Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Flippin' Bird Challenge

For those of you new to the blog I'll give a short explanation of the Flippin' Bird Challenge.  The Fabric Stalkers got tired of hearing one of our members yada, yada, yada about a UFO that she had been dragging to retreat for several years that was made up of "birds in the air" blocks.  Several years back she started referring to it as her Flippin' Bird quilt.  Well, we were finally done and decided to take it away from her and finish it up into an entirely new quilt...BUT WAIT...why should she get a reinvented quilt while the rest of us were still stuck with our own flippin' bird type of the challenge was created and we would pass around the partially completed quilts with whatever fabric was in the box. We could cut up previously made blocks, rip them apart, add a new piece and start building a new quilt.  Sometimes all you would have to do is add a calming inner boarder to tone a quilt down...sometimes you would be the one that would have to stretch your imagination.  The project has been going on for over a year and is getting close to winding down.  I have Val's quilt and the next unveiling will be at our retreat in April.  As you can the quilt originally started with one block, the star in the center.  My "quilty sense" tells me that it has reached it appropriate circumference.  You can see the last person added a taming small border which would mean I would either have to add a bigger pieced border or do something entirely different.  I found the perfect solution! But, naturally can't reveal it until it has been unveiled at retreat!

I really encourage you to think about doing a similar challenge with a group of people (they don't even have to be your besties).  Of course they can't be like my friend Marilyn (CC as she is known to the woolie group) because she buys the fabric for a project and finishes it before moving on to the next!  There really are aliens who walk amongst us!  No, you must do this challenge with like minded people, those who when you suggest it will spend a week digging through the piles of projects partially done and are having a hard time deciding which one to choose!  You know who you are!

Have a wonderful Saturday...I know I will because the grand kids are in town!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Emperor of a Small Nation!!!

We used to joke that my mom was meant to be the Emperor of a Small Nation and when she became Commodore of her yacht club her destiny was achieved.  I know I have shared this little poster before but I feel like this might be my destiny! 

How much is too much fabric?  How much fabric do you have?  Do you have enough...or are there still treasures on your horizon?  I think Corney/Mary a woolie follower has been on a fabric diet for 3 years!  Do you feel that it is your civic duty as a citizen of the United States of America to help the economy by purchasing more fabric?  Do you feel guilty going into a quilt store and leaving without a purchase?  Are you ashamed about how little or how much fabric you own.  Do you HIDE your fabric?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Thursday But I Am Talkin' Woolie Tuesday!

Last Tuesday was one of my favorite days of the month.  On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month the Woolie's gather at QuiltWorks from noon till about 3:30 PM.  We bring our lunch, wool project, life stories, family photos and a barrel of laughter...and my soul is filled till the next time we meet.  The woman who participate are from a variety of background and ages. But, it matters not because coming together we talk, talk, talk, laugh, laugh, laugh and do a little stitching.  The laughter is not the polite little giggle but the belly laugh out loud and a required trip to the bathroom! 

Enjoy the slideshow the first part are photos of Woolie projects, a little show 'n tell followed by shots of what's new at QuiltWorks!  Only 3 more days of the Fabric Diet!!!!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Memories...there here someplace...

I was sent this video from a Woolie follower and it made me laugh out loud.  But then, I forgot what I was laughing about...NOT!!! lol  But the fact is I am finding that my memory is not what it used to be. When HH and I watch TV we are also googling the names of the actors because we not only can't remember their names we can't stand not remembering! If by chance we remember the name without googling we'll high 5 each other!  As I realize that I am looking at the downside of my '50s I seem to be more organized.  I no longer lose my keys because like a trained monkey I now put them in the exact same place each time I come into the house.  Reading pair for each room.  Instead of feeling like I am getting older...I kinda feel like I am more efficient.  The thing I like about myself is that i can put a positive spin on dirt!

From the same Woolie follower I received a surprise in the mail!  Corney as I call her (Cornwoman) or Mary as her family knows her sent me a kit! I much admired a wall hanging she had made of pumpkins and she found some extra cut out pieces for the pumpkins and sent them to me.  Quilters are the most generous people in the world.  Already cut and labeled with freezer paper I am ready to applique!  I think I will take them to retreat in April!  Thank you Corney you are wonderful!

have a great day I am heading out to work...I think???

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Embracing the Goodness of Life

I know that life can be challenging at times, whether it be family, work, friends, money...but the option of not embracing life is not so good either! lol  Being as human as the next person I can feel that tug sometimes to read the negative headlines, shake my head at the articles about my employer, wonder what someone was thinking...but, then I nudge my heart towards the message in The Power.  It is one of those books that I have read more than once because the message is soooo powerful.  Looking for the silver lining, keeping focused on the could I not with this little guy pretending to be an Angry Bird! LOL

I opened the newspaper this morning. One of my favorite morning rituals and I got all excited about an article on the "At Home" page called "Know when to fold 'em"  It was about making colorful napkins and I was loving the double sided look...then I checked out who the writer of the article was!!! Our very own Woolie follower, Linda Turner Griepentrog!  Congratulations Linda! How wonderful to see your name printed in the paper!  Today I am going to cut and organize napkin fabrics to take to retreat in April! 

I want to share with you one of those moments they talk about in The Power.  Believing in the Law of Attraction.  First...if you have been a reader of this blog you already know life in the kitchen is not a safe place for me...but, for whatever reason I decided I wanted to bake cookies for HH.  I searched the Pinterest site and found the perfect cookie for him (you can get the recipe off my pin board, labeled cookies).  Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip.  I was so proud of how they turned out that I thought to myself, I really wish I had a glass canister cookie jar with a chalk board where I could write what kind of cookies were in the jar!  As I was running errands listening to The Power on CD I decided to pop into Pier One.  You guessed it, the Laws of Attraction were at work because there was my cookie jar and the chalk was included!

Sorry for continuing to blab, blab, blab.  But the synapses are firing! lol  Anyhoo, If you are a quilter you know that sometimes you make a quilt just because you either like the pattern or the fabric.  You aren't even sure who's quilt you are making...but you know when the right person comes along the quilt will be theirs.  And so that is what has happened to my March UFO.  I loved the fabric and the pattern. When a co-worker was in need of a quilt hug I knew where this quilt would be living.  I found some wonderful warm minki for the back and have finished binding be delivered today.  Sometimes I walk into my sewing room and ask a quilt...where do you want to live or who do you belong too???

Today I head to QuiltWorks for Woolie Tuesday and according to the Law of Attraction I should have a bang up good time! LOL

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday A Day Of Rest...NOT!

There was no resting around this household.  It was freezing cold your fingers and nose felt numb cold.  HH had to climb a tall metal ladder to replace some burned out bulbs and his hands were almost frozen to the metal.  I intended to try and get to Joann's but instead headed to Micheal's to buy another bunch of yellow flowers for wedding center pieces.  I made myself a smoothie after talking to my son and his fiance on Skyp and she had a smoothie in her hand...yum.  She told me how to fix and it and voila...lunch! All I did was throw in a handful of frozen mango, strawberries, a banana, 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, teaspoon of ground flax seed and about 1/2 cup of liquid (used some sobee ice tea). Yummm

Putzed around the sewing room and decided to see if I could make that "feathers in the heart" block that I saved on my Pinterest quilt block bulletin board.  It turned out great!  I watched a "quilt toot" on my pin site that showed me how to paper piece.  I am still not sold on it...seems that you waste a lot of fabric...or maybe it is just me that can't figure out how not too! lol  I am going to make 6 of them and put them together into a wall hanging...cause I really love this and it will be a 4th of July decoration!

Today is Monday and it bring with it all the things that are about Mondays...hope yours is filled with hope.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adapting to Life

Last night Robin came over.  I made a short rib dinner for HH, Rob and I.  My sister had shared a great short rib recipe, the dinner turned out fabulous.  The dogs got 2 walks which helped with the stuffed feeling from dinner.  Afterwards we set to do a little stitching. Robin whipped out her head lamp. 

Some people are better at adapting to the ever changing landscape of life and for some flexibility eludes them.  I learn a lot from my friends on how to adapt to loss, aging...and all the changes that life can bring.  With that said...I wonder if I can find a headlamp with a red polka dot band???

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sweet Saturday

Today is a day of putzing and I am going to enjoy every second!  I am working on my free BOM from BJ's Quilt Basket.  This yearly project got off to a rough start but BJ's has gotten the program on a smooth ride.  I really love the blocks...they are different and I am so glad I chose the Christmas mystery.

Yesterday I had a fantastic morning.  By fantastic I mean fun, interesting and new.  The last time I had gone to a garage sale was when the kids were young and even then I probably could count on one hand how many time we went.  On the spur of the moment after looking through the classifieds I decided to go to 2 estate sales.  WOW.  The first one was run by a professional estate business.  You could show up an hour before the start of the sale and get a number.  I showed up 45 minutes before the start and I was number 70!!!  I didn't mind waiting for my number to be called because I met and talked with a whole crowd of people who do this on a regular basis!  Each room of the house was filled with a variety of items...and you could tell what the people who lived there liked...I pegged this one to either be a Budweiser exec...or a judge.  After an hour I had made my purchases.  3 ironstone plates, a carving set with carved stag horn handles made in Germany, a green milk glass mixing bowl and an original copy of the Rolling Stones Magazine with a nude John Lennon lying with Yoko Ono on the, fun, fun.

The second sale was scarier.  It was advertised as a Hoarders Sale.  Down a country road the property was covered with things to buy.  Apparently the owners had passed away but during their life had made a living selling second hand items.  It was fascinating to see what everyone was interested in...and I asked the person behind me if they started to worry about themselves when they see something like this...NOPE!  There was a wide range of stuff from the expensive art...down to toothpick holders.  I did leave a bid on 2 items which will be decided on Sunday, a wagon train painting and a casted metal Remington.  Actual purchase, 1 old blue glass bottle.

Am I hooked?...naw...will I do it again? was fun!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul...

I am not sure exactly why I am totally attracted to this block which I found on Pinterest.  I absolutely HATED  paper piecing from the first moment I attempted to master the technique.  Maybe it is because I am working through my fractured heart along with the rest of humanity and this block is called "feathers in the heart" and speaks to the pain, hope and beauty of living.  Anyhoo, I want to make a wall hanging using this block.  But...I hate paper piecing.  Why do I have such a difficult time with it because the technique forces you to think backwards and I have a hard enough time thinking forwards.  The right/left thing is something I always have to think through at work.  Some mornings (pre-coffee) I make the patient point to the place of surgery.  I know I am not the only person that has this challenge because now the surgeons are required to sign their initials on the side or part of surgery!  Here is the link for Feathers In My Heart

I remember there being a segment on Sesame Street that was about left and right. Maybe this will help me with paper piecing!

A couple of updates on the will notice that yesterday I was able to load the March free ornament of the month...yeah!  Such a cute little Scottie dog that Robin designed! And I removed my weight loss tracker.  Why? not because I am not still working on it but I am trying to tackle it in a different way.  I find weight loss is more in the brain and I continue to research that brain component. I am reading "A course in Weight Loss" by Marianne Williamson.  I know how to lose weight but keeping it in check is another ball game.  This year is my year of discovery!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Have Stars In My Eyes...Accept It! LOL

The "Honey Badger" never showed up to work yesterday.  It was a pleasant day where everyone showed up with their pleasant game faces.  I actually got off a couple of hours early which meant Enzo got a walk in the snow!  When he chases the geese I actually believe I hear

I saw this quote and thought if only we could all accept, life would be less painful.  As human beings we seem to have this need to be right rather than accept that sometimes we can only agree to disagree.  That is my thought of the day.

Since I got off a couple of hours early I not only walked Enzo but I took a nap and I finished my mini stars.  The free pattern can be accessed off my Pinterest site on the board called "Little Quilts" and if you click twice it will take you to the page on where the instructions are located.

Each star is 3 inches finished and took two carefully cut charms from a charm pack!

I just have to find some binding material in my stash and finish quilting!  

Hope your day is filled with stars!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

High Ho, High Ho, It's off to work I go...

I don't know about you but I CANNOT wait to see the movie Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts as the evil stepmother!  Although I do have to gives me pause that Julia who I think of as one of Hollywood's sexy leading ladies is now actually evil step mother material...I guess we all get older...but really...Pretty Woman to Mirror Mirror?!

I have been paying attention to the advice I am getting about moving, sewing and creating chaos in getting my Mojo flowing.  Yesterday Enzo and I headed out into the freezing cold.  Although it was only 34 degrees it felt much colder because of the wet! could I not do what this guy says!  Although the geese along the way were mighty ticked off at being rounded up by a poodle in a red jacket! lol

I loved the prints the geese leave.  It is funny because when he comes hauling they start honking.  Just as he comes up on their rear they will take off, fly a few hundred yards and land...then he comes running again and it is repeated over and over again...shear joy on his part! P O'd on their part. lol

It is not cooking but, I am REALLY proud about these prepared jars of salad for the week.  These jars represent the movement of my Mojo...and I can feel it!  I love the Pinterest many fabulous ideas and inspirations!

...and so as I head off to work...

....poor surgeons...ROFLOL

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Putt Putt...I Think I Can...I Think I Can...

I have been of late trying to chug a lug up the hill of life....but it is a challenge when there have been 7 coworkers who have lost a loved one in the last 6 months.  It seems someone is on bereavement leave every week...Yikes!  It seems to be the fate of the baby boomer generation...there are a lot of us.  And, our parents are living longer...but then the ticket get punched!  Whenever there is a loss it is like someone is peeling off the bandage on your own heart ((sigh)) what to do???  When I had my physical a couple of weeks ago my doctor said that although depression makes you not want to do anything...that in fact getting out and doing something helps the depression.  Yada, Yada, can know something but doing it is another thing all together!  Lucky for me Enzo spends a good portion of his time staring at me...that penetrating gaze.  He can stand in one spot for a very long time...just looking at me...trying to mind meld and say...Hey! You! with the droopy heart get off your A#$%. So we did.  We went for a very brisk walk and then ran errands and when we got home there was mail!  

I had purchased this cross stitch pattern which was to be inserted in a sewing box.  That pattern is Blackbird design and since I am officially a fan of Alma's I had to give it a try.  I will have to stain the box before I can insert all the little cross stitched pin cushions and panels.  Cute huh!

While running errands which included a pair of work out pants...cause I need to get my derriere (that french for A#$%) moving I found this metal easel at Fred Myers.  That is a local store that carries groceries to paint.  This will work perfectly for displaying any manner of framed quilt or stitchery.  It was only $13.99!

I finished this wool/embroidery project on the road trip home from the grandkids.  It speaks the I have felt this last 6 is the life in your years!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cross Eyed

Last week after visiting Acorns & Threads shop in Portland, Oregon I have become excited about my love of cross stitch.  I know exactly when I started cross was March 1989.  How do I know this?  I had made a permanent move with HH and our sons to Central Oregon in Dec. of 1988.  When I met HH in 1977 his father lived in Central Oregon so our vacations were always to Bend/Sisters. By 1988 we had loaded up our stuff and headed north.  I started working the evening shift at the community hospital in Redmond.  Lasted one month. As a labor nurse who was used to lots of activity I had landed in a place that had 3-4 deliveries a month and worked alone! I was pumping breast milk at work every night crying my eyes about postpartum hell!  After one month I changed jobs and became a labor nurse on the night shift in Bend which had a few more deliveries and most importantly I had co-workers.  This is where I met my friend Robin...who cross stitched.  I had previously done a little needlepoint but was immediately excited about learning to cross stitch.  Here are a few of my earlier pieces.

I am attracted to samplers...can you hear me Alma???  I am still have a dream of stitching, cooking, baking...just like YOU!

Robin made this lovely name plate for my birthday one year and it hangs proudly in my sewing room.  

Dale, a Fabric Stalker made this wonderfully funny wall hanging which graces a wall in my sewing room...cause she who dies with the most fabric, wins!!!  The star is all cross stitched with a variety of wonderful cross stitch techniques.  

This wonderful pumpkin cross stitch was made by Robin also and is a testament to our quiet understanding.

Here is another cross stitch I had created back in the 90's which goes to show that my tastes have remained somewhat the same...stretching back to our farm house prim days in California.

...and here is the latest...or oldest UFO...I know it must have been started back in the mid 90's and was almost 3/4 completed when I found it last week.  It will be a wonderful piece for our laundry room

The thing that totally cracks me up is that all of these are proudly displayed in my home and yet cross stitch seemed to have disappeared from my conscious brain!  Until I saw Button Up Your Overcoat on Anne's blog.  Now I can't stop thinking about it and already have 3 more projects on my list!  As I said in a previous blog, quilters usually are participating in complimentary crafts and the Fabric Stalkers are also knitters, cross stitchers, potters...and they all do WOOL! LOL  wonder why?

PS.  Happy Birthday Cakers!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 'o the Morn

This is my weekend to work at the hospital but I have got my corned beef and cabbage ready to go in the crock pot.  I thought this morning I would share  some photos from the weekend.  Because of the storms moving through the mountains we took the long way around to get home.  When ever we think about taking "the long way" around it sounds like such a boring hassle...but for us we get a whole different perspective of our state.  The long way takes us past some of the most beautiful scenery...following the Columbia Gorge on our left we see a waterfall about every quarter mile on our right.  This is one of the most famous, Multnomah Falls.  You can see a bridge between the trees at the bottom of the photo when you click to enlarge.  That is the "get wet" territory.

Bridel Veil Falls

I stopped at a little quilt store in Hood River...and as all quilt stores there is always something to think about while browsing.  It was small and had limited inventory more like a place you run down to looking for one piece to go with your stash.  I remember years ago it was in a cute old house.  Now it is upstairs in an office building.  There are so many selections for shop owners in the quilt world inventory that you typically find something you have never see before.  I thought this lunch bag looked cute.

...and I had never seen this fabric with scrabble printed on for the scrabble addicts!  Wonder when the Angry Bird fabric is gone make a debut.

If you are looking for either of these items you can check out their website at Every Thread Counts

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quilters Are Multi-talented!

I know I have bored you all with Wyatt this and Wyatt that...Byron this and Byron that...and of course Enzo.  I thought today I would give you a little diversion.  I have never met a quilter who didn't participate in another craft or art.  I know there may be someone out there that ONLY quilts but my experience has been that quilters also dive into other interests.  Books, scrapbooking, cross stitch, needle point, embroidery, knitting, rug hooking, crocheting, gardening, DIY's or cooking.  All you have to do is look at the Pinterest and you will see that every quilter...well every quilter is passionate about something other than quilting!

A couple of weeks ago when I was drowning in Pin heaven I found a cross stitch pattern that I just had to make.  On the Pinterest site I was able to locate a shop in the Portland, Oregon area that could mail order it for me.  I have not done cross stitch in a VERY long time...but I loved this little pattern and thought it would be a great way to pick it up again.  It seemed to be taking a little longer than my impatient stitching personality could handle and since I was heading up to see the kids I asked HH to drive me to the shop since it was not very far from where they live and I could personally ask about my order...OMG...I landed in cross stitch heaven!!!

Not only was the shop fabulous but Jeannine the owner and Laurie were so accommodating and friendly!  Turned out my order had gone out the day before and in fact I found it in my mailbox when I returned home yesterday.  They had thousands of treads, gazillion kinds of patterns and all the hardware to frame or use your stitched treasures.  Alma of Blackbird Designs will finally see that I can make up one of her designs!  Laurie was so sweet to give me a lesson on stitching because the last time I was cross stitching I was using a canvas with big holes and I wanted to try the linen types.

You will enjoy the slide show and if you are a cross stitcher or want to be I can tell you that Acorns & Threads is the place you want to order from, reliable and supportive!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

I Got The Baby!!!

Can we go see the baby? Can we, can we, can we???!!! I promise to keep my nose to myself...and I got a haircut!

Awww man I thought this was going to be a lot more fun than it's turning out to be....

Sniff, sniff, sniff...actually the bouquet is a little poo-eeee for me. But I do like it when it burps!

Listen, I have got to get in on the E-baby action...cause college is gonna cost a lot by the time I attend!

Hey...yeah...I got some vintage fabric that my nana has that I want to move...

Hmmm let me think about the price and get back to you.

I gotta expand my Pinterest site! I love the quilts but the cost vs income seems unbalanced...better call my Broker!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Believe In Something Greater Than Myself

I woke up yesterday morning and realized that there was something greater than myself out there and their names were Byron and Wyatt. It didn't matter my hourly wage, nor how great my dog is, whether HH listens to me (he does) much fabric I have...or if my manager approved my vacation request. The only thing I could think about is the need...the see my grandchildren!

The passes were slammed! We decided to go around the storm. Hurricane warnings on the coast...5 - 8 inches of snow on the passes. But with the grandparent need we trekked forward. Thank goodness for the IPad!!

The storm was definately thinking about the entire state of Oregon!!!

Burrrr was it cold!!!

But then we reached them!! The Angry Bird hat was purchased on the trip to SF for Wyatt but It fit Byron even better!!

We are blessed. Wyatt will never have to worry who has his back...his big brother Byron!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Living Large...NOT!

I think I might have mentioned this before on the blog...but, after all I am getting older and that allows me the opportunity to occasionally be a bore and repeat myself. LOL  Back in the in the mid to late 90's I refused to throw any scrap of fabric away.  The leavings off of flying geese...snowball know what I am talking about.  Perfectly cut fabrics in coordinating colors.  The result was piles of little pieces.  Thus, I became a Miniature Quilt piecer.  For a period of time I made mini creations, subscribed to Miniature Quilt Magazine (no longer in print) and was featured in two of their issues.

The design and quilt below I called Salt Water Taffy.  The finished blocks measure 1 1/4 inch!!!  I must have been nuts!

In a later issue I was featured with this little gem.  Sunbonnet Sue blocks finish at 2 inches...and NO I did not needle turn those little girls.  They are fused and button hole stitched.  I created little Yo yo's with antique pearl buttons.

I moved on from mini quilts, living large in the world of the big quilt until this last year when I started yearning for the little things in life.  But, I had given away all my little scraps.  Then Sunday I discovered the Sawtooth Quilt and blogged about it on Monday.  I just couldn't stop thinking about that little quilt.  I got up early yesterday morning booted up the sewing room lap top (hadn't been in there for a while) and took a look at the directions.  I decided to see if I could effectively make this quilt out of a 5 inch pack.

First with a cup of coffee on board I separated the pack into solid darker values and background pieces.

Out of 2 - 5 inch squares I could get all the pieces needed to make one star.  I changed the background directions from the pattern choosing to only use 2 fabrics for each star.  The fabrics on the right side of the photo are what was left over from the 2 - 5 inch squares with careful cutting.

The result, a cute 3 inch block!  How in the world I made a quilt block that finished at 1 1/4 inch is incredible.  I can only chalk it up to I was younger, better eye sight and not as cute as I am now ( not sure what cuteness has to do with it but hey, if you can't toot your own horn...right! ROFLOL