Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Photos as promised!

I know you can see photos of quilts from Quilt Odyssey on lots of other blogs. I just wanted to show some shots of the quilting.

I honestly spend more time looking at the quilting detail than I do at the overall effect of the quilt. Some quilts that I honestly do not appreciate because of style, color or whatever totally blow me away with the quality of quilting.

Now, here's what I bought. See nothing too exciting but I couldn't walk away empty handed, could I?

Lastly - I did not get a chance to stop by the house...so still no photos!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy weekend

Friday night Pam and I drove over to the house to see what was happening. The seller wasn't there so we pressed our noses to the glass. You could see that he has been busy but there was a lot of debris.

Saturday morning I helped my sister with a quilt she was trying to finish in time for her son's graduation party. He graduated from the veterinary program at Kansas State University in May and his party was Saturday afternoon. We managed to get all of the quilting done and then I took it come to knot and hide threads, square the quilt and zig-zag the edges. There just wasn't enough time to get the binding applied. The quilt was a hit and Julie had many compliments. She started with a quilt pattern for a football oriented KSU quilt and ended up changing it to suit her son's major. It really is lovely.

Saturday evening was the graduation party. What a good time! Lots to eat and the weather cooperated. They had a large tent in the yard and that provided much needed shade. The sun was HOT! Thankfully there was a nice breeze...and nice adult beverages!

Sunday morning, quilty Pam, Julie and I headed to the quilt show in Hershey. We met with another of our quilting group gals and had a big time. I really like that show. I have lots of photos but no camera with me so I will post those this afternoon. We had some favorites for sure! Some of us spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave and got lots of goodies. We managed to hit a vendor that was discounting cut fabric (BOGO) so I ended up with 2 yards of Moda Roman Holiday for $9! Pretty good shopping. I only bought 1 pattern and 1 spool of thread to quilt a couple of flimsies that I have shoved into the closet. (I really am trying to curb my spending since I decided to buy the house.)

I got an email from my realtor today. She stopped over at the house on Sunday afternoon. The seller was there working and she was impressed with what he has gotten finished. The carpet gets installed today so I am going to drive over this afternoon and see what is happening. I promise that if I can get in, I will finally take some photos!


Friday, July 25, 2008

House update

The appraisal on the house has been delayed until next week. My loan officer wants more of the house to be finished (hopefully completely finished) before the appraiser looks it over. I had been concerned about that so I am glad the visit was postponed. I heard through my realtor that the seller's realtor said the house is about 95% finished. I know that the carpeting is due to go in early next week so hopefully everything else will be completed this weekend. My best quilty pal, Pam, and I are going to do a "drive by" this afternoon and see what is going on.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another give away...

Still not me!

Carolyn is having a fat quarter give away just for answering the question - What do you do when you need quilting inspiration? Check out her site, leave a comment and a link and you are set to go!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I dropped my camera. How stupid is that? It still works but the pixel "juice" has disappeared from about a quarter of the display so trying to line up a photo is tricky. Thank goodness for Picasa and cropping features!

Here is the promised photo of my girl and the wheelchair lap quilt we finished. I think she looks pretty pleased with herself and she should be!

This was a great project for us. She really enjoys using my little Janome that I drag around to quilt gatherings and classes. I put the walking foot on Jenny and she did all of the straight line quilting. I FM'd the border with her directions that she wanted the "wiggly lines that Mrs. N did on her quilt". We used a variegated Star brand cotton thread for the quilting. (The quilt still shows the line markings so please ignore them!!)

Em's Momma wants to start sewing again so I think the next time they come to visit, I will help her get started on something small that she can easily finish in a weekend. I think that just getting something done, no matter how small, is rewarding and exciting...especially for a new quilter.

Bringing them over to the "quilty side" one family member at a time...

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm (almost) baaccckk!

I have a few minutes of quiet time...Em's parents arrived and they all went to see some old friends. I have enjoyed having her here but the only time I have been able to look at blogs or check email has been while I was at the office or sneaked a couple of minutes at my home computer. Baby girl is busy, busy and enjoys being entertained. We have made jewelry, quilted, gone shopping, gone out to eat, done make-overs, done pedicures, cooked and watched videos. Bless her heart, she knows I don't sleep well so she has been very cooperative about going to bed about 9:30 and reading. I need the rest!

On the quilting front, we managed to get one lap quilt done. She loved using Jenny and the walking foot. I will have a photo of her with the quilt as soon as I find my camera.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Taking a break

My granddaughter, Emily, arrived on Saturday so I am taking a short break from blogging. I will have photos to post of the wheelchair lap quilts we are making while she is here.

Em went along to my quilt group meeting yesterday. She didn't realize we were actually going to sew. She thought all we did when we got together was eat and talk...

She was only a little bit incorrect!

Friday, July 11, 2008

How did THAT happen?

I signed up for a "stash busting" class at a LQS near my workplace. The class starts at 5 and runs until 10pm so it is relatively convenient to run over after work. We were to take a pile of stash that coordinated, sewing machine, cutting implements, etc. The instructor gave us a pattern for a simple, yet very pretty, quilt with directions for baby quilt through king size. I decided that I wanted to make a shower curtain for my new house. (Thanks Cindy for the great idea!) I have yards of Moda 3 Sisters Vienna Nights. Seriously, I have so much it is ridiculous. I have it in 4 colorways. HOWEVER, I still ran short on one piece that I need for the quilt. The instructor disappeared for a few moments, came back into the room with a bolt of the fabric and said "ta dah!".

Yep - I went to a stash buster's class and bought more fabric. There is absolutely no hope for me!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another give away!

Nope, still not me!! John over at Quilt Dad is having a give away. He made bags and they are just darling...and also filled with goodies!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Chocolat Delight"

Here it is - "Chocolat Delight". I decided to lay it out on my living room floor. (I figured I stood a better chance of sleeping if I was in my bed instead of sleeping in the guestroom on an unfamiliar mattress.)* It is hard to see on the beige carpet but on the row closest to the dry sink I am missing one square. I have other pieces that I could use but I need a block that reads "red". I am going to a class tomorrow evening at a LQS so hopefully they will have something left on the shelf that I could use. I know 3 Sisters reds seem to fly off the shelves. My other possibility is that there may be someone in my quilt group that has a piece in their stash. I am going to my sister's this afternoon to see if she has anything. I wouldn't care if I had it laid out for another week or two except that my granddaughter arrives on Saturday. I guess I will just pick up the blocks in order and put this one on the back burner until after Em leaves.

Speaking of Emily, she and I are going to make wheelchair lap quilts while she is here. She has been going to nursing homes since she was a baby and really loves the elderly. We will take them to the facility where my grandmother lived for several years. I love the idea of Emily learning the importance and joy of service and charitable works. I also really enjoy sewing with her. She will be going along with me to my quilt group meeting on Sunday and we will start cutting strips for the quilts.

Guess I have to start thinking about packing stuff. The very thought exhausts me!

* I slept nearly 6 hours last night!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Whooo hooo!!!

The house is mine! My closing date is August 27th. Can you tell I am excited? I was trying so hard not to get my hopes up.

The house isn't finished yet. I think the kitchen gets installed this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing how it will actually look. I will post photos and bore you silly with all that as soon as there is something to photograph other than primer coated drywall! I am most excited about the fact that the quilting studio will be HUGE in comparison to what I have now. I don't know exactly how all my furniture will fit but I know where my sewing machine will be! (I have priorities, people!)

I can't sleep...

I went to bed last night about 10. I woke up this morning about 2:15. I tried to read myself back to sleep and that didn't work so I got up about quarter 'til 3. What's quilter to do when she can't sleep? Sew!

I cut up some fat quarters of Chocolat and finished making 9 block squares for the quilt I started a year ago. I had an "ah ha" moment and decided to put full blocks of fabric between the pieced blocks. This will be queen size to fit my bed. I don't have anywhere other than my bed to lay out the design so I am going to have to sleep (or not) in the guest room until I get it finished.

I read somewhere that sleeping less than 5 hours a night increases the likelihood of weight gain. Let's see - menopause = get fat, not sleeping = get fat, depression over house shopping so I sooth myself with food = get fat. Anybody have any really big muumuus?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another weekend project

My mother requested a table runner to compliment the DWR quilt that I made her for Mother's Day. This was completely made from stash. (I am so proud of myself!) I stippled the centers of the squares, loops and leaves in the purple surrounding squares, feathers in the attaching strips and then a large meander in the outside border. I worked Jenny hard on Sunday! The worst part of doing this was stitching the binding on by hand which is hindered by my arthritis and hand cramps.

I believe Moneik is working on a tutorial explaining her method of attaching and securing binding. I am surely looking forward to learning something that will hopefully make the process easier!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quilty stuff today

There are a couple of challenges going on right now with the goal of quilting/sewing the greatest number of hours in July. I am not competing, however, if I were I would be kicking some butt today! I started sewing this morning at 5:30, took about an hour to get a shower & throw something in the crockpot for supper and finally finished the last stitch on the binding about 45 minutes ago. I figure I have spent a little over 8 hours today sewing. I am happy to report that I finally finished my parent's Christmas quilt (2007)! It was the second quilt I put on the LA back before Christmas. I had no idea how to do borders at that time so I took it off the frame with the intention of finishing the borders on my sewing machine. Then I put the quilt in a closet and ignored it. I needed to the get the monkey off my back so I was determined to finish it this weekend.

I used a variegated King Tut thread and did a loopy meander on the body of the quilt. I marked the border and quilted that using my walking foot and gold Coats and Clark thread. All the walking foot quilting was a pain but I am pleased with the results!

I do have a several more WIPs that I could work on but I have had a stash of fabric for a blended quilt that I have been wanting to make. I think tomorrow will be a great day to start cutting.

I made something yummy!

I was charged with making dessert for the family picnic yesterday. My sister suggested a "picnic cake" and since I didn't have a recipe, I did an internet search. I found this cake at the Hershey site. Lemme just tell you, this was the BEST chocolate cake I have ever eaten...(and I have had Marcel Desaulniers' "Death by Chocolate Cake" at the Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia). This cake is rich, chocolaty and moist. I did fool around with the icing recipe since my family likes peanut butter with dark chocolate. So - here's their version with my edits in italics.

1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine (I used an entire stick)
1-1/3 cups boiling water
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 2 cups of flour and 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup dairy sour cream (I used non-fat because it was what I had and the reason I used extra butter)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Combine chocolate chips, butter and water in large mixer bowl; stir with spoon until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended. Gradually add flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, baking soda, salt and vanilla; beat on low speed of electric mixer until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (Be sure not to skip this part - the toothpick needs to come out clean!) Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost with SPECIAL DARK FROSTING. 12 to 15 servings.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips

1/3 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place butter and chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at HIGH 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. If necessary, refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes or until of desired spreading consistency. About 1-2/3 cups frosting.

I it made a lot of frosting. I ended up throwing away the leftover frosting because I knew I would eat every bit out of the bowl...it was very fudge-like.

I am sure Hershey's version is good but I only know that my version was killer! Try it. I promise you will not be disappointed. By the way, this would be good with a cup of coffee but I KNOW it is good with a glass of cabernet...I'm just saying...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My "nesting" spots

Nicole at Sister's Choice showed us her (formerly) white couch where she is most likely to sit and watch TV, or read, or have a cup of coffee in the morning. She asked to see our favorite place to sit. Well, I have two.

This one is my favorite place to sit if I am reading or doing some sort of handwork. The bottom cushion is so worn that it looks awful but I love the way it wraps around my bum when I sit on it. The quilt thrown over the back is an antique quilt that has seen better days but when I fold it just so, it looks great on the chair.

This one is my favorite when I am watching TV or have guests. I fell in love with this rocker about 25 years ago. I thought it would be a wonderful chair to rock babies in. At that point, I thought I was going to have more children. It didn't work out that way but I was right. It was a wonderful chair for rocking my grandbabies. I love the curve of the back. It feels nice against my spine and the chair seat is carved to fit. It is solid oak and weighs a ton. You don't want to hit your toe on it!

Isn't it strange that my two favorite chairs are absolutely nothing alike?

Caught up!

I am FINALLY caught up on Amanda Jean's star block quilt along! The best thing is that I did not have to purchase any fabric for this quilt. Everything is coming from stash. Amanda Jean shows her quilt made with setting blocks but I don't think I am going to make mine that large. Since there are a lot of pastel colors in my home, I think this will either hang on the wall or throw it over the couch. I think I have enough of a pink fabric to sash all the blocks which would be pretty. I am debating making a pieced border. I was also thinking about using a medium size print with all the pastel colors for the border. Of course, that would mean a trip to Burkholder's. (Can you feel my pain?!)

I am going to take a photo when it is ready to be quilted. Maybe by then I will figure out how to take a decent picture!

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