Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Well, we found out why we have as much rain inside our house as out. We need a new chimney! Mucho dinero! Actually, at least we know where we stand on the problem and can have it fixed. I am not checking in here often as we are still waiting for our computer to be fixed. I am on the computer at school and have about 5 minutes before someone needs it for real work. I will catch up on all of your posts whenever I get my computer. For now.....Hope for the rain to quit!

Friday, January 26, 2007


That is then nicest way I can express myself in print!! Yesterday, I came home from work, turned on the computer, the screen went crazy and I had to turn it off. Then nothing, absolutely nothing. My 7 mo. baby just sat there. It didn't talk to me at all. The best DH can figure (this wasn't unexpected) is that the video card is kerflooeey. No computer last night or this morning or all day as DH decided to leave his laptop at work last night. While I appreciate him letting me use this laptop (it belongs to work ect. and I can only use it when he is home), I absolutely hate using a laptop. The keyboard just irks me and I keep hitting the wrong thing. Plus I can't find a comfortable position. Let's add to this that MIL & FIL are visiting and I have lost my car for 3 weeks. I love my in-laws and all but I have to drive DH's car...standard shift, and it kills my wrist. (I suppose I could look at the half full side and say at least I have a car to drive!) Then, it's been raining non stop for about 10 days. To make a long story short, we must have a leak in our 5yo roof because the carpet in the closet and around the fireplace is SOAKED, it SMELLS mildewy, my nose is burningand throat hurts ever since we pulled up the carpet and sucked up the water, we have fans and heat running. The decorative dolls sitting on the pouting chair wicked up the water and the dresses made by DH's grandmother are stained from the chair while the chair has huge water marks. The home movie video tapes sitting on the floor in front of the closet (I'm putting them onto DVD for safekeeping and have them in a pile. As they are completed I put them away) are wet. My Longenberger basket that was sitting under the table is soaked and the legs from the wooden table ooched out their stain on the carpet. It has been wet for who knows how long. DH's reaction, "Just relax." My MOST FAVORITE PHRASE! This is one phrase that is always sure to raise the hair on the back of my neck and make my veins bulge just trying to contain myself. I am so annoyed I could scream! Let's tally here shall we?....leaky roof, wet carpet, padding, concrete and brick, mold?, still need one more side to our fence and found out last month that our duct work is a wreck and must be replaced. Last year put on a 50th anniversary party AND a wedding, replaced 1 side of the fence , have a daughter in college yet, so the reserves are rather limited..........relax, just relax........yeah right!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Look right!

See the newest addition to my sidebar? Thanks to Judy for approving my blog for Stash Quilts and holding my hand through the whole process! Looking forward to visiting with all of you. Back to American Idol. Commercial is over!

Would it be that simple

I've had a number of questions asking Why I couldn't just flip the log cabin blocks to make the stars brown in stead of white? The longest log is white and should be either pink or brown. In order to have a pink or brown star, the longest log needs to be that color and not white. Look and see how the brown doesn't match up and touch. Even after sewing, in the places where the stars should be connected and touching there would be a 2" white space. Look at this one lined up correctly. There are no gaps in the star (in this case the star is white and the gaps would be brown.)

This is much more difficult to explain in writing then verbally. I hope it makes sense.

On another front, I made 18 postcards and mailed them to my fellow retreaters. They looked a bit like a 3rd grader did them but oh well. In my mind they were magnificent but the translation didn't get through to my fingers. I didn't take a picture of them. I saved the two rejects for myself. One of these days I will actually save a pretty version for myself instead of the rejects!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Log Cabin chatter

I promised photos of my in progress log cabin. But before I show that I must "fess up." Amy has been very concerned for me because I cut all those log cabin pieces. Uhmmm... Well... ya see, DH is just the best. I was kvetching and whining last Saturday night that I would never be ready for retreat and well....he cut the 1 1/2" strips. All I did was cut them to size. He stood there and cut and cut and cut. He actually enjoyed it (he would never admit that to anyone but me and I'm sure didn't tell the guys how he spent his Saturday night) because the football game was on and he said it's mindless work. Maybe that's why we get along so well. I find mindless work mind numbing and he finds mindless work just mindless. So, I ironed, folded and then sat and cut to size, while he stood and cut. After an hour he looked at me and said that this process is painful to the back and legs! LOL! He is so anal about some things though. First of all, the strips had to be perfect. He cut some stripes and I swear each one is identical to the last. Every once in a while I heard "Uh Oh." I just laughed at him because his "Uh Oh" is the equivalent to my "Oh, that's good enough!" All kidding aside, I never would have finished. I really believe that by the time retirement sets in, I'll have the guy converted and quilting!

I'm breaking my rule of not showing things in stages. But because I have no idea of what setting I'll be using, I feel like I'm only stretching the rules not completely breaking them. (I can justify just about anything)

This was the first day. Only the brown logs were finished. I really want the star but, as usual, did things backwards so the star ends up white instead of brown. It was difficult to see with the naked eye. The camera shows it beautifully. See the blocks next to the star. A dear friend is making those. She is meticulously choosing the fabric from an enormous number of choices. I think the extra time has really paid off as they are turning out beautiful. As you see, my "seat of the pants" attitude leads to white stars instead of brown ones while her hard work produces beauty on the first try! LOL!

This is the first brown and pink setting. Like it so, so.

This is a lovely star setting that shows up only on camera. Naked eye it is very hard to see.

Like this but don't like the cross in the middle. It's all I see.

This one is my favorite but....I really want the stars and barn raising combined. We'll see, we'll see.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Home again, Home again, Jiggety Jig

Retreat! Ahhhhhh. If you've never attended, find one. If you have, you know what I mean. It is like living in an alternative reality for a few days. We had a good time, the world iced and defrosted while we just whirred away on our sewing machines. This is a picture of my personal nest. The tool box top worked just divinely! I lined up all of my log cabin strips and was off and running. The food, as

usual was yum and the company delightful. I can't believe

I'm admitting that I loved the week, but am glad to be back home.....I only enjoy R & R for so long and then my "I need to do a million things at a time" personality kicks back in!
Working on these log cabin blocks was almost painful as they take quite a while each. I completed 64 blocks and was assured that that was a good showing for two days work. I've never done a log cabin before. I just love the way it is turning out. I am going to break my rules and show a few of the settings we came up with. (tomorrow. ya need to space out the pictures or you use them up and then go days and days without photos! LOL) I am making it king sized so am not even half way there with finished blocks. I am going to put it aside for a little bit and finish two UFO's I've been working on for a while. I have very lofty goals on UFO finishes and need to stay on pace.

I am going to answer a few questions I've received. It is so annoying that you cannot hit reply to a comment received from blogger. Sweet Pea, our retreat was at the Red Barn Retreat in Coldspring , Texas. Population something like 6,000. It is in the middle of nowhere but wonderful. It is actually like a quilting bed and breakfast. Just delightful. Clare, the Terra Cotta quilt was warm enough because this year they had quilts already on the beds. I used them both and was toasty! Miriam, when I double click on a picture in a blog, I get a bigger version. When I double click on the terracotta quilt, I get a full screen picture. Try it and see if you can't see the quilt better! If not, let me know. Can anyone explain WHY I cannot get a paragraph or indent separation!!!!!???????? I hate run on paragraphs! I swear! This blogger is like being in mystery land. I had to edit a picture because a fellow retreater was shown in the background. I don't have her permission to post her photo.... When I did, and republished, all of my indents and paragraphs showed up!!!! Man o Man this can get irritating!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

All my bags are packed....

...I'm ready to,la,la,la.....Look out retreat here we come......maybe! It seems the ice will be reaching right along our path tonight and tomorrow morning. All we need to do is make it there and then we can be iced in for a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We just need to stay 20 minutes ahead of the storm!

This is the table/ironing surface DH made for me. It goes on top of my rolling tool box. But since it ended up being an empty box while not in use, he added modifications. My rulers act as a bottom so I can store things inside. He added a handle for carrying ease. Once I get to retreat and empty it out, I can put it on top of the tote and viola' an ironing surface. It's a little hard to see here but it is full. I had to add a piece of velcro to stabilize the one ruler. We'll work on it more later and get it a bit less rigged together.I didn't take a picture of it on the top of the tote. All in all though I am thrilled with it.
I sure wish blogger would get it together. It drives me crazy that I cannot log in while I am leaving a comment. URGH!
See ya when I get back....hope all are safe from the ice and cold.

I always have to edit immediately after looks one way in the draft and another in the blog. Ish!!!! Trying again..... and again....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuna Salad

Another blogger wrote that she makes "killer tuna salad." I don't doubt it for an instant. It made me smile because a few weeks ago Mrs. S. said to me in her most earnest voice, "Mom, you make the best tuna salad and I can't seem to make it the same." Tuna Salad. No measuring. No thought. Tuna, egg, mayo. No brainer, right? Or not. Tuna salad is all wrapped up in our lives. Tuna fish has never just been a hurry up lunch in our house. Sure on occasion, but more than likely not. For the longest time, it was the only food Mrs. S would eat. No peanut butter for her...tuna fish. Tuna served on the nights we had "dairy" for dinner (tuna, bagels, sliced veggies, cottage cheese and pineapple, fruit). Tuna for a special brunch, again dairy, but add on kugel, lox, maybe some blintzes. Tuna and all of the rest for the first meal following the long fast of Yom Kippur. Tuna stuffed tomatos, with tomatoes from the garden so fresh and sweet. Leftover tuna on a bagel for breakfast. Tuna stuffed tomatoes as comfort and something special because we were all alone in Texas and dad was travelling....again. Tuna fish. Plain ole' open the can tuna. It's all wrapped up in our lives. I don't doubt for an instant that the blogger makes the best tuna in the world. Just as I don't doubt that in my daughters eyes she will never be able to replicate my tuna. It has absolutely nothing to do with food.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary. (yeah, yah,'s also Elvis' birthday! Every year the same thing....who cares already?! LOL! The guys been dead at least 24 yrs!) DH is 145 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico on an oil rig (his first time out there) and so I am celebrating alone. I went to my quilt meeting and am enjoying some microwave popcorn! Last night I wondered if DH would call me today as I haven't heard from him since the day I assumed he caught a helicopter to the rig. (the weather had been bad and they were unable to go out on the scheduled day) But then I realized, that no matter where he is, no matter how he would need to accomplish it, he would call me today because he never lets me down. Oh, I've been mad, disappointed, hurt and ready to just bean him many times, but when it's the important stuff, he has never let me down. True to form, he called. Had to use a satellite phone, try three times to get the connection right (phone rang but no one was there!), heard only every 4th word or so, but he got through. ...just like I knew he would.

I have many thoughts today. Because you can't cut and paste when you are writing and I am too lazy to rewrite this, I'm just going to continue on....pretend they are two separate posts.

I just finished reading Margil's blog and had some thoughts...We all start out by saying "I don't know who would want to read about my life/thoughts/projects ect. But her blog struck me at just how little we get to know people that we only see once in a while and how we get a different insight into one another with the written word. In this world of instant, we are writing letters again. Maybe they are in a setting that our grandparents would not understand but putting thoughts to paper are putting thoughts to paper. We aren't necessarily sending one letter to one individual but these are letters just the same. We transmit our happiness and sadness, joys and disappointments, not just our quilting, and it isn't at all dull to read about. We learn so much about each other. We learn how similar we all really are and that is interesting.

I always forget to write what I'm grateful for...what does that say?! But tonight, I am grateful for a good husband and hope I have at least another 26 years with him...we can keep the 50yrs. married tradition going...My grandparents, his grandparents and earlier this year, his mom and dad.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rants and Snowmen

I just don't get this whole thing with the Ricky Timms/Alex Anderson website. I pay for cable, I pay for internet, why would I pay again for the supreme privilege of watching 13 shows on my computer? For one, it felt positively subliminal with Bernina flashing in the background over and over. I just don't get it and must be the only one that doesn't as I am watching women left and right running to become charter members. Look, I'm not trying to insult anyone or be obnoxious but really, I don't get it. At least with a magazine subscription, I can save an article I like or refer to a pattern. I pay for cable but get 80 some choices 24/7. Am I missing something here? Can you only imagine if everyone charged for us to view their site on the internet....OMG! I am so turned off by this program ....I'm sure my tone in this paragraph reflects it too! I've been wanting to rant and rave about this quilt show for a few days.... I feel better now.

On other notes.....I finally figured out the right size for my snowman pincushion. I saw this on someone else's blog but can't remember who's. If you read this, thank you for the great idea! Since I am so certain that my Secret Sister won't see it, I figured I'd post the photo. I made it as a 1st draft and then decided that I didn't feel like making another. Unfortunately, I used dark thread but just modified things. I turned it into a pincushion to store needles. I marked a few of them but figured she can label them how she wants. Now I'm nearly ready for retreat.....................

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Terra Cottta Quilt

Finally finished! All I need to do now is wash it. I used the Theremore batting to quilt it and it is very drapey and feels great. The entire time I was quilting I was thinking the Theremore was Thinsulate. It is a thin poly batt. But when it was finished and I covered up with it, I felt like it wasn't too warm. That was when I suddenly realized "well duh!" Not Thinsulate...Theemore! Oh well. I need it to be kinda warm because I am taking it on retreat. We don't really turn the heat on in the sleeping room and last year it was rather nippy. I don't mind but hate to take forever for my feet to warm up once I get into bed. One way or another, I'll know next week whether it's warm enough or not.

Something I forgot to mention....A few posts ago I included a picture of my sewing room. Above the cutting table is a quilt of the Hebrew aleph-bet. That quilt was made by Amy at The Calico Cat. I used to teach Hebrew School and it hung in my classroom. It was a great learning tool. There is a mistake in the letters. One of the letters is out of order. I told my students there was a mistake and whoever could find it would get a million brownie points! (brownie points are imaginary. They understood that but took on the challenge anyway.) Well, one child figured it out. I swore her to secrecy but she was able to tell the other kids that she solved the problem. It became a school wide mystery! During break the kids would congregate in my room and try to figure out what the problem was. (Hey! It took me a minute to figure it out too!) At the end, only a few kids solved the problem. But I love the wall hanging and when I stopped teaching, I had to hang it somewhere in my home. So it now has a position of honor, in my sewing room!

Has anyone else noticed that the their posts didn't begin a new "folder" in Jan.? And that the sidebar has the 2006 posts labeled as 2005?????

Friday, January 05, 2007


Just seeing if I can actually post from e-mail.

It's home!

I finally picked up my sewing machine. I don't know how happy the dealer was to hand over a new machine but the fact is he did just that. He is still dealing with the Janome people and I no longer need to worry about it. Where do you think I will be buying the accessories for my machine????

Not only have I worked on cleaning my room lately, but I've been cleaning it out too. This is a picture of my scrap bin (1/2 full. I forgot to take the full picture)

...and this is a picture of the emptied (YIPPEE!) bin......

...and this is the pictures of the strings left from these bins. I am taking these on retreat with me. Hopefully the women there will all do a block or two so we can assemble one top for the heartstrings project.

Now how much more interesting was this dull post because of pictures..........LOLOLOL!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

First post of new year

Guess, just guess where I am going tomorrow.......Yup! To finally get my machine. I am so thrilled but still just a bit annoyed. I have had 3 weeks off of school and planned to get my batik nickel quilt done but couldn't work on it.

My room was a disaster. So, I spent all weekend cleaning up and cleaning out. I felt like a little kid rearranging their baseball cards. I was busy arranging and rearranging. At one point DH called in and asked if I was ok. He said I had been quiet for so long he was concerned! This is my cutting table before cleaning. Who could cut anything??? I had to clean it because I finished my terra cotta quilt and needed to trim it. See the sampler quilt on the right? It is hiding a padded piece of wood that is hinged to my cutting table. When I lower it I have an ironing surface nearly as large as my cutting table. Even my quilts in the background are messed up. ( I had it all nice and neat but I've already put stuff back on the table so will need to take an after photo later. )

I want to post a picture of my stash. This is what I need to use up in 2007. Don't ask me how I plan on doing it but I am going to give it a good try. I've been lining up my WIMM and my very few UFOs and trying to formulate a plan. If nothing else, I've cleaned up and gotten the thoughts out of my head and onto paper so I can refer to them. This photo is the cleaned up version.

I'll post a picture of the terra cotta quilt another day. Gotta save some picture for another day since I only show finished projects!


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