Thursday, March 30, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I've been spring cleaning around here. It's amazing my furry friends aren't nekked for all the fur they've left behind, under and around the furniture. They seem to manufacture it, the more I brush, the more they produce. I hate my furniture, it's so stiff , it could catapult you across the room. Lady spends more time on it than I do. We never use this room, it reminds me of Gramma's parlor she only opened for special occassions. I spent yesterday shampooing the carpets, clearing out junk and arranging this clunky furniture into a cozy conversation area. The room looks like it's grown. Wonder what ever possessed me to pick this furniture. It's awful, it's clunky and not me.

The sewing machine moved back to the sewing room. It's on my list for a make over first of next week. Sewing is at a standstill until the make-over, I can hardly move in there for the clutter. I'll be happy when I can sit and stitch again. This spring cleaning has taken up a lot of time but necessary and feels so good to have such neat and tidy rooms again after the long winter.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Is Lady spoiled or what? The quilt in the corner is our wedding quilt. Drab, muted colors but I love it just the same. Mom made it for us, she doesn't do so well anymore. Her stitches aren't as neat and tidy as once they were. Her eyesight is going, her hands are shakey, the fabrics are mismatched, but if she made another one today, I would love it just the same, she's my MOM.

Sharon, the black fabric probably started rotting long before the person who used it purchased it. It came from a close out sale when a "dime store" was getting rid of their fabric and it layed in a sunny window for who knows how long before the sale, a good start at disinegrating.
Tami, happy to give some inspiration to your round robin.

Being thankful....I don't think we express the many things we are thankful for enough or post our gratitudes as Joanne does. When I read her posts with her gratitudes I give pause to all the things I am thankful for. One of the things I am most thankful for is:

My 91 year old Mother's health and ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Her joy at getting up everyday with a smile on her face knowing she has one more day on this earth.

My Goals

To have a super time with John when he comes home this weekend.
To give my sewing room a make-over next week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Round Robin

I haven't felt much like sewing lately. I don't know what's the matter with me and grampa's ring is still amongst the missing which is very depressing.

Several years ago when our local quilt group didn't want to do a round robin 5 friends/family and I decided we would. We named ourselves the Supper Six and I never did determine whether it was "supper as in eating" or "super". We met once a month at one home or another for dinner and passed along our creations till the last round was finished. At the end of the six months we had dinner and an unveiling. Each gal went out of the room, the top was hung and we were called in one by one. I couldn't have been more excited if I had won the lottery. I love red and yella and mine certainly fit the bill. From the day I sent off my center square till the evening we had an unveiling we never knew what each of the group was doing. We chatted amongst ourselves, asking questions about how to do this or what do you think of that. The first round was added, it went to my cousin who's husband said it was "ruined". The yellow border with applique just didn't fit. My cousin added her round, another friend added Carolina Lilies and set it on point. My Mom who's favorite block, a log cabin and a finish with borders. It all came together when I added a pillow border across the top. Many hours of handquilting and I entered it the local fair. This quilt was exceptional, it needed to be shared never expecting it to win anything. Imagine my surprize when it won the best of quilt as well as a blue ribbon.

I've never used it on my bed. I have to mend it before I can. The black fabric in the second round is rotting away.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Friend

I haven't made any new progress on the stars. John came home for the weekend, time flew out the winder and nothing more got accomplished.

I've lived here for nearly 15 years, the longest John and I have lived anywhere. We've been nomads making home where the Navy sent us until he retired. In all the years I've had one other close friend. If I moved away tomorrow, came back ten years later, we'd pick up like it was yesterday. Friends like this don't happen very often. She's an only child; I'm the sister she never had. We live across the road from each other. Over coffee we share the good times and the bad times. Her parents have adopted me.

A couple years ago she expressed a desire to learn to sew. I wasn't very encouraging. I thought she would loose interest, but we made a list, picked simple projects, shopped my stash for fabric and were off and running. It wasn't quilting but it was a start. Simple one piece fabric placemats, lines drawn, placemats were born. She took to the sewing machine like a duck to water. She's patient where I am not. Ripping out her mistakes is part of learning, she picks away with a smile on her face and when I make a mistake she picks mine out too. If a technique is to difficult for her, I help her out and we never tell. It's our secret. Come Christmas time, rag quilts and pillowcases, a step towards quilting. Next was getting over her fear of cutting off her fingers with the serger. Another demon conquered and pillowcases flew left and right. Today a new project for her mom's birthday. She doesn't have and would like some spring placemats....a new lesson, log cabins. A quilter is being born, slowly but surely.

Tomorrow will be a fun day taking my mom to her quilting group, having our hair twigged, lunch out and shopping for fabric. I can't think of a better way to spend the day. Happiness is having a friend like Rexene.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Today was departure back to the ship for John. He sure did drag his feet and didn't want to leave which is par for the course as he never does. He would rather be retired instead of working for a living. Life goes on and vacations do come to an end. VBG Gathering up his necessaries always ends up a last minute dash around the house with list in hand. Other than being underfoot and needing a lot of attention the minute I sat down to sew, it was one of the better times together.

It's not been a good week for me. Wednesday morning I woke up and noticed my antique ring had gone missing from my finger. I wouldn't have been half as upset if it had been anyone of the many rings adorning my fingers. I inherited my ring when Mom thought I was old enough. I've only been it's caretaker for the past 6 or 7 years. Guess I wasn't old enough yet. It had been my Grampa's wedding ring, 2 diamonds flanking a ruby and 100 years old. Yesterday was spent, plastic sheet on the floor sifting through the garabage. I don't know how forensics can stand to do this kind of stuff. I know it's in the house somewhere and eventually it will show up, but I'm just sick thinking I might never find it.

Sewing on the blue and green quilt the other day was a downer. No matter what I did, nothing turned out right and much fabric went into the junk bag. It must not have been a good day for stars. Tomorrow I am going to spend some time with them. I've made my goal list of all the things that must be done before the next vacation time. The list is long and getting longer.

My goals for tomorrow
....increase my time on the Treadmill by 5 min
....clean the to bottom including drawers/cupboards
....stitch some more stars
....spend at least 1 hour handquilting

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Lot Next Door

This morning John looked out the patio doors and inquired what "that stake" was for. Curiousity killing this cat, I had to put my jacket on and stroll over to see what was going on. The lot has been sold, the trees are marked for removal and a house is staked out. Soon the early morning quiet will be shattered with the sounds of chain saws, logging trucks, hammers and all the assorted noise of new building going on. I'm happy some of the big fir trees are going to be taken down as they block the sun from the backyard and spend all year long dropping needles on the roof to fill the gutters when it rains. I'm not happy that yet another big, big house is going up and practically in my backyard. I'm thankful we have a screen of trees and berry bushes that leaf out during the summer and screen our backyard. I'm not happy knowing the deer who visit my yard will be loosing some more of their habitat.

Like Joanne loosing her restaurant, we are loosing so much of the forest we love to progress. I have to remember this is a housing development, lots are selling like hot cakes and building is booming.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Being so pretty, warm, and sunny last Saturday, I grabbed the 4 bags of daffodils that were to have been planted last fall and got them in the ground. This years are sprouting up well, yet no buds to be seen. The birds swooped in on the feeders as I took them down, filled and rehung them in the trees that are budding out. Will be nice when I can once again get out there for some winter cleanup for longer periods of time. My small table garden needs a good weeding as I didn't put it to bed last fall before the cold weather came. Soon it will be time to start planting a few vegatables again.

My stars are coming along albeit slowly. Oops!!! there's an odd ball here that will have to be changed.

A trip to the LQS for some background fabric for the lighter part of the Virginia Reel (Snail's Trail) blocks made me rethink using a butter yellow or beige. The light blues even with the greens look good and certainly is different. Next step is to add the second round, making a double star of some of the blocks, set them together with the VR's and see how she looks. I don't like putting the VR blocks together, all those bias edges to fuss with.

Reading Bonnie and Keryn's blogs about their hexagon quilts got me looking for a picture of mine. English paper piecing and hexagon quilts certainly are a exercise of patience. I counted the pieces one time and came up with well over 6,000. My Mom got me started. She always had her basket of paper pieces, with bits of fabric sitting ready to stitch when she had a moment or two. I can't count the many different versions of GFG's she's put together, there have been many. This one is mine, taking over 10 years to complete and then given without a second thought to my oldest son and his wife. After all those years I didn't like it anymore.

John's vacation is nearing it's end. A call from the ship to let him know his papers will be at the Union Hall later this week and his report date, the 16th. While I'm not wishing he hurry back to work my to-do list gets longer each day and the wedding quilt has a deadline to meet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February ended with a Bang

February came to an end leaving us with a day long power outage on Monday. It was a day spent huddled in my favorite chair, flashlight in hand reading a very good book while I kept the fireplace stoked. "A Conspiracy of Fools" by Kurt Eichenwald. The story behind the Enron scandel. I thought this would be a very long read as there are over 700 pages but to my amazement I couldn't put it down. He writes very well and it read like a good mystery novel. I like Joanne's idea of using our library cards to check out books on CD.

Ebay, lively bidding and this beautiful quilt was mine. Before I read up on care of antique quilts I took it to the cleaners to have it laundered. When I picked it up the counter person told me because it appeared to be "so dirty" she had added bleach to brighten it. It's no longer in the mint condition I received it thanks to the idiot at the cleaners for having added bleach without calling me first for permission.
The only information the seller could provide was, "it's from an estate in AZ". My Mom thinks the fabrics are from the 30's, another person from the 70's when quilting became popular again.

Some closeups of some of the blocks. These are all hand appliqued and it is hand quilted. I love this quilt and can spend time just looking at all the detail. I should have had it appraised first. A lesson learned.

I've had this quilt for several years and I don't know what to do with it. The shape doesn't fit my bed. It keeps seeping and looks in need of a washing again which I don't want to do.

Sewing on the wedding quilt has been haulted for these next two weeks and I'm sure I won't have much time for posting to my blog as we are winding down John's time at home once again.