Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2009!!

Don't forget - whatever you do on New Year's Day, you do for the rest of the year! So take a few stitches!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Star BOM #9 and #10

#9. I'm catching up on Judy's Star BOM. Of course, I should be vacuuming .......


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stash Report Week 52!!!!!

Well, I made it through the year keeping tabs on things, and what an eye-opener it was! And what comic relief for readers!!

The last order of the year arrived. I got in two yards of Sumptuous Living pink; a Lucien tower, 7.5 yards; and a Twice the Charm pack of Sumptuous Living, 2.5 yards, I think. So 12 yards in - and nothing out!

I was playing around with a spreadsheet this morning, trying to find a neater way of keeping track. I decided just to get another small notebook like the one I used this year. I have lots of margin notes in it and that helped to remind me of things this year. Today I thought I had forgotten to buy some border fabric earlier in the year, and I looked back in my book and found I had purchased it. I also found a lot of other things I've already forgotten about! LOL. Honest to Pete, I forget things almost immediately these days. I wonder if old-timer's disease has set in! Hmmm....

I'm really ready to sew up a storm in 2009. The first six months will be extremely busy at work, but I'm going to focus on the work during the week so my weekends will be free to sew. I'm going to sew something every night, though, which means I should always have an applique block prepped. Most nights I'm too tired to turn on the sewing machine, but I do often sit and stitch for a bit if something is ready to go. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Thanks for organizing this, Judy. I failed miserably this year, but there's always next year!

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 491.25 yards
Purchased: 788.00 yards
Net YTD: <296.75> yards busted

Better Late than Never

Well, they're done. I didn't do as well as everyone else with getting them done on time, but, hey, I'm ready for the next month's blocks to come in! Tomorrow I catch up on Judy's Star BOM, and then it'll start all over again!

I've spent the laziest two days. I had the best intentions, but decided that all these goals I had set were self-imposed and it wouldn't matter if I took a day or two to myself. Well, unfortunately now tomorrow will be a busy day for me. I'm the procrastinator queen of all times!

I baked a ham today and it was good. So I'll sleep well tonight with a full tummy. Most of the time during the week I don't eat anything when I get home. That's probably why I toss and turn. Need to develop better habits on that score.

Daisy's been curled up in her quilt in front of the fireplace all day. She has her talking ball underneath the covers with her, and every once in a while I'll hear it chattering away. LOL. She really is a funny dog.

I've just made a list of UFOs that I want to finish next year. I needed 11, one a month except for December. I could only come up with six that I really want to finish. So for the other months I put things on my list like, "Bind all quilts that need binding." "Borders and backings for all quilts needing same." Maybe my list is way too ambitious! :) But I'll give it the old college try!

Next weekend is devoted to the stash room. I'm serious. I need to switch it around, and I can't do that until I organize in there and get those shelves emptied. Wanta bet I procrastinate on that, too?

Off to put my feet up and watch a movie. Tomorrow I clean house!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Simply Sophisticated Month 3 Winner!

I'm so sorry about being late. Every time it rains I lose my internet connection. Today it's been off and on. I hope I can get this posted before it conks out again!

I've been adding names to the hat as soon as I was notified by email or blog comment that you had finished your blocks for the Simply Sophisticated BOM! I shook them all up and drew a name!

BETH at Beth's Crafts is the lucky winner this month of a $25 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop! Congratulations, Beth! See? Sometimes it does pay to be the first one in the hat! I'll email your gift certificate to you in a few minutes!

Again, I'd like to thank Kimberly and Kevin, and the adorable Miss Emma, for generously donating the gift certificates for the monthly drawing! Please drop by The Fat Quarter Shop, or go to their blog to say thank you for all of us!

Beth, we want to see what you buy!!!!!!

There are nine more months of drawings for the Simply Sophisticated finishers. It's not to late to sign up for the BOM at The Fat Quarter Shop and to get your monthly blocks done! I might even have an extra drawing for those of you who finish all the blocks! You just never know! :) :)

Christmas was Wonderful!

I spent the day with Jane, her sweet DH, and her daughter and friend. It was a fabulous day! Christmas morning is always a tad bit lonely here by myself. I guess it's the kid in me, but I miss the activity of opening presents and being around people that you love on Christmas morning. I was thinking about Christmases past, and then I realized that I'd rather be alone on this one morning than put up with what's-his-name for the other 364 days! It's the price I paid for happiness!!! LOL.

Anyway, I called my two nieces. It was good to chat with them for a bit. Then I called Don and Gail. They are at my nephew's house, and with the little kids there I'm sure they had a ball! Don and I chatted for a rather long time, even for us! We got to talking about some of Mom recipes - jambalaya, oyster dressing, eggplant casserole, homemade macaroni & cheese.... We decided that when I visit in the fall of 2009, we're going to get in the kitchen and try to replicate all of the fabulous dishes from growing up. Don says he has the jambalaya down almost perfect, and I can ace her cornbread dressing. The whole conversation came up when I said I was taking Mom's smothered baby yellow squash over to Jane's. It doesn't take much to get the two of us strolling down memory lane! I love him so much and we have the best time together. Don, if you're reading this, I miss you!!

Jane's DH cooks the BEST turkey! I've tried to cook turkeys all my life, but hardly ate any because they always tasted dry to me. Well, his is so moist and tender. I had to admit it, but I started out with a helping for three! LOL. Green beans and gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing and gravy ... oh, wait, that's too much gravy! Boy, was it good! Jane also made a recipe of Judy's, and I can't find it on her site. It was a gelled salad with cranberries, cherries, pineapple, nuts. I thought it was awesome! Maybe Judy will point it out to us or post it again. It's definitely one I'd like to have again.

Santa left my presents over at their house! Silly boy! :) Lots of goodies, DVDs ... they were way too generous. I've always said Jane can find the best notions, and she proved me right this year. Here are a couple.

This is the new Gingher designer rotary cutter. This thing is awesome! I know we all have a lot of cutters, but this one is a must-have! The handle is weighted, and I love the ergonomic design of it. It feels like it's part of my hand. I'm going to give it a work-out tomorrow! I love that it has its own tin. This one won't get buried in my sewing room! Oh, and the best part - a leftie can use it, too, without changing the blade around. I learned to cut with either hand as I started quilting right after I shattered my shoulder. So this is perfect for me!

Another thing that I'm just gah-gah over is the thread caddy! It holds 126 spools of my Guterrman applique thread! It's on a lazy susan base. I can't remember the name of the company that sells them as I left the box at Jane's house, but it was advertised in that Mark Lupinski magazine and maybe others. Jane knew I was never happy with my thread storage system, always searching for colors I needed. Wow, this thing is awesome! I came right home and had the most fun playing with it and getting it loaded. There is "some assembly required" - her sweet DH sat there for the longest time getting all the pegs in it. I think it made his Christmas day because he's the "some assembly required" guy! He was missing that now that his daughter is all grown up! LOL. Thank you both so much! As they day down South, I'm happy as a pig in mud now!!!!! I'll post the name of the company when I find it. They also sell another model that holds bigger spools and cones.

Oh, I did it again. This post is so long! When I got home last night from Jane's my internet was out due to all the rain. So I had a long night to think about the wonderful day!

If any Simply Sophisticate BOM makers are still reading way down here at the bottom of this post, I'll make a new post in three hours or so to announce the December drawing winner of a $25 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop. There's still a little time if you're still sewing and trying to get your blocks finished up!! Post your finishes HERE!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope a lot of you are off today like I am!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stash Report Week 51

Simply Sophisticated BOM block makers -- report your finished blocks HERE to be entered into the December drawing for a gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop! Good luck!


The Stash Report:

Nothing busted, nothing purchased! But before everyone starts congratulating me on a fine week, I do have an order coming from The Fat Quarter Shop that will be reported next week. Then I THINK that's all for the year! ROFLOL. Go ahead - laugh!

Jane and I spent a wonderful day together for her early birthday celebration, and then her sweet DH joined us for a great dinner. We actually went into a fabric shop and looked around, and we both came out empty handed! We were high-fiving and whooping it up!!! See? It can be done! I'm just glad Kimberly's shop is online and several states removed from where I live! Oh, my, I'd be in serious trouble if I had hands-on access to her inventory!!

Judy's stash report this week included some fabric sent to her from my stash for charity quilts. I was delighted to send things her way this year, and most of that has already been made into quilts and are comforting someone who desparately needed comforting. That's what it's all about! Thank you, Judy, for your generosity and for your constant inspiration! I'll be sewing and busting right along with you in 2009!!

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 491.25 yards
Purchased: 776.00 yards
Net YTD: <284.75> yards busted

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Catching Up

Before I move on with this post, I'd just like to remind the Simply Sophisticated BOM makers that the drawing for this month's gift certificate generously donated by Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop will be held on the morning of Dec. 26th. So if you've found the time to make your blocks this month, please post HERE! Good luck!! If you haven't been able to make them this month, just move on and do January's blocks when they arrive so you can be entered into the January drawing. And if you're sitting on the fence about this gorgeous BOM, there's still time to sign up! The link is in my sidebar, or click here! This is going to be a beautiful quilt!


My life has been moving along at its usual hectic clip, and then with Christmas tossed in for good measure ... well, let's just say I'm worn out! My lurker friend, Jan, told me last night at the quilt shop that I needed to post something new! LOL.

One of the most fun things I've done this year is join the 12 Days of Christmas swap with my online group. It's really fun to put together for the person whose name you were given. Day 1 is a bag, a picture of which I posted on Sunday. Day 2, two patterns. Day 3, three spools of thread. Four fat quarters. A five-point star.

Day 6 is six blocks awaiting. The blocks I received were a dead giveaway as to who had my name! My dear friend, Lady Baltimore, is the most wonderful appliquer! Of course, I had already guessed who she was, and the anticipation for Day 6 was just almost too much to bear! Here are my six blocks. The pattern is by Elizabeth Scott at Late Bloomer Quilts, Vintage Christmas!

This is not a very good picture due to poor lighting, but I think you can see they are gorgeous!

Day 7, today, is seven strips a-sizzling! Lady B gave me seven strips for the inside border, and the outer border/binding fabric! She also included the most beautiful gold lace trim to embellish the ornaments! I absolutely can't wait to put this quilt together. The only word I can find to describe her work is STUNNING!!

The remaining packages to open on the next few days are: an eight ingredient recipe, nine Christmas candies, ten six-inch squares, eleven buttons and twelve note cards. In the last package is the reveal of who your secret friend is! This has been so much fun! One of the participants thinks she has guessed me as her Elf. I think the blocks are very revealing! LOL

Today we're going to celebrate Jane's birthday which is really next week. I'm going to pick her up a little later and we're going to explore a new gift shop in her area. We always have so much fun shopping, and it never fails that we have an "adventure," mostly due to my driving! Then we'll snag her DH and all go out to dinner. It's going to be a fun day!

First stop for me today is the bank. I made it all the way to the bank yesterday only to find that the CEO had forgotten to sign my check. You'd think I would have noticed that! On second thought, I'll just wait until Monday. It'll probably be a zoo there today! Okay, that's off my list. I'd best get off of the computer and get going on the rest of the errands!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Simply Sophisticated Month 3

I'm not proving to be a very good leader, am I? My fabric is sitting out on my cutting table, and it's next up. I'll have them done before the 25th, I promise!! In fact, I'm heading in there right now to cut them!

When you have completed your third monthly Simply Sophisticated BOM purchased from The Fat Quarter Shop, you must post a picture of your blocks on your blog and comment here so that we can go view those gorgeous things. If you don't have a blog, simply email me with a picture of your blocks to be entered into the drawing. Kimberly, Kevin and the adorable Miss Emma at The Fat Quarter Shop have donated the $25 gift certificates for the drawings. I'd like to thank them again for making this BOM so much fun, and motivating us to do the blocks each month!

It may be hard for some of you to get your blocks done this month what with all the holidays celebrations going on. If you get behind this month, just skip ahead to the January blocks so you can be entered in that drawing. See? We make it real easy for everyone to play along! There are absolutely NO excuses allowed!! LOL And wouldn't it be fun to end the year with shopping excursion using your winning gift certificate!!

The drawing will be held around 10:00 California time on December 26th. All finishes until about an hour before then will be entered! So get those blocks finished up!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stash Report Week 50

This is it for me for the year. I have two weeks left to bust something ... anything ... but with the holidays, I don't see that happening. I'm not going to give up just yet.

I added another 6.75 yards to a charity box that I still haven't mailed out. It's in the QuiltMobile so it'll be out of here this week. I need to go ahead and send it because it's getting heavier and heavier. LOL

The fabric I ordered last week has arrived. Nature's Chorus. I just love this stuff. There were a couple of other miscellaneous pieces, but the total was 20 yards purchased. I can't wait to start using this fabric. It's for me, for my bed! Gosh, I feel selfish even typing that it's for me, but it is! :)

Today was Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas exchange that I joined in an online group. Day 1 was a bag, any kind of bag. Well, here's my bag! It's gorgeous, huge, and has my initials on it. And it's full of the other 11 days' presents!

The small blue ball was a gift in there for Daisy. This little ball talks! No kidding! My secret partner mailed the box to Jane so I wouldn't see from where it came. Jane said when the FedEx guy delivered it, he expressed concern that "something" might be wrong with the package because it was making noise. The ball activates when it's jostled or moved. It talked to Jane in her car, and it talked to me in my car. When I got home with the box Daisy was intrigued by the box. I decided to find the source of the talking for her when I opened the box today. It's so funny watching her with the ball. She nudges it with her nose, and when it starts talking, she backs away from it with her butt in the air. Hilarious! I'm going to have a ton of fun taunting her with that this year!

I've slept so much this weekend that I'm wide awake now at 2:00 a.m. I must head back to bed to see if I can get back on a normal schedule. I need to go into the office for a while today to sort out the pile that I'm sure accumulated on my desk after I left early on Friday.

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 491.25 yards
Purchased: 776.00 yards
Net YTD: <284.75> yards busted


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sick Sewing

Well, it would be better put that I'm sewing sick. Came down with a stomach flu yesterday. I left work at 1:30, something I never do. Needless to say, it was a long night last night. I feel shaky but somewhat better today. This kind of blows the heck out of the errands I needed to run today.

I decided to see if I could get something done this morning. I made the seventh block on the Designer Mystery BOM from my favorite Peace on Earth fabric. This is the first time I've laid them all out together. I haven't squared the blocks yet, but can already tell it's going to be a dynamite quilt!

Next up is the Sweet Treasures BOM block. Then Block 9 on Judy's Star BOM.

I'll be posting the Simply Sophisticated blog post this weekend, so stay tuned. This is a tough month to try to get our blocks done, but we'll keep the finishing date for the blocks and your entry into the drawing for the 25th. I'll draw the winner of the $25 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop around 10:00 a.m. Pacific time on December 26th. Remember, you have to post a picture of your finished blocks on your blog and let us know that you've done it, or email me a picture of your finished blocks to be entered into the contest. If you just can't get it done this month, never fear. There will be a drawing every month until the BOM ends.

Well, I'm heading back to the Bernina for as long as I can. I'm sick of being sick!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nothing to Talk About

Honestly, I have nothing to blog about these days. Work, home, work, home, cough cough, work, home.

This weekend I plan on sewing. The project that's out on my sewing table is still the Merry & Bright fabric, and a little progress has been made but not much.

The annual fire inspection of the condos was this week. Last year they busted me on the extension cords behind my sewing table, so I just unplugged them this year. Remind me I did that when I panic because the Bernina won't turn on. I was puzzled why they would choose to do this right before the holidays, but I guess it's all about the Christmas trees and lights. Since I still have pumpkins on the mantle, I aced that test! LOL

It snowed yesterday in Louisiana. Rick was kind enough to email me a picture early in the day. All day I was wanting to be back home to feel the coolness and throw a snowball. Instead I was in sunny SoCal, 77 degrees, and wearing a cotton sweater in a very hot office. Next year if I get a vacation, I want it to be in the winter in a place where there is a foot of snow on the ground! Remind me I said that, too!

I haven't liked this week at all. At least it's almost over!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stash Report Week 49

I was an abysmal failure at stashbusting this year! I really am embarrassed by how much fabric came into the Quilting Condo. Sure, I've had over 400 yards busted, but that's peanuts in the overall picture. Since my numbers are in the red, do you think I qualify for a bailout? :(

A couple of weeks ago I decided that since this year is already a lost cause, I might as well get the things I need go with towers, jelly rolls and layer cakes that I already have. This fabric won't be available much longer, so it was wise, I think, to get it now. So I did. There's one more order that I placed last night, and that ought to be it for the year. Unless Kimberly at The Fat Quarter Shop teases me with a bunch of stuff that she thinks I can't live without. She's very good at that, and I'm SO easy! Seriously, she doesn't tease me at all .... I do it to myself! With the help of Beth and others who feel it's their obligation to point things out to me!! I'll also be making up a lot of Judy's patterns next year. She is such an inspiration to me!

I said last week that next year all incoming fabric must have an equal amount outgoing - plus one yard! There's another thing I'm going to do next year. All dollars spent on purchases will see an equal amount put into my savings account. For instance, year to date I have purchased 756 yards of fabric, say, at a ballpark average of $8/yard. That's $6,048! That money, theoretically, could go towards a long-arm to play with when I retire. Anyway, there are my two goals for next year. Time will tell, but I'm really going to try hard to meet those two goals.

But back to the present ...

I purchased 11 yards of Sumptuous Living, 19 yards of Portobello Market and Portugal, and 13.75 yards of Gypsy Rose. I also purchased a Sweet 16 bundle of Cottage Romance. This is the fabric that was used in the most recent Patchwork Party. I won't be making it until later next year, and this is my insurance against cutting screw-ups. If I don't need it for that, then I'll make some pillow shams to go with the quilt, or a quilt from one of the darling Sweet 16 patterns that are available now.

Did I bust anything this week? No. Work is overwhelming lately, and I'm just zonked when I get home. After Christmas I should be more free on the weekends to sew.

Year-to-Date Totals:

Busted: 498.00 yards
Purchased: 756.00 yards
Net YTD: <346.00> yards busted

Bring on 2009! I'm ready for it!!!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm Still Breathing

I was so sick with the California Crud. One by one the folks at work are getting sick. Since I was #3, I don't feel so guilty. The next few weeks are going to be stressful at work, so I've decided to take it a day at a time and not to get hung up on the big picture. At least I'm starting to feel better.

Since I can't show what I'm working on, I'll show the stash fabric I'm using for the project. A tower of Merry & Bright and a bolt of Kona Snow! It's an adorable quilt - but I have to wait for the unveiling. I have to wait until it's okay to show it, and I have to wait until it's finished! Always something.

I'm really not used to working with bright fabrics, and these are bright! In fact, they're Merry and Bright. I really like these clear colors, and you can't help but smile while you're sewing on them.

I love Kona Snow. I use it a lot. I have two bolts of it up in the stash room, and I'm always pulling one of them off the shelves for one project or another. I think a bolt of Snow is a must in a stash room. It goes wonderfully with '30s fabrics, Civil War .... best investment I've made as far as fabric goes. I've been using these bolts for a couple of years now and there's plenty left. Guess I'm not sewing fast enough! LOL

Is everyone ready for Christmas? I'm not. I think this weekend I'll drag out some Christmas decorations, but I'm still deciding whether to put up a big tree. I'll have to ponder that a bit. I always think it's kind of silly to decorate just for me and Daisy. I know Santa won't mind!