Monday, December 19, 2011

Scrappy Nines, Baked Pears and Joey

I am having so much fun working on Scrappy Nines, especially when I am in the company of the Thimbles group.  I love seeing what everyone else is working on and sharing the holiday spirit.
Mercidene (fellow Thimble) has all her nine-patches stitched together for her Scrappy Nine quilt.  I am doing them as I go, but I sure wish I had them all done waiting form me to use.  I am not very good at assembly line production; it would sure make quilt top assembly much faster.
Saturday I made some baked pears.  The recipe is simple: pears (seeds removed), raisins, 2 almonds (each pear), a shake of cinnamon and a half inch of water in the bottom of the pan.  I used the foil bits to keep the pears upright.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. The same recipe works for apples too.
Yummy and no guilt!
Joey has been in rare form.  It is difficult to get a shot of him, since he is seldom still.  Yesterday I was putting things in the attic; he followed me up there, and he was lost for a short period of time (seemed like an eternity).  I feared he'd fallen down a wall or something, but I kept calling him and he finally came to me.

A week ago Friday, when I was dropping off his birthday cake (happy 27 years Andy!), I mentioned to Andy that Joe jumps into the refrigerator every time I open it.  Every single time. Andy laughed and said that when Joey was a kitten he (Andy) used to put him in the fridge to keep him out of trouble. Wow. Really explains a lot.

And now Joey has learned to open the kitchen cabinets.  He runs through the house, grabs the cabinet doors and swings them open and runs off. We are "baby-proofing" with rubber bands. Seriously.
I love taking pictures of him, but his constant exploration and motion makes a good shot difficult.  I know my fancy-ass camera can capture motion, but I used my little point and shoot.  Here is what I got this morning:
Joe clearing out my clipped threads.
Joe wanting in the bookcase to rescue the "cats" trapped there.
Joe wanting to scatter Scrappy Nine parts stored in the box, but Kitten forbidding him.
She looks a little annoyed; doesn't she?
Someone told me that her kitten was uber explorative like Joe, and he never grew out of it.
Oh dear.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thank you and Joey mischief

I had a request from Diane for a copy of one of Mom's (Linda Brannock's) old patterns (Dresden Hearts).  It took me a lot of digging in the studio attic, but I finally located the pattern and sent it to Diane. I didn't expect her to send me these beautiful fat quarters as a thank you. They are so my palette.
Thank you Diane!  I love these fabrics.
While I was in the attic, I found a "vintage" Angler. You see the date?  It says 1993.  That's probably when Mom bought it. It finally got used this weekend.
I got a couple more blocks done on Scrappy Nines from the book Spotlight on Neutrals by Pat Wys. You learn a lot about color value and print scale as you work on this quilt.  I always learn better hands on.  You can tell me something until you are blue in the face (I feel my mother nodding as she reads this), but put me to work on it, and things finally make sense. They call it kinesthetic learning (from Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory).
I think cats learn the same way.
I was cooking when I spotted something out of place in the dining room.
Okay, my dining room has lots of stuff out of place; it is a mess, but do you see what I am talking about?
Joey has decided his favorite daytime hiding place is on top of the china cabinet, and I caught him readying to jump up there. Sheesh. I think the Tiffany Lamp needs to be moved; his return trip could affect the lamp. I've already moved the figurines from atop the sconces.  All glass and ceramic items that can be damaged are sitting on the floor waiting for Joey to grow up.  I learned not to take a chance with breakables when Kitten broke that precious bowl the Arts & Sciences division gave me as a wedding present.
Joey is a good companion when I am sitting and reading though.

The doctor's office called me twice last week to come have another blood test.  The one I had December 2 showed my kidneys are messed up again and my potassium level is too high.  I am now keeping a health journal to see if I can identify things that are harming my kidneys and to keep an eye on my blood pressure.
Cat's paws (still attached to the cat) are good luck.
I can believe that if I want too.
It is the season of believing.
"As in mind, so in manifestation."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Workshop, yoyos and animals

Saturday I had fun with the Spirited Quilter's bunch and Pat Wys. Pat has a book out (pictured), and we worked on making the cover quilt.  I love it. Love, love, love it!
If you are a Silver Thimble Club (Pat Wys' club) member, you may have seen me working on un-sewing some yo-yos a friend of mine made.  I gave the fabric back to her, all ironed flat, along with a Clover yo-yo maker, and we had a little lesson. Now she makes perfect yo-yos every time and she made this lovely pillow (above).  Good work Sarah!
I had a doctor visit on Friday at which he pronounced my cowboy boots unfit apparel for my feet.  He wants me to wear only tennis shoes.  I bought "comfort shoes" to wear to work as I can't seem to wrap my mind around wearing tennis shoes all day unless I am on a tennis court. (but that's just me)
Joey is getting too big for my lap.  His cuddly baby kitty days are over.  He likes to explore and play out big adventures.
The boys (below) are getting old, so they just chill most of the time.
That's okay by Joey.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So much stuff

You ever have so much stuff in your head that it drives you crazy, and then you sit down to make a blog post?All gone.  All of it.  I need to start taking a notebook with me when I leave the house, since I usually think of things to write when I am out walking. (Although, I am pretty sure nothing of profound gravity will escape the vaporous confines of my cranium in any case.)

Oh yeah.  Walking.  Thursday morning I went for a run/walk.  Then I could barely walk the rest of the day.  Seems whatever is going on with my left foot gets WAY worse when I run/walk. WAY, way worse.  Like crawl to the bathroom if you have to go kind of worse. Friday I went swimming.  Yesterday (probably today too) I rested. I see the doctor Friday.
I put the pedal to the metal to get this lap quilt done for my MIL. Nothing fancy. I used my walking foot on all the quilting and quit when I finished the 4th bobbin. I finished the blue linen binding at 4:00 a.m.

I like the way it came out.  Simple though it is.
Joey likes it too.
Good for rolling about.
Until Kitten shows up.
Don't work to hard this week. Next Saturday I am going to a workshop with Pat Wys.  I have no idea what fabric I will use, but I intend to start the Scrappy Nines from the cover of her book.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Slow Time

And spent some time working on this quilt until my Joey fell asleep on it which made me have to change thread so I could zig-zag more karate belts together.
Kitten slept on the already-stitched belts.  I am still not sure what the belts will end up being, so I will put them away for now. 

Today is swimming and shopping day.  I may sneak off to church too. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Other things going on

Mom took a class from Karen K. Stone some 6 or 7 years ago. Paper piecing was not Mom's idea of fun (even with Robyn Pandolph fabric), so she put the project away.  I never saw it until last year when Mom was cleaning out her studio.

The light was not quite right, and the whole quilt photo was not good.  I will try again soon. 
I strongly suggested we finish Rattlesnake, so we commenced working on it whenever I was able to fly up to visit her.  Last visit it had come back from the quilter and Mom had a binding choice picked out.  I suggested another binding that she already had cut and was the same fabric as the inner border.  Finally, she let me bring it to my house to finish up the binding.
I am liking this quilt (that sounds ridiculous; I totally love this quilt).  It is the only one Mom and I have worked on together.  I wish, wish, wish I lived closer to her so we could work on more projects together.
Meanwhile, at my house, the karate belts got a good washing and hung up to dry; then I started zig-zagging them together until I ran out of thread.
On my run to the store for more thread, I stopped by the thrift shop. It was my lucky day.  I was getting into the check out line to purchase a novel when I spied a colorful jacket.
Oh dear, five dollars worth of heaven on a hanger!  
Ellis Island is the novel I picked up, and then I stopped at the library to pick up a reserve they had waiting for me. I am reading The Warmth of Other Suns first, since it has to go back to the library.  I may not be doing any sewing this weekend.  You absolutely cannot put "Suns" down once you start it.  I am not going to say more about it except this: Get the book.  Read it.
And thank God for all the blessings in your life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Good Sunday

I bought this vintage gem of a New Home machine at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago.  When I got home and plugged it in it ran, but would not stop.  A friend in the HVAC department at work thought he could fix it, but we needed to work out a time for him to come get it with his truck.  This morning I decided it must be able to come out of the cabinet, so, armed with a screwdriver, I set to work getting it out of the cabinet.  Long story short; the motor now works with the knee bar!  Yeah me!  Now I have the challenge of finding a bobbin case for it.  
I had made some last minute purchases at the Georgia Quilt Show when it was here.  I couldn't let Primitive Gatherings and Auntie Ju's booths leave Atlanta without buying something.
Okay, let me explain this picture.  Remember I was cleaning out that storage unit?  I found a box of old karate belts that I'd collected from the karate school where I used to work in the 90s.  I'd made a pillow case from karate belts back then, and I'd wanted to make something else too, but never got around to it.  Last night I washed all the belts and hung them (all over the place) to dry.  What am I going to do with them?  Huh. I still don't know, but pictures will record whatever happens to them.
Kitten is just glad her favorite quilt is back from hanging in the shows.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good Trade

I gave Dad his airplane quilt. He gave me a gooseberry pie. Good trade in my book.
Mom is doing well.  She looks wonderful.  I am concerned she is not doing enough exercising that new knee; she is also supposed to be checking her blood sugar, but that is not something she is interested in at all. I motivate students all day long at work, but I am at a loss how to motivate my mother. Actually, I don't motivate anyone.  I take the little sparks of effort a student makes and fan them to flames. Students do all the work.  I guess I am somewhat of a bellows?
While I was in Missouri I spent some time in the sewing studio adding binding to the Rattlesnake quilt.  I heard tap, tap, tapping outdoors, so I went to investigate and found a companion. This little woodpecker was busy enlarging the "door" of the birdhouse.
My great-grandmother, Stella Mae Irvin, who, with her husband Frank, lived on a farm in central Missouri near Versailles, made this baby quilt when my mother was pregnant with me.  I love this little quilt.  None of the knots are buried.  It represents my great grandmother's fearlessness and determination in quilt making, and, most of all, her blind, steadfast love for her family.  
It is the most beautiful quilt in my life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Georgia Quilt Show

And my second machine-pieced (on my Featherweight) and  machine-quilted (on my old New Home machine) quilt was hanging in the show.  It is fun to have a quilt hang in a show, if you have not submitted an application for a show, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let's go slow

This is what greeted me when I went back to my sewing room after taking a break.  Little Joey finally taking it slow.  At breakfast Jojo noticed the blood pressure cuff on the table.  He went into stalker mode, lined himself up with the circle of the cuff and dove head first into it.  His little head was all that made it into the blood pressure cuff.  I laughed my butt off.  He is so funny.
I decided he needed a collar especially for him (instead of Kitten's hand-me-downs).  He looks good in baby boy blue.
I will let him rest for now, but he is lying on Dad's Airplane Quilt.  The one that has been UFO for a couple of years.  I finally quilted it, and now I am getting the binding stitched down (when Joe lets me).