Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whirl Into Winter with 60+ Quilt Bloggers!

Needled Mom said...

What a fabulous needle case! It has to be a ton better than any poetry I can come up with. (I loved math and science in school.)

Chance to Win quilty Stuff!

And hurry Spring along!
(Okay. I made that up...)

've joined the Quilters Blog Giveaway, starting January 1st. I've been sewing up a storm and it's almost like I'm a quilter again.

I'm giving away a quilted knitting needle roll-up.
If you want a chance to win - leave a comment.


I tried out a quilt pattern for a block called Chain of Friends.
There's a pdf file with complete instructions.
The quilt block should have ended up 9.5 inches square.
It didn't.
Big surprise!!
(Designer not responsible for my wonky quarter inch seams -
I'll have to try again!)

I could have shoved the misfit block into my treasure box and let it age. (Like that would fix it.)
Instead I made a knitting needle holder
...this morning!
FINISHED things are glorious. Why do I forget that?
Maybe finishing things will be a trend in 2009.

For a chance to win more stuff:
60 or more other (real!) quilters are giving some pretty nifty things away as well. Visit the Whirl Into Winter website that started it all for a complete list of Giveaways. Each one will have different rules so read the
fine print.

All drawings are to be held January 15th.
Make sure you include an email address so I can contact you!

I'm also giving away some hand knit yellow socks - Size 5-6
Different rules!

EDITED 1/2/09: Comments have gone off track a bit!

If you want to win the socks leave your poetry comment in the blog post above titled "It's not easy being yellow". SEE LINK:
For a chance at the NEEDLE HOLDER leave comment with this blog entry. (For a chance at the socks leave 2nd comment

You'll have to try writing a little poetry for the socks entry:
"Face the window and write a poem in the form of a tiny letter addressed to anything you see outside."
For inspiration, read actual student entries from an Outdoor Lit class here.

(EDITED 1/2/09:
They're really good - you should click the link and see how they did it in class! Include a letter form greeting like "Dear..." or Salutations!)

My attempt:
Dear Mr. Maple,
Dignified and gracious
standing guard at driveway's edge.
Does it tickle your bark when those 2 bushy tailed gray squirrels
chase each other round and round?
No Poetry Police (but...)
All actual attempts at poetry will qualify for the socks :)
(even the ones who didn't read directions - a second chance if you read all the way to here and do it right ;)

International entries accepted for both contests on this blog.
Some of our favorite people are overseas right now!

Below will be updated links to Blogs asking for a mention about their giveaway - for an extra chance at winning
(how can I resist? ;)

Keepsake Moments (very elegant prize! ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Scrappy Quilt and Resolve

A few loose ends to tie up

I don't usually make resolutions.
I might just give it a try this year.

Bold font Blog promises have a way of keeping me honest!

Cat Quilt - binding complete
Y2K Quilt - Top finished
Tom wondered where the pile of change he laid on the table went. I showed him where the Y2K machine quilter funds were growing. Fair warning to all members of our household: a coin snatcher is in your midst!
Never Ending Socks - finished
Pair cast on next day - 2nd sock heel underway.
(taking longer than hoped; but not cursed anytime I catch a glimpse of them as of yet.)
Scrappy Stash Busting Quilt - A work in progress.
My resolve was 6 blocks a day. I'm plus 4 now that memory of how to paper-piece has returned.
My reward resolution for 2009 is to grow a shelf of beautiful African Violets under lights once more. One shelf of beautiful blooming African Violets.
Light Therapy.
I'm going to plug 1 light back in and try growing plants on a shelf again.
I further resolve to retain control of my AV habit and NOT save every leaf to start another plant.
Ending up with too many plants.
More than I can handle.
Now to see what becomes of my stash busting, UFO finishing, WIP resolve in 2009. The year I turn - dare I type it? 5.0

Improved versions always get a higher number!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Use it or lose it

Will need to pick up the quilting pace a bit.

I seem to have forgotten every thing I ever knew about Paper-Piecing.

Decided on this scrappy quilt from Quiltmaker magazine next.
(Jan/Feb 02 #83)

It'll use many different fabrics from the stash bin. I've convinced myself that's as good as working on another UFO.

Not off to a great start making the star block as 2 of the pieced seams had to be undone because I had the background fabric where the star was supposed to be or it didn't cover the space intended.

There are only 6 seams for the three sections. 2 blocks managed this morning, although much cutting has been done. To keep it scrappy and not have all the same colors bunched together, some of the sections have to stand in line.

I'm using my new iron.
A Christmas present from Mom.
There was an oath taken.
NOT to iron sticky stuff (fusible web).
No Fabric Postcards, journal covers or ATC's are to come near the bottom of this iron.

I did hand sew another side of the cat quilt binding down.
One edge left.

I made a matching bag for the Circle Jeans Quilt I gave Angie. My sister-in-law genuinely seemed to love both of the gifts I gave her. Showed a satisfying amount of love for the quilt I made her and petted the box holding the casserole dish with hot/cold covers & carrier.
A couple of times actually!

And Ben does love his ice cream on a stick.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Sunrise

Merry Christmas!!

Sunrise properly applauded this morning just for Steph. Have fun in Austria now that your travel nightmare is over.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Y2K obsession over

The 10 day wonder

It's finished!
At 7:57 a.m. December 23, 2008 the last seam was pressed.
I think the proper term
might be Um. Ta-dah?

As explained in an August 2006 entry:
Um. Ta-dah? deserves to be the new "Finished" standard for completed projects. Especially if outcome was uncertain right up until the end, previous skill level is admittedly lacking and you "like nothing more than a challenge (which may render me a bit unstable) to keep me off the streets."
To quote a crazy chick with a goddamn hammer!!"

The Dog Loving Knitter has changed her blog name and the link to her entry that made me laugh out loud doesn't work anymore.
But, thankfully only a few of the blocks failed to fit together nicely and were threatened with a hammer...
To make them fit.

My very big quilt (top) has been completed in a timely fashion.
1999-2008. No?
2009 by the time it's quilted.

In exchange for one of my Fabric Postcards, the last Y2k Squishie arrived Monday afternoon from a quilter in North Carolina. I made 2 blocks with blank center squares - one for me and one for the quilting date.

I had one package from a quilter with the wrong sized squares sent. I added a border of matching light fabric, but didn't use it in the end.

And the Ugly Duckling block that kept getting thrown back to the bottom of the pile to "use later" never did make it in. I started to unpick the center square so I could use it with prettier fabrics but after about 15 seconds said screw it and used a blank.
The machine quilter can sign there!
I'm thinking the spare change dish is going to be a machine quilting fund because this thing is huge.

I don't know what to do with myself without 25 squares to obsess over and fit together in each new block.
So I bought a few yards of fabric go with what I have.

(It was 50%-60% off?)

Now I can obsess over what to start next!

Or I could choose the next UFO to work on.

Blogger says I've used my quota of pictures
Steph? Know anything about that?

And that yellow pair of socks pictured in the link above still sits unloved. I knit them in 2006 and still they sit in my Finished Bucket for Socks.

Like a misfit toy.
Nobody in the family seems to want them. Even as a gift for best friends who move away, office pals or boyfriend Moms. (Sara keeps picking pink ones for Will's Mom. 3 years of Pink socks for her? The woman is going to think all I knit with is pink!)

Perhaps I'll give them away.
If you've noticed the little Snowflake wearing a scarf in the sidebar (and like entering blog giveaways) there's going to be a bunch to celebrate the New Year.
Sign-ups start after Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And it's still snowing

Roadblocks & Snowbanks

I've worked on the Y2K quilt a little every day.
At least one block a day; most days four or more.
It's now in 3 big sections with 72 blocks sewn in.
8x9 feet (BIG)
One row to go!!
Will need to work from my scrap basket & stash as most of the 3" squares left are damned ugly.
Or too medium shaded.
Stopping to cut and decide color placement is the slowest part.

Sunday morning was my
"Worked on the Y2k quilt for a week" anniversary.
Everything was going smoothly until I sewed 2 strips of 3 blocks together upside down.

Log Cabin pattern: Wrong.
Noticed just as I was about to press the seams to the dark that names on one row were upside down?
And since my sewing machine has been bouncing over seams a little crooked, I went across the row twice. Some of the 3 inch square intersections needed to be tacked with a dozen stitches to make the seams match better. So there were 3 rows of stitching in some places.

Stitch setting: 2.0 (Small)
45 minutes of unpicking put it back on track.
I worked until lunch to get it in 3 sections.

I flicked on the outside light at about 2 a.m.
Yes, it's still snowing. I thought we were getting about 6 inches until dad informed us at Sunday lunch it might be a foot or two.
He plows for us and was worried about the forecast.
I jokingly said "Don't worry; I'll be able to shovel..."
There were witnesses and I'll be hearing these words used against me I'm sure.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Y2K (a quilt story continues)

Piece by Piece

My latest obsession started about 3 am Sunday morning.*

I decided to pull out the package of Y2K blocks &
Squishies and lay them out all over the kitchen floor and see what kind of plan I had.
I must have had a plan?

I'll admit to having a mild panic attack at the though of what lay ahead.
Literally my knees were shaky and my heart was racing in an
"I can't do this" kind of way. In a way I don't ever remember before.

Come to think of it maybe I was coming down with something. I spent ALL day Monday sick in bed, nauseous and achy,1st hot and then cold. I requested a shovel to the back the head at one point. Er...thankfully he didn't take me up on that. BUT I did get a good hour of work done on the quilt before admitting defeat. And who the hell dirtied all those dishes? I made sure all the dishes were done before allowing myself to start my Millenium Project on Sunday. And all I cooked was toast for 24 hours. Every freaking dish in the house was dirty by Tuesday?
The thought of shoving it back in the Treasure Box and pretending it didn't exist for another ten years flashed briefly across my mind.
Instead I took a coffee break and joined a
Ravelry Knitters Who (used to) Quilt group. My first post:

(SOS! :)
My name is Laurie and I have some UFOs…is that the way members of support groups start their pleas for help? lol

A few days ago I pulled my Treasure Box out, aka underbed storage container full of UFO’s, determined to do something about it. Closest to finished first seemed like a good plan so a quilt that just needed binding is underway - halfway around hand stitching binding down on back- waiting for sunny window later to finish.

So I thought my Y2K would be next. Now I’m having a panic attack! I seem to have 45 blocks sewn together, with 11 swaps still wrapped in the envelopes they came in; 4 signature squares floating around loose.
Sewn together Log cabin style light to dark diagonally… Clearly I had a plan. Once!!

Okay. Rather than stuff it back in the box for another 10 years, it’s waiting on the floor for me to calm down. Remember to breathe normally. Sign up for a support group. Perhaps I’ll blog!

LOL - husband just got up and noticed my cause of distress laid out on the floor. Shaking his head and going back to bed!
It was not a bad plan at all. I had sewn (at least) 45 blocks together, with squares reading dark to light on the diagonal in the style of the Log Cabin pattern. Only with little squares instead of strips.

I remember starting out trying to keep everyone's 24 pieces of fabric together with their signature square.
(A.) you don't always get a very good read of dark to light.
(B.) you get some
ugly-arsed blocks.

There's one 12" block I may have to unsew just to get the signature square out. It's NOT going in.

I had swapped (25) 3 inch squares with at least a hundred quilters. As seems to be true of all internet swapping no matter the theme, there are always people who break their promise. Best Intentioned Swappers I can take to a point. They meant well, but stuff happened.

There always seem to be a few who think they're signing up for free stuff from any idiot who will send it to them. (And I guess if you're silly enough to send strangers you meet on the internet stuff, you should probably count yourself lucky you ever get anything back.) But still we trust. Probably part of the reason this project lost its charm. If the objective was 2000 pieces, it would take 80 trustworthy swappers. I never did count how close I came until Wednesday.

I was (at least) 2 short. Too short...ha ha!
corny joke just for Steph ;0)

I must have had more than 45 blocks sewn together to start with; as it is now I have nearly 72 squares. Clearly my math or basic counting skills need some work as I still have 5 or 6 signature squares left. Plus my own needs to go in! I used the fabrics I had cut into 3" squares for the cat quilt and i can't remember how I signed it. I remember using a rubber stamp print though!
A recount will take place today.

*Actually the obsession to finish something started 3 days before when I came across 2 old emails printed out and saved from 2001-2003 during an Internet Round Robin ...gone bad. A group of 6 or 7 of us each made a 12 inch crazy pieced block and we agreed to swap them to each person in turn, who would work on our block and then pass it to the next.

The last person to get my block was
Gayla Cox. She sent me glowing details of the work she was doing in reply to several of my emails, trying to encourage her along and get my block back. For years I had faith I would get it back. She wrote how wonderful my block looked. All about the ladybugs and caterpillars she was embroidering. My name! She said she embroidered my name.

And then she kept it.

The girls said a blog post titled
"You Better Be Dead" was unacceptable. Steph googled her. She might be. Rest in Peace...but I'm still a little bitter.
My name was on it.

To this day THAT is the only Internet Swap that rankles. That I obsess over still. I had blind faith until the end. (Well, sometimes still I think what it would be like if I found it in the mailbox. FYI: I still live at the same address.) But there was never closure. Even the hostess handled it poorly in my opinion as her only response was "oh, that's too bad."
No more Internet Round Robins for me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quilting like it's 1999!

(lol ;)

This segment starts with a personal guilt factor as usual.

UnFinished Objects.
Quilt projects in various stages of waiting.

A cat quilt has been hanging out waiting for it's binding.
For like a year. I won the blocks in Chapter block of the month drawing.
Okay... that was actually several years ago.
I machine quilted it. I prefer hand quilting, but I thought it would be quicker by machine. Less likely to end up in the
Treasure Box of Unfinished things.

But, that's all it needed?
Not sure what the hell I was waiting for.
Except the fabric I wanted to use for the binding was gone and so I had to make a new decision.

Decision made! It's binding is all on and I just need to go half way around sewing the back of it down by hand. Waiting for a warm sunny window.
This week for sure!

Next up I decided would be my Y2K quilt.
By "quilt' I mean a pile of 45 blocks and 15 envelopes still barely opened.
Peeked at when they arrived.
In 1999.

Swapping charm envelopes - Squishies- was all the rage back in 1999.
While the computer geeks worried the world was going to come to an end because no one thought ahead about rolling over the internal clocks of our electronics - quilters celebrated the event with 25 three inch squares of assorted fabrics, one of which would be a plain muslin with our signature and location signed. Often a stamped image!

This is where I seem to have left off.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nature is having it's way

Denial is a shovel still stored way out in the shed.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A day after Thanksgiving

Road trip!

Tom and I headed for an overnight stay in Portland the day after
Lobster Day.

Save a lobster?

Not a problem!

We gave thanks home alone, with a pot of boiling water and some butter :)

LL Bean outlet shopping and a little Letterboxing.

Next time we eat lunch first.
We spent way too long circling the first park.
Determined to find missing boxes in Baxter Woods.

While I searched in vain, Tom fished the missing stamp out of a pond next to the tree it should have been hiding near.
Floating in a baggie.
Green with pond scum.
Like the bum who threw it there!

By the time we searched for 5 across the street in Evergreen Cemetery I was starving.
(Plus only found one.)

Almost 1:30 by the time we gave it up.

Next time we eat first!
So Life is
NOT crap.

And what's with the Crooked Little One-room Schoolhouse posing as Santa's Workshop?



Tom and I had moved in together 4 days before. He says we were watching Monday Night Football when we got the news.

Imagine. What might have been.

Stuck in a folder no more

6x6 Meme

The rules:
--Go to your sixth picture folder and pick the sixth picture.

*if you've recently renamed folders - is the order skewed unfairly?

--Tag - you're it!

And I'm adding a twist: [(6x6)+5]
--find 5 more pictures you really meant to blog.

From what I remember my 6x6 picture is low tide in Belfast. Tom and I wandered the farmer's market and later looked for several Letterboxes.
And ate lobster/crab rolls sampler lunch. Yum!

Next 2 are at Schoodic Point.

A front yard rainbow.
Rainbows always appear here, often double.
I think it's because of Pushaw Lake's proximity and the magnifying glass it becomes.

(But my science expertise is equal to my math skills and my ability to tell left from right at a moments notice... what do I know!)

Last pictures are right side of our yard at the road's edge.
A storm this way comes!

Left side rock wall where tree line meets sunrise.