Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Serenity Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My left eye is still twitching. I'm so stressed out about this move and lack of knowing EXACTLY where we're going to live.

After work we buzzed over to the complex and we went inside "Piss Place." Yikes, it was worse than I remembered it. Looking at the rafters in the basement...they're all stained. There's no way they're going to be able to rent that place for a very, very, very long time. It's going to take lots of time and money to get that place rentable. So they showed us the 2 bedroom unit that we don't like the location of. Honestly, had it had a better location it was a great unit. I just don't want outdoor stairs and I want my guests to be able to park near our home. Then we walked past a 3 bedroom that we do like the location of. It would be more expensive but at this point...I just want to know where my home is. Hopefully we'll get to see it one of these days.

So that's where we're at...still homeless.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We're about to be Homeless

Today during lunch I got quite a bit of binding done. My poor right hand. =( That's the same reason I gave up cross stitch many years ago. But, I still wasn't done. I had 8 inches to go.

Around 3 I get a call from Mike saying that the Townhouse manager called him and said that they've been working on our unit and there's no way they can get rid of the smell before we move in. Mike relayed this to me and then he got busy so I took it upon my self to call back to get more details. Mike's not too hot at asking the questions that I want to know because we just think completely differently.

So, she offered us the one other unit that they have available. I took down the address and said we'd be there after work tomorrow to see it. I'm NOT happy with this. I really like the location of our unit in the complex. Our apartment now is SOOOOO hard for guests to get to, there's no where to park, it's just an all around pain in the arse. I also asked if since she was the area district manager that covers our current apartment if she could arrange for us to stay where we were while they continue to work on the unit we've rented. However, after checking she found that our unit has already been rented and people are supposed to move in July 1st. I was a bit taken aback because no one has viewed our unit AND our unit needs quite a bit of work. Also, we don't have to be out of our unit until June 1st. With how slow they typically move I know now that they're not intending to fix anything.

I left work at 4:30 and quickly buzzed over to Frank's Sewing Center so I could sit and finish applying my binding and get my challenge quilt turned in since I can't get there tomorrow to drop it off. I knew they were open until 5:30 so I figured I had enough time...thankfully I did. It's all finished, dropped off and I'm glad it's done. There were quite a few challenge quilts stacked up, I guess more than I expected. I was hoping there wouldn't be too many entries since the advertising for classes didn't get out to that many people in a timely fashion. Oh well, it's all in the hands of the Baby Lock representative now.


Charming Challenge

I called Mike on my way home and relayed that I knew the address of the Townhouse they wanted to switch us to and that I was going to drive by and check it out. He met me there and we HATE the location. It's on the backside of the complex, no street parking for guests AND there's about 6 stairs leading up to it. Ok, we've had stairs long enough. I realize 6 isn't make or break it to most people, but I'm DONE with having so many stairs. Plus, there's a pvc pipe that is attached to one of the stairs...electrical wires must run through it or something. That's got to be completely lovely in winter...NOT. Our front door and living room window and sewing studio window would face the backside of a medical complex. Really I'm guessing guests of ours would have to chance parking in the Medical Complex's lot and then walking through a patch of grass to get to our door.

So, we peered in the windows of the unit we're supposed to have. Tomorrow we'll walk through that one as well. I think we're going to see if they can take a few more weeks to work on it while we stay where we are or see if they possibly have any 3 bedroom townhouses available. Or, worst case see if they'll let us out of our lease and then we'll be stuck scrambling to find somewhere else to live with what 31 days until we have to be out? I mean, now we're also talking changing vacation days around, we're talking having to change the delivery of our washer and dryer or possibly not needing the washer and dryer that we just purchased if we end up elsewhere, having to keep our storage unit longer, possibly having to pay more yet for rent somewhere and lastly..the possibility of being homeless if we can't get this figured out in the next 31 days.


I'm NOT happy, can you tell? All my plans to come home and have a night of sewing this evening all went out the door. I knew I'd just be miserable so I laid down to take a nap. Afterwards when I woke up Mike was watching the Brewer game and I thought I was having a fun time playing with Holly and joking with him and he just got real ugly so I went to hide in the bedroom with my laptop. Finally the Brewers beat the Cubs and he came to make peace with Nerds and Laffy Taffy. What can I say, I can be bought.

I've been saving for a sewing machine to stay on my frame so I don't need to take my machine on and off the frame. Taking it on and off isn't the problem. It's when I've got a quilt on the frame and I need to work on something else quick that becomes the problem. My little Janome Jem is old, tired and has few options. It really can only handle piecing and none of the other crafts that I like to do in between. I guess that's why I'm so bent on wanting to win this contest. However, the bottom line is, I LOVE my 6600. I love the way it sews everything at my table and I absolutely LOVE that I never have to screw around with tension when I put it on the frame. I've done what, 35 quilts on the frame now? I've only had to rip twice and both times were my own stupidity for not checking once I got started. Do I really want to even use a different machine on my frame when I have such wonderful luck with what I'm using? Part of me says I'm insane to even think about getting an additional machine when I have such excellent luck with the one I have doing everything I want it to do. Do I really need then to spend $900 on a machine for my frame and then eventually another $500 for a stitch regulator when if I don't win the competition, I could just BUY the nice little $300 machine that can be used for classes, sewing at mom's and sewing other things when my lovely 6600 is on my frame. I don't necessarily NEED the stitch regulator. I've done great so far without it. Granted, I'm sure it would be nice for when I start wanting to play with pantographs but by the time I get gutsy enough to do that I'll be even more apt at using the frame. My stitches are pretty darn regular right now when I stipple, dwirl and even free motion zig zag. So, that's where my thoughts on that matter are...for today anyway. LOL.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hand Sewing Binding...

Is for the Birds!! Seriously? I know there are a lot of you that hand sew binding...I've got to ask, are you NUTS? It's not the sewing part, it's the holding onto the quilt with my opposite hand. So if I'm sewing with my left hand, I'm holding the quilt with my right hand. MAN, my right hand/wrist just hurts unbelievably. I know it's because I have carpal tunnel but geeze...how does anyone who hand sews bindings NOT have carpal tunnel????? This is a mystery to me.

I still have one complete side and one corner yet to sew down and I doubt that I'll finish that in my half hour lunch time tomorrow considering it took me about 3-1/2 hours to get as far as I did.

My challenge quilt needs a name. Anyone have any 'Charming' ideas?

Mike finally realized that it was time to part with his Chevy S-10 and listed it on ebay tonight. It just can't come with us when we move. We really shouldn't have had it in our parking lot this long. For a while it was at my mom's in her spot but that was really inconvienent for anyone who came to visit her. At some point now we're going to need to start stacking boxes in our garage as we pack them and there was no way I was going to clog up a SECOND visitor spot with one of our cars and I'm not about to pay for a parking permit for a dying truck. He tried to make me feel guilty about his having to get rid of his truck and it almost worked until I remembered....HE GAVE ME NO SYMPATHY WHEN I HAD TO GET RID OF MY 1997 GRAND AM...my first new car, and first car that I bought on my very own. So Mike, how about them apples???

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Muah ha ha ha ha

Today I was able to find a fabric that is the same one that is in our Friday Night Block of the month blocks. I bought every speck that was left on the bolt. I wanted to be prepared this year in case there isn't enough finishing kits like last year. I didn't want to be scrambling when it came time to finish my quilt. Of course...how will I be able to finish when I'm so far behind in making my blocks?!?! I don't know when I'll get caught up...June perhaps? So HA! I've got 7-3/4 yards. Even if we do have enough, mine is done and paid for. I can always use it as a backing.

Tonight I sat and ripped out the rest of my horrible quilting on the Charming Challenge quilt. God, I hate this quilt. If it wern't for a contest I would have pitched it! I was able to put it back on the frame and then I checked my tension with every pass. I think I got it quilted in about an hour...I was shocked by that. Tomorrw night I'll put the binding and hanging sleeve on. Since it's for a competition I'll hand sew the binding down.

Here it is, in all it's glory. I'll post another picture when I have the binding put on it. The pictures might have shadows on them. I tried shooting without a flash so that the quilting would show up.


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I will admit. I'm a lot more happy with how it turned out now that it's quilted.

Well, I'm off to bed. For the last week I've managed to fall asleep on the couch after Mike's already in bed for a few hours...last night I was out there all night. Ughhh!! So now I'm siging off to make it into bed before I fall asleep on the couch again!!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Goodwill Hunting...

This morning I woke up pretty early because Mike was on the phone. I ripped a little on my Charming Challenge quilt and then hopped in the shower when my Mom called to say that Michelle and Louie had reached Madison. I finished getting ready and then ran over to the bank.

Ohhhhh speaking of the bank. I know I've griped about our stupid Credit Union many times in the past. Everytime we need our bank to be reliable, they're NOT. I leave last week for the retreat and I get a phone call from Mike saying that our account is fine...BUT. I'm thinking, great, now what did they do? We could use our debit card as debit, but not as credit which is how I typically use it because I can never seem to remember our bank imposed pin number. Hello...let me pick my own!! If you tried to use it as Credit it just declined...NICE. Of course, I couldn't remember for the life of me which way it could be used so I just said forget it and switched to the credit card to get a tank of gas. Dang it!! I think it took them two days to get their system ironed out and get us up and running again.

When I got to Mom's, Michelle, Louie and my Mom were already taking measurements and drawing a template to make the cut out for mom's sewing table.

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It took Louie no time at all to make the cut out but then we were lacking sand paper or a Dremmel Tool. Mike wasn't home but I called him and asked him where his was. He had no clue. I ended up finding the attachement kit but not the Dremmel Tool. So I ended up at Ace to buy another one. I found them in the cage (locked area with tools) so I went looking for one of the guys that Mike knows and told him what I was after. I needed a Dremmel Tool...no nonsense...least amount of attachments. Tom L. found me one and I was on my merry way. While I was gone Louie got the shelf attached. And walah, it was finished!!

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We hit IHOP for brunch and I talked everyone into Beezlenut Splashes. We all had quite a few laughs!! I'm not sure if they were just appeasing me by ordering it or were fully willing participants...but there were quite a few giggles!!!

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Now, it was time to engage in Michelle & Louie's favorite activity...Goodwill Hunting. Our first one was in New Berlin. I actually made a purchase...ok Jill...make your comments, I'm ready. I bought a nice non-descript lamp. Or so I thought until I heard Mike's comments about it. But, my lamp is brand new, never been used. It sill has the Target tag on it and the electrical cord is still wrapped up as it would be in the store with the plug having a plastic cap. Now I just need to get a lamp shade but I'll wait till we get in our Townhouse. Now Mike wanted to know why I bought a triple fitration bong when I don't even know what a bong looks like. Upon further inspection he realized it was a lamp.

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From there we hit Frank's Sewing Center, an Antique Store, Salvation Army Store and two more Good Will's. We topped it all off with Pie from Bakers Square.


Now, for the best part of my day. We showed Michelle and Louie my Mom's Harvest Spice quilt. Miracle of Miracles....Michelle LOVES it. I jumped before my mom had time to think about it and told Michelle that she could have mine. I love that it's going to a good home. To me, this is the perfect solution. Now I can put the borders on it and one weekend I'll go to Michelle's and we'll throw it on her frame and quilt it up. By the end of the weekend she'll be the proud owner of a Harvest Spice quilt!! Wahooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Once Michelle and Louie left I started working on my bowl. I threw another 100 feet on it and now it's 6 inches tall. I took my little Janome Jem with me and it couldn't handle sewing the bowl. =( So we brought out mom's Singer and we haven't used it in so long we couldn't get the bobbin to wind properly so I decided to just wrap my rope.

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I did it in two sections while Mom worked on her own bowl. It's funny it takes SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to wrap but like 5 minutes to sew about 50 pieces. So now there's 200 feet of rope. We figure to get it tall enough I'll probably need to add another 200 to 300 feet. Or who knows! My mom is convinced I'm making a bushel basket. Mike thinks I'm making a clothes hamper. Giggle. See how awesome my mom's machine looks dropped down into the table?

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I finished up a spool of verigated thread. Now I'll have to pull some other thread from my big box of thread to continue on.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Funky Friday

After work tonight my friend Diane and I drove by the townhouse that we're going to be moving into. I saw that the patio door was open so we decided to take a peek. Now, they are supposed to be completely re-habbing this unit. WOW, I'm scared because we're 3 weeks out and they've really done NOTHING but remove the old appliances. The people who lived there before were an older couple who couldn't really take care of themselves much less their cat. We were told that they were removing the drywall from the walls and putting in new floors...I'm not quite sure that's even happened. Then I wanted to see how the basement was set up. O-M-G did it smell like cat urine. Honestly...there could be a cat living in a wall somewhere...that's how bad it smelled. How in the heck are they going to totally get rid of all this smell and re-do the townhouse within the next three weeks? Mike's now convinced that we're going to be homeless. Mike's going to call them on Monday and demand a walk through with the apartment manager to address all of our concerns. Especially since we've already signed the lease and given out notice here.

I met my mom and my Aunt Kitty for dinner. They were celebrating being done moving my Grandma out of her apartment. Now all of her belongings are crated up in storage until she can get into her new apartment...I think that will be July or something. In the mean time she's taking a vacation to Arizona and staying with one of my Aunts.

I put my charming challenge quilt on the frame when I got home. Quilting was going well until I realized that the tension was off. Now I've got to work on ripping and even though I only quilted about one row of blocks, there's probably 10 rows of quilting. I fell asleep on the couch ripping thread out. Mike came home from the Brewer Game and woke me up.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Miranda Class

Tonight I had another Miranda class. Sadly, Sue was my only student so it wasn't as much of a class as I'd hoped. I think I'm waving a white flag. I don't have any pictures yet of Sue's bag but It's going to turn out really sharp. She's using deer hyde for the bottom and the top is more of a geometric print in gold and purple. It's going to be really sharp when it's done.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm a Loser Baby....

I forgot about a really funny thing from retreat. After Lucky Jill won door prizes, the grand prize steam iron AND a quilt which she have them draw another name for, I came back to my sewing station pulled Weezer's LOSER song up on my laptop and played the chorus, "I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?"

Last night we ordered our washer and dryer. It's the washer that I talked about a few weeks back and the dryer is just a dryer; nothing special. But I can't wait for them to get installed! They come on the 17th of May!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I've been tagged!

Ive been tagged...


SCATTERGORIES...It's harder than it looks! Erase my answers, enter yours, send it on to 10 people including the one that sent this to you.Use the first letter of your first name to answer each of the following.They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up!Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.


WHAT IS YOUR Name - Jen

4 LETTER WORD - Jerk

VEHICLE - Jeep

TV SHOW - J.O.N.E.S. (Thank you IMDB & Disney Channel)

CITY - Juneau

BOY NAME - Jake

GIRL NAME - Jill

OCCUPATION - Juggler

SOMETHING YOU WEAR - Jersey

FOOD - Jello

SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM - J.C. Penny's Shower Curtain (shrug, I tried...)

REASON FOR BEING LATE - Jerk in my way

SOMETHING YOU SHOUT - Jack A$$!!!



OK, who to tag.... Yeah, I'm not tagging. If you want to do it, do it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm no longer a fugative...

I don't think I mentioned it before but while I was on my way to Ohio I managed to blow through my first toll in Illinois because of construction. Oops. I had to go online to pay the fine. I know, I should have just said forget about it but I didn't want the rental company coming back to me later wanting to charge me more.

We joked around all weekend about me being a fugative and then once Jill Pimped me out it was even funnier!!

I took my older Miranda Day bag with me on my trip. It was nice to have everything in it that I need to get ready each morning. My makeup, my hair stuff, my deoderant, blow dryer, contacts and glasses and other odds and ends.


Miranda on the Road

I could just grab the entire bag when I went to hit the showers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sad to leave retreat Sunday

We slept in until 7:30. ROFLMAOTMSHPIMP (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off Till My Sides Hurt Pissing In My Pants). When I got up I was zooming along on my Snapshots quilt. I was still working on it while everyone was packing up to go home but I was determined to get those blocks completed AND ironed. I did it!! Wahoo.


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164 blocks baby!!!

Somewhere in there I made up two more Machine Pockets. Here's Carol's:


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Here's Brenda's:

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Then it was picture time. Here's a group shot of the ESA ladies and they let me be in it too. In the back row from right to left, it's Mary, Me, Jill, not sure & Brenda. In the very front in Red is Maddy and in White is Carol.

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See and then I suck because I never mentioned that I also got to meet Cathy too!!! Here's a picture of the three of us:

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And another one of Jill and I:


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Here's a slide show of my entire weekend. Thankfully Patrice took a LOT of pictures that Jill and I forgot to!!




My drive home...well what can I say? I left right from the retreat center at 2:40 OHIO time. After about two hours of driving I pulled over in a rest stop for a nap. My lap of sleep really caught up with me. After a half hour I was back on the road. Another two hours and I was napping again!! But, drive time was only 6 hours. No biggie. But I was delirious by the time I got home!

I had the most fabulous time. I'm definitely going back next year and I can't wait!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday - Retreat Day 2

We went to bed around 2:30am and were up around 5:30am. We slept 6 to a room and there were bunk beds. Jill, Kim & I were top bunks, Maddy and two other ladies were on the bottom bunks. The beds were supposedly built so they wouldn't need ladders. HA! HA! HA! That's funny stuff!! Have you ever tried to get up in a bunk bead without a real ladder, in the dark while holding a flashlight in your mouth, trying to be quiet because 4 of the 6 people are asleep?? Yeah I went up two rungs, hoisted myself onto the top of the dresser and then propelled myself up. Next year I'll need a better game plan for the things I take to bed with me. I ended up unzipping my pillow cover and putting my flashlight, ipod and glasses just inside so that they wouldn't fall out of bed. So a pocket would be nice. Also, handles on the pillowcase would be good so that it's easier to carry. Perhaps a flap too to keep the pillow from sliding out. But I slept and slept soundly for that 3 hours!! I was probably the one snoring and why they couldn't sleep...down and lots of down do that to me. =(

So we were up. I finished up the Sewing Machine Pockets that I had started the night before. It's not even a pattern, just something I figured out as I went. Here's Jill's:





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Here's Mary's:





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Here's Mine:





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I got as far on my bowl as I could...I was at the end of my rope. You have no idea how hard I laughed about being at the end of my rope.





ROFLMAOPIMP...I'M AT THE END OF MY ROPE, I JUST CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE!!!









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Yes...it's a giant bowl. It's like 17" across and I only got the sides to go up about 2 inches when I ran out. I think it would make a nice, next to the couch type of bowl to collect magazines or the newspaper. But, I do think I'll run out of my Bargello Scraps so I'll have to purchase some 1/8 yards...the girls at the shop will be ready to kill me! Yep, that's what 100 feet of rope looks like. It's a good thing we found it cheap at Walmart!

The Sewing Machine Pockets became a hit. Jill Pimped Me Out and I started sewing them for whomever came my way with three fat quarters. I think I'll have to work up a tutorial for them. We made a little extra money for St. Jude's by charging for them!

Here's Maddy's



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Here's Patrice's



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Jill hit a wall and was exhausted...here's a cute little grouping of photo's that I took as she made herself more and more and more comfortable by using things around her.



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It was after dinner when they started to draw names for the Raffle items. I didn't win anything...let's face it...Jill is the Queen of Luck. She won one of the raffle's and the grand prize steam iron!!

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She goes right from winning the iron to the next meal where she wins a Quilt of Dreams quilt!! Can you believe it? She needs to get in on the lottery!! She did tell them to throw her name back to pull someone else for the quilt. Seriously...just how long will her winning streak go on?? =)

I did get a pattern as a door prize...a funny thing THIS was! I get to pick what I want, I go for this awesome pattern:

Then, I'm reading the front of the pattern. It says Quilt Corral in South Dakota. I get excited because it's a pattern from the shop that Moneik LOVES! I say this to Jill and she gives me this bemused look and tells me to look at the back. DUH!! It's the pattern that Moneik donated for the retreat and there's this sweet note on the back of it from Moneik, telling the new owner (ME) about the pattern!!! It was SOOOO meant to be!!

We played fabric bingo. Which was kind of hard because so many of the fabrics were so close in description. The caller...just about every fabric was a variegated something or other. It was fun for the first five minutes. Then I just wanted to sew. I tried sewing and playing and that just didn't pan out. I was able to get the first two parts sewn onto my Happy Hour blocks though before going to bed. 164 blocks!! We were in bed by 1:30am.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our cars were packed up with care

We packed up our cars and were ready to head out. Here's a picture of my car...there's a few things of Jill's needed for the retreat but I'd say 95% of the stuff is mine!




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Oh yeah, I mentioned that our cars were twins...


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We headed out to IHOP. I talked Jill into a Beezlenut Splash which is white soda with cubes of berry and cherry jello floating in it. OMG, we had the BEST time with this drink. Why, oh why is this not a staple in college bars?? Mixed with alcohol it would be the bomb!!! We were laughing so hard sucking our jello through our straws that our male waiter could NOT look either of us in the eyes. After a quick stop at a gas station and Walmart we were on our way.

We got to the retreat center an hour before the start because Jill and her fellow ESA sisters needed to set up. I can't believe the amount of people who come early and are then put out by not being able to check in right away. Seriously people, find a park, pull out a book and sit and read for a bit. We needed to re-arrange the tables so that they were set up 4 tables across and two deep. This way power cords could go from either side. I'm glad that I took the cords that I did...they were well used!! Once we were all set up I arranged my sewing station and moved my luggage upstairs to my bedroom. I began to sew.

I started out with a fabric coiled bowl because I knew that I could work on that and it would be a no brainer so that I could still be nosy and see what everyone else was making. The fabric that I was using for the bowl was the leftover scraps from my Fall Bargello. I decided to work on it for one bobbin and then I moved onto another project.

The project that I moved on to was my Charming Challenge. Here's what I ended up with:
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I still need to quilt it and it will be bound in black. Now I need to decide HOW to quilt it. I'm tossed between a stipple or dwirling. Monofiliment or other thread. I don't know.

Next up were 6 pillow cases. Two to match our bed quilt, two to match the quilts I made at Christmas time for my mom and I, 1 was the "What would Jen do?" pillow case and the other was my Flintstones Pillow Case.


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It was getting late so I quilted three pink/brown fat quarter sandwiches to be made into Sewing Machine Pockets. I made myself one, Jill one and one for my new friend and next table over, Mary. I didn't get them assembled, but I did get the three sandwiches all quilted.

I moved back to my bowl for another bobbin. It was a hit. Everyone kept coming over to look at it and ask how it was done. Then it was time for bed.

I'm trying to think about what kind of trouble we got into Friday night. I'm sure there was more but I know for sure we opened our laptops for some 80's & 90's dance music for sing along, dance along...let's get everyone wide awake and laughing.

Hopefully I triggered Jill's brain on something and she can fill in the rest of Friday on her blog. It was soooo stressful for her on Friday. I swear to god, people will find a way to complain about EVERYTHING. The littlest things they'll complain about. I wanted to yell, PEOPLE you're at a retreat, you're supposed to have fun. Open up your eyes and just have fun. Stop stressing out Jill!!!!