Friday, May 30, 2008

This and That

I am very tired today.  I stayed up until midnight to finish sewing the binding on the U of M quilt for my friends that are getting married June 14th.  I showed you a picture of the quilt in the past but here it is again.


 I gave Liz my sister's quilt today and we are still trying to decide what kind of quilting to do on it.  I want block work in the white blocks and I think chains of flowers and dragonflies going through the purple irish chain blocks. 
Liz and I went out for lunch today and that was fun.  We spent the whole time talking about the quilt I want to do for DS's lacrosse coach for next year.  Do you remember the little lacrosse guy I had Liz embroider for me?  
I am considering using him to make a quilt for the coach for next year when DS is a sr on the team.  I think I will have the outline behind the boy of the number of each senior and the boy will have his number where the "S" is.  I will then put their last name under that.  I think I can have Liz embroider the names and number for the rest of the team around the border of said quilt.  Liz thought we should stitch some up and see how we like them, which is probably a good idea.  She also told me we might be able to put "him" on a sweatshirt and use that for a fundraiser for the team.  I think that would be neat too!  She really is a "whiz".  It is so fun when ever we get together as our ideas flow fast and furiously!!  Good thing she doesn't live too close to me or neither one of us would get anything done except for the designing stuff!  

DD#2 is coming home tonight and the bowling fun-draiser for lax is tonight.  DD#2's birthday is on Sat and she will be spending it with my dad and sister.  She is living with them and she called me the other night to tell me that grandpa was so excited that he remembered her favorite place to eat so he is taking her out for dinner.  It is good for him and for her.  

Have a great weekend.  I suspect I may get pressured to finish the binding on TUQ this weekend so DD can take it back to college with her, but we'll see.  She asks about it every time she calls home.  I hope you all have a productive weekend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recycled Fabric Swap

Just a quick note to let you know that if you are interested in a recycled fabric swap please visit this link: http://www.embtreasures.com/fabricswap.htm
There are several type of swaps you can choose from but the deadline to sign up (via email) is May 30th, only 2 more days, so spread the word! It will be fun to see how many places this can travel and what kind of fabric you will end up trading!!

It is being hosted by Serena at Embroidery Treasures. She is also having a give away so go and check out her blog. Lots of great "stuff" over there!

Go on...hurry up, you know you want to join in on all the fun!!

Faith and Scratch

I don't know how many of you know Faith over at Nutbud Quilter but this is her dog Scratch. Scratch had a badly broken leg and the vet had to do an operation to pin it back together again. At the last visit her bones were not healing properly and the vet suggested amputation of her leg.  I know this was not a decision that Faith entered into lightly.  With the surgery and then the amputation it was very expensive for her too.  The vet does charity work but does ask for a donation.  Faith and her SO, Jim are musicians (I think Jim has another job as well) but Faith is deaf and is on disability so money is tight for them.

Here is Scratch after her amputation.  According to Faith she is getting up and hobbling around but is still in quite a bit of pain (the amputation was very recent).
Faith is a fabulous hand quilter, you should go and check out her work on her blog.  She is looking for a quit top to hand quilt to try to then sell to raise money to help pay for Scratch's surgery.  If anyone has a top they would be willing to donate please email me privately.  If any of you are interested in making an out right donation to the vet to help her out I can facilitate that too.  Again, please email me.  This is the type of top she is looking for.  I guess something scrappy and old fashioned looking.

I know that money is tight for everyone but if you can find it in your heart to help I know it would be appreciated more than you can possibly imagine.

Now a note on how my evening went!  Our lacrosse banquet was last night.  I had to speak and welcome everyone and then do my "thank-you's" to the people that have been so supportive to me through out the year.  I got flowers for a few folks and they turned out so beautifuly!  An orange rose, magenta carnations, Asltromeria, baby's breath and white daisies.  (I should have picked up an additional one for myself!)  I was very nervous in front of everyone but I was told that it went well.  My DS earned his varsity letter so he was pretty happy about that!  

I have quilting with the CL's tonight so more later.
XXOO

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More from that Posie Patch

After my partying last three days, I decided I needed to get some stuff finished and off my to do list. On that list were making throw pillows for my sister to match her quilt with the left over blocks I had. Here is the back, notice the piping around the edge? That was not fun to figure out!

This is the front of the same pillow with the pillow form inserted! TA-DA!Not bad for a first timer, eh? I made 2 of these one with purple piping and one with pink. Since this was the second one, I liked it much better!
I *still* had more of that darned flowered fabric left so ...pillowcases. Two of them. I think I will give her the quilt for her birthday and the accessories for Christmas, what do you think? She is very difficult to buy things for so this will allow me to spread it all out!
Remember I told you that the CL's taught me how to make a purse? Well, here it is. This is not finished. I need to sew a loop on to that point and a button under it for the closure. I also need to sew on a handle (the directions they gave me, bless their hearts, didn't have the directions for a handle!) But, I know they know how to do it because they showed me one that was finished. Like the chickens, Natalie?
As you can see here both "points" of the triangle make outside flaps for storage and this is what the inside looks like. It is SOOOOOO easy to make this. They used pre-quilted fabric (which is pretty expensive) I quilted this myself! Let me know what you think!
I told the CL's that I would make these vinyl screen bags for our craft show so I tried the pattern that I had been given. They were pretty simple to make but the directions were not that great so I had to rip out a lot. Here are the 2 I finished making today. All from clearance fabric!

They are quite large, think 16X18" but I really like them. They took me about an hour to make each one. Now I have to figure out how much to charge for the show. The screen is kind of expensive about $4 per bag. It takes about 1/3 of a yard of fabric and then thread. Any suggestions? What would you be willing to pay?

So this is how I spent my Sunday. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that Chris' sister, Julie, came over this am and took us out for breakfast. More partying, but more my speed, lol!

We have the lacrosse banquet tonight. I will most likely tell you all about it tomorrow. Have a good evening!

And the Party Continues!

Just when you thought the o2 old geezers couldn't party for one more day (remember this is day 3 of the celebration) you were wrong! Our friends, Mary and Craig invited us to go to a Tiger's baseball game at Comerica Park. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game. We ate at Cheli's (owned by the Red Wing Chris Chelios) This was the view of Comerica Park from the roof top of Cheli's. It really is spectacular. The town was hoppin' because there was a Tiger's game and the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs going on Sat night.
This is the front entrance to the stadium. Look at all those stone tigers!
They even dressed the BIG tiger in a Red Wings jersey. It was really cool!
Here is a picture of the screen showing one of the 2 home runs Ordoniez (not sure if I spelled this correctly, let me know Jeanne) scored. The Tigers won against the Minnesota Twins 19-3. It was a great game. I am not that much of a baseball gal but I really enjoyed myself. Mary and Craig are such fun to be around and would not let us pay for hardly anything since it was Chris' birthday. Thanks, guys, you're the BEST!!
There were fireworks after the game and on our way out the tigers heads all around the stadium had baseballs in their mouths and they all lit up! It was awesome!!

A fun time was had by all. I forgot to tell you that I had quilting with the CL's all day prior to going to the game. They taught me how to make a quilted purse in about an hour. I will share that with you later. Maybe even step by step if anyone is interested? But for now just the finished product. We got home late from the game and went right to bed. I am getting way too old to stay out late!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chris' BIG Day

Here is the train DH and I went on last night to celebrate his 50th birthday. They also have a Saturday "Party Train" for the same length of time but for only $25. Hmmm...this could be a lot of fun with a group!! You can even make reservations to sleep on the train (if you partied too much, I guess)
This is my sweetie getting ready to board the train. He looks pretty happy for an old dude, huh?
I had the engineer take out picture together before we left the station. There were only 10 total people on the train last night.
Mmmmmm...yummy!
I forgot to take a picture of the dinner until I was part way through but here ya go. Chicken cordon blue with rice and veggies. It was very good!

They had an entertainer that did songs from Motown and he also did impressions. It was pretty fun. He was doing "My Girl" by the Temptations and asked the guys that were there to do the vocal back ups (they all really ended up singing)

My DH can't carry a tune in a bucket, but you should watch him trying! Awe, he was such a good sport! Happy Birthday, honey!!

video

Tonight we are going to see the Detroit Tigers game with our friends, Mary and Craig. We are going to dinner somewhere first, although Mary said no where fancy as she will be wearing her Tiger's jersey! It should be a fun evening.

I had quilting with the CL's today and I got a tied fleece University of Texas blanket done for DS. (That counts as stash fabric out, right?) I also machine stitched the binding on the U of M quilt. One step closer, yea! I cut out a pet screen tote bag and learned how to make the cutest little purse. I will post more about that later, once I make one. Maybe I will post a tutorial. That is if I ever stay home long enough to do it. The yard needs work and so does the house, but instead I am posting and partying! I guess you know where my priorities lie, hmmmm???

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weeds in the Posie Patch? You tell me.

This is the first (maybe the second) time that I am posting twice in the same day!  I wanted to show you the flimsy of my sister's quilt.  I hung it up over a railing and my friend Robin brought her BIG camera and took these photos.  We use them to design the quilting for the top for Liz to use as a reference when she does the quilting.
The photo looks a little odd as the white behind the lower half makes it look a little strange.  I am not going to put borders on it and the binding will be a graded purple.  Robin always insists on taking a photo with me in it, so I thought I would share that too.
I know you can't see the kaleidoscope effects on the purple blocks at this distance but you can see the whole quilt better this way.  The quilt is 82 X 99 so it is pretty big.  
I took some close ups and here you can see some of the kaleidoscope blocks that make up the Irish Chain.



I'm not sure if you can see my "weeds" (Dandelions) or not on this one.  They have gone to seed.

So...what do you think?  I am trying to name it and I have either Weeds in the Posie Patch (the wow fabric is dandelions) or Irish Posie Patch, or Holly's Posie Patch.  Which do you like best?

Happy Birthday Chris, The BIG 50!!

I don't show DH on this blog very much and he is really not a social kind of person but...one of my oldest and dearest friends invited us over last night and little did we know she had a birthday celebration planned!  She had some friends visiting from Florida, you know, god's waiting room?  In case you are wondering why 3 candles when he is actually 50 (besides the fire hazard) I was informed they stand for good wishes in the past, present and future.  He actually had a good time.  When I got home from work I had filled his jeep with black balloons (I forgot to take a picture) and tied an "Over the Hill" one to his mirror.  He laughed! Anyway, here he is blowing out his candles.  I asked him if he read my blog and his response was,  "You have a blog?"  Happy birthday honey!!
When mary invited us over, she told me to bring my quilts as her friend, Dee is a quilter.  So, of course, I had to get my sister's quilt all assembled so I could bring it with me, right?  We got to Mary's house and her friends had this adorable dog named Spike.  He reminded me of Wishbone, the TV dog.  Do any of you remember him?
Apparently it has been quite a concern about how I keep my pins, so for those of you with enquiring minds, here is my plastic pin container.
I had to pin the rows together of my sister's quilt and was happily doing so when...
I noticed the ever vigilant Hallie watching me from the piano.  Oh but not for long.  She decided it looked like much more fun to "help" me work on the quilt.
Thanks, Hal, this makes it ever so much easier to work on sewing those rows together!  What would I do without you??

I have the entire top pieced and I bought material for the back.  It is a white-on-white called Rambling Vines by P&B.  It is 115" wide so no piecing, yeah!  I had enough of the 9 patches done to make 2 throw pillows and enough of the focus fabric left to make a couple of pillowcases which I think I will do and give her for Christmas.  I am so ready to move on to another quilt!  Next up will be the signature wedding quilt!  Then hopefully, I will be able to work on the "S" quilt.  I really need to use up some stash.  It has turned into SABLE  which is Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy!

Have a great weekend. DH and I are going for our train dinner tonight. I will take lots of pictures!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pillow cases

I completely forgot to take a photo of the pins in the plastic box last night (it was after 11:30pm that I told you).  I will try to remember to do it tonight.  

I did manage to get all of the blocks for my sister's quilt sewn into rows and some of the rows sewn together too.  I will probably finish sewing the rows into the top tonight.  (I hope anyway).  I *need* to sew the binding on that U of M quilt and on TUQ so I will have some hand work for Sat with the CL's.  

I am trying to plan DH's 50th birthday in the midst of all of this too.  I finally figured out what we will be doing.  I am going to make reservations at the Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train.  It is a 3 hour train ride with a 4 course dinner and a Murder Mystery show.  He loves trains and I think he will enjoy this.  I can get an bottle of wine and an appetizer for an additional cost that I think I will do too.  I have ordered a dozen black balloons to fill his jeep too.  I will pick those up tomorrow and fill the car when I get home.  Maybe I will do it tonight, if they are open late enough for me to do it.  It would be much funnier if it was there for him in the am!  I made an appointment for him to take to dog in for her heart worm check so he will *have* to go to the car!!  We may go to a Detroit Tiger's game on Sat with some friends too but it is dependent on if they still have company or not.  That would be fun too!

I really wanted to make a plan to go to Ireland for his 50th and our 25th but his company just laid off a lot of people and it makes me nervous to think about spending too much money until things settle down a little bit.  That is my "someday" trip, Ireland and Scotland.  (and maybe a stop in England, right Faith??)

I will try to take some pictures tonight to show you tomorrow!  Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pin Cushion Swap

I didn't have a very exciting evening, lots of running around though. I found a pin cushion swap over at All Stitched Up and thought you might like to go and sign up too! I am trying to decide if I am up to it but I thought some of you might at least like to know about it. Let me know if you decide to join in. I don't even own a single pincushion! How sad is that? So maybe I should join in just so I can own one, what do you think? Anyone got any great patterns for a pincushion?

Apparently you are all very interested in what exactly I do keep my pins in. I will post the picture of them tomorrow. I keep them in the little plastic box they came in. Although I have to admit a pin cushion would probably be more handy! Inquiring minds wanted to know so now you know...the rest of the story!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kelsey's Big Adventure

For those of you that don't know, this is DD#2.  She is studying fisheries and wildlife at MSU.  She took a class this summer that is like a retreat about 2 hours north of MSU.  She and the other students are catching and sampling from the wild life there.  Here she is with an Eastern Newt.

They caught this raccoon and had to take blood, weigh and measure it.  Here she is taking it's temperature...rectally!  Wow, she really knows how  to have fun, huh??
The shocked the water and had the stunned fish float to the top.  Then they took them and measured and weighed them and catagorized what they found.  Isn't she cute in her waders?  She actually fell in and got wet anyway, lol.  She is holding a Crapie (a type of fish). 
Just a peek into my little adventurer's life!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quilt-A-Thon

I sort of joined in on Judy L's quilt-a-thon this weekend. I could do this because DH drove with DD and her friend to Madison and moved all her stuff home on Fri and Sat.  This left my previously busy weekend more free that I thought! 

 I *need* to get going on that quilt for my sister so here is what I did.  I first finished sewing all the 3 patch units together like this.

Then I sewed them all into 9 patch units like this.
Then they all had to be trimmed (which I HATE doing) like this.
Finally I got to sew the 9 patch units into rows with their white blocks in between like this.  I got 6 of the 13 rows sewn.  Some are even sewn into 2 row units.  I am making progress.  Hallie was lying in this one when I left for work this am.  That should be good.  Calico fur all over it!
It is pretty big so I really doubt if I will put a border on it.  I found some graded purple fabric that I think will make a great binding.  I need to get this done so I can 
1-Sew the binding on TUQ
2-Sew the binding on the U of M quilt (I know, what? it still needs to be done)
3-Make and sew on labels for both 1 and 2 above as well as turn and hand sew above binding down.
4-Cut out the white-on-white squares for the back of the wedding quilt (What was I thinking??) And draw on the 1/4" lines.  One quilt per wedding from now on!  I still need to go and buy the fabric for that too.
5-Cut out the quilt that will go with #4
6-Cut out the blocks for Liz's mom's bear and moose quilts and sew them.

I think I need to stop as I am getting depressed!  I need to clean the house and get ready for DH's BIG 50th birthday on Friday.  I am not sure what we will do yet but he needs something special! 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nice Surprise

If you are looking for quilty I'll start with that. I am trying to have a quilt-a-thon day today as DH and DD1 are moving all her "stuff" back for IN today. Have you checked it out over at Judy's blog? So we will see how it goes. I am working on the quilt for my sister. I have all three of the rows for each nine patch sewn together and now must sew the rows together into the 9 patches. Then I can begin putting the whole thing together.

Now for the surprise. This is definately not quilt related so if you don't want to know you can stop right here!

I don't know if I have told you this before but for about 12 years my hubby and I were officials for USA Swimming. We began when DD2 was very little and worked our way up to the highest level over the years. (DH decided he needed to do it since I was doing it if he ever wanted to see me on the weekends. The meets last the entire weekend from Friday night until about 5or so on Sunday. There are 4 sessions for most meets. If there were prelims and then finals it was more. Also the championship meets were definately longer too, but I digress. When we first got on the deck there were few women officials, me and 2 others. One that didn't work very much and one older lady that was really, really scary. Kind of grumpy most of the time. So when my much younger self showed up on the deck many parents were happy to see me. They would tell me they felt better letting their kids go on the deck alone and knew that they could come to me if they had a problem and the kids were not afraid of me (I wasn't as scary as that other woman and most of the men were older and a little scarier for the kids too) You need to know that kids as young as 5 were entered in these meets and it was a little intimidating for them.

Well, I had several experiences that I have come to find out that have had quite an impact on the kids. One of which I will share here. I met Ali for the first time when she was around 8, I think. She was this cute little girl with a huge smile. She would come to me after every swim and tell me her times. I saw her frequently at lots of meets over time. One time I saw her team at the meet but she wasn't there. Maybe she was busy. This happened a few times so I asked the coach where she was. Apparently her mom had cancer, and it was bad. She was not going to make it. Her dad was taking care of her mom and had lost his job. I felt so bad for her. She wanted to spend time with her mom before she died. So I was thinking about her and her mom and wondering what I could do for them. I went to the video store by my house and got a gift card for some movies and some gift certificates for candy and mailed them to her with a card explaining that she and her mom could watch whatever they wanted and spend time together (If I remember correctly mom was bed bound). She thanked me and I saw her a few years later at a meet. She came up to me and told me how much it had meant to her and her mom that I had sent the gift. Well, her mom didn't die and was there with her dad and she proudly introduced them to me. The mom also told me how much the gift had touched her.

Over the years I have lost touch with Ali but yesterday I received an invitation in the mail to her high school graduation party! She has turned into a beautiful young woman! If it is at all possible I will plan to go and see her and wish her well in her life.

It is truly amazing how a small act of kindness can have such an effect on someone's life, isn't it? Can you believe after all these years she still remembered me?? I feel blessed that she wanted to include me in her celebration. As Mrs. Goodneedle says...Life is good! Now get out there and perform a random act of kindness!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Purchases from Paducah

I just thought I would share some more of the loot I picked up while in Paducah.  I found some wonderful (new to me) patterns.  The center one on the top I bought with the CL's in mind.  Looks like something they might enjoy making.  You can't see it very well but the one on the right on the top had done something I had not thought to do before and that is use prairie points on an inside border.  The small ones are all feathered stars (you all know my obsession with those)
I have the first Claire's Cats book and did a quilt a while back for my friend Judy that had been diagnosed with bone cancer.  The new book is cute too.  One of my other obsessions is Halloween so I absolutely could NOT resist this cat leading the JOL choir.  It was an adorable quilt all made up.
I had bought some charm squares and wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with them and then I found this book.  I have not seen many of the books or patterns using charm squares that I like but I loved the patterns in this one!  
In fact I liked them so much I bought this fabric and these charm squares to make one of the quilts for myself!!  Wow, I may actually get a quilt on my own bed.  Wouldn't that be novel?

Then I found this fabric.  Fresh Squeezed.  I just fell in love with it.  I found the striped fabric at Eleanor Burns' tent for $4/yard, so viola...I had my backing too!!  Now I just need to find the aqua from the bundle to use for a border.  Any suggestions??  This one will also be for me but I have NO idea what pattern I want to use.
Then I found this and thought I would share it with all of you too.  The woman at Ohio Quilter's Journey is having a give away.  Go check out her blog and answer her question for a chance to win!

Have a great day!  It is sunny and beautiful here!!