Thursday, January 25, 2007

Exciting days!

It SNOWED last Sunday!! Folks... this is BIG. :D I'm a California raised gal who's never seen snow fall. Then I married at 21 and moved to Arizona. Southern Arizona to be exact. Who'd thunk that I'd actually see more snow in the desert? :P

I must have spent hours staring out the window. Snow makes me so excited!! And phooey to my husband, he's like "snow? Ok, time to play my game." I wanted to bonk him with some of my excitement... but he lovingly reminded me that he was born in Wisconsin and saw snow, and lots of it, every winter for 7 years until they moved to El Paso, Texas. :)

This time there was a GOOD amount of snow - about 3-4 inches. They closed all the schools in surrounding towns but ours. Figures! :P

This is my favorite picture, the pine branch covered with snow. I even made it my desktop photo. Now the snow is all gone. Waaaaah! I want snow. It makes me hyper. :D In fact the morning after the snow, I went on a baking and cleaning spree. My husband didn't mind! ;)

A few weeks ago I won the 4th quarter of the Stashbuster's UFO challenge. Thanks to Bonnie for pointing it out to me! I almost missed my prize. :P

A total of 33 very different FQs. I was feeling discouraged about trying to beat 100+ other people in getting UFOs done and had decided not to join the 2007 Challenge. Then I won! So I had the host hold back some FQs so I could join 2007. Nope, not hoping to win, I'm happy with my current loot. :)

About 5pm today, there was a knock on the door. UPS guy, saying I had a package from "Cupertino Supply" - I quickly figured out it was my parents - and in it was my mom's flour grinder!!

Yup, the grinder that I forgot at Christmas time. They had absolutely perfect timing in mailing it to me - tomorrow I'm going to Tucson and I'll be stopping by Sprouts, a store that carries whole grains and other bulk foods! Fresh bread and other goodies coming up! ;)

My poor husband though... it's been a miserable two weeks for him. He threw up like 6 times in a row on Sunday the 14th. Good thing Monday was a holiday, he had a whopper headache. Then he missed Wednesday at work, cuz he was still feeling miserable. He pulls through the rest of the week, then last Monday he had a pounding headache that started half-way through his workday. Tuesday was a good day, but Wednesday and Thursday have both brought on horrible tummy aches - mild case of food poisoning, I think. I really really hope that next week is much better for him! :P


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Catching up

I'm still playing a bit of catch up on my quilty news!

As usual, I did the annual NYE's Mystery quilt. It's still a top though.

Here is 2006's New Year's Eve mystery fabric selections, all from my stash! :)

I had just enough fabric to make the queen size one. Using the pre-cutting clues, I made a guess at what the finished product would be. I was right about everything except for one little thing... my version's HSTs were "upside down".

Here's what the directions originally called for.

But I found it to be a little "choppy".

And here's what I was envisioning!

In the end, I decided to go with my version. I like it better, it looks like a diamond is framing the nature scene. I haven't finished yet, so no top to show. :P

The other thing I have been working on is a quilting tutorial for a forum. I'm one of the three moderators for the Quilter's Corner, and I want to get others hooked on quilting! :)

The first block I did was the 9-patch. Quilting 102 produced the Basket Weave pattern.

And Quilting 103 will be the Rail Fence - I haven't written up the directions yet.

Next block will be the Friendship Star - gotta show them how to do half-square triangles! :)


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Antique Treasures

In June I blogged about asking Pops for 2 quilts that he had up in his linen closet. Well, when I was at his house, HE reminded me to take the quilts with me! Sure thing! :)

We think the two quilts were made by Pops' grandma, Minnie Old. They were found in Pops' parents house, after they died. Yup, that would make them my great-great-grandma's quilts! What a treasure. :)

They are in very beautiful condition for something that's 70+ years old. I have only found one split seam so far.

And I can't help but wonder... if perhaps these quilts were for Pops and his sister, Jere. The top Double Wedding Ring quilt has boyish colors, the hand quilting is more simple and the binding was machine sewn down. I was pretty surprised by that. Maybe Minnie was in a hurry. :)

The second quilt looks more feminine, the handquilting is more orderly (grid like) and the binding was done by hand. Also the split seam is on the boyish quilt. So I'm thinking it was Jere's quilt, since she was younger than Pops.

And even if they weren't made for her grandchildren, I'm still thrilled to have such a treasure in my possessions.

While Pops was reminding me to take the quilts with me, I decided to ask him if I could have the sewing machine in a cabinet. I remember it being in the room that my parents sleep in when I was younger. I didn't even know for sure if it had a machine in it or not. Pops seemed to be a little surprised by my request, but told me to go ahead. :)

And wow! There was a machine it in, with the plug cord, but no foot pedal. Very heavy, due to being solid metal.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was neither a treadle or pedal machine, but actually uses a knee control to operate. I had heard of them before... but never seen one! The cabinet's legs are also somewhat shaky, probably from living through dozens of California earthquakes. ;)

Pops said that the machine had come from Great-Grandma's house - my grandma's mom. When I got home, I started to do some research. It appears to be a 1951 Centennial Singer 15-91, made in Canada. The more I checked out the machine, the more I realized that it's in pretty good shape! Things are loose and dirty... but with some elbow grease, tightened nuts and bolts and a replaced belt... I'll have it returning to it's former glory. ;)

Some other goodies I got was an office chair - Pops finally retired and we help cleaned out his office and he was offering the chairs. I was happy to upgrade to the cushy chair, compare to the folding chair I was using for the past year! :D

My mom also very generously gave me her powered grain grinder... but in all the confusion, I accidently forgot it! :( I was so upset with myself, I really appreciated her giving me her grinder, as I enjoy making bread... and I had to go and forget it. Hopefully it's back at my parents house and they can just mail it to me. :)

Guess quilting is in my blood after all... and now I have proof. ;)


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Christmas in Southern California

On the 24th of December, my family and Pops went to my uncle and aunt's house, near San Diego. The first thing that greeted us was this lovely waterfall!

You can see a small car in the middle of the "fountain". My dad said it was a fire hydrant, but I thought it was water main. Ahh, what do I know, he's the plumber after all. :) I did have to complain to my sister and husband... isn't the car supposed to be on the TOP of the water? ;) Nope, only in cartoons.

We celebrated Pops' 75th birthday that night - my aunt and uncle remodeled their kitchen and it's great! They have some really cool features, like a pot filler (water spout by the stove) and two dishwashers! I totally want two dishwashers. "The left one is the clean dishes today, please put your dirty ones on the right dishwasher." Yeah. :)

Here is Aunt S opening the quilt I made for their family. I was thrilled with their response and I hope it gets used a lot. :)

The completed quilt, I did loops and stars for the quilting. First time doing stars, but I love the results and probably will do it again some time soon! :)

While we were waiting for dinner, 6 of us and the dog headed to the beach to see the sun set.

I had the middle sister take a picture of us, Sarah had her hands full with the dog. The sad part is that my husband shaved off his beard on New Year's Day. Waaaaaaaaah! I thought he looked good with a beard. :)

I feel like I'm finally back into my usual routine, so I'll be posting more now! I have quite a few more things to share. :)