Skagit Valley Sprint

Skagit Valley Sprint

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Things They'll Do

 All I can do is laugh! Just look at those faces, aren't they absolutely pathetic? No really, my boys respectively 18 and almost 14 still can't wait  until tomorrow evening to open their presents, they begged and pleaded (c'mon, just one!)...I held my continued, believe me, they play a good game! But still, I stood my ground, my resolve was rock solid. I was confident, their father was deep in a Pay-per-view movie and they were dealing with Mom after all, the unwavering rock of the family, hard-core, steely-gazed Mom who always says no (that's why you call Dad first)...and so I did, over and over and over again, still they persisted, then when I wasn't looking DS#1 grabbed his truck keys, DS#2 grabbed his wallet and out the door they went, to do heaven only knows what...I got a phone call some 20 minutes later, telling me not go to bed yet (I believe there was an idle threat to put me in the home early if Idid) I told them to save their money, I REALLY didn't want anything! They didn't listen of course...
Dove chocolate, not one, but four bags were plopped in my lap.  Behind DS#1's back were these lovely roses. What could I do?! The final word came from their father (so they would be quiet and he could listen to his movie in peace) out came the pocket knives to cut the tape (can't you just hear the banjos playing?) and at last, they were happy! DS#1 with his flannel shirt and DS#2 with his basketball shorts and flannel sleep pants (they were both in the same package, no he didn't get to open two) and now all is quiet in the house (save from the elevated volume of the tv, of course...thank goodness I haven't given in to surround sound) DS#1 is in his room texting his GF and DS#2 is texting one of the many girls that find  him irresistable ...all is well!
Perhaps now would be a good time to mention that these poor, forlorn waifs have already received the larger portion of the Christmas gifts in advance, due to the ever-rising depth of snow on the slopes here in central Washington, both sons have already hit the slopes no less than 3 times already...DS#1 with his new snowboard of which we paid half and DS#2 with his bright pink Burton bindings and not pictured here are his grenade gloves also in an outrageous color (hmmmm, does he get his love of color from moi? me thinks so)
And the real reason that I didn't want/need anything for Christmas from them? Well, I have already done a little shopping on Amazon and Equilter of course! Can you believe that I found FMF?! Yep, my heart swooned when I saw that it was on sale.  The books are both ones that I have been longing for and found for at a tempting price, how coincidental that  my hubby was in a generous mood all at the same time! It was fortuitous I tell  you, yes indeedy, I tell you it was!
We will be hitting the slopes at White Pass on Christmas Day AND we found a room at the Hotel Packwood for the night...crossing my fingers that the hot tub will be uncrowded and that our non-traditional Christmas will turn out better than our extremely less-than-traditional Thanksgiving!
I know that I previously wished  you a Merry Christmas, but in keeping with the holiday spirit, I want to expand by saying that I hope that you find this Christmas season full of love, laughter, blessings and all the things you've hoped for that will continue to grace you in the New Year to come!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Final Finish...Just in time...

For Christmas that is, this darling baby quilt was commissioned by the civil clerk (Patty) at work whose daughter is due to give Patty a grandson around the 30th of this month...she is excited to say the least and I was thrilled when she said that she loved it!...what a nice way to end the work week and begin the  break for Christmas. Now, before I wish you a Merry Christmas, let me give credit where credit is due, the pattern Patty picked out is this wonderful tutorial by Melissa of Happy Quilting that I found while perusing Moda Bake Shop!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Non Traditional Holidays

My DH and I had already planned on having a non-traditional Thanksgiving. It was to go something like this; we were going to spend the actual  TDay watching movies and relaxing  with our boys, with Friday being spent with family and friends. It was a good plan, win-win for everybody and the day went well, if you don't take into consideration that the dog ate my pie crust! The rest of the plan, however, went slightly askew from there...

Friday morning came, DH and I did some Black Friday shopping, took a well-deserved nap and awoke refreshed and ready to get the party started!  I re-made the apple pie, peeled potatoes, cut up yams, put the meatballs in the crockpot to warm in lovely cranberry and bbq sauce (yum!), threw together the hot crab dip in my fondue pot and set the wine outside to chill in the balmy 24 degree air.  Precisely at 1:30, the stuffed 20.99 lb turkey went into the oven and all that remained now was to get cleaned up, fill the dishwasher and wait for the guests to arrive at 4:00, which they promptly did!

We visited while noshing on appetizers, watched a little tv and generally had a great time, the boys even had an impromptu snowball fight with the neighbors in our front yard...I did find it a bit odd that I couldn't smell the turkey at this point, it's delicious aroma should have been wafting throughout my house enticing us.  Well, not to worry we'll just pull the roaster out and give that bird a basting and check its progress.  I lifted the lid, everything looked okay, the skin was browning nicely and the drumsticks appeared as if they were almost done, hmmmm....I'll just adjust the oven temp a bit to speed things up, put the lid back on and slid him back in the oven. 

The dinner hour arrived at 6:30  and still no lovely roasted bird smell met my eager nose, so again I pulled the bird out and this time noticed that the broth was still yellow not brown, nor was it bubbling, it was then that I located the source of  the problem...the element to my oven had broken in half!!!  It's not very often that I am left without a clear plan of what to do next, but I have to admit, my mind was blank and at this point a bit frantic.  It was now 7:30 and I had 8 hungry guests waiting for me to present them with a much anticipated feast! Yikes! Home Depot is just up the road from us, they should have still been open, but by the time that we would have gotten another element, assuming that one was in stock, we would have been eating around 9:00...the bird still had about an hour left to roast!

My girlfriend from work Kim, looked at me and was really all we could do at that point, that, and send the guys down the hill for pizza!!! So, we ate pizza, it was good, but it wasn't the turkey and all the trimmings that everyone had their hearts set on.  My kitchen, was a complete disaster and it at least looked like a holiday meal had been prepared and enjoyed. (Sigh) Not all was lost, I suppose, we still had pumpkin and apple pie for dessert AND we did  accomplish the fact that our Thanksgiving was (extremely) non-traditional! I vote that somebody else in the family is responsible for the Christmas feast!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What's up on the design wall and other ramblings

Yesterday afternoon, while my DH and OB were performing open-transmission surgery in the garage on a '91 Suburban, I had this wild idea to keep a tradition alive.

My Father is over half to two-thirds Norwegian, somehow his family line is related to the king of Norway there is even a family island in Norway (Elvik Island where the family farm still stands)
Dad had open-heart surgery on October 7th to replace the leaking mitral valve and heart murmur that he has had his whole life. Over time it has weakened his heart and suddenly began to  cause him to black out. He gave us quite a scare, his heart became weaker still, so much so that he wasn't allowed to get out of bed, for fear that he might go into v-tach. Thankfully he sailed through the surgery, went home to recuperate and was doing well, until a little more than a month later, he blacked out again.  We had always known that he might need a defibrillator to correct the arrhythmia he had been suffering from. Sure enough, he was transferred by ambulance on November 19th to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane...not a minute too soon either, he was only there an hour before he blacked out twice  in his room and had to be rescusitated, CPR performed and ultimately shocked back into rhythm, his surgeon, a tiny little woman from Eastern Europe, they call Dr. B. came in on a Sunday to do the procedure.  Thankfully now, he is back home, resting, regaining his strength and enjoying some home-cooking! Alas, my Mother, who is not used to all this activity (the banking, Coumadin clinic, driving hither and yon) has not been feeling up to making the traditional holiday goodies this year.

I found myself on this particular Saturday afternoon with not much on the agenda, so almost as an afterthought, I boiled up 5lbs of russet potatoes, riced them, added butter (it was supposed to be melted...oops), cream, sugar, salt and flour, mixed that up and stuck it in the refrigerator to cool. That was stage 1 of lefse making and the resulting gooey mixture is supposed to cool optimally for 12-24 hrs. I have never done this part of the operation, my Mother has always handled that part. I figured, heck...I am a 40-something woman, able to follow a recipe and adept at phase 2 of the lefse-making process, heck yeah, let's do this thing!!!

And so I embarked on an adventure...A tasty adult beverage (or two) was mixed, not sure my ancestors did the same, but there you go. I followed the recipe, adding 1-2 cups of flour (just what the recipe called for) with the dough hook of my trusty Kitchenaid...hmmmm...still looking pretty sticky, let's add more flour...still pretty sticky...let's add a bit more, until I don't know how many cups of flour later, I ended up with something that resembled what I was used to seeing, a tidy little mound of dough...ready for, you guessed it, still more flour and a proper rolling out with the traditional ridged rolling pin used by my Mother's Mother Emily. I inherited Emily's grill, her turning sticks and her rolling pin and well,  it just feels  homey and warm to use them, knowing that her hands performed the same task many, many times before me, making lefse for the annual bake sale at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Arlington, Washington and our holiday table,  but I digress...
Some two or three hours later, my kitchen is a disaster, it's covered in flour and my feet are killing me, but I have reached the end and my nice pile of warm lefse is cooling beneath several layers of kitchen towels.  It's been taste-tested with butter and cinnamon and sugar...yum!!! Got the thumbs up on that one and now I sit typing and resting my weary little feet...In other news, here is what's up on the design wall!!!
It's a baby blanket for a grandchild on the way...not mine, thankfully (all in good time) but the Civil clerk at work's daughter is having a baby boy sometime near the end of December...Eli Benjamin, I believe is to be his name!
Yet another news's snowing in our little armpit of Washington!! I mean, it's really coming down!...we live in the desert (yes, there is a desert in Washington, put on your history hat and remember WWII and the Manhattan Project) I wonder if school will be delayed tomorrow morning, I have a 13 year old that is hoping...At any rate, I think that it's time for bed...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's that time of the year again

For the Blogger's Quilter Festival!  It's always amazing to me to peruse everyone's entries, read their stories and their blogs...there is so much talent and creativity amongst us all!After pondering a bit about this year's entry, I decided on my youngest son Tanner's quilt, partly because it relates back to this quilt, which was my first entry in the quilter's blogfest.
I recently finished this quilt up for my son after he patiently waited (a few years) for it's completion.  You see before I undertook the huge project of the raffle quilt, I had made a quilt similar to this one for a coworker who was undergoing dialysis. It's color scheme was predominately yellow, pink, purple and lavendar. I wanted to do something to help her, I felt awful for her situation, but she is a very private person and didn't want a big fuss made. So, I found myself with a finished quilt, unsure of how to approach her with this gift that I had made, time went by, she was off on medical leave and in the meantime, I just sort of wrote it all off as a good idea whose time had passed, a little embarrassed at myself for not having stepped up and given her the gift.  Little did I know, but during all of this Tanner had sort of adopted this quilt as his own! 
Then, word came that Tracie was to have a kidney transplant and a group of us at work wanted to find a way to raise some money to help with medical expenses. Thus came about the raffle quilt!  So now here I am, engaged in the large undertaking of organizing the making of  the raffle quilt and I mention that I had this other quilt to give to Tracie, but didn't know if it was still a good idea to give it to thing leads to another...and I sit down with Tanner to explain to him that this nice lady (for whom the quilt was made for originally) really needs (his) quilt to feel better and did he mind if I gave it to her after all? 
He readily agreed and handed it over, I left his room and went about my evening only to realize sometime later, that he hadn't come out and that was a bit unusual, since it was nowhere near bedtime!  I ventured back in to see what was up, only to find him quietly crying on his bed! After giving him a hug, asking what was the matter and explaining that I was a bit suprised that since the quilt was in "girl colors" he was so upset, he put a little tear in my heart by saying, "yeah but Mom, I love it because you made it"...Well, that cemented 8pm on a school night, we hopped in the car, headed to JoAnn's and he picked out all the fabric for his very own "boy version" of the same quilt!
I think he was 8 or 9 at the time, but I still remember the look on his face as he explained his tears to me and how horrible I felt for having hurt his feelings...after all, he was a "big boy" by then, all rough and tumble with holes in his jeans and skinned knees from climbing whatever would hold still long enough for him to scale it...but deep down, he was still my little boy who might not let me give him kisses at night, but needed a blankie now and then and a Mom to understand that he can't always tell her when he needed some tenderness once in awhile. I cringe to say that it has been about 4 years since we bought the fabric for his quilt. My youngest son Tanner is now 13, he's six foot tall, wears size 13 tennis shoes, his hair is longer than would be my choice, his pants don't always cover everything I would like them to cover and his quilt is a bit too short for him, but he takes it everywhere he plans to sleep at night!
What did I learn from all of this? Well hmmmm...always get things done in a timely manner, buck up and do the right thing (again, in a timely manner), boys (no matter how old) still need their Moms once in awhile and never, never, never underestimate the comfort that is shared when the gifts we give are handmade and given with love!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is It Really Done?

I have long admired this quilt from the tutorial on Make It a Wonderful Life's blog and have wanted to give it a go for at least a year now.  Well, I made my first purchase off of Etsy one evening of a bunch of 6" squares, but when they came in the mail, well, they just weren't what I was expecting...but determined not to file them away for a later date and having purchased a new circle template ruler...what the heck, it was worth a try to see how they looked. Along came a Saturday when my DH and YS were putting a new motor in the OS's pickup...and voila! I managed in an 8 hr day to get all the circles done and the rows assembled, which only left the border to complete.  That was finished last night at 12:30am...much to my DH's chagrin.  I had (in the back of my mind) intended to add a white border with rickrack vines meandering with a few raw-edge appliqueed flowers and leaves to make it a little larger (at the moment the dimensions stand at 57 x 64 which is a little small-ish) I don't know...I'm thinking that I like it without the extra always, I am in a quandry!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just so you know

That I have been at least a bit productive...I really have! These quarter blocks are for the second round of the Modern Bento Block Swap and are ready for mailing. In the original swap, I made enough to make a small-ish lap quilt, so when someone suggested a second round, I was definitely in. I love a quilt large enough to snuggle under, so with the 24 quarter blocks I'll receive in return, it should produce something snuggle-worthy...if the right person in my oldest son's life really likes it, perhaps this might become a graduation gift! Not only have I worked on these lovelies, I have also done some hand sewing on my Grandmother's Flower Garden while gadding about Central Washington on camping trips and such!  There are perhaps 4 more hexies to go on one flower and then the 3 main rows will be connected.  Then comes the task of making the connecting diamonds and the borders, still a bit more work to do, but it's getting there and I'm excited! I will post pictures when all the flowers are stitched together, until then, started for the youngest son today, so it is time to herd him off to bed so I can start a new book! TTFN...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wow...19 years

Has it really been that long? I remember it like it was yesterday...all the preparations, all the anticipation and a lot of stress, not to mention an all night session the night before the wedding, putting all the flowers together.  My best friend Kathy traveling from Alaska to serve as my Maid of Honor, my Mother in the midst of a gallbladder attack and Valium induced, removing half of the beading on one of my sleeves at the church because there just wasn't enough time to finish both...and now that you mention it, my dear, sweet Grandma & Grandpa Soma spending the week before the nuptuals at my parent's house the entire week before to help with everything...and the two of us (Emily and I) sewing beads and sequins on my gown in the evenings...oh, how I treasure THOSE memories.  Then the day was finally here and my Dad and I were standing at the end of the aisle at Richland Lutheran Church, at 2pm sharp and he asked me, "are you nervous?"..."Nope, says I...let's do this!" I distinctly remember anxiously wanting to begin the rest of my life with my new best friend...

DH asked me as we ceremoniously cut the cake, "what do we do now?"..."just start shoving" and so we did....1 year later, I was still picking cake and frosting out of my earrings...19 short years and two kids later, he is still my best friend, the one with whom I love spending time, the one who completes, who would have thunk it? Me, of seems that I knew the moment I saw him...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Both Sons have quilts, can I have one now?

I'm feeling pretty good right now, having finished two ufo's in two weeks. It has made me realize though, that I need to pay more attention when I add  borders that I cut them on the straight of grain and measure more precisely, rather than wing it like I did this time in the name of getting something finished. That, and I need to work from the middle out in both directions. It was well pinned and stretched on my livingroom floor and I had intended to just do straightline quilting over the entire quilt, but made the mistake of first stitching in the ditch each vertical row before going back to do the other closely spaced vertical lines...major puckering  ensued the closer I got to the end, which resulted in a frustrated and unhappy quilter, but alas, it was another lesson learned and my oldest is happy with it.  My husband, bless his soul, remarked, "you are the only one who notices that anything is wrong with it." I do have to admit that most of the puckers crinkled up nicely after washing and drying. So, now comes the question...what do I make for us now? I'm considering a quilt as you go log cabin like the tutorial/quiltalong done by Sewtakeahike, that looks totally do-able in queensize...And I would only have to wrestle with the beast quilting-wise when putting the backing on (let me explain that my Brother has a relatively small throat, which makes anything larger than a twin a real challenge to mash through the opening) As I ponder my decision further, let me leave you with the pic of the whole quilt hanging on the backyard fence.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Almost...But Done Enough To Show You

My hope was to get this finished last night and washed this morning, but with all of the running around that happens on a Saturday in my house, it just didn't happen. My DH installed a new oven in the trailer (doing the happy dance here...the old oven didn't work and was just old enough that you couldn't get parts for it anymore) but for some reason, it didnt have an oven rack and he had to improvise...a replacement bbq grill and a set of bolt cutters did the trick (at least it wasn't duct tape...hehe!!). While he was working on that, I whipped up a batch of pico de gallo, some ceviche to go with last night's dinner AND a pan of enchiladas for dinner tonight.  My reward was a refreshing mango margarita and dinner in the back yard until I realized that ahem, I could be stitching on my binding if it were machine went that hat and inside I went to break out the sewing machine to get that done. The sun, however, was nowhere to be seen by the time that it was accomplished...not to worry though, I popped my posterior on the couch and listened to the Sons of Anarchy reruns that DH was watching...the end was in more corner to go...1am rolled around and this girl just couldn't keep her eyes open any longer....Oh well, there is always today, right?! I can have it finshed, washed and nicely folded for my firstborn to take with him out to the ranch this evening, with that being said, I need to get a move on if I am going to fit in a well-deserved (ok, not really deserved, more like heavily craved) chocolate chip ice cream cone  at the Country Mercantile!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's a Finish!

Finally! After 3 years (or was it 4?) of sitting on the shelf, I finally finished my youngest son's quilt...he wasn't quite so tall when I started it though and when I saw him sleeping with it this morning, it didn't look nearly big enough for him (sigh), he loves it...couldn't wait for it to come out of the dryer even! Don't look too closely at all the puckers in the back...(no really, don't look!) In retrospect, I would have quilted it differently had I to do it over again, but by the time I had decided that, it was halfway quilted...and I was NOT going to pick out all those stitches!!! Now it's on to the next quilt top...I wonder if I could get it quilted by the end of this weekend? Hmmm.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We Interrupt the Preparation for this Swap...

To bring you this little bundle of joy... My nephew and his girlfriend had themselves a sweet little baby girl early this morning! She weighed in at 8lbs 10ozs and a whopping 21in long!!! It's been a REALLY long time since I have held a newborn, so I had to soak it all in, she slept and cooed and wiggled when I unleashed her little feet, but oh what a joy to snuggle with!!! Anyway, I just had to share...isn't she just yummy?!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Swap Down...

And one more to go...these Bento blocks are addicting and fun AND a challenge to come up with different combinations AND I love the way they turned out! Here are pics of the total 48 quarters, after I removed the 12 that I kept and what my 12 look like all put together. I already said that I love them didn't I? Yes, I know that I am onto something else... Ah yes, they still need to be packaged  up and mailed, but that's just a detail...have I mentioned that I can't wait to see what comes back to me in the mail? I'm not good with anticipaton, so to occupy my time I think I'll get the rest of my modern siggy squares sewn, cut and signed, and with any luck, I can pop those babies in the mail at the same time as the Modern Bentos, sounds like a plan!!! And to celebrate the start of a big finish (and the fact that my DH just came home and dinner is almost ready) I'll be blending up a tasty adult that is what I call instant gratification!!! (perhaps I can talk DH into a shoulder's a bit tense between the blades) Have a happy weekend everybody, if you need me, I'll be enjoying a warm summer evening on the porch!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Phew!! We got my oldest son graduated from high school with minimal stress albeit A LOT of hard work but, the house was ready, the food prepared, my DH laid concrete and sod in the backyard weed patch...It looks great and we are still enjoying it! So, what a better way to celebrate a successful graduation and family visit, than to start ANOTHER project! The Mod Bento Block Swap was just to cool to resist, we are using this tutorial and the nice thing is, that so far, I have just used what is already in my stash.  If there is any purchasing to be done, it might be a little Kona cotton, but I've got JoAnn's coupons for that, so no worries here! As you can see the sewing assembly line is goin while the pups enjoy a lazy afternoon snoozing on the couch...I gotta say that I truly heart these blocks! By the looks of the flickr photostream, there are some wonderful pieces out there...a lot of them destined to grace my mailbox sometime soon!!!  And I am more than just a little bit excited about that : P  Well, this chick needs to get back to work and keep the momentum going, but I will leave you with a picture of the happy graduate and some of the peeps that graced my house, enjoy the rest of your weekend!!! TTFN

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This year's entry for the Spring Quilt Blogger's Festival belongs to my Mother-in-law Linda...or at least it will eventually, the top has been finished for some time now, it was even sandwiched and pinned.  Then I tried to put it on my machine for quilting and it really was just too big and bulky to wedge in there without fighting it throughout the entire process.  Perhaps it is a candidate for hand quilting, that is when I gather my resolve and give it a whirl!  I'm just not sure if I should start on this one the first time out!
Anways, the story behind it goes something like this: Linda has had leukemia for about 14 years now and only just in the last 2 years has had to do any real chemo to treat it, I had bought Eleanor Burne's book Egg Money Quilts and saw the version that she made of this in yellows to depict sunflowers for a wedding quilt. Well, Linda happens to adore purple...and once I put it all together, the flowers reminded me of echinacea blossoms (which consequently is a supplement that is known to boost the immune system) how perfect!! I remember when we found out her diagnosis we were all full of gloom and doom and prepared for the worst, but not Linda...nope, she is a testament to will and inner strength, not to mention abiding faith in the Lord.  She told us all that she had too much to live for to succumb to her illness, she had gradchildren to see graduate and get married and great-grandbabies to love.  So now in 2 weeks, my oldest son, her second oldest grandchild, will graduate from high school and she will be here to celebrate with us, just as spunky as ever!!! And it is my prayer that she will see her goal through to the end and that I will kick myself into gear and get this quilted for her so it can infuse it's strengthening powers...Finally, thank you Amy for hosting this years's your hard work and determination that allows heartwarming stories and those things that inspire us to make the quilts that we do in the first place to be shared amongst us all

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do you ever...

Feel like voting yourself off the island? This week has been extremely emotionally draining...and I'm there, let me tell you...I never in a million years thought that something as simple as a couple of pieces of fabric missing off of a quilt could cause such discontent...well, I volunteered my time and pieced this quilt in conjunction w/some women at my workplace (none of which have ever completed a quilt themselves) and in the upper portion of the light blue, there was supposed to be appliqued two bears and 3 trees...and it just amazes me that the absence of those 5 items can ruin a couple of friendships...honestly it makes my heart vote me off the island if that's what you need to do...I give up, valuable lesson learned...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marathon Quilting at it's finest/ Not quite a Friday Finish...

Woo Hoo!! I finally have a finished project to post!  It's been awhile since my last report, mostly because there just hasn't been anything to really show for my efforts.  I have started things and as per usual, lose my enthusiasm and move onto the next inspiration. There is nothing, however, like a deadline to inspire completion regardless of enthusiasm or lack thereof. Three weeks ago, a meeting was had to set the end date for this quilt (May 16 being the presentation of Susie's quilt day) and having plenty of time, or so I thought, I relaxed and waited for the quilting bug to hit me.  Well, I ended up in the ER last weekend, so no progress was made there, which left me a week to get the quilting and binding done.  Tuesday evening, I wound bobbins, cleaned the lint out of the bobbin case, installed a new needle and set to work with stippling...can you say yuck? The thread color was all wrong and my stippling was nothing less than out came the seam ripper and I tore those stitches out, a total waste of an evening.  Wednesday evening brought a new color of thread, new winding of the bobbins and loopy stippling, lots and lots of loopiness, about a third of the quilt in loopiness...being pleased with my progress, I took the quilt off the machine and laid it on the bed...and realized that the green thread that matched the backing fabric looked as if a child had scribbled  all over the light portions on the front of the quilt, again, ugliness and the arrival of the seam ripper. Thursday brought the realization that this quilt may not be presentable by Sunday. That, however, was not a scenario that could be I caved and took 4 hours of precious vacation time on Friday to finish ripping out the offending stitches and to start anew.  By 1am Saturday morning, I could see light at the end of the tunnel and hope was renewed, so I went to bed.  Back to work by 9am, it was bound, washed, dried and photographed by 8pm that evening and delivered to a co-worker who was attending the Sunday morning party at Susie's house.  With nothing better to do now but to relax, I poured a glass of wine or three and celebrated the evening in the backyard on my newly laid sod with my DH and pups...BIG sigh of relief!!! Next on the agenda? Ummmm, well...get this house ready for graduation in 19 days...YIKES!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Progress Made

Friday morning dawned like any other...I got hubby off to work, (he wasn't happy to be awake) the kids didn't want to go to school...especially my youngest who is 13.   He doesn't ever want to go to bed at night and the "I have a stomach ache" excuse is used at least twice throughout the week.  Well, Thursday night he came into my room after lights out claiming he was nauseous...he was pretty convincing!  Clammy skin & goose-bumped, I administered the Pepto and sent him back to bed with a bowl, just in case.  He didn't say much in the morning, so I figured things had passed, to school we went, I dropped him off and told him to call me if he got pukey again, with the "hey, it's an early release day and a long weekend" pep talk, I drove home and finished my pre-work ritual.  I had no more than rounded the corner out of the neighborhood, when the school called me to come pick him up (big sigh).  I called my Sgt. to let her know I wouldn't be in and started planning my day at home. Here is what I came up with
I made 9 blocks with red before wondering if a less traditional color would be more to my liking...upon asking my husband which color he liked best, he wisely pondered the blocks on the wall before answering, "How many do you have done in red?"
Ohhhh, he is funny, funny boy!!! "That is NOT what I asked", said I.  "Okay, I like the green". I have to say that I agree with him! Heck, what would a quilt of mine be if I didn't have a moment of indecision I ask you??  On a slower note...I all but have the first row hand sewed together on my Grandmother's Flower Garden!! That makes me pretty excited to say the least.  Not much indecision there, I gotta say that I am pretty pleased with the color combinations on this one...and  with that, I will leave you.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Stress Relief

My internal clock must have gotten tweaked somehow.  I have NEVER been a morning person, I can't emphasize that enough...I really mean NEVER, not when I was a kid, not even when I had babies. I used to work graveyard in a potato processing plant as a QA tech while I was pregnant with both of my boys and like me, they are both nightowls. These days, I am a Monday-Friday 9-5 kinda girl. My DH, however, has been working 6am-4pm Thursday-Sunday for the last month or so (his days off vary from month to month) which means that when the alarm goes off around 4:45am... I hear it, he doesn't.  Several smacks to the snooze button  later, he finally decides that he really has to go to work, but alas, I am wide awake by then. This doesn't make a girl like me, who enjoys sleeping in until 10am on a Saturday very happy...but there it is just the same.  My body wants to cuddle up with my pillow and a dog or two and forget that an obnoxious noise ever disturbed my slumber, but my brain is on fire and sleep is but a fantasy!  So to take advantage of the opportunity,
I have been going into work for a little overtime these last past few Saturdays. I was all set to do the same...but not today, I contemplated the paperwork that needed processing and just couldn't do it, nope! Instead, I remembered that I have a young man that we call B around the house who has been waiting 2 years (cringe) for this to be quilted...
and so it was laid out on the livingroom floor, layered, taped and pinned and then it hit the sewing was then that I quickly realized that my machine quilting skills are pretty rusty!!!
Having completed about a third of the quilt this afternoon, the thought of picking out all those stitches have kept me from deciding to fix the walking foot onto my machine to do some straight line quilting.  I am very happy with the back though, while searching my stash for the backing flannel (which happily had already been pieced to the needed 84x74) I located some leftover blocks that were quickly stiched into a medallion of sorts to add interest. With any luck, I'll have B's quilt nap-worthy by Monday...(keeping my fingers crossed that I don't run out of thread before payday)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Excursions and Swaps in Progress

I am proud to announce, that my no sew block swap squares are cut out, packaged and ready to mail.  "Louisiana" was the square that I finally chose and despite the fact that flying geese are not one of my favorites, I'd say that this endevour wasn't all that bad and am quite pleased at how it turned out...
Next on the agenda is the modern siggy swap...I've completed a third of the required 101 squares, but will definitely be working on the rest this long holiday weekend and will hopefully have them ready to mail along with the first swap!   Progress on these projects were only slightly interrupted by a little excursion with one of my best friends and her husband (Kathy was the maid of honor at my wedding almost 19 years ago) to the quaint little Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Honestly, the place looks like a postcard!
 This weekend was the Ice Festival, though we really chose to go because of the long holiday weekend. Saturday afternoon was absolutely beautiful once the fog wore off, we wandered amongst the shops, snapped photos of the architecture and the scenery of the park along the Wenatchee River and slogged through the snow enjoying the brisk 35+ degree weather. Though I have spent many summers camping in the mountains along the Icicle creek just outside of town, I have never made a visit during the winter months and now know what I have been missing!   The boys could only take so much of the retail experience so it was decided that a field trip was in order. Kathy, John, my husband and I piled in the car for a drive along the Chumstick highway which winds its way through the mountains and farmland, finally descending on the tiny town of Plain (which is fairly close to Fish Lake and Lake Wenatchee)

As my DH drove, we enjoyed the scenery and even convinced my DH on occasion to stop (on only a couple of blind curves) so that Kathy and I could quickly jump out of the car to snap pictures of the awesome views...he is very indulgent of my impromptu photo opportunities! This was not always the case earlier in our marriage... We awoke to 3" of new snow Sunday morning, which made all the kids happy...the local sledding hill hadn't seen anything fresh in awhile, so the heavy wet accumulation was more than welcome for snow sculptures and more importantly for padding their landings!  
All stitching progress was not lost because I was enjoying a road trip. I took the opportunity to work on my GFG hexies in the car and in the hotel room...even more fun was had by visiting the Craft Warehouse in Wenatchee and Quilter's Heaven in Leavenworth who were both having a sale...much to my enjoyment, I came home with some Kaffe at way less than regular price!  It was good to come home though, even better to find the house in one piece after leaving the kids to fend for themselves overnight.  They were each busy though, the Son #1 ventured out goose hunting in the VERY early am, (he and his cousin got skunked) then  ran home to catch some quick z's before he was due at school to manage a doubleheader for the varsity girl's basketball game later in the early evening. Son #2 spent his day tearing up the ski hill at Bluewood outside of  Dayton, snowboarding with a friend and his family. He called midday to report that the snow was rock hard!  He found this out when he took a hard fall and bruised his tailbone a bit, but thankfully, it was nothing that a dose of ibuprofen couldn't manage, oh to 13 again!!