Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fat Quarters

If you go back to my very first post, you will see the explanation of why this blog is called Fat Quarters. When I told the story on Stashbusters, someone wrote and told me of a little group they started that was also called Fat Quarters. They put aside one fat quarter for every pound of weight they wanted to lose. As they lost it, they reclaimed their fat quarters. I thought that this was such a good idea that I started a Fat Quarters group in our night guild. The rules are simple. You declare your goal for the month and then "ante up" the same number of fat quarters of fabric. If at the end of the month you lose the amount of your goal, you get to take that number of fat quarters from the stash of fat quarters. In our game you don't necessarily take back your own fabric. I was given money from the group to buy some additional fat quarters to seed the pot. In an effort to be fair to our one and only LQS, I decided to buy an equal number of fat quarters from them and Joann's. Joann's had their fat quarters on sale.
This is what I got from Joann's.....
This is what I got from the LQS.....

For the same amount of money.

My fabric snob pendulum swings between going to Joann's and not going to Joann's. Being a fabric snob and not being a fabric snob. Name brand fabric only, any name fabric. I do think though, we make enough quilts, wall hangings, placemats and on and on, that I am not making an heirloom with every single stitch. "Nuff of that!

I can't wait until the weigh-in in 2 in two weeks to see if I can take any of these. The only problem is that Passover is in between and ugh! Weight loss is not necessarily a by product of Passover food!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Been wondering

Right now my life is non quilt related. I am in the midst of the frenzy of pre-Passover cleaning. I am no where near as meticulous as many, many others out there, but I do my best. Part of Passover involves ridding your home of those foods and other items that are forbidden. Not only do you need to remove them physically from your home but you need to clean all traces of them away. Put very simply, you don't want any bread crumbs in you cabinets, the creases of your sofa etc. The only way to remove all traces is to clean, clean, clean. I don't know if the concept of spring cleaning is because of Passover or visa versa!!! It always feels so good to get the house clean and fresh. My wrist aches after a good day cleaning but it is worth it.

I've been noticing that many people have multiple blogs. Is this because belonging to a blog ring comes with certain requirements? I mean, if I make 3 non quilt related posts, is that cause for concern? 5? 10? I've realized that I don't have time to maintain contact on two blog rings, let alone maintain two blogs themselves! I suppose if a blog becomes too off track the "ring leader" intervene. I am just in awe that others can manage to maintain two blogs. I seem to have a hard enough time with just one!!

Forgot my camera at work so I can't post pictures........

Sunday, March 25, 2007

My baby is home!

This is me. On my own computer. With speakers. A fan that doesn't sound like a jet engine. No addresses or favorite spots but....I am computerized again. Get prepared to hear from me waayyyy more than necessary!

Tomorrow begins a new bee. The girls involved have already been meeting at individual homes but because of space requirements, couldn't expand. Well, they have found a church to meet in and invited me to join them. I'm so excited. Although they will meet all day, I have this pesky little thing called a job and won't be able to join them until afternoon. Even so, I should be able to accomplish a bit in a couple of hours.

It's so nice to have friends isn't it? You go for a while feelin' like you're going to have to go in the back yard and eat worms, and then boom! Friendships kick in and the worm eating is put away for a bit longer. I'm just tickled the girls thought of me and asked me to join them.

I wish I had a picture to share. Unfortunately, until I figure out how to set up this computer from the external hard drive, I am pictureless. They wiped out everything and I will get it all back eventually. I think I'll go take some new pictures for tomorrow.......

Friday, March 23, 2007

Jeez Louise!

I'm alive but still no computer. As everyone knows, it is maddening when your entire life is on the computer and you don't have it. It's like losing your right arm.

Quilting is moving along and the school year is steadily progressing towards the end! We have had such a year here this year that it will be wonderful to see this school year come to an end and begin to look forward to next year.

I've been steadily working on UFO's. I want so badly to start something new but just won't until at least one of my UFO's gets finished. It may be a while. At least I don't mind working on them.

As soon as I'm am back connected at home, I'll post regularly again........It's just a matter of when!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm safe, having a good time and excited

I drove to Austin yesterday. OMG!! With as many exclamation points as you would like to add! The drive was the absolute worse I've made since we were coming home from vacation in 1990. To say it was raining would be a major understatement. I couldn't see anything but a watery view of the headlights in front of me. We were going about 35 mph on the freeway. I would have pulled off but I was too afraid of pulling off to a flooded access rooff ramp, an unknown area or any other unseen water hazard. I had no idea where I was other than almost to San Antonio. I just kept going praying that the watery red lights of the little red car in front of me didn't pull off the freeway. Those lights were my lifeline. I was so scared that I felt like I was going to throw up. I just couldnt' see anything. The closer we got to the bypass 410, the more worried I became about how I would drive up the ramp while not being able to see anything. I decided that no matter how slow I went, the cars behind me would judt have to deal with it. Luckily the entire group in front of me took the 410 ramp and we all continued on. By that point we were driving just a bit faster so the rain must have slowed just a bit. The rain finally let up near New Braunfels, after about 1 1/2 hours of driving. I stopped, gratefully used the potty, bought a diet coke, took a deep breath and continued on my way. It rained the rest of the way, hard at times but nothing like the deluge I'd just been through. Oh, did I mention that when the rain first began, I missed an accident by about 30 secs. They weren't even all out of their cars yet as we went past. While watching the news last night we saw a story of a couple here in Austin that got stuck in a low water crossing (why they call it a low water crossing instead of high water crossing is beyond me). The rescue workers were able to get ahold of the elderly couple and put a life jacket on the woman but not the man. While trying to pull them to safety, they were washed away. The woman survived but they found the man today. It is so, so, so sad. I mean, they had them in their hands! Then the news has shown them over and over being washed away and only the woman popping up. Sad, sad, sad. This is the reason I didn't pull off the freeway. Since moving to Texas, I have learned a healthy respect for Mother Nature, rain, wind, and the power of water. I don't mind if I have a dull and boring ride back home. I won't even mind if I feel like the time is passing backwards it's going so slow.

Exciting news, happier, much less scary and depressing.....not quilty but exciting. It seems my cousin that lives in Ontario comes to Austin every year for the South by Southwest music event. I don't think I've seen him in over 20 years. Well, long story short we are meeting for coffee in the morning. I'm so excited.

On a quilty note....well, I don't have a quilty note! I'm doing so good on not shopping that I drove past a quilt shop today and didn't stop in. I bought Ms. A curtains instead of going into Joanns! (it was probably alot cheaper)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Birthday Wishes

I finally finished my brothers birthday banner. Despite MORE machine quilting issues...losing tension and all the gargbage that was wrong with the other's finally finished. I had to get it done today so that I can show it tonight at our guild meeting and mail it tomorrow. I made this banner from shirting...that is from shirts! My brother works in an office and wears button down shirts every day. But on the weekend he rides his motorcycle! I even included a pocket from one of the shirts. We'll call it creativity but in actuality, I needed to get just one more large piece of fabric and this is how I was able to do it. As long as there was a pocket I put pens and pencils in it! All and all I think it turned out nice. It seems hard to believe that my little brother is joining the ranks of the rest of us over 40 crowd! My dad keeps saying "Jeez, I have old kids!" I'm turning over my computer to Best Buy tomorrow and my sewing machine back to the repairman on Thursday. I'm not sure how bad my withdrawal symptoms will be but I expect severe! Hopefully DD computer won't be toooooo slow and I can use it while I visit with her.

Close up of the pocket detail.

Close up on quilting

Brighter shot of the top of the banner

Saturday, March 10, 2007

So busy, so busy

But I haven't a clue what exactly I'm doing to fill up my time! I just know that I have had very little of it this week. My class had their program at school this week. It's always like a ten ton brick has been lifted off of my shoulders once it is finished. If you ever need to see determination, Pavlov training, and just sheer fun, watch a group of early 3 yo's perform in front of an audience! We practice over and over, exactly the same so that when the big day comes it is completely reactionary. The music starts, they perform. For the first time, I had all 13 children stay put and not run to mom! One little boy though, OMG I thought I'd crack up, walked out, saw all the faces and walked directly to the back wall, put his nose up against it and stayed there. He just stood there with his back to the audience, his nose against the wall, stock still, until the song was over. At the next song, he recovered enough to stand perfectly still on his spot. BUT he didn't run off! Big success!

I have also been working fast and furious on our classrooms contribution to the schools annual auction. I have the date marked on my calendar but somehow kept reading it wrong! I needed to get a project done but quick this week. The auction is in 3 weeks. Here is my contribution. In case you are worried about me posting my children's pictures online, I have permission as long as I don't post names. I maintain a webshots album for the parents to "see into" our classroom.

I usually get $100 no matter how much time and energy I put into my project, so I've scaled down dramatically. If you see names. LET ME KNOW and I will need to delete the picture. I can't see them and can't get the picture to enlarge by clicking on it.

It is spring break next week and am so looking forward to doing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I'm going to Austin to spend nearly the whole week with Ms. A. She actually wants me to come and stay longer than a day. She made me laugh when she said, "ya know mom, most college kids go to the beach and worry about getting drunk. My mom is coming to visit!" But she asked me to come spend the week and who am I to turn down time with my daughter. Of course I'm sure she has no ulterior motives like grocery shopping, clothing shopping, shoe shopping......

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a picture of my brothers birthday banner......

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Going no computer....again!

Apparently the repairmen at E-Machines prefer to tick off their customers rather than do the work right the first time. Our computer hasn't been "right" snce we got it back. #1, no speakers! #2, a fan that sounds like a jet engine #3, all kinds of gobbledegook software running at the same time slowing down the processor (no it's not a virus or anything)#4, programs not integrated to work together. We were told that we need to create a restore disk but the &*(%^%* computer isn't "seeing" the cd burner. Sound lovely? It isn't AND I need to return the computer to them. So that means another 2 weeks with no computer....while I'm on spring break!!!! UURRGGHH!!!

On the plus side, we had a wonderful weekend. DH is in the midst of a killer schedule of travel. This is all I've seen of him the last few weeks and all I will see in the next few weeks to come.....his backside dragging a suitcase behind him! (This time though I convinced him to buy a new shirt outside his comfort level, hence the orange shirt!) We needed to accomplish a bunch in a small amount of time. We pulled weeds, whoo hoo huh!, did yard work and went to the movies. For the rest of the weekend, we ate! and ate! and ate! DH made the best BBQ sauce last weekend. Saturday he made bbq'd hot dogs on the grill. Today I made a mountain of hamantashen (more to follow) and he made ribs on the grill. He also cooked a package of fajita chicken so I have something to eat this week. He said it looked like a chinese buffet in here today and he was right. We never really ate dinner, we just nibbled on a bit of chicken as he cut it, a bit of rib meat, mock potato salad and lots and lots of hamantashen. Killed the diet but it was worth it. I'll go back tomorrow.

This is my mountain of hamantashen. They are three cornered cookies made for the holiday of Purim. They are filled with apricot, poppyseed or prune filling. I needed to make a ton because tomorrow my class will be distributing Mishloach Manot baskets to the other classrooms. I will also send a basket home with each of my children. Once I fill the baskets, send some to Ms. A and my dad and we eat our fill today, they will be outa here.

Well, thats it! No more pictures until I get my computer back. I'll check in time to time as before and I'll try to get time to post comments but it is hard when I am using the computers at work. Plus next week I won't even be at work! Get lots quilty done. I'll post pictures of my brothers birthday banner after I get back.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tea towels

I have stuff. Lots of stuff. Fabric and floss, batting and wool felt.... I have patterns and books galore. In an effort to bust stash, all of these things are equal. So, my goal for this year is to create seasonal wallhangings, placemats, table runners, tea towels and all the other home dec goodies including quilts, that prompted me to buy this abundance of books and patterns in the first place. I have 12 tea towels to "cover." Because I nearly always make home dec items in 3's (one for me, one for Mrs. S and one for Ms. A) I will only show one of each. The flag and flower pot are one of a kinds. I'm the only one getting these. I am in no hurry to finish these towels. They are all fused and ready to be blanket stitched. A friend of mine hosted a one day retreat last week and has decided to have them on a regular basis. So the towels will be my project when I sew at her house. I learned a valuable lesson from another friend about sewing something difficult, measuring or cutting, especially late at night on a retreat. That lesson....DON"T! She mistakenly cut her blocks down to the wrong size and ended up with a twin sized quilt instead of queen! Since I've decided to only work on these towels when sewing out of the house, I feel no stress to finish them.

I don't really like angels, but this was too cute to leave in the book. Most of my projects come from the Art to Heart books (I'd include a link but Ihad a link, and a completed post, but blogger or my server lost it when I tried to add a picture. I've been having trouble all day so I won't risk it!)I just love these silly books. I didn't realize this, but on the website, you can buy all the cute buttons she uses.

This is by far my favorite towel.
It was a beehive with a cherry vine and cherries. I modified the pattern so that I could make an apple
tree. Apples and Honey are symbols for the holiday of Rosh Hashana. There are very few Jewish holiday patterns. Some of the patterns out there are to literal while the few others just don't appeal to me I didn't want a honey pot and an apple sitting next to it. Too obvious. This fits my house and my style.
On a proud note.... in order to finish a birthday banner for my brother, I needed to get Heat N'Bond. I went to Joanns, looked at the 40% off quilting books, the remnent fabrics, the magazines....I walked out with Heat n' Bond only! Yaaayyyy Meeee!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I typed an entire thing this morning and blogger told me I had the wrong address or html or some such thing and lost the entire post! So... since it was boring anyways, I'll repost with more interesting news. I have been on a diet. Not just a food diet, although I have lost 8 lbs, but a money, fabric, and computer diet. Because I knew we had these big expenses, I put myself on a money diet. Since I was at retreat, I have not spent one penny on frivolous unnecessary things. Not even a diet coke. Well...maybe I lie because I did take myself out for a salad last week and this week I bought a magazine. But I actually consider this very successful. DH was travelling last week and the salad was my dinner. It was actually cheaper than going to the grocery. Basically I go to work and come home! I've been on a fabric diet for obvious reasons. I did have to buy some Kona cotton for our charity quilts but that is not for me. I am on a computer diet because I have been spending waay tooo much time goofing off. I have gone "special notice" on all my lists and have been reading blogs but not posting comments. I will resume blogging and comments because I really enjoy it. It actually feels good to be more in control of all these areas. I get out of control so easily...........

We had the duct work done last week. Now I know you cannot see how nicely the air flows through this vent but it has to be wonderful. It seems our ducts had disintegrated in the heat of our attic. The builders used the cheapest, crappiest materials in this house. All of our neighbors have had this same trouble. I can't wait to see if our electric bill will decrease. YEAH RIGHT!
Isn't' this a purty sight! Our new chimney. All finished and painted. DH will be

so happy when he gets home and sees this. As long as the repairman is here, he is also going to fix the wood around a few of our windows. Can you see WHY I am on a money diet! Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the tea towels I've finished. Can't give all the pictures in one day! Till then, I'll be cradling my checkbook in my arms. It is so stressed this week!


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