Thursday, August 27, 2009


My mother is a firm believer that our family is cursed: whenever we make plans to entertain outside, even if the forecast is predicting sun, it will rain.

Apparently, the curse is rearing its ugly head this week. Tomorrow, my grandmother and parents were supposed to come up to have dinner on our back deck. As of this morning, the forecast is now saying showers for the area tomorrow. Which means that my parents will come up, and my grandmother will, most likely, stay home. Oh, she's not afraid of the rain.


She's afraid of my cats. My little furbaby children who pile on the bed in the morning when I wake up so that they can get snuggles before I get up to go to work. My little monkeys who meet me at the door when I get home at the end of the day. She thinks they are creepy and is scared they will jump on her and eat her. She has built this up into such a huge ordeal in her mind that she cannot fathom having to go into my house.

This is also, mind you, the woman who has held a grudge until now because she has not been invited to my house for dinner. Now you can see why. She won't venture in to use the bathroom unless my mother is in attendance, because she needs protection from my cats.

I can't wait to see what Thanksgiving at my house is like this year. *sigh* If she can't manage dinner inside now, I can't think this is going to get any better.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Christmas! Again!

One thing I'm learning about quilters--Christmas comes every day of the year. Give-aways galore, and I have another one to send you to. Go check out FQS's Jolly Jabber for a chance to win a GORGEOUS charming jelly cake of Wicasset (I've seen these fabrics in person, folks, and they are absolutely drool-worthy!). They're also using this fabric for their new BOM, and as I'm starting my no-buy period (now to October 1), I am sitting on my hands. Well, you know. Not literally...

What are you still reading for?! Go!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long past due post

It has been another wildly busy week. Had guests for dinner last Monday, my in-laws and friends of theirs from out of town. It has been miserably hot and humid here all week, so barbecuing (that doesn't look like it's spelled right, but oh well) outside was both smart and still blisteringly hot. It was a somewhat subdued evening--we had a great time, and the flourless chocolate cake was a huge success (Tyler Florence's recipe, btw), but we got word that morning that my husband's best friends' dad passed away. We attended the funeral Wednesday morning, then wound up going to see my parents, grandmother, brother and aunt that evening to celebrate my brother's 29th. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster.

Work also has me racing nonstop. Between my regular tasks, I've been drafting policy posts for our in-house blog, interviewing candidates for a part-time position that is opening, AND preparing to train two high school kids who will start working with us in the coming weeks.

So, the (very) long and the short of it is that I have barely even had time to LOOK at my sewing machine, let along sit down and sew at it. However, I do have a few photos to share...

A very sweet hand-sewn postcard made of lovely selvages, by the winner of my July give-away, Anya of Hills Creek Quilter. That was incredibly thoughtful, and so pretty! It's shown above on my desk (and yes, that IS my World of Warcraft mousepad. If you don't know I'm a dork by now, people...), but has taken up permanent residence on my bulletin board in my sewing room/office, where I keep my other pieces of inspiration. (We just happen to have a thunderstorm rolling in and there's not a whole lot of good light to be had at the moment.)

Speaking of taking up permanent residence... I went to the dining room to take a photo of the fabrics I've selected to send out for my month in my virtual sewing bee, The Beehive, when I discovered this:

This is one of my other monkeys, Taylor. She has decided that since I've cleaned off the dining room table and she can't sleep on my fabric anymore, that this decorative bowl will be her new bed.

"Look, Mama, is perfect size, and ergonomic, too!"

*sigh* Such is my life.

Oh, the fabrics? What do you think?

There will be a couple of solids going out with these, and I'm looking for for some mosaic-inspired blocks. I'm planning on sashing with unbleached muslin, and having this be a summery, tranquil, beachy-feeling quilt. I'm hoping that there's enough contrast within the group itself--I want it to have a sort of monochromatic feel, like cool blue tile. I'll post more as the project moves along, and I believe I get to start my first blocks next month. Eep!

ETA: OMG, I almost forgot the most exciting part! I finally won a give-away! Judi, over at Green Fairy Quilts, was giving away a layer cake of Sandy Gervais's Tranquility *love and drool*, and I won! Yay!! Thanks, Judi!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You need to go...

...over to visit Green Fairy Quilts for her giveaway!! A layer-cake of Sandy Gervais's Tranquility, which I ADORE, by the way. Go see!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When it's too hot to sew...

Yes, even with the AC right next to the sewing machine, it's too hot to sew. I've done a little here and there, but the bulk of this past week has been spent cleaning and prepping the house and menu, because I'm having guests tomorrow night. 7 people, grilling out on the back deck, so not TOO stressful, but these are "grownups" (as opposed to kids like Jay and myself, haha), my in-laws and out-of-town friends of theirs. And then there's the dietary restrictions to take into consideration: diabetes, vegetarians, gluten allergy... So we're having hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled portabellas for my husband and I. Potato salad and green salad. Veggies, chips and dip to snack on while I cook. And flourless chocolate cake and berries for dessert. With a bit of luck, the cake, which is a birthday cake for my father-in-law and also a bit of an experiment, will at least be edible. If it is, THEN I'll share the recipe. :)

Last on the to-do list is the cake and the dip, and I'm getting up early tomorrow morning to get the baking out of the way before it gets hot again. 90 and humid every day is starting to wear a little thin. I have a couple of window AC units, so I can be a bit more comfortable as long as I stay in one room. Sadly, the larger spaces (living room, dining room, kitchen) are not air-conditioned, and those would of course be the places that needed the most cleaning. *sigh* Oh well, the worst of it's done.

But it's also WAY too hot to iron, and I have a bunch of seams which need pressing before I can can finish the next 12 blocks for AmandaJean's 9-patch quilt-along. I'm staying fairly close to where I should be, and having a ball with it.

Speaking of having a ball... Have I mentioned how excited I am to be taking part in swaps and bees? I have? Because I am absolutely giddy. I have my fabrics and inspiration board done for my bee, The Beehive, which starts next month, and I am waiting with baited breath to get my swapp-ee for the Holiday mini quilt swap over at 4SQS. So much to look forward to! Especially when it cools off enough for me to work a bit more comfortably!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So, Blogger is giving me fits. Has it deleted anyone else's list of blogs they read? It's not even showing me a full list in my side-bar, so some of the blogs I've added more recently are missing. I don't know whether to hold off and see if they fix it, or start trying to recreate the list from scratch. I've only been blogging for a few months, but maybe it's the librarian in me--I'm a voracious reader, and easily was keeping up with 30+ quilt/craft/fabric blogs. *scowls* I'll give them a day, then I'm starting over...

In other news...

I got accepted into Sheridan's (aka Chaletgirl) new bee! It's my first experience with block-swapping, and it's something I've been dying to hop in on. I'm so excited, I honestly have no words. It's scary and exhilarating at the same time. I know, I know, it's just fabric, chill out, right? Wrong. I've never had the opportunity to work with other quilters before--I'm entirely self-taught/book-taught. This, in and of itself, is daunting. Sheridan assured me that there are some vets and some beginners, so I won't stick out as too big of a noob (I hope she's right!). The opportunity to work with other quilters is just thrilling. Hoping for more info soon, provided I pass the essay portion of the test. :D

Monday, August 10, 2009

Janome passes the test!

I spent most of yesterday cheerfully ironing, cutting and sewing. And am just over half-way caught up with AmandaJean's 9-patch a day quilt along!

I'm doing all oriental-inspired prints, a lot of Hoffman I've had for about 8 years, with a few others thrown in. I also chose to do a third print for the center, light, because I'm planning on sashing this in a dark color, likely navy blue or dark olive green. So I want the blocks to kind of glow, and so far I am absolutely in love with these little blocks. I did decide that some of them were getting a little busy, so I sat down for another hour or so last night and cut some green and rust tone-on-tone and marble-y fabrics from my stash to give the eye someplace to rest for some of the busier blocks.

Beyond that, the Janome totally passed the test yesterday. Smooth, quiet, not a broken thread or skipped stitch anywhere. I am so thrilled, I cannot even express this in words. After struggling with the Singer for months, and then being without it for 6 weeks now, I was at my wits end. This is such a blessing. Now, onward to more piecing!!

ETA: I have a half-dozen more 9-patches ready to have their final stitching to be finished blocks, which brings me to 14. Today makes 22 blocks to keep up with the quilt-along. I thought I was 2 weeks behind, but apparently I can't count (or was in denial) and am 3 weeks behind. Will be staying in my air-conditioned sewing room/office (95 and 95% humidity? no thanks!) and finishing up on that this afternoon.

Oh, AND...

Isn't she pretty?!

Friday, August 7, 2009

More pics coming soon!

This week has NOT been productive, but it HAS been eventful! My Singer is still living with the repair folks, so I said the hell with it and went to go and get another machine. I am now the proud owner of a cute little Janome electric. I will post pics once I am home with access to my camera. (I'm on break at work, at the moment.)

I have been insanely busy since the machine purchase on Monday, so at most I've gotten a little hand-piecing done on the interminable white and blue HSTs for my pinwheel blocks. Enough for three or four more blocks, perhaps.

I'm also working this Saturday, which cuts me to one day to be really productive. My goal for Sunday is to get caught up on my 9-patch one-a-day challenge, since I'm now about 2 weeks behind. 14 blocks should be easy, right? Famous last words... If I'm fast and it's not too hot, I may try and tackle sashing blocks for a couple of baby quilts, one for Project Linus and the other for a friend's little girl.

I also signed up for a swap! It's a miniature quilt swap that will have a ship-date in mid autumn. I don't even have any information for my swap-ee yet, so I am sort of aimlessly brainstorming. I AM hoping that I have a fellow blogger, so I can go and stalk them to find out some preferences! :)

So, pictures over the weekend, some catching up to do. And a bit more sad news--another local quilt shop is getting ready to close their doors. So if you're near Fairfield County, CT, stop over at Jigglestitch in Monroe to check out their clearance. I haven't heard yet whether their intention is to move (again) or whether they're closing for good. I'm very much hoping it's the former and not the latter.