Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes, Carol, I am alive....

I received a lovely "motherly concerned" email today from Carol (Cornfield Quilter) inquiring if all was well with me. Yes, Carol, all is well; just a very busy week. Between working Double-Header basketball games, writing drafts of a Technology Acceptable Use Policy, writing drafts of an 8th grade Retention policy, writing a district-wide Mathematical Processing Rubric, researching and writing a proposal for a SmartBoard purchase, playing league volleyball, spending three hours online and playing phone-tag with another tech-lady in our district trying to debug the web-based grading system the district uses, researching volleyball summer camps and drills, and then all the other "normal" daily mom-things such as dishes, laundry, making dinner, bathing children, cleaning house for's been a busy week! Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.

My load around school has suddenly just gotten really LOADED! I just can't believe how it's been one thing after another this week. One of the biggest changes being that I have applied for and have been the "acting" Head Volleyball coach for the past month. Our AD (athletic director) approached me quite a while ago, and many times since then, inquiring if I would take the position. I coached for 8 years as the Assistant Vball coach under a WONDERFUL lady; but when Candace was born, I turned my resignation in; and the Head Coach did as well. Watching the program over the past three years dwindle has been difficult, and.....long story short, the administration did not ask this season's coach back due to ..... well..... a few things. So, the night of the Sectional Final game way back in October, I knew I needed to get back in. That game was amazing! And I want our district's program to be just that-----a DISTRICT program and not just a VARSITY program. So.......once I voiced this to our AD, he essentially said it was mine, but "official procedure" needed to be followed. The administration posted the "in-house" memo last week and I submitted my letter of application. Together with the AD, we have been finalizing the schedule for next year's season and I've been trying to get all the inventory organized. *shaking head* What a minor disaster. One thing I DO admit and take quite a bit of pride in is my organizational skills and "anal-ness" towards statistics, etc. *shaking head still*....oh dear, oh dear, oh dear..... Trying to make sense of the "stuff" I've found from the past three years has been quite "interesting." Budget looks scary for sure! No new balls have been purchased so I foresee ALL of next year's budget going to new balls, which really can't happen, because new knee pads and shorts also need to be purchased. Not to mention little odds-n-ends for safety and injury issues.......*heavy sigh*.

BUT.....I'm optimistic and up to the challenge. The two assistant coaches are wonderful and are OVERLY excited to be working "under me" even though I've told them we will be working "along side" each other. They are co-workers and had a stressful season this year so they are also VERY optimistic for the "new and improved" coaching staff.

On the Quilting front-----(YES, there has been SOME quilting amongst all this hecticity!)....I have completely finished the Oklahoma Backroads top. It will be a nice and full throw/lap quilt, roughly 68"x84". WOW----I didn't realize it was that big until I just looked at the pic to calculate the size.

Bernina update: I was informed on Monday that she was ready. No major damage; just some realignment of the needle-housing and then I also requested a "tune-up." severe wallet damage! Whew! My babysitter, who is also my student-aide, is going on a college visit tomorrow. She will be traveling through the town where the shop is, so she will be doing me a BIG favor by picking it up on her way and dropping it off. How lovely!

My DH's brother and family will be visiting us this weekend. DH and BIL will be working on the plumbing of the downstairs bathroom; I guess DH is finally ready to start working on the basement to get it a bit more "functional."
I was hoping to get some quilting done, but I may find myself being more of a hostess instead; at least until they leave on Sunday. Many of the Quiltville followers are doing the StripTwist Superbowl quilting; I had planned on doing this also, BUT have now decided not to. Just too many other projects that have more priority. There is only so much time in a day and week.

So, one more time.....Yes, Carol, I am alive :0) Thank you very much for being concerned and sending such a touching email. Even my husband was surprised and "happy" that there are concerned individuals "out there." :0)

Happy Thursday

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"Bernina--We have a problem..."

So tell me.....what do you see missing from this picture?
Hmmmmm.......maybe you need to know that this is my location where I sew.....and that's the table I sew on......
all my sewing supplies are there...the little scissors, extra bobbins, my magnetic pin holder, even little 1.5" squares for my L-n-E Perkiomen Daydreams quilt...... Bernina.

I started the day very lazy and didn't get downstairs until 8:30. I pin-basted the Country Spirt quilt into two sections so I could start and hopefully finish quilting it today. By 10:00, I was quilting....

I ended up going with my brainstorm of concentric stars pulsating out from the center of the rail blocks. It was a bit tedious, specially once the stars were too large for them to be continuously quilted. Lots of stopping/starting/"knotting"/backstitching. I had three done, each taking about 20 minutes, and was working on the fourth. I don't think I heard a noise, but suddenly.... things were just "weird." My bobbin thread was breaking, so threw in a newly wound bobbin; things seemed smooth for a few minutes at least. Then, when I started a new line of the star, suddenly I realized that my needle was off-center. At least, that was the illusion, but I checked all my buttons and the screen....all seemed fine. ???? So, I sewed a few more lines. A few moments later, when I went to life the foot.......NOTHING! It wouldn't lift! After a moment of tinkering, I got it to lift, but wouldn't lower. So finally, enough was enough. I took the cover off to see if a spring or screw came loose, but I couldn't see anything. And not wanting to take any chances and do something STUPID on a machine that costs as much as some used cars, I went upstairs and googled for the nearest Bernina dealer to me. I called the shop where I bought the machine, but I'm sure my daily readers remember that it is THREE AND A HALF hours away, so THAT was not an option, but I wanted to ask her what her advice was. In the end, the nearest dealer to me is near 70 miles away.........
Ten minutes later, with machine and girls in tow, we were making our way down to Eau Claire. The trip was uneventful, just long. I was able to get a front row parking spot (woo-hoo!), so Caitlyn and Cass chose to stay in the car to continue watching their movie on the DVD while Candace came in with me. The shop is very small and quaint. There was a nice group of ladies sewing up a storm, and after 20 minutes, I was back on my way home, no machine in hand. *sigh* It will remain in the shop until the technician can look at it on Monday. SO, no Bernina until next weekend when I make the trip BACK down to pick it up.

I called my mom on the ride home to share the day's events, and she sarcastically, jokingly said..."How are you going to survive??! You'll go into withdrawal----one week with no quilting??!?!?!"

"HA!" I said......little did she remember that I still have my Brother....... Shortly after returning home, I headed downstairs to take the Brother our of her case. Gave her a good oiling and actually did the 1/4" "test" that Bonnie suggests on her site. My GOODNESS! It was no WONDER I had so many difficulties with accurate piecing in the past! My Brother's 1/4 foot is WAY off! A good 1/8 off---seriously!!!! So......

I'm bummed, but yet, everything happens for a reason!
The PROS of this "situation"....
i) My quilting class begins in 3 weeks, so I needed to practice on a "not-so-good" machine anyway so I knew how to assist my "students" (BTW--I was just updated yesterday that I have 3 people signed up so far. If I don't get anymore, I really won't mind! It was marketed as a Beginner's course, so I may have individuals who don't even know how to USE a sewing machine!"
ii) I can continue working on the Scrappy Irish Chain and the Oklahoma Backroads quilts to try to finish piecing the tops
iii) The Bernina was requesting a tune-up last weekend anyway,'s due!

The CONS...
i) I don't have my baby, my pride-n-joy!
ii) I wanted to finish the Country Spirit to get it mailed out to Alycia's QOV project by Monday.
iii) I was in the quilting mood and wanted to also tackle the Lake -n- Lodge wallhanging tomorrow.

whadya do?

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wanna put in your $.02?

Happy Thursday everyone.
Today was FINALLY the day I had been awaiting----my students' Design a Quilt project ended. I had told them that I would narrow the choices down to 3 so they could voice their own opinion on a "final vote." But.....whew! I couldn't narrow it to just 3. Rather, I narrowed it to EIGHT.....
So....if you wish, feel free to comment on YOUR favorite? The students spoke, and the 1st place vote won by ONE person! I'll keep you in suspense until Sunday on their vote......
BUT, I had also told them there was ONE quilt I would regardless of their "popular vote." Do YOU know which one that could be???

A (left) B (right)

C (left) D (right)

E (left) F (right)

G (left) H (right)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My feet found the treadmill! BFL makes a reappearance?

Yup, home from working the boy's basketball game tonight, and laced up the shoes! It was Julie's post yesterday that really got me motivated again! Way to go Julie to get yourself AND ME motivated! Julie kinda giggled by saying she wasn't about to share her weight or "BEFORE" picture......

...I was in the same boat back in 2003! I dug up these gems...........

*I CAN'T BUH-LIEVE I'm actually posting them though.....*

2003 BEFORE 136 lbs, 23% body-fat.

2003 AFTER 12 weeks 121 lbs and 17% bodyfat.

This was when I found the Body For Life (BFL) program. It was absolutely AMAZING how well that program worked for me. It was simple to follow, but not ALWAYS! Ohhh yahhh.....the memories! Week 9 was TERRIBLE!!!!!!! COMPLETELY "fell off the wagon." I way ready to throw in the towel because I felt I learning experience from the week now helps me pass on some of my best advice-------there ARE going to be days when you WILL NOT be "perfect." It WILL happen! best you can, take it with a grain of salt, get some sleep to work off the stress, and then jump right back in. When I'm "training" in the summer months, I do try to follow a good nutrition plan, but COME ON! It's tough! We don't have the saying "Nobody is perfect" for no reason, ya know!

So----since Julie voiced her challenge/goals verbally, I figured I should try to be just as strong and voice mine.
I'm back! I NEED to be----the pants are getting a bit snugger...AND I busted the zipper in my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PANTS the other day. Ya think that's a sign???

So.....Each week: at least 3 days of treadmill work (20 minutes minimum) and at least 2 days of strength-training. I have a descent home Smith machine (that needed to be dusted off tonight). That's also my treadmill off to the upper-left of the pic.

I have no idea what my weight is right now, but I can definitely tell the bodyfat has risen quite a bit. It's bee 3 solid months since I trained for the marathon, and my non-running body can't keep up with the calories being consumed.

Here's to US JULIE!!!!!!!!!

And, of course, there's always Angela, who is nearing HER marathon! She is in her taper weeks........3 to go (if I remember correctly)

Okay...time for bed! That's another thing I should really work on! I can't remember the last time I've gotten to bed before 11 o'clock! I'm starting to drag a little in the morning........

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Losing to an 8 year old......

For C'mas, Cassie got the game "Allowance" from my sister. We broke into it yesterday, and she wooped my butt! $21.00 her vs. $3.00 me. THEN, tonight, we played again. I did a bit better this time, but she still beat me! $20.00 her vs. $17.00 me. There isn't much strategy involved....(Okay, there is NO strategy involved), but it's a great game for her to practice money; making change and exchanging currency. Great 2nd grade game.

Once the girls were in bed, it was time to head back down to see what I could do with the borders. I didn't have enough fabric to do 4" sashings along the outer border, BUT I DID have enough to do a 2" outside so I was able to "finish" the stars. Yeah ;0) The top is pieced, but I'll still play with possible borders. I may just leave it as is though and use a blue binding. The top is roughly 52" x 68" right now.......good throw size. And even though it is smaller, I will still quilt this into 2 sections. It's just easier! I'm kinda thinking of concentric stars pulsating out of the center of the rail blocks. Not sure about the sashing yet.....but...I have time to think on that. Tomorrow night I have to work a Basketball game and then Wednesday night I have volleyball.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A boo-boo, but moving forward anyway....

I said my share of explicative words this evening when I saw this! I suppose that's what I get for altering the pattern and not double checking with ONE sashing before cutting and sewing all of them. Short version: the sashings were cut at 4" (3.5 finished); and the corner triangles/squares were cut at 2". DUH! Ummmm.....I have NO idea what I was thinking----I guess it simply was one of those brain-fart moments! BUT, I continued plugging away anyway; I'm not going to kick myself too hard over 1/2 inch on the completed star. I am confident that it'll all still come together nicely and look just fine.

The blocks and sashings came together quickly, obviously. I started playing around with borders before shutting the lights off for the night. A dark blue seemed to make sense to me, but .... well, it really doesn't look that great. (Bottom right). I found this dark blue/black and red paisley fabric and tried that out. (Bottom edge). It almost looks brown in the pic. I'm not sold on either yet. I suppose I'll do what many of you do...I'll leave it lay for a day and "admire it" until a lightening bolt hits.

I wish I had enough of the white star fabric to go along the outside border again. That way, I could finish off the "outer stars" and just be done with borders completely. (Pretty much like the actual pattern shows). But I have less than 1/2 yard left, and it just isn't enough. :0( :0( :0(

I double-sewed all the sashing corners, so........17+14=31 total sashing strips. 4 corners each.......31x4=124! I have 124 bonus triangles that can be trimmed up to 1.5 inches, OR I can just leave them as is and maybe use them in a border somehow as well. 124....I guess I could trim them up to 1.5". That wouldn't take THAT long..... It's another idea to ponder.....

Oooo.....just looking back at the photo of the layout......brainstorm here to try out for tomorrow night. Cut the white-star fabric at 2 inches to create some "mini-sashing" along the outside edge. Cut the red fabric at 2" as well......this will finish off the outside stars..... I'll have to see if I would have enough fabric to do that....

*confusled look* Okay, I went back to the pattern to see how I made my mistake of not have the star-points coming together nicely once they get sewn to the sashing strips/squares. But.....really folks....I'm a bit confused! The pattern wants the sashings cut at 3.5" and then the red squares (to make the corners) at 1.75". Ummm.....1.75" is half of 3.5" *scratching head*.....even if I would have followed the pattern, the corners STILL would not come together at a point once sewn to the 3.5" squares....... ???????
*shaking head*
Whatever---it's too late to really put too much more thought and concern into it. It'll all be fine...

Anyway.....Happy Sunday Night.

Smooth Sailing finish; Country Spirit begins

I was NOT up bright-n-early by any means this AM, however, I was still the only one awake for about 45 minutes from 7:00 to about 7:45. So, I made use of my quiet time by creating a label for Luke's Smooth Sailing and get it sewn on. My mom is more than pleased with the results, and was VERY surprised when I handed over the pillow yesterday afternoon. She amazed at a few things.......1) I quilt; 2) I FINISH projects; 3) the projects are good quality; 4) I finish projects FAST (and even FASTER when there is a good purpose).

I saw these little "circle-hangers" on a quilt once and thought they were so much easier than putting a sleeve on the back and then finding/buying a dowel to hang it. So, for the past year, whenever I am making a quilt for hanging, I sew these on. They are found in the crafting section; I THINK they have a purpose for knitting?? I really don't know, because other than sewing/quilting and cross-stitching, I don't have any other "crafting" talents (at least none that really mean much anymore).

So.....number two for 2009 is done. Smooth Sailing

Once my parents left at 10:30, I decided to head downstairs to see what fabrics I could find for the Country Spirit pattern I found at McCall's I pulled all of my blues and reds from my 2" draw, plus cut up just a few more strips from other scraps I still have laying around. I found this perfect "light-star" fabric hiding on my bottom drawer. I am shy about 1/4 yard from what the pattern requests, but I already know I'll be adapting the design a bit from the actual. I've had this red paisley sitting on my shelf for a year, so in it goes as well.
DH and Caitlyn went fishing for the afternoon; Cassie went sledding with a friend, so it was just Candace and me. We threw KungFu Panda into the DVD player, and I went cutting and sewing away while she rested. At first, I had complete intentions of strip-piecing and then sub-cutting into the 6.5" sections. BUT, my strip were at such odd and non-consistent lengths, so I decided to cut all of them prior to sewing. 96 lights and 48 reds/blues each were cut; 2"x6.5". The sewing was mindless; and I can't really even remember where my mind all wandered today. I thought ahead to the week and how I would use the days since we lost Thursday and Friday. The end of the semester is coming this Friday, so I'll just have to throw out the lessons planned from those days; spend one more day tomorrow with a "wrap-up" lesson in each class, have a TeamTest on Tuesday, do a final review on Wednesday, and then give the finals on Thursday. Friday will be used for any makeups.

Anyway, by 4:00, the 12 rail-fence blocks were made. They are very scrappy and nothing is really "holding" them together right now. However, once I cut into the light-star and red-paisley yardage for the sashing, I think it'll come together nicely.

Taking a short break---DH arrived home a bit ago and it "cleaning up" supper. Caitlyn is beat and is resting on the couch with a Barbie movie. Cassie JUST got home from her friend's; they made cupcakes and spent much of the afternoon being pulled around on a sled with a snowmobile.

I might be heading back downstairs after the girls get to bed. Tonight is BATH NIGHT! Tomorrow, life gets back to a normal schedule again.......
This has been a wonderful 4-day unplanned weekend!
Happy Sunday

Saturday, January 17, 2009

QOV--Have time to make a quilt? & SS Pillow

Hey all----
Just wondering if you have plans for Monday OR anytime soon for that matter?
There was a post made the the Quiltville-Yahoo group from a member who received a post from a different group.....

Lately I have been thinking about what changes may be ahead for our country as we usher in a new administration, and what those changes might mean for each of us as citizens. Since Monday is Martin Luther King Day, and MLK Day is supposed to be a day of service to others, I have decided to issue a challenge to quilters. And that means you.

If you're interested, go to my blog at

Please feel free to forward the blog addy to quilting groups or quilty friends. The more hands we have working together, the faster we will reach our goal.

Kimmy Brunner

After a bit of reading and searching, here is the exact post where Kimmy is talking about the "challenge".... To sum it up, she is requesting assistance in making quilts for the QOV.

I have always thought about doing a worthwhile project and have heard so much about the QOV, BUT have never know who, what, where, etc.....
So now-----I am motivated! I can't wait until tomorrow! I will use tomorrow since I have school on Monday to get a good start on a quilt.

I hope you will join in, for a good cause, and just for the sheer JOY of making another quilt!!! :0)

Also---on another note....I am putting up my feet for the evening of hand-sewing the binding on the Smooth Sailing quilt. Mom and I have put in Momma-Mia. We went shopping this morning, were back by 1:00, so I whipped up this little pillow to go along with the wall hanging.

Oooooo, I also made a half-batch of Monster Cookies!!! I had some extra stars left from the peanut butter cookies a couple of months back, so I threw those on top as well. (Pay NO attention to the partially eaten cookie in the bottom left of the picture!!! I have NO idea how that happened!) (*wink*)

Okay----off to sew.
Happy Saturday.

Friday, January 16, 2009


With the day off again, I was looking forward to actually wrapping up the Scrappy Irish Chain to clear up some floor space. I had sewn a few rows together last night, in fact, after laying out the PKD (Perkiomen Daydreams) blocks.

Sitting at the breakfast table with the girls and my mother, she got to talking about my cousin Jean and her son. Jean is trying to coax him into sleeping in his own room--I guess he has the habit of sneaking in with mom and dad everynight. He's in Kindergarten. Anyway, Jean is redecorating his bedroom with fish (HIS choice). She is making up some curtains, painting the room a light green, with brown; the whole nine yards. Anyway, my mom is his Godmother, and mom mentioned a new quilt for his bed, but Jean turned that idea down since he has a nice quilt. So that suggestion then turned into a wall-hanging. I think my mom had the idea in her mind that she was going to attempt it, the same time I think she KNEW that if she got to talking with me, I would GLADLY jump on board and help out (or do it all)....

Well.....lo-n-behold! My mother picked up fabric on the way up to the house yesterday. Hmmmm.......she MUST have had the idea that we (I) would be working on it this weekend. *chuckle* Sneaky bird!

Anyway...I threw the fabrics in the washer and grabbed a huge stack of quilting magazines to find an idea. But the time I moved the fabrics to the drier, I was half way through the stack of magazines and had two ideas picked out already. Once the fabrics were dry, I had three total ideas.......narrowing it down wasn't that easy, either! However, sailboats seemed to make the most sense to go along with fish fabric.

My mom bought the fish fabric and the brown fabric. I pulled the rest from my stash.......This baby was going to go together FAST! Simple HST's and rectangles!

While mindlessly chain-sewing some pieces, I allowed my mind to wander. I came to realize that while "yes," I found this pattern in a magazine, I must be advancing to a new level of quilting skills because I didn't even bother reading any of the directions. I simply looked at the picture, grabbed my EZ Angle ruler, cut and sewed away. I also have come to realize that we can alter designs as we see fit----the projects are ours afterall! I sized down the overall dimensions from a Twin down to a 38"x42" wall size.

I started cutting and piecing at 11:00 AM. By 2:00, the top section (minus the borders) was pieced. After a short break, I was back at it, putting the borders on. By 4:00, I was choosing backings. By 5:00, the sandwich was basted. The girls played with Grandma for most of the day, but Candace came down by me while I was pin-basting the quilt sandwich. She grabbed my camera and was trying to take pictures--she had a problem with holding down the button long enough for the picture to be taken. However, she did get this silly shot of me......
.....Then, she said...."Momma take picture of me?" She's in the midst of a cold bug right now and her nose is a faucet. Her cheeks also took on the "red look" today with the cold.

I was back downstairs at 7:00 after dinner to get to the quilting. I stippled the background and did my new-found "ripple" in the borders. The brown vertical strips were channeled a quarter of inch inside the seam. The binding is on and will be hand-sewed tomorrow. took me through a slight "detour" from my other quilting projects. I think I'll call this one "Smooth Sailing".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lovely "mental health" day, with another to come!

Ahhhh....lovely, lovely day today! The day started with a phone call at 5:57AM saying "This is the Hollywell Instant Messaging System with a message from Shell Lake Schools---there is no school today."

Now, TYPICALLY, when the alarm goes off at 6:00 AM, I drag my butt to the shower and convince myself to get the day going off on the right foot, and SMILE. Today, THAT didn't take ANY effort! I was up and out of bed by 6:10AM (couldn't sleep anymore), put the coffee on, made up some Lemon-poppyseed muffins, and logged on to catch up on emails. Amazingly, I wasn't in any superbig hurry to get downstairs to sew. In fact, once the house woke up and Cassie realized school was cancelled, Candace and I threw a movie into our bedroom TV and snuggled up in bed. The next thing I knew, it was 10:00! WOW! I NEVER allow myself to just "veg" and NOT have anything to do!

By 10:30, I headed downstairs while the girls played. DH has also been home all week due to the blistery cold temps! His crew doesn't have any "inside' work right now, so, he's been paying Domestic Man.

I'm still "strippin'" up a storm for Perkiomen Daydreams. Here is an extreme example of the wide range of non-matching fabrics that Bonnie always mentions. I haven't held anything back, except for a collection of pink strips that just don't fit as a "dark" OR a "light." Which is fine, because I HAVE decided I will eventually made the DoubleDelight mystery of Bonnie's and it calls for 1.5" inch pink strips. Perfect!

Little did I know that DH was getting a bit "sneaky" with the camera today! However, he hasn't used the new camera yet, so he used a setting that wasn't too great for the basement lighting. These pictures actually are kind of nice, because it gives you a good idea of how "non-finished" my sewing space is (AND how messy it is ONCE AGAIN!)

Here-n-there throughout the day, I worked on piecing and cutting the strips, and eventually I had a nice stack of the 5 different sets called for by the pattern. Then another here-n-there throughout the afternoon and evening, the strip sets got pieced into 5.5" blocks.

And v'iola! The first mini-layout with 85 blocks. Only 315 more to go! Seeing it on the floor---the pattern is "eye-boggling" close up. It's not until you back away when the illusion takes over. So cool! I can't wait to see this baby finished!

AND------YES! The phone just rang an hour ago with my school's Instant Alert Message.....NO SCHOOL tomorrow again! Yes! We haven't been out of the negative degrees at all today, and tomorrow looks to be much of the same until later in the afternoon when the subzero temps and windchill is expected to finally break. So......this means another unexpected day of quilting :0)

My parents arrived tonight around 6:00. My mom was also happy our school got called off so she can spend the day with all THREE girls since Cassie won't have to go to school. It's a bit after 10:00pm, and I'm really thinking of calling it a night even though I can sleep in for the next THREE days!

Hopefully you all are receiving some "luck" in your little corner of the world.
Happy Thursday from frigid Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


My Lovely WeatherBug buddy is flashing the current temperature to me....

-13.3 degrees F (that's -25.2 degrees C). Thankfully, the wind has died to virtually nothing! But tomorrow is another story.....

Forecasted HIGH tomorrow: THREE DEGREES F! (That's -16 C!---for a HIGH!) We are going to be dipping into forecasted WINDCHILLS of 40-50 degrees F below zero tomorrow; does it REALLY matter what that is in Celcius????----Seriously! Once the temps reach MORE than 10 below......( I mean LESS than 10 below??) *giggling at the math-pun!*'s FRIGID, ARCTIC, BITTER, GLACIAL, NIPPY, NUMBING, SHIVERY, SNAPPY, WINTRY, INVIGORATINGLY PIERCING COLD! (YUP....found a thesaurus online!)

BTW---Thursday's forecast doesn't look much more promising.

I'll say this for sure.....MANY of us are awaiting the "SNOW DAY" call tomorrow AM (or at least a 2-hour "LATE START.") I could just IMAGINE staying snuggled up in the warm bed! But....I have to play it safe and get my butt to bed, JUST IN CASE the call doesn't come in........

Angela----wanna change locations for a few days???

Monday, January 12, 2009

And the winner is....

Using MathGoodies Random Number generator, number EIGHT (8) was chosen.
Using the comments posted (ignoring the fact that I had to "fix" the edit of post #1), this means our 8th posting came from....

Kerry from Forever Friday who said...
Hi Amy,
Your quilt is really lovely and your father must be thrilled to have arranged such a prize.
My favourite is my rotary cutter, the big scissors hardly get used anymore.
Hope you raise heaps with the raffle.

Congrats to Kerry!
If you go check out her blog, it appears she has been ROLLING in the luck! Her past few entries have been..."I won this"...."I won that...."
Kerry---rub some of that luck off on us, huh?!?!!?

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A new project....

Angela has my permission to scold me on this one!

Recall that I am finishing up some UFO's (Scrappy Irish Chain & Oklahoma Backroads) before possibly taking on Bonnie's DD Mystery. Yeah, well, everytime Angela has emailed me, she drops not-so-subtle hints that I need to do the Mystery...

so......what do I do?????

Start a NEW, DIFFERENT Bonnie design! I have been so intrigued with Perkiomen Daydreams since I've seen it in Bonnie's book (here's a sneaky-peek). Tonight, I started digging in the 1.5" bins. I already had a stack of reds and yellows set aside knowing I wanted to eventually make this pattern.

Two hours later, my once clean sewing room looks like my 1.5" bins have exploded! Light strips cluttered on the floor; darks on the table, reds/yellows on a different part of the table; sewn strips hanging out on the ironing board and cutting mat; chain of strips behind the machine.

This was an unplanned evening of sewing. Originally, DH and I (with the girls) were going to head up to the farm for his family's last C'mas. But both he and I were simply NOT in the mood to drive 2 hours, so we "relaxed" tonight and will head up tomorrow morning. Naturally, my form of relaxation is to piece!

Interesting fact about Amy (and DH): See that mug in the picture? DH picked up a set of 6 mugs in Montana when we were on our honeymoon. They are downright my FAVORITE mugs (and they BETTER be for the price he paid!!!)! They are so heavy and big! In the mug tonight: Lemon "zinger" tea with small packet of sweet-n-low.

It's nearing 10:00pm, and I'm wiped out. I'm thankful it's the weekend, but truthfully I wish we could just stay home rather than travel. ANY amount of travel just makes for a quicker (and more stressful) weekend. *sigh*

However, I do hope that all of you out there enjoy YOUR weekend and hope you are able to piece up a storm!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Julie's having a give-away

Julie is celebrating her 100th post (actually, her 105th post!). As always, I deliberate with the two little people on my shoulders on whether to post about someone else's giveaway (ya know---to better MY chances of winning OR to be the kind one to giver others a chance to win too). *wink*

The giveaway is this ADORABLE valentine-themed fabric. Be sure to enter and congratulate her on being 100!

Also---I'll take this opportunity to remind everyone of my "Cathedral Stars Completion Celebration" giveaway. If you haven't already done so, be sure to head there and leave a post for a chance to win this "jelly-roll" of 10 jewel-toned strips. I'm drawing this Sunday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More UFO/WIP progress...& NIP/TUCK!

DARE I share my sinful side with my blogging buddies?!?? *naughty giggle!*
For those of you unaware of a show called Nip/Tuck, it is rated as a "Mature audience" only (so I BARELY am of age to watch it :0) ... I can't NOT watch it! Tonight is the premiere for Season 5-part 2 (I think the writer's strike last year affected the complete season). Christian (Julian McMahon-left) is a heart-throb!!!!! Don't you think!??!!? Anyway..... I'm updating during commercial breaks :0)

The first day back to school yesterday after vacation was quite pleasing :0) Specially since I was a "good girl" Sunday night and went to bed by 10:30pm. However, LAST NIGHT was another story! *chuckle* I was feeing VERY good last night, and was able to head downstairs at 7:00 once the girls were to bed. (YES! EARLY for them---they needed it!)

I started by piecing the Oklahoma Backroads blocks together, followed by some borders, solid and pieced.....BUT I'm NOT counting this top done YET! I'm actually thinking of whipping out some more blocks and finish this off with a final "larger" border of blocks!! :0) Yup, yup----a bit bigger quilt for a nice FULL lap quilt! I'm too tired right now to estimate the size, but each block is 8" finished.

Then....I moved to the Scrappy Irish Chain. When I finally wrapped up last night at MIDNIGHT *GASP*, all the 9" scrappy block squares were completed. TONIGHT, I've added the "white connector" blocks to the layout. I'm thinking this one will be finished with a simple border---no piecing, but maybe a double-border.

Oh yes----and here is one of the newly organized, nicely ironed and folded fabric shelves that I "put together" Saturday and Sunday. It is SO nice seeing the fabric on the shelf nice and neat INSTEAD of heaped and hiding in a basket on the floor :0)

And finally-----it is the sixth day of the new year, and....*sheepish grin*....I have YET to get my butt on the treadmill! Then, it didn't help my "guilt" when my Runner's World magazine came today, with an AMAZINGLY fit, athletic beauty! (giggle)..*sigh* Okay, Okay......I guess I need to focus on getting back into training shape now! It'll start tomorrow night when DH and I head to season opening indoor volleyball. I have shared our perfect "pair setup" before, but for my "newcomers".....DH is a 6'6" spiker, while I'm a 5'4" setter. We met playing volleyball back in 1994. It was one of those rediculous "friend of a brother of a friend" deals. He was the friend of MY friend's friend's brother (follow that one??) All of us ended up playing on the same summer sand vball team (me , my friend, her friend, her friend's brother, and her friend's brother's friend---that'd be my DH!) Anyway---we flirted the summer away, were engaged after 9 months, married 3 years later, and the rest.....well....we're still writing the rest :0)

Okay...Nip/Tuck is over with a second showing starting. DH missed the first few minutes, so I guess we're watching it again :0) Nah......not me. I'm off to bed with a quilting magazine :0) No finer reading material exists!

Happy Tuesday

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some UFO progress...

Since I have officially made peace with myself for the fact that I have decided to NOT do Bonnie's mystery (at least not at this time), I spent a few more hours this morning tidying up the sewing room again. I haven't taken pictures YET of the nicely organized shelf, two full drawers of FQ's, and bins upon bins of 1.5", 2", 2.5" 3.5" 4.5" strips and squares; shoeboxes of 2" strip cut HST and 2.5" HST. About 30 minutes after DH and Cassie left for ice fishing, I figured I needed to leave the sewing area and spend some time with Candace and Caitlyn, unless I wanted them to kill each other. *(chuckle)* GOSH! Those two just CAN'T play nicely together without supervision :0)

After lunch, we put Wall-E into the DVD player (AGAIN!), and I took that time to pull out my knee-high stack of quilting magazines to remind myself of all the patterns I am dieing to make, but being patient to get to them. :0) However, I did come across a pattern that I think will be perfect for a lap quilt for Julie (running buddy---the one that always threatens to steal MY scrappy blue heart lap quilt everytime she visits.)

By the time DH rolled back home at dark and I had some Chili cooking, I was READY to head back downstairs to unwind my nerves from the "bickering" between Caitlyn/Candace.

I pulled out the Oklahoma Backroads blocks and plugged away at sewing up a bunch more blocks. It is now at a 6x8 setting, and with each block measuring 8" finished, that's already a minimum of 48x64", which I think will be just a perfect size for a snuggly lap quilt. I'll throw on a 2" inner border, a 2" pieced border using the bazillion 2.5" squares I still have, and then finish with another 2" (of 3"?) outer border and call it done. THat would be .... *doing some quick mental math*....60x76 (or 62x78 if I use a 3" outer border) as the final dimensions. The quilt pattern I found for Julie in the magazine measures 44x56", so....I'll make up that one and then let her choose between this one and that.... I might also "adjust" the magazine pattern to make it a bit larger.

I also decide to lay out the Scrappy Irish Chain blocks that I've been piecing as Leaders-n-Enders. I can't BELIEVE how quickly quilts seem to come together when you're not really "working" on it. :0) The layout doesn't match the pattern exactly; it's a bit smaller, but even at this size, it'll be a nice large lapquilt; maybe even a twin size.....let's see: 5 blocks wide with 1/2 blocks on each side, so that's really 6 blocks wide, and 7 blocks tall. Each block measures 9" finished, so 54x63" is current size. Yup---perfect lap size :0) Hey--maybe I'll get all three lap sizes done and let her pick her favorite of the three :0)

And yes...Candace celebrated her birthday rather "uneventfully" tonight. No cake, no fancy wrapping paper, and sadly, no grins from her either! She was grumpy from being awakened from her nap (LATE afternoon nap). We didn't want her sleeping away ONLY to be awake all night!

Tomorrow, all of us teachers head back to the classroom. Cassie and Caitlyn are both excited to get back, but I don't know if that'll be the case for the older kids....
Happy Sunday!

Birthday girl

Today is my Candace' birthday! Cassie came bounding down the stairs earlier than normal saying.."MOM! It's Candace's birthday!!" I hate to admit that I hadn't quite thought about it yet, but she was so excited that she went back up to "see if Candace was awake." She says she was, but I don't think so---she was just so excited to be the first to wish Candace a Happy Birthday!

When Candace emerged, she parked herself at the top of the stairs with a silly little smile on her face. When I grabbed the camera, she suddenly wanted to play "You can't see me, Mom!" What a hoot how the mind works at that age.

Today is the last day of my freedom---vacation ends today and it's back to school tomorrow. I'm okay with that though---it's been a great break, finishing off Cathedral Stars.

Happy Sunday!