Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Climbing The Ladder...one rung at a time!

It's a milestone day today. Today my youngest son, Jeff....got his first car at 17. He has been saving for a long time and had enough for a good chunk to put down. We made up the difference and he will pay us back over time on it.

We bought a 1995 Toyota Corolla....and it will be just great for him. It still has a lot of life left in it, and will be great for taking him back and forth to work this summer. It's been pretty hectic since his job is in the opposite direction of my office. I drop him off one way....come back the other way and go to my job...then come back and go all the way to pick him up in the evenings..I think this uses more gas and time than it is worth. He says he's ready to pay for his own insurance (on our policy) and pay for his own gas. So tonight we drove to Newberry and picked the car up from the little used lot there.

I remember getting my first car! It was a big day! I was 18, and it was a mercury capri...we called it a crap-i....because it really was a beater, but it was my first car. I learned to drive stick shift on it, and I have lots of good memories around that car. It symbolized my love of independance...(and my fear of stalling out in the middle of a busy intersection!)

I sewed 100 3" 1/2 square triangles tonight. Power sewing. Very boring. Not scrappy.....all two fabrics...auughh! But the fun part came when I was able to sew them into jacob's ladder blocks using the scrappy 4 patches.

I made 25 blocks and laid them out on the floor...looking good so far! I need next to do the 36 Peaky&Spike Stars.....but before I can get there I have to assemble 144 star point units..urg. At least those will have scrappy backgrounds, but I am using the same blue fabric for all the star points....

Thursday is my oral surgery for the extraction, implant, and bone graft.....I just want it done and over with, I'm tired of dreading it,you know?


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day!

As if the south isn't crazy enough....The school district I live in has SCHOOL today! On a national holiday? Who woulda thunk it?

It's been a really nice weekend here other wise. I've been pleasantly infected by the cleaning virus...I have cleaned out my bedroom closet and got rid of what seems like 1/2 my wardrobe! Some old plaid shirts are now in the pile to be cut up for shirt fabric. Just can't "Goodwill" the whole lot!

It's crazy...just how many pairs of BLUE jeans does one person need? When they are all basically the same style and fit the same way? How many do I really think I can wear? The same goes for khaki docker type trousers. Yes, some of those pairs were left from when I was in school and we had to wear them as part of our uniform....but...So..I made closet space. Next thing to tackle is the dresser. Out with the old and unwearable!

I had lunch with Jason and his girlfriend Kim at Olive Garden. He gets employee discount so it made for a nice lunch at an affordable price. Hancocks is also in the same shopping center so I stopped by there after and picked up a new cutting mat, some rotory blades, and some thread...all at 1/2 price.

Luckily this Hancocks is not closing like many others are. It is the only fabric place in my area since Walmart closed down their fabric section. Heaven forbid you need replacement needles or thread or anything on quick notice...because there are just no stores near me other than Hancocks that carries fabric!

I'm puttering the afternoon away in the quilting room. Perfect!


Friday, May 25, 2007

Nine Patch Split Pattern Added!

Hello Quilters!

I have just uploaded a new pattern to the Quiltville website! You will find a fun and quick split 9 patch quilt that is perfect for using up your precut squares and bricks!

I made this quilt for my youngest sister who is expecting her second child, a boy, any day now! (yes, I am rushing to get the label on and the quilt out the door before his arrival!) I have also included a diagram of a larger version done in patriotic colors perfect for those of you working on Quilts of Valor.

You can find the quilt HERE

I also want to say....Congrats!!! You did it!

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. I do my part by providing massage therapy for the cylists after each leg of the ride! This year's Tour De Cure will be held on June 2nd & 3rd, 2007.

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. This is our 5th year of being involved with the Tour De Cure and I hope it will be our best yet!

This year you helped raise $3,900.00 towards finding a cure for diabetes! We still have a week left until the ride. Can you help us reach our $5,000.00 goal?

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!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Back To Plan A!!

Well...switching the donation quilt at this point in time didn't go over well with "the committee". Pffffttt! The email said:
Hi, Bonnie,
Your patriotic quilt is also very beautiful. I am a little worried, though,
as I have told quite a few people that you designed the quilt based on the
Trinity windows. There was a REALLY good reaction to that. I think that
would be an extra selling feature to all the church organizations.

Argh. So Okay. I'll do the patriotic star quilt for NEXT year...and proceed with plan A...doing the stars and ladders quilt for this year. I sewed the 4patch halves together last night and ironed them this morning. This quilt needs 305 4 patches! I think I came up with 316 by the time I counted them, but that's okay, it gives me room to cull the ones that just "don't go".

I'm really okay with this option. I like both quilts, I think they both would sell tickets well....the next step is to do the 1/2 sq triangles of red and black to go with half the 4 patches for the jacob's ladder type blocks. I'm leaving the peaky/spike star points for last..I think that is going to be a time consumer!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mind Change!

In between everything today...taking Jeff to work, picking him up from work, working a client's quilt...going to the oral surgeon (extraction and implant surgery is scheduled for next week...wwahhhh) I started thinking of things I might be able to do to simplify my life a bit (YOU THINK!?)

Here I am stewing over this donation quilt....and it suddenly popped into my head...why don't I just take a top that I have already pieced, that is not quilted yet, quilt it up, call it good. The sooner it is done the sooner we can start selling tickets on it, right?

So this is the one I pulled out of my cupboard. It is called "tribute" and was sample I made a few years back for Common Threads in Waxahachie TX. I just never got around to quilting it...so now I think I will.

The question is....how do you think this would look with baptist fans on it? Or another panto thing? I keep thinking "simplify, simplify" and I am reminded that someone will win this quilt for $1. :cÞ Any ideas from the other machine quilters out there? I really am not in the mood for heirloom on this thing. It just doesn't have that heavily quilted need to me...

I'm adding this pic! Right now as I rummage through things (I found a red enough to piece a back from...has little tan stars on it) I am considering this panto called "rosie" by willowleaf studios....it kinda goes with the rose print fabric in the quilt....so....fans.....or....roses?? I need your ideas!


The Big Ugly!

A day in the life of a clutz!

This happened wednesday night....I thought I had just "bumped" my arm! I thought nothing about it, I undressed, went to bed...the next morning when I woke up and headed for the shower I looked in the mirror and...WOW!!

I didn't think I banged it that bad! It must have seeped all night into the tissues...remember this was wednesday it happened? I had Jeff take this picture this morning..it is turning all sorts of lovely colors..*hehe* It looks worse than it feels, but it is sure taking a long time to fade,and it seems like the darker area keeps spreading bigger. I'm sure doing 4 massages on saturday and 6 yesterday didn't help it much.

I'm home quilting on customer quilts today...and baking more banana things. Yes, another bag of bananas came home with me on sunday.....so I am trying banana oatmeal walnut cookies and some bars that get a cream cheese icing after they cool. They will go back to the next rehearsal with me....I don't want to end up looking like a banana cream cheese bar myself at this rate!

This afternoon is a visit to the periodontist. Seems a tooth that I had knocked out when I was 12 has decided to end it's life (whhhaaa!) and I've got to have it extracted and replaced with an implant. Oh, I am SO not looking forward to this!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Busy Week!!

Well...it's been a whole week since I posted anything! It's been a very crazy week!

I got a call earlier in the week from "Mitt Romney for President" telling me that the governor was going to be here in columbia for a big debate on tuesday and would I be available to come to the residence where he was staying to give him a massage. I was FLOORED!!

All was arranged..I talked to his aide twice, I had directions to where I was supposed to go, etc etc...and about 3 hours before the appointment they called me and said that his schedule was too tight because of travel delays or something and I didn't get to go work on him after all! I was a bit bummed. I thought it would be cool to work on someone like that. So maybe next time.

It was a very busy week for massage, and I spent all the other spare minutes working on customer quilts, so not a lot of progress or play time for Bonnie quilts!

However, I did get the strip pairs cut in to half-4-patches...look at this bucket full! The raffle quilt needs to be done by Aug 1st....so I'm trying to make progress on that little by little.

As part of the Heartstrings Quilt Project goal of sending quilts to Kansas, I received a really pretty yellow brick road top and backing from Fran Benson of Romeoville, IL. I quilted it up and bound it today and it will be sent off to Kansas tomorrow. These quilts are going to the tornado victims from a couple weeks ago.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To all mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.....wishing you a wonderful day!!

Today's project for me (after choir) is to press those paired up strips open and cut them into the 2" subsections. It is so hard for me to do things a step at a time and walk away in between. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of hyperfocused gal (no kidding?!?)and it really is a challenge to say "okay, time's up on this one, move on to whatever else you need to be doing". But in the long run, I think I'll get more done this way, than if I pushed everything else aside and kept going. There is less guilt this way too :c)


Setting Goals....

All systems are go for the donation quilt I am making for the annual fall bazaar at Trinity Cathedral. They've never had a donation quilt and ticket sales before, so it has been a bit difficult for me to get people to understand that YES, you can raise more funds with a raffle, than you can in a silent auction, especially where quilts are concerned, and a raffle gives EVERYONE a chance to win, not just those with big bucks.

In between everything else I am breaking this quilt down into steps. Working (hopefully)1/2 hour to 1 hour a day on getting this top together in the midst of everything else. I can do it. I know I can. I am starting with the 4 patches first. I have gone through my 2" strip bins and pulled all the jewel tones and the neutrals. I have cut more neutrals because they were really depleted! While Lucy was here I culled through my FQ's finding ones that I was wanting to pull out of those drawers, cut into strips to spice up what I had in the strip bins. I've cut more jewel tone colors from those to add to the strips I've pulled.

This morning I started sewing light/dark pairs....about a mile of them! Next step is to iron them open, and then cut into 2" sub-cuts. The next step after that will be to sew them into 4 patches. I only need about a gazillion 4 patches! After those are done, I will choose the next step, which will either be 1/2 sq triangles, or the Tri-Recs star points. One step at a time...I don't want to get ahead of myself. I need the quilt finished and bound and ready to sell tickets by August 1st. Can I do it? I hope so!

I've had requests for my banana bread recipe! So here you go. I always felt it wasn't worth all the effort for just one loaf, so I usually make two loaves at a time. One to have, one to give. Enjoy!

Bonnie’s Banana Bread

2 loaves.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray two loaf pans with Pam or non-stick cooking spray.

1 1/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 over-ripe bananas, mashed
4 tsp baking powder (not soda)
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts.

Cream shortening with sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add bananas, vanilla, salt, milk and baking powder until well blended. Mix in 3 cups of flour, scraping sides of bowl to mix evenly. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Divide mixture between two loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Be careful not too over cook or bread may turn out dry. Done when knife inserted into loaf comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling on wire rack. Banana bread is best aged a day or so in the refrigerator for all flavors to blend and ripen.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Fun Pics In My Email!

First off I want to thank you all for understanding my rant. I know we can't please all the people all the time, but we can learn something from this....to be a bit more sensitive to other people's lives and needs and treat each other as if we were real life neighbors.

I had a wonderful surprise last night...a call from TAZZIE! We counted and figure that we have known each other for 10 years. I've never met her in person, but I love her to death. Even if my DH considers you all my "imaginary invisible friends" without the internet it is highly unlikely that all of us from all corners of the globe would cross paths and enrich each other's lives the way we have. With that closeness comes some bumps and scratches and maybe hurt feelings....but perhaps those stumbling blocks can become stepping stones. Those growing pains can become our strengths.

This morning I recieved these great pics in my email! Another reason I am so happy for the internet! Louise contacted me a while back asking if she could use the Diamond Strings tutorial to teach to her group at the senior center. She just sent pics of three completed quilts from this workshop! I'm not sure where the quilts are destined, but I love seeing the variety and individuality that comes from quilters. So may these pics inspire you today! I know the rectangle zig zag one has inspired me...I HAVE to try that!

The banana bread was devoured by the choir on wednesday night, and yes...I came home with more bananas with a big request to make more. Our last rehearsal is next wednesday, and then we are off until after labor day, so this will be the last banana bread feast for a while. I'll make the bread this morning and then freeze it until wednesday.

The A/C has been off at the massage clinic. I'm hoping they fix it today. It was over 80 in there by the time I finished my last client at 3:30. She was fine and comforable...sure! She had nothing on but a sheet! But I was soaked.....I suppose I could just consider it a dual purpose massage and sauna! And our humidity isn't in full swing yet....

For Today....my challenge for everyone: Find something today that fills your heart. Spend a few minutes if that is all you have doing something that makes you feel like YOU without all the extra hats of mom, taxi driver, cook, bottle washer, maid, employee, etc. Connect with your inner child and say "hello!"


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Feeling Sad

I just got home from work and found an email from Finn at Pieces from my scrapbag asking to be removed from the mavericks ring.

I'm sorry she wasn't happy with the ring and felt it didn't fit her. But every time someone airs their feelings about why something doesn't fit, there are those who have to vent their feelings over something that happened or didn't happen with in the past 2 years for them either. And it snowballs in people's comment sections, cackling like a bunch of unhappy chickens.

Some complained that the ring didn't feel the same because it got too big...but when I tried to limit the size, those applying who were turned down for whatever reason got upset. (seem's that "invitation only" isn't understood by the masses either)..so we have people complaining about it being too big and impersonal, and people complaining that they weren't allowed in. What the heck am I supposed to do?!

I have had the following on the homepage for a while:

"Thank you for your interest in Quilt Mavericks. At this time we are not taking new ring members. It is the feeling of many that the ring got too big and we lost our sense of community once the ring was bigger than our ability to travel through the ring in a timely manner and comment on each other's blogs.

Community is the reason why we started this ring. Community is why we desire to keep the size limited. We hope you understand, and will keep up with our blogs by travelling around the ring often!"

Does this explain to anyone how I feel that we have lost our sense of community? And do those who feel like outsiders to the community understand, or are they still taking it as personal and will mouth off about the mavericks being "cliquish" every chance they get? If this were a ring strictly for amish quilts.....and you didn't make amish quilts, didn't even like solids...would you feel bad that you weren't invited?

When Tonya and I started this ring, we wanted to represent a certain genre of quilts. But tonya's ideas and mine are somewhat different,so there were differences of opinion! I HATE hurting people's feelings....I'd take in EVERYONE if that was the purpose of the ring. There are other rings out there that do. I don't like having to categorize quilters, and after Tonya turned the reigns back over to me, I was more lenient with the guidelines. Then people who had not been invited BEFORE were upset because now I was letting so and so in and why not them?

It's a MESS ladies. I ask any of you.....do you want to be in my shoes? Anyone?
I can't make everyone happy. I have tried really hard to get along with everyone and keep the peace. I don't have as much time as I used to to travel around the ring and feel as big a part of it. I do try to keep up on my blog, and I don't comment on every single post that everyone makes. I'm working two jobs and some days feeling like I can't keep my head above water. It is NORMAL that some people are going to find more of a connection with each other than others. Some people who live closer together may see each other in person and do things. It isn't that they are leaving anyone out of "their loop". This is just life.

I've gotten to know many of you, in and out of the ring over the past several years and I value each and every one of you.

I don't want to think that Mavericks is EXCLUSIVE. Maybe those who are on the outside looking in feel that way....and I have no answers. If anyone wants to leave, as Finn felt she had to, just let me know.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hanging By A Shirt Tail!

I have projects that I can't even CALL UFOs....because there are only a few blocks of this pattern or that one that I did just to try to see if I liked it or not, and it isn't a UFO unless I intended it to go anywhere. I guess you can call these FALSE STARTS!

A while ago I was on a plaid shirt fetish....remember? I now have unassembled thrift store plaid shirt parts coming out of my ears and pushing past the conifines of their bin. I also had 3 false start projects that I started with them. Jacobs Ladder, Some sawtooth square in a square thing that I saw in an antique quilt but don't have a name for, and these plaid rose bud blocks. I love the look of plaid quilts, but for some reason, the colors are so subdued that I lost interest in working on them and moved on to something else. Has that ever happened to you? I know Mary was talking about the same thing happening to her on her blog.

Today found me working from home, and while digging for something in my bins, I came across all three baggies of these blocks. they all seemed to want to go together so I thought what the heck, laid them out on the floor and started playing. In the baggies for the rosebud blocks were some 5" plaid strips and some 3.5" plaid strips, destined for making more blocks. I used these for the sashings.

When I first got the quilt to what I thought was the finished stage....it was too long for the width. For some reason I don't like really narrow tall quilts! So...I sewed more strips together and added two more side borders.

Again..I have no clue when this will be quilted, butit didn't take long at all to throw together from blocks I had laying around that were going nowhere. I think this quilt is also crying out for baptist fans. You know, maybe if I broke my leg I could sit and quilt and stop piecing and actually finish some of the gazillion tops that are stacking up around here?

Let's see what else! Oh, I turned in the "love in the lost and found" quilt last night along with some others for the show. I'll get pics when they hang. I'm glad I have that off my plate, all labels and bindings were finished by the end of guild meeting. Talk about the nick of time!

Sunday I came home from choir with an overload of ripe bananas. They were going to throw them away, and I snatched them for banana bread. Today I made 4 loaves, and they will go back with me to choir tomorrow night for our break time snack!

Here is a pic of Jeff in all his glory.....his "blame the dog" Tshirt! It seems to be all we do lately, blame sadie for chewing quilts and deck posts and whatever else she can get her mouth on that she shouldn't! (And yes, we have supplied her with LOTS that she can chew, she just chooses to be naughty...)


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Binding & Sleeve.....

Quickie post! I have to have quilts ready to take to guild mtg on monday night...all show entries need to be bound, sleeved, labeled and have dowels cut to size so the library folks can hang them with fishing line or whatever they are doing for display. All quilts will be hung against walls, so I think that is how they do it without racks.

I got the binding (black) and sleeve (lime green to go with the elvis dots!) on the back of the little quiltlet Tonya quilted.

How's this for a new title??? LOVE IN THE LOST & FOUND!! *hehehehe* Kind of goes along with the title of the "Love on a shoestring budget".....

No pics to post today...too much to do and no more time to putter around the puter...

In Stitches - - - -

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Love.......Not Lost, but Found!

When I got home from work yesterday (hellacious day.....I had clients booked all afternoon with my last client at 6:30, putting me home after 8pm....yawn!) there was a package from TONYA!

When I was down there a few weeks ago and we made my "Love on a shoe-string budget" quilt, there were some left over reject blocks. She made some crumb blocks, and we set out to see if we could turn this little "Lost" Love into a quiltlet. Tonya offered to quilt it for me, so how could I not let her? ;c)

Her hand quilting is so wonderful....and I still struggle to quilt without a hoop the way she does. I love the fans in the border, and how she quilted each block piece with just what it called for...it is perfect! And of course, I love the backing fabric...ELVIS!!

I also received some sad news this past week while I was on the road trip with Lucy to Paducah. My friend Marie passed away on Monday from pancreatic cancer. I will miss her laugh and her smile and her stories so much. She was a wonderful remarkable lady who will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

With true friendships, even with friends who have passed on, I am celebrating Love FOUND, not focusing on Love Lost. When it comes down to it, Love is the reason for everything. They say "You can't take it with you"....but with love, I think you can.

A close friend sent me this yesterday, by Mother Teresa. I think we can also substitute the word LOVE for LIFE:

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.