Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yel-low There!

The title is supposed to be read like "hello, there". It's one of those silly things we started saying who knows when.

On a quilty note, the above fabric arrived in the mail today. It is going into my Mennonite Mosaic quilt. I was thinking about the joy of starting a new project that I am undoubtedly going to LOVE. As I thought about buying all the fabrics for it, my eyes kept wandering over to my fabric shelf. It is just to the right of the desk my laptop is on. I have about 100 bolts of Thimbleberries fabrics on it.

Before you think I really am an overachiever, remember that I sell fabric from my home online. Very small business. My husband likens me to a drug pusher. He says I just sell it to support my habit. And he is right!

In the interest and self-preservation of frugality (after all, money doesn't grow on trees!), I wondered if I could make the quilt with all Thimbleberries and still stay fairly close to the original quilt's colors. There is nothing like the quality of Thimbleberries. I have quilts I've washed many times that still look like new. Sorry--we interrupt this commercial moment to finish this post.

Well, I had 3 small hurdles to clear...light blue, pink (?), and light yellow. After sleeping on it for a few nights, I decided to buy just what I needed in those colors and use my stash (above) for the rest. That's in the interest of saving money and still making (another) one of my dream quilts. Stay tuned. As soon as the blue and pink arrive, I'll be cutting strips and on my way. Ladies, start your sewing machines!!

Waiting for the checkered flag to drop...


Valentine Day Evening, Part 3

Here are our delightful "workers" for the dinner BEFORE the big meal.

Here they are AFTER...sort of, tired? exhausted?

Here are the 3 girls during the meal, doing what they do best...eavesdropping! They thought they MIGHT have heard their names from the kitchen.

The beauty to me of the whole event is that when I was talking to Emily (2nd from the right in the top picture) about it later, I mentioned that it was so perfect because it was exactly what I would have planned...a quiet, delicious, nutritious dinner at home with dear friends. I must have said something like, "who would have thought of that?" She said *I* had. I evidently mentioned my "dream" to her earlier in the week on a shopping trip. She latched onto that idea and did not let it go. I feel so loved. Thank you to all who made the evening possible.

The end.


PS: Can I make reservations for next week? LOL!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine Day Evening, Part 2

Here is the wait staff. Susanna (13) and Luke (15). Don't they look sharp? This is in front of our living room window.

We enjoyed a delicious meal of cheddar/garlic biscuits, rotisserie chicken (citrus herb or backyard grill), baked russet or sweet potatoes, and steamed veggies. Delicious menu.

The "Love Boat" theme was a puzzle to me. I wondered where the children had heard about that. Remember that old TV show? Yikes! We don't even have a TV. Then it dawned on me. In the movie, Monsters, Inc., Mike Wizowski is taking his love bug out for dinner and says, as he strolls off, "the love boat is about to set sail, oo oo [imitating a horn on a ship]!"

Here are the two happy couples. We are all 45 (not in total, but EACH). My DH (back right with the white beard) is the "baby" of the group by a few months. I'm beside him like a good wife would be, LOL. Yes, my friend looks 14, but she's also 45 .

Here's my extremely happy son presenting us with the bill. He is too happy about the tip of $200.00 he added.

We ended the evening with desserts. My extremely thoughtful oldest daughter had made a delicious and lovely low-calorie dessert for us dieters. Heart shaped molds of sliced strawberries in strawberry gelatin with a decorative poof of whipped topping. Perfect ending...well, almost. A little more to come.


Valentine Day Evening, Part 1

My Valentine evening was completely unexpected, and oh, so special. I guess having low expectations helps with that. Earlier in the day (or possibly the evening before), my DH told me he'd watch "You've Got Mail" with me on Valentine's Day evening. That was very special to me.

Early yesterday AM, he said I would not be able to go upstairs (we have a ranch with a finished basement) after 3 PM, and, oh, by the way, be ready to leave at 6. Leave for where? No answer. My sewing room is in the basement, so this was absolutely no hardship. Well, you wouldn't believe what was happening behind my back (and above my head!).

At 6:00, my DH announced that it was, indeed, time to go. Go where? No answer. Oh, and could I possibly keep my eyes closed until he told me to open them? Well, naturally. To make a long story short and leave out many details...he drove me around in our car for about 10 minutes. He said, "Do you know where you are?" I mentioned that we never stopped at a traffic light. Just as I predicted, very shortly thereafter, he stopped and I asked, "Are we at a traffic light?" His response...what do you think? I told him I didn't hear ANY traffic, and I thought he was just sitting there trying to pretend like we were at a traffic light. We ended up back at our house again. There is a van in our driveway. I ask if it's Steve and Diane's, our good friends. "Could be." I jokingly ask if they are going to babysit (it's been years since we've needed a babysitter for our children). We go in the house, to be met by Pacabel music, candlelight, and an incredibly good-looking young man (son Luke, 15) in a black suit, white dress shirt, red tie and kerchief in pocket. He welcomes us to the "Love Boat Diner". What in the world? We go into what mere hours ago was our living room. Gone is the couch, love seat, computer desk, rocking chair, etc. In their place is relaxing music, candles all over, and a beautifully decorated table for 4.

Our friends had already arrived and been seated. My friend was as much in the dark as I. Her hubby works over an hour away, but he came home early enough to not only be at our house on time, but come over early (I never knew he was here) to drop off dessert...carrot cake and French silk ice cream. He told her they were going out for dinner and had reservations for six o'clock.

We were presented with dinner menus and our drink orders were taken (Diet Coke all around). I cannot do this planning and execution justice. But I will continue in part 2 later.

In this picture of Susanna (13) our foyer door is back to her left. That's the "front door". Notice the V-day decorations dangling down from the ceiling behind her!

Here is a pic of the table, taken earlier in the afternoon. The girls also arranged the roses.

More later...


Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

Well, love IS a many splendored thing. All kind of sappy love songs go through my mind as I recall the events of last night.

These are roses from my DH. Such a surprise. And only a small part of the evening. I need to run my daughter to the orthodontist, so I'll post more later. Much more.

Off to the races,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What a great day! Are you planning to do something special for the love of your life? I'd like to hear your plans. Happy Valentine's Day, one and all.

These are not flowers I received, just a picture I found from a florist service. Aren't they gorgeous?

Love is about doing for others, not expecting something for yourself. Love is a choice. It's doing something to improve someone else's life without expecting anything in return. Think about that. Getting off the soapbox now.

~Joan, who is back among the living

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tiddly Winks, Part 3

Here is the last progress report for tonight...the Tiddly Winks quilt top with framing hourglass units on. I think I'll just make a piano key border of plaids for the last border. Might trim down the cream border before I put it on. I made it 3" narrower than it was intended to be as it is.

I'm down to very little of this black left, but I might put a tiny black border, then the piano key, then black binding. I'll have to do some math. I don't want any of these plaids left in the stash-ola. I think I'll be calling this Mad for Plaid from here on out (and on the label), but for now I'll stick with the original name, Tiddly Winks.

~Joan, who is hopefully off for 40 winks soon (still feeling like I have one foot in the grave)

It Was Meant To Be

It started out innocently enough, and with such good intentions. I was taking my 4 girls to the library this afternoon for an hour or so.

Oh, while we're out, I'll just stop by the Bernina store and get some solid white quilting thread to finish up a customer quilt. So, I bee-line right to the machine-quilting threads and pick out this spool. I take it to the register.

I have looked neither right nor left because, after all, I'm not there to SHOP or BROWSE--I'm on a mission. As I reach into my purse, my eyes are drawn to something lying on the counter...

I snatch up this magazine in utter shock and disbelief (can't you just read those emotions on my face...and they were still there when I got home--when I took this self-portrait!). I've been coveting, I mean admiring, a vintage quilt that Lucy and Kathie have pieced. I never saw the magazine in my usual haunts, so I figured it was not to be. Well, lo and behold...

Here's the quilt that has my attention. It's been on the back burner of my quilting plans since I first saw the picture on Kathie's blog. As they say, the rest is history. I want to make it in colors very close to the ones in the picture, so I'll have to wait for a trip to Mary Jo's, which should be in the next couple of weeks.

Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it gorgeous? Don't you want one??

Still basking in my good fortune...


Tiddly Winks, Part 2

Now my new quilt top is up to 49" x 63". I'm debating about following the original pattern from here on out. There is applique on all 4 sides in the original pattern. I like applique in small amounts, so that seems perfect. But this quilt is all plaids and looks very masculine to me. I don't think I'm going to put applique on it. The applique on the pattern is a star in the center of two flowers.

I also want to use up the plaids that are in this top. It just wouldn't do to leave any in the stash. I'm wondering what to do. I'll finish the hourglass blocks and extend the border out at least that much. I have some ideas (don't I always?). Your input is appreciated.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Another NEW Quilt? What in the World??

I know, I know. Some of you think I'm making up the thing about having 8 children and a husband to care for, I really DON'T sleep (that was for you, Marcie!), and I don't cook or clean.

While I was making up kits to sell on eBay today, I cut plaid squares for this quilt to make for my family. An hour or sew before supper time, I decided to pick out a cream, gold, and black and sew a few blocks. Well, it went so fast that I finished the original quilt center. I'm going to at least double it to make it usable by my now extra-tall children. This center is 35-1/2" x 49-1/2". I'll double it before adding borders.

This would be so nice for a man or boy. All plaids give it a real country look.

Maybe I'll just sew a few more blocks before bedtime, hee hee. I used a different black and cream, but here's the quilt kit...

Have a good night...

Back in Business...

...eBay business that is! It's been quite a while since I listed anything on eBay. I have been cutting kits and snapping pictures this AM to prepare for listing some new patterns, quilt kits, and this lovely finished top...

This is my most popular kit. I made my 4th daughter a quilt from this cute.

Better get back at it. There's still much more to do.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Check the Obituary Page...

...and see if my name is there. I feel so horrible. I did nap for about an hour or more this AM. Now I'm up and tempted to complain non-stop.

This picture is a stencil I cut this AM. I am continuing the Baptist fans on my antique quilt. I've been hand marking them, and that's gone well. I've finished the edge where the fans start against the border, so I'd have to guess where to put them from this point on. I'm not up to all the guesswork, so I cut this stencil from a plastic file folder. Just drew the lines on with a Sharpie, then cut away a sliver with an exacto knife. Necessity is the mother of invention. I forgot that the fans are larger than a 90-degree area, but I just twist it around to finish the design. It works for now.

I realize some of you can't see the stencil because you're looking THROUGH it to see my fabric bookshelves in the back. Just refocus.

~Joan, who is off in search of hot beverages (ick) and some more vegging