Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

Could it BE any better??

Guess WHO is home ALONE?! :cD

Jeff is working tonight and has my car...I couldn't go anywhere if I wanted to! I am also splurging and ordered dominoe's pizza....and while at it TWO 2 litre bottles of diet coke. I'm all out, no car...they may as well bring two as one. When the guy on the phone asked me if there was anything else I'd like, I asked him if he couldn't bring a dozen eggs and a gallon of milk too, but it wasn't on their menu :c)

Remember this "Fabric Food Chain" teaching quilt? Well,it wasn't a quilt until today.Last night I found a big piece of "Where in the heck did THIS fabric come from?" backing...and it was big enough to use for both the backing and the sleeve. I was even frugal and pieced together batting scraps for the batting inside, and set to town on this thing, doodling myself into oblivion. The blocks in this quilt are FUSED ON, as are the letters. I'd never done much of fusing anything before. Things do not stay fused down unless you stitch them! I had to re-iron a few things to get them to stay in place.

I did a loopy loopy around the edges of all the pieces, quilting them in place, and then stitched around them and in them and through them and over them....filling in the areas with whatever hit my fancy.

I plan to bind this while watching all 418 blissful minutes of Bleak House that I checked out at the library. PERFECT!

Pizza, Binding, and a 418 minute chick flick! *hehehehe* I'm a happy camper!

I took several shots of this quilt....the light coming in through the den window was making nice patterns and showing off the texture. I also got a good one of Oscar in the window!

Yes..the windows are open here. It's warm out and there is a nice breeze after it raining for several days....

However you spend your New Year's Eve....I hope you spend it doing something you love with someone you love!

My 2008 teaching/lecturing schedule kicks off on Thursday with my visit to the Swamp Fox Quilters in Florence, SC! I'll get to put the Fabric Food Chain quilt to good use while I talk about the Scrap User's System to them. I'm looking forward to it! And then on MONDAY Jan 7th I'm flying to Houma, Louisiana to teach a couple workshops there. I'll be back on Thursday the 10th!

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Winding Down The Year!

So here I am reflecting over the past year. It's perfect weather for doing that...rainy rainy rainy....the kind where you want to stay inside, stay warm, put on a good old movie and have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, put your feet up, do some hand work. And I plan on all of the above!

It feels like the calm before the storm. Or is that the eye of the storm? The Christmas rush is over, and we have a few days of peace before the new year is in full swing.

I don't do much in the way of resolutions. Even if I did it would all be the same thing...organize the UFOs...use more fabric, cull through the unloved stuff and cut it into strips or put it in a pile by color to use as scrappy backings..

Instead of looking at all we *DIDN'T* get done, resolutions that fell through or were pushed aside, etc....let's look at all we DID accomplish! That makes me feel a lot better!I was reading on Keryn Emmerson's blog a few weeks ago about how she doesn't want to completly deplete her stash,but wants to keep it functional and usable. Enough,but not too much. That means for me, more going out than is coming IN, and I think I have accomplished that this year (as long as you don't add up all the thrift store shirt purchases! *LOL*) Just like food on grocery store shelves, it needs to rotate out before it reaches expiration date! Of course, some staples are good forever, but you get the idea.

One thing I've missed over the past 3 years since throwing myself into school and into massage practice is COOKING! I never thought I'd miss cooking, but in some ways I do. Even if it is something as simple as throwing stuff in a crock pot in the morning and having it simmer all day in anticipation for dinner that night, I miss it. Making a change, and moving to Winston Salem is going to give me the opportunity to have meal times if I am not out putting in yet another massage at 6pm, and getting home after 7:30 pm. The money might not be so free flowing as it has been the past couple years, but money can't buy you time, and I miss the TIME I had to do things before.

OK...so maybe I'm facing the fact that I CAN'T DO IT ALL! You have to have TIME to do it. So maybe this coming year is the year when I give myself the gift of time.

And since I don't like to post too many things without pics...(we all know that pics are eye catchers and if you have made it through a post of mine without pics to hold you, and made it this far, you are to be congratulated!) Here are some antique quilts I found very inspirational!

Of course you know I am in love with quilts that use the meagerest of scraps. But look at the use of color in these quilts! even with their complete wonky-ness, I see women of the past who had lives and hopes and dreams, disappointments and joys, love and laughter, lots of dirty laundry and dishes, and still found time to piece with what they had. I love the feeling this gives me. I wish I knew these women. Maybe some day, years from now....women of the future will wonder the same about us. :c)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Me & Mrs Goodneedle!

Howdy from Winston Salem!!

We arrived yesterday, and took Jeff to see the new house and to pick out his room ;c) He loves the house and the area and can hardly wait to move here!

It was great for me to see the house for a second time as well. The first time through we had seen so many houses that they were all blurring together in my mind. So this was a good refresher, and I could take a closer look at things.

I still like it! Cosmetics aside, It's going to be a comfy house and I found myself going room to room thinking up what I will put where, how to arrange furniture, what will fit and what won't, etc. We will probably be here within 4 to 6 weeks.

Today was the best day of all! I got to meet with Mrs Goodneedle and hit a couple of quilt shops! We also kidnapped Mrs G's well mentioned friend, Quilt Keemosabe...and drug her out to lunch with us. FUN FUN FUN!!

I was completely lost as to where any place they took me was in relation to anywhere else we had been, but I do know that we passed the place where the guild meetings are held! It's all going to come together and be just fine :c) I know this is where I am supposed to be.

Jeff and I head back home to Irmo tomorrow. He has to be back to work tomorrow afternoon, and I have work waiting for me as well. It's been a quick trip but a good one. Hopefully the next time I come up here it will be to STAY!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mewwy Christmas!!

Have a wonderful day everyone! We are heading up to Winston Salem on Wednesday morning, will be back Friday afternoon!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quilting Along...

I keep quilting along in between everything else! This past week I've had the privilege of working on some wonderful sampler quilts by two dutch quilters!

Lucy brought these quilts with her when she came to visit in April, and I am pushing to get them done by the end of the year! This first one, the on-point sampler is one that Lucy taught at Irma's Sampler in Haarlem, The Netherlands. I also started this quilt myself, but because hers was done in centimeters, it was easier for her than it was for me! 7" blocks just don't work out so great math-wise, and I didn't want to do 6" blocks or 12" blocks which would have worked out better mathematically, so mine are in my random sampler. I loved Cathelijn's use of color and how the blocks in the center with the light backgrounds form an on-point diamond! I didn't even notice that until it was unrolled from the machine and hung for pictures!

The second one is on the machine now. It is Simone's bridal quilt. The blocks are 6" and there are so many of them! Lots of thread changes, but it gives me all sorts of fun places to put feathers and motifs.

Just add a book on MP3 to the mix and I'm a happy quilter just quilting along!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I just got a call that our offer on the house was accepted!!!

As you can tell I am doing the SNOOPY DANCE! Whooowhooowhooowhooowhooooo!!!!!

Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts and positive energy (and the chocolate helps too!) I'm not sure what the moving time frame will be, but we are one step closer. This is all the Christmas gift I need!

Header Headaches!

I noticed that Blogger was cropping up my header pic this week. I tried it in IE (usually the culprit) Netscape, and Firefox, and it was still all truncated, so I tried to adjust it, and it just won't come out right! So PHOOEYY! Is anyone else having elf-troubles in this way? I just centered a pic instead of trying to have the image behind the blog title. It's not as "COOL" But heck, at least it isn't cropped off so bad!

The Waiting Game.....

We received a counter-offer on our offer on the house in Winston Salem. It was expected, but it sure throws a stress-wrench into things! We have now countered back, 1/2 way in between what we offered, and what they listed the house at, thinking if we "split the difference" they may be apt to accept it.

Like I mentioned earlier, this house has been on the market for almost 500 days now. That's close to 1 1/2 years. They have had 3 offers fall through. It is a divorce situation with the ex-wife living in Miami, the ex-husband somewhere else, and the house is rented to a single gentleman who is barely there. You would think they would want to close the deal and unload the albatross and get on with their separate lives, but??!? Why is it men can haggle and haggle over a few thousand dollars?!?!?!?!

DH swears that if they don't accept our re-counter offer that we will walk. But that puts us back out at square one, and I just want to be DONE with it..so I say take the lowest offer they give us and just MOVE US for Pete's sake! We've seen everything on the market out there. If we don't take this one, it's going to take us months and months to see if something else comparable comes on the market and who knows when I'll get to move?!

Stress like this affects my sleep patterns! I went to bed Monday night at midnight, woke 4 hours later at 4am..bright as day, mind whirling, unable to get back to sleep. So what did I do? I pieced crumbs! I couldn't think much on anything else, so I just opened my drawer of crumbs and had at it! 5 hours later..*ahem* I had this!

The star points came from bonus triangles that were "donated" to my by quilters in my workshops who didn't think that double sewing the seams so they would have bonus triangles was any fun!! *LOL* So..I was showered with triangle confetti on several occasions,and it is so fun to include their cast-offs in my projects! Brings back fond memories of all the places I've been and all the wonderful people I've met over the past year!

I just paired a dark triangle with a light triangle, and let it be as un-square as it could be! No trimming allowed! Amazingly, these didn't turn out as wonky as I thought they would, only slightly so, which adds to the fun I think. Some points got chopped off, and that is freeing too! I surrounded each block log-cabin-style with strings from the string bin. At first I thought I would do light on one side, and dark on the other, traditional log cabin style,but it was too much light, so I went with all darks and squared them up at 8.5". It's wonky! And I don't know how it will end up yet, but I'd rather focus on things like this than worry about the stupid house situation! (*&@#$(*&@#$(*&@#$(*&!

Holly Jolly Me!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

This is SO awesome! Please play it all the way through, even if you are Jewish...there's a part in there for you too! :cD

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The second fleur d'Lis

This was the other variation of the tile pattern...it's only slightly different, but just enough to make it interesting!

I keep thinking about this design! Thing is, it doesn't make a square block. It's 11 units wide X 13 units tall, and the rows are offset.. On the tile floor, the fleurs ended just whever the border needed to go, so some of them run off, and some don't. It's just so FUN to look at this thing!

I must be nuts. It's got to stay as an idea, I've got too many irons in the fire!

DH leaves in a bit, starting his new job in Winston Salem tomorrow. he'll be home friday night. Jeff and I will be sharing a vehicle, so that means I have to rearrange my client hours to allow me to be home to drop him off at work. It's a circus around here, but hopefully only for a few weeks!

Eyes on the floor!

Yesterday my choir sang for a wedding....I love doing this! Of course I am very sentimental, I can get teary eyed singing at a wedding of someone I don't even know! But this wedding was just lovely. I think because of Advent, and all the Christmas greenery and the candles glowing in the evening...it was just ultra beautiful.

We have the most interesting tile floors in the chancel, and I finally remembered to bring my camera to take pictures. I have stared at these floors hundreds of times, trying to figure them out.

The Cathedral was built in the 1820's..and was spared from destruction when Sherman burned Columbia. An amazing feat in itself. I love looking at these tiles and thinking of the craftsmen that laid them.

Not all the fleur D'lis are the same! I need to go back with the camera again and get pics of the ones with variations so you can see them. I also love how the corners of the border around the fleur d'lis don't all turn the same either. They end where they end, and then they just GO! Here we spend so much time trying to figure things out just PERFECT...when it's more interesting to me if it isn't!

So..I took some time to play this morning with EQ and see if I could draft some things up from my pictures!

The fleur d'lis part is a bit odd because it is based on a shifted grid...I had to draw the grid myself..what a pain!I saved that puppy tho..I think it would be fun to play with!

And yes, I did every square a different fabric,and I would piece it as individual squares instead of rectangles, even where the color is the same because I think it adds to that mosaic feel. The colors appeal to me too..deep reds and gray on cream.

Who knows if I'll do anything with this. I am just intrigued by it! I'll miss it when I move!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh yeah! It's THURSDAY!!

Thursdays are not usually an exciting day. It's not a Friday, it's not the week-end....around here the only thing I usually have to remember for Thursday is to put the trash at the curb. Half the time I forget even that!

But Thursday has become MYSTERY-DAY around here too!

I have put up the THIRD INSTALLMENT of the Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt! For those of you panicking, never fear. This is the LAST installment until after Christmas. You will have 2 weeks to do these, and use the extra time to get caught up if you are behind.

Yes....more 9 patches! I'm sorry to those who don't like doing 9 patches! If you are thinking, "Oh, it's only a 9 patch"...you could well be mistaken!

And those who think they have the mystery solved? Well let me remind you that these are just units, and they can be arranged in at least a dozen ways! All you smarty-pants quilters out there, just wait and see! Part of the fun of a mystery is not knowing what will go where, and the results just might surprise you! *heheheh*

For this step you need to make 80 of these "dark in the corners and center" 9 patches from 1.5" dark (in my case blue..in your case, you will use whatever you are putting in place of blue in my blocks) strips and neutral (background) strips.

We made an offer on the house in Winston Salem yesterday. Now we are playing the waiting game to see if they counter back at us or accept it. I hate this part! So I'll just go play with fabric and put it out of my mind.

Yesterday I got off work about 1 1/2 hours before Choir practice...There wasn't enough time to want to drive all the way home and then back to choir...so I went to the library, took my quilting tote bag with me, found a comfy chair at the audio visual area and quilted two more sets of fans! Only one hoop's worth left to go and I will have gone all the way around the outside edges! I'm making progress anyway..it's just not as interesting to show you pics of how I have moved over 12"or so :c) So it's slower progress.

I also HAD to go to the $1 a pound goodwill. Just HAD to. I won't have one in Winston Salem you know....I HAVE to stock up, right? I figure if I just fold it all tightly and pack it in a box and lable it (FABRIC) that it will just get moved with all the other stuff and I can worry about what to do with it later. Recycling is the best kind of therapy, isn't it? ;c) 25 POUNDS of shirts for $25.00. Weeeeeeee!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More on Stilts...

Posted by Karen De Coster at November 19, 2004 06:57 AM

Yesterday, at Dulles airport, I noted that every TV in the entire terminal was surrounded by wide-eyed, attentive, almost-hypnotized throngs of people, and I wondered: what was the oh-so-important, breaking news? What am I missing? Did another war break out? Was a nucleear bomb dropped? Did Nick and Jessica reconcile? No, it was the opening of the Clinton library, of course! Like every government building, this one is as ugly as expected. A co-worker remarked that it resembles a trailer on stilts. Perhaps that is fitting.

*LOL* Thanks to Debbie for sending me these photos! It DOES have a remarkable similarity to the high rise trailer below! *LOL*

Okay folks....I'm coveting your prayers, thoughts and good wishes, positive energy, karma, everything!

We are making an offer on the house we liked below. Today the appraisers come on our house..and we can get this ball rolling! The house we want has been on the market for over 430 days and has had 3 offers fall through. We are offering a bit low, but only low enough to cover what we need to fix/update on the house. They won't have to do any work themselves. I need them to accept this offer!

Yesterday was the weirdest day at work! All in all it should have been disappointing, but strangely it wasn't! I went in knowing I had an 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm 3:30pm and 6pm clients.

The 11am showed, the 12pm rescheduled due to an emergency, the 1:30 did a no-show as did the 3:30 and the 6pm! I had a walk in at 4:30pm....and sold two gift certificates.

So what did I do all day?! I HAND QUILTED!!! I am nearly done with going all around the outside edge of the "orphan albatross" with baptist fans! Remarkably, my fingers aren't all that sore this morning, so the quilting of about an hour an evening has toughened up my callouses nicely!

One good thing to be said about handwork....it doesn't make a huge mess and keeps my quilting room more in "showing shape". It's hard to want to get stuff out for a big round of piecing at the machine and digging through scraps when I know I'm going to have to clean it up to show the house on short notice.

And for those in the frozen northlands...wish you were here! It was over 80 yesterday and GORGEOUS!! I should have been outside, but I was happily blissfully unwinding, de-stressing and hand quilting at my office where I couldn't do anything about the moving chaos for a while. I think I needed that. DEFINATELY THERAPY!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The one we passed up......

Just for a giggle..here is one we DIDN'T choose!! :cÞ

I'd be afraid it would blow over in the wind!!!

****NOTE**** I have received email by people offended at the fact this pic says "redneck highrise". The pic CAME to me in email with the title. I didn't put it there. Just because you live in a trailer doesn't mean you ARE a redneck, DH and my two sons and I lived for TEN YEARS in a single wide trailer and they are some of the happiest years of my life. Please don't be offended. Learn to laugh at life! It's good for the soul :c)

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly!

We got home last night after 8pm and I went straight to bed. All of these houses intermixing in my head until I'm not sure what is what!

First of all, there weren't that many in the categories that we are looking for. We don't want to be in a subdivision anymore where houses are so close to each other that you can see what your neighbor is cooking for dinner by looking out your window and in through hers. Our kids are grown now, so a neighborhood with lots of kids is just not what we need.

We don't want huge acreage, but an acre or so of woods would be nice, I like the seclusion.

A "new" construction house isn't as important to me as the quilting space the house has, but with older homes there is often stuff that needs to be updated, painted, un-wallpapered, appliances replaced, etc. So you have to factor that in to the equation because it also adds to the expense and stress of moving.

The first choice house that we saw via the internet did NOT work. The lovely farm house? It was way better in the pics than in reality! Way too much work to make it liveable, and really didn't have quilting space. Darn it! Besides that, what the pics don't show you is that the house is on a busy road with trailer houses across the street. So much for my seclusion! With my animals too, I don't want a busy street. However, I did like the tiled bathroom counter enough to take a pic!

The next house we went to looked good on paper, but MAN, what a disaster!

There was mess everywhere, the people were still there madly trying to clean up the house when we got there, and we were greeted rather loudly by this Great Dane in the back yard!

Another UGLY house had...get this...a huge jet tub in the MIDDLE of the master bedroom! It was a very contemporary 1970's house..blehhh..of course, DH WOULD like it..it was like a hotel bedroom! It also had a bidet in the bathroom...no thanks! One toilet is enough for me to want to clean, I don't want a bidet!! Really, this house was much better on the outside than in the inside, so again, looks can be deceiving!

As for the huge tub? I thought about it...I have a garden tub in my bathroom here. We've been here 5 years..I've probably used it 3 or 4 times. It's a waste of space as far as I'm concerned....

The BEST house of all turned out to be too far away to be feasible. I was so sad about this because it was perfect in every way! If I could move that house and put it closer to DHs work...I would in a minute and be completely happy with it.

While on our jaunts, and since I had my camera...I had to take this special picture for DAWN..*LOL* When we went to Paducah in April, their caravan had a contest going on who could find the ugliest yard art. I found the holiday version!! What do you think Dawn??

I think it's a Christmas tree, but It could be a spaceship?? Made out of popcorn tins and cookie tins and fruitcake tins and whatever else....weird. Completely weird. For me it gets the ugly award! And there I was on a busy street jumping out of the car to take pictures..*hehehee* It did help lighten up the mood of this whole brain numbing house hunting weekend!

So on to the house we "THINK" may be the one....that is unless something else comes on the market within the next few weeks...

I'm posting some of the pics from the online listing, because they were taken when trees had leaves and things were green. Another hard thing about house hunting in the winter is how DEAD everything looks and it is hard to imagine what things will look like in the summer.

This house is a bit smaller than what I have now, it is minus one bedroom, it doesn't have an eat in kitchen, and it doesn't have a separate dining room, just an extension of the living area as a dining area, but I think I could live with that. How often do you use a dining room anyway? And we are whittling down to the point where there will only be 2 of us living in the house within the next few years.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the dining area is right behind the sofa in a little alcove. Not bad....and through the french doors there is another room that is like a sun-room....then off of the sun-room, the weirdest part of the house (which I didn't get pics of) was a huge bathroom with a sunken HOT TUB..I'm not talking jetted bathtub, I'm talking a full sized hot tub that they sunk into the floor! It's kind of dated and the tile is not great, there is also a shower/bathtub, toilet and sink in there...it's HUGE for a bathroom, but isn't attached to a bedroom. What I am thinking is that we remove the hot tub..put down new sub floor and flooring, and I turn that into a massage room? It's the weirdest thing in the house really. The bedrooms upstairs are large. The bathrooms need updating because the house was built in the late 70's..

However..it has a HUGE basement! And there is a fireplace with a wood stove insert in what would be my quilting room. Someone has painted the panelling down there cream, and it needs updating too...some TLC...but the space is there, and space is more what I am concerned with than anything, right?

The house is wood sided and very much has a "log cabin" feeling to it outside. It's hard to tell in the photos. The shutters are brown, on top of brown siding...but what if I painted the shutters a different color?

The front porch has a porch swing! I loved this. The garage is huge and has lots of storage above and behind the garage (DH loved this..he also loved the fact that there is a "yard" garage as part of the basement, complete with it's own little garage door for the riding lawn mower ;c)

There is a lot of updating to do...starting with removing very dated 1980's to 1990's wall paper...in the kitchen, the living room and the hall. But that is cosmetic mostly (but still it's ugly...)

So now we are playing the waiting game. The appraisers come this week to tell us what our house is worth here. Then we can proceed with what we can afford there. Once we get things rolling, I think this move will happen fast. I'm a bit in a daze with it all!