Sunday, December 20, 2009

In Mid-December

Well it's almost Christmas and I'm not sure I'm ready, lol. With Christmas less than a week away: I've only purchased three presents, none of them wrapped, and my parents called me two days ago to tell me that they're coming out for Christmas this year after all. Well, that's exciting! I think we'll have Christmas on New Year's Day. That sounds like a plan!

Friday night was our office Christmas party and last night Bran and I hosted a Christmas party here at that house. Not very many guests came to either party, but they were still plenty of fun. Tonight I'm playing a Christmas gig in New Orleans at the Chapel of the Holy Comforter. I'm sure they'll have a party after the performance. There will be more people at this party, but it won't be nearly as fun as Friday or Saturday's parties! :)

Anyways I've gotten a couple of quilts finished in the last month. On Thanksgiving weekend I finished a linen and cotton hourglass quilt and this week I completed a Christmas quilt. They're both lap sized and were the first two I've ever quilted using my new B-Line quilting frame. Now if I could just get a sewing machine with a longer throat, then I'd be all good! :)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...

Should I have not gotten up this morning? lol.

First, I should have been at rehearsal in New Orleans at 10am. So, I get myself out of bed, run a brush through my hair, slap some makeup on, and leave the house. Two miles from home I look up at my clock in the car and it says it's 10. 10? Really? No - I must have forgotten to "fall back". No - I remembered to "fall back", that was weeks ago. Oh crap. How the hell did my brain allow me to think that aiming to leave the house at 9:45 would get me to rehearsal at 10? Oh, I must have said "I need to leave at quarter to 9" to Bran and I somehow translated that to 9:45 in my fuzzy brain. It's a quarter to something with a 9. OMG.

I've been sick for 4 weeks now. Yeah, 4 weeks. I'm not as bad as I was 3 weeks ago, but I'm still bad enough that I've been taking night-time cold medicine for the last 2 weeks. Is that why I feel so brain dead? Holy crap.

Ok, so then I decide, since I'm out, to grab a cup of coffee and get some Christmas shopping done. First I stopped at America's Best to pick up my contacts that they called me about a month ago. No...they don't have my contacts. They've got my trial pair...that's what they called me about. Trial pair? I got those 8 weeks ago. No, I want the year worth of contacts I paid for. Oh, no they were delivered to my home on October 28th. Really? No. So, they'll follow up on Monday when the office is open. Monday, really? They'd better call on Monday or I'll be opening up a can of whoop ass.

Alrighty, it's not the fault of the girls at America's Best so I'll go over to Rouse's and see if they have St. Germain. No, they don't have St. Germain I should try Martin's Wine Cellar. But, they don't think there's one of the North Shore. I'll have to go to New Orleans or Baton Rouge. Yeah, right.

This is all not so bad. I think I'll go pick up those Christmas gifts. So, I drive myself over Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up that present for Bran I keep meaning to pick up and some Christmas Yankee Candles. It's cold out and I still haven't had any of that hot coffee I picked up. I find a nice parking spot and dash across in the rain to the store with my big ass purse and cup of coffee. Yeah, I'll probably need a shopping cart for the present and the candles and whatever crap might "need" from BB&B. So what if the store is packed, the shopping carts are huge, and the aisles are too small for the shopping cart. Really? The aisles are too small for the shopping carts? And because I didn't want to spill the coffee I've set in in my purse. But the first big bump guess what? No, it didn't spill, but it did splash up out of that drinking hole all over the inside of my purse. OK, that's not so bad, at least it didn't spill.

At least the check out line at BB&B went quickly. While I'm out why don't I stop by my salon and give Ginger her Christmas present and get my bangs trimmed? Great idea. Ginger is available...trims me up in 2 minutes, I "tip" her for the year and leave. At home I get a really good look at my bangs. Well, maybe they'll have grown out by Christmas. Besides as long as they look good for Christmas I'll be happy.

So, my crazy "bad" day wasn't really "bad"...but I usually don't have this kind of luck over and over in the same day. Hopefully the next 2 weeks will be better. Bran went Christmas shopping after I got home. I got most of the ornaments on the tree and he came home with a bottle of St. Germain (from Martin's Wine Cellar in Mandeville!). Bless him! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Toy!

Last post I mentioned that I discovered a quilting store in my area. Well guess what my sweet sweet hubby got for me? A quilting frame! He got it put together and set up for me and yesterday I put my first quilt on it. Now I'm busy free motion quilting a quilt top! I've got another quilt top that I need to have finished by Friday, but I didn't want to start with, my apologies to the friend that's going to get this quilt - but it's really my test run. lol - I'm sure she won't mind. :)

I'm leaving for California on Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing my brother and friends. When I get back I'll finish quilting the other quilt tops I've got waiting and then start decorating for Christmas. Woot!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Surprise Quilt

I found a quilt shop in my area last week. All the quilting and sewing I've been doing lately and I hadn't bothered until last week to see if I had a local quilt shop. I've already spent a load of money in the shop and I've only been in twice. Though in my defense I purchased a quilting frame for my machine, so that was an investment. Hopefully it will help me be twice as productive.

This morning I went in with a quilt top that I finished about a month ago. I've been looking for quilt backing, but just haven't been happy with what I've found. I finally just bought some muslin in desperation, ugh so boring. There are no pictures posted yet of the quilt top because it's a surprise, but here's a little sneak peek at what I found this morning for the back. I went in looking for something mundane but interesting...was about to give up when I spotted this. Mundane: Fail!

Please don't think I've gone insane.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Productive Weekend

I work from home. You may have already known that. Working from home has many MANY benefits. My favorite is that when lunchtime comes around I can turn on Court TV (TruTV), watch an hour of courtroom proceedings, eat a bite, and work on "stuff". I usually have Wednesdays and Fridays off, but I'm currently working at getting myself a surplus of days so that I can go to California for a month and not have to work the whole time I'm there. So, this last Friday I was working. At lunch I stopped and started cutting and piecing a Christmas "Mix-Tape" quilt (a jump start on Christmas). After my hour I went back to my desk and found myself making all sorts of crazy mistakes. Spelling, thinking, not thinking - whatever I was spending as much time correcting myself as I was working. Maybe I had that quilt on my mind... Whatever it was at 3:00 I gave up. I thought, "I'm not even supposed to be here today"! (This line must be whined like Dante Hicks). Two hours short of a full day of work I stopped working. I can work for 2 hours on the weekend when I'm "fresh". lol. So - I sat down and cut and pieced the rest of that Christmas quilt top. Took a little break to watch the rest of a movie I'd Tivo'd ("The Painted Veil" with Edward Norton. If you've seen the movie you'll understand why I watched it in two parts - good, but kinda slow.) Yeah, I cut and pieced that entire quilt top in an afternoon. I'm loving that Mix Tape quilt pattern. In my back room I have 2 plastic storage boxes of novelty Christmas fabric. I know it's cheesy - but I have a real soft spot for it. If you've seen my living room at Christmastime you'd understand why. Between the quick pattern and all that Christmas fabric I think there may be at least a couple more Christmas lap quilts made this year.

After the high of completing an entire quilt top in a day I thought that I should be working on something that's actually on my "roundtoit" list. I've had Bran's aunt's doll for almost two years now and all I've done is patch her. I gave myself a deadline to have this doll finished, otherwise she'll just sit around here forever (not that I'd complain). Two years is really too long to hold on to something you're working on for someone else. But, I'm doing all this work for free, she can just wait. lol. I plan on having the doll done for Thanksgiving this year. That will be the two year anniversary of her handing the doll over to me. Both of Diane's sons have had little girls this year and I was able to complete baby quilts for both of them - so I'll make this the year that the doll is finished as well. This week I started working on the doll's costuming. I started stockings earlier in the week, and yesterday I made most of the corset. I screwed up the corset once in the afternoon which forced me to stop in frustration for a couple hours. Frustrated because noooOOOoooo I couldn't screw up the lining from muslin, I had to screw up the outer part from a limited amount of vintage material. So at 11:00 pm last night I finished the bulk of the corset. It needs a little handwork done, then the corset will be complete. I took plenty of pictures - maybe someday I'll post a tutorial on making doll corsets.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I'm a reasonably intelligent person. Well, at least I believe that I am. So, how, after checking the remains of the linen I had from the last quilt top I completed am I short by 8 blocks? It's not much - but when I checked last night I thought I had more than enough - like twice as much as I needed. I must have been tired, or hungry, or possibly in need of a drink. Whatever it was I screwed up the numbers big time. I went to order more from and they're sold out. Well bummer. I have enough scraps to piece together what I need to get all 80 squares of this new hourglass quilt finished, so I guess I'll do that. I was going to post this quilt for sale, but if I have to scrounge for bits and pieces I guess I may just have to give this quilt away. Or, keep it for myself. I just won't feel right selling something I don't think is good enough.

I started the hourglass quilt yesterday, after I completed the "other" Mix Tape quilt top I've been working on. I need to get some fabric to back the latest Mix Tape quilt with. But, the person I'd really like to ask for their opinion is going to be the recipient. So now what?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mix-Tape Quilt Complete

OK, so here it is, the completed Mix-Tape Quilt. I'm still working on another one. I'll probably have that one done in a couple weeks. I really hate working on quilts as big as this one, but I love them when they're done. Though, I almost always have a problem with the backs - part of the reason I don't do pieced backs. The backs always bunch up on me while I'm quilting and I get these puckers that end up being sewn over. They're a mess. I usually spend time picking stitches when I'm done and easing the fabric. Then once washed they look OK, but this one. This one is bad. So Bran gets it. I told him last week - you know what would stop this? A quilting frame! lol. Maybe I'll get one for Christmas. Probably about then I'll be bored with quilting though and will have moved on to something else. lol.

If you're interested in this pattern you can find it on Etsy in Oh, Fransson's shop. She's the bomb. The mack daddy bomb.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Ok, so I started the sashing on the Mix-Tape Quilt. I actually got half of the quilt sashed and started the second half this evening. Well...somehow I cut some of them about 1/4 too small, and of course I didn't notice until after I'd completed all the vertical sashing. I'm just so frustrated. I'm going to have to rip out a row and a half of sashing...and 10 minutes ago I was so excited that I'd gotten so much done today. Grrrr...

Well, here's a photo of the top half sashed. Correctly. lol

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mixtape Quilt(s)

I very recently bought a quilt pattern from Oh, Fransson called Mixtape Quilts. She also held the Mod-Sampler quilt along that I participated in earlier this year. The Mod-Sampler quilt is yet to be finished. I made the mistake of leaving the quilt top out on Mother's day when my in-laws came over. My mother-in-law loved the quilt, and then said "I have this sheet". (I pieced the Mod-Sampler quilt with vintage sheets). Well actually my sister-in-law now has the sheet. My mother-in-law offered it to me as a backing to the quilt, which I think will look nice if the sheet is in good enough condition. But, it's been actively used for 20 years or, I'm a little scared. Anywhoo, I thought I'd put off finishing the quilt until I got the sheet so that I could make a decision. However, if I don't have that sheet in the next month I'm going to go ahead and back it with the sheet I already purchased.

OK, back to the Mixtape Quilt. I cut and pieced this yesterday. Yeah, yesterday. This is half the quilt, all that would fit on my dining room table so that I could look and the block/color placement. I think it's random enough that I'm going to go ahead and put the quilt top together without looking at all the blocks together. Of course I'll lay out the other half of the quilt and take a picture of it as well. This quilt is pieced mostly with vintage sheets. I love the funkiness of the prints. Actually the fat quarters I purchased were marked as vintage/upcycled sheets - but some of the fabrics are suspect. As in I suspect some of them may have been cheap, dollar a yard, fabrics from Wal-Mart. But, if they hold up to washings then fine, I don't care because they all look adorable.

I have also pieced the blocks for a second Mixtape Quilt. But, that one's a secret...for now.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Little Lambs

I finished baby quilt #6 last night. The baby shower is tomorrow and I had actually scheduled myself as finishing the binding today - so I'm ahead of schedule! Yay me. Obviously the baby's name is going to be Kate. I found the little lambs on Flickr, adjusted them a little to fit my idea, then found a free font, put the two together and voila, cute baby embroidery pattern. The rest of the quilt is whole cloth and quilted in my usual free motion quilting style. Cute, don't you think?

Tomorrow is both the baby shower and father's day. Lucky for me, my mother-in-law and Bran's grandmother were invited to the shower as well. So, we're all going to travel together. After the shower I'll host father's day at my house for the in-laws. I figured I'll serve steaks: I'll make Bran grill them, broccoli: steamed in the nuker for a couple minutes, German Potato Salad: I'll whip that up this afternoon, and home-made strawberry ice-cream: I'll get that going this afternoon - all that, it should be pretty easy - and basically all done before tomorrow. :)

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby Quilt #5

I've finished another baby quilt! This quilt is for my husband's cousin and his wife. I recently found out that another cousin and his wife are expecting as well, so I ordered fabric today for baby quilt #6. Their shower is in a couple of weeks so they're getting a whole cloth quilt. I might embroider something in the front right hand quarter, or I might not, I'll keep you posted.

I've also got ordered some cool fabric for an idea that's been brewing in my brain. At the moment I've got a million cool ideas in my brain though. I guess the trick now is to get those ideas out into the physical world.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Last month was crazy busy. I mentioned that in my last post though, I'm sure.

The project I thought would be complete by the end of the month wasn't completed - though I lay most of the blame for that at the feet of the person or people that were responsible for relaying to me that Development would not have a completed project until the 15th of June. So, tell me, how effectively was I using my time trying to document software that was, and still is, in limbo? OK - so I've got it 98% complete and am waiting for the final product to be rolled out so that I may update the work I've already done. Have I mentioned that I don't like wasting time? Oh, I have no problem sitting around taking my time, but I have a huge problem doing double work. I'm off my soapbox now.

We did close the old office at the end of the month and Bran and I are now both working from home. It's been a little bit of an adjustment. Though we both worked at home occasionally before we moved, being in the house everyday and having to physically move in our work computers, monitors, and files was a job. Not to mention the logistics of VPN, VOIP, having another phone line installed, and then having to deal with our phone and internet going down yesterday at the house.

So, here's the fun stuff. We loved Alaska. I would definitely recommend visiting Alaska if you have a chance. It was really beautiful. Bran and I took the trip with my parents and my brother. Bran, Brian, and I basically covered the trip for my parents...kind of an early Christmas gift for the next 5 years, a 40th anniversary present, and a thank you for everything you did for us growing up. I think the best part was how excited my mom was. Often, though I don't think intentionally, she just doesn't seem that excited about gifts - almost a "I wanted something better" feeling. Again, I don't think it's intentional, but a little deflating at times. But she was so excited about this trip - it made it all worth while. So, back to the trip. If you ever take a trip to Alaska and find yourself in Skagway be sure to take the White Pass Rail Road trip. It is so worth every dime. If you're interested, my photos of the trip are posted here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Day!

Despite the fact that I couldn't sleep last night and got only 2 hours of sleep before the alarm woke me up in the morning for work, today was a really good day! I blame the lack of sleep on an over busy mind. I have a documentation project due, our office is moving, most of us are going to start working from home (my husband and me included), and we're going on a cruise to Alaska all within the next 4 weeks - so I have alot on my mind. Last night was one of those nights when you just lay there and the mind just keeps running. I even got up and did a couple of the things that were occupying my mind, doing that usually lets me relax and sleep, but not last night.

I finished a quilt that's been in the works for the last 10 years last night. That was a really good feeling. The quilt started as a gift for a friend. One of those friends that you feel compelled to do things for. I usually stay away from those kind of friends, but she was a friend that I made back when we were like 5. Anyways, I started the quilt and actually had it pieced and sandwiched 10 years ago. I wanted to free motion quilt it, but just never could get the hang of it, and it is a HUGE quilt. I was really frustrated because I'd buy quilting books or check quilting books out from the library and they'd all just complete a quilt by saying "now quilt it by machine or hand". Lots of instructions on blocks and binding but nothing on quilting. I was frustrated about it for 10 years. Finally I did some research on the internet, bought a darning foot, practiced a little, then took on the giant quilt from hell. It's now done but I'm no longer in touch with the original recipient. So this afternoon I called my mom and asked her if she wanted it. My lucky mom.

Today was also a good mail day! I got a copy of Antique Doll Collector, accessories for my new phone, and some fabric I ordered from A La Mode on Etsy. Check out this mail box booty!

And here's a little lagniappe...a peak at what I'm currently working on. My Mod Sampler Quilt, which is pieced and needs to be quilted and bound, a zig-zag baby quilt, and a diamond baby quilt. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Give Away!

Check out this fabulous artist's blog for another adorable giveaway! :D

As for me...I'm finishing the binding on a nine patch quilt that I pieced about 10 years ago. It's overly cutesy country and was originally pieced for a friend that whined that "no one has ever made me anything". lol. So I kinda don't like the quilt, but Bran does. I thought about giving it to his mom or my mom when it's finished - which should be tomorrow. But I shouldn't neglect my sweet husband's wishes to keep it for himself, however I just don't like the quilt. But, on the plus side, I'm finally finishing this quilt after all these years. That's part of my plan - finish some UFOs while finishing the new projects I'm starting as well. So far it's working. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In case you didn't already know, my paying job is Software Documentation. Yes, I write those training manuals, user manuals, and help files for software. You know those amazingly boring things you should read when using new software? I once read that Amy Tan, one of my favorite authors, had written documentation for IBM. Based on that I think I'm in pretty good company, now I just have to write an amazing novel and have it made into a movie.

A co-worker of mine found this quote:
"Documentation is like sex; when it's good, it's very good, and when it's bad, it's better than nothing." -Dick Brandon, Author

I'm not sure if he's telling me my documentation is good or bad.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Check This Out!

About 6 months ago I purchased this great rag quilt from A La Mode Fabric on Etsy. I love it, Doxie loves it, my mother loves it, my mother-in-law loves it, and it looks great in my living room! Heather makes some fabulous quilts so check out her store. Or, check out her blog! She's having a fabric giveaway of some great hard to find Heather Ross fabrics. I must be crazy sending more people her way to sign up for this giveaway - because I SO want these for myself! lol.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Took the Plunge!

So, I decided just to go ahead and put three of my baby quilts up for sale in my Etsy shop. If you're interested you can find them here. I'm excited - they've all been favorited at least once so far and I just finished putting one of them up half an hour ago! :D

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby Quilt #4

I've finished another baby quilt. Two of my friends and my husband's cousin are all having babies, which is what got me working on baby quilts to begin with. Now that I've got more quilts than gifts I may start putting my quilts up for sale in my Etsy shop - which at this time is an empty shop. I'm not really sure that I want to just put a couple of quilts up though in an empty shop; maybe I should wait until I have 8 or 10. I'm just not sure...

I've also completed all my squares for the Oh, Fransson mod sampler quilt along. She posted instructions yesterday on putting the quilt top together, but I haven't started working on putting it all together yet. Her original instructions were for a lap sized quilt, but I think I'm going to add another row of blocks to the bottom, instead of using them on the back, per her instructions, and make the outside sashing bigger to make the finished quilt closer to a twin bed sized quilt. That way I can curl up under it. :D

Friday, March 20, 2009

Busy Week

I made the drive across the lake to New Orleans four times this week. Three of those trips were for the Tulane Symphony Orchestra, two rehearsals and a concert. I don't love the hour drive to get there, but I do love playing the viola - so it's worth the trip. The drive gives me a chance to listen to audio books. That's strange, right? To listen to books instead of reading them? I used to love reading - now I don't have the time - though I have plenty of time to watch TV and play games on the internet, lmao.

So, other than the Tulane Symphony Orchestra taking up most of my free time this week, I've completed two more sets of quilt blocks for the Oh, Fransson quilt along. Below is my favorite of block sets 3 and 4. I started working on the 5th and 6th sets after work this evening and I REALLY like those. My cheesy novelty Christmas fabric is calling my name as well - I might just have to make this quilt again.

Bummer - tonight is the final episode of Battlestar Galactica.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Started the Quilt-Along

Today I started cutting and quilting for the Oh, Fransson Mod Sampler Quilt-Along. I like the soft colors and flowers of these vintage linens. I've attached photos: above block A, below block B. Yes, some of these linens are less vintage than others, but I think they blend together very nicely. I purchased 38 total vintage linen fat quarters so I have plenty enough to make more quilts. I found a quilt pattern on-line last week called Urban Comfort that I may use more of these vintage linens for.

I have a real soft spot for cheesy Christmas fabric. So, I may do another one of these Mod Sampler quilts using some of my crazy stash of Christmas fabric.

Tonight is the dress rehearsal for the Tulane Symphony spring concert. I'm really not in the mood to drive across the lake for the third time this week...and I have to do it again tomorrow for the concert. Think anyone would miss the ringer violist for the dress rehearsal? I should probably go... on a good note for today I've lost 1.8 lbs this week per my Jenny Craig counselor. Only 75 more lbs to

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Quilt!

I finished this quilt last week and just now got around to posting pictures of it. I backed it with a great blue fabric that Bran really likes. Good thing I have some left - it might go into a quilt for him. Before I start the quilt along I thought I'd finish the couple of quilts I was already working on. I've almost got baby quilt #4 finished, I just have to hand sew the binding on to the back of the quilt. Tomorrow (or later tonight) I'll start cutting my fabric for the quilt along.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quilt Along

So - I've decided to do a "Quilt Along" with Oh, Fransson! I love her quilts and have purchased a pattern from her in the past. Working this project just sounds like fun. I've decided to do my quilt in re-claimed/up-cycled bed sheets and linen. I'm hoping that the finished quilt has a summer vacation feel to it. Here's a little peak at what I've purchased for the project.

Still Quilting

I finished piecing Baby Quilt #3 today and started the quilting. I used to love piecing and hated quilting, but now I think I like piecing and love quilting. It is alot of work though.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Super Karen!

OMG, I'm a Super Hero! LOL. Is this not the coolest thing? OK, enough time wasted. I almost have the baby quilt #3 top completely pieced. I'd work at finishing it tonight, but I don't have the backing material yet. So I have some time.

Bran and I were supposed to totally clean our bedroom today, but we didn't get that done. Instead the weather turned cold and I bundled up and watched Dr. Zhivago. I'd REALLY like that movie if the costuming/makeup wasn't so 60's. It's too bad that so much of modern fashion influences any period piece, no matter what decade made.

So, enough blogging and back to work! Super Karen to the JOB!!! lol.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baby Quilt #2

Well, I finished baby quilt #2 yesterday and started working on baby quilt #3. I really need to work on a baby girl quilt for Thomas and Stephanie, but I have triangles left from the last quilt, so I'm using them now. I've ordered some very cool backing for the baby girl quilt. I guess I'll start working on that quilt when the material comes in. I've also ordered some backing for baby quilt #3 - I just hope the backing fabric looks as good with the pieced front as I think it will. Oh well, if it doesn't I'll use it for something else. Crap - I just remembered I need to order more quilt batting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Ok, I know I haven't posted in a while, but I'm baaAAAaaaack. lol. My lack of posting isn't because I haven't completed anything recently, but more because I've been too lazy to document what I have finished.

Well I'm here to change that. In the last year I've had a number of friends and family announce that they were pregnant. Even though this depresses me a little (Bran and I have been trying for a little while), I'm very happy for each one of them. Their announcements have prompted me to start quilting again. I've finished a couple of quilts and they're on the way to baby showers and new parents.
I had to do some research on quilting though. I've pieced and number of quilts but have never been very happy with the quilting part. After a little bit of research I purchased myself a quilting/darning foot for my crappy sewing machine and started practicing on a quilt I pieced years ago, but never quilted. When I was happy with the results I moved on to the baby quilts. I'm very excited and pleased with my results and am now as just as happy quilting as I am piecing. Here's to many many more quilts!

I still need to finish Aunt Diane's doll. Her son, Thomas, announced that he and his wife, Stephanie, are having a baby. Diane is going to want that doll finished soon I'm sure. Besides I don't think she's overjoyed that I'm taking my time. However, I'm doing all the work for free - so she can just wait! lol.