Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Story Time

We are conducting state-mandated testing at school today, which gives me free time to read my favorite blogs, which creates the need to respond, and therefore supplies my own blog fodder.

Number One. What is up with mean people lately??? Cara and Stephanie have recently been attacked for expressing their own opinions. Sorry folks, free speech is the hallmark of democracy. If you don't like it, find a way to respectfully disagree, or keep your opinions to yourself. We can all get along if we try.

I guess this is where my Libra/balance personality really shines. If I disagree with someone, I rarely argue the point. I have told myself that this is because I hate conflict, but a friend pointed out that I typically weigh both sides, and then make a choice about the issue.

Number Two. *blush* I forgot!!! LOL - I left to have lunch with a friend, and now I can't remember what I was going to talk about!!

But never fear, I do have another story for you. The other day, when I was talking about how I met my husband, I said I had specific criteria - must own his own washing machine and not be hung up on his mother. Here's the REST of that story :-)

I dated a guy who, at age 28, seemed like he had it together. Employed, clean cut, owned his own home and a dog :-) What he didn't have was a washing machine. So, each week, he would drop off his laundry at his mother's house. OK, at first glance, not a big deal. But, he didn't stay to do the laundry. Oh no. Mom would wash, dry, fold and iron his clothes, then bring them back! It was just too creepy to think of her waltzing in whenever her chores were done. Ah well, some people are in your life to serve as a warning!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I had some time Saturday morning during Baby K's morning nap to sew, and I have two more Hidden Stars finished! Only two blocks to go since 6 of them were finished on time in 2005. Oh, and remember that the points always match on camera!

The expedition to the LQS was a success! I got the fabric for three quilt tops. I knew what I wanted for a friend, and as I explained, I took Elizabeth (graduating senior) and Kerstin (foreign exchange student) to pick out their own fabric. I was a little nervous, because I wanted them to pick out a pattern as well! Imagine your first trip to a quilt store and this lady wants you to make decisions like that. The girls performed an amazing feat. Elizabeth chose the Yellow Brick Road pattern and her colors are green, pink, yellow and blue.

This is Kerstin's color selection:

Bold huh?!? Her pattern is "Squares Squared" by Aardvark Quilts, which will work just fine with a bright scrappy look. Stay tuned for photos of the new WIP!

I'm off to knit on my sweater and watch the Academy Awards. The first Rockin Socks Club kit goes in the mail tomorrow. Maybe by the end of the week I'll have my first STR yarn on the needles?!? Woo-hoo!

Friday, February 23, 2007


Over at Red Shoe Ramblings, things have been icy. Deb posted this photo:

She said she saw an man's face with a long beard. Kinda like that optical illusion picture where some people see the young woman and some people see an old lady. BTW, I usually see the young woman and really have to concentrate to find the old lady! Anyway, I saw a unicorn in the same icicle. Since I have no talent for drawing, I labeled the parts:
I might have some more Hidden Stars to show you this weekend...no promises though, because it's my husband's grandmother's 95th birthday. One of those required-attendance events. I don't consider it a chore...we are very lucky to get along easily with each other's families! I just mention it because it cuts into the sewing time!

And I'm trekking down to the LQS with some friends tomorrow morning. They have a daughter graduating from high school this year, AND a foreign exchange student! I got the crazy idea to make them both quilts. Kerstin, the exchange student, will get hers first, since she leaves on June 8th. I figure if Elizabeth's quilt isn't done, I can track her down pretty quick! I have to tell a long story for background...Elizabeth is responsible for my marriage - she was in my Girl Scout troop six years ago and her mom heard me talking about wanting to meet a guy who had his own washer and dryer and wasn't hung up on his mother. (The reasons for these requirements is another long story, best saved for another day!) Anyway, Elizabeth's mom had a friend from high school who was single, so she offered to set us up. Several months later I was at her house to talk about Scout stuff, and they introduced me to a man talking to her husband. I left without saying much only to find out later that he was "the" guy she was trying to fix me up with! I thought she should have encouraged me to stay and chat if that was the case, but it all worked out. In a strange twist of fate, he worked across the parking lot from me, we talked on the phone a few times and have been inseparable since our first date on Jan 20, 2001!

Back to the regularly scheduled blogging...

Baby K says...OK Mom, I'm ready! Let's go go GO!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hidden Stars

The name of the Marti Michell Block-of-the-Month (from 2005) is "Hidden Star Sampler." These are blocks 12 and 8. Th speckled blue actually has violets on it, very pretty up close! The pattern calls for the star blocks to alternate with fussy-cut roses from this fabric:
Although it's pretty, it's a little too frou-frou for my taste, especially since I want this to go in the master bedroom. DH can tolerate only so much frilliness! When I'm ready to put the final layout together, I am planning on solid blue squares...wonderful blank spaces for custom quilting! I hope I can do it justice.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Onto the next thing

One week until the Rockin Sock Club yarn gets mailed! And probably another week to arrive in my mailbox. It's like counting down to Christmas, yipee!! I want to be able to cast on right away when my RSC kit arrives, so I am in the planning stages with the two skeins pictured. On the left is "Stars and Stripes" by Fortissima. I am thinking of a plain ribbed leg and stockinette foot to let the sel-patterning yarn really shine. On the right is my Socktoberfest yarn from Scout. The plan is to create a pair of Halloween knee-highs for October '07. I need to get some contrasting plain yarn for the cuff, heel and toe. Black or purple...what do you suggest?

And the top shows the alpaca yarn for my current project. I started the Left Back of a sweater vest. All knit stitches, so it works up very quickly. The multi-color alternates for a striped vest. After the left back panel is finished, I just have to knit a small wedge and seam the 5 pieces together. Good thing I have lots of TV to watch this weekend...that means quality knitting time. (On the schedule: Amazing Race, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters on Sunday, 24 on Monday)

I wore my Jaywalkers to school yesterday. It made me so happy to look at my feet :-) I will need to adjust my wardrobe to better showcase the hand-knits.

Plans for the three-day weekend...taxes (yuck, but not very painful with the adoption tax credit!). Monday I will run down to the LQS for some backing and batting. Last night I finished the Color Blocks top. I think today I will pull out my 2005 Blocks of the Month...that project got stalled in month 7! It's a Marti Michell pattern, so there are lots of little pieces to cut out with templates.

I want to take a long walk with Baby K today to enjoy the 80 degree weather. My condolences to those of you in the frozen tundra of the Midwest!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

School Spirit

Jaywalkers complete!! Bring on the Rockin' Socks Club!

DH put Baby K to bed tonight and I am going to sew for a couple hours. YAY! I remembered a project that I wanted to finish this spring...a leprechaun pattern by Quilted Quickies. I thought that would be a cute wallhanging to display in my classroom in March. But alas, I can't lay my hands on the pattern at the moment. Time to pull out the bins holding my stash and re-organize. Especially since DH has been in a hoarding mood and is trying to stockpile canned goods in case bird flu strikes and we are quarantined for a month. I don't mind having food on hand, but the pantry is my fabric storage location. A girl has to have priorities ;-)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday Sewing

I won these colorful blcoks at my guild's February meeting. I decided I'd better do something with them ASAP...and it's instant gratification for me, just sew the rows together! There are several duplicates that I tried to separate, but I wanted to keep color families together. I started off with a row of blue, then ended up with "chunks" of the other colors. There were lots of burgundies that I just mixed in with the brighter reds. So, I could have been better on the layout, but it's a fun quickie.

Here's the six month Baby K bunny photo! Hard to believe how fast time flies.

Jaywalker update...I've started the toes, woo-hoo! Hopefully I can share finished pictures in a few days!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jaywalker update

See, I told you in-progress photos are boring! Here we have 75% of my first pair of Jaywalkers. I think it's pretty cool that, although I knew I did not start with the same color, the stripes look amazingly match-y!! Just about one row off at the very top. Which makes it easy to measure the foot length ;-) Looks like I need three blue stripes before my toe decreases!

B. is out on a walk with Baby K right now. I got out of it because I had to take my car in for its emissions check. I was sitting at a stop light this morning, noticing the personalized plates next to me, when I had that sinking feeling that I had missed a deadline. Yep - a week late renewing my vehicle registration! Only an $8 late fee, not too bad.

Although, thinking of my missed walk, I definitely need the exercise! I am about over my cold, just the drippy nose stage now. SO, next week, I'll be back at the gym. Maybe I can actually make it the recommended 3 times per week! That hasn't happened yet in the year that I've had my Curves membership!!!

Abrupt change of subject - Could Grey's Anatomy have been any more depressing last night?!? B's comment was that, of course, Meredith won't drown, because then it wouldn't be Grey's Anatomy! I wanted to watch Men in Trees, if only to cheer up, but I was about to fall asleep, so we recorded it and we'll watch it tonight after the basketball game...or maybe save it for Saturday since there's generally nothing on then! I'm looking forward to the Amazing Race All-Stars which begins on Sunday.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quick Finish

Here it is - the Patriotic Baby Steps, which now goes in the longarm pile! Of course, I need to trim the corners, then check if it's big enough for Quilts of Valor.

My Quilt Guild adapted my stash idea, although the focus is now on using scraps. And I won the raffle blocks!! Now I have three sets...maybe those should move up on the UFO list soon?!?

Thursday night in front of the TV...time to work on the Jaywalkers! I'll take a picture soon...knitters know that a few rows per day does not make a very interesting photo shoot.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Up from the depths

I found a UFO that I didn't have on the list last week. A sure sign that I need to finish these up!

The pattern is called "Baby Steps," a simple rail fence block set with plain squares. I chose red, white and blue, planning to donate this quilt to Operation Homefront Quilts or Quilts of Valor. My biggest oops was not pre-washing. I have leftovers so I can test the reds especially to see if they will bleed...then it's into a Retayne (tm) bath with lots of prayer!

Prewashing is one of those eternal quilting debates. I learned to quilt form my mom, and she doesn't prewash. I also worked in her quilt store, where I would show up in the morning, see all the new fabric, pick out all the supplies for a project and have it cut out by the end of the day. Instant gratification was the name of the game! (And "shop sample" is perfect justification for starting something new!!)

My last start-to-finish quilt was the batik Strip Club quilt, and I did take the time to prewash. I try to do all the charity blocks for my local guild, and those need to be prewashed also. It would seem that I need to spend some time washing my stash! Some people worry about fabric shrinking, but I am more concerned with dyes bleeding. Of course, reds and blacks are the worst offenders, especially when set next to white. Thus, my fear with the current project!! I guess if it turns into red, pink and blue, I could donate it to the local animal shelter as a doggie blanket, LOL.

As I was working on this last night, I thought of Bonnie's leader-ender project. She has a basket of squares that she keeps by her machine to piece in between her current project. When she has enough 4-patches or whatever, then she sets them into a scrappy quilt. Great idea, but it doesn't work for me! I can't just do a "few" of something. I need to have the whole project in mind before I start. So, I'm more attracted to something like Judy's Hour-a-Day stash-buster project, where you raid your stash to get all the fabric together and then I'm fine with working on it a little at a time in between other projects.

I like the idea of cutting my stash/leftovers into usable pieces. I started cutting one night, but didn't get very far, LOL. I'm thinking of suggesting this to my guild program committee - have the topic be "Tame Your Stash" and everyone can bring some fabric and cutting tools and start to get organized! Or have an "exchange" project, like log cabin blocks, where everyone brings lots of strips and we all share. OK. my mind is spinning, time to send these ideas to the committee!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

As promised

The latest photo of Baby K. Yep, sitting up by herself! She is such an extrovert that she HATES to take a nap...no time for sleep, she might miss something. She's not crawling yet, and actually, her daddy is fine with that. Since he's home with her all day, he knows that life will be very chaotic once she's mobile.

I'm home from school today with a cold. I figured it was better to take a day off and try to rest than to push myself to exhaustion. Of course, the baby decided to wake up at 5am, an hour earlier than normal!

The gussets are almost done on Jaywalker sock #2! We're heading to the home stretch...

I haven't decided what quilting project to pull out of the UFO pile next. Some of the candidates: an Underground Railroad sampler, a bargello, a Marti Michell BOM from 2005, the peek-a-boo cats, or a blue storm at sea. Probably not today though, I'd have a guilty conscience since I brought some tests home to grade!