Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cough Cough Sneeze

Calling in sick! I've avoided all the bugs as long as I could, but it looks like it's my turn. While you read this, I'm curled up with a cup of tea and Jane Austen on my kindle.

Dear husband fixed me chicken soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. Sometimes it's nice to feel like a 7-year old again!

Seems like everyone I talk to is getting sick. Even my mom friends on facebook. Maybe it's a computer virus. . .

The irony is, I don't have any embroidery to do at the moment, since I finished stitching my magnum opus. I'm so used to picking it up every spare minute. I'm going to have to start another big project soon.

Have you managed to avoid getting sick yet?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finished for Friday: Not Quite Yet

Here is the current state of my "Hocuspocusville" quilt. I've spent the past two days working on it almost nonstop (well, except for all those taxi trips with the kids, cooking, shopping, and sleeping). I just love the giant ric-rac!

I still need to do the embroidery between the blocks and then it's ready for basting. I'm hoping to get it finished and on display by early October.

Thank you to everyone who gave me moral support during my marathon!

Since I didn't finish this week, maybe we should designate it "Work in Progress Friday." Please join in and share your finishes and current projects. If you'd like, you can grab my button from your sidebar.

Lit and Laundry

Please be sure to visit the other participants to cheer them on, and have a great weekend!

I'm using a different Linky list today, because the old Mr. Linky isn't working for me. Let me know in the comments if you have problems.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quilt-a-thon 6:00 Wednesday

Four blocks attached now. I'm going to take a little break for dinner and give my brain a rest.

Denise asked about the stitching. I traced each pattern by taping the paper pattern to my window and taping the fabric over it. I used the finest point micron pen (.01 I think?) to draw on the fabric. Each block is stitched in stem stitch with #12 perle cotton. I like the way perle cotton looks, although you could use floss.

Once all these blocks are added, I will be embroidering all the seams. There's a lot of detail in this quilt!

Quilt-a-thon 5:00 Wednesday

Now comes the really nerve-wracking part. Trimming the blocks. I made freezer paper templates that I ironed on to use as a cutting guide. Here is the first one as I peel it away. Freezer paper is such wonderful magical stuff.

This has to be done so slowly and carefully. Some of the blocks are horizontal, some are vertical, and the corners are square. Basically a whole bunch of ways to totally mess it up.

Here's the work in progress with the first two embroidered blocks attached. It's going to be a big quilt.

Quilt-a-thon 3:00 Wednesday

This part is done. Now to trim the embroidery blocks. Hold me. I can't make a mistake now.

I have to jump in the car and drive one twin to gymnastics and one to a haircut. Since this one has her hair up and is wearing a gymnastics leotard, I assume the other one gets the haircut.

Quilt-a-thon 2:00 Wednesday

Still sewing blocks together. I'm so excited that I get to add this ric-rac later. Isn't it funny? Giant ric-rac. I am so easily amused.

Got the kids, fed them, and got a roast going in the crock pot for dinner tonight. It's getting hot down in the garage with that steam iron going for hours. I turn it off as much as I can but I need it all the time.

Quilt-a-thon 1:00 Wednesday

A little more is together. I also did some laundry and answered some emails. Darn real life!

My most important tool to get this job done? The "zingers" on my scissors. I wear my scissors and never have to stop and look for them to clip a thread. I just keep them clipped to my shirt.

Second most important tool might be the hershey's kisses stashed in my sewing drawer.

I've got to pick up the kids now and feed them. Don't expect to get much done this hour.

Quilt-a-thon 12:00 Wednesday

I did shuffle the blocks a little bit and now I've started sewing them together. Diagonal lines are so magical. They make things look more difficult than they are.

Once this center part is finished, I'll add the embroidery blocks around it.

Why am I in such a hurry to get this done? My original deadline for myself was September 1, so I could finish two more Autumn-themed quilts during September. Stop laughing, I enjoy my delusions.

But now I think I really really want to get this up on my wall to enjoy for the whole Halloween season, which I have arbitrarily decided starts October 1. Which I was reminded by my friend Lynn is sometime next week. What happened to September?

So if I put on the binding next Wednesday, I'll have to finish the quilting by Tuesday, so I'll have to get it basted by early this weekend, maybe Friday, which means I need this top done by tomorrow.

I told you I enjoy my delusions. You can go ahead and laugh now. Or place bets. Don't forget I have a whole lot of real life that needs attention around here too.

Tracey asked where to get the pattern. It's designed by the clever minds over at Crabapple Hill.

Quilt-a-thon 11:00 Wednesday

Taking a short break now to eat wheat thins get a load of laundry in. I got the pieced blocks and alternate blocks up on the design wall, which is a big piece of neutral flannel stapled to a plywood cabinet door in my garage. I used to get the best perspective on my quilts when we parked the car in the garage and I could gaze at my quilts as I backed out and they diminished. I might have run over a few cats by not looking behind me, but I don't think so.

These days, in lieu of backing out a car, I use either a peep hole from the hardware store, or for a big layout like this, a reducing glass. It's like a magnifying glass except it does the opposite. I'm sure Alice in Wonderland would have found it a handy tool.

The next step is deciding if I want to shuffle around any of those blocks, then I'll start sewing them together. Back in an hour. . .

Quilt-a-thon 10:00 Wednesday

Here is a shot of my design wall downstairs with most of the embroidered blocks on it. They all have to come off now and be trimmed soon. I'll put the pieced blocks up when they're finished. Sorry about the pile of stuffed animals. My sewing room is the garage - which is a multi purpose room if there ever was one.

Just a few more blocks to piece. I still need to cut some fabric for them. Someone said they couldn't see the mistake in my stupid block - just look at the direction the fabric design is going - they all run one direction except one.

Good luck on the baby blankets Lynn - is there something you haven't told me?

See you back here in an hour.

Quilt-a-thon 9:00 Wednesday

I am determined to get this Hocuspocusville quilt finished! So join me today as I pour on the steam (or my iron does) to put it all together. A lot of hours are left. Here is my first check in for today.

In addition to the 12 embroidery blocks that are done (but not trimmed yet), I have 11 of the 16 pieced blocks done. And regarding the stupid mistake in one - I'm not taking it out because it's cut on the bias so the fabric would just shred. It will just have to remain my "If I only had a brain" block.

No coffee in the house today of all days. Off to make tea. Check back here in an hour for my next report.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Love does no consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

These early teen years are enough to try the patience of a saint. I know that if I can get past the backtalk, grunts, and rolling eyes, I will find my sweet little children who were here recently. But these moments pass, and I'm so grateful for all the good moods we do share. I have found an unexpected ally in the war for civility. Her blank expression hides the fact that she is in charge of everyone in the house.

I had no idea the power kittens could have over all of us. We have a common object of affection, and a common target to yell at when she's naughty. We laugh together at the sheer silliness of kitten playtime. We share the tasks of cleaning the catbox and feeding the cats without complaint.

Our old cats were wonderful and held great significance to me, but I think the timing has just been perfect to have these new pets in our lives. That tiny silly face belongs to a mighty warrior who has brought down some barriers between the generations. I am so grateful.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If I only had a brain

We had a wonderful weekend trip to see "Wicked" in San Francisco. Everyone loved it, although I didn't know before going how much it changed the story from the book. I might have to read that one again to check my memory.

I finished embroidering the final block for my Hocuspocusville quilt. Now I'm busy making a whole bunch of these to go into the quilt. Epic.

I wanted to make this one interesting, so I turned the middle patch, but then I carefully lined up the the direction of the prints on the outside patches. See how carefully I lined them up? Argh! I didn't see the mistake until I'd sewn it together. I guess this block is even more "interesting" now. Since there are so many references to The Wizard of Oz in the quilt, and since we just saw Wicked, I'm going to call this my "If I only had a brain" block.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finished for Friday: 10 and 11

It's getting down to the wire and I'm working as fast as I can to get my Halloweeen quilt blocks done.

I love the wet cat in this one!

And what quilter couldn't resist 4 floors of black fabric?

Just one more block to finish, then I can start putting this quilt together.

What have you been up to this week? Link up and visit the other participants to cheer them on. Your post doesn't need to be from today, but it would be nice if it's a recent finish.

If you'd like my button, the code is over in the sidebar.

Lit and Laundry

Have a great weekend! We're off to see "Wicked" tonight, which seems to go right along with this quilt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Yosemite Plates

Those who have been visiting for a while know about my obsession love for transferware souvenir plates. Here is one that eluded me for ages. Although it comes up on ebay once in a while, I would regularly get outbid. But stubbornness pays off in the end. I love this plate.

While I was waiting to get that pink one, I settled for a blue smaller version that I found in a local shop. I don't collect many blue plates (too common).

My family loves Yosemite. Among my favorite memories, I remember seeing a bobcat chasing a squirrel in the snow right in front of me. Poor squirrel, I was cheering for the bobcat.

To enjoy lots of great vintage items, pop over and see Colorado Lady.

And join me tomorrow for Finished for Friday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tuesday's Toonlet

My Son, My Personal Secretary

related [www.litandlaundry]
My Son, My Personal Secretary

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Makes My Monday: Baby Steps

I have had a crazy long year of dealing with the medical profession regarding my stupid hip. On Friday, I went in once again for a procedure. It was a last ditch effort to see if they could get me from a hobble to at least a modest wobble.

I admit I did a lot of praying. This procedure works sometimes. For some people. The lovely doctor who worked on me was quite pregnant so we discussed babies and happy things. Then my job was to sit back quietly and wait for a few days to see if it worked.

On Sunday, I took a few steps without a cane. And a few more. And it barely hurt. I don't want to jinx it.

Holding my breath, putting one foot in front of the other, and seeing that there just may be a light at the end of the tunnel makes my Monday.

Visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation for more Monday makers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finished for Friday: Notebook cover

I was inspired by this tutorial over at Moda Bakeshop to make a cover for one of my pattern notebooks.

I made a few mistakes as I adapted the pattern, but it turned out as I'd hoped.

Now I'm thinking of covering a bunch of binders we have around the house! What a great way to use favorite fabrics.

Wasabi Girl and I had a free afternoon this week so we had a beading session. Here's my necklace.

I guess I can also count resuscitating my comatose laptop as a finish for this week - it certainly took a long time. When I finally got it wiped and returned it to factory settings, it woke up and worked like it's supposed to. The first screen said "thanks for buying me!" Sheesh. Silly computer! Now I just need to load my software back on. It's nice to have it running smoothly again.

What have you been up to this week? I always look forward to seeing everything. Thanks so much for joining in!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Few Technical Difficulties

I'm sorry I haven't checked in over the last few days. My laptop turned up its toes and refused to turn on. Because I'm so smart stubborn, after many long days I seem to have it working at last. Yeah! Please learn from me and keep your data backed up. And keep those system recovery disks somewhere where you can find them.

I promise to be back on Friday for Finished for Friday. Hope you can join me!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finished for Friday: First week of school

I have a different kind of finish this week . . .I survived! Looking over my calendar, I did the following this week:

  • Drove 15 kids to middle school (my 3 kids x 5 days)
  • Picked up 8 kids from middle school
  • Picked up 3 kids from the library
  • Picked up 4 kids from the high school (because 1 kid goes there after middle school for geometry class)
  • Drove 2 kids to 10 ballet classes
  • 1 kid had a music lesson here at home
  • 1 kid had an emergency music lesson in order to learn music for the jazz band audition
  • 2 kids had jazz band auditions
  • Drove 2 kids to Nutcracker auditions
  • Drove 2 kids to 3 gymnastics workouts
  • Drove 1 kid to teen advisory council at the library
  • Drove 1 kid to scouts
  • Drove myself to 2 physical therapy appointments and 1 doctor's appointment
I'm exhausted. Didn't get my crafty projects finished this week. Thankfully, not every week will be like this, as the kids have new bikes to ride and we will be carpooling with a neighbor.

I hope you have some finished projects to share! Add your link and visit the other participants to cheer them on. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How NOT to take first day of school pictures

I've never claimed to be a great photographer. Heaven knows I try though. And I feel obligated to take traditional pictures that families are supposed to have. In the category of first day of school pictures, I'll be the first to admit I epic fail.

Witness this, the best shot I could get in 2003. Two first graders and a third grader.

This year the moment I got out my camera the kids made a run for it. I barely had time to lean over the balcony and take a shot before they dashed into the car. As you can see, it appears that two of my little angels are having a dispute over who gets to ride shotgun. Sigh.

For pictures that are actually good, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus for Wordless Wednesday. For better nostalgic pictures, join in on Way back When-esday at Twinfatuation.

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