Friday, December 31, 2010

tale of two finishes




two exciting finishes to report today. first, i finished up a christmas tablerunner i started a month or so ago. it was imperative that this item not become a UFO and added to my list, so early this morning i got up and finished the binding. next, the butterfly quilt is completed! i finished the actual sewing yesterday and then washed it. this morning it was dry so it got its picture taken to post here. this pattern was a special request from DD and is the wedding quilt for she and DSIL. i am thrilled it is completed. this was my third hand-quilted quilt to be completed this year, the other 2 being the double wedding ring and the blue/white pyramids. that's a lot of quilting, especiallly since i worked full time until just recently. i am pretty satisifed with what i completed this year; my UFO list is down from 24 to 20 because i started a few new projects this year and unearthed a couple that were packed away as well. now i can relax today and formulate my plan for the list and what gets completed next. i'm also planning a re-org and revamp of my bedroom/quilty space to find a bit more surface area on which to iron, etc. ****** little brother machine came home from the 'hospital' in the new sewing trolley. all set for another quilty road trip!

Monday, December 27, 2010

a real grinch

some complete brainless idiot posted a link in a message to my online quilter's group and now my computer is a complete mess. i hope they slip on the ice and break their neck. for some mysterious reason, there are those whose brains are complete mush who think the internet is a license to snoop and then destroy people's lives. i cannot delete this horrible program they uploaded to my computer without paying a "ransom" of $79.95. i hope they are patient because it will be a blizzard in hell before i knuckle under to them and their extortion tactics. i only hope the technogremlins will create havoc on their computer like they have done to mine. in the meantime, i'm praying that my computer will get fixed so i can continue computing with my boring quilty stuff and job hunting. no doubt they got coal in their stocking this year......

Sunday, December 26, 2010

a merry christmas indeed!

since i can remember, we've always had our tree and a family celebration on christmas eve; this year was no different. we were missing a few people but had a wonderful evening. santa was good to us all. we had our traditional clam chowder with salad, shrimp dip and chips, christmas cookies and this year a blueberry pie was added. due to work schedules, it was just me and mom on christmas day so we opted for takeout chinese instead of cooking and cleaning. i had toyed with the idea of traveling to maryland to be with DD and DSIL but glad i didn't as we are in the midst of a HUGE blizzard that will put everything to a standstill for a day or so. we are thankful to be warm with enough food to last the duration, as are our family members. i pray for those who are not that fortunate. ***** i'm sewing down the binding on the butterfly quilt now and it will be completely done in a day or so, making me quite happy indeed. then i get to do something different for a change. 2011 is looming and my UFO list must be tackled straight away.

Friday, December 24, 2010

again?




can you believe it? it doesn't seem right somehow that we should get snow 2 nights in a row! but that's exactly what happened, as you can see from this shot of our parking lot yesterday morning. it wasn't much but it WAS snow. thankfully THIS morning we have no more and that little bit we got yesterday is nearly all melted. even so, i decided it was time to hang up the snowman, my little mascot for winter. isn't he cute? this came to me in a winter swap a few years ago, meticulously hand crafted. ***** today i am finally starting to bind the butterfly quilt. i finished the cross-hatch quilting earlier this morning, which was a bit more difficult than i realized. the problem is i have no large, flat surface on which to measure/mark the diagonal lines and used a TV tray table, not sufficient at all for this task. my hope is to tackle the sewing space (bedroom) to see if i can fit in a larger, flat surface for just that task--marking and ironing. ***** christmas eve day and only a couple of food prep tasks remain to be ready for our family celebration. when i was a child, christmas meant off to grandma's and the hordes of family around 2 tables. in retrospect those were idyllic days. there will be only 5 of us together this year, missing my brother, DD and DSIL, nephews and great-nephew. i wish we could all be together physically, but most certainly are in spirit. even with empty chairs, we have many blessings.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

not santa, but....


snow arrived last night. not too much, perhaps 4" at most, but it's snow nonetheless and doubt if it will melt anytime soon. ***** i am busily quilting on the butterfly quilt, now on the last blocks before i can start the binding, which is all prepped and ready to go. i'll probably spend the weekend on the binding and then next week launder and voila, another finish for the year. that will make 3 full size quilts i've hand quilted this year plus some other projects, so that's pretty good. ****** next week it's my annual "clearing the decks" organization and readying to start the new year. i'm hoping to make new curtains and spit-polish the room and, hopefully, find more space for sewing. i've also got to devise a way to have another flat surface on which to iron as I go, plus get my design wall up. i've those 20 UFOs to finish plus start some new projects as well.....always plenty of ideas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

another happy monday

why? first, no snow yet, though that may change TODAY. second, already been to the pool today so can lounge (and quilt) without regret the rest of today. third, i don't have to go anywhere NEAR the MALL this week! fourth, can't clean too much as vacuum is out of commission and waiting on a part. these in addition to being healthy, warm and with many blessings all add up to a happy monday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

an early gift

got a jump on new year's resolutions and have lost 10 pounds since oct! went in today for a blood pressure follow up and not only is my blood pressure waaaaay down (thank you, anthem, for ejecting me from that vile job!), i have lost 10 pounds just by moderating my food intake AND working out in the pool 3x per week. this really makes my day! now only 65 pounds to go to get into my "boston" wardrobe. i've got a gorgeous dress just dying to be worn again. no magic bullets here, just plain old common sense on a daily basis. next goal is to get off the blood pressure meds once and for all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

tree's up!

this year we opted for a bit smaller tree due to space limitations but it's just the right size for our combo collection of decorations. this year is my turn for the 'big' lights plus all the handmade ornaments and those DD and i collected over the years. wasn't it only a year or so ago she was small and painted those ceramic ones? or how about the sequin/bead ones i painstakingly made instead of doing housework? that was during my "sequin" kit phase ! our lives can be told through these holiday collectibles, insignificant items without the valuable memories they evoke. now, just cookie baking and a bit of wrapping remains before our family celebration. this year i am thankful for so many things, not the least of which is i'm not schlepping around malls at this point. ***** on the quilty front, still busily quilting the butterfly quilt, which is a possible christmas finish. i've 2 sides of the perimeter to quilt, plus binding. i purposely left it off my 2011 UFO list because it WILL be done soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

thank you, judy!

judy so kindly shared a button for the stashbusters' 2011 UFO challenge, which i've posted to my sidebar. this is a tool to motivate us to finish up those UFOs that are haunting us. this is about the 5th (?) year i've joined in and it's amazing to see how many projects i have actually completed during that time. it's a no-stress competitive event against myself really, but others' finishes do really help to motivate me as well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

viking's little brother all better!


this is my to-go machine that i like to call viking's little brother. he had to go to the "hospital" to have the bobbin winder fixed and i just received a call that he can be "discharged" now. i really like this little machine that i purchased last year on ebay for practically nothing. it's light enough to tote and has enough bells and whistles for all i need. it'll be my christmas present to me!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

progress picture

this isn't the greatest photo due to indoor artificial light casting shadows, but it gives you an idea of how the quilt is coming along. i'm working on the perimeter squares now, have attached the narrow black border which really makes it zing! i am hoping by week's end to start the binding, which i nearly always do by hand. it's a good TV/dvd task and is a switch from the quilting process. i didn't like this top very much when it was first assembled, but now that the border is on and there's a lot of the quilting done, it is evolving into a real "butterfly" from its ugly cocoon. ****** it's unseasonably warm for december, 50 tomorrow, so we are getting rain instead of snow. once this storm passes, it will turn cold again but without precipitation, so dodging the snow bullet so far.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

more stash!

thank you, pink panda fabrics, for sending me these luscious half-yard pieces! they arrived from our canadian neighbor just yesterday and i am simply thrilled with them! you, too, can have these beautiful fabrics, just click on over and order! if you recall, i won these in a quilting gallery recipe submission. **** we have dodged the snow bullet yet again! an hour north of us they have about 4-5 inches but we have nary a flake, simply divine in my opinion. it has been cold but, hey, it's winter. i have plenty of warm clothing. yesterday i ventured out in my new cozy jacket, plus hand-knitted hat, mittens, scarf AND socks! i took my elderly aunt out for lunch. she lives in a residential home for women and looks forward to these little jaunts. she never had children of her own but taught sunday school many years, plus she doted on all her nieces and nephews. i am happy to give her this mini-respite. **** today is the day house decorating begins. i am still quilting on the butterfly quilt, which is at the point where i am sick of looking at it. no matter, it will be a finish soon....i am determined!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"he" was here...

jack frost that is. fortunately he had mr. rainman close at his heels and the bit of snow we got overnight will be gone before day's end. that is just fine with me. those north and west will get the full force of jack's visit and won't see mr. rainman at all, so we are lucky indeed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

jam heaven

today we took a trip to jam heaven, otherwise known as stonewall kitchen. it has morphed from a simple, one-building company store into a megamall filled with all kinds of jams, jellies, mustards, dressings, dip mixes, crackers, kitchen utensils, pancake mixes, sauces for ice cream, brownie/cake/cookie mixes, candies, and all things related that you can imagine. they have also added a cafe that was quite busy serving lunch. their bathrooms are elegant, nice subway tile places with granite countertops and bowls for sinks....very chic. they also sell seasonal plants and today had trees/wreaths/swags etc. if you ever visit maine, this is a must-see place AND a grazing place as well. i tried all manner of sauces, jams, marmalades, crackers, dips etc. i did manage to bring home a jar or two.....tiny jars of blueberry peach and orange cranberry marmalade plus a regular jar of mimosa jam. these will last quite a while as i am not an everyday jam eater, just once in a while. ***** we also saw plenty of christmas trees, the for sale kind and the free kind along side the road. here in maine, the PINE TREE state, there are plenty of free christmas trees for the taking, as long as you can find them in the dark, meaning the 10-finger discount. we buy ours, though....no saw!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

deja vu all over again


browsing through quilt shop catalogs, i've seen a number of geometric prints featuring this color combo, black/turquoise/poison green. this fabric is not a new print, rather an old original fabric from the 1950s i'd guess. it's a quality cotton and i've used bits here and there in 30s style quilts, but it's probably later than 30s. the new fabrics in this color tend to be harsh geometrics whereas this is a floral of sorts. it's an oldie but a goodie and definitely a keeper!

Monday, November 29, 2010

a temporary detour and another happy monday


first, i took a brief detour from hand quilting to whip up these on the old viking. i had pulled some scrap solid strips a while back and paired them up and sewed up both sides. then this morning i used my wondercut ruler and made this stack of HSTs (left). this left a bunch of waste triangles (bottom right) that i ironed and used to make the QSTs (top right). these are for an ocean waves quilt, amish style, using charcoal kona cotton instead of black. so, got scraps? make quilts! ****** why a happy monday you ask? well, my family is well, the sun is shining, we are warm, have shelter and have sufficient food for our needs. no, my life is far from perfect but especially this time of year i am keenly aware of so many who lack basic necessities. last night i saw a news feature of a broadway show based on spiderman that is costing around $60 mil to produce and launch. i was appalled and you should be too. no doubt the homeless and poor are in plain sight in new york and this kind of money is being spent for pure entertainment of the affluent? it makes my blood boil. so many have their priorities completely out of whack.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday bargains

me, i most always buy stuff with some sort of discount/coupon/sale etc. we live in such an urban area with many stores so there are always deals to be had. today i braved the crowds and freezing rain for a microwave. ours died about 3 weeks ago and i was going to buy one then at $50+ but decided we could hold off until now. target had a great oster microwave for $33, not the most powerful but more than enough for our needs. then i treated myself to breakfast, 20% off, and then off to joann's for more deals. i got 15 yards of muslin at 50% off plus another 20% off, then thread 2 for 1, some christmas half yards at 50% off too and a batt, again 50% off. the store handed out $5 gift cards to those of us who were waiting so tomorrow i'm headed back for another half-price batt. it's how i've kept my quilting purchases pretty low this year. i'm betting the total won't be over $400 for everything, that includes used books on amazon, occasional magazines, other fabric/notions/tools purchases plus my guild membership. i've already paid my bills for the month and gotten a few christmas gifts as well, so it was prudent shopping. fortunately the freezing rain stopped and the temps are going up a bit, but it was an unwelcome harbinger of impending meteorologic inevitabilities.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey on the Horizon

actually, it's in the refrigerator waiting to be basted, stuffed and cooked! this is a native, home-grown turkey that my brother raised on his little farm. all we have to do is prep the pies and sides and clean the apartment, about a day's work in all. i've done all the food shopping and that in itself was exhausting. ***** thready issue, that of thread of course! my old viking used to take dual duty, which is no longer the case per the repair gurus. since Joann's is so close, i've morphed over to gutermann 100% cotton, which is very linty. there are some less-lint threads available to quilters but they are pricey. i'd like to try them but if i get hooked, not sure i can afford them long term. will probably stay with the gutermann and just keep cleaning out the machine after every project. ***** sewing progress? just quilting the butterfly quilt is all as i want it to get finished before christmas. we'll see.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i won! i won!


michele over at quilting gallery is compiling an on-line quilter's cookbook. i submitted my yummy "swedish walnuts" recipe and just this morning i got an email saying i had won a gift certificate at pink panda fabrics! how great is that! if you're interested in the recipe, watch her site and the publication date will be posted. ***** a terrific tuesday here in maine. been quilting my butterflies every day to get this done before christmas. i am loving the cross-hatch quilting design on this 30s style quilt and i know my kiddos in MD will too. they are both working this holiday (medical professionals) but we will be together in spirit as always.

Monday, November 22, 2010

where were you?

47 years ago, i mean. i was living in norwich, connecticut, where i attended norwich free academy. i was walking home from school with my friend, linda banas, saving our bus money for christmas presents. we stopped at the appliance store window and saw the horrible news on television. we were thrilled that school was cancelled, but for those of us of the TV generation, the following days were nothing but funereal related, dirge music and sombre faces. and of course were were watching sunday morning when jack ruby jumped out of the crowd to shoot lee harvey oswald in cold blood. it was the most shocking thing ever televised, even in black and white. no doubt it will be one of the last things i ever forget, no matter how long i live.

Friday, November 19, 2010

fantastic friday




two more from nashua for your viewing pleasure. a gorgeous friday it is, cooler than earlier this week but it's bound to happen. yesterday i finally got my hair cut! it's been hanging in my eyes for about a month now, and so it was absolutely necessary. i splurged a bit and had my eyebrows waxed also. since they are blonde, they are nearly invisible until they get to THAT point and then they need attention. we are gearing up for t-day here and the holidays to follow. before you know it, january will be here and a time for new starts quilty-wise. a new UFO list, a time to re-arrange, destash and fling. i hope the snow holds off until then, but that's pushing it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

whoops!


i almost forgot! jeanne sent me these gingerbread men potholders too, aren't they soooo cute? i'll never use them on pots, but they will get hung up at christmas to show them off. they are simply adorable!

awwww, jeanne....




this was in my mailbox today, from jeanne, my 3-2-1 swapper. isn't this simply gorgeous! wow, i am loving this beautiful christmas-y tote! i'm going to use it year-round, though; it's just too pretty to keep for only christmas! and potato chip cookies? snack nirvana! the gorgeous FQs will get added to my christmas stash and the coaster will go on my mat, 'cause i always get wet rings from my pepsi! thank you, jeanne! **** now that i have conquered my paper piecing phobia, i want to move on to the applique challenge, but waaahhh i want to do another paper piecing project! today, though, it's quilting butterflies....maybe i can get 3 squares done; we'll see.

as promised....

here is the entire wallhanging top, now done. this means my 30s stash has now dwindled down to possibly enough for one more quilt top. i've got a pattern in mind that should use them all up....now that's REALLY stashbusting! this won't get quilted until next year and will be a 2011 UFO finish for certain.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

at sara's request


first, i apologize for the lighting/image being so poor. next, some background info. i've always said i'm no designer. i found this pattern called "beginner's star" in one of jan halgrimson's wire-bound, soft-cover books on scraps. they are oldies but very good goodies and i refer to them a lot because i make mostly scrap quilts. when i saw the pattern, i thought it was ideal for 30s prints and would be easily paper pieced. the blocks are 4 units each, so i divided the units into half units and voila! - all straight lines. i then traced each unit onto vellum for paper piecing. at that time, my knowledge of paper piecing was nearly zip, so i got exasperated with the project and set it aside. after taking carol doak's class last summer, i was enthusiastic about finishing it, which brings us to the present. here are 4 blocks (of the total 9) that i pieced BEFORE the class. i have really noticed a big difference in these as opposed to those i pieced AFTER the class. Not that these aren't ok, but you can almost see the difficulty i had in the block itself. isn't that uncanny! anyway, sara wanted to know what the block looked like, so i've posted this for her. ***** this photo emphasizes the fact that i have no design wall, which is really helpful for construction and photographic purposes. i was looking around my room yesterday trying to figure out how i could possibly find space for one. and then, a bona fide brain storm (not merely a drizzle)! i am going to make a roman shade from flannel, hang it over my closet door and then i can unroll/roll it as needed. watching HGTV has really helped!

Monday, November 15, 2010

next year's UFO

of course i am still job hunting, but fortunately it doesn't interfere with my sewing much. for instance, this past weekend i whipped up this little christmas tablerunner. i've made a lot of these using the gold lame fabric as the center square. it washes and dries fine and gives the runner a little zing. the red fabric has gold threads/stars on it as well. in person it's gorgeous if i do say so myself. it probably won't be finished until next year, though, as i'm furiously quilting butterflies. in the next couple of days, i'm going to show off my paper piecing skills again, so stay tuned.....

PP Frenzy!


just like eating potato chips! i spent the WHOLE day at the old viking paper piecing these little units (4 make a square) for a wallhanging that's been in the shoebox for eons. i only have 1.5 blocks to go (6 units) and i can put the top together. today, though, i'm working on the wedding quilt as that absolutely MUST be done soon. these are mostly 30s repros but scattered in are some authentic vintage fabrics. this is the 4th item i have made from my 30s stash, but i think i have only enough small pieces for 1 more wallhanging or a couple of tablerunners. once this top is done, i'm moving on to another languishing UFO and clear out a large shoebox. i really AM busting stash, even though it takes a while for it to be noticeable.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

caution: objects appear larger than normal







on her blog yesterday, bonnie talked about collecting hotel pens. well, bonnie, i have a storage solution for you. this is walmart's mini 3-drawer plastic storage unit that i use for writing implements. in it i keep markers, pencils and pens that i have amassed including from job fairs, various employment situations and from banks, school, etc. most of my pens have drug names on them (from "drug dealers" aka pharmaceutical reps). this goes for writing pads around the house as well. every so often i check to see if the ink has dried out and toss the dead ones, but as you can see, shelf life is huge (no pun intended). ***** a great sewing day today. it's cloudy and cool out but the viking is smokin! working on an aged UFO, a paper piece project, utilizing tips i learned from carol doak this summer. i tell you, she is the queen of paper piecing in my book. i struggled through the first 3 blocks on my own, but now i'm whizzing through the others. i hope to have the entire 9 blocks (4 units each) done today or tomorrow. now that's progress!

Friday, November 12, 2010

today's finish


i was in an autumn block swap some time ago (exact date/year escapes me now) and got some adorable blocks that are included here. i have a few more as well, but they featured gold prominently and didn't "work" in this piece. if you think you spy some 1970s calico, you have been quilting as long as I have. i think i still have a bit more in my stash someplace. the green calico from the top left is from a granny dress i made....like didn't everyone? this needs a quick dunk in the washer to remove the chalk lines and it'll be done! you can see where i blotted off the erasable marker in the border and wasn't quite dry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

lest we forget....


those who gave their lives throughout our history and those who bravely served to establish and defend our freedoms. please don't let them serve in vain......

as promised...

here is the completed winter swap tote, well-received (thankfully) by tudy just yesterday along with its contents.
tudy also makes/sells craft items and she has some displayed on her blog...hop on over, you might find something you can't live without! i was pleased with the result here. i received the green snowflake material in a christmas swap earlier this year and it was just exactly right, along with others from my stash, for this project. the only thing i wish i had done is make the lining the same blue as the top edge. i didn't have enough fabric, used muslin, but realized once it was complete that the blue would have worked better. ***** a sunny, cool thursday here in maine. no real plans except some sewing today and tomorrow also. i've nearly lost track of days now that they run together. still working on the unemployment, which will hopefully come soon. i'm a low maintenance woman but i do need SOME maintenance regardless.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

more nashua






















some of the amish style had striking colors like this one. this last applique quilt was done by wendy reed, the person in charge of maine's quilt documentation project. she always makes such beautiful repro quilts and this one with the sensational applique is no exception. i love it, don't you? ***** whoops, unemployment makes the days run together and i just realized today is WEDNESDAY, not tuesday, but no matter, nothing important to do. better hurry and get dressed for the non-exciting day ahead!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

winter tote swap

my package got mailed yesterday to tudy, so it should be arriving in the next day or two. once it's received, i'll post a photo of the bag i made and sent to her. she requested a winter rather than christmas theme tote. fortunately, i had gotten some seriously snowflake fabric in a christmas swap earlier this year. i used that as the focus and added others from my stash to complement. i was pretty happy with the finished project and i hope tudy is as well. inside were some quilt-related goodies as well as a special snack for her to make/share this holiday season. this was the only swap i chose to do. being out of work makes it iffy to depend on income for postage/gifts etc. and i want to focus on my own family first. i like to do swaps, but with sporadic income it's difficult.

more nashua photos












apologize for the blurry BAQ, again the photographer was sorely lacking here. have more, will post tomorrow. terrific tuesday, still cloudy but no rain. have a few errands on the list today but then can sew. up early at 5:30 and usually i would stay up, but since i've no place to go and no place to be, went back to catch more zzzzzs for a change.



Monday, November 8, 2010

christmas list

for the benefit of any and all, i have taken the proactive step of posting my christmas list on the left side of the blog. any (and all) these items would be most welcome. i know times are tough economically for many so i've tried to keep the costs down. in truth, i don't get many gifts at christmas since my immediate family is small and not all swap gifts. regardless, i love christmas and try to get at least something for all my siblings and other immediate family members. christmas, after all, is the season of giving. if the unemployment check materializes, i'll be able to include some of my favorite charities as well.

i'm ready.....

for old man winter. mom advanced me some cash so i could get this down parka on sale. i look like an eggplant on steroids in it, but this is maine and maine winters have a way of disguising everyone like inuits, which plenty of people enjoy but i'm not one of them. we're having a nor'easter today, rain only, but it won't be long before it's white stuff. ***** today's agenda? well, it's monday so laundry, vacuuming, some sewing....that's about it.

scenes from nashua




These two were showstoppers for sure, both made by ronda beyer. there are ribbons on the black/cream as well, they just didn't get photographed (can't get good help these days...). as previously said, the black/cream also had tiny rhinestones that made it sparkle; this could be my fave though there are others equally beautiful. this is sue garman's pattern "washington medallion" which i've been drooling over but no way do i have the time to make one of these as my "want to make" list is already overflowing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

just like midnight

at 5:30 pm, which is awful but that's DST for you. from now until mid-january we'll be in semi-hibernation mode which is not my fave but it's one of those things way beyond my powers completely. an exhausting day doing the regular grocery shopping but fortunately it's only a few times monthly. we did however, spring across the border for some delish papa gino's pizza, a fave of mine. as they say....it was worth the trip!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

road trip!!!!


today was my jaunt to the quilter's gathering in nashua, nh. i try and go every year. they have a terrific show (by invitation) and always a great selection of classes and fun things. this year i took a half-day workshop with kathy kansier on crazy quilting with batiks AND beading! now, i have avoided the embellishment road up until now, but i have to say after today, it does interest me. but, since i focus mainly on quilting, i am going to be very careful NOT to jump in with both feet up to my armpits; meaning, i am not going to get addicted to this area of quilting simply because i don't have time. my primary goal is to make the quilts i want to make and use up as much fabric as i can. speaking of fabric, this christmas lights half yard followed me home, i swear, it jumped into my tote and came back to maine with me. this is the type of christmas light i have on my tree and i love them. yes, i know they are not "efficient" or "green" and even give off heat and i do have to watch them carefully, but i don't care. i love them all the same. the little twinkle lights just don't have the glow. i love to turn off all the lights and put on the tree and just sit there feeling their warmth, smelling the pine needles and loving the colors.

Friday, November 5, 2010

just plain

rain in maine. no problem, it isn't SNOW! seriously, any kind of weather that does not confine me to an artificially-cooled space or prevent transportation is ok with me. that being said, since it's friday i've a few unimportant things to do. sew, of course, the library and maybe vacuum my room. other than that and job hunting, my life is pretty boring. once i have some kind of income, i will probably head to the local pool and see if i can get in better shape which might go a long way to enticing employers to hire me, even at my "advanced" (? what) age. fortunately, my brain still lives and my memory is sufficient to work and i can still pass those important neuro test markers to indicate such.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

as maine goes.....

so goes the nation, is the phrase. our (probably) new governor is the general manager of marden's, the astounding store that sells fabric for ridiculously low prices. he ran on a platform of jobs. he is a self-made man and i'm only hoping that the jobs he intends to create are not AT marden's, because i don't think you can run a household on salaries at marden's. i could be wrong, though. at any rate, let's wait and see exactly WHAT jobs come to maine and for how long. at this point, maine is nearly economically dead. in the 9 years i've been here, i've only worked for about 4, so maine has not been good for me in hardly any respect.

yesterday's finish


it's awaiting a dunk in the washer to remove the chalk lines, but i can post it here for you to see. it's a mini-Amish quilt, log cabin pattern, barn raising style. i have PLENTY of solid strips to make a dozen of these if i wanted. i do have more mini-Amish quilts planned, as well as a couple bed size in progress. hmm, now if i could just get harrison ford here....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

one block done


so now that it's started, i am hoping to do at least a block a day, which will get this finished way before the end of the year. it's getting the 30s-style cross-hatch design, plus each of the butterflies is outlined. it doesn't currently have a border but i am going to add a 2" black border around the entire thing and then bind in black. i don't really like sewing on black fabric, but this will finish it off nicely i think....

got pins?

this is what happens when UFOs get finished, the pins that are holding them together get put back into the pin cushion. see that chunky one in the lower left corner? those are all the pins i took out of HALF the hawaiian when it got basted last weekend (not counting those still on the floor). yep, and i have another half to go yet. and, i confess, i have another little box of those yellow flower pins in the sewing table. i couldn't find many of them, you see, and so i (gulp) bought another box. so, at the joann notions sale next week, guess what i won't be buying....

Monday, November 1, 2010

a happy monday

no special reason at all, just that i'm happy my arm is nearly fully recovered, brother #2 called this morning, have gotten some sewing done and had time to read as well. it's also happy as there were no horrid, vile offshore callers to listen to and no forked-tongue employer in my life today either. will have some photos of finishes tomorrow probably.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Memory

a blast from the past! this is me and brother #1 circa 1958 or so. aren't we scary? sometimes i still feel like a hobo of sorts.....today's tricks include my health insurance terminating but at least they extended it for the entire month, which i didn't expect. treats? well, get to work on some sewing projects and I did sleep the entire night last night, no waking up at all. finally it seems the arm is nearly 100%, so that was a real treat. another week or so and i'll have some funds, a really BIG treat. now if i just get my unemployment OR a job, either one, that'll give November a terrific start.

Friday, October 29, 2010

see?

after about 5 hours of basting, i've gotten this much done, which is nearly 1/4 of the entire applique. the very center part is also done. i was hoping i might finish it this weekend, but not unless i baste around the clock, which isn't going to happen. today i also worked on my winter tote for the upcoming swap. good thing i picked up some of the items before the job went south. at any rate, i did free up a significant number of pins by completing this much. this is an excellent project for snow days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

another "process"

that would be basting the hawaiian quilt. at the moment it's just pinned but i took a detour from my current "to do" list and decided to see how much i could get basted while my roomie is away for a few days. i had to put up the folding banquet table and it's really in the way, so it's much easier to do with just one person here. nearly all my tiny applique pins are holding this down, so i wanted to get them back in their little box. it would be nice if i could complete the basting process but not sure if i can. i do have a few other things that really need to be done. ***** our warmish weather is about to disappear. everything is relative, though, and as long as there isn't any snow, i'm happy. even in the most bitter cold weather, if there isn't snow i'm still happy. i hate it when sidewalks and roads are slippery and cars have to be cleaned off. i'm definitely not a winter gal at all.

Another Finish

one of the few things that unemployment affords is time to finish UFOs. here is another I finished just last night. you can't see the quilting but rest assured, it is hand quilted. i love these colors, don't you? i used them in my DWR quilt also. gives it a bit of a vintage look i think.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Special Day


if you see this little guy today, be sure and wish him a happy birthday. yes, it's brother #2 when he was very young! we aren't awfully close, 8 years apart, but he is no less special to me. i wish for him the happiest of birthdays, which he will spend with his growing family no doubt. we don't see him often enough as he lives way down south.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today's Good and Bad Mail

Usually I don't get much of anything; advertisements and the like. Catalogs usually get tossed immediately. THE GOOD: from an online quilter, I got a lovely Halloween card and a FQ of fabric featuring Maxine of Hallmark Cards. The personal note was so lovely and much appreciated. THE BAD: from unemployment. I've hit the perfect storm of employers here in Maine. One place I worked (a doctor's office) had a stupid psychiatrist who came in once a week. He went to my boss one day and told a big fat out and out lie about me, for which I was seriously chastised. Of course, they believed him and not me since I was new. I applied for unemployment but they lied, of course, and I lost out. The second was also a doctor's office. I worked 2 days a week doing typing and data entry and some special projects for the office manager. I was out sick for 4 days, which did encompass 2 weeks, but again it was only 4 days, with a serious illness. While I was out sick, they outsourced my job fabricating a bunch of ludicrous untruths. My hours and income went way down, I had to give up my studio at the beach that was close to school and go back to commuting 1+ hours each way every day. I again applied for unemployment and again these horrid people lied about me, and again I lost out on what should have rightfully been mine. Now, it seems, Anthem is doing the same. The common thread with these 3 crooks is the University of New England, a medical school for osteopaths in Biddeford. The first clinic job was at a UNE Clinic. The second job was for UNE-trained osteopaths and Anthem's medical director was also medical director at the UNE Clinic. These are DO, doctor of osteopathy, not even real MD doctors. What they really do best, though, is lie through their over-educated teeth.

Monday, October 25, 2010

my biggest book


this was a gift from DD some time ago. if you know me, you know i don't make contemporary or 'art' quilts. however, this book is for anyone who likes/loves quilts, color, design and style. interestingly, the editors of this book credit the amish quilt as being the birth of art quilts because of their geometric design. this is a super book and contains luscious color photos on nearly every page from every quilter, known and unknown, who makes art quilts. i had never seen this before it was gifted to me and never since until i visited the New England Quilt Museum and they also had copies of this book for sale. it's a real treasure to me for many reasons, not the least of which is because my very own child gave it to me, which makes it even more special.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

UFO Finish


yesterday i finished this tablerunner made from sandy gervais' charms line, "merry and bright." i love these fabrics but i confess, i don't really like charm packs because i always want more yardage of each of the fabrics! they just tempt me into buying more fabric, which is not always a good thing. ***** today i hope to finish up another UFO, which would be terrific. then i have a mini Amish log cabin to quilt and bind. once these 2 are finished, it's back to the winter tote to finish AND start quilting the wedding quilt. i hope to have that done before the end of the year, which would make 3 hand quilted quilts completed this year. once i cross off more UFOs from 2010, then I can start a couple of my WHIMMs and use up more stash.