Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cabin Fever Shop Hop

On Saturday the Evil Twins embarked on a Quilt Shop Hop Adventure. I picked Janet up at 7:30 which is way too early to be out and about on a Saturday Morning. We headed to the park and ride to meet up with the bus. While we were waiting for all of our riders to show up, I took a drive over to the other side of the park and ride to make sure we didn't have anyone waiting over there. No one from our group but I did get a good laugh over the people waiting for the bus to take them to a Horse Shoe convention.

Our first stop was at Material Matters in Cedarburg. It was a nice shop. I was able to pick up some batiks that I hadn't seen before. The Batiks...that's Jen's fault. She's going to be making a Jester's Court quilt and has been collecting batiks for some time now and I decided to join in on the fun. Here's my collection; some of them I had before we left.

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Here's Janet at Material Matters:

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Our next stop was The Sewing Basket in Plymouth. I picked up two redwork patterns by Quilting Bee Designs while I was there. I thought they might be cute to do for my quilt studio in pink.

Our next stop was Royce Quilting in West Bend. I was excited to get two charm packs that we don't have at our shop. Then it was on to the Quilted Basket in Menomonee Falls. At the Quilted Basket I was able to buy two quilting practice panels with different designs on them that you follow and learn. It will be interesting to see how this goes. Lastly we stopped at the Patched Works. When we got there we went straight to work. I threw an apron on and hit the cutting table.

It was a fun day, but it was a long day!!


Friday, February 27, 2009

ETPWP

This week despite all the hours I spent working 2 jobs I decided it was time to get a few things off of my To Do list that have been haunting me for a very long time. The Moda U blocks is one of the items. Hemming my bedroom curtains is another one of those items. I got them hemmed on Monday night between my two jobs. They're currently balancing ontop of the blinds in the bedroom waiting for Mike to hang them and the wallhanging. I had to make 4 blocks for a project that Jill and I are working on (despite the fact that they are purple, Moneik is actually not the intended recipient…giggle) and I sent those out when I mailed the boxes to Jill and Moneik. Here's the blocks that I sent to Jil - minus one because I managed to delete it from webshots and my camera:
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On Thursday night when I got home from the Kim Schaefer trunk show I started cutting the remaining Moda U blocks that I have patterns for. I think I cut for 6 different styles - a total of 12 blocks. I hoped to get a good handle on them at ETPWP. I got 6 of them done. Hopefully next week I can get the remaining blocks finished. One of the B I had a horrible time with. I don't know what my problem was, it wasn't a difficult block. However, for being a nine patch; my squares had wonky edges. I decided to border it with background fabric and then re-cut it to the right size. It should blend in once the quilt is together as most of the edging will end up in the seam allowance anyway. I just decided that life needed to move on with that block. Here are the 6 that I made:

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I bought the remaining fabric for my Ocean Waves quilt. I thought I had enough blues but it turned out I didn't. I needed three more. I don't know why I'm all of a sudden so anxious to get this quilt started but it's all I can think about. I also was able to get the fabric I need for my Victory Quilt. For our EBBOM group I'm going to keep going with the Egg Money quilt since I already have two of those blocks started. I'll make that top before moving onto the Victory Quilt.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the cover of the Rolling Stone...

Ok, I'm not talking about Rolling Stone magazine as the song lyrics suggest but of a quilt magazine whose May 2009 issue just hit my mailbox earlier in the week...a magazine that shall remain nameless because I really don't want to cause a huge stir.

When I first looked at the cover my immediate reaction was that there was going to be an article with a tip for erasing the holes left behind when you rip quilting out of a batik quilt and need to re-quilt it. What I found inside was actually a a quilt pattern.

I feel badly for the designers and quilter of the quilt. I'm sure they never in a million years thought the quilt would end up being folded and photographed at that particular row. Instead, that particular row has a close up in two out of the three pictures of that quilt.

Technically, there's nothing wrong with the photograph; technically its a nice shot. It just happens to be a shot that shold have been tossed in the trash instead of being chosen for the cover. On a quilt that is 63X77 they surely could have chosen another row to photograph. I can't believe the editors didn't notice this before it went to print!!

The funniest part to me is that the quilt was then re-folded and photographed inside the magazine for another close up shot. That too must have been within the same row of punched holes so there they were. Only the full picture of the quilt didn't have these noticable holes because it was taken from far enough away.

Now we all know, that once this quilt gets washed and dried once, these holes go away. But, in the meantime they are prominently displayed right there on the cover of a magazine...I feel bad every time I look at the cover.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Like a fish out of water...

That's how I felt the other night when I pieced something on a Bernina instead of a Janome, Babylock or Singer as I've used in the past.

Granted, I currently couldn't wind a bobbin on my Singer without checking the book if my life depended in it, but this Bernina made me feel pretty darn inadequate.

The model I was sewing on had a front loading bobbin which I found out loads completely opposite of my Babylock. There wasn't a 1/4 inch foot on it so I had to guesstimate.

We have Bernina's at the shop for people to use during classes. Part of me thinks I should use one at Friday night's open sew just to become friends with one. The other part of me thinks, stick with what you know.

I think I'll wait and decide depending on what project I decide to take.

It's never a bad thing to try and learn something new.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Full is your Bucket?

A while back a friend of mine was telling me about a book named "How Full is your Bucket" by Tom Rath that she had read for work. It sounded interesting so I gave it a shot and found it to be a really interesting concept. Here's the Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket from the author's website:

Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it's empty, we feel awful.

Each of us also has an invisible dipper. When we use that dipper to fill other people's buckets -- by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions -- we also fill our own bucket. But when we use that dipper to dip from others' buckets -- by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions -- we diminish ourselves.

Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive outlook and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic.

But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will. That's why every time someone dips from our bucket, it hurts us.

So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another's buckets, or we can dip from them. It's an important choice -- one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.


When we write our blogs and then receive comments, that's a very bucket filling experience. Reading the comments I receive and leaving comments for others always leaves me feeling happy. I feel lately that in my personal relationships that I spend a lot of time complaining about things that are complained about to me. I need to find a way to make this stop. It's not even my OWN issues that I'm complaining about. It's overall turning me into a rather stressed out and unhappy person.

How does one stop others from constantly draining their bucket? It's not like you can stop them mid sentence and say, "You're draining my bucket."

***edit*** I'm not targeting anyone, I'm just stating how I feel. I seem to have gotten everyone up in arms about my post and feeling like they should feel guilty or something. That's not the case at all. I'm just relating my life experiences to what I read. ***end edit***

Monday, February 23, 2009

WHAT, NO WOW?????

Take away my machine, rotary cutters and rulers and my stash; my lovely stash, contained behind pretty glass doors - you fooled me.

I don't Own any White on White??? Who was in charge of me on this? I mean, I used to have a chunk; a huge chunk. At least five years of a chunk. It was for my ocean waves quilt. It's yet to be started. I was even planning on starting it shortly, very shortly.

Seriously, no white on white? I only own about 1/3 of a yard of off White on White too.

I woke up early because I had to go to the bathroom. I thought I'd just stay up so I didn't oversleep. I thought I'd make blocks for a secret special project. I need to make four. My triangulations are printed, my purples are in front of me and I can't go on with life because I own no White on White!! But I do own white Fairy Frost. (Mike, I did not make that up...it exists)

I should have stayed in bed.

Must Rectify...

*DASW??



*Don't ask me what DASW stands for. It doesn't even show up on Urban Dictionary. Hopefully it makes Jill snort when she reads it and maybe liquid will shoot out of her nose. Not that she's prone to that, but it sure sounds funny, doesn't it? DOESN'T IT??

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cre8tive Sunday

I got a lot of things accomplished today that I've been meaning to cre8te for quite a long time.

I made three block roll ups. What's a block roll up? It's a great place to roll up your finished blocks until you're going to put them into a quilt. If you belong to a block of the month group, these are the perfect transportation.

The green is Jen V's, the purple Moneik's and the pink is Jill's.


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To make them, I start out with a 15 inch long stick of 3/4" pvc pipe. I buy it by the stick at my local hardware store. I can get 4 block roll ups out of a stick of pvc and the stick costs around $3. I have Mike cut it apart for me.

I take a piece of focal fabric cut 15-1/2" x WOF and a piece of flannel 15-1/2" x WOF and pin them right sides together. At this point I insert my ribbon ties. For this I take 2 lenghts that are 30" long. I fold them in half and place them in about 4 inches from the sides. I sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance around three sides leaving the 15-1/2" side without the ribbon pinned to it, open. At this point I turn it and topstitch. I now cut about 10 inches off of the Width to bring it to around 32 inches long. I overcast stitch the open end.

Now it's time to pull out the glue gun. I cover the open ends of the PVC with fabric; putting a layer of batting between two pieces of fabric. To keep the three layers together I sew a circle free motion that is larger than the pipe diameter. I glue the ends on and then I proceed to glue the overcast edge onto the PVC pipe. The gluing is a slow process to keep everything nice and smooth but it's worth the extra time to do a nice job. Ok, slow to not burn my fingers....I don't think there's such thing as a nice job when it comes to a hot glue gun.

It's a quick easy project to make up for quiltng friends.


I had someone ask what they look like opened up, so I thought I should come back and add a picture.




I spent some time downstairs with Mike and worked on the binding for our living room art quilt. I have the binding sewn down, now I need to hand sew the hanging sleeves down. I should be able to get that done this next week. It will be nice to finally have it hanging up and not have a huge blank wall.

My next project for the evening was a stitchin chix bag for Moneik. I used the same purple as for her block roll up. I have a feeling that between now and when we go to retreat I'll be whipping up a few extra items for her!


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I really like using webbing for the handles. I know it's a lazy cop out but let me tell you, it's nice to not have handles take as long as the rest of the project. I did however jazz them up a bit and I think they turned out quite nicely. I used a pink and purple verigated thread to topstitch the bag so I used it on the handles. I put a decorative stitch right down the center.


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I have some scraps left over from the roll ups so I made Jen a little bag.


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I have a few more things to add to Jill's box. Hopefully I can get those done tomorrow night and then hit the post office all at once with both boxes.

It's going to be a long week. 5 days at my day job and 7 days at my part time. Hopefully I can still get a little sewing time in to keep myself sane!!

Hey...I just noticed; this is my 1000th post!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Lanyards

I finally got around to making up my own lanyards. The first one I did was for my regular sewing snips. It's pink like the ones I made for Jen V & Jill.




My Lanyard





My Lanyard



I then decided to make one for my hand sewing snips. I made it out of light blue and tanzinite crystals with heart chain between the sections.


My Hand Sewing Scissors Lanyard




My Hand Sewing Scissors lanyard




My Hand Sewing Scissors Lanyard

I love them!! I can't wait to use them!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Changing up Moneik's Lanyard

My mom gave me some Sterling Silver wire from her jewelry making kit and with it there was sterling silver heart chain. I knew right away that I needed to change up Moneik's lanyard!!


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Now it's perfect! Now I just need to finish up a few other goodies for her before I mail it out.



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet Kim Schaefer at the Patched Works!!

February 26th - 6:30 p.m.





Join us at the Patched Works!! Thursday, February 26th at 6:30 to celebrate the debut of Kim's latest book with C&T Publishing, "Flower Festival". 50 blocks and 9 quilt projects make this book a must have. A blend of piecing and applique bring her signature contemporary primitive styles to life.



While you check out her new quilts, you can check out her current fabric collection "All Abuzz" from Andover Fabrics.




Kim Schaefer is a local author and fabric designer. We are fortunate to feature her quilt samples from a variety of books and patterns in the shop.



Kim's other book titles include:



Quilts, Bibs, Blankies…Oh My!



Cozy Quilted Christmas



Flowering Quilts



No fee for attending, please RSVP to the Patched Works!
262) 786-1523


See you there!






Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As if I needed another reason not to get on an airplane...

Those of you close to me know that I have a fear of flying and its not like I needed another reason to not board a plane but this article sure did the trick:

http://www.beyondallergy.com/food-allergies/airline-peanuts-theyre-back.php

Now I realize other people bringing peanuts on an airplane is something they can't control; I'm ok with that. But, to blatantly bring them back as an airline snack that gets handed out and basically opened all at the same time is ridiculous!!!

My peanut allergy is an issue whether I injest them or inhale. My lungs close and I itch like crazy. When we go to Brewer games if peanut eaters are around we either have to move to another area or we find a table in the open air areas to sit at. Should I get to the point; and I've been close a few times, of actually using my epi pen I have 15 minutes in which to get to an ER.

How does one get to an ER that fast if they are in a plane? Especially considering the airline is viewing an epi pen as a life saving, end of the issue type fix?



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jill's & Jen's Scissors Lanyards

I had just enough Sterling Silver 22 & 24 gauge half hard wire to complete these two lanyards. I was able to order lobster clasps on ebay so hopefully they won't take forever to get here. I'm hoping my mom has enough wire left in her kit so that I can finish up mine. I'll probably end up ordering anyway because I'm completely out.

They're Beautiful!!


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The cool part is, this means that I've got birthday gifts done for the first quarter of the year!!

I was also able to get the hanging sleeves and the binding on my Carpenter's Square wallhanging. Now I can get the binding hand sewn over the next few days. My Scrollwork Applique wallhanging for the living room is also done being quilted. With a little luck, I'll have both of these hanging by the end of the weekend. I'm so excited!!

To quote my husband, "This iPod thing just might catch on." {Insert Blank Stare by Wife here}

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Salsa Incident

Mike's been doing the cooking in our house for quite a while now. He's had some misses but most of what he makes is really, really good and always cre8tive.

Over the weekend he made salsa. A hot container for himself and a mild container for me.

He wasn't around when I went to have some so I opened them both and gave them the sniff test and proceeded to eat from the more mild smelling container.

My mouth was on fire, my eyes were watering and I figured if I didn't eat it he'd harass me like the last time I didn't get around to consuming my container. I looked at the size and figured if I was going to eat it all, I could probably do it in about 3 sessions. I ate a third of it with tears streaming down my cheeks and as I screwed the top back on, I saw in 1/8th inch high letters on the lid reading 'Hot' in sharpie which I previously thought was a tomato stuck to the inside of the lid.

Later on Mike was irritated because I opened a new bag of tortilla chips because I didn't see an open bag anywhere. Since he was crabby I kept my mouth shut about the salsa.

So today he was in a much better mood so I told him about my Salsa Incident. He laughed and laughed and laughed especially because it's got something like 6 or 9 hot peppers in it and it's about 2 cups worth of salsa. Then he admits that it was so hot to him that he had been mixing my mild salsa into it to turn it down a notch.

Mike, I'm glad that you got a good laugh. My throat will never be the same.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I took full advantage of not having to work today. It was nice to just sit and relax. I did do quite a bit of hand binding though. I got the last side of my Good and Plenty quilt, the final two kitchen placemats and a Christmas table topper bound.

Holly has an ear infection so we've been trying to get these drops into her ear, not to mention that we have to clean the ear every other day. Well so far, we've been managing to get drops in her ear once a day. We have to just about tackle her and hold her down. It's quite the event. I finally got the brite idea to put the goop on my fingers and basically give her a wet willy. Omg, did I really just admit that on my blog? It was the most disgusting thing I think I've ever had to do. And to think, I probably will have to do this twice a day for the next 7 or so days.

So after that craziness, I decided to work on the scissors lanyards. I got my Mom's and Moneik's done. Since it's past Moneik's birthday, I'll post the pictures so she can see it in the mean time before I get it out to her...let's face it, I'm not the best at getting things mailed out on time.


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Here's My Mom's:


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I think they turned out rather nicely. Now I need to divide up the pink crystals into three to make lanyards for Jill, Jen & I. That's when I'll have to stop and see if I need more supplies.

Needless to say, my quilting goals were thrown right out the window. I think I'll make them into this weeks goals instead.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

O-M-G!!!!

CT Publishing posted a blog about the baby quilt that I made out of Kim Schaefer's book Quilts, Bibs and Babies Oh MY!!

http://www.ctpubblog.com/2009/02/12/quilts-bibs-blankiesoh-my/

I'm excited!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekend Quilting Goals

Two weeks ago I did goals and found it was very effective. Last weekend I didn't do them and didn't get a whole lot done. Back to the Friday afternoon list I guess!

I'm going more realistic goals this week and listing fewer.

-Make and attach hanging sleeve to Carpenter's Star wallhanging.
-Attach binding to Carpenter's Star.
-Piece pillow sham borders, quilt and assemble.
-3 styles of Moda U Blocks.
-Beadwork for scissors lanyards.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Laptop Diatribe

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my laptop was on it's last leg. Although I've only had it for a little over a year the last two months have been a horrible struggle. My problems with it started in fall before we read about a recall on my laptop (Sony Vaio). They were being recalled because of some faulty wiring near the hinge which could cause the laptop to overheat and possibly burn a person. I DID get burned; as a matter of fact, a few days before the recall was announced. I fell asleep with it on my lap, my bracelet conducted the heat from the laptop through to my wrist and I had three blisters that were each about 1/4 inch across. We called right away about the recall but were told my model was not one that fell under their recall. Huh, my wrist really says otherwise! I just went on with life, being extra careful.



With the rapid heating and cooling in that area, the plug socket began to become loose. I noticed that I'd need to hold it in the correct place just to charge the battery. This worked for a while. I started standing it on it's side so that the plug was up against something and would charge. Before long, I had to wrap the cord a bit and keep it taunt. Before Christmas, Mike took my laptop into Best Buy to see if it was a cord that needed replacing or something else. Turned out the socket was actually coming loose from the inside and the repairs would be a minimum of $270. To me, that didn't make sense considering the laptop cost $500.



While I was trying to decide what to do, the integrated mouse began to be unresponsive. It was touch and go. Meanwhile, the cord got more and more picky and the battery stopped holding a charge. With the cord coming out of the back, I'd have to wrap it under the laptop and then over the top just to have enough force to keep it plugged in and in contact. Still, I kept putting off doing anything about it. It just wasn't an expense I wanted to incur even with the thought that the plug fix was $270 and who knew how much would be added to that to get the mouse fixed.



Then one day, my network connection disappeared. No matter what I did, how many times I rebooted, it was dead. Some days I'd turn it on and it worked, other days, not at all. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, it was time to Laptop Shop.



I decided I was going to go with a Dell. We've always had good luck with them and I really like being able to build my own system. In my previous job, I was an inside sales person for a computer reseller. I'm no longer in the "know" so to speak but I do remember which components it pays to upgrade and which just sound like a good idea to pay extra money for.



Between not wanting to buy and not being able to make up my mind, I bet it took me two weeks to build and make a final decision on my laptop. I had it in my head that since I had the choice of colors, I was going to go with pink because well...this is ME we're talking about after all. The self proclaimed Pink Gadget Girl. Just as I was running through my specs for the last time I noticed a new series of systems in the drop down menu. I'd later find out that Dell had JUST loaded them onto their website; it wasn't just a figment of my imagination. Wahooo, a brand new version that even had a lower price for the same components. The caveat was it only came in Black, Blue or Red. Oh well, even a Pink Gadget Girl has to know when to fold on color choices!! It was a done deal, I ordered it. Now I just had to wait for it to arrive.



While waiting I worked on getting my files organized for the switch. My plan was to dump my files onto my external hard drive and then copy them to the new laptop a little at a time. It was 2 weeks early. I wasn't ready yet with everything on my hard drive but decided to just grab some files, load some and go back and forth. HA! When do things go the way I plan in my little world?? Nevah!!



Ready for a melt down...



I went to move files and guess what? Now the external hard drive isn't being recognized by old lap top any longer. I figure a simple re-boot or two, or four will fix everything...no such luck. Now I'm mad at myself for putting off the decision to fix or buy new, mad at myself for taking so long to decide. Now what? Oh wait...Vista came out with a file transfer thingie, I'll do that! Giggle...only I don't have the right cabling. I go to Office Max, they don't sell just the cable but I can buy a cable AND software for $60. $60?? Are you crazy? I can go online and pay between $30 and $40 for the same thing. I'll wait thank you very much!



...Enter Radio Shack. The store that no one ever seems to start with but whenever I do finally end up there, they always end up having what Gadget Girl needs so why am I so stupid not to start there first?? Walked out with a $40 cable. Yes, that still seems like a lot to me for a cable but I know my files are worth wayyyyy more to me and at this point it seems like old laptop could just explode and loose everything at any moment.



Why not do a backup you say? Well I did...in January. There's lots of changes since then and with a hard drive that is no longer recognized I'm sort of up a creek without a paddle.



Who knew file transfers could take so bloody long? After watching it do it's thing for about an hour I was sooooooo bored so I went to bed. I have no idea how long it took.



My main concern was itunes. I do think the tracks are all there but my audio books are MIA. I know where they reside, I just can't get them to play nice. Another concern is the fact that every song is checked...where DID all my playlists go?? Shouldn't that little file have come along for the ride? Oh well, if all that I lose in this transaction is playlists, life will go on. I can re-build them. It's still better than losing EVERYTHING! A few more tweaks and I'll finally be all set.



Here's a picture of my new spiffy Dell Inspirion 1545An Inspirion 1545 with a super cool 320GB hard drive and 4GB RAM. Gawd, I remember the old days when I had 1024MB of hard drive and 16MB of RAM!!




Now...she/he is just going to need a name!