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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Mystery Hour...or Days

Well the mystery continues...tomorrow they are going to do another biopsy to figure out why she looks like an extra from that old black and white Japanese horror movie, "The Attack of the Mushroom People."  She is in good spirits and is eating like a horse...she just can't do a thing for herself and is expected to be in the hospital for several more days.  There is a possibility that next week they may transfer her to Stanford (she always wanted someone in the family to go to Stanford).  I feel so sad for her because I come by my "do a 1000 things" gene from both my parents and I can't imagine what it must feel like to just lie in bed or sit in a chair not able to do a thing.  She can't hold a phone or read a book...and has never been much of a TV person. In the mean time if I am not sitting in the room with her I am trying to figure out her daily life and reorganize it...hummm  this is a good lesson in being ready for the unexpected!  My ability to access the blog on her computer is different and so I am not able to post responses to the comments...but I am able to email.  

While waiting around for one doctor after another...I have been stitching away on my black work.  It is kinda funny to see people reactions to it...like why are you stitching over the already drawn lines????  To keep me from going crazy!

The positive side is...it is sunny here...in fact I don't think they have had one snowflake in several years! and looking at all that is growing on my mom's property is wonderful, imagine growing orchids outside on your deck???!!!  I miss HH, Enzo and my sewing machine!




Monday, May 30, 2011

History

Today I make the last leg of my trip to see what the heck is going on with mom.  It was a 9 hour drive to my sisters..and it is weird being here without anyone else...but it did give me a chance to reflect on some of my quilting history.  My sister has a lot of my quilting because she is my favorite sister...actually she is my only sister.  I decided to take a few photos of some of the things I have made that live here in Napa.


My brother in law warned me that the guest bed had a tent over it because he was playing with the grandkids...and so this is what it looked like.  Being stressed, worried and tired...I wondered how nice it would feel to just hide and sleep under that tent!



My brother in law is a retired fireman and used to compete in the police and fire Olympics.  It is larger than the regular Olympics and is held every 2 years in a different country.  So he had collected tee shirts from all his competitions and I turned several into a tee shirt quilt that hangs in his office.

I taught Hawaiian Applique for the Quilter's Affair in Sisters a few years ago and this is the quilt that was used to advertise my class.  My sister has a love for the islands and her guest room is decorated with a Hawaiian theme so I thought it should live in her guest room.

For her 60th birthday I made a king sized BQ2 quilt out of all my Asian fabrics.  This photo does not do justice to the wonderful collection of Asian fabrics I have!


I had this wild line of fabrics and decided to do a coin quilt.  I wish you could see the quilting.  Sandy Lachowski who quilts out of BJ's Quilt Basket really made this quilt sing!
Back in the 90's my friend Dale and I went crazy making these little kimono girls.  We made soooo many of these wall hangings because it was so much fun "dressing them up!"


It is time to hit the road.  Wish me luck...maybe by the time I get there they will have booted her out of the hospital and I will be heading back home...I hope so,  my mom does not do sick well.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pins and Needles

This morning I am literally on pins and needles.  My mom has been suffering with a "rash" for 3 weeks.  The first doctor thought she had poison oak.  The second doctor in the ER told her she had chicken pox.  Then after a week it was back to the first doctor. He was shocked to see the little rash had now become huge blisters and said it is absolutely not chicken pox.  My 81 year old mother has seen more doctors this week than in her entire life...she still has all her own teeth and is healthy as a horse!  She is not "sick" no fever, has a good appetite...she is just covered with blisters and is itchy/miserable!  I have been playing Internet doctor with her for the last week...then this morning I get a call that she drove herself to the hospital at 3:00 this morning!  I am ready to jump into the car and go down and see what the beegeebees is going on...but my older sister said to sit tight.  She is going to talk to the doctor and tell me what is going on...in the mean time I am sitting on pins and needles...soooo, I am sewing.  keep her in your thoughts and prayers...she is not a good patient.
I am not sure if I posted a photo of my latest completed framed Redwork...but here it is again...I can't stop looking at it!

Then since I decided I had to keep myself busy and from eating myself out of house and home because of stress I brought my lap top upstairs to my sewing room and have discovered the best thing...watching quilt shows while I hand stitch.  I subscribed to The Quilt Show, http://www.thequiltshow.com/ a month ago but have had little time to sit and actually watch an episode...now I have discovered my new favorite pass time while hand stitching.  Cup of coffee, rocking chair, Ricky Timms and Alex Anderson...wow, sweet!

Enzo is worried about his grandma...he loves her feet.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sabado Tarde

Ah, it is Saturday afternoon and I can tell as this time of year progresses the blog will be posted on some days...a little later.  The yard does have a siren call and first thing in the morning is the best. This morning we went to Costco and bought a new yard cart that holds a 32 gallon can of yard debris.  We are lucky because as long as you put the debris on the road every Wednesday the landscaper will haul it away!  And I usually have the most debris because I am always working on some portion of the property. I had intended to plants some pots but then it started hailing and HH said tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better...one can only hope.  

Just as Enzo and I were headed out for our walk this morning Robin stopped by on her way to Cannon Beach and dropped off a whole bag of golf balls (that is another blog) and this wonderful clay imprint she did of Enzo's paw!  This is her year to try new things and it included working with clay.  I love it and hung it in my sewing room. 


I wanted to start a patriotic wool project to hang outside my front door and I thought I had better get it going before July arrive.  What better weekend to start one than, Memorial Weekend.  I was reading an article in this mornings paper about the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and it brought tears to my eyes. The pattern I chose was called "Glory" by Under the Garden Moon.  I purchased it on a road trip at Holly Hills in West Linn, Oregon.

Our dear DIL and grandson are in town visiting aunts, cousins and the other set of grandparents but tonight they are coming for dinner and we can hardly wait! Enzo can't wait for "his" boy to arrive! Hope you will have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Busy Bee

Yesterday was a "busy bee" day. A day off between 2 day working at the hospital...so I wanted to make the most of it! I am beginning to feel that tug to be out working in the yard and I know that will cut into my quilting time big time! For now with the forecast of possible snow I am staying inside, except for Enzo walks. Enzo and I headed out for a new walk on the River Trail trying to figure out how to get from the River Trail to the Upland Trail without climbing a deer trail. No luck, but we had a nice walk. I decided to spend the day playing "quilting catch up." I wanted to prep a new embroidery project and chose this one because I love it. I love her patterns.


Naturally I used Transfer-eze because it is soooo easy and within 5 minutes had it ready start stitching!


Next it was layering and getting my penny rug ready to stitch the outside edge which was done while watching TV with HH. Didn't it turn out adorable!



BJ's Quilt Baskets First Saturday is only about a week away so I decided to get those blocks done rather than wait till the night before. It always feels so good to have your homework done way before it is due. I only wish I had learned that while in school!


...and finally a little work on the Civil War blocks. Two more done and now I am done with January and February. All in all it was a satisfying day...can't wait till the next one!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jackpot!

Although my secondary back up retirement plan is the lottery...and, so far I have not won...HH says it requires tickets...and, I only buy them when I am leaving a particularly horrible day at work...I did win the jackpot yesterday! I had in my hot little hands a Joann's coupon. So, after work headed to the store. I am a fuser when it comes to wool projects and I have found there is a difference in the fusing products. The one I like the best is Lite Steam a Seam 2...and only the one that comes in 8x10 sheets in it's own little package. The product on the roll usually has been exposed to the air and separates easily and loses it's stick power. While shopping around I came across a table top ironing board, which I needed. With my besties coming over to sew I needed a board that I could set up on a table top downstairs (I have a big board in my sewing room). And with the last Civil War group I borrowed Robin's. The ironing board I found was $27.95, pretty spendy. But, I had a 40% off coupon, which would bring it down about $15. I thought Irene was worth $15 because she did not want to walk up and down my stairs to iron her blocks. When I went to check out the price wouldn't come up. So, she called for a price check. The person looking for the price couldn't find it and after much checking of papers, looking at shelves they told me it was a clearance item!!! That Joann's is discontinuing the product...as in, they would no longer carry the item! Guess how much it cost me? $2.95!!!!!!! Yes, that is 2 dollars and 95 cents! SWEET!!! She told me I should buy a lottery ticket but, I went home cause I had already hit the Jackpot!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Can Do Anything For A Day!

That is my mantra as I head out to work. And, if you have ever had a baby...it is amazing what you can do! I head out to work today with the glow of yesterday...a full day of quilting. My little sewing machine was still set up in my dining room in anticipation of making Civil War blocks with Sandy from Madras. It is such a gift to be friends with such amazing quilters and Sandy is definitely amazing. The little Civil War groups goal is to share fabrics so we can really scrap up our blocks and Sandy had a treasure trove of older Civil War fabrics. Her mind set about life is exactly in line with my own, "don't sweat the small stuff."

In the afternoon it was Woolies and everyone was working on a variety of projects which is always so inspiring! Marilyn, the owner of QuiltWorks asked for assistance with a BOM she is putting together and the Woolies jumped right in...so we are all making 4 little 3 1/2 wool blocks for a sample the shop needs.


Well, it is off to work, to enjoy my patients and coworkers for all the gifts they bring to my life.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Things First...

This season we have had our share of Mother Nature's Fury. Communities across the country have been left in devastation. They need your thoughts and prayers but practically speaking they need your help. One of the easiest ways to help is by donating to the Red Cross. You can designate how you want your donation to be used, in your community only, for a specific disaster or you can let them decide how best to use your support. Most important...just check out their site. http://www.redcross.org/

Yesterday was my Mrs. Honey Do day...say that 5 times fast! LOL It started off with a walk up the side of Awbrey Butte on the Upland Sawyer Trail. Enzo loves morning walks, cause then he can sleep the rest of the day! I was convinced that there must be some way to get from the Upland Trail to the River Trail. Once at the top I looked around and through great "outdoor female" instinct choose to go down this street of million dollar homes that ended in a cul du sac. At the top of the cul du sac was 2 vacant lots for sale (like those will sell anytime soon). I knew the River Trail was beyond the lots...but how to get there? With Enzo leading the way we made our way on a deer trail...down the side...of Awbrey Butte! Let me tell you...those dang deer can walk on really steep terrain! And so as we made it down the side of the butte on a deer trail...me hanging on to sage brush and scooting sideways...I thought....I should have had a V8! But, we dropped down onto the River Trail! I have got to find an easier way...

Mid day was spent with the Material Girls and the monthly birthday potluck. Which led to my next dilemma. I was bound and determined to finish the binding on my cousin Jenny's baby quilt. After all her baby was starting high school in the fall...no, not really...but she was almost 2 months old. As usually talking, laughing and potluck interfered with the ability to get the binding done! So what did I do...go to the post office and finished tacking the binding down in my car...have you ever done that??? I felt really good sending it off! It was my only "have to" quilt project. Today is filled with quilting again...how lucky am I. Sandy is coming over to work on Civil War blocks and then the Woolies meet! Hope your Tuesday is a sweet one!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

It's War!!!

I am not sure...but, I got a bee in my bonnet about a month ago to do a Civil War era quilt. Suddenly realizing that it was the 150th year anniversary and that there was a whole genre of fabrics out there just to commemorate this historical event. Duhhh. Then I found Barbara Brackman's site with a BOW and some history lessons http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-01-13T06%3A29%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=7. I have been a history buff most of my life. In fact in high school I had planned to major in history at the university...instead, chosing a course of study that included, business, speech and hearing, and ultimately nursing. But my love of history has remained and I am an avid fan of the History Channel...who doesn't love Swamp People!!! LOL


Deciding to march down this road I needed support and so dragged a few recruits along with me. We have decided to meet once a month for about 4 hours and tackle this year long project. Because of schedule constraints among the enlistees, I will actually be meeting twice a month. Then, there is the POW, who thinks we are nuts and is just showing up to heckle us. That would be Robin. We have decided that she has way tooooo much leniency and so next time we are going to make her iron our blocks and rip out any mistakes!

Our first meeting was yesterday and boy did we have fun! We are hooked! What you have to understand is that the BOW started the first week in January, posting a block every Saturday. As of last Saturday there are now 21 blocks!!! Lori and I started with block 1...but naturally Irene ( who is also making yo yo's) started with block 21...both sides will eventually meet in the middle. Tomorrow Sandy will be here. She started at the beginning of the year and has 11 blocks done because she lost steam but will catch up fast!

Last night was also book club (didn't read the book but was just going for the eats & friendship) I asked one of the members who was car pooling to come early because...she is a quilter also and she could bring me some show 'n tell....ahhh what a great Sunday!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Keith From Hancock Fabrics

It is an acknowledge fact that we quilters will spend a small fortune on our fabric and according to numbers on the web that amount exceeds on average, $2,000 per quilter, each year! I ponder the idea that my friend Lori and I are not working to save up for retirement...but that we can't retire because of our quilting budget...or lack there of...but...we do want to save money where we can. Especially in this economy. The area that we can trim our budget is in our notions. Everyone has their favorite "other" place. Joann's, Micheal's and for me, it is Hancock Fabrics. So it was serendipitous that I should meet former Sew News editor, Linda and her husband...and that the husband would become the new manager of Hancock! Hancock Fabrics has been my place to find the perfect button or quilting template...now they carry even more notions than ever before. I love the tidiness of the store, the wide isles, the friendliness of the staff...What I do not like is the "sign!" But, Keith promises that a new sign will be up soon. The former sign was a joke and now it is gone so driving down Hwy 97 looking for the turn in is stressful.

The other thing you need to know about this couple is what an full life they live! Manager Keith has been sewing for over 20 years and that he met Linda at a fashion show where they were both modeling their creations. But, not only does he sew...but he golfs, creates stained glass and road bikes. He has participated in the Cycle Oregon and Cycle Idaho several times! Now that he is manager of Hancock Fabrics you can bet that great things will be happening there. You can call him about using the sewing space for your group. Already the American Sewing Guild and 4H meet at the shop. As for Linda, she leads a fabric travel group every year to....Hong Kong!!!! If I didn't have a wedding next year I would be on that plane!!! If you are interested here is the information...and please if you go...bring me some fabric back!
http://www.asg.org/files/tour/SMF_HongKong_2012.pdf

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mr. Honey Doooooo

The best part of doing the Featured Quilter's Room blog is all the ideas I come home with! One of the ideas was discovered at Bev's house, a quilt rack for tops. Bev is married to Terry, who is Mr. Honey Do. Although technically retired, you would never know it. Because, if he is not working on his custom cars, building stuff or hiking...he is the "honey do" for several of us. Last year he did a whole list of things for this household, including putting lattice all around our back deck. Enzo, loves Terry and would watch him all day through the rail of the deck.

Yesterday, Terry came over with my "Quilt Topper Rack" and mounted it on the wall. Bev had seen it either on a quilt show or in a magazine. It can be made any size, to fit any space whether it be 3 ft, 4 ft or more. The concept is that by hanging your tops up on the wall you can see what you have to do, what is available as a gift or what you really wanted to make (at one time). I was shocked!!!! I had at least 5 table runners, 6 baby quilts, 4 wall hanging and 2 lap quilts!!! The best part is that when I get all these quilted I can use the rack to hang finished quilts...yeah right, like that day will ever come!

Terry will build you one if you are interested and can make it to fit your needs. If you are coming into town for the Quilt Show and give him fair warning and you can pick your rack up. If you live in Central Oregon he'll come hang it up! Contact Bev, boss of the Honey Do at
justsew@bendbroadband.com

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Guess What?!

Today is a day off and it is packed with errands, cleaning and appointments. But one of those appointments is a massage and the day will wrap up with a date night...ohhh melon margaritas! This weekend is the Pole, Pedal, Paddle http://www.pppbend.com/ which is this insane multi legged race by individuals and teams. People come from all over the world to participate in our little corner of Oregon which is now filled to capacity. No rooms at the inn and competitors are running around town warming up. This morning Enzo and I walked to the Weight Watcher office to weigh in (me not him) and there were runners all over the place.


....I am working on as my next UFO to finish! It is the cutest Penny Rug and I am making it as a fall gift. It is a really simple project and I ordered the pattern on line from Pumpkin Patch Primitives
http://www.pumpkinpatchprimitives.com/.
At first I wasn't keen on the felted wool that came with it but, it has been fun to put together and of course I mixed a little of my own wool. I guess I am spoiled by the hand dyed wools...yummy. The pattern is by Cathy Wagner
http://cathspennies.blogspot.com/ lots of fun, doable projects.

This is how far I have progressed...you know why...because I don't have any embroidery project started. Once I start one of those I get totally fixated! LOL

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You've Got Mail!

After a very long day at work yesterday and knowing that I was going to be facing another one today, it was such a sweet surprise to see a big envelope in the post. I don't know about you but I flip through my mail looking for those sweet envelopes and packages. I love getting mail!...the personal kind, not the coupons, the bills or the credit apps...but real mail!!! Sandy who is a Woolie from Long Island sent me a "fun" package. It was just what the doctor ordered! A cute tea towel, hand embroidered with the most perfect stitching. I have wanted to make one of these but was worried about how the stitching would look on the back...so I immediately flipped it over! And, you know what...the back looks a perfect as the front. I think I am going to have to practice to achieve this level of embroidery. Also included was the sweetest panel with children stitching and it also had different stitches and instructions printed along side of it...Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. Today, I head back to work with a lighter step!



Here is a close up of the panel. Isn't it sweet!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Baskets

What I love about "blog land" is that you can put your thoughts out there and someone might be able to relate to your situation and give you a blog hug (thanks Paulette). After spending some time wallowing in my own brain I dove in and finished a project. Here is my May Basket table runner...actually finished before the end of May!!! Yeah!!! The pattern is from Primitives by Lynda and I really enjoyed the project. I am going to lend it to QuiltWorks to display during Quilt Week in July since that is where I purchased the pattern. In the mean time I am going to enjoy it on my table!

While I was quilting the table runner Enzo had a date with Evie the groomer and he came back looking dapper. His coat feels like crushed velvet and so he gets bunches of back rubs!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quilt Shrink

I think I have figured out what has been going on with me lately. I have projects coming out my ears...although I do complete a lot of quilting...I am adding more than I am completing. I have been blubbering more lately also. On the surface it would seem that I am grieving the launching of my youngest son. Next month He moving across the country, starting a new career and is engaged. But, it is not as simple as empty nest. In fact, I am very happy with his adventure and commitment! After talking with my FS (fabric stalkers) on Sunday I clearly recognized that it has more to do with the ending of one phase of my life and the beginning of another. Bottom line...I am getting older. Yes, I am still a mother...but, I am no longer a mommy. Which means HH and I were successful...the result is I have been packing my empty space with quilt projects. On Sunday when I admitted to my best shopping buddy that I had signed up for 2! yes, 2! "block of the weeks" Summer program with Primative Gatherings her expression made me realize I needed a "quilt shrink." And I need a "quilt shrink" with a nice couch and quilt to lie under...maybe, I had better start a new project called the therapy quilt to take with you when you see the quilt shrink??? In the mean time, here is a peek into my shopping buddy's quilt life and home.

Lori is one of those people who can do it all...she has tole painted, quilts and knits. At any retreat she may be knitting a sweater for a granddaughter or piecing a quilt for a niece or nephew. Recently, not much quilting has been going on and as you can see by her quilt room...it is spotless. A recent remodel of new paint, new carpet required everything to be pulled out...which led to reorganizing. Thus a spotless sewing room! As a quilter she loves it all and is game for any class that might look interesting...as a shopping partner...she is the best...as big a fabric sucker as I am. She lives in the most peaceful place and I know for a fact there are many places to hide more fabric! Which she did not reveal....I wonder if the barn has a fabric stash????


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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Flippin Bird Challenge, Block One

I have to explain the Flippin' Bird Challenge...it started several years ago when Nancy decided to make a quilt. For reasons unfathomable to the rest of the quilting world she was unable to complete the project. But, it came to every retreat is the storage space of her chair...and we had to listen to the whining about the "Bird in the Air" blocks...that soon became known as the Flippin' Birds quilt. Finally we, I couldn't take it any more and said give me the Flippin' Birds and I'll make something out of them...thus, the 4th challenge by the Fabric Stalkers began (although 3 opted out of the challenge...stating they didn't have any project...yeah, right) The Flippin Bird challenge was first to find a project in your sewing room that you started but could never finish for whatever reason. Second, you could not have any say it how it ended up looking like. Third you had to bring it in a plastic project box in whatever state it currently existed. We all understood that the quilt we would end up with would not, look anything like the quilt we had originally started. Yesterday at our Fabric Stalker gathering we revealed the first block and then passed it on to the next person...wow...they were all amazing...and we have our work cut out for us!

I took the time to do a photo op of Lori's quilt room and will have blog that on Tuesday...but for today...enjoy the Flipping Birds!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Money Class or How to Afford Fabric in Retirement?

While playing in my sewing room I listen to book on CD. This weeks book is "The Money Class" by Suzie Orman. Between Suzie and my girlfriend Martha Stewart I am trying to figure out how to save more money so I can retire and still buy ALL the fabric I need! So yesterday I got in one of my rants. I cleaned the whole downstairs...I just can't part with the money for a housekeeper and I am way to private to relax while someone else is cleaning my house. Also, I had just heard on Martha Stewart radio some of the ways to cut waste in your kitchen. That is how to decrease your grocery bill so you can increase you fabric bill. Well, to be truthful she wasn't helping you increase your fabric bill...but...one of those was to take all the veggies in the fridge that are just about to end up in the garbage because they are not so fresh, throw them in a pot and cook them until you have a base for soup or sauce. I threw in wrinkled grape tomatoes, limp celery, onion, dried up little carrots, garlic, a cup of water, salt, pepper and some dried basil. cooked until soft and them took a potato masher to the pot. Now in my freezer they are waiting for when I have a need! The object is nothing gets thrown away! Oh, you wonder what's with the eggs? I saved my dill pickle juice and put some peeled hard boiled eggs in the juice. Make great egg salad sandwiches! I feel like the domestic queen and I am sure both Suzie and Martha would be proud of me!


This is my latest "getter done" project. It is a wool project bag that my girlfriend Lori and I signed up for last year! All my pieces are done I now just have to put them all together, bind, embellish and I am ready to use it!!! When it's all done I'll show you all the little compartments. It really is a fun bag!


Pooped Enzo, too much play...now he must sleep while I work on my bag!

You are not going to believe these next two photos!!!! I was given the name of a woman who lives in MN. who is an artist who does it all! I had seen these items at Phyllis's house who was a previous featured quilter/quilt room of the Woolie blog and wanted my own...real bad!
So, I emailed her and asked if she would create and sell me the same items!!!! They arrived in the mail yesterday and I am telling you....I am in awe of you Pam!!! They are so amazing. If you are interested in purchasing your own let me know and I will forward you request. The acorns were $2 a piece and the snow man was $30...and I am telling you...worth every penny! The work is incredible!

Yes those are real tops of acorns!

Mister Snow Man is so adorable and the detail is amazing!

It is finally happening...spring has arrived in Bend! I walked around my yard and took some photos. A group of golfers asked me what I was taking pictures of and I told them to check out what had survived the winter. The "girl" in the group got out of the golf cart and climbed the rocks to check it out with me! LOL