Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Christmas Lights

I haven't been making a lot of progress on my UFO's for this year. Last year I decided to follow along with the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt in Quiltmaker Magazine. It was the first mystery quilt that I had done. I have to admit that I got really tired of making half square triangles, but I do love the quilt. I got it back from Lisa, my quilter, last week and finished the binding last night. DH rarely ever makes comments about my quilts, but he did say that he thought we needed to keep this one. I agree. Even though the name is Christmas Lights, it is not at all "Christmasy" at least mine isn't, it does have red and green, but not the shades you usually associate with Christmas.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Free at Last!

Yeah, I am finally free to get out of the house. Thursday the doctor took off the bandages and told me I could start getting out and about again. Thank you!! I know I was only in the house for a week, but it felt much longer. I have not wasted any time, Friday I spent part of the day with some good friends, it was so much fun. Today has been spent doing dreaded household chores that we not done last week. It took a little longer than usual to get them finished, but they are done for another week. Before I was given my freedom I did manage to finish another block from the Carrie Hall BOM that I started last year. I think this is the 4th block that I have finished. I am really taking my time and trying to get the applique just perfect. I don't have a lot of experience with applique, I have taken a class, but still haven't done that much with it. I stepped out of my box for this quilt, my friend Krisite is doing it in homespuns, I wanted to do something a little different so I went with batiks. I am not that much into batiks, but they are easy to applique. I like it that the block background isn't batik, I think that would have been too much.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Movie Day

Today I thought I would switch it up a bit and watch some old movies. I love old movies, especially anything with Clark Gable. This is one that I have had for a while and for some reason just never watched. While reading the movie jacket it was amusing tho think that the special effects in this movie were described as the stupendous, the best ever. Hard to imagine, but I am sure that for the time they were. Spencer Tracy is also in the movie, he plays a priest who tries to show Blackie, aka Gable the error of his ways.I also watched the original Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This is nothing like the Branglina Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This movie is so funny. The Smith's find out that they were never actually married which causes great confusion and laughter. Carole Lombard is Mrs. Smith, and Robert Montgomery is Mr. Smith, they are perfect for these roles.

Old movies are so much more fun, they always, almost always, have a happy ending and you didn't have to worry about someone being brutally murdered or seeing an explicit sex scene. I will have to see what other unwatched treasures I have.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knitting Away

I am still somewhat hampered by my foot and not able to get down the steps to my sewing room. Yesterday I got bored for the first time in ages. I am still reading The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. It is good, not as good as the first two, or maybe I am just tired of reading if you can believe that. I am not much of a movie watcher, but did watch the movie, "Australia" yesterday. It was really good, kind of an Australian Gone With the Wind. I also started a new knitting project. I am making a shrug. Last year at school one of our teachers had one that I loved and I started looking for the pattern for it. Just when I was about to give up, I found it at one of our local yarn shops a couple of weeks ago. It is the first garment I have ever knitted for myself. So far it is going great. I really wanted to make one in a wild color but common sense prevailed and I went with a neutral color that I could wear it with lots of things.

It is knit in one long piece then folded over and sewn together. If this one turns out ok, I might actually make another one. I really like this pattern because I don't have to worry a lot about fit, there really isn't that much to fit. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Great Reads!

Since I have been somewhat tied down the last few days, I have been doing lots and lots of reading. My friend, Becky, loaned me one of her books, A Thread so Thin. It is part of the Cobblestone series by Marie Bostwick. I really enjoy her books and this was no exception. It is one of those series where you can care about the characters and want to keep reading about them. This is a good one.
I also read State Fair, by Earlene Fowler, one of the Bennie Harper mystery series. I have to admit before reading I was confused by the title, all of her books have quilt block titles and I was not familiar with one called, "state fair". Several different ones were mentioned in the book, will have to go on like and look them up. One of the main characters in this book was Bennie's aunt from Arkansas, I don't want to give anything away, but I think we will be seeing a lot more of her in future books. I did enjoy this one, however not as much as some of the other titles.

I am currently reading the last of the Millennium trilogy. I absolutely love these books. I have had this one for a couple of weeks and was saving it for when I had surgery. It is great. I started it yesterday and read about a third of it. Too bad Mr. Larsson died after this series, I would love to read more books by him. Would definitely recommend this series.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bunions, Ouch!!!

I am definitely feeling old this week, I had to have two bunions removed from my left foot. Who knew that bunions could hurt so much!!! I am still in the recovery phase, foot elevated, no weight on it and doing lots of nothing. Next week I should be up and moving around the house some. At least I had three wonderful days in the mountains sewing before my surgery.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Most excellent quilting adventure

On Monday, Becky, Pat, Krisite, and I headed up to our cabin outside of Blue Ridge. We had been planning this most excellent adventure for several weeks. Within 30 minutes of getting to the cabin there were four machines out, a cutting station set up along with a pressing station. We definitely did not waste any time.

Kristie finished the first project.

Becky worked on her black and white Scrappy Nines, a pattern designed by Pat. I think Becky had nine patch overload, while Kristie, Pat and I were in half square triangle agony. I was working on a Bonnie Hunter scrap project called Patches and Pinwheels, at one point Kristie, Becky were also working on it. Pat spent most of her time designing a new basket quilt. I have to admit after watching the creative process I am glad that I am not a designer, I am perfectly happy being "just a quilter".
It was a great time and we are already trying to plan another adventure for the fall.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Packing up to go!!!

I am so excited, in about 45 minutes, Becky, Kristie, and Pat will be here and we will head up to the mountains. As you can see I have already started loading up. We are off to our cabin, outside of Blue Ridge, for three days of sewing, laughing, and relaxing. I couldn't sleep last night I was so excited!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Too Hot!!!!

It is definitely Hotlanta this weekend, the temperature has been up in the 90's this weekend. Normally it doesn't get this hot until sometime in July. The heat doesn't seem to be bothering our tomato plants so far, hopefully we will keep getting rain each week on them. I did get out today to tie them up again. I use the selvage off of my fabric to tie the tomatoes up. I can always tell what quilt I was working on when I see the fabric used to tie up the tomatoes. We have 15 tomato plants and 9 pepper plants, that is about all that we have room for in our backyard. Most of the back yard is too shady for a garden. I do like to have fresh tomatoes and different kinds of peppers during the summer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Busy Week

This has been an incredibly busy week so far. Tuesday was our anniversary, I can't believe that it has been 13 years. It doesn't seem that long, but Joe tells everyone this was our 20th, because we were together 7 years before we married. He always makes me feel so special, I came home to find two dozen roses in a variety of vases. They are gorgeous. We went out for a special dinner to our favorite Italian place, it was great. I gave Joe a hammock, that isn't here yet, it was back ordered and he gave me some beautiful earrings.

One goal for the summer was to finish some of my projects. I have been working on a quilt to use our our bed for over a year, I am determined to finish it this summer. It has been one of those projects that I really wanted to finish, but one that I knew I had to concentrate on to get everything to match up. I finally today finished all of the blocks, all 156 of them, now I have to finish the 1/2 blocks that are part of the border. I sewed one row together to make sure that it was the right width for the bed. I really like it and now can't wait to get it finished and to the quilter.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jelly Roll BOM

One of my projects this week is to get caught up on some of my BOM's. (you notice I said some, not all). The Jelly Roll Sampler is one that I wanted to catch up on. I had not done the block from two weeks ago, and there was a new one today. I am all caught up now!! At least on this one.

I wanted to see how all of the blocks looked together so I put all of them on my design wall. I have two favorite blocks, the top 2 on the left. I can't wait to see what the other 4 blocks look like

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cookie Day

For some reason this morning the first thing I thought of doing when I woke up was "making cookies". I love to bake and cookies are one of my favorite things to make. My second thought was when I get back from church I will try a new recipe. Well, the church thing didn't happen today. I totally forgot that starting the first Sunday after Memorial Day, the church switches to "summer hours" and has only one service at 10:00 instead of 11:00. I didn't quite make it.

I searched in my cookbooks for a different cookie recipe, it had to have chocolate in it, what is a cookie without chocolate. I found one in The Cookie Bible called Double Chocolate Chunk cookies. It definitely looked interesting. I checked to make sure that I had everything the recipe called for and I was in luck I had everything, even dried cherries. The recipe is very simple and very chocolaty.
DH will have a surprise waiting for him when he returns home this afternoon. A cookie jar full of chocolate goodness.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What is on my design wall

I can't believe that the first week of summer vacation is already gone!!! Oh No!! This has been a really busy week. Tuesday was spent at the dentist getting an old filling redone, not too bad, just one of those things. Wednesday was spent getting my hair done and with doctor's appointments. Thursday was spent doing yard work, cutting the grass and trimming up some bushes. Today I went to a retirement brunch for a friend and co-worker. It was great to see her and celebrate her retirement. After brunch I had some errands to run, returning some clothes I had ordered online, and picking up some books from the library.

Then it was time to do some sewing. A couple of years ago I went to a retreat where we made a scrappy batik quilt from Time To Quilt, (the one on the front of the book).I really enjoyed doing it and decided that I would make a
second one from flannel. I started it a over a year ago and have it listed on my UFO's to finish this year. For some reason I seem to have collected lots of flannel over the last few years. I thought this quilt would be perfect to use some of it up. I have enough blocks to make not one, but two quilts. I have promised myself that I will get these two quilts put together before I start on anything else. After the blocks are put together, there is a narrow gold inner border, there are also a dozen gold stars appliqued randomly across the quilt. The outer border will be homespun, (don't have that yet) I just really want to get the blocks and the inner border together. This has made a huge dent in my stash. I'm not saving all of the little odd pieces that are left after I cut the pieces for the blocks. It feels good to throw those tiny little bits and pieces away!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family Reunion

Memorial Day weekend is when my DH's family has their reunion. I started going with him before we were married, this was either my 17th or 18th trip. I really enjoy seeing all of his cousins. On Saturday night there is always a cookout at Jeff and Anna Leigh's house. This is their house, it is on the register of historic places in Virginia, it is a former girls college. They have done a lot of work on it in the last few years. It was within walking distance of the hotel were we stayed which was nice. We were able to walk by the court square and see the wonderful flags and crosses twice.

On Sunday everyone goes to church together, then has lunch on the grounds at church. The crowd was a little slim this year. Several of the cousins were not there due to work or other family issues. It was also Uncle Bill's 92nd birthday. Unfortunately he wasn't up to going to church and due to health issues this will probably be his last reunion.
After church the party moved over to cousin Emily's house. Emily is a true renaissance woman. She is a doctor, a gardener, a farmer, she has cows that she milks and uses it to make butter, she also has goats. On Sunday morning she had found an abandoned kid that was about to be trampled by the horses, which prompted a rescue. I somehow became the Goat Mama. The poor little thing started following me around, probably because I gave it two bottles. It was so cute. If Joe and I lived where we could have room for goats that little one would have come home with me.