Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Year Wish for You...


Have Fun, but be Safe.
Be Merry, but be Smart (Designated Drivers!!!).
Remember those you Love, and Love the Ones you're with!

May this night end just the way you'd hoped,
and may this New Year begin just as it should.
The past is done;
The future is still fluid;
But the present is meant to be lived to the fullest!


Thanks for reading.
We're going out tonight with friends to the wine bar we frequent (too frequently!).
Back soon!
=-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Good News!!!




My husband, that dear, sweet man who I DON'T DESERVE, has given me the


A B S O L U T E B E S T

present I could ever ask for!!!



::drum roll::


I have only two more days of torture...


I have only two more days of listening to disrespectful children...


I have only two more days of biting my tongue and being ever-so-patient...



I can stop driving the school bus when the Winter break begins!!!


Yay yay yippee yay!


::happy dance::

::happy song::



I am thrilled beyond...

Well, I *was* going to say "beyond words", but I obviously haven't stopped talking yet. =-)


><> ><> ><> ><> ><>
In other news, I *really* need to
GET BACK TO QUILTING!!!
It's supposed to start snowing some time this afternoon, so hopefully I'll be able to quilt once I'm off the bus. They're letting school out *early* because it *might* snow. ::rolling eyes:: Whatever. That should give me extra time this evening...
I hope you are having a great day as well!
=-)

Drink Me!

Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!
Did you know?!?
I *just* found out!
Tim Burton has done 'Alice in Wonderland'!!!








And Johnny Depp is in it!





(And lots of other people, of course...
Helena Bonham Carter,


Alan Rickman, Mia Wosikowska [who I don't know, but I'm sure I'll love once I get acquainted with her in this movie that's sure to delight me!], Crispin Glover, Ann Hathaway [who has me wondering if she can ever shake her Good Girl type-casting and become a Bad Girl soon...?], and many others... Go have a look for yourself!)
Pictures:
And a trailer for your enjoyment!
I am so tickled and excited about this (if you couldn't tell)!
Bunny just told me about it. We'll have to go see it as soon as it's out.
...Well... Actually, I don't like to go to a movie on THE day it comes out... or the weekend of its premiere, for that matter. Too crowded!
But I *may* make an exception for this one! =-)
Would you like to go with us?!?
You're welcome to, you know.
=-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yesterday


I finished the top for the Blue WaveRunner quilt yesterday!
I'm so happy with it!
Yay!

(When I get it put together, I'll post pix.)
=-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Bunny!


I am Finally Finally Finally able to post pictures of Bunny's quilt.

Yay!!!


First I must say:

This quilt is NOTHING like what it originally looked like in my imagination!

That, however, must be followed up with this:

I
LOVE
IT!!!
=-)



It measures 83" x 75". (Yes, it's h-u-g-e! But it's just more to love. =-) )

The fabric is various stuff I already had, various fat quarters I bought for parts, the main fabrics I bought specifically for the front & the back (but I didn't write down that information, so I don't remember...), and the binding is
"Fizz" by P&B Textiles.

I had NO idea how to quilt it, and it was such a HUGE job that I took it to a lady in town who has a Long Arm business. (That's a sewing machine with a "long arm" where the material can all fit while you quilt.)

She quilted it with Superior Threads' clear (monofilament, maybe?) thread in an all-over swirl pattern. She has a computer hooked up to her sewing machine and puts the quilt on a huge "fabric holder" thingy, and the computer & sewing machine do all the work!

(I'm sure it's not quite that simple, but... it works for me!) =-)


Without further ado...

The front:

(The sun finally came out!)

(Note how my helper wants to be in the picture! She's so funny!)


(My helper is *still* there, posing for the camera like Tyra's around...

She stayed there the whole time Bunny was taking the pictures. lol!)

Close-up of the Robin & nest (the right wing is 1 piece of fabric, the left wing is 1 piece of fabric, the tail is 1 piece of fabric, all very carefully folded...) :




Close-up of the Flutter-by (which was VERY difficult! It's 2 pieces of fabric; the polka dot "base" and the orange on top that's zig-zagged onto the polka dot):


Close-up of the Bee & Sunflower (the bee isn't what I envisioned either, but... at least it's *there*! lol ) :




Close-up of the Dragonfly:



Close-up of the little Pink Flowers and of the Binding (Kitty helped me pick out that binding, and it's just perfect! Thanks Kitty!!) :


I wanted to put a lizard and a lady bug and a frog and some other stuff on there, but maybe I'll get to all that "one of these days"... when I have "nothing to do"...!

And the back...


Again, it is nothing like I first envisioned, but...


again,



I love it!!!


(See? Even though we made her move so we could turn it around, there's my Helper once again, posing for Tyra Banks! haha!)

The Luna moth was really difficult to do, but *TOTALLY* worth it!



I think she's *Perfect*! (I've always loved Luna moths, ever since my older brother found a cocoon for a Luna moth and put it between his window & screen and let it "hatch"! That was the first time I remember seeing a Luna moth [they only come out at night, you know], and I've loved them ever since!)



Her body is made of fleece and the wings are batik fabric. The antennae are painted on... I couldn't make them look right with thread, embroidery floss or yarn, so I just painted 'em! The rest of her is machine-sewn thread. Lots of work, but totally worth it (*I* think!).



Various scattered leaves (Again, this was different in my head; I wanted it to look like you were laying down under the tree, looking up at the night sky through a branch, but... I couldn't make it look right, so I just "scattered" the leaves... It looks okay, right...? Does it...? Whatever.) :



And the "Impressionistic flower garden" (which is smaller than I made it, but it had to get chopped off at the Long-Arm Lady's. She didn't have enough to work with, so in the doing, it had to go.) :




So there's Bunny's quilt

just like I've been promising you for a month or MORE! =-)

She loves it! She did NOT want to wait until her birthday to get it, and it had been so looooong since she had last seen it that she forgot what it looked like before, when it only had a tree and a few flowers.

I hope you like it too! =-)

Feel free to comment to let me know what you think!

=-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope it is filled with all the people you love,
as much food as you need,
and the good health to enjoy it all.
=-)


Also, I thought I'd finally post pictures of the latest Baby Quilt I made. (I believe I finished this one in October...?)

















It measures 50" x 55".

It's made with a Jelly Roll of "Fresh" by Deb Strain for Moda, with various strips (leftover from the jelly roll) for the binding, and a yard or so from the Fresh line for the backing.
It's just straight-line quilted all around with orange thread. And though I'd like to do some "fancy" free-motion quilting in the sashing around the border, my family has talked me out of it.
(I may still do it one of these days... IF I get bored and adventurous!)
Also, I did the binding totally by machine on this one!


It's so cheery!
I originally made it with the intentions of giving it to my local Quilting Guild (when I join in January) for their Cuddle Quilt project...
But now...
I've spent over $60 on this! I think Boyfriend wouldn't like it too much if I gave it away and couldn't even get a receipt to take it off on taxes!
...so I'll just keep it for awhile...
I'm sure I'll know someone (one of these days) who's having a baby...
And I'll be able to just "whip it out"! (Kitty has hinted that she'd like it for her future baby... We'll see!)
=-)
Be well Friends!
p.s. This quilt makes SIX total finished quilts for *this* year!!! WooHoo!!!
I had a goal, and I actually REACHED IT!!!
Plus I have one quilt *top* (the Values quilt) that I'm pondering on what to do for the back, and I'm working on the Blue WaveRunner, which is coming together nicely, thank you very much! So I *might* have more than six for the year.
I'm so tickled!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blue


Well, I finished all the blocks for the Blue WaveRunner quilt tonight!

I am sooo tickled!!!
And I am in LOVE with it! =-)

Now I need to put sashing on and do something for the back, and of course make the binding...

But I love it!!!

(I wonder if I can bare to give it away... ?)

=-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Values Quilt

In perusing various blogs, I ran across Katie's post about a thing called a Values Quilt. Well, it intrigued me so I just had to try it...

I'm not too good at doing the "Values thing", but I had a good time going through my stash of fabrics and picking out some for this. I've finished the top, and now it sits either on the couch or in the big chair in the living room.

I like it!

My daughters like it!

Boyfriend even likes it, though he's not too thrilled with my idea for the back.
I thought I'd do *another* values "top", except with a light center, and then use that for the "back" of this quilt...

He doesn't like the idea, but I can't get any other idea in my head for the back, so there it sits...

And meanwhile, I've started another quilt! (Wow! This is a banner year for me and quilts!)
This one is a WaveRunner like BumbleBean's.

I need to make a quilt for a family friend who lives in Guatemala. He requested his name be put on my "list", and when I asked what pattern or colors (Give me a *little* help here!), his only request was "Blue".

Well, when I saw BumbleBean's WaveRunner, I just *had* to give it a try! That's when I knew I'd like to do it in blues, and that it would be for Carlos.
And I'm using up fabric from my "stash", so it's a win-win! =-)

So I'll get pictures as soon as possible. The sun hasn't been out in DAYS here!

Have a GREAT weekend!
=-)


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finally


Well, the sun, moon & planets were all aligned properly and I took pictures! Yay! =-)



Lottie's Quilt measures 6 ft x 5 ft.

The fabric is a layer cake from "Symphony" by Sentimental Studios for Moda. The backing is a yard (or however much) from the same line plus black fabric. The binding is the same black fabric. (Not very imaginative, I know. But it looks good on the front. =-) )




(Beautiful day, huh?!)










You can see some of the quilting better from this side. It's my first time doing Free Motion quilting on an actual Quilt! Yay! (A big Thank You to Leah Day for giving me the courage & knowledge to try it!)

I gotta run now! Gotta go get all clean and sweet-smellin' for my weekend getaway/date with Boyfriend! We're heading to a Winery and hotel for Anniversary Fun!!! (Sorry, Otin. No webcam. But I'm sure Boyfriend would love to take pictures! lol)

Ya'll have a fun weekend too!

p.s. I also took pictures of the Baby Quilt and I'll post them as soon as I can! (I would say "as soon as I can *walk*, but I don't really need to walk to post, so...)

LOL!

p.p.s. I *know* I owe you pictures of Bunny's quilt, but it's in hiding! She hasn't seen it and I have to wait until her birthday (the 30th) to get it out, give it to her, then (finally, finally, finally!) take pictures of it! I can't wait for her and you to see it!

I'M SO EXCITED!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Big One!

TODAY is my anniversary!


I'd like to sing a little ditty and dance a little jig.



... But I don't even know any dittys...


or jigs, for that matter.



Whatever!



Anyway.




Today is my twenty-sixth anniversary.


And I still love this man, people!!!



And the TRULY amazing thing is that HE still loves ME (or at least that's what he tells me... And I'm buyin' it, hook, line AND sinker, people!!!) !!!


Anyway, we went out to supper...

had a bottle of wine *with* supper...

and I'm a CHEAP date, let me tell you!


Our two daughters went with us, 'cause we're having a Fabulous anniversary weekend this coming weekend, and, trust me, the daughters WILL NOT be in attendence at this Soiree (sp?). Trust me!

We have already booked the hotel room (King suite with a shower huge enough for him, me, and EACH one of you reading this!),

booked the wine tasting at the Winery,

booked the supper at the special restaurant at the Winery,

and, did I mention, booked the King Suite at the wonderful hotel! =-)


Yes, I am in F-I-N-E form, people! I'm feelin' good. =-)


Anyway, I did take 1 (one) picture for your "enjoyment":


We had a great supper tonight, and we even ordered dessert...


...However...


I thought of taking a picture for your enjoyment.


...But...


I was a *little* too inebriated (sp?) to think soon enough to get a picture you'd like to see.


We finished the dessert and...



Well, it was Pumpkin Cheesecake, and

it

was...

Mmmmmmm.

Wish you could have been there!

=-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

WooHoo!


After looking allllll over AmandaJean's blog at the beginning of the year, I made a goal for myself:

I told myself that I would *try* to make at least four quilts for the year.

Well, guess what?!


I just finished my sixth quilt for the year!!!


The sun isn't really out today, and the ground is all squishy from all the rain, so I don't have pictures yet... But I plan to put some up fairly soon.

Til then, won't you dance a little jig with me?!

I'm tickled pink!!!

This one is made up of a jelly roll of fabric from Fresh by Deb Strain for Moda.
It's so bright and cheery.
I can't wait for you to see it!

Photos soon!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Success!

Yes, I've finished Lottie's quilt. And I've finished Bunny's quilt. And, yes, I am thrilled, thank you very much!



So now you ask, where are the pictures?



Well...


I have a little slight problem with that...




I had Bunny & Kitty take Lottie's quilt outside the other day (when the sun decided to shine for about 10 minutes) and take pictures for me...



But I had to leave to drive the bus, so the pictures weren't exactly what I had in my mind...






Anyway, without any more whining, here are a few pictures of Lottie's quilt:











Remember that site I had a link to the other day? Leah Day's site about Free Motion Quilting? Well, thanks to her, I had the cojones to try it myself, and as you can see above, it went fairly well! I really enjoyed trying something "new" and finding that I can do it!

So I've mostly just "traced" the patterns on the fabric.

That's okay... 'cause I'm happy with the results! =-)

I'm waiting for Bunny to leave the house (and for me to feel better at the same time) to take pictures of her quilt so I can post them.

'Til then!

=-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Squee!!!


Aaaaa!!! I am screaming with joy!


Lottie's quilt and Bunny's quilt


are


DONE!!!
Pictures to come soon... if the sun will shine again.
=-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guess What?!



Guess who called last night?!

The Long-arm Lady! (For those *not* in the quilting world, I imagine that sounds... odd, to say the least!)

Anyway, she told me that Bunny's quilt is finished being quilted!

I am SO excited!!!

I can hardly wait to go pick it up!

Boyfriend and I are going tonight, as soon as I get off work!


Can't wait! Can't wait! ::doing little jig::

I'll take pictures of course, and post them... maybe tomorrow.

I can't wait for you all to see this quilt too. I'm so tickled with it! Now I can't wait to see just what it looks like now that it's been quilted.

The only thing I have left to do with it is to bind it and to make a label for it.


I've already figured out how I'm going to do the label, too!


I am so frickin' excited I can hardly stand it!!! =-)


Also, I am progessing nicely on the quilt I'm doing for Lottie. I'm FreeMotion quilting it, and it's coming along well, if I do say so myself! =-) I'll take pictures of it as soon as I get all of the squares quilted... Or maybe I'll wait 'til it's finished completely. Who knows?! =-)
Have a great day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh! My!!!


If you quilt, or if you're even *thinking* about quilting (or if you're just wondering how it's done), you absolutely MUST go here !!! (I hope that link works right! I'm so challenged. ::rolling eyes::)

It's a blog by Leah Day who is attempting to do 365 days of free-motion quilting... Nope, not just quilting the same thing over and over, but a DIFFERENT free-motion design each day for a year!!!

I know, crazy, right?

Crazy Clever!!!

I discovered this blog earlier today, and now I'm spending most of my morning looking around it. (She has video and everything.)

I hope you find it as spectacular as I do!

I'm off to go drool and oogle some more...!


OH!!! And just in case you're wondering...
I took the huge quilt (that I'm making for Bunny) to a professional last night.
I'm nervous and scared, but also completely elated about it!
Now I don't have to try to cram that huge thing up under the tiny arm of my own beloved sewing machine.

It's a relief, but it's also guilt-inducing!

When I mentioned to Bunny that I was thinking about taking her quilt to a long-arm-professional, she got this sad, lower-lip-poked-out look. She said it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't do the quilting, but honestly? I put so much of my time, attention, creativity, and *blood* (really!) into that appliqued behemoth that I'm relieved to hand it to someone else to do the quilting on it.

Maybe she won't notice? Yeah, right!

Gotta go drive the bus. Ya'll take care! =-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Little Engine Said...

"I think I can,
I think I can."


I continue to work on Bunny's applique'-ed quilt. It's slow going because I'm only working on it while she's out of the house, which, lately? Hasn't been a whole lot. (...I'm silently wondering if everything's alright between her and her boyfriend... Whatever. She'll let me know if she needs to talk.)

So here's an old picture of it.





It's changed a bit since I took the photos, but this one will have to do for now. =-) I'll post new pics once I get it quilted. Promise!


Actually, I think I've finished it!

Correction: I think I've finished the part *I* am doing.
I'm going to take it to a professional long-arm quilter to see if she can actually quilt it for me. I spoke with her on the phone yesterday, and I have an appointment to see her this coming Wednesday evening.
I'm sooo excited!!! And nervous! But looking forward to it all the same. =-) Anyway...


It's just too damn BIG for me to want to try to stuff the bulk of it under the tiny arm of my sewing machine.


Bunny doesn't want me to send it off to be quilted, but...
Honestly? It's just too much of a chore for me.

Matter of fact, now that I've made the decision to take it to a professional, it's like I've had a load taken off my shoulders. I've even gotten Lottie's quilt back out and I'm working on it today! All I need to do is lay the backing out, layer the batting and the top, baste it all together, and then do the quilting on it. That really won't take long once I begin, because I'm basically going to stitch "in the ditch". Easy-peasy, as someone once said. =-)

Here's a "reminder" photo of it. Again, I'll post updated pics when I get it finished. =-)






In other "news", Boyfriend isn't feeling well today. He started sneezing a lot last night, and then his nose began getting stuffy. This morning he got a cough and he's feeling very run down.

We *were* going to see his parents today, but we decided they didn't need to be exposed to his bug, so here we sit today. Me quilting, him watching football in a lump on the couch. He really doesn't feel good.
...oh, he's not really *really* sick, 'cause he's still well enough to want to play with my boobs, but he's sick enough that he doesn't have the energy to get up off the couch to *try*. Lol! =-)

Gotta love him. =-)

Hope you're enjoying the beautiful Fall weather!
It's absolutely gorgeous here!
I love it!



Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Don't ...


I don't blog every day. (That's obvious!)

I don't blog every week.

Hell, I don't even blog every *month* if I don't have anything to show you or something to say!


I'm not clever like Pat...

I'm not inventive like Otin...

I don't have enough comments to have a "comment of the day" like Sane without Drugs...

I don't have any amazing real-life stories like Mango Girl...

I don't have any chickens or sheep or reeeeeally adorable dogs like Front Porch Indiana...

I don't have mad painting skills like Gypsy Mare...

And I DEFINITELY don't have a Kindergarten class like Vodka Mom!


So please tell me Otin...
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SO IMPATIENT FOR, ANYWAY?!?!?!



I'll update about the quilt as soon as something happens with it.
=-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Hurried-er I Go, The Behind-er I Get!

School started this past Tuesday, and I have been going non-stop! Who would think a Bus Driver would be soooooo busy?!?!
I've been doing this for over 7 years now (the longest I've had *any* job!), and it never gets easier!
There is more paperwork this year, and now, instead of driving for 2 schools, I'm driving for THREE!
I drive in the mornings, come home and try to catch up on housework. I drive in the afternoons and come home to try to catch up on paperwork...
WAIT! Let me preface all of this by letting you know that my bus
does not
have air conditioning like most of the buses in my county do. So by the time I finish up at 5:15 or 5:30, I am SOAKED with sweat, and my skin is HOT according to my daughters.
Ha! They should have felt just how holy-hell-hot it was in the driver's seat!

Tuesday after my final route, I wearily got into my hot car and headed home. (THANK THE POWERS THAT BE for the a/c in MY car!!!) On my leisure drive, I was thinking about the supper that Kitty hopefully started, and about lounging around with Kitty and Bunny (Boyfriend was out of town) while we (or I) ate...

But what did I find when I got home?
Any guesses?


The dog. An empty house and an empty stove/oven.
I was so exhausted I could have just slumped down on the kitchen floor and *cried*!

I didn't.

I called Kitty to find out where she was.

At her boyfriend's, of course.
Hmph!

So I literally peeled off my clothes, took a glorious shower (Don't go there Otin!), and ate some left-overs along with a glass of... something... Amaretto...?
I ate & drank it out on my back porch, with my trusty dog at my feet, and the ceiling fan gently wafting over me. It was nice out. It was leisure.
And the dog didn't "talk back" to me not once. =-)

Oh well.
At least my daughters still love me.
They're teens and haven't once told me, "I hate you!"

...

All this to say that I'm terribly behind in my blog reading.
And my quilting. Sort of. Since that's really not on a schedule, and it sits so patiently, it's okay. It'll wait as long as I need it to. =-)
But I'm reading bits and pieces as I can, here and there.

Matter of fact,
I'm off to read some more. =-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wandering Wednesday


Yes, I'm still working on Bunny's quilt. No pictures, though, 'cause I'm not sure if she reads this or not... Once I got to a certain point, I quit letting her see it, and I only work on it when she's not here... which is more often than I'd like... I'd like to see more of her.
She spent the morning with me this morning, though! =-) We went shopping for some art supplies for her Drawing Class at the community college.
Yes, I realize she had me tag along just so I could pay, but at least she had me tag along! She *could* have simply asked for my credit card, ya know. =-)

Anyway, the picture above is from my Mom's dock in Beaufort, SC. Boyfriend & I went to see her this past weekend. She's doing fine, thanks. =-) The quilt I made for her is still on her couch, so I'm hoping she uses it frequently. I *know* she sees it every day, 'cause when I talk to her on the phone, she always mentions how much she loves it. That makes me =-).

I'm still working on Lottie's quilt too. I just went to the fabric store to buy a couple'a yards for the backing. It's gonna look good!

I still have to make a label for the baby quilt I made for Bunny's friend, and I need to make labels for Bunny's and Lottie's quilts, but I won't worry 'bout those 'til I'm done with the quilts. The label is always the last thing I do.

So, I'm not ignoring you! I do read every post of all those people I follow! Boyfriend thinks it's a waste of time... but he also thinks reading fiction is a waste of time... And lots of other stuff I do, too. But he's just jealous! He just *wishes* he had as much free time as I do! =-) Oh well. Maybe when he retires... If that day ever comes! =-) (I can't imagine it. He does *not* know how to just lounge around! He's not the type.)



Hopefully I'll have pictures of a finished quilt soon! Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Whew!

We just got back from the beach, and let me tell you:

Vacations are the best!

We were there for a week (Saturday to Friday), and what a glorious week it was! On the way home, I called my Mom to chat. She asked what we did all week. I said something like:

"Oh... we'd wake up in the morning (and I do mean morning - usually around 8a.m.!), eat something, wander down to the umbrellas and sit in the chairs for awhile. Then maybe walk a while and look for sharks' teeth. Then sit under the umbrellas again and watch people. Then go up to the room for lunch. Then sit under the umbrellas and read and watch the comings and goings of others, the waves and what-not. Eat supper, go to bed, and do it all again the next day, with some small variations."
I'm telling you, it was WONDERFUL!!!
SO relaxing!

The list of who went:
Me (duh), Boyfriend, Bunny, Kitty, Kitty's boyfriend, Boyfriend's two sisters (P & D), P's son and his partner, and about Tuesday, Boyfriend's cousin came too. So, ten total. We used to go to the beach with MORE of Boyfriend's family, but now with his Dad having dementia and all, we doubt we'll all go again. Boyfriend's Mom had to stay home to take care of Boyfriend's Dad. And the Cousin's parents used to come too, but they didn't this time, for some reason I don't know.
We missed the four of them...

Sorry I don't have any pictures, but I'm home all by my lonesome, and the cameras are with the others, so...
Maybe next post...

We really didn't take any pictures this time, though.

But now I'm back home, so I can get
back to quilting!!!
Before we left I half-joked with Boyfriend about maybe I'd take my sewing machine. But he just looked at me with "that look". (You know the look I'm talking about... the one that says "You're Crazy")

So I didn't mention it again.

But if I could have taken my machine
and a power cord that reached to the umbrellas on the beach
I would have
TOTALLY
been sewing at the ocean! =-)

Wandering off to sew now...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow! Third Day In a Row!


So yesterday I posted about the layer cake quilt I was putting together for my Mom-in-law, but I had no pictures...

Well, I finished piecing it yesterday (except for the borders), and I actually took pictures too!! =-)

So here you have it - Lottie's quilt (in progress)

The whole thing (taken from the upstairs balcony):





A close-up:


Another close-up:


The colors aren't coming out very well. I used Kitty's camera instead of Bunny's expensive one, so... It is what it is. You get the idea, anyway.
They really are rich colors. My sister asked me what colors are in this one and I couldn't answer her, other than, "Lots of colors!" (Yep, I have blonde moments frequently.)
Anyway, for those of you who follow me...
"Really?! Three days of posts in a row?!"
Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Lied...

I didn't intend to, though!
(That makes it okay, right..? Right?!)

Yesterday I said I was going to leave you to go work on Bunny's quilt...
But I didn't.
I am trying to keep Bunny from seeing her quilt until I get it done, and her boyfriend is out of town... so she's been home most of the time...
Kinda' makes it difficult to quilt without her seeing, when my machine is in the dining room and I have to keep laying it out on the living room floor! =-P

Anyway... Long way around to let you know that instead of working on Bunny's, I actually started one for my Mom-in-law, "L"! I wish I had a picture of the fabric. I even went here



to try to find one...
But apparently it's an "old" one.
I'm making L's quilt out of "Symphony" by Sentimental Studios from a layer cake by Moda. Boyfriend picked it out. I'm really liking it!
Kitty, however, doesn't think it's really her Granny's type of fabrics...
Hmmm...

Oh well! It's already started, so... Too bad!

Besides, if her one & only son picked it out, and her only daughter-in-law is making if specially for her, then I'm fairly sure she'll love it.

I'm going the easy route and just using the layer cake "as is" - I'm using the 10 inch squares and joining them with strips of black, so it'll kinda be reminiscent (sp?) of a window... If you use your imagination, I guess.

But it's gonna be nice! And it's gonna be easy! That's important since Bunny's has been soooo involved, and something that's really making me think!

So,

as soon as I get pictures,

I'll post 'em so you can see 'em! =-)



Monday, July 27, 2009

Does He...?


Does he remember the Korean War, from which he received a Purple Heart? Does he remember their wedding day, which was over 50 years ago? Does he remember the day any of his three children were born? Does he remember... anything at all... ?

We went to Virginia this past weekend to visit my in-laws. My Father-in-law has dementia and brain atrophy (his brain is shrinking). I talked a bit about it in a previous post.



I really don't know if he remembers anything at all because he really doesn't talk now. If we ask him a question, he pauses, thinks, sometimes moves his lips just the slllightest bit, and then either nods or shakes his head. If he replies at all. I don't think he even spoke ten words the entire weekend! I think a small part of it may be because when my Mom-in-law asks him something, she doesn't wait for him to work things out in his head first. She asks, he starts to ponder, and then she asks again...
I don't know...

But do not interpret that as me being accusing or anything! 'Cause I am not accusing anyone of anything!


All I know for certain is:

this sucks!!!

And if you already read my very first post, you also know that my Mom has Alzheimer's... so I have a bunch more of similar/different crap to look forward to!


I apologize!!! I did not start this out to be some depressing diatribe or something!


I started it just to let you know that Boyfriend and I went to Virginia on Saturday morning and got back yesterday evening. We had a good visit. Boyfriend's Mom is doing well. His sister lives next door to them, and she's having a good summer (she's a teacher). She helps her parents out on a daily/mostly daily basis.

But now they at least have someone from the V.A. (Veteran's Administration) coming out for a few hours most-every-weekday to help out. Someone comes and Mom-in-law can get out of the house to get her hair fixed (a weekly ritual with her sister), or to go grocery shopping, or for whatever reason. It gives the two of them a much-needed break. And we are all thankful for it!

If it weren't for the V.A. I'm not sure what we'd do.

I'm not sure what the Medicaid rules are in your state, but in NC and VA, it's really bleak for anyone who's in the middle bracket of financial stability (or whatever you call it ... middle-class?).
Someone like my Mom's husband, who's a millionaire, will never have to worry about Medicaid, and someone who is poor and depends on the State already, has nothing to lose either.
It's all the people in the middle of those two extremes who have the most to lose.

For instance: If my Father-in-law falls or has a stroke or whatever and needs to go to a Nursing Home (or round-the-clock in-home care), Medicaid will kick in (if she chooses). Then my Mom-in-law will have to give half of everything (except the house) to Medicaid before they'll pay anything to the Nursing Home. 401K? Has to be cashed and half goes to the state. Bonds, stocks, savings? Half of it has to go to the State.
And if her husband dies the next day or the next week or the next month? Medicaid does not pro-rate anything, and they don't give her back any of her money! It's just gone!

I understand that Medicaid has to get its money from somewhere, but, DAMN!!!
This man has worked hard all his life to make sure that his wife is well taken care of in her old age, whether he's there or not! He didn't do it just to give half of everything to the State!

So maybe you think you'll just give half of your money to your children first, before Medicaid kicks in? Think again! You have to give your children whatever-it-is (the house, money, whatever) at least SIX YEARS before you start using Medicaid - or else the kids'll have to give it back! (Time varies by State. For NC & VA it used to be three, then five, and now it's six years. Who knows when they'll change it again?!)

And if it's just you? Guess what the State gets? Yep. EVERYTHING.
For instance, Kitty's boyfriend's Dad died two years ago (cancer), so now it's just B and his Mom. If she has a stroke today and needs to go into a home (or round-the-clock care), she can't afford to pay for all of that by herself, so Medicaid would need to kick in... Well, guess where that would leave B?
Homeless.
Medicaid (i.e. the State) would take everything, cash in everything, so his Mom could be taken care of by the State/Medicaid.

I know. Sad.
He's 19 and nowhere near ready to take care of himself. He doesn't have a job, savings or anything. He still lives at home. I could go on, but I think you have the picture.

Check out the Medicaid laws in your state. It's really heartbreaking! And we have more information than the "average joe" because we've hired an attorney who specializes in Medicaid!



Okay, okay...
I'll stop ranting and raving now.


I'm going to go work on Bunny's quilt!
It's coming along nicely, thank you! =-)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Still Kickin'...



Yes, I'm still here.

Yes, I'm still working on Bunny's quilt.
It keeps changing and growing, though, so it's still "in progress". I think I finished the front last night. Not positive, though. I'm still thinking about putting either a frog or lizard or something on it...

But day before yesterday I bought some material for the backing. I asked my carpenter husband what size the quilt is, and he estimated, "Oh, 6 by 7." Well, I went and bought four yards for the back, because that would be 12 feet, right? Cut that in half, sew the two halves together, and that makes it 6 feet by 88 inches (approx. 7 feet), right?...
Well, guess what?!
Of course!

IT'S TOO SMALL!!!
(And no, those are not happy-caps!)

So now I'm trying to decide what to do. Do I make up some traditional blocks for the back that I can put on one end? Or perhaps make some black-and-white checkerboard for one end?

I had intended to put a branch with lots of leaves, and a Luna Moth flying around on the backing, so basically it would be double-sided...

But now I don't know!!!

Four yards is too much fabric to just put aside into my "stash"!

Boyfriend did suggest that I use it as the backing for a future quilt that's already sort-of planned. He's so smart. I have a "sort-of" plan for a quilt for Carlos (whom I blogged about previously - he's from Guatemala), and it's gonna be different blues on the front. The fabric in question is a pretty marbled deep blue... Hmmm... Something to ponder...

Anyway, as usual for me, I'm momentarily stuck with this quilt. Trying to think.

"Think, think, think" as Pooh says.

I'll post pictures of the front soon. I'm trying to mess with it when Bunny's not here 'cause I don't want her to see it 'til it's done!

I'm basically happy with it.
It's nothing like it was supposed to be. You know, the original picture that was in my head...

Oh well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Give-away

Katie Cupcake of



http://katicupcakequiltingco.blogspot.com/



is having a give-away of a kit for this cute quilt:






Go check it out! And tell her I sent you and we'll both get "extra credit". =-) I love it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My First Quilt


Camille at "Simplify" has an idea for everyone to post about their first quilt and their latest quilt... To help you see how far you've come and to think about what kind of progress you've made. I like that idea! So here's her link so you too can join in the fun: (the 'rules' are there)

http://camilleroskelley.typepad.com/simplify/2009/07/parade-of-quilts.html#comments

And here's my first quilt... Well, technically my first quilt was a 12" x 12" block that I made into a pillow. It was a red & white 9-patch with a bird stitched into the center patch (sort of like redwork), and I thought I made it up! I'd never read anything about quilts, had no teacher, and knew nothing about what I was doing! (a little like now, except I've read a lot since then!) =-)

Anyway, my first real quilt was made from one I saw in a magazine so long ago that I don't even remember what the magazine was, but the title of the article was something like, "Quilt in a Weekend!"... and I believed it! HAhaha! Can't remember just how long it took me to make it, but it was definitely NOT a weekend. Probably wasn't even a month of weekends! =-)



Yes, that's an Amish-style quilt. I still have it, though it's just thrown in a drawer somewhere... Sad, huh.

Anyway, I'm posting pictures of my latest finished quilt even though you've already seen it earlier:

the front

and the back:

I love this quilt, my daughters love this quilt, and my little sister Lindsey LOVES this quilt, which is a really good thing because she's the one I made it for. =-)

Yes, I've learned quite a few things since that first quilt.

  • Reading about quilting and getting hints and tips from others is a good thing.
  • Dare to try something new!
  • If it doesn't come out like you thought it would, either try again or try to look at it in a new way.
  • There's honestly no shame in ripping out stitches that aren't quite what they should be. (There is, however, frustration. Much frustration!)
  • Inspiration can come from anywhere! Just go with it when you find it. =-)

I've learned other stuff, but it's too early (and with NO caffeine!) for me to be putting so many words together at once. =-)

Okay Camille and Carrie, I hope this is good enough! =-P

A Few Give-Aways

In my perusing of quilters' blogs, I've stumbled across a few give-aways that I thought you'd like to know about.
Christine over at "Front Porch Indiana" is giving away a pattern called "Heritage Sampler" by Lori Smith. Go check it out! (Sorry, but you'll have to copy & paste since I'm not into linking right now... )

http://frontporchindiana.blogspot.com/2009/07/remembering-adelia-give-away.html

Judi at "Green Fairy Quilts" is coming up on her 100th post and having a give-away for it! She's giving away lots of stuff: a pattern with a jelly roll, a quilted tote, a quilt and a honey bun! Go check her stuff out too!

http://greenfairyquilts.blogspot.com/2009/07/its-finally-here-99th-post-here-i-come.html

Over on "A Quilting Life" Sherri is having an anniversary give-away:

http://aquiltinglife.blogspot.com/2009/07/blogiversary-day-two.html

And Camille over at "Simplify" might be having a give-away if enough people get involved. Copy & paste one more time and see what I'm talking about! =-)

http://camilleroskelley.typepad.com/simplify/2009/07/parade-of-quilts.html

That's it for now! Do you know of any give-aways? Let others know about 'em! =-)

'Til next time...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friends of Old




We went to my Mom's in Beaufort, SC this past Saturday (the 27th). Family friends from Guatemala were in town for the week. We just returned yesterday (the 30th).
We
had
a
blast!!!
Really, it's not like we did anything special.
It's just that we hadn't seen these friends in 10 years!
Yep, you read that right.
Ten Years!!!
I know. That's waaaay too long to go without seeing dear friends! Trust me, I know.
Wait a minute. Let me back up.
In 1974 or '75, my oldest brother Tom went to Guatemala on a student exchange program (AFS - short for American Field Service). He lived there with a family for an entire year!
Watching him depart in the airport was the only time I ever saw my Daddy cry.
Then in '76, Carlos - a friend of the family who later married the only daughter (Maria) of five children in this family - came to stay with us for a few months.
Then Maria came to stay with us for 9 months.
Then my older sister & I sent my parents on a surprise trip to Guatemala for their anniversary - we paid for the flights, got permission from their bosses for them to have the time off and everything! (Trust me, it was my sister who made ALL of the plans!)
Then in '79, I went there for 3 months in the summer and stayed with this same family. I came home with a nice tan and ONE dollar in my pocket! I had my 16th birthday there!
Some time in the '80s, my Mom went there with an old family friend of hers.
Carlos and Maria got married and had three daughters.
In '94, they came here with their daughters and some family & friends, and we all got together.
In '96 my sister went there for a very nice vacation.
Two of their daughters have stayed with us at different times for varying amounts of time.
So you see, we have maintained a special relationship with this family for over 30 years now. We love them dearly.
I don't communicate with them like I should, but they love me still. =-)
And now...
We are tentatively making plans to send our "Baby" to Guatemala next summer...
For six months!
Did I mention that she's my "Baby"?!?
...more to come...