Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As usual this time of year, we have been busy, busy, busy around here. I don't remember ever being this late getting started, or finished with all the stuff that we need to get done. Usually, all shopping is finished before Thanksgiving (hopefully) and everything else gets finished up by about the 18th or so. The only thing I really like to have left during that last week is baking cookies...


This year, well... It's been another story. I just could not get organized. The shopping was done on time, but nothing else was. Add to that, my family up in WV did our Christmas celebrating a whole entire WEEK early(!!!) this year, and you will see why my planning got so messed up. : )


But, I am happy to announce that, tonight (Christmas Eve Eve, as we call it in our family), I have finally gotten caught up. I hope. Everything is finally wrapped. The candies are made (and mostly distributed already), cookies are baked, handmade gift projects are done (as of about two hours ago- no more for this year!), and it is time to sit back and enjoy the festivities. At least for tomorrow.

After that, I will be trying to figure out how to cook an entire holiday meal in my little kitchen. That's a first for me. I've never hosted a Christmas dinner before. Never cooked one either... But, I think I might have a little help with it. Or at least, plenty of advice. Thank goodness.

So, tomorrow will be mostly a day of rest. To enjoy being with family. To eat too many sweets. And to play Santa for my Little Miss.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, filled with love and joy,


Stephanie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Featherweights Up For Adoption

Yes, you did read that correctly. I have two lovely little Featherweight 221's that are now up for adoption. My husband has just finished listing them for me over at Ebay. (Because he already has the store set up and ready to go...) They are wonderful little machines and they come to their new home with lots and lots of extras. (Or, at least, they seem like lots and lots to me. I have no idea what half of them are even for!)















The first one can be found here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220708116635&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

(I hope these links work...) It's a lovely little 1951 model.


The second is also a lovely little 1951 model. It also has the Centennial medallion. :)
It can be found here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220708133194&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT


Dang it!! I had a picture of it just a minute ago, but Blogger has apparently made it disappear!! GRRRRR!!!!! I hate it when that happens! (Does anyone have a clue why that happens??)

Anyway, both these machines are really great and I'm sad to see them go... But, I never use them and my room is so cluttered... This is my first move in a long term and probably on-going decluttering crusade. I really want them to go to a good and loving home. If you are in the market for a Featherweight, please head on over and help me out. I don't think you will regret it.

A thank you and some assorted ramblings...

First off, I want to take a minute to say a great big "Thank You!!" to all of the kind ladies who have left me such wonderful comments over the past week or two. Your kind words have warmed my heart, and they are very greatly appreciated. I would also like to apologize for, as is usually the case, being so very far behind in answering my emails... I have tried to catch up, but at this point in the holiday season, it might never happen. Please know that I did read and appreciate your comments, and I am grateful that you choose to read my ramblings (especially when there are so many other blogs you could choose to be reading).


Also, sorry for the lack of pictures this time around, but I couldn't seem to find anything that was not somehow intended for a Christmas gift, or already posted previously. I hope to dig up something interesting to look at for the next post.


Let's see... Oh, yes. I have gotten a couple of questions about the cardinal on the mug rug that was posted on the swap post. That cardinal is from the pattern called "Cardinal Winter Candle Mat" by Annelle's Originals. I found the pattern over here:
http://www.prairiepointjunction.com/woolfeltpatterns.html at Wool Felt Central. They have TONS of cute stuff to choose from. I did make the actual pattern (Christmas gift again) but for the mug rug, I took just one little cardinal and a few holly leaves and sort of improvised. I thought it was really cute... And I'm quite happy that so many others did as well. It gives me hope that my swap partner will be very happy with her gift. When it finally arrives... (Post Office estimated that it should get to her on Thursday, so let's hope they were right and it hasn't been delayed somehow... This international mailing stuff is all new to me. I'm not sure what to think about it.)


Otherwise, it's been quiet but busy over here. I've been trying to get organized enough to do Christmas properly. This is quite an involved month-long thing for me most years. I love to decorate and spend weeks making homemade candies. Then the last week before Christmas is for cookie baking and wrapping whatever hasn't already been wrapped...

This year, I'm off to a very slow start. Quilty gifts are not finished yet, nothing is wrapped, the candy molds and tins are not unpacked yet (they got shoved in a corner somewhere during the move...), and I don't have as many decorations out as I normally would like. I did finally get the ornaments onto the tree. It only took about 4 days of looking at a bare tree... And the tree is still pretty sparse. Turns out, most of the ornaments I have are breakable. So, I used everything that was not very fragile down towards the bottom of the tree- in the toddler "danger" zone. And some of the breakable stuff is at the top. And quite a bit of what I would have put on the tree normally, is still in the boxes waiting for next year... I'm OK with that.


Part of the problem with getting going this season is rather unexpected for me. Little Miss has been a Daddy's Girl since- well, basically before birth. But suddenly, she has decided that she wants... me! Constantly. A year ago, I would have been so ecstatic about all of this. Now that she's more than 1 1/2 years old, it's not as great as I imagined it might be. I have not developed the proper skills for dealing with housework while holding a toddler... (My sister-in-law can cook, clean, and wash dishes all while holding a baby on her hip... I've seen it.) I never needed to worry about learning this when she was small, because she always wanted someone else to hold her. Now, it's all me tripping over her, her screaming to be picked up, me trying to cook without dropping something on her... You get the picture. Plus, she's heavy now! It makes my back hurt just thinking about it...

So, we're now trying to work out how to get everything done without too many tears. I suspect that this will be a year with fewer candies and cookies. But that's OK with me, too. I hope my family feels the same way. I'm going to concentrate of finishing gifts and enjoying my family. But we will have plenty of junk food too, don't worry! That's part of what makes Christmas so much fun.

So, hopefully, I'll be back in a couple of days. And with any luck, I'll be able to find something to take a picture of... See you next time!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas must be early... part 2

OK, so here we are. Isn't this table runner gorgeous? I know. Unfortunately, I am not the best photographer in the world (as I'm sure you've noticed)... But I tried.


If I'm remembering my last trip to the quilt shop properly, the fabrics are the 12 days of Christmas by Kate Spain. Does that sound right?
Gorgeous.

This was supposed to show the back. I love the little stripe of ornament fabric down the middle of the runner...

And here are a couple of shots of it in it's new home... Or, this is where it will live until I come up with a place that will show it off even better...
Which hasn't happened yet. Mainly because all spaces big enough to hold it are also low enough for Little Miss to reach very easily. And she's been on an artistic streak with her crayons lately... And that would be so bad I can't even think up words to describe it.




So, yes. It will live here on my table for the holidays. And I will get to look at it every day. And it will make me very happy. :)
(Looking at this picture makes me think I might want to get rid of that tablecloth... :/ )
Let's see... what else do I have to say?
Other reasons that made it seem like Christmas came early:
1. This wasn't the only package that came for me yesterday. I also got a beautiful book that came rather as a surprise. We think we must have ordered it back when my husband was feeling generous, but it was on back order or something. And then we both forgot about it. It showed up yesterday and it's very nice... (Yay! More goodies for me! Speaking of goodies....)
2. This morning I woke up and staggered to the computer to check my usual haunts... And I went to my email... And there was a letter from Monica over at happy zombie
http://www.thehappyzombie.com/blog/ . I LOVE her blog! Everything I have seen there is just gorgeous. And she has recently designed the most fabulous fabric. I just fell in love with it back when she first showed us a sneak peek back in.... April, I think it was. And I've drooled over it every time I've seen it since. You've heard me mention it before in a couple of posts...
Well, she's been having a giveaway. Or actually, it's a series of giveaways. She is giving away charm packs to a few lucky people who haunt her blog. Of course, I've been there every day or so to see the new posts and to comment... It turns out that... I WON!! I was so amazed/excited/ astounded. (I never seem to win anything.) I couldn't even type my address for her in the answering email. (OK, I did type it, but it was really difficult to stay calm that long when all I really wanted to do was jump up and down and squeal with delight... I think the only thing that stopped me from doing exactly that was the fact that Little Miss was still sleeping. And also, my husband might have taken me to the loony bin for evaluation if I started acting like that...)
The crazy thing about it is that I actually won yesterday, and she actually sent me the email yesterday. But, when my husband is home, I don't usually get the chance to check it more than maybe once a day... Obviously, the email came after that. But, I was actually at her blog reading and commenting on her day 5 post. And it never even occurred to me to flip back and see who won the day 4 drawing... Crazy. (I know several people who know me pretty well are now nodding and agreeing that yes, I am generally crazy... Oh, well. They might be right.)
So, basically, that was an amazing way to start the day.
3. Let's see... Oh, yeah. We went to eat with my husband's family at Cracker Barrel for lunch today. It was really yummy, and the company was wonderful. And before we left, my husband got me another piece for my nativity scene... (I think you can see it in the background of the pictures above. Probably not very clearly...) It's a Willow Tree nativity. And it is pretty much completely complete now. I can't think of anything else it needs, anyway. Although, maybe I should check out their website... Maybe they have new pieces this year? Anyway, he got me another set of stars for the other side. I thought it sort of balances everything out a little better. (OK, I'm braced and waiting for the OCD comments that some of my family members are getting ready to make. Take your best shot. Hubby does it rather frequently...)
And, I guess that's really all I have to say for now. Because it is soooo late. And Little Miss is gonna get up soooo early! So, good night everybody. I'll try to bore you some more tomorrow. ;) If I have time... Happy stitching!

Christmas must be early... part 1

I've done it again... I've taken waaaaayyyy too long between posts. It's not that I don't have anything to talk about... Well, ok. Sometimes, I don't really have anything even remotely interesting to say. I'm actually a pretty boring person, and I'm ok with that. Most excitement turns out, in our experiences, to be bad. (Trips to the ER, serious illness, robberies, etc... No, not with me personally, but friends and/or family members. So we really like boring.)

But recently, I've been pretty busy. With the holidays so near, I'm sure everybody is sort of scrambling around, trying to get things done. That's what's been going on around here. Mostly, I've been trying to get organized and start all the seemingly millions of things that I like to do for Christmas. And mostly, I don't seem to be accomplishing all that much... But that's alright. It's only day 4 of the month- for a couple more hours, anyway... I still have time.

I had to break up this post into two sections, because- for some reason that I don't understand- Blogger will only let me load 5 pictures per post... So without further ado, allow me to present... Yesterday's Mail!!



At first, I was a bit confused when my husband handed this to me. He told me it was from Montana, and wanted to know what I ordered... I thought about it really hard, but couldn't remember ordering anything. And then, it dawned on me- my Secret Santa Swap was here!!
As you can see, I was way too excited to even think of waiting until Christmas. I ripped the package open before I even remembered I had to take a picture. This is what I found inside:

Aren't they cute? And I love love love the little gnoma clause tags! And I know you can't read them, so I'll translate. The larger package with the pink is for me, "the queen" and the one with the blue is for my husband "the queen's consort". :) I love that! The small square package was labeled "for Little Miss". And the post card was gorgeous! (Have I mentioned that my husband loves Montana? It's his favorite state, and I think he would like to move there. If all of our families weren't back this direction, he would have tried it already...)
It turns out that my swap partner, Wendy from http://http://why-knot-kwilt.blogspot.com/ , is not only talented, but also very kind and thoughtful! So, Christmas came for everyone yesterday, and we enjoyed it very much. Thank you so much, Wendy!!
I have to confess that when I was going through the posts over at
http://http://cottoncharmquilts.typepad.com/charmingchatter/ , I saw her post and drooled... But, I told myself "Self, do not get your hopes up! It's probably not yours!" But, it was!! Oh, you want to know what was in the packages, don't you? OK.



This gorgeous little mug rug was all lovingly wrapped up in my husband's package. Isn't it wonderful? I love it! And so does he. I'm pretty sure it got broken in this morning with his cup of coffee. (Fortunately, it did not acquire any stains in the process. I inspected it when I realized he'd been using it. ;) )
Thank you Wendy. It's lovely. Truly.


And this is what was in the package for Little Miss. Isn't he cute??





Here they are together. She really seems to like him, and it was so kind of you to include my family in your swap. Thank you Wendy!
Well, that's my allotment of photos for this post. So, now I'm going to have to start another so I can show you what was in my package. Stay tuned. I'll be right back.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Secret Santa Swap

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday yesterday. Normally, today is the day that I do NOT leave the house. I despise the crowds and the stores and the insane hours that everyone expects me to wake up at... Basically everything about today is terrible. I've done the whole Black Friday thing, and I did not like it and do not ever plan to do it again.

But, today I made a slight exception to my "don't leave the house" rule. We just got back from the post office. (And that is the ONLY place we went, too!) I am pleased to announce that my items for the Secret Santa Swap are in the mail! And in the mail early! That's the part that tickles me. I hope they will arrive at their destination in a timely manner. (The USPS says it will take about two weeks...)

I really hope my swap partner likes her goodies. I've been sort of worrying about that. Does anyone else get this nervous about making gifts for people you don't know? I keep getting this horrible image of her looking through the blog posts and saying "Eeeewww. I really hope that's not mine!" I know its silly. And I know everyone always says that its the thought that counts, as long as you do your best, etc, etc, etc. But still...

I really had no idea what to make. And after a few weeks of indecision, I have finally decided on the following:


I mentioned earlier that I've wanted to work with felt for a while now, and when I found this project I thought it would be a nice gift. Candle mats and mug rugs seem to be all the rage in blogland lately, so that's what she's gonna get...
This is the nice Christmas-y candle mat. I actually got to use some of those decorative stitches on my machine for the first time. I know that it isn't perfect, but I'm quite happy with the results.

But when it was finished, it didn't seem like enough... So, I made her a cute little felt mug rug too. And after I made it, I realized that I had better hope she's not like my sister. (My sister is deathly afraid of birds. We have no idea why, she just is.) I have scoured her blog and can find no evidence of a bird phobia, so I hope we're OK... I personally think that there is not much that's more cheerful on a winter's day than sipping tea or cocoa and watching brightly colored cardinals outside of my window. So, I thought it would be the perfect pattern to use. And also, its more winter than Christmas, so she could use it for several months if she wanted to.



Here's a shot of them side by side....
And, that's what my swap partner is getting in the mail. Well.....
OK, I confess. I may have tossed a pincushion and some other little surprises into the package as well. (My family says I go overboard at Christmas. They're probably right, but it's just so much fun!) But I'm not telling what they are, because if I did, it would spoil the surprise. Right? Right!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A squishy, and a swap update...

I know, I know... I've been quiet for a bit longer than I planned... Again. But, it's really just been nice and boring here. That's all. Not much to talk about. Little Miss had her shots- YUCK! And we've been quietly hanging out around the house. I've been attempting to figure out the Christmas situation. I'm planning to knock out my shopping this week, I hope (cross your fingers for luck for me), and I've been trying to get a handle on handmade gifts... You know- trying to analyze whether or not I'm on track, if they're gonna be finished in time, that kind of thing. So far, I'm in pretty reasonable shape. I think. I hope.


So, I was trying to think up something to say, that wasn't too boring, or a rant about something you didn't want to hear... And to my rescue comes this, in the mail today...





A lovely little squishy package! What was in it, you ask?













These! Lovely little I Spy squares, in a variety of sizes. I think there might be enough there for a baby quilt... (I know I didn't do a very good job at spreading them all out for the camera, but I did look at every square, and they are so cute!!)

These come to me courtesy of Sandy over at
Sew this is my blog...
http://sewthisismyblog.blogspot.com/

A while back, she was going through her scraps for I Spy fabrics and she generously offered to send some extra little goodies out to anyone who needed them. Thank you so much Sandy!! I love them and I can't wait to get started on my quilt... Just as soon as I get Christmas over with.


Speaking of Christmas (again)...

I have finally made a choice for my Secret Santa Swap project. No more changing my mind!





This is what I'm planning to use.









Here's another shot. The colors might be a little better here...




Yes. It is felt. This project will be a first for me. I've wanted to try felt for a while, but hadn't had a chance. So, I'm really excited about this one. So far, it's looking pretty good. Can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll post pictures when we get closer to the deadline... You know. After it's finished.

Also, I saw a post a little bit ago... For another swap. You can call me crazy if you want. I sort of feel that way (most of the time, actually). But... I signed up to join it anyway...
It's a pincushion swap over at http://www.pigtalesandquilts.com/. Sounds like a lot of fun. And I've been on a pincushion kick for a couple of months anyway, so I shouldn't have too much extra work to do to get them ready to go out. Yay! (Now I just need to get that darn button over to my sidebar...)
So, I guess that's all the news we have for now... Looks like a boring, but contented, week ahead of us. Visits with relatives, some Christmas shopping, and maybe a little stitching of some sort... A nice calm normal week. Just like we like them... Happy stitching and I'll see you all next time!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! We (or shall I say, I) haven't been up to much lately. Mostly, recovering from last weekend's huge shopping trip, and then getting ready for our little Halloween party. So, there is absolutely NO progress to report on anything... All I have gotten done is to worry over what I should do for the Secret Santa swap... I keep changing my mind. I know, I know. I really need to just get over it and do something already! I keep telling myself the same thing! So far, hasn't helped.

So, you're just stuck with a few snaps from yesterday, instead of fabric-y stuff to look at. For those of you who are not related, and therefore don't care about family pics- Sorry. Maybe next time...

Without further ado, for all the grandmas and aunts... Presenting a very cute little devil:


Oh, wait. First we have one of the pumpkins... The other one was here a second ago... Now where did Blogger put it and why??? Seriously, I was just looking at it and then it disappeared! Anyway! This is the new model. Last year's was a witch (and was posted here for all to see just a few seconds ago...) Supposed to be a princess, I think.


Here we go: cute little devil. I tried and tried to get decent pictures, but all I got was some action shots. She did not want to hold still! (And, no. It was not because of a sugar rush. This was before all of the cakes and candies and such.)


Here's another version. At least you can see her face. I love how the horns look like they're glowing. I have no idea what sort of fabric they were made of (although I am certain that it was nothing found in nature), but it really did bounce the flash back perfectly, didn't it?
And, now... Better brace yourself. This is an almost unheard of thing here... You are about to see a picture of me. That was taken willingly. (By me, actually.) It will probably not happen again. Or, at least, not soon... I just remembered that there is already another picture of me in a previous post... Darn! Forgot about that... Anyway, here's my costume for the party:



As costumes go, I'm not sure it was very good. I've always figured that when you dress up, you are trying to look nothing like you really are. And some people might try to argue that I am more than a little bit batty already! ;) So, maybe it was more a case of my true nature leaking out, like I suggested was Little Miss' case when she latched onto the devil horns... Of course, when I said it about her, I was only joking. In my case, I think its more of an 80/20, as a friend of mine would say... (Translation for those of you lucky enough to not know this particular joker, or anyone like him: 80% joking, 20% serious.)


So, I guess that's all the news that is news. At least for now. This week, we have a well baby checkup- YUCK!! And I will be making some sort of decision and sticking to it (I hope) for the swap. And we will be rearranging everything back out of where we shoved it to hide it for the party... So, basically, a pretty boring week. Which is how we like them. See you next time!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Joy of S.E.X.

(That would be Stash Enchancing eXpeditions, you dirty minded little things!!)
















An overview of the whole pile...


A couple more close-ups...









Isn't she cute?
'Nuff said?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some random info and a long(ish) story...

No pictures today. Sorry.

The good news is that you should get to see some pics in a few days. My best friend is coming down for a visit, and I will be taking her to at least a couple of quilt shops that she's never been to. One of which is having a "going out of business/early retirement sorta sale". (Seriously, that is what the sign in the window says... The notice on the website says they are relocating the shop northward to some state I've never even been to, much less lived near. That kinda sucks.)
And my sweet husband gave me a little bit of play money, so obviously, there will be reason to show off at least a few little lovelies.


I got to drop off some flimsies yesterday. It's a new longarmer that I've never used before, this being the first time hubby has agreed to let me get anything quilted since we moved here... actually, I think its the first time he told me to get anything quilted by someone else EVER! He is of the opinion that I should personally quilt absolutely everything that I make. In a perfect world, that might work. (Especially if he wants to go out and buy me my own longarm machine plus accessories...) But I just don't have the time to get everything finished in time for Christmas- especially not if I have to hand quilt it all myself (and believe me, it would have to be hand done, because my machine work totally reeks! It is not for gift giving!) I have been slowly practicing my machine quilting, but it isn't up to par... So, I personally do not see anything wrong with getting a little help.

I'm a little worried when the bill comes, though. He knows what I used to pay my old longarmer for her excellent work. (Oh, I MISS her so much!! Why, oh why, did we have to move away from her?) And he almost hyperventilates every time he thinks of it. This is not going to be a custom job, but rather an all-over sort of pattern. As a result it is much less expensive. (Either that, or she is really under-selling her skills. These prices are very low!) But the quilts on display are well done, so I don't have any problems with either price or quality of designs. In fact, I'm amazed that I can give her five flimsies to quilt and still pay less than half what I would have paid for three or four at the other lady's studio. Way less, actually. Hubby won't see it that way, though. Hope he doesn't try to conveniently "forget" that he told me to send them out. (BTW, I think that HE thinks that I only sent out TWO flimsies, so please don't rat on me. They're Christmas presents that he doesn't need to see until then. Thanks.)

(If anyone needs the name of a good longarmer near Beckley West Virginia, let me know. I would be glad to give you her contact info. I love her work.)

If all goes well, I will be spending a good part of December binding quilts. YAY!


I seem to remember promising you the story of why I took an unexpected vacation last week. So here it is, and feel free to skip it if you aren't interested...

My husband, as happens every month or so (that's just the nature of the job), left one work site to head to another. He had the weekend in between, so he came home to be with us for a couple of days. Little Miss was sooooo excited to hear that Daddy was coming home! That's all she said for hours that day. But when he got here, she decided to play shy. She spent most of the weekend smiling at him from across the room, blowing him the occasional kiss, with just a few quick cuddles mixed in randomly...

But, boy, when she saw him start packing up his things on Sunday to head back to work!! You never saw such a spectacle! She clamped onto him so tightly, screaming and crying and calling "Dadda, Dadda", poor guy couldn't even move! So, here he is, trying to pry her off so that he can pack, calmly talking to her and looking like his heart is breaking... And there she is, clinging and crying... And I'm sitting over here, minding my own business (which, at the time, was trying not to yawn so hugely that my head split in two- having been battling insomnia for most of the night)... And I hear him say, as he's prying her fingers off his shirt for the tenth time, "What are you trying to do? Go to work with Daddy??"

Well. The transformation was just miraculous. Instantly, the tears disappeared. She sat up and let go of him. She turned to me, waved and said "Bye. Bye." (Yes, she says it as two separate sentences, and not one word.) Then, for good measure, she blew me two kisses. And she turned back around and looked at her daddy with a look that clearly said "Let's go. What are we still hanging around here for?"

Somehow, and I still am not sure how it happened, I suddenly found myself packing for a week in a hotel room with a toddler. A tiny hotel room. With no means of transportation for shopping, sightseeing, etc. because my husband would need the truck to get to and from work. I blame sleep deprivation for allowing myself to be talked into it. And, off we went, less than an hour after she decided he was not leaving her behind.

We survived. And I do not intend to do it again. Unless I have my own vehicle. At least then we can go for lunch or something... Or to the quilt shop I didn't get to visit...

Interestingly, she waved goodbye to Daddy yesterday with no signs of wanting to go with him. She must not miss that little hotel room either. : )

Until next time, happy stitching!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stupid Things That Force Me To Revise My Christmas List... and other stuff.


Stupid thing number one: Blogger will NOT let me move this picture down! So, anyway, I've been away from my computer for about a week. We had an unexpected road trip. Long story (which, knowing me, you will probably be subjected to eventually). Of course, I took the time to load up a few projects for the road. This was one. I figured, no problem, I'll just get my last two stockings all knitted up- probably on the drive to and from... WRONG! (Here's the stupid part.) This is as far as I got. Period. The reason? Stupidity. I ran out of yarn! How dumb is that? In my defense, all three of the other stockings I have done (with the same yarn) had enough yarn in one ball to get the job done. How much more did I need? Only 5 stinking rounds! This is not the end of the stupidity though. When this happened, I thought, no biggie, I'll just work on the other one... Wrong again! I had forgotten to grab my stitch holders. And I didn't have anything else to stick the darn thing on... (And, believe me, I looked!) *sigh* Oh, well. I did take other things, I just didn't really want to do them. This leads to stupid thing number two (or three, now that Blogger is acting up on me).


I took a UFO project to work on at the hotel. A yo-yo elephant pattern from Indigo Junction, I believe. Very cute! It's been languishing on a shelf for more than a year, all pieces cut out and ready, just needing to be assembled. Since I set myself a goal of finishing 5 UFO's this year, it seemed logical to take it and put it together. (I don't have a picture, because Blogger wouldn't let me load any more to this post... Ok, and also, I forgot to snap a shot of it before I loaded the pictures onto the computer...) Once it was together, I noticed how stupid I had been... The head was too small! When I cut it out, I didn't leave a seam allowance! What kind of so-called quilter doesn't remember to leave a seam allowance? Oh, well. It's ok, really. I wasn't actually in love with the fabrics I used anyway. And I'm still gonna count it as a finish, so who cares if I like it? Maybe I'll try again some time...


All of this is dumb, silly little mistakes that are mostly annoying. Nothing more. But the real kicker happened today. It's the one that made me question my sanity a bit. I've never done anything like it before, because I've always been very paranoid about something like this happening... Here goes with the story:



So, I'm in my sewing room, playing. Well, actually, more like work at the beginning- ironing a bunch of flimsies and their backings in the hopes that I can get them sent out for quilting. And while I was at it I just ironed everything... I carefully, as always, turned off the iron, and then for good measure I unplugged it. Just like always. (I told you- I'm kinda paranoid like that. I never could understand why you would always see on TV shows the couples driving off for vacation, and then 20 minutes down the road they have to turn around because she left the iron on...) After unplugging the iron, I got down to some serious play. A bit later, I needed the iron again, and while I was using it, my husband calls... He needs this, he wants that, can I do this... You get the picture. (Do you see where this is going yet?) So, I turn off all my lights and put down my toys and gather up everything he needs and off I go.... And, of course, I get mostly there and suddenly, I'm struck by panic! OMG!!! I don't remember unplugging the iron!!! And then, all I can think is "Did I turn it off? Did I leave it on?" I have no idea! I call my husband and ask him. (Like he would know, right? He wasn't even there!) He assures me that he was sure that I did. He thinks he remembers me saying that I was doing it. Well, was that the first time you called or was that the last time you called??? 'Cause I had the iron on both times! Oh, yes, he's sure that I turned it off, just bring the stuff, everything's fine... So, I did. But, all the time, there's this horrible nagging thought, what if I didn't???? Luckily, he made a phone call. Thank you, dear God in Heaven (yes, that IS a prayer) that you let me remember this in time, and thank you for having someone, in possession of a house key, who was close enough to stop by on the way home from work to check on this iron. Because- it was ON! When all was said and done, and I was over my panic and heart failure (nearly), the report we got was: yes, it was on, no damage done, but the ironing board was very hot! (Thank goodness for that annoying metal iron holder attached to the end, there...) Needless to say, I have now added an iron to my Christmas wish list... One of those fancy, expensive ones (at least compared to my little dinky "stuffmart" special) that annoyingly turns itself OFF after X amount of time... Just in case of another hugely stupid moment like today. Preferably cordless, if they can find it...



So, here's what I was working on this afternoon. I made two pairs of earrings! From my tiny little supply of Holiday Happy from Happy Zombie. I just love these little gnoma claus guys! (Ok, actually I love all of the fabrics... I wish I could afford to buy a ton more of them, but oh well... I'll just have to hoard every little scrap, huh?)







And here's another shot. I'm thinking of adding some little tiny pompoms to the hats, as soon as I get some glue. I can't believe there is no glue in my crafts room!

And, I learned that it is hard to take a picture of your ear. Of all the shots, this was the best. Sorry about that...








As you can see from the little button on the side, I have joined the Secret Santa Swap. (And I finally figured out how to put that button up there!) I've been thinking about that a lot. What will I make? What will my swap partner like?

The answer? I have no idea! Yet.


But here are a couple of shots of some yummy holiday fabrics from my stash...




They may or may not show up again later... I'll let you know.



Unfortunately, my swap partner did not conveniently leave me a message on my last post telling me what sorts of things she likes... I have gone over to her blog and read... well, all of it, really. And I still don't seem to have a good sense of what she would like... So, I might just have to wing it. Because I need to get started very very soon. Maybe I'll end up with something in Christmas-y colors, but not necessarily so Christmas-y that she couldn't use it for at least part of the rest of the year?? We'll see. Maybe we will all be surprised at what turns up- including me! ; )

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm back...

And, no. I did not forget to post. It's just been a very slow couple of weeks, sewing-wise. Nothing has gotten finished. And several of the things I've been working on, I can't show yet. Not even in-progress shots. Because they will be gifts when they're finished. I don't know for sure that the recipients glance at this blog, but I don't want to risk it. Just in case. So, no pictures of those until after they are done and given away.

So, let's catch up on what news I do have...

I still need one more person to sign up for my "Pay It Forward". I have my first two participants, and I have had a few questions, but no one who has said "Yes!! Sign me up!" and I need that one more person. So, please sign up. (My second person, Robyn from over at http://robynshomeinthemountains.blogspot.com/ has a great blog that you should definitely check out, by the way. I'm still reading the older posts but she's got some great stuff.)

Also, I have joined up with the Secret Santa Christmas Swap at http://www.ouvragesduneacadienne.blogspot.com/. It sounds like its gonna be fun. (I'm trying to get the button posted here, but so far I've had no luck. Not sure if the problem is me or that button. I thought I had finally figured it out, but...) I have gotten my partners name and started to explore her blog (which I would send you to, but then she'd know who I was, and the surprise would be ruined... Sorry). And I'm trying to decide what to make for her. Obviously, there will be a Christmas theme, but I'm still trying to decide if I should do a traditional look or something more playful... Any suggestions? And wouldn't it be fabulous if she just happened to wander by and answer that for me? :)

I didn't want another post with no pictures at all, so I found a few that I haven't shown you yet.

These are the other teacup pincushions I made a while back. I love them, but I have no idea what to do with them. They're just sitting there, waiting... But I've been using the other two constantly. Love them!

Any guesses what this is?
I'll give you a hint: My wonderful, fabulous, sweet husband got it for me...


It's my Christmas present. (See these bundles? One is 14 FQs and the other is 24 FQs. And there are 2 more identical bundles!! If I did my math right, that's 19 yards!) He had to let me have it, to check and make sure that we got what we ordered. But, I have to wrap it and put it under the tree. And he made me promise I wouldn't use any of it until after Christmas morning.
They are fabrics from the Patrick Lose Satinesque line. I searched everywhere and no one carries them, apparently. We finally found them on ebay.



And this is the cute free gift she sent with our order! Very unexpected, but a nice surprise. I would definitely order there again. If he would let me... (It's his ebay account so I have to have permission to shop. I know, I could get my own, but why bother when his is there?)
I guess that's all the news for now. Until next time, happy stitching!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Second Call for Sign-Ups

Hey everybody! I'm still looking for two more lovely and generous people to sign up for my Pay It Forward. I have one volunteer (Lisa) but I still need two more, please.

For a review of the Pay It Forward project, please refer back to my previous post:
http://queenoftheunfinishedprojects.blogspot.com/2010/09/pay-it-forward-or-i-need-some.html


and also this post from Lena, the master-mind behind the whole idea:
http://itseamstobesew.blogspot.com/2010/09/it-seams-to-be-sewpay-it-forward.html

It sounds like a lot of fun, and I hope you will join me. Just leave me a comment below. Thanks! I can't wait to get started!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pay It Forward (or I Need Some Volunteers)

So, if any of you have been hanging out over at Lana's (http://itseamstobesew.blogspot.com/)
[Oh, I soooo hope that link works!] you will maybe have seen that I have signed up for my first ever swap... sort of. See, it's just a little different, in my understanding, in that I'm not actually gonna swap with anyone. We are going to pay it forward instead. Lana, being a pro, has actually decided to expand just a bit and take on four people, but as I'm new, I think I will stick to the original rules. And maybe next time, I will get braver. : )


For any who have not been by Lana's blog, here's how it will work. Lana is going to send me a wonderful handmade little surprise at some point in the future. (Which I will show to you when it gets here, yes.) In return, I am looking for three people to pay it forward to. What this means is: I need three volunteers please! Three wonderful people who will share their time and talents. Please leave me a comment (and an email address) so that we can have a nice little chat if you would like to be one of my three. Each of my three volunteers will, at some point in the next year (yes, you have 365 whole days!), receive some sort of handmade gift from me. And in return, each of my three volunteers will go out and find three people that they can send gifts to. And then those three will find three more, etc. etc. until we have (hopefully) everybody getting and giving gifts. At least, that's the plan.


I have been assured that ANY sort of handmade gift is fine. Quilted, knitted, embroidered... anything you want to make. It does not have to be large. So you don't need time to finish three huge quilts or anything. All you need is the time to create something for someone in the hopes that they will enjoy it. (Some suggested items have been placemats, napkins, pincushions, wallhangings... those sorts of sizes.) And you have a whole year to get them finished and in the mail. So, any of you can surely find the time to have a little fun and give a little joy, right?


Please help me out and sign up to be one of my volunteers. I'm sure we'll all have fun, right? Hope to talk to you soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just a quick note...

For some reason, Blogger has dated my last several posts strangely. And as a result, none of them seem to be showing up here on Quilters Blogs. I finally got around to posting several of the pictures I've been promising. If anyone is interested in seeing of them, you'll have to click back to find them. Sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully, it'll all get worked out soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Other stuff I've been messing around with...

Just a few quick shots of some of the little projects I've been messing with lately...





One of several Christmas stockings that I'm knitting up. Several years ago, I did them for pretty much the whole family. Then I had to do one for my husband when he came along. Then my daughter needed one (which she is getting this year, because I didn't get it done last year), and now I've decided I need some for my adorable little stocking holders. They'll just be for decoration, not for holding actual presents. Probably. But I'd like to get four before Christmas, if I can. Number two is still on needles right now...






This is the baggie and the card I sent along with the Scooby quilt for the new baby down south.








And this is what was in the bag. I made some for my nephew when he was born, and I think they come in very handy. I try to give at least a few to every boy I send baby shower gifts to, now. Very soft flannel, not very absorbent but excellent for deflecting. Sort of like that diaper commercial they aired a while back... ; )





And lastly, some of the pincushions I've been making. I love the little demitasse cups! They are so cute! These were the first two. I've made several more since. Now I don't know exactly what to do with them. I'm pretty sure I don't need quite that many of them....
The little cube is paper pieced. I found the pattern over at the Moda Bake Shop. I used scraps left over from a layer cake recipe quilt there. Its cute. It would look better if I had taken a little more time with it, and I think I may have overstuffed slightly. It'll still work fine. If I ever get around to using it. Right now I'm using the other two because, as I said, I love them! (I sort of have a thing for dishes... But I'm not nearly as bad as my SIL. She has dishes everywhere in her house! You name a space, it has dishes in it. Wanna hear a secret? She doesn't use her dishwasher for washing dishes- because she uses it as storage for some of her dishes! I would have a lot more dishes if my husband would let me, but I would never ever put my dishwasher out of commission like that! Note to my husband: feel free to test this promise by buying me some more pretties. The only ones that will sit around in the dishwasher are the ones just washed/about to be washed! Promise!)
Ok, that's all for today. Company will be here very soon, and it's nearly naptime as well. I'll talk to you all in just a few days. Until then, happy stitching!


I forgot all about Scooby!

I almost forgot about the baby quilt I was working on. It's been finished for about a month now. We mailed it out about three weeks ago. Last weekend, it came back. My husband is now hand delivering it. Apparently, everyone seems to be having trouble finding these new condos they live in. They say they've been having a ton of trouble getting deliveries... So, with any luck they'll get their package before the baby gets here in a few days....





This is a shot of the top of the quilt. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I really hope that all those doctors and scientists are right about babies liking bright colors. 'Cause these colors are bright! But it came out better than I feared when I was buying the fabric. Actually, after I got the Scooby fabric all fussy-cut up, I liked it a lot more. Maybe it was a good thing that this is the only print I could find.







Here's a wider shot, although a bit blurry, showing the borders. They are the same fabric as the backing.













And here's the label. They swore that the baby's name wasn't gonna be a last minute change up. I hope they were telling the truth. I like the Scooby block here. Not a fancy label, but it'll do. Has most of the information that they are likely to find important. And I'll eventually get the pictures into my quilt journal with any details that weren't on the label.

Still inching along, not really getting anything finished. Just a lot of little bits and pieces. Still hoping for a finish or two by the end of the week. Not sure if I'll get there or not, but, fingers crossed. Little Miss could be a bit more cooperative if she wanted to be. Like maybe taking her naps. And not imitating a beaver. I really hate teething. How much longer until it's over with??
That's all the news for now, I suppose. We really are pretty boring around here... Usually, our biggest excitement is the weekly trip for groceries. Oh, no, wait. We do have a little difference in our routine this week. Company's coming tomorrow.
Little Miss is getting visitors. Her aunt, grandma, and maybe great-grandma are coming to see her. (My sister, mom, and grandma.) I guess great-grandma is coming. I haven't been told otherwise. Of course, I haven't talked to any of them for a few days. So, we will have a little break in our routine this weekend. Who knows, maybe I'll get to play downstairs for a bit. Or maybe get out of the house and do something fun that my husband won't take me to do. (This includes a broad variety of entertainments, actually. Most notably- window shopping. He acts like he's allergic to stores. Won't stay in one for more than 10-15 minutes without the complaints pouring out... No, actually, now that I think about it, the complaints usually start before we get the car parked... )
So, that's really all there is to talk about at the moment. We'll be back in a few days, hopefully with something really interesting to talk about... Maybe. : ) Until next time, happy stitching!

Tablerunner


Here's the tablerunner (at the flimsy stage) that was in the background of the pictures from yesterday. (No, the colors on the design wall have nothing to do with it. I just threw it up on top of everything else so I could get a good look at it.) I bought this as a kit years ago. (I can't even remember exactly how many years. I know it was well before my husband and I started dating...) I don't think I ever really intended to put it together. I just wanted the fabrics, and I knew I would find a use for them eventually... Turns out I used them as a tablerunner! Go figure. : P
The fabrics are from Red Rooster. They're the Jennifer Chiaverini fabrics from about the time that I was reading Cross Country Quilters. I'm pretty sure that's why I wanted them. They were based on that fabric from the book. I think. Not at all my usual color choices, but this fall, they suited me very well.







Here's a close up of the quilting. Or at least, it was intended to be. The quilting isn't the greatest, but I'm happy with it. This is the first time I've been brave enough to actually quilt anything on my machine. I have a lot of room for improvement, and I can see pretty much every flaw, but I'm ok with that. I've proven to myself that, with practice, I might get to the point where I can machine quilt reasonably well. I'm looking forward to more practice. As soon as I can find another project that I'm willing to risk ruining..




This is the finished runner, binding and all. Stuck back up on my design wall next to yet another WIP. (That's a layer cake flimsy that I just finished yesterday. You'll probably see it again... someday. Preferably after quilting and binding.)

Let's see... What else do I have to talk about today?... Not a lot. I spent a few hours this weekend playing down in the quilt room. Got two flimsies put together. One still needs a bit of applique work, the other is above. Started prepping applique pieces for another flimsy. (Got it put together, and then decided it just needed more, so...) Cleaned up a bit more. I sort of interrupted myself earlier, in order to play. And I've been messing it all up again ever since...

Oh, yeah. For anyone who might be holding their breath, waiting for a yardage total- you can breathe now. I will not be posting any numbers, so don't wait for it. I have gotten most of my fabrics sorted now. Except for WIP, kits, precuts, and scrap bins etc... And I had to quit adding up numbers. They got to the point where it was just scary. And if my husband ever came across the total, I would never hear the end of it. So, no numbers. Sorry. (The only clue I will offer is, it was still only a 3 digit number when I stopped counting. That's all you get.)

So, I guess that's all the news for today. Hopefully, I'll manage to get a little more done this week. At least finish that stocking. And maybe the applique on at least one flimsy... We'll see. Until next time, happy stitching!

This is what I had to drop everything to do.

Isn't he just the cutest? (Not sure why Blogger insists on rotating some of my pictures. Its sort of annoying...) I had so many other things that needed to be done, but I ignored them all and put one of my panels together instead.


I wanted to know what they would look like if you just stuffed them, without any sort of modification. ...
Although, I confess to adding little pom poms to the tops of the hats.


Yep. Still awful stinkin' cute!



Little Miss has given them her seal of approval.




She invaded my sewing room and had to play a bit. (I think she was talking to her daddy in this one...)
That's my tablerunner in the background. More on that next time. Until then, happy stitching!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just a couple of quick photos...

... because I seem to remember promising you a few!

First off, let me show you what came in the mail yesterday. We went out to the mailbox, and there was a terrifically squishy envelope. I knew instantly what it was... the other half of my birthday present!


(The first half of my present was really terrific, too.)





This is what was inside. Holiday Happy from Happy Zombie! (But only the gnoma claus panel. I couldn't talk him in to buying all of it for me...) I love love love this fabric. I knew when I first saw it on her blog that I would have to figure out how to get ahold of some of it. I'm still working on the rest of the prints... But anyway, about the panel- I'm sooo glad that its just as cute in person as on the computer. I have a problem with that. Usually, the pictures online look so different from the actual fabric, but these are just as cute in my living room as online. YAY! The only surprise was the size of the gnomes. For some reason, I thought they would be a bit smaller than they actually are... Not exactly sure why I thought that, but I can't wait to cut them apart and use them!
http://thehappyzombie.com/blog/?p=406http://




Ok, that's NOT where I was trying to get that link, but that will show you the pictures on her blog. (Obviously, I still need to practice with some of these buttons at the top here... I'll probably figure it out eventually. Maybe.)


Ok, that's really all I have time to type right now, so I'll just leave you with a couple of shots of my autumn-ready kitchen table. (The one I had to decorate the other day as a result of this strange autumn fever that I seem to be suffering from.) I love the owls. And I think they look pretty good there. Ok, busy day, gotta go get started. Until next time, happy stitching!