December 31, 2007

I would like wish all of my blogging friends a blessed and happy New Year! I have been thinking about what I have accomplished this past year. One thing that I have done the past year has been of course starting my own blog. I have new blogging friends who have not only taught me things but have inspired me too! Such fun!

Lea recently asked my about the quilt on my header. Yes, I made it, but it is still in the flimsy stage. Non quilters - this means it is just in quilt top form, it has not been quilted yet. I had made a Buggy Barn Log Cabin Crazies quilt for a class I was going to teach. Because of the technique used to make this quilt I had sooo many little scraps left over. I had seen a photo of an antique quilt on Bonnie Hunter's blog and it so intrigued me that I wanted to recreate it. I used a foundation paper piecing method to easily piece all of the little strips of fabric together. I had so much fun making this wall hanging. I'm sorry the quality of this photo isn't the best, but laying it on a brown surface was the best I could do this morning. Once it is actually quilted I will post a better picture of it. Now to get it quilted!

I had said that I would keep you posted on my closet clean-out progress. I can see more floor space and have gone through and sorted more boxes. One box I ran across surprised me. Inside were these kitchen towels (18), dish cloths (5) and pot holders (3). Many years ago, actually a little over twenty, we were given a wedding shower. Our friends and family were very generous. It seemed that one of the most popular things to give us was bath towels and kitchen towels. We received so many kitchen towels that I had boxed up half of them to be used later when the first sets had worn out. I guess that time is now! I was very happy to find a bunch of new towels ready to be used. I had recently thought some of my current towels were ready for the rag bin. Now I have the replacements! Do you remember how the duck motifs were sooo popular in the late 80's? What about blue and mauve (some referred to it as rose) color schemes? The very first quilt I made was blue/mauve. I'm glad we are over that fad!

December 29, 2007

Blogger Awards

Bren gave this award to all of her blog readers who are quilters. I truly think Bren's blog is a treasure! She is a wonderful quilter and an inspiration in many ways. Thanks Bren!

I would like to pass this award along to a blogger that I recently found. Her name is Lea. She posts in Japanese and English. I have been enjoying her blog and her quilting skills are wonderful! Your blog is a treasure Lea, take this award and proudly post it! I would also like to give this award to my friend Charlene. She may not be a quilter, (I have tried to influence her but so far it hasn't worked) but she and her blog are a treasure!

My friend Charlene gave me the Bodacious Blog award.
Wow Char, thanks for thinking that my blog is: Extremely cool, most excellent. This is bodacious in itself!

Closet update: I have gone through five boxes of baby clothes and found a few things to keep. Blankets, baby shoes and a sweater set that I had knitted. I think that might have been the last thing I ever knitted. hmmmmm I also found a box that I had long forgotten about, but that is another post!

December 28, 2007

Tackle it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.....

A blogger friend, Bren has what she calls a Tackle It Tuesday project. It is something that needs to be "tackled" back into organization or put back into shape. When I started to clean out a big closet yesterday I thought of her. Boy, this is more of a tackle it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday job. The closet is a very large one as it is along a hallway. It has served as a major storage space for clothes, suitcases, baby clothes etc. Yep, I said baby clothes. Do I have children? No. When my nephew was a baby I thought I needed to keep just about all of his baby clothes. He might want them for his children some day. Dear hubby tried to talk me out of it. Nothing doing. I started going through the clothes yesterday. I just had to laugh. Who would put their child in baby clothes that were twenty three years old? A lot of the elastic was no longer elastic. Stains that were thought washed out were not. I love vintage things, but decided that vintage polyester and corduroy just wouldn't cut it. At least I will have some buttons that I will be cutting off before tossing the clothes to add to my button collection. I still have at least three more baby clothes boxes to go through. I have bagged up two big bags of clothes of mine to take to the Bible Thrift Center. There is so much left in the closet to go through. Ugh! I hate the job of cleaning out closets. I must focus on my end goal. At one time I was a Longaberger Consultant. I have storage tubs of baskets etc. that are taking up valuable space in my fabric stash area. I need to get those storage tubs upstairs in the closet so I can get to my stash easier. I will also be able to get to the Longaberger stuff easier too. If I work on it a little each day it will get done...eventually! I am posting a before photo of the closet so that it will encourage me to get it done so I can post an after photo. I was afraid if I waited to post a before and after photo together I wouldn't get that closet finished. If you don't see an after photo in the next two weeks please give me a nudge to get it done!

To reward myself for getting started on my "Tackle It" project I pulled a UFO out. It is my Scrappy Lattice Quilt. Two of my quilting friends are also making the same quilt. I wanted to do some mindless sewing, so I pieced the scrappy strips together. I love working with reproduction fabrics. I was able to pull from my stash for this project and use scraps. The only thing I think I made a dent in is the background fabrics. I am beginning to run low on them. You know what that means!

December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To All!

Merry Christmas to all! For unto us a child is born! May God bless and keep you in His loving care now and throughout the new year!

Our family celebration was held on Saturday night. Of course a good time was had by all. We enjoyed spending time together laughing, exchanging gifts, and eating way too much! I had mentioned that I was going toward a blue theme this year with my Christmas decorating. I thought I would post a photo of my hutch decked out in it's Christmas goodies.

My Mother just happened to give me some blue things that were perfect to add to my decorations. She hand quilted the snowmen potholders that I hung from the door handles that were snowmen and blue. Cute!

I can now show you the gift I was making but couldn't tell who it was for.

This snowman wall hanging was made for my Mother. She loved it, and I had fun making it. The pattern is from Country Lore Designs. It is called Let It Snow #22 Winter. It is a small wall hanging, 8" x 14" so it was quick to make. The hardest part was just picking the fabrics to use. It was fun going through my stash to find the perfect choices. I ran across some "lost" fabrics and enjoyed auditioning one fabric against another. Now to put back into the stash the rejected fabrics and what is left of the yardage not used up!

Another quilt related gift I gave to my Mother was a quilt kit. She is going to be snowbirding for the next couple of months and was planning on doing some quilting. She picked out the pattern and I cut up fabrics from my stash for her quilt. What a great way to use some of my stash! I hope she will allow me to post a photo of her quilt later on down the line. Have fun Mom!

My parents left to return to their home this morning. Hubby and myself are spending a quiet day at home today. We watched a Christmas movie this morning, and have plans to watch another one before the day is up. It is nice to spend a relaxing day together. They seem few and far between!

December 18, 2007

May I Introduce...

I would like to introduce my friend Sammy! Sammy came to live at my house a couple of years ago. He was a gift from my Mother. He is comfortable hanging around just about everywhere, so he is nice to have around. I keep him out and around at least until March. He always makes me smile when I see him.

I went to my Guild's Christmas party yesterday and I won the centerpiece. The photo isn't the best, but it is a vase with silver ornaments, silver tinsel, and a blue ornament on the top. My Mother gave me a beautiful blue table cloth with snow flakes woven in it, so I started to think about a blue/silver theme for this year, at least in the dining room. When I won the centerpiece I knew it was blue and silver this year. More photos to follow! I am hosting our families Christmas celebration on Saturday evening. We are having homemade egg rolls, fried rice, and not sure what else yet. Yum! Egg rolls seem kind of funny to some to have for a Christmas dinner, but we don't make them very often. When ever I mentioned it to a family member they were always pleased with the idea. So egg rolls it is!

December 13, 2007

Me? A Cookie Monster?

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

I have taken some of the so called personality quizzes in the past, but many times it just didn't see like the results were accurate. Well, this one is! I have such a sweet tooth! I spent yesterday afternoon/evening making Christmas cookies. Luckily most will be eaten by others who share in my love of desserts! What Sesame Street character are you?

Another One?

Another UFO? I have told myself no more UFOs until I finish at least one I already have waiting around. For those who are not quilters, a UFO is an unfinished project that is sitting around just waiting to be finished someday. I have heard some use the term PIGS (projects in grocery bags) but for some reason, I don't care for that tag. It makes me laugh, but I don't want to use that term, it doesn't fit. I usually have mine stored in zip lock bags, storage containers, get the idea. I have decided that a goal for 2008 is that I am going to organize my sewing area a little more and actually count the UFOs I have. I have read some blogs that actually list their UFOs on their sidebar and cross them off as they finish them. I haven't decided if I will go that far yet, but I have promised myself no more UFOs (at least until I have finished some). I have a very good friend, Charlene who is not a quilter and does not understand my UFOs. We have talked about UFOs and she just doesn't get it. How could you start a project and then not see it through to the end? I say easy! There are so many designs I want to do, techniques to try, the list goes on. When I am working on one project I am thinking about what I want to do next. Am I the only one like this....I think not. I have found that this year I have accumulated more UFOs then usual. I have had to put projects aside to work on class samples. After the class sample do I go back to what I was working on before? Not always. I get together with quilting friends and we decide to do a project "together". That is all fine and fun, but has the project gotten finished while I was with my friends - nope. Therefore, UFOs are born.

You might have asked yourself, what about the photo of the Broken Star Log Cabin project? I guess it really isn't a new UFO. I had seen this pattern by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts at Shipshewana, IN at least a year ago. I thought, I can make that quilt without buying that pattern. (Quilters, I know you have done this too!) My dh said he could remember the layout and would draw it out for me when we got home. Well, I of course couldn't remember the layout when I got home, and dh couldn't either even though he wouldn't admit it. He did design a layout for me, but I rejected it because it wasn't the same as what I had seen. The last time I went back to Shipshewana I saw the pattern again, need I say more? The pattern calls for cutting the little rectangle shapes to size and piece them one by one to obtain the finished block. The blocks are small. They finish out to be 4 1/2" square. I didn't want to cut all of the 1 1/2" fabric strips to length so I decided to paper foundation piece the block. (I know non quilters have no idea what I am talking about here. You might not even care. I will have to post about the paper piecing another time). I found a similar block in my Block Base program but had to print out the block without the sequence numbers since Edyta's pattern differed in the color placement. I sewed a sample block and liked it. I decided to print out all of the blocks (64) another day when I had the time. I had the time yesterday. I had oral surgery done on one of my teeth. I had broken off a tooth at the gum level and there wasn't enough visible tooth left to put a crown over it. The gum level had to be raised some which required stitches etc. Fun! Since I had to take it easy yesterday afternoon I worked on getting the paper foundations ready. So, it really isn't a new UFO, but an old UFO that was taken out of retirement and worked on yesterday. I'm sorry to say it will have to go back into retirement as there is another project that must be finished first, but that is another post!
Want to know what I learned yesterday? As the stitches were being placed in my mouth and the thread (or what ever you call it) was being drawn through and through (the length of thread was at least 3 feet long) I thought, I now know what it feels like to be a quilt! Enough of my ramblings for today!

December 10, 2007

Christmas Greetings

My Mother informed me that she received the Christmas card I sent out to my family and friends. That meant I could blog about it now. I enjoyed making the cards. The inside sentiment is:
May the Miracle of Christmas
Find you safe in the Peace of God,
Warm in the Light of Christ.
This is my Christmas wish for my blog friends too!

Today I taught two classes, a free motion machine quilting class and a BB Bag class. We had a good time. I love seeing the different fabric choices the gals who take the classes use for their bags. I am almost finished with the wall hanging that I am making for a Christmas present. It is soooo hard not to post a photo of it, but I need to wait until after Christmas. I sure don't want to spoil the surprise!
I have a question for my fellow bloggers. Does anyone know what type of fabric is used in costumes that allow you to see out, but not let the person inside the costume be seen? It is usually black, but that is all I know. Can you buy it at Joann's? I have a friend who has a costume that needs help and I told him I would ask my fellow bloggers for help. Help please?

December 8, 2007

Christmas Movies

It is a Christmas tradition here to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" during the Christmas season. Of course there are other favorite Christmas movies, but I think this one is at the top of the list. What is your favorite Christmas movie? I am going to go up to the kitchen as soon as I hit the publish post button to make popcorn so we can munch away as the movie plays. Yum!

Today I worked away on the surprise gift I am making that I mentioned in an earlier post. I made some great progress. It is time to put on the borders and the machine quilt it. It is a small wall hanging for which at this time of the year I am very grateful!

I better hit that publish post button - I hear the popcorn and movie calling my name!

December 6, 2007


We have had a lot of snow here lately! This photo of a squirrel was actually taken yesterday. The photo is poor because the sun was hiding behind clouds and I took the photo through the window. I tried to lighten it etc. and what I have posted is better then the original one at least. I love to look out my back window and watch the squirrels scamper around and go for the sunflower seeds. The object behind the squirrel with the round opening is a squirrel feeder. I think it was pretty empty so the squirrels had to resort to stealing seeds from the bird feeder.
Today I spent most of the day and evening working on Christmas cards. I made 42 of them! I don't want to post a photo of them tonight as I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise of this year's cards for my family and friends. I will post photos of them in a few days after they have a chance to get to their destinations. I guess tomorrow I will spend a chunk of time addressing them. At least I already have the Christmas postage stamps. I told myself that this year I would have all of my cards made before Thanksgiving - ha! Maybe next year.

December 3, 2007

Can't Tell!

I pulled this fabric from my stash this afternoon. As it is Christmas time, I can't tell you what I am making from it or who it is for. You see, the person this is intended for reads my blog from time to time. Last year I decided to make some last minute gifts for Christmas and I did not intend to put the added pressure on myself again this year. Well......plans change. I do seem to do some of my best work when I have a deadline. The fun begins tonight, but the photo of the finished project won't be posted until after Christmas!

December 2, 2007

Monster In The Living Room Update

Well, it is time for an update on the Monster In The Living Room. If you don't know what I am taking about, I have linked the name to the first post I wrote about it. In fact, it was post #2. My attempt at this Marie Webster design has been very trying at times. For instance, when I was squaring up the blocks after appliqueing them (that means I had a big square ruler and I needed them all to be the same size) I made a mistake and cut one block (out of 16) 1 1/2" too small. That totally frustrated me. I put the blocks away for at least two months before I could look at them again. I had to make the block all over. Boy was I careful when it came time to square it up! As stated in my post #2 the only place to put this big quilt while it is in the hand quilting process is in the middle of my living room. I had hoped to get this Monster out of my living room by Christmas. Dear Hubby said if I didn't make that goal we could just put tinsel around the legs of the frame and put the presents under it. He seemed to like the idea because then he didn't have to haul the tree out of the garage and put it up. Well, if you look at the photo you will see the Monster was still in the frame and still in the living room. The Christmas decorations were sitting in boxes on the couch behind it. The frame is designed to make it possible to fold it up and move it out of the way without disturbing the quilt on it. That is what I did. The Monster is now in the basement stored behind the couch in the family room area. The Monster will go back to the living room after the Christmas tree comes down. Since my family gathers here for Christmas dinner I just couldn't leave the Monster in residence in the living room. I worked very hard the past couple of days to hand quilt enough of the quilt that I could move the quilt down in the frame. I wanted to have a fresh new area to quilt on when I put it back in the living room in January. When I was turning the quilt down on the frame last night I realized I wasn't as far along as I had thought even in post #2. I am just now about 50% finished with the cross hatching (straight lines quilted on the diagonal). Who put the extra blocks in when I wasn't looking? I was so disappointed when I realized my actual progress I almost cried. After Christmas I am going to get that Monster out of the living room, and out of the frame before June rolls around - at least that is my second goal for the Monster! Time will tell, and I promise to give you more updates as I go along. Maybe that will motivate me all the more! My fingers are crossed anyway!

November 28, 2007

I Wish...

I wish.......I wish I was still on vacation in Gulf Shores, AL. It was a cooooold day here today. I found myself thinking of the beach, the sun,the smell of the ocean, the sand between my toes. If I can't be there, I am grateful for the memories and photos I have of the beach.

I will leave you with one more photo of a wonderful sunset on the beach. At first we thought it would be a ho hum sunset. Then the sun burst through the clouds. Wow!

November 26, 2007

Cute Snowmen

I finished the quilting on my friend Gloria K.'s quilt today! Yeah! I think it turned out well. She is giving it as a gift, and the recipient is one lucky friend! I had a lot of fun quilting this wall hanging. I interspersed snowflakes among the stippling which added to the fun. I love your quilt Gloria!
If you missed my post about Paying It Forward scroll down to check it out. There is still a couple of spots left!

November 25, 2007

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! My dear Hubby and I traveled to my parents home and enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends. I was thinking about what I was thankful for. At the top of the list:
1. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2. My wonderful husband
3. My family
4. My friends
I was reminded today that material things can be replaced, but not the people in your life. Take the time today to let then know they are loved!

Pay It Forward

I was reading Linda's blog and was able to get in on her Pay It Forward exchange fun. This is how it works:

Come join the fun and make the world a happier place. It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange.I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! More than likely I'll get it made after Christmas and sent out early in the New Year. What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. Unfortunately this is only possible for those who have a blog.
So, the first three who post and ask to be part of the PIF exchange will receive a handmade gift from me!

November 19, 2007

Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole - Yum!

For many years my contribution to the Thanksgiving meal has been bringing the Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole. When I was gathering the ingredients I decided that I needed to share the recipe with my blogging friends. One thing I especially like about this recipe is the ability to make it ahead of time, freeze the sweet potato mixture and topping, and then bake it on Thanksgiving day. This makes the busy day of Thanksgiving easier. I always use fresh sweet potatoes that I have cooked and pureed. You can use the canned sweet potatoes if you prefer. I doubled the recipe when I made it today, so keep that in mind if you try out this recipe and your yield doesn't look like mine.

Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole

Sweet potatoes, canned (drained) 40 oz. or 2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes freshly cooked
1/4 C. Milk
1/2 C. Butter
3/4 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1 T. Vanilla extract
1 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Flour
1/3 C. Butter chilled
1 C. Pecans, chopped

With an electric mixer puree the sweet potatoes (whip them until they look like smooth mashed potatoes). You should end up with about 3 cups of puree. While the sweet potatoes are still hot mix in with the electric mixer the milk, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. (If you have used canned sweet potatoes, melt the butter before adding to the mixture.) Mix until well blended.

In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender mix in the chilled butter until the mixture is crumbly and evenly mixed. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Freezing directions: Place the sweet potato mixture in a gallon freezer bag or container. Remove the excess air from the container, seal and freeze. Place the brown sugar mixture in a quart size freezer bag or container. Remove excess air and freeze.

To serve: thaw both bags. Spread sweet potato mixture in a greased or spray coated baking dish. Evenly distribute the brown sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min.

Note: To cook fresh sweet potatoes, peel them, place them in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain well.

Here are my bags ready for the freezer. In the past I have even split this recipe into thirds and froze it for smaller servings for hubby and myself. YUM! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family!

November 17, 2007

Finally - a quilty post!

Yeah, I have a quilty post for today. This is my friends quilt that I am going to start machine quilting tonight. I don't want to share my friends identity until I have her permission. I really doubt that the person she is giving this wall hanging to reads my blog, but to be on the safe side.....I would sure hate to spoil the surprise! The wall hanging is adorable! I have to decide now how to quilt it. I have it pin basted now. I ran out of pins. Drats. I like to pin a little more heavily then I was able to. I think once I stabilize the quilt by stitching in the ditch of the blocks I can move the pins around and put more in the border. It felt so good to play with fabric tonight. With everything that was going on this week this was the first time I got to even touch fabric since we got back from vacation. Yeah! Well, it is off to the machine now.

November 15, 2007

Still More

I promise, I won't post any more photos from my vacation for a while after tonight. I just had to share these photos. In case you have missed my previous posts, we were at Gulf Shores, AL for a two week vacation and loved every minute of it! There is a big bush outside of the condo where butterflies love to come and eat up. They are so thick at times the bush looks like it is moving. I had a great time just watching the butterflies flit from flower to flower. You had to be careful where you stepped because they would just rest on the ground and they were easy to step on.

We also went to the Gulf Shores Zoo. The zoo is known as "The Little Zoo That Could". They have been featured on the Animal Planet show because one year they had to evacuate all of the animals (except the alligators) four times because of hurricanes in the area. That is a major feat. It is such a neat zoo. I had misgivings at first because of it's size. I thought I wouldn't be very fun because there wouldn't be enough to see. Wrong! You can get very close to the animals and they are kept in very nice cages/habitats. We were able to watch tiger cubs play outside in a pen area. The keepers were there to make sure they behaved themselves and didn't chew up the water hoses. As they took them back to their cages we were able to pet them.

There are a few habitats that have platforms that you can go up on to look into the habitats. It was fun to get some photos of the animals without going through the wire fences. This is the second time we have visited the Gulf Shores Zoo and if we go back to the area we will visit it again.

I haven't been able to sew since I got back home. A young man, (28 yrs. old) in our church went home to be with the Lord last week. While Jeremy is in a far better place he will be greatly missed here. His Mother is the church secretary that I fill in for when she goes on vacation. I am filling in now for her for a few weeks. I am happy that I can help her and her family not only by praying for them, but by giving her a little breathing room to sort things out. I spent the afternoon and evening today baking for our Youth groups bake sale that is coming up. I made 5 different kinds of cookies and a batch of cookie bars. I love to bake, but not eating the products is difficult! I have to admit, we had to try some of them to make sure they were eatable!

November 13, 2007

More Of My Vacation

This is the sunset photo that I told you about yesterday. I got up early one day with the intent of watching the sunrise and taking some photos. If you look closely you will see a silhouette of someone standing at the edge of the ocean. It is my dear hubby fishing. He had a great time fishing this year. My parents came down and spent the second week with us. My Father is a great fisherman too. Dear Hubby, Father and Mother enjoyed eating the catch of the day for dinner a couple of times. My Father was able to take some of his catch home with him to be enjoyed on another day. Did you notice I said "they" enjoyed their fish dinners? I am not a seafood person. I had a grilled cheese sandwich the first night and pizza the second. I enjoyed every bite!

This is the view I had while sitting at my sewing machine. Don't you wish you could have this view every day? I sure do. At times I believe I spent more time watching the waves come in and people walking by then sewing. All in all that was fine with me. My sewing area at home is in the basement - no view. I enjoyed having a window to look out of, especially with the view I had!

I worked on my Nickles quilt and got all of the blocks sewn together. It looks giant! This is a king size bed that I laid it across. I am planning on using it as a bedspread for a queen bed. I don't think I will have a problem with it not being large enough. I'm not sure what I will name it yet. I sewed most of blocks while on vacation at different times in Gulf Shores. What do you think of the name "Road to Gulf Shores"? Now to get it quilted!!! After the quilt top was put together I was able to work on my blue scrappy quilt. Fun fun fun!

November 12, 2007

I'm Back!

We went to Gulf Shores, AL for a wonderful two week vacation. As you can see it is a beautiful place to be! We rented a Condo on the beachfront and kicked our heels back and enjoyed life. I love the sound of the crashing sea waves. I can't get enough of that sound. At night I just love having the sea breeze blowing in and the sound of the waves lulling me to sleep. I like taking walks along the beach, dodging the waves as they come in and watching the sun set over the ocean. My hubby is known to get up early enough to see the sun rise. I on the other hand prefer sunsets. I did get up in time one day to get some sunrise pictures. Perhaps I will post a picture of my sunrise another day.

This is one of the views from the balcony. Some view! Of course I took my Featherweight with me and was able to accomplish a few things. The mornings were just a little chilly, the perfect time to sew. I will post about my sewing at the beach soon. The daily temperatures usually reached the mid 70's which is just perfect in my book. The hot hot days of Summer are not my favorite. Give me the Fall days at Gulf Shores anytime!

I just had to leave you with a photo of the beautiful waves. It was hard to pick just one. I have the sound of ocean waves on my ipod. I often fall asleep at night with the sound of the waves in the background. When I have a lot of things on my mind that is one sound that sooths my soul and helps me to relax. Mmmmmm, that sounds so inviting and it is past my bedtime right now. On to the ipod and sleepville now!

October 26, 2007

Happy Autumn

This is a decoration on a lamp post at Disney World. When we were there on vacation this past September the park was all decorated for fall. Cute!
From time to time life interrupts the blogging world. It will be difficult for me to get a chance to post for a little while. Please do not forget me or my blog - I will return! Until then, hope you find time to do what you love be it quilting, scrapbooking or reading.

October 24, 2007

Can You Hear Me?

Oh the joys of the telephone. I wanted to pay my phone bill with my credit card tonight. I called the number AT&T provided and I got an automated voice. Of course. Usually that isn't a problem. This time however, it wasn't as easy as it should have been. "The Voice" asked me what I wanted to do. I said, "Make a payment." The voice said it couldn't hear me, could I please repeat what I wanted to do. I said it louder. The voice said it couldn't hear me and could I please repeat what I wanted to do. I said it a little louder again and it understood. The voice then asked me if I wanted to make a payment with a credit card etc. to press a certain number - I could do that, it didn't have to hear what I wanted. The voice then asked me to say my credit card number or I could enter the numbers in followed by the pound sign. I opted for putting the numbers in. It's a good thing too! After the numbers were entered it asked if my card ended in certain numbers. I said yes. The voice told me it couldn't hear me, could I please repeat myself. I said yes a little louder. Meanwhile, I hear my hubby who has returned home from work. I'm thinking, I will be done soon, not a problem. The voice then asked me if I wanted to pay a certain amount. I said yes. The voice said it didn't hear me. I said yes a little louder. The voice still didn't hear me. I yelled YES in the phone. Hubby then enters the room I am in and wonders why I am yelling YES into the phone. I was afraid to say anything but yes or no so I just motioned for my hubby to be quiet and waved the credit card at him. I then yelled YES and NO into the phone a few more times. Hubby stood there with a funny looking smile wondering if his wife was sane, and who was she yelling at. At the end of the transaction the voice asked me to please let them know my satisfaction of this transaction. One was being very poor and five was totally satisfied. I punched in 2 because I could actually punch in a number and I did finally get to pay the bill and not have to yell at the voice. The voice then said, I'm sorry to hear that. Goodbye. The voice then hung up. I wanted to yell in the phone that it didn't hear me half the time before, why could it now! I then had to explain to hubby why I was yelling yes and no into the phone. He looked a little relieved when he heard I was trying to pay the phone bill. I was sane after all! Maybe next month I will mail in the check so I won't have to deal with the voice again!

October 23, 2007

My Featherweight

I love my Featherweight Sewing Machine. Jessica asked one time what a Featherweight was. A Featherweight is a antique Singer Sewing Machine that weighs round 11 lb.s It is nice and compact and very easy to take from place to place. I took my machine to my friend Gloria's today to work on our Scrappy Lattice blocks. Gloria, Phyllis and myself are making the same pattern. My friends are using florals and I am using Civil War reproduction fabrics. We also worked on our Christmas Block of the Month. My friend Cindy has all of the fabrics picked for the remaining 11 blocks. Can we say overachiever? Just teasing Cindy! I still haven't totally finished the bear block from month #1. Yikes!

October 22, 2007

Another BB Bag

I made another BB Bag! The designer calls this one a Big BB. It is aprox. 7" x 8 1/4". Not what I would call big but guess it is bigger then the Teeny one (it is the purple one I posted about earlier). I love to make these bags and this one is my favorite one so far! I wanted to incorporate three different fabrics so I pieced the front flap. I will be teaching this class at a LQS. So fun!You can find info on this pattern here.

Today I also worked on a sample for a Free Form Machine Quilting class. I will post a picture of it when I get the binding sewn down and the blue marker washed out. It's been a busy but fun day!

October 20, 2007

Buggy Barn Log Cabin Crazies

This has been some week! I am glad it is over. I got home Monday afternoon from my wonderful trip to WI and the Diane Gaudynski class very tired but happy. I had to get back into the swing of things right away. I was playing Church Secretary for two days this week to fill in for the vacationing secretary. I had to get ready to teach two quilting classes on Thursday at Robert's Sewing Center in Joilet, IL and then of course teach them. I taught a Beginning Machine Quilting class in the morning/afternoon and in the evening I taught a Buggy Barn Log Cabin Crazies class. Busy busy day. It is about a 45 min. drive for me to get to Robert's Sewing Center so I thought I would try teaching two classes in one day. It worked, but boy was I tired when I got home. The photo is my version of the Buggy Barn pattern. It isn't the best photo. Because it is still a flimsy (non-quilters this means it is just a quilt top, it hasn't been quilted yet) the light shows through it. I couldn't take a better picture because the camera is out of town with DH. We had a great time in the classes. I learn something from my students each time I teach a class too! That is part of what makes teaching so much fun. Yesterday was spent playing church secretary. It is stressful when you have 29 more bulletins to be run and the copier says it is out of toner and stops. UGH! That is another story, but to make a long story short the bulletin will be in everyone's hands on Sunday. I did get to have a fun evening with Char. Since our hubbys are together camping we went out to our favorite pizza place and afterward had a fun gab session. When hubby is away I usually stay up real late and sew away, but not this time. I was just too worn out. Today I am getting my classes lined up to teach in the next quarter and will be working on some class samples. I get to quilt today - yeah!!!!!! I missed posting on my blog lately and reading other blogs too. I hope to catch up on some blog reading today too. I better get cracking or that won't happen!

October 16, 2007

More Of My Weekend

I put in my post last Friday that I felt like there was so much stuff I was taking for my weekend class with Diane Gaudynski. I wondered if I was taking too much. I took a photo of the luggage cart before I loaded up the car Monday morning. Yep, that is a lot of stuff for one gal for three days away from home. I believe I used most of what I took over the course of the weekend so I guess I packed well! Of course I took more home then I brought! I ended up with some wool and silk batting, fabric, and different types of thread that wanted to come home with me.

Diane's classes are always a treat. She is not one to evade you questions as to how she accomplishes her different designs or effects. She is very giving of her knowledge, and brings a lot of samples for her students to study. The first sample here is what I did in class. Just remember, these are class samples, not completed works. There is a lot of goofs mixed in. This photo shows another free form frond and what is called a Ripple Stipple. The Ripple Stipple is fun to do and adds a different texture to backgrounds.

Next is a free form feather. In the first class I took with Diane she showed us how to do free form feathers. I was horrible at it. My attempts were very discouraging. This time around Diane showed a different way to approach them and I was able to at least quilt something that looked like a feather! I have heard of and even participated in "Happy Dances" before, but I really wanted to get up and do a "Feather Dance" in class after I was able to quilt feathers. I was soooo excited. Of course they aren't perfected yet, but at least you can tell that they are feathers.
In my hotel room each night I set up my Featherweight and sewed away. I have been working on blocks for a Paducah Nine Patch quilt for years (made with 5" squares of fabrics that you cut, sew, slice and resew). It is a project that I took with me different places, but rarely worked on it at home. I had 18 blocks to finish and I did it! Now to get the blocks put together in a quilt top!

I worked on a couple more BB Bags and sewed some on one of my newest projects, My Piece Of Heaven blocks. I think I have mentioned before that I am doing a blue scrappy quilt. I found the pattern on Bonnie Hunter's web site I will show photos when I have more progress on it.

All in all, I had a wonderful quilting retreat! Now to find time to implement what I learned!

October 15, 2007

What a weekend!

What a weekend I had in Wisconsin! I took a two day class with Diane Gaudynski. I think she is the queen of machine quilting on a domestic machine. For nonquilters that means using a regular home sewing machine to do the quilting. This is the second time I have had the opportunity to take a class with Diane. What a treat! I decided to show you a few samples of what I did in class.

This is a sample of a free form frond (the leaf looking motif), Diane Shiko (the interlocking circle shapes), rocks, and part of some free form feathers. The thread used is silk, the blue lines are from a wash out marker. I have more pictures to share with you but blogger is not downloading photos very well right now. I will share more with you tomorrow...if blogger lets me that is! I had a great time this weekend and learned so much. I was able to do a a lot of sewing in my hotel room each night, so of course that was a lot of fun too. I will show photos of that tomrrow too!

October 12, 2007

Wisconsin Here I Come

My bags are packed! I am heading to Wisconsin today. I am taking a machine quilting class over the weekend with Diane Gaudynski! I am sooooooo looking forward to it. I took a class with her about a year and a half ago and totally loved it. I learned so much, I wanted to take another class. DH is keeping the home fires burning while I am away. It is amazing at all the stuff I am taking. I have to have something quilty to occupy my evenings, of course. My Featherweight is going along so that I can sew in my hotel room. My Pfaff will be in the classroom and I don't want to drag it back and forth. I have the supplies for the class and a tote with my supplies for the room. My suitcase and overnight bag round out the baggage. When I saw everything I was taking I shook my head in amazement. Oh well, I will keep myself busy! I'll let you know how my trip and class went when I get back!

October 10, 2007

Teeny BB Bag

I had a lot of fun making this Teeny BB Bag. I got the pattern this past weekend at Lolly's Fabrics in Shipshewana. I am trying to decide what classes to teach the next quarter at a LQS, and this may be one. I haven't totally decided yet. I want to make a few more before I decide. Once I figured out the directions the assembly went pretty quickly. Of course I had to make a few changes from the original directions. There are three different sizes of little purses in this pattern put out by Brookshire Design Studio. There are two zippered compartments and three pockets in this little purse. I added iron on Velcro because I like the flap to close and it wouldn't lay down flat on it's own. I think I like it. It would be great when you are on a power shopping trip and you just need the essentials. hmmmmm Maybe I need to do some power shopping soon?