Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I know...I'm easily amused

But I think my bats are freaking adorable. I finally got around to hanging the bats in the upstairs window.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire

I was pretty excited tonight going to Barnes & Noble to buy my friend Diane's newest novel, "How to Catch & Keep a Vampire." This is her first book that we've been able to go into a book store and purchase. I'm soooooooo proud of her!! It's very exciting!


She wanted people to take pictures when they found her book. Since I was alone, I decided to use my Pumpkin Spice Latte as a stand in.

IMG_1398


IMG_1396

I found it in the humor section. Later this month it will be showcased with other Halloween Themed books.



Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Puzzling...

Well not really. I was able to get the last 19 blocks for Athena's Puzzle done today!!


IMG_1391

AND, I got half of the quilt top assembled. Only it's too big to take a picture of so I had to do it in 1/4's. So, you're getting a screwy picture.

Picture1

I can't believe I'm finally in the home stretch. The quilt top is almost done!

I also got the bats in the living room windows hung. Now I just need to get the quilt studio's bats hung.

IMG_1390


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 112/100

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thank God for Warranties

My husband stepped on my laptop. I really don't need to say anything more do I?


IMG_1385

IMG_1382

That purple gunk? That's on the inside of the screen...it's really concentrated in the lower right hand corner.

IMG_1388




Makmood the Online Dell Computer chat guy whose accent showed in his typing has said that an empty box will be here in 3-4 days. Once it arrives at Dell, they will fix it or replace it in 7-10 business days. At which time it will head home.

Not only is the monitor screwed and jumping, certain letters will only work if you hit the shift key. I thought plugging in an external keyboard would work but it turns out the issues that the letters are having isn't so much a keyboard problem as it is an internal issue.

For the love of (&@*^&*#&)(&*@()*#$(@*# I hope between our two external hard drives I'll be able to back up my entire system before it goes buh bye.

Do I even need to mention that this is THE SECOND LAPTOP MY HUSBAND HAS MURDERED IN THE PAST 9 YEARS? The first one met an untimely death when it wasn't able to hold up against a spilled bottle of Sprecher Rootbeer.

To my credit, I stayed really calm this time around. I didn't yell, scream or even swear. I guess he gets to live.


Added: Yes, it was on the floor. It is always on the floor on my side of the couch. Never has been a problem before.


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 93/100

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paper Pieced Flowers

With all the time I spent at the hospital with my Mom, I was able to get quite a few flowers pieced and sewn together. I've decided to call this 1/2" hexagon project complete. I'll make some sort of background to applique them down to.


IMG_1373

23 flowers or 161 individual pieces.

I'm now working on the 1/4" hexagons. I'm not sure what they will be made into but I was able to get 5 of them made.

IMG_1375


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 93/100

Friday, September 25, 2009

She's Free, She's Free!!

The hospital decided to spring my Mom around noon on Friday so, I didn't eat lunch. Finally at 2 she was cleared to go so I left work and headed to the hospital. By the time I had her in the car it was 3 and I was about to pass out from starvation. I drove through McDonalds, dropped her off at home and was off again back to work.

This evening was my open sew night. I helped Bridgette figure out a project that she started in 1987 and hasn't touched since. It wasn't a difficult pattern but it was back in the day when little bagged patterns were handwritten and hand drawn. CRAZY!! I was helping Jinny with her Partridge in a Pear Tree applique table runner. I got Maureen started on a notebook cover. Joyce and I tried to figure out her Moda U backing because it was coming up about 20 inches short...wahlah, there was a large piece of fabric hidden that she had yet to use!!

During the day a customer came into the shop to show us a quilt that she had just finished. It was going to be auctioned on Saturday at the 15th Annual Ride for Breast Cancer Research that the Rock River HOG group does every year. The center of the quilt has this years Bandana.


I just thought the quilt turned out sooooo sharp in black, red & grey. She designed the quilt by changing up Judy Niemeyer's Thistle Pod quilt which is pictured below.

She told us that every year the quilt goes for $1000-$1500. With the cool design that she chose, I bet this years quilt went for a much higher dollar amount!

It's been a long few days. I'll be glad when I get off work tomorrow afternoon. Not because it's been a tough work week, but just so I can sit and not have to rush here, there or everywhere.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

She's still there

I spent Thursday evening with my Mom at the hospital. Still no definite answers. No definite numbers. This all seems to revolve around the Prednisone shots she got a few weeks back for her bursitus. The blood pressure has been normal since she got there Wednesday night. Her sugar levels are all over the board so they've been giving her 2cc's of insulin here and there to regulate that. She's had an IV drip of fluids constantly. Her kidney levels are getting better but we don't know how far she has to go. The nurse was pretty convinced that she'd be going home on Friday.

I took her my version of flowers - a pack of 30's fat quarters. While at her house I picked up her English Paper Piecing Sampler pack and cut out the first few blocks for her to work on while she sat there. Hopefully she'll be sprung before she finishes what I cut for.




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Are you sure it's not a full moon??

Let's see, the day started out crazy when I decided I needed a cup of coffee before work. Which of course made me completely goofy. Then it was super busy and a lady fainted during a class so there was EMT's and an ambulance running about. While we were getting ready for the QFL party, my mom called to say she was at the Doctor's office and they wanted her sent to the ER because she had really, really low blood pressure.

Mom and I spent our evening at West Allis Memorial Hospital. In the end they kept her because they want to run some more tests. She has an elevated kidney level which could be caused by dehydration, a newer medicine or have to do with the prednisone shots she got in her hip for her bursitus.

Luckily I had my hexigons with me. I think I got 4-5 blocks together.

I got home a little after midnight and needed to walk over to the medical complex to pick up my Mom's car and drive it home. Since it's only a few blocks away I figured I'd take Holly with me. Now anyone who knows Holly, knows that she HATES going on walks. She will act like the biggest buffoon until you get sick of her and take her home. She's always been this way, there's no changing it. So here I am around midnight trying to convince Holly to go with me. So I had groggy, crabby dog on a leash and walking SLOWER than I was, meandering behind me. God, I love her. She's my little freak.

So now, here I am at home, trying to relax so I can get some sleep. Hopefully we'll find out a few things tomorrow.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Going Batty

I finished the last 6 bats tonight. Now I just need to hang them in the front windows. I'm planning on using hand quilting thread that is close to the color of the window blinds so that it blends into the background. I'll stagger the bats in each window and hang them from one of those 3M Command hooks that I'll place right above the window but below the curtain rod. I figure that will keep it from being visible but will be easily removable once Halloween is over.


IMG_1367


Monday, September 21, 2009

Woo Hoo!!!

I took my Babylock QCP in today for a tune-up. I finally had a chance to get out to Frank's. It will be nice to get it back and get a quilt loaded on the frame and not have to worry about tension issues.

Afterwards, I stepped away from the Hexi's long enough to make 30 of the Athena's Puzzle Blocks. Only 19 more to go and I can start assembling the top.

IMG_1360

I decided to work on something for myself for the rest of the evening. I pulled out one of my unfinished projects - Halloween Bats. With Halloween just around the corner it was time to get them done considering they weren't done in time for last Halloween.

IMG_1361

All that's left to do now is attach them together with strings so they can hang in the window of my studio. I'm not sure if I also want them to hang in the living room window since both are in the front of the house. If I do that I'll need to pick up some more timtex and fusible web.

I pulled a black spool of Star Brand thread out of my stash to do the satin stitch on the edges. It's been a while since I've used that thread; I felt like I was sewing with rope. I've learned quite a bit about thread in the last few years. I can't believe how long I pieced with that thread. It's just so darn thick!!


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 84/100

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I need to show my Janome some love...

and step away from the English Paper Piecing.

2 more 1/2" flowers and 2 of the 1/4" style. I put a Quarter with them so you could see their size. Their size is determined by the length of one of the edges, not across the center.


IMG_1358

Jen, recognize your batiks? Jen gave me her batik scraps from her Court Jester pattern.

IMG_1357



100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 54/100

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a sad day

I got a text from Jen this morning that she had to put her Golden Retriever Sidney to sleep. He'd been slowing down quite a bit recently and in the last few days he had difficulty walking and getting up so it was time - he was in pain.

I think making that choice has got to be one of the most traumatic choices that a person has to make in their lives. My heart is sad for her. Hopefully Sidney has made friends with Murphy and they're now running and playing together.

Jen invited me over to sew and I took her to dinner. When we got back, I worked on a notebook wrap for her. Sometime last year we got this red and white batik in at the shop and we both fell in love with it. Somehow, I got talked into buying 4 yards which was wayyyy out of the box for me. I never just buy yardage without already having a purpose for it. A few days later, a customer wiped out the rest of the bolt. Jen was sad that she didn't get to buy some of it, so I offered to split my yardage with her since I didn't know what I was going to do with it anyway but she said it was ok. I decided I needed to make her something out of it but I didn't get around to it until now.

I quilted the fabric right before I went over there and took the pieces along to assemble. I almost think it should have had a solid red or solid white binding. I tossed around the idea of adding a black binding but it didn't seem to be quite right so I just used the same fabric. And, after digging in my drawer of velcro and zippers I came across a piece of red velcro. Although it's not a perfect match, it sticks out less than the white would have.

IMG_1349

IMG_1350

I also was able to get another 10 blocks made for Athena's puzzle. That leaves 48 more to make. Hopefully I can hit them hard in the next few days so that I can start assembling the quilt top.

IMG_1351

I'm starting to think that I need to re-evaluate my goal for the 100 blocks in 100 days challenge because I'm already at 50 blocks and it's the first week of the challenge. Anyone want to take a stab at a number of blocks to challenge me to?


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 50/100

Friday, September 18, 2009

Addictive little buggers!!!

I made a bunch of Hexigon flower petals tonight. Once I was done, I whip stitched 4 more flowers and attached them to the grouping. I can tell little by little that I'm getting quicker. But, I still have a feeling I'm taking too many small stitches. To sew the flower together and attach it to the rest of the group it takes me about an hour. Does anyone have experience making these? Does it take this long? Regardless, it's a very relaxing project and I'm really enjoying it.

IMG_1355


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 40/100

Thursday, September 17, 2009

70 blocks down, 58 to go

Now I’m really getting somewhere!!

Tonight my Mom came over for dinner. Well, more accurately she went shopping for dinner, brought the food over and Mike grilled it. So anyway, she was here. We worked on our English Paper Piecing for a bit and then after dinner we went up to Quilt Studio West and she continued while I started ironing and then cutting the last 20 fat quarters for Athena’s puzzle. Of course, once I started cutting, I persuaded her to match all the pieces up for the newly cut blocks. It was then back to sewing. I got 10 more blocks sewn.

-Jen

100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 36/100


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hexi Flowers

These little flowers are becoming addictive!!! I just love them! I really should decide what I'm going to make out of these so that I can formulate a plan.

IMG_1344

When I was at Quilt Expo over the weekend I picked up these two little pins from Quilted in Clay. They are just awesome! They are maybe about an inch each. I just can't get over the detail in them.

IMG_1342

IMG_1341



100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 26/100

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Pup"arazzi

When Holly goes outside when we get home from work and all her little friends are outside this is what happens...she gets swarmed. She gets lots of love and hugs and kisses from the neighbor girls. Today they all had stuffed animals out and had them Riding around on Holly's back. It's a good thing my girl just rolls with the punches.

IMG00062


100 Blocks in 100 days challenge. Currently 21/100

Monday, September 14, 2009

100 Blocks in 100 Days

The newest challenge I'm involved in is one going on in our Prolific Online Quilters group. 100 blocks in 100 days. It runs from 9/14 to 12/22. It's just a challenge; not a competition. The idea is to get sewing on a daily basis. It doesn't matter what blocks you make, just that you're sewing.

On that note, I was able to get 20 more Athena's Puzzle blocks made today along with one Paper Pieced flower.

IMG_1339

I think this puts me at 60 blocks for Athena's Puzzle. I'm almost at the half way point.
100 Blocks in 100 days. Currently 21/100