Monday, October 29, 2007

The Red Sox Win, Almost Twin Quilts and 200 Posts

Yup, sometime around midnight the Red Sox swept the Rockies and won the World Series! Did you hear me yelling from where you live? DS, DIL, DS and I watched the whole game. It was a great game. I think all of us stopped breathing as we watched Jacoby drift back to catch the ball for the second out in the ninth inning. And when Papelbon struck out Seth Smith swinging we screamed and yelled and had a huge group hug. Tomorrow is the victory parade in downtown Boston and we have to miss it. Oh well, that's what a DVR is for, right?

Now we can continue to focus on the Patriots. This weekend is the big game with the Indianapolis Colts. The only undefeated teams left standing in the NFL. The Pats are 8-0 and the Colts are 7-0. They should have a good game.

I did get a lot of sewing time in this weekend. On Saturday I worked on the mystery quilt I'm testing. Yesterday I worked on the mystery quilt and on my never ending Butterfly quilt. Some of you have asked where can they find the Mystery Quilt. Ann, the designer, presents the quilt over New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. If you'd like a list of the Yahoo groups on which she will present the quilt, send me an email and I will share the list with you.

In between all of that DIL and I each made a Wicked Easy quilt top. These are the kits I cut up last Sunday while working off nervous baseball energy. I used 10 FQs of fabric from the Lakehouse DayZ fabric line and two FQs from my stash. I don't have any good fabric for the inner borders, binding and backing so DIL and I will head to Marden's this coming Saturday to find some fabric for each of us. DIL's quilt is on the left with all the pink fabrics in the bottom row. Mine is the other quilt. I think I'm going to call mine "Sunglasses Needed".

It was fun working on the same quilt pattern with the same pool of fabrics with my DIL. I am more of a "just grab a piece and sew" quilter. My DIL chose her pieces very carefully to make sure they didn't match too much. I chain piece as much as possible and don't snip my pieces apart until after I iron them. My DIL sews one pair of squares together at a time and then irons it before moving on to the next block. I'm not sure if she is unsure of her sewing skills or if she like the instant gratification you get from seeing each piece come together rather than wait until you've finished sewing a whole stack of blocks. What do you think?

Well, this is my 200th post. If you've left a comment since last Thursday, you're already in the drawing. If you've haven't left one and want to be in the drawing, you have until Wednesday night when I will draw the name of the lucky winner.

That's all the news for now. With the baseball season over I can go to bed early and not have to worry about missing a baseball game. I didn't realize how tired I was until I got home from work tonight. I can't even begin to imagine how tired a baseball player must feel after the end of a season. As for me, I'm headed to bed to cuddle under my Wicked Girly quilt. Tonight the temp will get down to nearly freezing and the wind chill will make it feel like it is below freezing. Brrrrrr. I think I'll be able to wear my new winter coat to work tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Three Down, 1 To Go

The Red Sox keep winning. Before last night's game all the sports reporters kept talking about the Rockies offense and how it would show up last night. They also talked about the Red Sox not being used to playing in the higher altitudes may affect their play. They also talked about not having a designated hitter would hurt the Red Sox.

Well, the Rockies offense did show up. But it still wasn't enough for the Red Sox who apparently weren't affected by the higher altitude. Even Dice-K, the pitcher, got a 2 run hit - the first Japanese pitcher to every do that. A 10-5 win for the Sox means they only have to win one more game to win the World Series.

That means this afternoon and evening will be a big sports time in our house. The Patriots play at 4:15, then about an hour after that game is over, the Red Sox/Rockies game will be on. What a great way to end the weekend.

I haven't spent my entire weekend watching sports. Friday night DH and I got to babysit our youngest nephew and niece. Our nephew is 3 years old and quite the talker. Anyone who comes over to his house has to spend the first 15 minutes being shown his Thomas the Train set up in his bedroom. Our niece is just a little over a year old and she is in the "I'm going to be wherever you are" stage. At the dinner table our nephew started playing a color game. "Let's talk about blue" he would say and then we would have to look around the dining room and kitchen to find blue objects. From blue we went to just about every other color he would see. It was a lot of fun.

Yesterday I spent the day working on the mystery quilt I'm testing. I can't show photos of it, but so far it is an easy and fun quilt to make. Today (before the sports bedlam start) I'm going to work on the mystery quilt some more until DIL comes over and we will work on the Wicked Easy quilts we cut out last week until the Patriots game.

I did have an interesting mail day yesterday. Last weekend I ordered Judy Laquidara's Nine-Patch Extravaganza book. I've done a cursory reading of it and like what I seen so far, especially her borders. I've been want to make borders that aren't simply strips and she has some great borders in her book. In July, Paula the Quilter , showed an adorable wall hanging she made - You've Stolen My Heart - from the book Applique 12 Easy Ways by Elly Sienkiewicz. Since then I've been checking for the book and last week a seller had it for $1.89 plus shipping. Needless I ordered it right away. Not a bad deal for about $5. The current issue of Fons and Porter's magazine also came yesterday.

But the biggest surprise in my mailbox was a jury summons. Yup, it's my turn for jury duty. I have report the three weeks after Thanksgiving. Every Monday morning I have to show up and see if I get picked for that week. I know I've been wanting time off from work, but somehow jury duty is not what I had in mind. I think I need some big thick quilt book to keep me occupied, or maybe I'll just bring my design pad and design away. Any other suggestions for jury duty?

This is my 199th post. I'm hoping my 200th post will be celebrating the Red Sox winning the World Series. Remember, if you leave a comment you'll be entered into a drawing for a goodie package. In the meantime - GO SOX and GO PATS!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One Down, Three to Go

The Red Sox crushed the Rockies last night in Game 1 of the World Series 13 - 1. One win down, three to go. Tonight Schilling is pitching and so far he looks good.

I cut the fabrics for my mystery quilt last night. No strip was wider than 5 1/2 inches and was no smaller than 1 3/4 inches. The only other size was three inches. There are quite a few 3 inch squares and the instructions say to draw a diagonal line on the back side of the blocks. I'm guessing that means snowball blocks. We'll see.

Ann has posted 5 clues of the mystery and I'm resisting looking at them until Saturday. I plan on making a pot roast in the crock pot and sewing the day away until Game 3 of the World Series that night. So tell me, do you have a favorite pot roast crock recipe? I'm always looking for a different recipe to try.

I found a package in my mail today from Kim at Kim's Quilting Adventures. She had emailed me recently and said she saw something that would be perfect for me. She was right. She sent me this Lace Tales Teapots pattern. As soon as I finish my current stitchery project I will definitely try one of those wonderful teapots. Thanks Kim!

I'm at 198 posts. I guess that means it's time for a drawing for my 200th post. So leave a comment between now and the time I write my 200th post and you'll be entered into the drawing for a goodie package.

It's chilly here in New England tonight - 42 degrees. I guess fall is truly here. Today the parking lot was full of leaves and I took a few extra steps through the piles of leaves and kicked them high into the air. Something I loved to do as child. Now I'm ready for bed in my warm woolies. The only thing I need right now is a pair of socks on. My feet are freezing. So, if you'll forgive me, I'm off to get on some socks and watch the rest of the ball game.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Time For A Mystery

Do you remember my Senior Year Class Project? I chose Kathy's suggestion to make a mystery quilt outside my normal color range. Well, the opportunity to accomplish that has come.

I'm testing a mystery quilt for a designer on one of my Yahoo groups. I recently purchased 3 cuts of Thimbleberries fabric just for this purpose. I am not a fan of Thimbleberries. I find the colors too muted for my personal tastes. Unfortunately, the pattern calls for 3 1/2 yards of a background fabric. I don't have any cuts of fabric that big so I had to go shopping. I chose the red and yellow Thimbleberries fabric and today I found a green print to use as the background for the quilt. What do you think of my choices?

The fabrics are washed and ready for ironing and then cutting. Stay tuned for my progress on this quilt.

Go Red Sox!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Finally Some Sewing Time

I finally got some play time in my studio today. I started off the morning working on the butterfly blocks for the baby quilt I'm working on for a co-worker.

Then while DH was taking a morning nap (he is still adjusting to our time zone) I cut the fabric for the tablecloth shown above. Then when he woke up I sewed it together. I had enough fabric so I could use the WOF of the fabric as a long center piece and then I was able to match the plaid with two side pieces. I still have to hem it, but I love the way it fits into the colors in my dining room.

This afternoon I did some planning on my mom's Shoo-Fly quilt. I was too tired and achy to do much of anything else. Plus I watched the Patriots beat up on the Dolphins.

Tonight I had a burst of nervous energy waiting for the Red Sox/Indians Game 7 to start so I decided to have a mini cutting party. I cut 100 nickel squares for the Shoo Fly quilt. Then I cut napkins from the leftover table cloth fabric. Next up was binding for one of DIL's quilt. And to finish up the evening I took a package of 10 FQs from the Lakehouse Collection and added 2 FQs and cut them all up to make 2 Wicked Easy baby quilts. DIL and I will sew these quilts up next Sunday before the Patriots game.

Do you hear the contented sigh coming through the computer? That's me feeling happy and content at having spent so much time playing with fabric today. Also the Red Sox are going to the World Series and the Patriots are still undefeated! Life is good in New England tonight.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've Been Tagged and Did Some Shopping

Laila tagged me for the Meme and I'm finally getting around to doing it.

4 jobs I've had:
library aide
waitress, waitress and waitress
switchboard operator in a department store
Director of Sales & Marketing Administration

4 films I could watch over & over:
Gods & Generals
Tora, Tora, Tora
Sound of Music
(yes, I generally like war movies)

4 TV shows I watch:
The Unit
Criminal Minds
Patriots football and Red Sox baseball

4 places I have lived:
Blaine, Minnesota
Orlando, Florida
Norfolk, Virginia
Dover, New Hampshire

4 favorite foods:
Coffee (is that a food?)
Did I say steak?

4 place I love to be right now:
Right here in Dover, NH
Australia (meeting my online quilt buddies)
Anywhere there is snow
In bed

4 names I love but would/could not name my children:
Amanda Michelle

Since this Meme has been going around for a while, consider yourself tagged if you haven't done it yet.

On another note, DH and I went shopping today. We were going to shop in Boston, but the city was packed with people seeing the Head of the Regatta, along with 2 conventions, a hockey game, and if that wasn't enough, the Red Sox play tonight. Instead we went to the Outlet Shops in Kittery, ME. I usually have very little luck when it comes to clothes and shoe shopping. But today I was 3 for 3 in shopping. First DH took me into the Cole Haan store. Not a store I would have ever thought for buying clothes for me. As we walked into the store, the clerk told us that all the coats in the store were on sale for $99. OK, so I thought I'd check them out. I need a new winter coat. I took this coat off the rack and tried it on. I like it. The hood is very furry, but I couldn't resist it. I looked at the price tag and the original price was $695 and I got it for $99! How cool is that? Bring on the winter.

I've been whining about not being to find boots that don't look clunky and don't have spike heels that I can wear in the office in the winter. I've been looking for these boots for 3 years. I found this pair in the 2nd store we walked into. These boots were half price - $40.

The last store we went into was Van Heusen. I thought they only carried men's clothes. But I was wrong. I walked out of there with a pair of black trousers and a gray pinstripe suite for about $90 - again less than half price!

I was so psyched to have found all these deals. I don't what I did to deserve such luck, but I'm enjoying it.

DH is home from Europe and will be home for 3 weeks. He said the same thing I've been thinking - I can't wait for life to get back to normal. 9 - 5 work days and no work interruptions at all hours of the day. How sweet it is to have him home. (Especially since he paid for all my purchases today!)

Tomorrow I'll be able to get back into my sewing room. I have some HSTs to make for a baby quilt. We are going to look at a house tomorrow. Our never ending house/condo hunt continues.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do You Have a Least Favorite Day of the Week?

Wednesday's are my least favorite day of the week. I suppose you're wondering why. If there is one day of the work week when the world seems to come crashing down on my desk. Everyone wants everything done and wants it done yesterday. It never fails. Today was no exception.

It started with my morning phone call with DH who is in Rome this week. Husband and wife conversation soon turned to work talk and my work day was running over 100 miles an hour and I was still damp from my morning shower. (Now that paints an interesting picture, doesn't it?). Once I got to the office I spent my morning directing others, putting out fires and keeping bosses in Rome happy. I didn't get to sit down and do some of my own work until nearly 1 pm. That left 4 hours to do 8 hours worth of work.

I'm not kidding when I say nearly every Wednesday is similar. I have a working theory about office work flow. On Mondays people are trying to get a handle on their work week. On Tuesday they are a little more focused on their work list. On Wednesday they are beginning to panic about uncompleted tasks and everything has to get done NOW! On Thursday they start thinking about the weekend. On Friday it's all about the weekend.

Saturdays and Sundays are the best. That's when I get to play in my studio and enjoy myself.

Do you have a least favorite day of the week?

Don't forget to check out Wildcraft Farm's Christmas special. Buy your Christmas gifts now and have them delivered for you.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Do Some Holiday Shopping for You or Someone Else

Would you like to find a truly surprise Christmas gift just for you under your tree? Or perhaps there's a special quilter or stitcher on your Christma? Or maybe you celebrate Hanukah? Check out Wildcraft Farm's Special Offer.

Wouldn't this be a great way to do some holiday shopping and help someone else out? If you do decide to order a gift from Wildcraft, be sure to let Janet know you came from my blog. Hey, everyone likes to save a little bit of money here and there.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sleeping and Sleeping

I've been going to bed early every night since Tuesday night. I guess I'm still trying to recover from a busy weekend and DH and FIL 12 hours ahead of us. Last night I was sound asleep at 7:15 and slept until 9:45. DH was texting me and emailing me, but I was out like a light. The doctor has put me on pain meds for post Shingles pain and the first 2 days I've been on it, I can hardly stay awake. Today I'm a little more awake, but I think I'll be in bed early.

DH comes home tomorrow morning! Hooray! It's been a long 3 weeks. He's only home for the weekend and then he's off to Rome for the week. Next Friday night he'll be home and this hectic international travel will be over for a few months.

I haven't been in my studio or even picked up my stitcheries in nearly 2 weeks. I miss not working on anything. On Sunday I'll finally be able to sit and work on something. Not sure what, but it will probably some type of hand work project. After all football is on that day.

Well, the game is on so i must pay attention so I can tell DH about it. Have a great weekend. I'll be back later.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Aaaah . . . peace and quiet

Don't get me wrong. I love my mom and my children. But between having everyone here for the last 7 days, plus dealing with DH and FIL in Hong Kong and 12 hours ahead, I am exhausted. I feel like I've been on-call for 24 hours for the 7 days. This morning I drove my mom to the airport and DS #2 left for home. I worked for a few hours in the office and then came home to an quiet and empty house.

DH did send me a wonderful birthday surprise yesterday. These gorgeous orange and purple flowers being hugged by an adorable teddy bear were waiting for me at my door when we came home from shopping. I can't wait to give him a huge hug when I pick him up on Saturday morning.

Today I came home from work to find my birthday FQs from one of my on-line groups on my doorstep. Fifteen assorted FQs to add to my stash. I also received 10 porcelain buttons I ordered from Giggle Buttons in Australia. I'll take photos of those goodies later. I'm just too tired right now to focus a camera.

Well I've eaten my dinner, watched one episode of NCIS on my DVR and I'm ready for bed. I want to get in a nap before I have to speak with DH again to prep him for a meeting later today in Hong Kong. Yup, I'm still on call until Friday night.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I've Been Shopping and Shopping and Shopping

I said I would share my bargain buys from Marden's the other day. Here they are. The top 3 fabrics are Thimbleberries and cost about $3 per yard. These are for my Senior Quilt Challenge and as soon as my on-line group announces a mystery they will get used. The bottom row of fabrics is 5 one-yard cuts that were sold as a group for $14. It's a little tough to see what they are, but one print is swimsuits, one is hats and the last one is postcards.

These are cat fabrics I bought for my mom's Nickel quilt. The white fabric has different color paw prints on it and is the background fabric. The other cat print will be for the borders.

This smiley face batik was on sale for $1 a yard. I bought what was left on the bolt, about 9 1/2 yards. I'm going to use it to make tents for 3 of my nieces and nephews for Christmas.

This gorgeous purple and orange Homespun fabric was also $1 a yard. I bought 4 yards and will use it to make a table cloth and napkins for our dining room. The orange in the fabric is very close to the color of our dining room walls.

Now, I'll move on to my Shop Hop purchases from yesterday. There were 5 of us that went shop hopping. My mom, DIL, 2 quilting friends and me drove about 500 miles around the beautiful state of New Hampshire and visited 8 quilt shops. We started at 10 am and pulled into the train station at 7:50 pm - just in time for the train to pick up my friends. What a fun-filled day we had.

This teapot panel was too cute to pass up. The colors didn't photograph well, but the orange is again very close to our dining room color. I'll either make a wall hanging or some pot holders from it.

These 15 FQs only cost $1 each. The white dots are stars. I'll probably make a quilt out of them.
This is a collection of 25 fat-eighths all in fall colors. I'm going to design something using them. Another challenge to use up all of a collection.

These are my other assorted fabrics. There are 2 purple fabrics to add to the collection of purples and grays for my MIL's quilt. The Christmas stars were half-price so I couldn't resist it. The coffee fabric was a "just because I like it" purchase. The 2 cuts of linen will be used for a stitchery project and the cream fabric on the bottom is from the 26 Letters line and will make a good baby quilt backing piece.

I did have some non-fabric purchases. I bought a bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press Lavender scented starch alternative, a package of 4 inch Thangles to finish the baby quilt I'm working on, 2 Quilter's Quarter Inch rulers to use for gifties, a redwork pattern from Lace Tales with a pattern for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a set of Lori Smith Fat Quarter Quilting: Throughout the Year patterns, a book called Make Spectacular Books, Fabulous Fabric, Skewer and Folded Books, and last, but not least, a Country Threads Stitchery magazine from 2004 (it was half-price). My mom also insisted on buying me a couple birthday gifts - a scissors fob and Alex Anderson's Shadow Redwork book. DH gave me money to pick up my Birthday Garden quilt from the quilter, so I have one more quilt to bind. I also found a present for my DH, but I can't show it until I give it to him.

I'm done shopping for now. I'm tired today and I'm watching football and baseball and just being lazy. Tomorrow is my birthday and I think DH has another surprise in store for me. My youngest son is here visiting too so I've had a wonderful few days with family, friends and shopping.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Shopping With Friends and Mom's Visit

My mom arrived last night for her long weekend visit. It is good to see her again.

This afternoon we went shopping at Marden's with two of my friends. Marden's is a surplus store where, among the many other household items for sale, they have quilt shop quality fabric for $4 or less. We found some great fabric deals and I will share photos of my goodies tomorrow. But the best deal they had was batiks and Homespuns for $1 a yard. That's right, a mere $1 a yard for batiks and Homespuns.

Here is a photo of my friends and I after dinner.

I'll be back tomorrow or maybe Saturday night after our shop hop. I'm sure the goodie pile will be much bigger by then.