Saturday, February 28, 2009

Reached The Summit & Cartwheeled Down Chestnut Hill!

Okay--who am I kidding...I've NEVER been able to do a cartwheel! LOL Something to do with long gangly legs...but regardless....I finished Chestnut Hill! Woooohooo!!!





I forgive you, Jo Morton. ;o)

~Peace!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tonight's Important Television Broadcast!!

Did you tune in? Did you see the ultra-important broadcast this evening? Did it answer any profound questions that have been weighing on you? It certainly cleared up a few questions that *I* had!

Oh wait! Are we talking about the same broadcast? The "O".....no no no...not our distinguished and exceptional President Obama....though I did watch and after the hour felt hopeful and I do believe he is the man to lead our country to a brighter day......but no....I'm talking about the REALLY REALLY important show that was on tonight!

The RECAP episode for Real Housewives of Orange County!! Thank goodness for DVR! I could watch the Prez and THEN enjoy my guilty pleasure that is the Real Housewives!!

So did you not finish out this season liking Vicki a little more? I did. Jeana is still my fav' though. She keeps it real...well...except for the 'girls'....LOL But man did the catty claws come out this season! I don't think I believe Gretchen about this "Jay" guy who's a 'friend'.....but whatever. I won't get in to a deep discussion about it all. But I'm glad they'll be back for Season 5. Why do I like this silly show so much, I do not know. It's a little goofy escape I suppose!

The gals from NYC are up next to watch on DVR.....I don't enjoy them nearly as much as the OC crew, but they are IMMENSELY better than the Atlanta group.

Anyhooooooooooooooooo.........I stitched on Random Thoughts this evening and I'm almost finished with the over one verse. YAY! I didn't make it down to the quilting studio this evening....but there's always tomorrow...and only 8 blocks left to put together. The 'guts' of the blocks are done...just need to put the setting triangles on and sew the blocks together. I'm quite confident I will have a completed top by month's end.

Today was gorgeous.....50s....so nice! And more of the same tomorrow! A welcome change! But they're calling for 20s and snow come Thursday...so I'm going to try not to get used to it....this IS South Dakota after all...lest I think I'm still (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

Hope your week's going smoothly so far!

*Peace!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Trudging Up Chestnut Hill

Man...I'm trudging up the peak that is The Chestnut Hill quilt. I'll admit it's been difficult for me to stay 'on task' today...it's a lazy Sunday and I'm enjoying lounging with the hubs etc...but I did get half of the blocks pieced....

Reminding myself each time to enjoy the process instead of grumbling under my breath that I should have re-wrote the pattern for quick piecing before I started....but all in all....it's not so bad.

I'll probably get a few more done tonight...and then the plan is to have them ALL completed (all 25) by the end of the week so I can get the entire top put together by the end of February ...otherwise known as Saturday!

A little plug for a product here......I think this may be my new best friend in the sewing studio...

Best Press has made it actually enjoyable to press fabric and blocks! And it certainly makes these little blocks crisp and smells so good! If you haven't tried it yet.....go getcha some and give it a try. No worries.....this will NOT result in mundane clothing pressing....I am a firm believer in doing my part for the economy by assisting in keeping the dry cleaners in business.....iron CLOTHES? Me? Are you KIDDING? No....Best Press is strictly for quilting fabric in this house! :o)

I'm off to rest up from the hike up Chestnut Hill...I'm going to pick up a needle....think I'll put some stitches in poor lil' ol' Ann Rayner! Remember her? Yeah.....she needs some attention!

I also just wanted to say I really appreciate everyone's comments and emails. They make my day and if I don't reply back to you right away, please know that I read each and every one! I'll try to get better at responding back.

Happy Sunday everyone!

*Peace!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why, Jo Morton, Why?

Today I spent some time working on the Jo Morton Chestnut Hill quilt. As you will recall from my last post, I made a grave cutting error in that I cut up ALL of the background in to 1 7/8" squares. So..I pulled another cut of Jo Morton background I had in the stash...and will 'make do' with that.

Now if you've worked on any of Jo's wonderful quilts....you know that it's somewhat torturous! For instance...WHY, Jo Morton, WHY 1 7/8" squares? Why not just a nice even 2"? Why? And WHY, Jo Morton, WHY no easy strip piecing? I know...so that we learn to enjoy the process...right? That's what I kept telling myself as I slowed down to pick up each little 1 7/8" individually cut square...and sew it to another 1 7/8" individually cut square. My fingers seemed to get daintier as the sewing time went on! And I slowed down and enjoyed it! Truly I did! I'll have photographic proof for you tomorrow! I hope to have all the blocks done!

Until then.....enjoy the process....just as Jo Morton would have us do! :o)

*Peace!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back to the Basics?

It's been quite the hectic week in the commercial insurance world....could have something to do with catching up after vacation...or just the fact that it's tedious work gathering underwriting information....and add to that the fact that it's been COLD...and GRAY...and...well...let's just say I'm ready for the weekend!

I've been trying to ward off a semi-migraine today I think. Floaters...dull ache...slight nauseau....and on and on....so I said to myself "Self...go do something that you find relaxing this evening...shake it off!" Soooooooo....dowstairs I headed to cut out the next project!

Remember this?

Oh how exciting! A new project! So I carefully laid out, pressed and stacked the fabrics.....how simple a task would THIS be! Cutting a bunch of 1 7/8" squares!! Surely this would be relaxing...it's basic quilting 101!

NOT!

OMG...I should not have been cutting out anything! Without regard to reading further down the pattern....I just stacked and cut....stacked and cut...stacked and cut....and I have a whole SLEW of 1 7/8" squares...shirtings and prints. Lovely...yeah? Uh...no! I cut all of the fabric in 1 7/8" squares! UGH! I needed to cut some half square and quarter square triangles from those backgrounds!!!! *SIIIIGH*!

I half-heartedly wonder if I can still sew all the squares together and then just trim the blocks...knowing that there will be some bias to deal with...or will that not give me seam allowances??? This should not be a difficult question, yet I just don't have a clear head to figure it out right now!

Perhaps I should just pull a shirting print from the stash and cut the setting triangles...all the blocks would have the same setting triangles but they wouldn't match the other background blocks in each block...not that that bothers me...I'm the queen of switching out fabrics and mixing it up! I think it makes it seem more utilitarian and old that way!

Soooo......I still have that weird-semi-headache...and now waaaaay too many 1 7/8" squares and a decision to make! TGIF tomorrow!!

*Peace!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Dance!!

American Idol starts tonight! Wooohoo!!! And OMG you have to check this happy dancin' bird out! It's a little long...but soooooo funny!



*Peace!

Here Comes The Hard Part!

This came on all too sudden!!!! Back home Sunday evening.....cleaned up and puttered around yesterday...and now BAM! Back to WORK!!@#?$?@?????? Really??? UGH!!! I'm not ready for this! Having that week off certainly makes me want to be a lady of leisure....or at the very least a lady with a mere part-time job and plenty of leisure time! I must work on that!

Everyone had a great time in Dallas. Bro & Sis-In-Law were most hospitable! Thanks, Richard & Mona! The weather, as mentioned in a prior post, was heaven! Mostly 70s. The family was so sick of me after about the 3rd day. I'd wander outside barefoot and announce to the fam that it was FEBRUARY! February! And I'm BAREFOOT! on GRASS! Outside!

Jake had an absolute blast! My sweet niece has a friend that is a sponsored BMX rider...and he took Jake under his wing right away....so Jake saw many a skatepark and skated to his heart's content. It didn't take him long to declare his desire to relocate to the DFW area. LOL

The hubs got to see first-hand all of the standing seam metal roofs that are going up on every new building in the area it seems. That's his forte....so it was exciting for him to see so much of it!

Of course we all wished there were more time to spend down there, but reality was whispering for us to get back. And now time to get ready for the office!

At least it's not a Monday! Right? :o)

*Peace!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What a Difference a Week Makes!


We've had wonderful weather down here in Dallas during our visit! 60s and 70s...it's been fabulous! A whole heckuva lot better than up in South Dakota!!! So imagine my surprise........when I heard the weatherman last night say "It's going to be cold tomorrow!! We're expecting a high of 58. You're going to have to really bundle up!!" and *IIII* said..."Oh man..it's going to be cold tomorrow!" LOLOL 58! COLD!??!? I think not!! What a difference a week of sunshine and 70s makes!

Unfortunately, true reality will be setting in tomorrow when we head back north....to 20s and 30s for highs. Brrrrrrrr! I'm not ready yet!

I hope you all have a great Valentine's day! I awoke to chocolate fudge covered strawberries...a sweet bear....card, more chocolate, etc. (Love ya honey!)....it's been a nice trip!

Back to the frozen abode tomorrow though! I'll enjoy the 58 degree weather today! :o)

*Peace!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

And...We're Off!

Good morning! It's a little after 4:00AM...we're preparing to head out for Dallas! Finally...can't wait to experience some spring!!!!

I realized late late late last night that I am out of freezer paper....so no small lovely eagle applique for me on the trip. That means it'll be knitting, needlepoint and The Shell Seekers....throw in a crossword puzzle or fourteen...and I'm good to go!

Today is Jake's 15th Birthday too!

My baby! 15!!! Where did the time go? *sigh* I'm so proud of you Jake. I love you!

Okay---we're ready to load up and move out.....daughter Ashley will be here in a few hours. She's moving in to house and dog sit while we're gone. The puppies, of course, know something's up. They'll have an interesting little vacation too I'm sure! :o)

12.5 hours until Texas! Yeah baby!

More to come!

*Peace!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This Is The Week That Never Ends...

yes it goes on and on my friends....some people started singing it not knowing what it was...

Oops! Were you singing along? C'mon....you can admit it! ;o)

Well folks...this IS the week that never ends! Isn't that how it always is before vacation? I am in serious countdown mode! In less than 72 hours I will be relaxing somewhere in the DFW metroplex and I am STOKED! Of course, I haven't even begun to pack...but I typically travel rather light anyway...so that's no big deal. I think I put more thought and effort in to packing handwork projects than clothes! Serious!

I've decided that Random Thoughts will not be accompanying me on the trip. Too much concentration needed to count linen threads...and...well...I tend to spread out the silks etc and just take over a corner of the couch...so I won't subject my family to that...I'd end up leaving trails of silk snibs laying around!

I will, of COURSE, take some mindless knitting...aka Dish Cloths.....easy to do in the car. And I will also take along my Elizabeth Bradley Rainbow Trout needlepoint. Would love to get quite a bit done on that! And I'll probably throw The Shell Seekers in my bag...not sure how good reading and me will get along in a moving vehicle...but I'm willing to give it a try! I haven't been devoting much time to reading lately. Tsk tsk! I'm only about 1/4th in to the book...I need to spend some quality time and just get lost in the lives of these people!!!

I'm also contemplating preparing this for a travel project...

a small applique quilt. LOVIN' the Eagle quilt! I love Lori Smith's designs. I can say I knew her when! She's from right here in Sioux Falls...and we were in a quilting small group together....and I've always always admired her artistry and her color sense. And these small quilts...LOVE! Especially the applique....of which she is a master! Prim folksy love!!! I need to get a blue/green print for the leaves though.....nothing is speaking to me from the stash shelves. So I'm not sure if I'll end up prepping this for travel or not...but it's very high on my agenda so it will be getting prepped at some point very soon!

And...since I finished the beautimus Moda Heritage pinwheel quilt (THANKS SO MUCH, by the way, for the comments and compliments on that! So appreciated! :o)) Made my day!)...but since I finished that...and inquiring minds have been asking what's next....I'm going with something a little less large....a great Jo Morton quilt!!!

A while back I picked up a kit for this...and it appears to be the same fabrics as the pictured quilt!!! So the fabrics are out on the ironing board...waiting for pressing....and I'll be starting that soon...and it shouldn't take too long! Don't you love how old it looks? The blues, the pinks, browns....I think I'm gonna like it!

Well.....off I go to get ready for some pillow time. Only about 54 hours until 'take off'! I love Dallas in the spring time....I love Dallas in the fall.....oh wait...Paris! I love PARIS! But Dallas will do just fine for now! :o)

*Peace!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Done! Woooohooo!! Happy Dance!




It's done! Man! Talk about piecing-intensive! This quilt is definitely that! I love it! Very aged and mellow looking!!!! I can't wait to get it quilted! I'm pretty much a utility quilt kinda gal....in that I don't want anything froo-froo on the quilting...on this quilt....it's about the piecing and the fabrics! Not the quilting! I'll have to go on the hunt for some of that fabulous bird print for the backing! I love it!!

The spicy meatballs are in the crockpot...and it's about time for some chopping, dicing and bacon-wrapping! The big game! Even though my beloved Cowboys aren't playing...I still look forward to the game! You're right Paulette...NOTHING gets in the way of football for me! Heck...I don't even answer the PHONE during a game! LOL

I hope the Cardinals win. Don't hate me Steeler fans. I have my reasons! The Cowboys Super Bowl record must stand!!!! Let's hope it's an entertaining game and that we get another installment from that ridiculously hysterical E*Trade baby!

*Peace!