Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two More Days.....

I found this quilt on ebay....fun fun! I love the improvisational make-do piecing. I was thinking using big pieces like this would make a great BACKING for a quilt, if not the front. I just love looking at stuff like this. What a riot of color! I love how the lack-of-design IS the design!

I spent part of the afternoon yesterday switching out my massage table and items in my massage room with the gal who is moving in after me, Debbie. Debbie came on board at the end of December, and she really has been a God Send!

This is how things just work out if you go with the flow instead of kicking against the bricks I guess. This whole moving process, though stressful, really has been a wonder of things falling into place.

I have a good client named Ladd. Big time cyclist, die hard, just like my DH, so I understand his cyclist issues, and we've gotten on quite well. When I told him I was moving, he said..."What's going to happen here? Are you looking for someone to take over your room?" And I said yes, but I am wanting to turn my clientele over to someone who can handle all the deep tissue and sports massage clients I've built up."

It turns out that a friend of his has a girlfriend (Debbie) who had just relocated from Colorado to South Carolina, leaving a full clientele behind there, and didn't know how she was going to break into a practice here in a city where she didn't know anyone, etc. In Colorado she was the therapist for the USA cycle team! I told Ladd to have her give me a call, and she did!

She is perfect! A real go-getter and pleasant to be around. I've introduced her to lots of my clients so they know they can come to the same office and there will be someone there to take care of them. That is important to lots of people. So all is well. I'm not leaving the office high and dry as far as the lease goes..and my clients will be taken good care of.

SO..Debbie is moving her stuff IN to my room as I am moving stuff out. The only things left to go are my cabinet that holds my linens, My CDs my oils/creams/lotions and my wheelie stool. I'll take those tomorrow after I finish my last clients. And I will be done here. The end of a massage era!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life in the Bargain Basement... :cD

Sooooo...I spent yesterday playing with the amazon store, and managed to spend money buying things for myself at the same time! *LOL* I'm going to try this alpaca cotton blend batting to see how it hand quilts!There is also alpaca/wool blends..I'm game to try it anyway! I love llamas and alpacas...so cute. I wonder if DH would let me keep one as a pet? We have room at the new place! *LOL* I can see it now...If you make me SLEEP here with no furniture, I'm bringing home a LLAMA!!! :cÞ

While I was cutting strips for the Superbowl Bargello party for this Sunday, I started cutting other sizes too to play with some block ideas I had....and yes..I sewed last night until midnight and this is what I've got! This went SO FAST!

All of the little random 4 patches and geese units were SUPPOSED to be where plain 3.5" cut squares were to go, but why cut squares, when I can dig into this drawer of rejected pieced units and use them instead of the 3.5" squares?! The geese units were a partially pieced border. I took them apart into pairs...some of the geese turned direction in the border, so it left this little square in square thingy..throw that in too..make the geese turn all different directions!

Then there was the red/gold 4 patches that were a rejected cornerstone from another project. Only had 4 of those, but throw them in! A couple red/plaid hourglass blocks that were a test? Add them too!

And THEN...there were these brown gingham/solid red half square triangles that were going to be the sashings of the "swing your partner" quilt before I rejected them for a darker fabric....throw those in and turn them every which way, and voila!

Yes, my dear Scarlett, Solid red IS a neutral!

It still needs some borders, but I decided it was time for bed.

I'm having a tough time this week with my emotions saying goodbye to my favorite long time massage clients. It's ripping my heart out. You come to care for people so much when you see them every week or every couple of weeks, or even once a month over the period of 2 years.

I am blessed to have had these people in my life. I've been enriched by knowing them and learning from them. I'm going to MISS THEM!! And the other therapists I work so closely with. We've got 5 therapists in our office which will now be down to 4...what a great bunch of people.

I'm trying not to feel bummed. I know good things are coming. I also knew it was going to be hard, and so when it gets hard..Bonnie goes back to playing with her fabric and putting that machine pedal to the metal and sew sew sew!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gadgets & Tools, etc!

Now I *KNOW* I am in denial! I got an email from a guild I am doing a workshop at, and they wanted to know where they could order the rulers I use in bulk.

So..I am doing something that I wanted to do for a long time, but it involves more computer work than I really should be doing right now!

I partnered up with Amazon to offer notions and gadgets for people to order. Guilds and groups can order a dozen or more at one time, usually at a discounted price from retail and have it shipped to one address....and perhaps amazon cuts me a few cents here and there to help offset the cost of my website which is provided to everyone for free!

Sounds like a win win, yes?

On my little Amazon store I also included things I like such as John James quilting needles, quilting thread, my favorite non-slip 17" quilting hoop, rotary rulers and blades (5 for $19.99 is pretty good?) and other things I love and need like scissors, thread snips, and my favorite of all favorite: quilting books!

Click through my Quilting Bear in my side bar to enter! Maybe there are some goodies YOU need too! I love amazon as much or more than I love ebay! I always look for second hand books on amazon as well...The shipping is usually cheaper there than on ebay too.

All of this I would rather be playing with than thinking of how to get DH to agree to stay in a hotel for 2 more nights instead of camping out..*grumble*:D

Monday, January 28, 2008

Silly Silly Forest Jane!!

And Sillier Quilters! Forest Jane was joking about making a logo for the Super Bowl Bargello party....and before I knew it, she DID IT!! I love how the "Bowl" looks like the loops of strips before they are opened up and reorganized...too fun!

I *KNOW* this is insane. I have to leave monday morning to go up to Winston Salem for the house closing. I even have a MORE insane DH who thinks that just because the house is ours at closing, that we can SLEEP there with no furniture, no nothing....so I have to pack the car with stuff that we'll need.

(This is so dumb, but I can't talk him into staying in a hotel any longer, he's been doing it for 6 weeks and has had enough)

Things to pack
air-matresses (I hate these!)
folding camping chairs
folding camping table
some pots and pans (I think he expects me to COOK!?)
plates, bowls, glasses, silverware
electric griddle (Again....he wants me to COOK!?)
dish soap (I think he wants me to do dishes too!?)
TV & DVD player (so he can watch it while I cook...and do dishes?)

I tried talking him into the motel for just TWO MORE NIGHTS...Maybe I'll have to see if I can move into Mrs Goodneedle's house for a few days until my furniture is set up and let the guys camp out at an empty house with no furniture!!

But if this is the way it is going to be...here is my list:
couple of projects
mat/ruler/rotary cutter
iron/ironing board
extension cords
seam ripper
ott light
mp3 player with books loaded onto it
old movies on DVD that everyone else hates..
phone number for pizza to be delivered
phone number for chinese to be delivered

We have to remove a wall in the basement to make room for the quilting machine. it should come out easily as it is just a "wood paneling" wall and was added after the fact. But I also want to PAINT, and the guys are balking at that. I wonder what it would take for me to gather up some quilters who would want to come help me paint the nasty wood paneling from a chalky dirty white to something like....khaki? Something with some warmth? Maybe that would be too dark for a basement....

All you gals that volunteered to help, here is your chance! I'll be working on getting the basement studio ready on Feb 5th and 6th. The address is 136 Teague Ct, Winston Salem. It's out by Walburg...come on over and prove to DH how quilters band together!! *LOL* And I will provide the pizza!

OH..while I was grumbling about this state of affairs, I finished the Nifty Thrifty top. I've had people asking for the pattern already. Come on people! Can't you see what's going on in my life right now? *giggle* Actually, I am saving several quilts back from posting on my website because I have ambitions of finally doing a book. So you'll have to be patient! There is plenty on the website to keep you busy for a while!

I spent last night cutting my strips for the Super Bowl Bargello Party. Yep. Plaids. What else?! Never done one in plaids before. I wanted to make this to fit a full/queen bed, so I ended up cutting 240 2.5" X 16" (some of them are more towards 17"..gives me a bit more wiggle room for how wobbly some plaids are)rectangles and I'm ready to go for Sunday. I'll be making 6 panels 40 strips long. It will give me a center before borders that measures 72X80. Good size.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Super Bowl Bargello, Anyone??

Hi Ladies! (do we have any gents? I'm not sure!)

Next Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. It's a retreat weekend for lots of quilt lists out there. It's my LAST hurrah in this house until I move!

So here is where my brain is. Instead of sewing something new...I have to do something I'm really not interested in doing, but I can do it in fast order if anyone wants to do it with me!

On Feb 28th I'm teaching Scrappy Bargello to the East Cobb Quilters of Marietta Georgia, and I need a lap-sized demo quilt! I know this can be made in a day. I've done it before! And all the ones I've done have been given away. I have one king sized one left here at home that has been on my bed. It's worn, washed, loved, and looking TERRIBLE. I can't have that as a demo quilt!

So....Sunday, Feb 3rd, I am designating as Super Bowl Bargello Day! If you want to join me, use some time this week to gather the following:

Fabric Pre-Cutting:

For the lap quilt you will need 128 2-1/2"X16" strips in a good variety of lights, mediums and darks.

You can get several strips out of a Fat Quarter...or you can dig through your scraps and cut what you have got into usable sized pieces.

The leftovers from trimming the strips to 16" lengths can be saved for other scrap quilts...like 4 patches and 9 patches! Or you can use them in the border!

In this quilt "ANYTHING" goes! Use it up, get it out of the scrap stash!

Who's game to play?!


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Life In The Crossroads!

I wanted to take some time to showcase some of the quilts that are coming out of the Carolina Crossroads Mystery! Many of them can be seen on blogs by following the mystery quilters webring in my side bar.

There are so many, and I would love to show them all, but with over 1200 people on the list, there is only room here for a sampling :c) Click each one to get the full sized picture. I uploaded these in small format because there were so many.

I'm really thrilled with all the participants! The colors are WOW and the enthusiasm is catching!

This has just been the most unbelievable experience. Not to mention it has made the last 8 weeks fly by. I'm hoping to do another one in April. I'll have to see what comes up as far as ideas go...I hope you'll join us!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nifty Thrifty!

Isn't this a great well-loved quilt? It's just a cutter piece, the fabrics are shredding, but still it called to me. I love the simplicity of this block design, and I can imagine the maker digging through her scrap bag, cutting up leftovers from dresses and shirts to make this quilt to warm a bed for a long hard winter.

A lot of times it's quilts like this that spark my creativity. I play with blocks in different colors, fabrics and sizes...and then it takes a turn and goes off in it's own direction. But my inspiration often starts here, with a simple block.

I've been working with these strips in all colors and sizes from shirts that I've cut up. This pic is of the latest haul from the goodwill clearance center. Man, I am going to MISS THIS PLACE!!!

I made a pile of 30 blocks. I was going to leave this til later, but.....

I decided I can't stand it anymore! And before everything gets packed, up, I wanted to lay my latest shirt blocks out on the floor and play with sashings.

So this is as far as I've gotten. The light rectangle in the sashing is a brown gingham. It nearly reads as a medium. It's darker than the lights, yet lighter than the darks in the blocks. The sashings are the only thing that used yardage and not shirts, because I needed something to tie it all together. I'm still thinking on outer borders.

Actually I should be thinking on packing everything up, but I just can't! I've got ONE MORE WEEK of evenings home alone and I want to make the best of that I can!! *LOL*

I've been trying to come up with names for the shirt quilts using the names on the labels inside the shirts, but there might be copy right issues if I named a shirt-quilt Old Navy! (I was thinking of that if I used only navy shirts for a quilt, etc..) Calvin Klein? Joseph A Banks?? Pierre Cardin? It would be fun...but for the mean time, I named this quilt in progress Nifty Thrifty. And there is probably another quilt out there with the same name...we know that happens to a lot of quilts...but this still fits for me.

Fabric Finds!

My birthday month is the month where I gift myself with fabric and quilty things! You all know I ordered some a couple weeks ago. And it came! The FQ bundles from Z & S arrived just in time!

I also did a bit of shopping at Sweet Home Quilt Co in Conyers, GA! This is Melissa's shop, and it is in a wonderful historic house built in 1900!

You can see that Oscar was greatly intrigued by what I spread out on the floor! The two orange pieces I ordered from thousandsofbolts.com and there are the two FQ bundles from Z & S fabrics.com

I found a few background FQs at Melissa's shop that I had to have, along with my favorite roxanne quilting needles...I love these because they are more stout than other needles and don't bend so easily. I also raided her 10 cent scrap bin!! It gave me a big variety of pieces to work with, always so fun. Some marking pencils topped off my purchase there!

Oscar had to roll all over and love the scrap pieces right away. A cat after my own heart! I felt like doing the same thing! ;c)

Bane of all Banes....I am home today, but I have to clean house for a house showing in a few hours. I want to SEW! I want to QUILT! I have so much to do, and I have to spiffy everything up for a house showing..blahhh..

Today Jeff is 18!! He made it to adulthood! Well, at least in numbers anyway...(no thanks to me I'm sure...it can't be easy to live with me...)

I also have a funny to admit to. Over the last couple weeks with birthday pending, I bought some books from amazon...I didn't remember all that I bought, But books arrived while I was gone. I opened them up last night, took the stack to bed to read with me...and I don't remember ordering all of these. Hmmmm...

This morning there is an email from Lucy asking if I received the book she sent for my birthday! And I don't even know which one it is, because I looked at them all, and ordered a bunch and I don't remember! Is this old age settling in?! I had to ask her the title of the one she sent so I can know it was the one SHE sent and not one I ordered for my birthday book spree..silly. But you gotta laugh, right?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A ride on Georgia's Antiques Trail!

Hi hi!

I had a terrific time in Georgia on Tuesday night! The Covington guild was wonderful and receptive. And I tell you what! If you ever want to go to a place that has fabulous door prizes....GOOD GRIEF!!!

Melissa told me the way they do it is this....if it is YOUR birthday month (the way it was my birthday yesterday)...the birthday gals are the ones who bring the door prizes! And it seems there is quite the competition for who brings the best door prize! This means lots of participants buying tickets. Each prize has a numbered gold paper baggie next to it. You buy tickets, and put the tickets in the prizes that you want to win. It was fun to see who put what tickets where, and when the drawing started, there was lots of hooting and hollering! FUN!

BUT! Before I run away with myself....Melissa and I met up with a couple of other gals who took me out to dinner! We went to the BEST BBQ place...Mad Dog BBQ! I love going to "NON" chain places to try different foods, and this was tops! I have to admit, Georgia BBQ has it hands down all over SC BBQ! I never did understand that yellow mustard based sauce they use here....it just looks bad..*heheh*

I had so much fun talking to these ladies about their scraps and how to USE them instead of just hoarding them. They asked great questions, and we got some good discussion going. Got them thinking, and hopefully got them inspired to stop pussy footing around, and start SEWING!

Now this is where I admit to really being blond. I made sure I charged the camera battery..yep..fully charged..ready to go..back in it's case, you know the story? Well I pulled it out at the guild meeting to take some pics, and the screen said "OUT OF MEMORY". UGH. Yep...I forgot to put in the memory card! It was still at home in the slot on the front of my computer! So some of the ladies took pics and will be sending them to me.

I finished the binding on the Double T quilt while in my hotel room. I had a wonderful nights sleep in a very comfy bed at the Comfort Inn....

The next morning (yesterday) I got up, had breakfast, packed..and then mapped my way home...OFF THE INTERSTATE! My plan was to hit some really quaint little towns, look at all the victorian and mansion style houses, see the court house squares, find a little place to have lunch,and of course hit the antique shops. I was going to wander with no thought to the time! It was my birthday after all! I just wanted the whole day to myself. And that is just what I got.

The first place I stopped was "Church Street Antique Market" in Covington GA. I found three goodies there that I could not pass up! The first thing was the big basket with the lid. I love baskets. I find them so versatile! I also found the green ceramic jar there, perfect for cotton balls or something. I also nearly MISSED the other goodie....the little rocking chair pincushion!

From there I hit "Barn Raising" in Rutledge, GA, and then on to several shops in Madison GA!

I think Madison was my favorite..so picturesque. I love old country towns that center around a courthouse square. I can almost imagine what it was like in the "good old days" of yesteryear.

And don't forget the little hexagon doll quilt. Oh...I fell in love! It's tied...but all hand stitched. It's OLD...it's so old it LOOKS like a repro, but it is the real thing! I took a bunch of close ups so you can see the fabrics. This was my find of the day....I love it so much!

The patchwork Bunny came from another shop in Madison, and the picture is a quilter's cross stitch...I picked that up in Augusta!

Also, in Augusta I found this! A string star top in really wonky shape..but it was only $18! It had to come home with me. The pieces in it are huge...I'm not sure if I want to re cut the stars and re piece them correctly so it will lay flat or just hang on to it as a fabric study..but I just love it, even as wavy as it is! The greens have started to change color...not sure if they (or at least one of them..there are two greens that I can tell in the background) were hand dyed or not.

I took some close ups of my favorite fabrics in it!

I made it back to Columbia just in time to drive straight to choir practice...from there I came home and went to bed. Today I've been at the office all day.....

But the best news I have to tell you is that I have a PACKING/MOVING DATE!! The movers are coming to start boxing me up on Feb 7th. They'll load the truck on the 8th. They will deliver all to my new house on Feb 11th. So this is going to happen rather quickly now. If you don't hear from me....you'll know why! I'm not sure how long it will take to get internet hooked up at the new place. We are just taking it one day at a time.

And since this post is so long and photo intensive....I'll end it here for tonight. I took pics of my birthday fabric too, but that can wait for another post.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

T is for Tuesday!

Wow..I haven't posted for several days. Did you think I went awol?! It all started with Friday. We bought DH's old boss's 1994 ford taurus for Jeff, and it had to have the taxes paid, insurance put on it and plates picked up from the DMV etc. I had to do so much running around on friday to get this all done! He was anxiously waiting for me in the driveway when I got home friday afternoon...screw driver in hand....eager to get those plates on so he could DRIVE IT!

You might remember that a few months back he wrecked his car by hitting a hummer. I think he learned his lesson. He and I have been sharing MY car for the past few months since his dad is in Winston Salem and we are here. We've had to shuffle schedules to be sure we could get him to work on time, etc. We've done remarkably well!

He is now spoiled...this taurus is in excellent shape. It was babied and taken such good care of. I hope that trend continues. This time around he knows the car is NOT his. It is OURS..and he has privilege of using it as long as certain conditions are met. We learned our lesson on the last one.

DH also came home friday night after being gone for 3 weeks. There was lots of running around to do over the weekend. We had a bunch of papers regarding the closing of the new house to have notarized and signed, as well as papers for THIS house that needed notarized and signed as well...for the pending buy out. Talk about stress in getting all the ducks in a row. Thanks to the UPS store..it got all done. If you didn't know, all the employees at a ups store are notaries, so even on a weekend, you can get something notarized. Not so with the bank!

As for the T part of today's post title...I finished quilting my double T top! I needed something easy to throw in on sunday so that I'd have something to sit and bind. Nothing like being warm under a quilt while hand stitching binding down when it is this cold!

I made this top with the inspiration of an antique quilt I saw in the same pattern, which also used a double pink background, and the Ts just seemed to blend in like this. I like the murkiness of it! (Is that a word?!) Sometimes antique quilts just had really low contrast, and I aimed for that with this quilt. It doesn't use ALL reproduction fabrics, but there are quite a few in there as well as some stuff I wanted to use up that just fit the bill.

I didn't border this one..which is unusual for me! But no borders also fit the time period I was aiming for. I used a madder brown binding on it..I still have a bit left to go to finish the binding, but I wanted to leave you with some eye candy!

I did machine quilt it with swirls and feathers. The quilt is so busy with the murky colors that a lot of intricate machine quilting wasn't going to show anyway. And I wanted it done quick! Nothing really exciting on the back either, just a piece of green yardage that I had enough of. I believe it came from a $1.00 a yard table somewhere ;c)

This morning I caught my little Emmy Lou on the dining room table! She knows she is not supposed to be there! She is a timid little thing, and hard to catch for photos, so I snapped a couple quick pics of her. She and Oscar don't get along....he terrorizes her, and she prefers mostly to be outside. She comes in to eat, get a bit of loving, and then back out she goes. But the weather has been so cold here, I think she has decided to spend more time IN...and she will hide in places where Oscar can't find her and chase her around. She hisses and spits, and then coughs and sputters. She ought to just whack him one...but she just runs!

I'm on my way to Covington Georgia today to do a lecture/trunkshow tonight! Yesterday I went back to the miltary supply store and bought some more duffel bags for transporting the quilts. I had to take a couple pics! They were out of black ones, so two of them are army green, but that is okay by me. Now it REALLY looks like there are a bunch of body bags in my living room!

I didn't pack them so full that they are too heavy to carry. I have a little collapsable wheeled dolly thing that makes it easy to wheel each one into wherever the guild meeting is, and there are lots of handles on them so they can be carried by one or two people. I also like that I can roll the quilts instead of folding them....that will help with crease lines, etc.

I'll be back sometime tomorrow! Tomorrow is also my birthday. Wow. I'm 46! I thought my life would be over and boring by the time I was 46...and it feels like it is just beginning and getting better all the time!

Jeff is 18 on Friday. This means that I am now a parent of all adult children. I did it! I made it through! Sometimes I didn't think I would, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel :c)

Off to pack for GA!