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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's almost the New Year!

Can you believe that it is almost 2009 already? Seems we just had this discussion not long ago for 2008. My how time flies when you're having fun! And that's just what has happened since the last post.

We've had Christmas here at the new house with the grand kids, met new friends and neighbors, and now tonight, we are having a little game party until midnight with a couple of dear friends - Byron and Darlene. I have planned dominoes, scrabble, and we'll all try out the new Wii! Chili is on, fresh bread is already out of the oven, and the dips are sitting in the fridge. What a way to bring in the new year, eh?

For the first time ever, we live in an area that doesn't forbid fireworks. So, both Hubby and I stopped at different times (unknown to each other)when the fireworks tents were being taken down last July. Let's say that if you look to the center of the US around midnight tonight, you might see our display. We certainly have enough to last a little while, I think. We've already warned the two neighbors we have that have horses, so their horses won't be upset with the noise and/or the lights.

I've got a few projects on the wall to get going on. The Bonsai tree is next, and I've got all the fabrics pulled and auditioning on the wall, as well as some bindings on a couple of quilts from last year to finish. I've been contacted by someone about making another commission quilt. We need to finish up the details on that before I commit, but it might be a nice bit of unexpected pocket change in 2009.

No quilt pictures today; the round robin quilts are slowly making their way home, so you should click through the RR bloggers web links on the right side (click next). In the meantime, but I will leave you with a celebratory picture of hubby and me. Have a happy and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Home again - and a surprise!

This was one of 6 flamingos at a bank entrance. I thought they were just hilarious!

We got back from our fabulous vacation 5 days ago, but I've been on the move ever since. We have begun our little Christmas visits from nieces, nephew, neighbors and old friends, so I needed to bake and wrap and clean before I could actually spend time at the computer.

Now, you just never know how far Obamania travels. We went to a little island picnic with local lobster and music, and look what we found! This sticker is on the "bass" for a band that was singing during lunchtime. Everyone on the island seemed quite happy about President Elect Obama - we saw bumper stickers and yard signs in a lot of places, too!

Besides the good music, this is what I really like about our island, Anguilla. Local crayfish (lobster) for lunch? - notice that I AM drinking a diet coke to offset all those calories!

And last, but certainly not least, here's my surprise! For the last 14 months, I have been participating in a Bloggers Round Robin project. Mine is the first one that is finished (an entire month early). I just had to post it for you to see. After we get them all in to their owners next month, I will make a post of all 15 of them. They finished just 13" X 18", and until this month (due to the weather problems), not a single one of them were lost or delayed!

Isn't it just wonderful?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And away we go!

What a Thanksgiving blessing we have! Another year and another trip to the Caribbean. We usually leave the day after Christmas, but since the grandchildren are older, we'd like to be home during their winter break. SO! We are leaving bright and early tomorrow morning! We'll be back on December 16th.

We ARE taking the laptop with us, but the internet service is never guaranteed. If I can, I will upload some pix as we go. Overall it will be a very relaxing 17 days with nothing to do, nothing to see, and no where to be.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Opinions please?

I am working on a commission piece of a Bonsai tree. The lady is quite delightful about letting me "do my artist thing", but it is somewhat frustrating that she won't give me much input on what she DOESN'T like/want. This piece has been commissioned as a gift for her husband, the Bonsai aficionado. I worry about the pink being too "feminine. The panels aren't cut to size yet - and the center panel is an antique plum blossom kimono panel.

Originally, I was going to cut the fabric lengthwise and put the darkest panel on the left, the silk in the center, and the lightest on the right. The Bonsai tree will "drip" across all three, and the Kanji script for Bonsai will be somewhere on the piece as well. I just can't get this arrangement out of my mind now that I see it.

Comments, please? Am I too concerned about this?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quilt Giveaway from the Old Red Barn

NO! I am not going to give away quilts. Sure wish I could, though! Go to the Old Red Barn Co. for her giveaway. It's a lovely blog with some nice links and even better she's giving away three quilts on November 17th! How cool is that?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big Bad Momma!

The Big Bad Momma of all quilts is finally done - or at least it's a flimsy, as my friend Nancy says:) It finished out at 106" X 117". I modified Bonnie's Patches and Pinwheels pattern to use 2.5" strips that made the blocks a bit bigger. I really like this quilt a lot, and I think I will probably make another one using smaller strips out of my bins.

We have a deep mattress king bed, and my quilts never seem to drop quite far enough. Well! I think this one will! I always put my big quilts sideways on the bed and make a matching pillow case to go along with it. Since I never make a pillow roll on my bed, this works just fine for me!

The first picture is of the backing folded on top of the quilt underneath on my sewing table. The second photo is the quilt on my design wall (without borders). I couldn't decide whether to make another row all around or to add plain borders. I guess you can see which one won, right? This quilt was originally started at the beginning of the summer for my birthday quilt by my stitch group, The Amazing Quilt Babes.

Now, it's off to the quilters for a true finish!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New friends, old friends

I was so pleased to open this Sunday's newspaper to a special "Green" section and to find that our own Bonnie Hunter had a nice article in it...presented by the Kansas City Star books/Pickle Dish group, I'm sure. Have your ordered her book yet? Go see her here, for a signed copy!

A couple of days ago, I opened my email to find an invitation to a local guild that meets about 30 minutes away from my new house. When I found out it met during the day (I don't drive at night usually), it was a go! So this morning, off I trundled to the Lee's Summit Guild and I met some new friends! I also found out that a few of them (you know who!) have been following my blog, so while they were new to me, they pretty much already knew me. It sure wouldn't hurt to leave a comment once in a while, would it? LOL! No pictures this time, but for sure I'll take my camera to the guild meeting in January! Yes! I joined the guild-but I got so excited about being part of the group, I forgot that I won't be here in December for their Christmas party. And since I signed up to bring food, and to share a ride with one of the members, I'd better get an email out about not being there.

Where will I be? Well, we're going back to one of our favorite parts of the world: Anguilla. We'll be leaving the day after Thanksgiving, and be gone for 15 days. We're going earlier this year than usual so we can enjoy the grandchildren over their Christmas Holidays. You can check the weather in Anguilla on my sidebar labelled Vacation weather. There's quite a difference between here and there, I gotta tell ya!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fall Harvest

It's been a busy time here in the Midwest. Did you ever wonder how your food gets from the field to your table? Here's a little taste.

This picture is not mine, but the fields around here look sort of like this...and they even work through the night.

The next two are the soybeans being loaded into the travel trucks from the "hopper" in the field. This was right in front of my house. Why they chose MY street is beyond me. Maybe it's because we're right across the street from their last fields, and that we are the only house on the cul-de-sac? They got a chuckle out of me taking pictures of them!

And as a reward for sticking with your "field to table" lesson, here's a picture of a twin size quilt top I just finished for my quilter. It's only about 9 months late! She is trading me long arm quilting for my making her a couple of tops. A really fair trade, I think!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I almost forgot!

I forgot to share with you that shipping is free on your orders with Red Bubble until October 30, 2008. Just use this code when you check out (and you can use PayPal, too!)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Show and Share

First, I'd like to introduce you to Red Bubble, my art gallery site where you can see my art quilts. You can also purchase cards and matted prints if you'd like. For those of you are interested, it is specifically and Art site, not a quilting site, and most of the members are photographers or collage artists from Europe and "down under". It's a beautiful site just for eye candy, too. Check it out! You can go directly to my gallery site by clicking on "See My Red Bubble" on this blog.

Last weekend was the final Amazing Quilt Babes Birthday Stitch days. Vicky had us work on various unfinished projects, and we had a lot of fun - as always. We all worked on sashings for the Buggy Barn hearts (including Bonnie).

Ibby put the binding on her daughter's red and white Bear's Paw.

Carolyn shared the beginnings of a charity quilt using Terry Atkinson's Monterrey Medallion.

And last, Bonnie had the final say on the ownership of my my fall crawl Christmas Quilt!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Still working away

Well, our house didn't sell in the 6 months we had it on the market. BUT!!!! A really nice couple contacted us through a friend and they are leasing it for two years. His job moves them every two years or so, and they moved in the day after our realtor contract expired, so we are still good. No cash in our pocket, and we have to wait to build our garden garage here at the new house, but equity is still being built up in the Kansas house in the next two years, so why complain?

The weather here has still been glorious, with a few days of rain here and there. Enough moisture and enough cool nights to have the trees start turning their beautiful yellows, oranges and touches of red. I need to remember to take my camera out with me for pictures in the country. I missed getting pictures of the sunflower fields just southwest of us when we were out for a drive last week. Now, their heads are all hanging down, waiting for harvest.

In the meantime, I actually found time to sew. I went to play work at Needlenest Friday and I ended up bringing home a sample to make for them. It's the new line from Mary Englebreit that starts with a panel in the center. Of course, I forgot to bring home the final red border fabric, but I can do that quickly when I take it back on Monday or Tuesday. Isn't it cute with the prairie points? The entire thing will be 60" X 64" finished.

Here's Tall Ships - a block you rarely see made anymore. I just got it made for a friendship group monthly exchange where the person asks you to make the block of her choice, and supplies the fabric.

And of course, I couldn't sew without my helpers. Lazy things, though! I finally got another chair to sit in because they insisted they needed to keep this chair warm!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A quilt show and auction

Here in the Midwest (as I suspect in other part of the country) we have wonderful Fall Festivals. Every weekend in October we have at least two to choose from!

We decided to go to Drexel, Missouri for a fall fest where there just happened to be a quilt show too! Imagine that! I have a few pictures of some of the quilts, but not many as I had to go back outside for the auction. The quilt guild auctioned some forty quilts to benefit the local school foundation - a wonderful cause. And all the quilts were so nice, too! The youngest member of the guild was 12 (?) years old, and her quilt went for about $100.00 or so. How nice of the community to support this effort.

The first one is my favorite, and if it wasn't English Paper Pieced with over 2,000 pieces, you might find me doing this one! LOL!

I thought this is a great use of those bright colors and graphic shapes!

And here we are at the auction.

And look what came home with me!
Then it was Homecoming night for my soon-to-be 15 year old grand daughter. How can she have grown up so quickly? That's my son, her dad with her and also the other wonderful grand daughter, Kaitlyn.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nothing much

Here's our little Stephen on his OWN Gator like his Opa's. Now that we are out in the country and there's no traffic, a boy needs his own space, doncha think?

Nothing much to report here in Missouri except the moving still goes on. How much darned stuff can two people have, anyway? I think we only have one more small truckload to go and it's done. At least, it will be done on that side of the state line - more to unpack here on this side of the state line is not thrilling to me at all. I've just decided that I will be like Scarlett in Gone with the Wind and "worry about that tomorrow". LOL!

No sewing at all has been done, except to re-sort more stuff into the stewdio. I've got some quilted denim laying on my cutting table to make slipcovers for my new dining room table pads, but I don't have the gumption for that either, so maybe tomorrow!

We're hanging more pictures, so it's feeling more and more like home, too. Soon, the pool will be closed at the other house, and the need for me to be going over there will be less, and I can focus on my new home. Cutting three acres of grass here and two acres there has been wearing Hubby out! We worked on the first steps of putting the garden to bed for the winter - the step that I dislike the most - pulling out all the plants. The only thing left standing right now are the mammoth sunflowers drying for the seed for this winter. I love hanging them by the bird feeder and watching the chickadees hang upside down in the snow getting their treats!

So that's it for now. Maybe next post will be some sewing, or some pix of the new studio!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And here's mine

Inmy haste to show you part of Gwen's retreat, I forgot to post my own!

I am not usually very productive in a group setting....I'm much more social and looking at whatever everyone else is doing. BUT, for the first time, I actually finished something! This will be for my son who doesn't want a traditional quilt. He will be 37 this October, so this will be his birthday present. I think I will call it "Straight Arrow?" It's about 72" long by 55" wide

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She's ba-a-a-ck!

Doesn't this look like it should be a postcard? These are just a few of the quilt tops that were produced at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, second session, 2008. Our theme was working with solids - a very difficult thing for yours truly to do.

Here is Carol G. with some of her "orphan" blocks adding a border treatment learned this week.

And below is my new friend, Dawn, with her version of Mexican Hat Dance. Aren't those curved strips great, and it really sings with the cheddar and the orange!

This is a WOWSER, too! Way to go Carole A.!!!!

This is the view out the front window of my "apartment" (I shared with a friend) which was only a few short steps away from the classroom. Even though you can't see that the water is blue, the sun was shining ever so nicely and a breeze was blowing ever so softly, and the reflection from the window washed out the water color! Trust me, though, it was a gloriously beautiful day!

This is about one half of the classroom where we worked freely on whatever we wanted. This year's theme was working with solids, and you can see my friend Carolyn's stack that she was working with to her that was the next table over stash from Kentucky LOL! This picture was taken around the dinner hour so many people had left to eat while we stayed and played.

And of course, we can't have a retreat without a picture of a tired Quiltgranny and Ms. You Know Who!
I can't wait for next year, now! Next year's theme will be pieced and applique together. I already am planning what I am going to take with me.....dreaming the night away!

Of course, it would help if I could just get the boxes unpacked from our move so I could find what I am thinking of! LOL!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

And I'm away!

Tomorrow is the big day! I'm off to Elk Rapids, MI to spend a glorious week at the White Birch Lodge with Gwen Marston and the other BIQR (Beaver Island Quilt Retreat)second week campers! This is the 25th year for her retreats, and I've had the pleasure of sharing the last two of them, plus this year. This year's theme is working with solids. Since I am sort of a wild child and I love texture and bright colors, this is going to be a brain challenge for me. I'm not sure what I will come home with, but I will share whatever it is next week.

In the meantime, I DID finish the Fall Crawl sampler quilt. Here's a picture of it on my bed, and you can also see the triple border I used for it. The fabric line is 12 Days of Christmas by Nancy Halvorsen/Benartex. I really am happy to have a seasonal quilt for this time of the year! I hope it makes an exciting sale for the shop(s) while I am gone.

I've been very busy (in addition to moving) getting the last of the garden produce processed for the pantry. Here's just half of the green beans - the jars are three rows deep. Also on the shelf is canned chicken - our local grocery store was having a grand opening, and the skinless/boneless chicken breasts were only $1.87 per lb. How could I not can some of that while the canner was out? Low fat, low salt, and quite yummy, too.

There's a few jars of salsa on the shelf, too, but more has been made. Hubby is in charge of that, though. Here he is with the latest garden bounty after we stopped at all the neighbors and shared with them first. I think he has at least a couple more weeks of picking to do there...unless of course the house sells first.

We met one of our neighbors who walk by our house every morning. In passing, she offered some apples from her tree, and since then, I've canned 8 quarts of pie filling, 10 pints of applesauce and 9 pints of just plain apples. I told her NO MORE! I think we are ready for winter, said the ant to the grasshopper!

And last but not least, we had another birthday quilt day with the Amazing Quilt Babes. We all did paper piecing (the birthday girl's choice) which I am not fond of. But I AM fond of Ibby, our birthday girl, so I pieced along with the rest of them. Aren't the blocks beautiful?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Coming up for Air

I lifted my head the other day, and I realized it's the end of August! My gosh!!! We've finally gotten the majority of the move done, with the exception of the garden shed tools and garden pieces. We've finally had a few days here at the new house, and we quite enjoy it! Lots and lots to share since the last post!

I DID get to sew a bit, and completed this baby quilt set for a customer's second grandchild. The quilt, bag and changing pad all match. I used the "X-Block" tool, and it's a quick and easy quilt to do. I think there may be more of these in my future!

We planted our "crazy dog" garden here at the new house, minus Crazy Dog who needs some repair. This is the back edge of our 3 acre property where a small creek babbles by. I took a break, and Hubby caught me "loafing" and enjoying the blue birds coming by to take a peek at what was new in their neighborhood.

Today and I am frantically working on red/green sampler block type quilt for the LQS's Fall Crawl (as opposed to the Spring Shop Hop). I've got to have it finished by Tuesday to get it to the quilter in time for the crawl. AND, I am leaving for Michigan a week from tomorrow for a heavenly retreat with Gwen Marston in Michigan.

More about the local ant and the grasshopper and pictures of this current quilt in the next post!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still working at moving!

Whew! This backwards moving is getting to me!

So far, we've got my husband's office all moved, unpacked and mostly put away. Tomorrow, the satellite internet service will be connected, so we can call his office complete. Of course, my stewdio has been done for a long time. I just haven't had much time to spend in it. I've been slowly unpacking fabrics, and putting them into clear tubs with BIG labels on them. I'll post pictures when I have that completed, too. Hubby made me some "rough" shelving to my specifications, and all we have left there is to install two more lights in the ceiling. Yesterday, we planted 7 shrub rose bushes, and our wind sculpture in the front bed at the new house. We should be able to see it from the living room, dining room, and hubby's office.

The mini-hearth room is all completed, my birdhouses atop the cupboards, and all the birds where they belong. All the china from the formal dining room is waiting in their tubs to be unpacked, and all the linens are in the linen closet, waiting for us to arrive. We've actually established an official date for the move which is Tuesday, August 6th. It will be good to have the big stuff there, so I can start putting away all of it for good. The kitchen will wait until next Monday to be packed and unpacked. The cats are the last to go - they will go with me before the movers come, so they can feel a little more comfortable in their new digs.

I went to a consignment furniture store the other day to see if I could find a small table for hubby's computer. In addition to that piece of furniture which was pretty easy - look at what else came home with me:

I'm sure it doesn't have a high monetary value, but I LOVE it! It sort of matches my Granny's Martha Washington sewing cabinet, so of course, it had to come home with me.

I'll close this post with pictures of my favorite summer flowers at the house we are selling. They are perennial hibiscus and we have them in white, pink and red. They are just gorgeous! And no, we have had no offers on this house....yet.