Apr 26, 2009

Sunday check in

Shown, the Two of a Kind/Cheap Trick a third of the way done. I have one other "mini row" on the pressing table and another pinned and ready to feed into the machine or I would have a start on the middle third---the long rows. As the quilt grows it is getting harder to tell exactly where each color will land but you know what? As long as it isn't the exact same piece or the same print in a different colorway, I am NOT taking it out. IIWII and I like it!

I stalled out the last couple days in the sewing department. It has been paper pushing and tossing, if the truth be told. Stuff stacks up when I am busy sewing though I separate out the things that need to be dealt with soon. The rest waits. The catch-all basket, desk cubby and top desk drawer are all cleared out leaving the recipe and quilt pattern printouts to be filed---or not, LOL

DJ asked "why are you taking a picture of that?" Blog fodder, I replied. He didn't know that I mentioned having the kudzu removed. Anyone in my family or friends who have visited our home know what it looked like back there too. Our neighbor DID come over and took a good bit of it out. A small section in the middle remains as not only was that area not level but we have a narrow area behind an overgrown bush or two that he could not fit through with the heavy equiprment. There are some tree stumps there as well. Anyway, there was no need to risk dumping the endloader or the ground giving way and falling from about 10 foot up. You see, they cut right through this hill to put the road in below. Our little lane is the OLD section of it that went up the incline and back down. That is why the across the road houses are on an even level with our house but the road is not visible between.

Friday the Persephone Garden Club had their annual plant sale and I went. My pal Judy is a member and the quilt I just bound for her was going to be raffled as a fund raiser. (I thought it was for the Salvation Army auction though she is making one for them too) All the proceeds go to local charities at any rate. Last year they had to cancel it due to the drought conditions but that has been reversed so the sale was on. They even fed their customers sandwiches, desserts and punch/coffee! I asked Judy for suggestions on what to plant on Pippi's grave site since the frost zapped the marigolds we had planted earlier in the month. Hosta, it is. Will tolerate the full sun, like the afternoon shade and sound virtually indestructible. DJ pulled out the copy of Gardening in the South for the care reference and planted it for me.

Boy, has it warmed up around here! Recently I read a description of the 4 seasons in Alabama on a cooking blog. According to the author who lives somewhere in the state, they are as follows:
  • Almost Summer
  • Summer
  • Still Summer
  • Christmas
I had not heard THAT one yet but I think there is some truth to it. DJ is always insisting that we didn't have any spring. Well, yeah we did---it was when the pollen was blowing and we had 50's and 60's for highs. Still, I suppose that perception is reality in his case. We are into our 3rd or 4th day of high 80's and not ready for it though it is not as humid as it will be in a month or so which makes things fair less bearable. There are two closets in my bedroom, one of which I use for coats and off season clothing. I switched the winter stuff out yesterday and took 3 bags of stuff to the donation boxes. Spring purging. If that doesn't bring on colder weather, I don't know what will.

My only real goal today is to put away the Easter decorations. Personally I like the rabbits myself but it is time. I put two of the ones that were tucked away in the sewing/computer room in the living room to be sure they made it into the box and DJ made some crack about them reproducing. He also made some crack about being blinded by the light hitting off my white legs when I took the outside pictures too. What do you expect after winter and jeans? Funny guy or just thinks he is funny??

DJ did the laundry while I groceries so I still have things to put away--wash it if you will but let me fold, hang my stuff. You can see what Skyler thinks about it being laundry day. Just try and remove those from under him! Another shot I took of him shows him at full meow when DJ took out a few pieces. Looks like his blending right into those whites with that full belly exposure.

DJ has a birthday coming up on Tuesday. Normally we would go out for lunch on or near the date but I have quilt group. I think he has made his selection about where I am taking him. He was no help with deciding what kind of cake or pie he wanted--whatever you feel like fixing. Sigh, that is what I always do though I do take suggestions. Because I needed to get the supplies in, I finally decided on Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting from the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook. THIS would be a similar recipe. It was a little night time reading going through the two recipe books, LOL. Oh , I also spotted a really yummy sounding brownie recipe in the chocolate version of the cake mix book that I could take to quilt meeting sometime. Flag that page too!

Guess that is it for this installment--hope you have had a good weekend at your home.

Apr 20, 2009

WIP, etc

It was a busy week last week but not so much in the "creative" department. From Monday till Saturday afternoon, off and on, I was slogging on the binding on my version of Scrappy Bargello. Considering that I started this on Super Bowl weekend 08 that is a pretty fast finish of a personal quilt, thanks to Norma quilting it for me. Trust me, I have projects way older than this one.

Yesterday I got out the 'ol rotary cutter and raided the stash for the background yardage for my version of Two of a Kind/Cheap Trick. I had cut the print pieces about 10 days ago but after all, that binding I was itching to sew! The picture above shows where I left off last night when the storms began rolling into the county and I needed to power down.

As explanation, the reason that I keep using the name "Two of a Kind/Cheap Trick" is that I know of two versions of what is a very similar pattern. I found the "Two of a Kind" pattern in the American Patchwork and Quilting magazine April 08, Issue 91 designed by Darlene Zimmerman and her daughter Rachel Shelbourne. BUT Miss Rosie's Quilt Company issued a very similar pattern and called it "Cheap Trick" RQC #97. The sizes to cut the sectioning are different mostly because the "Cheap Trick" version that Sheila shared with me was designed to use charm squares, layer cakes or fat eighths rather than the scrappy yardage and fat quarters I had to work with. In my case I took the cutting instructions from one pattern and the piecing directions from the other

There is also a little bit of difference in how you approach the piecing in the two versions but not dramatically so. Basically there are NO real blocks---it is pieced as a bar quilt and the pieces go on point to give the illusion of overlapping sections, like a modified Card Trick quilt in a way.

edited: 4/21 My mom told me recently that she had seen a
Hanky Panky quilt at a quilt show in Bloomington (IL) that reminded her of the "Two of a Kind" (2oK)quilt. She thought it might be easier to piece IT than the one I am tackling. It turns out Zimmerman and Shelbourne designed it too! I like that one too but I believe that this is new take on a old block. It is attributed by Barbara Brackman's numbering system to Farm Journal is called Squares Upon Squares #1104 . Not that I would piece it the same way as shown HERE but Quilter's Cache has a version of this block. Another one that is similar and again, an old block from the Nancy Cabot days is Squares Within Squares #1102 b. If I were doing either one of them, I would be eliminating some seam lines especially if it is sewing the same colored squares together! Rectangles surely would work. Another day perhaps.

Because the magazine and pattern both show a smaller quilt than I wanted, I drew it up full/queen sized in EQ, more to help in calculating how many strips, squares, etc to cut. The coloring is more or less what I am following to aid in laying out the sections. You really need to watch what you are doing when you pick those pieces up. I have found that if I isolate just the row I am working on by folding over sections of my printout and block out the preceeding rows I have better luck verifying the layout. Then I concentrate on just sewing each "mini" row at a time before moving onto the lower half. So far, no ripping----yet!

So what else have I been up to since I last posted? The Bama Belles met on Tuesday for one. Several of the quilts that were out for binding were turned in so I had pictures to take. Mostly it was the aforementioned binding for me though the girls did pin several tops while a couple others sewed.

Unfortunately my camera battery ran out before I had a chance to take a picture of a top I thought I might be dealing with on our next "move it forward" day. ( I had promised Norma a picture of it as it might be one of my oldest tops---15 years old maybe?) Still, I had the opportunity to spread it out and measure it---only to find out that it is about an inch bigger at the top than the bottom! I had planned to put two borders on it but no way will it lay flat with that descrepancy. Part of the quilt was done as a pass around project with about 8 other piecers involved
. That might account for why there is a difference since I pieced the 2/3rds on my own machine later. I don't remember having to ease the two sections together and it doesn't appear to be wonky to the naked eye. Back to a no borders quilt as originally planned?? I need to think on this a a bit more. What is a few more days at this point when you consider how long the top has been antique-ing, LOL?
The Belles were having a potluck dinner on Saturday evening hosted by Judy and her husband Conray. All the spouses were invited to attend this one. ( I had spent some time earlier this month sending out the invites after updating the roster) Judy asked me to ride shot gun with her over to Atlanta so she could get some food and supplies for the party. Sure, glad to go! Our first stop was at Tiny Stitches in Marietta. I knew from emails, blog reading and comments back and forth that Melinda works at the shop. I emailed her to see if she would be working--she wasn't but lives fairly close, she said and came over to meet us. Lovely lady! She pointed out some of the pieces she had made and quilted in the shop and gave me one of her sister's foldable to purse size Tote Along bags. Thanks again for that! Link is HERE for the pattern but they have them at Tiny Stitches too or as Melinda put it, they are the "East Coast distributor", LOL. I got one while Judy found the yardage she needed for her project as it is such a clever idea.
We also made runs to Trader Joe's, a party store in the same shopping center and after lunch, Costco. We had a yummy lunch at The Brickery. To be honest, I didn't have much a clue just where in the Atlanta area we were most of the day. Somewhere around Marietta--Sandy Springs maybe? -- but Judy knew where she was going so that's all that mattters! I got home about 6 pm on the dot. Judy shared some filled chicken ravioli that she picked up at Costco so I threw that in the pan, fixed some Italian green beans and garlic bread so we didn't have to go out for supper after all.

We had a good turnout at the party. I had met almost all the husbands over the years but I don't know that many of the guys had. A few maybe. We had talked about doing this for some time so it was fun to see everyone in a social setting. I had said if the guys were balking at coming then we should remind them that they would get a better meal and have better company if they came along with their wife, LOL. Delicious food but I already knew we had some good cooks in the group.

The other pictures I used for filler--the lilac in more bloom than the original one I posted about a month back. The smaller azalea is open now and the white encore variety is starting to bloom now too. The tulips were more or less a surprise as we thought those bulbs were long done. He did save the bulbs from the tulips he purchased for our anniversary in January putting them in cold storage in the fridge. He planted them in late March but those aren't them! And Skyler? It is now part of his nightly routine to run up to the top of the pass through. He starts yowling like crazy, showing off that he is up there. If that were not enough he stands up on his back legs merkat fashion or runs back and forth being anything but careful.

Other happenings in the neighborhood. We think that one or both of the people across the hard road are moving out. U-haul there over the weekend. Next door they continue to work on remodeling and painting the interior of the house. The step-dad tore down an old shed in back and even had the across the lane neighbor come in with the endloader and clear out the old kudzu mess on the bank at the edge of the lot. We need to have that done to keep DJ from spending two or three evenings each week during its growing season trimming back the new growth! We have a much longer lot ( a narrow acre) and more to have scraped off. We didn't know you could do anything with it short of burning it up and risk starting everything one the hill below on fire doing it. He talked to the neighbor about his fee--very reasonable. He'll be over when the ground dries up a bit from our latest rainfall. DJ has been doing some repair work on the eaves as well as some painting and caulking, some of it up on the roof. Definitely need to get any roof activity done before the summer heat gets here and those shingles get like hot tar.

Guess that's about it for this post. Thanks for stopping by!

Apr 12, 2009

another finish

I don't know if this goes on the "Move It Forward" weekend tally or not. Since Norma and I set the "rules", I suppose it could if I said it counts. Friday was the official day but I finished the remaining bits of stitching on my Bird Brain Santa Sunday afternoon.

Next up: binding on my bargello quilt. I am going to set the room up and get to stitching in a few minutes. A few more books on tape have been downloaded from the local library e-books so I am ready to roll there. I am very pokey when it comes to binding mostly because I stitch it so closely together. This has 80-20 batting and I may need to add a bit of batting in there to plump it up a bit too. However, the biggest reason is that I get sidetracked by the computer. The next thing I know I am off playing my newest fav on the solitaire program or working a jigsaw puzzle or checking blogs and email, LOL. No wonder a large quilt can take 3 days! I will probably drag it to the quilt meeting tomorrow where I will have fewer distractions. Yeah, right--keep telling yourself that, Linda!

Our Easter was a fairly quiet day. I had debated about even fixing a traditional type meal. DJ said he really didn't care one way or the other but by the time I went to get groceries, there was not a single spiral cut ham to be had. I ended up getting a package of ham steaks which is enough for the two of us anyway. The only real fuss I made was making Picadilly Carrot Souffle. Even dessert was courtesy of Mrs. Smith and the scalloped potatoes, Betty Crocker. I just didn't have time to do the scratch stuff I normally would do. I also threw together a little batch of guacamole and some tzatziki sauce for some meals this week. Actually I am sort of combining two sauce recipes but the basic ingredients are very similar.

I have a taste for a gyro sandwich this week but after a check at three groceries, the only lamb I found was two sorry packages of lamb chops and a huge leg of lamb. No ground meat that I know I have spotted before. SIGH. This is one of the times where I realize how spoiled I was in Bloomington-Normal being able to find almost ingredient for fixing anything that struck my fancy. I do a lot of different ethnic stuff to the point that DJ has asked what country are we eating in tonight, LOL. Also in B-N we had a great restaurant to go to and let someone else fix it--the gyro, that is. This place gave you more than two little strips of the meat like the one spot that makes them here that I know of.

More griping about the local stores. I remember when we first moved here not being able to track down pita bread among other things. I attempted to make my own which sorta worked. (Should try them again on my yeast bread making journey this year) At one point a store that closed within the last two years had kits for gyros in the deli that had everything you needed but the produce---alas, even that is not an option. I have also been looking for pierogis for about two months; the one store that DID have them, does no longer but I finally spotted them at another when I got groceries. Wsgon wheel pasta and whole chiles? None in town but a store about 20 miles north of here does have them. I stopped on the way back from Gadsden-Boaz and got some.

I realize that some people are more of the "meat, bread, potatoes and beans" mold than I am. Others are happy to use all the convenience food and mixes too. I prefer to scratch cook if I can to control the fat and salt contents but don't always. Some days when I am really busy sewing, I just it fast and done! Stores can't stock everything, I know. As a matter of fact, I am on the hunt for semolina flour too. Again, they used to have it and don't anymore. I can check at the health food store after our meeeting for that one. Just plain frustrating!

Back to the gyros meat business, I read a suggestion on all recipes that one lady suggested putting the meat in the food processor to compact the loaf and broiled it rather than grilling it like burgers so I am going to try that. I'll prep it this morning and chill it so it is easier to slice thinly when we are ready for it. It has been raining and blowing through the night so I don't want to plan on grilling anything.

If you hung in through the rant, bless you, LOL. Off my soapbox and off to the kitchen.

Apr 11, 2009

Move It Forward weekend

Norma and I planned another Move It Forward sewing day for Friday since that had worked out so well for us last month.  The idea is to kick start a project that had lingered too long on the shelf.  It might be borders, binding, assembling blocks into a top.  Since I didn’t get as much done on the 4 patch posie as I hoped last month, I knew what to pull off the shelf as my choice.
First though I needed to clear up some of my “mess” from Thursday’s project.  My mom had sent that box you see below full of some 30’s scraps and fats but I had also put in my leftovers from the Cheese and Crackers top that I had recently made in there too.  I wanted to cut out a full sized version of “Two of a Kind/Cheap Trick” and started cutting my way through the box.  Two of a Kind called for 3 inch squares and 3 x 5 1/2 rectangles so I was able to just take the seam ripper to the CNC pieces as they were the same size.The larger pieces of yardage I set back but essentially I kept cutting and stacking them up into 8  color groups. 

By Friday morning I had some nice piles but no clue just how many I had towards the 240 sections that I needed.  I had worked my way through Mom’s stuff and the smaller pieces I had stored in the Longaberger basket.  I was down to a leftover pile of scraps like you see to the right of the pizza box---not sure what I want to do with them at this point so I just bagged them up for storage.  I was a bit shy of 240 but not by much. Then I pulled a little more fabric out of the stash to have at least 30 sections of each color.  The “before” and “after” pictures if you will.  Still need to cut backgrounds.
I didn’t get started back on my 4 patch posie top till after lunch. Last time out all I had gotten done was pre-sashing all 64 blocks and one row of the 8 I needed assembled.  By 9 p.m. all the rows were assembled and just the center seam left to join the top and bottom halves.  Not bad for a day’s sewing! 
The weather was awful yesterday---strong winds and lots of sirens going off.  I had to keep shutting off the computer and the sewing machine so it is wonder I got that much done.  Still, others had it far worse and the tornado warnings we had were about 12 miles north of us and 20 or so south of where we live.
I had already decided that I was NOT going to piece in a itty-bitty border cut 1 inch as the framing sashing had been done.  Instead I cut strips 1 1/4 for a flap insert between the body of the quilt and the outside border.  I had already cut and sewn the binding for the quilt but not folded and pressed it so took care of that while the iron was hot.  Pressed back the binding on the bargello quilt while I was at it as that is due up next around here.

So TADA!  Here’s the finished top----I hope it will click bigger.  (Blogger didn’t want to load pics tonight so I am writing this in Live Writer)  If not, I’ll try to replace it later.    DJ was having a little trouble holding it all the way out straight but I think you can see what the starting fabric was in the borders.  I told my mom when she called that I thought some of those iris stems were probably going to grow sideways on the top and bottom but I really did not care, LOL.

The machine is put away, pins picked up from the floor, the threads all vacuumed up.  My goal for the coming week is to get the binding done on my bargello quilt and cut the backgrounds for the “Two of a Kind.  For the rest of the evening, I think I will pull out my Santa redwork and move IT forward too.

Apr 9, 2009

what fun!

Last fall Pat and Cher were put in charge of the 2nd round of the FAB "Summer in Winter" challenge. The whole thing was spurred from a group chat on Windows Messenger, as I recall. Actually a lot of fun ideas get started there when we start brainstorming. Pat mailed us each a yard of something called "tropical camo" which seemed to scream summer. We were given the name of a FAB to send to and there were few rules but the hardest one was to keep things secret for all these months!

Cher had my name this round but unfortunately just as she was approaching the mail date, she fell and broke a bone in her right hand. Poor Cher but we all decided that none of them get opened till everyone had one however long it took. Woohoo! Cher in spite of her hectic schedule with the quilt guild raffle quilt sales and all that managed to get it finished up and in the mail Monday. It arrived yesterday so now all that was needed was to round everyone up. After chat, some text messages, emails and even some phone calls I had everyone agreeing to meet at 8 PST to do the reveal. LOL, Norma was "late", we assumed doing the supper dishes, so I rang her up and said "it's time"---no hello or anything, but she knew it was me. Too funny! Cracked her up too.

Here is the cool top that Cher made for me! Wonky lettering and a bright color palette which Cher loves to do. Flamingo fabrics and isn't that a cool sun with the shades! I haven't looked at all the fabrics closely yet to see if there are other hidden surprises in there. She backed it with a special label and quilter fabrics. I should have taken a picture of that too. I love it, Cher---thank you so much for this!

Cher used these cool cat fabrics as "filler" in the mailing box. I am doubly blessed!

For my part---I had Norma's name this round. I know that Norma loves to decorate for the seasons. A scroll through her blog archives will show you that---Christmas, Easter, St. Pat's, fall, summer. You name it! She has kept her home and her mom's supplied with table toppers and such and I know she will continue to do so. I toyed around with a few ideas but THIS placemat idea from Quilter's Online Resource is what I kept coming back to. I made 6 of them and debated about sending all of them to her--two for when her folks came over?--but ended up keeping two at our house for DJ and me. I can finally show you what kept me busy for part of January.

One at my house

At their new home---looks like they need a spin through the dryer to get the mailing folds out. Not sure why that fabric looks so turquoise but it is really more like the single shot above. Maybe the way the flash hit them when Norma took the picture last night?

I used a little bit of everything in the way of applique prepping techniques on this one. I stink at needle turn applique so that is about the ONLY thing I didn't employ. I did "templar and starch" ---like thread basting a yo yo over a shape more or less--for the flower centers, the plant leaves and flower pot sections along with the bird body and tail feathers. The plant stalks were a small folded strip sewn down and the flipped since they did not need to be a bias cut. The flower itself--freezer paper because of all small convex and concave areas. I had a hard time turning those stinkin' bird wings---one was templar method and the rest I just had to give up and use freezer paper in the end. Lastly, the ivy was fused---no way was I going to do those itty bitty things any other way. Oh, I used the back side of the fabrics for the flower centers and bird wings for a slightly muted color in those areas. Machine buttonhole appliqued with my trusty Viking---a warm up for the "Be Attitudes" and then a little hand embellishment with perle cotton for the bird and ivy tendrils.

Be sure to drop by the other FABS spots for their version of the stories. I think Pam is the only one I didn't link to yet in this narrative. She and I are in charge of the next round---probably in the fall, after our summer retreat. The scheming and planning will commence before long!

Thanks again to Pat and Cher for inspiring us---I say, we all did good and made out like bandits! Love you all.

Thanks to you, dear reader, for stopping by--------

Apr 6, 2009

Checking in

First of all, Happy Birthday to my Dad and my pal Helen--love to you both.

It is a cool windy blustery day that is more like March than April. Some of that cold wind is pushing down from Canada and we haven't even gotten out of the 40's today with dark clouds overhead. There is a chance of a freeze tonight which makes us wonder how badly the azaleas and lilac bush are going to get zapped tonight. Too bad as they are more in bloom then the picture I posted recently.

So what's been going on around here? In a word, binding, LOL. I took that last stitches in Judy's quilt that I was binding for her last night about 8. I had been stitching on it for three days off and on. Judy tends to neutrals and loves the blended quilt style, as you can see. Looks pretty good on my bed, I have to say but this will be be donated to the Salvation Army fund raiser for auction. The fabrics in it are more decorator weight than quilting weight though some of the prints at center are more typical quilting cottons. I am not sure what was used for backing but it was a very tight weave and hard to needle. My thumb, index and middle finger are all a little needle bruised at this point so I think the binding on my bargello quilt will wait a few days.

I took this picture to show Norma the panto that Becky used on it. Not sure what it is called but it has a kind of fleur de lis feel to it. The local quilt shop in Oxford has a long arm machine and the owner does most of the quilting from what I understand. I have not had occasion to use her services yet but my pals sort of rotate between three area quilters and seem satisfied with the results. I was on the last edge when I could not convince Skyler to stay off of it. He really was not wanting to have his napping disturbed at that point either. To accomodate the size and weight of the quilt I had taken my sewing machine out of the table and put the table I use when I quilt in front of it but facing the opposite direction in the room. I'll do the same when I get to my own quilt.

I had a few errands to run this morning and one of them was to get something to replace the skirt on my sewing/pressing table. Between the iron cord and my waist rubbing on it, I had worn through a good bit of the fabric at the mid section of the skirting on the long side of the table. The short side was fine as I rarely have to cut from that end but it all needed to match. I was sick of that pink, burgundy and plaid stuff anyway.

I found a plain 200 count flat sheet for 3 bucks at Wal-mart figuring that I couldn't find yardage that cheap. They don't match the curtains but you know how they change decorator colors anyway. The curtains were bought 11 years ago so what do you expect? Since the sheets have some polyester in there, maybe it would hold up to wear better?? I was able to cut it in 4 sections to get the width and lengths I wanted so that worked out well. A little hemming on the cut edge and some stitch witchery to hold the folded edge under was all that was needed. The velcro is stitched down so that is enough to hold things together at the top edge. I was even able to re-use some but not all of the loop tape from the old panels so I got the job done for about 9 bucks once you got tax added in. Woohoo!! Nice fresh look in here. Of course, Skyler is quite interested in these and has been hiding and playing underneath the panels. DJ, bless him, vacuumed both the sewing room and bedroom for me while I was gone. That vacuum kills my lower back so he has told me NOT to even use it----I hate to vacuum in the first place so you don't have to tell me twice!

Before I had started on the hand finishing on Judy's binding, I had stitched it on both of my projects---"Be Kind" and the almost queen sized bargello. I will get the little bit of stitching done on this tonight after supper so decided to take the picture of it to post now. I won't bore you with the shot of it on the wall on its hanger. Easter will be here soon enough but I figure we can enjoy it for the rest of April anyway.

Other sewing plans for the week? Norma and I are planning on another "move it forward" day this weekend. I have h0pes of getting my 4 patch posie assembly finished up this time. May get a jump start on that before Friday but I hope to cut out a "Cheap Trick/Two of a Kind" top from the 30's scraps sometime this week. Sheila was kind enough to share the pattern with me but I may still use the sizes from the similar Two of a Kind I found in the APQ magazine a few months back. I drew it up in EQ mainly to get a feel of the color tracking and of course to visualize how many rows etc were needed for full bed sized. My sketch is HERE in a previous post.

Well, enough goofing around for me. Time to head out to the kitchen and get things rolling in there for supper. I had hoped to grill the pork tenderloin but it is looking even worse than it was a few hours ago so oven it is. The rest of the meal needs to be cooked inside anyway.

Thanks for stopping by---------

Apr 1, 2009

WIP Wednesday?

Ah, not so much piecing going on today though I just finished piecing the latest commissioned t-shirt quilt yesterday. Does that count LOL? We had the possibility of storms in the afternoon so I started piecing early in the day on the 3rd and 4th vertical rows. By afternoon we had it spread out on DJ's bedroom floor to snap a horizontal measurement for the top and bottom borders. I took a picture of it at that point though I had yet to apply said borders. Horrid picture since I cut off a few blocks and it is not laying down straight either. Maybe Susan & Joan can get a decent shot of it when it is delivered to the owner? This is a surprise gift for him, they said, but may be hard to keep since he works right next door to the shop.

Today we had a break in the weather and a gorgeous spring day though the week's forecast includes more rain and possible thunderstorms. I got my walking in and was able to run a few errands with DJ but I figured this would be the best day to make a run up to Boaz to deliver the t-shirt quilt.

In exchange for making the t-shirt quilt, Susan is going to quilt my Cheese and Cracker top shown HERE plus reimburse me for any fabric and interfacing that I use to make the t-shirt top. I hurried up and washed up the 3 plus yards of 108 inch backing last night in preparation for the trip up there, though at that point I didn't know which day I would be going. A service for a service so that worked out well for both of us. They both sew but just don't have time to do the piecing plus they like the way I set the shirt pieces, too. Susan said that someone in the area sets them all cattywampus which would be an interesting look.

While I was there, another client came in with a completed top. As it turns out, she is a 30's nut like me. Susan had to haul CNC out again. LOL, the customer and Joan were looking at the fabrics closely---"I've never seen that one" "I have that one in another color" LOL. Joan had two gorgeous quilts to show me as well, one with 30's that I had seen as a top on my last run up there. Both were in the Geraldine Quilt show over the weekend. I didn't go this year though and was happy to see them completed. We had a nice visit before I headed back.

It was such a nice day for a drive! I didn't call anyone to see if they wanted to go along for the ride since it was so short notice. I didn't actually decide I was going until 11. Maybe on the return trip when CNC is ready for pickup. The route up there is basically 4 lane divided highway but I cut off of US 431 in a couple of spots through the residential sections of three towns along the way. There are lots of dogwoods both wild and cultivated in bloom. I spotted azalea bushes in all shades of red, pink and white. There is wisteria hanging everywhere and lots of redbud too. I love spring!

Our bushes are starting to come out too. The azalea shown is one that was originally in a planter when we first moved in here 11 years ago. The leaves look a little washed out--not green and glossy so we may need to refer to the gardening books. The other bush we have is much smaller with a little larger bloom. The yard (weed patch really) looks really shaggy but DJ is out on the mower now taking care of that.

DJ's pampered lilac bush is starting to come out as well. Lots and lots of small buds yet to open. We also have a few jonquils and lupines in bloom but I didn't take a picture of those.

Earlier today DJ and I picked up some marigolds to put where we have our Pippi buried. It was a year ago this past Saturday that we lost her. That still makes me sad. BUT by the same token, that means that this coming Friday will mark the day that Skyler came home to live with us. I made a good choice there.

SO what's next in the sewing department? I whole heartedly believe in the "reward" system. If you finish up one task, then get to work on something you want to. In my case that would be the machine applique and quilting of the "Be Kind" block. I switched out machines last night so I am sort of ready once I change machine feet and wind a bobbin or two.

I had binding to press for the t-shirt quilt and the two donation quilts I pinned last week. I also cut some binding strips for Judy's quilt. By the time I got done with all that tasks and cleaning up the mess in the room, I was ready to call it quits in the creative department.

I may just do a little redwork on the Santa block tonight and get a fresh start on "Be Kind" tomorrow---see how I feel after supper. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it------------