Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a lovely weekend I've had. Busy, but filled with interesting and fun things. Yesterday morning I headed out to Hooked on Quilting, only to get stopped less than three miles from my destination, to allow the Trail of Tears procession to run through Fayetteville. Evidently, due to some controversy over the traditional route, a group road down 64 from Chattanooga and made a stop in Fayetteville for lunch. It was huge. I literally sat at the intersection of 431 and 10 for 45 minutes watching hundreds and hundreds of motorcyclists riding through. Pretty cool stuff.

I probably could have turned around and headed home, but then I wouldn't have had any quilting thread to begin quilting my Grand Hands blocks! That just wouldn't do. I waited it out and finally did make it to HOQ. Cindy has *lots* of pretties in her shop -- including some really darling Moda fabrics for autumn! She also had a bunch of books that were BOGO free! I bought two. I love books! One was a Christmas projects book, and one was just absolutely *darling*!! She said she thought of me when she saw it, because of the hands! Cute stuff.

We watched the Alabama - Arkansas game, such as it was. The Tide really did roll over the Razorbacks. Or perhaps I should say the Razorbacks rolled over for the Tide! :) Sweet victory!

After the game, we showered and headed to Gurley. We dropped off our stuff at the pastorium, and then we headed to Ted and Janice's home for dinner. Janice is a wonderful cook and their home is quite lovely. It's beautiful, but also very comfortable. I felt very much at home right away. Of course, that's got as much to do with the fact that they are warm and loving hosts! We had a nice night.

This morning their were FIVE of us in Sunday school! Oh joy and thank You, Lord! It was a good lesson, too -- the parable of the 10 virgins. I like lessons that make me think! This one got us going. There are lots of ways to be prepared; my focus just needs to be on the right One.

I've continued to work on Joc's block. It's coming along! It'll probably take me 2-3 evenings per block. I need to stay focused!

Joc is on her way home with Chinese takeout! Yum. Time to wrap this up!

I wish I knew a closing in Chinese. Japanese will have to do . . .

Sayonara!

:)

Friday, September 19, 2008

*crash*thunk*

And here it is...Friday! Yeay!

Wow -- what an incredibly humbling experience last night was. There were some absolutely gorgeous submissions! It was a fun evening, but it definitely put me in my place. Novice! That's okay, though. It was a learning experience and next time I'll have that experience behind me and USE it! :) It did, however, make me rethink using the as yet unfinished Grand Hands quilt for the 2009 show! :)


I had a little visitor at my sewing room window this morning. Actually, he (she?) crashed into my window. I heard the *thunk* and knew whatever it was now had a headache. I couldn't see anything from the window, but when I stepped outside, sure enough, there was a little wren. All I could see was that his tail was moving slightly. I got out there and righted him -- he seemed to be okay; just a little stunned. I scooped him up with my dust pan and set him, pan and all, in a bush. I didn't want to leave him down there on the ground -- too many cats! He was breathing heavy, but at least he was breathing! I will check on him as I leave for work. I hope my pretty new windows don't end up being the cause of his demise!
Speaking of work, I do have to do that today. Best make haste! But, in those infamous words . . .
I'll be back!
:)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last night I baked my first apple pie of the season. The difference this year was that I made it with apples off our own tree! There's nothing like a slice of hot apple pie, from (literally) the fruit of your own land, with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream! Unless it's a cold slice of apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on it for breakfast! That's a nod to my Yankee heritage and Grandpa Wadleigh, who started many a day in Massachusetts, that very way. I miss him.

I also turned in my challenge quilt yesterday!!! Tomorrow is the challenge show at the guild meeting. I'm so anxious! I've learned that one sees far more faults in a project she's turning in for judging. Ugh. :) I will add a photo of this one. It's called "Alabama Checks and Balances" because of the pattern in the square blocks, which is called The Alabama, balanced in-between the Blazing Star blocks. The Blazing Star blocks look like their made up with a series of symmetrical "check marks", hence the name. The challenge was to do a patriotic/election themed quilt using the particular red fabric that is in the star. You also had to have at least one star and one stripe somewhere on the quilt. I think I've got that covered. I broke with tradition and used a silver metallic thread to quilt the piece, and *really* broke with tradition by binding the whole thing with silver lame (envision the accent mark over the e)! Crazy. But it was fun and I'm glad it's done -- off to bigger things....and bigger quilts!

Oh, and off to work. We are spending the night at the pastorium tonight, so it will be Friday, probably, before I'm at a computer again.

Adieu!

:)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! I do love Sundays! We had a terrific time this morning. Our SS class was down in size. (LOL - we went from 3 last week, to 2 this week -- me and my pastor's wife! If she doesn't show next week, I'll know not to give up my day job!) Interestingly enough, I'm not discouraged; I'm encouraged to pray more! This is such a novelty for this little church -- an all ladies class -- I know it's right and I know it's where God wants me to be, so in faith, I'll trust Him and carry on!

Yesterday I was so pleased to have finished the quilting of my challenge project! I'm so glad that I decided to machine quilt. I'd have never have finished the darn thing if I'd persisted in hand-quilting! Today I cut into the silver lame to do the binding. At first I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to manipulate the lame like I needed to, but it's working fine. I have to be careful with pulls from the pins and the machine needle, but I knew, as soon as I'd finished binding my first side, that it was the perfect choice! It sets off the metallic quilting thread perfectly! It was just the touch my patriotic theme needed. I finished the top and bottom this evening; I'll finish the sides tomorrow evening and put on the sleeve and my tag. I'll post pictures when it's all finished. And *then* I'll get back to work on my Grand Hands quilt!

Todd and I took a long afternoon nap, but I'm still rather sleepy at 9:30, so we'll probably head off to bed. Lovely day, lovely day! I *do* count it all joy!

Vaya con dios!

:)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a productive day I've had!!!!

I went grocery shopping this morning. But I didn't make the run to Wal-Mart. With gas prices being what they are, forget that! I cannot believe that between Wednesday and last night, gas prices increased over $1.20 per gallon. And that's at my cheapie Wavaho station! I notice they didn't even have their gas prices posted today. Stinkers.

Anyway, I headed to Publix (which is my favorite place to shop), and just shopped carefully and frugally. :) I *can* do it if I put my mind to it! It helped that on Friday I stopped at Food Valu and picked up 10 lbs of chicken breasts at $1/pound! I know, right?! Great price! I cooked it today and put it up in the freezer. Enough chicken for five meals and one soup! And the broth was heavenly.

So, after I put groceries away, I worked on my challenge quilt. I finally gave in and decided to machine quilt the darn thing. I was going to use silver (metallic) thread when I was hand-quilting, but for machine quilting I put navy thread in the bobbin and used the silver metallic thread in the top. I finished the top three blocks and the stars across the top. LOTS faster than had I hand quilted! :) I may finish this thing in time after all!

Tomorrow we have a SS teacher's meeting, which we'll be having over lunch in the pastorium. I picked up BBQ from O'le Dad's, and got the sides at Publix. Oh, and I made brownies, too. I've made a lot of brownies lately!

I also made the first pot of chili of the season. It seemed an appropriate dinner considering we'd be eating it listening to the 'Bama game. It was good chili -- Todd went back for a third bowl! I've been on this cheese grating kick lately. Okay, lemme 'splain. For Christmas last year, my folks got us a Williams Sonoma gift certificate, which I love! So I got this Cuisinart hand-held electric grater. Todd didn't think I'd ever use it (and now he accuses me of using it just to prove him wrong), but I love it! I can put a block of cheese into that bad boy and have it shredded in seconds! I love shredded cheese, but I don't like using a hand grater. Ouch. I used to buy pre-shredded cheese, but the additives in packaged shredded cheese change it's melting/cooking properties. You can't make decent homemade macaroni and cheese with it. So I've been buying the block cheese and shredding it myself. It was good on the chili!

I also ran by the library (while I was on my way to Publix) and returned some and picked up some. I finished my Lori Wick book yesterday before girl's night, so it might have gotten desperate if I hadn't picked up the next two Elm Creek novels!

I've still got laundry going. It should wrap up about the time the game does. Then it's Night-night, Neesey!

Sweet dreams!

:)
*Lots* of fun last night! I love it when I get together with "the girls"! Such a sweet (and sometimes a little 'dilly') fellowship! Loads of laughs and good conversation. And two of the sweetest babies!! We met at Dena's home last night and the food was plentiful and quite delish! Emily made an artichoke-spinach dip, out of Cooking Light, that was particularly good. I'll have to persist for that recipe!

Todd's on his way home -- and home is where we'll be spending the day. Gas prices have been driven to an incredible high. I'm incredibly glad I filled up at $3.45, so that I only had to top off at $3.65, so that I didn't have to get gas last evening at $4.65. I have to say it again. Incredible! Ah well, it gives us the excuse to stay home and enjoy the day and each other without so much busy-ness.

I've finished the flags for the challenge quilt. I don't know if I'll finish in time or not! Ruh roh. I guess that's what I'll work on today!

Lots of fun quilting websites out there. Think I'll peruse those for a while this morning, too.

Buenos dios!

:)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hey! What do you know? Today I came home from church and put together my Patches BOM! This quilt is going to be gorgeous. I've worked really hard to keep my points lined up -- yep, it looks nice if I do say so myself. Tuesday I *may* put together the feathered star it sits in, but I've got to get busy on quilting the challenge quilt. I'll include a picture of the block I just finished, and the block I finished last month, set in the feathered star!
I showed off all of yesterday's (and today's) efforts to Todd -- I'm can't quite decide if he was appreciative enough!
I'm GRINNING!

I asked on the Huntsville guild group what a "Turning 20" quilt was. Evidently it's a quilt made from 20 fat quarters. Someone suggested I google it - duh, why didn't I think of that - and I found plenty of examples. It's different looking, but I'm not sure it's my thing. Perhaps as a crib quilt?

Now we are off to the fair! Whoohoo!!!

Hasta luego!

:)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Okay, so today I got busy early on. I finished the last blazing star and put it on point, and then pieced the entire top together. Now the "quilt sandwich" is ready and waiting. I'll tackle that in the evening hours of the coming week.

Then I made cheese raviolis with a special Alfredo sauce, and scratch brownies for Joc and me. Yum!

My next task was to cut out the backs for the Grand Hands quilt. The blocks are 18" square and I cut the backing at about 21-3/4" square. next I cut out the batting and put together all 12 blocks to that they are now ready to be quilted! I've already selected the template I'm going to use for the quilting -- I've sketched it in my log. I may go on and work on the September BOM -- actually it's August's block -- but it depends on how tired I am!

What a lovely quilting day!! Throw in a couple of good background movies (like The Devil Wears Prada and Runaway Bride) and it just makes for a happy Saturday!

Ciao!

:)

Monday, September 01, 2008

So, once again, much time has lapsed from my last post until today. Much time, and much life, as well. It seems I've been quite thoroughly bitten by the quilting bug. I've got it bad! Perhaps if I spend time blogging my quilts, it'll help me work through the desire to spend money on more fabrics, gizmos, gadgets, classes, etc!

Or perhaps not.

:)