Sunday, October 30, 2011

Countdown to California

I've been super busy over the last two weeks.  Fall really is one of my favorite times of year.  I get so excited that the weather is cooler and that we're getting closer to Christmas that I start cleaning everything.  I'm not so much a "spring cleaner" as I am a "fall cleaner".  As Bran was dragging down my Halloween decorations out of the attic I started looking around and OMG what a mess.  I started cleaning the windows just to cheer myself up (and let in that late afternoon fall sun) when Bran noticed.  So, after the boxes were brought down he went outside and started cleaning the outsides of the windows.  WTH?  I've only got to wash the insides of the windows?  What a man!  I'll keep him.  :)


To thank him for being so wonderful I baked him some Pumpkin Monkey Bread.  Lucky for me he loves it when I cook AND he loves anything pumpkin or spice.
 
 

Fall also means the annual Franklinton Parish Fair with my in-laws and football.  We spent the day with my in-laws at the fair last Wednesday.  The fair is adorable.  Nowhere near the size of the Alameda County Fair I used to go to with my family, but it still has everything you need or want from a fair: quilts, preserves, vendors, garden clubs, student projects, and livestock.


Last Sunday, after Tulane Symphony rehearsal, Bran and I went to the Colts vs Saints game at the Superdome.  Oh, I'm sorry it's now the "Mercedes-Benz Superdome".  We got to the Superdome about an hour and a half before the game started.  I like getting to the games early because we can get into the parking lot easily, get our game hotdogs and eat 'em before I start to be worried that the Jumbo-Tron will somehow catch me stuffing a hotdog down my throat for all to see, stalk TV sports casters without a crowd (I see you Bob Costas), and people watch.  Oh, I love a good people watch.  Our tickets for this game also came with passes to the new club level at the Superdome.  So we took a little walk and checked out the elite club level, where we were impressed by the public areas and not so impressed with the $14.00 Bloody Marys.  However, it was a damn good Bloody Mary.  It wasn't a really exciting game though - we stomped the Colts at 62-7.


What's better than a quilt in the afternoon of a crisp fall day?  Nothing - and Mr. Kitty agrees.


 I love how the quilt looks like stained glass from the backside.



My California trip is coming up fast - only a couple more days before I leave!  I'll be super busy for the 10 days I'm in California and hope to spend some of that time quilting/crafting with Jim.  I've bundled up my vintage sheet hourglass blocks and will take them with me.  If nothing else to show Jim, but if we get a chance to sew I'll work on completing that quilt top.  He mentioned he's got a big heavy quilt he'd like to get tied - so we may have our own little personal quilting bee and tie that baby up for him.  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Best Kind of Friends

OK, So I want everyone to know that I've got the best kind of friends!  (Not just the friends included in this blog post, but all of 'em!)

Last weekend was the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City and I was just getting over some kind of crazy ass bug.  As well as not feeling well I was in a really weird place in my head.  I hadn't been to Salt Lake City since I lived in Layton about 20 years ago with my ex-husband.  Being in the city brought back all sorts of memories all tangled up in happy and sad, good and bad.  It was an exhausting head trip.

I ended up feeling like the turd in the punchbowl, which made things all even worse in my head.  But, my friends just ignored my strangeness - which is exactly how I like it when I'm not feeling well (both physically and mentally).  lol.  Thanks NOMQG for just letting me be.  I loves you guys like no others - even when I'm stuck in Kaelin's damn covered wagon.

 

We did a little sight seeing around town and got to meet one of the city's hospitality club members.  She had some interesting things to say that reminded me of this little slice of my favorite British comedy.



But, I digress...more about having the best kind of friends.  My best friend (Bran Bran the muffin man) felt so bad that I felt so bad that he called one of my closest friends and arranged for me to fly to San Francisco (Oakland really) to spend a week.  So, I get my trip to California this year, and get to see my friends back home.  Isn't that the most wonderful man ever?  Plus Brad who will put me up for the week while he's preparing for his annual wine and cheese party and taking an extra day off this year so we can take a day trip to Napa.  Best kind of friends.  I'm so excited about my trip home that my previous funk has just dissipated to nothing.

Here's a little mail happy from Kaelin.  Only friends know that it's proper to address your mail in care of your dogs.  :D

 

Wanna know what sewing I got completed this week?  I got the quilt that was on the frame 2 weeks ago quilted and I finished all the blue vintage sheets hourglass blocks.  I think I'm going to mail both to "myself" in California and bind the one quilt and complete the hourglass quilt top with Jim.

I have no rehearsal this afternoon so I guess I'm going to get up and get some sewing and housework done.  Before I go though...here's a funny little video I shot last night of Bette Nuggs.  (Yes, Encino Man is one of my favorite movies, why do you ask?)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Need More Hours in a Day

Why is it when I have the most on my plate at one time I get sick?  Ugh.  I ended up sleeping all of Thursday and Friday and I'm still tired, weak, and achy.  Now I'm stressed about the work I missed at the end of the week last week, the sewing I didn't get done, and the crazy amount of cleaning and decorating that begins for me in October.  On top of that stress I've got to conduct a training class this Wednesday and I leave Thursday for the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, so I'll have a second week that I will have to try to make up for the following week.

So enough of my boo-hooing for myself. I've got stuff to share!

First, and I know you've seen a TON of these on my blog, here's my mom's Christmas Mod Bento Box on the quilting frame.  I got the quilting completed last week sometime.  I still have to bind it.  Mom and Dad are coming for Christmas this year, so I'm not rushing to get this completed.  I figured if it was done by the time they got here it would be soon enough.  You would think my Christmas fabric stash would be dwindling, but no.  meh.


Speaking of Christmas fabric.  (Ha!)  I've completed this lattice Christmas quilt.  This quilt was born from my head and kinda unplanned (like most of my work).  Inspired by "what can I do with this layer cake in my stash".  So I started cutting, and realized that I did not have enough fabric in the layer cake to make a twin sized quilt.  So, I went to the trusty Internet and bought a second layer cake.  When I got the second layer cake in I proceeded to continue cutting and ended up cutting all the fabric on the same diagonal.  Yeah, that won't make diamonds...don't try.  So, I ordered a THIRD layer cake, which by this time was almost impossible to find, to complete this project.  Figures I'm trying to use up my stash and now I have enough fabric to make another one of these.   


My fabric hoard stash includes a pile of vintage sheets and vintage sheet fat quarters.  So, I've started sorting out the fabric into cohesive groups.  Beginning with the "blue daisies" I've got almost enough hourglass blocks to make a twin sized quilt.  I did order some Kona cotton in a couple of light blue shades to make the few blocks I'll need to finish this quilt, and enough for the back and binding.  The fabric came in Tuesday, but obviously I didn't get any work done on this quilt this week.


Once my mom's quilt was off the frame I put on another quilt and started the quilting.  You know - I could sew for days and never get tired of it.


The one little bit of seasonal work I got completed this week was the "changing of the mugs".  Bran pulled my fall and Halloween decorations out of the attic for me on Monday night while I was at rehearsal and I was able to switch out my everyday mugs with my Halloween ones.  Based on the week I just had this may be all the Halloween decorating I get completed this year.  ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall!

One of my favorite seasons started yesterday - FALL!  I love it when the days are shorter, the weather cooler, and the need for a quilt is doubled!  ;)

You may (or may not know) that I'm a fabric hoarder.  OK, if you know me pretty well you know I'm kinda an "everything" hoarder.  haha.  Either way, because I know I'm buying fabric faster than I'm using it I've challenged myself to create quilts with what fabric I have on hand.  The following quilt is not exactly my style - though I'm loving the one patch scrap quilt look lately.  I finished the quilt top this morning and it is actually really really cute in person.  Keep a look out for it if you love it, or think you know someone that would love it, because I may end up listing it in my shop after it's quilted and been subjected to it's "crinkly good" wash.  I plan on backing it with muslin, quilting it with a gold/orange color, and binding it with Kona Spice.


As much as I'm not "in love" with the quilt fabrics, above, I am in love with the selection below.  I actually started pulling fabric for two other quilts when I realized they'd look good together.  My question though, before I start cutting (which I'm ITCHING to do): do I make another one patch quilt out of the fabrics below?  Or, do I do a "Pickles" version where the white would be replaced by Kona Charcoal?  If I do the "Pickles" version I'd have enough fabric to do two quilts allowing me to keep one of them for myself and list the other in my shop.  If I do the one patch version I'll only have enough fabric for one quilt that will be MINE all MINE!  haha.  So, what do you think?


In case you weren't already jealous of my insane fabulousness.  (Just pretend ok?  It makes me feel good.)  I thought I'd leave you with a taste of my office life.  I work the "real job" from home three days a week, where I HAVE to share my office space.  Lucky for me my office mates are usually pretty quiet.  That is until the hubby, who also works from home, stops by for a chat.  Then the little fuzzy nug-a-rooni has to dash under my desk where she remains until the second he's out of my door, then she's back in her bed.  Funny little Bette Nuggers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

California Girl

While I was neglecting my blog over the summer I got a couple of quilts completed. 

I know I'd blogged a little, at least that I was selecting fabric, about the quilt I was making for my friend, Jana.  I visited her back in May and she asked that I make her a lap sized quilt using some Robert Kaufman fat quarters that she had purchased.  I took the fat quarters home and dug through my stash to find fabrics that complemented the fabrics she had given me.  I used Fresh Lemons' Lemon Squares quilt pattern.  The finished quilt was totally adorable and Jana loves it.


I thought I'd at least blogged about selecting the fabric for this next quilt - but no - I had blogged nothing.  Not only is it now complete, but I've been napping under it for the last four weeks.  Ha!  I nicknamed this quilt "California Girl" because it reminds me of home.  :) 


The finished quilt is big enough for a twin bed, allowing me to make patches large enough to really appreciate the prints.  A large number of the prints in this quilt came from my "OMG I love this fabric" pile of my hoard.  Heather Ross, Elizabeth House, Amy Butler, and other favorites designers are all included in this quilt.

There are a couple other quilts I'm currently working on, including quilting the Christmas Mod Bento Box top that my mom and I made while she was visiting.  I've also pulled fabrics for a couple of fall inspired quilts.  Since I'm totally in love with how "California Girl" came out that I think I'm going to do both of the fall quilts the same way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Severus

It was a lazy lazy Sunday at the house on 9/11.  We watched rebroadcasts of the news footage from 10 years ago, memorial ceremonies, and documentary news stories regarding the aftermath of 9/11 all morning and early afternoon.  I got to sew for hours and Bran watched the women's finale of the US Open in the afternoon.  (He LOVES tennis!) 

Awww, look at our old lady poodle all comfy on the couch with Bran.

I got the Halloween quilt I've nicknamed "Severus Snape" completed on Saturday night and threw it in the wash for it's "crinkly good" finish before we went to bed.  Bran was ALL excited because this quilt is for him.  I did originally start it as a Halloween decoration using the inspiration of "what kind of quilt would Severus Snape have on his bed?"  But as I was laying out the first row on the living room floor for a look Bran walked in and said "I really like that quilt".  It is really him - so it's his quilt now.  I was going to wait until the Quilting Widow(er) Appreciation Day to gift it to him, but he stole it right out of the dryer Saturday night and proceeded to use it right away.  Men, I swear. 


Don't laugh at my bare walls!  I moved this room around months ago and didn't want to rehang the old stale art and I've just been too lazy busy to put anything new up.

So now that Severus is completed I'm in the mood to start decorating for Halloween.  Is mid September too early to start decorating for Halloween?

Oh, and if you've never seen the Potter Puppet Pals thing on YouTube you should check it out.  I spent Saturday afternoon doing laundry and singing "Voldemort Voldemort..."  lol.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back in the Swing

So my friend, Marika, came over a couple of weeks ago and mentioned that I don't update my blog often enough. Um. Ya. She's right.

I'll catch ya up a little today - maybe save some for tomorrow.  ;)

My mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago.  I was hoping I'd be able to use her for slave labor to finish up some of my own projects, but instead she sent ahead of her three quilt tops she wants quilted and then fell in love with my Mod Bento Box and wanted her very own Christmas version.  So in trade I had her cut enough fabric for both of us.  We got her quilt top done and two of her quilt tops quilted.  It was a good time. 

When I was younger my mom and I spent a ton of time together while she taxied me to ballet lessons, violin lessons, viola lessons, piano lessons, and youth orchestra rehearsals.  We were quite tight.  Then when I started driving myself to all these lessons and rehearsals that time we shared together ended.  I didn't miss it so much when I was 17, but now at 41 I totally miss it.  (Or at least I miss what I remember of it.)  So, as much as I might be aaaargh about my mom - I both miss and love her.

I don't work, usually, on Fridays.  Well, I don't work the paying job, but I do work the "OMG I love to create" job.  Why am I not doing what I love for work?  Money.  It's that simple.  The money I make sitting at a desk pays for the fabric hoard in my home office, living room, and breakfast room.  HOARD!  I love my scrap quilts though, so the hoard sure comes in handy.  Every 3 months or so I go through it and reorganize it, so it's not a "use the shovel to scrape the moldy mess of fabric off the floor before we torch this dwelling" kind of hoard, but it is still a hoard.

Today I spent my Friday working on three different projects.  A cute quilt top for my friend Heather, a vintage sheet quilt top that I've been working on and off on for six weeks, and finishing the binding on the Halloween quilt top I've nicknamed Severus Snape.  lol - ya - I end up nicknaming about 75% of the quilts I make.  Heather's quilt top and the vintage sheet blocks are both visible in the photo below.  I'll post Severus when he's done.
Among all these projects I also took my fuzzy fuzzy poodle to the groomer.  I love it when my old lady poodle's fur is all long and curly - but I also love it when she's clipped to look like a poodle.  See what I mean?  
Curly vs clipped.
Now, isn't that second photo the sweetest?  Bran and I have a huge soft spot for this old lady.  It's amazing how much she's changed since we got her 3 years ago from the rescue.  She's always been super smart, but now she's independent and confident as well.  It's a shame she finally felt safe so late in her life when she's arthritic, and is going blind and deaf.

Anyways, enough sap.  I'll post more soon.  I promise.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Christmas in July


It's Christmas in July! Christmas Pickles is complete and after a short field trip to the NOMQG meeting next weekend for show and tell it's on it's way to Angela. Merry Christmas in July Angela!

Now for something completely different.


A couple of weeks ago I started this quilt top. It was intended to be a Halloween quilt but when I set the first row out on the floor Bran came in and was, "I really like that quilt!" So, it's now for him. When Halloween comes around though I'm commandeering it for decoration.


Last but not least, I completed this block for Bee Modern Too. I really like how this block looks finished and I'm glad I had the opportunity to make it, but I'm never making it again. Oy, all the tiny piecing!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Moving Along


Yesterday was a very productive day. I completed the quilt top for Jana! I thought for sure today I'd be just as productive and finish quilting Angela's Christmas Pickles quilt...but no...I ran out of thread! Oh yes...just when I could taste the sweet dill of Christmas Pickles' completion I ran out of thread.


So here I am so close to completing the quilting for Christmas Pickles and I've got to stop until I can get to the store and buy more thread.

What am I going to do with the rest of my afternoon? I may start either Angela's A Zig and a Zag Quilt Along or Kaelin's Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along. Or, maybe I'll just do my own thing. ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trashy Novels

Did I mention that I was going to lay off the bento boxes while I got some other projects completed. I did? I lied. I'm super addicted to them! Someday I might get sick of them - but I'm not yet so I'll just ride the wave of scraptacular fun while it lasts!


These are for the New Orleans Modern Quilt Guild swap. I've got 11 of 24 blocks completed so far. I have a feeling that I'm going to end up making 100 of them. :D I've been thinking about making a Halloween/fall bento quilt. Maybe I'll start pulling fabrics this weekend.

I spent the afternoon yesterday making my block for Bee Modern Too. This month we were asked to make a book shelf block, and I'm in love. Wouldn't a whole book shelf quilt be adorable?

I call the book in the middle "the trashy novel about two cats and a fish".


Christmas pickles is almost done with the quilting part. I really can't wait to see what it looks like all bound and washed. Maybe I'll get the quilting done this weekend so I can start in on that binding/washing part.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Slow and Steady

Well, I'm getting more accomplished! I feel like I'm swimming in molasses, steady and slow, though. I could blame something other than myself for the slow progress, like the weather, but the truth is I've become overwhelmed with the amount of obligated and self imposed projects on my plate. Fortunately, the New Orleans Civic Symphony's spring concert is this afternoon, then we're basically off for a couple months. There are some summer rehearsals, but those are more fun than work. Taking that off my plate for a couple months might help me get back on track with my sewing. :)

Here's what I have completed in the last couple weeks:

Completed bag for the Goodie Bag Swap

Flying Geese Blocks for Bee Modern Too

A couple more Bento Box blocks for the NOMQG swap

Finally quilting Christmas Pickles

I may put the Bento Box project aside for a little while to focus on Christmas Pickles, the 16 patch quilt top I finished a couple weeks ago, and Jana's quilt. But, honestly, I'm not going to get anything accomplished if I don't get off the computer and sew a little. ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Catch Up!

Wow, a whole month since I've blogged? It's almost like I've been busy. lol.

Well, here's what I've been up to.

I joined a bag swap and here's the bag I made for my partner. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to re-make this cutie. Sure it's adorable, but I didn't use the fusible fleece the pattern called for and when you pick the bag up it becomes a soft rag of cuteness. The really sad part of the whole fiasco is that I'm out of the patterned fabric, so the new bag will have to be made without it. :(

This last weekend the New Orleans Modern Quilt Guild had our spring retreat and, as usual, we had a crazy crazy time. A new friend made, BBQ and blues at The Shed, a sit-com worthy shopping trip, totally delicious food on Saturday, a "Modern Family" marathon, some sewing, and lots of laughs. Now, aren't you jealous? I was so wrapped up in the fun of the weekend that I took no pictures. None!

All that fun, and I was able to complete a couple quilt tops and some blocks for the NOMQG's mod bento box swap.

16 patch lap, toddler, or picnic quilt top I started at our fall retreat

"Christmas Pickles" quilt top for Angela

Mod Bento Box blocks for the NOMQG swap


Today I laid out some fabric for a lap quilt I promised to make my friend, Jana. Right after I've completed the quilting for the 16 patch and "Christmas Pickles" above I'll be cutting right into this fabric. Planning the next quilt always gets me inspired to finish the last one. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yummy Pickles


Hello Pickles is DONE! Yaaaaa! lol. I pulled it out of the dryer this afternoon and Bran says he loves it and he thinks we should keep it. :) He's so super duper sweet. I'm going to make this quilt one more time, but this time in Christmas fabrics, of course!

Bette is getting along pretty well. There are a couple things I learned about her this week. 1. She wasn't house broken. No surprise. 2. She has had her vocal chords clipped. Big Surprise! I had an old rescued dachshund about 12 years ago that had clipped vocal chords, so when I finally heard (saw) Bette bark I knew exactly what was going on. Poor raspy voiced Bette; she sounds like an old lady at 5.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bette, Betty Nuggs


Awwww, look at that. A new little dog. :) Like my new doggie? I do. She went two days here without a name. She came with the name Star. Which wasn't so bad because it made me want to sing "you must be my lucky star" but not so much that I loved it. This morning I told my friend, Brad, about the name problem and he suggested Ethel because I already have a Lucy. Ethel didn't quite fit, but I had been thinking Gracie, Bette, or Asta. Can you tell I watch a lot of movies from the 30s/40s? lol. Bette is what stuck today - so Bette it is. Added bonus is: I can sing "Bette Davis eyes" to her.

Bette's four and not "really" a rescue. I say not really because I paid money for her from a local breeder. Though the breeder had at least 7 dogs inside her house and, according to her, about 70 dogs in her kennel. 70? In Mandeville? So, I kinda feel like I rescued her. Kinda.

We intended to get a rescue, but somehow I found myself on the breeder's web-site and she had a couple of adults for sale. I still felt I should rescue though. But, there was something about this dog, some pull, and I listen to those abstract hints from the universe. Call me nutty, hippie, whatever, it probably fits. But you know, those hints from the universe have never steered me wrong. So, I embrace my inner hippie.

Speaking of inner hippie; there's no bag I love for summer vacations more than I love a hobo bag. So, I made myself one for the summer. ;)


Isn't it cute! Ya, I know. :)

I almost have Hello Pickles completed! I found a great brown dot in my stash that I thought was a good candidate for the binding. I loved it. But I don't have quite enough fabric. I ordered more but I couldn't wait to see what it would look like. So, I bound most of the quilt with what I had this morning and when the ordered fabric comes in I'll finish up the binding. Then it's off to Robin, who better love it or I'm stealing it back. ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quilting Pickles

Well looky looky here who's on the quilting frame. It's Hello Pickles! It was kinda grey and crappy out this afternoon/evening after work was done, which explains the crappy lighting, but perfect for getting some work done. :) Besides, the colors in this quilt are enough to keep my mood bright and sunny. Oh, Hello Pickles, how I love you. It's going to be hard parting with you... :(


I haven't yet started my Bottled Rainbows quilt. I've got tomorrow afternoon and Friday to get working on it though - so I'm not behind, really.

There are still some old projects running around here that I need to complete. Scratch 'n Sniff is one of those uncompleted projects. I'm not sure if I've posted about Scratch 'n Sniff. So, maybe I'll get some work done on SnS and post about that quilt next time. ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bottled Rainbows

It's Angela's fault. Really. lol. OK - it's not Angela's fault. There isn't a person in the world that can make me do something I don't really want to do, so it's really my own decision to join along in the Bottled Rainbows quilt along.

Keeping in fashion with my rebel personality, however, I'm not "following directions". lol. Directions are overrated. Try everything once, keep true to yourself, and bend the rules at every opportunity. That's me!

I'm quilting along but here's where I'm changing it up: I wanted to use as much from my stash as possible, so I'm using a Kona Roll-Up. Because the roll-up won't allow me to make the blocks the same size as directed mine will be square and in the colorway of the roll-up. The only thing I've had to purchase was the background fabric, and I had just used up the end of my Kona snow so I was ordering more of that anyways. ;)

Basically - I'm following the technique only and the rest of the directions loosely. :) Surprised? You shouldn't be.

Look at this yumminess:

Double rainbow, what does it mean??? lol.

Besides this new project I'm finishing up the Hello Pickles quilt top and another little "between" project that I keep picking at occasionally.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bee Busy

I've been busy sewing...I promise! I've been working on Bee Modern Too blocks. My friend Angela asked me to join the group when one of the original members left. I'm having fun, but I haven't spent too much time on my own projects lately. I'm not complaining - just sayin'. :)

Here are January's blocks - grey and wonky. Bran asked me if they were supposed to be "weird". lol. I said yes and he told me he really liked them and that I should make him a quilt of wonky blocks. :D

February's blocks are Greek mythology inspired. Don't tell Mary but this was the first time I paper pieced. eeek. You can probably tell I'm a paper piecing novice from the back - but really who's gonna see the back? I was surprised by the amount of seam bulk, I really shouldn't have been, but I was.


Besides the bee blocks I quilted and bound two lap quilts for my mom. Ya, the ones she sent me that she only did the piecing on. I'd charge her for the work, but she's my mom...how do you bill your own mom?

March is my month in the bee, so I'll have some time to work on my own projects. I'm currently making a hobo bag with Echino - oooooh, it's gonna be fab-O! I was frustrated cutting and didn't spend the time I should have to straighten the print for the lining. I figured it really wouldn't matter since it's the lining, but now I'm like wth was I thinking? And Robin's "Hello Pickles" quilt? I've got all the blocks done. All I've got to do is finish the top, then I can get it quilted up. :)