Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It was Wednesday....

Hard to believe it was already almost a week ago! Our second workshop in Houma, Louisiana was Scrappy Mountain Majesties! This made for a very fun and easy class as the whole thing starts as pairs of 8.5" squares, light and dark! The color combinations are endless, and the results are stunning!

It was nearly Deja Vu of the previous day, only with different quilters! What fun! In came the parade of machines.. (This group has a tremendous amount of feather weights! so cute to see them all up and humming!) In came the parade of FOOD! And we were off and running making easy delectable scrappy mountain blocks!

Everyone's color choices were SO GREAT. We had ladies doing this in just TWO fabrics, which turned out really cool. We had people doing scrappy scrappy, or a planned color scheme. Of course the most fun is when everyone crawls on the floor to play with layouts. Lots of oohs and ahhs there!

I just had so much fun with these ladies. They even brought a quilt show for ME! They had brought quilts they had made using my patterns. A lot of the quilts they make go to charity, and I am just tickled with what I've seen!

We had scrappy trips around the world, two weedwhackers, a crayon box, a finished scrappy mountain majesty top, a chunky churn dash, and Mary G's delightful crumb/mile a minute quilt! How fun was this!

The hardest part for me is knowing how far these fun ladies are from where I live, when I feel like I fit right in. I wish I could go sew with them every week, they were so welcoming and funny and just great to be around.

And you HAVE to see this yummy MARDI GRAS cake!!! This cake definately inspired the border colors for my crumby stars quilt! Purple and Green and Gold ROCK! :cD

This last picture is Connie sewing away on her way too cool tan Singer 301!! She found out about the workshops through my blog and the quiltvillechat list and emailed Mary Lea to see if there were openings! She had SO much fun she joined the guild that very day. How is that for bringing quilters together?

I was also showered with Mardi Gras beads, and Connie gave me the sweetest little mardi gras doll. I'll have to get some more pics later, but I think I've overloaded my quota for today :c)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Approximate Closing Date!!

DH is lighting a fire under the relocation people regarding getting us up there! They have approved the buy out on our house here in Irmo at a price we can live with....and it looks like we will be closing on the house in Winston Salem early Feb! (Feb 4 to Feb 11 in that range)

I am SO excited and relieved to have an "ALMOST" date that I can shoot for!

And because I feel SO happy...I splurged! (It's also my birthday month, so I allow myself to go overboard a bit!) I shopped at Z & S fabrics and bought the FQ set of the Merrimack Collection and the FQ set of the Indigo and Gold Collection!

I also did some damage at 1000's of Bolts Where I focused on Cheddars and Oranges!

I'm headed to the office...when I'd rather be home quilting! I've got clients this afternoon, and I also have some shopping to do. My other birthday giftie? A Dyson vac! I can pick it up at Bed Bath & Beyond, and use my 20% off coupon on it which saves me over 100 bucks...what's not to like about that? And who can resist a purple vacuum? Not that it makes me want to actually USE it...but you know? :c)

I know I still haven't posted on wednesday's workshop! We did Scrappy Mountain Majesties, and they all turned out so great.....so that is coming the next time I have time to sit still at the computer.

I have one personal observation to mention. I am in AWE of my sons. My 17 yr old has had a couple ...few....maybe more than that....funky years. It's been up and down, sometimes feeling more down than up...but the sun is rising on my son! He will be 18 this month, and boom...it's like he doesn't mind being caught dead being seen with his mother and is even having a good time. He'll stop by wherever I am and TALK to me..I mean a real CONVERSATION! Not the usual "hmmmpppfpff" answers to anything I try to talk to him about. He is INITIALIZING conversation. Thanks be to God....there is a silver lining!

I'm a happy mom, breathing a sigh of relief. We've also bought a car that he can use. We pick it up on thursday eve. I say a car he can USE..but it won't be his and he knows that. With driving comes responsibility and since he totaled the last car and didn't take good care of it while he had it, he just doesn't have the privilege of having one all to himself anymore. He has access to this one as long as certain conditions are met. He agrees, and I'm glad. I think he is learning life lessons left and right. And so am I.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Posting About Tuesday...On Sunday!

I was going to do this last night,but DS# 1 Jason and his girlfriend Kim came and picked me up and we went out to a mexican place for dinner. I tell you, there is no better feeling than having your adult son WANT to spend time with you. I enjoyed the evening so much, just laughing and talking.

Kim is in the process of buying her first house. She even didn't need a co-signer! I am impressed with her in every way. She is smart, funny, loving, and I love watching her and Jason interact. For Christmas they got each other a pair of kitten siblings. Too cute!

Anyway....I didn't get to post about Tuesday because I came home and went to BED!
(and I didn't feel a bit guilty!)

So back to Tuesday! I stayed at Mary Lea's....it was perfect and we got along so well. She fixed me oatmeal for breakfast! Can't beat that! This first pic is of Mary Lea pressing. Isn't she just so cute?!

We arrived at the Library where our workshops were held. What a nice facility. Lots of light, lots of room, and a kitchen! Not to mention that the kitchen filled up quickly with yummies for our potluck lunch. I'd have to say that was the best part..Mmmmmm!

There were close to 25 in each class, and not too many took both classes, so that was a lot of quilters for me to remember who was who. It helped that most wore name tags.

You know, I always learn things when I give workshops. Look at this...she used those little drawer dividers to keep her strip sizes separate! Isn't this a cool idea?!

There is nothing I love more than the sound of 25 sewing machines humming along with the chatter and laughter of the quilters driving them! I love going around to everyone's table and seeing what colors and fabrics they had chosen for their quilts. I wish I had room and time to post everyone's pics!

I really love these. THey all turned out so fabulous!

Of course you know how it goes when you are chattering and sewing at the same time?! Whooops!! Triangles got sewn onto the wrong corners of the block! Never fear, she just invented a new quilt design! *LOL*

We sewed and sewed and ate and ate and laughed ourselves silly! I went around the room and gave everyone a shoulder/back/neck massage while they were working. What fun!

Here are a couple pics of my quilts spread about the room...we draped them over chairs. I brought a lot of unquilted tops with me because of the weight limits on the plane. It was a good encourager for me to quilt these and get them finished.I love each and everyone one of them!

We finished up by 4pm and headed out. After a quick little rest back at Mary Lea's...she and her hubby and I left again to go meet her daughter for crawfish dinner!
We went to a place called the Bogwalk which was really fun. I'd never had crawfish before, but had always wanted to try. I just needed someone to show me how to do it.Soon I was up to my elbows in spicy juices and my fingers were getting prune-y like I'd been swimming too long. MMmmmm! I loved it! I really loved how the potatoes and corn, when boiled with the crawfish and all the seasonings, take on the flavor of everything. YUM!!

Back to Mary Lea's with full bellies and fishy fingers...it wasn't long before we were all ready to crawl into bed and call it a day!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Crumbies!

I took my little crumby quilt with the orange border with me to Louisiana..and I FINISHED the hand quilting on the plane on the way home! This has been a UFO for so long....I'm glad to have it done. I finished the binding and sleeve last night while watching more of "The Vicar of Dibley". I have two more episodes to go and these have to go back to the library soon, I am so enjoying them!

Of course, this 26" X 31" little crumby was so fun to quilt,I had to quickly throw together the crumby star blocks I was working on a couple weeks ago and make them into a crumby top so I have a smaller more portable hand quilting project as a "take with" when I go some where. The other hand quilting project is just too big to be buried under at a class or on a plane. It's a definate "couch at home" project. (see me rationalizing here!!)

I loved doing these crumby stars..all the triangles came from things like trimming binding joins, lopped of triangles from doing the "put a small square on a big square and sew across the diagonal and lop off the excess...." And all the triangles that people have donated to me from these processes instead of tossing them in their trash! Wonky triangles are more fun to work with than absolutely perfectly straight ones.

These are Mardi Gras Stars, Dancing in the parade, under the influence of jungle juice! *LOL*

I used Mardi Gras green and purple for the borders. Maybe it will get a gold binding?

I pieced together a couple left over pieces of quilter's dream cotton for the batting...and I was able to use up a little child's doll print that has been hanging around for eons as the backing! It's now out of the stash and I have a home for it. The dolls represent me letting my inner child out to play :c)

I quickly machine basted it so it is ready for hand quilting. I set my stitch length on my longarm about 6, and simply do a large meander....a REALLY LARGE MEANDER, just enough to hold the layers together, and easy enough to remove as I am hand quilting. It sure makes it nice not to have to deal with safety pins pins in the way.

I'll post more about my trip to Louisiana in my next post. I have a bunch more photos to crop down, so maybe this evening!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like HOUMA!

Especially when LSU is playing OHIO and it's MARDI GRAS time!

I was met at the airport by a posse of 3 quilters, ready and willing to whisk me off into the whirlwind of bayou life! Our first stop?

THE VOODOO BBQ!! *LOL* (I am doing images small because there are lots of them, so click each one to get the full version)

Louisiana BBQ trumps South Carolina BBQ in my book! No funky yellow mustard based sauce! I had the brisket that was so fork tender it just melted in my mouth! And look at the shrimp appetizer...and this huge plate of onion rings! I knew my diet was in jeopardy so I just simply turned off the guilt and dug right in!

My side orders? Corn pudding and mustard greens of course! Mmmmmmmmm!

We left the restaurant more than full and satisfied and made our way to the QUILT SHOPS! I did a bit of damage....any fabric with BLUE in it was 20% off, so a couple shirtings with blue doo-dads in them came home with me, along with some quilting stencils (love those, they are light weight and easy to get home) and some needles! Two shops and a Joann's to do coupon-damage and we were happy travelers!

Our drive to Houma took us through Thibodaux (and yes I just had to recheck and recheck to make sure that is spelled right, because spell check said it was wrong!!) where we passed plantation after plantation. Sugar cane is still grown here, and we took a side trip through Laurel Valley to see the remains of this plantation. Google gave me this information about Laurel Plantation:

Laurel Plantation was a sugarcane plantation owned by Matthew Ramsey. It consolidated properties of George Mather, who arrived in the Baton Rouge district about 1775 and was a party in the West Florida Rebellion of 1810. The property has been bought and sold several times; a few of the plantation outbuildings, including a late nineteenth centry Acadian-style overseer's house and tenant shotgun cabins from the early twentieth century, are extant but dilapidated. Two live oaks suggest the possible site of the former big house.

We finally made it back to Mary Lea's house, unloaded the car except for the huge duffel bag, which stayed in the trunk of her car! Oh funny thing on that....when taking the bag to the Xray station at the airport...the officer asked "whatcha got in there, ma'am? A dead body??" So ever since that moment, the duffel has been nicknamed "the body bag". :cD

From Mary Lea's we went to their friend's house for a great night of LSU football where they slaughtered the Buckeyes! (sorry Ohio!!) Food food, more food, OMG...MORE FOOD!! Including a whole crockpot of to die for gumbo...mmmmm!

I also experienced my very first KING CAKE and the tradition behind it!
The King Cake is unlike any other cake. Imagine cinnamon bread coffee cake topped with sugary goodness and decorated in the traditional purple, green and gold of Mardi Gras! Three days of King Cakes and I'm ready to have Mardi Gras become one of my favorite holidays. (But not the diet that comes after it!)

Needless to say, LSU won to the relief of all the people at the party. It was so fun being part of a group so vibrant and team spirited! (Okay,plenty of the other kind of spirits were involved too...of the alcoholic variety!) I slept like a baby, raring to go for workshop day number one....

And I'll post about that tomorrow..I just got a call from the realtor that they want to show my house in about an hour and a half and I haven't unpacked, and stuff is kind of..well..dishelveled? ACKK!!