Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Quilters

Debra sent me a box of patriotic fabrics & miscellaneous blocks for making Quilts of Valor. Many possibilities here.

Here's a UFO from the wayback machine. I participated in a friendship block swap in 1997 - that's the date on the blocks - and just now getting it put together. That is shameful. I still have enough blocks for a second small quilt.
This is DD#1's cat quilt started, oh, two or three administrations ago. I debated about putting this together with sashings but didn't have enough of any one fabric that would coordinate all these scrappy blocks. My goal is to get these UFOs done, not agonize over their artistic merits. DD#1 thinks it's a great, funky quilt because as she said, "YOU made it, Mom." I like that. Still needs a border, though.
This is Dexter. When he crosses one paw over the other like that, I just crack up.
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I'm meeting my goals of moving the UFOs along, even though they are not completely complete. That will be when they are quilted and bound; however, they're not languishing, I've pulled them out and I'm putting them together.
I will be more thoughtful about a few of them, like the appliqued Baltimore-style basket blocks I did a while back. But these are moving right along.
I feel like it's been a fairly productive week. I could have done more, but most of my sewing is done on the weekends. I'm just too worn out after working all day, usually. I prefer knitting or embroidery in the evenings. However, this past Sunday I helped my sister in law do some downsizing. They are doing some work on their house in anticipation of selling (one day). SIL's mother is a long time pack rat
collector of all things, including every piece of paper she's ever laid a hand on ;-), beanie babies (about 200), coins, stamps (thousands, all unorganized and in boxes and envelopes). SIL desperately needed help going through all this stuff and deciding what to keep and what to pitch. Her mother is 92 years old and had a fall about a week ago. She seems to be okay, but will be needing some in-house care. SIL felt her room needed a makeover before that happens so I was glad to lend a hand. Still, it took all day and we did not finish, so it cut into my sewing time on Sunday.

Hope you are having a creative and productive week, and thanks to Debra for her generous fabric donations

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Off Topic

This is not quilt related. It is weight loss related. Before you run screaming from the room - yeah, I'm sorry to go there, too but this topic is like a sword over my head, a little black dog that follows me wherever I go, my little gray cloud.

This morning I got my credit card out, ready to go to Weight Watchers online and sign up, then at the critical moment, i just could not.

My first experience with WW was - lordy - 38 years ago! I lost 50 pounds on the diet which was a DIET back then, no matter what they say; it was very restrictive but I did it. Over the years, I've lost and gained and lost and gained about a hundred times.

I guess it's nearly four years ago that I lost 25 pounds. After my mother's diagnosis with Alzheimers, I just went crazy eating for comfort and solace and anxiety and everything else. After visiting her, my family & I would stop at a pancake house on the square near the nursing home and have a big brunch to try & smother our sorrow. After her death, I realized I had to do something, and I was so please and felt so good after getting that weight off.

But there's a pattern to my weight loss stories. I lose, I feel good, I start getting lax, I stop exercising, I gain, I feel miserable, I struggle with whether to do it all over again or just live with it, I'm miserable, I join WW, I lose, etc etc ad nauseum.

I have finally realized this is not going to change, probably, this is most likely just the way I'm wired where weight loss is concerned and I had just as well get on with it and get the weight off.

I could probably cope with the weight I'm at now, about 10 pounds heavier that I want to be; but I know it wouldn't stop there. In another year, I'll be another 10 pounds heaver and so on.

There is a history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in my family, and extra poundage does not help that. Diabetes is linked to Alzheimer's as is high blood pressure.

So I'm going to do it, I'm going to take the step once again to get the weight off and get back on the bike and on the trail and get healthy. Not that I'm not healthy but as we age, it takes more effort to stay that way. I don't want to be sick!!

Is this a bad thing or a good thing? I prefer to look at it from a positive perspective. Yes, I fall off the wagon and i gain weight now and then. It would be wonderful if I could discipline myself not to do that - to immediately lose the pound or two before they become ten or fifteen. But I'm not wired that way, maybe I can change; I certainly will work on that. But at least -- at least -- I put the brakes on (and it's like stopping a moving train) when I just can't stand it any more.

**Big Gigantic Sigh**.

So here I go again. I'll probably wait until my pay check is deposited on Wednesday to take the big plunge, but I think I've avoided it long enough. I know you all understand, even if my family puzzles over why this is such an issue with me. Because it is, that's why. It just is.

And I will feel better and not be so stressed. Those are the two major benefits of my keeping my weight down. It's worth the effort.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I updated my other blog, where I've been trying (not successfully so far) to post family pictures and the stories that go with them. I tried this once before and couldn't keep it up; let's see if this time I'm more diligent.

Fabric from Jay McCarroll

Remember Jay from Project Runway?

Here's an article about his new fabric line, which looks wonderful. In this article, he talks about how his quilter-for-life sister influenced a his creativity. If you recall, Jay's final runway show included a lot of knitting and crochet. I can't remember if there were quilted items and I'm too tired to look it up right now. I can't wait to see the fabric when it comes out (officially) in February. It looks very retro.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Quilters

One thing leads to another on The Web and today I found these wonderful sites to add to my growing list of blogs I follow:

Womenfolk: The Art of Quilting, a quilt history web site hosted by Judy Anne Breneman. Judy writes brief articles about the history of quilts and quilt patterns. I came upon this site from the Facebook fan page for Quilting Bloggers, which featured a beautiful Old Testament quilt by the same quilter, Judy Anne Breneman on her blog, Among the Usual Days. I'll have to file this one away for the future, because I'd really love to make that quilt! Her web site, and Womenfolk, have tons of information about quilt history and patterns.

I was looking forward to having Sunday and Monday off, when I thought I'd quilt up a storm. I didn't get a lot done on Sunday but I did bake bread all morning. I had worked on Saturday so I did what I usually do on Sunday when I work on Saturday: recover. But I did get some quilting done Monday, and have almost finished the Horse Quilt top, just need to decide on a border:
I know. It's very busy. VERY busy. I wish I'd used a solid color in the corners but I didn't. Elizabeth loves it, so that's all that matters.

I also got some work done on another UFO, which I'll post next week when they are finished. These are huge blocks, really four blocks in one almost; a pieced block that takes some time. But I'm happy to get it done, it's very, very scrappy.

After that: I'm pulling out a small wall quilt I appliqued who knows how long ago which has languished in my UFO box for years. It's really pretty and is begging for embellishment. I'm kind of glad it's been hanging around for so long, because way back then, nobody was embellishing quilts like we are now.

Glad this is a four day week, and I do not work on Saturday! Wow! A Two-Day Weekend!

Take care and happy quilting!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Possibly the Cutest Quilt I've Ever Seen


The Dangerous Chocolate Cake

REad the recipe, and you'll see why it's dangerous:

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be

Allow to cool a little, and tip out
onto a plate if
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly
more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in
the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from
chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

I'm afraid I have to report....that his cake is .....

messy but

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Free Block of the Month from Bunny Hill Designs

I just discovered Bunny Hill Designs where you can get a free basket pattern each month. Very charming. Naturally, I will be adding this to my UFOs quilting projects.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today I mailed my first Soldiers' Angels care package to one of our Armed Forces heroes. I hope it finds him doing well and maybe lifts his spirits a little. I also mailed a box of cookies and brownies to another soldier.

I found a box with large, 16” blocks I had completely forgotten about, from an exchange I participated in years ago (whoops, I forgot to take pictures before I packed them). They are off to Texas for Debra to work her magic on them. I also came across some appliquéd basket blocks -- if anybody can make them look good, Debra can. They are at least ten years old. It’s such a good feeling to know these orphan blocks will be transformed in to a beautiful quilt for such a worthy cause.

Tomorrow I’m going to try & piece another top for Debra’s homeless teen quilt project. It’ll be simple, large blocks, maybe a nine patch; something I can put together quickly.

Take care, and have a productive weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wednesday Quilters

My projects:
The horsey quilt - I've been cutting out big six inch squares and I believe I have enough fabric to make Elizabeth a twin size quilt:

I am NOT an artist, I can't draw a stick figure, so I'm struggling with the doll's face. These are the first, second and third attempts.

Been busy baking brownies. For the Soldiers' Angels group. These are going to a couple of heroes:
As is this banana bread - I made severa loaves:And here's the quilt top that's going to Debra for her homeless teen quilt project:
I guess I have been more productive than I thought.

What have you been up to?

Monday, January 12, 2009


We had such a lovely day on Sunday, with breakfast at the Flying Biscuit and shopping at Ikea and Atlantic Station. I found fleece blankets at Ikea for $3.99, which I'll use for some of the Blankets of Hope for wounded soldiers.. I plan on backing them with cotton or flannel.

My daughter got the best bargain of all, however. H&M was having a sale. She found one sweater, marked 70 percent off, selling for about $20.00. Another was $59.00, marked even lower. On top of that, all sweaters were buy one get one free. She bought both for a little over $20.00: she got them for the sale price of one sweater. Can't beat that with a stick!

Both girls had a wonderful time and I managed to escape without spending too much of my cash.

It's not unique, I know; but it's really wonderful with both girls really look forward to a shopping day with Mom and Aunt Judy.

have a great day and hope to see you all back on Wednesday for show and tell!

Cowboy Fabric Nirvana

Wow, I think I hit the jackpot. Googling for 'horse or cowboy' fabric for DD#2's horse quilt, I found Prairie Girls quilt shop with ten pages of horse/cowboy/western themed fabric. This is so wonderful I can't wait until I have time to select what I need to make her quilt.

Of course, then I have to make DD#1 something special. I am liking the idea of a very simple quilt pattern using themed and large scale prints. The one I have in mind is a simple block with borders in the same background fabric. It gives the impression that the blocks are "floating". It seems perfect for this type fabric. I just hope I don't get so caught up in buying fabric that I never get the quilt made. But real quilters don't do things like that, do they?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Annual Shopping Extravaganza

Well -- it won't be an extravaganza for me, but for DDs 1 & 2, as this is their annual Hannukah shopping trip. We waited this year for the after Christmas Sales (how ironic is that?).

Last year, the daughters, my sister in law and I had a kind of impromptu day at Atlantic Station and Ikea. Spent the entire Sunday shopping. We've decided to make it an annual event and today was the first Sunday we could all get together. We're meeting at 9 am at The Flying Biscuit, a restaurant we love (but DH hates, sadly) and then we will be taking off.

Hope the weather holds out. It poured last night but supposedly will just be cloudy today, no rain. We need rain but hey, could I get a reprieve just for today?

More quilty news tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday Quilters - blogging from work

Welcome to my messy, disorganized sewing room.

Of all times for my DSL to go down at home - I'm having to post from work - don' t tell anyone.

Today I'm posting pictures of some projects I've been working on for awhile.
The top picture of the body parts are dolls I've been working on. Dolls are a great deal of fun - they allow all sorts of creativity.
Second picture shows the various cowboy/horse fabric I've been collecting for a quilt for my daughter who will graduate high school in May. I would love to get it done by then - hope springs eternal!
Last picture is a quilt top that's finished and will be a QOV, one of several I hope to make this year.
I felt the urge to do a lot of giving this year. I found a group called Soldiers' Angels which also collects blankets for wounded soldiers. These don't have to be quilts necessarily. They can be made of flannel or fleece, can even be a "no-sew" pattern. You can read more about it on their web site.

I'm glad you stopped by -- please leave a comment and link to your projects. We can all inspire and cheer each other on.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Don't forget to join me here tomorrow for WEdnesday Quilters!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Building A Better Blog

The building process involved in starting up a new blog is so tedious and discouraging. Serves me right, though: I should never have started over. But here we are.

To add insult to injury, the batteries in my camera died last night so, so pictures of quilts or anything else, which is why I uploaded those to irrelevant videos. WEll that, and for another, I was just experiementing with uploading videos.

While we wait for me to get my act together here, are you aware of this interesting project on Flickr?

You are supposed to make a video of your day, edit down to 90 seconds and post on the Flickr group - and you know I'm gonna do that! These are fascinating in their similarities.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wednesday Quilters

Debra gave me a great idea - the woman has more ideas!

I want to invite fellow quilters to joing me here on Wednesdays for a virtual quilting bee.

Stop by and post a comment with a link to your blog, showing your current project , whether it's quilting or sewing or embroidery or even a favorite recipe - you know, something that goes with coffee!

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We'll keep it an informal, drop in event; come and go as you please but please stop by, drop a line, have a show and tell and get to know your fellow quilters!

I hope to see you on Wednesday morning!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


but never forgotten...

The Blogger formerly known as...

Well folks, here I am again. After a slight melt down on November 6, 2008, I am back fighting the good fight.

That is to say, the fight to keep my fabric stash to a reasonable level; the fight to finish all those UFOs; the fight to keep this blog updated and running on something besides fumes.

First up: my resolutions for 2009. I have only one: to make 2009 the best year of my life so far. To do that, I will think positively, I will eat healthily, and I will live frugally.

Thinking positively - I will make time for me, and not feel guilty about it. I will sew and knit and quilt whenever I have time and not feel that I am neglecting the two adults and one near-adult who live in this house with me. They can find their own amusements at this point in their lives. Don't they disappear either to their rooms or the den to watch TV or surf the internets? Do they ask me if it's okay with me for them to glue themselves to monitors and TV screens and cell phones, leaving me to amuse myself?

Eat healthily -
ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover's Road Map to Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Getting Really Healthy got my attention. You should read it too. Find out about the foods that are good for you, bad for you, and can help prevent chronic health problems.

Live frugally - I'm not made of money, in case you didn't know. I have my eye on a digital SLR. How to reconcile those two facts? SAVE MONEY. Which means, and this is something it has taken me a long time to figure out, don't spend. The accumulation of wealth is a direct result of not spending your money. Maybe investing helps but listen, one thing at a time. So I will not buy frivolously, or impulsively but will think hard about what I really need, or really want. Also I will faithfully participate in the $1.00 savings program. That is, do not spend $1.00 bills. Put them in a coffee can or sock or something. If you have to spend money, you have to break at least a $5.00. If you can't afford to, then you don't get to use your $1.00's. It's a good way to save up for something like, say, a digital SLR?

No quilty news today but you may wonder what the title of this blog is all about.

My mother had six sisters. They all, every one of them, had a fiber fixation: quilting, embroidery, crocheting, sewing. For many years, they congregated on my aunt's back porch on Wednesday mornings, sewing project in laps, drinking coffee and eating muffins. I spent my Wednesday mornings there from the time I was six months pregnant with my older daughter. She was a certified member of the Wednesday Quilters from the time she was two weeks old, as was the younger one. I firmly believe being around all those loving aunts and cousins is the reason they are such good people. It also was the high point of my week back then and I miss it something awful as they are all but one gone now.

That's the story of the Wednesday Quilter and I'm back in the blogosphere to blather and show and tell and generally be a pest. But a happy, productive, positive thinking pest.