Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Prom...

The prom went off without a hitch as far as I know...Jeff is still sleeping, and I haven't gotten the run-down from him yet, as if he's likely to tell me!

I arrived here after running to the clinic to squeeze in an afternoon massage client, to find his date already here. They were watching something on TV....This is the first time Jeff has ever had to wear a tuxedo, and man...he looked so handsome! So grown up!

The table was already set with the good china. The potatoes were already baking. I left instructions to turn them on at 4:30. DH started the steaks, I began to make salads, heat rolls, cook veggies, and saute the shrimp.

They ate by candlelight and I served them their dinner on my great grandmother's engish china. I think they had a good time, even if it wasn't a restaurant. We took pics before all the light was gone outside. Lily's mom picked them up after dinner to chauffer them to the Prom. From the prom they were being transported back to the school for the "after prom" all nighter that the school puts on. They actually keep all the kids participating INSIDE so there is no hanky panky and no drunk driving going on on prom night.

The school is only two blocks away, and the one thing I can complain about is that every hour they were making announcements over the loud speaker that I could hear from my HOUSE through the open windows! ARGHG! It was nice knowing that the kids were there having a good time, but what a pain for all the houses in the neighborhoods that surround the school to have to listen to that all night?

The plan was that when the school opened the doors to let everyone home about 5am, that they would go out to breakfast at waffle house and then come home. I don't think they ever made it to waffle house because Jeff came in about 5am and straight to bed he went and he is still there now. I guess that means that he really had a good time, plenty of food at the afterprom at the school, and he is TIRED! I'll get the full story after he wakes up and is coherent again.

The Tux jacket we rented has to go back between 1pm and 6pm today....which reminds me that I've got some DVD's to take back...and since the time changed last night, I'm already late on returning them. DANG! OH well. Such is life!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

I fell into that wild vortex called LIFE!

You guys must be considering my blog as a real DUD anymore! Where did all her fun posts and pics of her projects in progress go?? Do you know I haven't sewn anything of my own since.....since....heck, I'd have to check my OWN archives to find out. I have finished the binding on the leader/ender strippy. The sleeve STILL remains to be sewn down..it wouldn't take more than an hour, but it's an hour I just can't make myself do right now.

The sinus thing is finally about to subside I think.....not so clogged anymore, just a bit drippy, which is much preferred over clogged! *sniff sniff*

I've been working on customer quilts hard and heavy....I want everything cleared up for when I go see Lucy 3 weeks from SATURDAY! YES! So if I've had time...it's been on someone else's quilt, not my own. Understandable....and good too, because starting May, my student loans have to start being paid back. Oh Joy! When I haven't been quilting for someone else, I've been working at the massage clinic. I'm happy to report that I've more than made my rent this month! I'm going to be gone the last week of April, so I won't be able to count on that week's income to cover my rent for May, so there is just a whole lot of shuffling going on here trying to get ALL the bases covered.

Jeff's prom is Saturday. We have reached compromises. He has done chores for money...he and his girlfriend SPLIT the cost of the tickets (which I thought was fair since SHE asked HIM to the dance)and they are having dinner here at the house. We are going to grill them a steak dinner, baked potato, salad, rolls, veggies, and dessert....set the table with the good china and candles. This compromise came about because he didn't get a job to have enough money to take her to a fancy place, and I refuse to pay for his dates in that way.

All we had to rent for him was the tux jacket...he has Jason's old tux pants/shirt/bowtie/cumberbund/shoes from when he was in jazz band. It will do. Jeff owes me about 3 GOOD carwashes for the jacket rental. We will take our own pics....I'm not paying for the photographer, that isn't my job either. So it has been a whole lot of compromise around here. He's still not happy about it, but it's better than nothing, and at least he has made an effort for part of it.

The pic is of a customer's quilt I just quilted with the fabulous fans templates by circlelord. I'm just posting it for eye candy so you have something to look at and know that I HAVE been quilting here, even if it hasn't been on my own stuff! And I'm still alive and breathing.. :c)


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Quilting On Drugs....*LOL*

What started out as a simple allergy bout has grown into a full fledged attack on my sinuses! AUUUUGHHHH! I'm doing everything I can to keep hydrated, and keep my sinuses dried up so they don't go into the dreaded sinus infection stage, but I'm not sure if I'm winning, or if the stuffy sinuses are! Pressure, headache, hard to breathe...

Antihistamines and decongestants make me woozy.....so I needed something to quilt that was not too painstakingly precise. I also need to stay caught up on customer quilts because I already fell a bit behind while Jason and Shanon were here (understandable)and I don't want to get farther behind when I leave for my trip to visit Lucy on April 22nd! Yes...less than a MONTH!! (we are counting down sleeps :c)

I've been asked before what some of my favorite pantographs are, and though I don't do a lot of them, there are times when they really fit a customer's budget and can look great on a quilt. It also works really well when I'm under the influence of decongestants..*LOL* I just plug in the headphones, listening to the lastest crime novel on MP3, and away I go!

This is one of my faves...It's called "Feathers All Over" by Deb Geissler. The feathers flow and twist and turn and it is impossible to tell where one row starts after another row ends, so you don't get that 'blank line' that can sometimes happen in between rows of stitching when doing pantos. The design is not too big and open, and not too intricate, just right. I also tend to like leafy, viney, jungle type things, or flowers that look random, so again it doesn't look like things are marching in around all across and up the quilt. I like it so that you can't easily pick out the repeat.

Really busy scrap quilts are the perfect candidates for something like this...also random looking pieced quilts...even in a set collection of fabrics, like yellow brick road, turning twenty, etc...are GREAT for some of the pantographs that are available out there. And while quilting in a decongestant-induced-fog...I can still quilt a quilt that the owner is going to love! This one is a "minnesota hot dish" and belongs to Diana Stewart.


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....


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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*