Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Much crocheting done today

Our Council meeting was today, so in the morning for the open session, I hung out in the overflow room and crocheted for approximately 3 hours straight, and got about 5 more rows done on the ripple afghan.

I'm now still working on the challenge quilt; the quilting on that is going much faster than expected.

I'm grateful for:
1. Masking tape
2. a new flavor of cough drop - Ginger Ale
3. The democratic process
4. A food processor when making carrot cakes

Monday, January 28, 2008



Here she is. Border pieced and sewn on, sandwiched and safety-pinned. Most of the flower's been quilted around so far - going faster than I thought.

Gratitudes -
1. Trader Joe's - Love that store.
2. Happy kids.
3. Oreo cookies.
4. Halls mentho-lyptus cough drops.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Photos, at least

I had a rather unproductive day today - the only thing I really accomplished was getting all the yardage washed. Not even ironed yet. I also did a couple of rows on the new rippled afghan:
You can see the blue of the lovely Kroger bag in the background. All of my grocery bags are in use as project bags, so I still wind up getting stupid plastic bags at the grocery.

I had ambitious plans, which still have tomorrow to be have progress on, but today I still feel as if I'm coming down with something. Plus, I had to go in to work - I got worried last night that I wouldn't get everything I needed to get done before my meeting on Monday done in time. If I hadn't farted around at work so much on Friday (or even thought of it then), I could've DONE it then. But no. I remembered it as I was trying to go to sleep last night, so I went in after lunch and was finished by 2.

I then went to the first of the never-go-to-on-the-weekend places, the Super H Mart. I love the H Mart. It's the huge Asian/multiethnic grocery with really good, cheaper on many things than the price-gouging regular grocery stores. BUT it is crowded in a third-world market kind of way on the weekend. I got my chicken thighs, fruit and vegetables, and tea and a lovely little teapot for my quilt guild secret sister, then waited in line for about 15 minutes.

Got home, middle kid informs me: "D's birthday party is tonight!" This is at 4. Party starts at 5:30. We HAVE NOT remembered to RSVP. Call D's mom in a panic; everything's OK and he'll be happy to see J. at the party. Mad rush to Target (second never-go-to-on-the-weekend place) for a present. Not sure what to get - D is developmentally delayed in some way so is not a normal 10-year-old. J. is sure he would like something like Legos, so we wind up with a big box of K'Nex and a gift receipt, plus "big boy underwear" for the toddler, who wants to wear underwear "like J." Wrap gift, find a card, rush to the aquatic center for the party.

Bonus here is that the room is WARM, and I get to sit and crochet and chat with the other moms for a couple of hours while boys splash in the pool (most of the boys are Cub Scout cronies). Come home, DH has NOT fed the toddler (he napped late and didn't want to eat earlier, to be fair to DH), so I make tomato soup and toast with jelly and celery sticks with ranch dressing. I eat a bowl of cornflakes because I still feel like crap.

At any rate, the heavens have aligned, so more photos are below.

My two bags of remnants. In the foreground, looking peeved at being disturbed, is Baby (we did NOT name her). We've had Baby a couple of years now; she was at least 10 when she came to live with us.

The next couple of pictures are each bag spread out on the bed. The first bag was mostly quilting cotton (i.e. if you are not a fabric snob):

The other bag had a bigger variety of types of fabric; some cotton, some knits, a couple of pieces of velveteen, etc.:

The little head in the back of the picture is my toddler, in "my sleepover":

Math error: I work up sizes in my little notebook; this is the design for my middle kid's chess quilt:

SO, what's wrong with this picture? Other than the messy room, of course ;>)

That's right. I added wrong. I'm actually great with math - it's arithmetic that throws me for a loop!

This is what I really want to finish the top of this weekend:

It's a challenge quilt for the guild quilt show at the end of April.

Finally, a brag on my kids' artwork.
This came home with the toddler recently:
The handprint reindeer is pretty standard, but that doll's face! and those straight lines! he's definitely his own small man.

My daughter drew this dragon - it's huge, probably 3 feet long.

Detail of head:

She's SO talented. This, I think the details are simple enough I could applique it...we'll see.

ETA - forgot my gratitudes...
1. Easygoing fellow moms who don't guilt me TOO much about forgetting to RSVP for their kid's birthday party.
2. My dryer. I lived for more years than I should've with a dryer that didn't work properly. It taught me a very good lesson about replacing appliances when they need to be replaced, not when they're really quite completely dead.
3. Raspberry sherbet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stash enhancement

I stopped by Hancock's on the way home because I needed Kona cotton to finish the mid-kid's quilt top. I got 1.5 (plus, more on that later) yards each of black, white, and snow. I was 95% certain I'd started with snow, but in the store it looked too yellow, so I got white as well. I figured I'd probably be happy to have white cotton around at some point.

Welllll, on the remnant racks, they had grab bags. My weakness, so I bought 2 at $3.50 each. I could see at least a couple of prints in each bag that looked fun. It worked out well - I will post photos soon, once The Man is off the desktop that the camera hooks up to.

1. That the ladies at the Hancock's cutting table are so nice. Today, it just so happened that all of the pieces of Kona were the ends of the bolts, so she gave me the extra length on ALL of them at no charge. At least an extra quarter-yard of each.
2. That I can be thrilled by a grab bag of fabric. I'm a cheap date, too.
3. Macaroni and cheese for dinner. The ultimate comfort food for me.
4. Sunsets and sunrises and kids that notice and comment on them. Nearly every morning, the pre-teen and the toddler discuss how wonderful the sunrise in; in the evenings, they look for the moon.
5. A toddler who sees vapor trails and crows "Rocket Ships!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I ran out of the sky-blue batik for the challenge quilt top, so I went back to my LQS today to buy a little more. Well. Nothing even close to sky blue on the bolt. No sky blue fat quarters. BUT, in the little fat eighth basket on the wall, two tiny pieces matching my batik. YAY! Hopefully I can finish that top this weekend and start quilting.

I found the camera, but now I can't find the blankity-blank cable. Crap, crap, crap. You'll just have to take my word about the loveliness of the work in progress.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. Tiny little pieces of sky-blue batik
2. A husband that cooks
3. Finding my iron with the retractable cord and the steam that works
4. Fluffy towels

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rippling along

The mid-kid's afghan will be very nice. Navy, charcoal, and red (which looks a lot less pink combined with the dark colors).

I have the light blue batik in my purse to match it so I can finish the challenge top and Kona is on sale at Hancock's. $4 a yard rather than the $3 a yard it was last week at Jo-Ann's, but not so bad.

I missed the quilt show at the Renwick. I'll try to keep a closer watch on the shows there

1. That it didn't snow!
2. cats
3. The new heater in the bedroom
4. The Japanese iris fabric panel hanging above the fireplace

Saturday, January 19, 2008


A useful day today:
1. Finished the applique on the iris
2. Decided on a border and sewed about half of it
3. Started sewing more of the chess quilt together - it's going to be REALLY cool
4. Washed and pressed the flannel blocks - they're REALLY wonky, but I'm just going to put on the sashing and square them up and ignore the wonkiness
5. Washed and dried most of the new fabric - there may be still some hanging out in the washer
6. Put another row on the mid-kid's new afghan

Today's gratefulness:
1. Rotary cutters
2. Colored pencils
3. A yummy dinner
4. Sweatpants
5. No snow today
6. Seeing how happy all of the Wrens are to see snow in the South

Friday, January 18, 2008


I sewed down a stem and a quarter of a leaf before I noticed that I was sewing through TWO layers of fabric. Ripped it out, and started resewing. All pieces of applique are now pinned - I have a stem, a leaf, a bud, a calyx, and a petal frill to finish. AND a border to design, cut out, and sew.

I bought backing fabric for the iris today at Jo-Ann, along with some more black Kona cotton to finish the mid-kid's chess piece top. Also a remnant of fireman fabric for fifty cents! It's almost a yard! AND, last but not least, using the last of my 50% off coupons, a smaller rotary cutting ruler. I have lots of little pieces to cut for the tween's quilt, and wanted (not NEEDED, obviously) a more maneuverable ruler.

This computer has no working photo input. The spouse - who, to be fair, BUILT this computer and is usually pretty savvy - can't figure out how all of the ports are fried. So, to get photos off the camera, I have to use the laptop. The mid-kid is playing now, and I don't feel like kicking him off. So no photos tonight.

I'm grateful tonight for:
1. No snow today!
2. Schools opened on time, and little traffic meant an easy commute
3. A good friend for my daughter
4. Toddler artwork
5. Comfy socks

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Materials for finishing

Big sale at JoAnne's. I went by there on my way home [early - it's snowing] and got some stuff, mostly for finishing:
1. Two cotton batts
2. Backing for the quilt Memaw started for me
3. Flannel to work up the flannel quilt squares (I think Memaw must've bought them at the thrift store)
4. Cotton thread to quilt the challenge quilt
5. A big square ruler for rotary cutting
6. A green fabric remnant

Today, I am grateful for:
1. A place to work where I can take leave because it's snowing
2. A husband who bakes cookies
3. New glasses that are RIGHT
4. Wine for dinner

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More yarn for another afghan

The mid-kid thinks the holes on his afghan are too big, so I'm working on a ripple afghan for him. I started with the navy left over from the toddler's afghan, and added charcoal and a kind of raspberry red (I'm still convincing myself it's not pink).

The applique on the challenge quilt is nearly done, so I will soon have to worry about the pieced border. I have an idea, and hope it will work.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Applique flower pinned

I have one bit left to pin, then the sewing goes pretty fast. The tween drew a wonderful dragon, about 2 feet by three feet, that I MAY be able to applique on the center panel of a quilt.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


On our alumni listserv, someone posted a link to a technique that involved journaling gratitutes, so I started on this blog. Today, I was putting away fabric. Once piece was from a guilt Christmas swap that came with a bookmark. I put the bookmark into my copy of Simple Abundance, and the entry for January 13 was about gratitude.

So, today, I am grateful for:
1. Silk thread
2. Applique pins
3. Washing machines and dishwashers

#1 and #2 are directly related to starting on the challenge quilt. YAY! One leaf halfway stitched down. Design is based on this:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Not much crafty today

I did buy two organizer boxes at the dollar store before I went to Trader Joe's and I got the piece of background fabric washed. Not ironed yet, or anything pinned...I WILL get it started tomorrow.

I went with the mid-kid to the DC offices of the Fox News cable show. It was a lot more interesting to the grown-ups than to the Cub Scouts, I think, but they liked seeing themselves on the monitors.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. Warm snickerdoodles and cold milk.
2. Living in an area near DC, which I don't get to nearly as often as I should. There is SO MUCH available to see and do downtown.
3. Something blooming downtown with an amazing smell. In January!
4. Strawberries in January.
5. Blood oranges.

Friday, January 11, 2008

50th post!

Don't know why I never noticed the number of posts before.

At any rate - back to G Street Fabrics today, THIS time with the iris pieces. I bought a lovely brick red ( piece for the background - quite a large change from the cream I started off with. I may order more online - it was almost $10 at G street, but I needed it NOW or I'd never stand a chance of finishing by April.

Of course I bought two more bags of remnants. More scarf-y fabric, some nice knits, some horrible pieces that you wonder why ANYBODY thought it would be a good idea to make/stock/buy, even a piece of fake fur that may eventually become a bear. Fun, fun, fun. I then went next door to AC Moore and bought a skein of charcoal yarn to work on the mid-kid's afghan. I really need a red, but the only red they had was really bright, and I would really prefer a deeper red.

One of the list-servs I belong to had a thoughtful post about having gratitude for what you have, and not trying to worry about - or even THINK about - things that you really don't NEED to think about. Listing gratitudes was suggested, so mine are:
1. It's Friday!
2. That I can walk into my kitchen and make cookie dough.
3. Healthy kids.
4. A new shirt (although it is a little sad that an increasing portion of my wardrobe is the result of spilling coffee on myself on the way to work).
5. Fabric to pet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My gambling addiction

No, not THAT kind of gambling.

I went to the fabric store at lunch for background fabric for the iris quilt. The fabric I meant to use is too pale; not enough contrast with the pale green.

Of course, I forgot the iris pieces so I couldn't buy backiground fabric at ~$10/yard without knowing it worked. What I DID buy was three remnant bags, at $1.99/bag.



Idon't know if you can tell from the photos, but they're pretty big bags. You get the bonus of seeing my clutter in the background. G Street sells quite a mix of fabrics, so I got quite a mix in the bags - and only maybe a fat eighth worth is quilty!! I did get a couple of nice small pieces of fleece, and a few scarf-size sheer pieces, and a piece that's just not quite dark enough for background - the olive green fades into it.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Guild meeting tonight

A talk and show by Beth Carlson. Lots of slides of England, and how it inspires her quilting designs. We'd seen a lot of the same things on our trip in the early 90s, but didn't always have the same impressions. For example, she really liked Blenheim, we were kind of bleah. She had one comment about the Bodlean (a picture of a carved door) while we could've happily spent another week just at that museum. It also bothered me that she just talked about William Morris as a "Victorian" - with no mention of his seminal role in the Arts and Crafts movement, which basically stood for everything the Victorians did NOT.

My secret sister gave me some coffee and a cheater panel meant to be made into a book, but I think it'll be a crib quilt instead, with some tweaking.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Long-time UFO

I was cleaning up my sewing area today (!!) and came across a baby quilt I started a long time ago. I don't even remember who I started it for. It's about half-quilted, and I actually found enough binding to sew around it. Of course, I don't have quilting thread the right color (white - how can THAT be) so it will have to wait a bit. I may give it to a co-worker about to become a new grandma, if it's "good enough." It seems a bit wonky on one side.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year Goals

All of the crocheting got done by Christmas, YAY! Toddler-boy's hat was too small, but I made him another one. TMOTH actually liked the funky knitted hat. Mid-kid is not happy with his afghan (it's a loose pattern with holes and "not warm enough") so I've already started a ripple afghan with some leftover yarn from the toddler's afghan; I'll get new colors so it won't be too much alike.

This year, I'd like to:
1. Knit socks
2. Finish the rocket ship quilt
3. Make progress on the other two quilts
4. Fix TMOTH's quilt his aunt made for him
5. Organize all of my crafty "stuff"
6. Finish the iris wallhanging project I have in my head for the guild quilt show
7. Post more often - I seem to be more focused when I write down what's getting done (and what still needs doing).
8. Sew some pants for myself!

Guild night is this coming Monday - that's always inspiring. I stopped by Capitol Quilts today and got a fat quarter and fat eighth batik for my Secret Sister and a couple of scrap bags for myself. I justify the scrap purchases because of the tween's quilt, which is most definitely scrappy :)