Friday, December 28, 2007

some ideas work, some don't

just a short thought here: I am going to spend a bit of time reviewing my blog over 2007 and reflect on what I accomplished. I declared 2007 a year of not having goals, but listing to do the summation of how that went. I am taking Monday off to benefit myself in enjoying 4 days off in a row and have additional time to reach possible short term completions.
I have not given up on my new york beauty tutorial just got shelved when higher priority projects happened.

I am going to try and list my top ten ufos and my top ten project ideas for 2008-I am still committed to being flexible about actually following these lists-but I think having them so handy on my blog will be helpful in keeping my focus.

I am hosting the 2008 ufo challenge over at the stashbuster group. Folks can play along and not join in an official way-so if you are looking for motivation and inspiration - jump on in.

Also: it is my tradition to sew for charity on New Year's Day. I invite anyone inclined to join me!
I really like the idea of spending the majority of that day doing what you want to focus on throughout the year. Giving and sharing is a big focus of mine-giving thanks for the abundance in my life too. It all works when I devote time to making a quilt for my favorite charity-Wraptheminlove. My focus this year will be to increase my personal contribution to this charity.
Balance and harmony are also important to me-I did better in 2007 in that regard. I learned many things and I know I am a better person thanks to so many of my wonderful friends and family-I truly appreciate those people in my life. to work later than usual, but, I wanted to get this post done this morning- tonight is Alice night and grocery shopping afterwards...a late night before I ever arrive home!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas wrap up- part one

I did a lot of last minute running up of gift bags and everyone sure enjoyed them! I see many more in the year to come and a lot of Christmas fabric getting used up which is good. I also made a set of 4 place mats which were reversible and made from fabric I brought back from Paris in 2000- not cotton fabric but more deco type fabric, which worked well for what I made.
Sorry- no photos of those. I snapped a few Alice photos as she was playing and then opening presents...the camera batteries died as she was ready to open the ones from us...however, she finally is old enough to enjoy a special purse a wonderful friend sent for her dress up collection- and she was totally in love with it-as the photo attests. It was on and off, on and off...quite a hit.

I am going by their house on Friday to take more photos with a charged up camera - so stay tuned for a final quilt gift photo...and probably Alice playing with a few of her new toys no doubt.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

my idea of a six hour quilt

I left work a bit early- but by the time I drove through unbelievable traffic and stopped for a latte- well, I hardly got home all that early! Still it was nice to walk Zoe in some daylight, rather than the pitch dark another hour brings. I decided I wanted to whip up a purple small quilt for a co-worker's granddaughter. She would need to have it by tomorrow. No problem right? I pulled fabric, put back fabric, pulled some more until I was happy. I sat down and did a quick sketch of the blocks and placing I wanted. I ironed, cut fabric, and stitched away. As you can see, I chose a very simple pattern idea. I used some of my favorite Laurel Burch fabric and the turquoise I found that would match it so well (bought with this in mind)- and used the purple leftover from another quilt I am finishing the hand binding stitching on. The backing is some deep purple with bright medium size pink flowers...flannel nice and snuggly. She wanted it only 36 inches by 36 inches...and I did all the binding by machine. I finished before midnight-with an hour or so off watching a movie we decided was a dud. In case you need to know, that movie would be Once.
Some great music...but....the story kept jumping around and was very difficult to follow-we gave up. I even stitched batting together for this quilt. Not a huge amount of stash busted, but, still it all came from the fabric room and it's done. If she doesn't like it, I will add it to the charity pile. oh, I figure this quilt pretty much took about six hours -not bad! I even used up the leftover binding from the other quilt, although I had to add another equal amount to make it work for this one.

side note: I have come up with a great idea for the winter swap wall hanging ....I can hardly wait to start playing with what I have come up with! have you ever noticed how much brighter and vivid the stars seem during winter?


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

mid December check in

Tonight I finally sat down and finished this quilt-bound and labeled it's my final ufo for the year and will go off to Wraptheminlove on the 28th along with others from our group to conclude this year's count. Our goal was a hundred, but, we may fall a bit short-it's just been that sort of year-full of lots of unexpected life happenings. I won these blocks in our charity online auction and they have been sitting for at least 5 or 6 years I think! Good to have them in a quilt now.

here we are celebrating my son's graduation-from Sam Houston State University. I am a very proud mama. His brother graduated from Portland Culinary Institute several years ago- so both my sons have invested in their future through education. This was how I spent the last weekend. My aunt and my sister and his dad were also present to add to the cheering section.
A very fast and fun weekend!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

free motion quilting night

I have been putting in long, long work hours as I will be gone Friday. I pushed the other night to pin this ufo quilt-and then last night I was too tired to do any quilting. I got home even later tonight as I zipped over to see Alice after work. She is an excellent tantrum thrower! She has the throwing herself on the floor and kicking her feet down pat. Such drama! At 18 months she is giving her folks a taste of what a strong willed person she truly is. I think they are doing a fine job in handling it I might add. It has to be terribly frustrating trying to communicate with not quite proper words at your command-so much easier to recognize as a grandparent. At any rate-I came home and pretty much decided to sit down and do a little quilting. Two hours later, I am done with this quilt. Most of it looks pretty decent too. I am putting into action those tips I picked up at the last machine quilting class I took. I will save the trimming and tidying up for another night, most likely Monday night if I am lucky. I have a few other charity quilts to quilt up as well-all good warm up for the personal quilt I want to do some free motion quilting on. Once I put the binding on I will put up a all have a great weekend while I am gone...


Sunday, December 09, 2007

making a list and ...

Well, the first round of Christmas-y fabrics are packaged and will be mailed tomorrow morning. Check that off the list! It took all yesterday afternoon and into the evening to achieve the results in the photo- meaning, washing, drying, and ironing fabric-especially some of the yardage pieces takes hours! However, we won't dwell on that boring aspect, instead we will be delighted with the results-neatly folded fabric, put away nicely. You will note two fabrics show the back side-we all know we pay for both sides and in the case of these fabrics, I expect to be using the "back" side the majority of the time. I am so glad I am so over the gold flecked/toned fabrics...who knew it could be so...overwhelming? What was I thinking? These are the keeper fabrics and will be showing up in various projects this month and into next year I suspect. And see those strips? all for the first two steps of Bonnie's mystery quilt that is such a hit with so many online quilters. I will be working on those as leader/enders as I work on those projects I made a list of today.
Speaking of which, I am a bit stumped for inspiration for doing the Winter swap I signed up for. I mean, I have a few ideas...but nothing that clamors to be acted upon immediately...I am going to keep mulling ideas over for a while longer and then do some mock ups.
All the Christmas decorations are down from the attic and waiting to be put up around the house. I grocery shopped this morning as ice particles were drifting down. {we only got a mere dusting of the white stuff and it did NOT last long} I have 3 quiches to make tonight. 2 will go to work with my sweetie-a thank you for all the kindnesses her co-workers showered on her while she was recuperating from knee replacement surgery. One for dinner tonight and leftovers for later in the week. I love to cook so I am always elected to do this sort of extra stuff- you know the drill, while you are doing such and such, would you mind making one, two, three more? We ran down to the lqs where my Bernina spent the night after being restored to top working order-one day turnaround service at this time of year makes them my number one favorite place to not only buy a machine from but to take it back for service. We took Zoe as Becky the repair woman has a real soft spot for her- believe me the feeling is mutual! When we were bringing Zoe home as a new puppy, this lqs was our first stop- and everyone there has been her number one fan ever since. It's nice to know your dog is welcome at your favorite lqs! I was going to stay up late last night and get stuff done, but, just felt too tired-so it was off to bed after watching a fun movie- Raising Helen. I am hoping with my machine back and the first small project done and in the to be mailed bag-I will keep that momentum going. And, the bag of give away fabric purged from yesterday's photo is by the door.
Ok...back to the machine and the next item on the project list!


Saturday, December 08, 2007

bring on Christmas...give away

A photo of the Christmas/winter stash..this filled most of one shelf in the fabric room. I left out the scraps and a few clothing projects . I am part of the Winter Seasons Swap-I will use some of this for that, and the rest? Some of it is cheap fabric-I will use that for backs and the rest ? Bonnie's current mystery quilt, gift bags, a few quilts I have had in mind and then the actual Christmas themed fabric that is leftover will be offered to whoever wants it. By the end of December it all has to go. There are a few batiks in there, the packet of pre-cut Christmas six inch squares, some fqs, and yardage. There is some green bear fabric in there back from the early 80's I bought from Penneys fabric department and made outfits for my sister and my mom from! That piece will be set aside for the backing of a quilt for Alice. I know those clothes are long gone now, but, the memory of that time will live on in the quilt. I found two Christmas vests cut out and a Christmas jumper-I am going to seriously look at those and either go for it, or toss them. I am out of room to store fabric and decided this was an easy place to make a start of using it up/passing it along. None of this sewing are for gifts for this year-so there is no pressure involved-I just want to cut up and put together projects that will use the best of this fabric and sew as much this month as I feel like doing. I also have that ufo to get back to plus a few small things on the to do list.

I bought this panel or maybe I was given this's a Sandy Gervais, Pieces of my heart by moda- the first person to email me/leave a comment- gets it.
Happy December everyone!


Monday, December 03, 2007

just had to play along

You Are Easter

You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone

thanks Finn and both inspired me to go play...


remember this quilt?

This was the Wraptheminlove raffle quilt- the one I promoted folks to buy tickets for in our area and at my work place ( and here too). The drawing was last Saturday and I missed seeing who had won on the I called up and asked, who won??? She said, it's posted on the site...and I said, but I didn't see it ! ok, I will go look...then with a lot of laughing I was told, I was the winner! Yes, yes, yes!!! I was thrilled with this news- as I truly loved this quilt, a lot due to so many friends contributing blocks to make it and Linda and her mom designing it and putting it together so perfectly and then Ellen quilting it, and best of it all the funds were going to support one of my favorite charities. Once a label is put on, it will wing it's way back to me for good! I am so glad I decided to buy even more tickets than I first planned. It certainly paid off.

Todays good news continued on this evening with a phone call from my son who lives in Texas. He has been going to college there, working so hard, and graduates on the 15th of this month-worrying about not having a job. I kept telling him the job would come...just graduate first! He accepted a job offer today and starts on the 19th! I am so thrilled for him...and as any parent would also know- so relieved too! I am just one proud mama right now.

And, I finally sat down and started the hand work on a binding too tonight. I really enjoy doing hand work and with a two hour season opener of The Closer tv show to watch, plus an extra night of Life as well....lots of stitching has been done.

Finally, I forgot to include the terrific machine quilting class I took in November- I guess there was a lot more quilty stuff that went on than I realized.

One of the best things about doing a blog is the tracking it does of what you spend your time doing....I am looking forward to 2007 in review...I am sure a lot more happened than I remember!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

November wrap up

A blogger that also is on the yahoo stashbuster list issued a contest- post your November quilty accomplishments and be proud of what you did! Well, first I had to read back over my posts for November-not too many for that month. I bound 2 charity quilts, I made one charity top, I dropped off a top to be quilted and got it back and cut binding for it, I completed and turned in another large top to be quilted to the longarmer, made 4 guild blocks, and I promoted sales of tickets for our charity raffle quilt-made the most money from my co-workers! and sent it all in to headquarters-today is the drawing day...if I win, I will certainly post later today.
Today is my sweetie's birthday-I have a small dinner party planned-you know that means cleaning up and cooking will be the major parts of my day. I am baking a pumpkin pie per request plus picked up a Baskins Robbins ice cream cake as well, the other request. I have no problem with two birthday desserts-when it's your birthday, it's your choice! It's easier to bake a pie for me than to bake a cake-though I do enjoy doing any sort of baking. Christmas cookies will be happening later this month you can be assured. I ran out of energy last night so no stitching was done. The snow they promised today were mere specks of ice bits by the time I was out the door to walk Zoe earlier this morning. It still is pretty cold- about 34 degrees F.
December should see the finish of these two gift quilts, delivery of both, and work on the nyb ufo...with a finish being the ideal ending of this year. I have a few thoughts on 2008...and will share them later in the month, I hope this weekend finds everyone doing something they love to do...stay safe and warm folks.