Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Looks like I'm homebound for the rest of the week. I went to visit the doctor this afternoon and he confirmed that I have the flu. So, I'm out of work until next Monday and have been instructed to relax and take it easy. I stopped at my chiropractor's office which is next door to my doctor and he told me to take elderberry extract as it's proven to shorten the duration of the flu symptoms by several days. So, I'm taking that along with Motrin and will be back to normal in no time.

Maybe I should rest at my sewing machine?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Carpenter's Wheel

I didn't have a very productive weekend. We spent all day Saturday running errands. By dinner on Saturday night I wasn't feeling very well and by the time dinner was over I was running a fever and feeling awful. I slept on the sofa until bedtime, then skipped church yesterday morning and slept. By late morning, I had moved downstairs to sleep. That was a big accomplishment! So, throughout the course of the afternoon and early evening, I took naps and when I was awake I hand sewed the little blue triangles to the edges of my block. I love how this block has turned out! I think that rather than put the corner triangles on to square it up, I'm going to make the corner triangles from the same fabric as the background (once I find the perfect fabric!) so that it maintains the shape it's in now. Then I will handquilt it and hang it in my bedroom.
I do feel slightly better today (thank you Motrin!) so I'm going to try to load a quilt this morning and run to the post office to ship another quilt. Then I'll go to work this afternoon. I'm hoping that the students who were absent last week will be in to finish their quilt blocks today, then I can get started putting their quilt together. We're raffling the quilt off to the students at the end of the year, so they were all very excited on Friday when most of them earned their first raffle ticket!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This and that...

I wanted to share this customer quilt with you. It was a block of the month which she set with large 4 patches on point and I really liked how it turned out. The colors are so soft, the florals were very pretty. She didn't do the border that was supposed to be on it because she liked it this size. Just wanted to share with all of you sampler lovers!

The next quilt on the machine will be a dresden plate made of 30s repros. It's very pretty.

I'm almost done handpiecing my carpenter's wheel block...I just have the background to stitch on. I love how it's turning out. I'll probably find a border fabric for it and make it into a wallhanging for my bedroom.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Presents for Puppies...

I had the most relaxing weekend. I swear I did not leave my sewing room except to sleep and eat! Tomorrow is the day I start my quilting project with the 5th grade class I assist. I spent yesterday cutting out the fabrics that we will be using...about 25 muslin squares and about 60 fabric squares. As I was pulling fabrics for the colored squares, I decided not to use more than one square of a fabric. Did I have any trouble finding 60 different fabrics? NO!!!! Many of them were small pieces and were 5-10 years old, but they were still quilt shop quality fabrics.

As I was cutting, I decided that I would cut what was left of the smaller pieces and older fabrics into strips. I reduced the size of my fabric stacks quite a bit and have lots of 2.5", 2" and 1.5" strips to play with! Then I came across a stack of small pieces of flannels that were left over from projects or I had received in swaps. I cut them into 4" strips and did a quick strippy quilt for the dogs. They love to lay in my sewing room when I'm working, but don't like laying on my hard floor. I had a ratty Mickey Mouse fleece throw on the floor, but felt they should have a quilt. I put together the top, put it right sides together with the back and 2 layers of poly batting, sewed the edges, birthed it and just quilted in the ditch in every other strip. As soon as I lay it on the floor, both dogs came in the room from the carpeted hallway where they'd been laying all day and lay down on the quilt together. I felt like such a good mom! :o) Sam came back later and posed for a picture.

Other than cutting, making this little quilt, a little bit of cooking and church, I have done nothing all weekend. That's all kept me quite busy! I'm going to work on my hand piecing tonight...if I don't fall asleep first. All that cutting can be tiring!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thank you!

I want to thank everyone who suggested that I hand piece my carpenter's wheel block. I started piecing it on Tuesday and I can't believe how well it's going! The bias is not a problem so far and when I pressed what I had done this morning, it lay perfectly flat. I'm enjoying this so much. I especially love how the back looks.

I know...I'm way to excited about this! :o)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Another finish!

A few years ago I flew down to Texas to visit a dear friend. Another friend flew in from Minnesota and we went to a cabin in Louisiana and spent a few days quilting. We all made Ricky Timm's Convergence Quilts. This is one of the 3 I made. Over the weekend I finally put borders on the quilt and today I quilted and bound it. It will live in my studio as a quilting sample.

My son went back to school today, so now I can go steal the log cabin quilt off of his bed, measure it and see how much bigger I need to make the 25 patch quilt for the other bed. I'm hoping I can make it the same size by adding an extra border or two, rather than having to make more rows of blocks! Next on the machine are some customer quilts, then I hope to find time to finish another of my own. I'm really enjoying finishing things for a change!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

And so it begins...

Tonight we had our first Canoe Carnival 2006 meeting. What is Canoe Carnival? It is a festival, particular to our little town. Every summer, we take two canoes, wrap them in plastic so they can't take on water, put a 16 x 20 foot aluminum platform on top of them and build some sort of ridiculous float on top. About 15 groups in town do this, then on the first Saturday in August, we parade them around one of our lakes after sunset, they are judged and someone wins. It's a huge party all summer, involving lots of beer, wine, food, water, power tools and bandaids. We joined a new float group 2 years ago and this was our float from that year. "King Tut" was our theme, our music was the song by Steve Martin and my son played King Tut and danced on the float all the way around the lake. I made his skirt...along with a camel who spit water, but is not in the picture!

Last year our theme was "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". We had everything from Lucy to the newspaper taxi. Our Tangerine Trees had a little problem though. They were about 20 feet tall and as they were paddling around the lake, one of the trees hit a branch hanging over the lake, and as you can see in the second picture, it is not quite as tall as it started out!

We will be determining our theme for this year's float at our next meeting and it will be kept secret until we put the float on the lake in the last week of July and others can see it. Tomorrow I promise I'll post something quilty...just wanted to share our little carnival with you!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I've been tagged...

by Jeanne! So, I guess I'll answer this meme...

Four jobs you've had: 3rd grade teacher, adult school calligraphy instructor, church secretary, longarm quilter and teacher's aide. (I know, that's 5...and there are more!)
Four movies you could watch over and over: The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate about You, any Harry Potter movie, Tortilla Soup
Four places you've lived: Collingswood, NJ, Sicklerville, NJ, Brentwood, NY, Medford Lakes, NJ.
Four TV shows you love to watch: I don't watch much TV, but will occasionally watch HGTV and House. I've noticed a trend here...
Four Places You've Been on Vacation: Beaches in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Vermont (my favorite place!), Hawaii, Newport, RI.
Four Websites You Visit Every Day: Stash Quilt webring, Mavericks webring, Medford Lakes Schools website, then I go wandering...
Four Of Your Favorite Foods: homemade macaroni and cheese, beef stew, chocolate chip cookies, mashed potatoes (comfort foods!)
Four Places You'd Rather Be: Vermont, on a quilting retreat, in a cabin in the mountains, or at home...I like it here. :o)
Four Albums you can't live without: Garth Brooks- Double Live, any John Denver, Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, Les Miserables soundtrack
Four People you'll pass this on to: Finn and anyone else who may be interested!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Two of my favorite 70's soundtracks were "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar". My kids listen to Superstar all the time. So for Christmas, my daughter decided to get me the movie. She didn't get the 70's version, but one made in 2000 which was almost a biker version. Quite interesting. This led us to Amazon, where we were able to get both the 70's version and a copy of Godspell. They arrived yesterday.

I loved the Jesus in Godspell. I thought he had a great voice. So, I looked at his name and saw it was Victor Garber. That didn't ring any bells, so I googled him. Turns out he's the same guy who plays Jennifer Garner's father in Alias! I can't believe it's the same guy, I never would have recognized him. It's amazing what 30 or so years can do to a person. I think he has aged rather well! :o) So, last night I sat and watched Godspell while I worked on hand quilting some old blocks from a swap many years ago. Quite a pleasant evening!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pretty in Pink

Just finished the little log cabin baby quilt for a customer and it was so sweet I thought I'd share.
Last night I cut all the alternate blocks and side triangles for the 25-patch quilt and started putting it together. When I finished I was 2-9.5" squares short of fabric to make the corner triangles! I should have enough to piece the squares together so I can finish the quilt. I guess that's what happens when you work from your stash. I did find the fabric I'm using online, but don't want to add it back into my stash, so I'll do the best I can with what I have!

Monday, January 09, 2006

New Project

How do I let myself get talked into things? I'm an instructional assistant in a 5th grade classroom, with the teacher who my two daughters had for 5th grade. She's a wonderful lady and I just love being in her classroom. The students started a chapter in geometry today. What goes better with geometry than a quilting project? So...you guessed it, I'm in charge! I've decided we'll be doing a stretched star quilt. It will be easy for the children to sew the squares on the diagonal for each corner, then we'll trim them, flip them back and be done with the blocks. The blocks will be 10.5" unfinished, which will leave the muslin centers big enough for their hand to be traced with a Sharpie. Then they will color them in, I'll take them home to press them and bring them back in for the kids to sew them together. This quilt will be tied so that the kids can do that too.

The best part of it is that each week, if the kids get all their work done, they receive a treat. From now on, if they earn a treat, they will also earn a raffle ticket for the quilt. At the end of the year, there will be a drawing and one of the children will win the quilt. As soon as I have some pictures I'll post them. It should be a fun project!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Decision Made...

After a great deal of consideration, I've sent the Batik Stars quilt off to Keepsake Quilting to be sold. If it doesn't sell, then I'm meant to keep it. Thanks to everyone who gave me their input on whether or not to sell it. Since it was made with selling it in mind, once I got past the emotional "I love it!" I realized that I could let it go. So, hopefully I've made the right choice...if not I'll just have to make another star quilt!

Thanks also to everyone who offered me hand piecing advice. I've decided that I will hand piece the Carpenter's Wheel block and see how it goes. If it's not going well, it will be back to the machine!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Internet is back!!!

I'm a happy quilter today, our wireless internet connection is back! Our new router arrived yesterday and my son spent about 3 or 4 hours on the phone with various tech support people until he finally got it working.

This little quilt is one that I did several years ago and it hangs in my sewing room. It was a round robin...I made the center compass and appliqued the tulips and vines. It moved on from there. It's not a very clear picture, sorry about that, I should go take another one! I machine quilted it and it's one of my favorites.

I was reading Judy's blog about doing pantos and I have to admit, I'm panto challenged! I've done a few, but really have a hard time with them, mainly because I'm a migraine sufferer and the laser light gives me migraines. I also just can't seem to follow lines...does that make me maverick if I can't stay in the lines? LOL

I haven't had a chance to quilt in 2 days and I'm going through withdrawal. I've got a customer quilt to load on the machine, but want to vacuum the house first, so that's out of the way. I also pulled out a "Carpenter's Wheel" block that I had cut out when we lived in New York...ohhhh...8 years ago! I just cut out one and it's beautiful. I'm thinking of hand piecing it, but I've never hand pieced before. Are there any tricks I should know about, especially since most of it is diamonds and triangles and there are LOTS of bias edges to be sewn? I could also pull out my featherweight for this. I've had it for a year and a half and it hasn't been out of its case. :o(

I think I'll also make a dessert so my family won't disown me...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Project...

The girls are back to school, my son spent the night at a friend's house and isn't home, I've cleaned the house, done 3 loads of laundry and I'm ready to leave for work...so I have a minute and the computer is all mine!!! Since I haven't gotten much computer time, I've put in a lot of time in my sewing room. Pretty good trade off! I've taken my 2" strips from the log cabin quilt and started the quilt for the other bed in the room. I've made 30 - 25 patch blocks and need to make 5 more. I'll be setting them on point with a tan fabric, then hopefully use the same inner and outer border as I did on the log cabins so the two quilts sort of match. Everything will be from my stash!

I haven't even started thinking about my UFO list...that will come soon. I know I don't have too many and most of what I do have just need quilting and binding. Okay...need to have a quick lunch before I leave (leftover honey mustard chicken and rosemary risotto, yum!). Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

I wish all of you a peaceful and blessed new year! I've found the many posts on goals and aspirations for the new year to be inspiring. I'll be posting more soon, however we're having some computer problems. Our wireless router went bad and only the PC has internet access right now. So, I can't log on from my laptop, nor can my son from his. As you can imagine, computer time is at a premium around here! Our new router is expected to be shipped on Tuesday, so hopefully the problem will be resolved by the end of the week. In the meantime, I'll be reading everyone's blogs and hopefully will steal a few minutes to say hi now and then!