Friday, January 30, 2009

Disk is Full!

I can't believe we have so many files on our computer that our hard drive is full. Bill has ordered a bigger internal hard drive and knows how to make the switch. (Love him!) I hope it comes soon, because I can't import any new photos or music. It's really cramping my style!

The other thing this week that cramped my style was having teenagers around every afternoon after mid-terms. I do enjoy having Julia and her boyfriend around, but I wasn't free to hang out with Janet as much as usual. We did manage to do some sewing today while the kids baked. Thanks to Bakerella and Betty Crocker, they made these incredible brownies. Yummy!!

We all met at the quilt shop this morning. The kids walked over from school after their last exam, and Janet and I met to buy fabric. I restrained myself and only bought the yard I needed for Lily's border plus a fat quarter for fun. Janet bought Kaffe fabric for a really cool baby quilt for someone she works with. She's a real quilter already and she hasn't even finished her first quilt yet! Planning the next quilt before the first one is done. Sound familiar?

I put the border on Lily's quilt, which you can't see yet because I can't import anything. All I can show you are the blocks. The "bricks" were cut when I cut the strips for the quilt below. And the triangles were leftovers from that quilt, too. The centers of this block were pieced as "leaders and enders." The whole thing was like a bonus quilt. Visit Quiltville if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Bonnie is a genious!
This is my weed whacker quilt made with novely prints, mostly girlie, all from stash. I really enjoyed making this top and using the leftovers for Lily's. I'm looking froward to spending this weekend doing the Super Bowl Twist and burning though more stash.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two for Tuesday

I love rock stations that play two songs from each artist on Tuesdays. So, I'm going to try to show you two quilts every Tuesday. The pictures I took this morning are a little dark. It's cloudy today, so I had to use the flash.

Quilt #1: The racecar quilt is done! Yeah!
I almost love it. The only thing I'm still not happy with (after trying a couple of other options and ripping them out) is the quilting in the big white triangles. It probably would have been fine with white thread, but I wanted to try using thread color to match the block. I'm trying to let it go. I'm really proud of the "vroom" quilting in the green border. Overall, I think it's a pretty cool quilt. And big enough for a little boy to grow into, 42" X 62".
Quilt #2: Pete's train quilt.
When Pete moved into a big bed he needed a new quilt. He was a train kid, so I used train fabric on the back. I can't remember exactly what year it was- no label!- so I'm guessing ~1998. Isn't it funny how little boys are into either trains or cars or trucks? I loved the flying geese border.
Here's the photo of my stash that I wanted to show you a few days ago. You might be able to see the bag of dreaded puffs shoved under the white shelf. The stash actually looks better in the pic than in real life. Maybe because you can't see the rest of the room! Someday, I will make the time to re-organize. There are piles of fabric and bags of supplies that need to be put away. Every tote bag I own has stuff in it that should be elsewhere. Someday!


Monday, January 26, 2009

My Family

I always wanted one of these stickers for my car. This is even better! This is our pretend puppy. If we ever do get a dog (when hell freezes over), her name will be Ginger.

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy

Get your own Family Sticker Maker & MySpace Layouts.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feeling Blessed

When I arrived in church this morning, I greeted our assistant pastor with a Good Morning, How are you. He replied, "Very blessed, thanks." I never heard him say that before, but after Mass I noticed that's how he replied to everyone today. I like it. I'm blessed, too! I'm so grateful that my children are healthy, happy, smart, and talented. They are growing up in a home with two parents who love them and each other.

This afternoon, we picked up my mother and went to a concert that benefited the hospital. The headlining band was our town's civic band with incredible guest soloists on piano and trumpet. As terrific as they were, our favorite part was the High School Jazz Ensemble with Julia at 4th trumpet. They opened the show with 3 tunes and got the show off to a great start.On Friday afternoon, we went from a middle school basketball game to a swim meet. Pete has been playing drums in the pep band. He really rocks on Wipe Out. He loves drumming and it shows in his performances. Julia started swimming on the HS team this year. The team has been so encouraging to the new kids, so Julia's having a great time.

And spring training is right around the corner! It's my favorite time of the year. I'll be at a field every day this spring, watching Pete play Babe Ruth and hopefully on the middle school team. Julia will play recreational softball. And we'll be at the high school baseball games, too, to watch the boyfriend. He's on his way to becoming a phenomenal pitcher.

Last spring, Julia had an inside-the-park homerun on her birthday! It was one of the few games she actually saw playing time on the middle school team. (A whole other story. Ugh!) And Pete hit one over the fence a few weeks later in one of his last little league games. We love baseball!

Aren't they cute?I'm finishing up the quilting on the racecar baby quilt, so I hope to show that to you tomorrow.

Have a blessed week,

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I have taken the Stash Buster's Pledge for 2009. My personal goal is to use twice as much fabric as I purchase this year. As you can see on the sidebar, I'm just barely keeping up so far. I'm not sure when to count yards used. When it's cut? Top done? Quilt done? I'm going with top done, backing pieced, or binding made. So the racecar quilt has been counted, eventhough it has not been quilted yet. Judy, thanks for the inspiration!

I've only made a couple of trips to my local quilt shops and tried to stick to the necessities. On the first trip, Julia needed thread to quilt her boyfriend's quilt and I let her pick up some Kaffes. We just cannot resist when we're together. My sister wanted to thank me for some sewing I did for her art-student son. Here's what I picked out from eQuilter, my favorite online store. Isn't it gorgeous? I'll be making a quilt for our bed as an anniversary gift for Bill. Thanks, Anita!

I wanted to show you my stash, but iPhoto doesn't want you to see it today. I'll show you today's "before" picture in a few months, when my stash is smaller and neater.

I'm off to finally put away the remnants of Christmas decorations and do some flinging in the storage room. The whole house is a disaster. I need to get back on Flylady's list. She'll help me tame the chaos, 15 minutes at a time.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Sudoku & a Baby

The Sudoku wallhanging is my first completed quilt of 2009. When I should have been getting ready for a Guild meeting/workshop, I started this instead. Using a completed Sudoku puzzle, I assigned a different batik to each number. I cut 4" squares, so I only needed one strip from each print. Then I laid out the blocks according to the puzzle on my portable design wall. It went together super fast since it is only nine 9-patches. I decided to machine quilt the numbers on the squares in black thread. It shows up better on the lighter fabrics. It might become my first tutorial.
This week, I'm working on a baby boy quilt for my niece's second baby. I'm 95% sure she's having a boy. Shortly after she got married, I conducted the highly scientific needle test to determine the sex of her future children. The results were girl then boy. Her daughter Lily is 18 months old (and the cutest baby on the planet!). When my friends were having babies, I used this test a lot, and was only wrong once. I used to keep a threaded needle in my wallet!

Before Lily was born, her mother asked for a puff baby quilt, similar to the one my mother had made for her in 1977. I was horrified to be involved in this process. But I was a good girl, and did the cutting and final assembly. My mother did all the hand work (again). Each puff is stitched by hand and stuffed. Imagine my surprise when I read in the current issue of Quilter's Home that puff quilts are making a comeback. Clover is now selling a clip set that makes handling the nasty little puffs easier. Yikes!
My niece and her husband are Nascar fans, so before Lily was born, I bought 2 yards of racecar fabric, just in case. I'm using it now to make a quilt for her brother, due in a few weeks. I really liked Mary's Twisted Happy Blocks, so I dug through my vast colelction of novelties, leftover from I Spy days. I like the quilt, but it just didn't seem right for this baby. It will become a kid's raffle at our guild show in October.
So I designed a checkered flag quilt that shows off the racecars. I love the crispness of the solid fabrics, but they weren't easy to find. I had to go to two quilt shops and WalMart(!) to find 4 good colors. Here's a sneak peek. I'll show you the rest after it is quilted and gifted. When this is done, I need to quilt the big sister quilt I've been working on for Lily.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Great Day

Yesterday was a great day to be an American. I couldn't stop watching the TV coverage. I have nothing profound to say, so I'll refer to a comment my brother made recently. Jackie Robinson was not only the first black man to play Major League Baseball, he was one of the best. We hope and pray that President Obama will not only be the first, he'll be a Hall-of-Famer.

OK, back to the quilting and crafting. I thought you might like to see some of the gifts I made for Christmas. Once I started, I couldn't stop! I trimmed about 12 hand towels with a row of patchwork. Unfortunately, I never took a photo. I fell in love with the Black Apple Dolls that everyone was making. Here, Julia is holding a pink one for my niece's daughter, a blue one for my mother, and the cool one with Kaffe Fassett fabric is for Julia.

My BFF Janet gave me some wool yarn scraps to make crocheted flowers, which I felted. I used vintage buttons from my mother's sewing basket for the centers. I "wrapped" them by sewing them into scrapbook paper pouches.
Julia and her boyfriend got into the spirit of handmade gifts, too. She made a double 4-patch lap quilt for him. And he made a wooden jewelry box for her in carpentry class. They are very sweet.

And I have to mention my crafty son. No good photos of them, but Pete raked in the cash at a craft fair with his PVC marshmallow shooters (blowguns). OK, Pete. Now that's enough cowbell!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Wedding Rings

Two of my nieces were married in 2004, so my mother and I made quilts for them. I let the girls choose their patterns and colors, and they both chose wedding rings, one in blue and the other in green. I love to paper piece, so I purchased patterns from Judy Niemeyer for the Garden Wedding Ring and Wedding Star. The patterns worked up beautifully and I highly recommend them. I reworked the applique borders to suit the girls' taste. I did the machine work, and my mother did most of the hand work. Both quilts were hand quilted. I think it's the best work we've ever done. I love how the gradation of color makes the rings glow. All of the fabric was purchased at Quilter's Dream, an incredible shop, well worth the trip.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Red Sox chicks are wicked smaht!

There's something you need to know about my family. We are Red Sox fans. My kids are 4th generation fans. I'm a fan by marriage. So it's fun living in Red Sox Nation. We try to go to at least one game in Pawtucket each season to see the new prospects. Fenway tickets are too expensive.

In 2006, I brought my Girl Scout troop to a clinic, game, and sleepover on the field and we got to meet Dustin Pedroia. He got called up to the big leagues shortly after that. You should know that in 2007 he was AL Rookie of the Year and he is the reigning AL MVP! He's been my favorite player since we met. In a motherly pride sort of way.

So here we are, watching it snow again, dreaming of spring training!


I got the title of the post from a piece of Facebook Flair. I love Flair!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hello, Blogland!

I've been wanting to write a blog since I started reading them daily about 6 months ago, but where do I start?  How about a story...

My husband and I experienced a plane ditching in Hawaii in 1991.  The details came flooding back (so to speak) as I watched the news coverage of the USAir accident in NYC this week.  We were in Oahu for a few days while Bill worked on a submarine antenna.  I wanted to fly over the volcano on the Big Island because I was a geology major.  We joined a tour 
group with 8 other passengers and boarded a hot pink Beechcraft.  The first half of the flight was quite enjoyable.  Then the left prop engine stopped.  Well, OK.  We've still got the other one and only 30 miles to Hilo.  But it was too much for the little engine to handle.  We were losing altitude.  Our pilot chose to ditch in Hilo Bay, rather than risk crashing into the tall palm trees at the end of the runway, less than a mile away.  The plane floated long enough for everyone to get out.  Then the nose filled with water and the plane was gone.  We were scooped out of the bay by local fishermen.  The only minor injury was a broken nose.  The NTSB investigators told us that our very experienced pilot saved our lives.  Sound familiar?

Oh, yeah!  The reason I have a photo of the pink wing is that I finished a roll of film on the flight and changed rolls.  I put the exposed roll into the plastic container.  Remember those?  Anyway, after the plane sunk, things started floating out.  We used fishing nets to scoop stuff up and I got my film!  

I know this has nothing to do with quilting or crafting or Girl Scouts.  The other stuff is my everyday life.  I'll get to that soon.