Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of Summer - how is it possible?

Rainy Sunday afternoons just seem perfect for thinking, blogging and reading! So, today you get a potpourri of thoughts.

How is it possible that next weekend is Labor Day weekend? Where on earth did the summer go? I was looking at a picture of a friend's DD and DGD at the Nebraska State Fair - they were in shorts, camisole tops and sandals - and my first thought was "My, they must be cold!" I'm sitting here in jeans, socks and sweatshirt - how quickly I can forget the dog days of summer in Nebraska. It's been alittle TOO cool here - I never thought I'd miss hot flashes!!!

I just finished reading a friend's copy of "A Year by the Sea" by Joan Anderson. I really loved it - it's a quick read. It's out in paperback with reading group questions in the back. I'd be interested in what you think. Do I love it because I'm starting a year by the sea? Do I love it because she describes me so well?? Read it and tell me "What do you think?"

My second week of the Olympics didn't accomplish much. We were babysitting 2 of the nights - and all those late nights were making me cranky!?! So we didn't watch it as much. I did finish the Prairie Schooler Santa from 2006 (!) and started the Santa for 2007. I'm pretty excited - I'm caught up more than usual! I found the 2008 Santa up by L's house and he's standing by at the ready! I've been known to marathon finish the Santas into little hanging pillows on New Year's Eve - one year - I finished 7 at a time! I do have everyone of them - and boy - I'm already trying to figure out where to put 23 of them in this space!

I finally bound the denim quilt owed to my Nephew in Nebraska. He graduated from college last May. I had tied it a month ago and there it was - sitting there - sucking all the joy out of my sewing room!!! Do you have projects like that?? LOL!! Well, I joined this GREAT quilting group here. They meet every Friday - for the day! 10 - 4! In the morning you bring your own project. You also bring your own lunch. And then after lunch we quilt on frames! I'd forgotten how much I enjoy quilting on a frame. The room we are in is big enough to have THREE quilts on frames. I love this group! So last Friday I took the denim quilt. I had the binding made - so in the morning I sewed the binding on and then, turned it and sewed the binding down with a decorative stitch - and I was done in 2 1/2 hours!!!! WOW - what a relief!

My goal this week is to border, tie and bind the 'I spy' quilt for my great Nephew in Nebraska; sew a Christmas stocking for a niece's dog(I know!) and have them all ready to mail to Nebraska the day after Labor day. There's a jazz festival here this weekend - we're kind of excited about it. It's the end of summer push!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Week of Olympics done and large quilt bound!

It's been exciting watching the Olympics and I'm happy to report that my queen-sized bedspread is bound!!! This is the first quilt I made - 34 years ago! A baby blocks built in a pyramid! The back is a sheet!!! Ignorance is bliss - and this wasn't using the cheater's method of baby blocks - any seam on this quilt only goes straight for 4 inches!!! My MIL and her friends quilted it and she did a knife-edge binding on it. The whole quilt isn't holding up very well - but the binding really was bad! So I trimmed it and rebound it and it will look great on our new bed - if it ever comes!!! [whine, whine, whine] The bed has side rails so the sides are okay that short! We haven't had a queen size bed for at least 30 years! The quilt will be glad to get out of the closet!

Note the wonderful "bedside tables" in place - a suitcase on one side and a pile of boxes on the other!!! Martha Stewart, eat your heart out! Note it's also another foggy day on the coast - but still light enough not to use the flash!

Next week won't be as productive - we get to babysit Miss P in Portland tomorrow and probably won't be back til Tuesday evening. Next up for binding is an antique Grandmother's Flower Garden I had quilted last spring ... I'll need to research how to bind that! Rats! This is exactly why it's not bound yet - the need to research. Research and borders always slow me down!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Almost perfect morning on the beach!

Woke up late - darn those Olympics! And the wind had already come up - that's the reason it wasn't 'perfect' out there. Walked south and there were alot a rocks washed up - always fun to look for agates.

And there were hundreds of sea birds for company today - sometimes there are hardly any - other times, like today there were flocks and flocks of them hanging around

So R and I walked a mile and a half south and then he turned around to get back to the market - I meandered alittle further and looked for rocks all the way home. Ended up with 2 agates, no beach glass and 72 rocks for 'my outdoor rocks' collection!

What was especially cool today though, was the birds flying along side of me. I'd be walking along and here they would come - winging by. So close - and no - I didn't get any bird doo dropped on me! :> the other cool thing was - I had absolutely nothing pressing to do. I could stay out there as long as I wanted! So I enjoyed it for over two hours!!! For what seems like the first time in my life I don't have a schedule dictating my actions. Even when on vacation I was always aware of how long I had until it was back to 'regular life'. Isn't retirement wonderful???

This isn't my photo - but it had the feeling of today - definitely a day to remember on the beach!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back from babysitting gig!

We drove into Newport last night and didn't know the place! It was sunny and warm! I couldn't believe it either! LOL! To say we've had a few cool, foggy days would be an understatement! But it was gorgeous last night. We walked the beach at 7:30 pm - without jackets! Today was supposed to be partly sunny - since when does that mean sunshine reflecting off the fog??

Last week was my birthday and we got to spend time with both our kids - who could ask for more? Cards and presents and emails from friends - oh, my!! Hence, starts the 5 weeks of bad jokes about being the older woman - yep, 5 weeks until DH turns the same age and things settle down for another 47 weeks!

Here is my latest finished UFO - a scrap green disappearing 9patch. I used 5" squares and the finished block size is 12". I love this pattern - you make a 9 patch - then you slice it down the middle "north and south" and "east and west". AND you make the number of blocks you need in the finished quilt - easy to figure out.

The quilt is a delayed graduation gift for J2 who got her masters in education in June. Just as she had a summer course to take - I had to take the blocks back and finish the quilt - but it's done now - woohoo!! A and J2 are holding it. They announced their engagement this week - what great news! A wants to finish school before the wedding so ---- wedding in a year or two.

The other picture is Miss P the dynamo listening to A read a story. She loves books - but you have to be quick!! Things to do - places to run!

Hoping to have another UFO finish this week - the last of the denim quilts needs to be bound. What are you sewing on during olympics? I love to watch the olympics, winter and summer - but like to have binding and handwork to do so I don't feel like such a couch potato!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Favorite tips or tools - tell me yours

TOOL: I just got this tool before I moved. [Thanks secret pal!] Fons & Porter have one - which means those 40% coupons at JoAnn's can come in handy. I also have one from "Bohn" It's the best marker I've ever used! Yea, yea - I know you've heard that before and ran out and bought ... a piece of crap!!! [We all have!] But seriously! I live on the coast now - humidity is one of the biggest enemies of marking on quilts. This stays on - since I've marked it - a few days at this point - which is at least long enough for me to quilt it! And it's a mechanical pencil - no awkward grips to use it - and it's a THIN line! Try it - you'll like it!

TIP: I was just showing a new friend here the joys of fusible web. AND if you can plan enough ahead ... draw the shape, iron in on the fabric, cut it out and let it sit overnight! The paper comes off like a dream the next day! Okay - so you can't possibly wait that long [GRIN] - take the fused fabric and 'tear' it gently down from a edge. That movement usually tears the paper and doesn't really distort the fabric too much. Then you have an edge to work with.

If you are tearing - see above - make the tear at 7:00 on the applique piece! No - I don't mean 7 pm - I mean at the 7:00 position when you're looking at it. Your eyes normally don't focus on that point. Also a good tip for when you've got a clunker of a block - but have to use it!

Okay, quilters! What great tips and tools do you recommend?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Anyone else get locked out of blog-dom?

I got locked out of my blog - they were checking for spam blogs - I had to email back saying I was legit! Well, that's never happened before! Just when I had lots to say - and of course, I've forgotten it all now!

The Newport Quilt Show is on this weekend. It's very nice - they've organized it really well with the same size and technique quilts hanging together - you can vote for your choice in many categories. Six of us went over Friday morning and a few really enjoyed the vendors around the edges! I stayed legal, Stashbusters! I go back to work again on Sunday and take photos.

We walked the beach this morning and saw an otter in the water. That's a first here. R says I never see anything because I'm too busy looking for agates - but I spotted the otter first! And still managed to find 5 agates on my walk!

We're headed to Lincoln City today to see the sand castle building contest. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!