably my 20th one!!! I started going the first year we moved back to Lincoln and that was 1987. I got here in July and by Sept I was in guild and on my way to Retreat.

Some retreats are fancier [and more expensive] than others. Ours is KISS [Keep it Simple Silly!] We have guild members do demos and basically bring what we want to work on. We stay at a 4H camp above a state park so there are miles of hiking trails available. We sleep in bunk houses – pretty primitive, but they do have showers in the bathrooms and heat. The lodge, where sewing and meals take place, is a step above primitive and since the guild has gathered there for over 20 years – we’ve convinced them to make some improvements – like electricity upgrades. We rarely lose power any more – but we all know where the circuit breaker box is just in case! A few years back they were lucky enough to gain a chef on staff. Tom is great and we’re so happy he’s there – meals were pretty miserable before then.

Before I moved back to Nebraska, I belonged to Love Apples Quilters of Southern New Jersey. We had a retreat at the senior citizen Salvation Army Camp in North Jersey. It was all in one building and very nice. A wonderful hiking path around the lake there.

Memory: I was manning the check-in desk in Jersey. A quilter brought 4 LOADS on a dolly past me to her room [quilters tend to over-estimate what they will get done at retreat!] :> AND then she came and asked me where the nearest Kmart was – “I forgot my underwear!” And that, my dears, is why I have a packing list!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Auburn hair

Well, that week was a disappointment! It was a race at work. Okay, not a race, exactly - more of a "hurry up and then wait" type of week. Move on - that's over. Next week at this time I'll be in the middle of a 3 day retreat!!! Oh, did I mention that I'm really looking forward to that???

Two threads have really caught my interest this week on the Yahoo Stashbusters list. Grey hair and project lists:

Grey hair: I turned grey early in life (thanks, birth mom!) I had auburn hair naturally; and when the grey came in it dulled down the color and the shine. I started with henna treatments when I was 22. It was like putting algae on your head - the smell was distinctive! Did anyone else do this? I didn't like the thought of chemicals and this was supposed to be more natural. Fast forward to 40! And it does seem like that - a fast forward! I was using the chemicals by then, but I was getting a great skunk streak of grey within 2 weeks of coloring it. I had it done at the shop - I did it once at home and it was a disaster! Dark coloring and white woodwork = not a good combo! But time to "age gracefully!"

Growing out - it looked awful. :> My hairdresser decided to streak my hair and see if we could blend it in alittle. Not as successful as we'd hoped! I took my girl scouts to a pool with a slide that summer. As I walked to the other side of the pool I heard from above [the slide not God!] "Good grief, that woman's hair is plaid!" I didn't even look up - I knew who he was talking about!

Finally - grey hair. When I got a compliment on it at work, one friend sniped back, "Well, sure, you didn't have to be here while it was growing out!" When my dh said he really liked the auburn hair and did I think I'd ever go back - I had to say a resounding "NO!"

Lists of projects:
I'm in Institutional Research - work with data - it's what we do. Excel spreadsheets and Access databases - the best way to learn them is to put in something you're interested in. I started keeping track of all the books I read in excel. Rating them and sorting them by author, etc. It's a great system - I can look back at any 4 star rated authors from the past and see if they have anything new out.

I have an excel sheet called "Mylife(year)" It has many worksheets - knee problems, Christmas lists - past year and current year, gifts bought for Mom's day, birthdays, etc. Packing lists - this works excellently! I have basic lists for things I take to Oregon every summer (tin to put seashells in) and to Retreat (I always forgot the fly swatter!). Lots of sheets about quilts - spending, projects and finished projects. My quilt projects page has 95 projects listed. Including UFOs, PIGs, Whimms, WIPs and DSDs

PIG - Project in Grocery Sack - been gathered but just sitting there
WIP - Work in Progress - intermittent bursts of working on it
UFO - some work done - been sitting there waiting
HuSsY - Haven't Started Yet - have pattern/idea - gonna be great!
DSD - Dreaming of Someday Making
Whimms - What is in My Mind

The trick is to come up with a system that meets your needs, but doesn't take up all your time. Keeping the same worksheets each year helps - you're familiar with it. You'll find that you add a sheet every few years and take out one that no longer applies.

At the end of each year I write a sheet in a notebook about that year. Important events (weddings, ...) Finished projects. What I entered in the fair or guild quilt show. How many books I read. Weight I lost - or gained!!! Bullet points! I like to compare years. What seemed like a year I got alot done often doesn't measure up - and vice versa!

Well, on with the weekend - I have to get organized for Retreat next weekend - time to print out my packing list!