Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tags and Prizes

I found this tag on Giraffe Dreams yesterday. I usually don't do tags, but I thought I would do this one. Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book. Pick the CLOSEST!
6. Tag five other people to do the same! (or not) - I'm not tagging anyone, but feel free to jump in if you'd like.

The book that was closest to me was: Curtains and Shades a Step-By-Step Guide to Creative Window Treatments.

This is what I found on page 56 - Directions for making a covered window shade:
1. (end of direction) Fold over the fabric in each parcel and staple in place (see inset).
2. Position the shade, right side up, on the wide face of the covered lath, leaving about 2 inches at each end to fold around the side of the lath. Staple the fabric to the lath.

Now I'm not into making a covered window shade, but I have the book out because I'm going to make drapes for our bedroom from this gorgeous silk dupioni. I didn't realize when I decided to use silk that I need interlining and lining. I also didn't realize there is a lot of hand sewing involved. But, hey, I'm up to the challenge.
On this snowy, sleety day I received my prize package from Darlene at Quilting Daze. A wonderful package of sunshine on a dreary day. She included an Easter stitchery, a Spin City pattern by Schnibbles and two Summer in the City charm packs from Moda. Thanks, Darlene!
I've had the flu for the last two days, yuck! I called in sick for work today. I hate calling in sick, but when I could hardly get out of bed last night I knew I wouldn't survive a day at the store today.

I'm out of bed now, but still not eating. I should be better by tomorrow. I have to be. I have an interview for a new position at the store.

Until next time - Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Monday, January 26, 2009

Man or Woman Cocoon?

You may remember last month when my DH set up the living room into a Man Town cocoon on a snowy Sunday afternoon. If not, let me remind you. The view from the front door:
View from the kitchen:
I mentioned yesterday I moved my sewing table downstairs so we would have plenty of space to sew and hang out. The table came down the stairs easy enough, but I can't put it away until DH comes home. So today I worked in my Woman Town. The space doesn't have anything my studio doesn't have - room for ironing board and plenty of working space. I was steps away from the basement door so I could pay attention to the laundry as I was sewing.
Here's the view from the kitchen. The room gets lots of day light. I opened up the curtains and watched the sun move across the parking lot. I spent the day working on DIL's maternity top. I'm nearly done with it. I'm stumped on gathering the sleeves to attach them. I've put it aside for tonight. I plan on taking it to work with me and get help from one of my co-workers.
After working in this room for two days I've learned a couple of things. Open space is good. Right now my sewing room has a lot of furniture and I'm feeling cramped. I'm thinking of taking out my old cutting table that is currently holding my HDTV. I don't watch the TV as much as I thought I would when I'm sewing so the TV will go into our bedroom. The table it sits on has become a catch-all rather than a table. It will probably end up in the basement for now. I have cube storage shelves I may turn on it's side. I don't know where I'm going with these changes, time will tell.

Of course, I have to wait for DH to come home this weekend before I can make any changes. Who knows what we'll end up moving?

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sewing Day With Friends

Happy Australia Day to all my Aussie readers!

Today Mavie, Darlene, and Tasha came over to sew, eat and have fun. I moved my sewing table from my studio down to the living room so we could stay on one floor and all of us would have room to work.

Tasha took control of the camera and started with taking a photo of me sewing. I'm sewing the binding on a baby quilt we made a few weeks ago. It's now ready to have the back hand sewn. I also worked on blocks for DS #3 and GF's quilts. I have all of the two patches done and about 40 of the blocks completed.
Mavie worked on three different quilts: happy blocks, some HSTs and one other project.
Darlene gets the GOLD star for completing the most projects. She completed three tops using Happy Blocks. Here's #1 - the blocks are ballerina slippers.
Number #2 is Pink Panther centers.
Number 3 has daisies in bold colors.
I made triple chocolate cupcakes for our afternoon snack. These cupcakes have cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
When they were done baking we topped them with melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Tasha had the first one.
We went to Nana Sue's Quilt Shop for one last visit. They are closing next week. All of the fabric on bolts was $3.99, if you bought at least one yard. I saw this wild laptop fabric and bought three coordinating prints to go with it. I'm thinking it would make a cool laptop bag for someone. The stack on the right are one yard cuts of Kona cottons. I may try using them as different backgrounds for stitcheries.
Between Tasha and I we bought 8 yards of flannel. After washing and drying them there was a loss of about an inch on each yard. I trimmed up the pieces and will buy blanket binding to make quick receiving blankets for the new baby. Two of the pieces had an extra quarter yard to them and we will use the extra quarter yard to make bibs. The four prints on the left are Sesame Street prints. The four prints on the right are baby prints.
All in all, it was a fantastic day. I love spending time sewing and eating chocolate with friends!
Sweet P

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snow Pix and Reading Material

I couldn't resist showing a few more snow photos. I promise no more after this one. The management company for our condo complex had to hire a snow plowing company the first of the year. The new company is good, but we ran into problems earlier this week.

See this photo? That's my condo on the right side of the photo. Normally the snow is plowed to the end of our building. After a large snowfall, the company is supposed to clean up the pile and move it behind another building. We had snow about 10 days ago. The plow company did not clean up the pile. This is what happened to the snow pile after we got 12 inches of snow this past Sunday. It is now into the parking lot.
Here's the same pile looking out my front door. My car is waiting to be towed so it hasn't been cleaned off. You can't see our car on the other side of the snow pile.
When I came home from work on Tuesday night the snow had been cleaned and the pile outside our living room window has grown! I doubt the pile will melt until May! I'll have to keep tabs on it.
The mailman brought me a package from Lynda in Australia. She had graciously offered to send me new issue of Country Threads Stitchery magazine. Along with the magazine she sent me a Country Patchwork issue and an Australian Homespun issue. Thanks, Lynda! The Sew News magazine I bought at work. I've already glanced through the mags and there are several projects that are on my To Do List. Now I just need to get them on the agenda.
I started sewing the two-patches for DS #3 and GF's quilts. I have about 100 done for each quilt. I need a total of 160 done. I'm not looking forward to ironing all of them, but it will get done.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunday Stash on Saturday Night

It's only Saturday night here in cold and soon to be snowy New Hampshire, but I had to show my Sunday Stash tonight. The prints are from the Legacy Studio line available at JoAnn Fabrics. The white and blue are Kona cottons. All of these fabrics were on sale for half price this past week. I bought them to make quilts for DS #3 and his girlfriend.
The only reason I'm showing the fabric tonight is that I couldn't wait to cut the pieces for the quilts. I'm making the same design with the variable being the print fabric. The blue print fabric on the right is for the GF. The green print fabric on the left is for DS.

After a cup of Orange Cappuccino and while watching Independence Day I had the fabrics cut and stacked by my sewing machine. Each white and print stack contains 168 3.5 inch squares. There is a total of 672 - 2 inch by 6.5 inch rectangles, 336 for each quilt. These quilts will be easy to sew together and now I'm ready to work on them whenever I have a few moments.
I'm making two twin-size quilts using the Twist and Turn pattern in the Super Simple Quilts #1 with Alex Anderson and Liz Aneloski.

Tomorrow we are expecting 7 - 9 inches of snow. I have to go grocery shopping first thing in the morning then I can stay in for the day. DH has finished painting the trim in the bedroom. All we have left to paint is the doors. That's also a tomorrow project. Hopefully we will be done in time for the two big football games. Then it's two weeks until the Super Bowl. In four weeks, pitchers and catchers report. Soon spring will be here.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weekend In Providence, RI

We had a wonderful weekend in Providence, RI. We drove down on Friday night and checked into our room on the 12th floor. This was our view on Saturday morning. Dunkin' Donuts arena is below us. The Westin Hotel is in the middle and the Hotel Biltmore is on the right. I'm not sure what the building on the right is.
When DH and I are in a new city or town we always ask the locals where to find the unique shops - the artsy and boutique-type stores. No chain stores for us. The hostess at breakfast told us three places to check out - Thayer Street, Wickenden Street and Federal Hill.

After breakfast we hopped on the trolley and got off on Thayer Street. We didn't find many shops, but we did stock up on candy at the Candy Cafe. DH chose gummy worms, gummy bears and sour patch bears. I chose sour fruit balls. Armed with sugar we kept on walking and stopped in a couple more shops.
From Thayer Street we walked down to Wickenden Street. We still didn't find a lot of shops, but we did buy a pound of coffee from a local coffee shop, a pair of Stitching Girl Socks for me, a box of sugar packets with sayings of "Sweet Pea", "Sweet Stuff", etc. - something fun to put on the table when guests come over for coffee. Our last stop of the early day was Cellar Stories, a used book store. I found three Dr. Seuss books to add to my grandbaby library.
After lunch we headed to Federal Hill - the Italian part of Providence. We indulged our sweet tooth (yup, the candy was still in tact) with a stop at Nancy's Fancies Cakes and had cupcakes and an espresso. DH had a s'mores cupcake and I had a lemon meringue one. They were yummy. The Italian grocery stores were a totally different experience for me. Full of fresh Italian meats and pastas. Wonderful smells and beautiful sights. I wish we had an Italian restaurant like them close to us.
This was our view on Sunday morning. The snow started after we got back to the hotel on Saturday and had stopped by 10 am on Sunday morning. What a difference 24 hours can make.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Showcase Live was awesome! There were many dancing couples and they were fun to watch. The music was happy and bright and we smiled all the way home.

The temps are going to be dropping here into the sub-zero range for a few days. The only good thing about that is I have the coldest day off. So while DH has to go to work that day, I'll be able to stay home and play.
Sweet P

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Day Off #2

I sewed my DIL's purple dress today. My first time working with a heavy silk. I'm not a fan of the fabric, but I'm happy with the dress.

Here she is modeling the dress and trying to show off baby.
The dress hides baby well, don't you think so?
I finished the Love block from Gail Pan's Christmas Wish BOM. It was a fun block to stitch. I haven't chosen my background fabrics yet. I may wait until the next one or two blocks are posted to choose the fabrics.
DH and I are going to Providence, RI this weekend to celebrate 10 years being together. On the way home on Sunday night we are going to Showcase Live at Patriot Place to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

See you on Monday!
Sweet P

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Snow Day Off

Day Off Checklist:
  • Slept in - check - didn't set the alarm and woke up at 8:20 to the sound of snow plows in our parking lot. DH was nice enough to go and move the cars while I made coffee and breakfast. We are getting another snow/ice storm today.
  • Clean up sewing room - check - took 90 minutes to put my sewing back in order from the holidays.
  • Enjoyed lunch with DH - check - wasn't on the list. DH stayed home to go to a therapy appt with me at noon. Snow and ice kept therapist from coming into town (don't blame her). DH and I had a yummy lunch at Cafe on the Corner in town. DH decided it was too nasty to drive to work so he decided to come home with me.
  • Enjoyed afternoon nap with DH - check - also not on the list. See above.
  • Sorted out my new threads - check - I have my new Finca Presencia threads in a new thread box. I also have started a separate box for my variegated threads. I haven't received my order of new variegated threads, but there is plenty of room for them in the box.

  • Dinner in the oven - check - meatloaf is roasting. I'm going to start the Butternut Barley Risotto soon.
Tonight I'm going to start working on a new BOM. Gail Pan started a new BOM today. After dinner I'm going to trace the first design and start stitching.

On tap for tomorrow, day off #2 - DIL's maternity dress. She wants it done by this weekend. Now that my sewing room is clean, I can work on it.

What did you today?
Sweet P

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First Photo, Sunday Stash and a Birthday Pay It Forward

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the first days of the new year. It seems many bloggers are making resolutions and cleaning rooms. I have done neither. I'm in the middle of working 8 days in a row and then I have 4 of 5 days off. That's when I'll be cleaning and resoluting. (Is that even a word?) I can tell you that in 2008 I spent about $1,800 on quilting and sewing and then spent 457 hours playing. That comes to a little under $4 an hour spent for every hour of playing - a lot cheaper than therapy!

I took my first of the month photos on the first. The trees are still bare and there is still snow on the ground. We had a lot of snow in December and I guess it's here to stay for a few more weeks.
It's hard to believe we've lived in our condo for almost one year! We love it here and we've never regretted our decision to buy it.
Rather than decrease my stash, I actually added to it this morning. I belong to the local Freecycle list and last night a woman posted about having fabric samples to give away. Her DH is a furniture salesman. He had tons of old upholstery fabric samples. I couldn't resist. I know one of my goals for the new year is to go beyond quilting and cotton fabrics. What's better than free fabric to use for exploring? I picked up 3 bags of samples along with a pillow to recover. The bags have been put aside for now until I have a day off when I have time to sort through them.
Before Christmas I signed up for Pay It Forward at Terri's Bits and Pieces. When she replied she asked when my birthday is so I told her. It got me thinking that Paying It Forward as a birthday gift is a great idea.

So, if you would like a handmade, just-for-you gift on your birthday, please sign up for my Pay It Forward. You do not need to post your birthday in your comments. When I reply to you, I will ask for your birthday. The first three people who leave a comment on this post asking to join the Pay It Forward Exchange will be my players. They are agreeing to post a similar announcement on their blog, and Pay It Forward to three more people, who will in turn agree to Pay It Forward etc. You don't have to agree to send the PIF for their birthday. You just have to agree to do send a PIF gift within 12 months.

I'm also going to do a home-themed Pay It Forward on my home blog. If you'd like to sign up there for a different type of PIF, feel free to do so.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P