Saturday, June 30, 2007

the half way point

Thanks to some power stitching last night-I have finished the 2nd quarter which puts me to the halfway mark. I stitched the two parts together this morning, along with working on the three rows of the rainbow rail fence as the leader/ender to the wp . (wp=wedding project)-so put those up as well for showing progress on that ufo. Then I did some cleaning up in here and went to meet Holly which was quite delightful-she had to come up my way and I drove her back to my place and gave her the grand tour of my home/garden. One of the great things about meeting a fellow blogger is now she can "see" me in my quilting space-photos are great, in person even better. I look forward to driving down her way and seeing her quilting room in person. This is a nice time to take the rest of the day off and work on the garden-my neighbors ordered more garden dirt than they can use, so I will weed and wheelbarrow to take advantage of their over estimating, right up until it's just too hot to be outside. M says , figure one hour right now, it's plenty warm out -being into the afternoon already.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alice visits her Nona

I always spelled my nona's name that way and decided to carry on the tradition with my own Alice. M suggested it should be spelled how you pronounce the first a, gives you two different sounds....we often discuss language- for one thing, those that have "heard" me in person-know I routinely slaughter pronouncing many vocabulary far outstrips my ability to either correctly say or spell many of them. However, I love using a variety of words in my speech and just do my best to say it close enough, that the person gets what I am trying to say. It's one of many lovable (or annoying for some) things about me, and makes for lots of giggling if you work with me to try and get me to say it "right" hearing and my ability to reproduce the sound correctly have always been a bit wonky...despite speech therapy as a young child. Oops, this is supposed to be much more about Alice sleeping over than my speech patterns. Of course I adored having her here and Zoe was totally entranced. I had to strongly supervise Zoe, so Alice would not have her face or body licked off! While Alice was napping, Zoe paced and paced, worried about her-any sound and she was right there making sure Alice was ok. A few photos of Alice enjoying herself- in the morning she played in my sewing room while I had my coffee- sitting on my lap and watching me type with one hand and later, playing on the floor. We found plenty to play with here without any of her toys being brought from the basket in the living room.


Friday, June 22, 2007

just about ready and Happy Birthday E !!!

I worked enough to fit the porta crib and the rocker in's much neater and some stuff has found a new place to live or gone away all together. I just need to pick up the bottom part of the crib that got left behind.
Here is the birthday daddy with of course Alice...she is a great Daddy's girl
A little before and after taste of our backyard-a year ago it was hard to imagine this vision!
If you back track in my blog to a year ago, you will find plenty of photos of the backyard remodel work. I took almost daily was amazing to watch. We still have a lot more in store but right now-it is at least usable, which is a very good thing.
I have the last seam pinned waiting for me to work on-then the first quarter will be a done deal on the wedding quilt and it's on to the next quarter. I worked hard enough on the fabric room and garage to earn some stitching time now. It's Friday- which means pizzacato pizza for dinner, being picked up by my sweetie. Tomorrow morning we will go downtown and buy produce and fruit from the local farmer's market-I have been asked to pick up half a flat of strawberries for the bbq later in the day, featuring strawberry shortcake as dessert...nothing beats Hood River strawberries fresh from the fields for taste. Home to tidy up the floors (crawling babies deserve clean floors in my opinion) and wrap the birthday gift. With the baby spending the night-who knows how much sleep I will get and she usually wakes up at 4:30 am. Guess I better get some extra sleep tonight and be rested up :-) I hope your weekend is filled with all good things. Check back late Sunday for new Alice photos...with any luck in 24 hours she will be here keeping me quite busy. And you know, I am counting those hours.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I meant to take some photos ...

first it was too hot, then I was too immersed to remember, and now..well, it's just too dark out!
The sunny warm weather has arrived and maybe the plants will start looking less puny. I came home early to begin clearing out the mess I had dumped out in the garage - so I could start clearing out the mess in the fabric room. I said back in January I was going to tackle the sewing room and the fabric room this year. And the only reason I actually made a strong start is ...Alice is coming to spend the night on Saturday. Which means, I need to make room for her porta crib, which will go in the fabric room. I filled the back of my wagon with tons of donation stuff-purging is a good thing! I actually folded and put fabric away on the shelves-and all the magazines are now in neat stacks once more. It all left me far too tired to tackle any sewing tonight. However, I assure you, much progress has been made. I am 7 seams away from being a fourth of the way done. I did some thinking on the next round of color placement today. And I am half way done with the last strip sets for rainbow-rails-trip-around-the-world quilt too. Plus, I pinned the string top ready for quilting. So, it's not like I have been slacking on the quilty front. I also packed six quilts up to send off to wraptheminlove. They had been living in my car and I needed the room. I am very good at putting things off, but, when I decide to get something shapes up fast enough. I am taking a half day off again on Friday to finish up. I think that additional time will be enough to reach my goal of room for Alice and a much neater space. Then it's back to ignoring just about everything until the wedding quilt is finished.
I'll try and get some photos taken tomorrow...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

something finished to show

this was a leader/ender to the wedding quilt project that...well....once it was close, just had to get finished as a top! There are many blocks made by my guild friends at our retreat and I wanted to finish this quilt to take on the 26th as my show and tell-then off it will go as a Heartstrings /Wraptheminlove charity quilt. It's pieced on muslin foundation squares, and I am going to back it with flannel and quilt it without any batting. I know it will quilt up nicely and be plenty warm enough for a child . The purple side borders were leftovers from the quilt backing from my sister's quilt. As I am still trying to use up my flannel stash-I am happy to be pulling another few yards from that stash for the backing on this top. Once pinned, it will go on the waiting to be quilted stack. I have another donated top that also needs to be pinned. I may or may not tackle that as I am in that pinning mode...just depends on my mood. This is 40 inches by 63 inches...a tad less once it's quilted and trimmed up. Nice to have something quilty to show here in photo form! It's another grey not quite rainy day here...getting out to the garden will be happening in another hour as I have plants to move and put into the ground, plus a replacement plant to put into the ground-being perfect weather-I decided no more lally gagging around (that means putting it off!) and doing those gardening "chores". In between stitching on this top, reading a few blogs, chatting online with a quilty friend, I also did a fair amount of cutting wow strips for the wedding project. I have about two or so more half yards to cut, then, I am switching gears to stitch up the 1/4 part that is done before taking it down from the design wall...too bad if I change my mind about the color layout! I don't have enough room to lay it all out prior to stitching and figure if I like each quarter...then put together it will be fine.

Once I have the second quarter up on the design wall, I will post a photo and ask for feedback.
Life is of course busy with other things! more on those at another time...

Monday, June 11, 2007

a quilty this, a quilty that

See? I actually not only did some cutting, but, a few more rings are up...the arrangement may change, but for now this is how it is. I switched out machines in my cabinet-what a royal pain that was...I had to keep fussing until I had it exactly at the right height for the Bernie. I did that last night and then did other things. Tonight I was ready to sew. I hemmed some pants for my sweetie - one item off the ironing board, check. I had the walking foot on, so decided to stitch binding onto the two waiting charity quilts. I also stitched the labels on at the same time. Then I stitched up the next row of my rainbow rail fence trip around the that? I now need to make more strip sets for more rail blocks...phooey. That brought me to cutting. I cut up a fair amount of wow and the next two rings worth of colors. In the morning I will be able to sit down and stitch the hsts. I ran out of bobbin thread and decided I needed a lighter color for this project anyway, wound a bobbin-set it up and decided I was done for the night. I have Wednesday off and will spend several hours that day making headway on this particular project. It's the deadline one of course..but I am working on at least two to three other projects as well-it is really helping me not feel too overwhelmed at the huge amount of cutting that still lies ahead on this wedding quilt. I am excited at my choice of colors and figuring them out as I go along-all the color strips are cut...and some wows are cut-all are now washed and so I can pull a variety as I feel the need. Once I am happy with the 8th ring of color and the placement...then I will stitch these all together. Feedback is welcome once I get the rest of the rings up ....the last color will probably be a shade of purple-it's cut and waiting.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

progress on projects

As Patti, mentioned we spent yesterday doing quilty things-I made huge progress in cutting strips, raiding her stash (thanks again Patti!) and receiving her help in colors and so on. It is such a joy to have a quilty friend to consult on those burning questions-do you think this color plays nicely with the others?? and how do you place that same color so it works overall? As we are both doing weight watchers, I brought along leftover chicken/sweet potatoe soup so she could taste it (it was a hit) and we were good when we later went to Starbucks-relatively speaking of course...what I like best about ww, is you are in charge of your you can arrange to have treats if you plan for them. As I have been getting to the gym on a regular basis, that allows for a splurge now and then.
I lost another pound and at this point that becomes a bigger deal -being at the stage of only wanting to lose maybe another six or so of them.

Wedding ring pattern notes: *** ed note: there are 32 rings that make up this pattern..apparently my counting skills were off the other post! Wedding Rings is a pattern by Seams & Dreams-you can try googling the pattern name or the designer name-I have no idea which quilt shop I found it at, nor if they still carry it. The address on the pattern back is:
1419 Applegate
Lewisville, TX 75067
phone number: 972-420-8857

I encourage you to contact this person/company as I feel they did a great job in writing directions and provide a nice graph of the placement, plus an extra one for you to color in your own choices.

We went and saw the movie Georgia Rule last night- probably only about 10 of us in the audience, however, we really enjoyed it and recommend it - especially if you are a Jane Fonda fan...
Today's plans are: more cutting and stitching on the wedding quilt-stitching string blocks as my leader/ender project, and afternoon grandbaby sitting while her parents go to the movies.
I am overjoyed at the idea of 3+ hours of alone time with Miss Alice Wonderful !!!
Lentil soup is on tonight's menu and who knows what else I may fit into the day-hopefully at least a bit more blog least my list mail is caught up...a miracle in itself.
It's been raining yesterday and not sure how today will fare-so no guilt at ignoring the garden this weekend.
When I have some photo worthy progress made-I will post a photo at that point...promise!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

wrapping up the weekend

On a quilty note..
This is my progress on the wedding quilt-a nice start. There are a total of 16 rings. Both this yellow and purple were used in his brothers quilt too. I may move rings around, but, this is now up and will keep me motivated. I also am working on a ufo as my leader/ender to this project.

Today was my charity group meeting-one gal showed up and we had a short but fun time. She quilted on two quilts and I pinned a new one, plus trimmed both of hers. When I am in the binding mood, I can bind the two trimmed quilts. Another member left three finished quilts to add to our total. So, it's been a mostly quilty weekend - I sorted out my problem label - and it's on the quilt and I am hand binding it in the evenings. I tried a new weight watcher recipe-I love new recipes and cook books-I have a large collection and I am always on the lookout for something new to cook. This is a crockpot meal and we both agreed, it's a keeper.
It's chicken and sweet potato soup.
Ingredients: 3/4 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes, 3 small or 2 medium sweet potatoes (I used yams instead), pared and cut into one inch cubes, 1 large onion chopped, 1 can (29 ounces) salsa-style diced tomatoes with chilis (undrained) ok- I used two containers of our favorite fresh salsa and threw in a small can of green chilis-1 can (14 1/2 ounces) fat-free chicken broth (again I used up some chicken stock I had in the fridge) 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon (or more!) ground cumin, and 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (do NOT thaw)
in a 4 quart slow cooker combine chicken, sweet potatoes, onion, tomatoes, broth,oregano, and cumin; cover and cook on Low for at least 6 hours.
stir in corn; cook on High until chicken and vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 55 minutes.

This makes 4 servings (so they say-lots more in our opinion!)
per serving: 270 calories; 1.5 g fat; 7 g fiber (5 points if you do that method)

My sweetie thought I could add lentils to this and it would taste good- so I will try that addition next time around. I was surprised at how well this tasted...really. Add salt when you serve-we use Kosher salt for the great flavor and that way we each get the "right" amount.

Lots of leftovers for the week-always a good thing in my opinion. I have been reading both off the computer (I am half way through a long way gone by ishmael beah) and blogs...still way behind but I am not giving up-eventually I will make it around several rings..too bad it's back to the work world for me tomorrow.
And thanks for the comments on Alice-she is such a delightful baby, and quite firm in her likes and juice from her sippy cup wins over green beans being the latest assertion.
a lesson for her momma-treat apple juice like dessert, after the veggies if you want miss alice wonderful to eat her greens. LOL.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

something quilted to show

my friend called to let me know she was in town and we made arrangements to meet early Saturday morning so I could hand over the 7 charity quilts that are finished for her foundation, WrapThemInLove-I told her if I could find the time I would add one more to that number. And I did manage to do that-allowing me to show something quilty at last. Thanks to Linda's bag of leftover binding it was easy to pull greens and whip the binding on for this finish. One of my group pieced this-and I like how she arranged the different strips-a few I recognized from my scrap bag..the red with black floral for one, from a beginner's quilt class I took back in 2000.
I still have plenty of stash from 1999, the year I returned to collecting fabric, the path leading to eventually a return to quilting in late 1999 for me. So now I can hand over 8 finished quilts and only have two left on my stack to finish.
Sunday we meet and with any luck those will get done during that time-a small amount of quilting left on one to do and the other is pinned to be quilted. Today, I drove over after work to visit with my dil and Alice...taking a few new photos-apparently she was cranky before I arrived, however, she seemed in great spirits to me. She loves eating cheerios-and I have a decent photo of her enjoying that, along with a wonderful grin as she enjoys a book. Looks like she bumped her face as one eye seems squinting to me..but, then, you know how it is about crawling and climbing up on stuff, and trying to stand...bumps and tumbles happen. She is a busy baby!
I picked up a Spanish Lavender plant to replace the one that died last week that I had them pick up when they were out last weekend at the nursery-tomorrow I will spend some time in the garden..I am still far from being done...I probably will be driving over to the nursery myself and picking up more plants. It will depend on how hot it gets tomorrow-it's been up in the 90's lately and that's just too hot to be gardening or putting in new plants. I am so enjoying having a sprinkler system this year-what a labor/time saver that is. And, yes, I have managed to go to the gym 4 out of 5 mornings this week-I am working on this new habit-not just getting up early but getting out the door and at the gym by 5;30 am...and you know, once I get there I am happy to be doing it. I do a little over 2 miles each time and I like putting that factoid on my calendar. And, tomorrow I need to quit dragging my feet and start cutting on the wedding quilt. I am still wordsmithing on the label for the jigsaw puzzle quilt-I am sure I will wrap that up over the weekend as well-sure sounds like a quilty weekend shaping up doesn't it? I have made a start tonight-which is nice. And, I am itching to play in the scraps...I was looking at a tray of them laid out in the garage...they may have to come inside and act as leaders/enders with the wedding quilt.....I love Friday nights- the plans for the weekend overflowing..all to look forward to...forty eight hours of doing as I please. OK, off to read what some of you have been up to or plan to do before getting some sleep.