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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Teenage Retirement??? *AUUUGHH!*

Jeff, my 16 yr old is still cranky because he still doesn't have a job....I have offered and offered to take him looking, but all he wants to do is "hang out" and "chill" with his friends. Okay. Fine. Now his prom is 2 weeks away and I told him that without a job, I was NOT going to pay for his prom date. I told him if he HAD a job, and just hadn't been paid yet, I was willing to front him some money, but he had to have the job for me as security that he would be able to pay me back. I'm sticking to it.

He thinks we are the worst parents in the world...but we have done EVERYTHING...including taking him to places to pick up applications, and taking him back to deliver them. I ask him if he has checked up on any he has turned in, just to see if they have any openings yet, and he won't do it. He has to date turned in only 3 applications, about 3 weeks ago. I AM NOT going to pay for his prom!!!! But it is making life sorely miserable here because he feels like we are so unfair. (I don't get how he sees that...when we have done everything short of DRAGGING him to find a job!)

Blogger is being cranky this morning (Maybe it got it from jeff!) and won't let me upload pics! AUgh. So I'll try again later....

Bonnie

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tea Party Quilt Done!



I finished the tea party quilt today! I worked at home finishing the quilting and applying the machine part of the binding and hanging sleeve, and then I took it to the massage clinic with me to hand stitch the binding down while I answered phones and worked the front desk.

I got the whole thing done! I feel so good to have it this far and am anxious to send it back to Elizabeth so she can see how it turned out....

Other than that, it was a pretty basic, non-eventful day and was MOST WELCOME!

Bonnie

Life Back To Normal!

I got a call last night that Jason and Shanon WERE able to get on the last flight out to Dallas, so I was one relieved Mama! So glad that they wouldn't be spending the night in the terminal, even if they did have the quilt with them. They have named the quilt the LUCKY quilt, because they are sure that was why they were the last two passengers on that flight.

I went to bed EARLY last night after hearing that they were on their way back home to Dallas. It was like everything, all the stress, exhaustion, exhilaration, etc just lifted and left me with nothing left to give last night. I slept like a log. Ahhhh...now things can get back to normal!


I'm uploading pics of the big bin of scraps that I've been trimming down in the mornings while they were sleeping in. Nice quiet work, and I really am making a dent in it. I used to not really be able to close this bin! And besides the chock full bin (that got even fuller after I added the pile of scraps that was gifted to me last week)I also had a 1/2 full laundry basket left from trimming backings and bigger pieces that needed to be either sorted by color and folded and put away, or ugly stuff I wanted cut down and fed into the scraps. The laundry basket is completely empty and now I'm just working on this bin!

Also is a pic of my trip to Mary Jo's and Long Creek Mills yesterday. The thread I needed. Especially the different shades of green...because what I had wasn't going with anything! A girl just HAS to have the right green, you know? And tanny-neutrals are always needed. Who can live without the right shade of pink or purple either? I am thinking when I run low on something, I need to keep a little color card so I know what to restock with. Long Creek Mills is so huge and overwhelming it is easy to forget what you went in there for in the first place! It's a good thing it is 2 hours drive away from me (as is Mary Jos)because I like to buy thread just because I like the color, who knows if I'll ever have a quilt that needs that thread, I just have to have it because it is pretty!

The two piles of FQ's......I was shopping for Lucy and myself, so it was "One for Lucy, One for me!" We have such similar tastes that I feel pretty sure she will like what I picked up for her off the 99 cent table! The ruler is a hexagon ruler, she has a project planned for that, so I'm tucking that into my luggage for her too. ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!! I'm going to the netherlands one month from today...can you tell I can't wait!

I need to get this house in order (Jeff just left for school so I am home alone again! AHHH BLISS!) and finish the quilting on Elizabeth's tea party quilt. It is about 1/2 done, but with all the running around of the family being here and together, I didn't get the time this past week to finish it as I wanted. That is my goal...and then I will save the sewing on of the binding and the hanging sleeve for evening work. Here is a little sneak preview though!

Bonnie

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bad To Worse..

I just got a call from Jason....their flight home from Charlotte to Dallas is also overbooked, and it looks like they are spending the night at the airport! I should have just brought them home to columbia and tried another flight tomorrow from HERE...Now I'm 2 hours away. Wahhhh... :c(

He says they will be fine....they have the QUILT!

Bonnie

How Often Do You Eat Out?

I'm home alone....finally! After a week...I'm home alone! What a nightmare getting the kids home to TX though...took them to greenville/spartanburg last night...their flight was 5:45am this morning..

I went back to the hotel to shower and eat breakfast before checking out, and they called and said they'd been bumped! They wanted to fly them out of COLUMBIA tomorrow morning at 6:30am!!!!!

I picked them up, went back to the hotel, ate breakfast, had a brainstorm that we should try getting them out of Charlotte. They said they had a flight they could maybe standby at 4:30, and another one at 7-something that was way open and they'd definately get on that one. So..we did some errands, including the thread outlet place, and Mary Jo's Cloth World...shopped at the mall for cell phone accessories I needed, went to Target and bought stuff I'm needing for my trip to the Netherlands....

We went out to lunch....finally got them to the airport with a couple hours still left to wait, but I asked them if they'd be all right if I just left them and came home instead of waiting for them to catch their flight because parking in the garage is expensive and most of the waiting areas are beyond the check points! And really we'd said all there was left to say. It was just a waiting game by this point.

I'm home now....it was raining/hailing in Charlotte..freezing! It's colder than it's been all winter! I've got a scratchy sore throat, stuffy sinuses, my ear is all swollen and red like it was bit by some critter, and I'm exhausted and cranky! But still a happy mama that I got to spend so much extra time with them today :c)

It seemed like we were on the go every day that they were here. It also seems as if we never stopped eatting. Good grief...I don't think I can even stand to LOOK at food for a couple of days at least.

They arrived tuesday and we went out to lunch. That evening we went bowling and then out to pizza. The next morning (wednesday) I made breakfast here, but we went out to lunch and then I took them to the clinic and gave them each a massage. (they'd never had one before, either of them!)and we did eat dinner at home....grilled chicken breasts on the grill.

Thursday we had breakfast here, but we decided it was our only day to go see Charleston...so in the car we jumped and headed down there. We grabbed hotdogs for lunch while on the ferry to Fort Sumter, that was a lot of fun. We grabbed a ride down to the market after the ferry came back on one of those bicycle rickshaws...our poor rider, he pedalled all 3 of us! We toured the slave market place and had dinner (see, eatting out AGAIN!) at T-bonz. The pic is of Shanon and Jason on the dock while waiting for our ferry to come in to take us out to Ft Sumter.

Friday it was breakfast here, but a quick drive through lunch on the way down to Beaufort. DH had his first triathalon of the season down on Parris Island. This trip also included dinner out at Outback.....complimentary breakfast at the little motel, and lunch at Subway before making it home saturday evening.

Saturday evening we also celebrated DH's birthday, which meant all 5 of us going to the japanese steakhouse, Yamato, for dinner! (By this time I'm really hating food!)

Sunday breakfast and lunch were at home....and sunday afternoon we went to Sears to have family portraits done. We haven't done those in YEARS! Sunday evening had us driving up to Greenville/Spartanburg, and the kids and I were hungry by the time we got there, how FORTUNATE that next to our hotel was....the chinese buffet! (I'm really feeling like buddha by this point!)

Add breakfast at the hotel this morning, and lunch out while shopping before dropping them off at the airport this afternoon, and you have a complete run down of how often americans are known to eat out!!!! I don't want to set foot into a restaurant for at least a week :c)

Oh, I forgot to mention that she loved the happy scrappy houses quilt so much.....that when we were ready to go I bundled it up and gave it to her. She'd never had a quilt given like this to her before. She was very interested in all I was doing, all the scraps, all the quilts, the names of the different patterns...I think I see some potential here!

Bonnie

Monday, March 13, 2006

Out Of The Bag!!


In a previous post I was talking about the big brown paper bag that Stephanie had gifted to me at guild meeting Monday Night. Actually, it is one of several bags! It is always like Christmas for me when she ditches her scraps :c)

Yesterday afternoon I started wondering what I could do with all the ends of her strip pieced panels...Not ALL the fabrics are batiks, but quite a few of them are...there were also some little panel parts of orientals (just a few) and a wide panel of a red print with bright green on either end...like a panel you would piece if making puss in the corner blocks. I piled all the pieced panel parts in a pile (wow..say pieced panel parts in a pile three times fast!) and I saw that I could get A LOT of kaleidoscope wedgies cut out of them! So that is what I started to do....there was enough to do 36 blocks if I alternated the pieced wedgies with solid wedgies. This also gave me a good opportunity to use up the few batiks that I have. I've never been drawn to batiks even though I think the quilts made with them are gorgeous, I'm just an old fashioned printy girl!

I wanted this to look very random, so I matched up points in sets of 4 and started cutting solid triangle wedgies to go with them. I sewed 8 wedgies into "stop signs" and then arranged them on the floor....I knew I would need corner triangles on the pieced wedgies of 1/2 the blocks, and corner triangles on the solid wedgies of the other half of the blocks.

I went back to the trimmings pile of what was left from cutting the pieced wedgies, and began to cut corner triangles from that! I sewed the pieced triangles on half of the blocks..hmmm..I was liking it so far, but it needed something to go on the other block corners that would kind of tie it all together! There were bright colors in the quilt, and muted olive greens....what was going to tie it all together? Well, everything IS better with cheddar, isn't it? I love cheddar with poisony green in antique quilts, so I thought that might work for this one, and I had JUST enough to cut 72 cheddar triangles out of a small piece of cheddar batik that at some point found it's way into my stash!

I just sewed the blocks together.....and now I am rushing to get this uploaded, and then to the shower, and then to clean up the bomb that went off in my house while I was busy playing with Stephanie's scraps. The quilt still needs borders, but at least it can be moved without messing up the layout. Jason and Shanon come tomorrow and I need to CLEAN THIS HOUSE! I am one excited Mama. I've also got a guild meeting tonight...and need to be out of here in 2 hours. Auuughhhh! But it was so fun to be able to play today and to stretch beyond my confort zone with this kaleidoscope quilt! I'm calling it "OUT OF THE BAG" because that is where it came from!

Bonnie

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fun Finds!


Gotta love ebay! I found this quilt while doing a search for "string quilt". And it's a beauty! I love the alternating splashy red polka dot background with the white background blocks...it adds so much to the quilt! (and i think all red polka dots would have been way too over powering, but what do I know?) Look at this! It has a row of 1/2 blocks (I love it when they do that!) and then one end has broken dishes type triangles!

I love how these stars have some solid star points, and some piecey ones and are just put together with whatever they had! Looks like a whole lotta blacks, greys, and blues...but there is a couple pinks sprinkled in there! I have some of these stars started...and waylaid...somewhere...I was piecing them on phone book pages. It had to be way before finals and graduation, I wonder if I can find them somewhere..I know I was using shirtings for the backgrounds, but maybe if I made some with a bold splashy red (yes I am ALWAYS so drawn to red!)it will give it the punch it needs..they were looking a bit washed out with just shirtings for the backgrounds.

Does anyone else have quilting friends like I do? I have ladies who think it is so fun to just donate their scraps to ME instead of dealing with them themselves! Of course I love it, it is so much fun to play with someone else's cast offs and usually they are fabrics that challenge me a bit, because they have a totally different taste than I usually lean towards.

This week's guild meeting was no exception! I was gifted with a HUGE bag full! Lots of pieces very useable, nearly fat 1/8 size, lots of strips, partially sewn sets, some 9 patches, and some already started string blocks.

And look! A WHOLE HUGE AMOUNT of the trimmings from someone's string blocks! All these strippies are 1" to 1 1/2" wide....from squaring up her blocks! There is a mountain of them. Not sure what to do with them. Any ideas? First idea off the top of my head is to use them as a pieced accent border on my next string quilt....

This gal makes a lot of strip quilts, and there are lots of 'ends of panels' that are already sewn. I'm thinking I could trim them down into large 1/2 sq triangles and do something that way, or....trim them into kaleidoscpe wedgie shaped triangles??

There is also some Jinny Beyer striped border fabrics in here that has been all cut down..might make good borders for a mini or something. It's just a treasure trove! Just that...I'm not sure WHERE to start! *LOL*

Bonnie

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tea Party, Anyone??


I finished sewing all the basket blocks this week, and this morning I set everything together and added the borders! The kit that Elizabeth sent didn't include any fabric (or enough of any one fabric) for the inner border, so I had to shop my stash for that. I had this little rose on rose print that is perfect! I'm really attached to this little quilt top, even though Elizabeth did all the embroidery, I feel like I have nearly just as much invested in the piecing and the quilting!

I hope to get to the quilting soon...tomorrow might be good. I've still got to piece the back and today I am going into the clinic to see if I can get some work done down there. I'll have to sticky-roller all the threads and bits off of me before I go in! *LOL*

Our humidity has returned in what seems like over night. Night before last it stormed....I was so hot all night, I was kicking off covers. I checked the thermostat at 5am, and it was still over 73 degrees in the house, and the furnace had not run since the morning before. Yep. Humidity back in droves! I noticed that morning that my hair didn't crackle with static electricity when I went to comb it...and my clothes didn't have static anymore either! Humidity is good for some things, but overnight...I can't stand to have my hair on my neck, gotta tie it back or pile it up on top of my head...the hot weather is just around the corner!

Bonnie

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Teacher meeting update.....



I am SO amazed. They said Jeff has been like a completely different kid the past two days since he has been back to school! So even if he is being a bugger to me at home, at least he isn't to everyone else. There are a couple grades he needs to push to get up to passing, but hopefully he will PASS this year.

The program he is in also has a job opportunities thing, working with local businesses to find these kids jobs to help give them something constructive to do. We had been taking around applications on our own, but I just talked to his resource teacher (who is just WONDERFUL. She is our biggest positive influence with Jeff) and one of the kids that they placed into a job is doing so TERRIFIC a job, that the owner has called to ask for another kid to fill another position. His teacher is recommending Jeff! Oh, this would be so wonderful! It would be afternoons and weekends, but still leave time for him to do his homework. And since he does have resource, he is able to get a lot of his work done at school. This is good!

I came home so jazzed that I had to pull fabrics to set the latest leader/ender block pieces together! I love these trees...I decided to do them in a 8" block size with 1.5" scrap squares for the leader/ender part because I have a box of them....and long, long ago in a quilt from another galaxy....I had left over 9 patch sections that I can work into this one too. There was also in a baggie, some 4-patch halves that were leftovers..I can use those too, and mix them in with fabrics I like better...some of these are UGGGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYY! But look at the block, it looks pretty good regardless, doesn't it?

Also is a pic of the close up for the bouquet quilt below. I uploaded it with everything when I took pics of the leader/ender block. Tonight I hope to get some of Elizabeth's baskets pieced. I'm half way there...I just need to get going on them again!

Bonnie

Wild Webcams!



This webcam was sent from an email list I am on, and I am having a blast watching the GIRAFFES!

I get a kick spying with webcams. We've had some interesting ones pass through, beach cams, cat cams, city cams, etc. It's always fun to see what is going on in the world :c)

Not alot is going on here in a quilty wise for me! It's been so busy otherwise, unless you count getting customer's quilts quilted. I always have mixed feelings about posting too many customer quilts vs posting my own...but my own is just not happening! I haven't even had time to sit at the sewing machine and finish the basket blocks for Elizabeth's teacup quilt. Hopefully this weekend I can get all of that done and put together.

Jason and Shanon come from TX next tuesday!

I am just leaving for a conference at Jeff's school...wish me luck there. Man, the kid is still so beligerant! This morning school didn't start until 9:20, and he was mad that I wouldn't let him leave the house at 7am...to go do WHAT?!? I said his friends could come sit around and hang out here if he was so in need of 'hanging out'..but that he was not to leave the house before 8:30. He hates me, I swear he does!

Here are a couple pics of a vase/bouquet quilt I just finished quilting for a customer. I love how it turned out! I have a detail shot of one of the blocks too, but it's still on the cam, I don't have time to upload it and edit it now, so I'll post the close up later!

Bonnie

Monday, March 06, 2006

SPRING!


This is what spring looks like in March in South Carolina! The lawns are still hibernating, but the trees are bursting out in popcorn all over! It is so pretty when you drive through town, even the busy business streets, the trees are all covered in white.

Next as the trees begin to get their leaves, the dogwoods will bloom, and the wysteria will cover everything and just drip with clusters of purple everywhere. I love seeing this through the pinetrees. By summer you can't see the forest for the trees around here...houses will be hidden as soon as the leafy trees get all their leaves back. I always wanted to live in a place that was deep in the woods hidden from view :c)

This tree is in my neighbors yard..I hope you can see in the center of the tree amidst the blossoms...there is a nest! I don't know if it is in use or not, but it is such an exciting prospect, don't you think?

I went to walk this morning with the dog, and got maybe 1/3 of a mile down the road and it decided to rain on us, so we ran home. Bummer. I really wanted to spend some time outdoors today. Maybe this afternoon before it gets dark, it will be done with all it's drippiness and we can pound the pavement for a few miles. I like to walk my neighborhood, if I go in and out all the culdesacs, down and around and back in a loop, it is about 3 1/2 miles. Lots of hills too! Right outside my front door!

I went saturday to the quilt show in Charleston. I had read on Siobhan's blog that even SHE was going, and I decided that phooey....Dave could keep jeff grounded, that I needed to go! I got there right about lunch time and met up with the group and went to lunch at this fun middle eastern cafe called Saffron. YUMMY! They also have a bakery with the most delicious desserts you have ever seen. I didn't indulge in dessert, but I did bring home a loaf of walnut, peach, ginger bread. OH MY! I have been having that for toast in the mornings....it is unbelieveably good!

The pic is of a Lori Smith patterened quilt....someone took all the mini quilt tops and stitched them together into one quilt, and quilted it as one quilt...it was so fun to look at!

Bonnie

Saturday, March 04, 2006

2006 Tour De Cure

This is a post about one of the two causes I support each year! It's a shameless plug, but it does alot of good, so I hope you will bear with me!

*URGENT!!* Your help and support is greatly needed!

Every year my husband Dave cycles with a group of over 300 riders in South Carolina in the 150 mile 2 day ride called the "Tour De Cure" for diabetes.



There is a pic of Dave here with one of his friends and his bike:

Each mile he will ride, each dollar we will raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of the more than 18 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!

For nearly 10 years I have provided quilt patterns on the Quiltville website free of charge. If you find this site to be beneficial to you as a quilt maker, I ask that you please consider making a pledge to help The American Diabetes Association fight diabetes as a way to say "Thanks!" for all you find here.

If you can spare even $10, please think of someone you know who is living with diabetes daily and all that they go through and all that your donation can do to help. If you know someone with diabetes, PLEASE donate and forward this on to those who have family members with diabetes. Your continued support is necessary to help find a cure for this disease.

Click to Sponsor Dave

Thanks for all you do!

Bonnie

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hunter's Compass




This quilt belongs to Sharon, and it is the first time I have ever seen the hunter's star pattern pieced with compass points included! I think it adds so much to the pattern. The pics were taken without flash to get the quilting to show...so the colors are not so true...

I wasn't sure how to quilt it, but after I got started yesterday, and made it to about 1/2 way...I manged to click my way through the blog ring and also saw that Darcie had just finished quilting a hunter's star quilt too!


One thing I have to ask is why quilters like to insert that little flange flappy border thing? Do they not know it is a nightmare for machine quilters? I could only quilt so far into the corners because I couldn't pin it back out of the way far enough. You have to be careful not to catch it with the needle, or with the whole foot if you are moving the machine across the quilt top...the foot can catch on it, you can stitch yourself into a black hole if you catch it. It's just a pain in the (*&@#*(&! Any other longarmers out there want to comment on the border flanges??? :c/

I am still grounded here at home with son on school suspension that will last until tuesday. We have picked up job applications and hopefully we will be delivering those back out today...the kid needs a job. He has way too much time on his hands and since he can't use it constructively and wisely, he is going to get a JOB. At least this way while he is working I will know where he is and what he is doing, kind of like Teenage Daycare, you know?

I will get through this, I will get through this, I will get through this! AUUGHH!

Bonnie

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Leaders & Enders Done!


I finished putting together the most recent leader/ender project....People say I am fast, but it took about a year for me to make all the panels for this quilt from leader/ender squares. Probably MORE than a year! Still, I like how it turned out and it is fun making something on the side while working on other projects.

There are 7 pieced strippy panels and the quilt came out something like 90X93! Almost square but not quite.I still have the binding/sleeve to hand stitch down, so that will be an evening project for a little while.



It's been beautiful here in South Carolina the past couple of days..yesterday was nearly 80f out! Slept with the windows open last night, and that was sure nice....I always sleep better when I can do that. In the summer here it is too humid and hot so the windows stay shut until autumn. I'm enjoying the fresh air through open windows this morning too.

I'm a bit miffed at my son Jeff.....he got suspended from school again yesterday. Just when we have a couple weeks where things seem to be going along swimmingly, something happens. It never fails! So his butt is grounded, his cell phone is turned off, and if I have to go into the clinic for a massage, he has to come along with me. I told him this is NOT a vacation! And it is making my life quite stressful right now. I had planned on making more basket blocks for Elizabeth's teacup quilt yesterday, but I had to deal with conferences at the school, etc....sometimes life just gets in the way, you know?

Bonnie

Monday, February 27, 2006

A view to massage by...





I spent this morning at the massage clinic. Mondays are really slow, but I was there to answer phones and maybe work some walk-ins into my completely empty schedule!

It is also tax time, so I got this bee under my bonnet that if I took DH's lap top to work with me, I could sit there at the front desk and enter all my bank statements into quicken. I got all the way up to December's statement entered in......but when I got to December, it said...page 1 of 2....only there was NO page 2! And since everything I do is on debit card, I had to call the bank and have them send a copy before I can go any farther. Still, I feel pretty proud of myself for getting that far in one day. I figure I would have sat here and spent all day doing it, at least I could have been there and doing it while answering phones and maybe working in a walk in (of which there were none...as I said..monday is a SLOW day!)

I came home and laid down with some purry furries for "just a few minutes" and woke up when the phone rang a bit over an hour later. I was out cold! All that tax work wears on a body, you know? It was the dentist's receptionist on the phone. Remember my birthday 2-for-1 root canal special? Tomorrow is the day I go to get the one crown filled where they did the root canal for it, and get started on the crown work for the one that was the 'bonus' tooth.

These are pics of the clinic where I am working. We are in the corner of an L shaped plaza..there are 4 massage rooms and a reception area, and a big back room that is like the break room with a sofa, microwave, fridge, desk if you want to sit and do paper work, etc....The rooms are hard to get pics of, they are pretty compact! But this will give you an idea of the room I'm sharing with Lori....




Bonnie

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Maverick Quilt Sighting!




It's really fun when people know you are on the look out for maverick quilts...I get links sent from everyone! This one was sent by one of our ring loyal reader/lurkers :c)

This maverick medallion quilt is civil war era and was spotted on ebay! I'm not sure if it sold or not, and I don't have the item number, I just saved the pics for my "fun to look at" file! I love how deep the chocolates are, and the bright vibrant double pink...nothing subtle about that!

Don't these quilts just make you wonder about the maker....using all she had to work with, making things fit (or not!!) by making do! I love how the center is so hodge-podge and chaotic, but the setting completely calms it down, like ripples spreading out in a pond....chaos in the middle, organization all the way to the outside edges! It's just a top, not quilted...so I wonder if it has issues of not laying very flat. The fabrics in it are so wonderful!

Bonnie