Friday, December 31, 2010

UFO Challenge

Ok. Ok! I'm in!!!! I'll join Judy's UFO challenge! Who is nagging me you ask? Only the most naggiest, pesteriest of conscience! I have accumulated a few UFO's and I don't like it!

I took this paragraph from the UFO Challenge Directions to heart..."As far as definitions, use your own judgment. Whatever works for you is good for me. We’re not going to get bogged down here with “rules” and there are no UFO Challenge Police on the payroll at Patchwork Times! Here are some loose definitions!"

My daughter is getting married in March. I have a full plate besides a few UFO's! I really want to join this challenge so I have decided that I will list all of my items but, when the month is chosen, I will decide what I will be able to accomplish that month and work on it. I will give myself a self imposed "have to claim it" rule. That is, I will blog about which project I'll work on that month so I can stay on track. I think the first two items on my list are fairly obvious...they will be worked on first!! LOL!!

1. Aviva's Chuppah
2. Wedding Kippot
3. Locker Hooked rug
5. Football quilt
4. Log Cabin-
6. BasketBal quilt
7. QFH/Kona Cotton Quilt
8. Sh'ma needlework
9. Simpsons Quilt-bind
10. Thimbleberries 9 patches
11. Valentines Table Runner-Quilt
12. Winter Table runners
13. Birthday Banner

Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

Finally I am working on Aviva's chuppah. Good thing as I now have 3 months to finish plus all the other pre wedding things....

Yesterday I planned ahead for Design wall Monday. . I took a picture of the progress I've made. Although it is impossible to notice, I've actually sewn blocks together and taken those blocks and formed rows and joined a few rows. I was feeling rather pleased with myself.
Don't ask me why I was sitting and staring at it but!!!! thank goodness as I had a big mistake! Can it be seen? Now that I know it's there it sticks out like a sore thumb! (See the dark star in the middle of all the white ones? It's supposed to be on the edge.)

I was devastated because I have be "arguing "with this silly quilt for months now. The points are supposed to look like this....


but instead mostly look like this!


It has been driving me nuts and I am beginning to dread/hate working on this thing. I keep telling Aviva we might have a problem, I don't think I'm "sewing love into this chuppah!"

When I had joined the two rows together (the mistake row) the points were perfect! I danced!
Not dancin' so much now knowing that I have to rip!


I briefly considered NOT fixing it. Then my better judgement kicked in and it is all fixed now. All I can say is thank goodness for Judy and her design wall Monday or I would never, ever have noticed it.....well you know, that is until the day of the wedding!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lat week we had to have a plumbing re-route as we had a leak in the slab. Ever since we've had no hot water to the washing machine. Luckily he came back today and has managed to cut not one but two additional holes in the wall! These two will be added to the 3 others that that needed to be cut last week! I'm just glad that I'm not the one that needs to fix them all.

Friday, December 17, 2010


(why the gift post now when Hanukkah is looooong over? We are just exchanging gifts this weekend as this is the first we've been able to get together)

These are the items I made for my kids...the true gift is mine....the reason....

Last year I made these apples. They were the September gift of the month. I didn't think much of it but Chris2 said "Oh. can you make pears?" I never gave it another thought. Obviously he did. When Ms. Aviva took the apples out this fall he told her, "You know, I really do want your mom to make me pears." Chris2's gift.



A month or so ago, during a family dinner, Chris1 said, "Hey, I need you to make me one of those bowls like Serena's. I later asked my daughter if he serously wanted a bowl! Yup! Seems he wants one for his toiletries. I did something a bit different with this one. No fabric wrapping! Thread only. I like the way it turned out. I was testing different threads so that is why the bottom is different. It looked to "girly" for a guy. Chris1's gift.




Earlier this year our guild had an owl swap. Serena came over one day as I was furiously making owls. She ooohed and aaahhed and said she wanted a pillow. My friend made me a shirt with the owl on it and I wore it one day when Serena and I went out. She ooohed and aaahed and said she wanted a pillow. In October she spotted one of the owl blocks and reminded me that she "wanted one of them." I forgot that she wanted a pillow but made her this shirt. (naturally I remembered the pillow after I'd finished the shirt!) Serena's gift.


I had a gift for everyone else so I needed to come up with something for Aviva.....I decided to make her one of these loopy scarves. (I just used this link for a pic. I bought it from Joanns). It is stlylishly being modeled by my iron! Aviva's gift.


What is my gift in this? Well, all this sewing, crafting and patchkeying around is NOT in vain! They not only like but want the things I make. It make my heart sing that the boys asked for homemade items. Chris#1 is always asking when I'm going to feel like making pj pants again! Chris2 is excited that his kippot (Jewish, traditionally male. head covering) will be made from candy fabric.

I think my girls picked winners when they chose their mates!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

State of my backside

One reason I've been short on time is I've been working out many days a week. I have a personal trainer 1X/week. I have to go in between because otherwise I won't be strong enough for the next week's workout! It is time consuming to workout but I really do like it.

My trainer Gabe is, as he puts it, a bootie man! I just tell him he's obsessed with my backside. As a result, I've toned quite a bit in the lower half. I think I've done a million lunges, squats, step ups and run a million stairs. I highly recommend the expense of a trainer. I am using him for the short term to learn, shape up, motivate and then move on on my own. In the process, I've lost a bit of weight and toned up alot!

I think the blog neglection has been worth it because here I am last December (w/ 2 of my cousins)...

and here I am this December.


I purposely found a before photo with straight as opposed to curly hair since last December I had my hair straight, !

Yes, I am bragging a bit but mostly I need to be accountable. I am so tired of losing and gaining and want to really really keep it off this time. I am at high school weight and really want to get to a weight I've never been before! (yeah right!) I haven't been this thin since high school.

I didn't plan it, I always post my weight issues on Weds., but after last night's biggest loser, I think this post is rather apropos!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Aviva's Chuppah

It's really not much further along then the last time I showed it....I really need to light a fire as the wedding is in March. I have a self imposed deadline of the end of the year! HA!


The strips around the outside are there to see how it would look if I continued the pattern of diamonds and triamgles.


Minkee Monday

I have no clue what she was digging for in this pail. She went at it for about 10 minutes though!



Friday, December 10, 2010

Origami Shirts

I found that I'd never posted this! Cute huh! Our "guild" has a make and take each year and this is what I taught. I came up with a ton of uses from holding gift cards to a lift n see flap quilt for children. I didn't actually make up all of the ideas as I had too little time. The quilt in the picture is my friend's. The individual pictures at the bottom are a few that our members made. They got creative with the ribbon!







Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hello! My name is Morah

Ok, My name is really Marla but.....I'm still alive. Yup! Where have I been??? I can't decide if I want to continue blogging...... My life has changed. I work. I volunteer. But I think the biggest "not wanting to blog" factor is Facebook! I seem to spend so much of my free time there keeping up with family that I feel guilty when I sit down to blog. Here are some of my other reasons for the indecision....

-I wish there were a faster way to post and explain photos, hook up links. - Hooking up the camera or removing the card. Uploading, getting the settings correct. Love to do it but unless I just don't know what I am doing, it is very time consuming.

- It's been soooo long, I wonder if there is anyone out there that will read (although I really blog for posterity)

-The birth of "professional" blogs. Although I love to read them, the explosion of "professional" type blogs has diminished the impact of us little peons just plugging away out here. (wow! I should read my previous bullet point!) I have nothing to promote, no book to sell, no advertisers to keep happy....Don't get me wrong, I love reading them. I'm just not as fancy.

I will try to begin blogging again. After all, I am working on a wedding canopy for my daughter Aviva! I have to give her equal time as her sister (it was her sister's chuppah that started the whole blogging thing)

Yet........all of the above are probably just an excuse for sheer, plain, Laziness!!!! LOL!!

BTW Thank you to Ms. Desertsky for wondering where I've been!

Oh and the picture..????Has nothing to do with nothing!! It's just a shot of my daughters and I ....Perhaps....I'll explain why we are in identical shirts in my next post......

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Owl Swap


We all have "those" kind of friends. You know the one. She suckers you into something batting her eyelashes, smiling ever so pretty and all the while beckoning you with her claws! LOL! Well my friend suckered me! (Silly me, I fell for it......AGAIN!) Our quilting group had an owl swap. They had 8 months to complete 21blocks, one for each of the participants. The day the blocks were turned in, THE VERY DAY, during the meeting, in front of the group, I received the eye batting, sweet smiled question..."Would I like to make up for the one person that didn't fulfill their responsibilities?" I fell for it and then the claws came out...."finish the blocks in one week?" Oh, did I run screaming? Did I even see the claws? Did I stop to consider that it was the week that school was starting, two weeks before all the Jewish holidays and my most busiest time of the year? Whatdaya think! Of course not! I said yes. On the plus side, my eye batting, sweet talking, claw wielding friend is also very, very nice. She and another dear friend helped immensely and were vital to the completion of my blocks. I didn't finish in one week but did have them ready at the next meeting. Like the crossed eyes I gave my owls? That was how I felt after the word yes came out of my mouth!

This is the pattern we used.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Minkee Monday

DH is NOT a cat lover. DH is NOT a cat lover! DH is NOT a cat lover?????? Hmmmm....let's review. Find original evidence here. Ok, I'll give it to him. DH is not a cat lover. DH is a Minkee lover!!!!! P1170003aBUT, BUT, BUT, she seems to be converting him! LOL!

Last week we had torrential rains and flooding. Just as we left for work on Monday, the skies re-opened and it was a downpour. That night, well into the evening, DH looked at me and said, "There was a little cat in the middle of the freeway." Pause. "It was just sitting there soaking wet." Paauuse. "There was so much traffic and it was pouring. I couldn't just stop in the middle of the freeway. The poor thing was just sitting there." Pause. "The rain was just coming down and there were cars on both sides of me. The traffic was heavy. It was just soaking wet." PAUSE. ........ "I had to drive over it. Neither my tires or the bottom of the car hit it but......" (Now I realize that NOT hitting an animal is not a reason to be called an animal lover, that's just being a decent, caring human being. It's what happened next that is the amazing part.) I looked at him and said, "Awwww, too bad you couldn't stop a get it, Minkee would love a friend to live with her." He didn't even balk!

Hopefully that poor little kitty made it's way out of the middle lane of the freeway. But I have a feeling that the next little orphan Mr. DH sees, will be coming home in his pocket! I don't know how in the world we'll ever explain that one to the girls.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stash report

My report......dismal! I went to my favorite Creative Sewing Center in San Antonio. I needed to get the perfect background fabric for Aviva's quilt. I found it! It was on sale! It's a 108" backing fabric and is perfect. I bought a ton of it because I use whatever was used in the chuppah for a first year anniversary bed quilt and then anniversary presents for years to come. I wanted to have as much as possible to begin with. They also had Judaic fabric that I'd never seen......Plus, and it's not fabric, but I went ahead and bought the smaller MM templates just in case I change my mind. Suffice to say, I spent a fortune! I had fun but I will use it all. I mostly regret how much I spent!!!!!
Like I said last week, I keep this up and I'll get kicked out of the stashbusting linky!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Aviva's Chuppah

Aviva, aka Ms. A is getting married in March. That means I need to make her a chuppah. Serena's chuppah (Mrs. S), was my finest work. A masterpiece. No it wasn't perfect. To another quilter it may have even been simple, the quilting a smidge wobbly, the one side just a bit tippy. It was a stack and whack and the first time I'd ever worked with diamonds. The pattern I used did not include that border and I made it work (I even had to use MATH). I was very proud of that. I machine quilted it on my DSM and I was very proud of that! (never mind the judges in the quilt show thought there was too much white). Aviva's chuppah is going to be another opportunity to create something that I've never done before. Hers too will be a masterpiece, only different. I have been wanting to work with diamonds and hexagons for a long time. I've just been too chicken. Here are the (waaaaay to much) fabrics I've chosen.


This is the way I am going to make the chuppah. I've said before, I love Marti Michell templates (Hi Mr. Michell if you are reading...he searches for hits on Marti's name). I have been wanting to buy this set of templates for a long time. One Sunday morning, while still in my jammies, I punched a few buttons and by Weds. or Thurs., I had this book and the templates.


I actually read the words in this book. I poured over it for days trying to figure out exactly what I wanted. This is a method book not a pattern book. On one hand that made it easier, on the other harder. Not color but value is what I had a hard time with because I am only using one color, green. It took me a while to realize that I'm not quite good enough yet with value to make some of the settings work. It's ok. The one I chose will challenge me enough!


I couldn't resist. I immediately cut a few pieces and tried them out. Guess what?! THEY WORK BEAUTIFULLY! Yes, you need to be carefull. My first attempt at a star is good but not perfect. The outer edges match fine but the inner points missed. That was operator error. I was so excited to put the two sides together that I forgot to pay attenten.


My first attempt at hexagons. (I LOVE, LOVE, grandmothers flower garden and tumbling blocks. I've started a few GFG by hand but never finish....I just may now! Plus with many 6 pointed star designs you need the hex) You can see where the scissors are pointing and at the interesection of the diamond and pink and stripe, that I had a bit of trouble stopping at the right place. Again, I was excited and didn't slow down enough. SLOW is hard work for me.

Here you see I slowed down and made PERFECT HEX'S!!! I am so excited to get started on Aviva's chuppah. She and Chris approved the fabrics and YEAH! I CAN GET STARTED.


Monday, September 20, 2010

The weather!

This is what happened in my town over the weekend. My daughter left to drive home literally in the nick of time and got out before the roads flooded. It isn't like these images are miles and miles from my house. Some are nearby, some a few miles away, but all in my city. We had between 11 and 15" of rain depending on your location. We were somewhere in between at our house. No flooding at my house but the end of my street and surrounding streets whoa!

Design wall Monday

Look familiar? I only added another project on top of last weeks entry. Sigh....maybe if I stopped posting blog posts I'd actually sew!!!! LOLOL!! It's there because I'm trying to decide how to I am picking out the terrible quilting I'd done earlier.


I always forget to remind ....go to Judy's blog and see what everyone else is working on.....

Minkee Monday

It's DH's birthday. I think Minkee was thrilled. This box is no bigger than
6X15". She found it comfy and cozy!


I couldn't resist closing her in. She stayed put!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just a bit of rain

Love rain but WOW! Last night and today have been amazing. Here is photographic proof. All these were taken within a 4 block radius of our house. The end of our street was flooded but we est. long ago that ours is the highest house on the block. It's a good thing when it rains so much.

The view looking out my enclosed patio. For reference, it was taken at about 11 am. Looks like nighttime huh. I think I detect white caps on the lake.


The pond in my side yard. I'm looking out the window... no way I was going out to get this picture. See the pond?


In front of the middle school for those of you that have been to visit. To those that haven't, come on down and you'll have a point of reference!



A block down from the middle school


On the major street that connects to ours. I wouldn't have done this but the little Ford Focus made it through. Can't imagine that they had dry feet though!

Stash Report?

Stash report. Hmmm.....Welll.....Uhmmmm......we are supposed to be committed to REDUCING the stash???? I think I have this entire idea mixed up, backwards and cattywomppus! I haven't been sewing. I haven't been producing...but man o man! I have been stash enhancing. I think I'm going to be kicked out of the stash report system!!!!

Case in point #1
My folded stash


Case in point #2
The bolt of fabric that cost only 1$1.50/yd at Walmart. It's from Possibilities people! A good fabric at a good price. Too bad that it's an ombre..which I don't like too much, it was cheap and will make excellant backs to projects.


Case in point #3
The bits of fabric, not fat quarters, not yardage, not cut to size, in color bins.


Case in point #4
Fat quarters.


Case in point #5
Bins. Mostly filled with various sizes. Some filled with speciallty scraps like novelties, homespuns ect., that don't fit into the upper bins. The specific sized strips I never use. I have decided to purge these bins and only cut 3-4 sizes of strips. Just need to get to the task....


Case in point #6.
More bins. These I use a bit. Sized 1', 2', 21/2"...


Case in point #7
The fabric for Aviva's chuppah. Oh, it doesn't look like much but that bag is stuffed with greens!


Plus I forgot to take pictures of of the huge bin of Americana fabric.... huge bin! Plus the huge bin of 5" squares, the bin of UFO's (the least problematic of all the bins and shelves!) and the bolt of Kona in the closet. Oh and did I forget the drawers of embroideries???? (AND WHAT PROJECT HAVE I CHOSEN TO WORK ON??????? LEFTOVER ITTY BITTY HALF SQUARES THAT AREN'T EVEN MINE!!!)

I really want to use this fabric, mostly because no more will fit, but have discovered that I've bought pretty fabrics, not necessarily useful fabrics. Plus... well, I think I'm in the dreaming mode right now and owning some of this is as nice as making things....sorta! I am not in the mood to stress over it today. I'll save that, and the guilt of having soooo much stuff, for another day. Today I'm just confessing that my stash is out of control. OUT OF CONTROL! The consequences of that will just have to wait.

Pop on over to Judy's blog and check out how everyone else is really controlling their stash!!


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