Monday, October 20, 2014

                                                     Perfect Fall Weekend
  This past weekend I taught a beginning hand embroidery class at my LQS. It was a great class- I gave sweet Rhonda all sorts of embroidery tips and techniques that I have picked up these last 30 years. We went over stabilizers, different stitches, fabric selection, etc. It was a fun class- she is a Crabapple Hill junkie, too!

  This is my most recent finish-my friend Eileen quilted it for me- didn’t she do a fantastic job?

  I also finished quilting another quilt for a friends’ mom-it is kind of a secret so I can only show a snippet of the quilt. I only have one more to do for her and then I can send all 3 off to her.


  Friday night we had our upstairs neighbor down for dinner and drinks. Hubby made some awesome mac and cheese, green chile to pour over it, garlic bread and pumpkin lasagna for dessert. It was yummy! We also drank lots of wine- well, Jen and I did- Bob was a good boyJ.  What a lovely night-but it was sure hard to get up early Saturday for my teacher meeting and class! Oh well! We had a great time! Here is a pic of the lasagna-doesn’t look too pretty as it doesn’t set up well, but it was tasty!

   Of course the big news here in this state is a certain quarterback breaking the record of my most favorite quarterback ever. I guess since my lover Brett is ok with it I am, too. Peyton is very deserving of this accomplishment, and by all accounts seems like a very good person. Congrats!

   It was sure beautiful here this weekend- I don’t remember seeing this much color last year. Reds and oranges are everywhere! I just want to be outside all the time J

   Happy Fall Everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

                                                                    WEEKEND O’ FUN

   So, I got to hang out with my sweet buddy Terry Saturday and what a great day we had! We hooked up for breakfast then proceeded to visit 2 quilt shops. I resisted all I could until I got to the register at the first shop-and there was a sample made up of this little quilt-


    Too freaking cute!
    There was also a sample done up of this pattern-

   They had a kit done up of this one as well.  I actually had the kit in my hand before I saw the sample, looked at it and put it back. But, once I saw the damn sample I had to get it.  I was trying to decide which kit to get when I heard the little bad voice in my head say- “Go ahead- buy both- you deserve them both”- and the little bad voice won.

I got the Halloween one done last night- now I better get going on the snow one!  I loved making the little shoo fly blocks- and the kit had plenty of fabric and wool in it. Nicely done Laughing Ladies Quilt Shop!
   Then off we went to the 2nd shop- after a much needed and deserved trip through the Starbucks Drive through. I found this great fabric collection at the shop- and I think it will make a great Sew Together Bag. I cannot stop making them!

     I got to sew in my sewing room Sunday afternoon- all I can say is aaahhh. It is so nice being in the room, with the cats keeping me company (though George thinks she is smaller than she is and keeps knocking shit over)and sappy movies on the tv. However, I did find that on Saturdays there is usually a Will and Grace marathon on, and on Sunday- SOAP!! Yes, SOAP! I remember how scandalous that show was in its’ day- my goodness- a gay man on tv? WOW!  How I loved Benson- and Billy Crystal was fantastic.  One of the episodes that was on was the one where Burt thinks he can be invisible- freaking hilarious! I may never come out of my room on the weekends again!  Sorry honey!

Happy Sewing Everyone!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

   So, as of Wednesday night I had moved the tall bookshelf into the sewing room and put in on the east wall north of the window. I figured the ironing surface could be on the north wall by the door, and the cutting table would be in the middle of the room. Unknown to me, this was a very flawed plan.


NOTE- the mini blinds are being replaced-. A certain lard ass of a cat kept getting into the blinds and breaking them- thanks Newman!

   As I was tracking my cutting table delivery Thursday morning, I once again looked at the description. I finally noticed the table height- 30”!!!  What the hell! Why would you call a table a craft table that is only 30” high? I sure wish I could read. So, in frantic texts to my husband I told him to refuse the table. BUMMER! They do have another one that has a tad less storage, but it is 36” high- now we are talking! And , the best part is that it is cheaper!
  When I got home last night, I started screwing around in my room. I had an a- ha moment and figured the new table could be against the south wall to the west of my flannel board. I had thought the cutting table had drawers on the front and back, but it does not, so now I can shove it up against the wall. Perfect! More floor space! I got my trusty measuring tape out and  SHIT- in addition to the craft table covering up part of the closet, there was not enough room to put the cutting table there. Now what??Well, if I move the bookcase to behind my sewing machine, I can use that east wall for the cutting table. It would fit perfectly! So, there I am, unloading that damn bookcase, AGAIN. I move my machine down a bit, throw the bookshelf in and re load it. AHH- a beautiful spot for my cutting table.

As I was sitting on my ass watching a few minutes of Breaking Amish (don’t’ judge me- I always wanted to be Amish and this shows me why I could never cut it- though they do seem to have potty mouths so I just might fit in!) something came to mind. That cutting table has shelving on either end, and if I put it against that east wall I will lose that storage. Dear God- shoot me now.
Out comes the measuring tape, AGAIN, and yes indeed, the ironing surface will fit on the empty spot where my cutting table was going, and the table will fit where my ironing surface was. Of course, by now it is 9:30, but this chick cannot stand it. Back into my fricking room I go, and start moving the whole ironing board set up. Of course, it is not just a board.  There are 700 drawer units under it that I need to move as well, along with all of the crap I had piled on top of it that does not have a home yet. And, of course the units are too heavy to move with the drawers in them so I have to take the drawers out, move the unit, then put the drawers back in. And I had to move the sewing machine table down a few feet as well. Thank goodness the surge protector for my sewing machine is long enough to reach my machines’ new location! It is always good when things are long enough-J

    Today my handsome man is grabbing some shelving from storage, and then I can start moving my fabric into the closet. It will be so wonderful to get it out of all of those tubs! I hope it all fits!( a gal could only hope)
  That will be all the moving/re arranging in there for now. I do need to come up with where I am going to store all of my in-process kits/not started kits. I think if I sort through all of my crap I can come up with a drawer or 2. Hopefully the new cutting table will be here in a few weeks, then I can get some more things arranged. Maybe I can start sewing  Sunday !WHOO HOO!
Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

                      And now the nest is empty----

  My youngest kid has moved out. Not far, mind you.  He only went a few miles away to move in to his dad’s home. He is going to help his dad spruce things up around the house. My daughter lives there as well, so they will have a great time. But boy- I what an adjustment! And he has only been gone a night!!


  It is so strange- this morning when I got up and was banging around the kitchen I realized I didn’t have to worry about being quiet so I would not wake him up-we live in a small place and I can be noisy! Just ask my hubby-hahaha.


  The upside is I finally can move all of my sewing stuff from the dining room area into his room. He is not quite done taking stuff- he only has his mattresses and a dresser left, but last night I worked around them. I steam cleaned, wiped all of the walls down, washed windows, and then I stole his tv and moved it into my bedroom- boy Tom and Jerry looked great last night on the 20 inch screen- not a flat screen , mind you, but way bigger than what I had! I can actually read the menu on the screen!(and the episode with Nibbles being a musketeer was on – Touche’ pussycat!!)


    Unfortunately, the kid showed up with his buddy and he proceeded to give me a hard time about moving crap in there and he had not really been out yet. Hey- his bed sheets and quilts were gone, so as far as I am concerned the room is mine! Of course, he was just teasing, and he hugged me when he left. I did shed a tear-but then I had more work to do! I unloaded my tall bookshelf- where in the hell did all those quilting books come from? Geez- and then I moved the bookcase into the room. I also moved my sewing table in there.

   There was a chair in his room that matches our living room furniture, so in the middle of all this last night we decided to move the living room around so the chair could be in the living room with its’ siblings. Thank goodness I had not put the steam cleaner away- or the vacuum! Now we need to move the bedroom around so we can put the dog kennel in there instead of having it in the living room. Remind me why I bought a dog kennel big enough for 4 Bernese Mountain Dogs – damn spoiled dachshunds!

      So,  now I am waiting to move any more crap in there until my new craft/cutting table arrives tomorrow.  ( But I cannot stand to have stuff half done so I bet all my crap will be moved by later tonight) I also have a plan for my design wall- and I still have to gather the supplies for that. The wonderful shop guy at work is going to cut me some wood trim to border it (thank you Fabian- you rock!), and I am going to paint it a fun color. Orange, maybe?? Purple?
   So, today I feel as if I have been hit by a truck! But at least I worked my ass off last night and feel like I deserved those 3 chocolate chip cookies I ate! Tonight I will earn at least 3 more-there will be more vacuuming and steam cleaning to do, as well as moving stuff into the sewing room closet.  I also may stop and get my supplies for the design wall so I can get that up this weekend.
    Hello Motrin my old friend-----( I hope you just heard Simon and Garfunkle, and if you don’t know who that is you are too young to be reading my blog LOL!)


Thursday, October 2, 2014


 Bag Explosion – Hoop Travel Bag Sat: Oct 11 (1 class)
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Need a gift for a fellow quilter? This super easy project bag is the perfect thing! Once you see how quickly this bag goes together, you will never use another Ziploc bag for a project again!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

                                                 Retreat Finishes

    Well, I actually did get some sewing done this past weekend. I tried to lay off the booze until I was done sewing for the day- that worked out pretty well.  The weather could not have been more beautiful- the trees were at their prime! There was a little orange here and there-wow. I am so glad now our group will get this place every year on this weekend! We didn’t even need a jacket on our walks.


    The first project I worked on was the Boxy Pouch-there is one more in progress but I brought the wrong size zipper. I hope to finish that one this week.

     The next thing I worked on were these cherry quilts- the pattern is from Fig Tree- it is one of her mini patterns. These were very fun to make. I had one done and was pleased. The next day our friend Terry came to visit and when I showed it to her I noticed one of the leave/stem units was upside down! I had to tear that whole section out and un-do part of the border. What a dork! At least I noticed it before I gave it away! And, I did not do that with the 2nd one! Lesson learned!

     Saturday came and I made these stockings for my nephew’s family at his wife’s request. These were also very fun to make. The patterns came out of a Possibilities book that is now out of print. I am so glad I have them done so early- usually I would be mailing them December 15th or later LOL. I sent her pics of them and she loved them- success!!!


       The last thing I worked on were these mini totes that you attach to your key ring. I found the pattern on the internet. I could have made the corners boxy but by this time I was getting pooped and didn’t do it- I don’t really think they needed it.

     As usual it was a very nice weekend. We had great food as usual and of course everyone was fun to be around. It is so nice to hang out with others that share your addiction! Everyone has different methods to do things and are so willing to share- I always learn tons of stuff when I go on these things! I only have to wait 6 months until we go again-it will be colder this time but the camaraderie will be the same! Can’t wait! Is it too early to start packing?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

          Catching Up on a Lovely Fall Weekend
   I had such a lovely weekend. On Saturday, I taught the Sew Together bag at my LQS. My students came from the other end of town- how cool is that? They each left the class with a finished bag, and they even finished an hour early! Here are their bags- Teresa used a Ricky Tims fabric and Gina used a print from the Ghastlies line. Great job girls!


   After class I needed to sew J so I whipped a few tissue holders out-boy did these go quickly!


        Saturday night I was parked in front of the tv watching this man- I will be so sad when the season ends.


  Then on Sunday I went on my usual early morning walk with my one quilting buddy. She is getting ready to move to the opposite end of town, so I am enjoying each minute of our walks together- oh I will miss those! 
   After our walk, my dear friend Sandy came and grabbed me and we headed to lunch- gyros- yum- and then we headed to a quilt shop to get this months’ Block of the Month.  It was so nice visiting with her! Of course we left the shop with a little more than just our quilt blocks- shocker I know. My son needed a new pillowcase so I found some appropriate fabric that I had to buy. I turned it into this-


  After hanging out with Sandy I became inspired to work on my Gardeners’ Alphabet block (We both have a love for all things hand embroidered).  I have been working on this small block wayyyy too long. I finally finished it up on Monday evening. I had it in the hoop so long I was amazed I could iron the hoop lines out- boy I love my spray starch!!

  I have an Ott light- thank goodness that also has a magnifier on it. I just had to start using that darn magnifier- boy these eyes are getting old! Of course George (my tortoise shell cat) needed attention the whole time I was hand stitching and then the dogs would take turns wanting some loving as well. Good lord it is amazing I ever get a damn thing done. But I love my critters!

  I am anticipating a productive weekend coming up- this is the quilt retreat. I have about 100 (only a slight exaggeration)  projects packed and ready to go. I will have to see how many I can get done. Now, if I can only stay away from Lexies’ beergaritas -

Sew on my dear friends!
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

                                                            CREEPY CRAWLIES

   How many of you are snake fans? Spider fans??  Not me- and now it seems the older I get the worse it gets. When I was a kid, I played outside- A LOT. I remember one time finding strings and strings of what looked like yarn with slimy little balls in them in a pond. I went home, found a bucket and went back to the pond. I scooped up as much of the crap as I could and took it home. Days later, I looked in the bucket and lo and behold- tadpoles! Millions of ‘em!  I watched them grow for a few more days, sprout some legs, then eventually  released them back into the pond. Boy was that cool! So see- I used to not be bothered by slimy things!
   My mother, on the other hand, was a different story. On our way to my uncles’ home in New York we would drive through the Poconos. On this particular trip I was probably 10 years old or so. There was a snake farm that I begged to go into every. fricking .time. Finally my dad stopped. He probably was sick of my whining. As we are getting out of the car, my mother tells us she is staying in the car, rolls up her car window and locks the doors. This killed us- are the damn snakes smart enough to unlock car doors?  (This was long before Snakes on a Plane- boy that would have freaked her ass right out! ) We gave that poor woman grief about that forever. Well, the snake farm was as cool as I thought it would be- and I loved it.

   Back in the day my mother did all of our laundry. Washed it, hung it out on the line then actually put it away for us. Yes, we were spoiled. My brother had a little habit of putting his plastic snakes in various drawers so my mother would find a surprise when she put his clothes away. What a bastard. Why my mother did not proceed to tell him to put his own damn clothes away I have no idea. I would have tossed his clothes into the room and shut the door. And never did his laundry again.
   My dad, on the other hand was terrified of spiders.  My Saturday afternoons would often be spent  watching Creature Feature on tv- which sometimes involved giant creatures- and occasionally huge spiders took over little towns. This did not thrill my dad. When the spiders made an appearance he would make some lame excuse to leave the room- if he was lucky someone came in the barbershop to have their hair cut, or he needed to get a beer, make us dagwood sandwiches, etc. I never really noticed this was what he was doing- dads are not supposed to be afraid of anything, right?

   Fast forward a few years later. He was working construction and felt something on his shoulder. He brushed it off and kept working. A half an hour later he was violently ill and ended up going to the hospital. As the doctor was working on him, he said “I didn’t know there were poisonous spiders in the area”. He said it was a good damn thing he was laying down cause he would have passed out.  Poor guy.
   I was at a dear friends’ house several years ago and she told me one of her hubbys’ pet snakes had gotten out of its’ cage. How she could calmly sit there and not be totally freaking out amazed me. And it had been missing for days! There is no way I could have slept knowing that snake was on the loose.  She went downstairs into her sons’ room to put away laundry-(he is not an ass like my brother and did not hide fake snakes for her to find)and guess what was in there? The missing  snake! She went upstairs, grabbed a broom and a pillowcase and off she went. In utter amazement, I watched as she picked up the snake with the broom handle, then carefully placed the snake in the pillowcase. She then took the bag upstairs and dumped the snake back into its’ happy home. She was so brave- there is no way in hell I could have ever done that. You rock Di!


    A few years ago, a housing development was being built to the north of our house. This seemed to piss off the local snake population, and they started to migrate south. I really do not remember having an ALL SNAKES ARE WELCOME HERE sign up but the bastards came over anyway. One nice, fall day we decided to clean up the grape arbor to the south of our house and do some back yard maintenance.  We found several snakes in the backyard- off with their heads! Every time I saw one I would scream- which led me to be made fun of by my dorky teenage son. As we worked our way to the arbor, our son joined in the fun. And guess who screamed and ran like a 6 year old girl when he spotted his first snake?  Yep-Mr. “ I am too cool to yell at a snake like my dorky mother”.  He ran so fast he looked like the Flash! We found 4 more that day –which is now known in our home as the great snake massacre on Franklin Street.

   This leads me to yesterdays’ story from hubby. He said he was in the bathroom and guess what crawled out of a roll of toilet paper? A spider! I had just opened a new pack of paper, so this little guy must have had quite the trip. Bob said there was even a web inside the roll! I am glad it was Bob that saw him and not me!

   Now, all these years later, I hate all slimy creepy crawlies. Yes, I know they have their purpose, and that snakes are not slimy, spiders are good(mostly), blah , blah, blah. So. I guess not only have I turned into my mother but my father as well. In some ways this is not a bad thing-

   Party on my friends! And you are welcome for the nightmares :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

                                          Quilt Retreat Here I Come----

Have any of you ever been on a quilt retreat? If not, I highly recommend it! I come back refreshed, sewed out (almost) and usually a tad hungover.

It all started about 8 years ago. I kept hearing about quilters who would go on these weekend sewing benders at retreat centers.  A whole weekend of quilting, eating and drinking??? How do I get involved? So, after being rejected by several respectable retreat groups,  I started to look for places to hold one of my own. This was not an easy task. After a bit of searching, I sounded out my old job.
In between my sophomore and what would have been my junior year at college I found a job at a dude ranch south of Denver. Now, as you may recall I grew up in coal country, not in the country. I showed up at the ranch with my sister’s old cowboy boots and a great attitude. Thank god for the attitude! I had the most wonderful summer- met some amazing people and I have never worked harder.

 So, I got a hold of my ex boss, and lo and behold she would host all of us! I did not have to have a minimum number of participants, we all got our very own rooms and they cooked for us all weekend.


  We were in! So, I gathered up 15 friends and off we went. Now, the main lodge where we sew is not ideal for sewing- bad chairs, not so great lighting, etc. but we got used to it. After a few gallons of wine we didn’t really give a crap anyway. This has gone on for 8 years. We go in the fall, and if you have ever seen the beautiful aspens in the fall here in Colorado you know what a great time of year it is. The lodge sits on the river- and it could not be a more beautiful setting.  For a mere 7.7 million bucks it could be yours-

Well, the owners decided last year to sell the ranch so they are not going to be able to host us any longer. Darn! So one of the other quilters took over the “finding of a new venue” role.  Thank you Roxanne! And boy did she do good!!! I blogged about this location in the spring-

By some miracle there was a cancellation this fall so we grabbed that weekend, too! So, now we can go 2 times a year for what we paid for once a year!  Of course here we each have to cook a meal- no big deal - and we have to share rooms-no big deal there, either. 


These weekends mean the world to me- these ladies are like my family. We laugh together, sometimes cry together (that weekend kind of sucked for me but margaritas at 10am didn’t hurt) and of course sew together.  I will post pictures of all of us and our projects after I get back- if I am not too drunk to work my camera/phone. Boy, this post makes me sound like a I need a weekend at AA instead of a retreat- J

Happy Sewing!