Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some Pictures in the Sun!

Today on my Quiltville group Julie posted the albums of the finished Orange Crush and Tobacco Road quilts for us to enjoy. I didn't do the Tobacco Road quilt due to time but am itching for Bonnie's next mystery! I did do the OC and took some pictures awhile back, one of which was posted by Julie but I realized when looking through them (they are awesome and so different!) that mine is a tad bit blurry so I hauled it outside and took more pictures today. This one is much better than the previous slightly blurry one (think my batteries were dying that day).

I also decided to haul out Rachel's Outside the Box Quilt and take pictures. I am almost done hand binding this one..see where I am?

This quilt is really big and I just love how Jen Bauer (in Rice Lake, WI) quilted it. Very modern looking and soon it will reside in Norway with Rachel. Kind of exciting to have quilts on two continents. LOL!

So far today I spent awhile on the phone with one of my best friends, did laundry, read all my email and blogs and took these pictures. Now to get on with some sewing!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Wonderful Vacation Day!

Randy and I went to my sister Tina's last night and spent the night with her and my nephew Ben (my brother's son) who is learning to sign thanks to his aunt Angela. He is a smart guy..not yet a year and a half and can make all the animal sounds when you ask him what the cat, dog, cow, pig, etc. say. Amazing...least he is to us. He wasn't in the mood for pictures--he isn't much of a poser yet, but we took this one anyway!
So we stayed over and watched movies and I read a book about teaching (Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire) cover to cover and we played and played with Ben. Oh and my other nephew Christopher called (he is the one that just joined the Navy and is at boot camp) and so I got to talk to him for a few minutes and tell him how proud of him we are. He has had a tough time in life for some reason and I am hoping that the Navy will help him see the best in himself. It is there!
This is me and my favorite sister Tina! We both got our haircut today (mine is already flat and windblown, lol!) and finally went in to get our toes done together. We planned on doing this last August for our bdays but never managed to fit it in...so happy belated birthday to us! She is two years younger than I am. I think today might have been the best day of my vacation since I actually spent money on myself and just enjoyed the day. On the way home we stopped and I picked up some make up and lotion and such that I was in need of and feel all around pampered!
As for sewing... I did work for a short time on my redwork in the car, but didn't get a picture yet. I will take one later so you can see I finally almost have that long ago started redwork done. Hopefully there will be some sewing time tomorrow, but I have work stuff to do too!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Last Starry-Eyed Block

The last starry-eyed block is finally done! Well the last one posted that I just didn't get to with moving and all the mystery quilts I was doing. Here is the link in case you are interested in it. http://www.sewquilty.com/History/0304.html This one went together really well, and I mostly used fat quarters that I had won in various online contests for the pieces in it.

I still have the Xtreme challenge block left but can't get it set right to save my life. I really like the star too! In case you have forgotten, that is this block. I ripped the white corners off and tried to redo them but so far haven't been satisfied with it...so it sits! http://mccallsquilting.com/qb/pattern_803/ if you want to do it...I warn you it is not for the meek!
So at least it was a great sewing day and I really enjoyed my vacation this day. Anyone got any great ideas for how to set the stars all together in one quilt? I know I need to figure something out and do it or it will just sit around waiting!

Adding the Letters, some Soup and More...

Randy has made a few more ornaments...he will have a whole collection before we know it.

Another pic of my star blocks...
A is for Ayla! I cut out and sewed the first letter of each nephew and niece's name onto the quilt tops and got the backing all ready to go...so progress was made today!
C is for Critter.
M is for Mikey!
and S is for Seth!
Last night I made this low cal and delicious soup that we had for lunch today. Original recipe was from Weight Watchers I think.
FAVORITE VEGETABLE SOUP
1/4 c. diced onion
2 packets instant chicken broth and seasoning mix
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 c. zucchini
1/2 c. carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 c. seeded tomato, thinly sliced
1 t. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 t. basil leaves
1/8 t. pepper
In 1 1/2 quart nonstick saucepan combine onion, broth mix, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine; cover and cook over low heat about 10 min. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until veges are soft, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove about half the veges and set aside. Puree (or mash with potato masher) remaining soup. Return all to saucepan and heat to serving temperature.
This is very healthy, tastes great and goes well with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Some Inspiration, Some Home Dec and...

I love this quilt! You can find it and many more at http://www.quiltpatternlibrary.net/ebooks/quilting/index.html where they have an entire old book by Marie D. Webster online. I looked at the pictures but didn't read it yet. This daisy quilt is so inspiring! I love that the background would go together really quickly and then you could add the flowers...someday I want to make one like this...maybe a crib sized one, but for some reason this quilt just speaks to me!
I took another picture of my star blocks...just playing around with layouts and trying to figure out what to do with them. I didn't coordinate any or very few of the colors so it is rather hodge podgish, but I need to decide what to do with it and get it done. I don't like having lots of stuff in progress just sitting around.
My water pump broke on my little fountain...I think it just wore out. So I took out the water, washed things up and put this gold candle in the center (given to me by my friend Michelle who lives here in AZ as a welcome back gift) and made a centerpiece for my table. I see that the mineral deposits are back on the bowl despite my scrubbing..anyone know what gets rid of them? See too my little sea turtle rock in the front of the bowl? I took a trip to AZ with my youngest son right after I was dumped by someone who was supposed to go to AZ with us...it was a long horrible trip as you can imagine and at the airport on the way home Mac wanted to look in the shops so depressed as I was I let him. He went in and found a rock for himself and one for me..the sea turtle. It was his attempt at cheering me up and it helped. I forget what the saying was that came with the sea turtle, but it was inspiring and I think I have it somewhere!
We finally got the stained glass lamp hung in our dining area a few days ago. Randy fixed the short in it and after several hours of drilling, wiring, unwiring, and rewiring (oh and one trip to the store) he got it hung. Kathy painted the ceiling (old cover was bigger and the color under didn't match the ceiling) and we both cheered him on. It feels a little more like home now, because I love this light fixture. My new table and chairs look great under it.
Well, today is all mine since I am on vacation from work. I talked to CJ this morning on the phone (oldest son) and really miss him. I will see him in a few weeks when I visit Wisconsin--it seems like forever since I have seen him and though I miss the other two kids he is the hardest to be away from even though he is the oldest. He needs me more than the others though so maybe that is why.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Randy's Stained Glass Hobby and the Last ABC Quilt Top

Yesterday Kathy cleared her woodworking area and built a larger worktable on the other side of the garage for her stuff. She needed more space and Randy needed a place to do his stained glass work. So today he set up all his stained glass stuff and spent some time outside working on this Christmas ornament. I took pictures here and there so you could see the process. He plans to get more ornaments made before the Christmas season hits us. I think he was glad to get back to his hobby...did I mention he moved here from Wisconsin and moved in with us? We are once again the three musketeers and when Randy finds a job then things will be even better!

These are the cut pieces sitting on the pattern.

This is with the soldering in progress, I like the lok with the gold and silver.
And here it is all done, though hard to see the different colored glass from this angle.
I spent some time today catching up on blogs...I still have over a thousand to go...guess other people have more time to write than I do, but it was very motivating and so I did get up to the loft and finished the forth ABC quilt top that was in progress. I also took pictures of all of them again and now will try to decide which one goes to who!
Critter gets the fire hydrants and pretzels ABC Quilt.
The youngest nephew, Seth, gets this quilt with little rubber duckies and frogs on it.
This one has footballs, school busses and trains so Mikey, the oldest nephew gets it.
This one has pretty unicorns and dragonflies and I think is the girliest of the bunch so this one is for Ayla.
So soon I will get the batting and backing ready for these and then I will feel like I have really made progress towards the Christmas gift list!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

ABC Quilts for Three Nephews and a Niece

I have three and a half quilt tops done for Kathy's three nephews and niece. We plan to tie them and give them to the little ones for Christmas. I used my four ABC swaps (mixed up sort of randomly) and just put blue fabric between the rows and on the edges. They aren't anything fabulous, but it was so nice to sew for a few hours last night and get the second and third ones done. The fourth one just needs the blue added and it will be done. We haven't yet decided who will get which one but when they are all done we will study them and decide. I took a picture of the third one and can't figure out where it saved on my computer...interesting!




Fourth one in progress..
I need to pick up some patches to fix my Weaver Fever quilt since Otto (our blind dog) sometimes chews in his sleep and apparently the quilt was hanging off the bed and after three years he got it. He ruined one of my other quilts and I had to patch it (Strawberry quilt) and now I am really sad he got this one. He is old though and doesn't destroy anything while awake so we just have to take care that the quilt isn't hanging over him!
I am on fall break for the next week and am excited to do some sewing and lesson planning and sleeping in! The first quarter is over and other than getting hit in the ear by a plastic duck (one of my students threw HARD at me while I wasn't looking) it has gone alright. Some of these kids really are not respectful and the job has been more about maintaining classroom control than about teaching ASL--at least for two out of my five hours. I take my hats off to you long time teachers, because WOW! I may go back to interpreting full time next year. The jury is still out on that.

Now to leave you on a more positive note, my nephew Ben (who I just met in July) is a smart little guy. I taught him several signs in a few hours and he signs like crazy now! He even signs my name. Here is a our first picture together...


I have a feeling he will be as dear to my as my sister's son who just joined the Navy and who is
my only other nephew...I have no nieces yet (unless you count the ex's and unfortunately the divorce kind of made them no longer mine).