Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mossy Bit

Isn't this cool? I was at work and the morning sun was shining on this gorgeous patch of moss near my stockroom door. I went and got a paintbrush, flicked off the dirty bits and took this pic with my Blackberry. (handy to have a camera with me at all times!) It was one of those rare days that there was no snow covering this up!
I made Darcy a sleeve for her tablet.
It was another Friday Night PJ Party project on HGTV message board. I wasn't able to do it the night they held it (surprise party!) but one of the helpful ladies sent me the instructions. Darcy chose these 2 fabrics at Joann's last weekend. Monkeys are all the rage apparently. This is constructed from an 18" quilted and bound square. There are 2 pockets, one on either side and the center opening you end up with is where the tablet (a small computer board) goes with a velcro closure. The ladies made them for laptops, ipads and notebooks. Easy and fun project. Thanks WQFC!
I finished my improvisational pieced back for the Melissa and Cory quilt. It is so big, to me anyway. I think it is large enough to take to a machine quilter now.
My friend Thearica is a generous person, much like the charitable Jean I mentioned a few posts ago. Thearica runs a Ronald Mcdonald House quilt raffle. People make quilts and she sells tickets! (click on her name and read all about the challenge.) Anyone can commit to helping out! I am making my first quilt donation this year. Wool penny's are in the works already!
I am to mail the current CQ Steampunk block tomorrow. I must admit I had a hard time with this one. It is blue and black. It seemed to need to stay close to those colors. I did add a gold corset though! I will get pics and post.
I received the Meg's block from Colleen yesterday and the colors are more varied and in my tones so I think I will be inspired!

I have learned:

  1. I can retire in 5 years....exactly! 
  2. My sister makes delicious Irish bread. I want more!
  3. Ian face painting at the St Andrew's Pasta dinner last Saturday. He was such a gentleman, sitting with me while I ate my dinner. I even gave him two chances to go back to his friends. Sweet.
  4. Interesting contest someone on HGTV board posted. Doll quilts and Beds.
  5. Cool quilt-along to make this quilt, Supernova, on Freshly Pieced blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Played with Paper!

Melissa and I took a class at our library last night with Jen, our favorite Sporto's waitress and scrapbooker extraordinaire! We made these adorable birdhouses with scrapbook papers! I loved learning how to use edgers (cool! love that picket fence one) and distressing inks. Mine is the blue one. Melissa's is obviously the green one! Look forward to more classes from Jen this summer!
Batavia schools art show was up at the library. Truly wonderful work by students of all ages. I really love this mixed media piece. The background is newspaper, painted with the charcoal still life.
Another excellent artwork.

These were some of my favorites. If you live in the area I encourage you to go see this exhibit. It is worth your time.

Well it is snowing. Again. Still. Enough.

American Idol tonight!

I have learned:
  1. I don't like Dancing with the Stars. Thought I would give it a shot since I love dance shows and it seems to be popular. Nope, no likey.
  2. Elizabeth Taylor was only 79? I thought she was 10 years older. Beautiful woman.
  3. Nicki unwell. Get well friend.
  4. Adele. Rolling in the Deep.(Skip the ad.) WOW. What a great voice. If I could sing, this is what I would like to sound like. Listen to Someone Like You too. (I can't download it right now to link it) 
  5. I just can't do it. I cannot listen to one more word of The Cell by Stephen King. Unless someone tells me the gory horror will end and make it worth my sickening stomach.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Made More Lanyards.....

These are the lanyards we have decided to make, as a guild, as the favor for the New York State Quilt Consortium luncheon we are hosting in June. I am part of the planning committee and we have had a swift start! The hosting guild always provides a favor. We wanted it to be something useful and different. We came up with this idea from Fabric Jewelry by Teresa Searle. It;s a lanyard that can be used for keys, scissors or name tag. I made these 3 today for a total of 5 so far. We only need 100-125! Hopefully we get many members to help out and make these from their leftover bits and scraps. It is fun to make. Easy too!

I have an update to my previous birthday post. It seems my sister Noni together with Melissa and Michael covertly planned a little surprise party for me at Melissa's! I was totally bamboozled by this turn of events. Every fib along the way was believable to me. I am oblivious apparently.When I walked into Melissa's, after a grand dinner Michael had commandeered me to at Alex's, I was absolutely floored when I was welcomed by the people I cherish most. Michael & Melissa, Cory & Cameron. Noni, Ian & Darcy. Sandy, Lauren & Gary. Pam, Jim, Hanners & Noah. Karen & Bob. Kassie & Mark. Wonderful way to usher in my 50's. I had adamantly warned my kids to do nothing of the sort! This is the cake Alan made. My kids step-brother. This is the construction worker that decided in his winter layoff time he wanted to make cakes! ala the Cake Boss.
Isn't it awesome? It was Red Velvet and de-licious~

Bridesmaid dress shopping yesterday. How easy this was. Melissa and I had really liked this dress when we saw it 2 months ago. Lauren, Kassie, Larissa and Kelly tired on a few styles. Then they all tried this dress on. It was a universal sell. I love it! And they can really wear it again! It is silk and figure flattering. Perfect for the venue and Melissa's dress. To celebrate the day we dined at Olive Garden.

I had fun today spending some gift cards! Target, thanks to Aunt Kathy and Gerry, found me a new cool scarf and a shirt. Joann Fabrics gave me a few yards of fabric and a new magazine. Tim Horton's was a yummy sandwich and naughty cinnamon roll! I know me. I have to "spend" gift cards as fast as possible or else I lose them!

I have learned:
  1. Slacker Radio downloaded to my Blackberry. Cool. It is like Pandora. 
  2. Reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This is Pam's recommendation. I am sure I will like it. We have been reading together for 43 years!
  3. I have sneaky, deceitful children and sister. I love them for it! this time...

Friday, March 18, 2011

50..... All Day Today!

I began the fifth decade of my life as of 1:36 AM. I can finally join AARP! I know this because they mailed me an enticing form letter 2 weeks ago! I will get right on that. Can I get Senior citizen discounts yet? That's the biggie~! I'll be waiting for that!

My friend Elaine thread painted this awesome quiltlet for me. On the reverse is my happy birthday wish! I just love it. It is prominently displayed on my fridge!
I will be sharing cake....chocolate cake with chocolate frosting...specially made by Melissa and Cameron...later tonight.
Michael is on his way home right now, we will dine!
I took the day off today. I get a Birthday Holiday floater. I am glad I did. Made it feel more special.
My friend Donna stopped by with a card and a coffee card inside...need that coffee! and a balloon. Her daughter's birthday is today also...this the one she says I remind her of.
I  am not bothered at all by my age. I have so much more to do!

I have learned:
  1. Each and every birthday well wisher is appreciated. It does matter to matter. Thank you.
  2. 50's today! Feels so good. Clean up will begin soon.
  3. Tomorrow is National Quilting Day. 
  4. Isn't that picture cool? While walking cross country lines, through woods and field, I took this pic with my Blackberry (pretty good!) of beautiful ice crystals on the ground.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Great Chance at Some Beautiful Quilts for a Charitable Cause

My friend Jean from the HGTV message board is dedicated to charitable endeavors. This year she is working to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy by raffling off at least 35 QUILTS!
3 chances for $5.00. I already mailed my check for 15 chances to win a beautiful quilt for a great cause.
Various quilters from the HGTV board made these quilts in answer to Jean's annual challenge. Part of her challenge each year is that the quilt  be donated to charity. I know Jean personally and know how tirelessly she works to give back. I would love her to be able to achieve her goal...
To donate by Paypal, Credit card or arrange mailing of checks contact Jean at One look at all those gorgeous quilts coupled with the great cause will certainly have you making a generous contribution. If you prefer, contact me and I will make the arrangements for you with Jean.

My friend Jody sent me the extra little ruler she bought and marked out for the Twister block. A few weeks ago we had a Friday Night PJ Party on HGTV message boards to learn how to do this. As happens on most Friday nights, I am too tired from the work week to actually sew, so I had my Twister night today! Thank you Jody for the ruler!
 This is the 5" squares sewn in rows with a 3" border...
The green is really a chartreuse with blacks and grays. Yes, I do see where I put 2 gray blocks next to each other! I will have to fix that with some thread. Look at Jody's blog to see her little practice piece and how she quilted it. I love it! This is a fun project. I want to figure out how to make a small one. Maybe 2" squares. Anyone know what the marks on the sides of a template would be for that? I am sure I can figure it out as it seems it is around a 1/3 of the square.

I have learned:
  1. This is my least favorite day of the year......losing that precious hour of weekend.
  2. Kathleen=innocent.  Darcy=dark.  Everett=brave.  I have to make pages for Nicki's AFF book with my name as the subject.  
  3. I could, and do, watch Law & Order SVU & NCIS all day, all evening, over and over. Christopher Meloni......Mark Harmon.  
  4. Trying  fabric weaving thanks to Spirit Cloth. Love her aesthetic. Using some kind of organza, recycled old curtains I found at Sally Ann's. Loving it so far. Take some time to read her blog and watch her videos.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

RAFA Show in Rochester....Wonderful!

What workmanship in this beautful iron gate that leads to a courtyard with interesting shops and restaurants. After we met up with fellow art quilters Elaine and Sharon at their RAFA group show in Rochester at the Arts and Culural Council, we dined at a The Gatehouse Cafe. Delicious and great company!
The show included many pieces created by some of the memebers of Rochester Area Fiber Artists. Elaine's piece is machine quilted, thread painted and beaded. Dyed cheesecloth also added.
Simply stunning. Here is a close-up of the leaves. She is a master at the stitch control.
Sharon's piece included her flour paste resist fabric. Machine quilted. Compelling reflection on the Holocaust.
Close-up of the resist dyed fabric.
These two quilts along with the following quilts, were my favorites.
Val Schultz snow dyed fabric quilt was coveted by a couple of us!
Sharon gave each of a yard of her snow dyed fabric last year and I have hesitated to cut into it, but now I have idea's!
Caris Burton's quilt was subtle and alluring. Silks, machine and hand stitching.
Joyce Kliman's quilt was another favorite of mine.
I love this little thread painted piece. The detail and dimension is amazing. Anne M Fischer.
Really great day with good friends!

I love quilt shows. I love all the creativity in one room. I always leave with more idea's swirling around my already bursting head!

This morning I finished sewing Melissa and Cory's entire quilt top together! I am actually very excited about this! I ironed what fabrics I have left and am now piecing the back. I did a good job guess-timating just what I would need for this quilt!

I have learned:
  1. I love those Netflix commercials on the radio...the one's where they ask game contestants a question and their answers have nothing to do with the question and they are right! Always make me smile. 
  2. How to download my Blackberry pics to my laptop. Good to know.
  3. My new portable design wall is awesome! Penny Marble Quilt Designs makes them from felt and PVC pipe. Love this.
  4. I want a pretty umbrella.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is me, at guild, show and telling my pieced scarf project from a Friday Night PJ Party as they are referred to! Basically a round up is made of volunteers that will spend time on a scheduled Friday night showing us how to make something cool. They post pics and instructions and we all follow along if we are able to stay awake and have enough energy at the end of a work week that is.
I used Nancy Crow "fabrics" from my class last summer to make this one. I called it my dog walking scarf since I wore it while walking Dean during this frigid winter. It is very warm!
I have finally gotten back on even emotional ground. I do have my old coot cat Chester who is 16 this year and my baby fatty fur ball Fiona who is 3, to keep me company.
Holy windy! And rainy. Wet day at work today. Had the galoshes on. Attractive.
Last night was my monthly meeting of art quilters and as always a great time. They had covertly arranged a little birthday celebration in my honor! (18th is the big day) Each person gifted me with things I love best....bits of this and that...some vintage and some not...sort of like hitting the jackpot miscellaneous box of treasures at the auction! Elaine stitched up a beautiful card I will get a picture of and post soon. She also made a most delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake that she insists is easy. All I know is it was yummy! I was touched by their thoughtfulness.
Saturday we are going to Rochester to see an exhibit 2 of our members are a part of. I am excited for them and this show. Elaine had a book they had published for the group of the show and all the pieces. Very nice.

I have learned:

  1. My friend Melanie actually did get married at the Forest Lawn Cemetery Chapel! She's not married anymore....not that that had anything to do with it!
  2. It is so windy right now that I feel a breeze sitting in my living room. 
  3. American Idol. Don't know who I like yet. The rosy jacket guy has a cool voice and face. Will watch tonight and see who's what.
  4. The Kids are Alright. Not a great movie. Good enough. I thought Julianne Moore was the highlight of the movie.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dedicated to Dean

I mentioned a little bit ago that my greyhound had been diagnosed with cancer in his bone and a fast growing tumor where his front leg met his chest. Walking had become troublesome quickly. Breathing was beginning to be labored. The hardest decision for a loving pet owner was made. Dean was put down yesterday. Michael, thankfully, was there with him. I was overwhelmed with the sadness of the moment and could not be with him. Intense. I thought I would have a handle on this...control. I did not. Still tearing today.
We rescued him from a race track in Iowa, where he was well cared for by his owner's, 7 years ago. He was a kind, peculiar, loving dog. he lived for love and food! I truly miss him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Some Bullseye, Some Curvy Piecing, Other bits...

I reworked those bullseye blocks from a few posts ago. I didn't like the fact that I had the same fabric showing around the edges of all the blocks. I ripped them apart and started cutting down to the layer I liked best in each quadrant. I sewed them together in a row, rather than a square. I will see where this goes when the idea hits me, but I do like this change!
I also was reading about curvy piecing. I saw a little tutorial on Bumblebeans blog (see my sidebar) and Jean Wells' book is an excellent source of inspiration and curvy piecing. So I cut some gently curving strips from some of the FQ's I won from Geroge Sicilano and this is the bit I made.
I will be sure to make them gentle curves since as soon as they get a little beyond that I ended up with a bit of a pucker. I do love the look of a wonky shaped line! I cut them up and pieced this...
It is interesting! I will be doing this again. Maybe longer, wider pieces. It was a fun, satisfying exercise and pleased me immensely on my Sunday morning~!
My Sunday afternoon was spent with Melissa and her soon-to-be BIL and BFF, Cameron at the Pearl Street Grills Big Fat Bridal Show in downtown Buffalo. We sampled a truly unique and oh-so-yummy Banana Pepper dip served warm and the Chicken Fricassee was mmmmmm. We need to change the chicken dish to this one.
While we were downtown I decided Melissa and Cam needed new FB profile pics. We had an impromptu photo session.
Then a mini tour of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. My Aunt Molly and Uncle Tom would take my sister Noni and me there when we were very young to feed the ducks and catfish in one of the ponds. It is a beautiful, historic burial ground. I love it so much that when Melissa was mulling over places for a wedding ceremony I suggested the chapel in Forest Lawn. I am of the minority apparently that thinks a wedding in a cemetery would no be strange.   Well turns out this may have been really weird as the chapel is also the crematorium. That is just bad karma.
Plenty of awesome doors too, something I have an affinity for.
My quilt guild is hosting the June luncheon for the New York State Quilters Consortium. We have a lot of work to do and many wonderful people to pitch in and make it special. Charlotte will be doing the lunch itself...she volunteered to take this on as she has done it before. Big job checked off! We gathered last week at Elaine's lovely new home to hash out some details. Things fell quickly in to place thanks to an agreeable committee! As part of the consortium luncheons the hosting guild prides itself on providing each guest with a "favor". We will be making these cool, useful lanyards! I want one!
 I have learned:

  1. Winter is wreaking havoc on my psyche. We need a break from this cold. My sister is a school RN in a Buffalo high school. She has had 3 kids with frostbite since January began.
  2. Lonesome Dove was excellent.
  3. Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving. Usual John Irving quirkiness. I think I like it. I am interested, that is something. 
  4. Unstoppable. Good movie. Denzel Washington makes anything watch-worthy.