Saturday, September 29, 2007

The barn!

Thank you so much for your encouragement and thoughtfulness. I'm feeling much better! Today will be spent at a soccer tournament watching my daughter play. It is a beautiful Autumn day and should be a pleasant sit in the sun. I am bringing some hand applique but knowing myself, unless I sit in a corner away from every one, I'll just be chatting with the parents and cheering my baby on! lol As most of you know by now, I can yack! lol

Given that I don't have much quilty things going on, I thought I would share with you the barn.

Tah, dah......

Dad and my brother came down last weekend to put the tin roof on. Stephen had been busy getting the cupola constructed and ready to assembled.

They worked all day Saturday and in the morning on Sunday. Afterwards, they all went sailing on Lake Champlain! A treat well deserved after all their hard work.

Stephen has been busy this week putting the finishing touches. The only thing left to do is to install the doors!

I do like the way he did the windows on each side. The glass panes came from a couple of original windows from our home that were replaced last year.

As for the weather vane, I had originally picked a witch on a broom. Unfortunately, the way it was mounted would not have worked with the cupola.
Since I love anything celestial, a sun, moon and star worked just as well.

There you have it, our barn! It is certainly a nice place for my husband to keep a stash of wood!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day every one!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thanks for the laugh!

Yesterday, I arrived home at 7:45 p.m. after an insane day!

I left home around 10:00 a.m. and arrived at school at 1:15 p.m. I was stuck in traffic for two and a half hours (2 1/2) on the Mercier bridge. Usually I'm at school within an hour. One thing about small town USA, traffic is considered 3 (three) cars at a stop sign. lol Although I come from a large city and am acclimated with traffic jams, I must admit, you loose your patience after living in an area with so little traffic. Of course, it didn't help the situation that I was meeting someone at 12:45 p.m. and could not reach that individual! You can just imagine, after the week I had, I was fit to be tied when I arrived at school!

After class, I felt like quitting school! Enough is enough! I just wanted to cry! So I left for home as opposed to going out for a drink with friends. I really wasn't in a good mood! When I arrived home, I hugged my little girl and settled her in bed for her nightly reading.

I poured myself a glass of wine and started thinking about what I want to do with my life. Wanting to hear the rain falling, I opened the front door and found a package from Amazon. I'm thinking, gosh that was quick, I placed an order for school books a couple of days ago! I opened the package.

I laughed so hard I cried! Cheryl, you made my day! Thank you!

Allow me to explain, a while back my friend Cheryl (from Oz) and I were chatting about manners and how some people just don't seem to have any. She made reference to this book and how great it was. I had never heard of Miss Manners only of Emily Post.

I flipped through and read a few entries and just loved it! She really does have a way with words!

Of course I teased Cheryl, I mean, should I be taking this personally? ROFL

So, if you need any advice on manners, I'm the gal with the reference! lol

Today I'm doing better and I still want to quit school! I was going to forfeit my quilting bee in order to do some school work, but I'm thinking that perhaps I should seek a change of scenery.

I do want to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement! It means a lot to me.

I do hope you are all having a great week! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Where is my sanity?

Any blog police roaming around? I wouldn't want to get a parking ticket! lol

Okay, my brain is fried! School has been insane for the past few days! I'm taking this intense, and I do mean intense, Christian Ethics course where we meet twice a month for a total of 8 (eight) hours. The problem is that the professor, who I respect and admire tremendously, is a little scatter brain at the beginning of the semester. Given the class schedule, it's not ideal if you catch my drift!

All this to say that Monday after a 4 (hour) class I headed to the library to do an insane amount of reading, that was impossible to do given the amount of time there is in a day. I got home at 12:00 a.m., a zombie. Got up the next morning, put dd on the bus and continued to read for that same class. I feel as thought I've been in class for 48 hours.

I didn't get home on Tuesday until 7:30 p.m. poured myself a glass of red wine, pinot noir, and had to give my little girl a hug. Stephen was at volleyball so dd and I had a one on one. It was nice to sit and chat. I actually missed my little girl.

Unfortunately, I won't be quilting today. I have lots and lots of work to do for my class on Thursday. I am so behind in my quilting, not to mention blog reading.

Have a great day every one!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How I organized/controlled my scrap bin!

With all this talk about Darlene's new book, I thought I would once again contribute a page, perhaps even a chapter. What are friends for hey.....?

Like many of you, I mulled over what to do with all my scraps. The bin was over flowing with fabric. Although I have been known to visit my scrap bin for certain fabric pieces, I am not much of a scrap quilt maker.

Spring 2006, I was at The Quilted Crow and they had a demonstration on rug braiding. I had one of those light bulb moments regarding my scrap bin. What if I introduced my friend Patty to rug braiding? A brilliant idea! So I bought the book.

I asked Stephen to make a frame, which he did using wood from an old horse/carriage barn being torn down on our street. In other words, the frame is a memorabilia of our community long ago. Of course he made it much fancier than the one pictured in the book. ;o)

I proceeded to make a huge bag of strips in preparation for my new plan. When Patty and I got together I asked her if she would be interested in learning to braid rag rugs. She was ecstatic! I showed her the book and she was sold in no time. Hurray, I have found a home for my scraps!

I should mention that Patty enjoys crafting. What I mean is that she knits and also likes making things with her hands, like soaps etc.... There's something about the word crafting that conjures up images of plastic canvas needle work tissue box covers etc..... I really do not like using that word! Patty does beautiful work!

Once the frame was done, Patty came over and we proceeded to learn braiding.

Last night, we had our little get together. Here you have a close up of the process.

Usually my daughter is in bed by the time Patty comes over, but last night she was still up. She came down to look at the rug and proceeded to point out the various fabrics that were in her quilts! I just think that is so cute!

It's really a wonderful hobby! It requires very little concentration.

The book is calls Rugs from Rags and is by Country Threads. They do have a DVD that demonstrates how it is done. I have not seen the DVD nor was I aware of it until I did a search. Patty and I figured it out from the pictures in the book.

Stephen will be making another frame. Not that I need another hobby but, perhaps I can get him to be productive while he watches TV! ROFL Patty is just not keeping up with my scraps! lol

So, how do you organize/control you scrap bin? You get your friends into the hobby of rag braiding! What are friends for hey..........? lol

Have a great day every one! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quote from the past!

Since I am pretty up to date on blog reading and nothing new on the quilting front, I thought I would take a break to write a bit about what I'm presently working on school wise. I am writing a critique on Alone of all her Sex - The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary by Marina Warner.

The chapter I am presently dealing with is regarding the virgin birth, a phenomenon that was culturally prevalent during the Hellenistic period. Divine paternity was often used to clarify the mysteries surrounding the birth of heroes and sages (such as Pythagoras, Plato, Alexander etc). More specifically, I got a chuckle out of the following quote from Ovid Metamorphoses regarding the conception of Bacchus, a child of Semele, a mortal, and the god Jupiter. In an attempt to obtain information regarding Semele's divine impregnation, Juno in a fit says:

"..... The whole business disturbs me: many a man has made his way into an honest girl's bedroom by calling himself a god" (p 81)

Now, Ovid is from 32 B.C.E. to 17 C.E. Despite it's antiquity, it could still be applied today. It's a definite keeper in my memory bank! ROFL

I do hope you got a chuckle from this blast from the past as much as I did!

Back to your regular schedule programming!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Uncle! It's cold in here!

As of late, we have been having beautiful fall weather in Upstate NY. Our days are around 70F (21C), however our nights have gotten much cooler.

It's been 59F (15C) in the house for that past few days and I just couldn't take it any longer. I caved in and decided that despite the fact that it's only September, I need some heat!

I don't know if it's a northerner thing, but we don't usually turn on the heat until mid to late October, sometimes even the beginning of November. It just doesn't seem right to be heating the house any earlier.

So what's the next best thing to not feel too guilty about it, use the wood stove! ;o) I built myself a little fire to take the humidity out of the house.

On the quilting front, this is what I've been working on. What a beast!

You know, I'm thinking, after the fact of course, that it may have been a good time to try Wendy's applique method. Between the size of the quilt, the freezer paper and the stabilizer, it made for a mess to maneuver! Gosh, it was stiff! You'd think I was trying to machine applique cardboard! lol

Please don't mind the photo, I didn't take the time to straighten things out! It was past 11.30 p.m. when I decided that it was time to quit! I just didn't have the energy to continue attempting to take the freezer paper out!

I'm hoping to have this beast done before October 4th, the date I must turn in all of my quilts for the guild's quilt show. Yea, I know! Did I ever mention that I work best under pressure? Yea, and I have two papers to write this week for school!

Well, I'm off to take care of school work. I do hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather! Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chaos with a method!

The week just flew by! I did manage to get some quilting done on my Halloween table topper and am almost finished with the machine quilting. It will be going to a special friend and I do want it to be as darn close to perfection as can be! lol Funny how I construct ideals for people and then place pressure on myself to master perfection. Gosh, that is so silly.

I have come to the conclusion that I need more Halloween fabric in my stash! I've been eying the Thimbleberrie's Mr. Halloween Party collection. I just love that moon fabric!

On a different note, I know that some of you like to work on various projects at the same time. Well, maybe not but I sure like too! Since Kim seems to think that Darlene is writing a book on quilting, I thought I'd also contribute a page to Darlene's book. What are friends for hey?!?.... I'm interested in how you keep you numerous projects organized.

This is one of the methods I use to keep a quilt project organized. In this case the blocks are done and what is left is to piece them together. Under the blocks are the border fabrics and backing.

By keeping everything together, I ensure that I wont take fabric designated for that quilt and use it on something else.

Now I don't have a basket, yet, for all my projects. I'll use a box and other times well, it's just scattered around my sewing room. Amazingly, I seem to find everything. lol

My hand applique projects are organized in 3 (three) plastic bins that you see on your right. Please, don't mind the mess!

Because of the numerous fabrics required for a hand applique project, this helps keep it all together and avoid wasting time searching for the project.

The top 2 (two) bins are designated for projects that are presently being worked on, in this case the Wildberry Vine quilt and the Baltimore Country Cousin. The third bin is for projects that are in progress but not being worked on. That's where my Winter Sentry came from! ;o) Oh, and to be honest, I have bags scattered around my stash closets with hand applique projects!

The large blue bin on the left is for abandoned UFO's and fabrics for future projects. Unfortunately, I have way more fabric purchased for a projects than the size of the bin. The excess is intertwined with the stash. So I rely a lot on my memory and so far so good! I think! lol

And, when my project is really small, like the stars on the Winter Sentry, I keep them organized in a small plastic bag.

After I finish machine quilting the table topper, I do plan on making the stars and hopefully having a flimsy on my hand to show you.

I'm curious, how you keep your projects organized?

I do hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Halloween and fun!

I just love Halloween!

Every year I plan a Halloween party for DD and a few of her friends/school buddies. I do say a few! lol I limit the party to no more than 12 kids including dd. Let me tell you, I've been doing this since she was in kindergarten and 12 is my limit. Even then, it's a tad much! lol They can get so wild! It must be the costumes! lol One year we had a boy come as a cowboy sheriff with a pair of hand cuffs. He was chasing the girls and hand cuffing them. So I had to tell his mother that next time, she should keep her toys at home.... ROFL but I digress.....

The fun for me is coming up with weird foods to make. Last year I had a blast making "Grave yard dig" etc.... Unfortunately, I didn't get to make my Vulture Vomit, which I thought was the best so far, because the kids were too chicken to eat it. I really don't understand why, it looked so real! Muahahahahhahaha

I looked for pictures and I have none. I can't believe it! Gosh, I will have to take pictures this year so that I can blog about it. It is a lot of work but oh so worth it! The fun I have! lol

All that to say that I'm in Halloween mode! Yes, I've just completed another table topper for a friend.

I decided to reduce the pattern to make a 36 X 36 as opposed to the last one, which was 43 X 43. I found it to be a tad big for a standard size table.

This afternoon, after I've spent the morning with school work, I plan on machine quilting this quilt. Once again, I will be using the glow in the dark threads for my spooky surprises.

It's so much fun to think up of ways to hide the various ghoulish designs. Given that the center fabric is much lighter than the first quilt, I should be able to hide different types of designs with ease. I haven't figured out what I'll do with the border.

I'm off to get my morning started so that I can quilt in the afternoon.

Have a great day every one! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A rainy day!

What have I been doing this weekend you might ask? No school work that's for sure and I don't even feel guilty!

Our guild, The Champlain Valley Quilter's Guild of New York, is having a show on October 6-7, 2007 and I have decided to enter some of my quilts. Of course Pat really made it easy for all of us by taking pictures during show and tell and handing members a copy of the submission form with a photo of the quilts we presented! So there are 3 (three) quilts that I will be entering that the guild has seen and another 3 (three) that they have not! This involves getting labels done and putting on sleeves. So that's how I've spent my Saturday.

I know I'm repeating myself but I really love my Bernina Designer Plus software. I have been experimenting and creating labels left right and center!

I am so comfortable with this software that it's getting scary! No I won't digitize my picture and send you a bag with my face one it! lol

My friend Cheryl from Oz even suggested jokingly that I digitize Leanne's hand embroidery blocks from a Quilter's Journey and have my machine do it for me. ROFL

Hey, of course NOT!!!! But you get an idea how comfortable I am with it! lol

And for those of you who are curious as to how our cherry tomato plant on steroids is doing

Stephen just thinks the plant is insane. It doesn't seem to know when to stop. Unless we get the big, and I do mean big ladder out, there's no way we can get to those cherry tomatoes!

Just this morning DD was saying how she can pick tomatoes from her bedroom window! I don't know, are we beating a record or what? I have to admit it is the first year that it's been that prolific! Even the tomato plant on the right is doing extremely well!

The amount of fresh tomatoes we have this year is phenomenal! Stephen is presently making a big batch of chili with fresh tomatoes.

I hope you are having a wonderful quilty day. I'm off to get more labels designed for my quilts!

Have a great day every one!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Touching base!

I apologize for being so quiet! I don't know if the blog police is patrolling, so I thought I'd write quick entry! lol

School has started and what that means is that I have to organize my time more effectively, which I haven't managed to do. I'll get a rhythm going soon and get some quilting in there as well as pay visits to my friends on blog land.

Tomorrow, I have my Quilting Bee at Jen's. I'm hoping I'll get something done. I'm debating bringing my sewing machine as opposed to my hand work basket. Not sure I have the energy to unplug the machine! lol

On the quilting front, I'm still working on the star border for the Winter Sentry wall hanging. Accuracy while working with small pieces is quite a challenge. That seam ripper is coming in handy. As a matter of fact it's probably getting dull from all that ripping! lol I seem to be doing more croaking than sewing!

I do hope you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Winter Sentry!

As my snow person slowly winds down, it is now time to work on the borders, which consists of 4 1/2 inch star blocks (unfinished).

These small star blocks will be surrounding my snow person.

The gold fabric I used is an older Robyn Pandolph fabric from her Folk Art Christmas collection, at the time she was with Moda.

Oh, how I love that line of fabric and am so careful as to how I use it. Since Robyn has moved to SSI, her colours and style are just not as attractive to me.

As I sew the tiny pieces that are required to make one block, I couldn't help but think of Libby and her love of small quilts.

For the star block, I am working with 1 1/2 inch squares and a 2 1/2 inch rectangle. As you know, the smaller the pieces, the greater the chance for inaccuracies. That's where my stiletto comes in.

If you recall, I learnt how to use one in a class I took last Spring with Sharlene, Double Wedding ring. I will say, this little tool has come in handy. It makes sewing small pieces somewhat of a breeze. I do not have large fingers and I find it difficult to keep my pieces properly aligned. Even with larger pieces, I have found this tool useful.

I would recommend that you try working with a stiletto. It's less cumbersome than your fingers and it can also be used as a spare seam ripper. You know, those rare occasions where you made a mistake and can't find your seam ripper! lol

As I trim my pieces, I cannot help but wonder what Libby would make with these little left overs. She doesn't seem to waste any fabric!

I'm sure she could think of a wonderful quilts to include them on! Oh Libby, how I admire your patience. Here I am having just 24 star blocks to do and I'm whining! lol

Prior to leaving on our camping trip, I received a wonderful surprise from my Friend Cheryl in Oz.

Look at these beautiful Machine Embroidery magazines, aren't they delicious? Gosh, Oz makes such wonderful publications. Their illustrations are just awesome!

I can only hope that one day I will be able to master my embroidery machine and create such fine projects. Thank you again Cheryl, you are such a generous soul!

I do hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend! The weather is gorgeous here in Upstate New York.

Enjoy your day and thank you for stopping by!
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