Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nail apron

My husband asked me to make him a nail apron today, so I did. He drew up what he wanted, and I had a canvas drop cloth I'd bought to use as tote bag lining, so away I went with the scissors and sewing machine.

My handsome guy wearing the apron:

A close-up:

Cletus investigating:

After all that, he wound up not using it today. The roof that needs fixed is just too high.

Creative goals for 2010

- Organize my craft space so I'm more able to create
- Use what I have and buy only purposefully
- Complete a journal quilt every month
- Enter at least one quilt in a juried competition
- Continue working on UFOs and WIPs
- Start back up with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I won the vintage goodies!

Thanks, Cathy, for the vintage happiness.

I've been doing a whole lot of nothing. Tonight I need to get my son's blanket hemmed for a Christmas present, and sew up some gift bags.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grand giveaway

Cathy over at Crazy by Design is having a wonderful giveaway. SIX different wonderful packages. I'd like any of them, but my vintage gene won out, and I picked #4. So if you follow my link, pick something else to enter for! See:

Friday, November 27, 2009

A bit of work on ATC

Not much creativity around the house today - I continued picking up stuff, but mostly I watched the James Bond marathon on SyFy. (How stupid a name for a TV channel is that, anyway? When it was SciFi, I had no problems, but with SyFy, I want to pronounce it "siffy.") I did get the rest of the applique pieces for my ATC cut out and ready to go, and trimmed up about 3 more bases. Hopefully I will have enough done for the bases - otherwise I'll need to change the foot on the dang machine again.

I can't post any photos until the recipients get them - only little teasers, and that's no fun.

If I'm going to do the ornament exchange this year at Guild, I also need to get busy on that as well.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I made my first few ATCs, and they've turned out about as well as I hoped. No pictures, because they're going to be traded with other people, and I want it to be a surprise :)

If I was going to post pictures, they'd just be weird pictures of sunsets with contrails hidden behind trees, so you're not missing much.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Sweatshop

The annual costume extravaganza is over. The mid-kid had to have TWO costumes, since his dad thought up a great costume for him for his karate Halloween party.

The Lovely Daughter costume: a Dandy-Lion.

There was unbelievable angst this year about not buying a costume. Tears, shouting, the whole nine yards. The major problem I have is the incredible skimpiness of nearly all of the adult women's costume. Simply NOT appropriate for a teenage girl, no matter what the teenage girl thinks.

The Mid-Kid costume #1: Squire/Knight/Prince. [his idea, the one that went trick-or-treating]

The Mid-Kid costume #2: Mr. Derek, his karate instructor [his dad's idea] - the picture is of the mid-kid with the real Mr. Derek.

Small Man's costume: King De-de-de [a video game character]. This is at the KinderCare Halloween parade.

All kids together before trick-or-treating:

The trick-or-treating group [we picked up a couple more along the way]. This group has been going together for many years.

Much candy was acquired. I was the only casualty of the evening - my ankle went out from under me and I went down on a concrete path, scraping the heck out of my wrist.

Art Every Day Month - Day One

I've officially signed up for Art Every Day Month.

I'm off to a good start - I made these little flowers this morning:

At least one, and probably both, will go to my Lovely Daughter for her birthday next week. I have a few beads sewn into the center of the big one, and a pin back sewn on. Just need to find [or break down and buy some more] hairclips and sew one on and it's done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pay it Forward

Man I'm behind. But I need to pay it forward.

I was the happy recipient of a lovely little bag from Moneik. Unhappily, I can't upload photos from this computer, even if I could find the dang camera. You'll have to trust me that it's really really cute - turquoise and brown batiks. AND not just pretty - it came in really handy doing the tourist thing in South Dakota; just the right size for a camera, room key, some cash and a credit card.

Now it's my turn. The first three people that want to participate will get a handmade goodie from me. I have no idea what it will be :) Knowing how things are going around here later, it'll stretch the 6-month envelope as well!

Giveaway at the Pumpkin Patch!

Lots of lovely fat quarters being given away. Hopefully I'll win them - but if I don't maybe one of my friends will!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm not dead...

Back from vacation and still trying to catch up.
1. I'm still going through e-mail, and will try to track down my winners for the giveaway at some point.
2. Meeting Moneik was even more awesome than the quilt shop she works at, and that's saying something!
3. I'm too lazy to take a picture right now of the awesome little bag Moneik gave me for pay-it-forward, but will have one when that gets its own post. Sometime in the future. Hopefully not TOO far in the future.
4. A box of flannel came in the mail today from Jill. Thanks! Again, too lazy to photograph. Now I just need to transmogrify it into baby quilts.
5. I took DD13 and 2 friends to the mall tonight for less than successful shopping. Wiped out; chasing teenagers around is as hard as chasing toddlers around.
6. My new bobbin case for the Featherweight came! Now I have good tension and have a perfect seam.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


This is post #191, and at the rate I'm going, #200 would be well AFTER Christmas, so I'm going to do my giveaway now. These are all patterns that came in a Christmas basket I won at our guild show, and I really will never use them.

Let me know which one(s) you'd like to put your name in the hat for, and I'll draw after I get back from vacation, the last week of August.

1. Christmas mailbox. This is SO cheesy, I don't imagine that anyone will want it, but Jen found a home for Harvest Spice, so clearly anything can happen.

2. Thimbleberries stocking.

3. Thimbleberries book of Christmas quilt patterns.

4. Advent calendar.

5. Snowbaby ornaments.

6. Sports Santas.

7. "Angels all Around" tree skirt

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New toy

Just because.
I haven't bought a new machine, ever - my last new machine was my 12th birthday present. That's been a while ;^)

So far, it's lovely. The kids sat next to me last night trying the fancy stitches out.

I haven't completely drunk the kool-aid - I also ordered a new bobbin case for the Featherweight in hopes it will fix my tension issues.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hopefully back to the land of the living?

Officially diagnosed with Lyme disease and took the first dose of doxycycline this afternoon.

My house is even more of a cesspit than usual, I haven't sewn anything in 2 weeks, and work's been a struggle. I look forward to getting closer to normal.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ready for the pool


TMOTH took the kids to the pool last week after the big kids went to the dentist. Small Man was ready about an hour before they got home!

This'N'That Fabrics

My order from This'N'That fabrics came yesterday. Three pounds of scraps all crammed in a big squish envelope!

I counted 40 different patterns! Most are in the 10-12" WOF range; a few are more fat quarter-ish, and the ones on the far right are 4-6" WOF strips.

The best part? Mostly, these are fabrics that would NEVER have come home with me if I were "picking" them. They're just not what usually catches my eye - so I think it's a good thing that another dimension just got added to my stash.

Retail angst

Something I have to do when I go back to the grocery store...
Do these look like porterhouse steaks to you?


The one on the far right does - the one that was on TOP of the package of steaks. The other ones? Not so much. The three that aren't vacuum sealed we ate, and they were good. But. NOT what I thought I was buying.

I'm not sure what I actually want, if anything, from the grocery. They need to know, though, that it's a concern for me if I can't trust their labels.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Setting up the new [old] aquarium

We've had the tank for a long time - since we lived in Mobile, and that's been 1994 or so. We had it set up for a while here, but when the last fish died a few years ago, we just never got it back running again. Well, we [I] got all the gravel and rocks washed, and filled it back up. Filter runs, heaters run. YAY! Go to the pet store on Saturday - each kid is allowed to pick out ONE fish. Gotta let the aquarium cycle, and 3 fish is a reasonable start-up load for a large aquarium.



Well. See those little silver dots in the upper left corner of the aquarium? Less than 24 hours after release into the tank, the female molly is popping out baby fishies. A few more than 20 so far, as best as we can count. They're cute, and growing fast. Hopefully the big fish won't eat them all!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Great giveaway

Oodles of Amy Butler scraps and a cute bag pattern over at Sheree's Alchemy. Stop by and register - you can always share with me if you win :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Peach-Mango Sorbet

I was going to call it "Orange Sherbet", but the Lovely Daughter insists that it's not orange. I made a bunch of blocks this weekend, but I don't think I'm caught up on the 9-patch challenge. Closer, but not there yet.

I was only able to get that much done because of this:
Everybody seemed to be lazy on Sunday. Possibly because the Small Man was starting to get sick, but it's not clear yet that he's germy. Maybe just ate too fast.

I believe I've confessed here before my sad addiction to scraps. Just love them. Am entranced by them. Well, I went to the new location of G Street Fabrics and managed to leave with only two bags of scraps (mostly NOT quilting fabric, BTW) and a nice not-quite 2-yard piece of backing fabric.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have one moving from middle to high school, and one from elementary to middle school. (Small man wants to know, "When can I have a graduation?" Next year, big guy - time for kindergarten then.)

The Lovely Daughter:

The Mid-Kid (sorry for the blurry photo - it's the best one I have):

Boy, it's trite, but they grow up so fast!

No quilty photos, despite getting a lot done on my daughter's quilt over the weekend. A few times a year, our guild sponsors a "Sit-n-Sew" at a local University. We get a computer-friendly room, so plenty of outlets. It's a great mini-retreat.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Museum photos

Not very many, since the exhibits we went to see prohibited photography. These are both from the Renwick.

This is me inspecting a carved mahogany sculpture. That "drape"? It's ALL carved wood. I swear the weave of the fabric is carved into the wood.

A Sam Maloof dining set. Swoon.
Maloof dining set

The Antique Quilt

SO, my boss comes in a couple of weeks ago and says, "M. [his wife] wants to know if you want an antique quilt." So I thought a minute and said, "OF COURSE!"

I'm thinking your average early 20th century quilt, available in your local antique store for $50 or so.

No. He comes in the next day with THIS:

antique quilt


My jaw drops to the floor, but I take it home. The next Monday is our guild meeting, so I take it in to share at show & tell. [TMOTH says to "show off", but we all know quilters like to share.] I jokingly tell them not to say anything if it's valuable, otherwise I'll have to give it back.

The others agree with me - it's mid-19th century and an extraordinarily fine quilt. It needs to see someone for conservation, and I do need to get it appraised. Sigh. I'm hoping against hope it'll only be worth a couple of hundred dollars and I'll be able to keep it.

Blogging before dinner - my UFO list

TMOTH has taken the mid-kid off to karate, the Lovely Daughter is staying with a friend so she can ride with her to the field trip tomorrow (YEAH! No getting up at 4 am!!), and Small Man is playing with Legos. Dinner will be easy, so I have a few minutes to think about my UFO list.

My internet buddies, the Prolific Online Quilters, are having a summer Waun-a-Finish challenge, and the first step is to post our UFOs.

1. Mid-kid's chess quilt - still lots more applique to do
2. The Lovely Daughter's cat window quilt - much progress here, mostly due to ...
3. Crazy Mom's one 9-patch a day quilt-a-long
4. Love's the Only House mini-quilt
5. My mom's 9-patch quilt
6. Flannel plaid quilt
7. Birds-in-the-Air quilt (BTW - 5, 6, and 7 are all inherited UFOs. They count, right?)
8. Baby quilt for Laresha's baby
9, 10, 11. Toddler quilts (x 3 - new baby, 4yo, and 2yo grand-boys of my boss)

I'll also probably start a few new ones as well - I'm not particularly stressed by the UFO level as long as I'm working on something ;^)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Lovely Day Today

I took about half the day off today - worked early am and late pm but took the middle part off.

TMOTH and I went downtown.

First, we went to the Renwick (my personal favorite of the Smithsonian museums - it's really small and quiet and has different stuff) to see the Greene & Greene exhibit which ends Sunday without the benefit of children nagging at us. Ahhhhhh. Wonderful, wonderful, although I had the privilege of visiting the Gamble House in Pasadena about 15 years ago, and all of these kinds of things are SO much more wonderful in context.

Then we hopped one Metro stop back toward home and had lunch at a little Italian restaurant. Yummy.

Then, the Textile Museum. Somehow, I've never managed to visit before, despite having lived hear ~11 years now. They have an exhibit running on Amish Quilts. Oh. My. Goodness. I honestly couldn't pick a favorite, or even favorites. They were all just so amazing. If any of you are going to be in the DC area between now and Labor Day, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Good Weekend

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.

The 9-patches are doing their work - I also got more of the 12-patches for the Lovely Daughter's quilt bordered and now have half of them done. Then because I feel guilty about working on hers and not the mid-kid's, I also got three or four more chess pieces basted.

But now I'm sitting on the floor cutting out more 2.5" squares. The only thing on TV right now is Sahara - a chick flick based on a Clive Cussler novel. How goofy is that? I'll also need to think about another quilt for Small Man - he asks me every time he sees me working on one of the others when will I make him another quilt? I asked him what he wanted, and he said "Stars."

I managed to make all of the kids happy this weekend (at different times, of course). Small Man got to go to the park while waiting to pick his big sister up from her painting class and got some snazzy new kid-size gardening tools, the Mid Kid and TMOTH got to go to see Star Trek, and the Lovely Daughter got to go to the mall with a friend, got a new swimsuit, and didn't have to go see Star Trek (she went with a friend to see Night at the Museum and spent the rest of the day at the pool). I managed to get a miniscule amount of the crap on the playroom floor picked up and put away.

No beans planted, but maybe later in the week...

Monday, May 25, 2009

A finish this weekend

But no photo yet because I left my camera out in the rain :(

Hopefully it will dry out OK. It was the "old" camera, which uses the funky cards that don't fit in the printer slot.

This was a log cabin top that my grandmother pieced in the 80s. It went home with my baby brother today.

The next OPPIG (Other People's PIG) is likely my mom's log cabin. MY log cabin has slowed due to the weekend, but is still lurching along. It helps that I do at least two when I do them - the chain piecing and pressing seems easier that way, actually, than one at a time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lessons learned

- It IS possible to stay ahead of the 4-year-old who wants to take out everything you put away (and also to sneak some things in the trash and not have him notice).
- Even when you poke holes in them, sometimes baked potatoes explode in the oven.
- When you use Beth's roll recipe and have your bread machine set on "quick bread" instead of "dough", you get bread that is very, very, very dense - but still edible.
- When your nine-patches want to be set with orange sashing, maybe you should listen to them.
- Survivor really is awful, and WHY is it on when Cold Case is supposed to be on? (Okay, that's a question, but the lesson is not to go sit at the computer until you're sure the program you thought would be on is really on.)
- Hiyao Miyazaki really is a genius, even after watching his movies over and over and over again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Movie time

When you have a 4-year-old, you have to accept that they like repetition. The same food. The same books. The same movies. I believe that we have watched Nausicaa every day now for the past 3 or 4 days.


I don't mind so much. It's just so much eye candy, the Miyazaki movies. Actually, it'll be nice when he's old enough to watch Princess Mononoke - that ones a little bit too much right now. And our copy of Howl's Moving Castle has some bad skips; need a new one.

No quilting likely tonight, unless it's after the boys are up to bed. TMOTH took the mid-kid to Boy Scouts, and they won't be back until bedtime.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two more 9-patches

Only 9 am, and I'm caught up. Yay!

What's the big deal about 9-patches, right? For me, it's not so much the 9-patch, but the simple act of getting started. I know a lot of you don't have quilter's inertia, but I do. I can sew in the playroom (all alone) or on the dining room table (which means getting set up). Mostly, I go the dining room table route, because I like piecing on the Featherweight. I find that once I've sewn that simple 9-patch, I have the machine all ready and can work on something else.

It's effective for me.

Happy Mother's Day, everybody.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I've joined a quilt-a-long over at Crazy Mom Quilts. Make a 9-patch every day, and have a quilt done by summer.

I was a little late getting started, but I have six so far:

I like how some of them are contrasty and some are not. I'm cutting more squares tonight. Makes good use of those scrap strips! I'm also trimming some strips to work on the baby/no longer a baby quit for my boss's grandkids.

The "source" 9-patch uses white sashing; I think that's unlikely for me. Good practice for finishing up my mom's 9-patch, which is sashed with blue-and-white seersucker.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Urgh. I caught a bad cold last Friday and am only just now starting to recover.

I went to guild meeting last night anyway! Our speaker was Carol Taylor, and she spoke on working in series.

It really showed how photography is important - one of the quilts in particular was nothing on the photo but absolutely spectacular in person.

And the best thing? She had Aurifil thread on sale at the meeting! I was able to stock up!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thrift shop score

I found a brand-new Rowenta Compact Steam iron yesterday for $7.49. Woo-hoo!

Cheetah band-aid

The Small Man showing off his boo-boo finger (tee-hee).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I hate Kidz Bop

Last weekend, the mid-kid went on his first Boy Scout camp-out. Before leaving, he and TMOTH went to McDonald's for dinner, and got this cool talking Melman. Well, all Small Man could talk about until lunchtime the next day was what toy HE would get at lunch at McDonald's. Did we get a cool Madagascar toy? NO. We got a Kidz Bop CD.

So for the past almost-week, whenever we're in the car - "Can we listen to my CD?" Can I just say that "Stick With You" is NOT my favorite song? But, what ya gonna do when someone like this is in the backseat, happy because his "favorite song" is on:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Checkup #1

I scheduled all the kids' checkups right in a row - the Small Man this afternoon, the mid-kid in the morning, and the Lovely Daughter tomorrow afternoon.

Small man is 43" and 47 pounds - 95th and 100th percentiles. BIG boy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quilt show - Friendship Star Quilters

Our guild show was this weekend - I didn't take very many pictures.
My guild challenge quilt:

My donation quilt:
Stars and Stripes and Butterflies

and a few that I liked:
A Gardner's Sampler, by Pat Vasaio

Jeweled Sky, by Susan Sellers (the vertical black one)
and Busy Lady, by Barbara Kilby

Time to go wake up TMOTH!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Frenzy

Soon to be 9:30 - wake up The Lovely Daughter and make sure she eats something
10:00 - take The lovely Daughter to the Arts Barn for class/return home
11:30 - take Small Man to lunch and stop by the quilt show
1:30 - pick The Lovely Daughter up from class, get her lunch, and drive to the Pinewood Derby
1:30 - hopefully not too late - chase the Small Man around while listening to The Lovely Daughter complain about being forced to be at the Pinewood Derby
- If before 6, return to quilt show
- If after 6, return home
Have dinner and collapse.

What's your day like? And I KNOW all of you at the quilt retreat are having a great time - I'm jealous.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eek...only a few more days.

The quilt show starts at noon on Friday. Am I ready? No, of course not!

The info board is mostly done. I need a few more bits for that.

I need a placard saying "Children must have parent's permission to sew."

I need to get some more pincushion squares sewn up and turned.

I need to thread a bunch of needles with different colors of thread.

I cut a LOT of squares this weekend, and got the peek-n-seek list done and ready to print; and went by Office Depot this morning to get the assigned blue paper for it.

I'd really like to get a piece partially quilted, so they can see the process.

We'll see.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Day 2 of Spring Break

Today we went to the Baltimore Aquarium; dolphins and sharks and lots and lots of turtles.

Yesterday was the Natural History Museum downtown - butterflies and orchids, yeah! Oh, and all those dinosaur bones.

Tomorrow, we drive to southern Pennsylvania for the Herr's potato chip factory tour (and DH can buy Pennsylvania beer!).

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lois's virtual quilt patch

I've added a purple patch in honor of my MIL on the right. You can add one, too - either click on the patch to go to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)site, or click here:

We're NOT going to Indianapolis for spring break this year, and the main reason is Lois's Alzheimer's. She just can't handle having extra people in her house, and she doesn't remember any of us most of the time. AND she's mean to the kids. So we're doing day trips from home, and will be happy and have fun, but not for the reason why.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The kids post

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging is my support function for my kids' social lives.

The lovely daughter has started an oil painting class. So far, she's taken to it like a duck to water. She copied a Winslow Homer with foxes for her first try; now she's working on an original design from photos of painted buntings (a request from my mom).

She's awfully fun to be around, most of the time. And she's been known to draw on her shoes.

The middle son, in the past few weeks: (1) won his Cub Scout pack's Pinewood Derby, (2) made and decorated a cake (with only minor adult-oriented help from me) for his CS banquet, (3) moved up from CS to Boy Scouts, and (4) got his half brown/half black belt.

He hates having his picture taken, so I'm surprised I was able to get a couple of good ones.


The Cake:

The small man is still a creature of wonder. When did he get so big?

Just look at those shoes!

Karate at the CS banquet:

On the non-fabric crafting front, I made a King Cake for Mardi Gras: