Friday, November 30, 2012

Merrily I Row Along

Ethan had me make a scarf for him, too.  Okay, I'll be honest.  I forced it on him.  I asked him if he wanted one and he agreed only if I made it the color of his favorite anime character.  So, blue and purple it was.  Even though, that wasn't my favorite color combo.

I love this picture of him.  Not only is he clearly annoyed with me, but the flowers on the wall behind him makes his hair look funny:)

Notice how tall he is.  He will be 12 on Dec 18 and he's almost as tall as me.  He's growing so quickly that his bones ache almost constantly.  Poor guy.  I hope it stops soon for him.

I've been working steadily on Bee In My Bonnet's Row Along.  This is really turning out so cute!  We started with the checkerboard and I can never turn down a checkerboard.  These are some seriously small pieces but she has a great tutorial on how to get them together quickly.
Then it was the Butterflies, next were the Vs.  I worked on the Apples at the Sleep In Your Own Bed Retreat.  Everyone loved them!  I think I even convinced a few people to follow along.  Today, I worked on the Flying Geese and Cocoa mugs.  I hate Flying Geese.  I kind of put them off because they are so tedious.  And, these little buggers are only 1.5 x 2.5"!  Ugh.  Then when I was trying to put them together randomly, I got a bunch of yellow all together.  I hate when I do that.  I don't notice it so much in the picture, but in person, I notice it.  That may get fixed later.

I have also been quilting my Spool Quilt for the past 2 days.  Things aren't going so well.  I got the main portion done yesterday and tried to work on the border this morning.  So get this, yesterday, my tension had to be set at 9 in order to get an even stitch.  Today, it was 1.  I don't get it.  Then, my thread kept breaking or it would jump and jumble up on the needle.

Naturally, my first inclination was to torch it.  But, I like it.  So, I'm going to buy some different needles and try again later.  I don't have trouble when I do a sample cotton/ cotton sandwich.  The problem seems to be that it's a batik/ cotton sandwich quilt.  I'm out of sharp needles and only have universal.  I'm hoping new needles will solve my problems.

And, that is what I've done with my day.  Now to make Biscuits & Gravy for dinner.  Then, I need to catch up to Rich on the Boardwalk Empire dvds.  That's his new favorite show and it's killing him that I don't know what he's talking about!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Keeping Busy During My Lay Off

So, I thought I was making this hat for a girl at work that is receiving chemo and had to shave her head.  She's got a number of cute hats that she wears and I had never made a hat and wanted to give it a try.  When I was done, I realized that the stitches leave a sizable hole that would expose her scalp.  Not only could that be awkward for her, it would get chilly.  So Bethany, with the big hair, became the new owner of my first hat.  I'll figure something else out for Jodi that has a closer weave.  And maybe a softer yarn.
 Look what I finished!!!!  Christmas Wishes is done.  Well, the top is done.  I'm counting that.  I started putting the filler blocks on at the retreat a few weeks ago.  After the first strips went together, I realized that the quilt designer put different sized checkerboard blocks next to each other.  I guess, when she did it, it was fine.  She used different colored fabrics for all of her blocks.  When I did it with red dots next to red dots, my head exploded.  I seriously wanted to set the whole thing on fire and move on.  Alas, I took a week to cool my jets and think.
I took the strips apart and made new filler rows.  I mixed in LARGE checkerboard, so that it's obvious that they weren't supposed to be aligned.  I used fewer small checkerboards and added some plain squares that I plan to quilt in.
 This cat was the last block to get done.  I thought it was weird that she had a bunny, baby birds and posey type flowers in the quilt and my head almost exploded.  But, she's Australian and Christmas lands in the middle of her summer.  So, it makes sense to me now.
This block is a little different from the original design.  The Santa is supposed to be embroidered on top of an appliqued circle.  I couldn't find the right background for it, so I just did the standard background.  Grrrr, I loved that appliqued circle, too.

The houses have our family names embroidered on them.
The stars in this block have the kids names written on them.  It's pretty anti-climatic.  The ink isn't dark enough, the lettering is too small.  But, am I going to re-do them.  Heck no.  In her pattern, she made pockets out of these stars.  Then the kids are supposed to write a wish on a piece of paper and then put it in their pocket.  How cute is that?!  Too cute for me apparently, I just appliqued those puppies on...

 The center without borders.  I'm so excited at this point!
Then, with borders.  I bribed Ethan to hold one end of the quilt for me.  I also changed up the borders.  I added the small white and beefed up the outer.  I think the designer had only one 4" border in a white/red print.  However, she posted a picture of someone else that did a scalloped border.  I may steal that idea.  We'll see how I do on the quilting.
The designer is Red Brolly, her blog  is one of my favorites.  If you like to embroider or always wished you did, you need to visit her blog.  She has everything, from stitch tutorials to free patterns to baking recipes.  Seriously, very generous with her free patterns.

Last but not least, I made some pumpkin pie.  My friend Dana e-mailed this pattern and thought it was right up my ally.  She was right, I love it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sleep In Your Bed Retreat

A few weeks ago I attended a retreat with my quilt guild friends.  It was a Sleep In Your Own Bed Retreat.  Basically, you go sew all day with friends but go home at the end of the day.  The perfect kind of retreat for me.  The cost was really low, the company was excellent, and I could still maintain a little control of the chaos that ensues while adults are not in my house.  It was a three day thing but I was only able to attend 2 of the days.  That was the beauty of it, coming and going as I pleased.

Above, is a quilt Dorothy O. is working on.  I wish the detail was better.  This is spectacular! All of those flowers are hand appliqued.  Not to mention, Dorothy is the sweetest, most modest, talented person ever.  I want to be Dorothy when I grow up.  But, you and I both know it's not going to happen.
One of the things I worked on.  I forgot to take pictures until the very end.  Oops.

Below is Dana D.'s quilt that she finished.  The fabrics are fantastic and the colors are wonderful.  Again, the picture should have more detail.  This is one honkin' huge quilt.  Dana had a heck of a time toting it around, showing us.
Midge C. worked on her bright quilt.  Midge is very exacting.  Here, she's measuring her quilt for borders.  Something I would not do.  And, this is why nothing I ever do is perfect.  I may have helped her pick out these fabrics while I was working at Sweet Annies'.

Nancy G. quilted her Jelly Roll 1600.  Hers is done in Kansas Troubles.  She's not used to quilting her own stuff but did an awesome job!!
Oh, Marion R., the life of any party.  Marion worked on these embroidered square quilts.  At one point, she made a public announcement that she was officially against using the dark blue for the ladies.  That was what her friend wanted, and that is what her friend would get.  She later made another announcement stating she was wrong and the blue was perfect. 
And, here is Marion making another announcement.  The prairie points on this cute quilt of Nancy's was Marion's fault.  She distracted Nancy while she was cutting the binding and she accidentally cut prairie points.  I think, a happy accident because it's adorable.
One of the many projects made by Nancy E.  I love the metallics.
This is Dana's wool on cotton block.  Our guild is offering it as a class later.
This is a friend of Dana D. who came along.  She is doing some English paper piecing.  Tiny little blocks that she takes with her when she travels because they are so pocket sized.

Rosalie D.  She worked on her applique block from a Karen K. Buckley class.  I love the colors.This is Diane W.'s Florida Gators quilt.  At least I think it's Florida Gators, I could be totally off base on that one.  Below is Connie, she picked up those quilt blocks for a couple dollars at an estate sale.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of the whole thing.  The fabrics are hand dyed.  Really beautiful.  She made the loveliest wall hanging with them.
Diane also showed us this adorable gator quilt.  I'm so stealing this idea later!

So, those are the pictures I remembered to take.  There were a lot more people working on projects and not working on projects.  I think just generally enjoying the time.  I know I did and I can't wait for the next one!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Such, Class, Such Sophistication

I'm a little behind on blogging.  So, I've prepared a few ahead of time and will set them up to post later.  Because, I'm sure you all want to be kept up to date on what I've been up to :)

Sad news though, Rich has put the kabosh on my homemade cleaning supplies.  His coat comes out of the dryer one time with teenage girl panties clung all over it and he has a baby cow!  Jeesh, such a whiner.  Now we're back to keeping Downy and Tide in business.  I guess this is better for the economy.

And my fall wreath keeps getting blown off the door and my ornaments pop off and get scattered to the winds.  Dang it.

I did finish Sierra's Chevron Scarf.  She picked out the yarn.  It was part of a long and sorted debacle that occurred in the yarn isle of Hobby Lobby.  Let's just say, she was a little embarrassed.  And, I felt the need to make a public service warning to all my yarn buying friends.

Clearly she had a lot to be embarrassed about because she is nothing but seriousness and sophistication:)  Along with her dad, who is helping her with her flying.
 I finished another block in my Christmas Wishes quilt.  I embroidered our family names on the houses; Mantz, Purdy, Bradley and Livengood.  I've actually done a lot more on this during a quilt retreat I recently attended.  So, there will be much more of this to show soon.
What?!  Is this Sew Tweet all pieced together?  Why yes it is.  All that is left is the outer borders!  So exited!  I love it so far.
Then I made another pie.  This time I made the little felt cherry that goes on the top.  Really little pain in my butt but I love it!  When I first got the pattern I tried to make the cherry out of cotton fabric and my head exploded.

My friend Dana e-mailed a pattern for a slice of Pumpkin Pie to me last week.  I'll be making that one shortly!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My New Diet

So Rich over heard me saying I was going on a diet the other day.  And, bless his heart, he thought I was serious.  It all started when I had lunch at 5 Guys a few weeks back.  I was sitting there eating my burger, minding my own business (mostly).  When this REALLY large woman walks by me wearing super tight stretch pants that were hiked so far up her hoo-ha that you could actually see her vagina fat.  That's right, vagina fat.  Then the guy she was eating with was facing me while they ate.  And he kept staring at me.  Like to warn me that if I finished my burger and fries, I'd have vagina fat, too.  It's only a matter of time.  So I came home thinking salads would be a part of my immediate future.  But, it only took a day or two to come to my senses and make some decent desserts.

I started with a Lemon Blackberry Cheese Cake that I found on Pinterest.  Recipe here:  Pretty good but not as luscious as it looks.  Actually, not very sweet.  I loved it but the kids hated the seeds.

 Then for halloween I moved on to some caramel corn.  I found the recipe in the OLD Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that I think my mom got when she got married the first time.  This is absolutely delicious.
 Then Bethany and I made fall sugar cookies.  We made the standard sugar cookies in lots of different colors, mashed it together and made them into leaves.  Another Pinterest idea.
Then for halloween night I made devils food cake with dark chocolate cupcakes.  Not very good, not going to bother with the recipe because they aren't worth the effort.  The webs are melted white chocolate.  And, this explains why my Cinderella costume didn't fit.