Saturday, March 31, 2007

Do I get a gold star?

Cuz today's the last day of March... and I met my goal! To post every day. :) I think I was having guilt issues about being so hetic between Thanksgiving and until the end of February, the quilt show. But during those months I got at least 7 quilts finished. For March? Nothing. :P

Tonight was spent sewing 2" squares together for the heart quilt.

I hope I have the energy to iron them tonight, it's cool, always a good time to iron. :)

In other news, we renewed our apartment lease for another year. I'd fall apart thinking about trying to move again! Plus, I like this place so much better, my own quilting room! :) I do hope that my Connecting Threads order comes next week though, my room needs "Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space" - which hopefully includes organization! ;)


Friday, March 30, 2007

Quick Therapy - Quilt top in 2 hours

I received an email today from another quilter - she was asking about the size of my Christmas quilts. Turns out that she was thinking about using that pattern to teach some kids how to quilt. I thought about it... and realized that there'd be an even easier pattern for them. I have no idea what it's called, but I call it Quick Twist.

I drew up a 3x4 foot quilt in EQ5. All it needs is eight 3.5" strips of EACH color you deisre. Sew 2 strips together, cross cut them into 6.5" squares and twist them to form the block below.

Each block will measure 12" finished, and there are few seams to match up. Even if you don't match up the ones in the middle of the block well, it's ok - it's the same fabric. :)

Well, explaining to her how to make the quilt made me want to make it! So finally at 8:30 I told myself "Ok! Make it!" It is truly easy and relaxing therapy. I was all finished with the top by 10:30.

Now I just need a crib size batting, 1.5 yards of backing (probably purple from my stash) and my thread order it come in so I can have fun free-motioning. :) I already cut some of the baby print fabric for the binding. There's even enough room on the backing and batting to have a 4" border, but I ran out of both the baby and yellow fabric, so no border.

But that quilt top was really nice to throw together after dealing with those heart blocks and the fact they have 44 pieces each. I really shouldn't have counted them, it's kinda discouraging to realize that you have over 1500 pieces in that quilt... and still more than a thousand to sew! :P


Thursday, March 29, 2007

They're done!

Three committed hours... and I got both state and federal taxes done! Yeah! I even teased my husband as I collected his signature, "taxes have never been easier for you, eh?" :)

We're getting a return from the federal, but we owe the state about 2/3rds of the federal amount and I already spent the balance... on thread! That's right, I finally made my order for the Essential threads, I think 41 spools in all. And I added a little "extra" for me - Lois Hallock's Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space. A nice reward for doing taxes, no? ;)


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mmm, strawberries!

Yay! strawberries are on sale again! Well, not as cheap as last year's, but 4 pounds for $5. But I weighed the container and it was much closer to 5 pounds. :)

I've probably already eaten 2 pounds so far. :o They're good! I've miss "summer" fruits. I'll probably buy another carton before the sale is up. :)

Wanna hold my hand? Cuz I'm plunging in tomorrow... taxes! I need to do them. I've had the paperwork for almost 2 months now. Yes, we're getting a refund. But like my aunt said, "don't rush me, I'm waiting for the last minute!" :P


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm it

I did lots of ironing, cutting and sub-cutting today.

Well, when I wasn't napping in exhaustion from my gym stint. I used a different cardio machine that normal today and I burned 351 calories in 35 minutes. Can you say tired?! And I'm now painfully aware that I need to buy new shoes. :P

Anyhow, I got tagged by Quilting Fitzy to do a meme that Dorothy created. It's basically, what would be facts of life if Martha Stewart lived next door to you? Well, I'm adding a twist...

If my parents live next door...

-Whenever I make bread, I could give them the other loaf. I know my mom would really enjoy benefiting from her grinder. :)

-My mom and I could quilt a lot! Teamwork really does make things easier, and I enjoy showing her new stuff and tricks.

-We could also dye tons of fabric too. And have lots more time to play around with different methods and saturations.

-I could even help my parents with their plumbing company... hey, it'd just give my mom more time to play and Dad more time to hike/backpack/visit the guys. ;)

-I could just go "Dad! We have a leaky shower handle. Can you please help us fix it?" instead of having to depend on the apartment's maintenance guys. Yes, we really do have a leaky shower handle, but I don't wanna deal with strange men tromping all over my apartment, so I'm waiting for school to be out so my husband can deal with it. :P

Ironically enough... my in-laws live just over the next block, 6/10ths of a mile away. :) But my MIL has no interest in quilting, or sewing. Shucks, her bobbin winder hasn't been working for years on her sewing machine. But I had fun imagining what it'd be like if my parents lived next door. As you probably can guess, I'm on pretty good terms with them. :)


Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday on the run!

First off... the recipe for the Italian Herb Bread, Leah's version. ;) Below is a picture of one giant loaf. You can either make 1 big loaf or 2 smaller ones with this recipe.

Italian Herb Bread (T - tablespoon, t - teaspoon)

1.5 cup warm water
2 T sugar
1.5 T yeast
-mix the above ingredients together and let it get bubbly, 5-10 minutes

4 cups bleached bread flour (the recipe called for All purpose unbleached flour though, didn't have it on hand)
1 T salt
1 t Italian Seasoning (ok, I used a lot more than that. We like it 'round here)
2 t dried basil leaves (didn't have this on hand, so I used cilantro and oregano. Just a dash and a dab. I cook like that. ;)
2 T Thyme (I just dumped about a tablespoon - ran out of thyme. It's pretty forgiving about what herbs you use, so long as it still runs along the "Italian" type)
1 T mince garlic (I just crunched about 5 fresh cloves, a few pieces did fall out when I was kneading though)
-mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the yeast/water. Then I use the same container to melt 4 tablespoons of butter and added that in too. But I imagine you could use olive oil too.
-knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes. This is a nice easy dough to knead. :)
-place in clean bowl, cover and let it rise. I let it rise for about 1.5 hours at 80 degrees.
-punch down, split into 2 (if doing 2 loaves), shape into logs on a cookie sheet, and I think this is where you're supposed to slit them, if you want... but I keep forgetting and doing it AFTER I let it rise. You pick. After they're shaped into logs, let them rise again for about 45 minutes to an hour.
-turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Eat and say yum! ;)

What I didn't mention about today's sew-in is that it's also the host's birthday. So I made her a fabric S.W.A.K. Envelope to put her birthday note in.

It's not really quilty - doesn't have any batting and it's not sewn down, just some binding around the edge. It does have a backing though.

But the host liked it so much that she might use it to hold her Chicago Quilt Show entrance tickets. :)

And finally, the Spring Block Swap. Isn't is such a beautiful variety?

I really like that hot air balloon. I think it's like 15x25 inches. I don't know if I'm going to make it the center or near the top. This is going to be a challenge to figure out a layout! :)

I haven't forgotten Fitzy, about the meme, just haven't had the time. I'll be adding a twist to my version though. ;)


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Too late

It's too late for me to do the post I wanted to do. I was behind in making something for the sew-in tomorrow and I was watching Battlestar (no new episodes until 2008! :o).

Anyhow, I baked some Italian Herb Bread for the sew-in tomorrow.

Here it is before I popped it into the oven. Too late, I should have made the slashes before the bread rose. :P

And after it's done. We had some slices with dinner. It was a hit with my husband. Yay! :)

For tomorrow I'm going to slice them, pop them in the oven to warm up, with butter. Hope it's a hit with the quilting ladies too. :)


Saturday, March 24, 2007

A garden full

The wall is covered with tulips! They're even getting some sunshine in the bottom left corner. ;)

Nothing much going on today. I did cut some fabric for the heart quilt. And I ate too much chili for dinner. But so did my husband. :)


Friday, March 23, 2007

Almost done!

I made good progress on the tulips tonight. Half way through the almost last seam to sew, my eyes started getting too fuzzy for me to see the needle properly. So I quickly finished three to photograph and will do the rest tomorrow.

I was able to get a stronger contact for my right eye this morning. I think I'll keep this current prescription, but now my eyes are at war since they're tired. Normally my left eye has been the better eye, but in the past 3 months with needing a stronger prescription, my right eye had taken over because it had less change than the left. Now my eyes are battling - my left wants to be stronger but my brain is used to the right dominating. So back and forth they go. :P I'm sure I'll get used to it in a few days, it's sure nice being able to see clearly across the room! :)


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Flickering Lights

We're having a bit of a thunderstorm and the lights have flickered some, so this is gonna be a quick post. :)

I spent 2 hours this evening on the tulip blocks. Didn't get as much done as I hoped, but I got distracted from trying to find candles and flashlights.

Hopefully tomorrow they'll be all done!

My eye exam went pretty fast - my left eye almost doubled in numbers, from -1.75 to -3.00. But now I can SEE out of that eye! So happy about that. My right eye was only adjusted -.25 more and it's still pretty blurry beyond 5 feet, so I'm gonna go back tomorrow and see if they can up it from -6.00 to -6.50 or something. But it's sure nice not having to strain to see street signs or the CC on the gym's TV. :)


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I decided to go ahead and do tulip blocks for the sew-in swap.

I got all the pieces cut tonight, and tomorrow I can begin to sew! There will be 3 colors of tulips, red, yellow and purple. All of it is from my stash except the light blue. I bought that in November (see? I was trying not to procrastinate!) and I used birthday money and a 50% off coupon to buy that fabric.

Tomorrow I have an eye exam to get a stronger contact prescription. I started to notice that my eyesight was failing in January and spend several weeks hoping that they would improve... yeah right! :P Then last week I realized that I'd have a very lousy day at the Opening Day of the Diamond Backs baseball game if I wasn't going to be able to see anything clearly. That got my rear going and getting an appointment. :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

No I don't procrasinate!

Yeah right... ok, here's the story. I go to a sew-in every other week or so. In the fall the ladies decided to have a spring block swap. Everybody needs to make about 20 or so blocks and then we'll swap them and have a very interesting quilt!

The thing is... it's due next Monday and I haven't started at all. Nope. Nothing. I was planning to do the tulip blocks... but now I'm chickening out and wondering if you ladies have any suggestions for a quicker pattern. All rotary piecing please, no appliqué or paper piecing. Thanks. :)

I'm off to search EQ5 for some ideas!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Productive Day

I managed to accomplish a lot! Especially for a Monday. ;) Bathroom cleaned, living room picked up (hoping to vacuum tomorrow), ran the dishwasher, put away the laundry, went to the gym, cooked dinner and made the alternative block for the heart quilt!

It's gonna be sooooo pretty. I just need to cut more scrappy fabrics. I have a lot of 2" strips, but not so many squares.

The only downside of today is that my husband shaved his beard. I know I said he shaved it off after New Year's, but he let it grow again. Now it's gone. But I don't blame him, it's been hitting the mid-80s these days and beards are just too hot in Arizona. :)


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grading and Laundry

Grading and laundry...
grading and laundry...
grading and laundry...

Guess what I did today! :D I graded between the loads of laundry, and finally at 8:30 everything was done. I didn't even make dinner. Now my husband gets to take about a foot-high pile of papers to school tomorrow. Yeah, he's not so thrilled with the spring break being over. :) And I don't blame him, even I was finding the students work worse than the last 2 years. They just don't put in any effort and expect A's. :P Nope, not from this mean grader. :D


Saturday, March 17, 2007


Today's National Quilting Day. I thought it was St. Patrick's Day. ;) Yup, I wore green. My wedding ring has 3 emeralds, so I'm always wearing green. But I added a green scrunchie and a green shirt today.

Anyhow, I did get a few hours of quilting in today! Just these three hearts.

The top heart is a little crooked (the points) but it doesn't bother me, because I put all 44 pieces (each block) together without pinning! I hate pinning. I think that's the biggest thing I dread in quilting. Using my yellow-head pins. I've learned to just do it when I need to, but I sure try my best not to. :P And it's not all pins, I don't mind safety pinning quilts for quilting. I think I mostly dread trying not to sew over the pins. But sometimes I have a piece that's so off that I need to sew over the pin to ensure that it stays properly in it's spot. But I still don't like it. :)

Tomorrow's going to be fun (not)... I need to grade my husband's student's articles. Since I've been doing it for over a year, my husband doesn't really know "how" to grade them, and I'm a much bigger stickler than he is. If it's wrong, it gets marked! :)


Friday, March 16, 2007

Another successful day

Today I went to the quilt shop on the far end of town, which happened to be RIGHT across the street from a feed store. I stopped in to ask if they had any whole wheat. Yup! They sell 50 pound bags of white hard wheat for about $11. Discount if you pay cash. ;) While I haven't used up the buckets I got the other month, I'm glad to have found a local source for wheat! I know a feed store doesn't sound that appealing, but I've heard of others doing it, and I'll be feeding the grain slowly in the grinder to watch for icky stuff.

After the feed store, I went to the quilt shop to look for red cotton thread. I wasn't looking for bright red, but something more like country or deep red? Well, I took the last 2 spools of Robinson-Anton thread they had! :D

The other good news is that my husband is open to the idea of getting a chest freezer! See (and my dad will testify), I'm a really good packer when I need to be. Anytime we were going on a vacation and things would be tight (like a bunch of Christmas gifts), they'd put me in charge of packing and make my siblings my peons and I'd order them what to give me. ;)

Another time I was going backpacking with my sister, dad, brother and half of the local boy scouts and one of the trucks transmission blew out. So my dad stopped and *I* had to load all the stuff into my dad's truck. It was full before the broken truck, but it was now crammed FULL. I even had to turn down some firewood, there just wasn't room. But I got to make all those boy scouts my peons too. :D

Anyhow, when I got back from shopping yesterday, I used my packing skills to get all the freezer stuff neatly into the freezer. For lunch my husband wanted the Honey BBQ chicken, which was near the bottom. In the process of pulling it out, nearly half of the freezer contents came with it. "I want a bigger freezer." he said. Whoo hoo!! I had already priced a 7 cubit freezer (about the size of a dishwasher? little smaller) for $200 at Costco. I'm going to wait a bit to see if a better deal is going to come up (like when the Lowes or BestBuy opens), but I have a green light to get a freezer. :)


Thursday, March 15, 2007

180 miles...

...and I'm back home. :) Successful trip, and I didn't spend as much as I was expecting to. That's always good. ;)

Here's a picture of the hills in Oro Valley. I'm in the Sprouts parking lot and I'm looking northeast. It was about 10:30am and it was already over 80 degrees! It hit 90 around noon. Ugh. :P

Sprouts is officially in Oro Valley, but just 200 feet away is "Welcome to Tucson". Down the block (that'd be left in the picture) is Trader Joe's. Sometimes I wish I lived in that neighborhood, I'd be a happy shopper! :D

And no matter how hard I seem to try, I can't spend more than $20 at Sprouts. I avoid their meats (Trader Joe's and Costco are better deals), but I LOVE their bulk bins! They're a far better deal than Wild Oats or Whole Foods. Today I spent $7.28 and I got...
-soy flour (I heard that if you mix a certain amount flour and water, it's equivalent to 1 egg. Good for cooking).
-couple malted yogurt balls
-several mint patties. I felt like I kid in a candy store and wanted to try everything! :)
-about a pound of 7-bean... well, beans. Good for stews.
-3 oranges (99/cent pound)
-2 avocados for 50/cent each.
Yup, your dollar goes far there. :)

I also went to JoAnn's - I really wanted a seam ripper (cuz I keep losing mine!) and red thread. Wasn't happy with the seam rippers, all the cheap ones were gone. I need cheap cuz I'll just lose it again. :P The thread there seemed to be for embroiderers, not really for quilters. I avoid the Coats&Clark stuff, cuz it's so darn linty on my machine.

But I did get fabric! :D Aren't they yummy?

I got the batik on the right for $2.50/yard, thanks to a 50% off coupon. Over 6 yards! I think it'd look great as a border with my handdyed fabrics. Maybe even for my Star Struck quilt? I dunno, I'm already planning on it to be 96" square!

Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break... I know I'm gonna miss having my husband home all day. I gotta admit, it's pretty nice to have a week with him, and still get a paycheck! :)


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Busy in the kitchen

A big THANK YOU! for sharing your oil cap information with me. I was just going to shrug it off, but thanks to your comments, I got myself to the auto parts store today. It was a mere $4.30 and I was able to figure out where it belonged. :) And I put it on twice, just to make sure I hadn't screwed it on wrong the first time.

I didn't get any sewing done today... and here's why. I was emptying the dishwasher, and when I put a lid in the pots and pans cupboard, I noticed what looked like burnt rice on a frying pan. A closer inspection told me that they were maggots. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!

It makes me so mad, that they go for my clean pots and pans! I never kept food in that cupboard. Why didn't they go for the trash? Or the crock pot with pot roast bits in it? Or even my pantry? The ants and maggots/flies never touch my pantry. So my food is safe. I just told myself I was done with that cupboard (it's only that cupboard, and I do not know why) and that I was going to use my Organize It shelving that was intended for my fabric to build myself a nice rack for all the pots and pans.

Neither ants or maggots have ever been found in this area of my kitchen, so hopefully everything will remain clean! :) It basically took me alllllllllll day long to get the kitchen in top shape. Yeah, I took a lot of breaks. :D But now I have a nice spot for my cookingware and my kitchen appliances like the grinder, mixer and blender. The 4 grain buckets will be placed in front of the shelves and moved around as needed.

But hopefully this will fix the bug problem AND help me keep the kitchen less cluttered! And if I keep the kitchen less cluttered, then my husband won't want to eat out as much. Apparently I can function in chaos much better than he can. :P

Maybe on Friday I'll make some bread too, it's been a few weeks because the last time I made some bread (using a new recipe) it turned out to be an utter disaster and I was mad at myself for having to throw away all the freshly grounded flour.

Thursday is going to be busy, busy, busy. Got several stores to shop at in Tucson. But I'll try to take pictures for Quilting Fitzy cuz she's very interested in living in the area that I'll be shopping at. Won't it be so much fun to have a fellow blogger and quilter to have sew-ins with? :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No picture!

Today has been a busy day, including watching the new James Bond movie. I'm surprised at how long it was (almost 3 hours?) and yet it held my attention. :)

I also had my car's oil changed today - they said "missing oil cap". Can anybody tell me if this is really important, or is it just a little thing? I guess I mostly want to know if I should try to find a new cap before I go to Tucson on Thursday.

And I got gas. Ouch!! It was $2.54/gallon. Let me give you a little clue how infrequently I fill my car... last time I paid only $2.04/gallon. :P


Monday, March 12, 2007

This quilter's quirk

Do you have a little quilting quirk? I know I do... I like to save all my dog ears from trimming half-square triangles. :)

I started in January 2006. Right now you see about 100 HSTs dog ears on my ironing board - so little looking! So there's a few thousand in my vase. Wow. :)

I think the idea started when I saw somebody blog about saving up their squaring-up trimmings and putting them in U-fill glass Christmas ornaments. I think she gifted them away, but I'm hoping someday (or year!) that I'll have enough HSTs to fill up several ornament balls. Hey, I figured in a few decades I'll be able to have a totally quilty Christmas tree! :D

Come on and tell me about your quilty quirk... what do you like to do that doesn't make THAT much sense? I know some quilters don't like to empty their trash during the making of a quilt - somehow they feel good to see the trash fill up as the create their top. Not for me, but I get excited adding dog ears to my collection! :)


Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's the 11th

Today would have been my dog Missy's 13th birthday. I know I need to accept that she's gone, yet a part of me feels like she should still be alive, just cuz the family dog Holly was over 14 when we put her down. :P

I miss her... but not as badly as I used to. Sometimes my eyes still water up when I think about her, but not as often. I know she's becoming more of a memory for me because I'm forgetting the bad parts! :D I find myself thinking about how she followed me all the time; sleeping with me was one of her favorite things; she could always count on me slipping her a bit of human food everyday... And the bad stuff start to fade, like how she couldn't stand to be outdoors by herself; her ability to open the trash drawer and fridge don't cross my mind as much, nor the piles of hair she could produce as the season warmed up.

But the 11th has been a fond day for me. Missy was born March 11, 1994. I met my husband online for the first time on November 11, 1997. We got married on July 11, 2004. So I like the 11th. :) Anyhow, if you wanna read about my (long) tribute to Missy last year...
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3



Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cutting along

Today was mostly cutting. I did sew a bunch of my 1.5" squares together, but they're only a heap of fabric right now. :)

I cut a lot of red squares and triangles and white strips. Tomorrow I'll start cutting the white into squares and triangles too, for this heart block. It's busy work... but it doesn't exactly produce a lot of visual goods... yet. ;)

I fear that I'm relapsing in my cold. :( I had a horrible headache early afternoon - I almost wanted to ask my husband if somebody had taken a hammer to the back of my head - but I just thanked him for bringing me Tylenol and water. So I slept for a while... then woke up from a horrible coughing fit. And I'm still so low on energy cuz I haven't had a chance to recover from the first bout. So if you see somebody just puttering along and looking like she forgot what she was doing, cuz she had to blow her nose yet again, or some sneezing or coughing distracted her... that'd be me. ;)

Well, I'm off to shower!


Friday, March 09, 2007

More quilting family

(Yes, I'm totally cheating, I fixed the date and time so it says March 9, cuz it is! Just really late... like 1:30am ;)

I got a very interesting note from a fellow guild member in the mail today! She said she was at the admission booth during the quilt show last month, and somebody asked if she knew me. Apparently the lady wanted to meet me! Since I wasn't there, the lady wrote me a note and the guild member mailed it to me.

The note was in reference to the two quilts I hung in the antique section. Apparently she recognized my great-great-grandmother's name, Minnie Old and my grandfather's name. She wrote that those two names were relatives of her ex-husband "I think!" and said she knew them from the Chandler area. She gave me her name and her address in Tucson and that her ex's uncle was named Ray Old.

How cool is that?! Even if we're not blood-relatives, what are the odds of her seeing my quilts and recognizing names that probably haven't been heard for decades? And hey, another quilter in the family! :) So I'll be writing her back - my grandfather definitely had an Arizonian childhood and his parents were living in Mesa until their death.

And I wonder why my husband doesn't like the mail... so many goodies come through the mail. :)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

A treasured box

Something I didn't think about until I was taking off my contacts last night is a box my aunt made for me, more than 4 years ago.

I was just beginning to quilt in 2002, I think I had only two finishes for that actual year!

But she knew of my interest and used it for the theme for this wooden box.

It's lined with black velvet inside, and I use it to hold a couple pieces of earrings and my too-small ring from my husband.

I get to see this box twice every day when I get my contact case out of the bathroom cabinet and when I put my contacts away.

She also made a box for both of my sisters - I can't exactly recall the designs, but it was similar to my box, just not quilty. :)

It's pretty small - 4"x2.5"x2.5". I love the fine detail of it! Who needs a jewelry box when they have this? :)

The other news is that I'm finally on the road to recovery from my cold! I slept last night, real live deep sleep. Ahhhh. :D I think I'll take half the dosage of medicine tonight, just to ensure some zzzzzzzzzz's.

Tomorrow is also the last day of school before our Spring Break starts. We're just going to take the week easy, and I'll be going to Tucson for a little shopping. We're down to our last case of bottled water, I was drinking double the amount I usually do, to help fight the cold. Bottled water is one thing I'm really willing to pay for here, in the desert. I do NOT want to be playing games with the Arizonian heat. Plus... I think we're supposed to get a bit of a heat wave this weekend. Gonna see 90* or so. :( I hate hot weather... hard to be it was snowing about 6 weeks ago! :P


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ups and downs of the day

I got some really neat news today! My aunt has started up a blog. :) This aunt has been very active in my life - I was one of her 4 flower girls in her wedding when I was 4 years old. She also spent many hours watching my siblings and I in our younger years. She lived by her parent's house at the time and we'd ride horses, collect eggs from the chicken, work in the garden and basically have a grand ol' time!

She was the one who worked very hard on the flowers for my wedding - a present I really appreciate! As a little "thank you" I made this wall hanging for her and her husband.

(I blocked off the names).

We also have a lot in common now - we both love dogs, gardening and quilting. She was the one who gave me this beautiful picture of Missy. (Scroll to the end of the post). My aunt is also a very talented painter and I love how she adds her dog in the paintings. :) So go on an give her a visit!

I was feeling sorry for my husband - he's been getting a little neglected as I fight this cold. So I figured I'd make him some chocolate chip cookies! :) I think this is the first batch of homemade cookies I've made since we were married. :o

Of course, as soon I was done with the last batch, I promptly fell asleep on the couch. :P But you're welcomed to come over and help yourself to the cookies. We also have a gallon of milk too. :)

The down part of today is that my cold is waaaaaaaaaay worse. When I tried to go to bed last night, the sinus pressure made me want to pull my eyeballs out. Finally at 1am I resorted to a semi-upright position on the couch. Didn't get much sleep that way, but I was happy to breathe! :P 4am found me back in my bed and I tossed and turned until 9:30am - yup, missed out the guild meeting. Oh well, I'd hate to pass this on to the lovely quilting ladies.

When I was at the store today, I grabbed some nighttime sinus/cold medicine, so I'm really hoping I'll sleep better tonight!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Speed cutting

I was thinking today how we often times hear about "speed piecing" or "chain piecing" or other time saving tricks at the sewing machine... but what about speed cutting? No, I don't mean to see how fast you can run your rotary cutter across the mat, after all, we do like our fingers. ;) But ways we can cut out some of the tedious work from cutting. So here's my tutorial!

I layered 5 red FQs carefully on top of each other. I trimmed off the scraggly ends and made a 6" strip cut.

I moved the uncut fabric out of the way and moved my ruler by 2" and made a cut on the 4" line.

One last cut at 2"

Now the sub-cutting. (Yes, I turned my mat around). I placed the ruler on the farthest even number I had, which was 8. Make a cut.

Move it over to 6", make another cut.

Continue to cut at 4" and 2". Move those squares out of the way and cut the rest of the fabric.

In 15 minutes (could have been less than 10, if I didn't have to take pictures. ;) I had 150 2" squares. Now that's speed cutting! :)

We can add sneezing and runny nose to my cold now. Seems like I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to breathe. :P At least I have a sympathetic husband, as he's still trying to recover from his cold. :)

Tomorrow is the guild meeting! I really hope I feel better, cuz they're going to give a report on the quilt show. But I'll survive if I can't make it. ;)


Monday, March 05, 2007

Grumpy shirt day

Yup! Today was definitely a day for the Grumpy t-shirt. :)

Within 5 minutes of waking up, three things had gone wrong.
-I woke up to a sore throat. (Hubby's cold from his students)
-I moved my neck around and discovered a neck crick.
-I rolled out of bed and found out that my lower back felt like somebody stepped on it.

Yeah... and the day didn't exactly go uphill from there. Lots of liquids were sipped, I did lay down for 30 minutes this evening and it took away the majority of my back pain and I'm not doing anything wild with my neck, so I don't really notice the crick.

I also have a bit of clumsiness - I whacked the very full trash can over and spilled popcorn kernels all over the kitchen floor. That's when I decided that I wasn't going to operate any machinery, including my sewing machine. ;) Oh, and no rotary cutter either!

At least seeing the shirt on me made my husband laugh when he walked in - he knows I only wear it when it's been a tough day. But the good news is that he told me the James Bond movie is being released next week, so we will have "date night" to see it! :)


Sunday, March 04, 2007

The end of another day

Today's been a fairly nice day, but I might "need" to wear my "Kiss Me, I'm Grumpy" shirt tomorrow. ;) Gotta love being a gal!

When I posted about changing the rotary blade the August link reminded me of my 4-patch squares quilt and seeing it gave me a kick to start it up again.

It's not for the faint of heart! Those squares measure at 1.5", unfinished and I have to be extra careful to make sure I'm having a proper quarter-inch seam allowance. I've already sewn up over 200 squares together... and it just makes a little pile behind my machine! :P I doubt the quilt will get much bigger than lap size.

The pot roast was a hit! It's very flavorful and I'm going to run to the store tomorrow to buy another roast or two - they're $1.99/pound, down from $5.99. Good deal!

To Die For Pot Roast (ok, I don't think I'll die for it, but it's good. :)
(1) 3-5 pound beef roast
(1) package dry Ranch dressing mix
(1) package dry Italian dressing mix
(1) package dry Brown gravy mix
1/2 cup water (I used closer to 3/4 cup)

Put roast in the crockpot. Mix water with the 3 dry packages and pour over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

It was very tender and flavorful. We had it with noodles, but it would have probably been better with potatoes. I have no knowledge of gravy making, but there was a bit of juice in the bottom that might have made a nice gravy for the potatoes.

I think I'm gonna get myself a bowl of the sugar free ice cream I got a few days ago. I was slaving over the iron for 45 minutes before posting and cold stuff sounds good. :)


Saturday, March 03, 2007

A step closer

I'm a (very small) step closer to being organized! I hung up the quilt tops from the ironing board's landslide.

Funny, I thought I'd have more quilt tops, but apparently they're still in blocks or rows or ideas still drifting in my head. Oops. :P

Norma wrote a very touching tribute in the passing of her dog King, and it had me in sniffles. I still miss my dog Missy a ton and her 13th birthday would have been March 11th. As much as I love dogs, I don't think I want another one yet, I'd much rather have Missy back.

Tomorrow is looking busy! I'm going to be trying a recipe for pot roast in the crockpot that 2 people have claimed that it's sooooooooooooo good. I'll let you know and share the recipe if it's that good. :) Also have 2 weeks worth of laundry to do and church to go to. At least I'll get to wash up some fabric and start cutting them soon. :)


Friday, March 02, 2007


Have you put in a new blade in your rotary cutter this year? I started to notice a little dreading of cutting, but thankfully I remembered what happened last time. I put in a new blade before I could even start arguing with myself! ;)

I thought I'd have 4 blades left after I put in my new one, but I found a case with 2 fresh blades left. Whoo! So now I have 6 blades left. Should last me 2 years. :)

And in other news, I'm starting to run low on my variety of aurifil thread.

Really low! :P Nah, it's just this one spool that's almost gone. I've used it for piecing only. But since my old source for aurifil for under $5/spool is closing out, it's time to find a new line of threads.

I'm very strongly considering Essential Threads. I'm pretty sure it's been out on the market for over a year now. Or at least 6 months for sure. I've heard of other quilters buying it... but I haven't heard any reviews! So wanna help me? If you have this thread, please tell me what you think of it. I don't expect it to be as lintless as aurifil, but how does it hold up? Does it break a lot? Can a lot fit on the bobbin? Would you buy it again?

I'm pretty sure I'd buy all the sets, and the restock up on individual spools every 6 months or once a year. It shouldn't be more than $100 to start up and I'll have a nice variety, which really helps when you do all your quilting. :)

And I really hope they don't start to close out any time soon, cuz it's a great deal!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

March is here!

First off... I want to answer Blogless Rosaline's question that was made in my previous post. She asked how the colors blended so well in my rainbow quilt. It's because they're all the same line of fabric - found in WalMart or JoAnn's and the fabric print is kinda tiny, so it doesn't easily reveal a seam line, like a larger print could. Hope that helps! :)

In other news... March is here! I'm committed to blogging every day, so off we go! :D Let's start with the bad news... my sewing room is messy. :P

Really messy! Bad enough that my husband commented on it this evening and nearly lost a shoe when he stepped in. But look! I still can sorta cut. I have my priorities straight, I can see the cutting mat. :D

Kinda looks like a landslide doesn't it? Yeah, the landslide under my ironing board. But hey, all I have to do is pull off the quilt and I still have a decent amount of room to iron! Priorities, after all. :D

It's just when I get towards the end of a quilt, I tend to be... messier. I stop trying to put all the little bits in the trash or making sure I'm not wearing thread snips. Eh, it might be because I keep cutting very close to my deadlines. :P

And honest, I do want things tidy and organized. Look! I even bought some wire shelvings and you can see it says "organize it". ;)

Apparently you're supposed take it out, build the shelves and put things on it, for it to be organized. Not just drop the box on the pile that needs to be organized and wonder 9 months later why nothing's happened. :D

I think I want to move back to my parents... just for a little while. It's because my dad emailed me last week saying that my mom cleaned my old room so clean that it hadn't been that clean since the carpet was installed. Now THAT'S clean. :) She did the same to my sister's room and she's turning both of them into sewing rooms! Whooooooo! Well, I'm guessing my room will be more storage-like (for the boxes of dyeing and bolts of fabric) and my sister's room will be the actual sewing room.

My mom even made my dad take her sewing machine in for a clean up/tune up. So yeah, I wanna go back to my parents for a while. I'll even bring my sewing machine and stash with me. :D

Oh, I'm sure I'll have lots of fun the next time I'm there. Probably summertime. Think my room will be cleaner by then? ;)