Friday, December 30, 2005

Adding to Nina's stash (and a little for me too!)

Today is "Share pictures of what I bought on our trip" day! Aren't you excited? I know Nina is!

This lovely purple print looks batiky but isn't really. ($2/yard) - for Nina.

This fabric is really kind of a periwinkle color. I loved the bands of flowers going through it. ($2/yd) for me.
I know, I know - it's blue! But aren't the fish wild? $1/yard. for me!

It's batik - its wild - its for Nines! $1/yard.

Its orange! Guess who its for! Nines! The dark spots are kind of purple and there is a leaf print all over it.
This purple with butterflies is for Bekah and Eva, in hopes that their mama will make them some cute summer dresses! There is about 5 yards of it. $1/yard!
And last but not least, another batik. It has the same leaf print all over it. The color ranges from dark, dark green to purple to some yellow spots. Again, $1/yard.

All in all, I got 18 yards of fabric for $24. That's $1.33 a yard. Not too bad! Hobby Lobby gets quilt store quality fabric because they are not a "chain". I guess all the stores are owned by one family - they are not franchised out? Anyway, they have nice fabric and when they put it on clearance, you can't beat their prices!

Today , I am going to try and get the christmas tree un-decorated and put everything away. We aren't sure what you are suppose to do with your tree. Do the trashmen come and take them away?

Hope everyone is getting some quilting time in!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

No, I have not disappeared!

We have returned from Tennessee and are home for a while! Do you hear the relief in my voice? I have had too much time sitting in the car from Thanksgiving until now. My BIL came home sick from work yesterday so we went to a motel last night. Mostly so we wouldn't get his creeping crud, but also to not inflict him with the extra noise of two more children on top of his own three. Since my parents are currently living in a 28 foot travel trailer, we could not go stay with them. DH had finished painting both stairwells, so we decided to head on home this morning. We kind of dilly-dallied along the way. We went by OpryMills mall for about an hour so DH could check out the bike shops and then drove to the south side of town and had lunch at "My Little Italy". Yummy pizza. By the time we got to the south side of Birmingham, we needed a potty break so we stopped at Hobby Lobby! Found lots of cute fabric on clearance! And to those of you that are wondering about my purchases, IT IS NOT THE NEW YEAR YET!!!! My DH asked the same question! Actually over half of it is getting sent to Nina! Haha! Some of it is even ORANGE!

We are all thankful to be home. Now we get some time to relax before DD and DH go back to school at the end of next week.

To keep this quilty, here is a picture of a quilt made by DH's great grandmother. I saw two quilts folded up on a shelf at Thanksgiving and asked Aunt Judy what they were. One was this quilt with pink appliqued flowers. The other is a brown and red Irish chain made by her husband's grandmother. Both quilts are in excellent condition and have obviously been well loved and cared for through the years.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Today's surprise accomplishment

My mom called a few weeks ago, asking if I had any girlie baby quilts that did not have a purpose. What a question! She knew of course that I had the pile of tops waiting to be quilted for the Project Linus contest. Anyway...She really wanted to give a long time friend a quilt for her new grand-daughter. Mom and Linda have been friends since my dad was in college. What makes me feel old is that I have memories of the birth day of the new mother. I was seven. I remember we went to the hospital to see her in the nursery. I know there are lots of people out there that can say the same thing about me making them feel old, specifically my mom!

So we decided on this pink quilt. And of course she wanted me to quilt it! I am taking it to her to bind. I put it on the machine this morning, thinking maybe I could get it quilted tomorrow afternoon. But the kids played outside for a while this morning so I got about half done then. And tonight their bedrooms had to be cleaned before Santa could come and then baths had to be taken, so the quilt got finished!

Can I share with you how much I love using the last of something? Like using a spool of thread until it is entirely gone? Or piecing together pieces of leftover batting to use on this baby quilt? I think it give me a sense of finality that I don't get from my house cleaning and laundry! My mom is probably thinking to herself "what house cleaning?" You didn't know I could read your mind long distance did you?

Time for me to go to bed so Santa can come. He may get stuck in the mud around here. Definitely no snow here - but it has been raining since about 6 pm.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

I want to wish all my blog-land friends a very merry Christmas. May you be surrounded by good friends, good family, and good food. Hope everyone has safe travels wherever you may be headed.

We are having Christmas day at home, by ourselves! Wow, we must really be adults! Then on Monday we will head up to Tennessee to be with my parents and my sister's family. My parents have big plans for DH - he gets the fun job of painting the high parts of the stairway since he is the only one in the family with out a fear of heights! What they do not realize is that his fee for painting high spaces is double what he charges for his architectural services!

We were overcome with insanity today and actually went to the mall for about an hour. We had lunch in the food court (yummy!) and then the kids went in search of presents for mommy dearest! We made it out alive and came home to take a nap!

DS was cuddling in bed with me last night and I asked him what he wanted for christmas. He told me a wanted a "real" gun and an electric guitar. I am not sure what he thinks he needs a real gun for! And an electric guitar? I told him he needs to start on a regular guitar and then once he has mastered that he can move up to an electric guitar. (And yes, he is getting a guitar.) I see a noise-filled house in my future! How can it get any noisier?

Anyway.... hope you all have a wonderful christmas and I hope Santa brings you what you wished for!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I actually did something quilty!

Today, I let myself take a time-out and sit down to sew on the binding on the quilt Nines gave back to me last week. She's right - it is HUGE! Last night I bought the cafe clips at Home Depot and got hubby to put them up so I could take this picture. As you can see, my curtain rod that is about 9 feet high - is still not tall enough to show this quilt in its entirety! Now if this doesn't cover my whole bed, I am just going to give up!

I decided to call this quilt "Land of Lincoln", in homage to the log cabin blocks and the birthplace of yours truly! Lots of wide open spaces in Illinois! I had forgotten how flat Indiana and Illinois are until we were driving across the wide open plains covered with snow, last week. I expected Alabama to be flat but it is actually really hilly, nice gentle flowing hills. Birmingham is the ending point of the Appalachian mountains.

I tried to get a couple of shots to show off Nina's quilting. She did beautiful feathered wreathes in the open spaces. And then kind of McTavishing in the other spaces. I LOVE IT! Especially because I know Nina quilted it just for me!

The pictures should be clickable. The quilting will be more visible in the larger pictures.

Thanks again Nina! I will always cherish this quilt because we both had a hand in making it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mimi's Frosted Cookies!

Today I decided to share with you one of my oldest Christmas related memories. My grandma, Mimi, made these cookies every year at Christmas time. They are a very simple cookie with pecans chopped up in them and powdered sugar frosting. She always made the frosting pink and a light green. I assume she was going for red and green for Christmas. We have had a variety of colored frosting over the years. One year my mom made my DH some orange and blue frosting (Go Gators!). Today, DD wanted purple frosting. Not so easy to do. We kept red and then adding blue but it kept staying this mauvey color. Oh well - she was happy!

Here's Mimi's recipe -

Mimi's Frosted Cookies

1 cup margarine, softened
5 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts

Chill 15 minutes. Roll into balls. Make thumbprints in each. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 - 15 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar frosting.

Melt 3 tablespoons margarine. Add 3 tablespoons of milk. Mix in powdered sugar until you reach a thick frosting consistency. Add food coloring if you like.

Here's to grandmothers and sweet Christmas time memories!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I have returned from the frozen north...

Otherwise known as Wisconsin! I had forgotten what it is like to be cold all the time!

I want to thank all of you for your kind words and your prayers. My paternal grandmother, we called her Mimi, passed away Tuesday morning after suffering from a massive stroke Monday night. She would have been 80 in January. My grandparents celebrated their 62nd anniversary in November. 62 years together! I can't even begin to imagine being together that long. They got married when she was 17 years old and he was a soldier getting ready to be sent off to serve in WWII.

Mimi quilted, but unfortunately I don't have any of her quilts. I do have that box of unfinished blocks that I shared with you a while ago. She used to make me and my sister all kinds of doll clothes, both for barbies and for bigger dolls. Me and my sister had these twin dolls that were almost life sized. My mom has them and all their clothes at her house. It is fun to see our daughters playing with them now and remember Mimi making all the cute clothes for them.

We are all thankful that she died quickly and painlessly. She went into a coma almost right away. She was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's but she still knew who most people were. I am very glad that she had not gotten to the stage where she did not recognize my grandfather. I think that would have broken his heart.

Even though we were sad to have to make the trip, I was thankful that we got to see several special people along the way. We stopped Tuesday night in Louisville and spent the night with friends. Once we got to Wisconsin we got to see my grandfather, aunts , uncles and cousins, several of whom I hadn't seen in a few years. My whole family was able to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who live in Whitewater. This is an uncle on my mom's side of the family. I have two uncle Larry's - my mom and dad each have a brother named Larry! Kind of a "this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl!" Anyway - the aunt and uncle we stayed with are very fun to be with. We call my aunt "Auntie Dimento" because she is so silly! Me and my family stayed in the basement. My sister and her family were in one bedroom and my parents were in the other spare room. Luckily we all like each other - pretty much!

And on the way home, my sweet husband let us stop for lunch with Nina and her DH and three of the kids. We met at the restaurant where me and Nina would go when we would go shopping in Indy. Joe's Crab Shack! Yummy! As Nina said, our visit was WAY too short, but at least I got to see her for a little while. Maddie (my DD) and Eva (her DD) both seemed to enjoy seeing each other again. Maddie is exactly five days older than Eva. Both of our families moved to Muncie when the girls were about 6 months old. Luckily they like to play together as much as me and Nina do!

Nina gave me lots of goodies, which she has already showed you part of! And she returned my HUGE quilt, which she quilted for me. Now to get the binding on! The quilting is beautiful! I will take pictures of it when I get the binding done. I am trying to talk DH into letting me put those cafe curtain clips on the big curtain rod in our living room, so I have a good place to hang huge quilts to photograph. She also gave me some beautiful yellows and blues, half yard cuts. And she gave me a charm bracelet, with an Eiffel Tower charm on it. So cute. Now she has guilted me into getting her Christmas presents finished and in the mail! We both said that seeing each other was the best Christmas gift we could ask for!

Enough of my rambling! I am off to bed! Thanks again for your kind thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Look what I did today!

Today I woke up in the mood to quilt. I already had the backing pinned on so all I had to do was load the top on and get going. I did a BIG meander and got done fast! I had about 280 inches of binding already made from coffee quilt #1. I usually always over estimate the amount of binding I will need - by a lot, obviously! I went ahead and added 40 more inches just to be safe. Got it all machined on by about 1 p.m. Even the label is on!!! Since I have no patience as far as giving gifts, especially really good gifts, I went ahead and gave it to DH. He loves it, especially when he saw that I had used all the coffee scraps in it. He also likes the name - "Leftover Coffee". DH usually makes one or two pots of hot coffee per week. The rest of the week he drinks the leftovers as iced coffee. This is where the name comes from and the fact that I was able to use up most of my leftover coffee fabric scraps.

I have heard from a lot of people about my NO-BUY resolution for the new year. See yesterday's post if you have no idea what I am talking about. So far it looks like Joanne, Judy, Sharon, Finn and me are ready to take the no-buy vow. Not sure what would happen if we did buy something "illegal". Maybe that's where the quilt police come in to play! Anyone else want to join us?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

An Early New Year's Resolution !

First of all, this is my 100th post! Who knew I had so much to say? No comments from the peanut gallery please. I want to thank all of my faithful readers, both of you! And of course I need to thank all of the other Mavericks - you all are such a big inspiration to me. You make me want to get out of my quilting rut and try new things.

Which leads me to my second point. After reading Judy and Bonnie's recent posts about our out of control stashes and piles of UFOs , I have decided to make a NO-BUY commitment for 2006. I am going to use the same guidelines as the yahoo group "Stashbuster" uses. No buying allowed - except for the B's - backgrounds, borders, or backings, binding, and batting - needed to finish a project. I really have enough fabric to last me a while, really I do. If I could just get my brain to remember that fact. If I got busy making stash quilts, I bet I could use up most of my stash by this time next year. Wouldn't it be wonderful to not feel guilty when I go fabric shopping?

Anyway... anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome to. I would appreciate all the encouragement I can get.

Does anyone else have any quilting New Year's resolutions they would like to share?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas arrives at the Norman House

Yes, Luke Skywalker was here to help set up our tree. You can never have too many Jedi masters around!

Christmas finally arrived at our house today! We got our act together and went to the Christmas tree farm this morning. What fun! We found this beautiful 8 foot tall tree, cut it down ourselves, and hauled it home. The tree was only $34.50 - and as DH said it is Fresh and from Alabama! We were a little worried we would get the tree home and it would look dwarfed in our living room. This room has 11 foot ceilings and very tall windows. But the tree was just the right size. We got our eclectic collection of ornaments put on it. For some unknown reason one string of lights has decided to blink this year! Too bad we have no presents to put under it! I'd better get busy!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More cute kids!

OK, if everyone else is going to show off their cute kids, I am too! This is Maddie (going on 7) and Ian (4.5). They are my sweeties! I spend most of the day chasing Ian around trying to steal kisses.

As far as quilting, I managed to get the backing for DH's coffee lap quilt pieced and loaded on the machine. I am hoping to get going on the quilting tomorrow. I also applied 19 feet of bias binding to another project I am working on (not a quilt). Can't share any more info because they are going to certain people that I know will read this. The binding went much quicker than I expected - probably because I did not have to first make the binding and then sew it on. I bought the premade stuff. Much simpler!

It has been overcast and drizzly all day. Good day to stay in and sew!

More kaleidoscope quilts!

I thought I would share the kaleidoscope quilts that I have made. This one was made out of a cool Hawaiian print fabric that I found at JoAnn's. It was the second one that I made. Me and Nina made a total of about 4 of these kaleidoscope quilts in the span of one week after I learned the method on Simply Quilts.

This is the very first one I made. It was made out of a wild floral print that I found at... WALMART for $1.00 a yard. I know you are all shocked and appalled! I didn't want to waste expensive fabric on something I wasn't sure was going to work. It turned out to be kind of a strange size - kind of long and skinny.

This one with the olive green background was made with a fabric that looked like Italian plates, artichokes and other veggies on it. You can see the fabric better in the second photo. I also used the fabric as the backing. That way I can show people what I used to make the kaleidoscope blocks. No one ever believes that all these different looking blocks can come from the same fabric. This quilt I gave to my MIL, who uses it underneath a tablecloth as a pad for her glass top table. UGH! I know she loves the quilt but ....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Quilt Nina mentioned

Here is my very first quilt, the one Nina mentioned in her latest post. What Nina did not mentioned was that the other lady who was one of the "teachers" in our little quilt class wanted me to go out and buy all new yellow and blue fabric, because the first strips I cut were not perfectly straight. Nina said no, we can make them work. Nina is the queen of easing things together! Me and Nina were almost ready to pull our hair out trying to figure out the triangles in the border. What a pain!

I want you all to know that I feel just as lucky to have Nina for a friend as she thinks she is to have me. This mutual admiration society is so much fun! Now if we could just move Indiana a lot closer to Alabama we would be all set!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Look what showed up at my house today!

I went outside this morning to find this large box on my front stoop. Inside was this little sewing machine for my daughter, from my grandmother. As you can see, it is called "Dressmaker", but I would hate to even think about sewing a dress on this machine. It is SO noisy! But of course, Maddie is thrilled with it. It comes with its own carrying case and bobbins, thread, seam ripper, scissors, etc. The knob in the center is for adjusting stitch length. There is a button for the light, one to make it go faster, and one to make it go/stop instead of using the foot pedal. Maybe this will get her addicted to sewing too! If she sticks with it, I would love to buy her her own featherweight for her 16th b-day. I should probably start saving my money right now!

It's done and out of here!

I finished the binding and the label for "We're singing the blues!" on Saturday. We hosted the college age bible class last night. Our preacher usually teaches the class so I talked his wife into coming along too. When I handed her the quilt, she said "What's this?". I told her it was a quilt for them and she said "But I didn't want to cry tonight!" When we unfolded it, she said she loved it, especially because it was blue! David (our preacher), refused to look at it because he didn't want to start crying!

This label was made using an iron on outline that you then go over in fabric marker. I also used some fabric crayons to color in the flowers. This was the first time I had used the fabric crayons.

Here is a close up of the BIG meandering I did. Goes nice and quick!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Some old projects to share

Since I haven't done anything quilty in a few days, I thought I would share some old projects. I was hired to make this purple quilt for my sister and BIL to give to their niece as a high school graduation present. Guess what her favorite color is! This led to a lot of left over purple fabric which eventually got made into the baby quilt below.

This little wallhanging or tablerunner was made for my daughter's school's auction last year. My sweet SIL bid on it! I told her I would make her one for free if she would just ask! Nina did the quilting on it for me!
I made these batik blocks to go with some blocks Nina has started. We were going to make a quilt for her nephew's high school graduation. We thought he needed a cool quilt to take off to college. After we started this one, we discovered that the boy's mom was making him a quilt. Up until this point, she was only a collector of fabric. So now Nines has a nice collection of batik blocks!